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  -Part 1 :: [11.25.02]
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"It takes Nina about a second and a half to get from the door to within an inch of Flik's face. 'Sir Flik! I thought that maybe, the way I acted, I was being a nuisance to you... But... But, I know now that I simply have to be by your side!' Oh, this is fabulous. 'It's our destiny... That's why I followed Fitcher. I won't be a nuisance! That reminds me...I made dinner for you! Hurry, hurry! Your soup is getting cold!' And she drags Flik out of there like a caveman dragging his woman by the hair. I love her. So, so much."
     -Sam, Suikoden II Part 11




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Legend of Dragoon : Part 8
By Kelly
Posted 06.30.03
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3
Last time in our Adventures in Shana-sitting our super-bad dragon-killing posse of Red Cloud, Sergeant Pepper and Rose finally came face-to-feet with Feyrbrand and Sarge's Unca Greham. Both Dragon and Unca bit the dust, and Sarge took that pretty green Dragon-controlling shiny off him faster than you could say "Shana's poisoned." Red Cloud rushes Shana to the nearest doctor, only to be sent on a stupid fetch quest for a mythical plant. Along the way, we meet back up with our old friend, Dabas of the Doobage and check out his front in Lohan. Since Dabas sells the wrong kind of herbage, Red Cloud and the others made their way to the Shrine of Shirley to see if she couldn't help them out. Oh, I think she will. That Cindy Williams is such a nice girl.

We rejoin Red Cloud and Friends back at the Shrine save point after their harrowing journey from Lohan, the fumes of Dabas' shop still clinging to them. A little patchouli oil should clear that right up, since one dose of that shit could kill a skunk at thirty yards. There's a stairway leading up to a marble terrace, so Red Cloud heads that way. Not so fast, Pyro-Boy! Some daggers come flying out of nowhere and hit just in front of our party. Enter Sir Drake, center stage, as he comes flying down with a "Yeehaw' battle cry. I know that would strike fear into my heart, especially if the follow-up battle cry is "Play Free Bird!" for it would mean that I have entered into Redneck Country, perhaps never to return. And speaking of all things farming, (I know we weren't, but just go with the segue), Sir Drake looks very much like the Scarecrow. Yes, yes, there's my Wizard of Oz reference for this recap. Aren't you glad we got it out of the way early on? Drake expresses amazement that our gang has made it through the traps he set unscathed (or "unscaved" if you're Link's Queen). Well Drake, enamored of you I may be, but your traps weren't all that difficult. No one's ever died from a snarky note no matter what the fanboys might say on the subject. I'm pretty sure SCEA isn't shaking in its boots over what I'm doing to this game, I can tell you that.

Since there's no better way to introduce yourself to someone than beating the shit out of them, Drake challenges our kids to a little show of force. Red Cloud tries to explain that they're just here to get some Dragoni Plant to cure poor little Shana, but Drake's having none of it. Rose steps in, pointing out that it's quicker to just kick Drake's ass and do their explaining later. That's my Rose! Drake goes nuts, waving his little knives all over the place, and our first boss fight begins.

Since it's been a little while since I'd played, the first few attacks are pretty pathetic, but I eventually get the button timing back down again. Drake just stands there for a few turns while everyone takes their hits, then he throws out three "bursting balls." Drake calls them his best traps, and though I am inclined to snicker, experience has taught me that these things aren't messing around in the hit point removal business. So now, instead of focusing my attention onto Drake, I have to take out these stupid things before my three-turn grace period is up. I manage to get two of them. The third one rolls between Sergeant Pepper's legs and explodes. Gee, guess it's a good thing you didn't want kids, Sarge. Rose's next attack is the new and improved Dragoon attack, called "Special" in the battle menu. See, now that everyone but Shana's a Dragoon, if everyone has at least one turn as a Dragoon coming to them, any one of your fighting party can call up a special attack. The one really cool thing about a special attack is that the party member who called it now has a complete Dragoon physical attack without having to do any of the timed button-pushing. See, even the game designers hate the battle engine! And yet, they still inflicted it on us. I hate you, game designers.

Dude, I think this shit's just kicked in.
 

After everyone's had their shot at Drake so he can admire their pretty wings and the scatological delight of hearing Rose say "Astral Drain" again, my poor widdle Drakey-wakey's about half dead. So what's the best way to protect yourself from three Gen-Xers with wings? That's right, put up a nice shiny wire fence perimeter! Oh, okay, so Drake did throw a healing potion on himself as well. One outta two's...well, it's fifty percent, that's what it is. I'm afraid you're going to have to be held back in baddie class again, Drakey. Drake throws down a few more rounds of bursting balls, this time getting Red Cloud right in the nadgers. I love you, Drake. In the end, though, not even my pointy hat-wearing hero can manage to keep our kids at bay for long. Oh, Drake. If you only had a brain. As part of the leveling up ceremony at the end of the fight, Sergeant Pepper is granted a new Dragoon addition, called "Gust of the Wind Dance". So now when your meal has been sufficiently carbohydrate rich, you too can be a Dragoon.

The kids stare down at Drake, who's lying in the shadow of his dismal defeat as the sad music begins to play. Drake gasps out that he has to protect Shirley and Shirley magically appears. Well speak of the - whatever in the hell Shirley is. She looks like a red-haired woman in a white robe and cape, floating just above eye-level to everyone else, but I'm sure she's some mystical spectral presence or some other sufficiently metaphysical thing like that. Did you like my introduction, Ms. McClaine? Shirley comforts Drake, then asks what the three shiny-wearing delinquents are doing disturbing her "quiet moment." What is this, a General Food International Coffee commercial? Does Shirley have some Milano cookies tucked up in that robe somewhere? Red Cloud explains that they really didn't mean to fatally wound her Guardian, honest, Mizz Shirley, they're just here to raid the back garden of the rare, prize winning Dragoni Invisibilis for Shana, since she's soooo sick. Shirley takes this in with aplomb then apropos of nothing, Rose gets in Shirley's face, asking if Shirley remembers her. I'm sure she does, Rose darling, since according to the strat guide everyone who see you is charmed and bewitched by your mysterious allure, but now is not the time to put it to the test, okay? Actually, the entire exchange was just the writer's excuse to haul out the Plot Mallet of Doom and smack me upside the head with it. Thanks, writers.

Shirley floats around Rose, confirming what we already knew, that yes, Shirley remembers Rose just fine. There's a comment about Rose still being on her "sad journey" as Mr. Subtle is in the corner getting his poor little ass kicked by Mr. Foreshadowing. Red Cloud steps in and asks again if Shirley could spare them some Dragoni Plant, and Shirley takes the roundabout method of telling him that she's fresh out at the moment. Oh, no! What are we going to do about Shana?! Will she live; will she die? Do we really care since the same damned thing's going to happen tomorrow? Oh, Shirley has an alternative. Well, so much for the easy way out. Shit. Red Cloud wants to know what the alternative is, and Shirley hauls out the "White Silver Dragoon Spirit" for all to love and admire. Shirley explains that the WSDS is filled with healing magic. You don't say? Well there's something you don't see in an RPG every day.

 
Ohhh...shiny

But wait, there's a catch. In order for Red Cloud to get his little hands on the WSDS, he first has to face off with Shirley so Shirley can see if they deserve it. Brace yourself for the Most. Shocking. Boss. Battle. EVER!

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