Part 11: It's all Obel
Time to set sail! Well, what passes for a sail, at least. Seriously guys, I don't think that thing will do all that much. I suppose it could make people come and investigate when they see a tree bobbing on the waves...
We're searching for civilized land. Do you know of any?
You are heroes. You beat the Master.
Inhabited land? Okay, I'll show you. The closest is straight to the south from here.
I understand... Let us go.
Come again sometime. My name is Lilin. You will always be welcome.
Yeah, if we're still alive!
It looks like everyone's gotten chummy with this mermaid while I've been gone...
You snooze, you lose, kitty-man.
Honestly, I don't have any idea if you need to move south at all, because just like the last time we were out on the goddamn ocean with a tiny boat, we just have to fight a couple of random battles, and then a boss (or perhaps rather something that really wanted to be a boss but couldn't pass the final exam) shows up.
I did say the Rune of Punishment was bad, but I never said how bad. Well, this is how bad it is. Remember how Soul Eater did twice this with no drawbacks? But wait, I don't even have to compare it to other True Runes to show how terrible this is. 150 damage to all enemies is the same amount the second level spell from the regular fire rune in this game does - naturally, without any harm to the user in any way shape or form.
On top of that, this spell deals even more damage to Lazlo than the first does - a good fifth of his maximum health at this point.
I've been shitting on this rune a lot, because it truly deserves it. But let's try to be positive for a moment: how could they have made it better?
Well, making it stronger would be the obvious choice. I'm not asking for a True Lightning clone - there's a reason they keep that rune away from you for most of Suikoden III - but strong enough to be worth using over a normal elemental rune.
Another, somewhat unorthodox idea might have been to make it work independently of magic points, by consuming only hit points. I would be pretty happy with a special ability that consumes 50 of my HP to deal 150 damage to all enemies if it didn't consume a resource I could be using to do the exact same fucking thing with no drawbacks. Though, this would require re-tooling the remaining two spells... but let's not get into those until we have access to them.
Anyway, the "boss" has surprising amounts of HP for a couple of fish, but they go down eventually, and we find out once again that things have gone pear-shaped.
That monster took our oars...!
How the fuck did that even happen? They showed up, and then we killed them. They didn't have time to "take" a damn thing!
I know it probably won't work, but couldn't we just... paddle by hand? Dumb idea...?
No, I know what's a dumb idea: moping around like an idiot when you could take down that useless mast, carve it into a couple of relatively oar-shaped bits with one of those many sharp implements you're carrying around and start rowing, you useless fucks.
But, no. We just sit here like idiots because apparently the boat is made of Plotanium and we can't take parts off unless it's meant to break.
Also note the black thing by Paula's leg; one of the textures on this miserable excuse for a boat kept flickering and I have no idea why, but I don't care enough to experiment with the settings to get rid of it either.
Lazlo says nothing, because he can't.
But before we can get any more emo...
...a ship looms on the horizon.
If that's Colton again, I think I'll just drown myself.
Fortunately, or perhaps unfortunately depending on one's opinion, it's something new. Also, random shot of Chiepoo using a cup of java as a mirror before emptying it.
...Whew!! I feel alive again, meow!
That was a terrible meow. Try harder.
Well, shit. You all know what happened the last time we told anyone where we're from. On the other hand, he looks rather more harmless than Colton, and we kind of do owe him.
I am Paula... I am a former Knight of Gaien.
Likewise, I'm Jewel.
I see... So you are quite far from home. And you are...?
Really happy that hearing that didn't make you throw us overboard! Well, or try to throw us overboard.
...A future great merchant, Chiepoo.
Maybe once you restock with something a little more impressive than seashells, kitty-cat.
I see... And you are...?
It's either that or "........." and Lazlo gets few enough lines as it is without deliberately telling him to shut up.
I'm not sure what he's doing here...
Uh... Would that happen to be a Rune on your left hand?
...or why Desmond assumes "rune", not "ocean related injury"...
Pardon me, but if you don't mind, I'd like take a look. It is my job to investigate such things.
...or even why he apparently thinks it's worth investigating. Every major town has a rune store, come on, it's not as if they're that unusual.
However, I am impressed that they gave Lazlo a model for not wearing his glove! I remember playing some other PS2 game where a character kicked off their shoes to reveal... the exact same model, except skin coloured. I'd call it but it was actually rather horrifying.
But I digress. Desmond runs off like most people would when they find they're on the same boat as a dude with a magical death laser grafted into his arm.
Unlike most such people, Desmond comes back, and he brings company!
Yes, Lady Flare.
Lazlo is not used to pretty girls holding his hand, and now he's feeling uncomfortable.
Wh-What is it? What are you talking about?
We shall discuss the details after we have returned. In the meantime, Desmond, please take care of these people. Treat them with courtesy.
Flare walks off somewhere because apparently she's too good for us or something.
Yes M'Lady. Ahem... Please pardon me. This is a patrol ship from the Kingdom of Obel. You will all be coming along with us.
Obel. It's called the Kingdom of Obel. The lady you just met is Princess Flare. I humbly request that you all treat her with deference and respect.
Go bother Flare at first opportunity, check.
Princess?! A princess aboard a patrol ship?
Oh. W-Well, that is... Uh, let's just say that this is Her Highness's will.
Oh. One of those princesses.
Now we get to move around! On a boat! Just like every other boat! Except the shape is a bit different. There's a bunch of soldiers in silly hats on board, but...
I said I was going to go bother Flare, so I'm going to go bother Flare.
Not that I get anything out of it, but rest assured, she has been thoroughly bothered.
Okay... I'm a little calmer now.
Let's enjoy our time while we can. When that ship arrives, I don't know what'll happen to us...
I'll just assume they're going to sacrifice Chiepoo to their volcano god.
Could it be... that we have managed to escape death?
Unless you want to go all Gremio on my ass, I sure hope so. It'd be a short game otherwise.
A short while later...
Just tell them, "The king sent for me." I'll let them know that you're coming.
We shall be waiting for you.
Their security is sort of... lax. Then again, it's not as if an armed escort could do much if Lazlo decided to go all Powers Man Was Not Meant To Meddle With on them.
Thanks, Generic Greeter Man.
At least you're not a Star of Destiny this time.
There's a lot of strange folk out at sea these days. We'd like to be able to fish with a normal guy like you.
Are you blind? Does my model look generic to you?
...wait, no, just... don't say anything.
And here's the... capital of Obel? Entire kingdom of Obel? Uh, whatever.
Also, new music!
The most pressing matter right now is the fact that I have fifty fucking pots burning a hole in my pockets. Appraiser, go!
I forgot to check what these are worth, though. Sure hope it's more than the appraisal fee at 200 bucks a piece, at least. God damn that was a lot of money.
The little girl gives us a lottery ticket!
Well, that's what we say amongst ourselves. Call it superstition if you'd like.
I... didn't know that!
Again, the whole luck stat thing, but a normal ticket just gives a +1 to luck so it is fairly useless. However, if you take a critical hit while wearing a ticket, it will be transformed into a lucky ticket, which grants a whole +10 to luck! It also, or so I'm told, guarantees a third prize or better when playing the lottery.
(However, you don't get a chance to pick which to use; lucky tickets will be used first when you're playing the lottery, so keep them equipped on someone if you like to keep them. Also, you're not really going to take a lot of critical hits, so, uh. I still keep one of the ones I got in Middleport on Lazlo, though. Maybe he will decide to get critted before I run into something too appealing to equip instead.)
There's also this jerk hanging around the first area of town.
I am Yu. I may not look it, but I am a doctor. Oh, yes, I need to tell you this first... The fee is 500 Potch per visit. In advance.
That's a little expensive...
(That's like twice what the local inn charges for the same service! And they include breakfast!)
I have to make a living off of this, you know. If you can't pay, please go elsewhere. I can't treat you for free.
You can't treat me at all, ever.
Maybe you can do something about this poor bastard, though...
Perhaps the best thing about Obel is the fact that it has upgraded stores, including a smith...
...who can sharpen your weapons...
...to level six! Godspeed, you cheese obsessed motherfucker, but damn, those are some nice numbers.
This guy is hanging around nearby, but he's... uh... pointless.
And finally, here's the royal palace! And this is totally not the king trying to pull a Mathiu on us!
You wouldn't happen to know if the king is here, would you?
Hmm... I bet the king's probably inside right now.
Thank you very much. Well... shall we go?
Now that we're here, I'd like to point something out.
The water in these fountains... and nowhere else... is fucking gorgeous! Look at those ripples! And it sticks to Lazlo's shoes so he's shaking off drops for a couple of steps when he gets out. Water on the world map looks that fucking terrible why, exactly?
Inside, we bump into this funny-looking little man.
Yeah, that's right. Wait a second... You wouldn't happen to be... the king, would you?
I'm not sure if this expression ever comes up again either.
The king is a most magnificent man. That you would mistake one such as me for him is... ahem, quite foolish.
In any case, Lady Flare has informed me of your circumstances. Please come inside.
But be more mindful of your manners in the future.
Setsu leads us deeper into the palace...
...and Chiepoo does everything but mind his manners.
(Well, he is a cat, I suppose. I should probably be thankful he doesn't cough up hairballs on the rug.)
Wait, how'd he get here before us?
Your Majesty, this is why I am always begging you to wear the clothes I set out for you... Y-Your Majesty!!
Meet the king of Obel: a musclehead in a faded pink vest.
Lino, like most sensible people, commences to ignore Chiepoo entirely.
So... I've been waiting to speak with you. Everyone, will you leave us alone for a moment, please?
Do you think that is wise, your Majesty? We don't even know who he really is...
I rather like Lino. He's pretty chill and sensible.
Since you won't be needing us, we'll leave, too. We'll be outside.
Did I say you could speak? Oh well. The rest of the bunch file out, leaving Lazlo alone with the king.
All right, let's get straight to the point. My daughter informed me about your situation. Will you show me the Rune?
So Lazlo does that.
It was there that this Rune was originally found.
If only those ruins had been properly guarded, it would probably still be there, lying dormant and untouched.
I'll say! Fucking thing has killed I dunno, at least dudes in the double digits, and possibly more depending on how full those ships were.
But... that was 15 years ago...
Yes sir, Mr. King man! Ruins are my specialty! Especially if they're full of loot.
none of you fuckers better buy :obel: as a real smiley seriously no one will get that
They're currently being guarded, but you should be able to get in with this.
Either he carries ruin entry permits around with him wherever he goes, or he planned this in advance, but either way he hands Lazlo one. I believe we may in fact have run into the second most competent man on the island!
Deep in the ruins, you will find someone who knows a great deal about the Rune. Seek out that person, and you will hear the story...
But... I doubt you'll hear many good things about the Rune. With that Rune, you must realize that a harsh fate awaits you...
I'll be careful. Hell, it's killed two and a half named characters so far!
Fortunately though, I can see that you have friends who care for you. Now listen to me. Do not bring them grief.
I'll try, but I have to tell you now, I'm suffering from a bad case of the Cutscenes and may not always be fully in control of myself.
Sooo... what's gonna happen to us now?
Say, King! You think we can start a new life here on this island? Or do we have to leave again?
That's actually not a bad idea! Maybe I can open a used pot store. Lazlo's Ceramics and Death Lasers. See these pots? Almost new, only one previous owner! Yes, that's his blood on it, damn, I thought I wiped that off.
Well... if you really have nowhere else to go, you're welcome to stay.
That's so nice of you! It might not be much, but we'll work our hardest!
I'd say something about child labour, but I don't want the thread to blow up again.
Of course. If you wish to stay on this island, you can work for me. I'll secure you a place to live as well.
Desmond! Are you here?
Yes, Your Majesty?
Your Majesty! A-Are you serious?!
Uh. Anything you'd like to share with the class, there, Desmond...?
Yes, I'm serious... Don't worry. It'll be fine... So, can you do it for me?
He turns to the party without waiting for an answer.
I'll leave it to Desmond to show you to your living quarters. He'll also be watching over you and getting you anything that you need...
Please realize that I can't trust you completely just yet. Nothing personal. You understand?
Oh my, he is the second most competent man on the island!
Well, there you have it. I pray we don't encounter any significant difficulties.
So do I, because I've had quite my fill of significant difficulties of late.
Okay, let's be on our way. The place you'll be staying is east of the Royal Palace, towards the wharf.
Now, we can access the path east.
Not that it's anything to be happy about. See this path? It has random encounters.
Also, the accommodations don't seem too inviting.
Inside... the cave?
D-Don't tell me we're supposed to work inside this place for the rest of our lives...!?
Don't be ridiculous. Things like that don't happen to people with names and portraits!
Oh... N-No way, meow...
Oh, no, no... Please don't worry. Go on inside.
...it's pitch black, meow?!