Part 33: The Author of the Acclaimed Children's Novel "The Big Friendly Gremio"Chapter 1: The Author of the Acclaimed Children's Novel "The Big Friendly Gremio"
Why can't more games do these clever and eye-catching loading screens? Well, maybe they're patented or something.
"Just be the way you always are. The Emperor is stern, but there's nothing to be afraid of."
If I ever become a VIP, I am totally gonna have folks introduce me to this song everywhere I go. It's okay though because I'd just be an eccentric storyteller, not like a tyrannical despot or anything
... Oh, hey, that link's actually brought to us by that Peyser Conley guy again, it seems like he's really a go-to link for classic RPG soundtracks on youtube.
You have to admit, for a 1996 localization, this is actually pretty good.
"Would you be willing to travel there to protect the border?"
"charge, we can rest assured."
Well, mostly good. They can't seem to make up their minds on how to spell Jowston and actually spell it inconsistently throughout the entire game, but that's the official English spelling.
"Listen, Roald. Would you be willing to give the Empire a helping hand while your father is
protecting the northern border?"
"I am gonna kick your ass one day your majesty so let's not"
"Someday, you will follow the path of your own choosing. But for now, you have a great deal to learn from me.
Plenty of time for freedom later."
everything i learned about platitudes and glorious public appearances i learned from emperor barbarosa
ah, a cougar
i hated those sorts of women on the mainland, i didn't meet very many of 'em but they're such a pain in the ass notwithstanding, milfs are a myth perpetuated by the film industry
"I've heard that she bears a close resemblance to Lady Claudia. He still mourns her passing."
I like this. It's a fact barely touched upon within the game itself so you can kinda miss it altogether, but it seems to be a relatively common piece of gossip in Greigminster Palace.
There are other generals hanging out around both Greigminster Palace and the town. This is Kasim Hazil, and he has a portrait so obviously he must be either really evil, really important, or really recruitable.
Let's not, Kraze is a dick
Let's check the right side instead.
This kind of chump change is nothing. Literally nothing, even this early in the game.
"What's your name? Roald?
I couldn't care less if you're the son of a great general. You'll get no special treatment here, understand?
Now go on home. Work begins tomorrow. Report here first thing in the morning."
"Gremio must be worried sick."
I really like that little reflective touch on the tiles here.
"Were you nervous in front of the Emperor?
I was soooo worried. But I guess everything went fine."
Gremio is Roald's caretaker. He is a very average character with low power, high defense, and non-existent magic.
Roald can be kind of a jerk sometimes.
You're a jerk, Roald.
fresh vegetable croquettes with spicy tonkatsu sauce is like one of my favorite foods
"Say, it's Young Master. Back already? How was your audience with the Emperor?"
Pahn is an okay character. Strong as a bull, slow an ox, he'll one-shot anything if he gets a critical hit and comes with a Boar Rune attached to him.
In this third room,
"Oh well, you can be forgiven if it's my room, I suppose. So how was your audience with the Emperor?
Were you nervous?"
is Cleo. She is a great character and a good addition to any party until pretty much the very end of the game. Reasonable physical attack, incredibly high speed, great magic stat, and even average defense.
Well, let's go explore Greigminster.
Yes that's quite enough exploration
"Young man, which do you like?
Say, aren't you Teo's boy? Of course, You're Roald.
I was called by the Emperor, and of course I must show him my exquisite taste in clothes."
We're gonna save here, because what we're about to do is a bit risky.
We'll leave Greigminster and
oh shit no
In all Suikoden games (actually, I think this might not be the case in this Suikoden 1), when you die and restart, you come back with all your stats and levels from your last save point, but all of your inventory from when you saved. This is wonderfully exploitable, what with the existence of items that permanently boost your stats, but I won't be doing that in this game.
We head to the east and end up in Rockland.
We all cruised up to Rockland in California once since our roommate was from there. It was like "heeeeeeey, Rockland!" I can be a gigantic nerd sometimes, you don't need to tell me that, I play Nintendo for the internet
Anyway, this is Marco. He runs a "shuffle the cups and guess which one the coin is under" game.
Unlike real cup shuffle games, this one is legit and you can scam the shit out of Marco. He actually uses the same pattern every time (though it varies, in my experience, possibly based on the PSX firmware; I get the exact same results on a Fat PS2 as I did on an old school PS1 brick, but I get different patterns using the same disc on the mini PSXes, and different patterns still on a Slim PS2).
Basically what you do is bet 100 bits (the slowest speed; 1000 works too and is still discernible, but 10,000 is way too fast to reliably see), write down the first 10-20 results, save, and then talk to Marco again, which resets his cycle. You can easily reach the maximum money of 999,999 bits this way before you even touch the story.
Though it can get a bit tedious.
"As evidence of my life, I leave behind a song that will be my epitaph."
"Clive, forgive me for not dying at your hands."
"I knew it because you didn't hit me."
So we can glean that the imperials are kind of assholes in this part of bumfuck nowhere.
Now we take our riches and head south from Greigminster to Lenankamp.
I love how Suikoden handles weapons. You don't go around buying new equipment for everyone; each character has their own personal weapon and you just sharpen it at a blacksmith.
The weapon's power obviously increases as you level it up, but the weapon's name can also change depending on its type and its level. To take a weapon from level 1 to 5 normally costs around 5000-ish bits. Not exactly the kind of money you'd normally have at this point.
yeah sure lady whatever you say
Well, let's get back home.
"Let's go up to your room, OK?
Tell me all about the Emperor right now!"
awwww yeah this ain't no party, this is our goddamn entourage
As you can see from his status screen, Ted starts with a third-level weapon, and that "??????" is his Rune.
West of Greigminster
is a mountain pass. Suikoden has some very nice eclectic world music, doesn't it.
if you feel the need to say something like, "no it doesn't there isn't nearly enough athematic presence and UNIQUE dynamics and it's too simple and made for stupid people with simpleton ears and you don't know what you're talking about at all and you never did you uncultured boob"
There are some treasures along the way, but Suikoden is one of those games with limited inventory space per party member. I dunno, I like it. A lot of folks don't, and they see it as counterintuitive to streamlining your inventory space.
There are some pretty tough monsters up here. I think they can take us out in six attacks at the moment.
This is their super-rare drop and I was very lucky to get it. Elemental Rune Pieces are forged onto a character's weapon and boost their attack abilities and sometimes their stats. In the case of stat-increasing pieces, they can stack. Water heals 5HP per turn per piece.
Wind actually gives your weapon Earth element and increases your Defense.
And these snails will fuck your shit right up. They drop Defense Rune Pieces, which you can't temper onto a weapon, but you can use on a character to permanently increase the named related stat by 1.
Finally, we make it through the pass to Sarady.
It's a simple town with an item shop that sells Medicine and Water Runes.
But if you come here at the very beginning of the game, this guy gives you a rare prize.
Come here by yourself, and you get a Fortune Crystal, which doubles the amount of EXP you earn after a battle. This would be good, but Suikoden has always been about normalized EXP rewards, so you won't be getting a lot of mileage out of that rune. You can also buy them later in the game for 50,000 bits if you really must.
Instead, I got the Prosperity Crystal, which you get if you come here with Ted in your party. Prosperity Crystals are super rare drops from mid-game enemies, and the rune itself doubles the money you win from enemies (still obviously pretty useless). It's pretty hard to get your hands on this one, so the choice, I think, was obvious.
"I think Cleo's hot, she's like your sister right? You'll hook me up, won't you?"