Part 36: The White Dragon's Most Excellent And Radical Book Review CornerChapter 4: The White Dragon's Most Excellent And Radical Book Review Corner
Allow me to preface this chapter with something so amazing, so fantastic that I think it's important to share.
So I ordered this very particular book like a month ago because that's when it came out. And then I said fuck it and figured that it was never gonna get here from Amazon, so I ordered it from some actual British folks last Thursday. And finally, finally, it got here today, just three and a half mail-moving days since I ordered it. Bless those goddamn British mail ninjas. Grabbed a bag of weed and a bottle of wine, and I read
How to Steal a Dragon's Sword.
Now I mean, not to say that there aren't other fantastic children's books out there, and Roald Dahl is still my hero (batshit as he may or may not have been), but I think this book has just dethroned Danny, the Champion of the World as my most favorite children's book of all time ever. It addresses some interesting and hard-hitting social issues without being pretentious simply because of its target audience--young'uns don't need broody edgy characters or big words to enjoy their books, and Cressida Cowell shows that she knows this. Sure, it's heavy-handed, but that's okay; the series has always been about the caricatures and over-the-top gestures even in the darkest hour.
Gripping, mindblowing, "strange, funny, and heartrending"--I could definitely describe the book as such. And yes, my dark secret (alongside reading shitty books like our favorite Dragon Kiss) is that when I think nobody is around to hear, I really like to do outloud theatric delivery to myself. And so enchanting, so engaging and heartbreaking and teeth-grittingly edge-of-your-seat-ly was this tale that my trained bass 2 voice even cracked at times. The fact that the book outright warns you at the beginning (because it is, in the end, still the setup for the conclusion to a series for kids who are reading it to enjoy How to Train Your Dragon's typical lighthearted shenanigans) that the shit is going to hit the fan just made it that much more tense.
When I was done reading it, I was fully and completely sober, which was very surprising considering my, er, pre-book revelries. My heart was pounding, my hands were shaking, and my eyes were welled up. Very ungraceful, especially considering that I'm technically "too old" to be reading books like this, but it was just so. Some folks will say, "pfft, The White Dragon likes shitty books for kids about dragons," but others will go and buy the series and thoroughly enjoy it and secretly roll their eyes at the petty folks all too concerned with their swollen and preening self-images of what adulthood is.
The only thing I hope is that, y'know, the series will get its well-deserved ending without permanently blue-balling the readers forever with a "well now it's up to the readers to figure out just what happened." I strongly doubt that will happen, but that one episode of House, as the series was going down down down the toilet, where the author didn't conclude the series? It's always a real worry at the back of the mind.
And now, an update.
Basically the game is telling us that Flik has his ma'i every three months and if you don't know what a ma'i is allow me to advise you now to just never accuse a woman of being on hers
You know who Meese looks like? Dr. Wilson. Or my bro who looks like Dr. Wilson
this is what i say every time we lose at teams starcraft games
"yes young master"
"why do black people run so fast"
Viktor's original sword is like any other sword weapon in the game in terms of strength, but I like it because its name reflects Viktor quite well. It's the Koten Sword here, but the lower level version of this sword is the Shiko Sword, which transliterates to "piss sword." I like to imagine that how Tai Ho names his spear after chicks he's banged, Viktor just kinda calls his sword minor profanities.
This NPC in Teien is an example of what happens if you don't double-check your sprite layer priorities. Yes, we are in fact standing behind her.
Actually, short of rare drops and limited-quantity treasure box equipment, Antei sells the best accessory in the game. No, I'm not kidding. Guard Rings are only outshone by super-rare drops like Power Rings and pairs of Earth Boots, and everyone can equip them. The Magic Robe, too, is the best robe-type armor you can buy, even though you can potentially find a better one, and it's very rare.
I guess this river supposedly connects us to Jowston, considering that Dunan is the default name of the country in Suikoden 2 when you play Suikoden 3.
Now some folks see this as creepy but they're just immature and I think it's actually kind of just
DRA--wait no that's a fucking wyvern, fuck wyverns
"yeah well fuck you too" fuckin wyverns
You can actually walk off to the side of Liukan's Hermitage and arrive at the world map. There are no encounters programmed for this area. There's some silly rumor that the Japanese version of this game had some monster that would appear around here that would take any character of any level to 99 instantly.
While this would potentially work in Suikoden 2 or 3, this is totally bullshit because Suikoden 1 is programmed differently. There is a hard EXP cap per encounter, and you can only get 10,000 EXP. Whether this is per monster or per encounter is generally unknown, but suffice to say, you could never, ever do it off of the rumored one monster mob.
Suikoden 1 is why I pour drinks holding the bottom of the bottle. This is a fantastic party skill, especially when everyone is starting to Get There, because at that time it generally elicits a round of "HOLY SHIT HOW DID YOU DO THAT WITHOUT SPILLING ANY THAT SHIT IS NUTS"
Clive is, in fact, not the most bullshit Star of Destiny, because there is a way to guarantee his spawn flag; Antonio has the fine honor of being the RNG asshole. His flag involves speaking with Marie until she mentions that she needs a cook. This line is completely random and can happen the first time you stay at the inn, or the hundredth, and there is no way to predict nor guarantee that she'll say it.
Kai is not a bad character. His unite attack with Roald is really fantastic in the midgame, but it loses its shine later on when you start to run into huge fakas with tons of HP in the middle of mobs of monsters with 400+ HP. In my experience, the damage generally caps out at around 350 except at very high upgrade levels, and by that time, you'll have much better options to replace Kai with. Still, his damage output is absolutely perfect for everything in Milich's part of the game.
You know what would really ruin this scene?
Well, yes, Yakkity Sax, but I meant more along the lines of, "YOVNG MASTER, THE DEATHSPORES MOST FOVL DO DYGNE VPON ME AT THYS MOMENT. NAY, I CANNOTE SEE ANY LONGER. YOVNG MASTER YOU MVST LIVE YOUR LIFE TO ITS MOST FULL AND TASTE THE MORNINGS AND DRINK DEEPLY OF THE BLESSINGS OF EVERIE DAY"
Basically what I'm saying is fuck scripts that don't largely follow modern colloquial conventions. They're all too pretentious for their own good.
whoa what the fuck
I'm honestly not sure why I brought along Kimberley. I think it's because I found the fact that her weapon is a kitchen knife to be highly amusing.
Kasios' dresses just like the Fillyjonk from the Moomins
damn right we will
"I was of no help whatsoever to the Emperor. It's appropriate that I die here.
Such a short life, like that of a flower..."
so much violence, in front a children
And then the game continues as normal.
I'm pretty sure I've had characters die in this encounter with Teo before. It's best to play it safe and use characters who aren't allowed to die at this point within the game's scripting, such as Viktor, the Hero's Team, Humphrey's Team, and Flik's Warriors' Village People.
well i mean that depends did you get it from the bargain rack at safeway or something
The battle to recruit Anji and his pirates is timed. There is no indication toward this. It just boots you out after like four rounds and you're all "what"
Kanak starts with a steel sickle & chain...
... and it upgrades to copper!
soy sauce is so not spicy
Folks on the mainland would get so pissy when I'd call it shoyu. Yeah, I guess it sounds kinda weeaboo, but the truth is that it's just what soy sauce is called in Hawaii, and if you say "soy sauce" you get weird looks like you're some kind of asshole. Ironically enough it was the literal neckbeards in the continental US who would complain about this.
So, the rematch with Teo.
It's very simple and straightforward. Kind of like a backwards-unwinnable battle.
Interesting thing to note: Armored Cavalry and Teo's Charge, while essentially charge-type attacks, are considered a completely separate type of attack that's weak against Charge and strong against everything else. If you use bows, you lose. If you use magic, you lose.
we will attack it with
So, quick The White Dragon storytime
My senior year in boarding school, I had three things: a big ol' desktop computer, some amazing computer speakers that I'm still using today, and marching band. How does that last one factor in?
Well, I had the soundtracks for Suikoden 1, 2, and 3. None of those arranged collections, good as they are, and what I used to looooooove to do was crank up my speakers, put on one of two songs on repeat, and leave for band, which could be anywhere from an afternoon to far past midnight.
Qlon's Within the Silence was one of them. It was rather notorious on the third floor of the Kaleiopapa dorm, but not an uncommon practice. My freshman year, the seniors with good speakers played... nothing. The third floor was always dead slient, and it was kind of creepy, almost like the goddamn Night Marchers were ghosting through the halls. Sophomore year, they rather liked their reggae. Junior year was one of those classes that particularly enjoyed the gangsta rap.
and then my senior year, it was "that nintendo stuff"
Oh, yeah, this makes me question the validity of the "Morgan reference" in Suikoden 5. Morgan has been blind since birth, but the gladiator they mention in S5 was able to see until his master ripped out his eyes. Just a translation error? A lore discrepancy? Actually not Morgan? We'll probably never know.
maas what are you doing to that doggy
"You see, Master Neclord.....
... googly goo."
"Yuk yuk! You're angry. OK, OK, I'll return the money."
Neclord's Castle is my favorite place to grind. Good music, good experience gains, reasonable enemies, and they drop fantastic antiques.
And no, in case you were wondering, you can't bribe Neclord.
uh oh it's a six-star-o-gram
i know what he's trying to do
This is basically what I was talking about when I said that the monsters in Neclord's Castle drop some cool shit. Those wispy eastern paintings, Fine Bone China, Blue Dragon Urns... what's not to like?
Speaking of, we bring Fukien to fight Neclord because, as Azure mentioned, nobody uses the Resurrection Rune. Actually I think you can get it as a super-rare drop off of some monster in this area. Slap that shit on Hellion or Mina, go to fuckin' town on Neclord.
Apparently the Warriors' Village people outside the castle sing some kind of song? Onward to victory dear friend / hunt down the hated enemy / ra ta ta ta ta ta yuk
"look at me lookin' all suave an' shit on my chair"
It's because of this line that I'll always consider it Northwind. North Window sounds fucking retarded.
Neclord is half-damage resistant to almost all elements.
He's very weak against the Resurrection Rune, however, and Fukien with his unimpressive Magic score does something like 1500 damage with it. This is very helpful indeed considering that because of his resistances, Neclord can be a real pain in the ass (low hanging fruit is always the ones rats eat first so we won't). It'd be great if you could pick up that Resurrection Rune drop and slap it on a real caster just to see how hard you would destroy shit.
I kind of forgot that the Resurrection Rune's third level spell is a heal-all like the Water Rune's. Oh well!
There's a Rage Crystal hidden behind the stained glass windows at the bottom of the screen. Second-tier runes are hard to come by, so this is always welcome.
Yes, this is a full heal just like an inn.
Tying up some loose ends, like I was saying earlier, there's a way to force Clive's appearance flag: viewing the arrival graphic of your castle being fully upgraded will automatically make him appear.
Actually, I have a good hunch that this is the flag to spawn all the top-level castle guys and that Clive's random appearance chance isn't so much an actual chance so much as it is a silly rumor perpetuated by less-than-astute players who spent a lot of time zoning trying to get him to appear when all they had to do was see that their castle was in top form.
Now we have to go to the Dragon Knights' domain,
so let's arbitrarily spend all our money on shit.
We are now so poor that we can't even afford to stay at our own inn.
how to steal a king's weed