Part 3: The Mercenary Fort
: So, you're finally awake. Hey, can you say your name?
hell no, scary man
: Not answering questions, huh? Well, anyway, what were you doing in that river? Did you slip?
I mean, we were. They didn't actually attack us.
: State Army? What are you talking about? We just signed a peace agreement. I can't believe it... huh? Are you a Highlander?
bro I didn't even get time to put my uniform on man
: Hmm, so where are you from then? If you lie, I'll cut your tongue out.
I can pretend you've already done it
: The silent treatment, huh? That's not a good quality in kids. Anyway, I'm Viktor, leader of the Allied Cities of Jowston.
Right here, S2 does away with the three-year-long cliffhanger it established at the end of the first game. Viktor is still alive, and once again involved in a war. Where's Flik, I wonder?
Ah, there he is. They both survived.
: What are you talking about, Flik? I wouldn't do that... I'm a nice guy. But anyway, what happened to the other one?
: It's no good, we lost sight of him. Hope he made it...
: That's too bad. Okay, listen up. Whoever you are, you're gonna be our personal guest for awhile. You may not find the accomodations too comfortable, though. Don't look so worried, we're not going to eat you or anything. Let's go back to the fort.
Suikoden 2 Tunes Those Who Work Must Eat ~ Viktor's Fortress Theme
The mercenary fort was built to protect the eastern part of the Muse Principality from Highland.
This is about the time I point out that I hate the mercenary fort theme, and all of its variations. One of the things I miss most from Suikoden 1's soundtrack is the organic feel of it. What I mean by this is that the soundtrack took many samples from various CDs that were from real, live instruments, then ran them through the PS1's sound card or whatever. It comes out sounding a bit muddied, but you can feel the instruments come through superbly, in most of the tracks. While I know and appreciate that S2 is set in a different area and thus should have a different soundtrack, I really really dislike the move to synth and the fake horns. They just irritate the ever-living fuck out of me. I'm sure I'll be alone on this, and you're free to disagree up and down, but them's the breaks.
A better comparison would be why I prefer Shadow Hearts 1's soundtrack to Covenant's: A move away from that authentic sound to something much more... hmm, generic. 1's towns, much like Suikoden's, had this rich, Asian aesthetic with the use of flutes and chants, along with other Eastern instruments. Covenant's towns, much like Suikoden 2's, come off a lot quieter, and less involving. I don't feel as excited to go into new places, because the music either doesn't fit the mood or is just sleep-inducing. This isn't the case for ALL towns or areas in this game, but it's incredibly common.
: Huh? You're just a kid...
This whole section is an immediate plot halt for a little while. We're now heading into one of Suikoden 2's lows, which is particularly annoying coming off such a great beginning.
: I'm Pohl, I'm going to watch out for you. After breakfast, you're going to do some work for us. After all, no work, no eat.
Suikoden 2 Tunes The First Job (it's seriously like they want me to hate this theme)
Although this stage of the game doesn't last very long, I always kinda dread it. We're put through a series of minigames for our work. I never like these sections in RPGs, it isn't just Suikoden II.
The goal here is to push boxes against the wall, introducing a new... uhh... gameplay element? I dunno, it doesn't happen very often.
On top of that we have to pick up a rope, which he could obviously do himself.
I bet we'll use this sometime in the future!
I only pushed the lowest box to the wall, I did NOT push it into the corner, fuck you game
One thing I do like about being captured by these guys is that they feed you well. I mean, look at that. Looks pretty good.
: Listen up and remember. Go to the stockroom and get 2 pairs of 'boots'. Then get 3 flints at the blacksmith... and 2 bags of flour at the item store.
Blacksmiths have certainly gotten better technology since Suikoden I. Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention, this game is set, I believe, five years after the events of the first game.
We can actually ask for three pairs here and get an extra, if you wanted to give someone Boots.
Oh my, a cougar already hitting on the main character? Yikes.
I am a ninja
He tells us to go talk to the cougar, because we can't do this alone. Except I'd rather go alone then who I have to go with...
: Gengen, sorry to ask you to babysit, but could you take this kid to Ryube with you?
: Gengen soldier, not baby-sitter.
: Don't be like that. A fine Kobold warrior like you should honor a lady's request.
no, no, GO AWAY. GO. AWAY.
NO HE DOESN'T. GO AWAY TUTA.
Gengen, like Kuromimi and Gon before him, is incredibly average. His weapon name is boring as fuck, his stats are unimpressive, and his only worth at this stage in the game is being at a higher level than the main character.
Tuta, however, is straight garbage. The worst character in the game. His weapon, as you wouldn't be shocked to see, is a Pebble. His Rune, the Medicine Rune, is pretty terrible unless your stocks are all Mega Medicines. What it does is that if a character is in critical condition, Tuta will automatically heal them with a Medicine from your stocks. This Rune appears only in this game, III, and IV, and is actually not too bad to use in IV.
Time to go to a very boring town that, at least eventually, has a pretty awesome scene.
Gengen's also super-obsessed with his title and/or worth, so from now on everyone who reads this LP must refer to him as Captain Gengen or suffer... shit, I don't know. Idle threats.
Suikoden 2 Tunes An Adventurous Journey ~ World Map Theme 1
So the world map hasn't really changed much. There's more definition to towns, but man... that world map theme... is not very good. It's plodding, and comes off as if Higashino totally phoned it in.
Dunan is a temperate area north of Toran but east of the Grasslands. The area was first claimed by King Bernand and was made into a monarchy. However, this monarchy fell apart and the region was split into city-states.
In the year 237, Maroux Blight established the Highland Kingdom and took over the Dunan monarchy, annexing eastern Dunan. However, rebels took over South Window Palace and the Kingdom was split to form the Jowston Alliance in the year 314. Dunan has a saltwater lake named Lake Duran, and the region is surrounded by mountains except for the northeast and the southern part. A vast desert and badlands lie directly south, and Highland borders the Holy Kingdom of Harmonia.
If we let little Riou idle, he'll just swing his tonfas around at thin air.
Simultaneous character attacks are still in the game, and everything looks much sharper. For one, characters all have unique attack animations, idle animations, etc. There isn't, aside from one character, any more palette swaps, a good change from the first game.
At least the worthless Holly Boys are still getting work. They tend to run away from battle less often in this game, though.
On the level-up screen, you can actually see what bonuses characters are getting to their stats rather than kind of guessing when you leveled up in the first game.
Suikoden 2 Tunes A Peaceful Mountain Village Ryube Village Theme
Welcome to Ryube Village, a village that couldn't put me to sleep any faster if it tried. It is a small hunting village of about 1,300 people. It's a popular spot for hunters thanks to the forest nearby, and it is one of the few stops for travelers going from the Dunan region into Highland.
These birds are super skittish
that's not what a dog sounds like
We can't really change Gengen or Tuta's equipment, aside from their accessories and items. Not that we have the money (now named 'potch', and will be that for the rest of the series).
Shops have been streamlined we can sell back our old equips as soon as we buy new ones.
Item and armor shops now have Rare Finds, which show up every now and again relative to the game's internal clock and is necessary to check up on for some of the rarer items in the game.
I bet you did
I have no idea what you all are planning to do but I am curious
Alongside regular items, there are now food items. Generally, food will restore much, MUCH more health than regular Medicines/Mega Medicines will. However, a good deal of them come with status effects, some beneficial and some not.
The CutRabbits here are uncommon, but they will occasionally drop the Technique Rune. This gives you the ability, with a 40% chance, of stealing potch from an enemy when you attack them. In a certain area later on, these enemies drop the Double-Beat Rune, which does the same thing as it did in the first game.
They're still dicks.
When we return, Gengen and Tuta leave our party. We won't see them for a while.
Suikoden 2 Tunes The Next Job (okay they know they're making me hate it now)
: Wipe it with a rag like this...
They even put in a squeaking sound effect so we know that we are indeed wiping up oil.
I feel like a domesticated housewife
I am a certified Oil Spill Cleaner. BP should have hired me years ago.
what if I want to keep it (our Rag is now an Oily Rag in the Special items menu)
The next day...
I hope so, because man this food is just too good and it's making me fat. I need to keep the weight down to keep my unnaturally lithe 15 year old body intact