Part 18: Filling the Konami QuotaSuikoden 2 Tunes Nahala Yam Koong ~ South Window Theme
The area that South Window governs has a long history. At one point, it was the site of the Dunan monarchy long ago, although rebels eventually dissolved it and turned the area into part of a city-state, being its first member. It has frequently been involved in many wars with Toran, although in the most recent conflict it retreated, drawing the anger of the state of Tinto. Its flag represents the four rivers that flow into Lake Duran.
The city itself has 9,000 residents, and is another major center of tourism due to being the oldest city in the Dunan region. Its history lends itself to constant conflict, however, as it shifts owners/masters frequently.
Viktor greets us upon entering South Window.
: I heard that, Azure. Who you calling a bear? Hahahaha, oh well, I'm glad you made it. The others that escaped from Muse scattered all over the place and I'm having a hard time finding 'em...
: Hey! How dare you!
Guess who's gonna be spreading her legs for Viktor later... (okay not really, but I'm sure there's a fanfic about it)
If she's not in denial, she's lost in ditz-land.
Viktor asks where Jowy is, and we fill him in... (but you can, however, choose not to)
Now see, this right here is just inane. Why in the hell isn't Viktor furious? He was practically in love with Anabelle, and he just kind of glosses over it like everyone else in the game does regarding Jowy's actions.
Where's the anger? Oh well I'm sure Jowy had his reasons... this isn't Viktor. This is the game designers justifying Jowy's actions through lazy dismissal by characters that should be affected, should be bent on finding Jowy and wringing his little neck.
Another of the old books is in South Window's Rare Finds, be sure to get it.
South Window also has a lot of little things here and there, such as this woman idly knitting in the item store.
Apparently, Dunan used to suck ass. No wonder they tried to form a city-state instead.
Clive's here, hiding in the shadows.
>>> Would you join our group?
: I know she fled to Lakewest, but I have no way to get there. I've got no time to mess around with you guys.
We can't acquire him yet, for we need a place to use a boat freely, and we don't have that yet.
South Window's Runeshop gives us (most) of the rest of the elemental Runes, but we still don't have access to any great mages aside from Rina and she has neutral affinity with all Runes besides Water and non-elemental Runes, so she's a serviceable mage but not a great one.
New to the second game is the trading post, which will become a staple for the rest of the series. Trading works on a (somewhat) fluctuating in-game economy. Some items are worth more in some areas than others, which means you can buy from one to sell to another, but trading stocks are limited and replenish themselves at a slow rate. We actually need to do trading of our own later to acquire a character. Due to the fact that later games have much less exploitable ways to acquire money, trading is a good way to get cash fast, assuming you know where to buy and sell your goods.
I have to wonder if this is Pilika's amulet.
In the bonzai plants east of the huge monk dude is the Friendship Rune. The Friendship Rune is one you embed in your weapon that adds attack power based on the number of Stars of Destiny that you have, divided by two. It tends to be a good one to put on Riou, but it gets outclassed later on as it, ultimately, only adds about 55 ATK power by the end of the game. This Rune takes into account non-Stars as well, if you happen to acquire the squirrels.
As you can see, South Window is a very eastern-oriented town, possibly because we're getting closer to where Toran is geographically. The music's still a little bizarre, with an ugly use of synth horns.
: Sorry to be so sudden, but I've got bad news. Come this way.
But of course, the game reveals this with a black screen of plot narration.
Leona and the others aren't here, so we still can't change party members. Viktor then tells us to follow him to city hall to meet with Granmeyer.
He hopes to make South Window a temporary safe haven for the resistance, by convincing Granmeyer to let them stay.
Finally, Viktor and Flik join as Stars of Destiny.
: Muse has fallen to Highland and South Window is now in peril. Your reputation precedes you and I'd like to retain your services.
Granmeyer then asks Viktor about his hometown, which is northwest of here, apparently something bad has happened to it.
Young girls disappearing... oh no. No. No. Not again.
He reluctantly decides to investigate the town on Granmeyer's behalf.
The real tragedy of this assignment is that Freed I Suck Shit Yamamoto is joining us for the trip.
So Freed Y, Freedy, Freed Yamamoto... he's just not that great. He's average but in the painful Captain Gengen-kinda way. He forces himself into your party at the worst times, in a Gremio-like fashion, and has only one solid stat in Luck. He's decent with Earth, Fire, and Wind Runes, but he doesn't have the Magic stat to make them worthwhile. He comes stock with a Lightning Rune attached to his weapon, which does additional (but not worthwhile) Lightning damage upon each attack.
Watch the Video!
Oh goddammit. Goddammit why didn't you die
Back at the inn, we decide our traveling party to North Window, and by 'decide' I mean the game chooses for you.
Eilie decides she wants to come along, but not Rina. Bolgan and Flik also stay behind, making our traveling party Azure-Nanami-Freedy-Eilie-Viktor. Not the best, but it'll do.
Instantaneously, Rina decides to flirt/get into bed with Flik. He just swims in pussy, I swear.
: Well, I'm leaving so do whatever you want.
: Wait, why do I...
: What? You don't like me?
: No, no, that's not it...
Eilie rejoins us, and I decided to give her Rina's Fire Rune as she's better with it than Rina is despite being a worse mage.
After putting the Friendship Rune on Azure's weapon, we head northwest to North Window.
It's appropriately deserted.
And there's a lot of graves. Kirke would have a field day here.
: I happened to be away from the village, so I was saved. When I saw this, I dug the graves as best I could... but anyway, that was a long time ago. It all ended when I destroyed Neclord with my own hands.
Suikoden 2 Tunes Sedition
: Ha ha ha, I like this place. Thanks to you, Viktor, the corpses were in nice shape.
Konami has to fulfill its Castlevania vampire quota somehow.
: Ha ha ha, this is your punishment for what you did to my body... this is my revenge.
: Those dead bodies aren't playthings for you to mess around with!!
: You're brave young girls. I like that. I find young girls... most delicious. I'll take both of you as my brides to live with me for eternity.
>>> I won't let you.
We are thrust into yet another unwinnable match against Neclord, and a set of zombies.
He's not as overpowered as he was when we fought him the first time in Suikoden I, but he does dodge everything like before.
He then takes the whole party out in one spell.
: The Star Dragon Sword, was it? Why don't you go get it? This time I'll destroy that sword. It caused me great pain... if you wish to meet me again, I'll be waiting to greet you in that castle over there.
Viktor tells us about how he borrowed the Star Dragon Sword to seal off Neclord's power, because it was the Night Rune reincarnated as a sword.
In a spot of absolute plot convenience, the Star Dragon Sword is just southwest of here in a cave where Viktor left him. The rest of the party is confused by the fact that Viktor's giving the sword a personality and human characteristics, but, they'll soon see...
By the way, the Neclord fight leaves you at 1 health. This is something I conveniently forgot as I ran into some Dark Bunnies.
: There's always a breeze blowing through it, so they call it the Cave of the Wind. When I was a kid, we used to come here to test our bravery. But be careful, there are monsters living in it now. Yeah...... I'll bet it's waiting for me....
The Star Dragon Sword is kind of a jackass, that's what.
Of course there would be minotaurs inside a labyrinthine cave.
I managed to pick up the rare Wind Hat, dropped from the Griffin enemies in here. I've never gotten this equip before, and it can only be found off these enemies and as a Rare Find in Tinto.
The Cave of the Wind is the definition of boring dungeon, so I can't say much here. The enemies in here are actually easier than the one's outside, primarily because they're all really slow.
In the dungeon we pick up this accessory. Repel Magic is new to the series and is usually found through a new spell on the Water/Flowing Runes. Repel Magic will put up a magic barrier when a spell is casted that will nullify damage from that spell. Since this only gives a 3% chance, it isn't much, but it can save your ass.
Oh boy, a puzzle! Simply push the rock to the left in front of the air current that will push you downward.
This is COMPLICATED.
This guy also offers a free ride back to the exit, if you wanted it.
One of the chests gives us the Blue Gate Rune. This is a mistranslation of Pale Gate Rune. It is a child Rune of the Gate Rune that Leknaat and Windy has/had. It is a Rune that can only be attached to the forehead, and only certain characters can make much use out of it. All of its spells are based off a character's Rune affinities. Open Gate (50 fire damage/one enemy), the first spell, is based off your Fire affinity, and the second, King's Road (150 damage/all enemies) is based off your Lightning affinity, being Fire and Lightning spells on their own. The final two spells are non-elemental but based off your Water affinity (which is why Millie can use this Rune well); Pale Palace does 400 damage to all enemies (not 500, as the game says), and Empty World does 900 damage to all enemies but also 90 damage to all allies. It's a fantastic Rune but because of its forehead restriction it can only be used by some characters.
The Minotaurs here drop the Gozz Rune, which is for axe users. It deals 1x damage to a row of enemies, then unbalances you. Best used in conjunction with the Balance Rune. Rare enemies, the SunKings (which are the big floating naked dudes we saw in the first game), drop the Wall Rune. The Wall Rune is only found here, and it's a bit of an interesting Rune. It ups your defense by double, but makes you unable to take any actions. In conjunction with a couple other Runes, this could be useful for random encounters, but a liability during boss battles.
Next time: The world's most ineffective vampire hunter.
Flik Tenan Star
Born in Warrior's Village in the Toran region, he left on a journey to prove his manhood but didn't name his sword (until much later, when he met the love of his life). As a mercenary for many years, he met the rebel leader Odessa and won her over with his pragmatism and lack of sophistication. After reaching the Dunan region with Viktor, he was requested by Anabelle to build the Mercenary Fort; he was a part of this war from the very beginning.
Viktor Tenko Star
Viktor's father died in a war long ago, so he was primarily raised by his mother and grandmother. He had a brother and a sister by the name of Daisy, who was an orphan that their family took in. His family wanted him to marry her, but he never got the chance. At the behest of his grandmother to buy medicine in South Window, he narrowly escaped being slaughtered along with the rest of his village by Neclord. He returned to try and face Neclord, and would have died if not for the Sacrificial Buddha that Daisy had given him. Almost dead, he was taken in by Barbara in Kuskus, who was also from his hometown. After being nursed back to health, he trained vigorously to turn into the formidable swordsman we see today, and his search for vengeance lead him to the Toran region, where he ended up in the Liberation Army.
Freed Yamamoto Tenbou Star
I believe his outfit is meant to be the same as standard Japanese army uniforms, and it's obvious that his character is a blatant Serious, Stern, Compassionate Japanese Soldier archetype. This is a lot more obvious later on.
Back from the dead to derail the plot and serve no actual purpose but to continue Konami's obsession with vampires (see: Vamp in the MGS series, as well).
It's not mentioned in the first game, but Neclord was one of the Generals in the Scarlet Moon Empire. He was given Lorimar to govern, and he destroyed the garrison there to acquire all the soldiers as fuel for his undead army.