Part 44: LeftoversAll right, the game may be over but that doesn't mean we've run out of stuff to talk about.
First order of business: Rune of Punishment. I never used its fourth level spell in the actual endgame. Time to remedy that!
This spell will be a rare sight, as even if you grind to level 99, Lazlo will only have two 4th level spells if he hits his projected MAG stat of 161. The second 4th level MP is gained at 160 MAG, so even if you do hit the expected number, the second point is going to come just before you max out, and there is very little margin for error.
What this means in practice is that any sane person will only be able to do this once.
Everlasting Mercy summons some kind of angel critter which heals Lazlo's allies and damages all enemies. It's not very good.
"But," someone says, "didn't you say you love Shining Wind? Isn't this the same thing?"
No. No, it is not, and you should look a little closer at the image above. It heals your allies. Specifically. As in, not you.
I don't care how thematically appropriate this is. Mechanically, it is bullshit.
Now, the numbers are higher than they would be if Lazlo cast Shining Wind, I'll grant it that, but this does not make up for the fact that it's a multi target healing spell which selectively does not heal one quarter of your party.
Add to this the fact that the base damage is just 500 points, and you end up with an awkward spell which tries to do two things but doesn't do either of them particularly well.
If I wanted to be generous, I'd tell you that it does have some synergy with Rush, which heals Lazlo, but that's asking you to blow two resources to do what you could accomplish solely by using Shining Wind once with a decent caster.
(If I wanted to give the devs far more credit than they deserve, it might also be a clever trap to get you to do just that, spending your Rush so you won't have it when you actually want it in the final boss fight.)
For reference, this is the damage you're looking at if Lazlo had cast Shining Wind instead. The damage is maybe 7/8 of Everlasting Mercy - not a very big difference.
That's considerably less healing, though! But... why would you need to heal for four digit numbers when most characters will be in the mid triple digits by level 99? Looking at our party from last time, Kika, Ted and Snowe all have projected maximum HP scores of 540, while Lazlo has 600. The healing from that Shining Wind is still going to bring this party up to full or very nearly so most of the time.
As in, that entire party.
Including Lazlo himself.
You know, unlike Everlasting Mercy.
For comparison, here's Maxine's attempt.
She pretty much matches Everlasting Mercy for damage output and the healing, while lower, is still higher than the max HP of any character you'll ever use, as no one even breaks 700 HP at lv99.
Another thing I didn't mention (because I tend to forget the Rune of Punishment exists halfway through the game when its first level spell becomes obsolete) is that Leknaat's little speech about forgiveness before the final battle isn't just for show. In the "forgiveness" phase, the rune no longer hurts Lazlo when used - and I assume it also no longer kills him when using Voice of Death either, but fuck if I'm going to experiment.
I like this a whole lot from a plotwise standpoint, but that doesn't change the fact that the Rune only has one truly good spell - which, at this point, is no longer useful. Like I said in the beginning: power at a cost is a great concept, but you need power, and the Rune of Punishment simply doesn't deliver on that end.
From one thing to another. I did say the game won't let us affect anything, and that's true - Elenor is going to the final dungeon, and there's nothing you can do about it. However, you can at least object.
Yeah, yeah, I know... Good grief, you're all such worrywarts!
It doesn't go over well.
Not well at all!
Goddammit let me out!
I do not intend to die. However, I do intend to settle this, once and for all. Everyone will say it was self-serving revenge... that I failed as a tactician... But I've thought this through in my mind and decided this was the best strategy. I'm grateful to you. You're my savior, the one who dug me out of my grave...
Well, that was kind of dark.
Anyway, there's not much we can do, so let's go about her ridiculously elaborate suicide!
I was expecting a lot more people to be here...
There aren't... that many people here...
There are a lot less people here than I thought there'd be.
So far I think Nalkul is the only one who doesn't trail off here. Also, worth noticing...
Chiepoo has two question marks here...
...but only one here! In other words, it seems even these lines are unique. Now that is effort.
Well then, on with it. Cray goes down just like he did before - well, okay, the fight does differ a bit from last time. I know I said I wasn't going to show off gameplay here, but then you fuckers had to go and vote for Viki
Viki has a... unique... attack animation where she teleports up, sneezes, and drops some random object on the victim.
She also comes with her own rune, the Blinking Rune, permanently attached. It only has three spells - "Ready", "Set", and "Go". The first teleports an enemy out of battle, while the third is a multi-target version; they may also fail and teleport out your party members instead. Set, however, deals damage - again by dropping a bunch of random stuff on the unfortunate enemy. Poor Cray, he has absolutely no dignity left.
Okay, back to our rendezvous point! I can handle things here.
Will we be all right? He... might come back...
He's got other places to go, and I've got some ideas where. More importantly, I want you to secure a safe return path. Go on... take Ramada with you, too.
I understand. We'll be waiting below.
Over all, Viki seems a lot less confused this time around.
The first line posted:
Again, same line here.
That bastard got away...!
Nalkul: still the best furry.
The second line posted:
We'll be okay? Don't you think that Cray will come back?
B-But you know...? Might that Cray not come back...?
What? This place is dangerous...! C-Cray might come back...
I like Champo's best.
The third line posted:
Okay, got it. We'll wait below.
Got it. We'll wait for you below.
One of the very few instances of non-standard English in the game.
Let's skip ahead a bit. If you watched me fight the final boss last time, you may have noticed that it took a while. That's because I downgraded my gear to give it time to show off some of the things it can do. What would have happened if our chosen party went at it seriously?
This would have happened. A fully upgraded Kika can deal well over 4000 damage with the Falcon Rune, wearing Ogre gear and Double Strike.
Although including Ted does not make for the most powerful party possible (that would probably be exchanging him for Mizuki; Shrike will deal over 3000 damage maxed out), we are quite capable of taking down the final boss...
...in one round.
The duel with Troy also plays out a bit differently if we go at him seriously.
More interestingly, however, selecting the other dialogue option gets you a very different (voiced!) monologue from him before he sinks.
This is how I hoped it would end. What regrets could I possibly have? Our conflict is over.
The blood of the sea flows through my veins. I return to it now...
...to be reborn.
Let us meet again on this sea someday...
I think he's making a bit more of that "child of the sea god" nickname than he probably should, but whatever, go down with your ship if you want to, it's not like I have a reason to care.
Finally, we can actually influence the ending somewhat!
By raiding the closet in Lino's room before the final dungeon...
...we can not only confound Flare a bit...
...but have her and Lino appear in their casual adventuring gear in the final scenes.
This does, however, only affect the models; there are no other effects after the initial confusion.
I'm too lazy to learn all the combo attacks in the game (it would take some 200 battles to obtain all the ones I don't already have), but I don't have to because someone on Youtube has a video showing them off. Enjoy!
I could show off the remaining bath scenes, but it would be a lot of talking heads. Instead, since someone has already compiled one, I will link you to a script.
Likewise, here is a script for the confessions - it's even less interesting to show these here since the silhouette won't show up when I'm emulating. There is also a script for the letters, which would just be a massive text wall if I posted them here.
There is also the matter of the Old Books. Tanya is our librarian, and will allow us to read them. There is a script for these, too but I will repost some of the most interesting ones.
Old Book Volume 1 - Birth of Rune Cannons posted:
When Rune Cannons appeared, previous combat methods became entirely ineffective, and naval battles have never been the same since then.
Rune Cannons were first identified approximately 15 years ago. It is held that the fleet affiliated with Middleport possessed them. Even now, there is no way to obtain them except at Middleport.
Rune Magic is sealed into spheres called Rune Shells, and it's power is instantly magnified, then fired by passing it through a lens-like cannon. The larger Rune Shells are said to even have the power to destroy a ship with one single shot.
The components needed to construct Rune Shells are currently unknown. There is even a theory that the material was summoned from another world by a wizard with extraordinary summoning spells. At first glance, this theory seems nonsensical, but it is also true that reports of strange creatures appearing and attacking ships began to surface around this time. It may mean that these two phenomena are somehow related.
This book must be found by treasure hunting so there's a good chance you'll never see it if you just play the game normally. This is all the game says on the subject of cannons. Tactics will expand on this and explain what the hell it's all about. We already know from the ending slides that Warlock was the one responsible (or at least, the one getting the blame) for creating the things, but as with almost everything else, Suikoden IV does absolutely nothing with this information.
Old Book Volume 2 - Lives of Pirates posted:
The rods jutting out to the front and the back. Due to their outlandish appearance, pirate ships came to be commonly called "Six Masts" and greatly feared.
The man called the Pirate King. Lived on the sea, Died on the sea.
The man who was once Edgar's partner. However, after Edgar's death, he changed greatly. He is feared as the man who invites death.
A pirate who sails among the island nations. She has many allies, but also many enemies due to the fact that she is hostile towards Cray Trading Company. It is said that the thing she
wears around her neck is Pirate King Edgar's second cervical vertebrae. It seems she is currently in pursuit of Brandeau.
In case you needed more evidence that Kika is metal as fuck.
This book is a reward for beating Basil at his minigame ten times in a row. Without savestates? Fuck that noise. This, too, is something Tactics expands on, and that is all I have to say on that matter.
Old Book Volume 3 - Man-Hunting Incident posted:
A grievous incident that once occurred on the border between the Scarlet Moon Empire and the Kooluk Empire will be recorded here.
Years of conflict lay between the Scarlet Moon Empire and the Kooluk Empire, and for a long time, they would carve away at each other's strength. However, the Scarlet Moon Empire made a proposal, and both sides settled on a truce for an indefinite period of time.
Amidst this situation, there was a faction of nobles on the Scarlet Moon Side who could not suppress their raging blood. They had gained distinction in the war against the Kooluk and it is said that they grew impatient with the truce. Soon, their agitation took the form of "hunting."
They attacked small villages along the border, one after another. It is said that when they did, they disguised themselves as Kooluk Troops. Perhaps due to this, for a long time this series of incidents was perceived to be over border disputes.
Finally, having found out the true state of things, the tacticians of the Scarlet Moon Empire issued a warning, but they said, "This is in opposition against the Kooluk Army's sneak attacks," and did not listen.
During this time, a serious incident occurred where a subordinate of the tacticians used some kind of great power to murder the faction of nobles. This tactician was banished immediately from the Scarlet Moon Empire.
And that's more related to Cray's backstory. This one can actually be found normally, in Nay.
The rest are mostly tutorials (explaining trading and crafting, much too late to be of any use whatsoever)
Random observation: Keneth can wear the normally girls-only Star Earrings and Blue Ribbon. There's no real reason to do so, but he could, if he wanted.