Part 8: Three Years Later
The tutorial chapters are over, and I don't think there's a lot of title screens left to show off.
From the events on the Night Sea, we have skipped forward past the events of Suikoden IV, and now our group is headed for yet unseen adventures. At the beginning of this chapter, the old man reads us another chapter from the book.
Suikoden Tactics posted:
Kyril's injuries were worse than we thought, and he needed much time to recover.
It has been three years now since Walter's death.
A great war raged between the Island Nations and the Kooluk Empire - all because of the accursed Rune of Punishment.
Then, thanks to a heroic young leader, the Island Nations banded together to take the Kooluk Empire head on.
They destroyed Fort El-Eal, the Kooluk Empire's southernmost base, and a temporary truce was reached.
Then, we cut to the party's campsite.
Years have passed, and people change. (Music.) In an impressive display of Actual Effort, everyone has a new portrait. I think I like this one better for Seneca.
Andarc's, I'm more neutral on.
Come on, no need to hide it, is there? Ooh! I bet there's something juicy in there, huh?
And now that we're no longer busy slitting our wrists from depression, let me just say that all those portraits from the last episode? Some of which got used only once? Fuck yes, Actual Effort.
J-Juicy? Don't be ridiculous! It's just a journal.
After all this time, the party seems to have dealt with their grief and moved on.
Pretty well adjusted for JRPG characters!
I'm serious! No peeking!
Well... mostly, at any rate.
She takes a seat next to Andarc.
I wonder if that was Walter's dying wish...
I think it was something more like "I wish I had never fucking heard of fucking rune cannons" but I understand if you prefer to stick with your theory.
I suppose in her own way, Yohn understands who the leader of this group is.
Hmm... Good point.
Understanding, A+. Ability to express herself... not so much.
Well, thanks to her, Kyril's looking a lot better lately. I think it's about time we set out again.
Actually, I've been thinking the same thing. We should probably find some work soon. It might take our minds off what happened.
Pictured: the least well adjusted member of the group.
Walter may be gone, but I'll make sure Kyril doesn't suffer the same fate. I made a promise...
Well, don't take all the credit. I'm coming along too, you know. After all, I need to keep my eye on you.
She means she wants your blade rod.
No, sorry, that was in poor taste.
Anyway. The point here is that Seneca is pretty much the best.
Just kidding, silly!
*sigh* Sometimes you can just be so clueless... Hey, and don't go writing anything weird in that journal of yours!
"Dear diary: Seneca won't stop hitting on me. Will look for rainbow-print shirts in next town. Maybe she'll finally get the hint."
Of course I won't!
Andarc doesn't think he'll ever be able to top "Dear diary: today my best friend got turned into a fish monster and then I had to kill him while his kid watched" so it's not a lie. Relatively speaking.
And now we're back in control again! Here is the reward we picked up last time from the Generic Pirate Preservation Society. +3 isn't a big boost by any means, but on the other hand, it does almost double Seneca's strength at this point and, well, it's not as if we have a lot of other stuff to put there instead. I would have equipped Steele's Shield, except no one we have can actually use it, so that was pretty much a waste of time and effort.
Kyril's injuries are not merely plot related. He has completely lost his mojo from a few updates back and has reverted to something that actually resembles a third level character. He still can't remove Parry (but it's good so I'd probably keep it anyway) but we can now get rid or Counterattack. I do so and give him Battle Lust instead, and also Extra Move because fuck yes Extra Move.
I also replace Seneca's Critical Hit with Extra Move. Note that the skill costs 720 points for her, whereas Kyril's costs 440. Stupid expensive Seneca, you're lucky I think you're awesome
Anyway, we can't do much more here right now, so it's time to hit the streets. This time, we're heading into Razril, and once again, the music is familiar. I'm getting all sorts of crazy flashbacks.
The outfitter has some new stuff in. (Also, the outfitter has its own music. If you listen for a while, it starts sounding kind of familiar...)
The Thunder God's Garb is decent armour for the time being, but more importantly it's one of the few things in the game that can alter a character's innate element. This is probably a good thing since Andarc and Seneca will most likely want to hang out together for their various Good Will benefits, so they might as well benefit from the same terrain as well.
The Rage Force Bead is an improved Flame Bead. Higher level elemental runes have improved versions of the regular Elemental Force spells; they do the same thing, except it reaches one tile further in every direction. I'll be putting it to use soon.
Also, since he has a slot open for it, I'm giving Kyril a Rage Sword Rune, because it's really the only thing I can put in that slot for now.
(The Rune Master also has its own music.)
You can't even tell that half their island was blown away by the Kooluk's huge Rune Cannon.
Next up, rumours. He doesn't look like a young boy to me. Then again he barely looks humans to begin with, so...
He used to be one of the Knights of Razril! Heh heh! Pretty cool, huh?
He conveniently leaves out the part where "that guy who smacked down the Kooluk" was framed for murder and sentenced to Death by Goddamn Ocean. Not the proudest moment in Razril's history!
(Razril's history has very few proud moments.)
Those Kooluk have stopped attacking, and now we can live our lives in peace for a change.
You didn't deserve it.
But here's the important part.
Believe it or not, it's still not the last time we're seeing this place. At least it's in daylight this time.
Don't worry. It's been a while. Just remember what I taught you.
It's time to see how Kyril fares in combat after all that downtime.
This battle is a joke and its only real purpose is to get Andarc and Kyril's levels up a bit. You'd have to really try to lose this one.
Let's focus on the interesting bits.
Is there something wrong, Kyril?
Umm... Not really...
If there is, please let me know. I will help as best as I can.
Gotcha. Thanks. You shouldn't overdo it either, Andarc.
No, no! It's my duty to assist you, Kyril...
Well, for a given definition of "interesting", I guess.
And Kyril then heads over to the fire terrain. Extra Move.
All right, let's be serious here for a moment. There are two elementals in this area, one fire and one lightning, so both our characters can take advantage of their native terrain without bothering with runes or items. We're up against furballs, which are barely a threat even under less than ideal circumstances, and totally pathetic here.
Andarc one-shots one...
...and gets more numbers.
And then, he can suddenly cast two first level spells! Now I'm just waiting for him to get more of the ones he can actually damage things with.
Kyril murders the fire elemental. He'll be hanging around here through pretty much the rest of the fight.
A few more enemies spawn in.
Kyril murders the hell out of them.
Andarc has spent his second level spell and pokes things a little.
Somehow that makes him remember how to magic things again.
Ah, beautiful damage.
I could actually have bought this as a rare find in Middleport, so I'm glad I held back there. Andarc is sure to find it useful.
EXP for the EXP god!
Just the lightning elemental left, but Andarc is out of juice again...
Kyril heads over to help and uses his fancy new Rage Sword Rune to pave the way.
But Andarc manages to poke the elemental to death and end the fight.
This is pretty nice.
So far, so good. But...
I miss those high level MP.
Forgive me if I speak out of place, but... It seems you haven't fully recovered your strength yet.
And he won't, for a long time. It'll be a while before he sees third level MP again.
You're right. I'm still a bit--
But that doesn't mean I'm not impressed with your ability. You're a lot bigger and stronger than you were just a couple of years ago. Walter would be proud.
If only I had been more careful back then. I'm sorry, Kyril...
Kyril: well adjusted young man.
No. I did something unforgivable. I must devote the rest of my life to make up for that terrible--
Andarc: slightly less well adjusted.
Look, I said forget about it, okay?
...Hey, over there! Seneca's back!
So she is.
Huh? Why all the long faces?
Andarc! Don't tell me...
You started apologizing to him again, didn't you?
Seneca: still the best character in the group.
Hey, th-this is a serious matter here! I was explaining how guilty I felt and, and...
Fortunately we're spared the rest of Andarc's blubbering.
Well... It seems something's up, and it involves Rune Cannons.
Yeah. Rumor has it that Rune Cannons are just disappearing left and right.
Suikoden IV told us rune cannons had been abolished, but sure, we'll go with this, because Tactics is a better game so I'm more inclined to believe what it has to say.
What? That's impossible!
Improbable, Andarc. Improbable.
Kyril, how about heading for Middleport? I think we can get more information there.
Good idea. Let's go right away. Besides, we need some more cash.
Seneca is like "Wait, who taught you to talk like that?" And then Andarc is all "IT WAS YOU."
Oh, we did a small job through this lady in Middleport. Furball patrol.
I'd like to point out here that they're not only officially acknowledging the random enemies hanging around Razril's back streets, but they're letting the setting react to them in an appropriate manner. "Furball patrols" aren't just something Snowe came up with as an excuse to try out his new sword - they're something that makes perfect sense in a setting where an inhabited area routinely gets infested with monsters.
This is just one of the many reasons why I love this game.
Really... I didn't think you were ready, Kyril.
Kyril was born ready! ...but then he got worse.
I'm fine. Anyway, let's get going. We should still be able to catch a boat to Middleport.
And so we shall! But not before...
...I show off the Knight Token. Not too bad this early on; it's a bigger boost than the sash.
And now, the world map! For real this time. And the world map theme. It's a chill version of S4's... which I have very few fond memories of, so I don't particularly like this one either.
Now, this is obviously a huge improvement over Suikoden IV's world map, AKA The Worst World Map Ever Created, which was no questions asked the very worst feature in a game that was mediocre at best. Moving between nodes still technically takes time - here it's just one day between Razril and Middleport - but you don't have to suffer through it while interrupted by random enemies every five seconds.
Red trails mark routes you have not yet taken; after we move to Middleport, it will turn green just like the towns. The red exclamation mark in the box up on the left indicates this is our next destination, which is not very necessary right now but in the future we might be happy to have it.
Kyril thinks a long, boring boat trip is a perfect excuse to start talking again.
I was just thinking... Why do you suppose my father was so determined to track down Rune Cannons?
You'd think Kyril would have asked this question some time in the last three years, once he woke up from his coma or whatever. But the player also needs to see him ask, and showing a scene of that between the last chapter and the start of this one would probably have been even more awkward.
You and the others probably know a lot more about my father's work than I do.
Well, Walter was...
He was an engineer.
"Guys! I got a natural 20 on my bluff check!"
Kyril buys it.
Seneca is like "uh".
That's right. He was a brilliant engineer who helped design Rune Cannons back at our homeland in the Scarlet Moon Empire. He was so devoted to his research that he decided to come here and study the Rune Cannons of the Island Nations.
I'm not even spoiling anything here. This directly contradicts our earlier information that the cannons were created here, most likely by Warlock. But then again, Kyril, the lucky bastard, has not played Suikoden IV so he doesn't know this.
If he had only stayed away, that catastrophe would never have--
Okay, okay, Adarc.
Seneca has taught Kyril well.
But an engineer, huh? He must've been pretty smart. I have a lot to live up to.
Well, uh, see, about that...
...I'll just say I hope cutscene paralysis isn't something that runs in the family.
Yeah, but it's not just that... I want to learn about Rune Cannons for myself. I want to see with my own eyes whether the weapon that killed my father really was a Rune Cannon.
Technically, the weapon that killed his father was Andarc's pointy stick, but I don't think we should bring that up where Andarc is around to hear it, or it'll set him off again.
And after you find out?
Then I'm gonna smash the damn thing to bits... and avenge my father.
You know, I think Kyril is going to turn out to be an okay protagonist.
Hmm, I'm with you all the way. And Andarc, too. Right, Andarc?
I shall dedicate the rest of my life--
Andarc gets no respect. No respect at all.
And then we reach the familiar harbour of Middleport.
Thank you very much.
Stop by anytime, okay?
Lalacle is someone we'll be seeing more of. A lot more.
Oh, and by the way, I've opened up an office.
I imagine I might get kind of sick of her eventually, even.
Really? Your own office?
Yep, I've been getting a lot of commissions lately, so I just thought, "what the heck," and opened one up! So from now on, if you're ever in need of something, you know where to look!
Gotcha. We'll go right to your office next time. Oh, one more thing... You haven't had any commissions involving Rune Cannons lately, have you?
Rune Cannons? Hmm... Don't recall anyone mentioning one of those. But you know, when it comes to Rune Cannons, that Iskas guy over that way is an expert on them.
Iskas, huh? Okay, thanks! We'll head over there right now.
Well, good luck. Hey, and don't forget to stop by my office!
Don't trust Andarc, though. He is a dirty rotten liarface.
"An engineer"? Why'd you tell him that?
You know, in case someone hadn't caught on to the fact that there was something... uh, fishy, about his explanation before.
I didn't think I could properly explain it. Sorry.
You mean to tell me Walter really was a goat from the goat dimension?!
Yeah, you're probably right.
But why that is, the game does not deign to tell us.
Our reward for cleaning out the trash in Razril is 300 lousy Potch.
And on that note, the chapter draws to a close.
Peck and Steele.
Kika and Edgar. The characters returning from IV pretty much use the same designs as before so they didn't really need more "concepts", but the new ones tend to get full body artwork.