Part 12: The Nest of PiratesIt's about time we got back to this place!
The first thing we see after getting out of the underground path again is a familiar drunken pirate.
Come on, cough 'em up! Don't make me tell ya twice!!
The game calls him "Man" but we all know Dario when we see him.
Wh-What are you talking about?
Aw, don't play dumb with me! We both know what I'm talkin' about -- them Rune Cannons!
Ah! Aren't you Dario?
The one and only! But that's Mr. Dario to you, chump!
Huh? W-Wait a sec... How'd ya know my name?!
But Dario, I thought you were a famous pirate renowned through the entire region as Kika's fearsome right hand man! Surely it comes as no surprise to find someone who knows of you, riiight?
I was just a kid then, traveling with my father...
Oh! Yeah, yeah! Now I remember! Y-Yer those chumps I found with Sigurd! *hiccup*
I missed you, Dario.
Drunk as ever, I see.
Heh, look at that! The little runt's all grown up!
Not that grown up. I think Andarc is still taller.
Ah... Times are tough now, huh? Fightin's been tough on us, too...
Tough isn't the word I'd use to describe the fighting you're talking about, Dario. I could think of a lot that I would use, but "tedious" is probably the least offensive of the lot, so let's go with that.
So, Dario, why the sudden interest in Rune Cannons?
Can't find one anywhere these days! That's why I'm tryin' to get my hands on whatever I can find.
That sounds awfully familiar, but in Dario's case I think he's more about using them than selling to the highest bidder like a certain other slimy bastard who shall remain namelessISKAS.
After all, if ya don't have one, someone who does will do ya in fer sure!
So, they really are disappearing...
Damn right, they are. It's a long story, but... Uhhh...
That does sum up Suikoden IV's endgame pretty well.
Wow, nice work.
Damn right, it was! But... That creature was what made all the Rune Cannon ammunition.
The game never goes into this as far as I remember, but if the information is that widespread, it would make sense if Warlock went public with this some time after IV... and, that is probably also how that angry mob found out about it.
You mean the Giant Tree?
Yeah, yeah! So, no more Rune Cannons, the guy says. Hmph! He coulda told me that before I killed it!
That wasn't you, Dario. It was your boss, who, as great as you may be, is still several times more awesome.
(Well okay that guy with the True Rune helped out a bit too. I guess.)
Hey, I got an idea! Why don't ya chumps come with me to see Lady Kika?
That is a wonderful idea!
Come on; we can talk more there!
I go where you go, Kyril.
One of these days, Kyril is just going to stop asking.
Okay then, let's go!
Poor Seneca, he already started with her.
Now yer talkin'! Come on, hop on board our ship!
And so we shall. But first!
There is a new quest in. That client sounds awfully familiar...
Now, Mega Medicine costs 150 Potch a piece, so 1050 for seven of them, and the broker fee is another 200, meaning the final reward is just 750 if you buy all the meds. But, you've probably picked up a couple before this, and you don't really need them at this stage of the game. Anyway, there's still very little time and effort involved, and the additional SP is nice. No idea why that medicine is in there, though.
Well then, time to head out. Now the Nest of Pirates opens up on the map. It's four days' travel from Middleport - which of course makes it a lot easier to get through dispatch quests.
It doesn't look like we'll have time for any of that right now, though.
Lady Kika... We've been attacked?! Those damn li'l scumbags!
What should we do?
...wait, what am I saying? This is Kika we're talking about. Never mind. Now, about that quest guild...
Come on, come on! Get of yer bums and help us out!!
Ugh. Fine then.
The Nest of Pirates looks much like we remember it.
Dario joins us for this battle, as a proper playable character, but he's lacking any good skills and is kind of useless.
Also, there's this guy who has voiced combat dialogue!
No, wait, let me rephrase that: he has the best voiced combat dialogue.
Of course, Kika is also here, along with - surprisingly - Nalleo, who has finally picked up an axe and learned to not be terribly useless!
What if I am?
There are two elementals on this map, one wind and one water. The wind one is actually very helpful as both Kika and Nalleo are wind innate. So is Roget, but the other enemies are not, and some of them are even earth elemental and will be weakened by it.
Nalleo follows Kika onto the green terrain and has a little chat.
Yes, Lady Kika?
You've really grown powerful lately.
Y-You think so?!
All right! But I'm still going to get stronger!
I'm sure you will. Just don't do anything reckless.
This battle introduces another class of enemies, the caster. This guy can become a bit of a pain, given the amount of MP he has, but fortunately there's just one of him.
The water elemental is really the most annoying part here. There's a large water-covered area on this map where the elementals, and only the elementals, can move, and given the random movements of these things, it may well hang around outside our reach for several rounds.
(Not that this happened the first time I tried this map or anything )
Enemies are using their beads to good effect, but we'll be waiting for them to come closer.
Kyril gets attacked...
...and Seneca protects him. You know, I think I may actually have made an assumption that has in fact made an ass out of me. Protecting people doesn't mean you take the damage for them, it just reduces the damage they take. Derp!
That doesn't mean Kyril is less thankful, though.
Staff-user tries to Thunder Runner Dario but can only hit him with the "side effect" which does... nothing at all, really. Dario is pretty beefy.
Andarc gets rid of a spearman before he can get too close. That's not the most remarkable thing about this picture, though! Look at those magic points. Now, Andarc can fry things twice before he runs out! That's twice as much frying as before!
There's more than one way to murder dudes, though.
No kill like overkill!
The emulator does something wonky with the light, and some of the effects are very bright. I'm pretty sure this doesn't happen on a real PS2.
Still, we can see the damage and damn does it look nice.
As usual, EXP for everyone, but only Seneca levels up.
Dario helps out... kind of.
One of the enemies shows some measure of intelligence and tosses a fire bead at Kika and Nalleo.
Then the other one comes up and pokes Kika.
There's still wind terrain left, though. Now, Kika can't kill this guy in a hit without a crit, and you should never assume you'll get one of those when you actually need it.
However, she retains the Falcon Rune, which is, naturally, unique to her and unremovable. Though not as broken as in IV, it's still a very nice rune. The first level tech...
...deals 120% of her normal damage with no drawbacks. Kika also has really nice SKL, so she'll have a lot of uses of this.
On the other side of the map, Dario has a similar problem.
The Gozz Rune is the weapon rune for axes. I really wish they would have let Rita equip it too, but, well, what can you do?
The first level tech hits even harder than Falcon Slash...
...but it unbalances the user, indicated by the little wobbly yellow-purple figure over his head.
Rita takes care of the other enemy in the area, and profits.
We are very nearly done! At least by the looks of it.
Kika wastes another swordsman...
...and Nalleo takes care of the wind elemental before it drifts out to sea where we can't reach it.
Andarc Thunder Runners the other one since it's in range. Don't want to waste a bunch of time chasing after it later.
Seneca goes after Roget, who has yet to do anything useful whatsoever. Critical hit to the face!
Kika and Nalleo wipe out the last archer from the initial bunch of enemies...
...and the newcomer does some useless stuff.
Dario gets another kill, just to be nice.
Nalleo weakens Roget...
...and Rita weakens the only remaining generic.
Kika gets the last word in against Roget.
...and a very dead dude, and that's a wrap.
Do I even want to know where you found this? Or how you found it?
Everyone is safe and sound.
Welcome back, Papa!
Nalleo may have learned how to kick ass, but he still sounds like a girl half his age.
Nalleo! How could ya let this happen?!
Then again, Dario doesn't have the manliest voice I've ever heard, either.
Enough. It's not Nalleo's fault. Are you injured?
Of course not.
No, I'm okay. What about you?
I'm fine, but they got our Rune Cannons.
Damn, you've gone soft in your old age.
Even Dario can't believe it!
Our remaining ammunition, the muzzles... They took everything.
All this is going to make Dario sober.
My best guess is the Kooluk.
As you might recall, we didn't really beat the Kooluk. All we did was get rid of the invading forces, but the nation itself is still present - and presumably not too happy with us after that little event with the giant tree and all.
Really? But their uniforms were different.
Yeah. They were different from last time -- maybe a separate unit.
In any case, there's supposed to be a truce with the Island Nations. I'll have to report this right away...
So, long time no see, Kyril.
Heh, heh. You've sure grown.
I know you just arrived, but we have to go to the Kingdom of Obel now. Care to join us?
As if we'd say no.
Um... Sure, if you don't mind.
I warned you about this, Andarc.
Come on. It's not like it's that far out of the way.
That's true, but...
Nalleo, I want you to stay behind. When Sigurd gets back, tell him I've stepped out for a while.
Not "gone to tell the king of Obel that the Kooluk are stealing rune cannons". Just "stepped out for a bit".
Yes, Lady Kika!
Oh, that's right. You knew him, too. He's been helping me Ever since he was brought here -- same with Hervey.
Yep, and who's the one who taught 'em all their stuff? That'd be me. I outrank 'em, you know!
And you're never going to let them forget that, either.
You stay behind with Nalleo, too.
I think Dario was hoping to shirk his fatherly duties.
Well... Let's get moving.
But much like Andarc, he gets no respect. Absolutely none at all.
And that is the end of this chapter. Next up, we're meeting even more awesome people!