Part 14: Sidetracked (I) - Lazlo's IslandAll right, now we've pretty much visited all the important locations we saw in Suikoden IV, but we still have some quests to take care of before we move on towards Kooluk. Let's begin:
Ramada is still around!
The Knights are terrible at absolutely everything as usual!
And Chiepoo & Co. have another task for us! First batch: personal stuff.
The first one unlocks a new location. It's a five day trip, so this makes for a perfect stop when you need to kill ten days.
And of course the "woman in red" is none other than our old grumpy wind mage, Maxine.
I was asked to give this letter to you.
She's still grumpy. Fancy that!
It's all yours...
Bah, not again...
We'll be going, then...
Wait a sec.
Are you Kyril?
And you're assembling a group to go demolish the Rune Cannons?
Yes, that's right.
All right, it's settled. I'm in with you guys. I'm not asking for money or anything.
Come on, let's go already...
Maxine, our resident grumpy wind mage, is... no longer a wind mage.
I don't know what they were thinking, given her characterization in IV was "grumpy wind mage", but she's now fire innate.
(Though in all honesty, I'd probably take the wind rune off her if she did come with one, because, well, regular wind rune.)
Elements aside, she's basically as good at magic as Andarc, or maybe even a little better (though again, the lack of any reliable stat growth charts makes it hard to tell), but physically weaker and less tanky. That's not really an issue since mages shouldn't be attacking physically or getting hit much to begin with. She is the only mage in the game with a natural 2 JMP, as well as the ability to learn Jump for a total of 3, which is the maximum - there are a couple who get 3 JMP naturally (both ninjas, for example), but none of them can learn the Jump skill.
Either way, these mobile mages - read, the ones who get Extra Move - are among the best characters in the game, and you can't really go wrong with either one (or even both) of them.
They offered to guard me, but when I said no thanks, they picked a fight! You guys better watch out! Their leader is a petite lady, but she's real tough!
Huh? Where did they go? Hmm... North, I guess. But wait... That means they went towards Kooluk...
Next quest. First this guy.
I see... I'll keep that in mind.
Curious indeed! Then, back to Middleport.
It was so precious that I paid a fortune to have the Knights of Razril guard it...
But as soon as the ship docked, they disappeared along with my cargo! Damn them! The Knights of Razril are nothing but a bunch of thieves!
Doesn't look like Katarina's work is going to be easy.
I see... Thanks for the information.
But there is more!
Oh, what are you guys doing here?
Hey, Pablo! Good to see you.
Thanks for the other day.
Don't mention it. All I did was show you around the Underground Path a bit.
Say, Pablo, if you're not too busy...
What can I do for you?
We're looking around for Rune Cannons and heading to Kooluk soon. If you're interested, how about--
Rune Cannons?! Kooluk?!
Definitely got his attention!
Yes, but we plan on destroying all the Rune Cannons we find. You can join us if you'd like.
I suppose the world would be a better place without Rune Cannons. Still, if that's how it's going to be, I'd rather see it happen myself, with my own two eyes, if I could. Would you be so kind as to take me with you? I have some magic abilities. I'm sure I can help.
Okay. We need all the help we can get!
Sounds like a plan!
And then he joins.
Pablo has also changed elements and specializes in Earth now - which I guess makes some sense since he was supposedly Warlock's "apprentice". He is, in fact, the game's only earth mage - but he hasn't really improved since IV. I'm pretty sure his MAG is the worst of the casters, and he doesn't even have Extra Move.
Anyway. 3000 Potch, 500 SP.
1000 Potch, 300 SP, bonus of one grumpy
1000 Potch, 200 SP, bonus of a Mackerel Miso Stew.
Chiepoo also needs some other help. This one requires... 10 HP.
I sent Maxine.
Alright, I'll do it.
I wonder how many customers she scared off in the process. (1000p, 400sp)
And just like that, we're officially more awesome! Now, we can do D rank quests as well.
This one is dead simple - I already have one of those from Razril, and 20 days? It takes two days to go back and forth and buy it if you didn't come here with one in your inventory.
There are, however, several more quests around that we can't do yet... and some that we might not want to even if we can. See, X & Co. are Chiepoo's competitors, and we, the thread, are going to be the ones who decide what comes of that rivalry.
This one I've saved for last, because it involves combat.
A new location has opened on the world map.
And look who's waiting for us there! Damn, you haven't got any prettier, Chiepoo.
(Also, more familiar music!)
The name's Chiepoo! I'm on my way to becoming the world's greatest merchant! So come on! Don't be cheap, okay?
We'll, uh, see about that.
There is only one other person on the island...
Most call it the Deserted Island, but some know it as Lazlo's Island because Lazlo, the hero of the Island Liberation War, spent time here.
Chiepoo Island? Oh yeah. I hear Chiepoo started calling it by that name.
Save data bonus information! I'm actually not sure what he says if you come here without importing a save where you've named the hero of IV. Also: curse you, Chiepoo, leave Lazlo's island alone!
There's no gossip section for Rene, but there is an option to head for the coast.
That's more like it!
Another odd victory condition. This battle is really just a tutorial for Rene's abilities, which have been re-tooled to be less annoying and not make you want to kill yourself.
Rene, on the other hand, is... still the same old Rene.
There are more monsters than I expected. Will you guys help me so I can hunt for treasure?
The elemental is both helpful and harmful here since all the frogs are lightning innate, but so is most of my party so
I like those little comments people have to various things in battle.
These are probably the best of the lot, though. They come with numbers!
And... sure, let's bring back the giant enemy crabs, why not! At least this time I don't need to farm them for 20 shells.
This pops up the first time Rene's turn comes around. Since she's level 1, the rest of the party has already got started murdering things.
Suikoden Tactics posted:
If treasure is buried within a certain distance from where she is standing, its location will start to glow. At that point, move Rene to that exact location and select Dig to get the treasure buried there. As Rene's Treasure Hunter Skill Level rises, the range of the glow increases. You may unearth some highly valuable items, so keep digging!
...thank you, game.
Right now, there are in the way, so the only really safe spot is here.
You'd think it would be hard to dig for buried treasure here, but nothing is impossible for Rene.
Rene should always be digging unless she's using an item on that turn. Always. It's her main way of gaining EXP. She gets less if there's no treasure, but she still gets it, and really, anything that contributes to Rene not dying like a bitch the moment she even gets close to an enemy is very, very welcome.
I like these frogs! They may drop Berserker Belts, which increase the wearer's strength but decreases their hit rate. With Bull's Eye (or rune skills, which always hit!) you can bypass that penalty, making for a great boost to offence. Odds are I'll still be using this in the final battle!
They're reasonably tough, and I haven't upgraded my weapons yet, but still, not too much trouble.
This is new. Elementals have a slight chance of dropping [Element] Spirit Fragments when killed, and we'll need them later on; might as well start collecting!
Even with a unite, we wouldn't be able to kill this thing in one shot! Crabs are big and tanky, and they have an AoE attack with reach similar to Cohort Attack.
Really lucky with the drops today. This might be useful for a quest later on.
And then he dropped this, too. Neat, I guess?
Rene finaly finds some real treasure -
- and some more frogs.
Wait, my party is all the way on the other side of the map shit shit shit panic
I need to run over there and put other people in front of the frogs so they don't one-shot Rene and oh wait is that a support conversation?
...hold on, what was I doing again?
I'm fine, thanks.
I've thought up a new game. Wanna try it with me sometime?
Then she goes over here and digs up the first Prime Gold Ore because she's actually not in range of these enemies at all.
The next one is over here.
More Rita things get done.
Some healing items get thrown around...
...and there we go!
Rene doesn't have any use for STR at all, but she'll really like more evasion and defence, and speed will make it easier for her to get around. Oh, and she'd probably like some more luck, too. Did I mention she can die? Because she can die.
This will also come in handy for a quest later on.
More enemies spawn in. These are the last batch.
Two frogs go down to Andarc and Seneca's unite.
They celebrate by gaining levels together. It's very romantic... or something.
And there goes the last crab. And hey, balloon status!
No, wait, I don't care.
With the enemies out of the way, Rene can easily walk up and nab the final treasure, ending the map.
Treasure hunting isn't really helpful if you're trying to go for high ranks. Fortunately, I don't give a fuck.
(Actually I'd still have liked a C but... eh, can't be arsed to wait around for the score to get worse. Plenty of chances later.)
Hot damn. I'll take it!
That's a fitting end to a treasure hunting quest.
Supposedly you can get a Hunter Rune as a bonus from this map if you... do... something. No one seems to know what the requirements actually are, because, again, Suikoden Tactics Is Poorly Documented. One theory is that you need to complete it without killing anything, but fuck that noise.
The Hunter Rune does what it has always done: tank your hit rate, but if you actually manage to hit something, it assures the enemy drops an item when killed. Not bad, as such, but I'll gladly take my five Berserker Belts over it.
Thanks so much! It was great to hunt for treasure without worrying about all those beasties.
Rene is as fuck. Any sane treasure hunter would have waited until after the monsters were dead, at least.
Don't mention it. We do that sort of thing all the time.
Kyril... doesn't really attract sane people, though.
Oh... Is that so?
It's sort of our profession, more or less.
Can I come with you, then? Umm... I'd really like to hunt for treasure all over the world...
Maybe she can find some for us, too. What do you think, Kyril?
Well... I don't really want any for myself. It's just the hunt that I find so fascinating. So, all the treasure I find is yours!
Wow... Kyril, we can't pass this one up.
Okay... Why don't you come with us?
Great! Glad to join you!
And join she does.
Rene is useless for everything that does not involve treasure hunting, but there's a lot of that to be done. Every map has something to dig up, and the treasures are often quite nice. There are also several quests built around finding specific treasures, and Rene is the only way you'll be able to complete them. We won't be deploying her in every fight, but she'll definitely see some use later on.
For completing her quest, we get 1000 Potch and 500 SP, in addition to Rene's services. And that is pretty much all we can accomplish here without starting a merchant feud, so next up, fort El-Eal! I'm sure there's nothing interesting left there now, right?
You're not exactly filling me with confidence, here.
Anyway, now that we've seen what Chiepoo is up to, it's time we had a vote. Well, two, in fact!
On the subject of Chiepoo & Co. versus X & Co.:
We are free to ignore this conflict entirely, of course, but that means we're losing out on a lot of quests and we can't have that. The alternative is to side with one of the companies and lead them to glorious victory, which is of course a lot more fun. Chiepoo is basically honest and X is shady and ruthless and will be trying to sabotage his business and take over! Our choices here are...
A. That cat is my brother! Chiepoo may have an annoyingly shrill voice but that's not really his fault, and he stuck by Lazlo through all of S4. That should be rewarded, so let's give him a hand.
B. Fursecute! Chiepoo is a disgusting furry thing with a disgusting furry voice and I hope he dies. Even if we have no idea what an "X & Co" is, it can't possibly be worse than Chiepoo, so let's side with them.
Again, the game is not terribly well documented, and it may be that we must help Chiepoo expand before we can really screw him over. Whatever we decide, one thing is certain: we have a lot of questing ahead of us.
(Also before someone forgets the fact that I have a spoiler policy and starts talking about what you get for picking a side: that policy is still in effect, so shut up about it.)
On the subject of party members:
We can bring eight characters into the next battle.
Kyril is coming because of the protagonist thing. The remaining seven slots are open. I'll be taking a page from the Fire Emblem threads here: vote for as many characters are you like within the limit, and you may leave any remaining votes to me.
Mechanically, Mizuki and Akaghi are not the best choice as they will return to Obel to report after the next battle, and won't be available for a while after, but we may still use them for this fight.
I have a list of characters up in the second post.
Lastly, bold your votes.