Part 15: The Ruins of WarSince we decided to help Chiepoo, let's.
A Robe costs 500 bucks and the reward for this is just 1200 so you're actually losing money if you buy them all, but I have two of them at this point and no reason to stick with them.
This opens up now that we have Rene...
...because she's required for it, but we're not going there yet.
Instead, we'll do... this one!
And then we'll put one of those belts on Trishtan. Check out that boost! But of course, if you don't have something upping your hit rate, it might hinder you more than it helps.
This quest requires 110 HP (Trishtan has 111!) and 20 STR. Normally this isn't something we'd be able to undertake for some time yet, but...
...Trishtan went and kicked ass for us. Good job! 3000 Potch and 300 SP is the reward.
And as for that other one?
Come on, spit it out already.
This quest requires 12 LCK and SKL. Pablo is a terrible character. In case someone still didn't get it, this adds up to failure.
And here's how that looks.
Chiepoo can't contain his glee.
That rival company was out to get me, but my guards took care of 'em first! This calls for a big sale! Boy, do I feel good, meow!
You're still terrible at meowing. But then again, I've met some actual cats who weren't very good at it either.
I've been making out like a bandit lately! I guess my business finally hit its stride.
But I'm not just gonna sit here on my tail all day. I gotta make even more money! Expand my business, you know? My dream is world domination, meow!
I hope you guys are prepared for the consequences of what you've unleashed.
Either way, Chiepoo doesn't sell anything interesting right now. The Happi Coat is an upgrade for Akaghi, but, well.
Then, preparations. First, let's get these things sharpened. Very nice attack boost, but... as always, expensive.
Also runes. Kika gets the bucket rune because, uh, enemies are going to survive her attacks most of the time or something.
The alternative is a Cyclone Sword Rune, but we still don't have a lot of MP to spend on these things, so
Skills for everyone! I'm not going to show off everything, so just assume Godspeed and Extra Move for absolutely everyone who can use them. Onward!
Oh, I like where this is going. We're not even inside yet and already she smells a rat.
Huh? What is it? Is somebody sick?
There must be some Rune Cannons ahead. Yohn can sense these things.
Well that's a problem, because we don't have anyone with plot lasers to blow it up this time!
I don't like this... not one bit.
Hey, the thread voted for you to sit on the bench while the rest of us do the real work. Why are you complaining?
Kyril, apparently, was expecting the ruin to be fully inhabited.
No, Kika and Lazlo did that. You didn't lift a goddamn finger.
It appears like they're rebuilding. And I think that may be a Rune Cannon over there.
That looks a whole damn lot more cannon-y than any of the weird shit we've been seeing so far.
Aw, for cryin' out loud! How'd they get all this done so fast?
Well, see, once Suikoden IV was over, you went back from being playable to being an NPC, and we all know how competent ninja NPCs are.
What I'm saying is they probably flew in a whole damn construction crew from Toran on dragons without any of you fuckers noticing a damn thing.
As it turns out, the place isn't entirely abandoned.
And now that you've seen it, how can I be expected to let you leave...?
Um I don't know would a "please" work? Otherwise, I have any number of sharp things.
Everyone gets ready.
El-Eal is pretty recognizable even as rubble. Those fucking stairs!
It's a straight forward battle.
Our party is Andarc, Kyril, and a bunch of scary ladies. Oh, and Rene.
Seneca. Berserker Belt. I swapped her Battle Lust for Bull's Eye, and together with Sniper that means she'll be getting hit rates in the 90s most of the time.
Maxine is going to need some beefing up if she's to be useful. She's a couple of levels behind Andarc, and it shows. I gave her all the nice caster equipment we picked up so she can at least one-shot this dude.
Just like in IV, the first offensive fire spell only targets a single square. This will make a nice little patch for Kyril to stand on. Maxine also gets half a level for her troubles.
Most of the enemies are content to hang back and blow all their consumables on laying down terrain. This battle might actually be somewhat problematic if they all charged in.
I thought about putting a Berserker Belt on Rita. Then I realized she doesn't need one.
Oh, what a terrible choice to make. Murder or dialogue? Murder... or dialogue?!
Oh, fine. We'll go with the dialogue.
Please, just call me "Flare."
"Flare"... No, I can't! I may be forward, but even I can't be that familiar with a real princess!
Okay, how about "Miss Flare"?
Fine, you can call me "Princess Flare," if it makes you comfortable.
But please, just call me "Flare" when it feels right.
Okay, I'll do that. But I don't think calling you just "Flare" will ever feel right.
Damn it, Seneca, I used to think you were cool.
Still, Good Will.
Kyril takes his position on the fire tile Maxine made, and Kika... does what she always does.
Kika, if I haven't got the message across properly before this, is awesome. She has one minor problem in that she doesn't get Godspeed, but her natural MOV is 6, so it's not a huge loss; her only real weakness is the lack of ranged or multi-target attacks. She comes with Parry (because anything you can do with one sword, she can do better with two) and the ever-important Extra Move; personally I've always stuck with her through the entire game and regretted nothing. (Nothing!)
This time, I've also given her a Berserker Belt and Bull's Eye instead of Battle Lust, because look at these numbers!
Beautiful, beautiful numbers.
Seneca is feeling extra talkative today.
Don't you think we're too busy lately?
Well, I prefer getting about this much exercise, myself...
That would explain why you're beefier than all the other mages!
You're a strange guy, Andarc.
And possibly also why Seneca keeps hitting on you.
What do you mean by that?
Are you sure?
And of course, more Good Will.
Pictured: Kyril about to get hit with Wind of Sleep
It doesn't work on Kika, though. And of course, she likes the terrain change a lot more than Kyril does.
Maxine takes the opportunity to get some EXP.
Rene finally gets to move again and makes her way over to the glowy spot. This one yields a One-Piece Dress, which is... "armour", I suppose.
And she gets more numbers. Speed, Rene, speed! You don't care about skill.
Seneca takes out the mage before another accident happens.
That puts her in position for the remaining three to gang up on her, which in turn puts them in position for my other characters to bash them into a fine red paste.
Also to shoot them full of holes. Flare, much like Seneca, is wearing a Berserker Belt with Sniper and Bull's Eye at C rank (the highest at this point). It seems to be working.
Kika doesn't have Sniper. Kika doesn't care.
Although a lower level than the rest of the group, Maxine is wearing the Archmage robe, and is thus surprisingly sturdy. Add native terrain, and, well.
Busk starts moving after a couple of rounds. Because he's riding a kangacorn (it's, uh, kind of what the name implies, I guess), he has 8 MOV, and as if that wasn't enough, he also has Extra Move. Extra Move, as previously discussed, is ridiculously good, and there's nothing quite like giving it to an enemy boss to show off the fact. Still, he doesn't have enough MOV to make it to fire terrain on this round, which would really make him a pain, so we'll be taking him out in the next couple of turns.
Rene digs, finds nothing.
...and Rita take out Busk together, and the battle is basically won. We still have an enemy to kill, but it's a mage with no offensive spells left, so.
Flare opens the map's only treasure chest. It contains a Wing Mail, which is pretty nice.
There's one more treasure to find here, so we'll need to kill some time. Maxine finally gets that level she needed, but it doesn't get her another second level spell.
There's the second and final dig spot. It contains a Wing Shield. We still don't have anyone who can equip shields. Boo. Booo.
Maxine may not have more than one spell, but it's enough, damn it.
As I've already said, digging doesn't do wonders for your rank. The rest of the crew just sat around for several turns while Rene shuffled about looking for this thing.
Still, it's acceptable, I guess.
(Also the S rank award for this map is worthless.)
Busk isn't as dead as he should be.
The Patriarchal Faction?
And I've already made so many Metal Gear jokes.
What in the world are you talking about?
Hmph. Never mind.
He's not very talkative for a villain. And here I was hoping he'd spill his master plan.
I'd guess that he doesn't have one, except he's obviously up to something.
At least these guys have a reason not to show their eyes.
Anyway, they all run off, leaving us none the wiser.
No point wasting our time worrying about all that political drama... We should be worrying about the Rune Cannon they're setting up here! Talk about deja vu!
Calm down, man. It's not like it's the second coming of Laser Jesus.
You're right... This is a unilateral breach of the cease-fire agreement between the Island Nations and the Kooluk. We must return to Obel and report this to King Lino.
This is where a first-time player gets the sinking feeling that all the SP and experience that went to these two clowns has been a waste.
We must return to report the current situation. We'll also request reinforcements.
Can't complain too much, though! I like reinforcements. When they're on my side.
Fine. Let's meet at this spot again.
Countdown to Kyril's group running off to do something completely unrelated to waiting here...
All right. We'll take our leave now. Farewell.
Mizuki Ninja Vanishes as usual.
Well, I gotta go, too. See ya soon!
Then he runs off. Actually runs off. Because apparently he can't Ninja Vanish.
Don't talk about bees, please. I still have nightmares about goddamn Mordo.
Kyril, perhaps we should consider scouting the area.
That didn't take long.
Maybe we'll find out more there.
I hope so...
Sounds fun. I'm in, too!
You just whined about having to work too much. Make up your damn mind.
And that's the end of this chapter!
We've officially passed El-Eal and made our way into the Kooluk Empire. Exciting! But red dots on the map mean not everyone here is happy to see us. Next up: we meet some of them!
Before that, however, we need to have another vote! See, at this point we can return to Kika's place and pick up two of her underlings. Which ones we get depends on the day of the visit; water or fire nets us Sigurd and Hervey, and earth or wind gets us Dario and Nalleo.
Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Hervey is a pretty generic 1H Sword user, but Sigurd has a rare and quite useful weapon, as well as some very nice stats. He's generally considered one of the better characters in the game and we won't get anyone else with a throwing weapon for a long time.
On the other side of the coin, the other two use axes, and are the only people in the game to do so (damn you Rita). Dario is kind of shit, but five or six out of the eight or so people who played this game seem to agree that Nalleo is pretty much awesome. (I'm not one of them because I never used him.) Then again, those people also like to talk about "good end-game growths" so who knows how useful that really is.
So anyway, the choice is: Hervey and Sigurd or Dario and Nalleo?
We'll still be able to recruit the remaining two later on, but the first ones will be sticking around for a couple of chapters before that.
Bold your votes.
As a side note, this is what the camp looks like when there's no scene.