Part 18: The Town of Merseto (II)Generic bandits can make for a nice distraction, but it's about time we actually got to that place the chapter title talks about. I haven't mentioned this before, but the Kooluk section of the map has its own music. It's not great, but at least it doesn't remind me of the goddamn ocean.
Merseto also has its own music.
And that seems to be about all it has, because I'm not seeing any events here.
There's a smith capable of sharpening our weapons one more step, though, and as always this is expensive as fuck. I have enough money for two people, and I pick Kyril (because he's always around anyway) and Seneca. Also gave Seneca that Killer Orb we picked up; she was not getting a lot of use out of her old one.
The outfitter has some interesting stuff - well, really only the ring, but it's far too expensive right now.
Maxine gets some treasure. I'd have liked that cape to boost MAG but eh.
The Fancy Necklace, by the way, gives +5 DEF and a permanent "resist magic" buff. We're not up against anyone who uses magic in the next fight, but the DEF is always nice, especially on an under-levelled character like Max here.
The land has gone barren, and crops won't grow anywhere. That's what they say, right?
The only thing left to do is interview the villagers.
I heard that only the Kooluk from El-Eal actually fought, though.
Hm? You already knew? Wow, you're really something. I was shocked when I heard just now.
Anyway, that must be why we're not getting any goods from the Island Nations these days, huh...
Today's youth, huh? Although I still don't agree with calling this a "young boy".
Well, that was a waste of-
Well, okay then, I could do with some port.
I'm thinking it's time for an intervention.
You little brats!
I don't know, maybe it's because he's a terrible person.
That poor kangacorn looks really ashamed of itself, too.
I'm certainly finding no flaws in that logic!
Yeah, her portrait is named corselia.png. I'm not even going to pretend like this is a surprise, you all saw her in the opening video. (And if you didn't watch the opening video why, I even had a screenshot of it, too.)
Then he decides just kicking them isn't enough.
So not only is he a murderous asshole, he's a complete moron on top of that. If you're going to stab kids to death, find some place to do it where there's not an audience!
If they caught wind of this, they'd put us out of business. You understand, don't ya?
Yes, quite. I think I'm going to...
...enjoy this battle.
I can't hear you!
About time you showed up!
Some sort of dispute? That one boy, he looks badly hurt...
Let's check it out.
Are you sure we should--
Hurry! We've got to help that kid!
What do you think you're doing?
Mind yet own business! This don't concern you.
What the heck is that supposed to mean?
And why's everyone lookin' at me like I'M the bad guy?!
It's because you're a terrible person and I'm going to shoot you full of arrows now.
...but he's not going to make it easy for us it's still easy.
So he summons minions, and all the bystanders run off because this is going to turn into a bloodbath real soon.
Fucking fuck, this plugin is driving me insane.
We're going to kill everyone, because I'm pissed and because we can.
I've been fucking around with the settings a lot, and this is pretty much what the game should actually look like. (Also note the second party starting across the water in this shot.) Unfortunately, the setting that actually produces this view tanks my frame rate whereas the one that fucks everything up runs more or less perfectly.
It's also lacking the other graphical problems, but no matter how nice it looks, I don't hate myself enough to play this game at half speed so you're just going to have to deal with water made of radioactive milk.
Anyway. The merchant is going to be sitting here until we cross the bridge.
Which isn't going to take long because this is what happens when Seneca has a level 4 weapon and berserker belt.
Oh, and by the way, battle music. It's not new, but still.
This lot don't have any enemies within reach, so they'll just be moving up for now. Also note the boat here. They have their own "turns" and will spend them moving back and forth on the canal. If you step onto one, it'll carry you with it, and if there's two boats next to each other you can use them to cross the water. I won't be doing that this time, so all they're doing here is annoy me because I have to wait them to move.
This asshole is standing on 3-height crates. Actually reaching him up there with regular attacks is a huge pain and pretty much requires the Jump skill, so I'm not going to bother. Being able to get rid of him this easily pretty much makes the cost of upgrading Kyril's weapon worth it all by itself.
Andarc can't one-shot the other pirate so he just throws down some terrain. The Thunder God's Garb is actually outclassed by other gear at this point, but the benefit of having Andarc and Seneca able to remain next to each other with just a single bead or force is still worth it.
The enemy pokes Seneca for 1 damage and takes 15 in return for being a moron. Enemies tend to go for backstabs whenever they can, which is usually understandable, but here he'd have had much more luck attacking Andarc from neutral terrain.
(Not that it matters because Seneca would have killed him on her next turn regardless.)
Kika fillets a dude and picks up more numbers as a reward.
Nalleo tanks like a champ, but Kika still decides to help him out a bit.
For some reason this guy thought it would be a good idea to walk up here all alone without putting down terrain or anything. Kyril shows him the error of his ways.
I'm starting to feel like I'm getting RNG screwed here. Well, at least he finally picks up a second first level spell.
Speaking of which, Maxine still only has one damaging spell, but look at that range and damage!
First she takes his life, then she takes his place. That's pretty cold.
(Except it's fire terrain, so probably warmer than the rest of the place.)
That might have been a mistake, though. Even though I loaded her up with DEF boosts, she's not doing too well with two higher level pirates on +Affinity terrain picking on her.
With all the pirates on this side dead, team plot people has started moving towards the boss. Kyril is the first to arrive on the main platform, and his arrival causes four more dudes to spawn in. Give it up already; they're not going to save you.
Kika kills one of the two remaining pirates on this side, and Maxine eats some medicine. With the EXP she got from frying that dude earlier, it's enough to get her a level... thus making the medicine completely pointless.
Anyway, Maxine now has two second level spells, as well as three first level ones, meaning she can now dispense just as much murder as Andarc.
Nalleo manages to get rid of the last pirate and picks up a tasty treat...
...and a level. Now, all we need to do is get these people all the way around to the platform in the middle and... oh, fuck it, I'll just kill everything with Kyril's group.
The mooks take a few shots at Kyril, but none of them really do anything. The merchant, on the other hand, is actually somewhat threatening. His level is like 50% higher than any of my characters. If he had decided to park his ass on the fire square, he'd be pretty tough to deal with, but since Kyril is facing that square, he opts for a backstab from neutral terrain instead.
Andarc and Seneca set up a combo...
...and wipe out two thirds of the remaining enemies.
It results in a pretty nice level for Seneca.
I was getting excited over all those +2:s for a moment, and then I noticed the level also said +2. Pretty sure it's the first double level we've got so far.
The archer shoots Kyril and doesn't accomplish much. Kyril stabs him and doesn't accomplish much either. God damn it, that was supposed to be a kill.
Andarc decides Kyril and Seneca can handle the rest and goes after the chest.
They seem to be doing pretty well. Not too fond of that berserk status, though.
The archer goes to shoot Seneca from his native terrain. Kyril punishes him for it and gets numbers. And hey! +2 STR and SKL!
The merchant is still pretty dangerous, but that's the last thing he'll ever do.
Andarc can't climb, but doesn't need to. He has Thunder Runner.
A level 15 enemy is a nice big bag of EXP and Seneca gains another level, picking up a second level spell slot in the process. Very nice!
And that's how it's done.
There was only one chest on this map and it had the Kangacorn orb in it.
Sadly, we didn't actually kill the guy. It's too bad, because he really needed a good killing. I mean, I would rank him a bit lower on the list of the world's biggest scumbags than the chief of Na-Nal (the undisputed champion), but he's still a tremendous shitheel.
I've had it up to here with this crap. I'm givin' you away. You can find yer own damn work!
Come on, can't we shoot him just a little more?
That's what we were trying to do in the first place.
Those little punks!
But alas, no. He runs away, and that's that.
Damn it! If we'd only come sooner...
Hey, I wondered where she went.
What are you apologizing for?
I tried my best, but I guess even dressed like this, I--
If you were trying to hide the fact that you're a named JRPG character, you weren't doing a very good job of it.
Girl's Mother: Watch what you say.
You're the mother? You're almost as bad at this as Andarc, you know. Where were you when your daughter was arguing with the psychotic killer merchant?
We must be going. Take care of yourself, okay?
And then they walk off.
Are you all right? That guy was saying something about work...
He certainly was a piece of work.
I'll be okay... I just feel bad for Ralph. We came to town in search of work. He said he'd find us some. But it's turned out like this, instead...
He walks up and leads the kangacorn over to Kyril.
Kyril is all "I know your friend just died and all, but I can't contain my glee!" I figure he always wanted a pet, but Walter thought he should be happy with Yohn and wouldn't let him. Which is understandable - I mean, Yohn is pretty cool, but I don't think she's into fetching sticks.
He was Ralph's. But...
No, I don't want any money. It was Ralph's, anyway.
I heard there was good-paying work here in Merseto. I want to learn my own living.
Mother of fuck, you're the dumbest kid I ever met. Look, I know you've had a bad day, but I'm going to give you fair warning: if you start talking about bootstraps, I'm throwing you in the radioactive milk canal.
Well, if you're sure about this... Okay. We'll take good care of him.
Still, not going to turn down a free kangacorn!
The kangacorn is not a character, despite the "joined" message. It's a mount. The game actually gives us a tutorial in the next fight, but I'm going to put it here because I can.
Suikoden Tactics posted:
Mounting and Dismounting
Selecting Mount at the Deploy Troops Screen enables a unit to enter battle riding a mount, such as a kangacorn. You can also mount and dismount freely during battles.
Note that a unit's abilities will be dramatically raised while on a mount, but Battle Lust and defensive skills cannot be used.
Riding a mount can give units access to otherwise impassable routes. Try different approaches to see what works!
...actually, the kangacorn isn't so much about "impassable" as it is about "range." Just like Busk before, any character riding it gets +3 MOV (but JMP is set to 1). It also boosts STR by 50% and SPD by 10%, but lowers EVA by 30%.
This is also where the Kangacorn Rune comes into play. It only has two techs, but it's still quite useful for any character who's going to spend a lot of time mounted. The first level tech is Rush, which deals double damage against a single enemy. However, since this involves slamming into them head first, the user takes backlash damage, about 20% of their max HP.
The second level spell is Kangacorn Spirit, which temporarily buffs the user's offensive, as well as both flavours of defensive, abilities.
Not everyone can use mounts. Kangacorns can be ridden by characters with one-handed swords, spears, or throwing weapons, none of which we currently have a lot of.
Anyway, that's about all for this time.
Goodbye, then. Thank you.
And so our party leaves.
I was just passing by and couldn't help but notice the commotion. I saw everything.
You know... I have the perfect job for a young fella like you. Whaddaya say?
It's okay, you can trust me. See those kids over there? They came looking for work, too. It's simple enough as far as work goes, and it'll keep you afloat.
How 'bout it? Will you give it a try?
Well, could you tell me a little more about the job?
All's well that ends well, I guess?
Do you know anything about my mother? Who she was, what she was like...?
May I ask what's behind this sudden interest?
I guess it's just... that girl's mother was so pretty and all. So I started to wonder about mine.
"So pretty and all". How old are you again?
We really don't know much of anything about your mother.
When we came to work for Walter, she was already...
Walter never spoke of her. And I didn't want to pry. Sorry we can't be of more help.
It's okay. Who cares as long as I have you guys, right?
Hold it right there, mister. Are you saying I'm like a mother to you?
No, that would be Andarc. Though, as we've already established, he's not very good at it.
Umm, I'm not sure I'd make much of a parental figure, Kyril.
See, it's that attitude that's holding you back. You'd do a much better job if you just believed in yourself!
Ha ha ha... I'm just playing with you guys. I'm not looking for someone to be my mother.
What do you say we head back to El-Eal now?
And so they did!
But of course the trip isn't going to be easy. Next fight, we still only have six character slots, but this time we're only forced to bring Kyril and are free to select the other five.
You know the drill by now: vote for up to five characters, and any votes you don't use may be left to me.
As for buried treasure, there's only one on the next map and it's nothing special if you must know, a second Wing Shield so I'm not recommending Rene for this.
(And as always, bold your votes.)