Part 21: Sidetracked (IV) - Old PalsWe've been asked to go find Lazlo, the hero of the Island Nations. And it's about time, too!
This is the big thing about loading Suikoden IV data. Obviously, you can't meet Lazlo if he died at the end of IV, so the only way to see him in Tactics is if you load a save where you have all 108 Stars of Destiny. Supposedly, any save after that should do the trick, as should your postgame save.
It's the same map we met Rene on, but this time is actually more annoying than that.
We can only bring four people, Kyril is required and... can you see the green shadow under Lazlo in the back? Yeah, Lazlo hasn't exactly been taking care of himself since we last saw him. He's lost like 70 levels, and worse yet, he's gone and become an NPC. It's tragic to see.
(Steadfast Determination plays in this battle.)
I brought the fastest and most mobile characters I have for this map. Lazlo has done suicidal shit when faced with giant enemy crabs before, and I wouldn't put it past him to do it again.
Are you Lazlo? The King of Obel asked me to deliver a message to you.
Lazlo will speak up on his first turn. In this case, both Millay on the kangacorn and Wendel are faster than him.
It's so nice to see you've remembered how to speak again.
We want you to come with us. We need your help with something. The King's message was: "Help 'em out."
I see... Sure sounds like him. He was never one for pleasantries. So... You'll fight with me, then?
I love how he seems to have developed a taste for it.
Sounds like a plan!
And a plan it is.
Lazlo, naturally, comes with his Rune of Punishment attached, and this time it's not shit! You've seen Eternal Ordeal already; it's not quite as strong as it once was, dealing only slightly more damage than Thunder Runner, but it is an instant cast spell with great range (seven tiles), and it runs on first level MP instead of second level ones like the normal elemental runes (there is no "Rune of Punishment elemental terrain") so it's very spammable. And unlike Steele in the intro, Lazlo doesn't take damage when he uses it (or any other of his spells) since, following the events in the good ending to Suikoden IV, the rune has entered its "forgiveness" phase and is no longer trying to kill him.
But since he sucks here, it only does like 30 damage.
"Sucks," by the way, is really not an understatement. Once we beat the map and recruit him, Lazlo will be exactly the kind of powerhouse a returning hero should be, but here he comes with NPC AI, no skills, and leather armour (shit that's been outdated since the prologue) and getting a game over just from him acting like a moron isn't entirely out of the question if you came here unprepared.
Fortunately, we have some very speedy people to keep that from happening. Millay goes and does some rushing for considerably more damage.
It's also a good idea to load up on wind beads for this so you can keep Lazlo's weakling ass alive.
Oh, and speaking of nothing much, Kika hit level 10 a while back and picked up Battle Lust as her fourth skill.
We couldn't kill the crab, so it breathes bubbles at us. It's a lot more painful than it sounds, and causes Balloon status.
Still, Millay manages to get rid of it, and that's that!
...except it's not.
As if Suicidalazlo wasn't a big enough fuck you, two more crabs spawn in when the first goes down, and two frogs on the side.
Lazlo refuses to stay on the wind terrain and rushes in to backstab one of the frogs. Kyril follows up and takes it out before it murders Lazlo...
...and get a level that isn't full of +1:s while he's at it, too.
Wendel manages to bait the second crab away from Lazlo, but it bubbles her.
Lazlo gets slapped because he's a moron.
Fortunately, Kyril had a wind bead...
...and used it right before I could lose the fight.
One more crab to go, and god damn, Millay.
Look, it's an unidentified flying Wendel!
If you get three balloons, the character slowly floats off the map. I've never seen it happen before, but I'm glad I did.
Millay finishes the crab and gets a somewhat disappointing level out of it.
I still don't care.
Will you join us, then?
During this scene, a different version of "Rune of Punishment" plays. It differs from both Suikoden IV's version and the one we heard when Brandeau inherited the Rune. It's not on the soundtrack, so I've made an MP3 because it's worth listening to.
(Alternately, on Youtube.)
Oh yeah... You guys were in a hurry. Sorry for dragging you into this.
Let's split today's catch between us. I'll get my dinner another time.
Oh, thanks. You don't have to do that.
No problem. Well, let's get going.
Lazlo comes with three unremovable skills. Good news is, he wants them all, and he's level 12 so he can get Extra Move on top of them. I might have wanted to take Godspeed in place of Parry for now, since he only has 5 natural MOV, but with those ranged options it's not really a problem if he can't sword something in the face every turn.
Just like the regular elemental runes, the Rune of Punishment comes with a skill that improves it. It's pretty cheap to upgrade (though B is the highest we can go now), and it should be your first priority when it comes to Lazlo's skills.
Lazlo is the best character in the game. Full stop. End of story. His stats are good, he supports with just about everyone and everything, and as far as the Rune of Punishment goes, let's just say this time his hand does indeed glow with an awesome power. On top of that, he's wind elemental, meaning he works perfectly with our other dual sword wielding shit-kicker, even aside from the good will and unite they have together.
He is also the closest we get to a fighter/mage hybrid. His MP run off SKL, but grow at the same rate as a caster's, meaning he gets more of them than fighters and eventually gains fourth level points as well.
So basically what I'm saying is that I suffered through Suikoden IV for this guy and now I'm going to use him on every map until the end of the game and there's not a thing you can do to stop me.
With Lazlo in tow, we can now head over to Razril and check out some new rumours.
You know how I know? Because lately their son's been working in the alleys, on Furball patrol! Maybe I'll give 'em a hand next time...
There won't be a next time. I'm going to nuke the fuck out of those furballs and they are not coming back.
To the back streets!
I think this may actually be the last time we come here.
It's full of
Snowe only appears after you recruit Lazlo, and quite fittingly he's nowhere near as good. He is still a 1H sword user, which was already the most numerous class in the game - we have more than enough of them already. Still, he's one of the better ones, both speedy and skilled, and of course he also supports with Lazlo who should never ever leave the party.
Speaking of which, here he is now!
Oh, this is going to be a slaughter.
I like Piercing Claw. It's got this "cool guys don't look at explosions" kind of thing going for it. What, that enemy behind me? It is already dead.
So dead, it turned into numbers. That speed growth!
Secure in the knowledge that we've brought a laser guided satellite cannon to a knife fight, Lazlo chats up Kyril.
That's right. It was after the fighting between Kooluk and the Island Nations.
Read: after Lazlo more or less single-handedly defeated the Kooluk because he was the only person with a fully functioning brain in the entire Island Nations.
I never had any particularly serious job, though. All I did was fish, patrol the coast, things like that.
King Lino En Kuldes of Obel has been really good to me. I'm in his debt.
Come on, Lazlo. There's being modest, and then there's that.
Anyway, it's the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
Or at least the beginning of a unite attack.
Oh, look, this furball thought it was going to hit Wendel from the front. Laugh at it.
Kyril can also one-shot these things.
And skin them.
Look at that, Snowe did something useful.
Kika quickly upstages him, though.
Gretchen is the only person on the map who can't one-shot furballs and is also not Snowe. It's kind of embarrassing.
One useful thing was enough for Snowe. He goes and pokes the elemental and doesn't even kill it.
But it's okay. We have more than enough death on tap.
Speaking of which.
Let's get a small taste of what Lazlo can do.
"This hand of mine glows with an awesome power!"
"That doesn't look very..."
"mother of god"
"Ask me about grasping victory, motherfuckers!"
So. Double-Edged Sword has gone from the worst damaging spell in Suikoden history, to the best damaging spell in Suikoden history. It randomly hits enemies in its area of effect eight times - but note that it's enemies it hits; this isn't Rafalak mark II we're looking at. Used on a single enemy, that enemy will eat eight hits and under any normal circumstances it will then die horribly.
It does have downsides, however. First, it deals less base damage per hit - 10 opposed to Eternal Ordeal's 40 - and thus, enemies with high MDF may resist it to a point where it deals less damage than Eternal Ordeal, or even none at all. This can be helped by throwing boosters at Lazlo's Magic stat. The second problem is that it's random. Use it on two enemies and you may hit one of them six times and the other two, severely overkilling the first but leaving the second alive.
Still, it's a second level spell which more or less lets you pick a target up to 8-9 spaces away (7 base range plus 3x3 area of effect) and erase it from existence. You really can't go wrong with it.
Wendel is used to seeing Lazlo nuke things, continues killing spree.
A furball pokes Lazlo for 2 damage. Kyril pokes it for considerably more.
And Kika finishes the fight.
Any given map will only give out its S-rank award once, no matter how many times you visit it. Pity; I could have done with another Razril knight token.
Either way, that's the end of that map.
Lazlo? It's really you, Lazlo. It's been ages. How've ya been?
You know him?
We're old pals.
I suppose the fact that Lazlo has remembered how to talk doesn't necessarily mean he wants to do it much.
Well then, why don't you join us, Snowe? We're heading for Kooluk to destroy some Rune Cannons.
You make it sound so simple.
(But well, we have Lazlo now so it'll probably be easy.)
Okay, I 'll go, too. I don't know if I'll be much help, but I'm happy to join you.
Snowe 2.0, new and improved: now 83% more humble.
Glad to have you.
It's strange, though... Haven't we met somewhere before?
Really? Hmm... I'm drawing a blank.
Oh... Sorry, I'm probably mistaken.
No sweat. Well, let's get going.
I think we have met. Long ago, in the alleys of Razril. We were on a Furball patrol...
What a coincidence, huh? Well, let's get going.
Lazlo: chill as fuck. I think it's Lino's genes.
Anyway, Snowe joins us.
Unfortunately... he does so at level 1.
Yes, 1. As in "one".
(Despite being level 10 as an NPC. Game mechanics )
If you want to train him up for old times' sake, he can be pretty good, as previously stated, but he is still only a 1H sword user so you probably shouldn't expect too much.
Anyway, furball patrol complete, the party settles in for the night.
In Razril. I've been teaching sword fighting at the Marine Academy.
Congratulations on training a new generation of knights without Extra Move. Razril can't catch a break.
Wow, you're an instructor there?
Yes, but there's still much that I want to learn of the art.
(Such as Extra Move.)
You can't be serious... You're already so strong!
M-Maybe now's not the best time. The others are sleeping and all...
You're right. I'll take a rain check. Maybe in the afternoon sometime.
Okay! But I don't think I'll be much of a fight!
All my really good units are far too humble. Come on Millay, you do know you are strictly superior to Gretchen in pretty much every way, right...?
Oh, fuck it.
the previous update posted:
First, we could always go further the plot. But, now that we have a decent size party, we could also see how far we can get in the Obel ruins. There's at least one quest we can accept right now that requires going there, and if we're lucky we may even make it further and pick up some phat lewt. Vote for one of these options!
Second, we need a party. Either way we go, I want six characters from the list, excluding Kyril and Rene.
(Insert standard line about "you should bold your votes and may leave any votes that you don't use to me" here.)
Still taking votes. (Don't vote for Lazlo because he's coming regardless. Don't vote for Snowe either because I'll probably try to show him off a bit as well, depending on where we go.)