Part 52: A Parting of WaysAn ominous chapter title! Strap in, folks, because this is gonna be a good one.
First up, however, loot. This is an upgrade over the Hero's Cape (+6 DEF) and isn't anywhere near as good as the Imperial Ring. Boo. Boo!
Oh and apparently this is what this thing does. Ornela gets it, but won't benefit from it because she won't be taking damage.
Unfortunately, we cannot access the facilities at Graska now, because entering the city triggers a cutscene, so anyone who didn't get a seventh level weapon upgrade last time is stuck at level 6. That's really the only problem with it though; the stores don't have anything that important.
Sure, what's on your mind?
At this point, the black background changes to the Graska one and the music starts up, but you've seen and heard that already.
I've been thinking... This runic weapon we're after... I'd like to take it back with us instead of destroying it.
Understandably, Kyril is not too keen on this idea.
Take it back? To where?
Don't you understand? What better place for it than our homeland, the Scarlet Moon Empire?
Oh boy, that would have made a real mess of the original game.
But why would Scarlet Moon need it?
Well, you never know. Sometimes it's good to have things. Just in case.
That was your father's real intent. You mean to tell me you didn't know that?
"Uh. No. Hold on a moment, I'm just going to have to find a big stick..."
If your father hadn't met with that terrible fate, things would be different now... Let's just say the Kooluk wouldn't be swaggering around with their runic weapons in their hands.
Oh goddammit, that word has lost all meaning to me since... well, I don't even know when it started. Now all I can see is
He's totally the right kind of douche for it, too.
...now where were we? Oh yeah, rune cannons.
And you'd probably be living a normal life back home, instead of traveling endlessly like this. You see the big picture, don't you? Our mission is to keep the Kooluk from gaining more power...
"...which admittedly we can do just as easily by blowing their shit up, but you know how it is, everyone expects you to bring presents when you come back after a trip."
...and to bring runic weapons from the Island Nations back to the Scarlet Moon Empire.
This is very important work.
"Of course I might be biased since I'm the one who'll be getting paid for it while you lot will get a pat on the back and an arrow to the face for knowing too much about state secrets. Wait, shit. You didn't hear that."
I... I understand your point, Heinz. But I can't allow that.
I've already decided what must be done. The Evil Eye took my father's life and the lives of countless others. It must be destroyed.
But how much can you and your friends do on your own?
"...you don't count."
Come with us to Scarlet Moon. If we just have that runic weapon, we won't need to live like this.
That's not what matters. I know what I have to do... What I must do!
I think I mentioned this already, but I think Kyril grew up to be a pretty decent protagonist.
Well, if I can't reason with you, so bet it. I'll say no more.
Heinz, however, probably doesn't agree with me.
If that's the way you feel, this is where we part. I can't travel with you anymore.
"Your protagonism might start rubbing off on me and then I'd have to start acting like a decent human being."
Because you're destined to fail. It's a shame you can't see that. I'll be taking Coop as well.
You must realize we didn't cross the border for your sake.
Well, this is goodbye.
Coop seems to have his own ideas about that arrangement.
The two of us, and Kyril's father, as well. To put it bluntly, we're spies.
Kyril sounds dejected. Stop moping! Spies can be pretty cool.
...seems like Andarc isn't quite convinced. Guessing he's more into romantic comedies.
Our mission was to get our hands on the Kooluk Rune Cannons before they could use them.
Can we take a moment to talk about how much sense this makes?
Then why are you...?
Here's this magical WMD that apparently doesn't have its own will or randomly blow up its wielder and/or surroundings at the drop of a thing you wear on your head. So why isn't this a thing? On the whole, it's really more important than whatever happens to Obel and the surrounding islands.
Because I've come to agree with Kyril. The Evil Eye must be destroyed.
Turns out, it actually is something the rest of the world has their eyes on! And not just during that whole war business, but people were sent out to get their hands on it years before that.
The Evil Eyes and the Rune Cannons themselves were created from beings summoned from another world. But now those creatures are dead and gone, and no more Rune Cannons can be made. So I've decided to stay with you to track down the last Evil Eye. That's what I told Heinz.
How's that for integrating Suikoden IV's weird shit with the game world?
Wow. Thanks, Coop. We need all the help we can get.
Actually that is a lie because we only have room for ten people and you are not one of them, but as previously stated it's nice to have people keeping the bench warm for when people who matter swap out so Rene can do her thing.
Glad to have you on board.
The pleasure's all mine, pal!
And mine, because I'm pretty sure this means the text wall is about to end and I won't have to type up any more dialogue in a bit.
That's more like it!
What was that?! Sounded like... Heinz...!
We'll have to wait to find out what happened to Heinz, however, because we are under attack! For the second and final time on this map.
Same conditions as usual...
...but the party is a good chunk larger than we're used to! (Monster hunting maps actually tend to have room for more characters as well, but there hasn't been much reason to care about that.)
Here you can see the entire enemy group. With that few of them and so many of us, you can bet there'll be reinforcements!
No reason to rush ahead, though. Some of our squishier people don't want to get too close to those soldiers until we're in range to start hitting them, so we'll just let them come to us. Right now, there's only one of them who can reach us, and he can only attack Lino. This ought to be fun!
I don't know why someone thought it was a good idea to put these things up here but Lazlo will be in charge of opening them. This one has a second Ogre Breath. We're sure to find it handy!
Finally, Flare and Lino are together on a map. I think we might actually get something that isn't basically YOU ARE A PRINCESS! GET OFF THE BATTLEFIELD!
Sorry to keep you waiting.
That's okay. Let's get to it!
All right. Time for me to flex my muscles, too!
Not very long, not very interesting, but it does give a sense of "hey, looks like we're killing dudes together again" which feels rather natural between those two.
Oh, how nice of you to line up like that...
It'll take a while before I can trigger that spell, though, so let's get some more supporting done.
I'm actually somewhat upset that Kika doesn't support with Lino, because I always thought they seemed to get along pretty well. But then again they were basically the only people in IV who had personalities, so, maybe I'm just seeing things.
I've heard many tales of your exploits. Before you ask... they've all been positive.
Also there's the fact that both of them have a ton of supports already and Lino joins pretty late in the game, but it'd make more sense than the random spear chick from Kooluk at any rate.
Oh. Is that so? I'm honored.
But not surprised. Because this is Kika we're talking about.
Anyway, Good Will.
The casters lay down some terrain which all the spear guys will be walking away from when their turns come up.
And there we go! The closest swordsman tries, and fails, to hit Lino. Well done.
Lino stabs him and gets countered. That doesn't do much either.
Rita is a bit behind now, but she has the drop earrings and a berserker belt, which makes her somewhat competitive. Sadly, the level she gets from finishing Lino's opponent isn't that great.
Oh, for me? You shouldn't have!
Champo is also a bit behind... somehow. I was expecting more, really.
Lazlo continues his chestbreaking rampage. This time, it's a Guardian Vestment. We'll see what that does next time... unless I forget. That's always a possibility.
I'm always amazed when I see this kick in. It's like... wow! There's a skill that allows a specific class to shut down another specific class, and it actually works!
Lino does some more stabbing, from a kangacorn this time. And, well, can't complain too much about this level!
Then Rita gets another semi-crummy one by tossing a bead. As always, beads are a great way for low level characters to get EXP when they can't bash skulls.
I know the numbers here are kind of distracting, but I feel I should point out that Kyril got hit with Breath of Ice, which is why he's on blue terrain. That hurts almost as much as the spell.
Ornela overkills the dude so hard it causes reinforcements to fall out!
Not just a few of them, either!
It's all good, though. I was about to run out of enemies!
Actually we're still pretty close to it.
The owl riders finally get moving now that we're in range, but they are entirely ineffective. Two attack Ornela...
...for something I'm barely even going to consider damage, and get countered for triple digits in return.
Not great, but not too bad.
One caster less to worry about, and Champo is doing something about that damage output. Good kitty!
Ornela got a Unicorn Rune, but she's wearing armour instead of a Master's Vest. That makes it a little trickier, but this is a great opportunity.
A bunch of more dudes spawn in at this point, but I don't even think they're trying any more. Around this point, I also have Lazlo tag out for Rene because there is one last treasure on this map and it's not in a chest.
I'm loving that last hit. Lino
...loving this a whole lot less. Lino
Oh no! One of the enemy mages cast Silent Lake!
Pity about all the people he hit with it! I mean, if Wendel and Flare had actually been within the area of effect when it went off, I might have needed two hits to kill this dude.
Ornela hops on a kangacorn in an attempt to distract this guy, but it doesn't work. Wendel is going to get zapped.
Kika, meanwhile, just doesn't give a fuck.
Well, okay, maybe a small one.
Lino kills one mage from owlback to avoid the icky blue terrain...
...and Wendel does away with the last one because she deserves some fun after that nasty shock earlier.
Roget, meanwhile, sleepwalks through the encounter with the last reinforcements.
Oh, you actually think we'll let you finish a spell with casting time?
About time! We'll see how "perfect" it is the next time I can actually equip people.
Rita gets another crummy level by throwing a completely unnecessary mega medicine at Roget...
...who finishes the battle on his next turn. As usual, we get nothing for this because we already have the S-rank from last time.
This really was a fun map - lots of people on both sides, close enough to start killing each other on the first or second round, and it doesn't drag on. As always, I love the gameplay in Tactics in general, but this one was extra good.
We never find out what happened to Heinz, but it's pretty clear what the end result was. This might be good to watch.
"Living with that horned freak left Walter no choice but to leave Scarlet Moon. But I had no idea that telling our superiors about the beast would turn Walter into an exile..."
Are you talking shit about my goat
Wait, is he talking about--?
how many other "horned freaks" do you know about come on seneca get a grip you are smarter than this
"I never thought Walter would actually leave the empire to protect that thing. He never understood that the damn creature was the source of all our troubles. A fool to the end..."
You are talking shit about my goat! Better watch out before I find a way to summon you back to the world of the living so I can kick your behind in person.
"You were kind of a douche. Not even a very memorable one, just kind of a douche."
But whatever Kyril has to say...
...we don't get to hear it.
I just hope that Yohn isn't taking it too hard.
Eh, she'll be fine. Goats usually are. They're pretty amazing, really.
As far as I know, he wasn't as bent on taking them back as Heinz was. It always seemed to me that he was simply investigating the devices. He had a curious mind.
If, sadly, occasionally somewhat one-track.
Maybe he never even meant to return. After all, he couldn't go back with Yohn. Maybe he just wanted to find out for himself...
Hmm... You may be right.
And so the chapter draws to a close.
And another one begins.
We have time for another nap before we get into that, though.
What is it, Andarc? You look like something's bothering you.
Kyril, I owe you an apology. It's about your father, Walter...
Oh... You mean his... profession.
Yes. I lied about him being an engineer...
I figured that out a while ago.
Kyril, ladies and gentlemen.
Did you overhear us talking?
I knew just from your body language. You guys get really uncomfortable when you're not telling the truth.
That has to be really inconvenient, especially if you're trying to raise a child!
Please forgive me, Kyril... It never felt right, keeping all this from you!
You don't have anything to worry about, Andarc. You were just thinking about me, right?
Once I figured out my father's true line of work, I realized why you would try to cover it up.
There's no need to apologize, Andarc. It's okay.
How about we get some shut-eye?
So Kyril walks away.
Heh heh... Did you really expect anything less?
At this point, I don't think anyone really expected anything less.
Anyway, time for the usual stuff. Again, we have a full ten people, and again I'm letting you pick eight.
However, this time things are a bit different. Mostly because we are entering the final dungeon! We really don't want to bother to start training up new characters now; we have a scumbag to slay. Therefore, all characters who have never been voted into the party before are hereby benched. (Reason for this being, anyone who has never been used has no skills beyond what they start with, and it's going to take tens of thousands of points to get them up to scratch.)
Affected characters are: Simeon, Reinhold, Frederica, Selma, Jewel, Paula, and Busk. Everyone else who was valid for the last vote is still fine for this one.