Part 1: Family Reunion
It begins! And not with not me fucking up the recording, in case you were wondering. The opening does have this black border around it. You should watch it.
Can you tell which ones of these people are playable characters?
Wind of phantom! This deliciously engrish-y titled track is what you would be listening to right now if you watched the opening like I told you to instead of just looking at the screenshots. Much like IV's opening, I wasn't too keen on it at first, but grew to like it eventually.
Like most Suikoden intros, we're presented with a number of things that may or may not happen during the course of the game. This one is actually important, which is why I'm showing it off. We'll probably all have forgotten about it by the time it becomes relevant, though.
This is the Sun Rune! I think most of us suspected it would show up at some point after the Moon Rune made an appearance, but it took a while for it to happen.
Where there are True Runes, plot lasers are not far behind.
Look at this nice idyllic scenery.
Fuck this nice idyllic scenery.
True Runes are dicks.
These ninjas don't look too pleasant either.
The queen appears quite unimpressed, though. "Yawn. This is like the sixth assassination attempt this week."
Bad things tend to happen to generic mooks who go up against named characters with plot lasers.
But enough about generic mooks - we have over a hundred exciting1 characters with actual names attached to them!
1) characters may not always be exciting
We have light houses!
We have something that looks an awful lot like a JRPG protagonist!
And we have a visual callback to Suikoden II! And I must say it looks a lot better this time around. (This should not be very surprising, given this is a whole generation of consoles later.)
A galaxy spins in the backgrounds while images of runes fly past. It looks like we're setting up for an epic story of... things.
oh god no leave me alone
We'll be seeing more of this bunch shortly, but first...
...title screen! Holy hell, 2006. Can you believe it's been that long since this game came out? But anyway, let's push start.
And as if I didn't have enough Goddamn Ocean flashbacks already, we start on a boat. Be kind to me, game!
But it's never going to get as bad as the Goddamn Ocean. Let's think positive! It's the start of a glorious adventure! And it's going to be a long one. You should watch the opening cutscene. (or at least listen to the music)
Just like Lazlo before him, the protagonist of Suikoden V starts off in a different outfit than the one he's wearing on the box. He looks pretty happy with it.
And uh, speaking of outfits...
...you know what, never mind.
The big guy in black mutters something like "yeah" as the camera pans up the river to reveal a city in the distance... moments before it gets covered up by the title of the game, in case we didn't catch that on the title screen.
Traditionally, the Suikodens haven't been much for that whole multiple portraits thing...
...but this one does it to a much greater extent. I'll be using slightly bigger portrait images this time so you'll actually be able to make them out.
Whether in the Imperial Capital or away, I'll always gladly do whatever it takes to protect the Prince!
As one might expect, Lyon will be glued to our side for most of the game. Fortunately, she is quite competent, even if she currently looks a bit underpowered compared to...
...the next guy. "Knight" is kind of an interesting character,
...and now he even has a name! Series veterans may remember him from the second game, where he was a very optional, very plot-irrelevant recruit who just happened to have ridiculous stats and command one of the best army units in the game. If you got your detective to investigate him, some very interesting things would pop up - but keep in mind that this game takes place some six years before the first, so we'll not get into most of the details yet.
Aw, that's so cute I might just throw up.
I think Sialeeds agrees with me. In her own way.
Heh! Sure is!
And Georg is just being Georg. That's quite sufficient.
Well, maybe not entirely sufficient.
When we get back to Sol-Falena, you'd better watch how you talk. Be polite and use the proper forms of address, okay?
Georg was going to walk into the palace being all "Yo, commander man! Break out the booze and let's celebrate my glorious return, which has more than doubled the strength of the royal army!"
You know, you are ever so right, Lyon! Georg may have forgotten, but I am the younger sister of our glorious queen.
Then the commander would smack him over the head and tell him to stop being so modest.
At which point Sialeeds would roll her eyes and make off with the booze while they were busy arguing percentages.
We're like one big happy family.
You say that, but we all know that if he went around calling you "Your Royal Highness" all the time, you'd throw him in the river.
But if Her Majesty hears a Queen's Knight addressing the Prince improperly, there'll be trouble, Georg. And think of Ferid, too! After all, he's the one who recommended you to the Queen's Knights in the first place...
I can't do coloured text unless I want to put it in someone's avatar, so let's just pretend I used blue letters there.
But jeez, lighten up! I thought the Queendom of Falena had more of a laid-back reputation than this!
Likewise, except this time it was green. vv
Considering the fact that they let someone like YOU become a knight, I think it's laid-back enough!
Can't say I care much for her fashion sense, but as long as she keeps that attitude, she can wear whatever she likes.
This sounds rather worrying, though.
Look sharp now, guys. We're about to arrive.
And just as she says that...
...the faceless NPCs take notice as well.
Part of the world map theme starts playing here. It's pretty good!
I can't complain too much about the water texture this time (although the sparkles are a bit weird), but check out the wall in the background. Fortunately it's usually not this noticeable.
But isn't this kind of a pathetic welcome for the Queen's sister and the Prince?
Yeah, well, what else can we expect? In Falena, male royalty aren't in line for the throne, so they aren't very important. And neither am I, apparently.
"Aw, that's a bit depressing."
"You okay there?"
Like Lazlo before him, the prince doesn't speak unless we tell him to, but he does emote a whole damn lot more than his predecessor. And thank fuck for that, because I'm not sure I could take another 60+ hours of Lazlo's cold, dead, fish-like stare.
"Oh," someone muttered in the background, "not this shit again." And yeah, I suppose playing another game as a boy named Sue is a bit unoriginal, but so help me, unless I get some better suggestions from the thread, that's exactly what's going to happen.
Envoy: Prince Sue! Lady Sialeeds! Welcome home!
None of this is voiced, so it's not part of the video.
Envoy: So, back from Lordlake! You must be exhausted. How was your trip?
Don't even ask...
Ugh! I just want to pretend it never happened!
I suppose that was about my reaction too, back when I first played this.
Just... Never mind!
Envoy: I... I see... Ahem! In any case, Queen Arshtat is waiting. Please, if you would, make your way to the Sun Palace...
...let's get back on track.
Our party follows the instruction they've been given...
...and we're getting closer and closer to the palace. Quite a nice looking town they've got here!
We'll be crossing that bridge more than once, but this time we're spared the trip. Instead, we cut straight to...
...Sue's loving father. (Watch this.) (Also new music.)
Maybe a little too loving.
Sue is a bit of a fragile boy.
Or perhaps it's just that Ferid is a badass on the same level as our good buddy Georg and doesn't quite know how to control his strength.
Please do. It would be a very short game otherwise.
Ah, Sialeeds! I'm glad to see you looking well, too.
Georg, Lyon, thank you for seeing the Prince home safely.
We still have that problem with getting to name your character in a voice-acted game, but at least we have a proper title STAR PLAYER OF THE ZANARKAND ABES they can use instead.
Yes, of course, sire!
Sialeeds and Lyon are like "What the fuck was that?"
Even Ferid is shocked by this uncharacteristic behaviour! So shocked, he even forgets to strangle his son.
Eh, I dunno. I was told to "mind my manners."
...but not for long.
"Seriously you guys, a little help would badjdsfdsdargh"
More than a few nobles aren't very happy with you, being a newcomer and all.
All right. I'll try to watch it. Wouldn't want to get you in trouble, Your Majesty.
Georg and Ferid, in case it wasn't clear enough, are the broest of bros.
Through all of this, this Sephiroth cosplayer in the background has been trying to work up the courage to interrupt our little family reunion...
...and now he seems to have finally managed it.
Hmm? Ah, yes. You're right. Your mother -- I mean, Her Majesty -- is waiting for you. You should hurry along and see her now.
Sorry, now's not the time. I know what you've all seen, but there's nothing I can do about it right now. Our first priority is to see Her Majesty.
No one seems to bee looking forward to that.
We can't put it off any longer, though. We've been announced and all. Twice, even.
Damn impressive throne room they've got here! We'll get a closer look at the walls shortly. (music)
Don't be shy now! Come closer. Let me get a good look at you!
Our party didn't seem too eager, but the queen seems quite pleased to see them.
We could be all formal and shit, but eh. It's our mum.
Sialeeds, thank you for all you've done. I wasn't quite so worried about the Prince, knowing that you would be with him.
Ah ha ha... And thank you, too, Georg. I'm grateful that you took on this task hardly worthy of your talents.
...wait fuck, that's the wrong flag. Guess I'll have to make a new one for this thread. Hold on a minute...
There we go! no one better buy :falena: either
And you, Lyon.
Lyon is hella nervous.
You're doing a fine job as the Prince's bodyguard. Well done. I'm sure the day will soon come when you'll be promoted to a full-fledged Queen's Knight.
I already consider it a great honor, one I hardly deserve, just to be allowed to be His Royal Highness' bodyguard!
"Besides, we'd have to assign someone else to stand guard while he's in the bath!"
"not in front of my mother Lyon"
Ah ha ha... It is such a great relief to me to know that the Prince is in such good hands. Please continue to take good care of him.
Yes, Your Majesty!
Lyon bows low enough to hit her head on the bottom of the screen.
But we're not just here for the pleasantries...
...and the rest of it isn't pleasant at all, judging by the looks of our party.
It seems we're about to find out what they were all so upset about...
...but that will have to wait for another time. And then, we may even get far enough to see gameplay.
For now, we have something more important to think about : names. I could just keep going as Sue, but, you know, thread participation and all. So give me some suggestions!
Here's some early concept art you can use for inspiration. (Clickable for larger version)
"I like orange! Did you know it's both a colour and a fruit?"