Part 3: The will of Providence
We now have a better understanding of why our party dreaded this meeting. All that remains is to see how the Queen takes the news.
Maybe she's feeling a bit guilty.
The people of that town still cling to that dried-up land, living out their pathetic existence...
Hopefully some good will come of this after all!
Or maybe not.
Oh crap. (music)
"But muuum! I don't wanna oppress the peasants!"
How can I, you ask? How dare YOU -- my own flesh and blood -- ask such a question? Those people committed an unpardonable SIN. That's why!
That's why for many years I had complete faith in them. That's why I looked upon them with such favor.
But on that fateful day two years ago, they betrayed me in the worst possible way! They banded together and began a savage uprising, plunging the nation into confusion! They ravaged the East Palace and even stole the Dawn Rune... One of the Three Runes, the very symbols of the Falenan royal family!
And so I, Arshtat, the Queen of Falena, brought down my judgment and vengeance upon them, by the will of Providence!
I think we've gone so far off the deep end here we've wrapped around and gone off it again.
W-With all due respect, Your Majesty! You have every right to be angry... But in Lordlake, the damage extends to women, children and the elderly! People who had nothing to do with the uprising!
Personally I'd just have kept my mouth shut, but...
...we have to give Lyon some support here.
Predictably, it doesn't go over well.
I do not MAKE mistakes! The Sun Rune always lends its divine protection to the just!
Perhaps we should adjourn for now and let them rest.
I will... hear the rest of your report later...
For now, you may go and get some rest.
(Sun Palace theme)
Yeah, I'll say...
Well, what are you going to do now?
Guess I'd better make an appearance in the guard room.
Well, look at you, turning into "Mr. Serious" the second we get back to the capital!
You know me.
She turns to Frey and Lyon.
What are you two going to do?
Heh, like I need to ask. You'd better go see your little sister. Bet she's waiting for you.
We haven't met the princess yet, but how you react when she's mentioned will establish what kind of relationship Frey has with his sister. I could hold a vote on this, but I'm going to go all monarchy on your behinds and decide that Frey isn't a terrible person.
Princess Lymsleia sure loves her big brother. Better hurry over and say hello.
Yeah, you two go on ahead. Your aunt here will be taking her sister's advice and getting some rest.
Good idea. Little ol' aunties really should go easy on themselves, after all.
Georg walks off.
Sialeeds follows him.
Hey, Georg, get back here!
...better run fast, Georg.
Then, we're back in control. Lyon will point out our next destination, but of course that means we should explore everywhere else first. I know how these things work!
I swear to guard it and the royal family with m-my life!
So we'll start with the east wing, and this unfortunate chap who, after a line like that, is more or less guaranteed to be the first to fall when the Mongolian hordes invade.
We can also talk to the other guard up north here:
Guard: Her Majesty's husband is both Commander of the Queen's Knights and Grand General of the Falenan Army. But over the years, those offices have really been little more than honorary titles. There aren't many examples in history of people who've actually fulfilled both roles like Commander Ferid.
I promise I won't be transcribing every single NPC line in the game, but some of them are actually quite interesting, although the fact that Ferid is a huge badass shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone.
I'm very sorry, but I'll have to ask you to come back a little later.
This is our next actual destination, but we can't get in until we dick around in the castle for a bit. So, commence the dicking!
But all I can see when I shut my eyes is Lady Sialeeds. It's keeping me awake! I don't know what to do about it...
I'm choosing to believe it's because he's terrified of her. It's not entirely implausible.
The prince's private room is on the second floor, complete with save spot (that's the glowing orb thingy) and maid.
Maid: Shall I fetch the royal pajamas?
As pleasant as that sounds...
No, thanks. I haven't seen Lym yet.
...we have a sister to hunt down first.
Maid: Oh, that's very sweet of you, Prince Frey! No matter how tired you are, you always think of your little sister! The princess will be so glad to see you!
Lyon has a room next door. It's not quite as nice, but not bad.
And at the end of the corridor, a storage room.
But Queen Arshtat sold off her mother's treasures to fund the rebuilding after the Armes invasion. And because of that, Falena's back to its former glory eight years after the attack. In fact, it's better than ever!
Of course, that means there's little of interest for us to loot, but we can pick up a set of Refined Clothes from the upper chest (Frey comes with a set; they're not great), as well as...
There's nothing in there now, sir, but the Rune expert might be helpful if you want information.
In the middle of the second floor, there's this huge spiral staircase. It looks a bit out of place.
Uh... is there something you need here, Your Highness? Since the Queen took the Sun Rune, the Sealed Room is empty now.
We're going in anyway. (Partly because the Sealed Room has its own music.)
Well, you've come all this way. The least I can do is share a bit of knowledge about Runes... So, what is it that you want to know?
Frey can ask three questions, and he's not allowed to back out once he starts. We'll do them in order.
Chief RuneKeeper: Hmm... Well, in a nutshell... You probably know all about how the world is made up of forces, right? Water, wind, earth... Competing and combining with each other, these forces together shape everything. Now, each Rune symbolizes one of those forces, so they say. Of course, the Runes predate humanity, so no one really knows for sure.
Some help you are.
Is that a Rune on Mother's forehead?
Frey really shouldn't need to ask this question, but he does it anyway, for the sake of the viewers:
Chief RuneKeeper: Well, you see, one who bears a Rune upon their body gains the ability to harness that Rune's power. The Water Rune grants the power of water. The Wind Rune, the power of wind. You get the idea.
"But of course no one in their right mind would equip a wind rune. ...please don't tell your aunt I said that."
Chief RuneKeeper: So you can imagine what the Sun Rune does. That's right -- the power of the sun itself. And that's what Her Majesty used on Lordlake when...
Ahem... That's another matter entirely.
...still not very interesting. Finally...
What are the 3 Runes of Falena?
Spell out "three," damn it. It's not that long.
Chief RuneKeeper: Ah, you mean the Sun Rune, the Dawn Rune and the Twilight Rune! Well, the Sun Rune is blessed, you see. It brings the Queendom of Falena prosperity. And the Dawn Rune and Twilight Rune bring the Queendom protection, or so the legends say. Unlike most Runes, those three are each unique, and incredibly powerful. Especially the Sun Rune. No other Rune anywhere near here comes close. Some even say it's one of the "True Runes," all born together with our world at the dawn of time.
Perhaps we should leave it at that for today. If we delve too deeply into things like this, we'll end up talking forever!
You're just trying to hide the fact that you don't know jack about this.
We can also talk to his two subordinates. Starting with the guy on the left:
See, they always said that nobody should ever bear the Sun Rune on their own body. It's too powerful for any one person. That kind of power seduces and corrupts... Well, so they say. That's why our nation kept the Sun Rune sealed here on the statue for all those generations...
And then along came Her Majesty. She broke that tradition to punish Lordlake. I have to wonder if the Sun Rune's behind all those changes she's gone through lately...
Oh! I'm terribly sorry, Your Highness! Please, forgive me, and don't tell anybody what I said!
Can't exactly blame him for saying what I'm sure we've all been thinking. Finally, the third guy in here.
Rune Keeper: The East Palace's Dawn Rune, the West Palace's Twilight Rune, and the Sun Palace's Sun Rune... When these three are together, the Queendom of Falena will prosper in peace, so says the legend. But the Dawn Rune was lost in the uprising two years ago. And now Her Majesty is in possession of the Sun Rune.
...That leaves only the Twilight Rune. Perhaps there is no truth to the legend. Still, I hope this does not portend disaster on the horizon...
You don't have to pretend. It says "Suikoden" on the box. Disaster is more or less a given.
Climbing down again, we continue into the west wing. Two maids are keeping watch outside Sialeeds' door.
Maid: She had her right to the throne taken from her, not to mention the marriage... I know it's all about the throne and avoiding conflict within the royal family, but really! The poor thing!
This is probably less important than it sounds. We'll get a better explanation later on. Let's move on to the next.
Maid: Oh, Prince Frey! Are you looking for Lady Sialeeds? She just got back and went straight to bed. Do you have something urgent you need to see her about?
We don't, so...
No. Please let her sleep.
...we'll be nice.
Maid: A-Are you sure...? I don't have to...? Oh, thank you, Your Highness! Thank you so much!
Sialeeds is not a morning person.
Maid: ...Ahem. Very well, then.
The door on the left is another bodyguard's quarters, but no one is there, and the next one over...
...belongs to the princess.
Isn't Lym here?
Maid: Oh, no! This is awful. You must have just missed each other! Until just a little while ago, the Princess was waiting here for you to visit, Prince Frey... But she got tired of waiting, and went off with Lady Miakis to look for you! Could you to see if you can find her, Prince?
We'll get on that.
There's another maid we can talk to first, however.
Maid: No doubt it'll either be that Godwin lad or the Barows boy, but... Whichever of them it turns out to be, I don't like it. Oh, my poor little girl!
We can also chat up Lyon at this point, and...
Where could the Princess have gone?
...get nothing much of interest out of her. All right then.
All we have left is the first floor of the west wing.
Guard: The Princess? She came by just a short while ago with her bodyguard, Lady Miakis.
Sounds like we're on the right track.
But first, a side trip to the kitchen.
Maid: ...Oh, but I couldn't possibly ask Your Highness to help! Please, don't even think of it!
I couldn't, anyway. Looking after Lym is a full time job.
The guy in white by the counter is the chef.
Chef: Some Queens in the past would send chefs to the bottom of the Feitas River, just for cooking something they didn't like! But I don't get worried about such things. Her Majesty Queen Arshtat would never do anything like that.
Hmm, Her Majesty can get a little scary these days... No, no! What am I thinking?!
Sheesh, burn down just one revolting peasant village and you'll never hear the end of it!
Finally, the third person in here.
Head Chef: A-ha! Your highness! Welcome back, welcome back. You must be hungry. Can I interest you in a meal? You and Lady Sialeeds, off on that long journey -- I haven't served you two in ages! Time for a royal feast!
I like him.
Continuing on, there are a couple of more dudes hanging around in the rooms under Sialeeds' and the princess'.
Soldier: Arrgh! Ouch!
I-I'm sorry. I was wounded in the fighting eight years ago, and it still gives me trouble sometimes. As you may remember, Your Highness, it was a very bitter conflict that swiftly took its toll on both sides.
When Queen Falzrahm died, Falena was plunged into chaos. Tension between the factions nearly escalated to civil war. Seeing Falena on the brink of civil war, the New Armes Kingdom took it as an opportunity to invade! But Queen Arshtat and Commander Ferid didn't waste any time reuniting the Queendom. Differences were put aside, and we fought back the Armes forces as a single, united front! And finally, raging battle after raging battle later, we succeeded in driving their army out! And it was all thanks to Queen Arshtat and Commander Ferid's spectacular leadership. Two shining lights, rushing in to save Falena in its darkest hour -- it's proof of our divine protection of the sun!
That's a lot of words, but these little pieces of history flesh out both the setting and the characters. Even the cutscene at the beginning of this episode makes it clear that Arshtat isn't just some loon who burns down peasant villages for laughs, but this only makes it more clear.
Finally, we have this guy.
Guard: Oh, sorry, Your Highness! No, you can do what you like! Go, mingle with the lawbreakers if you feel the need!
So he says, but...
...we can't actually progress past this room a the moment. I'm sure it'll be important later on, because it even has its own music.
I don't remember exactly what it is that triggers the next event, but we've seen everything there is to see, so whatever it is we've done it now.
As evidenced by these two showing up when we head back to the guard room.
Obsequious Noble: Don't tell me she's considering getting him involved in politics someday...?
Haughty Noble: Ha! Lord Godwin and Lord Barows would never stand for that! A third player in their little tug-of-war?
Obsequious Noble: Not just any third player -- a royal! A royal male, no less! Ridiculous!
Haughty Noble: Yes, a Falenan royal male. They've always been useless. Waving to the crowds, that's all they're good for.
Well, that and marrying off to foreigners. Seriously, the Prince is as good as deadwood!
Well! I'm going to go find Georg and then I'm going to order him to throw you in the river.
Obsequious Noble: How rightly you speak! Ha, ha, ha!
But before Frey gets a chance to paint the hallway a nice bright shade of red...
...some guy shows up and gets in the way of his fun.
You never know -- some rogue knight might slip out of the guard room and come passing by... Okay?
Well, I suppose that works, too.
Haughty Noble: Wh-What are you talking about? W-We were just standing around having a little chat, that's all!
Well, yeah, but I can't exactly ignore what you're chattering about, me being a Queen's Knight and all...
You know, the part about the Prince being "as good as dead..."
Haughty Noble: What?! Don't be ridiculous! We never said anything of the kind!
Obsequious Noble: Of c-course not! Not "as good as dead"! "About as good as deadWOOD," he said...
Haughty Noble: Shut up, you idiot!
...I don't even have to comment on this. The comedy writes itself.
Obsequious Noble: Mmmph!
Oh, deadWOOD. Okay, well, no one's gonna care that you said THAT...
Not even Her Majesty...
Obsequious Noble: P-Please, no! I'm begging you! Please, I... What'll it take to keep this quiet?
Do a dance. Seriously, right now, do a dance. No, just kidding. Look, I don't wanna be a tattletale...
So just try not to bad-mouth anybody, eh? Especially right where I can hear you. Which is pretty much everywhere.
I think I like him.
Haughty Noble: Yes, sir...!
Obsequious Noble: O-Of course! We'll be good! We promise!
Haughty Noble: N-Now if you'll just excuse us!
They run off, completely ignoring Frey.
Hey, Prince? Lyon? You can come out now.
Curse this mirror-polished floor!
Thank you, Kyle.
I could have handled it, but, well, his way was pretty amusing as well so we'll be polite.
Ah, just doin' my job. And, hey, all that stuff they said -- don't worry about it. Court's filled with those kind of losers. Spend all your time worrying about each individual one, and you hair's gonna fall out.
I'll say. It's gone grey already!
Oh, yeah, by the way! Little late now, but... Welcome home, Your Highness, Lyon.
Hey, you guys should come visit the Queen's Knights' guard room with me! Been a while, right?
We have to do that one way or another, but...
Hmm, I'd better go see Lym first...
...we don't want the princess to start picking apart the palace stone by stone looking for us.
Oh, you're looking for the Princess? In that case, you really SHOULD go to the guard room. You guys keep missing each other, right? Going back and forth? If you wait in the guard room, she's bound to find you there eventually!
So let's go!
Well that or I could stand on that silly spiral staircase and shout, I guess.
...let's go with your suggestion.
Here's another thing we can complain about. So I will! Just not right this instant. Remember this screen for later, though.
Anyway, it means we have Kyle in our group. Much like Georg, he comes in at level 20, and more importantly...
...he has some really nice gear!
Let's take it.
Here you go, Lyon!
Then, we can proceed.
We get a little Lyon sprite on the loading screen this time. (Watch the scene!) (or listen to the music)
The two of them bow.
Huh? Where's His Majesty Ferid?
He went out through the back. He's a busy man, you know.
Me? Heh, nowhere. Just wanted to see the Prince, that's all.
That's ALL?! Do you ALWAYS take your duties so lightly?
His duties include making pesky nobles mess their pants in fright, right...? So it's all good.
The old guy steps in before it can degenerate into a slapfight.
Sir, you must be exhausted after your inspection of Lordlake.
Of course he didn't.
After all, Lordlake is your hometown, isn't it, Galleon? Ferid wouldn't make you go there. The guy's not heartless, you know.
Yes, but I have already been back there once. His Majesty needn't protect me.
But, Galleon, I don't see how you could EVER come to terms with it!
It does seem pretty harsh.
Hold your tongue, Kyle!
Her Majesty imposed a suitable punishment on those traitors, plain and simple! She did what a Queen has to do! And we, the Queen's Knights, have NO business second-guessing her!
Of course, treason is a serious crime.
Yeah, that's what you say, Alenia, but...
But it seems unusually harsh given what we know about the queen outside the little rune-influenced episode earlier.
Even this early on, it's safe to say there's more to this situation that we can see right now.
They must serve their penance.
There is a reason I picked the "politics" tag for the thread.
I'm sorry, guys, but I think the Queen went way too far...
The Sun Rune is proof enough that this nation and Her Majesty have heaven's divine blessing! It's only natural the Rune's judgment would come down on anyone who dares defy Her Majesty's authority! If you ask me, I don't think Her Majesty has used the Sun Rune enough!
I get the feeling Alenia is the type who'd be whining that the queen is "soft on crime" if she hadn't used the Rune back then.
Yeah, right! You're starting to sound just like Lord Godwin.
That name is... a bit unfortunate.
...And on that note, I don't know if I can trust a Knight who's merely a pawn of the Godwin family.
Insolent fool! You're one to talk, seeing how you're just a mouthpiece for the Barows family!
But of course it's not quite as simple as the nazis versus the at-least-they're-not-nazis.
Ridiculous! You don't know what the hell you're talking about!
The Barows may be a bit less trigger happy, but of course they're dicks in their own special way.
I wish they'd tell me your name so I can stop thinking of you as Sephiroth, because it really doesn't go with your personality.
(zahak dot png) Do you realize how disgracefully you're acting in front of His Royal Highness?
We are terribly sorry, Your Highness.
It's a complicated situation and it's only natural that there are differing opinions. And at least you're not calling me "deadwood" where the entire castle can hear you.
You are most kind, Your Highness.
He bows. (music)
But we should be protecting the royal family, not getting involved in private quarrels that might affect our duties.
Kyle, especially you.
Your manner of speaking sounds like criticism of Her Majesty. You should restrain yourself a little.
Suddenly, Frey's dad out of nowhere! (music)
Some rather varying degrees of bowing here.
As you all know, Her Majesty has been troubled ever since the split between the two factions of the Senate.
Some people may believe that knights must give absolute obedience to their master. But that's not true loyalty.
...But, at the very least, in this room, I want us to be able to express our views openly, without fear of reprisal.
Ferid is the best.
(even if he still can't pronounce his son's name)
When you two have thoughts and ideas of your own, please don't be shy about sharing them with us.
The Queen's Knights are known for their artistry with a blade. But they also have much wisdom and insight to impart. Be wise and heed their words.
They won't be imparting much wisdom today, but we'll keep it in mind for future reference.
All right, here we go. Seriously, game? That was like 20 steps at the very most! Do we really need to sit through these joining and leaving messages every single time?
...the answer is yes, by the way. Yes, we do. Every. Single. Time.
We can now go around and talk to the knights.
I thank you for voicing concern to Her Majesty regarding the situation at Lordlake. I am truly grateful.
Sounds like the Godwins want to use the Sun Rune to become a powerful force and broaden the country's borders...
And the Barows faction is aiming for domestic and foreign stability without the use of Runes, eh?
*sigh* Every country has its share of conflicts among its nobles, but it's much worse here because of the Runes. It's particularly sad that the Queen's own Knight can't even agree.
This may be Georg's first appearance, chronologically speaking, but he's clearly seen quite a few things already.
A word, if you will, Prince Frey. His Majesty Ferid says the House of Godwin is responsible for all our troubles. Do you believe that, too?
So far we don't know that much about the other faction, so...
I really don't know.
...we'll hold off blaming everything on one or the other just yet.
The Godwins care about our country's future! It's the only reason they want to put the Sun Rune to use! It's absurd to think they're playing tricks with Her Majesty!
I wouldn't go that far, but it would be rather absurd to accuse them of being the only ones doing it.
No, we have to look out for the House of Barows! Their fear of change is putting our country at risk!
Since His Commandership feels we should express our views... I personally feel His Commandership's actions are taking idealism to an extreme. What Falena really needs are disciplined Queen's Knights ready to act upon the will of Her Majesty.
No, sorry, Zahakiroth, I'm inclined to agree with Ferid here. (But then again he's my dad, and also totally awesome.)
Kyle is hanging around the back of the room.
Huh? What do you mean?
Apart from being several times my level?
It's not like this is a bad thing, but we still don't know too much about Georg. Not ONE of the Queen's Knights can match his skill in combat without Runes, except maybe His Majesty Ferid.
"I heard he once bore the Rune of Punishment, but the Rune jumped ship when it realized it was the one taking damage every time he cast a spell."
Also, I heard a rumor that before Georg came to Falena, he served as a general in a land far to the north.
Another thing you'd find out if you investigated Georg in Suikoden II is that he was one of the Scarlet Moon Empire's Great Generals, some time prior to the first game. The most you'll hear about it there is a guy who talks about the "The Six... I mean Five Great Generals" and II doesn't mention it outside that investigation, either.
Makes me wonder about his connection to His Majesty. Just what convinced him to bring Georg here?
I think you answered your own question there when you admitted he's better than you.
Ferid has a little room to himself. The door is to the right of Kyle's position, just off camera.
I haven't seen her yet.
Well, I think you should check on her.
I know you're tired, but I'm begging you! Please check in on her... for my ears' sake!
Next time, we'll see what he means by that!
The designs for the royal couple seem to have been decided fairly early, but Arshtat's hat is a bit different here, and at some point Ferid was wearing an eye patch. I guess they decided it was too much when Georg already has one.