Part 108: The EndSuikoden V is over, and it's with the greatest glee that I find myself being able to end this run with update one hundred and eight. However, there are still a few minor things I have to go over before I can bid this thread farewell.
I wasn't going to show this off, but apparently I'm OCD enough that not doing so would bug me. It is, of course, possible (if unlikely) that you'll lose your duel with Gizel.
Doing so simply results in a standard game over. Which is not very interesting, but probably good in a sense, because then you don't have to see Lym's reaction.
More interestingly, should Lyon lose her duel with Dolph...
...there's an optional event.
Nice try, but it looks like I win. Prepare to die.
Like hell you will!
I see... You're next, then?
I'm going to enjoy this.
No, Prince, don't!
You just don't get it, do you? You're never going to defeat me. But go ahead. Maybe you'll eventually wise up.
And here's an optional duel! I'll confess I didn't actually know this existed.
Losing a second time results in a game over.
Forgive me... I...
Beating him changes very little.
But it's a cool addition they didn't need to make - I'm sure no one would have been surprised if losing with Lyon just resulted in a game over as well.
From here on, it's the same as if Lyon had won; Dolph explains his past, and Frey cures his status effects so hard he explodes.
(Damn, that felt good.)
Queens, past and present.
There were a couple of other things I didn't get around to showing off earlier in the thread.
First off, if you wuss out when Toma is being attacked, the rest of the party rushes ahead...
...and Sialeeds yells at you.
Frey also faceplants when he tries to follow them.
More importantly, if you blow off seeing Lym,
...but apologize when she turns up...
...she gets all flustered,
...and Miakis makes a Suikoden II reference.
Another semi-obscure event happens if you take the other choice in Lunas, way back during the evening when Lym is taking a bath. Unlike the last couple which were variations on scenes we've already seen, this leads to a whole new cutscene!
If you'll excuse me...
He runs off.
Do you think he'll be okay by himself...?
All right... Well, I hope so...
Lyon does not relax. She paces back and forth in front of the door, clearly feeling terrible about the whole thing.
I'm back! Ahh, the water felt wonderful!
A little while later, Haswar checks up on us... (no music)
Just in time.
???: Hey! We didn't mean to do no wrong! Just lemme explain!
It changes nothing in the end, but it's neat.
Speaking of things I never got to show off, Roog and Rahal kept dying before they could pull this off (), so instead I'm going to demonstrate Friends Forever on the world's unluckiest dragon.
Likewise, here is Creation, the Dawn/Twilight magic unite. Sadly, at the stage you can access it, the damage is not very impressive. The full heal, on the other hand, isn't too shabby. Heal spells in Suikoden V do not scale with MAG, so things like Kindness Rain only ever heals 300 HP. Mind, that's usually quite sufficient, but you may appreciate a 999 heal in the final battle.
I don't believe I ever posted Galleon's complete artwork. Also, another Frey concept, a little closer to the Knight Commander uniform he wears in the last scene.
Of course we have to take a look at the second cycle options.
The first thing you'll notice when you load your saved data is that you have no scene skip function. Come on, Konami! I know I whined about the on-screen instructions in the last ones, but that wasn't a suggestion to remove them along with the functionality! Especially since Suikoden V has many, long cutscenes... Bloody hell.
As with Suikoden IV, you keep any equipment not currently on someone when the game ends. In other words, if you used your Thunder Rune on the final boss, it's gone for good. The only gear that doesn't transfer if you took it off before beating the game is the... Sun... set. I don't know why; it's good but not gamebreakingly so. (Well, I believe trade goods and unappraised antiques also will not carry over, but no one really cares about those.)
Everything in the storage also carries over, although you obviously won't have access to it until you meet Chuck again.
You also keep your formations and trainer ranks (Georg can get you to SS in Lordlake, provided you picked up the last manual) and party SP, but all characters are reset to their initial states. Any chests that used to hold manuals or formations now hold 10000 Potch instead.
And because I can, here's one that we never used because it sucks if you have enough people to fill the blanks. This is what the form skill looks like.
The castle also retains some upgrades: any items you can hand in - such as books, fish, and vegetables - remain registered, and the stores will have their full inventories from the moment they join. Cornelio's music test is also available without recruiting any elves, thank fuck. Investigations and the comment box, however, do not carry over.
Lastly, you can now dash as if you had Cathari at all times, and Georg becomes available for the final battle, though taking him with you is a terrible idea since it uses powerful magic, and doesn't change the scenes in any way - he'll still be outside as far as the game's concerned.
All in all, it's a pretty good second cycle mechanic, with a few minor quibbles (just auto-unequip everyone before making the save! It's not that hard!) and one major one (give me my event skip button back!)
Traitorous scumbag artwork. Boo.
Speaking of event skips, there are some ways you can make Suikoden V's more blockheaded design decisions more bearable. If you're using PCSX2, you have a folder called "cheats" where it's installed. Create a text file named BCD0B7CD.pnach there, then paste any of the blocks below into that. These are all from here but need to be converted for the emulator; these are already converted for easy use.
It does what it says! Basically a Champion's Rune, but far better. It's not so much that the monsters are bad, but the load times... yeech.
// R3 + Up turns off encounters, R3 + Down activates encounters patch=1,EE,D089A39C,extended,0000FFEB patch=1,EE,2025C374,extended,00001027 patch=1,EE,D089A39C,extended,0000FFBB patch=1,EE,2025C374,extended,0C0D1798
Forging any weapon sets the weapon levels of all recruitable characters - whether they're recruited or not! - to "x" at the end of the second to last row, plus one. This is hexadecimal; numbers work as they always do and A is 10, B is 11, C is 12, D is 13, E is 14, and F is 15, which sets all weapons to level 16. I highly recommend this - just set it to the maximum Dongo can forge whenever you get a new hammer, and you've saved yourself a metric fuckton of tedium... not to mention, made new recruits useable.
// Forging sets all weapons to x +1 patch=1,EE,200C4300,extended,0000282D patch=1,EE,200C4304,extended,3C0400A1 patch=1,EE,200C4308,extended,A083E42B patch=1,EE,200C430C,extended,24840160 patch=1,EE,200C4310,extended,28A10086 patch=1,EE,200C4314,extended,1420FFFC patch=1,EE,200C4318,extended,24A50001 patch=1,EE,200C431C,extended,03E00008 patch=1,EE,203854C8,extended,2403000x patch=1,EE,203854D0,extended,080310C0
This can be handy for those times you're in a town with a new recruit and can only access NPC trainers.
// All trainers teach up to SS patch=1,EE,203A8CF4,extended,24020007 patch=1,EE,203A8D18,extended,24020007 patch=1,EE,203A9268,extended,24020007
You can now train any skill to any level for 1 SP a pop!
// Skill training costs 1 SP patch=1,EE,202CE6BC,extended,24020001
Aren't you a bit short for an elder god?
So, Suikoden V. As I've said, I feel Suikoden V is A Good Game despite its flaws, but it is quite heavily flawed in any number of ways. Its attempts at inspiring nostalgia fall flat most of the time; and the attempts at making us sympathise with the villains, even more so. It drops the ball on the mechanical side as well - part of what made the first two Suikodens fun to play was how quickly battles would zip by. V still has much of that, and the formation system adds some interesting options, but the loading times ruin much of the effect. It doesn't matter if the battle takes five seconds when the loading and unloading take twenty five. It's also lacking the comments from random characters in your party, one of the things I really liked about IV - although it's understandable since V has a lot more game to comment on.
Still, the positives outweigh the negatives. Suikoden V shines in its world building and (villains aside) character departments, and succeeds to a much greater extend than its predecessors at making the characters feel part of your group rather than just boxes to tick off, with many of them getting their own scenes and reasons. It also easily has the most expressive silent protagonist - though obviously not as much as III and Tactics, where they actually spoke.
I've heard a lot of whining about the prologue, but personally I find the parts where the game isn't doing the regular JRPG thing to be the strongest. The time and care spent showing the prince's relationship with his family makes the requisite orphaning compelling and weighty, even if, as I said, it's rather obvious that it's going to happen and could easily have been made less so, at least in Ferid's case. Lym is both stupidly well written and acted as far as child characters in JRPGs go. And there are many other showings of real care and effort, like those portraits that get used for a single scene - or even single dialogue box - and the letters you get if someone dies in battle.
All in all, this run has been quite enjoyable.
I have been unable to show off all the letters, bath scenes, investigations and old books, but check out the guides I'm linking here if you want to see more. The unite attacks are available on youtube, though as said, they are not terribly exciting this time around.
At one time, it seems Sialeeds was supposed to wear a Knight's uniform... or something vaguely like one, at any rate.
As usual, I'll share my memory cards; there's three of them this time because Suikoden V is long and only allows 30 saves per card, even though they could hold more... Well, they compress well, so no harm. The third one also has saves for the normal ending around slot 20. Note, however, that they're for the NTSC version of the game this time.
I have also uploaded what I hope is a complete collection of the artwork I've posted in the thread.
And that, I believe, is all I have to offer.
This has been Suikoden V. Until next time, enjoy this special bonus video of Gizel getting his face pounded in.