Part 16: Things that go Thump in the nightWe're done with the East Palace and will be heading on to the holy land of Lunas. Why is it holy? No one knows! (At least, no one who hasn't played the game before.)
You've seen everything there is to see in the area already, but one thing you haven't seen is Georg hitting things without numbers popping out! This is an effect of the Killer Rune, which Georg comes permanently equipped with in his right hand. (He has one in II as well, but that one is removable.) Apart from upping your crit rate by 50%, the Killer Rune gives you a 10% chance to oneshot the enemy.
One interesting thing about this is that it will play the character's full attack string when it activates. Since Georg only ever hits once, though, that doesn't mean much for him.
We've gone straight north from the palace. This area isn't very large and even with your map in the sorry state it's in, you're unlikely to get lost.
Lunas might not be as green as some of the locations we've seen, but it's quite impressive nevertheless. Nice waterfalls! (music)
It sure is!
So this is the holy land of Lunas, huh?
Everyone just stands around for a bit taking in the scenery. Don't get so close to the edge, Lym!
I haven't been here since Arshtat became Queen, but it's just as beautiful as ever.
And this time, there's a reason for it! (As opposed to all those times when the water sparkles anyway, just because it can.)
It's gold dust. You can find deposits of gold up the river from here.
Okay Frey, he hasn't tried to throw you in jail or anything yet, so let's try to be diplomatic. There's more than enough time to start hating him later.
This way, please. The Oracle has been anticipating your arrival. (music)
The boss around here. Well, let's not keep the Oracle waiting.
Now we're free to move about Lunas, but all the NPCs will be saying things like GO SEE THE ORACLE FIRST, NUMBSKULL until we go where we're supposed to.
I pick up this on the way, though.
More bling for Frey! (It ups MDF by 1.) I'd have given it to Lym, but she's not old enough to have stats yet.
So, let's meet that oracle. (music)
I can't believe it!
Have... have we met?
After all those baths we took together! (music)
Don't look at me like that! I have no idea what she's talking about!
Who do you think you are?! Get your hands off of Frey!
Lym! You're little Lym, aren't you!
...at least she's not as ridiculously strong as Ferid. That's something, I guess.
Oh yeah, and weren't you supposed to keep crazy people away from us...? That was kind of the job description, wasn't it?
L-Let go of me! Let go of me, I gell you!
I'll do nothing of the sort! You're too cute!
Well, lady Haswar, it's nice to see that you still love children as enthusiastically as ever.
Don't tell me that this woman is...?
Yup. Meet the Oracle.
Sh-She's the Oracle?
The one and only. Of course, she's just "Cousin Haswar" to Arshtat and me.
Oh, goodness! Of course I meant when he was a baby.
Whenever Arshtat was too busy, I got to baby-sit the little darling.
I bet he was super cute back then, huh?
And well behaved, too, unlike certain other babies I could mention.
...And here I was hoping for a good story. Nuts.
But now that little pudge ball has turned into such a fine young man! And Lym's become an absolutely adorable little girl, too...!
I just can't stand it! I want to keep the pair of you as my own!
Err... Heh, heh... Nothing we'd like more.
Excuse me, Oracle. I believe it's time to start preparations for the purification rite.
Oh, is it that time already? Ah well.
All right, Lym. Let's take you to the back and start getting ready.
Don't be so nervous! There won't be anything difficult about it.
Will you come help, too, Miakis?
Sorry, Frey, but you can't see her until she's ready. Do you think you'll be able to find something to do? You probably won't get many chances to visit Lunas again, so maybe you should have a look around while you're here. Isato, show them around, okay?
As you wish.
I guess we go our separate ways, then. Lym, Miakis, you come with me to the back.
Then we're thrown out. The NPCs will talk to us now, so we'll go around interrogating them for a bit. Most of the ones up here have very little of interest to say, but...
...this one provides backstory.
Cleric: She went on to become the very first Queen of Falena. Because she descended here, Lunas is now known as a holy land.
That's interesting! All of this happened some 700 years ago.
Cleric: The legend divulges no details about the origins of the first Queen. But that adds to the mystery, don't you think?
Bah. If I were to hazard a guess, it's because of things like this that Jeane has pink hair now. But hell, feel free to blame her anyway.
Lunas looks neat, but somewhat unsafe.
The little cave thingies sometimes have people in them...
...and sometimes they have goodies. Occasionally both.
I love my homeland, of course. But all the ups and downs are starting to take their toll on my knees.
Don't worry! With any luck, you'll stumble off one of these horribly unsafe platforms and break your neck before they give up.
But if we allowed gold mining, the forest would be chopped down and the river polluted practically overnight! It'd be too damaging to the holy land. That's why, for generations, the Queen has always refused to allow mining.
There are some nobles pushing hard to get permission to mine here. I think it's a disgraceful idea.
Why must you hippies stand in the way of progress
A couple of steps later, another scene begins. (no music)
What's with that kind of attitude? You're being very rude to His Highness the Prince and Lady Sialeeds.
It's so weird, having an elf stand up for me.
Enough! The Oracle does not wish to be queen. You should know that.
Cleric: Hmph. If you'll excuse me!
I'm very sorry about that. Please pardon his lack of courtesy.
Um, that's all right...
We could also ask what he meant by that...
What was that all about?
...but if we don't, someone else will do it for us.
Forgive me. I'm afraid it is not my place to say.
There was a conflict over the throne. (music)
Georg, have you heard of Nether Gate?
Nether Gate. It means "the entrance to hell." It's the name of an assassin group, once under the direct control of the Queen.
Oh yeah. Now that you mention it, I did hear about it once a long time ago. But I've never seen any sign of the group in Falena, so I figured it was just a nasty rumor.
It doesn't exist anymore. Arshtat broke the organization up.
So, before that, it really did exist, then?
Yes. It was a covert force that did terrible things to support the power of the Falenan royal family. Sometimes, they were even asked to turn their weapons on members of the royal family itself.
Each sister was backed by powerful nobles and senators. Civil war seemed inevitable. And then... both of them started hiring Nether Gate assassins to kill people of the other side... Senators and nobles were found dead. The husbands of both sisters were assassinated, too.
Finally, the older sister couldn't take it anymore. She surrendered the right of succession to the younger sister. Once the younger sister legally became queen, the first thing she did... was have Nether Gate kill her sister.
That older sister was Cousin Haswar's mother. The younger sister was Arshtat's and my mother... the previous Queen.
Arshtat, Cousin Haswar and I all watched that horrible conflict. So when the previous Queen suddenly died after only two years on the throne... we made a pact. Haswar and I abdicated any right of succession, and we both vowed to never get married or have children. Arshtat then joined with Ferid to break up Nether Gate. We all made a few sacrifices to avoid civil war.
It's not the bloodiest tale of royal succession I've heard.
So, it wasn't the previous Queen, but actually the previous Queen's older sister who should have taken over. And, by that line, the following queen would have of course been Lady Haswar, that older sister's daughter...
I realized this story might come out, so I came looking for you. I'm so sorry you had to find out about it like this. Don't get too upset about it, okay?
I'm glad Arshtat became queen, myself. Right after the previous Queen died, Armes ruthlessly attacked us. And the only reason we managed to hold out was because Arshtat did such a wonderful job as queen. If I had been the queen, we would all be the subjects fo Armes right about now...
F-Forgive us! Of course, none of us think that...!
Haswar does a little jog on the spot.
It's a bit of an info dump, but I like it, not least for the characterisation. It was a shitty situation, but Haswar seems to have managed to put it behind her much better than Sialeeds. Of course, Sialeeds is still hanging around the scheming assholes in Sol-Falena, and Haswar has a sparkling gold waterfall outside her window. I imagine that helps.
Well, shall we head back? Lym should be just about done with her meditation exercise.
Can't really see Lym meditating. Can see her trying and failing, though. And then throwing things at Miakis when she makes fun of her.
Most of our party heads off, but Lyon just stands there staring into the distance.
Oh, y-yes! I'm coming, Your Highness!
Good. 'course, the smart thing would be to ask her what's wrong...
...but she still isn't talking.
We can now go back to the main area, but there are several caves we haven't explored yet. This will come in handy eventually: it's the magical version of the Power Rune, halving your magic defence but upping your magic damage by 50%. I also pick up a Water Orb in one of the other rooms, which means all that money I spent on Lyon's rune back in town was a complete waste.
After returning to the area where we met Haswar, we're transported to this location. (music)
I'm sorry, but I'm afraid the men will have to leave. Just one of those things.
Frey! No peeking!
What kind of person do you think I am
Of course I won't.
Oh... well... I didn't think you would, of course...
Hmm? Don't tell me you want him to peek, Princess?
dammmit suikoden, not even fire emblem wants to deal with this shit these days
get with the times
D-D-Don't be ridiculous!!! Why would I want him to peek?!
I-It's just that... well.... I thought I might feel kinda lonely all by myself...
Don't worry, Lym. They call it a "rite," but it's really mostly like a bath.
Besides, Lady Sialeeds and I will be right beside you.
Hear that, Frey? Are you really sure you don't wanna peek?
And here I was all happy we hadn't been getting any creepy Japanese bullshit.
It's a "flat stare, I-can't-believe-you're-asking-me-this" kind of "......"
Too bad no one seems to have interpreted it as such.
R-Right. Of course you were kidding! What a relief!
Well, we'd better leave! The rite is about to start!
Could you, Isato?
As you wish.
This way, please.
Fine, fine, you little tyrant.
Lyon and the guys follow Isato outside.
That guy would trade his life for one peek at that bath.
I-I bet you're right...
Then we can talk to Lyon...
...and totally go back on our word...
...but our next order of business is to head on back up to the main area.
Naturally, it's not going to be as simple as just heading in and having a nice cup of tea while we're waiting.
(insert pause where I go make myself a nice cup of tea, but I have no screenshots depicting that, so you'll just have to take my word for it)
What's the matter?
I thought I heard voices! They sounded like they were coming from upriver... Does anyone live there?
No. It's forbidden for anyone to enter the area upriver from Lunas. I'll go examine it. All of you, please head back and rest.
What? And miss out on all the action?
I think not!
No, that's not necessary.
We won't let you go up the mountain all by yourself at night. It's too dangerous.
The more people you have with you the better, don't you think?
Very well, then. Thank you for your help.
He's so sensible! I may have to re-evaluate my opinion on the elven racehahahahahaha.
This is the path to the mountain. Let's go.
And so we do. Past the save spot, there's a pleasant little mountain path.
With pleasant little killer rabbits on it. Of course, we slaughter them horribly. Isato comes with a bow, so naturally he kills things by... rushing at them and beating them with it? Eh, it's a formation skill, so just roll with it.
Lyon also has a new line here. Silly Lyon, we all know they'd never make us go all the way out here if there wasn't something interesting here!
I like how they're sitting on top of the water. Because clearly, using the water physics from the fountains at Obel in IV was far too much work.
There are a lot of suspicious people in Falena.
How dare they!
Isato is very, very serious about his job.
Uh-oh! Quick, put out the lamp!!
So she does. (music)
Wha? Lun! Where'd ya go!
Over here, pop!!
So of course they collide.
"... you two wouldn't happen to be related to a guy named Euram, by any chance?"
So we tie them up and drag them back to Haswar's place. (music)
That's right. The man is names Logg. The girl is Lun. Apparently, they're father and daughter.
Damn... How'd they catch us?
How d'ya think?! You're walking around in the middle of the night with a lamp, you idiot! Of course we're gonna get caught!
Don't be callin' your pop an idiot! Without a lamp, how we gonna see the gold dust, huh?!
I'd make some kind of comment about this, but...
I don't think I could have managed a better than this.
What d'ya say?! You rotten little brat!
I wouldn't call me names like that. You just committed treason on top of theft!
She looks so happy about it.
"Mother said you're not a real queen until someone hates you enough to commit treason!"
Hey, Pop! We're in big trouble! That little brat -- I mean, young lady -- is Princess Lymsleia...!
And that's Prince Frey... and that's Lady Sialeeds...
I'm really sorry! I'm sorry my idiot Pop was so rude!!!
All right. All right. That's enough, now.
Ya mean you'll let us off the hook?!
There's something awfully familiar about Logg's portrait...
For the treason part, yes.
Trying to steal gold dust is a serious offense. They should be punished severely. They violated the holy land!
But, I'm tellin' ya! We didn't mean nothin' by it!
That's right! You gotta believe us!
Hmm. What do you think we should do, Frey?
Why are you asking me all of a sudden?!
But really, I don't think they're clever enough to be malicious.
I disagree! If we let those two walk away with Lunas gold dust, nothing will stop the nobles from coming in droves to mine the rest! The efforts of generations of Oracles to protect the holy land would all be undone!
...hold on now, I didn't say we should let them keep it!
Hold on a minute.
I've seen you two somewhere before... Don't you have some connection to the leader of Raftfleet?
Of this business becomes public knowledge, the relationship between the royal family and Raftfleet will sour.
And we can't afford any more enemies right now.
Are you saying we should just let them go free?!
No. We'll take them to Raftfleet ourselves and negotiate directly.
But is she a zombie snail?
I bet the punishment they get there makes whatever Isato had in mind look pretty wimpy.
Sounds sensible enough to me. Sialeeds always did have a better head for politics.
As you wish.
Just make sure that they're not punished too harshly. I really don't think they meant any harm.
Well, that's settled. We'll stop by Raftfleet tomorrow on our way home.
N-Now what're we gonna do...? This is gonna be real ugly...
Why should I think of somethin'? This is all YOUR fault, Pop! You idiot!
Well, it's late. Why don't we all get some rest? Isato, give these two a proper room to sleep in, you hear?
We're free to explore the place a bit before we go to bed, and since we didn't get the chance before, we'll do just that. (music)
They appear to have accepted their circumstances, but be on your guard, just in case.
As ordered, he put them in a regular room.
I'm sorry, Prince. Honest, I am! Back in Raftfleet, stuff in the river belongs to everyone. That's why I thought nobody'd mind if we took the gold dust! I didn't even stop to think we weren't in Raftfleet... I'm such a damn idiot!
They kind of remind me a little of Lym and Ferid, except dumber and less awesome.
Haswar has a room across the corridor.
Nighty-nighty! Sleep tight!
She also has company.
Cleric: The Oracle's father, Mardas, was Lord Godwin's cousin. I suppose that's where the strong affinity for the Godwin faction comes from among some of the clerics.
The Oracle has no interest in taking sides in any political battle, though. So I suppose we shouldn't, either. It's a shame we even have to think about taking sides, though...
We find Georg on the upper floor.
If the people there are anything like those two downstairs, I think I'm gonna like it.
They don't seem to be bad people, I guess.
Sialeeds is next door...
I wouldn't dare speak, or even think, of Father in that way!
But it seems natural for them, so I guess I can't let it bother me.
...and Lym gets a big room at the end of the corridor, right over Haswar's.
That purification rite was soooo invigorating! My skin feels silky SMOOTH! Lyon really missed out!
Miakis, always looking to the important things in life.
Finally, Frey has a room across from Lym's. That leaves... nowhere for Lyon to sleep? Maybe she can bunk up with Miakis or something.
Yeah. It's been a long day.
All right. Good night, then, Prince.
Lyon leaves, and Frey heads straight for bed.
But before he can fall asleep, an unexpected visitor shows up. (music)
Um... Do you, uh, mind... if I sleep here with you?
Frey could say no, but as previously discussed, he is not a terrible person.
She hops up next to Frey.
It's been a long time since we slept in the same bed like this. After the engagement ceremony is over, we probably won't ever get a chance to do this again... I'm glad I got up the nerve to come ask. Doesn't this remind you of when I was little?
You're still little, but I'm sure one day you'll be as big and strong as Ferid.
Well, maybe not quite that big.
Back then, I really used to look down on you, just because you weren't in line for the throne. I was such an awful little sister...
But, you didn't care... You still came looking for me...
...Stay... with me... the whole time... Frey...
The next morning, Frey wakes up on the floor. He sits up, rubs his aching head, and finds Lym sprawled sideways across the bed. "Oh yeah," he mutters. "That's why it's been so long."
This scene only happens if you have at least 13 Lym points. As usual, it's not very difficult if you don't go around being a dick to her.
Once everyone gets out of bed (and Sialeeds mauls the poor innocent cleric who came to wake her up), it's time to head back. (music)
Because Arshtat wants you home as soon as the purification rite is finished, that's how come.
In that case, Frey should come with us! You and Georg can go to Raftfleet by yourselves!
"Don't leave me alone with Miakis! You all know what she's like!"
But, seeing as we're going anyway, I want Frey to meet the leader of Raftfleet. Good friends make the strongest allies, don't you agree?
Take good care of her, Miakis.
I'll take VERY good care of this one, don't you worry.
Thanks for watching over us while we were here, you guys.
Well, let's all get going, then.
Oh, gosh, you have to leave already? Frey, Lym, come back again soon, okay?
And so we shall, but now, it's time to head to Raftfleet. Raftfleet is a pretty cool place. Next time, you'll see just how cool!