Part 25: The tastiest fishies in all of Falena
We've done all the faffing about we're going to get away with outside Raftfleet. Time to go meet with Raja. (music)
Never any need to get mixed up in things that ain't our business! But... maybe runnin' ain't the answer this time.
'Course, we can still faff about in Raftfleet. As you can probably guess, most of the NPCs have new lines after the move.
Old Man: Ah, Your Highness. Things ain't goin' so well, eh?
You could say that.
One thing is going well, though. They've restocked their trade goods!
Watch out! Somethin' about that guy gives me the shivers up an' down my spine! He's got the face o' a man who'd sell his own children fer power and money, he does! I'm tellin' ya!
An' I ain't disagreein' wit' ya!
Woman: "It ain't our business," "We ain't soldiers," "We ain't fighters"... Excuses, excuses! All of 'em! We gotta do everythin' we can to help! Raftfleet should be right behind ya, Prince!
...I told everyone that, but looks like I'm the only one with guts 'round here.
I think I like you as much as I'm ever going to like a generic NPC.
But dialogue isn't the only thing that's changed about Raftfleet. The inn was empty last time we were here, but now there's a guy standing here! A guy with some very distinct eyebrows...
Customer: Your Highness! Ya gotta try the fish! Ya ain't gonna be able ta resist one o' Retso's meals!
Retso first appeared in Suikoden II, where he was one of the chefs who would challenge Hai Yo to a cooking battle.
It's not me. We've got a good river with beautiful fish. Nothing more.
Around this point I realized that I hadn't had lunch yet and that I really wanted some fish. Best I could manage was fishsticks, though.
Customer: Aw, c'mon, Retso! Ya ain't gotta be all modest! Tarnation! Everythin's so damn good! Always end up orderin' more than I can eat, though. Ain't no way I can finish!
The family relation is pretty obvious.
Customer: Naw, naw, naw, Shun Min! Ya got it all wrong, missy! I love yer pappy's grub!
Shun Min and Retso are a big part of Hai Yo's backstory in II - but of course, none of that has happened yet. Suikoden V takes place before they even met.
I raised that fishie myself, you know! I cleaned it myself, and I even brought it out here myself! And now, if you don't eat it, that means the fishie died for nothing!
Customer: Aw, Shun Min, ya gotta believe me, Missy! It weren't that I--
That's enough, Shun Min.
Excuse me, kind sir.
Customer: Naw, Shun Min's right...
Dad taught me that life is precious.
That's right, Shun Min. But next I've got to teach you the importance of manners.
Customer: Um, er...
Uh... It's lookin' like some princely advice'd come in handy 'bout now!
The stupid fishsticks were still in the pan at this point. So hungry...
Customer: Huh? The PRINCE is offerin' ta pick through MY leftovers?! Tarnation!
Retso's meals're artistic an' stuff, like one o' them paintin's by that Ivaurghnouff guy!
Ivanov is a painter you could recruit in the first Suikoden. If you brought him several varieties of paint you found throughout the game, he would paint the game's cover on a wall for you. (The good one, not the US version.)
Customer: ...Was that his name? Aw, can't remember! Anyway, Retso here's like one o' them "artistes"!
Mmmm... All this talkin's makin' my stomach get a-growlin'! Time ta dig in!
Customer: Shun Min, be nice to yer pappy, ya hear?!
Mister... I will!
Please don't feel like you have to finish, sir.
Customer: Aw, don'tcha worry, Retso! With grub this good, I can stuff my face here all day!
And that's another crisis averted. We do good work!
The freshwater fish in this country are gorgeous. It'll be a delight creating dishes with them.
In Suikoden II, you would get the Sashimi Combo recipe for winning the cooking duel against Retso, so it makes sense seeing him specialize in fishy dishes here.
Welcome to our restaurant, Prince! We've got the tastiest, yummiest fishies in all of Falena!
I really want some.
Customer: Don't ya worry -- I can finish all this! I'm a Raftfleet man!
Make sure you do.
We heard 'bout what was brewin' in Sol-Falena, and we all wanted to help ya out! But we're sailors, not soldiers, ya know? Our clocks woulda been cleaned in no time! Sorry for makin' it look like we turned our backs on ya, Prince. I hope ya don't hate us fer it...
No, no, I have plenty of people around me who deserve to be hated. Don't you worry.
I... I just have something in my eye... that's all.
Woman: Oh! Er... Oh, man! I'm terrible at consolin' people, I'm afraid. Just, er... cheer up! Look on the bright side! Ya got lots o' friends, Prince!
Not enough, though. We're aiming for triple digits here.
All in all, Raftleet people are some of the nicest ones you'll meet in the game.
Man: Oh, Your Highness! Ya... haven't come to see Lun, have ya?
Except this guy. He's some kind of clingy jealous stalker type. I get enough of that shit from Euram.
But let's get to the point.
Admiral, they must be tired from their long journey. Why don't we let them sit down in the back room?
Ah, good idea. All right, then, don't just stand there! Have a seat, and then we'll talk.
Everyone heads out through the door on the right.
We've got lots of sharp-eared folks in town, so we've already got a pretty good idea of what's happened. And I think I know why you're here, Your Highness.
Yes... Have you heard? They've already started drafting soldiers in Sol-Falena and Stormfist.
Drafting soldiers? You mean, to fight... us?
I don't think that's the only reason. Lord Godwin has always been a firm believer in a strong military.
Now that the Sun Palace is under their control, they seem to want to re-make Falena in their own image.
We don't like it, either, Your Highness. And we'd love to help you. But, to be honest, we don't want to join forces with Lord Barows. The last thing we want is to become a pawn of the aristocracy.
Come, now. Don't you feel the same way, in your heart of hearts?
...You are aware that you're being used by that old snake, aren't you?
Admiral, you're being a little harsh, don't you think?
I'm not criticizing you, Your Highness. I understand you need Lord Barows' help right now to fight the Godwins. But I hope you'll think long and hard about how long you want that partnership to continue.
I'm sorry I can't be any help to you, after you came all this way. But let me give you some advice instead.
If you want allies, Your Highness, you need to promote your cause. And to do that, the first thing you have to do is take care of the situation in Lordlake.
You need the people's support, Prince. And if you ignore Lordlake's problem, the people won't support you.
We keep coming back to the subject of Lordlake...
It looks like we have our next objective. Only question is... how the fuck?
Don't fret too much, Your Highness. The Admiral can be pretty blunt at times, but she's only concerned about your welfare.
I wonder why that old snake has taken an interest in you, rather than Lady Sialeeds... I mean, she was second in line for the throne at one point! Sure, she abdicated... But you'd still think that she'd be a more attractive face for his schemes than you are.
I'll have you know I'm at least as pretty as Sialeeds.
Why do you think he chose you?
I keep interpreting the first option as "because he thinks I'm easier to manipulate" but Raja doesn't interpret it the same way and basically ends up saying GROW A SPINE YOU LITTLE TWERP if you pick it.
So let's not.
Ah, so you think so, too, huh? If Lady Sialeeds got dragged into this, it would be a battle for the crown. Just like the conflict twenty-odd years back. The Godwin and Barows houses took sides, and the two Princesses went to war. Those were bad times, I tell you.
The last thing the other nobles and citizens want is another feud for the crown. No one's up for that again. But since you have no right to the throne, that's not a problem. He can just portray himself as a hero, out to avenge the royal family and rescue the captured princess.
That can't be all Barows is up to, though. Not enough profit. There must be some other angle...
If I were you, I'd be careful. Lord Barows will only be your ally as long as he's got some use for you.
As distasteful as he may be, I can't really blame him for that. I mean. I don't want to be a hypocrite.
Shut up, I can totally yell at people for being racist and still hate elves, it's not as if they're people or anything.
Without any new leads, all we can do is head back, but we don't get far...
...before Kisara stops us. (music)
My husband's ship is anchored nearby. If you ever have any need for it, my husband and daughter will take you anywhere you want to go. You and Sialeeds probably saved their lives, so the whole family's grateful.
When Logg and Lun tried to take that gold dust in Lunas, you brought them back here. If they'd been turned over to the patrol guards, they would've been brought to Sol-Falena...
...And they probably would've gotten caught up in the revolt. You may not have meant to do it, but my family feels we owe our lives to you and Lady Sialeeds.
But I won't thank you for what happened. That would make it seem like we're happy about events that are so painful to you, Your Highness. But we do want to show our gratitude. I can't leave the Admiral's side, but Logg and Lun will do everything they can to help out, Your Highness.
This game has some of the est families I've ever seen in a JRPG.
Even if there's one less now.
We'll go pay them a visit.
The meeting with Raja and Kisara causes the two of them to materialize at the docks.
A scene starts as soon as we get close to them. Watch it. (music)
That really hurt! What the hell didja do that for, hmm?!
Shaddup, Pop! How come you gotta be so insensitive? Can't you think about how the Prince must feel?!
I thought I WAS thinkin' about he was feelin'! I did say "too bad," ya know?
And that's why I told ya to SHUT UP!
Man, sorry about that, Prince...
So! I'm thinkin' ya prob'ly heard from the wife about this already...
If it weren't for you guys, Prince, me and Pop woulda probably been in BIG trouble! So we wanna get the chance to repay ya--
Sorry! I mean let us repay you, Your Highness!
God damn I love that line
In Raftfleet, we always repay our debts twice over, ya know. We're gonna do our best!
Awright, then. Ya gotta let us know if there be anything we can do ta help ya, okay?
I'll be counting on you guys.
We're back in control, but...
We want to go to Lordlake.
...all we're going to do is tell him this.
And we're straight into another cutscene. (music)
Hop onboard, and watch your step!
And we're off.
Logg's boat is pretty fast for not having oars or a sail. (music)
Heh, heh! Not bad, ya think?
So yeah, runepunk is a definite possibility. I actually think runes are woefully underused in general, with only the True Runes really having an effect on the story. You'd think with them being such an integral part of the world, people would be using them for various things, like... well, this, or when Kyle blasted Dolph and Childerich to cover your escape in the palace.
I'm fully prepared to blame Lazlo's Rune of Gameplay/Story Segregation for it. And that's why Suikoden V, which was made after he pacified it, actually uses them for plot related purposes.
(Shut up, it makes total sense.)
Hold on tight, ya guys!
Best thing about this though?
...man, if we could have had something like that on the boat, it would have gone a long way towards making Suikoden IV less of a slog.
Logg takes us to a dock a bit north of Lordlake.
Wish I coulda broughten ya a little closer, actually... But there's a Godwin fortress downriver from here, so I reckon it ain't good ta get too close with this here ship!
But don't worry, Prince! Stay close to the mountains, and those fortress guys'll never see ya!
Well, let's get goin', Prince!
Uh, you're... coming along, too, Lun?
Of course! I told ya, didn't I? Raftfleet women always repay our debts twice over!
I ain't gonna, so long as ya don't go doin' anythin' with the Prince I wouldn't approve of, ya hear?
And then we had a full party.
Lun is a pretty good character since she gains a second rune slot by level 25 (and a third one by 55, but that's like 93 hours off and not particularly relevant at this point), but she's stuck with Pierce in one of her skill slots. Pierce makes normal attacks target an enemy column, but is less useful than Long Throw since columns are smaller than rows. It's honestly a bit shit, and probably the worst of the special weapon skills.
However, the skills are the least of her problems right now. Belcoot in the beginning wasn't the only character to join with a level 1 weapon. In fact, every character in Suikoden V starts with a first level weapon, regardless of their character level or when in the game they show up. This is the point where that starts to really become a bother - Lun is borderline useless because of it, even this early in the game - and it only gets worse with every new character and every new blacksmith. This is absolutely fucking terrible game design and I do not understand why they would think it was a good idea, especially given the early games did start you off with higher level weapons on characters who join later in the game. I just don't get it.
But it's not as if we really need the help, being several levels higher than intended, and with Cornelio and his elves soaking up damage as well. The elves are monster types, so they don't get weapons or armour, instead gaining higher stats than human characters as they level up. However, all of them except MiFaSo (the second one we picked up, and which we shouldn't have been able to get hold of at that point) have D ranks in physical damage, dealing 10% less damage than their stats would indicate. MiFaSo inexplicably has a C rank.
I hope the people of Lordlake will listen to us...
Yeah yeah, that's nice and all, but I have formations to show off first. Go!
I've told you how this looks fully staffed already, but here's a visual. The formation skill is a 0.4x damage attack on all enemies. As always, all-enemy attacks can be extremely powerful if you have some heavy hitters, but sadly, at this point, we don't.
The formation skill halves all damage taken for one round of combat. Could be useful if there were enemies that telegraph big attacks, but that's not really going to happen. Could be useful in normal encounters, too, but would require me to care enough to use it and that's not going to happen either.
The formation skill allows all allies to attack before the enemies, which is the exact same effect as the Goose formation we already picked up, and thus not terribly exciting. You may prefer one over the other depending on party makeup. Hungry Wolf would be pretty good right now if it weren't for the fact that neither Cornelio nor the elves are really built for the front lines.
Anyway. Here's the fortress Logg was talking about. You may recall an NPC back in Sol-Falena talking about how the queen punished Lordlake once, but the Godwins keep doing it? This is how.
Seeing Lordlake from the outside is... wow. I'm really not sure how the town survived that as intact as it seems to be.
Before we head in, however, there's a road leading off to the east.
Just ahead is the town of Sable!
We can't get to Sable right now. It's too bad, because I hear they have high level encounters and nice loot there.
Sentinel (2): We've had sightings of a suspicious gang lurking in the nearby mountains. We're terribly sorry, Your Highness, but it's far too dangerous to let you go beyond this point.
That's their excuse, but I'm not buying it. You just want to keep all that salt to yourselves, you selfish bastards.
But enough about that. We have a shithole to visit. (music)
I'm so sorry about what happened, Your Highness. Please allow me to offer my deepest sympathy.
And so... what brings you to Lordlake today? You must be very busy, Your Highness. What business could you have with a town that is little more than ruins now?
Let's take this slowly.
Thank you very much for offering to help, but I'm afraid that there's nothing you can do. Lordlake would view any help as mere manipulation to try to get us to join the Barows camp.
Ouch! His hat may be blunt, but he's pretty sharp underneath it.
The people here still haven't forgotten what Her Majesty did. I'm ashamed to admit it, but some have even declared openly that her death was divine judgment from the heavens. I'm afraid they're far too emotional to listen to you objectively.
Hold on a sec! All that wasn't the Prince's fault, ya know!
Yes, you're absolutely right. But two years is a long time. Long enough to make it difficult for Lordlake to be rational about it now.
I'm sorry. But there is one thing I can promise you, Your Highness. We will never, ever side with the Godwins, either. They're the very reason we've been suffering like this -- the reason this town has become so desolate!
But even our water was stolen from us...
That fortress dammed up the Feitas River, and so this town has had to live completely without water for two years!
Blah blah, would have been better if Hitler wasn't so cartoonishly villainous, blah.
The people of Lordlake will never forgive them -- I can guarantee you that.
We're technically done with Lordlake now, but we'll stick around for a bit longer. First, Lyon's thoughts.
Thee must be some way to save Lordlake. Maybe not now, but soon. There just has to be a way...
You say that as if you doubt my Tenkai Star powers to fix every problem right this instant.
He knew how badly it would affect Lordlake if he built that dam, but he went ahead and did it anyway! Originally, we just wanted to band together and petition the Queen in person... But then... Well, it all happened so quickly! There was nothing we could do. We broke through the dam in no time! And after that, well...
There's some important backstory to be had here.
And now the stores are open and will sell some gimmicky equipment. It's pretty terrible defensively, but if we knew we were going up against something that uses heat-based attacks, it might have been worth it.
But we don't, so.
Sorry if we can't be more sympathetic with you. We've got enough trouble of our own to deal with.
Goesch is a bit less hostile this time. Some of the generics aren't quite as pleasant.
Townswoman: My son... left home. Said he was going off to become a gladiator. He was so full of dreams, that boy. He was going to become really rich, and he promised to send some money home. I haven't gotten one letter from my son since he left... He must be... Why...?
Most of them are just depressing, though.
It's a terrible thing to happen to anyone, of course. Even her.
So... shouldn't it come back now that she's gone?
Townswoman: I don't get it! The Queen's dead now, so why won't Lord Godwin open up the dam?!
I don't know what else to say...
Everyone thoroughly depressed? Let's go have some happy colourful JRPG battles.
Don't you dare
Let's try this again.
Elfishness aside, I do like how all the elves look a bit different.
Let's take a moment to talk about Cornelio. He comes with Perfect Pitch as a permanent (and unique) skill; it increases the power of the DoReMi elves. His rune is also tied to the elves. You've seen the first spell already, but it does have the full four spell levels.
1: Fugue - Recruits unique DoReMi elves.
2: Serenade - It's Wind of Sleep in a funny hat. Requires two DoReMi elves.
3: March - 50% chance to inflict Fury and 50% chance to inflict Alert, all allies. Requires three DoReMi elves.
4: Concerto - 1500 damage, all enemies. Requires four DoReMi elves.
Wind of Sleep is shit, and Serenade is even worse. March is a very nice buff, however, though it does compete with Battle Oath, a first level spell with a 40% hit rate for Fury, and Battlefield, a 20% magic buff with a 100% hit rate. Concerto is the big payoff, an absolutely ridiculous amount of "sound elemental" damage - 300 points stronger than the Rage rune's Final Flame. I've never seen any of them because this is three times as many elves as I've ever cared to recruit before. I'm sure I'll get around to showing them off at some point.
More importantly, having Cornelio along changes the battle music to something a little more pleasant. It's probably the best thing about him, to be honest.
With that, it's time to head back.
Oh... Judgin' from that look on yer mug, guess it didn't go too well, huh? Well, these things're gonna happen! No use frettin' over it too bad! Ya could try goin' back an' then comin' again later, Prince. Whaddaya say?
Yeah, sounds like a good plan.
We've accomplished everything we can in the area, so there is no point in staying.
Ya got it! Just climb on board, then!
Whenever ya need the ship, Prince, just stop on by!
Lun leaves the party at this point. Talking to Lyon, she suggests going back to Rainwall to report, and I can't think of anything else I can do to put it off right now.
So we'll cut right to the man himself.
No, but it was informative.
"Informative"... you say, Your Highness?
Hmm, is someone feeling a teensy bit worried over something, Salum?
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! My, my! Listen to you, Your Highness!
If he is, he's hiding it well.
You don't have to smooth-talk anybody the way I do! If things didn't go well, you need only say so, yes?
Well, I suppose there's no danger of Raftfleet going over to the enemy, so we'll let the issue rest for now, yes? Ah, and speaking of important issues! I've asked our esteemed Haud Village artists to design our army's flag! Oh, I'm sure it will be a heroic and magnificent flag, something befitting a majestic army led by His Royal Highness!
It might not be very sporting to stab people when they're incapacitated by laughter, but I'll take every advantage I can get.
Oh-ho! Yes, with such a proud banner representing your cause, your Highness, we're sure to gain the people's support!
Well, well, well! You must be ever so exhausted! Come! Get some rest in your room, Your Highness! You deserve it!
I have a few matters to attend to myself, so I will take my leave of you, Your Royal Highness!
Forgive the bluntness of my query, but what does Your Royal Highness think of my daughter, Luserina?
I think she's quite possibly adopted. That's what you're thinking about, right?
Oh! No reason, no reason! I was just... curious to learn Your Highness' opinion of my lovely daughter! That's all. It may be unseemly for her own father to say this, but that girl really is a daughter to be proud of! Her beauty and kindness are both unrivaled in Rainwall, and she's FAR more competent than most officials! To be honest, she practically runs our entire territory all by herself!
She can be a little too rigid at times, but that could change! Say if she were to, oh, I don't know, fall in love...
Your Royal Highness, I would most appreciate it if you would... get to know my daughter better. MUCH better.
Let' just say it would indeed be of... great benefit to all parties involved, Your Highness! Ha ha ha ha!
There are so many things I could say but it would all boil down to so .
...and our party gathers in Frey's room to plot Lord Barows' unfortunate demise. (music)
And he won't share any information with us, either!
(I'm still allowed to dream.)
He probably just wants you two to be figureheads.
Hmph! I'm so damn tired of being a figurehead...
...I guess we're not really in the position to dictate demands, though.
Someone knocks on the door.
???: Excuse me. May I come in, everyone?
Luserina, is that you? Yes, come on in.
Excuse me for my bluntness, Your Highness, but did my father say anything... strange to you?
Yes, yes, you could say that.
Strange? Like what?
Well... It seems my father thinks His Highness and I should... well...
Ah, say no more.
He wants you two to get together, eh?
I like how Lyon was there to hear the whole thing, but this still shocks her so much she jumps out of her seat. "Clueless" doesn't even begin to cover it.
Lady Sialeeds! Please excuse me, but this is no laughing matter!
Well, not the fact that your slimeball of a father wants you to jump Frey's bones, but Lyon's reaction to it is pretty amusing.
No, you're right. If that's your father's goal, then it's definitely a serious problem.
Yes, and that's why I needed to talk with you about it immediately. I think my father wants to set himself up for power after this conflict by becoming His Highness' father-in-law.
He might be my father... But I can't believe he'd do something like that. It makes me so ashamed of him...
Hmph! Nobles are all the same!
...Well, we don't have to worry about the whole marriage deal this very second. Right now, our main problem is that we're basically the marionettes for Lord Barows, the puppeteer.
...It makes me wonder what we're really fighting for.
If you're in danger, Your Highness, it means the whole of Falena is in danger. I told him he shouldn't try and take advantage of you in a situation like this, but he just played dumb with me.
Hmph! I bet if Raja were here, she'd say that we should have known to expect this from that "old snake"...
If only we had a tactician on our side... A brilliant tactician who would have your best interest in mind, Frey, not Lord Barows.
But it's not gonna be easy to find someone like that.
...Actually, there is one person I know who fits your description. A woman, actually. She worked behind the scenes to help repel the Armes invasion eight years ago. Ferid and Raja just did exactly what this tactician told them to, and it brought them victory after victory! In just one month, Armes was completely annihilated! This woman's talent was almost... godlike.
You're talking about... Lady Merces, aren't you?
Funny, I don't remember ever meeting a tactician like that...
That's because she's no longer at the Sun Palace.
In the uprising, Lady Merces incurred the Queen's wrath. She advised Her Majesty not to use force too hastily. And as punishment, Her Majesty ordered Lady Merces to be incarcerated in Agate Prison. She's been there ever since.
Sounds like Lady Merces isn't just smart, but also reasonable. Exactly what we need. But with her locked up in prison, probably not much we can--
Agate Prison, huh? Where is that, exactly?
Um... Lady Sialeeds?
What? Oh, sorry. I wasn't paying attention.
Look, I'm getting pretty tired. Let's continue this tomorrow.
Lady Sialeeds? We weren't quite--
I think this part is a bit clumsily executed. A tactician would be nice, I guess, but we have problems with manpower and supplies and shit that won't just go away if we have someone to plot tactics for us. We're not with Salum because he's a tactical genius, but because he has resources.
Then again, strategists in the Suikoden universe are more or less the 28th divine power, so I suppose they all just expect them to snap their fingers and conjure all the necessities out of thin air.
Anyway, it's pretty obvious what we're going to have to do next. A Suikoden protagonist busting someone out of prison! What could possibly go wrong?
...don't answer that.