The Let's Play Archive

Suikoden V

by vilkacis

Part 28: You, my good lady, are a FASHION DIVA!

So are you ready for another lesson in Suikoden Warology? Well, you're getting one, so strap in. Or, you know, just skip ahead until I start killing things. This will take quite a bit of to get through. (Also, music)

See those little bar under the unit names, over the second portrait in each unit? That's the competence of the unit's general. Playable generals come in three flavours, and while I think I'd rather use numbers, all the resources I can find rank them with letters. Most units are B rank, with four squares, including Frey. C rank is a step down, with three squares, as seen on Logg and the two generics. Finally, there's A rank. There are a grand total of four characters with A ranks in the game, and Raja is one quarter of them. I don't believe the game ever explains this or tells you exactly what it does, but basically that old lady will Fuck Your Shit Up, And Make No Mistake.

The guys we fought last time had one square and would presumably be E rank, which would be why they were so horrible.

We actually have some options this time. We're now able to add people to our units (but only ours), but you'll notice that the second ship has no locked units, which grants us even more freedom. We could empty it out and select a new commander, such as Sialeeds or Cornelio, which results in a Rune Archer ship. Of course, either one is a step down from Georg (both are C ranked) but we're not doing it for the killing power. We won't need it, see.

Now we can use Cyclone again, and Flowing is a full heal. We'll put Georg in Frey's unit (I'd prefer to give him to Boz, but alas we cannot). Luserina isn't helping, but what the hell, she's not hurting us either.

Much like our regular characters, a war unit can only have two active skills. Luserina's skill (which we don't get to use because this unit already has two) is Morale, which provides +5 attack (as opposed to Georg who just offers +9 ATK without a skill being involved), and Lucretia - who is currently making the Dahak even more ridiculously powerful - has Frenzy, which increases attack and defence by 5 and speed by 2.

Of course, this all means nothing to us, because the game doesn't tell us how damage works. So, I'll let someone else do it!

Sky Render @ gamefaqs posted:

Using YouTube videos and basic mathematics, I've figured out the battle mechanics for war encounters. They're surprisingly simple. First, the variables of note: Attack and Defense.

Attack = (10 * Unit Rank) + Bonuses
Defense = 10 + Bonuses

And in combat:

Damage Dealt = Unit's Attack - (Enemy's Defense - Penalties)
Damage Received = (Enemy's Attack - Penalties) - Unit's Defense

The bonuses and penalties are the ones inherited by characters in the second and third command positions, as well as skills like Fortify, Muddle and Rumors.

Additionally, damage dealt is multiplied by 2 while damage received is divided by 2 when your unit is Strong versus the enemy unit, while damage dealt is divided by 2 and damage received is multiplied by 2 when your unit is Weak versus the enemy unit. Also, final damage seems to vary by + or - 1 unit most of the time. Size of the units attacking and defending has no impact, surprisingly.

Got that? doesn't really matter either way, because we'll be crushing the enemy regardless.

So are you hungry for battle?

It looks like we're in for a challenge at last!

Bahram: Just as I expected. I didn't think Admiral Raja would go for it.

The forces are roughly equal, and most of them aren't quite as terrible as the last ones, so it seems we'll actually need to care about things like unit types this time.

Vice Captain: In that case, is it time, sir?

We have no choice.

Vice Captain: Are you sure, sir?! Many of our senior members used to serve under Admiral Raja!

You don't have to tell me. I, myself, am one of those members. But Lord Godwin is right. If Falena is to ascend to its greatest potential, it must be truly unified. We can't have regions that move around as they please, writing their own "laws." We must have cultural homogeny!

Blah blah kill all the niggers and jews blah, wouldn't want the player to question who's the bad guys here, blah.

And if Admiral Raja can't see that, I will have to defeat her in battle! ...Even if I'm seen as a traitor.

So yeah, he's totally bought into Hitler's bullshit, and needs a lesson in humility, and also everything else.


Going against my most trusted student... This has to be fate.

Raftfleet's very existence is on the line! I want you to give this fight everything you've got!!!

Raftfleet Force: *cheering*

And don't forget about us! The Prince wants to save Raftfleet, and we're gonna do everything we can to make that wish come true!!!

Boz is in the grey ship closest to the top. It's a ram, the only one we get in this battle.

We really appreciate you coming to support us, Lord Wilde. But, please don't let your fleet get out in front. That would be dangerous.


Did they close the sluice gates?
Well, the Feitas River is deep. A desperation move like that won't get them anywhere. Don't worry about it! All battleships, continue to advance!

Ah, it's all going according to plan. Draw them to you, but don't let them get too close.

About time we got started.

...After Raja explains naval warfare.

Ships can be divided into three types, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Combat ships overpower rams, which in turn overpower archer ships, which in turn overpower combat ships.

So basically, rams are infantry, combat ships are cavalry, and archers are archers are archers are archers. The logic works a little better here, in that rams are heavily armoured but lightly staffed, so they are protected from arrows but will easily be overpowered by a larger crew. Combat ships are all about larger crew, but they are not protected from arrows. And of course, at no point does it involve horses running right into a group of dudes with long pointy sticks.

The Dahak is a "battleship" which is to regular archers what spears are to regular infantry, more powerful and tanky, but slower.

Keep these relationships in mind. You'll be at a great disadvantage if you don't plan attacks accordingly. And there are more ships in addition to the three basic types, but you can figure those ones out on your own!
Your leadership will determine the fate of Raftfleet, so I want to see you give it all you've got!

I can do that.

So I will!

...but we don't get very far before shit starts happening.

What's the matter?! Battleship 1! Please report your status immediately!

Vice Captain: They... seem to have hit something, sir!

What?! But how?! There shouldn't be any shallows around here!

The riverbed in that area is covered in wreckage. Huge pieces of wreckage from the dam Lord Barows tried to build.

After Lordlake destroyed the dam, we tried to clear the wreckage away. But there wasn't much we could do about the debris left on the river's floor.

It's not a problem for us, but warships like Luger's will run aground on that debris before they know what hit them.

That's really not bad at all. Certainly more strategy involved than anything we did in the previous one.

What is bad is that now there's no challenge left because we're going to walk all over the remaining guys. I know I brought you here to help crush my enemies, but that's entirely too much crushing! Leave some for me next time.

Flagship Sailor: Dammit! How come the enemy isn't having the same problem?!

Because they know, these Raftfleet people. They're one with the river.

Naw, we just looked up the solution on gamefaqs.

That's why Lucretia is carrying that bloody big book with her in the artwork, you know. Printouts. Loads and loads of printouts.

My Lady, shall we take advantage of this opportunity and wipe them out?

We need not do that.

Right, Admiral?

Right. As long as we drive them off, that's good enough for me. We don't want to take lives unless it's absolutely necessary.

What? They're working for Hitler! Hitler! It's totally necessary!

Don't bother with the ships that have run aground! Just target the ones that can still move!

And we'll help, too!

And then we can finally get this party started.

Not that there's much of a party now that the enemy has lost half their forces, but whatever. Let's get it over with.

Raja and Logg come with the Barrage ability, which is making a return from II. It allows archers to target a unit quite a ways off and make an attack against it without risk or retaliation. It's very handy both on land and in water. It's also the most annoying thing in the hands of enemy units, but none of these losers have skills.

Arrows go!

That's what you get.

So yeah, that's what happens when a Combat Ship picks a fight with the Dahak.

If you're noticing something odd about the numbers here, it's because I cheated like a bitch and gave myself infinite special skills. There's a reason for that, and it's not going to be a recurring thing, but we'll get to that once we wrap this up. Which should be any moment now.

Entirely justified here.

The goal of this battle is to halve Bahram's HP or to wipe out all other enemy units. Throw Boz at him and you've pretty much won already, never mind the three uses of Barrage you would (legally) have on this map. Again, it's a ridiculously easy fight.

All mobile ships, pick up the survivors! We're pulling out!

I can't even feel smug about this. You'd have to be trying pretty hard to miss it.

Luck Rings grant +10 Luck. Luck does what it's always done: increase your critical hit rate, and maybe some other stuff no one particularly cares about.

I'm a little disappointed in this fight. It would have been entirely doable without Lucretia's shenanigans.

Somewhat tough, perhaps, but the player has an advantage in skills and unit quality.

It would have been better if Bahram had come with like 2000 men, and we had knocked them down to half that. Then it would have been a near-impossible battle turned into a manageable one. As is, it's a bit anticlimactic.

You've saved Raftfleet as we know it. On behalf of all of us, I thank you.

It somewhat devalues Lucretia's supposed genius, too. Even if all the characters are falling over themselves to praise her, she really wasn't necessary.

Lucretia is a character I can't really make up my mind about. She's rather annoyingly perfect and awesome at everything.

But you were the one who decided to save Raftfleet, Your Highness. I simply advised you.

At the same time, she could have been a lot more interesting if she had other strategists to play against, but Suikoden V is curiously lacking in the enemy strategist department. I guess Gizel is supposed to fill that role, but he always comes off more as a petty schemer than a military surgeon strategist.

And now, it's our turn to help you.

I have the same complaint about Lucretia as I have about the entirety of Suikoden IV: the single biggest problem is that you can see the potential, but when nothing ever comes of it, that makes it even more infuriating than it would have been if it weren't there in the first place.

What do you mean?

The length of the game also plays into it. Mathieu in the first game didn't really have any flaws either, but that game was short enough that it didn't start to grate.

Didn't Lun tell you? Raftfleet women always repay their debts twice over! She wasn't kidding, you know!

The second and third games were longer, but your strategists ran into considerably more difficulties than Lucretia ever does.

Wow, Prince!

Elenor in IV may be criminally underutilised, but she is still one of the most interesting characters in the game by virtue of being a bitter old drunk with plenty of history, and plenty of flaws as well.

Suikoden V is long, however, and we'll get plenty of opportunities to watch Lucretia be perfect and flawless. Much as I enjoy the game, Lucretia is one of the low points for me, and definitely my least favourite strategist in the series.

On a completely unrelated note, Fuck Yeah. Raja is great. Respect the Raja.

I'll have Kisara go with you in my place, though. As a proud representative of Raftfleet!

Yes, Admiral.
So, it looks like I'll be accompanying you from here on out, Your Highness.

Kisara joins the party, and we're off.

We should celebrate! Let me just grab Georg first.

I've got some more business I have to take care of. There's... something that's been bothering me. I have to go check it out.

I'll return to Rainwall after I have the proof I need. Don't ask me anything until then.

Except Georg is being mysterious and is also not getting in my party. Fine. We'll eat cake without you.

You can consider any decision made by Kisara a decision made by me.

If she can keep Logg in check, she can do anything.

But anyway! I promised you an explanation, didn't I? Well, let's go have a rest at the inn.

And then we'll return to Raja's room.

This is a bug. If you go rest at the inn and come back to Raja's room after beating Bahram's fleet, everyone is standing around like this as if you first told them you needed to think about it, and you can replay the battle as many times as you like.

Here's a tip. Don't.

The reason it's relevant is that Bahram's flunkies have a chance to drop stuff when you sink them. The ComShp has a ring that boosts HP a bit.

The real prize is from the ArcShp. Note that I said they have a chance to drop stuff, though. It was only upon replaying it like this that I realized that it was a "chance."

Initially, I had intended to just quickly play it four times and collect the rune pieces. Then I could show off a Flowing Rune hours before I'm supposed to have it! And that is why I wanted infinite ammo.

But after playing it four times, I had a grand total of one Flowing Rune Piece.

(Also, a ram in action. It's not terribly impressive.)

So at that point I convinced myself I didn't really want that rune anyway. It's all... flowy and stuff.

(Cyclone looks much the same on a boat as it does on solid ground.)

I did get a lot of footage I can use to show off various stuff that didn't happen in the first fight, though. One interesting thing is that you normally open the special ability menu with square and select movement with X, but if you use L1, you get this menu. It's a neat touch, allowing you to control everything perfectly in two different ways.

We'll take a look around Raftfleet before heading back.

Old Man: Ain't nobody better on the water than us, but even we got no shot at drivin' back a full-blown navy!

No, but that's what you have me for.

I gotta go pick up the boat! Be right back! It's still down at the Baska Mine, remember?!

Pity, too. That means we can't do the next batch of recruiting just yet.

Mum's worth more than a hundred men, Prince! She's better than me an Pop put together!

Well, not really, but she's okay I guess.

Hey, look at this guy, not being a creep today or anything! Wow.

I know! I wonder why?

But we'll make sure the damn snake don't stab ya in the back, Your Highness.

Much appreciated.

Woman: We beat 'em! I can't believe it! You really are somethin', Your Highness!

Old Man: I thought a fleet o' the Royal Navy'd be pretty much invincible! Ya never cease amazin' me, Your Highness!
People are always sayin' time makes folk forget. Raftfleet folk ain't the type to forget! We always repay our debts!

You can help me shoot Nazis full of arrows any day.

When this guy said he can stuff his face here all day, he was not kidding.

But everything must come to an end, and that includes our visit to Raftfleet. As we step out, the scene shifts...

We're lucky that casualties were as low as they were. The enemy was stronger than anticipated. Much stronger. my favourite scumsack in the realm.

So, Father... What do you think about Lucretia Merces siding with them?

Good riddance. A great leader should be surrounded by loyal men, not backstabbers like her.

I think that says more about your leadership than anything else.

She looks like she wouldn't harm a fly, but that woman eats people alive. Both her enemies AND her "friends." Do you really think a fool like Barows and a brat like the Prince will be able to control her? No. Nobody can.

(Also, making something more of this could also have made Lucretia less boring.)

So you want to sit back and enjoy the show, then, Father?

It's gonna be great. Look at what we've accomplished with like ten named characters on our side! Just wait until we start recruiting for real.

Ah, right on time. Thanks for coming. I presume you've heard about Bahram?

He still has much respect for Admiral Raja. This was surely no ordinary battle for him.

Something feels... off about Dilber's portrait. He's much less shiny than the others.

No, General Luger isn't so weak as to let personal feelings interfere with his duty to his country. As his comrade, General Novum, you should know that. The Prince and Lady Merces were on Raftfleet's side. That was General Luger's downfall.

Is that respect from Hitler? Wow.

Hmm... Interesting theory.

You'll learn to respect me too, soon enough.

Lord Novum... I mean, Dilber. The Prince and his rebel forces have infested Rainwall. I'd like you to put them down, once and for all.

Hmph! I thought you'd never ask, my Lord! I'll crush anyone who dares to defy you! Commander or noble, it makes no difference! They all bleed the same.

That they do. And if we need blood spilled, who better to wield the sword than my greatest general? I await news of your victory.

Spoiler, you won't get any.

I will not fail you, my Lord!

We'll see about that!

But not right now. We're plunked down right back in Rainwall.

Fuck Rainwall! I wanna go explore.

Right here.

Let's go bother the crazy lady. (don't listen to the music)

This becomes available once Sialeeds is back in her regular outfit, and also your party.

Huh? What are you looking at?

You, there! Who tailored your outfit?!

This? I designed it myself and told the tailor how I wanted it made. Why do you want to know?

By yourself?! Ah! It is as if a storm cloud of sanity has opened up from the heavens above! FINALLY! Someone who carries a fashion sense that matches my own highly cultural sensibilities! I've been waiting to meet someone like you! You, my good lady, are a FASHION DIVA!

A... fashion diva? I've been called many things in life, but THAT'S a new one!

My name is Josephine. I fancy myself a fashion diva as well. I deem you worthy to be my rival, fellow fashion diva! Consider it an honor!


So! Tell me, fellow fashion diva! What shall be our next destination?

"Our" next destination? You're coming, too?

Of course! We should stay as close together as possible, so we may inspire each other to even greater heights!

Hmmm... Sure, why not? Frey what do you think?

How DARE you disrespect a fashion diva! You've got a LOT of nerve for someone with no fashion sense to speak of! I'm not asking for permission from someone who looks like one of those dirty Grassies dressed him! You should just shut up and accept your good fortune! You should be honored to travel with TWO fashion divas!

What the fuck just happened?

Next, we'll go back to Raftfleet to get our... fashion divas... up to speed.

Please join us!

Oh, and there's this guy, too.

Your Highness, I am honored that you would extend to me such an invitation... But it's very important to me that I remain neutral. My purpose is to provide medical care... to any army or faction.

But he's going to be stubborn. We'll have to go around asking him to join us whenever he comes to a new location, and he'll give in eventually.

General Luger's Fleet suffered severe casualties... I came as soon as possible. Raftfleet casualties were, fortunately, very minimal.

My good man, I would like you to put an edge on this parasol!

You're absolutely amazin'!

And while we're here, let's have a little talk with this guy as well.

Huh? Who am I? I'm the most powerful merchant in Falena!
...Well, I'm actually the most powerful merchant's GRANDSON! Shinro's the name! Nice to meet you!

The nerve of them, tryin' to force Raftfleet to do their will! Ridiculous, if you ask me! For trade to work, merchants need to be able to go where they want, buyin' cheaply and sellin' to their customers! We can't have bloodthirsty guys like Godwin in charge! It's bad for business! And I'm all about business, of course!

Hear, hear! So how about you get in my party and we'll smack him about a bit?

Your Highness! You can't let Godwin cramp my style! Hey, I'll even help you out!

That was easy!

I can't fight, but I can get you the stuff you'll need so you CAN fight! With my trusty abacus at my side, I'll be the best merchant in the land! Believe it!

You run an item store. Let's not get ahead of ourselves.

But there's no doubt ya took after yer mom an' pop! Ain't no doubt!

I don't know how to feel about this.

Anyway! We have some new people, so let's try them out. And what better place to do it than a... big... hole?

Wait, what?

Soldier: What's that? This hole? We don't know much about it, to be honest. We do have a theory, though. We believe that somehow a prairie suddenly caved in, creating this hole. This probably happened right about the time those Godwin forces were pursuing you, Your Highness. That's about all that we know for sure, really.

I have a theory of my own. It's that you have no idea what you're talking about.

There's a nice little save spot below.

To the left of that, there's a generic tunnel.

There's spiders inside.

Josephine's Red Rose Rune deals double damage to one enemy, but makes party members unfriendly.

Like so.

Unfriendly prevents you from using unites.

And here's a better look at Josephine.

The rest of the party aren't doing too bad, either.

Lyon's first triple-hit combo! She has come a long way.

Lelei comes with a Viper Rune, which is an instant kill if it hits. I think this is the first time I've ever used it. It works, I guess? It does say it reduces your accuracy, though, so I'm not sure how good it really is. Maybe I'll experiment. Or maybe not.

Kisara joins with two open rune slots. She got a Power Rune, and I've killed enough random ulse to put together some Boost Orbs, so I gave her one of those too. Boost doubles a character's damage output, but they're reduced to 1 HP after three rounds. If nothing lives long enough for that to happen, it's not a problem!

Seriously, game? Jiggle physics.

How much longer do I have to keep digging?

A bit deeper into the cave, there's a couple of strange individuals.

Quit your whining and keep digging! You do want to see my abilities in action, don't you, Bergen?

Of course, Master! I'll do anything to see your magic!

Then keep digging! I'll show you what I'm capable of once you get me that orb!

Yeeeeeah! Okay, better stand back! You might be the master of magic, but I'm the master of digging!

Hmph! For the alleged "master of digging," you sure do take your sweet time!


Let's go bother them!

Have you come in search of the great Rune magic master?

I uh yeah sure why not?

You know, his magic is just craaazy! It'll blow you away! Just the other day, he carved this HUGE hole in the ground! Just like that! It was craaazy, I tell ya! I've never seen a wizard as amazing as he is!

I know this guy Crowley who's pretty good. You might not have heard of him, though. He's pretty underground.

...wait, fuck, that doesn't work when you're talking to a dwarf.

Bergen! You idiot! How many times must I tell you? I am NOT a "wizard"! I am a Rune magic scholar! Rune magic gives us a window in to the grand scheme of the world! I don't wish to be viewed as a brute like yourself who sees Rune magic as nothing more than "hocus-pocus"!

Geez, you're a bit of a dick. I'm thinking I should introduce him to the crazy woman hanging around the fountain in Rainwall, and hopefully they'll annoy each other to death.


Look, even the dwarf can tell you're full of shit. And he's a dwarf.

And that goes for you, too! Never underestimate the significance of Rune magic!

It's pretty handy, I'll give you that.

Won't you join us?

Join you? As friends? Well, that's an intriguing thought... If you feel you are worthy enough to be around me, you must first share any insights you have on Rune magic. If you have nothing to share, I must refuse your offer.

It's probably for the best anyway. I'm already fighting the urge to throw you in the river. And I'd have to throw pretty far.

The path ends at this big slab thingy. There's nothing left for us here, so we'll just have to walk all the way back out again.

And finally head for Rainwall.

Indeed, news of Your Highness' incredible exploits has already spread throughout the whole of Rainwall! You recruited Lady Merces as your tactician, drove off General Luger, and even secured Raftfleet as an ally! All of that in one fell swoop! My, my! Marvelous work! Absolutely marvelous! Oh-ho! I'm so very, very proud, indeed!

...And what exactly do YOU have to be proud of?

I'm here on Raja's behalf. It's a pleasure to meet you, Lord Barows.

Oh-ho! And such a lovely representative Raja has chosen! My, my! The pleasure is ALL mine, I definitely assure you!
So! Raftfleet defeated the great General Luger, did they? With such power on my side, I feel very, very secure indeed!

Oh, but it wasn't Raftfleet alone. We couldn't have done it without the help of the Prince and Lucretia.

Oh-ho! Well! Well, well! If it isn't the lovely Lady Merces! My, your beauty has not faded in the least!
Oh, your incarceration caused me many, many sleepless nights, my Lady! But it appears you're none the worse for wear!

Thank you very much, Lord Barows.

Lord Barows, we all may be from the most diverse of backgrounds, but we have all been brought together by one man.

That man is the Prince. I propose we all put our own interests aside and work to selflessly support his cause.

Oh, of course, of course! Indeed, you know that my loyalties have always been with His Royal Highness the Prince, yes? I always have, and always will, serve humbly, with selfless devotion! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Ah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Well! Rooms shall be prepared for all of you in just a moment! Until then, my valiant heroes, relax, relax! Oh-ho!

I suddenly feel so very tired...

The game obviously wants us to head upstairs, and we'll be taking it up on that momentarily.

You did it, Your Highness! This is more like it! Ga ha ha ha!

First though, we'll do the usual rounds. Boz is not very useful right now, but he is Boz, and once again, that's quite sufficient.

A remarkable victory, Your Highness! We'll have to fight just as hard in the next battle!

Dinn is being Dinn, which is not quite as nice.

Oh, Your Highness! I'm so glad you made it back safely!
Oh! Please excuse me... I was so relieved, it seems I forgot myself for a moment...

's okay. And with that, I think we're just about ready to hit the hay.

Coming up next, no hay whatsoever.

Shinro artwork, and also a height comparison between Logg and Kisara because... well, why not?