Part 50: Revenge of the Big HoleHalfway to the triple digits! Time flies, doesn't it?
Well, the Tactics thread went past 50 as well, but unlike that game, we still have a whole damn lot left do do before this one is over, so let's get kickin'!
Personally, I feel Lelcar is a bit boring, and didn't have that much to say about it - but now we're done, there's some fun stuff to do.
Our first recruit of the day is hanging out in Estrise.
Y-Your Highness?! Have you come here to arrest me?! Or are you gonna just throw me in the Feitas right now?! If you gotta throw me in, just get it over with! No trial, no lawyers, none of that boring stuff!
Stop making such a huge deal of it, it's a river. It'd take you like 20 seconds to get back to shore and climb out again. It's not as if Frey could throw you very far.
But before you do, I'll have you know that Orok guy tricked me! I'm a victim, too!
I thought it seemed more like you tricked him, from what I heard.
I'm gonna deviate from the golden rule here for a bit. Don't look at me like that, I know what I'm doing!
Really?! You promise you won't arrest me?! You promise you're not gonna sneak up later and toss me in the Feitas?!
Yes, yes, calm down!
Whew! I came to this town to make my getaway by ship, but I was flat broke! But now that you're not gonna turn me in, I'll just kick back here and scarf down all I can!
But if you're broke...?
Ah, whatever. Let's talk to her again!
What up, Prince? What do you want now?
...Oh, no! Don't tell me! You decided to arrest me after all, right?!
You're not a little paranoid, lady!
Please join us!
Now, on with your regularly arghle barghle.
What? Join you? You want me to join the Iodine in Hell Army?! Well, if you want me to, I don't mind...
And, and! We have a lake that's full of fish! You can eat all you can catch. You can't tell me that doesn't sound tempting.
Well, it's good that I won't have to go lookin' for a lawyer! That'll save me some cash...
Ah, wait a sec, though! You may have conked me big-time in Lelcar, but I want a rematch!
We both had friends backing us up, but your guys had a lot more super-duper special moves than mine!
True. Yours didn't even have names or faces! It was a bit one-sided.
Let's settle this one-on-one! And if you win, I'll join you!
Of course, you're the big-time royal Prince, so you don't HAVE to do what I ask... But I'd like ya to! So whaddaya say, Prince? Ready to put up your dukes? Ready to go toe-to-toe?
What she means is we don't have to, unless we want her to join our party, in which case we do.
I'd be happy to!
But there's absolutely no downside to agreeing, so we'll do that.
All right! My kinda guy! Yippee! All right, let's take this out front!
The duel with Nikea isn't very difficult. She uses a lot of special moves and likes to tip you off by shouting SPECIAL MOVE! at the top of her lungs.
I like the double flying kick special-special animation.
All in all, Nikea probably wouldn't have won the Sacred Games, but it's fun fighting her.
Like I said. Not very difficult.
Sure you even want a weak little girl like me on your team...?
Just kidding! I mean, who wouldn't want a bunch of cool-looking special moves like mine on their side?!
Silly people. That's who.
Oh, yeah! Here, you can have this as a super-duper special prize for beating me! ...No, go ahead, take it! It's nothing special! ...Wait, I just said it was "super-duper," didn't I...?
Aw, that's sweet.
But more importantly.
Star of Destiny! And she's not bad at all.
So, what now? Should I just follow you?
Yes, come with us.
Okeydokey! I'm right behind you, Prince!
Actually you've an S-range weapon. I'll be right behind you.
But did you notice another curious person where we met Nikea?
I have a proposal for you, handsome. How about you play a little game with me? There's nothing to be afraid of. Just a simple game with a friendly wager of 2000 Potch. So, handsome, whaddaya say?
What do I have to lose?
Fine, I accept the challenge.
(You know, apart from 2000 bucks and my dignity.)
Wonderful! I love men who take chances!
(What a sucker...)
Huh? Oh, I didn't say anything! My name is Linfa, by the way. And you, handsome?
Frey? Sounds fancy. Almost sounds like a prince or something. Anyway, Frey. Shall we start?
Linfa plays a card game where you each draw a card, but you don't get to see what it was. Instead, you see the opponent's and then you have use your opponent's expression to guess if they think your card is good or bad.
Linfa is usually pretty easy to read, but here, she obviously cheats and not even the mighty Power of Savestates can save us.
I really hate taking 2000 Potch from a cutie like you, but a deal's a deal.
We have no choice but to pay up.
Hope you had as much fun as I did. Catch you around, sweets!
Mysterious Man: And I thought I could actually trust you...
Just shut up already! This money isn't good enough for ya? Well it's the best I could do! Now, stay off of my tail!
She stomps out.
The mysterious man follows. We'll see more of one of those two, and you get no points for guessing which one.
They could attack us at any time, so I just can't rest easy...
But now for the interesting part. Not the bit about Doraat, though we'll be going there, too, eventually.
No, this is what we're after.
Oh, man! What a babe!
Bringing Kyle here results in an extra little scene, which I obviously did because if there's anything we haven't seen enough of lately it's Kyle causing a scene.
Oh, Your Highness! It's been a long time.
Jeane does what most sensible women (and men) would do and ignores him.
"Your Highness"?! Do you know each other?
Yes. We met in a Rune shop in Sol-Falena.
Ah, now I get it! You must be that fine babe I heard was workin' at the Rune shop in Sol-Falena!
I'm flattered! Tee-hee-hee...
My shop will be located in this town now, Your Highness. I look forward to serving you!
That won't do. That won't do at all!
Man, I'll give you ALL my business from now on! ...By the way, you free tonight?
I have a feeling this one is out of your league, Kyle.
Tee-hee... No, I'm sorry. I have "business" to attend to...
I mean, most women are, but I'm talking extra special super out of your league.
Also I have this feeling she may be an elder god or something. She might literally eat you alive.
But I'm the protagonist, so... I'll just have to sacrifice myself for the greater good.
Please join us!
Given the shit I ran into in the dungeon next door, I'm pretty sure my castle was built with elder gods in mind. You'd feel right at home!
Tee-hee... Let's see...
There's something I want to pick up. Would you help me get it?
Do you know about the Big Hole to the north of Rainwall? The thing I'm looking for is deep inside that hole! Tee-hee... If you will escort me there, I promise to join you, Your Highness.
I'll... just nod and keep my mouth shut here, shall I? Because I don't think I could say anything that wouldn't make this sound even worse than it already does.
As always, Jeane is a powerful caster, especially good with lightning magic (natural A rank). Her stats are about the same as Viki's, but she gets Rune Sage instead of Chain Magic. If the name isn't obvious enough, it lets you access the usual Rune Sage functions at any time you can access tne menu. This is marginally more useful than Tutor - finding runes and rune parts when you're out adventuring is more common than finding things that increase your tutor level - but still pretty bad most of the time.
Like our previous two sorceresses, she also comes with a locked rune, and it's actually even worse than Viki's - the Charm Rune causes enemies who attack Jeane to become charmed (50% chance), and... do I really need to say anything else? It's terrible.
Also, anyone dumb enough try and attack her would probably just bounce right off.
Enemies in the... big hole... have been upgraded since we were last here. There's actually no area boss this time, just regular enemies. Still, a target is a target!
Nikea comes with a Boar Rune. It first appeared in the first game, where it was 2x damage and unbalance. Here, it's 3x damage, unbalance, once per battle. She also has a Boost Rune, so that's 6x damage! You hardly notice that I forgot to sharpen her weapon!
Belcoot, meanwhile, is dealing triple damage (falcon) x2 (double-edged) x2 (crit) = 12 times the regular output.
Both Belcoot and Nikea only get one free rune slot, but are basically as strong as a character with three open slots in the first round of combat, since Falcon and Boar are more powerful than any generic rune (a great improvement from II!). However, if the battle takes more than one round, their output plummets, and unbalanced characters can't dodge or parry, so look out for that. (Though, Belcoot will likely survive a round of beatings since he gets access to some very nice defensive gear)
The enemies may have changed, but these losers are still here.
An unusual Rune?!
METAL GEAasdasafsdg shut up!
You cannot fool me! I can sense the power... And it's emanating from you! It's... It's a symbol of the Falenan royal family! That's the Dawn Rune, is it not?!
It sure is! You jealous? Join me and I may let you touch it.
What the heck is that? Does it blow stuff up? I wanna see it, master!
You! Hand that Rune over to me this instant!
You should ask nicely.
How dare you! If only you knew how much it would help my research, you would not be so short-sighted! You... enemy of enlightenment!
Chill, gramps. You're ruining my date.
Aw, man! I wanted to see some stuff explode!
If it is indeed impossible for you to give me the Dawn Rune, then I have no use for you. Begone!
The same thing more or less happens if you say you'll give it to him, since, well, you couldn't even if you wanted to.
*sigh* It's truly unfortunate... I could've learned so much from the Dawn Rune...
And I could've seen some craaazy explosions!
Bah. I know you're Stars of Destiny, but I'm in no hurry to recruit you. I get enough smug from the absolute fucker hanging around on the top floor.
Rather, what we're after is this dead end. There is a flash...
...and there we go.
Let's go. It's in here.
What the hell did I get myself into?
It's been so long, the city has even forgotten the fact of its own destruction.
Tee-hee... That is my destination.
The destination has new music!
We pan north...
...to the... whatever the hell this is.
Forgive me for getting you involved. It won't take much longer.
It should be easy to just head down the main street to the end, but Frey's an RPG protagonist and can't climb over anything taller than a single step, so we're going to have to take the long way around. On the plus side, there's treasure.
On the less plus side, also the undead.
Taylor has the Analysis skill, same as Lelei but a higher rank. It tells us these things are weak against Holy damage, which is not terribly surprising.
We won't be able to access these chests until we're pretty much through the entire thing. There's a Holy Amulet (+1 Holy, -1 Dark) and a Prosperity Tunic (+10% Potch after battle; goes on Lyon with all the rest).
The nice thing about these enemies is that they drop Magic Absorb pieces.
Magic Absorb has been around since the second game, where it could be attached to a character's weapon, an option not available in Suikoden V. Here, it goes in your right hand (only!) and restores a Magic Point when you make a successful attack. In II, it restored first level spells only. Here, it restores the lowest level spell you've used up. In other words, if you've only used fourth level spells, that's what it'll fill up.
A lot of people think these are great, and if you do, that's definitely a strike against Viki - the Blinking Rune is locked to her right hand. Personally I don't tend to use enough magic to need them, so I'm not that impressed.
Something about this place feels eerily familiar.
The encounter rate in here is high. Takamu is definitely helpful if you're interested in getting through it before you start getting grey hairs. (By the way, the opening in the middle is not a door. You can't get to it.)
However, even aside from the Magic Absorb runes you can farm, there's quite a few goodies hidden around the place.
It puts your party in a circle and gives +5 PDF and MDF for everyone, as well as +20 MAG for the one in the back. The form skill is pretty good, but sacrificing the entire party's turn for an extra spell usually isn't worth it. Still, +20 MAG might actually be noticeable, so it's a decent enough formation. And it looks different, which is also a plus. (Shut up, I have to see this screen a lot.)
Finally, we make our way into the deepest part of the building.
All we get is a light show. She doesn't even open the chest or anything.
What a ripoff!
What was in that chest?
Tee-hee-hee... Something you could say I "forgot." That's all.
Hmmm... You did help me get to the ruins. And I did make a promise... I'll stay at Your Highness' castle from today on! I look forward to working with you! Tee-hee...
You're doing this shit on purpose, aren't you!
But we get a really good Star out of the deal, and at least she's not actively being a bitch about it, so it's still an upgrade.
Can't do anything up here...
But there's treasure upstairs. (+10 MAG.)
And a hidden path behind the wall.
This is the one we saw on the way in. (+10 MDF.)
But this is probably the best of the lot. As usual, the Champion's Rune prevents (most) encounters that can be released. Here's a tip for anyone playing along at home: Have Jeane put this on Frey right this very instant and then never take it off again. You'll thank me later.
I can tell this place wasn't built by the Sindar. It's in the little details, like how they aren't complete and utter assholes about it.
Upon returning to the castle, we find that someone has set up a shop for Jeane. That's kind of them!
Of course she hops in and takes over if we talk to them. (Though obviously we don't need to, given we can access the same thing from the menu if she's with us.)
From one thing to another, prepare to be disappointed.
See, apparently I'm a big dumb retard who warped out and changed my party after bringing Zerase here instead of reloading a save so we won't get to see his reaction to Jeane. See?! I keep telling you that woman's nothing but trouble, but no one listens!
Instead, I'm booting Jeane for this guy.
Genoh is old and likes old people. But he'll only join if you bring him one who looks old, so even Ms. "I forgot something in a city that's been buried since before anyone even heard the word Sindar" won't actually let you recruit him.
Ah, visitors... Welcome.
However, he's not satisfied with just an old (looking) person.
What's this?! A tortoise that can speak the human tongue?! Even the Encyclopedia of Natural History doesn't make note of such a thing!
You also have to keep them up in levels.
Ho... ho... ho... Did I... surprise you?
I'm Genoh. Some prefer to call me by the name of "Boss."
I forget the formula, but it's a certain percentage of Frey's level, which basically translates to "no less than one level below."
"Boss"?! So the lore of the beavers is actually true?!
If their level is lower than that, he'll say something about how you leave your elderly party members at home when you're out adventuring and he thinks you're being disrespectful.
I felt the presence of one who has lived quite long... So I decided to investigate... I was... right. Younger folk... irritate this old tortoise. And older folk... rarely wander into these mountains. So sad...
Older folk, would you mind chatting for a bit? I haven't had guests in such a... long time. Yes, a long... long time.
And then he won't join you.
Hmm... A wonder not recorded in even a single tome, right before my very eyes! I would truly love to converse with one such as yourself!
So I brought Alhazred to the Lunas path, stuck him in the reserves and switched him with Frey in every battle.
Excellent... Excellent... About... ten years should be enough time... Give or take.
That's probably the quickest way to get the old man up to speed at this point.
Ten years?! ...Do you realize how many tomes could be pored over in that amount of time?
"Join"... you? What... ever do you mean, human?
...Oh... Ho... ho... ho! So... You have other old folk supporting your cause? I can... converse at length with them? At... long... length? Ho... ho... ho... Conversing at... long... length sounds wonderful...
All right, young one... I'll pay your place a... short visit. About... ten years should be enough time... Give or take.
I'm suddenly very tired.
Genoh is a large-sized character who takes up two party slots. For that reason, he's pretty bad.
So, young one... Should I... accompany you now?
He is hella tanky, though. I'll have to bring him one of these days.
No, please go ahead to the castle.
But now is not that day.
Ho... ho... ho... I'll... visit your place, then.
From one thing to another, one of the things in the buried city dropped this. It adds... atmosphere. Yeah. And since we're down here already, let's go take a look at our local .
The Dawn Times - Issue 1 posted:
Front Page - Queen's Knights Reduce Lelcar to Ashes posted:According to top-secret sources, "The Dawn Times" has learned that during the recent battle for Lelcar, the Godwin army set fire to the town in order to facilitate their own speedy evacuation.
After pouring fuel throughout the western islet and igniting it, the Godwin troops waited for the Prince's siege to let up, then evacuated. Although many Lelcar residents still remained behind, the Godwin troops then ruthlessly destroyed the western bridge to make sure they couldn't be followed.
Thanks to rescue efforts of the Prince's army and Orok, the leader of the western islet, casualties were kept to a minimum, but the populace is furious over the Godwin faction's barbarous act. And the fact that the Godwin commander was a Queen's Knight, sworn to protect Falena, is inciting even more anger.
Back Page - Lelcar Strikes Alliance with Prince posted:The representatives of Lelcar's three islets, Volga, Wasil and Orok, have recently promised full cooperation with the Prince's army. Lelcar's islets have long been known for their disparate political views. Since the start of the war, hostility between these factions has only intensified.
However, the cowardly actions of Queen's Knight Zahak during the recent battle over the town have instilled a great anger and resolve in all the peoples of Lelcar; all factions are now firmly in the camp of His Royal Highness.
Serials - Portraits of the Enemy: Introduction posted:In this special serial publication, "The Dawn Times" hopes to use its extensive investigative acumen to focus on the heinous cast of enemy characters who continue to threaten the Iodine in Hell Army and, indeed, the very way of Falenan life.
Many of our esteemed and loyal readers have been gravely injured or had friends and family members maimed, murdered, and kidnapped by this rogues' gallery of scoundrels. Therefore, it's natural to wonder why anyone would want to learn more about them.
However, in order to achieve victory, it is vital to know one's enemy as one knows himself. Therefore, "The Dawn Times" firmly believes that this series, however controversial, can help contribute to the eventual victory of the Iodine in Hell Army.
Next time, "Portraits of the Enemy" will take an in-depth look at the traitorous Queen's Knight Zahak, who cowardly set Lelcar ablaze during the recent battle over that town.
Fair and balanced! Well, it seems like this is going to get pretty annoying for the Godwins, so bring it on, I say!
I didn't know anything about the cave Your Highness and Jeane went in. Now I'm quite ashamed of all that bragging about making "the most accurate map of Falena ever."
Speaking of , our latest expedition (and recruit!) has caused quite a stir.
When she first came to Lelcar, the young fellows really made a big fuss. Normally, I would scold them for making such a big racket over a girl, but I don't blame them this time. When we brought her to this castle, the ones left behind in Lelcar must've been so disappointed...
Falena. Land of perverts. And assholes.
If Your Highness wants my comments, they're all over the newspaper.
I know! I just read it! You saw me! Why are you telling me this?!
Somebody is investigating me. Make him stop.
Make him yourself, you colossal fuckbag.
Yikes! He's here, too...? Oh, well, I guess I'll be fine, as long as the food keeps coming.
On the plus side, Zerase's bullshit only makes me appreciate Nikea more.
Not to question your decision, but your "bodyguard" isn't even a match for the people she "protects"! Plus, she eats like a horse...
If I only hired people who are better than me, you wouldn't be here either.
Well then, just two more things this update.
And here's the first.
Thank goodness! I'm so glad I found you!
I'm sorry about what I did earlier. I've regretted it ever since. Here, take this.
She hands back the 2000 Potch she cheated us out of before.
Like I said, I'm really sorry. Whenever I get in debt, I can't help myself...
???: There she is! There's that filthy cheater!
...she felt so bad about cheating us out of our money that she cheated someone else out of their money so she could pay us back? I... I don't get it.
Either way, this was thing number two, and of course he's starting on the third one right after this.
Next up, Sable!
'course, there's also the dumb option you can take with Nikea.
Because it's not as if we're in the Queendom of Falena or anything.
But I'm ASKING you to hit me, Prince! ...Or, I'm asking you to try to hit me and then I'll dodge it, of course!
I'm a nice girl, so I'm not gonna force you! I WILL bat my pretty little eyes and beg you, though!
Well, you know where to find me! Don't make me track you down and bat my pretty little eyes at you, Prince!
After coming to his senses, Frey takes a well deserved beating. Nikea is all "I won? Sorry about that!" but she really shouldn't be.
...All right, take me to your castle now, Your Highness!
Don't look so confused! I never said I wouldn't join you if you couldn't beat me, did I? I just wanted to duke it out with the Prince! That's it! No hidden motives! Lookin' forward to working for you!
I may be going soft in my old age, but I actually believe her.