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Guardian Ghost of the Description Thread
Hey kids, what time is it? If you answered "Howdy Doody time!", well, okay. I won't disparage that. I get the reference. However, if you said "It's time for Marrend to get Suiko-screwed!" you hit it on the nose! I've done written LPs of all the PS2 games, so, let's re-visit the PS1 era, and go back to where it all started.

Photo obtained via Wikipedia.

Suffice it to say, there's a lot of things that we took for granted before that aren't available in this game. For one, each character has their own inventory, and equipped items still count towards that character's inventory limit. Also, characters may only have one Rune attached to them at any given time. Of particular note in this regard is the Holy Rune, which allows for running/dashing.

As with the other written LPs, the goal of this LP is simply to achieve the 108 Star Bonus. Questions, or comments, are welcome, as always!

Table of Contents
  • Imperial March
Session 1 - In service to the Emperor
Session 2 - Ted's costly mistake
  • Rebel scum!
Session 3 - Sorry for capturing you before?
Session 4 - The end, and beginning, of a hero
Session 5 - Our first recruits
  • Fall of three Great Generals
Session 6 - Kwanda Roseman
Session 7 - Milich Oppenheimer
Session 8 - Teo McDohl
  • Vampires and Dragons and Imperials! Oh, my!
Session 9 - Vampire Hunter D Viktor
Session 10 - The Return of the Son of the Fly Dragon Part 2 - Director's Cut Extended Edition
  • Fall of an Empire, birth of a Rebuplic
Session 11 - Kasim Hazil
Session 12 - Sonya Shulen
Session 13 - 108% completion!
Guardian Ghost of the Description Thread
The introduction movie...

...never really inspired me to play this game. Though, I think I may have played Suikoden 2 before I played this game back in the day? We're talkin' early 2000's here, and my memory regarding this is more than fuzzy.

At any rate, New Game! Our protagonist will be called Tir. There is no debate about this. After the name-entry, we get dropped into a room, and have control of Tir. I mean, there isn't much to do here, outside of talking to Teo, Tir's father. Unless you're the kind of crazy that hacks inventory to feed Tir stat-stones. Which I am. Darigaaz, it's not even a minute in, and I'm doing this? I'm not sure if I should laugh or cry.

Anyway, after I'm done, I talk to Teo. Shortly thereafter, a maid comes by and escorts us to see the Scarlet Moon Emperor. Teo is a high-ranking general in the Empire, and he's asked to go to the border of the City-States of Jowstone (the setting for the next game, by the way) and settle whatever troubling matters are there. He's presented with the sword, Prakk, which Teo accepts with honor. He stands aside, and I move forward. He asks me if I'm willing to help the Empire while my father is away. I agree, and am placed under Kraze, which I introduce myself to. He straight-out says that I'll receive no special treatment for being a general's son, and to report to him first thing tomorrow.

We then head home, and catch a small glimpse of the Gregminster music...

...before arriving. We have a small chat with Gerimo before he rushes off to the kitchen, remembering that he was making stew. Teo leaves, and I have a small chat with Cleo and Pahn before going upstairs to meet Ted. Guy wants to hear all about my trip to the palace, and is most especially interested in Windy, the court magician. At the end of the conversation, Ted wants to share a secret, but, we are called for dinner by Gerimo. Eh, we can talk later.

At dinner, Teo relays that he'll be leaving north, and that he's putting me in charge of the house. Regardless, he wants the support of Germio, Cleo, and Pahn, to look after him, and protect him. From Ted, he wishes we continue to be good friends.

The next day, Gerimo wakes me up. It doesn't seem to be on purpose, but, it's still my first day on the job. It wouldn't do well to be late, would it? Downstairs, Pahn and Cleo join me. Ted's still fast asleep, though, only until we try to leave the building. With a near-full party, and free-ish roaming of Gregminster, I head to the inn to save.

After a healthy serving of stat-stones to my other party members, it's back to the palace! Kraze yells at me a bit for being late, but, gives me the mission of going to Magician's Island to visit the seer, Leknaat. Her job is to look to the stars. Our job is to find out what she's seen, and report back. There's no boat that goes there, but, transportation has been arraigned, thanks to the Dragon Knights. We go by air! We are also reminded that Leknaat is the younger sister to court magician Windy, and we should show proper respect.

Let's nip this in the bud now. The Leknaat they are talking about? It's the self-same Leknaat that's been appearing in all the other games. I think she appears more in this game, and in the sequel, than any of the PS2 games (barring 5, perhaps?), but, we'll see later on how true that is.

Anyway, our ride/escort is a familiar face. At least, as far as the order I've been playing these games in. It's Futch and Bright Black!

Those two really hit it off great, yeah? Anyway, we ride Black, and a cut-scene later, we arrive on the island. Iiiiiiit's dungeon time!

The path is pretty straight-forward here. It doesn't take me long to come across Luc, who summons a golem. Our first boss fight isn't that hard. Then again, we have no Runes to utilize, so, we're stuck with normal attacks, and the Tailisman Unite attack shared by Pahn and Gerimo. The tower not far ahead doesn't seem to have any encounters in it, so, we reach the top, and Leknaat, in no time.

After Ted gives me a nudge, she apologizes for calling me "cute", and asks us to come with her for the Astral Conclusions. Before handing them over, she spouts a... familiar blat. One about how I am important to destiny, and that fate is not unchangeable. She asks her pupil to take us back to the shore without any tricks. He agrees, and uses his Wind Rune to teleport us to where Black and Futch are waiting. Though, he was up to a bit of mischief in regards to Ted. Guy gets no respect, I tell 'ya.

Back at the palace, we deliver the Astral Conclusions to Kraze. He's already got our next assignment ready, and we are to go without delay. Well, I don't know about the "without delay" part, but, our next mission is in Rockland. Apparently, the townsfolk refuse to pay their taxes, and are quite overdue. We are to meet with a man called Grady there, and find out what's going on.

I don't get into any encounters along the way, and I give a good look-see at what's available in town (Hi, Marco! Recruit you later!), but, I ultimately decide to talk to Grady another day.
Guardian Ghost of the Description Thread
What was I doing again? Oh, yeah, Rockland.

We visit Grady's place and are told of bandits on Mt. Seifu. They've been pillaging the nearby villages, and Rockland is no different in this regards. We end up agreeing to take care of them for him, being the courageous Imperial Guard that we are. Or some-such.

Well, I dunno 'bout bandits, but, I do find me a Queen Ant, and her cohorts. My rounds against this boss consists of Tir, Cleo, and Ted taking out the minions, while Pahn and Germio use Talisman Attack on the Queen Ant. The trick to this fight is that the Queen will summon new minions every round, so, the only people that would be able to target her with normal attacks would be Ted and Cleo. Using Cleo's Fire Rune would ultimately do nothing, since she just spawns more minions. I suppose Pahn's Boar Rune could do it to, though, I think that unbalances him? I keep forgetting about that Rune.

Anyway, the fight goes for maybe three rounds before it's aborted. My party's not feeling particularly confident about living through a retreat, much less getting past this mess. Ted seems to have an idea, though, and asks us to step back.

Suffice it to say, nobody has any clue what the heck Ted did. I mean, Pahn was in wonder when Luc used his Wind Rune to teleport the party back on Magician's Island! Ted is evasive, and says he prefers to answer later, when we get back to Gregminster. For now, we should focus on getting those bandits. Kanaan mutters something about Commander Kraze, and that maybe this was the thing he was talking about. Hrm. I don't like this.

Despite what the previous cut-scene may have suggested, my party is very much fit to fight. Regardless, I use the save point a few screens ahead. A bit beyond that are Varkas and Sydonia, the leaders of the bandits. We take care of them in due time, and the game fast-forwards to us being at the base of the mountain.

We report to Grady of our capture of the bandits, and he puts them into jail. He also gives us a bounty of 10,000 bits, which Kanaan takes. I don't know if that amount covers their back taxes, or not, but, I suppose it's a moot point. Besides, I've a funny feeling that money is going to be pocketed by Kraze (or Kanaan) anyway. Either way, back to Gregminster!

Kanaan goes ahead and reports to Kraze for us, no doubt claiming the credit for all of our hard work. He's also bringing Ted with him, probably about that Rune he invoked.

We spend some time at home. Germio's meal is delicious as always, but, Ted's running a bit late. What's taking so long? I start downstairs, and find his broken body on the floor. What the hell?

We get him to Cleo's room, and treat him as best we can until he comes around. Kannan took him to see Windy, the court Magician. Apparently, the two know each other, and have known each other for at least 300 years. Three. Hundred. Years. That's not a normal life-span! Ted got away by invoking the Rune again, which he called "Soul Eater" in the cut-scene, but, it did a number on him. After relaying his story, he passes out again.

So, are the Imperial Guard after him? Pahn seems to think so, and believes we should turn him over. He dosn't want to make any trouble for Teo while he's gone. Germio heartily disagrees. Cleo thinks we should let Ted stabilize before we make any hard decisions. At this point, I'm more or less locked in this room until I talk to Pahn, who goes off to get some medicine for Ted. A bit after he leaves, Ted comes to again, and we ask about that "Soul Eater" he talked about before. In case you didn't know before-hand, it's one of the 27 True Runes. He calls it a "cursed Rune", and is the source of this trouble with Windy.

As to why Windy is after the Rune, Ted doesn't really know. However, he's been dodging her for the past 300 years, and never thought he'd find her here. He doubts his ability to keep running from her, especially when she's so close, and the wound he has. He pleads with me to guard the Rune, even though it will bring me much suffering. It's a show choice, but, this is very much a "but thou must!" situation.

After Ted transfers the Rune (how does he do that!?), there's a noise at the front door. Looks like Pahn has returned, but, he didn't bring back medicine! He did, however, bring Kraze, Kannan, and some Imperial Guards with him! They want Ted. They (and Windy) must think Ted still has Soul Eater. Cleo and Germio are ready to fight, but, Ted gives himself up. He's using himself as a decoy so we can get away! There's a back door in the kitchen that we use to escape the manor. On the Gregminster map, there's a guy at the front gate that we run hastily away from if we talk to him, and going to the palace is the exact opposite direction of where we need to go. So, we visit the inn, and the innkeeper gives us refuge.

We can take a bit of a breather here. Germio can't believe what just happened. Cleo is of a more clearer mind, firmly believing that we need to go north and get into contact with Teo. That means leaving Gregminster, which, well, seems to have it's own issues. The Imperial Guard are after us, and, to top it off, we seem to have been branded as rebels?

As I try to leave the inn, I bump into some guards. Literally. Things get a little hairy, but, we don't get into a fight. A guy called Viktor comes along, and reasons that nobody the Imperial Guard would be searching for would be so stupid as to still be in Gregminster. The guards waiver a bit, but, ultimately let us go. Their loyalty to the Empire isn't that high, apparently. In any event, we thank Viktor, but find out he used us as a cover to get out of paying for his bill! Great people, yeah?

However, we still have no way out of Gregminster. We come across Viktor again, who seems to have a plan. He's willing to help us, and in exchange, he wants us to met somebody. Hrm. Well, our options aren't exactly open at the moment, so, I agree. He bribes the guard with Germio's money (nice pick-pocketing, Viktor!), and we're on our merry way to Lenankamp, to the south. Not that Cleo's idea of going north is bad, but, we did promise Viktor that we go with him.
Guardian Ghost of the Description Thread
Viktor ditches me when I reach Lanankamp, leaving me to make a few rounds around town. There's new armor to buy, and a blacksmith, but still no Runes for purchase. While I have run across a Rune Shop at Gregminster and here, they don't actually sell Runes there. All they do is equip/remove Runes. Which is still an important service, mind, but, the only Rune I can even mess with is the Fire Rune on Cleo. I could really, really use a Holy Rune. Maybe I should just up and hack one already? Hrm...

Anyway, it appears the innkeeper at Lanakamp is a friend of Viktor, and give us his best, and biggest, room. We wait for Viktor for several hours, but, he doesn't seem to be coming by. Cleo's willing to give him a few more moments before abandoning him, and heading north for Teo. Germio asks again why Pahn did what he did, but, Cleo prefers not to answer.

Just then, we hear some noise at the front. The Imperial Guard is here, and they are looking for "fugitives". Well, there's too many of them for us to fight, and it appears that window is jammed shut. There is no way to escape this room. Unless, of course, a woman comes out of an underground passage that's hidden by the clock. She mentions that we must be the "new friends" Viktor spoke of, an asks us to follow her further in.

So, not only was Viktor with the rebel army, but, he's taken us to meet their leader. Great. Juuuuuuuust great. Viktor thinks we'd be a great asset to their team, and wants us to join them in their cause. Germio is dead-set against it. Cleo doesn't seem to mind as much, but still wonders what Teo might think. As for myself, well, I know I don't want to be anywhere near Windy, if I can help it. I promised Ted not to let her have the Soul Eater, after all. I have to keep in mind that Ted's been running from her for 300 years, too. Being constantly on the run is not the kind of life I wanted to live, but, that might end up being the hand I've been dealt.

At any rate, I head back towards the stairwell, and find a guy keeled over, asking to see Lady Odessa. He pleads with her to help Varkas and Sydonia, who's been strung up to die. They might be bandits, but to be put to death? That's just too much! Feeling responsible for this mess, we volunteer to help. We may not intend to betray the Empire, but, Grady is not so easily forgiven. Back to Rockland, then!

They won't let us through the front door of Grady's place, naturally. We'll need to find another way in. Viktor has an idea, and scoots off. A moment later, a fire breaks out. Viktor claims it wasn't him, but, I dunno. Either way, we can explore this place a bit, pick up some treasure, beat up on what security is still here (it's all on-map encounters), and free some bandits. We met with Grady on the way out, and high-tails it outta there after Varkas and Sydonia make their threats. As he does, he yells back that he'll tell Commander Kraze about us, thus solidifying our status as "rebels".

We part ways with Varkas and Sydonia at the entrance to Rockland, then travel back to Lanankamp. We meet up with Odessa to tell her of our success. Before we even do that, she asks us a huge favor. She wants us to deliver the plans for "Fire Spears" to their lab in Mt. Tigerwolf. Germio will have none of this nonsense, and starts dragging me away. While we might not know how many men like Grady, Kraze, or Kannan there are in the Empire, but, I simply can't look away either. There's also the matter of bearing Soul Eater, and that Windy must have figured out that Ted doesn't have it anymore by now.

With all this in mind, I agree to her request, despite Germio's pleading. Flik doesn't think it's a good idea to trust us newbies, but, Odessa is willing to come along. Flik insists on coming as well, but, Odessa denies him, requesting that he stay behind as leader in her stead. It'll be Viktor's job to protect her. Flik reluctantly agrees. I make sure Odessa is up to snuff with her equipment and feed her stat-stones before I consider myself ready to go to Mt. Tigerwolf.
That's some dramatic storyline! I'm enjoying your lp so far. Were you thinking about posting an original story?
Guardian Ghost of the Description Thread
There may be some short stories in my creative writing thread that relate to a Suikoden tribute that I may be thinking about resurrecting. It could probably use a better name than "SuikoProject", though!
Cool, I totally forgot about that thread. I guess I got more to read.
Guardian Ghost of the Description Thread
At the base of Mt. Tigerwolf, we note that the sun's about to set. We're not 100% sure that we can cross before sundown, but, we'll give it a go! About halfway up, we come across a hut, and it's owner. He thinks we got some guts going up this mountain so late, but thinks we'd best rest. Viktor is all over this idea, as is Germio. We then proceed to fall for, perhaps, one of the oldest tricks in the book by drinking drugged tea. It knocks us out cold, making us ripe for stealing whatever valuables we have on our persons. I don't recall the exact value, but, I must have had over half a million in bits. Welp.

A bit later, his boss, Kessler, comes by and sees the handiwork. He then spots somebody familiar, and starts yelling at his subordinate. Even a child should know who Lady Odessa is! An antidote is prepared in short order, and we're allowed to rest free of charge. Without the drugged tea, clearly.

I mixed up my details before. Our objective is Sarady, which is beyond these mountains. Which we reach shortly. We're supposed meet our contact at the inn, according to Odessa. I check around the town for other services. I came across a Clone crystal on Mt. Tigerwolf, and if they happen to have a Holy Rune for sale, and a Rune shop...

No such luck. The item shop had a Water crystal for sale, but, no Rune shop. Go fig! The inn was apparently right in front of us, but it was unmarked. We take a snooze, and let Odessa do her thing. Sort of. I can't quite get to sleep, and join Odessa at the front porch. She tells me that so much is expected of her from everyone and admits that sometimes, sometimes, she wishes she could just run from it all. She feels it strange that she's able to open up to me like this. Something about the compassion reflected in my eyes? Anyway, the contact comes by, breaks up the mood, and the plans are on their way. Best get some sleep tonight, as we'll be journeying back to Lenankamp tomorrow.

The journey back is nothing to write home about. It's when we get to the inn, and find the innkeeper on the ground, when things get interesting. Apparently, the guards came barging in, with the implication that they've found the hidden passage behind the clock. Odessa rushes forward, and we're not far behind! Sure enough, the place is riddled with troops, and we fight off a wave or two before hearing Odessa scream. That doesn't sound good! We rush over, fight another wave of troops, and find Odessa sitting on the ground, bleeding profusely. She took a blow for a child, who runs off to god-knows-where. She laments not being a good enough leader, and chose instead protect the life of that child. Viktor pleads with Odessa. If she dies, what would happen to the Liberation Army? She ignores him, and asks me to come forward.

She has two final requests for me. One is to deliver an earring to a man called Mathiu in Seika. The other is to throw her body into the stream. She knows just as well as Viktor, that if her death was known, the Liberation movement would loose faith, and die. What little hope there is of overthrowing the Empire would die with it. Viktor reluctantly says his final goodbye to the heroine before helping us with the heavy burden of throwing her body into the stream.

Now, for the other request. Getting to Seika means going through the Fortress of Kwaba. It's commanded by Ain Guide, who's an old friend of Teo's, and knows my face. Even if he doesn't know anybody else, Viktor wants us to come up with some fake names. Germio will be "Roi", Cleo will be "Maria", Viktor comes up with one of most random names ever...

...while I will be parading around as...

...his son, clearly. Naturally, we're stopped by the guards. Germio pulls an act. Even Ain Guide stops by to see what the trouble is. Germio goes as far as threatening to lop my head off for causing so much trouble. His gambit works, and we're allowed through. When we pass by, Ain Guide asks me to take care of my father. Hrm. I don't like it.

We passed through the fort, though. Germio humbly asks for forgiveness, offering his own head. Nah, we're good. We've got bigger matters to concern ourselves with. Like the fate of the Liberation Army. Once we find Mathiu, he does not accept Odessa's earring, despite recognizing that it was her last wish, then goes into his school. We follow to try to talk to him again, but, he wants nothing to do with Odessa. We retreat back to town, at a dead end with this request. At least until some imperial troops go past us toward the school. That's not a good sign, is it?

The guards have orders by Kwanada Roseman to bring Mathiu with them, no matter what the cost. They've even grabbed one of his students as hostage, threatening that they will take him to the mines, and make it generally sound like it would be slave labor. A pretty tight situation for the guy. Let's help him out, eh?

Mathiu isn't exactly happy with us killing in front of children, but, it seems he's willing to help. He won't take the earring, but understands it's significance as a representation of the leader of the Liberation Army. Mathiu reasons that Odessa must have seen the qualities of leadership in me that she lacked, and is the reason why she asked me to see him.

Being the leader of the Liberation Army might not have been what I had in mind, but, I don't think I can go back to the Empire. Not while I know what I know, and have seen what I've seen. All right, then. I'll do it.

His first piece of advise as military advisor is to find volunteers. Men and women that are dissatisfied with the empire. However, with the headquarters at Lenankamp found and destroyed, we need a new place to gather strength. He thinks the castle at Lake Toran would be perfect. We might be able to get there from Kaku. That'll be another session, though.
Guardian Ghost of the Description Thread
I think I forgot to post the BGM of Seika last time, so let's fix that now.

Anyway, Kaku. They've some new equipment for me, and the items shops sells Holy Runes. It doesn't have a Rune Shop to equip it, though. Gotta go back to Seika for that.

We need a way across the lake. I hear a man by the name of Tai Ho might be able to help, and that he hangs out at the tavern. Outside of the barkeep, there's two people on the main floor. One of them is an inventor by the name of Sergei. The other is a woman named Camille, who's a debt collector by trade. While we are never told the exact amount that Germio owes, his name is on her list. Plot-wise, we're a little short on cash (in reality, I still have over half a million bits), and Camille decides to come with us until we settle Germio's debt.

That must mean Tai Ho is downstairs, but, we talk with the barkeep to verify. Tai Ho thinks we're crazy, but, might be willing to take us across the lake if we can win against him in Chincirorin. I have the worst luck imaginable, and roll some STORMS, and a 3-2-1 (in both situations, I have to pay double, or even triple, the bet). Thankfully, I abuse save-states because I'm a terrible person, and eventually win. Tai Ho decides to join the party after crossing the lake into Toran Castle proper. Which... looks more like a cave than a castle from the outside, if you ask me. Should've taken a screenshot. Oh, well!

After a brief retreat to Kaku to sharpen Tai Ho's weapon, and bring his equipment up to snuff, I tackle the dungeon. The lower floors certainly look like a cave. There's some treasure chests that don't look accessible, but, there's hidden paths to them. The upper floors look more man-made, though quite old. At the top is a Zombie Dragon, which we should probably take care of before calling this our home. Which we do.

Now, it needs a name. Tai Ho suggests Dragon Castle. Camille suggests White Castle. Germio suggests Tir Castle. I don't see what was wrong with the old name, and go with Toran Castle.

Now that we've secured a new headquarters, we can go about the business of recruiting stars. Leknaat drops by, and hands over the Tablet of Destiny, along with her pupil Luc, to help keep track of my progress. Though, if I recall, this Tablet of Destiny doesn't necessarily chow characters that are locked out of the party? Sorry, it's been a while. I guess we'll see eventually if that's actually true, or not!

The next day, we hear a cozy theme... Germio wakes me up as usual. Mathiu's advise was to visit Lepant, and get him on our side. That's fine, and everything, but, this is our first opportunity to really recruit people. I mean, I've only got 9 Stars of Destiny here, and they've all been auto-stars! So, with that in mind, let's take a look-see at who all is available in this section.

(auto): Lepant, Pahn, Varkas, Sydonia
(not-auto): Sergei, Onil, Marie, Chandler, Sansuke, Maas, Kai, Antonio, Rock

All right, then. Let's get cracking. We've met Sergei before, and he's all to happy to install an elevator into Toran Castle for us. Both Onli and Marie are in Seika, and join with no fuss as well. While Antino is also here, I can't quite recruit him yet. Maybe he just needs more recruits? I'll look into this later.

We find Chandler at the south gate of Kwaba. Which is good, because any further in would be way too risky! Sansuke and Maas are at the Great Forest, which is to the southwest of Kwaba. Kai is at Garan, which is northwest of the Great Forest. I've since looked into Antonio, and it looks like we need to talk to Marie until she mentions that she could use a cook. This leaves Rock, but, he's in Kouan, where Lepant lives. So, iiiiiitttttt's plot-time!

One of Lepant's servants, Giovanni, tells us he's is not in. When questioned when he'll be back, he basically tells us he doesn't know. Well, that went nowhere fast! We hop back at the inn, and talk to a somewhat shady character, Krin. His plan is to steal something of great value to Lepant. As it happens, he values two things above all else. One is his wife (awwww!) and the other is his sword. His idea is for us to steal the sword, and basically use it as blackmail. Maybe not the most noble of things, but, or options are limited.

From our entry point on the roof (best not to ask), we walk along the rafters, then go down a ladder. In the next screen, we find Rock, and recruit him. Huh, I thought that would be after Lepnat. Anyway, the next screen over is a bit of a puzzle/maze. It's not too bad if you're careful, but, if you're seen, you get sent back. That can be pretty annoying, but probably not as annoying as the Wheel of Fortune.

It takes me a few spins, but, I get across to fetch the sword. Darigaaz, that spins fast. Anyway, we make for the inn with Krin, and he offers us tea. Uh, yeah, let's not fall for that one again. We have him drink the tea, and pass out, but not before letting us know that he called Lepnat over to capture us in our sleep.

Of course, he demands that we hand his sword back, but, I let him know that we want him to join us. No blackmailing here. He would like to help, but, he's not quite there yet. I return his sword upon request. I've done all I can, and only a lowlife would retain the sword until he reconsiders.

Giovanni barges in, and tells us that Eileen, Lepant's wife, has been taken by an imperial commander. Guy storms out in a fury. We follow him to a house up north, where the guards mention a Commander Kraze. The self-same from Gregminster. He calls the guards on us, and after we beat them, puts a knife to Eileen. What was I saying about lowlifes before? To make things worse, he brings in Pahn. While Pahn does not regret the decision me made in Gregminster, he yet wants to follow me. At lighting speed, he rushes forward and knocks Kraze away from Eileen. He makes one final plea for his life. I mean, I hate the guy. He quite possibly represents the very corruption that I'm trying to fight. If I let him go, I'm not sure if he'll stay in the military, or if he'll be merely re-located to another outpost, one that's even more remote, or be outright discharged.

You know what? Let him live in shame for what he's done. Well, okay, I'm not 100% sure if the guy even feels shame, so that idea might backfire. However, I suppose I owe the guy a favor. Thanks to his meddling, Lepant is willing to join the Liberation Army! Though, he's a bit cold to the wife, telling her they're no longer married. She'll have none of his nonsense, though, saying she was prepared for the worst when they did marry. A bit awkward, maybe, but, we did what we set out to do. Let's go home!
Guardian Ghost of the Description Thread
After getting off the elevator on the first floor, we meet Varkas and Sydonia again, and they join our little army. How about a feast to celebrate our successes thus far?

As I leave the make-shift mess hall, an assassin comes to take my Rune. Wow, that was quick. Not a particularly effective assassin, though. Still, he warns that Windy is ready to come after me at any time. He's more about the potential threat than being an actual threat, I guess.

Next morning, my party consists of myself and Germio. Talking to Mathiu doesn't do much, so maybe if I go to the dock...

We find a washed-up elf at our doorstep, undoubtedly desiring the Liberation Army's help for something. Which is a bit unusual, as elves typically keep to themselves. It must be something really big.

His story is that Kwanda Roseman has plans to exterminate the elves. We're not quite sure about how he's gonna do that, but, we don't want that to happen. The elves live beyond the Great Forest, so it might be a bit of a trek.

Before all that, let's take a look-see at all who's available this section.

(auto): Krin, Juppo, Giovanni, Eileen, Kirkis, Valeria, Kuromimi, Sylvina, Stallion
(not-auto): Meg, Gaspar, Sheena, Viki, Meese, Templeton, Kwanda, Gon, Fu Su Lu, Lorelai, Apple

It seems likely that Krin, Juppo, Giovanni, and Eileen joined sometime during (or after) that banquet a moment ago. Kirkis is our elf friend. At this point, I should be able to get Meg, Gaspar, and Sheena before I need to follow the plot. Meg needs Juppo in the party, while Sheena needs Lepnat in the party. Gaspar is a gambler that plays Chincirorin, and we need to win 5000 bits from him.

Done and done! The path through the forest is pretty uneventful, with, maybe, two exceptions. One is a most welcome one...

...while the other is, well, not so much. On the other side of the forest is a village of Kobolds, but, it looks empty. Where is everybody? A villager come out of nowhere, tells us to go away, then mutters something about a sickness. Hrm. Well, maybe the elves know something about this.

When we get there...

...we see a woman trying to tell the Elven elder of the danger they are in. However, the elder scoffs at her, and has her taken away. I don't know if my chances with this elder are any better if Kirkis is with me, but, I have to try. Kirkis came to us, after all.

As it turns out, the elder is quite displeased with Kirkis. Not only did he leave the village without permission, but, he brought "filthy humans" with him! The great elven race doesn't need the help of humans against the likes of Kwanda Roseman! He then proceeds to throw all of us in jail. Well, then. That went well, didn't it?

When we talk to our cell-mate, Valeria (the woman we saw jailed earlier), she tells that Kwanda is planning to use something called the Burning Mirror on the elves. Well, I've love to take that out, but, we kinda need to figure out a way out of here first. Apparently, our way out comes in the form of Sylvina. She's the granddaughter of the elder, and a very, very good friend of Kirkis.

Anyway, our current plan is to go to the Dwarves, and see what they have to say about this Burning Mirror. Valeria accompanies us on this journey, and we come across the same kobold that we came across earlier on the mountain path that leads to the Dwarves. He mutters something about the Dwaves being stingy about the cure for his people, yells at me again, then runs off. Dude, I have nothing to do with whatever's going on with your people! I know, I know. Humans are all the same, right?

I find/recruit Meese pretty much right off the bat. Weapon sharpening is not long afterwards, as is whatever other business I can do here. The chief of the Dwarfs find it humorous that a human could have possibly stolen their Burning Mirror. Even if they did, he's not terribly concerned about Kwanda using it on the elves. Still, he gives us a chance to prove that humans were capable of taking treasure from their vault. We're to take the Running Water Root, and bring it back. Naturally, he thinks we're gonna fail, but, we'll see.

Geeze, what was the Dwarven Elder was even talking about? The path to the artifact was as straight-forward as one can get. What puzzles existed were annoying at best, and the boss was meh. The chief isn't too happy with our results, but, at least he's willing to believe us. To stop the Burining Mirror, we need a Firewind Cannon. The Dwarven elder promises to have one built for us. I just hope it will be in time to save the elves.

No such luck, obviously. We can see the Elven Village burning from the cliffs on our way down the Dwarven mountain. When we finally arrive, Kirkis asks what all of our efforts were for, then discards a ring that he meant for Sylvina, claiming he has nothing left. Germio picks that ring back up, gives it back to him, and says that it represents his hope now, and he must lever loose that. If anything, we must do what we can to stop Kwanda so that another tragedy like this can never happen again. Kirkis agrees. Time to return to Toran Castle.

Before I do, I hop back to the ruined city of the Elves to find/recruit Templeton. His "Suiko Map" comes in very handy too! What is definitely not cool is the event at Kobold Village. Kuromimi (the kobold that we've been coming across of late) is there, and we find ourselves surrounded by imperials. Valeria attempts to make a deal, but, the soldiers double-cross us as they take her away. Kuromimi joins us for the fight, but, as an short-ranged character in the back row (with no way to change formation before the fight begins), there's very little he can actually do.

Plot-wise, we're getting our butt kicked, even if it's the exact opposite, gameplay-wise. However, reinforcements from the Liberation Army come by, headed by Mathiu and... Sylvina? Apparently, she was saved by Stallion, the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy elf in the Suiko-verse! Of course, he bears a True Holy Rune (not to be mistaken for one of the 27 True Runes!), so, he kinda cheats on this one.

At any rate, Humphery and Sanchez, members of the old Liberation Army, have joined us, and we now have the manpower to take on Kwanda Roseman. I'd love to save my progress before we tackle Pannu Yakuta, but, Mathiu won't allow that. Oh well. Big battle time!

So, large-scale battles in this game work on a rock-scissors-paper mechanic. A "Charge" is good against "Bow", "Bow" is good against "Magic" and "Magic" is good against "Charge". We can use "Thieves" to attempt to predict what the enemy might do, or use "Merchants" to attempt to bribe/convince soldiers to our side, to give us an edge. Merchants and thieves don't always work, but, they're good options regardless.

We come out victorious, but, the thing is, Kwanda still has the Burning Mirror, is reading to use it, and we kinda don't have a countermeasure! Except when the Dwarven Chief comes outta nowhere, and uses the Firewind Cannon to break the Burning Mirror. Sweet! Now, we have to get in there, and stop the man, himself. Kwanda Roseman. The party is in complete lock-down for this. Pannu Yakuta is full of monsters and soldiers alike, and I have to beat a Dragon on top of that, but, we manage. Kwanada challenges me to a duel, spouting something about a black Rune that Lady Windy gave him.

I emerge victorious, and Kuromimi demands Kwanda make his people better. The black Rune flashes in his hand, and he collapses. We investigate further. He recovers fast enough, but, he's a lot different than before. Something's wrong. Way wrong. Kwanda believes it has to do with the Rune that was formerly attached to his hand. It allowed him to rule over monsters, but took his willpower in exchange. He was merely a puppet for the will of Windy. Does the Emperor know about this? I dunno. All I know is that he's willing to accept capital punishment for what he's done. However, some might have noticed that the name "Kwanda" was up there in the list of Stars of Destiny. Yeah, we're gonna spare the guy.

I have the option to return to Toran Castle now, and very probably advance the plot. However, there's some business to attend to. Namely, recruiting the rest of the characters in this section. Which, at this point, is Gon, Fu Su Lu, Lorelai, and Apple.

Both Gon and Fu Su Lu are in Kobold Village. Lorelai is at the Inn at Kouan, while Apple is back in Seika. It's a bit of a trek, but, ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

Remind me again old Apple is supposed to be?
Guardian Ghost of the Description Thread
It's been three months since we beat Kwanda Roseman at Pannu Yakuta. Flik is getting a little impatient. Where the heck is Oddessa? Surely, she should have come back by now? Without consulting anybody, Mathiu drops the truth that she's dead, then asks if it's all right to tell the whole truth. I suppose Mathiu must think that, as remnants of the old movement, they have the right to know. I agree with that assessment. I just wish we could have talked about this a tad more before dropping the bomb on them.

Humphery seems okay, for the most part? I dunno. It's hard to tell with him. Sanchez was surprised, but mostly keeps his head. Flik, on the other hand, storms ouuta there like a 10-year old with a tantrum. We're going to need his help, so Viktor and I are gonna go talk to him.

Thankfully, the guy has cooled off a bit, but still refuses to recognize me as the leader of the Liberation Army. However, we can still work together. Flik suggests that our next target is the fortress at Goran, and use that as our staging ground to attack Milich Oppenheimer. We take Goran with some casualties, and Pahn wants us to keep going. Mathiu believes this is a bad idea, and that we should send a reconnaissance team to scout out what the enemy is doing. Flik, however agrees with Pahn, and has us march straight to Scarletta Castle.

We are ill prepared for his poison gas flower. Well, then. I guess we need to send that recon team after all! However, rather than do that, we have an opportunity to get a few recruits. Let's have a look at the list, shall we?

(auto): Humphery, <Sanchez>, Flik, Gen, Kamandol, Kimberly, Tesla, Liukan
(not-auto): Hellion, Mina, Chapman, Jeane, Jabba, Lotte, Anji, Leonardo, Kanak, Milich

The towns of note here are, well, technically speaking their names are Lac Virginite, Bier Blanche, and Premier L'Amour. However, for our purposes, we'll use their pre-Milich names of Tiein, Antei, and Rikon.

Theme for Teien/Rikon.

Theme for Antei.

In Teien, we have Hellion, who has the Blinking Mirror of this game. Very important! Antei has Mina, Chandler, and the ever-lovely Jeane.

Jabba and Lotte are at Rikon. Jabba wants to see a "Nameless Urn" while Lotte wants us to help her find her cat. The Nameless Urn isn't too much of a problem for me, as I'm the kind of terrible that hacked one into my inventory. As for Lotte's cat, it was wandering in Kaku. How it got there is beyond me, but, whatever. Good thing I've got a Blinkin' Mirror, yeah?

I can get to Anji, Leonardo, and Kanak via boat from Teien. We need to beat their faces in before they join us. That's all of the recruits for now.

So, we need a way to counteract the pollen of that flower at Scarletta. There's supposed to be a pharmacist by the name of Liukan in Rikon. He's since moved out of town, naturally. However, we can only go so far on the river, as there's rapids in the way. To cross the rapids, we'll need a different boat. That's where Gen and Kamandol comes in. Kamandol has built an engine that runs on oil. It should give us enough oomph to get past the rapids, and Gen'll make a ship that can carry/use it.

The pair work through the night. The next morning, we're ready to set sail. We make it through the rapids with no trouble at all, and make it to Luikan's hermitage. The man's not exactly willing to help us, but, that's not my biggest issue here. My biggest issue is Milich himself coming here via dragon, and taking Luikan away to Soniere Prison! While me might not be able to fly, we can teleport with Viki. However, the suggestion by Gremio to ask Mathiu for advise isn't bad.

As an aside, it happened sometime early in this session, but, our castle did get an upgrade with it's music.

Anyway, Mathiu's plan is to go to Antei, speak with Kimberly (a counterfeiter) and Tesla (a scrivener), and get them to join our cause. Telsa's not a big deal, but, Flik gets cornered into having tea with Kimberly. The guy gets all the unwanted attention, I tell you. When I return to Toran Castle, they've forged both an imperial order, and Milich's signature. With this, I should be able to enter the prison to save the good doctor. Well, then, let's get to it!

The fake orders work like a charm. We find Luikan at the very bottom of the prison, though we do end up fighting a few guards on the way. Easy peasy.

...Is what I'd like to say, but, we have some trouble getting out of there. Not so much in respect to encounters. It's Milich, giving us a headache and a heartache.

He breaks open a vial containing man-eating spores, and runs out of the room, but not before trapping us in said room. One door opens via a lever, which Gremio operates, and we all go through. I waver a bit, and he pushes me to the other side, operates the lever again, re-sealing the room.

He absolutely does not open that door, regardless of what I say. Mathiu comes by who knows how long afterwards with the troops, but, by then, it's way, way too late for Gremio. I say a humble farewell to my friend, and caretaker.

I do my best to sleep it off. The next morning comes, and I walk over to Mathiu. Lukian has worked up an antidote for the poison gas. Thus, Mathiu suggests we attack Scarletta castle. I agree. Stopping Milich is the best way to honor Gremio's death right now. After we beat Milich's army, it's high-time to take out those bloody roses of his!

We get to the roof of Scarletta without too many issues, but, of course, Milich is there to stop us from burning his flowers. However, he stops himself before attacking us again. It appears he was also bearing a black Rune, and he got it from Windy. Hrm. Interesting. That might mean he was under Windy's control the entire time. Which means he's not necessarily at fault for Gremio's death. He's merely a pawn, like Kwanda was. Neither Viktor nor Pahn understand my thinking, but, I let him live, and even let him join the Liberation Army. Stallion zips in to let us know about the impending Imperial army, which makes us rush back to Toran Castle. There's a few characters I can obtain before advancing the plot, but, that can be another time.
Guardian Ghost of the Description Thread
As mentioned last session, there's some people I can recruit before advancing the plot. Let's have a look-see at who all is available for this section, though.

(auto): Kasumi, Kun To, Mose, Ronnie Bell, Alen, Grenseal
(not-auto): Ivanov, Kasios, Qlon, Esmeralda, Georges, Sarah, Lester, Blackman, Kessler, Ledon, Kage, Melodye

Both Ivanov and Kasios are in Scarletta Castle, with Kasios wanting Milich in the party. Qlon and Esmeralda are in Antei, with Esmeralda wanting to see an Opal. The rest will have to come later.

I take a bit of time to get some of my not-yet-used characters to level 30-ish (Soniere is pretty good for this) as well as getting them the best equipment I can, and sharpen their weapons before going to the plot lock-down war room to meet Kasumi.

Her news is most unwelcome. The hidden village of Rokkaku has been sacked by none other than Teo McDohl, and now he's coming our way. We don't stand a chance against his armored cavalry, and we make a hasty retreat. Pahn stays behind to hold them off. I don't know if that's such a good idea, but, I wish him luck all the same.

A duel commences between Pahn and Teo, with Pahn coming out on top. Teo withdraws, while Pahn wonders if he merely showed mercy, or if he legitimately beat him. Regardless, the best thing we can do is sleep. Maybe, by morning, we'll have some kind of plan to counteract the armored cavalry.

Leknaat visits me during the night. She talks a little bit about her sister, Windy, and how they are both from the Clan of the Gate. She also tells me that Windy also bears one of the 27 True Runes, the Gate Rune. Now, the Gate Rune, by itself, is terribly powerful, to be sure. However, she still wants Soul Eater for her own personal gain. It'd be a craptastrophe just waiting to happen.

Leknaat leaves out some pretty important details. Like the fact that a person can only bear one True Rune at any given time. Also, Windy has only half of the Gate Rune, while Leknaat has the other half. At this time, we don't know how Windy will carry Soul Eater. However, I largely assume it would be very similar to how Green Bishop does it in Suikoden 3.

At any rate, the next morning comes, and Flik has an idea. The Fire Spears might be able to get us out of this mess. However, when the Imperial Army attacked the camp at Lenankamp, they attacked other hideouts as well. There's no way to know if the secret lab still stands, let alone the plans for the Fire Spears. I guess the only way to really find out for sure is to go and see. Gen and Kamandol have build another boat that they want us to test-drive. Sounds good to me.

We go north, right past a whirlpool, and into Kirov...

...where we can recruit Georges, Sarah, and Lester. Georges is another gambler, and we have to beat his record to recruit him. Sarah involves a chain of fetch-quests, and ends up already having the thing she initially asked for anyway. With Lester, I have to taste some stews of his. With them out of the way, I proceed north to the ghost town of Kalekka, and recruit Blackman, and pick up the Sound Crystal that Melodyne was looking for. We'll hand that off in a bit. For now, we venture further north to the secret factory, where we see some familiar faces.

Yeah, let's not piss off Ronnie Bell any more than she already is!

After Ronnie Bell goes inside, we talk to the pair of bandits, and they join our cause. Inside we find, aside from Ronnie Bell, Kage (which costs us 20,000 bits to recruit), and Mose. Mose can make the Fire Spears, but, we need a way to transport them. Tai Ho knows of a guy called Kun To in Kirov that might be able to help us. That's where I was going for Melodyne, so...

Not only does Kun To let us borrow some of his boats, he joins us. Ronnie Bell loads them with the spears, and we're off to Toran Castle! Once more, we face against the armies of Teo McDohl, and his armored cavalry. The Fire Spears utterly decimate Teo's forces, and we ask him to surrender. Rather than do that, he challenges me to a duel, to which I accept.

Talk about one-sided, poor Teo falls from a defense against his desperate blow. Even as he dies, he's proud of what I've done, and asks his retainers, Alan and Grenseal, to join the Liberation Army in his stead.

He dies happy, knowing that his son has surpassed him. Soul Eater reacts to his death, granting me it's third-level spell, Hell. I didn't mean to skip over it before, but, Germio's death also triggered Soul Eater, and granted us it's second-level spell, Deadly Fingertips.
Guardian Ghost of the Description Thread
The Imperial Forces are in shambles. Either from news of Teo's defeat, or our absorption of both Milich's and Kwanda's turf/men into ours. Whatever the reason, this is as good a time as any to attack the fortress of Lorimar. However, we find the fort empty. We even have Kasumi scout it out for us, and she doesn't find a soul. I can't help but to notice that the grayeyard was all dug up during my own investigation. I don't understand what's going on at all, but, we should be careful.

I make a brief retreat to the castle to take care of a little business concerning my current party, then back to Lorimar to find/recruit Kirke. Speaking of, let's see who's all available this section!

(auto): Fukien, Hix, Tengaar
(not-auto): Kirke, Marco, Moose, Morgan, Zen, Hugo, Window, Quincy, Rubi, Eikei

A bit south of Lormar, I find the Warriors' Village...

...and two individuals that we will be very well acquainted with by the end of this ordeal.

We overhear their conversation. Something about a bloodsucker and a castle. A man comes out of a house, and scolds Tengaar, mentioning the name of Neclord. This gets Viktor's undivided attention. However, before I hear whatever Zorak and the Original Way-Outs have to say about Neclord, there's a small bit of recruiting to do here. We've met Marco before, in Rockland if I recall, and he still plays the same game. I bring the other blacksmiths (Maas, Meese, and Mose) to Moose, and he joins me.

Zorak's speech is more about how the Warriors' Village came to be than about Neclord. We bear his rambling until the sun sets, and decide to stay the night. Viktor keeps his story short. His hometown was desecrated by Neclord, and he's been looking for him since. We also learn from Viktor that Neclord misused a Rune to become a vampire. He doesn't say which Rune, but, that might be later. For now, we rest.

We greet the next morning with an attack on the Warriors' Village by Neclord. Zorak refuses to hand over his daughter, but, him and his men gets knocked out when they go to attack the vampire. Viktor more or less follows suit, and we're not far behind. As Neclord approaches Tengaar, Hix gets in his way. Tengaar, however, asks him to stand aside, and makes Neclord promise not to harm the villagers if she goes with him. I dunno if we can really trust Neclord, but, Hix makes his own promise to rescue Tengaar.

After recovering, Viktor admits that we can't beat him with normal weapons. We'll need something special. Zorak tells of the temple, Qlon, and that it holds a secret. Not much to go on, but, we don't have the time to listen to another long-winded story, and it's our best lead.

Before talking to Fukien, I recruit Zen and Morgan. Fukien opens the way to the Cave of the Past. Which is a really, really good place to level. I can get characters up to level 40, give or take, here. I spend a bit of time doing just that before delving into the dungeon proper.

There's a few interesting treasures in here. A war scroll we'll want to give to Hugo, and a Window Crystal that we'll want to give to Window. At the very end is a sword...

...that talks!? The curse it speaks us whisks us away to god-knows-where...

...though, it doesn't look particularly dangerous. In fact, it looks like a town. Nobody's out and about, though. Except for one kid that we chase down. Asks us if we're here for the treasure. No clue what he's talking about. He then gets called over. The voice called him "Ted". He did kinda reminded me of Ted, but, he's way too young. Unless...

Well, at any rate, the town becomes a bit livelier after this. There isn't much to do, and the townsfolk are on edge. Speaking to the elder doesn't get us very far. All we can glean is that they are expecting some woman that they'd rather not deal with. I try talking to the elder again to try and figure this out, but, the aforementioned woman drops by with Neclord. The woman in question is none other than Windy, and she's looking for a certain Rune that the village has. Of course, she's talking about Soul Eater. The village Elder uses the Rune, and we make our escape into the elder's hut.

Inside a secret room in his hut, the elder transfers Soul Eater onto Ted, and tells him never to unleash the power of that Rune. He opens a path that leads to the outskirts of the town, and will act as a decoy for our escape. Sounds somewhat familiar, doesn't it? At any rate, it's pretty clear that we've been taken to the past. I mean, we literally just saw Soul Eater pass to a boy called "Ted", so, it's likely that this is the self-same Ted that we know, and was passed Soul Eater from. Because of this, we decide to leave him behind. It may be a cruel fate to place on one so young to be alone, but, bringing him with us might cause trouble. I'm not even talking about time paradoxes. Though, that's bad onto itself. I'm talking about two exact copies of a True Rune existing at the same time. That's technically happening right now, but, I get the weird impression that extended periods of time would probably mean bad business.

Upon touching the light at the alter, we seem to have been brought back to the present. We talk again to the Star Dragon Sword and it allows Viktor to draw it to use against Neclord. Now, we have a fighting chance! Sure took the long way around, though!

Back in the Warriors' Village, I note that Zorak has gathered some men, probably to storm Neclord's castle. We already know that's not gonna work. In fact, Neclord sets up a barrier that allows only those that have been invited in. Of course, I, being leader of the Liberation Army, is a most honored guest. Zorak, and his men, however, are not invited. Great. Juuuuuuust great.

Despite not being a full-fledged warrior, and generally the kind of guy that prefers to not fight, Hix shows some guts, and pleads to come with us. He made a promise to Tengaar that he would save her with his own hands, after all. Zorak is pleased with him, and recognizes him as a warrior, and allows him to name his sword. It's a long-held tradition that a warrior names his sword after the thing that is most important to him (subnote: women cannot be warriors in their tradition, hence the use of the male pronoun here). The thing that he vows protect with his life if need be. For Flik, he named his sword "Odessa", after the woman he loved. That's why he was so damn pissed to hear that Odessa died. For Hix, it will be "Tengaar", for similar reasons.

Before going to free Tengaar, there's some business to attend to. Not just making sure Hix is up to snuff, but, the remaining non-auto characters. Quincy was at Garan, and we just needed enough recruits before she joined. Rubi was in Kobold Village, but, Kirkis needed to be at (or above) level 40 before he joined. Eikei, at Teien, is somewhat similar in that regard, and wanted to see Tir at (or above) level 40. From here on out, it's all auto-stars. Which means, we're storming Neclord's castle. Which has some really nice music, by the way... well as having a few tricks up it's sleeve. For instance, there was a phrase one of the villagers said...

...that comes in handy. It's a hint to a combination door that I must open to proceed. At any rate, we climb his castle, and find Neclord playing a twisted version of the wedding march on his organ. The guy's pretty smug, but then again, he's not expecting to loose here. Except he does, thanks to Hix, Viktor, and the Star Dragon Sword. It's at this point that we learn that the Star Dragon Sword is a transformation of one of the 27 True Runes, the Night Rune. It has power over undead, and creatures of the night, such as vampires. Of course, being a Runic vampire, Neclord is not as affected by sunlight as a traditional vampire (as we saw earlier), but, the point stands that the sword is effective against him.

When we leave the castle, I allow Viktor to return to his hometown, Northwind (subnote: It's retconned to North Window later in the series next game). It may be more a matter of sentimentality than anything else, but, letting him do this, and closing that chapter in his life, is important to him. Everybody else returns to Toran Castle. Hix might not be happy Tengaar wants to join the fight too, but, he promises to protect her all the same. He did name his sword after her!

As a side-note, I remembered to check the Tablet of Destiny, and Viktor did not appear on it, despite the fact that we've recruited him, and he's certainly not dead either. Gremio's name appears there, but, it's a little hard to make out when the cursor is not over his name, as it's grey-on-grey.
Guardian Ghost of the Description Thread
Getting Lorimar under our belt without using troops, not to mention getting the Warriors' Village to side with us, has been a huge boon to our efforts. The lands to the north are occupied by Kasim Hasil, and are about eight thousand troops strong. The Floating Fortress Shazarazade (I love this name) consists of six thousand troops, while the Imperial Headquarters consists of around ten thousand. We set our sights on Kazim Hazil, and we can probably beat him with what he have. However, if we want to stand a chance with the other fronts, we'll need some help. Humphrey floats the idea of visiting the Dragon Knights. They are not aligned with the Empire, but, their leader, Joshua Levenheit (Another cool name that I'm not making up! Just ask Suikosource!), is a rather stubborn man.

The entrance to their domain is guarded, and strict orders were given to not allow anyone, and I mean anyone, passage. Flik senses that something has happened, and that we might try Antei to gather intel. We come across a man I can only describe as a fop by the name of Vincent de Boule. He drops that he's going to the Dragon's Dominion before leaving us with his dinner bill (a measly 200 bits). He may know of another way in, so we follow him. The guard turns him away, with good cause. He lets us know of a shortcut through the mountain. He won't be joining us right now, but, rest assured, we'll meet again.

We follow the path to find where the dragon's roost. We're not able to stay on the ledge above them for long, and find ourselves dropping down. This does not give a great first impression to Milia, who's there to tend the dragons. We introduce ourselves nonetheless, thanks to Futch's timely appearance, and we are allowed to proceed to their fortress. Though, Flik finds it a little odd that the dragons were asleep.

At the Dragon Knight's Fortress, I spot Fuma, and recruit him. One down...

(auto): Milia, Joshua, Futch
(not-auto): Fuma, Kreutz

...only one more to concern myself with this section. Who I find just inside. Well, then.

Upstairs, we find Milia and Joshua. We are eventually told that the dragons have some kind of sickness that have made them go to sleep, with no signs of wakening. Liukan looks them over, and his prognosis is that it's not a disease. They were deliberately poisoned, the effect of which is as we see. With the dragons thus grounded, the Dragon Knights pose no threat.

There is an antidote, however, and one of the ingredients can be found in Seek Valley, which can only be reached from the air. Thankfully, there's still a few dragons that can ride. One is Futch's Black. The other is Milia's Thrash. Milia volunteers herself, and her dragon, and joins me.

At the summit of Seek Valley, we find the moonlight weed that the good doctor wanted, and... Windy. She was behind this, but, really, she just wants me to hand over my Rune. She thinks bringing Ted with her, and having him tell me to give it back to him, will convince me. Yeah, how about NO. The Rune activates itself, and Ted speaks to me through the Rune. He's been taken over by Windy's Conqueror Rune (I don't think this is a True Rune?), and he doesn't have much time left before it takes a hold of him again. He begs my forgiveness for what he's about to do.

When I come to, Windy commands Ted to take the Soul Eater from me, and Ted threatens me in response. Nope. Not doing it. Ted blabbers about how he's been with Soul Eater for the past 300 years, and how it's started wars, and taken the souls of those closest to it's master. An impatient Windy commands Ted again to take Soul Eater. He refuses. In fact, he calls upon the power of the Soul Eater to eat his soul, granting it further power. In a last-ditch attempt, Windy steps forth, and extends her hand, as if to use a Rune (The Gate Rune, maybe? I dunno.). However, Soul Eater reacts, and pushes her away, thus causing her to retreat in a flash. Well, more like her sprite ceases to be on the screen, but, it's descriptive enough of what happened.

As for Ted, well...

...yeah, he's gone. We return to the Dragon Knight's fort, and hand over the moonlight weed. Next is the black dragon orchid. Except that the only place to get that is the Floating Garden in Gregminster. Futch went off on his own, the idiot, and we get to play as Futch for a bit and see yet another crapstatophe. I mean, Futch manages to get his hand on the item (The Emperor was strangely generous about this), but the cost is Black's life, thanks to some additional meddling from Windy.

Futch wakes in the fort, and finds out that the dragons are very much awake, and can fly again. So, the third ingredient that's been kept under wraps this whole time...

...was a dragon's liver. It came from Black, who was dead when we found the two. Joshua spouts this line...

...which might be considered as consoling him. Not sure if that's gonna stick right now, as he's very much still in shock over the news.

After a bit, Humphrey notes that we technically haven't made an alliance with the Dragon Knights yet. Though, it shouldn't be terribly difficult, with them owing us a favor. Which is pretty much how that turns out. Joshua asks his old friend, Humphrey, to take care of Futch for him. Without a dragon, he cannot stay with them. Humphrey agrees, and we take Thrash back to Toran Castle.

When I get home, I see a conversation between Krin and Kasumi. Krin mentions a spy, but never mentions who he's suspecting. He's got no hard evidence, but, there isn't a whole lot I can do to investigate his suspicions if I'm not even given a name. At any rate, Mathiu is sure to want to hear about our success with the Dragon Knights. However, that, and whatever plot-arc comes after that, can wait for later.
Guardian Ghost of the Description Thread
We let Mathiu know that we've secured an alliance with the Dragon Knights. With him is a man called Taggart, who seems desperate to see me. It seems Kasim Hasil is making some moves. Both Warren (Taggart's boss, a man of some influence and generosity) and Viktor have been imprisoned. Our army may have size enough to take down Kasim Hasil, but Mathiu suggests we could use some training. Which I agree with.

Before I rest, there's a bit of recruiting to concern ourselves with. We have...

(auto): Taggart, Griffith, Warren, Kasim
(not-auto): Mace, Crowley, Pesmerga, Leon, Clive, Vincent, Maximilian, Sancho

...quite a number of recruits to get! Mace we found in Seek Valley, and we need to take the other blacksmiths to him. Crowley was in the cave at Qlon, in a somewhat hidden room. Pesmerga is at the top of Neclord's castle (boooooo), Leon's gig involves talking to him first, then going to Mathiu for a letter, then going back. Clive was found in Rikon. Okay, that should be all, for now.

Before I go to bed, Mathiu informs me that he's also heard rumors of a spy in our midst. Apparently, he's the one that sent Kasumi and Krin to investigate. In light of all this, he wants to be in charge of the maneuvers tomorrow. Sure thing. Next morning, Mathiu tells me that everything's ready to go. I give the okay, and we set forth to the site. Except that the plans have changed. We are to strike north, and attack the northern checkpoint. The Imperial captain stationed there, Griffith, does his best to stall us, but, we won't be fooled. The garrison of thirty-seven hundred men are no match for us. We have him join us in exchange for the lives of his men. From the sound of it, they end up following him, and joining our ranks. Quite the two for one deal!

Going off the inertia of that victory, we continue the march further north. Lepant will be given a contingent to attack the Fortress of Duha. Humphrey will have a contingent to attack the Fortress of Rakan. I'll be heading a force to Moravia Castle to rescue Viktor and Warren while the other two have Kasim's attention. We are exceptionally successful in breaking them out. Cut to Kasim Hazil. He eventually realizes that the attacks on Rakan and Duha were merely a faint, but that's not all. Mathiu has manipulated the City-State of Jowstone into invading the region. Mathiu then requests that Kasim surrenders. The man is stubborn, but, I note that he does not bear a black Rune like Kwanda and Milich once did. Speaking of, Milich comes by to try and talk some sense into him, and succeeds. Kasim joins our efforts afterwards.

Before this section ends, there's a few recruits still hanging. Vincent was in the cell with Viktor and Warren, so, we have to re-climb Moravia for him. Maximilian and Sancho are at the Northern Checkpoint. I apologize for the lack of screenshots in this session. However, for what it's worth, we're coming up on the end-game!
Guardian Ghost of the Description Thread
The Liberation Army has taken hold of a good chunk of the Sacrlett Moon Empire. Our sights are set to the Imperial Capital. There's two ways to get there. We can go by land, through Kwaba, and Ain Guide. Or we go by sea, through the Floating Fortress Shasarazade and Sonya Shulen. We kinda owe Ain Guide a favor for letting us through Kwada in the early game, but, on the other hand, there will be no way we'll have enough boats to attack Sonya's fleet any time soon.

Mathiu's idea is that the enemy expects us to attack Kwaba, and we should use those expectations against them, and assemble a fleet of five hundred boats, overnight no less, to attack the Floating Fotress Shasarazade instead. I have no idea how the heck he does it, but, he pulls it off. We see a few short scenes as an intermission, with an all-too-familiar theme.

Next morning, we visit the dock and see the results of last night's work.

So, not only did we make 500 boats, but ice-boats. Geeze, Mathiu, you are crazy! Well, let's not waste any time, then. Move out!

After defeating the bulk of the forces on the fort, Mathiu's plan is for us to go in and close a floodgate at the far end of the fort. This will allow us to burn it down with oil. The Venus Shell that guarded the floodgate was pretty tough, but, we beat it down, and closed the gate. Just as I was about to leave, Sonya shows up to ask me a question. More like several. She wants to know if betraying the Empire and killing my father is what I call justice. Our fight isn't necessarily about justice, though. It's about expunging the corruption that has run rampant in the Empire. I suppose there is a correlation between that and justice, though. If we're no better than the Empire, what's the point of our revolution?

My answer is irrelevant. The oil has been poured in and lit while we were still inside. Could this be the work of that spy? Maybe. All I know is that Sonya is coming at me, saying that I will pay for Teo's death. I beat her senseless, and all Sonya can do is laugh a little, and move toward the fire. Viktor stops her from such a senseless death, and we take her outta here. Suffice it to say, we find out who our spy is in short order.

There was a brief, almost unnoticeable hint with Snachez's response to Odessa's death. Or, I could be biased, thanks to previous plays, and generally knowing this beforehand. Hindsight is 20/20, they say. At any rate, I'm not sure if Sanchez intended her death, but, Flik doesn't really care to hear his sob story about being torn between his friendships with the members of the old Liberation Army and his allegiance to the Emperor.

However, Mathiu, who had been injured while we were dealing with Sonya, believes that killing Sanchez as a traitor now will only undermine our morale at a critical point in our campaign. We should administer his punishment after we take Gregminster, and keep the truth among ourselves. I think Flik understands this, but is still pissed off.

With that mess cleared off, we return to the castle, and visit Sonya in jail. There's a small exchange between her and Cleo before I attempt to get her to join us. She's makes it very clear that she hates me, and asks if I'm okay with that. Hey, as long as she helps, right?

In the war room, I Mathiu asks if I'm ready to attack the capital. I've checked the tablet, and all the names are there that should be, and the only person who has died was Gremio. That should be enough to grant us the 108 bonus. The gathering of the 108 Stars of Destiny, and Leknaat's half of the Gate Rune allow a one-time resurrection...

...of Gremio. There's some small cut-scenes here throughout Toran Castle before getting back to Mathiu in the War Room. Before talking to him, I go downstairs to rest and save. We'll tackle Gregminster another day.
Guardian Ghost of the Description Thread
All right, people. Let's git dis dune. I speak to Mathiu to get things going. The Imperial Army has about 100,000 troops. Wait, how did they get that many so fast? Leknaat thinks that most of them must have been from Windy summoning creatures. She uses her half of the Gate Rune to send them back, and whittles their numbers down by, well, not enough. Windy's magic is pretty strong! Joshua lends the power of the Dragon Rune (a True Rune that allows dragons to exist in this world). With their combined power, they take out a mess of guys. We're almost at a 1:1 ratio! Time to use some Ninja (which predict the enemy's moves like thieves, but never fail) and our Dragon-riders (which are only weak against bows)!

We can now infiltrate Gregminster, and face off against the Golden Emperor, Barbarosa. It's been quite some time since last we were here, and, to put it nicely, it's seen better days. Even the music...

...has faded from it's former energy. You can still kinda hear it, but, it's barely audible. The shops in town are of note, as there's a few new pieces of armor that my party can use. The appraiser is the only other building in town that's not locked.

Guarding the road to the Imperial Palace is Ain Gide. He absolutely refuses to betray the Empreror, and we end up fighting him. We kill him, and it just doesn't feel right with Flik. Viktor agrees, but...

...spouts these words of wisdom. I retreat to Toran Castle to rest and save (spells were used in that fight) before going back and delving the palace.

We fight through several waves of guards before I find a handy-dandy save point. The Emperor is not far off. There are few words to say at this point. Which means it's time for the Emperor to use the King Dragon Sword (no relation to the Star Dragon Sword) to turn into the final boss.

We beat all three faces in, and the four remaining Imperial Generals appear before him one last time.

Of course, Windy has to come by one last time to try and take Soul Eater from me. I assume she tries it by force this time, but, the Soul Eater has other ideas. The spirits of Odessa, Gremio, Teo, and Ted combine to fend off Windy's attack, and protect me. Windy just doesn't understand why Soul Eater won't accept her. Does it not govern life and death? Does it not desire to eat souls?

Emperor Barbarosa gets up and asks Windy to stop. She tells him she'll destroy him, but, the Emperor is not afraid of her magic. His sword is embedded with the Sovereign Rune. As the Rune that "rules" over all Runes, it protects him against any form of magic. Apparently, he had a black Rune as well, but, he was never controlled by it. Why did he go along with her regardless? Well, there may have been approximately 108 reasons why, but, the one he gives is that it was because he loved her. Windy mocks him, saying that he loves her simply because of her resemblance to his deceased wife, Claudia. He vehemently denies her, then goes to say that he hoped to erase the pain in her heart. However, he was misguided. As a result of his mistake, he lost his Empire. He then leaps off the balcony with Windy, and they presumably fall to their doom. As far as I know, there was never any attempt to recover their bodies, the Sovereign Rune, or Windy's half of the Gate Rune. We never heard of the Runes again, save for maybe a brief mention in Suikoden 3 if players unlock Green Bishop's story.

Aside from that, one cannot help but to notice that the castle has started to shake. Was the power of the Sovereign Rune keeping it together? Who knows, but, one thing's for sure, we need to get the hell outta here! I didn't have an Escape Talisman, but, even if I did, my guess is that it would not function. As we escape, we run into a group of guards, which Viktor stays behind to fend off. I note that those guards are in the general direction of the save point. A bit later on, we come across yet another group, which Flik fends off. After I leave Flik behind, time skips ahead. We've occupied the main thoroughfare of Gregminster. There are shouts of celebration of our victory. Cut to a tent with Mathiu and Liukan. Mathiu's wound was a lot worse than we thought. Then again, he probably didn't rest like he was probably supposed to. After news of our victory reaches his ears (we're a loud bunch, no doubt), he rests in peace forever, his job done.

The fates of the 108 Stars of Destiny roll, then the credits. One more quick scene of Tir and Gremio leaving Gregminster, before the "Fin" screen, thus solidifying that we achieved what we set out to do.

Aaaaaaand, that's it! There's no clear game save (that I know of, or tell), and no New Game Plus. However, we should be able to use this save-file to transfer over to Suikoden 2 when I get around to LPing that. Oh yes, there will be an LP of Suikoden 2! Look forward to it, same Suiko-time, same Suiko-channel!

Or some-such.
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