Thursday, July 17, 2014

Suikogaiden: Vol. 2 - Duel at Crystal Valley (Playstation, 2000)

A little over a year ago, I covered Suikogaiden Vol. 1. Just seemed like a good time to check out the sequel. So far so good, this is one of the nicest title screens I've seen in a long time.

Before reading this one, check out last year's Suikogaiden Vol. 1 post HERE

The intro features FIRE-BREATHING DRAGONS~! Not pictured are the townspeople they're incinerating. Dammit, Khaleesi! Curb your pets!

The hero of this game, like the previous, is "Big Kev" Nash. He's a masterful fighter and a real ladykiller.

As is series tradition, you can port save data from the other Playstation entries. All I have on here is the first Suikogaiden save. Alas, Suikoden one and two are games I played on systems rather than emulating.

This game transpires in four episodes. Each one is about the length of your average TV show episode (40 minutes or so). While this plays a lot like Radical Dreamers, there are far fewer choices. For the most part, you're passively watching this for about two and a half hours, then it's over. Fine by me, but I'm also playing the game for free. Not sure how people who bought the game at full price felt about that.

This game follows directly in the aftermath of the previous game. Nash narrates it, which is pretty cool. Again, this fills in some story gaps. Rather than running concurrently to Suikoden 2, this game builds towards Suikoden 3. Unfortunately, that game would be the last time Konami made any real effort with this universe, though Suikoden 5 is an exception and a good game.

Pressing select brings up some menu options. The default message speed is Slow, and turning that up to Fast made the game far more bearable. You can save/load at any time, which is a good idea before making major choices (though as far as I can tell, you can never actually game over). Lastly, vibration is there...for the ladies.

Speaking of which, a townslady greets Nash when he arrives... and doesn't flirt with him! Have Nash's pheromones died down a bit since the last game?

Whoa, here's Eilie, one of the more memorable characters in Suikoden 2. She comes from a menagerie of circus freaks, and has a hot sister. ...and isn't so bad herself in this game. Yeah, I objectify women sometimes! What of it?

I like the way she has a muscle-line between her lower abs and hip region. Very sexy.

This is all fairly erotic. Rina can put a watermelon on my head anytime.

 Bella Twin 2 is fetching. Wait, what the hell is she doing with her left hand? Hands above the text box, lady!

What follows is a harrowing scene where Eilie throws knives at the watermelon on Nash's head. She actually misses the first one.

 "Again!" says Bolgan like the Teletubbies baby.

Whoa! It's Matilda Knight and reknowned Handsome Lad, Camus. He explains that Eilie missed on purpose. Well, that's reassuring.

Eilie is quite sexy in this game. Maybe it's the outfit. She proceeds to lead Nash around by the hand, and I'm sure he's enthused.

 I take a moment to talk about how hot Eilie's sister is. I've always been a Rina guy, but at the moment I prefer Eilie. Yeah, I think it's the outfit. Dat Midriff.

BANDITOS show up at this point. They're probably here for Eilie's succulent 'bod. I never thought Eilie was remotely attractive in Suikoden 2, but she's so damn hot in this game.

Okay, okay, enough about Eilie's scrumptiousness.

That's a real "LET'S FIGHTING LOVE" face right there.


Here's the bad guy. Not sure who this is since he never gets identified and hides behind a mask. Luc? No, hair is wrong. In any case, this guy claims to be the Flame Champion of legend, and has raised a small army.

Our heroes band together to protect the town from the bandit army! This would be an awesome battle if this game had battles.

I half expect his fist to fire off of his arm like a rocket. I've played too much Mega Man.

After we send the bandits packing (for now), Camus gets injured. Miklotov, on the other hand...

...wait a minute...

...MY GOD!


We get nearly-nude Camus... for the ladies.

Flashbacks: Not just for Highlander anymore!

Well, with women as attractive as you two, it's hard not to.



...alright, sorry.

You wanna go, bro? Let's go brah!

Gilbert? I remember this guy. He's a badass from Suikoden 2. He's coming out of retirement one last time to help us kick some pseudo Flame Champion ass.

The next battle ends somewhat anticlimactically, as Camus and Miklotov do the X-Strike from Chrono Trigger and end the "Flame Champion". He DID have some formidable fire spells, but he wasn't as much of a threat as he initially seemed.

Eilie and Rina, sadly, leave for other pastures at this point. Hey Rina! Hands above the text box! We've been over this!

There were a lot of small smiles.

Next chapter is on the border of Harmonia. This town plays a large part in Suikoden 3.

As soon as he arrives, some lady is waiting for him on the side of the road. She must have been waiting here for a WHILE.

...and she immediately arrests him. Dammit! Now Nash has to work against the authorities too? What is he, Jack Bauer?

The authorities in question decide to execute Nash after Lena brings him in. She was just trying to make sure he paid his parking tickets (or something) so that he'd no longer be a criminal in Harmonia. But the powers that be have other plans.

The next half hour or so of the game involves Nash escaping from prison. There are a couple of choices to be made here, as opposed to the fairly linear first episode.

When it looks like Nash is out of the woods, he ends up battling the dastardly Wang. They're acquainted already, and Wang basically whoops him. This fight goes on for a bit too long, as Nash repeatedly tries to attack Wang and gets knocked down. Too long because it's repetitive and you have zero input.

Side note: Wang is clutching a pair of balls. Really going nuts with the subtext, aren't we? Did Dr. Wily design this game?

On the bright side, Wang turns out to be a pretty cool guy; after beating Nash up, Wang helps him escape.

Next episode. This one takes us to the land of the dragon-riders.


Nash is hungry, so he tries to catch this baby dragon to eat it. Apparently he didn't know what it was. What the hell is wrong with him?

Fast forward a bit, and a Black Dragon attacks a town. Yep, another town defense storyline.

It was more epic than the final battle of Lord of the Rings!

Whoa, that is one intimidating dragon. This would be a huge boss fight if this were a regular RPG.

I wonder if this guy is like Bard of The Hobbit fame, a seemingly-random character who will snipe the dragon with a bow and save everyone.


This monk lady appears and proceeds to beat down the dragon! Well, that works I guess.


Butz: No relation to Butz of Final Fantasy V fame.

Sheena from the first two Suikoden games shows up during this episode. He isn't the suave lady-magnet that he is in those games, though. The guy on the right is Butz.

Flashback. The woman on the left is Nash's sister, I believe, proving that good looks run in the family.

No word on how Sheena "coaxed" Jeane. He probably gave her a blowie.

Sheena UNLEASHES HELL, defeating the Black Dragon. Yes, that fight was still going on.

Episode 4 is fairly short, and just involves Nash's rematch against Zaj. Not a whole lot to say about any of this; the first chapter is a cool callback to Suikoden 2 while the rest isn't quite as interesting.

We do get a lot of information on Harmonia, though. I was expecting that place to be the setting of Suikoden IV instead of what we got. It's the big unexplored realm of this world.

Looks like a somewhat magical place.

A little girl walks up to Nash after he arrives. I was going to joke that I expected her to suddenly go rabid and attack him... but it actually happened. Holy shit!

She pretty much kicks his ass, actually. So far he's gotten his ass kicked by the Fake Flame Champion, Wang, The Black Dragon, and now a little girl. He sure as hell isn't the badass that he was in the previous game.

This place looks like something out of Daggerfall. And speaking of that game, I need to do the next post for it. Gonna switch gears to that.

The final battle of this game has cool visuals and cool descriptions, with Nash confronting Zaj on top of a church in the rain.

A creepy smile? Well, at least it isn't a small smile.

Zaj is a formidable foe, and the shots of he and Nash fighting are good ones.

However, this fight goes on for WAY too long, and gets boring quickly. Zaj shoots at Nash (Harmonia has guns, unlike the rest of the world), Nash dodges the bullets, Zaj swings at him, Nash retreats, Nash charges, Nash dodges a bullet, Zaj swings at him, repeat. With this going on and on and zero input from you the player, I had to try not to fall asleep.

NO! DON'T SHOOT NASH! ...though I'm sure he'll just dodge the bullet.

Zaj hates Nash because while he has had to claw for everything he has, Nash was given a lot. ...or something.

Now Zaj has two guns! ...and the weeks go by as this fight goes on and on and on. Well, seemingly weeks. Now Nash is knocking bullets down with his sword. Okay then.

Point is, Nash kills Zaj and walks off into the mist after some fairly emo dialogue.

So yeah, that's Suikogaiden Vol. 2. I had a lot more to say about this game originally, but the computer crashed when I was about halfway through the game and post. By the time I actually replayed and finished the game I found it somewhat tedious, but Suikoden fanatics will enjoy it.

The game ends with Nash riding off to parts unknown in a hay cart, end-of-Crisis-Core-style. He's a cool dude.

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  1. Great stuff here, LOL'd at the Stardust appearance. Looks like a terrible game but the pictures and commentary here are great.

  2. Huh, three different saves files it can get data from? There should be a couple of ways to get real PS1 data onto a computer, so I wonder if I should go to the trouble when I play this.

    I'd say those people who bought it at full price knew what they were getting into, same as all the people who bought the newest Harry Potter book on release day instead of waiting for it to be available at the library.

    Not entirely unlike FF12's development, the series lead left at some point during the making of Suikoden 3. It's why the game is so uneven and why Suikoden IV is garbage. Suikoden V being as good as it is without him was a great effort on the part of the team.

    Oh God he IS Stardust!

    Stardust had the smallest smile of them all.

    I'm surprised you didn't mention that Lena is Nash's aunt.

    It took me a second, but I just realized that Wang is Joker from Suikoden 3.

    Looks like you left a fair amount of the game unspoiled, I appreciate that. Great post!

  3. This one looks like there's less to it than Suikogaiden I, which is odd. I wonder if there's a different path you can take, which is dependent on having previous save file information or something...
    Having Eilie and Rina back gave me a lot of joy though. They're like video game versions of Jean.
    You're right; that sunset is beautiful. It's like a sunset for all these characters, too.
    What did you have to say about this before it got cut off? If there's anything good let me know later! Thanks a lot for this snapshot!

    1. As for the cost of the game, they must've known the market for this would be small but passionate and set prices accordingly. Maybe it's not a "deal" for a regular player but when the only way you can get something you love is to pay a lot for it, you pay.
      Felt like Nash had a bit of a midlife crisis in this one, like you said.