I…I think I have some bad news. I say it like that because I don’t want to admit to myself that any of this is true, as I am a man that holds on and hopes, even as everything around me crumbles, but things do look a little dire. My PlayStation 2 disc for Suikoden III, a game I have been searching for high and low over a number of years and only finally just acquired last year, is busted. Has to be. If you’ll recall, I ran into a nasty loading problem during the first hour of the game, wherein the disc spun unremittingly while the words NOW LOADING flashed at me with malice. Well, it happened again, different spot. And once again after that.
Currently, I’m in this weird place. I spent a week or two burning through all four Blackwell point-and-click games with Tara and then proceeded to kick Mass Effect 2‘s ass to the curb and then systemically achieved 30,000 Gamerscore on the nose. And then…well, I haven’t really known what to do with myself when a moment of spare time opens up. I’ve dabbled a bit more in Rage, played some more Cave Story on my 3DS, and watched maybe too many episodes of Felicity at once. Eh, let me take that back; I could watch Felicity all day long, but only up until the episode when she chops all her delicious hair off.
And so, the other night, I decided to hop back into Suikoden III and see what was happening; I had played beyond the first hour for maybe another forty-five minutes, stopping at an impasse where my party had to wait a little bit before they could meet with the higher-ups of Vinay del Zexay. Turns out, we just needed to stay at the inn two or three more times, which is kind of annoying as the inn–seeing as it has no competition in town–charges a hefty 300 suikobucks each time. After your party has rested enough, Sergeant Joe suggests heading back to the town hall to see if we can deliver our message. And we can. Hugo and friends are invited inside, there’s some small talk, and then the screen goes dark to–I assume–load an important cutscene. Only, the game goes nowhere–it just sits on that loading screen, and I sit staring at it until I realized I’ve sat for probably too long. I don’t immediately think it’s locked up, as Secret Agent Clank taught me that some PS2 games take forever and then some.
Disappointed, I shut off the PS2, examined the game’s disc, and then turned the system back on. That kind of worked the last time. I stayed at the inn two more times again, went back to the town hall again, chatted again, and watched as the NOW LOADING screen mocked me again. Well, boo to that. I have to suspect that the discoloration on the disc is problematic for loading cutscenes. That said, I’m not giving up yet. I’ll keep trying to play for as long it lets me play, and whether that means going off on one of the other main characters’ adventures, then so be it. Maybe Hugo and I weren’t meant to be. Maybe I’ll run into the same problems elsewhere. Maybe, maybe.
It might just be worse to have an unusable copy of Suikoden III in my collection.