So, Suikoden surprised me again. I completely remembered the cups game with the old lady in Rockland, though I don’t exactly remember how the exploit works to earn a bajillion bucks–er, sorry, I mean bits. Think it has to do with only playing one round over and over, and it’s always under the same cup the first time. However, I was not at all mentally prepared for the trial of patience when Pauly McDohl and friends arrived in Kaku, a small fishing village on the coast of Lake Toran, and a second mini-game came into the fold, one that got in the way of the actual plot advancing. It’s based entirely around luck, and luck, it seemed, was not on my side, but I guess it hasn’t been for some time since a certain someone began wielding a certain “soul-eating” True Rune.
Right. Well, since the last update, Pauly McDohl and friends are now considered rebels and on the run. They eventually meet up with Lady Odessa, the leader of the Liberation Army, which thrives underground and exists to fight back against the Empire. After helping to deliver some secret weapon plans to friends, they return to find Empire soldiers attacked the Liberation Army headquarters–which is simply a basement beneath an inn–and Lady Odessa critically wounds herself protecting a small child. As she dies, she gives two final requests: deliver an earring and to not let her death be known, otherwise support for the Liberation Army will fall. When you deliver this earring to a man called Mathiu Silverberg–her brother!–he sees great potential in Pauly and declares that the Liberation Army needs a new headquarters, one that could withstand an attack from the Empire. Mathiu suggests the castle in the middle of Lake Toran, and so the gang is off to Kaku, to find somebody willing to row them over to it. That’s when we meet Tai Ho, his bowl, and his magical dice-throwing skills.
Tai Ho is willing to give the gang a boat ride over to the castle, but only if Pauly can beat him at his own game. However, you have to put up all your money against him so make sure you spend a bit before doing so. The gambling game played with three six-sided dice is known as Chinchirorin, or more commonly called Cee-lo in the United States. Rolling a 4-5-6 is always treated as a winning combination for the first player who rolls it, and a 1-2-3 automatically loses. If you roll two dice of the same number, the third dice scores, so a 4-4-6 would mean a score of 6. If you miss the bowl or the dice fall out, it’s also an automatic loss. There is also something called Storm, which is when you get three of the same number, but a 1-1-1 means you lose and pay double while a 6-6-6 means you win and get paid double.
All of that means nothing when you realize the game is based entirely around luck, and it took me at least seven or eight attempts to beat Tai Ho. However, you can’t play against him unless you have at least 1,000 bits, so the rinse, shampoo, wash cycle went as follows: lose all money to Tai Ho, venture out to grind for money, use some of that money to heal up via a night at the inn, go back out to recuperate losses, and then return to the dice master to try again. Took me about an extra 20 to 30 minutes. I guess some people save right before this part and reload to try again, but that’s never been my style, as you’ll recall from my time with Fire Emblem: Awakening. If you’re curious, my game-winning throw was a 3-3-5 to Tai Ho’s 2-2-4. Suck it.
I suspect I’ll have to play Chinchirorin a few more times to actually recruit Tai Ho and his brother down the line, but for now we’re moving on. There’s a gloomy castle filled with monsters in the middle of a lake to investigate!