Suikoden 4 Snowe Lazlo
Start a new game. Suikoden IV is not like Suikoden III, in that you have a traditional RPG hero, named Lazlo. Much more like McDohl and Riou of Suikoden I and Suikoden II. You uh, even get to determine his voice to a certain extent.
Suikoden IV starts off at sea, with Lazlo and Snowe part of the Gaien Marines Academy, from Razril. Snowe is your best friend, and one of the more interesting characters throughout this game. Soon after talking with him, your first skirmish is about to happen.
Snowe's Ship vs. ????. Choose Keneth as your Rune Cannon, as he has the lightning rune which you will want on the water rune. Just go up to the enemy ship and shoot the lightning rune cannon at the opposing shit - at work, it will be a push (neither ship gets damaged).
After your victory, Glen and a woman fight you (her name is Katarina). Use your Friendship Attack, and just battle them for about 5 turns. Glen chastises Snowe for not being careful about the enemy boarding the ship. Next, you have a duel against Commander Glen. If you are familiar with Suikoden duels, this should be nothing new. You want to use Special when you think he will use a regular attack, you will want to defend when he is going to do a special attack, and if he baits you to attack by defending, just do a regular attack.
Afterwards, it seems there is some sort of ritual for graduating tonight.
Gaien Knight Ship
Talk to everyone, notably Tal, Jewel and Keneth on the top. Then go inside the deck to save, then talk to everyone inside. Back outside to talk more to Jewel and Tal. Turns out Paula is no where to be found - you will then see a scene as the party reaches Razril.
Razril - Hall of Knights
Hurry and go to the Hall of Knights. Take the first door to the east, and then the route that is not going up the stairs. Get the Old Book Volume 9. Take the next east route if you want to save or get the Steamed Bun / Water Orb, then talk to Katarina in the north.
Glen gives you a speech about the enemy Kooluk, and a tough man in Troy. After the speech, time for the Kindling Ritual at the harbor.
Back to where you got off the ship, and then go all the way to your right as you get out there. Snowe Vingerhut gets the torch from some guys. Then he gives it to you, so talk to everyone and light all the torches. Further north for a scene with Lord Vingerhut, and some fireworks.
After talking to those in your group, head south to where the torch lighting went on. One man is looking for his daughter, remember this. Further south and east to see Chiepoo, a cat. Chiepoo witnessed a kidnapping, so run back to your fellow knights. Ask any two of them to join - I usually pick Keneth and someone else, as Keneth has the powerful Lightning Rune at his disposal. I chose Paula this time around for her Wind Rune.
Go southeast to the back streets. Random battles can occur here, so be careful. Take the trail south for a Mushroom, and then look east for a huge open area. Check one of the mini-alleys for a pirate with the little girl. Intervene, and get ready for a fight. The Pirate is pretty tough actually, so you will want to use the Friendship attack on him a few times. Have the weaker allies take out the underling. You will get a few hundred potch and a ? pot. Check nearby for a crate that has a Treasure Map.
Naturally, the girl thanks you and you go on your way. Head back to your dorm area and tell Snowe it is time to sleep.
Next morning, go to the harbor to speak with Snowe. Mess around if you want, but return to the Hall of Knights Courtyard to train. Choose your party - again, I always have Keneth for his Lightning Rune. Chose Paula as my other character this time around. Fight some battles, hopefully until you get to level 4, then go out on your mission.
Go to the ship straight to the south. You can choose to fight groups of monsters three times, or deliver a message to Middleport. Just choose to fight wild sea creatures first.
Sail around holding R1 to sail fast, and control it with the D-pad. After three battles and maybe a few levels gained, return back to the port. Next, there is a job at Middleport for you.
Speak with that guy at the harbor, he has the details. Also, you learn about pressing 0 to see a larger scale map. The nice part about this is, you can direct where your ship is going from here. So, click Middleport, but try to get near the west part of Middleport is. This is where the docks are.
As you get to Middleport, talk to the guy's strange request. He ran into a monster nearby and will reward you kindly if you can defeat it. For now though, explore the village a tad.
The Inn is to the northeast where you should probably rest or at least save. Search the pictures on the first floor of the Inn for a Treasure Map. Head west for a 500 potch chest, along with a defensive gear shop, item shop and smithery. Strengthen Lazlo and every else to level 3 - you likely won't have the Potch for it, but leave and build up around Middleport. Check out the north part of Middleport for a mansion and a Fancy Console to the east as you enter that area (before the gate).
Eventually though, you will run into a Damp Hairball. These Hairballs will hound you, all game. Have Keneth use Berserk Blow, while Snowe and Lazlo use Friendship attack or heal. But this thing is tough - it will likely use the Water Rune ice magic spell on you several times, for about 25 damage to each person. This will use up Lazlo and Snowe's Water Rune magic real quick. Use Medicine to keep up, continue to use Berserk Blow with Keneth and Friendship Attack. 500 potch and a ? Pot are your rewards. Go back to Middleport.
The guy who requested help gives you 2000 potch. This should be enough to appraise all of your ? items, and then sell those. Hopefully you gain a decent bit from this, but spend it on upgrading your weapons.
Return to Razril, after your first adventure out on the waters. Katarina says something about a separate mission, as your party mates leave. Start heading toward the Hall of Knights and you will go to a scene with Mr. Ramada, a merchant who is involved with Lord Vingerhut, Glen and Katarina. Leave, talk to Snowe, and you can walk around town again.
Pick up some of the rarities at the equipment shop. Then, go to the port in this part of town - you will overhear Akaghi and Mizuki.
Back to the Hall of Knights to get Snowe in your party once more, then to the audience chamber. Tell Ramada you are ready to go to Iluya.
Go to the port and get on your ship. Make your way to the far northeast, to Iluya.
Along the way though, the ship will stop. Talk to everyone on the deck, including Snowe. After talking to Snowe, choose to fight. Snowe shows his true colors here, as the ship is ambushed. As you choose to fight, Lazlo takes over as commander essentially.
The battle vs. Pirate Brandeau is one where you have one ship against his two. But, put together two rune cannons - an Earth Rune user and a Water Rune user. Go after the ship quickest to make it's way south to you - that way you can take it out before the other has a chance to gang up on you and get free shots. Just use the rune that that particular ship is weak to. Not really a hard battle.
But next, you are boarded and a Gaien Knight is taken out. Pirate Brandeau and an Assassin are on the ship, and you are now in a battle with another Gaien Knight against these two. Wind of Sleep probably won't work here, so just focus on killing off the Assassin here. He has less hit points than Brandeau and you absolutely need to oust one of these two quickly. Heal with the Water Rune or Medicine when needed - keep in mind, Pirate Brandeau can use level 1 Water Rune magic as well, in addition to taking off about 50 damage with his Fire Rune. But, once Brandeau is alone you should have no trouble ganging up on him and healing when necessary.
After the battle, Brandeau pulls out his trump card, in the form of his third rune the Rune of Punishment. Everyone is annihilated besides Lazlo. Meanwhile, Glen yells at Snowe for fleeing his ship.
Brandeau then decides to take care of you personally, in a duel. This one will last a while, as your defenses are much higher than your attacks. Be conservative until you learn which quotes = which attacks for Brandeau. Try to save up your full power for a special attack, to do a ton of damage.
Glen finally reaches the ship after the battle, but he is the one closest to Pirate Brandeau as Brandeau starts to waste away. The Rune is then transferred to Glen as Lazlo watches on.
Back at Razril, save in your room. Go to the main part of Razril town, with the shops. Konrad is at the Inn. Head to where you lit the torches and talk to everyone, someone has Cough Drops. Snowe wants to go to the Item Shop so go there and get the Mega Medicine. Townspeople seem to have turned on Snowe.
Return to your room and speak with Funghi. Then, go in the kitchen and talk to her for the Commander's Medicine. Snowe gives you some Mega Medicine too. Go up to Spire, previously unreachable, and eventually Commander Glen's room. Say the Mega Medicine is from Snowe and talk to them for a bit.
Save at your room, and as you leave it seems there is an attack. Tell all the playable characters that they should go out and fight. Run to the ship at the Razril port now.
Pirate Dario vs. Knights of Gaien
The smaller enemy ship has a Fire Rune, while the other ship has a Fire and Wind Rune. Obviously you will want to use Jewel as your main Rune Cannon with Water being strong against the two Fire ships.
Try to focus on the smaller ship first, and have Snowe engage the main ship. Snowe has a lot of underlings and a high endurance so he'll be okay. Once you take out the smaller ship, you should have no trouble mauling Pirate Dario's main ship.
Afterwards, Snowe decides to go out on his own and chase down the enemy. Lazlo is forced to go and help Snowe (choose that option). Lazlo scares off Dario and the scene shifts back to Razril.
Back at the Commander's Room, Snowe gets punished again for his bad decision. Go save and sleep for the night, then go to Funghi at the kitchen to bring the Commander's Meal to Glen's room. Unfortunately, a rune cannon hits you. Time to run out there and fight. Katarina and the two playable characters that you picked most will join you.
As you reach the harbor, pirates attack you. The pirate in red is tougher, so you may wish to focus on him first. Heal when necessary, as a second battle against three pirates commences. Definitely will want to use Berserk Blow with Katarina in this battle. 450 Potch is your reward. Then, a third battle against the pirates.
Meanwhile, Glen is stumbling around his room. He goes to the rooftop and shred's the enemies fleet with the mysterious rune. Dario yells to retreat.
Return to the Hall of Knights, and then the rooftop where Glen was. An important scene happens, with Snowe, Lazlo and Glen. Katarina then gets word of troops near the Hall.
Lazlo now has the Rune of Punishment. And Snowe blames him for Glen. Just run straight north to hear something with Rakgi, and Rikie. Then, a voice asking you to kill it. Attack the Mysterious Shadow. Lazlo's Rune of Punishment sure is strange.
Afterwards, Snowe and Lord Vingerhut continue to conspire against Lazlo. Talk with Katarina and tell her you did not do it. It still does not matter. Two of your friends will talk to you (the ones that don't join your party). Katarina then dumps Lazlo off on a small boat.