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Ok, I haven't finished the game yet, but I have a few questions I can't find answer in Google, and I hope some FM experts are still here and they'll give me answers ^__^
1) That redhead punk from arena, named Roid... is he really THAT Roid??! I mean, I heard there will be Roid Clive in FM-2... but he looks VERY different!
2) Who exactly is Cordy? There is no database entry about her, so everything I could get that she worked with Sayuri before. Is she mercenary, secret agent, ex-marine, or what?
3) What's wrong with Rocky? Did I get it right - he has a crush on Ash?! (btw, that would be cool! I didn't know there were badass gay characters in video games before Bioware started it)
1. The Arena Royd is basically a fake using his name for fame. However, the real Royd gets mentioned directly and indirectly by the Alordeshis throughout the game. And you'll run into him late in the game, but only under two conditions: unlock the Raven (early-game) and do a certain side quest in Dhaka (late-game).
2. Cordy's an OCU intelligence operator who used to be part of the Infantry Corps, where she met Sayuri. Both were involved in the Serbian Independence War in 2100, where Cordy talks about some things they did in Belgrade a few times in the game.
3. Rocky is implied to be homosexual. His conversations with Ash and his side quest allude to that. He just doesn't come of the closet and keeps it to himself, likely because of military rules regarding homosexuality.
Wow, thank you very much for the answers! I almost had a heart attack, thinking what that crazy dirty punk is actual Royd. I hope I'll meet him (I'm on mission 17, hope it's not too late to get Raven). It probably was a mistake deciding to play without solution at beginning. I already missed one secret mission.
It's pretty cool to learn about Rocky too! Him and the whole Thomas posse are my favourites in the game! They are so reckless and funny, it's a good change from too serious characters.
Overall the game is great! I probably like it more now than Front Mission-3, because main characters are adult people, and not stereotypical teens, and whole story looks more mature and controversial.
Finally meet Royd... Wow! Heh, than wasn't... what I expected...
Yeah, that one's a little complicated to explain. Basically when FM1 was officially translated, the script was censored to some degree (also happened with FM3 and FM4). This meant rewriting some characters to appear more like a typical hero instead of a realistic, flawed human. Don't know who exactly got this treatment, but Royd was definitely one of them.
So in the official FM1 release, Royd acts like a knight in shining armor. But in the fan translated SNES FM1 (not censored), Royd is what some would call "off-kilter". He's rough, mentally disturbed, and lets his rage control him as he's hellbent on getting revenge on Karen's killer. So if you played this version and then moved to FM2, his character change isn't completely out of place. But if went from the official FM1 to FM2, then it's pretty unexpected.
Anyways, the reason why Royd appears the way he is in FM2 is because of events in-between FM1 and FM2 that are covered in the FM books. Royd gets caught and sent to prison, but is later broken out of jail. His rescuers play on his grievances against the super-states and try to convince him to fight for their cause. Royd is moved so much by their persuasion that he fully embraces their ideology and becomes an agent for their organization.
Really?! Now that's interesting!.. I have an urge to replay FM-1 now... It should be the very first, SNES version, without U.S.N. part, right?
I barely remember details now... Surely, I remember Royd being angry sometimes, and throwing tantrums because of Karen and Driscoll... But going terrorist and hurting innocent civilians?! Such development of protagonist is rarely seen in videogames. Now I'm even more sad that Front Mission series is so underrated...
I wonder, how FM-3 and FM-4 were censored?
Yeah, the fan translated SNES FM1 is only for the OCU scenario. It has a fair bit less text than the OCU scenario in FM1 since the 5 extra missions and some extra scenes aren't in this version. But the fan translation isn't censored so you can get a better idea of how damaged Royd is, especially towards the end. All he needed was a little push over the edge, which is shown in the other FM media. The FM1 novel particularly (which foreshadows FM2 and where Sayuri is first introduced in the FM series) foreshadows his eventual descent into madness by FM2's time.
Royd wasn't always damaged or mentally "gone" though. He was normal in the first OCU secret mission and the first mission in FM1, plus the few times he shows up in FM2089-II. So yeah, he goes through many changes because of how often he shows up in the entire FM series. Royd's not the only FM character to have dramatic changes over the series though.
FM3 and FM4? FM3 censored out some of the more graphic violence scenes and FM4 changed the German Iron Cross into some weird sci-fi X symbol. Both also have toned down dialogue and some characters rewritten to be more of a generic hero mold.
Cool! Thank you for info! I'll try to look up more into that. I always liked FM-4 because Darril was not a typical game hero, and I have a feeling now what he was even worse in original.
Finally beat the game! Last mission was a breeze after mission 30. That was a wonderful experience, characters were great! Probably the only game where one of the most sympathetic characters was a mafia tycoon ^__^ After what happened with Royd, the ending seems pretty dark... I grew attached to characters, and I have a feeling that nothing good wll happen with them now. Probably, they will be hunted by OCU, and end up in prison or being extremists like Royd...
Poor Roswell and Rocky, both ended up being friend-zoned at the end...
It's implied by the OCU Parliament FMV (up on youtube with text translated) that the OCU kept them under surveillance but didn't try to silence them. By FM2's time, the OCU had been caught red-handed in too many scandals (biggest being the Sakata Industries one). What FM2's ending does is that it leads to the beginning of the end for the OCU. Alordesh winning independence (after Cambodia and Laos via the Indochina Conflict, referenced in the Network and shown in FM5) emboldens the other OCU states to fight harder to break free.
By FM3, the OCU is on the brink of collapse. The USN scenario (Emma) doesn't cover how close the OCU is to breaking apart, but it's detailed on the DHZ scenario (Alisa). In fact, the DHZ scenario is the true FM3 (sans the ending) because it ends the OCU story arcs that started in FM1 and continued in FM2. And if you kept up with news on the Network, you'll see why the JDF chief of staff Sasaki is hell-bent on an independent Japan (referenced as the ringleader behind violent pro-nationalist rallies in Japan).
On Darril, yeah he's another character who gets a lot of development over the series. First introduced in the USN scenario of PS1 FM1, then obviously FM4, FMO, and lastly FM5. Also shows up in the other FM media, like the FM4 novels. So like Royd, you could say Darril's part of a "main cast" for the FM series.
If you haven't done so, check out the NDS FM1 and FM5. Censorship aside, the extra story content in the NDS FM1 makes it worthwhile. Along with FM5, you'll get to see how the FM story arcs are all interconnected. Also, you'll learn more about the story elements that go unexplained by the end of FM2's time (the last 1/3 of the game especially). And since you said you liked Thomas, pick up FM2089 BoM if you don't mind the language barrier. He shows up in it, along with other recurring FM characters.
Anyways, glad to know you enjoyed FM2. It's one of Japan's best kept secrets, along with the vast majority of the FM series (games and other media) that never made it out of Japan!
Are you from Translation team?! Thank you very much for all of your hard work! You guys are great!!! This game now is one of my favourites of PS-1 library.
It's good to know that FM2 characters most likely will be alright. Still, it's sad that such important characters as Lisa and Ash are not referenced enough in other games.
I haven't played FM5 yet - tried to patch it once, but it went all wrong and I gave up... But I'll try again now definitely! I really want to play it. I also going to check Alternative and 2089, especially if it has Thomas! I hope, I will be able understand at least the gist of story.