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Suikoden V: Lelei and Lucretia
Lesbian Lovers, or Just Friends?
Suikoden V is that sadly rare video game with tons of well-developed, strong female characters as well as male. With over 108 recruitable party members, it's not surprising that a couple of them -- Lelei and Lucretia -- seem to be in a same-sex relationship. It doesn't matter much in the great scheme of things, but inquiring minds (and nosy fans) want to know.
I think Suikoden V's game script confirms fan suspicions, if you pay close attention and talk to NPCs. In case you missed some of the optional dialog hinting at it, let's take a look at the evidence.
Lelei's Crush on Lucretia
"My Lady" Merces
When the Prince springs Lucretia from prison, the biggest obstacle is Lelei, one of the two prison guards whose sympathies are strongly with their unusual prisoner:
Lelei: Oh, you're too trusting, Cius! If anything happened to my Lady, I'd never be able to forgive myself!
Lyon: If that's what it's going to take, I'll give you my weapon. If any of us does anything suspicious, you have my permission to strike me down immediately.
Prince (choice B): Do you want my weapon too, Lelei?
Lyon: No, Prince, I apologize, but this is my duty, and my duty alone... This woman is desperately trying to protect Lady Merces, and I understand exactly how she feels.
Lelei: Are you...trying to protect someone you care deeply about as well?
Cius respects and protects Lady Merces, but Lelei is the one who "cares deeply" about her, as Lucretia herself notes when the pair obstruct an envoy from Armes at the start of an encounter:
Lelei: If you make even the slightest move against my Lady, I will kill you where you stand!
Lucretia: Forgive me. They take their jobs a bit too seriously. ...Particularly Lelei here.
Other scattered Lelei lines emphasize that there is, at least, one-sided adoration. A sampler of "Lelei has a crush" lines:
Lelei: I'll do anything for you, my Lady!
Lelei: You know I'd escort you anywhere, my Lady!
Lelei: Do NOT touch my Lady!
Lelei: My Lady's lucid intuition, her bold and intricate strategies... *sigh* Just watching her work gives me chills!
Lelei: I knew you were amazing from the moment I first laid eyes on you, my Lady...
Raja: Ahem! Enough of the Lucretia Admiration Society!
And so on, and so on. Lelei and Mathias should form a Hero Worshipping Bodyguard support group.
But of course, speaking of Mathias...
Loyalty Is Not Necessarily Romantic Love - From the "Sworn to Her Side" Bath Scene
Yes, Lelei is fiercely loyal to and protective of "My Lady" Lucretia Merces. Yes, Lucretia is training Lelei as her military protegé. However, Suikoden V cautions us about jumping to conclusions. Mathias, of all people, reminds us that devotion need not be romantic...
Evidence That Lelei and Lucretia Are Lovers
So we have to dig deeper.
If you use Oboro to Investigate Lelei, you get:
Oboro: "Lelei used to be a guard at Agate Prison, but she fell for Lucretia's pretty - I MEAN, she was concerned about Lucretia, as she came with her. Now she's kind of Lucretia's...assistant."
Most of that is simply evidence for Lelei's crush, but the deliberate pause at the end implies that "assistant" is a euphemism for something else.
Kyle also hints at "something else" in Barows' mansion, shortly after he shows up:
Kyle: Luserina's a fine specimen, but did you check out Lelei?! Hot! Now, if I could only get her away from Lucretia...
One could argue that Kyle can't pry Lelei away from Lucretia because Lelei's too devoted a bodyguard to go off-duty, but "taking so-and-so away from so-and-so" is commonly said about butting in on a couple.
The most suggestive bit of dialog happens during the night before the battle against Queen Lym, when Lelei and Lucretia are alone in Lucretia's room, as usual:
Lelei, We should both start getting some rest soon...
Lelei: Understood. But you wouldn't mind staying up just... a little longer, would you, my Lady? *fade to black*
It's hard to interpret that in any way other than...things one does in bed before going to sleep.
And just to emphasize that Lucretia may have a reputation for swinging in that direction, consider Cathari's reunion with an old friend:
(When Prince meets Cathari)
Cathari: I wish only to see Lucretia. I have no further agenda. ...Well, I wouldn't mind taking it slightly further.
(When you take her back to the castle):
Lucretia: So... It's been awhile.
Cathari: Only ten years...
Lucretia: "Only ten years"? For someone I haven't seen in a decade, you sure are straightforward.
Cathari: Did you want to have a little cry and a hug? Maybe more?
Lucretia: I'm all right. Thanks, though.
"Maybe more" than hugs and snuggles, eh?
Finally, after the war, poor Cius gets left behind. The ending credits tell us:
Lucretia: Though considered an obvious choice for the new land's Prime Minister, she instead slips away in the night.
Cius: Abandoned by Lucretia, he shakes off his sadness and takes the post of military police chief.
Lelei: Disappears with Lucretia but turns up years later. Able on and off the field, she is known as the Crown's Brilliance.
So I guess their relationship eventually runs its course. But I'm pretty sure that we're meant to put two and two together and assume that there was more than Platonic love between them, however discreet they are (it's not our business to see what they do in that bedroom after the fade to black, after all).
And, personally, even if they're minor characters, I appreciate having a few people "like me" in my entertainment every once in a while.
Because of course, there is some out there...
© 2012 auronlu