On a vanilla install of SuSE 9.1, rc.local is empty so it's unlikely that it's stopping there because of anything in the boot scripts.
There can be any number of reasons why a system can freeze up during boot; I have a K7 that locks up occasionally but only ever during booting; this seemed to be made worse by installing a USB mouse.
Generally, this is a problem with buggy hardware or “non-standard” features of a driver. The first thing to do is to run a memory test, because if your RAM isn't working well, you won't get very far. There's a good memory test utility on the first SuSE install disk.
You can try passing options like nodma to clear the problem; you could also try unplugging different bits of hardware (keyboard, mouse, scanner, etc.) to see if any of those are the culpret.
Hope that's of some help,
— Robert J. Lee