Set in a fantasy world resembling feudal China, Suikoden is the first and founding game of the series. The Scarlet Moon Empire has been peaceful since the Succession Wars, 15 years earlier, at least in the capital city of Gregminster. Outlying areas report heavy taxation, exploitation by imperial troops and general discontent. While small mobs have lashed out, there has been no real resistance to the Empire, though rumors speak of a small Liberation Army.
The Emperor Barbarossa maintains rule of his lands with the aid of five Great Generals, one of whom is Teo McDohl and the Court Magician, Windy. While home in Gregminster with his son, Tir McDohl, General Teo is suddenly recalled to the northern lands to deal with a rebellion. While he departs, the young Tir enters the service of the Imperial Forces along with his servant/serfs Gremio, Pahn and Cleo as well as his best friend Ted. However destiny and events soon conspire to change Tir's path in life, involving him in a fateful encounter with the Rune of Life and Death (nicknamed Soul Eater). Tir also learns that he is destined to be the "Tenkai Star", a prophecised hero that will unite the 108 Stars of Destiny in order to bring about a new age of prosperity.
Genso Suikoden is the first game of the series and introduces the world as well as several common elements that will play significantly throughout the game. Among them are the 27 True Runes, great artifacts that can change the destiny of the world and render it's bearer immortal... for a price.
Genso Suikoden plays like a traditional Console RPG, with the player moving characters across a three-dimensional landscape with two-dimensional character sprites, meeting new people and engaging in battles along the way. Combat is turn-based, giving the player the opportunity to select their actions at their own pace.
The purpose of the game is to recruit as many Stars of Destiny as possible, all while progressing through the game's story by completing various quests. Though all the characters remain usable at any time, a party of up to six characters can be used for battles.
- Combat is also resolved in the form of party fights, army battles and one on one duels.
- Party fights consist of the player's party, which can have 1-6 characters, fighting random and scripted battles against monsters, the enemy army, or even other character groups. The order the characters attack are determined by a character's SPD stat.
- The party has 2 rows, front and back. Character weapons have a range designation, S for short, M for medium and L for long. S weapons can only be used in the front row, while M and L weapons can be used in either row.
- S and M range weapons can only hit enemies in the enemy party front row, but L weapons can hit enemies in the enemy party front or back row.
- In addition to the usual fight, defend, and item commands that are essentially standard in turn based RPGs, Suikoden also features Rune, which allows a character to use an ability from their equipped rune, and Unite, which allows certain character combinations to perform a special attack. An auto command allows you to just have the computer decide who to attack, but it will only use the attack command for each character capable of attacking. Characters who can't attack will defend.
- Running is also an option, although it can fail, as well as "Bribe", where you offer to pay off the enemy party to let you go. If Weaker enemy groups have the "Let go" option instead of run, which will have a 100% success rate.
- Runes generally have 2 battle types, ability, in which a character has 1 special attack that they can use over and over, and magic, which relies on a character's rune levels to cast. Each magic rune has 4 abilities, and the number of times these spells can be used is based on how many charges a character has per rune level.
- Army battles operate on a Rock/Scissors/Paper style where you choose an attack, Charge, Bow, or Magic, and your enemy chooses an attack. Whoever has the stronger attack does more damage to the enemy.
- Charge beats bow, resulting in casualties on both sides, but a higher casualty rate on the bow side.
- Bow beats Magic, resulting in casualties on the side of the Magic users only
- Magic beats Charge, resulting in casualties on the side of the Charge user only.
- Special abilities can be used between rounds, and feature character groups with certain skills.
- Ninjas can find out the enemy's plan that round.
- Thieves have a chance of finding out the enemy's plan, stealing 2000 potch, or failing altogether.
- Merchants have a chance of causing the enemy to turn traitor to refill your ranks slightly.
- Dragon Knights are like a powered up magic attack, weak vs bow and strong vs charge.
- One on one duels feature a character, usually Tir, going head to head against an enemy character alone. This is another Rock/Scissors/Paper style combat, but this time, you only have 3 options, Special Attack, Attack, and Defend. Your opponent will say or yell a phrase before the round, and you have to guess what their action is going to be based on the phrase.
- Special attack beats Attack
- Attack beats Defend
- Defend beats Special attack
- Ties in attack or special attack result in damage to both combatants, ties in defend result in a round with no actions.
Stars of DestinyEdit
- Tir McDohl - Leader of the Liberation Army.
- Cleo - One of Tir's family servants, acts as Tir's guard.
- Gremio - Tir's servant and cook.
- Viktor - A mercenary who lends his services to the Liberation Army.
- Mathiu Silverberg - A doctor and former tactician trying to live a life as a teacher.
- Camille - A debt collector seeking Gremio for an overdue dinner bill...
- Tai Ho - fisherman and a gambler.
- Luc - Lady Leknaat's apprentice.
- Yam Koo - Tai Ho's brother, who laments his brother's carefree ways.
- Chandler - An entrepreneur seeking to start his own general store.
- Kai - Tir's weapon instructor.
- Lorelai - A young adventuress who likes to work with strong people.
- Maas - A young blacksmith still learning his trade.
- Marie - The Innkeeper in Gregminster.
- Onil - A village gossip, she always has the latest news.
- Sansuke - A carpenter who specializes in building baths.
- Sergei - An inventor, who's newest creation is the elevator.
- Antonio - A chef who is an acquaintance of Marie.
- Rock - A vault guard who likes his job.
- Juppo - A wandering trickster.
- Meg - Juppo's niece, who seeks to learn to be a trickster from her uncle.
- Eileen - Lepant's wife, who only desires to be at her husband's side.
- Giovanni - Lepant's servant.
- Krin - A thief who is inept at fooling people.
- Lepant - An honorable village lord.
- Pahn - Tir's servant and bodyguard.
- Gaspar - A gambler, Tai Ho is his best customer.
- Sydonia - The Mt. Seifu Bandits enigmatic co commander.
- Varkas - The Mt. Seifu Bandits commander.
- Kirkis - An elf seeking to save his people.
- Sheena - Lepant and Eileen's son, an aspiring womanizer.
- Viki - A mysterious mage who asks for Tir's protection when her Blinking magic strands her in a forest.
- Meese - A blacksmith Journeyman learning from the dwarves.
- Valeria - A former soldier of the empire living in the great forest.
- Templeton - A young mapmaker who works hard to keep his maps accurate.
- Humphrey Mintz - A taciturn former soldier who works for the Liberation army.
- Kuromimi - A Kobold seeking to free his people from a curse.
- Kwanda Rosman - One of the 5 great Imperial Generals.
- Stallion - The fastest elf alive, his Godspeed rune has often been mistaken for a true rune.
- Sylvina - Granddaughter of the Village of the Elves Chief.
- Fu Su Lu - A mighty warrior who has the strength of 10 men.
- Gon - Kuromimi's brother.
- Rubi - An elf who can't bring herself to trust humans.
- Apple - Mathiu's student.
- Flik - Co commander of the Liberation Army, known as Flik of the Blue Lightning.
- Chapman - An armorer in Antei.
- Eikei - A powerful martial artist.
- Hellion - An old woman in Teien who possesses the blinking mirror.
- Jabba - An appraiser in Rikon.
- Jeane - A mysterious runemistress.
- Lotte - A young woman who is looking for her cat.
- Mina - A dancer who likes a skilled dancing partner.
- Anji - The Toran Pirates leader.
- Kanak - One of the Toran Pirates.
- Leonardo - Another of the Toran Pirates. Loyal to Anji.
- Gen - A carpenter who is friend with Kamandol.
- Kamandol - An inventor, who's engine can get a boat through the Dunan rapids.
- Kimberley - A woman with nefarious skills whom Mathiu knows.
- Tesla - A scrivener whom Mathiu knows of old.
- Esmeralda - A narcissist who treasures Opals.
- Liukan- An elderly doctor.
- Milich Oppenheimer - One of the 5 great Imperial Generals. A well known narcissist and lord of Scarleticia castle.
- Ivanov - A painter in the employ of Milich.
- Kasios - A singer who is loyal to Milich.
- Qlon - The town crier of Antei.
- Kasumi - A ninja of Rokkaku village.
- Georges - An idler who challenges people to play Memory.
- Lester - A chef who makes very smooth stews.
- Sarah - A laundress who needs more soap.
- Blackman - A farmer who cares for his crops.
- Kage - A ninja for hire, he comes at a high price.
- Kessler - A thief on Mt Tigerwolf.
- Ledon - A thieving innkeeper on Mt Tigerwolf.
- Melodye - A user of the Sound Rune.
- Kun To - A Kirov Merchant known to Tai Ho.
- Mose - Blacksmith of the Secret Factory.
- Ronnie Bell - Mose's strong assistant, user of the Hate Rune.
- Alen - One of Teo's lieutenants.
- Grenseal - Another of Teo's lieutenants.
- Kirke - A gravedigger and executioner. He only knows how to chop off heads.
- Marco - An idler who invites people to play the cups game.
- Moose - An established blacksmith in the Warrior's village.
- Zen - A gardener working at Qlon temple.
- Morgan - A blind martial artist meditating at Qlon temple.
- Quincy - An archer at Garan.
- Fukien - A priest of Qlon temple.
- Hugo - A librarian of the scrolls at Qlon temple.
- Window - User of the Window Rune.
- Hix - A young warrior who has yet to name his sword.
- Tengaar - Daughter of the Chief of the Warriors village.
- Clive - A mysterious man in the Rikon Inn.
- Crowley - A powerful mage with 100 runes within him.
- Pesmerga - A warrior who is chasing after another man.
- Leon Silverberg - A master strategist living in Kalekka.
- Fuma - A ninja who specializes in hiding.
- Kreutz - A former soldier and acquaintance of Humphrey.
- Milia - A dragon Knight.
- Futch - An apprentice dragon Knight.
- Joshua Levenheit - Commander of the Dragon Knights and the Dragon Rune.
- Taggart - A vassal of Warren.
- Mace - A master blacksmith.
- Griffith - The Imperial commander of the Northern Checkpoint.
- Kasim Hazil - One of the 5 great Imperial Generals, Lord of Moravia Castle.
- Warren - A northern lord and friend of Viktor.
- Vincent De Boule - A narcissist and a liar.
- Maximillian - Aging leader of the Knights of Maximillian.
- Sancho - Maximillian's retainer.
- Sonya Shulen- One of the 5 great Imperial Generals. Commander of Shasarazade.
- Teo McDohl - Tir's father and one of the Empire's 5 great Generals.
- Ted - Tir's best friend.
- Emperor Barbarossa Rugner - Emperor of the Scarlet Moon Empire.
- Windy - The court magician.
- Commander Kraze - Tir's first commander in the imperial army.
- Kanaan - Kraze's subordinate.
- Grady - The appointed official for Rockland.
- Odessa Silverberg - The Original Leader of the Liberation Army.
- Sanchez - An advisor for the Liberation Army.
- Chief of the Elves - Sylvina's grandfather, leader of the Village of the Elves.
- Chief of the Dwarves - Leader of the village of the dwarves.
- Zorak - Chief of the Warrior's village and Tengaar's father.
- Star Dragon Sword - A sentient sword whom claims to be the Night rune incarnate.
- Neclord - A vampire living in the Lorimar region.
- Yuber - A general employed by lady Windy.
- Mina - Lotte's cat. Not to be confused with the dancer.
- Hanzo - Leader of the Rokkaku Ninjas.
Important Locations in the GameEdit
- Scarlet Moon Empire: The setting for Suikoden, an empire surrounding Lake Toran, Emperor Barbarossa rules from the capital city of Gregminster, while his 5 Great Generals command the outer provinces.
- Castle of Toran: An old stone castle in the middle of a large lake at the center of the empire.
- Gregminster: The Imperial capital. Located in the northeastern part of the empire.
- Rockland: a mining town in the far northeast.
- Sarady: An isolated village in the mountains west of Gregminster.
- Lenankamp: a bustling town south of Gregminster.
- Mt. Seifu: A favorite hiding place for bandits.
- Mt. Tigerwolf: A pass through the mountains that connects Gregminster and Sarady.
- Kwaba: A guarded gateway to the imperial capital from the Toran region.
- Seika: a small village near the Fortress of Kwaba.
- Kaku: A fishing village on the edge of Lake Toran.
- Toran Castle: an abandoned castle said to be infested by monsters.
- Pirate's Hideout: an island shack where the Toran Pirates reside.
- Kouan: A village near the Fortress of Garan in the south of Lake Toran.
- Great Forest Village: A small village at the entrance of a hidden path through the Great Forest.
- Great Forest Kobold Village: A village of kobolds that marks the other end of the path through the Great Forest.
- The Village of the Elves: A village that exists in the branches of of the trees.
- Dwarf Trail: A path through the mountains to the land of the Dwarves.
- Village of the Dwarves: A village of dwarves.
- Dwarves' Vault: A great vault built by the dwarves to house their treasures.
- Pannu Yakuta: A stronghold in the southeastern lands of the empire.
- The Fortress of Garan: A fort that separates the eastern lands of Lake Toran from the western lands, it bridges the Dunan river.
- Teien: A village on the western bank of Lake Toran.
- Rikon: A small village on the Dunan river.
- Antei: A bustling town north of Scarleticia Castle.
- Scarleticia Castle: The stronghold of the western lands of the empire.
- Dragon Den: The home of the Dragons and passageway to the Dragon Knight's fortress.
- Dragon Knight Fortress: Home of the Dragon Knights.
- Seek Valley: Rare plants and hermits can be found here.
- Liukan's Hermitage: Home of the elderly doctor, past the Dunan rapids.
- Soniere Prison: Home to criminals sentenced by the Empire.
- Lorimar region: Southwestern reach of the empire.
- Fortress of Lorimar: Gateway to the Lorimar region.
- Warrior's Village: Home to the Warrior clan.
- Neclord's Castle: A towering gothic castle, home of Neclord and infested with monsters.
- Qlon Temple: Temple that sits on a holy site.
- Cave of the Past: A cave located at the back of the Qlon Temple.
- Kirov: Trading village on Lake Toran's northern bank.
- Kalekka: Abandoned village, ravaged by war.
- Secret Factory: Home to the Liberation army's secret weapon cache.
- Northern Checkpoint: Gateway to the northwestern lands of the empire.
- Moravia castle: Stronghold against the city State of Jowston.
- Shasarazade: Floating fortress that protects the empire's interests.
In September of 1998, Genso Suikoden was ported to the Sega Saturn in Japan as a Director's Cut version, and included a few changes:
- A new event where the pirates, Leonardo, Anji, and Kanak, kidnap one of the girls in your castle and you must go rescue her. The girl is chosen at random among girls currently recruited at the time.
- Eikei has a unique rune that allows him to run a dojo that lets you fight random monsters. Some of the mini games changed as well. Marco's cup game featured a different rule set, and Georges featured Blackjack instead of Memory.
- The Saturn version also features a different opening sequence that is animated in the same style as Genso Suikoden II.
- Spell animations were also changed, as well as some graphical changes to certain events, like dragon flight and Magician's Island.
- Silver Armor was added to the game, as well as the Darkness rune.
- Tir can find and raise a cat in his room in the Saturn version, as well.
- Darkness Rune.
In the same year as the Sega Saturn version, Konami released the game onto Microsoft Windows in both Japan and China. The game features a completely new interface based around the Windows system where the menu screen and dialogue are presented in their own windows and can be interacted with the mouse. Everything else is exactly the same as the original Playstation version.
In 2006, Konami ported Suikoden I and Suikoden II together as a combo pack with minor changes to both titles, onto the Playstation Portable system. Changes Included:
- The ability to move characters diagonally. (Both Games)
- The picture was refitted for the PSP screen allowing the player to see a greater amount. (Both Games)
- It uses the Saturn versions opening.
- Minor menu changes, including updating some menus to be similar to Suikoden II.
- A new Gallery Section was added that allows the player to listen to music, watch the openings and endings, watch story events, and Staff Credits. (Both Games)
- Correction of some glitches such as the Muse-Matilda border glitch and Kindness Rune glitch.
The port is Japan only.
On December 23rd 2008, Konami released the original Playstation version of Suikoden on the PSN under the PSOne Classics collection.
In Japan, Konami ported the title to mobile phones in 2008 and 2009.