- This article is about the video game series. For the first video game in the series, see Suikoden.
Suikoden [swi.ko.dɛn], released as Genso Suikoden (幻想水滸伝) in Japan, is a role-playing game developed and published by Konami. It is a Japanese role-playing game series originally created by Yoshitaka Murayama. Though the Suikoden games follow an irregular chronological sequence of events, the entire series (except for Tierkreis and Tsumugareshi Hyakunen no Toki) takes place within the same world among continuing and overlapping histories. In some cases, several characters appear in multiple installations.
December 1995, the first installment of the video game series was released initially in Japan. Later, it was released in North America in 1996 (December), and one year after, a European release (March 19977). In 1998 (September), the game was also released for the Sega Saturn console exclusively in Japan. The Sega Saturn version had new features, such as a battle coliseum hosted by the character Eikei.
Suikoden I centers around Tir McDohl, son of the great general Teo McDohl. Tir at first, works to be like his father. But after a run in with the Soul Eater Rune, and a woman by the name of Odessa Silverberg. He soon realizes that his very empire is incredibly corrupt, and must gain allies around the region, to stand against his own nation. As Tir starts his journey, he learns about True Runes, and closely learns about the Soul Eater.
The series was followed by a second installment which was released in Japan the same year (December 1998).
Suikoden II entails that of Riou, who is attacked by his own country to start a war. He becomes an outcast who joins forces with his enemy, to take down the Highland Kingdom, that of which he once was a part of.
The development team of the Suikoden series started developing games using 2D or two-dimensional graphics primarily used in the first and second games, while they only incorporated 3D graphics on environments and visual effects. Suikoden III however, marked the series' complete shift from 2D to 3D as the game jumps platforms; from PlayStation to PlayStation 2.
Suikoden III takes a different tone, it has 6 different points of view and 6 different heroes. Take the role of
- • Hugo (Suikoden III), the Karayan boy.
- • Chris Lightfellow, the knight commander of Zexen.
- • Geddoe, a mercenary leader.
- • Thomas, the Tenkai star and the new head of Budehuc Castle.
Alternatively, the player can also play as the dog Koroku, who has no part to the story and was added for fun. As well as one secret character, who the player can play as once they have achieved a certain goal near the end of the game. The game shows the characters different points of views, with a war brewing, the Grasslands versus the Zexen Confederacy.
In August 2004, Suikoden IV was released in Japan. Half a year later, in 2005, it was released around the same time in America (January) and Europe (February). Unlike the other games in the series, Suikoden IV takes place 150 years before the first game. It takes place in the tropical setting of the Island Nations, and involves mostly a new set of characters. Only four characters return in this installment, with one character only appearing in the first and the fourth game, who played a very important role in the first game. The game centers around Lazlo, and his journey to join the stand alone islands against the Kooluk army. Lazlo, is the new user of the Rune of Punishment, a deadly true rune that takes the users soul.
In 2006, the fifth installment and the latest in the mainstream series, Suikoden V was released in Japan. Despite of being latter installments, the two latest game in the series (including Suikoden IV) do not continue the timeline of the prior games. Like Suikoden IV, V takes place before the first installment, but this time it takes place 6 years prior to the first game. The protagonist is Freyjadour Falenas, the prince of the Queendom of Falena. After his parents are killed and a new leader overthrows the prince; the prince must create a new force to fight against the country he was once a part of.
Spin-offs after the second installment were also created, which includes Genso Suikoden Card Stories and the Genso Suikogaiden series. However, both spin-offs were only released in Japan. The only spin offs to get an english release are Suikoden Tactics, Suikoden Tierkreis. The Suikoden Tierkreis visual novel spin off, Genso Suikoden TIERKREIS: Castle of Stardust, and the latest installment, Genso Suikoden: The Woven Web of a Century, are only available in Japan as well.
The Suikoden series is loosely based on a classical Chinese novel, Shui Hu Zhuan known as Water Margin by Shi Naian and Luo Guanzhong. Shui Hu Zhuan is rendered as 水滸伝 in Japanese, and read as Suikoden. Each game centers around relative themes of politics, corruption, revolution, mystical crystals known as True Runes, and the "108 Stars of Destiny" — 108 protagonists also very loosely interpreted from the source material.
The games, standard to most RPGs, commonly feature random over world and dungeon battles, inn-based game saves, a turn-based, menu-operated combat system, mini-games and side quests. Saved game data can be transferred from Suikoden to Suikoden II, and Suikoden II to Suikoden III (Suikogaiden Vol.1 can also receive data from Suikoden II, and is transferable to Suikogaiden Vol.2, but only in Japan), and from Suikoden IV to Suikoden Tactics (Rhapsodia in Japan) and now Suikoden V.
Suikoden implements many features as each title allows players, in varying degrees, to:
- Conduct strategically pitched war campaigns.
- Participate in turn based, one-on-one duels.
- Build an immensely large headquarters that grows as the story progresses (and only develops fully if all the characters are recruited).
- Recruit a colorful cast of 108 pre-determined characters, each specializing in various aspects of combat or support.
Essentially, each game follows the plot formula of a coup d'état by corrupt power holder(s), the main protagonist's exile from his/her home, the disastrous misuse of the True Runes, the hero's struggle, despite overwhelming odds, to bring peace to the land alongside his/her friends, and the climactic showdown with the corrupted True Rune.
The series has the following titles including prequels, sequels and spin-offs from the main series (the main series are in bold). They are arranged chronologically with their release dates:
- PlayStation: December 15, 1995, Japan; 1996, North America; April, 1997, Europe.
- Sega Saturn: September 17, 1998, Japan.
- Microsoft Windows: 1998, Japan; 1999 China; 1999, South Korea.
- Mobile Phones: 2008-2009, Japan.
- PlayStation Portable: February 23, 2006, Japan (Genso Suikoden I & II)
- PlayStation: December 17, 1998, Japan; August 31, 1999, North America; July 28, 2000, Europe.
- Microsoft Windows: 2003, China.
- Mobile Phones: 2009-2010, Japan.
- PlayStation Portable: February 23, 2006, Japan (Genso Suikoden I & II)
- PlayStation: September 21, 2000, Japan.
- PlayStation: March 22, 2001, Japan.
- Game Boy Advance: September 13, 2001, Japan
- PlayStation 2: July 11, 2002, Japan; October 24, 2002, North America.
- PlayStation 2: August 19, 2004, Japan; January 11, 2005, North America; February 25, 2005, Europe.
- PlayStation 2: September 22, 2005, Japan (as Rhapsodia); November 8, 2005, North America; February 23, 2006, Europe.
- PlayStation 2: February 23, 2006, Japan; March 21, 2006, North America; September 22, 2006, Europe.
- Nintendo DS: December 18, 2008, Japan; March 17, 2009, North America.
- Mobile phones: October 9, 2008, Japan.
- Pachislot: 2011, Japan.
- PlayStation Portable: February 9, 2012, Japan.
- See Timeline.
While the main series is numbered, each individual game takes place either before or after a consequent installation. The second and third Suikoden games were each direct sequels of their respective predecessors but with Suikoden IV, the series began to delve into prequels in which events take place earlier than any of the other games. The sequence according to in-universe chronology is as follows:
Suikoden IV(143 years before Suikoden V and 150 years before Suikoden) → Suikoden V (6 years before Suikoden) → Suikoden (3 years before Suikoden II) → Suikoden II (15 years before Suikoden III) → Suikoden III
Prequels and sequels
The games Genso Suikogaiden Volumes 1 and 2, though not part of the main series takes place before, during, and after Suikoden II as well as Suikoden Tactics which takes place before and after Suikoden IV.
|SUIKOGAIDEN Vol. 1|
|Sierra • Templeton • Wakaba • Teresa • Shin • Jude • Nina • Emilia • Jeane • Connell|
|Nanami • Kinnison • Shiro • Flik • Viktor • Leona • Clive • Hauser • Annallee • Hanna • Pilika • Dominguez • Jowy • Riou • Yuli • Elza • Ayda • Raura • Shilo • Gaspar • Mazus • Adlai • Hix • Tengaar • Hoi • Maximillian • Julie • Kahn Marley • Stallion • Georg • Lena • Sauro|
|Rean • Ayana • Rowd • Jillia • Luca • Seed • Culgan • Zaj • Kelley|
|Blue Moon Village • Muse • Greenhill|
|Golden Wolf • Music List • Returning Characters • Exclusive Characters • Characters Name|
|SUIKOGAIDEN Vol. 2|
|Maki • Camus • Miklotov • Lo Wen • Gijimu • Koyu • Rina • Eilie • Bolgan • Lena • Bright • Futch • Humphrey • Meg • Millie • Gadget • Bonaparte • Viki • Julie|
|Clad • Gilbert • Aisha • Jonah • Butz • Tony • Tony's Daughter • Yuzu • Valeria • Anita • Apple • Sheena • Oulan • Milich • Vincent • Esmeralda • Simone • Lorelai • Killey • Riou • Jowy • Nanami • Kasumi • Tir • Viki • Abizboah • L'Roladia • Chuchura • Sasarai • Dominguez|
|Clant • Parge • Wan • Stella • Zaj|
|Milit • Caleria • Crystal Valley|
|Flame Champion • Music List • Returning Characters • Exclusive Characters • Characters Name|
|CASTLE of STARDUST|
|Ashen • Blanche • Danchou • Garegado • Rio • Shariyaru • Tosh|
|Music List • Returning Characters • Exclusive Characters|
|Lazlo • Kika • Hervey • Sigurd • Viki • Jeane • Mitsuba|
|Genso Suikoden Pachisuro|