Old RPG Review #27: Suikoden

NuMetalManiak First off, I turn 21 today, so hand me a beer for great justice.

Now for Suikoden, I started this game at the beginning of November and managed to finish it yesterday. Konami published this turn-based RPG in 1996 or so. I've been meaning to play this for awhile once I got ePSXe, so finally I did it. The game's graphics aren't too nice, being sprites and all, but I enjoyed it more than 3D visuals that are generally sloppy of PS games.

Gameplay: Suikoden is turn-based, and almost completely reminiscent of Breath of Fire games sometimes, in combat and navigation. Max of 6 characters in the party, but with loads of characters, there's loads of combinations. What I found in battles were the use of runes and unites. These would be used either for magic or for powerful physical attacks. Some can't be removed from certain characters. The ones with magic abilities require MP, in the same vein as Final Fantasy games, with different magic levels. One problem is that resting at an inn is the ONLY way to restore MP, while there are different ways to restore HP. Unites are used between specific characters and can do major damage, but sometimes leave users unbalanced, making them unable to attack next turn. Lowly medicine, usually used for a heal, can actually resurrect dead characters, but only outside of battle. There are quite a number of shops here, the armor store, the hardware (item shop) store, the runemaster (allows you to attach/detach runes to characters), the appraiser (you get these weird antiques you find appraised, not like they play any major part in the game), and the blacksmith. Characters' weapons are static to each one, so sharpening them makes them stronger in combat. However it is very EXPENSIVE. I was afraid this game would be like Phantasy Star, where I had to grind excessively for money, but a certain minigame (see below) made money not too big of a deal. Weapons are classified as short, medium, or long range, accordingly. Also, characters level up quite nicely for the most part.

Suikoden also has two extra battle systems besides the regular turn-based battles, the war battle and the duel battle. They're both simple in that they are essentially rock-paper-scissors in aspect. Now that means you need to guess which maneuver is best. In a war battle, it's possible to have one of your characters in a given unit die, which actually screws you over the best ending. The way to guess enemy movement there is by using special units, though those may fail sometimes. In a duel, it's one on one and the way to guess is by what the enemy says in quote. To conclude this section, I will say that some Suikoden characters make reappearances in the second game, and you can even transfer that save file. Gameplay grade - B

Characters: Oh my, 108 and more characters are present in this whole game. This will be quite long. You have this large headquarters made out of a derelict castle on the sea and all of your friendly characters hang out there when you recruit them. I'll list the 108 Stars of Destiny in order and then the rest of the characters.
1. "Bandanna Boy" Tir Mcdohl: The main character, the one you can name, the one you can't go without. He's above average as per typical, fights with a stick, and has the Soul Eater Rune, allowing for instant death spells to be used. He's the overall commander of the Liberation Army but barely says a word.
2. "Orange He-Man" Lepant: Once a merchant, now a Liberation Army general once he's heard that his wife's been kidnapped. I rarely used this short-ranged fighter though, there's better.
3. "Brother of the former liberator" Mathiu Silverberg: A non-playable character, and the one to talk to for everything, whether to change party members or to engage in war battles. He's the brother of Odessa (below).
4. "Wind Rune, show your power!" Luc: A pretty small character, but he is one of the best mage characters in the game. Low HP as expected though.
5. "The silent but strong type" Humphrey Mintz: He's a tank, powerful but slow physically. Great personality, and one of the only characters who's armor transfers to the next game.
6. "Arab general" Kasim Hazil: One of the last few characters I get in the game. As such, I wouldn't use him, but he's another swordfighter I believe. One of four Imperial generals to join.
7. "Bulb head" Kwanda Rosman: The first duel battle is against one of the four generals, Kwanda. He's yet another physical fighter. But he's got amazing defense and can attack from the back row.
8. "Mysterious but good black knight" Pesmerga: Suikoden fans LOVE Pesmerga. I am not sure why, but he's got that cool look and is a tank like Humphrey. I used him a bit since he appears in the next game.
9. "Acts like a stay-at-home mother: Gremio: Hated this guy. Honestly. You are stuck with using him for one-half of the game and he is just average. Also, I thought his behavior and his repeated use of "Young Master" when addressing Tir were annoying.
10. "One who's easily forgotten" Warren: Another character gotten so late in the game that I didn't find much use for.
11. "Fisher Merchant" Kun To: An NPC who doesn't do much, although he helps out in the plot though.
12. "A true soldier beauty" Cleo: An early game character. Good long range, she's good with magic, very well rounded for her type. One that I used often.
13. "The Bear" Viktor: Always in the party way too often, but at least offensively he can do amazing damage when he hits (low skill makes this a problem, Pesmerga has this issue too). When he gets the Star Dragon sword later in the game, he will have the overall strongest attack power. Keep him in the front row.
14. "Falcon Girl" Valeria: Comes in as a defect of the Imperial army, she's a physical fighter with a fixed rune. Luckily, this rune can be spammed without side effects and does great damage. I like her.
15. "My army sucks" Griffith: Unremarkable, and you get him late anyways.
16. "Until I find HER" Clive: Mysterious hooded dude that seems to be the only character who wields a GUN. Very cool, but short on magic.
17. "The Blue Lightning" Flik: Another plot-heavy character, he's a swordsman with powerful magic abilites as well. I'd recommend upgrading his rune when comes the time. Also, he names his sword after his lover.
18. "Someone owes me money!" Camille: Has beef with Gremio over money or something. Her abilities are on par with Tir's.
19. "My enemy is your enemy" Kreutz: A pretty overall good fighter, although one of the last you'll acquire.
20. "Sonic the Elf" Stallion: A favorite of many, due to his True Holy Rune. You can run both on the overworld and anywhere else with Stallion in your party, and he's speedy in a battle too. One problem is that, since you can't remove his rune, you can't use magic with him, and he's not the strongest physically.
21. "Pay me 20000" Kage: A ninja, meaning fast. Unremarkable everywhere else though, which is surprising given his badassery.
22. "Not a real tiger" Fu Su Lu: A man who dresses up in a tiger outfit to look like a kobold. Dumb. Amazing HP and physical stats, horrible elsewhere. He's one of those gimmick characters if you will.
23. "Only elf that likes humans" Kirkis: An important storyline character who joins up to have the humans help elves. He's alright (by the way all elves are archers).
24. "Peacock Man" Milich Opperheimer: This drag-dressing guy is one of the four generals who joins your party later on. He's good with magic.
25. "Bruiser who wants food" Pahn: An important guy to have in your party. He's one of Tir's subordinates, but train him so that he doesn't die in a duel battle. Overall, he's good physically.
26. "Would've been the mother" Sonya Shulen: She's the last character you get in the game, and the last of the generals. You fight her as a boss before you get her, and she's well-rounded. She loved Tir's father too.
27. "Pirate Leader" Anji: One of three pirate characters, you fight them in a battle to get them. I've never used any of them but Anji's the most well-rounded of the bunch.
28. "Gamblin' Fisherman" Tai Ho: One of the first characters, he attacks with a spear and isn't too great on his own.
29. "Buffy Pirate" Kanak: Of the pirate trio, he's my least favorite.
30. "Kurt Cobain Fisherman" Yam Koo: Look at this guy, he looks just like Kurt Cobain. Again, as a fisherman he's not great in combat. Together with Tai Ho they can perform a very powerful unite attack though.
31. "Axe Pirate" Leonardo: Good attack power. Together with Anji and Kanak can perform a good unite attack.
32. "I name my sword after my girlfriend" Hix: Average, really. Good unite with the one below.
33. "Spoiled silly" Tengaar: Comparable to Cleo, good long range power, great magic.
34. "Bandit King" Varkas: You fight this guy early, then free him from being crucified later on. I didn't use this guy but he's good for attacking.
35. "Heh man" Sydonia: The other bandit. Rather unremarkable except for a unite with Varkas.
36. "Wife of the Orange" Eileen: A weak character I'd say, but some good unite with at least two other females. She's Lepant's wife.
37. "Another Silverberg?" Leon Silverberg: Hard character to recruit, and he really doesn't do anything special.
38. "Concentration is key" Georges: Runs a stupid minigame of card matching. There's no monetary award to it, that's why I think it's stupid.
39. "Kidnapped Painter" Ivanov: Recruit this guy, then get some paint from hardware stores and give it to him. You'll make a nice mural of it.
40. "Runemaster" Jeane: She runs the castle runemaster shop. Also she appears in every Suikoden game.
41. "Only the strong-willed are my allies" Eikei: Never used him, another martial artist though, so he'd hit hard.
42. "Crazy knight" Max: I really wanted to use this character, because of how cool and crazy he is, but unfortunately he is unplayable. Also, he's one of the last recruits.
43. "Mexican Man" Sancho: Follows Max, nothing else.
44. "Pretty Boy Lightning" Grenseal: One of my personal faves, good physical power, stuck with the thunder rune but it's STRONG. I used him in the end game.
45. "Pretty Boy Fire" Alen: Like Grenseal, excellent character, this time with a rage rune for fire spells. Powerful with Flik and Grenseal for an amazingly strong unite.
46. "Albert the Scrivener" Tesla: Pretends to be someone else, then helps you forge a document, and that's it for him.
47. "Nameless Urn?" Jabba: Give him what I gave his nickname and he becomes the castle appraiser.
48. "Adventure Galley" Lorelai: An archer, nothing too special.
49. "Couldn't they have come up with a better name than that?" Blackman: Yes, he's a black man and that really is his name. He's a farmer, but has a surprisingly good attack stat.
50. "King of Dragons" Joshua: Doesn't really help much outside of war battles, in which he commands the awesome Dragon Knights. Really sweet character design too.
51. "The Blind Monk" Morgan: Yet another martial artist.
52. "Blacksmith #3" Mose: Can sharpen character weapons up to level 12.
53. "Spoiled Princess" Esmeralda: You give her an opal jewel and she joins. Other than that, nothing.
54. "I love weird sounds" Melodye: She's the one who can change menu sound settings if you find them. They all are terrible though except the default ones.
55. "Stick in the mouth" Chapman: Runs the armory, the more armories you visit, the bigger his stock becomes.
56. "Old Doctor" Liukan: Very old dude unremarkable in combat. He's the closest come to a healer since he has a load of medicine with him, plus he plays important parts in the story.
57. "108 Stars upon you" Fukien: Another old guy mage, and not as great as the others.
58. "My dragon is Black" Futch: A character that should be trained for Suikoden II, more or less.
59. "Ms. Ninja Fanservice" Kasumi: A personal favorite character of mine. Great speed, and like Valeria she has a rune that doesn't cause unbalanced status. It's a piledriver attack, one of the coolest ever.
60. "Blacksmith #1" Maas: First blacksmith to recruit, can sharpen up to level 5.
61. "Man of 100 Runes" Crowley: Although not named after Ozzy's signature ballad song, Crowley is the absolute best mage in the whole game. He has amazing magic power and enough spells to rule the freakin' galaxy.
62. "Assassin's Ninja" Fuma: A hidden character, but otherwise unremarkable ninja similar to Kage.
63. "Blacksmith #4" Moose: Can sharpen up to Level 15. Expensive!
64. "Blacksmith #2" Meese: Can sharpen up to Level 8 I believe. The blacksmiths by the way can perform a super strong unite attack if you have four of them.
65. "Acclaimed Inventor" Sergei: Gives you an elevator for better travel, but crappy in combat.
66. "Dumb, blind, dater" Kimberly: More or less joins the fishermen group after a date with Flik, not too good a character.
67. "Girl Chaser" Sheena: Lepant's son. I don't like his feminine name, his short girl hair or his earrings. He's actually strong in combat, although you are stuck with his lightning rune.
68. "Tigerwolf Bandit" Kessler: Mostly average, but a great attacking weapon.
69. "Shuffle Cup" Marco: Runs a shuffle cup game, and you can bet money so that's good. Not better than the other one though.
70. "Egotistical Carpenter" Gen: Really funny guy this one. Too bad he outright sucks in combat.
71. "Librarian with a mustache" Hugo: Runs a library. Bring him old books and read them if you're bored.
72. "Granny of magic" Hellion: A mage type, but she's stuck with the Mother Earth Rune which kinda limits her.
73. "Toe-shoed Dancer" Mina: I used her quite a bit, she's a better mage than some characters even. Problem is you can't remove her toe shoes or even her magic robe so her defense always suffers.
74. "My dragon is Thrash" Milia: Strong overall I guess. One thing I don't get about dragons in this game is that they sound like elephants when they fly.
75. "Old Geezer Alchemist" Kamandol: Gen squares with this guy. They both are terrible combatants through and through.
76. "Christmas Elf" Juppo: Looks like a Christmas elf, but isn't an actual elf. Not that great, he has a nice Trick rune though.
77. "Sound Test" Kasios: Joins when Milich is in the party, he's who to talk to if you want to listen to music in the game. Did I say he? Oh yeah, despite the fact that he looks female, he is MALE.
78. "Ditz magician" Viki: Her teleportation thing is very useful for getting around quickly. Like Jeane, Viki appears in every game.
79. "Renegade Elf" Rubi: Probably my favorite of the elves, good starting stats.
80. "Complete Narcissist" Vincent: Hate him. Hate the theme that plays when he talks too (same theme with Milich and Esmeralda actually). And he's just another person that joins!
81. "Trickster Girl" Meg: Her clothing makes her a poster child of sorts. Not actually horrible in combat though.
82. "Arabic dude" Taggart: Another dude who simply joins and does nothing special.
83. "Butler of the orange" Giovanni: Doesn't do anything, but joins the thieves unit in major battles so you can take money or see the next enemy attack.
84. "My town was burned!" Quincy: Another archer.
85. "Name describes your appearance" Apple: Mathiu's secretary that doesn't do anything noteworthy. Her head is an apple.
86. "Stick Fighter supreme" Kai: GREAT CHARACTER. Only for his unite with Tir, but since it hits everyone, Kai is brilliant.
87. "Where'd my cat go?" Lotte: A mage in a similar vein to Luc, but with better survivability.
88. "Blacksmith God" Mace: You need the four other blacksmiths to recruit this guy, and he can sharpen up to level 16, the max level. Mace however cannot sharpen his own weapon.
89. "Designated gossiper" Onil: Acts like a fortune teller of sorts, which in this game is rather useless.
90. "Hulk Speak" Kuromimi: The cool kobold that joins, but his short range doesn't help that well.
91. "Looks more like a dog" Gon: Kuromimi's friendly. Not grat.
92. "Mexican cook" Antonio: For some reason, you can use this cook in battle, but he absolutely cannot fight well.
93. "Taste my stew" Lester: Another cook, keep him in the kitchen and out of the battlefield.
94. "Mr. Death" Kirke: Hooray for average and unremarkable characters who just join.
95. "Real men wear pink" Rock: Now this guy is useful. Want to remove some items for safekeeping? This guy's the one to talk to, as his vault can store anything. Very useful. And no, we're not talking about Dwayne Johnson here.
96. "Creep with tea" Ledon: A thief with an ugly mug. Actually does nothing useful.
97. "The highschool girl elf" Sylvina: Like the others, a bow user, but probably better off as a mage instead.
98. "Giant of Hate" Ronnie Bell: Like Kasumi and Valeria, her own rune is a spammable one and she hits fairly hard.
99. "Luck is a matter of timing" Gaspar: Alright, here's the guy to talk to for the best minigame. Yes, it involves rolling three dice in a cup and getting predetermined matches, but winning against this guy helps me get loads of money (where does he even get it from?).
100. "Another meaningful name" Window: Window changes window settings! I still like the default more than any other.
101. "Inn keeper" Marie: Well, she runs the inn, free of charge since she likes Tir.
102. "Crops must be maintained" Zen: Doesn't do anything, just gardens like a poor man.
103. "Wishy washy" Sarah: You have an annoying fetch quest just to get he. Otherwise, a long range character, and not as good as most other ones.
104. "Watches you bathe" Sansuke: Runs a bath, where you can have characters go in. Also, this is where the antiques go. Can bring him in to combat, but he's bad!
105. "Welcome to the castle!" Qlon: Your welcoming little kid.
106. "Mapping the world" Templeton: Allows you to have a map in the corner of the overworld. He is a GUY too.
107. "Rope thief" Krin: Ugly dude, will try to help out when he can but other than speed he's worthless in combat.
108. "Wants his own store" Chandler: Runs the item shop. Like Chapman, visit lots of stores to get him lots of wares!

Characters outside the 108 stars of destiny include Ted, the original Soul Eater bearer, who wields a bow, Odessa Silverberg, the original leader of the Liberation army and Flik's love interest, and many more. Tir's father, Teo McDohl, is an Imperial general, who becomes an enemy eventually. Also Lady Windy and Barbarossa are enemies. Leknaat is Windy's sister and the one who pretty much sets Tir on his journey. Grade on characters is impossible to decide since there are plenty of them.

Plot: Pretty average. Bandanna Boy is signed onto the Imperial Army and ends up joining the Liberation Army following what happens to his friend Ted and what Windy wants with him. Odessa shows him around, but is killed protecting a child. As a result, Bandanna Boy is set to be the commander of the Liberation Army, recruiting many characters and engaging battle against the five generals. One of them is his father Teo, whom he actually kills in a duel. At the end, his party beats Barbarossa, and, in order to atone, he suicides with Lady Windy, and everyone in the 108 stars of destiny goes their separate ways. Grade: C.

Music: Generally nice, many of the town themes are quite oriental, and one dungeon theme sticks out especially. The headquarters theme gets old quite easily however. Grade: B-

Overall Grade: B
Should play Suikoden. Loads of characters, nice gameplay, just nice. That's all I can really say. Not the greatest, but far from the worst.


It's in my opinion pretty neat.
in my opinion: 8/10, also
*hands him a beer* - visitor

All your RPG are belong to us - NuMetalManiak

Cool. And happy birthday! <3 - RiverClanRocks