Along with horror, I love me some fantasy. We’re talking books, video games, and movies. Today I’d like to touch upon one of my all-time favorite fantasy video gaming series…Suikoden.
What’s Suikoden? It’s a Japanese RPG where your goal is to recruit the 108 Stars of Destiny. As the story progresses and you recruit more people, your base evolves to accommodate the bigger head count. These games center around one character and feature themes of politics, corruption, greed, oppression, and a land ready for change. It’s your job to bring about that change by finding the 108 Stars of Destiny and getting them to side with your cause. Sounds pretty simple, right? The thing is some of the Stars are hidden or are only recruitable after certain conditions are met.
The Suikoden series of games is loosely based on the classic Chinese novel, Shui Hu Zhan, by Shi Naian. I must admit to never reading the book. Maybe I should look it up.
There have been multiple games in the Suikoden universe. Many RPG lovers consider Suikoden 2 to be one of the best RPGs of all-time. I still own every Suikoden I could get my hands on, including the original for the PS1. Yep, still have my memory card and everything.
What I love about these games is the sweeping change your character brings about on a global scale. The developers add so much depth with mini-games and even whole army battles, which depend on how many Stars you’ve recruited. The more stars you recruit, the bigger your army.
The combat is turn based but it’s still fun. The bosses in these games are pretty fierce too.
Did I mention they even have a vampire character named, Neclord? There’s some pretty fun sequences between him and Viktor.
I’ve played through each game several times and I still love them all. It’s a shame they stopped making them for consoles. I’m a bit of a collection freak, so trying to recruit all 108 Stars of Destiny is always a fun challenge. There are so many hidden storylines, characters, and easter eggs that replaying these games never gets old. And, yes, I do consider Suikoden 2 one of my all-time favorite video games. Period. Ever.
If you love games like the Final Fantasy series, or RPGs in general, and haven’t tried Suikoden, I’d highly recommend you do. These are some of the most epic, well written RPGs of all time. You’re missing out.
A while back they even had Suikoden 3 Mangas. I managed to snag one which is sitting on my niece’s bookshelf. She loves Manga. Because of the Manga, she’ll be trying Suikoden this weekend! It’s great sharing the things I love with the people I love.
I still own these games set in the Suikoden universe:
- Suikoden (PS1)
- Suikoden 2 (PS1)
- Suikoden 3 (PS2)
- Suikoden 4 (PS2)
- Suikoden 5 (PS2)
- Suikoden Tactics (PS2)
Here’s the opening movie from the first Suikoden. Thanks goes to Kanneh for posting it.
If you’re interested in learning more about the world of Suikoden, some wonderful fans have posted various videos on YouTube. Check out DarkWolfDeltas Let’s Play Suikoden 5 series, it’s pretty awesome.
There’s even a fan run website, titled Suikosource, for all things Suikoden. They have walkthroughs, fan art, and everything Suikoden related you could ever want. Check it out here: http://www.suikosource.com/
If you’re interested in the Mangas, I believe they’re out of print. You may be able to get them used. Check around. This is the one I managed to snag brand new a few years ago.
I hope you’ll join me for next week’s Fantasy Friday where I’ll be featuring the Dragonships of Vindras series of books, written by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. See you next time!