Today in awesome: Top 10 favorite Suikoden moments

May 21, 2012 at 12:56 am (Awesome) (, , )

I have unabashedly expressed my love for Suikoden before. I did the 30 Day Meme, put some pictures together for Suikoden Day 2011, wrote an essay bout how this game can change your life. Recently, challenged people to put down their top 10 favorite Suikoden moments, so these are mine.

Most of these will be coming from Suikoden II, because while I have an appreciation for all the games, the second installment is what persists as a mini-kingdom of joy inside my head.

10. Viktor’s speech to Neclord

Viktor tells Neclord -precisely- how he intends on carrying out his revenge.

This is made doubly awesome by the fact that it follows a blatant attempt by Neclord to throw Viktor off by bringing up a zombie Daisy (Viktor responds to this likeness of the girl he loved by hacking its head off). The speech that follows is so awesome they made a play about it in Suikoden III.

9. Rina seduces a border guard

This is one of those scenes that elicits semi-uncomfortable giggles from young children the first time they play the game. When they play the game again, many years later, it draws comments of ‘so she gave him a job. A job called blow.’

(Starts at 0:55)

8. Chris bids Yun farewell, knight-style

This is one of those awesome scenes that wasn’t in the Suikoden III game, but appears in the Aki Shimizu manga.

suik 3 manga

Chris follows the knight convention for thanking a lady, to sweet effect.

7.  Viktor and Anabelle have a drink

Viktor and Anabelle, aka ‘what could have been.’ The usually boisterous Viktor gets contemplative, and the usually no-nonsense Anabelle gets her flirt on. The first time we played this game, I hoped these two would hit it off – they’re both awesome characters who don’t take shit from other people.

But then, Jowy (at 2:40). Yeah. One of the reasons why I hate Jowy.

6. Finding Shu’s coin

Shu shows that there are limits to his assholery, which can be reached when his childhood friend wallows in canal water, to prove a point.

(Pertinent bits at 04:01 and 07:58)

5. Shu and Leon’s ‘book’ conversation

When you put together two of the Suikoden world’s smartest (and most ruthless) people in the same scene, the least you get is a memorable conversation.


4. Seed and Culgan’s death

This brings home one of the most important things about Suikoden – it’s not about bad guys vs good guys, mostly it’s about people with honorable, but conflicting, causes. In an alternate universe, Jowy would be the Tenkai Star and Seed and Culgan would be his Flik and Viktor.

(Riou’s party runs into Seed and Culgan at 2:27, death scene at 6:27)

3. Luca and Jillia talk

From Suikoden Gaiden Vol. 1: Swordsman of Harmonia. While Suikoden isn’t about good vs bad, Luca Blight, is generally, bad. Is, generally, fucking chaotic evil. On the other hand, he seems to give Jillia a certain measure of regard (ie. He will not openly kill her), due to the fact that she looks like their mother. Jillia uses this to call him out on his useless warmongering. It’s sibling rivalry, Highland style.

An English translation of the entire scene can be found here (support fan translations n_n!).

2. Flik and Viktor save Raio and Jowy

Raio and Jowy have been captured, been paraded around their hometown in disgrace, are now being beaten in a way that makes you wince (even if they are adorable 2D sprites), and Rowd looks off into the sunset to wax philosophical about how things can only get better for him now (what a douche, Rowd). We get to face the sunset with him, while the sound of bodies being beaten grows more and more intense, and we think ‘oh shit, there’s no way they’re getting out of this.’

And then – we return to the scene to find Flik’s on the platform with Raio and Jowy, and he’d just beaten up the guards. Rowd’s reaction (‘!!!!!!!!!!!!!!’) is perfect.

(starts 18:47)

1. Luca’s death

This one requires a bit of explanation. It’s not just because the entirety of the Night Raid, up until Luca’s ‘I am the true face of evil’ spiel, is awesome. It’s because (much like Seed and Culgan’s death scene), this scene gave me some huge realizations about Suikoden (and well, the nature of fiction).

Up until this point, I had completely despised Luca Blight (he killed Pohl. And that poor pig woman in Ryube. And many many other people). I figured he was just one of those ‘irredeemably evil characters’. Right before he dies though, he has his little monologue with the fireflies. This illuminates certain things – that even Luca Blight is capable of having a quiet moment, and that there is in fact, an emotional core to his insatiable need to destroy.

night raid

The first hint you get that there’s -anything- in him besides crazy is when he lashes out at Agares (shortly before killing him). The game deliberately remains vague about his backstory (only that it had something to do with him and his mother being “callously dishonored”). I won’t go into detail about that here, because I’m still 12 years old, playing Suikoden for the first time, and wondering at the gravitas of Luca’s death scene.

Here’s the guy who’s been terrorizing everyone in the battlefield with his ridiculous ATK 18 DEF 16 stats, fiddling with a wooden amulet and watching the fireflies drift away (an effect that is hilariously ruined when you imagine he can go around the tree and be followed out by MukuMuku, ala 2:52 here).

On one hand, you actually feel sad for him.

But (and the best part is), you figure no amount of sad backstory will really redeem him. The case with some bad guys is, once you find out what their sad backstories are, you’re tempted to paint them as tragic heroes. I’d say even if Luca’s backstory is pretty fucked up, it’s not enough to redeem him. He’s broken right through the Moral Event Horizon with no care of turning back. This makes for a worthy antagonist, and a great death scene.

For more yaysome Suikoden moments, check out the Suikoden page on TV Tropes.


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