Suikoden Day 2013: The 5 things I want to see in Suikoden VI

July 11, 2013 at 10:40 pm (Awesome, Nostalgia) (, , )

Today is Suikoden Day 2013. Seems like it was only yesterday that the Suikoden fandom was celebrating the first and second Suik days online, with much cheer and fangasming. This year, devotees are invited to talk about what exactly they’d like to see if the Suikoden series (long frozen at the fifth instalment, although with a few spin-offs over the last couple of years) were to shake off its inertia and go on to a sixth Suikoden.

In reality, there has been very little to suggest that Konami has Suikoden VI on its slate (at least not for the foreseeable future), but the fans are a-clamoring, and Konami hasn’t totally been overlooking them. So here are the top five things I’d like to see in Suikoden VI.

suikoden logo

1. Lots of 2D animation

Suikoden lends itself wonderfully to anime-style sequences – just think of Suikogaiden Vols. 1 and 2, or the opening of Suikoden III. In a perfect world, where things like budget and manpower constraints don’t exist, I’d imagine all of Suikoden VI would look like an anime, except one that you can play (think the in-game graphics of Guilty Gear, but somehow, impossibly, translated into an RPG).

Not only does this give the game a sharp visual style, and an immediate appeal to the anime crowd, but it further blurs the line between playing a game and telling a story – something Suikoden has always been good at.

2. Let’s go to Harmonia

The Holy Kingdom of Harmonia has existed as an ominous shadow behind the previous games – you get characters from Harmonia, stories about figures like Hikusaak and the Howling Voice Guild, and vague hints about Harmonia’s caste system and its precarious internal politics.

Given these, there are two things a Suikoden fan can ascertain about Harmonia – that it is a powerful nation, and that it wants more power. It has vested interests in controlling the True Runes, as well as turning the surrounding nations into vassals. If this does not make it an ideal place for a Suikoden game to play out, I don’t know what is.

sasarai

3. Back to continuity

One of the strengths of the Suikoden series has been its continuity. Suikodens I to V exist on a timeline where it is possible to trace the journeys of certain characters, or groups, or nations. The familiarity makes it feel like you’re coming home whenever you play a new game.

Just because Suikoden VI is in continuity doesn’t mean there won’t be room for new characters or stories. But it would be special if say, we find out what happened to characters like Flik and Viktor, or if McDohl still spends his idle time fishing, or if the peace in the Grasslands was maintained.

Personally, I’d like to see Suikoden VI go beyond the timeline of Suikoden III, currently the furthest out into the future, among the games. We have no clue as to what could possibly happen next in Suikoden World, which is terribly exciting.

suikoden heroes

4. Fully functional castle

The castle mini-games / features that have appeared in the previous Suikoden games were half of what made it worth having your own HQ. Getting your own whack-a-mole plot, riding range, fishing spot, chinchirorin den, etc, wasn’t just entertaining, it was a way of getting to meet all those Stars of Destiny you otherwise wouldn’t have noticed so much. Would you really have paid Marco any attention if he wasn’t such a bastard at that find-the-coin game?

What was particularly awesome were those games that actually explore the characters a bit more, like the theatre in Suikoden III, or the bathhouses. And the Suikoden II cooking game. Especially the Suikoden II cooking game.

5. More gray morality

I’ve mentioned before that one of the reasons I fell in love with Suikoden was that it taught me a lot about telling stories. One of the things that stood out for me was while the other Play Station games of the period dealt mostly with good guys fighting bad guys, Suikoden went and muddled the lines a bit.

It made you betray your country because the king was corrupt, or it made you ally yourself with your clan’s traditional enemies because it was the only way to survive. It’s true that Suikoden is about war, but you weren’t fighting ‘bad guys’. You were fighting your father, or your best friend, or your aunt, or otherwise fairly decent people who simply had reasons for doing what they do.

Similarly, wielding the power of a True Rune didn’t simply give you the power to right all wrongs – it made you choose sides, and sometimes it made you sacrifice the people closest to you. In this way, it’s fitting that the protagonist is always a child (a teenager at least). Throughout the course of the story, they have to grow up, and the player grows up with them.

jowy riou

Images belong to their respective copyright holders.

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2 Comments

  1. Mac said,

    I love your point no 5! That’s what makes me fell in love with this series.

  2. Leandro Ap Inacio said,

    Yeah… I agree with the bro from the another reply… That’s why i love Suikoden! PLEASE Konami make the next Suikoden!!!

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