Suikoden II

Suikoden II

Infobox VG | title = Suikoden II

developer = Konami
publisher = Konami
designer =
engine =
released = vgrelease|Japan|JP|December 17, 1998
vgrelease|North America|NA|September 29, 1999
vgrelease|European Union|EUR|July 28, 2000
genre = Role-playing game
modes = Single player
ratings = ESRB: T (Teen)
USK: 6+
ELSPA: 11+
platforms = PlayStation
media = 1x CD-ROM
requirements =
input = PlayStation controller

nihongo|"Suikoden II"|幻想水滸伝II|Gensō Suikoden Tsū Audio-IPA|EN-us-Suikode.ogg|(pronounced: SWEE-ko-den) is a console role-playing game developed and published by Konami for the Sony PlayStation video game console and the second installment of the "Suikoden" video game series. It was released in late 1998 in Japan, 1999 in North America, and in 2000 in Europe. The game features a vast array of characters, with over sixty characters usable in combat and many more who move the plot forward.

"Suikoden II" takes place three in-universe years after the events of the original "Suikoden", and centers around an invasion by the Kingdom of Highland of the City States of Jowston. The player controls a silent protagonist whose name is chosen by the player; he is the adopted son of Genkaku, a hero who saved the City-State of Jowston in a war against Highland years ago. The protagonist and his best friend, Jowy Atreides, each gain one half of the Rune of the Beginning, one of the 27 True Runes of the "Suikoden" setting, and become caught up in the intrigues of the invasion and the dark fate of those who bear the halves of that Rune.


"Suikoden II" is a console role-playing game with strategic elements covering those gameplay options pertaining to large scale confrontations, such as between two armies. The player controls a silent protagonist and travels with them around the world map, advancing the plot by completing tasks and talking with other characters. The player can also recruit new characters to his cause, often involving a short sidequest to do so. In towns, the player can gather information, sharpen characters' weaponry, and buy equipment; wilderness areas generally feature random encounters with monsters.

The battle system to "Suikoden II" features six person parties. A variety of statistics determine in-game combat ability. If all six characters lose all their hit points and are thus incapacitated, it is game over and the player must restart. Exceptions exist for certain plot battles in which winning is optional; the player can lose and the plot continues on, albeit in a slightly different fashion.

Runes, the source of all magic in the world of "Suikoden II", are handled the same as the original "Suikoden". Characters have a certain number of spell usages per "spell level;" for instance, a character with 4 level 1 spell slots and a Water Rune could cast "Kindness Drops" (the level 1 Water Rune spell) 4 times. Other runes offer different benefits, and some may be used as often as desired.

Updates from the original "Suikoden" include a grid and unit based tactical battle system, the addition of a three rune slot system which allows for three different runes to be equipped at once, a party inventory system, and a "dash" button that allowed the player to move around the screen quicker and vast graphical improvement. Also notable is the inclusion of a variety of mini-games including one quite reminiscent of "Iron Chef". A transfer of data from the prior game in the series enables returning characters to enter the fray with higher levels and improved weapons. References to the original "Suikoden" are also adapted accordingly for a greater feel in continuity.

Following the original "Suikoden", "Suikoden II" contains three different types of combat:

*Regular battles: The party the player has selected faces off with 1-6 enemies. This battle type is considered typical in RPGs, containing options for attack, magic (Runes), items etc. This is the only battle style where the player can gain experience, items or Potch (Suikoden II's currency).

*Duels: The main character is pitted against another character in single combat. This style of fighting only has three moves: Attack, Wild Attack, and Defend. This duel is played in a Rock, Paper, Scissors style where "Attack" beats "Defend", "Wild Attack" beats "Attack" and "Defend" beats "Wild Attack". The player can usually tell what kind of attack the enemy is going to perform by the taunts displayed.

*Massive battles: More interactivity was added to this element of the gameplay over that of its predecessor. While some of the shades of the old "Rock, Paper, Scissors" style battle of the original (where cavalry beats archers, archers beat magic and magic beats cavalry), "Suikoden II" introduces a grid style battle system reminiscent to that of the "Romance of the Three Kingdoms" or "Fire Emblem" games. As the main character recruits characters for his castle, this opens up more options for more units. Certain characters are 'unit leaders' while others are 'supports'. Every character adds a certain amount of defense or attack to a unit. In addition, certain characters also add special abilities to the unit they are attached to. The numbers affect the chances of win or loss as much as the type of units being pitted against each other. Every unit may take up to a total of two 'losses' which are counted when a unit suffers a severe amount of casualties. Each skirmish they take part in might result in no loss, loss on one side, or even loss on both sides. As mentioned before, certain characters add special abilities to the units. Examples of these abilities include being able to take more losses than usual, magic or archery to allow attacks from a distance, healing of itself or others, etc. When a unit suffers its maximum losses it will retreat from battle, when this happens there is a possibility of the characters in the unit being wounded or even killed. Should a character be killed in a massive battle, they are considered permanently dead.



The protagonist of "Suikoden II" is Riou, who goes from being a member of a youth brigade in the Highland Kingdom to being the leader of its opposition, the New Alliance Army. In acquiring one half of the Rune of the Beginning, he is destined to become leader of the newly rebuilt Jowston Army, and also to oppose the holder of the other half of the Rune of the Beginning, Jowy Atreides.

The antagonist for the majority of the game is Luca Blight, heir to the throne of Highland. Luca is a bloodthirsty madman who developed a strong hatred for Jowston at a young age after witnessing his mother's rape by thugs hired by City-State capital Muse to attack the Highland royal envoy.

A variety of characters from the original "Suikoden" appear in "Suikoden II". Some such as Viktor play major roles in the story, while others only appear in cameos (such as Kage who is briefly seen talking to Jowy before Mayor Anabelle is killed). If data from a Suikoden I saved game file with all 108 characters recruited is loaded, the first game's protagonist Tir McDohl can be recruited. List of recurring characters in "Suikoden" has a comprehensive list of all characters who span multiple parts of the series.


The game stars Riou, the protagonist, and Jowy Atreides, Riou’s friend, who are both members of the youth division of the Highland Army. Luca Blight, the prince of Highland, and Captain Rowd, Riou’s commanding officer, orchestrate the slaughter of Riou’s and Jowy’s unit and blame it on the neighboring city-state of Jowston, giving the prince an excuse to invade Jowston. Riou and Jowy escape the slaughter by jumping off a cliff into a river.

They meet again after Riou is fished from the river by a group of mercenaries from the first game - Viktor and Flik - and Jowy is rescued from the river by a girl named Pilika from the town of Toto. Riou is forced to work for the mercenaries , until Jowy eventually finds him, and the two escape to their hometown of Kyaro in Highland. Upon arriving and reuniting with Riou's sister, Nanami, the two are tried as spies against Highland and sentenced to death, but are saved by Viktor and Flik and return with the mercenaries.

Riou travels to the village of Toto to meet Pilika and her family, shortly before the town is destroyed and its inhabitants killed by Blight. They decide that they must fight against Prince Blight, and participate in an unsuccessful defense of the fort. Viktor tells the party to travel to Muse - the capital of the city-state of Jowston, to meet up with the rest of the mercenary force.

On the way to Muse, Jowy and Riou must travel through Toto village. While walking through the village, Pilika runs off to the shell of shrine that her father was charged with maintaining. Although previously closed to all, the party enter, where Riou and Jowy are magically transported deeper into the shrine and are met by the seeress Leknaat, the keeper of the Gate Rune. Riou and Jowy walk down separate paths in the shrine, and are each given half of the Rune of Beginning - Riou is given the Bright Shield Rune, and Jowy the Black Sword Rune. Afterwards, the two are transported by Leknaat out of the shrine, and continue on their travel to Muse.

After difficulty entering into Muse due to increased security, the party finally reunite with Viktor and members of the mercenary army that survived the attack. Viktor introduces Riou and Jowy to Lady Anabelle - the mayor of Muse - who tells them she has a story to share regarding the adoptive grandfather/father figure of Riou and Nanami, Genkaku, who had passed away shortly before the game begins. Without the knowledge of the others, Riou and Jowy are asked to participate in a spy mission to the Highland camp to the north, and while trying to escape, Jowy is captured by the enemy. He promises to catch up with Riou and Nanami, however, and eventually reunites with them in Muse.

Time passes, and Riou awakens on the morning of the Hill Top Summit held in Muse for all of the leaders of the city-state; Muse, Tinto, Two River, South Window, Greenhill, and the Matilda Knightdom. The party all attend the conference, where Annabelle shares the information on the Highland Army's imminent attack. The city-state is split on what action to take, as the Highland Army arrives outside Muse. After successfully defending the city, Riou and Nanami go to meet Annabelle for information regarding Genkaku. They arrive, however, to find that Jowy has murdered Anabelle, and immediately flees before he can be discovered. Anabelle then apologies to Riou and Nanami for how the state treated Genkaku, without revealing details about what actually happened. Shortly after Annabelle's last words, her assistant Jess arrives and assumes that Riou has killed Anabelle, and runs to get help. Jowy opens the gates to Muse as the Highland army invades the city, with the party managing to escape southward to South Window.

In South Window, the mayor asks them to travel to the city of North Window - Viktor's hometown - to investigate disturbances that have been occurring there. After discovering that the vampire, Neclord, is alive and causing the disturbances, the party obtain the Star Dragon Sword and drive Neclord from the castle. As the party begin to leave North Window, the rest of the survivors from Muse arrive and tell that South Window has fallen to the Highland Army.

With North Window as the site of a new base they begin to build up their forces, and Viktor reveals what Annabelle had wanted to share about Genkaku. He had been a heroic general for the city-state - who also wielded the Bright Shield Rune worn by Riou - and was betrayed by the then mayor of Muse, Anabelle's father. He participated in a duel against his Highland friend and fellow general, Han, to decide the fate of Kyaro town. Anabelle's father coated Genkaku's sword in a poison that he detected before the duel began, planning to blame Genkaku for the death of the Highland general. Genkaku could not bring himself to strike his friend, and thus was defeated in the duel, with Kyaro becoming Highland territory and Genkaku's named disgraced for many decades. It is this connection to Genkaku and his own character that lead Riou to be named leader of the new Dunan Unification Army, and bring him to recruit people to join the cause.

Riou and the rest of the Stars of Destiny recruited work to gain the support of the remaining city-states to challenge Highland. Meanwhile, however, Jowy has risen through the ranks of Luca Blight's army after capturing Greenhill without even a battle, eventually marrying Jilia Blight - the sister of Luca - and murdering the King of Highland by poison. Luca becomes King of Highland, and eventually launches an unsuccessful attack against the Dunan army. He is defeated and killed, however, with Jowy then ascending to the leader of Highland through his marriage. It is revealed that Jowy's intention since his original betrayal of the city-state by murdering Anabelle has been to bring peace to the land; he never expected Riou to have such success against Highland.

After finally freeing the occupied city-states and uniting all of them under one banner, Riou and the party successfully defeat Highland, causing Jowy to flee. At the very end of the game, Riou returns to the spot on the cliff from the beginning of the game, when the two first escaped from the youth brigade massacre and promised to return to if they should become separated. Jowy speaks about how the two's fate had been destined to be interconnected since they first accepted the two runes in Toto. The two duel, with Jowy and Riou's fate depending on how many Stars of Destiny the player has recruited and if the player chooses to attack Jowy.


"Suikoden II" saw a limited print run, and the lackluster initial response prevented a reprinting of the game. Despite this, the game was generally well-received by the media, and was given high scores by some of the most prominent gaming critics. Gaming website IGN awarded a rating of 9/10, and the GameRankings website gave it a score of 81 of 100 based on 23 sources. GameSpot granted a lower rating of 7.6/10, praising its innovative gameplay but criticizing its similarity to the original "Suikoden".

"Suikoden II" remains one of the more valuable games for the PlayStation, commonly carrying an asking price of more than $130 USDcite web||url=|accessdate=2008-04-08] from potential sellers, or up to as much as $250 USD for an unopened version of the game due to the game's limited print run and lack of reprinting. The popularity of "Suikoden III" helped attract renewed interest in "II", increasing demand with the supply fixed. The game is regarded by many fans as the strongest in the "Suikoden" series.

Konami released "Genso Suikoden I&II", a compilation of the first two games of the series, in 2005 on the PlayStation Portable. However, it was released only to the Japanese market. As of 2008, there has been no move to bring it to the North American or European markets.

Additional Notes

*Dunan is the unofficial name for the army and castle the Hero acquires as the story continues; confirmed in the Manga release. Nevertheless the player is given the decision to name both the army and castle what they desire, with no definitive recommendations from the characters; although Jowy does prefer the name Orange.
*Despite being confirmed as the unofficial name, Dunan is not mentioned once throughout the course of the game.


External links

* [ Konami's Official Genso Suikoden Site]

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