Both games are regarded as classics of the role-playing genre, with Suikoden originally released for PlayStation in 1997 and Suikoden II in 2000. They form the first two installments of a six-game series, with Suikoden following an unlikely hero as he attempts to locate the 108 Stars of Destiny, that are essential if he is to free his homeland.
Suikoden’s hero, who can be named by the player, is the son of the Great General, Teo McDohl. With his Father summoned to the front in Northlands, the player begins the game undergoing guard training in Gregminster. An old friend charges the player with protecting the Rune of Life and Death, one of the 27 ‘True Runes’ that govern the world, but circumstances then force the hero to flee the capital. He duly encounters a rebel band and embarks on a mission to find the Stars of Destiny – comrades needed to restore peace to the land, and to save the home they love.
Suikoden II expands the story via familiar themes and centres on an orphan called Hero, his friend Jowy and his orphan sister, Nanami. This unlikely trio find themselves in the middle of a war between the Highland Kingdom and the City States. Together, the three heroes embark on a journey that will question their preconceptions of life, society and war as they gather the updated 108 Stars of Destiny – a new collection of acquaintances that will prove vital in their quest.
As the quest begins, the three friends will face potentially life-and-death decisions that force the player to make tough choices, while the game’s celebrated story takes twists and turns and adapts to the decisions the player makes. The trio will also be forced to go into battle as they progress, with combat consisting of a dynamic battle style where multiple team members or enemies can attack simultaneously. Suikoden II also offers players a unique magic rune and skills system that encourages players to perform combat moves with strategy in mind.
Some 18 years after the first game’s debut, Suikoden and Suikoden II return as part of the new PSOne Classic games collection for PlayStation 3, PSP, PlayStation Vita and PlayStation TV.