The Suikoden franchise, for me, is one of the best RPG franchises of all time. Suikoden 2 will always be the best for me but other Suikoden titles are also worth looking into.
Today, I am going to talk about Suikoden 4. This game has a lot of sea battles and it has its own unique mechanics as well.
The story starts with an unnamed hero and his friend, Snowe. After their training, they were knighted by their commanders, Glen and Katarina.
After the knighting ceremony, the hero was then assigned his first sea mission. During the course of their expedition, they came across some pirates headed by the pirate, Brandeau.
Snowe cowardly escapes the ship after Brandeau’s pirates fired some Rune cannons. But, the hero was brave and never abandoned ship.
Brandeau hopped aboard and confronted the hero and challenged him to a duel. The hero wins and in a last-ditch effort, Brandeau used the power of the Rune of Punishment to destroy the hero’s ship. Unbeknownst to anyone in the scene, the hero was shielded by an unknown force.
Glen arrives at the scene and then, Brandeau’s Rune of Punishment was passed on to Glen. Shortly thereafter, the group went back to Razril.
After some sea skirmishes, Glen and his team were severely outnumbered. He wants to use the Rune of Punishment to turn the tide of battle but upon doing so, his body slowly evaporates.
The Rune of Punishment then finally transfers to the hero. But upon Glen’s gradual evaporation, Snowe was able to arrive at the scene and he blames the hero for Glen’s death.
Katarina, who then assumed Glen’s position, cast out the Hero because she believed in what Snowe has said.
Adrift in the sea, the Hero was eventually found by a ship from the Kingdom of Obel. Upon inspecting the hero, they’ve found the Rune of Punishment and they immediately brought him to the king of Obel known as Lino En Kuldes.
The King then implored the aid of Hero as he puts him in charge to bolster the kingdom’s defenses because of a threat by the Kooluk empire.
Apparently, Graham Cray was the leader of the Kooluk Empire who wants every island nation for himself.
The story then revolves around the hero recruiting more and more people to aid him in his fight to liberate the island nations from the Kooluk empire.
The Suikoden 4, just like any Suikoden game, has its 108 Stars of Destiny. Should you recruit all of them, you will unlock the best ending of the game.
The Suikoden 4 is the only game in the Suikoden franchise where most interaction happens by sea (or on the island nations).
The Hero wields one of the 27 True Runes, the Rune of Punishment. It is the same as the Soul Eater rune in that it also takes the life force of the bearer every time they use this rune.
There are some differences in Suikoden 4 from other Suikoden games. In Suikoden 4, you will only have 4 characters in your party at a time. The game also has a rune combination feature that combines 2 or more party members to do a runic combo attack.
The naval strategy mini-game mostly stems from side quests but there are certain portions of the game where naval battles are a part of the main quest.
In all of the Suikoden games, Suikoden 4 didn’t quite live up to the Suikoden name. This is not to undermine the game, no; what I am saying is that it didn’t have the allure much like Suikoden 2 had.
Still, the Suikoden 4 game for the Playstation 2 game console is still worth playing.