By Spencer . March 12, 2009 . 3:00pm
Konami’s long running RPG series is moving in a new direction on the Nintendo DS. Suikoden Tierkreis is set in a parallel world where the 108 Stars of Destiny join forces to battle the One King. These alternate worlds are collectively known as the infinity. As a neat twist each Nintendo DS cartridge acts as a world of its own connected to the Suikoden multiverse through character trading over Nintendo Wi-Fi. Osamu Komuta, Director of Suikoden Tierkreis, explains the design decision in this interview and shares his thoughts on broadening the Suikoden series.
Can you tell us how Suikoden: Tierkreis ties into the Suikoden universe?
Osamu Komuta, Director: The concept that ties the series together is the concept of the infinite nature of the universe which is the idea that lots of other worlds exist, not just this one. Some are a lot like this world while others are completely different and this idea is the same in the universe of Suikoden where the previous games and Suikoden Tierkreis can both exist but in different parts of the same game universe. We refer to all of the worlds as the “Infinity”.
He is much more cheerful and positive than the previous heroes. Also he is a strong willed and a good leader, which play into the main theme of the story which is the infinite possibilities of future.
Who are some of your favorite 108 Stars of Destiny from Suikoden: Tierkreis?
All characters are very interesting so answering this will be a bit tough… If forced to pick it would be Diadora because her actions and motives before becoming an ally are intriguing. While not in the 108 Stars, Cougar is also one of my favorite characters because he has a different world view of Tierkreis.
Could you share the theme of the story? What inspired you to write it?
Tierkreis’s main theme is “the infinite possibility of future” which is exemplified by the Hero’s catch phrase “We won’t know unless we try!” 108 Stars of Destiny fight against the Order of the One True Way which preaches that if the future was determined people would not be worried because the future was already set and they couldn’t change it. This is in direct opposition to the Hero’s ideals so he wants to defeat this oppressive organization.
The Hero also accepts the past for what it is and looks to the future with optimism and hope because it can lead to anything. This is at the same time, the infinite possibility of Suikoden’s future.
One goal of Suikoden Tierkeis was to broaden the appeal of the game so we produced Tierkreis as a new story of the “Infinity” worlds which has both Suikoden’s traditional feel with an entirely different history and storyline. We used the concept that every user’s NDS has a world in itself and together they make “Infinity”.
That is why I think the battle system needs flexibility in allowing how the player uses each of the Stars of Destiny as each “world” is unique and filled with different versions of the Stars of Destiny. Changeable weapons and skills enable each user to make their own 108 Stars of Destiny. Also this system encourages online play by allowing the exchange of characters using the Wi-Fi feature enabling players to see how others use the Stars and what members they may not have found yet.
How did you come with the idea for the character sharing mode?
When we were considering making the game for the DS we thought the Wi-Fi feature of the DS was important and something we should incorporate into the game as it would expand the RPG genre on the DS. Traditionally, RPGs are games that people would play by themselves, but now MMORPGs and other online games enable players to share experiences and play with each other. The next gen games have made online gaming easier for more players however online RPGs, like MMORPGs, tend to attract mainly core gamers.
That is why we aimed to have a bit more of a casual online experience with Suikoden Tierkreis and the DS as it allows everyone to plays online without worrying about raid schedules, constant internet access or other such factors that have limited online RPGs to core gamers.
Making the online play and the single player components work together in the story we devised the system that allows character to go to other worlds through “Gateways” in their world to reach other worlds. This system enables players to understand that each NDS is one world, one possibility of “Infinity”, rather than making an online mode itself that was disconnected from the games story.
Where do you see the Suikoden series going in the future?
I think Tierkreis made Suikoden’s future truly infinite because the game’s universe now lives in the “Infinity” where it is possible for all the games to co-exist while leaving room for great growth and exploration in the series because both Tierkreis and the previous games are essential elements for the Suikoden universe.
We hope to continue developing Suikoden games with the new freedom we are now afforded with the boundless nature of the “Infinity.”