I’ve just started my Suikoden Tierkreis adventure, and while there are some familiar elements, certain touches help definite it as a spin-off series. Many of the hallmarks of the series, found in Suikoden I through V, are gone.
Ouran Company of Trapnest Castle, led by the almighty Reno, is only just beginning to make a name for itself, aiding the Magedom of Janam’s Empress Consorts by performing their three tasks. (And yes, I’m now kicking myself for not calling them the Turk Company of ShinRa Castle.) Still, I’ve been compiling a list of things Suikoden fans won’t see as I go along.
1. No character cameos. Don’t expect to see Viki or Jeane in any way, shape or form. Not even as visitors from the Gateways. Sorry. This also means the “hero” from a previous Suikoden game won’t show up. To be honest, I’d have liked to have seen a Viki come through the gateway as a visitor, just for old time’s sake.
2. No more Runes. That special ability/magic system is replaced by the more flexible Marks of the Stars.
3. Everybody gets character portraits, not just Stars of Destiny, villains and supporting characters. Yes, in Suikoden Tierkreis everyone is so special that they get a headshot. You have to check for names or voice acting to determine if it’s a villain or someone recruitable.
4. A silent protagonist. The main character here has a voice and no qualms about using it.
5. No Blinking Mirror. You either have to take a gateway portal or actually walk to your next destination. And, when you’re done in an area, you have to walk to an exit. You can’t just use a portable Blinking Mirror to warp home again.
6. No getting lost or wandering aimlessly. The majority of the game is mission based, and you can check your game menu to know exactly what you’re doing and where you’re going. A few characters are recruited via missions.
7. No more weapon modification. You can buy and sell weapons as you like, so blacksmiths are out of a job. Also, many characters can equip multiple weapons, allowing for more party customization.
8. No duels. At least, no duels in the traditional Suikoden sense. (Jale did face off against Selen.) The original Suikoden games often had duels that would be a sort of one-on-one, rock-paper-scissor battle with sorts. Every battle here has been a traditional turn-based, RPG battle.
9. No strategic battles. In the console Suikoden games, you’ll set up squads with fighting characters, along with a mage for magic attacks, see them all appear on a map and be forced to accomplish an objective in a Risk-esque strategic battle. You will be asked to form squads sometimes to help in major battles, but there are no grand strategic battles.
Have I missed anything?