Suikoden I&II HD Remaster, all we know of the return of the famous Konami series

Suikoden I&II HD Remaster, all we know of the return of the famous Konami series

Suikoden I&II HD Remaster

Anticipating that during the Toko Game Show 2022 it would make an announcement about a beloved series all over the world, Konami initially aroused moderate skepticism, because the first thing that crossed the mind of most of its fans was only one : pachinko. When he then renewed the Suikoden trademark a week before the fair, the fans always thought the same thing: the pachinko. And when Suikoden I&II HD Remaster: Gate Rune and Dunan Unification Wars was announced for real, no one could believe their eyes.

An understandable reaction, given that the Japanese studio hasn't released a Suikoden video game since 2012, that is from a PSP spin-off that hasn't even arrived in the West. And if we want to go and take the mother series as a reference, Suikoden V dates back to 2006.

The choice to set aside Suikoden has always been incomprehensible, given that the series has always been considered a real gem in the panorama of Japanese RPGs. Whether the Remaster of the first two titles represents a rebirth is difficult to say, although to most it may seem like a challenge to Yoshitaka Murayama, the creator of the series who, after leaving Konami in 2002, switched from one company to another before founding one. its own and breaking 2020 records with the funding of Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes.

What sets Suikoden apart from so many other similar games? Why should fans of the genre absolutely keep an eye on this compilation? And what can we expect from the Remaster coming out next year? So here's everything we know about Suikoden I&II HD Remaster: Gate Rune and Dunan Unification Wars.


The new world map of Suikoden I&II HD Remaster Gensō Suikoden was one of the very first video games for PlayStation: in Japan it came out in December 1995, a year after the console, and it arrived in Europe in early '97, while Konami was already working on a conversion for SEGA Saturn and Windows PC. The director Yoshitaka Murayama was inspired by a Chinese novel of the 1500s, Shuihu zhuan, in Italy also known as The Brigands, centered on the adventures of a band made up of a hundred wandering heroes.

It cannot be said that Suikoden was incredibly successful upon its release: it sold well, and was a great JRPG, but its roots were still far too 16-bit and in many respects, especially technically, it seemed more a product for SNES and for the console that would run Final Fantasy VII just two years later. Despite this, Suikoden had two major workhorses that set him apart from virtually every other JRPG on the market.

The first was the gameplay, which alternated exploration and random turn-based combat, typical of the genre, two much more original game modes: duels and pitched battles. The first pitted one of the protagonists and one of the antagonists in a face-to-face battle, and one-on-one, which usually served as a climax in the story: the dynamic reminded of the Chinese morra, and the player had to interpret the exclamations of his opponent to choose the right move. In pitched battles, however, the player controlled an entire army divided into squadrons of archers, infantrymen and magicians: also in this case a relationship of forces from a Chinese morra took over, but it was necessary to apply a minimum of strategy to win in often unfavorable conditions. br>
Random fights, on the other hand, were very traditional. The player fielded a maximum of six characters, whose weapons also determine the best position in the formation. Once the actions of each character were chosen, he gave way to the exchange of attacks with the enemies. It was possible to involve multiple characters in specific and spectacular combined attacks, or to use the Runes to cast spells which, instead of consuming the usual MP, have a limited number of charges depending on the user's abilities.

Suikoden I&II HD Remaster, the scenarios have been completely redesigned The other distinguishing feature of Suikoden was the mechanics of the 108 Stars of Destiny. The story, in fact, revolved around the son of a general of the Empire of the Scarlet Moon, Teo McDohl, who became the protagonist of a revolt and the custodian of a legendary Rune with boundless powers. Together with his friends and guardians, the protagonist - whom the player can name at will, but which in the canon is called Tir - is called to bring together 108 predestined who will help him overthrow the Empire and free the kingdom from tyranny.

In the game, this narrative translates into the possibility of recruiting a real army of supporting actors, often optional, which in most cases can be deployed in battle, or who enrich the headquarters of the protagonists, unlocking new features and enlarging it progressively. Many characters are recruited by completing side missions, overcoming challenges and minigames, and the number of Stars gathered determines the narrative and the ending of the game. This dynamic strongly influenced the video games to follow, so much so that even today, in the presence of customizable strongholds and secondary characters to be recruited, we often talk about mechanics "à la Suikoden".

Suikoden II

Suikoden I&II HD Remaster, Riou and Jowy's escape In an old interview, Murayama said that when deciding which game to develop with Junko Kawano for PlayStation, he would have much preferred a shooter. The two, however, had preferred to dedicate themselves to a JRPG because the genre was very strong in Japan and they intended to contrast a new Konami brand with the overwhelming power of Dragon Quest (Enix) and Final Fantasy (Square).

The public feedback towards Suikoden had been very positive, but most of the players had expressed the desire for an even more sophisticated storyline, which better characterize the individual characters. There were at least 108 characters in Suikoden, yes, but not all of them were well outlined as the main protagonists, and that certainly weakened the narrative. So Murayama undertook to write a more interesting and articulated story when Konami, satisfied with the sales of the first Suikoden, entrusted him with the development of a sequel.

Suikoden I&II HD Remaster, in this scene with Riou and Nanami was added the sun Ironically, Suikoden II at launch did not sell as much as Konami had hoped, partly because it was printed in limited quantities, partly because it was released in December 1998, practically in the middle of the 3D era, surrounded by fierce competition: from there Final Fantasy VIII would be out in two months, Wild ARMs had been around for a year, Xenogears as well, and in those days mediocre titles such as Jade Cocoon or Legend of Legaia arrived on the shelves, which people chose instead of Suikoden II just because they were full of polygons. Konami's RPG, on the other hand, was too old-fashioned with its 2D which today we would call "pixelart", but which at the time just looked old.

Later, Suikoden II would become one of the most famous and beloved Japanese RPGs of all time. It arrived in the United States six months after the Japanese publication, in Europe with a year and a half delay and, in a way, the brutal, but not without humor, story caught on more Western than Japanese audiences, which he reassessed only at a later time.

Suikoden I&II HD Remaster, a new light effect in combat Today we could approach Suikoden II with Game of Thrones, because the brutality of certain antagonists, the drama of some scenes and the rivalries that oppose the protagonists do not remind us little the works of G.R.R. Martin. But without sex or guts.

The events took place a few years after the end of Suikoden, and revolved around the protagonist Riou - but the player can change the name - and his best friend, Jowy Atreides, who play in the Highland Army Youth Brigade. The merciless violence of Prince Luca Blight induces the two boys to desert and flee together with Nanami, the adoptive sister of the protagonist. A series of circumstances entrust Riou and Jowy with the White Shield and Black Sword Runes respectively, which are said to bring world peace, but at a high price. Later, in fact, Riou will find himself at the head of a real army, but his challenge to Luca Blight will unleash a fratricidal war that will devastate the continent.

Suikoden I&II HD Remaster, the new illuminations in a scenario nocturnal Also this time we will be called to put together the new 108 Stars of Destiny that Murayama characterizes much better than in the past: the narrative was more adult and sophisticated than in Suikoden I, and to determine the development of the story, as well as the ending, it was not only the number of characters recruited, but also the choices the player makes as Riou. In general, the playable characters in the fights were over forty, but the Konami title, in terms of structure and dynamics, remained very similar to the previous one: random turn-based fights, duels and pitched battles returned, and the spells of the Rune, which however they could also be associated with the equipment to improve it.

Graphically Suikoden II was a much better game, but it was still a retro title, embellished with a variety of scenarios, settings and races that were simply amazing. It was impossible not to become attached to the supporting actors, from the handful, but affectionate Nanami to the little Pilika, passing through those who return directly from the first episode, such as Viktor and Flik. Also, if the player had a Suikoden I save on the Memory Card, it could be imported to unlock Tir as a recruitable Destiny Star.

The Remaster

Suikoden I&II HD Remaster, Tir meets Leknaat Suikoden and Suikoden II are two essential RPGs for those who love the genre and the Remaster announced by Konami during the Tokyo Game Show would seem to do them the justice they deserve. In fact, more than a remastered version, we could almost talk about a remake. Konami has in fact redesigned practically every scenario, enriching it with all new lighting and details, and every portrait, updating the character designs of Fumi Ishikawa and Junko Kawano to high resolution. The artists have also tweaked the animations of the sprites in exploration and combat, reprogramming the effects of spells and special attacks, but also the sound and environmental effects for a more realistic reproduction.

To these audiovisual tweaks are added various improvements to the quality of life. The Remaster, for example, will be equipped with an automatic save function and will allow players to choose the speed of the fights and to reread the dialogues by recalling a convenient register. Even the menus appear more streamlined, modern and defined, while the explorable world map has been practically redone from scratch with the addition of atmospheric effects and 3D rotations.

Suikoden I&II HD Remaster, the new details of the scenarios they are fantastic Konami, finally, has also put a hand to the lyrics. The history of the Italian localization of Suikoden and Suikoden II is quite troubled: the first game was never translated into our language, while the second yes, only it was never understood whether the Japanese took care of it with some automatic translation tools such as Google Translator, since it was absolutely unpresentable.

Let's give you an example. At one point in the game, a gang of hounds harasses Nanami and Pilika under Riou's gaze. Oulan rushes to save them. He gets rid of the rogues and then gives Riou an epochal scolding, telling him, "It can be tough on your size, but you have to protect the women. Right?" . Which, in short, wasn't exactly a good fit, leaving it alone that it seemed like an obscene reference.

In short, Konami has not only rewritten the Italian localization of Suikoden II, which also had an imaginative punctuation and did not know feminine pronouns, but also completely localized Suikoden for the first time I. So the game that will be released on PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch and Windows PC next year will also be accessible to those who do not know English: we hope that this will serve to make the series known to all fans of the genre who have missed it. at the time, and that sales push Konami to remaster the next three episodes and, perhaps, to continue the series with Suikoden VI.

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