Suikoden I

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The first installment of the Suikoden series; naturally, many of the series' long-running themes are established herein.

The young son of imperial General Teo McDohl lives a comfortable, happy life in the Scarlet Moon Empire with his famous father, house full of personal bodyguards, and best friend Ted. However, everything gets turned upside down when he winds up with the Soul Eater, one of the 27 True Runes, stuck on his right hand. Turns out the empire's really interested in said True Rune, and young McDohl finds himself roped into the Liberation Army and forced to face off against his father and his country.

Visit the complete character sheet here!

No human-weapon transformations are involved.

Tropes used in Suikoden I include:
  • Action Girlfriend: Tengaar.
  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: Seriously. Great, you have a headquarters with an inn, an item shop, an armoury, a blacksmith... not to mention that the shopkeepers are all in your employ. Can you expect to get any goods and services for free (or at least a hey-I'm-the-commander-of-this-army discount)? Nope.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Teo.
    • Emperor Barbarossa as well.
  • Anti-Villain: Teo.
  • The Archer: Odessa and some of the elves (not Stallion though... he's quite hot-headed).
  • Back from the Dead: Gremio, if you recruit all 108 characters.
  • Berserk Button: To quote from Ronnie Bell: "You bums! Calling me 'giant woman' over and over. I'll teach you a lesson!"
  • Betting Minigame: Certain recruits open up betting games. The dice game in particular is a useful method of building up gold to upgrade your characters.
  • Blessed with Suck: Guess what the Soul Eater does? Oh, it just sucks the souls out of your closest friends and family to power itself up, is all.
  • Blind Idiot Translation:
    • Not too bad for its time really, except for Stallion's "True Holy Rune" that isn't one of the True Runes at all; a better rendering would have been the Godspeed Rune.
    • An imperial commander makes a declaration about how 'God is dead', while in the original, he just declares that deals with rebels are worthless.
    • Really what does it in are minor grammar mistakes, mostly using the wrong tense or plural form, that pile up.
    • At one point, Kirkis says, "After returning from Dwarves' Village" for no apparent reason. This is due to the localization team accidentally including a developer's note into the dialogue, resulting in Gremio saying Kirkis's actual line, Valeria saying Gremio's line, and so on until the actual final line in this dialogue chain (Kirkis expressing disbelief and telling the player to hurry) ended up being unused.
  • Blind Seer: Leknaat.
  • Bodyguard Betrayal: Pahn. He comes around later, giving the player enough time to prepare for his later Heroic Sacrifice attempt to hopefully avoid Redemption Equals Death.
  • Bodyguard Crush: Subtext says Gremio.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Viktor.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: The five imperial generals, thanks to Windy's black runes.
  • But Thou Must!: An Egregious example occurs when you must choose to drink the tea that is obviously poisoned.
    • "Not if it's bitter!"
  • Canon Name: The protagonist does not have an official name, but the Japanese novelization and drama CDs gave him the name of "Tir", which has become a Fan Nickname. The name "Ryui" has also been used in a manga.
  • Captain Ersatz: Maximilian, for Don Quixote, possibly Stallion, bizarrely, for Sonic the Hedgehog and Fu Su Lu for Guin from Guin Saga.
    • The Stallion/Sonic thing does make some sense when you think about it. Super speed, only seems to talk about how fast he can go, blue hair, lives in a forest, decides to fight against an evil imperialistic empire after it destroys his home...
  • Celibate Hero: Flik.
  • Chain of Deals: The Soap.
  • Character Development: Flik gradually matures from a Clingy Jealous Boyfriend who blames McDohl for Odessa's death to a driven, loyal companion. And this turns out to be just the start for him...
  • Chekhov's Gun: The Fire Spears.
  • Cold Sniper: Clive.
  • Combination Attack: Introduced Unite attacks, which would remain a staple of the series.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Gremio's Heroic Sacrifice involves him being trapped alone a room and eaten alive by man-eating spores. He does get better if you collect all the stars.
  • Dark Is Not Evil/Even Evil Has Standards: The Soul Eater is described as "the most wicked of the True Runes", but at the end, it rejects Windy.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Ah, Brainwashed and Crazy, where would the Stars be without you? Though you gotta watch for those recruits who aren't brainwashed...
  • Dragon Rider: The Dragon Knights.
  • Duel Boss: Most notably McDohl's father.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending
  • Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors: Played straight with runes, played sans elements during war battles and one-on-one duels.
  • Empathic Weapon: The Soul Eater and the Star Dragon Sword.
  • Evil Sorcerer: Windy.
  • False-Flag Operation: The Kalekka Incident.
  • Fantastic Aesop: If you forgive the murderer of your friend/caregiver, you can bring them back to life!
  • Fantastic Racism: Quite a bit. The dwarves hate the elves, the elves loathe and fear the dwarves, both groups think humans are dumber than dirt, the humans believe themselves superior to other races, and the xenophobic kobolds hate everyone. Fortunately, there are a few beings on each side who know that's all a bunch of crap, and most of the races generally get better as the game goes on. Except for the elves, most of whom die from Kwanda's Burning Mirror, but the few who escaped the attack do join your side.
  • Final Death: Make a bad decision during war battles, and most of your stars are vulnerable to this. Don't worry, they'll let you know via dramatic Last Words before you're informed of their demise. Oddly, if you use a game with dead characters to get the Old Save Bonus for Suikoden II, the dead people are alive and well. This is even lampshaded in the second game.
  • Five-Man Band: The group at the start:

The Hero: Tir McDohl.
The Lancer: Ted.
The Big Guy: Pahn.
The Smart Guy: Cleo.
The Chick: Gremio (who gets this spot as opposed to Cleo due to the fact that he dotes on Tir like an overprotective mother, and tends to be the most emotional of the group).

  • Foreshadowing: Sanchez's name isn't inscribed on Luc's tablet of the 108 Stars of Destiny.
  • Game Breaking Bug: The Earth Rune's Clay Guardian and Guardian Earth spells are supposed to increase the allies' defense, but somehow, it does not work.
  • Guest Star Party Member: Anyone in the party who's not a Star is a temporary party member.
  • Guide Dang It: Recruiting several of the stars qualifies as this. Special mention goes to recruiting Mathiu's uncle Leon. To do so, you need to get the castle up towards its maximum size, which Leon will remark upon the next time you talk to him. Next, you have to get Mathiu to write him a letter asking for his services. Now, this ordinarily wouldn't be a problem, but since Mathiu is your strategist, talking to him normally causes him to ask you if you're ready to advance the plot. If he's doing this, he can't write the letter, so you have to do it in a lull in the storyline. It's all a bit much even for an optional character.
  • Guns Are Worthless: Only the Howling Voice Guild uses guns in this world. Clive is one of the best damage dealers you get though.
  • Hello, Insert Name Here: Young McDohl can be named whatever you please. Same goes for your base and army.
    • Due to data read error, when you use an Old Save Bonus to unlock extra stuff in Suikoden II, McDohl doesn't really get renamed. Instead, the first letter of his name in Suikoden I becomes the first letter of his name in Suikoden II. So, he could be named TcDohl. In other words, name him something that begins with an M.
    • According to, McDohl's name in Suikoden II gets overwritten by uppercase letters, so if you named the main character in all lower case letters, the second game would still have his name as McDohl. However, whatever you name him is saved and carried over to the third installment in full form, so if you named him Tir, the play about Suikoden I's main character refers to him as Tir McDohl.
  • Hero's Journey
  • Hidden Elf Village: Subverted, in that it's out in the open and rather easy to find. They're not very hospitable toward humans though
  • Highly-Visible Ninja: What's proper kunoichi attire? Kasumi says bright red and no pants! And the Shrike Rune involves high-jumping! Um...
    • To say nothing of Fuma in his bright red outfit. Really, only Kage gets it right.
  • I Call It Vera: Traditionally, the men from Warriors' Village name their weapons after what is most important to them. Usually, it's the girl they love.
  • It Will Never Catch On: "A machine that runs on oil? Sounds ridiculous."
  • Jerkass: Leknaat's young servant Luc. He possesses the True Wind Rune, which makes him one of the most powerful mages in the game. He uses its power mostly to be a petty dick.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Flik and Apple.
  • La Résistance: The Liberation Army.
  • Letting the Air Out of the Band: Near the beginning of the game, the party is given a reward for getting rid of some bandits, cuing a happy little Item Get sound. Then the Obstructive Bureaucrat tagging along steals it, and this happens instead.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Flik, who helps you recruit one woman by drinking tea with her all night long.
  • Multiple Endings: Collect all 108 Stars of Destiny to get the best ending!
  • Never Found the Body: Odessa Silverberg suffers lethal wounds during an Imperial attack. Before she dies, she asks Tir McDohl to weigh her body down and throw it in an underground river so that friend and foe alike do not learn of her death. He does so, and keeps the secret for the better part of a year, revealing the ruse only when La Résistance is fully established.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Sort of: the Soul Eater has four spell like any other rune, but McDohl only gains access to each successive spell after certain plot points. Mostly a subversion though, as not only the new skills have no relation to the plot, they are gained after the Soul Eater eats the soul of someone close to you, so the powerup is vaguely justified.
  • Nice Hat: The Narcissists wear very nice hats.
  • Non-Action Guy: Hix can fight: he just isn't very good, and prefers avoiding combat when he can. Unfortunately, the poor guy lives in the Warriors' Village and has Tengaar as his love interest, and she's bound and determined to make him a man. A bit of a subversion though, as Hix has good stat growth and can be quite a good fighter if you give him the right rune.
  • One-Winged Angel: So you finally arrived at the final battle, ready to kick the (completely human) Big Bad's-WHAT THE HELL?! HE JUST TRANSFORMED INTO A GIANT FUCKING GOLDEN DRAGON!!
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Clive chasing after Elza.
  • Our Elves Are Different: For a start, they're moronic to the point of retarded, they think they're the most advanced civilization around despite being the smallest faction, and then there's Stallion, an off-beat blue haired speedster.
  • Petting Zoo People: The kobolds.
  • Please Spare Him, My Liege: Tir, as commander of the Liberation Army, will be given the task of deciding whether captured Imperials should be put to death. Most troops will endorse this, but a couple times, someone will raise a red flag and ask for the person to be spared. No such objection is raised for Kraze though. He's also the only character you can willfully kill off without sacrificing a Star of Destiny.
  • Plotline Death
  • Quickly-Demoted Woman: Poor Odessa.
  • Really Seven Hundred Years Old: Ted got to be Blessed with Suck before McDohl. It turns out that all True Rune bearers are subject to this, including Windy and Joshua, the holder of the Dragon Rune.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Can be averted in one case: you have to beef up Pahn before his Leave Him to Me moment against Teo McDohl and fight very carefully; otherwise, he'll die, and you lose out on the best ending.
    • Played straight with Emperor Barbarossa.
  • Required Party Member: Any given leg of the quest will have Tir journeying with someone who has to do with the plot at hand. Also, Gremio insists on coming with him up until his Plotline Death. This is rather annoying come end-game when one half of your party is made up of required people.
  • Rouge Angles of Satin: At one point, several party members refer to a machine as a "contraction". A contraption is a machine. A contraction refers to something shortening or to a shortened form of a phrase, such as "it's" for "it is".
  • Self-Made Orphan: A rare heroic example can be found here... the main character.
  • Shock and Awe: Flik's not called 'Blue Lightning' for nothing.
  • Shout-Out: The animation of Ronnie Bell's Hate Rune. It looks similar to a sphere made of concentrated battle aura being launched at its opponent to me.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Mathiu Silverberg is a strategist who was formerly a pacifistic teacher, who was formerly a master strategist in the Imperial army. His sister Odessa is a rebellious girl, leads the Liberation Army, and at one point, calls out Mathiu as a coward.
  • Sour Supporter:
    • Flik starts as one, due to Odessa's death. He gets better after Gremio's Heroic Sacrifice.
    • Sonya Shulen. She states after you recruit her that she's joining you only so that she can watch you die in battle.
  • Sprint Shoes: The Holy Rune, which doubles walking speed when the run button is held down in a dungeon or village, and Stallion's Godspeed Rune, which does the same, but also increases walking speed on the World Map.
  • The Stoic: Humphrey is one of the first instances of this in the series.
  • The Strategist: Mathiu Silverberg.
  • Subtext: Gremio and his obsession with the 'Young master'.
  • Suck My Rose: Milich Oppenheimer really likes roses.
  • Suplex Finisher: Kasumi's Shrike Rune allows her to do this to opponents many times larger than her.
  • Sword and Sorcerer: Battle Couples Lepant/Eileen and Hix/Tengaar can be any type. The former is supposed to be a Type 2, if not for a Game Breaking Bug.
  • Treachery Cover-Up: Happens near the end with Sanchez's reveal as The Mole.
  • Trojan Prisoner: Mathiu pulls off this tactic to free Viktor and Warren from Moravia.
  • Tsundere: Tengaar. Made even scarier when you realize she bears a slight resemblance to another red-headed mega-tsundere... And just to hammer it home, her boyfriend is a soft-spoken wuss capable of killing men three times his weight in single combat if properly motivated.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Stallion the elf.
  • Your Soul Is Mine: The Soul Eater rune is a Type Two B: when people close to the bearer die, it eats their soul and gains power.