Suikoden Tactics

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Suikoden Tactics
Developer(s) Konami
Publisher(s) Konami
Artist(s) Junko Kawano
Writer(s) Junko Kawano
Composer(s) Norikazu Miura
Series Suikoden
Platform(s) PlayStation 2
  • JP: September 22, 2005
  • NA: November 8, 2005
  • EU: February 24, 2006
Genre(s) Tactical role-playing game
Mode(s) Single-player

Suikoden Tactics, originally released in Japan as Rhapsodia(ラプソディア,Rapusodia), is a tactical role-playing video game developed and published by Konami for the PlayStation 2 console as part of their Suikoden series. Initially released in Japan and North America in late 2005, the game was later made available in Europe and the PAL region in early 2006. It is the first strategy-based installment of the series, using tactical, grid-based combat instead of the turn-based battles employed by previous games in the series. The game's music was composed by series veteran Norikazu Miura and features the opening theme "Another World" performed by Japanese vocalist yoshiko.

Japan Constitutional monarchy in East Asia

Japan is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian continent and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea in the south.

Tactical role-playing games are a genre of video game which incorporates elements of traditional role-playing video games with that of tactical games, emphasizing tactics rather than high-level strategy. In Japan, these games are known as "Simulation RPGs". The format of a tactical RPG video game is much like a traditional tabletop role-playing game in its appearance, pacing and rule structure. Likewise, early tabletop role-playing games are descended from skirmish wargames like Chainmail, which were primarily concerned with combat.

Konami Japanese company

Konami Holdings Corporation, commonly referred to as Konami, is a Japanese entertainment and gaming conglomerate. It operates as a product distributor, video game developer and publisher company. It also operates health and physical fitness clubs across Japan.


The game's fantasy story is told in two parts, taking place both before and after the events of Suikoden IV released one year earlier, and features appearances by characters from the title. Players assume the role of Kyril, a young man investigating the power of mysterious weapons called "Rune Cannons," which hold strange powers of transformation.

Fantasy genre of literature, film, television and other artforms

Fantasy is a genre of speculative fiction set in a fictional universe, often without any locations, events, or people referencing the real world. Its roots are in oral traditions, which then became literature and drama. From the twentieth century it has expanded further into various media, including film, television, graphic novels and video games.

<i>Suikoden IV</i> 2004 video game

Suikoden IV is a role-playing video game developed and published by Konami for the Sony PlayStation 2 video game console and is the fourth installment of the Suikoden video game series. It was released in August 2004 in Japan, and early 2005 in North America and Europe.


A battle sequence Suikodentactics.jpg
A battle sequence

Suikoden Tactics is a tactical role-playing game and thus shares many traits with the genre. The player controls a young man named Kyril, and advances the plot by completing tactical battles and talking with other characters. The player can also recruit new characters to his cause, which often involves a short sidequest. In towns, the player can gather information, sharpen character's weaponry, learn new skills, and buy equipment. Each character may use special "Runes" or items to imbue terrain squares with various elements. Characters each have a particular element on which their attack and defence is boosted by a significant amount when they occupy a space with the corresponding element, and the reverse is true if the character occupies a space with an element the character is weak to.

Genre is any form or type of communication in any mode with socially-agreed upon conventions developed over time. Genre is most popularly known as a category of literature, music, or other forms of art or entertainment, whether written or spoken, audio or visual, based on some set of stylistic criteria, yet genres can be aesthetic, rhetorical, communicative, or functional. Genres form by conventions that change over time as cultures invent new genres and discontinue the use of old ones. Often, works fit into multiple genres by way of borrowing and recombining these conventions. Stand-alone texts, works, or pieces of communication may have individual styles, but genres are amalgams of these texts based on agreed-upon or socially inferred conventions. Some genres may have rigid, strictly adhered-to guidelines, while others may show great flexibility.

Another feature of the battle system in Suikoden Tactics is its use of supporting characters. Such characters have no offensive value, as they can not attack, but impart various effects on the playing field such as healing, stealing, digging, and stat buffing.

Aside from that, the elemental runes and weapon runes from previous games return. Elemental Runes all have as their level 1 spell, a magic that turns an area of the playing field of a certain element. Weapon runes in Suikoden Tactics operate differently from previous Suikoden games. Instead of a single attack with infinite uses, weapon runes impart three different attacks that operate similarly to spell runes, as each attack is defined by a certain number of charges before it can no longer be used, although all MP would be recharged upon a level-up.


The story of Suikoden Tactics begins about seven years before the events of Suikoden IV , and establishes the reason why Kyril is determined to search out and destroy the Rune Cannons. The prequel part of Suikoden Tactics ends with a traumatic event for Kyril, and how Brandeau gains the possession of the Rune of Punishment.

The game leaps forward about three years after the events of Suikoden IV takes place. From here on, Kyril begins his investigation on Rune Cannons and eventually leads him north into the Kooluk Empire. Kyril meets a mysterious man, Iskas, who hints at a connection between Rune Cannons and Kooluk. From there, Kyril investigates further about connections between Kooluk and Rune Cannons, and soon leads Kyril to Kika and her pirate crew. Clues turn Kyril's journey north, first to the fortress of El Eal, then finally into the Kooluk Empire itself.

During his investigation in the Kooluk Empire, Kyril and his company meets up with a young aristocrat girl named Corselia, who is later revealed as the granddaughter of the Emperor of the Kooluk Empire. It is also here that Iskas finally reveals his real intentions and begins a plot to antagonize Kyril.


The music for Suikoden Tactics was composed and arranged by Norikazu Miura, who would go on to also compose the soundtrack of Suikoden V . The opening theme "Another World" was performed by yoshiko. The music was released first as the Rhapsodia Privilege Collection was released on September 22, 2005. It is a single CD containing selected tracks from the game as well as remixes from other Suikoden soundtracks. It also features a preview of "Castle of Dawn," the music for the Ceras Lake castle in Suikoden V , which was at the time unpublished. A week later on September 28, the Rhapsodia Original Soundtrack was released as a full compilation of the music in the game over 2 CDs.

<i>Suikoden V</i> video game

Suikoden V is a role-playing video game developed by Konami and Hudson Soft and published by Konami for the Sony PlayStation 2 video game console and the fifth main installment of the Suikoden video game series. It was released in 2006, and has sold around 200,000 copies in Japan.

Yoshiko is a unisex Japanese given name.


Aggregate score
Metacritic 68 / 100 [1]
Review scores
EGM 7.33 / 10 [2]
Eurogamer 5 / 10 [3]
Famitsu 31 / 40 [4]
Game Informer 6.75 / 10 [5]
GameSpot 7.6 / 10 [6]
GameSpy Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [7]
GameZone6.6 / 10 [8]
IGN 7.3 / 10 [9]
OPM (US) Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [10]
X-Play Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [11]

Suikoden Tactics was met with a fairly positive response in Japan, selling approximately 64,472 within its first year, enough to qualify it for a re-release under Sony's "PlayStation the Best" distinction in November 2006 at a budget price. [12] Famitsu gave it a score of two eights, one seven, and one eight for a total of 31 out of 40. [4]

Sony Japanese multinational conglomerate corporation

Sony Corporation is a Japanese multinational conglomerate corporation headquartered in Kōnan, Minato, Tokyo. Its diversified business includes consumer and professional electronics, gaming, entertainment and financial services. The company owns the largest music entertainment business in the world, the largest video game console business and one of the largest video game publishing businesses, and is one of the leading manufacturers of electronic products for the consumer and professional markets, and a leading player in the film and television entertainment industry. Sony was ranked 97th on the 2018 Fortune Global 500 list.

<i>Famitsu</i> periodical literature

Famitsu, formerly Famicom Tsūshin, is a line of Japanese video game magazines published by Enterbrain, Inc. and Tokuma. Famitsu is published in both weekly and monthly formats as well as in the form of special topical issues devoted to only one console, video game company, or other theme. Shūkan Famitsū, the original Famitsū publication, is considered the most widely read and respected video game news magazine in Japan. From October 28, 2011 Enterbrain began releasing the digital version of the magazine exclusively on BookWalker weekly.

The game received "average" reviews according to the review aggregation website Metacritic. [1] GameSpot praised the game's user-friendliness and battle design, stating that the game was "fun for veterans and newcomers alike", yet found the game's "weak story and characters" and "spotty voice acting" to be its low points. [6] IGN also found the game's battle system to be engaging, but ultimately declared the game's plot to be "paltry", urging the player to "[e]xpect more from battles rather than plotlines." [9] Conversely, Game Informer found the game too confusing with haphazard battle scenes, stating, "I'd rather have a simple and well-balanced game than a complicated and lopsided one, and Suikoden Tactics definitely has too many short legs." [5] Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine stated that the gameplay "works when it's not broken", but was hindered by "boring" story sequences and "awful" graphics. [10]

Eurogamer found the game to be lackluster when compared to other tactical-based role-playing games, particularly those developed by Nippon Ichi Software, declaring that Suikoden Tactics's "[b]attles are fun and fairly compulsive but this is a game we've played many times over, usually presented better, executed more beautifully and intertwined with a far superior story." [3] G4's X-Play echoed their sentiment, stating that "despite some interesting play mechanics, it's not nearly as deep as some of the other games on the market right now." [11]

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A role-playing video game is a video game genre where the player controls the actions of a character immersed in some well-defined world. Many role-playing video games have origins in tabletop role-playing games and use much of the same terminology, settings and game mechanics. Other major similarities with pen-and-paper games include developed story-telling and narrative elements, player character development, complexity, as well as replayability and immersion. The electronic medium removes the necessity for a gamemaster and increases combat resolution speed. RPGs have evolved from simple text-based console-window games into visually rich 3D experiences.

<i>Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together</i> 1995 RPG video game

Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together is a Japanese tactical role-playing game created by Quest. The game was released in 1995 on the Super Famicom in Japan as a sequel to Ogre Battle: The March of the Black Queen. Let Us Cling Together is the second entry released in the Ogre Battle franchise, featuring many dramatically different gameplay elements from its predecessor. While The March of the Black Queen has the player managing an army of squads free-roaming in semi-real time over larger areas of land, Tactics Ogre features turn-based battles and offers more control over individual characters. The game was re-released on the Sega Saturn in 1996 and the PlayStation in 1997. An enhanced port of the game developed by the original development team was released on February 15, 2011 for the PSP. In some regions, notably Japan, the port was retitled as Tactics Ogre: Wheel of Fate.

<i>Suikoden II</i> 1998 video game

Suikoden II is a role-playing video game developed and published by Konami for the PlayStation video game console and the second installment of the Suikoden video game series. It was released in late 1998 in Japan, 1999 in North America, and in 2000 in Europe. The game features a vast array of characters, with over 100 recruitable characters, of which over 40 are usable in combat, and many more who move the plot forward.

<i>Suikoden III</i> 2002 video game

Suikoden III(listen)  is a role-playing video game developed and published by Konami for the Sony PlayStation 2 video game console, and the third installment in the Suikoden video game series. It was released in 2002 in Japan and North America, with a manga adaption published in 2004.

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<i>Suikoden</i> (video game) video game

Suikoden is a role-playing game published by Konami as the first installment of the Suikoden series. Developed by Konami Computer Entertainment Tokyo, it was released initially in 1995 for the PlayStation in Japan. North American and British releases followed one year later, and a mainland European release came the following March. The game was also released for the Sega Saturn in 1998 only in Japan, and for Microsoft Windows in 1998 in Japan. On December 22, 2008, Suikoden was made available on the PlayStation Store for use on the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable consoles.

<i>Genso Suikoden I & II</i> video game compilation

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<i>Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure</i> 1998 video game

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Junko Kawano is a Japanese game designer, game director and writer. She helped Yoshitaka Murayama create the Suikoden series of role-playing video games. Initially a character designer and illustrator, she helmed the series for Konami following Murayama's departure in 2002, writing and producing Suikoden IV and its spinoff title Suikoden Tactics.

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  1. 1 2 "Suikoden Tactics for PlayStation 2 Reviews". Metacritic . Retrieved November 16, 2016.
  2. EGM staff (December 2005). "Suikoden Tactics". Electronic Gaming Monthly (198).
  3. 1 2 Parkin, Simon (March 28, 2006). "Suikoden Tactics". Eurogamer . Retrieved March 22, 2009.
  4. 1 2 "Famitsu scores". NeoGAF. September 14, 2005. Retrieved November 16, 2016.
  5. 1 2 Juba, Joe (December 2005). "Suikoden Tactics". Game Informer (152): 174.
  6. 1 2 Mueller, Greg (November 14, 2005). "Suikoden Tactics Review". GameSpot . Retrieved November 16, 2016.
  7. Fischer, Russ (November 23, 2005). "GameSpy: Suikoden Tactics". GameSpy . Retrieved November 16, 2016.
  8. Grabowski, Dakota (November 30, 2005). "Suikoden Tactics - PS2 - Review". GameZone. Archived from the original on October 6, 2008. Retrieved November 16, 2016.
  9. 1 2 Dunham, Jeremy (November 7, 2005). "Suikoden Tactics". IGN . Retrieved November 16, 2016.
  10. 1 2 "Suikoden Tactics". Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine (96): 118. December 2005.
  11. 1 2 Sewart, Greg (January 31, 2006). "Suikoden Tactics Review". X-Play . Archived from the original on September 7, 2006. Retrieved November 16, 2016.
  12. "Suikoden sales figures". Gensopedia. July 3, 2008. Archived from the original on October 2, 2008. Retrieved November 16, 2016.