It would be nice to have playable all 108 stars plus some non-star characters too. That would be massive...after all everyone can fight in one way or another...for example Ridley could use his lash as weapon (the one during the scene with Fitcher in Two River),or Pico could use his guitar,etc.
This feature was used in S1,were characters who weren't fighters were playable...even Sansuke the bath-maker guy used a sword...after S2 it's started fading away,and in S3 characters like farmers,cooks,etc become supportive characters.
But since we cannot have it all it's still ok,because Suikoden has many playable characters in comparison with other RPGs.
Marie was not a usable combat character, but she can be used in major battles (I always imagined her running across the battlefield with a rolling pin getting ready to beat an Imperial soldier's brains out!)
I always thought it was interesting that they allowed us to use regular handymen armed with everyday tools, (even Kimberly could join us with her kitchen knife) but yes, they do seem to have been reduced to passive supporting characters throughout the sequels.
And Euram too. He fights against you in Sable...if you remember, he leads a unit too in the battle at Rainwall before comfronting the Barows.
I cannot understand why they make him so useless after joining your army...he is the last recruit so he supposed to be more well-treated....
Yeah, that always bugged me. He fights us outside of Sable, so he should have been an active party member. This is really the main reason I have never recruited him in S5 - I can either have him, or Eresh, a powerful sorceress. And suikoden 5 isn't exactly short on powerful spell casters, but still, the opportunity to reconcile Luserina with her brother was appealing, but not that appealing.
It's just like Dios from S3. He is the last recruit along with Sasarai,and when he is your enemy he is a Unit leader,but when he joins you he doesn't even participate in war battles...that's a pity....
I actually read all the S3 mangas before playing the game, and Dios does get stuck in the action when he's protecting Sasarai, so I thought he would make an awesome party member. Imagine how disappointed I was when I finally played the game, and he turned out to be little more than a nanny.