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Suikoden IV Update #2

The Folktale has Broken Out by Light

For the first time, a shadow that has a connection to the true runes inches closer to the main character who changes history. It is Troy, one who has a very different presence than the other potential 108 stars of destiny. Is he an enemy or not? An exclusive interview with Junko Kawano is included. Finally the thunder rumbles in the world of Suikoden IV!

by Genso & Howling Guild



Possible Cover art for the game?


NEW CHARACTERS
In comparison to the other characters released up to this point, Troy and Colton are two characters with a completely different aura about them. Looking at their easy to move in clothes and sharp gazes, does it not seem that they are members of some nation with a powerful force?

Troy
31 years old
Troy, whose piercing eye glance is distinctive, is an extremely serious warrior just as he looks. He is a man who continues to stick to his own trusting definition of justice. His origins have not been released yet, but it seems like he would be at a high rank.

“...I don't understand. Are true runes something that important?"

Colton
59 years old
A veteran counselor who Troy trusts. It seems like Colton personally thinks of Troy as a son at time.

"...Oh boy. Shall this old man calm down the young master?"

Troy and Colton


BATTLE SYSTEM
What is the appeal of the battle system that directs the battles of the stars of destiny!?

The battle system of the Suikoden series has continuously evolved each time with new elements added. In IV, although the combo attacks and others have been passed on, there are numerous new elements such as sea battles and the growth of the weapon. From this, we are certain that this will provide the most thrill and excitement from battle among all in the series. Here, we will analyze three new info related to battle that were revealed.

NORMAL BATTLE
The battles in IV will be conducted in a 4-member party and no line formations!
Pay attention to this new battle system!

Blam! | Woosh!

In I and II, there were three in the front line and three in the back line. In III, there was a buddy system between pairs in a 6-member party. But in IV, the 4-member party is introduced and line formation and buddy systems are gotten rid of. From this, a speedy and fun battle that was not available in the previous installments can be experienced.

STATUS ABNORMALITIES
The status abnormalities in this series ranges from the traditional “Poison” status to the unique “Unbalance”. If you look at the picture below, the “Balloon” that made an appearance in II has returned. This “Balloon” status causes the characters to desert a battle if that character is carefree. There should be many more unique status abnormalities in IV other than this.

THE GROWTH OF THE WEAPON
In III, the strength increased as the weapon that the character had from the beginning was tempered. The weapon system of IV has incorporated the basics of III and has added the element of the change in graphics as the weapon becomes more powerful! It is now possible to see the power of the weapon by its look instead of just numbers. Here we will show 3 graphics with weapons, so please check the manner of growth.

Weapon Growth #1 | Weapon Growth #2

COMBO ATTACKS
The combo attacks that have been used since I are special attacks that can be used when certain characters are in the party. There are ones that look powerful, ones that are have very detailed motions, and ones that are exciting enough to make you laugh out loud! Since there are many that are secretly unusual combinations, they have the appeal of making one find those out regardless of the plot. The combo attacks are used in IV, and one of them is introduced in the pictures below. As you can see, it is very dynamic and comical. Certainly, there are more combo attacks than this, so figuring out the combinations is fun starting now.

Heave-ho!

SEA BATTLES
Sea battles are one of the new elements in IV, and it is a battle system that shows the fierce battles among multiple ships at sea. If you take a look at this first preview of the battle scenes at sea, two ships that are in close approximate location from one another has a cannon battle in progress. If we think of the ship = unit, could this mean that the sea battles are the SLG formatted group battles that have been a tradition in the series? Our interest in never ending, but nonetheless the dynamic ship versus ship battles should provide a new excitement in battles.

Ships | Ship-to-Ship Rune Battle?


THE BACKDROP

Click here for a larger map.

1) DUCHY OF GAIEN
The Monarch of this monarchy has long since been reduced to figurehead status. It is now more of a functional republic. While the conflicts of the aristocrats have not died out, the natives live as they please here.

2) RAZRIL
Is an island under Gaien control. This is the home of the hero and the son of the regional lord, Snowe Vingerhut. This is also the residence of the captain Glen Cott and the Gaien Maritime Knights.

3) ILUYA
You could get to know a lot people in this sparsely populated island which is a stopping point for long boat journeys.

4) KOOLULK EMPIRE
While they might be small, they are much more modernized than their neighbors, and are thus a nation with clout.

5) NEY
Island where Chiepoo and other Nekobolds live. Humans are also found living here.

6)
N-Nal
Isand where elves like Paula live.


Interview with Junko Kawano
Suikoden IV, the new work that pursued the finest appeal of “Human Drama”

Magazine: IV decided on having the vast world of the ocean as its stage. Since it is 150 years prior to I, there are many things like the culture and technological advancements that we still do not know. How is Junko Kawano interpreting this setting?

Kawano: Island Nations, which is the stage that include the Dukedom of Gaien is not similar to a large scale nation that we can imagine off the top of our heads. In the public eye Gaien, a nation that includes Razril, is a monarchy that has history, but the monarchy actually controls the local leaders only technically speaking. The individual ethnic groups, whom inhabit the island, govern the other areas. Also, location-wise this is far south of the Toran area in I. It’s a tropical area so many inhabitants wear outfits that show a lot of skin, the building are made creatively so wind can pass through easily, and yards are full with water. Gaien and other nations argue regarding their territory of the ocean at time, but in order to live, they treat each other as prosperous trading partners and interact with one another.

Magazine: By looking at the screen shots, it seems like the time period is medieval Europe and the location is a resort area like Southern Asia or Central America. IV takes place in the islands within the sea current. It seems like the way of transportation will be mostly by ship.

Kawano: Both large-scaled ships that can take you to far places and small boats that are filled with daily lifestyles will make an appearance. (Laugher) On the other half, pirate ship and ghost ship will also appear. Please look forward to meeting various people on the ships.

Magazine: Since we will be able to head to various places on the ship, would we be able to go back to place that appeared in previous games?

Kawano: The details are still secret, but it is possible that you will hear a name of a place that is very familiar… maybe. A journey at sea was one of the things that I wanted to do sometime. I’m very happy that it came true. There are battles while sailing and you will have battles on the crowded deck. Once you are at sea, there is no place to run. So we are prioritizing the creation of battles that are nerve-racking, yet stress-free.

Magazine: Battles are a must in every RPG, but would the battle system in IV change from previous ones?

Kawano: The pace will not be different from previous ones, but there are some additional elements of course. Since battles will be experienced repeated times, they will be ones that are lively. There will be battles that will be event-like following the plot aside from the normal battles.

Magazine: In addition to the deep story line, the battle aspect seems to be fulfilling. A matter that equally intrigues us is the growth of weapons that was also showcased this time around…

Kawano: Even though there was a system that had weapon growth, it is first time in IV for the graphics to be altered. Changing the appearance contributes to the enjoyment of raising your characters. There’s also the element of attaching the rune fragment (shard) to the weapon. From this the rune elements have been added and the effect of when it is used in an attack changes as well. I would like for people to have the motivation to raise all the weapons of characters in battle to the maximum level.

Magazine: The release during summer awaits. How far has the creation process gotten to at this point?

Kawano: We are at a point where we can see the overall picture. In a little while, work becomes a big part of when you’re awake and you must work during any activity…a dreadful situation. (Laughter) Right now, we are thinking only of how to make it even more enjoyful. The main appeal of the Suikoden series lies in the various human dramas that emerge from the 108 stars of destiny and the runes. This time that has been pursued to the fullest and we will work hard so that veteran fans of the series as well as first time will be enjoyed.

Magazine: The day when the new and old fans become one and be engulfed into the world of Suikoden is near! Now that we got that moment of motivation out of the way… The element that excites us the most is the “who will appear” from previous games…

Kawano: This question is a given for the Suikoden games. (Laughter) Even though I want to say who exactly… it is still a secret. But we can speak of it in the near future, I think.

Magazine: To be able to talk about… that means that the possibility of someone appearing is high. If we think in regards to the time period, we can hope for people like Sierra, Leknaat, and Windy. Especially Windy since we this period is when we don’t know what she was doing. It’s after the attack of the Hidden Village and before she made an appearance at the Scarlet Moon Empire.

Kawano: That will be left for next time. The Rune of Punishment that the Hero for this time will possess is an offense rune and is very deep. Following a rune that hold the memory of those of who possessed it in the past, please be indulged into the world of Suikoden this time as well.


Kawano’s Check
Junko Kawano tells her impressions of the first members of IV

Hero: There may be times when he may feel limited because of his status as a servant. Since he is an alter ego of the player, his personality is close to being blank. He’s a little dark, but lives positively and he gives out an impression that he is strong-willed.

Snowe: Since he is fundamentally sincere, I tried to make the character art show that. To choose to be a knight even though he is an heir to the local lord is a natural decision for someone who is born in Razril.

Glen Cott: As expected from his looks, he is very serious. In the Suikoden world, it is a rule that having a last name indicates nobility. In Glen’s case, he is in fact a person whose can speak to the local lord eye to eye.

Katarina: In the battle setting, she has a very heroic personality, but normally she is an adult woman who keeps her cool. She has a strong heart and support Glen greatly. A romance with Glen… I’ll leave that until you play the game.

Tal: Since he eats a lot and loves to fish, he gives the impression that he’s lazy. (Laughter) He is usually full of energy and has a positive personality, but he has dilemmas at times. He has a very human-like weakness.

Keneth: Battle-wise, he is very reliable. He looks very calm even from Hero’s point of view and is reliable. But on the other side, he is inflexible. He’s a little up tight and doesn’t get jokes… (Laughter)

[Translator’s notes: Keneth’s spelling has been confirmed – only one ‘n’ in the name.]

Jewel: She is a very energetic girl that doesn’t really care about the surroundings. She is the cheerleader of the team. She says whatever is on her mind, but she cannot lie and has a very genuine heart. The fact that she is a little fangirlish is a requirement for someone who is noisy. (Laughter)

Paula: She actually has a very sincere personality, but she rarely shows it. Since she holds back her emotions, she is often thought of as cold. But since she’s also an elf, she also has a fruit loving aspect.

Chiepoo: Although s/he shows some flakiness, s/he has another side that is calculating. The Nekobolds who live in the depth of Ney Island have benevolent personalities, but they have rather unsociable lifestyle. S/he got tired of that and got out of there.

[Translator’s notes: It hasn’t been confirmed yet if Chiepoo is female or male, so it is referred to as s/he.]

Sources: Dengeki PS #260 | Dorimaga #8

Posted by HowlingGuild in Suikoden IV Previews on April 10, 2004