Magazine: In any case, we would like to find out clearly the existence of Ted on the left page. Is it true that Ted, who is very popular, will make a comeback after 9 years of absence?
Kawano: Yes. For now, it is true that Ted will make an appearance. But things like “where” and “under what circumstance” you will meet him cannot be revealed still. It’s now a cliché, but “please be patient until the release”.
Magazine: Many fans cried over Ted’s story that ended with his violent death. They should be elated even with just one episode with in the 300 years of unknowns in his life were to be told. But uncertainties remain. The Ted in that screen shot looks kind of like an illusion and what if the stuff near him was actually a ghost ship…?
Kawano: Please be patient for the release for stuff like that as well. (Laughter) I do think that since he does make an appearance in Suikoden I, it is not likely that he is a “ghost” during this time…
Magazine: Is where Ted standing on, a small hill? If he were to make an appearance in front of the Hero, under what situation would that be? People who cannot help but be curious, play Suikoden I to refresh Ted’s path.
Magazine: Ms. Kawano also commented about the battle system that has been revealed little by little.
Kawano: The battle will be turn based like the rest of the series. For IV, the front line and back line that were in the previous games has been eliminated and we are creating one prioritizing speediness and pleasantness. There is no need to think about somewhat complicated things like how a brawler shouldn’t be placed in the back or how an archer should not be placed in the front. Each will attack accordingly from the best location for their weapons. So there won’t be characters that are underdeveloped due to strategic planning of party creation and you can bring characters of your choice to battle. Also if one chooses the “auto” option, the characters attack automatically and those who are not good with battles can enjoy the story feeling relaxed. For those that want to think of combination for battles, they can find enjoyment with finding out the rune combination attacks and the combo attacks. Along with the 4 member party system, I believe that the battles have been created to be well paced and full of variety.
Magazine: Among works that have a system that is too complicated and prevents one from enjoying the story without haste, Suikoden IV may have selected the right choice by aiming for a well paced enjoyment with its trait of having many appearances of characters. Currently there are no screen shots of the battle scenes that show the HP or other parameters, so how the battles in IV will truly be is still unknown. But it will unmistakably be one that will succeed the previous good qualities while having new additions.
Kawano: Of course, we will like to uphold to that. There will be a new element that makes the appearance of the weapon change as it levels up. With the effect getting flashier as the attacks get stronger, we are aiming for battles in which one will look forward to encountering enemies rather than be annoyed by it.
Magazine: Just like in the previous games, the weapons in IV will be pre-equipped by each character and it levels up and changes name when you pay to get it tempered by a blacksmith. Since there are additions of the graphical change and being able to add an effect of a rune to the weapons, one may get fond of the weapons even more. In an RPG like Suikoden that allows you to see your own character attacking, weapons are what signify the characters as individuals. It may be said that it is very “Suikoden-like” to have much advancement in the areas of weapons.
Magazine: With new info being released one by one, there must be many players that can’t wait for the release date. Especially since the cover of this Dengeki PS issue, that was an exclusive special illustration, shows Troy (who made his first appearance last issues) with the same emphasis of importance as Snowe and the Hero. What kind of messages are hidden in this illustration?
Kawano: Please don’t focus on discussing about the illustration too much. It is better to just take a look at it and let people imagine various thought. Especially since the only fact that is known is that Troy is a serious warrior who believes in justice. He may have a connection to the Gaien Maritime Knights that the Hero belongs to or he may be an enemy. Although, it is certain that he will be a crucial key in IV.
Magazine: In the official homepage that had a renewal on April 10th, it has been revealed that a pirate called “Brand” (who possess the Rune of Punishment) stands before both Snowe and the Hero (who belongs to the Gaien Maritime Knights). Also in a past screenshot, a scene where Glen defeats Brand has been introduced. I wonder how it continues…
Kawano: …please be patient until the release date. (Laughter)
Magazine: So, this was Ms. Kawano who had her guard up, as expected of her
“Returning back to the original” and “a new challenge”. Their enthusiasm and aim, as told by the creation staff of IV
The Suikoden series have many fans for each title. But it is a fact that many fans have special fond feelings for Suikoden I, because it was the commemorative original. For those users, hearing the news that Kawano who had a part in the creation of I was now returning for IV as character designer and producer must have been definitely good news. Of course for the new comers that became aware of the series first time with IV also must have been left with a vivid impression by Kawano’s characters that originated from her personal distinctive touch. How did Kawano feel when she first heard about the decision that she would be a part of the Suikoden series once again?
Kawano: Honestly, I thought “Oh, this would be a first job in quite a while.” I think that the reason I was chosen may probably be because my art is closer to the setting image of IV…(?)
Does the fact that her art matches the setting image of IV means that the general atmosphere of IV is close to I? We do get the feeling that instead of continuing the 3-D newness of III, IV has an orthodox “Suikoden” feel to it that both II and I had.
Kawano: IV is the most ancient among the series, so their level of cultural advancement is not higher than the previous worlds. The reason is not only because of the geography of selected setting, but also because there is an underlining feeling of wanting to show a “Suikoden–ness and that makes it seem like we are returning back to the original.
Now that we understand the underlining concept, next we are interested in the themes that IV covers.
Kawano: The themes are the “ocean” and “making amends and forgiveness”. But there is also a feeling that we want to entrust that to what the users feel. The focus is on the whereabouts of the Rune of Punishment that the main character must be burdened with.
The word “whereabouts” intrigues us knowing the characteristic of the Rune of Punishment to move randomly to another after it consumes the life of its host. Maybe it will completely suck the life out of the main character… or maybe not? Speaking of the main character, by looking at the character illustration for this time, he is not holding any weapons. There was a common characteristic of all the heroes carrying a weapon with both hands..?
Kawano: The hero’s weapon is a twin blade. The hero for this time doesn’t have a “powerful” appeal to his image, so that’s why he is shown naturally without anything.
As expected, the weapon is hold with two hands. These kinds of similarities are what make the fans happy. There seems to be others that are “must see”s for fans.
Kawano: Regarding character design, all the characters are not created by one individual and are done by a team, similarly to Suikoden I. The difference with Suikoden I was that there was actual time during work hours that I was able to do art… The Genso series has many characters appear, but just following a character of liking provides various enjoyments. Also when a comrade joins, the usual sound effect will still be heard. I think its will be a delight to hear…
With Kawano’s comments, we bet that there are many users whose expectation for IV has increased even more. For those readers, what would you like to tell them lastly?
Kawano: I always wanted for the setting to be the ocean, and it was fulfilled with IV finally! While on sea, you will have battles on deck. Please be patient a little while longer for info regarding other battles.
Kawano states that currently the creation process is at a point of hell. There are many mysteries still, but those should be cleared up in the future. Let’s look forward to the next issue!
Kawano’s comments regarding a few characters:
Regarding Hero: “His outfit is black because of the image that the rune possesses and his eye color reflects the sea.”
Regarding Snowe: "There is a lot, but it will only hinder the surprise value if I reveal it now. Sorry."
Regarding Glen: "He is the one that looks after the Hero the most among the Knights."
Regarding Katarina: "She is more like a hard worker than someone who is talented from birth"
Regarding Chiepoo: "The word "Nekobold" is derived from the fact that their clan is similar to the Kobolds but are from Ney Island."
From Dengeki PS2 #264 [4/23]
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?
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?
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?"
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?"
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.
The battles in IV will be conducted in a 4-member party and no line formations!
Pay attention to this new battle system!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Island where Chiepoo and other Nekobolds live. Humans are also found living here.
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.
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
by Genso & Howling Guild
This is the WORLD MAP this time around!!
There are independently nations and cities in the islands scattered far south of Toran. All of these areas combined are referred to as the Island Nations. The nation of Gaien is one of these and the Maritime Knights that the main character belongs to are based in a city called Razril.
As you can tell by looking at the World Map, the unique stage where the field area is mostly ocean awaits you. What kind of experiences would a knight who takes an active role gain? Let’s vicariously see through the eyes of the main character that is a part of the Maritime Knights and close in on the internal affairs.
The Surrounding Areas of Razril
Journeying to the Islands that Interacts With One Another
The city of Razril where the main character lives seems to be in good relations with the surrounding cities. The evidence that supports that is the scene that was released early where you visit another Island Nation. It seems like it is when the main character is on a mission to deliver something representing the Knights. The never ending ocean and the one-of-a-kind scenery of a port city almost makes it possible to sense the sea breeze.
New Characters: The Knights in Training
The Four New Character are In the Same Class as the Main Character
The comrades newly shown entered the Knights around the same year and are Knights-in-Training. There is an age differences, but they must compete and help with one another. Maybe your first party will consist of these four? We hope to see a deep friendship emerging as they complete missions together.
A young man who is 21 year old and receives strict training as a potential knight. He has a naturally muscular body, but there are instances where he shows that he has not fully matured mentally. His hobby is fishing.
A young female elf set out to be a knight. She gives the impression of being unapproachable to the surrounding people because of her looks and her lack of talking. She’s actually a fruit loving 17 year old.
She belongs to the Knights as one of the Knights-in-Training even with her being only 16 years old. She has a fangirlish personality and seems to be interested in Snowe who is like a brother to the main character.
A Knight-in –Training that looks like a light weight warrior. Originally he was an orphan just like the main character. He rarely loses his coolness, and has the maturity that is unusual for a 18 year old.
Welcoming the Day of Graduation…
The Peacefulness Found in the Customary “The Birth of the Knights Festival” Event
A lighting ceremony that originated when the legendary knight was welcomed to Razril. The main character and the others welcome their graduation by holding up the torch to conduct the ceremony. In this event Glen states the line, “I have lost many subordinates,” that may have a deep meaning. What happened before the graduation!?
Konami Japan Video Trailer
Source: Dengeki PS #269 | Dorimaga #7 | Famitsu PS2 #162
* Snowe Vingerhut
* 19 years old
From his well mannered and soft looks, Snowe gives off the fact that he lives the high life. As the succesor of the local lord, Vingerhut family, who the orphaned Hero is the servant of, he is trying to teach himself the right and wrong constantly. He is a knight-in-training of the Gaien Knights, and always worries for the sake of the Hero who has no relatives.
"Insecurities? What are you saying? The time to put my own power to use for Gaien has finally come. Rather, I've been waiting for a long time."
*30 years old
She is the second in command of the sole group of Knights located at the eastern part of Gaien, Razril. She has a calm personality that keeps cool at all times and she is a woman who firmly support Glen, who is preparing for the invasion from another country and patrols Razril. Her magic ability is exceptionally high, and personally chooses to not neglect training. You can refer to her as one of the exceptional knights.
"In the name of our Gaien Knights' pride, let's do our best to not let these cowardly pirates onto land!!"
*53 years old
Glen, who owns the rank as the leader who controls the Gaien Knights, has a very strict and serious personality. He is the teacher of the knights-in-training like the Hero. He has a strong sense of responsibility. Recently not only the rowdy pirates, but violent monsters continue to appear. He seems to also be responsible to escort the merchant ships from harm.
"You fool! What is the captain of the ship doing by leaving his subordinates!! A captain may never retreat until the end!!"
*? years old
Chiepoo, who is seen as having a cat's ears and tail, is a young man from the Nekobold tribe. He works all around the world as he travels, to dream the day he will become a big merchant person (cat?). In order to acheive his dream, he is always hard working and doesn't falter to any hardships by staying happy. It is interesting to see how he will meet the Hero!
"Oh, you don't have to say that even though I'm young I face many hardships. Because... I will become a big merchant who walks around the world. I have to work hard for my dream. Anyhow, where is this ship headed for?""
Journeying - Meet your new comrades by crossing the ocean!
The previous works mainly focused on the story developing while on land, but Suikoden IV's stage is the ocean. Since the Hero is a part of the marine knights group, the story seem to develop crossing from ocean to ocean. This causes us to be curious about the transportation process and the headquarter. Of course, even if it is a fact that one will transport on a ship, will there be various types of ships? Also, where will your headquarter be within this vast ocean. It's exciting to see if a rowdy pirate becomes your party members, and we will look forward to the monster you will meet at sea.
The majority of the article has stuff that is already known, so I will start listing the new info here:
-the magazine speculates that the rune of punishment's memory of the past may reveal the secrets of the Suikoden world
-they confirm the fact that Windy is "MIA"
-Eleanor Silverberg is describes as a "drunk" when you meet her
-The Hero was found at or near the ocean of Razril
-The Gaien fortress is made out of stone
-A scene with an injured person lying on shore is shown (most probably a shipwreck)
150 years. No appearances from ones from the rest of the series? But, "she" makes an appearance.
Leknaat, who appears in all is a critical character plotwise, but she is not one of the 108 stars of destiny. That means, the fans will be hoping for new characters being added on, the ancestors of characters from previous games, or characters who are immortal because they possess a true rune. Please take a look at the right picture. (Picture of Jeane-like person with the big caption "How old is this person!?" and with the side caption "She definitely looks like Je___. Did this person possess a true rune? We also are eagerly anticipating the info of other characters) She is a woman who has a sexy gaze and mouth. It seems like the only person who can wear a revealing outfit rightfully like this has to "that person". Please look forward to the revealing of her identity next time!
Information from Dengeki Playstaion Magazine Issue 266
Text Translations by Genso