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February 23, 2006

Suikoden V (Japanese: 幻想水滸伝V, Hepburn: Gensō Suikoden Faibu) 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 and final main installment of the Suikoden video game series. It was released in 2006, and has sold around 200,000 copies in Japan.

Loosely based on a classical Chinese novel, Shui Hu Zhuan by Shi Nai'an,[citation needed] Suikoden V centers on the political struggles of the Queendom of Falena, and takes place 6 in-universe years before the events of the first Suikoden. The player controls the Prince of Falena and travels the world, acquiring allies and dealing with the problems of the nation. The game features a vast array of characters, with over sixty characters usable in combat and many more able to help or hinder the Prince in a variety of ways.

Also See

  • Suikoden
  • Suikoden II
  • Genso Suikogaiden Vol. 1 – Swordsman of Harmonia
  • Genso Suikogaiden Vol. 2 – Duel at Crystal Valley
  • Gensō Suikoden Card Stories
  • Suikoden III
  • Suikoden Tactics
  • Suikoden IV
  • Suikoden Tierkreis
  • Genso Suikoden: Tsumugareshi Hyakunen no Toki

Storyline

Setting

Suikoden V takes place in the Queendom of Falena, portraying the events of that region of the Suikoden world eight years before the events in Suikoden and 142 years after the events in Suikoden IV (~IS 449). The Queendom of Falena is a relatively rich land sustained by the Feitas River, which connects its disparate parts and enables trade and communication. It is ruled by Queen Arshtat and her husband Ferid, who have been a balancing and steady force since the demise of her somewhat rash mother. However, the tensions of the past have not been entirely settled. Arshtat's mother and aunt had been engaged in a covert struggle for power over the succession. Falena's government also has powerful nobles who maintain their own separate forces, loyal to them. Arshtat's hand in marriage was seen as key to gaining power in the future by the nobles; a civil war was narrowly averted when Ferid, a neutral outsider, won the Sacred Games and thus the right to marry Arshtat.

Arshtat and Ferid begat two heirs, the Prince (named by the player, called Freyjdour in the manga) and Lymsleia. At the beginning of Suikoden V, the time has come for Lymsleia's Sacred Games, a gladiatorial tournament in which the winner may ask for the future Queen's hand in marriage. (As a Queendom rather than a Kingdom, the first-born female is in line for the throne.) Aside from the many freelancers, suitors, and independent nobles who desire this prize, the two most powerful noble houses both bear a special interest in it; like with Arshtat's Sacred Games, Lymsleia's hand could prove a crucial advantage. The Godwins believe that Falena needs to be more centralized, powerful and perhaps expansionistic. The Barows seek more to rebuild and trade with foreign nations. The Barows faction has of late been somewhat on the decline, though they are still powerful; a recent war with the neighboring New Armes Kingdom was fought on Barows-allied lands, while the Godwins remained safe and untouched in the west of Falena, perhaps explaining the Barows wish to not further antagonize Armes. The royal family and others worry that if a Godwin or Barows were to win, it might well trigger another struggle.

A key part of the Suikoden setting is the existence of Runes, the source of all magic. Any person can have a rune inscribed on them, although some people are more talented in their use, and others can inscribe more than one rune (with three as the general maximum). In turn, all power from individual carved runes ultimately descends from the powerful 27 True Runes, which created the world in Suikoden's mythology. Falena's national treasure is the Sun Rune, a True Rune which can both bring prosperity and growth as well as destruction and calamity. Falena also controls the "child" runes of the Sun Rune, the Dawn Rune and Twilight Rune.

However, Falena's grip on the runes has gone somewhat awry. Two years prior to the start of Suikoden V, residents of Lordlake rioted and charged the East Palace, near the capital of Sol-Falena. In the confusion, the Dawn Rune, which was housed there, was stolen. Lordlake had previously been considered the most loyal of all the towns to the royal government and granted special privileges. With this seeming act of high treason by Lordlake, Arshtat took the Sun Rune upon herself, normally stored in Sol-Falena's palace on a pedestal, and used the Rune's power to scorch Lordlake's vegetation, wildlife and river, killing its leader Lord Rovere in the process. Since bearing the Sun Rune, the normally compassionate Arshtat has grown more and more erratic in behavior, prone to mood swings and wild fits of vengeance.

Characters

As with previous Suikoden titles, there are "108 Stars of Destiny" to recruit in the game. While some characters join as per the story's requirements, others require that the Prince recruit them either at a specific time, or by fulfilling particular conditions. As such, certain characters can be missed entirely.

Some of the characters from Suikoden V appeared in earlier Suikoden games; as Suikoden V takes place before I–III, their experiences in Falena are a prequel of sorts for them. Notably, Georg Prime and Lorelai both play important roles in Suikoden V and appear in other games, while Viki, Jeane and Leknaat continue their run of all Suikoden games to date.

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