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->Even at his most powerless, man's existence is never without meaning.

The first installment of the ''VideoGame/{{Suikoden}}'' series; naturally, many of the series' long-running themes are established herein.

[[HelloInsertNameHere The young son]] of imperial General Teo [=McDohl=] lives a comfortable, happy life in the [[TheEmpire Scarlet Moon Empire]] with his famous father, house full of [[BattleButler personal bodyguards]], and best friend Ted. However, everything gets turned upside down when he winds up with the [[EmpathicWeapon Soul Eater]], one of the 27 True Runes, [[ClingyMacGuffin stuck on his right hand]]. Turns out the empire's ''really'' interested in said True Rune, and young [=McDohl=] finds himself roped into the [[LaResistance Liberation Army]] and forced to face off against his father and his country.

Visit the complete character sheet [[{{Characters/Suikoden}} here!]]

!!Suikoden provides examples of:

* ActionGirlfriend: Tengaar.
* AdamSmithHatesYourGuts: Seriously. Great, you have a headquarters with an item shop, an armoury, a blacksmith... not to mention that the shopkeepers are all in your employ. Can you expect to get any goods and services for free (or at least a hey-I'm-the-commander-of-this-army discount)? Nope.
* AluminumChristmasTrees:
** Fire spears were a [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fire_lance real thing]].
** To mount a naval assault, the rebels need to acquire five hundred boats impossibly fast, so they use a dragon's breath to freeze up a flotilla of skiffs from solid ice. With the apparently temperate climate around Lake Toran, this would be as far-fetched and temporary as it sounds, but it's not without a real-world counterpart: [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pykrete Pykrete]]. This mixture of water ice and sawdust was experimented with as a serious possibility for large ship hulls during WWII. The {{Series/Mythbusters}} made a small boat hull using a modified recipe, and it worked rather well--for less than an hour.
%%* AntiVillain: [[spoiler:Teo.]]
* BackFromTheDead: [[spoiler:Gremio]], if you recruit all 108 characters.
* BerserkButton: To quote Ronnie Bell:
-->"You bums! Calling me 'giant woman' over and over. I'll teach you a lesson!"
* BettingMiniGame: Certain recruits open up betting games. The dice game in particular is a useful method of building up gold to upgrade your characters.
* BlessedWithSuck: Guess what the Soul Eater does? [[spoiler:Oh, it just sucks the souls out of your closest friends and family to power itself up, is all.]]
* BlindIdiotTranslation:
** Not too bad for its time really, except for Stallion's "True Holy Rune" that isn't one of the True Runes at all; a better rendering would have been the ''Godspeed'' Rune.
** An imperial commander makes a declaration about how [[NietzscheWannabe 'God is dead']], while in the original he just declares that deals with rebels are worthless.
** Really what does it in are minor grammar mistakes, mostly using the wrong tense or plural form, that pile up.
** At one point, Kirkis says, "After returning from Dwarves' Village" for no apparent reason. This is due to the localization team accidentally including a developer's note into the dialogue, resulting in Gremio saying Kirkis's actual line, Valeria saying Gremio's line, and so on until the actual final line in this dialogue chain (Kirkis expressing disbelief and telling the player to hurry) ended up being unused.
* BlindSeer: Leknaat.
* BodyguardBetrayal: [[spoiler:Pahn. He comes around later, giving the player enough time to prepare for his later HeroicSacrifice attempt to hopefully avoid RedemptionEqualsDeath]]
%%* BodyguardCrush: Subtext says Gremio.
* BoisterousBruiser: Viktor.
* BrainwashedAndCrazy:
** [[spoiler:Two of the Five Imperial Generals (Kwanda Rosman and Milich Oppenheimer), thanks to Windy's Black Runes. Teo [=McDohl=], Sonya Schulen, and Kasim Hazil all avert this and are opposed to the Liberation Army of their own will.]]
** [[spoiler:Subverted by Emperor Barbarossa, though, who only pretends to be brainwashed.]]
* ButForMeItWasTuesday: When confronting Neclord in his castle, Viktor angrily asks the vampire if he remembers Viktor's home town of Northwind, which he destroyed. While Neclord admits to vaguely recognizing Viktor [[spoiler: thanks to the Star Dragon Sword sending him and the rest of the party back in time to when Windy tried to first steal the Soul Eater]], he admits Northwind rings zero bells for him.
* ButThouMust: An {{egregious}} example occurs when you must choose to drink the tea that is obviously poisoned.
--> "Not if it's bitter!"
* CanonName: The protagonist does not have an official name, but the Japanese novelization and drama [=CDs=] gave him the name of "Tir", which has become a FanNickname. The name "Ryui" has also been used in a manga.
* CaptainErsatz: Maximilian, for ''Literature/DonQuixote,'' Stallion, bizarrely, for SonicTheHedgehog and Fu Su Lu for Guin from ''LightNovel/GuinSaga''.
* CelibateHero: Flik.
%%* ChainOfDeals: The Soap.
* CharacterDevelopment: Flik gradually matures from a [[ClingyJealousGirl Clingy Jealous Boyfriend]] who blames [=McDohl=] for [[spoiler:Odessa]]'s death to a driven, loyal companion. And this turns out to be just the start for him...
%%* ChekhovsGun: The Fire Spears.
* ColdSniper: Clive.
%%* CombinationAttack
* CruelAndUnusualDeath: [[spoiler:Gremio]]'s HeroicSacrifice involves [[spoiler:him being trapped alone in a room and eaten alive by man-eating spores. He does get better if you collect all the stars]].
* DarkIsNotEvil[=/=]EvenEvilHasStandards: The Soul Eater is described as "the most wicked of the True Runes", but at the end, [[spoiler:it rejects Windy]].
** There's a bit of FridgeBrilliance about that, as you can read [[{{Fridge/Suikoden}} here]].
* DeadStarWalking: Gremio and Ted prominently appear in opening movies and accompany your loading screen if it's not Tir. In a way, they ''are'' pretty important, but [[spoiler:Ted leaves permanently very early in the game, and late in the game when he 'returns', he dies. Gremio dies halfway in the game and spends the majority of the game in the realm of the dead, unless you collect all 108 Destinies and revives him... only for the ''final'' segment of the game.]]
* DefeatMeansFriendship: Ah, BrainwashedAndCrazy, where would the Stars be without you? [[spoiler:Though you gotta watch for those recruits who [[NotBrainwashed aren't brainwashed]]...]]
* DragonRider: The Dragon Knights.
* DuelBoss: Most notably [[spoiler:[=McDohl=]'s father]].
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: The only installment that don't play [[MsFanservice Jeane]] up as the HelloNurse
%%* EarnYourHappyEnding
* ElementalRockPaperScissors: Played straight with runes, played sans elements during war battles and one-on-one duels.
* EmpathicWeapon: The Soul Eater and the Star Dragon Sword.
* EvenEvilHasStandards: [[spoiler:The Soul Eater Rune is widely considered to be the most evil of the True Runes (and with good reason), but even it is disgusted by Windy, and refuses to accept her as its wielder. Although given that the game gives not even the vaguest hint as to ''how Windy was intending get around the fact that simultaneously holding two True Runes is impossible'', standards might not be involved after all. Or maybe there is a standard: ''Follow the goddamn rules.'']]
* MrFanservice: Flik, who helps you recruit one woman by drinking tea with her all night long.
* EvilSorcerer: Windy.
%%* FalseFlagOperation: The Kalekka Incident.
* FantasticAesop: [[spoiler: If you forgive the murderer of your friend/caregiver you can bring them back to life!]]
* FantasticRacism: Quite a bit. The [[ElvesVersusDwarves dwarves hate the elves, the elves loathe and fear the dwarves]], both groups think humans are dumber than dirt, the humans believe themselves superior to other races, and the xenophobic kobolds hate everyone. Fortunately, there are a few beings on each side who know that's all a bunch of crap, and most of the races generally get better as the game goes on. [[spoiler:Except for the elves, most of whom die from Kwanda's Burning Mirror, but the few who escaped the attack do join your side]].
* FinalDeath: Make a bad decision during the war battles and most of your stars are vulnerable to this. Don't worry, they'll let you know via dramatic LastWords before you're informed of their demise. Oddly, if you use a game with dead characters to get the OldSaveBonus for ''VideoGame/SuikodenII'', the dead people are [[UnexplainedRecovery alive and well]]. This is even lampshaded in the second game.
* FiveManBand:
** The group at the beginning:
*** TheHero: Tir [=McDohl=].
*** TheLancer: Ted.
*** TheBigGuy: Pahn.
*** TheSmartGuy: Cleo.
*** TheChick: Gremio (who gets this spot as opposed to Cleo due to the fact that he dotes on Tir like an overprotective mother, and tends to be the most emotional of the group).
** The Six Great Generals of the Empire. Remember, there was once a time when they were genuine good guys rather than the FiveBadBand.
*** TheHero: Teo [=McDohl=].
*** TheLancer: Kasim Hazil.
*** TheBigGuy: Kwanda Rossman.
*** TheSmartGuy: Milich Oppenheimer (Fruitiness aside, he came up with a lot of contraptions that caused many troubles for the Liberation Army, such as the Antoinette poison pollen).
*** TheChick: Kilahwer Shulen (Sonya's mother).
*** SixthRanger: Georg Prime ([[AllThereInTheManual being a Six Great General is in his resume from investigation]]. He's already gone by the time ''VideoGame/SuikodenI'' rolls in).
* {{Foreshadowing}}: [[spoiler:Sanchez]]'s name isn't inscribed on Luc's tablet of the 108 Stars of Destiny.
* GameBreakingBug: The [[DishingOutDirt Earth Rune]]'s [[ForceField Clay Guardian and Guardian Earth spells]] are supposed to increase the allies' defense, but somehow ''it does not work''.
* GameplayAndStorySegregation: In the story, [=McDohl=] is repeatedly cautioned in the strongest possible terms not to use the Soul Eater's power. In-game, the player can repeatedly use its incredibly useful magic without any ill effects whatsoever.
* GiantSpaceFleaFromNowhere: The Crystal Core, a floating crystal ball found up in the mountains that seems to have no purpose than to provide a boss fight. Lampshaded in this case, since a character will exclaim "What the hell!" before the fight.
* GuestStarPartyMember: Ted and Odessa, who are not part of the 108 Stars of Destiny.
* GuideDangIt: Recruiting several of the stars qualifies as this. Special mention goes to recruiting Mathiu's uncle Leon. To do so, you need to get the castle up towards its maximum size, which Leon will remark upon the next time you talk to him. Next, you have to get Mathiu to write him a letter asking for his services. Now, this ordinarily wouldn't be a problem, but since Mathiu is your strategist, talking to him normally causes him to ask you if you're ready to advance the plot. If he's doing this, he can't write the letter, so you have to do it in a lull in the storyline. There are only two points where this can happen, and you need to have recruited ''every'' other available character for it to work. It's all a bit much even for an optional character.
* GunsAreWorthless: Only the Howling Voice Guild uses guns in this world. Clive is one of the best damage dealers you get, though.
* HelloInsertNameHere: Young [=McDohl=] can be named whatever you please. Same goes for your base and army.
** Due to data read error, when you use an OldSaveBonus to unlock extra stuff in ''VideoGame/SuikodenII'', [=McDohl=] doesn't really get renamed. Instead, the first letter of his name in ''VideoGame/SuikodenI'' becomes the first letter of his name in ''VideoGame/SuikodenII''. So, he could be named [=TcDohl=]. In other words, name him something that begins with an M.
** According to Suikosource.com, [=McDohl=]'s name in Suikoden II gets overwritten by uppercase letters, so if you named the main character in all lower case letters, the second game would still have his name as [=McDohl=]. However, whatever you name him is saved and carried over to the third installment in full form, so if you named him Tir, the play about Suikoden I's main character refers to him as Tir [=McDohl=].
* HeroicBSOD:
** [[spoiler:Tir right after Gremio's death.]]
** Kirkis, once [[spoiler:the Village of the Elves burns down. Thinking his love, Sylvina, was there when it happened, he doesn't take it well.]] Gremio, of all people, winds up bringing him out of it pretty quick.
---> '''Kirkis:''' "That's right. In vain. All of our efforts were in vain. But why? Why? Please tell me, Master Tir. What good were our efforts? Why did this happen? We did our best! I was insulted, abused, but I fought on. And yet...yet...Nothing! Nothing remains! Everything I tried to protect. When everything was over, I planned to give this ring to Sylvina. Poor Sylvina. Now this ring has no hand to adorn. It's useless now. There's nothing..."
---> '''Gremio:''' "Kirkis, this ring is your hope. And you must never give up hope. With just a little bit of hope, you can survive, live on. And that goes for humans as well as elves."
%%* TheHerosJourney
* HeterosexualLifePartners: The ship-builder Gen and the alchemist Kamandol give off this vibe.
* HiddenElfVillage: Subverted, in that it's out in the open and rather easy to find. They're not very hospitable toward humans, though
* HighlyVisibleNinja: What's proper kunoichi attire? Kasumi says bright red and no pants! And the Shrike Rune involves high-jumping! [[AuthorAppeal Um...]]
** To say nothing of Fuma in his bright red outfit. Really, only Kage gets it right.
* ICallItVera: Traditionally, the men from Warriors' Village name their weapons after what is most important to them. Usually, it's the girl they love.
* ItWillNeverCatchOn:
--> "A machine that runs on oil? Sounds ridiculous."
* JerkAss: Leknaat's young servant Luc. He possesses [[spoiler:the True Wind Rune, which makes him one of the most powerful mages in the game]]. He uses its power mostly to be a petty dick.
%% * JerkWithAHeartOfGold:
%% ** Flik.
%% ** Apple.
%% * LaResistance: The Liberation Army.
* LettingTheAirOutOfTheBand: Near the beginning of the game, the party is given a reward for getting rid of some bandits, cuing a happy little ItemGet sound. Then the ObstructiveBureaucrat tagging along steals it, and this happens instead.
* LevelLockedLoot: Would you believe ''characters''? Lorelai and Eikei both require Tir to be over a certain level to recruit them[[note]]25 and 40, respectively[[/note]]; Rubi requires Kirkis to be over level 40.
* MultipleEndings: [[GottaCatchThemAll Collect all]] [[OneHundredAndEight 108 Stars of Destiny]] to get the best ending!
* NeverFoundTheBody: Odessa Silverberg suffers lethal wounds during an Imperial attack. Before she dies, she asks Tir [=McDohl=] to weigh her body down and throw it in an underground river, so that friend and foe alike do not learn of her death. He does so, and keeps the secret for the better part of a year, revealing the ruse only when LaResistance is fully established.
* NewPowersAsThePlotDemands: Sort of; the Soul Eater has four spells like any other rune, but [=McDohl=] only gains access to each successive spell after certain plot points. Mostly a subversion, though, as not only the new skills have no relation to the plot, they are gained after the Soul Eater [[spoiler:eats the soul of someone close to you]], so the powerup is vaguely justified.
* NiceHat: The Narcissists wear very nice hats.
* NonActionGuy: Hix ''can'' fight--he just isn't very good, and prefers avoiding combat when he can. Unfortunately, the poor guy lives in the Warriors' Village and has [[{{Tsundere}} Tengaar]] as his love interest, and she's bound and determined to make him a man. A bit of a subversion, though, as Hix has good stat growth and can be quite a good fighter if you give him the right rune.
* OneWingedAngel: So you finally arrived at the final battle, ready to kick the (completely human) {{Big Bad}}'s-WHAT THE HELL?! HE JUST TRANSFORMED INTO A GIANT FUCKING GOLDEN DRAGON!!
* TheOnlyOneAllowedToDefeatYou: Clive chasing after Elza.
* OurElvesAreDifferent: For a start, they're not very smart, yet they think they're the most advanced civilization around despite being the smallest faction. Then there's Stallion, an off-beat blue haired speedster.
* PeninsulaOfPowerLeveling: The Great Forest can act as this after you pass through the Fortress of Kwaba near the start of the game. While you can't get past the first screen of it yet, the enemies in that screen, like the Kobolds, will be enough to propel your characters a good six or seven levels in a single battle and are easily dispatched with area effect magic, like the Fire Rune Cleo normally has at this point. It's a good idea too, since the next dungeon is Toran Castle, which has an annoying ThatOneBoss, and the extra levels can really help.
* PermanentlyMissableContent: Did you forget to recruit Leon Silverberg before the assault at Shasarazade? Say goodbye to the 100% Completion! [[note]]You need to talk to Mathiu IN the headquarters so he writes the letter to Leon when asked. If you've done Shasarazade, Mathiu will not be in the place and will only write for Leon AFTER the final war, which renders him useless and also by then, you probably have passed [[spoiler:Gremio's possible resurrection.]][[/note]]
%%* PettingZooPeople: The kobolds.
* PleaseKillMeIfItSatisfiesYou: Expect many recruits to give you this option if they were BrainwashedAndCrazy and did something unforgivable. [[spoiler:Or if they just committed a FaceHeelTurn.]] But don't do it.
* PleaseSpareHimMyLiege: Tir, as commander of the Liberation Army, will be given the task of deciding whether captured Imperials should be put to death. Most troops will endorse this, but a couple times, someone will raise a red flag and ask for the person to be spared. No such objection is raised for [[JerkAss Kraze]], though. [[spoiler:He's also the only character you can willfully kill off without sacrificing a Star of Destiny.]]
%%* PlotlineDeath
* ProductionForeshadowing: One of the Old Books that can be collected is a narration on Suikoden's version of the world's origin. It mentions a battle between the Shield and the Sword, and the origin of the 27 True Runes. [[VideoGame/SuikodenII Guess which runes are involved in the main plot of the next game]]. It even manages to foreshadow the main conflict in ''Suikoden II''.
%%* QuicklyDemotedWoman: Odessa. Don't worry, you can still enjoy her days being badass [[AllThereInTheManual if you read the novels...]]
* ReallySevenHundredYearsOld: It turns out that all True Rune bearers are subject to this, including Windy and Joshua, the holder of the Dragon Rune.
%% ** [[spoiler:Ted got to be BlessedWithSuck before [=McDohl=].]]
* RedemptionEqualsDeath: Can be averted in one case; you have to [[spoiler:beef up Pahn before his LeaveHimToMe moment against Teo [=McDohl=] and fight ''very'' carefully, otherwise he'll die and you [[GuideDangIt lose out on the best ending]].]]
** Played straight with [[spoiler:Emperor Barbarossa]].
* RequiredPartyMember: Any given leg of the quest will have Tir journeying with someone who has to do with the plot at hand. Also, Gremio insists on coming with him [[spoiler:up until his PlotlineDeath]]. This is rather annoying come end-game when one half of your party is made up of required people.
* RougeAnglesOfSatin: At one point several party members refer to a machine as a "contraction." A contra''p''tion is a machine. A contra''c''tion refers to something shortening or to a shortened form of a phrase, such as "it's" for "it is."
* SelfMadeOrphan: A rare heroic example can be found here with... [[spoiler:the main character]].
* SequenceBreaking: If you go outside before talking to anyone, you can level up quickly, then get your first companion and go outside with him as well. Since TheDevTeamThinksOfEverything, going to an area you aren't supposed to go to until later will get you a good rune. If you go alone, it's double experience. Going with a friend gets you double money. And you get items to make your characters regen along the way as well.
* ShockAndAwe: Flik's not called '[[RedBaron Blue Lightning]]' for nothing.
* ShoutOut: The animation of Ronnie Bell's Hate Rune. [[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything It looks similar to]] [[KamehameHadoken a sphere made of concentrated battle aura being launched at its opponent]] to me.
* SiblingYinYang: Mathiu Silverberg is a strategist who was formerly a pacifistic teacher, who was formerly a master strategist in the Imperial army. His sister Odessa is a [[RebelliousPrincess rebellious girl]], leads the Liberation Army, and at one point [[WhatTheHellHero calls out Mathiu as a coward]].
* SourSupporter: Flik starts as one, due to [[spoiler:Odessa]]'s death. [[CharacterDevelopment He gets better]] after [[spoiler:Gremio]]'s HeroicSacrifice.
%% ** [[spoiler:Sonya Shulen.]]
* SprintShoes: The Holy Rune, which doubles walking speed when the run button is held down in a dungeon or village, and Stallion's Godspeed Rune, which does the same, but also increases walking speed on the world map.
* TheStoic: Humphrey is one of the first instances of this in the series.
%%* TheStrategist: Mathiu Silverberg.
* StupidityIsTheOnlyOption: The tea. After just hearing rumors that people who visited a certain inn end up drugged and robbed, the group visits and inn and are [[ASpotOfTea immediately offered tea]]. Everyone else drinks up and waits for Tir to do the same. He can refuse, technically, as many times as he wants. But if you want to advance the plot, you ''have'' to drink the tea.
* SuckMyRose: Milich Oppenheimer ''really'' likes roses.
* SuplexFinisher: Kasumi's Shrike Rune allows her to do this to opponents many times larger than her.
* SwordAndSorcerer: {{Battle Couple}}s Lepant/Eileen and Hix/Tengaar can be any type. The former is supposed to be a Type 2, if not for a GameBreakingBug.
* TreacheryCoverUp: Happens near the end with [[spoiler:Sanchez's reveal as TheMole.]]
* TrojanPrisoner: Mathiu pulls off this tactic to free Viktor and Warren from Moravia.
* {{Tsundere}}: Tengaar. Made even scarier when you realize she bears a slight resemblance to another [[Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion red-headed mega-tsundere...]] And just to hammer it home, her boyfriend is a [[BewareTheNiceOnes soft-spoken wuss capable of killing men three times his weight in single combat if properly motivated]].
%% Which color? * YouGottaHaveBlueHair: Stallion the elf.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: [[spoiler: Sanchez]]'s fate is never elaborated upon in the game itself, because he's not a Star of Destiny and doesn't get mentioned in the epilogue. [[AllThereInTheManual Supplementary materials]] reveal that after the end of the war, [[spoiler: he was pardoned by President Lepant to avoid a scandal, made to swear that he will not associate with any Republic officials, and ends up entering Qlon Temple to live quietly.]] Of course, these materials [[NoExportForYou never made it out of Japan.]]
* YourSoulIsMine: The Soul Eater rune does this. It is implied to ''manipulate fate'' to cause the [[spoiler:people nearest to the bearer]] to die off so it can feed.