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The first ''{{Suikoden}}'' game on the PS2, ''Suikoden III'' revolves around several smaller groups of heroes long before the [[OneHundredAndEight Stars of Destiny]] come into play. Set fifteen years after the events of ''SuikodenII'', it begins with an uneasy cease-fire between the Grassland tribes and the mercantile nation of the Zexen Confederacy. Meanwhile, the Holy Kingdom of Harmonia is waiting for a secret truce with the Grasslanders to hurry up and expire so they can launch their own offensive. This simmering pot of tensions boils over with a single horrific act, and the chain of events is filtered through the eyes -- and guided by the actions of -- several protagonists:

* Hugo, the young son of the Karayan chieftess Lucia
* Chris Lightfellow, commander of the Zexen Knights
* Geddoe, head of the 12th Unit of the Harmonian Southern Frontier Defense Force
* Thomas, a meek and unassuming young man given charge of the crumbling and neglected Budehuc Castle

In this way, the game introduces many of the Stars of Destiny in [[GeodesicCast smaller groups]], resulting in more CharacterDevelopment and allowing the player a much more extensive view into the motivations of every faction involved in the conflict, up to the point where the storylines merge and the heroes unite against a common enemy.

Also, the manga adaptation is [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome awesome incarnate]], as this wiki itself will tell you.

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!!This game provides examples of:

* AdaptationDistillation: The Suikoden III manga is pure, concentrated {{Fanservice}}.
* ActionGirl: Chris, Lilly, Queen and Elaine.
* AlasPoorVillain: [[spoiler:Luc's chapter]] is this in a nutshell. [[spoiler:We learn that the real reason he was trying to destroy the True Wind Rune was to prevent the series' actual Big Bad from using all of the True Runes to create a dystopia. Then there's Sarah telling Luc that she's in love with him, minutes before they die together. Finally, there's Leknaat forgiving the spirit of her former student and telling him that he is allowed to rest.]]
* AnAxeToGrind: Leo, Hallec.
* AndNowForSomeoneCompletelyDifferent: The Trinity Sight System, as outlined above, cast players in the role of several different heroes. Also factored into the MultipleEndings: [[spoiler: gathering all ''104'' heroes before the final war battle unlocked the final scenario, replaying through the events of the game as viewed by the final four Stars -- the villains.]]
* {{Badass}}: The ducks tribe looks ridiculous, but Sgt. Joe ''will'' earn your respect.
* BareFistedMonk: A number of characters use fists to fight (except Kenji, he uses calisthenics). Juan and Emily are probably the most notable for being absolute {{GameBreaker}}s at higher levels.
* BadassCrew: Geddoe's 5 (later 6) men ensemble, which you can't swap around for a majority of the game. You don't really need to. There's also [[TheRival Duke's]] crew, which only consists of four people.
* BathtubBonding: Going to the bath with certain parties renders some very funny dialogues.
* TheBerserker: Hallec
* BewareTheNiceOnes: Mel. A [[CuteAndPsycho seemingly sweet]] girl with a PerversePuppet who's much stronger than she looks, with [[KillItWithFire considerable]] [[PsychoElectro magical]] [[BlackMagicianGirl talents]].
* BigEater: Wan Fu.
* {{Bishonen}}: A staple in every ''{{Suikoden}}''. This installment presents [[DarkSkinnedBlonde Hugo]], Nash, Borus, Percival, Jacques, Caesar, Albert, the Flame Champion, [[spoiler:Luc]], [[PsychoForHire Yuber]], Sasarai, Fred, Futch, Tuta, Edge, Juan, and there's likely still more.
* BlindIdiotTranslation
** It's the norm for Suikoden games and this one is leaps and bounds over the previous two games, but there are still occasions where lines make absolutely no sense. Often happens when a line is supposed to be [[JerkAss indirectly snarky.]]
** The manga earns this for the English translation having moments of not only being inconsistent to the spellings/terms used in the games, but at times being inconsistent between volumes.
* BoisterousBruiser: Ace, Dupa, Hallec.
* CharacterDevelopment: One of the major benefits of the GeodesicCast is getting to know more of the LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters better.
* CharacterizationMarchesOn: Yuber was always murderous in the first two games, but he wasn't usually perceived as AxeCrazy. [[OhCrap Then came chapter two of Hugo's story in this installment.]]
* CloudCuckooLander
** Viki, as usual.
** Eike is possibly more subdued case of this. He goes missing for long periods of time, even warranting search parties because he wants to read in a secret shelter. He's not entirely in the same world as the rest of his group to say the least.
* ContinuityNod: Again, plenty to be found.
* CrowningMusicofAwesome: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LBhwCjpv3-Q&fmt=18 Wind and Ground]]
* DarkSkinnedBlond: Most of the Karayans.
* DeadpanSnarker
** Geddoe. His whole party, actually.
** Albert and most of the Harmonians (Nash, Dios and Sasarai) have these moments as well.
* DefeatMeansFriendship: Not always right ''away'', but the game's setup results in plenty of matchups between future allies.
* DefrostingIceQueen: Chris for one. Staring off she's as rigid and cold as her armor, but mellows a bit by the end game. Yuiri.
* DemonicDummy: Branky, a nasty, foul-mouthed puppet carried by GenkiGirl Mel, who ''insists'' she isn't a ventriloquist, and cheerfully bashes Branky's head against various surfaces to punish its arrogance.
* DualWielding: Hallec, Yuber.
* EnemyMine: First, the longtime enemies in both Zexen and the Grasslander tribes unite to defend themselves against the greater threat Harmonia poses. [[spoiler:And towards the end, the Harmonian forces unite with ''them'' in order to stop Luc.]]
* TheEmpire: Harmonia makes its first real move in the series here. It's apparently a very huge and powerful empire with a habit of adding other lands and cultures to its own, not unlike ancient Rome.
* EmpathicWeapon: The True Runes and the Star Dragon Sword.
* EyepatchOfPower
** Geddoe, the biggest bad-ass out of the three leads, and a pretty big BadAss in general.
** Gau from Duke's group also counts.
* FieryRedhead: Lilly Pendragon and Emily.
* FiveManBand: Too many to list. For the leads, we have Chris' Zexen Knights and Geddoe's mercenary company.
* FourTemperamentEnsemble
** The four main characters; Hugo is Choleric, Chris is Melancholic, Geddoe is Phlegmatic and Thomas is Supine.
** Duke's group: Duke is Choleric, Elaine is Sanguine, Nicholas is Melancholic and Gau is Phlegmatic.
** [[spoiler:Luc's group -- Luc is Melancholic, Sara is Supine, Yuber is Sanguine and Albert is Phlegmatic.]]
* GenkiGirl: Mel and Shabon.
* GeodesicCast
* GravityBarrier: After [[spoiler:Karaya Village is destroyed]], a vertical drop prevents you from accessing the village itself (even though this was never a problem before).
* GrayAndGreyMorality: Most of the game's plot revolves around the three-way conflict between Zexen, the Grassland tribes, and Harmonia, all of which have their good and bad points.
* HeWhoMustNotBeHeard
** Toppo, Jacques, Eike, Watari and Ayame. While all of them are pretty silent, Toppo speaks the absolute least.
*** In Toppo's case, he believes that as an actor, he should save his voice for the stage. Put him in any single play, and he'll drop more lines than all of the above characters do throughout the entire game.
** Geddoe is often a man of few words but becomes this trope when put on stage.
* HelloInsertNameHere: You get to name the Flame Champion, however... [[spoiler: He's not a playable character; instead, one of the three leads takes up the True Fire Rune -- and his name, if you so choose.]]
* HerCodeNameWasMarySue: Erk de Forever from 'Erk's Adventures', penned by 'Hitman Bravo', [[spoiler: aka Ace]].
* HeroicBastard: Hugo has a DisappearedDad, and [[spoiler: Thomas is the illegitimate son of a Zexen noble.]]
* HeroicBSOD
** Hugo has one when [[TheScrappy Lulu]] [[AlasPoorScrappy gets himself killed]] fairly early in the events of the game.
** Sasarai gets this one big time when [[TheReveal he gets told]][[spoiler: he and Luc are [[ArtificialHuman clones]] who only exist as placeholders for the true runes]]. He doesn't exactly take it well. The manga interprets this scene differently.
* HeroicMime: {{Averted}}. All four of the main playable characters talk. The ones that are real silent are some background characters and even THEY don't stay quiet the whole time.
* HiddenElfVillage: Alma Kinan, hidden from the world by a magic barrier and the only one of the Grassland tribes not to appear the truce meeting with Zexen.
* ImprobableWeaponUser: Several; Mel stands out by using her [[DemonicDummy puppet]] Branky. Then there's the [[MusicalAssassin Buskers]]...
* InterspeciesRomance: It is hinted in this game that Nash married the 1000-year-old vampiress mistress Sierra, a playable character from Suikoden II, whom he met during the first of his gaiden games. Though, considering that she did suck his blood (and that he doesn't seem to have aged a day in the last 15 years), he may no longer be human.
* InexplicableTreasureChests
** Can be found at the end of most dungeons, guarded by a MiniBoss... including in the middle of a canyon that the player passes through several times. With the chest mysteriously refilling every time, along with the MiniBoss coming back.
** Also, there are ''corpses'' littered around to serve the same purpose.
* JeanneDArchetype: Chris inherits her position from her dead superior and feels uncomfortable in it but carries it out for the good of Zexen's people.
* JerkAss
** [[spoiler: Luc once more]]
** Thomas' father. His son comes to see him for the first time after his mother dies, and what happens? The jerk of a father sends him to a secluded, forgotten castle where he "won't be any trouble".
*** Heck, the entire Zexen Council is made of of pompous, self-righteous, money-hungry jerks.
* LadyOfWar: Chris Lightfellow is one of the series most prominant examples.
* LargeHam
** Fred Maxmillian is exceptionally hammy, especially when it comes to virtues of justice. Ironically this makes him a horrible actor in theater plays.
** Other honorable mentions include [[{{PsychoForHire}} Yuber,]] and any of the stars from the Lizard Clan.
** There's also Leo and Wan Fu, who actually has a CombinationAttack made pretty much entirely of ham and testosterone.
* LizardFolk: One of the major Grasslands tribes. Surprisingly, they're ''not'' evil. They live in a huge underground cave and their beds are "nice and chilly" because, being cold-blooded, they can only go to sleep when it's cold.
* LukeIAmYourFather
** Played straight with Chris and Jimba.
** An unconventional one comes when [[spoiler: Luc tells twin brother Sasarai that he's the son of Hikusaak, leader of one of the most powerful nations of the world, through cloning.]]
* MagicalNativeAmerican: Aila, a young shaman-in-training from the Karayan Tribe, can read the spirits of the earth and nature.
* MayflyDecemberRomance: It is a DeconstructedTrope for this game.
* MultipleEndings: Taken a step further in that any of the three main leads can become the ''main'' lead by [[spoiler: taking up the True Fire Rune]], leading to special endings for each. Also, collecting all the Stars of Destiny adds [[spoiler: a PlayableEpilogue recapping the events of the game from the villain's point of view]].
* MusicalAssassin: The Buskers Toppo, Nei and Shabon.
* MyCountryRightOrWrong
** Chris is not particularly fond of how the Zexen council decides to use its knights, but still will follow the orders while grousing about it.
** Sasarai is also an example of this, more in the manga than the game. He's not one for pointless violence but proceeds with his given mission to [[GottaCatchThemAll collect the true runes]]. It takes the possibility of someone using the runes to effectively nuking the continent to bring him around.
* MythologyGag: [[spoiler:Luc]] will remark that Hugo had [[spoiler:similar vibes with Tir and Riou from the previous game. Hugo is not the Tenkai star, but he pretty much held the 'main protagonist' spot, something that Luc wouldn't comment on Geddoe and Chris]].
** Lilly will get goosebumps if told to play/narrate at the Neclord stage play. Well who can blame her? She nearly got taken as his bride when she's just a kid... and take note that unlike Tengaar, she didn't have the upbringing or training of a warrior and was still far from reaching puberty.
** Same play, Nash will always refer Sierra as 'Old Hag Sierra' and makes snide remarks about her.
** [[TearJerker Heartwrenchingly done]] in case of Viki or Futch, who [[spoiler:still remembered that Luc used to be their ally and now they're practically fighting their ex-ally.]]
* NoExportForYou: ''Suikoden III'' never got a PAL release.
* NoIndoorVoice: Peggi, the ''very'' enthusiastic Lizard Clan [[TheBlacksmith blacksmith]].
* NonActionGuy: Thomas is the Tenkai Star this time around, but generally lets more capable people do the fighting for him. Still plays an important role in events, however, and goes through some nice CharacterDevelopment in the process ''without'' going all gung-ho for combat. Also, he won't [[InexplicableTreasureChests loot bodies for treasure]]. Or climb ladders, for some reason. His stats are also arguably the worst out of the heroes... Or just the worst, period. It ''is'' possible to make him a decent fighter, however.
* ObliviousToLove:
** Chris is adored and fawned over by most of her knights. Their subtlety is a rock that still manages to fly over her head.
* OldSaveBonus: Save data from the first two games unlocks some extra goodies and more personal [[ContinuityNod Continuity Nods]].
** There are some for the Gaidens, but [[NoExportForYou for obvious reasons]] these don't appear in the North American version.
* OlderAndWiser: Lucia, Apple, Sasarai, Nash (applies to the [[NoImportForYou Gaidens)]] and Futch.
* OlderThanTheyLook: [[spoiler: Geddoe]] (looks 35ish but is actually over 100}, [[spoiler: Jimba]] (Looks like late 20s but is actually about 80), and the Twins (in their 30s and look like androgynous 16 year olds). ALL are justified by their True Runes.
* OneWingedAngel: So we got the BigBad cornered and [[AllYourPowersCombined all the True Elemental Runes]] at our disposal so we can beat him... {{OH CRAP}}! DID HE JUST TRANSFORM INTO A FUCKING WIND PHOENIX?!?
* TheOnlyOneAllowedToDefeatYou: Duke and the 14th Unit have this attitude towards Geddoe and the 12th Unit, which led to their HeelFaceTurn.
* PapaWolf:
** Put Toppo and Shabon in your party. Should Shabon get knocked unconscious during battle, Toppo will go [[UnstoppableRage berserk]], meaning he will get even stronger than before.
** This occurs with a number of character combinations, but in keeping with the trope: Sergeant Joe is a more apparent in-story example to Hugo and Lulu, and berserks when either of the boys are heavily injured or knocked out.
* PettingZooPeople: The Duck tribe, and the various Dog people.
* PluckyGirl: Cecile, a little girl who appointed herself captain of Budehuc's guard. She's confident in her role and refuses to be depressed.
* PowerTrio: Hugo, Geddoe and Chris. [[spoiler:Geddoe, Wyatt and the Flame champion]]
* PrettyInMink
* PurpleIsPowerful: Lilly, Fred, Rico, Picolo, Ayame, Salome, Melville, Wilder, Roland.
* TheQuisling: Franz, a Mantor trainer trying to earn second class citizenship for his hometown, Le Buque. Unlike most examples, he's treated Sympathetically (Foolish, but sympathetic) -- since everyone else in Le Buque just sit on their asses and complain about the conditions. Geddoe pointed that out in his [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome CMOA]].
* RoseHairedGirl: Estella inverts the trope by the opposite of the page description. She's an abusive mentor to her only student and lacks any kind of emotional warmth for anyone else.
* RuleOfFunny: Getting a [[WTHCastingAgency badly cast]] play in theater will get the show booed... But who cares about that when [[CrowningMomentOfFunny those reek of complete hilarity]]!?
* SheIsAllGrownUp
** Lilly Pendragon, who went from a little SpoiledBrat in SuikodenII to... a SpoiledBrat HeroicWannabe [[JumpedAtTheCall hunting for a reason to fight]]. At least her heart's in the right place...
** Tuta. He's just a cute boy in II, and now he's a {{Bishonen}} doctor who bangs a hot nurse (Mio)
** Futch. BrattyHalfPint in I, EmoTeen {{Bishonen}} in II, and MrFanservice in III.
* ShoutOut: The child detective Kidd is a rather obvious CaptainErsatz of DetectiveConan.
* SimultaneousArcs: For much of the game, you alternate playing chapters between the three leads. (i.e. Hugo Chapter 1, then Chris Chapter 1, then Geddoe Chapter 1.) The three Chapter 1s cover roughly the same period of time, but from different perspectives.
* SpinOffspring: Emily (Ronnie Bell and Mose from SuikodenI), Sanae (Freed and Yoshino from SuikodenII) Sharon (Milia from game 1 yet again), Fred (Maximillian from the first 2 games' grandson), Ceasar and Albert (Silverberg decendants) compensate for the relatively few recurring characters this time around. Belle is implied to be Meg's (from the first two games) daughter.
** There's also Goro, the son of Tetsu from SuikodenII, who has followed in his father's footsteps as a bathmaker.
* TheStrategist
** Caesar, with an OlderAndWiser Apple returning as his personal mentor. Also, Salome serves as this in the Zexen Knights.
** Just about all of the major factions have one except for arguably Geddoe's party, who mostly work behind the scenes and never get into major battles until the routes join together. Albert is this for the antagonists and Dios for the Harmonians.
* {{Stripperific}}: Unlike the other installments, this game gloriously averts this, as only Estelle is a major example. It is notable that this is the only game in the series where Jeanne averts this trope. She makes up for it later.
* SurprisinglyEasyMiniQuest: The castellan's sidequest. Also gets subverted later.
* TakeYourTime: You can actually leave the VeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon at any time you want and spend as much time as you want riding horses, putting on plays, rearranging the furniture and so on. Your enemy will hold off on the whole [[spoiler: ceremony to destroy the world thing. [[note]]Though it's fun to nab all the other runes first, effectively derailing his plan ''anyway''...]][[/note]]
* ThemeNaming: Geddoe's mercenaries are named: Joker, Queen, Ace and Jacques. Hint: think of a deck of cards. All of which, or at least in Joker's case which hints that the others may be as well, are pseudonyms.
* ThoseTwoGuys: Lilly's attendants Reed and Samus. They're {{Pallete Swap}}s of each other with notable personality distinction between them.
* TogetherInDeath: [[spoiler: Luc and Sarah at the end of his path.]]
* TricksterMentor: Estella.
* WellIntentionedExtremist: [[spoiler: Luc, whose EvilPlan is supposed to avert a horrible future.]]
* WhoWantsToLiveForever: Plays a critical role this time around, as a True Rune bearer gave up his power and immortality so that he could grow old and die with the woman he loved.
* WilliamTelling

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