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Video Game / Suikoden Tierkreis

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From left to right: Marica, Jale, Sieg, Liu and Dirk.

A Suikoden Gaiden Game for the DS, Suikoden Tierkreis is set in a parallel world unconnected to the main series, though it contains many of the familiar themes mixed with the exploration of fate, destiny and free will. Sieg, an optimistic young warrior from Citro Village whose motto is "You never know until you try!", is out fighting monsters with several of his childhood friends when they witness a strange occurence... that nobody else seems to remember afterwards. However, they also come across the Shining Legacy, a book which seems to help awaken the Starbearers and the magical abilities known as the Mark of the Stars. Their investigation soon leads them into conflict with The Order of the One True Way, a group that preaches that all is decided by fate and everyone's destiny is predetermined.

Slow to start, but it provides a different take on several concepts central to the Suikoden mythos.

Suikoden Tierkreis provides examples of:

  • Action Mom: Selen. More or less a force of nature, actually. Which is rather unsurprising, given her nickname...
    Man: The storm! The storm has returned!
  • Aerith and Bob: Since you can rename the main character Bob, if you wish... But in-game, there's Chrodechild, Meruvis... and Roberto.
  • After the End: Most of the world's civilizations consist of the sole survivors of other worlds that were mostly wiped out by the One True King, before being merged with the primary game world. Rarohenga in particular is a twisted wasteland with no noticeable signs of life, even before said merge. Rarohenga's state is especially noteworthy, as its twisted wasteland appearance was the product of their efforts to oppose The One King, which backfired so horribly as to actually damage their world's True Chronicle and thus the laws of nature of their world.
  • A Million Is a Statistic: Averted when the Magedom of Janam and its citizens are erased by the Order.
    Sieg: Do you realize what you've done!? A million people! You wiped away one MILLION people!!!
  • Archer Archetype: Marica fits the bill with a cool personality, and her default weapon is a bow. However, she subverts the trope of the bow being a dainty weapon in that she can also wield the bulkiest weapons in the game. The hero can't handle some of those things. Her stats clearly shows where her strengths lie, however.
  • Arc Words: "One World, One Future", "The One True Way" and "the Advent of the One King".
  • Bald of Authority: Danash VIII isn't entirely bald, but his multiple wives don't seem to think it hurts his masculinity any...
  • Battle Boomerang: Various characters including the hero can use a boomerang as their weapon. Certain characters like Nemne and Taj start off with one already equipped.
  • Battle Couple: Vaslof and Resno are married. There's also Darrow and Savina, Len Lien and Liu, Bosche and Lathilda, Diulf and Savillah, and Megion and Eusmil. Sieg and Marica may also count, though their relationship is never explicitly shown as being romantic.
  • Because Destiny Says So: So says The Order of the One True Way.
  • BFS: One of the weapon types available is Greatsword.
  • Bishie Sparkle: The traditional cooperative attacks "Fancy Lads" (Asad, Meruvis, Icas) and "Pretty Boys" (Shams, Roberto, Yovel) dazzle enemies with gratuitous amounts of bishie sparkles.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Numnu of Porpos-kin may seem cute and friendly, but he also has no qualms to put two groups into a fight when he is bored. Played for Laughs most of the time.
  • Black Swords Are Better: The Blades of Night's Veil are famous for it.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: At least one in every area. They sometimes drop trading items, but the experience points given aren't that big. (Save for one in an optional area halfway through the game, which can boost your level into 50 in several fights...if you manage to pull through. Doing this to all your characters effectively counts as Disc-One Nuke, as most of the enemies you face at the point in the story where the enemy becomes available is geared towards level 30 characters.)
  • Bragging Rights Reward: Anything dropped past the Point of No Return, since there's no way to bring it back to the castle.
  • Brown Note: Ramin's music makes people angry. He finds enjoyment in "making the low-borns dance". Having him as a support character randomly enrages your party in battles.
  • Casanova Wannabe: Icas won't join your party unless you send a group of pretty girls to recruit him. He'll continue to hit on anyone and anything with two X chromosomes whenever you talk to him.
  • Cassandra Truth: Starbearers get to remember the world changing. Trying to explain these changes to others is difficult to pull off without sounding insane.
  • Catchphrase: Sieg's "We never know until we try" and the Order of the One True Way's "One World, One Future." You may even get bored listening to the former.
  • Character Development: Plenty; one notable case is Sieg himself, as he comes to terms with the sheer scope of what he faces...
  • Cherry Tapping: Averted. Even if you CAN take what the Hopeless Boss Fight is dishing out, the fight will end after a few rounds. Even if you were, by all rights, beating the boss, the game still says you got your ass kicked.
  • Chess Motifs: the robotic enemies that start appearing after your Hopeless Boss Fight with Valfred at Rarohenga are all named after chess pieces, and they all are minions of the One King...
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Maybelle, who also overlaps with the trope below. Morrin's probably this too, but she's got every right to be one.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Due to the way recruiting the 108 Stars works, a lot of them can come across as this to "normal" people, at least until they're actually recruited. Special mention goes to Sphiel, who keeps trying to feed people snow. By throwing it at them.
  • Combat Medic: Several, the earliest example is Marica. Among the original group, Sieg and Liu can take up this role a the end of the game.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Did you actually manage to reduce the enemies in that Hopeless Boss Fight to 1 HP? Congrats, now all your attacks will deal 0 damage to ensure you still lose.
  • Crutch Character: Dirk starts out several levels higher than the rest of the party, but gets overshadowed quick. Other Marica also qualifies to a degree, since she comes in with four Marks and slightly better equipment than you can get at that point.
  • Cuteness Proximity: The normally composed Felecca goes nuts over Ridiculously Cute Critters such as the Porpos-kin and the Moe Manaril.
  • Defector from Decadence: More than a few Starbearers used to be members of the Order of the One True Way, though the 'decadence' aspect of this is... subjective.
  • Demonic Possession: Priestess Neira's body is taken by Sea God Ninulneda on several occasions, complete with the background music change.
  • Dual Boss: Fergus and Conon, Sophia and Nova, Vaslof and Resno.
  • Duel Boss: Several, most notably Selen (fought with Jale) and Dirk, fought with Sieg.
  • An Economy Is You: Averted. Trade goods exist, like cloth, food, and the like.
  • Figure It Out Yourself: Like Luc and Zerase before her, Zenoa just loves being a condescending Jerkass towards those who don't already share her 'vast knowledge'.
  • Fish People: The Porpos-kin, darling little anthropomorphic dolphins which provide the customary 'five Stars with Theme Naming'.
  • Foreshadowing: Hotupa, in an optional side scene, goes to another world to research how to defeat The One King. He finds himself in a futuristic world, where the people arrogantly tell him to go home to his "primitive" world, as their technology will defeat The One King decisively. This world ends up destroying itself by trying their technologies, and becomes the Death World known as Rarohenga.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Yula. During her recruitment scene, it is said that her skill is on par with Chrodechild. Statistically Speaking, however...
  • Goldfish Poop Gang: The Archivists, especially Fergus and Conon. They're pretty evil and seriously dangerous the first few times you meet them, however.
  • Gratuitous German: "Tierkreis" is German for zodiac.
  • "Groundhog Day" Loop: In the One King's world, each individual repeats the best day on his/her life for eternity.
  • Hello, [Insert Name Here]: Sieg, which can be funny if you change his name to Guy or Gai, as that's what the voiceovers use to substitute his name.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: It is actually possible to try the method of using all of the stars at once to defeat the One King, and when you suggest it everyone seems to be mostly alright with it as long as it means they can save the world. It doesn't really work like they hoped.
  • Hidden Heart of Gold: Rizwan. While it is hard to forgive her abusive treatment toward Manaril, it becomes slightly more understandable when the player learns the truth behind the tension among Danash VIII's wives. Her last moments show that she cared for her daughter all along.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: Too many to count. Suffice to say, if your attacks are only doing double digit damage and they normally do triple digits, don't bother using any items. A number of the DualBoss fights are this way.
  • Hospital Hottie: Eunice, Zahra's long-suffering assistant.
  • Hot-Blooded: Sieg, Asad, and arguably Otherworld Marica. Normal Marica can also be like this sometimes, especially towards Sieg.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: Thanks to the Order's actions, the Porpos-kin (and later, the Furious Roar) perceived humans in this way early on. Before Sieg patched things up for them, of course.
  • An Ice Person: Sphiel, being the Snow Fairy, is a literal example.
  • Idiot Ball: When a Face Heel Turned Dirk shows up and tells the Furious Roar that the heroes were helping him steal their Chronicle (not true), the hero apparently becomes incapable of articulating any sort of explanation, since your only dialogue options are "He... is not my enemy" and Visible Silence. This, naturally, results in them thinking you're conspiring with the Order and you get kicked out of town. Sieg, we know it's hard to accept that your Big Brother Mentor turned on you, but come on.
  • Insane Troll Logic: The Order alternates between "it's predestined, so we shouldn't do anything" and "it's predestined, so we have to do something" depending on what's convenient for the leadership at the time. The result is... less than internally consistent.
  • Internal Reformist: Erin works in the corrupt Order of the One True Way, which shocks her father until she tells him and the main characters that she is actually working to bring it down from the inside.
  • Interservice Rivalry: Danash VIII likes to encourage this among his subordinates, his allies, and even his three wives.
  • Kill It with Water: Unlike previous Suikoden games, water spells are treated differently from ice spells. Have fun cleaning up Fort Arc during its second siege without somebody with water-based spells (or a certain physical skill).
  • The Klutz: If you talk to Selen when you returned to the castle after thrown into Ravine of Infinity by Diadora, it is revealed that Jale temporarily became one while Sieg, Liu, and Chrodechild went missing.
  • Lady of War: Chrodechild and her sister Fredegund.
  • Large Ham:
  • Ninulneda is not the most... subtle... of deities. The background music even gets in on it, changing to a heavy, dramatic theme whenever she's onscreen, even if all she's doing is yelling at Numnu.
  • Like a Son to Me: Sieg and his friends to Elder Rajim. And later, Atrie to the man who is heavily hinted to be Sieg's father.
  • Look on My Works, Ye Mighty, and Despair: The people of Rarohenga had access to incredibly advanced magic and were not only absolutely certain that they could defeat The One King, but that the people of other worlds were too primitive and ignorant to understand them. It didn't end well for them.
  • Love Makes You Evil: Possibly what drives Valfred's actions in the first place, since his family was erased in a world fusion that occurred a long time ago.
  • Marry Them All: Invoked by Danash VIII, and Deconstructed; to say there's tension between his wives would be putting it quite mildly...thouhg that's exactly what he wants.
  • Money for Nothing: Since you can make money trading goods between towns and there's no time limit on much of anything, it's trivial to make a ludicrous amount of cash. Howeveer, if you feel like getting optimum equipment for all of your characters, even a ludicrous amount of cash can disappear fairly quickly — but since there are far more characters than you'll ever actually need to use in battle, there's no particular reason to attempt this.
  • Money Spider: Averted. You'll sometimes get trade goods from enemies, but they rarely drop money. Your primary source of cash is buying trade goods for cheap in one town and selling them for more money in another.
  • Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: Zahra, a talented physician... who openly wishes for his patients to suffer worse injuries and more exotic diseases, and regularly asks to dissect defeated enemies. Played with near the end of the game, where he realized that it's actually perfectly fine to dissect the Rarohenga enemies when he starts correcting himself as usual.
  • Mountain Man: Dogha, a gruff loner who lives in tune with the Ch'ouli Mountains. That is, until a Cosmic Retcon wipes most of them off the map, setting up a Tear Jerker moment between him and his self-proclaimed apprentice later on.
  • Motor Mouth: Sieg in the English dub, there's even a video about it.
  • Multiple Endings: Getting all 108 Starbearers will get you an extra scene in the ending. There's also a different ending if you decide to sacrifice your friends to take out the One King.
  • Mythology Gag: Parallel world or not, Tierkreis makes lots of references to the main series. Such as the suggestions offered when you're naming your company...
  • Ocular Gushers: Lubberkin does this constantly. He's a bit high-strung after spending twenty years stuck in a dimensional rift and being abused by the people there.
  • One-Winged Angel:
    • Characters with Chronicles implanted inside them can turn into hideous, and powerful, monsters.
    • During the final battle, the One King transforms into a giant version of himself and then into a giant armored dragon.
  • Permanently Missable Content: Unfortunately, between half and one third of the 108 characters cannot be recruited after certain story events. The conditions range from fairly obvious (such as the Janamites after the Magedom is desertified) to hair-ripping levels of Guide Dang It!.
  • Plot Coupon That Does Something: The Chronicles are MacGuffins most of the time, but they also give all your characters new abilities.
  • Point of No Return: Once you set off to attack Cynas for the second time, that's it. You can still save past this point, but since there is no New Game Plus you'll be stuck in Cynas.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Sieg even lampshades this after recruiting Mourgent, where he notes that people he meets from time to time gets weirder. Lampshaded again in another sidequest, where a group of Order soldiers calls the group a "pack of mongrels" and Sieg cheerfully agrees.
  • Religion of Evil: The Order of the One True Way definitely has elements of this, like whe their leader predicts a lightning strike will hit the crowded town square during his speech, it happens... and nobody runs. Even though somebody was fried to death in their midst.
    • Later in the game, he redirects a fusion of worlds that would likely have been relatively harmless, and kills over a million people. And shows no remorse about it to speak of.
    • Their final goal basically puts everyone in Cynas into a Lotus-Eater Machine. Those who aren't are turned into monsters.
  • Rewriting Reality: Turns out the One King has rewritten the True Chronicles of many worlds, eventually leading to his appearances in said worlds and destroy them.
  • The Rival: Dirk became this to Sieg. Megion was one to Diulf. Also Lycia and Chein. Servillah and Eusmil take this to new heights as they compete on who gives birth first...
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: The bad ending, where Sieg uses the lives of the other Stars of Destiny to kill the One King, only to become the new One King.
  • Take Your Time:
    • Despite having "season" system, which changes every 30 days, it only affects several characters' recruitment and the appearance of Boss in Mook Clothing in several areas. You can spend as many years as you want without affecting the storyline.
    • You can stay overnight at the Inn in a city that you're in the process of invading.
    • Lampshaded by Sieg when they calculate how much time it takes to fuse in a new world.
  • Team Mom: Sisuca is a self-proclaimed example. Selen is an actual mom, but doesn't do much mommy business.
  • Tragic Monster: During the ending it is revealed that the One King is a former Tenkai Star who used the lives of his allies to kill the previous One King (a method that was considered, but rejected by Sieg). Presumably, he continues to destroy worlds in hopes that a Tenkai Star will be able to kill him using another method.
  • Tron Lines: The Scribes and Liu, when he gains the Tatau Council Chronicle and becomes the new Elder Scribe.
  • Tsundere:
  • Minen is a subversion. The reason why she's so abrasive at first and then mellows out is because the main character has the Chronicle of Ritterschild, he's not coughing it up, and she doesn't believe he can defend it properly (understandably, remember that as badass as he grows to be, Sieg is still a kid with no real previous military training besides village patrol against wildlife, while Minen is a trained soldier), and thinks Geschutz is being foolish in trusting Sieg. When it becomes clear Sieg IS, in fact, competent enough to do the job, she starts respecting and trusting him, but it has nothing to do with being tsundere, just with her appreciating his making a honest effort to keep the promise he made them to defend their Chronicle.
  • Woman Scorned: Variation; Danash VIII's multiple wives aren't exactly fond of each other...