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Betrayal, revenge, love, camaraderie — all these elements are bound together in Konami's 2D role-playing epic Suikoden. You assume the role of a young boy whose father, Teo McDohl, is a distinguished general in the Scarlet Moon Empire. The hero of the story, your character, is coming of age and going through trials and tribulations about being the son of a decorated general.
After Teo left to head up north for official business, it was up to your character to take care of everything in his absence. The hero joins the Imperial Guard but then realizes things aren't as they seem — very shady dealings and characters. In a rebellious fashion, you take heed under a woman named Odessa and join the Liberation Army, a group of ragtag individuals who are adamant about overthrowing the Imperial Guard.
In Suikoden, you are presented with a vast world to explore and lots of mysteries to solve and fighting to do. As you journey around to various towns, you will come across adventurers who want to join the fight. There are 108 total companions (the Stars of Destiny) to find and recruit, though you can only have a handful in your party at one time. Some are actually needed to progress throughout the game, and some are there for the sake of being there — for the cause at hand.
You will also come across 27 Runes of Truth, mysterious stones that give the wielder great power and ability. Among the various runes is the Killer Rune that doubles your chances of executing a critical blow; the Hate Rune shoots off a searing fire projectile; and the Dragon Rune allows dragons to coexist with humans. Each one is almost essential to find.
In addition to regular party battles (against a collection of nasty monsters and enemies), you'll engage in one-on-one duels and full-scale wars, a struggle against the Liberation Army and the Imperial Guard. When fighting in one of these battles, every single Star of Destiny you have found so far will come out and fight for you. Each character is then grouped together and when they have attacked, they sit the rest of the battle out until the end of the turn. It plays in this fashion until either the Liberation Army or Imperial Guard is defeated. ~ Joshua Romero, All Game Guide