Recently, Dengeki PlayStation in Japan released their 573rd issue of their illustrious magazine. As Konami is frequently represented by the number 573i, Dengeki PlayStation gave the middle of the magazine over to a celebration of Konami’s long history in the video game industry.
As somewhat of a retrospective of Konami’s past (with a lot of hype for Metal Gear Solid V and Silent Hills, it must be said), the Suikoden series was always going to earn a mention but the force with which it dominated the insert was surprising even to optimistic Japanese fans.
On page 168 is the “Speaking of Konami…” section, which details franchise and styles closely associated with Konami as a brand. The second entry begins the mention of the Suikoden series. The piece mentions the series tropes; each game being set in a singular region and the grand scale of the story and combat elements present in the series. It mentions the first two games in particular before going on to mention that each numbered game concerned itself with wars over the powerful True Runes before the parallel worlds known as the Infinity were introduced, allowing the series to continue to expand. It finishes off by noting that Suikoden is a series they look forward to future developments forii.
Page 170 is the “Konami Memories” section which covers Konami games and series’ that have effect players emotions deeply, which of course means the magazine gets to continue to talk about Suikoden. The Suikoden piece in this section mentions how, unlike other RPG sagas, the object that gives the protagonists power in Suikoden, the True Runes, do not merely confer great power but function as something more akin to a curse, along with the immortality it grants. This leader is then mentioned to be fated to lead the 108 Stars to victory in each Suikoden title. These allies are all unique and their joining and departing show the tragedy of war, bringing sadness and tears to those who play the games.
This section then mentions a few particular scenes to demonstrate this: Snowe’s fear and cowardice when his ship is attacked by piratesiii. Gremio’s death in the original Suikoden as an example of the malevolent force of the Soul Eater. Georg appearing in both Suikoden II and Suikoden V is used to show the continuity that the article describes as part of the “charm” of the Suikoden series.
Page 172 brings us the “Konami Roundtable” where Dengeki Playstation staff members discuss their opinions on Konami and its titles over the years.
There are also a number of reader questionnaires. They first asked readers of Dengeki PlayStation which game franchise they associated most with Konami. The winner of that poll, by quite a margin, was the Suikoden series with Metal Gear Solid placing secondiv.
The second poll asked voters for their favourite Konami games released on a Sony platform with Suikoden II and the original Suikoden taking first and second place respectively, ahead of Konami’s Power Pro baseball games in thirdv.
Question 3 asked people to vote for which series fans wanted to be continued the most. Suikoden dominated this poll with 24% of the vote, well above the 8% garnered by Busou Shinki, Konami’s games based on their armoured women action figure linevi.
The fourth question, and the last relating to Suikoden, asked fans to vote for their favourite Konami characters. Although Solid Snake won that vote, McDohl, hero of the first Suikoden game, placed 2nd with 5% of the vote and Luc came 5th with 3% of the votes castvii!
The roundtable discusses these voting results with one commentator speculating that a high number of female voters are responsible for the Suikoden series’ success in these polls. They move on to discuss the novelty of being able to transfer data between games to boost characters and unlock new features as well as mentioning how the wide range of characters in each game makes it impossible for the staffers to have a single favourite character in the series.
The conversation veers away from Suikoden to talk about other Konami franchises but returns to the series again when discussing how well the series performed in the character poll, noting that both Nanami and Ted both garnered significant minority votes as well. One commentator was impressed that the series polled so well despite the large number of characters from the series who were voted for.
After that the Konami section moves on to previews of upcoming games, none of which were Suikoden related.
Although the series was well represented and remembered in this special section of Dengeki PlayStation, the focus on the first two games show where the memories and sympathies of the fansviii lie as regards the series.