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A Suikoden Gaiden Game and the sequel to Suikoden IV, Suikoden Tactics (released as only Rhapsodia on Japan) tells the story of Kyril, the son of a Scarlet Moon officer, as he investigates and uncovers a massive conspiracy revolving around Rune Cannons. A complex web of political intrigue, rebellion, insurrection and a dying empire is further complicated by other agents of the Scarlet Moon with their own priorities regarding Kooluk and the Rune Cannons.
Tactics/Rhapsodia ties up many of the loose ends left over from IV, providing key information that helped the plot of the prior game make sense. Most of the cast returned, with a higher Stars of Destiny retention rate than even Suikoden II boasted, and several got fleshed out a fair bit more in the process, mostly via party chatter and optional campfire scenes.
Visit the character sheet here!
Suikoden Tactics provides examples of:
- The Atoner - Andarc, for slaying Walter after he was turned into a fishman and almost killed Kyril. Also, Snowe Vingerhut.
- Battle Couple - Akaghi and Mizuki, though they insist otherwise.
- Big Damn Heroes - Kyril ends up on both ends of these; one memorable example has Selma, Paula and Jewel show up with The Cavalry while riding Giant Owls.
- Cute Mute - Yohn, who combines this with Petting Zoo People.
- Dramatic Irony - Late in the game, Kyril kills a fishman to defend Corselia, finally overcoming the mental block that's prevented him from doing so in the past... only to realize he just slew her father, mirroring the trauma that caused said mental block in the first place.
- Faceless Masses - Non-named characters still get portraits, but nobody who isn't important to the plot has any eyes. Not even the Mercenaries you fight now and then...and can eventually recruit into your team.
- Their weapons are equally faceless. "Sword." "Bow." "Heaven Star Kitten Kaleidoscope? Oh, hi Named Player Character."
- Final Death - Plot-vital characters are actually immune to this; no matter how much punishment they take, they'll never suffer Final Death. The other stars, though, can fall victim to this, and will let you know via dramatic Last Words.
- Fish People - Fishmen.
- Fridge Brilliance - On the Japanese cover, you see Yohn embracing Kyril. Turns out she's his mom.
- Game Breaker - Hello, Lazlo! What have you done to that True Rune of yours? Oh, you've taken away the life-draining effect that was its only weakness and now it heals you while you kill things with it instead? No, that's not ludicrously overpowered at all!
- Gameplay Ally Immortality - As mentioned above, anyone with a speaking role in the plot can't die in battle, making them good Meat Shields. However, some characters who join seem like they should have this, but don't... Like, say, Heel Face Turners Beck, Ornela and Roget...
- Heel Face Turn - Beck, Ornela and Roget.
- Heroic BSOD - Kyril goes through a major one after witnessing his father's Painful Transformation and death. Having the ship blow up didn't help much, either.
- Heroic Mime - Averted. Kyril TALKS. And suddenly, so does Lazlo.
- Hey, It's That Voice!
- How We Got Here - The first few chapters are set before the events of Suikoden IV and provide some critical Backstory.
- Lady of War - Ornela.
- Non-Action Guy - A few recruits that you can call into battle can't fight (or aren't very good at it), but provide various support skills and bonuses. For instance, Rene, a Glasses Girl who can locate and unearth buried treasure.
- Obviously Evil - Iskas and Heinz are both clearly trouble.
- Old Save Bonus - Transferring data over from Suikoden IV lets you recruit Lazlo and Snowe. Lazlo, fresh off the Best Ending, promptly becomes
a bit ofa Game Breaker. Snowe is...a guy with a sword.
- One-Winged Angel - Pulled at the end by Iskas turning the Evil Eye on himself.
- He's also the only person to not be turned into a mindless monster.
- Owl Be Damned - Giant Owls serve as flying mounts.
- Painful Transformation - How fishmen are made.
- Private Military Contractors - The four mercenaries led by a blue-haired elf.
- Start of Darkness - Brandeau, a seemingly one-shot villain who gave Glen in IV the Rune of Punishment, has one here. We see how he loses his best friend Edgar (Kika's boyfriend), involuntarily acquires the Rune of Punishment from a Complete Monster of a Pirate (Steele), loses one of his eyes and saw his Sidekick Peck transfigured into a goblin-like creature. He left Kika's crews after being too overcame with guilt, and returns in IV as the Ax Crazy pirate.
- Surprisingly Improved Sequel - It's better than Suikoden IV! Really! We swear!
- Tear Jerker - Brandeau's Start of Darkness, particularly when Kika mourns Edgar's death and his departure.
- Unwitting Pawn - Roget
- Viewer Gender Confusion - Simone. Also, Tomboy Wendel returns, and happens to be the only female character who won't wear the Corset armor.
- Weapon of Mass Destruction - The Rune Cannons in general.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist - The Patriarchal Faction.
- WTH? Casting Agency - Mona Marshall as Kyril. Not as child Kyril. Adult Kyril.
- White-Haired Pretty Boy - Iskas.
- White Magician Girl - Corselia, your youngest recruit and a Rebellious Princess
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness - Happens to Roget after they're put in charge of more fishmen than they can actually control.