Video Games Broke My Heart: Suikoden

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I love video games. I love them for the fact that they’re immersive and a great way to actively participate in your entertainment. I could go on and on about the benefits of games and gaming, but….there are downsides.

Not all video games can end with the hero saving the kingdom. Sometimes games can break your heart. I’m going to do a series of posts about the times certain games broke my heart.

When I say they broke my heart, it’s well. You’ll see. It’s for different reasons.

I’m going to start off with Suikoden.

Suikoden is a series from Konami that was available for the PS and PS 2 here in the US. The main story spanned five games (for those of you interested, the linear story means that the games are supposed to be played in the following order: Suikoden 4, 5, 1, 2 and then 3)

But let’s start with the first one. Suikoden was released in the US in 95. It was a sleeper hit. What made it stand out was the story and the very Taoist background revolving the 108 stars of destiny. 108. There were 108 characters you needed to recruit to get the best ending in the game. Pretty cool for a collector-minded person like me (gotta catch them all!).

The first game in the series (but not timeline) has you as Tir McDohl, the son of fame general Tea McDohl. You have servants who dote on your every whim, the one who caters to you the most is Gremio. Gremio serves pretty much as your mother-father-caretaker-bodyguard-all-in-one proxy. He loves you way more than he loves himself. Seriously. There’s a part where he has to yell at your character to fool an enemy general, if you click “unforgivable!” three times, Gremio is so distraught he tries to kill himself because he’s let you down.

In this video uploaded by OniLink42, you can see Gremio’s Sacrifice.

It’s heartbreaking. You get this sense of loss because you’ve lost your best friend who was pretty much dad–what makes it worse is that the game keeps it a secret that…he can come back from the dead.

I said earlier that you can collect all 108 characters, right? Well, in Suikoden 1, if you have all 108 AND they aren’t killed off (which can happen due to a plot point), Gremio comes back to join you for the final battle and—well. You’ll have to play it for yourself, right?

Oh hell. Tir McDohl decides to leave the kingdom he unites to go to a carefree life of being a kid, he sneaks off in the middle of the night from the castle—with Gremio, his best friend by his side.

Check the game out if you can. It’s on a few roms and if you’re lucky enough to snag a physical copy and a working PS1, you won’t be disappointed by the levels of gaming and strategy that caused a cult following of this game series that was ended way too soon.

 

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