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    Suikoden is a franchise loosely based on the Chinese novel Water Margin. The games all take place in the same universe during different times with a hero, a headquarters, political intrigue, and 108 recruitable "Stars of Destiny" being the common thread.

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    The World

    Fan-made world map.
    Fan-made world map.

    The Suikoden, or Genso Suikoden, series has featured an immense universe that includes extensive lore and interesting characters that extend over several hundred years of time. Each of the series' additions have taken place in different places and different time periods. However, two of the series' spin-offs, Suikoden Tierkreis and Genso Suikoden: Tsumugareshi Hyakunen no Toki, take place on other worlds within the Infinity, a multiverse that makes brief appearances in the numbered titles.

    Konami has never provided a world map for the locations that exist in Suikoden's core series. However, a group of dedicated fans have put together their own using in-game maps and references to other lands in various Suikoden media.

    Water Margin

    The game is loosely based on the 14th century novel "Water Margin" (Shuihu Zhuan) also known as Outlaws of the Marsh. Like the novel, 108 heroes gather together to overthrow a corrupt government. In the game the 108 heroes are referred to Stars of Destiny.

    The 27 True Runes

    In the beginning, there was "darkness."

    Then, the "darkness" shed a "tear."

    From that "tear," the brothers Sword and Shield were born.

    Shield claimed it could defend against any attack.

    Sword claimed it could slice through anything.

    The brothers began a legendary battle.

    At the end, both Sword and Shield shattered.

    Sword became the sky, Shield became the earth, and the sparks from the battle became the stars.

    As for the jewels, they fell to the ground and became the True Runes--The runes that all other runes were born from.

    Characters equip runes in order to use magic in the world of Suikoden. Unlike the common, mostly elemental, runes there also exists 27 "True Runes." These runes are thought to be bestow their users with god-like powers, but in return for such great power, they usually have to withstand hardship. The Suikoden games often center around the player character receiving one of these True Runes. Thus far only 18 of these True Runes have been revealed.


    Deus Ex creator Warren Spector has credited Suikoden, particularly the first Suikoden, as a big influence on his work, even as early as the first Deus Ex (see here and here). He stated that the limited moral choices in the game, some of which turn out to be false choices, are what inspired him to explore the concept much further and attempt to offer meaningful choices that actually matter. In turn, modern choice-based role-playing shooters like Mass Effect and Fallout 3 are considered "descendants" of Deus Ex.


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