The game is based on the Chinese classical novel Shui Hu Zhuan commonly translated as Water Margin, Outlaws of the Marsh, or All Men Are Brothers. The Japanese translation of Shui Hu Zhuan is Suikoden.
The core of the plot is the 108 Stars of Destiny, based on the Taoist concept that each person's destiny is tied to a Star of Destiny. The game takes place in ancient China (Twelfth century) during the reign of Emperor Huizong of the Song Dynasty.
Koei (now Koei Tecmo Games) co-founder Yoichi Erikawa uses the pseudonym Kou Shibusawa for his producer's credits. He has also taken credit as Eiji Fukuzawa.
Koei co-founders Yoichi and Keiko Erikawa were named by Forbes as one of 2018 Japan's 50 Richest People. Koei is now Koei Tecmo Games with Yoichi serving as President and CEO while Keiko serves as Chairman.
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