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Guide and Walkthrough by 29_Rooks

Version: 1.3 | Updated: 08/25/2010

Walkthrough for Suikoden V 
--by Twenty-Nine Rooks

Contact -- twentyninerooks@yahoo.com


=============================================================================
[Legal]
Copyright R.K. Hughes
This document may not be reproduced in whole or part without the expressed 
 consent of the author. You may not host this file without the consent of the 
 author. Websites authorized to host this file are: GameFaqs.com, 
 SuikoSource.com, and their direct, individual subsidiaries. This document 
 represents the author's experience. The author and this document are not 
 affiliated with nor endorsed in any way by Konami Entertainment. Suikoden 
 and all related characters are copyright Konami Entertainment (Tokyo) inc. 
==============================================================================

This Guide was created using OpenOffice.org word processor, and is best
 Viewed with Mozilla FireFox.

The Author strongly supports open-source programs. Please support these
 great organizations. And remember, just because it is free, does not mean
 that it is open-source.


========== Table of Contents ==========

Section 0: Introduction
0.1----------Using this Guide / Formatting Notes: section 0.1
0.2----------FAQ: section 0.2
0.3----------Skills / Statistics primer section 0.3

Section 1: Walkthrough 
1.1----------Chapter 1
1.2----------Chapter 2
1.3----------Chapter 3
1.4----------Chapter 4
1.5----------Chapter 5

Section 2: Guides
1.1----------Character Recruitment and Evaluation
1.2----------Rune Acquisition and Evaluation
1.3----------Skills, Epic Skills, and Statistics
1.4----------Money Making and Trade
1.5----------Bath Sequences

Section 3: Closing
3.1----------Essay: The Silent Protagonist and Enchantment
3.2----------Looking to the Future of Suikoden
3.3----------Acknowledgments

**Additional Thanks To:
TrueWater
Dex
KFCrispy
SuikoSource.com

-- Version History --
Version 1.2 -- Initial Release
Version 1.3 -- Added comunity input, corrected minor errors.

==========================================================================
==========================================================================

Section 0

==========================================================================
==========================================================================


----------- Using this Guide / Formatting Notes ---------- section 0.1

Like all other Walkthroughs, use the Ctrl + F function to find anything. I 
 have formatted this guide very carefully though, to allow for easier access 
 to a number of its features.

The individual chapters are very long, so to find where you left off in the 
 walkthrough, hit Ctrl + F, then use the name of the place where you are 
 currently, typed all in CAPS, then select the "Match Case" box and hit the 
 "Find" button. You will jump to that particular area as your character reach
 in the main storyline. For example: Hit Ctrl +F, enter "STORMFIST," make 
 sure the "Match Case" box is checked, then press the "Find" Button. 
 Alternatively, use the name of the Character you last recruited, preceded by
 a hyphen: Ctrl + F "-Kyle" and you will find the entry for that character 
 inside the Walkthrough.

If you want information on a specific Character or Rune, then type in the
 name preceded by a backslash "/Rage Rune" or "/Georg" etc.

If you want to find where an item appears in a treasure chest in the game, 
 then enter the name of the item in CAPS and brackets: [LEATHER ARMOR]. You 
 will scroll through every instance where that item appears in a chest in the
 game.

If you want to find an item dropped by enemies, either in Party Battles or 
 Major Battles, just enter the name of the item normally, and turn the "Match 
 Case" on: "Flowing Rune Piece"

The Match Case function should always be on. It may seem that I have somewhat 
 random capitalization, but this is to help you find things easily using the 
 Ctrl + F function.


---------- Frequently Asked Questions ---------- section 0.2


Q: Are you just making these questions up?
A: Yes

Q: Suikoden V was released in 2006, why write a guide for it now?
A: Well, first off, I have been a fan of Suikoden ever since I happened on 
 Suikoden I back in '97. Suikoden V is great game, albeit with many problems,
 but I was unhappy with the Guides currently available. Either they were 
 hammered out in the weeks and moths following the game's release, or, they 
 were simply juvenile. So, I decided to write a more extensive and definitive
 guide for the game.

Q: Honestly, I don't like your guide, can you recommend another?
A: Sure. Cyril's walkthrough on GameFaqs / Suikosource is a good walkthrough. 
 Blazefeeler's LV 60 character stats guide is also very helpful. Other than 
 that, I honestly cannot recommend some of the guides, though.

Q: What will be different in this guide as compared to others?
A: First, I want to strike a balance between giving you advice and letting 
 you do things on your own, which makes the game much more fun. Second, this 
 game -like all the Suikodens- has a massive cast of characters. Mostly, 
 people choose characters for their party based on who they have used before 
 and who they are most familiar with, this means that you can play through 
 the game without using even half of the Stars of Destiny in battle.

With this in mind, I will give you some more detailed character info, plus my 
 own personal opinions on their strength in battle. This will help you to 
 choose the right party, as well as use some of the characters that you would
 not use otherwise.

Q: I think Jeane is hot.
A: I'm sorry, but your question must be in the form of a question. 

Q: What is it about this game that makes it so great?
A: Well, the graphics are horrible, and it was clearly incomplete when it was 
 released in 2006. But the thing that makes this and the other games in this 
 series so great is the storytelling. This is likely the most elaborate, 
 deepest fictional universe ever created for a game series as well as one of 
 the most compelling. All great games are about the compelling nature of 
 their narrative, not about graphics, features, and other such tripe.

Q: Is there some trick to raise your characters to Lv 99?
A: Not that I know of. Besides, this game is easy enough without that. To me, 
 the only real disappointment in this game is its lack of any major 
 difficulty.

Q: Is the Stat Stones Trick in this sequel?
A: No, some new programming language made it impossible to duplicate the use 
 of the Stat Stones, sorry.

Q: What over Guides can you recommend for the other Suikoden Titles?
A: For Suikoden I, both ryhxx and A.Kishan has good walkthroughs. For S II, 
 then ryhxx just released his walkthrough for that game. Suikoden III's best 
 walkthrough by far is by Dan Crenshaw. For IV, well. . . honestly I don't 
 care enough about IV to rank any of the walkthroughs.

Q: I strongly dissagree with you on (X) part of the walkthrough. Or, I have
 a correction or suggestion. How can I contact you?
A: My email adress for video game guides and walkthroughs is:

twentyninerooks@yahoo.com

 You can contact me there. Though this is a public email, so I do get a lot
 of Spam. Please don't be offended if it takes me some time to reply.




---------- STATISTICS, EQUIPMENT & SKILLS ---------- section 0.2

Before we begin the walkthrough, I feel I need to go over these subjects in-
 depth. We will start with statistics:

There are several stats in Suikoden V: Hit Points (HP), Attack (ATTK), 
 Defense (PDEF), Magic Defense (MDEF), Technique (TECH), Accuracy (ACC), 
 Evasion (EVA) Speed (SPD), and Luck.

Attack is simply the character's weapon strength added to the character's 
 base strength. Since weapons are always equipped in the game, the status 
 screen always shows the combined amount. A weapon can be between LV 1 and LV 
 16, depending on how many times you have sharpened it. A character's base 
 strength differs from character to character, and increases along with their 
 level.

Defense is a combination of a character's Base Physical Defense and the 
 defense provided from the equipment they are wearing. Base Defense increases 
 with character level, but varies little from character to character, and 
 does not contribute much to their overall defense. In this game, Defense is 
 largely determined by equipment. Different Characters can wear different 
 levels of equipment. There is: Tunic/Cloth equipment, Leather, Mail, Light 
 Armor, and Heavy Armor. The heavier the armor, the more its defense, but be 
 warned that Light and Heavy Armors can reduce a character's speed.

The Magic Defense stat is based almost entirely on a character's Base Magic 
 defense. This varies heavily from character to character, and increases with 
 level. There are some pieces of equipment that increase magic defense, but 
 they are few and only increase it by a small amount. Also, characters can 
 increase their defense for different magic elements individually, but I will 
 cover that in a bit.

Technique offers a combination of different skills. It raises a character's 
 ability to Parry direct attacks (some characters, especially Long-Range 
 Characters, cannot parry), it increases Accuracy, and it also is a major 
 factor in determining a character's Critical Rate.

Accuracy is based on the Technique stat, but can be influenced separately 
 through some equipment and runes. For example: Some glove items increase 
 Accuracy, but Technique. So, they do not influence Critical Rates or Parry 
 Rates, but they do offer a greater chance of connecting with direct attacks.

Evasion is simply a rating of how adept the character is at dodging direct 
 attacks. In battle, the attacker's Accuracy is measured against the Target's 
 Evasion, and a percentage of successful hit is produced. A character needs 
 to have strong Evasion before they can dodge enemy attacks with any 
 fequency.

Speed determines which characters act first every battle turn. The higher a 
 character's speed, the more likely they are to act before the enemy, giving 
 you a distinct advantage. However, at a certain point, characters with high 
 speed will always act before the enemy, and then it becomes useless to raise 
 that character's speed any higher. Speed is a valuable stat, but raising it 
 too high can prove a waste of time.

Luck effects many things that a character does. Essentially, it effects every 
 thing in the game that depends on a percentage. So, Luck can increase 
 Critical Rate, it can also increase the Rate at which enemies drop treasure, 
 and how ofter certain spells that have a percentage take effect. For 
 example: the LV 1 Shield Magic has a 40% chance of endowing characters with 
 the beneficial Fury status effect. Characters with high luck are more likely 
 to be effected.

--Elemental Statistics and Combinations--

Each character has a ranking -from the weakest rating E, D, C, B, A, S, the 
 strongest- on the status screen for each Element in the game. The Elements 
 are Sun (Su), Fire (Fi), Lightning (Li), Wind (Wi), Water (Wa), Earth (Ea), 
 Star (St), Sound (So), Holy (Ho), Darkness (Da), Slash (Sl), Thrust (Th), 
 Punch (Pu), and Shot (Sh).

The higher a character rates in each category, the more powerful their 
 offense and defense for that category becomes.

Sun is the element of the Sun Rune, and the Twilight and Dawn Runes. Fire is 
 for Fire Magic, etc. Sound is for use of a Unique Rune only carried by one 
 character, and for defense it is only useful against the DoReMi Elf enemies, 
 who as far as I know are the only enemies to use Sound Magic. Holy magic 
 effects the use of both the Shield and Resurrection Runes, and as far as I 
 know, there are no enemies that attack using Holy magic. Darkness effects 
 the Condemnation Rune. Slash is not "Magic," so to speak, but effects a 
 character's defense and offense with Swords, Axes, and other slashing 
 weapons. Thrust effects Spear weapons, Punch Gauntlets and Fists, and Shot 
 effects Bows, Crossbows, Throwing Weapons, etc.

So, if you are up against a tough enemy that uses Fire Magic, bring 
 characters that not only have high MDEF, but also high Fire Magic affinity. 
 This is what I call a statistic combination. The MDEF reduces damage, while 
 the affinity increases the likelihood of that character "Resisting" any 
 given Fire Magic spell. If a character Resists a spell, the word "Resist" 
 will appear above their head as they are struck, and the spell will deal 
 roughly one half the normal damage. With an Affinity of the highest S-rank, 
 characters will almost always resist magic from that element.

Other statistical combinations have little to do with magic. As I mentioned, 
 Luck can play a large role in many aspects of the game. A character with 
 high Luck will seemingly outperform their other stats, with more evasion, 
 criticals, parries, etc.

A character's parry rate is determined by a combination of their DEF and 
 TECH. Note that some characters cannot Parry at all, and others will have a 
 similar ability called "Weapon Defense." The difference is simply that 
 Swords and Axes Parry, while Staff, Club, and other such weapons can 
 "Defend." If this sounds complicated, don't worry "Parry" and "Weapon 
 Defense" are the same thing. Some Characters that have high DEF and TECH 
 stats can greatly outperform their Defense by Parrying.

There are other statistical combinations, but I will talk about these as we 
 go, it is better just to leave the subject here before it gets too 
 complicated.

--Skills--
Skills return once again in Suikoden V, after first being introduced in 
 Suikoden III and being left out of IV. However, the effect of skills is now 
 much more balanced. In Suikoden III, Skills were the single greatest factor 
 in a character's strength. Here in V, there is a nice balance between Rune, 
 Stats and Skills.

All characters have access to the "Common Skills." On the Physical side: 
 Stamina increases HP. Attack effects ATK. Defense is self-explanatory. 
 Technique increases Accuracy and other unseen stats that I discussed 
 previously. Agility increases Speed, and a character's ability to hit 
 multiple times in one attack. Vitality increases the unseen critical stat.

In Magic, things are much more simple: Magic increases magic power. Magic 
 Defense needs no commentary. And Incantation helps your characters cast 
 spells faster in battle.

Each Skill require Skill Points to level up, and each character will be more 
 adept at using some Skills and less adept at others. For example: Sialeeds 
 is a mage character. Her Magic Skill can rise to an S-rank, but her Stamina 
 Skill maxes out at a C-rank. While a fighter like Georg can raise his 
 Vitality to SS-rank, but his Magic Defense is less stellar.

The general rule is that the more SP a Skills costs to level up, the Lower 
 that Skill can max out at. Skills level up from E-D-C-B-A-S-SS. Though very 
 few people can access any skills that rank double-S. So, a Skill that maxes 
 out at an A-rank will actually cost more per level than a skill that Maxes 
 out at an S-rank. It is for this reason that I suggest you use Skills that 
 characters excel at rather than ones they are mediocre in. While this might 
 seem obvious at first, once you start playing the game, it is tempting to -
 for example- give Sialeeds the Stamina Skill as a way to help her low HP 
 stat. But this is a mistake, as you will spend a large amount of SP for a 
 small effect.

--Epic Skills--
Here is where things get a bit complex. Epic skills are skills that effect 
 more than one stat, but you must develop all related skills in order for 
 your character to even have access to the Epic Skill. So, In order to access 
 the Raging Lion Epic, which gives bonuses to both Stamina and Attack, you 
 must first have an A-rank in Stamina and Attack. Then, you will gin access 
 to Raging Lion at an E-rank and can upgrade and equip it normally.

The availability of Epics is another matter of concern. Some characters can 
 achieve high marks in both Stamina and Attack, but simply do not have access 
 to the Raging Lion Epic Skill. One good example of this is the dwarf, Wabon. 
 He is one of the strongest and highest HP characters in the game, but 
 inexplicably has no access to Raging Lion. Another example is Jeane, with 
 one of the highest Magic, Magic Defense, and Incantation skills, you would 
 think she would have access to Sacred Oath, the ultimate Magic Epic Skill. 
 In fact, Jeane cannot use Sacred Oath.

The Epic skills must be found in treasure chests or be acquired in another 
 way. Don't worry, I cover all of them in the walkthrough.

Epic Skills are: Armor of Gods (Defense / Magic Defense). Raging Lion (Attack 
 / Stamina). Swift Foot (Technique / Agility). Fate Control (Attack / 
 Technique). Karmic Effect (Defense / Technique). All-Out Strike (Incantation 
 / Technique / Agility). Triple Harmony (Attack / Vitality / Agility). Zen 
 Sword (Attack / Incantation). Untold Clarity (All Physical Skills except 
 Stamina). Divine Right (Magic / Incantation). Sacred Oath (Magic / Magic 
 Defense / Incantation). And Royal Paradise (All Skills). 

A few notes: Zen Sword and Sacred Oath also effect the Sword of Magic Skill, 
 which is used in conjunction with the Elemental Sword Runes. More on that in 
 a bit. Also, whomever translated this game made a couple of errors here: 
 Triple Harmony and All-Out Strike's names were switched somehow, and Divine 
 Right should be Divine "Rite". But I guess that is just semantics.

Generally, an Epic has a weaker effect to each stat than its basic 
 counterparts. The effect tends to be weakened by one full level. So, 
 equipping Swift Foot at an A-rank will give the same bonus as equipping both 
 Technique and Agility at a B-rank. The obvious advantage is that since every 
 character can only equip two skills -and some have permanent skills in one 
 slot- having the multiple effects makes the character more balanced and 
 versatile. There seem to be some exceptions though. First, there is a huge 
 addition to statistics when a skill becomes S-rank, and then again if that 
 skill can become SS-rank. This gives a big advantage to any character that 
 can achieve S-ranks in skills. Also, Royal Paradise tends to defy this as 
 well, especially in the S and SS-ranks. While it can be difficult to tell 
 exactly, Royal Paradise seems to give a larger bonus than other Epic Skills 
 per statistic at the high ranks.

--Equipment--
Suikoden V is much like III in that a character's equipment is the largest 
 factor in their physical defense. When I talk about a character's Defense 
 Stat, I am actually referring to what type of armor that they are capable of 
 equipping. There are several levels of armor in the game, and sometimes 
 characters can equip surprisingly "heavy" armor. For example, among Mages, 
 Nelis can wear some nice armor that gives her a real advantage at times. 
 Most Short-Range Fighters can wear the two heaviest types of Armor, though 
 sometimes they can only mix and match. Hazuki can wear heavy Gauntlets and 
 Greaves, but can only wear the lighter Body and Head armors. While Isabel 
 can wear all of the heaviest armor in the game.

Also, while most characters hover around the same PDEF with all their armor 
 removed, some like Galleon will have a small -but noticeable- advantage in 
 base PDEF.

So, all of these things are taken into account when determining a character's 
 Defense. When I talk about the Defense Stat though, remember that it simply 
 reflects my own experience and there could be something that I missed, or 
 simply ignored when I compared that character to another.

I think that will do for our Primer, I will talk about these subjects more 
 after the walkthrough.

  

=============================================================================
=============================================================================

WALKTHROUGH. Section 1.0

============================================================================
============================================================================


Hello and welcome to Suikoden V.

Start a new game, and you will be asked to name the main character. Name him 
 whatever you wish. After this game was released, Konami did give him and 
 official name: Freyjadour Falenas, (pronounced Fray-a-door) shortened to 
 Frey. But I will be referring to him as "The Prince" or the "Hero."

=============================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

===CHAPTER 1=== section 1.1

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
=============================================================================

"Listen awhile and throughout hear the psalm
Of victories sung from creatures past thy seeing
And from far battlefields there comes the neighing
Of dreadful onset, though the air is balm."

From the poem "My Two Geniuses"
-By George MacDonald

-----------------------------------

You will be introduced to the Queendom of Falena and several of the game's 
 main characters in the opening cutscene. When your party enters the palace's 
 main hall, you will be given a choice of dialogue options. Choose either one 
 this time around. When important dialogue options come up I will alert you 
 to them and their individual consequences. However, if I don't alert you, 
 just assume you are free to choose as you see fit.

The long opening scene will continue.

=============================================================================

	LORDLAKE

=============================================================================


When you gain control of your characters, go ahead and talk to some of the 
 people in the town. They paint a dismal picture, not only of the town, but 
 of the Queen --your mother-- as well.

Throughout the walkthrough, I will be giving you detailed character 
 information as you recruit the 108 stars of destiny. At this point your 
 party consists of the Prince, Lyon, Sialeeds, and Georg. Though Sialeeds and 
 Georg will be in and out of your party, Lyon is officially the prince's 
 bodyguard, and rarely leaves his side --much like how Nanami rarely left the 
 hero's side in Suikoden II. So, I will just introduce the Prince and Lyon 
 for now.

I will rank all the characters in what I feel is their usefulness to any 
 particular party. Weaker characters will rank lower and stronger ones 
 higher. Though in this game, they did well in balancing out the characters 
 --there are no real duds, and anyone can be useful under the right 
 circumstances-- but some are stronger than others. I will rank them like 
 this: D-C-B-A-S, "D" being the lowest, and "A" being strong, while "S" 
 represents the strongest character in the game for his or her particular 
 class. Keep in mind that my letter rankings for characters is just my 
 opinion, please play with the characters that you like the best, because 
 that way the game is the most fun. Actually, one challenging and fun thing 
 to do might be to try to play through the game with only "D" rank 
 characters. Also, I suggest you stay away from the "S" rank characters when 
 you can, as they are so over-powered that they can make the game a bit too 
 easy in my opinion.

I will also invent a Class system for this walkthrough, though this is just 
 to simplify things a bit so I do not have to order you to take specific 
 characters with you at certain times (i.e. "Take George and Sialleeds"). 
 Instead, I will suggest you take certain classes with you, so that leaves 
 you the freedom to decide which characters you like best (i.e. "Take a 
 short-range fighter and a long-range mage.)

I've found that people choose characters for one of two reasons: They think 
 that character is strong. Or, they like that character's personality. As 
 such, I'll give an overview of the character's stats and strengths, as well 
 as their personality. 

If you don't care about how I rank the characters, skip to the next divider.

So, now that is cleared up, here's the Hero:

--------------Prince Falenas
Star #1 of 108
Rank: S
Auto-Recruit.
Class: Mid-Range Fighter/ Mid-Range Mage.
Notes: The most versatile character in the game. He can do pretty much 
 anything, except heavy tanking. He is the Hero, so he will be in your active 
 battle party at all times. Though he is not quite as strong as some of the 
 previous heroes, like Tir McDohl from SI, this is due to the fact that his 
 main rune is just not as good as, say, the Soul Eater worn by McDohl. But he 
 is very powerful, and can be relied on to fulfill many different roles in 
 your party effectively.

He is a silent protagonist, so his personality reflects the player's 
 personality. If you want to hear more about this, read my essay on literary 
 theory and Allegorical Projection at the end of this walkthrough.

---------------Lyon
Star #2 of 108
Overall Rank: A
Auto-Recruit.
Class: Mid-Range Fighter
Notes: Almost always by the Prince's side, she is a required party member 
 most of the time. Though, unlike the prince she can be moved into the 
 party's "entourage," effectively taking her out of battles, while still 
 allowing access to her non-battle magic. She is fast and strong, with good 
 defense and at least decent magic and HP scores, so, I would probably use 
 her most of the time, even if she was not required. Like the Prince, she can 
 fulfill multiple roles, and this versatility is her best quality. I give her 
 an "A" rank because she is just not as strong as the prince, especially late 
 in the game. Keep in mind though, that she and the Prince have a useful 
 unite attack.

Recommended Runes: Shield Rune, Earth Rune


--------------------------------------------------------------------- 

If you ever want to skip past my long-winded opinions and introductions, you 
 can always skip to the next divider and you will never miss any of the 
 important information in the walkthrough. I use the "dash" to denote the end 
 of a commentary and the einsatz of the actual walkthrough, and I use the 
 "Equal Sign" to denote a change in location.
 
Now, back to the walkthrough. 

The screen perspective in this game is horizontally offset, meaning that 
 "South" is actually a little closer to "South-Southwest." Keep that in mind 
 when I give you directions, they are not exact, so if I say head "South" I 
 mean head in a general southern direction. I'm sure you get the idea. It 
 would make this walkthrough much easier to write if this game had a mini-
 map, but we will get through, don't worry.

Save you game at the glowing Save Point (I'll call them Jouneyman's 
 Crystals.) and head south-ish down the main street of Lordlake. To the east 
 there is a dried-up fountain. Nearby there is the entrance to the clinic. 
 Step inside for a scene. Again, the dialogue choice here has no impact on 
 the future events of the game.

After the cutscene, follow the main street south past the desiccated channel. 
 On the southern end of the map, there will be a short cutscene. Head south 
 and east for a chest containing [ESCAPE SCROLL]. Approach the mansion in the 
 southwest corner of the town, where you will be presented with a Dialogue 
 choice. I will present you with Dialogue Choices when I feel like it, as I 
 said, if I do not cover a choice, then it is unimportant. What I will also 
 do is this:

*****Dialogue***** (Choose either without consequence)
----Choose the first dialogue option to continue on.
----Choose the second to get scolded by auntie Sialeeds and continue on 
 anyway.

Note how what I wrote is not what appears on-screen. Rather it is a summary 
 of the consequences -if any- of your choices, that removes potential 
 spoilers from reprinting on-screen dialogue here in the walkthrough. So, if 
 it says on-screen "Fight" or "Don't Fight," I'll represent that here as "Act 
 like a violent maniac" or "Act like a Chicken," or something to that effect. 
 Sorry, but I can't help but make jokes from time to time, this is something 
 like my 7th time playing through the game, after all.

Back to the walkthrough.
  
Go inside and head through the door to the west. In the next room grab the 
 [MEDICINE] from the chest, then continue outside to the pier, when another 
 scene will play.

Walk South then east to the end of the pier for a chest containing 
 [SACRIFICIAL JIZO]. I suggest giving it to the Prince for now. Head back 
 through the mansion, then northward to a small alley, walk east down the 
 alley and out onto the pier to meet up with Talgeyl and Goesch.

*****Dialogue*****(Choose either without consequence)
-----Choose the first option to have Sialeeds drag everyone along together.
-----Choose the second option to make yourself sound vainly heroic.

Go south to the Withered Forest.

====================================
	Withered Forest
====================================

Ok, here is the game's first "dungeon," so to speak. Don't worry, with Georg 
 along, you have nothing to worry about. He alone can obliterate every battle 
 you get into here. The game is taking it easy on you here in this first 
 level, so take your time to get used to the battle system. We will talk in-
 depth about tactics (or formations) later on, but for now you are stuck in 
 the standard formation that should be familiar if you played SI or SII.

Walk along the switchback path to a Journeyman's Crystal. I won't remind you 
 to save unless it is vital that you do so --when you either are up against a 
 very tough battle or might wish to reset later-- I trust you are smart 
 enough to know to save as often as you can.

Walk in a direction that is of the general "Southwestern" persuasion to a 
 fork in the path. Go left if you want to experience the game's first dead-
 end, go right to continue on to another fork. This time go west to continue 
 on. At the third fork, go south-southwest for a chest with [MEDICINE]. 

Return to the 3-way fork that you approach from the south, and head east, 
 then south and curve back round to the east to find the third and final 
 chest in this area, [MEGA MEDICINE]. Retrace your steps to the last fork and 
 continue northeast for a scene and the game's first boss.

*****Dialogue*****(Choose either option with no consequence)
-----Choose the first option to have the Prince act heroic
-----Choose the second to have Georg save the day. 

----------------------------------
*Boss: Ulse X 3

Really, with Georg here there is nothing to worry about. Sialeed's Wind magic 
 is pretty useless here. Just have everyone attack, and if you take a bit of 
 damage, on your next turn use you formation skill to recover about 35 HP per 
 character. Select [Formation] from the battle menu, then choose [Form 
 Skill]. Note that you can only use the formation skill once per battle, and 
 the skill changes depending on your current formation.
Georg can kill an Ulse with one hit, and the Lyon/Prince Co-op attack works 
 well too, so this battle should be over in 2 or 3 rounds.

Rewards: 750 Potch, 12 party SP
	Medicine, Violence Piece, Boost Piece

----------------------------------

Watch the scene. You will be back in the Sun Palace by the time you have a 
 dialogue option.

=============================================================================

	Sun Palace

=============================================================================

You'll finish telling your mother the story.

*****Dialogue***** (choose either with no consequence)
-----First Option: Stand up for what's right. 
-----Second Option: Act intimidated.

And again

*****Dialogue***** (choose either with no consequence)
-----First: Act intimidated and rely on Sialeeds for Moral Pontification.
-----Second: Act like a decent human being.

And a third time, after we drop into a text-only cutscene.

*****Dialogue***** (choose either with no consequence)
-----First: Go find your sister, princess Lymsleia.
-----Second: Decline, get scolded by Lyon, and then agree to find her.

Georg and Sialeeds leave the party.

Finding Lym requires that you scour the Palace. First head south and go up 
 the stairs, then enter the opening (really an transparent doorway) on the 
 right side. This is the Prince's hall. You'll find a save point inside his 
 room, and to the far left, a treasure room with a [Dress] and [Refined 
 Clothes]. Keep these in your bag so you can sell them later.

Go back out to the Upper-Level Foyer. Go South and West to the spiral stairs 
 and take them up to the sealed room. You will receive a lecture on Runes, 
 most of it review if you have played a Suikoden game before, though the 
 information about the Sun Rune --one of the 27 True Runes-- is new.

Head back down to the upper-foyer and walk west to the big double-doors to 
 find the hall of Sialeeds and the Princess. Talk to the attendant standing 
 outside Sialeed's room for a funny scene, then go into the western most room 
 to find that Lym has gone to look for you.

Walk to the north end of the hall and go down the stairs, this is the 
 Kitchen/ Guard hall. Chat with the people around here if you wish. At the 
 west end, there are stairs leading to the prison cells, but there is nothing 
 to do there yet. To continue with the story, go back out to the Foyer and 
 cut across to enter into the Queen's Knights Hall, located beneath the 
 Prince's hall.

A rather funny scene will ensue when you walk south, and you will meet Kyle, 
 one of the Queen's Knights. Your dialogue option has no consequence. Kyle 
 joins your party temporarily, and I suggest taking the opportunity to trade 
 all of his armor with the Prince. (Hey, you're the Prince so it is not 
 stealing.) Go into the large room on the left for another scene.

After the scene, talk to the Knights gathered round the room if you want. To 
 continue, head for the exit for another scene.

--IMPORTANT--
So, this is where some of your dialogue choices start to have consequences. 
 To avoid spoilers, I wont tell you why per-say, just to say that how you 
 treat your little sister and Lyon can effect things down the line. Overall, 
 I recommend being attentive and slightly over-protective of Lym. And to 
 treat Lyon with respect. It is your choice whether or not to follow my 
 recommendations, mostly each choice makes very little difference, so you can 
 change things up a bit if you want. If there is a choice that had major, 
 drastic consequences, I will let you know ahead of time. 

*****Dialogue*****(option #1 recommended)
-----First: Apologize.
-----Second: Tell her to pipe down.

The scene continues and you meet Miakis

*****Dialogue*****(option #1 recommended)
-----First: Greet Miakis.
-----Second: Ask for help, and she will refuse.

The scene drops to text-only dialogue and you are presented with another 
 choice:

*****Dialogue*****(option #1 recommended)
-----First: Act like a normal adult
-----Second: Sound kinda creepy, because you are not opposed to little girls 
 getting engaged.

This is a rather large number of dialogue choices here in a row:

*****Dialogue*****(option #2 recommended)
-----First: Seem disinterested but get dragged along regardless.
-----Second: Act protective of Lym.

Kyle, Miakis, and Lym will join. Lym is stationed in one of the entourage 
 slots, but Kyle and Miakis are in the battle party. Not to give away a big 
 spoiler or anything, but we are not going to be in any tough battles with 
 any of them. Go ahead and give Miakis' gear to Lyon if you really want, but 
 I refrain from doing that, it doesn't matter at all at this point.

Leave the Knight's room to have Sialeeds show up, and give you yet another 
 choice:

*****Dialogue*****(option #1 recommended)
-----First: Make fun of Sialeeds.
-----Second: Make fun of Lym.

Sialeeds joins, but don't bother rearranging the party, we are just going to 
 go on a tour of the Senate Hall and the City Proper.

Back to the foyer, and leave out the large southern doors past the 
 journeyman's crystal to the Senate Hall grounds. Walk down the first flight 
 of stairs and turn east to the Garden area. A short way north off the dirt 
 path is a chest: [SCARF]. Return to the bridge level, and then descend the 
 second flight of stairs, to go back to ground level. Walk under the bridge 
 to find [MEGA MEDICINE] along the southern side of the Senate Building. 
 Approach the building for a small cutscene. The dialogue choice is 
 unimportant. Go inside and turn west up the stairs, then north and talk to 
 the official waiting by wooden double-doors.

Well, we have to talk to all the people in the Senate Hall and watch a scene 
 before the clerk in charge of the list comes back. Start by talking to 
 everyone round the upper walkway. There are 6 people, 2 guards, 2 nobles, 
 and 2 officials.

Cross the bridge to the left to go inside the Senate Chamber's upper floor 
 for a short scene. There are 2 more officials here.

Leave the upper chamber and go to the ground floor. In the outer area there 
 are 4 people. 2 guards and 2 officials. (There is a 5th person in the 
 northwest room, but you do not need to talk to him to advance the story.)

Inside the large green doors of the Senate Chamber Floor, there will be a 
 scene.

*****Dialogue*****(choose either)
-----Be unflappably well-mannered.
-----Act like you just got accosted by a walrus, which is an accurate 
 description of what just happened.

The scene continues, rather hilariously.

*****Dialogue*****(choose either)
-----Agree with Lord Borrows superficially.
-----Express doubts about his character.

When you regain control there are 4 more people to talk to in the Senate 
 Chamber Floor, 2 nobles and 2 officials.

Return to the clerk's office for a cutscene.

*****Dialogue***** (choose either)
-----Apologize for the rush.
-----Get to the point.

and again--

*****Dialogue***** (#1 recommended)
-----Be distressed at your sister's lack of popularity.
-----Be amazed at the brat's popularity.

When you are done go outside to the upper bridge area for a short scene.

*****Dialogue***** (#1 recommended)
-----Encourage bad habits.
-----Be strict.

Miakis, Sialeeds, and Lym leave. You will have a few more dialogue options at 
 this point.

*****Dialogue*****(choose either)
-----Suggest your next activity.
-----Have Kyle suggest your next activity.

*****Dialogue*****(#2 recommended)
-----Act interested and make Lyon cross with you. 
-----Act disinterested and have Kyle guide you gently into manhood.

I recommend #2 on the second choice because it helps not to get Lyon too mad 
 at you. I have not tested out and verified the effects of _every_ single 
 dialogue option, so I don't know if this one matters.

When you get control, go south to the City Proper. Sol-Falena is divided into 
 four sections, from north to south they are: Sun Palace, Senate Hall, Sol-
 Falena Proper, and the Pier. At this point feel free to explore the city and 
 talk to the people. I will point out some treasure chests to get and some 
 places to visit. Down the stairs to the east is the Blacksmith, sharpen the 
 Prince's and Lyon's weapons if you want, though don't worry about Kyle, as 
 he is much higher-leveled than you at this point. The trade post is up the 
 stairs to the east, check it out, but I don't recommend buying anything just 
 yet. In this walkthrough will use trade as one of our main means of gaining 
 war funds throughout the early game, because this allows for much better 
 equipment and higher weapon levels with only a little effort.

East of the Blacksmith, and Southeast of the Trade shop, there is a cest on 
 the pier [BANDANA]. Other than that, there is not much for us on the eastern 
 side of the city, head vaguely west from there to the other side of the 
 large bridge that divides the city. A treasure box near the Tavern contains 
 [MEGA MEDICINE]. I did not have enough money to buy anything of value at the 
 armor or item shops yet. Do not worry, sharpening your weapons is all you 
 really need to do here in the early game. On the Islet north of the Item 
 Shop there is a chest with [MEDICINE]. 

If you want to continue on, from the Item Shop in the eastern half of the 
 city, walk east-southeast to the far eastern islet. There you find the rune 
 shop, and watch a short cutscene. Go back outside for another dialogue 
 choice.

*****Dialogue*****(option #1 recommended)
-----Go help Kyle
-----Stay back (and skip the next choice)

I recommend #1 because it helps to get some money here.

*****Dialogue***** (option #1 recommended)
-----Get into an easy fight and earn some money.
-----Let the guards handle it.

If you decide to fight, just have Kyle use his Lv 2 water magic, Breath of 
 Ice, while the Prince and Lyon Attack. These guys are push-overs, I was able 
 to annihilate all of them with one Breath of Ice spell.

After the scene, finish up any business you have in the city and return to 
 the Sun Palace. You can roam if you like: the woman in the room on the lower 
 floor of the Inn has some choice comments about Galleon. Just for the sake 
 of stating the obvious:

=================================
	Sun Palace
=================================

As you enter the palace, a scene begins. This is largely between Ferid and 
 Arshtat, until it switches to the Prince and Lyon...

*****Dialogue***** (option #1 recommended)
-----Be reassuring.
-----Wonder why she's acting this way.

If you have made Lyon cross with you, you will get a slightly different scene 
 and dialogue choice. The balance is not as delicate with her as it is with 
 Lym, she actually has a much higher affection for you, so mostly you can say 
 what you want when you are with her. But on this occasion I do recommend 
 option #1, no matter which choice you got.

The scene continues the next morning. Georg and Sialeeds return to the party. 
 When you get control, talk to the Queen's Knights gathered round on your way 
 to the southern door. When you reach the door, Lym will come say goodbye.

*****Dialogue*****(choose either)
-----Understand your Father's idealism
-----Be too immature to understand

Now it is time to go to the Pier, just head south on the large causeway all 
 the way past the city proper to get there. Down two flights of stairs, Kyle 
 will be waiting by the ship to say goodbye. Say whatever you want to him, 
 then board the ship for another long scene.

*****Dialogue*****(choose either)
-----Have faith in the Queen
-----Meh

After more talking, you'll encounter the game's second boss:

-----------------------------------
Boss: Zadom

This one is much more tricky than the Ulse, but still a far cry from the 
 difficulty on many of the later bosses. The game is still taking it easy on 
 you...

Have the Prince and Lyon use "Sworn Protector," their Co-Op Attack, every 
 round. Georg should do what he does best, throwing critical hit attacks at 
 the enemies. Sialeed's wind magic is again pretty useless here. . . so have 
 her Attack, as well as throw out some Medicine as needed. The Prince does 
 have an "Angry Blow" spell scroll equipped, but try to save that for later, 
 it is not needed in this battle.

The Zadom can inflict the "Anger" status effect, causing the afflicted to be 
 unable to use unite attacks. If Lyon or the Prince gets hit with it, just 
 have them both attack, it will not make too much difference in the end. It 
 can also inflict poison, though this is a nuisance more than a threat. 

The Zadom really does not hit very hard, so you will have plenty of time to 
 use medicine or the Formation skill to heal your party. With Georg, this 
 should be over in 3-4 turns

Rewards:
3,000 Potch
20 party SP
Medicine, Fire Sealing Pc x1, Breath of Ice Scroll x1.

----------------------------------

After the battle, another dialogue choice comes up, but it has no real 
 bearing. The scene shifts to the evening, still on the ship headed for 
 Stormfist, yet another choice for you that has no consequence.

After Sialeeds comes up with some disturbing theories, you arrive at the 
 Stormfist Pier.

=============================================================================

	STORMFIST

=============================================================================

Over the course of the next few scenes, your replies to the Godwins' 
 questions won't amount to anything in the long run, so I'll leave them to 
 you. Gizel will take you on a tour of the facilities.

Throughout this part of the game you will have intermittent cutscenes, and 
 brief moments of free movement. Move south to trigger the first.

Once inside walk west to trigger the next.

From where the last scene ends, you are either in the Arena Causeway Upper 
 Floor or the drawbridge. If you are on the bridge, return to the Causeway. 
 Both upper and lower floors of the Causeway are divided into 2 quarter-
 circle sections. You are currently in the Northwest section. Go ahead and go 
 south round the bend to the Southwest Upper section. Go into the stands to 
 watch a scene with an old friend.

Afterwords, back inside the causeway, go down the thin flight of stairs to 
 reach the Lower Southwest section. Walk to the Lower Northwest section and 
 turn right immediately to visit the infirmary, and try to walk down the 
 steps inside. Gizel will tell you that it is a place unfit for Royalty, but 
 insist on going down anyway. This is necessary to move the game events 
 forward.

*****Dialogue*****(choose #1 to move story events forward)
-----Insist on seeing the Gladiators.
-----Insist on not moving the story forward.

Down in the cells, there is another option.

*****Dialogue*****(option #1 recommended, for Moral Purposes)
-----Slavery is wrong.
-----I'm a fan of slavery, but I'm too ashamed to admit it.

Walk east a bit for yet another cutscene.

*****Dialogue*****(You get the idea)
-----Ask for a Doctor.
-----Treating injured slaves wastes money.

Leave the Cells and exit the infirmary. Walk north to the large doors and 
 exit to the Arena Garden. Here you will find 2 chests, the first in the 
 northwest corner containing [OLD BOOK vol. 7], the second is packed in with 
 some boxes and nearly hidden in the southeast corner, zoom the camera in if 
 you are having trouble finding it. It contains the first of many Tactics, 
 the [DOUBLE ARM TACTIC]. 

-----------------------------------
--Tactics--

If you don't want to hear what I have to say about tactics, skip to the next 
 divider.

On the menu screen choose "Formation", then "Rearrange" to change your 
 tactic. Different Tactics offer different status bonus to party members --
 for example, Double Arm adds +2 to both Physical Defense (PDEF) and Magical 
 Defense (MDEF)-- there is more to tactics than just adding status bonuses 
 though. Each tactic has a special skill that can be used in combat once per 
 battle at the cost of 1 turn. So, the Standard tactic can heal a small 
 amount of HP, and so on...

What Tactic you use though, depends largely on the Characters present in your 
 party at any one time. Even late in the game, many of the parties you form 
 will have some slots taken up by required characters, so I find myself 
 switching tactics frequently, just to accommodate what characters I have to 
 work with. In the end, the status boosts and skills are just bonuses that 
 come along with the tactic that corresponds well to my party.

There are three different types of weapon ranges in this game, just like 
 Suikoden I and II. Short range weapons are meant for attacking from the 
 first two rows on the grid that is shown on the "Rearrange" window, anything 
 further back and they begin to lose accuracy, to the point that they will 
 rarely connect with an Attack from the rear row at all. Medium Range weapons 
 are just that, meant for combat from the middle two rows. Unlike Suikoden I 
 and II, mid-rangers will miss frequently from the front row, so don't put 
 Lyon or the Prince up there unless you are just planning to have them use 
 magic or defend. Long Range weapons attack from anywhere equally well, but 
 almost every character that wields a long range weapon is weak physically, 
 and cannot take front-line combat, so it is best to let them occupy spaces 
 in the back.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Right now, the Double Arm tactic does not suit you well, so stay in the 
 standard formation.

Back inside the Lower Causeway, go south all the way till you reach a long, 
 straight hall. At the south end of the Hall, take the stairs up to see a 
 scene. This is the Royal suite. Back downstairs, Gizel bids goodbye. Your 
 choice effects nothing, except my opinion of you as a human being.

No matter what is said Gizel and Sialeeds leave the party.

At the town proper, you will have two short scenes. When you gain control, 
 you can talk to the Girl standing next to the leopard. This is Norma, and 
 the leopard is Ernst, you cannot recruit them now, but remember them for 
 later. Just south of them, the red-haired guy is also another future 
 potential recruit, talk to him for a taste of his disgusting personality. 
 His name is Gavaya. Walk west and head into the Inn for a short scene with 
 another character. 

Feel free to explore around and talk to the people. The general attitude here 
 is much more sympathetic to the Godwins. West of the Inn, western edge of 
 the town is a chest: [MEDICINE]. From the main street you can head into the 
 New Town section, there are all sorts of shops here with a blacksmith that 
 can sharpen to Lv 3. While Georg's weapon is still at Lv 1, his _actual_ 
 level is 20, so he is strong enough right now without a sharp sword. It is a 
 good Idea to try to save Potch here, money is tight in the early game.

You cannot leave the town -the guards will not let you- but there is some 
 treasure here. New Town is designed as 7 different street that run parallel 
 north to south. At the end of the westernmost street turn right to an alley 
 with a chest [BRACELET]. 3 streets to the east, south of the connecting 
 drawbridge, there is a chest at the end with [LEATHER HAT]. Again, nothing 
 too exciting in terms of treasure.

To continue with the story, go to the Old Town, and south of the entrance to 
 the Arena, take a turn east into a narrow alley marked by two guards. Scene 
 ensues, don't worry about the dialogue choices.

Shoon joins the party, but the scene continues elsewhere.

You regain control back at the alley. Walk east for a chest: [MEGA MEDICINE]. 
 Then, head for the Inn so you can trigger another long scene. No matter what 
 you say, when you regain control, head for the entrance to the arena.

Note: Shoon here mentions a friend of his who had his eyesight taken from 
 him, but remained a strong Gladiator. This could be a reference to Morgan, a 
 character from Suikoden I.

In any event, Sialeeds joins the party on the next screen. Take her back to 
 the Inn. Tell Shoon you are ready in order to advance the story.

You will regain control in the Sewers. I suggest leaving temporarily though, 
 in order to sharpen Shoon and Sialeeds' weapons to Lv 3, again, Georg is 
 fine as he is. If you don't want to do this, that is fine too, but I think 
 it helps to have Shoon's weapon at Lv 3. Don't worry about armour, the 
 enemies you will face won't hit too hard. Return to the sewers.

As you may have noticed, there is little action in the game thus far, most of 
 it has been character and narrative construction. But, worry not, this set-
 up time will make things much more interesting when the plot really starts 
 moving.

The game is still going easy on you here, this level is pretty short, so I 
 suggest fighting around here a bit to build up your Potch total. Your 
 Character level does not matter much as Georg is, of course, overpowered.

Take the time to switch your party's formation. Double Arm tactic is now a
 good choice for this section. From now on, I'll mostly be leaving the 
 formation and tactics up to you, but from time to time I may suggest one if
 it works particularly well in a given situation. 

Back in the sewer, a cutscene ensues right in the entryway. Walk west to the 
 switch on the floor to open the gate in front of you for a chest 
 [ANTITOXIN]. Loop round back to the east for yet another scene, this time 
 with one of my favorite characters in the game, Egbert. Again, just keep him 
 in mind for the future.

From the intersection where you met Egbert, walk North then West for a chest 
 with [LEATHER ARMOR]. Not a bad choice for Shoon, in fact, I also suggest 
 giving him one of your stacks of Mega Medicine, and maybe a magic scroll or 
 two if you have them to spare. Better yet, give Shoon the Thunder Runner 
 scrolls Georg has equipped. From the now-empty chest, retrace your steps 
 east them north at the first turn to step on another switch. Head back to 
 the east side of the map, then turn north and through the door you just 
 opened for a [SACRIFICIAL JIZO]. This one is best given to either Sialeeds 
 or Lyon.

Retrace your steps back to the second switch, then head south this time, you 
 will find a crystal to the west. Take the south fork to swing round to a 
 floor switch. Go back to the crystal and west to exit the level.

During the scenes, you will have another two dialogue choices, choose either 
 option. Follow your quarry through a second section of the sewers, this path 
 is straight with no side routes, so just barrel through to the ladder at the 
 end. Make sure your party is healed before climbing up.

You'll emerge in the woods, a short way to the north, you'll be attacked by a 
 group of soldiers.

To give you a strategy for the battle: Georg. There, that is all the strategy 
 you'll need. If you want, use the Sialeeds/Prince Co-Op Attack too, but this 
 battle will be over quickly regardless.

After the battle, a cutscene ensues. You choice here is again unimportant in 
 the grand scheme of the (Suikoden) universe. Exit the cell after the scene 
 to move the story.

=================================
	THE SACRED GAMES
=================================

After the scene, the first choice makes no difference, then we drop into 
 text-only dialogue, where you will be presented with another choice:

*****Dialogue*****(Choose #2 for Game Event)
-----Ask for an explanation of the Dual Battle System.
-----Continue on without an explanation.

-----Dual Battles-----
Before choosing option #2, let me explain a bit: The Dual battles are set up 
 like Rock/ Paper/ Scissors. Attack > Defense > Special > Attack, and so 
 forth.

What your opponent says before you are asked to input a command will be 
 telling of what attack they are planning to use. Unlike the previous games, 
 you will have only a short time to decide what to do, so you must make a 
 decision quickly. If you cannot decide what to do, your best option is to 
 defend. This will allow you to Counter a special attack without taking 
 Damage, also if your opponent defends, you will just stare at each other for 
 a bit, and even if your opponent attacks, you will only receive a small 
 amount of damage.

I will not list what your opponents say here, and how that corresponds to 
 their moves. For one thing, you would hardly have time to look at my long 
 list of dialogue and moves before time runs out. For another, I think it 
 steals the fun if I just tell you what to do all the time. You are more than 
 smart enough to figure out your opponent's intentions and guess right most 
 of the time. If they are acting hesitant, they will likely defend, so choose 
 to attack. If they act assertive, choose to use a Special. If they act 
 aggressive, choose to defend. You get the picture.

The most important thing is to make a selection quickly, if the timer runs 
 out, your opponent will get a free hit. So, take a deep breath and calm 
 down; if you remain calm you will win most Duals with ease.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

With that said, this battle is a showcase, and it does not matter if you win
 or lose. Your opponent is Shoon, and the match has a friendly tone to it.

Choose dialogue option #2 and walk to the ring to continue. Shoon is a very 
 straight forward person, with no intention of trying to deceive you, so it 
 is easy to read his moves.

Winning or losing the fight does not effect the course of the game, though if 
 you win Ferid and Arshtat will be impressed. 

Afterwords, Lym will come running in:

*****Dialogue***** (choose either, but #1 is hilarious)
-----Pretend you wanted to marry your sister.
-----Pretend you don't have a sense of humor. 

Lyon, Miakis and Lym join temporarily. Make your way back to the Royal 
 section of the Arena. If you don't remember how to get there, head south 
 along the curving causeway to the lower hall, at the south end climb the 
 stairs to the Royal hall. Save at the prince's room if you want then go 
 north to the seating box.

Talk to the Queen's knights if you want to hear them congratulate you if you 
 won, or console you if you lost. In any case, sit down to move the story 
 forward.

*****Dialogue***** (choose either, but I suggest #1)
-----Go easy on Lym.
-----Be a stern brother.

After round 1 match 8, another option appears.

*****Dialogue*****(choose either)
-----Go meet Belcoot
-----Go meet Belcoot anyway.

Before leaving the arena, you will see a scene that introduces you to another 
 character. Before you leave for the Town, walk back north and then west to 
 the infirmary, for another character introduction scene.

Walk south to the Bazaar for a third character intro.

Continue south into Old Town and head to lower gate for character into #4. 
 All of these scenes are unnecessary for recruitment, but they do allow you 
 to get a glimpse of characters you can recruit later. 

Go to the western edge of old town to meet up with Belcoot.

*****Dialogue***** (choose either)
-----Charge in and have Georg stop you.
-----Observe.

I love the depiction of the "Arrogant Man's" Self-Perpetuating, circular 
 hate-logic here. Reminds me of American talk-radio hosts. It is a sharp 
 contrast with Belcoot's calm strength. Well, again you fight random 
 weaklings. The only difference here is that Georg may not be able to kill 
 them with one hit if you did not sharpen his weapon! Egads!! Just slaughter 
 them like baby lambs and move on with the story.

Belcoot joins temporarily.

Back at the Inn, another long scene plays out. There will be a succession of 
 dialogue choices, none of which make much difference.

After all the scenes play out, go back to the Arena to trigger even more of 
 them.

When you gain control, head for the Inn again, Belcoot joins the party. Go to 
 new town and exit the gate to the southeast.

=============================================================================

	WORLD MAP

=============================================================================
Mini Boss: Wild boar
	Rewards: Power Rune Piece, Marbled Beef, Fur Clothes
		2,500 potch, 18 party SP

Finally we have made it to the world map!

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

I'm going to take some time to explain some things in detail here, including 
 the Trade System and Skills System. So, if you are uninterested in these two
 things, skip ahead to the next divider. 

-----The Trade System-----

The trade system first appeared in Suikoden II, and has been a great way to 
 earn Potch ever since. Basically, you buy an item for -say- 100 potch and 
 sell it at another city for 200 potch. The reason most people shy away from 
 the trade system though, is because they are scared of losing potch in the 
 process, but this rarely happens, and with my help you can avoid it 
 entirely. Another issue is that people will hold onto their trade items for 
 so long in the game, waiting for that "perfect opportunity" to double their 
 investment or more, when in reality you can make much more money trading in 
 high volumes with quick turnover, than you can by letting items sit in 
 storage.

Here in Stormfist, the trader is to your right as you enter the city, before 
 you even enter the main gate, also, there is a trade shop at the Bazaar. 
 Since you will have another chance to buy from him soon, I don't suggest 
 buying anything yet, but if you remember the prices of goods at the trade 
 shop in Sol-Falena, you will see that items like Soybeans, Fruit, and Wheat 
 are all less expensive here by about 100 - 200 potch each.

What I mean is this: it is better to by lots of items you can make 10-25% on, 
 then sell them quickly, then to buy high-value items and wait hours before 
 you sell them. I'll remind you in the walkthrough when it is time to buy 
 things from a trader, as well as what to buy and where to sell it.

-----Skills-----

Skills make a return here in Suikoden V, they were last seen in Suikoden III. 
 Though a few changes have been made they should feel somewhat familiar.

First off, Skills simply increase your statistics, so, the "Attack" Skill 
 raises your "ATK" stat. There are some exceptions, though. The "Incantation"
 Magic Skill allows for faster casting in-battle, and does not change any 
 stat seen on the Status screen.

Generally, I suggest using Skills to accentuate a character's strengths, 
 rather than using them to cover their weaknesses. For example: Sialeeds can 
 use the "Stamina" skill to increase her measly HP. However: (1.) That skill 
 will max out at a value of "C," and (2.) She should be spending most of her 
 time in the back row, away from frequent physical attacks.

Using skills to accentuate strengths produces better results. Georg currently 
 has the Vitality skill equipped, which increases his critical rate. 
 Naturally, he has a high crit rate, but with this skill and the Killer Rune 
 he has equipped, he becomes the Georg that we are familiar with: throwing 
 out more crits than non-critical hits. His "Vitality" skill maxes out at the 
 "S" level too, allowing for a very pronounced effect.

Note that Georg has the "Combat Trainer" skill permanently equipped. This 
 means that as long as he is in your party, you can use this skill to upgrade 
 your Combat skills at any time. Right now though, the highest any skill can 
 achieve is a "C" rank, but we will be acquiring special items later to allow 
 for further training. As far as Magic training goes, you will have to rely 
 on magic trainers that you can find in towns.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

So, as far as Skills are concerned, I recommend Vitality for Georg, Attack/ 
 Agility for the Prince, Agility/Technique for Lyon, and Incantation for 
 Sialeeds. Incantation is a magic skill, so you will have to train this in 
 town for now.

On the world map, go ahead and fight around. Occasionally, you will hear the 
 sounds played as you enter a battle change. Normally, the game plays a tone 
 that sounds like sunlight, if in fact sunlight sounded anything at all like 
 a high-strain played on a symbol. Sometimes it will change to a deeper, 
 woodwind sound played one octave lower. This is your cue that you are 
 entering a Mini-Boss battle. Mini-Bosses are usually not that difficult, but 
 give great rewards, so I suggest hanging around a bit til you fight the Wild 
 Boar found here on this section of the map.

When you are ready, the West Woods are immediately west of Stormwind.

=============================================================================

	WESTERN WOODS

=============================================================================

Cutscene as you enter. 

With both Georg and Belcoot, this area is a joke, just keep an eye on you HP 
 because damage can add up here, though the main danger is only that Lyon, 
 Prince, or Sialeeds might end the battle KO'd, and not receive any EXP or 
 SP.

Follow the deer trail to the north while keeping pressed against the east 
 side. At a bend to the left, your character will break right onto a short, 
 hidden path with [GOOSE TACTIC]. Back on the main path, continue north to a 
 not-so-hidden chest [MEGA MEDICINE]. The main path sweeps west, then north. 
 Continue on to another scene.

*****Dialogue*****(choose either)
-----Disrespect them directly.
-----Tell them who you are, then have them disrespect you.

You are thrown into battle.

---------------------------------
Boss: Thug x5

Well, these guys again. . .

What can I say? You really don't need my help here. The Prince/Sialeeds 
 "Royal Power" Co-Op is a good choice to start off. After that, Auto-Battle 
 is more than enough to finish them.

The only real danger is if one of your characters took cumulative damage in 
 the woods prior to battle. If so, you can use Sialeeds' Wind Rune -the 
 Healing Wind spell- to heal them.

This battle took only 2 turns for me.

Rewards:
Medicine
1,500 potch
25 party SP

---------------------------------

After the battle, Marina joins temporarily. Marina is a support only 
 character that recovers a small amount of HP to your battle party after each 
 turn, making her very useful for extended trips.

Take the main road back to the south. Press against the west side to hind a 
 hidden chest [Silence Orb].

----------------Silence Rune
Type: Support
Rank: D
Notes: This Rune adds a 30% chance of inflicting silence on an enemy when 
 attacked by the wearer's weapon. Most of the enemies that use powerful 
 magics are immune to Silence, though, and others are often mixed into the 
 back of groups along with Physically powerful enemies. Overall, this is a 
 rune with limited usefulness, if any.

---------------

Exit the Woods for a scene.

=============================================================================

	STORMFIST

=============================================================================


You regain control at the Inn. Walk outside the room to trigger another 
 scene. Go back to bed to move the story forward. In the morning, there is 
 another brief period of control, followed quickly by a scene.

Sialeeds, Georg, and Belcoot join. Leave the Inn and enter the Arena. Note: 
 If you missed the [Double Arm Tactic] and [Old Book vol. 7] in the Arena 
 Gardens earlier, this will be you last chance for awhile. Make sure you pick 
 them up.

After Belcoot leaves, return to the Royal Hall to advance the story. If you 
 want, you can now buy Trade Goods from the merchant at the Bazaar, but other 
 than that there is not much to do in town. 

The final match begins. Afterwords, you will be presented with a dialogue 
 choice. Your reply mean nothing overall, but if you do want to speak up, 
 you'll have to do it quickly, because this choice has a time limit. 

*****Dialogue*****(Choose Quickly)
-----Remain silent.
-----Make Childerich mad at you.

Head for the Infirmary in the Lower Northwest Causeway for a scene. Follow 
 Sialeeds to the cells for a further sequence of intermittent scenes.

*****Dialogue*****(#2 recommended)
-----Be doubtful of Zegai.
-----Believe Zegai.  

*****Dialogue*****(choose either)
-----Try to confront the villains and have Auntie Sialeeds stop you.
-----Inform the Queen of what is really going on.

*****Dialogue*****(#1 recommended)
-----Stand up for Justice.
-----Be indifferent to the fate of a slave.

After the scenes, return to the Queen's room in the Royal Hall to trigger the 
 next scene. You can talk to the nobles, guards, Alenia and Galleon to get 
 their perspectives on the way.

*****Dialogue*****(choose either)
-----Take an accusational tone, and get scolded. 
-----Take a feeble tone.

*****Dialogue*****(choose either)
-----Remain silent.
-----Speak up.

The next day, you will prepare to leave Stormfist. Outside the Prince's room, 
 talk to the lady-in-waiting for a funny scene. Talk to daddy to get the 
 story rolling.

Leave Royal Hall and talk with Murad in the infirmary. Then swing around to 
 the Main Hall and exit the arena to the south. Finish up any shopping you 
 have left to do in the Bazaar section, then walk to Old Town. Speak to the 
 girl and the leopard nearby to trigger a scene:

*****Dialogue*****(#2 strongly recommended)
-----Say you don't know.
-----Ask Lyon for her Opinion.

Answering this way will help you recruit Norma and Ernst later on, though 
 even if you don't talk to them or answer incorrectly, I am _pretty_ sure you 
 can recruit them anyway.

A note on recruitment: If you follow this walkthrough, you will recruit all 
 108 Stars of Destiny at the earliest point possible for each one. If you do 
 not follow it exactly, most characters can be recruited at later points. 
 Some characters though, have very small windows for recruitment, and can be 
 missed entirely, leading you into one of the game's less than ideal endings. 
 If a character can be missed, I will have you recruit that character as soon 
 as possible -like all the others- plus I will warn you again before that 
 character disappears for good, just to make sure you do not miss them.

If you want to catch up with Egbert, you can do so in the eastern portion of 
 Old Town. Armor and Weapon levels are not too important now, so you can 
 leave all that for later if you want, but check the Armour shop for rare 
 finds if you wish.

To continue: Speak to Belcoot and Marina at the upper floor of the Inn; your 
 dialogue choice makes no difference.

Return to the Arena's Royal Hall and speak to Ferid when you are done with 
 everything in town.

*****Dialogue*****(choose #2 for story event)
-----Stay longer.
-----Move the Story forward.

During the scene, Gizel will compliment you:

*****Dialogue*****(Choose Either)
-----Be polite.
-----Remind him of his place.

Another scene.

=============================================================================

	SUN PALACE

=============================================================================


The Plot is beginning to pick up here, and we will be moving away from an 
 emphasis on plot construction to a faster-paced action. Also, the game will 
 begin to become more challenging, now that you have had time to become 
 acquainted with the various battle systems. (With the notable exception of 
 the Major Battles, but we will cover that later.)

We will drop into text-only dialogue, and Lym will bust into the Prince's 
 room.

*****Dialogue*****(Choose either, but #2 is more humorous.)
-----Say hi.
-----Demand some privacy.

Miakis and Lym join. Walk towards the stairs down to the Knight's Hall to 
 have Sialeeds join you. Downstairs, on the way to the Throne Room, you pick 
 up Georg as well. Once in the Foyer, exit north to the Throne Room for a cut 
 scene.

*****Dialogue*****(Choose either, but #1 is recommended)
-----Be obedient.
-----Speak out and confuse Lym.

Speak to the Queen's Knights on the way to the exit, they always have 
 interesting things to say. You'll meet Kyle by the door for a short scene. 
 If you want, there is an optional scene here too: Take your party to the 
 kitchen hall on the lower floor, and west to the stairs to the cells. You 
 can talk to Zegai, and Tease Lym a bit. Continue out of the Palace south 
 into the City Proper.

The Blacksmith in town can now sharpen your weapons to level 5. This time I 
 will suggest that you sharpen Georg's weapon, because his character level 
 advantage is now much less than it was before. You might not be able to 
 sharpen them all to Lv 5, but do not worry, Lv 3 is just fine for Georg. For 
 the Prince, Lyon, and Sialeeds, I do suggest Lv 5 eventually, but for now it 
 can be put off.

Before you leave town, walk to the western islet to meet the Rune Mistress 
 that you missed before when you searched for her with Kyle. As if there was 
 any surprise, the Run Mistress is actually Jeane. Along with Viki, Jeane is 
 only one of two characters to appear in all of the main games of the 
 Suikoden. I will cover Jeane in-depth later, but for now she makes quite an 
 impact on your party, and you have a dialogue choice:

*****Dialogue*****(Choose Either)
-----Act like you actually have business here.
-----Excuse yourself (perhaps to go change your clothes).

You can buy Runes if you want, or simply equip the Silence Rune you acquired
 earlier, but for now I do not choose to spend money on Runes that I don't
 need. Go ahead and sell off the Trade items you may have bought earlier. As 
 far as medicine and such, the you should already have a few stacks in your 
 inventory. If you don't have any Antitoxin, go ahead and buy some for now.

When you are finished shopping, leave town. There are two exits in Sol-
 Falena. One is at the Pier, simply walk southeast before descending the 
 stairs to find an exit. The second is located just southeast of the 
 appraiser, on the westernmost islet. You will pass under a small archway 
 before leaving.

=============================================================================

	World Map

=============================================================================


Mini Boss: Peckles
	Rewards:Power Piece, Marbled Beef, Leather Cape
		2,500 potch, 18 party SP


The East Palace is a short walk to the east. (I know that you are glad to 
 have me writing this walkthrough, with vital information such as that.)

On that note, before we cover the Palace, I will introduce Sialeeds and the 
 Wind Rune. If you don't care, skip ahead to the next divider.

---------------Sialeeds
Star# 3 of 108
Auto-Recruit
Overall Rank: C
Class: Long-Range Mage
Notes: Sialeeds is an odd character, to be sure. She has lots of Magic Power, 
 but only one rune slot, permanently occupied by a Wind Rune. Aside from her 
 dismal HP totals and her lack of contribution in many battles, she does have 
 some good qualities: the Royal Power Co-Op Attack is a great way to clear 
 out weaker enemies from the screen, and she is faster than most other Mage-
 Class characters, making her a good idea for in-battle item usage. Like her 
 or not, she is a required character in many sections of the game, and the 
 first true mage that you have access to. Her Skills are not that great 
 either: "Long Throw" is permanently equipped, and not too useful. She seems 
 to be a bad compromise between Long-Range Attack and Magic, in the end, I 
 find myself only using her when she is required, as either more versatile or 
 more powerful mages emerge later in the game.

Plus, although she can be funny at times, she doesn't win any points on 
 personality from me.


Recommended Runes: Err. . Wind?
Recommended Skills: Incantation,  Long Throw


---------------Wind Rune
Type: Magic
Rank: C

Level 1: Wind of Sleep (Status Attack)
Level 2: Healing Wind (Recovery)
Level 3: The Shredding (Attack)
Level 4: Funeral Wind (Attack)

Notes: The Wind Rune is a compromise. Water magic heals, Lightning and Fire 
 attack, Earth defends, while Wind has a little bit of everything. Wind Runes 
 have been very useful in the previous Suikoden games, but in this one, I 
 think they tend to be the least useful of all the basic elemental magic 
 runes. Wind magic tends to be the best choice when you have no idea what you 
 are getting yourself into, but, dear reader, you have me, so there should be 
 nothing that you are not prepared for. (Or I have not done my job right.) 
 Don't get me wrong, if a character has a high Wind Magic stat on the Status 
 Screen, don't hesitate to equip them with a Wind Rune, but virtually all the 
 magic has a counterpart available on another rune at a lower level. For 
 example: Healing Wind is an exact copy of Kindness Drops, the Lv 1 Water 
 magic. The only magic that really stands out is Lv 3 The Shredding, a nice 
 magic attack that hits the entire enemy party. Don't hold any of this 
 against the Cyclone Rune though.

Personally, I feel that the Wind Rune was best in Suikoden II, where Funeral 
 Wind was instead Storm Warning, a defensive spell. This could be interpreted 
 as a metaphor for wind itself. Meaning the poetic trope of "the Four Winds," 
 North, South, East, and West. The rune from that game had a Status Effect 
 spell, a Recovery spell, an Attack spell, and a Defensive spell: North, 
 South, East, and West. Now we have just North, South, East, and er ... East.

Like the Wind itself, Wind Rune users are often capricious and fickle, 
 changing as often as the direction of the wind.
  
Rune Family Tree: True Wind > Cyclone > Wind.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Back to the Walkthrough:

=============================================================================

	EAST PALACE

=============================================================================


At the East Palace, talk to the guards and the officials to glean some 
 information about the Dawn Rune, and Runes in general. Before you enter the 
 main building, let's steal some treasure from the chests here: Walk North a 
 bit to the lone tree, and turn west into the silver and beige two-tone 
 building to find the [ARROWHEAD TACTIC]. North from that building, walk 
 through the archway and turn west, then go north long the shore for [GLASS 
 SLIPPERS]. Continuing along the shoreline to the east, there is a chest 
 under a tree: [CAPE]. Walk South to a pier, then east to the end for a chest 
 hidden from view [SLEEP ORB]. 

After all that loot, enter the large Administrative Building. The people here 
 have much to say about the loss of the Dawn Rune two years ago. Exit to the 
 north underneath the staircase to reach the Dawn Rune Room, and a cutscene.

*****Dialogue*****(choose either)
-----Buck tradition, then end up adhering to it anyway.
-----Git 'r dun.

Inside the room, there will be another scene.

*****Dialogue*****(choose either)
-----Ask for her identity, and have Sialeeds answer her.
-----Answer her question.

Outside, you gain control. We are done here at the East Palace, So let's head 
 for Lunas. 

Before we get there, trade out Miakis' equipment with Lyon. Lyon will have 
 many more opportunities to make use of it for now.

Lunas is North of the East Palace, off of the roads. You'll know you are 
 close when the grass fades and gives way to a rocky steppe.

------------Sleep Rune
Type: Support
Rank: C
Notes: With a 30% chance of inflicting sleep, this Rune is much more useful 
 than the Silence Rune. However, unless you equip it on a slow character, you 
 have at least a 30% chance of waking that enemy back up before the end of 
 the turn. . . This Rune is most useful early on, and fades as you acquire 
 many more powerful Runes. 


=============================================================================

	LUNAS

=============================================================================


Inside the city. . . well, it is not really a city or a town, it is more a 
 monastery, as there are no shops or services here.

At the monastery, Isato joins the party for a short time, no matter what you 
 say to him. Walk east across the surprisingly sturdy drawbridge to the 
 outside of the Oracle's Conclave, grabbing [DEFENSE RING] and [JEWEL 
 NECKLACE]. Head inside for a scene.

*****Dialogue*****(choose either)
-----Act like you are surprised.
-----Act like you don't mind being smothered because she is prettier than you 
 expected.

Miakis and Lym leave to prepare for the rite, leaving you in control outside 
 of the Conclave. The clerics have some interesting things to say, so chat 
 your way down to the level below the Conclave and head south where you will 
 find three doors. The Left Door contains a cleric so eager to make you at 
 home he gives you some [JUICE], the enter room has a chest containing [OLD 
 BOOK vol 5], and the third has a polite lady, but no loot. Walk down the 
 wooden scaffolds to the river-shore and south for a cutscene. A long 
 explanation ensues regardless of your answer.

*****Dialogue*****(#1 recommended)
-----Be attentive to Lyon.
-----Be a Jerk to Lyon

When you gain control, stay by the shore and explore the three rooms at the 
 base level. The Left contains the [WATER ORB], the middle [MAGICAL PIECE], 
 and nothing in the right-hand room again.

Back at the Conclave, the rite will begin in a cutscene.

*****Dialogue*****(choose either, #1 provokes the funnier reaction.)
-----Of course not.
-----Berate your little sister for being little.

*****Dialogue*****(choose either)
-----Be a normal person, who doesn't like to see blood relatives bathing.
-----Stay silent and be scolded by Lyon. (also triggers the next choice)

*****Dialogue*****(choose either)
-----State -in no uncertain terms- your feelings on the subject of Lyon.
-----Backpedal.

Outside and up the scaffolds, there will be another cutscene. 

*****Dialogue*****(#1 recommended)
-----Help Isato investigate.
-----Leave it to him and be asked again.

Here you have a choice of which scene you wish to see. I suggest helping 
 Isato, just to be a nice guy. But, if you decline to help 2 times, you will 
 return to the Conclave to see Lym, Sialeeds, and Miakis return from the rite 
 and then Isato will drag two intruders into the Conclave.

If you choose to go help, there will be a short path where random battle are 
 possible (but not very exciting). Just go North to "capture" the intruders.

Either way, you end up back at the Conclave, interrogating Logg and Lun, who 
 seem to be about as bright as bricks.

*****Dialogue*****(#1 recommended)
-----Grant them a reprieve.
-----Be a tyrant and get scolded. . . again.

You gain control in the hall of the Conclave. If you speak to Haswar again in 
 her room, she will offer you a warm glass of milk. (hahaha) Walk upstairs. 
 Lym's room is on the west end, north side of the hall, I suggest you visit 
 here before choosing to sleep. Your soom is to the south, across the hall 
 from Lym's -the door is hard to see because it is transparent- choose to 
 rest to advance the story.

If Lym's affection for you is high enough, she will ask to sleep in the same 
 bed as you. However, you have had to be very kind to Lym for this to happen, 
 if you don't see this scene, don't worry at all. Honestly, I think it is 
 more entertaining to tease Lym a bit rather than to be so coddling and see 
 this scene, which is why I left so many of the choices up to you.

In the morning, Lym and Miakis will return to the Sun Palace, while you 
 deliver the bricks to Raftfleet, which is to the south, along the eastern 
 bank of the river south of the East Palace.

Now for some info on the Water Rune and Different types of spells. Skip to 
 the next full break if you don't want to hear me out.

--------------Water Rune
Type: Magic
Rank: B

Lv 1: Kindness Drops (Recovery)
Lv 2: Breath of Ice (Attack)
Lv 3: Kindness Rain (Recovery)
Lv 4: Silent Lake (Defense)

I will not say that Water Runes are the "best" of the basic elemental Runes, 
 but I will say that I use them more than any other Rune. Water Runes are a 
 vital source for HP and status recovery. They save money on Medicines and 
 Antitoxins and they are useful in all types of battles, from long chains of 
 weak enemies that can wear you down, to difficult bosses with powerful 
 attacks. I always have at least one person in my party with a water rune 
 equipped. The Lv 1 spell, Kindness Drops, heals all of a character's lost 
 HP, plus any negative status effects. This is a great spell, especially at 
 Lv 1. While I would not say Water magic is a necessity, it is a great help 
 at all times, and I will write this walkthrough from the assumption that you 
 have at least one Water Rune equipped to a character with decent MP in your 
 party at all times.

Water Rune users sharply contrast Wind Rune users. They seem more stable and 
 calm, like a still lake or a deep, slow river. Water is the essence of life 
 -nothing can survive without it- and water magic gives life to those around 
 its wielders.

Rune Family Tree: True Water > Flowing > Water

---------------

And now a word about types of spells in the game:

Certainly there are different types of spells like recovery and attack 
 spells, but what I will talk about here is what I like to call -quite 
 esoterically- "Absolute-Value" spells and "Dependent-Value" spells. In 
 short, a Dependent-Value spell is one that's effect is _dependent_ on the 
 caster's Magic Power statistic, while an "Absolute-Value" spell has the same 
 effect when cast regardless of the caster's Magic Power.

For example, take the Lv 1 Water Rune magic, Kindness Drops: its effect is 
 always the same, regardless if the caster has a magic power of 1 point or 
 100 points; it will always heal all HP and status effects of one ally. This 
 makes Kindness Drops an Absolute-Value spell.

An example of a Dependent-Value spell is the Lv 1 Fire Rune magic, Flaming 
 Arrows: its damage will vary widely, depending on the caster's magic stat 
 and that caster's Fire Magic Affinity. To check a character's affinity with 
 any particular Rune family, look on the status screen, they will be ranked 
 from "D" to "S" for each Rune family available in this game.

The Rune Affinity rank effects more than just the power of the spells, they 
 offer faster incantation as well, making a higher ranking desirable for 
 casting Absolute-Value spells.

Many characters in this game -like Lyon- have decent magic and MP scores, but 
 no matter what rune you try, they won't deal too much more damage with magic 
 attacks than with their physical attacks. This makes them prime candidates 
 for Absolute-Value magic, which makes use of their MP, while allowing them 
 to fight physically to deal damage. For Lyon, I suggest Runes heavy in 
 Absolute-Value spells, like Water, Earth, and Shield runes. (More on Earth 
 and Shield Runes later.)

For characters like Georg, who have dismal MP, Support and Attack-Effect 
 Runes work better than magic, even Absolute-Value magic. Georg is perfectly 
 suited for the Killer Rune he has equipped. But, later on in the game, even 
 magically weak characters gain 4 or 5 Lv 1 MP and 2 Rune slots, so, Water or 
 Earth Runes are not a bad choice at all for that second slot, letting them 
 throw out an Absolute-Value Kindness Drops or Clay Guardian spell when 
 needed. While they will still have slow incantation for these spells, 
 casting them a turn in advance solves this problem, you just have to make 
 sure to plan ahead a bit.

Another thing to keep in mind, too: Clay Guardian is easily available as a 
 Scroll Item, which are used just as any other item in battle. As the game 
 progresses, you will gain many powerful Attack-Effect and Status-Effect 
 Runes, at this point it may be wiser to switch out Magic Runes for these 
 Support Runes on, and use Spell Scrolls instead.


=============================================================================

	RAFTFLEET

=============================================================================


Once you enter, you see a scene introducing you to the Dahak, the large ship 
 to the northwest. Walk forward a bit for a short Character Introduction 
 scene.

Now that you have full control, feel free to explore around a bit. Directions 
 will be hard for me to give here, as Raftfleet is essentially a mesh of 
 small fishing boats linked together by narrow gangplanks, but I'll do my 
 best.

Before we move on with the plot, there are some treasures to be had here, and 
 some people nice enough to give the Prince gifts just for the honor of 
 speaking to him. From the Journeyman's Crystal, walk west to the ship 
 containing the Inn. On the deck, there is a chest with the important 
 [THUNDER PIECE]. Collect 4 of these, then assemble them at any runemaster 
 for the rare Thunder Rune, essentially the Lightning Rune's big brother. 
 North of the Journeyman's Crystal is a ship anchored to the west, go inside 
 and out the bow door to find a [FIRE SEALING PIECE]. Back at the last 
 intersection, head east to the bow of a boat. Walk around the cabin to the 
 stern, which will connect you with the appraiser's boat. Walk through the 
 appraiser's shop and into the cabin of the next boat. There are two signs 
 here, one with a Blue Arrow, and the other with a Red Arrow. The Blue Arrow 
 leads to our ultimate destination, the Dahak, but for now head north to the 
 ship's aft to continue our treasure hunt.

Exiting the boat, you come to a pontoon raft, go east, then south when you 
 can for two chests: [MEGA MEDICINE] and [SACRIFICIAL JIZO]. Heading North 
 from there will take you to the bow of the Rune Shop, where you can equip 
 the Water Rune you acquired in Lunas. Sialeeds is stuck with her Wind Rune, 
 so either the Prince or Lyon can take it.

East of the pontoon rafts, you will enter the Blacksmith. Raise the Prince, 
 Sialeeds and Lyon's weapons to level 5 if you can, Georg is still fine at Lv 
 3. South off the bow of the blacksmith, you will find a boat with a green 
 roof. Enter the cabin and move to the bow for a chest with [SILVER ROBE]. 
 Back at the Blacksmith, move north to the stern to connect to the Item and 
 Armour shops. Sometimes the Armour shop has Bone Bracelets in its Rare Finds 
 section, if they do, they are a great fit for Sialeeds. At the bow of the 
 Item Shop, talk to the woman there and she will give you a [FISH BADGE]. 
 South from the blacksmith, on the bow of the boat with the green roof, there 
 is a [SILVER ROBE].

Head back to the boat with the two arrows in its cabin. Go west to reach the 
 massive Dahak. You will enter onto the port side bow. Go up the stairs to 
 the west to find a covered deck with a Journeyman's Crystal. Down the steps 
 to the north is a large cabin with Skill trainers. Go ahead and upgrade your 
 skills now if you want. You do not have to do it this way, but I had 
 Sialeeds at LV C Incantation / LV C Long Throw. The Prince: LV C Attack / LV 
 C Agility. Lyon: LV C Technique / LV C Agility. And Georg: LV C Vitality. If 
 you cannot reach this just yet, no problem, we are still quite a ways from 
 the point where skills start having a major impact. Also, don't use your 
 party SP just yet, that stuff is hard to come by and is better spent later.

Up the second set of stairs in the training hall is a four-way intersection. 
 To the north is the Baths, with nothing to do there yet. To the southwest, 
 there is an often-missed door that leads to the outer deck with two chests 
 [OLD BOOK vol 1] and [FLOWING PIECE]. Again the Flowing Piece is very 
 important, do not sell it or discard it. Back at the intersection, climb the 
 western steps to the bridge for a scene.

You hand over Logg and Lun, try to follow them into the back room for a funny 
 scene that hints at their punishment.

Before you leave Raftfleet, feel free to tour the town again, as well as stop 
 by the trading post on your way out. Buy some Tea and Rice for big profits 
 back in Sol-Falena. Also, introduce yourself to Sairoh, another character 
 you can recruit later.

If you wish to continue with the story, return to the Sun Palace in Sol-
 Falena. For now, you can make money via the trade system, just buy up things 
 in one place and try to sell for a profit at the other, if you cannot sell 
 for a profit, you can return to where you bought those items and get your 
 money back. It is pretty simple, really.

I do suggest upgrading Lyon, the Prince, and Sialeeds' gear to the best you 
 can find, mostly in the Rare Finds sections at the shops in both Sol-Falena 
 and Raftfleet. Georg is awesome enough that he doesn't need it. Sacrificial 
 Jizos are a good idea too. I usually have one equipped on the Prince at all 
 times anyway. Since you have gotten 3 so far in the game, put them on Lyon, 
 Prince, and Sialeeds. (If you missed one, sold it, or used it already, meh, 
 doesn't matter.) Plus, I recommend having Prince, Sialeeds, and Lyon at Lv 
 19 before moving on.

Now that we have all that done, go to the Sun Palace.

=============================================================================

	SUN PALACE

=============================================================================


At the Sun Palace entryway, you are greeted by Ferid and Kyle. Before going 
 to the Throne room, head for the Queen's Knights Hall, to find Dr. Murad. 
 Talking to him now may help you recruit him later. 

Walk north to the Throne Room, and then past the curtain in back. Lyon will 
 leave temporarily, and you will see a scene -not with the Queen- but with 
 your mother. Your Dialogue Options do not matter.

Wander round a bit and talk to the people if you want. To move the story 
 forward, go to the Prince's Hall and choose to sleep.

Several scenes play out here. When we drop into text-only dialogue, Sialeeds 
 joins you. Chat your way up to the throne. Miakis always has funny things to 
 say. When you are done pretending to be happy, talk to Ferid to move 
 forward.

A series of cutscenes ensue.

And now the plot starts moving. . .

You will be thrust into battle.

---------------------------------

Boss: Assassin

Depending on the Tactic you last used, you may want to change back to the 
 "Standard" formation, as your party consists only of the Prince, Lyon, and 
 Sialeeds.

The game will no longer be kind to you in terms of difficulty. So this battle 
 is much more difficult, but still manageable, if not easy. Have the Prince 
 and Lyon use the "Sworn Protector" Co-Op, while Sialeeds Attacks and throws 
 out Items as necessary.

The Assassin will deal about 25-50 DMG per round, depending on your level. 
 While much sterner that previous bosses, you are fully rested at this point, 
 so defeating him should not be difficult.

Rewards: Medicine,
	1,000 potch, 25 party SP

----------------------------------

*****Dialogue*****(#1 recommended)
-----Be concerned for your family.
-----Try to Save your own skin and get scolded.

When you gain control, random battles will occur as you move about, so be 
 careful.

Save the Game.

Outside in the Prince's Hall, bend round to the north, and approach the 
 stairway. Do not descend yet. Use the Medicine in your party items to heal 
 yourself fully.

-----Optional-Win Battle

Like many other Suikoden Games, there are battles that are extremely 
 difficult. Really, you are meant to lose them, but they can be won with the 
 right preparation and determination. The events of the story will not change 
 if you win or lose. What you do get, other than the obvious bragging rights, 
 is a goodly amount of potch, EXP, and some Items. So, it is completely up to 
 you to either take on the challenge, or let it go. Sometimes they can be 
 very difficult, and thus frustrating.

Even though I will guide you through winning every one of these battles, I 
 will write the rest of the walkthrough from the perspective that you lost, 
 just in case I did not do my job right and you cannot win this battle.

Listen, if you give this battle a few tries and still can't win, then 
 consider it my fault and not yours. I'm the one writing this walkthrough, 
 and it means that I did not do a good enough job of preparing you, that is 
 all.

So, descend the stairs and here we go. . .


---------------------------------

Optional-Win Battle

-Childerich

-Dolph

Vs.

-Prince

-Lyon

-Sialeeds

Recommended LV: 19+

Focus your attacks on one enemy at a time. I usually focus on Childerich 
 first, though if you really hate Dolph that much more, be my guest.

Perhaps for the first time, Sialeed's magic is useful in battle. At LV 19 she 
 gains 1 LV 3 MP, allowing the use of The Shredding spell. Use that in the 
 first round, along with Lyon's Clay Guardian scroll. If you still have the 
 Price's magic scrolls, use them too. It is dangerous to attack your 
 opponents directly, as they counter attack often. In the second round that 
 the battle gets complicated.

At round 2, you need to make a decision: either attack until one of your 
 characters dies, or try to preserve their life. To preserve their life, have 
 Sialeeds use Healing Wind on whomever was attacked in the first round. And 
 have Prince/ Lyon use their Co-Op. If you have Sialeeds equip and raise her 
 Incantation Skill, she should be able to pull off Healing Wind before Dolph 
 can attack. 

If you want to let them get KO'd, that is fine, because the remainder of your 
 party has a good chance of attaining the "Fury" positive status effect, plus 
 if you equipped a Sacrificial Jizo to that person like I suggested, they 
 will be revived, at least temporarily, while the Fury Effect remains on your 
 other party members. If your weakened party member gets killed again right 
 away, don't worry we can still win. But if they survive to be healed in the 
 next round, then the battle is yours.

Regardless of what you choose, round 3 should see Childerich weakened, finish 
 him, preferably with the Prince/Lyon Co-Op. Have Sialeeds use Healing Wind 
 every turn on the person with the lowest HP.

If you reach round 4 with all your party members on their feet and Childerich 
 down, then the battle is yours. If not, have either the Prince or Lyon 
 attack (one of them should be Infuriated) and Sialeeds -if she is alive- 
 heals, then attacks if she runs out of both spells and medicine. If you have 
 just the Prince and Lyon, Alternate between the Co-Op and having one of them 
 use the Water Rune's Kindness drops.

If you can keep this up, Dolph will go down too.

Rewards: Bragging Rights
	Prosperity Piece x1 (40% drop rate)
	4,000 potch and 40 party SP.

-----------------------------------

Whew! Now that is over, Kyle will come and save you. (?)

Note: It seems here that Kyle uses "Fog of Deception" the old LV 2 Water 
 Magic from Suikoden I, which unfortunately was replaced by Breath of Ice in 
 # III. I wish I could choose Fog over Ice. . .

When you regain control, walk to the door for another scene.

*****Dialogue*****(Option #1 recommended)
-----Show concern for Lym (and trigger the next choice)
-----Follow Georg's Orders


*****Dialogue*****(#2 Recommended)
-----Try To Help Miakis and Galleon, but be stopped by everyone.
-----Move the story forward.

If you keep trying to help Miakis and Galleon, you will eventually be forced 
 to leave anyway.

Walk to the west end of the Queen's Knights Hall, for anther scene. Walk 
 along the straight path to close out this chapter.



=============================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

========Chapter 2======== section 1.2

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
=============================================================================


"Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, or Death? The last, much the easiest to 
 bestow O, guillotine!"

From "A Tale of Two Cities"
-by Charles Dickens.

=============================================================================

	WORLD MAP
=============================================================================

You will gain control on the world map. Don't let the gravity of what just
 happened allow you to forget to rearrange your party.

It is time to head for Lunas. Raftfleet has moved away, so just go north from 
 the East Palace to Lunas.


=============================================================================

	LUNAS

============================================================================


You'll be greeted by Isato again. Go to the Conclave, and at the end of the 
 scene, choose to rest. Your room is upstairs, the same one you had last time 
 that you were here.

More Scenes, some of them quite touching.

In the morning you gain control. You will find Lyon downstairs, and another 
 scene will start. Again, your dialogue choices mean little. Your party will 
 reform, and Isato will join temporarily as well.

Exit the room and then leave the hall to the west. Escape using the trail to 
 the north. After a short walk, Isato will guide you down a hidden path. 
 Climb the two sets of ladders to the east, then descend a third to find the 
 exit. Isato will leave, and you will find a new section of the world map.

=============================================================================

	WORLD MAP

=============================================================================


Mini Boss (Plains): Peckles (Again!)
	Rewards: Power Piece, Marbled Beef, Leather Cape
		2,500 potch, 18 party SP
Mini Boss (Woods): Red Ulse
	Rewards: Mega Medicine, Violence Piece, Boost Piece
		1,500 potch, 20 party SP


Walk southeast to reach the nearest town, Haud village. I suggest taking this 
 opportunity to convert all of Georg's SP into Party SP. Vitality is the best 
 skill for Georg for quite some time, and once that hits a C rank, it is
 pointless to waste SP on his other skills for the time being. You should try 
 to save up as much party SP as possible for the future.


=============================================================================

	HAUD

=============================================================================


Well, I could spend a few thousand words psychoanalyzing the types of people 
 who could posibly create a city so horrifying. And then another thousand 
 about how much the sensory overload posed a psychological danger to the 
 people living there. But I will spare you all that, dear reader, and simply 
 suggest you turn down the BGM and get through this town as fast as possible.

Walk south from the Journeyman's Crystal to find a chest beneath an 
 Hourglass-Looking structure [BOOST PIECE]. Continue south to find a woman 
 holding a pink parasol, this is Josephine. Just a bit to the east there is 
 another chest: [DRAIN PIECE]. Head back north to the Journeyman's Crystal, 
 and continue north all the way, then swing round to the east. Just outside 
 the Inn there is a [Power Piece]. Inside the Inn, [WIND OF SLEEP SCROLL]. 
 From the outside, walk south a short way and down the steps to the pier, at 
 the south end you will find [WINDOW SET 3]. Back up the steps, head south to 
 the appraiser's shop for another character into. Back outside, walk south 
 and a bit west to find the Item and Armour shops, as well as a chest [CROSS 
 TACTIC]. Shop if you want, but you will have a better opportunity here in a 
 little while.

From there, head east, then south along the river to find something that was 
 intended to be a statue, but ended up looking like a pastel cactus tainted 
 by nuclear waste. Going south from the "cactus" leads you to three statues, 
 apparently of humans exposed to high levels of the same nuclear waste as the 
 cactus, and a chest with [1,000 POTCH].

Back at the cactus, try to flee from the city to the east for a scene.

*****Dialogue***** (Choose either)
-----Thank Boz.
-----Seem Distrustful.

*****Dialogue*****(Choose either)
-----Ask him to come along.
-----Understand.

Zegai will leave the party no matter what you say. Walk north towards the 
 pier and talk to Boz again to leave the city.


=============================================================================

	RAINWALL

=============================================================================


Before going to the mansion, take some time to talk to the people here and 
 gather treasures. From the Journeyman's Crystal near the main entrance, walk 
 east along the brick sidewalk and over a small bridge, there descend the 
 ramp to find [MEGA MEDICINE]. Back on the main street, go west for [1,000 
 POTCH] then climb the first set of steps to Rainwall's Second Tier. Take a 
 dirt path to your west -that runs round the south side of the Inn- and enter 
 a house with a [SILK CAPE] inside. Go back and enter the Inn, and on the 
 second floor get the very important [PROSPERITY RING]. Cut east across the 
 main street and take a dirt path behind a large house. Keep walking all the 
 way into the park area to find: [MAGIC ABSORB PIECE]. You can also stop by 
 the Armour and Rune shops nearby.

If you have had the opportunity to fight three of the mini-bosses, you should 
 now have enough Power Pieces to make a Power Rune.

---------------Power Rune
Type: Support
Rank: A
Notes: This Rune increases Physical Damage (DMG) by 50%, while halving your 
Physical Defense stat (PDEF). Keep one thing in mind though, that a 50 
percent reduction in PDEF can mean taking up to 3 times as much DMG from an 
attack, simply because of the way that the game calculates DMG. While your 
attacks will only receive the predictable 50% boost. As such, I don't 
recommend this Rune for Short-Range fighters yet, instead, use it with 
powerful Mid- and Long-Range fighters who have at least decent HP, like 
Zegai. (Even though we have not recruited him yet.) This Rune works well when 
paired with another Rune, the Drain Rune. Drain Runes convert 10% of Damage 
dealt into HP recovery for the Attacker, this can greatly reduce the negative 
effect of the PDEF loss.

Later in the game, your ability to offset the PDEF cost of equipping this 
 rune will increase, making it even more useful, and allowing you to equip 
 onto Short-Range characters without too much difficulty, making this Rune 
 one of the best choices for all fighters. 
  
---------------

And now a note on the Prosperity Ring and the other Prosperity Equipment: 
 Throughout the next few levels, you will start to acquire more Prosperity 
 gear, including one piece for each equipment slot and pieces for a 
 Prosperity Rune. When combined, the effect on your potch is staggering. In 
 fact, the best way to earn money in the second half of the game is not 
 through trade, but by battles with Prosperity gear equipped.

Since he is always in battle with you, the Prince is the best choice for 
 these items. However, the prosperity gear has low defensive capabilities, 
 and can put you at a disadvantage in difficult battles. For the purposes of 
 this walkthrough, I will equip the prosperity gear only when actively trying 
 to raise money, and I will leave it in storage most of the time.

The Prosperity Ring, though, is just one accessory, so you can feel free to 
 have that equipped at all times if you want.

On my second play-through of this game, I equipped the Prince with the 
 Prosperity Set throughout the majority, and I was able to do just fine, 
 though I had to keep him tucked away near the back of my battle formations. 
 So it is really up to you how you want to handle these items, but for this 
 walkthrough, I will assume you have gear with better statistics equipped for 
 the Prince.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

On with the walkthrough. . .

From the Rune/Armour shop, head up the stairs to the Third Tier. to the left 
 as you enter, you will see a character intro scene by the trader. NOTE: This 
 scene is necessary to recruit this character, Alhazred. After the scene, 
 pick up some Salt from the Trade Shop if you can afford it, and keep it in 
 your bag.

Across the way to the east is a blacksmith, if you have not gotten your 
 party's weapons to Lv 5, I suggest you do so now. Further east from there is 
 a house, with two chests upstairs: [WIND OF SLEEP SCROLL] and [CRECENT 
 TACTIC].

Back to the North of the Trade Shop are the Training Halls, and a [FORTUNE 
 PIECE] on the lawn to the west.

Up on the town's Fourth tier, you will find the Barrows Mansion. Approach it 
 for a cutscene with our old friend Euram, but also his sister Luserina. 
 Hooray for random genetic mutation! Afterwords, head for the split staircase 
 to the north for yet another character into. This is Chuck, and he will 
 manage your storage for you. Pay him a visit in the room to the west to 
 store all the items you are not using, like Rune Pieces and Old Books.

Now go upstairs and attempt to enter the southwestern room, Luserina will 
 stop you, telling you the sad story of her eldest brother. Your room is to 
 the southeast, inside you will speak with Luserina briefly, then the scene 
 will continue.

*****Dialogue*****(#1 Recommended)
-----Believe in Lyon
-----Don't believe her

This choice has a large impact on Lyon's opinion of the Prince, so choose #1. 

The next morning, Lyon will wake you up. Go downstairs to be briefed on the 
 situation.

*****Dialogue*****(#1 Recommended)
-----Agree with Lord Barows.
-----Act like a coward and be asked again.

Then you will be asked to start the battle:

*****Dialogue*****(#2 Recommended)
-----Start the Battle.
-----Make Preparations.

This type of question will ALWAYS be asked before you move into a Major 
 Battle. Note that the sense of urgency is just for dramatic effect, and 
 there are never any negative consequences for delaying. I recommend you 
 "make preparations" by going to save, then returning to start the battle.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------


----------Major Battle #1: Rainwall (Initial Engagement)

VICTORY CONDITION: Defeat all enemy Units

VICTORY+ REWARD: Hungry Wolf Tactic

This battle is as much a tutorial as anything; your forces are far stronger, 
 and with Boz by your side, it is very difficult to lose.

For Land battles, there are 3 different types of units: Infantry, Cavalry, 
 and Archer. Like in the Dual Battles, these relate to one another like rock, 
 paper, scissors. Infantry > Archer > Cavalry > Infantry and so on. It is 
 always best to set up your units with the enemy you will face in mind, 
 however, you cannot see the enemy forces until after you have set up your 
 own units. This is where I come in to help, friends. I will list the enemy 
 units like this:

==ENEMY UNITS==

Infantry |(*)    | 100HP
Infantry |(*)    | 100HP
Archer   |(*)    | 100HP

This is what you will be facing in this battle. Two Infantry and one Archer 
 unit. Ideally, you would want One Infantry and Two Cavalry, but you do not 
 have that option yet, as you still have few recruits. 

The stars listed in between a unit's type and its HP total represent that 
 unit's leadership. Leadership ranges from one to five stars. Take a look at 
 the Prince's and Boz's units, they both rank at four stars. Meaning that if 
 Boz and an enemy Infantry unit were to face one another in this battle, Boz 
 would have the advantage, he would deal more damage and push the enemy unit 
 back. even in cases where you are at a disadvantage, four and five star 
 units can still hold out longer.

Also, both Boz and Sialeeds have special units. Boz is a "Spear" unit, with 
 higher attack and defense than a normal Infantry unit, but with slower 
 movement speed. Sialeeds leads a Rune Archer unit, while they are still 
 strong against Cavalry, they also use spells on the battlefield, allowing 
 them to attack units without risking them self, and sometimes allowing for 
 the healing of themselves and other units.

Whew. . . There is a lot to go over here, but I will leave it there for now, 
 and talk more about strategy next time. This is an easy battle, and you 
 don't really need my help to win it, and considering that you cant make any 
 changes to your lineup this time, just End the unit setup for now.

Boz makes a truly inspired speech: "Sometimes justice is just a word. But 
 sometimes justice is three feet of sharp steel smashing in your face." HAHA

Anyway, before you select "Begin Battle" I recommend choosing "View Map." 
 This allows you to plan your first move well in advance, which can make a 
 huge difference. Not like you will need it here, but keep it in mind for the 
 future.

Try to win every battle with as few casualties as you can, because you will 
 receive more potch. . . err I mean, because life is precious. To get a 
 victory, all you have to do is meet the victory conditions I listed earlier. 
 To get what the game calls a "Victory+" do so while not allowing any of 
 your units to be knocked out. "Victory+" is important, because you will 
 acquire rare items. . . I mean, it will help you recruit. . . Because your 
 allies are precious, and you must protect them!

One Last Thing: Major Battles are fought in real-time. To move a Unit move 
 the cursor over it and press [X], this will pause the action while you 
 select the Unit's destination. Press [Square] while over a Unit to use that 
 Unit's Special Attacks or Healing abilities. Press [Select] at any time to 
 pause the battle. You will get the hang of it quickly enough.

Now go ahead and start the battle. Boz will talk you through it, so I will 
 just leave the rest to you.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------- 
 
Afterward, a walrus bellows for a while. Then the scene will switch to Sol-
 Falena.

Back in Rainwall, Lyon informs you that reinforcements have arrived. I will 
 now introduce Boz, even though we have not officially recruited him yet. He 
 will join soon, along with many others, so I will try to spread them out a 
 bit.

--------------Boz Wilde
Star #4 of 108
Auto-Recruit
Class: Major Battle Only
Notes: He is one of the few characters that can be used in major battles 
 only. With that said, he commands a powerful Spear-Infantry unit, and is 
 with you from your first major battle onward, so he is a reliable character 
 on the battlefield. I use him in the vast majority of Major Battles, in 
 fact, I can't think of anyone I rely on more often. Plus, he has a kind and 
 humorous personality that he tops of with a huge Mohawk -not a faux-hawk- a 
 real death-metal Mohawk. What more could you want?

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

So, back in Rainwall, head downstairs with Lyon for some good news. You will 
 be charged with going to Raftfleet, regardless of what you say.

Before we continue with the main story by visiting Raftfleet, I suggest we go 
 for our first of many Recruitment Drives!

=============================================================================

	RECRUITMENT DRIVE #1

=============================================================================


First off, it will just be you and Lyon at first. Georg is trying to keep a 
 low profile and Sialeeds is busy watching Lord Barows, so the enemies around 
 the world map might be a bit tough for you in certain spots.

In Rainwall, leave the mansion and stop by the trading post. Buy whatever 
 Salt that you can afford, up to 6 units, and carry it with you. Keep buying 
 salt as you go to different towns until you have 6 units of it. We will use 
 it to recruit a character in a bit.

On the First Tier, by the fountain, you'll meet up with Dr. Murad, talk to 
 him here and ask him to join your cause. He will politely refuse. But if you 
 keep asking him after every major battle you fight, he will eventually join.

Outside the city, fight around a bit nearby to make sure the Prince and Lyon 
 are capable of handling some battles by yourself, LV 20 should be just fine.

Follow the road east and then north to reach Haud. Just to the South of the 
 Pastel Cactus, in a house with a blue gate, go inside to be thrown into a 
 battle. These DoReMi elves are not too tough, a blast of Breath of Ice from 
 your Water Rune should take out 3 or 4 of them alone, leaving the rest easy 
 pickings. Cornelio will burst in after the battle to berate you for cruelty 
 to his musical instruments. Outside, the scene continues until you get into 
 a battle with ReMiFa. Just have Prince and Lyon defend while Cornelio uses 
 his LV 1 magic, Fugue to capture ReMiFa.

Cornelio and ReMiFa Join!

Note that ReMiFa and all the other DoReMi elves are non-star characters. Thus 
 it does not matter if you recruit them or not, you can still get the best 
 ending. I will be recruiting them in the course of this walkthrough though. 
 The only way to recruit them is to have Cornelio in your party, with at 
 least one open space in your battle party or entourage.

---------------Cornelio
Star #5 of 108
Rank: D
Recruit: Haud, Chapter 2
Class: Short-Range Mage
Notes: Cornelio is arguably the least useful character in the game. He is a 
 mage, and when he is recruited, mages are still pretty rare. But he wields a 
 short-range weapon, making him either useless in the back row, or a useless 
 liability in the front row. Sure, mages can use spells to make up for their 
 lack of physical power, but Cornelio has low MAG and MP stats for a mage, 
 and has one of the lowest HP totals in the game. Other Short-Range Mages 
 have at least mediocre HP, but Cornelio can't even muster that.

In Major Battles, he is largely useless too, he commands only a two-star Rune 
 Archer unit, and has one use of the Flowing Rune. At best he can be used as 
 a Lieutenant for Sialeeds in the early game.

His personality is so abrasive, it is not even funny. Really, he doesn't even 
 bring any real humor to the party. Making it hard to justify using him at 
 all.

Recommended Runes: Fire Rune, Water Rune
Recommended Skills: Incantation


---------------DoReMi Elves
Non-Star
Rank: D
Recruit: Varies
Class: Short-Range Fighters
Notes: This entry is for all the DoReMi elves.

Hmm. . . So, in SII we had Flying Squirrels who wore capes, pounced on 
 enemies like Mario on a Goomba, and seemed to be more intelligent than they 
 let on. In SIII we had small dogs, each rescued from a life of loneliness 
 and determined to repay the kindness they were shown by helping guard your 
 castle. And in SV we have pastel coloured midgets who are reminiscent of 
 characters from a 90s British TV show aimed at rotting the minds of pre-
 verbal infants. . . Yeah, this game gets the short end of the stick when it 
 comes to the non-star characters.

Statistically, the only ting they all have in common is that they are bad. 
 Still, it does help in the early game to have characters who do not need 
 armour or sharpened weapons, plus you can just move all of the SP they gain 
 straight into party SP. But really, they just fall short on so many levels.

-----------------------------------  
   
To recruit our next character, you need to have some salt on you. Six units 
 just to be safe, but you cannot recruit him anytime you want. Once you have 
 your Salt, keep checking the Rumors at the Trading posts in the towns you 
 visit. When the trader tells you that "The Price of Salt has skyrocketed 
 lately," head to Raftfleet as quickly as you can. Talk to Sairoh in the 
 trade shop there, and he will ask you to help lower the price of Salt. Sell 
 off the Salt you collected and then talk to Sairoh again, and he will be so 
 impressed with your savvy that he will join your cause.

Now, the game will decide to raise the price of Salt semi-randomly, so you 
 can spend quite a bit of time waiting for this to happen. Although I have 
 found that here in Chapter 2, after the Rainwall battle, it happens 
 frequently enough. The trick I've found for recruiting him is simply to be 
 an active trader. If you have followed my trade advice in the walkthrough, 
 the Salt Price Fluctuation happens frequently. If you want to go around and 
 start trading now to try to trigger the price raise, be my guest. There will 
 come a time soon though that will make it quite easy to trade, so you can 
 recruit him easily then too.

Sairoh Joins!

---------------Sairoh
Star #6 of 108
Rank: B
Recruit: Raftfleet, Any Time
Class: Support / Major Battle Support
Notes: As far as support characters for your entourage go, you can do much 
 better. But in terms of support character for you Battle units, (the third 
 and final slot) he is one of the best. His ability is "Extra," allowing one 
 more usage of any one ability that can be used by that unit. For example, if 
 you have Sialeeds leading a Rune Archer unit with one use of the Cyclone 
 Rune ability, add Sairoh to the support slot to gain a second usage of that 
 Rune. Overall, he is one of the best Major Battle Support characters in the 
 game which is why I suggest you recruit him as early as possible.

-----------------------------------
 
If you cannot get Sairoh now, don't worry, just put the Salt into storage and
 keep checking the rumors at the Trade Posts. Sairoh cannot be missed, so you 
 can recruit him at any time up until the final battle.

In the forest to the south of Rainwall, on the east bank of the river, you 
 can find FaSoLa, the second DoReMi elf, if you care. From Rainwall, go south 
 along the eastern bank until you come to a small grove near the crux formed 
 by two branches of the river meeting. FaSoLa will appear randomly in a 
 battle, just have everyone else defend while Cornelio uses his Fugue spell.

That is it for the Characters in this drive. If you want to make some money 
 trading here, battle around until you can buy some Gold and Silver at 
 Raftfleet. Then, go to Haud village and sell it for a profit. You can also 
 go to Estrise -follow the road east of Rainwall- and buy Pearls to sell in 
 Rainwall, but the enemies might be surprisingly tough, so go prepared. I 
 will wait to cover Estrise until it appears in the main storyline.



=============================================================================

	RAFTFLEET

=============================================================================


Mini Boss (World Map): Gray Ulse
	Rewards: Mega Medicine, Boost Piece, Violence Piece
		4,400 potch, 25 party SP

Currently, Raftfleet is southwest of Rainwall, apparently they moved away 
 from Sol-Falena. Go to the Inn, which is west of the entry, for a Character 
 Introduction scene, how you respond doesn't matter, but you will have to see 
 this scene eventually in order to recruit Retso and Shun Min. 

After, follow the blue arrows to the Dahak, and enter the Bridge area to 
 speak with Kisara and Raja. When that is done, it is time to head for 
 Lordlake, unfortunately you cannot walk there, so leave the Dahak towards 
 Raftfleet Proper for another scene with Kisara. She volunteers the services 
 of her family. 

Head north following the Red Arrow to a pontoon raft and talk with Logg and 
 Lun. Your dialogue choice doesn't effect anything.

After the scene, you can visit the shops here in Raftfleet: the Blacksmith 
 can now sharpen your weapons to LV 7, though it is quite expensive and I can 
 only recommend spending money on the Prince and Lyon right now. When you are 
 ready, talk to Logg again to take a trip to the "Southern Wharf," which is 
 as close as he can take you to the Lordlake area. You will arrive after a 
 short scene, and Lun will join you in the Battle party this time.

She has not joined officially yet, but I'll introduce Lun now.

---------------Lun
Star #7 of 108
Rank: C
Auto-Recruit
Class: Mid-Range Fighter
Notes: Lun is a refreshing change from the dismal performance of Cornelio and 
 the DoReMi elves. She has average scores in virtually every statistic, 
 making her a good all-round choice. Plus, being from Raftfleet, she has an 
 affinity for Water Magic, making her useful in the early game as both an 
 attacker and support character. Overall, she is like a bad copy of Lyon: she 
 is not as fast, nor as resilient, but even a bad copy of Lyon makes for a 
 good character, especially when you consider how early in the game you 
 acquire her. 

In Major Battles, she adds the "Recover" skill to her unit, making her quite
 useful as a Lieutenant or Support Officer.

Her personality is friendly, earnest and energetic -if not overly bright- 
 making her a welcome addition to the party.

Recommended Runes: Water, Power, Double-Edge
Recommended Skills: Agility, Technique
Available Epic Skills: Swift Foot, All-Out Strike

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Leave the Wharf Area to exit to the World Map. Lordlake is to the south. You 
 will know that you are getting close when you see the scorched earth 
 overtake the grass. Even though Lun is at a low level with a LV 1 weapon, 
 just stick her in the rear and let your other characters handle the enemies. 
 They are mostly the same as you fought around Rainwall/Raftfleet. 

=============================================================================

	LORDLAKE

============================================================================

Just inside, talk to Talgeyl.

*****Dialogue*****(choose either)
-----Ask for his assistance.
-----Ask if you can help.

No matter your choice, you will see a scene that further explains why
 Lordlake is in such dire condition. Talk to the people around town if you 
 wish, you can catch up with Goesch and Dr. Sylva if you want. Other than 
 that, the shops have resumed selling items, though considering their poor 
 condition, they do not sell anything exciting. When you are ready, take the 
 boat back to Raftfleet and the walk back to Rainwall. Lun will leave your 
 party.

=============================================================================

	RAINWALL

=============================================================================

---------------Trade
Feel free to do some trading between the different cities here before 
 returning to the storyline. Gold and Silver make a good buy in Raftfleet, 
 selling for 2,000 potch profit in Rainwall and a 3,000 potch profit in Haud. 
 Buy Coffee in Rainwall and sell it in Haud for a 2,000 potch gain. If you 
 can make it out to Estrise -east of Rainwall- Buy Peals there for a Profit 
 of 10,000 in Rainwall. Also, sometimes the Trader in Estrise will "Purchase 
 too many Pearls" and the Price there will be cut in half to 35,000 potch, 
 making for a 45,000 potch profit instead. If you need to buy something in 
 Haud, Handicrafts and Tea sell for modest gains elsewhere. 

Back at the Barows mansion, the story continues with a conversation between 
 Lord Barows and the Prince.

*****Dialogue*****(choose either)
-----Tell him you were unsuccessful.
-----Tell him you learned a lot.

Barows mentions that he has commissioned Haud Village to design your army's 
 flag. Usually, flag-burning is a divisive topic, but in this case I think we 
 can all agree that flame would be the best way to rid the world of that 
 mockery.

*****Dialogue*****(choose either)
-----Lie.
-----Dismiss the issue.

And he will ask about Luserina:

*****Dialogue*****(choose either)
-----Act interested.
-----Act innocent.

After all that, head upstairs. Talk to Euram in the northwestern room for a 
 scene that is equally disturbing and funny. When you are done, head for your 
 room and rest.

In the morning, you'll find that Georg and Sialeeds are unavailable again. 
 Your party has been cleared out, so talk to Luserina in her room to fill it 
 back up. To continue with the story, head back to Raftfleet, but you can 
 chat with Boz and Dinn in the foyer, and talk to Lord Barows two separate 
 times to hear him say something deeply disrespectful and rather creepy about 
 Luserina.

I had gained enough Rune Pieces here to make both a Boost Rune and a Violence 
 Rune. I'll go over them very quickly:

---------------Boost Rune
Type: Support
Rank: B
Note: While the "Boost" status effect is quite useful, the fact that this 
 rune reduces you HP to 1 point after only 3 turns makes it highly dangerous. 
 In fact, most battles you can win in three turns, don't require Runes like 
 this one, and battles where this Rune's power can come in handy usually last 
 much longer. In short, this Rune is best used in Treasure Hunting parties, 
 where you are trying to beat easy enemies very quickly, as well as parties 
 were you are trying to level up weaker members on easy enemies. 

At this point in the game though, you are short on Support Runes. If you 
 equip a Sacrificial Jizo on a character with this Rune, you can use it to 
 good effect. But other than that, leave this one at home.


---------------Violence Rune
Type: Support
Rank: D
Note: While less dangerous than the Boost Rune, this one requires you 
 actually take damage before receiving the positive Fury status effect. One 
 way to draw the enemies attention is to use formations like Arrowhead 
 Tactic, which put one single character out front. Even that though, there is 
 no way to ensure your lead character gets attacked. The best way to do this 
 is to pair this Rune with the Firefly Rune, which provokes enemies to attack 
 a specific character. On the other hand, I can think of about six other 
 Runes I'd rather pair with Firefly than this one, for example the Turtle 
 Rune, which protects the wearer's status. The kind of high-PDEF fighters 
 that is Rune is best on also have few Rune slots available, usually two at 
 most. So, again this Rune might serve you best when sold for potch.



=============================================================================

	RAFTFLEET

=============================================================================

Talk to Logg at his ship for a quick scene. Tell him you would like to go to 
 Agate Prison and you will leave Raftfleet.


=============================================================================

	Baska Mine

=============================================================================

You will wind up at the entrance to a mine, and both Logg and Lun will join 
 your party. You can return to Raftfleet at any time, but you cannot upgrade 
 Logg and Lun's weapons yet. As before, just concentrate on your main 
 characters for now, I think LV.1 weapons work just fine here for Lun and 
 Logg, especially considering their Co-Op attack. 

At the eastern edge of the screen, you will find two treasures: [RESURRECTION 
 PIECE] and [TURTLE ORB], as well as a Beaver, who will be quite rude to you. 
 Enter the mine shaft.


--------------Logg
Star #8 of 108
Rank: C
Auto-Recruit
Class: Mid-Range Fighter
Notes: Logg has one of the worst Magic/MP scores in the game, he his not 
 Agile, nor does he have much accuracy. What he does bring to the party is a 
 mass of HP and at least some Mid-Range power. Again, he is a character that 
 is useful early on, but will get pushed out of your party later as you 
 acquire more versatile characters. In fact, Logg can really only do one 
 thing well, and that is fight with the Attack command. As such, he is best 
 paired with Lun for their Co-Op attack that effects an entire enemy row.

In Major Battles, he is actually quite useful though, adding the "Barrage" 
 skill, which allows for Archer units to attack distant enemies without 
 exposing themselves to danger.

Recommended Runes: Power Rune, Boost Rune
Recommended Skills: Attack, Stamina
Available Epic Skills: Raging Lion, Armor of Gods

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

The enemies here can be tough. Try to keep Logg and Lun back in the formation 
 until they gain some levels; you can use their unite attack if they are 
 having trouble connecting with their attacks. The Zombie Snail enemies can 
 poison your party, but feel free to use your magic here. Both Kindness Drops 
 and Breath of Ice are useful, as is Fire or Lightning Magic if you have it. 
 The Vampire Bat enemies here can drop the Drain Rune Piece, a very useful 
 rune. But don't worry too much about it if you do not acquire any, the time 
 will come for this type of treasure hunting later.

The first portion of this level is shaped like a rough crescent, bending 
 round to the east. Inside, turn right at the first intersection, then head 
 north when you can to find a mining cart on the path. Press [X] to release 
 the cart and clear the path. Follow along to the east and turn north to find 
 a chest [MARTIAL ARTS GARB]. Continue east, and the path will start bending 
 to the north. There is a Journeyman's Crystal here, and a chest with [SOUND 
 SET 4]. Go west to find a second mining cart. Once you have cleared your 
 path, turn northeast at the intersection for a [MOTHER EARTH PIECE]. Turn 
 west now, and go south at the next intersection, and then west again almost 
 immediately. Finally, turn north to the Dwarf Camp.


=============================================================================

	DWARF CAMP

=============================================================================


After the scene, you can feel free to explore. Now is a good time to upgrade 
 Lyon, Prince, Logg and Lun's armour. The Blacksmith is located east of the 
 entry, but he will not be able to upgrade your weapons. Visit the Rune 
 Master to switch out some runes. If you have Cornelio in your party, take 
 the Fire Rune off of Lun and give it to him, then take the Water Rune off of 
 Logg and give it to either Lun or Lyon. If you have a Power Rune, give it to 
 Logg.

East of the entrance, across the small bridge, go north for a chest with 
 [1,000 POTCH]. Southeast from there is the appraiser, inside you will find: 
 [SKULLCAP]. 

Rest at the Inn climb the ladder to the north for a scene. Gunde will join 
 your party.

---------------Fire Rune
Type: Magic
Rank: B

LV 1: Flaming Arrows (Attack)
LV 2: Dancing Flames (Attack)
LV 3: Blazing Wall (Attack)
LV 4: Explosion (Attack)

Note: The Fire Rune is one of the five basic elemental Runes, and one of two 
 of them that focus only on attack magic. The Lightning Rune is also an 
 Attack Rune, but the Fire Rune focuses on attacking groups of enemies, wile 
 the Lightning attacks either single targets or columns of enemies. Which you 
 should choose for a particular character depends on that character's Magic 
 affinity for that family. If you look, very few characters -even powerful 
 mages- are equally proficient in both Fire and Lightning magic, so choose 
 the Rune that is right for them.

Fire Magic users are always powerful, but they often have trouble controlling 
 their power, even to the point that they can harm allies and enemies alike. 
 I could use cliches like "Fiery Personality" or "Explosive Temper," but 
 these terms would not do justice to the inner struggle that Fire Magic users 
 find themselves in: a desperate balance between doing what they feel is 
 right, and restraining themselves so that they do not go too far.


=============================================================================

	Baska Mine (Second Section)

=============================================================================

Believe me when I say there are no treasures in the second section of the 
 Baska Mines, so we will just take the shortest path to the end. The enemies 
 have not changed from the first section of the mines.

You will be heading in a general northern direction here. Ignore the first 
 and second intersections and continue north, where the cave will open up a 
 bit. Turn west, and follow the path round to the north. You will come to a 
 three-way intersection, turn east here. 

You will soon come to another, staggered intersection, take the western path. 
 You will turn back to the north yet again. Ignore the path to the left and 
 follow this to what seems like a dead end, where a scene will begin.

=============================================================================

	AGATE PRISON

=============================================================================

Finally! Don't worry, though the enemies here are tough, this is a short 
 level. Gunde will leave your party. Up the stairs, you will enter the cell 
 blocks. Walk south to the next screen, where you will find [MILITARY 
 UNIFORM]. Go east two screens for a [GUARD RING]. At the end of the hall to 
 the north, you will enter a "Boss" battle.

---------------

Boss: Guard x 4

Ok this is an easy one if you go all out. Have Cornelio cast fire magic, Logg 
 and Lun use their unite attack, and . . . well, the Prince and Lyon can do 
 whatever, either magic or unite. . . Sorry, CO-OP attacks, they were unite 
 attacks in Suikoden II. . . 

This battle will be over quickly.

Rewards: Fire Orb, Shield Orb
		3,500 potch, 60 party SP

---------------


The guards will claim that they were trying to protect Lady Merces. You 
 dialogue here won't effect anything, so sit back and enjoy the scene.

Afterwords, Lucretia, Lelei, and Cius will join!



---------------Lucretia
Star #9 of 108
Rank: Well. . .
Auto-Recruit
Class: Major Battles Only
Notes: Lucretia will be your tactician. Often times, the best parts of the 
 Suikoden games come from watching how the tactician works, as well as how 
 they interact with the game's Hero. Lucretia does not disappoint. She seems 
 to be the most capable and. . . interesting tactician since Shu in Suikoden 
 II.

Lucretia is a very mysterious character in many ways though. As she said she 
 used to be Lord Godwin's tactician, until she betrayed him for moral 
 reasons. But she is clearly not from Falena, if you know your Suikoden lore. 
 For one thing, her name, Lucretia Merces, sounds exotic, different from the 
 Falenan names we have learned so far. The green streak in her hair is 
 reminiscent of the Karaya clan from the Grasslands far away on the northern 
 continent.

For Suikoden buffs, her national heritage is a mystery. It is doubtful she 
 was educated to become the caliber of tactician that she is in the rural and 
 agrarian culture of the Grasslands. It is likely that she attended school in 
 either the Holy Kingdom of Harmonia or in the Northern Outlands to the north 
 of the Grasslands, both of which seem to have advanced, learned cultures. 
 (Boris from Suikoden II and Thomas from Suikoden III were both educated in 
 the so-called Northern Outlands.)

In any event, Lucretia is as sharp and as dangerous as a pack of razor 
 blades, and she is now on your side.

**New Information**
--From Dex
"The Part about Lucretia, her origin aren't a mystery. She IS from the Karaya
 Clan and was orphaned when the True Fire Rune went out of control at the end
 of the First Fire Bringer War. She was then sent to Harmonia where she did
 her studies in the same academy as Klaus..."

-- Dex

Thanks for the new Info. As you can see there are things about the game and
 the deep world of the Suikoden Series I don't know, so it help to correspond
 with other fans to help flesh out my knowledge. Thanks Dex.


---------------Cius
Star #10 of 108
Rank: D
Auto-Recruit
Class: Short-Range Fighter
Notes: Well, Cius scores less than average in almost every statistical 
 category, including Magic, Technique, MP, Attack, and Agility. That is, 
 virtually everything that can make a Short-Range Fighter useful. Just about 
 the only thing he has going for him is his "Lockdown" Co-Op with Lelei, 
 which is still pretty lame, as far as Co-Ops go in this game. He can wear 
 heavy armour and has strong HP, but that alone can't make a good character.

Plus, he has a rather boring demeanor. Unlike Belcoot who is quiet, but 
 strong, Cius just seems quiet, but stupid. I really would like to say at 
 least one good thing about him, but none really come to mind.

Recommended Runes: Double-Edge, Power, Crazed
Recommended Skills: Attack, Technique
Available Epic Skills: Raging Lion, Fate Control


---------------Lelei
Star #11 of 108
Rank: C
Auto-Recruit
Class: Short-Range Fighter
Notes: Unlike her compatriot Cius, Lelei has some decent stats. She is 
 average in many qualities for a Short-Range fighter, but has passable Magic 
 scores and one very useful ability: Analyze. As well as many other positive 
 effects, this ability will display health bars above the heads of enemies 
 between turns. This is a great help when you are not sure of your enemy's 
 strength.

She has an intelligent personality, and is earnest and hard-working. Lets 
 just say that she is a big fan of Lucretia. Not that I am criticizing her 
 for this, mind you, I am a big fan of Lucretia myself. But, something tells 
 me that Lelei is even more of a Lucretia fan than I. 

Recommended Runes: Lightning, Drain, Double-Edge
Recommended Skills: Analyze, Attack 
Available Epic Skills: Swift Foot, Fate Control, Divine Right, Karmic Effect

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------


Leaving the prison is much easier than it was breaking in. Just keep heading 
 south, and exit out the front doors for a scene.

When you gain control, you will be back at Raftfleet, go to the Dahak for 
 another scene.

*****Dialogue*****(#1 recommended)
-----Ask for time (to go save).
-----Assist Raftfleet.

Talk to Lucretia again to begin.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

----------Major Battle #2: Raftfleet

VICTORY CONDITIONS: Defeat Luger's Unit or Defeat all other Active Enemies.

VICTORY+ REWARD: Luck Ring

This is the second type of Major Battle, the Naval Engagement. The basic 
 system is largely similar, with a few changes. The three types of ships are: 
 Combat Ships, Ram Ships, and Archer Ships. Archer Ships > Combat Ships > Ram 
 Ships > Archer Ships.

The Enemy Forces are:

==Enemy Units==

Luger 
| Archer Ship |(*****)| 200HP

Archer Ship   |(***)  | 150HP
Combat Ship   |(***)  | 150HP

Yes, you are up against a 5-star commander with 200 HP here, but fear not, 
 Raja -Captaining the Dahak- is 5-stars with 200 HP as well. Shortly into the 
 battle 3 of the 6 enemy ships will run aground, leaving you to face only the 
 enemies I listed above. This means you will have a big advantage in terms of 
 raw numbers. You did not have much control over your unit setup again this 
 time, so just use all of the special abilities that you can, like Barrage. 
 Boz will be the best choice for close range combat.

I strongly suggest taking out the two other ships and not Luger though, as 
 the normal Archer Ship will drop a rare Flowing Piece when sunk.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

After the Battle, Raja, Kisara, Logg and Lun join permanently!

---Stop---

Right at this point in the game, you have a chance to obtain an infinite 
 number of Flowing Rune Pieces, Stamina Rings, and Luck Rings.

First, I cannot and will not take credit for this information. At this point 
 it is impossible for me to tell who the original source of this “Trick” is, 
 but I first learned of it at SuikoSource.com The good people at that website 
 are ridiculously knowledgeable about this series, and I highly recommend 
 visiting their site, even if it is just to poke around and learn more about 
 the world of these games.

Second, this "Trick" seems to me less like the exploitation of a bug in the 
 game, and more like a "Trick" left in intentionally. Essentially, you can 
 fight this last major battle over and over again and acquire all the items 
 you just got multiple times. However, there are similar "Bugs" or "Tricks" 
 in Suikoden II and III, so one can make the argument that these oddities are 
 left in intentionally by the makers of the game. Personally I do not know, 
 but I feel that if it is a bug, it is a little low to exploit it for profit. 
 But, if it is left in the game intentionally, for whatever reason, it is a 
 free for all.  

If you choose to go wild here and fight this battle again, here is what to 
 do: Go directly to the Inn at Raftfleet and stay the night. Then return to 
 the Bridge on the Dahak, where you can talk to Lucretia and restart the 
 battle.

For the purpose of the walkthrough, I will just assume you fought this battle 
 only once. But if you wish to get a Flowing Rune now, knock yourself out. I 
 can assure you though, that having me is better than any silly Rune, and it 
 is not by any means necessary to repeat this battle. In fact, it can 
 actually dilute the game's difficulty, making it a bit too easy in some 
 places.

The choice is yours.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
Before we go back to Rainwall, I'll talk about Raja, Kisara, and the Shield 
 Rune:


---------------Raja
Star #12 of 108
Rank: A
Auto-Recruit
Class: Major Battle Only
Notes: Raja commands the mighty Dahak archer ship. She is a rare 5-star 
 general, and will be with you throughout all of your naval engagements. The 
 strategy for using her is as straight-forward as her personality. Stack the 
 Dahak with as many uses of the "Barrage" skill as you can, and use them to 
 drive away enemies when it looks like one of your allies might enter a fight 
 that exploits their weakness.


---------------Kisara
Star #13 of 108
Rank: B
Auto-Recruit
Class: Short-Range Mage
Notes: Unlike the rest of her family, Kisara scores a "B" rank. Kisara is a 
 Short-Range Mage, meaning that she suffers from many of the same problems 
 that Cornelio suffers from. But, being a woman of Raftfleet, she is made of 
 much sterner stuff than anyone from Haud village. Her HP and Defense scores 
 are not bad, and neither is her Agility. As far as Magic Power and MP are 
 concerned, she scores about the same as Sialeeds, but her HP and Defense are 
 far superior. If you want to put her in the back row, she can use the 
 Kisara/ Logg/ Lun Co-Op attack, allowing for her to deal physical damage. 
 Plus, she was strong affinity with Water magic, making her ideal as a 
 healer. As the game progresses, you will acquire the True Men Tactic, which 
 places all the characters in the front row. Ironically, Kisara is the best 
 choice for a mage in this formation, as it is usually used for aggressive 
 physical parties, and she makes the best healer at short-range. 

Her personality is much more intelligent and reserved than the rest of her 
 family, if somewhat less entertaining. She also has a big. . . heart -
 expansive, actually.

Recommended Runes: Water, Magical, Magic Absorb
Recommended Skills: Incantation, Magic Defense
Available Epic Skills: Divine Right, Sacred Oath


---------------Shield Rune
Type: Magic
Rank: A

LV 1: Battle Oath (Support)
LV 2: Great Blessing (Recovery)
LV 3: Battlefield (Support)

Note: The Shield Rune is back again for Suikoden V, after taking a break in 
 volume IV of the Series. The First Level spell has a chance to cause Fury on 
 your entire battle party. The Third Raises the power of your party's magic 
 for 3 turns. But the Second Level spell is arguable the best HP recovery 
 spell in the early game, until you gain access to the Flowing Rune. Battle 
 Oath can be a great spell as well. The game claims it has a 40% if 
 inflicting the Fury positive status effect on your party members, but this 
 percentage is increased when both the caster has a strong affinity for 
 shield magic (a B-rank or higher) and your characters have a high "Luck" 
 statistic. Often, I can achieve Fury 60-70% of the time with the right 
 party.

Shield magic users are strong and steady, often with something dear to them 
 that they would like to protect. They also tend to be quite idealistic, even 
 to the point that some would call them naive, but they have the strength to 
 make their their ideals a reality.

Shield magic is recommended for Characters like Miakis and Lyon, for obvious 
 reasons.

When checking a person's Rune Affinity for Shield Magic, the statistic screen 
 lists it as Holy Magic (ho), not "sh," which stands for "Shot." For this 
 game, Shield magic is wrongly grouped into the same magic family as 
 Resurrection Magic, even though the two Runes clearly have different 
 "Parent" Runes, and come from separate families.

Rune Family Tree: True Rune of Beginning (Bright Shield Half) > Shield Rune
   
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Before Returning to Rainwall, you can now recruit yet another character to 
 your cause. In Raftfleet, enter the cabin of the Item Shop to find Sairoh's 
 grandson, Shinro.

Shinro Joins!

---------------Shinro
Star #14 of 108
Rank: B
Recruit: Raftfleet, any time.
Class: Support / Major Battle
Notes: Shinro is just like his grandfather. They even have the same -very 
 useful- Support Officer skill in Major Battles: Extra. This skill allows for 
 one more use of the primary skill of any unit.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

As you leave Raftfleet, a scene will ensue, and you will gain control in 
 Rainwall.

=============================================================================

	RAINWALL

=============================================================================


Go to the mansion for a series of scenes. When you gain control, head to your 
 room for a scene. Lucretia and Kisara will leave your party.

Oboro's ship is docked at the pier -the same pier you arrived at with Boz on 
 your first time in Rainwall. Go inside for a scene.

*****Dialogue*****(choose either)
-----Leave, then be stopped by Lyon.
-----Tell them you have important business.

Well, just leave the city and reenter to have Oboro return. You can also talk 
 the opportunity to upgrade weapons or do some trading if you want. Again, 
 talk to Luserina to add or remove party members. I strongly recommend 
 bringing Sialeeds and Cius or Lelei (or both) along with you, because they 
 will help us do some recruitment in a bit.

Return to Oboro's ship to continue.    

I suggest that you save at this point, either at the Inn or the Journeyman's 
 Crystal near the town entry. There will be some delicate dialogue choices 
 soon, and you may want to reset if you accidentally choose the wrong one. Do 
 not return to the mansion just yet, for this will trigger a story event, we 
 have much to do before then.

---------------

Oboro Side-Quest.

This little side-story is optional, but I suggest you complete it, because 
 doing so will make Oboro -and the Stars that come with him- much easier to 
 recruit. Oboro and his stars can be missed entirely, doing this ensures that 
 you will recruit them.

Do not go back to the mansion, this will trigger a main story event, and you 
 will miss this side-quest. Also, pay careful attention to what you say. I 
 will write out all the dialogue choices in detail.

After Oboro accepts your proposal, go to the Inn at Rainwall and speak to the 
 "Drunk" standing by the bar. When you attempt to leave you will bump into 
 Shigure and Sagiri outside. 

*****Dialogue*****(#2 strongly recommended) 
-----Leave and forget about recruiting Oboro for now.
-----Join Sagiri and Shigure.

They will join your party. Walk to the south -toward the crystal and Oboro's 
 ship- for another scene. 

*****Dialogue*****(#2 strongly recommended)
-----Leave and recruit him much later.
-----Continue on.

Oboro will join your party. Walk north up the steps to continue the 
 investigation. Keep moving north to the Fourth Tier, then head east to the 
 garden area.

*****Dialogue*****(#2 Strongly Recommended)
-----Disrespect Oboro and recruit him much later.
-----Ask about the investigation.

Return to the ship to discuss your options.

*****Dialogue*****(#2 strongly recommended)
-----Quit.
-----Tag along with Oboro.

Now go back to the Inn to speak with Norden.

*****Dialogue*****(#1 strongly recommended)
-----Talk to Norden.
-----Chat with Norden about booze and screw the whole plan up.

And now Norden will join temporarily too. Return to the ship once again.

*****Dialogue*****(#1 strongly recommended)
-----Suggest a place to take Norden.
-----Act clueless.

When you gain control, exit to the world map and head south. You know where 
 you are headed. Once you reach your destination, another scene will begin. 
 When you gain control, walk north on the world map to return to the ship. 

But as you enter, you will be approached by armed men.

*****Dialogue*****(#1 strongly recommended)
-----Fight for the truth
-----Give up, the truth is not important anyway.

This battle is not difficult, especially with the two ninja. . . I mean 
 detectives in your party. Just use your attack magic spells and have the 
 rest of the party fight. I took them all out at once with The Shredding 
 courtesy of Sialeeds. After the battle, enjoy the scene.

All the temporary characters will leave your party. No you did not recruit 
 them yet, but you will now be able to do so much earlier.

--------------

If you completed the Oboro side-quest, then you will gain control in 
 Raftfleet, if not you will be in Rainwall. But it does not matter too much, 
 because now we will go on a recruitment drive!

=============================================================================

	RECRUITMENT DRIVE #2

=============================================================================

We will start this time in Raftfleet.

On the pontoon raft north of the Journeyman's Crystal, you will meet Dr. 
 Murad. Speak to him and ask him to join your cause. He will refuse again, 
 but each time you ask you will be closer to convincing him.

Logg and Lun are now available again, so have them take you to the Baska 
 Mines once again. Walk all the way through again to reach the Dwarf Camp. 
 Buy all the Gold and Silver trade items that you can afford here. We will 
 travel to Haud momentarily to sell them for 10,000 potch profit each. If you 
 brought Lelei and Sialeeds with you, then go ahead and upgrade their gear to 
 the best you can afford. When you are finished in town, head to the latter 
 portion of the mines. If you do not remember the directions I gave I will 
 reprint them here:

--You will be heading in a general northern direction here. Ignore the first 
 and second intersections and continue north, where the cave will open up a 
 bit. Turn west, and follow the path round to the north. You will come to a 
 three-way intersection, turn east here. 

You will soon come to another, staggered intersection, take the western 
 path.--

Where we are headed this time is very close to the exit, so go inside Agate 
 Prison briefly and save, then return to the mines. I will give directions 
 from the Agate Prison exit: Go South at the first intersection, then South 
 again at the second. West at the third intersection.

You will meet your old friend Egbert, but he will be difficult to recruit: 
 You must listen to everything he has to say patiently. Do not press the [X] 
 button or any other button to speed the dialogue forward at any point. Only 
 press the [X] button when the yellow indicator appears in the lower-right 
 corner of the dialogue box. If you do this correctly, he will join you. If 
 not, reset and try again.

---------------Egbert
Star #15 of 108
Rank: A
Recruit: Baska Mines, after Major Battle #2
Class: Support / Major Battle
Notes: Egbert might be a bit. . . troubled, but one can hardly blame him, the 
 Godwins stole everything from his family. In major Battles, he commands a 
 mediocre Cavalry unit, and is not much use altogether. But as a support 
 member in you battle entourage, his “Potch Finder” ability makes him one of 
 the best choices at any time. Especially in concert with the Prosperity Set, 
 Egbert is invaluable, literally.

----------------------------------

OK, for this next part, you need to have Cius in your party, if you do not, 
 skip to the next divider or go back and put him into your party.

Now that you have Egbert, enter Agate Prison. Climb the steps to the 
 Cellblock.

You will run into Takamu.

*****Dialogue*****(choose either)
-----Tell him to escape.
-----Tell him to escape with you.

Takamu will join the party, and replace Lyon temporarily behind the Prince. 
 Whenever this happens, it means that you are inside of a character / 
 recruitment side event.) Go back to the basement near the hole in the wall 
 for a scene. You will not have to look far for his gear.

You will receive the Suiko Map and Takamu will Join!


---------------Takamu
Star #16 of 108
Rank: A
Recruit: Agate Prison, after Major Battle #2
Class: Support / Major Battle 
Notes: Takamu is one of the most useful support characters in the game. His 
 "Escape Route" ability allows you to run away from any battle where it is 
 possible to run with a 100% success rate. He also has the ability to see 
 certain, hidden paths, and is necessary to access a certain area in the 
 game. (I will alert you it comes up in the walkthrough.)

As if that was not enough, he makes a great support officer for Major 
 Battles. His "Speed" ability will increase the movement speed of any unit,
 this is good for slower units like Boz.

----------------------------------


Once again, head up the stairs to the Cell Block and walk south. This time 
 you will run into Killey.

*****Dialogue*****(choose either)
-----Tell you you have no clue.
-----Be a smart-alec and and make him mad.

You cannot recruit Killey yet, and he is much more difficult to recruit in 
 this game than in Suikoden II, but we will cover the rest later.

We are now done in Agate Prison. The Guards and Bats here give decent money 
 and EXP for this level of the game. Stick around a bit if you would like. 
 When you are done, return to the Dwarf Cave.

Stop by the trader and buy more Gold and Silver if you can, then return to 
 the first section of the Baska Mine.

Just inside, you will notice that someone removed a wooden fence to the left. 
 Enter onto the cart tracks to take a shortcut to the entrance. Along the way 
 you will find [PROSPERITY ARMBAND]. Outside, the boat assistant will return 
 you to Raftfleet. Next we will head for Haud village, but Logg will not take 
 you there, so we'll have to walk.

Once there, sell off all your Gold and Silver at the trader. Then go to the 
 southwestern section of the town, at the park near the hourglass-looking 
 structure. Speak with the lady holding the pink parasol. This is Josephine.

*****Dialogue*****(#1 recommended)
-----Recruit.
-----Don't Recruit.

Josephine will force her way into the party. . . 

---------------Josephine
Star #17 of 108
Rank: D
Recruit: Haud, after major battle #2
Class: Short-Range Mage (Narcissist)
Notes: Wow, another Short-Range Mage from Haud. . . Well, she is a little 
 better than that last one. Her magic score is higher, and she possesses the 
 Red Rose Rune, which allows her to attack for 2x DMG once per battle, though 
 this inflicts the negative "Anger" status effect on the rest of the party, 
 keeping them from using Co-Op attacks. She does share a rather powerful Co-
 Op with some characters that we will be recruiting much later, but this 
 means that you can't use her Red Rose Rune if you also want to use the Co-
 Op. . .

Actually, she can be useful in Major Battles, giving 2 uses of the Rage Rune 
 to a Rune Archer Unit. Rage Rune works like Charge for infantry units. So, 
 she is a good match for Sialeeds.

Other than that, she is a Narcissist, an actual sub-class found throughout 
 the Suikoden games. Though, they have not gotten the Narcissists right since 
 the Suikoden I, where Millich Oppenheimer (aka the Flower General) was an 
 actual character, and not just a walking joke. Moreover Millich had pretty 
 good stats, as opposed to characters like Josephine.

Recommended Runes: Fire
Recommended Skills: Magic, Incantation
Available Epic Skills: Divine Right, Sacred Oath


----------------------------------

Well, that is it for this round of recruitment.

As far as trade, this is the best route I was able to come up with: Start in 
 Estrise and buy all the Pearls, Gold, Iron, and Coffee that you can, in that 
 order if you don't have enough to buy them all. Travel to Rainwall and sell 
 the Pearls and Gold there, while buying more Coffee and Tea. Take the boat 
 from Raftfleet to the Dwarf Cave and sell all the Iron there, while buying 
 up more Gold. Back in Raftfleet, sell off your Tea and buy more Gold if you 
 can afford it, then head for Haud. Finally in Haud, sell off all of your 
 Gold and Coffee.

Repeat this process as often as you would like. When you are ready to 
 continue, return to the mansion at Rainwall.

=============================================================================

	RAINWALL

=============================================================================


The action continues back at the House of Barows. . .

Luserina comes running to meet you in the Foyer, and a long scene begins.


---------------Kyle
Star #18 of 108
Rank: A
Auto-Recruit
Class: Short-Range Fighter / Mage
Notes: Finally, a Battle-useable "A" rank recruit. Really, all the Queen's 
 Knights are amazing characters, and Kyle is no exception. His stats are 
 above average in nearly every category, making him one of the most versatile 
 characters in the game. Not only is he the most powerful and agile Short-
 Range fighter you've acquired so far, his magic and MP score is high, about 
 the same as Sialeeds. As such, I have listed him as a mage as well as a 
 fighter. Statistically, he has no real weaknesses. He will never have the HP 
 of, say, Georg, but his magic skills make up for this well. While Georg has 
 one of the worst MDEF scores in the game, Kyle has enough MDEF to withstand 
 even some of the most potent magic attacks.

Really, Kyle is essentially a "Flik-class" character, referring to "Blue 
 Lightning Flik" from Suikoden I and II. He does not stand out in any one 
 category, but has powerful balance of skills to rely on for all types of 
 situations. Go ahead and take him into battle and you will see.

Also, Kyle has access to three open Rune Slots latter in the game, this means 
 you can stack up DMG-enhancing Runes, making him one of the strongest 
 characters in terms of Damage per turn. The only reason to not add him to 
 your party is if you are going Treasure Hunting. Kyle has one of the lowest 
 Luck scores in the game, and Luck effects everything from how many critical 
 hits you score to what items enemies drop. I'll cover "Treasure Hunting" a
 bit more later.

In Major Battles, Kyle is more effective at being a Lieutenant than the 
 Captain of a Unit. While the infantry units he leads are solid, as a 
 Lieutenant he adds +5 ATK.

Kyle is particularly skilled with Water Magic, which speaks to his underlying 
 character. As I said before, most Water Magic users have stable, strong, and 
 quiet personalities. While Kyle is by no means quiet, he is stable and 
 strong. Both here in the previous scene and while you were fleeing Sol-
 Falena, Kyle let a bit of his underlying personality slip through. In the 
 end, he may seem flippant and juvenile, but he is a person you can count on 
 when things get bad.

Recommended Runes: Water, Magic Absorb, Flowing Sword, Double-Edge, Fury, 
 Power
Recommended Skills: Attack, Technique
Available Epic Skills: Swift Foot, Fate Control, Karmic Effect, Divine Right, 
 Zen Sword

---------------------------------


Now for some info on some new Runes you may have collected by now: Skip to 
 the next divider to move on.


---------------Drain Rune
Type: Attack-Effect
Rank: B
Note: This is a great all around Rune to to people when you are not quite 
 sure what other Rune to give. It converts 10% of Physical Damage Done to HP, 
 so it is best suited for High Physical Damage Low-Defense types, like Miakis 
 or Shigure. This can be effective on Mid-Range fighters too, but most of the 
 Drain Effect will go to restoring full or almost-full HP. There are several 
 Runes in this game that are gambits, they either lower your defense, or have 
 a strong positive effect offset by a negative one, like: Power, Magical, 
 Double-Edge, and Boost Runes. Using the Drain Rune in concert with these 
 helps keep your characters on their feet. Though as the game goes on, you 
 will be able to offset negative Rune effects in other ways, combining these 
 runes is always a viable way to balance out your party's offense and 
 defense.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------


I promise, there is an actual Walkthrough here somewhere amidst all the 
 commentary. . .

At the Barows mansion, after Kyle joins you as a Star of Destiny, I suggest 
 you leave to go save your game.

After you do that, talk to Kyle:

*****Dialogue*****(choose either, but #2 is more entertaining)
-----No.
-----Act like you have learned much from master Kyle.

Kisara talks about how Kyle just made a pass at her, and Lucretia talks about 
 strategy. . . Well, Kyle has livened thing up a bit at least. Go upstairs 
 and choose to sleep to trigger the next story event.

NOTE:
You now have the option of seeing one of the game's "Bad" endings. If you 
 saved recently, feel free to follow my instructions to see it, but the game 
 really will _end_ and you will have to start from your save. If you have not 
 saved recently, don't worry too much, it is nothing spectacular.

I will now walk you through the Dialogue:

*****Dialogue*****(choose either)
-----Act shocked at the suggestion.
-----Be shocked at the suggestion.

*****Dialogue*****(choose either)
-----Say that you are Loyal.
-----Stay Silent.

*****Dialogue*****(Choose #1 to continue, #2 to end the game)
-----Be heroic. (and skip the next dialogue choice)
-----Be greedy. (and answer the next choice)

*****Dialogue*****(Choose #1 to continue, choose #2 to end the game)
(Only if you chose #2 in the last dialogue.)
-----Come to your senses.
-----Lose your senses.

Now, if you chose #1 earlier, you have no more dialogue after that. Contrary 
 to popular belief, you can choose to remain quiet in the first 2 choices 
 with no major consequences. However, if you choose option #2 in the third, 
 Lyon's opinion of you will plummet, no matter what you say in the fourth 
 choice. So I suggest remaining a decent human being, and making the right 
 choices here.

In the morning, Lyon greets you outside your room. Head downstairs and talk 
 to the people there. Then return to your room for a scene.

*****Dialogue*****(#2 recommended)
-----Feel bad about scheming and get scolded by Sialeeds again.
-----Realize that it is the only option you have.

Go downstairs for a character into.

*****Dialogue*****(#2 recommended)
-----Start the battle.
-----Postpone to go save.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

----------Major Battle #3: Rainwall (Second Engagement, part 1 and 2)


VICTORY CONDITION, PART 1: Draw the enemy units into the southern forest.

VICTORY CONDITION, PART 2: Halve enemy leader's HP or Defeat all other enemy
 units.

VICTORY+ REWARD: Guardian Boots

  
==ENEMY UNITS==

Jidan
| Cavalry |(*****)| 300HP

Cavalry   |(****) | 200HP
Cavalry   |(****) | 200HP
Cavalry   |(****) | 200HP


--Part 1--
The first portion of this battle will be over rather quickly, all you have to 
 do is draw the enemy to the forest to the south. Have all your Units move in 
 a Southwest direction, aiming for just inside the forest to the south of the 
 mountain that stands in the middle. Boz will send you a message in-battle if 
 you are doing this correctly.

Once this has started to take shape, move your archer units deeper into the 
 forest to the west. Then follow them with everyone else.

--Part 2--

This part is just as easy, you now have control of more units. You can use 
 the Dilber units as you please, turning them into cannon fodder if you like. 
 This is advantageous, because you will not be penalized in any way for 
 losing Dilber's troops or units. However, this is also kind of a mean thing 
 to do, far beneath our noble Prince.

There are two ways to win: the easy way is to just unload all of your 
 Barrage, Charge, and Rune Archer skills on Jidan till his HP is halved. He 
 will them retreat his army. The second way yields more treasure though, and 
 that is to defeat the three other Cavalry units.

In all Major Battles from here on, I will suggest you defeat all the enemy 
 units you can, while not losing any of your own units, so you can receive a 
 Victory+. There are several reasons for this: One, you will have much easier 
 time recruiting Wilhelm and the rest of the Lindwurm mercenaries. Two, 
 certain Stars of Destiny can be killed if their unit falls in Major Battles, 
 so it is always best to never risk losing a Star forever by letting their 
 unit die.
  
So, for this battle, have you Archers move to the west to engage the charging 
 Cavalry Units. Have the Dilber archers move down just to the rear of your 
 army, then send them forward too. We won't let them get slaughtered, but 
 that does not mean we can't use them.

Let your archers engage in normal battle once, then have them Barrage the 
 enemy they just attacked. Alternate between normal Battles and skills with 
 the archers. Once they only have one skill left, start moving them behind 
 your other troops. Though for this battle I was able to kill all three enemy 
 Cav units with just Kisara and Sialeeds Archer units, with not a single loss 
 on my side, because I stacked them with the right skills.

This tactic is called the "Collapsing Line," and is the best tactic in the 
 game when dealing with a charging enemy. Let your units fight limited 
 engagements where they have an advantage, then have them withdraw to the 
 rear, repeat this process again and again, peeling away the layers of your 
 front line. Damage will add up for the enemy quickly, while your troops 
 remain fresh.

If the Archer Units are forced to fall back, just engage the enemy with your 
 Charge attack from you Cavalry or Infantry.

This battle is not hard, even if you want all the treasure and Victory+.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------


After the battle, there will be a series of scenes, as you might expect. Head 
 for the storage room to be stopped by Chuck. No matter what you say, you 
 will be thrown into the game's second Dual Battle:


----------------------------------

Dual #2

Prince
--VS--
Chuck

Remember the controls? [X] Defends, [SQUARE] Attacks, [O] is Special. So, 
 Defense > Special > Attack > Defense, and so on.

Chuck is easy to read, just like Shoon. And even though there is no chance to 
 save the game beforehand here, you will not have a problem. Just relax and 
 you will be fine. If you have no idea what to do next, defend, because that 
 will give your opponent the least opportunity to damage you.

-----------------------------------

Go down the steps. You will gain control after an interesting scene. Back in 
 the Foyer, Oboro busts in and explains everything, just like Coloumbo.

Afterwords, if you talk to the people around town, some will be sympathetic, 
 others will blame you. By the exit, you will talk to Wilhelm and Mueller.

*****Dialogue*****(#2 recommended)
-----Be sympathetic.
-----Try to hire them.

For this choice, I forgot to save beforehand, so I didn't test it out. Choose 
 #2 to be safe, but I doubt it matters what you say here, you should be able 
 to recruit them later.


Finish up whatever business you may have in town, then head for Raftfleet.

---------------Chuck
Star #19 of 108
Rank: D
Auto-Recruit
Class: Major Battle Only
Notes: Hmmm . . . Well, Chuck is pretty much the standard Suikoden faire for 
 storage keepers: big and dumb. Really, every game but number II has had the 
 same type of character for the Storage Keeper. For a game that is so 
 renowned for its characters, you think they could do a better job than just 
 to give us the same character template over and over. So, poor Chuck gets a 
 D-rank for simply being a generic character in a game that can pride itself 
 on the uniqueness of its characters.

In Major Battles, Chuck give the Unit the "Balance" ability. The game says 
 that this "Stabilizes Damage Values," but that is such a vague term, I don't 
 know what it means. In any event, he does not have a noticeable effect on 
 the unit he is assigned to, so I usually just leave him out.


=============================================================================

	RAFTFLEET

=============================================================================


On the bridge of the Dahak, your army will discuss it's options.

*****Dialogue*****(choose either)
-----Suggest getting more allies, and get scolded by Lucretia this time.
-----Suggest saving Lordlake.

You will now be prompted to name your army. Note that Kisara suggests "Orange 
 Army," this is a sly reference to Suikoden II, where Jowy suggested the same 
 name for the Hero's mercenary unit.

Name the army whatever you wish.

You will be prompted to go to Lordlake, but I'll introduce Luserina first, 
 then we will go on a recruitment drive.


---------------Luserina
Star #20 of 108
Rank: B
Auto-Recruit
Class: Major Battles / HQ Services
Notes: Luserina will be in charge of your party management, and that is just 
 about the most vital service anyone could provide. In Major Battles, she can 
 be used as a Support Officer, with the "Morale" Ability added to the unit. 
 Morale simply raises the unit's attack power by +5. Maybe not the best 
 contribution to Major Battles, but a welcome addition to fill out a unit.

Her personality could not be any different from her brother or father. She is 
 kind, as well as intelligent and hard working. All round she is a great 
 addition to your army.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

On the Dahak, talk to Boz, who is now situated in the large room with 
 Luserina. He will mention Gen. Dilber's use of the revolving bridge, and how 
 he wishes it did not work. This will trigger something later, but for now, 
 explore Raftfleet, the Armour and Rune shops have all been upgraded with new 
 gear. Also, now is finally the time to sharpen Kyle's weapon, if you plan on 
 using him, that is.

=============================================================================

	RECRUITMENT DRIVE #3

=============================================================================


Form a party from the characters you like best, although Kisara will not be 
 available for a bit. You now have some real choices as far as your party is 
 concerned, and for most recruitment drives, you are free to choose most of 
 the characters in your battle party.

For now, add Takamu, because he will be useful in recruiting an old friend in 
 a bit.

We do not need to go far to find our first recruits. Oboro has docked his 
 ship in Raftfleet, next to the Inn. Go inside for a scene.

If you did not complete the Oboro side-quest back in Rainwall, you will still 
 wish to talk to him and ask him to join. Talk to Oboro after every major 
 story event, and ask him to join again, on the fifth try he will join. 
 Oboro, and the stars that come with him, are missable. You need to ask him 
 frequently if you wish to recruit him before he leaves for good. 

If you did complete the Oboro side-quest, talk to him again and he will join 
 now, along with Fuyo and Shigure. Sagiri will not join along with them.


----------------Oboro
Star #21 of 108
Rank: B
Recruit: Raftfleet, after Major Battle #3
Class: Major Battle Only
Notes: Oboro doesn't do much in major battles, he is a Support Officer with
 the Rumors Skill which lowers the Attack Power of enemies you fight. Meh

Like Chuck, I judge him more on the lineage of Suikoden investigators. 
 Richmond from Suikoden II was the best, but Oboro is a close second I think. 
 He definitely has his own smooth style. Gentlemanly, but with a sharp wit, 
 perhaps even close to that of Lucretia. He will investigate members of your 
 army for you, for a small fee. Plus, he can help locate Stars that you have 
 not recruited yet. (For all that is worth with this walkthrough.)



---------------Fuyo
Star #22 of 108
Rank: D
Recruit: Joins with Oboro
Class: Major Battles Only
Notes: Well, she has an unremarkable skill for use in major battles. She 
 hosts a mini-game that you can play later. Other than that, she is just 
 along for the ride.



---------------Shigure
Star # 23 of 108
Rank: B
Recruit: Joins with Oboro
Class: Short-Range Fighter (Ninja)
Notes: Shigure is one of the fastest, most agile characters in the game. He 
 belongs to the Ninja sub-class, and as you can imagine, this makes his a 
 capable fighter. His HP and Defense are quite low, more along the lines of 
 Long-Range characters, so you must be careful when he is in your party, and 
 I cannot recommend him for the front of your formation, he is best from row 
 #2. Shigure will deal frequent consecutive and continuous attacks, allowing 
 him to clear out several enemies at once.

In Major Battles he is not quite as useful. As a Captain, he commands a two-
 star infantry unit with the Skill Ambush. Ambush works like the Archer's 
 Barrage command, except that is has a very limited range. While this can be 
 useful, the issue of the limited range makes if difficult to use, and often 
 you will be thrown into a normal battle on accident. Having only a three
 -star commander is a liability, so I use him mostly as a Lieutenant or not 
 at all.

His personality is very laid-back, with no real intensity at all. This can 
 lead to some humorous moments, but for the most part he will remain quiet 
 and only open his mouth to complain.

Recommended Runes: Killer, Power, Fury
Recommended Skills: Attack, Agility
Available Epic Skills: Raging Lion, Fate Control, Triple Harmony (no Swift 
 Foot? Isn't he a Ninja?)
 
-----------------------------------


If you completed the Oboro side quest, then you will find Norden at the 
 Raftfleet Inn. Simply speak to him and ask him to join your army. If you
 did not complete Oboro's side-quest, then you must recruit him in Lordlake
 in Chapter 3, I will cover him again then.


---------------Norden
Star #24 of 108
Rank: D, for drunk
Recruit: Raftfleet, after Major Battle #3. Lordlake, Chapter 3.
Class: Major Battle Only.
Notes: Norden can serve as a Support Officer in a unit. But he can also be 
 killed permanently if that unit loses all of it's HP. For the most part, I 
 leave him on the sidelines.

He really doesn't do anything else but hang round and drink. I mean sure, 
 he's been through a lot, but still you think they could have given him a 
 mini-game or something. Maybe Chichoirin or Rita-Pon, that would have been 
 nice.

------------------


Still at the Inn, Norma and Ernst are inside the other room. No matter what 
 you say, they will not join yet. But keep them in mind for later.  

As you try to leave Raftfleet, another character introduction scene will 
 play. Once again, these Characters will not join you yet.

In order to acquire the next Star of Destiny, have Logg give you a ride to 
 Haud Village, then exit out the western side and return to the Lunas North 
 Woods.

On the way there, I will introduce the Lightning Rune and the Earth Rune:

---------------Lightning Rune
Type: Magic
Rank: B

LV 1: Thunder Runner (Attack)
LV 2: Berserk Blow (Attack)
LV 3: Furious Blow (Attack)
LV 4: Soaring Bolt (Attack)

Note: The second of the "elemental attack" runes, this one focuses on single 
 targets over enemy groups. Again, when deciding between this Rune and the 
 Fire Rune, take you character's elemental affinity into account.

Lightning Magic users are actually quite rare in the Suikoden games. Mostly, 
 they are Fighter-class characters with decent MP who use Lightning magic to 
 augment their Physical Attacks. Flik from Suikoden I and II is a great 
 example of this. There have only been two real Lightning Mages in the 
 Suikoden games, as far as I can recall: Jeane and Geddoe (from Suikoden 
 III). Both of whom are not the type of people to talk too much about 
 themselves, so not much can be determined as to the personality traits of 
 Lightning Magic users.

I guess the keyword here is "mystery." True Lightning Mages tend to be 
 secretive and enigmatic, flashing brightly then disappearing off to 
 somewhere unknown.

Rune Family Tree: True Lightning > Thunder > Lightning 

---------------Earth Rune
Type: Magic
Rank: B

LV 1: Clay Guardian (Defense)
LV 2: Vengeful Child (Defense)
LV 3: Guardian Earth (Status Recovery)
LV 4: Earthquake (Attack)

Notes: Unfortunately this rune if often overlooked in the Suikoden games, 
 often pushed out in favor of the Wind Rune. But the reason I am writing 
 these Rune summaries is to help you choose the best Rune for the situation, 
 and to keep Runes like the Earth Rune from being overlooked.

Clay Guardian is one of the most useful spells at any magic level, let alone 
 LV 1, raising PDEF and MDEF for three turns for all party members. Vengeful 
 Child is equally useful in boss battles, protecting the target from a single 
 spell. However, Guardian Earth is practically useless in this game, 
 considering the LV 1 Dawn Rune spell, and Earthquake is rather weak for a LV 
 4 spell, especially because it only damages enemies on the ground.

Despite this, I like using Earth Magic in almost every Boss and Mini-Boss 
 Battle, Clay Guardian adds stability to the battle and makes things much 
 easier to manage. Keep in mind that the first three levels of Magic are all 
 Absolute-Value spells, so go ahead and give Earth Runes to characters who 
 have other means of damaging the enemies. On the other hand, Clay Guardian 
 is widely available as a magic scroll, so later on in the game, I don't find 
 myself equipping Earth Runes too often.

Earth Magic users tend to be quite sage. That is, they are learned, 
 intelligent people who can make calm decisions even in dire circumstances. 
 For the most part, they have noble intentions, but in spite of this -or 
 perhaps because of it- they tend to be somewhat elitist and haughty. Often 
 this makes them the victims of their own hubris, like Bishop Sasarai from 
 Suikoden II and III. They also tend to be out-of-touch with everyday life, 
 and are not too socially skilled.

Rune Family Tree: True Earth > Mother Earth > Earth

---------------


===================================
	Lunas North Woods
===================================

If you have Takamu in your party, continue on. If not, you will need him in 
 your party to continue.

Walk to the west, up the first ladder and then down the next two. Takamu will 
 stop you and explain that he can see an Elven trail that continues on to 
 Lunas. He is necessary just for this one instance, to recruit this star of 
 destiny.

You will appear on the trail with Lunas to your south. You cannot enter Lunas 
 the same way you did before, Godwin Soldiers have occupied and cut off the 
 path. But if you go north, you will see a scene and Urda the elf will allow 
 you to accompany her. After the scene walk a few steps west to enter the 
 secret path to Lunas. So, to recap, Takamu is necessary to reach Urda, and 
 Urda is necessary to reach Lunas.

Inside the Oracle's Conclave, there will be a scene with Isato. Afterwords, 
 leave Lunas and return to the North Woods and then to the world map. Turn 
 right around and reenter. Walk north along the switchback to find Zegai. 

*****Dialogue*****(#2 recommended)
-----Be disrespectful.
-----Say that you are glad to see him.

*****Dialogue*****(#2 recommended)
-----Don't Recruit.
-----Recruit.

---------------Zegai
Star #25 of 108
Rank: B
Recruit: Lunas, after Major Battle #3
Class: Mid-Range Fighter
Notes: I am certain there are many Zegai fans who are wondering how I could 
 give him a "B" and not at least an "A." Well, he does have massive HP and 
 Attack stats, and surprisingly high MDEF and Technique, but he lacks speed, 
 and the PDEF to match his HP. He can be a very powerful character under most 
 circumstances, but he simply does not suit me. I guess this is more of a 
 personal preference issue than anything else. He comes equipped with a 
 unique Rune: Wrath. This rune is handy, it heals half of his lost HP and 
 gives the Fury status! This makes him the prime candidate for the Boost 
 Rune, which reduces the wearer's HP to 1 after the 3rd turn. Give him a 
 Sacrificial Jizo or Buddha and the Boost Rune and he is a strong character, 
 if somewhat slow for my taste. 

Zegai is also your army's combat trainer. If you take him with you on a 
 journey, he will be able to train your characters at any time, perfect for 
 making your party stronger right before a big boss battle.

Be careful when you use him for Major Battles though. As a Lieutenant, he 
 adds a substantial bonus to his unit's Attack, but he can be killed 
 permanently if his unit is defeated.

I like his personality, another one of the calm but strong warriors. He is 
 quiet though, and does not really add much entertainment to things.

Now, for the question burning everyone's mind: If Zegai had not been 
 disqualified in the Sacred Games and Belcoot was in good health, who would 
 have won? Easy, Belcoot. Belcoot has superior technique and accuracy, 
 agility and defense, while only falling short of Zegai in HP and Attack by a 
 small fraction. While Zegai can always put up a good fight, Belcoot would 
 have had that match eventually.

Recommended Runes: Power, Double-Edge, Boost
Recommended Skills: Technique, Attack
Available Epic Skills: Raging Lion, Fate Control, Karmic Effect, Untold 
 Clarity

-----------------------------------


From Haud, walk south past Rainwall, then follow the road to the west to 
 arrive at the aptly-named Big Hole. Talk to the guard just inside the map 
 for some info in how this thing got here. There is not much to do here yet, 
 but talking to the soldier helps you recruit a character later. On the world 
 map, continue northwest to the Revolving Bridge, where you should once again 
 talk to soldier stationed there. This guy mentions that the inventor of the 
 revolving bridge lives in Estrise.  

Now that is done, walk east to Boz's hometown of Estrise. I will cover 
 Estrise in depth later, when it appears in the main story, but there are 
 many goodies to be had here, including chests with a Cyclone Rune Piece and 
 a Stone of Strength, as well as the cheap Pearls, Iron, and Gold at the 
 trader.

This next recruitment will be lengthy, with a special side-dungeon, so go 
 prepared. If you do not have an Earth Rune equipped on any of your 
 characters, I suggest you buy some Clay Guardian Scrolls at the Rune Master 
 and give them to one of your party.

Walk down the small alley east if the entrance to the city. Near the water, 
 you will find Babbage's workshop, walk inside and talk to Babbage and 
 Sorensen, and tell him you want to stop the bridge. Leave the workshop to 
 have Lu join temporarily too.

Head back to Raftfleet. Here, make the preparations you need. If you just 
 want to leave Sorensen and Lu in the entourage it is fine, but I have a 
 policy of using characters in the battle party on their specific quests. 
 This forces you to use more characters, so you have more choices when you 
 need them, it also makes the game a bit more challenging : for example Lu 
 and Sorensen have low levels right now, and will not steamroll the enemies 
 like Zegai would.

As for your party, take whomever you would like. But as for Runes, let me 
 suggest taking an Earth Rune (or Clay Guardian Scrolls), 2 characters with 
 elemental attack Runes, and one character with a Water Rune. If you want to 
 upgrade weapons you can, but know that upgrading is quite expensive, and 
 that you don't really need to have your party's weapons maxed out at all 
 times. For now, LV 5 is enough.

Talk to Logg and he will take you to the Bridge.

==================================
	REVOLVING BRIDGE
=================================

Just inside, you will be forced into battle. This battle is characteristic of 
 the random battles you will fight inside, so I will not cover it. You will 
 randomly acquire an item called a "? Painting" from the enemies here in this 
 area, hang on to at least one of them and do not have them appraised, 
 because they will help recruit a character later. 

On the west side of the first screen, you will find [ARMOR OF THE GODS EPIC]. 
 You cannot use it for now, but it will be important after a few more levels. 
 Go up the stairs to Floor 2 and then take the eastern stair up for a 
 [LIGHTNING RING]. Go back and take the west stair, you'll find an 
 [EQUILIBRIUM PIECE] on the landing. Take the stair to Floor 4 and get [SOUND 
 SET 3].

Make sure you are healed up before heading east here.

---------------

Boss: Differential Gear.

This is the first difficult boss in the game, but if you had no major trouble 
 with the random encounters on the way here, you can win. Differential Gear 
 is pretty slow, and will probably go last, even if you have slow characters. 
 This makes him predictable, and if you pay attention to your HP, you should 
 be able to heal your party members before they go down.

In the first turn, cast Clay Guardian, and unleash your strongest magic. This 
 boss is weak to magic, so for characters with even Magic and Attack scores, 
 use magic. Lu and Sorensen have a decent Co-Op, go ahead and use it if you 
 brought them into the battle.

His attacks can hit hard, but Clay Guardian works quite well here. Use 
 Kindness Drops if one of your characters is below 150 HP, if more than one 
 is, then Kindness Rain will heal your party fully at this point. Keep up the 
 Magic attacks and Differential gear should go down.

Rewards: Steel Piece x1
	27,000 potch, 50 party SP

----------------

In the eastern room, there is a scene.

You are done here, so go back to the exit. You will travel back to Raftfleet, 
 so turn around and ask Logg to take you to the Eastern Wharf or Haud, then 
 walk to Estrise. Return to the workshop for a scene. Sorensen, Lu and 
 Babbage will leave the party. Talk to Babbage again and ask him to join, and 
 he will give you the use of his fanboy. Lu and Babbage cannot join yet.
 

---------------Sorensen
Star #26 of 108
Rank: D
Recruit: Estrise, after major battle #3
Class: Mid-Range Fighter
Notes: It might be a bit harsh to rank Sorensen as a "D," but there it is. He 
 has below-average stats in every category. And unlike Cius, he cannot wear 
 heavy armour. He is also a member of the Mid-Range Fighter class, probably 
 the most competitive class in the game, with the Prince and Lyon required 
 all the time and many other great choices besides. There is not one 
 statistic that he possesses that stands out.

In Major Battles, he can command a special Ballista Unit, which can deal 
 damage from ridiculous ranges. Overall, this is not that much of an 
 advantage though, as the catapult has low movement speed and a limited 
 number of uses. It is more a unit to play round with for fun -like Shigure's 
 "Ambush" skill- than something that provides a tactical advantage.

His personality is solid though, if not exciting, plus from the way he lets
 Babbage push him around, I wonder about his self-esteem.

Recommended Runes: Earth, Power
Recommended Skills: Attack, Technique
Available Epic Skills: Fate Control, Triple Harmony



---------------Steel Rune
Type: Support
Rank: D, for Don't Use
Note: This Rune reduces physical damage by 80%, but lowers your MDEF to zero. 
 This has no place in any main-story Boss battle, and can only be used with 
 careful consideration at other times. It might be fun to try to use this 
 Rune to play around or increase the game's challenge, but other than that, 
 sell it off for cash.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------


Back to the walkthrough>>

In Raftfleet, exit from the town and walk south on the world map to Lordlake.

=============================================================================

	LORDLAKE

=============================================================================


Inside the town, talk to Talgeyl.

*****Dialogue*****(choose either)
-----Be apologetic.
-----Ignore Talgeyl's sarcasm.

Talgeyl joins the entourage. Head for the clinic to the south. After, leave 
 the clinic to trigger another scene.

*****Dialogue*****(choose either)
-----Tell him he can't come, then have him come anyway.
-----Let him follow you.

Time to return to Raftfleet.

=============================================================================

	RAFTFLEET

=============================================================================


Return to the bridge of the Dahak. After the scene Cius, and Lelei will be 
 unavailable for a bit.

The game here has a marked increase in difficulty, so grab a good party, and 
 upgrade the gear of the Prince and Lyon if you have not done so already. You 
 might want to bring Cornelio and leave an extra spot in the entourage if you 
 can stand him, there is another DoReMi elf to recruit soon. You will have 
 another chance to sharpen you weapons and upgrade your gear before things gt 
 too tough, but I am letting you know ahead of time.

Talk to Logg again to go to Yashuna village.

=============================================================================

	YASHUNA VILLAGE

=============================================================================

You will arrive without much fanfare on the pier. Directly to the south, 
 there is a chest hidden under the branches of a tree. Zoom the camera in if 
 you have trouble seeing it. You receive [ARROWSTANCE TACTIC]. 

Visit the shops and talk to the people if you would like. I'm afraid the 
 trader does not have much worth buying except for Coffee right now. Talk to 
 the man just to the east of the first small bridge to hear about the 
 benefits of the hot springs. There are two Inns here, the first one being an 
 actual inn that can be used, and the second -called the Tricolor Inn- which 
 will have a few side-events centered around it later. Enter the Tricolor and 
 talk to the Beaver behind the counter for a short scene.

At the eastern end of the map, to the northeast of Tricolor, there is a 
 chest: [PROSPERITY SANDALS]. At the southern section of the village, your 
 will find the rune shop and two other houses. Inside the house to the west, 
 there is a [MOTHER EARTH PIECE], and in the house to the east: [CYCLONE RUNE 
 PIECE]. Don't miss these two rare items.

When you are ready, exit the village to the south, and follow the road to the 
 mountain path.

=============================================================================

	MOUNTAIN PATH

=============================================================================

Welcome to the most generically-named area in the entire Suikoden series!

The path is a switchback, but there are no side-paths or treasure chests, 
 which makes me feel a bit silly and quite useless as the writer of this 
 walkthrough. . . 

There is a DoReMi Elf here; the method for acquiring it has not changed: just 
 fight random battles until it shows up, then have Cornelio capture it with 
 his Fugue spell. Note that you must have at least one open spot in your 
 entourage or battle party to capture him. 

After you hit the world map, turn west along the road to beaver lodge.

=============================================================================

	BEAVER LODGE

=============================================================================


When you enter the Beavers will run and scatter. You can only enter one 
 building here: the Elder's house. Walk west to find a ladder, then climb it 
 to enter and speak with the elder. The elder's name is Fuwalafuwalu, which 
 is a mouthful. The other Beavers, have names that all sound like the other, 
 save that the first vowel is changed. It is quite annoying, and hard to keep 
 them straight.

Choose either dialogue option, and Maroon will join your party. Pick up the 
[FLOWING RUNE PIECE] in the chest next to the Fuwalafuwalu. Exit the Elder's 
place for a scene.

*****Dialogue*****(choose either)
-----Lie.
-----Act discouraged.

*****Dialogue*****(choose either)
-----Head off with no explanation.
-----Have Lucretia act evasive, then head off with no explanation.


To reach the Ceras Lake Ruins, return to the area of Yashuna, then head west. 
 You will arrive on the north shore of the lake, circle round to the 
 southwest side to find the Ruins.


=============================================================================

	CERAS LAKE

=============================================================================


You will meet with the "Mysterious Man," show him the Dawn Rune and he will 
 join your party. Save your game.

Inside, you will meet Lorelai.

*****Dialogue*****(choose either)
-----Fight.
-----Ask Lyon to handle it, then get provoked into fighting anyway.

----------------------------------

Dual Battle #3

This is the most difficult battle yet, but the basics that you learned in the 
 previous two Duals still apply. Lorelai has an extensive set of quotes, and 
 it can be difficult to get her to repeat one. Still, she is not deceptive at 
 all, she is a person driven by strong emotions, and that at least makes her 
 more easy to read.

Stay calm, even if Lorelai gets an early lead, you can always come back from 
 behind as she repeats her words, letting you know for sure what she will do. 
 Mostly, you will have trouble deciding whether she will attack or use a 
 special. She can be subtle in the difference between them at times. If you 
 cannot tell, I recommend just defending. In fact her more aggressive quotes 
 tend to signify attacks rather than specials.

In the end, this one is not that tough, certainly not as tough as some of the 
 ones you will fight later.

-------------------------------

Lorelai will now join your party. You can just fill your entourage with Toma, 
 Lorelai, Zweig, and Maroon, but that is no fun. If you plan on using any of 
 them I suggest a return trip to Raftfleet to sharpen their weapons and equip 
 them with Runes. I suggest having at least a moderate amount of Magic Attack 
 spells with you when you do tackle these Ruins, either in Rune form or in 
 Scroll form will work. As always, a Water Rune and Clay Guardian are 
 strongly recommended.

I'd like to take a bit of time here to talk about the setup for this next 
 level, to move ahead, skip to the next divider:

As I said before, I tend to take storyline characters with me into these 
 types of levels, instead of just sticking them into the entourage. Lyon had 
 come close to maxing out all of her Skills at a C-rank, so I chose to move 
 her to the entourage and give other characters a chance to gain some SP. My 
 party looked like this:

Formation: Standard
Kyle
Shigure
Prince
Maroon
Zweig
Lorelai
(Entourage)
Lyon
Toma
Egbert

Use the party you feel most comfortable with. Other good choices include: 
 Kisara, Zegai, Sialeeds, Lun, and Logg. Taking Kisara, Lun, and Sialeeds can 
 really help, as most of the enemies at the Ceras Lake Ruins are weak to 
 magic.

The "Standard" formation works well enough here, as the next level is long 
 and the Formation Skill can be useful in keeping your party's HP up. I gave 
 Kyle, Shigure, and Maroon a selection of Support Runes, while the Prince had 
 a Water Rune, Zweig an Earth Rune, and Lorelai retained her Lightning Rune. 
 Everyone except for Lorelai had a Berserk Blow magic scroll and Mega 
 Medicine equipped. Lyon was equipped with a Shield Rune in the entourage to 
 help with healing after battles.

You may want to spend some money on equipment in Raftfleet; just enough to 
 cover anyone if the have an open equipment slot. (Many characters come 
 without Helmets equipped.) LV. 5 weapons are enough for this next area, 
 though if you can afford better go ahead and raise them up further with the 
 exception of Maroon.   


=============================================================================

	CERAS LAKE RUINS

=============================================================================

Back inside the ruins, you will be at a four-way intersection with a 
 waterfall cutting of the north exit. This dungeon is divided into East and 
 West sections. Take the western door fist, we will start over there.

The enemies here can be quite strong. Coupled with the fact that this is the 
 longest level yet, it can turn difficult without the proper preparation. The 
 Ghost Shield enemies here are resistant to physical attacks, though they can 
 be beaten down if your party is strong. Using LV 1 magic against them can 
 really help, but you will run out quickly unless you brought multiple mages. 
 Save your LV 2 and higher magic for later, you will need it. The Embryo 
 enemies are troublesome, they have high HP, and will often just attack once 
 or twice, then run away. Kill them first if you want to get their potch, if 
 not then you can concentrate on other enemies and let them leave. The 
 Skeletons have high HP, but are unremarkable, you can use physical attacks 
 to deal with them. Finally, the Zombies the most normal enemies here, they 
 should not give you trouble unless they poison you.  

At the first intersection, go north. Head north again at the second 
 intersection and step on a floor switch. Return to the last intersection and 
 go west into a room. Here you will find: [GUARDIAN SCARF]. Head east, back 
 to the first intersection here in the western portion.

Walk south back at the first intersection. Through the door, go north to step 
 on the floor switch. Turn around and head west. Walk south next to find a 
 chest [ROBE OF DESTINY]. Continue on westward, then down the steps to find 
 another room. This one has a big switch on the floor, step on it for a cut 
 scene showing the waterfall back at the entrance weaken. Grab [OLD BOOK 2] 
 from the chest and head back to the waterfall room.

Now we will go to the eastern portion. Turn south at the first intersection, 
 then go down the steps. Turn south to the alcove for a chest [WINDOW SET 2]. 
 Head north from the alcove and continue north a short way to a small floor 
 switch. Return all the way to the East portion's first intersection and turn 
 east. On the other side of the doorway, go north into an alcove to step on 
 yet another floor switch. Turn around and go east into a room. Step on the 
 big switch, then open the chest that is almost hidden in the northeast 
 corner [TIGER TACTIC].

Go back to the Eastern Portion's first intersection again. Go south, then 
 north, then east at the intersections, then through the doorway. In this new 
 area, go north at the intersection to enter the final room. The chest here 
 has a very important item called [BASIC MAGIC]. This will allow your army's 
 magic trainer (once you recruit them) to raise your magic skills to level B. 
 Step on the third and final big switch and return to the waterfall room 
 (which no longer has a waterfall in it.)

Through the northern door, there is only a straight path, so don't worry. 
 Continue north till you get a scene. At the journeyman's crystal, heal your 
 party before continuing.

----------

Boss: Diamond Sun A (Left), Diamond Sun B (Right)

Though these bosses share a name and appearance, they are actually two 
 different enemies with two sets of characteristics. The Left is weak against 
 Magic attacks, the Right is weak to physical attacks.

So, which one you attack first depends largely on your party make-up and 
 gear. If you have a party that is stronger physically, the take our the 
 Right first, if you brought mages and have attack runes or spell scrolls 
 equipped, then the left.

Either way, Clay Guardian is the spell of choice in the first round. Both
 enemies have powerful single-target and group attacks, so minimizing the 
 damage that is done is very important, at least until you can defeat the 
 first one. Also, the LV.1 Shield magic, "Battle Oath," is a good choice, 
 with a 40% chance of giving party members the Fury status, it will help 
 greatly with the Right Sun. 

After the first round, depending on the HP of your party, you may want to use 
 Kindness Drops if anyone is below 100 HP. Mega Medicine works too, of 
 course. the important thing is not to lose the offensive yet, keep attacking 
 with at least four characters until you can take one down. Losing the 
 offensive here will mean taking considerable damage while you try to 
 recover. Use Kindness Rain (LV 3 Water Magic) or Great Blessing (LV 2 Shield 
 Magic) to ensure your party stays healthy while devoting only one person to 
 healing. Do not wait to use these spells, you can go all out here.

Both Suns can cast Earthquake, which attacks your entire party, and can even 
 knock characters off balance (signified by a spiral over their head) which 
 makes them miss the next turn. If your healer gets knocked down, you could 
 be in trouble, so take one person off of the attack to heal with whatever 
 means are available to them. 


Rewards: Flame Armor, Flowing Piece, Mega Medicine, Rage Piece
	58,000 potch, 50 party SP

----------

Walk north for a scene, then leave the ruins. As you exit, there will be 
 another scene.

*****Dialogue*****(choose either)
-----Recruit anyway.
-----Recruit.


---------------Viki
Star #27 of 108
Rank: A
Auto-Recruit
Class: Mid-Range Mage
Notes: VIKI!!!! She returns as always to help your army with her 
 teleportation service. Viki has been doing this since Suikoden I, and along 
 with Jeane, is one of two characters to appear in every main game. She is 
 available for party battles in this game as well, and just like in Suikoden 
 III, she has access to her unique Chain Magic skill, allowing her to 
 randomly cast the same spell twice in a row for the cost of only one MP. 
 With this skill, Viki has the potential to deal more damage per turn than 
 any other mage in the game, especially once you gain access to the higher-
 level Elemental Attack Runes.

She has a Blinking Rune attached permanently to her right hand, and while 
 this Rune is, in my opinion, the least powerful of the Attack Magic Runes, 
 it is fun to use, even though it can backfire. To keep it from doing so, 
 increase Viki's Luck statistic as high as you can, by using items like the 
 Luck Ring. Luck, as a stat, effects everything in the game that depends on 
 a percentage. So, doing this will also raise her chances of triggering her 
 Chain Magic.

In Major Battles, she is most useful as a Lieutenant, adding two uses of the 
 Cyclone Rune to a Rune Archer's Skills, making her a good pair with Sialeeds 
 and other strong Rune Archer Captains that you will obtain later.

Her service to your army is to teleport you using Blinking Magic to any town 
 that you have already visited that lies within your territory. This is the 
 most convenient service in the game.

So, with all that she brings to your cause, why is she only ranked as an A 
 and not an S? Well, much like Kyle, she is high-ranking even among the 
 other As, and I am only giving out the S to people who are overpowered. 
 Remember that I said to refrain from using S-rank characters too much? Viki, 
 because she has a Blinking Rune on her right hand, cannot use the Magic 
 Absorb Rune, which can only be attached to the right hand. This limits the 
 amount of MP she has, and thus keeps her from being over-powered. I'll talk 
 more about the Magic Absorb Rune in a bit.

I am a big fan of Viki, in case you couldn't tell. She Blinks around through 
 space and time, helping save the world, then Blinks off again to an unknown 
 place before she can be rewarded. She has done this five times now, and does 
 not even seem to be aware of what she has accomplished. In this vein, Viki 
 just might be the most heroic character in the entire Suikoden series.

My own personal theory on Viki: She is actually super-intelligent, but the 
 Blinking Rune that she uses to move people and things through space and time 
 requires so much mental processing power and concentration, that Viki 
 herself is left with only the bare minimum amount of intelligence needed to 
 survive. That is, the Rune robs her of her intelligence in order for it to 
 function. This theory is supported by the fact that whenever her brain 
 triggers an involuntary function -like sneezing- she momentarily loses 
 control of her magic.

Recommended Runes: Wind / Cyclone, Fire / Rage, Magical, Alert
Recommended Skills: Chain Magic, Incantation
Available Epic Skills: Divine Right, Sacred Oath

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------


Back to the intermittent walkthrough >>

Viki will Blink you back to Raftfleet. Return to the Bridge of the Dahak.

*****Dialogue*****(choose either)
-----Shower Lucretia with praise, then get scolded.
-----Tell her you won't do it.

And again to start a battle:

*****Dialogue*****(#1 recommended)
-----Ask for time to go save.
-----Begin.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Major Battle #4: Hatred Fortress

VICTORY CONDITION: Reduce the enemy forces. (See Below) Or push the enemy 
 ships back to the Fortress.

VICTORY+ REWARDS: Thunder Helm. 12,000 potch

==Enemy Units==

Combat Ship|(**) | 200HP
Combat Ship|(**) | 200HP
Combat Ship|(***)| 200HP

Archer Ship|(**) | 200HP
Archer Ship|(**) | 200HP
Archer Ship|(***)| 200HP

Ram Ship   |(**) | 200HP
Ram Ship   |(**) | 200HP


There are no five-star enemy commanders here, but your opponents do out 
 number you. The major difference is that you will be on the offensive, as 
 opposed to the defensive battles you have fought before. You also have much 
 more control on the Unit Setup screen this time round. Set up your units to 
 match the enemy force's weaknesses.

The Prince's unit also has use of the Dawn Rune now, which is easily the most 
 powerful battlefield weapon in the game. The Rune will damage all enemies 
 within its effect radius, and heal all allies within the same radius. When 
 used properly, it is a true tide-turner in battle. As such, the Prince 
 should always be at the center of your formation from now on, do not let 
 allies stray too far away without another means to heal them. But do not 
 bunch up either, this can make it hard for your units to move.

Try not to pull the trigger on the Dawn Rune too early, wait for your units 
 to take some damage first.

My Prince's Unit looked like this: Prince (Commander), Lyon (Lieutenant), 
 Sairoh (Support Officer). Sairoh or Shinro will give you two uses of the 
 Dawn Rune, so they should be paired with the Prince whenever possible.

You have a choice here. You can end the battle quickly, but miss out on a 
 Cyclone Rune Piece and a Rage Rune Piece, or you can target the enemy Rune 
 Archer ships to acquire them. 

The best way to get the Rune Pieces is to send units to the Northern Flank of 
 the enemy formation, and wedge a few of them in between the first and second 
 rows of enemy ships. This causes the front row to retreat west when 
 attacked, and the second to retreat south, leading all of them away from the 
 base. Move forward carefully to draw the Rune archer ship from the third row 
 towards you, then engage it. The Rage Rune Piece from the ship in the front 
 row can be gotten after you have successfully acquired the Rage Piece. I 
 recommend against using the Dawn Rune, it simply deals too much damage and 
 ends the battle too quickly. Pushing the enemy back to the fort can end the 
 battle quickly.

If you don't care about loot from the enemy, then just sent the bulk of your 
 forces straight at the enemy, use Barrage initially to push the front row 
 back into the second row, then just fire off the Dawn Rune while the enemy 
 is clumped together to either injure them or push them back to the Fort.

My best score on this battle actually is only 67 left for the enemy before 
 the game ended the battle. I'm not saying it to brag, just to let you know 
 that there is no real way to predict when this battle will end. Defeating 
 the Archer Ship in the enemy's rear row tends to allow the battle to 
 continue longer though.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

There will be a short scene after the battle. Go back to Ceras Lake Ruins. 
 You can have Viki blink you to Yashuna village if you want. Don't worry, the 
 path you opened before will still be there, so there will be no heavy 
 fighting. At the entrance, a scene will ensue. Once you arrive in the 
 northern room, an extended scene will play. Then, take a short walk down the 
 stair when you regain control for more scenes.

It is time to name your headquarters! Boz suggests "Mohawk Head Castle," 
 while Lucretia suggests something. . . proudly effeminate, aha. "Castle of
 the May Sigh Shimmering on the Pale Blue Water" is quite a mouthful. Name 
 your castle whatever you wish, but from now on I'll call it your HQ.

You regain control in the War Room. Head out the door to the west to the 3rd 
 Floor Hall, then up the stairs to the Roof. Inside the Sealed Room, yet 
 another scene plays.

*****Dialogue*****(choose either)
-----Accept Zerase's help.
-----Have her help you regardless.

Zerase, Lorelai, and Zweig, join as Stars of Destiny.

OK, we will now finally continue on to Chapter 3. Feel free to explore the 
 castle and talk to the people gathered there, I will introduce the new Stars 
 of Destiny and a couple of Runes. To continue the walkthrough, skip to the 
 next divider.

First, the Runes:

---------------Flowing Rune
Type: Magic
Rank: A

LV 1: Breath of Ice (Attack)
LV 2: Kindness Rain (Recovery) 
LV 3: Silent Lake (Defense)
LV 4: Mother Ocean (Recovery)

Note: This is the parent Rune of the Water Rune. Having Kindness Drops 
 removed is a bit annoying, but considering that Kindness Rain is a LV 2 
 spell here, it is more than enough to make up for that. The new LV 4 spell 
 is Mother Ocean, one of the few spells in the game that allows you to revive 
 fallen party members in battle. Essentially it is like a Kindness Drops that 
 also works on characters with 0 HP. The only other spell is Yell from the 
 Resurrection Rune, but that does not fully recover your ally's HP. Other 
 than that, there is not much to note, use the Flowing Rune in place of the 
 Water Rune if you can.


---------------Dawn Rune (Stage 2)
Type: Magic
Rank: S

LV 1: Time of Awakening
LV 2: First Ray

Note: I did not cover the Dawn Rune when you first got it in order to prevent 
 spoilers for people who accidentally scrolled a bit too far ahead. Besides, 
 the LV 1 Magic is self-explanatory, you don't need me to comment on it. The 
 LV 2 Magic is much more powerful, a LV 2 spell that does heavy to moderate 
 damage to an enemy column. It is very useful in many ways, and quite potent 
 for a Lv 2 spell. Keep in mind that the Price's affinity for Sun Magic will 
 make the spell more powerful than the game lists on the spell select screen.

Rune Family Tree: Sun Rune > Dawn Rune


---------------Magic Absorb Rune
Type: Support
Rank: S
Note: This Rune's effect is simple: It recovers one MP every time the 
 character connects with a physical attack using the Attack or Auto 
 commands. It will always restore one MP from the lowest possible level, 
 meaning if a character has used one LV 2 MP and one LV 3 MP, the Rune will 
 restore the LV 2 MP first, then the LV 3 MP on the next attack. 

In the Suikoden games, recovering magic has never been this easy. There was a 
 similar rune in Suikoden II, but it only restored LV 1 MP. Magic is very 
 powerful in these games, but its use has always been equally limited. This 
 Rune allows you to remove that limit, and use powerful magic skills freely. 
 While this makes mages more useable in your battle party, it can also make 
 the game much less challenging -far too easy in fact.

I like the idea of Magic being powerful, but limited. It adds a whole 
 different element of strategy to the game. This Rune simply side-steps that. 
 In the end it is your choice to use the Rune or not. If you do choose to use 
 it though, I suggest waiting until your second play-through.


 
---------------Zweig
Star #28 0f 108
Rank: B
Auto-Recruit
Class: Mid-Range Fighter

While in many ways Zweig is an average fighter -the only stat that really 
 stands out is his Technique- he is more capable than most. The Mid-Range 
 fighter category is the most populated in the game, as I mentioned before, 
 so I do try to rotate through them, but Zweig is solid in many ways -and he 
 handles an Earth Rune well- so he is always a welcome member, if not the 
 star of the show. He is a required member in a few of the game's key levels, 
 so I suggest keeping him well-equipped and ready to go.

What makes him a B-rank is his Treasure Hunt Skill. This increases the drop 
 rates of enemy monsters, whether he is in your battle party or your 
 entourage.

He doesn't do much for you in major battles, just the Weakness Ability that 
 lowers enemy defense.

His personality may be a bit stand-offish, but compared to Lorelai who 
 attacked you when she first saw you, and Zerase who threatened to kill you 
 when you acquired the Dawn Rune, he is practically Mother Teresa.

Recommended Runes: Earth, Power, Drain
Recommended Skills: Technique, Treasure Hunt
Available Epic Skills: Fate Control, Divine Right 


---------------Lorelai
Star #29 of 108
Rank: B
Auto-Recruit
Class: Mid-Range Fighter
Notes: Lorelai is back for her third appearance in the Suikoden series, 
 though I think previous incarnations of her character were more powerful. 
 She is one of the few characters in the series to change weapons between 
 games, and I think the whip she carries now is uninspiring; her halberd for 
 Suikoden II was much better.

In battle, she is reliable, though like Zweig she can be rather dull. Her 
 Magic, MP, MDEF, and Agility stats are all above average, making her quite 
 versatile, though her lightning magic affinity is low, so use a Fire Rune 
 instead of the Lightning Rune she came equipped with. Her biggest problem is 
 that she suffers from low HP, making her a bit awkward for Runes like the 
 Power Rune. I always give her a Sacrificial Jizo, just in case.

Again like Zweig, she has the Treasure Hunt Skill permanently equipped, 
 making her useful for that type of party.

I assume there might be a few hardcore Lorelai fans out there, though I'm not 
 sure I'd ever like to meet one. She has a personality obsessed with 
 "Strength," yet she continuously misjudges the strength of the people she 
 meets. Here in this game of course, but in the previous Suikodens as well. 
 She is violent, rude, and surprisingly misogynistic.

Recommended Runes: Fire, Power, Drain
Recommended Skills: Agility, Treasure Hunt
Available Epic Skills: Swift Foot, Divine Right


---------------Zerase
Star #30 of 108
Rank: S
Auto-Recruit
Class: Long-Range Mage
Notes: So, Zerase gets the S-rank for Mages. She comes with the unique Star 
 Rune attached to her head, one of the highest magic stats, and has a Long-
 Range weapon, allowing her to sit comfortably in the back of your battle 
 formation while still contributing to Physical Damage.

The Star Rune is very powerful, at least as powerful as the Rage or Thunder 
 Runes, and is all the Magic attack that she will ever need. If you equip her 
 with a Magic Absorb Rune on her right hand and a Flowing Rune on her left, 
 the game will basically just give up and let you win. . .

She is so overpowered that I recommend you not use her in most battles. She 
 will be required some of the time, but not often, so I usually choose Viki 
 instead.

In Major Battles, she is equally dominant. She commands a four-star Rune 
 Archer Unit, and she can utilize her Star Rune to deal crushing damage to 
 all enemy units within the blast radius. You can also assign Shinro or 
 Sairoh to her Unit to give her two uses of the Star Rune. The Rune works a 
 lot like the Dawn Rune, except that it does not have the ability to heal 
 allied Units, still, it is a powerful force on the battlefield.

While you have not yet recruited your army's official Magic Tutor, you can 
 add Zerase to your party to have her train your members. So, her 
 contribution to your cause is significant.

Her personality is mysterious, to say the least. We do not know much about 
 her, except that she seems to have some connection with the True Night Rune, 
 a.k.a. The Star Dragon Sword from Suikoden I, II and III. It is likely that 
 her Star Rune, while not one of the 27 True Runes, is a child Rune of the 
 True Night Rune, and grants her tremendous power. In that regard, the Star 
 and Dawn Runes are similar. Both are born directly from one of the True 
 Runes, but are not pieces of the True Runes themselves.

To explain: in Suikoden I and II we saw some of the 27 True Runes that had 
 split themselves into two halves. The True Rune of Beginning split into the 
 Black Sword and Bright Shield Halves, which is where the current Shield 
 Runes come from.

The Dawn and Star Runes are different. They are not halves of a True Rune, 
 but children of the True Rune, controlled largely by that True Rune. The 
 Dawn Rune can control who it chooses as it's wielder.

I will leave the conversation about True Runes there for now. Hopefully this 
 will have given you a good idea about just how expansive and well thought-
 out these games are though.

Recommended Runes: Magic Absorb, Alert, Water / Flowing
Recommended Skills: Incantation, Magic
Available Epic Skills: Divine Right, Sacred Oath

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------


============================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

======== Chapter 3 ========	section 1.3

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
=============================================================================

"O, prisoners of Hell
	You have been Crowned!"
--




As you exit the interior of the castle on the Second Floor, a scene will 
 play. Toma and Maroon will ask you to go back to Lordlake with them.

The first thing you want to do if you have not done it already is talk to 
 Viki down on the First Floor. (It is actually a basement Floor for now, but 
 that will change. Sorry if that's a spoiler.) She will give you the Blinking 
 Mirror, which you can use to return to your HQ at any time as long as you 
 are on the world map.

When you are done exploring, form a party -Luserina is now on the First 
 Floor, near the shops, storage, and other vital services- and leave HQ via 
 Logg, he will take you to the Beaver Dam, a short walk away from Lordlake.


=============================================================================

	LORDLAKE

=============================================================================


This time you'll be greeted warmly.

Talgeyl, Goesch, Toma, and Silva join!

The town is now completely open to explore, the piles of refuse have been 
 removed. Talk to Goesch for some funny dialogue, then head east into the 
 new part of town, and you will see a bridge to the southern portion of town. 
 Cross the bridge then head east, in the east corner there you will find: 
 [IRON HAMMER] this item is important, so please don't miss it. Head south 
 some more, and cross another small bridge. You'll see a large desiccated 
 fountain. In the southeast corner : [WALL ORB].

When you are ready, leave the city. Toma and Maroon leave your party.

We will now go on an extended recruitment drive, now that you have a 
 Headquarters, many Stars that would not join you before will now be 
 available. If you wish to continue with the main story at any time, enter 
 your HQ's War Room on the Third Floor and skip to the next Divider.

I suggest you return anyway, and create a party with Lun and Viki, and 
 whomever else you would like. I'll introduce our recent recruits, and then 
 get to the Drive.


---------------Talgeyl
Star #31 of 108
Rank: B
Auto-Recruit
Class: Major Battle Only
Notes: Talgeyl commands a four-star Rune archer unit, and brings the Mother 
 Earth Rune as a skill. Mother Earth acts much like the Rage Rune in Major 
 Battles, which is a bit disappointing in terms of originality, but is still 
 quite useful. Your army will never acquire a five-star Rune Archer 
 commander, so he and Zerase make for the best Rune Archer Unit commanders.

His personality is kind, but with a sly sense of humor and a deep inner 
 strength that belies his age.


---------------Toma
Star # 32 of 108
Rank: C
Auto-Recruit
Class: Major Battle Only
Notes: Toma -not surprisingly- is a Support Officer only, and cannot join you 
 in party battles. He brings the “Survival” support skill to his unit, which 
 increases the unit's defense the more it loses HP. This can be very useful 
 in large major battles where it is difficult to keep track of all your 
 units. Especially where characters that can die permanently are concerned, 
 he can help keep their unit alive while they withdraw. Still this is a skill 
 that you will use more in on your first time through the game. As you get 
 better at managing your units, the “Survival” skill becomes less useful.

I like Toma's personality. In a way he is immature, but he has his own mind 
 and his own voice, and always stands up for what he thinks is right, and 
 that makes him a good person, even if he is still just a kid.

---------------Goesch
Star # 33 of 108
Rank: B
Auto-Recruit
Class: Mid-Range Fighter
Notes: While he does have good HP, his best qualities are his ability to wear 
 heavy armor under his poncho, and his "Mow Down" Skill. Mow Down attacks a 
 cluster of enemies, instead of just one. This makes him a prime candidate 
 for Runes like Double-Edge and Power, because he will have plenty of PDEF 
 and HP to sacrifice for additional DMG. 

On the other hand, he competes for a Mid-Range spot in your party that is 
 almost always full; with the Prince and Lyon, and now Zegai, Viki, Lorelai, 
 and Zweig too, there are many other choices, all of them with more Magic and 
 Technique. 

He can command a Unit as well: a useful Four-Star Ram Naval Unit.

Now that the situation has changed for the better, his disrespect for the 
 Prince has faded, and given way to a cheerful and easy-going personality. In 
 this, he makes a welcome addition to any party. He will also be your HQ's 
 farmer, so give him all the "Seedling" Items that you find or buy along the 
 way to make your garden grow.

Recommended Runes: Crazed, Power, Double-Edge
Recommended Skills: Mow Down, Attack
Available Epic Skills: Raging Lion, Triple Harmony


---------------Silva
Star # 34 0f 108
Rank: C
Auto-Recruit
Class: Major Battles Only
Notes: Well, she is another Support Officer only character. She brings the 
 Relief skill, which slowly recovers ten HP to your unit after every 
 skirmish. This is a useful skill, but I personally like being more offensive 
 in Major battles.

Like Goesch, her personality softens tremendously now. But without actually 
 going to visit her in your castle's infirmary, you would not know.
 
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
===========================================================================

	RECRUITMENT DRIVE #4

=============================================================================


We will start in Raftfleet, but you will need Lun in your party to recruit a 
 character here.

If you have not recruited Oboro yet, talk to him again and ask him to join. 
 He will refuse, but you will be one step closer to recruiting him.

Head for the Inn, where you will meet up with Wilhelm and Mueller. If you got 
 Victory+ in the 3rd and 4th Major Battles, then you can convince him to 
 join, free of charge. If you did not, then having Viki with you really 
 helps, as Wilhelm is rather lecherous, even for a mercenary.

*****Dialogue*****(#2 recommended)
-----Do not Hire the Lindwurm Mercenaries yet.
-----Hire them, then have Mueller say they'll fight for free.

If you do not see this choice, then you cannot recruit them yet. Don't worry 
 you will have other chances. Wilhelm and Mueller appear at the Inn in every 
 city after a major battle, so ask them again and again until they join. 
 Winning Victory+ and bringing Viki along help considerably.

---------------Wilhelm & Mueller
Stars #35 & 36 of 108
Rank: A
Recruit: Raftfleet, chapter 3
Class: Major Battle Only
Notes: I list the two together because they can only join together and they 
 are best left together at all times. Wilhelm commands a five-star Cavalry 
 Unit -one of only two available to your army- and with Mueller as his 
 Lieutenant, they create a special Lindwurm Cavalry Unit, with 3 charge 
 skills and higher Attack and Defense. The Lindwurm Cavalry is one of the 
 most dominant forces on the battlefield; they can shred enemy infantry for 
 over 100 damage in just one normal battle.

Plus, by recruiting them, you can now recruit another dominant character, the 
 third and final member of the Lindwurm Brigade. But we will save him for a 
 bit later.

Wilhelm and Mueller are from the Kingdom of Zelant, which is on the continent 
 to the west of Falena. It seems that Zelant has a militaristic culture, 
 though not much more is known about the nation at this time.  

---------------
 

Head to the pontoon rafts north of the Inn but south of the Dahak for a 
 character intro scene.

*****Dialogue*****(choose either, but #2 is hilarious)
-----Ask about Subala.
-----Ask about Lun's relationship with Subala.

Talk to Subala to continue the scene.

*****Dialogue*****(#1 recommended)
-----Recruit, on the condition that you can beat her at fishing.
-----Don't Recruit.
You'll arrive at HQ, and you will now compete with Subala in the fishing 
 mini-game! Don't worry, the game takes it easy on you at this point, it is 
 easy to beat her. The only real advice that I have is to not move around too 
 much. You will only need a score of about 200 to win, and even if you lose, 
 just find her in Raftfleet again to challenge her. Win just once and she 
 will join as a Star of Destiny.

---------------Subala
Star #37 of 108
Rank: C
Recruit: Raftfleet, chapter 3
Class: Mid-Range Fighter
Notes: Subala is like a physically supercharged and mentally depreciated Lun. 
 they are both Mid-Range, but Subala lacks any talent with magic, while 
 gaining some speed and power. The two of them have a useful Co-Op attack 
 together. But again, the Mid-Range fighters you have are either more 
 powerful -like Zegai- or more versatile -like Lyon.

While Subala can be quite entertaining, especially when paired with Lun, she 
 just doesn't stand out among the mass of Mid-Range characters.

Recommended Runes: Power, Fury
Recommended Skills: Pierce, Agility
Available Epic Skills: Swift Foot

---------------

After the fishing game with Subala, you will be on your HQ's pier. Turn to 
 your right and talk to Muroon, ask him to join and he will.

---------------Muroon
Star #38 of 108
Rank: D
Recruit: HQ, chapter 3
Class: Mid-Range Fighter (Beaver)
Notes: Muroon is the first Beaver that you will recruit officially, and the 
 others are not much better. He has low HP, Attack, Defense, and dismal Magic 
 and MP. He is not slow, but his Agility his nothing to brag about either. 
 Overall, he is below average in almost all categories.

Like all Beavers, he has the Bath skill, which recovers a portion of his HP 
 after every turn. This does go a long way to make up for his low HP total, 
 but is pretty useless in the face of his other shortcomings.

Really, the Beavers are meant to be used together in a party, as a fun 
 challenge. They are not serious contenders for a spot in a tough battle.

In major battles, the Beavers can be truly amazing allies, but only after you 
 begin to acquire more of them, so I won't talk about that yet.

Recommended Runes: Water, Shield
Recommended Skills: Bath, Incantation
Available Epic Skills: Swift Foot, Divine Right

---------------

Go inside your HQ and talk to Luserina. You can take Lun and Viki out now if 
 you want.

Exit to the exterior of the HQ form the second floor. If you freed Killey 
 from agate prison earlier, you will see a scene where he arrives at your 
 castle. Allow him to join your part and take him to the Sealed Room on the 
 fourth floor. Here he will leave again. Again, he cannot be recruited at 
 this point, but he will appear again much later in the game.

Have Viki warp you to Yashuna Village next. To the North from where you 
 arrive, you will meet up with Belcoot. Talk to him to catch up, your first 
 dialogue choice does not matter much. If you ask him to join, he will differ 
 the decision to Marina, who is inside the Inn. Go inside to see another 
 scene, this time with Marina. Now, you have the option to recruit them, just 
 ask them to come to the castle.


---------------Marina
Star #39 of 108
Rank: C
Recruit: Yashuna, Chapter 3 and later
Class: Major Battle Only
Notes: She runs the Inn at your HQ, and there isn't much more to her than 
 that. Although I must say that Hilda from Suikoden II was hay hotter.

In Major Battles, she can function as a Support Officer, giving the Rest 
 Ability to her unit, allowing them to recover HP while the unit remains 
 still. This ability is not as useful as you might think though, because the 
 rate of recovery is quite slow, and rarely do units just sit there, not 
 moving. Still, she can be useful at times, and the Inn is one of the 
 castle's vital services.

As far as her personality: I actually don't like her that much. That may be a 
 bit harsh to say, but there it is. She comes off as a bad combination of 
 shyness and personal weakness. Sure, she was kidnapped and put into a very 
 tough situation, but it really seems she is just around as a way to make 
 Belcoot's character seem cooler.


---------------Belcoot
Star #40 of 108
Rank: A
Recruit: Yashuna, Chapter 3 and later
Class: Short-Range Fighter
Notes: You are already familiar with him from the events in Chapter 1, but 
 there, he shared the spotlight wit Georg. Now you have full access to 
 Belcoot for your Battle party.

He lacks the explosive power of, say, Georg and Shigure, and he does not have 
 Kyle's versatility, what he does bring to your party is a great combination 
 of physical abilities. He scores near the top in every physical statistic, 
 HP, Power, Technique, Agility, and Defense, plus he has a higher mark in 
 Magic Defense than Georg and Shigure -about the same as Kyle- and probably 
 the highest parry rating in the game. His Skills level up quickly, and he 
 has access to almost all of the physical Epic Skills.

He has one thing going against him though, and that is his Falcon Rune. In 
 Suikoden I, the Falcon Rune was wielded by the incomparable Valeria, it 
 dealt three times DMG to a single enemy and was useable every turn. Since 
 then the rune has been changed; in this game it only deals three times 
 damage with a decreased accuracy, causes Belcoot to become unbalanced and 
 can only be used once per battle. . . Belcoot does gain a second Rune slot, 
 but the uselessness of the Falcon Rune in this game is a real problem. While 
 other characters can equip multiple Runes to increase their power 
 exponentially, Belcoot is left with only one Rune slot. This makes him less 
 powerful than many other characters in the late game, as you gather more 
 powerful Runes and characters that have either two or three Rune slots, like 
 Shigure and Kyle. But at least for the majority of the game, Belcoot is one 
 of the best choices for Short-Range power.

In Major Battles, he commands a four-star infantry unit, or gives a moderate 
 attack bonus when used as a lieutenant. But like Zegai, he can be killed 
 permanently if his unit is defeated. So, as the game progresses, I usually 
 leave him on the sidelines.

As I said before, I do like his personality, even if he has fallen for 
 Marina. He has a quiet nature, and a strong disposition.

He is a graduate of the fencing school mastered by Roundier Haia. Previous 
 graduates to appear include: Valeria and Anita, who both had Falcon Runes as 
 well. While Kika from Suikoden IV also had a Falcon Rune, no one cares about 
 Suikoden IV, so it doesn't matter. Belcoot is the first time a male has 
 wielded the Rune. This is the first time a graduate of the school has used a 
 two-handed sword. Also, this is also the first time anyone without the 
 letter "A" at the end of their name has wielded the Rune.

Recommended Runes: Double-Edge, Power, Fury
Recommended Skills: Attack, Technique
Available Epic Skills: Untold Clarity, Triple Harmony, Armor of Gods, Raging 
 Lion, Fate Control, Karmic Effect

---------------

While we are still in Yashuna, there is another matter to attend to. Go to 
 the Tricolor Inn and head upstairs. Inside the northern guest room, you will 
 meet a Mysterious Man. Scroll through the three dialogue options in any 
 order, and he will present you with the Strange Book. This item has a very . 
 . . odd use.

For now, return to your HQ, and give the Strange Book to Chuck for 
 safekeeping. Add Takamu to your party as well. Now warp over to the Dwarf 
 Camp. Talk to the Blacksmith and he will receive the Iron Hammer that you 
 picked up back at Lordlake. He will now be able to sharpen you weapons to LV 
 10. If you have the money, sharpen any weapon your party has to LV 10, and 
 you will learn the Blacksmith's name, Dongo, and trigger a scene. You will 
 not be able to recruit him yet, unfortunately. If you don't have the money 
 to sharpen your weapons don't worry, this scene can be accessed at any time 
 throughout the game. Take the time to check the Armor Shop, a rare find now 
 available is the Thunder God's Armor: PDEF +84 and additional defense 
 against Lightning and Water magic, it is expensive but quite worth it. 

North of the Blacksmith and Rune Shop, there is a ladder. At the top you will
 see a dwarf, what is hard to see in the dwarf standing behind that dwarf, 
 this is Zunda. Talk to her twice to ask her to join you, and she will 
 consent if you can show her a Wandew. What she means is a window, but she 
 wants to see a window that was not built into the side of a building, but 
 one carved out from the earth. The only place like this in the game so far 
 is in Lunas, so leave the Dwarf Cave via the ladder nearby and warp back to 
 HQ. Note that Zunda temporarily replaces Lyon behind the Prince.

Do you remember all those ? Painting items you got back at the Revolving 
 Bridge? Pull those out of your storage, if you have some left. If not, you 
 can just go back to the Revolving Bridge now and get some more. Talk to Logg 
 and he will take you there just like before. Once you have some -the more 
 the better- have Viki blink you to Haud Village, then leave Haud and go to 
 the Lunas North Woods.

A word of warning, the enemies have changed here and are now quite strong, so 
 take a good party. Takamu is also needed to access the path to Lunas, plus 
 if you get into a tough spot, you can always run from battle with him in 
 your party. The Mini-Boss here is the Salamander, a tough fight at this 
 level, but if you win, he drops the Fire Dragon Armor, some of the best 
 armour available at this point in the game.

Talk to Urda again to access Lunas proper, and enter the Oracle's Conclave. 
 From there, enter the room to the north and take Zunda over to the window, 
 she will join as a Star of Destiny.

---------------Zunda
Star #41 of 108
Rank: N/A
Recruit: Dwarf Cave, Chapter 3 and later
Class: Service Only
Notes: Zunda is your window manager. Give her all your window sets and she 
 can change the appearance of the game's windows. Other than that, there 
 isn't much to say about her.

--------------

I do not suggest fighting too much in the Lunas North Woods, the time will 
 come for that in just a bit. Return to Haud with those ? Paintings in your 
 inventory. Go to the Appraiser's shop and talk to Bastan, but do not have 
 him actually appraise anything, just keep opening and shutting the Appraisal 
 Window. Eventually, he should ask about one of the paintings that you are 
 carrying. If you are having trouble getting him to ask, here is how to 
 trigger the scene: The game will search your inventory for ? Paintings 
 items every time you talk to Bastan. It will randomly select any ? Painting 
 as one that will interest Bastan, with a low probability. So, the more ? 
 Paintings that you have in your inventory the more likely you are to trigger 
 Bastan's recruitment event. If you have trouble, go back to the Revolving 
 Bridge to pick up more. With more than twenty ? Paintings, I have never had 
 a problem recruiting Bastan at this point in the game.

Bastan will mention that one of your Paintings appears to be an Ivanov 
 Painting, a reference to Ivanov from Suikoden I, and he will be so inspired 
 that he will join. Note: While Zunda is in your party, you are technically 
 on a recruitment quest, and this may effect your ability to recruit other 
 characters along the way. So finish her recruitment before trying Bastan. 

---------------Bastan
Star #42 of 108
Rank: N/A
Recruit: Haud, Chapter 3 and later
Class: HQ Services Only
Notes: Well having an appraiser at your HQ will save you a lot of trouble, 
 plus any item that you sell to him for cash can be bought back later in the 
 game. Other than that there really is not much to say about him.

---------------

We still have a few more characters to recruit, so return to your HQ. Check 
 back in with Chuck, and he will tell you that the Strange Book you gave him 
 glows at night, and he will give it back to you. Return to Yashuna and talk 
 to the maid inside the room here you met the Mysterious Man.

*****Dialogue*****(#2 recommended)
-----Act like nothing's wrong.
-----Try to return the book.

Once you return the book, go back to HQ.

Now you need to go to Estrise. If you traveled there earlier to recruit or 
 trade, Viki can blink you. If not then blink to Haud and travel south-
 southwest to reach the city. There are some cool treasures and Rare Finds 
 here, but I won't cover the city until it appears in the course of the main 
 story events. 

Go to the Inn and talk to the young woman by the counter. She will challenge 
 you to a game of cards, accept. No matter what you do here you will lose 
 2,000 potch, but this is necessary to recruit her. Leave the Inn after all 
 that is done.

We cannot officially recruit Linfa yet. For now, talk to the old man near the 
 fountain in the city's main square.

*****Dialogue*****(#2 to start recruitment quest)
-----Lie.
-----Mention the Strange Book.

Alhazred will join you temporarily and replace Lyon. I suggest putting him in 
 your battle party and fighting with him. Raising his level will allow you to 
 recruit a character in a bit. For now he starts at LV 5, but try to get him 
 within 2 levels of the prince eventually. For now, you can stick him in the 
 back of your formation and battle the enemies around Estrise, this will not 
 allow him to reach the prince, but it is enough for the time being.

LV 28 or so is fine for Alhazred, once he is there, return to HQ. Rest and 
 Save, there will be a boss battle soon, so take a decent party around LV 30. 
 Have someone who can heal your entire party at once repeatedly, either with 
 a Shield or Water Rune. Return to Yashuna once again. At the Tricolor Inn, 
 you'll find the Mysterious Man in a compromising position:

---------------

Boss: Book of Condemnation

This boss uses primarily magic attacks that harm groups or your whole party. 
 Physical attacks and magic can work equally well against it, so your 
 strategy will be based on your party's make-up. Of course, Clay Guardian and 
 Battle Oath are recommended for the first round, but as long as you brought 
 a good healer, this battle is not too tough.

This boss is slow, so you should have no trouble healing injured party 
 members, plus, the Book's HP is pretty low, I had this battle wrapped up in 
 three rounds with an average level of 32 for my party members.

Rewards: Resurrection Piece
	25,000 Potch, 100 Party SP

---------------

The Mysterious Man will be saved, though he does not seem overly grateful. . 
 . and Alhazred will join as a Star of Destiny:

---------------Alhazred
Star #43 of 108
Rank: C
Recruit: Yashuna, Chapter 3
Class: Short-Range Mage
Notes: Perhaps a D-rank is too harsh for poor Alhazred. His magic, MP, and HP 
 scores are only a little above Cornelio, and he suffers from all the same 
 problems that plague Short-Range Mages. Actually, I can't think of one 
 situation where Alhazred would be preferable to Kisara, she has all his 
 magic prowess along with far more HP, PDEF, Speed, and attack power. One 
 good thing that I can say about him is that he has one of the highest MDEF 
 stats in the game, and his Luck is pretty high, but that is not enough to 
 make him useful.

In Major Battles, he gives one use of the Mother Earth Rune to a Rune Archer 
 Unit. This makes him a good pair with Talgeyl, but he is still far less 
 useful that Viki or Josephene.

Oddly, I do like his personality though, he is like an 80-year old Indiana 
 Jones who has spent far too much time in his 60s and 70s in the library. He 
 is a willing adventurer, but he just doesn't have the vigor for it anymore 
 I'm afraid.

Recommended Runes: Condemnation, Darkness, Water, Magical
Recommended Skills: Incantation, Magic Defense
Available Epic Skills: Divine Right, Sacred Oath 

---------------

Alhazred will give you the Condemnation Rune as a gift.

---------------Condemnation Rune
Type: Magic
Rank: C

LV 1: Black Shiver (Attack)
LV 2: Endless Ordeal (Attack)
LV 3: Inevitable Blade (Attack)
LV 4: Dark Summoning (Attack)

Note: This is the Child Rune of the True Rune of Punishment from Suikoden IV. 
 And just like Suikoden IV, this Rune is largely pointless. The spells all 
 deal roughly 10% of the damage to the Wearer as they do to the target. Also, 
 none of the spells are as powerful as you would think, they are basically 
 copies of spells from the Fire or Lightning Runes. I guess this one can be 
 fun to try out, or to equip as a way to make boss battles more challenging, 
 but for the most part, this one just sits in my storage.

Rune Family Tree: True Rune of Punishment > Condemnation

---------------

No, we are not done with this recruitment drive yet. I suggest you leave 
 Alhazred in your party, remember it will be useful for recruitment to have 
 him one or two levels below the prince. Right now in my play through, he was 
 only three levels behind. If you are above Lv 33, then the best place to 
 catch him up is in the Lunas North Woods.

For now, go ahead and go back to HQ, then blink to Beaver Lodge. Talk to the 
 Beaver just outside of Fuwalafuwalu 's hut, he (she? I can't tell) will 
 speak of "the Boss." Who's the Boss? it's not Tony Danza. . . OK, OK I'll go 
 punch myself in the face now for making that joke. . .

Go inside the Elder's hut and talk to him. Ask him to join and he will 
 politely refuse. Talk to him a second time, and he will tell you more about 
 the boss. Leave Beaver Lodge from the western exit, and enter the world map. 
 Southeast along the river, you will find an outcropping of stones. This is 
 an optional area called the Waterfall Basin.

The Mini-Boss on the World Map to the east of the Basin is the Big Creeper. 
 He rewards the Black Warrior Garb, a decent light armor for this point in 
 the game, with a negative status resistance of +50%.

==================================
	Waterfall Basin
==================================

Mini-Boss: Tarantula
	Rewards: Mega Medicine, Venom Rune, Eyeball Ring
		12,000 Potch, 30 Party SP

It is a good idea to fight around here to have Alhazred catch up to the 
 Prince. Once you have him one level away, as long as you still have Takamu 
 in your party you will be able to run from every battle, just to make sure 
 the Prince does not begin to pull away again.

The enemies here are not very difficult, Antitoxin can come in quite handy 
 though just in case of poison. The Eyeball Ring from the Mini-Boss is a 
 great Accessory Item, it absorbs 5% of physical damage dealt as HP, so it is 
 again useful for characters with Runes like the Power Rune. The Vampire Bat 
 enemies drop Drain Rune Pieces as well, so this place is a great place to 
 return to later with a treasure hunting party.

Inside, turn east and walk across the stones to the other shoreline. From 
 there head north for a chest [PALE MOON BEADS]. South from there, cross the 
 river again and continue east along the bank to find a chest hidden under a 
 tree [STONE OF LUCK]. Retrace your steps a bit to find a path leading south, 
 follow that for [RESURRECTION PIECE]. Cross back to the north bank of the 
 river.

You'll find a path between two rock-walls that leads to the east, and you'll 
 arrive back on the north bank. Cross the river again here, and follow the 
 bank to the east for [VOICE SET 4]. Turn south to the path and you will 
 curve around to a save point. Cross the stones back to the North bank again 
 and turn northeast to the end of the level.

Now, if Alhazred is one level below the prince, continue on. If not, then 
 fight around here a bit. If you are still having trouble, go back to Lunas 
 North Woods to speed up the process. Once Alhazred is there, run from every 
 battle until you get back to this point so the Prince does not move ahead. 

There is no boss here, at least not one that you can fight. You will meet a
 very large tortoise named Genoh. If the level conditions for Alhazred are 
 met, you will have the dialogue choice:

*****Dialogue*****(#2 recommended)
-----Don't Recruit.
-----Recruit.

If you fail to recruit him, don't worry too much. Just raise Alhazred up and
 come back. Also, Genoh can be recruited throughout the game, and you will
 get one character later that makes it easy to recruit him.

--------------Genoh
Star #44 of 108
Rank: D
Recruit: Waterfall Basin, Chapter 3 or later.
Class: Beast
Notes: Genoh takes up two slots in your party, so you can only have five 
 characters in battle instead of six. Genoh is one of the highest-defense 
 characters in the game and his Parent Turtle Rune give your whole party 
 added resistance to negative status effects. Pair this effect with the Black 
 Warrior Garb, the Yellow Scarf, or certain other items and you can have 100% 
 negative status resistance for the entire party. With that said, he is slow, 
 very slow and has little ability to deal damage. No matter how useful he is, 
 he can never compete with the two party members he replaces.

Beast characters cannot participate in major battles.

---------------

Now that we have Genoh, return to HQ. Sleep and save at the Inn. Then warp 
 back to Beaver Lodge and return to the Basin. Here you will see the Injured 
 Person that you met all the way back in Chapter 1 at the Sacred Games. This 
 is Richard and he is the third and final member of Wilhelm's unit of the 
 Lindwurm Mercenary Brigade. Talk to him for a quick scene, and you can ask 
 him to join. Regardless of your choice he will tell you why he is training 
 our here. Return to your HQ and talk to Mueller who is at the Inn. Then 
 return to the Waterfall Basin one more time and talk to Richard again to 
 recruit him.

---------------Richard
Star #45 of 108
Rank: S
Recruit: Waterfall Basin, Chapter 3 or later
Class: Short-Range Fighter
Notes: Richard gets the S-rank for Short-Range Fighters. He never has three 
 open Rune slots, this is the only reason that characters like Kyle can 
 surpass Richard in damage late in the game. That is Richard's only weakness, 
 so to speak. His HP is a little low, especially for a Short-Range Fighter, 
 and he cannot wear heavy armor, but this is hardly a problem because between 
 his Agility and Technique he will dodge or parry most direct attacks. 
 Richard scores top marks in Attack, Technique, Agility, and Vitality, making 
 him the most explosive pure fighter in the game. No one scores more 
 consecutive or continuous attacks. He is so fast he makes Lyon look lazy. 
 Only Georg scores more critical hits, and even then just barely. Even his 
 Luck Stat is pretty high. Richard has access to all the major physical Epic 
 Skills as well, including Untold Clarity, and like Belcoot, he tends to be 
 able level up his skills for a comparatively small amount of SP.

In short, Richard is like a Turbocharged Belcoot, without the Falcon Rune to 
 Slow him down. Richard's unique Rune is the Swallow Rune, which deals 
 instant death or double DMG to an enemy. Continuous attacks are possible 
 with this Rune, and it does not leave Richard unbalanced, Though it can only 
 be used once per battle, but that is not a problem because it often ends the 
 battle.

In Major Battles, Richard adds Nine Attack power to his unit, and is best 
 used along with Mueller and Wilhelm as their Support Officer to complete the 
 Lindwurm Cavalry.

As far as his personality: well he does seem to be a bit off. He always 
 allows Mueller to berate and practically abuse him, but this is telling of a 
 deeper story between the two. I have no idea what that story is, as even 
 Oboro can't find out too much about them.

Recommended Runes: Fury, Power, Boost
Recommended Skills: Technique, Agility
Available Epic Skills: Untold Clarity, Triple Harmony, Swift Foot, Fate
 Control, Karmic Effect

---------------

Okay! Finally we are done with this recruitment drive.


=============================================================================

	HEADQUARTERS

=============================================================================


If you skipped the last recruitment drive, you will need to go to Beaver 
 Lodge to advance the story. Just return there and talk to Fuwalafuwalu and 
 ask him to join your cause. He will decline politely. Then return to 
 headquarters. If you completed the drive, then you have already done this.

To move on with the walkthrough, skip ahead to the next divider (again. I'm 
 sure you are getting a feel for how this guide is formatted by now.)

If you want to advance the story, talk to Lucretia in the War Room on your 
 castle's third floor. But I suggest you take this opportunity to Roam around 
 the world map, getting some Items. This is a good opportunity to try your 
 hand at Treasure Hunting. Right now you only have access to Lorelai and 
 Zweig with the Treasure Hunt Skill. Level that up to a B-rank, use Party SP 
 if you have to, then take them either in your battle party or entourage to a 
 couple of interesting places:

Lunas North Woods is the best place for EXP and Potch at this point. You can 
 train lower-level characters here easily. The mini-boss, Salamander, drops 
 the Fire Dragon Armor. Also, the Killer Bald Eagle here drops the 
 Equilibrium Rune Piece, which keeps characters from becoming unbalanced. 
 Pick some up if you want.

The Waterfall Basin area southeast of Beaver Lodge contains several items of 
 interest. The Vampire Bats drop Drain Rune Pieces, and the mini-boss drops 
 the Eyeball Ring, which is an accessory that absorbs 5% of damage dealt to 
 your HP. If you like using Runes that sacrifice defense for power, then you 
 will want to take a quick trip here. Also, the Ogre Frog enemies _can_ drop 
 Prosperity Rune Pieces, though they do so at a very low rate, perhaps 2% or 
 less. There will be better opportunities to acquire pieces of the Prosperity 
 Rune later, so don't worry too much about it.

Outside of Estrise, the enemies have changed. The new mini-boss drops a Power 
 Rune Piece, but your best bet for those is a bit to the north in the area 
 east and south of Haud. The Peckles enemies will drop them frequently if you 
 brought someone with Treasure Hunt.

Trade is now largely outmoded, but there is a way to make it relevant again. 
 You can acquire much more money in a shorter amount of time by fighting 
 enemies. But, now that you have Viki to get you from place to place quickly, 
 you can gain access to new trade items that help keep trade a viable option 
 for making money. If you trade enough Soybeans items, you will gain access 
 to the Soy Sauce item, which allows for higher profit. Likewise, Wheat will 
 give you access to Beer, Rice allows Sake, Fruit allows Wine. All of these 
 items are difficult to gain access to but it can be worth it in the long 
 run, especially after more and more cities open up for trade. Ultimately, 
 you can trade enough Gold and Silver items to gain access to the Gold 
 Craftworks Item. But I have never done any of this in Chapter 3, either you 
 need to wait for a later time, or you just need to trade massive numbers of 
 trade items. That is all for trade. There will be a Trading section in the 
 guide after the walkthrough, which will cover all the major cities, but I 
 won't talk much more about it in the walkthrough.

While you are out, check the rare finds in each city. The Dwarf Camp has
 Thunder God's Armor for sale, for 132,000 Potch. . . Spendy, but worth it.  
 Gold Mules are a rare find at Yashuna Village, they increase a character's 
 Luck Stat, so they are a good choice for Viki to help her trigger her Chain 
 Magic Skill.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------


Back to the storyline >>

In the War room, your team will discuss options. Boz will head off to Sable, 
 while Lucretia tells you to relax. Exit to the exterior of you castle to 
 trigger a scene. You will be taken back to the war room, where you will have 
 another long discussion. Afterwords, you will be asked to go to Lelcar.

*****Dialogue*****(Choose #2 for plot event)
-----Consider it.
-----Jump into action.

Something tells me that Lucretia -aside from wanting to protect the Prince- 
 just likes playing dress-up with him. Kyle is a required party member for 
 this next section, and with him, Lyon and the Prince, you should have the 
 coming party battles well in hand. So go ahead and take a few other party 
 members how you might not have gotten a chance to use yet. If you do take 
 lower-level members, upgrade their gear. I recommend taking at least one 
 mage-class character who can use LV 3 Fire or Wind magic, though. 

Before going off to Lelcar, I suggest you have at least 100,000 Potch in your 
 wallet. Go ahead and upgrade Kyle's weapon at the Dwarf Camp, but leave some 
 money for later. Also, take a quick trip to Lordlake and talk to Dr. Murad, 
 ask him to join you and you will be one step closer to recruiting him. When 
 you are ready, talk to Logg and he will take you to Lelcar.

I'll take the opportunity to introduce the Elemental Sword Runes:


---------------Elemental Sword Rune
Type: Magic
Rank: C
Note: This entry will cover all the Elemental Sword Runes: Rage Sword, 
 Thunder Sword, Cyclone Sword, Flowing Sword, and Mother Earth Sword. They 
 are all the same Rune, just with a different element, so check your 
 character's elemental affinity on the status screen to see which of these 
 Runes is best for them.

Basically, these Runes add elemental damage to you physical attacks. This can 
 be useful for bosses and enemies with a high physical resistance, as it 
 allows characters with low magic scores to sidestep this resistance.

For the majority of the game, these Runes are useless. They require MP to 
 use, and have little in the way of damage bonuses, plus, casting will eat up 
 one full turn for your character. However, if your character has a high 
 affinity for the element, and you invest heavily in the Sword of Magic Skill 
 and its related Epic Skills, then the 1.2x damage from the LV 3 spell will 
 increase dramatically.

I will talk more about how to maximize the effectiveness of this Rune later. 
 But for now, just know that while this Rune can be powerful, it takes a 
 heavy investment, both in SP and MP. You can play through the game never 
 using one of them; I did not use them on most of my play-throughs of this 
 game, but if you want the biggest numbers possible, you will have to use 
 these Runes.


=============================================================================

	LELCAR

=============================================================================


Lelcar is made of three islets, east, west and central. You will arrive on 
 the central islet. A short scene will ensue and you will be introduced to 
 Wasil. He will join the party and you will be given rein to explore.

To the west of the dock there is a [WHITE ROSE BROOCH], this increases a 
 character's speed by ten points, and is one of the best accessories so far, 
 and unlike previous Suikodens, most characters can wear this item. Between 
 the first and second houses to the right, there is a narrow, hidden alleyway 
 with [GUARDIAN CASQUE]. 

To the south, you will trigger a short scene showing an argument. Walk west
 across the bridge to the Western Islet. At the intersection with the main 
 street, you will notice the armour and rune shops. Enter the armour shop and 
 talk to the man standing north of the counter. This is Moshen, recruiting 
 him is a bit tricky. Spend about 100,000 potch at this shop to have an 
 opportunity to recruit him later. This is not hard to do as long as you have 
 the money, Moshen's armour is some of the best available at this point in 
 the game. Talk to Moshen a second time, and he tell you he fully supports 
 Lord Godwin.

Leave the armour shop, and talk to the people on the Western Islet, most will 
 agree with Moshen. At the Rune shop, the Double-Edged Rune will be for sale. 
 This Rune is dangerous to equip at this point in the game, so I can't 
 recommend using it yet. Later on though, it will be a great Rune for 
 characters that are well-equipped and have high defense and HP.

South of the Shops, your will see a chest underneath a canvas covering 
 [ANKLETS OF DESTINY]. Walk to the northern end of the Islet, there you can 
 cross over some rocks to another chest [RAGE RUNE PIECE].

Time to go back to the Central Islet. Another scene will ensue as you turn 
 southward. Exit the house and turn south. Along the southern edge of the 
 last house, there is a fruit-bearing tree, hidden underneath is a chest [TRI 
 TACTIC]. Go back north and head east at the crossroad to find the bridge to 
 the Easter Islet.

Another scene will take place as soon as you leave the bridge. You will be 
 introduced to Volga, and a dialogue choice will present itself. 

*****Dialogue*****(choose either)
-----Agree with Kyle.
-----Indirectly make Kyle feel like an idiot.

Wasil will leave the party. Go north a bit to the Eastern Islet's Inn. 
 Upstairs you will find the important item [BASIC COMBAT], this allows Zegai 
 to raise physical skills to a B-rank, so don't miss it. To the north of the 
 Inn, there is another fruit-bearing tree -perhaps this is a hint? and a not-
 so-hidden chest with [SACRIFICIAL JIZO]. 

We are done treasure hunting for now, so head back to the Western Islet. 
 South of the intersection, another scene will ensue. You will get into a 
 fight with more weakling thugs, just like you did back in chapter 1. This 
 battle might take awhile, but they will fall to your magic attacks, even if 
 you brought along some weaker characters. Afterwords, you will charge 
 inside, regardless of your dialogue choice.

Take the [RAGING LION EPIC SKILL] from the box, you will not have a chance to 
 return here, so don't miss it. Down the stairs in the cellar yet another 
 scene takes place and you will be thrust into another fight after you talk 
 for a bit.

*****Dialogue*****(#1 recommended)
-----Defy authority. (and skip the next dialogue choices)
-----Act interested (and go to the next choice.)

*****Dialogue*****(#1 recommended)
-----Demand the return of your sister.
-----Demand Power, then have Lyon interpret what you just said as noble.

---------------
Boss: Nikea, Thug x5

This battle is not too difficult. The Thugs are the same as you faced before, 
 but Nikea can be a problem if you let her live long enough. Use your magic 
 attacks, centered on Nikea if they have targets, including the Dawn Rune's 
 First Ray attack spell. Other than that, you don't need my help for this 
 battle.

Rewards: Master's Robe
	30,000 potch, 80 party SP

--------------

Afterwords, leave Orok's mansion to trigger the next scene.

*****Dialogue*****(#2 recommended)
-----Be indecisive, then get semi-scolded.
-----Protect the city.

and again you will be asked to start the battle.

*****Dialogue*****(#1 recommended)
-----Go save the game.
-----Commence hostilities.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------


----------Major Battle #5: Lelcar

VICTORY CONDITION: Push enemy units back to the Western Islet -or- Defeat all 
 enemy units.

VICTORY+ REWARD: Guardian Chain, 15,000 potch  

==ENEMY UNITS==

Zahhak
| Infantry      |(*****)| 200HP

Archer          |(***)  | 150HP
Archer          |(***)  | 150HP
Infantry        |(***)  | 150HP
Infantry        |(***)  | 150HP
Cavalry         |(***)  | 150HP

Rune Archer Ship|(**)   | 200HP
Archer Ship     |(**)   | 200HP
Combat Ship     |(**)   | 200HP
Ram Ship        |(**)   | 200HP

As you can see, this battle takes place on both the river and the city, so 
 you will be faced with a frantic pace for this battle. This is the first 
 time you will be able to use Zerase in a Major Battle. I usually pair her 
 with a Lieutenant who adds Attack to the unit, and them either Sairoh or 
 Shinroh a Support officer, to give her two uses of the Star Rune.

If you can defeat the Naval forces quickly, you will have a much easier time 
 dealing with Zahhak on the ground, for this reason, I suggest putting Zerase 
 in a Naval Unit. Along with another infantry ship that can heal, adding Lun 
 as the Lieutenant can do this. The naval battle can take care of itself if 
 you scatter the enemies with the Star Rune, then hunt them down one on one 
 with your own ships. Of particular note is the enemy Rune Archer Ship which 
 carries a Flowing Rune Piece.
  
As far as the ground battle: You can end this in two separate ways: you can 
 defeat all enemies, or you can push the enemy units back out of the Central 
 Islet via the western bridge.

If you want to end the battle quickly, try this: Move all your units to the 
 middle of the Western bridge. Lindwurm Cavalry should be the first to get 
 there, have them charge the enemy and push them back to the west. This can 
 end the battle, with one skirmish and zero losses on your side.

If you want more treasures from defeating enemy units, then read on. The 
 enemy will be charging, so I recommend being rather aggressive at the outset 
 of the battle. The enemy Cav unit and Infantry units will be the fastest 
 movers. I suggest charging ahead to the central islet and meeting them at 
 the bridge t the east islet. This will work to bunch the enemy up and allow 
 you to deal maximum damage with the Dawn Rune. Have an Archer unit engage 
 the cavalry, and have Lindwurm take on the infantry, the enemies will begin 
 to bunch up. Pull the Archer unit back a bit and move the Prince up, if 
 Zahhak is within the Dawn Rune's radius, use Barrage to push him back. Once 
 Zahhak is clear, pull the trigger.

Now start retreating your troops using the collapsing line strategy. Do not 
 engage Zahhak with anything but Barrage, and you should be able to defeat 
 all the other enemies before Zahhak ends the battle.  

The two enemy Archer ships have treasure, the Rune Archer Ship has a Flowing 
 Piece, the other Sprite Gauntlets.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------


After the Battle, you'll be thrown into a fight with more suckers. Your party 
 will be fully healed, so just blast them. Walk west, then north for another 
 scene. Random battles are possible here, so take your time if you want.

Wasil, Volga, and Orok join as stars of destiny.

Before you leave Lelcar, enter the Rune Shop, then leave immediately. This 
 will cause Moshen to appear outside his Armour shop. Talk to him now and you 
 will be presented with dialogue choices. If you choose option #2, you will 
 not be able to recruit Moshen. So choose #1.

*****Dialogue*****(#1 Strongly Recommended)
-----Apologize. (and be presented with the option to recruit him)
-----Tell him to get a grip. ( And lose the ability to recruit him.)

*****Dialogue*****(#2 Recommended)
-----Comfort Moshen.
-----Invite him to the castle.

If you followed my recommendations and Moshen does not join, or he just does 
 not appear outside his shop, don't worry, you will have another chance to 
 recruit him later. The important thing is to choose options #1 then #2, so 
 you don't lose the ability to recruit him entirely.


---------------Wasil, Volga & Orok
Stars #46, 47 & 48 of 108
Rank: B
Auto-Recruit
Class: Major Battle Only
Notes: They can be used in major battles only, but if you group them together 
 in the same unit, they form the special Lelcar Unit. Depending which of the 
 three you have assigned to which role, the Lelcar unit will either be an 
 Archer, a Spear, or a regular Infantry Unit. All variations of the Lelcar 
 Unit are rated at four-stars, so they are useful, but not powerful enough to 
 change the course of a battle.


--------------Moshen
Star #49 of 108
Rank: N/A
Recruit: Lelcar, after Major Battle #5
Class: HQ Services / Major Battle Only
Notes: He runs the armor shop at your HQ. In Major Battles, he brings the 
 Fortify Ability to a unit as the Support Officer, this raises a unit's 
 defense by five points. This can be useful, but I usually opt for more 
 aggressive abilities.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

To advance the story, return to HQ via the dock at the north end of the 
 Central Islet.

=============================================================================

	HEADQUARTERS

=============================================================================


Return to the War Room on the Third Floor. After talking things over, 
 Sialeeds joins the party as a required member for this section of the game. 
 Before we advance the story, we have another recruitment drive to complete.

=============================================================================

	RECRUITMENT DRIVE #5

=============================================================================


We will start at HQ. Over by the Inn, you will find Taylor, and he will ask 
 you if he can use a room to conduct a private interview. Agree, and he will 
 run off. Now, go to the fourth floor just outside the Sealed Room, agree to 
 let him use the room and then he will thank you and move to another part of 
 the castle. On the second floor -near Goerg's room and the exit- you will 
 find him for a third time. Agree to let him use a room, and he will join as 
 a star of destiny.

---------------Taylor
Star #50 of 108
Rank: B
Recruit: After Major Battle #5
Class: Support / Major Battle / HQ Services
Notes: In your entourage, Taylor provides the “Analyze” ability, just like 
 Lelei. His ability is an S-rank, so he can provide much more information 
 than Lelei can throughout most of the game, including Elemental Weaknesses 
 for monsters.

In Major Battles, he carries the “Rumors” ability, that lowers the enemy 
 unit's defense by ten points. So, all around, he is a surprisingly strong 
 addition to your army.

He will also publish a paper, summarizing the events of the game, and also 
 giving gossip about certain members of the Stars of Destiny. If you want to 
 learn about the characters in your army, both he and Oboro can provide you 
 with a lot of information.

---------------

If you have not recruited Oboro yet, return to Raftfleet and ask him to join.

Talk to Viki and blink back to Lelcar. On the Western Islet, you will find 
 Dr. Murad standing beside the Inn. If you have talked to him at every 
 opportunity thus far, he will join your cause. If he does not, don't worry, 
 we still have many more opportunities to convince him.

---------------Murad
Star #51 of 108
Rank: A
Recruit: After Major Battle #5
Class: Support / Major Battle
Notes: Like Silva, Murad has the “Relief” ability when added as a Support 
 Officer. Unlike Silva, he can be used as a support member as well. His 
 Treatment Skill is one of the best support skills in the game, healing your 
 party for a certain portion of their maximum HP after every battle. This can 
 greatly reduce your reliance on Medicine and Runes to heal your characters, 
 and is one of the best ways to counteract the extra damage taken from 
 defense-sacrificing runes like the Power Rune.

---------------

While still in Lelcar, enter the Rune Shop to meet back up with Jeane. If you 
 have followed this walkthrough, you have already spoken to the guard 
 stationed at the Big Hole near Rainwall back in chapter 2. If you did not 
 speak to him, you will need to do so now to advance Jeane's recruitment 
 quest. Speak to Jeane a second time and ask her to join your cause, she will 
 respond by asking for your help. Agree to begin her recruitment quest.

Go back to HQ, you will want to get a good party together for this quest. 
 Between Jeane and the Prince, you should have all the attack magic you need, 
 but bring someone with a Water or Shield Rune too. This is a great time to 
 try out Murad as well, as this quest is considerably longer than the 
 Revolving Bridge. What ever your party's make-up, I strongly suggest 
 bringing both Zweig and Lorelai with you, even if they are just in your 
 entourage. Have their Treasure Hunt skill upgraded to a B-rank if you have 
 not done so already, you can use party SP if your need to.

When you are ready, have Logg take you to the Eastern Wharf, from there walk 
 the short distance north to the Big Hole.

Down the spiral walkway, enter the cavern. This path runs straight, with no 
 side-areas, so just make your way down. About 3/4th of the way to the end, 
 you will see two people at the side of the cave, this is Bergen and Levi. Go 
 ahead and introduce yourself, but you cannot recruit the two of them yet. If 
 you speak to Levi several times, he will recognize the Prince's Rune and 
 will ask that he surrender it for research. No matter how your reply, he 
 will no join your army yet.

Continue on to the end of the tunnel for a scene.

===================================
	Underground Ruins
==================================

The enemies in here are not too tough, they are actually familiar from the 
 Sindar Ruins at Ceras lake. The main point of interest with them is that the 
 Zombie and Mummy enemies drop the Magic Absorb Rune Piece. This is your best 
 chance to acquire these Rune Pieces, so I suggest you take some time here 
 and farm them if you plan on using the Magic Absorb Rune. As I said earlier, 
 using the rune with characters like Zerase and Jeane makes them able to 
 repeatedly cast their most powerful spells. This can make the game, 
 especially regular battles, a bit too easy for my taste. If you want to 
 dominate, then farm here for a bit, if not, I do suggest grabbing a few 
 pieces still. Equipping a Magic Absorb Rune to a healer with a Water or 
 Shield Rune can be very useful, without making the game too easy.

At first, go east. The path will bend to the north, at the end, turn west for 
 a chest [ANKLETS OF DESTINY]. From the chest, walk east to a narrow alleyway 
 that is hidden by a building. The path will turn south, then east, then 
 north again. Walk north, and you will see an unbroken column to your right. 
 This marks a four-way intersection. To the east there is a hidden alcove 
 with [DEVIL BEADS]. To the west, cross the central street to find another 
 alley. At the end of this path there are two chests [HOLY AMULET] and 
 [PROSPERITY TUNIC]. The Holy Amulet is a great item for whomever uses the 
 Shield Rune. The Prosperity Tunic is the next item in the Prosperity Set, 
 hold onto it.

Go back to the last intersection and turn north. You will climb a small 
 flight of stairs and pass a large stone obelisk to arrive at the entrance to 
 the Temple.

Inside, take the right-hand path up the steps and continue to the next 
 screen. Then, go up the stairs there for a [MOTHER EARTH RUNE PIECE]. Go 
 north then circle around back to the west, then south for another small 
 staircase with a chest [SORCERY TACTIC]. This formation is one of the best 
 in the game. It allows a person in the fourth slot of your party to cast 
 Chain Magic by using the formation skill, literally turning them into Viki 
 for one turn. The downside is that all other party members will simply 
 defend during that turn. If you like to use Viki, you will not find too much 
 use for this Formation Skill, but even then, the stat bonuses and character 
 placement are still very useful.

Exit this screen to the north for a cutscene and a dialogue choice.

*****Dialogue*****(choose either)
-----Be curious about the point of this adventure.
-----Ask Jeane to Join.

She will join up regardless of your choice. Lyon will return to her position 
 behind the prince. Don't leave just yet. From where you gain control, climb 
 the steps to the southeast for the [MYSTIC RING]. Walk west then up another 
 flight of steps to get a hidden chest [CHAMPION'S RUNE]. Up the steps in the 
 northwest corner is [DRAGON INCENSE]. And finally in the northeast corner we 
 have a: [MAGIC RING]. Use an escape scroll if you want to leave quickly, if 
 you want to fight your way out to get more Rune Pieces, then go right ahead.

Back at HQ, rest up, we are not done with this recruitment drive yet.


---------------Jeane
Star #52 of 108
Rank: B
Recruit: Lelcar, after Major Battle #5
Class: Mid-Range Mage
Notes: Jeane is back once again for this installment in the series. While she 
 has always been able to participate in Major Battles, this is only the 
 second time she has been able to fight in your party. As far as raw MP and 
 Magic stats, she is among the best, plus she is capable of wielding the 
 Magic Absorb Rune. Her HP is decent -for a mage- and she can attack 
 multiple times when you do choose to use the Attack command. Where she 
 begins to fall flat is in her Skills. For some reason, she cannot use the 
 most powerful magic Epic Skills, but she can raise her Magic Skill to a 
 double-S. Also, her head rune slot is occupied by the Charm Rune, which can 
 cause enemies to turn on each other, but to trigger this, she must be 
 directly attacked. As with all other mages, it is never a good idea to put 
 Jeane into a position where she is directly attacked often. In all, she 
 lags well behind Viki and Zerase in raw power.

In major battles, her Thunder Rune skill is similar to the Barrage skill, but 
 can be used with a Rune Archer unit and deals more damage. Like Viki, she 
 cannot lead a unit, so she is relegated to the Lieutenant or Support Officer 
 positions.

Once again, Jeane runs your castle's Rune Shop, plus she can use her Rune 
 Sage abilities while in your party, allowing your to swap out Runes on the 
 fly. This makes her -if not one of the most powerful members- at least one 
 of the most practical members of your party.

Her personality is the definition of mysterious. Any attempt to discover new 
 information about her through Oboro will fail. Jeane is so evasive in her 
 personality that she makes Lucretia look like a straight-shooter. There has 
 probably been more wild speculation about Jeane among the fans of the series 
 that about any other character, and virtually all of it is without any basis 
 on what can be officially learned in the games. I always get the feeling 
 that she is holding back, that she never really shows her true power in the 
 games. 

We do know that she is ageless, and that this agelessness does not come from 
 a True Rune. She owns many different Rune Shops in different countries, and 
 is probably one of the most skilled Rune Sages in the Suikoden world. Other 
 than that, your guess is as good as mine.

If you have played other Suikoden games, then your are either a fan of Jeane 
 or not. Personally, I'd take an honest person like Viki any day over Jeane, 
 who seems to be a "good person, but still a bit deceptive.

Recommended Runes: Thunder, Magic Absorb, Magical
Recommended Skills: Magic, Incantation
Available Epic Skills: No Epic Skills Available

---------------

From HQ, blink over to Yashuna Village. Walk north a bit to fine Linfa 
 standing by the river, and she will give back the money she took from you 
 before. If you did not meet her in Estrise before Major Battle #5, she will 
 be there instead, then she will appear in Yashuna.

Now, Blink over to Estrise, and visit the Inn and save your game. Here you 
 will meet back up with your old friend Nikea. Ask her to join, and she will 
 challenge you to a dual, accept for the first Dual Battle in awhile.

------------------------------

Dual Battle (Optional)

Prince
-VS-
Nikea

This is the easiest dual battle in the game. I once tried to lose, and almost 
 won by accident. Nikea can be read like a book. She will actually scream out 
 "Special Attack. . . " before unleashing a special attack. And her other
 moves are not much more difficult to read. Use this battle to get used to 
 the Dual System again, as we will have them more frequently as the game 
 progresses.

-----------------------------


---------------Nikea
Star #53 of 108
Rank: C
Recruit: After Major Battle #5
Class: Short-Range Fighter (Martial Artist)
Notes: Nikea is one of the stronger damage dealing fighters in the game. Her 
 Attack, HP, Agility, and Vitality are all strong, she is one of the most 
 eager for consecutive and continuous attacks, and her critical hit rate is 
 high. Still, her skills are less impressive, she lacks the ability to use 
 the strongest physical skills, nor can the skills she can use rise to SS-
 rank. The Boar Rune she carries is like a bad copy of Belcoot's Falcon Rune. 
 And she cannot wear heavy armor. Overall, she is recruited at a point in the 
 game where you have just recruited two of the best Short-Range fighters in 
 the game -Richard and Belcoot- and this lowers her usefulness.

In previous Suikodens, the Martial Artists were always some of the game's 
 best, like Emily from Suikoden III, so Nikea is something of a 
 disappointment for me. Especially because she is so stupid.

Recommended Runes: Fury, Power, Equilibrium, Double-Edge
Recommended Skills: Attack, Vitality
Available Epic Skills: Raging Lion, All-Out Strike, Karmic Effect

---------------

That's it for this recruitment drive.

=============================================================================

	LORDLAKE

=============================================================================

Have Viki blink you to Lordlake. Before going east to Sable though, I 
 strongly suggest sharpening you party's weapons to LV 10 for Prince and 
 Lyon, LV 8 or more for everyone else. The best place to do this is in the 
 Dwarf Camp, having Dongo raise anyone's weapon to LV 10 will help recruit 
 him. Also, bring a party that has access to LV 3 magic attack and healing 
 spells. I brought a mage and two short-range fighters in addition to Lyon, 
 the Prince, and Sialeeds. 

From Lordlake, walk east following the road to the Sable West Checkpoint. You 
 will be attacked by a guard doing a George W. Bush impression. This battle 
 is nothing much, so I won't cover it in-depth, just use your LV 3 or 4 magic 
 attacks in the first round, then have Sialeeds use Healing Wind on anyone 
 who was hurt too badly, while everyone else remains on the offensive.

After the battle, Boz will show up, and he and Dinn will join your party. I 
 choose to use Dinn in my battle party, as I said before it is a bit more fun 
 and challenging to use the story characters as they come up. When you gain 
 control, exit to the north to the world map, and simply follow the road to 
 Sable. 

=============================================================================

	SABLE

=============================================================================


Inside, there will be a scene. When you gain control, walk south to a 
 storeroom with a chest [FATE CONTROL EPIC SKILL]. Again, you cannot use the 
 epic skill yet, but you will be able to soon. I'll talk more about Epic 
 Skills in a little bit. Keep in mind that Fate Control is a great skill for 
 people like the Prince, Richard and Belcoot.

Outside, there is a chest just to the south: [ELEMENTRY MAGIC], this allows 
 your magic tutor to raise magic skills to A-rank. For now, the only way to 
 do this is to put Zerase in your party, but still, this is another very 
 important item. Continue west, then south to exit the mansion.

In the town proper, talk to the people and they will treat you with 
 hostility. In the town square to the north, sharpen Dinn's weapon and 
 upgrade his gear if you are planning on using him. In the northeast corner 
 of town, you can walk past the in to find the road that leads to the Armes 
 boarder. The border is shut, but along the path there is a chest [CROWN OF 
 DESTINY]. Backtrack and enter the Inn, upstairs you will find the Innkeeper 
 taking care of a wounded Armes soldier. Exit the room to the south to find a 
 gangway along the city walls. Head east towards the Armes boarder to find a 
 chest [OLD BOOK vol 8]. Return to the town square and climb the steps west 
 of the Armor Shop to find the last chest [SILVER HAMMER].

With the Silver Hammer, you can now recruit Dongo back at the Dwarf Camp. 
 Just give him the hammer and have him upgrade anyone's weapon to the 
 maximum. I choose not to do this now for two reasons: (1) It means breaking 
 up the storyline just when things re getting interesting in Sable. (2) I'm 
 broke and cannot afford to recruit him yet. I'll cover Dongo in a bit.

When you are ready, leave Sable though the southern gate and go northeast to
 Ranro Mountain.

=============================================================================

	RANRO MOUNTAIN

=============================================================================


The enemies here will be familiar to you if you have spent some time in the 
 Lunas North Woods. The Avolo Pestis enemies like to target members in the 
 second row, so watch your HP if you have a mage or a weaker character there. 
 Consider moving them to the third row if it is a problem. There are also 
 some generic bandit enemies too, but they are not much to worry about. The 
 Mini-Boss is the Salamander, who is resistant to Fire Magic, but drops the 
 Fire Dragon Armor. This is a powerful armour, but be carful not to give it 
 to anyone with a Water / Flowing Rune, as it will lower their water 
 elemental affinity.

Past the Journeyman's Crystal at the entry, there will be a short scene. 
 After you gain control walk up to the large green vine along the north side 
 of the canyon. Press [X] and you can climb this vine and ones like it. Up 
 this vine is a chest with [PALE MOON GLOVES]. Back down on the canyon floor, 
 go west to the next vine. There will be another vine on the next level. Once 
 you reach the third level, go west and climb two more sets of vines to reach 
 the fifth level and [CIRCLE TACTIC]. Go back down to the third level and 
 walk all the way east. There you will find two vines, take the one that goes 
 down to the second level, then back up another vine for [SWIFT FOOT EPIC 
 SKILL]. Back at the third level intersection, climb the last vine.

This will lead you to the fifth level. Take the eastern vine for [WINDOW SET 
 4]. Then, the western vine will take you up to level seven. Save at the 
 Journeyman's Crystal, then continue east for a scene, afterwords, you will 
 thrown into a battle.

---------------

Boss: Bandit x6

The generic bandits can be taken care of through your spells. It is the two 
 in the middle that can pose a problem. Let your LV 3 and 4 spells take care 
 of the refuse on the sides, while your fighters concentrate on the middle. 
 If your brought Belcoot along, he and Dinn can use their unite attack to 
 damage the middle column. This battle is not that hard, especially if you 
 have a strong fighter out front. Heal if you need to, sometimes mages can 
 take a lot of damage from the long-range enemies. Even though I cast Clay 
 Guardian and Battle Oath in the first round, I had won by the second round.

Rewards: Kite Rune
	20,000 Potch, 72 party SP

---------------

After the battle, Return to the Journeyman's Crystal and save. Then, enter 
 the cave. Inside turn east to find a room with a chest [TAIRA ARMOR]. Enter 
 the door to the west for a long scene and be introduced to Roy. You will be 
 given a dialogue choice, it doesn't matter how you answer, you will be 
 thrown into a Duel Battle anyway.

----------------

Dual Battle #4

Prince
-VS-
Roy

Roy is the toughest opponent you have fought yet. He has a wide selections of 
 moves, plus one fake-out quote, where he will act like he is going to 
 defend, then throw out a Special. If Roy laughs near the middle of his 
 quote, that is the cue that he is trying to fake you out. Roy can also use a 
 Super Move, which beats everything but Defense. He will use this Super Move 
 when his HP reaches the halfway point.

Beyond his one fake-out line, he is easy to read, possibly because he is so 
 infuriated with you right now that he cannot hide his emotions. You should 
 be getting the hang of the Dual Battles by now though, so this will not be 
 too tough. Again, just don't panic, and remember each line as it corresponds 
 to his attacks. If you fall behind early, you can easily catch up later if 
 you memorize your opponent's lines.

---------------

After the battle, you will have a dialogue choice.

*****Dialogue*****(#2 recommended)
-----Off with his head! And get scolded by Sialeeds the humanitarian.
-----Grant clemency.

Roy, Faylen and Faylon join the party temporarily.

Before you leave, don't forget to grab the two remaining chests. One is in 
 Roy's room [CYCLONE RUNE PIECE], the other is in the room to the north [WIND 
 RING]. You can use an escape scroll to get back to the entrance quickly.

=============================================================================

	SABLE

=============================================================================

An extended scene will begin as you enter the city. When you gain control, 
 head to the second floor of the mansion to advance the story. A rather funny 
 scene will ensue, guest starring an old friend. Then a battle will commence.

You will want to rearrange your formation here. The Circle tactic works well 
 enough, though it will leave Faylon in the back, you can use his Co-Op 
 attack with Faylen to deal damage. As far as strategy goes, just use 
 Sialeed's The Shredding, the Prince's First Ray, and what ever Lyon has. 
 This battle, considering your opponent, is very easy.

Afterwords, you will get a scene and a dialogue choice:

*****Dialogue*****(#2 Recommended)
-----Act haughty.
-----Act humble.

Dinn and Roy join as Stars of Destiny. If you followed my recommendations on 
 the last two dialogue choices, then Faylen and Faylon will join as well. If 
 not, don't worry we just have to do a bit of legwork to go recruit them in a 
 short while.

Return to you HQ to advance the story. But I will introduce Dinn, Roy and the 
 Cyclone Rune first.

---------------Dinn
Star #54 of 108
Rank: C
Auto-Recruit
Class: Short-Range Fighter
Notes: Dinn is a solid fighter with great defense and two open rune slots. 
 His stats are geared toward power and defense, but unfortunately this leaves 
 him lagging in Agility, especially if you weigh Dinn down with heavy armor, 
 he will be one of the slowest members in your party battles. Also, his 
 skills fall well short of characters like Belcoot, Richard, and Kyle. He 
 does have some distinct advantages, but not enough to make me use him too 
 often.

In Major Battles, he commands a Four-Star cavalry unit, a welcome addition 
 because while the Lindwurm Cavalry is more powerful, there is only so much 
 one good Cavalry unit can do. I almost always use him as a Commander in 
 major battles.

I do like Dinn's personality, and it is a shame I can't give him a higher 
 rating than a C-rank. He is another calm warrior, like Belcoot, even if he 
 is a bit stiff, he's still a welcome addition.

Recommended Runes: Double-Edge, Fury, Boost, Crazed
Recommended Skills: Attack, Technique
Available Epic Skills: Raging Lion, Fate Control, Armor of Gods
 

---------------Roy
Star #55 of 108
Rank: A
Auto-Recruit
Class: Mid-Range Fighter
Notes: Roy is one of my favorite characters. Sure, his stats and weapon are 
 like a bad copy of the Prince, but only just so, he remains just a few 
 points lower than the prince in virtually every statistic. Roy's skills are 
 some of the best too, he can use all Epic Skills, including the ultimate 
 Epic Skill: Royal Paradise. This skill raises all statistics and combines 
 all the other skills into one. Only the Prince, Sialeeds and Roy can use 
 this skill. Plus his other skill slot is occupied by the Thief Skill, which 
 steals a small amount of potch from the enemy when he Attacks them. This 
 amount is minimal by itself, but when combined with Egbert's Potch Finder 
 and the Prosperity Set, you can start pulling in Potch by the tens of 
 thousands. Plus, he gets two open rune slots.

Roy -for story purposes- will only be intermittently available for Major 
 Battles, he leads a Four-Star infantry unit, but don't plan on using him too 
 much.

And of course I like Roy's personality. Aside from Viki, he is actually my 
 favorite character in the game. Sure he is crass, but he is capable of being 
 oddly noble and heroic as well. Not to mention the seething underclass anger 
 he carries with him.

Recommended Runes: Power, Double-Edge, Cyclone, Elemental Sword
Recommended Skills: Thief, Agility
Available Epic Skills: Royal Paradise! Swift Foot, Triple Harmony, Raging 
 Lion, Untold Clarity, Fate Control, Divine Right, Sacred Oath, Zen Sword, 
 Karmic Effect. All of them, really.

Note that we now have a ridiculous number of strong Mid-Range Fighters. I 
 will not be giving out A-ranks to any more of them after Roy. Roy is the 
 twelfth mid-range fighter you have gotten, including the Prince and Lyon, 
 who make the usefulness of the rest of the members of this class 
 questionable to begin with.

--------------Cyclone Rune
Type: Magic
Rank: S

LV 1: Healing Wind (Recovery)
LV 2: The Shredding (Attack)
LV 3: Funeral Wind (Attack)
LV 4: Shining Wind (Recovery / Attack)

Note: The Cyclone Rune is the parent of the Wind Rune. Healing Wind moves 
 down to the first level, where it is now very useful. The Shredding is one 
 of the few LV 2 magics that can attack all enemies at once, Funeral Wind is 
 now at least slightly useful as a LV 3 spell, and Shining Wind is -as 
 always- arguably the best magic spell in the game. It attacks all enemies 
 for 500+ damage, (much more with the right mage and rune affinities) while 
 healing your whole party for 300 HP. This spell allows your party to stay on 
 the offensive, even while taking considerable damage, allowing you an 
 advantage when dealing with tough enemies. Just like in the previous 
 Suikodens, ever since Suikoden I, it is a spell that you should not go 
 without. This is, in my opinion, clearly the best Magic Rune in the game. 
 Use it all you want, though one challenging thing you might want to try is 
 to not use this Rune at all. It is up to you.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------


=============================================================================

	HEADQUARTERS

=============================================================================


Return triumphantly to the War Room for a scene.

*****Dialogue*****(choose either)
-----Make Luserina feel better.
-----Make her Blush.

Lucretia will suggest that you rest. Well, there is no rest for you, time for 
 another recruitment drive. To continue with the main story, you would go to 
 your room and rest, but I strongly suggest going on this recruitment drive 
 first.

=============================================================================

	RECRUITMENT DRIVE #6

=============================================================================

Don't worry, this one will be much shorter than the last recruitment drive. 
 You will want to have some escape scrolls on hand to make the journey even 
 shorter. 

If Faylon and Faylen joined back in Sable, then skip ahead to the next 
 divider, if they did not join, then read on:

We have to go back to Ranro Mountain. Grab an escape scroll if you do not 
 have one already. Put Roy into your party, blink to Sable, then head 
 northeast on the world map. If you don't remember the way to the bandit's 
 hideout: take the west vine on the first level. Climb the eastern vine on 
 level three. Climb the western vine on level four. Then the western vine on 
 level five. You will arrive at the bandit hideout.

Go to the Room far in the back where you picked up the Wind Ring earlier and 
 talk to Faylon and Faylen.

*****Dialogue*****(#1 recommended)
-----Offer to help them.
-----Wish them the best in their mundane toil.

Choose #1, Faylon and Faylen will join temporarily, and Roy will replace Lyon 
 behind you, making this an official recruitment quest. Press [X] next to the 
 three boxes that don't look exactly like treasure chests to gather Stolen 
 Property 1, 2, and 3. Return to the mansion in Sable, and talk to the man 
 standing in the middle of the first floor, he will take the Stolen Property. 
 Now leave the mansion for a scene. Faylon and Faylen will join.



---------------Faylen
Star #56 of 108
Rank: C
Recruit: Sable, after the events at Ranro
Class: Long-Range Fighter
Notes: She is the first Long-Range Fighter you can recruit. Her magic stat is 
 not bad, about a couple of points lower than Lyon, but her elemental 
 affinities are not suited for Dependent-Value magic. Though she is a B-rank 
 with Earth magic, making her useful for casting Clay Guardian. She has a 
 strong Technique stat, but her other stats are average or below. Still, she 
 can deal significant Long-Range Damage, much higher even than some Short-
 Range Characters.

What makes her useful is her Treasure Hunt skill. It eventually maxes out at 
 an S-rank, making her invaluable for Treasure Hunt parties.

In Major Battles, she gives two uses of the Charge ability. Team her and her 
 brother up with Roy to form the Bandit Infantry Unit. This unit is rated at 
 four-stars, but has no special qualities other than that it can use the 
 Charge Ability four times, making it one of the best infantry units in the 
 game.

She clearly has a crush on Roy, and in a way, that makes her a surprisingly 
 accessible character. I do like her personality, even though I find it quite 
 hard to tolerate her brother.

Recommended Runes: Double-Edge, Fury, Crazed, Earth
Recommended Skills: Treasure Hunt, Technique, Attack
Available Epic Skills: Fate Control, Triple Harmony


---------------Faylon
Star # 57 of 108
Rank: C
Recruit: After the events at Ranro
Class: Short-Range Fighter
Notes: . . . All that I will say is that if not for his Treasure Hunt ability 
 he would rank as a D. Considering the many great short-Range fighters you 
 already have access to, there is no other reason to have him in your party 
 at all.

Recommended Runes: Firefly/Wall Rune combination, Power, Crazed
Recommended Skills: Attack, Defense
Available Epic Skills: Raging Lion, Karmic Effect

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

If you are not already in Sable, then have Viki blink you there. Go into the 
 upper floor of the Inn. If you talked to the innkeeper earlier as I 
 suggested, then the Armes Soldier will be awake. If not, talk to the 
 innkeeper and leave to recruit the next person and then come back.

Once you talk to him, be kind to him:

*****Dialogue*****(#2 Recommended)
-----Taunt him.
-----Tell him to rest.

and again

*****Dialogue*****(#1 Recommended)
-----Ask him about his Moral Obligation.
-----Remind him he's a prisoner.

Your third choice does not matter. Nakula will mention the girl who killed 
 his father. Does it sound familiar?

Head for Raftfleet. Before going to talk to Oboro, let's recruit someone 
 else: Inside the Inn, your will meet up again with Linfa. Ask her to join
 you and she will challenge you to a game of cards with a 5,000 potch bet. 
 Accept her challenge to recruit her. It does not matter if you win or lose. 
 Though if you do win, talk to the Older Lady standing nearby in order to 
 officially recruit Linfa.

---------------Linfa
Star #58 of 108
Rank: C
Recruit: Raftfleet, after the events at Ranro
Class: HQ Services / Support
Notes: She has the same Escape Route support skill at Takamu, so that makes 
 her pretty useful if you want a pretty face along instead of ol' Takamu. 
 Other than that, she can play Blind Man's Bluff with you at any time in your 
 castle. You can get some decent prizes from her so I suggest you play a few 
 rounds with her at some point. If you thought Linfa was deceptive, try 
 playing Blind Man's Bluff on the hardest level -against Jeane.

---------------

While in Raftfleet, talk to Oboro. In order to advance the Nakula side-quest, 
 you must have recruited Oboro by now. If you have not recruited Oboro, read 
 the next paragraph. If you have recruited Oboro, then skip the next 
 paragraph.

To recruit Oboro without completing his side quest in Rainwall, you need to 
 talk to him as frequently as possible and ask him to join. You will be able 
 to ask him to join after every major story event after major battle #3, and 
 once you have asked him five times, he will capitulate and join your army. 
 If you asked him after every major plot event, then you should be one time 
 away from recruiting him. You cannot recruit Nakula if you have not 
 recruited Oboro. I will alert you at the next opportunity when you can ask 
 him to join. For now, skip the Nakula side-quest until you have Oboro.

Oboro and his employees will be interested in what you have to say. Shigure, 
 Oboro, and Sagiri will join the party. Blink back to Sable once again, and 
 introduce them to Nakula. A very compelling scene will play out. Your 
 dialogue choice doesn't matter. Nakula and Sagiri will join as Stars of 
 Destiny.

---------------Sagiri
Star #59 of 108
Rank: A
Recruit: After the events at Ranro
Class: Long-Range Fighter (Ninja)
Notes: Sagiri is a fan favorite, and for good reason. As a ninja-class 
 fighter, she is so fast that she will almost always go first in battle. This 
 makes her great at using items, in fact, I forgo equipping her with any 
 accessories and give her stacks of Clay Guardian and Kindness Drops scrolls, 
 plus Mega Medicine or food items. This makes her not only fast, but very 
 practical as well. She has a high Critical hit rate, with an equal 
 propensity for consecutive attacks, making her a force in dealing Physical 
 Damage.

In Major Battles, she can join with Shigure to add a use of the Ambush 
 ability to his infantry unit. But as I said with Shigure, the Ninja are 
 something to be played around with on the battlefield for fun. They don't 
 really help too much in terms of strategy.

Her tragic past is enough to pull the heartstrings of any guy like me, so she 
 is again one of my favorite characters all around.

Recommended Runes: Fury, Power, Boost, Double-Edge
Recommended Skills: Agility, Attack, Technique
Available Epic Skills: Fate Control, Triple Harmony


---------------Nakula
Star #60 of 108
Rank: C
Recruit: After the events at Ranro
Class: Mid-Range Fighter
Notes: Overall, he is a solid fighter with the Pierce Skill, much like Lun 
 and Subala. Essentially, he trades their magic and speed for a bit more 
 Power and Defense. He comes equipped with a Fury Rune, which can be removed 
 and given to another character, but other than the obvious advantage that 
 this Rune gives him, I cannot think of one reason to use him. Zegai and 
 Goesch have more HP and PDEF, as well as more access to powerful Epic 
 Skills. Lun and Roy have more speed and magic, though Nakula does gain a
 third open Rune Slot, unlike Roy. Roy and Lun, though, are much more
 entertaining and likeable characters in my opinion. If you do like Nakula,
 then by all means he can be a solid character, especially with his Fury
 Rune, but I do not use him too much.

In Major Battles, he adds five defense and one use of the Charge Ability to a 
 unit.

**Second Opinion**
--According To TrueWater

Rank: A

"Nakula is just my style of character (more of a personal preference) but I
 thought he was really good, I gave him a flowing rune, a flowing sword rune
 and I think a fury or something that made him attack good, I just think he
 is really good at both, just because a character doesn't have the natural
 stats doesn't mean you cant tweak them exactly how you want them. That's
 what I love about the series, hell with the right armor and magic stones Luc
 could be a great Fighter in 2. Its all strategy, you can leave characters
 the way they are, or be bold like me and turn them into something greater
 and different. :)"

--TrueWater

Recommended Rune: Fury Rune
Recommended Skills: Pierce, Attack
Available Epic Skills: Raging Lion

---------------

Now head off to the Dwarf Camp. Give the Silver Hammer you got back in Sable 
 to Dongo, and upgrade anyone's weapon to LV 12. It will cost 63,000 potch to 
 upgrade from LV 10-12. Once you have done that, exit the Blacksmith screen 
 to trigger a scene where you can recruit him.

---------------Dongo
Star #61 of 108
Rank: N/A
Recruit: After visiting Sable
Class: Support / Major Battle Only
Notes: He is your army's blacksmith. You can now sharpen the weapons of 
 anyone, even if they are not in your party. If you take him with you as an 
 entourage character, he can sharpen your weapons at anytime. In Major 
 Battles, he grants the Speed Ability to a unit as a Support Officer. Other 
 than that, there really isn't much to say about him. He is a little timid 
 for my taste though.

---------------

OK, we are done recruiting for now.

=============================================================================

	HEADQUARTERS

=============================================================================


To advance the story, go to bed in your room on the second floor. You will 
 gain control by the Sealed Room. Go down to the first floor and talk to 
 Luserina, and put together a party. I suggest Murad, because you may want to 
 spend some time fighting here. Also, having a Great Firefly Rune equipped to 
 one of your characters helps too.

When you are ready, have Viki warp you to Beaver Lodge. Perhaps because she 
 was sleepy, Viki warped you to the nearby Mountain Path. Walk the short 
 distance to the Lodge.

=============================================================================

	BEAVER LODGE

=============================================================================


Enter and watch the scene. You will be thrown into battle against an 
 Assassin. He is not that tough at this point, and he will mostly target 
 people in the front row. The Assassin drops the Crazed Rune.

Random battles are possible here, and all you will fight are Assassins, which 
 drop the Crazed Rune at a 100% rate. You may want to spend some time here 
 farming the Runes, which is why I suggested the Great Firefly Rune on one of 
 your characters. The Crazed Rune is a decent Support Rune, it doubles 
 physical damage dealt by causing the wearer to always be under the Berserk 
 Status. The only draw-back is that the wearer cannot be commanded, they 
 simply attack every turn. More on that in a bit.

This is the best opportunity in the game to acquire these Runes. If you want 
 to know how many Crazed Runes to get, all I can say is that for the purposes 
 of this walkthrough, I will assume you have none. But if you want to go 
 wild, then just spend about 10 minutes here farming the Rune, this is easy 
 to do if you have Murad in the party and the Great Firefly Rune equipped. 
 You can always sell off the ones you don't need later.

To close out the Crazed Rune farming and continue the story, head for 
 Fuwalafuwalu's hut and climb the ladder to go inside. You will meet a 
 familiar face and be thrown into a battle.

------------------------------
Boss: Dolph

Stay calm, you have him greatly outnumbered here. Dolph is ridiculously fast 
 and will usually go before your characters. If you spent a large amount of 
 time farming the Assassins, this won't be too much of a problem. If you did 
 not, only if your brought the Ninja along will you have the first action. 
 Dolph will target Lyon almost every turn, so that can work to your advantage 
 as she is probably one of your strongest characters.

Clay Guardian, Battle Oath, and Battlefield are all good choices for the 
 first round, if you can't win through speed you can win by raw power. Dolph 
 has high magic defense, but that will not matter much in the face of Viki, 
 Jeane, or Zerase. As for your other characters, rely on their physical 
 attacks and heal Lyon as necessary. Dolph does not have very much HP, so 
 this battle will be over quickly.

Rewards: Resurrection Rune Piece

----------------------------

After the battle, Fuwalafuwalu will join the party. Head outside for an 
 extended scene.

Fuwalafuwalu and Maroon join as Stars of Destiny.

----------------Fuwalafuwalu
Star #62 of 108
Rank: A
Auto-Recruit
Class: Major Battle Only
Notes: The Beavers -as far as party battles- are some of the worst in the 
 game. But Fuwalafuwalu gets an A-rank for his contribution in major battles. 
 Beavers are a dominating force on the water, trumping the 
 Rock/Paper/Scissors game and being strong against every type of Naval unit. 
 Fuwalafuwalu also has one use of the Flowing Rune at his disposal, allowing 
 him to heal the damage received from killing several enemy ships. The Beaver 
 Naval units can -after they have finished off the Naval enemies- just walk 
 right up onto dry land and function as a (slow and weak) infantry unit.

The Beavers are a small force, so you will usually have to have other units 
 as well, but between them and the Dahak, the naval battles will become much 
 easier.


---------------Maroon
Star #63 of 108
Rank: D
Auto-Recruit
Class: Mid-Range Fighter
Notes: Well, you probably already used him at the Ceras Lake Ruins, if you 
 did not, you didn't miss anything. Beavers are all weak when they are out of 
 the water, so unless you just want to have some fun with a Beaver party, 
 leave him at home.

In Major Battles he adds the Gnaw ability to his unit. This can only be 
 used in the water, but lowers the defense of the enemy ship while causing 
 damage. It is a battle-based skill, meaning it activates like the Charge 
 ability. This is a skill that makes the Beaver Naval units even more 
 powerful.

---------------


And now, I will talk a bit more about the Crazed and Fury Runes.


---------------Crazed Rune
Type: Support
Rank: C
Note: This Rune simply gives the wearer the Berserk status, which causes 
 physical attacks to deal double damage, while forcing the wearer to attack 
 every turn. Personally, I do not use this Rune as much as many other fans of 
 this game do. I think that having an army of crazed psychos is no fun. 
 Besides, characters like Kyle are at their best when you are in control, and 
 can use magic or attack as necessary.

With that said, there are certain characters who become monsters with this 
 Rune. Goesch is one, he has high damage already, and his Mow Down ability 
 will still trigger in a Berserk state. Pair this Rune with a Power or 
 Double-Edge Rune and watch him massacre the enemy party. Plus, Goesch is the 
 kind of character that you always use the Attack command with anyway.

Oddly, this rune seems to have a negative effect of the wearer's Accuracy, 
 even though the game neglects to mention it. If you do decide to use this 
 Rune, offset the accuracy penalty be adding skills related to Technique. 
 Though, like with the Fury Rune, the negative effect on Accuracy seems to 
 manifest most often with long-range characters 

This Rune can be equipped to a character's right hand only.


---------------Fury Rune
Type: Support
Rank: A
Note: This Rune offers a mere 50% increase to damage -while allowing you to 
 retain full control of the character- at the cost of accuracy. Arguably, 
 this is a better all-round Rune than Crazed, it does not have the raw damage 
 potential, but is a better fit for most situations. The accuracy penalty is 
 hardly noticeable when given to a character with high Technique, like 
 Richard, Belcoot, and Zegai. Even if they do begin to miss, they all have 
 access to Epic Skills that increase both Attack and Technique, like Fate 
 Control. This Rune is a great choice for fighters in the middle portion 
 portion of the game, when the Power Rune and Double-Edge Rune may still be 
 difficult to use because of their heavy defensive penalties.

Fury also makes a good Rune for Long-Range fighters, most have strong 
 technique stats to begin with, plus there are plenty if items and pieces of 
 armor like the Gunner's Bracer, which adds to long-range accuracy. One thing 
 to note: Most Long-Range Fighters have high Accuracy Stats, but will miss 
 more often than Short-Range characters with similar Accuracy. Why this is I 
 have no idea, but the Fury Rune's Accuracy penalty is most pronounced with 
 Long-Rangers, probably making the Power Rune the better all-round choice 
 under most circumstances. If you use the Fury Rune on a Long-Range 
 character, I recommend Technique or a related Epic Skill. 

The Fury status, though, can also be gained through other means. The LV 1 
 Shield magic gives a decent chance of endowing characters with Fury. So, it 
 is up to you whether you like to equip your characters with Support Runes or 
 if you like to use Magic Runes. The Fury Status Provided from the Shield 
 Rune also lacks any accuracy penalty, so that could be another reason to use 
 Shield Magic.




=============================================================================

	HEADQUARTERS

=============================================================================


Return to HQ to advance the story. In the War Room, a long scene will 
 commence. You will gain control inside your room on the Second Floor. 

If you have not recruited Oboro yet, go to Raftfleet and speak with him. He 
 should join this time, along with Fuyo and Shigure. Talk to Oboro a second 
 time, and the Nakula side-story will pick up. After that is finished, Nakula 
 and Sagiri will join as well.

From this point, I recommend going on a side-mission to recruit a couple of 
 characters. This quest is too short to be called a recruitment drive, but 
 these are two strong characters, so I recommend going to get them now. To 
 continue on with the main story, skip to the next divider.

Go to Estrise, and take a right near the entrance as if you were headed to 
 Babbage's Workshop. You will be accosted by three ne'er-do-wells, but before 
 you can fight then, a woman named Isabel will show up and take care of them 
 for you. She will introduce herself, then run off in search of Evil and 
 General Nefariousness.

Blink back to HQ, and you will see Boz standing next to Luserina. Approach 
 them for a short cutscene. Head to Haud Village with with either two or 
 three people in your party, I just use the Prince and Lyon. You will be 
 thrust into a showdown with an old friend, right in front of the nuclear 
 cactus.

You will fight Six Soldiers. Nothing too difficult about this fight, even 
 though you only have four or five party members. Mathias carries a Cyclone 
 Rune, so feel free to blast away with that. The enemy archers will largely 
 target characters in the back, so Mathias can take heavy damage if you don't 
 kill them quickly. But even if Mathias dies, your remaining party members 
 can easily mop up these Loathsome Evil-Doers. After you are done:

*****Dialogue*****(choose either)
-----Recruit.
-----Recruit anyway.

Isabel and Mathias join as Stars of Destiny.

---------------Isabel
Star #64 of 108
Rank: A
Recruit: Chapter 3, After Beaver Lodge
Class: Short-Range Fighter
Notes: Well, despite her A-rank, I don't think she can quite match characters 
 like Kyle and Belcoot, who tend to be much more versatile. But, aside from 
 that, she is one of the best Heavy-Armored short-range fighters that you can 
 recruit. Her Attack, HP, and Technique stats are all strong, and she makes a 
 good candidate for defense-sacrificing Runes. She can also be a great Tank 
 if you equip her with the Firefly Rune. Her Co-Op attack with Mathias is one 
 of the best in the game, dealing 150% damage to a single enemy. And, she has 
 a nice attack animation, with the coolest-looking weapon in the game.

Her Skills are another strong point. While she lacks Untold Clarity, her 
 Raging Lion and Triple Harmony Skills can be raised to a high level, making 
 her a powerful character. 

In Major Battles, she leads another four-star infantry unit. Pair her with 
 Mathias as her Lieutenant to form the Maximillian Spear infantry, a decent 
 unit with higher defense than most, but lacking in the Charge ability. Put 
 Subala in as their Support Officer to round that out, and create this game's 
 closest approximation to the Three Stooges.   

She is the Maximillian Knights' representative in this game, carrying on the 
 tradition of Fred from Suikoden III, who was the only other member of the 
 Knights usable in party battles. The Maximillian Knights are an odd bunch to 
 be sure, but they are equally strong and loyal warriors. This game offers a 
 deeper view into the ideology of the Maximillian Knights than previous 
 games, and Isabel comes off as obsessed, but still thoughtful and compelled 
 to do what she believes is right. Overall, she -just like the other 
 membersfrom previous games- is one of my favorite characters.

Recommended Runes: Double-Edge, Power, Fury, Crazed
Recommended Skills: Attack, Technique
Available Epic Skills: Fate Control, Triple Harmony, Armor of Gods


---------------Mathias
Star #65 of 108
Rank: B
Recruit: See Isabel
Class: Mid-Range Fighter
Notes: Mathias can wear heavy armor and has the Mow Down skill, which attacks 
 a cluster of enemies. In many ways, he is like Goesch, with less Attack and 
 Technique traded off for more Magic and MP. The major problem I have with 
 Mathias is that despite his solid magic -it is about the same as Lyon's- he 
 has horrible elemental affinities, undermining any attempt to turn him into 
 a Magic-Knight type of character. Goesch and Zegai are more powerful, Roy is 
 faster, Lorelai has better Magic, and all of them have better Technique and 
 are available much earlier in the game than Mathias. Mathias' Technique stat 
 can be problematic as well, making him miss too often for my taste, plus he 
 does not have any access to Epic Skills that effect Technique. So, I cannot 
 recommend the use of the Fury Rune with him.

Still, with that said, he is more than a solid character, and shares a great 
 Co-Op with his master, Isabel. Plus, he comes equipped with a Cyclone Rune. 
 Even though you will probably want to remove this than give it to a 
 character like Viki, this increases his value tremendously. His Skills are 
 nothing to brag about either. . .

His personality is hilariously stiff, almost a mockery of characters like 
 Belcoot. While he is entertaining, I can't really get over his character 
 design, I think his lack of eyebrows just creeps me out.

Recommended Runes: Double-Edge, Water, Power, Boost
Recommended Skills: Mow Down, Attack, Technique
Available Epic Skills: Armor of Gods, Raging Lion

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Back at HQ, return to the War Room for another scene. Georg will have
 returned bearing some news. Regardless of your dialogue choice, you will
 have your next destination. Georg will join the party, Roy and Sialeeds will
 be unavailable for the next section of the game.

Georg, if you will notice, is five levels ahead of the Prince, but you should
 need to upgrade his armor and his weapon before you set out for Estrise.

=============================================================================

	ESTRISE

=============================================================================


Finally, Estrise makes its appearance in the main storyline. Eventually, you 
 will want to make your way to the Pier and meet up with Boz, but there are 
 some great treasures here that you will want to collect first. From the 
 entrance, go west to Boz's house, you can chat with his wife and kids if 
 you'd like, put grab the chest on the second floor containing [MEGA 
 MEDICINE]. In the Town Square, find the narrow alley between the Appraiser 
 and Rune Shops and head east to the waterfront for a chest [TRUE MEN 
 TACTIC]. (Despite its name, this formation can be used with women in the 
 party too.) Back in the Town Square, a short way to the northeast of the 
 Item Shop, is a chest: [SILENCE ORB]. East from there, in the northeast 
 corner of the lower part of town, there is another chest hidden under some 
 trees [RAGE RUNE PIECE].

Up the steps at the Pier, there will be a short scene. You can choose to 
 leave now, or get a couple more chests first. 

*****Dialogue*****(#2 recommended)
-----Ahoy.
-----Get more loot before sailing off.

To the east: [CYCLONE RUNE PIECE]. North from the Trader, there is a 
 completely hidden chest behind the Windmill Tower. There is no way to see 
 this chest, so just tap the [X] button while you walk round out of sight 
 behind the tower. You will probably talk to Lyon several times before 
 hitting the chest with a rare [STONE OF STRENGTH].

Talk to Boz again to get things moving. A rather funny scene begins as you 
 travel to Nirva Island.

=============================================================================
   
	NIRVA

=============================================================================


As you disembark, there will be a scene. Greet Skald Egan however you would 
 like. Skald and his executive officer seem to be oddly friendly with the 
 Prince.

Just like any town, Nirva has some treasure to claim. Now is as good of a 
 time as any to acquire it, so walk up the stairs to the northwest to rest 
 the grassy area neat the Inn. The Inn building hides a chest in the corner 
 of the grass [VOICE SET 3]. Continue northwest to the town proper. The Rune 
 Shop here sells Fury Runes, for a full 300,000 potch. . . Don't bother 
 buying any yet. At the far western side of the Square, there is a soldier, 
 just to the south of him is a park bench hidden under the buildings and 
 trees. The bench doesn't do anything, but tap [X] along the hidden area 
 nearby for a chest with [TOY BOAT]. That chest is completely hidden just to 
 the southeast of the bench.

Walk east from there to see a puppet show that loosely depicts some events 
 from Suikoden IV. Brandeau and Flare are the stars, and this little puppet 
 show is actually more compelling than the game itself, because Suikoden IV 
 was a bad game.

Moving on, you will be introduced to Chisato, the Suikoden universe's second 
 -and second best- puppeteer after Mel from Suikoden III. Talk to her again 
 afterwords and she will introduce herself. How you answer the first and 
 second choices does not matter. You can talk to her again and ask her to 
 join you, but she will politely decline.

Talk to the woman standing near the tree in the square for a hilariously 
 ambiguous line. I can't decide whether she is telling Georg to dress more 
 for the heat, or if she is hitting on him very aggressively and telling him 
 to take off his clothes.

Go up the steps to the third tier. The Item Shop sells Eyeball Rings! for 
 50,000 potch. . . Money will still be a bit tight here for awhile, but 
 things will get better soon I promise you.

In the northwest corner of the third tier, talk to Skald and Bernadette. 

*****Dialogue*****(choose either)
-----Heh Heh FIRE! Heh
-----Try to help.

If you choose #1 you will just be presented with a false choice. Essentially 
 a dialogue choice with only one option. So, you have to help out anyway. 
 Bernadette will join your party.

Walk up the steps to the grassy area, before you proceed up to the 
 lighthouse, continue southwest to find two chests to the west of the tower 
 [WINDOW SET 7] and [DIVINE RIGHT EPIC SKILL] (Honestly, isn't that supposed 
 to be "Rite" instead of "Right"?)

Enter the lighthouse. Climb three flights of stairs for two more chests 
 [STRIKING ARROW TACTIC] and [STONE O' SPEED]. As you attempt to climb the 
 next flight, a scene will ensue.

*****Dialogue*****(choose either)
-----Go with Lyon.
-----Try to go with Bernadette and Georg, then go with Lyon anyway.

Back outside the lighthouse, the narrow ladder at the southern side has been 
 uncovered. Follow it all the way to the top for a scene. You will have a 
 fight on your hands, against the most generic pirates this side of the 
 Caribbean.

---------------

Boss: Pirate Lackey x6

These guys can actually be pretty tough, if you didn't have Georg on your 
 side that is. Just use strong magic and crush them. If you let him, the 
 Pirate Captain in the back will cast Kindness Rain on them. This usually 
 isn't an issue though, as even were he to cast it every turn, you would 
 still be able to easily overwhelm them.

Rewards: Strike-Back Rune, Magic Robe
	21,000 potch 80 party SP

---------------

As you leave the lighthouse, a scene take place aboard Skald's ship. No 
 matter how you answer, Bernadette will join as a Star of Destiny.


---------------Bernadette
Star #66 of 108
Rank: A
Auto-Recruit
Class: Long-Range Mage
Notes: Though she is a mage-class, her Magic and MP score are well below 
 Zerase, Viki, and Jeane. Her advantage is that she can wear leather armor, 
 is long-ranged and surprisingly quick. Plus she comes with a Flowing Rune, 
 which I suggest you leave attached to her. Her skill with incantation is 
 solid and she ranks high in water magic, so she really makes a perfect 
 healer, probably the best choice for magical healing in the game. She can 
 also deal a mild to moderate amount of physical damage from the back row. 
 Her HP is average, so she has all the advantages of a mage like Kisara and 
 none of the disadvantages. Her MDEF stat is also among the highest in the 
 game.

In Major Battles, she can command a four-star Rune Archer Unit with one use 
 of the Flowing Rune, lending real help in drawn-out battles.

He personality is odd, she seems to treat the prince with favor, and be oddly 
 affectionate to him. Investigate Bernadette with Oboro to get the full 
 story.

Recommended Runes: Magical, Flowing, Magic Absorb, Resurrection
Recommended Skills: Incantation, Magic, Magic Defense
Available Epic Skills: Sacred Oath, Divine Right

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------


When you are ready, talk to the crewman near your ship to return to Estrise. 
 Note that you can now return to Nirva Island at any time by speaking to the 
 Crewman stationed at the Pier in Estrise.

Return to your Headquarters for now.

=============================================================================

	HEADQUARTERS

=============================================================================


Back inside the war room, a long scene will commence, and your Castle will '
 upgrade to level two.

After you regain control in your room, I strongly suggest taking a walk 
 around the premises and talking to the people. A new floor has opened up 
 beneath the first floor, the base floor. This floor will eventually contain 
 many other castle services like Oboro, the restaurant, the Library, and 
 several mini-games. For now, take all of the old books you have been 
 collecting to Alhazred in the Library and take all the window sets to Zunda 
 if you have not already. Also, give your seedlings to Goesch to help him in 
 the garden. If you don't have any, they can be purchased at the various item 
 shops.

If you have not played Checkers with Egbert yet, I suggest you start. There 
 is a rare epic skill available as a prize for collecting all of the game 
 pieces associated with his game. This Epic is called Karmic Effect, and is a 
 dual-effect Defense / Technique skill. Honestly, it is not one of the better 
 Epic Skills, but if you simply must have every item, then be warned it takes 
 about 6 hours of play to acquire this Epic from Egbert. There is actually a 
 great FAQ for this mini-game online at GameFaqs: 

http://www.gamefaqs.com/ps2/929668-suikoden-v/faqs/42196

The author went into such detail on Egbert's games, that I couldn't do any 
 better, so I will refer you there.

When you are done blowing off some steam at HQ, it is time to go on another 
 extended recruitment drive, this time you will acquire twelve characters!

To advance the main story, go to the war room and skip to the next divider.


=============================================================================

	RECRUITMENT DRIVE #6

=============================================================================


We will begin at HQ. Put Genoh into your party -you will need two free slots- 
 and stack the other four with strong characters, you will be fighting an 
 easy boss here. Exit the interior of the castle, and try to leave out of 
 either the eastern or western exits. Before you get there, you will be 
 attacked by a giant snake.

There isn't too much to say, this battle is straightforward. The Giant Snake 
 has no notable attacks, and my party was able to kill it in two attacks. 
 Prince / Lyon Co-Op, then Chain magic from Viki. And that was it.

Afterwords, the Giant Snake will speak with Genoh, and he will tell you that 
 she is named Byakuren, and occupying the castle has damaged her habitat.

*****Dialogue*****(#2 Strongly Recommended)
-----Don't Recruit.
-----Recruit.

Choose #2, if you don't Byakuren will swim off and you won't see her again. 
 She is a Star of Destiny, so you can't get the game's best ending if you do 
 not recruit her. If you fought her without Genoh in your party, she will 
 swim off, but reappear after you have recruited twenty more characters. You 
 must have either Genoh or Levi in your party when you defeat her to have the 
 option of recruiting her.


----------------Byakuren
Star #67 of 108
Rank: C
Recruit: After HQ reaches LV 2
Class: Beast
Notes: Well, she is faster than Genoh. But again the Beasts are more for fun 
 than any serious battle. Although I will say that if is cool to watch your 
 enemies be killed by a Giant Snake that does your bidding. For that, 
 Byakuren gets a C-rank.

---------------

Talk to Luserina and put Sorensen in your party. Go down to the basement and 
 check out the room located in the north-central section called "Gears." You 
 will trigger a scene where Sorensen will be fascinated by the gears inside 
 the room. Talk to Viki and blink to Estrise. Inside Babbage's workshop, 
 there will be another scene. Babbage will join your party, but only 
 temporarily.

Return to the Gears room in the basement. Babbage and Sorensen will leave the 
 party, and Sorensen will be unavailable for a bit.

While the two of them are working on that, blink to Raftfleet and talk to 
 Retso at the Inn. Ask him to join you and he will decline, spouting some 
 nonsense about a fish. Return to HQ and play the fishing mini-game with 
 Subala. The pontoon-raft she occupies has moved out to the southwest corner 
 of the exterior. You don't need to win the games you play, but keep fishing 
 until you catch a "Strange Fish." Subala will mention that the fish you 
 caught tastes terrible. Go back to Raftfleet and present the Strange Fish to 
 Retso, and after a scene they will join your party. Take Retso to the 
 exterior of your castle, and he and Shun Min will join as stars of Destiny.

---------------Retso & Shun Min
Stars #68 & 69 of 108
Rank: N/A
Recruit: After your castle reaches LV 2
Class: HQ Services / Support / Major Battle
Notes: Retso is your army's chef. Bring him the food items that you can find 
 by defeating certain enemies, as well as the ones grown by Goesch to make 
 Food Items that far surpass the regular Medicine available at the game's 
 Item Shops. Some very useful items can only be attained through legwork 
 associated with Retso and Shun Min.

Retso and Shun Min both have the Cooking Support Skill, which turns non-human 
 enemies into food items.

In Major Battles, they are Support-Officers with the nourish ability, which 
 works like Marina's Rest ability. Again, you units have to be standing still 
 for this ability to take effect, so. . .

---------------

Return to the Gears room. Babbage should have finished with restarting the 
 Sindar gears. Your Elevator will now function, and Babbage will join as a 
 Star of Destiny.

---------------Babbage
Star #70 of 108
Rank: A
Recruit: After your castle reaches LV 2
Class: Major Battle / Support Only
Notes: Babbage's support Skill is Treasure Hunt, ranked at SS. This clearly 
 makes him invaluable as a support character when trying to hunt down rare 
 items and rune pieces. I do not use him quite as often as Egbert and Murad, 
 but he is always one of the best choices for an entourage slot. 

In Major Battles, you can now pair Babbage and Sorensen to use the Ballista 
 unit. This unit moves slowly, is rated at two-stars, and is weak to all 
 other types of units. But, it can launch the longest range attacks on the 
 battlefield for a surprisingly high amount of damage. Personally, I do not 
 use the Ballista unit at all. But, it can be a very fun thing to experiment 
 with on the battlefield. Just don't let them get too close to a charging 
 enemy.

---------------

Put Sorensen back into your party, then blink to Estrise. Return to Babbage's 
 Workshop for a scene. Lu will confess that she has lost the Gear that you 
 took from the Revolving Bridge. Don't worry, it is in Babbage's workshop, so 
 volunteer to help her look for it. You'll find it near the door, and Lu will 
 join as a Star of Destiny, captaining the Cute Girls Who Go Dink-Dink-Dink 
 Brigade of your army.

---------------Lu
Star #71 of 108
Rank: B
Recruit: After HQ has reached LV 2
Class: Long-Range Fighter
Notes: Lu is actually a very strong character, with good speed and power,
 plus a propensity of consecutive attacks, and the second-highest Technique 
 stat next to Richard. At long range, she excels with defense-sacrificing 
 runes. While she does not have the speed of Sagiri, she is still more than 
 fast enough for any circumstance. In fact, the only downside to Lu is that 
 Sagiri can do almost everything that she can, only slightly better, with one 
 glaring exception: Luck. Lu's Luck statistic is one of the highest in the 
 game, making her a good choice to go along on Treasure Hunting parties, even 
 though she does not have the Treasure Hunt Skill. A word of warning: Lu does 
 have the lowest HP score in the game. Make sure she is well-equipped if you 
 plan on using her.

In Major Battles, she adds two uses of the Barrage ability to an Archer or 
 Rune Archer unit. This makes her one of the best Lieutenant or Support 
 Officers for Archer units.

I guess the choice between Lu and Sagiri really comes down to who you like 
 better. If you like shy, beautiful women with tragic pasts, then go for 
 Sagiri. If you like hyperactive little girls who remind you of a gerbil on 
 illicit substances -or if you are one- then use Lu.

Recommended Runes: Power, Fury
Recommended Skills: Technique, Agility
Available Epic Skills: Swift Foot

---------------


Back at HQ, talk to Luserina again. This time put Maroon and Muroon in the 
 party. They will be necessary for recruitment. I suggest also putting 
 Faylon, Faylen, Zweig, Lorelai, and Babbage in as well. It doesn't matter 
 who is in the battle party and who is in the entourage.

Blink to Yashuna, and head for the Tricolor Inn and talk to Miroon, the 
 Beaver that runs the Inn. Offer to help fix the hotsprings, and Miroon will 
 join the party. Exit the Tricolor through the door to the east, just beneath 
 the stairs, to find a new area. Enter the cave for a quick cutscene, and 
 continue on.

There are random battles in this portion of the cave, so be careful. The Evil 
 Toad enemies here can drop Prosperity Rune Pieces, which is why I suggested 
 you bring the treasure hunters. The rate of drop is very low, even with your 
 Treasure Hunt Skills, I don't think it's more than 5%. So, it can be very 
 boring and frustrating to complete a Prosperity Rune at this point. In all 
 this is as good a chance as any acquire a Prosperity Rune Piece, but don't 
 think that you have to do this now. There are many more opportunities later.

In the back of the cave -two screens east- you will trigger a cutscene to 
 explain the lack of water. Muroon will suggest that Miroon come to your HQ

*****Dialogue*****(choose either)
-----Recruit.
-----Recruit anyway.

If you choose the second option, Muroon will not listen, and assume you 
 invited Miroon anyway.

---------------Miroon
Star #72 of 108
Rank: D
Recruit: After HQ reaches LV 2
Class: Mid-Range Mage
Notes: Miroon has a decent Magic / MP stat and an affinity for Water and Holy 
 magics (Shield and Resurrection), which makes her the only Beaver character 
 I can recommend using under normal circumstances. But compared to the 
 amazing Bernadette, she is of little use anyway.

She can participate with a Beaver Unit in major battles.

She also runs the Castle Bath House, which -as fans of the series will know- 
 is the site of some of the funniest and most entertaining scenes in the 
 game. I will talk more about the Bath Scenes in a little bit.

Recommended Runes: Water, Shield
Recommended Skills: Incantation, Bath

---------------

Before I headed back, I took the opportunity to level up the Beavers, as well 
 as hunt for Prosperity Pieces. Honestly, I was not able to acquire any 
 Pieces before the Beavers were all LV 40 and I returned to HQ.

While you still have the Beavers in your party, it is time to go recruit the 
 rest of them. Time to go talk to Moroon. You can either Blink to the Dwarf 
 Camp, or have Logg take you to the Baska Mine entrance. Either way, talk to 
 Moroon at the entrance to the mine and trigger a short scene with Maroon. 
 Then, talk to Moroon again to tell him about Beaver Lodge. He does not 
 believe you. Now, go back to Beaver Lodge and speak with Meroon, who is 
 waiting in the southeast corner of town, near the Trader. Ask her is she is 
 talking about Moroon, and she will join the party and replace Lyon.

Head back to the entrance to the Baska Mine and speak with Moroon again, this 
 time he will join the party. Now, go back to Beaver Lodge once again, and 
 you will have the opportunity to recruit both Moroon and Meroon.

---------------Meroon
Star #73 of 108
Rank: D
Recruit: After HQ reaches LV 2
Class: Mid-Range Mage
Notes: She is a just another Beaver, while she does have good elemental 
 affinities and can use the Divine Right Epic Skill, she is just another 
 Beaver.

Recommended Runes: Water, Shield, Resurrection
Available Epic Skills: Divine Right


---------------Moroon
Star #74 of 108
Rank: D
Recruit: After HQ reaches LV 2
Class: Short-Range Fighter
Notes: The only Short-Ranger of the Beaver Bunch, this actually makes him 
 even less useful. Exposing him to frequent physical attacks is a very bad 
 idea, plus he falls far short of virtually all of your Short-Range Fighters 
 in virtually all categories. Again, Beavers are for making a party together 
 so that they can use their five-person Co-Op attack. This attack is very 
 powerful, and fun to watch. But other than for some mild entertainment, 
 there is not reason to have Beavers in your party.

Now that you have all the Beavers, you can make Two separate Beaver Naval 
 Units, which are very useful for not only destroying enemy ships, but also 
 allowing you to concentrate more on the land battles.

Moroon does have a Mowhawk, but it falls short of Boz's. I wish you could use 
 Boz in party battles, that way he and Moroon could have a Mowhawk-Buddy Co-
 Op attack, where they just slice up the enemies using their hair. But, no 
 such luck.

----------------  


Go back inside and put Bernadette in your party, she will be required to 
 recruit several characters soon. Put a decent party together, Bernadette can 
 be in the entourage if you wish, there will be another recruitment quest 
 that involves a full level, so be prepared.

Now, blink to Estrise, and head for the Pier and talk to the crewman to ride 
 to Nirva Island. Walk north a bit to trigger a scene. Note how the 
 threatening Pirate seems to have a reverse sense of causality. . . 

*****Dialogue*****(choose either)
-----Offer to help.
-----But thou must.

Bernadette will replace Lyon for a bit here. Walk up to the town square and 
 speak with Chisato.

*****Dialogue*****(choose either)
-----Don't get Chisato involved, then have Bern get her involved anyway.
-----Get her involved.

After the scene, you gain control at the Inn. Go back to the square and talk 
 to Chisato again. Ask her to join and she will. But she replaces Bernadette 
 behind you, so return to your HQ to officially end the recruitment quest.

---------------Chisato
Star #75 of 108
Rank: N/A
Recruit: After HQ reaches LV 2
Class: HQ Services / Major Battle Only
Notes: Chisato manages the Prince's various Voice Sets, allowing you to 
 chance the sound of his voice. Give her all the Voice Sets that have piled 
 up in your storage and pick the one you like the best. Other than that, she 
 is just along for the ride.

In Major Battles, she is a Support Officer only with the Muddle Ability, 
 which lowers the attack power of enemy units by 5. Not really very useful, 
 I'm afraid.

---------------

Keep Bernadette in your party and return to Nirva Island. At the southwestern 
 end of the Pier, you will trigger a cutscene. Now head for the Inn, where 
 you will meet two new characters, Yahr and Nelis. Now go back to your ship 
 and choose to return to Estrise.

Another short scene will start.

*****Dialogue*****(#1 recommended)
-----Decline.
-----Consent.

If you choose #1, you can find them at the Inn and invite them to come along. 
 This allows you to sharpen Nelis and Yahr 's weapons and upgrade their gear. 
 If you choose #2, you will advance the side-quest without that opportunity. 
 If you chose #1, then simply return to your ship after Nelis and Yahr have 
 joined the party. Note that Yahr replaces Lyon.

On the Journey back, you will be stopped, and you will be given the option to 
 investigate or continue on:

*****Dialogue*****(#2 strongly recommended)
-----Say you must reach Falena. (And never recruit Yahr and Nelis)
-----Investigate. (And continue with the side-quest.)

If you choose #1, I doubt that there will be another opportunity to recruit 
 these two.

===================================
	SHIPWRECK
===================================

As you enter, walk north and take a right to reach a chest [WATER RING]. This 
 item is perfect for Bernadette if you are using her with the Flowing Rune. 
 Walk over to the west and enter through the gaping hole in the ship. Inside, 
 walk north and go through the doorway to find a room with [TAIRA ARMOR]. Go 
 back to the last screen. Heal up your party if they have been hurt too bad. 
 To the east, there is a transparent doorway which leads outside, and to the 
 area boss.

---------------------------------

Boss: Dragon

The Dragon does not have much HP, but his water attacks hit hard, plus he 
 will usually attack your whole party at once. The Battlefield spell from the 
 Shield Rune can enhance a party's magic power. Use your most powerful spells 
 right away, you will want to hit this boss even harder than he hits you. 
 Clay Guardian can be useful, but don't worry if you don't have it, it is 
 just as good to remain on the offensive in this battle.

Have someone cast Kindness Rain or Great Blessing from the second round on, 
 you do not want to have more than one person dedicated to healing, because 
 that will make this battle too drawn-out. If you are using Nelis and Yahr, 
 have Yahr use his Angry Dragon Rune, while Nelis casts Fire magic from her 
 Rage Rune.

Usually, I can defeat the Dragon in 2-3 rounds. 

Rewards: Water Rune, Flowing Leather, Fire Sealing Rune Piece, Stone of Luck
	10,000 Potch, 70 party SP.

----------------------------------

Afterwords, save at the journeyman's crystal, and continue on to the south to 
 board another ship, then east through the hole. Inside, go east for a [ROBE 
 OF DESTINY], then go south from there through the transparent door for 
 another treasure chest [PALE MOON BOOTS]. Return to the previous screen and 
 head east though the obvious door.

When you regain control, climb the netting to the north to reach the ship in 
 question. Inside the cabin, take the fist door to find [BLINKING RUNE 
 PIECE]. Continue topside, then go west for [WINDOW SET 8]. Walk to the 
 eastern side of the ship to trigger a scene.

*****Dialogue*****(#2 recommended)
-----Remain Quiet.
-----Use the Rune Cannon.

After that is finished, you will get another choice:

*****Dialogue*****(#2 strongly recommended)
-----Heh, cool beans.
-----Destroy the Rune Cannon.

You must choose option #2 here, or Nelis and Yahr will not join you. The 
 scene will continue.

*****Dialogue*****(#2 Recommended)
-----Don't Recruit.
-----Recruit.

If Nelis and Yahr do not join at the Nirva Pier, then you answered 
 incorrectly to one or more of the dialogue choices. And you have lost the 
 ability to recruit them for good. Unless you reset.

You can revisit the Ship Graveyard at any time, but there won't be anything 
 new there.

Return to Estrise, then to HQ, there is still one more character to get 
 before we are done. Don't worry though, this will be quick.


----------------Yahr
Star #76 of 108
Rank: B
Recruit: After HQ reaches LV 2
Class: Short-Range Fighter
Notes: Yahr is a solid character on all accounts. His HP, Defense, Technique, 
 and Attack stats are a little low, but only compared to characters like 
 Belcoot and Richard. Yahr does have good Speed, with solid Magic and Magic 
 Defense though. What sets him apart is the Rune he carries, the Angry Dragon 
 Rune, the same Rune wielded by Oulan in Suikoden II. This Rune deals double 
 damage -with critical hits possible- but can only be used once per battle, 
 unless the user is under the Fury status effect, then it can be used every 
 turn. This makes him a good candidate for the Fury Rune, plus he can use the 
 Fate Control Epic Skill, which adds to his Attack and either diminishes or 
 eliminates the Accuracy penalty from the Fury Rune. He also is one of the 
 better candidates for the Elemental Sword Runes, as he can use the Epic 
 skills associated with them.

The reason I can't give Yahr an A-rank is simply his HP, and the fact that he 
 comes in as the twelfth Short-Range Fighter you have recruited, and many of 
 them are either better suited for Short-Range combat, or they are more 
 versatile. Though few of them can deal more raw damage than Yahr.

In Major Battles Yahr commands a regular four-star infantry, or adds one use 
 of the charge ability to a Cavalry or Infantry unit as a Lieutenant or 
 Support Officer. Nothing special.

Well, I like what I see from his personality, but you don't get to see much 
 more than you already have at the time you have recruited him. I think he is 
 an interesting character, but one that is not fully explored. For instance, 
 I wonder how he got that Angry Dragon Rune. And for how long exactly was his 
 mother in labor before she decided to name him "Yahr". . .

Recommended Runes: Fury, Double-Strike, Boost, Elemental Sword
Recommended Skills: Attack, Technique
Available Epic Skills: Raging Lion, Fate Control, Zen Sword, Divine Right


---------------Nelis
Star #77 of 108
Rank: C
Recruit: After HQ reaches LV 2
Class: Long-Range Mage
Notes: Speaking in terms of Magic Power, Nelis is about the same as Sialeeds, 
 barely above the Prince and Kyle. She is like Bernadette, with less Magical 
 Power and more Speed, Attack and Technique, but if Speed, Attack and 
 Technique is what I wanted from the back row, I would go with Sagiri. She 
 does come with a removable Rage Rune and three open Rune Slots, but that 
 cannot make up for her lack of basic Magic and Skills. If you do wish to use 
 her, leave the Rage Rune and stack her with the Magical Rune and Double-Edge 
 Rune, with Divine Right and Magic as her skills, and Fire Amulet and Ring to 
 give her an S-rank in the magic.

In Major Battles, combine Bernadette, Nelis, and Yahr to create the Island 
 Nations Unit. If Bern or Nelis leads, it will be a Rune Archer Unit, if Yahr 
 is Commander, then it will be Infantry. This unit is actually rather weak, 
 only use it if you want to fight a battle that features only Special 
 units. 

As far as her personality, I feel she is less interesting than Yahr, and far 
 less interesting than Bernadette. She is stiff, without the dead-pan comedy 
 of Mathias. It is not like I don't like her, it is just that she seems so 
 bland.

Recommended Runes: Rage, Magical, Double-Edge, Alert
Recommended Skills: Magic, Magic Defense
Available Epic Skills: Divine Right, Sacred Oath

---------------

Back at HQ, leave Nelis in your party, but add Jeane and Sialeeds. You can 
 remove Bernadette if you want, but I can't imagine why you would want to. 
 Blink to Raftfleet and talk to Gavaya. Since Sialeeds, Nelis and Jean make 
 up the "Kiss Goodnight" Co-Op attack, Gavaya will take notice. Gavaya will 
 join as a Star of Destiny.

---------------Gavaya
Star #78 of 108
Rank: C
Recruit: After Nirva Island
Class: Short-Range Fighter
Notes: OK, I'll withhold commentary on his personality. You have probably 
 already gotten more than enough of it to know that you hate it.

He comes at LV 10, but if you take the time to level him up, you might be 
 surprised. He has strong HP and Attack, plus good Defense. He has three open 
 Rune slots and the unique Stun Skill, which does what it says: stuns enemies 
 for one turn. Still, compared to Richard, Belcoot and Kyle, his Technique is 
 not up to par, and his Agility is lacking. In short, he falls well beneath 
 his fellow double-axe wielder from Suikoden III, Hallec. 

In Major Battles, he has the Unique Ability to make female soldiers flee in 
 terror. OK, not really, he adds +5 Attack and one use of Charge as a 
 Lieutenant.
 
I can say that he is a much better fighter than he is a person, if that is 
 actually a compliment. . . If you don't care about the personality of the 
 characters you use, then by all means I suggest giving him a try.   

Recommended Runes: Crazed, Power, Killer, Double-Strike, Boost
Recommended Skills: Freeze, Attack
Available Epic Skills: Raging Lion, Triple Harmony

---------------Rage Rune
Type: Magic
Rank: A

LV 1: Dancing Flames (Attack)
LV 2: Blazing Wall (Attack)
LV 3: Explosion (Attack)
LV 4: Final Flame (Attack)

Note: This Rune is pretty straightforward. I don't think I need to cover it 
 in-depth. I will talk about unite magics though. With the Flowing, Thunder, 
 Rage, Cyclone, and Mother Earth runes, Unite Magic becomes available. 
 Basically, have one of any of these runes equipped on a character, then have 
 a different one equipped on another character. In battle on the Rune menu, 
 you will have the opportunity to use a Unite Spell, which combines the 
 powers of two runes at the cost of 1 MP per character.

There are exceptions: Rage and Flowing cannot unite, for example. Here is a 
 full list of Elemental Rune Unites. Rage / Thunder = Flame Array. Thunder / 
 Flowing = Thunder God. Flowing + Cyclone = Water Dragon. Cyclone + Mother 
 Earth = Fierce Wind Fang. Mother Earth + Rage = Scorched Earth.

--------------- 

Ok, now go back to the Castle to advance the Story.

=============================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

======== Chapter 4 ========	section 1.4

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
=============================================================================

"The size of the room is half as large
	'cause you walked around it twice.
 And you walk again with both eyes shut
	'cause your fears became your vice."

--Ted Kirkpatrick


In the War Room, a scene plays.

*****Dialogue*****(choose either, but #2 extends the dialogue)
-----It is a tough question.
-----Remain silent.

You gain control in your room. Before we move on, take a minute to put 
 Sialeeds in your party and head to the Bathhouse. It is located below the 
 Inn, down the spiral staircase. Most bath sequences can be viewed at any 
 time, but some like the Lyon / Sialeeds scene are time sensitive. I will 
 cover the time-sensitive bath sequences in this walkthrough, just so you 
 don't miss any. For a full list, see the Bath section after the walkthrough.

/////Bath Scene/////
"Careful what you wish for"
-Staring-
--Sialeeds
--Lyon
/////Fin/////

Save the game. Go back to the War Room, you will have your next target.


----------------------------------

Major Battle #6 -- Doraat

VICTORY CONDITION: Move the Prince's Unit into the City.

VICTORY+ REWARDS: Guardian Scarf

==Enemy Units==

Alenia
| Infantry |(*****)| 300HP

Infantry   |(***)  | 200HP
Spear      |(***)  | 200HP
Spear      |(***)  | 200HP
Archer     |(***)  | 200HP
Archer     |(***)  | 200HP

Archer Ship|(***)  | 300HP
Archer Ship|(***)  | 300HP
Combat Ship|(***)  | 300HP
Ram Ship   |(***)  | 300HP

You are well outnumbered here, but don't worry this is actually one of the 
 easier Major Battles. The objective is to have a unit directly attack Alenia 
 once. Barrages and Magic do not count. Alenia's unit sits inside Doraat 
 fortress, so you will have to hack your way through the enemy's front to get 
 there.

This is not nearly as hard as it seems. I assume that Alenia was in charge of 
 arranging the enemy units, because whomever was in charge of arranging those 
 units was an idiot. Most of the Infantry Units are clumped to together east 
 of Doraat, so just send Lindwurm and another Cavalry unit (I use Dinn) to 
 shred them. Send the Prince and another Infantry Unit to the southern flank 
 to attack the archers, if they get into a fight with one of the infantry 
 units, then just charge or use the Dawn Rune.

On the Naval Front, the Dahak and two Beaver Units can take care of things 
 with ease. I usually take the Goesch / Kyle / Lun Ram ship in order to heal 
 and directly attack the Archer Ships. This Naval battle is practically an 
 Auto-Battle, you will not need to pay too much attention, just make sure to 
 use the Flowing Rune and Recovers when you need to. Also, the Gnaw ability 
 lowers the defense of enemy ships permanently, so use that the first time a 
 Beaver Unit engages any particular Ship. 

The Enemy Archer Ships can target ground units will their Barrage Skill, so 
 engage them first with the Dahak and Beavers before Lindwurm approaches the 
 enemy infantry units.

In short, it is easy to get all the Treasure here. The Enemy Archer Ship to 
 the Southeast carries a rare Thunder Rune Piece, so be sure to grab that. 
 The other Rune Archer Ship carries Pale Moon Gloves, and the Ram Ship 
 carries a Stone of Strength.

The First unit you send over the bridge to Doraat will take some damage from 
 a spell cast by Alenia. Don't worry, it will not actually deal any damage at 
 all. Continue to move the Prince's Unit into the city to end the battle. 



=============================================================================

	Doraat

============================================================================



After the battle, you will gain control near the gate. Zerase is a required 
 party member here, though she can be moved to the entourage, you might as 
 well make use of her ridiculous power. Talk to Lucerina and make a strong 
 party. I choose a Short-Range Fighter, a Mid-Range Fighter, and a Long-Range 
 Fighter to fill out my roster. Between Zerase, the Prince, and Lyon I had 
 all the magic I needed. I suggest Murad and Egbert for Support, Egbert can 
 help you make some money here.

Before you get going, you have a choice to make. Just like any other city, 
 there are some Treasures here, but there will also be random battles. If you 
 wait till later, you can get the treasure without the fuss. If you get the 
 treasures now, then you get added EXP and Potch by going out of your way. 
 The choice is yours. Just to let you know, I made about 1.6 million potch 
 from the random battles here while going to go get the treasure. I will 
 cover both Routes To get the treasure now, follow the walkthrough like 
 normal. To get it later then ignore Paragraphs in parenthesis ().

(From where you start, walk southeast to a steel door in the wall. This will 
 lead to another steel door. Through there, continue east till you reach a 
 stair with a chest at the top [QUAD TACTIC]. At the bottom of the stair, you 
 will be in a triangle-shaped area with a patch of grass in the middle. At 
 the eastern point of the triangle, there is a path that leads half way 
 around the fortress. At the end [WINDOW SET 6]. Now, go back to where you 
 started.)

Enter through the gate into the city. Walk northeast until you reach an 
 intersection. 

(Walk south until you find a large building, then go east underneath that 
 building to find a chest in the nearby corner [CRANE WING TACTIC]. To the 
 northeast a short ways is another chest [FLAME RING]. Go back to the 
 intersection and go north. Turn to the east with the pavement to find two 
 more chests [PALE MOON CASQUE] and [PALE GATE RUNE PIECE]. Go back to the 
 Intersection.)

At the intersection, walk eastward through the double steel doors, and then 
 into the fortress.

Inside, a cutscene begins, then you will be thrown into a boss battle.

--------------------------------
Boss: Alenia, Soldier x5

This Battle is not too hard, especially with Zerase. I do recommend opening 
 the fight by switching over to the Sorcery formation and unleashing a 
 chained LV 4 Star magic on them. This should largely eliminate the refuse 
 that Alenia comes along with.

Just as in every other boss battle, Clay Guardian is a lifesaver here, after 
 that, just respond as needed with Great Blessing or Kindness Rain.

Alenia and her henchmen are not very fast, the henchmen tend to attack the 
 front row only, giving you the advantage if you have strong short-range 
 characters like Belcoot.

Alenia will Parry or Dodge most physical attacks that come her way, so use 
 Runes and Unite attacks on her. She can cast spells from her Rune, but these 
 are not too powerful, and you should be able to handle the damage she throws 
 at you.

If you pull the leash off Zerase, you should not have a problem with this 
 battle.

Rewards: Red Ribbon
	20,000 potch, 75 party SP

---------------------------------


You gain control in a room with four doors. Go out either western doo to find 
 a hallway. At the base of the staircase there is a room with a [GUARDIAN 
 CHAIN]. Go back to the central room and take either eastern door to the next 
 hall. At the north end of the hall, there is a transparent door hidden 
 behind the staircase. Enter the room for [TRIPLE HARMONY EPIC SKILL] and 
 [BLINKING RUNE PIECE]. Climb the staircase back in the hallway, then descend 
 the stairs on the next screen. After, you will meet up with an old friend. 
 Your choice does not matter, you will be thrown into a Dual Battle.

-------------------------------

Dual Battle #5
Prince 
-VS-
An Old Friend

OK this is one of the harder Dual Battles in the game, but still manageable. 
 Your Friend will be clear about their intentions, and will use Special 
 Attacks often. The problem is that this person has many different quotes, 
 and it can be difficult to hear the any given quote more than once.

By now, you should have enough experience with Duals to know that patterns 
 will emerge, depending on the outcome of the last attack. Your Friend avoids 
 these patterns well, so the first half of the battle requires some 
 guesswork. Just stay even with your opponent, as the battle wears on, they 
 will use Special Attacks more and more frequently, giving you a real 
 advantage. 

--------------------------------

After you win, a series of scenes will play, and you will be taken back to HQ


=============================================================================

	HEADQUARTERS

=============================================================================


You will gain control in the War Room. Head upstairs to the Sealed Room on 
 the fourth floor.

Your team will confront Zerase, and a scene will commence.

Afterwords, you will get a dialogue choice:

*****Dialogue*****(choose either)
-----Well, I have played these games before.
-----I'll pretend that I don't know who that was.

You can now view the Tablet of Stars at any time. It not only helps track 
 people that you have recruited, it also allows you to see their statistics 
 and what they have equipped.

Go back downstairs to the War Room for yet another important scene.

After all that you will gain control in your room. Before we continue with 
 the story, it is time for yet another recruitment drive.

=============================================================================

	RECRUITMENT DRIVE #7

=============================================================================


First off, I'll introduce Miakis. I didn't do so earlier to avoid the spoiler 
 for people who might have over-scrolled just a bit.

---------------Miakis
Star #79 of 108
Rank: A
Auto-Recruit
Class: Short-Range Fighter / Mage (Dancer)
Notes: Finally, we recruit the second full-fledged Queen's Knight, Miakis. 
 Like Kyle, her compatriot, she is a truly versatile character, able to 
 fulfill any role except tanking. Her HP and Defense stats are only average, 
 but at this point in the game you are beginning to amass more money and gear 
 that will help offset this weakness.

Physically, she is much like Richard; high strength coupled with agility to 
 create a fast, powerful character who hits multiple times. Unlike Richard, 
 she also has a strong Magic statistic and three open Rune Slots. Make no 
 mistake though, Miakis is a purely offensive character with no real skill in 
 defense, all of her Skills, Epics, and Stats ignore defense and accentuate 
 striking.

Without any doubt, Miakis is among the highest-output damage dealers in the 
 game. Whether you choose to use her with Magic Runes or Support Runes, she 
 will always be one of the stars of the show. With three open rune slots, she 
 can be stacked with runes like Power, Fury, Double-Edge, Boost, and the like 
 to give her jaw-dropping attack strings. Personally, I tend to take a more 
 balanced approach with her though, giving her a Power Rune, a Double-Edge 
 Rune and a Shield Rune. She has a decent affinity for shield magic, so 
 allowing her to cast Battle Oath usually results in her gaining the Fury 
 status.

In Major Battles, she gives her unit one use of the Recover Ability.

Considering her tendency for offense, it is surprising that she was chosen to 
 be Lym's bodyguard. I guess they thought offense was the best defense, or 
 something. You have already gotten a good feel for her personality, so there 
 isn't much need for commentary on that. I'll just say that the recent game 
 events cause me to have sympathy for her.

Recommended Runes: Shield, Power, Double-Edge, Elemental Sword
Recommended Skills: Agility, Technique, Incantation
Available Epic Skills: Swift Foot, Triple Harmony, Sacred Oath, Zen Sword

---------------

If you have not recruited Oboro yet, this will be your final chance. Talk to 
 him in Raftfleet and he should join. The same goes with Wilhelm and Mueller, 
 they will be at the Doraat Inn, bring Viki with you and they will join, as 
 long as you have not had any permanent deaths among the characters you have 
 recruited.

If you care at all about the DoReMi elves, then there is another hanging 
 around near Doraat. Try fighting random battles on the world map, just south 
 of the fortress.

If you chose not to get the treasure at Doraat, now is the time. While you 
 are there, check the rare finds at the armor shop. The Flame Array Chain is 
 now randomly available. It is one of the best all-around armors in the game.

Go back to HQ and head for the Big Hole, west of Rainwall. The quickest way 
 to get there is actually to have Logg take you to the Eastern Wharf, though 
 you can blink to Estrise or Haud. Actually the enemies on the World Map have 
 changed, and the Razorbacks surrounding the Big Hole on the world map are a 
 good way to get Power Rune Pieces.

Once you arrive, descend into the cave. The Killer Bunny enemies here can 
 drop Killer Runes, though you can always come back later to get them when 
 you have a better treasure hunting party. I'll talk more about the Killer 
 Rune in a bit. Work your way to Levi and Bergen, still in the same place 
 where you met them before. Talk to them and they will join as Stars of 
 Destiny.

---------------Bergen
Star #80 of 108
Rank: D
Recruit: After Major Battle #6
Class: Short-Range Fighter
Notes: Bergen is. . . well. . . I'm trying to think of one nice thing to say 
 here, but nothing is coming to mind. All I can think of is how dull he is, 
 coupled with his dangerously low Magic Defense and lack of Epic Skills. The 
 only redeeming quality he has is his Treasure Hunt skill, which maxes out at 
 SS-rank. He can use the Sword of Magic Skill, but I have never been able to 
 level him to the point where he gains his first LV 3 MP. He comes at LV 5.

See? now this is just turning into an insult laden rant. I'll just say that 
 he is useful in Treasure Hunting Parties, as long as he is in the Entourage.

Recommended Runes: Wall / Firefly, Power
Recommended Skills: Treasure Hunt, er... Defense?
Available Epic Skills: No Epic Skills available


---------------Levi
Star #81 of 108
Rank: A
Recruit: After Major Battle #6
Class: Mid-Range Mage (Sage)
Notes: Levi is Suikoden V's Sage, following behind Crowley, Mazus, Estella, 
 and  some guy from Suikoden IV that no one cares about. Actually, Zerase 
 tends to have higher Magic Power, but Levi's Elemental Affinities are the 
 best in the game. He has A-ranks in virtually every magic element, giving 
 him the highest Magic Defense and the most versatile magic palette, so to 
 speak. He comes with a Pale Gate Rune and a Mother Earth Rune, both of which 
 are removable, giving him three free rune slots. His Skills and Epic Skills 
 are excellent. Levi is also your army's Magic Tutor, allowing you to train 
 at any time at HQ, just like you can with Zegai.

So, with all this, why only an A-rank? Sure, he has all the Stats, Skills, 
 and Rune Slots necessary to be a great character, but Zerase can match him 
 in Incantation and power, plus her Star Rune is more powerful than the Pale 
 Gate Rune. Viki can't match him in raw power or MP, but she can use Chain 
 Magic for double damage. Jeane is more practical with her Rune Sage ability. 
 And while Bernadette and Kisara get trounced by Levi in magic, they can wear 
 Light Armor and have more HP. In the end, you will never be disappointed by 
 Levi's magic, but trying to find a use for him in party battles is 
 difficult.

In Major Battles, he can lead a four-star Rune Archer Unit, with the use of 
 the Rage Rune. While this is cool, it is also essentially the same thing 
 Talgeyl has been doing since the beginning of chapter 3.

His personality is a bit caustic. He is an Earth Mage, so while his is very 
 learned, he is also completely ignorant of many subjects that help people 
 live their everyday lives. Much like Sasarai from Suikoden II and III, he is 
 a bit haughty. Still, Levi is a nice enough fellow, with a sometimes 
 destructive curiosity.

Recommended Runes: Anything you want.
Recommended Skills: Magic, Magic Defense
Available Epic Skills: Divine Right, Sacred Oath

---------------

With Levi in your party, head over to Raftfleet. At the Inn, go inside to 
 meet up with Norma and Ernst to trigger a scene.

*****Dialogue*****(choose either)
-----Recruit passively.
-----Recruit anyway.

Norma and Ernst join as Stars of Destiny.

---------------Norma
Star #82 of 108
Rank: B
Recruit: After Major Battle #6
Class: Short-Range Fighter / Mage (Dancer)
Notes: Part of the reason I almost gave Norma an A-rank is because she is a 
 hugely underrated character. She has low HP, can only wear Cloth Armor, and 
 she starts at LV 10. But, she will quickly gain three open Rune Slots, and 
 her stats grow to be some of the most well rounded in the game. Especially 
 for among the optional recruits (who tend to be more specialized). While you 
 can say that she has no real strengths, with the three open rune slots I 
 prefer to say that she has no real weaknesses. Statistically, her Magic is 
 about the same as Kyle, the Price, and Miakis, but she has a disadvantage in 
 Rune Affinities. Her Attack seems low, but her Technique and Agility make up 
 for that.

All this though, is far from deserving of an B-rank, especially in light of 
 the recent recruits. What does bump her up to a B is the fact that her Potch 
 Finder Skill maxes out at a double-S. Yes, her Potch Finder can rise above 
 even that of Egbert. So, even if you don't use her in battle, take her with 
 you in the entourage, where she can make you rich, plus you can still use 
 her healing spells and such.

In Major Battles, she gives her unit two uses of the Recover ability.

As far as her personality. . . Well, I'll just say that I think her attack 
 animation and weapon are pretty cool. I know it is girly, but still, I think 
 someone put a lot of work into making her character, and I can always 
 appreciate that.

Recommended Runes: Shield, Double-Edge, Lightning, Magic Absorb
Recommended Skills: Potch Finder, Incantation
Available Epic Skills: Swift Foot, Divine Right, Sacred Oath


---------------Ernst

Star #83 of 108
Rank: B
Recruit: After Major Battle #6
Class: Short-Range Fighter (Beast)
Notes: Ernst is a tough character to rank. Normally, he is a moderate short-
 range fighter with one advantage: you don't have to buy armor or sharpen his 
 weapon. Overall he seems to be a low-HP copy of Shiro, the Wolf from 
 Suikoden II.

But, cast the LV 1 magic on his unique Beast Rune and all hell breaks loose. 
 Ernst transforms into human form and gains access to his LV 2, 3, and 4 
 spells, all of which are overpowered. The LV 2 spell stuns all enemies, 
 making them lose one turn, and can be used consecutively until the rest of 
 your party has finished them off. The LV 3 spell deals massive damage to an 
 enemy row. While the LV 4 Spell instantly kills an enemy and restores Ernst 
 to full HP. So, as long as Ernst's MP lasts, your party is practically 
 invincible. Note that you cannot equip Ernst with a Magic Absorb Rune, (that 
 would certainly get him the S-rank) nor any other runes to boost his 
 strength. He remains a "Beast" character, with no armor and no free rune 
 slots. In beast form, unless he is at a high level, he can be a liability 
 because he lacks armor. However, he can use some powerful Epic Skills which 
 aid in both his HP and casting of his rune.

In Major Battles, he is very useful. Like Norma, he give two uses of the 
 Recover Ability, but he also gives a rare speed boost as well.

Recommended Skills: Incantation, Stamina
Available Epic Skills: Armor of Gods, Divine Right and Not Raging Lion, 
 because that would just be a bad pun.

---------------

Back at HQ, we will wrap up this recruitment drive, but we need to go to 
 Sable first. Visit Lord Solis in his mansion, and he will tell you about a 
 recent break-in at the mansion. Scroll through the dialogue choices to learn 
 more, then return to your HQ. Talk to Oboro, who is now in the basement of 
 the castle, and he will be very interested in the case. Choose to try to 
 catch the culprit, and Shigure will join the party.

Who do we know is a member of the aristocracy? If you have noticed, few 
 people in the Suikoden games have surnames. Mostly, people are just known by 
 one name, only members of a long-established aristocracy or who are 
 important military figures gain last names. Talk to Luserina Barows, and she 
 will say that her family tree was left back in Rainwall. Go to the Inn and 
 talk to Egbert, or, if you have Egbert in your party, you'll have to dismiss 
 him beforehand, and he will offer the use of his lengthy and valuable family 
 tree. If you want, talk to Egbert again and he will have a small, fleeting 
 moment of clarity.

Anyway, return to Oboro for a scene. Taylor will be enlisted to help out, so 
 check the Special Edition of the "Dawn Times." Now head for the Inn and talk 
 to Marina to spend the night. When you gain control, just wander around the 
 room tapping the [X] button. A funny scene will ensue.

*****Dialogue*****(choose either, #2 speeds things up)
-----Lock him up.
-----Ask him to join.

Choose #2 and Raven will join as a Star of Destiny. If you choose #1, then 
 just go visit Raven the next day, he is located in the Base of the Round 
 Hall, beneath the Inn.

---------------Raven
Star #84 of 108
Rank: C
Recruit: After Major Battle #6
Class: Short-Range Fighter (Thief)
Notes: Raven possesses the unique Raven Rune, which allows him to evade 
 almost all physical attacks in low-light areas. For example, on the world 
 map, his evasion in normal. In the ancient ruins beneath the Big Hole, 
 however, his evasion will be near 100%. There are some problems with this 
 though. Having the "Target" status effect will disable his Rune, being 
 poisoned or on fire will disable the Rune, in fact, almost every status 
 effect will cause him to be a sitting duck, rather than a bird of the night.

To add to that, he has low HP, Defense, and Magic Defense; he cannot wear 
 armor, only Tunics and Robes. Magic attacks will eat up his HP fast, 
 especially fire attacks if they cause the Burn status effect. So, one needs 
 to be very careful when using him, or he can become a liability to the rest 
 of your party.

He has the Thief Skill, just like Roy, and this can be an incredible help to 
 you and your party when you are short of money. We are getting close to 
 completing the Prosperity Armor set, and with Egbert, Norma, Roy and Raven 
 in your party, you gain the ability to make Potch very quickly. I'll talk a 
 bit more about that in a bit.

In Major Battles, he gives a speed bonus to his unit, along with the Muddle 
 Ability, which lowers the enemy's attack power.

I can't say that I like his personality, he just seems to be a whiny brat 
 compared to his fellow thief Roy. At LV 13+ he have the coolest weapon name 
 of all: the "Nevermore," which is a reference to Edgar Allen Poe's famous 
 poem, "The Raven."

Recommended Runes: Power
Recommended Skills: Thief, Agility
Available Epic Skills: Triple Harmony

---------------

We are now done with this recruitment drive. As you may have noticed, we are 
 getting down to the end of the recruitment, with only 22 Stars of Destiny 
 left to go.

=============================================================================

	HEADQUARTERS

=============================================================================


Now is a great time to roam around. You can trade if you like, or try to 
 level up some of your characters. Before advancing the story, try to have 
 about three parties' worth of characters leveled up and geared out. You 
 don't have to sharpen their weapons all the way to LV 12, I think that 8-10 
 is fine for most of them. These eighteen characters should include: the 
 Prince and Lyon, plus Roy, Sialeeds, Zerase, Kyle, and Miakis. If you are 
 like me, then these characters should already be strong enough. The other 
 eleven characters are up to you. Keep in mind that LV 40+ with LV 8 weapons 
 should be more than enough.

Before you advance the story, I'd like to talk about a few things. Mostly 
 money-making and Epic Skills, but I'll introduce a couple of Runes as well.


---------------Mother Earth Rune
Type: Magic
Rank: A

LV 1: Vengeful Child (Defense)
LV 2: Guardian Earth (Status Recovery)
LV 3: Earthquake (Attack)
LV 4: Canopy Defense (Defense)

Note: The parent of the Earth Rune changes drastically. Clay Guardian is 
 gone, replaced by Vengeful Child. This actually makes the Rune somewhat less 
 useful, even though Vengeful Child is still a good spell, it must be used 
 cautiously, or else you will end up blocking a positive spell with it. 
 Guardian Earth is a clone of the LV 1 Dawn Rune magic, so it's use is 
 questionable. Earthquake makes a much better LV 3 spell than a LV 4 spell, 
 as it is a bit underpowered and does not hit flying enemies. Canopy Defense 
 however, is one of the more useful spells when fighting Bosses. It protects 
 your entire party from one spell, like a Vengeful Child targeting the whole 
 party. While this must be used carefully, and often forces you to use items 
 to heal instead of magic, it will shield your party from even the most 
 powerful enemy spells. If is a good idea to carry a Mother Earth Rune in 
 with you to every major Boss battle, along with Clay Guardian scrolls.

The True Earth Rune is currently being wielded by Bishop Sasarai of the Holy 
 Kingdom of Harmonia.
 
Rune Family Tree: True Earth > Mother Earth


---------------Pale Gate Rune
Type: Magic
Rank: A

LV 1: Open Gate (Attack)
LV 2: Royal Passage (Attack)
LV 3: Pale Palace (Attack)
LV 4: Empty World (Attack)

Note: If you've played Suikoden before, this Rune will be familiar to you. In 
 Suikoden II, it was the Blue Gate Rune, but since it has been translated to 
 "Pale Gate Rune." While in previous Suikodens, it was the most powerful 
 attack magic Rune in the game, here in Suikoden V it takes a lesser role. 
 The Star Rune, as well as the Thunder and Rage Runes all can at least match 
 the Pale Gate in raw power. While LV 1 Open Gate is probably the best LV 1 
 attack spell in the game, the other spells tend to even out in terms of 
 damage as compared to other Runes.

This Rune is best paired with the Pale Moon Armor Set, which raises the 
 wearer's Darkness Element to an S-rank, making this Rune deal damage well 
 beyond what the game's tool tips claim. The major problem with this is that 
 the LV 4 Empty World spell also damages the party. If you do not have a 
 party with high magic defense or high Darkness affinity, the damage can be 
 considerable. But with the proper precautions this Rune can be used freely 
 for dealing massive damage.

This Rune is the Child Rune of the True Gate Rune, featured in Suikoden I. 
 The True Gate Rune was split into two halves by Windy and her "sister" 
 Leknaat, Windy taking the "Front" half of the Gate, and Leknaat taking the 
 "Back" half, in order to safeguard the Rune from the Holy Kingdom of 
 Harmonia. This eventually led to the events of Suikoden I.

In all likelihood, the Pale Gate Rune is either a child born when the True 
 Gate was still complete, or is a child of the "Front" half of the Gate Rune 
 wielded by Windy. The Front half of the Rune does have the power to summon 
 demons form the "World of Emptiness." While the Back half may be able to do 
 the same, Leknaat has never used it to summoned any demons, just to teleport 
 and keep watch over the events of the world. In fact, the only time we have 
 seen Leknaat use the Back Gate Rune was to help send an army of Demons back 
 to the Wold of Emptiness after they were summoned by her sister, Windy.


---------------Killer Rune
Type: Support
Rank: B
Note: The Killer Rune is back again, and this time not only does it increase 
 a character's critical rate by 50%, it also give a small chance of instant 
 death. This rune is the best choice for making strong fighters stronger, 
 without sacrificing any defense or suffering any drawbacks at all. Other 
 Runes like Power and Fury all have drawbacks, and it will be up to you to 
 decide whether you want to face these drawbacks, or avoid them altogether. 
 If you wish to avoid them, then the Killer Rune is the best Rune for all 
 your powerful fighters.
 

--Money Making--

Now that you have recruited Egbert, Roy, Norma, and Raven, you now have the 
 basic form of the best money making party in the game. We are still missing 
 a few items, like the Prosperity Hat, the Prosperity Rune, and the Ability 
 to raise Norma's Potch finder and Roy and Raven's Thief Skills to high 
 levels. For the most part, you can now begin to gain about three times the 
 normal potch after battles with this party. Once you complete the Prosperity 
 Rune, Armor Set, and raise Skills, by the end of the game you can be making 
 up to ten times the normal amount of potch after battles.

This works because Raven and Roy (randomly) steal amounts of potch from the 
 enemy that they attack. Then this potch is added into the base potch 
 received, then multiplied by Norma, Egbert, and the Prosperity Gear. For 
 more on this, see the Money Making and Treasure Hunting guide at the end of 
 this document.

--Epic Skills--

You have acquired a number of Epic Skills so far, and it is a shame that the 
 only one you can currently use is Divine Right. In order for a character to 
 use an Epic, they must be able to achieve an A-rank in each Basic Skill that 
 the Epic includes. For example, to use Divine Right -which increases Magic 
 and Incantation- a character must raise both their Magic and Incantation 
 Basic Skills to an A-rank, then they will gain access to Divine Right and be 
 able to raise and equip it normally.

Epic Skills have a small penalty when compared to the Basic Skills. You may 
 have noticed that an A-rank Divine Right provides a lower bonus to the magic 
 stat than the Basic Magic Skill does. This penalty is usually minor though -
 around 10 to 20% less effect- and considering that Epics effect more than 
 one skill, this is a small price to pay.

As the game progresses, you will gain three Ultimate Epic Skills: Sacred 
 Oath, which effects all Magic skills. Untold Clarity, which effects all 
 physical skills. And Royal Paradise, which effects all skills, all of them. 
 There are only two characters able to use Royal Paradise: the Prince and his 
 double, Roy. For more on Skills, see the Stats and Skills section.

=============================================================================

	HEADQUARTERS

=============================================================================


While you are out leveling your characters up, take a look at the various 
 Rare Finds in each town. The Flame Array Chain is one of the best armors in 
 the game, as is the Thunder God's Armor. Both are worth the high cost for 
 your characters. Also, you might want to go to Yashuna to fight the Evil 
 Toad enemy in an attempt to get a Prosperity Rune Piece, but it is not 
 necessary.

The best place as far as EXP and Potch is concerned right now is actually the 
 Big Hole. The Bone Soldier enemies can drop the Double-Edge Rune, worth 
 75,000 potch and the Killer Bunnies drop the Killer Rune, worth 150,000 
 potch. That is assuming you don't want to keep these runes. The enemies 
 there can easily level up your party members to LV 40 and higher.

When you are ready to advance the story, save your game. There won't be 
 chance again for awhile. Enter the War Room. You will be briefed on the 
 developing situation.

*****Dialogue*****(choose either)
-----Sure!
-----Be Paranoid and get scolded, this time by Raja of all people.

Now you will be given the opportunity to form three parties. If you still 
 need to make more arrangements, now is the time. The characters you choose 
 for these parties -with the exception of Roy and Zerase- will not be able to 
 participate in the upcoming Major Battle. This is not too much of a problem, 
 though I do suggest you leave Dinn out of the three Parties, as his four-
 star Cavalry will serve you better in the Major Battle.

First, you are asked to choose the members for Roy's party. For the purpose 
 of the walkthrough, I'll use some weak members, just to make sure I am not 
 more powerful that you are. Feel free to arrange them as you want. I do 
 recommend an emphasis on Rune Magic over physical power for these parties 
 though. For the Roy / Zerase party I had:

Roy       | LV 44 | Double-Edge, Cyclone
Zerase    | LV 41 | Flowing, Magic Absorb
Alhazred  | LV 38 | Darkness
Faylon    | LV 38 | Power, Crazed
Cius      | LV 28 | Drain
Faylen    | LV 38 | Wall, Firefly 

For Kyle's party, you get the most freedom to choose.

Kyle    | LV 44 | Power, Flowing Sword
Belcoot | LV 43 | Fury
Kisara  | LV 35 | Water, Magic Absorb
Jeane   | LV 39 | Lightning
Lun     | LV 26 | Water
Logg    | LV 25 | Crazed

Lyon, Miakis, and Sialeeds are required for the final party. I was running 
 out of moderately weak characters, so I took really weak ones.

Prince  | LV 48 | Power, Double-Edge
Lyon    | LV 44 | Power, Shield
Miakis  | LV 45 | Shield
Sialeeds| LV 39 | Wind
Goesch  | LV 36 | Crazed
Lelei   | LV 29 | Lightning, Drain

I intentionally left out Isabel, Richard, Viki, and others like them so I 
 would not be stronger than you are, and so I could use them in the 
 accompanying Major Battle. Feel free to use them yourself though.

After you choose your party members, a long scene commences. You will gain 
 control in Lucretia's room at night. This is one of the Nighttime Scenes, it 
 should be familiar if you have played the other Suikoden games. Go around 
 and talk to the people, some conversations of interest:

Miakis (who plays dress-up with you), Kyle, Lorelai (who is pulling your 
 leg),  Viki (who can sleep standing up).

When you are ready, talk to the maid outside your room to turn in for the 
 night. In the morning, the battle begins.


-----------------------------------

Major Battle #7 -- Queen's Campaign

VICTORY CONDITION: Move Roy's Unit within striking distance of the Queen's 
 Unit.

VICTORY+ REWARDS: Spun Silver Armor, 20,000 potch
 

==ENEMY UNITS==

Lymsleia
| Rune Archer|(*****)| 300HP
Alenia 
| Infantry   |(*****)| 300HP
Zahhak
| Infantry   |(*****)| 300HP

Spear        |(****) | 200HP
Spear        |(****) | 200HP
Archer       |(****) | 200HP
Archer       |(****) | 200HP
Cavalry      |(****) | 200HP
Cavalry      |(****) | 200HP
Cavalry      |(****) | 200HP 


I realize that this battle looks very difficult from the enemy units, but 
 Alenia, Zahhak, and Lym will not move from their positions, leaving you 
 plenty of time ans space to deal with the generic units.

Actually, this battle is easy, both in terms of its Victory Condition and 
 acquiring treasure from defeating the enemy units. The Prince will not be 
 participating in the battle. Also, Zerase is stuck on Roy's Unit, meaning 
 she cannot use the Star Rune. This can be problematic if you are used to 
 relying on these runes. But you now have a wide selection of powerful 
 characters to use, so don't panic.

For this battle, stack as many Abilities as you can. You should be biased 
 toward Charge, Barrage, and Rune Archer Abilities over statistics here. 
 Actually, this is one battle where the Ballista Unit can be useful, I set it 
 up like this: Babbage / Sorensen / Ernst. Babbage and Sorensen give four 
 catapult uses, while Ernst raises their speed back up to that of a normal 
 unit, and gives two uses of the Recover Ability. After the Catapult Ability 
 has been depleted, move the unit to the back row where they can use the 
 Recover Ability as necessary. Considering the large size of this 
 battlefield, the Ballista's extra range comes in handy, but be careful to 
 never allow the Ballista unit to engage in a skirmish, it seems to have zero 
 defense, and can be wiped out in a single attack.

Before you start the battle, notice the large crater in the middle of the 
 field. I don't know why it is there, but I suggest you divide your forces 
 around the crater, as you will outnumber the enemies that are attacking.

As the battle begins, the generic enemy units will actually spread out to the 
 north and south sides of the crater, making it even easier to pick them off 
 one by one. The enemies have high HP, but as long as you advance carefully 
 you can control the skirmishes to your advantage. Two Cavalry units, one 
 Spear and one Archer will go to the south side of the crater. While one of 
 each unit will head to the north. Even as you approach, the enemies will be 
 scattered enough that they should not pose a problem. Do not advance your 
 Cavalry units too quickly, as the enemy Spear units move slowly and will lag 
 behind the Archers and Cav. As your units take damage or run out of their 
 Abilities, use the collapsing line to draw them into your fresh troops.

The only problem I've had with this strategy is that the enemy Archery units 
 sometimes will use their Barrage ability successively, this can deal heavy 
 damage if they decide to target a single unit. Once your units have fought 
 one normal battle, either withdraw them in favor of fresh troops, or use the 
 Recover Ability.

Treasures available from the enemy units: North Cavalry, Stone of Speed. 
 South-Central Cavalry, Mother Earth Rune Piece. North Archer, Guardian 
 Gloves. Northern Infantry, Rage Rune Piece.

The other generic units do not drop anything, but can close in on your troops 
 as you move them forward towards Lym, so be careful of you choose not to 
 attack them before moving in to end the battle.

To end this battle, all you have to do is move Roy's unit near to Lym's. 
 There is no need to attack Lym, Zahhak, or Alenia at all, the battle will 
 end as soon as Roy crosses the embankment in front of those three units.

Sometimes, Zahhak and Alenia will move just enough to attack Roy before the 
 battle ends. If this happens, simply use Roy's Charge Ability. If you want 
 to end the battle without any chance of this happening, then scatter Zahhak 
 and Alenia with Cavalry charges or Barrages. Zahhak and Alenia can be 
 defeated if you want, but they drop no loot, while Lym's unit is invincible, 
 so don't bother attacking it.

--------------------------------

Now that the Major Battle is over, you will face three successive Boss 
 Battles:

-----------------------------------

Boss #1: Alenia, Soldier x5

This is the easiest of the three battles in my opinion. Just like last time, 
 Zerase will shred Alenia. Even though the prince is not present, just use 
 your  strongest spells and runes. Alenia still has her high parry and 
 counter rate, so avoid direct attacks, unless that character has high 
 Technique, like Richard and Belcoot. Take care of the refuse that tags along 
 with her first, as they often are responsible for more damage than Alenia 
 herself.

-----------------------------------

Boss #2: Zahhak, Soldier x5

Now it is Kyle's turn. This battle can be more difficult because Zahhak is a 
 powerhouse with high HP. If you want, you can end this battle by focusing on 
 Zahhak alone, defeating him will end the battle. Both Zahhak and the fodder 
 he brings with him are an equal threat to your party, though. Base your 
 strategy on what your party can do, if it is better at area attacks, kill 
 the soldiers first, if you have a more focused party like I did, then take 
 out Zahhak himself and ignore the add-ons.

-----------------------------------


Boss #3: Galleon, Soldier x5

Galleon is one tough old goat. Nothing you will do will deal too much damage 
 to him. Unlike Zahhak, you must defeat all the soldiers as well as Galleon 
 to win this battle. So, the best thing to do is to use area magics to defeat 
 the soldiers quickly. Once they are out of the way, you can them focus on 
 Galleon without have to worry about taking uncontrollable amounts of damage. 
 Miakis has a Shield Rune, plus you have not had a chance to use Miakis in 
 battle or sharpen her weapon yet. Have Miakis cast Battle Oath and then 
 Great Blessing for the remainder. Sialeeds still has her Wind Rune too, so 
 use Funeral Wind or The Shredding. Trying to attack Galleon directly can be 
 difficult. The only people in my party who where able to hit him were the 
 Prince, Lyon, and Miakis. Remember that the Shield Magic version of the Fury 
 Status effect does not carry the same Accuracy penalty that the Fury Rune 
 does. But eventually you can wear him down if you keep at it. Use the Dawn 
 Rune's First Ray spell to hit three people in the enemy's formation, while 
 Lyon attacks, hopefully after being granted Fury.

Rewards: Rage Sword Orb
	22,000 potch, 110 party SP

-----------------------------------

There is be a long series of scenes after the battle, so sit back and enjoy 
 them, you've earned it.


=============================================================================

	HEADQUARTERS

=============================================================================


When you gain control, you can go around and talk to the people for their 
 reactions. Skip the next paragraph if you don't care, but I'll give you a 
 few suggestions for conversation.

Viki gives a little hint as to her true power. Shigure actually says 
 something insightful. Whomever translated Taylor's Line here confused "Mud-
 Slinging" with "Muck-Raking." If you did not take Raven in the Prince's 
 party, then he will berate you. If you did take him, then he actually says 
 something pretty funny.  Kisara says that she can't take the place you your 
 mother, but she does have the chest for it. Wilhelm gives too much 
 information about his taste in women. And Zerase actually says something 
 halfway nice.

When you are ready to continue on, go to your room. There, another long scene 
 will commence.

After, you gain control in your room. Head back downstairs to the infirmary. 
 Miakis will join the party. At this point, I always trick out Miakis, I max 
 her weapon, give her good Runes (she already has a Shield Rune), and spend 
 the 1 million potch necessary to buy her a Saint's Cloak, the best armor in 
 the game. You don't have to do any of this, but I do like to make her strong 
 because she is going to be in your party for several tough fights up ahead.

Enter the Sealed Room for yet another scene, and now Zweig and Lorelai will 
 join the party. Again, you can either have them in the entourage or the 
 battle party. Same with Miakis actually, but why you'd want her in the 
 entourage is beyond me.

Now go to the war room and your cabinet will discuss the next move.

*****Dialogue*****(choose either)
-----Acknowledge Lucretia's judgment. 
-----Tell little miss evasive off.

Outside the War Room, things will be cleared up. Talk to Viki, but she will 
 not be available for teleportation at this time. Exit to the castle's 
 exterior for a scene with Galleon. He will join you no matter what you 
 choose to say to him.

---------------Galleon
Star #85 of 108
Rank: B
Auto-Recruit
Class: Mid-Range Fighter (Tank)
Notes: While characters like Belcoot, Dinn and Isabel are all fine for taking 
 damage, Galleon is clearly the game's best tank, although, one can make the 
 argument that tanks are not necessary at all in the game. Allow me to break 
 it down like this: many people have different playing styles, and one of the 
 great things about Suikoden is that you can always find the characters to 
 match your style of play. Suikoden V, I will admit, is a pretty easy game. 
 There are several difficult battles, but it lags far behind I, II, and III 
 in terms of difficulty. Thus, the "tank" characters are not as valuable here 
 as they were in previous games. But, it all comes down to your style of 
 play, and how you want to set up your party.

Galleon has the lowest Damage potential of all the Queen's Knights. He has 
 two Rune slots, but one of them is permanently occupied by a Knight Rune, 
 allowing for only one offensive Rune. In many ways he is a lot like Goesch 
 and Mathias, he has the Mow Down skill, and even shares their lack of 
 Technique and Speed, his major disadvantage when compared to them is his 
 lack of Rune Capacity.

What Galleon does have is one of the highest HP, Defense, and Strength stats 
 in the game. As I mentioned in the Stats and Skills section PDEF is largely 
 determined by the armor a person can wear, but Galleon is one of the few 
 Human characters with a distinct advantage in Base Defense, aside from 
 armor. He is always about ten to twenty PDEF higher than others who are 
 wearing the same armor as him. Combine this with a solid Magic Defense that 
 is even higher than the Prince and Lyon, and he becomes singly the most 
 solid character in the game.

In terms of Skills, Galleon falls short of many of the other Queen's Knights 
 too. But Mow Down is always useful, plus he can use Triple Harmony and his 
 Armor of Gods can be raised to an S-rank, allowing him to tank anything.
If you don't find tanks useful, then simply don't use him. I'll admit I don't 
 use him much during the course of the main game. But he is invaluable for 
 parties where you are trying to level up several weak characters quickly, as 
 well as times when you decide to play defensively.

Recommended Runes: Power, Firefly, Earth, Double-Edge
Recommended Skills: Mow Down, Defense
Available Epic Skills: Raging Lion, Armor of Gods, Triple Harmony, All-Out 
 Strike

-------------------------------

After that scene, exit your HQ and return, this allows Viki to teleport you 
 again.

Now it is time to go on the last full recruitment drive.

============================================================================= 

	RECRUITMENT DRIVE #8

=============================================================================


These will not be the last characters we can recruit, but this will be the 
 last drive, all the remaining non-automatic Stars will be picked up one by 
 one.

Starting at HQ, put Takamu into your party and return once again to the Lunas 
 North Woods. Talk to Urda to have the honor of escorting her to Lunas. Enter 
 the Oracle's room for a scene.

*****Dialogue*****(choose either)
-----Accept Haswar's offer.
-----Hurt Haswar's feelings, then accept her help anyway.

Isato, Urda, and Haswar join your party. You can let Takamu go to make room 
 if you need to, he is not required to exit Lunas. Make your way back through 
 the Lunas North Woods to the world map. Before you get there, a cutscene 
 will start. Haswar, Isato, and Urda join as Stars of Destiny.

To finish the recruitment event, simply exit to the world map and blink back 
 to HQ.

---------------Haswar
Star #86 of 108
Rank: N/A
Recruit: After Major Battle #7
Class: Army Cabinet Only
Notes: Haswar is the only character that cannot be used in Party or Major 
 Battles, and provides no services to your army. Other than that, I think 
 she's great. Her personality is so loving and kind, she is like a smoochy 
 aunt that you pretend to hate but secretly can't wait to see at Thanksgiving 
 time.

---------------Isato
Star #87 of 108
Rank: B
Recruit: After Major Battle #7
Class: Long-Range Fighter / Mage (Elf)
Notes: Isato is one of the more underestimated characters in the game. Maybe 
 because he is bald. But, at least we can clearly tell that he is a male, 
 unlike Kirkis the elf from Suikoden I. Isato is a worthy heir to Kirkis' 
 legacy, he is fast, has solid magic stats, and can deal surprising damage 
 with physical attacks. All told, his only real weakness is his slightly poor 
 evasion and lack of Physical Epic Skills. He is a versatile character, which 
 I always like, but without any stand-out abilities he can be pushed aside 
 for characters that are better at fulfilling specific roles. He has low 
 affinities for Fire and Lightning Attack magics, but scores straight B's in 
 most other categories, making him a good candidate for Water, Wind and Earth 
 magic. His Attack is a little low to make him idea for defense sacrificing 
 runes though.

His Barrage Skill -for party battles- is one of the best unique physical 
 skills in the game. Pierce can attack a row, up to two enemies. But Barrage
 acts like Mow Down, attacking a cluster. He can use the Divine Right Epic
 Skill for a big boost to his magic, while relying on a physical rune and
 Barrage to deal damage.

In Major Battles, he gives one use of the Barrage Ability to his unit as a 
 Lieutenant or Support Officer.

Well, Isato reminds me a lot of Mathias, without the comic relief. . . No, I 
 guess Isato isn't nearly as stiff as Mathias. I would say he is highly 
 dedicated as opposed to completely obsessed.

Recommended Runes: Wind, Water, Earth, Boost, Alert, Magical, Power
Recommended Skills: Incantation, Barrage
Available Epic Skills: Swift Foot, Divine Right

---------------Urda
Star #88 of 108
Rank: A
Recruit: After Major Battle #7
Class: Long-Range Fighter (Elf)
Notes: Urda is very fast and very strong. Her speed eclipses even that of the 
 Ninja and Lu. Add to that her high Attack, three open Rune Slots, and her 
 Barrage Skill, and she can decimate enemy parties in a single, first 
 action attack. While she will not score as many consecutive attacks as 
 Sagiri or Lu, she makes up for this in raw power. She lacks Lu's HP 
 weakness, and outscores Sagiri in Attack, Magic, Technique, Evasion, Speed, 
 and Luck.

The only statistics that aren't phenomenal are her HP and Magic Defense, 
 though with her high Elemental Affinities, she often outperforms this 
 statistic, and her HP is at least average, more than enough for a rear-line 
 character. Isato outscores her in Magic, but only just so, while she makes 
 him look lazy and cumbersome.

Her Skills are equally impressive, with access to Swift Foot and Triple 
 Harmony, you will be able to augment her Barrage Skill to make it very 
 powerful. As with Isato, Barrage makes the Great Hawk Rune that they have 
 equipped largely useless. I suggest you remove it and replace it with a 
 Magic Rune on Isato, and a Power or Fury Rune on Urda.

In Major Battles, she adds two uses of the Barrage Ability to a unit as 
 either a Lieutenant or Support Officer. I can strongly recommend using her 
 in the upcoming Major Battles.

I like her personality, actually. I can't say that I fully agree with her 
 attitude, but she does have a point: Humans are barbarous. Though her 
 abilities can make her achieve her own astounding acts of barbarity, I won't 
 hold the hypocrisy against her. She is actually rather cute, acting like a 
 tough girl when she clearly is in love with Isato. I wonder what the two of 
 them are like when they are alone.

Recommended Runes: Power, Fury, Killer, Double-Edge
Recommended Skills: Barrage, Attack
Available Epic Skills: Swift Foot, Fate Control, Divine Right

---------------


Back at HQ, take Belcoot out of your party, if he is in there. Talk to Logg, 
 and find a new location has opened: Port Spinacks. I'll cover Port Spinacks 
 after this recruitment drive. By heading there, you are actually advancing 
 the main storyline a small bit. But we still have some recruitment to do 
 here before we head off to meet the Dragon Cavalry.

When you arrive, climb the nearby stairs and head south to the journeyman's 
 crystal. Standing beside the crystal is a Dragon Cavalry soldier who 
 mentions the Hershville Naval base, a base currently in Godwin territory. 
 Talking to this soldier allows you access to Hershville via boat. But before 
 we head off there, there are still things to do at Spinacks.

Walk east across the bridge. The Item Shop sells the White Rose Brooch for 
 38,000 potch. This is a great item, but it might be a bit spendy right now. 
 The Rune Shop has Killer Runes for sale, though I suggest against buying 
 any, they drop from an enemy called the Killer Bunny located at the Big 
 Hole. Take your treasure hunting party there to get some instead. The Armor 
 Shop has Water Dragon Armor in their Rare Finds. This armor gives +90 to 
 Defense and +1 to Water and Lightning Magic Defense. If you can afford it 
 after all the spending you have done, I suggest picking some up.

On the eastern side of the bridge, there is another gangway overlooking the 
 pier. In the middle section, you will see a Swordswoman standing by herself, 
 looking out to the pier. She will introduce herself as Hazuki, and inquire 
 about Belcoot:

*****Dialogue*****(choose either)
-----Tell her about him.
-----Lie, then have her see right through you.

For now, return to the western side of the bridge and talk to the Raftfleet 
 boatsman. Actually, he should be referred to as a "pilot," because you 
 "captain" a ship, but "pilot" a boat. But that is kinda outmoded now that we 
 have invented those new-fangled aero-planes.

But I digress, again. Talk to him and you will have the option of returning 
 to HQ or going to Hershville, choose Hershville. Hershville is an entirely 
 optional town, so I will cover it now:


===================================
	Hershville Naval Base
===================================


Talk to the Godwin Soldiers around here for some funny dialogue. To the north 
 from where you start, up the steps, is the Administrative Building. Outside 
 there are two chests: [BLINKING RUNE PIECE] and [INTERMEDIATE MAGIC], witch 
 allows magic Skills to be raised to an S-rank, well ahead of your current B-
 rank for physical skills. Inside the administrative building, there are two 
 more chests upstairs one in the center room, the other in the east room: 
 [VOICE SET 2] and [THUNDER PIECE]. Introduce yourself to the man inside the 
 lower floor. This is Haleth, and you cannot recruit him now, but keep him in 
 mind for later.

To the west of the Admin building, climb up more steps to reach the Warehouse
 Area. At the north end of this area, talk to the woman wearing a bright 
 orange cape. No matter what you say, she thank you for the information.

The Rune Shop here sells Gale Runes, a rune that essentially causes a 
 character to act first every turn. The Item shop carries Prosperity Rings, I 
 strongly suggest investing in about six of them, so your party can always 
 wear them.

Return to HQ and put Belcoot into your party. Now, head back to Port Spinacks 
 and cross the bridge. You will meet up with the Orange-Cloaked woman near 
 the eastern side. Your fist dialogue choice does not matter. At the second 
 choice, agree to take her to see Lucretia. If you choose the other choice, 
 then find her back at Hershville Naval Base and agree to take her. As soon 
 as she meets Lucretia, a cutscene will begin, and you will recruit Cathari 
 no matter what you say.

---------------Cathari
Star #89 of 108
Rank: B
Recruit: After Major Battle #7
Class: Long-Range Fighter (Gunner)
Notes: Cathari is the fastest and strongest character in the game. Urda, Lu 
 and the Ninja are fast, but Cathari is clearly head and shoulders above them 
 in terms of Speed. She even edges out characters like Galleon and Georg in 
 terms of strength. She has two open Rune Slots, with the third occupied by 
 the unique Godspeed Rune, which allows for faster movement on the world map 
 and a 100% escape rate when it is possible to run. She can deal more damage 
 to a single enemy than any other character with two open rune slots. Her 
 critical rate nears that of Georg, and she is long range.

With all this, it is tempting to give Cathari the S-rank for Long-Range 
 Fighters, but she has some statistical weaknesses as well. Most glaringly, 
 her Magic Defense, the second-lowest in the game -just ahead of Georg. But 
 Georg has one of the highest HP scores in the game, while Cathari is less 
 that average, well behind Sagiri and Urda. This actually makes Georg stand 
 up to magic a bit better, while Cathari can be KO'd in a single strong magic 
 attack. For bosses, it is always best to give Cathari a Sacrificial Jizo and 
 some Mega Medicine. Also, her speed surprisingly does not amount to 
 anything. Urda and Sagiri will still always act before an enemy, and Cathari 
 can only attack one enemy one time per turn. Sagiri can muti-hit, and Urda 
 can fire on multiple targets either with Barrage, or just as part of a 
 normal continuous attack. No matter her Speed or Agility, Cathari only 
 attacks once.

With that in mind, both Urda and Sagiri can deal more damage per turn than 
 Cathari, just as quickly, without any of her weaknesses.

Cathari's physical offensive Skills are much stronger than Urda and Sagiri, 
 though, making her the best choice of the three if you do not have the 
 Attack Runes to use to increase their power.

In major battles, she gives a large speed bonus and two uses of the Barrage 
 Ability. This gives a big advantage to any Archer Unit. I tend to put her 
 onto the Dahak, where her Barrage is useful, but her Speed makes the Dahak 
 just as fast as other ships.

Cathari is a member of the Howling Voice Guild, a Harmonian organization of 
 spies and assassins. She is much like Clive from Suikoden I and II, though 
 Clive did not share her weakness in Magic Defense. I am sure there are some 
 Howling Voice Guild fans out there that will protest my giving of a mere B-
 rank to Cathari, but if you are that much of a fan, then go ahead and use 
 her. If having her in your party reminds you of the glory days of Suikoden 
 II, then use her. For me, I can't stand the Howling Voice Guild, the only 
 character I liked out of that place was Nash from Suikoden III, because he 
 left the Guild. Personally, I'd take Valeria or Belcoot from Master Roundier 
 Haia's Falcon school of swordsmanship over a Howling Voice lackey like Clive 
 or Cathari any day. If you want to send me angry emails, fine, I'll just 
 ignore them.

By the way, Cathari's Weapon is named after the German titles of famous fairy 
 tales. Rotkappchen is "Little Red Riding Hood." Aschenputtel is 
 "Cinderella." While Schneewittchen is "Snow White." More on these fairy 
 tales in the essay section that accompanies this guide.

Recommended Runes: Crazed, Power, Fury, Boost, Double-Edge
Recommended Skills: Attack, Technique
Available Epic Skills: Fate Control, Swift Foot, Triple Harmony  

---------------

Go back to Port Spinacks -with Belcoot- and talk to Hazuki once again. She 
 will join as a Star of Destiny.

---------------Hazuki
Star #90 of 108
Rank: B
Recruit: After Major Battle #7
Class: Short-Range Fighter
Notes: As you can imagine, Hazuki shares many qualities with Belcoot. Her 
 Defense, Magic Defense, and even Technique stats are all similar. Her 
 biggest advantage over Belcoot comes from her speed. She -along with 
 Shigure- is one of the fastest Short-Range fighters in the game. Plus, she 
 scores just below Belcoot in Parry rating, about the same as Richard. She 
 does lose out in Terms of raw Attack, but only by a small margin, and her 
 speed is more than enough to make up for that. 

Where she begins to fall apart is in her Skills. Basically, she cannot use 
 the Untold Clarity Epic Skill, which combines all other physical Skills, 
 while characters like Belcoot and Richard can use Untold Clarity. Also, 
 while her Sickle Rune is a bit more useful when fighting large groups, it 
 still falls short in damage compared to the Falcon Rune.

If you wish to use Hazuki, you will not be disappointed. She is one best 
 combinations of speed, defense, and power in the game, but at this point, 
 you might want to focus on characters that you have already used, because 
 they have a clear advantage in terms of Skill Points and Skill Levels.

Recommended Runes: Power, Fury
Recommended Skills: Attack, Agility
Available Epic Skills: Fate Control, Triple Harmony

---------------


There is one last character that can be recruited before the end of this 
 drive, but before you go acquire her services, there is a small decision to 
 make:

The name of the character you can recruit now is Eresh, but, she shares a 
 Star of Destiny with another character. What that means is that you must 
 choose to recruit one of these two characters, you cannot recruit them both. 
 This is much like the point in Suikoden II where you had to choose between 
 the Ninja Katsumi, or Valeria the Falcon Rune user. The difference is that 
 you can recruit Eresh now, but you will have to wait some time to recruit 
 the other.

Eresh is a power mage, like Jeane or Viki, who comes with powerful Runes and
 gives you access to one of the best levels in the game for Treasure, Potch, 
 and EXP. The other character gives you nothing, except that person can be 
 used in Major Battles as a Support Officer with the Rumors Ability, which 
 many other characters in your army already have.

In the end, there is little to think about, and I strongly suggest recruiting 
 Eresh now. There is no advantage in not recruiting her. In Suikoden II, it 
 was a tough decision between two strong characters, not so here. You can 
 skip to the Characters Section of this guide if you would like to know the 
 identity of this other person. If you do decide to forgo her for the other 
 character, skip to the next divider. This walkthrough will cover the 
 recruitment of the other character when it is time.

So, to recruit Eresh you must complete an extensive dungeon. This will be a 
 difficult battle, and you already have several required characters stuck in 
 the party. Namely, Zweig, Lorelai, and Miakis. They are all solid 
 characters, but you may want to take more defensive specialists too. Take 
 Murad for his healing ability, and a strong healer as well. Jeane will be a 
 required party member for this recruitment quest. Make sure to take Escape 
 Scrolls with you too.

When you have prepared, travel to the Big Hole area near Rainwall. Viki 
 cannot warp you there, so the closest point is either Estrise or Haud. Enter 
 the cave and approach the Ancient Ruins for an introduction scene. Agree to 
 help and Eresh will join the party.

Make your way through the Ancient Ruins to the temple where Jeane joined you 
 as a Star of Destiny. The Mummy enemies in the area will still drop Magic 
 Absorb Rune Pieces, so if you want this is a good opportunity to grab more, 
 especially because Zweig and Lorelai are required members.

When you arrive, there will be a hole opened up in the altar. Descend for a 
 new dungeon.

===================================
	UNDERGROUND RUINS ALTAR
===================================

Be careful, the enemies in this dungeon are difficult. The Unicorn Zombie is 
 especially tough, it casts powerful lightning magic that damages the whole 
 party, plus has the ability to stun. The Millioneye enemies must be killed 
 quicky. They have a self-destruct ability that can deal up to 200 damage to 
 each party member. If all three are allowed to self destruct then your whole 
 party can be wiped out. I suggest using magic against these two enemies. The 
 other enemies here are more manageable. Try using Eresh's Resurrection Rune 
 on the Bone Soldiers here, her LV 1 spell will deal about 550 damage to a 
 single one, making it eleven times stronger that the game's tool tips says 
 it is.

The Resurrection Rune deals Holy damage, so undead enemies are particularly 
 weak to it. Still, Resurrection is much like the Pale Gate Rune, in that it 
 seem to often be much more effective than what the game says the spell's 
 base power is, apart even from elemental weaknesses.
 
As you enter, descend the stairs and turn west. Follow this until you reach a 
 chest [DARK AMULET]. Return to the last intersection and head south down the 
 stairs, then west when you can. At the landing there is a small room with 
 [PALE GATE RUNE PIECE]. Climb back up the stairs and continue south past the 
 next intersection for [VOICE SET 5]. Descend the stair to the east, then 
 turn north then east again for another chest [STONE OF MAGIC]. Retrace your 
 steps to the last corner, and press [X] against the northern wall to open 
 the stone double doors that lead deeper into the Altar.

Travel north down the steps to find another chest [WINDSPUN RING]. Turn west 
 from the last intersection and go north for [RESURRECTION RUNE PIECE]. Turn 
 south and descend the next stair. Go west at the intersection for yet 
 another chest[IMMORTAL MEDICINE]. Continue south, then west as the hallway 
 bends. Go south from the landing for a [BLINKING RUNE PIECE]. North from 
 there you will find a second set of doors, leading to the Altar's third 
 level.

Turn north at the first intersection for [OLD BOOK 4]. South, then west you 
 will reach another intersection. Go north for a chest [FOG ROBE]. Head south 
 down two fights of stairs, then west for [ARMES ARMOR]. From there, return 
 to the last intersection and go south and follow the hall to the east. 
 Continue east past the next intersection for the dungeon's final chest: 
 [PROSPERITY HAT]. North, you will the third set of doors and a journeyman's 
 crystal. Save your game and heal your party.

In the next room there will be a short scene, and you will have to fight one 
 of the game's tougher bosses.

-----------------------------------

Boss: Shepcesska

I wasn't joking. Shepcesska really is difficult. She will either attack with 
 Soaring Bolt Lightning magic or a powerful physical attack. Even characters 
 with medium defense can be killed in one of her physical attacks. The good 
 new is that she always targets the front line with this, allowing you to 
 place Belcoot, Dinn, Isabel or another heavy defender there to absorb the 
 damage. Without someone to tank the physical attacks, this battle can get 
 rough.

Shepcesska will also frequently use Lightning Magic that can stun your 
 characters. This can make it very difficult to heal properly.

The key here is to have a strong fighter in the first slot of the battle 
 party and more than one person who can heal. I recommend a character 
 wielding a Flowing Rune, and another with a Shield Rune for this.

She has very high Physical and Magic defense and a good amount for HP, but 
 Shield magic can help overcome this. Battle Oath raises your party's 
 physical damage and Battlefield raises magic damage allowing you to shorten 
 this battle considerably. The level leading up to this boss was long, so the 
 longer this battle continues, the more dangerous it becomes.

In the first two rounds, concentrate on getting Clay Guardian, Battle Oath, 
 and Battlefield cast, while the person with the Flowing Rune heals. The 
 Cyclone Rune can help here too, but Shining Wind will only deal about 300 
 damage per casting, making it less effective here than in other places.  


Rewards: Sacred Oath Epic Skill, Cyclone Piece, Mother Earth Piece
	33,000 potch 150 party SP

-----------------------------------

After the battle, Eresh will join as a Star of Destiny.

Note that if you ever want to return to this dungeon, you can. But Eresh must 
 be in your party to access the area below the Altar. Also, returning to the 
 room where you fought Shepcesska to fight this dungeon's Mini-Boss: 
 Hellsteed. Hellsteed is as much of a boss as a mini-boss, but the rewards 
 for defeating it are great. I will often recommend you return here to do so, 
 as this is a great place for Potch, EXP, and SP as well.


---------------Eresh
Star #91 of 108
Rank: A
Recruit: After Major Battle #7
Class: Mid-Range Mage
Notes: Eresh is in many ways a redundant character. Her Magic and MP, as well 
 as their related skills are nothing special compared to Zerase or Levi. The 
 only thing that sets her apart are her Elemental Affinities, which are even 
 better than Zerase and about the same as Levi. She is Mid-Ranged, though, 
 giving her a big advantage over Levi in that regard. Unlike Levi though, she 
 has a Pale Gate Rune and a Resurrection Rune permanently strapped to her, 
 making her a bit inflexible.

As you will have noticed in her recruitment quest, the Resurrection and Pale 
 Gate are more powerful than they at first seem, and the two together make a 
 decent combination, as well as any two other Magic Runes. I usually do not 
 recommend having more than one Magic Rune on any one character at a time. 
 This is because MP is usually limited, and two magic runes tend to just get 
 in each others way. While the game's Power Mages, i.e. Eresh, Zerase, 
 Jeane, Viki, and Levi, can get away with two Magic Runes due to their high 
 MP, you will want to equip them with a Magic Absorb Rune to give them the 
 ability to use all their spells.

Eresh has the Resurrection Rune permanently equipped on her right hand, 
 making it impossible to give her the Magic Absorb Rune. While Viki cannot 
 equip that Rune either, Viki does have the advantage of Chain Magic, making 
 her out-damage Eresh comletely.

Still, Eresh can be a very powerful character, as she has the same Skills, 
 Affinities, and Magic of Levi and Zerase.

Recommended Rune: Magical
Recommended Skills: Magic
Available Epic Skills: Sacred Oath, Divine Right 



=============================================================================

	HEADQUARTERS

=============================================================================

To advance the main storyline, talk to Logg at the pier to access Port 
 Spinacks. Before you leave though, make sure that you have a strong party, 
 as the next level can be difficult. If you did recruit Eresh, you should be 
 at a level well above what is necessary. If you did not, then I will suggest 
 at least LV 44 with LV 12 weapons. As far as armor, what you can afford from 
 Moshen should be enough. The best place for money and EXP at this point is 
 in the Big Hole.

I took Miakis, Lorelai, and Zweig in my battle party, as well as a short-
 range fighter and a mage capable of healing. Note that Roy will be 
 unavailable.

After the boat ride, you will arrive at Port Spinacks.

=============================================================================

	PORT SPINACKS

=============================================================================


After you arrive, walk north to find two chests: [PALE MOON BOOTS] and 
 [THUNDER HELM]. Climb the stair to the west and turn south. Talk to the 
 Dragon Cavalry member standing by the Jouneyman's Crystal to learn about the 
 Hershville Naval Base. You can now access that city via boat.

East across the long bridge, turn north and walk all the way to the northeast 
 corner to find more chests: [STONE OF SKILL] and [RAGE RUNE PIECE].

The Item, Rune, and Armor shops all have interesting things for sale. The 
 Cyclone boots at the armor shop are especially good for characters using 
 wind magics. In this play-through, I had two Cyclone Runes, once from 
 Mathias and one from collecting Rune Pieces. I had one attached to Viki and 
 the other with Roy.

When you are done shopping, exit Port Spinacks to the east and follow the 
 road to Sauronix Castle.

============================================================================

	SAURONIX

=============================================================================


As you enter, you will be greeted by a Cavalry Soldier. He will invite you 
 into the castle, but I suggest taking some treasure in town and recruiting a 
 character first. From where you gain control, walk east -on the north side 
 of the street- to find Rania's Workshop. Enter for an introduction scene. 
 After you regain control, re-enter Rania's house to recruit her as a Star of 
 Destiny.

---------------Rania
Star #92 of 108
Rank: N/A
Recruit: After Major Battle #7
Class: Support / HQ Services
Notes: Rania will manage the game's sound sets, allowing you to change sound 
 effects. She can also be used as a Support Character with a unique Skill: 
 Bard. Since no Battle Party member possesses this Skill, it is difficult to 
 tell what it does. Bard does have a positive effect on your party's 
 Incantation speed, causing you to cast spells much faster. Other than that, 
 there might be other positive effects, but they may be so subtle that they 
 are difficult to decipher. I didn't give Rania a rating simply because I 
 can't figure out the full extent of the Bard Skill. 

---------------


The house next to Rania's contains two treasure chests [SOUND SET 5] and 
 [STONE OF EVATION]. Outside, walk east a bit to find another chest [OLD BOOK 
 12]. To the northwest from there, you will find a yellow house. Inside there 
 is an important treasure [ELEMENTARY COMBAT]. This will finally allow you to 
 raise physical skills to an A-rank and will give you access to your physical 
 Epic Skills.

Go west through the gates to the Castle courtyard. There is a chest outside 
 with a [DRAGONHORSE CHOKER]. Enter the Castle for an extended scene. When 
 you gain control, exit Commander Laden's room to find a chest near the entry 
 [THUNDER PIECE]. Go south, then down the flights of stairs to reach the 
 Pier. Head west to meet up with Roog and Rahal. The soldier standing next to 
 them will give you some history on the castle and on the nation of Nagarea, 
 which borders Falena to the southwest. Continue west, and climb the ramp up 
 to the next screen. This ramp takes you back up to the town level.

Off of the landing, walk west in between the grassy area and the rampart to 
 find a soldier who says something disturbing about his dragonhorse and a 
 chest [WHITE ROSE BROOCH]. South from there, there is a hidden chest, 
 covered by the southern wall. To find it, walk southeast from the 
 southernmost dragon horse. The chest is a little to the right of the grassy 
 area, and a little to the north of the wall. Use the control pad to walk 
 around in the area, while tapping the [X] button to find [UNTOLD CLARITY 
 EPIC SKILL]. This is the ultimate physical epic skill, though few can wield 
 it. Not even great characters like Miakis and Kyle can use it. For more on 
 Untold Clarity, see the Skills section.

Back down on the Pier level, head west from the ramp to find [FLOWING RUNE 
 PIECE].  That is it for the treasure. Take a look at the shops on the way 
 out, the Flame Array Chain is a rare find at the armor shop. We are now done
 Sauronix for the time being. Exiting the castle will result in a short scene 
 where your party will discuss going to the Twilight Forest.

You can return to HQ and drop off items if you want. You can also drop off 
 Rania, but I choose to head directly to the Twilight Forest. Also, you can 
 now access Physical Epic Skills. Exit to the world map, and return to Port 
 Spinacks, then cross the bridge to the west to arrive at the Twilight 
 Forest.

The enemies on the world map here are good for EXP, but even better for 
 dropped items. The Razorback / Peckles combination commonly drops Power Rune 
 Pieces. While the Stone Golems and the Rock Golem Mini-Boss drop Magical 
 Rune Pieces, which is essentially a Power Rune for Mages. 

=============================================================================

	DEEP TWILIGHT FOREST

=============================================================================

A couple of things to note before you get started here: The final DoReMi Elf 
 is wandering around the forest area of this level, if you care at all. Don't 
 think you have to get him now, you can come back later with Cornelio in your 
 party.

This area, especially the Forest, is difficult to navigate and even more 
 difficult to give directions for. Don't worry though, just be patient and 
 you'll get through. If you get stuck, sorry, you can blame it on me. And, I 
 can refer you to an excellent map on GameFaqs for this level to help out:

http://www.gamefaqs.com/ps2/929668-suikoden-v/faqs/52591

Now, with that settled, lets begin:

The enemies here are not too difficult, the Stone Golems have high defense, 
 but are slow and usually attack the from row of your group. The Mini-Boss is 
 the same Rock Golem on the World Map.

The Forest paths are never straight, and forks and side-paths are hard to 
 see, so I'll try to be as exact as I can.

Near the entrance, you will see what appears to be an overgrown brick road 
 curving off to the north. Press up against the east side of the path to find 
 a fork that leads east. Continue east til you reach a chest: [WINDOW SET 5]. 
 From that chest travel north a short way, then press against the eastern 
 side of the path to find a branch that leads to the northeast.

The path will turn sharply to the south. Follow southward a ways, and the 
 path will begin to curve east, then north again. When it turns north press 
 against the eastern side of the trail to find a branch that goes east 
 underneath the tree branches. Follow this all the way to the second chest, 
 which is hidden under the trees [PENT TACTIC]. From this chest, retrace your 
 steps around the semi-circle. When you reach the dead-end at the north, turn 
 west and then sharply north under the tree branch to find the path that 
 leads on.

You'll approach a circular path from the south. The next branch is to the 
 west. Many people get caught here and run around the circle looking for the 
 exit. The exiting path is on the west side.

As soon as you turn west, press against the southern side of the trail while 
 continuing to move west. You will eventually reach the area's third chest: 
 [OLD BOOK 6]. From that chest, retrace your steps to the east, but this time 
 press against the northern side of the trail. Once the trail turns north, 
 then try to break north westward.

We are almost done. The trail will continue west a short ways, and you will 
 arrive in the second circular path. This time the exit is to the southwest, 
 and is difficult to spot under the trees. As soon as you break 
 southwestward, press against the north side of the trail. As you turn north, 
 the trail will widen and be lined with stones. Continue north to the Ruins.

=============================================================================

	TWILIGHT RUINS

=============================================================================


Inside, things are much less complex. And unlike the outside, the enemies are 
 worth fighting in terms of EXP and Potch. The Mini-Boss here is the Copper 
 Sun, which offers: Violence Rune Piece, Flame Ring, Scorched Earth Armor, 
 45,000 potch and 60 party SP. The regular enemies are great too, Unicorn 
 Zombie drops Magic Absorb Piece. Millioneyes drop Magical Pieces, Bronze 
 Suns drop Power Pieces, the Bone Soldiers drop Double-Edge Runes, and 
 Malifaux drop about 20,000 potch each.  

Just to the the north of where you enter, there is a chest [CYCLONE RUNE 
 PIECE]. The exit to the next screen is to the north, around the block in the 
 middle of the hallway. Continuing North, the hallway bends round to the 
 east, then south. At the south end, there are two exits, take either one, 
 they both lead to the same place. On the next screen, go west, grabbing the 
 [MOTHER EARTH RUNE PIECE] along the way. After you find the next screen, a 
 chest will be in your path [CAPE OF DESTINY]. This time go east, then turn 
 north to find the next section.

A short cutscene will start as you reach the next hall. Grab the two chests 
 when you regain control [GUARDIAN GLOVES] and [FUJIWARA GUANTLETS]. Continue 
 north, around the block in the middle of the hall. On the next screen 
 another chest stands in your way [GOLDEN HAMMER]. This hammer allows the 
 sharpening of weapons to LV 15. Head west to the next screen. Now go west 
 then north around the block in the hallway to find a journeyman's crystal.

I have noticed a pattern in this game, they seem give you a save point right 
 before bosses. Aren't you glad to have me, dear reader? Heal your party and 
 walk north for a scene. If you freed him from Agate Prison, Killey will join 
 the party, no matter what you say. Continue to the next screen to find the 
 boss.

---------------

Boss: Ancient Creeper

The Ancient Creeper is slow, but attacks using poison and other blanket 
 attacks that can deal significant damage. The Creeper is resistant to magic, 
 but at this point, that should only be a problem for half-mages. Characters 
 like Viki, Jeane and Zerase should have no problem dealing damage like they 
 normally do. But for characters like Kyle or Lorelai, you may only want to 
 use LV 4 attack spells, them switch them back to physical attacks.

Be careful of the Creeper's poison attack. While some characters can tolerate 
 it well, others like Cathari can be devastated by it. It is best to use 
 Great Blessing and Kindness Rain to heal, even if you are over-healing your 
 party by a large amount. This allows everyone else to stay on the offensive 
 and end this battle quickly. While the Creeper has High Physical Defense 
 too, it has no ability to dodge, parry or counter attack, so overall, 
 physical attacks tend to be slightly more effective.

Rewards: Pale Gate Rune Piece, Silver White Robe, Cyclone Rune Piece
	45,000 potch and 70 Party SP

----------------

This battle ends uneventfully, continue north to trigger a scene. When you 
 gain control, you can either retrace your steps through the ruins with 
 Killey to Treasure Hunt, or you can use an escape scroll. Either way, when 
 you exit the ruins, a scene will play, and you will have the opportunity to 
 recruit Killey.

*****Dialogue*****(#2 strongly recommended)
-----You look like Little Red Riding Murderer.
-----You look like someone tried really hard to make you look cool.

OK, maybe that's an exaggeration, but choose #2 to recruit Killey. If you 
 choose #1, you'll never be able to recruit him.

----------------Killey
Star #93 of 108
Rank: S
Recruit: Twilight Forest
Class: Long-Range Fighter / Mage
Notes: Killey is back again, but he has changed considerably since his last 
 appearance in Suikoden II. He is long-ranged as opposed to mid, and he is 
 not quite as ridiculously overpowered as he was before. Still, Killey gets 
 the S-rank for long-range fighters, over some heavy competition from Sagiri 
 and Urda. He lacks their Speed, but gains so much more in terms of virtually 
 every other stat. Actually, he has some of the highest all around statistics 
 in the game, making him the second most versatile character behind the 
 Prince. He literally has no statistical weaknesses, except for HP. But HP 
 itself is not a primary concern for Long-Range characters

With three open Rune slots, and these stats, it is easy to see how he can 
 become overpowered, the only thing holding Killey back are his Skills. He 
 lacks Untold Clarity or Sacred Oath, and only has one open Skill slot. But 
 his permanent Treasure Hunt Skill can be raised to a A-rank, making him the 
 best Treasure Hunter in the game, at least in terms of battle prowess. His 
 Epic Skills are less than impressive, but he hardly needs them to out-damage 
 most characters.

You can feel free to use Killey however you want, and unlike other Treasure 
 Hunters like Faylon and Bergen, he is not a liability in your party. 
 Personally, I remove his equipped Rage Rune and equip him with Physical 
 Skills and Runes. However, his affinity for Fire and Lightning magic is 
 good, and he can be used as a mage, with the Magical Rune he can deal enough 
 Damage.

To add to all this, Killey gives Rune Archer Units two uses of the Rage 
 Ability in Major Battles.

Recommended Runes: Double-Edge, Fury, Power, Killer
Recommended Skills: Attack, Vitality
Available Epic Skills: Fate Control, Swift Foot, Divine Right, Zen Sword

----------------


Now do yourself a favor and use an escape scroll to return to the world map. 
 Then Blink to HQ. I will now talk about the Dawn Rune's third stage.


---------------Dawn Rune (Stage Three)
Type: Magic
Rank: S

LV 1: Time of Awakening (Status Recovery)
LV 2: First Ray (Attack)
LV 3: Light of Day (Recovery)

The LV 3 spell is one of the most useful in the game. It allows you to 
 resurrect KO'd party members in battle, much like the Resurrection Rune and 
 Flowing Rune can. However, LV 2 Yell from the Resurrection Rune only 
 recovers a small amount of the target's HP, and Mother Ocean from the 
 Flowing Rune is a LV 4 spell. Light of day makes the prince into a solid 
 Healer, much like Riou, the hero from Suikoden II. Still, it is best to use 
 Kindness Drops before a character becomes KO'd, but especially if you like 
 using defense-sacrificing Runes, Light of Day will prove to be a great 
 spell.   


=============================================================================

	HEADQUARTERS

=============================================================================


Give the Golden Hammer to Dongo. Your characters can now have LV 15 weapons. 
 Again, it is not necessary to do this to every character. Just focus on the 
 Prince first if you are having trouble affording it.

Return to the Infirmary to advance the story. Once again, you will gain 
 control in your room, and once again you will have to go to the infirmary to 
 advance the story. Lun will come and summon your to the War Room. When you 
 gain control again, go to the War Room.

*****Dialogue*****(choose either)
-----Ask Lucretia's advice.
-----Attempt to send re-enforcements, then get scolded by both Boz and Dinn.

Then, the scene will continue. No matter your dialogue choice, your mission 
 will be the same. 

By the way, the Defense-in-depth strategy that Lucretia mentioned is an 
 actual real-world military strategy. It was used by the Russian Armed forces 
 to counter the German attack during World War II. Essentially, the strategy 
 trades land for time. It allows you to slow the enemy while inflicting light 
 casualties, and giving your main forces time to prepare a defensive battle. 
 Ultimately, this strategy was successful for the Russians, as they 
 eventually pushed German forces back to Berlin. Though, they lost 20 million 
 soldiers and civilians in the process. How will it work for your army? Play 
 on.

Outside the War Room, Logg will join your party as well. Both him and Lun are 
 required members for a short portion. Again, you can put them into your 
 entourage, and this time I actually suggest you do that. There will be two 
 more characters who temporarily join in a bit, then three of your required 
 characters will leave. This can shred your party and leave you vulnerable. 
 So, I recommend taking a full party with no entourage and just keeping Lun, 
 Logg, and the other two required members there.

Viki will tell you that she cannot blink you anywhere, then will proceed to 
 offer her services if talk to her a second time. . .Or, you can take Logg to 
 the Pier and choose to go to Baska Mine. Head through the shaft to the Dwarf 
 Camp. 

When you arrive, a scene begins. You will be introduced to Wabon, who is 
 Dongo's master. Gunde will join the party.

Walk to the west to find Wabon and talk to him, then he will join up 
 temporarily as well. I suggest you save here before jumping onto the mine 
 cart to head for Sauronix. Examine the cart to take a ride.

After a short scene, you will be thrown into a battle.

---------------

Boss: Assassin x2

This battle is very easy, even with two Dwarves and a LV 30 Logg and Lun in 
 my battle party I was able to win, basically with just the Prince and Miakis 
 dealing the damage.

Reward: Crazed Orb.

---------------


After the battle, no matter what you say, Logg, Lun and Gunde will stay 
 behind, while the Prince, Miakis and the rest head off through the remainder 
 of the tunnels.

Continue west through the caves, taking the mining carts at each section. You 
 will trigger another scene while trying to escape from the Assassins. After, 
 you will be thrown into another Battle, this time with a Raging Assassin.

---------------

Boss: Raging Assassin

This one might even be easier, but considering the state of your party, with 
 all the additions and subtractions, it can be tough, too. If you have a 
 weaker party, just have Miakis and the Prince either attack or use magic, 
 while everyone else heals as necessary with items. Unless you brought fast 
 characters, the enemy will go first. The good news is that the Raging 
 Assassin is just like his buddies in that he usually attacks the front row, 
 or the person in the #1 slot of your party. Use this to predict who he will 
 attack, then heal ahead of time, before that character takes any damage.

Rewards: Crazed Orb, Thunder Piece
	8,000 potch, 30 party SP

---------------

After, continue west to reach the exit, and you will arrive in the Twilight 
 Forest. Don't be concerned, you are near the entrance, so just continue west 
 to reach the world map.

---------------Gunde
Star #94 of 108
Rank: D
Auto-Recruit
Class: Short-Range Fighter (Dwarf)
Notes: Gunde is the second slowest character in the game, out ranking only 
 Genoh, the ancient tortoise. What does he gain from this lack of speed? 
 Well, his HP and Attack are quite high, and nothing else. Gunde has 
 practically no Skills worth mentioning, and his elemental affinities and 
 Magic Defense are so bad that they combine to make his high HP seem almost 
 worthless. He is actually better at taking physical damage than Galleon, but 
 lacks any of Galleon's advantages, namely, Epic Skills.

Gunde cannot use any epic skills. None. At all. He does have two open Rune 
 Slots though, so that does help, but not enough to make me want to use him.

Recommended Runes: Wall / Firefly, Power
Recommended Skills: Stamina, Defense
Available Epic Skills: No Epic Skills available


---------------Wabon
Star #95 of 108
Rank: D
Auto-Recruit
Class: Short-Range Fighter
Notes: None of the Dwarves in this game can really live up to Twaikin from 
 Suikoden III. Wabon, for instance, actually has good stats. He has the 
 Attack, HP, Defense, and Technique to more than make up for his low Speed. 
 But he -like Gunde- lacks in skills.

Twaikin from Suikoden III was much like Wabon statistically, but had great 
 skills to back up his stats, which made him one of the better characters in 
 the game. Wabon is a far cry from any past glory days of the Dwarves in 
 previous Suikodens.

Recommended Runes: Firefly, Power
Recommended Skills: Defense, Stamina
Available Epic Skills: Karmic Effect


=============================================================================

	SAURNONIX CASTLE

=============================================================================

 
At the entrance, a scene begins, and you will exit the castle. If you try to 
 re-enter, Miakis will scold you. So, now what? The blinking mirror has been 
 turned off, so you can't return to HQ.

The only place to go is to return to Port Spinacks, then to the tunnel at the 
 Twilight Forest. As soon as you re-enter the Forest, a scene will commence, 
 and you will be transported to Sauronix. Roog and Rahal will join the party. 
 This can be a good thing though, as your party membership has had all the 
 permanence of a rotating door lately. If you haven't noticed, all characters 
 come with LV 1 weapons and few come with any kind of Hat at all. This is 
 just one of the many annoying things in the game that makes me believe it 
 was unfinished when it was released.

Go inside the castle and climb the long, switchback staircase to reach the 
 top level. Enter Craig's office for a scene. Roog and Rahal join as Stars of 
 Destiny.

---------------Roog
Star #96 of 108
Rank: C
Auto-Recruit
Class: Short-Range Fighter
Notes: Roog is a bit of a disappointment. He has strong HP, but does not have 
 the Attack to match. Technique can be a bit of a problem for him too, he 
 scores about the same as Yahr, but he lacks Yahr's Angry Dragon Rune. Roog 
 has two open Rune Slots, but falls behind characters like Isabel in raw 
 power. Also, he is one of the slower characters in your army. He is 
 certainly not a bad character, but at the point in the game where you 
 acquire him, he doesn't make much sense: you have many other characters that 
 can easily surpass him in any role.

Roog's Skills are his saving grace, he can use Triple Harmony and Fate 
 Control, but without the base stats to back these Skills up, their effect is 
 weakened.


Recommended Runes: Power, Double-Edge, Boost
Recommended Skills: Attack, Vitality
Available Epic Skills: Triple Harmony, Fate Control, Raging Lion


---------------Rahal
Star #97 of 108
Rank: B
Auto-Recruit
Class: Short-Range Fighter / Mage
Notes: Rahal is a near-statistical copy of Kyle. The have the same Elemental 
 Affinities, including a strong Water score, while all their stats are 
 virtually identical. Except for Attack, Speed, and Evasion, where Kyle has 
 an advantage, and Luck, where Rahal wins out. He has three open Rune Slots 
 as well, though he does acquire the third rather late in the game. The only 
 stat where he is weak is Speed, where he scores about the same as Zegai. 
 Regardless, Rahal is a powerful, if redundant character.

Overall, Kyle has the edge in base stats, but Rahal takes that advantage 
 right back in his Skills. Rahal has access to Untold Clarity, while Kyle 
 does not. Along with Rahal's (slightly) superior Magic score this might make 
 him even more versatile than Kyle. Rahal comes with a Flowing Sword Rune, 
 but I recommend removing it and either selling it or giving it to Kyle. 
 Rahal's Elemental Sword Skills are lower than Kyle's.

There is no reason you can't use both Kyle and Rahal, and if you do, you will 
 not need a Healing Mage like Bernadette or Kisara. This can open up a spot 
 for a Long-Range Fighter like Killey, Urda, or Sagiri, who often get 
 overlooked for spots in parties -even by me. Though honestly, I think using 
 both at once is a little boring, just because they are so much alike.

Roog and Rahal form Suikoden V's Pretty Boy Knight Duo. Following Allen / 
 Greenseal, Camus / Miklotov, Borus / Percival. Honestly, this is the most 
 one-sided Duo of them all, with Rahal getting most of the attention.

Recommended Runes: Water, Shield, Power, Fury, Gale
Recommended Skills: Attack, Incantation
Available Epic Skills: Untold Clarity, Armor of Gods, Triple Harmony, Fate 
 Control, Karmic Effect

---------------

After Roog and Rahal join officially, you will gain control outside Craig's 
 office. Travel back down to the Pier where you arrived, and you will 
 eventually gain control on the world map, where you can now inexplicably use 
 the Blinking Mirror. . .

=============================================================================

	HEADQUARTERS

=============================================================================


Save your game. There will be a choice coming up, and you may want to reset 
 just to see how both possible choices play out.

At the War Room, Lucretia will give an update on the situation and you will 
 be given the choice of which front you would like to battle in:

*****Dialogue*****(#3 recommended if you did not recently save)
-----Fight the Filthy Devils on land and river.
-----Fight the Filthy Devils on land.
-----Fight them after you go save.

If you only want to play through one of the battles, then I suggest Lelcar, 
 as you have some advantages in the river. Namely: the Dahak and the Beavers. 
 The Lordlake battle is ground-only, and still manageable, but a bit 
 trickier. I will cover the Lelcar Battle first, then the Lordlake Battle 
 afterwords.

Note that the course of the story will not be altered by your decision. Feel 
 free to choose either option.

-----------------------------------

Major Battle #8a -- Lelcar Area (Second Engagement)

VICTORY CONDITION: Survive Ten Minutes, or reduce the enemy forces to 1,200 
 or less.

VICTORY+ REWARDS: Victory+ is not possible in this battle.

==ENEMY UNITS==

Dilber
| Spear      |(*****)| 300HP
Childerich
| Infantry   |(*****)| 300HP
Luger
| Archer Ship|(*****)| 400HP

Cavalry      |(***)  | 200HP
Cavalry      |(***)  | 200HP
Rune Archer  |(***)  | 200HP

Combat Ship  |(***)  | 200HP
Ram Ship     |(****) | 300HP
Archer Ship  |(****) | 300HP | Cyclone Rune Piece



Many of your best Major Battle Characters will be off defending Lordlake. I'm 
 not entirely sure of all of them, but here are a few: Dinn, Boz, Galleon, 
 Goesch, Toma, Talgeyl, Maroon. There might be others, but that is all I 
 could find.

Even though you are at a disadvantage, this battle can be won easily. All you 
 need to do is hold out. Barrage and other distance Abilities will help 
 tremendously. The enemy will win the battle if they move into Lelcar, so you 
 must stop their advance.

Zerase will be available though, and her Star Rune is best utilized on the 
 Ground Battle this time. With Star and Dawn, you can weaken and hamper the 
 enemy advance almost to the point where it stops.

All enemy's generic units will be charging, while the five-star units will 
 hang back, and only begin to move well into the battle. This gives you two 
 advantages: one, if you do not advance too far, you can end the battle 
 without having to fight the five-star enemies. Two, you know where the enemy 
 is charging towards, allowing you to bunch them up and inflict massive 
 damage with the Star and Dawn Runes.

The enemy Cavalry units on the Land side will arrive first, fend them off 
 with Barrage. Note that you can Barrage from land-to-river and vice versa, 
 so it helps to move the Dahak over to the shoreline, and let the Beavers 
 deal with the enemy ships. As the battle progresses, Dilber, Childerich, and 
 Luger will close in. If you have not advanced beyond the small pond, then 
 this should not be a problem.

The Beaver Units can handle the River battle. If you want, throw a Barrage or 
 two their way to help, or send a ship with Recover. The enemy Archer Ship 
 has one use of Barrage, but with two Beaver units, this will not be a 
 problem.

The enemy does have a few items to loot, but don't worry about that. I've 
 never been very successful at getting treasure in this battle. The enemy 
 Archer Ship has a Cyclone Rune Piece, and you can bring a Ram ship along to 
 help the Beavers if you want, but it is not necessary at all.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Major Battle #8b -- Lordlake

VICTORY CONDITION: Survive for ten minutes or reduce the enemy's forces to
 800 or less.

VICTORY+ REWARDS: Victory+ is not possible in this battle.

==ENEMY UNITS==

Jidan
| Cavalry |(*****)| 300HP
Sparna
| Cavalry |(****) | 300HP

Infantry  |(***)  | 200HP
Infantry  |(***)  | 200HP
Cavalry   |(***)  | 200HP | Cape of Destiny
Cavalry   |(***)  | 200HP
Archer    |(****) | 200HP
Archer    |(****) | 200HP

Wasil, Orok, and Volga will not be available for this battle, as they are 
 protecting Lelcar. Unfortunately, Kyle will be off with them, assisting in 
 the defense of his hometown. Also, the Raftfleet crew will be unavailable as 
 well.

Sparna and Jidan's units will stay back, so you actually only have to face 
 two Cavalry units. Barrage is very useful in this fight, so bringing three 
 archer units will still help. Even after the Cav units are defeated, they 
 can help with Barrage and Rune Healing.

This Battle is an all out brawl. All but Sparna will charge for Lordlake as 
 soon as the battle begins. The good news is that this means the enemy is 
 easy to predict and keep grouped together, since they are all charging 
 towards the same point on the map.

Stay close to Lordlake, this allows for the consolidation of the enemy forces 
 and maximum damage with the Dawn and Star Runes. Since you are so close to 
 the enemy's objective, I cannot recommend the collapsing line, you must hold 
 your ground here. Have you ever played American Football? There is a tactic 
 called "the Teacup," where the top and bottom ends of your line bend back 
 with the flow of the enemy to protect the Quarterback.

Line up in front of Lordlake, placing the Prince, Zerase, and any unit with 
 the Barrage Ability in the center. Then other units along to the north and 
 south. As the units to the north and south get attacked, let them fall back 
 a bit, this will tighten you defense. Have the Prince and the other units 
 near the center use their Abilities as needed to remain stationary.

This will create a "Teacup" around the city. If any enemy enters the city you 
 will be defeated immediately. And most enemies will charge ahead while 
 ignoring your units if they can, so don't have any holes in your defense.

It is important that the central units remain stationary, or that you replace 
 them quickly if they have to fall back. In a Teacup formation, your units 
 will bunch up while the enemy units spread out, but if you have Zerase and 
 the Price in the center of the line, you should still be able to hit the 
 enemy with their Runes.

Again, the enemy cavalry will arrive first. So Archers with the Barrage skill 
 are most useful. Then, the enemy Archer units will move into range and use 
 their own Barrages. At this point, use the Dawn Rune or heal as needed.

The enemy will continue to attack the center of the formation, so pull the 
 trigger on the Star Rune to disperse them, and then again as they regroup. 
 Use the remaining Barrage Abilities, then pull the Archer units back, 
 replacing them with the Infantry and Cavalry.

The Charge and Recover Abilities can get you through the rest of the battle. 
 You only need to reduce the enemy forces to win.

The enemies do drop some treasure, but good luck acquiring it before the 
 battle ends. I have never been able to get all the treasure here. All I can 
 confirm is that the Cavalry Unit to the north drops a Cape of Destiny. Don't 
 bother too much with treasure here.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------


After the battle -no matter which battle you chose- you will be faced with an 
 important decision. Read on.

Your army will discuss the few options that it has. Lucretia will suggest 
 abandoning the castle. Ultimately, it is your decision whether to abandon 
 the castle or not. Though, your decision has massive consequences to the 
 remainder of the game, remember that. If you cannot decide, then I'll give 
 some info that will help you make a decision, but I will not tell you what 
 to do.

Lucretia wants to go, but if you wish to stay you can, but you will have to 
 choose to stay three times in a row. Agreeing to leave at any point will 
 cause you to leave. I will not tell you the consequences of your decision, 
 but it is clear that the game wants you to leave.

My recommendation is to save your game in a memory card slot that you know 
 will not be overwritten accidentally, then choose which ever option you 
 want. If you are unhappy with the outcome of your decision, then simply 
 start again. Or, if you just want to play through both scenarios, save the 
 game now, and I will tell you when the two paths converge.

Here is the actual Dialogue Choice:

*****Dialogue*****(#3 recommended)
-----Defend. (And be asked two more times)
-----Abandon.
-----Go Save the game.

No matter what you choose, the two paths will converge at the beginning of 
 chapter 5. If you decided to defend, then continue with the next section. If 
 you decided to abandon, then skip ahead to the next Double Divider.

=============================================================================

	DEFENCE

=============================================================================


Read this if you decided to defend your HQ. If you chose otherwise, skip 
 ahead to the next double divider.

You will have to choose to defend the HQ three times, and each time a member 
 of your army will try to talk you out of it. As soon as you have done that, 
 Lucretia will abide by your decision. This is really the only point in the 
 game where you actually get to put your foot down as the Prince, and defy 
 her recommendation. So, enjoy it while you can.

The scene will shift to Sol-Falena. This is long one, so sit back and enjoy.

After, you will be forced into another battle without the option of saving.

-------------------------------------

Major Battle #9b -- Final Defense

VICTORY CONDITION: Survive ten minutes or reduce enemy forces to 1,650 or 
less.

VICTORY+ REWARD: Victory+ is not possible in this battle.

==ENEMY UNITS==

Childerich 
| Combat Ship|(*****)| 400HP
Sparna     
| Cavalry    |(*****)| 400HP
Jidan      
| Cavalry    |(*****)| 400HP

Spear        |(***)  | 300HP
Infantry     |(****) | 300HP | Thunder God's Armor
Archer       |(****) | 300HP | Armband of Destiny

Combat Ship  |(***)  | 300HP
Ram Ship     |(***)  | 300HP
Archer Ship  |(****) | 300HP  


This battle can easily be lost if you are unprepared. The enemy will attack 
 you relentlessly. All enemy units have high HP, and you will have to repel 
 them again and again until the battle ends. 

Your units are already in strong defensive positions. But you might want to 
 advance a bit to give yourself some room to fall back later. Oh, yes, you 
 shall be falling back.

The good news is that once again, the five-star Commanders will be cowards 
 and stay put, allowing you to successfully defend if you use the collapsing 
 line and have prepared units with the maximum number of abilities. If you 
 did that, then you should be able to deplete the enemy forces before your 
 abilities run out and before the five-star generals reach you.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

After the battle, you will receive a message from the enemy.

*****Dialogue*****(#1 recommended)
-----Accept.
-----Remain silent.

Choosing #1 here just gives you another small scene that helps explain 
 things. The end result is the same: You will be thrown into a Duel

-----------------------------------

Prince -vs- Childerich

Actually, losing this Duel means that you will see one of the game's "Bad 
 Endings". But it is nothing special. So, since you have not had time to save 
 recently, I strongly recommend winning. Just because it has been so long 
 since your last save, I will give you a sample of Childerich's quotes and 
 their corresponding attacks:

Go ahead, you start first                             -- Defense
Guahhh ahhh (groaning noises)                         -- Defense
Pathetic performances like that will Disappoint Ferid -- Defense
Dead lock, huh? Take all the time you need            -- Defense
Grr Damn you!                                         -- Defense

Ha Ha Ha.. All right here I come                      -- Attack 
Tired already?                                        -- Attack

Why, you little brat. Die!                            -- Special
Me? Injured? I'll make you regret that!               -- Special
Hahaha. .  You ready?                                 -- Special
Allow me to reunite you with your parents             -- Special
There is more where that came from!                   -- Special

That is most of his quotes, certainly enough to guarantee victory.


-----------------------------------

Once the Duel is over, there will be an extended scene. Then, you will be 
 thrust into another Major Battle:

------------------------------------

Major Battle #9c -- Final Defense (Second Engagement)

VICTORY CONDITION: Reduce the enemy's forces to 1,100 or less -or- Defeat 
 Childerich's unit.

VICTORY+ REWARDS:

==ENEMY UNITS==

Childerich 
| Combat Ship   |(*****)| 400HP
Jidan      
| Cavalry       |(*****)| 400HP
Sparna     
| Cavalry       |(*****)| 400HP

Spear           |(***)  | 200HP

Combat Ship     |(***)  | 200HP
Ram Ship        |(***)  | 200HP
Archer Ship     |(****) | 200HP
Rune Archer Ship|(****) | 200HP


The enemy forces are much reduced here. Aside from Jidan and Sparna, there is 
 only one land unit, a weak spear unit.

Now that you have Craig, you own the water. The Dragon Cavalry works like the 
 Beavers, only stronger. Plus, they can move onto land, where they behave as 
 a normal Cavalry unit. The water of this battle is actually the easier of 
 the two sides.

Actually, you are probably itching to kill them all right now, and you don't 
 need my help for this battle, so just get to it.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

After the battle, a very touching scene commences.

You will gain control outside of the Inn. Head up to the War room for another 
 extended scene.

Georg, Craig, Lance, and Flail join as Stars of Destiny. I'll wait until the 
 beginning of Chapter Five to introduce them, though. That is when the two 
 possible paths re-converge.

For now, your cabinet will discuss options for the coming battles, and you 
 will again be given a choice as to which battle you would like to command. 
 This decision means nothing in the long run, it just gives you another 
 chance to fight one of two battles. Choose option #3 to go save first 
 though.

*****Dialogue*****(#3 strongly recommended)
-----Fight Childerich.
-----Fight Armes.
-----Ask for more time.

Ask for more time, then head down to the first floor and put a working party 
 together. This party does not have to be strong, you just need to handle a 
 few random battles. Leave your castle via the western exit to reach the 
 Ceras Lake Ruins. Continue north, past the journeyman's crystal, to the room 
 where you fought the boss at the end of chapter two. You will notice that 
 the water level had dropped significantly and that a spiral path leading 
 down is now revealed. The first door you come to will not open, but continue 
 downwards til you reach the bottom. [SHIELD RUNE], [THUNDER RUNE PIECE], 
 [INTERMEDIATE COMBAT]. Now, return to the War Room at HQ.

We have now reconnected with the other path that you would have taken if you 
 choose to abandon your HQ. So, if you are planning to play through both -and 
 this was your first choice- then reset and return to that saved game now. If 
 you are happy with your decision to defend HQ, then skip ahead to Chapter 
 Five.


=============================================================================

	ABANDONMENT

=============================================================================


If you chose to abandon you HQ, then read on. If you chose to defens your HQ, 
 then skip ahead all the way to chapter five, where the two possible paths 
 converge.

Watch the scenes. Roy is hilarious. Roog and Rahal are required for this next 
 section of the game. They will temporarily act as your bodyguards. You can 
 banish them to the entourage if you wish, but they are more than capable 
 characters, so I choose to leave them in the battle party.

You will gain control in the Dwarf Camp. All of your HQ vital services have 
 been transferred here, including Storage. On an odd note, Sairoh will be 
 selling trade goods with the same availability and price as your HQ here. 
 Same with Moshen and Shinro. Talk to Luserina -who is located by the Inn- 
 and put together a party. Remember, Gordius is an all-male place, so you 
 must bring an all male party.

When you are ready, take the mining cart just like before out to the Twilight 
 Forest. Exit to the world map and travel southeast of Sauronix Castle to 
 find Gordius.

=============================================================================

	GORDIUS

=============================================================================


If you recall, in Suikoden III, Estella the sage claimed to be searching for 
 the legendary counterpart village to the all-female Alma-Kinan village. The 
 name of that place was Gordius.

Gordius is all-male, and as disappointing as that is alone, it is also not 
 even really a village, as there are no vital services here. It is more of a 
 training camp.

Enter the White and Yellow-colored tent to find [OLD BOOK 13]. Head south to 
 the next screen for a scene. You will be introduced to Nick, Yoran, and Ax. 
 Now, return to the north screen and enter the Orange and White tent to 
 continue the conversation.

Ahem. By the time you stop laughing, you will have gained control. Descend 
 the wooden stairs to the mouth of the Dragon Horse Lair. After the short 
 cutscene, enter.

===================================
	Dragon Horse Lair
===================================

At the first intersection, go west all the way to find two chests: [SPUN 
 SILVER ARMOR] and [SOUND SET 2]. From there, return to the first 
 intersection, go west, then west again. You'll find a third chest with [PALE 
 MOON NECKLACE]. Return to the last intersection and go northeast, and follow 
 the path. You will arrive at a limestone water-steppe. The way up is to 
 first cling to the western side of the steppe, then the eastern side.

As you approach the top, you will trigger a scene and a fight.

----------------------------------

Boss: Assassin x4

Well, this is actually a pretty tough fight, but, since your party is all-
 males, then it is likely stacked with strong fighters. The only males that 
 you have recruited so far without at least decent defense are Cornelio and 
 Levi. Though having magic in this battle can end it quickly.

Still, any way you go about this battle, these enemies are familiar and go 
 down without too much of a fuss.

-----------------------------------

After the battle, a long scene will begin. Your Dialogue Choices do not 
 matter here, so answer how you feel. Now, before you head back, go north to 
 a chest at the dead-end [ALL-OUT STRIKE EPIC SKILL]. Now return south to the 
 entrance to the Lair. Oddly, random battles will now be possible, but the 
 enemies are easy, so there will be nothing to worry about. Exit the Lair for 
 another scene.

Return to the Dwarf Camp. Inside the tent on the top tier, which serves as 
 the replacement for the war room, Georg will finally join as a Star of 
 Destiny. 

Afterwords, you will gain control in your tent, which appears to be formerly 
 the Inn. Return to the War Tent and Craig and Lance will join as Stars of 
 Destiny. Then, Lucretia will go over her plans to retake Ceras Castle.

*****Dialogue*****(choose either)
-----I know what you have planned.
-----I'm kinda slow.

You now know what must be done, but how to get there? Viki and Logg are not 
 around, they are probably in Raftfleet. Examine the mining cart you used to 
 get to the Twilight Forest, and a new destination will have opened up.

Inside the tunnel, on the second screen, there is a chest: [EARTH RING]. 
 Enter the Ruins and go east up the steps to the top level. While you are 
 traveling, take the time to wonder why Zweig runs like such a dweeb. Head 
 north to the Ruin's Control Room. After a cutscene, return to the Water 
 Vein, and then take the short walk back to the dwarf camp.

Save your game before returning to the War Tent. Nick, Yoran, Flail, and Ax 
 will join as Stars of Destiny. That is seven Stars in just a couple of 
 minutes. Though, I will wait a bit to introduce them. For now, you will be 
 thrown into a Major Battle.

-----------------------------------

Major Battle #9a -- Ceras Lake Recapture

VICTORY CONDITION: Reduce enemy forces to 750 or less.

VICTORY+ REWARDS: 30,000 potch, Fog Robe

==ENEMY UNITS==

Childerich
| Infantry  |(*****)| 300HP
Jidan
| Cavalry   |(*****)| 300HP
Sparna
| Cavalry   |(*****)| 300HP

Archer      |(****) | 200HP

Combat Ship |(****) | 200HP | Thunder God's Armor
Archer Ship |(****) | 200HP | Flowing Rune Piece


OK, this is one of the easiest Major Battles in the game, with the exception 
 of numbers one and two, which were more like tutorials. The enemy is 
 panicked and scattered, while you are unified and dominant on the water.

Do you really need my help at all? No, but this will be your first chance to 
 try out the Dragon Cavalry. Craig is a five-star commander and the Dragon 
 Horses deal massive damage to all Naval enemies. Also, Roog and Rahal now 
 have transferred to Dragon Horse Units of their own.

Let them have it. You will end this battle very quickly.

-----------------------------------

After the battle, your cabinet will discuss the situation, and you will be 
 given your choice of which battle to command. I strongly suggest you take 
 the time to go save here first though.

*****Dialogue*****(#3 Strongly Recommended)
-----Fight Childerich.
-----Fight Armes
-----Go Save.

I strongly recommend asking for more time here. Head down to the first floor 
 and put a working party together. This party does not have to be strong, you 
 just need to handle a few random battles. Leave your castle via the western 
 exit to reach the Ceras Lake Ruins. Continue north, past the journeyman's 
 crystal, to the room where you fought the boss at the end of chapter two. 
 You will notice that the water level had dropped significantly and that a 
 spiral path leading down is now revealed. The first door you come to will 
 not open, but continue downwards til you reach the bottom. [SHIELD RUNE], 
 [THUNDER RUNE PIECE], [INTERMEDIATE COMBAT]. Now, return to the War Room at 
 HQ.

Go save your game in a slot that cannot easily be overwritten. You have now 
 reached the point of confluence, where the two paths that you chose earlier 
 converge. So, if you are playing this path first, save now in an empty slot, 
 then go back to your old save and choose the other option. If you are 
 playing this path second, or if you are happy with the outcome, then 
 continue on to the game's final chapter.



=============================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

========== Chapter 5 ========== section 1.5

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
=============================================================================


This is where the two paths that separated when you made the decision to 
 either defend or abandon your HQ converge. 


You are in the War Room, being asked which battle you would like to 
 participate in. You can save now to play both of these battles, but in the 
 end your choice makes little difference. Here is the Dialogue choice again:

*****Dialogue*****(choose any)
-----Fight Childerich.
-----Fight Armes.
-----Go Save.

I will cover the Childerich / Doraat battle first, then the Armes battle 
 second.

-----------------------------------

Major Battle #10a -- Childerich Pursuit

VICTORY CONDITION: Move the Prince's unit into Doraat.

VICTORY+ REWARDS: Windspun Cape, 35,000 potch

==ENEMY UNITS==

Childerich 
| Infantry      |(*****)| 400HP
Luger
| Archer Ship   |(*****)| 400HP
Dilber
| Spear)        |(*****)| 400HP | Crown of Destiny

Cavalry         |(***)  | 300HP
Archer          |(***)  | 300HP
Rune Archer     |(****) | 300HP | Rage Piece

Combat Ship     |(***)  | 300HP
Ram Ship        |(***)  | 300HP
Archer Ship     |(***)  | 300HP
Rune Archer Ship|(****) | 300HP | Flowing Rune Piece


This battle is easy. By now, you should have more than enough experience to 
 know what to do without me telling you. Luger can be a problem, but he is no 
 match for the combined powers of Craig, the Beavers, and the Dahak. You will 
 sherd the enemy water units. The only thing to be careful for is the land-
 based archers and their barrage. Barrage is the Dragon Cavalry's only real 
 weakness. Just keep your naval units way from the shoreline, and attack from 
 the north.

The Land Battle is a bit more complex. Try to send infantry units to the 
 north along the shore to clash with the enemy archers. Archer units to the 
 south, along with a Cavalry unit. You should be able to split the enemy 
 forces, but Dilber's unit will go either north or south. Try to draw the 
 Archers away from Doraat, and Dilber may follow, if he does, skirmish with 
 the archers until he draws near and trigger the Dawn Rune. While that is 
 happening, retask the Cavalry unit to attack Dilber from behind. If Dilber 
 goes south, just attack with the Cavalry and your Rune archer skills. Don't 
 be afraid to use the Dawn or Star Runes defensively if you find yourself in 
 a bad situation and need to scatter the enemy.

To win, all you need to do is move the Prince's unit onto the Doraat bridge. 
 Note that Childerich's unit will not move, nor can it take any damage.

----------------------------------

After the battle the enemy will be panicked. You will be asked to form a 
 party, with Roog and Lance as required members. Pick whomever you would 
 like, but I recommend Lv 45+ with sharp weapons, and someone skilled in 
 water magic.

When you gain control, go east to the main building. Random battles will be 
 possible, but they are not too difficult. As soon as you approach the main 
 building, you will be greeted by your own soldiers, you will be transported 
 to the Dahak.

---------------------------------

Boss: Bahram, Imperial Guard x5

This battle is reminiscent of the boss battles at the end of the Queen's 
 Campaign. Bahram attacks using water magic and physical attacks, so be sure 
 that you heal every turn. The soldiers are just the predictable generics 
 that you are used to though, and they will fall quickly under a sustained 
 attack. If you can injure his soldiers badly enough, Bahram will waste his 
 time trying to heal them, either with Kindness Rain or even Mother Ocean. 
 Bahram tends to attack the Prince most often, when he is not using magic.

Rewards: The Shredding scroll, Resurrection Rune Piece, Berserk Blow scroll
	50,000 potch and 95 party SP

------------------------------  

After the battle you will be back at the War Room. The next section covers 
 the Armes side of the battle, so skip ahead to the next divider.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Major Battle # 10b -- Armes Pursuit

VICTORY CONDITION: Have the Price's unit enter Sable -or- reduce enemy forces 
 to 600 or less.

VICTORY+ REWARDS: Windspun Cape, 45,000 potch.

==ENEMY UNITS==

Jidan 
| Cavalry  |(*****)| 400HP

Infantry   |(****) | 300HP | Crown of Destiny
Infantry   |(***)  | 300HP
Spear      |(****) | 300HP
Cavalry    |(****) | 300HP
Cavalry    |(***)  | 300HP
Archer     |(***)  | 300HP
Rune Archer|(****) | 300HP | Rage Rune Piece
Rune Archer|(***)  | 300HP | Flowing Rune Piece

This just might be the toughest Major Battle in the game to get a Victory+ 
 on. The enemy outnumbers you nearly 3 to 1, and the enemy units are grouped 
 so it can be difficult to draw them out one at a time.

Approach Sable carefully. I can't stress that enough. Once you pass the small 
 crater in the middle of the field, the enemy will retaliate. Usually, you 
 will end up drawing more than one unit to you. I recommend actually using 
 Zerase earlier in the battle than normal, don't be afraid to use the Star 
 Rune once early on if you draw three or more enemies and you find yourself 
 at a disadvantage.

I recommend trying to keep your forces together, if this battle becomes 
 spread out, your slower reactions can cost you a unit. As usual, the Cavalry 
 units are the fastest movers, so often your Cav units will go up against the 
 enemy first.  Go ahead and use up your skills, but be wary that skills alone 
 will not be able to win this battle, you will have to commit to normal 
 battles if you want the Treasure.

To end the battle quickly, all you have to do is move into Sable, but Jidan 
 is in the way and he will rarely move far. Use Barrage to clear out the 
 front lines, then move Zerase and the Prince forward to push back all 
 enemies. Save the Dawn Rune for last though, as the Prince can be caught in 
 enemy barrages.

If you want to claim the treasure send infantry and archer units to the 
 south. As usual, the enemy Rune Archers have Rune Pieces that correspond to 
 their Abilities. If you try to attack the southern flank, enemies from the 
 middle row will come down to assist, at this point, go ahead and use Barrage 
 and other skills while the infantry takes down the southern Rune Archer. 
 While this happens, send Cav units to the middle, supported by healers 
 behind them, they will have a tough fight taking out the enemy infantry, but 
 this will allow you to access the second Rune Archer unit.

Things move very quickly here, so be as careful as possible. The only 
 treasures worth noting are the Rune Pieces and the Windspun Cape from the 
 Victory+, so don't think you have to defeat all the enemy units.

-----------------------------------

After, Jidan will retreat into Sable. You and Dinn will pursue him. Take some 
 mages with attack spells in your party, as they will help tremendously in 
 the coming battle. Random battles are possible here, so watch out. Head for 
 the back of the own when you gain control, to the border area, there you 
 will find Jidan. Regardless of what you say you will fight Jidan.

----------------------------------

Boss: Jidan, Bodyguard x5


This battle, like the Queen's Campaign bosses, is straightforward. Just use 
 spells to weed out the weakling bodyguards, then turn you attention to 
 Jidan. Jidan hits hard, but usually attacks the front row. Characters like 
 Belcoot and Isabel will be able to take multiple hits before going they even 
 need healing. Really, you don't need my help with this battle at all.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

After all the scenes, you will gain control in your room. To advance the 
 story, head to the War Room again, but before you do that I suggest one 
 thing if you decided to defend your HQ: If you abandoned your HQ, you will 
 have already recruited Nick, Yoran, and Ax. If you decided to defend, you 
 can now recruit them. So, if you have them, then skip to the next divider.

Put together a party that is all males. Funny thing: if you add Kyle to a 
 party of all males, he will be disgusted. Anyway, this party should contain 
 both Roog and Rahal, and yes Rahal does count as a male. Blink to Sauronix, 
 then exit to the world map. Travel southeast to a place called Gordius. 
 Inside the white and yellow-colored tent, there is [OLD BOOK vol 13]. Go 
 south to the next screen, and descend the wooden stairs to the mouth of a 
 cave and a scene will start. Return to the tent area for another scene. 
 Agree to help Nick and he will join your party. If you decline, then just 
 re-enter Gordius and talk to Nick again.

Descend the stairs again to the cave, and this time the guard will allow you 
 to pass. Note that while you could walk past him before, you were not able 
 to actually enter the cave.

==================================
	Dragon Horse Lair
==================================

There are no battles or enemies here, so don't worry if your party is weak. 
 As you enter, take the western path and follow it until the cave opens up to 
 find a couple of chests: [SPUN SILVER ARMOR] and [SOUND SET 2]. Go back to 
 the intersection and head west, then west again for [PALE MOON NECKLACE]. 
 Back at the second intersection, go northeast and follow the winding path. 
 You will arrive at the nest, which is situated on a limestone water-steppe. 
 Talk to the soldier here and he will mention that an egg has gone missing. 
 Make your way to the top of the steppe and exit to the next screen. When you 
 gain control, pick up the [ALL-OUT STRIKE EPIC SKILL], then continue north. 

During the Scene there is an important Dialogue Choice:

*****Dialogue*****(#2 strongly recommended)
-----Who laid the egg?
-----Is this the one that was missing?

Ax will join the party. Travel south and meet up with some dragon cavalry 
 soldiers for another choice:

*****Dialogue*****(#2 strongly recommended)
-----Take the Credit.
-----Be a Prince.

Return to the tent area of Gordius for a scene, and you will have the 
 opportunity to ask them to join you.
 
*****Dialogue*****(#2 strongly recommended)
-----Later.
-----Please join us.

If you followed my recommendations, then the three of them will join as Stars 
 of Destiny. If you did not, then Nick will simply say that he requires more 
 time to train. Their recruitment depends heavily on your responses to the 
 dialogue choices. If you did not follow my recommendations once, then you 
 will have to return after the next major battle and ask again. If you did 
 not follow my recommendations twice, then you must return and ask them 
 twice. If you choose wrong all three times, then you have effectively pushed 
 them out of the game's recruitment window, and you will not be able to 
 recruit them at all.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

For now, we have several recruits to introduce:


---------------Craig
Star #98 of 108
Rank: A
Auto-Recruit
Class: Major Battle Only
Notes: Craig, and now Roog and Rahal, Command Dragon Horse units in Major 
 Battles. The are probably the best units in the game -aside from the Prince 
 and Zerase- as they are the dominant force on the water, eclipsing even the 
 Dahak and Beavers. Plus, as soon as you get done thrashing the enemy Ships, 
 you can move them onto land and have them act as a normal Cavalry unit. 
 Craig is a five-star Commander as well, meaning his unit has tremendous 
 attack power.


---------------Flail & Lance
Stars # 99 & 100 of 108
Rank: D
Auto-Recruit
Class: Beast
Notes: These two are Rahal and Roog's Dragon Horses, respectively. They are 
 just like any other beast-class, requiring no armor or weapon. So, that 
 makes them cheap to use. But the two of them will never be able to catch up 
 with your regular characters at this point. The only reason to use the 
 Dragon Horse characters is with their masters, so you can use a Co-Op 
 attack. Statistically, Dragon Horses have high HP, but little else. Their 
 Defense always lags behind, and their magic defense, while solid, is 
 undermined by horrible Elemental Affinities.


---------------Georg
Star # 101 of 108
Rank: A
Auto-Recruit
Class: Short-Range Fighter
Notes: Do you really need an introduction? Finally, you have full access to 
 Georg's services. Georg is clearly one of the strongest fighter in the game. 
 He has the highest critical hit rate, better even than Cathari and Killey, 
 plus his Speed, Technique, Attack, Defense, HP and Luck are some of the 
 highest in the game. Even though he has one Skill Slot taken by the Combat 
 Trainer Skill, he can use all the physical epic skills, even Untold Clarity. 

If you played Suikoden II, and had your detective investigate Georg, then you 
 will find that even he was impressed with Georg's stats. But as Richmond put 
 it, Georg does have an Achilles Heel: Magic Defense. His Magic Defense stat 
 is the worst in the game, by quite a margin. Only Cathari comes close to 
 being victimized as much as Georg by magic. Though, since Georg's HP is so 
 high, he actually stands up to magic better than poor Cathari.

Georg is one of the better characters in the series, in terms of his 
 personality. He was interesting in Suikoden II, but here he really shines, 
 and I think the makers of the game did a great job exploring his character.

Recommended Runes: Fury, Power
Recommended Skills: Vitality
Available Epic Skills: Untold Clarity, Armor of Gods, Triple Harmony, Fate 
 Control, Swift Foot, Raging Lion.


---------------Nick
Star #102 of 108
Rank: A
Auto-Recruit
Class: Short-Range Fighter
Notes: As far as Nick, he has decent stats, but not enough to make him stand 
 out, especially considering your other amazing Short-Range characters. But, 
 at around LV 50 he receives his second Rune Slot. Followed by his third open 
 Rune Slot at Level 55.

His Skills add to his decent stats. Triple Harmony and Fate Control make for 
 a powerful Skill combination, and Nick's Fate Control Maxes at S-rank, while 
 Triple Harmony goes full out to double-S. This makes Nick a worthless 
 character at LV 15, and the most surprisingly powerful and underrated 
 character in the game at LV 55+. More than anyone, he stands out as the best 
 of the late-game characters.

Of course, at this point in the game, it really is not worth it. One of the 
 reasons he is underrated is because no one ever seems to give him a try. And 
 even if you did, he really isn't better than Richard. Nick's Rune Slots give 
 him a damage advantage, but even he can't compare to Richard in terms of 
 Skills. He also lacks defense and HP compared to Georg and Belcoot, making 
 it dangerous to use defense sacrificing Runes. 

In Major Battles, he is a tremendously useful character. He adds a small 
 speed boost and two uses of the Charge Ability. He is perfect for pairing 
 with Craig, making the Dragon Cavalry not only strong, but very fast as 
 well.

Recommended Runes: Fury, Power, Boost
Recommended Skills: Attack, Technique
Available Epic Skills: Fate Control, Triple Harmony


---------------Yoran
Star #103 of 108
Rank: N/A
Auto-Recruit
Class: HQ services / Major Battle only
Notes: Yoran will provide the Survival Ability when used as a Support Officer 
 in major battles. While this can be useful, Toma already has access to this.

In you Castle, Yoran will allow you to play the Dragon Horse Races mini-game. 
 This mini-game is a bit like the horse-racing mini-game from Suikoden III, 
 only much harder. Honestly, I have a difficult time winning even on the 
 easiest mode, let alone the hard modes.

There are prizes associated with the mini-game as well, but I honestly have 
 no idea what they are, or if they are worth the effort to collect.
  

---------------Ax
Star #104 of 108
Rank: D
Auto-Recruit
Class: Beast
Notes: Ax has the worst base stats among the dragon horses. Making him even 
 more useless than the others. Not to say that the Dragon Horses are like the 
 Beavers, it is just that they might be even worse. I guess if you loved 
 Nick, you could find room for Ax and Nick's Co-Op attack, but other than 
 that. I just don't see too much reason for Ax to be in your party. A Dragon 
 Cavalry party could have been fun, but there are sic members of the Cav in 
 your army, and that means one of them is always left out because of the 
 Prince. . .


---------------Thunder Rune
Type: Magic
Rank: A

LV 1: Berserk Blow
LV 2: Soaring Bolt
LV 3: Furious Blow
LV 4: Thunder Storm

Again, this Rune is an upgrade of the Lightning Rune. LV 4 Thunder Storm hits 
 all enemies though, so this allow for more versatility with the Rune. 
 Remember to keep magic affinities in mind when choosing Runes for your 
 characters. The major advantage that Lightning Magic has over Fire Magic is 
 that while Fire can inflict the Burn Status, Lightning can Stun an enemy, 
 taking them out for a full round of battle. While bosses are immune to this, 
 it can still be a very useful ability.

I will also say that now we have reached this point in the game, Magic as an 
 ability should be a priority over Incantation. While Incantation is still 
 best for Water, Wind, and Earth Magic, you should now be focusing on raw 
 power for Runes like the Thunder, Rage, and Pale Gate Runes.  


=============================================================================

	HEADQUARTERS

=============================================================================


Before advancing the main story, I suggest we take the time to begin a 
 character recruitment. This character has a very small recruitment window, 
 so I strongly recommend doing this now.

At your HQ, go all the way down to the Tower Base Lower Level, and enter the 
 Tavern to trigger a quick scene with Logg and Kisara. Note that if Logg or 
 Kisara is in your party your will have to remove them first. After that 
 scene, go to Hershville Naval Base. In the northwest portion of the town, 
 there is a row of three warehouses, enter the southern one for a scene 
 between Haleth and Logg. Your dialogue choices do not matter. Return to your 
 HQ, we will pick up Haleth in a bit.
 
Back in the War Room, Lucretia has some interesting news. Cius, Lelei and 
 Lucretia will join the party, and you will head off to Yashuna Village.

Before you go to Yashuna, return to Hershville and enter the Administrative 
 Building. Talk to the Bureaucrat standing in the center of the lobby and he 
 will tell you that Haleth was caught sympathizing with your cause. If this 
 does not happen, simply kill a bit of time and return. Return to the Tavern 
 at HQ. There, you will find Haleth and you will have the opportunity to ask 
 him to join.

---------------Haleth
Star #105 of 108
Rank: A
Recruit: After Major Battle #10
Class: Support Only
Notes: Haleth has the Haggle support skill, which reduces the cost of items 
 purchased at shops, even shops in your own castle. As you move into the 
 game's final levels, he can save you tremendous amounts of money.



=============================================================================

	YASHUNA VILLAGE

=============================================================================


Well, it has been awhile since we came back here. Enter the regular Inn -the 
 Tricolor is closed because you recruited Miroon- and you will trigger a 
 scene. Go upstairs to the eastern room for another, longer, much funnier 
 scene. Your dialogue choices don't matter at all. Shula, Nifsara, and 
 Sharmista join as Stars of Destiny.


---------------Shula
Star #106 of 108
Rank: A
Auto-Recruit
Class: Major Battle Only
Notes: Shula commands your third five-star Cavalry unit. Along with Wilhelm 
 and Craig, you now can dominate enemy infantry forces. Dinn is still a 
 powerful commander and can be useful in some battles, but Wilhelm and Shula 
 will be the real stars of your land battles.

---------------Nifsara
Star #107 of 108
Rank: B
Auto-Recruit
Class: Mid-Range Fighter
Notes: It has been awhile since our last mid-range fighter, even though you 
 are already overloaded with them. Nifsara is actually a strong character, 
 with high Speed, Attack, and HP. She has strong technique stats as well, so 
 she can be a more reliable fighter than Goesch or Mathias. Her Magic and 
 Magic Defense are average, but with two open Rune Slots she really can deal 
 a lot of damage.

Also, she can access the Triple Harmony Epic Skill, a good compliment to her 
 Pierce. But she does come so late in the game, and as far as other members 
 of her class, it might not be worth the time and effort needed to level her 
 up.

In Major Battles, she adds a small speed increase and one use of the Charge 
 ability.

Nifsara is an. . . aggressive woman. She knows what she likes and lets that 
 be known. What can I say? Some people may find that type of personality 
 upsetting,   but at least it is an honest way to live.

Recommended Runes: Fury, Power, Boost
Recommended Skills: Pierce, Attack
Available Epic Skills: Triple Harmony, Fate Control, Raging Lion, Karmic 
 Effect


---------------Sharmista
Star #3 of 108*
Rank: C
Auto-Recruit
Class: Long-Range Mage
Notes: OK, Sharmista is essentially Sialeeds, with more Rune Slots and better 
 Elemental Affinities. So, if you like Sialeeds, then you will love 
 Sharmista. On the other hand, Sharmista cannot compete with other long-range 
 characters like Zerase, Bernadette, and Nelis in terms of Magic, nor can she 
 compete with Urda or Sagiri in Attack. In fact, Killey has an equal Magic 
 score, while trouncing Sharmista in terms of Attack damage and Speed. In the 
 end, she is simply a character that comes far too late to be useful.

There is not much to say about her personality, either. I would love to tell 
 you to use her if you liked her character, but she is one of the few 
 underdeveloped characters in the game. All you can really tell about her 
 without an Oboro investigation is that she is friends with Nifsara, but is 
 somewhat less aggressive when it comes to issues of love. I think she has a 
 good character design, and I would like to know more about her, but at this 
 point in the game, you have much more to worry about than the development of 
 minor characters.

Recommended Runes: Earth, Wind, Water
Recommended Skills: Long Throw, Incantation
Available Epic Skills: Divine Right, Sacred Oath


=============================================================================

	HEADQUARTERS

=============================================================================


As you return, there will be a short scene as your party enters the castle.

Return to the war room to drop off Shula and company. You will now be 
 directed to begin the next Major Battle, but I suggest taking the time to 
 save your game first. After you have done that, you mission will be 
 Stormfist.


----------------------------------

Major Battle #11 -- Stormfist

VICTORY CONDITION: Have the Prince's unit enter Stormfist.

VICTORY+ REWARDS: Master's Garb, 60,000 potch

==ENEMY UNITS==

Dilber    
| Spear         |(*****)| 400HP
Childerich
| Infantry      |(*****)| 400HP

Infantry        |(****) | 300HP
Cavalry         |(****) | 300HP
Archer          |(****) | 300HP

Combat Ship     |(****) | 300HP
Ram Ship        |(****) | 300HP |Stone of Luck
Archer Ship     |(****) | 300HP |Stone of Strength
Archer Ship     |(****) | 300HP
Rune Archer Ship|(****) | 300HP

This battle is tough on the ground. You are grossly outnumbered here, and 
 even with the Dragon Cavalry's dominance on the water, you will have a 
 difficult time considering the sheer numbers of the enemy. Also, the unit 
 select here is set against you. The Prince's unit lacks Miakis as bodyguard, 
 substituting Lelei as Lieutenant. And Cius is required as a three-star 
 combat ship commander. At this point in the game, any three-star unit is 
 more of a liability than anything else. The enemy has only one Ram unit, but 
 with that unit's high HP, Cius alone is not enough to take it out. I do 
 suggest having Fuwalafuwalu here, too. As a Naval unit with the maximum 
 number of Gnaw Abilities. Remember that Gnaw decreases an enemy's defense, 
 allowing the Dragon Cavalry and Beavers to simply dominate any water enemy.

As soon as the enemy Archer and Rune Archer ships are destroyed, heal the 
 Dragon Cavalry however you can and send them to land, you will certainly 
 need their help with Childerich and Dilber.

Once again, the land battle will be the tougher of the two sides. Approach 
 carefully, just like in the previous battles. Even strong Cavalry Units like 
 Lindwurm and Shula will be defeated if they get surrounded here, simply by 
 the combined HP of Dilber and Childerich. Not only this, but the Prince's 
 unit is a little weaker than normal, lacking a charge or a recover ability.

When the battle starts, I suggest going after the enemy Rune Archer Ship like 
 it just killed your dog. Seriously, with two uses of the Flowing Rune, you 
 cannot afford to let them live long enough to utilize that ability. Send the 
 Dragon Cavalry and Beavers straight after them while scattering the other 
 Naval units with Barrage. This should defeat them before they can use the 
 Flowing ability a second time.

There is not too much in terms of treasure here, so I strongly suggest ending 
 the battle quickly.

Attack the enemy on land from their southern flank, fist with Cavalry units 
 then Barrages as the archers catch up. Go ahead and use the Star Rune to 
 disperse the enemy away from the city if you can get three or more targets 
 at once. Never skirmish with Childerich or Dilber, they both have two uses 
 of Charge and will not hesitate to use them. if you encounter them, Charge 
 every time until your charge abilities are depleted. If you have three Cav 
 units with three Charges each, this should be enough to drive them from the 
 gate, allowing the Prince to enter.

An old Friend will show up just as the battle begins, he commands a four-star 
 infantry unit, but he can get slaughtered if you leave him be, so move him 
 back behind the line of your Cavalry.

Save the Dawn Rune as a last resort, just in case the Prince gets attacked 
 while trying to enter the city, or if his HP drops to 50 or below. 

As you enter the city, a short scene plays, and the battle will end.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------


After the battle, you will see a scene in the western woods, and Shoon will 
 finally join you as a Star of Destiny.

---------------Shoon
Star #108 of 108*
Rank: B
Auto-Recruit
Class: Short-Range Fighter
Notes: Shoon is the last Star if you decided to recruit Eresh earlier. If you 
 did not, then we have one more to go, and Shoon is actually Star # 107. 
 Shoon can be a very strong character if you choose to level him up and give 
 him some party SP. He is fast and hits multiple times, like Miakis and 
 Richard. Plus he has access to the Triple Harmony Epic Skill. Overall, he 
 does fall short in Damage compared to Miakis and Richard, but he has great 
 stats and can make a good replacement if you are tired of using the other 
 two. I simply cannot give Shoon an A-rank because of how late in the game 
 you acquire him.

Also, while his Magic Defense Stat is solid, his Elemental Affinities 
 undermine that. He will be able to stand up to Magic much better than Georg, 
 but not as well as Belcoot or Galleon.

I like Shoon's personality quite a bit, he is as energetic as Subala, but 
 with much higher intelligence and personal strength. He has a tragic past 
 which maybe just made him grow up a bit too fast. This leaves him as an 
 intelligent person, with the energy of a Teenager.

Recommended Runes: Fury, Killer
Recommended Skills: Attack, Agility
Available Epic Skills: Triple Harmony, All-Out Strike, Karmic Effect

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------


You will be asked to form a party. Shoon, Zerase and Georg will be required, 
 but allow me to also suggest Belcoot, Zegai, and Wabon. Any of these can be 
 relegated to the Entourage. Belcoot and Zegai will come in handy in a bit, 
 while Wabon is just there for his Forge ability. Shoon's weapon will still 
 be at LV 3 or whatever you left it at. So, Wabon will be necessary if you 
 want Shoon to be in your battle party.

From where you gain control, go southeast along the path to save your game at 
 the journeyman's crystal. Then go into the woods south of Lucretia to find 
 the path back to the Stormfist Sewers. Follow the path to the Gladiator 
 Cells for a scene. No, you cannot reach Stormfist city from the other sewer 
 passage.

Climb the stairs to the infirmary, then exit into the arena for a scene. 
 Afterwords, if you brought Belcoot and Zegai they will step up and request 
 to fight in your place.

*****Dialogue*****(choose any)
-----I will fight.
-----Belcoot can have a rematch.
-----Zegai can have his way with him. . .

Either one you choose, the battle is the same. But I choose either Belcoot or 
 Zegai, because you are the Prince, you are supposed to relegate trivial 
 matters like this to your servants.

--------------------------------

Duel Battle #6

Prince -or- Belcoot -or- Zegai

--VS--

Childerich

This is actually one of the easiest Duels in the game. Childerich has no 
 words to say, just three lines filled with screaming, sputtering, shouting, 
 depending on his coming attack. Even if you can't figure it out at first, 
 you will catch on very quickly.

-------------------------------

When that is over you gain control in the Lower Northwest Causeway. If you 
 did not grab the treasures in the Arena Garden during your last trip to 
 Stormfist, then now is your chance. Climb any of the stairs nearby to reach 
 the Upper Causeway, then exit to the north to find the Drawbridge. General 
 Dilber will be waiting.

------------------------------

Boss: Dilber, Imperial Guard x4


This battle is the toughest of the General vs. Prince type of boss battle. 
 Dilber is very strong, and only characters like Belcoot, Isabel, and Georg 
 can stand up to his attacks for very long. The Imperial Guards in my game 
 all seem to attack the front row only, leaving them to inadvertently commit 
 suicide by attacking Georg and Belcoot, who parried and counter attacked 
 every strike.

With Zerase along though, this battle should not be too difficult, as her 
 magic will deal heavy damage to all the enemies here. Still, Dilber can be a 
 problem if he gets out of control, the good news is that he will likely go 
 last every turn, leaving you plenty of chances to heal. Dilber can cast 
 Soaring Bolt, but it will only deal severe damage to characters with low 
 magic defense like Georg and Shoon. Just be ready with Kindness Rain or 
 Great Blessing and you will have it under control.

If you have not sharpened Shoon's weapon, then he can be a problem here. 
 Remember when I suggested you give Georg's Berserk Blow scrolls to Shoon 
 back in chapter one? Go ahead and use those scrolls now if Shoon cannot deal 
 meaningful damage with his attacks.

Rewards: Killer Rune, Thunder Rune Piece, Clay Guardian Scroll
	35,000 potch and 115 party SP



===================================
	GODWIN CASTLE
===================================


Enter though the double doors to the north and enter the castle. Random 
 battles will be possible here. The layout of the castle is surprisingly 
 simple, you will get the hang of it quickly. Go north a short ways to the 
 central room to save at the journeyman's crystal. Now exit from the western 
 door and turn south to find a door at the west end of the hall. Inside this 
 small room is the [PLATNIUM HAMMER], which will allow you to raise your 
 weapons to LV 16. This cannot be done yet though, even if you brought Wabon, 
 as you have to present the hammer to Dongo first. Outside the room in the 
 Square Hallway, turn north then west, then north again to find a chest 
 hidden behind the wall [WINDSPUN GAUNTLETS]. Continue to the west to exit to 
 the Pier area. At the north end there is chest with the [BLOOD SCALE MAIL]. 
 To the south, along the water's edge, there is a chest in the corner hidden 
 from view [PALE GATE RUNE PIECE]. From there, return to the interior and 
 head to the eastern side of the Square Hall. 

In the southeastern room there is another chest with the one and only [ROYAL
 PARADISE EPIC SKILL]. This is the best skill in the game, and is only
 useable by the Prince and Roy. But only the Prince can rise to a double-S in 
 this skill, allowing him the power to match many of the other heroes from 
 the Suikoden series. From there turn north then east to find a side hallway. 
 At the North end of the hall are the [WINDSPUN GREAVES], and at the south 
 end, [IMMORTAL MEDICINE].

Go back into the Central Room to save your game again. Then, exit to the 
 north  and climb either stair to reach the Upper Floor.

Essentially, the Upper Floor is another square-shaped hall. In the southeast 
 room there is a chest [OLD BOOK 3]. In the northwest room, there is: 
 [WINDSPUN HELM]. Inside the southwest room, a scene will begin.

*****Dialogue*****(choose either)
-----She'll make it.
-----I hate you. 

No matter what you say, you will have to fight her. I will actually not cover 
 this boss fight, because it is easily winnable. The enemy has about 4,000 - 
 4,500 HP, but you can take that away in a round or two. The enemy's spells 
 are powerful, but this should only be a major problem for Georg. Heal as 
 necessary and you will win easily. Again, if Shoon is having trouble with 
 Dealing Damage, have him use the Berserk Blow Scrolls or the Mega Medicine.

Rewards: Gale Rune, 11,000 potch and 55 party SP.

After the battle, return to the lower floor for a cutscene. Your Party will 
 be cleared out, and then Lorelai will join. The enemies have been defeated, 
 so we can now access the door that was off limits before, in the northwest 
 corner of the upper floor. There, a short scene commences. Head back 
 downstairs to deliver the news to Lucretia.


=============================================================================

	HEADQUARTERS

=============================================================================


You will gain control in your room. Before moving the story forward, there 
 are a few points to consider: This is the one of best times for you to level 
 up your characters and make money before the final sequence of battles. If 
 you recruited Eresh, then the best place in terms of Potch, EXP, and Items 
 is her dungeon in the depths below the Big Hole. Right now, a couple of 
 characters will not be available for your party, if I recall correctly. But 
 other than that, this is a good time.

Essentially, you will want about three different parties' worth of characters 
 leveled up, geared, and with access to Epic Skills. These parties should 
 include the Prince, Zweig, and Georg. If you wish to bring Dinn or another 
 character that is unavailable at this point, then don't worry, they all will 
 be available before the final battle.

As far as the gear for your party: LV 14+ weapons are recommended. I know 
 this is expensive, but the enemies you will face are no joke. For armor and 
 equipment, items like the Flame Array Chain are great. It is best to have 
 chest items with +90 or more to Defense if you can, with suitable items in 
 the other armor slots as well.

Please, don't think that you have to do all of this now. It is no simple task 
to level up and gear party members, so we will have several more 
opportunities to finish this up. It is just that this is one of the better 
opportunities. 

To advance the main storyline, read on. After wandering around for a bit (all 
 you really need do is exit your HQ then return) go back to your room for a 
 scene.

After that is over, you can now recruit the game's last character, but only 
 if your chose not to recruit Eresh. If you did recruit Eresh, then skip to 
 the next divider. Viki can now blink you to Rainwall, enter the Barows 
 mansion for a scene. When you gain control, go upstairs to meet again with 
 Euram:

*****Dialogue*****(#1 recommended) 
-----Forgiveness is a virtue.
-----You're not worthy.

If you choose #2, Euram will join his mother in the locked room, to waste 
 away in peace and solitude, and you will lose the chance to recruit him. If 
 you choose #1, Euram will join your army, and his portrait will change.

---------------Euram
Star #108 of 108
Rank: N/A
Recruit: After the Liberation of Rainwall
Class: Major Battle
Notes: In Major Battles, Euram gives the Rumors Ability as a Support officer. 
 This Ability lowers the enemy unit's defense by ten, but many other 
 characters  already can use it. Oboro, Fuyo, and Taylor to name a few. So, 
 he is essentially worthless to you cause.

On the other hand, the scene required for his recruitment shows a new side to 
 Euram, almost making me feel sorry for him. Essentially, he is a fool, 
 manipulated by his father in mind and body, and only now beginning to 
 realize who he is and what he has become. His older brother Hiram was killed 
 during the Falenan War of Succession by Nether Gate. After his older 
 brother's death, Euram's mother went mad, and Salum began to mold his son 
 into the heir of Barows instead. As you can tell by Euram's new portrait, he 
 is now only starting to realize the pain he had caused, and the pain that he 
 was in.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------


=============================================================================

	HEADQUARTERS

=============================================================================


--STOP--
Before entering the War Room, make sure you have recruited all the Stars of 
 Destiny. This can be done by viewing the Tablet of Stars in the Sealed Room 
 on the fourth floor of the Castle.

As soon as you enter the war room a short scene will commence, and you will 
 have the option of moving the story into its last stages:

*****Dialogue*****
-----Advance the Story.
-----Wait a Bit.

Make sure you have all 108 Stars before you choose to advance the story.


---------- The Night Before the Battle ----------


This scene gives you a glimpse into the personal lives of your comrades. To 
 advance the story, you will need to talk to Lyon in the Infirmary, and 
 Georg, who is standing out on top of the Detached Room Corridor. Both times 
 a scene will play.

I suggest taking the time to talk to every one around the castle though, you 
 can learn much about them in your conversations. When you are ready to move 
 ahead, return to your room and choose to sleep. The scene will cut away to 
 Lucretia and Lelei, who will discuss preparations for the battle, as well as 
 remove any doubt that they are Daughters of Minerva, so to speak. . .

Ahem. In the morning, save your game and head for the war room. You will move 
 out to the final showdown.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Major Battle # 12 -- Sol-Falena

VICTORY CONDITION: Move the Dahak to the Sol-Falena dam -or- Reduce Enemy 
 forces to 750 or less.

VICTORY+ REWARDS: 80,000 potch, Karaya Armband


==ENEMY UNITS==

Zahhak 
| Infantry      |(*****)| 500HP
Alenia 
| Infantry      |(*****)| 500HP

Cavalry         |(****) | 300HP | Fujiuwara Guantlets  
Cavalry         |(****) | 300HP
Rune Archer     |(****) | 300HP | Gray Coat
Rune Archer     |(****) | 300HP

Combat Ship     |(****) | 300HP
Ram Ship        |(****) | 300HP
Archer Ship     |(****) | 300HP
Rune Archer Ship|(****) | 300HP | Stone of Magic


Unfortunately, you will have little control over the unit set up here. So, 
 you need to stack the leaders of your units with as many skills as possible. 
 The Prince will not be available for this battle. The only two you can 
 control are two Naval units, so make one a Beaver (Fuwalafuwalu / Muroon / 
 Maroon) and the other a Dragon Horse (Rahal / Roog / empty). Then just stack 
 the others up with as many skills as you can and go for it.

You will be under-powered in the land battles, a good solution to this is 
 simply to not fight them at all and concentrate on the water front. The best 
 prize here is the Gray Coat, carried by the Northern Rune Archer unit. If 
 you want that, then send Boz and Talgeyl out slowly and carefully to trigger 
 the Rune Archers to attack them.

The Water side of the battle is surprisingly easy. With Zerase, Beavers and 
 Craig, you should have no problem defeating all the water-based forces if 
 you wish, but I usually end the battle quickly by sending the Dahak straight 
 up the middle, lead by Craig and flanked by Zerase and the Beavers.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------


After the battle, you will gain control on board the Dahak. Exit the upper 
 Deck and talk to Luserina in her old spot in the Parlor to add more members 
 to your party. Personally, I took Georg, Kyle, Galleon, and Miakis, just 
 because it is fitting to have the Queen's Knights storm Sol-Falena. But take 
 whomever you would like to take.

At the exit to the Dahak, Logg will take you to the Sol-Falena Pier. When you 
 arrive, you will have to fight an old friend.

-----------------------------------

Boss

Well, she is more powerful than when you fought her in Stormfist, and she 
 will not hesitate to use her Rune, which causes status ailments. If your 
 party becomes compromised, then heal with the LV 1 spell from the Prince's 
 Dawn Rune. She still has low HP for a boss at this stage, so if you keep up 
 your attack she will go down quickly.

-----------------------------------


After some more scenes, you will be thrown into another Major Battle.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Major Battle #13 -- Sol-Falena Proper


VICTORY CONDITION: Enter Sol-Falena Palace with the Prince's unit -or- Reduce 
 the enemy forces to 600 or less.

VICTORY+ REWARDS: 100,000 potch, Fortune Rune Piece.

==ENEMY UNITS==

Zahhak
| Infantry      |(*****)| 500HP
Alenia
| Infantry      |(*****)| 500HP

Spear           |(*****)| 300HP
Rune Archer     |(*****)| 300HP

Combat Ship     |(****) | 300HP
Combat Ship     |(****) | 300HP
Ram Ship        |(****) | 300HP

Archer Ship     |(****) | 300HP
Archer Ship     |(****) | 300HP
Rune Archer Ship|(****) | 300HP 



Once again, you will have very little control over who Commands your units. 
 Two Naval units can be cleared, but that is all. I usually put Roog / Rahal 
 / empty in one and the Beavers in the other. As far as the land battle, it 
 is pretty straight-forward: Charge. There are no enemy Cavalry units here, 
 so archers are not needed on land, just give Viki to Talgeyl's unit. I 
 suggest giving Galleon and Georg to Boz's Spear unit, this will actually 
 give them better attack and defense than a five-star infantry unit. Other 
 than that, maximize Barrage on the Ships and Charge on the land units.

This battle is fought on the bridge leading from the Pier to the Senate above 
 Sol-Falena Proper. A Spear unit and an Archer unit will approach you first, 
 I suggest using the Cavalry, backed up by Boz and Wasil, Have the Cavalry 
 Charge if they confront the archers, then push the archers back with a 
 Barrage, and have Boz move up from behind to engage.

The Naval side of the battle will turn into a mess, there is little you can 
 do about that, just try to clump the enemies round Zerase. On the north side 
 of the bridge, use all the barrages you can. There really isn't any more 
 strategy to give than that, as you had little control over your unit setup.

To end the battle, just use the Dawn Rune on Zahhak and Alenia them continue 
 to push them back as the Prince moves forward.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

After the battle, the enemy will retreat to the Sun Palace. Form a strong 
 party and travel north to meet them. You will meet Alenia and Zahhak inside, 
 and Alenia will prove that she has completely lost touch with reality at 
 this point.

-----------------------------------

Boss: Zahhak, Alenia

These two again. Well they are stronger than before, and their parry and 
 counter attack ratings are high, so be careful. But not too careful, they 
 have low HP and do not strike too hard. After you beat them, a scene will 
 start:

-----------------------------------

Boss: Raging Zahhak, Raging Alenia

Now they are tougher, but still a little too easy. If you took damage in the 
 last round, then you will still be injured here. Have someone cast Kindness 
 Rain or Great Blessing, as well as Clay Guardian, of course. This will allow 
 you to stand up to their physical damage well. In fact, these two are some 
 of the only enemies in the game able to get past Belcoot's parrys with any 
 regularity.

Alenia is actually the tougher of the two, as she seems to parry and counter 
 more often. If you brought a physical party, then concentrate on Zahhak 
 first to get him out of the way. If you brought a magical party, then Alenia 
 would be the better choice.

Their HP totals are still about the same as they were in the last battle 
 though, so don't worry too much.

Or, you could simply use the new LV 4 magics available to the Prince and 
 Lyon, they can unite to be the Creation spells. But that tends to end this 
 battle very quickly, leaving no time to savor it.

Rewards: Silver White Emblem, Rage Rune Piece, Soaring Bolt Scroll
	28,000potch and 110 part SP
---------------------------------

Before the next battle, climb the stair to the east and enter the Prince's 
 Hall. In the room on the far left, the treasures have regenerated [SUN RING] 
 and [ADVANCED MAGIC]. These are two important items.

Now return to the entry to save your game, then continue to the Throne Room. 
 You will have a long conversation, then be challenged to a duel.

----------

Duel Battle #7 

Prince
-VS-
Gizel

You should now have a strong handle on these battles. I have never lost this 
 one, as Gizel is open like a book and will practically tell you what he will 
 do next. As his Health depletes to one half or less, he will use his Super 
 Move, but all you have to do is defend like it was a Special.

This battle is more for story purposes than anything else, so you should be 
 able to win using just your own intuition.

----------


You will gain control inside the Rune Room. Exit the room to talk to Lorelai 
 and Zweig.

This time you will gain control in your room in the Sun Palace. Exit, and 
 Lyon will join you. In the Throne Room, a long scene will commence. Note 
 that Luserina will now be located by the entrance to the throne room. So, 
 you will have to come here to change your party members.

Before you go to Lunas, pay a visit to the West Palace. The best way to get 
 there is to return to your HQ, then warp to Stormfist. Exit to the world map 
 and walk the short distance east to the West Palace.

=============================================================================

	WEST PALACE

=============================================================================


As you enter, cross over the bridge and you will see a building with a red 
 roof to your south. You can enter this building, though the door is hidden 
 on the building's blind side. Inside: [RESURRECTION RUNE PIECE]. Outside, 
 walk west under the archway, then turn south to find [WINDSPUN RING]. Turn 
 west and travel around the buildings to find a chest between the back of the 
 Rune Room and a cliff [WINDSPUN CAPE]. Go north to the water's edge and walk 
 out onto the stone jetty. At the end there is a chest [ADVANCED COMBAT]. 
 Enter the main building to the south. Inside, continue south to enter a room 
 with the [ILLUSION TACTIC]. Exit to the west to reach the Rune Room. Inside, 
 there is a chest behind the statue [ZEN SWORD EPIC SKILL].

Before going to Lunas, return to Sol-Falena and check out the armor and item 
 shops. There are many new items that will help your party here.

=============================================================================

	LUNAS

=============================================================================

As you arrive, you will be greeted by the clerics. Enter the Oracle's 
 Conclave and exit out the back. Descend the wooden scaffolds to the 
 Purification Room. By the bath, a scene occurs.

*****Dialogue*****(choose either)
-----I'm a smart alec, because I remember something a random Lunas Cleric 
 said to me all the way back in chapter one. 
-----Duurr?

Isato will leave the party. This might leave you one member short, so return 
 to Sol-Falena and replace him if you need to. I suggest bringing a strong 
 party with you into the Mountains, needless to say. Your party should have 
 at least one strong healer as well.

When you gain control, continue north into the Ashtwal Mountains


=============================================================================

	ASHTWAL MOUNTAINS

=============================================================================


The enemies here are tough, but can yield powerful items when defeated. This 
 area is actually much shorter than you would expect, as we have not yet 
 reached the "final level."

The area is divided into north and south sections, connected by a thin bridge 
 of ice. As you enter, travel west along the wall, then follow the path as it 
 turns north to find a chest at a dead end [DRAGON INCENSE]. From there, go 
 east and turn north at the next intersection to find [HUNTER RUNE]. I'll 
 talk more about the Hunter Rune in a bit. Again, go west then north to the 
 thin bridge that connects the northern and southern sections.

Across the bridge go east then south at the fist opportunity for [BLINKING 
 RUNE PIECE]. Now retrace your steps then continue west all the way to find 
 [MIXED HERBS]. From there, travel in a northeast direction to find the 
 entrance to the Ashtwal Ruins, where a short scene will play.



=============================================================================

	ASHTWAL RUINS

=============================================================================


Inside, a scene starts. After, you will be asked to form three parties. One 
 lead by the Price, another lead by Lyon, and the third lead by Zweig and 
 Georg.  Note that you will have only one entourage slot for each party, for 
 a total of twenty-one people.

Do not fret too much over this decision yet, though. As soon as you form your 
 three parties, you can turn around and re-enter the room with three doors. 
 Talk to Luserina and you will be able to leave the area and return to Lunas. 
 At this point, Luserina will return to your HQ, and you will have access to 
 every single member of your army, allowing you to level and train up 
 whomever your would want.

The best place for training right now is either the Ashtwal Mountains front 
 area, or Eresh's dungeon. Both places have their advantages, and both give 
 tremendous Potch and have enemies that drop powerful items.

As far as the level of your characters, 55+ should be enough, as they will 
 gain levels quickly once you reach the Ashtwal Ruins portion. Runes and 
 Equipment are more of a consideration than their level. Also, make sure they 
 have access to Epic Skills, as these will make them much more effective in 
 battle.

That is all for the general information about preparing for this battle, if 
 you want more in-depth coverage, see the next section. If not, then simply 
 return to the Ashtwal Ruins and skip to the next divider.


---------- Preparation for the Coming Battle ----------


-Making Money-
The best way to make money at this point is to use the Potch Finder Skills of 
 Norma and Egbert in conjunction with the Prosperity Set. In all likelihood 
 you either have one or no Prosperity Rune Pieces. But, now that you have the 
 Hunter Rune it is easy to get the Prosperity Rune. Note Lyon's LV 1 magic, 
 it is a copy of the Wind Rune's LV 1: Wind of Sleep. The Hunter Rune works 
 by lowering your hit rate to about 5%, then forcing an enemy to drop an item 
 in you connect. But, against enemies who are Sleeping, you can never miss.

So, equip the Hunter Rune to a fast character, then equip Lyon with the 
 Incantation Skill or a related Epic. Return to the cave behind the Yashuna 
 Hot Springs to fight the Evil Toad. Have Lyon cast Sleep, while the 
 character equipped with the Hunter Rune Attacks (I used Lorelai), while 
 everyone else defends. As soon as you hit the toad, kill it to claim your 
 prize.

After you have a Prosperity Rune completed, put Norma, Raven, Roy and Egbert 
 into your party. Equip the Prosperity set and Rune, plus give Prosperity 
 Rings to each party member. Prosperity Rings can be purchased now either at 
 Hershville or your HQ. With Norma's Potch Finder at SS-rank, Raven's Thief 
 at SS-rank, and Roy's Thief at S-rank, you should do well. In the depths of 
 Eresh's dungeon, I am able to average at least 300,000 potch per battle. 
 Plus, the Hellsteed mini-boss in the final room can be milked for around 
 900,000 to 1 million potch.

-Gaining EXP and SP-
EXP is easy to get in this game, but having a Fortune Rune can help. The 
 Billioneye enemies at the Ashtwal Mountains do drop Fortune Rune Pieces, so 
 bring a Treasure Hunting party to scour for them. If you are having trouble, 
 utilize the Hunter Rune on sleeping enemies to ensure they drop items.

The best place for EXP and SP is Eresh's dungeon once again. The enemies 
 there have changed to some of the fiercest in the game. And with the Fortune 
 Rune it is easy to hit LV 60+ there.   


-- Rune Selection --
First off, you need to make a choice on what strategy here fits your own 
 playing style. If you like to play a conservative, defensive party, then you 
 will wish to avoid Runes that sacrifice defense for offense. If you are like 
 many Suikoden fans, then you may want to maximize your damage by actually 
 stacking the defense sacrificing Runes on top of one another, to make an 
 aggressive party. If you are like me, then you prefer a few defense-
 sacrificing Runes on some party members -but not all- and you never stack 
 these Runes two at a time on a single character. You can consider this the 
 moderate strategy.

Which strategy should you choose? I recommend simply playing the game in the 
 way that it is most fun for you to play. So choose how you would like. I 
 will cover all three strategies: the aggressive, moderate, and conservative.

-Conservative
Rune Selection is crucial for the Conservative Approach. I do suggest taking 
 a look at the Fury Rune, as its trade-off is very minor compared to other 
 Runes like the Power Rune. High-Technique short-range characters like Georg, 
 Richard, Belcoot, Isabel, and Hazuki can all use the Fury Rune with 
 virtually no drawbacks. So, for character with little talent for Magic, I 
 suggest Fury, Killer, and Gale Runes in that order. For characters like 
 Miakis and Kyle you can decide whether or not to use the Magic Absorb Rune, 
 but the Gale Rune can work great for them, as it allows them to cast spells 
 quickly without having to worry about Incantation. Shield and Water Magics 
 are particularly useful when they are cast first-action. So, a good setup 
 for Kyle would be: Water, Magic Absorb, and Gale Runes. An alternative setup 
 for Miakis would be: Fury, Killer, Shield Rune. For Mages, I suggest you 
 bring two people capable of healing in each party. Characters like 
 Bernadette and Kisara are purpose-built healers, and can also augment 
 magical damage. In each of the three parties you will want at least one 
 person with a Flowing Rune, one with a Shield, and one with a Mother Earth 
 or Earth Rune. Also, do not forget the Resurrection Rune, as it can both 
 attack and heal. For Damage Mages, you do not need me to tell you to use 
 Pale Gate, Rage, Thunder, and Cyclone Runes, do you?

-Moderate
Selecting Runes for a moderate strategy is less complicated. One thing to 
 remember though, is that the Power and Magical Runes -though the game claims 
 they only add 50% damage- are actually nearly as effective as the Double-
 Edge Rune at this point in the game. This is the result of an odd game 
 mechanic that is not explained to the lowly players, but give it a try: you 
 will see that Power Runes add just as much damage as Double-Edge Runes.

The Fury Rune is still your best bet for front-line fighters with high 
 Technique stats, though these Runes cost 300,000 potch apiece and it is 
 largely not worth it as you could also spend that money on upgraded gear to 
 offset a Power Rune's penalty. Though, if you have plenty of money you can 
 just purchase them and save some time.

Magical Rune Pieces can be obtained either in Eresh's Dungeon or Ashtwal 
 Mountains, there are several enemies in each area that drop the pieces. 
 Power Rune Pieces are harder to come by. The best bet at this stage of the 
 late game is to go to the area west of Haud village, here the enemies are 
 the same as in chapter two. Take a treasure hunting party and fight the Wild 
 Boar enemies to farm the Power Rune Pieces.

In each of the three parties, I have at least one character that has no 
 Defense Sacrificing Runes and the ability to heal. So, Kyle with Water, 
 Magic Absorb, and Fury Runes is a good idea. This keeps the party stable, as 
 there will usually be one healer who has high defense. Bernadette and other 
 purpose-build healers like her are good choices as well. Also, it can help 
 to give the healers the Gale Rune, as this will cause them to act first, 
 ignoring the spell power and Incantation.

The power mages can afford to equip Magical Runes with ease. Especially Levi, 
 Eresh, and Zerase, as their Magic defense is so high that a Magical Rune 
 will just bring them down to the level of someone like the Lyon or Kyle. Do 
 not forget about the Mother Earth Rune though, as Canopy Defense is useful 
 for the coming battles.

-Aggressive
This Approach is used often by hardcore fans of the games, and offers the 
 highest damage potential at a high risk. Honestly, I cannot recommend this 
 approach for people playing this game for the first time, as it leaves the 
 least room for error. If this is your second play-through though it can be a 
 fun approach to the battles, as it makes them shorter and more intense.

You hardly need me to tell you what to do, just stack Power or Magical Runes 
 on top of Double-Edge Runes, then round off a character's Rune slots with 
 Fury, Gale, Crazed, or Killer Runes. A good alternative to this is to go 
 with Power / Double-Edge / Boost, as battles will rarely reach the fourth 
 turn, and you can largely ignore the Boost Rune's penalty.

As with the other strategies, having a strong healer is a must. Consider 
 Levi, Bernadette, Kisara, and other characters with strong Water and Holy 
 magic affinities for the role. Magic Absorb Runes are recommended for the 
 healer. Never give your healer aggressive Runes, as they will almost never 
 be attacking, and even when they do attack, it will only be to refill their 
 magic, not to deal damage.

For Magic Damage, most power mages only have two open Rune slots. In the case 
 of Jeane, this forces you to choose between Magic Absorb and Magical Runes. 
 In the case of Zerase, she already has a great attack Rune, so give her both 
 Magic Absorb and Magical. Viki is best with either Cyclone / Magical, Rage / 
 Magical, or Pale Gate / Magical depending on how aggressive you want to be. 
 Keep in mind that Viki's Chain Magic can work against you if you cast the 
 self-damaging LV 4 Pale Gate spell though. One fun Challenge is to give Viki 
 Pale Moon Gear, Pale Gate and Magical Runes, then put her into a party with 
 Cathari. Give Cathari the Double-Edge Rune, and then Chain the LV 4 "Empty 
 World" spell. Just try to have Cathari survive that, just try.

Anyway, Levi is the only power mage with three open slots, so use him as you 
 see fit. I usually task him to healing, but giving him Rage / Magical / 
 Alert is an option. The Alert Rune I did not cover, but it doubles the power 
 of spells after the beginning of turn four. If you hit turn four and the 
 Boost Runes cripple your party, Levi can then end the battle with ease.


-- Skills and Items --
Skills and Items do not vary much between the different strategies. 
 Sacrificial Jizo are great items at all points in the game, and the 
 Sacrificial Buddha even more so. Make sure you have Mega Medicine in an 
 emergency, but Food Items available at Retso's place are even better at this 
 point, as they often give statistical advantages as well as HP recovery.

Give characters Eyeball Rings or Elemental Amulets depending on what you plan 
 to have them do. Elemental Rings are a good choice too, but keep in mind 
 they only effect the Attack Damage portion of that element, not its 
 Incantation or Defense. So, Earth Rings will make Earthquake more powerful, 
 but won't help defend against Earth damage nor will they help you cast 
 Canopy Defense faster.

Really, just equip the best stuff you have, as Items and accessories do not 
 play a huge role in this game, unfortunately.

Skills are another matter, but the usage of them is again rather obvious. 
 Skills make a big difference in the behavior of the character, but it is 
 often obvious which skills to use. I can tell you that Magic Defense is very 
 important in this last stage, but that shouldn't change your strategy, as 
 characters like Fighters are still better off with Epic Skills like Untold 
 Clarity and Triple Harmony rather than Magic Defense. And Mages should have 
 access to Sacred Oath, (if you recruited Eresh) which includes Magic 
 Defense. I guess with Characters like Bernadette, Kisara, and Nelis -with 
 access to Sacred Oath and two Skill Slots- Magic Defense makes the best 
 choice for that second slot, but power mages only have one skill slot open, 
 so it doesn't make too much of a difference.


-- Using the Elemental Sword Rune --
If you have been wondering what the heck these Runes are for, I will now 
 explain. Really, using the Elemental Sword Runes requires an investment in 
 Skills, as without the Skills the Runes only give a minor Damage Bonus. The 
 Skills associated with the Rune are Sword of Magic, Zen Sword, and Sacred 
 Oath. Although the game does not list Zen Sword and Sacred Oath as 
 increasing damage from Elemental Sword Runes, they do. It just makes me 
 think that these Runes were a last-minute addition to the game.

The only Elemental Sword Rune worth using is the Flowing Sword Rune, as all 
 characters who have access to the skill have at least decent Water Magic 
 Affinity. Namely, Kyle, who not only has a natural A-rank in Water but can 
 rise to SS-ranks in both Sword of Magic and Zen Sword.

Kyle makes the best choice for this Rune, and as such, is singly the 
 character with the highest damage potential. Zen Sword and Sword of Magic 
 Skills drastically increase the Damage bonus provided, and Kyle can be 
 raised to an S-rank Water Affinity by giving him a Water Amulet. Other 
 characters who make good candidates are: the Prince, Miakis, Rahal, Yahr, 
 and a few others. But, they can't deal as much damage as Kyle because they 
 max out the Skills at a lower Rank.

Here is what to do: Equip Kyle with the Flowing Sword Rune and a Water 
 Amulet. Then select two other Damage Runes, I use Power and Boost, but 
 Double-Edge and Fury work as well. Then Max out Sword of Magic and Zen Sword 
 skills and you are set. Kyle deals decent damage to begin with, but the LV 3 
 magic of the Flowing Sword will more than Double it, in fact, it is probably 
 about two and one half times damage. Then, the Power and Boost Runes 
 increase that further. Add Fury from Shield Magic and Kyle's damage is 
 simply staggering.

Feel free to use the Flowing Sword on Kyle if you'd like, but since it is so 
 much of an investment, I usually do not even bother with it.
     

=============================================================================

	ASHTWAL RUINS: The Final Battle

=============================================================================


As you enter, or re-enter the ruins, you will form three parties. Form them 
 each to act independently of each other. Each should have its own healer and 
 ability to deal damage.

Once you have decided, you will begin by gaining control of the Prince and 
 his Party. Don not forget to rearrange the party and its formation to suit 
 you. Move to the east and exit north to reach a dead-end. Then press the 
 Circle Button to switch to the next party.

You will now control Lyon and her crew. Her portion is like a mirror-image of 
 the Prince's, just exit to the north and switch to the third party.

Zweig is the leader of this party, oddly, I thought it would actually be 
 Georg. Continue north to the next screen and step on a floor switch. This 
 will lower the partition in from of you. North of there, find a chest with 
 [SUN BOOTS]. Put these in your inventory and do not equip them yet. They are 
 the first part of the Sun Set of Armor, the most powerful in the game. Head 
 west,  to a dead-end, ignore the northern path for now. Switch back to Lyon. 

Take a couple of steps to the north with Lyon and you will be taken to the 
 upper walkway. Another couple of steps will trigger a floor switch, allowing 
 the Prince to move forward. Do not switch over yet. Take a few more steps 
 and Lyon will return to the lower path. From the landing, go north, then 
 west to a chest [GRAY HAT]. (Why do you Americans always spell "Grey" 
 wrong?) Anyway, return to the landing and head west from there to reach a 
 dead-end. Now switch over to the Prince.

Head north up the elevator. Continue northwards under a bridge, and step on a 
 switch that will open the way for Lyon. That is all you can do right now, so 
 switch back to Lyon.

West from the first elevator, Lyon will will find her second, taking her back 
 up to the upper walkway. Head north and step on a switch which will open the 
 way for Zweig. Follow the road east and take the elevator back down, further 
 to the east, you'll come to a dead-end.

Now switch to Zweig, who can continue east. Cross over the bridge, then back 
 down to the lower level. Turn south at the intersection and follow the path 
 to find a switch and a chest [ROYAL GARB]. Back at the last intersection, go 
 north to reach an elevator. Follow the path to return to the lower level. 
 North from the landing, there is a chest: [SUN ARMOR]. Turn west to find 
 another switch which opens the path for Lyon. Now heal up you party. Travel 
 north to the dead-end, and switch to the Prince.

North from where you left off, there will be an elevator. Ignore it for now 
 and go east [SUN HELMET]. Go ahead and give that to the Prince. Go up the 
 elevator and continue west, then follow the path as it turns north. You will 
 arrive on the lower level. Follow the path under the bridge to a dead-end, 
 then switch to Lyon. 

Walk east a few steps to reach an elevator. The walkway will take you west. 
 When you reach the lower level again, continue west for [SUN GLOVES]. Now 
 return and go north at the intersection to find a switch that opens the way 
 for the Prince. Switch over to him.

To the east, the Prince will cross over a long bridge and step on a switch. 
 North from there, return to the lower level and go east for a chest [FANTASY 
 HALF COAT]. Return to the intersection and go north to a dead-end. Switch to 
 Lyon.

Make sure your party is healed and then go north for a boss.

----------------------------------

Boss: Girtablulu

While this boss may have the most ridiculous name in the game, it is also 
 quite powerful, so don't laugh too hard. He attacks with powerful column 
 attacks, so formations like Crane Wing are best. Whatever the boss is at 
 this point, your moves in the first round are the same: Clay Guardian, 
 Battle Oath, and other set-up spells.

In the second round, heal as necessary. This boss is slow -in the mid 
 fifties, only characters like Rahal and Galleon are slower- so you will have 
 enough time to heal without thinking too far ahead. Be careful though, as 
 this boss can stun you characters as well.

If your healer does become stunned, I recommend switching to an all-out 
 strategy. Ignore damage in the next round and attack with everything you 
 have. Even if a character dies, they will likely pull of their attack before 
 that happens. In short, don't get too defensive, it never works to your 
 advantage in this battle. 

Rewards: Tachibana Greaves, Immortal Medicine
	30,000 potch, 100 party SP

----------------------------------


Defeating Girtablulu will trigger the opening of the path for Zweig. Go north 
 from where you fought to enter the Temple, then continue north and east to 
 the next screen. The screen will fade and you will automatically switch to 
 Zweig.

Heal up and head north for the second boss:

---------------------------------

Boss: Gudalim

As you can tell by his looks, Gudalim is much faster than the last boss. He 
 has both column and row attacks, but his row attacks tend to only strike 
 against the front. I like switching to a formation with only one front row 
 slot to help defend against this. Characters like Georg can dodge his row 
 attack as often as not, making him waste a turn.

Though he is faster, it will not make too much of a difference while you are 
 in battle. At this point, both Georg and Zweig should have the upper hand in 
 speed, not to mention faster characters. As long as you have your healer 
 equipped with an Epic Skill that includes incantation, they will be able to 
 heal before the Boss attacks as well, again giving you a huge advantage.

This boss does seem to be resistant to Magic, though that is hardly a 
 consideration for characters like Viki or Jeane, as they will still deal 
 heavy damage with each attack. Though, for your characters who are not Power 
 Mages, I recommend Battle Oath, then attacking physically. 

Rewards: Immortal Medicine, Wind Ring
	30,000 potch and 100 Party SP

-----------------------------------

Same as with Lyon, defeating the boss will open a path. Continue north to 
 finish Zweig's part of the dungeon.

For the third time, heal you party and move forward.

-----------------------------------

Boss: Enmesharra

I think the Prince get the hardest of the three bosses. Though, if you are 
 like me, you accidentally made his party over-powered. I brought Zerase, 
 Richard, Belcoot, Urda and Bernadette with me for this, so as you can 
 imagine I had no trouble at all.

Still, this battle can be tough even if you brought a strong party. 
 Enmesharra has powerful attacks that can target the whole party and cause 
 stun. Again, the best strategy if your healer gets stunned is to attack and 
 ignore the damage you take. The Boss' area attack can deal up to 200 points 
 of damage per round, but at this point, it is possible to take two rounds of 
 damage without healing.

Enmesharra also uses physical attacks against first and second row party 
 members, but this will only be a problem if you have stacked defense-
 sacrificing Runes on the target. Even lower-defense characters like Richard 
 and Miakis won't take too much more damage from the physical attack than the 
 area attacks.

This boss has a high resistance to both physical and magic attacks, even 
 Zerase could barely top 900 damage with her LV 4 spells. But Enmesahrra pays 
 for this with lower HP. Shield magic can help overcome this though, as LV 1 
 Battle Oath and LV 3 Battlefield greatly increase the damage potential of 
 your party.


Rewards: Immortal Medicine, Water Ring

-----------------------------------


This is the point of no return. Once you enter the room to meet up with the 
 other two groups, you will be unable to leave the Ruins. Don't worry though, 
 you will be healed before the final battle.

Inside the Temple, a scene will play. . .

You will be asked to form a party for the final battle. Georg and Zweig will 
 stay in the hall and watch your back, so they will be unavailable. The 
 remaining characters must be chosen from the nineteen other characters that 
 your brought into the ruins with you.

If there is one thing to keep in mind while forming this party, it is each 
 Character's Magic Defense Stat. The boss has the most powerful magic in the 
 game, so you are much better off sacrificing a little Defense or Damage 
 potential for high Magic Defense. Also, there will be some physical damage 
 done as well, but there is a way to make it focused onto a single character. 
 Bring someone like Belcoot, Isabel, or Galleon who can defend against both. 
 Or, you can use the Prince to tank the Physical Damage, as he usually has 
 the best combination of Physical Defense and Magic Defense at this point.

Also, I recommend against bringing any support characters. The Boss battle 
 works a bit differently than every other battle in this game. If one of your 
 characters end a turn KO'd, they will automatically be replaced by the next 
 person in the entourage. This will repeat until the entourage is depleted, 
 at which time you will be required to resurrect characters normally. So, in 
 short, bring your ten best battle-party characters that have at least 
 passable Magic Defense. It is a good idea to make the last character in line 
 a character that has either the Flowing or Resurrection Runes, this will 
 allow you a last chance to revive, just in case things get really bad.

Once you have formed the party, rearrange the formation to put the character 
 with the strongest physical defense in slot #2 if you are using the Illusion 
 formation. Basically, this boss will always target characters in row #2 on 
 the right hand side of the screen for its physical attacks.

Equip the Sun Armor set to the Prince, and distribute the other goodies you 
 got in this level how you see fit. If you have the Prince's Royal Paradise 
 epic skill to an SS-rank, then watch what happens to his stats. Skills work 
 by increasing stats by a percentage. The Sun Set raises the base stat in 
 each category. So, this will cause a dramatic rise in the Prince's stats, 
 making him an uber-warrior, much like the heroes of previous Suikoden games.

Also, equip any Mixed Herbs you might be carrying, though they will not be 
 necessary, they can help. Sacrificial Jizo can drop from the Soldier enemies 
 in the Ruins, so you may have a few of those too. Make sure every character 
 has at least one stack of Mega Medicine, though you will probably not use 
 it, it is good to have in emergencies. 

When you are finally done with preparations, move forward to find yourself in 
 a fight with Dolph. You will have had no chance to save recently, so much 
 like the Duel with Childerich if you decided to defend HQ, I will actually 
 give you Dolph's quotes and their corresponding attacks. Contrary to popular 
 belief, Lyon will always fight against Dolph, no matter what you say.


-----------------------------------

Final Duel

Lyon
-VS-
Dolph 

Dolph is very subtle. Especially his two lines that begin with "Still 
 standing, huh?" one is an attack and the other a Special. When he reaches 
 about 1/3 HP, he will use his Super Attack which will deal tremendous damage 
 if you are not defending.

Let me give you the chance to realize the shape you are in     -- Defense
The more time you waste the more pain you will be in           -- Defense

Still standing huh? But can you withstand another one?         -- Attack
In your condition, this should be enough to do you in          -- Attack
What a surprise. I didn't think you'd be able to counter that! -- Attack
It is not over yet!                                            -- Attack

Still standing huh?  But will you be able to handle this?      -- Special
You did very well, I guess I should stop going easy on you     -- Special
Is that the best you can do? Let's end this right away         -- Special

Those are not all of his quotes, but enough to give you the victory.

----------------------------------


When you gain control. Head north through the double doors.


---------------------------------

Sun Rune Incarnation

---------------------------------


Here it is at last. Whatever happens don't panic, remember that you have four 
 characters in reserve and your KO'd party members will be replaced 
 automatically until those four are depleted.

First, I will cover this battle normally. I will give general strategies for 
 dealing damage, healing damage and preventing damage. These are really no 
 different than the normal Bosses throughout the game though. All the things 
 you have learned so far apply here too. It is just that the Sun Rune 
 Incarnation can deal damage to your party like you have never seen before, 
 and it is easy to let this battle get out of hand. I will cover more 
 advanced strategies after the General Strategy section.


-- General Strategy --
So, in the first round of the battle, things should be familiar. Cast Clay 
 Guardian, Battle Oath, Battlefield and whatever other defensive spells you 
 brought with you. Keep in mind that Silent Lake will not stop the Sun Rune 
 Incarnation from casting magic, so that spell is useless here. Canopy 
 Defense is probably the most useful spell in this battle, as it will greatly 
 reduce the damage taken by your party. But be careful of the timing of the 
 spell, do not allow a healing spell like Kindness Rain to be blocked, or it 
 could cost you the battle. Also, Shining Wind works wonders to allow you to 
 keep on the offense while taking damage from this boss' powerful magic. But 
 again, don't let Canopy Defense get in the way.

One way to prevent Canopy defense from interfering is to give either the 
 Prince or Lyon the Gale Rune. This will cause their Creation combo magic t 
 be pulled off first, attacking the enemy and healing the party at the same 
 time. If the majority of the party takes no damage in a single round, then 
 the Creation magic will lose half of its effectiveness. So, I tend to use 
 the Canopy Defense / Creation spells every other turn, starting at turn 
 number two. While healing as necessary with Kindness Rain or Great Blessing 
 on the odd turns. Once you deplete Canopy Defense, then use Creation every 
 turn.

It might be tempting to use the Prince and Lyon's combination magic in the 
 first round, but remember that Lyon has limited MP, so I suggest waiting 
 until round two to begin their Combo Magic Attacks.

For the most part, you can ignore the two Sprites that flank the Incarnation. 
 They will be regenerated if killed, and have high defense to begin with, so 
 do not waste your time. The Sprites should concentrate on the person in slot 
 #2. So that person will take extra damage each round.

Usually, the Incarnation will deal around 150 - 300 damage per round, 
 depending  on both the character's magic defense and their Sun Magic 
 affinity. The two sprites combine for about 200 - 300 damage. This means 
 that the character who the sprites focus on can take severe damage in a 
 single turn, and can lose a bit of damage per round even when being healed 
 by Kindness Rain or Shining Wind. Using items tends to be the best way to 
 augment the regular healing provided by other party members. But, committing 
 two different characters to healing every round greatly reduces your damage 
 output. The first time that the character's HP drops below full at the 
 beginning of a turn, go ahead and use the Prince and Lyon's LV combination 
 magic "Creation." This will fully heal all members while dealing massive 
 damage to the enemies.

Unless Lyon is a very high level, she will only have one LV 4 MP, meaning 
 that you can only use LV 4 Creation once. You can equip her with a Magic 
 Absorb Rune, but if you will remember, for the purposes of the walkthrough I 
 chose not to use those Runes at all. Besides, her physical attacks are very 
 weak against the Incarnation anyway, and I think in the end it will simply 
 draw out the battle longer. The best way to get another usage of LV 4 
 Creation is to use Mixed Herbs, but even this wastes a turn. So, I just 
 choose to have them cast LV 3 Creation and lower for the rest of the battle.

At LV 3, Creation will still deal significant damage, but will only heal your 
 party for 300 HP each. This is when you must begin to augment the Creation 
 healing with another spell or items. Though this will not be necessary every 
 turn.

What this strategy does is it allows you to attack with at least five 
 characters every turn, as the Prince and Lyon are both attacking and healing 
 at the same time. This shortens the duration of the battle and reduces the 
 chances of running out of Magic or having something else go terribly wrong. 
 This battle should be over before the Prince and Lyon run out of LV 3 Magic.

If things go badly, do not panic. The Prince and Lyon have solid magic 
 defense and an A-rank Sun Magic affinity, so they will be among the last to 
 die if it comes to that. And as long as you have them both and they have any 
 MP remaining you still have a chance to win. If either one of them falls, 
 then things get much tougher. But don't give up, it is usually late in the 
 battle when things go wrong, and you need to stay on the offense in order to 
 deal damage and defeat the Sun Rune Incarnation.


-- Advanced Strategies --
I will give a more detailed analysis of the battle here. I will also use a 
 hypothetical party, not as a way of telling you who to use for the fight, 
 but instead as a way to have each individual party member demonstrate one 
 technique that can be used to fight the Incarnation.

First, my party:

Formation: Illusion

Character |    Runes    | Skills

Kyle      |Flowing Sword| Zen Sword(SS)
           Power          Sword of Magic(SS)
           Boost

Belcoot   |Falcon       | Untold Clarity(S)
           Power          Triple Harmony(S)

Prince    |Magical      | Royal Paradise(SS)
           Dawn           Sacred Oath(S)
           Power

Lyon      |Gale         | Sacred Oath(A)
           Shield         All-Out Strike(SS)
           Twilight

Viki      |Rage         | Sacred Oath(S)
           Blinking       Chain Magic(SS) 
           Magical

Levi      |Mother Earth | Sacred Oath(SS)
           Magic Absorb
           Flowing

-Turn One
This turn will function as the set-up for the later turns. Lyon will always 
 go first with the Gale Rune equipped, this includes her Combination Magic 
 with the Prince.

So, Lyon will cast Shield Magic LV 1 in the hope of giving Fury to Belcoot 
 and Kyle. If the Prince has more LV 4 magic than Lyon, go ahead and use the 
 extra spell now, as they will mostly be using the Combination Magic. If the 
 Prince does not, then have him attack, that is what the Power Rune is for. 
 Have Kyle cast True Flowing, while Belcoot attacks. Viki is here simply to 
 Chain spells from the Rage Rune. Keep in mind that if Viki uses Combo Magic, 
 she cannot chain, so it is usually not worth it for her. Have Levi use a 
 Clay Guardian scroll for now.

-Turn Two
Your Party will have taken damage in the last round. Especially Belcoot in 
 the  number two slot. Have the Price and Lyon cast Creation LV 4 to fully 
 heal everyone. Have Belcoot use the Falcon Rune if he gained the Fury 
 Status. Kyle should attack regardless of his status. Viki Keeps the damage 
 coming, hopefully Chaining. Have Levi cast Canopy Defense. With his 
 Incantation, it should be cast second, right after the Prince and Lyon heal 
 everyone.

-Turn Three
This turn, Canopy Defense should have kept most of the party from taking 
 damage, though Belcoot will still be down a bit. If he is unbalanced form 
 the Falcon Rune, then have Levi cast Kindness Rain. If not, then have him 
 heal himself with an Item. Kyle will attack, this is his last turn Boosted. 
 Have Lyon cast either Battlefield or Battle Oath, depending on how many 
 people are already Furied. Have the Prince attack. If Levi is not healing, 
 have him use a second Clay Guardian Scroll now.

-Turn Four
Kyle is now at 1 HP. Don't worry though, if he dies, he has already served 
 his purpose, just let him be replaced. If not, great, just keep him 
 attacking. If you have a LV 4 Creation, use that, if not then use LV 3. 
 Belcoot should keep attacking the Incarnation, but wait till he gains the 
 Fury Status before using the Falcon Rune. Viki should now be out if LV 4 
 spells, so use LV 3 instead. Have Levi cast Canopy defense.

-Turn Five and After
You should now have a good feeling for how much damage you will take each 
 turn. If Kyle, Viki, or Belcoot die, they can easily be replaced by your 
 entourage. Thing get much harder if either the Prince, Lyon, or Levi die. By 
 using Canopy Defense and Creation wisely, you now have dealt damage without 
 taking very much yourself. You should have the battle under control. Use 
 Kindness Rain to augment the healing from Creation. Once the Prince and Lyon 
 deplete their LV 3 Magic, just have them attack, or have Lyon cast Battle 
 Oath and Great Blessing as necessary. Though, with this strategy, I have 
 always defeated the Incarnation before depleting Lyon's LV 3 MP.
  

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Congratulations!

You have now completed the game!

My work here is done for now, so just sit back and enjoy the ending. I will 
 say now that there are three major endings to the game. One is considered 
 the "Best" ending, but I do not know about that. I think all three are good 
 endings to the story, it's just that some are more. . . sorrowful than 
 others. You can  only achieve the game's two Best endings if you recruited 
 all 108 Stars of Destiny and choose to abandon your castle in chapter four, 
 though. If you want the so-called Best Ending, you will have had to follow 
 my recommendations when interacting with Lym and Lyon as well, as their 
 affection for you determines what endings you can see.

Thanks for using my walkthrough. I hope it has made this great game even more 
 enjoyable for you.

--Rooks


>> END OF WALKTHROUGH <<
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Spoiler Space













Spoiler Space.
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=============================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

	SECTION 2

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
=============================================================================

Welcome to the Guides section of this document. This section is dedicated to 
 general information about Characters, Stats, Skills, and Runes. I'll be 
 going over each character in even more detail than I did in the walkthrough 
 section. Plus, I will add more information about acquiring Runes and 
 Characters. Section two can act as its own independent guide as well, 
 replacing the walkthrough if you don't like that kind of thing.

=============================================================================

	Characters -- section 2.1

=============================================================================

This functions as both a bare recruitment guide and a Character evaluation 
 Guide. Characters will be presented in the same recruitment order that they 
 are found in the walkthrough. Of course, there is lots of leeway for 
 recruitment, and you can choose to recruit most characters out-of-order if 
 you wish. But in this guide, I will recruit characters as soon as they 
 become available, plus I put quite a bit of time into devising this 
 recruitment order, but feel free to recruit as you will.

I also evaluate all battle-useable characters. Most Support or Major-Battle 
 characters I will not evaluate, unless they have a particular Ability that I 
 wish to point out.

--Evaluation Criteria--
I won't name names, but I feel that most other character evaluation guides 
 for Suikoden Games have been failures. This is for two reasons: One, the 
 author of the guide only looks to the Late-Game usefulness of the character 
 and ignores how useful characters that are recruited early can be be. Two, 
 the author simply does not do the work necessary to get to know each 
 character.

There are 75 battle-useable characters in Suikoden V.

Now, as far as how I went about rating characters, there are several major 
 points: (1.) Base Stats (2.) Open Rune Slots / Equipped Runes (3.) Skills / 
 Epic Skills (4.) Recruitment Order, or how early that character joins (5.) 
 Personality.

Those are the five criteria I used to determine a Character's "Rank." Now, 
 one of the great things about the Suikoden games is that there are always 
 characters to suit your own personal playing style. Plus, if a character 
 comes along that you feel a strong affection for, then you can use that 
 character as you will.

Let me make this perfectly clear: The best way to play the game is the way 
 that is most fun for you to play. Nothing else matters, certainly not my 
 opinion. So, if you feel you like a character, for whatever reason, go for 
 it. And don't let me tell you otherwise.  

With that in mind, I only have two reasons for Ranking the Characters at all: 
 One, I feel that there are many underrated characters in the game that do 
 not get the attention they deserve. And, two, to actually steer you away 
 from using the most powerful characters in the game, because they can often 
 make the game too easy. I ranked each character from D-C-B-A-S depending on 
 the criteria above. I actually recommend against using S-ranked characters 
 when you can, though they sometimes will be required party members.

Many characters in the game are time-sensitive, meaning that if you have not 
 recruited them by a certain point, you will have missed them. All 
 recruitment must be completed just after Major Battle #11 and the beginning 
 of Major Battle #12. At that point, all recruitment closes.

I will list recruitment windows for all non-automatic Stars of Destiny, 
 usually based on Major Battles, but sometime using other major game events 
 as a guide. It will look like: "(Character Becomes Available) / (Character 
 Disappears)" So, here is the recruitment window for Sairoh as an example: 
 After Major Battle #1 / End of Window. When I say "End of Window" I just 
 mean they can be recruited to the end, just before Major Battle #12

---------- Characters ----------

----------------
/////Frey Falenas, the Prince, Hero V (whatever you'd like to call him.)
Star #1 of 108
Rank: S
Auto-Recruit.
Class: Mid-Range Fighter/ Mid-Range Mage.
Notes: The most versatile character in the game. He can do pretty much 
 anything, except heavy tanking. He is the Hero, so he will be in your active 
 battle party at all times. Though he is not quite as strong as some of the 
 previous heroes, like Tir McDohl from SI, this is due to the fact that his 
 main rune is just not as good as, say, the Soul Eater worn by McDohl. But he 
 is very powerful, and can be relied on to fulfill many different roles in 
 your party effectively.

He is a silent protagonist, so his personality reflects the player's 
 personality. If you want to hear more about this, read my essay on literary 
 theory and Allegorical Projection at the end of this walkthrough.

Recommended Runes: Dawn, Double-Edge, Power, Fury, Gale
Recommended Skills: Agility, Attack, Magic
Available Epic Skills: Royal Paradise (SS), Fate Control(S), Sacred Oath(S), 
 All other Epics(A)

----------------
///////////////Lyon
Star #2 of 108
Rank: A
Auto-Recruit.
Class: Mid-Range Fighter
Notes: Almost always by the Prince's side, she is a required party member 
 most of the time. Though, unlike the prince she can be moved into the 
 party's "entourage," effectively taking her out of battles, while still 
 allowing access to her non-battle magic. She is fast and strong, with good 
 defense and at least decent magic and HP scores, so, I would probably use 
 her most of the time, even if she was not required. Like the Prince, she can 
 fulfill multiple roles, and this versatility is her best quality. I give her 
 an A-rank because she is just not as strong as the prince, especially late 
 in the game. Keep in mind though, that she and the Prince have a useful 
 unite attack.

While her Skills largely remain mediocre throughout the middle portion of the 
 game. In the Late-Game her Triple Harmony, All-Out Strike, and Sacred Oath 
 epics can really balance her stats. Also, I do recommend spending the 1 
 million potch on a Corruption Shell for her, as having strong magic makes 
 the Final Boss much easier.

Recommended Runes: Shield, Earth, Power, Magic Absorb
Recommended Skills: Agility, Attack, Incantation
Available Epic Skills: Triple Harmony(S), All-Out Strike(SS), Fate Control 
 (S), Swift Foot (S), Divine Right (A), Sacred Oath (A), Zen Sword (A)

----------------
///////////////Sialeeds
Star# 3 of 108
Auto-Recruit
Overall Rank: C
Class: Long-Range Mage
Notes: Sialeeds is an odd character, to be sure. She has lots of Magic Power, 
 but only one rune slot, permanently occupied by a Wind Rune. Aside from her 
 dismal HP totals and her lack of contribution in many battles, she does have 
 some good qualities: the Royal Power Co-Op Attack is a great way to clear 
 out weaker enemies from the screen, and she is faster than most other Mage-
 Class characters, making her a good idea for in-battle item usage. Like her 
 or not, she is a required character in many sections of the game, and the 
 first true mage that you have access to. Her Skills are not that great 
 either: Long Throw is permanently equipped, and not too useful. She seems 
 to be a bad compromise between Long-Range Attack and Magic, in the end, I 
 find myself only using her when she is required, as either more versatile or 
 more powerful mages emerge later in the game.

Plus, although she can be funny at times, she doesn't win any points on 
 personality from me.

Recommended Runes: Err. . Wind?
Recommended Skills: Incantation(A), Long Throw (SS)

----------------
///////////////Boz Wilde
Star #4 of 108
Auto-Recruit
Class: Major Battle Only
Notes: He is one of the few characters that can be used in major battles 
 only. With that said, he commands a powerful Spear-Infantry unit, and is 
 with you from your first major battle onward, so he is a reliable character 
 on the battlefield. I use him in the vast majority of Major Battles, in 
 fact, I can't think of anyone I rely on more often. Plus, he has a kind and 
 humorous personality that he tops of with a huge Mohawk -not a faux-hawk- a 
 real death-metal Mohawk. What more could you want?


----------------
///////////////Cornelio
Star #5 of 108
Rank: D
Recruitment Window: Haud, After major battle #1 / Before Major Battle #3. 
Recruit: Go to his house in Haud, south of the trader, and you will battle 
 the DoReMi Elves. Afterwords, he will join.
Class: Short-Range Mage
Notes: Cornelio is arguably the least useful character in the game. He is a 
 mage, and when he is recruited, mages are still pretty rare. But he wields a 
 short-range weapon, making him either useless in the back row, or a useless 
 liability in the front row. Sure, mages can use spells to make up for their 
 lack of physical power, but Cornelio has low MAG and MP stats for a mage, 
 and has one of the lowest HP totals in the game. Other Short-Range Mages 
 have at least mediocre HP, but Cornelio can't even muster that.

In Major Battles, he is largely useless too, he commands only a two-star Rune 
 Archer unit, and has one use of the Flowing Rune. At best he can be used as 
 a Lieutenant for Sialeeds in the early game.

His personality is so abrasive, it is not even funny. Really, he doesn't even 
 bring any real humor to the party. Making it hard to justify using him at 
 all.

Recommended Runes: Fire Rune, Water Rune, Magical
Recommended Skills: Incantation, Magic, Perfect Pitch (SS)
Available Epic Skills: Divine Right (A), Sacred Oath (A)


----------------
///////////////Sairoh
Star #6 of 108
Rank: B
Recruitment Window: After Major battle #1 / End of Recruitment
Recruit: Check the "Rumors" at traders. When you get the rumor "Apparently, 
 the price of Salt has skyrocketed." Go to Ratfleet and talk to Sairoh at the 
 trader there. Sell off at least six units of Salt to stabilize the price. 
 Talk to Sairoh and he will join. 
Class: Support / Major Battle
Notes: As far as support characters for your entourage go, you can do much 
 better. But in terms of support character for you Battle units, (the third 
 and final slot) he is one of the best. His ability is Extra, allowing one 
 more usage of any one ability that can be used by that unit. For example, if 
 you have Sialeeds leading a Rune Archer unit with one use of the Cyclone 
 Rune ability, add Sairoh to the support slot to gain a second usage of that 
 Rune. Overall, he is one of the best Major Battle Support characters in the 
 game which is why I suggest you recruit him as early as possible.


----------------
///////////////Lun
Star #7 of 108
Rank: C
Auto-Recruit
Class: Mid-Range Fighter
Notes: Lun is a refreshing change from the dismal performance of Cornelio and 
 the DoReMi elves. She has average scores in virtually every statistic, 
 making her a good all-round choice. Plus, being from Raftfleet, she has an 
 affinity for Water Magic, making her useful in the early game as both an 
 attacker and support character. Overall, she is like a bad copy of Lyon: she 
 is not as fast, nor as resilient, but even a bad copy of Lyon makes for a 
 good character, especially when you consider how early in the game you 
 acquire her. 

In Major Battles, she adds the Recover skill to her unit, plus a bit of 
 attack power, making her quite useful as a Lieutenant or Support Officer.

Her personality is friendly, earnest and energetic -if not overly bright- 
 making her a welcome addition to the party.

Recommended Runes: Water, Power, Double-Edge
Recommended Skills: Agility, Technique
Available Epic Skills: Swift Foot (A), All-Out Strike (A)


----------------
///////////////Logg
Star #8 of 108
Rank: C
Auto-Recruit
Class: Mid-Range Fighter
Notes: Logg has one of the worst Magic/MP scores in the game, he his not 
 Agile, nor does he have much accuracy. What he does bring to the party is a 
 mass of HP and at least some Mid-Range power. Again, he is a character that 
 is useful early on, but will get pushed out of your party later as you 
 acquire more versatile characters. In fact, Logg can really only do one 
 thing well, and that is fight with the Attack command. As such, he is best 
 paired with Lun for their Co-Op attack that effects an entire enemy row.

In Major Battles, he is actually quite useful though, adding the Barrage 
 skill, which allows for Archer units to attack distant enemies without 
 exposing themselves to danger.

Recommended Runes: Power Rune, Boost Rune
Recommended Skills: Attack, Stamina
Available Epic Skills: Raging Lion(A), Armor of Gods (A), Triple Harmony (A)


----------------
///////////////Lucretia
Star #9 of 108
Rank: Well. . .
Auto-Recruit
Class: Major Battles Only
Notes: Lucretia will be your tactician. Often times, the best parts of the 
 Suikoden games come from watching how the tactician works, as well as how 
 they interact with the game's Hero. Lucretia does not disappoint. She seems 
 to be the most capable and. . . interesting tactician since Shu in Suikoden 
 II.

Lucretia is a very mysterious character in many ways though. As she said she 
 used to be Lord Godwin's tactician, until she betrayed him for moral 
 reasons. But she is clearly not from Falena, if you know your Suikoden lore. 
 For one thing, her name, Lucretia Merces, sounds exotic, different from the 
 Falenan names we have learned so far. The green streak in her hair is 
 reminiscent of the Karaya clan from the Grasslands far away on the northern 
 continent.

For Suikoden buffs, her national heritage is a mystery. It is doubtful she 
 was educated to become the caliber of tactician that she is in the rural and 
 agrarian culture of the Grasslands. It is likely that she attended school in 
 either the Holy Kingdom of Harmonia or in the Northern Outlands to the north 
 of the Grasslands, both of which seem to have advanced, learned cultures. 
 (Boris from Suikoden II and Thomas from Suikoden III were both educated in 
 the so-called Northern Outlands.)

In any event, Lucretia is as sharp and as dangerous as a pack of razor 
 blades, and she is now on your side.

**New Information**
--From Dex
"The Part about Lucretia, her origin aren't a mystery. She IS from the Karaya
 Clan and was orphaned when the True Fire Rune went out of control at the end
 of the First Fire Bringer War. She was then sent to Harmonia where she did
 her studies in the same academy as Klaus..."

-- Dex

Thanks for the new Info. As you can see there are things about the game and
 the deep world of the Suikoden Series I don't know, so it help to correspond
 with other fans to help flesh out my knowledge. Thanks Dex.

 


----------------
///////////////Cius
Star #10 of 108
Rank: D
Auto-Recruit
Class: Short-Range Fighter
Notes: Well, Cius scores less than average in almost every statistical 
 category, including Magic, Technique, MP, Attack, and Agility. That is, 
 virtually everything that can make a Short-Range Fighter useful. Just about 
 the only thing he has going for him is his Lockdown Co-Op with Lelei, 
 which is still pretty lame, as far as Co-Ops go in this game. He can wear 
 heavy armour and has strong HP, but that alone can't make a good character.

Plus, he has a rather boring demeanor. Unlike Belcoot who is quiet, but 
 strong, Cius just seems quiet, but stupid. I really would like to say at 
 least one good thing about him, but none really come to mind.

Recommended Runes: Double-Edge, Power, Crazed
Recommended Skills: Attack, Technique
Available Epic Skills: Raging Lion (A), Fate Control (A)

----------------
///////////////Lelei
Star #11 of 108
Rank: C
Auto-Recruit
Class: Short-Range Fighter
Notes: Unlike her compatriot Cius, Lelei has some decent stats. She is 
 average in many qualities for a Short-Range fighter, but has passable Magic 
 scores and one very useful ability: Analyze. As well as many other positive 
 effects, this ability will display health bars above the heads of enemies 
 between turns. This is a great help when you are not sure of your enemy's 
 strength.

She has an intelligent personality, and is earnest and hard-working. Lets 
 just say that she is a big fan of Lucretia. Not that I am criticizing her 
 for this, mind you, I am a big fan of Lucretia myself. But, something tells 
 me that Lelei is even more of a Lucretia fan than I. 

Recommended Runes: Lightning, Drain, Double-Edge
Recommended Skills: Analyze (SS), Attack 
Available Epic Skills: Swift Foot(A), Fate Control(A), Divine Right(A), 
 Karmic Effect(A)


-----------------
////////////////Raja
Star #12 of 108
Rank: A
Auto-Recruit
Class: Major Battle Only
Notes: Raja commands the mighty Dahak archer ship. She is a rare 5-star 
 general, and will be with you throughout all of your naval engagements. The 
 strategy for using her is as straight-forward as her personality. Stack the 
 Dahak with as many uses of the "Barrage" skill as you can, and use them to 
 drive away enemies when it looks like one of your allies might enter a fight 
 that exploits their weakness.

----------------
///////////////Kisara
Star #13 of 108
Rank: B
Auto-Recruit
Class: Short-Range Mage
Notes: Unlike the rest of her family, Kisara scores a B-rank. Kisara is a 
 Short-Range Mage, meaning that she suffers from many of the same problems 
 that Cornelio suffers from. But, being a woman of Raftfleet, she is made of 
 much sterner stuff than anyone from Haud village. Her HP and Defense scores 
 are not bad, and neither is her Agility. As far as Magic Power and MP are 
 concerned, she scores about the same as Sialeeds, but her HP and Defense are 
 far superior. If you want to put her in the back row, she can use the 
 Kisara/ Logg/ Lun Co-Op attack, allowing for her to deal physical damage. 
 Plus, she was strong affinity with Water magic, making her ideal as a 
 healer. As the game progresses, you will acquire the True Men Tactic, which 
 places all the characters in the front row. Ironically, Kisara is the best 
 choice for a mage in this formation, as it is usually used for aggressive 
 physical parties, and she makes the best healer at short-range. 

Her personality is much more intelligent and reserved than the rest of her 
 family, if somewhat less entertaining. She also has a big. . . heart -
 expansive, actually.

Recommended Runes: Water, Magical, Magic Absorb
Recommended Skills: Incantation, Magic Defense
Available Epic Skills: Divine Right(A), Sacred Oath(A)


----------------
///////////////Shinro
Star #14 of 108
Rank: B
Recruitment Window: After Major Battle #2 / End of Window
Recruit: At Raftfleet, talk to him in the item shop and he will join. 
Class: Support / Major Battle
Notes: Shinro is just like his grandfather. They even have the same -very 
 useful- Support Officer skill in Major Battles: Extra. This skill allows for 
 one more use of the primary skill of any unit.

----------------
///////////////Oboro (Recruitment Quest)
Window: After You Hire him to investigate the uprising / Before returning to 
 the Barows Mansion
Recruitment Event: After you hire him at Lucretia's request, go straight to 
 the Rainwall Inn and talk to the drunken man at the bar. Exit the bar and 
 choose to join up with Shigure. At each stage of the quest, choose to stay 
 with Oboro. When you get to the scene by the Barows mansion choose: "So, 
 that man is in there?" When you return to the ship, choose: "Let's Talk to 
 Norden." Then when you return to the ship again, choose: "Let's take him 
 there. . ."
If you follow these correctly, Oboro will join after Major Battle #3. See his 
 section there for more details.


----------------
///////////////Egbert
Star #15 of 108
Rank: A
Recruitment Window: After Major Battle #2 / End of Window
Recruit: Deep in the Baska Mines. Talk to Egbert and do not touch the [X] 
 button to scroll through his dialogue until you see the yellow icon in the 
 corner of the box. After he is through talking, he will join if you listened 
 to him patiently.
Class: Support / Major Battle
Notes: Egbert might be a bit. . . troubled, but one can hardly blame him, the 
 Godwins stole everything from his family. In major Battles, he commands a 
 mediocre Cavalry unit, and is not much use altogether. But as a support 
 member in you battle entourage, his Potch Finder skill makes him one of 
 the best choices at any time. Especially in concert with the Prosperity Set, 
 Egbert is invaluable, literally.


-----------------
////////////////Takamu
Star #16 of 108
Rank: A
Recruitment Window: After Major Battle #2 / End of Window
Recruit: With Cius, return to Agate Prison via the dwarf camp. Inside the 
 Cell Block, you will meet Takamu. Help him find his equipment and he will 
 join. Note: Takamu will also give you the Suiko Map.
Class: Support / Major Battle 
Notes: Takamu is one of the most useful support characters in the game. His 
 Escape Route skill allows you to run away from any battle where it is 
 possible to run with a 100% success rate. He also has the ability to see 
 certain, hidden paths, and is necessary to access a certain area in the 
 game. (I will alert you it comes up in the walkthrough.)

As if that was not enough, he makes a great support officer for Major 
 Battles. His Speed ability will increase the movement speed of any unit, 
 this is good for slower units like Boz.

----------------
///////////////Killey (Stage 1)
Recruitment Event Window: After Major Battler #2 / Major Battle #7
Recruitment Event: With Cius, return to Agate Prison via the Dwarf Camp. You 
 will meet Killey in the Cell Blocks. He will not join yet, but this scene 
 might be necessary for his recruitment. Note that Killey is the toughest 
 character to recruit in the game, but if you simply follow everything I have 
 listed you will recruit him just fine.


----------------
///////////////Josephine
Star #17 of 108
Rank: D
Recruitment Window: After Major Battle #2 / Major Battle #7
Recruit: Haud, talk to her with Sialeeds or Jeane in your party and you will 
 have the opportunity to recruit her.
Class: Short-Range Mage (Narcissist)
Notes: Wow, another Short-Range Mage from Haud. . . Well, she is a little 
 better than that last one. Her magic score is higher, and she possesses the 
 Red Rose Rune, which allows her to attack for 2x DMG once per battle, though 
 this inflicts the negative Anger status effect on the rest of the party, 
 keeping them from using Co-Op attacks. She does share a rather powerful Co-
 Op with some characters that we will be recruiting much later, but this 
 means that you can't use her Red Rose Rune if you also want to use the Co-
 Op. . .

Actually, she can be useful in Major Battles, giving 2 uses of the Rage Rune 
 to a Rune Archer Unit. Rage Rune works like Charge for infantry units. So, 
 she is a good match for Sialeeds.

Other than that, she is a Narcissist, an actual sub-class found throughout 
 the Suikoden games. Though, they have not gotten the Narcissists right since 
 the Suikoden I, where Millich Oppenheimer (aka the Flower General) was an 
 actual character, and not just a walking joke. Moreover Millich had pretty 
 good stats, as opposed to characters like Josephine.

Recommended Runes: Fire
Recommended Skills: Magic, Incantation
Available Epic Skills: Divine Right(S), Sacred Oath(A)





----------------
///////////////Kyle
Star #18 of 108
Rank: A
Auto-Recruit
Class: Short-Range Fighter / Mage
Notes: Finally, a Battle-useable A-rank recruit. Really, all the Queen's 
 Knights are amazing characters, and Kyle is no exception. His stats are 
 above average in nearly every category, making him one of the most versatile 
 characters in the game. Not only is he the most powerful and agile Short-
 Range fighter you've acquired so far, his magic and MP score is high, about 
 the same as Sialeeds. As such, I have listed him as a mage as well as a 
 fighter. Statistically, he has no real weaknesses. He will never have the HP 
 of, say, Georg, but his magic skills make up for this well. While Georg has 
 one of the worst MDEF scores in the game, Kyle has enough MDEF to withstand 
 even some of the most potent magic attacks.
 
Really, Kyle is essentially a "Flik-class" character, referring to "Blue 
 Lightning Flik" from Suikoden I and II. He does not stand out in any one 
 category, but has powerful balance of skills to rely on for all types of 
 situations. Go ahead and take him into battle and you will see.

Also, Kyle has access to three open Rune Slots latter in the game, this means 
 you can stack up DMG-enhancing Runes, making him one of the strongest 
 characters in terms of Damage per turn. The only reason to not add him to 
 your party is if you are going Treasure Hunting. Kyle has one of the lowest 
 Luck scores in the game, and Luck effects everything from how many critical 
 hits you score to what items enemies drop. I'll cover Treasure Hunting a 
 bit more later.

In Major Battles, Kyle is more effective at being a Lieutenant than the 
 Captain of a Unit. While the infantry units he leads are solid, as a 
 Lieutenant he adds +5 ATK.

Kyle is particularly skilled with Water Magic, which speaks to his underlying 
 character. As I said before, most Water Magic users have stable, strong, and 
 quiet personalities. While Kyle is by no means quiet, he is stable and 
 strong. Both here in the previous scene and while you were fleeing Sol-
 Falena, Kyle let a bit of his underlying personality slip through. In the 
 end, he may seem flippant and juvenile, but he is a person you can count on 
 when things get bad.

Recommended Runes: Water, Magic Absorb, Flowing Sword, Double-Edge, Fury, 
 Power
Recommended Skills: Attack, Technique
Available Epic Skills: Swift Foot(A), Fate Control(A), Karmic Effect(A), 
 Divine Right(S), Zen Sword(SS)


----------------
///////////////Chuck
Star #19 of 108
Rank: D
Auto-Recruit
Class: Major Battle Only
Notes: Hmmm . . . Well, Chuck is pretty much the standard Suikoden faire for 
 storage keepers: big and dumb. Really, every game but number II has had the 
 same type of character for the Storage Keeper. For a game that is so 
 renowned for its characters, you think they could do a better job than just 
 to give us the same character template over and over. So, poor Chuck gets a 
 D-rank for simply being a generic character in a game that can pride itself 
 on the uniqueness of its characters.


----------------
///////////////Luserina
Star #20 of 108
Rank: B
Auto-Recruit
Class: Major Battles / HQ Services
Notes: Luserina will be in charge of your party management, and that is just 
 about the most vital service anyone could provide. In Major Battles, she can 
 be used as a Support Officer, with the Morale skill added to the unit. 
 Morale simply raises the unit's attack power by +5. Maybe not the best 
 contribution to Major Battles, but a welcome addition to fill out a unit.

Her personality could not be any different from her brother or father. She is 
 kind, as well as intelligent and hard working. All round she is a great 
 addition to your army.


----------------
///////////////Oboro
Star #21 of 108
Rank: B 
Recruitment Window: After Major Battle #3 / Major Battle #7
Recruitment: If you did not complete his recruitment quest. Find him in 
 Raftfleet after every Major Game even and ask him to join. He will 
 eventually. If you did complete his quest, then you only need to ask him to 
 join once.
Class: Major Battle Only
Notes: Oboro doesn't do much in major battles, he is a Support Officer with 
 the Rumors Skill which lowers the Attack Power of enemies you fight. Meh. . 

Like Chuck, I judge him more on the lineage of Suikoden investigators. 
 Richmond from Suikoden II was the best, but Oboro is a close second I think. 
 He definitely has his own smooth style. Gentlemanly, but with a sharp wit, 
 perhaps even close to that of Lucretia. He will investigate members of your 
 army for you, for a small fee. Plus, he can help locate Stars that you have 
 not recruited yet. (For all that is worth with this walkthrough.)


---------------
//////////////Fuyo
Star #22 of 108
Rank: D
Recruit: Joins with Oboro
Class: Major Battles Only
Notes: Well, she has an unremarkable skill for use in major battles. She 
 hosts a mini-game that you can play later. Other than that, she is just 
 along for the ride.



----------------
///////////////Shigure
Star # 23 of 108
Rank: B
Recruit: Joins with Oboro
Class: Short-Range Fighter (Ninja)
Notes: Shigure is one of the fastest, most agile characters in the game. He 
 belongs to the Ninja sub-class, and as you can imagine, this makes his a 
 capable fighter. His HP and Defense are quite low, more along the lines of 
 Long-Range characters, so you must be careful when he is in your party, and 
 I cannot recommend him for the front of your formation, he is best from row 
 #2. Shigure will deal frequent consecutive and continuous attacks, allowing 
 him to clear out several enemies at once.

In Major Battles he is not quite as useful. As a Captain, he commands a
 three-star infantry unit with the Skill Ambush. Ambush works like the 
 Archer's Barrage command, except that is has a very limited range. While 
 this can be useful, the issue of the limited range makes if difficult to 
 use, and often you will be thrown into a normal battle on accident. Having 
 only a three-star commander is a liability, so I use him mostly as a 
 Lieutenant or not at all.

His personality is very laid-back, with no real intensity at all. This can 
 lead to some humorous moments, but for the most part he will remain quiet 
 and only open his mouth to complain.

Recommended Runes: Killer, Power, Fury
Recommended Skills: Attack, Agility
Available Epic Skills: Raging Lion(A), Fate Control(A), Triple Harmony(S) (no 
 Swift Foot? Isn't he a Ninja?)


----------------
///////////////Norden
Star #24 of 108
Rank: D, for drunk
Recruitment Window: Major Battle #3 / Major Battle #7
Recruit: Speak with him and you will have the opportunity to recruit him. He 
 is either at the Inn an Raftfleet or the Inn at Lordlake.
Class: Major Battle Only.
Notes: Norden can serve as a Support Officer in a unit. But he can also be 
 killed permanently if that unit loses all of it's HP. For the most part, I 
 leave him on the sidelines.

He really doesn't do anything else but hang round and drink. I mean sure, 
 he's been through a lot, but still you think they could have given him a 
 mini-game or something. Maybe Chichoirin or Rita-Pon, that would have been 
 nice.


----------------
///////////////Zegai
Star #25 of 108
Rank: B
Recruitment Window: After Major Battle #3 / End of Window
Recruit: North of Haud on the world map, return to the Lunas North Woods with 
 Takamu in your party, you will find Zegai there and have the opportunity to 
 recruit him.
Class: Mid-Range Fighter
Notes: I am certain there are many Zegai fans who are wondering how I could 
 give him a "B" and not at least an "A." Well, he does have massive HP and 
 Attack stats, and surprisingly high MDEF and Technique, but he lacks speed, 
 and the PDEF to match his HP. He can be a very powerful character under most 
 circumstances, but he simply does not suit me. I guess this is more of a 
 personal preference issue than anything else. He comes equipped with a 
 unique Rune: Wrath. This rune is handy, it heals half of his lost HP and 
 gives the Fury status! This makes him the prime candidate for the Boost 
 Rune, which reduces the wearer's HP to 1 after the 3rd turn. Give him a 
 Sacrificial Jizo or Buddha and the Boost Rune and he is a strong character, 
 if somewhat slow for my taste. 

Zegai is also your army's combat trainer. If you take him with you on a 
 journey, he will be able to train your characters at any time, perfect for 
 making your party stronger right before a big boss battle.

Be careful when you use him for Major Battles though. As a Lieutenant, he 
 adds a substantial bonus to his unit's Attack, but he can be killed 
 permanently if his unit is defeated.

I like his personality, another one of the calm but strong warriors. He is 
 quiet though, and does not really add much entertainment to things.

Now, for the question burning everyone's mind: If Zegai had not been 
 disqualified in the Sacred Games and Belcoot was in good health, who would 
 have won? Easy, Belcoot. Belcoot has superior technique and accuracy, 
 agility and defense, while only falling short of Zegai in HP and Attack by a 
 small fraction. While Zegai can always put up a good fight, Belcoot would 
 have had that match eventually.

Recommended Runes: Power, Double-Edge, Boost
Recommended Skills: Technique, Attack
Available Epic Skills: Raging Lion(S), Fate Control(S), Karmic Effect(A), 
 Untold Clarity(SS)


-----------------
////////////////Sorensen
Star #26 of 108
Rank: D
Recruitment Window: After Major Battle #3 / Major Battle #7
Recruit: Talk to Boz, and he will mention the revolving bridge. Talk to the 
 Guard at the revolving Bridge, and he will mention that the inventor lives 
 in Estrise. In Estrise meet with Sorensen, Babbage and Lu. Talk to Logg to 
 have him take you to the revolving Bridge. After your quest there is over, 
 return to Estrise and Sorensen will join. You can recruit Babbage and Lu 
 later.
Class: Mid-Range Fighter
Notes: It might be a bit harsh to rank Sorensen as a D, but there it is. He 
 has below-average stats in every category. And unlike Cius, he cannot wear 
 heavy armour. He is also a member of the Mid-Range Fighter class, probably 
 the most competitive class in the game, with the Prince and Lyon required 
 all the time and many other great choices besides. There is not one 
 statistic that he possesses that stands out.

In Major Battles, he can command a special Ballista Unit, which can deal 
 damage from ridiculous ranges. Overall, this is not that much of an 
 advantage though, as the catapult has low movement speed and a limited 
 number of uses. It is more a unit to play round with for fun -like Shigure's 
 Ambush skill- than something that provides a tactical advantage.

His personality is solid though, if not exciting, plus from the way he lets 
 Babbage push him around, I wonder about his self-esteem.

Recommended Runes: Earth, Power
Recommended Skills: Attack, Technique
Available Epic Skills: Fate Control(A), Triple Harmony(A)


----------------
///////////////Viki
Star #27 of 108
Rank: A
Auto-Recruit
Class: Mid-Range Mage
Notes: VIKI!!!! She returns as always to help your army with her 
 teleportation service. Viki has been doing this since Suikoden I, and along 
 with Jeane, is one of two characters to appear in every main game. She is 
 available for party battles in this game as well, and just like in Suikoden 
 III, she has access to her unique "Chain Magic" skill, allowing her to 
 randomly cast the same spell twice in a row for the cost of only one MP. 
 With this skill, Viki has the potential to deal more damage per turn than 
 any other mage in the game, especially once you gain access to the higher-
 level Elemental Attack Runes.

She has a Blinking Rune attached permanently to her right hand, and while 
 this Rune is, in my opinion, the least powerful of the Attack Magic Runes, 
 it is fun to use, even though it can backfire. To keep it from doing so, 
 increase Viki's Luck statistic as high as you can, by using items like the 
 Luck Ring. Luck, as a stat, effects everything in the game that depends on 
 a percentage. So, doing this will also raise her chances of triggering her 
 Chain Magic.

In Major Battles, she is most useful as a Lieutenant, adding two uses of the 
 Cyclone Rune to a Rune Archer's Skills, making her a good pair with Sialeeds 
 and other strong Rune Archer Captains that you will obtain later.

Her service to your army is to teleport you using Blinking Magic to any town 
 that you have already visited that lies within your territory. This is the 
 most convenient service in the game.

So, with all that she brings to your cause, why is she only ranked as an "A" 
 and not an "S"? Well, much like Kyle, she is high-ranking even among the 
 other "A"s, and I am only giving out the S to people who are overpowered. 
 Remember that I said to refrain from using S-rank characters too much? Viki, 
 because she has a Blinking Rune on her right hand, cannot use the Magic 
 Absorb Rune, which can only be attached to the right hand. This limits the 
 amount of MP she has, and thus keeps her from being over-powered. I'll talk 
 more about the Magic Absorb Rune in a bit.

I am a big fan of Viki, in case you couldn't tell. She Blinks around through 
 space and time, helping save the world, then Blinks off again to an unknown 
 place before she can be rewarded. She has done this five times now, and does 
 not even seem to be aware of what she has accomplished. In this vein, Viki 
 just might be the most heroic character in the entire Suikoden series.

My own personal theory on Viki: She is actually super-intelligent, but the 
 Blinking Rune that she uses to move people and things through space and time 
 requires so much mental processing power and concentration, that Viki 
 herself is left with only the bare minimum amount of intelligence needed to 
 survive. That is, the Rune robs her of her intelligence in order for it to 
 function. This theory is supported by the fact that whenever her brain 
 triggers an involuntary function -like sneezing- she momentarily loses 
 control of her magic.

Recommended Runes: Wind / Cyclone, Fire / Rage, Magical, Alert
Recommended Skills: Chain Magic(SS), Incantation
Available Epic Skills: Divine Right(A), Sacred Oath(S)


----------------
///////////////Zweig
Star #28 0f 108
Rank: B
Auto-Recruit
Class: Mid-Range Fighter

While in many ways Zweig is an average fighter -the only stat that really 
 stands out is his Technique- he is more capable than most. The Mid-Range 
 fighter category is the most populated in the game, as I mentioned before, 
 so I do try to rotate through them, but Zweig is solid in many ways -and he 
 handles an Earth Rune well- so he is always a welcome member, if not the 
 star of the show. He is a required member in a few of the game's key levels, 
 so I suggest keeping him well-equipped and ready to go.

What makes him a B-rank is his Treasure Hunt Skill. This increases the drop 
 rates of enemy monsters, whether he is in your battle party or your 
 entourage.

He doesn't do much for you in major battles, just the Weakness Skill that 
 lowers enemy defense.

His personality may be a bit stand-offish, but compared to Lorelai who 
 attacked you when she first saw you, and Zerase who threatened to kill you 
 when you acquired the Dawn Rune, he is practically Mother Teresa.

Recommended Runes: Earth, Power, Drain
Recommended Skills: Technique, Treasure Hunt
Available Epic Skills: Fate Control(A), Karmic Effect(A), Divine Right(A), 
 Zen Sword(A)

----------------
///////////////Lorelai
Star #29 of 108
Rank: B
Auto-Recruit
Class: Mid-Range Fighter
Notes: Lorelai is back for her third appearance in the Suikoden series, 
 though I think previous incarnations of her character were more powerful. 
 She is one of the few characters in the series to change weapons between 
 games, and I think the whip she carries now is uninspiring; her halberd for 
 Suikoden II was much better.

In battle, she is reliable, though like Zweig she can be rather dull. Her 
 Magic, MP, MDEF, and Agility stats are all above average, making her quite 
 versatile, though her lightning magic affinity is low, so use a Fire Rune 
 instead of the Lightning Rune she came equipped with. Her biggest problem is 
 that she suffers from low HP, making her a bit awkward for Runes like the 
 Power Rune. I always give her a Sacrificial Jizo, just in case.

Again like Zweig, she has the Treasure Hunt Skill permanently equipped, 
 making her useful for that type of party.

I assume there might be a few hardcore Lorelai fans out there, though I'm not 
 sure I'd ever like to meet one. She has a personality obsessed with 
 "Strength," yet she continuously misjudges the strength of the people she 
 meets. Here in this game of course, but in the previous Suikodens as well. 
 She is violent, rude, and surprisingly misogynistic.

Recommended Runes: Fire, Power, Drain
Recommended Skills: Agility, Treasure Hunt
Available Epic Skills: Swift Foot(A), Divine Right(A)


----------------
///////////////Zerase
Star #30 of 108
Rank: S
Auto-Recruit
Class: Long-Range Mage
Notes: So, Zerase gets the S-rank for Mages. She comes with the unique Star 
 Rune attached to her head, one of the highest magic stats, and has a Long-
 Range weapon, allowing her to sit comfortably in the back of your battle 
 formation while still contributing to Physical Damage.

The Star Rune is very powerful, at least as powerful as the Rage or Thunder 
 Runes, and is all the Magic attack that she will ever need. If you equip her 
 with a Magic Absorb Rune on her right hand and a Flowing Rune on her left, 
 the game will basically just give up and let you win. . .

She is so overpowered that I recommend you not use her in most battles. She 
 will be required some of the time, but not often, so I usually choose Viki 
 instead.

In Major Battles, she is equally dominant. She commands a four-star Rune 
 Archer Unit, and she can utilize her Star Rune to deal crushing damage to 
 all enemy units within the blast radius. You can also assign Shinro or 
 Sairoh to her Unit to give her two uses of the Star Rune. The Rune works a 
 lot like the Dawn Rune, except that it does not have the ability to heal 
 allied Units, still, it is a powerful force on the battlefield.

While you have not yet recruited your army's official Magic Tutor, you can 
 add Zerase to your party to have her train your members. So, her 
 contribution to your cause is significant.

Her personality is mysterious, to say the least. We do not know much about 
 her, except that she seems to have some connection with the True Night Rune, 
 a.k.a. The Star Dragon Sword from Suikoden I, II and III. It is likely that 
 her Star Rune, while not one of the 27 True Runes, is a child Rune of the 
 True Night Rune, and grants her tremendous power. In that regard, the Star 
 and Dawn Runes are similar. Both are born directly from one of the True 
 Runes, but are not pieces of the True Runes themselves.

To explain: in Suikoden I and II we saw some of the 27 True Runes that had 
 split themselves into two halves. The True Rune of Beginning split into the 
 Black Sword and Bright Shield Halves, which is where the current Shield 
 Runes come from.

The Dawn and Star Runes are different. They are not halves of a True Rune, 
 but children of the True Rune, controlled largely by that True Rune. The 
 Dawn Rune can control who it chooses as it's wielder.

I will leave the conversation about True Runes there for now. Hopefully this 
 will have given you a good idea about just how expansive and well thought-
 out these games are though.

Recommended Runes: Magic Absorb, Alert, Water / Flowing
Recommended Skills: Incantation, Magic(SS)
Available Epic Skills: Divine Right(SS), Sacred Oath(SS)


----------------
///////////////Killey (Stage Three)
Recruitment Event Window: After Obtaining your HQ / End of Window
Recruitment Event: Killey will show up as you exit your HQ's interior from 
 the second floor. Show him around the sealed room and he will leave. You can 
 recruit him later.


----------------
///////////////Talgeyl
Star #31 of 108
Rank: B
Auto-Recruit
Class: Major Battle Only
Notes: Talgeyl commands a four-star Rune archer unit, and brings the Mother 
 Earth Rune as a skill. Mother Earth acts much like the Rage Rune in Major 
 Battles, which is a bit disappointing in terms of originality, but is still 
 quite useful. Your army will never acquire a five-star Rune Archer 
 commander, so he and Zerase make for the best Rune Archer Unit commanders.

His personality is kind, but with a sly sense of humor and a deep inner 
 strength that belies his age.


----------------
///////////////Toma
Star #32 of 108
Rank: C
Auto-Recruit
Class: Major Battle Only
Notes: Toma -not surprisingly- is a Support Officer only, and cannot join you 
 in party battles. He brings the Survival support skill to his unit, which 
 increases the unit's defense the more it loses HP. This can be very useful 
 in large major battles where it is difficult to keep track of all your 
 units. Especially where characters that can die permanently are concerned, 
 he can help keep their unit alive while they withdraw. Still this is a skill 
 that you will use more in on your first time through the game. As you get 
 better at managing your units, the Survival skill becomes less useful.

I like Toma's personality. In a way he is immature, but he has his own mind 
 and his own voice, and always stands up for what he thinks is right, and 
 that makes him a good person, even if he is still just a kid.

----------------
///////////////Goesch
Star #33 of 108
Rank: B
Auto-Recruit
Class: Mid-Range Fighter
Notes: While he does have good HP, his best qualities are his ability to wear 
 heavy armor under his poncho, and his Mow Down Skill. Mow Down attacks a 
 cluster of enemies, instead of just one. This makes him a prime candidate 
 for Runes like Double-Edge and Power, because he will have plenty of PDEF 
 and HP to sacrifice for additional DMG. 

On the other hand, he competes for a Mid-Range spot in your party that is 
 almost always full; with the Prince and Lyon, and now Zegai, Viki, Lorelai, 
 and Zweig too, there are many other choices, all of them with more Magic and 
 Technique. 

He can command a Unit as well: a useful Four-Star Ram Naval Unit.

Now that the situation has changed for the better, his disrespect for the 
 Prince has faded, and given way to a cheerful and easy-going personality. In 
 this, he makes a welcome addition to any party. He will also be your HQ's 
 farmer, so give him all the Seedling Items that you find or buy along the 
 way to make your garden grow.

Recommended Runes: Crazed, Power, Double-Edge
Recommended Skills: Mow Down(SS), Attack
Available Epic Skills: Raging Lion(A), Triple Harmony(A)


----------------
///////////////Silva
Star #34 0f 108
Rank: C
Auto-Recruit
Class: Major Battles Only
Notes: Well, she is another Support Officer only character. She brings the 
 Relief skill, which slowly recovers ten HP to your unit after every 
 skirmish. This is a useful skill, but I personally like being more offensive 
 in Major battles.

Like Goesch, her personality softens tremendously now. But without actually 
 going to visit her in your castle's infirmary, you would not know.


----------------
///////////////Wilhelm & Mueller
Stars #35 & 36 of 108
Rank: A
Recruitment Window: Major Battle #4 / Major Battle #8
Recruit: Talk to them inside the nearby Inn after each Major Battle. Scoring 
 Victory+ and having as few casualties helps. So can bringing Viki. They will 
 eventually agree. 
Class: Major Battle Only
Notes: I list the two together because they can only join together and they 
 are best left together at all times. Wilhelm commands a five-star Cavalry 
 Unit -one of only two available to your army- and with Mueller as his 
 Lieutenant, they create a special Lindwurm Cavalry Unit, with 3 charge 
 skills and higher Attack and Defense. The Lindwurm Cavalry is one of the 
 most dominant forces on the battlefield; they can shred enemy infantry for 
 over 100 damage in just one normal battle.

Plus, by recruiting them, you can now recruit another dominant character, the 
 third and final member of the Lindwurm Brigade. But we will save him for a 
 bit later.

Wilhelm and Mueller are from the Kingdom of Zelant, which is on the continent 
 to the west of Falena. It seems that Zelant has a militaristic culture, 
 though not much more is known about the nation at this time.


----------------
///////////////Subala
Star #37 of 108
Rank: C
Recruitment Window: After acquiring your HQ / End of Window
Recruit: Raftfleet, bring Lun  for a scene north of the journeyman's crystal. 
 Subala will challenge you to a fishing competition. Win, and she will join. 
 If you lose, you can retry as many times as necessary.
Class: Mid-Range Fighter
Notes: Subala is like a physically supercharged and mentally depreciated Lun. 
 they are both Mid-Range, but Subala lacks any talent with magic, while 
 gaining some speed and power. The two of them have a useful Co-Op attack 
 together. But again, the Mid-Range fighters you have are either more 
 powerful -like Zegai- or more versatile -like Lyon.

While Subala can be quite entertaining, especially when paired with Lun, she 
 just doesn't stand out among the mass of Mid-Range characters.

Recommended Runes: Power, Fury
Recommended Skills: Pierce, Agility
Available Epic Skills: Swift Foot(SS)


----------------
///////////////Muroon
Star #38 of 108
Rank: D
Recruitment Window: After acquiring you HQ / End of Window
Recruit: HQ, talk to him on the pier and ask him to join.
Class: Mid-Range Fighter (Beaver)
Notes: Muroon is the first Beaver that you will recruit officially, and the 
 others are not much better. He has low HP, Attack, Defense, and dismal Magic 
 and MP. He is not slow, but his Agility his nothing to brag about either. 
 Overall, he is below average in almost all categories.

Like all Beavers, he has the Bath skill, which recovers a portion of his HP 
 after every turn. This does go a long way to make up for his low HP total, 
 but is pretty useless in the face of his other shortcomings.

Really, the Beavers are meant to be used together in a party, as a fun 
 challenge. They are not serious contenders for a spot in a tough battle.

In major battles, the Beavers can be truly amazing allies, but only after you 
 begin to acquire more of them, so I won't talk about that yet.

Recommended Runes: Water, Shield
Recommended Skills: Bath, Incantation
Available Epic Skills: Swift Foot, Divine Right(A)


----------------
///////////////Marina
Star #39 of 108
Rank: C
Recruitment Window: After acquiring your HQ / End of Recruitment
Recruit: Yashuna. Speak to her and ask her to join.
Class: Major Battle Only
Notes: She runs the Inn at your HQ, and there isn't much more to her than 
 that. Although I must say that Hilda from Suikoden II was hay hotter.

In Major Battles, she can function as a Support Officer, giving the Rest 
 Ability to her unit, allowing them to recover HP while the unit remains 
 still. This ability is not as useful as you might think though, because the 
 rate of recovery is quite slow, and rarely do units just sit there, not 
 moving. Still, she can be useful at times, and the Inn is one of the 
 castle's vital services.

As far as her personality: I actually don't like her that much. That may be a 
 bit harsh to say, but there it is. She comes off as a bad combination of 
 shyness and personal weakness. Sure, she was kidnapped and put into a very 
 tough situation, but it really seems she is just around as a way to make 
 Belcoot's character seem cooler.



----------------
///////////////Belcoot
Star #40 of 108
Rank: A
Recruitment Window: After Acquiring you HQ / End of Recruitment
Recruit: Yashuna. Joins along with Marina
Class: Short-Range Fighter
Notes: You are already familiar with him from the events in Chapter 1, but 
 there, he shared the spotlight wit Georg. Now you have full access to 
 Belcoot for your Battle party.

He lacks the explosive power of, say, Georg and Shigure, and he does not have 
 Kyle's versatility, what he does bring to your party is a great combination 
 of physical abilities. He scores near the top in every physical statistic, 
 HP, Power, Technique, Agility, and Defense, plus he has a higher mark in 
 Magic Defense than Georg and Shigure -about the same as Kyle- and probably 
 the highest parry rating in the game. His Skills level up quickly, and he 
 has access to almost all of the physical Epic Skills.

He has one thing going against him though, and that is his Falcon Rune. In 
 Suikoden I, the Falcon Rune was wielded by the incomparable Valeria, it 
 dealt three times DMG to a single enemy and was useable every turn. Since 
 then the rune has been changed; in this game it only deals three times 
 damage with a decreased accuracy, causes Belcoot to become unbalanced and 
 can only be used once per battle. . . Belcoot does gain a second Rune slot, 
 but the uselessness of the Falcon Rune in this game is a real problem. While 
 other characters can equip multiple Runes to increase their power 
 exponentially, Belcoot is left with only one Rune slot. This makes him less 
 powerful than many other characters in the late game, as you gather more 
 powerful Runes and characters that have either two or three Rune slots, like 
 Shigure and Kyle. But at least for the majority of the game, Belcoot is one 
 of the best choices for Short-Range power.

In Major Battles, he commands a four-star infantry unit, or gives a moderate 
 attack bonus when used as a lieutenant. But like Zegai, he can be killed 
 permanently if his unit is defeated. So, as the game progresses, I usually 
 leave him on the sidelines.

As I said before, I do like his personality, even if he has fallen for 
 Marina. He has a quiet nature, and a strong disposition.

He is a graduate of the fencing school mastered by Roundier Haia. Previous 
 graduates to appear include: Valeria and Anita, who both had Falcon Runes as 
 well. While Kika from Suikoden IV also had a Falcon Rune, no one cares about 
 Suikoden IV, so it doesn't matter. Belcoot is the first time a male has 
 wielded the Rune. This is the first time a graduate of the school has used a 
 two-handed sword. Also, this is also the first time anyone without the 
 letter "A" at the end of their name has wielded the Rune.

Recommended Runes: Double-Edge, Power, Fury
Recommended Skills: Defense, Technique
Available Epic Skills: Untold Clarity(S), Triple Harmony(S) Raging Lion(S), 
 Fate Control(S), Karmic Effect(S)


----------------
///////////////Zunda
Star #41 of 108
Rank: N/A
Recruitment Window: After acquiring your HQ / Major Battle #9
Recruit: Dwarf Cave. Talk to Zunda, standing on the northeast platform, and 
 she will wish to see a window. Put Takamu in your party and go to the 
 Oracle's Conclave via the Lunas North Woods. Inside, show her a window there 
 and she will join.
Class: Service Only
Notes: Zunda is your window manager. Give her all your window sets and she 
 can change the appearance of the game's windows. Other than that, there 
 isn't much to say about her.


----------------
///////////////Bastan
Star #42 of 108
Rank: N/A
Recruitment Window: After acquiring you HQ / End of Window
Recruit: Haud. Bring him ? Painting Items that can be found at the revolving 
 bridge. The more you have the better. Talk to him, but do not have him 
 appraise anything. Repeat this and he hill eventually join. 
Class: HQ Services Only
Notes: Well having an appraiser at your HQ will save you a lot of trouble, 
 plus any item that you sell to him for cash can be bought back later in the 
 game. Other than that there really is not much to say about him.


----------------
///////////////Alhazred
Star #43 of 108
Rank: C
Recruitment Window: After acquiring your HQ / Major Battle #5
Recruit: Yashuna. Go to the top floor of the Tricolor Inn and speak with the 
 man there. He will give you a book. Place the Book in Storage, then stay the 
 night at any Inn. Retrieve the book from storage and give it to the maid on 
 the top floor of the Tricolor Inn. Go to Estrise and talk to Alhazred and 
 tell him about the book. Return to the Tricolor. Win the Boss Battle and 
 Alhazred will join you. Lose the Boss Battle and you will all die.
Class: Short-Range Mage
Notes: Perhaps a D-rank is too harsh for poor Alhazred. His magic, MP, and HP 
 scores are only a little above Cornelio, and he suffers from all the same 
 problems that plague Short-Range Mages. Actually, I can't think of one 
 situation where Alhazred would be preferable to Kisara, she has all his 
 magic prowess along with far more HP, PDEF, Speed, and attack power. One 
 good thing that I can say about him is that he has one of the highest MDEF 
 stats in the game, and his Luck is pretty high, but that is not enough to 
 make him useful.

In Major Battles, he gives one use of the Mother Earth Rune to a Rune Archer 
 Unit. This makes him a good pair with Talgeyl, but he is still far less 
 useful that Viki or Josephene.

Oddly, I do like his personality though, he is like an 80-year old Indiana 
 Jones who has spent far too much time in his 60s and 70s in the library. He 
 is a willing adventurer, but he just doesn't have the vigor for it anymore 
 I'm afraid.

Recommended Runes: Condemnation, Darkness, Water, Magical
Recommended Skills: Incantation, Magic Defense
Available Epic Skills: Divine Right(A), Sacred Oath(S)


----------------
///////////////Genoh
Star #44 of 108
Rank: D
Recruitment Window: After acquiring you HQ / End of Window
Recruit: Talk to a Beaver at Beaver Lodge and he will tell you of "The Boss. 
 Talk to Fuwalafuwalu and he will tell you more. Take either Alhazred, Levi, 
 or Galleon to the Waterfall Basin southeast of Beaver Lodge. At the end you 
 will meet Genoh. If your senior citizen character is one level below the 
 hero or higher than that. Genoh will join.
Class: Beast
Notes: Genoh takes up two slots in your party, so you can only have five 
 characters in battle instead of six. Genoh is one of the highest-defense 
 characters in the game and his Parent Turtle Rune give your whole party 
 added resistance to negative status effects. Pair this effect with the Black 
 Warrior Garb, the Yellow Scarf, or certain other items and you can have 100% 
 negative status resistance for the entire party. With that said, he is slow, 
 very slow and has little ability to deal damage. No matter how useful he is, 
 he can never compete with the two party members he replaces.

Large Beast characters cannot participate in major battles.


----------------
///////////////Richard
Star #45 of 108
Rank: S
Recruitment Window: After Wilhelm / End of Window
Recruit: Go to the end of the Waterfall Basin without a senior citizen, or 
 after you have recruited Genoh. Talk to Richard. Return to HQ and talk to 
 Mueller. Then return to the Basin and talk to Richard again. He will join.
Class: Short-Range Fighter
Notes: Richard gets the S-rank for Short-Range Fighters. He never has three 
 open Rune slots, this is the only reason that characters like Kyle can 
 surpass Richard in damage late in the game. That is Richard's only 
 "weakness," so to speak. His HP is a little low, especially for a Short-
 Range Fighter, and he cannot wear heavy armor, but this is hardly a problem 
 because between his Agility and Technique he will dodge or parry most direct 
 attacks. Richard scores top marks in Attack, Technique, Agility, and 
 Vitality, making him the most explosive pure fighter in the game. No one 
 scores more consecutive or continuous attacks. He is so fast he makes Lyon 
 look lazy. Only Georg scores more critical hits, and even then just barely. 
 Even his Luck Stat is pretty high. Richard has access to all the major 
 physical Epic Skills as well, including Untold Clarity, and like Belcoot, he 
 tends to be able level up his skills for a comparatively small amount of SP.

In short, Richard is like a Turbocharged Belcoot, without the Falcon Rune to 
 Slow him down. Richard's unique Rune is the Swallow Rune, which deals 
 instant death or double DMG to an enemy. Continuous attacks are possible 
 with this Rune, and it does not leave Richard unbalanced, Though it can only 
 be used once per battle, but that is not a problem because it often ends the 
 battle.

In Major Battles, Richard adds Nine Attack power to his unit, and is best 
 used along with Mueller and Wilhelm as their Support Officer to complete the 
 Lindwurm Cavalry.

As far as his personality: well he does seem to be a bit off. He always 
 allows Mueller to berate and practically abuse him, but this is telling of a 
 deeper story between the two. I have no idea what that story is, as even 
 Oboro can't find out too much about them.

Recommended Runes: Fury, Power, Boost
Recommended Skills: Technique, Agility
Available Epic Skills: Untold Clarity(SS), Triple Harmony(SS), Swift Foot(S), 
 Fate Control(S), Karmic Effect(S)


----------------
///////////////Wasil, Volga & Orok
Stars #46, 47 & 48 of 108
Rank: B
Auto-Recruit
Class: Major Battle Only
Notes: They can be used in major battles only, but if you group them together 
 in the same unit, they form the special Lelcar Unit. Depending which of the 
 three you have assigned to which role, the Lelcar unit will either be an 
 Archer, a Spear, or a regular Infantry Unit. All variations of the Lelcar 
 Unit are rated at four-stars, so they are useful, but not powerful enough to 
 change the course of a battle.


----------------
///////////////Moshen
Star #49 of 108
Rank: N/A
Recruitment Event: When you first arrive in Lelcar, buy 100,000 potch of 
Armor from his Shop.
Recruitment Window: After Major Battle #5 / Major Battle #6
Recruit: Talk to him outside his shop and say: "I'm sorry I failed you." Then 
 ask him to join.
Recruit Window #2: After major battle #6 / End of Window 
Recruit Option #2: After major battle #6, buy 100,000 potch worth of armor 
 and ask him to join.
Class: HQ Services / Major Battle Only
Notes: He runs the armor shop at your HQ. In Major Battles, he brings the 
 Fortify Ability to a unit as the Support Officer, this raises a unit's 
 defense by five points. This can be useful, but I usually opt for more 
 aggressive abilities.


----------------
///////////////Taylor
Star #50 of 108
Rank: B
Recruitment Window: Major Battle 5 / End of Window
Recruit: Talk to Taylor around your HQ and give him permission to use rooms 
 three separate times. He will join.
Class: Support / Major Battle / HQ Services
Notes: In your entourage, Taylor provides the Analyze ability, just like 
 Lelei. His ability is an S-rank, so he can provide much more information 
 than Lelei can throughout most of the game, including Elemental Weaknesses 
 for monsters.

In Major Battles, he carries the Rumors ability, that lowers the enemy 
 unit's defense by ten points. So, all around, he is a surprisingly strong 
 addition to your army.

He will also publish a paper, summarizing the events of the game, and also 
 giving gossip about certain members of the Stars of Destiny. If you want to 
 learn about the characters in your army, both he and Oboro can provide you 
 with a lot of information.


----------------
///////////////Murad
Star #51 of 108
Rank: A
Recruit Window: Major Battle #1 / End of Window
Recruit: Talk to him at the sites of your most recent major battle and ask 
 him to join. He eventually will.
Class: Support / Major Battle
Notes: Like Silva, Murad has the Relief ability when added as a Support 
 Officer. Unlike Silva, he can be used as a support member as well. His 
 Treatment Skill is one of the best support skills in the game, healing your 
 party for a certain portion of their maximum HP after every battle. This can 
 greatly reduce your reliance on Medicine and Runes to heal your characters, 
 and is one of the best ways to counteract the extra damage taken from 
 defense-sacrificing runes like the Power Rune.


----------------
///////////////Jeane
Star #52 of 108
Rank: B
Recruitment Window: Major Battle #5 / End of Window
Recruit: Talk to the Guard posted at the Big Hole west of Rainwall. Then 
 enter the Rune Shop in Lelcar. Jeane will ask you to take her there. Inside, 
 you will find an Ancient Temple. At the Altar, Jeane will join.
Class: Mid-Range Mage
Notes: Jeane is back once again for this installment in the series. While she 
 has always been able to participate in Major Battles, this is only the 
 second time she has been able to fight in your party. As far as raw MP and 
 Magic stats, she is among the best, plus she is capable of wielding the 
 Magic Absorb Rune. Her HP is decent -for a mage- and she can attack multiple 
 times when you do choose to use the Attack command. Where she begins to fall 
 flat is in her Skills. For some reason, she cannot use the most powerful 
 magic Epic Skills, but she can raise her Magic Skill to a double-S. Also, 
 her head rune slot is occupied by the Charm Rune, which can cause enemies to 
 turn on each other, but to trigger this, she must be directly attacked. As 
 with all other mages, it is never a good idea to put Jeane into a position 
 where she is directly attacked often. In all, she lags well behind Viki and 
 Zerase in raw power.

In major battles, her Thunder Rune skill is similar to the Barrage skill, but 
 can be used with a Rune Archer unit and deals more damage. Like Viki, she 
 cannot lead a unit, so she is relegated to the Lieutenant or Support Officer 
 positions.

Once again, Jeane runs your castle's Rune Shop, plus she can use her Rune 
 Sage abilities while in your party, allowing your to swap out Runes on the 
 fly. This makes her -if not one of the most powerful members- at least one 
 of the most practical members of your party.

Her personality is the definition of mysterious. Any attempt to discover new 
 information about her through Oboro will fail. Jeane is so evasive in her 
 personality that she makes Lucretia look like a straight-shooter. There has 
 probably been more wild speculation about Jeane among the fans of the series 
 that about any other character, and virtually all of it is without any basis 
 on what can be officially learned in the games. I always get the feeling 
 that she is holding back, that she never really shows her true power in the 
 games. 

We do know that she is ageless, and that this agelessness does not come from 
 a True Rune. She owns many different Rune Shops in different countries, and 
 is probably one of the most skilled Rune Sages in the Suikoden world. Other 
 than that, your guess is as good as mine.

If you have played other Suikoden games, then your are either a fan of Jeane 
 or not. Personally, I'd take an honest person like Viki any day over Jeane, 
 who seems to be a "good" person, but still a bit deceptive.

Recommended Runes: Thunder, Magic Absorb, Magical
Recommended Skills: Magic(SS), Incantation(S)
Available Epic Skills: No Epic Skills Available


----------------
///////////////Nikea
Star #53 of 108
Rank: C
Recruitment Window: Major Battle #5 / Before the Twilight Ruins
Recruit: Estrise. Find her at the inn and beat her in a duel and she will 
 join.
Class: Short-Range Fighter (Martial Artist)
Notes: Nikea is one of the stronger damage dealing fighters in the game. Her 
 Attack, HP, Agility, and Vitality are all strong, she is one of the most 
 eager for consecutive and continuous attacks, and her critical hit rate is 
 high. Still, her skills are less impressive, she lacks the ability to use 
 the strongest physical skills, nor can the skills she can use rise to SS-
 rank. The Boar Rune she carries is like a bad copy of Belcoot's Falcon Rune. 
 And she cannot wear heavy armor. Overall, she is recruited at a point in the 
 game where you have just recruited two of the best Short-Range fighters in 
 the game -Richard and Belcoot- and this lowers her usefulness.

In previous Suikodens, the Martial Artists were always some of the game's 
 best, like Emily from Suikoden III, so Nikea is something of a 
 disappointment for me. Especially because she is so stupid.

Recommended Runes: Fury, Power, Equilibrium, Double-Edge
Recommended Skills: Attack, Vitality
Available Epic Skills: Raging Lion(S), All-Out Strike(SS), Karmic Effect(S)


----------------
///////////////Dinn
Star #54 of 108
Rank: C
Auto-Recruit
Class: Short-Range Fighter
Notes: Dinn is a solid fighter with great defense and two open rune slots. 
 His stats are geared toward power and defense, but unfortunately this leaves 
 him lagging in Agility, especially if you weigh Dinn down with heavy armor, 
 he will be one of the slowest members in your party battles. Also, his 
 skills fall well short of characters like Belcoot, Richard, and Kyle. He 
 does have some distinct advantages, but not enough to make me use him too 
 often.

In Major Battles, he commands a Four-Star cavalry unit, a welcome addition 
 because while the Lindwurm Cavalry is more powerful, there is only so much 
 one good Cavalry unit can do. I almost always use him as a Commander in 
 major battles.

I do like Dinn's personality, and it is a shame I can't give him a higher 
 rating than a C-rank. He is another calm warrior, like Belcoot, even if he 
 is a bit stiff, he's still a welcome addition.

Recommended Runes: Double-Edge, Fury, Boost, Crazed
Recommended Skills: Attack, Technique
Available Epic Skills: Raging Lion(A), Fate Control(A), Armor of Gods(A), 
 Karmic Effect(SS)


----------------
///////////////Roy
Star #55 of 108
Rank: A
Auto-Recruit
Class: Mid-Range Fighter
Notes: Roy is one of my favorite characters. Sure, his stats and weapon are 
 like a bad copy of the Prince, but only just so, he remains just a few 
 points lower than the prince in virtually every statistic. Roy's skills are 
 some of the best too, he can use all Epic Skills, including the ultimate 
 Epic Skill: Royal Paradise. This skill raises all statistics and combines 
 all the other skills into one. Only the Prince, Sialeeds and Roy can use 
 this skill. Plus his other skill slot is occupied by the Thief Skill, which 
 steals a small amount of potch from the enemy when he Attacks them. This 
 amount is minimal by itself, but when combined with Egbert's Potch Finder 
 and the Prosperity Set, you can start pulling in Potch by the tens of 
 thousands. Plus, he gets two open rune slots.

Roy -for story purposes- will only be intermittently available for Major 
 Battles, he leads a Four-Star infantry unit, but don't plan on using him too 
 much.

And of course I like Roy's personality. Aside from Viki, he is actually my 
 favorite character in the game. Sure he is crass, but he is capable of being 
 oddly noble and heroic as well. Not to mention the seething underclass anger 
 he carries with him.

Recommended Runes: Power, Double-Edge, Cyclone, Elemental Sword
Recommended Skills: Thief, Agility
Available Epic Skills: Royal Paradise(A), Sacred Oath(S), All other Epic 
 Skills(A).


-----------------
////////////////Faylen
Star #56 of 108
Rank: C
Recruit Window: After the events at Ranro / Before Major Battle #6
Recruit: If Faylen and Faylon do not join automatically. Return to The Ranro 
 Bandit Lair as soon as possible with Roy in your party. Help them return the 
 stolen goods to Sable and they will join.
Class: Long-Range Fighter
Notes: She is the first Long-Range Fighter you can recruit. Her magic stat is 
 not bad, about a couple of points lower than Lyon, but her elemental 
 affinities are not suited for Dependent-Value magic. Though she is a B-rank 
 with Earth magic, making her useful for casting Clay Guardian. She has a 
 strong Technique stat, but her other stats are average or below. Still, she 
 can deal significant Long-Range Damage, much higher even than some Short-
 Range Characters.

What makes her useful is her Treasure Hunt skill. It eventually maxes out at 
 an S-rank, making her invaluable for Treasure Hunt parties.

In Major Battles, she gives two uses of the Charge ability. Team her and her 
 brother up with Roy to form the Bandit Infantry Unit. This unit is rated at 
 four-stars, but has no special qualities other than that it can use the 
 Charge Ability four times, making it one of the best infantry units in the 
 game.

She clearly has a crush on Roy, and in a way, that makes her a surprisingly 
 accessible character. I do like her personality, even though I find it quite 
 hard to tolerate her brother.

**Second Opinion**
--By Dex

Rank: A or B

Recommended Runes: Double-Edge, Fury, Crazed, Earth
Recommended Skills: Treasure Hunt, Technique, Attack
Available Epic Skills: Fate Control(SS)


----------------
///////////////Faylon
Star # 57 of 108
Rank: C
Recruit: See Faylen
Class: Short-Range Fighter
Notes: . . . All that I will say is that if not for his Treasure Hunt ability 
 he would rank as a D. Considering the many great short-Range fighters you 
 already have access to, there is no other reason to have him in your party 
 at all.

Besides, their names are weird. Suikoden Bandits usually have Chinese Names, 
 like Lo Wen. With that in mind, they should be named Fei Len and Fei Lon. 

Recommended Runes: Firefly/Wall Rune combination, Power, Crazed
Recommended Skills: Attack, Defense
Available Epic Skills: Raging Lion(S), Karmic Effect(S)


----------------
///////////////Linfa
Star #58 of 108
Rank: C
Recruitment Window: The events at Ranro / Major Battle #7
Recruit: Play a game against her at the Estrise Inn. You will lose. Run into 
 her at Yashuna a bit later and she will refund you money. Finally, Play an 
 honest game with her at the Raftfleet Inn. Win or Lose she will Join.
Class: HQ Services / Support
Notes: She has the same Escape Route support skill at Takamu, so that makes 
 her pretty useful if you want a pretty face along instead of ol' Takamu. 
 Other than that, she can play Blind Man's Bluff with you at any time in your 
 castle. You can get some decent prizes from her so I suggest you play a few 
 rounds with her at some point. If you thought Linfa was deceptive, try 
 playing Blind Man's Bluff on the hardest level -against Jeane.


----------------
///////////////Sagiri
Star #59 of 108
Rank: A
Recruitment Window: After the events at Ranro / Major Battle #7
Recruit: Talk to the innkeeper upstairs at the Sable Inn. Then return and 
 talk to the waking Armes Soldier. Now go and talk to Oboro. Return to the 
 Sable Inn.
Class: Long-Range Fighter (Ninja)
Notes: Sagiri is a fan favorite, and for good reason. As a ninja-class 
 fighter, she is so fast that she will almost always go first in battle. This 
 makes her great at using items, in fact, I forgo equipping her with any 
 accessories and give her stacks of Clay Guardian and Kindness Drops scrolls, 
 plus Mega Medicine or food items. This makes her not only fast, but very 
 practical as well. She has a high Critical hit rate, with an equal 
 propensity for consecutive attacks, making her a force in dealing Physical 
 Damage.

In Major Battles, she can join with Shigure to add a use of the Ambush 
 ability to his infantry unit. But as I said with Shigure, the Ninja are 
 something to be played around with on the battlefield for fun. They don't 
 really help too much in terms of strategy.

Her tragic past is enough to pull the heartstrings of any guy like me, so she 
 is again one of my favorite characters all around.

Recommended Runes: Fury, Power, Boost, Double-Edge
Recommended Skills: Agility, Attack, Technique
Available Epic Skills: Fate Control(A), Triple Harmony(A)


-----------------
////////////////Nakula
Star #60 of 108
Rank: C
Recruitment Window: After the events at Ranro / Major Battle #7
Recruit: See Sagiri
Class: Mid-Range Fighter
Notes: Overall, he is a solid fighter with the Pierce Skill, much like Lun 
 and Subala. Essentially, he trades their magic and speed for a bit more 
 Power and Defense. He comes equipped with a Fury Rune, which can be removed 
 and given to another character, but other than the obvious advantage that 
 this Rune gives him, I cannot think of one reason to use him. Zegai and 
 Goesch have more HP and PDEF, as well as more access to powerful Epic 
 Skills. Lun and Roy have more speed and magic, though Nakula does gain a
 third open Rune Slot, unlike Roy. Roy and Lun, though, are much more
 entertaining and likeable characters in my opinion. If you do like Nakula,
 then by all means he can be a solid character, especially with his Fury
 Rune, but I do not use him too much.

In Major Battles, he adds five defense and one use of the Charge Ability to a 
 unit.

**Second Opinion**
--According To TrueWater

Rank: A

"Nakula is just my style of character (more of a personal preference) but I
 thought he was really good, I gave him a flowing rune, a flowing sword rune
 and I think a fury or something that made him attack good, I just think he
 is really good at both, just because a character doesn't have the natural
 stats doesn't mean you cant tweak them exactly how you want them. That's
 what I love about the series, hell with the right armor and magic stones Luc
 could be a great Fighter in 2. Its all strategy, you can leave characters
 the way they are, or be bold like me and turn them into something greater
 and different. :)"

--TrueWater

Recommended Rune: Fury, Power
Recommended Skills: Pierce, Attack
Available Epic Skills: Raging Lion(S)


----------------
///////////////Dongo
Star #61 of 108
Rank: N/A
Recruitment Window: After visiting Sable / End of Window 
Recruit: Give Dongo in the Dwarf Camp Two different hammers on two separate 
 occasions. Then, sharpen any weapon you have up to LV 12. He will then Join.
Class: Support / Major Battle Only
Notes: He is your army's blacksmith. You can now sharpen the weapons of 
 anyone, even if they are not in your party. If you take him with you as an 
 entourage character, he can sharpen your weapons at anytime. In Major 
 Battles, he grants the Speed Ability to a unit as a Support Officer. Other 
 than that, there really isn't much to say about him. He is a little timid 
 for my taste though.


----------------
///////////////Fuwalafuwalu
Star #62 of 108
Rank: A
Auto-Recruit
Class: Major Battle Only
Notes: The Beavers -as far as party battles- are some of the worst in the 
 game. But Fuwalafuwalu gets an A-rank for his contribution in major battles. 
 Beavers are a dominating force on the water, trumping the 
 Rock/Paper/Scissors game and being strong against every type of Naval unit. 
 Fuwalafuwalu also has one use of the Flowing Rune at his disposal, allowing 
 him to heal the damage received from killing several enemy ships. The Beaver 
 Naval units can -after they have finished off the Naval enemies- just walk 
 right up onto dry land and function as a (slow and weak) infantry unit.

The Beavers are a small force, so you will usually have to have other units 
 as well, but between them and the Dahak, the naval battles will become much 
 easier.


----------------
///////////////Maroon
Star #63 of 108
Rank: D
Auto-Recruit
Class: Mid-Range Fighter
Notes: Well, you probably already used him at the Ceras Lake Ruins, if you 
 did not, you didn't miss anything. Beavers are all weak when they are out of 
 the water, so unless you just want to have some fun with a Beaver party, 
 leave him at home.

In Major Battles he adds the Gnaw ability to his unit. This can only be 
 used in the water, but lowers the defense of the enemy ship while causing 
 damage. It is a battle-based skill, meaning it activates like the Charge 
 ability. This is a skill that makes the Beaver Naval units even more 
 powerful.

Recommended Runes: Fury
Recommended Skills: Bath, Technique
Available Epic Skills: Swift Foot(S)


----------------
///////////////Isabel
Star #64 of 108
Rank: A
Recruitment Window: Chapter 3, After Beaver Lodge
Recruit: Estrise. Go towards Babbage's workshop for a funny scene. Return to 
 HQ and talk to Boz and Luserina. Remove all but two or three party members, 
 and then go to Haud. Isabel and Mathias will join.
Class: Short-Range Fighter
Notes: Well, despite her A-rank, I don't think she can quite match characters 
 like Kyle and Belcoot, who tend to be much more versatile. But, aside from 
 that, she is one of the best Heavy-Armored short-range fighters that you can 
 recruit. Her Attack, HP, and Technique stats are all strong, and she makes a 
 good candidate for defense-sacrificing Runes. She can also be a great Tank 
 if you equip her with the Firefly Rune. Her Co-Op attack with Mathias is one 
 of the best in the game, dealing 150% damage to a single enemy. And, she has 
 a nice attack animation, with the coolest-looking weapon in the game.

Her Skills are another strong point. While she lacks Untold Clarity, her 
 Raging Lion and Triple Harmony Skills can be raised to a high level, making 
 her a powerful character. 

In Major Battles, she leads another four-star infantry unit. Pair her with 
 Mathias as her Lieutenant to form the Maximillian Spear infantry, a decent 
 unit with higher defense than most, but lacking in the Charge ability. Put 
 Subala in as their Support Officer to round that out, and create this game's 
 closest approximation to the Three Stooges.   

She is the Maximillian Knights' representative in this game, carrying on the 
 tradition of Fred from Suikoden III, who was the only other member of the 
 Knights usable in party battles. The Maximillian Knights are an odd bunch to 
 be sure, but they are equally strong and loyal warriors. This game offers a 
 deeper view into the ideology of the Maximillian Knights than previous 
 games, and Isabel comes off as obsessed, but still thoughtful and compelled 
 to do what she believes is right. Overall, she -just like the other members 
 from previous games- is one of my favorite characters.

Recommended Runes: Double-Edge, Power, Fury, Crazed
Recommended Skills: Attack, Vitality
Available Epic Skills: Raging Lion(S), Triple Harmony(S), Karmic Effect(A) 


---------------Mathias
Star #65 of 108
Rank: B
Recruit: See Isabel
Class: Mid-Range Fighter
Notes: Mathias can wear heavy armor and has the Mow Down skill, which attacks 
 a cluster of enemies. In many ways, he is like Goesch, with less Attack and 
 Technique traded off for more Magic and MP. The major problem I have with 
 Mathias is that despite his solid magic -it is about the same as Lyon's- he 
 has horrible elemental affinities, undermining any attempt to turn him into 
 a Magic-Knight type of character. Goesch and Zegai are more powerful, Roy is 
 faster, Lorelai has better Magic, and all of them have better Technique and 
 are available much earlier in the game than Mathias. Mathias' Technique stat 
 can be problematic as well, making him miss too often for my taste, plus he 
 does not have any access to Epic Skills that effect Technique. So, I cannot 
 recommend the use of the Fury Rune with him.

Still, with that said, he is more than a solid character, and shares a great 
 Co-Op with his master, Isabel. Plus, he comes equipped with a Cyclone Rune. 
 Even though you will probably want to remove this than give it to a 
 character like Viki, this increases his value tremendously. His Skills are 
 nothing to brag about either. . .

His personality is hilariously stiff, almost a mockery of characters like 
 Belcoot. While he is entertaining, I can't really get over his character 
 design, I think his lack of eyebrows just creeps me out.

Recommended Runes: Double-Edge, Water, Power, Boost
Recommended Skills: Mow Down(S), Attack, Technique
Available Epic Skills: Armor of Gods(A), Raging Lion(A)


----------------
///////////////Bernadette
Star #66 of 108
Rank: A
Auto-Recruit
Class: Long-Range Mage
Notes: Though she is a mage-class, her Magic and MP score are well below
 Zerase, Viki, and Jeane. Her advantage is that she can wear leather armor,
 is long-ranged and surprisingly quick. Plus she comes with a Flowing Rune, 
 which I suggest you leave attached to her. Her skill with incantation is 
 solid and she ranks high in water magic, so she really makes a perfect 
 healer, probably the best choice for magical healing in the game. She can 
 also deal a mild to moderate amount of physical damage from the back row. 
 Her HP is average, so she has all the advantages of a mage like Kisara and 
 none of the disadvantages. Her MDEF stat is also among the highest in the 
 game.

In Major Battles, she can command a four-star Rune Archer Unit with one use 
 of the Flowing Rune, lending real help in drawn-out battles.

He personality is odd, she seems to treat the prince with favor, and be oddly 
 affectionate to him. Investigate Bernadette with Oboro to get some of the 
 full story.

Recommended Runes: Magical, Flowing, Magic Absorb, Resurrection
Recommended Skills: Incantation, Magic, Magic Defense
Available Epic Skills: Sacred Oath(A), Divine Right(S)


----------------
///////////////Byakuren
Star #67 of 108
Rank: C
Recruitment Window: After HQ reaches LV 2 / End of Window
Recruit: Leave your HQ via the eastern or western exits with either Genoh or 
 Levi in your Party. You will be attacked by a giant snake. Win the battle 
 and you will have the option of recruiting Byakuren. 
Class: Beast
Notes: Well, she is faster than Genoh. But again the Beasts are more for fun 
 than any serious battle. Although I will say that if is cool to watch your 
 enemies be killed by a Giant Snake that does your bidding. For that, 
 Byakuren gets a C-rank.


----------------
///////////////Retso & Shun Min
Stars #68 & 69 of 108
Rank: N/A
Recruitment Window: After your castle reaches LV 2 / End of Window
Recruit: Raftfleet. At the Inn, ask Retso to join and he will decline. Return 
 to HQ and play Subala's fishing game until you catch a Strange Fish. Return 
 to Retso with the fish and he will join.
Class: HQ Services / Support / Major Battle
Notes: Retso is your army's chef. Bring him the food items that you can find 
 by defeating certain enemies, as well as the ones grown by Goesch to make 
 Food Items that far surpass the regular Medicine available at the game's 
 Item Shops. Some very useful items can only be attained through legwork 
 associated with Retso and Shun Min.

Retso and Shun Min both have the Cooking Support Skill, which turns non-human 
 enemies into food items.

In Major Battles, they are Support-Officers with the nourish ability, which 
 works like Marina's Rest ability. Again, you units have to be standing still 
 for this ability to take effect, so. . .


----------------
///////////////Babbage
Star #70 of 108
Rank: A
Recruitment Window: After your castle reaches LV 2 / End of Window
Recruit: Put Sorensen in your party and explore the Gears room in the 
 basement of HQ. Now take Sorensen to see Babbage. Return to the Gears room 
 to drop the two off. Come back in a few minutes and Babbage will Join.
Class: Major Battle / Support Only
Notes: Babbage's support Skill is Treasure Hunt, ranked at SS. This clearly 
 makes him invaluable as a support character when trying to hunt down rare 
 items and rune pieces. I do not use him quite as often as Egbert and Murad, 
 but he is always one of the best choices for an entourage slot. 

In Major Battles, you can now pair Babbage and Sorensen to use the Ballista 
 unit. This unit moves slowly, is rated at two-stars, and is weak to all 
 other types of units. But, it can launch the longest range attacks on the 
 battlefield for a surprisingly high amount of damage. Personally, I do not 
 use the Ballista unit at all. But, it can be a very fun thing to experiment 
 with on the battlefield. Just don't let them get too close to a charging 
 enemy.


----------------
///////////////Lu
Star #71 of 108
Rank: B
Recruitment Window: After Recruiting Babbage / End of Window
Recruit: Bring Sorensen back to Babbage's workshop after recruiting Babbage. 
 You will have the opportunity to recruit Lu
Class: Long-Range Fighter
Notes: Lu is actually a very strong character, with good speed and power, 
 plus a propensity of consecutive attacks, and the second-highest Technique 
 stat next to Richard. At long range, she excels with defense-sacrificing 
 runes. While she does not have the speed of Sagiri, she is still more than 
 fast enough for any circumstance. In fact, the only downside to Lu is that 
 Sagiri can do almost everything that she can, only slightly better, with one 
 glaring exception: Luck. Lu's Luck statistic is one of the highest in the 
 game, making her a good choice to go along on Treasure Hunting parties, even 
 though she does not have the Treasure Hunt Skill. A word of warning: Lu does 
 have the lowest HP score in the game. Make sure she is well-equipped if you 
 plan on using her.

In Major Battles, she adds two uses of the Barrage ability to an Archer or 
 Rune Archer unit. This makes her one of the best Lieutenant or Support 
 Officers for Archer units.

I guess the choice between Lu and Sagiri really comes down to who you like 
 better. If you like shy, beautiful women with tragic pasts, then go for 
 Sagiri. If you like hyperactive little girls who remind you of a gerbil on 
 illicit substances -or if you are one- then use Lu.

Recommended Runes: Power, Fury
Recommended Skills: Technique, Agility
Available Epic Skills: Swift Foot (SS)


----------------
///////////////Miroon
Star #72 of 108
Rank: D
Recruitment Window: After HQ reaches LV 2 / End of Window
Recruit: Bring Muroon to the Tricolor in. Agree to help, then travel all the
 way to the back of the nearby cave and Miroon will join.
Class: Mid-Range Mage
Notes: Miroon has a decent Magic / MP stat and an affinity for Water and Holy 
 magics (Shield and Resurrection), which makes her the only Beaver character 
 I can recommend using under normal circumstances. But compared to the 
 amazing Bernadette, she is of little use anyway.

She can participate with a Beaver Unit in major battles.

She also runs the Castle Bath House, which -as fans of the series will know- 
 is the site of some of the funniest and most entertaining scenes in the 
 game. I will talk more about the Bath Scenes in a little bit.

Recommended Runes: Water, Shield
Recommended Skills: Incantation, Bath


----------------
///////////////Meroon
Star #73 of 108
Rank: D
Recruitment Window: After HQ reaches LV 2 / End of Window
Recruit: Bring Maroon to Beaver Lodge and talk to Meroon by the trader. Go to 
 the entrance to the Baska Mine and talk to Moroon several times. Return to 
 Beaver Lodge and Meroon will join temporarily. Return to Baska Mine Entrance 
 and both will join.
Class: Mid-Range Mage
Notes: She is a just another Beaver, while she does have good elemental 
 affinities and can use the Divine Right Epic Skill, she is just another 
 Beaver.

Recommended Runes: Water, Shield, Resurrection
Available Epic Skills: Divine Right


----------------
///////////////Moroon
Star #74 of 108
Rank: D
Recruit: see Meroon.
Class: Short-Range Fighter
Notes: The only Short-Ranger of the Beaver Bunch, this actually makes him 
 even less useful. Exposing him to frequent physical attacks is a very bad 
 idea, plus he falls far short of virtually all of your Short-Range Fighters 
 in virtually all categories. Again, Beavers are for making a party together 
 so that they can use their five-person Co-Op attack. This attack is very 
 powerful, and fun to watch. But other than for some mild entertainment, 
 there is not reason to have Beavers in your party.

Now that you have all the Beavers, you can make Two separate Beaver Naval 
 Units, which are very useful for not only destroying enemy ships, but also 
 allowing you to concentrate more on the land battles.

Moroon does have a Mowhawk, but it falls short of Boz's. I wish you could use 
 Boz in party battles, that way he and Moroon could have a Mowhawk-Buddy Co-
 Op attack, where they just slice up the enemies using their hair. But, no 
 such luck.



----------------
///////////////Chisato
Star #75 of 108
Rank: N/A
Recruitment Window: After HQ reaches LV 2 / End of Window
Recruit: Bring Bernadette back to Nirva Island. After the scenes, head north 
 to speak to Chisato. There shall be more scenes. Then you will have the 
 opportunity to recruit her after you take her back to your castle.
Class: HQ Services / Major Battle Only
Notes: Chisato manages the Prince's various Voice Sets, allowing you to 
 chance the sound of his voice. Give her all the Voice Sets that have piled 
 up in your storage and pick the one you like the best. Other than that, she 
 is just along for the ride.

In Major Battles, she is a Support Officer only with the Muddle Ability, 
 which lowers the attack power of enemy units by 5. Not really very useful, 
 I'm afraid.


----------------
///////////////Yahr
Star #76 of 108
Rank: B
Recruitment Window: After HQ reaches LV 2 / End of Window
Recruit: Return to Nirva with Bernadette and meet Yahr and Nelis at the inn. 
 Return to your ship and they will ask to come along. Let them come, and pay 
 very close attention to your dialogue choices. Agree to investigate the 
 shipwreck. At the end of the level, choose "Use the Rune Cannon" and "It 
 must be destroyed." to recruit Nelis and Yahr once you return to Estrise. If 
 you do not, then they have been missed.
Class: Short-Range Fighter
Notes: Yahr is a solid character on all accounts. His HP, Defense, Technique, 
 and Attack stats are a little low, but only compared to characters like 
 Belcoot and Richard. Yahr does have good Speed, with solid Magic and Magic 
 Defense though. What sets him apart is the Rune he carries, the Angry Dragon 
 Rune, the same Rune wielded by Oulan in Suikoden II. This Rune deals double 
 damage -with critical hits possible- but can only be used once per battle, 
 unless the user is under the Fury status effect, then it can be used every 
 turn. This makes him a good candidate for the Fury Rune, plus he can use the 
 Fate Control Epic Skill, which adds to his Attack and either diminishes or 
 eliminates the Accuracy penalty from the Fury Rune. He also is one of the 
 better candidates for the Elemental Sword Runes, as he can use the Epic 
 skills associated with them.

The reason I can't give Yahr an A-rank is simply his HP, and the fact that he 
 comes in as the twelfth Short-Range Fighter you have recruited, and many of 
 them are either better suited for Short-Range combat, or they are more 
 versatile. Though few of them can deal more raw damage than Yahr.

In Major Battles Yahr commands a regular four-star infantry, or adds one use 
 of the charge ability to a Cavalry or Infantry unit as a Lieutenant or 
 Support Officer. Nothing special.

Well, I like what I see from his personality, but you don't get to see much 
 more than you already have at the time you have recruited him. I think he is 
 an interesting character, but one that is not fully explored. For instance, 
 I wonder how he got that Angry Dragon Rune. And for how long exactly was his 
 mother in labor before she decided to name him "Yahr". . .

Recommended Runes: Fury, Double-Strike, Boost, Elemental Sword
Recommended Skills: Attack, Technique
Available Epic Skills: Raging Lion(A), Fate Control(A), Zen Sword(A), Divine 
 Right(A), Karmic Effect(A)


----------------
///////////////Nelis
Star #77 of 108
Rank: C
Recruit: see Yahr
Class: Long-Range Mage
Notes: Speaking in terms of Magic Power, Nelis is about the same as Sialeeds, 
 barely above the Prince and Kyle. She is like Bernadette, with less Magical 
 Power and more Speed, Attack and Technique, but if Speed, Attack and 
 Technique is what I wanted from the back row, I would go with Sagiri. She 
 does come with a removable Rage Rune and three open Rune Slots, but that 
 cannot make up for her lack of basic Magic and Skills. If you do wish to use 
 her, leave the Rage Rune and stack her with the Magical Rune and Double-Edge 
 Rune, with Divine Right and Magic as her skills, and Fire Amulet and Ring to 
 give her an S-rank in the magic.

In Major Battles, combine Bernadette, Nelis, and Yahr to create the Island 
 Nations Unit. If Bern or Nelis leads, it will be a Rune Archer Unit, if Yahr 
 is Commander, then it will be Infantry. This unit is actually rather weak, 
 only use it if you want to fight a battle that features only "Special"
 units. 

As far as her personality, I feel she is less interesting than Yahr, and far 
 less interesting than Bernadette. She is stiff, without the dead-pan comedy 
 of Mathias. It is not like I don't like her, it is just that she seems so 
 bland.

Recommended Runes: Rage, Magical, Double-Edge, Alert
Recommended Skills: Magic, Magic Defense
Available Epic Skills: Divine Right(S), Sacred Oath(A)


----------------
///////////////Gavaya
Star #78 of 108
Rank: C
Recruitment Window: After Recruiting Nelis / End of Window
Recruit: Raftfleet. Bring Nelis, Jeane, and Sialeeds -or- Norma, Faylen, and 
 Viki -or- Nelis, Jeane, and Sharmista to meet him. He will tag along.
Class: Short-Range Fighter
Notes: OK, I'll withhold commentary on his personality. You have probably 
 already gotten more than enough of it to know that you hate it.

He comes at LV 10, but if you take the time to level him up, you might be 
 surprised. He has strong HP and Attack, plus good Defense. He has three open 
 Rune slots and the unique Stun Skill, which does what it says: stuns enemies 
 for one turn. Still, compared to Richard, Belcoot and Kyle, his Technique is 
 not up to par, and his Agility is lacking. In short, he falls well beneath 
 his fellow double-axe wielder from Suikoden III, Hallec. 

In Major Battles, he has the Unique Ability to make female soldiers flee in 
 terror. OK, not really, he adds +5 Attack and one use of Charge as a 
 Lieutenant.
 
I can say that he is a much better fighter than he is a person, if that is 
 actually a compliment. . . If you don't care about the personality of the 
 characters you use, then by all means I suggest giving him a try.   

Recommended Runes: Crazed, Power, Killer, Double-Strike, Boost
Recommended Skills: Freeze(S), Attack
Available Epic Skills: Raging Lion(A), Triple Harmony(A)


----------------
///////////////Miakis
Star #79 of 108
Rank: A
Auto-Recruit
Class: Short-Range Fighter / Mage (Dancer)
Notes: Finally, we recruit the second full-fledged Queen's Knight, Miakis. 
 Like Kyle, her compatriot, she is a truly versatile character, able to 
 fulfill any role except tanking. Her HP and Defense stats are only average, 
 but at this point in the game you are beginning to amass more money and gear 
 that will help offset this weakness.

Physically, she is much like Richard; high strength coupled with agility to 
 create a fast, powerful character who hits multiple times. Unlike Richard, 
 she also has a strong Magic statistic and three open Rune Slots. Make no 
 mistake though, Miakis is a purely offensive character with no real skill in 
 defense, all of her Skills, Epics, and Stats ignore defense and accentuate 
 striking.

Without any doubt, Miakis is among the highest-output damage dealers in the 
 game. Whether you choose to use her with Magic Runes or Support Runes, she 
 will always be one of the stars of the show. With three open rune slots, she 
 can be stacked with runes like Power, Fury, Double-Edge, Boost, and the like 
 to give her jaw-dropping attack strings. Personally, I tend to take a more 
 balanced approach with her though, giving her a Power Rune, a Double-Edge 
 Rune and a Shield Rune. She has a decent affinity for shield magic, so 
 allowing her to cast Battle Oath usually results in her gaining the Fury 
 status.

In Major Battles, she gives her unit one use of the Recover Ability.

Considering her tendency for offense, it is surprising that she was chosen to 
 be Lym's bodyguard. I guess they thought offense was the best defense, or 
 something. You have already gotten a good feel for her personality, so there 
 isn't much need for commentary on that. I'll just say that the recent game 
 events cause me to have sympathy for her.

Recommended Runes: Shield, Power, Double-Edge, Elemental Sword
Recommended Skills: Agility, Technique, Incantation
Available Epic Skills: Swift Foot(S), Fate Control (S), Triple Harmony(A), 
 Sacred Oath(S), Zen Sword(A), All-Out Strike(A)


----------------
///////////////Bergen
Star #80 of 108
Rank: D
Recruit: See Levi
Class: Short-Range Fighter
Notes: Bergen is. . . well. . . I'm trying to think of one nice thing to say 
 here, but nothing is coming to mind. All I can think of is how dull he is, 
 coupled with his dangerously low Magic Defense and lack of Epic Skills. The 
 only redeeming quality he has is his Treasure Hunt skill, which maxes out at 
 SS-rank. He can use the Sword of Magic Skill, but I have never been able to 
 level him to the point where he gains his first LV 3 MP. He comes at LV 5.

See? now this is just turning into an insult laden rant. I'll just say that 
 he is useful in Treasure Hunting Parties, as long as he is in the Entourage.

Recommended Runes: Wall / Firefly, Power
Recommended Skills: Treasure Hunt, er... Defense?
Available Epic Skills: No Epic Skills available


----------------
///////////////Levi
Star #81 of 108
Rank: A
Recruitment Window: After Major Battle #6 / End of Window
Recruit: Big Hole. Talk to him and he and Bergen will join.
Class: Mid-Range Mage (Sage)
Notes: Levi is Suikoden V's Sage, following behind Crowley, Mazus, Estella, 
 and  some guy from Suikoden IV that no one cares about. Actually, Zerase 
 tends to have higher Magic Power, but Levi's Elemental Affinities are the 
 best in the game. He has A-ranks in virtually every magic element, giving 
 him the highest Magic Defense and the most versatile magic palette, so to 
 speak. He comes with a Pale Gate Rune and a Mother Earth Rune, both of which 
 are removable, giving him three free rune slots. His Skills and Epic Skills 
 are excellent. Levi is also your army's Magic Tutor, allowing you to train 
 at any time at HQ, just like you can with Zegai.

So, with all this, why only an A-rank? Sure, he has all the Stats, Skills, 
 and Rune Slots necessary to be a great character, but Zerase can match him 
 in Incantation and power, plus her Star Rune is more powerful than the Pale 
 Gate Rune. Viki can't match him in raw power or MP, but she can use Chain 
 Magic for double damage. Jeane is more practical with her Rune Sage ability. 
 And while Bernadette and Kisara get trounced by Levi in magic, they can wear 
 Light Armor and have more HP. In the end, you will never be disappointed by 
 Levi's magic, but trying to find a use for him in party battles is 
 difficult.

In Major Battles, he can lead a four-star Rune Archer Unit, with the use of 
 the Rage Rune. While this is cool, it is also essentially the same thing 
 Talgeyl has been doing since the beginning of chapter 3.

His personality is a bit caustic. He is an Earth Mage, so while his is very 
 learned, he is also completely ignorant of many subjects that help people 
 live their everyday lives. Much like Sasarai from Suikoden II and III, he is 
 a bit haughty. Still, Levi is a nice enough fellow, with a sometimes 
 destructive curiosity.

Recommended Runes: Anything you want.
Recommended Skills: Magic, Magic Defense
Available Epic Skills: Divine Right(SS), Sacred Oath(SS)


----------------
///////////////Norma
Star #82 of 108
Rank: B
Recruitment Window: After Major Battle #6 / End of Window
Recruit: Raftfleet. Take Levi to see her. 
Class: Short-Range Fighter / Mage (Dancer)
Notes: Part of the reason I almost gave Norma an A-rank is because she is a 
 hugely underrated character. She has low HP, can only wear Cloth Armor, and 
 she starts at LV 10. But, she will quickly gain three open Rune Slots, and 
 her stats grow to be some of the most well rounded in the game. Especially 
 for among the optional recruits (who tend to be more specialized). While you 
 can say that she has no real strengths, with the three open rune slots I 
 prefer to say that she has no real weaknesses. Statistically, her Magic is 
 about the same as Kyle, the Price, and Miakis, but she has a disadvantage in 
 Rune Affinities. Her Attack seems low, but her Technique and Agility make up 
 for that.

All this though, is far from deserving of an B-rank, especially in light of 
 the recent recruits. What does bump her up to a B is the fact that her Potch 
 Finder Skill maxes out at a double-S. Yes, her Potch Finder can rise above 
 even that of Egbert. So, even if you don't use her in battle, take her with 
 you in the entourage, where she can make you rich, plus you can still use 
 her healing spells and such.

In Major Battles, she gives her unit two uses of the Recover ability.

As far as her personality. . . Well, I'll just say that I think her attack 
 animation and weapon are pretty cool. I know it is girly, but still, I think 
 someone put a lot of work into making her character, and I can always 
 appreciate that.

Recommended Runes: Shield, Double-Edge, Lightning, Magic Absorb
Recommended Skills: Potch Finder, Incantation
Available Epic Skills: Swift Foot(A), Divine Right(A), Sacred Oath(A)


----------------
///////////////Ernst
Star #83 of 108
Rank: B
Recruit: see Norma
Class: Short-Range Fighter (Beast)
Notes: Ernst is a tough character to rank. Normally, he is a moderate short-
 range fighter with one advantage: you don't have to buy armor or sharpen his 
 weapon. Overall he seems to be a low-HP copy of Shiro, the Wolf from 
 Suikoden II.

But, cast the LV 1 magic on his unique Beast Rune and all hell breaks loose. 
 Ernst transforms into human form and gains access to his LV 2, 3, and 4 
 spells, all of which are overpowered. The LV 2 spell stuns all enemies, 
 making them lose one turn, and can be used consecutively until the rest of 
 your party has finished them off. The LV 3 spell deals massive damage to an 
 enemy row. While the LV 4 Spell instantly kills an enemy and restores Ernst 
 to full HP. So, as long as Ernst's MP lasts, your party is practically 
 invincible. Note that you cannot equip Ernst with a Magic Absorb Rune, (that 
 would certainly get him the S-rank) nor any other runes to boost his 
 strength. He remains a "Beast" character, with no armor and no free rune 
 slots. In beast form, unless he is at a high level, he can be a liability 
 because he lacks armor. However, he can use some powerful Epic Skills which 
 aid in both his Defense and casting of his rune.

In Major Battles, he is very useful. Like Norma, he give two uses of the 
 Recover Ability, but he also gives a rare speed boost as well.

Recommended Skills: Incantation, Defense
Available Epic Skills: Armor of Gods(A), Divine Right(A) and Not Raging Lion, 
 because that would just be a bad pun.


----------------
///////////////Raven
Star #84 of 108
Rank: C
Recruitment Window: After Major Battle #6 / After Twilight Forest
Recruit: Sable. Talk to Lord Solis Raubel. Return to HQ and talk to Oboro, 
 then talk to Egbert. Return to Oboro, then stay the night at your inn. Catch 
 Raven and tell him he can go free and he will join you.
Class: Short-Range Fighter (Thief)
Notes: Raven possesses the unique Raven Rune, which allows him to evade 
 almost all physical attacks in low-light areas. For example, on the world 
 map, his evasion in normal. In the ancient ruins beneath the Big Hole, 
 however, his evasion will be near 100%. There are some problems with this 
 though. Having the "Target" status effect will disable his Rune, being 
 poisoned or on fire will disable the Rune, in fact, almost every status 
 effect will cause him to be a sitting duck, rather than a bird of the night.

To add to that, he has low HP, Defense, and Magic Defense; he cannot wear 
 armor, only Tunics and Robes. Magic attacks will eat up his HP fast, 
 especially fire attacks if they cause the Burn status effect. So, one needs 
 to be very careful when using him, or he can become a liability to the rest 
 of your party.

He has the Thief Skill, just like Roy, and this can be an incredible help to 
 you and your party when you are short of money. We are getting close to 
 completing the Prosperity Armor set, and with Egbert, Norma, Roy and Raven 
 in your party, you gain the ability to make Potch very quickly. I'll talk a 
 bit more about that in a bit.

In Major Battles, he gives a speed bonus to his unit, along with the Muddle 
 Ability, which lowers the enemy's attack power.

I can't say that I like his personality, he just seems to be a whiny brat 
 compared to his fellow thief Roy. At LV 13+ he have the coolest weapon name 
 of all: the "Nevermore," which is a reference to Edgar Allen Poe's famous 
 poem, "The Raven."

Recommended Runes: Power
Recommended Skills: Thief(SS), Agility
Available Epic Skills: Triple Harmony(A)


----------------
///////////////Galleon
Star #85 of 108
Rank: B
Auto-Recruit.
Class: Mid-Range Fighter (Tank)
Notes: While characters like Belcoot, Dinn and Isabel are all fine for taking 
 damage, Galleon is clearly the game's best tank, although, one can make the 
 argument that tanks are not necessary at all in the game. Allow me to break 
 it down like this: many people have different playing styles, and one of the 
 great things about Suikoden is that you can always find the characters to 
 match your style of play. Suikoden V, I will admit, is a pretty easy game. 
 There are several difficult battles, but it lags far behind I, II, and III 
 in terms of difficulty. Thus, the "tank" characters are not as valuable here 
 as they were in previous games. But, it all comes down to your style of 
 play, and how you want to set up your party.

Galleon has the lowest Damage potential of all the Queen's Knights. He has 
 two Rune slots, but one of them is permanently occupied by a Knight Rune, 
 allowing for only one offensive Rune. In many ways he is a lot like Goesch 
 and Mathias, he has the Mow Down skill, and even shares their lack of 
 Technique and Speed, his major disadvantage when compared to them is his 
 lack of Rune Capacity.

What Galleon does have is one of the highest HP, Defense, and Strength stats 
 in the game. As I mentioned in the Stats and Skills section PDEF is largely 
 determined by the armor a person can wear, but Galleon is one of the few 
 Human characters with a distinct advantage in Base Defense, aside from 
 armor. He is always about ten to twenty PDEF higher than others who are 
 wearing the same armor as him. Combine this with a solid Magic Defense that 
 is even higher than the Prince and Lyon, and he becomes singly the most 
 solid character in the game.

In terms of Skills, Galleon falls short of many of the other Queen's Knights 
 too. But Mow Down is always useful, plus he can use Triple Harmony and his 
 Armor of Gods can be raised to an SS-rank, allowing him to tank anything.

If you don't find tanks useful, then simply don't use him. I'll admit I don't 
 use him much during the course of the main game. But he is invaluable for 
 parties where you are trying to level up several weak characters quickly, as 
 well as times when you decide to play defensively.

Recommended Runes: Power, Firefly, Earth, Double-Edge
Recommended Skills: Mow Down(SS), Defense
Available Epic Skills: Raging Lion(A), Armor of Gods(SS), Triple Harmony(A), 
 All-Out Strike(A)


----------------
///////////////Haswar
Star #86 of 108
Rank: N/A
Recruitment Window: After Major Battle #7 / End of window
Recruit: Return to Lunas using Takamu and Urda. Enter the Oracle's Conclave 
 and Speak with Haswar and she will join along with Urda and Isato.
Class: Army Cabinet Only
Notes: Haswar is the only character that cannot be used in Party or Major 
 Battles, and provides no services to your army. Other than that, I think 
 she's great. Her personality is so loving and kind, she is like a smoochy 
 aunt that you pretend to hate but secretly can't wait to see at Thanksgiving 
 time.

----------------
///////////////Isato
Star #87 of 108
Rank: B
Recruit: See Haswar
Class: Long-Range Fighter / Mage (Elf)
Notes: Isato is one of the more underestimated characters in the game. Maybe 
 because he is bald. But, at least we can clearly tell that he is a male, 
 unlike Kirkis the elf from Suikoden I. Isato is a worthy heir to Kirkis' 
 legacy, he is fast, has solid magic stats, and can deal surprising damage 
 with physical attacks. All told, his only real weakness is his slightly poor 
 evasion and lack of Physical Epic Skills. He is a versatile character, which 
 I always like, but without any stand-out abilities he can be pushed aside 
 for characters that are better at fulfilling specific roles. He has low 
 affinities for Fire and Lightning Attack magics, but scores straight B's in 
 most other categories, making him a good candidate for Water, Wind and Earth 
 magic. His Attack is a little low to make him idea for defense sacrificing 
 runes though.

His Barrage Skill -for party battles- is one of the best unique physical 
 skills in the game. Pierce can attack a row, up to two enemies. But Barrage
 acts like Mow Down, attacking a cluster. He can use the Divine Right Epic
 Skill for a big boost to his magic, while relying on a physical rune and
 Barrage to deal damage.

In Major Battles, he gives one use of the Barrage Ability to his unit as a 
 Lieutenant or Support Officer.

Well, Isato reminds me a lot of Mathias, without the comic relief. . . No, I 
 guess Isato isn't nearly as stiff as Mathias. I would say he is highly 
 dedicated as opposed to completely obsessed.

Recommended Runes: Wind, Water, Earth, Boost, Alert, Magical, Power
Recommended Skills: Incantation, Barrage
Available Epic Skills: Swift Foot(A), Divine Right(S)

----------------
///////////////Urda
Star #88 of 108
Rank: A
Recruit: See Haswar
Class: Long-Range Fighter (Elf)
Notes: Urda is very fast and very strong. Her speed eclipses even that of the 
 Ninja and Lu. Add to that her high Attack, three open Rune Slots, and her 
 Barrage Skill, and she can decimate enemies in a single, first 
 action attack. While she will not score as many consecutive attacks as 
 Sagiri or Lu, she makes up for this in raw power. She lacks Lu's HP 
 weakness, and outscores Sagiri in Attack, Magic, Technique, Evasion, Speed, 
 and Luck.

The only statistics that aren't phenomenal are her HP and Magic Defense, 
 though with her high Elemental Affinities, she often outperforms this 
 statistic, and her HP is at least average, more than enough for a rear-line 
 character. Isato outscores her in Magic, but only just so, while she makes 
 him look lazy and cumbersome.

Her Skills are equally impressive, with access to Swift Foot and Fate 
 Control, you will be able to augment her Barrage Skill to make it very 
 powerful. As with Isato, Barrage makes the Great Hawk Rune that they have 
 equipped largely useless. I suggest you remove it and replace it with a 
 Magic Rune on Isato, and a Power or Fury Rune on Urda.

In Major Battles, she adds two uses of the Barrage Ability to a unit as 
 either a Lieutenant or Support Officer. I can strongly recommend using her 
 in the upcoming Major Battles.

I like her personality, actually. I can't say that I fully agree with her 
 attitude, but she does have a point: Humans are barbarous. Though her 
 abilities can make her achieve her own astounding acts of barbarity, I won't 
 hold the hypocrisy against her. She is actually rather cute, acting like a 
 tough girl when she clearly is in love with Isato. I wonder what the two of 
 them are like when they are alone.

Recommended Runes: Power, Fury, Killer, Double-Edge
Recommended Skills: Barrage, Attack
Available Epic Skills: Swift Foot(A), Fate Control(A), Divine Right(A)


----------------
///////////////Cathari
Star #89 of 108
Rank: B
Recruitment Window: After Major Battle #7 / End of Window
Recruit: Talk to the Dragon Cavalry Soldier at Port Spinacks to learn about 
 Hershville. Take the boat to Hershville and talk to Cathari in the northern 
 section of town. Return to Port Spinacks and cross the long bridge to the 
 south. Cathari will ask you take her to Lucretia, agree to do so, then 
 comply and she will join you.
Class: Long-Range Fighter (Gunner)
Notes: Cathari is the fastest and strongest character in the game. Urda, Lu 
 and the Ninja are fast, but Cathari is clearly head and shoulders above them 
 in terms of Speed. She even edges out characters like Galleon and Georg in 
 terms of strength. She has two open Rune Slots, with the third occupied by 
 the unique Godspeed Rune, which allows for faster movement on the world map 
 and a 100% escape rate when it is possible to run. She can deal more damage 
 to a single enemy than any other character with two open rune slots. Her 
 critical rate nears that of Georg, and she is long range.

With all this, it is tempting to give Cathari the S-rank for Long-Range 
 Fighters, but she has some statistical weaknesses as well. Most glaringly, 
 her Magic Defense, the second-lowest in the game -just ahead of Georg. But 
 Georg has one of the highest HP scores in the game, while Cathari is less 
 that average, well behind Sagiri and Urda. This actually makes Georg stand 
 up to magic a bit better, while Cathari can be KO'd in a single strong magic 
 attack. For bosses, it is always best to give Cathari a Sacrificial Jizo and 
 some Mega Medicine. Also, her speed surprisingly does not amount to 
 anything. Urda and Sagiri will still always act before an enemy, and Cathari 
 can only attack one enemy one time per turn. Sagiri can muti-hit, and Urda 
 can fire on multiple targets either with Barrage, or just as part of a 
 normal continuous attack. No matter her Speed or Agility, Cathari only 
 attacks once.

With that in mind, both Urda and Sagiri can deal more damage per turn than 
 Cathari, just as quickly, without any of her weaknesses.

Cathari's physical offensive Skills are much stronger than Urda and Sagiri, 
 though, making her the best choice of the three if you do not have the 
 Attack Runes to use to increase their power.

In major battles, she gives a large speed bonus and two uses of the Barrage 
 Ability. This gives a big advantage to any Archer Unit. I tend to put her 
 onto the Dahak, where her Barrage is useful, but her Speed makes the Dahak 
 just as fast as other ships.

Cathari is a member of the Howling Voice Guild, a Harmonian organization of 
 spies and assassins. She is much like Clive from Suikoden I and II, though 
 Clive did not share her weakness in Magic Defense. I am sure there are some 
 Howling Voice Guild fans out there that will protest my giving of a mere B-
 rank to Cathari, but if you are that much of a fan, then go ahead and use 
 her. If having her in your party reminds you of the glory days of Suikoden 
 II, then use her. For me, I can't stand the Howling Voice Guild, the only 
 character I liked out of that place was Nash from Suikoden III, because he 
 left the Guild. Personally, I'd take Valeria or Belcoot from Master Roundier 
 Haia's Falcon school of swordsmanship over a Howling Voice lackey like Clive 
 or Cathari any day. If you want to send me angry emails, fine, I'll just 
 ignore them.

By the way, Cathari's Weapon is named after the German titles of famous fairy 
 tales. Rotkappchen is "Little Red Riding Hood." Aschenputtel is 
 "Cinderella." While Schneewittchen is "Snow White." More on these fairy 
 tales in the essay section that accompanies this guide.

Recommended Runes: Crazed, Power, Fury, Boost, Double-Edge
Recommended Skills: Attack, Technique
Available Epic Skills: Fate Control(S), Swift Foot(SS), Triple Harmony(S)


----------------
///////////////Eresh
Star #90 of 108
Rank: A
Recruitment Window: After Major Battle #7 / End of Window
Recruit: Take Jeane back to the Big Hole where you will meet Eresh. Agree to 
 help her and take her down into the altar. On the bottom level you will 
 fight a boss. After the battle, Eresh will join.
Class: Mid-Range Mage
Notes: Eresh is in many ways a redundant character. Her Magic and MP, as well 
 as their related skills are nothing special compared to Zerase or Levi. The 
 only thing that sets her apart are her Elemental Affinities, which are even 
 better than Zerase and about the same as Levi. She is Mid-Ranged, though, 
 giving her a big advantage over Levi in that regard. Unlike Levi though, she 
 has a Pale Gate Rune and a Resurrection Rune permanently strapped to her, 
 making her a bit inflexible.

As you will have noticed in her recruitment quest, the Resurrection and Pale 
 Gate are more powerful than they at first seem, and the two together make a 
 decent combination, as well as any two other Magic Runes. I usually do not 
 recommend having more than one Magic Rune on any one character at a time. 
 This is because MP is usually limited, and two magic runes tend to just get 
 in each others way. While the game's Power Mages, i.e. Eresh, Zerase, 
 Jeane, Viki, and Levi, can get away with two Magic Runes due to their high 
 MP, you will want to equip them with a Magic Absorb Rune to give them the 
 ability to use all their spells.

Eresh has the Resurrection Rune permanently equipped on her right hand, 
 making it impossible to give her the Magic Absorb Rune. While Viki cannot 
 equip that Rune either, Viki does have the advantage of Chain Magic, making 
 her out-damage Eresh comletely.

Still, Eresh can be a very powerful character, as she has the same Skills, 
 Affinities, and Magic of Levi and Zerase.

Recommended Rune: Magical
Recommended Skills: Magic
Available Epic Skills: Sacred Oath(SS), Divine Right(SS)


----------------
/////////////// Hazuki
Star #91 of 108
Rank: B
Recruitment Window: After Major Battle #7 / End of Window
Recruit: Go to the east side of Port Spinacks without Belcoot in your party. 
 Talk to Hazuki. Then return with Belcoot and she will join.
Class: Short-Range Fighter
Notes: As you can imagine, Hazuki shares many qualities with Belcoot. Her 
 Defense, Magic Defense, and even Technique stats are all similar. Her 
 biggest advantage over Belcoot comes from her speed. She -along with 
 Shigure- is one of the fastest Short-Range fighters in the game. Plus, she 
 scores just below Belcoot in Parry rating, about the same as Richard. She 
 does lose out in Terms of raw Attack, but only by a small margin, and her 
 speed is more than enough to make up for that. 

Where she begins to fall apart is in her Skills. Basically, she cannot use 
 the Untold Clarity Epic Skill, which combines all other physical Skills, 
 while characters like Belcoot and Richard can use Untold Clarity. Also, 
 while her Sickle Rune is a bit more useful when fighting large groups, it 
 still falls short in damage compared to the Falcon Rune.

If you wish to use Hazuki, you will not be disappointed. She is one best 
 combinations of speed, defense, and power in the game, but at this point, 
 you might want to focus on characters that you have already used, because 
 they have a clear advantage in terms of Skill Points and Skill Levels.

Recommended Runes: Power, Fury
Recommended Skills: Attack, Agility
Available Epic Skills: Fate Control(A), Triple Harmony(S)


----------------
///////////////Rania
Star #92 of 108
Rank: N/A
Recruitment Window: After Major Battle #7 / End of Window
Recruit: Enter her workshop in Sauronix with either Miakis or Rahal in your
 party. Exit her workshop, then return to have the opportunity to recruit 
 her. 
Class: Support / HQ Services
Notes: Rania will manage the game's sound sets, allowing you to change sound 
 effects. She can also be used as a Support Character with a unique Skill: 
 Bard. Since no Battle Party member possesses this Skill, it is difficult to 
 tell what it does. Bard does have a positive effect on your party's 
 Incantation speed, causing you to cast spells much faster. Other than that, 
 there might be other positive effects, but they may be so subtle that they 
 are difficult to decipher. I didn't give Rania a rating simply because I 
 can't figure out the full extent of the Bard Skill.


----------------
///////////////Killey
Star #93 of 108
Rank: S
Recruitment: Twilight Forest Event
Recruit: While you are leaving the Twilight Forest Ruins, ask Killey to come 
 along with you. If you completed the two previous recruitment events, then 
 he will.
Class: Long-Range Fighter / Mage
Notes: Killey is back again, but he has changed considerably since his last 
 appearance in Suikoden II. He is long-ranged as opposed to mid, and he is 
 not quite as ridiculously overpowered as he was before. Still, Killey gets 
 the S-rank for long-range fighters, over some heavy competition from Sagiri 
 and Urda. He lacks their Speed, but gains so much more in terms of virtually 
 every other stat. Actually, he has some of the highest all around statistics 
 in the game, making him the second most versatile character behind the 
 Prince. He literally has no statistical weaknesses, except for HP. But HP 
 itself is not a primary concern for Long-Range characters

With three open Rune slots, and these stats, it is easy to see how he can 
 become overpowered, the only thing holding Killey back are his Skills. He 
 lacks Untold Clarity or Sacred Oath, and only has one open Skill slot. But 
 his permanent Treasure Hunt Skill can be raised to a A-rank, making him the 
 best Treasure Hunter in the game, at least in terms of battle prowess. His 
 Epic Skills are less than impressive, but he hardly needs them to out-damage 
 most characters.

You can feel free to use Killey however you want, and unlike other Treasure 
 Hunters like Faylon and Bergen, he is not a liability in your party. 
 Personally, I remove his equipped Rage Rune and equip him with Physical 
 Skills and Runes. However, his affinity for Fire and Lightning magic is 
 good, and he can be used as a mage, with the Magical Rune he can deal enough 
 Damage.

To add to all this, Killey gives Rune Archer Units two uses of the Rage 
 Ability in Major Battles.

Recommended Runes: Double-Edge, Fury, Power, Killer
Recommended Skills: Attack, Vitality
Available Epic Skills: Fate Control(A), Swift Foot(A), Divine Right(A), Zen 
 Sword(A)


-----------------
////////////////Gunde
Star #94 of 108
Rank: D
Auto-Recruit
Class: Short-Range Fighter (Dwarf)
Notes: Gunde is the second slowest character in the game, out ranking only 
 Genoh, the ancient tortoise. What does he gain from this lack of speed? 
 Well, his HP and Attack are quite high, and nothing else. Gunde has 
 practically no Skills worth mentioning, and his elemental affinities and 
 Magic Defense are so bad that they combine to make his high HP seem almost 
 worthless. He is actually better at taking physical damage than Galleon, but 
 lacks any of Galleon's advantages, namely, Epic Skills.

Gunde cannot use any epic skills. None. At all. He does have two open Rune 
 Slots though, so that does help, but not enough to make me want to use him.

Recommended Runes: Wall / Firefly, Power
Recommended Skills: Stamina, Defense
Available Epic Skills: No Epic Skills available


----------------
///////////////Wabon
Star #95 of 108
Rank: D
Auto-Recruit
Class: Short-Range Fighter
Notes: None of the Dwarves in this game can really live up to Twaikin from 
 Suikoden III. Wabon, for instance, actually has good stats. He has the 
 Attack, HP, Defense, and Technique to more than make up for his low Speed. 
 But he -like Gunde- lacks in skills.

Twaikin from Suikoden III was much like Wabon statistically, but had great 
 skills to back up his stats, which made him one of the better characters in 
 the game. Wabon is a far cry from any past glory days of the Dwarves in 
 previous Suikodens.

Recommended Runes: Firefly, Power
Recommended Skills: Defense, Stamina
Available Epic Skills: Karmic Effect


----------------
///////////////Roog
Star #96 of 108
Rank: C
Auto-Recruit
Class: Short-Range Fighter
Notes: Roog is a bit of a disappointment. He has strong HP, but does not have 
 the Attack to match. Technique can be a bit of a problem for him too, he 
 scores about the same as Yahr, but he lacks Yahr's Angry Dragon Rune. Roog 
 has two open Rune Slots, but falls behind characters like Isabel in raw 
 power. Also, he is one of the slower characters in your army. He is 
 certainly not a bad character, but at the point in the game where you 
 acquire him, he doesn't make much sense: you have many other characters that 
 can easily surpass him in any role.

Roog's Skills are his saving grace, he can use Triple Harmony and Fate 
 Control, but without the base stats to back these Skills up, their effect is 
 weakened.


Recommended Runes: Fury, Power, Double-Edge, Boost
Recommended Skills: Attack, Vitality
Available Epic Skills: Triple Harmony(A), Fate Control(S), Raging Lion(S)


----------------
////////////////Rahal
Star #97 of 108
Rank: B
Auto-Recruit
Class: Short-Range Fighter / Mage
Notes: Rahal is a near-statistical copy of Kyle. The have the same Elemental 
 Affinities, including a strong Water score, while all their stats are 
 virtually identical. Except for Attack, Speed, and Evasion, where Kyle has 
 an advantage, and Luck, where Rahal wins out. He has three open Rune Slots 
 as well, though he does acquire the third rather late in the game. The only 
 stat where he is weak is Speed, where he scores about the same as Zegai. 
 Regardless, Rahal is a powerful, if redundant character.

Overall, Kyle has the edge in base stats, but Rahal takes that advantage 
 right back in his Skills. Rahal has access to Untold Clarity, while Kyle 
 does not. Along with Rahal's (slightly) superior Magic score this might make 
 him even more versatile than Kyle. Rahal comes with a Flowing Sword Rune, 
 but I recommend removing it and either selling it or giving it to Kyle. 
 Rahal's Elemental Sword Skills are lower than Kyle's.

There is no reason you can't use both Kyle and Rahal, and if you do, you will 
 not need a Healing Mage like Bernadette or Kisara. This can open up a spot 
 for a Long-Range Fighter like Killey, Urda, or Sagiri, who often get 
 overlooked for spots in parties -even by me. Though honestly, I think using 
 both at once is a little boring, just because they are so much alike.

Roog and Rahal form Suikoden V's Pretty Boy Knight Duo. Following Allen / 
 Greenseal, Camus / Miklotov, Borus / Percival. Honestly, this is the most 
 one-sided Duo of them all, with Rahal getting most of the attention.

Recommended Runes: Water, Shield, Power, Fury, Gale
Recommended Skills: Attack, Incantation
Available Epic Skills: Untold Clarity(A), Armor of Gods(A), Triple Harmony
 (A), Fate Control(A), Karmic Effect(A)


----------------
///////////////Craig
Star #98 of 108
Rank: A
Auto-Recruit
Class: Major Battle Only
Notes: Craig, and now Roog and Rahal, Command Dragon Horse units in Major 
 Battles. The are probably the best units in the game -aside from the Prince 
 and Zerase- as they are the dominant force on the water, eclipsing even the 
 Dahak and Beavers. Plus, as soon as you get done thrashing the enemy Ships, 
 you can move them onto land and have them act as a normal Cavalry unit. 
 Craig is a five-star Commander as well, meaning his unit has tremendous 
 attack power.


----------------
///////////////Flail & Lance
Stars # 99 & 100 of 108
Rank: D
Auto-Recruit
Class: Beast
Notes: These two are Rahal and Roog's Dragon Horses, respectively. They are 
 just like any other beast-class, requiring no armor or weapon. So, that 
 makes them cheap to use. But the two of them will never be able to catch up 
 with your regular characters at this point. The only reason to use the 
 Dragon Horse characters is with their masters, so you can use a Co-Op 
 attack. Statistically, Dragon Horses have high HP, but little else. Their 
 Defense always lags behind, and their magic defense, while solid, is 
 undermined by horrible Elemental Affinities.


----------------
///////////////Georg
Star # 101 of 108
Rank: A
Auto-Recruit
Class: Short-Range Fighter
Notes: Do you really need an introduction? Finally, you have full access to 
 Georg's services. Georg is clearly one of the strongest fighters in the game. 
 He has the highest critical hit rate, better even than Cathari and Killey, 
 plus his Speed, Technique, Attack, Defense, HP and Luck are some of the 
 highest in the game. Even though he has one Skill Slot taken by the Combat 
 Trainer Skill, he can use all the physical epic skills, even Untold Clarity. 

If you played Suikoden II, and had your detective investigate Georg, then you 
 will find that even he was impressed with Georg's stats. But as Richmond put 
 it, Georg does have an Achilles Heel: Magic Defense. His Magic Defense stat 
 is the worst in the game, by quite a margin. Only Cathari comes close to 
 being victimized as much as Georg by magic. Though, since Georg's HP is so 
 high, he actually stands up to magic better than poor Cathari.

As far as combat goes though, Georg is certainly one of the best. Even though 
 he has only one available Skill Slot, a SS-rank Untold Clarity is all he 
 needs.

Georg is one of the better characters in the series, in terms of his 
 personality. He was interesting in Suikoden II, but here he really shines, 
 and I think the makers of the game did a great job exploring his character.

Recommended Runes: Fury, Power
Recommended Skills: Vitality
Available Epic Skills: Untold Clarity(SS), All-Out Strike(SS), Triple Harmony
 (S), Fate Control(S), Swift Foot(A), Raging Lion(S)


----------------
///////////////Nick
Star #102 of 108
Rank: A
Auto-Recruit
Class: Short-Range Fighter
Notes: As far as Nick, he has decent stats, but not enough to make him stand 
 out, especially considering your other amazing Short-Range characters. But, 
 at around LV 50 he receives his second Rune Slot. Followed by his third open 
 Rune Slot at Level 55.

His Skills add to his decent stats. Triple Harmony and Fate Control make for 
 a powerful Skill combination, and Nick's Fate Control Maxes at S-rank, while 
 Triple Harmony goes full out to double-S. This makes Nick a worthless 
 character at LV 15, and the most surprisingly powerful and underrated 
 character in the game at LV 55+. More than anyone, he stands out as the best 
 of the late-game characters.

Of course, at this point in the game, it really is not worth it. One of the 
 reasons he is underrated is because no one ever seems to give him a try. And 
 even if you did, he really isn't better than Richard. Nick's Rune Slots give 
 him a damage advantage, but even he can't compare to Richard in terms of 
 Skills. He also lacks defense and HP compared to Georg and Belcoot, making 
 it dangerous to use defense sacrificing Runes. 

In Major Battles, he is a tremendously useful character. He adds a small 
 speed boost and two uses of the Charge Ability. He is perfect for pairing 
 with Craig, making the Dragon Cavalry not only strong, but very fast as 
 well.

Recommended Runes: Fury, Power, Boost
Recommended Skills: Attack, Technique
Available Epic Skills: Fate Control(S), Triple Harmony(SS)


----------------
///////////////Yoran
Star #103 of 108
Rank: N/A
Auto-Recruit
Class: HQ services / Major Battle only
Notes: Yoran will provide the Survival Ability when used as a Support Officer 
 in major battles. While this can be useful, Toma already has access to this.

In you Castle, Yoran will allow you to play the Dragon Horse Races mini-game. 
 This mini-game is a bit like the horse-racing mini-game from Suikoden III, 
 only much harder. Honestly, I have a difficult time winning even on the 
 easiest mode, let alone the hard modes.

There are prizes associated with the mini-game as well, but I honestly have 
 no idea what they are, or if they are worth the effort to collect.
  

----------------
///////////////Ax
Star #104 of 108
Rank: D
Auto-Recruit
Class: Beast
Notes: Ax has the worst base stats among the dragon horses. Making him even 
 more useless than the others. Not to say that the Dragon Horses are like the 
 Beavers, it is just that they might be even worse. I guess if you loved 
 Nick, you could find room for Ax and Nick's Co-Op attack, but other than 
 that. I just don't see too much reason for Ax to be in your party. A Dragon 
 Cavalry party could have been fun, but there are sic members of the Cav in 
 your army, and that means one of them is always left out because of the 
 Prince. . .


----------------
///////////////Haleth
Star #105 of 108
Rank: A
Recruitment Window: After Major Battle #10 / Major Battle #11
Recruitment: Haleth has a very short recruitment window so be careful. Talk 
 to him at Hershville. Then go to the tavern in the basement of HQ to see a 
 scene with Logg and Kisara (remove them from your party if you don't see 
 it). Now return to a warehouse at Hershville to see Logg talking to Haleth. 
 Exit Hershville, then return and talk to the man in the lobby of the 
 administrative building. Now return to the tavern at HQ to have the chance 
 to recruit him.
Class: Support Only
Notes: Haleth has the Haggle support skill, which reduces the cost of items 
 purchased at shops, even shops in your own castle. As you move into the 
 game's final levels, he can save you tremendous amounts of money.


----------------
///////////////Shula
Star #106 of 108
Rank: A
Auto-Recruit
Class: Major Battle Only
Notes: Shula commands your third five-star Cavalry unit. Along with Wilhelm 
 and Craig, you now can dominate enemy infantry forces. Dinn is still a 
 powerful commander and can be useful in some battles, but Wilhelm and Shula 
 will be the real stars of your land battles.

----------------
///////////////Nifsara
Star #107 of 108
Rank: B
Auto-Recruit
Class: Mid-Range Fighter
Notes: It has been awhile since our last mid-range fighter, even though you 
 are already overloaded with them. Nifsara is actually a strong character, 
 with high Speed, Attack, and HP. She has strong technique stats as well, so 
 she can be a more reliable fighter than Goesch or Mathias. Her Magic and 
 Magic Defense are average, but with two open Rune Slots she really can deal 
 a lot of damage.

Also, she can access the Triple Harmony Epic Skill, a good compliment to her 
 Pierce. But she does come so late in the game, and as far as other members 
 of her class, it might not be worth the time and effort needed to level her 
 up.

In Major Battles, she adds a small speed increase and one use of the Charge 
 ability.

Nifsara is an. . . aggressive woman. She knows what she likes and lets that 
 be known. What can I say? Some people may find that type of personality 
 upsetting,   but at least it is an honest way to live.

Recommended Runes: Fury, Power, Boost
Recommended Skills: Pierce(S), Attack
Available Epic Skills: Triple Harmony(A), Fate Control(A), Raging Lion(A), 
 Karmic Effect(S)


----------------
///////////////Sharmista
Star #3 of 108*
Rank: C
Auto-Recruit
Class: Long-Range Mage
Notes: OK, Sharmista is essentially Sialeeds, with more Rune Slots and better 
 Elemental Affinities. So, if you like Sialeeds, then you will love 
 Sharmista. On the other hand, Sharmista cannot compete with other long-range 
 characters like Zerase, Bernadette, and Nelis in terms of Magic, nor can she 
 compete with Urda or Sagiri in Attack. In fact, Killey has an equal Magic 
 score, while trouncing Sharmista in terms of Attack damage and Speed. In the 
 end, she is simply a character that comes far too late to be useful.

There is not much to say about her personality, either. I would love to tell 
 you to use her if you liked her character, but she is one of the few 
 underdeveloped characters in the game. All you can really tell about her 
 without an Oboro investigation is that she is friends with Nifsara, but is 
 somewhat less aggressive when it comes to issues of love. I think she has a 
 good character design, and I would like to know more about her, but at this 
 point in the game, you have much more to worry about than the development of 
 minor characters.

Recommended Runes: Earth, Wind, Water
Recommended Skills: Long Throw, Incantation
Available Epic Skills: Divine Right(A), Sacred Oath(A)


----------------
///////////////Shoon
Star #108 of 108*
Rank: B
Auto-Recruit
Class: Short-Range Fighter
Notes: Shoon is the last Star if you decided to recruit Eresh earlier. If you 
 did not, then we have one more to go, and Shoon is actually Star # 107. 
 Shoon can be a very strong character if you choose to level him up and give 
 him some party SP. He is fast and hits multiple times, like Miakis and 
 Richard. Plus he has access to the Triple Harmony Epic Skill. Overall, he 
 does fall short in Damage compared to Miakis and Richard, but he has great 
 stats and can make a good replacement if you are tired of using the other 
 two. I simply cannot give Shoon an A-rank because of how late in the game 
 you acquire him.

Also, while his Magic Defense Stat is solid, his Elemental Affinities 
 undermine that. He will be able to stand up to Magic much better than Georg, 
 but not as well as Belcoot or Galleon.

I like Shoon's personality quite a bit, he is as energetic as Subala, but 
 with much higher intelligence and personal strength. He has a tragic past 
 which maybe just made him grow up a bit too fast. This leaves him as an 
 intelligent person, with the energy of a Teenager.

Recommended Runes: Fury, Killer
Recommended Skills: Attack, Agility
Available Epic Skills: Triple Harmony(A), All-Out Strike(A), Karmic Effect


----------------
///////////////Euram
Star #108 of 108*
Rank: N/A
Recruitment Window: After the Liberation of Rainwall / End of Window
Recruit: Euram is available only if you did not recruit Eresh. After the 
 "liberation" of Rainwall, return to the Barows Mansion. If you choose to 
 give Euram a chance to atone for his sins, he will join you.
Class: Major Battle
Notes: In Major Battles, Euram gives the Rumors Ability as a Support officer. 
 This Ability lowers the enemy unit's defense by ten, but many other 
 characters  already can use it. Oboro, Fuyo, and Taylor to name a few. So, 
 he is essentially worthless to you cause.

On the other hand, the scene required for his recruitment shows a new side to 
 Euram, almost making me feel sorry for him. Essentially, he is a fool, 
 manipulated by his father in mind and body, and only now beginning to 
 realize who he is and what he has become. His older brother Hiram was killed 
 during the Falenan War of Succession by Nether Gate. After his older 
 brother's death, Euram's mother went mad, and Salum began to mold his son 
 into the heir of Barows instead. As you can tell by Euram's new portrait, he 
 is now only starting to realize the pain he had caused, and the pain that he 
 was in.









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	Rune Evaluation and Acquisition -- section 2.2 

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This section covers Runes. Not only what they do, but where to get them and 
 how to use them. I won't cover every Rune in Suikoden V, but that is really 
 because  many of them are not worth covering. These fall into two 
 categories: First, Runes that are self-explanatory, like the Turtle Rune 
 which prevents status changes. Second, Runes that are simply a waste of 
 space, and serve no real purpose, like the Unicorn Rune.

I will cover Magic Runes First, then Support Runes.

===================================
	Magic Runes
===================================


----------------
/////Condemnation Rune
Type: Magic
Rank: C

LV 1: Black Shiver (Attack)
LV 2: Endless Ordeal (Attack)
LV 3: Inevitable Blade (Attack)
LV 4: Dark Summoning (Attack)

Acquire: Complete Alhazred's Recruitment Quest

Note: This is the Child Rune of the True Rune of Punishment from Suikoden IV. 
 And just like Suikoden IV, this Rune is largely pointless. The spells all 
 deal roughly 10% of the damage to the Wearer as they do to the target. Also, 
 none of the spells are as powerful as you would think, they are basically 
 copies of spells from the Fire or Lightning Runes. I guess this one can be 
 fun to try out, or to equip as a way to make boss battles more challenging, 
 but for the most part, this one just sits in my storage.

Rune Family Tree: True Rune of Punishment > Condemnation


----------------
/////Cyclone Rune
Type: Magic
Rank: S

LV 1: Healing Wind (Recovery)
LV 2: The Shredding (Attack)
LV 3: Funeral Wind (Attack)
LV 4: Shining Wind (Recovery / Attack)

Acquire: 
Chests: Yashuna, Ranro, Estrise, Twilight Ruins. 
Major Battles: 4, 8a
Bosses: Shepesska 

Note: The Cyclone Rune is the parent of the Wind Rune. Healing Wind moves 
 down to the first level, where it is now very useful. The Shredding is one 
 of the few LV 2 magics that can attack all enemies at once, Funeral Wind is 
 now at least slightly useful as a LV 3 spell, and Shining Wind is -as 
 always- arguably the best magic spell in the game. It attacks all enemies 
 for 500+ damage, (much more with the right mage and rune affinities) while 
 healing your whole party for 300 HP. This spell allows your party to stay on 
 the offensive, even while taking considerable damage, allowing you an 
 advantage when dealing with tough enemies. Just like in the previous 
 Suikodens, ever since Suikoden I, it is a spell that you should not go 
 without. This is, in my opinion, clearly the best Magic Rune in the game. 
 Use it all you want, though one challenging thing you might want to try is 
 to not use this Rune at all. It is up to you.


----------------
/////Dawn
Type: Magic
Rank: A

LV 1: Time of Awakening (Status Recovery)
LV 2: First Ray (Attack)
LV 3: Light of Day (Attack)
LV 4: Crimson Sky (Attack)

Note: This is the Rune the Prince has through the majority of the Game. You 
 will become very familiar with it, so there is little need for my 
 commentary. Except to say that the Prince has good MP and Magic scores, so 
 use this Rune to its fullest, don't let it sit on his right hand unused 
 throughout the game.


----------------
/////Earth Rune
Type: Magic
Rank: B

LV 1: Clay Guardian (Defense)
LV 2: Vengeful Child (Defense)
LV 3: Guardian Earth (Status Recovery)
LV 4: Earthquake (Attack)

Notes: Unfortunately this rune if often overlooked in the Suikoden games, 
 often pushed out in favor of the Wind Rune. But the reason I am writing 
 these Rune summaries is to help you choose the best Rune for the situation, 
 and to keep Runes like the Earth Rune from being overlooked.

Clay Guardian is one of the most useful spells at any magic level, let alone 
 LV 1, raising PDEF and MDEF for three turns for all party members. Vengeful 
 Child is equally useful in boss battles, protecting the target from a single 
 spell. However, Guardian Earth is practically useless in this game, 
 considering the LV 1 Dawn Rune spell, and Earthquake is rather weak for a LV 
 4 spell, especially because it only damages enemies on the ground.

Despite this, I like using Earth Magic in almost every Boss and Mini-Boss 
 Battle, Clay Guardian adds stability to the battle and makes things much 
 easier to manage. Keep in mind that the first three levels of Magic are all 
 Absolute-Value spells, so go ahead and give Earth Runes to characters who 
 have other means of damaging the enemies. On the other hand, Clay Guardian 
 is widely available as a magic scroll, so later on in the game, I don't find 
 myself equipping Earth Runes too often.

Earth Magic users tend to be quite sage. That is, they are learned, 
 intelligent people who can make calm decisions even in dire circumstances. 
 For the most part, they have noble intentions, but in spite of this -or 
 perhaps because of it- they tend to be somewhat elitist and haughty. Often 
 this makes them the victims of their own hubris, like Bishop Sasarai from 
 Suikoden II and III. They also tend to be out-of-touch with everyday life, 
 and are not too socially skilled.

Rune Family Tree: True Earth > Mother Earth > Earth


-----------------
/////Elemental Sword Rune
Type: Magic
Rank: C
Note: This entry will cover all the Elemental Sword Runes: Rage Sword, 
 Thunder Sword, Cyclone Sword, Flowing Sword, and Mother Earth Sword. They 
 are all the same Rune, just with a different element, so check your 
 character's elemental affinity on the status screen to see which of these 
 Runes is best for them.

Basically, these Runes add elemental damage to you physical attacks. This can 
 be useful for bosses and enemies with a high physical resistance, as it 
 allows characters with low magic scores to sidestep this resistance.

For the majority of the game, these Runes are useless. They require MP to 
 use, and have little in the way of damage bonuses, plus, casting will eat up 
 one full turn for your character. However, if your character has a high 
 affinity for the element, and you invest heavily in the Sword of Magic Skill 
 and its related Epic Skills, then the 1.2x damage from the LV 3 spell will 
 increase dramatically.

I will talk more about how to maximize the effectiveness of this Rune later. 
 But for now, just know that while this Rune can be powerful, it takes a 
 heavy investment, both in SP and MP. You can play through the game never 
 using one of them; I did not use them on most of my play-throughs of this 
 game, but if you want the biggest numbers possible, you will have to use 
 these Runes.


----------------
/////Fire Rune
Type: Magic
Rank: B

LV 1: Flaming Arrows (Attack)
LV 2: Dancing Flames (Attack)
LV 3: Blazing Wall (Attack)
LV 4: Explosion (Attack)

Note: The Fire Rune is one of the five basic elemental Runes, and one of two 
 of them that focus only on attack magic. The Lightning Rune is also an 
 Attack Rune, but the Fire Rune focuses on attacking groups of enemies, wile 
 the Lightning attacks either single targets or columns of enemies. Which you 
 should choose for a particular character depends on that character's Magic 
 affinity for that family. If you look, very few characters -even powerful 
 mages- are equally proficient in both Fire and Lightning magic, so choose 
 the Rune that is right for them.

Fire Magic users are always powerful, but they often have trouble controlling 
 their power, even to the point that they can harm allies and enemies alike. 
 I could use cliches like "Fiery Personality" or "Explosive Temper," but 
 these terms would not do justice to the inner struggle that Fire Magic users 
 find themselves in: a desperate balance between doing what they feel is 
 right, and restraining themselves so that they do not go too far.

Rune Family Tree: True Fire > Rage > Fire


----------------
/////Flowing Rune
Type: Magic
Rank: A

LV 1: Breath of Ice (Attack)
LV 2: Kindness Rain (Recovery) 
LV 3: Silent Lake (Defense)
LV 4: Mother Ocean (Recovery)

Acquire:
Chests: Raftfleet, Beaver Lodge, Sauronix
Major Battles: 2, 5, 9a, 10a, 10b
Bosses: Diamond Sun

Note: This is the "parent" Rune of the Water Rune. Having Kindness Drops 
 removed is a bit annoying, but considering that Kindness Rain is a LV 2 
 spell here, it is more than enough to make up for that. The new LV 4 spell 
 is Mother Ocean, one of the few spells in the game that allows you to revive 
 fallen party members in battle. Essentially it is like a Kindness Drops that 
 also works on characters with 0 HP. The only other spell is "Yell" from the 
 Resurrection Rune, but that does not fully recover your ally's HP. Other 
 than that, there is not much to note, use the Flowing Rune in place of the 
 Water Rune if you can.


----------------
/////Lightning Rune
Type: Magic
Rank: B

LV 1: Thunder Runner (Attack)
LV 2: Berserk Blow (Attack)
LV 3: Furious Blow (Attack)
LV 4: Soaring Bolt (Attack)

Note: The second of the elemental attack runes, this one focuses on single 
 targets over enemy groups. Again, when deciding between this Rune and the 
 Fire Rune, take you character's elemental affinity into account.

Lightning Magic users are actually quite rare in the Suikoden games. Mostly, 
 they are Fighter-class characters with decent MP who use Lightning magic to 
 augment their Physical Attacks. Flik from Suikoden I and II is a great 
 example of this. There have only been two real Lightning Mages in the 
 Suikoden games, as far as I can recall: Jeane and Geddoe (from Suikoden 
 III). Both of whom are not the type of people to talk too much about 
 themselves, so not much can be determined as to the personality traits of 
 Lightning Magic users.

I guess the keyword here is "mystery." True Lightning Mages tend to be 
 secretive and enigmatic, flashing brightly then disappearing off to 
 somewhere unknown.

Rune Family Tree: True Lightning > Thunder > Lightning


---------------
/////Mother Earth Rune
Type: Magic
Rank: A

LV 1: Vengeful Child (Defense)
LV 2: Guardian Earth (Status Recovery)
LV 3: Earthquake (Attack)
LV 4: Canopy Defense (Defense)

Acquire:
Chests: Baska Mines, Yashuna, Underground Ruins, Twilight Ruins
Major Battles: 7
Bosses: Shepesska 

Note: The parent of the Earth Rune changes drastically. Clay Guardian is 
 gone, replaced by Vengeful Child. This actually makes the Rune somewhat less 
 useful, even though Vengeful Child is still a good spell, it must be used 
 cautiously, or else you will end up blocking a positive spell with it. 
 Guardian Earth is a clone of the LV 1 Dawn Rune magic, so it's use is 
 questionable. Earthquake makes a much better LV 3 spell than a LV 4 spell, 
 as it is a bit underpowered and does not hit flying enemies. Canopy Defense 
 however, is one of the more useful spells when fighting Bosses. It protects 
 your entire party from one spell, like a Vengeful Child targeting the whole 
 party. While this must be used carefully, and often forces you to use items 
 to heal instead of magic, it will shield your party from even the most 
 powerful enemy spells. If is a good idea to carry a Mother Earth Rune in 
 with you to every major Boss battle, along with Clay Guardian scrolls.

The True Earth Rune is currently being wielded by Bishop Sasarai of the Holy 
 Kingdom of Harmonia.


----------------
/////Pale Gate Rune
Type: Magic
Rank: A

LV 1: Open Gate (Attack)
LV 2: Royal Passage (Attack)
LV 3: Pale Palace (Attack)
LV 4: Empty World (Attack)

Acquire:
Chests: Doraat, Underground Ruins Altar, Godwin Castle
Major Battles: None
Bosses: Ancient Creeper

Note: If you've played Suikoden before, this Rune will be familiar to you. In 
 Suikoden II, it was the Blue Gate Rune, but since it has been translated to 
 "Pale Gate Rune." While in previous Suikodens, it was the most powerful 
 attack magic Rune in the game, here in Suikoden V it takes a lesser role. 
 The Star Rune, as well as the Thunder and Rage Runes all can at least match 
 the Pale Gate in raw power. While LV 1 Open Gate is probably the best LV 1 
 attack spell in the game, the other spells tend to even out in terms of 
 damage as compared to other Runes.

This Rune is best paired with the Pale Moon Armor Set, which raises the 
 wearer's Darkness Element to an S-rank, making this Rune deal damage well 
 beyond what the game's tool tips claim. The major problem with this is that 
 the LV 4 Empty World spell also damages the party. If you do not have a 
 party with high magic defense or high Darkness affinity, the damage can be 
 considerable. But with the proper precautions this Rune can be used freely 
 for dealing massive damage.

This Rune is the Child Rune of the True Gate Rune, featured in Suikoden I. 
 The True Gate Rune was split into two halves by Windy and her "sister" 
 Leknaat, Windy taking the "Front" half of the Gate, and Leknaat taking the 
 "Back" half, in order to safeguard the Rune from the Holy Kingdom of 
 Harmonia. This eventually led to the events of Suikoden I.

In all likelihood, the Pale Gate Rune is either a child born when the True 
 Gate was still complete, or is a child of the "Front" half of the Gate Rune 
 wielded by Windy. The Front half of the Rune does have the power to summon 
 demons form the "World of Emptiness." While the Back half may be able to do 
 the same, Leknaat has never used it to summoned any demons, just to teleport 
 and keep watch over the events of the world. In fact, the only time we have 
 seen Leknaat use the Back Gate Rune was to help send an army of Demons back 
 to the Wold of Emptiness after they were summoned by her sister, Windy.


----------------
/////Rage Rune
Type: Magic
Rank: A

LV 1: Dancing Flames (Attack)
LV 2: Blazing Wall (Attack)
LV 3: Explosion (Attack)
LV 4: Final Flame (Attack)

Acquire:
Chests: Lelcar, Estrise, Port Spinacks
Major Battles: 4, 7, 10b
Bosses: Diamond Sun, Raging Zahhak


Note: This Rune is pretty straightforward. I don't think I need to cover it 
 in-depth. I will talk about unite magics though. With the Flowing, Thunder, 
 Rage, Cyclone, and Mother Earth runes, Unite Magic becomes available. 
 Basically, have one of any of these runes equipped on a character, then have 
 a different one equipped on another character. In battle on the Rune menu, 
 you will have the opportunity to use a Unite Spell, which combines the 
 powers of two runes at the cost of 1 MP per character.

There are exceptions: Rage and Flowing cannot unite, for example. Here is a 
 full list of Elemental Rune Unites. Rage / Thunder = Flame Array. Thunder / 
 Flowing = Thunder God. Flowing + Cyclone = Water Dragon. Cyclone + Mother 
 Earth = Fierce Wind Fang. Mother Earth + Rage = Scorched Earth.


----------------
/////Shield Rune
Type: Magic
Rank: A

LV 1: Battle Oath (Support)
LV 2: Great Blessing (Recovery)
LV 3: Battlefield (Support)

Note: The Shield Rune is back again for Suikoden V, after taking a break in 
 volume IV of the Series. The First Level spell has a chance to cause Fury on 
 your entire battle party. The Third Raises the power of your party's magic 
 for 3 turns. But the Second Level spell is arguable the best HP recovery 
 spell in the early game, until you gain access to the Flowing Rune. Battle 
 Oath can be a great spell as well. The game claims it has a 40% if 
 inflicting the Fury positive status effect on your party members, but this 
 percentage is increased when both the caster has a strong affinity for 
 shield magic (a B-rank or higher) and your characters have a high Luck 
 statistic. Often, I can achieve Fury 60-70% of the time with the right 
 party.

Shield magic users are strong and steady, often with something dear to them 
 that they would like to protect. They also tend to be quite idealistic, even 
 to the point that some would call them naive, but they have the strength to 
 make their their ideals a reality.

Shield magic is recommended for Characters like Miakis and Lyon, for obvious 
 reasons.

When checking a person's Rune Affinity for Shield Magic, the statistic screen 
 lists it as Holy Magic (ho), not "sh," which stands for Shot. For this 
 game, Shield magic is wrongly grouped into the same magic family as 
 Resurrection Magic, even though the two Runes clearly have different 
 Parent Runes, and come from separate families.

Rune Family Tree: True Rune of Beginning (Bright Shield Half) > Shield Rune


----------------
/////Thunder Rune
Type: Magic
Rank: A

LV 1: Berserk Blow
LV 2: Soaring Bolt
LV 3: Furious Blow
LV 4: Thunder Storm

Acquire:
Chests: Raftfleet, Hershville, Port Spinacks, Sauronix, Ceras Ruins LV B3.
Major Battles: 6 
Bosses: Dilber Novum

Again, this Rune is an upgrade of the Lightning Rune. LV 4 Thunder Storm hits 
 all enemies though, so this allow for more versatility with the Rune. 
 Remember to keep magic affinities in mind when choosing Runes for your 
 characters. The major advantage that Lightning Magic has over Fire Magic is 
 that while Fire can inflict the Burn Status, Lightning can Stun an enemy, 
 taking them out for a full round of battle. While bosses are immune to this, 
 it can still be a very useful ability.


----------------
/////Twilight
Type: Magic
Rank: A

LV 1: Evening Dusk (Status Attack)
LV 2: Setting Sun (Attack)
LV 3: Silent Afterglow (Attack)
LV 4: Vermillion Sky (Attack)

Note: This is probably the strongest attack Rune in the game. Evening Dusk is 
 useful in combination with the Hunter Rune. Setting Sun is a clone of 
 Funeral Wind, but that is a strong spell for LV 2. Silent Afterglow is not 
 that strong, but Vermillion Sky hits very hard. Other than that there is not 
 much to say here, except that this Rune is available only in the late game, 
 so enjoy it while you can.


----------------
/////Water Rune
Type: Magic
Rank: B

LV 1: Kindness Drops (Recovery)
LV 2: Breath of Ice (Attack)
LV 3: Kindness Rain (Recovery)
LV 4: Silent Lake (Defense)

I will not say that Water Runes are the "best" of the basic elemental Runes, 
 but I will say that I use them more than any other Rune. Water Runes are a 
 vital source for HP and status recovery. They save money on Medicines and 
 Antitoxins and they are useful in all types of battles, from long chains of 
 weak enemies that can wear you down, to difficult bosses with powerful 
 attacks. I always have at least one person in my party with a water rune 
 equipped. The Lv 1 spell, Kindness Drops, heals all of a character's lost 
 HP, plus any negative status effects. This is a great spell, especially at 
 Lv 1. While I would not say Water magic is a necessity, it is a great help 
 at all times, and I will write this walkthrough from the assumption that you 
 have at least one Water Rune equipped to a character with decent MP in your 
 party at all times.

Water Rune users sharply contrast Wind Rune users. They seem more stable and 
 calm, like a still lake or a deep, slow river. Water is the essence of life 
 -nothing can survive without it- and water magic gives life to those around 
 its wielders.

Rune Family Tree: True Water > Flowing > Water


---------------
/////Wind Rune
Type: Magic
Rank: C

Level 1: Wind of Sleep (Status Attack)
Level 2: Healing Wind (Recovery)
Level 3: The Shredding (Attack)
Level 4: Funeral Wind (Attack)

Notes: The Wind Rune is a compromise. Water magic heals, Lightning and Fire 
 attack, Earth defends, while Wind has a little bit of everything. Wind Runes 
 have been very useful in the previous Suikoden games, but in this one, I 
 think they tend to be the least useful of all the basic elemental magic 
 runes. Wind magic tends to be the best choice when you have no idea what you 
 are getting yourself into, but, dear reader, you have me, so there should be 
 nothing that you are not prepared for. (Or I have not done my job right.) 
 Don't get me wrong, if a character has a high Wind Magic stat on the Status 
 Screen, don't hesitate to equip them with a Wind Rune, but virtually all the 
 magic has a counterpart available on another rune at a lower level. For 
 example: Healing Wind is an exact copy of Kindness Drops, the Lv 1 Water 
 magic. The only magic that really stands out is Lv 3 The Shredding, a nice 
 magic attack that hits the entire enemy party. Don't hold any of this 
 against the Cyclone Rune though.

Personally, I feel that the Wind Rune was best in Suikoden II, where Funeral 
 Wind was instead Storm Warning, a defensive spell. This could be interpreted 
 as a metaphor for wind itself. Meaning the poetic trope of “the Four Winds,” 
 North, South, East, and West. The rune from that game had a Status Effect 
 spell, a Recovery spell, an Attack spell, and a Defensive spell: North, 
 South, East, and West. Now we have just North, South, East, and er ... East.

Like the Wind itself, Wind Rune users are often capricious and fickle, 
 changing as often as the direction of the wind.
  
Rune Family Tree: True Wind > Cyclone > Wind.


===================================
	Support Runes
===================================


----------------
/////Boost Rune
Type: Support
Rank: B
Acquire: Ulse enemies, chapters 1, 2, and 3.
Note: While the "Boost" status effect is quite useful, the fact that this 
 rune reduces you HP to 1 point after only 3 turns makes it highly dangerous. 
 In fact, most battles you can win in three turns, don't require Runes like 
 this one, and battles where this Rune's power can come in handy usually last 
 much longer. In short, this Rune is best used in "Treasure Hunting" parties, 
 where you are trying to beat easy enemies very quickly, as well as parties 
 were you are trying to level up weaker members on easy enemies. 

At this point in the game though, you are short on Support Runes. If you 
 equip a Sacrificial Jizo on a character with this Rune, you can use it to 
 good effect. But other than that, leave this one at home.


---------------
/////Crazed Rune
Type: Support
Rank: C
Acquire: Assassin, Raging Assassin. Chapters 3 and 5
Note: This Rune simply gives the wearer the Berserk status, which causes 
 physical attacks to deal double damage, while forcing the wearer to attack 
 every turn. Personally, I do not use this Rune as much as many other fans of 
 this game do. I think that having an army of crazed psychos is no fun. 
 Besides, characters like Kyle are at their best when you are in control, and 
 can use magic or attack as necessary.

With that said, there are certain characters who become monsters with this 
 Rune. Goesch is one, he has high damage already, and his Mow Down ability 
 will still trigger in a Berserk state. Pair this Rune with a Power or 
 Double-Edge Rune and watch him massacre the enemy party. Plus, Goesch is the 
 kind of character that you always use the Attack command with anyway.

Oddly, this rune seems to have a negative effect of the wearer's Accuracy, 
 even though the game neglects to mention it. If you do decide to use this 
 Rune, offset the accuracy penalty be adding skills related to Technique. 
 Though, like with the Fury Rune, the negative effect on Accuracy seems to 
 manifest most often with long-range characters 

This Rune can be equipped to a character's right hand only.


----------------
/////Fury Rune
Type: Support
Rank: A
Note: This Rune offers a mere 50% increase to damage -while allowing you to 
 retain full control of the character- at the cost of accuracy. Arguably, 
 this is a better all-round Rune than Crazed, it does not have the raw damage 
 potential, but is a better fit for most situations. The accuracy penalty is 
 hardly noticeable when given to a character with high Technique, like 
 Richard, Belcoot, and Zegai. Even if they do begin to miss, they all have 
 access to Epic Skills that increase both Attack and Technique, like Fate 
 Control. This Rune is a great choice for fighters in the middle portion 
 portion of the game, when the Power Rune and Double-Edge Rune may still be 
 difficult to use because of their heavy defensive penalties.

Fury also makes a good Rune for Long-Range fighters, most have strong 
 technique stats to begin with, plus there are plenty if items and pieces of 
 armor like the Gunner's Bracer, which adds to long-range accuracy. One thing 
 to note: Most Long-Range Fighters have high Accuracy Stats, but will miss 
 more often than Short-Range characters with similar Accuracy. Why this is I 
 have no idea, but the Fury Rune's Accuracy penalty is most pronounced with 
 Long-Rangers, probably making the Power Rune the better all-round choice 
 under most circumstances. If you use the Fury Rune on a Long-Range 
 character, I recommend Technique or a related Epic Skill. 

The Fury status, though, can also be gained through other means. The LV 1 
 Shield magic gives a decent chance of endowing characters with Fury. So, it 
 is up to you whether you like to equip your characters with Support Runes or 
 if you like to use Magic Runes. The Fury Status Provided from the Shield 
 Rune also lacks any accuracy penalty, so that could be another reason to use 
 Shield Magic.


----------------
/////Killer Rune
Type: Support
Rank: B
Note: The Killer Rune is back again, and this time not only does it increase 
 a character's critical rate by 50%, it also give a small chance of instant 
 death. This rune is the best choice for making strong fighters stronger, 
 without sacrificing any defense or suffering any drawbacks at all. Other 
 Runes like Power and Fury all have drawbacks, and it will be up to you to 
 decide whether you want to face these drawbacks, or avoid them altogether. 
 If you wish to avoid them, then the Killer Rune is the best Rune for all 
 your powerful fighters.


----------------
/////Magic Absorb Rune
Type: Support
Rank: S
Acquire: Zombie and Mummy enemies. Underground Ruins
Note: This Rune's effect is simple: It recovers one MP every time the 
 character connects with a physical attack using the Attack or Auto 
 commands. It will always restore one MP from the lowest possible level, 
 meaning if a character has used one LV 2 MP and one LV 3 MP, the Rune will 
 restore the LV 2 MP first, then the LV 3 MP on the next attack. 

In the Suikoden games, recovering magic has never been this easy. There was a 
 similar rune in Suikoden II, but it only restored LV 1 MP. Magic is very 
 powerful in these games, but its use has always been equally limited. This 
 Rune allows you to remove that limit, and use powerful magic skills freely. 
 While this makes mages more useable in your battle party, it can also make 
 the game much less challenging -far too easy in fact.

I like the idea of Magic being powerful, but limited. It adds a whole 
 different element of strategy to the game. This Rune simply side-steps that. 
 In the end it is your choice to use the Rune or not. If you do choose to use 
 it though, I suggest waiting until your second play-through.


----------------
/////Power Rune
Type: Support
Rank: A
Acquire: Boar-type Enemies. Wild Boar, Peckles, Razorback.
Notes: This Rune increases Physical Damage (DMG) by 50%, while halving your 
 Physical Defense stat (PDEF). Keep one thing in mind though, that a 50 
 percent reduction in PDEF can mean taking up to 3 times as much DMG from an 
 attack, simply because of the way that the game calculates DMG. While your 
 attacks will only receive the predictable 50% boost. As such, I don't 
 recommend this Rune for Short-Range fighters yet, instead, use it with 
 powerful Mid- and Long-Range fighters who have at least decent HP, like 
 Zegai. (Even though we have not recruited him yet.) This Rune works well 
 when paired with another Rune, the Drain Rune. Drain Runes convert 10% of 
 Damage dealt into HP recovery for the Attacker, this can greatly reduce the 
 negative effect of the PDEF loss.

Later in the game, your ability to offset the PDEF cost of equipping this 
 rune will increase, making it even more useful, and allowing you to equip 
 onto Short-Range characters without too much difficulty, making this Rune 
 one of the best choices for all fighters.


----------------
/////Sleep Rune
Type: Support
Rank: C
Notes: With a 30% chance of inflicting sleep, this Rune is much more useful 
 than the Silence Rune. However, unless you equip it on a slow character, you 
 have at least a 30% chance of waking that enemy back up before the end of 
 the turn. . . This Rune is most useful early on, and fades as you acquire 
 many more powerful Runes.



=============================================================================

	Skills, Epic Skills and Statistics -- section 2.3

=============================================================================


-- Statistics --
There are several stats in Suikoden V: Hit Points (HP), Attack (ATTK), 
 Defense (PDEF), Magic Defense (MDEF), Technique (TECH), Accuracy (ACC), 
 Evasion (EVA) Speed (SPD), and Luck.

Attack is simply the character's weapon strength added to the character's 
 base strength. Since weapons are always equipped in the game, the status 
 screen always shows the combined amount. A weapon can be between LV 1 and LV 
 16, depending on how many times you have sharpened it. A character's base 
 strength differs from character to character, and increases along with their 
 level.

Defense is a combination of a character's Base Physical Defense and the 
 defense provided from the equipment they are wearing. Base Defense increases 
 with character level, but varies little from character to character, and 
 does not contribute much to their overall defense. In this game, Defense is 
 largely determined by equipment. Different Characters can wear different 
 levels of equipment. There is: Tunic/Cloth equipment, Leather, Mail, Light 
 Armor, and Heavy Armor. The heavier the armor, the more its defense, but be 
 warned that Light and Heavy Armors can reduce a character's speed.

The Magic Defense stat is based almost entirely on a character's Base Magic 
 defense. This varies heavily from character to character, and increases with 
 level. There are some pieces of equipment that increase magic defense, but 
 they are few and only increase it by a small amount. Also, characters can 
 increase their defense for different magic elements individually, but I will 
 cover that in a bit.

Technique offers a combination of different skills. It raises a character's 
 ability to Parry direct attacks (some characters, especially Long-Range 
 Characters, cannot parry), it increases Accuracy, and it also is a major 
 factor in determining a character's Critical Rate.

Accuracy is based on the Technique stat, but can be influenced separately 
 through some equipment and runes. For example: Some glove items increase 
 Accuracy, but Technique. So, they do not influence Critical Rates or Parry 
 Rates, but they do offer a greater chance of connecting with direct attacks.

Evasion is simply a rating of how adept the character is at dodging direct 
 attacks. In battle, the attacker's Accuracy is measured against the Target's 
 Evasion, and a percentage of successful hit is produced. A character needs 
 to have strong Evasion before they can dodge enemy attacks with any 
 fequency.

Speed determines which characters act first every battle turn. The higher a 
 character's speed, the more likely they are to act before the enemy, giving 
 you a distinct advantage. However, at a certain point, characters with high 
 speed will always act before the enemy, and then it becomes useless to raise 
 that character's speed any higher. Speed is a valuable stat, but raising it 
 too high can prove a waste of time.

Luck effects many things that a character does. Essentially, it effects every 
 thing in the game that depends on a percentage. So, Luck can increase 
 Critical Rate, it can also increase the Rate at which enemies drop treasure, 
 and how ofter certain spells that have a percentage take effect. For 
 example: the LV 1 Shield Magic has a 40% chance of endowing characters with 
 the beneficial Fury status effect. Characters with high luck are more likely 
 to be effected.

-- Elemental Statistics and Combinations --
Each character has a ranking -from the weakest rating E, D, C, B, A, S, the 
 strongest- on the status screen for each Element in the game. The Elements 
 are Sun (Su), Fire (Fi), Lightning (Li), Wind (Wi), Water (Wa), Earth (Ea), 
 Star (St), Sound (So), Holy (Ho), Darkness (Da), Slash (Sl), Thrust (Th), 
 Punch (Pu), and Shot (Sh).

The higher a character rates in each category, the more powerful their 
 offense and defense for that category becomes.

Sun is the element of the Sun Rune, and the Twilight and Dawn Runes. Fire is 
 for Fire Magic, etc. Sound is for use of a Unique Rune only carried by one 
 character, and for defense it is only useful against the DoReMi Elf enemies, 
 who as far as I know are the only enemies to use Sound Magic. Holy magic 
 effects the use of both the Shield and Resurrection Runes, and as far as I 
 know, there are no enemies that attack using Holy magic. Darkness effects 
 the Condemnation Rune. Slash is not "Magic," so to speak, but effects a 
 character's defense and offense with Swords, Axes, and other slashing 
 weapons. Thrust effects Spear weapons, Punch Gauntlets and Fists, and Shot 
 effects Bows, Crossbows, Throwing Weapons, etc.

So, if you are up against a tough enemy that uses Fire Magic, bring 
 characters that not only have high MDEF, but also high Fire Magic affinity. 
 This is what I call a statistic combination. The MDEF reduces damage, while 
 the affinity increases the likelihood of that character "Resisting" any 
 given Fire Magic spell. If a character Resists a spell, the word "Resist"
 will appear above their head as they are struck, and the spell will deal 
 roughly one half the normal damage. With an Affinity of the highest S-rank, 
 characters will almost always resist magic from that element.

Other statistical combinations have little to do with magic. As I mentioned, 
 Luck can play a large role in many aspects of the game. A character with 
 high Luck will seemingly outperform their other stats, with more evasion, 
 criticals, parries, etc.

A character's parry rate is determined by a combination of their DEF and 
 TECH. Note that some characters cannot Parry at all, and others will have a 
 similar ability called "Weapon Defense." The difference is simply that 
 Swords and Axes Parry, while Staff, Club, and other such weapons can 
 "Defend." If this sounds complicated, don't worry "Parry" and "Weapon 
 Defense" are the same thing. Some Characters that have high DEF and TECH 
 stats can greatly outperform their Defense by Parrying.

There are other statistical combinations, but I will talk about these as we 
 go, it is better just to leave the subject here before it gets too 
 complicated.

-- Skills --
Skills return once again in Suikoden V, after first being introduced in 
 Suikoden III and being left out of IV. However, the effect of skills is now 
 much more balanced. In Suikoden III, Skills were the single greatest factor 
 in a character's strength. Here in V, there is a nice balance between Rune, 
 Stats and Skills.

All characters have access to the "Common Skills." On the Physical side: 
 Stamina increases HP. Attack effects ATK. Defense is self-explanatory. 
 Technique increases Accuracy and other unseen stats that I discussed 
 previously. Agility increases Speed, and a character's ability to hit 
 multiple times in one attack. Vitality increases the unseen critical stat.

In Magic, things are much more simple: Magic increases magic power. Magic 
 Defense needs no commentary. And Incantation helps your characters cast 
 spells faster in battle.

Each Skill require Skill Points to level up, and each character will be more 
 adept at using some Skills and less adept at others. For example: Sialeeds 
 is a mage character. Her Magic Skill can rise to an S-rank, but her Stamina 
 Skill maxes out at a C-rank. While a fighter like Georg can raise his 
 Vitality to SS-rank, but his Magic Defense is less stellar.

The general rule is that the more SP a Skills costs to level up, the Lower 
 that Skill can max out at. Skills level up from E-D-C-B-A-S-SS. Though very 
 few people can access any skills that rank double-S. So, a Skill that maxes 
 out at an A-rank will actually cost more per level than a skill that Maxes 
 out at an S-rank. It is for this reason that I suggest you use Skills that 
 characters excel at rather than ones they are mediocre in. While this might 
 seem obvious at first, once you start playing the game, it is tempting to -
 for example- give Sialeeds the Stamina Skill as a way to help her low HP 
 stat. But this is a mistake, as you will spend a large amount of SP for a 
 small effect.

-- Epic Skills --
Here is where things get a bit complex. Epic skills are skills that effect 
 more than one stat, but you must develop all related skills in order for 
 your character to even have access to the Epic Skill. So, In order to access 
 the Raging Lion Epic, which gives bonuses to both Stamina and Attack, you 
 must first have an A-rank in Stamina and Attack. Then, you will gin access 
 to Raging Lion at an E-rank and can upgrade and equip it normally.

The availability of Epics is another matter of concern. Some characters can 
 achieve high marks in both Stamina and Attack, but simply do not have access 
 to the Raging Lion Epic Skill. One good example of this is the dwarf, Wabon. 
 He is one of the strongest and highest HP characters in the game, but 
 inexplicably has no access to Raging Lion. Another example is Jeane, with 
 one of the highest Magic, Magic Defense, and Incantation skills, you would 
 think she would have access to Sacred Oath, the ultimate Magic Epic Skill. 
 In fact, Jeane cannot use Sacred Oath.

The Epic skills must be found in treasure chests or be acquired in another 
 way. Don't worry, I cover all of them in the walkthrough.

Epic Skills are: Armor of Gods (Defense / Magic Defense). Raging Lion (Attack 
 / Stamina). Swift Foot (Technique / Agility). Fate Control (Attack / 
 Technique). Karmic Effect (Defense / Technique). All-Out Strike (Incantation 
 / Technique / Agility). Triple Harmony (Attack / Vitality / Agility). Zen 
 Sword (Attack / Incantation). Untold Clarity (All Physical Skills except 
 Stamina). Divine Right (Magic / Incantation). Sacred Oath (Magic / Magic 
 Defense / Incantation). And Royal Paradise (All Skills). 

A few notes: Zen Sword and Sacred Oath also effect the Sword of Magic Skill, 
 which is used in conjunction with the Elemental Sword Runes. More on that in 
 a bit. Also, whomever translated this game made a couple of errors here: 
 Triple Harmony and All-Out Strike's names were switched somehow, and Divine 
 Right should be Divine "Rite". But I guess that is just semantics.

Generally, an Epic has a weaker effect to each stat than its basic 
 counterparts. The effect tends to be weakened by one full level. So, 
 equipping Swift Foot at an A-rank will give the same bonus as equipping both 
 Technique and Agility at a B-rank. The obvious advantage is that since every 
 character can only equip two skills -and some have permanent skills in one 
 slot- having the multiple effects makes the character more balanced and 
 versatile. There seem to be some exceptions though. First, there is a huge 
 addition to statistics when a skill becomes S-rank, and then again if that 
 skill can become SS-rank. This gives a big advantage to any character that 
 can achieve S-ranks in skills. Also, Royal Paradise tends to defy this as 
 well, especially in the S and SS-ranks. While it can be difficult to tell 
 exactly, Royal Paradise seems to give a larger bonus than other Epic Skills 
 per statistic at the high ranks.




=============================================================================

	Money Making and Trade -- section 2.4

=============================================================================


Money can often be tight in the game, especially with 75 battle useable 
 Characters, outfitting all of them can be a real chore. In the first half of 
 the game, your choices for making money are limited: you can either Fight 
 Random Battles or Trade. Trade can be a fun and unique aspect of the 
 Suikoden games, but here its ability to make you money is limited, as random 
 battles provide much higher returns in shorter periods of time during the 
 second half of the game.

First, I will cover trade. Trading prices are quite stable here in Suikoden
 V, as they tended to shift drastically in the previous games. So, there is
 really only one time when I noticed prices change meaningfully, that is 
 during chapter one, the price for Soybeans in Sol-Falena before and after 
 the Sacred Games. As such, I have listed both sets of prices here.

You can have access to more trade items if you buy and sell many of the 
 lower-level items, but this is largely a waste of time in my opinion. Unless 
 you absolutely love to trade, this should be more than enough to help.


-- Trade Notes --

Sol-Falena --- Opening

Sugar 100
Soybeans 440
Veggys 520
Fruit 1600
Weat 1600
Rice 2300
Handi 1550
Spices 2250
Coffee 3100
Tea 5200

--------------------------

Sol-Falena -- After Sacred Games

Sugar xxx
Salt 120
Soybeans 220
Veggys 520
Rice 2300
Handi 1550
Spices 2250
Coffee 3100
Tea 5200

------------------------

Raftfleet

Sugar 55
Salt 100
Soybeans 300
Veggys 800
Fruit 2000
Wheat 1900
Rice 2100
Spices 2500
Tea 4500
Gold 57000
Pearls 75000

--------------------

Haud

Sugar 60
Salt 200
Soybeans 400
Veggys 590
Fruit 1950
Wheat 2200
Rice 2200
Handi 1550
Spices 2800
Coffee 6000
Iron 10000
Gold 60000

------------------

Rainwall

Sugar 90
Salt 300
Soybeans xxx
Veggys 700
fruit 1800
Wheat 2300
Rice 2500
Coffee 4000
Tea 4000
Gold 59000
Pearls 80000


---------------

Estrise

Sugar 65
Salt 130
Soybeans 260
Veggys 640
Fruit 1300
Wheat 1800
Rice 2450
Handi 3000
Spices 2150
Coffee 4000
Tea 6000
Iron 8000
Gold 55500
Pearls 70000

-------------

Dwarf Camp

Sugar 85
Salt 240
Soybeans xxx
Veggys 1000
Fruit 1950
Wheat 2150
Rice 2700
Handi 2900
Iron 11000
Gold 50000

------------

Yashuna Village

Sugar 80
Salt 230
Soybeans 380
Veggys 500
Fruit 1850
Wheat 2500
Rice 2700
Handi 1700
Spices 3100
Coffee 3500
Tea 4600

-----------

HQ

Sugar xxx
Salt 200
Soybeans 350
Veggys 750
Fruit 1500
Wheat 2000
Rice 2500
Handi 1500
Coffee 4500
Tea 4200

----------

Lelcar

Sugar 90
Salt 180
Soybeans 360
Veggys 950
Fruit 1400
Wheat 1950
Rice 2600
Spices 4000
Coffee 3000
Iron 12000

---------

Sable

Sugar 50
Salt 260
Soybeans 200
Veggys 630
Fruit 1100
Wheat 2350
Rice 2050
Spices 3450
Iron 14000

----------

Nirva

Sugar 55
Salt 110
Soybeans 450
Veggys 540
Fruit 1200
Wheat 1700
Rice 3000
Handi 2800
Spices 2000
Coffee 5000
Gold 51000
Pearls 72000

---------

Beaver Lodge

Sugar 70
Salt 270
Soybeans 210
Veggys 1650
Fruit 1750
Wheat 2100
Rice 2000
Handi 2700
Tea 4800

---------


-- Making Money through Random Battles --


After chapter 3 begins, Trade begins to fade as a way to make money. A better 
 way is through the use of the Potch Finding party:

Essentially, this is a party that consists of Egbert, Norma, Roy, and Raven. 
 Egbert has the Potch Finder Skill that increases the potch you get from 
 random battles. Norma has this as well, but you must spend some SP to level 
 it up. Eventually her Potch Finder tops out at SS-rank, the best in the 
 game.

Roy and Raven have the Thief Skill, which randomly steals potch from an enemy 
 when they attack. This money is added to the base potch you receive at the 
 end of battle, then is further multiplied by Egbert and Norma.

Also, the Prosperity Equipment Set greatly adds to the Potch from random 
 battles as well. While this set provides little in the way of Defense, it 
 functions just like the Potch Finder skill. Locations of the Prosperity Set 
 equipment: Prosperity Ring, Rainwall, also available for purchase in chapter 
 five at your HQ. Prosperity Gloves, Baska Mine, in chapter 3 and later. 
 Prosperity Sandals, Yashuna village. Prosperity Tunic, Underground Ruins, 
 (Jeane's recruitment quest). And Prosperity Hat, Underground Ruins Altar 
 (Eresh's recruitment Quest).  

The Prosperity Rune is another piece of the puzzle, it doubles the amount of 
 Potch earned after battles. However Pieces of the Rune can be very difficult 
 to find. Enemies that drop Prosperity Rune Pieces are: Golden Bunny, found 
 in the area west of Haud. Ogre Frog, at the Waterfall Basin. And Evil Toad, 
 found in the Yashuna Village caves and the Water Vein near the Dwarf Camp. 
 For all these enemies, the Prosperity Rune Piece has a very low drop rate, 
 less than 5%. So, a treasure hunting party helps a lot when trying to get 
 these items.

Treasure Hunting Parties are another way to make money. Characters with the 
 Treasure Hunt ability are Lorelai, Zweig, Faylon, Faylen, Babbage, Bergen, 
 and Killey. Bergen's Treasure Hunt can eventually be raised to a SS-rank, 
 but that might mean using him in your battle party. I usually just feed him 
 party SP to avoid that situation.

In the late game, you should have access to all these elements. My personal 
 favorite Money Making party is: Norma, Roy, Raven, the Prince, Lyon, Ernst, 
 Bergen, Egbert, Babbage, and Eresh, so I can access her area of the 
 Underground Ruins.

With this party, I have been able to make about twelve million potch an hour 
 down in the Underground Ruins Altar, which is only available if you 
 recruited Eresh. If you did not recruit her, then the Ashtwal Mountains area 
 is the best place.



=============================================================================

	Bath Sequences -- section 2.4

=============================================================================


One of my favorite parts of every Suikoden Game has been the bath sequences, 
 and Suikoden V is no exception. Just take the required characters into the 
 bath located below the Inn to trigger the scene.


/////
Be Careful What You Wish For
Starring: Lyon, Sialeeds


/////
Big Brothers, Big Problems
Starring: Faylon, Maroon, Muroon

/////
Dirty Waters
Starring: Nakula, Raven, Egbert

/////
Hunters and Spies
Starring: Lorelai, Viki, Zweig

/////
It is Tough to be a Dad
Starring: Retso, Logg

/////
Naughty or Nice
Starring: Kyle, Gavaya

/////
Strong and Silent
Starring: Killey, Zegai, Gunde

/////
Sworn to Her Side
Starring: Isato, Mathias, Dinn

/////
The Tower of Pride
Starring: Bastan, Cornelio

/////
The Virtue of Conviction
Starring: Galleon, Goesch, Murad

/////
What Girls Want
Starring: Lun, Kisara, Subala

/////
Cute and Cuddly
Starring: Lu, Marina, Jeane

/////
The Apprentice's Rebellion
Starring: Sorensen, Dongo, Bergen

/////
Blades and Bullets
Starring: Urda, Hazuki, Cathari

/////
White as a Ghost
Starring: Nikea, Zerase, Bernadette

/////
The Tyranny of Masters
Starring: Levi, Babbage, Wabon

/////
The Truth of Rumors
Starring: Belcoot, Shinro

/////
The Sound of Shyness
Starring: Roog, Nick, Rania

/////
Men From Foreign Lands
Starring: Georg, Yahr, Richard, Taylor

/////
The Luck of Little Sisters
Starring: Josephine, Meroon, Faylen
(Only available after recruiting Shula)

/////
Humans Are Scum
Starring: Ax, Wabon, Ernst
(Remove all humans from party except the Prince)

/////
Foreign Exchange
Starring: Isabel, Nelis, Sharmista

/////
Favor
Starring: Shoon, Takamu

/////
Crisis of Epic Proportions
Starring: Lyon, Miakis, Roy

/////
Other People's Rules
Starring: Cius, Haleth

/////
Secret Society
Starring: Nifsara, Norma, Linfa
Scene: Outdoor Bath

/////
One Tall, Two Small
Starring: Lelei, Shun-Min, Eresh
Scene: Outdoor Bath

/////
Leisure Time
Starring: Genoh, Alhazred, Sairoh
Scene: Outdoor Bath

/////
Hissy Fit Fight
Starring: Byakuren, Flail
Scene: Outdoor Bath

/////
Beware of the Dragon Horse
Starring: Moshen, Lance, Rahal
Scene: Outdoor Bath

/////
Bathtime for Everybody
Starring: Shigure, Sagiri
Scene: Outdoor Bath

/////////////// Fin ///////////////


=============================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

========== Section 3 ==========

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
=============================================================================



=============================================================================

	Essay: The Silent Protagonist and Enchantment -- section 3.1

=============================================================================


This essay contains no gameplay information, it is simply a place I will use 
 to talk a bit more about the series and its interesting use of characters.


In the modern era of Video Games, we have moved into a more dramatic -and 
 cinematic- type of narrative. At first, Games all had what are called 
 "Silent Protagonists," heroes who were quiet, and didn't speak a word. This 
 was due to the art of game production being in its infancy, in both 
 technological and theoretical terms. Games had little extra space for 
 anything that did not directly effect gameplay, and production staffs had no 
 time to create complex worlds or storylines.

The first Game to contain what was called a "Cinema Sequence" was Ninja 
 Gaiden. In this game, not only did our Protagonist have a name and 
 motivation, but he also spoke and interacted with other characters in the 
 game, and many of these other characters played a purpose in the story 
 beyond being enemies to defeat through gameplay.

In the early nineties, SquareSoft released Final Fantasy IV, (FF II in the 
 U.S.) this game had an entirely new world, wrought in detail, and characters 
 that had more complex motivations and dialogue. In terms of cinematics, it 
 was not only the game with the most dialogue, it was a game that began an 
 era in Role-Playing, one that we still see today.

By the time of the mid-nineties, the 16-bit era was closing, and the ESRB 
 ratings had been established, actually making it much easier for production 
 companies to release games with "mature" content. When the Sega Saturn and 
 Sony PlayStation hit the market, companies had much more room to store data 
 in a game, and the technology was beginning to grow rapidly. As such, games 
 began to become much more complex, and storylines became an artistic element 
 of production, no longer restrained by the technology. In 1997, the biggest 
 breakthrough in terms of this new state of the art came in the game: Metal 
 Gear Solid, which featured full voice-acting and cinema scenes, coupled with 
 complex plotlines and characters that eschewed the normal, even by what was 
 being produced in popular film, and had a strong, well written lead 
 character.

But before this breakthrough, a small, unknown game was released for Sega 
 Saturn, then ported over to the PlayStation. This game was Suikoden. It had 
 all trappings of a standard 16-bit era RGP, a silent protagonist, and epic 
 realm to explore, and many other things that made it seem, at a glance, a 
 throw-back to the earlier, pre-Final Fantasy IV era. Until you played the 
 game.

Quickly, all of the cliched elements were thoroughly and precisely 
 deconstructed. The evil you sought to banish was, in fact, not so evil, and 
 the characters were a complex mix of good intentions, bad outcomes, and 
 jaded greed that used more realistic psychology to interpret character than 
 had been previously been used. The "Bad Guys" were not bad simply because 
 they were bad, they had thoughts and ideologies of their own, and even if 
 these ideologies lead them down the wrong path, they still were portrayed as 
 understandable, if not ideal. The "Good Guys" were not always driven to 
 serve a vague sense of what is "Righteous." But had many differing reasons 
 for their actions, some less than noble. Even the most noble new that on 
 some level, killing other people was wrong, and they fought only to deny the 
 fate that they were handed to build a brighter future for their nation, even 
 if it meant to commit a sin.

Amongst all this complexity, all this psychology, all this realism, one thing 
 was in stark contrast: the Silent Protagonist. Why? with such powerful 
 characters, and a well-written story, why leave the protagonist to silence? 
 Why not make him speak a lofty speech? have a discourse on what is right or 
 wrong? about the nature of Good and Evil? Why not make him as complex as the 
 rest of the game's cast?

Oddly, it seemed to work very well. But why? Allow me to answer that question 
 with another question:

During this walkthrough, I often said things like: "X character will tell 
 you. . ." "You will be forced. . ." etc etc. I even sometimes used the 
 collective article "We": Before we do this. . .

Did that seem weird? From a grammatical standpoint, I should have said: Take 
 the Prince here. X character will tell the Prince. . . I used the term "You"
 in place of "the Prince" often. Did that seem natural to you? did you even 
 notice I was doing it?

In 1973 a man named Bruno Bettlehiem published a book called: The Uses of 
 Enchantment. Mr. Bettlehiem was a survivor of German Concentration Camps and 
 a renowned expert int he field of Child Psychology. He dedicated his life to 
 helping severely traumatized children through his practice and study of 
 psychology. In The Uses of Enchantment, Bettlehiem lays the groundwork for 
 what would later become the theory of Allegorical Projection.

Essentially, the book details Bettlehiem's work using common Fairy Tales to 
 treat and psychoanalyze traumatized children, and how these very same Fairy 
 Tales that we all learned as a child were actually powerful psychological 
 enablers that educate children both emotionally and morally, long before the 
 child has even formed conscious ideas about Emotions and Morals. He found 
 that children often completely ignore the gender, race, and nationality of a 
 Fairy Tale character. They even ignore the personality traits that many of 
 these characters possess. The main character is a Fairy Tale is not even 
 really a character at all, but a representation of the child itself.

To explain: the child does not see, say, Hansel and Gretel as a German 
 Brother and Sister, but instead sees them both as a single individual. 
 Hansel and Gretel, instead of becoming characters, they become Mirrors. They 
 allow the child to Project their own feelings, their own fears, their own 
 insecurities, their own Image onto them. Cinderella is not a pretty girl, 
 but a person who is unjustly oppressed and must struggle against that 
 oppression until the day that they are set free from bondage. Just like how 
 children often feel -and in the cases of Abused and Neglected children- 
 often are unjustly oppressed.

What is an Allegory? ha ha ha, well, the old joke in the English Department 
 where I study is that if you ask ten college professors what an Allegory is, 
 you will get twenty-five different answers. At its most basic, an Allegory 
 is something that stands in for more than one other thing. It is something 
 that stands for something bigger and more difficult to put into words. Yes, 
 essentially it is a metaphor, but a BIG metaphor. For example: Cinderella is 
 not Cinderella, but she stands in for a good person who is treated unjustly.

Fairy Tales have unique quality to them though, in that they are not only 
 allegory, but they also allow a person -of whatever age- to Project their 
 own, personal feelings onto them. Thus, they become a two-way Mirror, to not 
 only allow one to see them self, but also to allow one to see the world.

With this in mind, think of the Suikodens. The silent protagonist now becomes 
 not only a way to see the world, but a way to see yourself. Really, there is 
 no hero character, the heroes of Suikoden do not even have names. It is just 
 you, and who your project onto the blank slate of the so-called "Hero," is 
 not just you, but your idea of yourself and your idea of what is "Right."

This is why the Suikodens appeal so strongly to intelligent and moral people, 
 because they allow for a much more fulfilling experience if the player is a 
 more fulfilled person.

When I say "you" during this walkthrough, I meant just that. Because there is 
 no Freyjadour Falenas. All of the situations, all of the dialogue choices 
 all of the decisions you made were just a vehicle for you to see the Prince 
 as yourself and to effect the world that you project onto him.

Needless to say, the fact that these games could achieve that level of 
 Allegorical Projection requires either some serious talent or some serious 
 luck. I, for one, being a published author (not at GameFAQs, but actually, 
 really published in print) and being fully trained in Literature and 
 Literary Theory, could not even write something that required such a 
 delicate balance and nuanced style. It is tempting, even as a huge fan of 
 the series, to write this off as a mere coincidence, that the makers of the 
 game stumbled onto some kind of writing that allowed for Allegorical 
 Projection unknowingly, and that they just followed a tradition in gaming. 
 However, considering the deep level of character and psychological reality, 
 it become hard to justify that position.

Take Suikoden IV. The original creator of the Suikoden series is a man named 
 Mr. Murayama. When Suikoden III was nearing the final stages of production, 
 Mr. Murayama left Konami. Why, no one is certain. But Suikoden III suffered 
 greatly in the final stages because of his absence.

Suikoden IV came a few years later. This time the game was written and 
 directed by one Junko Kawano. While it had the same silent protagonist as 
 Suikoden I and II, it lacked Murayama's depth of story and character. At the 
 beginning of the game, you are introduced to the main character and his 
 friend, Snow. Soon, it becomes clear that Snow is not only a coward, but a 
 cheat as well. And after that is revealed you end up asking yourself: "Why 
 is this guy friends with Snow?"

Let me repeat that if you did not catch it: "Why is _this guy_ friends with 
 Snow?" That is, at that point you have distanced yourself from the 
 protagonist, and can no longer use him as an allegory nor a vehicle. You no 
 longer see the hero as yourself, but rather, a strange, quiet kid who is a 
 bad judge of character.

I often picked on Suikoden IV in this walkthrough, but really, it actually a 
 good game. It does however lack the superlative storytelling and characters 
 of the other Suikoden games though. The reason of course because Junko 
 Kawano lacks any real talent in writing that was present in Suikoden I, II, 
 and III.

In Suikoden III, there was no silent protagonist. Instead, the protagonist -
 called the Flame Champion- tells the player that people must begin to fight 
 for themselves. That the world is not the responsibility of some mythical 
 hero of immense power, but instead the responsibility -and the dream- of 
 everyone, and everyone must work together to protect it.

To me, Suikoden III represents Murayama's change in writing style. He was no 
 longer trying to construct an allegorical vehicle, but was instead turning 
 the responsibility for effecting the world where it belonged, onto your 
 shoulders.

I could go on. But I will leave it there. You have now gotten at least a 
 taste of why I find these games so fascinating. And why, fourteen years 
 after playing the first Suikoden, I still love them every bit as much.


=============================================================================

	Looking to the Future of Suikoden -- section 3.2

=============================================================================


This section is for a bit of discussion as to the Future of the Suikoden 
 series, which honestly has been in doubt ever since the release of Suikoden 
 V.

As I said in the essay, Mr. Murayama -the creator of the series- left Konami
 at the final stages of Suikoden III. Was he fired? Did he quit? We really 
 have no idea. But Suikoden III suffered greatly for his absence. Suikoden IV 
 was written by someone entirely different, and while it was a commercial 
 success, it disappointed many fans, myself included.

Suikoden V was written by yet another writer, who obviously had closely 
 studied the work of Murayama and used his settings and style to forge a new 
 game that was at least a passable successor to the Murayama Suikodens. But, 
 after IV, Suikoden V's sales were horrendous.

In 2009, Konami released the first new Suikoden title in over three years. A 
 game for the DS called Suikoden Tierkreis. I have not played it, as I do not 
 own a DS, but the game was almost universally hated by long-time fans of the 
 series. Such vitriol as I have not seen in gaming comes from hardcore fans 
 of the series who were burned by the game.

Now, we find ourselves in 2010. Sales for Tierkreis were not bad, but not 
 stellar either. And the future of the series is in doubt.

First, let me say this: if Konami did not know that there was a strongly 
 dedicated fanbase for the Suikoden series, they would certainly have dropped 
 the title long ago. Perhaps after III, maybe IV, but certainly after V. The 
 loss of Murayama was a huge blow to which the series has not fully 
 recovered.

However, there are now rumblings of a new Suikoden. Murayama -according to 
 his own blog- was offered a job at "a certain company," directly implying 
 Konami. In March 2010, he said that he refused the offer. But rumors have 
 surfaced, saying he was spotted at Konami HQ in June, well after he declined 
 the offer. and that Konami plans to announce a new Suikoden title in 
 September 2010.

Could there have been a counter-offer? Could Murayama have decided to make 
 another Suikoden and is waiting for the official announcement to reveal that 
 he is working for Konami again? There is no way to tell. Perhaps Murayama 
 was at Konami just to go out to lunch with some of his old friends he used 
 to work with. Maybe he declined the offer, but it was not even from Konami. 
 No one can tell at this point.

It does seem inevitable that Suikoden VI will be released. And that, at 
 least, is welcome news. But, if it follows in the vein of Tierkries, there 
 is little doubt that many of the long-time fans will abandon the series. And 
 then the future of Suikoden really will end.

However, if Murayama does come back, or even if they find another suitable 
 replacement, it could spell a new era for Suikoden. And that is enough to 
 give me hope.

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============================ Special Thanks =================================


First off, let me thank Elizabeth Hollinger, the True Queen of walkthroughs.

The True Rune Club for the support and feedback.

Senior Taco for being awesome.

Pogy's for being a sandwich.

Impewiar Garden for being great engurish.

Drs. Meg Rolland, David Denny, and Jay Ponteri for being professors.

And SuikoSource.com for being one of the best fan sites on the net.

I hope you have enjoyed this walkthrough, so let thank you for supporting 
 this series and sticking with me to the end.

--Rooks
 
 

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