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User Rating: 10 | Rhapsodia PS2

Suikoden Tactics is a tactical role-playing game and thus shares many traits with the genre. The player controls a young man named Kyril, and advances the plot by completing tactical battles and talking with other characters. The player can also recruit new characters to his cause, which often involves a short sidequest. In towns, the player can gather information, sharpen character's weaponry, learn new skills, and buy equipment. Each character may use special "Runes" or items to imbue terrain squares with various elements. Characters each have a particular element on which their attack and defence is boosted by a significant amount when they occupy a space with the corresponding element, and the reverse is true if the character occupies a space with an element the character is weak to.

Another feature of the battle system in Suikoden Tactics are its use of supporting characters. Such characters have no offensive value as they can not attack, but impart various effects on the playing field such as healing, stealing, digging, and stat buffing.

Aside from that, the elemental runes and weapon runes from previous games return. Elemental Runes all have as their level 1 spell a magic that turns an area of the playing field of a certain element. Weapon runes in Suikoden Tactics operate differently from previous Suikoden games. Instead of a single attack with infinite uses, weapon runes impart three different attacks that operate similarly to spell runes, as each attack is defined by a certain number of charges before it can no longer be used, although all MP would be recharged upon a level-up.


The story of Suikoden Tactics begins about seven years before the events of Suikoden IV, and establishes the reason why Kyril is determined to search out and destroy the Rune Cannons. The prequel part of Suikoden Tactics ends with a traumatic event for Kyril, and how Brandeau gains the possession of the Rune of Punishment.

The game leaps forward about three years after the events of Suikoden IV takes place. From here on, Kyril begins his investigation on Rune Cannons and eventually leads him north into the Kooluk Empire. Kyril meets a mysterious man, Iskas, who hints at a connection between Rune Cannons and Kooluk. From there, Kyril investigates further about connections between Kooluk and Rune Cannons, and soon leads Kyril to Kika and her pirate crew. Clues turn Kyril's journey north, first to the fortress of El Eal, then finally into the Kooluk Empire itself.

During his investigation in the Kooluk Empire, Kyril and his company meets up with a young aristocrat girl named Corselia, who is later revealed as the granddaughter of the Emperor of the Kooluk Empire. It is also here that Iskas finally reveals his real intentions and begins a plot to antagonize Kyril.