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File:Suikoden-2 7480.jpg

Three years after the events of the original game, the nation of Jowston has just signed a ceasefire with the Highland Kingdom. The protagonist, an orphan adopted by the late hero Genkaku, has just joined the army alongside his best friend Jowy. However, they fall afoul of one of the most twisted examples of a False-Flag Operation ever attempted, courtesy of Complete Monster Luca Blight. Barely escaping this fate, they soon find themselves saddling with the two halves of the Rune of the Beginning, the Black Sword Rune and the Bright Shield Rune. From there, their paths split, as the protagonist takes the traditional hero's route and Jowy sets out to break the system from within, setting the stage for a war where both sides fight for the exact same goal.

Better than this pithy blurb makes it sound, really. Suikoden II takes the themes established in the first game and weaves a far more complex plot around them, with heavy doses of Grey and Gray Morality and a Complete Monster thrown into the mix. Add in plenty of Continuity Nods, the return of several fan favorites and a liberal dose of Player Punches and you've got a game which is still considered the high point of the series by much of the fandom.

Character Sheet here!


Suikoden II provides examples of:

  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign: L'Renouille means absolutely nothing in French. Even the translator admits that the name is just French-sounding gibberish.
  • Ax Crazy: Luca Blight. His motto could well be "You can't spell slaughter without laughter!"
  • Badass: Luca Blight again. It takes eighteen of your party members, combined fire from several companies of archers, and a one-on-one duel with the hero to finally kill him.
  • Badass Normal: Luca Blight yet again. He's one of the most terrifying men in the entire series, and he only fights with a sword and heavy armor.
  • Battle Amongst the Flames - Both literally at the Merc's Fort and a verbal one between Shu and Leon.
  • Battle Epic - While not real events, the plot does feature a heavy does of this
  • Big Book of War - With respect to Silverberg's strategy; lampshaded by Leon and Shu. "Never put your own life in danger, that's the first rule of the book." "I had to throw away the book, you read it too many times."
  • Big Badass Battle Sequence - The major battles might count.
  • Big Damn Heroes - This is one of the default ways that unwinnable situations tend to work themselves out.
  • Blind Idiot Translation - Konami has some really great and thorough localizations under its belt. This ain't one of them.
    • Bad word choice is everywhere. The scene you get for completing Clive's quest and its insane criteria is nearly nonsensical.
    • Some characters lapse in and out of Hulk Speak.
    • Most egregiously of all, they forgot to translate certain parts of the text (mostly a few lines of optional villager dialogue and some enemy names in out-of-the-way locations), having it show up as gibberish.
    • It's not just the text- entire pieces of music are missing. The especially dramatic ones, like the battlefield theme and when Annalee sings. What should have been highlights in the game are rendered several minutes of unskippable, awkward silence.
      • This was fixed-ish in the PAL version.
    • The Old Save Bonus is a tad soured by jumbling the character's name.
    • The Spanish translation is even worse, full of grammar and syntax mistakes and ridiculously bad word choice.
  • Boisterous Bruiser - Viktor once more.
  • Boobs of Steel - Oulan has some of the most impressive physical stats, and her Gainaxing suggests her chest is equally impressive.
  • Book Ends - The game starts out with Riou and Jowy jumping off a cliff after making a pact that they should return to that cliff when they get separated to escape from the ambush of the Highland Army. Two of the endings let you go back in that same cliff where you duel Jowy. One is where he lives if you get all of the 108 and one is where he dies.
  • Brass Balls: When Jowy tells Luca Blight that he intends to marry Jillia, Luca responds with an Evil Laugh and shouts, "You've got balls, I'll give you that!"
  • But Thou Must! - Mostly played to the hilt here; don't talk to Shu before you're sure you're ready to proceed with the plot, or he'll take the decision out of your hands. There are a couple notable exceptions, however...
  • The Caligula - Luca Blight is the god of the trope.
  • Canon Name- Though the protagonist has no official name, the Japanese novelization and drama CD gave him the name of Riou, which has become a common Fan Nickname for the character. The name "Tao" has been used as well in a manga adaptation.
  • Chef of Iron - Hai Yo, master of both the Cooking Duel and the fighting arena, wields kitchen implements.
  • Character Development - Among others, Flik continues his evolution into a fan favorite.
    • Also, remember when Apple was a bratty Mathiu fangirl? Three years have made her into a competent vice-strategist, a co-general in war, and a mature young lady to boot.
  • Chick Magnet - Flik is endlessly (and hilariously) plagued by this.
  • Child by Rape - Luca's sister, Jillia. Being forced to watch the act itself served to slowly drive Luca off the deep end.
  • Child Soldier - Riou and Jowy....a theme of this game revolves around the tragedy of children fighting, or are impacted by, adult wars and conflicts.
  • Chivalrous Pervert - Certain dialogue options let you portray Riou as one.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl - Nina, toward Flik, especially when she (falsely) suspects that Nanami may be a rival for his love. To a much lesser extent, there's Eilie, who shows signs of steadily becoming one after developing a rather obvious crush on Riou.
  • Combat by Champion - Surprisingly subverted, considering the number of one-on-one fights that Riou engages in with important people. Riou's duels only occur either after the "combat by army-scale slaughter" parts, or in places completely unrelated to large-scale conflict.
  • Complete Monster - Luca Blight REALLY likes killing people. The only reason he doesn't torture anyone to death is that he is too impulsive to take the time.
  • Continuity Nod - Tons of them, firmly establishing the world.
  • Cool but Inefficient - Pesmerga has been accused to this. He starts out as a powerhouse, but joins late, leaves no room for customization, thus the latter-mentioned possible Game Breaker will surpass him. Though to be fair, for a quick-run game (for those who just doesn't want to bother with heavy customization), he's still a good choice.
  • Cooking Duel - Played completely straight, Hai Yo has to cook his way through an entire tournament over the course of the game.
  • Cute Mute - Pilika, a sweet child who passes through the hands of various guardians and goes through severe trauma in the process.
  • Did They or Didn't They? - Never explicitly stated but implied at the beginning of the game with Rina and a random State soldier that blocks the party's path.
  • Downer Ending - Unlike the other Suikoden games' normal endings (which tend to be bittersweet at worst), this one's normal ending is soul crushingly depressing.
    • For extra depression, try to attain the Good Ending after you've failed its conditions.
  • Duel Boss - The 1v1 rock-paper-scissors narrative duels from Suikoden make a return.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending - Hammered home when Riou's decisions during the 108 Stars ending determines just how good the Good ending gets.
  • Empathic Weapon - The Star Dragon Sword once again.
    • As always, the True Runes
  • Everyone Can See It - Rina wastes no time in teasing Eilie about her crush on Riou. Richmond outright tells him about it, should you have him investigate her. And, although it's never brought up by any of the characters, Kasumi's crush on Tir is as painfully obvious as it was in the first game.
  • Evil Laugh - Luca Blight's distinctive "HOO HOO HOO HA HA HA HA HA!!!"
  • The Evil Prince - Prince Luca Blight, though Bat Shit Insane Prince is more accurate.
  • Exact Words - Sierra promises not to harm Neclord if he returns the True Moon Rune to her. After he does so, she lets Viktor kill him.
  • False-Flag Operation - The game opens with Riou and Jowy almost falling victim to one of these. Your army sort of pulls off one of their own later on, by getting several forcibly conscripted units to swtich sides.
  • Fake Defector - Jowy
  • Faking the Dead - If you recruit all the characters, Nanami's death turns out to be this.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: The boss of the Two River sewers is a grotesque, three-eyed rodent the size of a truck, capable of collapsing part of the ceiling just by jumping up and down. It’s called “Pest Rat”.
  • Fog of Doom: The first boss fight in the game.
  • Foregone Victory - Somewhat subverted. There is a boss fight during the quest in which you recruit Tir, the main character from the first game. The battle itself is mildly difficult, and it is possible to lose. However, you almost immediately enter another battle against the same boss...in which Tir and Riou will nuke it with their most powerful rune spells (despite Riou not even knowing his), instantly killing it. So even if you lose the battle, you still beat it, and your team even gets EXP for it.
  • Game Breaking Bug - Thanks some really bad programming, certain items will glitch and become unavailable if you trigger certain conditions (the notorious Recipe 12 and 34 glitch being the worst).
  • Genki Girl - Nanami, Nina (to the annoyance of Flik), Wakaba
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar - The last bit of information Richmond digs up on Oulan: '90 60 89'. "What could that mean", indeed.
  • Guide Dang It - Damn you, Event Flags!
    • The Clive and Elza subplot requires you to reach many different points in the game by a certain amount of time played. These time limits are not nice, and anyone not rushing through the game (Unlikely, given the games 'recruit em all' nature) is unlikely to go beyond just recruiting Clive, and MAYBE getting the first letter.
    • Speaking of time limits... Preventing Nanami's death requires (among quite a few other things) extremely quick selection on a particular dialogue choice. And even if you get it right, the game won't tell you if you got it right until the end of the game. Two game hours later on the inside.
      • Actually, there's a way to tell this If you select the correct dialogue choice in time, Riou will take up a fighting stance beside Nanami. If you're too late he'll just stand there. So keep resetting the game until you see Riou take a fighting stance and then you'll know you've saved Nanami.
  • The Gunslinger - Elza
  • Hero Antagonist - Jowy
  • Heroic BSOD - Poor, poor Pilika.
  • Hundred-Percent Completion - Unachievable if you consider "recruit every available character" as a requirement. You have to choose between two characters at one point (see Schrodinger's Gun), and you don't have enough Listening Crystals to recruit every available monster.
  • Informed Ability - On paper, Leon Silverberg is the greatest strategist in the series. But from what we see in the actual game, he can't hold a candle to Shu, let alone Lucretia Merces or Albert Silverberg. He does, however, acknowledge that his reputation is overblown, and that he's past his prime.
  • Jerkass - Luc yet again.
  • Karma Houdini - Rowd
    • In the supplemental material, it's revealed that he takes his blind little sister from Kyaro and flees after the war. He was trying to gain enough money to have "a doctor in Toran" (most likely Liukian) cure her illness, hence why he went along with Luca's schemes in order to get promoted. What he did was still horrifying, but it arguably takes him out of Complete Monster territory.
  • Kick the Dog - Luca Blight does this for kicks. Shu also engages in a fair amount of puppy-punting, especially when he uses Pilika as a human shield and abandons her to the enemy so that the hero may escape from an otherwise hopeless trap. Granted, he did this knowing Jowy would never let any harm come to her, but it still came off as rather asshole-ish.
  • Kill It with Fire - One of Luca's favorite policies.
  • Knife-Throwing Act - Which, depending on the choices you make, can go horribly wrong. Not that it has an effect on the story though.
  • Lethal Joke Character - Hai Yo, the chef.
  • Lethal Joke Item - The Fire Sealing Rune you get while Riou and Jowy spy at the Highland camp. Useless if you're fighting against enemies who use Water type attacks seeing as you get double the pain. Use it against Luca Blight and laugh at the damage he'll inflict on you.
    • A way around the aforementioned double-damage from Water attacks is to wear equipment that reduces water damage, so it's fine.
  • Load-Bearing Boss - Sees a rare subversion in L'Renouille.
  • Loves the Sound of Screaming - Luca Blight
  • Mayfly-December Romance - Nash Latkje a seemingly ordinary man from a not so ordinary family and Sierra Miakins the oldest vampire in the world. They traveled together to hunt for Rean Penenberg a man that turned into a vampire because Sierra drank his blood.
  • Mutually Exclusive Party Members: Kasumi and Valeria. Also the Listening Crystal monsters.
  • Noblewoman's Laugh- When trying to get into Muse, Nanami starts doing this when she's pretending to be Hilda. It's complete with the hand over the mouth.
  • Non-Action Guy - Hix returns, along with Tsundere girlfriend Tengaar.
  • Nonstandard Game Over - At one point, Nanami can convince Riou to desert the army and run for it. This triggers Shu giving Riou a What the Hell, Hero? speech, after which you can return and face the consequences... or run away again and end the game.
  • Obvious Beta - Let's be honest here, while the gameplay and story itself are top notch, the English localization reeked of this.
    • It also retroactively makes the first game look like an Obvious Beta, given how many of the second game's new characters are blatant expies of characters from the first game, not to mention the entire game engine is basically an extremely polished version of the engine from the first game.
  • Old Save Bonus - Uploading old data from the first game gives you several personal Continuity Nods, and the chance to recruit a old friend...
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You - Clive gets to find Elza after all.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different - Bob is a man-wolf whose rune keeps him into a human form.
  • Painting the Fourth Wall - Shin and Genshu's United Attack, which cuts the screen in half.
  • Peninsula of Power Leveling - A Good Bad Bug at the border of Muse and Matilda turns Matilda into this early in the game.
  • Petting Zoo People - The kobolds return, more cartoony than ever.
  • Pitiful Worms - Luca, when he's not comparing everyone else to pigs.
  • Pretext for War - The point of the early-game False-Flag Operation.
  • Previous Player Character Cameo - As an Old Save Bonus you can meet and recruit the protagonist from the first game.
  • Psycho for Hire - Yuber
  • Quickly-Demoted Woman - A self-demoting example in Apple. Somewhat justified by her severe lack of self-confidence, shaken up worse by a jarring setback that prompts her to seek out a 'better replacement' for the rebellion's own good.
    • To be fair to her, her opponent was a Silverburg.
  • Rape as Backstory - the Blight family of Suikoden II. The queen Sara Blight was raped by Jowston's thugs, Jillia was born out of this, and Luca uses this as a motive for revenge.
  • Rasputinian Death - Luca Blight. It takes tons of effort to finally do him in.
    • "It took hundreds to kill me, but I killed by the thousands! Look at me! I am sublime! I am the true face of evil!"
    • not quite, if you are good at duels it does not matter how much HP he has left. Just don't mess up...once
    • Even worse, the first few times, you're likely to fail in the duel at the end. Have fun doing it over.
    • To clarify: First, there's an army battle where your entire army attempts to crush his unit and fails. Then, thanks to his lieutenants betraying him, Luca's small raiding party is surrounded and attacked by the entire Jowston army. Then the hero, Flik, and Victor each lead a full-sized party of what could be considered elite soldiers into a three-stage boss fight where (unless the player's done some level grinding) Luca still nearly stomps everyone flat. Luca then escapes, and is shot by an entire unit of archers. When Riou finally finds Luca, he charges Riou and forces a duel, which if you didn't do enough damage to him in the aforementioned three-stage boss fight, can be so difficult as to be Unwinnable. He only expires after he's been beaten to near-death with tonfa.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni - Seed and Culgan
    • Viktor and Flik are their similarly colour-coded Alliance counterparts.
    • Miklotov and Camus as well. Interestingly, they lead the Blue and Red Knights, respectively, opposite of what their personalities dictate.
  • Schrodinger's Gun - Interestingly, one character is a Schrodinger's Star: Tomo. The player has to choose between recruiting just one of two returning characters; Tomo automatically receives the other's Star of Destiny. This is the only case of this happening in the series, and is simply a way of getting around a gameplay mechanic.
  • Sequence Breaking - By pushing the gate of the Matilda Border, the player can access the region far, FAR earlier than it is intended. By using a simple strategy the player can survive a wild encounter and level up to three characters about 20 times in one single fight, with an Inn nearby. In about 15 minutes you can have the party to be strong enough to take about half of the game with ease, with the bonus of being able to use one of Jowy's ludicrously overpowered spells that you aren't even supposed to see until near the end of the game.
    • By going a little farther you can recruit two characters that wouldn't join until WAY later. And it's funny to see they refer to the hero with a title he isn't even near to acquire; it's also nice to have an earlier user of the Heavy Armor trait in major battles.
    • Not to mention that he uses a rune he's yet to obtain, depending on how early you do this
  • Sheathe Your Sword - the only way to get the best ending is to do this in the final duel.
  • Shock and Awe - Flik the 'Blue Lightning' returns.
    • Anyone who uses a Lightning/Thunder Rune
  • Shout-Out - There's a row of five flowerpots near the entrance of Greenhill. Examining four of them will give the description 'Dahlias'. The second one from the right, on the other hand, says 'Dahlia Gillespie', a reference to another Konami series.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: The normal ending.
  • Smug Snake - Neclord.
  • Spell My Name with an "S" - Happens in game with Jowy/'Joei'.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill - Jowy's Black Sword Rune's Level 4 Spell, Hungry Friend, which forces all the enemies on the screen so hard into the Void that it would make Exdeath jealous.
    • Of course, unless you grind like crazy, you'll only get to use it in one battle.
  • The Starscream - Jowy ends up becoming this later on.
  • The Strategist - Shu, you Magnificent Bastard!
  • Suplex Finisher: Like the first game, Kasumi can do this to anyone (Except the Stone Golem boss).
  • The Battle Didn't Count - Absurd amounts of grinding makes it possible to defeat Rowd when you fight him in front of your house, but you're still captured afterward. Very amusingly inverted during a boss fight when you recruit Tir. If you lose the fight, your team simply gets back up again, with Riou and Tir destroying the first turn of a following battle
  • Those Two Bad Guys - Seed and Culgan
  • Tomboy - Wakaba.
    • Nanami as well
    • I'd say Tengaar as well.
  • To Win Without Fighting: Highland's Batman Gambit to capture Greenhill. They released some POWs from Muse into Greenhill, so Greenhill thought Highland just wanted to fight fair and square. However, Highland laid a siege into the city by just standing over there before they could even react. This resulted to a food shortage so bad that a civil war erupted within it. Sounds bad? The Highland Army freed the Muse soldiers and returned their weapons specifically for that purpose. As Teresa says, Greenhill lost to a handful of Highland soldiers without even having fought.
  • Triumphant Reprise: "We Will Always Be" consists of an awesome version of the cooking minigame theme (yes, really!) and a positive reprise to "Heart-Softening BGM 3".
  • Tsundere - Tengaar returns, three years older and just as tsun-tsun and dere-dere as ever.
  • Two Guys and a Girl - Riou, Jowy and Nanami.
  • Unexplained Recovery - If a character dies during one of the wars in the first game, and you import that file when you start a new game, that character (assuming they appear in II) will be alive and well, with no explanation. It is lampshaded, but that's it. Gremio is an exception.
  • Villainous Breakdown - Luca when the locket he picks up turns out to be filled with fireflies that alert the heroes to his position. Neclord when Sierra shows up and seals his True Moon Rune preventing him from escaping from Kahn's trap.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifter - Bob.
  • Warrior Prince - Luca Blight, yet again.
  • War for Fun and Profit - What was the point of the war?
    • Territorial dispute and revenge.
      • Lots and lots of revenge. Highland and the City-States had been warring for years, with the occasional truce that failed to last. The most recent war was sparked because, in addition to Luca Blight being fucking insane, he wanted to kill everyone in the City-States for his mother's rape/death. Oh, and he wanted to kill everyone in the Highlands because his father didn't seem to care about his mother's rape/death. Basically, he wanted to kill everyone.
      • It helps that the guy responsible for his mother's rape/death was the then-Mayor of Muse, who is pretty much at the center of the City-States; he's personally responsible for a LOT of the bad feeling on both sides.
  • William Telling - The hero participates in a traveling circus's show by having various pieces of fruit placed on his head while knife-thrower Eilie impales them with expert precision. You can throw off her aim and get hit with a knife yourself by choosing to wimp out and move to either side before she throws.
  • Winged Humanoid - The Wingers.
  • Wasted Song - The general-purpose Duel theme, "The Time for Confrontation," features an intro roughly a minute long and takes about another minute and a half to complete a whole play cycle. The theme is used exclusively for duels; as in, one-on-one narrative battles that, unless you truly relish taking your time, are over very quickly. The song wouldn't be quite as wasted as it is if the duel with Luca Blight, which is the one duel you might spend the requisite amount of time upon, didn't have its own theme, "Mad Luca."
  • Yamato Nadeshiko - Yoshino Yamamoto.
  • You Said You Would Let Them Go - Luca Blight DOES NOT SPARE SWINE!!
  • Zero-Approval Gambit - What ultimately happened to Genkaku, before he adopted Riou and Nanami.
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