Top 10 Suikoden 2 Characters

#7 – Luc

GUG LucLuc is a character that we encountered first in Suikoden 1. He never seems to get along with anyone that he encounters save for Leknaat, whom he serves as her pupil. He’s aloof, stern, and seems to lack any sense of urgency. In fact, Luc seems downright inhuman. Through the chaos and pain that he witnesses from both the events of the Rune Gate Wars and the Dunan Unification War, he has an air about him that implies that all the bloodshed is a minor inconvenience. He spends his time within the stronghold, both in the first game and the second, simply standing watch near the Tablet of Stars. The only reason he even bothers with this task, it seems, is because Leknaat herself has appointed him to it. He joins your party on request, but he never seems invested in anything the hero of either game does.
Luc has a mysterious backstory that’s only really touched on within the manga for Suikoden 3. Both Luc and his twin brother, Sasari, were created to bear one of the 27 true runes. Sasari was created to bear the true rune of earth and Luc was created to bear the true rune of wind. Sasari’s union with the rune was flawless but Luc suffered complications. Sasari was embraced by the Harmonian empire and Luc was rejected, hidden away from even his twin as a failed experiment. It’s very likely that Luc was left to die so that the rune could be extracted and introduced into a new host. However, Leknaat found the child and brought him under her wing as her apprentice.
Luc resented his fate and suffered as a result of the rune within him. He betrayed his mentor shortly after the events of the Dunan Unification War. Desperate to free himself from his rune, he sought to destroy it and the world as a whole. He took to believing that the only true balance that could be obtained would be the absence of all things: to destroy the world and all within it.

GUG Luc Screenshot

An ally from Suikoden 1 and 2 becomes your enemy in Suikoden 3. He was willing to turn nation on nation, to shake the faith of the entire world, and to bring all things to  an end simply to achieve what he saw as true equality. The Biblical implications behind his motives aren’t exactly subtle. Luc, similar to Lucifer, was unwilling to suffer the world if it would not bend to his will. Knowing he was powerless to change it, he sought to end it. He enlisted the help of a powerful politician (Albert Silverberg), a magician, and a demon to help him achieve his goals. While hardly endearing in this light, Luc has a lot of depth to him and makes several interesting parallels to the ultimate enemy of mankind.
Unlike Lucifer, however, when Luc is ultimately defeated by the bearers of the true runes of fire, lightning, and water, he repents. His spirit returns to Leknaat and apologizes for his transgressions. She forgives him and allows him the peace in his afterlife that he was denied through his long, painful existence on earth. Luc’s final moments were filled with regret and clarity. It is tragic that it took such great measures for him to repent and come to terms with reality, but Luc’s story has a good deal of depth to it. Redemption, even deathbed redemption, is powerful and liberating. As a character, he was complicated and brought about a very interesting twist within the series.

#6- Kinnison & Shiro

GUG Kin and ShiroThis duo is composed of a kind-hearted hunter and his faithful canine companion. During one of the mainstream quests in Suikoden 2, Riou passes through a heavily wooded area near Ryube and happens upon a small bird that has fallen from its nest. The player has the option of ignoring it or returning it to the nest. If the player chose the latter, upon later returning to his area,  a young man  and a large white wolf are standing by the tree. Kinnison asks if Riou was the one that saved the bird, and if he says that he was, Kinnison joins sides with him.
Honestly, Kinnison and Shiro are minor characters. They don’t participate in any major events and this is the only time they really exchange any significant dialogue. They’re easily forgettable if not for the gentle nature of the duo.
It only takes a moment out of your time, but it's worth giving even a small gesture of kindness.

Even small gestures of kindness reap their own rewards.

Riou is a youthful orphan who has endured severe hardships. He lost his adopted grandfather, he was framed for treachery and forced to flee from his homeland, and at the point in the game when you encounter him, he is being forced into a leadership role that he feels unprepared for. Everyone around him is demanding strength and resolve from him. Most of the characters that are recruited are attracted to the potential and ideals of the Dunan army. Kinnison, however, is drawn to Riou’s leadership for his compassion and humanity. Amidst bloodshed, burning villages, and personal loss, Riou takes a moment to stop and save a single life that on a grand scale would be considered worthless. The small act of kindness expects nothing in return; it is done simply out of compassion. Riou doesn’t expect to be rewarded or even witnessed , but he is and it gains him the loyalty of another soldier. At least, this is the canon scenario if the player chooses to take a moment out of their time to do something seemingly meaningless. The player doesn’t know that this little detail could result in any kind of reward. It doesn’t take a lot of time out of the side quest or grinding in the area, but it does take a moment and a little compassion.
Kinnison and Shiro represent humanity and compassion during times of war. Even in modern times soldiers will turn away from the horrors around them to reach out to an innocent creature. In a way, it reminds them of their humanity and brings them to a place within themselves that is saving a life rather than facing constant death and horror. Kinnison saw compassion in the heart of a general and pledged both himself and his companion to his service. Shiro, following his master faithfully onto the field of battle, fights and serves unconditionally. Beasts have served alongside mankind all through history. They remind us of our humanity and provide us with unconditional love and strength. While the archer and his dog are subtle characters in the grand scheme of the game they carry with them a very human aspect to them that resonates with me.

#5-Futch

GUG FutchFutch is yet another character that we first became acquainted with in Suikoden 1. He was a young dragon knight that worked closely with Tir McDohl during the Rune Gate Wars. His dragon, Black, carried Tir and his company on his back to assist in their campaign and fought bravely beside his rider. Fuch’s involvement with Tir put him at odds with the Scarlet Moon Empire and eventually led to the death of his dragon at the hands of the court magician, Wendy. With the passing of his dragon, Futch was exiled from the dragon knights. He had lived his life for the Dragon Knights and had formed a powerful bond with his mount. In taking up arms against tyranny he lost everything that he had ever come to love. It’s a risk every soldier faces when they take up arms: to lose brothers, honor, even their own lives. Futch’s sacrifice was somehow heavier than if he had died himself. He had to watch the dragon he had raised and come to trust fall in battle, he had his title stripped from him, and he was pushed out of his homeland.
Because he was still young when he lost his dragon, Futch was entrusted to the care of a man by the name of Humphrey. The two eventually find themselves surrounded by yet another conflict: The Dunan Unification War. During the events of Suikoden 2, when traveling to Mt.Rakutei, he and Humphrey encounter a wild dragon egg. It hatches out, revealing a pure white dragon. Humphrey asks if Futch will claim the dragon. Still wounded from his loss, Futch initially refuses. Because the hatchling may grow into a dangerous renegade, Humphrey  moves to destroy the newborn. Futch is shocked from his grief and intervenes, claiming the dragon as his own and sparing the newborn. At first, his adoption of the new dragon is calloused. He feels that in taking in the dragon he’s doing Black’s memory a disservice but the hatchling grows on him.
He eventually comes to terms with the loss of his first dragon and devotes himself to the upbringing of the white hatchling. Inspired by his new commander, Riou, Futch names the dragon “Bright” after Riou’s Bright Rune Shield.
Following the Dunan Unification War, Futch returns to the dragon knights with his new dragon and is welcomed back into the ranks. He grows into a powerful dragon knight and eventually obtains the rank of Knight Regiment Commander. Futch eventually takes part in the Second Firebringer’s War and offers his vast military experience and influence to the new Firebringer.
Futch's story is a powerful illustration of personal loss, grieving, and acceptance.

Futch’s story is a powerful illustration of personal loss, grieving, and acceptance.

The fact that Futch is a dragon rider instantly qualifies him as being a fascinating character.More than that, he is a very strong individual with a powerful story. He devotes himself to something, he works his entire young life in obtaining it, and when he meets with a worthy cause, he risks it all. Everything he worked for, everything he devoted himself fully to is ripped away from  him. He’s cast away and forced to wander without purpose or hope for a period of time. His loss could be easily reflected into the personal loss of the player be it the loss of a beloved pet, a lifelong dream, or even a family member. We often build our lives around something and sometimes we are called to lay it all on the line. When these things are torn away from us, it leaves us feeling lost and hopeless, sometimes we harden our hearts so that we cannot suffer such pain again. Sometimes we harden ourselves in the delusion that in doing so, we are honoring the things that we’ve lost.
However, Futch softened his heart upon seeing the plight that Bright was in. The hatchling had no loved ones, no hope, no chance without him. He put himself aside and once again did the right thing. In saving Bright, he not only preserves an innocent but he takes a very difficult step forward in his own life. Bright in turn allowed him to return to his homeland, to his people, and to the career that he had worked so hard to obtain. Bright will never replace Black but he had his own gifts to offer to Futch and in turn, Futch was able to return to the battlefield to lend his strength to the cause of good. Futch’s story is one of a painful loss, acceptance, and the strength to move on.

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Kelly

I was born and raised in a traditional Christian household, educated privately, and brought up with a passion for Christ. The works of CS Lewis and Tolkien were my greatest influences. I aspire to become a published fictional author, hopefully illustrating my own work as well. Christ is the center of my universe and my faith is the lens in which I look through in regards to everything. As far as games go I am swayed best towards fantasy/action/rpg's.

2 Comments

  1. Michael M. on September 23, 2015 at 2:09 pm

    Awesome post, really took me back to playing these games. I played them pretty young (Suikoden 2 and 3, never played 1 🙁 so I don’t remember too much about it, except having a great time playing them.

    You went into great length of each character, really giving all the details needed to get to know them as if they were real people. Thanks for writing this, and looking forward to your future articles 🙂

    • Kelly on February 8, 2016 at 6:07 pm

      Oh you should try 1! Especially now that it’s up in the E-store for dirt cheap. ;; There are a /lot/ of translation problems (which I actually found more entertaining than distracting) and it’s not as polished up as 2, but the story is fantastic and the characters are lovable. I actually wept over some of the scenes. XD

      I love exploring characters ;-; A good story can make them feel like real characters. I’m glad I did them justice!

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