Top 10 Suikoden 2 Characters

#4- Lucia

Lucia04Of all the ladies in the Suikoden series, I found Lucia to be the strongest and the most endearing. She was the only child to the chief of  the Karaya Clan and as a result, became the chief when her father was murdered by Alec Wisemail, the mayor of Greenhill.
The Karaya are tribal warriors, often seen as barbaric in nature and backwater in lifestyle. They live on the open plains of the Grasslands, bordered by hostility on nearly every side. Her people faced uncertainty when their chief was murdered during the Dunan Unification War and Lucia was forced to step up for their sake. She was blinded by grief and desperation and took the side of Highland against Riou and the Dunan Army. Jowy Atreides, a general in the Highland Army at this time, promises that not only will she be allowed to take her revenge on the nation that murdered her father, but that her people will be granted land. She devotes herself to him and fights with everything she has. While misguided in some ways, Lucia is passionate and fiercely loyal to her people. She defends Jowy, even to the point of  making an attempt on Riou’s life.
She is ultimately defeated and driven back. She harbors her grudge until Teresa Wisemail, the daughter of Lucia’s father’s killer, admits the wrongs committed against the Karayan people. Teresa makes her father’s crimes public and Lucia forgives Greenhill for their transgressions.
Following the conflict, Lucia returns to her people and gives birth to her son, Hugo. The father is unknown officially and Konami has yet to reveal who it could be. She raises the boy alone, grooming him to follow in her footsteps as chief of the Karayan Clan.

 

A parallel to Luc, Lucia stats out as a foe and becomes a friend through the series.

A parallel to Luc, Lucia stats out as a foe and becomes a friend through the series.

What I found so endearing about Lucia is the fact that she ultimately stands alone in many of the challenges that she faces. Her father is murdered, leaving her as the solitary heir to his tribe. She must lead without the support of a husband or the guidance of her father. The Karayans are tribal warriors, making their livelihood on the open plains of grasslands and depending entirely on their allies, the Lizard Clan and the Duck Clan, for trade and protection. They are bordered by hostile nations seeking to claim the Grasslands as their own. Lucia has no husband to look after the tribe in her absence or to help her shoulder the burden of leadership. She passionately defends her people, even if her means are misguided, and she is willing to forgive.
Lucia then returns to her people empty-handed. They gained no territory, they were unable to avenge their chief, and what’s worse is she carries a child by a father whose identity she will not, or cannot, reveal. She raises her child alone, trying to provide him the tenderness of a mother and the strength of a father alone. Although in Suikoden 3, Lucia has to maintain the balance of being both the fighter and the diplomat. She’s firm but fair, strong but compassionate, and she lives for her people and her son. I give her a lot of credit both as a character and a female character. It’s so hard these days to find an endearing female in any franchise because they’re either overly masculated or they carry themselves like bubble-headed high school girls. Lucia is who comes to mind when I think of a strong, believable female lead. She’s fierce but feminine, she can hold her ground but she’s not afraid to take a helping hand, and she’s passionate but forgiving.

#3- Luca Blight

GUG LucaYou cannot have a good game without a good villain. Luca Blight is everything anyone could want in a bad guy. He’s wild, bloodthirsty, tyrannical, and so out of his mind that his insanity is almost humerous. He’s a loose cannon with absolutely no moral compass and no reservations. He burns down villages, slaughters women, and even betrays his own father. In short, Luca is a villain that we love to hate. He’s so insanely over-powered that he literally spends every battle laughing at those that oppose him. Even when he takes damage his only response is to laugh like a maniac.
On the surface, Luca seems like a pretty dry stereotype for a villain. However, Luca’s madness stems from personal tragedy. He’s the prince of the Highland Empire and as a youngster, his entourage was attacked by ruffians from Muse. Luca’s father fled in his own cowardice, leaving his queen and young son behind to fend for themselves. Sara, Luca’s mother, was repeatedly violated in front of her own son. The incident left Luca more than a little mentally unstable and sowed the seeds of resentment towards his father and the Jowston Alliance of which Muse was a part of. The only character he has any compassion for, seemingly, is his his young sister, Jillia, who resembles his late mother.
It is later revealed that on top of his traumatic childhood, Luca bears the True Beast Rune. The Beast rune represents animalistic rage and passion and certainly played a part in driving the prince mad. He claimed it in his thirst for power and the rune soon became intertwined with Luca’s already unstable personality, amplifying all the negativity within him. Luca’s bloodlust was in part to appease the Beast Rune as it was rumored that the rune’s  true power could only be awakened through a blood sacrifice.

Luca Hi

While mad, Luca shows that he is  a cunning strategist as well. He often creates confusion, chaos, and misdirection before launching his army upon the enemy. By the time the battle is under way, his enemy is confused and unable to properly respond.
Luca is a terrible individual but he has depth to his character that helps give him some realistic dimension. He suffered a tragedy and evil bred evil within him. Anger and hatred along with personal loss and suffering set the man on the path of bloodshed. Suikoden 2 would not have been as strong of a game as it was if not for such a powerful opposing force for Riou. The two complement each other very well and make the conflict all the more satisfying.

#2- Nanami

GUG NanamiNanami is yet another breath of fresh air when it comes to female characters in games. She’s a tomboy but she’s a tomboy done right. She’s tough, wild, playful, and still very proud of her femininity. While not related by blood, she considers Riou her younger brother and fiercely protects him. Through the majority of the game, Nanami is naive but compassionate. She’s clearly not cut out for a battle scenario but she has the courage to stand beside those that she most cares about through the majority of the conflict. Multiple times she mentions that she wants to leave, to run as far from the conflict as possible to try to lead a normal life. Riou refuses to abandon his destiny and while she’s clearly not cut out to be a soldier, Nanami remains to protect her little brother.
Of all the characters, Nanami is often put in the most difficult of situations. Riou has the burden of an army on his shoulders along with the emotional weight of personal loss and betrayal. Nanami certainly doesn’t help matters by constantly asking for him to abandon the army. While she’s something of a burden to Riou, she’s a very human element to the story. Nanami is clearly terrified but she finds the courage to remain on the battlefield through the love that she has for her family.
She’s torn in two when Riou and Jowy, her family and friends, are forced on opposite sides of the battle field and inevitably clash.She tries to stop the two from fighting but ends up taking an arrow that leaves her gravely wounded. Her injury was enough to unite the two former friends long enough to defeat the man who had ordered the attack. Nanami uses her injury to excuse herself from the battle at this point and to remove herself as a burden from Riou. Riou, believing his sister dead, turns his grief into strength. Without the temptation of desertion, he turns his full attention on the enemy and devotes himself to defending those around him.
Nanami is torn two ways as she is forced, time and again, to watch her brother and childhood friend fight one another.

Nanami is torn two ways as she is forced, time and again, to watch her brother and childhood friend fight one another.

Following the conclusion of the war, Nanami returns to her brother.
Many players see Nanami as a weak character, and quite an annoying one at that. She tempts Riou with cowardice, she complains almost constantly, and she even fakes her own death to remove herself from the battlefield. However, Nanami’s strength is in that she faces such difficult situations for the sake of her family. She does complain,but she’s there. She’s often the first person to greet Riou in the morning.She encourages him to eat well, and to rest as often as he can spare it. She never hesitates to join Riou in dangerous missions, if only to see to his safety with her own eyes. In the end, when she abandons the battlefield, it’s not out of cowardice. It takes a lot to realize when you have become more of a hindrance to someone, it takes even more to remove yourself from the situation so that they can press forward and do what needs to be done. Nanami’s strength is that of an older sibling. We can’t always fight the battles for our little siblings, nor can we always be there to protect them. At some point we have to learn to let go and trust that our little siblings can handle themselves. It’s a very difficult part of any older sibling’s life. I  myself am the oldest of  four. My youngest brother is in the Marines and I worry for him daily. I suppose that I was drawn to Nanami’s situation because I share some empathy with her.

And the Top Character in Suikoden 2 is…

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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