The long-term silence on the Suikoden games has mystified us, you, everyone, for over a decade. But Konami moves in mysterious ways, and last night at the Tokyo Game Show, the company knocked everyone off their chairs by surprise-announcing remasters of the first two games, due next year.
It’s been ten years since there was last a Suikoden game, and that was Gensō Suikoden: Tsumugareshi Hyakunen no Toki, on the PSP, released in Japanese only. A fan-made English translation appeared last year, but understandably people assumed the series had been abandoned.
This was made further the case by the crowd-funded success of Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes, a spiritual successor to the Suikoden series, created by the original developers. It had raised an eye-watering $US4.5 ($6) million by June last year, and is already looking very impressive.
This surely had to be a motivating factor for Konami, who perhaps finally realised they were sitting on an abandoned gold mine. Still, though, they kept schtum and ignored the endless wails. Until now.
While these remakes are obviously not being worked on by the likes of designer and writer Yoshitaka Murayama, who is working on Eiyuden Chronicle, they have brought back in original character artist Junko Kawano. Which is interesting, as he is listed as working on Eiyuden Chronicle too.
IGN got hold of some in-game footage from the remakes, where you can see the improved sprites, new sound, updated UI, and even rewritten English translation — something sorely lacking in the original ‘90s releases. This is a big deal, Suikoden fans!
Oh boy, the sprite art in the battle sequence is just so good!
At least one former Konami employee has been reacting with shock at this announcement. Yuichi tweeted saying, “While I still worked for Konami at E3 2015, I was told to my face that there will never been another Suikoden game because it just doesn’t sell in the States and Europe.”
For those who don’t know there are 27 True Runes in the lore for #Suikoden and only 18 have been revealed. So I had been an unofficial brand manager at Konami 8 years ago to try and keep the series going. Please get these HD remasters as I believe this will determine if 6 is made
— 🎮Yuichi (@InstallBase) September 16, 2022
He added, “For those who don’t know there are 27 True Runes in the lore for Suikoden and only 18 have been revealed.” He says he tried to keep the series alive for eight years at Konami, with no success, but believes that if these remasters prove successful, there’s hope a sixth game will be made.
This means that, major slips aside, 2023 should see the release of both Suikoden 1 and 2, along with Eiyuden Chronicle. Like buses they are.