What We Want From Suikoden Spiritual Successor Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes
The Suikoden series is best remembered for its intense political storylines, expansive character recruitment, and epic battles. The last mainline entry in Konami's RPG series hit in 2006 with Suikoden V for PS2. Though we aren't technically getting a new game in that franchise, we are getting the next best thing: a spiritual successor from key talent who worked on past entries. New studio Rabbit and Bear launched its Kickstarter for Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes, which surpassed its initial funding goal within hours, knocking out stretch goal after stretch goal since then. The game is now coming to new-gen hardware, and it got us thinking about what we’d want from a Suikoden-like game in our modern landscape.
More Headquarters Customization
Nothing represents building up your army quite like seeing your headquarters grow and watching more people roam the halls and set up shop. Nowadays, many games let you decorate and personalize your space, and Eiyuden Chronicle should follow suit. Whether it’s choosing layouts, colors, or which shops or rooms you want to build, having more ways to make this space feel like your own would be fantastic. It looks like developer Rabbit and Bear Studios agrees with this sentiment, saying there would be a lot of different ornaments and ways to build up an exquisite fortress town in the game. The more options, the better, so we’re hoping Rabbit and Bear also makes some of these upgrades meaningful by incorporating your decisions of what to build into gameplay bonuses, whether it to be stat increases or better items.
Bring In New Social Elements
The Fire Emblem series is a good example of how adding a social system can really enhance your connection to characters and the overall experience. Getting to know Eiyuden Chronicle's expansive roster of recruitable allies should come with some fun perks, whether that’s intriguing dialogue interactions or bonuses on the battlefield. This can be as simple as choosing to hang out with certain characters or take on activities with them. Fire Emblem: Three Houses did this really well by involving you in day-to-day activities to build up relationships, such as training together or eating meals (Eiyuden Chronicle already promises a cafeteria, so that’s a start!). Another good example is the Tales’ series and its popular skits that focus on smaller bonding moments, where characters joke around with one another or reveal more insight into their past.
Have In-Depth Backstories For Your Combatants
Speaking of feeling more connected to your army, more complex backstories for the characters would go a long way. In past Suikoden games, there have been so many people to recruit that learning who they are and what they bring to your roster is often lost. It’s hard to get to know 100+ faces, but having more core characters with intriguing backstories alongside smaller supporting storylines for minor ones would help make you feel like the members of your army are people and not just some game mechanic for the completionist.
This really could make all the difference, especially when it comes to a betrayal or shocking death. Knowing people’s motivations for joining your army could lead to some really compelling moments and build your attachment to them in the process. The Suikoden series always did a great job with the main characters and letting their past explain their actions (even if you don’t agree with them), I’d enjoy it if Rabbit and Bear Studios could expand on this even further, not just in the amount of characters, but in the types of stories that are told. After all, war affects everyone differently and everyone has their own opinions and reasons for choosing how they align.
Make The Key Battles More Thrilling
First off, let me preface this by saying: Keep the regular turn-based battles and the cool “unite attacks” that form by having certain members in your party at the same time! Thankfully, it looks like we’re getting just that. However, there's an opportunity to make the big combat moments the series is known for shine even brighter. Think of all the potential here since we last saw a mainline Suikoden game in 2006. Eiyuden Chronicle is going to be on new hardware like the PS5 and Xbox Series X, which just expands the level of detail and breadth of everything, from how many enemies can be on a screen to the creativity in the environments you fight. You should be able to feel the grand scale of these encounters, with more surprise moments and different gameplay mechanics.
For those who remember, Suikoden let you engage in large-scale “army battles” that evolved with each entry. For instance, Suikoden IV had ship battles, while Suikoden V’s played out like a real-time strategy game. The possibilities for what Rabbit and Bear Studios could do in Eiyuden Chronicle are endless. I’d love for more expanded options and strategy in preparing your generals and the members of these groups.
Duels were also an intense part of past games, and I’d like to see these brought back with less guesswork. In fact, while I advocate for the battle system to stay turn-based, I wouldn’t mind swapping to action combat for these, allowing you to block, dodge, and parry the enemy. I felt like duels and army battles were always meant to feel more chaotic and grand than they actually ended up being, and Eiyuden Chronicle has the opportunity to make these much more memorable and exciting.
What would you like to see in Eiyuden Chronicle: 100 Heroes? Let us know in the comments below!