BrucePrintscreen wrote:I'm back from a trip just in time for a party organised for my daughter. My wife did little decorations for the cakes and stuff. On some of the decorations, she used modified Suikoden sprites to represent our family. She used George to represent me (I'm flattered, I don't have that much hair anymore!) and Eileen to represent herself (although she modified it so much it looks like if Eileen got Kasumi's haircut). She used Meg from SI to represent our daughter (Pilika would have been more of the right age but my wife said Pilika is too sad a character to represent her).
It doesn't trivialise war. Each Suikoden game is about a big war but no one sees it as a trivial thing. Nanami longs to walk out of it. Tir leaves for a pastoral life as soon as the conflict is over. Cleo is tired of fighting and goes back to her house. Mathiu was reluctant to kill. All and every character has, deep inside, only one wish: for the war to be over and go back to a more fruitful life.
This makes their battle even more interesting, because they give everything they have for victory but with no hatred and no jubilation: they just want it to end as soon as possible.
It is also a much more realistic point of view. All and every war veteran I met in my life has shown reluctance to reminisce about it. My wife's granfather is viewed in her family as a hero for what he did in WWII but he always refused to talk about it himself: what we see as the time when he fought nazis, he sees it as these frightening years when he killed other young dudes. Deep inside, I know he is far more proud of what he did after the war: contributing to society, starting a nice family, being socially active, starting a business... At more than 80, this beats his war experience. I bet Suikoden characters would feel the same.
You fight for diversity. In contrast with the ranks of the Scarlet Moon Empire or the Highland Army, which shows a clean and neat horizon of uniformed guys, your own armies are full of different people. In both S1 and 2, you stand for several races and several social stratas. I won't underline the obvious, what with Kirkis and the kobolds, etc. But simply, what's in common between a rich merchant like Lepant and a scoundrel like Krin who wanted to steal his stuff in the first place? What does unite wanderers like Rina&Eilie with aristocrats like Vincent or a spoiled brat like Nina? They all fight together still. What you defend is a world where everyone has their place, against a monolithic society of grey uniforms.
The same goes for gender roles. Women in your side can go from the homely type like Yoshino and Helga to amazons like Oulan or Lorelai, passing by the clever yet humble Apple, the powerful yet absent-minded Viki, the seemingly perfect Jeane next to the tomboyish Nanami, none of them is an absolute model and yet each of them is. The message is: whatever kind of woman you want to be, there's a place for you here.
Same goes for men, the hypermasculine Viktor next to effeminated figures like Milich, there are cooks and engineers alike, Hix is full of doubts while Clive is hyperconfident, Tai Ho and Yam Koo are faithful buddies but Pesmerga is a loner, everything is possible here.
This feeling of a big, diverse, community, is a sweet utopia, it feels good to experience it when you play the game.
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