Suikoden III? Anyone here played it?

I’m just about finished with it, been playing it on and off for months, at the final boss right now. The game ultimately ended up going in a different and imo less interesting direction plot-wise than what I thought it would, but I still thought the bulk of the game was really good. Honestly probably could’ve used more room to flesh out it’s systems, especially the strategic battles which with just a little more depth could’ve been leaned on more. You can really feel it’s ambition straining against time and budget but I think the 3 protagonists thing pays off mostly pretty well; I’ll hold off on specific details for now, interested to see what other people thought. I guess in general:

Geddoe’s story was good but needed more room to flesh out his relationship with the Fire Bringer, not that much more, but I wanted to hear a little bit more about what led them to adopt the Runes and the immortality and all that. Chris’ was also good, her character is well fleshed out though I’ve got some reservations about how quickly the blood is washed off and we learn tidy lessons about war, same with Hugo’s story. The central villains existing really drag the whole game down for this reason, doesn’t help that Yuber looks and acts like he does, and is named Yuber.

As someone who started out with Hugo, the three (four?) protagonist thing worked out probably exactly as intended. I really, really didn’t want to play as one of the other characters after that. It’s been over a decade since I played it but I enjoyed the battle system fine at the time, but it definitely has the issue (worse than other games because it’s a Suikoden game) of tons of useless, extraneous characters I never felt like I needed to use.

Ultimately, though, I love the game and still get chills when I watch the opening cinematic.

Spoilery thoughts

I ultimately was fine with the big bads at the end (even though I agree Yuber is a bit corny) even if it would have been more interesting if it was more political intrigue. I will say it is absolutely fascinating going backwards from III and seeing where those characters started. I definitely think that the individual character stories are stronger than when they’re together and I think the game could have leaned into that aspect harder, with totally different routes for different Flame Champions. I also wish there were more of a reason to pick anyone else besides Hugo as Flame Champion, because it is so completely obvious he’s supposed to be.

Just thinking about Suikoden III makes me sad about SIV, sad that I can’t get SV on a modern console, and sad about Suikoden in general.

Every few years I got back and play through II again. I don’t remember much about the story of III, though I remember the distinct feeling that I also was let down by the narrative turn the game took towards the ending.

Also, while I don’t remember much about IV, I remember liking it more than most people did? I wonder if there’s a place I can replay that easily via a modern console.

How I wish we had more mainline Suikodens…