The 1990s and 2000s were a golden age for the Japanese role-playing game genre, stacked to the top with memorable franchises. Only a handful of those games survive in this day and age of instant gratification, but they’re still gold standards for what was and what could be once again. One of those games which I’ve often been told is deserving of a chef’s kiss emoji whenever it pops into a conversation, is Suikoden.
A game that evokes a sense of awe and wonder in anyone who was around during the heyday of the series, Suikoden has largely been pining for the fjords for most of the last two decades. Its last big booty daddy entry in the core franchise was Suikoden V for the PlayStation 2 in 2006, while the spin-off Genso Suikoden: Tsumugareshi Hyakunen no Toki apparently closed the book on the series in 2012 on the PlayStation Portable.
Suikoden isn’t coming back anytime soon, but the people behind several of its games are putting together a super-band in Velvet Revolver style, to create a spiritual successor in the form of Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes. According to The Verge, the group will be headed up by Suikoden big cheese Yoshitaka Murayama through the newly formed Rabbit & Bear Studios.
A director, producer, and writer on Suikoden games, Murayama will be joined by series veterans such as Junko Kawano (Suikoden and Suikoden IV lead artist), Osamu Komuta (director of Suikoden Tactics and Suikoden Tierkreis), Junichi Murakami (Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow art director ) and composers Motoi Sakuraba and Michiko Naruke, who have scored games ranging from Wild Arms to Dark Souls.
The plan is to partly crowdfund Eiyuden Chronicle, with the key hook of this game being the chance to meet and recruit the titular hundred heroes that you’ll encounter on your journey. I’m still wary of video games being crowdfunded due to the notoriously hit or miss nature of the platform that gives players a Mighty No. 9 flop for every fantastic Pillars of Eternity. But for a fresh stab at classic JRPG goodness? That’s a gamble I’m interested in taking. Besides, the Powerball gods have been RUBBISH to me lately.
“While people have their valid complaints about crowdfunding, it still provides one of the only ways to connect to your core fans,” Murayama said to The Verge.
Anyone who is passionate enough to invest in a project 2-3 years in advance and have that hope and belief in something is the type of fan that you want to collaborate with. They in turn motive you and can help us get to our dream of making that game we really want to make. It’s hard to say whether people will choose to believe or to just doubt in this day and age, but every person who chooses to have faith in this project, I see as a hero. They are certainly the hero of my personal story.
The Kickstarter for Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes will kick off today, and wrap up on August 28.
Last Updated: July 27, 2020