Suikoden best characters

Suikoden best characters DEFAULT

I’ve already covered the best characters in Suikoden 2, so let’s move on to the best Suikoden 3 characters.

Unlike Suikoden 2, where a character’s usefulness is almost entirely based on rune slots, Suikoden 3 introduces a skills system that evens the playing field for several of the characters who don’t have every rune slot open. Here what tends to matter is (for physical attackers) the amount of times they can attack in a round and (for magical attackers) their magic skill rank and the strength of the runes they can equip.

1. Emily – Best Suikoden 3 Characters

Emily is the best character in the game, hands down. She gets an S in swing and is unarmed, which is a weapon with no weight, so she attacks 8 (!) times per round. Seriously, it’s just no contest. Put Emily on your team, she wrecks.

2. Juan – Best Suikoden 3 Characters

Juan is the same deal as Emily, the only difference is you need to waste an equipment slot on him in order to prevent the sleep status that he starts every battle with. Otherwise, Juan and Emily are basically tied. Also, he’s sleepy and he chews on a leaf. What more could you ask for? You should consider putting both in your party for maximum devastation.

3. Geddoe – Best Suikoden 3 Characters

Geddoe gets the True Lightning Rune (or the True Fire Rune, which is a worse rune), has insane magic stats, and is capable of achieving an S in lightning magic with a few pieces of equipment.

Geddoe’s unique True Lightning Rune is probably the best attack magic rune in the game, thus making Geddoe the best mage in the game. Additionally he’s a very above-average physical attacker (strong weapon, ~3 hits per round).

4. Hugo/Fubar – Best Suikoden 3 Characters

Hugo is pretty good on his own (gets a lot of hits, probably 4-5), but having him ride Fubar combines his speed with massive power, so those 4-5 hits hit like a truck. On top of that, he gets the True Fire Rune which is… I don’t know, it’s pretty good, I guess. You’ll still mostly use him as a physical attacker.

best suikoden 3 characters hugo

5. Watari – Best Suikoden 3 Characters

Similar to Emily & Juan, but only gets about 6 hits. Still, he’s super fast and 6 hits is still well above average for a physical attacker. He also gets 3 free rune slots, so you can pump him up with Fury + Double Strike + Killer (or another passive damage increase rune)

6. Chris – Best Suikoden 3 Characters

Chris gets the True Water Rune, but her magic is garbage — you have to pump her up with magic stones if you ever want access to the last True Water Rune spell. Still, she’s a strong physical attacker and because the True Water Rune is a tier above the other Water Runes, she’s still probably the best healer you have access to.

best suikoden 3 characters chris

7. Sasarai – Best Suikoden 3 Characters

Sasarai gets the True Earth Rune and very high overall magic skills. He’s probably the best mage in the game in terms of straight magical power. The True Earth Rune isn’t particularly powerful compared to the other elemental True Runes, but it’s still pretty good.

8. Nei – Best Suikoden 3 Characters

Nei is a support mage who gets the Jongleur rune, which basically buffs the attack power of your party. This is a big force multiplier for physical teams, especially ones focused on Emily, Juan, Hugo/Fubar and Watari. Emily and Juan may be able to pop the final boss in one round if they’re powered up by Nei. Food for thought.

That about covers it when it comes to the best Suikoden 3 characters. Be sure to check out the Main Page or the Game Guides section for more guides like this.

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Suikoden 2 is widely regarded, alongside Xenogears, as the best RPG of all time, so you’re going to want to play it, and you’re going to want to get the best characters. It’s based on a classic Chinese novel called the Legend of the Water Margin which is about a ragtag group of people who come together to overthrow an empire. Suikoden 2 has an incredible story about two best friends on opposing sides of a war. It also features 108 different characters to collect, about half of whom can be used in battle. So who are the best characters? Let’s take a look.

First, the thing to understand is that the most important thing for each character is the number of rune slots they unlock. This is because combining Fury (2x damage buff), Double Beat (attack twice) and Double Strike (1.5 damage given and received) all stack, making your character stupidly overpowered. Add in a Rage/Thunder weapon rune (1.5x damage) and… well, you’re reaching unnecessary levels of busted. It’s not a hard game — throw a Fury and a Double Beat rune on anyone and they’ll faceroll the entire game, but nevertheless, here are the best characters.

Killey is flat out the best character. 3 open rune slots, no locked equipment, and an open rune slot on his weapon. Give him the rune combo described above + a Rage or Thunder rune on his weapon and 3x Fire Emblems and watch him kill the final boss in one hit.

Sheena is the second best character, almost tied with Killey. The only difference is that he’s stuck with a Star Earring in his accessory slot which makes him slightly weaker physically. The difference is miniscule. Sheena, also, will kill the final boss in one hit just fine.

Rina, Sid and Chaco are in a 3 way tie for the next best three characters, for all of the same reasons.

Kahn is almost there, but since he has a Magic Drain rune stuck on his weapon, he can’t quite get there.

In practicality, collecting all these runes is very time consuming, and so there is some value to characters who are great to just plug and play, have an awesome magic rune, or those who you can toss a Fury/Double Beat rune on and be good. These notable mentions are:

Riou (the hero): His magic rune is probably better for a 3rd slot rune than a Double Strike rune. He’s the best healer in the game, in addition to being broken statwise.

McDohl: The main character of Suikoden 1, who you get for importing your data. Similar to the hero, he has a pretty busted magic rune that, while nowhere near as powerful as a single attack from a totally decked out Killey or Sheena, wrecks.

Viktor: Has only two open rune slots, but has the best weapon and an insanely high strength growth. His potential isn’t as high as Killey or Sheena, but he reaches his potential much more easily and it’s definitely enough to blast through the game with.

Nanami: You have to use her for most of the game, but then she’s unavailable at the end, which is… disappointing, from a party-planning perspective. The thing about Nanami is she’s the fastest character, and there’s a rune called a Spark rune, which gives your whole party her speed. So, even though she only has two rune slots, giving her a Fury rune and a Spark rune makes her a strong enough character who provides unique utility.

That about does it for the best characters in Suikoden 2. Be sure to check out the Games Section for more guides like this, and be sure to check out the Suikoden section for more articles about Suikoden 2 and other games from the series.

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I'm talking overall battle effectiveness, who comes out as Top Tier party members?

Assume that weapons are all maxed, gear is top of the line, and that I put the right rune on (tell which rune though).

At the moment, I think Valeria is a instant party member full time. That Falcon Rune is awesome, and she is no slouch with the HP and other stats.

I also think Kai is a wonderful addition if I got the space. His Unite with Tir is excellent for mobs of enemies.

I want to like Camille, Cleo, and Pahn, but they seem to be sliding backwards in effectiveness as I get further into the game.

Roach: Via con dios.
The Collector: And a via con diablos to you, too, sir.

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

My FAQ should give you endgame stats and the best characters overall.

BTW, it's done on a per-classification basis so use that as a general rule of thumb.

Cleo, Crowley, Eileen, Luc, and Tengaar are great mages.
Ronnie and Valeria have great spammable runes.
Tai Ho & Yam Koo and Varkas & Sydonia have great unites.

front row characters, filk, victor, pesmerga
back row characters tir, cleo and valeria


Single is not a status. It's a word that describes a person who is strong enough to enjoy life alone.

Pesmerga is the most overrated character in all of the Suikoverse.

Kai is great because of his unite w/Tir which basically allows you to mow through regular groups. He suffers in boss fights though.

Valeria is awesome, especially since her rune allows her to be put into the back row. Alen, Grenseal, & Flik have a great unite & are all powerful characters in their own rights.

Mages like Luc & Crowley are very powerful.

I find Cleo to actually be a pretty good choice-- she has good all-around use, plus you need to take her on several plot areas anyway.

Cleo is great in the Neclord fight if you can give her a Flowing Rune for it, and for later on. (I think I got the name of the rune right -- 2nd level Water Rune.)

Well, she's good with a Fire Rune up until that point, but with a Flowing Rune she gains much more value to her character all throughout the game until the end. She's great in all her stats and casting power and she's a long-ranged character so that's great.

Suikoden 2 - Final boss - Beast rune - Final battle - Killed in one turn

[Do note, there are spoilers present in this post, so readers beware!]

First and foremost: Why does this all matter?

Suikoden I is a game that gives you 108 recruitable characters, 76 of which are usable in battle. Yet so many of them serve purposes that are already filled, relegating them to carbon copy roles. As the formula for developing a game like Suikoden was being attempted for the first time here, it nevertheless runs high with glaring flaws that later games have somewhat remedied. If nothing else, it comes down to this basic principle:

Every usable character in a  game must have a solid amount of worth and value to them.

This worth can come from several different sources: having plot importance of some kind, being a character one can use in combat, providing something of importance or a service (to the home base), and being a character one can use in war battles. (Do note the last of these is universal for every SI character).

The more worth a character has, the better they are. If not every character in a game has enough worth, then the end effect is falling flat and needs to be reworked. Even though it’s the first in the series, Suikoden’s end effect falls rather flat.


The biggest distinction here comes from those 76 of the 108 you can use in battle. With the combat formula so undeveloped, the game is prone to a lot of duplicates, or a lot of cloned characters, that the player can use. Which, ultimately, leads to player preference, raw stat advantage, or useful Unite attacks determining who should be used.

Suikoden I is by no means a hard game, so one can’t necessarily have a “bad party”. Instead, the goal is to have a good or efficient party. Which is how, through detailing archetypes and using reason, I can slim the list of characters a player should even bother to use down to below 30.

First, the archetypes. Every character in the game can fit one of the following roles, with weapon range noted: Magicians (S), Magical Warriors (S/M), Beefy Fighters (S/M), Martial Artists (S), Archers (L), Magical Archers (L), and Generic Supporters (S/M/L).

  • Magicians are weak in physical stats, strong in magic, and are virtually worthless for anything outside of magical Rune use.
  • Magical Warriors are a fusion of Magicians and Beefy Fighters, possessing the best traits of both. The M-range Magical Warriors are the best characters in the game.
  • Beefy Fighters are all about power and lots of it. They don’t care about a loss in anything but power, and some can equip the best armor in the game.
  • Martial Artists are a variant on Beefy Fighters in that they’re universally S-Range with different armor allowances and have access to Runes that the Beefy Fighters cannot use.
  • Archers are just that: Archers. Long-range fighters, generally without any magic. Archers and Generic/Supports tend to blend together a lot.
  • Magical Archers are Archers fused with Magicians, and are the second-best set of characters in the game after the Magical Warriors.
  • Generic Supporters are everyone else: The clones, the carbon copies, the worthless characters, the magically-weak red shirts whose only purpose is to fill up the 108 stars with people who can be recruited, have unite attacks, and generally serve to fulfill the role of carrying a Holy/Champion’s/Prosperity Rune, or fight with a Killer/Counter/Hazy Rune.

As one would expect, Suikoden has a lot of Generic Supporters. And again, because it is the first Suikoden game, it is expected to have these. But it is something one must pay attention to if the formula is to work well. Divided up, the 76 characters fall into these groups as such:

  • Magicians: Luc, Hellion, Fukien, Crowley
  • Magical Warriors: Sheena, Flik, Mina, Milich, Alen, Grenseal, Sonya / McDohl, Camille
  • Beefy Fighters: Viktor, Valeria, Humphrey / Varkas, Kwanda, Blackman, Mace
  • Martial Artists: Eikei, Ronnie Bell
  • Archers: Stallion, Kasumi, Kage
  • Magical Archers: Cleo, Eileen, Kirkis, Sylvina, Rubi, Tengaar
  • Generic Supporters: Lotte, Sansuke, Sergei, Lepant, Kuromimi, Gon, Gen, Kamandol, Kimberly, Liukan, Kirke, Hix, Griffith, Fu Su Lu, Pesmerga, Kasim, Kreutz / Gremio, Tai Ho, Yam Koo, Kai, Maas, Meese, Mose, Moose, Antonio, Lester, Kessler, Milia, Futch, Warren, Anji, Kanak, Leonardo / Lorelai, Juppo, Meg, Krin, Sydonia, Sarah, Quincy, Clive, Fuma

Already I’ve axed out 45 of the 76. More than half of the characters are inferior and on the basis of their worth as a combat character, all of these characters fall flat. More than half of them! But wait, we’re not done yet. Everyone who I’ve cut away thus far might have had no to some worth, and arguments can be made in their favor. But, we’re trying to get good worth here, so let’s get in-depth.

Magicians: Arguably, we can cut all four of them since we have the Magical Warriors and Archers. The lack of physical power means that they’ll be hogging a spot in the team, or are at risk for constantly dying on the front-line (and still hogging a spot for an S-Range fighter). But if one needed to choose a Magician to use, they’d choose them for attacking with magic, and would go with game pace: Luc until Hellion, then Hellion until Crowley. Otherwise, dump this entire category.

Magical Warriors: Sheena is an early Flik clone, so he’s cut at a certain point regardless. Mina is the weakest physically, drop her. Alen and Grenseal have merit since they come in mid-game with Rage and Thunder Runes, so we’re left with three interchangable units: Flik, Milich, and Sonya. Since Sonya is the last recruit, we cut her, and since Flik is statistically better than Milich, we cut Peacock Man.

As for McDohl and Camille… McDohl is the hero, you always have him. Camille is a slightly-weaker McDohl with an interchangable rune. She is one of the best characters in the game as a result.

Beefy Fighters: The S-Range characters are incredibly strong. Viktor has the strongest weapon in the game, Valeria has the Falcon Rune, Humphrey has access to the best equipment in the game, and all three are required at points. The M-Range fighters suffer from duplication; Varkas comes in early-on, but is outranked by Kwanda pretty quickly, so cut him. At this point, we’re left with three strong fighters who can sit in any spot in our party, and can fulfill the role of “Generic Supporter” while being worthwhile. In other words, these are the guys who you give your Holy, Prosperity, and Champion’s Runes to.

Martial Artists: Ronnie Bell is a variation of Valeria. She uses different armor, comes in later, but is still powerful and has an abusable Hate Rune. Eikei gets points for being a Ronnie who can change his Rune, and comes with the excellent Double-Beat Rune.

Archers: Stallion’s stats are terrible, but he has great synergy with Kirkis and fulfills the spot of Generic Supporter with a Holy Rune better than anyone in the game thanks to his True Holy Rune. Kasumi is the L-Range, speedier, weaker version of Valeria and Ronnie Bell with her Shrike Rune (see the trend here?), and Kage is basically a Magical Archer who doesn’t get his magic until end-game… so we can tentatively cut him, too.

Magical Archers: All of these characters are great, and it comes down to more what you want out of them. Eileen and Sylvina are the weakest physically, but have Unites and have strong magic. Kirkis is like Kage, but stays because he gets better magic earlier and can unite with Sylvina, Rubi, and Stallion. Tengaar is a step above Eileen in the physical department, but still worthwhile. And the best of the bunch come down to Cleo, followed by Rubi. Rubi is everything Kirkis and Sylvina want to be, and Cleo is the L-Range Camille of the game who has access to Beefy Fighter equipment.

So, with all of that said and done, we’re left with a list of the best characters in the game:

  • Magical Warriors: Flik, Alen, Grenseal / McDohl, Camille
  • Beefy Fighters: Viktor, Valeria, Humphrey / Kwanda, Blackman, Mace
  • Martial Artists: Eikei, Ronnie Bell
  • Archers: Stallion, Kasumi
  • Magical Archers: Cleo, Eileen, Kirkis, Sylvina, Rubi, Tengaar

21 of 76 characters. Almost all of them are recruited by the middle of the game, have multiple clones or weaker copies in the roster, and most of them have relevance in the plot.

Keep in mind, reader, that just because we’ve come to this list it does not mean that other characters are not worth using. There are plenty of combinations that are fun and worthwhile. But, ultimately, this comes down to show that less than a third of the usable characters are viable or solid enough to merit worth at any given time in Suikoden I. Largely, this is due to the way combat is designed here (one rune, no skills, available spots in the party at any given time). But it is still a flaw, and part of the purpose of what I’m trying to show here.

So, instead of looking at the 31 best, let’s look at the 45 worst, to determine just which of these characters is completely useless thanks to the flaws of Suikoden I’s development:

  • S-Range: Lotte, Sansuke, Sergei, Lepant, Kuromimi, Gon, Gen, Kamandol, Kimberly, Liukan, Kirke, Hix, Griffith, Fu Su Lu, Pesmerga, Kasim, Kreutz
  • M-Range: Gremio, Tai Ho, Yam Koo, Kai, Maas, Meese, Mose, Moose, Antonio, Lester, Kessler, Milia, Futch, Warren, Anji, Kanak, Leonardo
  • L-Range: Lorelai, Juppo, Meg, Krin, Sydonia, Sarah, Quincy, Clive, Fuma

Of these, those who have worth are as follows:

  • Plot Importance: Lepant, Kuromimi, Gen, Kamandol, Kimberly, Liukan, Hix, Griffith, Kasim, Gremio, Tai Ho, Yam Koo, Mose, Kessler, Milia, Futch, Warren, Krin, Sydonia.

All of these have some level of importance when it comes to the plot, no matter how little or much. However, every last character here is shoe-horned into a fighter’s role due to the lack of variety and versatility to character, combat, or castle roles outside of what Suikoden I gives us.

  • Provides Something to the Castle: Sansuke, Sergei, Gen, Kamandol, Maas, Meese, Mose, Moose.

Sansuke provides the Bath House, Sergei provides the elevator, Gen and Kamandol upgrade the boat to make it go faster, and the final four are blacksmiths. Though, arguably, the only one who matters here is Moose as there are easily-accessed blacksmiths in other towns that do Maas, Meese, and Mose’s jobs – and in Mose’s case, a heck of a lot earlier than when you get him.

All characters on that list are usable in combat, and are usable in war battles. So we’re left with the following combat characters who are essentially worthless:

  • Lotte, Gon, Kirke, Fu Su Lu, Pesmerga, Kreutz, Kai, Antonio, Lester, Kessler, Anji, Kanak, Leonardo, Lorelai, Juppo, Meg, Sarah, Quincy, Clive, and Fuma.

20 of 108. Close to a fifth. Keep this in mind.


We also have 32 characters who are not combat-usable during the course of the game. This means that they either have to have some plot importance or provide a service to the castle. The list is as follows:

  • Mathiu, Chandler, Marie, Onil, Rock, Giovanni, Gaspar, Viki, Templeton, Apple, Chapman, Jabba, Jeane, Tesla, Esmeralda, Ivanov, Kasios, Qlon, Georges, Ledon, Melodye, Kun To, Marco, Zen, Hugo, Window, Leon Silverburg, Joshua Levenheit, Taggart, Vincent, Maximilian, Sancho.

Since the characters don’t fight, plot importance is of more critical value here. Suikoden I doesn’t have the feature present in later games where a support character can be brought along to do such things as heal allies after battle, generate more money, or provide services in the field. If they do one tiny thing and lurk around the castle for the rest of the game, their role is essentially worthless and could have been written as a better character or folded in with another to make room for a better new character.

  • Plot Important: Mathiu, Giovanni*, Tesla*, Ledon*, Kun To*, Joshua Levenheit, Taggart*, Vincent

Characters with a * are pretty much throwaway roles. Giovanni gets all of two lines and could have easily been a faceless generic NPC. Tesla has no purpose outside of helping to get you into Sonierre and could have been done a lot better. Ledon’s role could have been folded into Kessler, who could have had generic NPCs working for him. And Taggart and Kun To provide so minor plot importance that they could have been written as generic NPCs.

  • Provides a Service: Mathiu, Chandler, Marie, Onil*, Rock, Gaspar, Viki, Templeton*, Chapman, Jabba, Jeane, Ivanov*, Kasios, Qlon*, Georges, Melodye, Marco, Hugo, Window

Characters with a * denote that their contribution to the castle is so minor it is practically negligible. Onil provides hints on your current point in the plot, Templeton gives you the world map, Ivanov has a tiny fetch quest involving various paints, and Qlon… is a door greeter. While having diversity here is useful, all four of these are useless or could have been done better. So, we’re left with the following:

  • Apple, Esmeralda, Zen, Leon Silverburg, Maximilian, Sancho.

These six have their only purposes being recruitable characters and being used in war battles. That’s it. Again, all 108 characters are used in war battles, so there’s no lack of strong units or choices here (even with Qlon, Max and Sancho being the best charge attack). It’s just that their entire role in the game is shallow and throwaway at best.

And the reason for this? The game was made between 1995 and 1996, and was a new venture for Konami. Deep, well-written RPG wouldn’t come around fully until Suikoden II, so Suikoden I gets the shaft in this regard, unfortunately.

Bringing it all together: The Importance of a Well-Developed Cast

Every single character in the game can be put to a process of deep analysis where their overall worth is determined, using resources from within and outside the game. But due to the very nature of what Suikoden I is, over a quarter of the cast is effectively useless by its design.

From the combat-usable characters we have Lotte, Gon, Kirke, Fu Su Lu, Pesmerga, Kreutz, Kai, Antonio, Lester, Kessler, Anji, Kanak, Leonardo, Lorelai, Juppo, Meg, Sarah, Quincy, Clive, and Fuma. From the non-combat characters, we have Apple, Esmeralda, Zen, Leon Silverburg, Maximilian, Sancho, Giovanni, Tesla, Ledon, Kun To, Taggart, Onil, Templeton, Ivanov, and Qlon.

This gives us a grand total of 35 of the 108 characters the player can acquire during the course of the game being effectively superfluous. There may be still merit to them for other reasons (returning characters in later games, their contributions to the series canon, etc). Add to that the 10 we axed for being inefficient or “useless” in the face of other characters (Luc, Hellion, Fukien, Crowley, Kage, Varkas, Milich, Sheena, Sonya, Mina), and we end up with 45/108 characters being negligible overall.

So, let us come back to the core principle in finishing all of this up:

Every usable character in a game must have a solid amount of worth and value to them.

Arguably, 45 of 108 characters do not have solid worth and value to them. That is 41% of a cast of characters the player uses. In other RPGs, this might not be so bad. But in other RPGs, we do not see casts of 108, more like 4 to 10 at most. In these cases, having one to three outlying “terrible characters” can even be the norm. But in a game like Suikoden, where the roster is enormous, the player must have an entire cast of characters that have worth and value to them and the game. If not, you are filling your game with needless padding, trivial and lazy ideas, and are bringing the quality of your game down as a whole. For the game to really shine and succeed as a whole, the entire cast must shine and succeed as a whole.


If you somehow managed to get through all of this, I wish to thank you, reader. I’ve had these thoughts bouncing around my head for weeks now, and I’m sure they’re rather long-winded and unrefined as they lie. A detailed analysis of characters from a 17-year old RPG, a piece of game design for the developer who wants to use a large cast, or just a love for Suikoden… I don’t know why I wrote this, and I doubt those of you who read will know either. If nothing else, let this serve as food for thought, and again, thank you.

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Filed under: Game-Related Writing | Tagged: Analysis, Character, Game Design, Konami, Suikoden, Video Games |


Best characters suikoden

In the silence I hear muffled voices from the living room. On the clock, on the wall, the beginning of the ninth. Arthur is not around.

Who is Best in Suikoden 2

As the main attraction. It was too late. The time had passed after midnight, and the central square was completely empty, gaping with dark holes in the windows of two large. Office buildings and only a rare chain of multi-colored street lamps standing on carved pedestals illuminated the sidewalk.

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