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Basics (as per Suikoden 4 inset booklet)

Spread across the great sea lies a cloister of small islands known as the Island Nations.  These islands mainly consist of several indepentant city-states, which, over the years, have developed a steady maritime economy with each other.  There have been occasional scuffles and disagreements among these nations in the past, but for the most part, the Island Nations enjoy a quiet, sovereign existance.

Towards the west of the great sea lies an island nation called Gaien.  In this nation lies the city of Razril, where an unassuming young man trains diligently at the naval academy there, soon to become a Knight of Gaien.

Years ago, he had been taken in by the Vingerhut family and was raised with his best friend, Snowe.   His other friends, Tal, Keneth, Paula and Jewel also attend the naval academy with him.

Tomorrow, at long last, is graduation day at the naval academy.

Our story unfolds with these friends as they return to Razril on their training vessel...

Suikoden IV                                           Copyright: 1995, 2005 Konami

Starting the Game
Main Menu
Rune Magic
Group Battles
Sea Battles
One-on-One Duels
Status Conditions
Combo Attacks and Magic

Starting the Game:

To begin, select New Game to embark on a new journey.
If you already have a game in progress, select Continue to pick up where you left off.
New Game:

The game starts after the hero's name has been entered.
The following settings can be changed after the game has started by selecting Options from the main menu.
Display message----------Scrolling/show all
Camera Mode----------Fixed/Free
Set Vibration---------On/Off
Screen Adjust----------Adjust Screen
BGM volume----------Quiet<->loud
SFX volume----------Quiet<->loud
Voice volume----------Quiet<->loud
Hero's Voice----------Voice A/Voice B/Off
Saving the Game

You can save your progress at any of the traveler's Orbs that are scattered throughout the world.  You can also find them at the various town inns.  To save while at sea, simply press the (square) button and select the save option from the menu.
Please note that 99 KB of free memory is required to save to the memory card.
Main Menu Contents

Usable Items-----Items that can be used on the map.
Equippable Items-----Items that can be equipped.
Sealed Orbs-----A rune smith can attach the power of a rune to a character.
Rune pieces-----A blacksmith can attach a rune piece to a weapon.
Material-----Armor can be created by taking it to a certain character.
Antiques-----Unknown items can be identified by an appraiser.
Tradable Items-----Earn money by skillfully buying and selling the merchandise.
Other-----Miscellaneous items.
Full Inventory-----A full list of items.
Rare Items-----Special items that are important to the story.

First, select a character whose rune you wish to cast.  Then, select the rune and the desired rune magic spell.  In order for rune magic to be cast, the rune must be attached to the character.  It is possible to attach runes to the forehead, left hand or right hand.  There are 4 different levels of magic spells for most runes.  A character's ability will determine the number of spells that can be cast for each level.  When a spell is cast, this number decreases, and when the number reaches zero, that level spell can no longer be cast.  Spell points can be replenished by staying at an inn or using certain items.

To equip armor, select a character that you would like to have equipped and then select where you would like to equip armor.  After doing so, a list of equippable items will appear.  Certain characters may have armor that cannot be changed.  Select "equip best" to equip the character with the most appropriate available armor.

Check the status of your party.

Adjust your party's battle positions.

See "new game" above for information on option settings.
Ship Menu Contents
While sailing on a ship, the following commands appear:

While sailing on a ship, this will cast the anchor and allow you to explore the ship.

When exploring the ship at sea, choose to raise the anchor and set sail.

Save game progress.
Rune Magic

This is a list of some of the main runes and their effects.  Healing type runes, like Water Runes, can also be used outside of battle.  In order to use rune magic, the character must have the rune equipped.  After obtaining a sealed rune, visit a Rune Master to have the rune equipped.
Note: whether you have one rune equipped or three, you still have the same amount of MP to use.  The four numbers in your status indecate the number of times you can cast a spell of that level before needing to rest.

***Fire Rune***
Area effect attack magic
LV1-----Flaming arrows---------100 HP damage to one enemy
LV2-----Dancing Flames---------150 HP damage to all enemies
LV3-----Blazing Walls---------300 HP damage to all enemies
LV4-----Explosion---------500 HP damage to all enemies

***Lightning Rune***
Single target attack magic
LV1-----Berserk Blow---------100 HP damage to all enemies
LV2-----Thunder Runner---------300 HP damage to one enemy
LV3-----Soaring Bolt---------600 HP damage to one enemy
LV4-----Furious Blow---------900 HP damage to one enemy

***Water Rune***
Healing magic
LV1-----Kindness Drops---------Recover HP and status of one character
LV2-----Breath of Ice---------100 HP damage to all enemies
LV3-----Kindness Rain---------Recover HP and status of one character
LV4-----Silent Lake---------Temporarily suppress magic for all

***Wind Rune***
Combination of attack, healing and special magic
LV1-----Wind of Sleep---------Put all enemies to sleep
LV2-----Healing Wind---------Recover HP and status of one character
LV3-----The Shredding---------300 HP damage to all enemies
LV4-----Funeral Wind---------300 HP damage and possible instant death to one enemy

***Earth Rune***
Support Magic
LV1-----Clay Guardian---------increase physical and magical defense by 30%
LV2-----Vengeful Child---------Defend against one magic attack for one party member
LV3-----Guardian Earth---------Cure all status ailments for party members
LV4-----Earthquake---------800 HP damage to all earthbound enemies
Group Battles

Throughout your journey, random battles will occur, and the screen will change to a battle screen.  During a battle, your objective is to select various battle commands in order to complete the battle.  If your characters are victorious, they are rewarded with experience points, items and money (also called Potch).

Battle commands

attack-----use a standard weapon attack
defend-----reduce enemy's attack damage
rune-----use rune magic
item-----select and use an item
combo-----use a cooperative attack

Choose to escape from a battle.  There is a chance that you will not be able to run away from battle.

When battling weaker enemies, you can choose to release them from the fight.

Bribe the enemy with Potch to end the battle.

Concentrate all your party's power into one character to perform a powerful attack on all enemies.

All party members will perform standard weapon attacks.

Change to another party to continue on in battle.  This option is only available on the main base.
Combination Magic

Combination magic can occur when two level 4 rune magic spells are cast simultaneously.  When this condition is met, the player will be able to combine magic spells, creating an even more powerful effect. 
Cooperative Attack

When certain characters in your party have reached a certain level of familiarity with each other, a special combination attack can occur.
For example:  Snowe + Hero -> Friendship Attack
Status Conditions
note: all status conditions wear off over time.  At the end of battle, all status conditions will be gone.
Bad status conditions
Unconscious-----Cannot do anything in battle-----Cure with item or magic
Poison-----gradually lose HP every turn-----Cure with item or magic
Sleep-----Cannot do anything in battle-----Receive damage
Stun-----Cannot do anything in battle-----Cure with item
Heartbreak-----Cannot perform Coop. attack or defend another-----Cure with magic
Silence-----Cannot cast magic spells-----Cure with item or magic
Confusion-----Attack party members-----Cure with item or magic
Bucket-----Accuracy decreases-----Cure with item or magic
Balloon-----3 balloons remove party member from battle-----Cure with magic or item
Good status conditions
Berserk-----Increases attack and magic attack ability-----Caused by item or enemy attack
Evolution-----Increases magical ability-----Caused by item
Defense up-----Increases defense-----Caused by item or magic
Magic defense up-----Increases magic defense-----Caused by item or magic
Attack up-----Increases Attack-----Caused by item
Magic Ability up-----Increases Magic Ability-----Caused by item
Nullify magic-----Becomes resistant to magic spells-----caused by item or magic
Sea Battles

Throughout the Hero's journey, a number of major sea battles will arise.  These battles consist of multiple ships battling it out on the open seas.  Each of the ships have distinct attributes which are determined by their crews.

Ship Setup

A ships mobility is determined by its captain.  The higher the mobility, the faster the ship can take action.

Rune Cannon
The type and power of rune cannon is determined by the crew member assigned to fire the ships rune cannon

These crew members command a certain number of underlings and are in charge of boarding the enemy ships, or defending a ship from being boarded.

The underlings, which make up the rest of the ships crew, consist of all the sailers on a ship.  The more sailors there are, the less the ship will be able to move.  If the ship takes damage from an enemy rune cannon, the number of active crew members will decrease.

Sea Battle Commands
Highlight one of your ships under your command and press the (x) button to make the sea battle menu appear.

A ship can move the number of squares indicated.

Fire Cannon
After the rune type is selected, the rune cannon will be fired.  The ship that takes a hit from the rune cannon will lose some of its active crew members.   If the ship is in position to return fire, it will be possible to select a rune type and retaliate.  When two rune cannons are fired at each other, the way the two rune shells interact will vary, depending on the attributes of the runes fired.

When two ships are adjacent to each other, it is possible to engage in hand-to-hand combat by boarding the other ship.  The battle will continue until one side has won.

Withdraw from the sea battle.

No actions are taken

Detailed Report
View ship status

Note:  A ship will be removed from a sea battle if the number of active crew members reaches 0, if the ship loses a boarding battle or if the ship withdraws from battle.
One on One Duels

There are times when the hero's forces will have a one-on-one confrontation with the enemy.  During these duels, the player must decide whether to chose "attack," "guard," or "special" by carefully anticipating the enemy's next action.  Listen carefully to what the enemy says, since this may provide a clue as to what the enemy's next move will be.

A "full power" technique can be performed once per battle, and is twice as strong.  Choose your commands carefully.

Note:  Under normal circumstances, when your opponent is going to "attack," you'll want to beat him to the punch with a "special" technique;  If he "guards," a good "attack" will break through;  and "guarding" is the best medicine for a "special" technique.

Item shop----------Buy and sell various items
Armor Shop---------Buy and sell various equippable armor
Rune master---------Rune orbs can be taken here to have them attached to a character.
Blacksmith----------Improve a characters weapon.
Inn----------Replinish MP and HP and can save your game.
Appraiser----------Take an unknown item to an appraiser to find out its worth.
Trading post----------Buy and sell merchandise to make a profit (look for deals).
Lottery---------Use your lottery tickets to win prizes.

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