The fourth installment of the Suikoden
video game series. It was released in August 2004 in Japan.Suikoden IV
takes place approximately 150 years before the events of the first Suikoden game. Konami later produced Suikoden Tactics
, a spinoff that serves as a direct prequel, side-story, and sequel to Suikoden IV.
Suikoden IV continues many of the gameplay concepts pioneered by it predecessors along with changes. It is the first game in the Suikoden series to feature voice acting for most characters, except the hero and the first game of the series to be set at sea; travel on the world map is accomplished by ship. Suikoden IV's party consists of four individually controllable characters and during combat, characters can combine effort in the form of physical "Unite attacks" or runic magic combinations. As with previous games in the series, there are individual battles (duels) as well as battles between customizable naval forces. The naval forces can be customized to use particular runic elements through choice of captains and commanding officers and each element has a weakness and strength over another element. There are several mini-games contained within the game, unrelated to the main storyline. On the first play through the game, only a fraction of the world map is viewable, a feature not seen before in a Suikoden Game.