Suikoden: Tierkreis



Traditional-style RPG has mild violence and deep story.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Players are always on the side of good. They help out towns and individual characters as they work towards the eventual goal of defeating the evil One King. However, dialogue trees allow players to be a little rude to some characters. We can, for example, select responses that play down others' importance in battle or deny them praise. Also, the game explores the theme of determinism: do we have free will or don't we.


The fantasy violence, which involves turn-based action in which player characters and monsters attack one another with swords, teeth, slime, claws, arrows, and magic, is graphically mild; there is no blood or gore, just flashes of light. Battles, however, are very frequent.


Some female characters wear mildly provocative, low-cut outfits.


Slight profanity, including such words as "damn" and "bastard," is present in both text and voice dialogue.


This game is part of Konami's prolific Suikoden series of role-playing games.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Nothing is seen, but characters sometimes reference alcohol by, say, asking someone if he or she has been drinking.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this game is somewhat tamer than earlier, slightly more mature entries in the prolific Suikoden franchise. The series' violence and sexuality has been toned down, and the narrative, while compelling, involves less in the way of death and tragedy than what was present in previous games. That said, be aware that there is some minor profanity, a few female characters show cleavage, and the game's battles, while not bloody or graphic, are frequent. The game has thought-provoking themes including determinism: are we in control of our future or not? There is a lot of reading required.

Kids say

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What's it about?

The first entry in the popular Suikoden series of role-playing games to be released for the Nintendo DS, SUIKODEN: TIERKREIS puts players in control of a massive group of characters (more than 100) who are united against an cult-like order that believes all things in the world are predetermined. The game's complex narrative is extremely text heavy, with frequent and lengthy sessions of dialogue popping up both in towns and dungeons, but it is completely self-contained; no knowledge of previous Suikoden games is necessary.

The battle system, which involves simple turn-based attacks and defensive posturing, will be instantly recognizable to anyone who has previous experience with traditional Japanese role-playing games, as will the simple economy, which involves selling trade goods found while fighting and using the coins earned to purchase new equipment. These two elements make up the majority of play.

Is it any good?


There's a lot to like about this epic role-playing game. It sports gorgeous, hand-drawn backgrounds and dozens of high-quality anime cut-scenes. What's more, the characters who populate these scenes are generally quite likeable, thanks in no small part to the expertly penned dialogue they've been given. Plus, the game introduces some thought-provoking metaphysical themes concerning predeterminism and the possibility of infinite worlds. And with a story that lasts scores of hours, it provides excellent bang for your gaming buck.

Unfortunately, the action can grow tedious. The game's random battles, which start up every few seconds while exploring dungeons, aren't very challenging and become repetitive in short order, serving no more purpose than to let characters earn experience and find trade goods. Tierkries has high production values and a great story, but players who don't enjoy lengthy dungeon crawls would do well to sit this one out.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about some of the game's thought-provoking themes, such as the notion that there could be an infinite number of worlds, many of which are only slightly different relative to the one we inhabit, and that all events are predetermined. You can also discuss the benefits and disadvantages of playing a game in which we have access to more than 100 playable characters. Do you enjoy managing the equipment of such a large cast, or would you prefer playing with a smaller, more intimate group of characters?

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo DS
Available online?Not available online
Release date:March 17, 2009
Genre:Role Playing
ESRB rating:E10+ for Alcohol Reference, Fantasy Violence, Language, Mild Suggestive Themes

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parent of a 6 and 13 year old Written bywavymouth June 26, 2009

on par with final fantasy and tales series

suikoden is one of the best series. i have a ds so must get this
Adult Written byFaiyazahmed Ahmed November 9, 2014

One of the best games in my lifetime...and that's saying a lot!

Suikoden Tierkreis is, without a doubt, one of the best games I have ever played in my entire life. I have been an avid video game player for many years, and this game truly revives the charm and dignity from the "golden age" of the Super Nintendo and the Sega Genesis. A strong narrative, compelling cast of characters, and a meaningful story keeps you coming back for more. A 7th or 8th Grade audience would be ideal, since the amount of reading and dialogue is comparable to a 200 or 300 page novel. As with other Suikoden games, some extra effort is required to assemble the full team of heroes, so parents can use to help their children gain the full experience and story. The game encourages young men and women to do what is right, and apply principles of heroism in everyday life. A common theme is "You don't know what you can do until you try!" This can help cultivate a child's self-esteem and altruism. This game is very positive and gratifying, and a perfect alternative to the heavy violence and mature themed games that have now become common. There aren't many games nowadays that have excellent writing and positive, moral themes, so Suikoden: Tierkreis is truly a breath of fresh air. I hope you and your families enjoy this game time and again as I did...truly an instant favorite.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Easy to play/use


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