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Released by Konami in March 2009, Suikoden Tierkreis is a traditional RPG that features random encounters, turn-based combat, and an interesting story that blends elements of sci-fi, fantasy and political intrigue in one addictive little package. This Nintendo DS roleplaying game is also the first handheld Suikoden game to see a commercial release in North America. This handy walkthrough guide will lead you through the first several hours of the game. Please note that this guide does contain some plot spoilers, so read on at your own risk.
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After the opening sequence, you'll start off in Citro Village, the hero's hometown. The main character and his friends are preparing to head off on a patrol to the Eastern Hills to take out some creatures known as Laggarts. However, first you'll need to do a little legwork to round out your party. Marica and Liu join automatically at the Gathering Spot. First you need to go to the Town Square to meet up with Dirk, then you need to travel to the Elder's House in search of Jale.
The Elder will tell you to go to the General Store to track him down, so do so. Not only will he join the party, but he'll also fork over four Medicines--handy for the journey ahead. Finally, return to the Town Square, where Dirk will officially join, and after some discussion, you'll finally be ready to get things rolling. Exit the village and you'll find yourself on Citro Plain. Travel east to the Eastern Hills, stopping over at the farmer's house first for a short scene. Before you get too far, however, take Dirk's advice and put him and Marica in the back row. It probably wouldn't hurt to gain a few levels, either.
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Once you enter the Eastern Hills, you'll be ambushed by a group of Laggarts. It's a pretty easy fight, so don't stress out over it. Afterwards, members of the party will mention feeling some kind of strange sensation nearby, so naturally you'll need to investigate. There's a chest in the first area that contains a Mega Medicine, so make sure you grab it before continuing onward. In the Eastern Hills, you'll encounter Laggarts, Grass Squirrels and X Bees. None of them are overly difficult, and regular attacks should do the trick if you're at least level 3.
Eventually, you'll come to an area where the path splits. The top trail leads to a save point, and if you come across it, backtrack and check out the other way. It leads to a chest that contains a Cheery Incense. Continue on through until you reach a rocky area. You'll fight another group of enemies, then a scene will trigger. Afterwards, backtrack to the previous area and a major event will occur. Return to the previous area to find the rocky path replaced by a wooded area. This is Flesaria Forest East.
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Obviously, something strange is going on, because biomes don't just up and change like that. This is a relatively short area, but there is a new enemy type to be on the lookout for: the Spider Hopper. Again, though, it's really nothing to worry too much about. Continue on and after the dialogue, save and enter the Forest Ruins. There will be yet another scene, and then a battle with a tougher new opponent known as a Skull Guts. This can be challenging, seeing as how it can hit for a good 20 points per attack. You're best bet is liberal use of the Defense Corps co-op attack, as it does between 55-60 points of damage if you're at a decent level, and can finish the battle in three turns or so.
After the battle, two more Skull Guts appear and block the exit. You're given the option to fight or flee; I opted to look for another exit, so I don't know what happens if you stay and fight. Anyway, proceed through the ruins, and eventually you will come to an inner sanctum of sorts. Here, the hero finds a book. When he, Marica and Jale touch it, they witness a vision of a great battle and are filled with a mysterious new power they refer to as "The Marks of the Stars". After the scene, the party is challenged by a trio of Skull Guts. Using the party's newfound powers--the hero's Breath of Flame, Marcia's Healing Gleam and Jale's Bind Flash--will make short work of the enemies this time around. More story sequences follow, and ultimately your goal will be to make your way back to Citro Village.
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Return to Citro Village
Upon making it back to town, you'll learn that some townsfolk claim to have seen and been threatened by someone who looks just like Marica, only carrying a big axe. The party learns that the doppelganger went to a forest located in the North, so guess where your next destination's going to be? Before you leave, though, stop by the trading post, sell off some of the Laggard pelts and other goods you've acquired, and get upgraded armor for the hero, Marica and Jale, but not Dirk, as he's about to leave the party for a while. Also, stop by the Gathering Spot to heal and save.
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Flesaria Forest South
You're now a man down, and the enemies in Flesaria Forest South are a lot tougher than what you've faced thus far, particularly the Geldi Monkey. Whenever you see this guy in a group of monsters, make sure you target him first. The plus side is that the Geldi Monkey gives you a lot of experience, so odds are good you'll be doing a fair bit of leveling up here. Before too long, the party comes across a caravan of Wanderers, a type of travelling merchant. After a brief conversation, Hotupa offers to join you as a non-combat companion. You can also rest at the caravan. Once you're ready, exit via the north path.
After a few steps, you'll run into a pair of men, and after making some idle threats, they'll head off. To continue on, take the bottom right path. You'll run into a black colored monster identified as a Saw Kingfisher. In this battle, have the hero attack, Marica alternate between attacking and healing, and Jale use Bind Flash. After a few rounds, you'll notice your attacks no longer do damage to it. Shortly thereafter, the battle is interrupted--by the Marica lookalike, no less. She dispatches the Saw Kingfisher and then proceeds to explain that she actually is Marica, but from another world. Strangely enough, Hotupa seems to know what's going on. Marica and Hotupa direct the party to some ruins up ahead, where the otherworldly visitor says she first appeared.
The lookalike joins the party as "Marica?" and afterwards you'll start to notice some new enemies in random encounters, including differently-colored Saw Kingfishers that are easier to kill, Googly Treet Buds and Googly Seeds. Follow the path. There are two exits in the last area. The one you want will be on the left side of the DS screen. Continue on until you find a save point, and after the scene plays out, exit to the world map and proceed to the Fortress Ruins.
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Head into the building as Hotupa suggests. The path is pretty straightforward, and I don't believe I ran into any random battle here. Eventually, you'll come to a place known as the Gateway. You can't miss it--if you wind up trying to go the wrong direction, "Marica?" will stop you. There are some major plot developments here that I'd rather not spoil, but when all is said and done, another black Saw Kingfisher appears. As it turns out, these are called Renegades--monsters that travel from one world to another. They cannot be killed by the inhabitants of the destination world, which could spell big trouble because this one is on the run and it's up to the party to chase it down.
Backtrack and you'll catch up to it in no time. The trick here is that have everyone can attack and weaken the beast, but only "Marica?" can deal the deathblow. Don't take this guy lightly, either. He can hit for 50-plus points of damage per attack. You'll probably need to use Marica primarily as a healer here while the others make good use of their attack skills. Once again, you'll get to a point where the hero, the real Marica and Jale can't damage it, and at that point, a standard attack by "Marica?" should finish him off. Following the battle, there will be a ton of plot explanation, as well as a return to the Gateway and a failed attempt to cross over into the other Marica's world. Eventually, Hotupa will touch the book and join the combat party, and the group decides to travel north to Cynas.
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The Quest Continues
To get to Cynas, first you must travel through Flesaria Forest North and the town of Greyridge, where you'll first learn about the mysterious Order of the One True Way. What is this group up to, and why do they seem so sinister? For that matter, why couldn't the hero travel through the Gateway? What are the books and why do they only affect certain people? Why is the world going through such massive geological changes, and why is it that only people who have touched the book know about the environment shifts? Those are just some of the many questions left to answer in Suikoden Tierkreis.