Though it has been previously reported that Suikoden III's battle system will take full
advantage of the PlayStation 2's 3-D graphics capabilities, few details have been revealed.
The game will employ a Free Position Battle system, where characters can be placed anywhere on the
battle field. This is sure to increase the level of strategy over that of previous
Suikoden games, in which the party is arranged in a constant block formation. In Suikoden III,
characters can be moved to a different location after attacking instead of returning to the same position.
Long-range characters, for example, can be moved to locations where they are safe from enemy attacks.
A buddy system will also be implemented, where characters in the front row can team up with the characters
directly behind them. These teams are treated as a single unit and commands are entered once on behalf of the unit.
The way buddies function depends on the types of characters used. For example, if a warrior is in the front
and a magic-user is to the back, the warrior will advance towards the enemy when attacking, while the magic-user will
hang to the rear and defend. It is also possible to perform unite attacks akin to those featured in past Suikoden
games with compatible characters who are buddies.
Characters can also ride various animals in battle, and unlike the buddy system described above, both rider
and beast are treated as separate entities. Although both can attack enemies at the same time, each will receive damage
Additionally, Suikoden III's battle system features a fully rotatable camera so players will always be
able to get the best view of the action--a first in the Suikoden series. Suikoden III's PSone progenitors
featured a battle camera that automatically zoomed and rotated.
Suikoden III is currently on track for a March 2002 release in Japan. The game was originally set for a December 2001
release until Konami announced a delay earlier this month. The game is confirmed for a 2002 North American release though no specific date
has been mentioned.