Suikoden V was directed by Takahiro Sakiyama and written by Kazuyoshi Tsugawa. It centers around the political struggles of the Queendom of Falena, and takes place six in-universe years before the events of the first Suikoden. The player controls the Prince of Falena, Freyjadour, and travels the world, acquiring allies and dealing with the problems of the nation. The game features a vast array of characters, with over sixty characters usable in combat and many more able to help or hinder the Prince in a variety of ways.
Suikoden V is a console role-playing game and thus shares many traits with past titles in the series. A new feature involves a party member specifically following Freyjadour onscreen, who can be spoken to in order to remind the player what the party's current task is should they forget; the majority of the time this character is Lyon, the Prince's bodyguard, but task-specific or story-specific characters occupy the role as well.
Suikoden V introduces the player with new features, the system of supporting members Stars of Destiny have been expanded, now if a blacksmith, a rune master, an appraiser is in your party he can do the tasks it does at your headquarters such as appraising, sharpen your weapons or equiping runes directly from the menu. The Battle system have been returned to 6 battle members, it's predecessor Suikoden IV, had only 4 battle members, thing which annoyed a bit the Suikoden fans. In addition to the battle system, the battle formation system, now the player have the possibility to access many formations which makes the battles more interesting. The Tactical battle System is now fully in real time unlike its predecessors. The Duel system have also been expanded and it is more dynamical, the fact that the player have now limited time to execute an action add a new dimension to the duels. The recruitment system have also been revised and now the 108 Stars of Destiny are a lot more harder to recruits, in fact for most of them, it is almost a sidequest by itself.
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- This is the only Suikoden game not to mention the name Schtolteheim Reinbach III.
- This title has a peculiar feature; if a Star of Destiny dies in combat, there is a high chance that other Stars of Destiny related to that character may leave your army. For example, if Belcoot dies in combat, Marina and Hazuki will leave your army.
- Suikoden V is the only numbered entry in the series to lack the famous bonus feature from loading saves from the earlier titles. You don't get anything for having saves from previous entries (such as longtime veterans getting bonus status boosts), nor does this game's save confer any benefits for future titles.
- Suikoden V allegedly began as a gaiden game unrelated to the early entries, but was changed in mid-development to be the fifth and final installment of the True Rune series.