This weekend, we were pointed to a Suikoden II Retrospective Review by the Resonant Arc channel on YouTube, which, along with being a solid, well-produced piece extolling the virtues of the game itself, also features conversations with series creator Yoshitaka Murayama. Mr. Murayama explained the development reasons for choosing to stick with 2D sprites at a time when many games were moving to 3D models, and, most interestingly, debunks a long-standing rumor regarding the sequel's development timeline.
This news was directed to us via our Phoenix Edge RPG Podcast partners, so I'll pass along Robert "Hat" Hatfield's message:
A friend of mine, Mike Brown, who runs the Resonant Arc YouTube channel (formerly Dark Pixel Gaming) just released a Suikoden II Retrospective on his channel, that unearthed never before heard information on Suikoden II's development. What is special about this particular retrospective, is he was able to interview Yoshitaka Murayama, the creator of the Suikoden franchise. Prior to the interview, Mike did extensive research into whether Murayama had worked on Suikoden II prior to the original Suikoden, which is what most websites, and magazines have reported in the West for the last 15 years. After his interview, Murayama acknowledged that this belief in the West was a mistranslation and false, and in fact, he did not have any plans or work completed on Suikoden II's story, prior to Suikoden. In a nutshell, he just debunked something that originated with LEVEL, a Swedish magazine, and was repeated in the West by publications such as Game Informer. He posted copies of his emails with Mr. Murayama in his description.
It's a surprising insight, and certainly not one I expected to hear 21 years after a game's release! It just goes to show there's always more to learn. In any case, check out the full video here:
Updated 12:48pm: Our original article cited a source of the rumors as a Polish magazine, when it was in fact, Swedish magazine LEVEL. Thank you to @SuikodenRevival on Twitter for catching this!