Suikoden 2 Riou Jowy Kyaro
Highland Youth Brigade
Riou (you) and Jowy are part of a youth squad, in Highland. You can wonder around the area at night but choose to sleep - you are woken up by the screams of war. An ambush has been set.
You are told to run east, but after a few screens Jowy says it'd be smarter to go the other way. As you get back to camp, you see that this was a setup by Rowd and Luca Blight. Continue to run left to the cliff, but Rowd catches you. Defeat the Highland soldiers with your unite attack (attacks all for 1x damage). Choose to jump off the side and Riou will be stranded from Jowy.
A familiar face from Suikoden I finds you. Viktor takes you to his fort. But since you are from Highland, they want an explanation of what happened on that night and also you are still their prisoner.
The next day, Pohl comes to greet you. Pohl is assigned to take care of you while you are at the fort, and he has you push some boxes to the wall. Then, you need to gather some things for him like Flint, Boots and Flour. You can get the former two but Flour is at Ryube. Talk to Pohl, then Leona.
With Gengen and Tuta, head northeast to Ryube. You probably won't even get in a battle. Go straight to the Item Shop to get the Flour. Then you can do whatever you want around town before heading back southwest to the Mercenary Fortress.
Return to Pohl and he gives you a task the next day. Wiping up oil. Check all the floors including the northernmost room on the top floor. Return to Pohl, eat, and go to sleep.
At night, Jowy breaks in. As you try to leave though, Flik and Viktor capture you. Tell them what really happened with the Unicorn Youth Brigade. Viktor has you stay at the Merc Fortress, but Jowy has other plans at night and breaks out. Just make your way to the top floor.
First at Ryube, go watch the circus performers. Don't move during the demonstration. It doesn't matter if you succeed here though. Eilie, Bolgan and Rina join you.
North Sparrow Pass
Rina charms her way into the pass for your party. Head north to the next area.
At the first fork, take the west path for an HP / Rune restoration pool and a Fire Wall magic item. East route leads to the third area of North Sparrow Pass. As you travel north in this area take the east fork for an Escape Talisman, then northwest to continue on.
East for a Brass Armor, then take the long winding road north via the west fork. A Journeyman Crystal is in the next area to the east, then rest up before going north.
Mist Shade is here, your first boss. First of all, you will want to expend your Fire Wall and Flaming Arrows. Also Rina's Angry Blow. This should give you a good head start. The Mist Shade will generally attack you with physical attacks in it's first form, then will morph into a female and cast lightning for lesser damage but on everyone. If you just spam your magical items especially the fire magic, you should prevail in 3 or 4 turns. 2000 Potch and Kindness Drops are your rewards.
Follow the path north, going east when you can for a Feathered Hat then north to exit.
The circus parts with you at the gate. Jowy goes to his house, and you should go towards yours too. Go west, but north right away in the next screen. North all the way to the top, where you can see mountains in the background. See that big tree? Search it three times. Mukumuku joins you! This is one of the hardest recruits in the game to get if you don't know where to look.
Back south and west to see Nanami in the back yard. Before you leave the house with her, check Genkaku's room for ? Book and a Urn nearby.
As you leave, the highlanders try to stop you and Nanami (well, and Mukumuku too). You will smoke them, but Rowd then comes and the highlanders escort you off. Meanwhile Jowy is kicked out of his house for his actions. Looks like it's the end for Jowy and Riou.
They are saved by Viktor and Flik. The party then runs out of Kyaro and through North Sparrow Pass.
You now have a bit more freedom and are asked to go around and recruit fellow mercenaries. Fill up your party with Leona and head out. Hopefully you have Mukumuku, he has a high attack and is an asset over the mediocre characters you will be acquiring and already have (like Gengen, for example).
The nearest town to visit of course is northeast, Ryube. The guy passed out in blue is Rikimaru. Offer to go inside the Inn and feed him, but he basically costs 3000 potch as you need to pay the Inn for all the food he eats. Rikimaru is a short range sword user and a decent meat shield with his high HP totals.
Millie is in the northeast part of Ryube and is looking for her pet Bonaparte. Choose to help her with this, and then maybe go to the Blacksmith to sharpen weapons a bit if you have any Potch left. Go into the northeast forest. Take the northwest route as you get to the T. Search the baby bird and put it back in it's nest.
Now, return to the T and head east. Next screen you will see Bonaparte so continue that way. You see that Bonaparte can turn into a monster of sorts, and a battle begins. Use the Family Attack and just wail on him. He can chomp on you but if you sharpened your weapons even a little you should be in good shape. After the battle, Millie joins the 108 Stars of Destiny.
Back to where that bird's nest was, and you see a man named Kinnison and his dog Shiro. Take credit for setting that bird's nest back up and they are thankful and join you. Kinnison is a long-range bow user, but he lacks magical capabilities and his attack is limited. His Unite attack with Shiro for 1.5 damage on one enemy and .5 on enemies behind that enemy saves his values. Shiro is a beast in battle. His attack and agility are high, and though he has a low defense he can dodge and counter well. Hand him a Fury Rune (rare at Muse Rune Shop) or a Double-Beat Rune (dropped randomly from the bunnies in this area) and watch him maul enemies.
Leave Ryube at this point.
Northwest of North Sparrow Pass and Ryube is the village of Toto. Pilika is here and recognizes uncle Jowy. Before you follow her to her house, go east to the Inn. Speak with the eccentric man in yellow, Zamza. If you have Nanami in your party you can recruit him after a scene. Zamza is a balanced threat - hand him an attack rune like the Lightning Rune. He also has a decent attack and a useful but harmful rune. His only downside is that Zamza is a bit soft for a front line fighter and slow, but overall provides good value.
You can appraise the ? book you found at Genkaku's home in Kyaro. It is Old Book Volume 1.
Speak with Pilika at her home. This is the family that found Jowy and restored his health. Jowy and Pilika are good friends and Pilika has a request for you two; go to Muse and get a Wooden Amulet for her.
Muse City is through the northwest exit of Toto and further northwest to the huge capital of the City-State, Muse. Check out the Rune Shop here - it might be worth building up some Potch to be able to buy some runes here. Especially the Fury Rune which allows you to be in berserk status throughout and thus a higher attack. Anyway, buy some Fire Runes if you want and then go to the Item shop. Pilika's Wooden Amulet is here but more expensive than she had thought. Buy it anyway for her. Rest at the Inn if you wish and then just head on out back to Toto.
Back at Toto...it is a disaster. The villager has been burned down, Pilika is alive thankfully but traumatized. You'll be taking her with and as you leave, you run into Apple. Remember Apple from Suikoden I? She is more involved in Suikoden II. She is looking for Viktor so tell her about the Mercenary Fortress. Time to head back there to alert them of Luca Blight's terror.
First though, leave Tuta and re-enter. Look around for Hanna, a warrior similar to Rikimaru. Not a flashy fighter but he may be of some use if you have to use him (more on this later).
Back to the Mercenary Fortress and if you loaded Suikoden I data, Apple and Viktor and Flik have a special chat. Leona comes to Jowy and Riou, so then go to the top of the fort and talk to Viktor and Flik.
Viktor and Flik need you to go to the Ryube Forest to get Tsai, who is experienced with Fire Spears. You may remember Fire Spears with the Liberation Army of Suikoden I. You get 2000 potch to persuade him. Put in a decent party, and head out.
Remember where you put the bird in the nest for Kinnison and Shiro? Take this northwest route and take the west fork for a Gauntlet and Leather Cape. East all the way now across the bridge and you will come to Tsai's home.
Tsai willingly joins you without any potch needed. He joins you and you can head back to Ryube village.
Unfortunately, horrific scenes happen as you get back to town. Luca assassinates villagers as the Highland army burns Ryube down. Clearly the highland army is moving quickly and the Mercenary Fortress is next.
Back at the Merc Fortress, rest and save. Then talk to Flik and Viktor at the top - offer to help as Jowy wants to as well. But Flik challenges you to a duel to see if you are worthy. You do not need to defeat Flik by eliminating his entire health bar, just do about 1 / 4th damage to him and the battle will be over. Tell them you are ready, and war battle begins.
War Battle vs. Solon Jhee at Merc Fortress
This is your first battle, so Apple gives you a tutorial of sorts. In this battle, you will only want to use the Fire Spears. It can attack three spaces on the grid, so try to line it up so you get 2 or even 3 enemies in your range. It is not for sure that it will do damage to an enemy, but it is about 50 / 50 as far as the likelihood. Units in these war battles only have two damage points so if you manage to take out the enemy in this fashion, they will retreat from battle. Solon Jhee is aided by Seed and Culgan here but you should be able to hold them off.
Without much fanfare, the group at the Mercenary Fortress see that the enemy is on top of them. It is the same forces led by Solon Jhee, pressing forward. Alas, Luca Blight of Highland emerges behind the Mercenary Fortress and wreaks havoc. Once he gets in the Fortress, the battle is over. Just as good because he would slaughter your units.
The scene shifts to the Mercenary Fortress. Jowy wants to rescue Pilika but you will have to fight Highlanders as you go around the Fortress. Go to the top of the Fortress, in the strategy room. Luca Blight is in here with Pohl and Pilika. Luca slashes Pohl down to his death, and prepares to do the same to Pilika. Riou and Jowy fight him off but Luca still is ready to attack. Thankfully, Flik comes in after a Fire Spear explosion stuns Luca, and the group flees. Watch the scene and you will be out of the Mercenary Fortress.
As you leave, your party will form randomly. You are to rendevous at Muse City.
Which characters you draw here severely impacts the upcoming hour or two of gameplay, as a tough dungeon looms and if you get crappy characters like Millie or Gengen you could be in trouble. If you have any luck, Shiro and or Zamza will be in your party.
Make your way through Toto, and the party stops at the Shrine. Within, Jowy and Riou go ahead and meet Leknaat. Lots of stories about those two and it seems they will play an important role here. Jowy acquires the Black Sword Rune and Riou the Bright Shield Rune. The Black Sword Rune is probably the most powerful rune in the entire game, with all four magic spells taking off a lot of damage. The third level Black Sword Rune spell will be vital in the upcoming ruins. Riou meanwhile turns into a healer with the ability to heal everyone and cause Berserk status.
You cannot get into Muse City. You need a pass evidently, and Viktor is not exactly at the border to usher you in. Return southeast to that White Deer Inn.
White Deer Inn
As you get to the White Deer Inn, speak with Hilda and Alex and stay the night. Next day Alex wants to go in those Sindar Ruins so offer to help him as you can get a way into Muse maybe. There is a Rune Shop and Item Shop here if you need it, otherwise head in with Alex.
This is the difficult dungeon mentioned earlier, with grueling random battles. You will gain a lot of levels but may need to go back to the White Deer Inn to rest at some point in this journey.
First fork, take the west route and grab the Mega Medicine x3 and Stone of Magic. Continue on north until you get to an east route, which leads to a dead end but an Angry Blow item. Take the bridge east and north for a Gauntlet. Now, follow the south-most route under the bridge and into the next part of the Sindar Ruins.
Walk ahead and push the statue in it's obvious spot. Now you can enter the room for Shoulder Pads and a Round Iron Plate. Return to that marking in the wall with the door you passed earlier, and use the Round Iron Plate to open the door.
A double headed snake statue is ahead. Lots of passages in this area so remember this central spot to come back to in case you need to exit for a time. Left in this new area to find a Triangle Plate, and further left for a door that is half open and slip through for a Fire Lizard Crystal.
Back to the Double Headed snake, and north a bit until you can go east. Put the Triangle Plate in to reduce the water level. Now you can go back to the far north to get to the sewer area and north all the way for Chain Mail. Travel west a bit and south quite a bit until you see a Water Rune just a bit to the left. Further north and west for the Square Iron Plate.
Return all the way to the Double Headed Snake Statue. East here to use that Square Iron Plate and grab the Old Book Volume 2 and Magic Drain Crystal. Notice you still have the Square Iron Plate after this since you need to use it just north and west of the Double Headed Snake Statue. Within, a Save Point and you may wish to return to the White Deer Inn and rest up.
Past the save point is the Double-Headed Snake that you saw as a statue earlier. It is a tough enemy especially if you got weaker characters when you were randomly assigned a party after leaving the Mercenary Fortress. Anyway, you will still have Jowy and Piercing One (Level 3 Black Sword Rune magic) and Riou your hero can use Great Blessing to stay healed and Berserk some allies. For winning, you acquire the Spark Rune. This allows all allies to attack immediately after the character who acts with the Spark Rune. Thus, give it to someone fast like Nanami and everyone in your party will have her agility.
Further along and Alex finds the Sindar Treasure - a healing herb. Use an Escape Talisman if you have one, and leave to the White Deer Inn.
White Deer Inn
As you get back without the treasure, the kids panic because Hilda is sick. She is in permanent sleep mode. What to do? Take the hero back to the Sindar Ruins entrance, and grab the healing herb. Return the healing herb to the White Deer Inn and you will find that it restores Hilda's health. That is the gift from the Sindar.
Alex and Hilda show their appreciation by giving you the Muse entry passes.
Try to enter with the Muse Entry passes from Alex. Unfortunately, your act is weak and the Muse guards throw you in jail.
Thankfully, Viktor comes in and bails you guys out. Go to the Muse Bar to drop Pilika off with Leona, and then work your way to the northeast part of Muse. A lady named Elza will stop you and ask you to carry the two packages to the entrance of Muse. A man named Clive comes by after this, but say you haven't seen the woman.
At the front of Muse now, give the packages to Elza. Clive finds you two, but Elza holds you up as a sacrifice. Clive ends up chasing Elza out of Muse, but this is an important, time-based sidequest throughout the game and this was step 1. So we'll pick this up a few hours later when you can do more with it.
At the town hall, meet with Viktor and go see Anabelle. Anabelle is the mayor of Muse and greets you. After speaking with them go to Jess in the northeast room. He has a suggestion for you and Jowy about entering Highland to see how many supplies they have and thus if they are going to attack quickly or be patient. Check the shelf for a ? book and return to Leona's bar.
You should see an interesting lady at the bar named Anita. Before talking to her, go buy some Antitoxin at the Item Shop. Speak with her a few times until she requests something of you (either Antitoxin or pouring her a drink). Talk to Leona to get a drink for her if she asks for it. Then, leave Muse and re-enter. Talk to Anita a few more times until she requests another task - keep doing this for her and eventually she thanks you for your efforts. At this point, ask her to join your group. Anita is a powerful ally for you with her Falcon Rune, a solid front-line fighter. If you miss her you can recruit her later but I advise just getting her now. West a bit and north of the Inn to see Tuta walking around. Speak with him to recruit him as Doctor Huan gives him permission to join you. Also, if you talk to Huan a few times he will give you Recipe #3.
Leave Muse and go north to the Muse-Highland Border. East through the secret passage, and all the way east in the forest for a Circuret. Now start heading north, and before you know it you will be in the Highland Camp and Jowy and Riou change outfits to the Highland Unicorn Youth Brigade.
Check out the provisions in the northeast of camp. Rowd then sees you so you have to flee - but take the Fire Sealing Crystal in the northeast first. Then, go to the Royal Tent which is Jillia's Tent. Jowy and Riou talk to Jillia for the night and drink some tea. Eventually, you have to leave.
When you do, Rowd is there waiting. He knew Jillia was lying. Start fighting the Highlanders, but eventually Jowy sacrifices himself so you can escape. You have no choice but to leave, so do back to Muse.
Try to go to the council room but Jess seems to be busy. Return to the Inn but Flik and Viktor see Jowy is gone. They are extremely upset that Jess asked you guys to go considering you are young and Jowy is now captured.
Viktor joins your party and just busts into the council hall room at the north part of Muse. Back to the Inn and Nanami will go wait for Jowy. You can wait for her or just return to the Inn. Eventually, Jowy comes back at night. Somehow, he got back even though Highland had a huge number advantage. Time to sleep for the night.
In the morning, you are woken up. Everyone is at the Jowston Hilltop Conference, but check the Rune Shop to see if another Fury Rune is there in the Rarities. Then, head to that Jowston Hilltop Conference and Viktor and Flik join you. Inside, Gorudo of Matilda bumps into Nanami before the conference. You also meet Makai of Two Rivers, Teresa of Greenhill and Gustav of Tinto. Some of the members of the City-State are willing to send reinforcements with Highland on the attack, while others are reluctant. However, before the meeting ends a messenger comes in saying that Highland is marching towards Muse as we speak.
War Battle vs. Highland at Muse City
Anabelle asks Viktor and friends to hold off the Highland army until City-State reinforcements come. So, rest and save then talk to Viktor at the Inn. It is absolutely essential you save here.
As the battle starts, Flik and Viktor recognize Gilbert. Now if you do damage to him, he will join you. But as you probably already noticed, doing damage can be very random so that's why you save here in case you can't do damage to Gilbert. You then lose that recruit forever. However, once you do damage Gilbert decides to switch sides. Continue to use the Fire Spears in this battle, on Gilbert and everyone else. Miklotov and the Matilda Knights come in to aid you from the west.
After the battle, speak with Nanami and you will see Jowy and Kage speaking. Talk to Anabelle the day after and then return to the Inn to speak with Nanami. Lurk around outside by the Council Hall and you will see Kage and Jowy talking once more. Shady activities on Jowy's part. Confront him but soon it will be night time.
At night, Viktor and Anabelle have a chat at the Muse City Council Hall. Then, Nanami and Riou decide to go visit her. Unfortunately, Jowy is already here. You may have foreseen the scene ahead with Jowy's shadiness, but nonetheless Jowy flees the scene as you and Nanami get there. Jess comes in and it looks like Jowy has framed you as you two are there with an ailing Anabelle.
Rush to the Inn to get Pilika. Leona says to meet up again at South Window.
As you get outside of Muse, Nanami ponders Jowy's decision. You are in the southwest part near Coronet, so head into Coronet.
Coronet is a port town southwest of Muse where the Suikoden II walkthrough guide will pick up.