The Leon Silverberg FAQ
Leon Silverberg--what does this name make Suikoden gamers think of? The Kalekka Incident? The enemy strategist? The strategist that goes by the book? The purpose of this FAQ is to give people a new look into the complex character of Leon Silverberg, the "genius strategist" of the Suikoden world.
Suikoden 1A.1.1 - Where is he?
In Suikoden 1, Leon can be found in the Village of Kalekka, in the first house you could enter when you enter Kalekka from Kirov.
A.2) Suikoden 2A.2.1 - How do you recruit him?
Leon cannot be recruited on the player's side in Suikoden 2.
A.2.2 - Does he die with Kiba?
A.2.4 - Is he defeatable?
A.3) Suikogaiden Vol. 1A.3.1 - Is Nash related to Leon?
Although Nash does say he is a Silverberg when he gives a speech in Greenhill, this was simply a hoax to make Greenhill soldiers agree to follow Nash's orders.
B) General Questions
B.1) ChildhoodB.1.1 - Do we know anything about Leon's youth?
Leon Silverberg was born within the Silverberg family in IS 411. Because the Silverbergs have always been a family renowned as military tacticians, he was probably schooled in military tactics from his youth. However, Leon is known as a vagabond who rarely took residence in Gregminster.
B.2) FamilyB.2.1 - Is Leon the first strategist from the Silverberg family?
No, the Silverbergs have been strategists since the very beginning of the Scarlet Moon Empire. Julian Silverberg was a strategist who helped Kranach Rugner achieve independence from Harmonia more than 200 years before Suikoden 1 took place.
B.2.3 - Is he Mathiu's father/brother?
B.2.4 - Does Leon have any other family?
B.3) CareerB.3.1 - When did Leon Silverberg start his career as strategist?
Leon's major debut in history is oddly triggered by the suggestion of his nephew, Mathiu.
In IS 446, the Succession War erupted between Barbarossa Rugner and Geil Rugner. Mathiu, who was an idealistic young man, volunteered to fight for Barbarossa, and served under Kasim Hazil as a strategist. It was then that Mathiu suggested to Barbarossa that he had an uncle who was an excellent strategist. Leon was immediately recruited as Barbarossa's Army Strategist. However, Leon never was a formal member of the Scarlet Moon Army--this was because he despised rank and honor, which dragged unnecessary responsibilities that only made his job difficult.
B.3.2 - How did he contribute to the Succession War?
B.3.3 - Did he orchestrate the Kalekka Massacre?
B.3.4 - Why did he help Mathiu during the Gate Rune War?
B.3.5 - Why did he help Jowy Atreides during the Dunan Unification War?
Leon provided Jowy with opportunities to crush the Dunan Allied Forces, but Jowy ultimately failed to co-operate, prolonging the war. In the end, Leon led troops himself to defend the borders of Highland, but is met by Shu's attempt to kill him. Leon narrowly escapes this attempt, and in the end released the Beast Rune once Riou arrived at L'Renouille to make sure those who were capable would destroy Luca's last weapon. He then disappeared.
B.3.6 - What was Leon's contribution to the Dunan Unification War?
In the end, he helped reduce the death toll on both sides of the battle. However, his greatest contribution is that he helped make it possible for the Allied Forces to kill Luca. Without Leon informing Shu of Luca's night raid, there would have been no possible way for the Allied Forces to win against Luca.
B.3.7 - How did Leon know Yuber?
B.4) PersonalityB.4.1 - Why is Leon so bitter?
Leon is bitter largely by the nature of his upbringing, but some of the reason lies in his own genius. Because he is so well known and highly skilled as a strategist, he becomes a target of jealousy in times of peace. Leon hates all this politics, and has always withdrawn from society after war has ended. This is why he is often heard saying, "Silverbergs are only remembered during times of war..." because he is bitter over how his existence is only acknowledged during times of conflict.
B.4.2 - Is Leon a conceited power monger?
This maxim of his is not rooted in emotion, but moreso in economics. To Leon, the wonton loss of human lives is "inefficient and wasteful," and for that reason must be kept at a minimum.
B.4.4 - Does Leon "Read the book" too much?
The change in the American version makes Leon sound like an inferior tactician, but in reality even Shu acknowledges that Leon is superior. The scene at the burning forest is in essence an acknowledgement by Shu that he cannot match Leon's skill. Yoshitaka Murayama, the creator of the Genso Suikoden series states that this very battle was "a tough admission of defeat" by Shu. This is not only because Shu failed to achieve his strategic goal of killing Leon, but he also had to admit that he was inferior to Leon by relying on luck instead of calculated military strategy.
Solis 430~434? - Leon fathers George Silverberg around this time.
Solis 446 - Leon Silverberg is invited by Mathiu Silverberg to join Barbarossa Rugner in the Succession War. Leon is quickly employed as Barbarossa's Army Strategist and deploys strategies to defeat Geil Rugner's forces.
Solis 447 - Leon Silverberg helps Barbarossa defeat Tinto/South Window forces who tried to take advantage of the Scarlet Moon Empire's internal turmoil.
Solis 448 - Leon Silverberg proposes the Kalekka Massacre. The plan was initially resisted by most of the Five Great Generals, but in the end all of them agreed that that was the only way out of conquering anti-war sentiments within the nation. Leon Silverberg leaves Barbarossa's service following the incident.
Solis 452 - Albert Silverberg, Leon's grandson is Born.
Solis 457 - Leon Silverberg is again invited by Mathiu Silverberg-- but this time to aid in his battle to topple Barbarossa Rugner. Leon agrees to help Mathiu and aids in the destruction of the Scarlet Moon Empire.
Solis 459 - Caesar Silverberg, Leon's second grandson is Born.
Solis 460 - Leon Silverberg is approached by Jowy Atreides who needed his help to end the Dunan Unification War with the fewest casualties. Leon agrees with Jowy's vision and helps Jowy rid Highland of Luca Blight, and tries his best to bring victory to Highland. He vanishes after the fall of L'Renouille.
When I first saw Leon Silverberg in Suikoden 1, I didn't understand who he was and what his role was at all. To me he was just some odd character in Kalekka, and of course I didn't know how to get him in my first try at the game. When I played Suikoden 2, I finally realized the depth of Leon Silverberg's character. He is an incredibly sophisticated and intelligent man, but has an odd naivet� about him. His actions are guided by his fierce idealism of ending war with the fewest casualties, and his own vision of how a strategist should be is what defines his entire being. We get to see a glimpse of this during the "burning woods" scene.
What I like about Leon is that he breaks the stereotype of strategists. Strategists, stereotypically, have to be young, good-looking, peace loving, yet unemotional and calm. We can see this stereotype in action when we see Shu and Klaus (and older archetype such as Zhuge Liang and Zhou Yu from the Romance of the Three Kingdoms come to mind). In contrast, Leon is a fiercely bitter man who is unpersonable at best. He is callous and rude as well, and to him every human life is of equal worth when it comes to war, he has no favorites nor does he have any intense hatreds. He also gets angry at times, which is traditionally a big no-no for strategists. I guess above all, I enjoy how fiercely difficult Leon is, and how he shows us a glimpse of the "human condition" and man's struggle against the ultimate, and the ultimate failure that always claims those who are such gifted geniuses.
Fumi Ishikawa, chief designer for the characters for designing Leon Silverberg's appearance, and also for how nice she was when I met her at the KonamiTYO headquarters.
KonamiTYO for funding and marketing this excellent game, which without, there would have never been any Leon Silverberg.
My fellow admins at Suikosource.com for tolerating me as the ruthless Editor-In-Chief that I am, and for bringing me joy in working with a fabulous team.
My mother and father for the support and understanding they showed while I grew up playing video games day in and day out! (And for providing funding for all the video games!)
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