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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.

In-Game Info
Suikoden 1
A.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.1.2 - How to Recruit?
To recruit Leon, you must have at least 94 other stars recruited, and events must have proceed beyond making an alliance with the Dragon Knights.

A.2) Suikoden 2
A.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?
No, this was a translation error. It was supposed to say, "Kiba fought with Leon and was mortally wounded." The translators misplaced the words, making it sound like Leon was also wounded.

A.2.3 - Does he die at the end?
No, he only cut his wrists, which never really kills people unless you cut all the way down into your artery.

A.2.4 - Is he defeatable?
Yes, in the battle where Shu risks his life with his "fire tactic," put Tsai and Jeane in Viktor's squad. If you are lucky, Jeane and Tsai will attack Leon before he gets close enough to Shu's unit, possibly defeating Leon.

A.3) Suikogaiden Vol. 1
A.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) Childhood
B.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.1.2 - Why did he become a strategist?
The only answer for this is that he is a Silverberg, and Silverbergs always become strategists.

B.2) Family
B.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.2.2 - Is he Odessa's father/brother?
Leon is Odessa's uncle. Odessa's father died when Odessa was young, and Leon has been her guardian ever since.

B.2.3 - Is he Mathiu's father/brother?
Same as Odessa, Leon is Mathiu's uncle. However, because Mathiu and Odessa's father died when Mathiu was still young, Leon became his guardian. Leon taught Mathiu military strategy.

B.2.4 - Does Leon have any other family?
Leon seems to have gotten married early in his life, fathering George Silverberg early enough for his grandson, Albert Silverberg to be born in IS 452. No word is said concerning his wife or whether he has one. However, his grandsons Caesar and Albert took very visible roles in Suikoden 3.

B.3) Career
B.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?
History says that after Leon joined as strategist, the tide of the war changed, and ultimately led to Barbarossa's victory. Details are sketchy. However, before he joined the forces of Barbarossa, Barbarossa's forces were pushed into the Great Forest while Kasim and Kilawher Schulen fought in different fronts--cut off from each other. After Leon joined, the forces were united, and Geil's forces were defeated everywhere.

B.3.3 - Did he orchestrate the Kalekka Massacre?
Two years after the Succession War, Jowston attacked the Scarlet Moon Empire. The empire was still recovering from the Succession War, and people didn't wish to fight another war. Jowston forces kept advancing, and unless morale was brought up, the Scarlet Moon Empire would have suffered a heavy loss--at best. Thus, Leon suggested the infamous Kalekka Incident. The plan was for the Scarlet Moon Empire to send a small force to destroy a small village called Kalekka and blame it on Jowston. With a an adequate blitz of publicity, this would have raised morale and shifted public opinion to pro-war. Leon suggested this plan to Barbarossa himself and the Five Great Generals (Teo McDohl, Kasim Hazil, Kilawher Schulen, Kwanda Rossman, Milich Oppenheimer) and was met with great opposition. In fact, Kilawher Schulen yelled red-faced at Leon for thinking of such a strategy. However, the political and military situations were bad enough to convince all of them that Leon's plan was the only way, and thus the Kalekka Incident was carried out. Leon left his position after this and moved to Kalekka after the incident. However, he informed no-one of his departure, so Leon was officially missing for years since then, which added to his near-legend status.

B.3.4 - Why did he help Mathiu during the Gate Rune War?
Leon calculated that the Liberation Army would most certainly win the Gate Rune Wars. He joined the Liberation Army so the war would end faster.

B.3.5 - Why did he help Jowy Atreides during the Dunan Unification War?
He disappeared again for years after the Gate Rune Wars. However, in IS 460, Jowy Atreides who wished to destroy Luca Blight and unify Dunan under the strong rune of the Highland Kingdom recruited him. Leon agreed to help Jowy because Jowy also wished to end the war as soon as possible. Leon helped Jowy get rid of Agares and Luca so that Jowy himself could become king.

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?
Leon's greatest contribution to the Dunan conflict is that his strategies saved many lives in the end. His strategy to capture Matilda spilled no blood. The Highland army's retreat from Greenhill was also conducted by Leon, minimizing the death toll on the Highland army with a series of retreats and regroupings. Also, he would have brought the Highland Kingdom to a swift victory if not for Jowy's indecision -- Once at the Peace Conference, and second during the Battle at Rockaxe.

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?
Leon first saw Yuber during the Gate Rune Wars, and later learned the "method" to summon Yuber. Back then he thought that Yuber would be a good "chess piece" to use in times of war. He taught the secret "method" to Albert Silverberg, and Albert uses this during the Second Fire Bringer War.

B.4) Personality
B.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?
People often assume this, but Leon does not seek power at all. If anything, he shies away from anything political unless politics could be used to achieve a strategic goal. He is not interested in being a leader, and never manipulates his employer either. As seen in the Dunan Unification War, Leon allowed Jowy to make his own decisions, even if Jowy's decision ended up hurting the chances that the Highland Army had in winning the war. If Leon was a power-monger, he would have overruled Jowy and use the archers to kill Riou (Hero2) and Teresa during the "Peace Conference." Leon makes sure he does his job well, but he never steps beyond his line of duty.

B.4.3 - Does Leon cause war or does he pursue peace?
Leon's strategic maxim is to "end war as fast as possible with minimal loss of human lives."

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 quote by Shu, "I threw away the book because you read it too much," is a mistranslation from the Japanese version. In the Japanese version, Shu doesn't mention any book. He merely says, "there was no way I could have beaten you by military tactics alone, so I had to bet my life."

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.

B.4.5 - Why does he go into hiding?
Leon goes into hiding because he shuns the public who harbor jealousy and fear towards his immense intellect.

B.4.6 - Why does he live in Kalekka?
Leon lives in Kalekka because it is very quiet there--not because he feels any remorse over causing the Kalekka Incident.

B.4.7 - Is Leon stil alive?
Yes, it is confirmed that Leon still lives at the time of Suikoden 3's plot. He apparently lives in a small village in Toran. He would be 64 years old.

C) Data
C.1) Character Bio
Sex:  Male
Age:  49 (at IS 460)
Star:  Chikai Star (In Suikoden 1)
Stats:  +1 to "Strategist" option (Suikoden 1).
14 att, 12 def, Evade & Cavalry (Suikoden 2).
Family:  Geoege Silverberg (son)
Mathiu Silverberg (nephew)
Odessa Silverberg (niece)
Unnamed nephew
Albert Silverberg (grandson)
Caesar Silverberg (grandson)

C.2) Timeline
Solis 411 - Leon Silverberg is born.

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.

D) Conclusion
I just finished writing this FAQ, and to be honest, I didn't know there was this much information on Leon. This depth of character is one of the things that fascinate me about the Genso Suikoden series. Take any character and you could probably write a few paragraphs about them.

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´┐Ż 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.

E) Credits/Acknowledgements
Yoshitaka Murayama, the creator of the Genso Suikoden series, for creating this excellent series.

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!)

F) Copyright Info
This FAQ is the exclusive copyright of suikox.com, 2006. Unauthorized duplications or publication of this FAQ for profit or not-for-profit will be subject to prosecution to fullest legally allowable scope. Permission of duplication for this FAQ must be directed to admin@suikox.com. If permission is given, credit must be given to me, SARSadmin, and if you own a site, a link must be put on your site to www.suikox.com.

This FAQ Copyrighted to suikox.com
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