"Suikoden (幻想水滸伝, Gensō Suikoden) is a role-playing game series originally created by Yoshitaka Murayama. The game series is loosely based on the classical Chinese novel, Shui Hu Zhuan by Shi Naian and Luo Guanzhong. Shui Hu Zhuan is rendered as 水滸伝 in Japanese, and read as Suikoden. Each individual game in the series center around relative themes of politics, corruption, revolution, mystical crystals known as True Runes and the "108 Stars of Destiny" — the 108 protagonists who are loosely interpreted from the source material.
Though the Suikoden games follow an irregular chronological sequence of events, the entire series takes place within the same world among continuing and overlapping histories. In some cases, several characters appear in multiple installations."
Source: Wikipedia, "Suikoden", available under the CC-BY-SA License.