| I've seen the brilliance in you. The kind of brilliance that this age needs.
The hero was a war orphan who was adopted and raised by Genkaku at his dojo in Kyaro Town. Nanami was also picked up by Genkaku in similar circumstances and in short order a close brother-sister relationship was formed. When the two were old enough, Genkaku trained both of them in the martial arts. The two continued to grow healthy and progress smoothly in their martial arts training. He received his circlet when Genkaku bought it for him at the first fair he had ever seen.
Following Genkaku's death, he enlisted in the Unicorn Brigade alongside his best friend, Jowy Atreides, whom he also studied martial arts with. The two were equally matched, tying in the final of a tournament of Unicorn Brigade officers. They excelled in the group and both believed that their futures lay in the Highland Army. However, after escaping the slaughter of the Unicorn Brigade by Luca Blight by jumping from Tenzan Pass, he was discovered by Viktor and Flik. He would escape with Jowy and return to Kyaro Town where they were condemned as spies of the City-State.
After being rescued from execution by Viktor, he would be forced to flee the Mercenary Fortress when the Highland Army invaded. He would gain the Bright Shield Rune in Toto Village and after escaping Muse City would become leader of the New State Army. While they both had the same desire for peace, their differences in how to pursue this meant that he would quickly stand opposed to Jowy, with the support of Nanami, Viktor and many other allies.
Despite his own losses such as the loss of his friendship with Jowy and the apparent death of Nanami at Rockaxe Castle, he continued to grow as a leader and fought for his dream; a peaceful world for his friends to live in. Although it started as a small group, the New State Army would gain rapid momentum, becoming a mighty torrent backed by the charm and magnetism of its leader. He would lead the army to victory, sweeping away the Highland Kingdom and ending the Dunan Unification War.
Following the war, he was able to reunite with both Nanami and Jowy, marking his own personal victory. Even if he should face further hardships in the future, the support of his friends should allow him to keep moving forward.
The hero of Suikoden II has no in-game name, but is occasionally referred to by different names in other publications and releases. In the 2000 novelization, as well as the 2008 Radio Genso Suikoden: Assemble! 108 Stars! radio drama, he is called Riou (リオウ, Riou), the most popular name used for him by fans. The 2009 manga, Genso Suikoden The Being Torn Spirit, gives him a different name, Tao (タオ, Tao).
In guide books, he is usually referred to as HeroII (主人公II) or some variant thereof, such as II主人公 to distinguish himself as the protagonist of the second Suikoden title. All Genso Suikoden Card Stories cards featuring him also refer to him simply as 主人公 as the hero of the first game is referred to as McDohl.