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    Goppu FAQ by devnull17

    Version: 1.02 | Updated: 05/01/04 | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

                                      SUIKODEN III
                                   GOPPU MINIGAME FAQ
                                      VERSION 1.02
                                       1 May 2004
                                    by Michael Baker
                                     AIM: devnull17
         I. Introduction
        II. The Rules
       III. Strategy
             a. General Technique
             b. AI Behaviors
    	 c. The Brainless, Alternative Way to Win
        IV. Prizes
         V. FAQs
        VI. Odds and Ends
    	 a. Getting the Latest Version of this FAQ
             b. Contributions
             c. Acknowledgements
             d. Revision History
             e. Legal Information
        Goppu is one of the mini-games hidden away in the world of Suikoden III.
    It is surprisingly difficult at its highest level of play--until I sat down and
    devised a strategy, I found it impossible to win even a single game at the
    highest level of competition!  In any case, it's a great way to waste even more
    time on this masterpiece of a game, and I'm almost inspired to build my own
    Goppu-playing AI.  Anyone interested in a competition?  E-mail me for details.
        The game becomes available once Billy joins the Stars of Destiny.  You can
    find him in the statue room on the second floor of Budehuc Castle.  Simply 
    place a figurine on the center pedestal, and Billy will appear and challenge
    you to a game.  Win, and he'll be waiting to play in the library.
        The basic concept is simple: you and your opponent each take a suit of
    cards from a deck.  This will comprise your HAND.  A suit of diamonds is then
    shuffled and placed face-down.  This is the PLAY DECK.  A game of Goppu is
    divided into thirteen TRICKS.  In each trick, the top card of the play deck is
    placed face up on the table.  We'll call this the AUCTIONED CARD.  Each player
    then selects a card from his hand and places it face-down on the table.  These
    cards will be referred to as BIDS.  The cards are revealed simultaneously, and
    the player with the highest bid wins the auctioned card.  In the event of a 
    tie, the card will be CARRIED OVER and awarded to the winner of the next trick.
        One of the more interesting things about Goppu is that the game never fully
    explains the rules.  Billy claims only that you need to have seven cards to
    win, but that's not how the game works.  In actuality, each card is assigned a
    point value from 1 to 13, with Aces, Jacks, Queens and Kings valued at 1, 11,
    12 and 13, respectively.  The winner is the first to 46 points.
        And a few technicalities:
            * If a tie occurs on the last trick of a game, no one wins the points.
            * If each player has an equal number of points at the end of the game,
              a DRAW is declared.  You win nothing in the event of a draw, but I
              believe that Billy takes your money nonetheless.
            * A draw can only occur if there is a tie in the last trick.
            * Everything that has already been played--auctions and bids alike--
              will remain face-up on the table.  Use this information as a
              reference in future tricks.
    -= GENERAL TECHNIQUE ==----------------------------------------------------
        Playing sounds a lot easier than it actually is.  While you can generally
    rely on common sense in the first two levels of play (500 and 2,000 potch,
    respectively), the AI becomes a lot craftier in the 5,000 potch tier.  It
    generally takes a fair amount of time to grow accustomed to the strategy of the
    game.  Here are some basic concepts to get you started:
        * When you WIN a trick, it's to your advantage to beat the computer's
          wager by AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE.
        * When you LOSE a trick, it's to your advantage to make the computer
          beat you by AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE.
        * Always count cards: keep track of the scores of you and your
          opponent, and always watch which of the high cards have been played.
          Generally, I take notice of the 8, 9, 10, J, Q and K cards on each
        * Don't underestimate the importance of a BLUFF.  In a situation where
          you can't possibly win the trick, play a low card.  The higher the
          card the computer drops, the bigger the waste.  Bluffing is vital
          when high cards are at stake.
        * Similarly, watch for AI bluffs.  If you have a King remaining and 
          your opponent doesn't, don't expect the AI to throw down a Queen.  
          Keep your wagers as low as possible while still winning the trick.
        * Finally, remember that tricks can be worth more than thirteen points,
          since points can be carried over on ties.  Bid accordingly.
    -= AI BEHAVIORS ==---------------------------------------------------------
        Additionally, there are several observable patterns in the AI's playing
    style.  These can, of course, be used to your advantage.  Please keep in mind
    that these tendencies are much more apparent in high-level matches.  In lower-
    level games, the AI tends to be much more erratic.  The bottom line is that
    the following tips are better off disregarded in favor of common sense in 500-
    and 2,000-potch games.
        * First and foremost, the computer will always play a certain card on
          the first trick of any game.  The following table tells how the AI
          will behave on the first turn of any game:
              AUCTION CARD           AI BID              RECOMMENDED
                   A                    A                     A
                   2                    5                     A
                   3                    6                     A
                   4                    7                     A
                   5                    8                     A
                   6                    9                     A
                   7                   10                     A
                   8                    J                     A
                   J                    K                     A
                   Q                    2                     3
                   K                    K                     A
          As you can see, it's very often advantageous to play an Ace on the
          opening trick and catch up later.  You may be wondering, however, why
          it's better to hand the first trick to the computer on leading Kings
          and Jacks.  I'll address that very shortly.
        * Remember that tricks can be worth more than thirteen points--the AI
          is quite aware of this, and will up its bid when more is at stake.
          If a high-point tie occurs on the first trick (e.g. the King and Jack
          mentioned in the previous paragraph), the computer will continue to
          match you high card-for-high card in a constant string of ties.  If 
          allowed to continue, this scenario will force a player to choose one
          of two equally undesirable options:
             (a) Forfeit the trick and all of the previous tricks as well,
                 giving the computer a massive point advantage and possibly an
                 automatic win.
             (b) Allow a tie on all thirteen tricks.  You will still pay the
                 full admission cost for the game, but you won't win anything.
          This scenario is known as a BIDDING WAR.  Avoid it at all costs.
        * The AI is also aware of the existance of bidding wars.  On a high-
          value trick that the computer cannot possibly win, expect to see a
          very low bluff.  For instance, if a King is up for grabs, you have a
          King, and your opponent has already expended his King, don't expect
          to see the AI drop a Queen.  In fact, it will very frequently drop
          its lowest card.  While I'm not certain that this behavior occurs
          every time, it is extremely common.
        * The computer will almost always play an Ace on an Ace, if possible.
        * The computer will almost always play a King on a King, if no
          extenuating circumstances apply.
        * When the AI is not bluffing, bids are very often three points above
          the value of the auction card.  For instance, if the computer is
          trying to win a 5, it will most likely play an 8.  Note that this
          behavior becomes more and more erratic as the match progresses, most
          likely due (at least partially) to the fact that more factors 
          influence a game in its latter stages (existing point totals, cards
          played, etc.), as well as the simple fact that the AI has fewer cards
          to choose from.
        * The AI doesn't fool around.  If it can win a game on the current
          trick, it will do so.
        * And one final bit of general strategy: If your highest remaining card
          is higher than the computer's, play the card below it in its stead.
          For instance, if you have both a King and a Queen, and the AI has
          only a Queen, drop the Queen where you would normally play the King.  
          In the event of a tie, you still possess the winning card in a 
          tiebreaker.  Furthermore, the computer does take this into account,
          and will seldom play a high card when it knows it cannot win the
    -= THE BRAINLESS, ALTERNATIVE WAY TO WIN ==--------------------------------
        If you'd rather not think your way through the process, I've been informed
    by a few people that simply playing your cards in order, Ace through King, will
    generally win most games at the highest difficulty level.  I haven't tried it
    myself, but it makes sense.
        Ahh, the section you've no doubt been waiting for.  It seems that all but
    one of the items in each level of difficulty can only be won once.  The unique
    items are marked with an exclamation point.  Also, I'm not entirely sure that
    this is an exhaustive list.  If there's anything I've missed, please let me
        EASY - 500 POTCH        MEDIUM - 2,000 POTCH    DIFFICULT - 5,000 POTCH
        ----------------------- ----------------------- -----------------------
        *Blinking (!)           Recipe #4 (!)           Blue Ribbon (!)
        Peeing Boy (!)          Gloves of Destiny (!)   Guardian Shield (!)
        Moonlight Beads (!)     Mole Armor (!)          Tunic of Prosperity (!)
        Mole Gloves (!)                                 Resistance Ring (!)
        Mega Medicine A         Crystal Ball            Potted Cactus
        A word of advice on how to pawn off the countless unwanted home furnishings
    awarded as prizes in the upper two tiers: The Potted Cacti sell for a cool
    7,500 potch; the warehouse is as good a place as any to dump 'em.  The Crystal
    Balls, thanks to the ducks' seeming infatuation with shiny objects, are worth
    a fortune at the Trading Post at Duck Village.  You can easily quadruple your
    money, and perhaps earn an even bigger cut.
    V. FAQS
        Q:  What happens if I lose to Billy in the statue room?
        A:  He keeps your statue.  You'll have to get another one and play the
            match over again.  My recommendation is just to save before the match,
    	and reset if things don't go your way.
        Q:  Why does Billy give a different set of rules to me?
        A:  I'm not quite sure.  Judging by the surprised reactions of the
            characters to the outcome of each game ("Uhhh... I won?"), it was
            probably intentional, and fits right in with Billy's reputation as a
            swindler, deadbeat dad and all-around miserable human being.
        Q:  Does it matter whether I choose hearts or spades?
        A:  I don't believe so.  It may have something to do with prize selection,
            but I'm pretty sure it's only a matter of personal preference.  I
    	usually choose hearts, as spades stand out more on your opponent's
    	used card pile.
        Q:  Does it matter how many points I win/lose by?
        A:  Almost certainly not.  Since the game stops after someone reaches 46,
            It's most likely that, unlike the horse racing mini-game, point totals
    	don't change the quality of the	prize you receive.
    -= GETTING THE LATEST VERSION OF THIS FAQ ==-------------------------------
        This FAQ has been approved for posting on a number of gaming websites.  
        However, to ensure that you have the latest version, I recommend you check
        GameFAQs (www.gamefaqs.com) or download it directly from my website at 
    -= CONTRIBUTIONS ==--------------------------------------------------------
        Have something to add?  Did I make a mistake?  Just want to ask where to
        send large monetary tributes?
        To contribute to this guide, send email to faq@fooindustries.com, or send 
        me an IM on AOL Instant Messenger at devnull17.
    -= ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ==-----------------------------------------------------
        Just the standard fare.  Thanks to GameFAQs for running such a great site,
        and props to Konami for one of the best RPGs to grace the PS2 thus far.
        Also, thanks to Clloyd987 for pointing out the Mole Armor and Cloak of
        Prosperity prizes.
        Lots of people have provided the missing information to me in the sixteen
        months since I last updated this FAQ.  There are too many of you to name 
        individually, but thanks nonetheless.
    -= REVISION HISTORY ==-----------------------------------------------------
        1 May 2004 - Version 1.02
            Added a few missing pieces.  I'm still missing a few, though; Hotmail
    	    seems to have deleted all of my old email.  Awesome.
        16 December 2002 - Version 1.01
            Fixed a few formatting mistakes.
    	Updated prize list.  Thanks to Clloyd987 for the info.
    	Did a thorough proof-reading.  The FAQ now reads like I'm a native
    	    speaker of English. :)
    	Added a few new questions to the FAQ section.
        14 December 2002 - Version 1.00
            Initial Version.
    -= LEGAL INFORMATION ==----------------------------------------------------
        While the following sounds kind of harsh, I'm pretty easygoing with things
        like this.  This FAQ was meant to be shared; I'd just like to know where
        it's going and what people are doing with it.  Please get permission
        before you post it somewhere--it's an easy thing to do, and it doesn't
        take very long.  Thanks.
        Copyright 2002-04 Michael S. Baker.
        The contents of this guide may be not be reproduced or modified under any
        circumstances except for personal, private use. It may not be placed on any
        web site or otherwise distributed publicly without advance written 
        permission. Use of this guide on any other web site or as a part of any
        public display is strictly prohibited, and a violation of copyright.

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