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Gaming Console RPG Clich


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I came across a very interesting site earlier today. Some people have made a hilarious list of the clichés that appear on roleplaying games for consoles.

Here is the link: [url]http://project-apollo.net/text/rpg.html[/url]

Anybody who has played at least few rpgs on consoles will recognize the many familiar references from this list, and at least I got some new insight about rpgs and their nature.

As I have a little hobby of making fictive rpg-scripts, I found the list quite useful, even though it is written with a twinkle in the eye. ;) Naturally I try my best to avoid the most obvious clichés in my writings.

I'm a sort of person that gets irritated from encountering too many clichés, but luckily many rpgs contain enough original and unique stuff so I can look past the all-too-familiar-features (such as the main lead is always a youngster wielding a huge sword, the leading lady gets kidnapped half a dozen times during the storyline etc.)

What do you guys feel about these repetitive features in rpgs, also known as clichés? Do they irritate you, or do you actually prefer to see them in rpgs?
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[font=trebuchet ms]I think the people who make lists like this all keep in good contact with one another... or steal from eachother. I've seen like three-fourths of that on another list.

I really hate cliches, but some games use them to an extent or alter them and it makes the game cooler, such as some of the collaries.

The parts I haven't seen were funny, though. ~_^[/font]
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[color=darkred]I don't find RPG cliches to be much of a problem, because there are many other things that can go wrong in an RPG that would repel the player's interest in it, such as buggy battles systems.

I think the main reasoning behind the vast amounts of cliches in RPGs comes from why they are so popular in the first place. Characters that appear mysterious and have the odd "dark past" are usually okay in my books, because it gives the overall storyline a chance to delve into their personalities, and how they'd cope in an ordinary setting. I mean, if the characters were just "there", and had no bearing on the story or on any of the other characters then I'd get bored pretty fast.

But, on a light note, if there was an audition to get a role in any RPG, I'd imagine you'd need some fancy form of elocution, a weird but acceptable hair-do, and a weapon or fighting style that would prove totally unpractical, if not then useless.[/color]
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Ha! I do love the Hiro Rule (I'm a Lunar fan so...) They also mention dictionaries as a weapon. I wonder if that's from Star Ocean, Leon did use one. Hm...it's fun to pick out times I remmeber these rules happening. I still say my favorite is strolling into a house, taking all the crap in it and then walking out. I think I'd lock my doors if I was in a RPG. Locks must be hard to find though.

I think I know most of the games that list is refering to as well. It certainly made me smile anyway.

I don't mind RPG cliches though because well nowadays it's hard to avoid cliches in anything. Really though, when a cliche is done right then it doesn't matter to me if the stupid princess is kidnapped for the #3,546,387 time or I have to go find the five mystical crystals of bob. If the developers can make it interesting, I'll play it. I'm not TOO picky but I can be. (just say no to Shining Tears)

...Although come on, it would be fun to walk into your friend's house, take their computer and walk out as if nothing happened. The best part is they never bring it up or hate you for it and will still tell you the info you need. What a good NPC...I mean friend.
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I don't mind a lot of these beyond a certain point because any ficticious thing is bound to have cliches in it. It's unavoidable due to the medium and the general idea that people want something accessible that doesn't insult their intelligence... which has proven to be true with FF selling in droves despite using the same basic plot developments for the past few games (which I've gotten into before, but I'm not going to bother here). People like things they're comfortable with and I don't know that it's necessarily a bad thing as long as other games are attempting new things.

RPGs tend to go in cycles. It used to be that the group would be a bunch of young adventurers trying to have a good time and save the world while they were at it. Then suddenly we were bombarded with unnecessarily angsty lead characters with muddy feelings towards everything. Then the young adventurer thing came back for bit and now we're being hit with RPGs that look like they fell out of a random mediocre anime series.

And really, there are a lot of RPGs that avoid most of this list (and my personal problems with today's RPGs, many of which aren't on that list) entirely. Unfortunately, a lot of them seem to fall under the radar. I don't pop in Disgaea or Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne or Vagrant Story or Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter or even Shadow Hearts: Covenant (despite it fitting into that mediocre-anime thing I complained about , it does do a lot of things well) and feel like I'm being assaulted by incredibly recycled and re-used concepts.

I mean, if I was making Part VI of a hugely popular series I would try to avoid doing anything radically new myself. You don't want to abandon older fans if you can help it. I suppose at some point there is a breaking point, however, and things have to change both on a story and a gameplay front. It seems as though that's happening with FFXII, for example. I certainly respect what they're attempting to do, regardless of whether I loved the last few games or not.

To be clear, I'm not trying to be like "FF stinks!" because, while I think it is flawed, I don't think it's a bad series by any stretch of the imagination. It's just certainly easier to reference what is obviously the absolute most popular RPG series in existance outside of Japan.

Even with cliches, a RPG can manage to be special with its character development (or lack of it, in some cases) or its design. No one is going to argue that Skies of Arcadia was full of really insanely innovative developments. What helped it, however, was a reliance on a group of fun characters in a world that was suddenly dominated by depressing, angsty character driven RPGs. Sometimes just going against the trend can be a breath of fresh air.

I'd say the same of Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door. The basic storyline of it is not something that I think would bowl anyone over (it's the traditional "This monster might kill us all!" thing), but between its characters, style and translation it wins out anyway.

So I suppose it's give and take. I certainly think it's possible to use cliches in a fun way if the developer realizes ahead of time that the story and circumstances being used are, indeed, a cliche to begin with. This is something I noticed both Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door and Shadow Hearts: Covenant took advantage of, which I think is commendable.
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Yes, I do get tired of those standard RPG cliches after a while. It gets tiring that the main character is always 21 and under, like if you haven't saved the word by the time you're 21, your life was meaningless. Okay, so I'd much rather play as a young character than a seasoned old character. That's one of the cliches that I have a positive attitude towards and even if it does get tiring, wouldn't you rather play as a pretty young thing?

Another I have to say that I'm a fan of is the bit about two characters that talk to eachother while looking at the moon will fall in love. I just can't help but smile knowingly when the two of them engage in a chat where I can feel the romantic tension between them.

One thing I think they have to give a change of pace is the scenario when you have to gather X amount of gems, cards, or keys to open a door. These kinds of things don't just lay around, waiting for Hero to find them and thwart (nearly) the villains plan. Besides, do villains really need those keys if they have a superpowered mutant monster that will destroy Hero and his gang-- but not really because they can defeat it easily-- guarding said item?

Well, maybe they can't pull fresh ideas anymore, because most of those things have been done before. *Sigh.* Oh, well.
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[quote name='Dragon Warrior']Actually, being a game-maker, I found this page and had the idea of using it to make a computer RPG using the program RPG MAKER 2003. The game would be called "Cliche" or something and it'd use every one of those cliches on that list... and then some. I might still do it.[/quote]


That's one interesting idea, DW! I can't program *******, but as said, I have a hobby of making game (namely RPG) scripts.

I once tried to make a script filled with clichés, but ultimately my creativity got the best of me, and it turned out to be pretty similar to some modern RPGs... ;P

So if you are any serious about starting such a project, I'd be more than happy to join you as a scriptmaker, character designer, dungeon designer etc. ;)

(We can continue this through PMs, but if you want proof of my skills, I can send you few of my mostly unfinished projects...)
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Well, there you go. Mainly modern-day RPGs are cliche! I really can't think of one RPG that isn't similar to another, and that includes RPGs made by game-makers for RM2K and such. Final Fantasy 7, which is one of the leaders in the RPG world, is one of the most cliche plots of all time. [spoiler]An evil dude wants to destroy the world because he's pissy.[/spoiler] What makes them slightly their own is their characters, sideplots, different themes (in Final Fantasy 7's case, they made a very elaborate and intriguing futuristic environment), and monsters, etc.

So, "Cliche" may become one of the every day RPGs... making fun of every day RPGs XD
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[COLOR=Navy][FONT=Comic Sans MS]I don't mind some of them, as long as they're explained well, and crap like that...

But if it's not explained and just is, I'll get pissed off. For example, (Note: All examples are thought up at the spot, so there is no need to worry about any game being spoiled, in turn requiring no spoiler tags.): "Nobody who has ever tried has been able to draw this sword. So I doubt that YOU, Random McJoe, could do...WHAT! YOU, can draw it! YOU, are THE chosen one!"

I can't stand it when heroes are heroes just cuz... :animesigh [/FONT][/COLOR]
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[quote name='Dragon Warrior']Actually, being a game-maker, I found this page and had the idea of using it to make a computer RPG using the program RPG MAKER 2003. The game would be called "Cliche" or something and it'd use every one of those cliches on that list... and then some. I might still do it.[/quote][font=Verdana][color=blue]Actually, that's not a bad idea. I'd definitely play it, if not for the sole purpose of trying to notice every one of the cliches in the game.[/color][/font]
[font=Verdana][color=blue][/color][/font]
[font=Verdana][color=blue]Anyway, I read through the list last night and I really thought it was funny how pretty much all of them are true in most cases. There were some pretty funny ones as well. I also showed my friend who, having played a few more RPGs than I have, was able to relate even more of them to specific instances.[/color][/font]
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[QUOTE=Petie][font=Verdana][color=blue]Actually, that's not a bad idea. I'd definitely play it, if not for the sole purpose of trying to notice every one of the cliches in the game.[/color][/font]
[/QUOTE]

Well, maybe some time in the future you'll have your chance, as I and Dragon Warrior have put our sexy heads together and undertaken a project called "Cliché" - a self-made rpg that has all those clichés in the list and more! ;D

Check out the last pages of the Game Maker Thread at the PC/Mac-section to learn more... ;)
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Yep. This is true, but to be able to play the game, you will need to download RPG Maker 2003. By doing so, you not only can play our game [b]"Cliché"[/b], but you can also create your own video games with ease. Heck, join the Game Makers of Otaku community while you're at it. But I get off topic. After reading through the list, I noticed plenty of things they forgot to mention, which sparked in my mind. It's so fun to see clichés like that :P
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I think cliches can be a good thing if used correctly. They can be something to break up the monotony, giving some light-hearted humor. Or perhaps they can just give you some familiar ground to access a new title on.

Sure, they can make things predictable, but some are hallmarks that invite in even the most unaware of RPG players. After all, not all of us know those cliches, so as over-used as they are, to a beginner, it must seem amazing...
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[quote name='Dragon Warrior']Yep. This is true, but to be able to play the game, you will need to download RPG Maker 2003. [/quote][font=Verdana][color=blue]I have used RPG Maker (multiple versions) before but never really put enough time into it to get anywhere. I'm pretty sure there's a way to export a game as a stand alone file though.[/color][/font]
[font=Verdana][color=blue][/color][/font]
[font=Verdana][color=blue]Anyway, I'm sure there are more cliches that weren't mentioned there though it is a pretty good list.[/color][/font]
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Oh yeah, we thought up several ones that weren't used, especially in the character category. Characters can be so cliche :^D Heh.

And someone tried to make an RM2K3 game a stand-alone and it didn't work. No surprise there... the reason you need RM2K3 to run it is because RM2K3 itself has files that the game needs and can't be extracted from the program. That and RM2K3 has the RTP... unless you want to make your game even larger by adding all RTP to it... which isn't worth the trouble, trust me.
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[font=Verdana][color=blue]Oh, okay. It was just a thought anyway. Looks like I'll be getting the actual program if and when this "Cliche" game is made. I can definitely see why it would be a hassle to make it stand alone now.[/color][/font]
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DW, in order to help your project along, here's a few cliches that, amazingly enough, weren't on the list: the Rules of Artifacts. Your game won't be complete without them, so here they are:


First Rule of Artifacts: The hero's quest to Save The World will require traveling around the world to collect or activate a number of magical artifacts, or sometimes to revive a number of deities referred to as 'spirits' of some kind or another.

Second Rule of Artifacts: These artifacts (or deities) will be housed(or sealed, in the deities' case) in increasingly complex temples. Each temple will be more difficult to complete then the one before it. This also applies to any creatures that the party encounteres while inside the temple.

Third Rule of Artifacts: Upon locating each artifact, the party will be forced to battle the powerful creature that protects the artifact. Each one is more powerful than the previous one. If the parrty is attempting to revive deities, the party will have to defeat each newly reawakened deity in order to prove their worth.

Forth Rule of Artifacts: If there is any chance that the magical artifacts can be used to destroy the world, the main villian will posess all of them at some point in the game. He will aquire them through at least one, frequently more, of the following methods: his henchmen beat the hero's party to the artifact and take it just as the hero's party finds it, his henchmen steal the artifact the party has just acquired, or a traitor within the party gives the artifacts to him.

Fifth Rule of Artifacts: One female member of the party, either the female lead or the summoner (who are frequently the same person), will gain a new power with the activation of each artifact or revival of each deity. This new power is often too troublesome to use to be worth using in most situations.

Sixth Rule of Artifacts: The bad guys will never gain any new powers from the artifacts/deities. Even if the bad guy escapes with the artifact before the hero's party member gains the new power, the party member will still gain the power, while the bad guy will not.

Seventh Rule of Artifacts: Villians never have to fight the guardians of the artifacts. The hero's party will always have to fight the guardian, even if a bad guy has entered the guardian's chamber well ahead of the party.

Last Rule of Artifacts: Collecting or activating the final artifact, or awakening the last deity, is never the end. The party will always have to go to the main villian's castle and defeat him before the artifacts can be used or the deities summoned to Save The World.
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Actually, that's already taken care of Takuya, as "Cliché the Game" includes mysterious elemental crystal orbs that possess great magic powers (uh, haven't really thought it through yet).

At this point of the development, I decided to ditch summoning and summons in order to make ithe game look less Final Fantastic and more generic. Of course, if DW wants them included, we'll figure out how to implement them to the story.

But by all means, if you guys have any RPG clichés that weren't in the Grand List, please post them here so we can maybe snatch them to our own evil purposes (ie. the game). ;D
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