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Next Quiz Date: January 11, 2014
Subject: 999 (Nintendo DS)
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7636  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Worst Hero & Villain on: January 15, 2008, 08:13:44 PM
True, but the point I was making is that Squall isn't a fat, pepper-bearded redhead.
7637  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Worst Hero & Villain on: January 15, 2008, 02:12:45 PM
FFVIII sort of predated a lot of emo bands. And the whole emo subculture as it is known today really. Squall's probably modelled after JPop kiddies like Gackt, if anything.

Also, seriously.

http://www.eternal-legend.com/ffviii/pcs/shots/squall.jpg Squall.

http://www.cdjapan.co.jp/jpop/essentials/gackt/img/gackt.jpg Fucking looks like Squall.

http://entimg.msn.com/i/msn_video/falloutboy_dancedance.jpg Does not look like Squall.

http://media.collegepublisher.com/media/paper518/stills/1ev21359.jpg Actually maybe resembles Queen Brahne sort of.
7638  Media / Single-Player RPGs / where does this sterotype come from? on: January 14, 2008, 12:07:04 PM
I wonder if it stems from D&D, where the cleric class was often represented as a female character.

No, D&D games are pretty much sausage fests, as are the PC RPGs based on them. D&D clerics also, apparently, make fairly viable attackers when given a mace, and in Nethack, healers also tend to be really good because healing means you can restore HP which means you *don't dies as fast* (but you still die*).

It probably goes back to the whole, "Men kill shit and derive meat from it, and women live back at home and raise babies." thang. IE, women are the protectors and caretakers. It's just basic sex stereotypes recontextualized.

* Renamon.
7639  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Best secondary characters... on: January 14, 2008, 02:30:32 AM
Holly from Monster Rancher 2 is kinda cute... Er..!

I liked the secondary characters from SMT: Nocturne a lot. Well... Okay, that's not exactly the right word, but I like how they were developed and used. And some of the scenes they were in and just the immense amounts of Really F'ed Up Stuff in that game. Especially that one scene with Chiaki sort of towards the end.

The head-crush bit. It's not that it was an evil character doing something violent. It was that it was a previously-normal teenaged girl doing something arbitrarily and rather excessively violent.

And in addition to that, you're following these characters throughout the game and trying to keep up with them because they're really your only tethers to the old world and then they just get reduced into monsters. The whole kill or be killed world that's more "kill or be killed, we don't really care". It's the same thing that DDS took a lot more, uh, literally I guess.

Anyway, that scene. I can imagine that after the writers came up with that, they sat back in their chairs, puffed triumphantly on a hookah, and nodded assuredly.

"Yeah. We're so damn cool."

And many agreesome nods all around. [/quote]
7640  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Worst Hero & Villain on: January 14, 2008, 02:21:15 AM
Yeah, adults just sit around and circle-jerk while watching C-Span and smoking hash. I think. That's what my grandparents did at least.

Anyway, I don't even remember who Maria was in SO3. Nel was that red-haird chick, right? Was Maria that girl that like... was on the first planet, but then she gets killed and she's a sickly girl in that trade empire town or something? Apparently not! But I either never got her or just can't remember anything about the game and I think I spent 17 hours on that !@#%ing thing before deciding that I've never actually played a game I dislike more. I mean, there are other games I don't like, but I can load them up from time to time, see if my opinion has changed, if it has, keep playing, if not, do something else. SO3 is the only game that actually gives me something akin to a panic attack when I think about it.

I'd also like to state that I loved how several of the characters (Kurt, for instance) apparently didn't have characterization and just randomly adopted whatever role the story needed at the moment. At first I thought it was cute and giving them personality quirks and unexpected twists and then I realized they didn't actually have defined personalities and were having every single trait lumped onto them.

And it's not so much a lack of personality because that doesn't necessarily bother me (but sometimes. Explaining why I like some silent mains and don't like others would be very difficult). It's when every character is given every personality and just does whatever the hell.
7641  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Worst Hero & Villain on: January 13, 2008, 12:01:20 AM
I didn't really like the heroes from SO3 but I didn't really like anything about that game.
7642  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Worst Hero & Villain on: January 11, 2008, 11:40:59 PM
Well, when I don't say I don't like Tidus, I don't mean "poorly written" or "not what they intended." I just don't like him as a character because he's not the sort of personality I like. It's not realy whiny, so much. He doesn't whine that much and his reasons are sort of justified. It's more the seeking attention/affection from his dad who was sort of a bastard and not worth loving. I don't know. I think with FFX though the entire cast was horribly broken in some way or another -- personality quirks, Rikku's childlike simplicity bordering on retardation, Wakka's zeal and idealism bordering on autism, down to stuff like Khimari's problems (Broken horn is a very blatant castration symbol or something) that I can't really remember but uh... I played the game when I was a Freshman in highschool -- 2002 or so -- so not too far after 9/11, and the sort of "Yeah, we're all going to die and everyone is very useless and stupid" sort of captured the way the world felt to me at the time.

Anyway, why does the final boss always have to be the main villain, anyway? Or why does, whatever the final boss is, have to be the main villain? I mean, if the main villain dies in a cutscene and the final battle actually involves "fighting" with his collapsing tower or whatever to keep large chunks of MARBLE from crushing you, you wouldn't call the blocks of marble the main villain.

It was actually pretty fucking funny.

Yes. Which is why disliking him for being a massive dick to everyone is fairly understandable, but disliking him for being an emo just doesn't make sense to me. And the things people refer to, usually, as his emoness -- his babbling about not wanting to rely on other and not want other to rely on him -- is just him trying to maintain a sort of idealized sense of self/philosophy/whatever, while at the same time realizing that it's complete crap and knowing deep down that he really needs to do something else. Which I do find fairly realistic. And I don't think it really makes him LIKABLE but I do think it's interesting and nicely different from heroes that either wear their hearts on their sleaves constantly for... no reason
7643  Media / Single-Player RPGs / favorite hero and boss from any game on: January 10, 2008, 03:00:51 PM
Oh, I also liked Batlin from Ultima 7 as a villain. His weird scientologist views ring STRANGELY TRUE today.

Also, I don't really know if you can call it a villain, but the living building guy from Albion was pretty neat too.

As far as favorite bosses I will have to think about that.
7644  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Best secondary characters... on: January 10, 2008, 02:52:40 PM
"I'm just a walking set of tits and ass"

This quote is funny because Argilla EATS PEOPLE with her boobies. Which in and of itself is weird because of how... motherly she seems at times. Also, Cielo's Jamaican accent sort of bugged me at first but then I got to the second game and

realized the entire thing takes place in Oregon.

I always loved Zell from FFVIII

Zell sort of shares traits with Iori Junpei.
7645  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Worst Hero & Villain on: January 09, 2008, 06:36:31 PM
Squall never actually complains out loud in the entire game. I'm reading a script right now trying to verify this and, er, it definitely seems to be the case. Except in a certain scene towards the mid-point with Ellone, but that seems like a reasonable cause to blow up.

Anyway, the My Chemical Romance comment makes me think people are implying 'emo.' As in, whiny or whatever. I'm reading the script right now and you could maybe make a case for him being a dick to everyone, but, uh, honestly, it's the other characters that tend to whine, and that's why Squall's being a dick.

Except you also have to consider that there are several instance where you can choose his response and you can either pick the jackass or nice response, so, uh...

Although you really have to consider that people tend to think things like that -- bizarre, contradictory, and really stupid stuff. I'm sure that if most RPGs let you see a characters' thought to that extent, you'd hate them too.
7646  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Worst Hero & Villain on: January 09, 2008, 05:13:44 PM

Least favorite heroes in JRPGs are generally silent protagonists. Why? well, in a western RPG, you usually get control over how the character develops, either gameplay was or storywise. Most JRPGs don't let you have that sort of freedom. So basically, Chrono, Adol, and pretty much every Ryu are on here. Who else? McDohl, I guess. I'm less critical of Serge because's there's some inkling that he has a personality and you could probably come up with a reason for him being silent, but still, no. It's goofy.

Exceptions here being Ness and various guys from Dragon Quest for reasons that would go better in the *other* thread. Oh, and various links.

Soooo. What else! Moving away from silent protags, now, I'm going to toss in everyone from Phantasy Star 2 and 3 save for Nei and the robot peoples from PS3.

That vampire guy from Legacy of Kain. How am I supposed to care about THAT guy?


Villains mostly serve the function of that thing you kill at the end so I generally don't care if they're poorly developed.
7647  Media / Single-Player RPGs / favorite hero and boss from any game on: January 08, 2008, 02:31:49 PM
I notice a lot of people mentioning FFIX characters. For the record, I was also playing FFIX recently. I'm not really far in it yet, but I'm actually liking it a fair piece better than many of the other FF games I've played. I have no idea why I managed to consistently forget that it even existed up to like, a year ago.

Which is probably why I love Frog too. His medieval Shakesperian lingo was very entertaining to read throughout the game.

To quote Scott Sharkey, the Chrono Trigger re-translation guys can go die in a fire :3 Obviously not literally but jesus CHRIST that thing sucks (like most fan retranslations. I'm playing one for the first Phantasy Star now and it's like whoever did it has no idea how commas function).

I also liked red XIII a lot for that matter.

A) He's a doggy-thing. I like doggies!
B) He's vaguely native american-inspired. Neat! (And Cosmo Canyon was the best song on that goddamn soundtrack and perhaps the world)
C) Last member of a dying race is sort of old, but not when that dying race consisted of talking dogs!
D) 48, and still a child? Also nifty.
E) In a lot of ways he sort of embodied many of the other characters. He was experimented on like Cloud and Sephiroth, Last Member of a Dying Race like Aeris, and just other details. I actually think FFVII subverts a lot of RPG tropes and Red XIII does too, but I can't actually say if that's intentional -- it's sort of a fine line between brilliance and retardery and a lot of it depends on speculation. I like to side on 'clever' or a very perfect balance between both resulting in 'relatively normal.'

Other villains I like are like, Dark Force and Lavos. Which are pretty similar in nature. Oh, I might as well lump Deus in. It's not that they're force of nature villains (which can get sort of lame) -- it's that they embody the sort of crazy, over-the-topness that I find attractive about JRPGs to begin with and why the modern trend of restraint is sort of bleugh to me (This applies both to JRPGs and western RPGs obviously. And it's why I think I like Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines so much. That game is so goddamn camp and it just *revels* in it. Most games are like WELL MAYBE WE CAN HAVE WEREWOLVES IF WE DO THIS TO BALANCE IT, but VtM:B is just like, WEREWOLVES? !@#% YES WE HAVE WEREWOLVES). all three basically repeatedly screw stuff over across long periods of time and in any case when the heroes DO finally win the final costs hardly justify the victory.

Hello, I am ineloquent. [/code]
7648  Media / Single-Player RPGs / favorite hero and boss from any game on: January 08, 2008, 02:32:13 AM
My favorite hero is the Avatar because he's generally meant to embody virtues and, er, isn't some sort of anti-hero that we're supposed to cheer for despite the fact that he's some sort of murderer or an angry jerk or whatever.

Granted, you CAN make the Avatar be a mass murdered, but you're not going to win the game like that. Or really progress terribly far.

It's neat because he's still a rather human character, though. Literally, in the context of the games, he's just some guy from Texas that was at a RenFaire at the right moment. But more in context of the ingame events... Well, you could play him as a sterile, removed sort of figure, but three are opportunities to make him a lot more human. And I don't mean just killing everyone and pretending... !@#$%, I don't know. I mean the game actually has dialogue options and scenarios that let you roleplay, in comparison to that "Let's pretend" bull!@#$ that Daggerfall had (or Battlecruiser for that matter). To some extent though, I mean, you can steal a bit and maybe even get away with some unethical stuff, but the game doesn't out and out reward your for it like Fallout or whatever does, and you really only want to do it if it's an end justifies the means type thing. But scenario wise, like... in Ultima 7, you CAN have gay avatar if you want to. You CAN have a polygamic Avatar if you want to. You can sort of modulate how you act towards your party members or the Fellowship or whatever.

It's not so much WHAT the Avatar is, but the way you can work with the character, and the way the game... sort of 'suggests' things at you. In the sense that you have a good deal of freedom of character development with him, but it's nowhere to the extent of "the avatar is WHATEVER," and there's no real, super-generic good/evil dichotomy. It's more like a deconstruction/reconstruction of the RPG hero, or in a greater context maybe even the fantasy hero, alles klar?

It's also the only more open-ended RPG I've played where I actually know your NPC companions get majorly pissed off at you if you break the law.

As far as RPG villains go, I'm going to say Giygas. I could go into some long, Tim Rodgers-esque rant about why, but instead I'm just going to link you to a picture:


See, I don't know whether or not it's intentional. I almost doubt that it is. That's not the point. Giygas manages to be so absolutely screwed up that people can actually see stuff like that and think that maybe it is sort of plausible. It's not that he's a well written villain with believable motives. It's that Giygas is... well, seriously screwed up in a way that affects the player more than the little characters on the screen. The music, the visuals, Pokey's cracked out dialogue, Giygas' cracked out rape scene dialogue. I actually don't know what it is about it, individually, but whatever it is it makes me feel VERY UNHAPPY inside.
7649  Media / Single-Player RPGs / favorite hero and boss from any game on: January 07, 2008, 07:57:10 PM
"My favorite hero is Issac, the hero from Golden Sun"

7650  Media / Single-Player RPGs / RPGs with multiple protagonists/points of view on: January 06, 2008, 04:37:03 PM
Whichever of the Dynasty Warriors games had unique stories for each character might work then. They also work fairly well from an RPG perspective, giving stuff collecting and levelling up and WHATNOT.

Also, hey, Maniac Mansion if we're doing adventure games. It's not so much that the story changes but it pans out differently based on who you take.

Some of the branching bits in Chrono Cross might also work though it's not necessarily extensive. The game DOES sort of provide multiple viewpoints on various events and lots of what-if scenarios though, so it's not exactly what you're after, but you might like it anyway.

I also recall the last couple of Gold Box games -- the savage frontier ones -- letting you take on optional side characters that had their own story arcs. Pretty fun sub series in any case.

I'm also gonna throw out Wing Commander, because the plot branches, and I think it has some Front Mission-esque story elements with multiple viewpoints because of that. It's an adventure/space combat hybrid. Mostly the latter, although WC3 is heavier on the former.

Legend of Mana also has a three-main-storyline thing like in SD3, although they're not really connected *directly* but all make more sense in context of eachother. It's not so much which character you choose as your PC (You pick gender but it's purely visual) but which NPCs you follow.

Uh... Dew Prism. Yes. Which seems sort of like a simpler Musashi, from the little I've played of both (and Ratchet and Clank vaguely, vaguely reminds me of it for some reason. Except Dew Prism actually has personality). I didn't really like it though, but I can't remember why.

Persona 1's story changes a bit depending on who you take as your forth member. It also has that snow queen quest thing that was dummied out of the NA version and doesn't sound terribly pleasant either.

It also seems possible that Puzzle Quest might do something like this, actually. There was a branching point early on-ish. I'm also not sure if your class affects the story at all.

Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines, though, definitely changes depending on your clan. While in most cases it's pretty minor -- each clan has some specific, related scenes -- the Nosferatu and Malkavian (I think. the crazy ones) have loads of differences. This is also probably the most recent PC RPG I really, really enjoyed in spite of all of it's really obvious flaws (which fan patches fix somewhat). It also runs fairly well (save for, uh... some place. The zombie cult crackhouse thingum) even on crappyish specs.

Oh, and the PC port of Silent Hill 2 and the Greatest Hits version on the PS2 have some sort of 'second quest' focusing on that woman character. Apparently the PC version breaks pressure sensitivity from the PS2 version, but it's substantially cheaper, you can save anywhere, and you can turn that goddamn noise filter off. Only in the PC and Greatest Hits version, though.

Look into strategy and strategy RPGs (the distinction is really blurry anymore, really). A great deal of them let you play as different sides.

Hrm. Wizardry 8 also has a few story points that vary depending on who's with you. Myles, for instance, gives you additional detail on new towns if you drag him around. I don't think it's really extensive though.

Also from the adventure front, there's Eastern Mind: The Lost Souls of Tong-Nou if you're actually insane enough to try tracking down*. And for the record, no, you can't get it through slightly less legit means so don't bother trying. Cosmology of Kyoto, however, is a bit similar and runs substantially cheaper and, as far as I know, is more common. Hit up ebay or something.

* Again: distinction of being both the rarest, most soul-crushing, and most terrifying game I've ever played. I don't expect most people to have a similar response, but !@#$.
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