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346985 Posts in 14157 Topics by 2235 Members
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7846  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Stupid RPG conventions/cliches you can't get past. on: July 13, 2008, 09:02:39 PM
You don't really NEED told what to do in a nonlinear RPG.  Just go somewhere, see if there's anything to do, if there is, do it, and if not, go somewhere else. Most, however, usually give you some sort of goal (Fallout: Find the water chip. M&M7: Make Harmondale not be suck. Ultima 6: Clear the shrines of Gargoyles.) and it's up to you to figure out how to do that.  

In old DOS RPGs that are nonlinear, it's actually pretty common that you can do any quest in any order, although they all point towards the end goal in some small way (as per Fallout and Ultima) or you have what's essentially a linear storyline, but you can GO anywhere you want and do all sorts of extra sidequests (Ultima 7). Might and Magic 4 and 5 come to mind as being completely nonlinear in a sense. There really isn't any sort of main quest progression there.

(Notable exceptions: SaGa Frontier, which is really damn vague about what to do with Robo and Lute, and the Romancing SaGa remake, which has a wonky quest scheduler so there might not be obvious quests at any given time).
7847  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Stupid RPG conventions/cliches you can't get past. on: July 13, 2008, 01:06:30 PM
That's the main reason I like nonlinear (or rather, multilinear/pseudolinear) RPGs more. You can still have a more or less entirely linear plotline, but give the player options how to deal with individual situations -- essentially what Fallout did, for instance. And then when it comes to the ending, you essentially get an eight part ending, and each part can either have a good or bad outcome depending on what you did (or for the really minor stuff, you don't really need to account for it in the ending, I guess).

I need to write up that blog article on why ultima 6 really impressed me because it sort of would explain what I'm talking about better, assuming I don't completely !@#$% it up.
7848  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Stupid RPG conventions/cliches you can't get past. on: July 13, 2008, 12:53:41 PM
Quote
- Randomly generated dungeons.


These can work. Most JRPGs don't actually have randomly generated dungeons though, but pseudo-random ones pieced together from large chunks. If you look at some PC games though, like Dwarf Fortress, which has a random world generator that does some really lovely terrain, with stuff like ocean spray and waves and realistic biome placement (All in ASCII no less), or Nethack, which has so much stuff that can be placed, and several different dungeon style paradigms, it DOES work and actually gives you genuinely different things each time you play.
7849  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Stupid RPG conventions/cliches you can't get past. on: July 13, 2008, 03:56:44 AM
Yes, but lifeless and obsessive 15 year olds tend to BUY a lot of this stuff.
7850  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Stupid RPG conventions/cliches you can't get past. on: July 13, 2008, 01:09:50 AM
Save points do annoy me, btw. And these aren't a JRPG original. Only being able to save at an inn comes from PC RPGs. You can't save in-dungeon in Wizardry, and the original might and magic games did it with an in. Ultima let you save anywhere as far as I know (!@#% the original three games. Those were stupid).

Two biggest offenders for me, though? The original Persona game (which I absolutely love because I played it on an emulator and used save states, so !@#% you atlus :V) and Marathon. Marathon, being the classic Mac FPS. FPS. Save points in an FPS are really stupid for reasons that should probably be obvious.

Actually I could say Operation flashpoint is an even bigger offender, but that's more of a matter of no in-mission saves.
7851  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Stupid RPG conventions/cliches you can't get past. on: July 13, 2008, 12:20:08 AM
My original point in making this topic was just to vent about something extremely minor that was still bugging the hell out of me because I'm autistic or something, actually.

Only a few instances of JRPGs -- and I say JRPGs since western RPGs with silent protagonists generally give you a lot of dialogue options or ways to act and you're developing your protags personality on your own, so there's actually a reason for it there. Or I guess the SMT games (for the most part. I didn't think this worked in the first two personas much) but in regards to Persona 3, if your dude had a set personality, choosing how he acted towards other people really wouldn't make a lot of sense -- where I thought a silent protagonist really felt necessary. Zelda games are generally one of these. Dragon Quest 8 is another, and I'm not really sure why, Earthbound's a third, and I've already explained why I think this, and Contact's the fourth I can think of off-hand, although I'm not really sure HOW to explain why I think this.

It didn't really bug me in Chrono Trigger for whatever reason (I'm willing to accept that Crono was actually mute [from years of eating dieffenbachia]) and it didn't bug me in Cross since that game was about Kid anyway.

I think Ys VI was the one where it bugged me the most, especially since instead of just leaving Adol silent, they actually narrated everything he did and was supposed to say and it was just *weird*.

Also, I'm not recalling the mains in IoG or Terranigma being silent, but I don't recall them having a whole lot of dialogue either. Same for Secret of Mana.

Personally I'm fond of what Wizardry 8 did with letting you assign a voice/personality set to your characters.
7852  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Stupid RPG conventions/cliches you can't get past. on: July 12, 2008, 11:00:43 PM
I like the exploration aspect. This isn't the best example, but in the original Dragon Quest, the king basically just tells you to kill Dragonlord and it's up to you to actually go out into the world and figure out how to DO that.

I think the main difference between oldschool and newschool RPGs is that oldschool RPGs work under the assumption that you're going to explore the world just because you can. I really have a hard time articulating what I'm trying to say here, I guess.
7853  Media / Single-Player RPGs / New freeware thingum -- Iffermoon. on: July 12, 2008, 08:03:20 PM
It's weird as fuck. It's like Valkyrie Profile + Castle Infinity + Creatures Adventure + The Spirit Engine. It's like one of those weird games I've seen in my dreams, only REAL.

http://www.iffermoon.com/

I'm not actually sure what I think about this thing yet. It does have some comma usage issues so if those bother you as much as they bother me (which is doubtful) you might want to steel yourself.

(I can't really think of any ways to make this post douchey so just pretend I said something really douchey here. also am I spelling douchey right?)
7854  Media / Single-Player RPGs / RPGs Only You've Played. on: July 12, 2008, 07:57:32 PM
Quote
Nope. I bought it as part of that Ultimate RPG Archives collection. I don't know if there was a manual for that but my copy didn't have one.


Figures. Okay, original Ultimate RPG Archives release should've had this postiviely hugeass manual. You must've got a later release where they parred back on stuff. My suggestion would be to check the game discs for PDFs.

Back then, as a copy protection feature (Disguised as a memory saving feature), most of the game text was stored in the manuals and when the game says "Reference passage 19" you'd look up what it says.

Or you can just grab all of the passages in a text file somewhere and look up the relevant passages as needed. It's a lot easier than using an actual paper manual. Replacementdocs.com would probably work.

Anyway though, without the manual, the game isn't really playable. It IS a really good game though and definitely worth playing, and the writing is pretty smart. I can't say I played THAT far into it, but I played it a lot longer than I played Fallout 2 and liked it a whole lot more, too (I guessI never got all the fuss about Fallout 2. It just seemed like Fallout 1, but less... Yeah. Like Fallout 1, but less.)
7855  Media / Single-Player RPGs / RPGs Only You've Played. on: July 12, 2008, 10:33:24 AM
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I tried to play Wasteland once, but it was kinda...um, vague.


In what sense? Did you, uh... have the manual handy?

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But haven't PC RPGs been favoring realtime combat over turn based since 1999 or 2000?


Haven't PC RPGs been less common in general since then and aren't like, most of them, for that matter, these days, MMORPGS, unless you're looking at freeware or shareware titles?
7856  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Stupid RPG conventions/cliches you can't get past. on: July 12, 2008, 10:32:14 AM
The problem with Lunar's non-random battles is that you really couldn't avoid enemies. CT actually had quite a few battles you couldn't avoid either, where enemies just sort of jump in from off screen, so I'm not sure people don't remember that.

anyway, in some cases, stage/area/dungeon design would have to be radically changed to non-random battles, or you end up like Lunar. This in and of itself isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I can't imagine Nocturne having open-enough dungeons to really make it work.
7857  Media / Single-Player RPGs / RPGs Only You've Played. on: July 11, 2008, 08:56:59 PM
Phantasy Star 2 isn't hard so much as completely fucked up.
7858  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Stupid RPG conventions/cliches you can't get past. on: July 11, 2008, 05:32:25 PM
Easy solution to random battles: Leave them in, but let the player toggle them on or off. So, if they're off, no random battles. Ever. If they're on, you get battles.
7859  Media / Single-Player RPGs / RPGs Only You've Played. on: July 11, 2008, 05:10:40 PM
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use short charge attacks, its an easy fight and you kill them after a minute of smashing them.


I know. Doing this took forever.

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Still, it's not easy to find North American PC RPGs with turn-based battle systems


I'm including some games from Europe just for the hell of it.

Ultimas 1-6, plus Savage Empires and Martian Dreams
Wizardry series (8 games)
Pools of Radiance series (4 games).
Savage Frontier series (2 games).
Krynn series (3? games).
Might and Magic series (at least the first eight games. 6-8 could be played real time although this wasn't really a good idea).
Bard's Tale series (Three games)
Dragon Wars
Wasteland
Fallout
Fallout 2
Betrayal at Krondor
Baldur's Gate 1 and 2 (technically real-time, but you're issueing commands when the game's paused, so this is about as real time as ATB is).
Icewind Dale 1 and 2
Planescape Torment
Arcanum (also has a real time mode. I think. This might be real time only. Or the turn-based mode might suck. I can't remember.).
Wizards and Warriors (Turn based and real time modes).
Albion
Amberstar
Anvil of Dawn
Nethack
ADOM
Gearhead
Dwarf Fortress
Captive 1
Space Rangers 2 (Except for the arcade combat minigame)
The PC version of Starflight 1 and 2
Etc. etc. etc.
7860  Media / Single-Player RPGs / RPGs Only You've Played. on: July 11, 2008, 12:45:41 AM
For me, it was, specifically, those crabs you face on the second island on the shell you start on. When you're looking for that redhaired kid and the weapon smugglers?
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