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Author Topic: RPGs where you don't save the world?  (Read 2944 times)
Sagacious-T
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« on: May 25, 2013, 07:07:05 PM »

CDProjekt said about their new game Cyberpunk...
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The story will be low-level. We are not going to save the world, or even save a city. We are focused on the main character and his problems, or her problems.”

Does anyone have some good game recommendations with that in mind? I'm tired of the whole save-the-world plot most RPGs follow.
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Eusis
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« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2013, 07:17:55 PM »

Most Suikoden titles, I think the big exceptions are
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3 and Tierkreis, possibly that PSP one that never came here too, and 3's different in that directly you're only saving a single region, and indirectly /fought against saving the world in the long term./
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Kevadu
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« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2013, 08:46:16 PM »

The Atelier series.

But probably not what you're looking for ;)
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Eusis
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« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2013, 08:57:54 PM »

Also for RPGs not even about saving a large area: wouldn't Planescape Torment be a great example of one that's more introspective? Then there's the Etrian Odyssey games, while there's definitely epic aspects to the story you're just on an adventure for the sake of adventuring, the world isn't in any immediate danger or any at all.
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Darilon
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« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2013, 09:08:21 PM »

The Atelier series.

But probably not what you're looking for ;)

The Atelier games are what I also thought of.

The first Inazuma Eleven game, Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter and the early Pokemon games would also count.
 
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Monsoon
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« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2013, 09:25:41 PM »

You're definitely trying to prevent an evil alchemist from remaking the world as a god in Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana, but that's the only one I've played so I'm not the most qualified commenter in that regard. 

In Disgaea: Hour of Darkness, Laharl starts out trying to become Overlord in the first half of the game.  In the second half he fends off invading humans, then either A) attacks the Angels' world of Celestia to find out why they put the humans up to attacking the Netherworld or B) conquers Earth.  Laharl's not really saving anything, just asserting dominance.  Disgaea 3's characters are also more concerned with glory, revenge, or self-preservation than with saving anything.  Disgaea 2 and 4 definitely end up being about world-saving, even if they don't necessarily start that way. 

My favorite indie RPG, Cthulhu Saves the World, is less about saving the world and more about Cthulhu trying to regain his powers by righting wrongs out of frustration.  I'm not even sure if the world was in any danger when you defeat Azathoth at the game's end. 

Oh, and I'm also not sure about Shin Megami Tensei: If... (which I admittedly have started, but am not even close to finishing).  I think you're only trying to save your school, not the world. 
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Kevadu
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« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2013, 10:20:48 PM »

The Iris trilogy is actually very atypical for Atelier games.  Most of them don't involve anything like that.

And I do like Eusis's suggestion of Planescape: Torment.  Definitely a very personal story there.
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Sagacious-T
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« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2013, 10:27:53 PM »

Good stuff so far, guys! Some that I've already played too.

I've always found smaller scope stories much more interesting, not just in gaming, but in stories in general. I guess putting more personal things at stake feels more emotionally significant than having the world at stake.
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Aeolus
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« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2013, 10:39:58 PM »

Despite pretenses, the Zelda series never really goes beyond Hyrule or the kingdom of the week. The largest scale any Zelda game ever adopts is in Zelda 2 which consists of two primary landmasses and an island or three (although debatable, its still all one kingdom). That or the Oracle games which takes place across two separate lands, plus underground, plus in the past, plus a cameo of Hyrule (kinda).

Actually, most Nintendo RPG series rarely stake "The ENTIRE world" like games like Final Fantasy do on a regular basis. Pokemon kinda gets close but at best its region-wide. Fire Emblem would too if it weren't for all of the other continents kicking around. Not sure about Earthbound or Mother 3 though.
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MeshGearFox
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« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2013, 11:46:43 PM »

UnReal World - Recently freeware; your only goal is survival.

Shadowrun (genesis/snes) - Pretty sure these were both essentially murder mysteries.

Ultima 4 - Your goal is attaining avatarhood, and while you help people out you're not saving the world.

New Vegas - The entire world isn't at stake and you can actively try to fuck it up if you want.

SaGa 1 - The world wasn't really in DANGER in this one, and arguably your party more went on a journey of self discovery. You help save some of the sub-worlds, but... that's not really the SAME. Actually I don't think the world's in danger in any of the saga games after RS3, for that matter.

Chrono Trigger - Your goal's to save the world in this, and you do create an offshoot timeline where Lavos never lands, but that's not in your original timeline and I think the actual theme was about the 'spirit of the planet' or whatever sharing its history before it died.

Terranigma - It's debatable whether you're saving the world or just fucking it up worse (and the save-the-world plot in its traditional sense comes in pretty late).

SMT: N - Trying to recreate an already-destroyed world in your own image.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2013, 01:07:44 AM by MeshGearFox » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2013, 12:37:02 AM »

Um, Eternal Sonata sorta does....
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At least, in terms of the Momento time loop-de-doop

NieR
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You save your daughter from her captor.... but not her disease, and not mankind's eventual demise....whomp whomp

Tales of Eternia you save TWO WORLDS. 
Plural'd the threat there.

Radiant Historia you temporarily save the shitty continent you're on.
...I don't think they actually "fixed" the problem beyond the "warring nations" A-plot though.

Breath of Fire III
You spare...your race?  And tell god to fuck herself so you can have nice things.

I"m going on a limb with Drakengard... but you spare your mind because how shit gradually turns to shit, and shitter, and shittiest.

My examples suck ass.

Baten Kaitos you save crops of continents that float in the sky and not a world.
..Hmm, Wiseman wanted to change everyone into a Magic deck.

Final Fantasy VII technically because
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naw, I'm fucking with you, it's "save the world" 1000% because Sephiroth is a dick-mobile
« Last Edit: May 26, 2013, 12:53:13 AM by Dice » Logged

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Ranadiel
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« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2013, 08:53:03 AM »

The answer really depends on how small scope you are talking about. I mean are you including "save the continent"/"save the country"/"save the region" types of games? Assuming you don't want those either, the first game that comes to mind is Mana Khemia. I don't remember the plot of Mana Khemia 2, but I think it has a bit more of the "save the world" vibe to it in at least one of the two plot lines. There is of course the Atelier games as already mentioned.

Dragon Age 2 was in part criticized for the fact that it had such a small focus, so that might be along the lines of what you are looking for.

Pokémon Red/Blue/Yellow didn't have you saving the world. I don't think Gold/Silver/Crystal had any world savings. I recall Ruby/Sapphire having world saving and I haven't played any other Pokémon since then.

Going through my game list these are some others which I don't immediately recall trying to save the world/continent/country/region (or where I feel I can argue that you aren't saving the world) in:
Muramasa: The Demon Blade
Cross Edge(depending on your definition of "world")
Valkyrie Profile: Covenant of the Plume (horrible game though)
The World Ends With You
Legacy of Ys: Book I (don't remember Book 2)
Makai Kingdom
Odin Sphere (arguably)
Valkyria Chronicles II
Final Fantasy Tactics Advance
Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories
Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days
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Dincrest
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« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2013, 08:59:06 AM »

Hmmm... an RPG where you aren't saving the world or saving the princess... Well, Rhapsody flips the script and has the girl out to save the prince:P

Or how about the first Persona game where, after the whole Sebec Corporation arc where you
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defeat Kandori and made the right decisions for the good ending at the gingerbread house (aka you did NOT fight the teddy bear)
the rest of the game is about saving your friend from herself.  

And, obviously, +1 on Planescape.  
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Arklight
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« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2013, 01:50:41 PM »

To The Moon on PC is DEFINITELY not about saving the world. It's about making a dying man happy. Oh and you'll cry.
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Dincrest
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« Reply #14 on: May 26, 2013, 03:59:09 PM »

But To The Moon isn't an RPG.  It falls into RPGFan's coverage and is one of the few games I gave an Editor's Choice stamp to, but it's a graphic adventure.  Most of the graphic adventures, visual novels, dating sims, and that ilk we cover are not about saving the world at all.  With love adventures, for example, the end goal is getting a particular girl to be your girlfriend. 

Finding a proverbial RPG where you're not saving something (be it the world, a princess) is more challenging. 
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