Author Topic: Financial penalty instead of game over. Thoughts on this feature.

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Greganox

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One game design choice that I've always found cool and unique is the omission of a game over when defeated with a loss of funds in some rpgs. I'm interested in knowing what people think of this form of game design. Do you like this feature or do you prefer standard losses such as a game over or a return to a checkpoint?

Personally I've found a lot to enjoy from games that feature financial penalties. The Dragon Quest, Pokemon, Golden Sun and Shining Force games rank as some of my favourite rpg experiences. The monetary loss can be severe if you've accumulated a lot of funds and in some cases could be worse than a game over. Lacking a game over doesn't necessarily mean the game is devoid of challenge. For example in Shining Force 2 I often struggle and lose during my first attempt at the Kraken battle in Shining Force 2 before becoming victorious. Keeping experience earned ensures that not all of your efforts were in vain and that things might fair better in round 2. Finally, in some cases I don't have to rewatch cutscenes before important moments such as boss fights.

Additionally I have one more question to ask. I'm interested in knowing what was the first game to use this feature? I'm aware the Dragon Quest series is infamous for featuring it and has been around since the mid 1980s but I can't confirm with 100% certainty that it was the first.

Mickeymac92

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Re: Financial penalty instead of game over. Thoughts on this feature.
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2018, 11:28:45 PM »
It depends. I've only encountered this in Dragon Quest, and while it's nice if it means I don't have to go back through a dungeon to pick stuff up...in Dragon Quest, I usually find gold harder and more important to earn than XP, so it can still come off as a frustrating penalty. I usually wind up resetting anyways, unless I recently went to a bank and deposited all of my Gold. So...it's a non-feature as far as I'm concerned?

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Der Jermeister

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Re: Financial penalty instead of game over. Thoughts on this feature.
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2018, 11:56:12 PM »
I'm fine with regular Game Overs if a game has frequent well-placed save points or lets you save anywhere. I think financial penalties work better in tactical RPGs like early Shining Forces since battles can sometimes take a while, and it's annoying to have to repeat said battles from scratch if you die and lose progress like gained levels. An alternative I don't care much for is in the Souls games and Salt and Sanctuary where there is no manual saving and you revive at a checkpoint if you die with lost experience permanently lost if you die again before getting to the point where you died last, and gameplay decisions are irreversible.

Grainofariver

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Re: Financial penalty instead of game over. Thoughts on this feature.
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2018, 01:14:59 AM »
I mean, at the end of the day it seems a bit pointless since most of these games warp you back to the last possible save-state anyway (i.e. the Poke Centre or church), so it's really a question of whether or not you think the XP earned from the trip is worth half of your money, because otherwise you'll just reload the game. This is made even sillier in games like SMT4 and Pokemon where you can save anywhere, rendering the whole thing moot. SMT4:A even got rid of the monetary penalty, and since 4 WOULD just plop you back where you died, death became meaningless beyond boss encounters.

The only way it really carries any weight is if you are able to return to the spot where you died OR the game auto-saves, forcing you to live with it. Dark Souls auto-saves, so most people think of the punishment as the lost of your souls. Personally I could give a toss: I just hate having to start back at the bonfire. I'd trade permanently losing my souls on death for not having to run to the boss room between every single attempt. In my eyes it's enough of a punishment that I cannot progress the game until I beat the boss, so making me waste a few minutes between each attempt is just that: a waste of time.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2018, 01:17:12 AM by Grainofariver »
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Greganox

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Re: Financial penalty instead of game over. Thoughts on this feature.
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2018, 10:21:52 PM »
It depends. I've only encountered this in Dragon Quest, and while it's nice if it means I don't have to go back through a dungeon to pick stuff up...in Dragon Quest, I usually find gold harder and more important to earn than XP, so it can still come off as a frustrating penalty. I usually wind up resetting anyways, unless I recently went to a bank and deposited all of my Gold. So...it's a non-feature as far as I'm concerned?
It does seem like you accumulate exp faster than gold in those games. I did forget to list the fact you might have to venture and fight your way through a dungeon again when defeated. It is a big punishment if its a long dungeon like the final one.
I'm fine with regular Game Overs if a game has frequent well-placed save points or lets you save anywhere. I think financial penalties work better in tactical RPGs like early Shining Forces since battles can sometimes take a while, and it's annoying to have to repeat said battles from scratch if you die and lose progress like gained levels. An alternative I don't care much for is in the Souls games and Salt and Sanctuary where there is no manual saving and you revive at a checkpoint if you die with lost experience permanently lost if you die again before getting to the point where you died last, and gameplay decisions are irreversible.
I wish more games would take note from the Shining Force series. For example if I don't think I'm going to win the battle I can have the hero cast egress and fight another day.

Der Jermeister

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Re: Financial penalty instead of game over. Thoughts on this feature.
« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2018, 11:40:53 AM »
La Pucelle similarly lets you back out of most battles, and the Disgaea games let you use Emergency Exits to escape their Item Worlds, so grinding if necessary in those games isn't terribly risky.

MonCapitan2002

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Re: Financial penalty instead of game over. Thoughts on this feature.
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2018, 11:29:14 PM »
I fucking hate financial penalties in RPG's.

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