RPGFan


Why Most RPGs Are "Generic and Cliched"

In his recent editorial, E-Chan mentioned that Lunar's story was "generic and cliched". Upon reading this, my first impulse was to go to this site's WD message board & flame him. After all, Lunar is my favorite RPG (heck, my favorite game) of all time, and the story is a major reason for this. That impulse lasted for about half a second. Then I thought about it, and realized that he wasn't really wrong about that. The basic plot was unoriginal. But at the same time, I realized that the same could be said about the vast majority of other RPGs as well. No, I'm not saying that all RPGs use the same basic plot, but if you think about it, you'll see that there are a handful of basic plotlines that are generally used in RPGs.

In the vast majority of RPGs, there is a single main character whose role the player assumes. This character is almost always male, and usually between 13 and 25 years in age. He will typically be [A] the great hero whose coming was foretold in an ancient legend/prophesy, [B] a member of a small band of rebels fighting an evil empire (or some equally large and powerful evil organization), or [C] an "ordinary" kid out for adventure (who for some odd reason is a skilled warrior despite his lack of training & experience). In the course of the game, he and his allies will [A] save the world from a powerful villain bent on destroying or conquering it, [B] overthrow the evil empire, [C] rescue a princess (or some equivalent figure), or [D] some combination of those three.

OK, how many RPGs have you played that you couldn't accurately (if incompletely) describe with the previous paragraph? I highly doubt there would be very many. My point is, very few RPGs have basic plotlines that could be considered particularly original. Most are cliched. But why is this? Well, a plot concept becomes cliched because it's used a lot. It gets used a lot because it works. That's why most RPGs use "generic and cliched" plot concepts; as the old saying goes, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

If you wish to submit an editorial of your own, or make a counterpoint of an editorial, please review the submissions page for guidelines.

Back




Twitch Schedule & Status

TBA
Sunday, November 26 • 10am PST/1pm EST

Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age
Mondays • 6pm PST/9pm EST

Vandal Hearts
Tuesdays • 12pm PST/3pm EST

Final Fantasy VI
Thursdays and Fridays • 3pm PST/6pm EST

Xenoblade Chronicles
Tues-Wed-Thu • 7pm PST/10pm EST
Saturdays • 5pm PST/8pm EST

Featured Content
Fabula Nova Anniversaris: Celebrating Thirty Years of Final Fantasy
Fabula Nova Anniversaris: Celebrating Thirty Years of Final Fantasy
Special Feature
Night in the Woods OST Vol. 1: At The End Of Everything Review
Night in the Woods OST Vol. 1: At The End Of Everything
Review
Fire Emblem Warriors Review
Fire Emblem Warriors
Review
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Preview
Xenoblade Chronicles 2
Hands-On Preview
Retro Encounter 109: Final Fantasy IX
Retro Encounter 109: Final Fantasy IX
Podcast
Path of Exile: War for the Atlas Preview
Path of Exile: War for the Atlas
Preview