Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 60

Thread: RPG Cliches

  1. #1
    Member flamethrower's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Posts
    4,999
    There have been some topics about this in the past on RPGamer forums, but it has been awhile since the last one.

    What are your favorite and/or least favorite RPG cliches? Which ones are horribly overused to the point of no return?

    If you haven't checked it yet, there's a huge list of cliches over at TV Tropes. There is no separate category for RPG-specific tropes (only videogames).

    Save the world is horribly, terribly overused. When I'm done saving the world, it just gets itself back in jeopardy again!

  2. #2
    Fly Away Now Descara's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    426
    I hate this anime as well, but the 'wussy' male role pisses me off extremely. It was a pain to play Infinite Undiscovery due to how much of a pansy Capell was. I prefer games where the hero is a bit darker, older, more of a badass than a 'teenage boy who is out to save the world'.

    I'm quite fond of female leads though, and have yet to see a terrible one in rpgs.

    I think another cliche is the hero using swords. However, it does bug me when they're trying so hard to get away from swords, they come up with something stupid like a trumpet (Rhapsody), a stick (La Pucelle), a guitar (Chrono Cross), etc.




  3. #3
    Member Aurian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    1,683
    True, its often a young, inexperienced boy from a tiny village who is expected to go and save the world. Bleh. Overused in written fiction and in video games alike. Give me some mature heroes who have lived a bit already please! Not all stories using this cliche are terrible mind you, but it IS overused.

    And please, let us dispense with the girl hates guy, guy hates girl, ergo they wuv each other really!

  4. #4
    Member flamethrower's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Posts
    4,999
    Swords are better than guns bugs me a lot.
    Quote Originally Posted by Quote:
    And please, let us dispense with the girl hates guy, guy hates girl, ergo they wuv each other really!
    This seems like more of an anime one than videogame. Some videogames do have that, the most recent one I can think of being Crimson Gem Saga. None of the Final Fantasies have it that I can think of. I'm a guy, I like this sort of thing. I think it's cute.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Quote:(flamethrower @ Jul. 13 2009, 4:00 PM)
    Swords are better than guns bugs me a lot.
    This one, for me, depends on the technology level. In the Ivalice games, for example, I'm fine with it. You're going to cause a lot more trauma with a big two-hander than such an archaic device by contemporary standards. On the other hand Final Fantasy VII, an example with automatic weapons and such, yea, it makes me shake my head.

    In general though, cliches in the genre don't really bug me, albeit there are plenty of things that don't make sense but I'm willing to overlook for the sake of convenience. Being able to lug around 20 different pieces of armor, for example.



    Rise!

  6. #6
    Member Jormungand's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Wisconsin, U.S.A.
    Posts
    1,595
    Quote Originally Posted by Quote:(Descara @ Jul. 13 2009, 3:13 PM)
    I hate this anime as well, but the 'wussy' male role pisses me off extremely.
    Yeah, every RPG yet to be made could lose this archetype and the genre would be the better for it. I'm fresh off of Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World and... my god... could they have written a more pathetic lead? Nevermind that <span class="spoiler">his toughening up is a major part of the story</span>; it's still annoying.

    Then again, there's this archetype's polar opposite, neatly embodied in the original Symphonia's Lloyd and his by-the-books Type A personality: brash, reactionary, and incapable of self-reflection.

    And I don't know about you guys, but I would love to rid the RPG world of comic-relief characters for good.

    Now that I've got that out my system, I'll stand up for two prominent RPG cliches: saving the world and The Empire. We see them a lot, and they're often presented in predictable ways. However, by themselves they don't actually suggest a lack of narrative quality. I think a lot of people end up jumping the gun when these elements pop up and (irrationally) assume that their presence must mean the story has no inherent originality. But these elements are merely representatives of greater themes and ideas, and can be written such that the end product does create genuine affect and (if we're lucky) possess literary value.

    The examples of these are few and far between certainly, but the presence of these elements alone shouldn't be enough to ward off players.




  7. #7
    Fly Away Now Descara's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    426
    Quote Originally Posted by Quote:(Jormungand @ Jul. 13 2009, 5:26 PM)
    Quote Originally Posted by Quote:(Descara @ Jul. 13 2009, 3:13 PM)
    I hate this anime as well, but the 'wussy' male role pisses me off extremely.
    Yeah, every RPG yet to be made could lose this archetype and the genre would be the better for it. I'm fresh off of Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World and... my god... could they have written a more pathetic lead? Nevermind that <span class="spoiler">his toughening up is a major part of the story</span>; it's still annoying.
    Oh my god, the first hour or two of Dawn was the WORST experience I've ever had in an rpg. The combat with that wuss was just @%(#%^(%(@%(@#(%^%@#&#036;&amp;&#036;%^*&#036;%&am p;!!!!! I wanted to scream. Thankfully, it's fixed after that first hour or so.

  8. #8
    Under watcher LordKaiser's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Puerto Rico
    Posts
    3,287
    Badass hero. The only one I can think of is Yuri/Hyuga from the first 2 Shadow Hearts games. After those games there is not a single JRPG that have touched me with it's story and IMO those games are underrated. Oh and Fei fro Xenogears whe he become... spoiler tags don't work properly on my crappy PS3 Brawser....
    Never buy a game published by D3 Publisher that is not WKCII. They cheated on their fans by releasing a game that they didn't support not even for a year and they released a rushed translation.

  9. #9
    Member Skypp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Atlanta Ga
    Posts
    143
    Another cliche that spans many genre, I hate the cliche of the enemy using the "dumb" good guys to collect all he needs to call a demon, set off nuclear warheads, or otherwise destroy alot of stuff. 9 times out of 10 I can call it right off the bat, and even though I realize I'm actually helping the bad guy, I can't do anything about it. Then when I bring him all the pieces/passcards he needs, the enemy is all "HA! You were a fool! I used you and you didn't even realize it! How stupid are you? I am so clever hahahah"

  10. #10
    Guest
    Kinda off-topic, but there was this brilliant bit of game design in Bioshock, where you're <span class="spoiler">at a point where you know you're helping the bad guy take control, but you're powerless both as the character and as yourself the player to do anything else.</span> Aside from furthering the story, this was a weird little commentary on the illusion of free will in games: we like to think we as gamers are running the show, but in reality we're always being shepherded toward the next objective, and the story's continuation hinges upon our willingness to thoughtlessly complete said objective.

    But yeah, not every game can be a Bioshock.




  11. #11
    Of course, that's almost a cliche in and of itself. Ken Levine practically started that in FPS games fifteen years ago with System Shock 2. Wasn't too surprising that he'd write it into his newer game. [img]non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif[/img]



    Rise!

  12. #12
    Member Shadowcat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Winston,GA
    Posts
    2,881
    Hi guys. When you said RPG Cliches I thought of the old GIA and started hunting through archives trying to find the list:

    http://project-apollo.net/text/rpg.html
    (looks like a mirror of the list that was on that old site)

    I like this one in particular:

    MacGyver Rule
    Other than for the protagonists, your choice of weapons is not limited to the prosaic guns, clubs, or swords. Given appropriate skills, you can cut a bloody swath across the continent using gloves, combs, umbrellas, megaphones, dictionaries, sketching tablets -- you name it, you can kill with it. Even better, no matter how surreal your choice of armament, every store you pass will just happen to stock an even better model of it for a very reasonable price. Who else is running around the world killing people with an umbrella?

    Edit(found the original):
    http://www.psy-q.ch/mirrors....18.html



    FFXI Character name: Shadowneko Server: Quetzalcoatl Main Jobs: lvl 76 THF, lvl 95 Summoner, lvl 39 Dragoon

    My VAPS Entry,

  13. #13
    I hate you bastards. I swore myself I'd only ever touch TvTropes once a month, but now I've spent the last 2 hours reading their crap. You guys suck. [img]non-cgi/emoticons/angry.gif[/img] [img]non-cgi/emoticons/tounge2.gif[/img] [img]non-cgi/emoticons/angry.gif[/img]

  14. #14
    Member Cidolfas's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    2,513
    Hey, TV Tropes Will Ruin Your Life.

    My worst cliche is practically anything that involves the word "random". Random encounters, randomly drops, random chests, random skill learning... bleh.

  15. #15
    Angel-Possessed Priestess Administrator Strawberry Eggs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Long Island, NY
    Posts
    3,736
    I also don't mind cliches so much, either. I can still find a story interesting or engaging even if its full of cliches and character archtypes. Even a cliched story can be good if it is told well. I wouldn't mind if some conventions were broken, however. Maybe having a main character over the age of 18 once in a while? Or how about a female lead that wasn't soft spoken, naive and a healer/user of light magic (I've played my fair share of RPGs that broke the latter, but not so much the former).



    "Tiz, please. You're getting bumpkin all over my feral bikini woman fantasy. "

  16. #16
    Guest
    I've been taking a long, hard look at my feelings about jRPGs lately, and if maybe I'm beginning to "outgrow" them. I often come back to some of the stuff mentioned in this thread.

    @strawberry_eggs
    Yeah, a more dynamic, self-aware, late 30's to mid 40's, possibly female MC would be pretty interesting, but I won't hold my breath. I've heard people compare the overuse of the bishounen teen archetype to the more Western space marine archetype, and they make a good point. However, an important difference is that one taxes my disbelief-suspension abilities to their breaking point, and the other does not.




  17. #17
    Angel-Possessed Priestess Administrator Strawberry Eggs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Long Island, NY
    Posts
    3,736
    Though I suppose you could say this about any sort of fanciful setting, what about the cliche of having the main characters, major characters and major villains dress in more elaborate, flashy, or ridiculous outfits than the general populace? The strange and sometimes (or maybe often) impractical outfits sported by these characters may not stick out so much in a fantasy or sci-fi setting, but it does compared to the more subdued clothing of NPCs and minor characters. Even though the main characters are practically saying "hey look at us! We're important!" NPCs don't seem to recognize that (all the time anyway. Sometimes they know the main characters are the ones who are going to save the world and other times NPCs just recognize them as adventurers).

    To be honest, I kind of like the outfits sported by RPG characters. As impractical, landish, and ridiculous as they may be, I think they can be pretty cool, too. Also, sometimes the outlandish outfits DO fit because the NPCs and minor characters dress in similar ways. The Baten Kaitos games are excellent examples. The main and major characters and villains in both games have some of the most complex, over-the-top outfits I've ever seen in any RPG. Compared to everyone else in the game world though, they don't really stand out all that much because a lot of the inhabitants wear strange outfits. Most of the Magnus Shop keepers have strange outfits; there are people wearing snail shells on their backs and little kids dressed up as giant blue birds for some reason; people of Anuenue have very colorful outfits; the people of Parnasse and over inhabitants of Mira; the list goes on! It makes the main characters' clothes fit in more naturally rather than sticking out like sore thumbs.
    "Tiz, please. You're getting bumpkin all over my feral bikini woman fantasy. "

  18. #18
    Member Judgement's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    England
    Posts
    766
    Let's See Now.....

    1. Monsters drop money..... why what are they saving up for. I actually liked FF8 Salary System and to a lesser extent Fable 2's although that could be exploited like nobodies business.

    2. Part way through a game shy princess with mysterious power gets taken by big bad and her power exploited causing mayhem and chaos.

    3. Archtype big sis characters always have to wear as little clothing as possible. It's like RPG law or something.

    4. The best characters always die. Leaving the angsty leads to mope about it for a good while.

    5. Little Kid characters must be dressed differently than eveyone else. for some it's endering others just darn creepy.

    6. Main Character always hooks up with shy princess type even though the partially clothed big sis type has been flirting shamelessly with them for a good portion of the game.

    7. Main characters mysterious power always looks better in cutscences I want to cause armageddon with my pinkie too buy Noooo thats ony for the computers enjoyment.

    8. Why does every young male lead have abs of steel and also be masterfully proficient in some form of weapon/magic/martial art why can't he be chubby and a complete novice for once.

    9. Why do Inns charge you more to sleep the further into the game you get what does 500 gold get me that 10 gold doesn't for that much I want massages and naughty movies.
    You have awakened the sleeper May God forgive those who go against his Judgement
    and may God show You mercy and compassion For I shall show you none........

  19. #19
    Member SiliconNooB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Adelaide, South Australia.
    Posts
    6,893
    Hate: The requisite pre-pubescent party member with the high pitched voice.

    Love: The requisite spunky female party member with the upbeat personality (think Yuffie, Selphie, Riku etc.).

    Bemused by: The reccuring theme of old technology, where an anchient civilisation (always precisely 1000 years in the past, and destroyed by war) developed fantastical technology which denizens of the world are only now excavating and rediscovering.
    Lusipurr.com: One man's monument to himself!
    9 out of 10 Dentists recomend UNDERBOOB!

  20. #20
    Under watcher LordKaiser's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Puerto Rico
    Posts
    3,287
    Magical beds that heal every type of wounds and conditions and even revive the dead. Why don't use a restoration chamber or something? Magical beds are over used and stupid.
    Never buy a game published by D3 Publisher that is not WKCII. They cheated on their fans by releasing a game that they didn't support not even for a year and they released a rushed translation.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •