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the messages in rpg storylines, issues of morality

messages story issues morality

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#21
metiman

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Do all jRPGs have absurdly large and heavy swords or do some use katanas? You would think they would be happy with the sword designs that they themselves (presumably) invented. A two handed slender, curved design has always seemed far better to me than the 1 handed cutlass that Europeans seemed to favor.

#22
Naesh

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Okay. We both know you will get "snookered" again, (from vol 17) when you are bored enough. :yes:

#23
Naesh

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Do all jRPGs have absurdly large and heavy swords or do some use katanas? You would think they would be happy with the sword designs that they themselves (presumably) invented. A two handed slender, curved design has always seemed far better to me than the 1 handed cutlass that Europeans seemed to favor.


Most of them are absurdly large swords, yes.

Back in college we held some special "who can watch more super-japanese-style movies" competitions. It was a lot of fun, in the weirdest way. Perhaps it was a special kind of self-punishment. You *really* have to see one (no, actually, for the sake of your mental health *do not* see one) to properly get the difference in the western-eastern cultures. Please search youtube for "robo-geisha", watch the trailer. :D Please do so! :D :D :D

By the way, i still consider Berserk an awesome fantasy story. It's just from an other culture, that's all. And i guess people will always desire what they can't get. So, jRPG-s will always have absurdly large swords, that cannot be wielded by the japanese. And this explains why katanas are favored by the modders (of skyrim, for example).

Edited by Naesh, 24 October 2012 - 07:29 PM.


#24
Sedrefilos

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Don't know about the Berzerk comic but i quit the animated series at the 2nd or 3rd episode due to the usual sexism in anime. In particular, the merchant leader orders his 2nd in command woman (who is presented as too much of a badass until then) to sleep naked with the wounded berzerker for curing purposes, because this is the job women!!! And of course, she obeys...

After that i don't really cared about anything else that anime wanted to "say".

Hopefully we won't be seeing any of that bullsh it in PE

Edited by Sedrefilos, 24 October 2012 - 11:56 PM.


#25
Thangorodrim

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I think that computer games are just a different media to convey the classic hero quest. In centuries past it was the oral storyteller, which then transitioned to the written word, which has now expanded to include the visual media (movies, TV, games, etc). Although there are degrees, the Hero Quest does tend to follow a standard pattern:

1. Call to Action/Adventure - all stories have a beginning. Whether you are Beowulf, Hercules, or some generic bystander you must start in the normal everyday world and then some event or intervention thrusts you into the strange and mystical world of the adventure. Whether it is divine intervention or pure chance doesn't matter; it is only the choice of whether to join the adventure that is important.


2. Trials/Adventure - if you accept the call in step 1 then your trials and adventure begins. This could be just the standard activities of day to day living or the epic hero quest of computer game and literary fame. The key to this stage is growth. The protagonist is growing and developing as the story/trial progresses.

3. Ultimate Challenge - In some adventures (as in life) you are presented with some ultimate challenge (Beowulf vs the Wyrm, Prometheus stealing fire, the Buddha facing the three trials before enlightenment, etc). Although not every story has the same level of ultimate challenge, this is typically the denouement of the story where all the roads converge and you leave the crossroads truly changed (for positive or negative) or you die or you run away (fearing to face the challenge)

4. The reward - if you succeed in the challenge you receive a reward (Godhood in BG2, Enlightenment for the Buddha, etc). This reward is usually life changing and gives the hero great authority or standing with their peers (winning the game :biggrin: ).

5. The return or apotheosis - once you have received your reward you can either return to your fellows and share the reward or you can take the money and run (Apotheosis) ... although the epic hero quest uses this final step it isn't generally used for games (although the different final endings for BG2 definitely give you this choice, even if there is no gameplay subsequent to the choice; to a certain extent the original ending for Fallout 3 kind of met this requirement as well)

I see nothing wrong with using the tried and true hero quest model. How you enter the quest and progress is strictly an artistic device. I look forward to see how PE handles the epic hero quest for our character :dancing:

#26
TrashMan

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I would like to play a story where the main goal would be something humanely impossible, yet, at the end of it the character could achieve it! Like, in order to end a curse that brands you as the target of undead spirits every night, you have to kill a (demi)god!


Don't like it personally.

#27
TrashMan

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most of our posts is tending to harsh.

oh, and we actual read the first manga issue before we dismissed. the characters is... not. is caricatures. super-powered swordsman with 2 metre i-beam-pretending-to-be-a-sword and bad guy wearing cobra armour drinking blood from severed head at end o' spear? please. scenarios is ridiculous over-the-top. dialogue is forgettable, and story is not near as original as some folks here seem to think. violence doesn't bother us.

HA! Good Fun!


The begining of Berserk can be confusing and misleading (it basicly starts near the end, goes back to tell the story then picks off).
While it is a dark - VERY dark - fantasy world with lots of violence and gore, it does make quite a lot of sense the deeper you go in.

Without knowing why Guts wields that huge sword (and how can he possibly wield it in the first place..interestingly enough, for the majority of the anime he actually wields a far more normal two-hander), why he lost his arm, his eyes and everything...it like jumping in the middle of a moive, watching 5 minutes and then making conclusions.

Personally I'm not a huge fan of Berserk, but it is a rather interesting and unique mange/anime.

Edited by TrashMan, 25 October 2012 - 02:27 AM.

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#28
Naesh

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While it is a dark - VERY dark - fantasy world with lots of violence and gore, it does make quite a lot of sense the deeper you go in.

It's dark, precisely to show that no matter what happens, you can pull through, you can still win - if you don't stop fighting.

But still... i find the world of DA:O and the setting of Skyrim much more depressing... Have you watched the Destiny trailer of DA2? Did you listen to what Flemeth actually says? Bending your knees to destiny = wisdom, going against it = stupidity? Will there be more of these "shut up and obey" style "heroic" tales i wonder? It's like every human progress would be the work of some greater power and not achieved at the cost of the sweat and blood of key individuals (who actually have names)! If it's like that in each western fantasy (to some extent), if the fans really want to hear that, then sorry, but i will like that "really bad o' comic" better! What i want to say to all these fans is to stop pitying yourself and take a good look at reality already! When this physicist guy:

http://en.wikipedia....iki/Leó_Szilárd

was diagnosed with cancer and the doctors told him, no way in hell will he survive, he looked up some biology books, then designed a method to cure himself and succeeded! Did he survive, because he was the dragonborn? Hell no! This is really how a genuine human character looks like!

#29
Karkarov

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as to the embedded video, we went through 90+ pages o' a really bad comic 'cause we didn't want to dismiss berserk w/o reading. is no way in hell we is gonna get snookered a second and/or third time.

In defense of the story I would have recommended avoiding the Manga entirely actually. What takes like 250-300 pages of pretty par stuff in the Manga is cut down to 1 25 minute episode in the anime then it just cuts straight to where the story actually starts getting good.

I will admit straight out that if I had seen the manga first and started at the beginning I likely would have dropped it.

As for the guy being human... uh no not really. He was a child mercenary from like 5-6 years old and has in fact been "cursed" by the "gods" and has a bevy of other things going on. So yeah you are right, there is nothing "normal human" about him, christ sake he has a cannon on his arm. There is a part of the story where he is just a really really skilled normal human fighter but that doesn't start until like volume 3 and ends around volume 12. Even though it is the best arc of the story it is actually a small part of it.

Either way I understand why you would come away not liking it from volume 1, to each their own.

#30
SunBroSolaire

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I hope "fate" has nothing to do with the story, I'm so sick of that crap.

Dark Souls was a good example of a game that avoided the "chosen hero" cliche. You start out as a weak undead, and the only way that you're such a ****ing badass by the end is through your own blood, sweat, and tears. You were also totally free to form your own opinions about the deities that controlled the world, to the point where you could actually wipe them all out and foil their plans. Great example of providing a lot of roleplaying potential with relatively few choices. Dark Souls was also heavily inspired by Berserk, coincidentally.
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#31
jezz555

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as to the embedded video, we went through 90+ pages o' a really bad comic 'cause we didn't want to dismiss berserk w/o reading. is no way in hell we is gonna get snookered a second and/or third time.

In defense of the story I would have recommended avoiding the Manga entirely actually. What takes like 250-300 pages of pretty par stuff in the Manga is cut down to 1 25 minute episode in the anime then it just cuts straight to where the story actually starts getting good.

I will admit straight out that if I had seen the manga first and started at the beginning I likely would have dropped it.

As for the guy being human... uh no not really. He was a child mercenary from like 5-6 years old and has in fact been "cursed" by the "gods" and has a bevy of other things going on. So yeah you are right, there is nothing "normal human" about him, christ sake he has a cannon on his arm. There is a part of the story where he is just a really really skilled normal human fighter but that doesn't start until like volume 3 and ends around volume 12. Even though it is the best arc of the story it is actually a small part of it.

Either way I understand why you would come away not liking it from volume 1, to each their own.

Why would you hire a child mercenary? Just seems like a waste of money to me.

#32
Naesh

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Why would you hire a child mercenary? Just seems like a waste of money to me.

He was part of a mercenary band and his "father" put him to work. Or rather, wanted to get rid of him. But it's still very silly. Ignore it.

Personally, i - playing an anti-hero character - would like to go after an adventuring party, where the lead character is in some form a "chosen one" by fate or by some of the "good" gods. Just like the usual chosen heroes. Add in some repulsive hypocrisy and we have an explosive situation. You will be facing the typical character that you were forced to play in other games. Heheheh.

Edited by Naesh, 25 October 2012 - 10:09 AM.


#33
Naesh

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honestly, the odyssey reference we submitted is oddly more remote from the realm o' crpgs. odysseus offends a god and spends 10 years trying to get home. he ian't trying to save world, or revenge himself on a super villain. ultimate solution is not defeating monsters or solving impossible riddle. unlike most homeric characters, odysseus grows.

There is one more thing that i noticed, it might be of interest. The values transmitted by modern media rarely celebrate the human nature as it is. Somehow there is always the hidden message, that something is inherently wrong in how humans behave naturally and the player character (the machine) is the one who will correct that. The true beauty of the human nature is viewed through very distorted lenses. I really don't like this message, as it tries to undermine self-respect.
What is more striking, that some of the very human qualities are generally frowned upon or ignored. I did not see a positive character act out of envy or sloth, when it's pretty common in the real world. What i really dislike is when a story tells me that this or that character is "evil" or somehow in the wrong, therefore he / she should be killed, when in reality all he / she did was act in a very natural way. These things are generally very hard to notice and i doubt that they were planned.
If you look at the old greek literature, the human nature was celebrated at every doorstep. For example, envy was very much understood as a motive, not shunned or ignored.

#34
Gromnir

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honestly, the odyssey reference we submitted is oddly more remote from the realm o' crpgs. odysseus offends a god and spends 10 years trying to get home. he ian't trying to save world, or revenge himself on a super villain. ultimate solution is not defeating monsters or solving impossible riddle. unlike most homeric characters, odysseus grows.


If you look at the old greek literature, the human nature was celebrated at every doorstep. For example, envy was very much understood as a motive, not shunned or ignored.


a bit myopic. greeks had different values, so some stuff we see as admirable (e.g. humility) were not embraced by greeks. also, while sophocles could make us weep at the beauty o' the human spirit, he were hardly the only writer to consider humanity. aeschylus, on the other hand, often focused 'pon human frailties in all their unvarnished corruption and evil.

HA! Good Fun!

#35
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Why would you hire a child mercenary? Just seems like a waste of money to me.


For a real life example, just look to the Mexican cartels that use children as assassins.

#36
Azarkon

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as to the embedded video, we went through 90+ pages o' a really bad comic 'cause we didn't want to dismiss berserk w/o reading. is no way in hell we is gonna get snookered a second and/or third time.

In defense of the story I would have recommended avoiding the Manga entirely actually. What takes like 250-300 pages of pretty par stuff in the Manga is cut down to 1 25 minute episode in the anime then it just cuts straight to where the story actually starts getting good.

I will admit straight out that if I had seen the manga first and started at the beginning I likely would have dropped it.

As for the guy being human... uh no not really. He was a child mercenary from like 5-6 years old and has in fact been "cursed" by the "gods" and has a bevy of other things going on. So yeah you are right, there is nothing "normal human" about him, christ sake he has a cannon on his arm. There is a part of the story where he is just a really really skilled normal human fighter but that doesn't start until like volume 3 and ends around volume 12. Even though it is the best arc of the story it is actually a small part of it.

Either way I understand why you would come away not liking it from volume 1, to each their own.


He doesn't like it because it's too over the top. This is a feature of Japanese entertainment in general. They enjoy caricatures, and their artistic style revolves around creating and selling caricatures. Judging by what they put into their art and entertainment you'd think Japan is the land of larger than life life styles and colorful personalities. But it's actually the opposite - Japanese culture is as reserved as their artistic style is not.

Edited by Azarkon, 25 October 2012 - 03:06 PM.


#37
Water Rabbit

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The mechanic used by Obsidian in FNV was very much an "ordinary" person in the wrong place at the wrong time. Now this person was not in an "ordinary" profession for the world, but hardly and extraordinary position either. Basically just a mailman shot and robbed for carrying a package someone else wanted. However, many people on various FNV boards complained that the character had really little motivation to get involved with the various factions. Frankly after getting revenge, there was little to drive the character forward in the narrative. In fact the one option the character did not have was to go back to doing his job as a courier. The one option most likely to be taken after the revenge motivation was played out. The courier really did not have a dog in the Legion/NCR fight.

I think the reason for this was, in part, because the character's possible companions had such shallow stories. The companion that has the most developed story also had little reason to be in the Legion/NCR fight.

So, if the game is going to try a story (as opposed to being a sandbox game) then the character being in the wrong place/wrong time meme has to have a good hook to propel the character forward into the story. I think this type of story be its vary nature has to have a "what's in it for me" type of angle.

In NWN2 by Obsidian, you have a similar type of story in that the player is really only special because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time (as an infant). Yet the character is propelled into the story because he becomes hunted, so survival becomes the motivation.

Of course in both FNV and NWN2, the character is ultimately disappointed at the end because the author's cheat the player of the 'reward'.
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#38
Ignatius

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How about, you are the chosen one, however, someone else keeps solving the problems ten minutes before you get there!

DARN!

I was very much satisfied with the FONV plot. Worked very well for that game. You're more or less just carving a niche in the world, which is what makes it so compelling. Tipping the balances, how you see fit. I don't think not having an option to go back to a boring job as Courier really matters. I mean, by the time you've gotten your revenge, you're so wrapped up in other going ons, that dropping everything and heading back to your boring job as a courier hardly makes sense.

"Hey, Mr. House, running New Vegas sounds neat and all but um... I'm just gonna go back to being a simple courier. This is just all too exciting for me."

Edited by Ignatius, 25 October 2012 - 04:48 PM.


#39
Naesh

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a bit myopic. greeks had different values, so some stuff we see as admirable (e.g. humility) were not embraced by greeks. also, while sophocles could make us weep at the beauty o' the human spirit, he were hardly the only writer to consider humanity. aeschylus, on the other hand, often focused 'pon human frailties in all their unvarnished corruption and evil.

And my point is that "our" values are a bit ****ed up. I do not see humility admirable, but just something that's necessary to show in social interactions. (or face the consequences)

In fact, humility is utterly despicable in my point of view. I like pride and arrogance much more. These are completely honest attributes. Especially pride. Not empty, baseless "pride", but real pride. It forces you to draw a line for yourself, not to let go of your standards, should anything happen.

I really think that "our" values - that is, the values that are forced on us by the media and the people around us since we live in communities - center somewhat in *self-hate* and this is very damaging in the long run. ( I recommend you some of the works of Ayn Rand, if you are interested, i think that she actually might have had some good thoughts. Or go and watch some of her interviews on youtube, a couple of minutes. That is, if you don't fear from getting "snookered" again. :no: )

If you think about it, this provides an explanation as to why the old greek culture is a bit alien, why nobody finds anything wrong in the da2 trailer (and such), which basically tells you in an epic way (so you wont notice) to bend. I think that "evil" and "good" are just words that are used by people to control (to condition!) others. And that the real, undistorted nature of humans (at least those who managed to build up some self-respect) is very colorful, very beautiful.

This is why alignment in rpg's is meh. Many times the stories are questionable too. Always just pretending to be free from the dualistic world view. Reality has more colors, like "everyone against everyone", not "the good guys vs the bad guys".

#40
Naesh

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^+1 for FONV plot. Worked very well for that game. And you're definitely an average person who gets sucked into something amazing, yet, you never feel like THE ONE.

I have no problem being the one. I have a problem being the one without my own effort, without attributing "being the one" to me, and i have a problem being a machine without any real, human purpose. I know i should roleplay but what real, believable character would go into such great lengths as to sacrifice himself / herself to save the world? To save my cute kitten - maybe. But to save the world? Exactly what am i saving?

Edited by Naesh, 25 October 2012 - 04:50 PM.






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