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Similarities between older RPGs and the new ones


barakav

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I don't know if many people noticed it but some of  the modern age games are taking certain plot elements from old time games and the CRPGs. Sometimes it's about the small plot elements like companion back story and sometimes it's about the large scheme of things like the main story and the main villain characteristics.

 

I am mostly thinking about Bioware games, the examples that jump into my mind right now are the mass Effect series which took some of the reapers and the protheans storyline directly from Star Control 2 and Star Control 3.

 

Avellin Vallen from DA2 that was a powerful woman who lost her husband and reminds me of Jaheira.

 

Parts of the story of the main villain in DA3 which is a powerful and physically deformed mage that wants to ascend into godhood. (Irenicus)

 

Also I think that at least some of the inspiration for POE came from Mask of the betrayer with all the story arc about souls.

 

and there are more, and I am pretty sure many of the players that reads it will be able to think about other examples and I think it will be a pretty interesting read.

 

Anyway ,sometimes I am wondering why certain plot elements are so appealing in one storyline while looking completely ridiculous in another. IMO DA3 villain is pretty mediocre while Irenicus was pretty intimidating, Star control 3 was rejected by the series fans partly because of the plot while in ME3 the plot was so good that fans wanted to sue Bioware because the ending wasn't satisfying enough. And jaheiras' character and grief was far more convincing than Avellins' was.

 

Anyway does anyone else can think about any more examples ,or has any intake on this?

Edited by barakav
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An ex-biophysicist but currently Studying Schwarzschild singularities' black holes' Hawking radiation using LAZORS and hypersonic sound wave models.

 

My main objective is to use my results to take over the world!

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I'm sure some of it can be attributed to inspiration. Some of it's just coincidence, though. It's not that crazy, for example, to think that someone who didn't even know who Jaheira was would design a character who was a female warrior who had lost her husband. And there are probably a bajillion tales of individuals trying to ascend into godhood. *shrug*.

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Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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I don't think it's a coincidence only because their characters were similar. Mass effect is an obvious rip off. 

 

I think that many plot designers played the original games and used their plots as a starting point for the new ones.

 

And the fact that many plot elements are overused actually supports this...

Edited by barakav

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An ex-biophysicist but currently Studying Schwarzschild singularities' black holes' Hawking radiation using LAZORS and hypersonic sound wave models.

 

My main objective is to use my results to take over the world!

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*shrug*. I'm not telling you "nope... no one ever decided to intentionally rip off anything."

 

What I'm saying is, it's an awfully strong assumption to make, that anything that happens to be similar to something else was obviously intentionally based upon that other thing. I can think up some magic system right now, and someone will tell me "That's just like how it is in (insert book series name here)." To which I'll say "Oh... I had no idea!"

 

Similarity does not = rip off, is all I'm saying. More information is needed to confirm something is a rip off.

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Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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Only 9 plots in the world ... or however that goes.

 

Influence, inspiration, homage does not (always, or even often) = "intentional/knowing rip-off."

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“Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.” – Alan Watts
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Oh Really?  so the idea that a powerful race is coming back to the galaxy every 50000 years and destroying every living species is one of those 9 plots? Or the parts about the precursor race that left powerful artifacts and suddenly got ''extinct'' before they could complete their  ultimate weapon/instrument ...

 

It is obvious you two didn't play star control the plot is very similar.

 

The other examples aren't rip offs but they do smell a lot like they have been influenced. I will be surprised if modern RPG writers wouldn't have played some of the original games and have been influenced by them. 

 

BTW it is also possible that the movie momento was influenced by planescape tourment or vice versa. What are the chances that two different creators will have the same idea of a man having amnesia and using tatoos to remind himself of his past?

 

This is definitely  not a reused or a common plot element.

Edited by barakav

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An ex-biophysicist but currently Studying Schwarzschild singularities' black holes' Hawking radiation using LAZORS and hypersonic sound wave models.

 

My main objective is to use my results to take over the world!

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Well, BioWare likes to reuse the same characters over and over - there's always the tough, no-nonsense warrior woman (Jaheira, Ashley, Cassandra, Aveline), the sweet, innocent girl (Aerie, Tali, Merrill, Dawn Star, Liara), and the haughty, arrogant ice queen (Viconia, Morrigan, Miranda, Vivienne).

 

That said, this isn't a bad thing, per se, just a very noticeable thing.

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"There is no greatness where simplicity, goodness and truth are absent." - Leo Tolstoy

 

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Sorry but I am not an Apple fanboy, and I never typed anything about it being a bad thing. I just wanted to have a discussion about plot elements that are being repeated in many games.

 

BTW it sometimes do turn into a bad thing when a plot is being used too many times in so many games because it does start to annoy you eventually.

Edited by barakav

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An ex-biophysicist but currently Studying Schwarzschild singularities' black holes' Hawking radiation using LAZORS and hypersonic sound wave models.

 

My main objective is to use my results to take over the world!

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They call it "duckling's effect". Did you know that newborn duckling takes first living creature he sees for its mother forever? Some people's mind works in similar way. They hear one tune, for instance, and after that for every single tune that has three tacts matching with that first they heard they yell "It was taken from %name_of_tune%! Plagiarism!"

 

Seriously, though, there's no way to know or sure what was taken from where or inspired by what. Unless you're the author, of course. Elements that you've listed could've been borrowed intentionally, borrowed unconsciously or just be a coincedence. After all, seeking godhood is fantasy fiction trope, warrior woman losing her husband is a pretty obvious source of drama, and question of what is soul interests many people.

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Oh Really?  so the idea that a powerful race is coming back to the galaxy every 50000 years and destroying every living species is one of those 9 plots? Or the parts about the precursor race that left powerful artifacts and suddenly got ''extinct'' before they could complete their  ultimate weapon/instrument

Those are specifics. The saying "only 9 (or 10, or 12) plots" refers to the basic overreaching plot, not the minute details of how they're brought about. It's just one of those sayings, with many grains of truth but not necessarily to be taken super literally...

 

Anyway, games having similar plots is no different than the 1000's of films and TV shows with the same basic plots/premises. I can't remember the last time I saw a movie where the plot itself (not the details or how's, but the plot) wasn't something I've seen before. Video games haven't been around as long...but they are still going to be influenced heavily by whatever the developers of a game have read, watched, or played themselves.

 

I can't really think of a specific game that reminds me another game story wise, because to me they're all largely the same to begin with if that make sense - the details can make them either more or less interesting, but it still all feels familiar.

“Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.” – Alan Watts
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P.S. - I should probably clarify that I do tend to recall characters more than plots/story/setting details. So there are probably games where at some point I went "this chr. and their backstory really reminds me of some specific other chr."

--but then I can't recall which game/chr. it was and the thought passes. :) It's what happens to some of us when there's too many years of stories crammed into the brain...

“Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.” – Alan Watts
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Oh Really?  so the idea that a powerful race is coming back to the galaxy every 50000 years and destroying every living species is one of those 9 plots? Or the parts about the precursor race that left powerful artifacts and suddenly got ''extinct'' before they could complete their  ultimate weapon/instrument

Those are specifics. The saying "only 9 (or 10, or 12) plots" refers to the basic overreaching plot, not the minute details of how they're brought about. It's just one of those sayings, with many grains of truth but not necessarily to be taken super literally...

 

Anyway, games having similar plots is no different than the 1000's of films and TV shows with the same basic plots/premises. I can't remember the last time I saw a movie where the plot itself (not the details or how's, but the plot) wasn't something I've seen before. Video games haven't been around as long...but they are still going to be influenced heavily by whatever the developers of a game have read, watched, or played themselves.

 

I can't really think of a specific game that reminds me another game story wise, because to me they're all largely the same to begin with if that make sense - the details can make them either more or less interesting, but it still all feels familiar.

 

Oh yea? Try to find one single element in any game that is similar to PS:T. Some games are better and more original than others.

 

I just thought about the Elder scrolls prisoner fetish...

 

Are you familiar with Bioware story cliche chart?

Nope.

Edited by barakav

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An ex-biophysicist but currently Studying Schwarzschild singularities' black holes' Hawking radiation using LAZORS and hypersonic sound wave models.

 

My main objective is to use my results to take over the world!

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Are you familiar with Bioware story cliche chart?

I wasn't, but now I am. That's pretty funny.

 

http://www.psu.com/forums/showthread.php/214782-BioWare-RPG-clich%C3%A9-chart

 

Oh yea? Try to find one single element in any game that is similar to PS:T. Some games are better and more original than others.

You're not understanding the difference I was making between overall plot points vs. details aspect, are you?
“Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.” – Alan Watts
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Are you familiar with Bioware story cliche chart?

I wasn't, but now I am. That's pretty funny.

 

http://www.psu.com/forums/showthread.php/214782-BioWare-RPG-clich%C3%A9-chart

 

Oh yea? Try to find one single element in any game that is similar to PS:T. Some games are better and more original than others.

You're not understanding the difference I was making between overall plot points vs. details aspect, are you?

 

There is nothing like this game, not like its' overall plot (there is no real antagonist and your mission is to die) and not like its' detailed aspects. It won't fit into any cliche table like Dragon age and there isn't a single character that will fit into

500metrictones post about general companions in Bioware games.

 

BTW KOTOR 2 was also a very original game and very deep in all of it's aspects. and the hero and his companions were special and their story was special.

Edited by barakav

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An ex-biophysicist but currently Studying Schwarzschild singularities' black holes' Hawking radiation using LAZORS and hypersonic sound wave models.

 

My main objective is to use my results to take over the world!

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There are millions of stories, movies or games and it is really hard to find something that has not been used before.

 

The oldest known story is the gilgamesh epos and lots of things from it are still used today.

 

But I must admit that some things are used so often that you think: Oh no, not the same ***censored*** again !!!

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The problem is not the similarities. Inspiration is fine as already mentioned a few times. It's obvious that some features from older games in a genre will reoccur in newer titles. Like in all GTA games there are black dudes with bandanas and shades. That's all good. Characters with similar flaws or personalities are normal in the real world, so that's not something strange.

 

The problem is formula laziness. Call up Freddie Prinze, Jr. and say:" Hey man, we just added a couple of horns to Vega from ME 3. Get this man, now he's the Iron Bull. Interested?". 
"Oh yeah, Freddie, you remember how Vega lost his squadron in some grand sacrifice. With Iron Bull the player can make that decision themselves, how wild is that?".

 

Yeah.. Stuff like that is just sad. 

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Are you familiar with Bioware story cliche chart?

I wasn't, but now I am. That's pretty funny.

 

http://www.psu.com/forums/showthread.php/214782-BioWare-RPG-clich%C3%A9-chart

 

Oh yea? Try to find one single element in any game that is similar to PS:T. Some games are better and more original than others.

You're not understanding the difference I was making between overall plot points vs. details aspect, are you?

 

There is nothing like this game, not like its' overall plot (there is no real antagonist and your mission is to die) and not like its' detailed aspects. It won't fit into any cliche table like Dragon age and there isn't a single character that will fit into

500metrictones post about general companions in Bioware games.

 

BTW KOTOR 2 was also a very original game and very deep in all of it's aspects. and the hero and his companions were special and their story was special.

 

 

KoTOR 2 was a pretty nasty story that diminished the force as a straight metaphor for belief or faith that guides human beings to act heroically, defy authority, oppose oppression, to struggle for something above your own interests etc but is itself not substantial.

Kotor 2 says well the force is stupid because you can't have binary morality and even your apparently altruistic impulse to say give aid to a beggar can theoretically lead to a greater harm which is like not even moral relatavism it's more like moral abatement. It's bad to have basic human qualities like empathy and advancing aid to a fellow human being in need is wrong. A very ugly view of things.

 

Original Star Wars : powerless people under the thumb of tyrannical authority succesfully rebel and destroy their tormentors.

KoToR2 : Trying to change anything for the better or do anytihng good at all is a waste of time.

Darth Nilhism is actually the hero not the exile. And it's relentlessly praised  for somehow offering a more sophisticated view of the force or the 'Star Wars universe' whatever the hell that means. I hated it.

 

Not sure why people didn't like the ending, it's entirely appropriate thematically. Your ship falls into an abyss and everybody dies without warning or fanfare, such a thing is completely consistent with KoTor 2 s depiction of an uncaring mechanistic universe in which the force (in this game I suppose any attempt to behave morally) is exposed as fradulent and meaningless. If the restored content mod alters that which I believe it does then it's actually worsened the game by diluting or possibly even contradicting its message.

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I don't get the point of this topic. It feels like the op just realized that nothing comes out of thin air and that you could reach the ancient times by endlessly rewinding the chains of inspiration. Now I understand that stories inspired by other stories are less (or seem less) original that stories inspired by history events, which feel less original than stories inspired by a day at work or some reminiscence of a dream, but really it's all the same in the process.

Now go, wild soul, and chase down every similarities in the massive world of story-telling. Don't forget your lunch it's gonna take a while.

Qu'avez-vous fait de l'honneur de la patrie ?

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Only 9 plots in the world ... or however that goes.

 

Influence, inspiration, homage does not (always, or even often) = "intentional/knowing rip-off."

 

I've heard there were really only 3:

 

Man versus Man

Man versus Nature

Man versus Himself

 

I guess PS:T goes under "Man versus himself"

He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster . . .

when you gaze long into the abyss the abyss also gazes into you

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Get used to it, OP, the more you read/watch/play, the more you'll get the feeling "I've already seen this somewhere, or at least something like it".

Also, link. Number of possible core story situations in may be limited, but devil's in details.

 

...Wait. Or is this all about Bi... certain game making company? Nevermind then.

 

@NegativeEdge. For the record, I hated black-and-white Force ideology in Star Wars the first time I learned about it. It's just childishly stupid, whole concept. I hated it through all six episodes, entire Clone Wars serial, and first KotOR. The second one finally gave me somewhat a relief (thanks for that!), although impression I've got from the story was fairly far from what you described.

Edited by Yellow Rabbit
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KoToR2 : Trying to change anything for the better or do anytihng good at all is a waste of time.

This is only your conclusion, not the game's. KOTOR2 isn't an ego trip where you save the kingdom and get the princess. And i don't even think there's "right" and "wrong" in the game. If Kreia or someone else say something, it doesn't automatically means that that what devs want you to believe. It is a game that challenges you to think, instead of blindly excepting some in-game logic of what's good and bad. Saying that that is what the game is about is entirely wrong simply because it never provides you with any kind of answers.

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