Do you like having kids as heroes?

#1CatratioPosted 2/15/2013 3:06:05 PM
It seems to me a lot of RPGs, and probably games of other genres too, have a lot of kids as protagonists. Usually they're 15-21 or so, and there's quite a few that are literally kids, like 5-10 years old. I have to say it gets really tiresome for me. I could understand in the 90s when games were still regarded as mainly being just "toys for kids" so companies would want to have kids as the heroes to appeal to their audience. But the average age of game players now is 35. All those kids in the 90s are adults now. I can't be alone in wishing there were more adult characters like Cyan (FF6) or Taloon (DQ4). I'm not saying get rid of kids entirely, since of course there are still a lot of young game players out there. But I think now days there is a probably a more even ratio of adults to kids who play than ever before, so I wish games would reflect this balance better.

Also I want to say I understand there is historical justification for kids being heroes. In past centuries young kids were used in fighting wars (and in some countries now still are) and in the US a lot of 18 year olds join the military and go into real combat. But for me that isn't my life. I don't personally know anyone in the military and I wasn't alive in a time when giving a 12 year old a sword or gun and sending him into battle was acceptable and normal. I just can't relate to that because when I was growing up every authority figure was older than me. My parents, teachers, police, etc. were all "old". Even now that I'm in my 30s all my bosses and landlords are still older than me. It's just ingrained in me that people in power are older, so playing a game where the world saving hero is some 16 year old just doesn't resonate with me. I'm playing Crisis Core and I was stunned to find out Zack joined SOLDIER - an elite military group - when he was 13. It just seems silly to me. I know it's fantasy, but I just can't relate.
#2Wandering__HeroPosted 2/15/2013 3:19:10 PM(edited)
Depends, if they try to at least make it realsitic, or give them realistic persoanlties and reactions, or at least avoid making them annoying its ok.

Though your average loli moe fodder character annoys the crap out of me. I mean Arghaest War, its creepy enough that you try to make the little children sexually deseriable, but at least don't make them stupid and annoying, because it will also remind how your gameplay isn't up to scratch either.

I kind of wish more would play it darkly, like the creepy twins in Valkeryie Profile Covenant of the Plume who have really known nothing but violence and war, and thus are messed up psychopaths who don't understand the gravirty of their actions or death. Child soldiers really aren't moe kawaii desu at the end of the day.
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#3CreekCoPosted 2/15/2013 3:23:05 PM
Wandering__Hero posted...
Depends, if they try to at least make it realsitic, or give them realistic persoanlties and reactions, or at least avoid making them annoying its ok.

Though your average loli moe fodder character annoys the crap out of me. I mean Arghaest War, its creepy enough that you try to make the little children sexually deseriable, but at least don't make them stupid and annoying, because it will also remind how your gameplay isn't up to scratch either.

I kind of wish more would play it darkly, like the creepy twins in Valkeryie Profile Covenant of the Plume who have really known nothing but violence and war, and thus are messed up psychopaths who don't understand the gravirty of their actions or death. Child soldiers really aren't moe kawaii desu at the end of the day.


You didn't play Record of Agarest War 2, did you? Also, RoAW games are unique in that they all feature a predominately adult cast. Occasionally they'll have a young side character but most of the protags are in their 20s easy, if not older. In fact, the most recent game deconstructs this specific trope for the very reasons you gave.
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#4Wandering__HeroPosted 2/15/2013 3:49:51 PM
Played Zero for a few hours, wasn't impressed.

It puzzles me the fans were all OMG THIS IS TOTALLY BETTER THAN ARGHEST WAR, then the second comes out and they finally admit its flawed but insists Arghest War 2 got it right this time.
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#5CreekCoPosted 2/15/2013 3:55:10 PM
Wandering__Hero posted...
Played Zero for a few hours, wasn't impressed.

It puzzles me the fans were all OMG THIS IS TOTALLY BETTER THAN ARGHEST WAR, then the second comes out and they finally admit its flawed but insists Arghest War 2 got it right this time.


I think, as far as I can figure, it takes exactly 9 hours on an average gameplay until RoAW Zero begins to hit it's stride. You could probably ask Kash and see what he says. But that's what I tell people to expect out of that game. Tbh, it's best to get some DLC to make those first 9 hours go by faster.

Of the three games, Zero is probably considered both the best value and the weakest installment individually in the series. That weird sort of dualism is just how the RoAW series rolls, though.

Kids as heroes can work. I think the best example recently for me was Tales of Destiny f. Unlike a lot of other people, I absolutely loved the point that the childhood arc was trying to make.
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#6Wandering__HeroPosted 2/15/2013 3:59:06 PM
I consider a game only getting good after the nine hour mark a sign that its probably badly designed and tested, particurly as they really could have had better characters or had the story go in a more interesting direction within the time I played. Their seemed to be an awful lot of dead air and pointless scenes that could have been cut.
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#7CreekCoPosted 2/15/2013 4:28:59 PM
Wandering__Hero posted...
I consider a game only getting good after the nine hour mark a sign that its probably badly designed and tested, particurly as they really could have had better characters or had the story go in a more interesting direction within the time I played. Their seemed to be an awful lot of dead air and pointless scenes that could have been cut.


I tell people this all the time -- this isn't bad design at all. It may be slightly hateful. See, !f doesn't really want casuals playing their games. I view this as neither right nor wrong, just a statement of fact. Just like a freshman level college weed-out class, the first hours in their games are just designed that way. If you stick with it, it's a great game but good luck holding on (why I highly, highly recommend DLC). The amount of time saved in battle will totally change your outlook on the game (I'm currently playing it right now).

Zero has some other problems -- worst music in the series and also lackluster visuals in battle (I still have no idea why this is). As such, it's more of a chore to play through at times. Don't feel bad, man -- lots of people weren't feeling this one. Of the three, it's the one I give the weakest recommendation to (I only recommend it due to the awesome value you get). If it's any consolation, RoAW 2 doesn't really kick in until Gen 2. I think that also this particular game is just really, really hard. Even with DLC weapons, my first fight took me at least 5 mins.
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#8JunpeiIoriPosted 2/15/2013 4:36:37 PM
It depends on the game, really.

Yeah, I would like to see more JRPGs deal with more adults and have characters that are more "real", that don't just follow every anime cliche in the book.

But, in Japan, JRPGs are marketed towards kids. So, to have many heroes actually BE kids does make sense.

Also, some games simply are better off with younger protagonists, like Ni no Kuni. That game is filled with so much whimsy and unbridled optimism that having an adult protagonist just wouldn't make any sense. The game makes you feel like a kid, in a sense, and I think it does the idea of a young protagonist very well.

On the flip side of things, you have games where characters are 16 and, for some reason, seasoned veteran warriors, and they're fighting wars and act like they've been around far longer than the game says they have. In these instances, I think the developers just put a young age in there but don't actually write a story around a young character, so it feels odd and unnatural.

It's just how JRPGs roll. Sometimes it's done well and sometimes it's done just like every other Japanese thing we've seen before.
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#9AkazoraPosted 2/15/2013 4:47:58 PM
JunpeiIori posted...
It depends on the game, really.

Yeah, I would like to see more JRPGs deal with more adults and have characters that are more "real", that don't just follow every anime cliche in the book.

But, in Japan, JRPGs are marketed towards kids. So, to have many heroes actually BE kids does make sense.

Also, some games simply are better off with younger protagonists, like Ni no Kuni. That game is filled with so much whimsy and unbridled optimism that having an adult protagonist just wouldn't make any sense. The game makes you feel like a kid, in a sense, and I think it does the idea of a young protagonist very well.

On the flip side of things, you have games where characters are 16 and, for some reason, seasoned veteran warriors, and they're fighting wars and act like they've been around far longer than the game says they have. In these instances, I think the developers just put a young age in there but don't actually write a story around a young character, so it feels odd and unnatural.

It's just how JRPGs roll. Sometimes it's done well and sometimes it's done just like every other Japanese thing we've seen before.


Can you name an example of a 16 year old seasoned veteran warrior? Closest thing I can think of is Celes from FFVI. Most young characters tend to just be in good shape to start with because they don't sit around playing video games for leisure, but aren't necessarily skilled.
#10AmenonuhokoPosted 2/15/2013 4:56:10 PM
The Goonies is one of my all-time favorite movies; so I kind of like the idea of kids as heroes from time to time.

I don't know if it was the era when I grew up, watching movies like The Goonies, Stand By Me, The Monster Squad, White Water Summer, Explorers, etc. or the fact that my first adventure game was Zelda 1 whiile I was a kid myself, but it really doesn't bother me at all and I do like the change of pace. Actually, I prefer little kids to teenagers probably because of those reasons.

It's harder now to Identify with children heroes or brooding teenage heroes than with adult ones but when it comes down to it, the quality of the game is ultimately my deciding factor.
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