With hundreds of RPGs around, we tend to find that many of them have some elements that reoccur, even if it is two different games, made by two different companies. While some are good and enhance the gameplay of the game, others can do quite the opposite. These can be considered cliché, or just common reoccurrences. Though some of the elements may be beneficial, logic in it just does not make a lot of sense. Here is a list of some of the many elements that have had their share of appearances in RPGs, and as of now, should no longer make an appearance, along with the game(or game series) that best shows why the element should be forgotten. Whether good, or bad, these elements are baffling beyond belief and deserve to finally take a rest. And before reading on, there are a few spoilers, just to warn you.

2 years may have passed, which would make someone believe that Rikku was actually more powerful. No, of course not. This is all too common in RPGs. If a character not only ends up relatively strong in one game, but even starts out strong, why are they all of a sudden weaker at the beginning of the sequel? This just makes one wonder how characters and enemies alike somehow downgrade themselves from the first game(s). You can’t just magically go from level 24 to level 1, and shouldn’t either.

Games like the Suikoden series are all too well known for this. It’s great that you just got some 12 year old girl who’s picking up a spear for the first time, but if the main character is a war hero starting out on level 8, why is she on level 24? Logic would have you assume such an inexperienced character should be on level 1, maybe level 2, but no that’s too illogical. It makes all of the veteran fighters you do obtain get put to shame, as they couldn’t even compete against that 12 year old. Though beneficial, it makes one question the real coolness and power of the main characters of the game.

This one just baffles me, maybe more so than most of the others. How is it, someone will just fight a boss with 1,200 HP, dealing about 90 damage per blow, but later when you get this person, he/she only have 200 HP and will deal 50 damage to your guys? What force did the creators decide would severely weaken your character after you fight him/her? If this person are going to end up so weak, he/she should start out that weak. Yes it would make for a disappointing boss fight, but at least you wouldn’t wonder why now your weak healer could take this character now, even though most of your characters kept dying after one hit from that person 15 minutes ago.

I’m not saying all love stories are bad, not at all. However, some games just seem to have such illogical love stories created, simply to lengthen the actual story that obviously wasn’t worth working on. If Rinoa hates Squall so much, why does she want to make out with him now? If Squall couldn’t care for Rinoa, then how are they in love, 1 hour later? These love stories seem to be more of an excuse to lengthen the story without actually lengthening the story. Love stories could easily exist without a problem, as long as the writers give reason as to why the characters are in love in the first place instead of just stretching out a story that‘s too short.

These ruins went unsolved for 400 years, but all you had to do was put this block on the ground and place it in the indentation that was the same shape as the block? Are the other characters of this game really that stupid? If your party is supposed to solve such difficult puzzles, they should at the very least be somewhat difficult, and not 1st grade worthy. If the ruins were never discovered, fine they can be easy, however if nobody could solve putting two blocks next to each other, then please have it rain so the people that attempted to solve these ruins can raise their heads and drown. Such easy puzzles make the game embarrassing to play, and creativity should be used to up the difficulty of some of the puzzles.

This has been made all too obvious in many RPGs. Whether it’s Jowy from Suikoden II, Kain from Final Fantasy IV, or Riku from Kingdom Hearts, it is all too common to see the main characters best friend betray them. Though it may not be the fact that the best friend becomes a traitor that makes this reoccurring element annoying, It’s the fact that they betray you without reason. They always promise to help you and be by your side no matter what, but then will betray you, just because they want to. On top of that, they out of nowhere become the leader, or top henchmen of your enemy. It becomes much too predictable when this happens, and it would be pleasing to not make the best friend betrayal be so dumb or trivial.

Although it would suck to see most of your characters leave your party toward the end of the game, when the going gets tough, it just really only makes sense. You have a character, who happens to be a soldier of the enemy, and they join you, betray their country, becoming known only for their treason…because you beat them in a game of cards? If a character is afraid to die, or does not believe in what they’re fighting for, they should leave your party eventually. It is really illogical that you have such loyalty from those that have no reason to be fighting on your side to begin with.

If a shop owner in some dirt town is begging for you to buy his stuff so he can get dinner for his children that night, then why is he charging you 50,000 gold for a sword (though worth it) if he only needs 100 gold to feed his family. On top of that, how is he so poor if he just bought you old sword for 29,000 gold? What are the developers thinking when they create such merchants is all I ask. Haggling with someone who is desperate for even a little bit of money shouldn’t be difficult. Also, they really should have any money on them to begin with. Shop creators of Final Fantasy XII, read this short paragraph 1000x before making the shops of Final Fantasy XIII.

Okay, you just finished a really long dungeon, fighting about 66 random battles, which were pretty damn tough, and if you didn’t pack a TON of healing materials you would have never made it through. The boss just killed the rest of your party, and you may have not beaten him had you not just had three critical hits in a row. So, after all of that, what do you find? A 9 year old boy who was playing in here and got lost!? How… just how did this kid get past all of the hundreds of enemies, let alone the boss.!? The only logical explanation is that this kid is 15x tougher than your entire party, in which case, he should join your team. What do the creators think when they have this? It’s not as if you can sneak past the hundreds of enemies, you have to face so many. If some children, or civilians are at the end, let there be better reasoning other than “wandering too far.” Please.

This is much too common in way too many games, especially older ones. In some of the older games, such as for the SNES, or early Playstation, it was understandable that the developers had much on their mind, that they don’t think to make tutorials on how to fight optional. However, when the current generation systems came along, you’d figure that the developers would realize that some of the players are going to plat the game more than once. Still, they expect that we must learn how to steal, use items, access the main menu, and that we must endure the painfully slow explanation on how to press triangle and the dpad. This is tedious and completely unnecessary, as no person should have to suffer spending 90 minutes in a 25 hour game, just to see the various options of the main menu. If only Toadette understood that playing the game for the third time, that I figured out how to use the super hammer by now. Please developers, if anything else, give us the option of whether or not we want to view the tutorials of the game.

And there you have it, some of the many cliché, reoccurring elements that are shared in numerous RPGs, and deserve to take a rest after long last. Baffling, confusing and illogical to many, the ridding of some of these elements would make some gamers be able to play a game, without being confused from some of the illogical tendencies of the game. Let developers learn and create new, less predictable, more logical elements that can stay in many future games.

List by lostthefire (07/16/2007)

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