What is it with JRPGs and ancient, tech-advanced civilizations?

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  3. What is it with JRPGs and ancient, tech-advanced civilizations?
Lord of Nightmares 4 years ago#21
Gwendal posted...
Lord of Nightmares posted...


Actually, it was established in ME lore that the Protheans weren't really all that advanced in the grand scheme of things and actually borrowed a lot of their tech from the dominant race from the previous cycle known as the Inusannon, although it's actually a lot more complicated than that.


Sure, but even so, they could still do things like actually building a working mass relay, even if it was a prototype, or preserve people cryogenically for 50,000 years, which would be far beyond the "modern" galactic civilization in the games. But I guess the Leviathans would be an even better example of this trope for the ME games.


^

Yep, that's who I was thinking of as well if you want to name the most advanced race in the known galaxy, and whom the dominant races from subsequent cycles derived their tech from (since it was Reaper technology).

Although in ME lore, technology never actually regressed, but rather development was monitored and controlled by the Reapers.

User Info: SilentSerph

SilentSerph
4 years ago#22
Also, this is a JRPG world where there was not an ancient civilization.

Krytha: "Let's go explore this cave!"
Dack: "Yes, let's explore it!"
(They get to the center of the cave)
Krytha "There's nothing in this cave. It's just kinda a big hole in a cliff."
Dack: "Yeah. But it's a cool cave, want to start a cave tourism business?"
Krytha "Sure."

The end

User Info: darkmaian23

darkmaian23
4 years ago#23
SilentSerph posted...
Also, this is a JRPG world where there was not an ancient civilization.

Krytha: "Let's go explore this cave!"
Dack: "Yes, let's explore it!"
(They get to the center of the cave)
Krytha "There's nothing in this cave. It's just kinda a big hole in a cliff."
Dack: "Yeah. But it's a cool cave, want to start a cave tourism business?"
Krytha "Sure."

The end


That isn't a fair assessment of what happens when ancient civilizations are lacking in an RPG. There could, after all, be future technology inside of the cave that has traveled backwards in time.

User Info: PostCrisisJ2

PostCrisisJ2
4 years ago#24
when people confuse narrative tropes with game genres
http://starcrossedstuck.tumblr.com/

User Info: BdubBobsleb

BdubBobsleb
4 years ago#25
The points about humanity regressing were nice. I'm not sure, though, that most games put that much thought into this. Maybe Wild ARMs, because that game made it a point that the world is dying. And in Tales of Destiny there was a massive war and ice age that basically wiped out cities. But somewhere along the line it ceased being meaningful, and just another standard plot point to throw in there. In the real world we make discoveries and see how advanced our ancestors were, but we've still surpassed it (usually) with our own present-day tech. I rarely see that in RPGs.

SilentSerph posted...
Also, this is a JRPG world where there was not an ancient civilization.

Krytha: "Let's go explore this cave!"
Dack: "Yes, let's explore it!"
(They get to the center of the cave)
Krytha "There's nothing in this cave. It's just kinda a big hole in a cliff."
Dack: "Yeah. But it's a cool cave, want to start a cave tourism business?"
Krytha "Sure."

The end


Actually, I think your smartpants post inadvertently summed up a problem with many games: a lack of imagination.

When it's really a problem is when the world knows there used to be great technology, but no real reason why it's gone. "There used to be great airships flying the skies!" OK, so why don't you build more airships? "Because there are no more, uh....Mana Cores!" Whatever.

PostCrisisJ2 posted...
when people confuse narrative tropes with game genres


Nobody has done this.

User Info: Last_testament

Last_testament
4 years ago#26
I know 80,000 people probably already said this but I'm little busy right now so I'll just state it anyway. The trope is used because it actually happened. Compare ancient Greece/Rome to the medieval ages (a period where a lot of rpg's take place in terms of atmosphere). Just Compare the sophistication of one's literature and mathematical/philosophical thinkers to the other, how medieval art sucks horribly in comparison to Roman/Greek art. Plus Ancient roman architecture was much more superior to medieval architecture where homes werent even built for long term inhabitability.

I took a history class (Paleolithic to early Rennaissance) a while back and I was surprised at the vast difference between the two periods and how the former was so much better than the latter.
"You have become a slave of freedom just like that fallen angel"-Kagutsuchi

User Info: SilentSerph

SilentSerph
4 years ago#27
It is definitely true there's a lack of imagination. But also, JRPGs like the action to be dictated by some kind of mysterious higher will, so the characters are always small in scale compared to the things they get involved in. That's part of what gives JRPGs their particular feel, and having an ancient civilization helps create that sense if scale.

Sure, the characters could create these magic powers they're using instead of uncovering them, but that would distance the characters from the player and make what they find seem like more of a stretch.

Maybe some time there should be a game that takes place in the ancient civilization. I wish they would have done a FFVI prequel which takes place in the War Of The Magi.

Or maybe some game where they go back in time to that ancient civilization that they know got destroyed.

User Info: alec20

alec20
4 years ago#28
Japanese have a very narrow spectrum of things they can come up with. There isn't a lot of creativity in storytelling there. But these days it looks like the west is trying to outdo them in unoriginality. Isn't it a wonderful time for RPG fans?

User Info: PostCrisisJ2

PostCrisisJ2
4 years ago#29
Japanese have a very narrow spectrum of things they can come up with. There isn't a lot of creativity in storytelling there. But these days it looks like the west is trying to outdo them in unoriginality. Isn't it a wonderful time for RPG fans?

...

I knew coming back to this board was a mistake.
http://starcrossedstuck.tumblr.com/

User Info: CreekCo

CreekCo
4 years ago#30
PostCrisisJ2 posted...
Japanese have a very narrow spectrum of things they can come up with. There isn't a lot of creativity in storytelling there. But these days it looks like the west is trying to outdo them in unoriginality. Isn't it a wonderful time for RPG fans?

...

I knew coming back to this board was a mistake.


Well... Alec isn't wrong. Most of the creative minds have been driven from key positions within the video gaming industry in Japan recently. One of the main reasons I like !F games is because I think that they are kinda nuts -- once you get past the fanservice (vices served up for fans, lol), there is usually pretty snarky social commentary in their games along with creative battle systems. For instance, you wouldn't think it but paying attention to VIT is often very important in their games. By paying attention, I mean... you are best served to allocate player points into VIT *before* you level up. So really you need to manage your expectations and player point allocations wisely. Little quirks like that interest me.

I think ultimately, though, depicting worlds with ancient tech is kinda unoriginal if for no other reason than it's basically the truth of our world. Why is every major civilization hub on a lay line? What the heck is up with pyramids everywhere? What was really in the library that Alexander the Great burned down in Egypt? Most people don't know that Africa had risen AND fallen twice before cultured civilization even began in Europe. Why are ancient Chinese and Mayan star maps so accurate?

So on and so forth. I think the truth is stranger than fiction.
Overwatch. -- X-Com: EU
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