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View Full Version : I am looking for some fun old-school nonlinear RPGs (preferably NES and SNES)



Peter1986
04-20-2016, 06:03 AM
Do you know of any RPGs for the NES and SNES that are fairly nonlinear, kind of like the Dragon Warrior games?
I am looking for something that has more or less the same type of gameplay as Dragon Warrior 2 and Dragon Warrior 3 for example, where you have a lot of freedom and where you are basically supposed to finish a bunch of quests in any order.
The part in Dragon Warrior 3 right after you have got the ship and sail around, finish dungeons and figure out where to find things etc is a good example off what I am looking for.

Wolf Kanno
04-20-2016, 06:35 AM
Wizandry comes to mind, since it's one of the inspirations for both DQ and FF. You can try your hand at Megami Tensei but it's more post apocalyptic if that's not a problem. Both are NES/Famicom games.

For the SNES, most games really started to take after Final Fantasy IV and Phantasy Star in this era, so you lose out on some of that freedom to just go where you want. You can always play the fifth and sixth installments of FF and DQ from this era as both are still fairly non-linear after a certain point in their plots. Breath of Fire is an interesting choice that kind of opens up about half way through.

If you don't mind a genre shift, Ogre Battle: March of the Black Queen is a semi-non-linear title where you eventually have to choose different battlefields to continue the story which affects who joins and what ending you'll get.

Rez09
04-20-2016, 09:05 AM
Romancing SaGa 1 and 3 on the SNES might be worth considering. Characters in both games start with fairly short introductory sequences before, basically, letting the player do whatever, although there is some minor gating on that front in both games (You can't explore the frozen castle in RS1 until it thaws, for example).

Peter1986
04-20-2016, 10:24 AM
Thanks for your advice, I will make sure to check out all of them. :)

So far I have taken a look at Romancing SaGa 1, and it seems to be somewhat similar to Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest.
That's good, because I like that game a lot.

Rez09
04-20-2016, 12:11 PM
I don't know enough about MQ to speak to that one way or the other, but, if you decide to give it a try, just be aware of how extremely non-traditional the game is, both in terms of story and level progression. It doesn't use experience points like most RPGs, but instead characters gain stats randomly after battle based on the actions they took, and the story is told via many side quests rather than through a fixed narrative. It's a good system, albeit quite different, and if that sounds appealing to you, totally give the game a try. :)

I can also provide some quick tips to make life easier in the game if you'd like, as I've played through it fairly recently. ;)

Peter1986
04-20-2016, 12:59 PM
I don't know enough about MQ to speak to that one way or the other, but, if you decide to give it a try, just be aware of how extremely non-traditional the game is, both in terms of story and level progression. It doesn't use experience points like most RPGs, but instead characters gain stats randomly after battle based on the actions they took, and the story is told via many side quests rather than through a fixed narrative. It's a good system, albeit quite different, and if that sounds appealing to you, totally give the game a try. :)

I can also provide some quick tips to make life easier in the game if you'd like, as I've played through it fairly recently. ;)
Thanks again! :)

The random stat development sounds kinda like the system in Final Fantasy 2;
not sure if you have played that game or not, but basically the characters in that game improve in things that the game thinks you need to improve on (for example, ending a battle with low HP will very likely increase your max HP, using a certain weapon a lot will improve your skills with that specific weapon, using a certain magic spell a lot will improve the power and usefulness of that spell etc).
I am guessing that Romancing SaGa is somewhat similar to this...?

Rez09
04-20-2016, 02:11 PM
Yes, the system is, in essence, an evolution of the system used in Final Fantasy 2. However, stat growth in RS1 is much more rounded than it was in FF2, and you can gain every stat randomly without using a corresponding action; your chances of increasing a given stat are augmented by your battle actions in RS1, rather than determined by them. You can still gain intelligence when whacking things with a hammer, for instance, it is just much less likely. This consideration is probably the most important when considering hp, as there is no way to grind that stat in RS1 like there was in FF2; it'll grow based on the strength of the enemies you are fighting, rather than based on how low it is after battle. The game also uses weapon levels, but they work a bit differently as well, as you gain proficiency with specific weapons instead of weapon classes in RS1 and unlock various weapon techs with said weapons as you level them up.

Spuuky
04-20-2016, 06:54 PM
Other than just Dragon Warrior 4, I assume?

There are modern games that do this in the retro style - Artifact Adventure comes to mind.

FriendlyRoegadyn88
04-23-2016, 08:02 AM
Chrono Trigger, Live A Live, or Star Ocean? They are founded in website called vizzed (free online game).