View Full Version : JRPGs with adult sensibilities

09-26-2017, 01:41 PM
I've recently been able to finally get Persona 2: Eternal Punishment and there's one thing in particular that I'm looking forward to in this one: the fully (well, mostly) adult cast. I heard a lot about how this is actually in the game's themes, dialogue, and how this really does make a difference in the overall message and feel of the story, so I really can't wait to play it!

But that reminded me of how oversaturated this genre in particular is with kid protagonist. I mean, I'm not complaining - I was a kid too, and I can relate to kids in media and don't really need the heroes to be my age in order to project completely - but the fact that it's so refreshing to see a JRPG with an adult cast is kind of sad. Adults make these games, right? More adults right now are playing games than ever and there are a ton of themes you could touch on with an adult demographic that you couldn't with a teen one, so why not tap into it? Why do Western developers have fewer problems with this and adult protagonists are more prevalent here?

And my question to you guys: any other JRPGs with adult protagonists you've ever played or heard about? Did you enjoy them? Do you wish, like me, that there were more of them?

09-26-2017, 02:13 PM
It's kinda cheeting since it's actually made in the West but Anachronox has an all-adult cast, where the protagonist has to deal with debt, alcoholism, and failed relationships.

09-26-2017, 03:37 PM
anachronox is also hilarious

09-26-2017, 05:16 PM
Depends on your definition of "adult", I suppose. Going by the technical definition of "18 or older", quite a few JRPG protags are actually adults, usually between 18 and 21 years old.

Anyway, I don't particularly care whether the cast is adult or not, their personality and how they act is a lot more important to me. Cloud's an adult, but I vastly prefer 16-year old Zidane.

09-26-2017, 06:37 PM
I basically just mean I would like to see more adults dealung with adult problems (jobs, responsibilities, etc) rather than a coming of age story - whicg is fine, I just wish there was more variety

Wolf Kanno
09-26-2017, 07:10 PM
The impression I've always been given concerning Japan's love of young protagonists is that in Japan, gaming is still considered a kids thing. Once you get a job, society over there expects you to work and not have much in leisure time that isn't socializing with co-workers and family. For them, gaming needs to be targeted towards kids and young adults because they're the only demographic that most likely openly admits t liking and playing video games. Granted, this is only a guess, but it's the impression I get from industry heads and the fact that more adult heavy games in Japan tend to do better in the West than in their home country.

The West has grown far more lax on gaming as a pass time, and many nations are known for having disposable income, so it doesn't surprise me that not only did kids who grew up on gaming still game, but that the industry would keep tapping that demographic.

I would personally love to see more "adult-themed" stories from Japan, if only because Japan (and Asia in general) has such a unique perspective, whereas being immersed in Western culture means that Western game plots always feel a bit too cliche for me, but it's because I'm more familiar with how Western society thinks.

09-26-2017, 07:32 PM
I basically just mean I would like to see more adults dealung with adult problems (jobs, responsibilities, etc) rather than a coming of age story - whicg is fine, I just wish there was more variety

Hey, saving the world is a responsibility :3:

To be fair, WRPGs are no better in this regard. You're always an adult in those but you don't really deal with things like that, instead you're just some roaming badass who saves the world/galaxy.

I think the mundane just doesn't translate well into RPG gameplay, if anything JRPGs have come closest to it with slice-of-life sections in Persona and Atelier games.

Anyhoo, to name at least one JRPG I've played that has a protagonist older than the typical 17-21 range, Lost Odyssey. :p

There's also Nier (though, the main character was younger in the JP version) and Shadow Hearts 1 & 2 (granted Yuri isn't much older, 24/25)

Darth Ganon
09-28-2017, 07:35 AM
Lost Odyssey had a mostly adult cast. Half of it had 1000 years of adulting before the game begins.