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Thread: No, seriously, stop

  1. #1
    Witch of Theatergoing Karifean's Avatar
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    Default No, seriously, stop

    You know those moments, those "oh not this trout again". Either you've seen it so much before or it just feels stupid, in any case, what's the one trope in JRPGs that's been so played out for you that you can't help but roll your eyes every time it happens? Even when it happens in your all-time favorites?

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    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    The three that come the quickest to mind are:

    Laputa plot: For those who have never watched Laputa: Castle in the Sky, this is a story of a young optimistic boy who most likely dreams of leaving his small but loving home town to go off and do something important but never does. That is until they come across a mysterious girl with mysterious powers who likely doesn't know how she got them, and she is being pursued by evil forces, usually the government, who want to capture her. So the boy has to flee and protect the girl only to discover she's deeply connected to the history of the world. There are many variations but usually it boils down to boy meets mysterious girl with powers and the bad guys want her. It was one of the most overused plotlines back in the day, though I don't think we see it as much nowadays, at least from high profile developers.

    The Obviously Evil Establishment is actually Evil, Surprise!: I was originally going to say how most established religions in RPGs are evil, but I realize that a few other games I hate kind of pull the same stunt just switching out religion for government or authority figure. Now this isn't a necessarily bad trope but I do feel like there is no middle ground and either its done well or not. What separates a bad one from a good one is whether the writing makes it too obvious the authority figures are evil and then tries to play off the reveal like it was actually a huge plot twist when it was obvious from the beginning they were evil all along. This is your Church of Yevon, your fal'Cie, Your Glabados Church, your Lazulis, and to a certain extent, Old Man Xehanort. Now, its fine if the general public within the story thinks they are good and the party knows the truth, I'm talking about when the party themselves are shocked to learn the truth which is what separates this from say Shin-Ra or Solaris where the fight against them is kind of the whole plot despite the heroes being a small fringe element who knows what the groups are really doing. It can be done well though in the case of say Persona 3 and 4, but in those cases, the writing does a better job of hiding the fact the token traitor/villains are in fact working against your goals by usually making their facade outwardly goofy and silly.

    The Token Love Story is the other one I strongly dislike and this trope actually extends to most media, not just gaming. In fact I would say film is probably more guilty of milking this one than RPGs but you can still find it there. The issue with romance in other media is a problem of focus and time allotted to it. There is a reason why Romance is its own genre because a good romance story needs to have a lot of time to build up and gradual growth into something believable. This is why it sucks when writers toss one into a story that is obviously trying to do other things here. The lack of focus can make the romance feel pretty scripted and fake, and if you try too hard to give it more time in the plot to feel natural, it feels unnatural instead because now you're wondering why the plot is sideline just to watch two people who are obviously going to hook up go through the painful process of convincing you they are. Good writers can sometimes make the romance feel like a natural part of the story, others can use it as a source of conflict for two characters as their character arc; but I'm talking about the story that feels like its here because of contractual obligation, not because anyone actually cared and so the romance always feels forced and its barely interesting because you already knew the moment you saw them that Boy 1 and Girl 1 were going to be together forever and their whole love story is a by the book token tale of love that is filled with lots of tropes you saw coming a mile away when you first looked at the box art. This trope also tends to happen a lot in the Laputa Plot trope as well.
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    Jessweeee♪'s Avatar
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    Gonna echo what wolf said a bit, just, mysterious girls and particularly when they have very little character development and mostly exist as motivation for the protagonist or another narrative device. Or, as tend to also happen in a lot of anime OVAs also, they exist only for a brief arc and are never to be seen or mentioned again, and in the case of anime of they are not even canon like that purple haired chick in that Bleach thing, or Marie in P4 golden

    Just like, you want us to care so much about this guy caring about this mysterious girl that you couldn't even bother to develop?
    Last edited by Jessweeee♪; 06-30-2019 at 05:33 PM.

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    Witch of Theatergoing Karifean's Avatar
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    My biggest one is Devaluing the HP bar. You know, those fights where you deplete the enemies' HP bar but it means nothing. Right after the fight YOUR characters are the ones more out of breath and the enemy gets right back up and gets ready to strike you all down. WTF what did I even fight for!? Much as I love the game, Trails of Cold Steel is really bad about this.

    I'm mostly okay with it in multi-phase boss fights, but it kinda became more silly to me in Persona 5. I'm thinking the fight with Shido for instance where the first two times you deplete his HP bar he just powers up, but the third time it actually made him fall over and being beaten. I don't think I had *any* reason to believe he wouldn't power up again and it just felt strange. Why was depleting his HP bar so significant this time?

    God I love Undertale for making the HP bar absolute.

  5. #5

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    That moment when all seems lost, but then the entire party tells the main character to believe in himself and how great he is, after which he suddenly has the power to defeat the bad guy. This trope seems very common in cartoons, too. At best, it feels kinda innocent and wholesome. At worst, it feels contrived and lazy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Karifean View Post
    My biggest one is Devaluing the HP bar. You know, those fights where you deplete the enemies' HP bar but it means nothing.
    Oh my god, yes. And similar to that, the trope where the party has defeated the bad guy and seems to have killed him. But instead of checking whether he's really dead, they just go about their way and have to fight him again later after he has recovered. (I'm talking to you, FFX.)

  6. #6

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    Technically he did die the first time. If this were tropes.com I'd more say FFX subverts the trope or at least lampshades it with a twist.

  7. #7
    Jessweeee♪'s Avatar
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    Dying was all apart of keikaku

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jessweeee♪ View Post
    Dying was all apart of keikaku
    ...That anxiety when you're not sure "Can I die now? Am I supposed to?"

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