RPGs Aren't Just Spiffalicious-
They're Good For the Soul

By SonicBlade

Spoiler Alert: Chrono Cross and FF6. You've been warned.

Lemme tell ya, I'm passionate about my RPG's.

Call me a dork, whatever, but I've been enjoying games such as Chrono Trigger, the Final Fantasies, Lufia, et cetera, for as long as I can remember.

However, it's not right to call these things 'games.' Maybe Tekken or Mario Tennis or something. But you wouldn't call Romeo and Juliet 'just words', would you? No, RPG's, which can transport you from the mundane world we live in to a world beyond imagination, are more like grand epidcs.

Sure, there's a lot of things that may seem childish, especially to people who've never lowered their noses and experienced an RPG for themselves. But if you look past these things and look at the whole, these 'games' are more than games--they're an art form.

You're laughing, calling me stupid, or if you're an avid RPGer like myself, maybe nodding your head.

What makes these things so great, though?

First, there's the storyline, the most important part of the RPG for me and the majority of otherse. A well done RPG, take Xenogears, for example, has a storyline that an make you fall out of your chair (that's happened to me before.) The storyline in this game is a killer. For every thing you know, it raises two more questions. Then, when it call comes together, the impact (otherwhise known as the whoa factor) blasts you out of your chair.

You could write a 2000 page book with any great RPG. Trust me, most take 30-80 hours to complete, which is another big thing that makes them stand out from movies, books, and other 'games'. Imagine an 80 hour movie. While that would suck, playing an RPG is different--and you get a lot closer to the characters and story. It's more like a quintet of interactive books with music and sound effects. AND amazing imagery, of course.

Another big thing for me is the music. You listen to Beethoven or Mozart...Tch. I'd take Nobou Uematso, Yasunori Mitsuda, or Yasunori Shiono over them any day. Actually, I'm listening to Mitsuda's 'People Seized With Life' (Chrono Cross) right now on the living room speaker system.


This piece makes me drool (which is good in this case). This is excellent music for a scene where you fight and kill your lost father's best friend, in an eternal sea where time is stopped and alternate universes reside. Neat, eh? This is the kind of music that makes me want to drag the world into my house and make them listen to it...Great stuff.

Add this to the emotion you're already feeling from the story, and you'll fall out of your chair again.

Third thing is the characters...wow. Take Final Fantasy 6, the best RPG I've ever played, for example. There's 12 characters and all but are very influential to the story (the other two are considered 'secret'.)

Terra Branford is a half human, half esper deserted in a human land after the extinction of her esper ancestors. She's searching for love and a place in live. Locke Delrad is a roving treasure hunter who is secretly grieved over the death of his first love Rachel, and is trying to understand his new love, that for an escaped traitorous Imperial General named Celes. Shadow is a man whose past is known only by himself, a past that continuously haunts him in his dreams, and is personified by his daugher Relm, who has lived all her life without knowing the truth. Now those are just the characters. Imagine what the STORY is like!

But wait, there's more! *ching*

In my first days of RPGing, imagery wasn't much of a concern. You had a place, and little sprites running around in them (although a lot of times these places were really awesome, like the Void from FF5). Recently, however, with the advent of many new technologies, the graphics in RPGs have become simply stunning. Imagine a tumultous sea frozen in time over a bleak landscape, with a single ruined tower emerging from a tidal wave, bits and pieces of the structure hovering timelessly in the air. Or an alien landscape where graceful, eerie structures rise into a dark blue sky. Or a floating citadel chained to the ground, mysterious, evil towers stretching into the sky as if they were trying to spear the heavens.

Those sounded pretty neat, I wish I could use those descriptions in one of my stories...but the truth is those locales are the Sea of Eden (Chrono Cross) Terra (FF9) and Ultimecia's Castle (FF8).

If you still think role-playing games are just silly toys, then I highly suggest you go and find a place that sells imaginations, because I think you might need one.

Now, if you go play an RPG like SaGa Frontier, or POKEMON, then...well...those suck. So don't use them as an example of RPG's, because those are pretty much plotless games.

And if you did use them as an example of a 'great' RPG, I might fall out of my chair.

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