Favorite plots or settings in an RPG?

xdan

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What are the RPG(s) that you consider masterpieces in narrative/world building?

I'll start:
-Xenogears (Plot)
-Xenoblade (Plot and Setting)
-Mass Effect Trilogy (Plot and Setting)
-Dark Souls (Setting)
-Bloodborne (Setting)
-Undertale (Plot)
-The Witcher Trilogy (Plot and Setting)
-The Last Story (Plot)

Feel free to write paragraphs of details.
 
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Animebryan

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Xenosaga Trilogy (Plot)
Star Ocean 3: Til The End of Time (Plot & Setting)
Lufia II: Rise of The Sinistrals (Plot & Setting)
Dragon Quest 5: The Heavenly Bride (Plot & Setting)
Final Fantasy 4 & 7 (Plot & Setting)
 

atoms

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I'll add + on what's already been said already.

In order.

+Final Fantasy IV (Plot & Setting)
Final Fantasy X (Plot & Setting)
Chrono Trigger (Plot & Setting)
Kingdom Heart Series/All Of Them (Plot & Setting)
Super Mario RPG (Plot & Setting)
Paper Mario (Plot & Setting)
+Star Ocean 3: Til The End of Time (Plot & Setting)
Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time (Plot & Setting)
Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door (Plot & Setting)


I think I have a few more, but I can't think at the moment.
 

Mrs_Allykat

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Grandia II (This is more to the original question, it's the storytelling rather than the plot or world.)
Tales of Symphonia (Plot & Setting)
Lunar SSS (Plot and Setting)
Skies of Arcadia (Setting)
Alundra (Setting, Plot)
Grandia (Plot, Storytelling)
Tales of Phantasia (Plot, World, and most importantly gave us Star Ocean as a spin-off.)
Star Ocean II (Plot & Setting)

Lets Add an Underappreciated Entries?
MS Saga (Setting) (Suffered from a terrible release date that coincided with FFXII, not a good idea Namco.)
Steambot Chronicles (Setting, Plot) (Such a quirky world, but well thought out.)

(PS no particular order here)
 

xdan

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Grandia II (This is more to the original question, it's the storytelling rather than the plot or world.)
Tales of Symphonia (Plot & Setting)
Lunar SSS (Plot and Setting)
Skies of Arcadia (Setting)
Alundra (Setting, Plot)
Grandia (Plot, Storytelling)
Tales of Phantasia (Plot, World, and most importantly gave us Star Ocean as a spin-off.)
Star Ocean II (Plot & Setting)

Lets Add an Underappreciated Entries?
MS Saga (Setting) (Suffered from a terrible release date that coincided with FFXII, not a good idea Namco.)
Steambot Chronicles (Setting, Plot) (Such a quirky world, but well thought out.)

(PS no particular order here)
What do you mean by "storytelling"? The way the narrative is constructed, rather than the specific plot ideas it narrates?
 

Mrs_Allykat

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@xdan You nailed it right off the bat. A narrative, itself, is more than the world building or the plot of the story. A narrative, in essence, is the way the plot is delivered to us. How often have we watched a show or a movie with a wonderful plot, but then that plot is mired down in a terrible delivery?

Think of something like Breath of Fire V, the plot is actually really clever with a reasonably well done world; however, the storytelling is lackluster. Conversely, there is FFVII, which has a decent, but relatively cookie-cutter, plot that delivers the storytelling in spades. In the former, we see the death of a franchise, and the latter uplifts a franchise to even greater heights.

To the FF7 super-fans:
In casual conversation, even I will compliment the plot of FF7, but the base plot is really rather normal. What makes it special are the various sub-plots that are weaved into the story as it's told. A depth is created between subplots and characters with different motivations.
 

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NieR Automata is definitely up there. In particular, having you play as different characters and see their perspective on some of the same events is pretty awesome, and I wish more games did stuff like that. Then there's the atmosphere of the game, and the scenery. Its just an overall beautiful game. The weapons having stories of their own is also a nice feature.

Tales of Berseria I liked mainly for the setting, and some of the character designs. It also has quite a lot of beautiful scenery though.

The Witcher 3... There isn't much NOT to like about its setting, and the plot is pretty good too. The enemies are interesting from a lore perspective.
 

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I know it's cliche of me to say this, but you probably know where I stand. I have two defining traits that end up dominating my mind most of the time: Compassion for animals/interest in non-humans and distrust/disinterest in my own species.

it's not that I outright dislike human characters, it's that I hate it when they are treated as the absolute good. Only humans can be good, all other life is either evil or an object, true non-human(anything that isn't an elf or a dwarf or a nekomimi etc) species can't be good, the main villain is either a dragon or an offensive misanthrope stereotype, etc. I missed games like Shining Force 1 and 2 or suikoden 2 that had a plethora of different playable creatures. Back in the 64-bit days and before, the hero is didn't all need to be humans with no visible compassion for life outside their own species. Why do they need to be now?

I know people say it's because humans are the most relatable, but I can't help but feel like that can't be the only reason. Most people aren't that shallow. Even if they relate more to humans than other creatures, it is fully possible for them to relate to other creatures. In my opinion, the life outside the human race is what gives a world its color and depth. I can hear about humans in real life. I can feel sorry for humans with tragic backstories in real life. None of that interests me in a fictional universe. I want to learn about the creatures that make your Universe unique, and how they interact with humans if they exist in your universe. But if you have millions of different species from Big badass dragon to cute cuddly furry animals, and they are ALL antagonists while your good guys are all human/elves/nekomimis, then it just comes off as pandering, narcissistic bullcrap and I don't want to hear your story, I don't want to immerse myself in your world, and I honestly don't even want to see your heroes win in the end. Are you really that shallow about the human race that you need every last good guy to be human, even when it doesn't make sense for every good guy to be human(like in Star Ocean)?
 

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FFIV - In today's terms, it's story is the Hallmark of JRPG's. Heroes unite to stop bad guy obtaining something to destroy the world, they succeed but quickly lose to bad guy, then the ultimate battle. Mix in brainwashed Kings, summons, different worlds and airships....but in 1998, this was our Game of Thrones of plot twists, important characters dying and character arcs that went full circle.

I know the story is in today's mindset...easy or simple. But I have to tell you, this is where my personal passion lies.
 

Mrs_Allykat

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In 1998 we had FF VII. I think you're off by a half decade. Pretty sure it was released in 1991 as FF-2 in NA.

Probably should add the original Phantasy Star to the list. Much like the very first Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest, it helped define what console RPG's should be. Besides, it has Myau the Musk Cat as one of the heroes, and the first RPG to feature a female as the lead. ( Sorry, Samus doesn't count since Metroid is not an RPG. )
 

xdan

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Btw this is "not complete my list", it's "make your own list". You can repeat games that have already been said. (In fact, if you don't, I'll assume they're not among your favorites.)
 

Henryetha

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I really really LOVED the story in Shadow Warrior.
The game starts lighthearted and funny.. and I love it when you don't play silent alone.. but have a conversation partner.

However.. advancing in the game, the story goes deeper and deeper and nearly broke my heart at the end.

Another masterpiece would be of course The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim.
I guess I don't need to say much to this title.

The setting of both games is great, tho I wouldn't enjoy Skyrim as much without modding it before.
 

TheoAllen

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Fallout 4 - (I don't expect many ppl share the same opinion as me). I started this game as being ignorant to the actual game lore. I just played purely as a game and ignore most of the game story. But the setting immersed me that eventually, I got curious "what is really going on?". I started to dig deeper into the companion's story, the side quest, and all the connection behind them. I read them outside the game, in the wiki, because I know I couldn't see them all in a single playthrough but replaying the game to eventually see them all also takes time.
 

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Fallout 4
As someone who enjoyed Fallout 3's lore, I have to agree largely because of Fallout 4's focus on the Institute which was first mentioned in Fallout 3. Also, I thought the Minutemen were pretty cool.
 

SolonWise

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There are unknown gems in the PS1 that I really like.

Jade Cocoon
A small RPG (about 15 hours to finish) with an amazing setting, in a world covered by forest, where humans from different tribes live somewhat alongside creatures called "minions". There are Cocoon Masters that can capture these minions, using a musical instrument, and some girls from a different tribe can purify them. Once purified, the minions can be used in battles, like pokemons.

Brigandine
I love this game. There is a magic continent called Forsena, where some people known as Rune Knights have a misterious rune power, that allows them to control monsters in battle. There is a big war involving all countries in this continent, and you must choose a lord to try to unify all land.

Breath of Fire III and IV
I don't know why most people don't know these games. They are amazing in all ways, and I think they can rivalize with Final Fantasy. Call me crazy.

Threads of Fate
A Square Action RPG Game. It's really nice, with simple gameplay and good story. The charisma of Rue and Mint are the best part of this game.

Grandia
I will only say that maybe this game has the absolutely best music theme from all games from all systems from all genres.
 

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Props for liking Jade Cocoon, that game is an underated pearl.

I like the world of Final Fantasy 9. It has a cozy fantasy feel and is a good mix of old fantasy settings and more modern tropes.
 

TheoAllen

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Breath of Fire III and IV
I don't know why most people don't know these games. They are amazing in all ways, and I think they can rivalize with Final Fantasy. Call me crazy.
I don't play FF series but I definitely played BoF4 (although I stopped right before the final boss and just read spoiler afterward). BoF4 definitely has good storytelling (even I wanted an anime adaptation), but the reason why I didn't mention it is that I don't play many JRPGs to compare with anything.
 

L.W. Flouisa

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Silent Hill and Grandia. Bits of Star Ocean here and there.
 

SolonWise

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@L.W. Flouisa I forgot to mention Star Ocean. The ambience of Star Ocean 2, with Claude comming to a new planet with his lightsaber thing is amazing. I still remember very cleary the world map music and the battle theme, with Claude saying something like "the enemy!" at the begining. Oh my God, I love that game. Want to play it again now. :D
 

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