Games With Similar Themes

StrawberrySmiles

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This is mostly for research, but I'm curious too. Basically, I seek games that have strong themes of death and rebirth. Or at least one or the other. I've only been able to think of 2: Dark Souls and Final Fantasy X.

For those who do not know, Dark Souls is basically you as a chosen Undead. When you "die" you come back to try again. It's a cycle. Like death and rebirth.

Final Fantasy X has the Farplane and the "Unsent" - which is kind of like a physical spirit with collision. You also have the pyreflies, which is something that forms all life. If someone dies and won't accept it, they could become a monster. This deals MOSTLY with death (I believe).

It seems like there are more games out there with similar themes, but I cannot think of them. I'm TRYING to stick with fantasy.

Any ideas?
 

Alexander Amnell

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Are you wanting spoilers of these games and how they touch on the ideas of death and reincarnation, or do you merely want to be pointed to games that offer similar themes to check out on your own? I'll keep my suggestions vague for now until clarified.

  • Final Fantasy Tactics: The Lucavi and St. Alessia particularly, though there is also the element of religious beliefs vs. the realities they stem from there that mix with ideas of reincarnation in a similar fashion to X. A lot of other FF titles touch on the subject matter as well, VII's lifestream, VIII's timeskips to an extent as well just off the top of my head.
  • The Legend of Zelda: It's more in the overarching lore than a specific theme of any individual game, I think a Link to the Past was the one that really fleshed out the idea of Link, Zelda and Ganon's reincarnation first and then OOT and MM fleshed them out a little further, but the games themselves don't really do much for the subject matter other than as a plot train to keep having more Links and Zeldas appear in different games.
  • Legend of Dragoon: The moon child lore is the most obvious, though the narrative touches on reincarnation in many more subtle ways such as how the dragoon spirits function in general though the overarching theme is more closely resembled to the Norse Yggdrasil than reincarnation the theme still comes up multiple times throughout the narrative.
  • The Deer God: premise of the game is you are a hunter who has been reincarnated as a deer...unfortunately they don't really take that intriguing premise anywhere interesting though, and that premise is essentially where the story ends just as much as where it begins.
 

XIIIthHarbinger

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Are we talking literal or metaphorical?

If we are talking metaphorical I would say Deus Ex Human revolution.

Jensen had no interest in being augmented, but due to what he goes through, he very much is forced into a death & rebirth into a new being, at the behest of another. After which the player is empowered to effectively bring about death & rebirth to their society, via the choices they make in the end.
 

StrawberrySmiles

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@XIIIthHarbinger - Literal, sorry.

@Alexander Amnell - It's strange that I love FFT, but my stupid memory can't pull out the specifics of what you mean. I see it in VII, but sadly, it's too "modern/sci-fi" for my research. :p

Yeah, the overarching lore for Zelda only touches a little on the reincarnation. ;_; I can't remember the specifics of the Moon Child in Dragoon, actually. I am recalling some other stuff, though.
 

Alexander Amnell

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@StrawberrySmiles

  • Legend of Dragoon: Probably the best example out of the bunch. My memory is kinda fuzzy regarding it too but basically the Moon Child was the spirit of the Wingly's god-virage reincarnated into the flesh of a newborn infant every hundred years or so since the flesh of said god was imprisoned in the moon by...someone (I think it was the Winglies themselves, that or the dragoons from the dragon campaign.)
What's interesting about the moon child in regards to reincarnation is not only that Shana is a great example of the subject but that her purpose for which the Winglies(?) imprisoned her flesh and made her constant reincarnation occur was that her role as a goddess was to scour the world of the remnants of it's current inhabitants and prepare it for it's own form of reincarnation as the tree of life (the Yggdrasil similarity) produces new species of lifeforms to replace them for whatever reason (my assumption is so that the older species wouldn't keep killing them before they could develop on their own but I don't think the actual reasons are stated for such a cold process).

This is also why Rose has been walking around since the Dragon Campaign, killing the reincarnated Wingly god/ess every hundred odd years for like 1000 to prevent the world from ending and subsequently being reborn in a new form on the behest of her species and the other current inhabitants of the planet.

  • Final Fantasy Tactics: basically the way the Lucavi worked were that they reincarnated themselves in the flesh of willing surrogates. Weigraf is the best example since he's really the only one who gets any kind of character growth shown pre-reincarnation but he shows that while he still retains his memories and his anger once he becomes a Lucavi at the cusp of death his personality and worldview from that point on are so skewed from what they were beforehand to demonstrate how very out of it that transfiguration left him. Likewise St. Alessia was supposed to be reborn through Alma for some reason, but you interrupt her and are thus able to kill her somehow. Admittedly it's a bit of a stretch and intentionally obscure with what's actually happening at times.
 

Rhaeami

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Death themes are common, rebirth less so. The noteworthy stuff that comes to mind:

Final Fantasy XI: Chains of Promathia -- (Just death)
The main antagonist is the death god Promathia. Throughout the story you come to realize that he played a big role in the game's religious origin story - essentially, all living beings in that world have a piece of Promathia in them, which makes them yearn for death. Big themes of fighting to survive when you don't want to anymore, and characters that have been "cursed" with immortality. Frankly, I can't remember most of it. :kaoswt2:

Xenosaga I, II, & III
-- (Death & rebirth)
This one takes a Jungian approach: upon death, a person's consciousness rejoins the big universal collective unconscious, basically meaning they persist but lose their individuality. One of the game's primary antagonistic forces are the Gnosis, ghostly monsters that, as it turns out, are what happens to a person who is too afraid or otherwise unwilling to accept losing themselves. Most who come into contact with Gnosis become one themselves, due to being exposed to that truth. Meanwhile, the more Gnosis pop up, the closer the universe gets to imploding on itself, so the actual antagonist plots to turn back time in an infinite loop so that everyone can be reborn and relive their lives again and again for eternity. There's also an android who was made to be the body for a reincarnated spirit who plays a big role in all this. It's complicated. :kaoswt:

Disgaea series -- (Death & rebirth)
More comical than the others, and less plot-centric. For one, you can literally reincarnate any of your characters, allowing them to be reborn in a new body (class) while retaining stats and abilities from their past life proportional to how much you spend on the process. Plot-wise, the game takes place on 3 worlds loosely modeled after Earth, Heaven, and Hell; when a sinful human dies, they're reborn in one of the other two worlds as a Prinny (it's a comedy game, so they look like penguins). They then have to work off their sin debt as servants until being allowed to reincarnate. These also happen to be the weakest playable units you can recruit. Several chapters of various games deal with these creatures and their attempts to reincarnate. There are also a few other notable reincarnated characters in the main plotlines.
 

StrawberrySmiles

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@Alexander Amnell - Ah, now I remember the Legend of Dragoon more now! That one really helps. Final Fantasy Tactics could work as well. Hm.

@Rhaeami - Ah, I loved that expansion pack for XI. The music was so good. I remember some of the things about Xenosaga, though I was never able to play pass II for some reason. Unfortunately it's too Sci-Fi for my research. Disgaea is a good example, actually. Regardless of the humor, as sometimes it touches on those things well.

You see, my research is for things like their UI/Logos since the theme of my game deals heavily with death/rebirth. Inspiration. Out of all the forums I visit, this one has the most gamers, so it was the best place. :p

Thanks for the answers, so far!
 

roiaa

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  • Final Fantasy Tactics
  • Disgaea series
  • Legend of Dragoon
 

StrawberrySmiles

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Here's what I got:



Also, music is another theme in our game. :D
 

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