Rpg story cliches you hate?

derge12

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What rpg cliches do you hate the most?
 

HankB

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You are the chosen one.

I'm so tired of being the chosen one. I'd rather just be some guy who did some cool stuff. Why do RPGs need to make everything bigger than life?
 

Cythera

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Ultimately, it depends on how they're written. If characters and story are written well enough, you can get away with any cliché. And I mean any cliché.
Still, I'll always have personal clichés I really don't enjoy seeing, no matter how well written :3
  • The 'chosen' hero - I'm so sick of this one. I think it's because it's so old and so well-used. What about the poor nobody who is minding their own business and suddenly gets caught up in the mess? Not every main character needs to be amazing and training for 'the quest' since birth
  • The 'righteous' hero - same thing again. I don't always want to play the self-sacrificing, noble hero who will drop everything to help an NPC find her favorite baking apron. It's okay to make your main characters cowards, or selfish, or even unlikeable, so long as you do it carefully. It makes for amazing growth potential
  • Orphaned/dead parents - I feel a bit like a hypocrite with this one, since all my main characters in my current game have 1+ dead parents...but I digress. If you're going to have a main character with dead parents, let there be a gosh-dang good reason!
  • Antagonists that want to ruin the world. Actually, scratch that, weak antagonists, non-threatening antagonists, antagonists that are made to be a threat ONLY to reveal, gasp, they were being mind-controlled! Get that nonsense away from me.
 

Arctica

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Grandia III did something I didn't expect and as a result has the best ending I've ever seen from an RPG.
It is not often I play a game where the hero goes on to have a kid with the support female character.
More often than not the world is saved and they're the biggest deal of all deals but nothing really special happens. . .
 

The Stranger

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Antagonists that want to ruin the world. Actually, scratch that, weak antagonists, non-threatening antagonists, antagonists that are made to be a threat ONLY to reveal, gasp, they were being mind-controlled! Get that nonsense away from me.
I don't mind antagonists who legit want to destroy the world (it's good to go back to basics sometimes, ya know?), but really do hate the whole not the true bad guy thing. You wiped several towns off the map, your hands are stained with the blood of men, women and children, but it wasn't really your fault because some greater evil we've never heard of till now was just controlling you. It feels like a lazy attempt at a plot twist.
 

Cythera

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I don't mind antagonists who legit want to destroy the world (it's good to go back to basics sometimes, ya know?), but really do hate the whole not the true bad guy thing. You wiped several towns off the map, your hands are stained with the blood of men, women and children, but it wasn't really your fault because some greater evil we've never heard of till now was just controlling you.
Unless your antagonist is a lunatic, I find it weird they ALL want to destroy the world. Like, they live there too, ya know? Sometimes it's nice to have that, and there are some really nice antagonists who pull it off, and then there are some that fall flat on their face *cough* Seymour from FFX *cough* I've killed you 3 times, buddy, just die!! *cough*
Ah-hem.
Otherwise, exactly. The game has done this job of (hopefully) setting up a great antagonist; one you really want to defeat! And then suddenly, oh, no. They aren't the main antagonist. It's this random you've never met, and now you're going to fight, but they haven't done anything to produce any kind of emotional response. So...why do I care? I wanted to fight the threat, the antagonist you made me hate! Not this...shoehorned in character who hasn't actually done anything I've seen?
 

The Stranger

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@Cythera Reminds me of Necron from FFIX. Who is this guy again? He apparently wants to be the final boss, so I guess we have to kill him. Whatever. xD
 

Arctica

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I don't mind antagonists who legit want to destroy the world (it's good to go back to basics sometimes, ya know?), but really do hate the whole not the true bad guy thing. You wiped several towns off the map, your hands are stained with the blood of men, women and children, but it wasn't really your fault because some greater evil we've never heard of till now was just controlling you. It feels like a lazy attempt at a plot twist.
So you appreciate that a character has a purpose and said purpose is fleshed out and stays that way and is not hijacked by other characters that have absolutely no relevancy to the story other than "we need a build up to the last boss".

Oh you would not like Granstream Saga, or Thousand Arms for matter, but not because of "I'm the bad guy but really I'm just a minion", but in the case of Granstream Saga, the last boss is literally a dude that is just inserted into the story at the very end because who knows why and suddenly the universe must be annihilated. The guy is all raging ImRealMadAndHereWhy and his dialoge is "I did all of this the whole time even though there was no sign of me at all for 30 hours".

Thousand Arms had Bandiger who was just a troll boss for Mies because reasons.

Necron: "Sorry it wasn't Kuja. Btw here's my leave all at 1 HP damage attack right off the bat."
 

KenKrath

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Ultimately, it depends on how they're written. If characters and story are written well enough, you can get away with any cliché. And I mean any cliché.
Still, I'll always have personal clichés I really don't enjoy seeing, no matter how well written :3
  • The 'chosen' hero - I'm so sick of this one. I think it's because it's so old and so well-used. What about the poor nobody who is minding their own business and suddenly gets caught up in the mess? Not every main character needs to be amazing and training for 'the quest' since birth
  • The 'righteous' hero - same thing again. I don't always want to play the self-sacrificing, noble hero who will drop everything to help an NPC find her favorite baking apron. It's okay to make your main characters cowards, or selfish, or even unlikeable, so long as you do it carefully. It makes for amazing growth potential
  • Orphaned/dead parents - I feel a bit like a hypocrite with this one, since all my main characters in my current game have 1+ dead parents...but I digress. If you're going to have a main character with dead parents, let there be a gosh-dang good reason!
  • Antagonists that want to ruin the world. Actually, scratch that, weak antagonists, non-threatening antagonists, antagonists that are made to be a threat ONLY to reveal, gasp, they were being mind-controlled! Get that nonsense away from me.
Couldn't agree more with these.

I'm sort of guilty of the orphaned part as well. Although, my characters did know their parents, they just mostly died in a war with a faction they are trying to establish a truce with now to go up a common enemy with. I do have one character's mother alive and the feedback I've gotten on her is pretty good because she has an unholy power so to speak.

A couple of the parents' death in my project is a plot device. Out of curiosity would you consider this cliché? Or is it more cliché if the character turns out to be a prince or special somebody?
 
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KenKrath

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Grandia III did something I didn't expect and as a result has the best ending I've ever seen from an RPG.
It is not often I play a game where the hero goes on to have a kid with the support female character.
More often than not the world is saved and they're the biggest deal of all deals but nothing really special happens. . .

I think your spoiler happened in one of the DQ series. I shall not say which one for fear of giving your spoiler away.

DQ V
 

HexMozart88

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OK, so I am very guilty of the dead parents thing, but IN MY DEFENSE, it's relevant. Dude literally has crippling depression because his parents died and left him to run a kingdom. I don't like the dead parents trope when it's just a way for kids to run off on their own, though. Or when it's just to be edgy.
 

Cythera

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I'm not against characters having dead parents - I am insanely guilty of this haha. What I'm against is it being there for no real reason. Not plot, or character, or background. I'll even accept the death of parents as the trigger point for the main character if it's written well enough.
If you're going to have dead parents for characters, have it mean something. And it doesn't have to be a drastic reason - even something as mundane as 'my mother starved during the great famine two years ago while my father was out hunting. He came back a day too late with food.' That kind of thing promotes emotional response in people.
Or have the death be for plot reasons.
What I'm against is it being shoe horned in for either writers' convenience, or 'just because'.
 

Arctica

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Also Chrono Cross' true last boss ain't the last boss. The 'last boss' was more or less a big nod to Chrono Trigger.

Infinite Undiscovery made all kinds of no sense to me and is a good example of a bad guy(Leonid) is actually minion of bigger bad guy who mad that his people ban hammered him. It had great game play though.

Ok I'll stop now XD.
 

KenKrath

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Oh, also, on the 'false main antagonist' thing, to add insult to injury, the false antagonist will join your party to defeat the real antagonist. Who wants this?!?!
This sort of happens in DBZ too?

If done correctly I'm fine with this. Usually it's the main antagonists henchmen that end up joining you though and if there is good character development for the changed character it usually supports elements of the story.

Of course the part of this that will annoy me is when the changed character makes a sacrifice to complete his "story arc" or redemption arc. Ughh!!! Predictable much.
 
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The Stranger

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Oh, also, on the 'false main antagonist' thing, to add insult to injury, the false antagonist will join your party to defeat the real antagonist. Who wants this?!?!
Spent half the game being emotionally invested in defeating this villain, only for them to turn around and say sorry, then join you in the fight against the real villain. Your party seems perfectly fine with it for some strange reason, too. xD
 

RCXGaming

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If done correctly I'm fine with this. Usually it's the main antagonists henchmen that end up joining you though and if there is good character development for the changed character it usually supports elements of the story.

You know... like Magus? :LZSlol:
That dude only really teamed up with you because you all had a shared goal, and once it's done he just dips. There's never really a point where he apologizes for what he did or the party sympathizes with whatever plight he has, cause... why would they? Plus he's optional, so it helps.

That said - I have devoted my entire life to destroying the chosen one trope to the point where if you see it in my stuff you know it's a sign of bad things to come.

Yeah, if you hear "you are the chosen hero blessed by the holy blade to defeat the demon king" at any point, the person saying it is also the villain. He's using it as a title to make whatever poor sap he's manipulating feel important and justified, but unfortunately the setting isn't as black and white as he wants.

Contrast the actual protagonist who is not destined for anything - they have one or two unique powers but they are otherwise content with being a normal college student. They get involved when things are personal for them, but most importantly nobody can tell them what to do. :LZYcool:

I like peppy chucklebums who come together for organic reasons over. "oh we'll follow you because you're important".
 
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The Stranger

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Chosen ones and prophecies can be great if used well. They don't have to mean this one individual is destined for anything, but rather a person fitting a specific description has a destiny. I'd imagine there would be far more influential people attempting to make it seem as if they're the chosen one, or perhaps there genuinely are a number of people who match the description of the chosen one. Think of real world prophecies and how vague they've been. It's more about the belief others have in a person and the prophecy they're connected to than the chosen one having any legit powers.
 

Cythera

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I just want to say, I'm supposed to be doing algebraic operations with functions right now, and instead I'm here, talking writing, and my kitten is running around absolutely covered in catnip. I am not destined to do schoolwork today, am I? No, my destiny is to be constantly distracted by the world.

Huh. Whaddya know. Destiny in the making. I take back my 'chosen one' point XD

Anyways...
That dude only really teamed up with you because you all had a shared goal, and once it's done he just dips. There's never really a point where he apologizes for what he did or the party sympathizes with whatever plight he has, cause... why would they? Plus he's optional, so it helps.
This. This is good. I like this. No characters changed, or went against their personality. You have a (I'm assuming) troublemaker/mini antagonist who decided to work with the main character/s for a common goal. Once the goal was achieved, troublemaker leaves because, well, they're a troublemaker. They won't stick around with your goody-good party, and they won't apologize for what they've done; it's not in their character.
The best characters are ones that follow their own personality, and have realistic reasons for doing what they do.
I think that's why the noble hero can be flat sometimes; it's not always realistic.
 

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