The worst cliches?

Discussion in 'General Lounge' started by FinalHeaven, Jun 21, 2012.

    Tags:
  1. FinalHeaven

    FinalHeaven Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Canada
    First Language:
    English
    Feels like someone is just try-harding to avoid a cliche in their story. Different for the sake of being different is just as bad, if not worse, as a poorly executed cliche. If there is no purpose other than "just cause" then it becomes blatantly obvious the author is doing nothing more than trying to avoid a cliche because they think it will make their story unique. Chances are it won't, it'll make their story bad. "Different" without any depth is bad. Now, when you add depth? Alright, you're a bit better off. But not by much, because now you have to try and make sure you're able to hook an audience with your "different". Am I going to play a game with a belly dancing swordsman as the main character? Nope. I really don't care how much depth the character supposedly has, it's not my thing. Will some people play a game like that? Very likely, but the problem you run in to is that this is likely a much smaller demographic than the people who love the mainstream, "cliched" games.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 21, 2012
    #1
    ReifotCot likes this.
  2. Levi

    Levi Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    798
    Likes Received:
    143
    First Language:
    English
     
    #2
  3. Probotector 200X

    Probotector 200X Probotect and Serve Veteran

    Messages:
    890
    Likes Received:
    147
    Well, actually, I admit to using cliches myself, I always try and warp them around to me liking though. I just brought up the different thing saying it's better than just doing the same thing because that's what people expect. If you ask me, poorly implemented unique ideas are still a good thing. Why? Well, if you like the idea but hate the execution, maybe you can try it yourself! I get lots of ideas from things that I do NOT like, because despite all the things I might dislike about it, there's one little thing I might like about, and I consider it a challenge to make something using some of those traits that I do like. People do cling to things that they are familiar with, but lots of those things you consider common and cliche? They weren't always there! If I recall correctly, Breath of Fire 2 was one of the first RPGs to have an "evil religion"...that's considered super cliche now, right? But back then, it was something different, perhaps a bit unfamiliar. Eh, maybe not the best example really. But my point is, things can't become accepted and popular until they exist! If everyone is afraid to try it, then it won't exist, and won't ever have a chance to become popular!

    I know not everyone will like my ideas, and well, I actually don't really care that much. If they don't understand it, well, too bad for them!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    LOL. Don't worry, I'm kidding.
    What I really mean is, I'm not trying to make a "popular" game, I'm not trying to rely on other people's success (cliches established by other people!), I'm not trying to appeal to the lowest common denominator. I just want to make a game my way. If it's popular, great! If not, oh well. Keep in mind I'm not playing on selling any of my RPG Maker games, so I don't really have anything to lose by "taking risks". If just one person could honestly say after playing one of my games, "I enjoyed that." That's all I can really ask for.
     
    #3
  4. amerk

    amerk Veteran Member

    Messages:
    1,439
    Likes Received:
    510
    First Language:
    English
    One game comes to mind in which this was not so cut and dry for the villain, and that's Dragon Quest IV. The villain was blinded by the way his love had been treated, and he blamed all humanity for it, without realizing his own second in command had been behind it all along. Destroying humanity and ruling the world was a cliche long before DQ IV came around, but that one twist that gave reason to the villain's anger was enough to make it an enjoyable story.
     
    #4
  5. Samven

    Samven Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    144
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    England
    First Language:
    English
    True, such cliches can be played around with and made interesting and fresh perspectives can be put on them. The problem is that there are so few writers out there who put effort into making them interesting. I think there's also the problem that mainstream audiences tend not to care about such interesting spins on things. To use an example everyone knows, I personally don't like the Final Fantasy series for the reasons I highlighted in my earlier post. However, I thought FFXII was able to put a really good spin on the idea of world domination and I loved the way it deconstructed the concept of magic crystals through nethicite. However, that game seems to get no love when compared to the ones where someone wants to blow up the planet purely so they can go out on the world's biggest Dick Move.

    On the other hand, those cliches are, along with magic crystals and evil gods, are about the only ones I truly can't stand. In fact, I think that sometimes exaggerating a cliche can be just as much a show of skill as avoiding one. How many books do we remember because of that scene where the band gets back together and slowly walks in a straight line towards the villain, or movies that stand out for those scenes where the hero duels their rival while epic music and explosions play in the background? Millions. Yet, do we care? No, because it looks dayum cool. Not to mention that some cliches can positively bring a work to life by the more skilled writers. One such moment I remember is i nthe Tales of the Otori books, where the hero gets their very own "My name is Inigo Montoya" moment. The buildup for that fight is one giant cliche and you do not give a crap because it's just written so dayum awesomely.

    At the end of the day, 99% of cliches are just tropes with a more insulting name... and tropes are tools. For ruining your life.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 22, 2012
    #5
  6. HamPants

    HamPants Ayyy! Member

    Messages:
    90
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Canada
    First Language:
    English
    I'm surprised nobody has mentioned the exceedingly clumsy heroine disease that seems to be plaguing 90% of games these days. Back in Tales of Symphonia, with Colette, it hadn't quite gotten to obnoxious levels yet, (Hell, it was still fresh enough to make Colette adorable. She steals items by FALLING at enemies!) but the the years since, it seems that every love-interest/best-fiend/non-lead female main character has clumsiness that would equate more easily to being a recent stroke victim, rather than simply a klutz.
     
    #6
  7. MyLordRobinson

    MyLordRobinson Emperor of Carnelia Veteran

    Messages:
    881
    Likes Received:
    84
    Location:
    Cherokee Nation, Oklahoma
    First Language:
    English
    I didn't really realize all the tropes involved in Tactics, though, the translation could have been better. Thanks for showing me that.
     
    #7
  8. Aureon

    Aureon Villager Member

    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    1
    First Language:
    English
    I think there is a confusion here between tropes and cliches. Tropes are storytelling devices one uses to construct a plot whereas cliches are tropes used in a trite and uninteresting manner, especially if instead of communicating a concept to the audience, it flat out tells a body how the story is going to begin, end, and how everything is going to turn out in the middle.

    I don't mind tropes being used in a story. I think they are useful tools for any story creator and when writing in a specific genre, they are hard to avoid. But if they make the story predictable and unoriginal, you are probably using cliches which will mark you as a lazy writer.

    An excellent example is The Kidnapped Daughter. It is a perfectly valid trope, but for anyone who was alive and watching movies during the '80s and '90s, you would know that if Chuck Norris, Arnold Schwarzenegger, or Bruce Willis showed up on screen with a daughter, you KNOW she is going to get kidnapped and that the action hero will have to go apey and rescue her from the big bad before the end of the show and when it actually happens, the eyerolls commence and disappointment sets in. Predictable and unoriginal.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 24, 2012
    #8
  9. Julien Brightside

    Julien Brightside Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    864
    Likes Received:
    141
    First Language:
    Norway
    I like this topic.

    Thanks for the link to the grand list of console role playing cliches. It made me laugh.

    (Making a game of my own, and I might escape some of them. You play as the son of an overlord who got killed by self-proclaimed heroes.)

    What about visual cliches? You always got one villain who's a towering giant armor piece, the capitol of the villain is placed by a volcano, guarded by demons, has a lava moat, the sky is dark from poisioneous clouds and the ground is dry and dead.
     
    #9
  10. Ministry

    Ministry Villager Member

    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    California
    First Language:
    English
    I love the dark lord sitting on a throne in his volcano-lair (that is only accessible by airship) just plotting all day long and waiting for somebody to try and stop em.

    Can't think of any other visual cliches, but my favorite plot-related ones are the ancient evil that returns every 1000 years. And there are 4 magic crystals (one for each element) that are locked away in dungeons of matching elemental themes that the hero must re-unite for some reason. Although I have to admit I like both of these (sometimes things get over-used because people like them).

    And, while it's not really related to plot, hiding stuff behind waterfalls is pretty cliche. I can't walk past a waterfall in any game without trying to get behind it (because we all know that at least 1 of those waterfalls is hiding something back there).
     
    #10
  11. gavind

    gavind Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    2
    LOL. Good one right there Ministry.
     
    #11
  12. RyanA

    RyanA Happy Cat Veteran

    Messages:
    2,423
    Likes Received:
    230
    Location:
    Not so merry ol' England
    First Language:
    English
    I think the cliche I dislike the most is having a swordsman warrior as the lead character. I've always seen a more fragile lead character, perhaps a healer or a mage, more interesting :3 A thiefy main character would also be interesting! :3
     
    #12
  13. Genii Benedict

    Genii Benedict Supervillain, Extraordinaire Veteran

    Messages:
    333
    Likes Received:
    114
    Location:
    Ajax, Ontario, Canada
    First Language:
    English
    It may be an 'aside', but you mentioned something that made me recall my old RPG days, before the computer...

    The best 'pen and paper' gaming event my friends and I ever had had a very interesting party dynamic. I consistently played a shady, neutral-evil type character, and my friend played a chaotic-good type character. It was always exciting when I would go out of my way to do something 'in character', in front of my friend. Because of his choice of character, he HAD TO retaliate to 'bring me to justice'... It just so happened, I was playing a 'borg' (not Star Trek, think more the "War Robot" from Judge Dredd) and had my hand wrapped around an enemy guard's head when his radio called out for him to report in. I said, "report that it's all clear here, and you live", and rolled. Safe to say, he was more scared than intimidated, because he started screaming, "OH MY GOD, I NEED BACKUP!!! SEND BACKUP!!!"

    I looked at my friend, and he shook his head and sighed, as he knew what was coming next... I looked to the GM and said, "I crush his head." I rolled a perfect 20, and turned the guard's head into slush. Of course, now I had to deal with the incoming guards AND a party member.

    Good times.

    :D
     
    #13
  14. Gomi Boy

    Gomi Boy   Veteran

    Messages:
    921
    Likes Received:
    159
    First Language:
    the truth
    It should be noted that obsessively avoiding clichés won't guarantee you an engaging final product, and in fact could very well hurt it. While it's disgusting to build something based purely around what's been proven to sell in the past, the opposite is also true: if your main driving motivation is self-satisfaction at the idea that hey, I bet this hasn't been done before, then you're opening yourself up to the same problems.

    A story is a living thing, and it grows on its own to an extent. If it happens to grow in such a way that sees someone using a magic sword, or being pitched into another world, or running from the law, then let it. And don't you dare underestimate your ability to cast something old in a new light.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 29, 2012
    #14
    Winter_Beetle and PK8 like this.
  15. Miltix

    Miltix Villager Member

    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    First Language:
    Elven
    When the great evil person sends out a minion one at a time when he could just go all out once he knows about the hero.

    When one character dies but in the end, they're back alive.

    Generic Swordsman Mage Healer Thief party

    Main character being a melee class

    Crystals
     
    #15

Share This Page