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Editorials - The Grand Inquisitor

AletheaAlethea MemberFull Members
edited September 2003 in Latest Updates
This week we have three editorial submissions. Gabriel Ang has returned to grace this update with his work, and the writings of Diego Ferreira and Eidolonslayer are worth reading as well.

Read the eds here. Now discuss away!
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Comments

  • KarlinnKarlinn Member Full Members
    edited September 2003
    Ah, villainry... so easy to do, so hard to do well.

    First, on part of Crime and Punishment - a thoroughly intriguing, albeit endurance-trying read: the main flaw with the 'ends justify the means' argument is that the 'villain' never reaches those ends. ?Raskolnikov himself "<span class="spoiler">believes the death of the pawnbroker would ultimately benefit society, but the plan immediately goes awry with the second murder; instead of the pawnbroker's death being a boon and her wealth being distributed, he takes the money and runs. ?His plan failed primarily because of the sister's interference.</span>" ?The net result is that nothing 'good' comes from the crime.

    This can be equated, in part, to most games with these pseudo-villains; if they had succeeded in their plan, *would* things have been better? ?A debatable point, but the problem with this line of thinking is that it puts entirely too much faith in the villain to reach those ends, instead of falling to the side because of petty, selfish ambitions - something even the intelligent among us are often prey to. ?In Raskolnikov's case, it was initially self-preservation.

    In other words, if giving the villain carte blanche to nuke a continent will save a far greater number of people, or the entire world... if that sacrifice is somehow deemed acceptable, are you absolutely sure that said villain (or plan, for that matter) is free from the flaws that make us all human?

    A more recent example would be in the game Fallout; the main villain sought to "<span class="spoiler">replace humanity by exposing non-radiated humans to the Forced Evolutionary Virus, turning them into mutants he believed could survive in the harsh, post-nuclear world. ?The sacrifice in this case would be that existing humans, born outside the protective Vaults, would live on as slaves, and be forbidden to breed, to ensure the eventual destruction of humanity as we know it. ?The problem, as with Crime and Punishment, was a human one, but in a different sense - the FEV was a flawed invention, producing unpredictable results at best, and few truly superior beings. ?In addition, the mutants created were sterile, and could not reproduce naturally.</span>"

    In the end, the player confronts the villain, and (if they're a skilled negotiator) can convince them that the plan itself is flawed. ?It's only then that the villain displays a shred of his former humanity, realizing the cost of what he's done. ?To take such matters into one's own hands is to play god, and few are those who can survive the fall from this lofty goal, to truly come to grips with something like nearly exterminating an entire race.

    Obviously, this is the exception, not the rule; Gabriel is right that too rarely does the option exist to reason with, or understand, the villain. ?However, it should also go without saying that not all villains, even well-developed ones, can be totally sympathetic, nor should they all be. ?Especially if you're playing a character that will certainly die if the bad guy gets his way. ?Case in point, Barbarossa from Suikoden - he's not an evil man by any stretch, but right to the end he wants your head on a plate and is more than willing to do it himself. ?Nothing personal, you're just on opposite sides of the fence.

    Just my two cents. Er... plus a buncha interest, too. *ducks*
  • DracosDracos Member Full Members
    edited September 2003
    FINAL Final Fantasy:

    Funniest Editorial Ever. Bar none. I was snickering the whole way through. Comparing it with Pokemon? Great choice. I mean, one would never think to compare Final Fantasy to Dragon Warrior or some other RPG which is more on the same note. Instead you pick something that is selling like hotcakes and has since it's inception and deride it for lack of change and point out that this will kill FF. Great argument. If B successful, then A doing same as B must fail. Even accepting your comparison, it's absolutely terrible as an example. Pointing out that you'd be better served by pointing out their rival RPG rather than one that is largely in a different subgenre from the Epic RPG. Unfortunately, that would push away from your point of change being good as it's maintained it's fanbase by remaining largely similar.

    Personally, I find FF changed quite a bit. It's obvious to any who've been playing it the whole time. But really, it's going to be totally missed by someone taking such a general standpoint. Why not just say all mystery stories are the same. All wild west ones are the same. After all they use the template! All stories are the same, they keep repeating the same themes!

    Love stories are love stories. Those who like them will keep reading them. FF's are similar. Those who like them, will keep liking them... unless of course they change. In which case they will either like the new thing or not.

    Dracos
  • Ultus VeighUltus Veigh New Member Full Members
    edited September 2003
    Theres plenty of diversity in the final fantasy games and they definitely aren't carbon copies of each other. It is impossible to say when the 'last' final fantasy will be, but I garuntee it will happen someday, even if it takes years and years. I don't believe the final fantasy fanchise is going downhill. I wholeheartedly disagree. I've had a lot of fun playing the final fantasy games, and I've found new and refreshing qualities to each of the games. Every time a new one comes out, the style, character design, battle system, or whatever has changed somewhat giving a completely different feel than the last game. Saying the last four final fantasies were carbon copies of eachother is rediculous. Now if you said the dragon warrior games are all alike and feel like carbon copies of the first one, then I would understand.
  • slapizaga_the_banditslapizaga_the_bandit Member Full Members
    edited September 2003
    There is plenty of diversity in Final Fantasy from title to title. ?Of course they use a general template because that is what sets the Final Fantasy games apart from other RPGs. ?But just because you pointed out the similarities doesn't mean that there haven't been innovations in the games. ?I'm not some "fanboy" who goes ga-ga over everything Final Fantasy, but I do, and have enjoyed, all the games and the new things they have brought to the table. ?But it's always nice to see the similarities, too, because that's one thing that makes playing the new game an almost nostalgic experience. ?I do think that the number scale is gonna get old in time, though, when it comes to having twenty or thirty some-odd Final Fantasies. ?When the number scale gets too old, I hope they'll do something to change them up some like add a surtitle, like, "Final Fantasy: The Curse of the Cow's Third Stomach," or "Final Fantasy: Crystals or Not?" ? tounge.gif ?But you know what I mean. ?wink.gif ?laugh.gif



  • IsraelIsrael Member Full Members
    edited September 2003
    I personally disagree with the Final Fantasy Ed, as it is quite... ridiculous so that I do not say anything worse. I mean Final Fantasy has been here for many years, and as I have heard the franchise was about to disappear some time ago, but a miracle saved it, and it has been here already since the last 1980's.

    Now, my first FF was FF7, and I had a greatly wonderful experience, if not my best RPG route, one of the greatest, FF8, FF9 and FF10 are by no means similar, nor are any others of the series.

    There have been some details that have disappointed me of the games, being the Emperor (final battle) of FF2 the greatest one: I expected the battle to last at least half an hour, or that at least I would suffer because I saw him as a formidable foe before, but after I defeated him in only two turns... I was like "What the ****!? That is all you got!? mad.gif " For someone who expects a lot from final bosses such as myself, that was a complete letdown (so was Chaos in FF1).

    But the details that have made me be like "Holy...! I want to repeat this part!!!" have been many: like when I fought Ultimecia in FF8, I suffered much to defeat her, but I made it after all, and Ozma in FF9, he put up a wonderful and unforgettable battle, my greatest one in the series.

    In the end, FF is an important part of RPGs, as it has been for much time, like Dragon Quest and Zelda for the same genre.

    As for the villains: True, they may have their own ways, but I believe that it is somehow exaggerate trying to justify that attitude, like saying Sephiroth wanted something better with Meteor sort of, or that Kuja wanted something different by destroying the crystal. In the end, they have their way to see things, and many of us disagree with them (I do at least).
  • BloodcatBloodcat Member Full Members
    edited September 2003
    Honestly, the FF games haven't really evolved all that much.

    Outside of graphics, FF1 plays pretty much the same as FFX does, though X is quite a bit more user friendly than its ancestor.

    FF is not alone. Most games stopped trying to seriously evolve years ago. Improvements are all baby steps, and in some cases (FF8 looking RIGHT AT YA) are steps BACKWARDS.

    I can understand wanting to keep a game familliar and to not risk it all by doing something extremely different (the fanboi outcry over Zelda 2 for example..) that might not go over well, but instead of raising our games to new heights, we just keep tweaking them. Eventually they get old.

    Hell, look at the SHMUP and Side Scrolling game. Both genres are all but dead. RPGs will join them soon enough, as will the 3d action adventure.

    There simply isn't enough change.

    Eventually even Joe Wal Mart is gonna get tired of dropping 50 bucks a year on Madden 20XX which was only marginally improved from Madden 20XX-1..

    RPGs are only starting to have players discontented, as many of them didn't begin playing till Final Fantasy 7 or so..

    Maybe its just me, but when is a game gonna blow my mind and show me something I never thought possible, or will do something with a twist that never occurred to me, but adds that SOMETHING to a genre that will change it forever, and any game without it is just barely playable to me then?
  • GambitxGambitx Member Full Members
    edited September 2003
    Starting with Final Fantasy... I love FF series since I played FFVI and in my opinion it was one of the best stories I ever played in a RPG! Of course when I saw Aires summoning Leviatan for the first time ( remember the demo in Tobal n?1?) I was almost in ecstasy!! So of course I played that, and FFVIII and FFIX and FFX... but I have to admit, it was really no big changes in them... I played some of the titles that came before and what I've noticed is that it was inovating a lot until FFVI. After FFVII things got a little slow ( like "do not change a winning team!!" ). But that was understandable, if you played FFVII, and enjoyed it a lot, you really woud like to see similar things on the next title... for the generation that started playing with the PSone, Square did the right thing and sold a lot of FFVIII and FFIX. But FFX was a little diferent, of course my opinion may be diferent but I liked it... the story was provocative and the battle was interesting ( fight with the Aeons was really fun!! ) laugh.gif .
    Now we are waiting FFX-2 and I believe it'll sell as much as FFX did, so the question is: Is really SquareEnix going on the wrong direction? I don't think so!! As it did with NES, SNES, PSone, and now with PS2, Final Fantasy is always gathering new fans with the same formula, so I believe as long as it is borning new RPGamers everyday, SquareEnix is also going to enchant them as they did to us!!!
    The other topic I would like to coment is about the Brazilian RPGamers. Well, I live in Brazil and I've always been hooked to Videogames, so I really know the problems we have been trought since piracy stroke hard in here. Fighting it is hard and as people always want to take advantage of others it'll be really hard to change their mind now... I've questioned the Sony of Brazil a thousand times about a national PS and they say always the same phrase: "We are studying the best way to launch it in here, but since piracy is so difficult to fight, it is not aproved by Sony of Japan yet!" I don't care too much 'cause I can buy original imported games ( not that often but I can manage to buy a few now!) but most of the brazilians don't, so it is really sad that they let us in the shadows. Just for information, Nintendo is not officially represented here anymore, now we only have Sega and a dead console! Let's hope things get better!!
  • DracosDracos Member Full Members
    edited September 2003
    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (Bloodcat @ Sep. 22 2003,18:31)</td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"Honestly, the FF games haven't really evolved all that much.

    Outside of graphics, FF1 plays pretty much the same as FFX does, though X is quite a bit more user friendly than its ancestor.

    FF is not alone. ?Most games stopped trying to seriously evolve years ago. ?Improvements are all baby steps, and in some cases (FF8 looking RIGHT AT YA) are steps BACKWARDS.

    I can understand wanting to keep a game familliar and to not risk it all by doing something extremely different (the fanboi outcry over Zelda 2 for example..) that might not go over well, but instead of raising our games to new heights, we just keep tweaking them. ?Eventually they get old.

    Hell, look at the SHMUP and Side Scrolling game. Both genres are all but dead. RPGs will join them soon enough, as will the 3d action adventure.

    There simply isn't enough change.

    Eventually even Joe Wal Mart is gonna get tired of dropping 50 bucks a year on Madden 20XX which was only marginally improved from Madden 20XX-1..

    RPGs are only starting to have players discontented, as many of them didn't begin playing till Final Fantasy 7 or so.. ?

    Maybe its just me, but when is a game gonna blow my mind and show me something I never thought possible, or will do something with a twist that never occurred to me, but adds that SOMETHING to a genre that will change it forever, and any game without it is just barely playable to me then?[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
    While I utterly disagree with the article that you are rebuking, I also utterly disagree with what you just stated. You might as well argue that Joe Wal Mart is going to get tired of dropping a few thousand each year on season tickets for football. But wait, he's been doing that for over fifty years. And that can't even claim an upgrade in options or play. All it can claim is changing faces. Joe Wal Mart doesn't care though. Joe Wal Mart likes it and will keep buying the next one in line because it changes the faces. Joe Wal Mart never gets old or tired. I show minor discontent with some series, but I'm not Joe Wal Mart. I'm one of those folks who've been playing it for over a decade. But you know what? I still like it and if it stagnated right here on the spot I'd be utterly happy. But I'm not Joe Wal Mart. Those who are are those who are the main stream. Drawn in by the next big thing and kept because they found it fun. Those who didn't likely didn't buy another game afterwards, so they aren't considered. Of those Joe Wal Marts, some of them will advance complicated tastes, maybe five-ten years down the line. But now, they don't care. It's all new to them. Every last bit of it. And it will remain new to them for years to come. And when it gets old for them, there will be those to replace them. Unless, of course, marketing dies and people stop making fun games. That's about the only thing that will kill a genre.

    You need to step out of your elitist boots for a second and consider just who Joe Wal Mart is. He's a guy who counts the number of RPGs he's played on one or maybe two hands. Not those like me or you who count the number of bookshelves we need to hold all our RPGs. To Joe Wal Mart, it's always new, always innovated, always "DAMNED KEWL!". He doesn't know better. He doesn't know that it's been done a thousand times. He doesn't know that it's not new, or innovative, or even the best incarnation of doing what it does. It'll be years before he knows that. And by then he won't be Joe Wal Mart anymore. He'll be like you or me. With years or decades of experience. It'll be damn hard to convince him something is mind-shockingly new because he's been inured with so many years of it and almost everything will seem derivative of something he played earlier. And then he'll make a choice. Joe Experienced Gamer will either decide he's grown tired of games, and move on to something else in life, decide he likes what he's playing and continues playing it, or decides he wants something better and different, and keep hunting for it. But by this time, he isn't the majority of those buying the games. He's the minority. The guy with a lot of experience who's been doing it for years. Just check around, you'll find the level of disatisfaction quite small among most who came in with FF7. Even smaller among the new wave that came in with FFX. In fact, I doubt you can find someone who got addicted with FFX who's under the impression that any of the stuff has really been played out before (better or not). After all, to get that impression, he'd either have to research what came before (With little real effect) or PLAY it. And by playing it (which would take years), he'd become Joe Experienced Gamer. And when he's Joe Experienced Gamer, he'll find that gaming has moved on and ensnared another generation after him with the next flashy but likely derivative game. He may thumb his nose at it all or join in or sigh about such uneducated and unknowledgable gamers... but it doesn't matter. He won't effect them. And to them, it'll be new. It'll be grand. It'll be the stuff worthy of long message board posts wondering on how cool this plot twist or that plot twist was.

    And so... while you aren't blown away, having your years to decades of experience playing and having pretty much seen in your eyes everything under the sun... you aren't the majority. You aren't even a large part of those purchasing the games. The large part are either new or still under the illusion of genuinely finding what's being done neato regardless of it having been done ten thousand times before in their recollection. Joe Wal Mart either doesn't know better or likes what he got. He is the mainstream, buying the mainstream games and enjoying them for being the mainstream games.

    Dracos
  • AshgadAshgad Member Full Members
    edited September 2003
    Concerning the villains editorial: it's entirely impossible in my eyes to end an RPG's story with anything less than a final confrontation in which the villain and that which he stands for are destroyed. Assuming we're dealing with a real villain (such as Kefka) and not some wishy-washy, misguided visionary who doesn't really want to hurt people, there is no other suitable resolution. A villain is compelling primarily because he or she commits wrongs of an unforgivable nature-- wrongs that necessitate the quest in the first place. No one wants to play an RPG where the party is pursuing, say, some guy who stuck his chewing gum on an elevator button. No one wants to pursue a local politician who raises taxes a little bit to pay for a new town hall. A compelling villain has to inspire hatred, or at least fear and awe. Thus, when the party finally confronts the villain(s) at the end of the story, there has to be real resolution. The bad guy can't get away with a slap on the wrist and a tsk or two.

    Consider everyone's favorite RPG villain/clown. Kefka kills virtually the entire supporting cast of FFVI. His cowardly, often purely impulsive actions motivate every last party member except bit players like Umaro and Gogo to truly hate him, and the player's hatred follows naturally. Could feelings of such strength be sated merely by the party confronting Kefka, convincing him to mend his ways, and moving on towards a brighter future together? Where's the justice in such an ending? Where's the climax?

    In my opinion, the reason the climactic battle with the final villain is "overused" is because it's actually the only way to end your typical RPG plot. In a story where convolution overrides real direction and poor translation obliterates subtlety and nuance, any other resolution is impossible. You have to go bold when you can't even conjugate your verbs properly.
  • DracosDracos Member Full Members
    edited September 2003
    Well, While I rather liked the prelude of the villian editorial, I'm curious what were some of the source games that inspired it. When I pondered, I found I couldn't think of one that fit that sort of plan off the top of my head. I'm rather curious to what games you were envisioning in examining the villian.

    Dracos
  • SpideySpidey Member Full Members
    edited September 2003
    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"If B successful, then A doing same as B must fail.[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

    Yes, i HATE this assumption! It's the worst.

    That villian editorial touches an issue I've always though about for a long time. It's an interesting concept and I , too, hope it is tackled in upcoming RPGs. Just do it well, don't have a villian who wants to dominate the world ?and kill people and try to make it seem good in his viewpoint, I dont care what viewpoint it's in that's a position that's always gonna be evil. It has to be something feasible that people can actually sympathize with. Perhaps a game based on warring countries.

    And i'm not gonna even get in the 'ff's are too similar' thread. If you dont like it, I dont care, i like it and im happy. I dont see a reason to get into this, heh. I just think if you think FF5's job system, and Butz is similar to FF11 then you should take a look at the differences between the two games because i assure you there are tons.



  • MeoTwister5MeoTwister5 Member Full Members
    edited September 2003
    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (Dracos @ Sep. 23 2003,06:20)</td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"Well, While I rather liked the prelude of the villian editorial, I'm curious what were some of the source games that inspired it. When I pondered, I found I couldn't think of one that fit that sort of plan off the top of my head. I'm rather curious to what games you were envisioning in examining the villian.

    Dracos[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
    Okay.... I should have elaborated, but here are some that were in my head when I wrote it. Possible Spoilers ahead.

    Seymour. Okay, technically he wasn't the "Main Villain" of FFX, Sin was, but I see Seymour as the bigger gad guy since we got to see more of him and his mentality the whole game. At one point he'll say something similar to "<span class="spoiler">I will save Spira by destroying it</span>". In layman terms he means that "<span class="spoiler">he will save Spira from the vicious spiral of death by killing everyone and turning them to spirits</span>". So, if we are to believe that he truly wishes to save Spira, the average man would think that he is trying to do it against moral ethics. But then, considering how some could consider him brilliant or the "uber-mensch" (sp?), does he have the right to proceed as such, if it is for the good of humanity?

    I'm doing a research paper right now, but I'll add later.

    BTW, can someone suggest some books/philosophies to do next? I'm planning Nietzsch later, but it seems Machiavelli (sp?) is out of the question....
  • MeoTwister5MeoTwister5 Member Full Members
    edited September 2003
    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"In the end, the player confronts the villain, and (if they're a skilled negotiator) can convince them that the plan itself is flawed. It's only then that the villain displays a shred of his former humanity, realizing the cost of what he's done. To take such matters into one's own hands is to play god, and few are those who can survive the fall from this lofty goal, to truly come to grips with something like nearly exterminating an entire race.
    [/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

    Quite ironically, I was thinking of Fallout too when I did that part.

    Too bad I never did get to convince him. Maybe my Intelligence in the game is too low? tounge.gif

    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"Concerning the villains editorial: it's entirely impossible in my eyes to end an RPG's story with anything less than a final confrontation in which the villain and that which he stands for are destroyed. Assuming we're dealing with a real villain (such as Kefka) and not some wishy-washy, misguided visionary who doesn't really want to hurt people, there is no other suitable resolution. A villain is compelling primarily because he or she commits wrongs of an unforgivable nature-- wrongs that necessitate the quest in the first place. No one wants to play an RPG where the party is pursuing, say, some guy who stuck his chewing gum on an elevator button. No one wants to pursue a local politician who raises taxes a little bit to pay for a new town hall. A compelling villain has to inspire hatred, or at least fear and awe. Thus, when the party finally confronts the villain(s) at the end of the story, there has to be real resolution. The bad guy can't get away with a slap on the wrist and a tsk or two.
    [/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

    While I would have to agree that many, not all, players would rather have you to dish out whoop-ass on the villain, why do you say that there has to be a "real resolution"? It would seem you mean that being able to let the villain see the light of day isn't a resolution. Wouldn't it be also a resolution if the villain is able to change? Even in a video game I would see that violence is not the resolution to everything.

    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"Where's the justice in such an ending? Where's the climax?[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

    I would have to agree with Dostoevsky that there is no real justice if the perpetrator does not accept his/her actions, and repent.



  • Ultus VeighUltus Veigh New Member Full Members
    edited September 2003
    What do you mean there are other ways to solve a problem than fighting? I mean seriously, have you ever played an RPG where the main goal wasn't to slaughter enemies and gain some sort of experience? I'm sorry, but if you got to the end of FF9 for instance, and negotiated with Kuja and then it just ended, that would be pretty pathetic. there has to be some kind of fight.
  • slapizaga_the_banditslapizaga_the_bandit Member Full Members
    edited September 2003
    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"Honestly, the FF games haven't really evolved all that much.[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

    So...? ?They don't NEED to evolve in order to captivate and capture an audience. ?Look at books, for example. ?The written word has not "evolved" at all in the last couple hundred years. ?Sure, we have been able to produce more colorful covers and write them with better ink and on better paper, but still, that doesn't change the stories at all. ?When someone wants to go get a book, they don't say, "Gee, I wonder how much this story has evolved in the last twenty years..." ?I mean, sure, you'll run across clich?s and things that you have seen before, but each story is different despite its similarities. ?That doesn't mean people won't want to read it. ?And it boils down to what genre you are into. ?If you like fantasy novels, well, you read your damn fantasy novels. ?If you like non-fictional historical accounts, well, you read that, too. ?They don't need to "evolve" to wow an audience, they just need to tell a story in a way that people enjoy and can relate to or attach to. ?

    Now I like Final Fantasy. ?I've been around since before the first installment came out in America. ?I've played each one (including FFIIIj). ?I've enjoyed them all and I'll enjoy the ones that come out so's long as I have an interest in playing them. ?I don't need it to have more flashy graphics and virtual reality and mind-blowing FMVs. ?I just want a good story, some new features (or even some recycled ones if adequetely placed), and some solid music/gameplay. ?On that note, I could care less about you people who feel you need to be excited to (and past) the point of orgasm in order to appreciate a new iteration of the game in a series. ?If you don't like them that much, don't play them and shut the hell up. ?Quit cryin' about it and find something better to do with your time, be it another game or just something else that is productive.



  • RicoRico Member Full Members
    edited September 2003
    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (Ultus Veigh @ Sep. 23 2003,01:24)</td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"What do you mean there are other ways to solve a problem than fighting?[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
    THE OTHER PATHWAY IS VENTS.
  • MeoTwister5MeoTwister5 Member Full Members
    edited September 2003
    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (Rico @ Sep. 23 2003,09:51)</td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"</span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (Ultus Veigh @ Sep. 23 2003,01:24)</td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"What do you mean there are other ways to solve a problem than fighting?[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
    THE OTHER PATHWAY IS VENTS.[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
    My point exactly. I made my editorial not only to Video Games, but in REAL LIFE as well. You may think fighting is the only way to solve things, but if we are to surely consider Video Games to be realistic, passive action must be included. Sure, that would obviously apply to games ALREADY MADE, because they were made that way, but in the future I think the passive choice should also be included.
  • PhatosePhatose Member Full Members
    edited September 2003
    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (Ultus Veigh @ Sep. 23 2003,01:24)</td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"What do you mean there are other ways to solve a problem than fighting? I mean seriously, have you ever played an RPG where the main goal wasn't to slaughter enemies and gain some sort of experience? I'm sorry, but if you got to the end of FF9 for instance, and negotiated with Kuja and then it just ended, that would be pretty pathetic. there has to be some kind of fight.[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
    Arcanum and Fallout for the PC both give you the option of a non-combat solution to the final encounter. ?Planescape:Torment actually gives you a worse ending if you go in slinging swords then if you solve your problems with negotiation. ? It can - and has - been done.


    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"Quite ironically, I was thinking of Fallout too when I did that part.

    Too bad I never did get to convince him. Maybe my Intelligence in the game is too low? [/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

    It's probably more likely you missed the critical conversation that happens earlier in the game you need to have. If you don't get the information and the proof you need, you can't convince him.



  • KarlinnKarlinn Member Full Members
    edited September 2003
    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"Quite ironically, I was thinking of Fallout too when I did that part.

    Too bad I never did get to convince him. ?Maybe my Intelligence in the game is too low? [/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

    That, and, like Phatose said, there's a bit of info you need to convince him. ?Speech also helps. ?That meeting definitely earns a nomination for best boss confrontation ever in my book, though I wish "<span class="spoiler">that you could've gotten to mention his real name, or Harold, or something along those lines, just to see what he'd say.</span>" ?But I digress.

    Like I said, yeah, you still need villains with whom you can't sympathize, either entirely or even partially - few things are more satisfying than giving a bad guy his due - but I'm all for more options in dealing with those enemies that you can't completely hate, for whatever reason. ?Sometimes the guy with his finger on the button needs dying... and sometimes he just needs a time-out.

    Obviously, they all shouldn't be so easily negotiable - that depends on how truly 'human' they are - but if it adds a little diversity to the mix of crush, kill, destroy then I'm all for it. ?And frankly, the only thing more satisfying to me than beating the stuffing out of the Most Dangerous Nihilist Ever is convincing him that everything he believes in is a lie.
  • AshgadAshgad Member Full Members
    edited September 2003
    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"I would have to agree with Dostoevsky that there is no real justice if the perpetrator does not accept his/her actions, and repent.[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

    Sounds more like redemption than justice to me.
  • JCove2010JCove2010 Member Full Members
    edited September 2003
    Ah Final Fantasy....
    OK here's the deal for those who say Final Fantasy hasn't evolved passed FFIV is wrong. First, the main part of every RPG is story. Since FFIV the stories have evolved tremendously (each of which are completely different in their own right).Final Fantasy 6 - 10 (with the exception of 9) have all dealt with very risky areas of the human mind and soul and some "real world" situations.
    In Final Fantasy VI Terra starts out as a slave and later finds out that her whole existance is a lie, She's the only one with magic abilities, she's different, people are afraid to be around her and the empire wants to use her powers against the destruction of the world. In the mena time Terra doesn't know what kind of person she is, she feels that she doesn't know how to love or be loved. I'm putting this into simpler terms but these are serious issues, that each of us have gone through at some point in our lives.

    Final Fantasy 7 and 8 delt with main characters who were kind of messed up in the head, Cloud had a multiple personality thing going on, and Squall I swear was clinically depressed, these made for a darker reality side of Final Fantasy making both games somewhat depressing to an extent. Each story was different. Not to mention FF7 had the death of a main character, this is a first in the series (unless you would consider General Leo in FFVI a main character.) , FF7 dealt a lot with a kind of religion/belief system if you will. While Final Fantasy VIII was rather unworldly the main characters were not, Squall is trying to get through military life and his own life, not sure of what he wants in the world but keeps getting hurt. And screwed by everyone he comes in contact with.
    Final Fantasy 9 was completely different as it was mainly to bring back nostalgia in the series which it did somewhat. Good story not too unorigional but the main character was very upbeat, had a major hard-on for the ladies (namely Dagger\Garnet) and ended up falling in love w/ her.

    Final Fantasy X, changed Final Fantasy in it's entirety, from gameplay, to story, to mechanics. Story had an updeat glaze on it, kind of like the feeling that "everything is going great, as long as you don't look at what's really going on behind the curtain." The story dealt with a major religious approach, and this group of people is going against a belief that exists through out all of Spira. Think of it (Not trying to offend anyone here) If back in the day you would rebel against the Catholic church you'd be hell bound and they'd make sure of it, I mean this is a major deal going against everything you've ever believed in and everything that has existed as you know it is a lie. Yuna Lived and trained hard for the "church" only to find that it was all fake. FFX was very upbeat, from the characters to the world, and had a very dark background. That in my opinion is what made FFX great, it was an awesome story with likeable character, even Lulu was cool (rather b*tchy but cool).

    I'm sorry this is long and on-going but Final Fantasy has evolved more then any game or company I know (with the exception of Maxis). This article should be more directed toward Zelda (I love the series but it's always the same game with better graphics.)

    [Spoil]
  • vherubvherub Member Full Members
    edited September 2003
    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (MeoTwister5 @ Sep. 23 2003,00:40)</td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"BTW, can someone suggest some books/philosophies to do next? ?I'm planning Nietzsch later, but it seems Machiavelli (sp?) is out of the question....[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
    Unless you are beyong college, then Rand, otherwise it will be too late and you will be predisposed to hate atlas shrugged/ the fountainhead

    actually...that might be a decent editorial topic for myself to lay down

    and elsewise, videogames as lolita -complex, nabokov's work is not a philosophical text in the strict sense, but it is filled with philosophy


    i think killing the villian as a reward to ending a game is usually what the player wants, you want to blow up the island after beating contra, not emerge out of the alien mother's stomach for a group hug

    plus its a lot easier to think up an ending that way



  • RosewoodRosewood Member Full Members
    edited September 2003
    As was mentioned in the essay, in C&P Raskolnikov actually believed at the time he committed the murder that he was helping make the world a better place. Throughout the novel are various philosophical conversations on the topic. In the end R's mind is changed, by religious faith and the love of a good woman.

    "For the world to be reborn it must/will be destroyed" is a common RPG villain's mantra. But is he/she a philosopher or psychopath/mass murderer? Of course it's all well and good if it's thousands of innocent villagers and not yourself being destroyed, o villain. I'm not sure that convincing the villain he's done wrong would work with the RPG villain as typically envisioned.

    In RL people are convinced en masse to go to war by demonizing the other side, making them something that deserves to die. This is strong in humanity, the desire to see things in terms of black and white (with yourself/your country wearing the white hat, of course). On an individual level it's much easier to see and understand and perhaps eventually be convinced of another's point of view. RPGs deal with "big" conflicts, and I'm not sure those big conflicts can easily be dealt with in the same way they would be between individuals. However, I sure wouldn't mind seeing a game where the final boss was dealt with differently than kicking their butt.

    The idea of a war between two different countries that someone suggested in this thread is a good one. You could play with the notion of demonization of the other side, with the leader/general being the biggest worst demon of all, the one who has the terrible ideas you're fighting against. You could play as one side, then the next time play the other side and be surprised their pov isn't what you thought it was...maybe your character is a spy who gets an idea of what the other side is really thinking (aside from demonizing your side wink.gif ) and decides to work towards a peaceful solution. Hmm.
  • slapizaga_the_banditslapizaga_the_bandit Member Full Members
    edited September 2003
    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"Not to mention FF7 had the death of a main character, this is a first in the series (unless you would consider General Leo in FFVI a main character.[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

    In FFIV, Tellah was a "main" character and he died, so that wasn't a first in FFVII. ?You utilized him for a short part of the game, but he was still a party character that you'd have on your team. ?Oh, and don't forget Galuf in FFV. ?He died, too. ?His granddaughter took over for him and had his abilities, but he still died. ?And Aerith was the same as those two (for the most part), you just got to use her a little longer, and, due to the way the story was told, grew more of an attachment to her. ?But still, Tellah was the first in the series (that I can recall) who died.



  • MeoTwister5MeoTwister5 Member Full Members
    edited September 2003
    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"Unless you are beyong college, then Rand, otherwise it will be too late and you will be predisposed to hate atlas shrugged/ the fountainhead
    [/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

    You speak of Ayn Rand, correct? I actually have Atlas Shrugged somewhere in the house, but I can't find it. Books by Ayn Rand seem rare where I live. sad.gif
  • IsraelIsrael Member Full Members
    edited September 2003
    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (MeoTwister5 @ Sep. 23 2003,17:13)</td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"</span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"Unless you are beyong college, then Rand, otherwise it will be too late and you will be predisposed to hate atlas shrugged/ the fountainhead
    [/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

    You speak of Ayn Rand, correct? ?I actually have Atlas Shrugged somewhere in the house, but I can't find it. ?Books by Ayn Rand seem rare where I live. sad.gif[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
    Have you read "The Divine Comedy" by Dante Alighieri?

    If not, you should.
  • Red RavenRed Raven Member Full Members
    edited September 2003
    Re: Villians

    As Ultus Veigh already pointed out, it would be a terrible idea to craft a game in which the sole focus was gaining experience by killing things and then to end it with a truce. The reason games such as Fallout and Planescape worked was because negotiation was possible throughout the entire game - the only people you had to kill were those with which peacefull discussion was not possible. The majority of console games - if not all of them - are devoid of situations which could be ended peacefully, and thus should never feature a final battle which does so. Ending a game that way would be a betrayal of player trust.

    The closest RPG I have played that ended in the C&P ideal was Xenogears, when "<span class="spoiler">Krelian came to terms with the destruction he unleashed upon the world in the pursuit of creating a god that would not abandon him</span>". In fact, "<span class="spoiler">Fei gave Krelian the opportunity to return to earth to atone for his sins</span>", something that coincides more or less perfectly in the idea Dostoevsky seems to present (I cannot speak for certain, having never read C&P). There still was a final battle, of course, but I view Xenogears to be a huge step in the right direction.

    That said, I cannot really relate to those who view Kefka to be the "perfect villain" (i.e. someone who is morally easy to kill). Not only was it made quite clear that he was insane, there was a piece of dialogue stated during the Vector raid which basically amounted to "He's insane because we performed hideous and unimaginably painful experiments on him." Sure, it was ethically sound to prevent his insanity from destroying the world, but I never felt real hatred to so tortured a soul. If anything, I felt bad at his death - Kefka lived in pain, and died likewise.

    For those interested, I suggest A Smile for Kefka by Jessica - although old and somewhat simple, it has been the only fanfiction I've read that does the "mad clown" justice. Unfortunately, it does not appear to be working at the moment, though it is highly recommended that you hunt it down if it is ever recovered.

    ? -Red Raven
  • KarlinnKarlinn Member Full Members
    edited September 2003
    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"That said, I cannot really relate to those who view Kefka to be the "perfect villain" (i.e. someone who is morally easy to kill). Not only was it made quite clear that he was insane, there was a piece of dialogue stated during the Vector raid which basically amounted to "He's insane because we performed hideous and unimaginably painful experiments on him." Sure, it was ethically sound to prevent his insanity from destroying the world, but I never felt real hatred to so tortured a soul. If anything, I felt bad at his death - Kefka lived in pain, and died likewise.[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

    In my opinion, that's debatable. ?Kefka's insanity is not in question, but the man clearly enjoyed killing - it wasn't just a means to an end for him, he went out of his way to kill lots of people in little time - and he was focused enough to be a self-centered, opportunistic back-stabber when so inclined. ?In this I'd rank him fairly close to Suikoden II's Luca Blight - a power-mad warmonger and sadist. ?Obviously there's more to them than meets the eye - something had to happen to make them who they are, and in both cases it's only briefly touched on - but in my opinion more than one facet of an enemy must be shown to make them pitiable, or worthy of remorse. ?Given the epic nature of their respective battles, the emotions I felt were closer to relief, and a mix of bitterness and pride - I beat the big bad guy, but it took all of that just to bring down one man. ?It's kind of awe-inspiring, in a way.

    But I ramble. ?Point is, it's a really fuzzy grey area, and even the above isn't exactly a hard and fast rule for me. ?I felt no sorrow for either of the aformentioned villains when they finally were brought down, yet other homicidal maniacs in fiction have gotten me to pity them - Eddie from Silent Hill 2, Pierrot Le Fou from Cowboy Bebop, Gunther Hermann from Deus Ex. ?Pierrot in particular struck a chord with me; "<span class="spoiler">at the very end, having finally been wounded for the first time since the experiments that created him, he breaks down and starts to cry, flailing about wildly as he calls for his mother before being crushed to death.</span>"

    I guess in the end it's about appearing human, which is probably why so many RPGs - and games - have the final battle against some sort of godlike monstrosity. ?Rosewood made the point earlier that, in war, one side typically demonizes the other, makes them appear as monsters that must be killed; I'm inclined to agree that this is the case in games as well.

    I may have digressed for a bit there, but the moral of the story is I believe that a villain's capacity for anything other than a violent, brutal end, and the emotions that would entail, depends on how 'human' they appear, right to the end.
  • vherubvherub Member Full Members
    edited September 2003
    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (Israel @ Sep. 23 2003,17:22)</td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"</span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (MeoTwister5 @ Sep. 23 2003,17:13)</td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"
    You speak of Ayn Rand, correct? ?I actually have Atlas Shrugged somewhere in the house, but I can't find it. ?Books by Ayn Rand seem rare where I live. sad.gif[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
    Have you read "The Divine Comedy" by Dante Alighieri?

    If not, you should.[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
    the latest hollander translations do great justice to dante's work (only purgatorio and inferno have been translated so far) but there are many other translations out there for those not fluent in italian

    surely the local library must have some ayn rand, a lot of people get mesmerized- tho it is widely abhored by acadamia and those who fashion themselves intellectuals
  • DracosDracos Member Full Members
    edited September 2003
    Re: Drama and Villianry

    I intended to respond to the conflict here a couple of days ago but between browser crashes and work have been thoroughly sidetracked. Got a bit of time now so I'll toss down the problem with it.

    In any dramatic production, it is a known fact that not all perspectives are equal. Some are simply better than others for capturing the emotion and sensation of a scene. Likewise, in any dramatic production, not all paths are equal. Some paths go better with the theme of the tale or have a stronger impact than others. It's stuff like this which make us follow the lone adventurer over the city dweller selling goods at the marketplace. The former is simply a more interesting and fitting subject for the tale that is envisioned. Along this thought line, not all ways of ending a game are equal. Some fit better with the theme or attitude of the game than others.

    The games being referenced as examples of saving the villian were in large part about redemption. They were generally a running theme throughout each of them, either of the hero, the villian, the world, humanity, etc. In Fallout you are attempting to save your people and humanity as a whole from the very crimes it perpetrated upon itself. In Planescape:Torment, the very essence of the game is discovering yourself and finding redemption despite the hideous crimes of your forgotten past. Heck, Xenogears, which Red Raven referenced, had redemption as one of it's strongest and most evokative themes throughout. With this theme in play, redeeming the villian is almost a natural dramatic outlay. It fits the story and the theme of the production. It is one of the better paths that the story can conclude with in terms of maximizing the dramatic effect of the story. The brutal slaughter of a villian, while it would feel out of place in such a tale, ALSO can manage dramatic significance as it promptly brings up the theme of anti-redemption, the impossibility of being saved.

    Of course, in a tale in which these themes and forces were not present, it would not make much sense. To redeem Exdeath would be ludicrious. He was intended as a force of nature. A demonstration of man versus monstrousity. The battle of survival in face of absolute oblivion.

    Therefore, I would not like to see this 'passive' solution just tossed out willynilly. It should, like any decision of story and plot, be decided with a vision and an understanding of how it will affect the audience.

    Dracos
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