But, I LIKE this Cliché!

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I like how the villain almost always encounters you when you're too weak to do anything to him/her/it, but for some totally inexplicable reason decides not to just shoot/stab you in the face. Saren, I'm looking at you. Multiple opportunities for easy, straightforward PC murder, and all you can do is have odd conversations.

Also, the mentor that dies or turns evil is a fun cliche, although the BioWare connection is a little off because of David Anderson. The ambassador's annoying whining made up for the lack of betrayal, though.

DracoSuave:

TexaNigerian:
"Enchantment!"

ENCHANTMENT!

Sandal could get a whole DLC just for himself. I mean, the man is Chuck Norris in disguise. Did you see how he was standing all by himself, bloodied and surrounded by darkspawn during the final hours of DA:O in that Fortress.

ENCHANTMENT!!!!!!

dog i like the dogs in arcanum fable 2, fallout series, etc.
one size fits all armor.
Unlimited stomach room for potions or booze.
Dwarves vs. elves

Dark elves being evil.

Caucasian elves being forest-dwelling archery un-charismatic pansies.

Dwarves.

Fucking dwarves.

But then, I hate these cliches. Can't think of a cliche I actually like, but I guess it boils down to two categories:
- Cliches I hate.
- Cliches I don't mind.

Everquest had a bunch of these weird ones.

The Snake kicks you for 1 point of damage.

You search the body of the snake. You find two snake heads, one snake tail and 4 gold pieces.

But isn't this just an excuse to pull up TVTropes again? :)

No, you seem to have misheard me, I don't want to buy your inn, I would like to stay one fucking night in it.

Selling infinite arrows, one gold each.

DIY limb re-attachment in the form of a potion.

not all rpgs do it but how can an inn stay in business charging the equivilent of 500 arrows?

Speaking of Balders Gate

A great anti-cliche:

"Aw, look, it's a Kobold Dungeon. Ikkle 1/2HD critters...

Thunk Thunk Thunk Thunk Thunk.

MOTHER OF GOD, BREAK OUT THE FIREBALLS!"

CUnk:
Why is my character so willing to exchange the trusty sword that he probably received as a gift from his parents when he graduated from adventuring school and his well-worn suit of armor that fits him perfectly after all these years for some bigger-looking sword and thicker-looking armor that a random bandit leader was using before you stuck him full of arrows? Doesn't anything have sentimental value anymore?

In Neverwinter Nights: Kingmaker you get a magic sword at the beginning that levels up and gets new bonuses when you do.


Just remembered this one. Yeah, I always wondered about this.

matrix3509:

I remember the one in KOTOR, which pissed me off to no end because the entire quest was a dark side trap. There was literally no way to finish that quest without getting dark side points. I was playing as a light side character for my first playthrough and I had to waste multiple hours trying to finish it in EVERY. POSSIBLE. BLOODY. WAY. After I discovered it was a dark side trap, I had to revert back to a DAYS old savegame. That still pisses me off to this day.

Heh. :D You're right. I think there were a few situations in the game where you could incur small hits for the light/darkside, which kept you from "perfection". But the designers would tell you to suck it and then they'd tell you that sometimes life is about choosing the best of the available possibilities. Or something. Haha. :)

Deathkingo:
Mages wearing dresses...i mean robes...

Had to link it.

Anyway, I think Fallout 1 did a good job with the time-limit thing. But that's the only game I can think of that did it alright. I mean, you could even do some sidequests to extend the amount of time you have.

level250geek:

2. In mere minutes, you become so skilled at magic/combat that you can stand toe-to-toe with battle-hardened mercenaries, often owning them gloriously.

Or perhaps you or a comrade are battle-hardened war veterans yourself, yet you find that you increase in power DRAMATICALLY after fighting a few enemies because despite being war veterans you started out at level 1.

"Lookatyou. Though you lived 20-30 years and wasn't able to reach even 1st level of any profession, now, after only 2 weeks of adventuring you're 40th lev assasin-mage-cleric."

I *love* heroic speeches. The speech that Alistair gave in Dragon Age...and the speech the Salarians (sp) gave in Mass Effect...

Bioware does epic speeches well.

ffs-dontcare:
Dark elves being evil.

That is one cliche I definitely love.

Why? Because dark elves are sexy. And evil is sexy. Therefor, evil dark elves are double sexy.

Now, I'm playing Dragon Age, and they actually just inverted the "you fought your way through my dungeon, killed all my men, and evaded my traps, now I will kill you weakling!"

And they do it a few more times throughout the game. The werewolves do it ("Why would we ambush you? You've already slaughtered your way into our lair, we don't want to anger you any more!"). The slavers in the alienage do it (heck, he tries to wriggle his way out of getting a sword jammed down his throat no less than THREE TIMES).

The only people who don't try and surrender/talk their way out of you killing them at the end of their dungeon are either overconfident assholes (Like Jarvia) or religious zealots (like the Cult in Haven).

Dear Shamus:

These things you have pointed out are tropes, not cliches! A trope is a frequently-used device, whereas a cliche is an OVERused one.

-Opt

Calatar:

level250geek:

2. In mere minutes, you become so skilled at magic/combat that you can stand toe-to-toe with battle-hardened mercenaries, often owning them gloriously.

Or perhaps you or a comrade are battle-hardened war veterans yourself, yet you find that you increase in power DRAMATICALLY after fighting a few enemies because despite being war veterans you started out at level 1.

Yet another variation: you were once a battle-hardened vet, but you've forgotten everything you knew and must re-learn it. You've also thrown away your really awesome weapons and armor, so you start with a wooden sword and a pillow strapped around your body.

The ONLY games to ever get this set-up right is Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (Alucard was weak physically, but had awesome gear that was stolen by Death and scattered around the mansion) and the first Assassin's Creed (it was tied into Altair being disgraced in front of his brother Assassins).

For some odd reason ancient civilisations happen to be far more advanced than the present, to the point where they appear unbelievably futuristic. What, I thought old stuff would be, you know, old.

I remember seeing this trope first in the Shining Force games on the Megadrive where the ancients used said technology, in a fantasy world no less, to seal off the big bad in the first game and the Nazca bird be a gigantic aerial transport in the second, among other things such as robotic enemies/allies, laser weapons and teleporters described as "ancient" despite the games being set in a fantasy world.

One word: Grandia. Maybe my favourite RPG of all time, and a veritable cliché storm. And I love it for just that reason. It took goodness knows how many much-loved clichés and deployed them unashamedly and playfully, from the kid hero runaway, to multiple spirit-<whatever>s, to the (physical) End of the World, to the ancient, lost, but highly advanced civilisation.

What made Grandia good was it set out with a story to tell and characters present, seemed to have fun doing so, and didn't care what clichés it flagged up so long as they keeping things fun. In my opinion that game is the standing example of why a well-deployed cliché is never a bad thing no matter how often used it may be.

Internet Kraken:
How about the ever abundant supply of Bandits?

I was just about to say the exact same thing.

http://project-apollo.net/text/rpg.html

giant list of RPG Cliche's. Pretty funny at points
Eg "The Higher The Hair, The Closer To God (Cloud Rule)
The more outrageous his hairstyle, the more important a male character is to the story."

HAHA oh wow this article made me laugh.

That last one about doing everything was just priceless.

I'm pretty certain you could buy time extensions in fallout 1 in the form of a water caravan for quite a high price.

European style settings with Ninjas / other cultural contamination (Im talking to you Katanas)

The suicidal NPC. 'Yea I'm gonna lose this fight but damn it fight to the death!'

More money in rewards than the NPCs could make 'Heres some gold for helping me, its my life savings but golly you killed those ten wolves so good you deserve it.'

Monsters guarding stuff they can use (Thank you Goblins comic :)

Namewithheld:
The only people who don't try and surrender/talk their way out of you killing them at the end of their dungeon are either overconfident assholes (Like Jarvia) or religious zealots (like the Cult in Haven).

Actually, the Cult in Haven tries to make a deal with you. This is how you get the Reaver specialty.

I effin' hate RPG games. Or well, hate is a strong word, but i've never really gotten into them. It just strikes me as the most ludicrously boring way to make a game, and i say that not only because i know people who play tabletop RPG's.

Without further ado, here are the cliches that destroy RPG's for me!

* Dialogue menues (I mean, Leisure Suit Larry even had a text parser)
* One click autoaimed gear and level showdowns (It doesn't matter how skilled you are, because it never takes real skill to defeat an opponent. Only virtual skill and gear acquired through grinding your buttocks off.)
* Padding quests (HELLO THERE MY LAD GET X SHOES OF GNOLLWITCHES AND BRING THEM TO MY BROTHER LAZYSOD IN WANKSHIRE)

And, what i think is the biggest one:
* Improving your character (Yes, the very core of RPG gameplay. You must delve in and tinker with your characters stats and abilities and gear and make sure that everything is just right, and if not, grind some more! Because why have skill when you obviously have so much time on your hands)

That's not to say RPG's are beyond any help. I remember enjoying Silver a whole deal, because of it's seamless character upgrading partly, there were no levels or immersionbreaking xp, they'd just get better with time. The only customisation came from a variety of swords, shields and distance attacks you could outfit your party with, and it was actually fun. Dialogue menues even took second place to forcing the dialogue in the direction the game wanted it, which i think is a much preferable alternative to making you roleplay BUT ONLY as Good, Neutral or Evil response. Play it if you ever get the chance.

CounterAttack:
Here's a list for you all that will trump anything you can think of. Beware, it is ridiculously long, and all of them apply to at least one game you know.

http://project-apollo.net/text/rpg.html

Bookmarked for its sheer Win. Thank you, Sir (or Madam)!

Elementlmage:

Shamus Young:

Do I Have to do EVERYTHING Around Here?

"Welcome to our town, stranger. The king has been poisoned, the well is contaminated, the princess has been kidnapped, the drawbridge is broken, the fields are overrun with wolves, we lost contact with the monastery, the merchants are all squabbling about something, the dock workers are rioting, the inn is infested with rats, there are undead in the graveyard, one of the ships is under quarantine, there's a curse on the temple, several town guards are taking bribes, an evil mage has been kidnapping young women, a supply shipment is over a week late, the Duke hasn't been acting like himself lately, a bad minstrel is annoying people in the town square, goblins have moved into our sprawling sewer system, widow Creekjoint has lost her cat, a priceless artifact has gone missing, and we've got an entrenched criminal organization that we're all too chickenshit to fight. If you could fix all that we'd be much obliged."

"Uh... hi?"

Two words: The Witcher (enhanced edition)...

Yep, TW is great for its "have a hard choice between one shade of grey and another" type of moral dilemmas in its quests..

Fensfield:
One word: Grandia. Maybe my favourite RPG of all time, and a veritable cliché storm. And I love it for just that reason. It took goodness knows how many much-loved clichés and deployed them unashamedly and playfully, from the kid hero runaway, to multiple spirit-<whatever>s, to the (physical) End of the World, to the ancient, lost, but highly advanced civilisation.

What made Grandia good was it set out with a story to tell and characters present, seemed to have fun doing so, and didn't care what clichés it flagged up so long as they keeping things fun. In my opinion that game is the standing example of why a well-deployed cliché is never a bad thing no matter how often used it may be.

I'll agree on this, a game that shamelessly takes all the old cliches but makes it fun can be great. On the opposite side, another game thats great because it breaks away from so many is the Suikoden series (most notably II and III). Most notably being changing the 'world saving event' cliche to the borders of a single country or two in a much larger world, the 'hero' character usually has a strongly written background for being the hero, and so on.

For general RPG cliche's, how come your party can stock up on a variety of healing potions and magic and use them to have prolonged dungeon crawling campaigns and battles, yet none of the bad guys think to buy a healing potion or learn and use the cure spell.

Also, for the D&D like games, how about the constantly resting wizard? Use up all your magic slaying the two dragons right before the final boss who's on the verge of destroying the world? Just rest for 8 hours and get your spells back, the evil tyrant could use some quality tetris time and is happy to wait for you!

Of course, the Suikoden series ranks in a really, Really close second on my favourites list XD And I agree, it averts or puts new spins on a lot of the normal RPG clichés, at least in terms of storyline. Most pointedly of all, as you say, is the much tighter focus, but on top of that, how many other RPG's do you know that step away from the 'good guys vs bad guys' cliché in favour of a hundred shades of grey(okay there are a few like this, but almost none so elegant) and a plot that's based primarily on political and courtly intrigue?

It also has some very nice setting and character cliché aversions, Especially in Suikoden V. The best example I can think of is Sol Falena's matriarchy, for a couple of reasons. First, it's developed, admirable, and believable (unlike so many fictional, 'straw feminist' matriarchies), and perfectly avoids making its matriarchal culture Amazon-style; and second, it sticks the strongest candidate for the 'damsel in distress' archetype firmly in the leading role and spends a measure of time dealing with what it must be like to have to make one's way Out of that position.

Animals that inexplicably start ejecting money and fully cooked food when you kill them.

Vanguard_Ex:
Humans being the kind, benevolent race...give me a break. We're capable of startling cruelty and selfishness, but we like to kid ourselves with the idea that we're wonderful and helpful towards all.

Hmm... no. I think you're thinking of Elves here. Pretty much every RPG I've ever seen has humans somewhere in the middle. You may be referring to the fact that just about every RPG has a human protagonist, but that's really just because most people would find a human protagonist more relatable

CounterAttack:
The Ancient Well-Lit Tomb with Traps that Still Work:

This one doesn't just apply to games. Matthew Reilly's Jack West series of books does that as well. It's actually amusing to find that ancient Chinese tomb traps and Egyptian rituals that haven't been performed in millennia still work after three to five thousand years.

Hell, I'd almost call that an Indiana Jones cliche than an RPG cliche. I mean, weren't the first three Indiana Jones movies released before we had a lot of video games?

Automatic poison-tipped arrow launchers and giant boulder releasing trap indeed...

OT: I like the cliche where you may have enough people in your party to start a small mercenary company and yet you can still only fight with 3 people at a time while everyone else stands back and shouts encouragements, and if those three people get their butts kicked, then the game's over.

Nicely subverted in Final Fantasy X, where you could dynamically swap out party members, and in the second to last boss fight of Final Fantasy VII, where the whole party teams up to battle Bizarro Sepiroth.

theres always in infinite amount of enemies, like i understand when dealing with the undead or demons.
but when dealing with living people.. comeon!
or what if your dealing with humans and undead O.o

Just before heading into the final battle...

"Yeah I'm going to save the world now, i'd like 999 potionS please"

"Okay but you're paying for them...."

"BUT I'M GOING TO SAVE THE WORLD, THEY SHOULD BE FREE!! D:<"

matrix3509:

bobisimo:
BioWare/Obsidian games often times have a court/trial scene in them where you have to talk to individual voters and attempt to convince them to vote one way or another. To varying degrees, I think most of BioWare's games have had such a scene. This is definitely a cliche I've enjoyed.

I remember the one in KOTOR, which pissed me off to no end because the entire quest was a dark side trap. There was literally no way to finish that quest without getting dark side points. I was playing as a light side character for my first playthrough and I had to waste multiple hours trying to finish it in EVERY. POSSIBLE. BLOODY. WAY. After I discovered it was a dark side trap, I had to revert back to a DAYS old savegame. That still pisses me off to this day.

Really? I didn't gain any Dark Side points. *shrug*

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