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Top Five: Overly Used RPG Cliches (in order of predictability)

September 24, 2009

You’ve all seen them. You’ve all witnessed them, and at some point, you went even as far as saying, “Wait, this all feels like Deja-Vu” as you were playing. From Severe Memory Loss to Item Crafting, RetroviewActive looks at the Top Ten Overly Used RPG Cliche’s of all time. Buckle up, because this is going to get horribly clichéd.

#5 Impractical Smithing

Thought not as known as the other cliches, this one still plays a  somewhat recognizable role in RPG’s. As you continue your storyline, you are beset with better and weapons until you find in a treasure chest, the oddest things of all: a Gold Sword. “Why a Gold Sword?” you ask. Well it’s simple if you think about it. It’s odd that a Gold Sword can be so epically powerful, since in reality, Gold is a mushy metal that is more suitable in decorative purposes than in combat purposes. Plus, Gold is also wicked heavy to begin with, so it begs for reason of how exactly a Gold Sword can deal damage. Maybe it’s infused with magical properties that make it very powerful, but the overall concept is flawed. Well at least it’s not a Gunsword.

Case In Point: Give me one RPG, and I’ll show you a point where you can buy Gold Weapons or Armor.

#4 The Definitely Final Dungeon & Boss

There has been some increasing popularity that some games(and RPGs) give you a little more replay value into the game by either unlocking some sort of Sketches or some stuff that was part when creating the game, or a Bonus Dungeon that is decidedly more hard, and subsequently more rewarding, than the Final Dungeon. It usually takes playing the game through to even unlock it or finding a key item that helps unlock it, but in general it is worth it. Think about it, who wouldn’t want to be horribly maimed by an even more horrible entity than the Final Boss?

Case In Point: To name a few – Star Ocean Series (Maze of Tribulations), Paper Mario Series (Pit of 100 Trials/ Bonetail, Wracktail & Shadow Versions), Shining Force EXA (Xeyon Palace), Persona 3 (Monad Block/Elizabeth)

#3 Sure, Keep Talking, It’s Not Like The World Will End

So you’ve finally gotten to the Inner Sanctum, after dodging fiendish puzzles and hoards of palette swapped monsters and the Final Boss stands before you. You raise your sword and you are about to unleash what could possibly be the most epic battle cry you’d have ever let out, when you are blindsided by the Final Boss suddenly rattling off about why did he do this. You’ve never did ask him why, you just want this stuff to be over with. Maybe he just wanted to have some fun before you started battling to the death, or maybe he’s just being a pompous dick by wasting your time. Shut up, already!

Case In Point: Mega Man X Command Mission (Epsilon), Odin Sphere (King Valentine gets a special note since he does this throughout the entire game), Persona 3 (Nyx Avatar), Legend of Dragoon (Melbu Frahman)

#2 Everything Is Out To Kill You

I think this one can be easily explained just by the title. Ranging from the lowly Slime, to the giant (and nearly extinct) Dragon is out on bloody intent to murder you and your group, and you really have no idea why. Sure, the villagers of towns say it is caused by “Evil” and some say they have no reason why Monsters are suddenly acting up. Maybe because they simply don’t like your face! It’s less fun when you can’t simply walk two steps without being confronted by some sort of sentient pile of goo with malice in it’s eyes…if it has eyes to begin with.

Case In Point: Every Single RPG In Existence.

#1 Who Am I, Again?

You don’t where you are, WHO you are, or even the fact that yesterday was either the most awesome day in your life or the worst day, and that you cannot remember it, which in the beginning, would think that it was the Worst Day of Your Life. Usually, at some point in the storyline you later found that you are either The Chosen One/Bioengineered Superweapon/Descendant of Ancient Race/Epic Hero and you must Save The World. This is such an overused cliche in the business, that some game reviewers utterly despise it and generally don’t want to review it reminds them of Mad Libs. Even the characters that are aware that you are very important just leave very odd, “subtle” hints to what you are. It’s ridiculous really.

Case In Point: Literally Every Other RPG Game.


Overall, this has been a long and strange trip into the world of cliché’s which has left you with some thoughts on what game you play later. WHo knows, maybe one day you’ll find the Cliché Quinfecta: A story about an amnesiac boy who wields a golden sword where everything is out to kill him while he gets bored to death by a Final Boss while hankering to enter that Most Definitely Final Dungeon.

Oh wait.

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