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Overused themes in RPG

by IveyLie

ff7 group

If you’ve played a lot of RPGs, you start wondering whether some of these games just started copying each other or they just happen to pull from the same creative (or not) muse.  Here is a list of recurring themes in RPGs, see if you can think of others who are guilty as well.

1. The hero is solitary in some way or another.  This is actually a wide range theme going from the hero being emo and a loner to the hero being an orphan.  I suppose this is somewhat logical, better than the alternative.  Seriously, haven’t you wondered why all the characters in Pokemon with intact loving mothers, just decide to travel and possibly get killed?  And all the mothers do is say, “Well alright, here’s lunch and have a nice trip!”
Guilty: Chrono Cross, Legend of Dragoon, Final Fantasy series, Blue Dragon,  Tales series, Fallout 3 (though I must say this game is incredibly awesome), Persona 3

2. The hero’s village or place of residence was attacked.  Ah, no better reason to fight than for vengeance right?
Guilty: Final Fantasy series, Tales series, Fable series, Blue Dragon, Valkyrie Profile 2

3.  The hero usually fights with a sword, even if they have never used one before.  Yup, just picks one up and miraculously he’s a pro.
Guilty: Final Fantasy X, Kingdom Hearts, Star Ocean: The Last Hope, Persona 3, Legend of Zelda

4. Bastard sword anyone?  Is the game trying to say something?  Maybe about you or me?  I know, I know, the bastard sword is a type of sword, but it appears a lot in RPGs.
Guilty: Final Fantasy VII, Legend of Dragoon, Neverwinter Nights, Demon’s Souls, Warcraft

5. The only other character in the game who fights with a sword happens to be the bad guy.
Guilty: Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy VIII (between Squall and Seifer), Kingdom Hearts (Sora and Rikku),

6. Female characters usually are healers or archers, or double up with both roles.
Guilty: Star Ocean: The Last Hope, Final Fantasy VII, Super Mario RPG, Magna Carta, Legend of Dragoon, Final Fantasy X, Chrono Trigger

7. The main bad guy never just dies!  There’s always got to be a second form, third form, some super form, and then an ultra uber form… you get my point.
Guilty: Final Fantasy VII, Chrono Trigger, Blue Dragon, Grandia II, Parasite Eve

8. The entire world just happens to be in danger.  No no, not a town or country, but the entire existence of the world itself!
Guilty: Final Fantasy IX, Star Ocean: Till the End of Time, Kingdom Hearts, Persona 3, Grandia II, Mass Effect

9.  The bad guy and the hero is usually connected in some way.  Makes it more dramatic right?
Guilty: Final Fantasy IX ( Zidane vs. Kuja), Final Fantasy X (father vs. son), Parasite Eve (Aya vs. Maya), Valkyrie Profile 1 & 2 (a stretch for Lenneth and Lezard, I know)

10. The girl needs rescuing.  (Sigh) Always the  girl.
Guilty: Super Mario RPG, Chrono Cross and Trigger, Tales of Symphonia, Final Fantasy series, Kingdom Hearts, Legend of Zelda

One Response to “Overused themes in RPG”

  1. tezza says:

    I am not going to be original this time, so all I am going to say that your blog rocks, sad that I don’t have suck a writing skills

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