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Googleshng - December 20 '04- 4:00 Eastern Standard Time

The weather report says that were I to go outside today, I would get frostbite in 20-30 seconds. What a wonderful day for the furnace to stop working. It sure is a good thing I'm a freakish mutant adapted to sub-zero climates.

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Let's do the twist!

Hey there.

I've never really played a rpg where there was a plot twist that was unpredictable. All the ones people have mentioned so far, (Tales of Symphonia, Vagrant Story, Lufia 2, FFVII, etc) were all easily predicted if you just pay attention to the story right. A formula that is very common is having Supreme Being/s of some sort or empire/country, that end up being evil. Another common formula is having your characters being lead on one path, that ends up being the wrong one, then they have to make it right.

I really don't think there are very many rpgs where your characters start out on the actual main quest from the beginning. The only one I can actually think of, is some old NES rpgs, like the first Final Fantasy and Dragon Warrior.

But if everybody is all about plot twists, how about this. You're set on the main quest, then the end you find out the main character has some mental disorder and actually made up everything inside his head, but was doing everything in the real world (killing innocent people and such). Yeah.. that was lame....

Hmm... I'm not so sure that Silent Hill would work as an RPG. First off, you'd be pretty fairly restricted to a single character party. Second, it would bring back awful memories of Mazes and Monsters... which is quite possibly the biggest personal attack a movie has ever made against the nerd community.

Let's twist again!

Okay....I have the two definitive RPG plot twists. And, oddly enough...they both come from the same game.

The game is Xenogears.
I don't want to give anything away, so I'll talk in code. Then, whoever wants to know what I'm talking about can just decipher the code by the key at the end.

Finding out that "John" was "Jake" was shocking as anything. It was pulled off really well. That was the first major plot twist.

The second one, was when "Elmo" lead "John" straight into the hands of his enemies. Even after "John" trusted "Elmo" all those years while he was growing up. That was definitely a shocker.

Those were the best RPG plot twists ever.'s the key.

"John" = "Fei"
"Jake" = "Id"
"Elmo" = "Citan"

an RPGfan

The most surprise I've ever gotten from the plot of an RPG was in Skies of Arcadia personally. To be fair though, that's because of the clichéed plot twists it DIDN'T take, so I suppose it's moot in this context.

ESR Bunny

Dear Andrew/Goog,

I just finished SMT:Nocturne. Great game, but what I don't understand is why it received an "M" rating. It was no more violent than all the other RPGs I've played (all of which were "T" rated). Is it because of the choices (good/evil) that you can make? If so, this is an insult to teenagers. (I haven't been a teenager in many moons, so it is that I'm too jaded to see?) I don't think so - I think most teenaged RPGamers are more than intelligent enough to play this game.

Just wondered if you guys had an opinion on this.



Well, as I've been saying for years, ESRB ratings tend to be REALLY arbitrary and inaccurate. We start with an E. If it isn't some kind of farming sim or full of cute cuddly characters, it gets bumped up to a T. Then if anywhere in the game you see the color red, it gets cranked up to an M. Then the explanations seem to be based purely off the cover art. This is why I tend to ignore them.

Slowly Twistin'...

Speaking of plot twists, Baten Kaitos has one of the craziest plot twists I've seen in any game to date. Near the beginning of disk 2, expect a turnaround in the plot that I guarantee you will NOT see coming.

As for a question: I was wondering why it seems as if no one has played this game? There is almost no talk about it on rpgamer, and most people I talk with have never even heard of it. When I bought it, it wasn't even on the shelf at EB games.

Whoever was responsible for marketing this game did a very, very poor job. It has some of the most beautiful graphics and most original gameplay I've seen in an rpg in a long time. They clearly spent a lot of money and effort developing the game; but what's the point if no one buys it because no one's heard of it?

I hate to sound like an advertisement, but for those who don't know much about Baten Kaitos, I'll give a little mini review. It's like a combination of Skies of Arcadia, Chrono Cross, Valkyrie Profile, and Poker. Sounds pretty crazy, huh? Here's a list of some of the similarities that I can think of:

// Note: there are no plot spoilers here, just small tidbits that you // wouldn't find out if you read a review or something anyways.

Skies of Arcadia: It has the basic "islands floating in the sky" feel, as well as the "collect the valuable before the empire ressurects " plot (at least on disk 1...). Similar plot specifics such as "lower and upper cities of the empire". Features girl (like Fina) of unknown background from unknown island. A lot of these you can find in lots of games (not just SoA), but it still has a SoA taste to it for some reason.

Chrono Cross: It has quest items that you carry around and must use in various locations to solve puzzles, help townspeople, etc. It has a similar looking artstyle, similar laid-back feel to the music and game. Similar-feeling battle engine.

Valkyrie Profile: Similar style and quirkiness, same style of using the weirdest sounding names (Giacomo, Geldoblame, Anuenue, Xelha, etc.), abundant and lavish item descriptions, similar sounding music, etc. Similar-feeling combo "chain attack" system.

Poker: Battles are basically simplistic poker matches. Some of plot revolves around poker philosophy of "doing the best with the hand you're dealt."

There are also a LOT of unique points in this game, such as the guardian spirit thing, the picture-taking thing to generate money, the items-age-in-real-time thing, and alot of the dungeons are very unique (such as the mini Tower of Druaga dungeon which looks like it came directly from Atari). None of these are merely gimmicks, and all are done very well.

Now, go forth and buy this game!

I'd be inclined to agree with those comparisons, but not with all the logic behind them. Anyway though, I'd imagine the reason BK came in under a lot of people's radar is that, well, it doesn't have name recognition going for it. If a game is published by Squaresoft, people buy it just based on that. If it has Final Fantasy in the name, everyone will buy it. If it has the name of another popular game, that does well too. Being from the same developer and publisher as anything else doesn't get you anywhere though, and while they did a very good job of marketing the game, it just didn't seem to take for some reason.


Hey Andrew 'Long, sharp teeth',

my question is...

to quote you exactly from Saturday: "some moralistic crusade to defend pudding and kittens against those who would end their reign of deliciousness."

Now how else could you know that kittens are 'declicious' like pudding?

Damn you evil Canadians...*informs PETA to terrorize you*

-watcher...prefers eating chickens over kittens (not that i've ever even eaten kittens...or would)

You know, a great man once said "... EATING KITTENS IS JUST PLAIN WRONG!"

The Last Laugh:

OK, a package is now officially 9 days behind the scheduled delivery date. Times like this I wish I was part of some secret society with agents in every government agency out there. That would probably expediate shipping for me. I suppose I'd need to have some way of doing shady favors for everyone else too though, there's always a catch...

Googleshng "Celebrity status would probably work too..."

Harder to improve that though.

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