Homebrews with female characters

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Re: Homebrews with female characters

Post by Nikku4211 » Thu Nov 26, 2020 6:44 pm

Pokun wrote:
Thu Nov 26, 2020 6:31 pm
DRW wrote:
Thu Nov 26, 2020 2:19 pm
So, do you know one of those story-heavy games firsthand?
Sure but you seem to have changed your mind about adventure games:
DRW wrote:
Thu Nov 26, 2020 2:19 pm
Bregalad wrote:
Thu Nov 26, 2020 10:47 am
Metal Slader Glory ?
O.k., fine. But that game is pretty much an interactive novel and not a typical game in the same sense that "Final Fantasy Adventure" or "Ninja Gaiden" are.
If you are not counting adventure games that are like interactive novels there's no reason to talk about adventure games.

Anyway here is a non-exhaustive list of adventure games for Famicom/NES. Far from all of them are story-heavy (ex. Shadowgate), and I haven't played most of them since most are in Japanese (which I couldn't understand until more recently) so I can't say for sure. I will play them someday when I have time.
Yeah, don't forget Maniac Mansion. Sure, both NES versions are ports of a PC game, but they're still NES games for being playable on the NES console.

Well, as playable as they are without a mouse.

I wish there was a SNES version of those games that supported the SNES mouse...
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Re: Homebrews with female characters

Post by Oziphantom » Thu Nov 26, 2020 9:49 pm

Glad somebody got their sense and through of Manic Mansion, see also Law of the West ( although the NES port is an atrocity). Amazingly it seems Zork didn't make it to the NES, however Bard's Tale did, as did Wizardry. The main issue is the NES sucks for doing story heavy Japanese, they had to invent the MMC2 to enable it. At which point Fire Emblem Ankoku Ryū to Hikari no Tsurugi. Seems the FDS is pretty good at it as well with Nakayama Miho no Tokimeki High School.

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Re: Homebrews with female characters

Post by Nikku4211 » Thu Nov 26, 2020 10:00 pm

Oziphantom wrote:
Thu Nov 26, 2020 9:49 pm
The main issue is the NES sucks for doing story heavy Japanese, they had to invent the MMC2 to enable it. At which point Fire Emblem Ankoku Ryū to Hikari no Tsurugi. Seems the FDS is pretty good at it as well with Nakayama Miho no Tokimeki High School.
Yeah, and I bet those games don't even use the big Chinese characters that Japanese has and just only use Kana instead.

They should've used Romanised Japanese, like some Japanese NES games did.

I've heard some people say that Romanised Japanese is harder to read than kana, and the individual letters might end up making all of the text take up more space anyway, so maybe the kana was necessary for Japanese NES games.
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Re: Homebrews with female characters

Post by Oziphantom » Thu Nov 26, 2020 10:25 pm

I though Fire Emblem did have Kanji but looking at screenshots it doesn't. Wonder what the needed MMC2 for then. Tokimeki also is Kana only.
Kana will take half the text space as you just have one letter per "pair" (mostly)

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Re: Homebrews with female characters

Post by Nikku4211 » Thu Nov 26, 2020 11:03 pm

Oziphantom wrote:
Thu Nov 26, 2020 10:25 pm
I though Fire Emblem did have Kanji but looking at screenshots it doesn't. Wonder what the needed MMC2 for then. Tokimeki also is Kana only.
Kana will take half the text space as you just have one letter per "pair" (mostly)
Kana: Half the text space, twice the character set space.
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Re: Homebrews with female characters

Post by Oziphantom » Thu Nov 26, 2020 11:21 pm

sure but compared to the text of a RPG the cost of a double the tiles is nothing.

say the font is 2K more which is 128 characters after 2048 letters you are square. That probably covers the items names, descriptions, and other hud text. It has 79 items, so you get ~26 characters on average per item. Given there are 52 playable characters and 7 non playable characters plus enemy units. Half the text size is a massive win.

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Re: Homebrews with female characters

Post by lidnariq » Thu Nov 26, 2020 11:27 pm

Fire Emblem (and the other MMC4 RPGs) use the tile-triggered switching for dialog boxes. See this thread: viewtopic.php?t=19352

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Re: Homebrews with female characters

Post by calima » Fri Nov 27, 2020 12:51 am

Does Pokemon count as 8-bit, being GB? That has a good story, more so in Yellow than RB.

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Re: Homebrews with female characters

Post by Oziphantom » Fri Nov 27, 2020 12:54 am

well if you expand to not NES, then C64 and IBM XT/AT/Tandy 1000 becomes fair game. To which you get Kings Quests style GTAs, Then the entire Infocom library.

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Re: Homebrews with female characters

Post by DRW » Fri Nov 27, 2020 2:57 am

Pokun wrote:
Thu Nov 26, 2020 6:31 pm
Yeah Final Fantasy has like zero cut-scenes. Everything is told through NPC dialogue (the plot still gets quite complex near the end though).
I don't find it that complex:

1. Save the princess.
2. Defeat the four fiends.
2.1. Some fetch quests.
3. Garland traveled to the past. Get after him.

Now contrast this with FFA:

At the start, you hear the bad guy talking about a girl with a pendant. Later, you find this very girl.
You take the girl to an old knight who tells you more about the pendant and sends you to another old man in a town.
You stay at a hotel where the girl is captured.
You have to get a certain mirror from a cave to pass the guard in the hotel. In the cave you meet a man who helps you and tells you about the owner of the hotel who is a vampire.
You save the girl and continue your way to the town.
In the town, that other old man tells you more. You see the girl's mother in a vision. (She gets relevant at the end of the game.)
Suddenly, the empire is attacking the town.
The man who helped you in the cave takes the girl to safety.
But then it turns out that the man from the cave is actually the bad guy. He helped you before because he didn't know whether the girl is the correct one.
etc.

Everything is connected. People in the plot have actual relevance. For example, that old knight will later join your party to save the girl. But then he gets thrown off the airship and cannot move his legs anymore. And the old guy in the town: Yeah, even he isn't just Mr. Exposition. He reappears for another chapter later.

In other adventure games it's:

Find the eight plot devices. And that's what you do.
And in the meantime, you merely have some unconnected fetch quests:
Oh no, the pirates attacked our village. - Thanks for chasing the pirates away.
Oh no, my son has been lost in a cave. - Thanks for bringing my son back.
etc.

It's not only the number of cutscenes. It's the fact that the plot elements are properly connected. Apart from that side quest to get silver to be able to enter a certain cave, there are no plot elements that aren't intervined to the overall story in FFA:

You don't just fight the local tyrant because he turned some guy into a bird for no reason. He turned him into a bird to force his sister to hand him out the pendant that you are carrying with you because the captured girl on the airship gave it to you before the bad guy threw you down and you ended up landing in that other girl's house and were unconscious for a while.
Oh, and that girl is a friend of yours that was introduced in the third screen of the game.
And the tyrant wanted the pendant because he's working for the bad guy and once you reach him, his eagle has already brought the pendant back to the main bad guy.
And even that eagle becomes a boss later in the game.
Did I mention that your female friend who stole the pendant dies during your mission because she was bitten by the Medusa who is the mother of said local tyrant? And after transforming her brother back, you have to tell him that his sister died while trying to save him?

Does anything like that happen in any pre-SNES action-adventure or RPG?

Pokun wrote:
Thu Nov 26, 2020 6:31 pm
The ones coming are the thugs Jaquio sends after the statue. Although most enemies are never mentioned in the game they generally do have names.
If you're talking about the boss of the level: He's not coming after you, he's sitting in a room and you go to him.
If you're talking about the general mooks: Well, they aren't "coming" any more than in other levels. You have the same bat wielders and monster dogs that are everywhere. If the game really wanted to connect the story to the gameplay, the first thing now should have been a sub boss fight against the one guy that Irene mentioned.

Pokun wrote:
Thu Nov 26, 2020 6:31 pm
I do think the cut-scenes are good at setting the mood. For example when you are chased it feels like you need to run and when you are chasing Basaquer (the ninja) it feels like you must stop him before he gets away, although the only thing you are running from is the timer.
I personally didn't feel that. To me, every level was approached in the same way. In the "chase" scene, I didn't try to be faster than when I walk through the streets of the town.

Pokun wrote:
Thu Nov 26, 2020 6:31 pm
And yeah I also always thought it very strange that Bloody Malth was a ninja. I was curious and looked it up, and it turns out he is indeed a modern ninja like Ryu, but also inherited a cursed shield and a mask which he uses against Ryu instead.
Well, he's the same guy as the one in the intro as per the dialog, but the game makes no attempt to make you actually feel it:
The intro scene is very iconic. So, when you finally encounter the guy who killed your father, I would have expected another ninja character the same size as Ryu who also uses a sword and who moves similar to Ryu. Maybe even as a literal mirror match with a palette swap.
Instead, you have the same kind of oversized demon boss that you encounter in every level. He barely moves, he doesn't jump, he has no sword and instead shoots lightning projectiles: Yeah, I totally feel that this is the guy from the intro sword fight.

Pokun wrote:
Thu Nov 26, 2020 6:31 pm
Sure but you seem to have changed your mind about adventure games:
I thought with adventure, you mean stuff like "Zelda".

But yeah, o.k., those click, click, "Choose Your Own Adventure", novel-style games were indeed not what I was talking about. I'm talking about games where you actually move a character sprite through a world.

Nikku4211 wrote:
Thu Nov 26, 2020 6:44 pm
Yeah, don't forget Maniac Mansion.
Does this game really have a huge storyline?

With storyline I don't mean the backstory from the manual. I could invent the most epic backstory for "Pac-Man".
All that counts is what happens within the game.

A game where you can roam around and solve puzzles here and there, this doesn't count as story. Finding the magical axe in a cave to break down the magical door to the mountains is not plot.

Likewise, having a huge goal (save the world) and then you simply walk through the world long enough until you get to the bad guy's castle and defeat him isn't a large story either.

A large story is: Character actions are actually connected, events take unexpected turns, you have traitors and surprise attacks. If the bad guy is simply sittig in his castle and all you do is collect the eight fragments, so you can go in, and in the meantime you're tasked to collect five chicken by some random village person, that's not a huge storyline.

If, on the other hand, you cross paths with the bad guy several times and he actively works against you, you have certain goals that get changed spontaneously as the story moves along and you never really know how far in the storyline you have gone because you don't have a literal checklist, then we have something to work with.

calima wrote:
Fri Nov 27, 2020 12:51 am
Does Pokemon count as 8-bit, being GB? That has a good story, more so in Yellow than RB.
It's surely better than "Zelda 1", but all in all: Your task is to get the eight batches and to defeat the Elite Four. And that's exactly what you do.
O.k., you have some encounters with Team Rocket. But are they actually relevant to the overall plot? Team Rocket does something, you defeat them, they disappear. Fire and forget.
Gary appears, makes some snarky comment, you fight him, he disappears.

You never get into a situation where something from earlier in the game becomes relevant later again, except for "you get an item and later you can use it to aquire a Pokémon".
You don't fight a random person who turns out to be crucial to your journey later. You never help a person who later appears unexpectedly to help you in return, let alone with something that takes the plot in a whole new direction.
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Re: Homebrews with female characters

Post by Pokun » Fri Nov 27, 2020 12:48 pm

Pokemon games basically has two main quests (become a monster trainer champion and complete the monster encyclopedia) and a number of side quests, and the story is very simple in all of them. Besides Pokemon, coming out in 1996, is definitely a 16-bit era game, though for an 8-bit platform.

Nikku4211 wrote:
Thu Nov 26, 2020 10:00 pm
Oziphantom wrote:
Thu Nov 26, 2020 9:49 pm
The main issue is the NES sucks for doing story heavy Japanese, they had to invent the MMC2 to enable it. At which point Fire Emblem Ankoku Ryū to Hikari no Tsurugi. Seems the FDS is pretty good at it as well with Nakayama Miho no Tokimeki High School.
Yeah, and I bet those games don't even use the big Chinese characters that Japanese has and just only use Kana instead.

They should've used Romanised Japanese, like some Japanese NES games did.

I've heard some people say that Romanised Japanese is harder to read than kana, and the individual letters might end up making all of the text take up more space anyway, so maybe the kana was necessary for Japanese NES games.
Romanised Japanese would be out of the question. Only beginner level Japanese language students would think that's in any way practical, and those are not yet at a skill level required to be able to understand the game anyway. Never mind the space saved with kana, romaji would be a hassle to read to native Japanese people (and anyone else fluent enough in Japanese).
What game uses romanised Japanese?

Even kana-only can be a hassle to read for many reasons, which is why you prefer to have at least the most basic kanji. Most Famicom games (including pretty much all of the ones in the adventure game list I linked) uses an 8-bit font which is only good enough for kana and some very common and simple kanji such as numbers, weekdays, 年 (year), 時 (time, hour), 分 (minute, segment), 秒 (second) and 円 (yen). The Famicom Mukashibanashi games for example has such simpler kanji (and also prints character the traditional way from top to bottom). Alphanumeric LCDs usually also has such kanji squeezed into a 5x8 1bpp font, together with katakana.
To display more complex kanji, a larger font is necessary, and almost only MMC5 games seems to do that (such as Just Breed). Metal Slayder Glory uses an 8-bit font and thus mostly uses kana and some simpler kanji, but it do have more kanji than the very common ones.
Edit: Wait, maybe not.


DRW wrote:
Fri Nov 27, 2020 2:57 am
Pokun wrote:
Thu Nov 26, 2020 6:31 pm
Yeah Final Fantasy has like zero cut-scenes. Everything is told through NPC dialogue (the plot still gets quite complex near the end though).
I don't find it that complex:

1. Save the princess.
...
I just meant that FF1 introduces some heavy themes that you wouldn't expect from a traditional save-the-princess type of game. Such as space travel and time loops. Complex themes is a common pattern in later Square games as well.


DRW wrote:
Fri Nov 27, 2020 2:57 am
Pokun wrote:
Thu Nov 26, 2020 6:31 pm
The ones coming are the thugs Jaquio sends after the statue. Although most enemies are never mentioned in the game they generally do have names.
If you're talking about the boss of the level: He's not coming after you, he's sitting in a room and you go to him.
If you're talking about the general mooks: Well, they aren't "coming" any more than in other levels. You have the same bat wielders and monster dogs that are everywhere. If the game really wanted to connect the story to the gameplay, the first thing now should have been a sub boss fight against the one guy that Irene mentioned.
I don't see your point. Do you mean the developers didn't try to make gameplay and story sequences connected?
Ryu is clearly harassed by various thugs since the first chapter of the game, although it's not clear who they are. On the first level, he ends up running into a bar where he defeats the leader of his attackers, The Barbarian, and this is clear from the cut-scene. He is taken to a different place by a mysterious character who tells him the place isn't safe anymore and he needs to run. He does this and clashes with more thugs and some seemingly non-human pack. He gets away after a fight with their leader Bomberhead in some ruins. Then he runs away before they can regroup and is finally able to meet Walther Smith with the hope of some answers.


DRW wrote:
Fri Nov 27, 2020 2:57 am
Pokun wrote:
Thu Nov 26, 2020 6:31 pm
And yeah I also always thought it very strange that Bloody Malth was a ninja. I was curious and looked it up, and it turns out he is indeed a modern ninja like Ryu, but also inherited a cursed shield and a mask which he uses against Ryu instead.
Well, he's the same guy as the one in the intro as per the dialog, but the game makes no attempt to make you actually feel it:
The intro scene is very iconic. So, when you finally encounter the guy who killed your father, I would have expected another ninja character the same size as Ryu who also uses a sword and who moves similar to Ryu. Maybe even as a literal mirror match with a palette swap.
Instead, you have the same kind of oversized demon boss that you encounter in every level. He barely moves, he doesn't jump, he has no sword and instead shoots lightning projectiles: Yeah, I totally feel that this is the guy from the intro sword fight.
I 100% agree with you. This was quite a weird decision. Though considering all the bosses have very simple patterns, I think they wouldn't be able to do something as complex as a mirror match. Besides they already had a ninja boss in Basaquer/Berserker (BTW since a berserk is a viking I think it's a strange name on a ninja).


DRW wrote:
Fri Nov 27, 2020 2:57 am
Pokun wrote:
Thu Nov 26, 2020 6:31 pm
Sure but you seem to have changed your mind about adventure games:
I thought with adventure, you mean stuff like "Zelda".

But yeah, o.k., those click, click, "Choose Your Own Adventure", novel-style games were indeed not what I was talking about. I'm talking about games where you actually move a character sprite through a world.
I meant the traditional type of adventure game, such as a text/graphic adventure. This reminds me of that thread where the problems with the adventure genre was discussed. It's a very broad term applied to many very different games. And if we are picky, RPG is a sub-genre of the adventure genre, so Final Fantasy Adventure, being a very pure action-RPG, is also technically an adventure game.


DRW wrote:
Fri Nov 27, 2020 2:57 am
Does anything like that happen in any pre-SNES action-adventure or RPG?
I think this is the problem here. You are now looking for a pre-SNES non-adventure game that has more and possibly better story than Final Fantasy Adventure, which isn't even a pre-SNES game itself.

If we include any 8-bit system, late MSX games, PC-Engine and Game Boy Color games would also count, on what there are tons of story heavy games on. And GBC is an 8-bit console from the 32-/64-bit era.

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Re: Homebrews with female characters

Post by Nikku4211 » Fri Nov 27, 2020 3:44 pm

Pokun wrote:
Fri Nov 27, 2020 12:48 pm
Romanised Japanese would be out of the question. Only beginner level Japanese language students would think that's in any way practical, and those are not yet at a skill level required to be able to understand the game anyway. Never mind the space saved with kana, romaji would be a hassle to read to native Japanese people (and anyone else fluent enough in Japanese).
What game uses romanised Japanese?

Even kana-only can be a hassle to read for many reasons, which is why you prefer to have at least the most basic kanji. Most Famicom games (including pretty much all of the ones in the adventure game list I linked) uses an 8-bit font which is only good enough for kana and some very common and simple kanji such as numbers, weekdays, 年 (year), 時 (time, hour), 分 (minute, segment), 秒 (second) and 円 (yen). The Famicom Mukashibanashi games for example has such simpler kanji (and also prints character the traditional way from top to bottom). Alphanumeric LCDs usually also has such kanji squeezed into a 5x8 1bpp font, together with katakana.
To display more complex kanji, a larger font is necessary, and almost only MMC5 games seems to do that (such as Just Breed). Metal Slayder Glory uses an 8-bit font and thus mostly uses kana and some simpler kanji, but it do have more kanji than the very common ones.
Edit: Wait, maybe not.
Transformers: Convoy No Nazo uses romanised Japanese.

Also, yeah, kana-only would be a hassle to read, which is why kana-only games actually add spaces to help with readability.
Pokun wrote:
Fri Nov 27, 2020 12:48 pm
I think this is the problem here. You are now looking for a pre-SNES non-adventure game that has more and possibly better story than Final Fantasy Adventure, which isn't even a pre-SNES game itself.

If we include any 8-bit system, late MSX games, PC-Engine and Game Boy Color games would also count, on what there are tons of story heavy games on. And GBC is an 8-bit console from the 32-/64-bit era.
I think the entire concept of 'generations' is bollocks.

This video by Displaced Gamers explains why pretty well.
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Re: Homebrews with female characters

Post by tepples » Fri Nov 27, 2020 5:05 pm

At 2:45, the video by Displaced Gamers makes an analogy to the shared life events of people of the Lost, Greatest, Silent, Boomer, X, Millennial, and Z generations, and claims that video games have no parallel.
2:57 "Consoles don't work that way; they don't grow up."
3:22 you figure out exactly how they do grow up: "Game evolution that occurs inside a console's life span is just as important as the jump to the next generation hardware."
In other words, just as people experience cultural change, so do consoles. These include the decline of coin-op mentality over NES/SMS life, or (ObTopic) the rise of unmasked solo human action girls in original IPs starting with Tomb Raider.

4:52 "Ask them to define what bits are in relation to hardware architecture, and they have no clue."
For 8 vs. 16 vs. 32/64 bit, I've found a strong correlation to the widest data bus on the motherboard. Genesis has 16-bit ROM and work RAM, and Super NES always uses the 32Kx8-bit VRAMs as a pair outside mode 7's background phase. Neo Geo CHR ROM is 32-bit. Nintendo 64 RAM is in fact 72-bit (9 lanes octal data rate). One exception I've found is the placement of the Sega Master System, which has a 16-bit VRAM bus (like the TG16) but otherwise feels very 8-bit because of the relatively small VRAM and 25% sprite overdraw. Another is GBA, which is 16-bit because the 32-bit buses (BIOS and IWRAM) are internal, leaving 16-bit EWRAM and ROM buses.

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Re: Homebrews with female characters

Post by Pokun » Fri Nov 27, 2020 6:39 pm

Yeah well what he is trying to say isn't really wrong or anything. Especially he is bashing the generation system described on Wikipedia, but he isn't against causally calling them 8-bit era, 16-bit era and so on (which is exactly what we have been doing all this time). I think most people agree that there where cultural change which can be described using eras or generations like this though, despite systems overlapping them all the time. It would be very hard to have this discussion if we couldn't name the changes of the trends.

I see, it's only an ending screen though. If a whole RPG was like this it would be very tiresome.

Yeah without the added spaces, kana-only text would be almost impossible to read. But that's not the only problem. There are lots more ambiguity in Japanese than in English, with words sounding alike (and thus "spelling" alike with kana) but use different kanji. And this may make you confused what word they mean sometimes. In spoken Japanese (which obviously can't have kanji) this is much less often a problem for some reason though. Thankfully games that do this usually don't have that much or complicated text, so it's seldom a problem. And for any game system after and excluding the Nintendo 64 and the GBA, games have high enough resolution and memory to allow detailed kanji in all games.

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Re: Homebrews with female characters

Post by DRW » Fri Nov 27, 2020 8:53 pm

Pokun wrote:
Fri Nov 27, 2020 12:48 pm
I just meant that FF1 introduces some heavy themes that you wouldn't expect from a traditional save-the-princess type of game. Such as space travel and time loops. Complex themes is a common pattern in later Square games as well.
Yeah, o.k., themes. But themes alone don't make a complex plot. "Time Tiver Eon Man" also has a "complex" time travel "plot", but it only consists of regular platformer levels that happen to take place in different time settings.

Likewise, in "Final Fantasy", the time loop plot consists of nothing but the fact that you are transported back to the first dungeon, but in the past, for the finale, and some explanation in the ending text. You don't have the time loop thing actually influencing anything in your on-going adventure.

For example, you don't revisit the first dungeon in the present in the middle of the game and find dead bodies of your own party which sidetracks your adventure to find out what's up with this which then leads to the discovery that Garland can travel to the past and therefore, the battle between you and Chaos happened multiple times now.

All of the stuff in "Final Fantasy", "Ninja Gaiden", "Crystalis" or "Faxanadu" is in no way comparable to what "Final Fantasy Adventure" was doing. Despite people saying "I can't remember the plot anymore": If you actually pay attention when playing this game, then you see that the plot is told on a level that no other games of the time seems to have done.


To be fair, I don't know many of the games myself. "Final Fantasy II" had a pre-defined party, so maybe their plot is good as well. Or maybe it's still basic. I can't tell. Maybe somebody who has played "II" and "Adventure" can compare the two.
Also, I have a feeling that "Radia Senki" might be on a similar level as "Final Fantasy Adventure". Might.


Anyway, unlike the games mentioned, "Final Fantasy Adventure" is actually told like a real movie.

It already starts with the fact that all those other adventure games have you find eight plot devices or defeat four huge demons or whatever before you get to the final dungeon. And in the end, that's exactly what you end up doing.

There are no twists. You don't collect four Triforce of Wisdom pieces and in the fifth dungeon, you realize that Ganon has already gotten three of the other pieces, so you sneak into Death Mountain while he's away and rescue Zelda ahead of time who then becomes your companon in your quest to find the wise mage that can power up your four of eight Triforce pieces, so you can use it, even though it's not complete.

In "Final Fantasy Adventure", instead of eight plot devices, there are only two objects that are important: A pendant that will open the way to the Mana Tree. And a girl who can say the spell to activate that way to the Mana Tree.

The girl has the pendant with her. So, you don't even have to find both separately. And you encounter the girl at the beginning of the game purely by chance.
Then it's a back and forth: You have the girl with you and the bad guy spies you out. He even has to help you at one point because an unrelated bad guy has the girl in his clutches. Later the main bad guy captures the girl. Then when you reach her, she gives you the pendant before you two are separated again. Then some totally different person steals the pendant from you to give it to someone else.
The plot takes unexpected turns. You never know what happens next. For a long time, your ultimate objective is not to head to the bad guy's castle. Instead, you're coming from that castle and your objective is to warn other people of impending doom.

Then, due to some convoluted events, you end up in the bad guy's castle, your original starting point, anyway. But this is only at the halftime point. You defeat the evil overlord. But his henchman (the bad guy who was following you) reaches the Mana Tree and shoots you down the mountains.
Then, the second half of the game is again an interconnected chain of events (although admittedly, the story to gameplay ratio gets a bit wider now) where, in the end, you find the magical sword that can defeat the new bad guy. And you unearth a tower from the desert sand to get back to the mountains where you finally reach the Mana Tree for the final confrontation.


This is not just a "theme" or "story through NPC dialogs".

"Final Fantasy" looks like it is frozen in time: Those pirates in the second town, how long have they been there? It looks like they have been there forever, just waiting for the hero to appear. Same with other fetch quests.

In "Final Fantasy Adventure", events in the game happen because of actual actions by people. Most of the time because of actions that the hero himself is doing:

You don't save a random girl who has been captured by a vampire. Instead, your very own companion gets captured when you spend the night in the vampire's hotel.

You don't have to transform a human back because the local town's ruler has turned him into a bird due to unrelated quarrels, but because you yourself ended up in his sister's house when you fell from the bad guy's airship, and you had the pendant with you that the local ruler wants to get, so he turned the brother into a bird to blackmail the sister.

Pokun wrote:
Fri Nov 27, 2020 12:48 pm
I don't see your point. Do you mean the developers didn't try to make gameplay and story sequences connected?
Yes, they did. And in general, the story kind of works. But what I mean is: In several places, the plot is quite wonky. And the levels sometimes don't fit what the story is about:

Why does Irene put Ryu in a cell that is basically in walking distance to one of the four bosses? Why is the cell located high above the ground with a huge mountainside in the background? We were just in a big city. Plot-wise, I would have exptected another city level, maybe a sewer or something for variety, and not in the middle of the fucking Rocky Mountains. How did she drag him there? And why? Why does she choose the villain's hideout to give Ryu the statue?

If the game had no cutscenes, you would simply assume that this is the next location that Ryu has to go. But with the cutscenes, the gameplay feels dislocated from what the plot is actually about.

Then we have Walter who's either living 15 minutes away from the next bad guy hideout. Or there's a huge off-screen gap between the lake level and the snowy mountains level and Ryu was chasing that ninja for hours.
Anyway, the statue was snapped away by some regular-sized green ninja, but in the end, you fight a huge monstrous guy in orange baggy pants. So, either Ryu got outsmarted by some common mook (who is never seen again) or once more they didn't care for consistency when that three meter high guy can dress as a regular-sized human. (Why did he wear a ninja costume anyway?)

And when Jaquio throws Ryu down a trap door, they don't even pretend anymore that it's a prison cell. It's just another underground cave where Ryu just has to follow the path to get out. Jaquio is more stupid than a James Bond villain. At least they put Bond in an actual death trap before leaving. Here, he simply put him into a cave where a bunch of mooks seem to hang out in their freetime.


The game attempted to bridge together the levels by actual character motivations. But many times, the connections between cutscenes and levels have no rhyme or reason.

Contrast this with "Final Fantasy Adventure" where the cutscenes all happen within the actual game world and are therefore much more integrated into the overall game and feel more consistent with the gameplay.

Pokun wrote:
Fri Nov 27, 2020 12:48 pm
I 100% agree with you. This was quite a weird decision. Though considering all the bosses have very simple patterns, I think they wouldn't be able to do something as complex as a mirror match.
It can actually be implemented quite easily. You don't need a "Street Fighter II"-level AI.

"Vice - Project Doom", a game heavily inspired by "Ninja Gaiden" right down to the cutscenes, does exactly this for the first form of its final battle:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=o84PiCvcgdU&t=40m37s

"Castlevania III" has one as well:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFFKAl2A898&t=1h28m22s

"Mega Man" also:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=2sKcjUjbPr4&t=20m30s

Pokun wrote:
Fri Nov 27, 2020 12:48 pm
Besides they already had a ninja boss in Basaquer/Berserker (BTW since a berserk is a viking I think it's a strange name on a ninja).
In how far is a guy who looks like a genie and who jumps back and forth in a pre-defined, never changing arc and shoots three bullets a ninja opponent?
I was talking about a character that mirrors Ryu's abilities: The same walking animation, the same kind of roll-jumping, a sword slash and the ability to use one or more of the sub weapons.

Pokun wrote:
Fri Nov 27, 2020 12:48 pm
And if we are picky, RPG is a sub-genre of the adventure genre, so Final Fantasy Adventure, being a very pure action-RPG, is also technically an adventure game.
That's why I included it.

Pokun wrote:
Fri Nov 27, 2020 12:48 pm
I think this is the problem here. You are now looking for a pre-SNES non-adventure game that has more and possibly better story than Final Fantasy Adventure, which isn't even a pre-SNES game itself.
Yeah, but it was at the beginning of the Super Nintendo life cycle. It predates "A Link to the Past" by almost half a year, therefore couldn't take inspiration by that game, let alone by stuff like "Chrono Trigger".
And even "A Link to the Past" only has a very rudimentary form of this kind of advanced storytelling, and only in its Light World segments. (The Dark World part is almost exclusively gameplay.)

By the way, I'm not actually looking for one. I'm fine with games that have no real plot. I was just challenging people who say: "I found the plot of FFA unremarkable and can't remember it anymore": Well, which plot can they remember then? Which plot that comes before those huge SNES-RPGs is not unremarkable to them?
My game "City Trouble": www.denny-r-walter.de/city.htm

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