It is currently Tue Dec 12, 2017 5:25 am

All times are UTC - 7 hours





Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 27 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:16 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2004 2:49 pm
Posts: 7314
Location: Chexbres, VD, Switzerland
This wikipedia page on History of Easter role-playing games says :
Quote:
[Final Fantasy 1] also featured concepts such as time travel;[136] side-view battles, with the player characters on the right and the enemies on the left, which soon became the norm for numerous console RPGs;[137]


However, I think that at least until 1990, side-view battles were exclusive to the Final Fantasy franchise. All other major franchies who started before 1990 : Dragon Quest, Phantasy Star, Shin Megami Tensei, Earthbound, all uses front-view. Even other RPG games developped by Square, such as Square's Tom Sawyer and Final Fantasy Legend/SaGa series were front-view. SaGa series only went side-view in 1991 with the release of Romancing SaGa. On the contrary, the 1992 release Final Fantasy Mystic Quest, developped by the team usually beind SaGa series (if I'm not mistaken) is still front view despite the game being called Final Fantasy.

The first RPG outside of the Final Fantasy series I can think off which also uses side view battles is Fire Emblem (april 1990, released more than 2 years after Final Fantasy 1). Until it's predecessor Famicom Wars counts, which features side-view battles but isn't really an RPG. And Fire Emblem only have one-to-one battles shown in side view so it's quite different than Final Fantasy.

So either I completely missed something, or side-view was very Final Fantasy specific viewe for JRPGS in their begining and even in their early golden age. Did I miss games here ?


Last edited by Bregalad on Mon Aug 14, 2017 11:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:37 pm 
Offline
Formerly WheelInventor

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2016 2:55 am
Posts: 1123
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
I can't think of one. All games i know of used a status bar, perhaps with portrait bling, representing the party of adventurers prior to FF1. I suppose this stems from the tabletop role playing tradition where the characters are purely imaginary based on your co-players' vocal description, or - even cruder - a short description in the handbook, which carried over to text based adventures, crawlers, and so on.

_________________
http://www.frankengraphics.com - personal NES blog


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:42 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Jan 22, 2012 12:03 pm
Posts: 5891
Location: Canada
Off the top of my head I remember Lizard (1984) by Xtalsoft had a "side view" depiction of battle:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rE70J_tRSnw#t=2m14s

I don't really think there's anything too profound about choosing a "side" viewpoint for battle in a game that's otherwise not side view. Tons of games have different viewpoints for different types of actions. I'm sure you could find a lot of examples of something similar if you went digging. Though, I mean, Final Fantasy could very well be the "first" if you narrow the surrounding categories enough.

Blades of Steel has side view battles too, it's just not considered an RPG.

The convention of putting characters on the right might seem curious, but if it was randomly/arbitrarily chosen it'd be a 50/50 chance anyway? (Breath of Fire, Ogre Battle on the right... Mario RPG on the left... etc.) Many games having characters at the bottom too... I guess the top would be an unusual place for the player, if it's ever been done.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 2:23 pm 
Offline
Formerly WheelInventor

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2016 2:55 am
Posts: 1123
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
I actually think there's untapped potential in having the party at the front, looking up at the enemy at the back for a classic rpg fight. In dialogue, i'd be interested by their facial expressions, body language, etc. In battle, i'm more interested watching what the enemy does, what kind of threats its design hints at, if it's teletexting a special move to be made soon. I'm thinking a tennis court view would be perfect for this purpose. It also leaves more sprite bandwidth to make for exciting looking monsters and advanced boss fights.

Of course, final fantasy is also enabling something of a power fantasy via its mode - watching incredible moves (in later games that allowed for it), the change of sprite from an adept to a hero class: fighter to paladin, a thief to an assassin, or what be it. The peasant turned hero dream.

_________________
http://www.frankengraphics.com - personal NES blog


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 5:07 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue May 28, 2013 5:49 am
Posts: 918
Location: Sweden
I think calling Fire Emblem an RPG is stretching it. The genre is usually called Sim-RPG, SRPG, Strategy-RPG or more recently Tactical RPG. It has many RPG features like experience points and such but in it's core it's more of a simulation/strategy game (although since tabletop RPGs seems to originate in miniature figure warsims I guess they are related genres).

The reason why Final Fantasy used such a different view was that the guy designing that part hadn't played either tabletop or video game RPGs so he made it inspired by American football instead (according to interviews anyway). Not sure why he'd put the main characters on the right side though. Maybe he didn't play games much at all so it was indeed arbitrarily chosen. Many other games just followed this new convention.

The reason why first-person view was the most common one before that, was because Richard Garriott choose that design in Akalabeth and Ultima in dungeon mode I guess. And then of course it became standard because Wizardry (in all modes) and Dragon Quest (in battles only) followed this design. Especially DQ made it a battle thing.

But yeah before FF, I think side-view was probably very rare in turn-based RPGs that are not using a top-down grid or such.


Quote:
I actually think there's untapped potential in having the party at the front, looking up at the enemy at the back for a classic rpg fight.

You mean like in Phantasy Star 2?
I really like the battle system in RPG Maker XP. It's the classic first-person battles, but the main party's characters also have a frontal full-body static image, just like enemies, but placed on the status bar (pic). This not only allowed you to use the same pictures for either allies or enemies, but also allowed the system to show spell animations on both allies and enemies, allowing the player to see all the enemy-exclusive attack animations you had made.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 5:20 pm 
Offline
Formerly WheelInventor

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2016 2:55 am
Posts: 1123
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Hmm... i was more thinking like so. This was the closest i could find that fits my idea of a 'tennis court' perspective that's in an existing jrpg. Imagine the field continuing for a bit, rather than the castle being so close. And then enemies in that field. I'd also like the player characters more up close and backlighted, but that'd probably need them to be bg layer based and very undynamic on something like the NES.

Edit: Nes equivalent of the perspective here. Though that game in particular is known for its bizarre notion of perspective.

_________________
http://www.frankengraphics.com - personal NES blog


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 7:08 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Dec 12, 2010 10:27 pm
Posts: 297
Location: Hong Kong
(If it wasn't mentioned yet) Haja no Fuuin featured side view battles. Check around 00:40 of the following video of the Famicom version:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGL-8z3SEuc

This game was originally released for home computers in 1986, and ported over to Famicom and SMS in 1987. I think the Famicom version was never officially translated but the SMS version was released outside of Japan as Miracle Warriors.

If Wikipedia was to trust, the Famicom version was released on 23rd October of 1987 and the original release of Famicom FF1 was 18th December 1987, so this game predates FF1.

Edit: OK. It seems the SMS version changed the encounters to front view, but the Famicom version still counts, anyway. It's also a bit interesting that, when some computer RPGs were ported to consoles, it was not uncommon to have the battle mode changed from side view to front view (examples that I could immediately think of are the PCE version of Burai II and the PCE version of Dragon Knight III). Maybe it's because front view gives you a chance to have larger and more appealing monster graphics and lets you get away with fewer (or no) animations.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 12:00 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2004 2:49 pm
Posts: 7314
Location: Chexbres, VD, Switzerland
Quote:
Off the top of my head I remember Lizard (1984) by Xtalsoft had a "side view" depiction of battle:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rE70J_tRSnw#t=2m14s

Gilbert wrote:
(If it wasn't mentioned yet) Haja no Fuuin featured side view battles. Check around 00:40 of the following video of the Famicom version:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGL-8z3SEuc

This game was originally released for home computers in 1986, and ported over to Famicom and SMS in 1987. I think the Famicom version was never officially translated but the SMS version was released outside of Japan as Miracle Warriors.

If Wikipedia was to trust, the Famicom version was released on 23rd October of 1987 and the original release of Famicom FF1 was 18th December 1987, so this game predates FF1.

So it is false claiming FF1 was the first RPG ever with side view battles... but it is still the 1st with side view featured multiple characters/enemies. It seems both of those games just have one-to-one battles (I could be mistaken).

My question was not about side view before FF1, but more about side view after FF1. The article I cited claims that side-view - from what I understand it doesn't matter whether players/enemies are right or left - became the standard for the years to come after the release of FF1. But I think it was really a Final Fantasy specific view until at least 1991 if not even later. Actually I cannot think other major 2D RPGs featuring side-view, since Breath of Fire games have isometric view battles which are something else entirely. Golden Sun have fake 3D, which is even more interesting. I can't think of many non-Final Fantasy RPGs featuring side view battles with one side on the left and the other side on the right.

Quote:
I guess the top would be an unusual place for the player, if it's ever been done.

Well, seeing your party fighting from the front would be nice, but seeing only the butt of your enemies wouldn't be very intimidating, which is probably why this has never been done. On the other hand seeing monsters from the front and seeing the butt of your heroes is okay - since there is plenty of opportunities to see their face outside of battle already.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 12:58 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Dec 12, 2010 10:27 pm
Posts: 297
Location: Hong Kong
Bregalad wrote:
So it is false claiming FF1 was the first RPG ever with side view battles... but it is still the 1st with side view featured multiple characters/enemies. It seems both of those games just have one-to-one battles (I could be mistaken).

Maybe that last clip was a bit misleading. There's only one party member because it was the beginning of the game. See this, right at the beginning:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UfSyHSOeJLI
Clearly you have multiple party members and I think you eventually control 4. I'm not sure but it seemed that there was only a solo enemy each time though.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 1:48 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Jan 22, 2012 12:03 pm
Posts: 5891
Location: Canada
Lizard was only 1 on 1. Even the enemy represented wasn't really the enemy in the game, it was a lizardman stand-in no matter what you were fighting.


As for post-FF games that have a similar view, I can't think of many either. Robotrek and Bahamut Lagoon are the only ones that come to mind at the moment, then a few modern ones like Stick of Truth, Penny Arcade Adventures, Half Minute Hero. In between maybe just a big wasteland because of 3D?

I think maybe the huge success of FF means it's maybe what some people think of as the default for the genre, but I don't think it'd be a majority perspective if you're going by number of games?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 2:48 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2004 2:49 pm
Posts: 7314
Location: Chexbres, VD, Switzerland
Gilbert wrote:
Maybe that last clip was a bit misleading. There's only one party member because it was the beginning of the game. See this, right at the beginning:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UfSyHSOeJLI
Clearly you have multiple party members and I think you eventually control 4. I'm not sure but it seemed that there was only a solo enemy each time though.

Wow, having the game with a party that grows up like that was quite innovative. Dragon Quest only did that in their second game and Final Fantasy in their fourth (technically the party in FF2 changes only the 4th members and the first 3 are hardwired - although I'm pretty sure the engine allows to change them but this feature wasn't included in the game).

I do not think the graphics are revolutionary or anything, but it definitely predates FF1 when it comes to side-view battles. It's interesting how they changed it to front view for the SMS version. Looking at the screenshot it looks much better, however, animated I don't know if it's better. The "background" of the famicom version is particularly bad looking in my opinion - it looks like the PPU is glitching.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:20 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2016 6:29 am
Posts: 453
Location: Denmark (PAL)
Yeah that game is pretty "ahead of its time" I guess, if you count minor aspects such as these.
I actually thought DQ2 was the first game to have the "gradually gather your party" aspect as supposed to the Wizardry style desiging your party before setting out. It seems like such a simple thing, especially with pretty much every game in the genre, japanese as western, doing that almost ever since, but it's a great way to make these kinds of games much more accessible. The story, according to Yuji Horii, was that they wanted people who never played the first DQ to still be able to figure out what's going on, so they made the game start out like the first game (which only has one playable character) until you eventually run into new party members.

Haja no Fuuin even does the side-view combat "better" than the first FF, as you actually see your characters run up and hit the enemy.
I think this is a big deal. Nowadays I do appreciate the first person turn based combat, but before I really got into the genre it always turned me off. Being able to see my characters as they attacked the monsters in the early FF games made them much more approachable to me. It's no wonder most games eventually went that route. Even the latest DQ games which still do the first person perspective during combat (including the newest DQXI) still has the decency to switch the camera and show your characters when they pull off their attacks.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:29 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue May 28, 2013 5:49 am
Posts: 918
Location: Sweden
Yeah when the 3D-RPGs became the norm, of course the perspective could be anything, and the classic first-person view became rare in new 3D RPGs I think. There would be an outcry if the latest Dragon Quest didn't at least have the first-person view during command selection though.

Although first-person was probably still the norm, non-first-person view battles started taking off during or the SNES era so there are lots of those, although many of them are isometric. The only other strictly side-view SNES RPG I could think of is Square Soft's Rudra no Hihou.

I think narrowing it down to strictly non-isometric side-views with multiple characters on both sides is a bit too strict to be interesting though. Why is isometric so different from side-view? The basic idea is the same, to give the players a good view of the characters during battle.

But for 2D RPGs, yeah I guess strictly side-view is in the minority. Most common is probably first-person view or seeing the heroes from behind facing the monsters.

FrankenGraphics wrote:
Hmm... i was more thinking like so. This was the closest i could find that fits my idea of a 'tennis court' perspective that's in an existing jrpg.

Sounds exactly like Phantasy Star 2 to me. Many other RPGs like Lufia 2 also let you view hero butts.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:34 am 
Offline
Formerly WheelInventor

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2016 2:55 am
Posts: 1123
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
That's a good fit. Would "hero butts" fly as an rpg title?

_________________
http://www.frankengraphics.com - personal NES blog


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:56 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2004 2:49 pm
Posts: 7314
Location: Chexbres, VD, Switzerland
Sumez wrote:
Haja no Fuuin even does the side-view combat "better" than the first FF, as you actually see your characters run up and hit the enemy.

Actually FF only introduced party member actually striking the enemy in FF7. Before that wasn't needed and characters just hit the air (unless they have long-range weapons such as a bow) - probably to make the battles faster paced.

Quote:
Nowadays I do appreciate the first person turn based combat, but before I really got into the genre it always turned me off. Being able to see my characters as they attacked the monsters in the early FF games made them much more approachable to me.

Well, seeing the monster of the front enables both seeing the party's butt or not seeing the party at all - which is an incredibly cheap and lazy of doing it, yet it was still done most of the time !


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 27 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC - 7 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group