Top 5

Top 5 annoying RPG cliches

by Jack Napier on March 30, 2014

Repetition is the mother of learning but when we find it in movies or games, which theoretically should be overflowing with originality, it is absolutely annoying. So we got the idea to make a Top 5 most annoying clichés of the RPG genre. We exclude by default Japanese RPGs where boobs are bigger than anywhere else and the villains worse than everywhere else. Many of you are surely familiar with some of the clichés developers keep using in games of all genres, but we limit ourselves here to the single player RPGs. We won’t be counting MMORPGs, because that would require a top 20.

Nr. 5: In most RPGs, be it pure RPG or Action RPG, there must be a group of brain-munching zombies or the already famous giant rat you have to slay in the first five minutes. These clichés were parodied by shows like South Park or games like A Bard’s Tale, and are a constant element of puns, but it isn’t enough to discourage developers from abusing them further.

Nr. 4: Another cliché, this time is present in 99% of RPGs, is the existence of a barrels or boxes you need to break to get loot. In most cases it’s two pieces of gold or a similarly valuable weapon you might sell at the village shop. Until you do sell this loot it’s only there to fill up inventory space and tickle your hoarder instinct.

Coming in 3rd: You have the coolest armor in the game, mastered all the spells, your stats are unbeatable and you’re wielding the Great Diamond Sword of Slaying Dragons and Crocodile-monsters. And the village NPC guy won’t give you the quest to complete the game until you deliver a bundle or doohickeys to his fucking mother, grandmother, daughter or whatever character vaguely part of its kinship. In all RPGs there must be a quest of this kind, called a “Fetch Quest” where you either have to deliver a package to the other side of the map, or have to kill tens of mystical lizards and fetch their flaming tails so he can fashion torches out of them. Here’s a tip, developers: A stick, cloth, oil and flint will still be perfect torch-making materials even if you can run around slaying dragon-fire-lizards.

In 2nd place: One of the most annoying clichés that we suffer through in all RPGs is the promise of a mythical weapon upon completing some quest or another. Example: the poor peasant cursed by the generic witch, promises that if you lift the curse, he’ll reward you with his father’s magical weapon. You climb your horse, go after the witch, righteously smite her, and when you return, yes, you get the sword / gun / enchanted cooking ladle. You open the inventory and stare in wonder… it is the most useless weapon in your arsenal, being inferior to all others and its only positive attribute is that it shines when there are nearby goblins… or were those orcs …

The big 1: By far the most brain-frying cliché is represented by the in-game merchants. All, and when I say all, I mean all players have had to deal with a merchant who will sell you a magic sword or armor for ten thousand pieces of gold. Nice armor, well-crafted with high durability, stamina and agility bonuses, and lots of skills. The problem is that it costs ten thousand pieces of gold. So you start farming, grind the amount you need, you are most happy adventurer in the game, ever. That is until you try to sell it back and the seller offers you… two silver coins and three pieces of copper! Because any RPG economy dictates purchase prices are huge and selling prices are insignificant. It’s no wonder there are so many poor peasants who ask for help. It costs a fortune to buy a plow and they can’t sell the harvest for shit. Good luck, and we’ll be seeing you. Now I have a sword to grind.

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