Here’s the continuation of my personal favourite list of tropes and cliches for Japanese console role-playing games.
107. Arbour Day Rule: At some point, you’re going to have to talk to a tree and do what it says.
For some reason, this struck me to be the most hilarious thing on the list. I think it’s the “Arbour Day” part that cracked me up the most.
128. First Law of Fashion: All characters wear a single costume which does not change over the course of the game. The only exception is when characters dress up in enemy uniforms to infiltrate their base.
129. Second Law of Fashion: Any character’s costume, no matter how skimpy, complicated, or simply outlandish, is always completely suitable to wear when climbing around in caves, hiking across the desert, and slogging through the sewers. It will continue to be completely suitable right afterwards when said character goes to meet the King.
130. Third Law of Fashion: In any futuristic setting, the standard uniform for female soldiers and special agents will include a miniskirt and thigh-high stockings. The standard uniform for all male characters, military or not, will include an extraordinarily silly and enormous hat.
These laws of fashion are true. I especially agree with the first two. However, I am unsure about the whole “extraordinarily silly and enormous hat” for the males.
134. Inheritance of Acquired Characteristics (Ramus Rule): Twenty-three generations may pass, but any person’s direct descendant will still look and act just like him.
I guess anything is possible in the gene pool.
144. Materials Science 101: Gold, silver, and other precious metals make excellent weapons and armour even though in the real world they are too soft and heavy to use for that purpose. In fact, they work so well that nobody ever melts their solid gold suit of armour down into bullion, sells it, and retires to a tropical isle on the proceeds.
I love how our laws of science doesn’t apply to the fantasy world of RPGs and other media types!
147. Vivi’s Spellbook Principle: Over the course of the game, you will spend countless hours learning between twenty and one hundred skills and/or spells, approximately three of which will still be useful by the end of the game.
Again, so true. It’s the most powerful spell that rocks, baby! Forget the weaker level one spells and skills!
154. Gold Saucer Rule: The strongest weapons/items/spells in the entire game can only be found by doing things like racing birds.
FF10 anyone? Especially with Lulu’s weapon where you have to dodge those lightning attacks?! Ugh. Don’t get me started on Blitzball.
173. Golden Chocobo Corollary: The magic formula for acquiring this supreme upgrade will be only vaguely alluded to in the game itself. Ideally, you’re supposed to shell out $19.95 for the strategy guide instead.
Why shell out $19.95 when there’s something called GameFAQs?
183. Adam Smith’s Revenge: By the end of the game you are renowned everywhere as the Legendary Heroes, every surviving government and authority figure has rallied behind you, the fate of the world is obviously hanging in the balance, and out of nowhere random passers-by give you a pat on the back and heartfelt good luck wishes. However, shopkeepers won’t even give you a discount, much less free supplies for the final battle with evil.
Stop being a bunch of frugal, stingy pricks and give us a discount! After all, we are saving you and the whole world here! No? *insert Luca Blight’s personality* Then you shall just perish, pigs!
186. Apocalypse Any Time Now: The best time to do side quests is while the huge meteor hovers in the sky above the planet, waiting to fall and destroy the world.
Time apparently stops so the players can do these side quests!