The plot thickens.

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Nomyt
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The plot thickens.

#1

Post by Nomyt » Sun Jul 12, 2009 11:53 am

After alot of thinking, and then being reminded in the Dark Cloud thread. Plots.

What makes a good plot?
What games has a good plot? Why?
What games hasn't got a good plot? Why?
Peace and Love X

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Speed
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#2

Post by Speed » Sun Jul 12, 2009 1:22 pm

Good Plot:
Not to cliche, Character development

Game dat haz teh gewd plots:
Fire Emblem

Games dat haz teh bad plots:
Any Final Fantasy after 6/7. (Tactics excluded of course)

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#3

Post by X-3 » Sun Jul 12, 2009 2:45 pm

1.) Elements to keep one interested in plot, dynamic characters, more later?

2.) FFTA comes to mind. While it was certainly lighter in tone than it's predecessor, I found it's characters to be quite interesting at times, and I recall several twists.

3.) I don't like the "country attacks! king is evil because of demon" thing some Fire Emblem games have. ToS is also a bit annoying at times.

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#4

Post by Speed » Sun Jul 12, 2009 2:53 pm

X-3 wrote:3.) I don't like the "country attacks! king is evil because of demon" thing some Fire Emblem games have.
That's not as prominent in Path of Radience and Blazing Sword. (The two best in my opinion)

In Path of Radiance the main antagonist's motive seems to be a want to make the world more survival of the fittest, jungle warfare base instincts and murder etc.

and in Blazing Sword it's not as much demonic stuff...as the main antagonist having a hard-on for dragons.

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#5

Post by I am nobody » Sun Jul 12, 2009 3:07 pm

1.

Originality: "Oh look, it's an evil carpenter trying to take over the world this time! And a 46-year old merchant is the only one that can stop him!"

Believability: "I'm joining your side because you're stronger and because you pay better! Killing your enemies is just so dull."

Not whacking the playing over the head with everything: "I'm pretty sure that guy was evil. Yeah, you're probably right. Maybe we should eventually try to stop him or something."

...While also not being mysterious about everything: "You know, I'm almost positive that you will run in to some kind of evil around hour 17 that you'll have to defeat with a certain sword. I could be wrong, though."

And character development that fits all four of those: "Hey! We came from somewhat different backgrounds but discovered we have something in common. It's possible that this relationship could give us some sort of power that may or may not be able to defeat the bad dude!"

2.

Both KotoR games. Lots of believable character development, a good mix between making things obvious (Malak teh evilz) and being secretive about stuff.

Chrono Trigger. Most of you have played this one; don't think I need to explain it.

3.

Suikoden Tierkreis. I get it. The Order is evil. Really evil. Now please stop saying that in every other sentence. Also, the "evil empire" thing has been done to death. It might also help if you didn't develop characters by making one not shut up for twenty minutes and then being silent for two hours. Or if we didn't have 90+ characters with <10 lines.

FFTA2. WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU, SQUARE? I NEED 200 HINTS TO FIGURE OUT A PLOT TWIST IN ADVANCE. 150 JUST WON'T DO.

Maybe more later, but I think that gives a pretty good represantation of my opinion.

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#6

Post by LOOT » Sun Jul 12, 2009 3:52 pm

Speed wrote:That's not as prominent in Path of Radience and Blazing Sword. (The two best in my opinion)

In Path of Radiance the main antagonist's motive seems to be a want to make the world more survival of the fittest, jungle warfare base instincts and murder etc.

and in Blazing Sword it's not as much demonic stuff...as the main antagonist having a hard-on for dragons.
Two out of what, 12 games? Woot.

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#7

Post by Crazyswordsman » Sun Jul 12, 2009 5:30 pm

A good plot is a story that's driven by a plot as opposed to the characters. -CSM

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#8

Post by ZeldaGirl » Sun Jul 12, 2009 5:36 pm

^Er, what?
Any Final Fantasy after 6/7. (Tactics excluded of course)
If you thought 7 was better than say, 9 or 12, I'd have to disagree. Hell, 10's plot was far more original than 7's (perhaps weaker in execution, though).

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#9

Post by Sim Kid » Sun Jul 12, 2009 6:25 pm

setting
Try and put some thought into the setting. Since you may not have to explore it all due to the illusion of non-linearity giving thousands of optional areas, or may HAVE to because it's a linear quest that expands an entire world, make it look like something that wasn't done to death.

That means no Ye Olde British Isles. Period. Even if it's a subregion, avoid at most if not all costs. Just because it's a fantasy story doesn't mean it has to be set in the British Isles. Megaten, Earthbound, and Final Fantasy VIII weren't set in Ye Olde Western Europe. And neither are games like KOTOR and Mass Effect.

If you absolutely HAVE to set it in a medieval time, try using the rest of Europe or better yet...the rest of the world. There's more than just Asia and Europe, with a few middle-eastern nomads. Guild Wars sets its games in places like South America, North AFrica, and Mainland Asia with a bit of Japanese influence.

You can make it so that it only takes place in one country like Elder Scrolls or practically the entire world like a lot of other games but try and make them more like Golden Sun where you actually explore tropical sceneries, arabian deserts, asian temples and south american jungles. Because if the entire world looks like it's practically the same province then it's not going to look very interesting. Heck, even if the country's big enough to have two ecozones they should look different. Even Sinnoh and hoenn don't look the same all the way through and they're much smaller than the gameworlds of Morrowind and Oblivion.

as for the people...DO try and make different races but DON'T Fall into fantasy stereotypes. That means no alcoholic scottish/irish/russian dwarves, no UGG UGG WE R PRIMITIVE orcs/trolls/minotaurs, no stuck-up-hippie-maybe-asian-maybe-eastern-european-LegoLOLs-inspired elves that live in forests, blatantly welsh humans, or ultra-primitive-apostrophe-abusing scalies that sound like they bit their tongues. Try like the first couple Breath of Fire games. (Before the anthro races became Nekos) Or try and subvert them like Judith was. It's implied her elf-like race are eccentric bookworms...het she's running around impaling enemies and juggling them in the air with her spear.

And don't put them in stupid places. Sure scalies living in the desert is a bit predictable, but if they're in the bloody arctic with the inuit-inspired races...that just makes me think the race is incredibly stupid or the god was incredibly cruel. :P


Sci-Fi's a little less overdone, at least. Just look up a list of Sci-Fi Cliches, or sit down and watch some stuff on the Sci-Fi channels to know what to avoid. (The biggest one would be Earth becoming too polluted to live because I swear finding a Sci-Fi universe without that is like trying to find a high-School fairy tale WITHOUT ditzy blondes)


Also in terms of the scnery, make it look different but still somewhat sensical. Don't make me walk directly from a jungle into a desert wasteland without an explanation (World of WArcraft does this...and actually makes fun of it since there's a Night Elf who's wondering what the hell is up with the sudden climate change). Try to avoid doing what Morrowind and Oblivion do and make everything look like it's practically set in the same province. (Granted, Morrowind's better at it than Oblivion was, since Oblivion looks like it's set in the same valley) Even within a country side you won't find the same landscape.

So in short, try using the lesser-done stuff or try and make yourselves DIFFERENT with the setting. There's more to D&D than Ye Olde Western Europe...there're actually official Filipino and mongolian-based countries in the D&D Universe.


Time Travel
My observation with time-traveling and plots centered around it? If you time travel...90% chance you're going to the past! Try going to the future for once. (Even STar Ocean is guilty of this)

characters
Avoid making characters emo about EVERYthing unless they're like Neku and are just really really self-centered and actually mature out of it. Avoid girls who are defenseless chosen ones who're either healers or practitioners of LIght Magic. I call them Shanas. I don't mind kid characters or old man characters to add variety to the party at all so long as they aren't annoying or too adult (without a feasible explanation) or are Dirty Old Men...Even Raven wasn't dirty ALL the time, and I felt he pulled the dirty old man off rather well. (And for fun, try adding a fiery-tempered girl like Rita so the reaction between them would be funny)

Try making drastically different personalities interact with each other to develop each other, such as two dudes who always fight. Fire Emblem also kinda does this well with a few games, although many times it's not as classic as Rita and raven or a few of those odd moments like Lowen fainting because Eliwood forgot to eat Breakfast.


There's nothing wrong with anti-villains or sadistic villains but....

Don't get me wrong, I freaking loved Kefka and Zagi, but I also liked Kato, Dhaos, and Alvis who really weren't evil. But I think they should pull back the "Villain is not really evil" twist. Sure Van was pretty nice with his crazy ideals that he held to the very end, and Duke did save the day in the end but Dhaos was written in as a rather good twist, Kato just lost all faith in humanity (Because this was before the days of Retail Hell), and Alvis was trying to make it so that nobody would suffer like he did.


I may not be fond of religion myself, but it's not THAT bad...

Just try and avoid the church being a mass of lies that worship demons or ultimate good and ultimate-evil. I know it's a common Japanese thing, the dislike of Christianity and western religion.

you don't HAVE to use the Sephiroth or Dick Tracy laws!

The villain DOESN'T have to be some attractive dude or hideously mutated to be threatening. He could just look like a dude in silver armour who murders everyone. Or they're a woman who outright murders a dude's family in front of him or a guy who backstabbed and manipulated teh dude's family into killing each other.

Emperors dont' have to be pure evil or gullible fools

It'd actually be an interesting twist if they wind up being a gullible fool who was being controlled and then join you to destroy it now wouldn't it? :P

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#10

Post by Crazyswordsman » Sun Jul 12, 2009 11:27 pm

ZeldaGirl wrote:Hell, 10's plot was far more original than 7's (perhaps weaker in execution, though).
10's plot isn't very original. It's similar to Breath of Fire II's: stop a major religion. -CSM

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#11

Post by ZeldaGirl » Mon Jul 13, 2009 1:09 am

Er, but it's actually so much more than just stop a major religion.

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#12

Post by Apiary Tazy » Mon Jul 13, 2009 1:14 am

Crazyswordsman wrote:10's plot isn't very original. It's similar to Breath of Fire II's: stop a major religion. -CSM
Well sure, if you try to summerize the plot in order to prove your point. :p

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#13

Post by chibimod3 » Mon Jul 13, 2009 4:32 pm

Good supporting characters

To both the bad guys and the good guys. I only get to fight the big bad guy once or twice. Or a lot in FF's case. But I like the underlings the guys that you have to fight to prove a point or even better the pointless minions. If they have no reason to be fighting you then why would they. Like towards the end of Radiant Dawn they fight to gain favor of the godless. In tos2 the Vangaurd fought to protect their homeland and to gain equality. In the subject of mid-bosses the gym leaders underlings in pokemon. Its not much but they have to prove themselves by weeding out all of the weaklings not worthy to face the leader.

And on some games good reasoning is necessary. If there are different monsters in the sequel than the original I want to know why. Or all of a sudden wolves no longer look like wolves. Or if my thief can't pick a lock and it won't give the option so I have to go searching for a key I want to know why. It might wear it down but it puts in depth to what you're trying to accomplish.

Character Development
I have nothing to add to what others said about this one.

Either originality or sheer I've seen it so many times before I could die
They both have their strong and weak points. I still like a predictable rpg to some point. If I have to go get 6 parts of a key to storm the castle and slay the demon to save a princess then that is just so old school it's fun. And if I have to lead a resistance only to betray that faction to help save a comrade who has been captured only to find out they have slain that person and made me a turncoat who has to hide my identity until I slay the big bad boss and am constantly surrounded by enemies and my own party starts to mistrust me. They both are so much fun.

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