Monday, March 14, 2022

BRIEF: Golvellius (1987)

 
No.
       
Golvellius
Japan
Compile (developer and publisher)
Released 1987 for MSX in Japan, 1988 for SEGA Master System in Japan, U.S., and U.K.
     
No. This is not an "action RPG." Recognizing this will remove a hundred similar clones from my list.
   
Golvellius is an action/arcade/platformer in the basic style of The Legend of Zelda (1986), although with some novel twists. For instance, although the player explores the overworld in a top-down view, the game often switches to a side-scrolling view (with platforming elements) when you enter certain caves. Other caves give you a top-down interface but in a continually scrolling north-south corridor, such that you have to quickly dodge right and left (all while fighting enemies) to avoid getting flattened against a wall.
       
The top-down outdoor view is the normal view.
But occasionally, it becomes a side-scrolling platformer.

This view encountered in some caves, doesn't let you set your own pace for moving forward. The game scrolls at its own speed, and you have to keep up.
    
But at its heart, it's not that different from Zelda. You play a goofy cartoonish little man named Keresis, on a quest to rescue a princess named Reena, who herself was on a quest to find herbs to heal her sick father, King Alekis of Aleid. The character explores an outdoor world of 12 x 12 screens, collects money and useful inventory items, fights continually-spawning cartoonish creatures that glob and swoop about in various patterns, and gets nebulous hints from little fairies in caves. Combat is all-action, dependent on the type of sword you've found, and the only character development involves increasing your maximum "power" bar, which despite its name seems to be just health. Even if it's not, I don't think I'm going to regard a single, generic "power" meter as an indication of an RPG anymore.
     
For some reason, the game's currency is called "find."
      
The game begins with a brief side-scrolling section and then opens up into the larger game world. Most screens have little creatures that spawn endlessly after you arrive. About half the screens have a little cave where you can enter to get a hint from a fairy, buy items or healing, or fight a boss. Early on, you buy some boots (though I'm not sure what they do), a potion that increases maximum healing, and a Bible of all things, which increases the maximum amount of "find" that you can carry at one time. Some of these caves only open after a certain number of enemies are killed on the same screen.
      
Buying a pair of boots.
      
I played through the first boss and didn't find it that hard, but this is one of those games where if I keep going, I'll end up sinking 8 hours into a fundamentally unrewarding experience (a la the recent Sword of Hope).
     
Fighting the first boss.
     
Although Golvellius (the name of the top demon) is best known in the west from its SEGA Master System release (where it has the subtitle Valley of Doom), it originally appeared as an MSX game, and I played an English-patched version of that. Apparently, the end of the game is notable in that Golvellius turns into a good guy and joins Keresis and Reena on their further adventures. Those further adventures include True Devil Govellius (1988), although my understanding from online sources is that the sequel simply recaps the plot from the first game.
   
 

57 comments:

  1. For some reason, game lists tend to categorize early Zelda-likes such as this one as action-RPGs instead of action-adventures despite Zelda being pretty widely recognized as the latter. I think it might have to do with these types of games often pulling on both Zelda and Hydlide - despite Hydlide's RPG credentials being dubious enough that it's hard to argue that ripping off Hydlide could make your game an RPG.

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    1. There is a LOT of confusion about the term "action adventure". Some sites combine them with adventure games (like King's Quest) too, despite having very little in common.

      Wikipedia has solidly defined categories, but it seems a lot of sites are amateur-run and more-or-less make up their own classifications.

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    2. I've heard many people refer to Zelda as an RPG, mostly casual gamers who didn't know much about genre definitions. One girl responded with "But what else is it supposed to be?" when I said it isn't an RPG, because you play the role of Link and explore a fantasy world, which is what you do in RPGs!

      A lot of people with little genre experience think Zelda is an action RPG simply because they don't know what RPG means.

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    3. The term RPG itself is a fail. In any game, we the play the ROLE of someone else, to achieve their aims. Multi Faceted Progress, MFP, would have been far more apt, if someone had though of it or similar.

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    4. I am an old school RPG player, and because of that it took some time to understand how much of an RPG Zelda is. For many years I took it granted that RPGs need to be something mechanical, and I love maths so it felt natural to me, that the heart of an RPG is the accrual of XP over time and counting probabilities..

      But after playing years and years, a couple of things became evident: money and XP are technically equivalent though they have slightly different flavour, and the same goes for equipment and abilities. This is most evident to me in games like the original Bard's Tale where the high attrition causes one to concentrate on one kind of experience and abilities before the second category, and let's not talk about the fact that most RPGs require a certain amount of gold for levelling up.

      The second part of comes from the time, when I learned about RPGs like Shadowrun or Vampire, both which eliminated the grinding mechanics of gaining XP and money for killing goones. The real experience is the adventure, not the routine.

      The next step is LARP, where I have heard about it, I never participated. I hope I don't need to explain what LARP is.

      I hope this will make evident how I feel that the character development in Zelda is tied to the adventure the player undertakes, though mostly Zelda streamlines the experience and abilities into one type of category only(that is gold and equipment). The character development is still gradual and the challenge of the game can be decreased by completing side quests. In some way I feel Zelda is more of a pure role playing game, where the player and the character evolves together, compared to the Excel like qualities of many oldschool RPGs. I still prefer the latter though, I love number crunching. :)

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    5. "Role-playing games" as a tabletop gaming genre originated as a hybrid between cooperative improv games and tactical wargames. Neither player-guided character development and tactical combat are strictly required for something to be an RPG, but you need one of them. That allows Final Fantasy IV (fixed characters who level up automatically, but tactical combat) and Skyrim (player-guided character development, action combat) to be RPGs, but not Zelda (fixed character who progresses via gaining items, action combat).

      If Zelda is an RPG (and I love Zelda, don't get me wrong) then so is Metroid, and nobody calls Metroid an RPG.

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    6. @12oclock - You're right, the player is literally role-playing in any video game where he controls characters. Which is the majority, exceptions including abstract stuff like Tetris. The literal meaning of role-playing will lead you down the wrong path, though. In video gaming, the RPG genre got its name because its primary MECHANICS were derived from tabletop RPGs. You can look at the entries for the earliest mainframe games on this site to see how it happened.

      I think literalism is also why we see confusion about action-adventure games. A person could take the word at face value and go "oh, it's an exciting journey, must be an adventure!" But "adventure" is also a term of art in video gaming: it refers to being cast in the mold of (Colossal Cave) Adventure. That means barriers to progress are overcome by solving discrete puzzles and the correct use of inventory items. The Legend of Zelda has a fairly even blend of this and of combat, its action component, so action-adventure sums it up well.

      Metroid, on the other hand, is a 2D platformer. It has no significant adventure elements, no puzzles, no non-combat means of interacting with the environment. The three things you can do to entities are shoot them with your energy beam, shoot them with missiles, and blow them up with bombs.

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    7. Thanks for saying the "Mechanics" thing so I didn't have to do it again. CRPGs are called CRPGs because they adopted the character sheets and dice from tabletop RPGs.

      Similarly, adventure games are not called such because they feature "adventures," but because they are games styled on (Colossal Cave) Adventure. People would stop fighting so much about definitions if they would just think of the two genres as meaning:

      1. Computer (versions of the mechanics of tabletop) Role-Playing Games

      2. Adventure (-style) Games

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    8. I kind of imagine that the design process of a game like Hydlide was something like:
      "You know, those Ultima games sure are great. But all the complicated numbers and weird keyboard commands make them a chore to play. What if we got rid of all that stuff? Then you could focus on the core RPG mechanics like exploring, finding items, and solving puzzles!"

      I think people who never played a tabletop game with dice and encountered RPGs entirely through the computer medium would tend to come away with a different understanding of what the core RPG experience is like. (And this applies even more to people who mainly play console games.)

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    9. "CRPGs are called CRPGs because they adopted the character sheets and dice from tabletop RPGs."

      I could say this definition & abbreviation of role-playing video games covers both Computers and Consolles. I know you prefer computer games, sorry (and this blog made ME appreciate the computer ones).

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    10. Most maybe all of these "not quite an RPG" action games particularly of this time period are a descendant of Xevious creator Masanobu Endo's The Tower of Druaga. He said in a 2003 interview:

      “After Xevious, I went on a business training trip to America, and there I bought a copy of the tabletop RPG Dungeons and Dragons. It had a big impact on me. I was really into Wizardry on the Apple II back then too. I then tried making an action rpg—what would later become The Return of Ishtar. But at this time, I felt the RPG elements were too strong, so I decided to go back and make something more action-focused, and that game turned out ultimately to be The Tower of Druaga.”

      It was a big hit in arcades and on Famicom/NES so it was hugely influential. It’s a game big on items, equipment, mazes and secrets but only uses a single button. In a sense, games like this are expanding upon a very parred down Wizardry rather than being simplifications themselves. They’re certainly not RPGs, but they’re in the family tree.

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    11. Wow, mind blown. I'd never considered that Adventure Games could more accurately be called 'Adventurelikes', much as Roguelikes are to Rogue.

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    12. Metroid, however, IS an action adventure game. The 'adventure' part in 'action adventure' has nothing to do with the game Colossal Cave Adventure, but with the Atari console game that's also called Adventure. Confusing, no? :)

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    13. Sadly, I think "Multi Faceted Progress" for CRPGs has even fewer chances of replacing the current name than "Procedurally Generated Death Labyrinth" has for roguelikes!

      I'll say this for Golvellius - it looks rather cute.

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    14. Abacos, I would fully agree. I've never claimed that console RPGs aren't RPGs.

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    15. Genre terms are what they are and we're stuck with them. Sadly, not all genres can have easy descriptive terms like First Person Shooters (which used to be called Doom Clones).

      While Doom clones got an easy new genre name in the mid 90s based on its core gameplay features - first person perspective and shooting at enemies - it's not quite so easy to find a similar name for, say, Roguelikes.

      They're games like Rogue... and the core features of Rogue are procedural dungeons and permadeath. These days we have all kinds of roguelike subgenres, including action roguelikes, and these are the two features they all have in common. So what would be the descriptive genre name, rather than the "this plays kinda like that other game" genre name?

      Random Death Dungeon? Procedural Permadeath Game? Doesn't roll off the tongue as smoothly as Roguelike, does it?

      I guess Adventure games would be called something like "Inventory Puzzle Game".

      And RPGs something like "Character Development Game", I guess.

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    16. Radiant--the Atari Adventure was directly inspired by Colossal Cave Adventure, though, so there's still an indirect relation!

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    17. I think that when you compare the original Zelda to other games coming out in 1986-1988, it's harder to draw a clear distinction between "action RPGs" and Zelda. I think it's not until later that the differences crystallize more.

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    18. Since when are American tabletop RPGs the only kind of RPGs? I always understood it that the author of this blog defined a cRPG game as "a game that I [Chet] say is a cRPG" (and that was fine most time, well, outside of a few funny oddities like calling QfG a RPG while classifying Veil of Darkness as an adventure game). But trying to rationalize this made-up definition ex post is no longer funny because it just shows that a) you have a very narrow view on the matter b) you don't know how classification systems works (in science etc.). I think rather than trying to reinvent a definition of RPGs one more time it is better to stick to what popular gaming sites say regarding specific games. While not perfect, at least this way is relatively foolproof and avoids unnecessary controversy.

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    19. Since 1974, to be precise :P

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    20. "Metroid, on the other hand, is a 2D platformer. It has no significant adventure elements, no puzzles, no non-combat means of interacting with the environment."

      I think this is selling Metroid a bit short. The High Jump Boots and Morph Ball are non-combat means of interacting with the environment, and it's creative with how the Ice Beam and Bombs can be used to find secret passages. And certainly the open exploration has to also be factored in?

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    21. CRPG = computer role playing game, and role playing game refers to a genre of games inspired to at least some degree by D&D, where character creation and/or development plays a central role. If a game doesn't feature that, it's not an RPG. Simple as.

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  2. The funny thing about the bible is that 1980s Japan thinks of Christianty as that weird exotic faith that people have vaguely heard of but don't know a lot about (kind of like the way WE view Japanese faith, really). So it pops up in a lot of manga and games. The Japanese version of Legend of Zelda also contains a bible.

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    1. Odd considering that Jesus lived in Japan and is also buried there.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shing%C5%8D,_Aomori#Alleged_Tomb_of_Jesus

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    2. Christianity did appear in Japan in the 17th century, but it never became mainstream and was suppressed by the ruling authorities for centuries, with "kirishitan" communities existing as underground groups much like early Christians in Pagan Rome.

      So while it isn't completely unknown in Japan, it's still exotic and foreign.

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  3. For what it's worth, the MSX and Master System versions are a bit different in terms of gameplay, graphics, and map layout. Neither is an rpg, but I thought it worth mentioning.

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  4. The mix of overworld exploration and side-scrolling action scenes is oddly similar to Zelda II: The Adventure Of Link, which was released a few months earlier in 1987.

    The time between releases is far too short for the Nintendo game to be a direct influence, but an interesting parallel.

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  5. '...and a Bible of all things, which increases the maximum amount of "find" that you can carry at one time.'

    This correlation got me stumped, more faith means more money?

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    1. I think that's the so-called "Prosperity Gospel".

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  6. I had golvellius. It was interesting but difficult, at least for the age I was the time. It was an action quest game in my opinion. Not for the weak willed! Interesting near the end, too.

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  7. Just by looking at the title screen, I figured this would be an MSX game.

    Using Google Translate, I discovered that one of the translations of "find" into Japanese is "hiroimono". Translating that back results in "picked up items", with "find", "windfall" and "bargain" as alternatives, in order of most to least frequent usages. It's safe to say "find" is just another case of bad translation from Japanese.

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  9. Well tbh the article on Wikipedia doesn't seem very credible in the first place. Since it's only a stub it's much too short and has a disclaimer that it misses further citations since 2013.

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  10. I echo the other commenter that this game feels almost too much like Zelda II to not be related, and yet they missed all of the beats which Z2 was decent with. I hope that you consider looking at that game in the not too distant future, if only because you'll come to it with a context that none of us have.

    Considering how well you did in Castlevania 2, I no longer worry that you will struggle too much with Zelda 2. It's not going to be your cup of tea, but there will be a lot you find interesting at least. (Such as the system it uses for random encounters.)

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    1. Not that it's my choice any more than it is yours, but as interesting as I find Zelda II, I'd prefer Chet's next console foray be an actual RPG proper than another action-RPG hybrid he's almost guaranteed to hate. After the likes of Simon's Quest and Deadly Towers, the guy deserves to play something that console RPG fanboys actually consider worth playing. It's no coincidence that the one console game Chet seemed to really enjoy was one people had been pestering him to play for years.

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  11. Found a scan of the Japanese manual. The explanation they give of "FIND" on page 5 is:

    隠れたほら穴やどうくつを見つける能力。敵を倒すことにより増える。アイテムなどを買う時はお金としても使える。
    "Your ability to discover hidden caves and caverns. Increases as you defeat enemies. When buying items, it can also be used as money."

    So it seems like they imagined FIND as being primarily your ability to literally "find" stuff, with its use as a currency as secondary.

    For "POWER," it's worth noting that the term 力 (chikara or ryoku) is often translated as "power" or "force," but it's also used in a lot of phrases for more general kinds of "ability" or "capacity." They explain "POWER" here as being a measure of Keresis' 体力 (tairyoku, "stamina", literally "body-power"). You'll also see the word 能力 nouryoku, which is more generally "ability to do something," in that explanation of "FIND" above. And there are other kinds of 力 like 魅力 (miryoku, "charm-power" or "charisma") or 学力 (gakuryoku, "study-power" or scholarly-ness) that we don't usually think of as types of "power" in English. So "POWER" is just an English word that sounds cool, but is a lot less broad in its meaning than they thought it was.

    This game apparently also came with a paper map and a little envelope containing an endgame hint (pictured here).

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    1. That's kind of a neat little delayed gratification feature. Spend this currency now, or hold on to it for potentially greater riches from these secret areas.

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  12. Yeah point taken about literalism, but language is mostly not a figurative/symbolic enterprise or else we´d never understand anything anyone ever said, eg did they say "get the chocolate" or did they mean "grab that bucket of brown paint" etc. Life ain´t so hard as all that. RPGS for heavens sake ARE an adventure. Even in Tetris, well jeebies, you do play the ROLE of someone moving bricks around on a screen, even if you can´t see a rendition of yourself as an itty bitty man on the screen. I am quite aware CRPGs came from table tops rpgs--but my point is BACK IN THAT DAY, the christening of RPG was flawed. They took ownership of a term and tried to keep it for themselves. Call it revisionism if you like, but evolution is more the truth. Over the decades our understanding of what an RPG could be has twisted, turned, expanded. Zelda is an RPG, ask many a Nintendo addict and they´ll agree, as much as they´ll also call it an adventure title. Golvellius and others, even Zelda or Metroid, are perhaps what we might say are imperfect RPGs. It´s very hard to compare 8bit console games with PC´s or Amigas which were for quite a while very far advanced in memory, graphics and so forth. We´ll always be arguing about what an RPG is in the ideal. It´s something we have to live with. Mechanics, shmecanics. You name me two classic undisputed pc rpg´s, say Ultima compared to Might and Magic, and I can prove to you that they have this or that missing element, meaning that the ideal of what an RPG "must have" can never ever be reached. Either we relax the rules and include a lot, or we exclude all sorts of stuff. Sega called Golvellius a platformer with RPG elements. That somewhat takes my point, I guess they didn´t want to upset purehearts but nonetheless were showing roleplaying is not a one-pony show.

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    1. Huzzah!!!

      Which is why I think the last point on any attempt to quantify a CRPG is Chet's ability to decree it is one or not for his purposes. None of us owns his blog and writing!

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    2. "Evolution is more the truth" is bogus. There are commonly-accepted terms that aren't literal, and it aids discussion if you accept that these have commonly-accepted definitions. Otherwise you're making conversation difficult for no good reason.

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  13. I´ll say this too, to get people thinking: Long before tabletop rpg´s, children played cowboys, cops, firemen etc. Adults "play" by doing a thing called theatre. See what I´m driving at? Acting out is playing a role, and it is indeed all just a game of make-believe, which is what we are doing when we waste our time, eyes and reflexes on video gaming. So if tabletops were the first and real RPGs, then I say, they stole their mechanics, ideas, elements from the theatricals of stage actors and kids in kindergarten. As wikipedia puts it, roleplaying is playing characters in a fictional setting. See? That´s quite broad, needs be. So if we want to talk about where things came from and who should own what term, I´m afraid it´s not as simple as some had hoped. The term RPG itself is not copyrighted. Anyone care to prove me wrong? I´m sure you cannot.

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    1. The term RPG as a genre category was coined by Dungeons and Dragons. This is the problem with taking genre names too literally: it's not a descriptive name, it's just the name Gary Gygax came up with when giving a name to D&D.

      D&D was originally derived from wargames (which are highly complex simulationist games focused on battlefield tactics - Call of Duty is not a wargame, despite being a game set in a war), but instead of controlling armies you controlled a single character or a small group of characters and fought against challenges set up by the Dungeon Master. Your characters would also earn experience and get better at doing stuff.

      That's the foundation of the genre: wargame-derived dice based combat with figurines on a tabletop board; going through a set of challenges designed by the DM (rather than PvP matches); you play a single character or small group of characters (in early D&D it wasn't unheard of to play two characters simultaneously) who gain experience and improve their abilities.

      The genre has developed into many different directions since then, but the core elements still remain. You control one character or a small group of characters, your character(s) gain experience and improve their abilities, and it's a PvE instead of a PvP game.

      Now where's the "role-playing" here? Easy: the role-playing in RPG refers to the character's functional role within the party. The fighter's role is to engage enemies in close combat. The thief's role is to deal with traps and locked doors. The cleric's role is to support and heal the party. The wizard's role is to use magic for crowd controlling the enemy hordes. Those are all "roles" that individual characters have within the adventuring party. It has nothing to do with playing a role in theater, or with make-believe cowboys and indians games played by kids. Just because those also involve some kind of playing a role doesn't mean they're RPGs.

      The term RPG refers to a genre of games that offer a certain ruleset which allows you to play certain types of characters in certain contexts. And then you can play your way through situations presented to you by the DM (or the computer, which takes the DM's place in a CRPG) and refer to the rules to resolve any potential challenges. Is my character able to do this thing? Refer to the rules, check your character sheet, roll the dice (or not, depending on the ruleset).

      The existence of a ruleset that determines the abilities of your character is the core element of every RPG, including action RPGs. In an action RPG like Gothic you also have stats and skills which improve your handling of weapons in the action combat system. The skills define what your character can or cannot do. That's what RPG means: a ruleset to define your character's abilities, so you can then role-play that character based on his character sheet's specifications.

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    2. There are lots of terms that sound like "A and B" where it doesn't literally mean "everything that is both A and B". Not every way on which you drive is a driveway. Not every pig from Guinea is a guinea pig. And not every game in which you play a role is a roleplaying game. No need to be pedantic about it or to claim that nobody can prove you wrong.

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  14. For my own blog I came up with these criteria to distinguish an "Action RPG" from an action-adventure game (or whatever you want to call it):

    1. It has to have stats beyond health and magic/power that you can develop

    2. It needs to have safe places like towns (this was mostly to exclude the later Metroid-like Castlevania games)

    3. There has to be some element of exploration rather than just a series of stages

    I've found this pretty reliable at excluding games that don't feel like RPGs to me, although it's not perfect.

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    1. I don't get the second point. Why would you claim that metroidvanias (assuming they have stats) aren't action RPGs?

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    2. I would guess it's either:

      1) the fact that the experience/level system feels vaguely perfunctory in some of those later Castlevania games (that is to say, sure it makes numbers go up, but your input dexterity matters way more than the numbers; contrast most Ys games where almost no amount of input dexterity will get you through the game significantly underleveled because you'll simply just be unable to deal damage)

      2) alternatively, Kurisu just doesn't like Castlevania games and wants an excuse not to play them for their blog, which is as valid as Chet not generally liking console RPGs

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    3. I do really like the "towns" criterion for RPGs in general. A big part of the tabletop experience was the fact that the characters exist outside the scope of any particular dungeon or adventure, and that they spend the time between adventures improving equipment, doing magical research, or gathering information about future plot hooks. Same holds for narratives like LotR that were the foundation of story in RPGs—they alternate between dangerous "travel" sequences and relatively safe "town" sequences. A game that's just a single big dungeon, without any towns in between, is kind of missing that aspect of the RPG experience.

      That said, there are games like NetHack that are plainly RPGs even without towns, so it's probably not an absolute requirement. NetHack and Ultima feel like such different games that there might still be a meaningful subcategorical distinction there, though.

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    4. @Anonymous: My goal in the definition was to try to find some kind of semi-objective criteria that would exclude games that don't really feel like RPGs to me. I do think there's a distinction between Action-RPGs and action games that have some RPG elements like levels or equipment.

      @NLeseul: This was specifically for consoles, so I didn't have to deal with NetHack...although I did exclude Torneko's Dungeon games as not being RPGs, so maybe that's a similar thing.

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    5. It may be helpful to think of a genre as being like a region on a map, and genre tropes and markers like landmarks. There may be no one single genre element which is outright required, but the more of them you can see from where you're standing, the less ambiguous it is whether or not you are where you say you are.

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    6. @Ross: I really like this way of describing genre. It feels very right to me. Kudos!

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    7. The 2nd criteria makes Dungeon Master a non-action RPG, unless you consider the 1st level a safe place (for me it's just an "environmental menu").

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    8. Those criteria were only meant to be applied to console games that seem like they might be action RPGs, they weren't intended to apply to a game like Dungeon Master.

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    9. Interestingly, Dungeon Master is an RPG that has action, but it is not an "action RPG", in the sense that it's clearly a different genre than these console games.

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  15. I guess if I were trying to develop a definition of "RPG" from first principles deriving from the tabletop RPG model and ignoring the historical precident set by the games we actually identify as CRPGs, I think the thing I would have zeroed in on more than anything is that the characters are given primacy over the scenario - statistical growth being an example (though possibly NOT a required feature), but perhaps even more important: the characters continue to "exist" even after a "story" is completed, and the players continue to use the same characters in multiple stories with a persistent history.

    Using that definition, very few of the games we acknowledge as computer RPGs would actually qualify (and thus it's not very useful for the purposes of this blog), and the ones that do almost feel like an evolutionary offshoot that went largely fallow in the '90s (though MMORPGs could be seen as a reemergence of the line). It would be interesting to imagine an alternative history where "you carry over characters from previous games" was considered the defining characteristic of crpgs.

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    1. I like this one... but arguably, a module in a TRPG is the equivalent of a dungeon in a CRPG; and where you can reuse your character for multiple modules (in the same campaign) in a TRPG, you can certainly use your character for multiple dungeons (in the same game) in a CRPG. So this definition still holds for most CRPGs.
      I'd say the defining feature of TRPGs is that your character can affect the world with actions that aren't covered by the rules (as opposed to "normal" boardgames, where you can't). This is by definition never possible in computer games, although sandbox games like Ultima 6 come closest.

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    2. Depends on the length of a module. There are shorter CRPGs that feel like a classic pen and paper module in length, and there are big modules that are almost like a CRPG in length.

      And then there's CRPGs that allow character importing.

      (the most recent one I know of that allows it is ATOM RPG: Trudograd which allows importing your original ATOM RPG character)

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3. Please don't comment anonymously. It makes it impossible to tell who's who in a thread. Choose the "Name/URL" option, pick a name for yourself, and just leave the URL blank.

4. I appreciate if you use ROT13 for explicit spoilers for the current game and upcoming games. Please at least mention "ROT13" in the comment so we don't get a lot of replies saying "what is that gibberish?"

5. Comments on my blog are not a place for slurs against any race, sex, sexual orientation, nationality, religion, or mental or physical disability. I will delete these on a case-by-case basis depending on my interpretation of what constitutes a "slur."

Also, Blogger has a way of "eating" comments, so I highly recommend that you copy your words to the clipboard before submitting, just in case.

I read all comments, no matter how old the entry. So do many of my subscribers. Reader comments on "old" games continue to supplement our understanding of them. As such, all comment threads on this blog are live and active unless I specifically turn them off. There is no such thing as "necro-posting" on this blog, and thus no need to use that term.

I will delete any comments that simply point out typos. If you want to use the commenting system to alert me to them, great, I appreciate it, but there's no reason to leave such comments preserved for posterity.

I'm sorry for any difficulty commenting. I turn moderation on and off and "word verification" on and off frequently depending on the volume of spam I'm receiving. I only use either when spam gets out of control, so I appreciate your patience with both moderation tools.