Oh @#$%, the RPG Hero Is Coming to Town

You know, one of the things that bothered me most about Final Fantasy XIII was the lack of towns, NPCs, shops and inns and so forth. There’s no better way to make your fantasy world seem real than by showing other people live there, that it’s about more than just the heroes. Obviously, in old-school RPGs this is balanced by the fact that the heroes can break into any home they see and take whatever they can get their gauntleted hands on, because it still all about the heroes. One of the reasons I love Final Fantasy VII is because every once in a while, if you talk to those townspeople after looting their homes, they’ll scream that you’re a thief (you are) or that you’ve taken their hard-earned money (you did) — but there’s no penalty in the game for doing so, and you can’t give it back, and thus it becomes just a moment to think about the morality of basic RPG tropes, which I believe Final Fantasy VII explores more and better than any other game, but while still being a standard RPG. It was a large section in my thesis.

Also, “sword of grandmothers” is pretty damn funny.