Resources Management Gameplay YKTTW Discussion

Resources Management Gameplay
(permanent link) added: 2010-11-30 11:50:19 sponsor: NerdAtComputer (last reply: 2010-12-13 08:45:07)

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Itís important that you grind. But with no Inns, how are you supposed to heal? Tonics are found trough the mansion, and automatically heal everyone in your party 100% regardless of your levels. That may sound too convenient, but remember, you canít buy tonics. Youíve to ration the handful, literally through the whole mansion.
Happy Video Game Nerd, during his review of Sweet Home [1]

In most RPGs, or games with RPG Elements for that matter, resources are simply and plainly unlimited. Except for some rare stuff, like a Mega-Elixir-Lvl.100, there is little to no risk of running out of something since you'll eventually be able to re-obtain it one way or another. Of course, this only leads to very obvious circular-gameplay strategies like Level Grinding. That and there's the whole Gameplay and Story Segregation thing where the Big Bad won't summon an army of demons until after you progress through the story.

Yet, this is not always the case. Sometimes, an RPG will have a vital gameplay element which makes you unable to play it carelessly; and planning various strategies of what to do and when to do it is the key. This is when you find yourself experiencing Resources Management Gameplay.

All of the sudden, you might find everything from a Healing Potion to a Wave Motion Gun becomes equal in terms of rarity, and saving them, a mandatory part of game play. Completing the following levels turns out to be Beyond the Impossible if you didn't save resources or train properly on the current ones. [[hottip:* :completing the most difficult levels without those items/levels can be a good Self-Imposed Challenge]]

In some cases, even Enemy encounters might be limited, making it impossible to level grind or Item Farm. Or you might require food or other limited resourse , so mindlessly training to your heart content is out of the picture.

One easy way to stablish a difference between those RPG that include this and those which don't, is in the main focus: in the former you have to complete a goal in the cheapest/fastest/healthiest you can, while on the later you have to be strong enough to defeat the enemies.

Heck, this mechanic isn't limited to the RPG genre alone. An FPS also has a limited amount of Med-Kits lying around, because the enemies you gun down certainly aren't gonna drop any for your convenience.

This is a Video Game Trope. When the limited resource is time, we are talking about a Timed Mission. Strongly related to Too Awesome to Use, and Unstable Equilibrium. Also see Wizard Needs Food Badly, Anti-Grinding and Min Max. Any game like this is almost guaranteed to be Nintendo Hard and/or Harder Than Hard.

Note: "it's really hard to get [x] items", "you can't buy [x] item at stores" or "You can't carry more than [x] number of [x] item at the same time" are not examples of this. The resource itself should be limited, implying that it can only be used a few times.


  • Most Roguelike RPG work like this. The reason behind it is that players usually need food, and food is limited for each floor, so you will be forced to ration your and go to the next floor when you run out of it.
  • Fire Emblem games. You can't repeat battles, and the items you have are the ones you'll use in next battle, so not wasting your equipment is crucial for progress.
  • The online flash game Epic Battle Fantasy one and two. The third game broke with this.
  • Monster Rancher. Since monsters have a life-spawn ranging from 1 year to 11 years, you've to be VERY cautious of what you make your monster do, and when. In the general aspect, the money on this game could be considered as no Economy Management.
  • Dragon Slayer II: Xanadu counts as the Ur-Example of this. There is a limited amount of enemy encounters, some of which boost your Karma stat to a point where you can't get any experience points (you have to acquire a cursed potion to reduce your Karma, which in turn will cost you some hit points). And the icing on the cake? All slain enemies stay slain for good. That, and you also have to keep a healthy supply of food and properly make decisions on when to upgrade your equipment.
  • Save points in Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter. You are given a limited number of them, and while you can use them anywhere, it can be off-putting for those used to being able to save every twenty minutes.

Other Games:

Note: EVERY game with a limited amount of Randomly Drops or with RatchetScrolling/FixedScrollingLevel use this. Most obvious examples are FPS and Beat 'em Up games. So please, REFRAIN FROM LISTING THEM unless there is something interesting about them.

  • In Ninja Gaiden for the Xbox, before the fourth level. After that level, you can buy potions, but there's only one permanent shop building in the world, and the area near the shop is full of soldiers with machine guns who would like nothing more than to kill you if you get careless on your shopping trip. In addition, the price of anything besides a normal potion is so high that even if you master the art of grinding in such a way that the health restore powerups the enemies drop make up for your lost health, you will still have to grind for a very long time to get enough money to buy anything.
  • In StarControl II: the Ur-Quan Masters, you have a limited amount of time to defeat the BigBads before Bigger Bads come along and denude the galaxy of life.
  • As denoted by the quote above, Sweet Home.
  • Sonic Chronicles can be like this if you don't equip the chao that guarantees you'll get items you can sell after every battle, since there's a finite number of rings (currency) laying around.
  • In Wild ARMs 3 and Alter Code F, healing items are not available in shops for any price, Justified by the world being a dying wasteland where plants like Heal Berries just don't grow anymore. Later in the game this is subverted, since you can grow your own healing items in a garden (you're still limited in the number of slots for plants and how many can be produced per time period passed).
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