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#'''[[GoodMorningCrono Sleepyhead Rule]]:''' ''The teenaged male lead will begin the first day of the game by oversleeping, being woken up by his mother, and being reminded that he's slept in so late he missed meeting his girlfriend.''
#'''[[DoomedHometown "No! My beloved peasant village!"]]:''' ''The hero's home town, city, slum, or planet will usually be annihilated in a spectacular fashion before the end of the game, and often before the end of the opening scene.''
#'''[[TheDulcineaEffect Thinking With The Wrong Head]] ([[VideoGame/LunarEternalBlue Hiro]] Rule):''' ''No matter what they are accused of or [[MysteriousWaif how mysterious their origins]], the hero will always be ready to fight to the death for any girl they met three seconds ago.''
#'''[[OrphansPlotTrinket Cubic Zirconium Corollary]]:''' ''The aforementioned mysterious girl will be wearing a [[MacGuffin pendant]] that will ultimately prove to be the key to either {{saving the world}} or [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt destroying it]].''
#'''Literature/LogansRun [[CompetenceZone Rule]]:''' ''RPG characters are young. [[KidHero Very young]]. The average age seems to be 15, unless the character is a decorated and battle-hardened soldier, in which case he might even be as old as 18. Such teenagers often have [[InstantExpert skills with multiple weapons and magic, years of experience]], and never ever worry about their parents telling them to come home from adventuring before bedtime. By contrast, characters more than twenty-two years old will cheerfully refer to themselves as washed-up old fogies and be eager to make room for the younger generation.'' (See also MostWritersAreAdults)
#'''[[ParentalAbandonment Single Parent Rule]]:''' ''RPG characters with two living parents are almost unheard of. As a general rule, male characters will only have a mother, and female characters will only have a father. The [[MissingMom missing]] [[DisappearedDad parent]] either vanished mysteriously and traumatically several years ago or is never referred to at all. Frequently the main character's surviving parent will also [[ThePlotReaper meet an awkward end just after the story begins]], thus [[ConvenientlyAnOrphan freeing him of inconvenient filial obligations]].''
#'''[[OnlyOneName Some Call Me...]] [[SomeCallMeTim Tim?]]''' ''Good guys will only have [[FirstNameBasis first names]], and bad guys will only have [[LastNameBasis last names]]. Any bad guy who only has a first name will [[HeelFaceTurn become a good guy]] at some point in the game. Good guys' last names may be [[AllThereInTheManual mentioned in the manual]] but they will never be referred to in the story.''
#'''[[NominalImportance Nominal Rule]]:''' ''Any character who actually has a name is important in some way and must be sought out. However, if you are [[EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep referred to as a part of a possessive noun]] ("[[VideoGame/ChronoTrigger Crono's]] Mom") then you are superfluous.'' [[note]](Rather ironically, the example they used has a name, Gina. It was excised in translation.)[[/note]]
#'''[[VideogameSettings The Compulsories:]]''' ''There's always [[LethalLavaLand a fire dungeon]], [[SlippySlideyIceWorld an ice dungeon]], [[DownTheDrain a sewer]] [[AbsurdlySpaciousSewer maze]], [[TheLostWoods a misty forest]], [[GhostShip a derelict Ghost Ship]], [[MinecartMadness a mine]], [[UndergroundLevel a glowing crystal maze]], [[TempleOfDoom an ancient temple full of traps]], [[FloatingContinent a magic floating castle]], [[EternalEngine and a technological dungeon]].''
#'''[[ScienceIsBad Luddite Rule]] (or, GeorgeLucas Rule):''' ''Speaking of which, technology is inherently evil and is the exclusive province of the Bad Guys. They're the ones with the [[SchizoTech robots, factories, cyberpunk megalopolises and floating battle stations]], while the Good Guys live in [[{{Arcadia}} small villages in peaceful harmony with nature]]. (Although somehow your guns and/or heavily armed airships are exempted from this.)''
#'''[[BagOfSpilling Let's Start From The Very Beginning]] ([[VideoGame/FinalFantasyX2 Yuna]] Rule):''' ''Whenever there is a sequel to an RPG that features the same main character as the previous game, that character will always start with beginner skills. Everything that they learned in the previous game will be gone, as will all their ultra-powerful weapons and equipment.''
#'''[[ImpoverishedPatrician Poor Little Rich Hero]] ([[VideoGame/ThousandArms Meis]] Rule):''' ''If the hero comes from a rich and powerful family, it will have [[RichesToRags fallen on hard times]] and be broke and destitute by the time the game actually starts.''
#'''[[AnimeHair The Higher The Hair, The Closer To God]] ([[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII Cloud]] Rule):''' ''The more [[ImprobableHairstyle outrageous his hairstyle]], the more important a male character is to the story.''
#'''[[VideoGame/{{Thief}} Garrett's]] [[KleptomaniacHero Principle]]:''' ''Let's not mince words: you're a thief. [[SwissCheeseSecurity You can walk into just about anybody's house]] [[YourDoorWasOpen like the door wasn't even locked.]] You just barge right in and start looking for stuff. Anything you can find that's not nailed down ([[Webcomic/EightBitTheater or on fire]]) is yours to keep. You will often walk into perfect strangers' houses, lift their precious artifacts, and then chat with them like you were old neighbors as you head back out with their family heirlooms under your arm. Unfortunately, [[ShopliftAndDie this never works in stores]].''
#'''Hey, I Know You!''' You will accumulate at least three of these obligatory party members:
** [[RebelliousPrincess The spunky princess]] who is rebelling against her royal parent and is in love with the hero.
** [[MysticalWaif The demure, soft-spoken female mage]] and [[TheMedic healing]] [[WhiteMagicianGirl magic specialist]] who is not only in love with the hero, but is also the [[LastOfHisKind last survivor of an ancient race.]]
** The tough-as-nails [[ActionGirl female warrior]] who is ''not'' in love with the hero (note that this is the only female character in the game who is not in love with the hero and will therefore be indicated as such by having a spectacular scar, a missing eye, [[ArtificialLimbs cyborg limbs]] or some other physical deformity -- see The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly Rule.)
** The [[{{Bishonen}} achingly beautiful]] {{goth}}y swordsman [[TroubledButCute who is riven by inner tragedy.]]
** [[TheBigGuy The big, tough, angry guy]] who, deep down, [[GentleGiant is a total softy]].
** The hero's [[TheLancer best friend]], who is actually [[EnsembleDarkhorse much cooler than the hero]].
** The [[IneffectualLoner grim, selfish mercenary]] who over the course of the game learns [[ThePowerOfFriendship what it means to really care about other people]].
** The character who is actually a [[TheMole spy for the bad guys]] but will instantly [[DefeatMeansFriendship switch to]] [[ReverseMole your side]] when you find out about it.
** The [[OptionalPartyMember weird bonus character]] who requires a bizarre series of {{side quest}}s to [[MagikarpPower make them effective]] (with the ultimate result that [[TierInducedScrappy no player ever uses this character if it can be avoided]].)
** The [[TeamPet nauseatingly cute mascot]] who is [[JokeCharacter useless in all battles]].
#'''Hey, I Know You, Too!''' You will also confront/be confronted by at least three of these obligatory antagonists:
** The amazingly good-looking and amazingly evil [[LongHairedPrettyBoy long-haired prettyboy]] who [[BigBad may]] or [[TheDragon may not]] be the ultimate villain.
** The villain's loyal [[TheDragon right-hand man]], who comes in two versions: [[TheImp humorously incompetent]] or [[ImplacableMan annoyingly persistent]].
** The villain's [[FemmeFatale attractive female henchman]], who is the strongest and most competent soldier in the army but always lets the party escape because she's, yes, [[MadScientistsBeautifulDaughter fallen in love with the hero]].
** Your former ally who [[NotQuiteDead supposedly "died"]] and was forgotten about, until much later in the game when he/she [[ForgottenFriendNewFoe shows up again on the villain's side]] and full of [[{{Wangst}} bitterness]].
** The [[WorthyOpponent irritatingly honorable foe]] whom you never get to kill because, upon discovering the true nature of his superiors, he either [[RedemptionEqualsDeath nobly sacrifices himself]] or [[DefectorFromDecadence joins your party]].
** The [[MonsterClown insane clown]] or [[VillainousHarlequin jester]] who will turn out to be [[ThatOneBoss surprisingly difficult to subdue]].
** The MadScientist who likes [[EvilutionaryBiologist creating mutated creatures and powerful weapons 'cause it's fun]] (and also handy if uninvited adventurers show up.)
** The [[KillerRabbit adorably cute li'l creature]] or [[EnfantTerrible 6-year-old child]] who fights you and, inexplicably, [[SurpriseDifficulty kicks your butt]] [[HopelessBossFight time after time]].
#'''Hey, I Know You, Three!''' Furthermore, expect to encounter most of the following obligatory non-player characters ([=NPCs=]):
** [[WelcomeToCorneria The townsperson or crewmember who wanders aimlessly in circles and never quite gets where he is going.]]
** [[TheGuardsMustBeCrazy Hilariously incompetent or cowardly soldiers.]]
** The NPC who has a crush on another NPC and [[CanNotSpitItOut can't quite work up the nerve to tell him or her]], so instead tells every other person who wanders by about it at great length.
** [[ChildrenAreInnocent A group of small children playing hide-and-seek]].
** The [[ReasonableAuthorityFigure wise and noble captain/king/high priest]].
** The wise and noble captain/king/high priest's [[EvilChancellor splutteringly evil second-in-command]]. Nobody, including the hero, will notice the second's constant, crazed scheming until the moment when he [[EtTuBrute betrays everyone to the forces of badness]].
** The [[{{Workaholic}} NPC who is obsessed with his completely mundane job]] and witters on endlessly about how great it is. He's so thrilled by it that he wants to share it with everyone he sees, so given a quarter of a chance he'll make you do his job for him.
** The (adult) NPC who has [[SeriousBusiness nothing better to do than play kids' games with passersby]].
** The group of young women who have formed a [[InstantFanClub scarily obsessive fan club]] for one of your female party members.
#'''[[VideoGame/ChronoTrigger Crono's]] Complaint:''' ''[[HeroicMime The less the main character talks]], the more words are put into his mouth, and therefore the more trouble he gets into through no fault of his own.''
#'''[[HeroesPreferSwords "Silly]] [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII Squall]][[HeroesPreferSwords , bringing a sword to a gunfight..."]]''' ''No matter what timeframe the game is set in -- past, present, or future -- the main hero and his antagonist will both use a [[CoolSword sword]] for a weapon. (Therefore, you can identify your antagonist pretty easily right from the start of the game just by looking for the other guy who uses a sword.) These swords will be [[GunsAreWorthless far more powerful than any gun]] and often capable of [[SwordBeam distance attacks]].'' (See also KatanasAreJustBetter)
#'''[[UnusuallyUninterestingSight Just Nod Your Head And Smile]]:''' ''And no matter how big that [[{{BFS}} big-ass sword]] is, you won't stand out in a crowd. Nobody ever crosses the street to avoid you or seems to be especially shocked or alarmed when a heavily armed gang bursts into their house during dinner, rummages through their possessions, and demands to know if they've seen a [[BlackCloak black-caped man]]. [[SeenItAll People can get used to anything, apparently]].''
#'''[[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII Aeris's]] Corollary:''' ''Just as the main male character will always use a sword or a variant of a sword, the main female character will always use a [[SimpleStaff rod or a staff of some sort]].''
#'''MacGyver [[ImprobableWeaponUser Rule]]:''' ''Other than for the protagonists, your choice of weapons is not limited to the prosaic guns, clubs, or swords. Given appropriate skills, you can cut a bloody swath across the continent using [[WeaponsKitchenSink gloves, combs, umbrellas, megaphones, dictionaries, sketching tablets]] -- you name it, you can kill with it. Even better, no matter how surreal your choice of armament, every store you pass will just happen to [[SortingAlgorithmOfWeaponEffectiveness stock an even better model of it]] for a very reasonable price. Who else is running around the world killing people with an [[ParasolOfPain umbrella]]?''
#'''O Brother, Where Art Thou? ([[VideoGame/GrandiaII Melfice]] Rule):''' ''If the male hero has an older sibling, the sibling will [[AloofBigBrother also be male]] and will [[CainAndAbel turn out to be one of the major villains]]. If the hero has a younger sibling, the sibling will be female and will be [[DamselInDistress kidnapped]] and [[HostageForMacGuffin held hostage]] by the villains.'' (A special version of the TheoryOfNarrativeCausality; related to LukeIAmYourFather and LongLostSibling)
#'''[[WeBuyAnything Capitalism Is A Harsh Mistress]]:''' ''Once you sell something to a shopkeeper, he instantly sells it to somebody else and you will [[LostForever never see the item again]] no matter what.'' (Not related to AdamSmithHatesYourGuts... but he does, and would like you to know that.)
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