Console RPG Cliches 49 To 72
Back to Console RPG Clichés 25 to 48
- Maginot Line Rule: It is easy to tell which city/nation is the next conquest of the Evil Empire: its streets are filled with citizens who brag that the Empire would never dare attack them, and would be easily defeated if it tried. (This smug nationalism always fails to take into account the Empire's new superweapon.)
- Short Attention Span Principle: All bookshelves contain exactly one book, which only has enough text on it to fill up half a page.
- Planet of the Apes Rule: All cities and countries have ancestors that were wiped out by their technological advances.
- Insomnia Rule: A "free stay at the inn" is never really free. Expect to be woken up in the middle of the night for a mandatory plot event.
- The Bling-Bling Thing (Lemina Rule): No matter how much money and treasure you acquire, the greedy member of your party will never be satisfied and won't stop griping about the sorry state of the party's finances.
- I Don't Like Gears Or Fighting: There are always giant robots. Always.
- Houdini's Postulate: Anyone, whether they are in the player's party or not, who is placed in any kind of prison, fortress, cell, or detention block will escape immediately. Party members will be freed either by a small child they just happened to befriend earlier in the day or by an unexpected disaster that overcomes the enemy base, NPCs will be freed by the released party members, and villains will break out all by themselves because they're such badasses. Once a person has escaped from jail, no attempt will be made by the police to recapture them in the future.
- Zeigfried's Contradiction: Just because someone is weird doesn't mean they're important.
- Natural Monopoly Rule: No city will have more than two shops, unless it is crucial to the story that there be a hundred vendors which you must visit in order (see You Always Travel In The Right Circles.) All of these shops will sell the same goods for the same price.
- But They Don't Take American Express: Every merchant in the world — even those living in far-off villages or hidden floating cities cut off from the outside world for centuries, even those who speak different languages or are of an entirely different species — accepts the same currency.
- Apathy Principle: Your group is the only bunch of people trying to save the world. All other would-be heroes will either join your party or else turn out to be cowards and/or con men. (see also Apathetic Citizens)
- The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly Rule: a) Any male character who is ugly, malformed, or misshapen is either evil or so moral, spiritual, and/or wise that it's a wonder no one's proposed him for sainthood yet. b) Any male character who has a physical disfiguration that doesn't seem to impede him (i.e. a prominent scar across the face or a bad eye) is evil, unless he is the male lead, since scars are cool and no other good guy can be as cool as the hero. An exception is made for characters who are clearly ancient, and therefore automatically not as cool as the young hero. c) Any female character who is ugly, malformed, misshapen, or physically disfigured is evil, since all good female characters are there to be potentially seduced by the male lead — see Know Your Audience.
- Henchman Quota (Nana, Saki, and Mio Rule): One of your antagonists will have three lovably incompetent stooges whom you fight over and over again. Although they're trusted with their boss's most important plans and equipment, they will screw up repeatedly, argue incessantly among themselves, blab secret information, and generally only come out victorious when their job was to be a diversion or a delaying tactic. A high point of the game will come when the True Villain reveals himself and you're able to convince the stooges you're all on the same side. They won't help you out any more successfully than they helped the antagonist, but at least you won't have to fight them any more.
- Thousand Year Rule: The Ancient Evil returns to savage the land every thousand years on the dot, and the last time it showed up was just about 999.9875 years ago. Despite their best efforts, heroes of the past were never able to do more than seal the Evil away again for the future to deal with (which brings up the question of just how exactly does this "sealing away" work anyway, but never mind.) The good news is that this time, the Evil will get destroyed permanently. The bad news is that you're the one who's going to have to do it.
- Principle of Narrative Efficiency: If the main villain (or the enemy you've been trying to kill for most of the game before he summons the real final villain) was ever defeated in the past by another group of adventurers, one of them will secretly be in your party and one of them will be the hero's father.
- Ayn Rand's Revenge: Outside the major cities, there is no government whatsoever. Of course, perhaps that explains why it's so difficult and dangerous to get anywhere outside the major cities. (Related to Ghibli Hills)
- First Law of Travel: Anything can become a vehicle — castles, cities, military academies, you name it — so do not be alarmed when the stones of the ancient fortress you are visiting shake underfoot and the whole thing lifts off into the sky. As a corollary, anything is capable of flight if it would be cool, aeronautics or even basic physics be damned.
- Second Law of Travel: There will be only one of any non-trivial type of vehicle in the entire world. Thus, only one ocean-capable steamboat, only one airship, and so forth. Massive facilities will have been constructed all over the world to service this one vehicle.
- Third Law of Travel: The only way to travel by land between different areas of a continent will always be through a single narrow pass in a range of otherwise impenetrable mountains. Usually a palace or monastery will have been constructed in the pass, entirely filling it, so that all intracontinental traffic is apparently required to abandon their vehicles and go on foot up stairs and through the barracks, library and throne room to get to the other side. This may explain why most people just stay home. (In some cases a cave or underground tunnel may be substituted for the palace or monastery, but it will still be just as inconvenient with the added bonuses of cave-ins and nonsensical elevator puzzles.)
- Fourth Law of Travel: Three out of every four vehicles you ride on will eventually sink, derail or crash in some spectacular manner.
- Fifth Law of Travel: All vehicles can be driven or piloted by anyone. The main character just needs to find out where the bridge or steering wheel is, as he already knows all of the controls.
- Sixth Law of Travel: Nobody gets to own a cooler ride than you. If you ever do see a cooler vehicle than the one you've got now, at some point before the end of the game you will either take over this vehicle, get something even bigger and better, or else see it destroyed in a glorious blaze.
- Seventh Law of Travel: When on a voyage to another continent, the journey will last only as long as it takes you to talk to all the other passengers and the captain.
- Eighth Law of Travel: There are no shortcuts, ever — unless you are forced to take them, in which case they will be much longer and more dangerous than your original route.
Forward to Console RPG Clichés 73 to 96
Return to The Grand List of Console Role Playing Game Clichés