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Console RPG Clichés 73 to 96
Back to Console RPG Cliches 49 To 72
- Last Law of Travel (Big Joe Rule): As has been described, you must endure great trials just to get from town to town: locating different vehicles, operating ancient transport mechanisms, evading military blockades, the list goes on. But that's just you. Every other character in the game seems to have no trouble getting to any place in the world on a moment's notice.
- If You Meet The Buddha In A Random Encounter, Kill Him! When you're out wandering around the world, you must kill everything you meet. People, animals, plants, insects, fire hydrants, small cottages, anything and everything is just plain out to get you. It may be because of your rampant kleptomania (see Garrett's Principle.)
- Law of Numbers: There will be several items or effects which depend on the numerical value of your hit points, level, etc., which makes no sense unless the characters can see all the numbers in their world and find it perfectly normal that a spell only works on a monster whose level is a multiple of 5. (related, in a way, to Statistically Speaking)
- Magical Inequality Theorem: In the course of your travels you may find useful-sounding spells such as Petrify, Silence, and Instant Death. However, you will end up never using these spells in combat because a) all ordinary enemies can be killed with a few normal attacks, making fancy attacks unnecessary, b) all bosses and other stronger-than-average monsters are immune to those effects so there's no point in using them for long fights where they'd actually come in handy, and c) the spells usually don't work anyway.
- Magical Inequality Corollary: When the enemy uses Petrify, Silence, Instant Death, et cetera spells on you, they will be effective 100% of the time.
- Pretty Line Syndrome (or, Crash Bandicoot: The RPG): Seen in most modern RPGs. The key to completing your quest is to walk forward in a straight line for fifty hours, stopping along the way to look at, kill, and/or have meaningful conversations with various pretty things.
- Xenobiology Rule: The predatory species of the world will include representatives of all of the following: giant spiders, giant scorpions, giant snakes, giant beetles, wolves, squid, fish that float in midair, gargoyles, golems, carnivorous plants, chimeras, griffins, cockatrices, hydras, minotaurs, burrowing things with big claws, things that can paralyze you, things that can put you to sleep, things that can petrify you, at least twenty different creatures with poisonous tentacles, and dragons. Always dragons.
- Friendly Fire Principle (or, Final Fantasy Tactics Rule): Any attack that can target both allies and enemies will hit half of your allies and none of your enemies.
- Dungeon Design 101: There's always goodies hidden behind the waterfall.
- Dungeon Design 102: When you are confronted by two doors, the closer one will be locked and its key will be hidden behind the farther-away one.
- Dungeon Design 103 (or, Wallpaper Warning): Your progress through a dungeon will be indicated by a sudden change in decor: different wall color, different torches on the wall, et cetera.
- Dungeon Design 201 (or, The Interior Decorators Anticipated Your Out-Of-Body Experience): Most dungeons will include "hidden" passages which are nearly impossible to see from a bird's-eye view, yet would be glaringly obvious from the party's perspective.
- Dungeon Design 301: All "puzzles" in RPG dungeons can be sorted into one of the following types:
- Wait! That Was A Load-Bearing Boss! Defeating a dungeon's boss creature will frequently cause the dungeon to collapse, which is nonsensical but does make for thrilling escape scenes.
- Supply and Demand Axiom: Killing a powerful enemy will usually yield an item or weapon that would've been extremely useful if you had gotten it before killing that enemy.
- Edison's Lament: No switch is ever in the right position.
- Well, That About Wraps It Up For God: All major deities, assuming they actually exist and weren't just made up by the Church to delude its followers, benevolent but useless are in reality malevolent and will have to be destroyed. The only exception to this rule is the four nature spirits who have preserved the land since time immemorial, but now due to the folly of mankind have lost virtually all of their power and need you to accomplish some ludicrous task to save them.
- Guy in the Street Rule: No matter how fast you travel, rumors of world events always travel faster. When you get to anywhere, the people on the street are already talking about where you've been. The stories of your past experiences will spread even if no witnesses were around to see them.
- Wherever You Go, There They Are: Wherever the characters go, the villains can always find them. Chances are they're asking the guy in the street (see above). But don't worry — despite being able to find the characters with ease anytime they want to, the bad guys never get rid of them by simply blowing up the tent or hotel they're spending the night in. (Just think of it: the screen dims, the peaceful going-to-sleep-now music plays, then BOOM! Game Over!)
- Figurehead Rule: Whenever someone asks you a question to decide what to do, it's just to be polite. He or she will ask the question again and again until you answer "correctly."
- Puddin' Tame Rule: The average passer-by will always say the same thing no matter how many times you talk to them, and they certainly won't clarify any of the vaguely worded warnings or cryptic half-sentences they threw at you the previous time.
- Franklin Covey Was Wrong, Wrong, Wrong: Sticking to the task at hand and going directly from place to place and goal to goal is always a bad idea, and may even prevent you from being able to finish the game. It's by dawdling around, completing side quests and giving money to derelicts that you come into your real power.
- Selective Invulnerability Principle: RPG characters are immune from such mundane hazards as intense heat, freezing cold, or poison gas... except when they're suddenly not. Surprise!
- I'm the NRA (Billy Lee Black Rule): Opposition to gun control is probably the only thing you could get all RPG characters to agree upon. Even deep religious faith and heartfelt pacifism can't compete with the allure of guns.