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And Your Reward Is Parenthood

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People have children. This is an obvious fact of Real Life—you wouldn't be here reading this if it wasn't, after all. And every once in a while, this aspect of reality will leak into video games, especially in the Life Simulation Game and Raising Sim genres.

Sometimes, as part of your reward for completing certain tasks in the game, your player character is given their very own bundle of joy to raise — they become a parent. Very often, having children is the ultimate end reward for completing a Romance Sidequest — the player and their chosen Love Interest get Babies Ever After. However, this isn't always the case. Sometimes, the player is given the opportunity to adopt a Heartwarming Orphan (whether or not they have a love interest), or magic is used to give the player character a Wonder Child. These two options can be useful for giving the player character a child who's already old enough to walk and talk, skipping the "baby stage" entirely, and is useful for making the child more of a character. What matters most is that having a child is something that happens to the player over the course of the game — they don't start out as a parent.

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What having children actually does for the player varies from game to game, though they tend to do one or more of the following things:

  • Romance Endgame. In some games, having children is the reward for completing a specific sidequest (again, very often a Romance Sidequest). They may largely be a Cosmetic Award, offering little to no gameplay benefit. However, they may still have Relationship Values and be characters the player can interact with.
  • New Party Members. In some games, having a child is a way of unlocking a new party member or Assist Character. Very often, the child will inherit abilities based on which Love Interest your player character hooked up with. This has some similarities with Creature-Breeding Mechanic, but usually, games that allow your Player Character to have children will only allow them to have a small, limited number of children. A Creature-Breeding Mechanic can usually be done as much as the player likes.
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  • Raising Sim Elements. In some games, raising a child is an entire mechanic to itself—like a Virtual Pet, but with kids. You must take care of their needs and wants, and can influence their abilities and personality.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Farm Life Sim 

    Other Life Sim 
  • In The Sims, Sims can add children to their families if you're so inclined, and you can help them raise their children. In The Sims, there was no aging; child Sims were children forever. There were also no biological families; all children were adopted. Starting in The Sims 2, Sims aged; your Sims could now get pregnant, and children would eventually grow up and become adult Sims themselves.
  • In World Neverland: Daily Life in Elnea Kingdom, you can have up to six children with your spouse, providing you have a big enough house and are lucky enough in conceiving. Having children is important, as you'll need to pass down to one of your children eventually in order to keep playing the game, as your original player character will eventually grow old and die. Your children will ask you for special favors no other characters will, they have special dialogue for playing with them on festivals, and they'll sometimes ask for help with their schoolwork.
  • In Life: the Game, there's one level where you have to help your wife give birth to quintuplets. In the next level, they've grown up and you're babysitting your grandchildren.
  • In Cattails, you can have up to four kittens with your mate. The number of kittens you have is dependent on how many gifts you give your mate, so you'll need to be very nice to them if you want a large family.
  • In Elona, you can marry and have a baby with any one of your party members. This is referred to as "making a gene."
  • WolfQuest: After completing the first chapter, Amethyst Mountain, you're taken to Slough Creek with your NPC mate, where, after finding and choosing a suitable den, you will have up to four pups that you have to protect and feed.
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    Turn-Based Strategy 
  • Fire Emblem:
    • Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War introduced child mechanics to the series, where almost all female units could be paired with a male one by raising their Relationship Values. If paired up, the girls would then have two children each before the Time Skip half-way through the game, and when the story picks up again 17 years later, these now grown-up children pick up their parents' swords (literally) and continue their fight. If any of the girls aren't paired up by a certain point, their childrennote  are replaced in the second half of the game by considerably weaker, but Suspiciously Similar Substitutes. Needless to say, this system served as a major inspiration and a prototype for Awakening.
    • In Fire Emblem Awakening, after you pair your main character up with their chosen Love Interest, you'll have a child... in the form of a Kid from the Future who comes back in time to assist you. They inherit abilities based on who your Love Interest is and become important party members. Your other party members can also have Kid from the Future visitors after you pair them up as well.
    • Fire Emblem Fates, inherits its child mechanics pretty much wholesale from its predecessor Awakening, though this time it is justified using "Deep realms", pocket universes where time moves signifigantly faster.
  • The core premise of the Agarest Senki series. You romance one of 3 potential brides who will afterwards produce the child who will carry on your legacy in the next generation.
  • As befit a feudal ruler, in Crusader Kings rulers have to direct the education of their children and their wards.

    Eastern RPG 
  • Conception: Please Give Birth To My Child and its sequel Conception II: Children of the Seven Stars is about creating magical children using the energies of your main character and his various Love Interest characters in order to become party members. You form a party of yourself backed up by several "Star Children," and their abilities are based on which love interest helped you magically create them. They're stronger the higher your Relationship Values with each girl.
  • In Dragon Quest V, by the end of the game, your character has kids who join Mom and Dad in the adventuring party, but the player has no input in how they grow up except for them having different hair colors depending on which girl you choose to marry.
  • Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers:
    • Completing jobs with a reward marked as "???" can give you a Pokémon Egg that will join your team once it hatches.
    • After completing the "Surrounded Sea" for the first time, the player will find an egg that hatches into a Manaphy.

    Western RPG 

    MMORPG 
  • Prius Online, also known as Arcane Saga Online, was a discontinued Korean MMORPG where virtual couples who met online could give birth or adopt a virtual child.
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