History of Console RPGS

yakumo9275's picture

Gamespot are running an article on the history of Console RPGs.

http://www.gamespot.com/features/vgs/universal/rpg_hs/first.html

Interesting but disappointing, its as if Dragon Quest sprang forth fully formed. Gamespot offer nothing to the reader by way of its parentage.

Many of Dragon Quest's innovations can be found in RPGs today: upgradable weapons and armor, major quests interwoven with minor subquests, hit points and magic points, an incremental spell system, turn-based battles, royalty, chivalry, and really frightening dragons

So yeah, its the first game ever to have magic points.. and the first one ever to have royalty.. and the first one ti have minor subquests!! whoa!

Oh, and Final Fantasy gave us parties... not sure where that idea came from.

Final Fantasy also introduced a new RPG must-have: transportation. Smart adventurers don't trek everywhere on foot;

Yet another first never before in anything else prior to 1987

Not a single mention of even the ports of ultima III to nes/snes/sms/etc

Its long, and I kind of lost interest reading through it.

Comments

Matt Barton
Matt Barton's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/16/2006
Funny

Yeah, it's funny how people tend to live in one world or the other. Console gamers tend to ignore anything that happened on computers and vice versa. I've tried to avoid doing that in my book, actually putting the time in to play the console games and learn as much about them as possible.

The only major innovations I know of that were introduced via console RPGs are the "active time battle" system, anime-style graphics, and an emphasis on linear plots and richly developed (and pre-generated) characters.

It's hard for me to believe how anyone, no matter how dense, couldn't see that Dragon Warrior isn't based on the early Ultima games. I mean, come on.

n/a
Bill Loguidice
Bill Loguidice's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
Vacuum History

Yeah, I despise "vacuum histories". While it's fine that there were firsts for console RPGs taken solely in that context, they didn't develop in a vacuum, obviously, and, especially the Japanese VRPGs, were HEAVILY influenced by Wizardry and Ultima. Even a passing mention or summary of where these games came from or what they were influenced by would have sufficed. And yes, there were plenty of computer ports to console, including going as far back as the port of Gateway to Apshai for the ColecoVision. The NES, Genesis and SNES were rife with 8- and 16-bit CRPG ports.

===================================
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director
Armchair Arcade, Inc.
===================================

n/a
Matt Barton
Matt Barton's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/16/2006
Myopia

Well, to be fair I haven't yet read the article (I probably should to pick up any additional info for my book), but it does get tiring to read these myopic things. I really hate it when I read or see a "history of computers" on TV and see no mention whatsoever of anything but Apple, Dos, and Windows. They really love ignoring Commodore and Atari, to say nothing of the Trash-80 or TI-99 or what have you. I don't expect them to cover really obscure stuff in a brief article or program, but it should at least be mentioned or covered where it's important.

That said, I'm sure that many people will pick up my book, turn to the index, not find Gates of Delirium, and say "THIS GUY DIDN'T DO HIS RESEARCH!!!" lol.

n/a
Bill Loguidice
Bill Loguidice's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
History
Matt Barton wrote:

I really hate it when I read or see a "history of computers" on TV and see no mention whatsoever of anything but Apple, Dos, and Windows. They really love ignoring Commodore and Atari, to say nothing of the Trash-80 or TI-99 or what have you. I don't expect them to cover really obscure stuff in a brief article or program, but it should at least be mentioned or covered where it's important.

I can't even watch most shows like that for that very reason. I know I'm "too informed" and those shows are not for me, but it is odd when, for instance, the best-selling single computer of all-time, the Commodore 64, is not even mentioned in passing. It seems that the only companies worth mentioning are those that didn't go away, namely Apple and Microsoft. Of course videogame histories often mention Atari - they have to - but then gloss over everything else. It's funny too, because I think in writing the book, it's clear that the history of each and every company and system has some fascination and interest to it. Even dropping the name would be enough, just to "set the scene" and make it seem like there was more than one option, even if the one option was dominant.

===================================
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director
Armchair Arcade, Inc.
===================================

n/a
Matt Barton
Matt Barton's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/16/2006
Advertising Budgets
Bill Loguidice wrote:

I can't even watch most shows like that for that very reason. I know I'm "too informed" and those shows are not for me, but it is odd when, for instance, the best-selling single computer of all-time, the Commodore 64, is not even mentioned in passing. It seems that the only companies worth mentioning are those that didn't go away, namely Apple and Microsoft.

The only reason I can think of for not including dead companies is that they're no longer in a position to offer advertising budgets. Apple, Microsoft, and IBM (to some extent, at least) still have a business interest in keeping their names in the public eye. Even Atari (I think it's now owned by infogrames, right?) has some motivation. But Commodore, TI, and Tandy are no longer really in the industry, at least not to the extent where they could help fund or buy ad spots on the programs.

It does seem to be a sad case of history being written by the winners.

n/a
adamantyr
adamantyr's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/28/2007
Credit where credit is due

Even beyond games, I found it interesting that Texas Instruments is rarely acknowledged as the creator of the Integrated Circuit. When I was in tech classes, the books would state who made the vacuum tube, and the transistor, and where. Then when they reached IC they'd just gloss over it. I pointed it out to my professor, who agreed it was odd.

I think the reason is that transistors and vacuum tubes were both developed in academic environments, where the IC was developed by corporations. There's a subtle scorn among academics for advancements made in profit-oriented areas. And the academics write the textbooks. After Jack Kilby (the principal designer of IC's at TI) died a few years ago, they have started mentioning him by name, but again, no mention of the company.

Bill Loguidice
Bill Loguidice's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
Integrated Circuit

That's true, adamantyr. There are weird omissions like that throughout. I'm happy to report that in my research for the book, I definitely acknowledged that important accomplishment in the final text. I think part of the issue is what the person writing the text or doing the research deems important. It's not easy to take your own perceptions or experiences out of the equation to really get down to what should and shouldn't be discussed. Personally, I'm delighted when I find out something new, particularly in regards to US videogame and personal computing history (one example I'll be writing about very soon is the Panasonic JR-200U from 1983, which I didn't even know existed until just a couple of months ago despite closely following everything from that same time period and doing intense research the past couple of years!). Certainly, statements like your post get indexed on the Web and contribute to at least flagging what's important when the next writer comes along to do a history. That's why it's so important to have these discussions.

===================================
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director
Armchair Arcade, Inc.
===================================

n/a
Mark Vergeer
Mark Vergeer's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/16/2006
We all have the right the be inconsistent! We're human!



Editor / Pixelator - Armchair Arcade, Inc.

n/a
yakumo9275
yakumo9275's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/26/2006
The academic vs non-academic

The academic vs non-academic is very prevalant in programming languages too.

-- Stu --

n/a

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.