The Philosophy, Art, and Social Influence of games
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J T
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Re: Death

by J T Fri Sep 27, 2013 1:52 pm

dsheinem wrote:Resurrection!

Lol. I forgets the talkings I have say before.
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Valkyrie-Favor
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Re: Death

by Valkyrie-Favor Fri Sep 27, 2013 5:25 pm

I can talk about my favorite games now. The Valkyrie Profile series is always concerned with death and the afterlife.

In the first game, you play as Lenneth, Chooser of the Slain, and your mission is to build an army to fight on the day of Ragnarok. You fly around searching for human souls who have died honorably, contract with them, train them, and then send them to Valhalla. The strength of your army can change the game's ending.

Before you make the contract, though, you get to see how and why they died and have a conversation about it. Each vignette is pretty well done and you'll end up caring for each of your einjerjar individually. Some of the mortals you interact with have interesting comments on what it means to be human. During battle, if the goddess is knocked out, the einjerjar will vanish after three turns. Little things like that are constantly reminding you about the precarious position their souls are in. Even the relationship between body and soul is explored, for both humans and for gods.

The second game uses the undead, the life force, and the concept of body and soul explored in the last game as major plot points. You still collect einjerjar, by finding relics that were precious to the warrior who owned them. Because you play as a rebel against the gods, you don't have to send them to Valhalla if you don't want to. Some of them are fleshed out in cutscenes, while others are just there. No flashbacks though.

The third game is completely different from the others. Not a masterpiece, but still interesting. You play as a human in this one, a boy whose father was killed and then made Lenneth's einjerjar. You die right away in this game, but Hel decides to resurrect you if you get revenge on Lenneth. You have to collect "sin" to gain power, and there are two ways. One is to overkill your enemies, the other is to murder your friends. The ending changes depending on how much sin you have and how many of your friends are still alive.


A few others:
Knights in the Nightmare - You and all your knights are ghosts, and the knights need you to active them before they can act.
Shin Megami Tensei IV - When you die, you can pay the ferrymen under the table to come back. Otherwise it's game over.
Ace Combat 5 - No special mechanics, but the narrative gives a character death one of the best treatments in games.
Narcissu - a visual novel about a terminally ill girl going on a road trip in a stolen car.
Tsun tsun dere tsun dere tsun tsun~ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . UPDATED trade list
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noiseredux wrote:Playing on your GBA/PSP you can be watching a movie/TV show/playing another RPG on your TV and then just look at the screen every once in a while
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Gunstar Green
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Re: Death

by Gunstar Green Fri Sep 27, 2013 6:57 pm

BogusMeatFactory wrote:
Gunstar Green wrote:I know I talk about them a lot but the Wing Commander games really had an effect on me as a kid. It was real war and if your buddies died they weren't coming back. The later games when the story became more complex had scripted deaths but they had a bigger impact because the characters were more fleshed out.

Some of the deaths and sacrifices in Wing Commander 2 through 4 really cemented that series in my young mind as something totally different from what I was used to in video games.


I am glad you bring this series up as it is one that everyone always overlooks (I don't totally blame them though since the last one came out sooooo long ago). You are right, failure wasn't the end either. If you failed a mission, it set you down a different branching path that could ultimately lead you to a bad ending.

Little known fact about Wing Commander 3. Rachel Coriolis, the mechanic in the game... pornstar.



Yep, Ginger Lynn. She was in 4 and Prophecy as well.
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samsonlonghair
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Re: Death

by samsonlonghair Fri Sep 27, 2013 7:20 pm

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Gamerforlife
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Re: Death

by Gamerforlife Fri Sep 27, 2013 7:52 pm

One of my biggest pet peeves has always been the silly way games treat mortality. The fact that video game characters are basically super heroes even if the game's story doesn't support that has always bothered me. Characters get stabbed, shot, etc. with nigh a scratch on them. Look at Soul Calibur or any Uncharted game. However, some games I've played have handled this in ways I've enjoyed.

I love when games actually explain why your character can't die or suffer serious injury. RPGs always take place in worlds with magic and magical potions that can heal any injury. Sci Fi games have advanced armor with personal shielding that can withstand all manner of bullet and lasers. Bioshock has an explanation for how your character is able to respawn from death built into its story. In the Maximo games, you basically have a bargain with death himself. He brings you back when you die because he needs you. Dragon's Crown explains that your characters are part of a guild that is supported by a goddess. She can bring you back from death, and your prayers to her can resurrect other guild members. In the Dishwasher Samurai games, you are some manner of undead being that is never fully explained. So pretty much anything goes in those games. In The Darkness and The Darkness II, Jackie is essentially immortal because when you die, instead of a typical game over screen you'll see The Darkness resurrect Jackie from death.

I also like how some games portray your character's mortality in a realistic way and even show you "knocking on death's door." I loved how in Peter Jackson's King Kong your character had no health bar and was very vulnerable to attacks by the various dinosaurs in the game. One hit from an enemy in that game blurred your vision, distorted the sound, and you could hear NPCs screaming your name like they really were in fear that you were about to die. That game really made me feel MORTAL, because one or two hits could kill me and the audio/visual presentation always made you FEEL like that hit you just took damn near killed you.

Prince of Persia 2008 had a cool mechanic where Elika would always save you from dying using her powers. The idea was for the game to never break immersion with a game over screen. I would like to see more games play around with eliminating game over screens in a way that fits the game's story.

Story wise, I love how To the Moon handled death. The whole game was based around the regrets of a dying man and took you through the memories of his life. It was a very poignant game.

Fire Emblem Awakening also handled death in a great way both in terms of gameplay and story. If you play on the highest difficulty setting, battles feel real. If one of your characters doesn't dodge or defend against an attack, they may very well die, or at least take a serious blow that will sap most of their health and result in your character's stance clearly reflecting that he is seriously hurt. Should a character lose all his or her health, that character literally dies. You can't use them anymore, and any interesting relationships you've watched them develop with other characters becomes moot. You won't get to see how those relationships ultimately play out.
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Hobie-wan
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Re: Death

by Hobie-wan Fri Sep 27, 2013 10:31 pm

Ack wrote:I think the greatest comes from what I consider an otherwise mediocre game, Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story. When faced with defeat at any point in the game, a personification of Death would appear, and Bruce Lee would have to fight it to regain his wind. I appreciate this idea because it gives a literal interpretation of "fighting for one's life," turning a gameplay concept into a character that can be interacted with the same way the rest of the game is.


Prey does something similar. You fight your way back to life.
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ZeroAX
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Re: Death

by ZeroAX Sat Sep 28, 2013 3:27 am

I think the fact that most gamers back in the day believed Aeris could be/will be revived makes a point about how seriously most gamers take in game death.
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BoneSnapDeez wrote:The success of a console is determined by how much I enjoy it.
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BoringSupreez
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Re: Death

by BoringSupreez Sat Sep 28, 2013 4:02 am

Hobie-wan wrote:
Ack wrote:I think the greatest comes from what I consider an otherwise mediocre game, Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story. When faced with defeat at any point in the game, a personification of Death would appear, and Bruce Lee would have to fight it to regain his wind. I appreciate this idea because it gives a literal interpretation of "fighting for one's life," turning a gameplay concept into a character that can be interacted with the same way the rest of the game is.


Prey does something similar. You fight your way back to life.

It made the game too easy though. There was no real punishment for dying.
prfsnl_gmr wrote:There is nothing feigned about it. What I wrote is a display of actual moral superiority.
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Gamerforlife
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Re: Death

by Gamerforlife Sat Sep 28, 2013 5:14 am

How bout Eternal Darkness? This is spoilerish, but....

the story chronicles the deaths of a whole family line of characters by one dark force eventually culminating in a boss battle where all the spirits of your dead ancestors come together to help defeat this evil thing that has plagued your family for centuries.

I loved how each chapter of the story would have you play as character, get attached to them, only to watch them die in the end.

Journey actually feels like a game built around a spiritual journey into heaven with a demonic-like creature mercilessly chasing you the whole way. Also, the game's background story chronicles the death of a civilization as if mirroring your own coming death
RyaNtheSlayA wrote:
Seriously. Screw you Shao Kahn I'm gonna play Animal Crossing.
GigaPepsiMan
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Re: Death

by GigaPepsiMan Sat Sep 28, 2013 1:21 pm

The recent indy game Rogue Legacy played with death in a cool way, basically when your character died the game would do a time skip and the main character would be replaced with their son/daughter. Probably not the first game to do this sort of thing but it's still a cool way to subvert a convention.

I spent some time playing Digimon World on PS1 a while back, the game was a struggle to complete because of how each Digimon you gained would sooner or later die of old age, as you progressed further into the game it became possible to extend your digimons lifespan either by evolving them to higher levels or using special items. Still I think it was a very unique if flawed system which made the game stand out but at the same time bought up a lot of design flaws (the fact that you have to start over means you spend hours grinding).
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