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 Post subject: Re: Sad games
PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, '14, 9:36 pm 
I have to agree, Aero. I think there's a difference between a sad scene in a game and sad game. For me, at least, the game has to conclude in a sad way, or be sad most of the way through to be a 'sad game'. The Last of Us hits both categories for sure.

Also, at least for me, Sarah's death in The Last of Us is now the defining death scene in gaming. Youtube it - will not post link as there is strong language. Artfully done, in every way imaginable.

Last edited by Wolf Bird on Tue Sep 16, '14, 9:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

 Post subject: Re: Sad games
PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, '14, 9:52 pm 
Good point, Aeroprism. I do think FF VI is a genuinely sad game, though, I mean, the first half is balanced enough, even given the horrific things that seem to happen to Terra, and all the atrocities Kefka commits, but the second half is the most depressing, hopeless scenario I can remember seeing in a game. Just finding all the characters lost and searching for meaning in their lives is pretty intense to me.

I definitely agree about Illusion of Gaia, too, a very surprisingly bittersweet, kind of wistful game, very dark, eerie vibe in parts of it.

 Post subject: Re: Sad games
PostPosted: Thu Dec 4, '14, 2:34 pm 
Phantasy Star II, by far.
The game is just riddled with despair, and for anyone playing it for the first time, it will be an experience because of it's difficulty level for a first time player.
Phantasy Star II spoilers below.

But as far as story, it really is a bleak experience.
Talk about a day at work gone bad.
Granted stories in RPGs back then weren't as well fleshed out as common games today.
Despite less text from the characters, I found Nei's death much worse than Aerith's from FF7.
Thematically, I have yet to find a game with as bleak of a storyline.
Game starts off with Hero who has constant nightmares, then he goes to work to be sent on mission to investigate murderous biomonsters roaming the countryside.
Along the way, he has to rescue a girl who was held captive for ransom, and whose father resorted to murder to pay said ransom.
Kidnappers of girl are found killed in their own hideout by freak biomonsters.
Rescued girl reunites with father, only for father to murder her since he didnt recognise her.
Hero and his housemate adopted sister, who was an outcast from society due to being bioengineered and looking strange, embark to figure out what caused biomonsters.
Biomonsters attack them hundreds of times.
Girl finds out her evil biologic sister, has created biomonsters to kill people she loathes. Evil sister kills her biologic sister, the Hero's adopted sister.
Hero cries. Defeats Evil-sister, then he stops monster production.
After that we learn that the artificial irrigation system has caused massive ecologic flood emergency.
Also, his very government, has warrants for his arrest regarding anarchy and terrorism, and sends hundreds of robots to capture him.
Meanwhile, Hero attempts to stop flooding, only to then be arrested by the government he works for, without explanation, is accused to anarchist crimes, and is sentenced to death without trial.
Taken to artificial Satellite to await death, Hero passes out (or dies,) only to be rescued by Space Pirate, who tells him that the Satellite which they were on, crashed into his race's native original planet Palm, destroying the planet.
Hero finds out he must enlist help from an Anarchist on the 3rd distant planet, made of almost all ice and harsh to live on.
Space Pirate tells him expatriate Anarchist may be able to fix his problem of being a fugitive on the run from the government.
But he has no spaceship and space travel was outlawed 10 years ago.
Former Boss gives him last government spaceship, finally something goes right for Hero.
We also learn that, after talking to the supposed anarchist on the 3rd planet, apparently our Hero in addition to having a very bad day/days, has also had a bad life:
He was orphaned at age of 10 after his parents were killed in spaceship accident.
Anarchist tells hero the only option is to fight, and he must collect an arsenal of weapons and armour.
After that daunting task, Anarchist sends him to strange eerie spaceship in outer space, which our Hero had no idea existed.
Hero is only given vague information from the expatriate wizard man accused to anarchy.
He is told only that the enemy which controlled government and corrupted the solar system Super-computer, is on the spaceship, and must be vanquished.
Hero makes way to what he thinks is the enemy, a literal physical personification of evil, who is strong, difficult, and even corrupts Hero's team-mates.
Hero wins battle with evil supernatural entity. But wait, there is more.
Hero finds that the Solar system Super-computer itself is on spaceship, apparently corrupted by evil entity.
Hero has no choice but to defeat and shut down evil Super-computer, to save the solar system.
With no more Super-computer existing after it's defeat, all electricity, environmental, and planet sustaining capabilities shut off.
This caused his home planet of Mota, a former desert planet turned paradise, to hasten its return to harsh desert.
Also as a result, many of Algol's population dies. 90% death toll according to the Compendium.
Hero remains optimistic having defeated evil entity and evil Super-computer, and is eager to return home to help his planet.
Hero is then told by expatriate Anarchist Wizard from Ice planet Dezo, that Hero and party "cannot return."
That there is another enemy there in addition to the defeated evil entity and evil Super-computer.
Hero finds on spaceship are hundreds of corrupt, greedy, debased humans, who had the intention all along to bring the solar system into complacency, in order to ultimately destroy it and the 2 remaining planets, just as they did to former planet Palm.
Being outnumbered several hundred humans compared to Hero's party of 7 people, Hero realises exactly what it meant that he "cannot return," ultimately martyring himself and team to destroy the hundreds corrupt humans who started attacking his party.

There is absolutely no positive note in this nihilistic game's story.
Its a tragic, bleak, and very sad tale.

Last edited by Zio_Falz on Fri Dec 5, '14, 2:21 am, edited 3 times in total.

 Post subject: Re: Sad games
PostPosted: Thu Dec 4, '14, 3:01 pm 
When I read the topic, I thought of Crisis Core and Phantasy Star II, but they have already been mentioned.

Another game I would like to add to the list is Dragon Quest VII. It does have many comedy moments, but no one can deny the stories in each visited town get from sad to depressing. Even after one of the main goals in the game is achieved (the revival of a very important person), things go wrong.

Even though the ending is happy, there is a bittersweet moment in it, when we are reminded that a friend of the hero, whom he will never see again, has a happy life on his own.

 Post subject: Re: Sad games
PostPosted: Fri Dec 5, '14, 3:05 pm 
I don't agree that PS2 is a sad game, simply because there is next to no narrative.

Sure, what happens to Rolf and Nei is really not fun, but the game never, ever gives you any reason to actually care for them. They have about ten lines of text combined through the whole game.

Don't get me wrong, the game IS awesome and I will forever love it to death, but the narrative is too weak and the characters are hardly more than a sprite and some stats.

Also, dude, paragraphs. Have pity on our eyes ;-)

 Post subject: Re: Sad games
PostPosted: Fri Dec 5, '14, 5:40 pm 
Exactly. What's more lovely than a minimalist RPG that cuts to the point?

 Post subject: Re: Sad games
PostPosted: Fri Dec 5, '14, 6:57 pm 
I'm gonna try that with my daughter next time. Sit by her bed and provide her with a story the same way PS2 is brought to us.

"Here's the book honey. It only has images, no words and for every new page you need to grind one hour. Figure the story out".

In that case, the story will be sad indeed ;-)

 Post subject: Re: Sad games
PostPosted: Sat Dec 6, '14, 3:37 am 
I think some people may actually care about the characters enough to get sad about PS II's story. And I do think it can have more story if we let ourselves play it with that in mind. Every little bit of info is part of it. What NPCs say helps build it (we just have to get it in pieces), and it even tells us a little more about the characters by the way they react to them and the way we may expect our characters to react to the NPCs.

Example: that boy who asks about the cute girl who was always in the party. He seems to be familiar enough to the hero. He may have seen him quite a few times and heard things about him and his work. He also reacted to Nei in a not-negative way. He also is reminding the hero that what we should see as his sister is gone, and still he has to keep on going doing what he has to do.

With a mix of what is said, what we have to see between the lines and what we may bring out of nowhere, there can be a story, and there can be characters that feel a little more real to us than what we get if we just think of them as the little info from their initial presentation and their description from the hero's house say.

And do that with your daughter (except the grinding for hours just to advance the pages). She may very well surprise you and you will realize that yes, there was a story there (even if you give her totally unrelated pics, I bet she will find the story in them).

 Post subject: Re: Sad games
PostPosted: Sat Dec 6, '14, 3:48 am 
I don't think the lack of script means Phantasy Star II is short on story, but I also don't think the game feels sad. It has vivid colors, upbeat music, and if there wasn't at least a glimmer of hope as you played along, you wouldn't be very motivated to continue playing. In the end, rather than give in to defeat, Rolf's team is mad as hell and ready to fight to the bitter end. The only cutscene where the characters express any sort of opinion, the final cutscene, is all about vengefully destroying Noah.

Phantasy Star II is depressing on paper, but the game is not presented as depressing.

Last edited by Tanith on Sat Dec 6, '14, 3:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

 Post subject: Re: Sad games
PostPosted: Sat Dec 6, '14, 3:55 am 
Yes, she will. Kids are known to do that. My whole point was: are we discussing sad stories or are we discussing our own ability to make sad stories after being handed a few silent images?

Cause I can give you a sad story based on two gravel chunks and a water pond if you like. The story will be sad because I made it sad. Without me, it isn't much of a story. Just like PS2; you had to make a deliberate effort to make it sad. I'm talking about games that deliver tear wrenching tales whether you want it or not.

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