Role-Playing (RPG)

Description

Role-playing video games are descendants of pen-and-paper RPGs. In those games character development is the main driving gameplay mechanic. Typically one or more characters are created and shaped by the player, then embark on a series of encounters that increase the inventory, wealth, or combat statistics of said character(s).

A role-playing game is not just any game in which the player "plays a role", i.e. controls a character and participates in exploration and narrative. Rather, the defining characteristic of role-playing games is player-dependent character growth. A role-playing game can be seen as such when player-controlled characters become stronger ("levels up") because of the player's actions (usually depending on experience points received for vanquishing enemies), rather than being upgraded automatically as dictated by the storyline. The degree of the player's involvement in shaping the characters may vary considerably: some RPGs offer vast customization possibilities, while others tend to simplify and even nearly automatize the process.

Traditional RPGs have turn-based combat and a fantasy setting (Wizardry series, Ultima series, Roguelikes, etc.). Later, other settings were introduced, and many RPGs - such as Diablo - began favoring action-based combat. In these games, Action is used as a modifier to the RPG genre.

By the late 1980's, the genre has been distinctly split into two main sub-genres: Western and Japanese (sometimes called console-style) RPG. Western RPGs typically favored free exploration and player-made decisions, while Japanese RPGs focused on following a linear story line. Japanese RPGs also tended to retain simple turn-based combat mechanics, and in many cases also random enemy encounters.

In many early Western RPGs the player was given the option to create an entire party of characters (usually up to six). Ultima games introduced the possibility of recruiting initially non-playable characters (NPCs) with their own personalities from the game world into the party. Beginning with Phantasy Star, Japanese RPGs followed this template and even elevated it to their cornerstone mechanic.

Late 1990's saw a "RPG revival" in the West. Fallout greatly expanded the usage of non-combat statistics and moral decisions during gameplay, while Baldur's Gate popularized real-time party-based combat.
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PC-98 (1995) and FM Towns (1995)

Five hundred years have passed since the twelve Angelic Disciples defeated the evil sorceress Guendola. All that remained was her...

PC-98 (1993) and FM Towns (1995)

In Engage Errands, the player commands a unit of angelic fighters. These fighters look like pretty girls, but they are...

Enigma Force Commodore 64 Front Cover

Commodore 64 (1986) and ZX Spectrum (1985)

Following the events depicted in Shadowfire, General Zoff, the republican dictator, has been captured, but he still had time to...

DOS (1995)

The Enigma Of Ashrella is a BBS Door, text based, role-playing game. In the world of Daagrung lies the continent...

Ephemeral Fantasia PlayStation 2 Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2001)

In this game, the player controls Mouse, a silent musician who travels with his talking guitar Pattimo. One day Mouse...

Epic Dungeon Xbox 360 Front Cover

Xbox 360 (2010)

Epic Dungeon is a Rogue variant with a twist. While the gameplay is more or less the same as in...

Epic Inventor Linux Front Cover

Linux (2012), Windows (2012) and Macintosh (2012)

Epic Inventor is a freeware 2D crafting role-playing game set in a fantasy sandbox world. The player takes the role...

Game Boy Advance (2006)

Eragon for the Game Boy Advance is a traditional turn based RPG with a combat system that emphasizes motion and...

Eragon Nintendo DS Front Cover

Nintendo DS (2006)

Eragon for the DS is an over the shoulder action RPG game, unlike the GBA (a traditional RPG) or the...

Erinia Windows Front Cover

Windows (2004)

In the dawn of mankind, many creatures strived for survival. Among these creatures, there were some more powerful than others;...

Atari ST (1988)

Escape is a RPG-like labyrinth game for medium resolution coded in assembler. Your mission is to find the exit of...

Escape from Hell DOS Front Cover

DOS (1990)

For an inexplicable reason, an ordinary guy named Richard was thrown into Hell. Apparently, there has been some mistake, but...

Escape from Paradise City Windows Front Cover

Windows (2007)

Paradise City is a cruel city ruled by a gangster-organisation more powerful than anything the NSA has seen before. Known...

Escape Velocity Macintosh Front Cover

Macintosh (1996)

Escape Velocity is an open-ended, role-playing arcade game set in a future where interstellar space travel has allowed mankind to...

Eschalon: Book I Linux Front Cover

Linux (2007), Windows (2007) and Macintosh (2007)

Eschalon: Book I is the first title in a planned series of independently developed RPG games. According to the developer,...

Eschalon: Book II Linux Front Cover

Linux (2010), Windows (2010) and Macintosh (2010)

The sequel to the 2007 role-playing game Eschalon: Book I takes the player out of familiar surroundings and into a...

Esper Dream NES Front Cover

NES (1987), Wii (2007) and Nintendo 3DS (2013)

Brick Town, a town within a storybook, is in peril! Evil forces have descended upon the land and kidnapped the...

Esper Dream 2: Arata naru Tatakai NES Front Cover

NES (1992)

Far beyond our world, there's a world that resides in the books you read. But the five areas of the...

PC-98 (1993)

The land of Estoria was peaceful for a long time. The Gate of Darkness was securely sealed, with the Guardian...

The Eternal Dagger Commodore 64 Front Cover

Commodore 64 (1988), Apple II (1987) and Atari 8-bit (1987)

This sequel to SSI's Wizard's Crown plays very much like the original. It's a fantasy RPG where you assemble a...

Eternal Eyes PlayStation Front Cover

PlayStation (1999)

Luke and his sister Elena are two orphans, living in a small house in the kingdom of Gross. They have...

Eternal Legacy Android Front Cover

Symbian (2011), Macintosh (2011), iPhone (2010), Android (2010), iPad (2011) and Fire OS (2011)

Eternal Legacy is a 3D role-playing game where the player takes control of Astrian and several companions with their own...

PlayStation 2 (2008)

In the Kingdom of Valdia, the Princess is kidnapped by demonic forces of the Realm of Besek, known as Majin....

Eternal Quest PlayStation 2 Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2004)

Eternal Quest takes the player to the land of swords, sorcery and maze-like underground lairs, in which they must defeat...

Eternal Ring PlayStation 2 Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2000)

Cain Morgan is the adopted son of the leader of the Security Force in the kingdom of Heingaria. One day,...

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