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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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Mimana Iyar Chronicles PSP Front Cover

PSP (2009)

In Mimana Iyar Chronicles, players are cast into the role of Crais Sewell, an anti-social, drunk, unemployed swordsman. As he...

PC-98 (1995)

Once upon a time, there was harmony and balance in the world. Four kingdoms of humans have watched over the...

Windows (2009)

Mines of Morgoth has a typical minimal plot for this type of game: killing the big bad guy at the...

Macintosh (1992)

Minotaur: The Labyrinths of Crete was one of Bungie's very earliest games developed, and even in 1992 they showed their...

Miracle Warriors: Seal of the Dark Lord SEGA Master System Front Cover

NES (1987), SEGA Master System (1987), MSX (1987), Sharp X1 (1986) and FM-7 (1986)

In Miracle Warriors: Seal of the Dark Lord, you have been asked to recover the Golden Seal which is being...

Miraculum: The Last Revelation PC-FX Front Cover

PC-FX (1996)

In the world of Miraculum, there lived a powerful king named Siegwald. But his power was not enough for him,...

MSX (1992) and PC-98 (1992)

It happened long time ago, when mankind possessed the secrets of magic. One time, when a comet was approaching the...

PC-98 (1994)

The sequel to Mirage is set in the same world and features some recurrent characters, although the protagonist and the...

PC-88 (1985), PC-98 (1986) and Sharp X1 (1986)

The year is 720 of the Galactic Era. Humans have ventured into deep space and found they were not alone...

Windows (2008)

The Wizard of Life has abducted our hero to a far-off and strange distant land, where he must determine how...

PC-98 (1995)

In the end of 21st century, a devastating war destroyed most of human civilization. Thousand years have passed since. The...

DOS (1987)

Some time in the recent past, the main computer of a big corporation went mad due to some electrical disturbance....

Mistmare Windows Front Cover

Windows (2003)

Mistmare is a role-playing game set in an alternate reality of the year 1996, where the industrial revolution never took...

PlayStation (1998)

In Mitsumete Knight, you are a young man who is sent to the fictional medieval country of Dolphan, where you...

Mobile Armored Marine iPad Front Cover

Browser (2011), iPhone (2011), Android (2011) and iPad (2011)

A true science-fiction power fantasy, this game puts the player in control of an enhanced cybernetic elite soldier in a...

Game Boy Color (2001)

Mobile Golf is sort of a follow-up to Mario Golf, and has very similar gameplay and storyline. The game starts...

Browser (2008)

Modern Tactics 2 is a turned-based strategy game. The aim is to create teams of various soldiers based on different...

Moebius: The Orb of Celestial Harmony DOS Front Cover

DOS (1987), Amiga (1987), Atari ST (1987), Commodore 64 (1986) and Apple II (1985)

Khantun is traditionally a peaceful land, with no army or wars. Former leader Kaimen has turned to using his powers...

PC-98 (1994)

The hero of the game is a seemingly ordinary man named Kaneda Momezo. But in fact he is not an...

Windows (2008)

The Molten Core recreates a 2008 April Fools' joke by Blizzard Entertainment as a game. On 1st April 2008 Blizzard...

PlayStation (1998)

Momotarō Densetsu is an enhanced remake of the original Famicom game of the same name. The story is essentially the...

NES (1987) and Sharp X68000 (1988)

The legend of Momotarō belongs to the most popular ones in Japanese and Asian folklore. The game follows the main...

Game Boy Color (2001)

Momotarō Densetsu 1→2 is a port of Momotarō Densetsu Turbo and Momotarō Densetsu II on one cartridge, presented as one...

Game Boy (1991), NES (1993) and TurboGrafx-16 (1992)

This game is based on famous Japanese folk tales. Momotarō is a boy who was found in a huge peach...

TurboGrafx-16 (1990)

The sequel to Momotarō Densetsu continues its story, which is based on an old Japanese folk tale. Momotarō is a...

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