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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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Realms of Arkania III: Shadows over Riva DOS Front Cover

DOS (1996) and Windows (2009)

Orcs have overrun the countryside of the small coast town of Riva. A dwarven mine in the countryside has been...

Realms of Arkania: Star Trail DOS Front Cover

DOS (1994) and Windows (2013)

This is part two in the computer version of the trilogy based on Germany's N°1 RPG "Das Schwarze Auge", and...

DOS (1994)

The speech pack for Star Trail adds several megabytes of digitized speech to the game, including dialogue for animated sequences...

Realms of Darkness Commodore 64 Front Cover

Commodore 64 (1987) and Apple II (1986)

Realms of Darkness combines traditional RPG gameplay (party, stats, and combat system) with some elements borrowed from text adventures.Assemble a...

Realms Online Linux Front Cover

Linux (2011) and Windows (2011)

Realms Online is a massively-multiplayer-online-role-playing-game (MMORPG) which allows players to join 1 of 3 factions or realms. The realms are...

The Realm Windows Front Cover

Windows (1997)

The Realm is one of the first first Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games. Log in and create a characters'...

Windows (1999) and Macintosh (1994)

Realmz is a tile-based fantasy role-playing game engine, running scenarios, which are separate stories with own collections of quests, items,...

The Real Texas Linux Front Cover

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

The Real Texas is an action-adventure game inspired by the gameplay of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the...

Reaper: Tale of a Pale Swordsman Windows Front Cover

Windows (2014), Macintosh (2013), iPhone (2013), BlackBerry (2013), Android (2013), iPad (2013), Windows Phone (2013) and Ouya (2013)

The black swordsman stands in the midst of a war between the Imperium and the savage tribes of the Wilderness....

DOS (1993)

Reaping the Dungeon is a turn-based, randomized dungeon crawler in the vein of Rogue and Hack. Below the surface of...

Rebelstar: Tactical Command Game Boy Advance Front Cover

Game Boy Advance (2005)

Rebelstar: Tactical Command is a turn-based strategy game in the same vein as X-Com, and is based off the Rebelstar...

Record of Agarest War Xbox 360 Front Cover English version

Xbox 360 (2010) and PlayStation 3 (2010)

Record of Agarest War uses a traditional backdrop scenario: forces of ancient evil awaken and the player character, initially the...

PlayStation 3 (2012)

Record of Agarest War 2, like its predecessors Record of Agarest War and Record of Agarest War Zero, is a...

Record of Agarest War (The Really Naughty Limited Edition) Xbox 360 Front Cover

Xbox 360 (2010)

This is a limited edition oversize box containing Record of Agarest War as well as several bonus items: Original Soundtrack...

Record of Agarest War Zero (Limited Edition) Xbox 360 Front Cover

Xbox 360 (2011) and PlayStation 3 (2011)

This limited edition includes: Record of Agarest War Zero in a regular keep case Soundtrack CD in a basic paper...

Record of Lodoss War Dreamcast Front Cover

Dreamcast (2000)

In this game the player takes the role of an ancient warrior who has been brought to life by the...

SNES (1995)

One of the several video games based on Ryo Mizuno's fantasy novels, this version of Record of Lodoss War does...

SEGA CD (1994)

Based on the novel series by Ryo Mizuno, this version of Record of Lodoss War has the same premise and...

Record of Lodoss War TurboGrafx CD Front Cover

TurboGrafx CD (1992)

The game is based on the novel cycle Record of Lodoss War by Ryo Mizuno, and more closely on subsequent...

MSX (1990), PC-98 (1988), FM Towns (1994) and Sharp X68000 (1991)

Haiiro no Majo is one of the several different games set in the fictional Lodoss War universe created by Ryo...

TurboGrafx CD (1994)

Set in the Record of Lodoss War fantasy universe, created by the Japanese writer Ryo Mizuno, this game is based...

PC-98 (1991), FM Towns (1994) and Sharp X68000 (1992)

Goshiki no Maryū is a follow-up to Haiiro no Majo and is set in the Lodoss War universe in the...

DOS (1993)

You are in the land Darkmoore which is reigned by the evil Lexnor. And because you are playing an RPG...

GP2X Wiz (2010)

Redemption: Liar is a remake of Sin'geom-ui Jeonseol 2. The remake features re-mastered graphics and sound, as well as a...

Windows (1999)

A young man named Jeongcheon lives with his brother in a quiet village. On one fateful day, two mysterious figures...

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