Solomon's Key for the NES was released in Japan on this day in 1986.

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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Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves Game Boy Front Cover

Game Boy (1991) and NES (1991)

England is in trouble.Richard the Lion-Hearted, king of England, is off fighting in the Crusades, and while he's gone, the...

Robinson's Requiem DOS Front Cover

DOS (1994), Jaguar (2011), Amiga (1994), Atari ST (1994), 3DO (1996) and Macintosh (1994)

In the far future humanity has achieved faster-than-light space travel, but the galaxy is still a big unknown place. To...

Game Boy (2000)

Play as the child Cody, whose Grandpa has just retired and is leaving him with the family business, a Robopon...

Robotrek SNES Front Cover

SNES (1994)

There exists a prosperous town named Rococo built on all the latest modern conveniences. Living in Rococo is a famous...

Game Boy Advance (2004)

Rockman EXE 4.5 Real Operation is a semi-sequel to the previous games, Mega Man Battle Network 4 Red Sun and...

Game Boy Advance (2004)

This is a limited edition of Rockman EXE 4.5 Real Operation for the Game Boy Advance that includes the following:...

Rogue DOS Front Cover

Linux (2005), DOS (1983), Amiga (1986), Atari ST (1986), Commodore 64 (1988), Atari 8-bit (1988), ZX Spectrum (1988), Amstrad CPC (1988), TRS-80 CoCo (1986), Macintosh (1985) and Android (2012)

Rogue is a turn-based dungeon crawler in which the player controls an adventurer who must explore the dangerous Dungeon of...

Rogue Clone iPhone Front Cover

Linux (1992), DOS (1988) and iPhone (2008)

Rogue Clone is an early variant of Rogue, the grandfather of all roguelikes, specifically of the UNIX version 5.3. The...

PlayStation 2 (2005)

Jaster Rogue, a young man from the planet Rosa, has always dreamed of exploring the stars. His home planet is...

Rogue Galaxy PlayStation 2 Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2007)

Rogue Galaxy is the North American and European localized version of Rogue Galaxy (2005), only released in Japan at the...

Atari 8-bit (2014)

Roguelike is, unsurprisingly, a roguelike game, created for the "NOMAM Basic Ten-Liners 2014" competition. The entire code, written in the...

Windows (2010)

Rogue Survivor is a survival roguelike sandbox game set during a zombie apocalypse. The player can choose to take on...

NES (1993)

Rokudenashi Blues is a role-playing game based on the Japanese manga by Masanori Morita. The game allows you to play...

Rolan's Curse Game Boy Front Cover

Game Boy (1990)

Once the people of Rolan was terrorized by the evil ruler King Barius before he was imprisoned in a castle...

Rolan's Curse 2 Game Boy Front Cover

Game Boy (1992)

There was much rejoicing in the land of Rolan! King Barius, who had placed a curse on the poor land,...

DOS (1995)

In the age of the crusades, eight noble cavaliers founded the Order of the Temple to fight as crusaders in...

Rolemaster: Magestorm Windows Front Cover

Windows (1996)

Rolemaster: Magestorm is an online-only 3-D arena battle game based on the Rolemaster rule system by Iron Crown Enterprises. Matches...

Windows (2012)

The first roleplay collection contains three games where epic battles took place in mystical words. The games in the compilation...

DOS (1995)

After the legendary Hong Gildong stepped down as the king of the island Yuldo, he was succeeded by his son...

Romance wa Tsurugi no Kagayaki II PlayStation Front Cover

PlayStation (2002)

The events of this game take place a few years after those described in the first game. The new hero...

PC-98 (1995)

A young swordsman named Rune is strolling in the woods when he notices a lake. And bathing in the lake...

Windows (1999)

Romancia: Another Legend is a remake of the classic RPG Romancia with improved graphics and mouse support.You are cast as...

Romancing SaGa SNES Front Cover

SNES (1992), WonderSwan Color (2001) and Wii (2009)

Once upon a time, three evil gods fought against the holy gods, and the holy God-Father chose a human warrior...

Romancing SaGa  PlayStation 2 Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2005)

This is a remake of the first Romancing SaGa game.The land of Mardias has experienced 1000 years of peace after...

SNES (1993) and Wii (2010)

Long ago, seven noble warriors defeated the ultimate evil, and brought peace to the world. But the memory of the...

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