History of Eastern role- playing video games. Eastern role- playing video games are role- playing video games developed in East Asia, including Japan, South Korea, and, to a lesser extent, China. Japanese computer RPGs.
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A key difference between Western and Japanese systems at the time was the latter's higher display resolutions (6. Japanese text which in turn influenced game design. Japanese computers also employed Yamaha FM synthesissound boards since the early 1. Yuzo Koshiro to produce highly regarded chiptune music for RPG companies such as Nihon Falcom. Due to hardware differences, only a small portion of Japanese computer games were released in North America, as ports to either consoles (like the NES or Genesis) or American PC platforms (like MS- DOS).
The earliest was Koei's Underground Exploration, released in March 1. The game revolves around a leader who must lead his army against overwhelming enemy forces, while recruiting soldiers along the way and with each unit able to gain experience and level up through battle. It was an early attempt at combining role- playing, turn- based grand strategy and management simulation elements, setting the standard for future simulation RPGs. This trend continued with its sequels and other Koei games such as 1. Bandit Kings of Ancient China as well as the Capcom game Destiny of an Emperor released that same year.
It was developed by Yoshio Kiya, who would go on to create the Dragon Slayer and Brandish series of action RPGs. While its RPG elements were limited, lacking traditional statistical or leveling systems, the game featured real- time combat with a gun, bringing it close to the action RPG formula that Falcom would later be known for. The game's desert islandoverworld also featured a day- night cycle, non- player characters the player could attack or converse with, and the need to survive by finding and consuming rations to restore hit points lost with each normal action. While the RPG elements in Druaga were very subtle, its success in Japan inspired the near- simultaneous development of three early action role- playing games, combining Druaga's real- time hack- and- slash gameplay with stronger RPG mechanics, all released in late 1. Dragon Slayer, Courageous Perseus, and Hydlide. A rivalry developed between the three games, with Dragon Slayer and Hydlide continuing their rivalry through subsequent sequels.
It became one of the best- selling computer games at the time and was voted Game of the Year by Login, the largest Japanese computer game magazine at the time. The game is thus credited for bringing wider attention to computer role- playing games in the country. The game later served as the basis for the 1. NES RPG Hoshi wo Miru Hito. It was a 1. 98. 6 role- playing shooter released by Arsys Software for the PC- 8. Japan and ported to MS- DOS for Western release by Br.
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In Wi. BArm, the player controls a transformable mecha robot, switching between a 2. Dside- scrolling view during outdoor exploration to a fully 3.
D polygonal third- person perspective inside buildings, while bosses are fought in an arena- style 2. D shoot 'em up battle. The game featured a variety of weapons and equipment as well as an automap, and the player could upgrade equipment and earn experience to raise stats. The action took place entirely in a side- scrolling view rather than switching to a separate overhead combat screen like its predecessor.
These changes Romancia more like a side- scrolling action- adventure game. It was a party- based action RPG, with the player controlling a party of four characters at the same time in a side- scrolling view. The game also featured character creation, highly customizable characters, class- based puzzles, and a new scenario system, allowing players to choose which of 1. It was also an episodic video game, with expansion disks released soon after offering more scenarios. Besides Falcom's own Dragon Slayer series, Ys was also influenced by Hydlide, from which it borrowed certain mechanics such as health- regeneration when standing still, a mechanic that has since become common in video games today. It also featured a unique non- linear conversation system, where the player can recruit allies by talking to them, choose whether to kill or spare an enemy, and engage enemies in conversation, similar to Megami Tensei. It was open- ended like Dragon Quest and had real- time side- view battles like Zelda II.
Unlike other RPGs at the time, however, the game had a dark and creepy atmosphere expressed through the story, graphics, and music. It was mostly set in a mansion infested with undead creatures, and the player controlled a party of several characters with different professions, including a scientist who constructs tools and a journalist who takes pictures. All the backgrounds, objects and opponents in the game were rendered in 3. D polygons, many years before they were widely adopted by the video game industry.
This is a recurring highlight in the series, offering the player insight into the enemies, to an extent that very few other games allow to this day. The series was controversial for its plot, which revolves around a time- traveling Crusades- era Syrian Islamic Assassin who assassinates various religious/historical figures as well as modern- day political leaders. According to Takahashi, Silver Ghost was . Like an RPG, the player can explore the world, purchase items, and level up, and like a strategy video game, it focuses on recruiting soldiers and fighting against large armies rather than small parties. The game's . Such a battle system has rarely been used since. The video game versions were multiplayer titles and early attempts at recreating an open- ended, table- top role- playing experience on video game platforms, being set in the same world as Sword World and implementing the same rules and scenarios.
This was partly due to the death of the NEC PC- 9. Sega Saturn and Sony Play. Station became increasingly powerful in the console market while the computer market became increasingly dominated by the IBM Personal Computer and Microsoft Windows 9. This led to many Japanese PC manufacturers either continuing to develop for Windows 9. While most developers turned their attention to the console market, some developers dedicated to content unsuitable for consoles (such as eroge and complex military strategy games) continued their focus on the PC market. These cut scenes also occasionally contain lesbian adult content. Influenced by console RPGs and based mostly on the gameplay and style of the SNES and Sega Genesis games, a large group of young programmers and aficionados across the world began creating independent console- style computer RPGs and sharing them online.
Much like the survival horror adventure games. Clock Tower (1. 99. Haunting Ground (2. Corpse Party lack any means of defending themselves; the game also featured up to 2. However, the game would not be released in Western markets until 2. We have the resources and we can afford to invest more.. I think it's going to be a great thing for the consumer.
This required the creation of a new kind of RPG, that didn't rely on previous D& D experience, didn't require hundreds of hours of rote fighting, and that could appeal to any kind of gamer. This was balanced by the use of bridges to signify a change in difficulty and a new level progression that departed from D& D, where in the 1st and 2nd editions, players are given random initial stats and a constant growth rate. Dragon Quest instead gave the player some extra hit points at the start and a level progression where the effective rate of character growth decelerates over time, similar to how the more recent editions of D& D have balanced the gameplay. Deadly Towers and Rygar were particularly notable for their permanent power- up mechanic, which at the time blurred the line between the power- ups used in action- adventures and the experience points used in RPGs. It also introduced the monster- catching mechanic with its demon- summoning system, which allowed the player to recruit enemies into their party, through a conversation system that gives the player a choice of whether to kill or spare an enemy and allows them to engage any opponent in conversation. In particular, the Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest series remain popular today, Final Fantasy more so in the West and Dragon Quest more so in Japan. In 1. 98. 8, Dragon Quest III introduced a character progression system allowing the player to change the party's character classes during the course of the game.
It also allowed the player to swap characters in and out of the party at will. The game's plot was also unusual for its feudal Japan setting and its emphasis on humour; the plot and characters were inspired by the Japanese folk tale Jiraiya Goketsu Monogatari. The music for the game was also composed by noted musician Ryuichi Sakamoto. Ys I & II went on to receive the Game of the Year award from OMNI Magazine in 1. It also made other improvements such as cut scenes for the opening and ending, a combat system closer to The Legend of Zelda, the choice between distinct character classes, and a weight system affecting the player's movement depending on the weight of carried equipment. As console RPGs became more heavily story- based than their computer counterparts, one of the major differences that emerged during this time was in the portrayal of the characters, with most American computer RPGs at the time having characters devoid of personality or background as their purpose was to represent avatars which the player uses to interact with the world, in contrast to Japanese console RPGs which depicted pre- defined characters who had distinctive personalities, traits, and relationships, such as Final Fantasy and Lufia, with players assuming the roles of people who cared about each other, fell in love or even had families. Romance in particular was a theme that was common in most console RPGs but alien to most computer RPGs at the time.