As I’ve been saying, I have been busy catching up on a bunch of old games I was told were the duck’s quack, and one game I beat rather recently was “Chrono Trigger”, a game made by the same developers as “Final Fantasy”. The story involves our heroes traveling through time in their efforts to prevent the monster Lavos from bursting forth from the surface of the planet and causing the apocalypse. While I would have liked to have had a better main villain than a monster, I definitely see why people have so many good things to say about it.
What I think I loved most about this game, aside from the absence of random battles, was the fact that your actions had an impact on what happened. That’s what I always thought RPG’s were supposed to do, but more often than not, you really get no more say in the direction of the plot than what your character’s name is and what sword they tote around. But, this game actually gives you many optional sidequests you can complete that will change the future and the game’s ending, as well.
One such example is when you can cause a forest to grow where there was once a desert, but my favorite change of all was actually much smaller and far less obvious to the world at large, but which had the greatest impact on me. To summarize, in one time period, there is a greedy man who is hated by his children because he loves money more than he cares for them. But, a simple act of generosity in the past, and his ancestors will teach their children to be kind. Return to his time, and you’ll find that he’s the most generous man around and his children love him. I thought…sniff…it was just…sniff sniff…rather touching, and I just wish the game had more instances of such a deep change in its characters, even the minor ones.
Anyway, I’m not going to ramble much more about this game, as I used to do that far too often and create rather boring posts, but I wanted to point out one final thing. I think it’s great that this game has multiple endings. I love games that aren’t the same for everyone who plays it, each time they play it. But, you know what?
As great as such a concept is, I simply don’t have the patience for these kinds of things. Here I have in my possession a game where the player can make an actual difference, and I don’t have the desire to actually see these different paths through to the end. I want games like this, and yet they always have a tendency to leave me overwhelmed, which is ironic, really, when I don’t want my games to be linear. Or perhaps I’m kidding myself, and I do like linear games. You see, “Final Fantasy XII” was insanely open-world, and it freaked me out. It very nearly panicked me to have so many places I could go and sometimes so little direction. What am I to do with all this freedom?! I can’t take it! (Runs away and tugs out feathers in terror)
Maybe I’m just not used to games being so big or giving us so many choices when I grew up with platformers and the like, which often don’t have much of a plot to begin with, and the locations were never too enormous. Or maybe I’m just impatient. I love games to take me as long as possible, and yet, once I get started, I’m looking on the Internet to see how long it’s going to take. I love having freedom in my games, whether it be to explore or to change what happens, and yet I shy away from open worlds or have no desire to see what other options there are to change the game’s story.
In short, I will likely never attempt to get any of the other endings this game has to offer. It’s just…well, too scary. It’s too much for my puny duck brain to handle, and as great as “Chrono Trigger” is for allowing the player’s choices to actually matter, it is a game I will never experience to the fullest because of my sheer impatience and wimpiness in the face of a mere video game.
I can always watch the other endings on Youtube, though, can’t I? That doesn’t take much effort….
Originally posted on The Duck of Indeed October 25, 2014.
An Impatient and Contradictory Duck