Thursday, December 15, 2011

Emotional Attachment to Virtual Adventure Seeking Avatars

**Strife's notes: This blog post contains spoilers for the 2008 game "Tales of Vesperia for the Xbox360. If you have any interest in the near future about playing this game and reading what seems to be a conclusion to a story arc or a plot twist, then skip this blog. I'll have another one posted up this weekend. This is more so a rant filled thrilling end to my all nighter of the game. ~Strife**

*Presses Start*

I am a story driven guy.

No matter what the game is, if a game has a pretty decent story, I'll play through until the end. If it has a great story, I'll play it religiously and won't play anything else until said game is finished.

Tales Of Vesperia is one of those games.

Let me go ahead and put out there that I love RPGs. Just as much as I love fighting games. A good RPG is hard to find and a great RPG is even harder. I love getting so involved with the characters and the experience. In a way, if a RPG is good, I get emotionally attached. Sometimes, it's not always a good thing.

Tales Of Vesperia is a JRPG that was released in August of 2008, and I'm just now experiencing the game for the first time. The music for the game is amazing, the graphics still stand up to today's standards and most importantly, The story (and events) aren't that bad. However, 14 hours in, I've run into a part that clashes with my emotional immersion. I've run into a part where Yuki (The Hero) is a man of questionable character. He breaks out of jail. He causes mischief. He beats up on the knights that are sent to capture them but never takes their lives. He saves people and generally knows right from wrong. Sounds like a guy to get behind, right? His snarky sarcastic take charge attitude really got me interested in him. So, like a good RPG, I'm involved with this character, right?


A good chunk into the story, you find out about a conspiracy that the head of a powerful council (Ragou)is doing to take over the lands and teamed up with people of less then stellar character to help pull this off. Now, of course, a boss battle takes place to fight the muscle of the two and defeat him. Ragou is captured and let go that night, due to some slick talking and pulling of his status. Here's where's things get tricky. Late that night, Ragou is on the bridge, talking and plotting his next move, and in a flash, Yuki appears and unsheathes his weapon. Ragou, unarmed and knowing no sorts of magic, pleads for his life. Yuki steps closer and when Ragou runs, he's struck down and killed. In cold blood.

I flash back to reality. Wait. That's totally NOT in that guy's agenda. He knows right and wrong, but killing someone who was unarmed? I know he was a dictator. In fact, there was an entire scene dedicated to what he's done. Stabbing in the back? I thought that was a total villain move. In total honesty, it was really close to me just turning the game off and walking away. I was so attached to Yuki that when something happened that seemed like it was out of character, it almost broke the game for me. It was that important.


In one of my favorite RPGs (one that we ironically did a podcast on), when the pretty big twist (If you've ever played it, you know which one I'm talking about) happens, I really did feel a sense of despair. At the end of it, I really did feel like we went on a time traveling adventure. None of the characters felt strange or did anything out of place. In one of the most popular RPGS of all time, a certain event was named the most shocking event in video game history. I knew grown teenage boys who cried when it happened. Heartbreaking indeed. In Dragon Age 2, There's a certain situation where if you make a decision based off your carelessness and lack of worry, someone departs the game in a pretty upsetting fashion. I really felt like I screw up royally and missed my noticeably missing character. I love being immersed in my games and almost to the point where I almost get mad when something happens that works for the game's sake but totally destroys anything that I imagined the character doing.

It's still sitting here paused. Granted, I could be totally off base. I could be making a big deal out of seemingly nothing. I'm unassumingly not that far in the game yet. However, that scene alone made such a deep impact on me that I have no choice but to continue and press start and hope that the character that I've been imagining playing out is the same virtual one on my screen.


No comments:

Post a Comment