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Author Topic: Monsters carrying potions, etc. - Explanation?  (Read 11045 times)

Dr. Jeckidy

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Monsters carrying potions, etc. - Explanation?
« on: November 22, 2014, 03:02:25 am »
I know this is done for the game mechanics, but if you had to explain in story terms how it is that, in games like FF6 for instance, one would find a giant wild bee carrying some random potion, what would you say? Or maybe the occasional magic relic from a Bunny on a leaf? How would the creators explain why monsters would be carrying such items in the wild who probably don't even have the intellect to use them? Where do they keep these items anyway?

geishaboy

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Re: Monsters carrying potions, etc. - Explanation?
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2014, 04:14:22 am »
There is no real explanation, it's been the source of video-game jokes for a long time.

There was one game though, a PC RPG, that played on the concept quite well. For instance, if you killed a wolf, you got a basket and a red dress as a pick up, implying that the wolf ate little red riding hood. I can't for life of me remember the name of the game though.

STARWIN

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Re: Monsters carrying potions, etc. - Explanation?
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2014, 07:35:43 am »
The only sensible explanations I can think of are that the Great Powers of the Magical Artifact catch the attention of animals (too).. or that a bird/bear ate something tiny. Animals dropping potions or money is quite horrible. Humanoid or magical monsters perhaps slightly less so, but that varies.

Well, not all games are as extreme as some Final Fantasies in this regard (at least if you count stealing). Also, if someone makes a hardtype mod, removal of such drops would be both a thematic improvement and possibly difficulty-affecting (when going the resource-limited route).

Spooniest

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Re: Monsters carrying potions, etc. - Explanation?
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2014, 08:57:03 am »
As far as winning a potion from a bunny, I could only surmise that the magical components necessary to mix the potion are somehow part of the bunny's carcass...and that's thin. It doesn't account, for example, for what the potion is stored in (presumably a bottle). As for stealing a potion from a bunny, yeah, that makes next to 0 sense.

On the topic of weird fridge logic in RPGs, I notice that you can find/buy/steal a lot of swords. Some questions:

1) Do they come with a scabbard?
2) Why don't you ever have to clean them, if you're stabbing and slashing everything that moves?
3) How is it that you can carry around 99 swords without a freaking semi truck to store them in?
4) If they've been sitting in a chest in an ancient underground castle for a million years, why aren't they so rusty that they break the first time you hit something with them? Especially a robot?
5) How does hitting a robot with a sword damage it?
6) Seriously, how does using a sword to hit a robot from a supposedly technologically advanced ancient civilization damage it? It's presumably rust-proof, if it held together for thousands of years well enough to still be functioning.

Now, on the subject of ancient advanced civilizations' robots that are still running around (thinking specifically of the Sentries in Final Fantasy 1)...

1) What kind of super magical fuel component does this robot run on? It can't be electricity (even that generated by solar power), as the circuit paths would have rusted out a long time ago.
2) What kind of super magical metals could have been used to construct a robot that wouldn't have rusted so badly (in the zillion years it's been just wandering around) that the robot would no longer be able to move, much less attack?
3) Returning to the solar power thing, if the robots were solar powered (the only way I can think of that such a device could have functioned independently so long after its creators have disappeared), then why can you only encounter them indoors?
4) STARWIN already said this, but more specifically, on what planet to robots carry money?

It's fairly obvious at this point that some of this stuff was done purely as a function of the Rule of Cool. It takes a special kind of crazy to write a Fantasy/Sci-Fi RPG story.

Only tangentially related: Superman is vulnerable to magic. He wouldn't last a second in the world of Final Fantasy, and Harry Potter could render him powerless with a simple Petrificus Totalus charm.

And don't even get me started on Dr. Strange vs. Superman.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2014, 12:14:47 pm by Spooniest »
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MisterJones

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Re: Monsters carrying potions, etc. - Explanation?
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2014, 09:46:27 am »
In regards to the robot, well just stab it on the joints
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STARWIN

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Re: Monsters carrying potions, etc. - Explanation?
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2014, 09:49:21 am »
As far as winning a potion from a bunny, I could only surmise that the magical components necessary to mix the potion are somehow part of the bunny's carcass...and that's thin. It doesn't account, for example, for what the potion is stored in (presumably a bottle).

It works if the magical components are dry and can be eaten.. bunny's fur. Also, the bunny contains organs that can be used as .. organic bottles.

2) Why don't you ever have to clean them, if you're stabbing and slashing everything that moves?

When you stab/slash hard enough, all the dirt goes off.

3) How is it that you can carry around 99 swords without a freaking semi truck to store them in?

They could be lightweight mithril.. but 99? Agreed. Suikoden games / Romancing SaGa games at least had a rather limited amount of items in-battle per character. (and RS1 & 3 had a limited gold carrying capacity as well)

4) If they've been sitting in a chest in an ancient underground castle for a million years, why aren't they so rusty that they break the first time you hit something with them? Especially a robot?

Must be a magical enhancement!

5) How does hitting a robot with a sword damage it?

This may be realistic. Go to any location with industrial robots and start hitting and slashing them with a sword. I think you'll find fragile robots or weak spots in them.

6) Seriously, how does using a sword to hit a robot from a supposedly technologically advance ancient civilization damage it? It's presumably rust-proof, if it held together for thousands of years well enough to still be functioning.

Perhaps the ancient civilization was so advanced that they didn't think someone could use such crude physical means against their robots that have superior CPUs.

Now, on the subject of ancient advanced civilizations' robots that are still running around (thinking specifically of the Sentries in Final Fantasy 1)...

1) What kind of super magical fuel component does this robot run on? It can't be electricity (even that generated by solar power), as the circuit paths would have rusted out a long time ago.

Magic is probably a good power source. Circuits can be self-repairing.

2) What kind of super magical metals could have been used to construct a robot that wouldn't have rusted so badly (in the zillion years it's been just wandering around) that the robot would no longer be able to move, much less attack?

Self-repair, just like humans (to a limited extent).

3) Returning to the solar power thing, if the robots were solar powered (the only way I can think of that such a device could have functioned independently so long after its creators have disappeared), then why can you only encounter them indoors?

They could contain advanced batteries, which then allows a separate system for solar power collection.

4) STARWIN already said this, but more specifically, on what planet to robots carry money?

If the robots are sentient, they could use money for the same reasons as we do. Essentially the four valiant heroes extract digital money to their common bank account from the robots' credit cards (after threatening the robots to reveal their credit card code, and then destroying them and scavenging their roboCredit-cards).

 :cookie:

Bregalad

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Re: Monsters carrying potions, etc. - Explanation?
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2014, 10:17:05 am »
Oh man, those lists of impossible things can go on and on endlessly.

Like, if you're going to save their asses, why does the shop keepers charge you so much for extra weapons ?

Why do you always start the adventure in the region of the world with the weaker monsters *and* the worst possible weapons to sale (which means it's also the poorest part of the world) ?

How comes all monsters always stops at the entrance of cities/villages, including unfortified ones, except when the storyline plans so ?

And, first of all, how can your characters get direct smashed with a sword or an axe, or be burned, or receive a lightning, without getting the instant death it should have ? This is especially true in Fire Emblem where all animations shows character A shmash character B with an axe in his head or piercing his chest with a lance, and character B only loose some HP... makes absolutely no sense.

Nevertheless, the explanation is very simple : Because if those elements were realistic, the games would suck very very bad.

In some case though item drops make sense, for instance, you kill an unicorn and are rewarded with a horn or something in the like.

KingMike

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Re: Monsters carrying potions, etc. - Explanation?
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2014, 11:31:19 am »
The AVGN played Adventure Island (each year he makes one short video for Pat the NES Punk's charity marathon, though this is the first year Pat has explicitly said do not re-upload, so I can't link if there are any).
"So your only weapons in this game are these axes, which come out of these giant eggs, which are pooped out by birds." :D
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Spooniest

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Re: Monsters carrying potions, etc. - Explanation?
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2014, 12:04:01 pm »
So many words...so many words

I'm not even going to try to answer this.

Video games started on the road to realism, and after going 10 feet, tripped on the dirt, fell, and had their heads explode. Then the planet they were on turned into a blueberry muffin, and ducks started singing Klingon Opera.

Bathtub full of power tools.
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Neil

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Re: Monsters carrying potions, etc. - Explanation?
« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2014, 03:50:44 pm »
Why do you always start the adventure in the region of the world with the weaker monsters *and* the worst possible weapons to sale (which means it's also the poorest part of the world) ?

How comes all monsters always stops at the entrance of cities/villages, including unfortified ones, except when the storyline plans so ?

Nevertheless, the explanation is very simple : Because if those elements were realistic, the games would suck very very bad.

I was working on a game using the DragonQuest V engine a while back that was an attempt at playing with that very concept, and you are very right. It sucks to play a game like that.

You have three main options for designing a game like that
  • show the player the big bad and through walls or np can sacrifice shield them from dying repeatedly
  • let the player die repeatedly while failing to run from monsters they have no hope of beating
  • have the players death against an unbeatable monster be part of the story to move them to an easy beginner area
The first option sucks because it kills the open world illusion that makes RPGs fun. The second and third suck because unbeatable god monsters take all the fun and feeling of accomplishment away from the player. plus the third option plays around with the rules of in world death..

People don't like to play games that are too frustrating. Using real world rules like this makes for a frustrating gameplay experience.

Dr. Jeckidy

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Re: Monsters carrying potions, etc. - Explanation?
« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2014, 04:22:12 pm »
Also, not to get off-topic, but as a side-note: Can anyone explain the origin of the Golden Needle item from Final Fantasy? I know the items to cure statuses are based on fairy tales (like Maiden's Kiss = Frog Prince and Mallet = Issun-boshi) but what about the Golden Needle? I asked this on NintendoAge and they assumed so far that it was acupuncture, but I'd like a second-opinion.

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Re: Monsters carrying potions, etc. - Explanation?
« Reply #11 on: November 22, 2014, 06:56:00 pm »
Also, not to get off-topic, but as a side-note: Can anyone explain the origin of the Golden Needle item from Final Fantasy? I know the items to cure statuses are based on fairy tales (like Maiden's Kiss = Frog Prince and Mallet = Issun-boshi) but what about the Golden Needle? I asked this on NintendoAge and they assumed so far that it was acupuncture, but I'd like a second-opinion.
Yugisokubodai already told me about this. It's really about acupuncture.

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In Chinese medical method, when you feel stiffiness in your body, it's time to go to O-kyu. They use some pin (針) to cure it.



Spooniest

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Re: Monsters carrying potions, etc. - Explanation?
« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2014, 08:34:41 pm »
Yugisokubodai already told me about this. It's really about acupuncture.




Wouldn't that make Gold Needles a proper treatment for Paralysis then? But it cures Petrify...I guess I can see the logic behind it, and the Paralysis effect doesn't really appear all that often (as the Stop effect makes it redundant).

More musings on RPGs and open world games in general:

Why is it so much easier to get stuck in an RPG, the more primitive the system it was on? One would think the strictly enforced limits of the technology would lend itself to relative ease of play. Was it a communication issue when translations weren't as good as they are now? Was it a way of advertising the game, i.e. forcing you to talk to someone else who plays games about it? Was it just plain sloppiness on the designers' part? Were they trying to prolong the games' entertainment value, as games of that age tended to be much shorter and less complex? Or were they playing to the mechanics of the games, which required a lot of grinding? Sort of a way to motivate the player to explore, and get them in more fights, hence giving them a better chance of survival in the long run?

[Sarcasm Mode] Maybe they were preparing me for my future as a hobo. [/Sarcasm] :D
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FAST6191

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Re: Monsters carrying potions, etc. - Explanation?
« Reply #13 on: November 22, 2014, 09:37:56 pm »
On the topic of weird fridge logic in RPGs, I notice that you can find/buy/steal a lot of swords. Some questions:

1) Do they come with a scabbard?
2) Why don't you ever have to clean them, if you're stabbing and slashing everything that moves?
3) How is it that you can carry around 99 swords without a freaking semi truck to store them in?
4) If they've been sitting in a chest in an ancient underground castle for a million years, why aren't they so rusty that they break the first time you hit something with them? Especially a robot?
5) How does hitting a robot with a sword damage it?
6) Seriously, how does using a sword to hit a robot from a supposedly technologically advanced ancient civilization damage it? It's presumably rust-proof, if it held together for thousands of years well enough to still be functioning.

Now, on the subject of ancient advanced civilizations' robots that are still running around (thinking specifically of the Sentries in Final Fantasy 1)...

1) What kind of super magical fuel component does this robot run on? It can't be electricity (even that generated by solar power), as the circuit paths would have rusted out a long time ago.
2) What kind of super magical metals could have been used to construct a robot that wouldn't have rusted so badly (in the zillion years it's been just wandering around) that the robot would no longer be able to move, much less attack?
3) Returning to the solar power thing, if the robots were solar powered (the only way I can think of that such a device could have functioned independently so long after its creators have disappeared), then why can you only encounter them indoors?

Scabbards are hard to animate (in 3d at least) so it seems no sword needs one. I really wish I think it was a video on the witcher had not mentioned that as it became one of those "can't unsee" things for me.

4) I will give a sharp might not be well honed any more but I am willing to write that off with 2)'s "the same reason you do not see them go to the toilet*". A million years might be an odd one**, I am not entirely sure of the mechanisms that operate on such a timescale, but a few thousand years for the proper steel alloy is nothing, get something more suitable than steel (basic carbon steel really is awful for oxidation/corrosion, though it does make nice sharp things and said sharp things have tended not to be needed to last 100 years as much as the following few battles).

*you may do in some games, I tend to avoid the stranger offerings though.

**this is an interesting one to speculate upon and with metal manufacture having not really operated on this level there is not much here, more general chemistry does have some of this but I am not sure how applicable it will be to metals, or possibly inorganic composites. Of course Iron 56 being the most stable element as far as nuclear "chemistry" goes might change a few things here.

5) One does have to wonder what kind of super self repairing machines and crazy alloys/forging methods used would lead to this. On the other hand engineering is a tradeoff in most cases so protection from corrosion does usually lead to deficiencies in some other area, very likely including strength (tensile stiffness, torsion, bending, shear....). Moreover "ageing" is actually a well documented thing in various metal alloys, Aluminium-copper having a process calling ageing and things like nitrogen fixing in steels. Overdoing it, something I imagine to be quite possible over the thousands of years, does make for serious changes to the strengths of metals. Likewise if these robots were not being held at near absolute zero (though that would be another problem) you would probably also get some kind of diffusion of elements, this tends to be more of a high temperature thing (see creep) but low temperatures also have some stuff.
Equally physics is still physics and though a sword might often be more of a cutting or stabbing weapon we tend to see the rather large greatsword in games: f=ma is not noted for being discerning about what it applies to.

http://archaeologyonline.net/artifacts/iron-pillar might also be worth a look.

1) Assuming magic is not an answer then I would guess some kind of nuclear reaction, one coupled with a proper sleep mode. Alternatively a seriously low entropy source of some form that could be "unshielded" to gain energy, of course that leads us right back into magic territory.
2) I do have to be the type of insufferable bastard to point out rust is an iron based thing, however pondering oxidation or corrosion (whichever applies in this case) is worth considering.
3) Wireless power transmission at distance is possible.

Anyway enough late night science for a discussion that was not calling for it, the possibility of a materials/metallurgy discussion was too much to resist though.

Jeville

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Re: Monsters carrying potions, etc. - Explanation?
« Reply #14 on: November 22, 2014, 10:49:10 pm »
Like, if you're going to save their asses, why does the shop keepers charge you so much for extra weapons ?
For some games, they may not know you are heroes. Or the characters themselves aren't realized as one yet.

I was working on a game using the DragonQuest V engine a while back that was an attempt at playing with that very concept, and you are very right. It sucks to play a game like that.

You have three main options for designing a game like that
  • show the player the big bad and through walls or np can sacrifice shield them from dying repeatedly
  • let the player die repeatedly while failing to run from monsters they have no hope of beating
  • have the players death against an unbeatable monster be part of the story to move them to an easy beginner area
The first option sucks because it kills the open world illusion that makes RPGs fun. The second and third suck because unbeatable god monsters take all the fun and feeling of accomplishment away from the player. plus the third option plays around with the rules of in world death..

People don't like to play games that are too frustrating. Using real world rules like this makes for a frustrating gameplay experience.
A couple others:
  • let weak starting monsters be around, but with a small chance of a difficult encounter
  • if you trail off to areas you're not supposed to go, but are accessible in the beginning, that's where tough monsters can be from the start

No real harm.

Spooniest

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Re: Monsters carrying potions, etc. - Explanation?
« Reply #15 on: November 23, 2014, 12:21:05 am »
A couple others:
  • let weak starting monsters be around, but with a small chance of a difficult encounter
  • if you trail off to areas you're not supposed to go, but are accessible in the beginning, that's where tough monsters can be from the start

But that's technically Final Fantasy II. :/
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Jeville

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Re: Monsters carrying potions, etc. - Explanation?
« Reply #16 on: November 23, 2014, 12:49:09 am »
What? I'm talking about choices for game design where no game is specified (he mentioned engine).

Megafield64

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Re: Monsters carrying potions, etc. - Explanation?
« Reply #17 on: November 23, 2014, 01:16:36 am »
Monsters carrying potions and trinkets don't bother me.  It's when they're laughing all the way to the bank after I kill them is when it crawls under my skin.   ;)  lol.

Just keep a suspension of disbelief and everything will be fine.  Às Jim Henson once said, "fantasy will always win".
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MisterJones

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Re: Monsters carrying potions, etc. - Explanation?
« Reply #18 on: November 23, 2014, 10:18:05 am »
I was working on a game using the DragonQuest V engine a while back that was an attempt at playing with that very concept, and you are very right. It sucks to play a game like that.

You have three main options for designing a game like that
  • show the player the big bad and through walls or np can sacrifice shield them from dying repeatedly
  • let the player die repeatedly while failing to run from monsters they have no hope of beating
  • have the players death against an unbeatable monster be part of the story to move them to an easy beginner area
The first option sucks because it kills the open world illusion that makes RPGs fun. The second and third suck because unbeatable god monsters take all the fun and feeling of accomplishment away from the player. plus the third option plays around with the rules of in world death..

People don't like to play games that are too frustrating. Using real world rules like this makes for a frustrating gameplay experience.

Im not sure I buy that explanation, the designers could have used rabbit meat rather than poitions for healing and such. You simpply take a look at many old school WRPGs, and hardly any creature will drop something totally unrelated to it.
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M-Tee

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Re: Monsters carrying potions, etc. - Explanation?
« Reply #19 on: November 23, 2014, 08:39:43 pm »
I could buy that.

You've gained 2 kilos of MEAT.

MEAT restores HP.

Then, give it a time limit, after sometime you check your inventory and you see something like this:

MEAT: 3kg
SPOILED MEAT: 1kg

SPOILED MEAT lowers HP.