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The History of Console RPG – The Beginning

Dragon Quest XI Wallpaper

Console games are developing greatly by the help of modern technology. Many kinds of games are technologically assisted to perform as perfect as possible, in the market and also in the eyes of the gamers. We all knew that the modern games: Final Fantasy, Dynasty Warriors, Grand Theft Auto, and many more have successfully astonished the gamers with its gameplay and stunning graphics.

One thing that we should know, all those great games started with very simple appearance. First generation classic consoles can only provide graphics with pixelated view, which is considered “poor” compared to present games graphics. As an RPG lover, I guess talking about the history of RPG will be interesting and probably will add some explanation to us, instead of just playing it.

Where It All Started

The modern RPG titles that we knows today began with a simple genre called tabletop RPG; a kind of games where we play a character and we decide the character’s action by speech. The popular title of tabletop RPG at the time is Dungeons & Dragons, which is also the pioneer of the mechanism used in modern RPG today, where every character played has a specific characterization.

The typical RPG characteristic involves deep story-telling and narrative elements, characters developments, complexity, and replayability. Because the help of later technology, the games gradually becomes more advanced than Dungeons & Dragons; we know the legendary titles such as Final Fantasy for example, as one of the titles that boost the popularity of RPG in the old times.

Final Fantasy IV Wallpaper

The later RPG on classic consoles usually consists of a main character travelling with his/her companions, while exploring towns, dungeons, slaying monsters, etc. The end of the journey will always be defeating the final boss. Every story throughout the game will be described in text. This kind of RPG requires a long duration of gameplay to level up the characters and gaining experience points.

The One That Came From Where the Sun Rises

Titles such as Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, Secret of Mana, and Legend of Zelda are proofs of the development of RPG. If you are paying attention, all those stated above comes from Japan; this is the beginning of the popular term JRPG (Japanese RPG). Although it is not the only kind of RPG, it is without a doubt was on top of mind of gamers who have tasted classic consoles (especially in Asia).

For your information, Dragon Quest was actually the pioneer of classic and modern RPG/JRPG we know today. Many titles are inspired by the existence of Dragon Quest, adapting its gameplay and mechanics. Exploring towns, talking with villagers or townspeople, and fighting enemies is the kind of gameplay that later inspired any other games.

Dragon Quest III Release Date - DQIII

Weapons hurt enemies, herbs and potions heal the party; that is the essence of RPG that Dragon Quest introduced. Later on, we knew another legendary title: Final Fantasy, which adapt the similar gameplay. Final Fantasy able to bring the new feature: Job/Class System and improvement in graphics. That differentiation is enough to make Final Fantasy challenges Dragon Quest and survived together.

To be continued in the next chapter: The History of Console RPG – The Progress

Read also: The History of Console RPG – The Progress

Feel free to comment about the topics that we discussed above. Do you have any opinion about the beginning of console RPG? Please share your thoughts below.

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Written by
A fellow RPG addict who played a lot of classic masterpieces from Square, Square-Enix, and Tri-Ace. "The epoch may change, but the classics will remain eternal"

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