Tuesday, April 17, 2007

General RPGs' Post-Battle Taunts

Just a quicky today. There's something I've noticed in modern RPGs which is really kinda silly--the post-battle taunts. As more and more RPGs are made with voice acting nowadays--in fact, they nearly all are--you often find a game in which characters will before, during, and after each battle say various phrases. For example, you'll hear a party member say something like, "This won't be much of a challenge!" at the beginning of a battle with obviously hopelessly outmatched common enemies, or hear another party member say something like, "ARGH I'm...sorry..." when they get killed in battle (that's right, BE sorry! It's YOUR fault you just got stabbed through the heart! Stupid jerk!). Cute little addition to the RPG experience, even helps you keep your interest for about an extra 3-5 random battles out of the approximately 2000 you'll encounter overall in the game.

What I don't get, though, is a lot of the little taunts that characters say after battle. Like, I'm playing Tales of the Abyss right now. I just got finished smacking the ever-loving crap out of some random evil tadpole things, and as the battle ends and the menu comes up to tell me how much money and experience and such that I'm being rewarded with for cruelly murdering some unassuming animals in their own natural habitat, Jade says, in that endearingly condescending tone, "Well, you did your best." The tone, of course, implies great, smug insult, because Jade is kinda awesome like that.

What exactly is the point of this practice of post-battle taunting in so many recent RPGs? The monsters the characters taunt are already dead. They can't hear your petty characters' insults. They're DEAD. Wounds to their ego are no longer necessary, I would think. If the monsters could even understand them to begin with, which I'd bet most of them can't.

The really dumb ones are the taunts where the character says something to the tune of, "Try again when you've practiced some more!" Yeah, uh, they can't. Because they're dead. Duh. Are the people who write these scripts thinking at ALL?

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