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Man, FUCK Messiah games.

SorensonSorenson Registered User regular
edited July 2009 in Games and Technology
I'm currently playing through the original campaign for Neverwinter Nights 2, and I'm diggin' it fairly well. The devs actually give you a lot of opprotunities to use a wide variety of skills and abilities to really great benifit as opposed to the "Oh, you're not maxing out Diplomacy? FUCK YOU." style that was far more prevelent in the original, the characters (a few of 'em, anyway) are interesting buggers to run around with, and just a bunch of other things that've generally tickled me.

Except that, outside of certain things that're tied into the OC like characters and whatnot, the OC is boring me to tears.

It's just so goddamn cheesy and overdone some of the shit they're throwing out there.
Ooooh, I'm the chosenone that everybody wants dead! Ooooh, here comee the ancient rituals and prophicies I have to fulfill! Ooooh, here comes the enigmatic enlightened outsider chick! Ooooh, here comes the forced character companion and the story sequence that tries to makeme give a shit about her annoying ass! BARF.
Epic storylines can be nice and all, but the thing is that a lot of developers (and modders, for that matter) seem to equate epic storylines with epic characters (granted, this is fuckin' D&D for example, but even Fred Every-Fighter can rise to glory without seers shittin' out one prophicy and bullshit cryptic message after another). Point a finger to a game or a mod, and there's even money the writer's going to throw in some special bullshit mumbo-jumbo about the main character (or a female NPC that they'll try to make a love interest with all of the grace of a fat drunken frat boy dressed as Cupid), and I'm fucking sick of it.

So let's talk about Messiah-ism and "chosen ones" in games. Let's talk about shitty deployments of the trope and those related to said trope, let's talk about aversions, and let's talk about devs who did use the Messiah thing but actually used it in a really interesting manner. Let's talk about the evil wizard getting his ass kicked not because he was overwhelmed by the ethereal screams of ten thousand ascended forefathers channelling through the flatulence of the farmboy whose great-great-grandmother looked particularly enticing to a horny celestial who'd popped into the material plane for a quick fuck, but because the mercenaries who strolled into town the other day had the sense to bullrush and curbstomp him before he could get any shit off. Let's talk about the dudes who get thrust into extrordinary situations and have to do their damndest to avoid getting killed, and manage to do so just because they HAD to. And let's talk about the people who kick ass not because they've got mystical power flowing out of every wanked orifice of their body, but just because they are that badass.

Given how broad this shit can get, when I say "Messiah-ism" and "chosen ones", I'm generally talking any of the following.

*Dudes who suddenly discover the have mystical bullshit powers because they are the latest and greatest of the once-mighty-but-now-extinct civilization/race of people
*Dudes who have unique powers that are central to the game's plot and existance that occur by no event actually involving the character in a reasonable timeframe of the game, and I mean unique as in "divinely-demonically-ethereally-bullshittily bestowed to the PC and no other" as opposed to "OH JESUS WHAT IS THIS VIRUS DOING TO ME-oh hey cool".
*In ANY WAY, SHAPE, OR FORM has some kind of seer character who talks about seeing and feeling the universe around them and how what they see and feel about the main character is abnormal. Seriously, fuck her.
*Anyone who's supposed to lead people to a glorious new age for reasons OTHER than knocking off the retarded dictator that's holding progress back (Though said knock-offs can be part of the bullshit reason).

Sorenson on
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Posts

  • AntimatterAntimatter Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Hulk: UD
    Smashing vehicles, buildings, and robots because they just won't leave Hulk alone

    Antimatter on
  • PataPata Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Cry more.

    Pata on
    SRWWSig.pngEpisode 5: Mecha-World, Mecha-nisim, Mecha-beasts
  • FalstaffFalstaff Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    This is exactly why I really enjoyed the Fire Emblem for the GBA in which your actual avatar in the game world was a largely mute, completely non-political and graphically unimpressive tactician. It sort of placed me a step and a half back from the high court politics and apocalyptic drama of the story, and freed me not to give a shit about anything beyond winning fights and keeping my troops alive.

    Falstaff on
    Still verbing the adjective noun.
  • FireWeaselFireWeasel Registered User
    edited July 2009
    I think this can safely also be said for most Bioware games. Oh hell, most RPGs in general.

    FireWeasel on
    AC:CL Wii -- 3824-2125-9336 City: Felinito Me: Nick
  • Hotlead JunkieHotlead Junkie Registered User
    edited July 2009
    Gene from God Hand only got the God Hand because he was in the wong place at the wrong time, got his arm cut off and the girl he was trying to protect puts the godhand on him as a replacement. Every time he complains about all the crap he has to put up with about demons trying to kill him, Olivia threatens to cut the thing off with a magical axe. So he has to fight off all the demons who want to cut off his arm, and if he doesn't want to do that he gets his arm cut off by Olivia anyway.

    Hotlead Junkie on
    tf2_sig.png
  • PataPata Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    FireWeasel wrote: »
    I think this can safely also be said for most Bioware games. Oh hell, most RPGs in general.

    I can't think of a single RPG made recently that used the "Chosen one" plot.

    Pata on
    SRWWSig.pngEpisode 5: Mecha-World, Mecha-nisim, Mecha-beasts
  • randombattlerandombattle Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Pata wrote: »
    FireWeasel wrote: »
    I think this can safely also be said for most Bioware games. Oh hell, most RPGs in general.

    I can't think of a single RPG made recently that used the "Chosen one" plot.
    Well Mass Effect sort of but replace "Chosen One" with "Jack Bauer.. in space"

    randombattle on
    itsstupidbutidontcare2.gif
    I never asked for this!
  • KhavallKhavall British ColumbiaRegistered User regular
    edited July 2009
    NWN2 was Avellone trying to write a "Bioware" game, as opposed to a typical Avellone game. Somewhere he talks about it, and he did not like writing a Bioware game.

    So that's part of the reason it's such an over-the-top Bioware plot line.

    Of course, by the same author you have The Exile. Sure she's different and special, but in a bad way.

    And the Nameless One, who was immortal and special but in a fucked up way.

    Khavall on
  • KhavallKhavall British ColumbiaRegistered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Pata wrote: »
    FireWeasel wrote: »
    I think this can safely also be said for most Bioware games. Oh hell, most RPGs in general.

    I can't think of a single RPG made recently that used the "Chosen one" plot.
    Well Mass Effect sort of but replace "Chosen One" with "Jack Bauer.. in space"

    Shepard was just a good soldier though, not space jesus.

    However: The Last Remnant.

    Khavall on
  • DracilDracil Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    A Song of Ice and Fire technically has games made of it (CCG and board game) and in a way, it's pulling it quite well. This is assuming the title is prophectic. Though technically Daenerys is the only one who had her future told, but they're completely cryptic and not very positive. She is also technically the last surviving Targaryen and has an affinity to dragons because of her lineage. But despite all that, there is no guarantee she's not gonna die a horrible death and do stupid, evil stuff along the way.

    Games that put you in the role of the evil characters also come to mind as an interesting way to do things, e.g. dungeon keeper. Also, didn't one of the Wizardy games come in two halves? First half you play some evil wizard killing heroes. Second half you lead a band of heroes to kill the wizard.

    Dracil on
  • RobmanRobman Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    You know what was a cool game? Fallout 3. There was no mysticism, just survival and sacrifice.

    Robman on
  • takyristakyris Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Khavall wrote: »
    NWN2 was Avellone trying to write a "Bioware" game, as opposed to a typical Avellone game. Somewhere he talks about it, and he did not like writing a Bioware game.

    So that's part of the reason it's such an over-the-top Bioware plot line.

    Of course, by the same author you have The Exile. Sure she's different and special, but in a bad way.

    And the Nameless One, who was immortal and special but in a fucked up way.

    next time i write a crappy plotline, it will be because i was trying to write an obsidian game, as opposed to a typical me game.

    i'll happily take credit for my own mediocre plots. i don't need to take credit for chris avellone phoning in one of his unless he wants to thank bioware for actually coming up with the concept of the nameless one in the first place.

    on topic, every major bioware game except mass effect uses some version of the messiah complex, as do both kotor2 and nwn2.

    takyris on
    Dox the PI wrote:
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  • elliotw2elliotw2 Registered User
    edited July 2009
    SMT2 did the Messiah-ism stuff pretty well, personally. Once you get past the first area, you get to see why you are a messiah

    elliotw2 on
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  • HyperneticHypernetic Registered User
    edited July 2009
    Well honestly, if your character in an RPG was destined to be "Joe the Bum" who lives his life scouring carpets for lost pieces of crack rocks, it probably wouldn't be that much fun. Or would it?

    Hypernetic on
  • EliminationElimination Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Maybe we should all just get together and make a campaign for NWN2 that is the opposite. And filled with hilarity and innapropriate sexual innuendos.

    Also it may not be an RPG, but one of my fav main characters in any game ive ever played is the guy from Condemened. Especially in the second one, when hes an alchoholic lowlife who gets the shakes when he tries to shoot if he doesnt down a couple mickies first. He was fantastic. Sure he was "special" in the second one, but he had some serious flaws and was kind of a dick.

    Elimination on
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  • RobmanRobman Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    takyris wrote: »
    Khavall wrote: »
    NWN2 was Avellone trying to write a "Bioware" game, as opposed to a typical Avellone game. Somewhere he talks about it, and he did not like writing a Bioware game.

    So that's part of the reason it's such an over-the-top Bioware plot line.

    Of course, by the same author you have The Exile. Sure she's different and special, but in a bad way.

    And the Nameless One, who was immortal and special but in a fucked up way.

    next time i write a crappy plotline, it will be because i was trying to write an obsidian game, as opposed to a typical me game.

    i'll happily take credit for my own mediocre plots. i don't need to take credit for chris avellone phoning in one of his unless he wants to thank bioware for actually coming up with the concept of the nameless one in the first place.

    on topic, every major bioware game except mass effect uses some version of the messiah complex, as do both kotor2 and nwn2.

    I think you're punching over your weight class here

    Robman on
  • HyperneticHypernetic Registered User
    edited July 2009
    Maybe we should all just get together and make a campaign for NWN2 that is the opposite. And filled with hilarity and innapropriate sexual innuendos.

    Also it may not be an RPG, but one of my fav main characters in any game ive ever played is the guy from Condemened. Especially in the second one, when hes an alchoholic lowlife who gets the shakes when he tries to shoot if he doesnt down a couple mickies first. He was fantastic. Sure he was "special" in the second one, but he had some serious flaws and was kind of a dick.

    I'm pretty sure a "mickie" is like when you spike someone's drink with something (like date rape drugs or poison) not just a plain drink. I could be wrong though, I'm not always up to date on these weird expressions.

    Also, condemned 2 was pretty cool but I didn't like the direction they went towards the end with all the super powers and crap.

    Hypernetic on
  • KhavallKhavall British ColumbiaRegistered User regular
    edited July 2009
    takyris wrote: »
    Khavall wrote: »
    NWN2 was Avellone trying to write a "Bioware" game, as opposed to a typical Avellone game. Somewhere he talks about it, and he did not like writing a Bioware game.

    So that's part of the reason it's such an over-the-top Bioware plot line.

    Of course, by the same author you have The Exile. Sure she's different and special, but in a bad way.

    And the Nameless One, who was immortal and special but in a fucked up way.

    next time i write a crappy plotline, it will be because i was trying to write an obsidian game, as opposed to a typical me game.

    i'll happily take credit for my own mediocre plots. i don't need to take credit for chris avellone phoning in one of his unless he wants to thank bioware for actually coming up with the concept of the nameless one in the first place.

    on topic, every major bioware game except mass effect uses some version of the messiah complex, as do both kotor2 and nwn2.

    Woah now, I wasn't saying anything against Bioware writing or games. But there very clearly is a difference in writing style between you guys and Obsidian, and I certainly wouldn't find it surprising that if you did an Obsidian style game it wouldn't be as good as Obsidian doing an Obsidian style game. Maybe it's drastically different in writing, but when I'm composing in styles that I'm not too conversant in it tends to be at best mediocre, more or less depending on how much I can research the style.

    I'm not saying his writing was good in NWN2, I'm saying that there's a reason for it. It's obvious from PST and KOTOR 2 that the guy can write. And it's obvious he prefers darker, personal stories with no romance plots, with subversive characters who don't care about each other unless they have a good reason to. Bioware likes giant epic plotlines with tales of Heroism with a plucky band of adventurers who go around the galaxy/sword coast/wherever saving everything. Which is great. Fuck, BGII still stands up as just an astounding story and game But it is also different.

    I'm not "placing responsibility" for his poorer than usual writing. He was going for a Bioware game structure and he didn't fail because Bioware is bad, but because he couldn't write a Bioware game. Someone trying to so something that someone else is doing and failing doesn't make it the second persons fault.

    Quite frankly, I prefer Avellone's writing to anything Bioware does. But the fact that he was trying to make the game more Bioware-y and failed isn't placing responsibility on Bioware.

    Also, how close does the Bioware now resemble the Bioware on Torment's release?

    Khavall on
  • Mr.SunshineMr.Sunshine Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Icewind Dale. The Epic story of 6 people you make up on the spot and how they went north for fun & profit, meeting strange creatures and killing them... for fun & profit. There's also some evil dude in this north place but you really just kill him for the fun. and profit. The game just happens to end at the point.

    It's was D&D but not D&D.

    Mr.Sunshine on
  • RenzoRenzo Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Morrowind has a messiah plot, but I don't think anyone actually played the main plot thread.

    Renzo on
  • valtzyvaltzy Registered User
    edited July 2009
    the only game that comes to mind that sort of turns the chosen one cliche on it's head is arcanum.

    it had a pretty decent plot! it's a shame the combat was so aggravating.

    valtzy on
  • DragkoniasDragkonias Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Renzo wrote: »
    Morrowind has a messiah plot, but I don't think anyone actually played the main plot thread.

    I tried but you know 180 hours in I forgot what the hell I was supposed to be doing.

    Dragkonias on
  • Lord_AsmodeusLord_Asmodeus goeticSobriquet: Here is your magical cryptic riddle-tumour: I AM A TIME MACHINERegistered User regular
    edited July 2009
    I always liked the Baldurs Gate take on the whole "Chosen One" plot because for one, you AREN'T the Chosen One, any more than the unknowable number of Bhaalspawn out there. It's more like, all those chosen guys out there. Some might still be alive in the 4th ed timeline. And the second part is that while you have an epic destiny to fulfill it's nothing like saving the world or putting an end to an ancient evil. In fact, it's the opposite. Your big chosen one fate is to fill the shoes of the God of Murder, maybe even have Bhaal BECOME you.

    I always liked Bhaal, but I hate Cyric. Death to the Black Sun, the Lord of Murder shall return, the Dead Three shall rise once more!

    Lord_Asmodeus on
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  • DisruptorX2DisruptorX2 Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Well, BG and Kotor don't have Messiah plotlines, per se.
    In Soviet Kotor, Sith Lord is you. You are a powerful individual sure, but it just happens that you are the main villain's mentor, not chosen by some prophecy or something. And in BG you are one of many Bhaalspawn, its not something particular special.

    DisruptorX2 on
    1208768734831.jpg
  • PataPata Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Robman wrote: »
    You know what was a cool game? Fallout 3. There was no mysticism, just survival and sacrifice.

    What does this have to do with the quality of the game and/or the game's story in any way

    Pata on
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  • randombattlerandombattle Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Pata wrote: »
    Robman wrote: »
    You know what was a cool game? Fallout 3. There was no mysticism, just survival and sacrifice.

    What does this have to do with the quality of the game and/or the game's story in any way
    I think he means mysticism in the chosen one by destiny sense.

    randombattle on
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    I never asked for this!
  • DisruptorX2DisruptorX2 Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Ironically, you are "the chosen one" in Fallout 2.

    DisruptorX2 on
    1208768734831.jpg
  • ElitistbElitistb Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Plotlines where the character is the messiah? Meh, it's okay.

    Plotlines where the character is a mute blank that I am somehow supposed to project my own personality on despite the game giving me few to no opportunity to do so? Why have a plotline at that point? Might as well read a book.

    Elitistb on
    steam_sig.png
  • DragkoniasDragkonias Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Elitistb wrote: »
    Plotlines where the character is the messiah? Meh, it's okay.

    Plotlines where the character is a mute blank that I am somehow supposed to project my own personality on despite the game giving me few to no opportunity to do so? Why have a plotline at that point? Might as well read a book.

    Yeah...I was really hoping we've moved beyond the whole silent protagonist phase already. I've never felt like those characters were "me" or anything and would rather have them talk instead of them having imaginary conversations with their fellow party mates that I can't hear.

    Dragkonias on
  • XagarathXagarath Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    MessiahBox.jpg
    :?:

    Xagarath on
  • DashuiDashui Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    I don't mind messiah games. Sometimes it's fun to play as the Chosen One in an epic battle against evil. I even liked Neverwinter Nights 2. But there's one game that attempted to do the Chosen One plot and ended up ruining the entire game for me. You didn't learn you were that in the beginning. In fact, through most of the game you were just an ordinary person on an interesting adventure. Then things just completely went fucked out of the blue. God dammit, Rogue Galaxy.

    Through a large portion of the game, you're on an delightful adventure as a pirate looking for the most prized treasure in the galaxy, going to interesting locations to uncover its mystery. Then what do they do? They turn it into Dragonball fucking Z and throw every cliche possible at the player. Last of an ancient race? Super Saiyan transformation with yellow, spiky hair and incredible powers? Unveiling of a terrible, dark entity bent on consuming everything good in the galaxy? Girl turned princess? Et cetera, et cetera? Yes to all of those and more.

    Dashui on
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  • The Dude With HerpesThe Dude With Herpes Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Dashui wrote: »
    I don't mind messiah games. Sometimes it's fun to play as the Chosen One in an epic battle against evil. I even liked Neverwinter Nights 2. But there's one game that attempted to do the Chosen One plot and ended up ruining the entire game for me. You didn't learn you were that in the beginning. In fact, through most of the game you were just an ordinary person on an interesting adventure. Then things just completely went fucked out of the blue. God dammit, Rogue Galaxy.

    Through a large portion of the game, you're on an delightful adventure as a pirate looking for the most prized treasure in the galaxy, going to interesting locations to uncover its mystery. Then what do they do? They turn it into Dragonball fucking Z and throw every cliche possible at the player. Last of an ancient race? Super Saiyan transformation with yellow, spiky hair and incredible powers? Unveiling of a terrible, dark entity bent on consuming everything good in the galaxy? Girl turned princess? Et cetera, et cetera? Yes to all of those and more.

    Sadly this makes me want to go get the game :lol:

    The Dude With Herpes on
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  • kaliyamakaliyama Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    I can't spoil it, but this is why Bloodlines is the best RPG ever.

    kaliyama on
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  • Fig-DFig-D Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    What I want is a game where everyone tells you "you are The Chosen One." Everyone. Without fail. Its like everyone's personal greeting for you.

    Then, halfway through the game you find out some other shmuck is The Chosen One. People start to forget the player character. He's just some guy now. All the fame and glory are gone and people are maybe even a little bitter about it. However, the almighty "Chosen One" (the real one) ends up getting himself killed at the hands of the Big Bad because being "The Chosen One" went strait to his head and made him cocky / arrogant. You, the player character, "some guy," goes on to try and complete what you had set out to do originally as the people of the world sink into despair because they think only "The Chosen One" can save them blah blah blah boohoo what ever shall we do? Basically, folks don't have a lot of faith in you and start preparing for the End of the World.

    But, of course, you eventually come face to face with the Big Bad (WHO IS NOT YOUR FATHER GODDAMNIT) as "just some guy" and end up saving the fucking day and proving that you don't have to be some magical, last of your race, child of destiny to get shit done. There is much rejoicing and the world is better for it.
    So... takyris, make it happen.

    Fig-D on
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  • The Dude With HerpesThe Dude With Herpes Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    I swear I've played a game with that exact plot. I'll have to think about it for awhile.

    The Dude With Herpes on
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  • EliminationElimination Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Dashui wrote: »
    I don't mind messiah games. Sometimes it's fun to play as the Chosen One in an epic battle against evil. I even liked Neverwinter Nights 2. But there's one game that attempted to do the Chosen One plot and ended up ruining the entire game for me. You didn't learn you were that in the beginning. In fact, through most of the game you were just an ordinary person on an interesting adventure. Then things just completely went fucked out of the blue. God dammit, Rogue Galaxy.

    Through a large portion of the game, you're on an delightful adventure as a pirate looking for the most prized treasure in the galaxy, going to interesting locations to uncover its mystery. Then what do they do? They turn it into Dragonball fucking Z and throw every cliche possible at the player. Last of an ancient race? Super Saiyan transformation with yellow, spiky hair and incredible powers? Unveiling of a terrible, dark entity bent on consuming everything good in the galaxy? Girl turned princess? Et cetera, et cetera? Yes to all of those and more.

    Sadly this makes me want to go get the game :lol:

    I just got it off Goozex a little while ago, just started playing it. Its pretty good so far, but i havn't become the "chosen one" in it yet. I will probably be shelving this one for a bit though one Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne arrives in the mail (probly tomarrow or next day.) since i am a massive SMT fan and have been waiting to get my hands on Nocturne for ages.

    Also, on the topic of super chosen ones. I think Geralt of Rivia made being special awesome, by also being a complete dick to people on frequent occasions, and using his specialness to get laid constantly. :winky:

    Elimination on
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  • Fig-DFig-D Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    I swear I've played a game with that exact plot. I'll have to think about it for awhile.

    If you can think of what the title is, let me know so I can go buy 6 or 7 copies of it.

    Fig-D on
    SteamID - Fig-D :: PSN - Fig-D
  • IceBurnerIceBurner Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Robman wrote: »
    takyris wrote: »
    Khavall wrote: »
    NWN2 was Avellone trying to write a "Bioware" game, as opposed to a typical Avellone game. Somewhere he talks about it, and he did not like writing a Bioware game.

    So that's part of the reason it's such an over-the-top Bioware plot line.

    Of course, by the same author you have The Exile. Sure she's different and special, but in a bad way.

    And the Nameless One, who was immortal and special but in a fucked up way.

    next time i write a crappy plotline, it will be because i was trying to write an obsidian game, as opposed to a typical me game.

    i'll happily take credit for my own mediocre plots. i don't need to take credit for chris avellone phoning in one of his unless he wants to thank bioware for actually coming up with the concept of the nameless one in the first place.

    on topic, every major bioware game except mass effect uses some version of the messiah complex, as do both kotor2 and nwn2.

    I think you're punching over your weight class here
    Remark not understood. Could someone explain?

    IceBurner on
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  • Alfred J. KwakAlfred J. Kwak Registered User
    edited July 2009
    Fig-D wrote: »
    yada yada yada

    Tales of Symphonia does this ... kind of. Except that you're not the "Chosen One" to begin with, the other "Chosen One" isn't who he appears to be either, he doesn't has to die (but I think he can) and no one has ever heard of you.

    Alfred J. Kwak on
  • RubberACRubberAC Sidney BC!Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    http://image.com.com/gamespot/images/screenshots/1/62551/messiah_790screen001.jpg
    Man I dunno that game was okay for a little bit.
    (quote plox)

    RubberAC on
    raneasig.png
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