The Loop (TV)
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|Quotes • Headscratchers • Playing With • Useful Notes • Analysis • Image Links • Haiku • Laconic|
- Sleepyhead Rule: The teenaged male lead will begin the first day of the game by oversleeping, being woken up by his mother, and being reminded that he's slept in so late he missed meeting his girlfriend.
- "No! My beloved peasant village!": The hero's home town, city, slum, or planet will usually be annihilated in a spectacular fashion before the end of the game, and often before the end of the opening scene.
- Thinking With The Wrong Head (Hiro Rule): No matter what they are accused of or how mysterious their origins, the hero will always be ready to fight to the death for any girl they met three seconds ago.
- Cubic Zirconium Corollary: The aforementioned mysterious girl will be wearing a pendant that will ultimately prove to be the key to either Saving the World or destroying it.
- Logan's Run Rule: RPG characters are young. Very young. The average age seems to be 15, unless the character is a decorated and battle-hardened soldier, in which case he might even be as old as 18. Such teenagers often have skills with multiple weapons and magic, years of experience, and never ever worry about their parents telling them to come home from adventuring before bedtime. By contrast, characters more than twenty-two years old will cheerfully refer to themselves as washed-up old fogies and be eager to make room for the younger generation. (See also Most Writers Are Adults)
- Single Parent Rule: RPG characters with two living parents are almost unheard of. As a general rule, male characters will only have a mother, and female characters will only have a father. The missing parent either vanished mysteriously and traumatically several years ago or is never referred to at all. Frequently the main character's surviving parent will also meet an awkward end just after the story begins, thus freeing him of inconvenient filial obligations.
- Some Call Me... Tim? Good guys will only have first names, and bad guys will only have last names. Any bad guy who only has a first name will become a good guy at some point in the game. Good guys' last names may be mentioned in the manual but they will never be referred to in the story.
- Nominal Rule: Any character who actually has a name is important in some way and must be sought out. However, if you are referred to as a part of a possessive noun ("Crono's Mom") then you are superfluous. 
- The Compulsories: There's always a fire dungeon, an ice dungeon, a sewer maze, a misty forest, a derelict Ghost Ship, a mine, a glowing crystal maze, an ancient temple full of traps, a magic floating castle, and a technological dungeon.
- Luddite Rule (or, George Lucas Rule): Speaking of which, technology is inherently evil and is the exclusive province of the Bad Guys. They're the ones with the robots, factories, cyberpunk megalopolises and floating battle stations, while the Good Guys live in small villages in peaceful harmony with nature. (Although somehow your guns and/or heavily armed airships are exempted from this.)
- Let's Start From The Very Beginning (Yuna Rule): Whenever there is a sequel to an RPG that features the same main character as the previous game, that character will always start with beginner skills. Everything that they learned in the previous game will be gone, as will all their ultra-powerful weapons and equipment.
- Poor Little Rich Hero (Meis Rule): If the hero comes from a rich and powerful family, it will have fallen on hard times and be broke and destitute by the time the game actually starts.
- The Higher The Hair, The Closer To God (Cloud Rule): The more outrageous his hairstyle, the more important a male character is to the story.
- Garrett's Principle: Let's not mince words: you're a thief. You can walk into just about anybody's house like the door wasn't even locked. You just barge right in and start looking for stuff. Anything you can find that's not nailed down (or on fire) is yours to keep. You will often walk into perfect strangers' houses, lift their precious artifacts, and then chat with them like you were old neighbors as you head back out with their family heirlooms under your arm. Unfortunately, this never works in stores.
- Hey, I Know You! You will accumulate at least three of these obligatory party members:
- The spunky princess who is rebelling against her royal parent and is in love with the hero.
- The demure, soft-spoken female mage and healing magic specialist who is not only in love with the hero, but is also the last survivor of an ancient race.
- The tough-as-nails female warrior who is not in love with the hero (note that this is the only female character in the game who is not in love with the hero and will therefore be indicated as such by having a spectacular scar, a missing eye, cyborg limbs or some other physical deformity -- see The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly Rule.)
- The achingly beautiful gothy swordsman who is riven by inner tragedy.
- The big, tough, angry guy who, deep down, is a total softy.
- The hero's best friend, who is actually much cooler than the hero.
- The grim, selfish mercenary who over the course of the game learns what it means to really care about other people.
- The character who is actually a spy for the bad guys but will instantly switch to your side when you find out about it.
- The weird bonus character who requires a bizarre series of side quests to make them effective (with the ultimate result that no player ever uses this character if it can be avoided.)
- The nauseatingly cute mascot who is useless in all battles.
- Hey, I Know You, Too! You will also confront/be confronted by at least three of these obligatory antagonists:
- The amazingly good-looking and amazingly evil long-haired prettyboy who may or may not be the ultimate villain.
- The villain's loyal right-hand man, who comes in two versions: humorously incompetent or annoyingly persistent.
- The villain's attractive female henchman, who is the strongest and most competent soldier in the army but always lets the party escape because she's, yes, fallen in love with the hero.
- Your former ally who supposedly "died" and was forgotten about, until much later in the game when he/she shows up again on the villain's side and full of bitterness.
- The irritatingly honorable foe whom you never get to kill because, upon discovering the true nature of his superiors, he either nobly sacrifices himself or joins your party.
- The insane clown or jester who will turn out to be surprisingly difficult to subdue.
- The Mad Scientist who likes creating mutated creatures and powerful weapons 'cause it's fun (and also handy if uninvited adventurers show up.)
- The adorably cute li'l creature or 6-year-old child who fights you and, inexplicably, kicks your butt time after time.
- Hey, I Know You, Three! Furthermore, expect to encounter most of the following obligatory non-player characters (NPCs):
- The townsperson or crewmember who wanders aimlessly in circles and never quite gets where he is going.
- Hilariously incompetent or cowardly soldiers.
- The NPC who has a crush on another NPC and can't quite work up the nerve to tell him or her, so instead tells every other person who wanders by about it at great length.
- A group of small children playing hide-and-seek.
- The wise and noble captain/king/high priest.
- The wise and noble captain/king/high priest's splutteringly evil second-in-command. Nobody, including the hero, will notice the second's constant, crazed scheming until the moment when he betrays everyone to the forces of badness.
- The NPC who is obsessed with his completely mundane job and witters on endlessly about how great it is. He's so thrilled by it that he wants to share it with everyone he sees, so given a quarter of a chance he'll make you do his job for him.
- The (adult) NPC who has nothing better to do than play kids' games with passersby.
- The group of young women who have formed a scarily obsessive fan club for one of your female party members.
- Crono's Complaint: The less the main character talks, the more words are put into his mouth, and therefore the more trouble he gets into through no fault of his own.
- "Silly Squall, bringing a sword to a gunfight..." No matter what timeframe the game is set in -- past, present, or future -- the main hero and his antagonist will both use a sword for a weapon. (Therefore, you can identify your antagonist pretty easily right from the start of the game just by looking for the other guy who uses a sword.) These swords will be far more powerful than any gun and often capable of distance attacks. (See also Katanas Are Just Better)
- Just Nod Your Head And Smile: And no matter how big that big-ass sword is, you won't stand out in a crowd. Nobody ever crosses the street to avoid you or seems to be especially shocked or alarmed when a heavily armed gang bursts into their house during dinner, rummages through their possessions, and demands to know if they've seen a black-caped man. People can get used to anything, apparently.
- Aeris's Corollary: Just as the main male character will always use a sword or a variant of a sword, the main female character will always use a rod or a staff of some sort.
- MacGyver Rule: Other than for the protagonists, your choice of weapons is not limited to the prosaic guns, clubs, or swords. Given appropriate skills, you can cut a bloody swath across the continent using gloves, combs, umbrellas, megaphones, dictionaries, sketching tablets -- you name it, you can kill with it. Even better, no matter how surreal your choice of armament, every store you pass will just happen to stock an even better model of it for a very reasonable price. Who else is running around the world killing people with an umbrella?
- O Brother, Where Art Thou? (Melfice Rule): If the male hero has an older sibling, the sibling will also be male and will turn out to be one of the major villains. If the hero has a younger sibling, the sibling will be female and will be kidnapped and held hostage by the villains. (A special version of the Theory of Narrative Causality; related to Luke, I Am Your Father and Long Lost Sibling)
- Capitalism Is A Harsh Mistress: Once you sell something to a shopkeeper, he instantly sells it to somebody else and you will never see the item again no matter what. (Related to We Buy Anything. Not related to Adam Smith Hates Your Guts... but he does, and would like you to know that.)
Forward to * Console RPG Cliches 25 to 48
- ↑ Rather ironically, the example they used has a name. It was excised in translation.
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