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Thread: An RPG question

  1. #1
    Pokey vanguard Ziggy's Avatar
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    An RPG question

    Are there any rpg games with a positive spin of organized religion? Not one created so much by religious person or groups so much, but just one where its not painted as the conspiracy villain?

    Which FF Character Are You?

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  2. #2
    Shepherd of the Lost TrkJac's Avatar
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    It depends on how traditional you want to be on your definition of religion. The thing to keep in mind is that many RPGs have anti establishment themes - some group, person, or organization is doing the world wrong and you need to save it. Religion, especially domineering religion, is such a consistent part of human history that we're told that for it to the establishment-villain from time to time is completely understandable. A number of organized spiritualists are portrayed in a positive light. Final Fantasy 9 has the Black and Blue Mage villages, communities that are dedicated to a higher, unifying power (magic, in this case). Almost any version of Robin Hood has Friar Tuck, a priest and monk who helps in a positive way. No mention of the church as a whole is usually mentioned but he is a religious character nonetheless. Again, it's what you want to define religion as - "Jedi" even falls under the category of organized spiritualists (warrior-scholar-monks).

    I also posed the question to a friend of mine and he said, "In Valkyeria Chronicles, the Valkura are worshiped as saviors. It's not very solid but [it's not negative]. You could say that Final Fantasy 7 puts a positive spin. In Midgar, the old church is the only place anything will grow and it later is a site used to heal the world. They use it again in Advent Children to heal wounds. While there is no religion associated with it, it *is* a church."

    It's late at night so I'll leave this as some brief thoughts, but it definitely warrants more research and a look through some academic journals to see if anyone has published a paper on this. If not, this is a great theme for a paper.
    Last edited by TrkJac; 02-19-2013 at 05:53 AM.
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  3. #3
    GER~NADE!! Something's got to change! Killmore's Avatar
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    Dragon Quest games tend to treat churches as more or less positive thing (barring some evil parading around as a religious figure or deity).

    SMT treats the organized religions in roughly the same manner as the might makes right chaos believers in that they're both the incorrect choice compared to the Neutral ending.

    One could debate that the church in FFT isn't necessarily evil so much as staffed by evil/incompetent people. Especially since the church still remains even after losing the majority of its head staff.

    The best example I can come up with though would be Fire Emblem 4 which has one of the setting's major religions hand you its equivalent of the pope as a playable party member (although not as infallible as the real deal (nor as celibate >_>)).

    I suppose though that considering when churches aren't the ones behind everything they're usually there to be glorified save/rez points and/or one more place to shove a talking head or two in (or a place used to crank out units who can convert other units no matter how OP'd they might otherwise be).
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  4. #4
    Pokey vanguard Ziggy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrkJac View Post
    It depends on how traditional you want to be on your definition of religion. The thing to keep in mind is that many RPGs have anti establishment themes - some group, person, or organization is doing the world wrong and you need to save it. Religion, especially domineering religion, is such a consistent part of human history that we're told that for it to the establishment-villain from time to time is completely understandable. A number of organized spiritualists are portrayed in a positive light. Final Fantasy 9 has the Black and Blue Mage villages, communities that are dedicated to a higher, unifying power (magic, in this case). Almost any version of Robin Hood has Friar Tuck, a priest and monk who helps in a positive way. No mention of the church as a whole is usually mentioned but he is a religious character nonetheless. Again, it's what you want to define religion as - "Jedi" even falls under the category of organized spiritualists (warrior-scholar-monks).

    I also posed the question to a friend of mine and he said, "In Valkyeria Chronicles, the Valkura are worshiped as saviors. It's not very solid but [it's not negative]. You could say that Final Fantasy 7 puts a positive spin. In Midgar, the old church is the only place anything will grow and it later is a site used to heal the world. They use it again in Advent Children to heal wounds. While there is no religion associated with it, it *is* a church."

    It's late at night so I'll leave this as some brief thoughts, but it definitely warrants more research and a look through some academic journals to see if anyone has published a paper on this. If not, this is a great theme for a paper.

    A few have talked about it on youtube, but not much else.

    Which FF Character Are You?

    .:Neptune:.
    "You are a very passionate person, however, this passion often remains hidden below the surface. You have a great deal of compassion for others and are always willing to help those in need. You have a great generosity, sometimes so great that you neglect yourself while giving to others. You also have a stubborn side, though, which serves to protect you from being taken advantage of by those you help."

    [damn quizilla's need to log in, can't get the picture too!]

    One Cute Girl!!!!!!!

  5. #5
    Runaway Dog
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    I think it is very difficult to find rpg games with a positive spin of organized religion.

  6. #6
    Runaway Dog Quark's Avatar
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    Suikoden has references to a religion, but it doesn't really form a big role in the main story so that might be more significant than positive - but the point is, not negative! But yeah, I am really struggling to think of any.
    I used to be with it, but then they changed what 'it' was. Now what I'm with isn't 'it', and what's 'it' is weird and scary to me...

  7. #7
    Once a Great Tit, Always a Great Tit Skankin' Garbage's Avatar
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    I know this thread was necro'd, but actually, the new Square-Enix RPG, Bravely Default, definitely does - unless they do a crazy, crazy plot-twist at some point I haven't reached yet. But, so far, there's the four crystals (just like the old Final Fantasy games), and they are worshiped in temples, and this faith in the crystals to guide the human race, etc. is actually called "Crystalism". The main villains are actually "anti-Crystalists", and try to essentially eradicate the religious aspect of the crystals from the world.

    The end result is weird, because it almost as if the game is suggesting that the proper way to live is to eschew science and progress, and live as a devout follower of a religious faith, as if you can't have both.


    All my diggaz say WHAT!?

    Spoiler: Magic (still) ROCKS!

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  8. #8
    Classic ClothHat flavor ClothHat's Avatar
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    I only play old man mapgames that take 4 months to complete a single game by email, Dominions 4 for life nerds.
    Still rocks

  9. #9
    Once a Great Tit, Always a Great Tit Skankin' Garbage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ClothHat View Post
    I only play old man mapgames that take 4 months to complete a single game by email, Dominions 4 for life nerds.
    Hey asshole, you should mail me back my DS games; I miss them.

    Also, we should catch up sometime, but I am terrible at correspondence.


    All my diggaz say WHAT!?

    Spoiler: Magic (still) ROCKS!

    http://jamieobeso.blogspot.com/ (updated 7/26/08)

  10. #10
    Classic ClothHat flavor ClothHat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skankin' Garbage View Post
    Hey asshole, you should mail me back my DS games; I miss them.

    Also, we should catch up sometime, but I am terrible at correspondence.
    I'm getting married, bought a condo, became a boring middle manager, and my hair is going grey. So basically take what you knew and add +10 to my "Dad" stat and you're pretty much set.

    Your DS games are probably buried in a closet somewhere though.
    Still rocks

  11. #11
    GER~NADE!! Something's got to change! Killmore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skankin' Garbage View Post
    I know this thread was necro'd, but actually, the new Square-Enix RPG, Bravely Default, definitely does - unless they do a crazy, crazy plot-twist at some point I haven't reached yet. But, so far, there's the four crystals (just like the old Final Fantasy games), and they are worshiped in temples, and this faith in the crystals to guide the human race, etc. is actually called "Crystalism". The main villains are actually "anti-Crystalists", and try to essentially eradicate the religious aspect of the crystals from the world.

    The end result is weird, because it almost as if the game is suggesting that the proper way to live is to eschew science and progress, and live as a devout follower of a religious faith, as if you can't have both.
    Spoiler in regards to game's spoilers, don't read if you don't want the ending ruined for you: Spoiler: Unfortunately, given them name dropping the Flood of Light, the method used to revive a crystal, and the massive spoiler in the game's goddamn title, I have a sneaking suspicion that things will be taking that crazy, crazy plot-twist by the fourth crystal. Especially since I've already cleared the third one.

    That said, while I suspect that the reason for Prince Adam's campaign was to cast off the shackles of the Crystalists' dogma and to pursue an alternate lifestyle than the one dictated by the order, I don't think hiring a bunch of Captain Planet villains to do their dirty work was the best way of going about it.


    Edit: Further into the game and Spoiler: yeah, the Orthodoxy were just another example of "The church was evil all along.". The only difference is that they were preemptively taken care of by He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. Of course, that's not to say that some of the church's functions wasn't serving an important role in keeping the world from kerploding, but that's what a party of adventurers/heroes are for. Its too bad that the big bad just happened to be genre suave enough to know how blind/dumb good can be, hence the conflict (also Time And Relative Dimensions In Space travel by one or more parties may be involved).
    Last edited by Killmore; 02-24-2014 at 01:19 PM.
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  12. #12
    Classic ClothHat flavor ClothHat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ClothHat View Post
    I only play old man mapgames that take 4 months to complete a single game by email, Dominions 4 for life nerds.
    Also this shit is 75% off on gamersgate right now, so some other turbonerds should go buy this shit so you can get trounced. By me.
    Still rocks

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