Hi Tom.

I wouldn't dismiss console rpgs quite so seriously. Xenogears story captured my imagination so much when I played through it with a friend I even tried novelizing the thing! it has a distinct world, characters with back story, and a plot which is actually interesting!

Of course, not all rpgs are that good, ---- indeed I've heard many people who began with the original ff games complain that rpgs today are too cinimatic and big budgit affairs with no where near enough plot.

I suppose though it's what you grew up with. I sat through the entirity of ff7, Xenogears and much of ff8 with a friend reading the text, just so that I could experience the story and world like watching a tv program.

my first actual text rpg, ---- in fact the first time I'd played an rpg which wasn't run by a human gm, was legend of the green Dragon in 2003, which was fun at the time simply because I'd not played something like that before, ---- but I did grow board after a few months.

That being said, I do remember spending almost a solid 36 hours awake in 2004 playing original Sryth, just because it was so fantastic to find a world like that I could explore.

I suppose for me it's the exploration of a world, it's history and it's people which is important, and I'm largely indifferent to the medium. Entombed I stil very much enjoy for the reactive combat, unpredictability and the chance to physically explore a dungeon space with sounds and atmosphere, ---- but I'm equally really looking forward to the upcoming gamebook from Chronicles of Arborell, a Murder of crows.

Then again, the first game which really grabbed my attention was the graphical game turrican 2 on the amigar at the age of 8, which, ---- though it's essentially a platform shooter not unlike the original Mega Man games with limited weapons and a basic lives system, had a sense of freedom and exploration that was staggering, ---- sinse the levels were truly gigantic mazes, where you'd find yourself going in and out of ruined cities or caves, jumping across waterfalls or suddenly swimming in deep lakes, ---- all in one level, in all directions, up down, forwards and back, not just trailing along left to right. (the fact that Turrican also had award winning and stil very fantastic music didn't hurt either).

Equally though, I was read the hobbit by my dad at the age of 4, and was introduced to Lotr at the age of 6 (I read the silmarillion when I was 10), so maybe for me that's where my love of exploration comes from, ---- independent of what form it comes in.

Beware the grue!


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