16-Bit Gems – #30: Rise of the RPG – A History



Roo presents a retrospective on the history of the video Role-Playing Game – running from tabletop wargames up through Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy – and discusses their impact on the genre as a whole. Learn about the major players – including Gygax, Garriott, Woodhead, Horii, Sakaguchi – and how their efforts led to the 16-bit RPG renaissance.

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42 Comments

  1. Not sure if anybody can help me out but there's a dungeon crawl game I played back when I was a kid. I have no clue what the name of it is and all I can remember is:

    1. Your map movement was a mini map where your character was displayed as an arrow (you never saw your character), and you used arrow keys to move from room to room, one dungeon level to the next.

    2. It had a leader board where it would show whose character was the richest, highest strength, and a ton of other things that were tracked.

    3. All monsters were 2d pictures which would appear as you entered through a doorway to a new room.

    4. It was a PC game

    5. Pretty sure you could only use one character at a time

    6. I believe Mordor was a part of the name but I could be completely incorrect on this one lol

    7. Judging from appearance it would have been early 90's or before.

    This is all I can think of at the moment but I have spent a lot of time trying to find out what it is so if anybody can help me I would love you forever.

  2. Amazing video! JRPGs have such a rich history. I can't imagine my life without them. it's nice to know the groundwork that came before the classics we all know and love.

  3. i speak for my euro dragon balls when i say : you spent way too much time on japanese games. great video though, it wasn't a waste of my time all in all.

  4. This is still probably the most enjoyable review series of any YouTube gaming channel. I particularly enjoy the excellent choice and speeding of the background music through out. If these COTGW episodes were released today you'd be the darling of the YouTube community.

  5. I hope you don't mind Roo, but I found this video to be so informative, I decided to put it on my blog. I'm giving you full credit though.

  6. Great vid. I disagree with one thing however. When the remakes of Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy "fixed" the targeting so your attack was not wasted if you had targeted an enemy that was killed by an ally they in my opinion took out a key aspect of the battle mechanic. The originals required you to think and plan ahead about who would attack who. By changing that mechanic it was just one more move to satisfy and placate the more "neck down" players. So while it may have been a marketing improvement it was in no way a gameplay improvement. I also feel similarly about the change in the amount of experience and gold acquired in Dragon Quest 1. The grind is what made these games what they were. Just like the designers of the game describe it is like climbing a mountain and there is no thrill in success in climbing a small and easy hill.

  7. no mention of phantasy star? mightve been on a different console, but phantasy star as far as rpg goes is up there with dragon quest and final fantasy

  8. Ultima smultima. 'That's whatever you were talking about for ya.' Level 21. Ericson, descendant of Erdrick, the mighty Dragon Warrior defeated the Dragonlord on level 21. A true hero. (I only broke one controller and ultimately damaged by NES beyond repair in the process). Hurtmore!

  9. 10:40 The main screen of Ultima 3, where the four adventurers are fighting and get roasted by a dragon made me laugh the first time I played it in the late 80s and it just did it to me again.

  10. I didn't know Stop Skeletons From Fighting aka The Happy Video Game Nerd spoke Japanese!!! Damn, you and he are badasses! What a team. PS I could recognize his voice anywhere!

  11. This video is great but the Japanese reading by Westerners with poor accents is unbearable. Please find actual Japanese people.

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