Monday, June 17, 2024

5 Video Game Tropes You’ve Experienced.

October 24, 2021 by  
Filed under Gaming, Hack and Slash, JRPGs, News

( If a video game is invested in long enough to become a series and grow into a franchise, you’ll notice certain tropes. I love finding tropes in games and genres so let’s take a look at five tropes that have been the glue of a franchise or genre for years.

Beat ‘Em Up/Brawlers: “A City Ravaged by Crime…Take to the Streets!”

If you’ve ever played Streets of Rage, Rival Turf, River City Ransom, Final Fight, or Double Dragon you know this trope. Often times, you just start at the far end of a stage—a city or town—and you have to throw fists with every gang in town.

That’s it. This town is flooded with street gangs and apparently, you’re the only one who can bring down the big boss. There have always been questions about this trope.

How was the “big boss” able to unify these gangs? Why are they wilding out now? Where in the hell are the police? Oh, they’re working for the big boss as well? Skip that question. Why do these street gangs have such advanced weaponry?

That last question is an important one because you’ll end up fighting robots, they have helicopters with gatling guns, and of course, our next entry.

Beat ‘Em Up/Brawlers: The Bad Guy Who Is Way Bigger Than Everyone Else

This is a Konami trope in their titles but in beat ‘em ups, you will always get to a stage where the boss is this guy who is just massive. Not even obese just…muscle-bound and large.

Height-wise, he’s probably a little under half the height of your screen. Not only that but he does damage. The solution to beating him is usually the jumping kick and staying out of the way of his attacks but where does he come from?

Seriously, if you—and maybe another player—were busy spanking all of the thugs and minions that came after you, why didn’t the big boss send this guy out earlier to put an end to all of that?

The big boss is just throwing people at you and you’re mowing them down. Wouldn’t it mess up their operation if they’re short on able-bodied henchmen to do the dirty work?

Apparently not since there are so many coming out nowhere like roaches when the lights come on. Just send Birdie out to put Guy and Cody to sleep already.

Old School JRPGs: The Forgotten Economy

We don’t have so much of a trope here as something I always bring up to my brother when we talk about old school RPGs. The old Japanese RPGs had a linear progression that even extended to the game world.

There are often weapon and armor shops in every town. In addition to this, there is usually one main quest in the general area. Players will take their party into those towns, get the best gear available, a couple of potions, and set off to beat the monster or boss of that area.

Once that boss is defeated, the story moves forward and so does the party. There is absolutely no reason to return to this town now. When that happens, I picture the town falling into an economic depression because no one else is buying gear!

If they were—meaning another group of heroes swing by—then sure, that town or village can thrive. However, no one comes through. That town is cooked, it’s done. Why would a group of heroes come through anyway?

After your party kills the area boss, there’s no work for another group of adventurers. There’s no gold in killing mobs out on the map. The big money and best gear is in the dungeon, cave, and spanking the dungeon boss.

Final Fantasy: A Kingdom is Corrupted or A Large Oppressive Government Needs to Stopped

This has always been a backdrop to Final Fantasy games and sometimes, it has been a major part of the story. Basically, whatever kingdom the main character hails from is corrupted by some kind of influence—magic, schemes, or magical schemes.

Things go bad real fast but you and a party of adventurers aim to stop them. Well, you have to because if you don’t, maybe the world will be at risk. If there isn’t a kingdom, then it’s a government or organization going hard in the paint with oppression.

They’re breaking new ground in oppression, folks. Just like in the more fantasy-oriented “corrupted kingdom” trope, it’s up to you to stop them. Tie it into the above “the forgotten economy” for a primo RPG mix.


“This Is My Strongest Form!” or “I’m Not Out Yet!”

I first ran into this in Donkey Kong Country on the Super Nintendo. After you beat King K. Rool, he’ll be down, the music becomes intense, then sh** gets real. K. Rool becomes faster, the music becomes faster, and your reflexes have to be better than in round one.

This trope is a little cheap. You might go into a boss fight with a certain amount potion or whatever and think “This should get me through this fight.” You’re right, it should and often it does.

That is until the boss gets back up after the first round and you realize that it’s a two-part fight! Not only that, the boss is even more powerful or faster. They might even have an attack that fills most of the screen.

Meanwhile, you ate through your resources in the first round. I mean, you’ll learn after getting clapped in that encounter but that was a little excessive. Then again, they’re a main boss so you shouldn’t expect them to fight fair.

What is really cheap is when sub-bosses do this. Who do they think they are? Ganon from Zelda? King Bowser? It’s sub-boss going for round two and halting your progress.

Again, it’s a wee bit excessive but fun all the same.

Staff Writer; M. Swift

This talented writer is also a podcast host, and comic book fan who loves all things old school. One may also find him on Twitter at; metalswift.

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