the artistry and psychology of gaming




If you haven’t yet, it’d likely be prudent to check out the first article in this series; it provides a proper context for what you’re about to read.  You may also wish to read the previous article.

Accuse me of being superficial if you must (and as I am aesthetically driven, I suppose it’s not entirely untrue), but I find visuals to be very important in a video game.  After all, they’re not story games or audio games; they’re video games.  You might say that graphics don’t make the game, and I’m very strongly inclined to agree, but they certainly enhance the experience.  When I play Picross, I usually mute the TV/Handheld and put on my own music, and the classic Mega Man series has proven that it is quite possible to enjoy a game with no real story, but you can’t play a video game without looking at it.  Yes, I’m aware that people have done blindfold runs of Pokémon, but in order to do that, you have to have played through the game, likely several times, in order to know it well enough to even attempt such a thing.  Unless you’re Neo from The Matrix, you couldn’t do that with something like, say, Ninja Gaiden 2.  It seems I’ve strayed a bit from the topic.  The point is that when you first start up a game, it is the visual splendor (or abomination, depending upon what you‘re playing) that first greets you.

I can see… Final Fantasy 6. It’s riddled with bugs, even worse than the original Final Fantasy.

Now, when I refer to good graphics, I’m not talking about photorealism.  A friend of mine once said, “Reality TV!?  I watch TV to escape from reality.”  I think the same can be applied to video games, perhaps even more strongly because of the immersion caused by the interactive element of the medium.  What’s the point of playing a realistic sports game when you can just go out and, you know, play sports?  I’m not saying that every video game should be a totally abstract creation with no basis in reality – though the Katamari games are a lot of fun – but there should be something to them that makes them different from your everyday life.  Have you noticed that there aren’t a lot of games in which you work in a cubicle, assigning high scores to those who file the most reports in a day?  There’s a reason for that.  Gritty realism defeats the purpose of playing a game, if you ask me.

On the topic of gritty realism, I feel I must mention that I absolutely loathe the “brown is real” mentality that permeates today’s gaming landscape.  It has gotten to the point that just adding splashes of blue or green – which are mundane earth tones, by the bye – causes the masses to weep at the beautiful rainbow before them.  Not only is it ugly and boring, but it’s not realistic.  I don’t live in a major city; I’m out on a stretch of highway so far from civilization that there aren’t any streetlights.  On the highway.  When I look out my back window (the front only sees said highway), I see greens, blues, blacks, and beautiful bursts of colorful flowers, and that’s barring the magenta-trunked India Ink trees.  There is more color in my yard than a typical WRPG or First-Person Shooter on a cloudy day.  I like both brown and gray – in fact, I prefer cloudy days to sunny ones, and the brownish waters of an evening storm in Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker is one of my favorite things to see in the game – but they shouldn’t be what is practically the only color in a game.  Did you know that the reason you buy new consoles with fancy new graphics all boils down to how many colors can be processed by your system?  Funny that most games now are less colorful than even those on the Atari 2600.

Enough about graphics that suck; what would this crazy chick like to see in her video games.  In a word: color.  I’m a chromophile, plain and simple.  I don’t need every single game to be a seizure-inducing rainbow puke, like Teddy Boy on the Sega Master System, but give me something new.  I don’t even mind the occasional dark and gritty, but put some variety into your creation; tromping over the same greenish-brown plains and through the same dark green forests isn’t going to motivate me to explore anything.  The thing is, though, that visuals do not stop at scenery; a sense of aesthetics is needed in creating characters, monsters, and even the flashy visual effects like weapons and magic.  First, though, I’m going to talk about the aforementioned worlds that we explore as gamers.

I’m going to take the arrogant route and begin with how one game took a very mundane setting and turned into something beautiful.  Mother, known to some as Earthbound Zero, did something I’ve never seen any medium do visually before: perfectly captured the aesthetic of the 1980s in the United States.  You kids out there are probably envisioning hot pink spandex, chartreuse leg warmers, and embarrassingly poofy hair.  That’s the ’80s that the movies want you to see; I’ve lived through most of the decade in question, and I can tell you that there’s a lot more to it than that shallow cultural stereotype.  Upon stepping outside of Ninten’s house for the very first time, I was sent immediately back to that special decade that bore me; it felt like a dream.  It’s not something I can possibly describe in words, nor is it anything that someone born too late to have seen the decade will understand, but the palettes they used just perfectly represented the way the light used to shine on everything back then.  I fell in love with the obligatory acid trip area, Magicant, as well; it is a pale pink wonderland of clouds and ponds with wild vegetation and unusual inhabitants.  The sequel, Earthbound, did much the same thing with the 1990s, but not quite as well, and more with cultural references than with actual visuals.  Its Magicant was also wonderful, though; it was a psychadelic dream world that changed color every time you talked to someone.  Shigesato Itoi truly has a way with worlds.

The city of Podunk, a wonderful reflection of the ’80s

A more typical example of mundane in a video game would be Dragon Quest 8.  Its setting was typical of a Fantasy-themed RPG – of which there are many – with its rolling verdant plains, forests, caves, and even a desert and a snowfield; nothing too out of the ordinary.  It was the execution of such a setting that made it a spectacle, however.  The greens were very lush, and the skies were a dark blue; typical colors, to be sure, but the particular shades used were what made it a visual candy land.  What made this truly spectacular, though, was the real-time day-night cycle.  You could stand still and watch the sun rise and set for hours, if you wanted.  Yes, many other games, including Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time did this many years prior, but never before with such a beautiful rainbow of colors.  I live in an area where sunsets often bathe the ground beneath in an unearthly glow I’ve never seen anywhere else, so I’m not that easy to impress with sunsets, but even though I logged one hundred seventy hours and change into the game, I was still stopping to watch every sunset, no matter how much I wanted the game to just be over; they were that resplendent.  The sky gradually fades into a deep red, and then into a spectacular purple, a color the game uses quite well.  There are splashes of purple in the most unexpected places throughout the game, and often in a strikingly glowing shade of magenta that I thought never existed outside of the twisted confines of my skull.  Just the way certain things were put together made the world a pleasure to explore, creating an aesthetic without utilizing color, as I’ve explained in a previous work.  The beach south of Argonia and the island of Empycchu are particularly strong examples of this.  The game is absolutely gorgeous, even if the plants are two-dimensional.

In my field of paper flowers

Another game that used the day-night cycle very well was Quest 64.  The scenery itself was nice as it was, but there’s just something special about exploring a world when the days are passing overhead.  It creates special memories about the first time you reached a town; maybe it was at night and the lights inside the houses just overwhelmed you.  Quest 64 did all sorts of interesting things with its scenery, despite most of its being the standard plains, forests, and caverns.  Cull Hazard was a cavern cast in a reddish shade of brown, which had crevasses with a pale green mist lying within them, and a vine-covered natural bridge leading outside at its end.  Blue Cave was another aptly named cavern made entirely of blue rock, making you sick of blue by the end, but when you reached the deepest part, Crystal Valley, the rock exploded into every color of the rainbow.  This is the sort of thing I want to see: the typical made atypical.  Oh, and then there’s the mind-destroying acid trip of a final dungeon where all reality completely breaks down.  Expect to see that some day on Oases of Beauty.

The darkened skies over the seas of Brannoch Castle

Speaking of glorious color, sometimes all it takes is a strange palette on a normal piece of scenery to make something boring into something spectacular.  Barver Battle Saga, for all of the sprites either lifted wholesale or “heavily borrowed” from other, more popular RPGs, really has some wonderful scenery.  There are many forests in the game; I’d call them the game’s main biome.  The thing is, though, that I don’t think any two of them have trees with leaves of the same color.  There are forests with leaves of autumn gold, blue, purple, and pink for the sheer reason that it’s pretty.  These are far less splashes than outright floods of color, and they make the game far more memorable than such a sadly unoriginal pirate game has any right to be.  The original content, as little as there is, makes quite an impression, too.  There’s a part, shown in the introduction, where you climb around on giant trees in the sky, which is every bit as gorgeous as the bramble stages in Donkey Kong Country 2, and for much the same reasons.

The treetops; one of the few unique areas in the game

Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars used primeval 3D techniques – both early 3D rendering and an isometric perspective – to develop its backgrounds, but it wound up making something that is beautiful, even today.  When I heard there was going to be a Mario RPG, I thought it was a cool idea, but when I saw the preproduction screenshots, I was in absolute awe; I had dreams that something like this might exist some day.  The forest looked dark and inviting; somewhere you’d really enjoy getting lost.  Booster Tower was unlike anything I’d ever seen, and Nimbus Land was essentially a bonus stage from the original Super Mario Bros. fleshed out in glorious 3D.  Each and every location had something visually interesting to offer, whether in color, configuration, or whatever else the artists could throw at players.  All of it was vaguely familiar to what we’d known, but still quite alien. It wasn’t quite like anything Nintendo or Square had ever done before.  When there were rumors of a sequel on the N64, I couldn’t wait to see it.

Part of the sand vortex maze at Land’s End

As it turns out, though, Paper Mario wasn’t visually anything like its spiritual predecessor, though it was equally stunning.  In fact, I’d thought little of it until I first reached Shooting Star Summit.  The grass was light purple, and the atmosphere was dark.  The ground itself pulsated every color of the rainbow, and, as is appropriate to its name, beautiful stars were constantly crashing down from the heavens; I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.  The game was full of places like this, too.  There were strange plants in Jade Jungle that would spew rainbow-colored stars when examined for absolutely no reason at all.  The Flower Fields were a paradise, the likes of which I’d only dreamt could exist.  There was a bit of beauty splashed throughout the game, but then there were areas like these that just overwhelmed me, and still do to this day.  In fact, aside from the fact that I’ve never owned a Game Cube, the main reason that I resisted getting the sequel is because I thought that Paper Mario had to be a fluke; there was no other explanation.

The glorious Shooting Star Summit

After owning a Wii for a little while, I entered the “Hey; backwards compatibility!” phase, and started amassing a small Game Cube collection.  I figured I’d give Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door a shot, since I was able to pick it up relatively cheaply at a local game store.  At first glance, it seemed like just a rehash, but then, I reached Boggly Woods.  Oh my… A second time, I was completely overtaken; I stopped and just stared for what must have been several minutes.  The dark forest with its white leaves floating everywhere just blew me away.  Then again, I reached Twilight Trail and couldn’t believe my eyes.  The final dungeon had its moments, too; there was one planetarium-like area in particular with stars all over at the top of a temple.  All of this in a Mario game that takes itself less seriously than most other Mario games; it was truly a living contradiction.

Inside the final dungeon

Legend of Dragoon has a lot of scenery that’s nothing special; in fact, I’d describe most of it that way.  However, there are several ruins of a fallen civilization that are both beautiful and intriguing.  Everything about them seems unusual; you’ll find machinery of unknown purpose, an unusual way to go about progresss, strange denizens, and a general sense of mystery.  You know these places once served some sort of purpose, but you don’t always know what that purpose was.  In some cases, you’ll have to figure out not only the fallen city’s function, but will have to carry it out and live by it millennia after all organic life had been wiped from its confines, and it’s almost eerie at times.  What makes these areas really stand out is that they have been given a central color, and most everything within it is shades of that color.  This may seem contradictory to what I said earlier, but not only are the colors often unnatural (like deep purple, for instance), but it colors a single area, rather than the majority of the game, so there is a great visual diversity in the game as a whole.

The undersea ruins of Aglis

Skies of Arcadia also lets you explore ancient ruins, and the different continents upon which they are found are separated by obstacles so insurmountable to most, that you might as well be other worlds.  There are some areas that aren’t terribly unique of their own accord, but they’re all different landmasses that are floating in the sky.  There are parts of the sky that are deep orange, purple iceburgs, and an area that’s forever blackened with electrical storms.  Each of the different kingdoms is nestled in an area unlike the others throughout the world.  Oddly enough, though the idea of exploring a world in the sky is a brilliantly creative concept, one of the most interesting areas is that which lies beneath the clouds.  The actual ground of this world is under cloud cover so thick that it’s permanently black, and the ground appears to be little more than loose sand.  It reminds me a bit of the underwater map of Final Fantasy 7, with its dark atmosphere, and its horrifying denizens.  Perhaps what fascinates me most about this is that I sometimes dream of such scenes in; black, but crystal clear, water-filled areas are a fairly common element in my subliminal adventures.  Of course, you may know this already, since my weekly feature is somewhat autobiographical.  At any rate, Skies of Arcadia sets out to be a grand adventure, focusing on exploration of a world long forgotten to its own residents, and it accomplishes just that.

The Pirates’ Wrath special attack; it’s not even technically a location

SaGa Frontier is a game that does the inverse, allowing you not to explore a vast, mysterious world, but a large number of little ones.  In SaGa Frontier, you travel to different Regions, which I assume are planets or something of the like.  Like your standard Platformer, each Region has a different theme to differentiate it from the others.  Owmi is like a little town in Europe with a canal running through it, which is spotted with pink flower petals.  Kyo is a gorgeous Region that resembles rural Japan in Autumn.  There are some unusual areas, though.  Facinaturu is a dark purple area with a towering castle that is elegant in a macabre sort of way; it’s rather unique.  There are also a few virtual and dream-like sequences that delve into the surreal in a visually interesting way.  Mosperiburg holds perhaps the greatest intrigue; it has snowy mountains and a sky that looks like it’s perpetually in flames, but very little of it is accessible, and even less of that takes place outside.  In fact, unless you decide to pursue the Arcane Magic side quest, all you’ll ever see of Mosperiburg is the inside of a dark, imposing mansion.  In the mundane sector is Shrike, a nice, sunny little town that’s surprisingly charming.  While none of the Regions in SaGa Frontier are particularly large, they all come together to provide a diverse experience.  As with Paper Mario, I thought the beauty in this game was a fluke, but unfortunately, I was right this time.

The gate of the castle in Facinaturu

Final Fantasy 9 is my favorite Final Fantasy on the Playstation, and for many reasons, aesthetics being one of which.  Even the Mist Continent, where you begin the game in earnest, is an atypical look at the usual plain; it’s misty, so everything’s overcast.  It’s not often you see a cloudy area in a video game; it happens, but it’s usually sunny, unless a particular scene takes place in the rain.  When you get to Burmecia, you’re in an area that is perpetually rainy, and despite its dearth of color, it’s quite stunning.  Painting everything gray can be aesthetically pleasing, but it works best when it’s natural, as opposed to gun metal gray.  Not far from there is Cleyra, one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen.  Cleyra is a giant tree; you climb the inside of the trunk, which is a pretty cavern full of sand, and you emerge in a flowery loft surrounded by a swirling sandstorm.  Also visually interesting is Oeilvert, ruins that tell of another planet.  You eventually get to go to that planet, and its azure plant life and atmosphere are quite alien, almost as if they’re *gasp* on another planet!  So many games take place on another world to provoke a sense of intrigue, but far too often, it’s “another world, much like our own”.  You know, a little creativity goes a long way.

The rainy kingdom of Burmecia

Though there is a great beauty in complex palettes well blended together, there is also beauty in stark constrast and simplicity.  OFF‘s worlds are rarely more than two different colors, and are constructed almost entirely out of basic geometric shapes.  The contrast comes from the fact that every sprite is completely devoid of color; they’re all black and white.  The look reminds me of one of those weird, obscure cartoons you would have seen at strange hours of the night back in the late ’70s or very early ’80s.  Said environments also look very barren and forlorn, and after they are purified, they turn monochromatic, giving them a very disturbing atmosphere.  Despite this, the look is quite charming; it was this visual style that first drew me to the game.


Inside the office at the Smoke Mines

When my grandfather picked up Paladin’s Quest, I was excited, because my hero, Cecil Harvey, had become a paladin.  Well, the game should’ve retained its original Japanese name, Lennus, since there weren’t any paladins, but I was most certainly not disappointed with it.  The game and its Japan-only sequel did what most other RPGs didn’t have the gall to attempt; they created another world that looked like – get this – another world.  There were no grassy plains or verdant forests; even the snowfields looked unlike anything I’d ever seen before.  The main ground was of a yellow dirt or sand with strange patterns in it.  The trees looked like wild vines with blue spheres where leaves would be.  The mountains looked like some snooty architect had designed them as a house.  Even the treasure chests were shaped like jelly-filled donuts, which opened at the top, making a strange noise when you did so.  Nothing, nothing looked like anything you’d ever see anywhere on Earth, and that was just the northern continent.  It’s really sad that Copya and its greatest RPG series never really got off the ground, because they made something very unique; something far more daring than anything I’ve seen in the last decade at the very least.  I can at least take solace in the fact that Lennus had a sequel, and that it far exceeded its predecessor in nearly every possible way.

Naskuot’s landscape; anything but your typical RPG world

Chrono Cross also has some very unique scenery.  Much of the game has a tropical motif, and you’ll find things that look like coral reefs in the most unusual places; it uses a mundane element to create a very alien landscape.  This creates a very colorful aesthetic overall, but there is a lot of diversity, as well; you’ll go from sailing the seas in the bright sunshine to entering the Dead Sea, which is easily one of the most unsettling locales I’ve ever experienced in a JRPG.  The Dead Sea is a ruined civilization of high-technology strewn about an ocean that has been completely frozen in time.  Between walking upon waves as still and solid as ice and the haunting music that never stops playing throughout the overworld and three dungeons therein, the Dead Sea is a place that will follow you around long after you shut off the game.  Also quite stunning is the Terra Tower, which was crafted from a coral reef; it has three main sections: the stone area, the reef area – the two of which occasionally overlap – and the zenith.  The zenith is a small area, but it is absolutely gorgeous, with a night sky as the backdrop to a deep magenta ground with prismatic highlights.  So, while some of Chrono Cross’s environments are pretty standard, you will find locations unlike anything you’ve ever seen before, and that’s something that I believe that every lengthy game with an emphasis on exploration should have.

The zenith of Terra Tower

The zenith of Terra Tower

Adventure games, particularly the image-based ones, like Shadowgate and Déjà Vu, have very strong visual scenery.  They have to; there’s little more to them in terms of graphics, unless you count the text-based menus.  There have been a few Adventure-RPG hybrids over the years, and for much the same reason, they have wonderful environments.  The two Sword of Hope games on the Game Boy, have some stunning and sometimes otherworldly scenes.  Sword of Hope 2 in particular has the mysterious Nuku Island, which seems to be just a beach with a gnarled tree reaching into the skies, but as you climb it, you find eerie deserted ruins in the clouds.  It’s the most absorbing world I’ve ever seen in a Game Boy game, and it does this without any color.  Maharajah on the NES is the same type of game, and its visuals are also very strong.  The shore in particular is a beautiful Spring riverbank, filled with flowers.

A tree at the ground level of Nuku Island

The first-person perspective has also benefited straight RPGs in much the same way.  Shin Megami Tensei 2 takes place in an alternate, post-Apocalyptic future, and its bleak visuals, while often drab and colorless, really jump out at times.  The Factory area has black skies, but with an auburn glow at the horizon that really makes it unique.  Also pleasing is the overworld, which is done completely with simple geometric shapes.  Tokyo Millennium is a simple blue grid with lighter blue cross-hatch running through it in an isometric perspective.  As is standard in Shin Megami Tensei and other Atlus games, your character is represented by a circle atop a spinning triangle.  Buildings are mostly comprised of rectangular prisms, and it all comes together to create a very pleasing, yet simple aesthetic.  Makai has a much darker look, but has brightly colored shapes throughout it; I’ve always loved bright colors against a black background, and to see it as a full environment makes me wish I could explore it all.  Any liquid, whether water or lava, is black, but outlined in jagged, quadratic lines in an appropriate color: red for lava, or blue for water.  If you stop to look around in those areas (go into the menu), you’ll see a dark sky with distant mountains and bright water or lava, as well as a distant red haze at the top.  You’ll see purple cones, which are revealed to be scraggly purple brambles with red roots.  The towers of the various towns look like bright red silos and the towns themselves look a little like barns.  The Tower of Chokmah is a bright blue rectangular prism, reaching into the sky.  Finally, there is a vast black area with a bright red matrix of lines running through it with a hole missing in the center.  As I’ve mentioned, many of these areas are sadly inaccessible, but that lends itself to the illusion that this is a huge area.  Besides, we’ll always have our dreams and fantasies for its further exploration.

Outside in Valhalla, a district of Tokyo Millennium

Speaking of post-Apocalyptic, I’d say few represent the theme in a more interesting way than the sequel, Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne.  Not only is it interesting that Tokyo becomes the entire world after its transformation, but also that you’re on the inside of a sphere rather than atop it.  Cities still stand, but they all have an interesting glow to them, usually in blue or purple.  Outside, everything is covered in sand, which has ridges, almost like a Tokyo-sized Zen garden.  Everything’s abandoned, too, aside from a few demon NPCs with whom you can speak, and it all begins in what is a rather creepy abandoned hospital.  Exploring the now empty city, once a thriving metropolis, really makes you think about the most intricate details of its construction that usually get lost in the crowds traveling through it.  My personal favorites, however, are the Amala areas, which have circuit-like designs all over them with a red energy flowing through the ridges.  I’ve always like designs like this, and they’re done very well here.

The Amala Temple

Breath of Fire 4, while mostly a less colorful interpretation of its predecessor, gives you a little something horrific every now and again.  The enemy has a cannon that takes human suffering and weaponizes it, firing a blast that renders an area uninhabitable, much like a nuclear weapon.  Granted, its effects last much longer, and it creates monsters, but the parallel is there.  Unlike a nuclear weapon, though, it has visual effects that are readily apparent.  Everything is cast in blackness, with dark purple mists floating through it.  It doesn’t sound like much, but with the tiny shreds of civilization poking through it, it makes quite the impact.  It’s eerily beautiful, though, and I often find myself getting lost in the darkness.  There’s a particular area affected by this weapon that has water, which refers again to that black water element in my dreams, which predates this by many years.  Perhaps even more bizarre is that it lets you fish there; I think that’s cool, since it lets you see what kind of fish swim in such waters.  There are other spoilerific moments in the game that are pretty creepy, too, but none as visually impressive as this.

The Chamba fishing spot

As I said, there is a lot more to graphics than the worlds you explore, but they’re a very large part of what makes a game memorable.  This is true of any genre that encourages exploration, which is what makes this so important; if the scenery’s ugly, then what is your motivation to see more of it?  Even if they’re very standard, the game will be far less memorable, and will need to rely heavily upon its other merits to prevent itself from being lost to time.  Say what you want about story, but when I’m looking at a new game, especially an RPG, I often find textual reviews to be insufficient.  So, I go to YouTube to try to get a look at the battle system, but the first thing that punches me in the face before I can even get that far, is a flood of images of the world in which it takes place; it’s hard not to let that have some sort of influence over your decision.


Works Cited:

Game Title (Alternate title: Region). Developer, Original system of release, Original Release Date

Barver Battle Saga: Tai Kong Zhan Shi [Pirate]. ChuanPu Technology Co, Sega Genesis, 1996.
Breath of Fire 4. Capcom, Sony Playstation, 04/27/2000.
Chrono Cross. Squaresoft, Sony Playstation, 11/18/1999.
Deja Vu: A Nightmare Comes True!. ICOM Simulations, Macintosh, 1985.
Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest (Super Donkey Kong 2: Dixie & Diddy). Rare Ltd., Super Nintendo Entertainment System, 11/21/1995.
Dragon Quest 8: Journey of the Cursed King (Dragon Quest 8: Sora to Umi to Daichi to Norowareshi Himegimi; Japan). Level 5, Sony Playstation 2, 11/27/2004.
Final Fantasy 7. Squaresoft, Sony Playstation, 01/31/1997.
Final Fantasy 9. Squaresoft, Sony Playstation, 07/07/2000.
Legend of Dragoon. SCEI, Sony Playstation, 12/02/1999.
Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (Zelda no Densetsu: Toki no Ocarina). Nintendo, Nintendo 64, 11/21/1998.
Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker (Zelda no Densetsu: Kaze no Takuto; Japan). Nintendo, Nintendo Game Cube, 12/13/2002.
Maharajah. Quest, Nintendo Entertainment System, 09/29/1989.
Mother (Earthbound Zero; North America [Prototype]). Pax Softonica, Nintendo Entertainment System, 07/27/1989.
Earthbound. (Mother 2: Gyiyg no Gyakushuu; Japan). Ape Studios, Super Nintendo Entertainment System, 08/27/1994.
Ninja Gaiden 2: The Dark Sword of Chaos (Ninja Ryuukenden 2: Ankoku no Jashinken). Tecmo, Nintendo Entertainment System, 04/06/1990.
OFF. Unproductive Fun Time, PC, 2008.
Paladin’s Quest (Lennus: Kodai Kikai no Kioku; Japan). Copya Systems, Super Nintendo Entertainment System, 11/13/1992.
Paper Mario (Mario Story; Japan). Intelligent Systems, Nintendo 64, 08/11/2000.
Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door (Paper Mario RPG; Japan). Intelligent Systems, Nintendo Game Cube, 07/22/2004.
Quest 64 (Eltale Monsters; Japan, Holy Magic Century; PAL). Imagineer, Nintendo 64, 06/01/1998.
SaGa Frontier. Squaresoft, Sony Playstation, 07/11/1997.
Skies of Arcadia (Eternal Arcadia; Japan). Overworks, Sega Dreamcast, 10/05/2000.
Shadowgate. ICOM Simulations, Macintosh, 1987.
Shin Megami Tensei 2. Atlus, Super Nintendo Entertainment System, 03/18/1994.
Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne (Shin Megami Tensei 3: Nocturne; Japan). Atlus, Sony Playstation 2, 02/20/2003.
Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars. Squaresoft, Super Nintendo Entertainment System, 03/09/1996.
Sword of Hope (Selection: Erabareshi Mono; Japan). Kemco, Nintendo Game Boy, 12/28/1989.
Sword of Hope 2 (Selection 2: Ankoku no Fuuin; Japan). Kemco, Nintendo Game Boy, 09/04/1992.
Teddy Boy (Teddy Boy Blues). Sega, Sega Master System, 10/20/1985.

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