The following blog is set for One Fall! Introducing first, he is the Hylian Champion! Winner of the Seven-Year Slam, making the Hylian Ring safer, one Powerbomb of Courage at a time!
Started gaming on an Atari 2600, grew into the gamer I am now with Nintendo, playing on an NES and SNES. Became more aware of the wider scope of gaming through the Playstation and Xbox. Now I'm loving the PC gaming life.
My favorite games include A Link to the Past, Terranigma, Guilty Gear X2, Viewtiful Joe, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, and DotA 2.
Huge comic book reader, and currently keeping up with Saga and Hawkeye.
My favorites are The Sandman Vol 4, Batman - Court of Owls, and V for Vendetta.
Lover of wrestling, although not so much of the infamous Attitude Era. Much of more a CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, and Dolph Ziggler kinda guy.
Life-long reader of books of the fictional and non-fictional variety. Love Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, Robin Hobb, Kurt Vonnegut, Chuck Wendig and Haruki Murakami.
My biggest dream is that one day Quintet returns and makes a current generation Terranigma.
Twice now I asked you guys to send me some of your favorite game covers drawn up in MS Paint, and bothtimes you have delivered some fantastic work! Seriously, I'm amazed at some of the stuff you guys keep sending in!
Now that we've got game covers out of the way, it's time to change things up a bit. This month's MS Paint challenge is to draw an iconic or memorable moment from a game. This can be anything, from a story event unfolding that has left it's impression on you as a kid, to that overwhelming boss battle you survived. Hell, draw something recognizable that would happen in multiplayer games. So long as you think you can present it in a recognizable way, go for it. Everything gets posted.
You have until the 26th of March to send in your drawings.
The new post goes live then. If you're late, post your work in the comments, everyone's been good about upvoting the art posted there to the top.
If you're new to to Destructoid MS Paint Edition and want to join in, here's a few guidelines:
1. You don't have to be able to draw to join. I can't draw at all, and I don't care. Chances are you can make something recognizable in 10 minutes anyway.
2. To join in, send your drawing to me as in a message on here or post a link here in the comments section.
3. Have fun! This isn't a contest, there's no prizes beyond getting other people to appreciate what you've made and being a part of something.
They all sent me drawings since the last post went up, and they were too good not to use at some point.
Unless you've been trapped under a Snorlax on Route 12 for the past month, chances are you've at least heard of Twitch Plays Pokemon, Nintendo's first majorly successful online game. In it, thousands of players banded together to simultaneously play a single game of Pokemon Red. It's insane, it's undeniably something stupid that could have only happened on the internet, and yet it's strangely inspiring.
Twitch Plays Pokemon is a livestream on Twitch where players control the main character through chat commands. Saying Up, down, left, right, b, a, or start in the channel's chat room automatically feeds the command input to the game, a hacked ROM of Pokemon Red that includes all 151 original Pokemon that is running in Visualboy Advance.
At most points during the playthrough there were at least 50.000 people watching and sending in commands. Doing a playthrough of any RPG would be hard enough to coordinate with ten people simultaneously, let alone thousands of them. So when Red has to take a single step to the right to position himself in front of a door, all the helpful players would of course spam right, causing the character to walk right past the door. Other helpful players would anticipate that, and throw in a bunch of commands to walk left ahead of time to counteract this.
I'm intentionally marking these players as the helpful ones, because like with anything on the internet, Twitch Plays Pokemon had an absurd amount of detractors. In a way, they helped make it a lot more interesting, because they added to the underlying narrative that, at least to me, started rising out of the pure chaos after they got halfway through the game.
Normally on the internet, when something becomes popular, people feel the need to remind you of how much they hate this concept, find it stupid, don't understand why it exists, and that it needs to stop. Preferably now. Bringing Twitch Plays Pokemon up anywhere would result in a lot of these reactions, often from the same people. Which is as to be expected, because that's the reaction you get to anything Pokemon regardless of what is happening with the franchise.
The same way nothing is ever changing in the franchise and Nintendo is milking the everloving fuck out of it despite literally everything about the franchise having been tooled and tinkered with since the start, barring the main premise of catching them all and being the very best, like no one ever was.
Twitch Plays Pokemon's biggest detractors were the trolls trying to put a stop to the progress and make the game unplayable for others. As you'd expect in a game with over 50k players, not everyone is trying to be helpful. A lot of people would spam start to send the game into the menu and get it stuck there for a while. Any time there was a ledge, it was sure the direction that would lead the player over it, forcing everyone to get around it again, would get spammed in chat.
You'd think something like that would make people quit playing after a while, especially since the troll inputs were a constant. And when you consider how badly those inputs could get people stuck for hours on something as minor as a staircase, a door, or a ledge, just think of how the more complicated aspects of the game worked in an environment like that.
At several points in the game you need to have a Pokemon that can use a special ability to progress. For instance, a tree needs to get cut down.
To get past the tree, you need to get a Pokemon who can use Cut and teach it to him. Normally you'd have to go to to the inventory and select the right item, confirm you want to use it, choose the correct Pokemon from the menu, confirm you want to teach it to him, select one of the four moves he should forget to make room for it, and then confirm that it's okay to delete that move.
But before you even get that far, you'll need to catch a Pokemon in the wild. To do that, you'd have to buy Pokeballs from a shop with money. Money that can obviously run out. Then you need to find some tall grass and start a battle, weaken the enemy Pokemon without killing it, go to your inventory, pick the Pokeball, confirm you want to use it, and hope you've actually caught it because otherwise you'll have to waste another Pokeball. Granting that you're even catching a Pokemon that can learn Cut, because not all of them can.
After catching more than six Pokemon, your newly caught ones are sent to the PC storage. You'll have to access that from a Pokemon Center. Before being allowed to withdraw your Pokemon, you have to first deposit one from your party. Also, the option to release your Pokemon and lose it forever is right next to the option of withdrawing one.
Now imagine going through all of these motions with the previously mentioned problems of helpful people getting in their own way and trolls trying to ruin the experience for others.
It certainly gives you some extra appreciation for all the complexities of a game that you'd normally take for granted. Struggling with every single step really makes you realize how much is constantly going on in these games.
Players would repeatedly get stuck in the menus of the game, more often than not the inventory. Accidentally using items at the wrong time, or throwing them away when possible. It got so bad that one of the key items in the game quickly rose to fame. The Helix Fossil. Introduced early in the game, it's one of the two fossilized items you keep on you until near the end of the game where you revive an extinct Pokemon. After being used at all the wrong times throughout the entire game, the item started becoming its own religion. A story was built around the trainer being on a journey to revive his lord and savior, Lord Helix.
After a while a new system was added to the experience, Democracy. A voting system where instead of raw input, the game would pause until enough votes were cast and then feed the most voted input into the game. At first it seemed like Democracy was going to give us slow but steady progress, as the helpful part of the playerbase stopped tripping over each other. After a while it became clear that the system was fundamentally broken because the trolls realized they had a louder voice if they spammed their commands enough.
The introduction of Democracy caused the game to nearly come to a standstill, as players got frustrated in their inability to get through a simple maze in Team Rocket's hideout and the constant Democracy and Anarchy voting in the chat. Democracy saw them through the maze after almost a full day only to send them right back into it. Anarchy got them through the maze a second time, this time only taking two minutes. After a while players started figuring out how to coordinate a bit more, even with the trolls, detractors, anarchy/democracy votes, and stupidly large amount of players.
Somehow they even managed to capture a legendary Pokemon in Zapdos, and made their way through Victory Road, a long road full of various obstacles that requires the use of almost all the HM abilities in less than a day.
As much as I find the story surrounding the stream and the idea of it happening interesting, watching it is the most excruciating and painful experiences it could possibly be. Although every time they made the tiniest step forward, it felt like all the previous struggles were worth it.
The biggest draw for me towards Twitch Plays Pokemon was the fact that on paper, it sounds impossible. Not only are you dealing with well-intended players who keep tripping over each other, you have your typical constant internet bitterness looming over it deriding how worthless, futile, and dumb it is. And then you've got all the trolls trying to end the stream, send the players off ledges, get them stuck in menus, release their best Pokemon into the wild, and finding all sorts of weird ways to ruin the experience for others.
Yet in spite of all of that, they made it. Against all odds the players overcame all the constant detractors, stuck to what they were doing, and ultimately, they succeeded. It's the single most inspiring online event that I have been allowed to be a part of, and a large part of this is why so many people cared so much about it.
Yes, other streams started popping up. A lot of them also played Pokemon and had a smaller viewerbase that managed to progress through the game faster. But somehow without the negative attention, it didn't feel as much as a journey as the original stream did.
Currently Twitch Plays Pokemon has moved on to Pokemon Crystal, the later released third game of Pokemon's second generation.
So I got myself a 3DS over the weekend. I've been wanting to get my hands on one for a while now, and every time I nearly left a store with one in my hands, I chickened out of the purchase because it somehow wasn't the right time. Last Saturday turned out to be just the right time. No special reason, outside of getting a decent deal on a regular 3DS.
First thing I did was download a bunch of demos. I figured they would last me at least a week or so and give me a better idea of what games to buy. So I started off with Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies and Bravely Default.
Let's start with the longer one of the two, Bravely Default. Yes, it's kinda shitty you get limited uses with demos. Something that I'd honestly not even consider a problem if it wasn't for a demo like this. I don't think I've ever come across a demo that lasted me this long. For the better part of the weekend, Bravely Default was my main game to play. As I'm writing this now, I still haven't beaten the demo. I'm at the first major boss battle, after flooring all the mini-bosses. There are still 20 uses left on my demo and my town is fully restored.
This game will be a sure purchase for me in the future. It's interesting to see a demo really do something special like this. Giving you different content tailored to giving players a good understanding of what the full game will be like without having them play the exact same thing again when they pick up the full game. The last time a demo left that strong an impression on me was the excellent Bioshock demo back on the Xbox 360, which in the end, I'd rate as a better experience than the full game. Let's hope this won't be the case with Bravely Default.
The other major demo I picked up was Ace Attorney Dual Destinies. My experiences with the Ace Attorney defined the DS for me. When I played the first one it was an eye-opener on all the different kind of games the DS could really offer. If it wasn't for that, I'd likely have never sought out games like Hotel Dusk, 999, or even Henry Hatsworth and SMT: Devil Survivor. So naturally I had to at least try the new game in the franchise. I enjoyed the demo quite a bit. So much in fact, that after putting some digital currency on my device, I bought the full version of the game.
It's so good to see Phoenix Wright back in the courtroom, fully animated in 3D instead of represented by GBA sprites.
I haven't played much of the full version yet, most of my playtime's still gone towards Bravely Default. Man, that demo is surprisingly long.
There's a few other demos that I picked up that I'll run through real quick:
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow
Eh. Not impressed. The old DS ones seem like they're much better games. Maybe if this ever drops under 15 euros it'll be a decent game for that price range. But otherwise I am really not interested in it
I love Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan! and I love Final Fantasy music. These two are going hand in hand very well, and I can see myself picking this up in the near future.
Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance
The fun thing about a Kingdom Hearts demo is that it starts at the typical Kingdom Hearts"Wait. What? Why am I here. What is going on? Why. What. How. No. Stop. Give me a second. What?" and stops before giving any answers. Not that the regular Kingdom Hearts titles were really adept at giving answers either, it seems the longer that franchise goes on the more convoluted and hard to follow it gets. Not fond of how Neku was represented in those three seconds you see him either. He seems to be turned into that same Squall template they like turning Cloud into whenever they use him now.
Monster Hunter 3D Ultimate
I really want to play a proper Monster Hunter game, and I likely will in the future. But the demos are really great at scaring people away. You get to pick a weapon without any idea of how they play and then have to fight a giant monster for 20 minutes without any clue as to what anything whatsoever is. Not a good way to introduce people to a game.
Having tried all those demos, I felt like I'd had a good enough idea to plan ahead in terms of what games I do and do not want. Like I mentioned earlier, I picked up the new Ace Attorney on the virtue of it being Ace Attorney. I figured an Ace Attorney game's likely not going to last very long, they never do, so I picked up the old GBC Mario Tennis game in case I ever need a long void to fill. I love me some Tennis RPG. After that I picked up Gunman Clive, because everything about it appeals to me and it's pretty damn cheap. I still have some money left on my account, which is just going to sit there unless something really shiny goes on sale, or until I add more funding for the next big purchases next month.
The biggest surprise for me so far has been Street Passes. I did not expect to get any on my 3DS because of all the bad experiences with finding people to link non-Pokemon games with on all of the old Nintendo handhelds. For the first three days or so, I did not get a single Street Pass. When it rains, it pours seems to be a good way to describe my experience with Street Passes, because yesterday I suddenly got 10 of them. Today, right before writing this, I got another 8.
So far I've played some Streetpass Quest, and I've really enjoyed it. Very cool to have something like that for free on the system.
If anyone wants to be my 3DS friend, please leave your Friend Code here in the comments! I'll happily accept any D-toid people who want to be my friend. My Friend Code is: 1134-9024-0665.
I haven't really been active on this side of Destructoid lately. Maybe you noticed, maybe you didn't. I don't know how much attention people pay to me on here. Either way, I've been wanting to post more, but life's been rough the past month or so.
Yeah, this is going to be one of those posts. I have to write something in order to get the gears moving again, so it might as well be about this. Momentum's a big thing for me, when I let go of it, it's hard to get started up again. And right now, I'm at a dead stop with a lot of things. Forgive me if I'm rambling in this one, because I'm not going to do my typical write it one day, edit it the next, format and upload it the day after structure. This is all stream-of-thought, no-editing, right-in-the-browser blogging.
About a month ago, I got an e-mail saying I had to move out of my apartment in three weeks or I'd be homeless. This came out of nowhere. Especially considering what kind of apartment I'm living in. I've been homeless before. In fact, the place I'm living in now is for previously homeless people to build up again before they move to a real place of their own. When I moved in, I was promised they'd arrange a more permanent spot for me to avoid the typical form of house-searching in my city, which generally takes up to 2 years to rent a place of your own. The last conversation I had prior to being told I'd had to leave was about how I should just kick back, relax, and build up my life some more. That there's no need to stress about things, and that I'm guaranteed one of those houses they arrange for people. Then a few months later, I have to find something in three weeks of I'm homeless.
No special reasons. No rules broken. Nothing special that lead up to this. Just out of the blue from someone working within the organization that I'd never heard from.
Naturally, I stressed the fuck out. Three weeks to find a new place. Technically, one week. This was happening over the holiday period so supply is pretty much at its lowest. Real estate brokers closed down for a few weeks. Online sites had less than a page to offer, usually the same few places. Most of the supply that was there was incredibly overpriced for what they were offering, and without any time to prepare for moving financially, I didn't exactly have a lot to spend. Most of the rooms and houses that I normally would've been able to afford financially were completely out of my price range.
Thanks a lot, Gabe.
Still, there were two rooms that I could've had, and that I went to check out. I would've gotten the first one if the ad hadn't been posted before the current tenant left. He ended up deciding against moving out. The second ended up tripling the first month because both the person renting it out and the real estate broker wanted collateral, tripling the first month's rent.
After that I only had one week left to find a place. Even if I'd find something, no way in hell would all the arrangements be fully made in time to move, what with Christmas and New Year's Eve happening in that time. I moved most of my stuff to friends and mentally prepared myself to go back to the homeless hostel. I still replied to rooms and houses repeatedly, but all my free time became comfort time. And there was plenty of free time to spare, considering I wasn't sleeping at all anymore. So I got caught up with Kuroko no Basuke and watched Fairy Tale, Black Butler, and Persona 4 The Animation, along with all of the Fast and the Furious movies.
The day after New Year's eve, I got an e-mail from my old handler at the place I'm staying. Apparently the guy who told me I had three weeks is gone now, and that was complete bullshit. I should still continue finding a place on my own, but I'm not being kicked out anymore. Shortly after reading that, my legs gave out and I couldn't walk for a week. I probably had that coming either way, what with moving all my stuff out of my apartment to various friends and going to see those two rooms while still going to the library daily to abuse the free internet in search of other places to stay. Overdoing it and paying for it physically has been a running theme in my life. I never know my limits until I'm long past them.
In the meantime, I haven't really written anything for weeks. The last few posts I made here were all still part of my regular cycle, which tends to keep me a week ahead of the game. That way I never have to stress out running out of things to write about while keeping a good momentum going.
At least I can normally walk and sleep now. Things are starting to look normal again. At least, as far as normal goes for me. As hectic as and frustrating the past month has been, I'm still somewhat glad it all happened. I feel a lot more focused now. I feel as if I can make this coming year better than the last one, and last year's been very good to me. It got me into wrestling, comics, podcasts, and it got me to start interacting with people on Destructoid.
Things will work out. They always do. Even if it's not immediately clear to see the positive in something, there always is. Sometimes it's just not to do that ever again because it was stupid, or that you approached something wrongly. Everything applies to everything.
Nintendo is in ruins. If they don't change the course they're currently on, they'll go bankrupt within the week. Not only will they go bankrupt, but they'll trigger the apocalypse when they're forced to close shop. My uncle works for Nintendo, and he told me that was the deal that Miyamoto secretly made with the de... Kazuo Hirai over the still burning ashes of Sega behind Microsoft's Headquarters. The universe literally revolves around Nintendo and their actions are drastically changing the entirety of the space-time continuum. If they continue to stagnate the way they are doing now, we're all done for.
That's why I put together a contingency plan for them. Because I am literally the only person on the internet to have ever thought of improvements Nintendo could make to the franchises that have literally been the same since before any of us, even the Elders of the Internet, have been on this planet.
Ah, Pokemon. A franchise that has not seen a single genuine change since the release of Red and Blue on the Gameboy Color.
Except for the run button, online battles, two-on-two battles, rotation battles, herds of random encounters, breeding, shinies, O Powers, Mega Evolutions, 3 new types, Pokemon belonging to more than one type, natural abilities, Pokemon having a nature that changes their stat growth, increase in use of status effects and (de)buffs, hold items, day and night system, weather conditions, calender events, genders, breeding, Pokeball customization, 3D graphics, trainer customization, online voice chat, comprehensive search functions for the Pokedex, EV training, online international trading systems... Absolutely not one single thing has changed or been added.
That is why in order to improve upon the formula that has become so stale not one single person even bothered to buy the last iteration of it, we need Killstreaks.
Yes, you read that right. Pokemon needs killstreaks. Two KOs in a row with one Pokemon lets you see what other Pokemon your opponent has. Three lets you instantly knock out one Pokemon of your choice. Four will automatically start an effect that gives damage to all the remaining Pokemon the opponent has. The counter for these streaks will carry over from battle to battle so long as your Pokemon doesn't get knocked out. This makes the metagame a lot more balanced and fair, adding a whole new level of strategy for the pros.
Remember when the original Metroid came out in the eighties and it was amazing how Samus was a girl and you could move both left AND right? Well, it's 2013 now, and Samus is still a girl who can move both left AND right. This series has not evolved at all. We haven't even gotten a chance to play as Boy Samus yet, how is this even progressive? Why is Nintendo promoting gender roles in the form of not letting me play as boy Samus?
The best way to bring Samus into the new age of modern gaming is to give him, yes him, a car. Something cool and military, like a jeep. This will allow him to not only go left and right, but also move forward, while bringing down the more realistic zombie creatures that the Metroids should be rebranded as with the guns he can carry, because a gun arm is stupid, limited to two at a time.
Pikmin: Towers, items, rankings, skins
Pikmin 3 was a really fun game and all, but why weren't there extra characters hidden behind a microtransaction-based unlock system? Why weren't there extra skins I could buy? And how can I ever know I'm doing good at this game if I'm not getting farmed while jungling so much?
This is stupid. There aren't even any towers to destroy.
Nintendo, why aren't you getting with the times? Don't you know all serious strategy games need to have 5 on 5 multiplayer with towers these days? How else can your fans prove how pro they are if you don't give them a ranking system and let them prove their worth as a human being to total strangers who absolutely hate them?
This is not acceptable anymore these days.
We all know Mario is a bit of a silly franchise, right? I mean, none of this can realistically happen. Nobody can literally jump from planet to planet. I'm the only one who has realized this, right? I don't get how people can look at this and think it's okay.
But don't worry, I thought of a solution to this problem! Mario isn't real! He's a simulation that some other dude, some rebellious teenager kidnapped by an evil corporation is going through thanks to a machine called The Animus.
You see, this machine allows for the players to suspend their disbelief and brush it off as a thing that just happens because it's all simulated! That way you can identify with the cool teenager as he has to sit through the painful experience of Super Mario Galaxy and know that it's alright, none of it is really real.
The Legend of Zelda: Witty Banter
Man, The Legend of Zelda is a perfect series. The older games might be too hard and confusing, but those newer ones always give you just the right amount of information. The setting is awesome, and the main character can kill enemies with a sword, just like Master Chief can!
The only downside to the series is that Link doesn't talk though. He should really talk more. I like games where the protagonist exchanges witty, sophisticated banter as if he's in a coffeeshop at three in the afternoon on a pleasant summer day, while he's actually talking back and forth with the female lead who can do everything he does but doesn't because women shouldn't do these things first if there's a man around. Give Zelda a more active role and let her walk besides Link, talking back and forth with him, but not getting in my way as I play the game.
Even better, have her heal him, aid him, give her abilities she's only allowed to use if I tell her to like summoning platforms for the hookshot, and point at things I would otherwise not see within the first three seconds of entering a room. It would make The Legend of Zelda so much more fun that way, and put Zelda in the role of a strong female character that she should be in.
I never really got the popularity of the Mother series. It's called Mother, but there's no hot mothers? Add some hot waifus to the game. Why would anyone ever play an RPG if there aren't at least two female characters who are attracted to the empty template main character with no redeemable traits?
Give me a game like Final Fantasy VIII, the best RPG ever made, and give me a main character I can completely relate to who is surrounded with all these amazing girls that are totally into him. The rest about that game was terrible though, I hated it.
Starfox: Adventures was the most perfect game ever released on a Nintendo system. It had all the best elements of the Starfox franchise, that no other Starfox game ever had before or since. It was like Beyond Good and Evil, but without the unrelatable female character. Why would I want to play as a girl? That's stupid. I'd much rather play as a fighter jet pilot hero guy, roaming the lands with my big stick, like those guys from Top Gun, which is both my favorite movie AND game of all time.
Donkey Kong: Ditch it
Remember when Donkey Kong was relevant? Oh wait, it never was. This series has no charm. It never added anything to the gaming industry. There is no way to save this franchise, because it never had a leg to stand on to begin with. I really do not understand why it's been around for so long as it has. As if it ever really did anything for Nintendo.
What do mages, wizards and witches do, outside of being magic users? No really, what do they do? There’s never an explanation as to why they’re learning magic, what they’re planning to do with this, how it gets applied outside of assisting some idiot with big spiky hair and a broadsword they happen to run into.
We know witches live in some secluded hut in the woods somewhere because…
Or how Druids frolic around being one with nature because...
We know mages and wizards go to school to learn magic so they can grow up and...
Oh right, there’s no further knowledge as to what the hell they do. In most cases, the bad guy has the foresight to hire at least a dozen of them as bodyguards because big thick-headed guys with giant swords can't handle magic users. So at least several mages are finding work as the equivalent of sell-swords. Sell-staves. Whatever. Somewhere out there, there's an agency letting out magic users, renting them out to the highest bidder. They're playing both sides, and as clever as this is, they could easily top that in much more lucrative ways.
Let's say your JRPG world divides elements so that one mage can only specialize in one at a time. This is just to make things a bit easier for the time being, if you're in a less traditional RPG series like Final Fantasy and can just use everything, then congratulations! All of the following is possible!
Every king would want his kingdom either surrounded by some lake, or atop a hill, or some other place that geologically gives them a strategic advantage during wartime. Makes sense, right? What if they could hire someone to improve upon this advantage? This is where you come in, because as an Earth mage, you can pretty much terraform every surface of the planet however you see fit.
Except it doesn't end there.
What if this king happens to be at war with someone who is in a place that's nearly impossible to ambush without heavy losses? Wouldn't it be nice if somehow the land advantage could be taken away? You know, for a price?
What if both kings would want a level playing field? Sure, they might not know both of them paid for an advantage, but fair's fair, right? And hey, if one of them comes out the victor, you still helped them achieve that victory somehow, so maybe an aftercare system could soften the blow of discovering all strategic advantages just stopped applying alltogether before the big battle.
Not that great with water? Like to burn things up instead? Good, because there’s enough you could do with fire. For one, you could easily start a restaurant. Grills and barbeques are the easiest routes you could take this. Seeing meat should be in endless supply thanks to random encounters, and you have an endless energy source thanks to your mana, starting up a franchise from nothing would be easy.
Now imagine winter in a time before insulated windows, central heating, or anything to keep the cold out except dressing warmer. Fire elementals could easily create a hot room for people to warm up in, or a decent heating system that should last for a while for the more fortunate costumers.
Considering yours is the power that's closest to a constant light source, you could easily keep a castle lighted up without candles easily. You could live like royalty, all just because you know how to keep a simple channeling spell up.
Ancient Indoor Skydiving.
Imagine you're a water mage. You cast water spells until your HP runs out. If you want really quick cash, you’d open up a swimming pool. All you need is a big hole to fill with your magical waters. Refreshing the water shouldn't be too hard if you have near endless supply of mana at your disposal, nearing that would be a ton of mana repleneshing items, which shouldn't be hard to afford once you've got the ball rolling.
During the colder seasons, you could team up with a fire mage to heat the swimming pool, or the area surrounding it up. That way you wouldn't need to close shop outside of summer. Besides that, you can always open up a hot spring or sauna together.
If you're really ambitious though, you'd open up one of those gigantic waterparks. With crazy slides, or maybe even rafting and surfing pools because you have more control over the currents and don't need natural formations or patterns to get a perfect situation for these things.
A much slower, and near world-economy breaking use of water elemental casters would be becoming a farmer. You’ll never suffer dry seasons. Nobody could ever raid your farm since you could just destroy them with elemental attacks if they'd even try, so you wouldn't need to farm under a single Kingdom, and instead supply the whole world separate from whatever nation your land is on. This in turn means that the Kingdom's protection costs for your farming don't apply to you, and that you'll have more control over the price of your goods.
Heart is not a real power. Fuck off.
Who even needs to go to an inn to recover anymore if you can just heal people with your magic instantly? You wouldn't need hospitals anymore. You walk in, pay your fee, get healed, and walk out.
Then there's the buffing sub-division that could easily help you get that extra boost you'd need to get through the day. There are so many extra ways the stat boosts could help people in everyday life outside of battles. Just imagine being able to buy a strength boost when moving furniture. It would make the life of regular folk so much easier, and yourself all that much richer.
You're in a Final Fantasy-type setting where you can just cast every single element? Holy shit, do you even know how lucky you are? You hit the jackpot. You can do all of the above. Heck, you could be a one-man nation. Why do you think the bad guy is pretty much always a magic user in these settings? It's so easy to just rule everything you see, it's somewhat of a miracle there are kings, shop owners, and farmers who aren't all abusing the gifts that magic have given them.
Imagine a situation where you will never run out of mana, and think of the possibilities. You can shape the land around your house with earth magic, create a farm in your backyard, have a swimming/sauna area on the side, with some extra business selling food and providing buffs. You wouldn’t even need an army to rule the world. With just one massive vacation resort, you could start a global empire.
Although at one point you'd have to either get the other mages to join your glorious empire or kill them. Otherwise they'll start banding together to stop you. They might even join that first spikey-haired dope who deluded himself into believing he's some sort of hero.
Enjoyed this particular post? Great! Because there's two previous posts about JRPG rules in which I explored the concepts of Time and Random Encounters! Go read them!