DeS: Quake Champions is so hot right now! June patch update
dark        

'It's not porn, Mom! It's a JRPG!'

0

I still can't tell the difference

[Ricky Namara absolutely nails that feeling of paranoia I get every time I go into a game store and look at box art while looking over my shoulder to make sure nobody thinks knows I'm a pervert staring at particular titles. My mother still probably thinks I'm a pervert from watching me beat Metal Gear Solid 3 while being chased by a robot with a bikini-clad chick on the back of the bike driven by my one-eyed Snake. Even typing that out felt dirty. My main man Ricky got featured on Destructoid by writing a kickass blog. Write one for yourself, and see as your perversion is splayed out for the [m]asses! - Wes]

My love affair with JRPGs began with Chrono Trigger on a cold winter afternoon in 1995. I was a young, bright-eyed kid on an exchange student program experiencing the U.S. of A. for the very first time in my life, and my host family owned an SNES that their kids barely ever used. One of their kid's friends brought over "this game with a kewl box art" that he impulse-bought, but both were quick to lose all interest over it, for what they told me later was the massive amount of, "talky-talky bits."

I asked them if I could play the game if they weren't going to play it. They said they didn't care before rushing outside to play like normal kids. I picked up the controller, restarted the game, and pressed the button for "New Game" before succumbing to its warm, gentle, lover-like embrace.

You never forget your first.

Now bear in mind I was not a video game virgin. I had an Atari 2600 when I was in elementary school and had a blast navigating Q*Bert up and down those blasted hexagonal pyramids before Mario took over platforming duties for the NES. I got a Sega Genesis for my tenth birthday, and spent so many unforgettable afternoons navigating the raging streets in order to try and save the city from the dastardly Mr. X with my trusty partners Blonde Caveman, Stripper Xena, and Robot Grandpa.

That last part was not a joke.

Yes, that boxing kangaroo is a playable character. No, that's not a joke either.

Even then there was something that felt missing from the games that I played up to that point: A plot that makes sense to me. Why must a plumber be the one to save the princess from an evil dino turtle? What, was Link too constipated from Taco Tuesday and had to relegate his duties to the guy who cleaned his pipes? Also, why did the police force only send three ass-whoopin' detectives to combat the waves of crime hitting their city, and yet still have the resources to spare for rocket-launching officers in Lamborghini patrol cars?

These were the kinds of thoughts that haunted my young mind as I played my games. Yes, I was a really weird kid.

"Time to rain some FREEDOM on this city!!"

With Chrono Trigger, that problem was not only solved but also turned into a proper motivation for my younger self to keep playing the game. Here was a kid, perhaps around the same age as I was at the time, who got transported into wondrous new locales and allied himself with a colorful cast in order to survive long enough to find his way home. Add to the fact that the lead was a silent protagonist that I could project whichever of my quirks and insecurities I wanted on him, and I learned firsthand what the word "immersion" truly meant before spending many sleepless nights trying to foil the evil Lavos' plans to annihilate humanity.

From that day forth many JRPGs came a-knockin' on my door and I always welcomed them with open arms knowing full well they would continue to challenge my expectations. Tales of Phantasia showed that RPG battles didn't have to be boring; Star Ocean showed that you could, in fact, have an RPG set on the far extreme opposite of medieval times; and Persona showed that the daily lives of Japanese highschoolers were really, really weird.

But, like, sexy weird.

Indeed I fell truly, deeply in love with the JRPG as a genre right on time for the Golden Age of JRPGs to arrive with the coming of Final Fantasy VII, and that love only grew exponentially to the number of JRPGs that was being released for the PlayStation. I even started pursuing titles that were lesser known in the west (at the time), like Ys or Atelier Iris, to open up a whole new world of gaming experiences. Just like "Mambo Number Five," the genre only got sweeter as I continued to plumb its depths.

But as I became more and more familiar with said genre, I began noticing some...problems.

Man, look at the size of those "problems!"

It all started with Ar Tonelico, a JRPG with interesting combat mechanics, colorful graphics, and most important of all, a killer soundtrack that was pretty much mandated by the plot. You see, the story revolves around Reyvateils, female "magicians" who use the power of "song magics," or "Hymnos," to unleash earth-shatteringly powerful spells. And every single epic major boss battle fight theme you hear in the game is explained in-game as the Reyvateils singing their heart out to help you defeat said baddies with their Hymnos. Jump to 2:24 in the video below to skip the bad voice acting and go straight to the good stuff:

The song is called "EXEC_PURGER/" or "EXEC_PAJA/" by the way. You're welcome.

Before you could smite your foes with your almighty Hymnos, however, you needed to learn them first, and you could only learn how to wield the power of the Hymnos if you earned your chosen Reyvateil's trust. And you earned that trust...by taking a bath with them.

Pictured: Not porn.

Okay, fine. Maybe the Japanese have a more, shall we say, "open" attitude about two teenagers who were practically strangers sharing the same open air bath with each other. Skinship is very much a real concept over there, and given the context of trust and bond in correlation to harnessing new powers in the game, it still fits the theme. No biggie.

But then we got the Grathnode Crystals installation, a method to make your Reyvateils even stronger by installing "upgrades" directly into their bodies by...well, skip to the 2:54 mark and see for yourself:

I've seen enough hentai to know where this is going...

...HE FINGER-BANGED HER!! There's no other way to put it! Oh sure you can be all coy about it all you want, but deep in the recesses of that perverted side of your mind, that's a finger-bang and you know it!

Ever since my encounter with this little title, my eyes started to open as I began to notice more and more of this "naughty" (and to some, kinky) trend encroach my chosen favorite genre. Tales of Vesperia had the series-tradition hotspring scenes, Resonance of Fate had one of the main characters imagining doing the cha-cha on a noble woman's admittedly-perky boobs, and Persona 3 allowed your inner Casanova to become your outer Casanova by giving you the option to (implied) bang every single female member of your investigation team. The PSP remake took it up a notch by allowing you to switch your main character's gender and (implied) bang every single male member in your team, INCLUDING A TEN-YEAR-OLD BOY!!

"Paging Mr. Hansen. Mr. Chris Hansen."

There were even examples dating back before the Golden Age of JRPGs, which begged the question: Was this something that only recently started happening, or have JRPGs always been this "naughty" and only now, as a full-grown adult, was that something to which I began to take notice? Because I can't quite recall a scene where Crono peeked in on Marle and Lucca while the two were taking a nice long steamy bath in a hotspring while complaining about the sizes of their boobs, and yet those kinds of things all of a sudden became an accepted norm when anyone started talking about JRPGs. One would only need to simply take one look at the cover art of a Hyperdimension Neptunia game and knew PRECISELY what they were getting themselves into: Turn-based combat, grinding the level system, and lengthy dialog filled with innuendos and high-pitched squeals.

"You know, the usual JRPG fare," the general public would say.

Pictured: P-Porn?

"Having raunchy bits" had all of a sudden become one of the defining features of a JRPG, quite as much as protagonists that are barely old enough to drive and the power of friendship trumping the evil Anarkhog, The Howling Mad Demon of Urd'urrr'urddd'rrrdu'urrrr. While it's true that these were mostly either light distractions or played for laughs in-game, the fact that they are prevalent in a large number of JRPGs coming out of Japan these days made me feel iffy each time I browsed the New Releases section of my local game store.

Because I knew that at least one of the patrons of that store was giving me...The Look.

THAT look.

I have a younger brother, the runt of the litter who, due to our family's circumstances, was born much, much later than my younger sister and I. Whenever we go to hang out or buy games, we looked a whole lot more like a young father and his son than a pair of siblings. One day we went to a game store so he could pick up a copy of Atelier Rorona, and right before we could go to the cashier this girl stepped up to us and said, "You're setting a bad example by letting your son play those games."

I wish I could say I had a scathing comeback for her, but we both only stood dumbstricken as she walked out of the store shaking her head. My brother was genuinely confused as to what the hell was that all about, but I knew precisely what that was all about. It's right there in the way she said "those games": How could I, a responsible father," possibly allow my young "son" to buy video games geared for perverts?

Oh we laugh about that now, how she both mistook us for father and son, as well as her overall genre blindness over what JRPGs were supposed to be about. But at the time, what that girl said really, really stung. Especially given the fact that there was nothing even REMOTELY porn-y about the game's cover art!

"Eyup, that's a penis."

I suppose what I am trying to say with all of this, dear Internet, is that please don't misjudge us JRPG fans and our chosen genre too harshly. Yes, some of us got into this genre looking for the perfect waifu (or husbando, a term that requires another rant). Yes, some of us got into it specifically looking for all of those naughty bits the developers threw our way. Yes, some of us can be perverted. But that's not what defines us as fans of JRPGs.

We became fans of JRPGs because, well, we liked them. We liked the aesthetics, we liked the themes and tropes, and we liked how the genre presented us with its unique brand of the call to adventure. We the fans of this beloved genre just wanted nothing more than to celebrate it by answering that call, just like how I did in that cold winter afternoon in 1995.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to lock my doors and shut my blinds, because I need to finish up Disgaea 5 and it takes waaaaay too long to explain why two of my main characters are dressed like a pair of male and female strippers.

Don't judge me.

You are logged out. Login | Sign up

 
 



ONE OF US WAS FRONT-PAGED! HOW THIS WORKS:

This story was submitted via our Community Blogs, and ultimately made it to the home page! Anybody can get on the homepage of Dtoid when you piss excellence. Want in? Write a longform blog with photos and senpai may notice you (our community committee picks the promos). It happens all the time: read more promoted stories

 

TwitterRedditEmailFacebook
 
Ricky Namara
Ricky Namara   gamer profile

Don't mind the burning skull: it's just a flesh wound. Greetings from Indonesia a.k.a. "You Mean Bali?" Ricky's the name and talking your ears off is my game. My family and friends often get ann... more + disclosures


 


 popular around the network
 



Filed under... #Chrono Trigger #Communitoid #Community #Community Highlights #JRPG #Promoted Blogs #Promoted stories #pron #SNES

READER COMMENTS LOADING BELOW...


LET'S KEEP THE COMMUNITY GREAT


You're not expected to always agree, but do please keep cool and never make it personal. Report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community team. Also, on the right side of a comment you can flag nasty comments anonymously (we ban users dishing bad karma). For everything else, contact us!