From my experience with role playing games, I notice a disturbing trend. The world is in peril and it can only be saved by a rag-tag band of adventurers— yet no one seems interested in helping them save the world.
I started (re)playing Dragon Quest on my smartphone, and came to the realization authority figures have very odd priorities. From the start, the king lauds me as the ancestor of Erdrick, some hero that felled the great evil in the past. He sits atop his throne and appoints me the task of saving the world. Don’t be fooled by your shiny blue armored sprite, the hero of Dragon Quest is a weaponless hobo without a penny to his name.
The king gives you one hundred and twenty gold and suggests you get to killing the dragon lord. Naturally, being a weaponless hobo, this is a pretty good deal— until you realize one hundred and twenty gold doesn’t even buy you a copper sword. Who ever heard of a legendary hero sporting leather armor and a club?
The townspeople don’t care you’re out to save the world. They offer tidbits of ‘useful’ information and charge you retail price for equipment. In fact, I get the idea they’re profiting on your hard work. I’m fine with the shopkeepers expecting to get paid, but the king should REALLY be fronting these expenses.
The only rational explanation I can come up with: Your ancestor is an asshole. He probably left the royal family with a letter.
Dear King, the Dragonlord will surely rise again. He is not slain, but sealed because reasons. (lol) My kin will rise against him, but when they come to you: Don’t give them anything. I don’t want my successor to be some pansy relying on the best armor. In fact, by the time you read this I’ll have buried my awesome equipment in random places around the world.
P.S. Burn this letter.
P.P.S. Tell him his parents never really loved him. (lol)
The king went along with this, so he must be a jerk too. Made worse by the fact he says nothing when his daughter demands the hero love her after saving her from a dragon. Common gratitude is fine lady; maybe we can have dinner after the Dragon Lord is dead or something. Babysteps.
Anyway, I’m having a hard time swallowing the whole: They make you do this so you can get stronger. The world is at risk here, I don’t see the value of risking losing your only shot because the royal family is thrifty.
Some games have gotten this right. Final Fantasy X actually has everyone helping the heroes unconditionally. There are no weapons to purchase and the inns are always free. It’s like… the common masses want the world saved or something.
The only constant in roleplaying games are treasure chests left to be looted for heroes. But Dragon Quest keeps stuff locked behind doors you need magic keys to open. This makes you feel like a common burglar more than a hero. But then again, the legendary hero did start off as a penniless drifter. Perhaps it’s par for the course.