Gaming Flashback: 5 Favorite RPG Scenes
If you've been following my writing for any amount of time, then you probably know that I am a huge fan of RPGs, specifically those that come out of Japan. In the twenty five years that I've been a gamer, I have played dozens of RPGs across the console generations. In this newest edition of Gaming Flashback, I would like to take the opportunity to look back at some of my favorite moments from the games I've played over the years. It's worth noting that there are spoilers in this list so proceed with caution.
Final Fantasy VI
Beginning with one of my favorite scenes from one of my favorite games of all time, the opera scene from Final Fantasy VI. It's strange to think that when I originally played the game, I thought this scene was boring and just wanted to get it over, but as an adult I love it for the fantastic music. At this point in the game, Locke and Celes are attempting to get to the Empire, and when they learn the owner of the airship "Blackjack" plans to kidnap the lead actress Maria, who is a dead ringer for Celes.
The former imperial general agrees to stand in for Maria, coining the line "I'm a general, not some opera floozy!", as her way of protesting the idea. The opera goes off without a hitch, but during the show Locke and the rest of the team find that their nemesis Ultros is planning on ruining the show, and the team must stop him and allow the show to go on until Setzer makes his move to kidnap Celes, allowing them to commandeer the airship.
Phantasy Star IV
"Her Last Breath"
Phantasy Star IV was a hell of a game, and while it wasn't my introduction to the Phantasy Star series, I can say with certainty that it was the first game to cause me a genuine feeling of sadness. I was no stranger to RPGs at this point, but at the time I played Phantasy Star IV the death of a main character was something that I hadn't experience in a game. I'm not sure what it was about the scene, if it was the music, the art, or reactions of the other characters, but this is a scene that has always stuck with me.
Alys may have died fairly early in Phantasy Star IV, but her importance to Chaz had been firmly established at the point in the story that it happened, and to also see if effect Rika, Rune, and Hahn makes it that much harder on the player. The great thing about the scene is that Alys isn't simply forgotten, and her loss is brought up against as the game progresses, lending to its significance and how it affected Chaz and the others.
Brave Fencer Musashi
This one is really more of a boss fight than a story scene, but its still part of the story, so I'm gonna use it anyway. During the third chapter of the game's story, while Musashi is attempting to investiage the well behind the church. In order to do this, he'll need to get a rope which is locked in the church, which has been closed up since the begining of the chapter. You meet with Father White and he asks you to return at 2 AM and he will help you access the church through the roof.
Upon entering the church you encounter a group of Vambee Soliders, stange creatures that have began appearing in Grillin' Village at the begining of chapter three. During this battle, you will face off against five Vambees, but only face one at a time. The trick to the battle is that none of them can actually be defeated, so you must survive in the church until the sun rises. It's a fun fight and is one of my favorite sections of this classic action RPG.
Secret of Mana
"The Fortress Rises"
This is the event in the game that sets up Secret of Mana's endgame, and it's one that has always stuck with me, likely due to the difficulty of reaching this point. At a later point in the game, the Empire succeeds in raising the Lost Continent and the final mana palace. After clearing the dungeon under the Tree Palace, the island starts shaking and out heroes are rescued by the Dragon Flammie just in time to see the Mana Fortress rise into the sky, ultimately setting up the end game and the final confrontation with Thanatos and the Mana Beast.
Breath of Fire II
The introduction of Breath of Fire II is great, first you start as a young boy whose father and sister mysteriously disappear, and the people of your village claim that they never existed. The boy is given shelter in the church overnight, and when another orphan begins to steal things from the church in the middle of the night, the boy joins him and leaves his home in an attempt to find out what happened to his family. The two leave the town during a storm and seek refuge in a cave where they are attacked by a strange monster. The monster attacks the boy and tells the boy he is a destined child and then leaves the two unconscious in the cave. This begins the boy's long journey to learn the truth about that night and the fate of his father and sister.