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  #1  
Old 07-11-2018, 08:59 AM
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Default Holy heck, how about the Super Famicom's RPG selection, huh?

In the process of loading up games on my SNES Classic, it's dawned on me just how unreasonably fantastic and deep the Super Famicom's RPG library is. It's especially weird to think that over here the SNES was considered to be an incredibly strong console for RPGs, considering how many we never even got (and it also speaks to the quality of the ones we did get)

Most of the Japan-exclusive RPG's I'm interested in now are ones that I already knew about or even bought and played when they came out on later systems, but going through the lists now with an eye to actually try many of them for the first time, it's downright ASTONISHIN' just how many 'noteworthy' to 'masterpiece' 16-bit RPGs/RPG-fusions never made the leap over. Like, the scope is finally feeling like a tangible enormity that I can barely believe, I am humbled and frightened, the amount and quality of RPG gameplay has congealed into a divine force that looms over all

Final Fantasy V!
Terranigma!
Seiken Densetsu 3!
The Dragon Quests!
The Romancing SaGas!
The Fire Emblems!
Most of the Yses!
Live-A-Live!
Treasure Hunter G!
Treasure of the Rudras!
Star Ocean!
Tactics Ogre!
Metal Max!
Energy Breaker!
Tales of Phantasia!
Bahamut Lagoon!
A WHOLE BUNCHA OTHER ONES

I am paralyzed by too many choices.

Well, FFV can be struck from my own list because I've already played it and I'm making use of this as a chance for New To Me experiences, and the Romancing Sagas and the Dragon Quests can be struck from the list because they're currently getting official releases I'm supporting, and the Fire Emblems are out because I just don't personally enjoy them that much, but still! STILL!

I need to choose one to focus on at a time, or else I'll just eternally play the first fifteen minutes of every single RPG on the system, but...so many choices...just...SO MANY CHOICES...

Also, any great ones I didn't think to mention, mention away! Though I am already in awe.
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  #2  
Old 07-11-2018, 09:02 AM
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You should live lives
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  #3  
Old 07-11-2018, 09:07 AM
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I still think it's wild that it's only like right now that we're getting any Metal Max games
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Old 07-11-2018, 09:21 AM
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This is a great thread idea! I had the same experience when adding games to our SNES Classic.

Live-A-Live is super janky but probably my top recommendation - it's a great exercise in seeing how many directions you can pull a single game engine in, and the differing aesthetics between games are just so good.

Breath of Fire 2 is ... still kinda grindy, but the fan re-translation adds a couple quality of life improvements and a genuinely great script. Worth giving it a shot if you never played or bounced hard off the original.

Tales of Phantasia and Star Ocean are really great-looking, and it's frankly impressive that they run on SNES - they are both at the scale of PSone 2D RPGs.

Bahamut Lagoon is Squaresoft at the height of their 16-bit powers, although I soured on the game a bit by the end - it seemed a little easy to max out all my dragons and I didn't love the linearity.

Does Front Mission count? It's a very early 3/4s-view tactical RPG with robot suits and dystopian political intrigue. It shows its age for sure, but the setting is pretty one-of-a-kind for its time. Does Front Mission: Gun Hazard count?? I mean, probably not, since it's a side-scrolling robot shooter spinoff of the aforementioned. But, I mean, you level up, you buy things, you recruit helpers ... it's not an RPG per se, but incorporates a ton of gameplay elements. Also Yasunori Mitsuda worked on the music.

Oh right! Radical Dreamers! The infamous Chrono Trigger side story. It's ... okay, I guess. Maybe give it a try because you can, but it's very much a choose-your-own-adventure novel.
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Old 07-11-2018, 09:23 AM
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Don't forget the Shin Megami Tensei series!

The Super NES was a great jRPG system; the Suoer Famicom is an even greater one. Honestly I get far more excited about localizations and remasters of jRPGs from the SNES and PSone eras than I do new jRPGs or new retraux jRPGs.
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Old 07-11-2018, 09:35 AM
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Anyone interested in Shin Megami Tensei should peruse the Super Famicom's stellar offerings in that field:
  • Kyuuyaku Megami Tensei, remaking Megami Tensei I and II
  • Shin Megami Tensei
  • Shin Megami Tensei II
  • Shin Megami Tensei If...
  • Majin Tensei
  • Majin Tensei II: Spiral Nemesis
It's a lot, and it's all interesting.

Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon: Another Story is great and you all should play it. Same goes for Eternal Filena. It's incredibly gorgeous in battle!

Other general recommendations:
  • G.O.D.: Heed the Call to Awaken
  • Mystic Ark
  • Brandish
  • Dark Half
  • Front Mission
  • Glory of Heracles III and IV
  • Lady Stalker
  • Princess Minerva
  • Uncharted Waters: New Horizons
  • Paladin's Quest/Lennus and Lennus II
Play anything that seems interesting!
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  #7  
Old 07-11-2018, 09:44 AM
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Yeah, Live A Live is a good weird little game. It's vaguely Kawazu-esque, plus it has fun music and graphics.

Star Ocean is an impressive technical feat, but maybe not a particularly good game - a lot of the systems just kind of... stop working, or were barely functional in the first place. But hey, it's got nice pixel work on the backgrounds and sprites (which were largely excised from the PSP remake).
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Old 07-11-2018, 09:54 AM
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Some ones that got recent translations.



Alien invasion in modern real-world setting. Looks pretty slick and has good word of mouth, but on the other hand is based on an anime.



SMT + Dragon Quest. Is it good? Who knows!



Super ambitious game that was basically impossible to translate. Probably won't run on a Mini. Doesn't have the crazy United States but Wacky setting of the PSX sequel.



The whole series is translated now! This is probably the one to play if you're interested in the earlier games.
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  #9  
Old 07-11-2018, 10:02 AM
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I loooooove Seiken Densetsu 3. Or... the idea of it and the memory of playing it. It is an ideal game to experience on ZSNES in 1999. Perhaps itís not a a perfect game for an unfamiliar adult to play in 2018. Still, you craft a small party of your choosing and play dress up with them; how thrilling. My childhood disappoint was that I of course wanted to play the mage and she starts without magic for Dramatic Purposes so you just spend a couple hours wackin things with a staff.

I came to Star Ocean later because of its sequel (beloved by me) and... thought it was fine! I havenít played a JRPG in years.
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  #10  
Old 07-11-2018, 10:04 AM
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I only played a fraction of all these games and would like to have played them all at some point, but Live-a-Live jumps out to me the most. It's fun to play and, even if you shouldn't enjoy it, at least a very interesting experience.
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  #11  
Old 07-11-2018, 10:20 AM
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Radical Dreamers is weird. One of the charges that used to get leveled against Chrono Cross is that is wasn't a "true" sequel to Trigger - whatever that means - but Radical Dreamers is even more WTF. It's definitely worth putzing around with if you've never played it, doubly so if you've played Cross.
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  #12  
Old 07-11-2018, 10:24 AM
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I really wish Live-A-Live would get a Romancing SaGa 2 style mobile port that would eventually make its way to consoles...But until that day, I'm cool with playing the fan translation via Snes9x. About to see if I can get it up and running on the Huawei.

EDIT: Bah! Looks like I'm gonna have to find me a new emulation site. My usual go-to place is now feeding me bullshit ads like a fake Amazon prize raffle and "Your device is at risk" garbage that I'm sure is all too eager to install spyware that actually would put my device at risk. I just wanna download the frickin' frackin' game and it won't let me. =/

EDIT NEXT: Okay got it now.

Last edited by MetManMas; 07-11-2018 at 12:12 PM.
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  #13  
Old 07-11-2018, 11:38 AM
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Live A Live seems like a Deptford-y choice.

Iíll also put a good word in for Treasure of the Rudras. Itís unique as all get out!
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  #14  
Old 07-11-2018, 11:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by four-so View Post
Radical Dreamers is weird. One of the charges that used to get leveled against Chrono Cross is that is wasn't a "true" sequel to Trigger - whatever that means - but Radical Dreamers is even more WTF. It's definitely worth putzing around with if you've never played it, doubly so if you've played Cross.
Radical Dreamers is definitely worth your time.

Last edited by MetManMas; 07-11-2018 at 12:06 PM.
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  #15  
Old 07-11-2018, 12:08 PM
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Radical Dreamers, Live-A-Live, and Metal Max all strike me as the most Deptford of your choices.
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Old 07-11-2018, 12:14 PM
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The 7th Saga is good, actually. It has fairly fast and deep combat for such a simple engine, a big world to explore and most of the seven protagonists are cool and good.

I've actually never played the sequel, in retrospect ...
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Old 07-11-2018, 01:37 PM
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Seiken Densetsu 3 lets to play as a werewolf out for revenge because the villain of his story killed his (normal) wolf puppy.
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Old 07-11-2018, 02:08 PM
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It really does have quite a fantastic library. I've been working to highlight some of the games that also have translations in my JRPG Spotlight series, and I have so many more I want to do.

I really can't wait for the Angel's Poem translation to finally come out and people can see how great that series is. Though it's a pity that the PCE Engine CD games (which I do like better) are trapped in Japanese for the foreseeable future, because the hacking scene for that system is really threadbare.


Regarding 7th Saga, yes, it is good, and I highly recommend that people apply the patch that reverts all of the balance changes done in the translated version. You might find that you like it quite a bit more.
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Old 07-11-2018, 03:03 PM
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My two favorites RPGs (hybrid or otherwise) we never got are Treasure of the Rudras and Front Mission: Gun Hazard. I'd even go so far as to say that Gun Hazard might be my favorite game overall of the ones we didn't get. An absolutely fantastic experience, even for folks that might not like mech games.

As for Rudra, the split quests and slick battle system made me feel like I was playing some alternative spinoff from Final Fantasy VI. Definitely top-tier stuff.
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Old 07-11-2018, 03:58 PM
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Gun Hazard has some haunting scenes too, like the mechs punctured by twisted rebar like heads on pikes at sunset and sprinting out of a village that is being gassed, yelling for everyone to run, but no one believes you.
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Old 07-12-2018, 03:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Destil View Post
The 7th Saga is good, actually. It has fairly fast and deep combat for such a simple engine, a big world to explore and most of the seven protagonists are cool and good.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aeana View Post
Regarding 7th Saga, yes, it is good
I like that I don't have to be the one to say this anymore.

I am a purist and will always prefer the 7th Saga that we got, but I will grudgingly admit that the original Elnard balance is probably more suitable for someone who isn't already intimately familiar with the game.
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Old 07-12-2018, 06:32 PM
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So I guess this isn't explicitly a thread about telling Deptford what games he should play first, but I'm going to do it anyway.

A lot of people of recommended Live a Live, and as you might be able to guess if you read the thread dedicated to that game, I liked it a lot, and would highly recommend it. As others have pointed out, it's vaguely SaGa-ish, and also many of the individual character's stories are interesting experiments which push against the boundaries what can be done in the SNES-era JRPG format, both in terms of storytelling and gameplay.

I would recommend Terranigma even more highly, though. It's more of a Secret of Mana style action RPG rather than a straight RPG, but it's strange and beautiful and I adore it. The only thing you need to know about it is that it starts you off living inside the hollow Earth and then gets weirder from there; saying anything more runs the risk of lessening the impact of the sense of mystery and discovery the game imparts. Suffice it to say that it's strange and beautiful and wonderful, and I highly recommend it.

Finally, while I love Tactics Ogre, the last time I replayed it (around the time the PSP remake came out) I found it to be sort of slow-paced even by tactical RPG standards. It's a must-play if you enjoy the genre and want to play one of its most iconic classics, but it might be too much of a chore if you're not predisposed to enjoy moving little people around on a grid and having them kill each other. Ogre Battle, on the other hand, clearly falls into the "weird and opaque and entirely wonderful" category, with the caveat that before you go into it you have to decide if you prefer to play blind, blunder around, and miss out on a bunch of cool stuff, or whether you'd rather spoil yourself on how much of the game works and make more informed decisions about how you approach the game. Either method is valid, but it's worth knowing that you're likely to miss out on a bunch of the story, and several of the stages, if you go in blind. Also, Ogre Battle wasn't actually on your list, presumably because it actually got a North American release, so I'm not sure why I'm even talking about it.

All of which is to say that I haven't played many SNES RPGs that weren't officially localized, but I would definitely recommend Terranigma and Live a Live, in that order, if you want to play some interesting and experimental games.

If you want to play something that's very much not experimental, but is nevertheless entertaining, I consider the SNES version of Dragon Quest III to be the definitive version of the game.
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  #23  
Old 07-13-2018, 03:00 PM
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Thanks for the suggestions and insight, everybody (already added a few more to my batch from those mentioned here), and would love to hear more of anybody's thoughts and personal experiences with any of 'em!

Live-A-Live, I agree, seems like entirely my kind of thing, but I'm just kinda bummed because I know so much about it, much more than I do about most of the others, including the big twist. There's still tons I don't know and would experience for myself by actually playing it, and I definitely will, but I know it's something that would work best going in knowing as little as possible, and the fact that it's TRAGICALLY too late for me to do that means that I'm not quite as motivated as I otherwise would be with it.

And Radical Dreamers I am lightly playing at the moment a bit each day (it's my official 'play while eating a bagel and drinking coffee in the morning' game right now)

So far, Metal Max Returns is the one that I've gotten the most into and spent the most time with. It's just fun and satisfying as hell, with a setting and tone that set it apart so distinctly from its peers. And while it doesn't have much in the way of story per se, it's got PERSONALITY FOR DAAAAAYS with charming dialogue and a sort of brute-force whimsy, and does the open-ended thing surprisingly well, and in a rather considerate and forgiving way considering its vintage, while still leaving you plenty of space to get in over your head and get in trouble.

Also, simple and short as it is, "Battle With The Wanted" really is one of The Great RPG Battle Themes, and just suits the feel of the big battles so well; the fact that (so far, anyway) the "Wanted" boss battles trigger as random encounters while wandering what you hope is the right area to find them in adds to the whole experience; a random encounter triggering, and rather than getting the normal battle theme, THIS music kicks in abruptly instead with an enormous and awesomely over-the-top boss sprite suddenly dominating the screen, it all just gives such a great thrill of "bwahahahah, O-OKAY, let's do this, then!"

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Old 07-15-2018, 10:40 AM
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Treasure of the Rudras

seems really, really good

like, genuine shock that this game doesn't get brought up more often

seems like it might be a stone-cold masterpiece depending on how it shapes up from here

also

very, very pretty

it's like if FF6 had real battle animation
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  #25  
Old 07-16-2018, 07:13 PM
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I thought it held up very well. I haven't felt the urge to play through a new 16-bit RPG in a long time, and Rudra was one of the few that kept me in it the entire way.
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Old 07-19-2018, 09:11 AM
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It's really good! The spell system is brilliant, and really prompts you to pay attention, engage with the game's world, and have fun with it. The parallel scenarios are handled really well, too; obviously many RPG's have done similar things, but I do like just how much freedom you have to switch between and pace the different scenarios however you like rather than having predetermined 'switching' moments. And there is something simple but very gratifying about triggering an event in one scenario, and see its aftermath impact the others going on at the same time, or to have something or somebody seem mysterious and distant in one scenario suddenly be familiar and RIGHT THERE in another.

Also, while it's no Majora's Mask-level masterclass in building apocalyptic dread, the countdown of how many days left until disaster is a nicely ominous touch, and on a practical level genuinely helps give a way to gauge how far along each character's scenario you are, making it easier to catch them up to each other if you want to keep them all progressing along at similar rates.

And though the characters are all fairly standard and straightforward so far, they do a good job of all three protagonists feeling very distinct from each other, with personalities and behavior very much their own. Though I will say, so far I find Riza's scenario to be almost distractingly better than the other two, with way more actually happening and more interesting locations and situations and a higher standard of character interaction. But, still fairly early on in them all, so maybe hers will slow down or the others will get better; they did seem to give her the most significant first-act story arc with echoing effects, so they might just be saving the other characters' cool moments for later, to spread out the "wahoo" moments.

Though I gotta say, Surlent's got his WORK CUT OUT FOR HIM, trying to redeem himself as a legitimate protagonist in my eyes. He's presented as the wise, intelligent one, but after that holy robe fiasco? Surlent. You putz, Surlent. I thought the whole time, no way is he being this stupid and oblivious, that robe's a FAKE one, or he's got some kinda plan, but no. No, he really was only operating on that one level. And then getting back to town, just WATCHING with a blank expression as a child is kidnapped and carried RIGHT BY HIM without disrupting the situation AT ALL, and then afterwards, to the horrified and urgently worried townspeople in need, being like "oh, sure, we'll investigate the kidnapping of that child, being taken to the cult that we currently have no reason to think is anything but deadly and planning to sacrifice him. But we don't need to hurry about that, we can take our time. I am literally saying that. Because first, I need to go report back to my boss and plan our next move with him about our ARCHAEOLOGY. Then maaaaaybe we'll see about the child in mortal danger, perhaaaaaaaaps"

I am totally happy to grade 16-bit storytelling and characterization on a curve, but if they are trying to characterize Surlent as anything but a selfish and incompetent jackass who dresses nicely and speaks all fancy to give the impression of bein' smart while actually being a total fuck-up then they have FAILED. This is just some SLOPPY storytelling Surlent's got goin' on.

...I really like pretty much everything else, though!

Another touch I enjoy is how each character has their own leitmotif, and each scenario has a unique boss theme which is a more ROCKIN' remix of their respective protagonist's music. I love that sort of thing.

After a slow build-up, Surlent's boss theme is probably my favorite, despite it being Surlent's.



Sion's is also really good, and I love how "Mystic Quest" (by the same composer) it sounds.



Riza's, DESPITE BEING RIZA'S, is probably my least favorite, but I still do like it. It just feels SLIGHTLY too noble for a standard boss theme, though hey, that does help set it apart.

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Old 07-19-2018, 09:24 AM
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Yeah, the music in the game is really good. I also love the overworld themes, and the fact that they have both day and night variations.





Not to mention, so many different ones! Top tier work all the way around. Hard to believe this was the Mystic Quest team, even if I actually think that game is pretty solid.
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Old 07-19-2018, 09:32 AM
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From what I vaguely remember, Liza is absolutely the actual, true, MC of the game though. At least in terms of how much of the plot/setting revolves around the events in her chunk of the game.
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Old Yesterday, 07:54 AM
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Okay, Surlent's scenario has gone places and become the best thing ever. I mean, he himself is still a thundering fuck-up, but taken now to a degree that is absolutely wonderful.

-Surlent gets abruptly murdered by a Rudra (ancient powerful demi-god, basically) seconds after it is revived
-His soul goes to Limbo (which has a world map unto itself and this whole development is just great)
-In Limbo, visits a museum (YES, LIMBO HAS ONE) sees another petrified Rudra, and despite what JUST happened with that other Rudra, willingly revives it
-Surlent's soul gets abruptly double-murdered by THIS Rudra, less than ten minutes after his body was normal-murdered by the last Rudra
-Just so many consequences to that dumb decision of his ensue, with this fresh new Rudra now unleashed upon the land of the living and Surlent's soul ends up banished into a sword and his body back in the real world gets possessed by the newer Rudra's evil buddy, and haplessly helpless Surlent himself ends up needing to be bailed out by the god of Limbo and you need to choose one of two leftover zombie bodies Limbo-god has on hand (each with their own unique sprites and different stats) to put Surlent's soul into so he can return to the living world in it and try to fix all the trouble he's unleashed and chase after his stolen actual body which is off doing dastardly stuff because Surlent is just such a fuck-up yet still keeps acting all wise and dignified and unfazed as he keeps literally dying and being sealed away in magic swords and put in new zombie-bodies and just confidently bumbling Mr. Magoo-like through life and the afterlife alike, making everything worse for himself and the world at large in increasingly enormous ways.


It's beyond parody. It's beyond belief. I love it.

Less than ten minutes between the two incidents.

Never change Surlent, I am sorry I didn't like you at first, you might end up my new favorite JRPG protagonist.
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  #30  
Old Yesterday, 09:27 AM
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that's just how it be sometimes
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