Vantage: Primitive Survival Game Hacked
Hydlide 3: The Space Memories, released for the MSX in 1987 and for the Mega Drive as Super Hydlide in 1989, adopted the morality meter of its predecessor, expanded on its time option with the introduction of an in-game clock setting day-night cycles and a need to sleep and eat, and made other improvements such as cut scenes for the opening and ending, a combat system closer to The Legend of Zelda, the choice between four distinct character classes, a wider variety of equipment and spells, and a weight system affecting the player's movement depending on the overall weight of the equipment carried. That same year, Kogado Studio's sci-fi RPG Cosmic Soldier: Psychic War featured a unique "tug of war" style real-time combat system, where battles are a clash of energy between the party and the enemy, with the player needing to push the energy towards the enemy to strike them, while being able to use a shield to block or a suction ability to absorb the opponent's power. It also featured a unique non-linear conversation system, where the player can recruit allies by talking to them, choose whether to kill or spare an enemy, and engage enemies in conversation, similar to Megami Tensei. Also in 1987, the survival horror game Shiryou Sensen: War of the Dead, an MSX2 title developed by Fun Factory and published by Victor Music Industries, was the first true survival horror RPG. Designed by Katsuya Iwamoto, the game revolved around a female SWAT member Lila rescuing survivors in an isolated monster-infested town and bringing them to safety in a church. It was open-ended like Dragon Quest and had real-time side-view battles like Zelda II. Unlike other RPGs at the time, however, the game had a dark and creepy atmosphere expressed through the story, graphics, and music, while the gameplay used shooter-based combat and gave limited ammunition for each weapon, forcing the player to search for ammo and often run away from monsters in order to conserve ammo. That same year saw the release of Laplace no Ma, another hybrid of survival horror and RPG, though with more traditional RPG elements such as turn-based combat. It was mostly set in a mansion infested with undead creatures, and the player controlled a party of several characters with different professions, including a scientist who constructs tools and a journalist who takes pictures.
Vantage: Primitive Survival Game hacked
Lastly, in the late 1990s, a new Internet fad began, owing to simplistic software development kits such as the Japanese RPG Maker series (1988 onwards). Influenced by console RPGs and based mostly on the gameplay and style of the SNES and Sega Genesis games, a large group of young programmers and aficionados across the world began creating independent console-style computer RPGs and sharing them online. An early successful example was Corpse Party (1996), a survival horror indie game created using the RPG Maker engine. Much like the survival horror adventure games Clock Tower (1995 onwards) and later Haunting Ground (2005), the player characters in Corpse Party lack any means of defending themselves; the game also featured up to 20 possible endings. However, the game would not be released in Western markets until 2011. In an interview with GameDaily in 2007, MTVN's Dave Williams remarked that, "Games like this [user generated] have been sort of under the radar for something that could be the basis of a business. We have the resources and we can afford to invest more... I think it's going to be a great thing for the consumer."
In 1989, Phantasy Star II for the Genesis established many conventions of the genre, including an epic, dramatic, character-driven storyline dealing with serious themes and subject matter, and a strategy-based battle system. Its purely science fiction setting was also a major departure for RPGs, which had previously been largely restricted to fantasy or science fantasy settings. The game's science fiction story was also unique, reversing the common alien invasion scenario by instead presenting Earthlings as the invading antagonists rather than the defending protagonists. The game's strong characterization, and use of self-discovery as a motivating factor for the characters and the player, was a major departure from previous RPGs and had a major influence on subsequent RPGs such as the Final Fantasy series. It also made a bold attempt at social commentary years before the Final Fantasy series started doing the same. Capcom's Sweet Home for the NES introduced a modern Japanese horror theme and laid the foundations for the survival horror genre, later serving as the main inspiration for Resident Evil (1996). Like Resident Evil, Sweet Home featured the use of scattered notes as a storytelling mechanic and a number of multiple endings depending on which characters survived to the end. Tengai Makyo: Ziria released for the PC Engine CD that same year was the first RPG released on CD-ROM and the first in the genre to feature animated cut scenes and voice acting. The game's plot was also unusual for its feudal Japan setting and its emphasis on humour; the plot and characters were inspired by the Japanese folk tale Jiraiya Goketsu Monogatari. The music for the game was also composed by noted musician Ryuichi Sakamoto. Also in 1989, the early enhanced remake Ys I & II was one of the first games to use CD-ROM, utilized to provide enhanced graphics, animated cut scenes, a Red Book CD soundtrack, and voice acting. The game offered a "much larger, more colorful world, populated with lifelike characters who communicated with voice instead of text," heralding "the evolution of the standard role-playing game" according to RPGFan. Its English localization was also one of the first to use voice dubbing. Ys I & II went on to receive the Game of the Year award from OMNI Magazine in 1990, as well as many other prizes.
In 1999, the cinematic trend set by Final Fantasy VII continued with Final Fantasy VIII, which introduced characters with a proportionately sized human appearance. The game also featured a level-scaling system where the enemies scale in level along with the player's party. Similar level-scaling mechanics have been used in a number of later RPGs, including The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Silverfall, Dragon Age: Origins, Fable II, Fallout 3, and Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Square also expanded on the non-linearity of SaGa Frontier with their 1999 action RPG Legend of Mana, the most open-ended in the Mana series, allowing the player to build the game world however they choose, complete any quests and subplots they choose in any order of their choice, and choose which storyline paths to follow, departing from most other action RPGs in its time. That same year, Square's survival horror RPG Parasite Eve II featured branching storylines and up to three different possible endings, while the sci-fi RPG Star Ocean: The Second Story boasted as many as 86 different endings, with each of the possible permutations to these endings numbering in the hundreds, setting a benchmark for the amount of outcomes possible for a video game. Using a relationship system inspired by dating sims, each of the characters in Star Ocean had friendship points and relationship points with each of the other characters, allowing the player to pair together, or ship, any couples (both romantic heterosexual relationships as well as friendships) of their choice, allowing a form of fan fiction to exist within the game itself. This type of social system was later extended to allow romantic lesbian relationships in BioWare's 2007 sci-fi RPG Mass Effect. However, the relationship system in Star Ocean not only affected the storyline, but also the gameplay, affecting the way the characters behave towards each other in battle. Another 1999 RPG, Persona 2, also featured dating elements, including the option to engage in a homosexual relationship. That same year saw the release of Chrono Cross, which became the third game to receive a perfect score from GameSpot, after The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Soulcalibur. The game featured two major parallel dimensions, where the player must go back and forth between the worlds to recruit party members, obtain items, and advance the plot, with events in one dimension influencing the other. Like its predecessor Chrono Trigger, Chrono Cross featured a New Game+ option and multiple endings, with at least a dozen possible endings based on the player's actions.
Hunting RPGs are a type of action RPG subgenre featuring the player and an optional team of up to three other players hunting down larger monsters with a set amount of time, using weapons crafted from the materials extracted from the map and/or from the monsters themselves. Unlike most RPG genres, the monsters have no health bars or hit points, but have stronger attack and defense stats, forcing the players to use survival items and coordinated strategies to eliminate a specific monster. First appeared in Capcom's Monster Hunter franchise, these games later expanded the hunting RPG genre into other games as well, such as Bandai Namco Entertainment's God Eater franchise.
This game deviated sooo much from what made it popular in the early access. From survival game with dinosaurs it became a weird fantasy/sci-fi mix with survival component marginalized to the extreme. Disappointing.