RM Skill: Beginner
What do you think of one-on-one battles in certain situations in turn-based RPGs? I usually get the feeling that they are taboo, since there is a severe lack of options, and battles are hindered as a result. Obviously, if the whole game is one-on-one, it isn't going to be very good, but for certain situations, do you think one-on-one battles are justified if they're under the right context? For example, in a game story I have, the final battle is one-on-one. In a lot of stories (like in film, not just games), a one-on-one final battle is the only way to go. Think about the final battle in Return of the Jedi.
Would it have been the same if Han Solo or Lando had been by Luke's side fighting Darth Vader? Of course it wouldn't, it would downplay the significance of Luke's lone triumph over Vader, his triumph over the dark side of the Force.
So it ultimately comes down to sacrificing game design for better story telling. How should one-on-one turn-based RPGs battles be balanced? Are there any examples? Thoughts?
This post has been edited by CWCprime: Feb 16 2012, 09:26 PM
RM Skill: Skilled
Well, this is basically exactly what FF7 did with Sephiroth. The whole game Cloud is chasing after Sephiroth so the idea of a final showdown is inevitable and I think they handled it pretty well. Basically, the entire party fights him at first so you have all the tactics and feel like you’re using all the skills and equipment you’ve invested in your party throughout the game. Then at the end there's just a brief one on one which is basically unlosable between Cloud and Sephiroth where you just have a few cool animated attacks to finish him off (I think, it's been a while since I played it).
Depending on your story you could work it like this, with the whole party taking on a bigger and badder version of the boss to reduce him to a more mortal state before letting the main character have a short duel. However, keep in mind that some cases may make this seem cheap. If your whole party is just beating on the bad guy and then when he's low on health they let the main character finish him off, that's a little unheroic. The enemy somehow has to be more than human or have some advantage (technological/magical perhaps?) to give a reason for the whole party to take him on before letting the main character duel.
Alternatively you might have two bad buys, a really tough one and one who has a more personal connection to the hero. You can then have the party fighting the big bad and afterwards have a duel between the main character and this secondary evil. This wouldn't be anticlimactic (heck, it would be more climactic) since through this duel the main character is fulfilling a personal goal which has been building through the entire game and can come off more dramatic that simply saving the world.
In the end I’d say that it’s a pretty easy thing to do, but like Kaust said, you don’t want it to be boring. So I’d keep it short and let some other battle fulfil the gameplay climax while the duel fulfils the story’s climax as described in the above scenarios. In the end it depends on how you’ve structured your story and therefore what options are available to you.
This post has been edited by Knot: Feb 16 2012, 11:02 PM
Oh no! I've been quoted again! D=
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