The least qualified person to save the world will always be the only guy who can do it. This is offset by the fact that your evil arch-nemesis is located very, very far away from wherever you live, and the power of his evil minions increase with every step you take towards his goofy floating castle or invisible tralier park of doom. Sure he may have two spike-laced, fire spewing demon overlords guarding his palace doors with automatic plasma gun turrets, but 2,000 miles away and in your town, all he has is a handful of slightly aggressive wasps and a toad that shoots mossy rocks from its mouth.
"...Also, living in NYC, to stop any terrorists from braking into my home I've crammed pickles in the gap between the front door and the floor - try and brake past my juicy green wall of defense." -- commenter on FARK
Luckily, God doesn't completely hate you, and there's always ONE magic tree you can cut down to create a bridge or dam to safely cross the deadly six inch deep abyss full of deadly minnows. Speaking of trees, they often act as impenetrable force fields, somehow growing in perfectly straight lines to constantly block your way, thereby creating labyrinths alongside the highly important boulders and signposts. This explains why nobody except you ever bothers leaving towns in any RPG. If I had to fight off several hundred monsters while nearly braining myself against a magic tree every few feet, I'd stay in town with a shit-eating grin on my face too.
Goddamn that's funny. I was always amazed at how fast the hero climbs the socio-economic ladder in RPGs. He's always some bratty kid to start out with, but within a few hours of gameplay, he's usually the hero of one or two villages, well-equipped, and usually packing a good amount of disposable income. By the end of the game, he's basically a fuckin' deity, with ass-kicking weapons, the respect and fear of all, and the head of the evil whatever Lord on the end of the stake in front of the king's mansion. Normally, such social climbing would take generations!
Also, I hate it that you can't fight townspeople, except on Ultima: Exodus.
"My brother saw the Undertaker walking through an airport." - Rex "Was he no-selling?" - Me
"...release the dogs, or the bees, or the dogs with bees in their mouths, and when they bark, they shoot bees at you?" -- Homer Simpson
The main villian will invariably have some quality which makes them more human and likeable in the player's mind. Damien might be slaughtering innocents by the thousands, but once we're shown a tearful moment from his past when he was learning to play the piano, we can't really hate him, can we? Giving good traits to bad guys and bad traits to good guys constitutes "depth" in RPGs, and you should be very impressed that the bad guy wants to commit genocide because his dog was run over by the king's wagon when he was a kid.
I'm still laughing at this.
The villian described above will have several forms once engaged in battle. There's simply no way around it; the climactic showdown must be something the bad guy secretly waits and plans for months ahead of time. If he's able to turn into a being powerful beyond belief, why doesn't he just stay like that all the time? Perhaps he's evil because the 90 different demon and robot costumes he's wearing are really uncomfortable
Towns in RPG games have a 98% jobless rate, as there are only four businesses per town (blacksmith, wizard, item store, bank), and the rest of the town consists of people who stand and stare at bushes, walk to a barn, walk back to the bushes, turn around, and walk back to the barn all day.
Speaking of that list of console RPG clichés, my name is the third on the list of contributors! My friend Flirbnic is there too, but they spelled his name wrong. I think I sent in the one about the swords. Yeah, and the one about fighting tournaments. Man, that was a few years ago...
You can also get the disk by subscribing to Nintendo Power. Sure, NP is nothing but a huge, extremely biased ad, but I figure the Zelda Collection disks is worth $20 and a trip to the trashcan once a month.