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Tiny Little Rant, Great Big Game - The Forbidden Codex of The Pink Beyond - A Sqrl's Journal

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May 18th, 2017

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04:43 pm - Tiny Little Rant, Great Big Game
I've finally found a JRPG that actually drove me to anger over its pretentiousness, and it's not even the game's fault really. It's also not actually from Japan. Last Dream is an interesting Final Fantasy 1 homage that I'm kinda digging and will be probably finishing in spite of some objections to the plot.

It did a thing which is driving me crazy, though. Throughout the game there are bookshelves, and you can examine every single bookshelf in the game. That's cool. Not every JRPG puts unique text on every shelf.

Every one of the books is a real Earth book.
That random NPC has a copy of Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird" on her shelf.
The abandoned magitechnical research lab comes stocked with copies of Jostein Gaarder's "Sophie's World" and Tennessee Williams' "A Streetcar Named Desire".
The battle arena has a shelved copy of Daniel Defoe's "Robinson Crusoe", and the mystical hedge maze established by the ancient Vanir culture centuries before humans were born has a very well stocked library that includes Scott O'Dell's Newbery-Award winning YA novel "Island of the Blue Dolphins" and the book "Profiles in Courage" written by Senator John F. Kennedy.


Like... okay. Your character is in the frame story a transplant from Earth, who was swept out to sea by the ocean and arrived in this mystical land of elves and magic and wonder and shit. That's fine. So there's four possible reasons this could be the case:

A: A magic time vortex sucked the main character to the far far far distant future, where the knowledge of our time is preserved perfectly but a new civilization has arisen and forgotten all mention of the past and also elves and magic exist now.

B: The main character is dying and having a dream as they struggle to cling to life, in which case I'm gonna get real pissed and then go play Eternal Sonata, the JRPG about the dying dream of Fredrick Chopin, which is at least UP FRONT about how up its own butthole it is and thus I cannot call it pretentious.

C: The magical ocean current that swept you to a fantasy land also at some point caught a freighter ship full of library books and washed it away, and no one in this universe has ever masted the art of writing their own damn literature BUT can somehow perfectly reproduce these books across the world.

D: Nothing makes sense, everything is pointless, you're playing a video game and these books have zero thematic connection to the plot, this NPC has never actually read their copies of Peter Pan or From The Earth to the Moon because this NPC cannot read anything because (s)he is a preprogrammed script-spouting automaton written by some dudes who wanted to look cultured but didn't want to put in, like, effort.

I am gonna tentatively go with D because I don't think this game has the imagination for the rest of these plans.

It's a good game.
It really is.
But damn, this completely breaks the fiction for me.

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