Special episode – Persona

“A Persona is a facet of your personality that surfaces as you react to external stimuli… You can think of it as a mask that protects you as you brave many hardships.”

—Igor

Dragon Quest, Final Fantasy, Breath of Fire, Secret of Mana – we grew up with these JPRGs and they forged our notions of the genre and what it should strive for. One series, however, reshaped the boundaries of the RPG concepts with day-to-day visual novel elements and a strong artistic vision. Of course, we mean Persona, a franchise carefully conceived by the unique minds of Kaneko, Soejima, and many more.

Today is a special episode of the podcast in which both hosts reminiscence about the series, its evolution, and what they love (and maybe hate) about it. Apologies to the Persona 1’s fans, you’ll find no love here!

Contains story spoilers for Persona 2, 3 & 4. Persona 5 players are safe up to 7/9!

Examples discussed: Persona 2: Innocent Sin, Persona 2: Eternal Punishment, Persona 3, Persona 3: FES, Persona 3 Portable, Persona 4, Persona 4: The Golden, Persona 5

04 – Animals

Joel: “This everything you were hoping for?”
Ellie: “It’s got it ups and downs. You can’t deny the view, though.”
-The Last of Us

Feeling down? Go outside and pet a dog! It’s man’s best friend after all, what could go wrong? Oh wait, that’s right, Lara conditioned you to gun down wolves at the first growl. And let’s not forget those ghastly spiders just waiting to ensnare you in a web and suck your blood.
Lowly experience point fodder or invaluable element of creating a believable world? We try to think deep about the living creatures that roam our pixelated worlds.

Examples discussed: Red Dead Revolver, FFVII, Fable 2, Tomb Raider, Stardew Valley, Tokyo Jungle, Deadly Creatures, The Last of Us
Games we’re playing: Persona 5, Dark Souls III: The Fire Fades edition

 

03 – Alcohol

“Hey, bring some more soda!” “Sir, I think you’ve had enough sugar today.” -Chrono Trigger (US localization)

After a long stressful week, you’ve earnd this beer! *gulp* Oops, you just earned yourself a -5 Constitution debuff. Alcohol is a tricky subject in real life and it’s even trickier in video games. How do you represent it? How far will censorship go to blur the line? How can game designers offer us a different perspective on our most intimate poison? Today, Big Words introduces a more lively and active dialog between its two hosts as they discuss alcohol, on the screen and in front of it. 100% hangover-free.

Examples discussed: Phantom Brave, Red Dead Redemption, Catherine, Grand Theft Auto V, VA-11 HALL-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action, The Witcher, Yakuza

Games we’re playing: No Man’s Sky (Pathfinder Update), Undertale, Nier: Automata

02 – Towns (& Cities)

“In my restless dreams, I see that town…” -Mary (Silent Hill)

You arrive at a new town in an RPG. Do you B line for the weapons shop to scoop up that new sword and be on your way? Or do you linger? Take in the sights. Talk to some NPCs. Enjoy that one song you can hear only here. Learn what makes the town tick. What are the elements that make a town or city feel memorable in games? We try to name a few of our favorites.

Examples discussed: Midgar (FF VII), Sigil (Planescape: Torment), Inaba (Persona 4), Dunwall (Dishonored), Traverse Town (Kingdom Hearts), Greenvale (Deadly Premonition)

Games we’re playing: No Man’s Sky (Pathfinder Update), Night in the Woods, Nier: Automata also check our Rootless, our ResistJam entry!

01 – Beginnings

“A beginning is a very delicate time.” – David Lynch’s Dune

Contemplating the recipe for an impactful start to some of our favorite games seems like a fitting place to begin “Big Words”, a podcast devoted to breaking down our favorite aspects of games. Plot exposition, tutorials, learning your environment… It can be a lot to take in for any first-timer. With this in mind, we hope you show us the same level of patience you might when starting out and an adventure of your own.

Examples discussed: Final Fantasy X, Final Fantasy VIII, SMT III: Nocturne, Deus Ex, Demons’ Souls & Dark Souls

Games we’re playing: Don’t Starve, DOOM, Resident Evil VII