The horribly flawed or under-appreciated RPGs you love anyway.

my go-to answer is baten kaitos but i talk about that game a lot. lol

i've been thinking about _eternal sonata_ a lot recently. i never finished it, but i love how tonally bizarre that game is. reading a block of biographical text about chopin's life and then getting thrown back into anime fantasy shenanigans is a very fun experience.

I wrote about it at length in the “one game a year” thread, but I really got infatuated with MS Saga: A New Dawn. The Gundam rpg that has nothing to do with Gundam.

@“leah”#p114958 so what‘s up with baten kaitos? i’ve been sitting on a gc copy of eternal wings but never gotten around to it, and now the remasters are not far off

@“IrishNinja”#p114971 oh it rules. it shares some key staff with chrono cross, and it definitely shows - unique battle system that‘s justified diegetically, island/archipelago setting, a similar twist around the middle of the game, etc. it’s got some earthbound-yness to it as well, since it directly acknowledges that you, the player, are an external force separate from your party members. AND there‘s a weird little tower of druaga dungeon dropped right in the middle of the game. it’s a really self-aware game without being smug, with a lot of authentic-feeling weirdness.

it also has some of the most wonderful garbage voice acting, which i think they're removing for the remasters :(

@“leah”#p114982 aw damn, that sounded really neat & kinda sold me on said remasters before your last line. should i just stick with the GC one i have, do i need origins or what‘s recommended there?

shame too, i know not all of these “updates” go well but i’m usually a big fan of QOL stuff

Truly unloved RPGs: the Temple of Apshai games for Atari 8-bit/C64/etc.

@“IrishNinja”#p114985 i haven‘t played origins because secondhand copies are so pricey, but i’ve heard good things about it. i think the remaster is probably a fine way to experience the games, i just have a lot of affection for the voice acting. it‘s really legendarily bad. partially because the acting itself is pretty hammy, and partially because the sound quality is rough, it’s like the actors are speaking through a tin can.

i've read online that this is actually meant to emphasize your distance from the game world, and that certain (small) decisions you make within the story will improve the sound quality to signal your closeness with the main character, but i haven't seen any sources for that.

I have a real soft spot for Ephemeral Fantasia / Reiselied, a rather mediocre early PS2 RPG by Konami for reasons I myself find hard to articulate but I'll try:

It stars silent protag "Mouse", a renowned musician hired by the king of a tropical island to play in his royal wedding. Except Mouse and his partner the talking guitar (!) Pattimo are secretly thieves aiming for the king's riches. But turns out this king is a jerk that traps everybody in a magic time loop (which seemingly only Mouse and the bride can remember), to repeat the days leading to the ceremony forever. It's up to you to find like-minded party members to help Mouse stop this nonsense!

To do so you move around the island, finding and following important NPCs' schedules around in hopes of solving quests that advance the plot before the time loop kicks in (game is more of less gated until you trigger appropriate flags in multiple loops), and fight rather slow, boring random RPG battles with uninteresting (ATB-style) systems. Some big pacing problems here, both figuring out and completing quests in time and plodding through battles.

There are some clear Majora's Mask inspirations, and you even have to [play your talking guitar]( ocarina-style (or rather guitar freaks-style, plus supposedly Konami's PS2 guitars were supported). The game never does anything really clever with the time loop theme nor the neat setting, though remains intriguing enough. It was reportedly developed for the Dreamcast and hastily ported to PS2, with the graphical and technical issues you can imagine (a memorable point is that audio gets garbled when playing longer sessions, probably due to memory leaks). Music isn't exactly great yet [kind of lovely](

Anyway, overall this game has the endearing touches of a C-tier team that tried but just didn't have the ability to make something excellent. In an [interview](, game's composer happily declared that "the satisfaction you get after completing Ephemeral Fantasia is something you cannot get from other games". Not quite, buddy, but still remains in my heart so good job?


@“treefroggy”#p114796 No one has said Quest 64 yet, but it’s inevitable…!

I'll bite, I think if someone on here _has_ to be the one who has a fondness for _Quest 64,_ it's me. I've been thinking about it a lot lately. And, I got entranced with it as a young lad following its pre-release coverage in Nintendo Power.

I am pretty sure I have not played it past a fairly early point (at best I've gotten somewhat far into it maybe once) but I know I thought it was neat when I was a dumb kid, so, who knows? Maybe it will be worth poking at again.

@“treefroggy”#p114796 I unironically love Quest 64. It‘s so charming, small and cozy. It doesn’t do much, but what it does it does very well. I once heard someone describe it as more of a walking simulator than an rpg, and I'm inclined to agree.

I like that the story is almost nonexistent. I like that you don't buy anything. Stuff is just given to you. I like how lonely and mysterious the world feels. I like the bright colors. And I like that it's short.
I might have to check out that podcast. I'm hesitant to watch or listen to anything discussing Quest 64 because usually they're just using it as a punching bag and making tired jokes about it.

It was my first jrpg experience as a kid, and it bewildered me, and probably influenced my tastes more than I know. I wrote a review of it on Medium a couple years ago.

@“Andy B”#p115527 that’s awesome dude. Trust me it’s good.

I should have linked it before. Everyone check it out!:

I defer to our friend @“Andy B”#1582 here for being the resident Quest 64 stan! Yesterday I actually booted it up for an hour and a bit just to see how much I could remember.

I don't want to say that I had a whale of a time or anything... the world is huge, but, also, at least by modern standards, very empty feeling.

But, partly from playing it again and partly from looking a bit more up, yeah, it has some stuff worthy of interest and respect. For instance:


@“treefroggy”#p114796 how much was subtracted to make the game appealing to westerners.

Maybe the folks you're referring to said as much but one thing I definitely like about it that might be something the developers did for this reason is that character progression is pretty much always on a forward momentum. Getting hit always contributes to the leveling of your Defense stat, running around improves your Agility stat, etc. You also don't get a Game Over upon death, nor is any accumulated character progression wiped out. So if you're not strong enough to beat a certain section, you don't lose anything by still giving it a go anyway.

All in all, it's surely a "Horribly Flawed or Under Appreciated RPG [That Someone Could] Love Anyway.