Planescape Torment 2007 Retrospective
[Huge spoilers, so skip the pdf if you plan on playing PST. Read my summary instead.]
This vision document is hilarious.
Lead in Torment: Tides of Numenera
So after checking out the various articles there, I got to say this. Annah was, amazingly, CRPG’s first tsundere. It’s a Japanese conception in creating attractive and personable female characters. It combines tsun with dere, meaning thundering hostility and scorn with lovable and attractive behavior. Fall from Grace would be, I would assess, a coodere, someone that is cool to the main male lead but gets warmer later on. It’s amazing that the developer vision for Planescape Torment had all the ideas and mechanics of it in the construction, but never marketed it or even mentioned it. Perhaps it would seem sexist in the 21st century to speak of stroking the main male player’s ego concerning a “harem” of girls and loyal followers… but as various HBO and cable movies have proven, sex is attractive in the free market. What are romance novels for then if not?
I imagine that a lot of the reasons why players found Planescape Torment’s characters “memorable” was because of the male-female attraction factor, detailed in the vision document itself even. But in the American culture, it seems crude and rude to speak of it directly. Americans are becoming more puritanical and restricted as time goes on, not less. Certainly when compared to Japan it is so. Things like Gamersgate, Bioware’s reaction to their customers at the end of Mass Effect 3, and various infiltration and conquering of Western institutions by corrupt and rotten fanatics, are merely signs of what had started a long time ago.
Meanwhile the long sought after and imagined successor is finally working towards the Golden Finish line. It wasn’t done through corporate sponsorship or advertisement or petitioning some Powers that Be. It was done through the masses, through the crowds yearning for what the elites told them wasn’t profitable. Through belief and passion, the fan(atic)s of PST continued living through life, accumulating wealth, until they had an opportunity to spend it on what they wanted but did not know how to create.
For those that like “romances” in games, they should check Fate Stay/Night, Utawarerumono, Eien no Aselia, and various other PC games that are classified as Japanese visual novels or Story RPGs.
Morte, another character in PST, reminded me of various male friends (of the main lead) in VNs like Clannad. Dakkon reminded me of the Japanese’s priority on having the worthy lead, followed by valuable and skilled retainers (in the feudal sense).
There was also a sound clip file I linked long ago concerning Planescape’s companion dialogue and bantering. They were and still are, very fun to listen to.