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34 Cliches of Christmas
Where'd You Get that Gold?
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on December 06, 2007   |   Episode 15 (Show Archive)  

   

It's that time of year again, a time when Defunct Games celebrates the holidays by posting a daily theme article that should inform and delight gamers all over the world. This year we're taking a look at the video game cliche, the type of thing we've seen time and time again in all generations of gaming. Is this cliche realistic? Does it need to go away? These are the types of questions Defunct Games will be asking over the next month. Join us as we celebrate this joyous season with the 34 Cliches of Christmas!



I've never played World of Warcraft, so I have absolutely nothing to add to this discussion. Carry on!
As Seen In: Final Fantasy, Diablo, World of WarCraft, Dragon Quest, EverQuest, Blue Dragon, Castlevania, The Legend of Zelda, NeverWinter Nights, Champions of Norath and pretty much every other role-playing game ever made.

What Is It? No matter where you are, if you're out adventuring then it's vital that you have money. I don't care if it's a post-apocalyptic future or the middle ages; money is the most important thing in the world. It's what you use to buy more health potions, to rest up when you're hurt, to buy new magic abilities and pick up a better weapon. Without money you would still be fighting that level 5 slime monster back in the old country. But here's the problem, all of your adventuring makes it extremely difficult for you to hold a full time job. And without a full time job you can't pay for new weapons, armor, magic, and potions. Without money you're just some homeless jerk. So what do you do? Well, you murder some wild rats, bats and ogres. Because for some strange reason all of the animals in the forest seem to be packing a good chunk of cash. I don't know why, but this cliche seems to find its way into every single role-playing game ever released.

Is It Realistic? Honestly, I didn't know for sure. It seemed a little farfetched, but you can never be too sure about these sorts of things ... I mean, I've been burned before. So I decided to check it out for myself, using real animals and real knives. As of this writing I have only been able to capture a

If you're going to ask if the driver was rewarded with gold, then the answer is no!
dog and a wild rat, but I assure you that I will update this section once I've finished the autopsy of the ogre (assuming I ever find one). Having tested the dog and rat, I can say with almost 100% confidence that you don't get money from killing animals. And even if you did, it would mean that you would have to cut the poor guy open, reach into his stomach and pull out whatever change the animal accidentally swallowed while searching for food. But then again, the ogre could have money. I'm not willing to say this cliche is unrealistic yet.

Is It Overused? This cliche is the very definition of overused. Considering that this game mechanic seems to be in every single role-playing game ever released and will probably be in every future adventure game, I would say that this is a tad overused. But what can you do about it? Sure it's not very realistic, but animals are the one thing you seem to be killing and you have to earn money somehow. Nobody wants to play a game where you have to work an 8 hour day before you can go questing in your free time. They already made that game ... it was called Shenmue.

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