Today in nostalgia: 1990s RPG Opening Sequences

March 23, 2011 at 4:37 pm (Nostalgia) (, )

Blasts from my generation’s shared past n_n. There was a time when joy was watching a PS1 RPG’s opening sequence. I was never much of a gamer, but I was very much an opening-sequence-watcher n__n. These are a few of the gems from that time (specifically the ones which stuck with me over the next decade. For some reason, they all come from Japan). Behold.

 

Wild ARMs 1 (1996)

It’s the whistling. It affects you on a deeply personal level (and remains long after the PS1 has been eaten up by its descendants).

 

Legend of Legaia (1998)

This was the very first RPG my household played (because playing RPGs was always a family matter. You needed people to stick around to watch the stories unfold with – that was the point of saving various files at multiple points throughout the game, usually before an Awesome Event).

Know what bugs me though? Character Noa was supposed to be 12 years old. I had assumed she was a really…slow adult. She never looked 12 o_O. And did that sword growing out of Vahn’s ra-seru ever actually appear in the game? I can’t remember o_O.

 

Thousand Arms (1998)

Now here was something I actually played (and when I say ‘played’, I mean I did the dating game n__n). Part of me was thinking, ‘hmmm, using the affection of various females to power up your weapons? That’s sexist!’ The rest of me was trying to figure out a scientific method to get each and every female in the game to kiss me.

(Note, the video is completely without sound due to copyright stuffage. You can always try finding Ayumi Hamasaki’s ‘Depend On You’ and playing it along with the video n__n).

 

Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete (1998)

I can’t remember anything about this game, other than it had something (vaguely) to do with music o_O. And the opening song gets stuck in your head really easily.

 

Chrono Cross (1999)

This one, for the epic music. You know the words that appear in the start? As a child I thought they were deep and profound and moving. Upon growing up, I realized they were a lot of badly translated bullshit. This does not diminish my love for this opening.

 

Legend of Dragoon (1999)

There was a time (right before Dragoon came out) when people were toting it as the Thing To Beat Out Final Fantasy. All that disappeared after the game actually came out. Despite that, Dragoon remains special on account of its (then) crazy awesome (-ambitious-) CG sequences. And y’know. “DOUBLE SUH-LASH!”

 

Final Fantasy VIII (1999)

Because a lot of the 1990s was ‘Hey It’s The Next Final Fantasy!’ FF8 was -not- my favorite of the FF games that came out in that era (I was one of those people who took an inordinate amount of delight in mocking Rinoa – because she needed a fucking pet dog to perform her limit breaks, among other things).

However, it was the one with the killer opening sequence. In retrospect, the characters look awfully clay-ish, and the movements aren’t all that wonderful. But the first time we ever saw this, our reactions went a lot like: ‘Holy shit, that looks like a real beach! With real water!’

 

Genso Suikogaiden Volume 1: Swordsman of Harmonia (1999)

This is an offshoot of Genso Suikoden 2, a 1998 game I continue to maintain an obsessive, unhealthy love for. The Gaidens (volumes 1 and 2) were never released in the English-speaking world, but that doesn’t stop similarly unhealthily obsessive fucks from trying to translate the whole thing.

I put this up instead of the actual Suik 2 opening because it’s a lot prettier. It captures a lot of the pertinent sequences and characters from the original game -wonderfully-, in the kind of animation which feeds my dreams of seeing a Suikoden anime series within my mortal lifespan. It could happen.

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