Role-playing Game Logic – Guns [ COMIC ]

I was at home watching my girls on a rainy Saturday morning last month. They were off having a tea party down the hall and I was sitting in the living room all alone and bored. To alleviate my boredom I decided to fire up the Playstation 3 and play a game. My choices were two different RPGs: Final Fantasy X-2 and Rogue Galaxy…I’m just kidding. I never had any intentions of playing Final Fantasy X-2.

So…I’ve been playing Rogue Galaxy for some time now and I’m nearing the end of the game. One thing I find oddly humorous, is that guns I’ve had since the beginning of the game and that were barely able to damage creatures can now kill those exact same creatures with a single shot. Somewhere along the journey did my characters’ pointer fingers become so strong that they can now pull their gun triggers with such force as to increase said weapons’ firing power tenfold?

Now I’m willing to suspend my disbelief when it comes to melee weapons. Increasing a character’s skill levels and strength could change the way a characters attack. But the gun that did so much damage should still do the same amount of damage regardless of what level the character that is firing it may be. With that said, I am so glad that the developers of Rogue Galaxy did not see a need to include this aspect in the game. My main character’s gun is currently the strongest and most effective weapon in his arsenal.


  • Halrawk

    Only argument I could say is that at level 99, you have better aim. Shooting someone in the heart will kill them, shooting their foot, not so much.

    But I totally smell what you’re cooking, a bullet doesn’t get more powerful based on the person holding the gun.

    • Halrawk

      Unless of course, you go to the gym, and work on your guns… :)

      • Random Guy

        Ba Dum Tish

  • NT121784

    Your character just knows to aim for the chest or head and not the foot or something.

  • Phaelin

    Even the “better aim” argument can only hold up for so long, really. Is a level 99 character going to be *that* much better at aiming than a level 50 character? Highly unlikely, otherwise that level 50 character probably wouldn’t have made it very far.

    Anyway, I’ll still suspend my disbelief on this one for the sake of the game.

    So is Rogue Galaxy treating you well? I didn’t know of too many people that actually picked it up, so it’s good to hear you’re enjoying it. On that note, it’s also good to see another original comic on the site. :)

  • 2bithacker

    VG RPGs seem to like to do this, but pen and paper (namely D&D) doesn’t. Weapon damage is fixed, you just get better at hitting (and your strength can improve, which increases melee damage.) The only exception to that is rogue sneak attack damage, logic being that they learn where to hit to do the most damage (stabbing the kidneys, etc.)

    Also, *alleviate.

  • Alastor

    I still recommend you try FFX-2, if only for the best combat in the series. No joke. Took all the aspects of ATB and made it rewarding to time your attacks, and ignoring the Barbie doll class change animations, the classes are nicely varied.

    Sure the story is a mess, and the character are a pile of bullcrap and chips, and it really shouldn’t be called a Final Fantasy game, but the combat instantly makes it more fun to me than FFVIII, and I played 110 hours of that.

    • Paulbunion

      I always felt it was kind of funny how older rpgs would have you hold on to those starter weapons and never have you do anything with them. The only argument I have for the variance of damage imparted by a difference of level is that the gun is merely acting as an extension of the body, a means of giving shape to one’s violent intent.
      Also in a more technically or magically advanced setting this makes even more sense. As an output device, a gun’s damage capacity may be able to be enhanced by various enchantments or via extraneous equipment elsewhere on the body that interface with its systems(enormous external power supply for instance).
      Another method could be simply termed as the “mind over matter” approach. Simply willing the ammunition to higher velocities and simulating a higher mass/density ratio. Depending on the setting it could also be a function of being so much more capable than one’s opponent. The example sited in the original statement suggests that this is indeed the case. Not just outclassing said opponent in terms of skill, but in overwhelming it so completely that our benighted case study is already dead in its own mind before the projectile leaves the firing chamber. “Wars are won in the mind” seems to me to be an apt title for this last example.
      On a different subject, I always thought of the job changing mechanic in FFX-2 more along the lines of a Sailor Moon transformation. And while I agree that the combat engine was the most enjoyable part of the game, the treatment of the story elements were so egregious I stopped after a few hours.

    • Vortigar

      I completely agree. FFX-2 simply has the best combat mechanics of almost any FF game. It’s so sad that they manage to put that system into the worst game in the series when it comes to every other aspect. And that particular combat system will probably never be used in a single player FF game again because they adapted parts of it for that horrendous MMO of theirs. Ah, let’s just fire up FFV again (not 6 dagnabbit, 5!).

      Well at least we find out that Riku’s bathing suit actually covers more of her body than the clothes she walks around in normally, because I still think that’s hilarious. Let’s put on MORE clothes to jump into a hotspring… Girl, if you could make any less sense we’d call you lil Brother.

  • Pocket Lord Sephirjon

    You know, it COULD be that as you level up, your character is quietly improving the gun.

    • Nemo

      yep, like adding sights, stablizers, better rifling, better quality ammo, etc.Not to mention each level the character has practiced more.

  • Klas

    The level of skill using a gun in a fantasy setting is fully reasonable in that context.
    The thing with precision is just not about hitting the heart, it’s hitting a bloody nerve.

    The level of skill on these high-level characters is super-human.
    Also, remember, a hit might represent something entirely different than a bullet being lodged inside.
    For instance, a dragon might sustain ever so slight damage from being hit on it’s scales, while the supremely good shot shoots it between two scales, adds a twist to the shot making it hit the worst possible place.

    Also, you should read something about just how many bullets a normal person can take before they die, hell, people have been shot through the heart with a magnum and survived.

    • Jarrett

      By that logic, at level 1, there should be a luck factor that allows you to hit anywhere between 1 and Max damage should your character somehow hit that nerve., with the minimum and average increasing by level. That’s not really the case though.

  • TheyCallMeTomu

    Gameplay and Story Segregation. It’s a thing. The alternative is to make guns useless by the time you’re 99th level.

  • Sky_Render

    Not every RPG does this, of course. A few examples come to mind (Chrono Trigger, Xenogears, Final Fantasy Tactics, and Final Fantasy XII; all Squaresoft games, go figure) where guns do in fact have the same effectiveness at level 1 as they do at level 99. This element is a cornerstone of FF12 low-level runs. And CT does have a mechanic for boosting damage with guns: appropriately enough, as Lucca’s Hit% score goes up, she gets bonuses to her damage dealt.

    • Khayyaam

      Actually, Chrono Trigger DOES make the guns get stronger with level. But if you check the stats of the ranged weapon users, Strength is replaced with Hit Rate (and indeed, Marle and Lucca are completely unaffected by the strength tabs). Add this to the fact that their animation clearly shows they shoot multiple times (especially with criticals), it’s a more plausible version of the “better aim” argument with them shooting MORE times and directly landing more of these shots as they get better.

  • There is actually an easy fix for this.

    Just add a brief animation to the character’s arm, showing it jerk forward as like for a punch, with the gun firing at the tail end. What happens is the character’s immense physical strength accelerates the gun to high speeds before firing the bullet, which adds on to the velocity of the bullet (theory of relativity, natch). Hence the bullet gains the added ‘punch’.

    I do believe Fallout Tactics had punch-guns, basically a fist weapon that fires a single shotgun shell upon point-blank impact. Similar concept, the force of the punch + the impact of the bullet together.

    That, or they pump their qi energy into the bullets… Apparently in One Piece, you can charge your haki into arrows, so that has precedent.

  • How about magic?

  • oldtaku

    I prefer to think of it as the character’s sheer manliness aura (which levels up) accelerating the bullet like a magnetic rail gun. The gun is just there to get things started.

  • RaphaelKox

    I swear that i heard some “biri-biri” noises when i read “Railgun”…
    Also Lv99 is too much, a Level 5 is fine.

  • Neorotoxin

    I figure it is simply a similar situation to what can be done in the Tenga Toppa Gurren Lagann universe. Willpower allows you to access spiral energy at a level that transcends normal laws of physics to the point that it is straightforward. You will your enemy to death.

    The gun is simply a means of delivering your power to the enemy. I imagine at the higher levels you wouldn’t even bother with real ammo, you would just be shooting a fragment of mentally conjured energy at your enemy.

    • Zombie

      You accidentally a word there.

    • Kudos for referencing Gurren Lagann.

  • BatBrian

    One thing that the NES/Famicom FF games did was that they showed each character’s skills improving with a given weapon type (or within the current job) as he or she leveled up. Sure, your characters get more physically powerful with their weapons, but they also just get plain old better with them, and are able to squeeze more attacks into a given round. A Monk or Master in the first game, for example, might be capable of delivering 2 hits in the beginning, but is able to string together a couple of dozen by the end of the game. The DS version of FFIII is especially good at highlighting this, because your characters swing their weapons around like crazy as they get better at their jobs.

    This still doesn’t excuse guns, of course. I’ve personally been wondering about that issue ever since FFVII. I loved using Vincent, but it always baffled me exactly how he was able to shoot harder. Disgaea gets it right, I think, by having physical strength be completely irrelevant to gun damage, basing it entirely on accuracy.

  • Stan

    <3 Original content.