“Why Do JRPGs Have Such Stupid Weapons?”

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A discussion criticising JRPGs for their oft times bizarrely armed characters has recently been causing waves.

The discussion started with a series of complaints by western gamers about how “stupid” some of the weapon designs in Japanese RPGs are at times:

I was recently playing through Skies of Arcadia, Tales of Symphonia, and watching FFX, when i realized that there are some freaking stupid standard weapons in JPRGs. What are your favorites? The ones off the top of my head are:
Genis (Tales of Symphonia): A ball in a cup toy. Really. He fights with a ball in a cup.
Vyse(Skys of Arcadia): Uses a cutlass like a tonfa, not as much stupid, as potentially suicidal.
Waka (FFX): A beachball. No comment.

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It’s a game, relax…

I understand that, but I am kind of commenting on that Japan has a very different culture than us, a culture where a beachball could be considered a weapon. Still awesome though.

Anyone who creates and/or uses a giant key for a weapon is completely mental, so I’ll go with Keyblades.

Ball in a cup is the best weapon ever. Clearly you have never owned one.

Kanji Tatsumi in Persona 4 uses desks and chairs as weapons.
Leena in Chrono Cross uses frying pans.
The characters in Earthbound use bottle rockets, yo-yos and broken baseball bats.
And all those weapons are fucking awesome. At least they get the job done.

FFVII – megaphone; FFXIII – Snow’s coats; Eternal Sonata – umbrella.

Yes, yes, let’s all talk all kinds of shit about JRPGs. BOY they have some stupid weapons.
HEY I got an idea, why don’t we make a big list of all the different weapons found in Western games.
Number 1. Guns.
Number 2. …………….Oh wait. JUST GUNS.
Creative people sure are STUPID aren’t they???

JRPGs have shown me some of the strangest weapons I’ve ever seen. Why the zaniness was initially funny, it doesn’t help one suspend his disbelief.

Yeah, good point. Screw imagination, alternative ideas, and humor. Lets just strap everyone with 9mm pistols and SMGs, and call it a day. -_-

If everything had to bind by real life rules we’d have… oh wait we already do.
First person Shooters and WRPGs.

Real Japanese weapons are not much of an improvement at times:

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Not for the first time, the criticism was introduced to Japanese gamers to a mixed but not entirely dismissive reception.

However, Japanese gamers presented with these complaints do point out western weapons, both fantastic and real, are hardly any better:

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Those left with a lingering impression that Japanese weaponry is any more or less idiotic than armaments elsewhere need look no further than the weird weapons gallery to dispel it.


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    349 Comments
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    Avatar of Barbarian of Gor
    Comment by Barbarian of Gor
    16:08 24/10/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    The sickle with chain and weighted ball is every bit as deadly as the classic gladiator weighted net and trident, but in a smaller package.

    A "Gunsword" is insanity, however you package it, and yes in RL. The way a gun is moved compared to a sword, the energies work against each other. A "Musket" is different, for the energies of a spear are not that far off from a gun.

    My fav "Silly" weapon is a "Fork" from one of the Final Fantasies... 8 I think... That's when Amano went off the deep end into his "Conceptual" phase or started to...

    Of course, a lot of "Thud and Blunder" here. Weapons too big, esp for females, but in it so they look better when on a small CG character. And when you have flying ships and high tech in a medival society you have enough "Suspension of Disbelief" for the average Fursuit Lifestyler so what the hey.

    Cloud Strife's sword (the wedge) set the standard.

    IMO, it looked like he'd scavanged it from some 20 foot mecha, the holes being what the mechanical construct used to hold onto it. It would be a passable weapon, if there was a small handle on one side so it could be used as armor and shield at the same time, also adding strength for thrusts and stabs. But in RL if cloud was somehow strong enough to wield this without getting a slipped disk and/or just too tired after 30 seconds of fighting, he still wouldn't use it. That level of strength, (cloud's supposed to simply be strong enough to wield that sword) he could use a "Warhammer" far more effectively. Or, if he HAD to use a blade, use the higher tech base he's in and either make a Gladius with compacted steel (as in earth's core level) or have a Titanium greatsword with a Hydragyrum vein or hyper dense (Uranium) sliding core in the middle.

    Avatar of Sorrior
    Comment by Sorrior
    04:05 25/10/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    9 it was 9 that had the fork. it was used by the "gourmet"/blue magic user to eat his enemies and aqcuire new spells,

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:11 25/10/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    They had magic lacrosse sticks too.

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:21 24/10/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    You either love it or you hate it. Personally I like gunblade and other weird weapons, I think its good to have such things in a fantasy world since it makes it more unique.

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:44 24/10/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I can stab you with the pointed end of that Kendama in the eye and leave you bleed to death.

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:19 24/10/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Oh cmon, have u played the maids in melty blood?
    Hisui uses table lamps, featherdusters and frying pans to pawn people. Kohaku uses a broom with a sword in it. (That, and molotov cocktails)

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:19 24/10/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    What do they expect? They are "fantasy" weapons. What? Is Harry Potter with his magical "stick" able to cast nuke is western idea of "fantasy" choice of weapon?

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:37 24/10/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    i think SOME WRPG creators hate JRPG because they're too stupid too think the way to use things to fight bad guys or evil or whatever....(i'm not talking about LBP lol)

    and Western fantasy is just a real life story + some fantasy designed building and weapons from middle age.

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:33 24/10/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    The best weapon is Doughnut. as used by Homer Simpson in The Simpsons Cluedo.

    Avatar of 美しい音
    Comment by 美しい音
    21:57 24/10/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Yet another dumass who can't distinguish reality from fiction. Maybe he/they should join feminists' anti-eroge leagues? D:

    Freedom of expression is what western game developers as well as gamers lack most. And nagging JRPGs originality seems to be their only salvation from own starvation of one's imagination.

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:31 02/07/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Really? And here I thought the JRPGs are the mindlessly dull, repetitive creativity black hole and western rpgs were the shining beacons of originality.

    Just kidding.. both kinds of RPGs suck equally, Japan just does it with more crazy.

    Avatar of intratec
    Comment by intratec
    21:37 24/10/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    japanese san andreas dildo mod

    lol crazy japs.

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:41 24/10/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    "HEY I got an idea, why don’t we make a big list of all the different weapons found in Western games.
    Number 1. Guns.
    Number 2. …………….Oh wait. JUST GUNS."

    To Japan: I'm sorry we prefer weapons that are actually weapons and not toys for children. If the current allotment of knives, swords and guns aren't lethal enough for you, how about you take a coat and we can take a pistol and we'll see who's dead first.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:53 24/10/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    a ball in a cup ? sound funny ? sure funny for a plastic or rubber ball. How about try to quack your head with a 5 kg steel ball and see how funny is it ?

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:43 24/10/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Still funny, because it's still too easy to dodge. And how are you going to throw a 5kg steel ball and hope it hits something?

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:27 24/10/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Try standing there at the other end and dodge while we swing that 5kg steel ball at you.

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:43 24/10/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    The proper answer to be to point out a morningstar, flail or mace.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:46 25/10/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    You don't throw a morningstar, you swing it!

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:10 25/10/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Don't you have to catch it again? It's part of the game. After you do in the bad guy, it's "INCOMING"!

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:02 24/10/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    JRPG's are not dead yet... it's the producers that are dead.... The more realistic a game is the more dumber the premise. I mean why emulate reality when you can just do better in RL? Anime, manga and games are meant to escape reality! The more fantastc the weapon is the better! Hooks? Glaives? The ever handy gun? Old stuff! How about a Gunblade? Better than a gun right?

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:32 24/10/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Why do non JRPGs have such boring weapons?

    "Stupid" is an opinion. Most of these are a hell of a lot better than shitty generic sword/gun number 324903402348934.

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:02 24/10/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    You, sir, need to check up on the wikipedia about weapons. There's a hell alot of weapons around.

    Take, for example, your generic swords, which may include longswords, shortswords, rapiers, sabers, backswords, smallswords, sideswords, broadswords, epee, foil, katana, nodaichi, jian, claymore, xiphos, zweihander, flamberge, dao, Walloon sword, schiavona, mortuary swords and etc. of a variety of shapes, sizes and designs.

    Or your guns, which includes assault rifles, bolt-action rifles, arquebus, musket, dragon, blunderbuss and many many more.

    Not to mention that there are so many ways to use each and every single weapon of these that they could be made a science.

    Don't diss real weapons.

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:12 24/10/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Well, there IS a difference between a completely retarded weapon to a really unlikely, but still cool weapon.

    Say, Gunblade to a beach ball.

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:19 24/10/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    A gunblade is basically what happens when I take a gun and a bayonet and made them inseparable and cooler.

    They were already weapons. I just made them more awesome.

    But a beach ball is never an effective weapon! No matter how much I try to make it cool, it's still gonna look silly. The opponents will just dodge it like they were dodging dodgeball.

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:35 24/10/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Who knows? I mean who could have guessed that water can actually cut steel unless you know how to use it.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:19 25/10/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Though you need it to be shot at extremely high pressure. The technology to shoot jets of water at that pressure is impractical to be used as a weapon. For one, it's far too large and it needs a power cord.

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:38 24/10/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    It's not fair citing Epic Battle Fantasy's weapon sheet, that flash game's a JRPG parody.

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:10 24/10/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    right,because it's another person's work of art...
    and it's not Japanese...
    i've playved it on newgrounds...

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:36 24/10/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Mint's magic chakrams are a legitimate weapon.

    Also, chainsaw gun > everything.

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:58 24/10/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    the dildo does some good damage in gta

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:36 02/07/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    You obviously have done some in-depth, hands-on testing yourself.

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:02 24/10/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    WRPG just either have gun swords or knives, and occasional ax or two, while JRPG though weird, at least it isn't the same old thing though are disappointing, and just....dumb.

    want a nice blend of the two. play "resonance of fate" or "end of eternity" same game just a title change.

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:00 24/10/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Matt Likes Swords is definitely not Japanese o_0

    Avatar of Shizu's Waki Obsessor: MaidNiac
    14:26 24/10/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Just face it, RL guns are overrated and uncreative.

    Comment by Anonymous

    They are, however, really effective in killing people.

    Avatar of guarayakha
    Comment by guarayakha
    16:33 24/10/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Let's think about it this way: If you get killed by a beach ball in battle, it proves that Beach ball > You. How demoralizing is that?

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:25 24/10/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    What's wrong with snows fists? People punch people, it's not strange.

    Avatar of ACelfnlied
    Comment by ACelfnlied
    16:22 24/10/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    so west games just have guns and no creativity eh?. I look at Skorge as the ultimate example of creativity. Ya look at him and you see that hes your standard 8-9 foot tall humanoid monster, that he is of an unknown origin and lives deep below underground, is the leader of a religious cult that worships a giant worm that sinks cities, has the ability to control small creatures that explode on command, rides on the back of a giant flying squid, all while wielding a double clipped machine pistol and a staff with a chainsaw on each end that can cut through a tank but for some reason not a lancer. That sounds crazy as fuck, so unrealistic, but guess who made it?, western developers nigga.

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:33 24/10/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I think the number one stupid choice for weapons in most JRPGs, actually most RPGs in general, is magic. Sure with all the advances in display technology it looks really cool on the screen, but rarely is it even the least bit creative outside of artwork. 90% of the magic seen in RPGs is either damage dealt or health recovered. It's one of the main reason I enjoy playing through SO3 occasionally: fire can actually catch creatures on fire causing burning damage, electric can electrocute making performing actions difficult, ice can freeze and frozen things shatter easily; sure it doesn't cover the full range of what the elements can actually do, but it's a lot more fun that bolt/fire/ice/water/earth/wind doing nothing more than a single hit of damage.

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:16 25/10/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Try out D&D, or least video games based on it.

    And yes, I'm well that it's in no way a JRPG but he said 'rpg's in general', so there.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:10 24/10/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    A wise man once told me "You could fuck some shit up with pompoms.."

    Avatar of Schrobby
    Comment by Schrobby
    22:35 24/10/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Depends on who wields them...

    http://danbooru.donmai.us/post/show/755206/ahiruaoba-armpits-blonde_hair-blush-cheerleader-fa

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:40 24/10/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I've always been slightly bothered by the anime characters that carry swords that appear to be about 15 feet long with blades 3 feet wide. How the hell would you even lift such a thing, much less wield it to any use? It's probably supposed to look cool and imposing, but it really looks kinda stupid - a Weapon of Mass Hilarity.

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:25 24/10/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    so is their ridiculous cloth that's either over accessorized or looked weird and hard to move around. Oh wait...western have superman with underwear inside out and wonderwoman with an invisible plane and her wonder whip (hmmmmmm . Geee...it sure makes the 15 feet long sword less ridiculous isn't it?

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:48 24/10/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Not really, because you're comparing 2 different genres.
    A proper comparison would be Superman to Ultraman. Or if you really wanted to make a comparison, compare Spiderman to Japanese Spiderman.

    Japanese Spiderman, for those who don't know:
    "A magical bracelet from a telepathic spider-alien transforms motorcyclist Takuya Yamashiro into the Japanese Spiderman! With his newfound spaceship and giant samurai robot, Takuya dukes it out with intergalactic fruitcakes such as Professor Monster."

    We're talking about unrealistic weapons, not superheroes.

    Avatar of Schrobby
    Comment by Schrobby
    22:41 24/10/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Japanese Spiderman is even weirder than it sounds.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mcxioU7AMM4

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:27 25/10/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    and there it is again, my childhood nightmare revisited....I thought I placed it deep within my id.

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:24 02/07/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    It's a lasso, not a whip.

    Also, you're talking superheroes, people far beyond normal people. The weapons described here are supposedly being wielded by normal humans. How many normal people do you know that can wield a 15-foot sword?

    Probably zero.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:37 25/10/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Whoa, Dude. Your comments are all over the place. It's time for detox!

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:59 25/10/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    If Superman had a sword 15 feet long and 3 feet wide, he'd look stupid, too.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:23 24/10/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    We all know there is a good side to this... Japanese kids play with cup balls and volleyballs whatsoever while american kids can blow their heads up with guns... Since that is all they get to play with on RPG..










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