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Up till now, I have mostly been focusing on fantasy within books. While that is probably where it is the biggest, there are other media that handle the fantasy genre. Movies, television, and video games all do it well, some better than others. For example, with movies, you won’t find much of magic and wizards outside of the Lord of the Rings movies and Harry Potter, both of which were extremely successful, so maybe the movie industry will start taking the genre more seriously. On television, there are series like Once Upon a Time and Merlin. But outside of books, the biggest place for fantasy is probably in video games, which makes sense. It is one thing to read about sword fights and wizard duels. It is another to experience them in video games. The RPG (role playing game) is probably the biggest that supports fantasy, but there are others as well. Strategy games, adventure games, online games. In this post, I am going to go over a few series of games that shaped my youth.

Final Fantasy

Square Enix

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This series has come to represent the Japanese RPG, a way of doing RPG games that often involve turn based battles and heavy characterization. There are fourteen entries, plus spinoffs and sequels. Every entry is a unique world with unique characters. Often, they mix technology and fantasy in interesting ways. What they don’t do is let you create your character and make game changing choices (except in the online versions, 11 and 14). So you pretty much have to follow the script, but in some ways that’s better, because it allows the makers to create a story that is more interesting that way. There are memorable characters (Cloud, Sephiroth) and beautiful graphics, at least in the later entries. Final Fantasy 7 is the most famous, and one of the best rated.

Warcraft

Blizzard

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Warcraft is a RTS (real time strategy) game, where build up cities, recruit troops, and lead the to war. Originally it was human versus orc, later they added undead and night elves in. It was easy to spend hours on building up an army, and multiplayer was tense. Then Blizzard came up with World of Warcraft, which grew to be the biggest massively multiplayer role playing game in the world, and they left behind the strategy part of Warcraft. I don’t play, since it costs a monthly fee and I don’t want to be addicted like some people end up being, but I heard it is fun.

Heroes of Might and Magic

Ubisoft

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This game is also a strategy game where you lead mythical creatures to war, but this one is turn based and the battlefield is set up like a chess board. I actually enjoyed it more, as you had a little bit of time to think, unlike warcraft, and there were more types of creatures, from titans to dragons to centaurs to phoenix. I spent a long time playing this one. The latest versions haven’t been as fun to play, though.

Zelda

Nintendo

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This series deals with solving puzzles and fighting with a sword. It is in real time, with just one character you’re controlling, Link. It can really force you to use your mind and the items you collect. The latest one used the motion controller of the Wii to its fullest extent. A really fun series.

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2 Comments

  1. Great post! I used to just explore fantasy in books as well, but have taken up gaming as an adult. Now I really believe video games have some of the BEST worldbuilding out there, and what’s fun is being able to take on the role of a character in that setting and navigate the world yourself. It truly sets games apart from other mediums when it comes to exploring fantasy environments.

    Anyway, love your choices here, especially Final Fantasy and the Zelda series. Some of my favorites are the Witcher series (which were books first!) and Dragon Age. =)

  2. Thanks for the comment, I couldn’t agree more. Developers literally make the world from scratch, and are free to do so however they want. A game I’m playing right now, Xenoblade Chronicles, has the world being two giants frozen in combat, one being biological and the other mechanical, which adds a really interesting element to gameplay. I’ve heard that Witcher and Dragon Age are really good, as well, although I haven’t played them yet myself, maybe someday.


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