RPG World Maps

I notice a prevailing trend in RPGs these days, is not having a blown-up version of the world map to traverse. I’ll still play the games, but there will always be that nitpick in the back of my head that, “It’s just not the same, it’s not like old-times.”

I see this in games like Final Fantasy X, Star Ocean 3, Xenosaga Episode I, the Grandia series in general…what other RPGs can you name that have been following this trend? (Hint: They seem to all be on the PS2).

Towns are directly connected to real-size versions of the terrain, rather than having to traverse a world map to get to a specific town, field, forest, mountain, etc.

And I think that rather takes away from the geography of an RPG entirely. One of the most creative parts of an RPG is its world(s) and their respective map(s).

Demand a return of world maps to your RPGs!

On a sidenote, why not discuss your favorite/best/worst RPG world maps, as well?

Final Fantasy VII had a great world map; three continents, and they made you traverse the entire map on foot, before you could easily travel over all of it with an airship or other vehicle that allowed you to significantly bypass anything.

Final Fantasy IX had a decent world map, the Mist Continent being the most intricate, and that’s probably it’s only flaw; all of civilization is on one continent. You have the dwarves of Conde Petie on the Outer Continent, but for the most part, the rest of the other continents are only graced with ruins.

Final Fantasy X has been by far the most uninspired world map as of any RPG I can think of to date. It’s more or less just one continent, and it significantly resembles the South American continent of our own world and time. And you don’t even get to take a closer look at it, or fly over it, like they at least let you do in games like Secret of Mana.

I think the reason World Maps are dissappearing from RPGs is probably due to the cinematic direction that RPGs are heading towards. As RPGs become less and less “traditional”, certain gameplay elements are replaced or taken out completely, and I guess there’s nothing more unrealistic than a gigantic world map that connects cities and dungeons together.

The only two series that still use World Maps that come to mind are Wild Arms and Dragon Warrior.

I blame Illusion of Gaia.

IOG had a world map, sorta. Like, you couldn’t really explore it or anything, but you saw the party walk from one town to the next on what actually looked like an old, brown map. And now thanks to you, I’ve got that whistling tune that plays on it stuck in my head. :stuck_out_tongue:

haha, I loved that old brown map.

You don’t really need a world map. I mean, what’s the purpose of one? To walk from point a to point b? That shits boring.

Then again, SO3 had no world map and to get from one point to another took FOREVER.

The truth is, though, that old-school world maps make no sense. Why do your characters suddenly grow to the size of cities and take steps five miles long? Teleport devices like WA games have are nice to cut down traveling time, but world maps as a device are nonsensical.

Let’s just hope they start catching on that some other RPG staples, such as random battles, are also nonsensical.

I like World Maps. It’s a useful device for making things realistically far apart, implying that most of the intervening area has nothing of interest.

Then again, SO3 had no world map and to get from one point to another took FOREVER.

In the first Star Ocean too. Ecspecially when you need to return to the first town and you are in the winter place, neither of which I can remember the name of.

I liked how they did it in Lufia 2, where on the map, there were random battles, while in dungeons, the monsters had little sprites.

World maps are good for exploring. You don’t have to go straight from point A to point B. You have freedom to explore the area you’re in and look for secret/hidden places. And sometimes you have to look for point B, which is a lot more interesting and realistic than being led straight to it.

As for the size thing, sometimes you have to sacrifice realism for convenience. If everything were made to scale, it would literally take days to get anywhere. The only problem I have with world maps is that there are always only a handfull of towns on the entire planet, but I just assume there are other places that just aren’t important enought to show.

Personally, I don’t like huge world maps anymore. Probably due to the fact that the physics of them don’t work.
I mean wrapping around both ways (North/South and East/West), to do that the world must be a doughnut shape. Which is physically impossible.

It doesn’t have to be doughnut. Look at FFVIII where you could actually see the sphere.

Physically it’s impossible in FFVIII. The globe is horribly mutilated if you really look at it. It used a cartesian co-ordinate system, wherein when x = 100 and y = 100, set x and y to 0.

The more important point: Why is it that every World Map doesn’t have a single piece of wrapping land. There is a perfect crossline in which the world can be divided that ensures that no land appears on the cutoff line. The Earth hasn’t been like that since prehistoric days.

I liked how Sword of Mana did it. It wasn’t a huge world map, but it was big enough to help me feel like I was exploring something.

Fire Emblem and the Grandia series are very nice in the fact that, while they don’t have a world map, they don’t because they don’t NEED one. I think it’s cool.

Or something.

Wild Arms 1 and 3 did, but that’s about it.