Imagine yourself and your party running through a deep cave. A slimy, smelly cave. Despite the disgusting nature of the place, the secret sword that can vanquish evil lies inside. Closing your noses with some rags, you venture forth into the grimy darkness with only a torch and an old, torn-up map. With ample light it is difficult to see the piles of manure and salive lining the floors and walls of the cave, and it's too late as your party steps and swipes on the various piles that litter the cave. Your party reaches the end of the cave, only to see that it lies behind a thick wall of bugs and spider webs. The queen spider should be around you, you think...
Before you know it, it's over. Sword in hand, your party trudges into town tired, sweaty and dirty from the cave exploration. The innkeeper eagerly welcomes you into the best room of the place, only to discover that....
WHERE'S THE FRIGGIN BATHROOM?!?!
There's an utter absence of bathrooms, showers and other such hygiene related facilities in RPG's. Unless characters are somewhat content in answering the call of nature behind a bush with some rough prickly leaves for toilet paper, you never see a character ever have the urge to take care of himself. I mean, how on earth can you expect a hero to bring down the mighty villain if he can't even smell nice?
RPG's these days are trying to aim for human and practical realism, even within a fantasy setting. But even in a fantasy setting, taking baths and using toilets is still a necessity for even the lowest of animals. Games amining for realism have forgotten that hygiene os one of the most basic activities of living creatures. Perhaps in sense it's purely aesthetic and has no real importance to the plot and the characters, but for the sake of realism it's something that should be seen, if only purely optional.
I would say I've only played few games where a bathroom was used, or at least even present. In Final Fantasy 7 in the town of Costa del Sol, there was one place where you could see an NPC taking a bath. In Breath of Fire 2, houses had toilets but no baths, and you really couldn't use them. In Xenogears there was a toilet inside the orphanage. Beyond these only few games that had bathrooms, but they are almost purely part of the graphics than the game itself.
Perhaps to some, having characters use a bathroom is silly, but for me I find it an integral part of true realism. If you are to make characters as believable as possible, then I'm sure the idea of bathing and using the toilet is important for each person. Hacking and slashing through hordes of baddies is every heroes dream, but I'm sure that they also think about looking nice and smelling nice while doing it with style.
Truthfully, having to take a bath every so often in a game is tiresome and boring ala The Sims, but having to take baths and taking a leak should be part of the game at least a few times. As an idea, taking a bath and using the toilet could grant you bonuses and/or remove some negative status effects. Like when your bladder gets full, your character loses some points in battle concentration, or when he begins to smell bad enemies become enraged and do more damage to the character.
This sounds rather superficial, but in real life smelling bad is a bad thing. I mean, really, who wants to have a hero that smells like a month old moldy sandwhich?