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Save Points: The Life Saver!

Jared Prewitt

The evolution of RPGs through plot lines and character development entangle many players into the vast worlds and countless dungeons. To tread through the dark lairs of fire breathing dragons and demonic creatures makes gamers weary about entering the next room. The fear and suspense of walking into a trap or engaging in a long boss fight will throw gamers into a panic if they die on the spot. Save points are the blissful machinations and conventions that all RPG fans use and abuse. I am proud to admit that I will save so many times because I do not want to fall in battle. The role of save points is to allow players the opportunity to stop playing the game for a little bit and come back to it. Save spots also serve as a life jacket when swimming in deep water that does not offer a rest area in sight. Without them, the life of an RPG player would be wrought with anxiety.

There are games that challenge players into tackling dungeons that are way too hard for their own good. But the joy of the journey is to climb those stairs or descend further down into a spiraling abyss of death, destruction, and chaos. Wild Arms franchise demonstrates the need for save points when traversing into the optional dungeon called, The Abyss. The purpose of going down a hundred floors is for the chance to defeat the entity known as Ragu O' Ragula. That boss has given my life, personally, fulfillment in playing the Wild Arms games as I have come to expect to fight that foe with all my might. But the problem with the dungeon is it does not allow the player to save during the process. The gamer can leave The Abyss on every tenth floor if necessary, but if the gamer does, then the individual has to do it all over again. Wild Arms 3 is notorious for forcing the gamer to continue on a quest of doom, knowing that if the player messes up there will not be the life saving save point to pull the RPG fan out of One Trillion Degrees inferno.

Save points have become a staple for RPGs. Some could argue about whether or not if there is a save option in a game if it should be considered an RPG or not. But RPGs are there own entities as many fans enjoy the fulfillment of watching characters express their convictions and emotions on screen. The save point feature is an essential component in keeping a person's stress level down when going through an intense battle. However, save points are also used in other games outside of the RPG genre as well. Sports game, such as NBA 2K9, offer the save option in order to record stats of NBA stars as well as wins and losses. Shooters like Bioshock employ the save feature, which is a blessing after facing off with a Big Daddy. The save option has grown from the classic days of inputting passwords that only work if the gamer manages to write down the code precisely.

Frustration occurs when the save feature is not available. A long cinematic scene followed by a difficult battle heightens the suspense and increases the heart rate, knowing that one miscalculated tap of a button can mean all the difference. Xenogears use of long winded speeches and the despair of climbing the Tower of Babel reinforces the urgency and need for save points in RPGs. Save points give us hardcore gamers time to rest and ease our minds as well as plan out the next strategy. But if save points did not exist, then how could gamers play RPGs? The answer is obvious.

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