The Bildungsromon

Please help me to flesh out this list. If I put more time into it, I’d create a matrix out of the traits and measure games on how close they are to the mold. Examples like Car Battler Joe, Mega Man Battle Network, and Card Fighters Clash hit a real sweet spot for me.

I think this subgenre is really interesting in how much it accidentally cribs from Earthbound and DQ V as a consequence of cribbing from Pokemon.

I mean, where is dad?

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Does the fact that “finding dad” drives SaGa 2’s story (i.e., is not incidental) and that there is a clear answer to the question, disqualify it?

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that’s a good pun

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Now that you mention it, the SaGa series does seem like another important antecedent. There’s the whole monster feeding and changing system, dad is a big deal, and a couple worlds feel modern.

These are all a little borderline but contain a few elements of each:

Magi-Nation
Dragon Quest III is completely about following in your fathers footsteps
Lil monsters has almost no story but it’s monster collection
Azure Dreams is literally collect monsters and follow in your father’s footsteps
And y’know what? Final Fantasy X probablycounts. Summon monsters, following in your fathers footsteps, all that jazz.

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Oh, I just remembered: Legend of the River King!

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Also like…it feels weird to say but Persona is totally about teenagers collecting and battling with elemental creatures and all of them came out contemporary with pokemon when the monster stuff was hitting.

Custom Robo on gamecube at least is about collecting robot parts, climbing up the ranks with RPG and literally the first thing is a conversation between the main character and his father as his father leaves.

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Yes, all of these are welcome additions! Bringing in borderline cases is welcome because I’d like to see the range of experiments that still share genes.

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Since you mentioned Final Fantasy X, I’m remembering how much VIII takes the SeeD of the idea and mushes it with summons. It’s all about raising your GF.

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Oh how could I forget: Golden Sun. You collect little monsters that let you do big summons attacks, that fuel your magic, and combining them gives you various spell effects. Furthermore you do in fact follow in the footsteps of your parents after their apparent death several years earlier.

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fuck custom robo battle revolution was gonna be my contribution lol

uhhh definitely on the peripheries but do the story of seasons games fit in here? they’re about following in your grandfather’s footsteps, and hit maybe about half of the other bullet points if you squint hard enough(though you’re more ‘young adult’ than ‘child’ in them)

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golden sun also has a group of rivals that you are chasing throughout the game that you end up playing as in its sequel, lost age

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Jade Cocoon?

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I haven’t played any of these in 10 years but I feel the vibes are right

  • Power quest

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  • Metal Saga / Metal Max Returns

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  • At least one of THESE, right

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The first few hours of SMT1 are an excellent encapsulation of this before you start murdering USA ambassadors and the apocalypse happens

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These Monster Hunter Stories games basically seem like Pokemon in disguise

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Robopon!!! look at these little guys

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In digimon you’d just have a guy named bildungsromon that digivolves into siddhartamon and wonder, huh, what’s that about

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