Is Story Important For Japanese Role Playing Games? Ask This LadyS

Miwa Shoda joined Squaresoft, now Square Enix, in 1995 and went on to write Japanese Legend of Mana and Final Fantasy XII. Those are big games with big stories — something that they apparently do not need.

"I've worked all over the place and gained a great deal of valuable experience from all sorts of people," Shoda said via her Twitter account, "and learned approaches to writing games I would not have been able to do on my own, but the one approach I could never understand is the notion that 'games don't need storylines.'"

Shoda concedes that not all games need storylines. "But when I was told that RPGs don't need storylines, I was really shocked. They said players weren't after a storyline, so the bare minimum of events would suffice."

She does not explicitly say who told her that role-playing games don't need stories. Besides Square Enix, she has also recently worked as a freelance scenario writer for Marvelous Entertainment (2005's PSP title Valhalla Knights 2) and for Jaleco (2009's Wii title Kizuna).

"I've enjoyed RPG stories ever since I was a child," she added. "A thrilling adventure in a new world, with interesting companions. Events are how you enjoy that, together with a storyline, or so I thought. So I can't believe it when people say a storyline is unnecessary in an RPG."

FF12 Writer: "They Said RPGs Don't Need a Storyline" [Sankaku Complex NSFW] [Pic]