Digressing and Sidequesting: Quest 9, Saving

In this episode we look at the idea of “saving a game”, how past technology impacted saves, and how saves affect the player. Whether you agree with everything I’ve said or think I’m a total idiot, feel free to leave a comment down below!


4 comments on “Digressing and Sidequesting: Quest 9, Saving

  1. One particular situation I feel illustrates the use of saving mechanics as an expendable resource is the final dungeon of FInal Fantasy VII. You are given an item that creates a save point anywhere in the dungeon, and keep in mind you can only use items to fully restore your party (like Tents) at save points. You are halfway through the dungeon and your party is exhausted… do you trod on, and save the item to use a little later and have your save point / respawn point closer to the boss or are you too tired to continue and do you use the item now, knowing that there may still be a long way to the boss? Or maybe you end up getting closer, closer, and by the moment you get to the boss the big cinematic starts and you didn’t even get to use your save item!

    Another game that I feel implemented this concept beautifully is Resident Evil II. Survival horror games thrive on making you fear for your safety… and imagine that you not only have to ration your bullets, your healing kits, but also… your saves? That’s right: in Resident Evil II you save by “writing” your progress, only in order to do that you need a typewriter. Now, that’s no big deal: it’s just like Final Fantasy, you’re saving at save points… well, no quite. In order to write your progress, you also need a bottle of ink. And guess what: ink bottles are not that common. In fact, everytime you save, you spend one bottle of ink. But there are bound to be some lying around somewhere… you just have to explore, rationing bullets and heal kits, just like you do in the rest of the game.
    But suppose you find a save point… drat. Only one ink bottle left… do you keep save, resting sure that even if you die your progres is safe, and keep playing a little bit more relieved… or do you keep moving, without saving, hoping to find another save somewhat nearby, but fearing to die and having to restart aaaaaaaaall the way back at the other save point, and adding to the tension of the already high-strung survival horro game?

    As Ronnie and Gaijin Goomba said in their podcast, you could write a two hour (or more) long episode just about save mechanics. I just felt like sharing these two particular ones, that I feel excel at illustrating the points made in the video.

    • The way you described saving in FF7 and Resident Evil 2 was artful, to say the least. I might be tempted to re-visit the entire concept a little later on. We’ll have to see, though.

      • Thanks so much! Coming from you, that’s a hell of a compliment.
        Hope you end up revisiting the concept (all in due time), and sorry about what happened to your hard drive. Hope you had most of your important stuff backed up, but if there’s anything we (the community) can do for you, just ask. Best luck with everything!

    • Thank you for your well wishes. I do have a couple back-ups from April, but I was told that with all of the specific issues the drive was having, the images I made might just end up being useless. I’m still waiting for my replacement hard drive to come in the mail, so I’ve yet to see if the images are any good or not. Here’s hoping.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s