A Completely Unjustified Rant About Low Fantasies

There’s always that one thing that isn’t necessarily wrong, but it pisses you off far more than it has any right to. You want to lash out against it, but everyone else in the room will look startled and ask “what the f&%# are you talking about”? That’s because they don’t understand. When they ask you if you’re okay, you just have to say you’re okay but you’re not okay. But you can’t just get into it because no one will understand—

Okay, bored yet? It’s rantin’ time.

Fantasy has been a huge genre of fiction, arguably since man was old enough to create myths. Most humans needed a way to make sense of how the wind moved, how the sun shone, and how the seasons cycled. So they made their own mythologies: they told tales of a diverse pantheon of gods and goddesses, each responsible for…well, something. But the gods were ultimate: everything lived and died at their whim. And they were super interesting, especially when it came to defying them.

I still prefer Norse Mythology over Greek, but something I prefer over both is creating my own mythology: there will inevitably be one or two design choices I disagree with (yikes, that sounded so weird), and with the power of Captain Hindsight I can confidently say that there is no god of the sun, air, water, storm, or otherwise. Indeed, the Deep Space Kitty watches over us all.

Because, at it’s core, it’s actually a cool idea to have a ton of super-powered, sentient forces floating around and controlling stuff. Maybe some are good, others evil. Maybe they’re losing their power. Maybe they’re dying. There’s tons of neat possibilities that make for great stories, and add an element of “whatever’s happening here, it matters because EVERYTHING’S GONNA DIE”. It’s a great way to make me care.

But you know what’s also cool about having a pantheon of gods at your back? That’s right: magic! Of course, if these divine beings have some kind of divine power, it only makes sense that humans would gain this power—and become superpowered! Right? Magic, right?

Apparently, not some authors think so.

Ah…low fantasy. Something I just do. Not. Understand. Instead of writing tales of epic adventures to slay dragons, monsters, and gods, low fantasy writers opt to tell stories of politics and romance in a semi-medieval setting. If I want that, I’ll buy a historical fiction. I thought this show had dragons in it! House of the Dragon, right??

Okay, quick explanation: so I was looking for a new video game yesterday, and I picked up Triangle Strategy because I heard it was like FFT, and had the same HD-2D graphics that Octopath Traveler II had. I was a huge fan of Final Fantasy (never played FFT though) and I loves Octopath Traveler II to death (video on that coming soon btw) so I decided to buy and play it.

Was I disappointed? Well, I can’t really say that. I was already going in expecting it to be something I wasn’t expecting, and I honestly can’t fault a game for not being what I expected. That’s like being angry at a cheeseburger because it isn’t a pizza. The niche SRPG gameplay is definitely an acquired taste, but I don’t hate it by any means. The only bad thing I can say about it so far is that the voice acting lowkey sucks across the board. Okay, take that back: it’s not too terrible, it’s just nowhere near as good as Octopath Traveler II.

But I recently found out that there are no monsters to be fought throughout the runtime of gameplay. See, had I known that before I bought it, that would probably been a deal breaker for me. ‘Course, I can’t get a refund because I bought a Steam Key, but still…NO MONSTERS?! IN A FANTASY VIDEO GAME???

Substantially, there’s no magic at all. Yeah, I guess Frederica is a pyromancer…whatever that means. It means she can control the extremely nebulous “mystic arts”. What that means is just when there’s a battle, it becomes IT’S WIZARD TIME, FIREBALL. It’s more like Game of Thrones in this respect.

The stakes just seemed so low. It was part of the worry I had with Octopath Traveler II: there seemed to be no supernatural threat until I got to the part about Hikari’s cursed bloodline, at which I breathed a sigh of relief. So it’s not just guys with swords and spears. I thought. There’s some greater evil afoot here, an overarching plot with an extremely bad guy to take down. And I’m totally here for it.

But with Triangle Strategy, I see very little relevance to the plot. Granted, this is probably because I’m just starting out, but I’m practically begging for a little injection of ultimate disaster. I don’t want to slay a tyrant, I want to slay a god. I don’t want to save a town, I want to save the world.

But then again, this is all personal preference. Other people like Game of Thrones, and I don’t begrudge them. For me, this is just a matter of me thinking I bought a fantasy game when I really got a medieval strategy game with some magic awkwardly tacked on because Square realized at the last second that their target audience was people who liked FFT.

Buyer’s remorse? Well…I JUST WANT TO FIGHT MONSTERS!

Dammit, I should have bought Tales of Arise…

That’s all.


Be sure to check out my latest novel, Book 1 in the Praetors of Lost Magic Series, and our Publications page. Plus, I mean, it wouldn’t hurt to check out the Resources tab. It’s full of super helpful material and I promise it will help you out. Until then, writers!


Published by Van Ghalta

A cold, dark, mysterious character who purposefully wrote a story so that he could fit into it...A story where he himself WRITES stories, practices martial arts, blogs, plays airsoft, collects MTG trading cards, plays outdated video games, and writes weird, third-person bios for himself...

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