Perma death, or permanent death, is a difficult concept for many gamers. Some series use the death of characters to enhance the storyline, but they then bring the characters back in interesting ways in order to appease the gamers who grow connected to the characters through the story. Games like Demon Souls and Dark souls actually over use death to frustrate the player and allow for more difficult gameplay.
And then there are games like Pokemon that are at such an easy difficulty that it is rather rare for an experienced gamer to “die.” When games like this are created and overplayed, like they are, players get creative in order to enhance their gaming experience. And to enhance the difficulty.
Games like those within the Fire Emblem series have perma death already set up. For most of the series, gamers have played to keep all of their characters amongst the living and thus they’ve made the game more difficult, but they also have a much stronger connection to their teams. Gamers who play these games often reset after a character’s death and will play a level over and over just to make sure that their characters all make it through. When gamers like those who play Fire Emblem, and create such a connection with their characters, play games like Pokemon they tend to find the game too easy for them. As such they invented a perma death system on one’s honor. A system known as Nuzlocking. A nuzlock is a type of gameplay for the Pokemon series in which there are special conditions for which Pokemon in an area can be caught and that when those Pokemon are caught, they are subject to being released or placed within a box, never to be taken out again, so as to create the conception of that character dying off and being unrevivable.
On the other hand, there are people who hate the perma death systems and as such game developers have begun to move away from perma death. Fire Emblem: Awakening, the newest game in the Fire Emblem series has been given a screen at the beginning of the game, before any gameplay and apart from the difficulty setting screen, that allows the player to choose Classic mode, where perma death is a thing, and Casual, where any characters who die come back at the end of the chapter.
I’ve always been a fan of the perma death system myself and I love the difficulty of keeping my characters alive and I enjoy the sort of connection I create with my characters. I know many of my friends are the same way. I decided to do my post on this subject because of the new Fire Emblem, but also because its a very fun and very difficult concept to wrap my mind around. I understand the idea of making the character’s death within the game more real and more powerful and the connection that permanent death has to the real world, but what I don’t personally understand is the non-perma death games that attempt to create a very Earth-like world and/or a very realistic setting and yet they allow a character to die and rise again like some sort of Zombie.
Games like Borderlands 2 allow for the characters to die over and over again and be revived by machines owned by the bad guys. And yet, at certain parts in the storyline people perma die. And when you kill the head bad guy, he stays dead. EVEN THOUGH HE OWNS THE BRING PEOPLE BACK TO LIFE MACHINES! So I’m wondering what you all think. Is perma death too difficult? Is it fun? Do you feel more connected to the characters when you play a perma death game or no? And how do you think the games we’ve played fit in?