Big News: This list is available in German, courtesy of Lena Eierhoff, French courtesy of Jamic, and now Russian courtesy of Glarion. Thanks, Glarion! Thanks, Jamic! Thanks, Lena! Knowing how to say "No! My beloved peasant village!" and be understood almost anywhere from Normandy to Vladivostok is worth it all by itself.
There are few people who love a good console RPG more than I. Games like Final Fantasy, Grandia, and Skies of Arcadia set a standard of majesty and wonder and immersion that American game designers struggle, and usually fail, to match. And yet, as I play the latest masterpiece to come out of Japan I sometimes can't help the feeling that, somehow, I've seen it all before... WARNING! There are spoilers in here for many popular CRPGs. I mean, duh.
New and updated clichés, by the way, are in red. Last updated June 2004. And if you have something to say about the list, this is the address to write to. (Don't send any suggestions for the list at the present time, though -- I'm already embarassingly backed up with additions as it is. Seriously, please don't. No, not even that one.)