Tutorial Characters and Rhetorical Strategies: Comparing Mother and Final Fantasy

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Résumé

This paper proposes to examine the figure of ‘tutorial characters’ in JRPG from a narratological and rhetorical perspective, in order to determine how this archetype redefines the classical conception of the notion of character and how it articulates the explanation of the gameplay with the construction of a fictional universe. In order to explore and map the different forms of tutorial characters JRPGs can build, this research carries out a comparative analysis of two series that have been both extremely influential for the genre, but that construct very different kinds of fictional worlds and discursive tones: the MOTHER series (with the games Mother, published in 1989, EarthBbound, published in 1994 and Mother 3, published in 2006) and the Final Fantasy series (through a selection of three games: Final Fantasy III, published in 1990, Final Fantasy VI, published in 1994 and Final Fantasy XII, published in 2006). The analysis of this corpus is divided into three parts. First, I focus on the different types of signifiers and identities that can be covered by the notion of tutorial character (ranging from the simple menu to the most developed character). Secondly, I decode the rhetorical strategies employed by characters to articulate, in their explanations, empirical information and fictional elements (tutorial metaphors, raw metalepsis and fictionalized metalepsis). Finally, I describe five main tones or registers of expression regularly adopted by guiding-characters: the description, the possibility, the injunction, the hint and the fake or anti-tutorials.
langue originaleAnglais
titreJapanese Role-Playing Games: Genre, Representation, and Liminality in the JRPG
EditeurLexington Books
Etat de la publicationPublié - 2022
Modification externeOui

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