Stop us if you’ve heard this before. Sewer level RPG. So many games feature a sloppy walk through such inhospitable places that it seems like no new adventurer’s pain can be complete without being taken out at least once by an inescapable mud monster and lost in a sprawling mass of sewage looking woefully alike from one edge for the other.
Candidates for the most outrageous criminal test of patience include Xenogears, Final Fantasy 8, Tales of Symphonia, and The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion (if only because the Emperor is moving at roughly an inch per second). But what about the best of the bunch? Is there such a thing as a good RPG sewer level?
Put on gloves. Let’s find out.
5 Pokemon Black and White 2 – Castelia Sewers
Our first choice gets a technical basis. You see, it’s not that the sewers in the city of Castilla are anything special. Neither narrative nor thematic and certainly not structural. Props Where the props are due – sells the look of a big city’s underworld – but do we really need somewhere else to catch the Zubat?
Their saving grace is Pokemon Black & White 2’s bright feat. A halfway spot takes curious coaches upstairs into an unexpected patch of bush. Grass tiles surround a lonely tree; It’s very distinctive. Walk around in the grass for a while and what will your happy eyes see? Wild Evie, for the first time in Pokemon history. Although, a post-game Snouh’s Palace, anyway.
Eevee is a rare (and equally popular) friend, so Castelia Sewers deserves a shout out for doing something uncommonly useful. Thanks sewer.
Hyunon and Drahf Scream Ratway
Ratway is densely populated, at least by sanitation standards. A jumble of undesirables haunt her dimly lit corridors, and we’d be remiss not to stress arcade Given the number of games characterizing the sewage phases as being inappropriately broad. We appreciate the realistic touch.
Of course, Ratway does eventually open up in a big way, which is why it’s on this list in the first place. It’s home to the Thieves Guild, as it happens, and while no one can be blamed for assuming they live in misery, it’s honestly kind of a relief there. Good beds, clean bar, and stone deck cleaned daily? This is almost beautiful.
Just try not to bother with the fact that most of these fellows will express their willingness to kill you. Mostly, they are secretive thinners.
3 Final Fantasy 7 Edition – Sewers
We suppose you could call this place Sector 6 Sewers, but in the end, it would be Sector 7 Sewers, as the team eventually meanders their way there through this web of bleak water and strange little puzzles.
Whatever you call it, the plot of FF7 Remake has gained prominence here, as you will visit it not once, but twice. For some, this is an unreal fact, because it is not uncommon to find complaints that a second short trip is a waste of time. But pay attention to the richness of environmental cues. Lots of well-drawn graffiti sparks tried and true Midguardianif you will, and it’s great that the avalanche has clues to help travelers on their way to safety.
Add in a very fun pair of fights, charming Tifa-and-Aerith mini-game sequences, and the lion’s share of the most ridiculous lines of famed crime boss Corneo, and as far as we’re concerned, these are pretty cool qualities.
2 Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic – Tars Sewers
You can tell players to get lost in the sewer level, or you can choose to tell a story. Ideally, without the risk of getting lost. As you can see, we prefer this perfect result. BioWare confidently took the win in the Knights of the Old Republic’s early Taris Undercity.
For starters, the inhabitants of the Tares are on three massive strata. There is the upper city, where the sky can be seen and people in general are happy enough. There is the Lower City, where villains dwell and gangs dominate the scene. Then there is the filthy mess at ground level, always shrouded in darkness. It is home to the truly sick and persecuted.
It is fitting that Undercity’s sewers are among its most dangerous. Mind that, on his way to me Sewers, they are likely to encounter a Star Wars spin in some sort of zombie apocalypse, and you can safely conclude that sewers are a place with no safety at all. If the mine doesn’t kill you, Gammoreans will enslave you. If they don’t catch you, some brutal thing will result in honors.
It looks awful. It’s horrific. He tells his story well. We salute these sewers.
1 Chrono Trigger – Abandoned sewer
Fans of the role-playing game Chrono Trigger have long been praised, in practice it is necessary to boast of its excellent rhythm and pure soundtrack at least once a year. Not for nothing, mind you. The game is really good. Level design is one of the many reasons for this.
Take the sewers of AD 2300, which happens to be our pick for the best sewer stage of any role-playing game that has ever appeared. It’s hardly confusing for the sake of confusion. In fact, this is not confusing at all. The goblins of the beasts are appropriately bleak, the entire layout is startlingly drab, the music appropriately dystopian, and – oh, yes – all within the confines of the familiar for the few mortals surviving in this dreary and disturbing century.
Chrono Trigger is a masterclass in how to craft RPGs of all types and sizes. Sewers are no exception.
Next: Games to play if you like Chrono Trigger