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Breaking the 4th Wall


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Mega spoilers for Danganronpa v3.

 

Spoiler

After numerous false twists about what's going on. It's eventually revealed that the v3 in the title doesn't mean the third game in the series. It's actually a Roman numeral and the actual title is Danganronpa 53.

 

It's explained that in this universe Danganronpa 1 and 2 were just the Playstation games that you know, but they became such an insanely popular cultural phenomenon that they spawned dozens of sequels. A fun touch is getting to see the logos of some of these imaginary games flashing past, looking somewhat familiar.

 

hvzBm4g.jpg

 

Eventually the format moved from videogames to a reality show and that's what the character you're playing as is actually stuck in.

 

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Panzer Dragoon Saga does it in a famous way. Cross-posting this from a topic on the same subject from a few years ago:
 

Spoiler

 

In the beginning of the game a being resurrects your character and thusly asks you to enter your name but unlike other RPGs they specifically refer to you as the person controlling the character Edge and urge you to put your real name. This small bit of info is forgotten for the rest of the game.

Finally at the end of the game you find out that the being that resurrected you was the Dragon. The protagonist Edge then asks if the dragon is not the "divine one" the game world's religious prophecy spoke of then who is? The dragon then makes the revelation that the divine one is the being that has been guiding Edge throughout the game and then talks directly to the player calling them by their real name they entered at the beginning.

The dragon asks you to "press the button" and end their world's struggle(its inferred he wants you to turn the game off). Since we of course don't want to do that the game then continues and the dragon takes Edge away through a portal. Right before Edge goes through it the camera does a close-up and he looks directly at the player saying "It was you all along. Thank You".

 

 

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1 hour ago, Darren said:

 

I think there was something like this is one of the Mario RPGs, either a Paper Mario or a Mario & Luigi.

 

Yeah, not those. 

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1 hour ago, Harsin said:

 

Sounds like Assassin's Creed 2.

 

 

 

 

That's speaking to Desmond though, isn't it? Not the actual player? No, it's not that game anyway although very similar in phrasing. It's something I've played in the last 2 or 3 years.

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1 hour ago, Nick R said:

I watched a playthrough of that new Wonderful Dizzy game recently. It has a couple of self-referential jokes about being a computer game right at the start, though they're not directed at the player so I don't think they quite count as fourth wall breaks:

 

  Hide contents

 

Screenshot_20210510-122414.thumb.png.414461f7cb3619799f9fdfaae6c6f572.png

 

And once Dizzy puts on the magic boots...

 

Screenshot_20210510-122520.thumb.png.99a70e658334dc66a5b0eaac50e9d50a.png

 


Sherb gave me a similar conversation on Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

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Pathologic at the end is almost completely 4th wall breaking. That also has characters in it that no other npcs can see and talk past your chosen character (of three) to you as a player. You can respond as the character, asking what the fuck they're talking about, or you can respond as the player. 

 

It's great. But also a right pain in the tits to play. 

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In the term 4th wall appropriate for video games? Given you are in the game interacting with the action and not just an observer.

A99403D2-87D6-4895-9F89-BF1D897F43F9.gif

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3 hours ago, deKay said:

There's a game I played a while back where at some point you meet a character who says something to you like "I'm talking to you but I'm actually talking to the one guiding you. Yes, you. There's something you know that will help." but I can't remember what game it was. 

 

I've come across this in a game recently too, so it's likely to be a switch game. Hollow Knight? A Dragon Quest game? 

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The janky, ugly (and pretty racist) Xbox 360 game Comic Jumper had a special attack which consisted of a video clip of a developer's bearded face filling the screen, looking at the camera, and then headbutting the screen to damage all the enemies.

 

It was funny the first time, but when every use of the attack plays an unskippable 20 second long clip, it puts you off ever using it.

 

I can't find any clips of it on YouTube and I'm not going to go looking all through a longplay video to try and find one!

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46 minutes ago, Oz said:

In the term 4th wall appropriate for video games? Given you are in the game interacting with the action and not just an observer.

A99403D2-87D6-4895-9F89-BF1D897F43F9.gif


Depends on whether it’s in first-person.

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I played a game that came out earlier this year called Woodsalt, which had quite a few of these moments. I suppose it had a touch of Bandersnatch about it. You make decisions in a visual novel, with the implication that someone other than the character is deciding for them, and the character himself senses that something isn't quite right.

 

Unfortunately, while that aspect of it was OK, I didn't think much of the game overall. Not something I'd recommend in general, but maybe a curio worth looking at if you're really into this subject.

 

Also, Bandersnatch.

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23 minutes ago, Alex W. said:


Depends on whether it’s in first-person.

but what would we call the wall in this case? if the first person character talks and addresses the character who is controlling them. :D

 

giphy.gif

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1 minute ago, Oz said:

but what would we call the wall in this case? if the first person character talks and addresses the character who is controlling them. :D

 

giphy.gif


Well in that case you’re role-playing the character from inside the scene, there is no literal fourth wall. There is a metaphorical one of course.

 

Or maybe there’s a literal one just in front of your eyes because nobody can actually poke you in the cornea.

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2 minutes ago, Alex W. said:


Well in that case you’re role-playing the character from inside the scene, there is no literal fourth wall. There is a metaphorical one of course.

 

Or maybe there’s a literal one just in front of your eyes because nobody can actually poke you in the cornea.

giphy.gif

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3 hours ago, Nick R said:

It has a couple of self-referential jokes about being a computer game right at the start, though they're not directed at the player so I don't think they quite count as fourth wall breaks

 

It doesn't have to be a direct address to the player - they're merely indirect examples. 

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5 hours ago, deKay said:

There's a game I played a while back where at some point you meet a character who says something to you like "I'm talking to you but I'm actually talking to the one guiding you. Yes, you. There's something you know that will help." but I can't remember what game it was. 


Contact, maybe? Or Earthbound.

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5 hours ago, Mr Do 71 said:

Prey’s helicopter ride across the city. 

 

That's like the ACII's example isn't it?  That sequence is aimed at the the player character, not the actual player.

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You get the discussion about 'talking to the one in charge' as if they're an omniscient puppet master in a few VR experiences. Maybe Shadow Point? Or Moss? 

 

I know I've seen it recently.

 

Also in 'There Is No Game'. But that whole thing is a 4th wall extravanganza.

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A really clever one is in Bravely Default during the last boss. I'll add spoilers 

 

Spoiler

During the last boss, it makes a reference to the person controlling the main character and during the fight which takes place in some cliche cosmos in the middle of space, a giant cloud opens up and suddenly you literally see yourself because the camera on the 3DS activates and projects what it can see in the cloud. It was quite unexpected to say the least but clever indeed. 

 

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4 hours ago, James Lyon said:

Doki Doki Literature Club definitely breaks the fourth wall in ways you wouldn't expect from the beginning.


I think this might be what I was thinking of.

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1 hour ago, robdood said:

Have you played Disco Elysium?  I'm sure there's a bit like you mention in there.


No, but I can’t wait for the Switch version!

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3 hours ago, Alex W. said:


Well in that case you’re role-playing the character from inside the scene, there is no literal fourth wall. There is a metaphorical one of course.

 

Or maybe there’s a literal one just in front of your eyes because nobody can actually poke you in the cornea.

 

Well there's no such thing as a literal fourth wall. Even in its original meaning it's metaphorical.

 

EDIT: oh that might be what you meant.

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