Coinciding with the celebration of Father’s Day, we remember the various times in RPG history when we were first given the keys to modes of transportation that helped us in saving the world. Usually given to the player later on, vehicles were a sign of progression throughout the narrative of a role-playing game. After exploring various parts of the world, you were typically given a way of travel to help speed up the process of tying up loose ends in preparation for the final battle. A long time ago, when world maps were actually explorable and not simply a list to choose towns/destinations from, vehicles and animals were always highly anticipated as players walked around the world. Keep some Gysahl Greens handy and make sure the e-brake is disengaged, because we’re paying homage to the 10 Best Modes of Transportation in RPGs.
Yggdrasil – Xenogears
Whether it was a sandcruiser, submarine, airship, or the gun of a giant mech, the flagship of Bart’s resistance went through some unforgettable adventures. It was also thrown by the nefarious Id at Bart and company. That’s right, the massive ship was thrown... like a beer pong ball.
Flammie – Secret of Mana / Children of Mana / Seiken Densetsu 3
Reminiscent of Falkor from The NeverEnding Story, Flammie’s ability to help players traverse the world was a visual breakthrough for RPGs on the SNES due to Secret of Mana’s incorporation of Mode 7 graphics.
Epoch – Chrono Trigger
Belthasar’s Wings of Time proved that you did not need a DeLorean retrofitted with a Mr. Fusion reactor in order to fly through both the sky, and time, itself.
Ebon Hawk – Knights of the Old Republic 1 & 2
The Star Forge-hunting ship that mysteriously smelled like Darth Revan set the standard for transportational awesomeness in modern RPGs. Now, if only we could shoot Carth Onasi out of the airlock while travelling at lightspeed.
Balamb Garden – Final Fantasy 8
It was Squall’s school, it was his home, and after Headmaster Cid set Balamb Garden to DEFCON 1, it became the largest vehicle to ever grace the Final Fantasy series.
Flying Mounts – World of Warcraft
When the Burning Crusade expansion gave out player-controlled flying mounts for those at max level, it allowed players to take in the scope of how large, detailed and magnificent World of Warcraft really is. To this day, some of us are still farming that Ashes of Al’ar mount.
Chocobos – Final Fantasy Series
These oversized, flightless birds have been a cute, loyal, and dependent way of walking through the world, while ignoring random encounters since Final Fantasy 2.
Surf – Pokemon Series
It doesn’t matter if your first Pokemon game was Red, LeafGreen, X, Sapphire, or Pikachu-Yellow, HM03 opened the door to dozens of water-based trainer battles and various types of aquatic Pokemon to capture.
Airships – Final Fantasy Series
From the FF4′s Lunar Whale to Setzer’s Blackjack, maneuvering an airship through the skies of a world map in a Final Fantasy title has always been an act of triumph, achievement and delight.
Normandy – Mass Effect Series
Aside from Shepard, Tali’Zorah and Garrus, we consider the Normandy to be the only other party member present for all three Mass Effect titles. We were amazed the first time we saw it use a Mass Relay in ME1, we were shocked when it was decimated by the Collectors in ME2 and we were choked up during the ending of ME3′s Citadel DLC.