Friday Favorites #4: Best Bling in Video Games

1. Resident Evil 4

Gemstones have been used throughout the series in puzzles, but RE4 introduced treasures for Leon to find. These could be sold to the mysterious Merchant for more money that could be used for items, new weapons, and upgrades. Resident Evil 5 also had treasures to find and sell between chapters (no Merchant this time), but let’s face it – RE4 is much better liked. RE4 had the novelty of treasures o find and sell.

2. Uncharted Series

Similarly to RE4, there are dozens of treasures to find across the Uncharted series, and they are gorgeous. I can’t even imagine what they look like in Uncharted 4: A Thief ‘s End. There are even randomly generated treasures in some multiplayer modes. Completing certain sets can unlock perks.

3. Final Fantasy Series

Crystals have always had special meaning across the series. They are symbolic of new powers, especially in the first, third, and fifth games in the series, where new jobs or job upgrades are unlocked upon finding the elemental crystals. 

Does materia in Final Fantasy VII count as bling? I’d like to think so. 

These pieces of concentrated Lifestream energy allow your party members to use magic, summon monsters, and increase their stats. Materia level up alongside the party, and can sometimes reproduce copies of itself at max level. This is some versatile bling, and it’ll look prettier than ever in the episodic remake. 

Final Fantasy IX was hyped as “the return of the crystal”, signifying its throwback to more traditional fantasy tropes. 

Crystals figure heavily into the world and plot of The Lightning Trilogy. People marked by fal’Cie gods, the l’Cie, can fall into long comas encased in crystal, and the party gains new skills and stat points from the Crystarium.

Final Fantasy Tactics is the Zodiac Brave Story, which features magical Zodiac Stones that can turn people into superpowered monsters. 

Not the most glamorous example. 

The heroes of DISSIDIA are required by Cosmos to gain crystals to prove their heroic worth.

In the Theatrhythm games, fragments of crystals must be gained in order to unlock new characters. 

4. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

Sometimes, monsters will drop gemstones of varying degrees of preciousness and value. These gems can be sold to the Librarian, who functions as a merchant (despite his loyalty to Dracula, he also loves that dank money) to get valuable items like Jacob’s Cloak or the Duplicator.

One of the subweapons is a crystal that can ricochet off of surfaces to hit enemies. It’s kind of rare.

Most fun of all is the Jewel Sword. It’s probably a decently strong weapon when you find it; it leaves a cool-looking trail when you swing the blade; and it considerably increases the chances of slain enemies dropping gems. You can make much more money with this method than you would otherwise. 

5. Various Harvest Moon Games

I don’t know if all of the HM games feature a mine where you can get crystals and gems, but I remember that Harvest Moon: Magical Melody does. Certain characters and potential love interests have expensive tastes…

6. Assorted Puzzle Games

Puzzle games and bling go hand in hand. There are probably too many examples to count, but some of the most popular include Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo (there wasn’t a first one), Bejeweled, and Genies & Gems.

What games feature some of your favorite uses of bling? What game should be the next subject of my blog? I need suggestions! 


Final Fantasy Tactics A2: October 5th-10th, 2008

OCTOBER 5TH, 2008: And I don’t understand why!

It has been 30 days since I first played this game. Since, I have logged 51 hours. That’s a little over a half hour a day.

This game has something just like the Deep Dungeon in the original Tactics – Brightmoon Tor! Sounds like something from The Elder Scrolls.
Continue reading Final Fantasy Tactics A2: October 5th-10th, 2008

Final Fantasy Tactics A2: September 30th-October 3rd, 2008: Slander

SEPTEMBER 30th, 2008: Trophy Update: We finished our 100th quest (Bangaa Bugle – Rosefire), and unlocked a trophy of… two drowsy moogle black mages. They’re cute, but they’re… unfamiliar.
Continue reading Final Fantasy Tactics A2: September 30th-October 3rd, 2008: Slander

Introduction: Silent Hill Origins

I love this game. It was the first Silent Hill game that came out since Silent Hill 4: The Room in 2004, and I ate it up. It was quite a pleasant surprise to have a new game in one of my all-time favorite series to play again. I found this game to be a worthy throwback to Silent Hill in terms of atmosphere and “feel”, although its proficiency as a prequel is questionable for reasons that are spoilers, and this game should be experienced as spoiler-free as possible. Of course, since it was a prequel to the first SH, and took place seven years before that game, you already know some of what happened in this game, “late to the tragedy” style. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why the game focuses more on protagonist Travis than filling in the gaps of SH1. To this day, this may be my favorite of the post-Team Silent, Western-developed SH games; although Silent Hill Downpour has its moments and is a far more ambitious game, it lacks the SH flavor that SHO has. This will be a shorter VGJ because the game is rather short anyway, and I devoured it.

The Cover

The cover is a spooky and mysterious piece shows Travis holding an ax with a few trees and an enigmatic building in the background. On the right, there is a girl, presumably Alessa Gillespie, standing away from Travis. This is one of my favorite pieces of SH cover art.

The Manual

The manual, unlike most games, has a different image from the box itself. It shows the Gillespie house.

The introduction is on page five.


Travis Grady is alone in his solitary trucker lifestyle. He’s content to live his life one mile at a time, making as few connections as possible. It’s not that he doesn’t have a personal history, but he’d much rather leave the past in his rearview mirror.

His latest delivery takes him past a sleepy northeastern town called Silent Hill. Suddenly, something runs across the road, and Travis is forced to swerve out of the way. Leaving his cab to investigate, he spots a young girl, who quickly runs away. Worried she might be hurt, Travis follows.

He comes to a flaming house on the outskirts of Silent Hill. A girl screams from somewhere in the fire, and Travis rushes inside to help. He fights through the flames, the black smoke burning in his lungs. He finds the girl, but eventually gives in to the strain and blacks out…

…He wakes up in Silent Hill.”

Dramatis Personae


Travis Grady: “Travis Grady is an ordinary trucker with a troubled past. His sleep is frequently interrupted by nightmares, though he can never remember exactly what they’re about – he only knows that they’re terrifying and eerily familiar.”


Alessa: “A mysterious girl who Travis saves from a fire. He’s later told that she died, but… why does she keep appearing?”


Dr. Kaufmann: “Dr. Kaufmann is a cold and scientific man who works at Alchemilla Hospital. He’s been seen around the local religious group, though it’s not known if he’s actually a member, or if he’s merely observing the cult’s behavior.”


Dahlia Gillespie: “Dahlia is a devout, almost fanatical follower of the local religion. She has raised her daughter Alessa to do whatever is necessary for the good of the cult – even if it means the ultimate sacrifice.”


Nurse Lisa Garland: “Travis meets Lisa at Alchemilla Hospital, where she seems kind-hearted, flirtatious, and innocent. How long she can stay this way in the darkness of Silent Hill remains to be seen…”