For Yoko Taro “JRPG Needs Fishing”. But some people just don’t like fishing. So much so, that they don’t even want to be near the possibility of fishing, whether it’s optional or not. For those people, we’ve painstakingly compiled a list of the best games that don’t have fishing.
6. Kingdom Hearts II
Considering Atlantica frequently pops up in the series, Kingdom Hearts has done a pretty admirable job of avoiding fishing. The first game does have you finding three fish near the start, and also makes you swim around Atlantica fighting fishy Heartless, so that was a bit too close for comfort. Thankfully the second Kingdom Hearts built on the successes of the original, still including Atlantica, but this time axing underwater battles. All you do there is a dumb rhythm game. But it’s not fishing, and that’s good enough for me.
5. Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean
Don’t worry, I hear the alarm bells going off in your head — Lost Ocean (you know, like the sea?), Eternal Wings (you know, like BBQ fish wings?). Sounds pretty fishy. But don’t worry, it’s a lost ocean, which really helps with the whole avoiding fishing thing. Which isn’t to say fishing doesn’t appear in the game at all, but it’s sky-fishing, and you never do it yourself.
You’ll come across the fishing village of Nashira early on in the game, and a party member (Gibari) hails from there. After he joins Kalas’ team, however, he has to leave the actual fishing behind him. Thank God. Nashira and Gibari are the main reasons this fantastic GameCube exclusive isn’t higher on the list, and it was a close call between this and Kingdom Hearts 2 for these positions.
4. The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask
This is a direct follow-up to the bestselling Ocarina of Time. But hang on a minute…? Didn’t Ocarina of Time have fishing at Lake Hylia? Yes, it did. And… doesn’t Majora’s Mask also have a fishing mini-game? If you believe that last once, it’s because you’ve only played Majora’s Mask 3D, the 3DS remake.
For some bizarre reason, they decided to sully this stellar sequel with rank fish. No, the original Majora’s Mask took the bold decision to recognise the mistakes of Ocarina of Time, and move away from it, by removing the fishing entirely. The original, unsoiled version of Majora’s Mask is thankfully still available on both the Wii and Wii U Virtual Consoles (but not the Switch Virtual Console, which does not exist). At one point you do need to bottle a fish for a heart piece, which is a bit like fishing. But it’s not actually fishing. That’s why this stunning avoidance of the fishing mini-game isn’t a bit higher in the list.
3. Final Fantasy VII
This is not just one of the best Final Fantasy games, but one of the best JRPGs ever made. In terms of fishy endeavours, it’s pretty clear. There’s quite a few mini-games in this one, though thankfully none of them are fishing, which makes it pretty special. However, there is one that involves riding a dolphin. It’s not fishing, but it’s fishy enough to stop this getting higher.
2. Chrono Trigger
The party member, Frog, is indeed a frog. But frogs aren’t even fish, but amphibians, so that’s entirely different. In fact, flirting so closely with the idea of having a fish in the party makes it even more impressive that they manage to avoid fishing in this SNES classic. If anything, for me, Frog has become something of a symbol for anti-fishing.
1. Persona 3
Out of all the JRPGs out there this might be one of the least fishy. There’s just no fishing in this one, and not even a water dungeon. You don’t even really fight any fish. It’s just chatting to your pals in the real world, fighting shadows that all look fairly similar and aren’t fish, and grinding away in the samey RNG corridors of Tartarus (admittedly a little bit close in name to Tartare Sauce).
It’s comfortable. It’s nice. It’s not fishing. Too bad they had to get too cute and ruin it in Persona 4 and Persona 5 which both feature fishing, eugh. Let’s get back to what Persona is really all about next time, please.