U.S. Pat. No. 6,752,718: Role Playing Video Game Using Cards
Issued June 22, 2004, to Square Enix

Summary:
Developers from Square Enix, publishers of the Final Fantasy series, describe a role-playing game using scenario cards. During the course of the role-playing game, the player is presented with multiple cards from which to choose. For example, each card may represent a different scenario. The player’s selection will directly affect the player character’s subsequent development of the story in the game. For example, upon being presented with cards representing branching quests, a player can select which quest to embark upon (e.g., rescue the town from evil wizard or flirt with waitress in tavern).

Exemplary Claim:
A game program for causing a computer to execute a role playing game which changes a development of a story forming the game on a screen according to an operational input of a player,

wherein the game program causes said computer to execute:

a displaying procedure for displaying a plurality of cards on said screen, each card comprising indicia associated with a significance of the card;

a selecting procedure for selecting one of said plurality of cards displayed in said displaying procedure according to the operational input of the player; and

a determining procedure for determining the development of said story according to a selected card,

wherein selecting of each card always directly affects a player character and the development of the story.

Patent: U.S. Pat. No. 6,261,179 (level picker)
Patent: U.S. Pat. No. 6,522,333 (Gestures)