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Note: This article is about the game. For the architecture/art/music period, we're working on a new article. Bear with us.
A post-apocalyptic horror Roguelike first made for the Sega Saturn, then ported to the Playstation. It was later remade for the Playstation 2 and the Wii. It was made (and remade, and remade) by Sting, the developers of the Dept Heaven series, and localized by Atlus.
A world-altering cataclysm called the Blaze caused The End of the World as We Know It. The world, now existing in a twisted state, is populated by Meta-Beings, creatures that were once human but have lost their minds after clinging to their Baroques. A young man who has been left mute and amnesiac after some unspecified incident is given a large shoulder-mounted cannon by a mysterious Archangel and is told that by purifying the Meta-Beings within the tower and reaching the bottom floor, he will find redemption for sins committed that he cannot remember.
Similarly to Breath of Fire Dragon Quarter, you are expected to die on your first few attempts to reach the bottom of the Neuro Tower. However, by starting over (at Lv.1 with none of your equipped items) you can unlock new scenes and reveal deeper mysteries; to get the entire story, you must die at key points of the game. Furthermore, by using Consciousness Orbs to store items, you can "save" items to be used in subsequent playthroughs.
Baroque contains examples of:
- A God Am I: The Archangel's goal.
- Abnormal Ammo: The Angelic Rifle fires grotesque angelic babies made out of pain!
- Adaptation Expansion: The manga.
- After the End
- All There in the Manual: Unless you're using a guide, your chances of unearthing the entire plot in-game are pretty slim. In fact, much like the Dept Heaven series, Baroque has a whole series sourcebook ("Baroque World Guidance") that discusses the plot and worldbuilding in detail. Since it first went into print in 1998, though, good luck finding a copy.
- Bottomless Magazines: Averted with the Angelic Rifle. It has only 5 shots.
- Big Freaking Gun: The Angelic Rifle is huge! Nearly as big as a human and just as wide.
- BFS: Some of the weapons you pick up could count.
- Badass Longcoat: Both the Protagonist AND the Archangel.
- Bittersweet Ending: Even after you save the Absolute God from the Archangel's machinations, the world is still the same blasted wasteland it's been since The Blaze. However, by forming a consensus reality with the remaining Meta Beings, you essentially make lemonade out of lemons and give humanity a chance.
- Bonus Dungeon
- Church Militant: The Archangel's followers.
- Companion Cube: The Box Man is always clutching a box; you can throw him a box of your own and he'll give you a different one, but he seems to believe that the box he's always clutching is his daughter.
- Covers Always Lie: Many people assumed that the protagonist was shown on the cover, but its actually the Archangel.
- Crapsack World
- Crazy Enough to Work: The plot could be considered this, if you manage to get through it all.
- Critical Annoyance: The lower your health and vitality points get, the louder and faster the heartbeat in the background gets.
- Dead Little Brother / Dead Little Sister: The protagonist feels guilty over his conjoined-brother's death. It's this that allows the Archangel to manipulate him into doing his dirty work.
- The Archangel's sister was twisted and distorted into a Meta-Being, who was then murdered by their father. She then became merged with the Absolute God, which is why the AG has a humanoid appearance and why the Archangel hates it so much.
- Death Is a Slap on The Wrist, Continuing Is Painful: You're even encouraged to die. Doesn't stop the game from subjecting you to some rather hefty, Roguelike-esque penalties whenever you die. You lose everything except whatever items you had in storage and the Angelic Rifle.
- Death Is Cheap
- Death Is Not Permanent
- Everything Trying to Kill You
- Evil Tower of Ominousness
- Fan Nickname: The protagonist is usually referred to as Dextera XII. Also, Koriel XIII
- Feel No Pain: Everyone in the manga, except the protagonist. In the game, only a select few characters.
- Failure Is the Only Option: When you finally fix the world, nothing is different. There's only the possibility that things might improve in time.
- Freeze-Frame Bonus / Bilingual Bonus: The opening video has lots of text that move too fast to read, and some is in latin (maybe).
- Ghost Memory
- Grotesque Gallery: The Meta-Beings and most of the main characters.
- Guide Dang It
- Hello, Insert Name Here
- Heroic Mime: Literally. The protagonist's voice was taken from him and given to the Absolute God.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: What happened to the Archangel. And he's still alive!
- Item Crafting
- It's All Upstairs From Here: Subverted; While you ARE in a tower, you're going DOWN.
- Madness Mantra: Ironically the Absolute God chants "Don't go crazy, Don't go crazy, Don't go crazy, Don't go crazy..." For added effect, the subtitle for each instance was placed at a random point on the screen. Turns out she was actually telling the protagonist not to go crazy.
- Mind Screw: In spades.
- Nice Hat: The Collector's massive hat is used to store items. He latter makes it even bigger to store more items.
- Nintendo Hard: Its a roguelike and its made by Atlus, so this is pretty much a given.
- One-Hit Kill: The Angelic Rifle.
- One Hundred Percent Completion: And HOW! It'll take you years to fill out the database if not decades.
- Only Sane Man: The Archangel views himself as one.
- Organ Drops : Your only way to survive is to eat the monster's meat and hearts, which is already squicky in itself...and then you learn that they are actually humans deformed by their delusions...
- Photographic Memory: The Bagged One. She desperately wished to forget a tragedy in her past, but could not because of her Photographic Memory. Thus, her Baroque twisted her so that she has no memories of her own; only the memories of other people.
- Physical God: The Absolute God.
- Someone Has to Die: The twins sacrifice themselves repeatedly, so that the other can live.
- Sophisticated As Hell: The Coffin Man.
- Stationary Wings: The various fake wings.
- Surreal Horror
- Tarot Motifs: The Meta-Beings are based on each arcana with The Chariot change to The Tank and The Strength changed to The Power.
- The Faceless: Several characters such as The Collector, the Baroquemonger, and the Bagged One.
- The Power of Lust: There's a brand that increases your strength when inflicted with the "lust" status. Kinda creepy if you think about.
- The Masochism Tango: A particularly squicky example is if you punch Alice she'll say she doesn't mind if its you doing it!
- Too Awesome to Use: The Angelic Rifle kills anything in one shot. There are five bullets.
- And you later give up using it all after finding its bullets are littles.
- Verbal Tic: The Coffin Man goddammit!
- The Virus: Some of the Idea Seraphias work like this, passing on particularly powerful emotions or desires to those who hold them. This is how you get rid of the Sentry Angel: by passing on Longneck's suicidal urges to him.
- Each Parasite box in your inventory will change another item into a Parasite Box every few seconds.
- Was Once a Man: Apparently, all of the Meta-beings were once people, even the flying fish and rolling Starfish Aliens that attack you.
- Winged Humanoid: Averted with the Archangel and played straight with The Littles.
- Yet Another Stupid Death: To be expected, it is a Roguelike.
- Your Head Asplode: There is a brand that causes you to randomly explode while taking damage
Go play it. There is meaning to you playing it.