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Beyond the Beyond was one of the first Role Playing Games released during the Sony Play Station's life cycle, and one of the first by game developer Camelot (after changing its name from Sonic! Software Planning and working on the first two Shining Force games).
The basic plot of the game isn't much to write home about, but it serves its purpose: young swordsman-in-training travels across the world with his pet dragon, meets allies, fights an evil empire, and attempts to save the world from a group of angry underworld denizens known as the Vicious Ones.
As this was Camelot's first "true" Eastern-styled CRPG (most of its previous games were either tactical RPGs or dungeon-crawlers), Beyond the Beyond took flak for its sometimes confusing game mechanics and uninspired characterization and plotting (though there were one or two unique twists toward the end). It would be a few years before Camelot would attempt this genre again with the Golden Sun games.
This game uses the following tropes:
- Aerith and Bob: Almost every friendly human character has a "standard" name like Finn, Annie, and Galahad, while the non-humans get "fantastic" names like Tont and Dagoot.
- Ambidextrous Sprite
- Bare-Fisted Monk: Lorelei.
- A Boy And His Baby Dragon
- Black Magician Boy: Edward
- Black Knight: Percy
- Button Mashing: Certain button combinations increase the chance of double attacks, critical hits, counter-attacks, and even critical counters.
- Call a Hit Point a Smeerp: There are two gauges to measure a character's fighting potential: Vitality Points (VP) and Life Points (LP). If a character's VP run out, they get stunned for a turn and have to use up some of their LP to get their fighting strength back. If a character's LP run out, the character is considered "dead" and has to be revived by a priest.
- Crystal Dragon Jesus: Arawn.
- Distress Ball: Annie, in the very first moments of the game, runs off to the cave to the south of her home village after her father denies her the chance to go on an adventure just because she's a girl.
- Dual Boss: Ramue and Shutat, the penultimate bosses and Big Bads of the game.
- Flunky Boss: Dagoot and Yeon.
- Five-Man Band:
- Four Is Death: The "Vicious Ones" are a group of four of the most powerful Underworlders. They are also a Five-Bad Band with Akkadias as the Big Bad, Shutat as The Dragon, Yeon as The Evil Genius, Dagoot as The Brute, and Ramue as The Dark Chick.
- Gameplay and Story Segregation: Normally, you can remove curses by going to a priest, but a plot-based curse saps Samson of his legendary strength, and no priest is strong enough to remove it. He has to go and personally ask for the help of Crystal Dragon Jesus to lift it.
- Giant Space Flea From Nowhere: Akkadias, the actual final boss.
- Gonk: Yeon. Even his battle sprite is perpetually hunched over.
- Heroic Mime: Finn. Steiner does all of the talking for him.
- Killed Off for Real: Sir Kevins, and later Percy, if you attack and defeat him in combat without realizing that he's the Black Knight.
- Music by Motoi Sakuraba
- Non-Human Sidekick: Steiner.
- Optional Party Member: Only Finn, Samson, Edward, Annie, and Domino are "required" to finish the game. Tont is almost dropped into your lap, while Lorelei and Black Knight Percy will actually require some searching.
- Pirate: Domino.
- Prophetic Name: Samson, a soldier known for his Super Strength.
- Sheathe Your Sword: This is how you get Percy back. Don't attack the Black Knight.
- Shoulder-Sized Dragon: Steiner, at first.
- Spell My Name with an "S": The playable characters' names are only given enough room for six letters, which presented a bit of a problem when you got to meet the Bare-Fisted Monk princess late in the game. The instruction manual and back-of-the-box screenshots render her name as "Loreli", but in-game, it's spelled "Lorele", when it was possibly meant to be "Lorelei".
- In addition, Tont's thunder-elemental summon beast, Thor, is mistransliterated as "Tolle" in the U.S. version.
- Sprite Polygon Mix
- Squishy Wizard: All three of the main magic users: Edward, Annie and Tont.
- Literal for Tont after upgrade (If he wasn't that squishy beforehand...)
- Summon Magic: Tont specializes in this. There are two varieties: One summons a random mook to deliver a one-time attack on an enemy, while a second variety allows him to summon powerful guardian beasts that hit every enemy at once.
- Took a Level In Badass: Steiner, after you complete the promotion quest. He goes from a harmless-looking baby dragon to a majestic golden wyrm, and you can ride on him and summon him into battle. Kid sure grows up fast, doesn't he?
- Treacherous Advisor: Glade of Zalagoon.
- Villainous Breakdown: The normally calm and self-assured Glade explodes into a rambling nonsensical rant when Samson returns to Zalagoon free from his magical curse to showcase his trademark brute strength.
- Weapon of Choice: Finn and Percy use swords, Domino uses throwing knives, Lorelei fights with her fists, Samson has axes, and everyone else uses staves.