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Anne: I'm sure you wouldn't like it - it's a lure for young people. One creates a kart racing fairy chef who, when not playing with kittens, explores mines while building decks for a magical card game. You can also be a wiz-Anne: ...ard.
Free Realms is an allegedly free Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game developed by Sony Online Entertainment and was released in April 2009. Unlike in many other MMORPGs, combat is optional and the game's focus is spread over several other job paths such as kart racing, construction work, soccer and exploration. So there is something for everyone. The game also has its very own online Trading Card Game.
The game is set in the fantasy world of the Sacred Grove, which is divided in to several different regions, each with its own theme. Despite being a whimsical place, there is an ongoing storyline, which hints that not everything is what it seems.
Said to be a casual World of Warcraft, Free Realms hit over one million players 18 days after it was launched and by its one-year anniversary had over 10 million players. Sony has since released versions for the Mac and PlayStation 3.
Official Web site is http://www.freerealms.com/
Tropes used by Free Realms include:
- Allegedly Free Game - Unless you subscribe, you are unable to advance to level 5 or higher in the Jobs, a wall you can hit in most jobs in just a couple of hours of play if you take it easy. Of course, standard stuff like decent clothing, Cool Pets, mounts, also require a subscription and/or buying Sony's "Station Cash." Many quest-givers also refuse to let you progress beyond a certain point in their storylines unless you become a member.
- And Your Reward Is Clothes - This is the standard reward from many job-related quests, and generally considered a better reward than mere coins. For the combat jobs, the clothing also happens to act as armor.
- Bee People: The Bixie are literally this, looking like a cross between a Pixie and a bee. Complete with Hive Caste System, although some of the workers are beginning to rebel...
- Collection Sidequest: This game is chock full of them. There are several dozen general collection quests and this doesn't include the additional ones for each job path. This trope runs into Fake Longevity at times and since it appears to be luck based, it can get frustrating at times.
- Cool Pet: Started with dogs and cats; now includes dragons, various dinosaurs, penguins, spiders, miniature tigers...
- Cryptic Background Reference: There are references throughout the game to lands outside Sacred Grove such as Black Forest, Lavender Coast, Silver Hills and Sunstone Valley. There are even roads which lead to them which have been blocked off. Presumably they will be opened and revealed as more content is added to the game.
- Dummied Out: A lot of pet maintenance has been taken out over time. First the Pet Trainer class that was used to teach pets tricks, then the need to feed and clean pets and keep them happy. Now pets know tricks from the start and will stay happy, clean, and fed.
- Fantasy Character Classes: The combat jobs are Archer, Brawler, Medic, Ninja, Warrior, and Wizard.
- Fetch Quest: In long quest chains this invariably come up at some point. In fact, these "FedEx" quests are probably why a Postman job even exists.
- Fishing Minigame: There is an entire job path devoted to this and the Fishing for Sole dilemma is mostly averted.
- Frothy Mugs of Water: It's Sarsaparilla damn it! Despite there being a festival which sounds and looks like Oktoberfest at the village where it is brewed.
- Fur Against Fang: During the Halloween event. But because this is a family-friendly game, the vamps and weres duke it out in dance-offs.
- Garden of Evil: Thistlerow is your average highly dangerous hedge maze complete with giant thorns and plant monsters.
- Ghibli Hills: Most of the current World Map is made up of this and it is called the Wilds.
- Gotta Catch Them All: There are a lot of collections to fill. This is also the way you level up the Adventurer job (especially when collecting tokens for exploring out-of-the-way portions of the map).
- Job System
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Read that page quote again.
- Our Dwarves Are All the Same: Of the mining variety.
- Our Ogres Are Hungrier: In Free Realms they are called Chugawugs. Originally their race acted as guards for the Pixie royal family but when the prior King and Queen were murdered they were exile and individually decided to follow their own paths.
- Puzzle Game: Most of the minigames are of this type.
- Racing Mini Game: A pretty impressive minigame which has two separate job classes, Demo Derby Driver and Kart Driver.
- Randomly Drops: You don't even need to fight anything; you'll just find the occasional Robgoblin Junkpile scattered across the landscape.
- RPGs Equal Combat: An aversion; combat classes only make up about a third of the jobs and don't factor into the large amount of non-job-related content.
- Schizo-Tech: Distinctly fantasy medieval things alongside such this as racing karts and stereos.
- Scooby-Doo Hoax: In the camping area. When caught, the perpetrator even finishes with "And I'd have gotten away with it too, if it weren't for You Meddling Campers!
- The rainbow unicorn mount looks very familiar.
- Boombox items make everyone in a certain radius dance. The "Realms Roll" boombox make all the dancers look... familiar... and the Halloween "Chiller" boombox has its own recognizable dance steps. Then there's a (presumably Christmas-themed, I don't have confirmation) boombox that makes Everybody Do the Endless Loop - you know the one.
- In the Snowhill mines there's a wealthy dwarf named Spruce Waynehammer, who has lost his pet dog Robin in a cave full of bats.
- Spiritual Successor: Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures, also by Sony, borrows a lot from Free Realms. It's also gone in reverse, with the Clone Wars Adventures game "Card Commander" being adapted for Free Realms as "Treasure War".
- Surprise Creepy: Merry Vale, the 24-hour party place where everyone has fun! ...too much fun to notice that their kids are getting abducted.
- Swiss Army Tears: The Pixie Queen Ayani caused plants to grow, and rivers and lakes to form, when she cried.
- Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Snowhill which is a snowy and less slippy version.
- The Lost Woods: Both Briarwood and to a lesser extent Blackspore Swamp qualify.
- Trading Card Lame: Sort of. The real-life version didn't last too long, but the game itself is pretty good and the in-game digital version is thriving.
- Travel Cool: The rides. Some of the available ones so far:
- Twenty Bear Asses: Partially averted in combat quests; quest givers either say "kill X monsters to drive them off" or they'll ask for an item, but it'll have a 100% drop rate. Played annoyingly straight when questers want you to harvest some food; you could have dozens of starnuts but they want fresh ingredients so you'll have to get more.
- You No Take Candle: The Forest Trolls follow this trope dead straight.
- Winged Humanoid: The Pixies, though they can't fly very high they can hover in place.
- Wizarding School: The Shrouded Glade.