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 "This -- is a hero's work?"

Hilbert is an idealistic village boy, the self-declared (and much ridiculed) protector of his hometown, and an aspiring hero. One day, he is approached by a mysterious robed woman named Zawu, who tells him that he is a descendant of the hero Alexander and destined to become a hero himself. So begins a legendary quest to defeat an ancient, evil power and bring peace to the world.

Well, not really.

The basic premise of Last Scenario is to start out with the most cliched CRPG plot imaginable, and then twist it into something interesting. Before long, the cliches start to fall apart at an alarming rate, and what emerges is a long, compelling plot involving (among other things) international politics, betrayal, and the occasional bit of geology.

A freeware RPG by SCF, Last Scenario is a great example of how RPG Maker games can be done right. It can be downloaded at SCF's website. While you're at it, check out Exit Fate by the same guy.


This game provides examples of:

  • Abandoned Laboratory: The Third Seal when you re-enter it.
  • The Ace: Melchior.
  • Action Bomb: Cubes, and their stronger variant Vorpal Cubes.
  • Action Initiative
  • Air Vent Passageway: How Phantom and Ethan left the biorite facility. The party later uses it to sneak back in.
  • All Myths Are True: Brutally subverted.
  • An Economy Is You
  • Angst Coma: Ethan, who passes out after Castor calls him "brother."
    • And Castor, after he's defeated by the heroes. He may have simply been knocked out, but the realization that he was weak kept him from getting up for a long time.
  • Anticlimax Boss: Hyperion isn't easy, but if you have protection against instant death, he's not particularly hard, either. Since he comes right after the hardest boss in the game, this makes him look like a bit of a wuss in comparison.
  • Antidote Effect: Mostly inverted due to the sparseness and importance of spellcard slots and low cost of status cure items, which make it likely for you to have 99 of each one third into the game.
  • Anti-Villain: Felgorn, Flynn, and Earp in particular, though most of the villains are at least somewhat sympathetic.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: Any of a number of things that run on biorite.
  • Armor-Piercing Attack: The spells Laser, Rage and Gamma.
  • Art Evolution: SCF's drawing blog occasionally contains Last Scenario character art. It advanced quite a bit from the Character Portraits found in the game.
  • Assimilation Plot: The Big Bad's goal.
  • The Atoner: Alexander.
    • All of the Elysium bosses.
    • Zawu after realizing Ethan is alive, but particularly after the Entalar arc.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Castor and Ortas, in particular. Subverted with Drakovic, who, smart, talented leader though he is, is a bit of a pushover in a fight.
  • Awesome but Impractical: The Gamma spellcard deals huge damage, but is rather unreliable and has a huge MP cost and an unpleasant stat malus.
    • Also, the Fury spellcard, which heals your entire party, and pretty well, too. The problem? It makes them berserk. The crisis spell heals even more but causes confusion. Again, though, it can become Awesome Yet Practical if you equip the right status protection...
    • The Ruin equipment that you can steal from smilie type enemies are all phenomenally powerful, but are all cursed in some way or another. (the Ruin Mask is poisoned, for example.)
    • The Unholy Mitre greatly boosts your stats but makes you take damage from healing.
  • Awesome Yet Practical: The Enlight spell, which gives one character a buff that is similar to Regen, only it regenerates MP. On a similar note, the Chi spell, which regenerates a percentage of the user's MP for free. Can't be used outside of battle, though. On top of that, there's the X-Shield spell, which doubles both magical and physical defense for one character. The crisis cast makes the whole party take half damage from everything.
    • Also Steal once you get the Thief Glove accessory, which makes the attempt almost 100% successful with some monsters - you really cannot refuse free Gold Dusts and Serpent Fangs.
  • Back Tracking: Returning to the Biorite Facility ruins nets you a Hex tile.
  • Badass Cape: Zawu. Take that, Golbez. Over-the-top perma-Dramatic Wind is unnecessary.
  • Badass Mustache: Drakovic.
  • Bag of Sharing
  • Bait and Switch Boss: Subverted when Castor backstabs Ortas. Instead of him fighting the main characters, Ortas fights them despite being near death.
  • Beef Gate: While you can technically enter the four Towers early on, don't even think about going in there until much later, as the enemies are usually at least ten levels higher than you. A good rule of thumb is to leave each tower alone until you can access the next one.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Although in this case, it's the younger brother who was determined to protect the older one. Does not end well; Ethan's constant attempts to keep Castor safe gave him a bit of a complex that led him to seek power at all costs.
    • Ethan is extremely close to and protective of Lorenza, as well, to the point where when she's captured by Ortas, he heads off on his own and starts cutting a bloody swath through the castle trying to find her.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Antagonist example: Matilda is about to kill Tazar, Felgorn arrives in a flash of light and strikes her down.
    • On the good guy side, at one point Ethan shows up out of nowhere to stop Castor killing Lorenza.
  • Bishonen Line: The penultimate form of the final boss is a deformed slug-like block thing, and the ultimate one, while still a One-Winged Angel, is much more humanoid again.
  • Blatant Lies: "Grandmaster Ortas was killed by the enemy." As Keltena's Let's Play put it, "And by 'the enemy,' I mean me, personally."
  • Block Puzzle: On Grey Peak, complete with Frictionless Ice. The four Towers are fond of these as well, only with pillars.
  • Blond Guys Are Evil: Augustus and Castor. On the other hand, Hilbert, Thorve, and Wilhelm are all blond. And something like this is at play in the fact that Ethan was blond when he was working for the Kingdom, but has black hair now.
  • Blood From the Mouth: The sign that Selene and Ortas are screwed.
  • Bonus Boss: Quite a few, usually in a Bonus Dungeon. The most difficult one, Planetary Consciousness, is for a Cosmetic Award.
  • Bonus Dungeon: Oh so many. There's almost one for every Sidequest.
  • Bonus Level of Heaven: The Gate to Elysium is themed like this.
  • Boss Banter: Hyperion's "DIE! DIE! DIE!" and "I'll stop you!"
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: Some of the smileys are significantly stronger than the other enemies you encounter in the area they're in. Also, the Black Dragon from the Black Mausoleum, and one enemy type for each tower.
  • Brick Joke: One of the books lying around at the Biorite Facility is a report specifically on Ethan, and it mentions that, "Physical change in subject is largely superficial." A dungeon or two later, you learn what they meant: he used to be blond.
  • Broken Ace: Augustus, Castor, and, to a degree, Felgorn.
  • Broken Bridge: The "energy crystals" are used to prevent you from going to the second and third Entalar seals (and the Tower of Punishment) before going to the first. They're not very hard to get rid of once you do, though.
  • Buried Alive: Ethan and Phantom, in biorite.
  • Cain and Abel:
    • Ethan and Castor
    • Helga and Wilhelm.
  • Cap: Interestingly, while levels cap at 99, HP caps at 9999 and MP caps at 999, there does not seem to be a damage cap, though there are only few attacks in the game that can ever get into five-digit damage.
  • Cardboard Obstacle: Crystallized energy, which requires the Bergheim Ray to be destroyed.
  • Challenge Seeker: Despite having ulterior goals, Augustus treats his striving for power like a game.

  I proved my superiority. I have already won. I Regret Nothing.

 Hans: Don't believe everything they tell you. There's a vast conspiracy manipulating all of this. That's right. Aliens from another planet are the real power behind this world.

  • Experience Booster: The Mental Booster.
  • Explosive Overclocking: Tiamat's death.
  • Everything's Better with Princesses: Inverted.
  • Evil Prime Minister: Augustus.
  • Evil Redhead: Tiamat. But she wasn't always evil...
  • Everything Trying to Kill You:
    • There are many strange random enemies, including mushrooms, dolls, wood walls[1], moles, two very different types of idols, emoticons, and in a Bonus Dungeon biting "Killer Crystals" disguised as save crystals with slightly different color.
    • The bosses are even stranger: you will i. e. come to fight a wall with an engraved face, not to mention the Zeitgeist, which is basically a big clock. Don't forget the Tomes and Keys (which are Exactly What It Says on the Tin) either.
  • Exposition Break: A considerable amount, considering this is a very story-heavy game. There is even one that lasts around 45 minutes... which is followed by a save point, and then another cutscene.
  • Eyes Always Shut: Helio. When they open, it's... a bad sign.
  • Face Palm: Matilda does this in a couple of cutscenes.
  • Fate Worse Than Death: Tiamat considers being sealed for centuries this and hates Barasur for doing so instead of killing her. Also Tazar's punishment.
  • Faux Symbolism: There are a lot of random mythological names.
  • Fantastic Racism: Turned around from its usual form; while humans tend to distrust the Havali, it's the Havali who really hate humanity. And with rather good reason.
  • Fiery Redhead: Matilda and Tiamat.
  • Fight Woosh
  • Fire, Ice, Lightning: The main - and first - three elements of attack spells.
  • Final Boss Preview: Sort of a boss preview (leave out the "final"), when Felgorn is attacked by Hilbert the first time.
  • Fixed Damage Attack: A mushroom Palette Swap in the Entalar Caves has an attack called "One-Hundred Spores".
  • Flunky Boss: The final boss and the hardest optional boss, though the latter revives its helpers only once.
  • Flying Seafood Special: Flying Fish. In a forest.
  • Foe Yay: Castor is rather... interested in Hilbert.
  • Four Philosophy Ensemble: Hilbert is the Optimist, Matilda is the Cynic, Thorve is the Realist, Lorenza is the Conflicted, and the other three are all, each for a different reason, Apathetic.
  • Fragile Speedster: Zawu has the highest speed stat of any player character, but their defense is barely better than Thorve's. Also something of a Glass Cannon, though, as their offense is pretty high.
  • Freudian Excuse: Castor, whose feelings of helplessness and inadequacy from having his hometown destroyed and having to rely on his little brother for protection led him to go to any lengths for power. When he still can't beat Hilbert and company, this causes him to really snap.
  • Game Breaking Bug: If you just try to play the game on Vista or Windows 7, no text is displayed (some issue with the font). There are two workarounds though, one of which seems to be always successful.
    • After you beat the magic beasts that Castor summons on the Rosehart bridge, you're told to go back to Southbridge, but you can actually keep going and end up in Northbridge after the Global Airship is captured. The glitch also prevents the next dungeon from showing up on the map, rendering the game unwinnable.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation:
    • The boss battle against Ortas. By the time you fight him, he has a gigantic stab wound, Blood From the Mouth, is very mentally unstable, and is quite clearly on the verge of death. And yet he has over 10,000 hit points and can toss out devastating attacks every few rounds. Hate to think what he'd have been like at full power... Though you can probably thank Critical Existence Failure for that. What's most odd about this is if you scan Helio during your first fight with him, his max HP is 3000, but his HP is only 1000 at the start of the battle, since before the fight he got smacked by a rockslide. It was odd that SCF didn't do the same thing with Ortas.
    • Also, a small thing near the beginning: it is mentioned that dying people turning into spectres is an extremely rare case requires the person to be died under extreme regret. But a bit later, spectres are randomly-encountered enemies in Alexander's tomb.
      • Considering that a bit of dialogue later implies that Herzog is built on the site of the Havali capital Luminas, which was razed and the inhabitants massacred by Valkiris's army, this may actually make perfect sense.
  • Genius Loci: The Cluster and by extension Biorite itself. And let's not forget the "Planetary Consciousness"...
  • Giant Space Flea From Nowhere: The Marid King, the Viviones, the Earth Golem, Pestilence... the list goes on. There are many, many plot-unrelated boss monsters in this game.
    • The Marid King is actually (just barely) a subversion, as you find out soon afterwards that it's the reason nobody was there to meet you at the start of the dungeon like there was supposed to (nobody wanted to take the risk and try to fight their way past it to get to you.)
    • Planetary Conciousness is the mega mac daddy of Giant Space Fleas From Nowhere, just suddenly appearing out of nowhere on the World Map (with no explanation as to why you're apparently fighting the planet itself) if you beat the game with all 100 hex tiles.
  • God Save Us From the Queen: Empress Helga singlehandedly threw her country into complete chaos.
  • Going Down with the Ship: Lampshaded and defied. When Matilda sardonically asks Moritz about this, he replies that after losing the first ship, you get used to it.
  • Go Mad From the Isolation: Tiamat, though she wasn't entirely sane when she was locked.
  • Good Republic, Evil Empire: It starts out looking this way, but it's quickly subverted. Turns out it's Gray and Grey Morality of the more idealistic kind (i.e., being manipulated by a third party).
  • Gory Discretion Shot: It's partially this (or at least a "massacre discretion shot", since Last Scenario's sprite style isn't prone to being gory anyway) and partially a "spoiler discretion shot" when the Northern Outpost is singlehandedly taken over by Felgorn.
  • Gratuitous German: The imperial capital is called Herzog (duke), and a mining town is called Kohlen ("coals"; the word "Kohle" doesn't actually have a plural, though), among many others.
  • Gratuitous Greek
  • Green Rocks: Biorite.
  • Guide Dang It: There's a larger version of the world map, with locations marked. It's possible to play the game through multiple times and not realize this. (Press the A key on the overworld, if you're wondering.)
  • Hat of Power: Helio wears a speed-increasing hair ribbon, and Flynn has a beret protecting against some detrimental effects. Also, there are items like the Arch-Angel's Halo, which immunizes against all negative status effects and gives huge defence boosts, the Spring Hat, massively increasing HP, and the Crystalline Crown (automatically P-Shielding).
  • Healing Shiv: Elemental weapons or strikes can be used to "attack" an ally absorbing this element.
  • Heel Face Turn: Arguably, Zawu.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: Rather spectacularly averted. Hilbert uses a bow, and the rest of your party uses, in order, spears, magic crystals, staves, axes, and throwing knives. It's not until the very last Player Character joins you that the party gets a sword-user.
  • Heroic BSOD: Hilbert briefly goes through this after learning that he isn't actually related to Alexander. And then there's Ethan, who actually passed out on the floor when he remembered that Castor was his brother.
  • Heroic Lineage: The plot starts when Hilbert is told he is a descendant of Alexander. Subverted; he's not, and Zawu was just playing on his gullibility as part of an unsuccessful Batman Gambit. But in an awesome usage of Playing with a Trope, Alexander later declares the entire party his descendants, not in blood but in spirit. Heroic Adoption?
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Felgorn, Alison, and Barasur. Helio's death can also be counted as one of these, although he does it for the other side.
  • Heroic Wannabe: Hilbert, especially in the beginning when he has the manic wish to be the "protector of his village".
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Ortas.
  • Hidden Elf Village: Subverted hard. At first it seems that the Havali are living in one of these somewhere, and Lorenza was taken out for unknown reasons. But eventually we learn that the Havali are actually the "demons" from the legend, and the ones who've woken up are really, really pissed about being attacked three hundred years ago for no good reason. A few are some of the primary antagonists as a result.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: The first encounter with Felgorn. Arguably the solo fight with Helio, although that one can be beaten on a New Game+ (not that the game notices).
    • Melchior is level 99, either immune to or absorbs every element, does thousands of HP worth of damage with his normal attacks, and his Regen spell restores HP in the tens of thousands per round. It is possible to beat him (though very, very, very unlikely), but you're supposed to flee the battle, after which he gives the party a special, unique spellcard.
  • How Dare You Die on Me!: Matilda freaks out when Selene dies.
  • HP to One: Zawu has an attack that does this when you fight her, and Thanatos has one that hits your entire party. So do the Black King and the third Elysium boss. The King's one even ignores all shielding spells.
    • The Rage crisis cast Erosion and the Chi crisis cast Transfer do this to the user, as a prize for great damage or mana restoration.
  • Ideal Hero: As you can see from the page quote, this is one of the most prominent tropes the game deconstructs. In a more general example, Hilbert wants to be one, and has arguably succeeded by the end of the game.
  • Idiot Hero: Hilbert borders on this, especially at the beginning. Then Character Development or possibly Hidden Depths step in and he shows off a certain cleverness in various scenes and a penchant for Batman Gambits.
  • I Lied:
  • In a World: The introductory text is very much like this. Though it contains hardly anything but Blatant Lies.
  • Incoming Ham: Not that he actually is a Large Ham, mind you, but the principle is the same:

 That's right! You're a liar, Zawu!

  • Infinity+1 Sword: Interestingly, there's everything but an Infinity Plus One Weapon. The thing coming closest to them are the "ultimate" weapons of each kind, which just are unique and deal most damage.
    • Infinity Plus One Accessory: The Hero's Soul, which increases all stats by 50 and grants immunity to all elements. Can only be equipped on Hilbert, though. Arguably, the Gold Sceptre for everyone else, which just grants elemental immunity.
      • Infinity Minus One Accessory: Warding Charms, which make the wearer immune to all status ailments. You will need them if you want to take on the Bonus Bosses.
    • Infinity Plus One Helm: The Arch-Angel's Halo, only obtained by defeating the second-hardest optional boss. Grants huge physical and magical defense boosts, and grants immunity to all status ailments.
      • Infinity Minus One Helm: The Crystalline Crown, auto-P-Shielding, and the Spring Hat, increasing the wearer's max HP.
    • Infinity Plus One Armour: The Lord-Sorcerer's Gown, which grants a significant intellect boost and halves MP cost.
      • Infinity Minus One Armour: The Sacral Gown, which grants auto-regeneration of HP, and Mashimizu's Robe, which gives an extreme speed boost.
  • I Regret Nothing: Augustus's last words.
  • Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence
  • Interface Spoiler: Two companions who never are in your playable party? Conspicuous.
  • In the Back: How the real Big Bad finally reveals himself.
  • Involuntary Group Split: In Entalar, an earthquake hits that splits the party into 4 disparate groups, and you wind up going through most of the arc without Ethan or Lorenza.
  • It's All Upstairs From Here: The four Towers, although they're Bonus Dungeons.
  • Karmic Death: Helio, who used dozens of people as guinea pigs for Biorite experiments, uses it on himself in a You Shall Not Pass moment and dies as a disfigured mutant.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Helio. When Tazar goes to him for help assuming he'll be protected even though he proved incompetent at every turn, Helio tells him he can have a job at a secret research facility. He does not mention that said job is as a test subject. Quoth Earp: "That was cruel even for you."
  • The Kingdom: Definitely not the case here. It's the primary nationality of the main villains.
  • Knight Templar: Ortas
  • Knight Templar Big Brother: Played With. A lot of Castor's issues stem from Ethan constantly trying to protect him, but no one but Castor seems to think he's particularly extreme about it. Also, Ethan's the younger of the two.
  • Lady of War: Zawu, and maybe Matilda.
  • The Lancer: Usually Matilda, though Thorve is this at times as well.
  • La Résistance: The "Republic Freedom Army".

  Drakovic: If the Kingdom thinks they can take control of our country, I'll make their lives as miserable as possible.

  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Biorite can do this to humans, though specifically Ethan and Phantom. Ethan pretends to have lost many more memories than he actually did, though, and the ones that he did forget he remembers eventually.
  • Last-Disc Magic: Gamma and, to a lesser extent, Vortex.
  • Law of Cartographical Elegance
  • Lazy Backup
  • Leaked Experience: Characters not currently in the active party still gain experience from boss fights.
  • Leitmotif: Thorve, Lorenza, Zawu, Ortas, and Alexander.
  • Lethal Joke Item: The Trick spellcard, pretending to be detrimental with its uses: The normal cast inflicts confusion on the user, and the Crisis cast kills them. Why use it then? Because wearing it boosts almost all of your stats by a huge amount.
  • Let's Split Up, Gang!: Happens at many points, but especially prominent in the Entalar storyline, which starts out by splitting your seven people into four groups and slowly reunites them.
  • Level Grinding: Averted, thankfully. Though the bosses are usually really hard, it's more a matter of "you didn't equip the right equipment/spellcards, use a different setup and try again" than "go back and grind levels for an hour".
  • The Lifestream: Biorite. Castor states that it's where all life originated.
  • Life Drain: A low-level spellcard. The crisis cast is a Mana Drain.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Hilbert, though he's possibly more of a Jack of All Stats that sacrifices intellect for speed.
  • Limit Break: Interestingly, the spells, not the characters, have these. Whenever a character's "Crisis" bar fills up from being whacked around enough, they can use a spell's special "Crisis" ability, though it usually costs a lot of MP. [2]
  • Look Behind You!: During the first arc, where Thorve and Lorenza are trying to infiltrate the Herzog art gallery. The guards say "No one is allowed to pass!", and Thorve says "Can't pass? Then who's that person over there?"
  • Looks Like Cesare: Ethan.
  • Lost Forever: Several items that you can only get by stealing from bosses, as well as anything in the Biorite Facility, since you blow it up on your way out.
  • Luck Stat: Type 6.
  • The Man Behind the Man: This happens a quite a few times... Castor behind Ortas behind Augustus behind Helga.
  • Mana Burn: Mindblow.
  • Mana Drain: The crisis casts of Life Drain and Mindblow, and the signature ability of the Brain Leech enemy line.
  • Marathon Boss: Almost all of the bosses have incredibly high health that can take quite a while to whittle down. The fact that they're constantly tossing attacks that can put one or more characters in critical health doesn't help things. Two bosses take the cake, though: the most difficult Bonus Boss in the main game, who has a whopping 200,000 hit points, and the New Game+ boss, which has one million.
  • Meaningful Name: Lots -- quite a few pages ago, there is a gigantic comment about name etymology here. Of note is "Entalar", which means "adapted", "appropriate", or "adequate", and "Castor", which comes from a Greek word that means "shine" or "excel".
  • Metal Slime: The "smiley" enemies. They give hefty amounts of experience, and can drop very powerful, albeit cursed, equipment.
  • Mighty Glacier: Matilda.
  • Mini Game: Hex, a collectible board game that has taken the game world by storm. Hex tiles, once won from NPCs or random encounters, can be traded in for items.
  • Minor Major Character: The king of Roseheart and the Chancellor of the Republic.
  • Money Grinding: Money is sucked by the costs of new equipment very fast, so it's almost certain that you'll need to do this at one point or another. The experience gotten along with it doesn't hurt either.
  • Mook Face Turn: Borderline case: After Castor starts to really lose it, Flynn tips the party off to what he's doing because she thinks they're the only ones who have a chance of getting him to see sense.
  • Money Spider: Played straight. Additionally, some item drops are rather weird... why the hell can you steal rubber boots from some sort of magical thunder deer?
  • Mook Maker: The guard devices Watch Disc and Defensive Drone are a justified version of this, alerting pillars or guards.
  • Motive Rant: After he poisons Helga, Augustus gives one of these, calmly explaining to her as she's dying that he hates her and everything about her because while he had to work his way up from the gutter to reach his position, she had everything given to her and takes it for granted.
  • Mutually Exclusive Powerups: The last two pages of Hex tiles are unique "face" tiles of which only one copy exists anywhere (barring New Game+). They're the game's most powerful tiles, but can also be traded in for powerful items, ranging from huge heaps of stat increasers or high-end expendables to accessories that grant immunity to status effects or all elements, to armor that grants 500 hit points or auto-regeneration, to the most powerful weapon in the game for one of your characters. Many can be gotten nowhere else, but once you make the trade it's permanent, probably to prevent you from "borrowing" equipment.
  • Mysterious Informant: Zawu.
  • Mysterious Waif: Lorenza.
  • New Game+: However, in order to access it you need to beat the game after finding at least 90 different Hex tiles.
  • News Travels Fast: At some points, the protagonists receive news while on a boat without encountering any other ship or messenger.
  • Nice Hat: The only time Ethan is ever hatless is in flashbacks. Flynn has a Nice Beret, too.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: No one among the heroes ever mentions directly that they caused Tiamat to be freed. Granted, it was involuntary, but since Lorenza already felt something wrong and decided to stay outside the chamber for this reason at first, maybe bringing her closer wasn't that great of an idea...
  • Nintendo Hard: Many of the boss battles, although some dungeons are pretty dang hard even without that.
  • Nominal Importance: Averted - all the characters have names, but everyone of any importance has a Character Portrait.
  • No Peripheral Vision: At least once, Augustus fails to see someone in front of him because the distance is greater than the size of the screen.
  • Non-Action Guy: Matilda's husband Valentin.
  • Non-Elemental: The Grenade line of items, and the spells Laser, Rage and Gamma.
  • Non Lethal Bottomless Pits: As a puzzle element in the Kohlen Mine, the First Seal and the Hall of Judgement, they in some cases transport you to other areas.
  • Noob Cave: The Abandoned Copper Mine. Your objective is to find a lost cat, and your enemies are various kinds of weak animals. This is quite a contrast to the opening scroll, which prepared you for world-shaking happenings...
  • Not So Different: Hilbert and Castor have a lot of this going on.
  • Older Than They Look: Ethan is 28 (physically 25) and looks closer to 20. On the more extreme end, Castor is 30 but looks younger than 19-year-old Hilbert.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Tiamat.
  • One Degree of Separation: Thorve, Felgorn, and Randolph's son Wolfram grew up and joined the army together. Wolfram was killed by a little boy, who turns out to have been Ethan trying to protect his older brother Castor. The random soldier who chased Thorve and Felgorn away from the boy was Zawu.
  • One-Hit Kill: Various enemy attacks, most notably Hyperion's "Die! Die! Die!", will inflict instant death like a status effect unless their equipment prevents it, no questions asked.
  • One-Man Army: Felgorn has literally taken down entire armies by himself.
  • One-Time Dungeon: The Biorite Facility. Unusual for a game in which hardly anything is Lost Forever.
  • One-Winged Angel: The Final Boss does this twice, and his final form actually does look slightly angelic. It even has two helpers called "Throne" and "Dominion".)
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Castor and Hilbert.
  • Opening Scroll: Provides an Info Dump about the backstory and mythology. The whole thing is wrong.
  • Opening the Sandbox: The majority of the game's sidequests are only accessible right before the final dungeon, due to the fact that that's also when you get the Global Airship.
  • Our Elves Are Better: Partially averted with the Havali since they're missing a lot of the standard elf traits, but the ears make the comparison inevitable.
  • Our Monsters Are Weird:
    • And how. The random enemies Yin and Yang, Belgugon, Ectoplasm, Starshine/Sirius Lux, Ripper, Belgugon, Tiahaunacu, Gerethog, and many others will make you say "What the heck was that?". Not to forget the Land Sharks, though Dungeons and Dragons had this kind of creature first.
    • Many bosses are even weirder, like the Riftgate, Erdgeist, the Viviones, Yad-al-Jauza and the Strangelets.
  • Out-Gambitted: Ortas, very, very badly.
  • Paper Talisman: Spellcards probably are this.
  • Parental Abandonment: Hilbert, Lorenza, Ethan, and Castor all lost their parents at a young age.
  • Parental Substitute: Zawu to Ethan and Castor.
  • Party in My Pocket: Especially awkward in various cutscenes when Matilda is seemingly talking from Hilbert's pocket, including one in which he has his worldmap size on top of it!
  • Perpetual Frowner: Thorve. It's shocking when he actually smiles for the first time.
  • Personality Powers: Combined with Meaningful Name: Among others, Castor, whose name means "he who shines/excels", has a "Blinding Flash" attack.
  • Phlebotinum Rebel: Ethan borders on this.
  • Pieta Plagiarism: Ortas with his murdered wife in a backstory scene. [1]
  • Platonic Life Partners: Thorve is absolutely inseparable from Matilda, since she basically dragged him back into doing something with his life after Wolfram died. But she's married and he's quite happy as nothing more than her second-in-command and good friend.
  • Playing Both Sides: The conflict between the Republic and the Empire was entirely the Kingdom's fault.
  • Playing the Player: In addition to the whole premise of the game ("Set up the biggest Cliché Storm in RPG history, then turn it upside down"), it plays around a lot with the trustworthiness of the information you're given. Not only are all myths not true, but generally speaking, you do NOT expect the opening text scroll to flat-out lie to you. The Mysterious Informant is a Manipulative Bastard playing on the hero's gullibility, and the guy who claims he can't remember any of his past actually remembers a lot more than he lets on, and is keeping quiet for his own reasons.
  • Poison Mushroom: Subverted by the Trick and Gamma spellcards, which are, in a way, two sides of the same coin. Trick's abilities are purely detrimental, with the base confusing the character and the Crisis cast killing them. However, it grants a huge boost to almost all of your stats. Gamma's abilities, on the other hand, are the strongest offensive spells in the game (see Awesome but Impractical, above), but decrease most of a character's stats.
    • Played completely straight with the Ruin equipment, which inflicts a status ailment on whoever wears it -- this cannot be prevented or cured in any way. Some of the status ailments make a character completely unusable, negating any potential advantage they might give.
  • Post End Game Content: The Planetary Consciousness.
  • Posthumous Character: Meodar and Wolfram.
  • Power Trio: The first three party members (Hilbert, Thorve, Matilda) could qualify as this, as well as the Omega Team.
  • Precursors: Humans are descended from Havali that left the Imperial continent.
  • Preemptive Apology: Hilbert, to a Mook at the Third Entalar Seal.
  • Prepare to Die: Said by Felgorn after you are creamed by him in a Hopeless Boss Fight. You are saved by Thorve and Lorenza entering, and Thorve turns out to be an old acquaintance of Felgorn.
  • Psycho Serum: Biorite, when used improperly, has this effect..
  • Puzzle Boss
    • The Riftgate is completely immune to elemental damage and extremely resistant to physical attacks, making it nearly unbeatable unless you realize it takes full damage from Laser and single-use attack items.
    • The Viviones, a group of five monsters that heal and revive each other in between blasting your party with spells, get much less annoying once you notice that each one only heals the one directly clockwise of it- if you kill one and Mindblow the one before it, it breaks the chain.
    • The second-hardest Bonus Boss, Alexander. You need to stack various means of damage protection on your sturdiest character and redirect all his attacks to them, or he will absolutely wreck you with That One Attack.
  • The Quiet One: Ethan, especially in the first half of the game.
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: The Omega Team. Ethan used to be the leader.
  • Ragnarok Proofing
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: An idealistic Idiot Hero, a bad-tempered female Sergeant Rock, a traumatized healer, an 18-year-old Havali girl, an amnesiac who's been locked up for the last three years, an elderly geologist, and an unflappable Lady of War who wants to help the Big Bad. Lampshaded:

 "You are... not a very inconspicuous group."

  • Rainbow Pimp Gear: Lots of probably silly-looking equipment: rubber boots, a party hat, unisex dresses... Though you sadly can't see it.
  • Random Encounters: In dungeons. However, it's possible to get items that prevent them.
  • Rare Candy: The Capsules, one for each stat. All except speed capsules can be stolen from late-game enemies.
  • Rare Random Drop: Several. For example, you can get a then-expensive polearm from the orcs in Braunwald Forest, but the chance is very low.
  • Really Three Hundred Years Old: Lorenza and the rest of the Havali, though they normally live as long as humans.
  • Recurring Boss: Tiamat, the Omega Team, and Castor.
  • Redemption Demotion: Zawu joins your party immediately after you fight her on Lux Island. She loses all her awesome skills and about nine-tenths of her uber-high stats in the process. Weakly justified, as she says that she was "using the last of the shield's power".
  • Reduced MP Cost: The Lord-Sorcerer's Gown. Also inverted with the Spellcard Mod, which doubles MP cost but multiplies damage by 1.5.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Tiamat, along with red hair.
  • Revive Kills Zombie: Although it won't cause a One-Hit Kill, there's often a specific spellcard that makes taking down a boss enormously easier. Perhaps most egregiously, the Riftgate is about three steps away from unbeatable unless you move Ethan's Laser spellcard to one of the mages and Beam Spam away. More literally, there are also several undead monsters that are weak to recovery magic.
  • Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: Subverted; despite being a Dirty Coward and selling out all his men so he alone would survive, Tazar is given a high rank in the Herzog army despite misgivings. However, this is double subverted after Helga dies; Augustus demotes Tazar. Taken even further when, after the civil war, Helio sends Tazar to be a guinea pig for Psycho Serum at the Biorite Facility.
  • Rush Boss: Hyperion. If you're lucky, you'll kill him without being attacked with anything remotely menacing. If you're less lucky, though, he gets off That One Attack often enough to kill you despite his low HP and defense.
  • Sacrificial Lamb: Selene and Jord. The big tip-off there is that they never fight along with you.
  • Sacrificial Lion: Alexander himself.
  • Sad Battle Music: In the boss fight against Ortas and all of the Gate to Elysium bosses.
  • Save Scumming: This is the way many players treat Hex: If they lose a tile, they just press F12 and return to the main menu.
  • Save the Villain: Justified; two members of the party are his brother and his mentor/surrogate mother, and when Grauss suggests collapsing the island on top of Castor they state outright that they'll start killing people if anyone tries. Doubly so when Hilbert refuses to leave the biorite cluster without Castor thanks to a sudden attack of Chronic Hero Syndrome.
  • Sequential Boss: The final one.
  • Sergeant Rock: Matilda.
  • Serious Business: Hex. No, really - it's all part of a crazy Gambit Roulette by an ancient sorcerer to obtain immortality.
  • Shallow Love Interest: Valentin, Matilda's husband. Although sometimes adorable, he doesn't get much dialogue or personality and seems to exist just to avoid any thoughts of possible romantic involvements between her and Thorve or Drakovic. Even lampshaded in a dialogue where Matilda warns Drakovic that she's a married woman.
  • Ship Tease:
    • Lorenza/Ethan; they seem to be close, but the age difference makes a relationship unlikely.
    • Alison/Ethan.
    • Drakovic/Matilda. She's already married.
    • Lorenza/Hilbert; Lampshaded.

  Matilda: Are we interrupting something?

 Gunther: What are you worried about, with no enemies in sight? You think they're just going to drop down from the sky?

(ladder drops and Matilda's team climbs down)

  • That Man Is Dead: Esmerelda is dead. Tiamat killed her. Which makes the artwork image you can see after completing the game where Esmerelda says goodbye to Barasur before departing with the ship a real Tear Jerker.
    • A similar phrase is also used by Alexander when Ortas takes him from his prison cell.
  • There Are No Therapists: Most of the plot could have been prevented had Ortas seen a grief counselor and Castor gotten some help with his dependency issues.
  • They Plotted a Perfectly Good Waste: About the first quarter of the game is a Cliché Storm purposely... only to subvert everything afterwards.
  • Thriving Ghost Town
  • Timed Mission: Sections of both the Biorite Facility and the Third Seal if you revisit it, though for differing reasons.
  • Title Theme Drop: Used as the BGM for the Temple of Gaia and the Geo Science Station's projector room.
  • Too Awesome to Use:
    • Averted hard. In most boss battles, you will find yourself using those hard-found Soul Elixirs, Healing Orbs, and Meteor Shells you found during your trek through the dungeon if you want to live.
    • The "Throw" spellcard has a high damage potential, but most players won't actually exploit it since that requires permanently destroying valuable high-tier weapons.
  • Tragic Monster: Tiamat to Barasur.
  • Training Boss: Melchior.
  • Trauma-Induced Amnesia: Varying this trope, during his biorite imprisonment, Ethan clinged to what he wanted to remember most and forgot his most traumatic memories.
  • Trauma Inn
  • Treachery Cover-Up: Subverted. Despite the suggestion, Wilhelm refuses to hide Felgorn's murder of Emperor Leopold, choosing instead to reveal it to the public while still honoring the culprit's good deeds and ultimate Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Trippy Finale Syndrome: The entire final dungeon seems to be designed from the ground up to confuse you as much as possible, although it's really deceptively simple to figure out. Then there's the background during the final boss battle and the interior of the biorite cluster...
  • Try Not to Die

 Matilda: You'd better come back alive. Otherwise I'll have no one to blame for this mess.

 Drakovic: Ah, but a good strategist never reveals his most daring plans.

Matilda: ...Why?

Drakovic: That way... you don't look as bad if they fail.

 Alexander: It is easy to rewrite history when the few who know the truth are unable to make themselves heard.

  • The Wrongful Heir to the Throne: The capriciously cruel and terribly incompetent Empress Helga.
  • Xanatos Gambit: Drakovic lives off of these, as he always has a backup plan. About the only time attempts to foil his machinations don't average out in his favor is when Castor took over the Republic while he and his army were busy with the Empire. Didn't See That Coming.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: Drakovic is good at these too, like when The empire holds 500 of his men as P.O.W.s and he waits to ask for them to be released. He does this in case they'll be needed to free his country, but when they aren't he has them released to capture a nearby port friendly to the Kingdom out of nowhere.
  • You All Look Familiar: Particularly obvious in Entalar; there are only three generic Havali sprites, so the town seems to be populated by an army of clones.
  • You Can Barely Stand: The party tries to point this out to Ortas before their battle, but he has none of it.

 Hilbert: Ortas...just give it up. You can barely move.

Ortas: "NEVER! I, I'll never give up!!"

  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: While it's mostly averted with major characters, a lot of the minor characters have sprites with crazy-colored hair. But even if you assume that Matilda's apparently pink hair is just stylized auburn and Felgorn's purple hair is actually black, Flynn definitely qualifies.
  • You Shall Not Pass: A Villainous Valor example, when Helio takes his own Psycho Serum to delay the heroes while Flynn and Earp get Castor somewhere safe.
  • Zen Survivor: Phantom.

Notes

  1. which actually don't try to kill you, being the random encounter equivalent of a Joke Character. They have no attack and HP on par with a boss, so they just stand there while the heroes smash them
  2. Party members can attack each other, but to prevent abuse, this won't count into the crisis score.
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