->''"In [[CrapsackWorld a world like this]], there are no morals."''

[[InAWorld In a post-apocalyptic world]], on a pocket of land run by the evil [[EvilEmpire Emperor Kugar]], prisoners fight for their lives everyday for the entertainment of the masses. Only nine survive to this day. They are known only by their color designation:

* '''[[color:blue:Blue]]''' - {{The Stoic}} (You play him.)
* '''[[color:green:Green]]''' - {{Team Mom}}
* '''[[color:indigo:Indigo]]''' - {{Bratty Half Pint}}
* '''[[color:gold:Yellow]]''' - {{Badass Longcoat}}
* '''[[color:violet:Violet]]''' - {{The Chick}}
* '''[[color:red:Red]]''' - {{Psycho For Hire}}
* '''[[color:orange:Orange]]''' - {{The Smart Guy}}
* '''[[color:silver:White]]''' - {{Cool Old Guy}}
* '''Black''' - {{The Faceless}} [[spoiler:until later.]]

One day, however, an opportunity presents itself: rebels fighting against Kugar attack and give the prisoners an opportunity to escape, at which point you join one of three factions:

* '''[[color:green:Rebellion]]''': Putting an end to Kugar's regime.
* '''[[color:red:Imperials]]''': Squashing the rebel scum between your fingertips.
* '''[[color:blue:Independents]]''': Not joining any sides, and simply trying to find freedom.

As it soon becomes apparent, however, fighting for one's faction is just the tip of the iceberg...

Okay, getting past the movie-trailer-speak, '''Alter A.I.L.A''' is a popular and very highly-regarded RPG made in [[RPGMaker RPG Maker 2003]] by Neok. As mentioned above, the game has three different routes, making for very high replay value. But what makes it even better is that completing all three routes unlocks a [[GoldenEnding fourth route]], which outclasses the first three in almost every way. The plotline is rife with twists, turns, and interesting developments, the characters are fleshed-out and engaging, and the music is top notch. Definitely worth checking out.

Can be downloaded [[http://www.sinisterdesign.net/AlterAILA.html here]].

A [[VideoGameRemake remake]] called "Alter A.I.L.A. Genesis" was released on October 10th, 2010. Can be downloaded [[http://rpgmaker.net/games/272/ here]]. It removes the multiple-route mechanism in favour of a more linear plot, allowing for far better plot development and {{Foreshadowing}}. Notably, the entire cast from the original game is playable, which, combined with a longer plotline, allows for far greater CharacterDevelopment. The combat system has also become much more unique, enjoyable, and balanced. In addition, all playable characters have been given set names rather than being {{Hello Insert Name Here}} characters: '''[[color:blue:Leon]]''', '''[[color:green:Erin]]''', '''[[color:indigo:Indy]]''', '''[[color:gold:Scott]]''', '''[[color:violet:Violet]]''', '''[[color:red:Dread]]''', '''[[color:orange:Jake]]''', '''[[color:silver:Hawk]]''', and '''Celia'''.

A sequel, ''Alter A.I.L.A. Variant'', was in the works. However, [[{{Vaporware}} it was cancelled, revived, then cancelled a second time]] when Neok retired from the indie game scene. More information [[http://rpgmaker.net/games/2994/ here]].
----
!!Tropes used in Alter A.I.L.A.:
* ActionGirl: Green, Violet and [[spoiler: Black]] fit this trope.
* AfterTheEnd
* AnyoneCanDie: Even the GoldenEnding leaves a lot of important bodies on the floor. The other routes leave ''most'' of the playable characters dead.
* ArbitraryGunPower
* ArmCannon: Gold is in possession of one.
* BarbieDollAnatomy: [[spoiler: Black, when fought at the end of the Rebellion route, is naked.]]
* BattleInTheCenterOfTheMind: Happens in multiple instances, though only played unambiguously straight when [[spoiler: getting the EX Guns and fighting the character's shadow self.]] Other cases [[MindScrew might]] include [[spoiler: the Shadow characters]] and, for certain values of "mind," [[spoiler: Heaven]].
* BattleThemeMusic: Each faction has their own unique theme music, the theme for whichever faction you play only playing for that route's FinalBoss.
* BigGood: Gold.
* BittersweetEnding: The [[spoiler:Independent ending. Violet is dead and President Gold is doomed to be assassinated, but the surviving heroes are free to explore the world without the Rebels and Imperialists dogging their trail.]]
* BlackAndGreyMorality: TheEmpire is straight-up evil, but [[LaResistance the Rebels]] are no saints either, and the Independents start out [[HeroicNeutral just wanting to be left alone]] and end up [[spoiler:[[NeutralNoLonger trying to]] [[OmnicidalNeutral take both sides out]]; the Empire because ItsPersonal, and the Rebels because...um, Black had a feeling about White and went KnightTemplar.]]
** [[spoiler: Subverted. Except for Red, all the playable characters and [[EmperorScientist Kugar]] are heroes by nature, but some are being secretly manipulated by [[TheManBehindTheMan Aila]]. Oh, and Black was both right and wrong about White; White was one of Aila's pawns, but by nature he's good and makes a HeroicSacrifice in the Innovator path.]]
* BloodlessCarnage: Averted somewhat. When at critical health, playable characters ''will'' start showing signs of bleeding.
* BonusBoss: One of Jackal's forms, others are required to get everyone's [[InfinityPlusOneSword Infinity Plus One Gun]]. [[spoiler:Except Blue, who gets his from Gray. Who is himself a BonusBoss.]]
** There's also the [[spoiler:Shadow characters]] in the Innovator route, plus Shadow Omega Weapon, which is the hardest boss in the game.
* BottledHeroicResolve: Stimulants.
* CharacterPortrait
* ClimaxBoss: [[spoiler:Limit Green]], fought at the end of part 1.
** [[spoiler: Gold in Imperial Chapter 2.]]
** [[spoiler: Red and Violet in Independent Chapter 2. Also Rebellion Chapter 2, but it doesn't mean quite as much as it does in the Independent Route.]]
* CrapsackWorld: Yep.
* CrutchCharacter: Gray.
* CutscenePowerToTheMax: [[spoiler:Black]] taking out [[HumongousMecha Ultima Weapon]] with ''one Mind Blast'' when she can't even use the power normally.
* DownerEnding: Almost all of them, except [[spoiler: [[GoldenEnding the one gotten for completing the Innovator route perfectly]].]]
* DownTheDrain: One of the [[ScrappyLevel low points]], unfortunately.
* DrivenToSuicide: [[spoiler:Green]].
* DuelBoss: [[spoiler:Limit Green]], and [[spoiler:Blue on the Innovator route.]]
* DummiedOut: Silver and Gold were originally intended to be playable characters, but were removed during development.
* EnemyScan: Blue's skill, Analyze.
* FinalBoss: One for each route.
** Rebels: [[spoiler:Black on a power trip]]
** Imperials: [[spoiler:Experiment 13, the Rebellion's secret weapon]]
** Independents: [[spoiler:Jackal Epsilon]]
** [[spoiler:Innovators: Aila]]
* GlassCannon: Black, without the mask.
* GoldenEnding: You'll need to play through the game four times to see it, though.
* GunsAkimbo: Only Blue can do this. Everyone else is out of luck.
* HeelFaceTurn: [[spoiler:Orange, [[BlackAndGreyMorality sort of.]]]]
* HelloInsertNameHere / NoNameGiven: The entire cast. ''[[VideoGameRemake Genesis]]'' does give everyone canonical names, however.
* HopelessBossFight: The first battle against [[spoiler:Aila]].
** Also, the battle against Ultima Weapon between part 1 and 2.
* HoYay: Kugar and Tinder. The latter [[LampshadedTrope lampshades]] it ruthlessly.
** A darker version is revealed in Orange's case. [[spoiler: His duel with Shadow Red is about him sorting out his conflicting feelings about Red.]]
* JokeItem: Throughout the game, one can find such items as "Revealing Suit", "Masochist Suit", and "Pants".
** Handguns also border on this -- they're by far the least useful of the different guns and are easily outclassed by anything, except for possibly shotguns, which have terrible accuracy. And even then, [[spoiler: Yellow's EX Shotgun]] is no lightweight weapon.
* KillEmAll: In all three of the routes, 5 out of the 8 main characters ([[BrattyHalfPint Indigo]] doesn't show up again after the prologue) will die, invariably at the hands of Blue and his team. Considering each path has a strong HeroOfAnotherStory vibe to it, this makes Blue a HeroKiller from their perspective. The casualties are:
** '''Loyalists''': [[spoiler: Green, Black, Yellow, Orange and White.]]
** '''Rebellion''': [[spoiler: Green, Red, Violet, Yellow and Black.]]
** '''Independents''': [[spoiler: Green, White, Orange, Red and Violet.]]
* KudzuPlot: Several plot questions, such as why [[spoiler:Black betrays the Rebellion]] and [[spoiler:why White becomes just like Kugar in the Rebel ending]], are only answered in the Innovator path.
* LightningBruiser: Black, masked. Gets a bit more [[FragileSpeedster fragile]] without the mask, but her PK abilities [[GameBreaker more than make up for it]].
* TheManBehindTheMan: [[spoiler:Aila]] behind Kugar.
* TheMedic: Green, though she's capable of using one of the best weapon types in the game, meaning she's [[CombatMedic strong offensively]] as well.
* TheMenInBlack: Kugar's black-suited, white shirted flunkies. [[spoiler: In the innovator route, the one named Agent Smith kills Yellow.]]
%% * MightyGlacier: Red.
* MindControl: [[spoiler:Violet]] gets put through this halfway through the game.
** The ManBehindTheMan, [[spoiler:Aila]], is capable of doing a specific form of this; they can imprint a "suggestion" on a target, causing them to think they thought of the idea themselves. Later in the game, this functions as straight-up MindControl.
* MultipleEndings - One for each route.
* NewGamePlus: At the end of each route, you're allowed to sell most of the items you've acquired and retain the money gained for the next route. Subverted in that very few things are carried over -- only the special bombs that you get at the end, the "badge" gotten for completing a route, and [[InfinityPlusOneSword EX Gun]] items like the Zodiac tiles are.
* NonIndicativeName: Blue's a redhead.
* OpeningTheSandbox
* PerfectRunFinalBoss: [[spoiler:Aila.]]
* PersonOfMassDestruction: The playable characters are treated like this after their escape by both Empire and Rebellion, and victory in the war hinges on who gets the most (and the most powerful) arena survivors. [[spoiler: Black, the Jackals and Aila]] are, of course, the real deal.
* PoorCommunicationKills: [[spoiler:Uri]] in the Innovator route.
* PsychicPowers
* RebelLeader: White.
* SacrificialLamb: No matter what route is taken, [[spoiler:Green]] is ''always'' the first core character to die.
** [[spoiler: Unless you're playing the Innovator route]].
* [[spoiler:SamusIsAGirl]]: [[spoiler:Black.]]
* SceneryPorn: [[spoiler:Kugar's virtual Heaven.]]
* SchroedingersGun: Whatever side Blue chooses, Green will sign up with his group's enemy. [[spoiler: It's possible that Aila manipulated Blue into picking whatever choice he took, however.]]
* SequelHook: [[spoiler: Indigo speaking with Aila's voice.]]
* TearsOfBlood: [[spoiler:Jackal Epsilon]]
* TechnicalPacifist: Orange is soft-spoken and prefers to take the path of least resistance when possible. He joins Kugar's regime because it's "the path of least resistance" when he has no other allies, but [[spoiler:he performs a HeelFaceTurn and joins the rebel side halfway through the game anyway.]]
* ThemeNaming: Everyone is named after a color. [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] for the most part, as at the beginning of the game everyone is participating in a DeadlyGame and assigned a code color. [[spoiler: "Gray" isn't that uncommon as a name, either.]]
** In addition, WordOfGod says that "Gold" and "Silver" are not the characters' actual names, but titles given to Rebel generals.
* TheRevolutionWillNotBeCivilized: The Rebels attempt to take down the Independents because the latter might be brainwashed by TheEmpire. [[spoiler: In their ending, White becomes PresidentEvil, though it's [[MindControl not his fault]].]]
* TitleDrop: [[spoiler:"A.I.L.A." stands for "Artificial Intelligence Lifeform Apex". It was a creature created for the purpose of harvesting psychic energy for power generation. However, the creatures eventually rebelled by creating massive outputs of energy, overheating the planet and causing the ice caps to melt. This caused most of the world to become flooded and destroyed, and marked the beginning of a new era, "Altered AILA".]]
* TurnedAgainstTheirMasters: [[spoiler: Aila. She and her sisters had [[AndIMustScream perfectly good reasons for rebellion]], but [[OmnicidalManiac she takes it a little far,]] [[SinsOfOurFathers long after anyone who offended against her is dead]].]]
* UnderwaterRuins
* UnusualEuphemism:
-->'''Black''': "Hmph, like I'd tell some two-shoe foogie like you!"
-->'''Yellow:''' "[[LampshadeHanging Two-shoe foogie?]]"
* UselessUsefulSpell: Most of your characters' abilities.
** '''Blue's Analyze''': Useful for figuring out the weaknesses of enemies that aren't immedietly obvious.\\
'''Green's First Aid''': Heals the entire party for a moderate amount; good for low-severity battles.\\
'''Indigo's Siphon Shot''': Deals a low amount of damage for a low amount of healing; useless.\\
'''Yellow's Sharpshot''': Takes too long for too little damage bonus. Not much good once you switch to rifle anyway.\\
'''Violet's Trick Shot''': Confuses enemies, but a confused enemy's actions will probably hurt you anyway, so not that good.\\
'''Red's Exploder''': DOA. Does hundreds of points less damage than any regular attack, while still damaging Red. However, it ''does'' auto-kill {{Mooks}}, so it has its uses.\\
'''Orange's Hijack''': Okay for mechanical bosses. Not good for much else.\\
'''White's Disablize''': Okay for organic bosses.\\
'''Black's Psychokinesis''': [[GameBreaker Cast Mindblast, win game.]] Sure, you have to level up a bunch first, but how hard can that be when giant mutants and robots are running around?
* VideoGameRemake: Alter Aila Genesis.
* VerbalTic: My friends, Kugar has an unique way of speaking...my friends.
* VirtualGhost: [[spoiler: Kugar]]

----
!!Tropes used in the remake, Alter A.I.L.A. Genesis:
* HundredPercentCompletion: There are fourteen jokers, twenty darkside bosses, a hundred-round street tournament, two {{Bonus Dungeon}}s with a total of eight {{Bonus Boss}}es between them, and a PerfectRunFinalBoss. This game will keep you busy for a while.
* AbsurdlyHighLevelCap: As in most [=JRPGs=], you'll end the main game around level 50, despite the level cap being 99. You'll need to do a bit of grinding to have any hope of completing the postgame, though.
* ActionGirl: Every single female character, pretty much.
* AfterTheEnd: As in the original, there are only two small, devastated islands surrounded by endless ocean.
* AntiVillain: [[spoiler:Kugar.]]
* ApocalypticLog: You find one in the [[spoiler:Orbital Prison]].
* ArbitraryGunPower
* ArmCannon: Galde, as in the original.
* ArtificialGill: The Aqualung item.
* AscendedExtra: Jeebes and Reeves, Tinder's assistants, have their roles in the story expanded.
* AuraVision: Celia is capable of this. [[spoiler:Actually a plot device, since it allows her to see whether or not someone is being {{Mind Control}}led, and who is doing the controlling.]]
* AwesomeButImpractical: Nova, [[spoiler:Aila]]'s Exceed attack as a bonus character. It requires the use of the game's only activation ability that does not refund the points spent to use it, and only deals about twice as much damage as their second-strongest attack. In the time it takes to set it up (and charge to get your EX back again), you could deal more damage with less impressive abilities.
* BattleAura: As in the original, whenever a character goes into a "limit" form, they gain this. Some of the designs are quite interesting; for example, [[spoiler:Silvra]]'s looks like [[PowerGivesYouWings the wings of a butterfly]], and [[spoiler:Hawk]]'s looks like crystal.
** In phase 5, Erin gets a blood red aura as she tells Scott that ''very bad things'' will happen to him if anything happens to Indy.
* BattleThemeMusic: One for regular boss battles, three for {{Climax Boss}}es and {{Bonus Boss}}es, one for the FinalBoss, and one for the penultimate BonusBoss.
* BodyHorror: Trauma.
* BraggingRightsReward: The Tear of All Ocean, one of the most powerful syncs in the game. However, to get it, you need to have beaten almost everything the game has to offer.
** Subverted; this sync may still be useful for the TrueFinalBoss. Played straight, however, with the [[GameBreaker devices]], which you get for beating it.
*** And those, in turn, are still potentially useful for LevelGrinding the bonus characters, which is necessary for the Reverse Mirror bosses.
* BreakingTheFourthWall: [[spoiler:Using your Personal Device to turn off entry indicators]] at certain point in the [[BonusDungeon Orbital Prison]] will show the path to an EasterEgg. It's fitting, [[MindScrew given the setting]].
* BigDamnHeroes: [[spoiler:Jeebes and Reeves at the end of phase 6.]]
** Also [[spoiler:Scott, Violet, Jake, and Dread at the beginning of phase 7]].
* BigFreakingGun: [[spoiler:Jeebes]]' ultimate weapon is [[LampshadeHanging literally called this]].
* BlatantItemPlacement: An ArtificialGill in the middle of an underwater megastructure that has been abandoned for years? Makes perfect sense...
* BloodlessCarnage: The main characters and villains that get horribly beat up in battle show no signs of injury afterwards. Blood is only ever shown in a few endgame cutscenes.
* BonusBoss: The Fallen Horde in phase 3, which is also a [[DualBoss quadruple boss]]. There are also "darkside" characters that can be fought after getting a certain item from a secret area. In the postgame, we have the bosses of the two {{Bonus Dungeon}}s, Below Stynx and the Orbital Prison, culminating in [[spoiler:the Controller]] and [[spoiler:Nightmare]], respectively. [[spoiler:There is also the TrueFinalBoss, [[TitleDrop Alter Aila]].]]
** The Metal Hydra is a miscellaneous example; it guards a special sync during the postgame.
** The final round of the street tournament consists of a battle with [[WolfpackBoss Tinder, Reeves, and Jeebes]].
** The Enforcers found in the Core Shaft are Bonus {{Mini Boss}}es. They drop Rare parts which can be sold for 10,000 creds a piece.
*** They appear later on in one of the areas as regular encounters.
** There's also Tinderbot Mk. III, which is fought at the end of a postgame sidequest.
** The Behemoth in Orbital Prison Level 2, you can either fight it at it's fullest strength or weaken it and defeat it then.
** Shadow Ultima in Orbital Prison Level 4, you best bring a lot of reviving items/Revive fields. Destroying one bit kills the one who dealt the killing blow, if he or she destroyed all 3 at once, it's a TotalPartyKill, you also have to destroy the bits to prevent Shadow Ultima from using its' strongest attack.
* BonusDungeon: Below Stynx and the Orbital Prison.
* BonusFeatureFailure: The bonus characters. You get them after completing the game. They start at ''level one''. There is no LeakedExperience in this game. Conclusion: ForcedLevelGrinding ahoy!
** It's a real pity too -- some of them are really cool to have as playable characters, and one of them has absolutely amazing stat growth.
* BoomHeadshot: [[spoiler:Hawk to Kugar at the end of phase 4.]]
* BottomlessMagazines: Sort-of-maybe averted with Gray's Buster Cannon, which he needs to load before he can fire it. [[note]]If you get his ultimate weapon, however, it plays this straight, since it bypasses the need to use Load Cartridge.[[/note]] Played completely straight everywhere else.
** This could be considered averted with [[spoiler:Reeves]]' RayGun, which is powered by psychic energy. He actually does need to charge first before he can fire it.
** Maybe the characters generate bullets using their PsychicPowers?
* CallingYourAttacks: Lampshaded heavily with Celia's "Psychostasis" technique.
-->'''Erin:''' ...You're not going to yell that out every time you use it, right?
-->'''Celia:''' Huh, why not?
-->'''Erin:''' Just... don't.
* {{Cap}}: Through use of battle events, Neok has managed to bump the normal damage cap for RPG Maker 2003 up by one numeric place (see the above link under UpToEleven to see how people know this). Also, EX is capped at 5 and never changes, and AP is the same but with a cap of 10.
* CantDropTheHero: Averted.
* CharacterDevelopment
* CharacterPortrait
* ClimaxBoss: One for each phase, excluding 2. There's even a special BattleThemeMusic for them!
** '''Phase 1:''' [[spoiler:Black]]
** '''Phase 3:''' [[spoiler:Jake and Dread]]
** '''Phase 4:''' [[spoiler:Lavitz, Scott, and Violet]]
** '''Phase 5:''' [[spoiler:Galde and Silvra]]
** '''Phase 6:''' [[spoiler:Leon]]
** '''Phase 7:''' [[spoiler:Leon again]]
** '''Phase 8:''' [[spoiler:Kugar]]
* TheChosenOne: Celia believes herself to be this.
* TheComputerIsACheatingBastard: Enemies always have maximum AP.
* CrutchCharacter: Scott. His high HP and multi-targeting capabilities are useful in the beginning, where those traits are unique to him. Once you gain access to other characters, however, he begins to fall behind -- his abilities deal pitiful damage compared to everyone else, and there are others with better stats and similar HP totals.
* CryForTheDevil: [[spoiler:Kugar. The poor guy used to be a kind person, but was then mind-controlled by Aila for ''years'', forcing him to commit atrocities and become the oppressive dictator he is by the beginning of the game. By the time you encounter him in Avalon, he's been driven completely insane by Aila's control, and has been under her influence for so long that freeing him is impossible.]]
* DefeatingTheUndefeatable: Subverted. [[spoiler:In Stynx, Black is capable of shrugging off all of the prisoners' attacks. Leon, Scott, and Violet try to fight him, but actually ''don't'' win -- they actually just stall him long enough for the rebels to attack Stynx.]]
* DefeatMeansFriendship: [[spoiler:While Scott and Violet were well on their way to doing a HeelFaceTurn when they're exposed as special ops, it still takes an obligatory boss fight to seal the deal.]]
* DemotedToExtra: Ultima Weapon goes from the Empire's best weapon to [[GiantSpaceFleaFromNowhere the last line of defense]].
** The Jackals go from a race of Imperial {{Super Soldier}}s who had a vital role in the plot to [[spoiler:a small cameo at the end of Phase 3.]]
* DespairEventHorizon / MyGodWhatHaveIDone: [[spoiler:Hawk after being freed from Aila's control.]]
** [[spoiler:Erin]] also crosses the event horizon after [[spoiler:learning that she's only alive because of Kugar's HeroicSacrifice. While she and Leon are dangling from a ledge in Avalon, she tells Leon "[[DrivenToSuicide Let go [of me].]] [[TearJerker If you let go, you can pull yourself up.]]"]]
* DevelopersRoom: Half of your reward for beating the TrueFinalBoss is getting to read Neok's final thoughts on the game. It also shows a few scrapped sprites and ideas that never made it into the game.
* DevelopmentHell: Having to juggle ten different characters, each with their own sideplots and CharacterDevelopment, was, understandably, too much for Neok. This forced him to cut a few character subplots short so he could avoid the massive writer's block. Fortunately, he says that he's learned from his mistake, and aims to be more careful with characters next time.
* DiscOneFinalDungeon: [[spoiler:Oberon Tower.]]
* DisappearsIntoLight: [[spoiler:Aila]]. Justified, since they're an EnergyBeing.
* DramaticShattering: [[spoiler:Scott's sunglasses when he makes a HeroicSacrifice to save Violet during the ending.]]
* DrivenToSuicide: [[spoiler:Lavitz.]]
** Also [[spoiler:Tinderbot Mk. III]].
* DuelBoss: [[spoiler:Mind-controlled Leon, twice]]. Becomes [[ThatOneBoss one of the hardest bosses in the game]] because the person on your side is Erin, who is slightly slower than the boss and deals pitiful damage.
** Also, the "darkside" {{Bonus Boss}}es that can be fought to obtain characters' {{Infinity Plus One Sword}}s.
* EarlyBirdCameo: [[spoiler:Silvra]] is first seen near the end of phase 1 in a cutscene. However, we don't learn her name or her role in the plot until the end of phase 5.
* EasterEgg: The SNEWS article in Oberon Tower.
** Also, through a strange [[MindScrew but fitting]] method, at a certain point in a BonusDungeon, you can find [[spoiler:the cell of the "little girl" talked about in the Orbital Prison's ApocalypticLog]]. And unlike most {{Easter Egg}}s, this one has major connections to and implications for the plot. No, we won't dare spoil it for you.
* EleventhHourRanger: [[spoiler:Hawk only joins your party permanently when you're literally on the FinalBoss' doorstep]]. Subverted in that they do join your party for short periods of time prior to when they join permanently.
* EleventhHourSuperpower: Femaelstrom. However, you can also get it permanently from a joker during the postgame.
* EldritchAbomination: Nightmare.
** Possibly the [[spoiler:Orbital Prison]] itself, judging from the map graphic.
* EnergyBeing: Variants, including [[spoiler:Aila]], of course. They are made up of pure psychokinetic energy, which is what allows them to be so powerful. This is a big deal; humans are only able to use very small amounts of psychokinesis due to it being poisonous to them.
* EstablishingCharacterMoment: Erin gets ''two'', due to [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold the nature]] [[UpToEleven of her personality]] -- the first is [[spoiler:her scaring off Dread, one of the most dangerous figures in Stynx, with nothing but a warning shot and a DeathGlare, then congratulating Leon for standing up to Dread and saying that she's not a cold, heartless monster like everyone says]]. Her second establishing moment happens in her next appearance, where [[spoiler:she [[CurbStompBattle curb stomps]] three exceptionally powerful fighters, then proceeds to slaughter them without batting an eye while they beg for mercy...after which she hugs Leon and profusely apologizes for lying to him before walking off]].
* FakeBalance: The different skill types -- attacks, techs, and spells. Attacks are influenced 100% by your ATK stat, techs are 75% ATK and 25% MND. (Spells are 50/50) While this looks balanced on paper, in reality, it means that attacks are much stronger than techs and spells overall, since ATK is easier to increase than MND via syncs and the like. Techs and spells also require you to raise two different stats to gain the same effect, which can be crippling during the endgame, where everything is dependent upon buffs and debuffs. With attacks, only ATK Boost is necessary, but with everything else, both ATK ''and'' MND Boost are necessary to achieve the same effect.
* FightWoosh
* FinalBossPreview: Quite literally. At the end of the [[spoiler:Underwater Facility]], you fight a short battle against [[spoiler:[[BigBad Aila]]]].
* FireIceLightning: Force and [[PsychicPowers Psych]] too.
* FlunkyBoss: Multiple. Most notable are [[ThatOneBoss Ultima Weapon]] and the FinalBoss. Interestingly, both use them to charge ThatOneAttack rather than act as random monsters.
* {{Foil}}: [[spoiler:Kugar]] to [[spoiler:Tinder]].
* ForcedLevelGrinding: Due to the lack of LeakedExperience. Mercifully, level doesn't impact much other than HP, but you will still need to do a fair bit of grinding if you want to do the postgame content. Especially annoying because each and every character has a [[DuelBoss Duel]] BonusBoss that you'll have to raise their level for.
%% * FragileSpeedster / GlassCannon: Violet.
* FriendlyFireproof
* FunWithAcronyms: S.P.E.A.R., G.U.A.R.D.I.A.N., and C.R.I.S.I.S. We never actually learn what they stand for.
** WordOfGod says that "C.R.I.S.I.S." stands for "Covert Reactant Intelligence Systematic Integral Special Force". He doesn't have any secret definitions of for the other two, though.
* GameBreaker: Zero system. More damaged dealt depending on reduced HP. Certain Modes can give you Exceed at a decent rate for a small percentage of HP per turn. Combine the 2 and you have a nigh unstoppable force.
** You can actually buy Zero Systems from Tinder if you can find him.
* GameBreakingBug: Due to the fact that the game is made in the (incredibly buggy) default battle system, the Guard stat does ''absolutely nothing''.
* GiantSpaceFleaFromNowhere: Some bosses are just really random and only seem to be there because every dungeon has to have a boss. The greatest example of this is definitely Ultima Weapon, though. It's ThatOneBoss, comes after two other legitimate {{Climax Boss}}es, and is never explained or mentioned again.
* GladiatorSubquest: The Arena, natch.
* GlobalCurrency: Justified, since the entire game (and known world) only spans two tiny islands that are right next to each other, and all of that space is theoretically under the control of a OneWorldOrder.
* GoodWingsEvilWings: Played with. [[spoiler:[[AntiVillain Kugar]]]] has regular white angel wings (they can also sprout six larger wings that look more like they're made of energy).
** PowerGivesYouWings: [[spoiler:Silvra]]'s BattleAura looks like a pair of butterfly wings.
* GenderEqualEnsemble: ''Almost'' manages this, but is slightly slanted in favor of guys. The playable character balance is 6 male/4 female, and the list of major [=NPCs=] would be perfectly balanced if not for Tinder's crew (3 guys).
* GoryDiscretionShot: [[spoiler:Scott's death. Enforcers advance on him, then the screen goes black and the sounds of gunshots are heard, then the sound of a body slumping to the ground.]]
** Also [[spoiler:Kugar's "death" at the end of phase 4]]. Though the screen doesn't turn completely black, the characters are reduced to silhouettes.
* GuideDangIt: Getting through the Underwater Facility. Especially the teleporter mazes.
** Also, finding some of the shards. The ones in Oberon Tower requires you to [[spoiler:press the four switches in the order south, north, east, west, south ([[FunWithAcronyms SNEWS]])]]. You are given no hint as to how to do this.
* HeelFaceTurn: [[spoiler:Jake]] and [[spoiler:Dread]].
** Also, [[spoiler:Scott and Violet almost immediately after being outed as {{The Mole}}s.]]
* TheHero: It's hard to label any one character as this, as it's an ensemble piece, but Erin quite possibly qualifies. She tends to be the character the plot revolves around the most, and the one who relates to many of the plot elements the most. She certainly has the personality, as well.
* HeroicBSOD: [[spoiler:Celia, once she sees Aila in phase 6. [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming Indy manages to cheer her up again in phase 7.]]]]
* HeroicSacrifice: [[spoiler:Hawk, Dread, and Scott during the ending.]]
** Also [[spoiler:Kugar, during the game's backstory, who gave up his life to resurrect Erin after she was shot by Tinder]].
* HumanAliens: [[spoiler:Gray, Leon, and Celia.]]
* InexplicableTreasureChests: Lampshaded by Scott in the game's tutorial section.
* InfinityPlusOneSword: Each character has one, obtainable by defeating their [[BonusBoss darkside]].
** The Tear of All Ocean is a more general example. Incredible stat boosts across the board, and has the properties of every element, meaning that if an enemy has an elemental weakness, it ''will'' hit it, no matter what.
* InformedEquipment: Justified; equipment for the "wear" slot is usually more akin to a small accessory, so not seeing any difference on the character's model makes sense. And if it's not an accessory, it's probably a jacket, but given how many characters wear {{Badass Longcoat}}s the difference wouldn't be very noticeable.
* ItemCaddy: [[spoiler:Tinderbot]]. It literally has ''zero'' offensive abilities except for its LimitBreak.
* JackOfAllStats: Leon. Also Scott and Jake, to a lesser extent.
* JustifiedTutorial
* KilledOffForReal: [[spoiler:Scott, Dread, and Hawk during the ending.]] Also [[spoiler:[[AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence Kugar]]]], possibly.
* LateToTheTragedy: [[spoiler:In [[BonusDungeon the Orbital Prison]]. Something ''really'' awful happened there, but your only clues are a few notes in the form of an ApocalypticLog and someone who has gone insane and mutated into a BodyHorror.]]
* LawOfInverseRecoil: Magnums have incredible recoil; firing them one-handed is a good way to end up with broken wrists. However, Hawk manages to fire one one-handed with no problem at all during a cutscene.
* LeaningOnTheFourthWall: Scott loves this trope.
* LethalJokeCharacter / GlassCannon: Indy; see the above note on GameBreaker.
* LetsSplitUpGang: [[spoiler:Avalon.]]
* LighterAndSofter: The game is still pretty dark, but is a bit lighter than the original overall.
* LightningBruiser: [[spoiler:Lavitz]], as a bonus character. Has even higher speed than Violet, and pretty high ATK and MND as well.
** For another bonus character example, [[spoiler:Aila]]. Has ''the'' highest stat growth in the game, in ''every stat'', period. Too bad they're a bonus character; see BonusFeatureFailure, above.
* LimitBreak: Exceed abilities.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: There are ten playable characters total. Only three can be in your party at any one time. The game has no LeakedExperience. Have fun LevelGrinding. [[spoiler:If you beat the game, you can unlock ten ''additional'' bonus characters, who all start at ''level one''. ForcedLevelGrinding indeed.]]
** [[WordOfGod Word of Neok]] says that he realized his error in including so many playable characters, and intends to make a smaller cast for the sequel.
* LostInTransmission: In a secret area of the Dam Facility, where there is a computer that contains a log of the [[spoiler:Underwater Facility]], but is missing pieces and terminates itself halfway through. Also overlaps with {{Foreshadowing}}, naturally.
* LoveTriangle: [[spoiler:Between Scott, Violet, and Lavitz.]]
* MacGuffinGirl: Celia, somewhat. She takes it completely in stride, however.
* TheManBehindTheMan: [[spoiler:Aila.]]
* MarathonBoss: [[spoiler:Kugar.]]
* TheMedic: Erin and [[spoiler:Reeves]].
* TheMentor: Scott to Leon during the first two phases of the game.
* MetalSlime: Significant Bits in No Man's Land 3. They give out a whopping 50,000 exp; and can drop Rare Parts but are unkillable without static-damage syncs and flee when their EX is maxed out.
** Them running away can be minimalized by using EX or Speed Crush Fields, even using Breakdown (Reduces EX Gain per round/ability) can make it easier to kill them.
** Melons in the Orbital Prison core which have a countdown timer can drop [[RareCandy Enhancers]]
%% * MightyGlacier: Dread, Galde, and [[spoiler:Tinderbot II]].
* MindControlEyes: Subverted. When [[spoiler:Aila]] mind-controls people, their pupils disappear and their eyes turn turquoise, but only for a second.
* MindScrew: [[spoiler:The core of the orbital prison.]]
* MirrorBoss: The "darkside" {{Bonus Boss}}es. There are twenty, one for each character, and every one is a DuelBoss.
* MoneySpider: Justified or averted for the most part. In the cases where it doesn't make sense that an enemy should be carrying money, they'll probably drop VendorTrash instead. Why zombies or "???"-type enemies would be carrying money is anyone's guess, though.
* MusicalSpoiler: Since there's a special BattleThemeMusic for bosses fought at the end of each phase, it's easy to tell when the phase is about to end.
* MyNameIsQuestionMarks: Sort of. There's a certain enemy type classified as "???". Yes, really. What makes this egregious is that there is also an "Enigma" enemy type, which is for enemies with abnormal elemental affinities (usually bosses).
** The trope itself does apply to unknown characters, however. Characters that have not introduced themselves have a "???" under their CharacterPortrait.
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: "Nightmare", one of the {{Bonus Boss}}es. It's an apt name, considering the general creepiness of the area in which you fight it.
* NeckLift: Dread does this to Jake in one cutscene.
* NeverFoundTheBody: Played with. [[spoiler:Kugar falls off a building when Hawk shoots him, and, of course, turns out to be NotQuiteDead later on. However, he falls off said building due to ''[[NoOneCouldSurviveThat taking a magnum shot at point blank range]]''.]]
* NewGamePlus
* NoCureForEvil: Averted with some human {{Mook}}s, who ''can'' use Stim Fields. Erin's [[BonusBoss darkside]] can also use First Aid, naturally. A few {{Flunky Boss}}es can use Revive Fields to restore their flunkies, too. Played straight with everyone else.
* NoHoldsBarredBeatdown: [[spoiler:Dread]] delivers one to [[spoiler:Hawk]] late in the game.
* NominalImportance: Played so very, very straight. Characters without names aren't even drawn with faces, and the lack of sympathy for their deaths comes close to WhatMeasureIsAMook at times, especailly given how often your characters fight each other. Odds are very good that if someone's got a name and picture, then they will join your party during the game, or in the post-game.
* NonElemental: The FinalBoss and ultimate BonusBoss have take equal damage from everything -- they have no weaknesses or resistances.
* OneSizeFitsAll: Mostly played straight, although some equipment can only be worn by one gender.
* OneStatToRuleThemAll: As with all ATB-based battle systems, Speed. Doubling it essentially doubles all of your other stats at the same time, since you can act twice as often. Fortunately, Neok is GenreSavvy in this regard -- Speed can only be increased through equipment, and only in small amounts. SPD Boosters also cost more than other boost items.
* OneWingedAngel: Ultima Weapon, played for laughs. After you defeat it once, it shoots off a PillarOfLight and gains a BattleAura. After you defeat it again, it tries to do the same thing, but [[TransformationIsAFreeAction a tinderbot shows up and]] [[SubvertedTrope blasts it with a laser]], defeating it before it can transform.
** Happens quite literally in the case of [[spoiler:Kugar]], who transforms before the fight begins.
* OpeningTheSandbox: Happens ''after'' the main game is completed, interestingly.
* OrphanedSeries: The cancellation of ''Variant'' has effectively turned this continuity into this.
* OurAngelsAreDifferent: [[spoiler:Kugar.]]
* PaletteSwap [[spoiler: [[BonusBoss Shadow Ultima]]]]
* PeoplePuppets / MindControl: [[spoiler:As in the original, Aila is capable of both.]]
* PillarOfLight: Whenever someone is endowed with the CRIT Boost status.
* PopQuiz: G-Bot hosts one of these if you find it during the postgame. It appears in certain areas randomly, and asks a whopping 100 questions.
* PowerAtAPrice: The Demon King Cradle, sort of. It gives an incredible boost to Attack -- even moreso than the [[InfinityPlusOneSword Tear Of All Ocean]] -- but reduces [[OneStatToRuleThemAll Speed]]. [[note]]In previous versions of the game, the tradeoff was more fitting -- [[GlassCannon it reduced Guard instead of Speed]][[/note]]. Unfortunately, due to the GameBreakingBug mentioned above, this made it unbalanced, so the creator changed the tradeoff to Speed instead.]]
* PreAsskickingOneLiner: Every playable character delivers one right before the final battle.
* PsychicPowers
* PsychoSerum: [[spoiler:Jackal Serum in high doses, which is also justified. It's designed to heighten both mental and physical capabilities, but overdose causes neurological deterioration and reversion to primal instincts. However, the heightened strength and endurance are retained, meaning you now have someone who's effectively a superpowerful zombie on your hands.]]
* RainbowSpeak: Important phrases are highlighted in azure blue. Also, whenever characters' names are mentioned, they're in the colour they were in the original Alter A.I.L.A. [[color:red:Lavitz]], [[color:gold:Jeebes]], [[color:purple:Reeves]], and [[color:green:Tinder]] get name colours as well.
* RareCandy: Enhancers. Interestingly, they are infinite in amount; they can be obtained from red core chests and even bought from stores. To counteract this, however, they only raise stats by pitiful amounts. And [[TheDevTeamThinksOfEverything there are none that raise]] [[OneStatToRuleThemAll Speed]].
* RebelLeader: Hawk.
* RedemptionDemotion / OverratedAndUnderleveled: [[spoiler:The bonus characters. Many of them can be fought as bosses during the main game, but as playable characters, not only are most of their abilities horrendously gimmicky, they also fit the "underleveled" part quite literally -- they start at level one!]]
* [[spoiler:TheRevolutionWillNotBeCivilized]]: [[spoiler:Only because [[BigBad Aila]] is calling the shots, however.]]
* RewardFromNowhere: You just defeated a BonusBoss? Congratulations, an InfinityPlusOneSword has just appeared out of nowhere!
** Possibly justified in the case of the characters' unique ultimate weapons, since their darksides may have been carrying them. The Tear of All Ocean, on the other hand...
* RidiculouslyHumanRobots: Tinderbot Mk. III and G-Bot.
* SignificantAnagram: The names of opponents in the bi-yearly tournament are anagrams of their enemy type. ("Trobo" = "robot", for example)
* TheSmartGuy: Jake turns this UpToEleven.
* SequelHook: [[spoiler:The second EasterEgg mentioned above. Neok says it's {{Foreshadowing}} for a plot point in ''Variant'', and it's basically there to prove he's plotted out the story that far.]]
* SoLongAndThanksForAllTheGear: Averted. You can un-equip every playable character at any time, even ones that aren't currently in the party.
* SquishyWizard: Celia, Indy, Silvra, and [[spoiler:Kugar]] as a bonus character. Hawk fits the "weak" part [[StoneWall but not]] the "frail" part.
* StatusBuff: Boosters. However, they're so [[GameBreaker game-breaking]] that Neok is considering removing them entirely for the sequel!
* StatusBuffDispel: De-Material.
* TheStinger: [[spoiler:Tinder stares at Gray's ship as it takes off, extinguishes his cigarette, then walks off into the distance.]]
* StoneWall: Gray, Hawk, and [[spoiler:Tinder]].
** The Heart of Mysia and Al Di La syncs turn whoever equips them into an extreme version of this. They increase Guard and Speed by incredible amounts, but reduce the characters' damage to 1. (And before you try giving them to Erin, be aware that they affect her healing skills as well) They are useful for [[ItemCaddy Item Caddies]], though, as damage from items is not affected.
* SuperDrowningSkills: Averted. Characters can only swim on the surface until the [[ArtificialGill Aqualung]] is obtained, however.
* SuperMovePortraitAttack
* SupportingProtagonist: As in the original, Leon starts off dangerously close to this, and becomes more and more of one as time goes on.
* TakeYourTime
* ThisIsReality: Erin to Celia early in phase 4.
-->'''Erin:''' This is a dangerous mission, [[BlatantLies not a happy-go-lucky romp-around where a]] [[RagtagBunchOfMisfits ragtag bunch of adventurers]] [[BlatantLies save the world from an evil empire]].
* ThreeAmigos: [[spoiler:Scott, Violet, and Lavitz in their backstory.]]
* TooAwesomeToUse: CRIT Boosters.
* TookALevelInBadass: Indy, who has gone from being the JokeCharacter of the original to a GameBreaker in this one. Sadly, inverted with Erin, who is now pathetic offensively.
* {{Trailers}}: The official trailer can be found [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXk1mSaQ1Lw&index=3&list=PLSQLREUw9vwmE8HYXkE0uYgR6ur64hjIQ here.]]
* TransformationIsAFreeAction: Subverted with Ultima Weapon; see OneWingedAngel, above.
* UpToEleven:
-->'''Neok:''' [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYMJNui4V6I ARPerson successfully breaks the battle system.]]
** ReadingsAreOffTheScale: Metagame example; the last hit of Violet's Shooting Star in that video actually ''[[{{Cap}} dealt more damage than the game could register]]'' (over ''one million'' points of damage according to WordOfGod)
* UselessUsefulSpell: Averted; nothing is immune to status effects, even bosses. Inflicting crushes on your opponent is usually a good way to cripple them.
* VendorTrash: Robot parts. Lampshaded in an early conversation where Leon asks why they can't make their own weapons with the parts. Scott just says, "You'd think that, but no."
* TheVeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon: [[spoiler:Avalon.]]
* VideoGameRemake
* VideoGameSetPiece: During the battles with [[spoiler:Limit Silvra]] and [[spoiler:Limit Lavitz]], the bosses will drain 1 EX and 2 AP from your entire party, respectively, every turn they get.
* ViolationOfCommonSense: Trying to go back after encountering [[spoiler:[[BigBad Aila]]]] for the first time, right after a certain character has told you to not go back. If you do, [[WhatTheHellPlayer they'll yell at you]].
-->[[spoiler:'''Erin]]:''' What part of '''"leave this place immediately"''' don't you understand? We're as good as '''dead''' if we go back!
* WhamEpisode: [[spoiler:The ending of phase 4.]]
* WhamLine:
-->'''[[spoiler:Aila (to Celia)]]:''' You are a hazard to my existence.
-->'''*screen goes black*'''
-->'''[[spoiler:Aila]]: [[color:red:Die.]]'''
* WhatCouldHaveBeen: The game was originally planned to have MultipleEndings. The final battle of the bad ending would have been [[spoiler:[[TearJerker Leon vs. Erin]]]].
* WhatMeasureIsANonHuman: Generally averted; the protagonists don't mind mowing down {{mook}}s, regardless of if they're humans, aliens, mutants, robots, or androids.
* WithAFriendAndAStranger: Scott, Violet, and Leon in the first three phases. Turned around from its usual form; the protagonist is the stranger.
* WolfpackBoss / DualBoss: Most of them, if they aren't {{Flunky Boss}}es.
** [[BonusBoss The Gatekeepers]] are an interesting version of this. If one dies, it is revived by the other instantaneously. You must kill both of them at the same time to win.
* WorldHalfFull
* YouCanTurnBack
* YouShallNotPass: [[spoiler:Jake, Dread, Scott, and Violet hold off the rebel army at the end of phase 5 so Erin, Leon, Celia, and Indy can escape. Miraculously, they survive, and manage to return for a BigDamnHeroes moment in phase 7.]]
* ZombieApocalypse: This happened in Pallas six years before the game started. It was caused by [[spoiler:a lab accident that flooded the city with a dangerous experimental PsychoSerum.]]
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