[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/83950453-b0a9-4c88-90b3-ef2f3392bad7_zpsc57d100c_1799.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:[[LetsPlay/TheDarkId "Strap in, kids. Itís going to get fucking weird..."]]]]

->''Speak not [[EldritchAbomination the Watchers.]]''\\
''Draw not the Watchers.''\\
''Write not the Watchers.''\\
''Sculpt not the Watchers.''\\
''Sing not the Watchers.''\\
''[[SpeakOfTheDevil Call not the Watchers' name.]]''


''Drakengard'' is the first game in Cavia's ''Franchise/{{Drakengard}}'' series released in 2003, notable for its combination of a multilayered, surreal plot and excellent atmosphere with rather weak, repetitive gameplay. The gameplay switches between HackAndSlash and [[SimulationGame Flight Sim]], so one could think of it as a mixture of ''VideoGame/DynastyWarriors'' and a sandbox version of ''VideoGame/PanzerDragoon''. It takes place in a [[HeroicFantasy Heroic]]/LowFantasy medieval setting, and it follows AntiHero [[MeaningfulName Caim]] on a mission to destroy [[TheEmpire an evil empire]] [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin (aptly named "the Empire")]] while also protecting his sister Furiae. Furiae is called "the Goddess" because she is [[CosmicKeystone part of four seals that protect the world from an unknown danger]] -- she is a living seal, and her death would [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt herald chaos in the world.]] Caim is joined initially on his quest by Inuart, [[TwoGuysAndAGirl his best friend and Furiae's betrothed]] before she became the Goddess, and [[OptionalPartyMember four other characters,]] the circumstances of each being varied and [[DysfunctionJunction always tragic.]]

One of the major concepts in ''Drakengard'' is that of a [[SummonMagic pact]], or of two beings of different races binding their souls into one. Caim is mortally wounded in the first stage as he runs towards Furiae's castle in the midst of a battle, and discovers a chained and wounded dragon in the courtyard. He proposes that in order to save them both, the two should form a pact. In forging the pact, Caim can control the dragon during flight and has access to the dragon's vast strength, but he gives up his voice (he's capable of speaking telepathically with the dragon). However, if either Caim or the dragon dies, they both die, and it seems the pain one feels is transferred to the other as well. All of the other members of Caim's party have a pact, and a certain price they have paid for it:
* Leonard the forester has a pact with a fairy. With it, he has access to the fairy's powerful magic. He gave up his sight. He was a pedophile in the original Japanese version, but international releases [[{{Bowdlerize}} edited this part of his character out completely (sloppily)]].
* Arioch the elf has a pact with Undine and Salamander, the water and fire spirits, respectively. She can control water and fire to a certain degree (she can be seen walking on water in one cutscene, or being undamaged by a house burning down in another) and can summon the spirits to her aid. She gave up her fertility. She is [[AxCrazy quite insane]]; she's developed a certain fondness for [[ImAHumanitarian the other, other]] [[EatsBabies white meat]] as a consequence.
* Seere the young boy has a pact with Golem, a stone giant. Golem provides the ultimate protection for the boy's life and can destroy TheLegionsOfHell with ease. Seere gave up his "time", meaning that [[WhoWantsToLiveForever he will never age beyond his six year old body.]] [[UnfortunateImplications He bonds with Leonard pretty quickly.]]
* Verdelet the hierarch also made a pact with a dragon, but that was long before the events of the game and the dragon has since been [[HandWave petrified]]. He would normally have gained the allegiance of the dragon as Caim has from his pact, but he can't call upon his pact-partner. As a consequence, Verdelet can understand the telepathy that goes between pact-partners, but he gave up [[CursedWithAwesome his hair.]]

The game starts off simply enough, with Caim and any party members he's managed to find running from one location to the next, trying to prevent the Empire from destroying one of the three land-based seals. Each seal that is destroyed makes the burden on the Goddess that much more unbearable. As Caim journeys on, he learns about the [[PathOfInspiration Cult of the Watchers]] which has taken hold over the Empire and their evil machinations for the Goddess. The game gets progressively [[WhatDoYouMeanItsNotSymbolic weirder]] and [[TrippyFinaleSyndrome more surreal]] as events go on, and the interactions between characters [[CharacterDevelopment gradually become more nuanced and complex]] from the straight-up swords and sorcery formula. By its end, ''Drakengard'' has gone beyond the [[WillingSuspensionOfDisbelief standard unspoken agreement between author and audience]] and thrown us into [[NightmareFuel the stuff of nightmares]]. Watching how the characters react to this and observing their [[TheWorldIsAlwaysDoomed hopeless and doomed plight]] is strangely interesting; morbid curiosity drives one to finish the game's [[MultipleEndings five endings]]. Much like [[Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion a certain famous anime]] and [[Manga/{{Berserk}} manga]], ''Drakengard'' does not shy away from the surreal, the macabre, and the [[DownerEnding downright depressing.]]

One of the most striking things about the game is how so many [[VideogameTropes Videogame Tropes]] are turned completely on their head. Your main cast is less than virtuous. [[TheHero Caim]] is a [[SociopathicHero mute bloodthirsty nutcase]], [[TheLancer Inuart]] goes [[HeroicBSOD completely nuts]] and [[FaceHeelTurn evil]], [[TheChick Furiae]] isn't entirely [[BrotherSisterIncest innocent]], and the list just goes on and on. Really, there's few games like it out there.

A [[VideoGame/{{Drakengard3}} third game]] was released to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the game.

----
!!This videogame provides examples of (Warning: '''major spoilers'''):

* AlienSky: Happens several times in both games. When the seals that keep the world from ending are broken, the sky becomes a [[RedSkyTakeWarning sickening red]] (in ''Drakengard 2'', the blue sky literally ''shatters''). In the "bonus" ending of ''Drakengard'', Caim and his dragon emerge in an alien dimension (actually [[spoiler:modern-day Tokyo]]) where everything is DeliberatelyMonochrome.
* AllThereInTheManual: Among other things, it's revealed that Leonard was absent from the massacre that killed his companions because [[spoiler:he was off in the woods having sex with a young boy.]] [[{{Squick}} What the hell, Cavia?!]]
* AlternateHistory: Surprisingly enough, the recent Drakengard timeline from the 10th anniversary box reveals that the world of Drakengard shared our world's history up until 856 A.D., when an event named the 'Great Apocalypse' happened. After the events of Drakengard 2 in A.D. 1117, the world starts going down on a path similar to our world's history again, though with certain changes such as 'Black Friday' being known as 'Black Thursday', the black death plague being caused by the red eye sickness instead, amongst others.
* AlwaysChaoticEvil: How Caim views the people of the Empire. [[spoiler:As far as we can tell, this is true as long as the Cult of the Watchers is in charge. Once they're deposed in Ending A and the sequel rolls around, though...]]
* AndYourRewardIsClothes: Among the sequel's NewGamePlus bonuses are accessories that change the appearance of Urick, Nowe, and Eris.
* [[ReligiousAndMythologicalThemeNaming Angel Theme Naming]]: All named dragons introduced so far all have some sort of angelic name such as Angelus, [[SdrawkcabName Legna]], [[ArchangelMichael Mikhail]] and [[ArchangelGabriel Gabriel]].
* AntiHero: Caim is a... not very pleasant fellow with a ''magnificently'' enthusiastic approach to violence who just so happens to be fighting people and/or things which are even ''worse.''
* AnyoneCanDie: And they do. Especially the children.
* ApocalypseHow: In some of the most horrifying ways ever committed to the medium.
** In an AlternateContinuity example: [[spoiler:Caim and Angelus are responsible for devastating the world of ''[=NieR=]''.]]
* ArmorIsUseless: The protagonist and company rarely wear more than a little shoulder armor. The hordes of tin can knights might as well be in jammies for all the good their armor does.
* AttackOfTheFiftyFootWhatever: [[spoiler:When Verdelet attempts to exorcise the Watchers from Manah, they turn her into a gigantic FinalBoss. The big momma Grotesquerie counts as well.]]
* BadAss: [[TheHero Caim]] and [[TheDragon Angelus]], definitely. You can even stretch if you want, to [[PlayingWithFire Ari]][[AnIcePerson och]] and [[ThePaladin Leo]][[KnightInSourArmor nard]].
* BackToBackBadasses: [[GameplayAndStorySegregation Only in cutscenes, though.]]
* BadassBoast: Angelus gives a good one near the end of game one.
--> '''Angelus:''' Nothing is stronger than we are now. Let nothing that values life stand before us!
--> '''Angelus:''' You fight well. But your strength is no match for my dragonfire!
* BalanceBetweenGoodAndEvil: Embodied in two characters, [[spoiler:Manah and Seere. Also Caim and the Grotesquerie Queen.]]
* BarbieDollAnatomy: The Grotesqueries are missing any sort of identifying genitalia, making them androgynous.
* BattleCouple: [[spoiler: Caim and Angelus are upgraded to this.]]
* BeautyEqualsGoodness: Used and averted. While [[spoiler:Furiae becoming a world-destroying terror]] is most definitely an example, Arioch is both attractive and a crazy baby-eater, and [[spoiler:the mother of the Grotesqueries]] has a chiseled marble loveliness marred only by [[spoiler:the whole giving-birth-to-the-end-of-the-universe thing]].
* {{BFS}}: Part of GameplayAndStorySegregation, and also played straight with Hymir's Finger.
** Hymir's Finger cannot be anything but a ShoutOut to the [[{{Manga/Berserk}} Dragonslayer]].
** Hymir's Finger appears in the sequel with a new name and appearance: Broken Iron. The similarities are still blatantly obvious, and even the backstory states that it ''used'' to be the largest sword in the world. That was essentially the title of Hymir's Finger.
** A new sword introduced in the sequel is Pitch Black, which resembles a [[{{meaningful name}} black]] flamberge.
* BittersweetEnding: For the first game, Ending 1 and Ending 3. Ending 4 is also this with a bit of FridgeLogic: [[spoiler:"Europe" is frozen in time and the protagonists have all suffered AFateWorseThanDeath, but the world as a whole is safe from the Grotesqueries.]] As for Ending 5, [[spoiler:Caim and Angelus's world is safe (maybe), but not only did they die immediately after their victory in an exceedingly humiliating and contrived fashion, they also completely ruined another world]]. Also, the first two endings in the second game.
* BlackAndGrayMorality: Good '''Lord'''.
* BolivianArmyEnding + ChargeIntoCombatCut: Both endings to Chapter 9 in the first game. One of which has you fight what is probably the hardest (actual) boss in the game (one of your friends mutated into an EldritchAbomination) and then realizing that the Seeds are giving birth to hundreds of ''copies'' of said boss. [[OhCrap Uh-oh]]. The other ending begins after [[spoiler:killing Angelus, with Caim charging to fight an entire horde of dragons.]]
** As well as Ending 2 in the sequel, where [[spoiler:Nowe and Eris are shown leading an army of Holy Dragons to fight against the gods descending upon the world. [[ChargeIntoCombatCut The end.]]]]
* BondCreatures: In the setting, a person can form a bond with a creature (or in one case, a pack of creatures) in exchange for the person sacrificing something of themselves.
** Caim and his dragon, Angelus.
** Leonard and his fairy.
** Seere and his Golem.
** Verdelet and his petrified dragon.
* {{Bowdlerise}}: The BrotherSisterIncest was slightly more overt in the original Japanese. Also, Leonard was a pedophile (or had urges towards pedophilia) in the original that were ''completely removed'' for the American release. The incest was crucial to the plot, but one could argue [[{{Woolseyism}} the paedophilia was not]]. Also, Angelus's racism was significantly toned down from "blind, genocidal hatred" to the more subdued "I'm a Dragon, your argument is invalid" that is common to most Dragons in media.
* [[ABoyAndHisX A Boy And His Dragon]]
* BrotherSisterIncest: Furiae wants Caim. Sexually. References to such were mostly removed, but some hints remain sprinkled across a few scenes.
* CameBackWrong: If Inuart succeeds in resurrecting [[spoiler:the goddess Furiae]], it goes... ''[[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt poorly]].''
* CharacterDevelopment: It's still character development if your protagonist becomes slowly more evil over time, right?
** There is also the changing relationship between Caim and Angelus. They start out hating each other's guts and only cooperating for the sake of survival. Canonically, they grow to respect each other and by the end actually become friends, [[spoiler:which is why the canon ending is such a TearJerker]]. In the sequel, [[spoiler:Caim is willing to break the world in order to free Angelus from her torment.]]
* CharacterLevel: The main reason to thrash thousands of optional soldiers.
* ChasingYourTail: The dragon versus dragon aerial fight with Inuart later in the original game. The fight with Angelus in the second game also counts.
* ChildSoldiers: A small garrison of these appears in the chapter "Leonard's Regret".
* TheChosenOne: Nowe, which earns him some disrespect among the Knights. Nowe himself [[IJustWantToBeNormal just wants to be normal]].
* CollisionDamage: Considering you'll be fighting enemies by the hundreds, this is one thing you ''don't'' have to worry about. (Except for the occasional ramming attack.) A few of Caim's spells can damage adjacent/nearby enemies on contact, and the "shield" power in the sequel enables Legna to ram through enemies while it's in effect.
* ColorCodedForYourConvenience: Note that red Mooks are immune to magic (including dragonfire) and will merely reflect spells back at you.
* ColossusClimb: See that scaffolding on the Imperial war cyclopses? Better get ready to... [[SubvertedTrope take them out from the sky with your dragon instead.]]
* ConceptsAreCheap: In the second game, Nowe and Manah bang on about "peace and equality" while cutting a bloody swathe through hundreds of people in an effort to break the seals ''that keep the world from ending.''
* ContrastingSequelMainCharacter: One of the most major reasons for the BrokenBase regarding the second game was due to the shift from the cruel Caim to the standard fare IdiotHero Nowe.
* ConvenientlyAnOrphan: [[DeconstructedTrope Deconstructed]] with vengeance. The brutal deaths of [[spoiler:Caim's parents]] act as the driving force behind his bloodthirsty behavior.
* ConvenientQuesting: For the main story, at least. The side quests needed for Ending 4 in the first game instead take the heroes well out of the way of where they're supposed to go. Also, Chapter 10 is called "Astray" for a reason.
* CoolButInefficient: Hymir's Finger is huge and damaging but slow. It's brutally damaging, but until it reaches its highest level, it's too slow for its damage output to be meaningful. At [[GameBreaker level 4, though...]]
* CopyAndPasteEnvironments: Nothing but bleak landscape for miles in some, even most cases. The second game does a better job with the environments.
** Not to mention the Ocean Fortress has the exact same floorplan as the Sky Fortress, the only real difference being whether you'll have to deal with anti-magic enemies.
* CosmicKeystone: The seals, including Furiae, a living seal. They keep two extraordinarily important things under wraps.
* CounterAttack: Most enemies have this ability; strike them repeatedly, and they'll eventually flash and become impervious to frontal strikes as they prepare to strike back.
** In the sequel, when defending against attack, pressing the Attack button with precise timing will throw the attacker off guard and allow you a quick combo.
* CrapsackWorld: Uh... if the summary at the top of the page didn't hammer this into your head, consider this: in ''Drakengard 2'', Legna reveals [[spoiler:that the horrific red-sky hellscape which overtakes the normal world when the seals break is the ''default'' state of things]].
* CreepyMonotone: As practiced by TheEvilArmy, who mutter inane semi-ominous gibberish a few times throughout the game.
* CriticalExistenceFailure: For Caim and the world itself if the seals go bust.
* CuttingOffTheBranches: Of the five endings in the first game, only the first one is treated as canon by the sequel.
** The fifth ending leads into ''VideoGame/{{NieR}}'', but the two "sequels" are treated as two separate [[AlternateContinuity Alternate Continuities]].
* DarkFantasy: [[FromBadToWorse At first.]]
* DeathCourse: The final level right before Ending 4.
* DeathFromAbove: Following the biggest military engagement in the game, the Empire [[NukeEm nukes]] the victorious Union army from their sky fortress, rendering your entire efforts pointless. ...uh, thanks?
** And as a gameplay mechanic, in ground missions you can incinerate most enemy Mooks via dragonfire with absolute impunity.
* {{Deconstruction}}: The game gives us a glimpse into the psyche of the kind of person in an RPG who would be willing to kill a buttload of people in order to strengthen his weapons and level himself up. The result? [[SociopathicHero Not]] [[HarmfulToMinors very]] [[BloodKnight nice.]]
* DeliberatelyMonochrome: [[spoiler:Modern-day Tokyo]] in Ending 5.
* DestructibleProjectiles: Attacks from enemy mages and archers can be blocked by striking them with an attack, although the precise timing for this can be difficult to accomplish when fending off swarms of other {{Mooks}} at the same time. Some projectiles (like the bounty hunters' knives) can even be deflected back at the thrower ForMassiveDamage.
* DiabolusExMachina: The universe of ''Drakengard'' is deadset on killing any chance of hope or success.
* DistressedDamsel: There exists Furiae concept art where she wields a crook as a weapon and is shown with a pact-beast. In-game, she spends all but the first handful of levels captured [[spoiler:and dies in every single ending.]]
* DoomedHometown
* DoppelgangerAttack: The boss battle against Manah's personal demons in the sequel; defeating the dopplegangers doesn't even earn you kills or experience points.
* DownerEnding: Every single ending ever in the first game, most especially Ending 2 and Ending 4.
* TheDragon: Inuart after his FaceHeelTurn, replete with his own dragon. Manah is often this to whatever BigBad winds up threatening the universe next. And Eris proves to be this to General Gismor.
* DragonRider
* DroppedABridgeOnHim: Ending 5, which was likely played for laughs. Given what utterly hideous boss precedes it, it's a joke at the expense of the player.
* DysfunctionJunction: Anyone who is important is either a tragic figure of some sort or a slaughter-happy monster.
* EarnYourBadEnding: The first ending you get in the first game is bittersweet. All subsequent endings get worse and WORSE and require more and more effort to unlock.
* EarnYourHappyEnding: In the second game, you need to beat it at least three times to get the ''best'' ending. The bad part? The game automatically fixes the difficulty to hard and then [[HarderThanHard extreme]]. Not even an option in the first game, where each ending becomes both harder to achieve and more depressing.
** To wit with the second game's best ending: [[spoiler:The corrupt Knights of the Seal are defeated, both the Grotesqueries and the Dragons are gone for good, freeing mankind from the demand of the mass sacrifices of innocents by the former and the manipulations of the latter, all of Nowe's friends survive, Caim and Angelus are finally [[DiedHappilyEverAfter at]] [[TogetherInDeath peace]], and after two games' worth of death, destruction, betrayal, and despair, the world is finally beginning to improve.]]
* EasterEgg: The SU-47 in the first game.
* EatsBabies: Used (by Arioch) and hilariously/creepily inverted (by the Grotesqueries).
* EldritchAbomination: The Grotesqueries, in an unspeakably creepy [[spoiler:parody of innocent baby-like cherubs. They have fucking teeth and {{slasher smile}}s.]]
** [[spoiler:In Ending 2, Inuart places Furiae into a Seed of Resurrection, causing her to return to life... as a ''horrifically'' twisted version of herself. The end result has thorned tentacles, massive angel wings with her old arms on the very ends, and with her human face still on the end, among other things. And then, in the end, every ''other'' seed gives birth to a ''copy'' of that monstrosity]]!
* EleventhHourSuperpower: In the first game, the dragon obtains a Chaos Form for use in the final air battles [[spoiler:and one boss fight against Caim]] in some routes. In the sequel, [[spoiler:depending on your ending, Nowe will fight the final boss in his "New Breed" form.]]
* TheEmpire: The antagonists of the first game.
* EndlessWinter: The E ending means this in the real world. Subverted in that, [[VideoGame/{{NieR}} 1312 years later]], it looks normal again (or at least as normal as a post-apocalyptic world can be).
* TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt: Every single ending except the canon one in the first game.
* TheEvilArmy: Fielded in huge numbers by the Empire. WeHaveReserves indeed.
* EvilHero: Caim.
* ExplodingBarrel: You'll find plenty of them hanging around in the sequel, with completely no explanation why. Their explosions are surprisingly deadly to Mooks and surprisingly harmless to you.
* FacelessGoons: Clad in color-coded full plate armor.
* FailureIsTheOnlyOption: [[spoiler:Furiae dies in every path of the first game.]]
* TheFairFolk: Brushed upon. They're mostly jerks who mock humans for their failures and weaknesses.
* FateWorseThanDeath: Several. Including...
** [[spoiler:Manah begging for death after being defeated in the canon ending.]]
** [[spoiler:Furiae being resurrected into not one, but several ''thousand'' [[{{Eldritch Abomination}} horrific monstrosities.]]]]
** [[spoiler:Seere, Caim, and the dragon when time itself is destroyed around the Imperial capitol. Seere never gets to die and rejoin his mother, and Caim and the dragon are stuck in the midst of being devoured by Grotesqueries. Forever.]]
* TheFederation: The Union.
* FeelNoPain: Anyone under the effect of the Red Eye Plague.
* FightingYourFriend:
** Subverted with Urick in the sequel. He explicitly informs you how to actually kill him, but Nowe won't have any of it and decides to take Caim out instead. In return, Caim's the one who slays Urick.
** Then there's ending number 3 in the first game, where the dragon ends Caim's pact and the two of them fight to the death to determine the fate of the world.
** Likewise, the standard ending in the sequel pits [[spoiler:Nowe against Legna]]. [[spoiler:The same thing happens for the final ending.]]
* FiveManBand: The first game.
** TheHero: Caim, [[SociopathicHero in the loosest sense]].
** TheLancer: Either Angelus or Leonard.
** TheSmartGuy: Verdelet (MrExposition)
** TheBigGuy: Either Leonard (of the GentleGiant variety) or Arioch (for sheer game breaking power).
** TheChick: Seere, who is trapped as a waifish blond six-year-old boy. [[TemptingFate Note that Leonard is a child molester and Arioch a child eater.]]
* FlavorText: The histories behind each and every weapon you can collect. They also differ between the two games.
* FoeTossingCharge: Caim, opening movie and during gameplay.
* ForDoomTheBellTolls: The FinalBoss theme of the first game is nothing but eerie bells.
* FourTemperamentEnsemble
* FreakOut: Nearly the whole cast has a little moment at one point or another.
* FriendlyFireproof: Friendly units in the sequel almost never take any damage from your attacks, combos, spells, whatsoever. Even Legna's dragonfire, which sends them flying like any other enemy, fails to inflict actual damage on friendlies.
* FunctionalMagic: Very lightly touched upon besides the pact-beasts.
* GameplayAllyImmortality: In the first game, allies are "summoned" to replace Caim for a limited time. The manual even recommends summoning them when Caim is low on HP.
* GameplayAndStorySegregation: Very little of what you accomplish in-game makes a difference in the story.
* GenreShift: From [[DarkFantasy dark]] HeroicFantasy to CosmicHorrorStory SurvivalHorror.
* GentleGiant: Seere's pact-partner, {{Golem}}.
* GiantSpaceFleaFromNowhere: The final boss changes based on the ending route, and most of them could not have been expected from information presented in-game --
** "A" route: Giant[[spoiler:-sized Manah!]] While the opponent was expected, the form was not.
** "B" route: Giant [[spoiler:mutant resurrected Furiae!]]
** "C" route: Not-that-giant-but-still-rather-large [[spoiler:Chaos-version Angelus!]]
** "D" route: Giant swarm of [[spoiler:Grotesqueries (those freaky monster babies you've probably read about by now)!]]
** "E" route: [[spoiler:Rhythm game with a giant Mama Grotesquerie in downtown Tokyo! And then some fighter jets blow you up.]]
** "D" and "E" routes also apply for the title of MakesJustAsMuchSenseInContext.
* AGodAmI: Several end bosses go this route, to varying degrees of success.
* [[spoiler:[[GodOfEvil Gods Of Evil]]]]: The Watchers. That being said, in this game, [[CrapsackWorld who]] ''[[WorldHalfEmpty isn't]]''?
* GoingThroughTheMotions: Averted.
* {{Gorn}}: The manga is... brutal, to put it bluntly.
* GrimDark: In ''spades.'' Here's the little story for Bonebreaker, an axe you can unlock: "Once, a man opened a shed, and there were a bunch of skeletons and stuff. Oh, and he had an axe. THE END." And it just goes from there.
* GroundPound
* GuideDangIt: The various weapons have often-counterintuitive and occasionally contradictory unlocking conditions.
* HackAndSlash: It's similar to ''VideoGame/DynastyWarriors'' with RPGElements, except with extremely limited combos and magic and a slower pace and... well.
* HandWave: Happens a lot in some of the more disturbing endings, often as a LampshadeHanging on the intensity of how crazy things get.
* HarmfulToMinors: As a child, Caim witnessed the [[spoiler:brutal death of his parents at the hands of the Empire]].
* HeadsIWinTailsYouLose: Nowe vs. Caim in the sequel.
* HealThyself
* HeroicFantasy: In an extremely dark, negative take.
* [[HeroicMime Heroi-]], errr, [[HeroicMime Antiheroic Mime]]: Caim is mute, [[JustifiedTrope due to his pact price with the dragon]], and tends to 'communicate' through the medium of "kicking my allies in the head and brutally murdering my enemies". This carries on into the second game, where he is an [[IncrediblyLamePun Enemy Mime]] (and not as in the trope) instead.
* HighSchoolAU: Not really, but there are some images of this for the second game in the ''Memory of Blood'' supplement. [[spoiler:They even show how Angelus and Legna would look like in human forms!!]]
* HitMeDammit: Manah to Caim in the canon ending.
* HiveMind: The Grotesqueries, [[EpilepticTrees probably]].
* HumansAreTheRealMonsters: The Fairies justify their JerkAss natures with this. Angelus also has a tendency to act haughty and superior when around humans.
** "A wise man chooses death before war. A wiser man chooses ''not to be born."'' Ouch.
** [[spoiler:Legna picks up ''right'' where Angelus left off in the sequel.]]
* HundredPercentCompletion: Required for Ending 5, the hair-tearing difficulty of which is rewarded with the most anticlimactic finisher imaginable. You also get [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9MN8xyZESg a bonus mission]] where you fly an Su-47.
* HyperspaceArsenal: You can carry eight weapons ranging from polearms, hammers, and axes to daggers and swords (including the [[{{BFS}} world's largest sword]]) into battle with you. Joy!
* IdleAnimation
* IdiotHero: Nowe. Dear god, Nowe. He doesnít like that people have to be sacrificed for these seal things to stay active and he [[TheDulcineaEffect falls with Manah]] to destroy them, ignoring everyone else ''screaming'' at him that [[spoiler: the seals are the only thing staving off the apocalypse. He has the audacity to be surprised when he destroys the seals and trigger the apocalypse.]]
** Even before that is the event with Grismor. The Dark Id put it nicely.
--> '''The Dark Id:''' Nowe decides to not even attempt to mention to his best friend key facts like, I don't know: [[spoiler: Gismor poisoned him, the said poison is right over on the table, the general just confessed to murdering the former leader of the Knights of the Seal,]] or anything that would improve the situation in his favor. Instead, he just smashes through a nearby window and runs away crying. Way to go, kiddo!
* InescapableAmbush: Quite often.
* InexplicableTreasureChests: that appear or disappear at the behest of myriad arbitrary triggers.
* InfallibleBabble: Graffiti written in blood is surprisingly reliable!
* InfinityPlusOneSword: Kingsblood and Hymir's Finger in the first game.
* InsurmountableWaistHeightFence
* InterchangeableAntimatterKeys: During one TimedMission in the sequel, Nowe picks up some dungeon keys, specifically noting that each one only works once. Otherwise averted.
* InterspeciesRomance: Caim and The Dragon. Trust me, it's much more beautiful than it sounds!
* InvisibleWall
* JigglePhysics: Averted, [[spoiler:in one case because the mother of the Grotesqueries seems to be made of marble, and thus wouldn't be prone to a-jigglin'.]]
* JourneyToTheCenterOfTheMind: In the sequel, [[spoiler:Nowe enters Manah's mind to save her]].
* KaizoTrap: In the original, the final battle for Ending E is a two-and-a-half minute rhythm game, where getting hit once will force you to start the "battle" over. As it approaches the end, the Queen-Beast will launch a rapid-fire series of 49 attacks. If you manage to survive this attack, don't put down your controller and relax just yet. She'll fire a single attack five seconds afterwards.
* KarmicDeath: [[spoiler:[[EatsBabies Arioch]], in the fourth and fifth endings, gets devoured by the [[WaveOfBabies Grotesqueries]].]]
* KatanasAreJustBetter: They ''look'' better, sure, but they're actually no better numerically than any other weapon you could choose from.
* KillEmAll: In most endings, the cast gets decimated at least, wiped out entirely at worst. [[spoiler:The events of Ending E are directly responsible for the [[VideoGame/{{NieR}} extinction of the human race]]]].
* KnightInShiningArmor: Deconstructed in the first game with Caim, and then played straight with PosthumousCharacter Oror in the second.
* KnightTemplar: Eris, at the beginning of ''Drakengard 2''.
* {{Knockback}}: Hammers, maces, and axes generally send enemies flying with ''every'' hit that connects, making them useful crowd-clearing weapons in your hands, and ''annoying'' weapons in the enemies' hands.
* LampshadeHanging: When the metaphysical shit hits the fan this hard, even the game has to step back and acknowledge it. In an especially cruel fashion, [[spoiler:Seere's HeroicSacrifice is mocked in the ending titles when he tries to compare it to a fairy tale his mother told him.]]
* LawOfCartographicalElegance: Yup, all the world a square. At least the map is.
* LetsPlay: [[http://lparchive.org/LetsPlay/Drakengard/index.html Of the first game]] by LetsPlay/TheDarkId of LetsPlay ''Franchise/ResidentEvil'' fame. Particularly notable for turning the interplay between Caim and the dragon into that of a BuddyCopShow (with more murder) and pointing out some of the hypocrisy and lunacy of the characters and setting. ''[[CatchPhrase Drakengard!]]'' [[note]]Best said in, quote unquote "The tone of a kooky sitcom catchphrase. Pretend someone looking at the camera with a goofy face and shrugging their shoulders while saying it."[[/note]]
** He later moves onto ''Drakengard 2'', where Nowe is presented as a self-absorbed nitwit [[AsYouKnow clueless of things he should by all means be aware of]] who only became a Knight of the Seal because of Dragon Dad, while Eris, Urick, and Legna are forced to weather his stupidity. Also, General Gismor is a {{Troll}}.
* LevelGrinding: The main reason to slay hundreds upon hundreds of enemy Mooks.
** In the first game, Caim's kills increase his maximum HP (which the dragon shares), while the dragon's kills increase her attack power. Weapons increase based on the number of actual kills, so replaying early levels to slaughter scores of low-level enemies is a fairly easy way to level up.
** In the sequel, characters collect their experience points individually, with slight increases in HP, attack, and/or defense power as they level up.
* LevelMapDisplay: Both games display a map of the level when pausing the game; the second also allows you to switch between your enemy-radar and level-map overlay at any time (once you collect the area's actual map).
* LighterAndSofter: ''Drakengard 2'', compared to the original, is much less messed up in its tone.
** To be fair, it is arguable [[EvilVersusEvil whether]] [[CrapsackWorld there's]] [[BlackAndGrayMorality anything that]] [[UpToEleven ISN'T]] lighter and softer than Drakengard.
*** [[VideoGame/NieR There is!]]
* TheLoad: Seere borders on this: he wastes a lot of the group's time by making them go on a wild goose chase looking for his family, then gets kidnapped and needs rescuing; without Golem, he's about as useful in combat as you'd expect from a real eight-year old. His (or rather, Golem's) actions when they encounter Manah may make up for it, though. (''May'' being the key word, seeing as this act ends up [[spoiler:causing the Grotesqueries to descend upon the world]].) Verdelet also borders on this, not so much because he needs saving all the time, but because he never really does anything useful, and one of the few times he tries, it [[AttackOfTheFiftyFootWhatever backfires spectacularly]].
* LoveTriangle: Inuart is in love with Furiae. Furiae is in love with her brother. Caim is in love with murdering everything that gets in his way.
* LowFantasy: While the game is technically high fantasy (flying castles, airships, enemy wizards, goblins, giants, apocalyptic horrors, dragons, seventy-odd cursed magical weapons collectible by Caim), the game is so dreary and depressing the wonder of such things is replaced by horror.
* MacrossMissileMassacre: The dragons' magic attacks in aerial battles.
* MadeOfPlasticine: Any and everything on the receiving end of Caim's blade.
* MagikarpPower: A few weapons in the sequel (including the legendary Weapons of the Seal) have weak attack power, learn few or no combos, and level up much slower than other weapons. But once they reach maximum level...
* MagnetHands: Gets ridiculous when bigger weapons are involved.
** In the first game, the only time we ''ever'' see Caim without his sword visibly in hand is in one of the ending cinematics.
* TheManBehindTheMan: The Watchers.
* MeaningfulName: Caim, Arioch, Seere, Manah.
* MercyInvincibility: Except for a few enemies' combo attacks, taking any damage in the first game results in this, allowing you to counterattack immediately. The second game lacks MercyInvincibility entirely.
* MetalSlime: In the first game, magical soldiers with a 60-second timer appear in a few levels. If you can defeat one, they drop a bonus orb that bestows free "kills" on all weapons you brought into the level with you.
* MindControlEyes: Inuart and the whole Empire -- anything acting at the behest of the Watchers.
* MindRape: Inuart and Furiae, both by Manah.
* MindScrew: Endings 4 and (especially) 5 in the first game.
* MirrorBoss: Inuart's Black Dragon has similar abilities to your own.
* MookChivalry: Nope, enemies will gladly surround you and start poking you from all directions. Most enemies don't actually attack very frequently, but if several of them start attacking all at once...
** This also applies to enemy squad leaders (marked with a yellow dot) in the first game, who are often higher-class soldiers than their subordinates, and are more aggressive.
* MoreThanMindControl: Inuart and, again, possibly the whole Empire. While some are under obvious MindControl, a few soldiers at least retain their individuality; they may even make small-talk when they aren't required to fight.
* MultipleEndings: Five for the first game, three for the second. Both games are kind enough to tell you exactly how many, and toss in some broad hints for unlocking them.
* MySignificanceSenseIsTingling: Verdelet's goes off all the damn time. To a lesser extent, Leonard might as well have 20/20 vision thanks to how he "[[DisabilitySuperpower senses]]" his way through battles.
* NeverGrewUp: Seere in the second game, thanks to his pact with Golem.
* NewGamePlus: Unlike the first game, ''Drakengard 2'' doesn't allow the player to revisit/replay earlier story chapters at their leisure ... but all weapons, items, and ExperiencePoints carry over to a new game, and it explicitly tells you what other bonuses you get (like rare weapons, and the ability to use all party members at any time). This is also a requirement for achieving the alternate endings, but it's also accompanied by an increase in the game's difficulty level.
* NewPowersAsThePlotDemands: Seere in Ending 4. We know his time has been taken away from him, so ''obviously'' [[spoiler:throwing him at the Time Monster causing the world to fall apart will end in kind-of sort-of victory!]] It's a cross between a bad-episode-of-''Franchise/StarTrek'' AssPull and partly justified, given what the heroes are up against.
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: In ''Drakengard 2'', [[spoiler:Nowe and Mannah's crusade to stop the knights' oppression unleashes Angelus, who's gone AxCrazy from her imprisonment and wants to burn down the entire world. And since Angelus is the new Goddess Seal, killing her means saying hello to TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt.]] Oops.
** Hilariously, our heroes had always been told that disaster would follow if the seals holding [[spoiler:Angelus]] were broken. But because they believed the organization protecting them was oppressive, they mistakenly assumed it must also be lying and corrupt.
* NintendoHard: The {{final boss}} only, due to a sudden and awful {{genre shift}}.
* NoBiologicalSex: Dragons, while they may have voices and traits that may make it seem that they have genders they are genderless.
* NoEndorHolocaust: [[spoiler: Averted. As ''Grimoire Nier'' reveals, the events of Chapter 13 in Tokyo ''do'' do damage. 320 are injured, 56 are dead and 60 billion yen in damages was dealt.]]
* NoOntologicalInertia: The world. ItMakesSenseInContext, kind of.
** There are also a few cases where defeating a squad leader eradicates its entire party, such as with the Imperial war cyclopses in Chapter 7.
* NotWorthKilling: Reversed; see FateWorseThanDeath above.
* OddCouple: Caim and the dragon.
* OminousLatinChanting: Subverted. Some of the game's stages have it as part of the background music, but OminousLatinChanting is never used to underscore an important plot event.
* OminousPipeOrgan
* OneManArmy: The player character, whether it be Caim and his allies in the first game, or Nowe and his in the sequel.
* TheOneTrueSequence: Averted.
* OptionalPartyMember: Leonard, Arioch, and Seere are completely optional. Seere in particular cannot be unlocked until having beaten the game once already.
* PartyInMyPocket: Only one member of the party is actually on the field at a time, though dialogue overlays imply that they're intended to be all present at once.
* PathOfInspiration: The Cult of the Watchers.
* PetTheDog: Near the end of the second game, as [[spoiler:Angelus lays dying, Caim does his best to comfort her]].
* PointOfNoReturn: Nope, the first game uses a level-select feature, while the second allows you to return to the World Map for shops / sidequests before any mission.
* PowerAtAPrice: Pacts. The human partner loses a function of their body, with implications that the beast is the one deciding what that price is. Some prices are particularly karmic, and some less literal than others; Caim lost his voice, Leonard his sight, Seere... his [[NotAllowedToGrowUp ability to age]]? Verdelet lost his ''hair''?!
* PoweredByAForsakenChild: In the first game, the seals were just kind of... there. In the second, they're fueled by [[spoiler:the life force of the surviving Imperials.]]
* PsychoStrings: The first game's soundtrack is pretty much entirely made of spliced and distorted samples of classical orchestral symphonies, and thus is all over this trope like jam on toast. The sequel, less so, but when [[spoiler:the world breaks again after the seals get destroyed]], the background music makes use of it again.
* RageAgainstTheHeavens: The backstory behind the Weapons of the Seal.
* RagtagBunchOfMisfits: Consider the, uh, "heroes" --
** ''Drakengard'': Deposed prince with a penchant for slaughter, dragon who thinks humanity barely rates above roaches, paedophile and his {{jerkass}} [[TheFairFolk fairy]] companion, cannibal survivor of the elven holocaust with a taste for human veal and her elemental buddies, blond kid with a giant magic robot, and a long-winded old bald priest.
** ''Drakengard 2'': [[WideEyedIdealist Over-idealistic]] fluffy-haired protagonist, his slightly grumpy childhood friend of the opposite sex, amnesiac major antagonist from the last game, purple-haired masked coolguy with a pile of hidden remorse, and non-amnesiac antagonist from the last game (who is a dragon).
* [[RaisedByWolves Raised By Dragons]]: It's never clarified how old Nowe was when he was adopted by either Legna or the knights; there are hints that he used to think he was a dragon (and didn't know how to wear clothes), but that he also apparently hasn't had too much trouble learning how to behave as a human.
* RealIsBrown: The sequel has noticeably more colorful visuals than the first.
* RecurringRiff
* RedEyesTakeWarning: A sure sign of (some degree of) Imperial MindControl.
** In the manga, it's a sign of the Red Eye Plague.
* RingMenu: The Weapon Wheel allows the player to switch between up to eight weapons during combat. The sequel adds a second layer which can hold up to six items ({{Healing Potion}}s, etc).
* RivalTurnedEvil: Inuart.
* RogueProtagonist: Caim in the second game. And nope, it's not due to the main character being LockedOutOfTheLoop, or any of the other common reasons: All that's changed is that you're now on the ''receiving'' end of Caim's sword.
* RPGElements
* RuleOfEmpathy: Let's face it, you wouldn't be so sad for Caim and Angelus if you hadn't played through the first game.
* SavingTheWorld: Which you either do or fail to do in each ending.
* SchizoTech: The Imperial gargantuan cyclops, airships, and cannons. The LetsPlay wonders why people don't have cars, or actually use guns.
* TheScottishTrope: See quote above.
* ScratchDamage: While melee attacks can be blocked without harm, blocking magic attacks will incur token damage to Caim in the first game (though at least without the accompanying stun or knockdown).
* ScrewDestiny: Nowe's answer when he learns how the dragons intend to save the world.
* SdrawkcabName: Legna? 'Cause if Angelus was just "Angel" in the Japanese version, then...
* [[SealedEvilInACan Sealed]] [[strike:World]] [[SealedEvilInACan Evil In A Can]]: The Grotesqueries.
* [[spoiler:SequelHook]]: [[spoiler:The cutscene after the end of the credits of Drakengard 2's Ending C shows the shadow of a dragon flying overhead, despite what Seere said before about all the dragons disappearing. That could just be Nowe, though.]]
* SharedLifeMeter: Caim and his dragon share a life bar both when he's riding and on the ground, though Caim has the opportunity to replenish it (by killing enemies such as archers, who can take out them very quickly when airborne).
* ShootTheMedicFirst: Some enemy mages have the ability to strengthen/heal their comrades, and the game explcitly advises slaying them first to gain an advantage.
* ShootTheShaggyDog: Many of the endings of the first game, except the canonical A ending, are like this. Probably the worst offender is the bonus "E" ending, which only unlocks after collecting ''all'' 65 weapons (GuideDangIt!), whose sole mission pits the player against a NintendoHard UnexpectedGameplayChange, with a... less than optimistic ending to reward them. Was the effort worth it according to most players? Not exactly, no.
* ShoutOut: When Caim is about to face Manah in the Temple of The Empire, if you take time to wander around before the "final confrontation", you can see several paintings. One of them is [[spoiler:[[{{Manga/Berserk}} The Skull Knight]]]].
* [[HideYourChildren Show Your Children And Slaughter Them Mercilessly]]: As The Dark Id's Let's Play can attest, [[MemeticMutation Drakengard hates children.]]
* SilentCredits: Ending 5, immediately after the DroppedABridgeOnHim moment.
* SimulationGame: Flight Sim in particular, via DragonRider.
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism: ''Very'' cynical. The second game shifts a little towards idealism, but only ''just'' a little. [[spoiler:With the exception of the final ending, which takes a sudden turn into {{Glurge}} territory.]]
* SmallAnnoyingCreature: Leonard's fairy. She's like Navi's abusive older sister.
* SortingAlgorithmOfEvil: Directly in proportion to eerie otherworldliness.
* SortingAlgorithmOfWeaponEffectiveness: Shaken up with some poor balancing decisions.
* TheStoic: Arioch's pact-partners Undine and Salamander, for what little time they have on-screen.
* StoryboardingTheApocalypse: Subverted. By the time you see it happening, it's too late to stop.
* SummonMagic: Leonard, Seere, and Arioch summon their pact monsters for magic attacks. Caim appears to summon his party members to deploy them in the field.
* SwordBeam: Specific weapons can produce a projectile attack when finishing certain combos.
* SwordPointing: Caim's IdleAnimation in the first game.
* TacticalRockPaperScissors: Nowe's swords are super-effective against knights. Eris's spear is super-effective against undead (she even says so in a bit of in-game tutorial); Manah's staff against mages, and Urick's axe against monsters.
* TakeYourTime: Sure, go and chase after Seere after he gets his fool ass kidnapped. It's not like you're going to save that seal anyway.
* TakingYouWithMe: Leonard's death in Chapter 12 (leading to ending 4).
* ThemeNaming: The main cast in the first game are named after demons, while the dragons seem to have angel-related names.
* TimeStandsStill: Ending 4, and parts of Ending 5.
* TimedMission:
** All missions in the first game have a standard timer of 60 minutes (not that you really ''need'' that much time to complete your objectives), although some missions have shorter time limits and will display the clock onscreen. Chapter 10, Verse 3 in particular gives you 150 ''seconds'' to traverse the level (fortunately, devoid of any enemies to slow you down).
** The second game generally lets you TakeYourTime, except for a few cases where a blue "time" meter is shown on the side of the screen and slowly drains.
* TooMuchInformation: On a second run through ''Drakengard 2,'' there's a bunch of additional scenes. One of them is a flashback to 13-year-olds Nowe and Eris talking, and suddenly Eris brings up her period out of nowhere. Ew.
* TraumaCongaLine: Gets worse and worse as you obtain the rest of the endings (in the first game, anyways).
* TrippyFinaleSyndrome: Ending number five. [[spoiler:Caim and the dragon are warped to modern-day Tokyo, where they defeat the queen EldritchAbomination with an UnexpectedGameplayChange. Then they are shot down by Japanese air defense pilots. Really.]]
* TheTropeWithoutATitle: The Watchers.
* TurnsRed:
** About the only boss who ''doesn't'' change their attack patterns is the FinalBoss of Ending 2 in ''Drakengard 1'', the [[spoiler:CameBackWrong goddess Furiae]].
** General Gismor also plays this literally; he normally switches from red to blue to indicate his particular attack pattern, but when he runs low on HP, he turns a ''dark'' red and opts for homing projectiles instead of the usual energy shockwaves.
* TwoGuysAndAGirl: Caim, Inuart, and Furiae.
* UltimateEvil: The FinalBoss.
* UnbreakableWeapons: Which is good, considering how much of a workout they get.
* UndergroundMonkey: Most enemies in the first game also come in red armor which protects them from magic attacks, but they are otherwise the same. Enemy mages in the sequel have different colors and attacks, and then there are "the gods'" monsters which resemble knights and orcs.
* UnexpectedGameplayChange: The FinalBoss fight (which proceeds like a game of Simon Says) is a controller-shattering exercise in frustration until you memorize the pattern.
* UpgradeArtifact: The weapons.
* VideoGameCrueltyPotential: That level where you kill ChildSoldiers with Leonard calling you out on it? It's possible to have Leonard kill them.
* VillainOverride: Sucks to be you, Manah!
* VisibleSilence: Caim, considering the price of his pact was his voice.
* VitriolicBestBuds: Caim and Angelus. [[spoiler:They eventually become actual friends and partners.]]
* VoiceOfTheLegion: Manah, sometimes. It's {{Narm}}y as all get-out, too.
* WarIsHell
* TheWarSequence: Chapter 1 and Chapter 5.
* [[spoiler:WaveOfBabies]]: The Grotesqueries in Chapter 12.
* WeCannotGoOnWithoutYou: In the sequel, characters have discrete HP meters, but if any one of them dies, it's instant GameOver.
* WeaponOfMassDestruction: The Seeds of Resurrection aren't particularly good for resurrection, unless you count the last thing in the universe you want resurrected.
* WhamEpisode: Chapter 12, "Chaos." [[spoiler:The chapter that introduces the Grotesqueries.]] The Dark Id's LetsPlay sums it up nicely:
-->"This is probably the most appropriate title for this chapter. If you watch this chapter and do ''not'' have an eyebrow raised expression of bewilderment and mutter 'what the fuck?!' at least once, then I suggest you seek counseling immediately as something is clearly broken within you."
* WhamShot: The shot of [[spoiler:a modern cityscape]] in Ending E of the first game. Followed by [[spoiler:TOKYO]].
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: Whatever happened to Leonard and Arioch in the sequel?
** Leonard gets a brief mention in the City of Rust, and his weapon's FlavorText says he went back into hiding due to his "certain anti-social tendency". Arioch is never mentioned at all.
* WhatCouldHaveBeen: The final district in Drakengard 2 revolves around a time motif, and Seere's concept art in that game suggested he was meant to be the boss, [[spoiler:allowing Manah to get some alternative dimension revenge on him.]]
* WhatTheHellHero: Caim is openly criticized for his eagerness to go out, fight, and slaughter Imperial Mooks by the hundreds. Especially in "Leonard's Regret", which involves wiping out Imperial child conscripts.
* WhereItAllBegan: the Castle of the Goddess was the very first stage in the first game. In the sequel, the skies above it are the setting for the final duel against [[spoiler:Angelus, aka Red, aka the new Goddess]].
* WhoWantsToLiveForever: Urick in ''Drakengard 2''.
* WolfpackBoss: A dogfight against Tokyo's elite air defense pilots is unlocked if you successfully unlock (and complete) bonus ending 5 in the first game. Who will win, a dragon armed with homing firebreath, or a squad of five high-speed fighter jets with (equally high-speed) air-to-air missiles?
* WorldHalfEmpty
* WouldHurtAChild: The side chapter, "Leonard's Regret", involves taking out a garrison of Imperial child conscripts despite vocal protests from Leonard. And frankly, the whole game may as well be renamed "Would Hurt A Child: The Game".
* TheWorldIsAlwaysDoomed
* WorthyOpponent: Inuart desperately wants to be one to Caim. Succeeding is another matter.
* YouALLLookFamiliar: Any soldier you talk to looks the same and has the same face.

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