[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/SaGa_Frontier.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:No, that's not 'Salsa Frontier']]

->''"A wizard's dark destiny, a woman's revenge, even a robot's search for his soul. Seven amazing adventures that weave into one -- yours."''

So reads the back of the case for ''[=SaGa=] Frontier'', the first ''VideoGame/{{SaGa}}'' game released in North America since ''VideoGame/{{SaGa 3}}'' (aka ''Final Fantasy Legend III'') and the first one on the {{PlayStation}}. It came out March 25 1998, (July 11 '97 in Japan) and was produced by {{Square|Enix}}soft's Production Team 2 (referred to as "2nd Division" in-game.) The 75 song soundtrack was composed and arranged by KenjiIto, who also did the soundtracks for previous ''[=SaGa=]'' titles.

''[=SaGa=] Frontier'' is unique in that there are seven playable protagonists, each with their own individual quest. It also uses a 'system data' feature, which, if you complete one character's story, will [[NewGamePlus give bonuses to the characters in subsequent quests.]]
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!!A quick summary of the seven stories:

* Red: A teenage boy whose family is destroyed by the evil organization called Black X (Black Cross). [[SuperEmpowering Granted the identity]] of the SuperHero Alkaiser, he struggles to [[RoaringRampageOfRevenge destroy Black X.]]
* Blue: A magician from the [[MagicalSociety Magic Kingdom]], his magical prowess has been divided between himself and his twin brother, Rouge. According to the customs of his land, he must master as many types of magic as possible, and [[CainAndAbel kill his brother]] in a DuelToTheDeath, to attain his true strength.
* Asellus: Run over by a carriage and [[EmergencyTransformation saved from death by a blood transfusion]] by a Mystic Lord, she's turned into the world's first and only Half-Mystic. Chosen as Charm Lord's heir, she is [[HalfBreedDiscrimination despised by human and mystic alike]]. Can she escape her dark destiny or will she embrace it?
* Emelia: A beautiful woman [[ClearMyName accused]] of murdering her fiance, and wrongly imprisoned for it, she becomes a member of Gradius, a secret organization, in order to track down the real killer.
* Lute: A wandering minstrel from Yorkland, Lute lives a carefree life... until he finds himself facing off against his father's [[YouKilledMyFather apparent murderer]].
* T260: A Mec constructed from readily available parts and an ancient core found at a crash site. Its important mission long [[LaserGuidedAmnesia forgotten]] due to damage, T260 must remember and fulfill its original directive.
* Riki: A young Monster whose home world, Margmel, is dying. In order to save the entire Region, he must [[GottaCatchEmAll find and bring together]] the nine legendary [[RingOfPower Rings Of Power]].

There's also a [[Characters/SaGaFrontier Character Sheet]] in progress.
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!!''[=SaGa=] Frontier'' provides examples of:

* AbortedArc: Where do we ''start''?
* ActuallyIAmHim: Leonard pulls this on T260.
* AfterBossRecovery: In Red's game after a battle with Metal Black 3, the red mist scattered after the explosion rejuvenates the party.
* AlienBlood: Mystics have blue blood, and the Half-Mystic Asellus has purple.
* TheAlcatraz: Despair. While no one's ever escaped, the warden gives the inmates the chance for freedom, if they can touch the Freedom rune located within the prison. Only '''one'' person's ever done it before Emelia, Annie and Liza.
** It's implied that the person who did before Emelia and company was [[spoiler: Roufas]].
* AllThereInTheManual: It's no exaggeration to say there is more story in the companion books than in the game. [[ExecutiveMeddling Time constraints to the X-TREEM]]. There's some weird stuff there, too.
** [[spoiler: For example, the "useless" character Slime actually plays a large role in the battles against Boss X and Mondo, With Boss X he blocks his eye blinding him, and with Mondo, Slime literally corrodes him while he's piloting Spriggan]]
* AmazingTechnicolorBattlefield: Boss X, Orlouge, and Genocide Heart. Also, any battle fought in 4th Dimension Magisphere.
* AndNowForSomeoneCompletelyDifferent: Congratulations, AWinnerIsYou. But you've still got six more stories to finish.
* ApologizesALot: Mesarthim frequently apologizes for perceived insults to higher ranked Mystics- It's actually the reason she won't join while [[TheVoiceless Silence]] is in the party.
* ArmsDealer: Pzkw V, a Mec can be found in the backstreets of Koorong, selling smuggled guns.
* AwLookTheyReallyDoLoveEachOther: For as much as she seems to hate Fei-On when he first joins, Mei-Ling is willing to wait a surprisingly long time inside a dying inter-dimensional creature for him to come back.
* ArtifactOfDoom: The Nine Rings of Power.
* BadassBystander: Blue in Red's quest. When the [[CoolShip Cygnus]] gets attacked by pirates, Blue easily takes out the one who charges into his room. But because he's [[{{Jerkass}} kind of a dick]], he refuses to help Red because he doesn't like his name. In fairness, it differs only in language from his Evil Twin.
* BagOfSharing: Averted. Each character has his or her own inventory, but the person equipped with the 'backpack' item can use anything not equipped to anyone else.
* BareFistedMonk: Bare-hands are a perfectly viable fighting style--several characters such as Fei-On and Liza start with a few techniques.
* BatOutOfHell: In addition to regular bats, there's a BonusBoss-- The Abyss Bat.
* BeefGate: Early on in Asellus' game, in Chateau Augille, it's possible to find an endgame BonusBoss with ending-altering potential. Even if you're properly trained, it's a difficult fight. Trying to fight it at the point in the game where it's possible to first encounter it? Suicide.
* BigBallOfViolence: The "Scuffle" skill has the character throw the enemy offscreen, and have one of these occur.
* BlackMarket: Koorong's got a thriving one. From smuggled guns, to secret criminal organizations, to [[BackAlleyDoctor questionable medical care]], you can find it there.
* BlandNameProduct: "Bucci[[note]]Gucci[[/note]]" brand handbags.
* BodyHorror: The scientists of Shrike's Bio-Research Lab, though some aren't particularly horrified by it.
* BonusBoss: The Earth Dragon at the Bio Research Lab, Jotnar and the dragons in Mosperiburg, the Abyss Bat in Shingrow can be fought by anyone. A few can only be fought in specific characters' games, like the Big Diggers in T260's.
* BossRemix: A few. Blue's final battle theme is a remix of the song in his opening scene. Red's is a remix of song in his story.
* BossRush: Near the end of Red's game, you fight the major bosses all over again. Each has double their initial HP.
* ButThouMust: Gen tells T260 to tell him when he's ready to leave the Pub. If you try to tell him you're ready to go, he tells you to get him another drink.
* BrainUploading: [[spoiler: Leonard]].
* TheCasino: [[MeaningfulName Baccarat]]. At least three characters come here for their stories, but none of the games can be played.
* CastFromHP: The spells 'Sacrifice', 'Life Rain', and Alkaiser's 'Final Crusade' which heal the party with a life's worth of HP from the caster.
* CharacterMagneticTeam: The heroes can always easily find new members for their teams, for little reason other than boredom.
* ChestMonster: A few. One in particular has a chance to spawn a couple of very rare enemies.
* ChickMagnet: Asellus- Having the Charm Lord's blood gave her the power of seduction and attraction to females.
* TheChosenOne: Blue is told he is the superior of the two Chosen Ones, and that it his destiny to kill the other--his brother. Presumably Rouge was told the same thing at ''his'' graduation ceremony.
* ClearMyName: Emelia is jailed for the murder of her boyfriend, because she was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
* CodeName: The IRPO operatives- they're all {{Appropriated Appellation}}s, too. "[[BerserkButton Crazy]][[note]]'Short' would probably be a better translation[[/note]]" Fuse, [[TheVoiceless Silence]], Rabbit and [[IceQueen "Icy" Doll]]. Probably Cotton as well.
* CombinationAttack: If you do it right, all 5 members of your party will jump in..
* CompleteImmortality: Mystics seem to have a combination of TheAgeless and a HealingFactor. They can be destroyed by superior power, however (either a stronger Mystic, which is why they're absolutely terrified of Orlouge and Asellus, or a powerful enough human).
* CoolShip: The region ships in general-- the Cygnus in particular is treated as one of these in-story.
* CounterAttack: Kasumi, Godless, KO Throw, Dragon Turn, Reaction Shot, and Asura Revenge.
* TheCorpseStopsHere: Emelia walks in just after her boyfriend's murder, shortly after her come the police.
* CuttingOffTheBranches: Some of the recruitable characters can be bought to your party the same way (for example, you can always have Emelia join your party in the other scenarios after you complete one of the Rune quests) in several scenarios, with some only changing if you play as a certain character (some of the mystics that can be sought after in other scenarios are recruited automatically during Asellus' scenario). On the other hand, Red and Blue are mutually exclusive to their scenarios, and cannot be recruited in any of the others.
** ''Entire races'' cannot be found in some scenarios. In Asellus', she cannot recruit any Mecs.
* {{Cyberspace}}: Near the end of T260's game. It looks like a town, as the interface was designed to be friendly and recognizable to humans and monsters.
* DarkIsNotEvil: Monsters are quite commonplace in the world, quite sentient, and can be friendly. Even the skeletal and undead ones. And let's not forget the monster you save from the Shrike Bio Labs, Cotton, who's actually an IRPO agent.
** Mystics feed and grow stronger by devouring the blood and lives of their enemies, but they're no more evil than humans on the whole. Orlouge, Ciato and [[spoiler: Rastaban]] really are wicked, though.
* DeadlyUpgrade: You can buy powerful items from the shop in Facinaturu, at the cost a few of your max life points. That is to say, you can sell your soul for goodies.
* {{Depower}}ing: [[spoiler: Red's powers are eventually revoked as purpose for which he had been given his powers was accomplished. Easy come, easy go.]]
* DevelopersRoom: Reached after you've completed all seven stories. You can speak with the developers, listen to the soundtrack, and fight the bosses of the other character's games with the group you most recently cleared with, among other things.
* DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu: [[spoiler:Averted in Blue's ending, in which he fights Hell's Lord for eternity.]]
* DiscOneNuke: The Asura in Asellus' game-- sure, you need to give up 3 LP to get it, but it's of the strongest three swords in the game, has an instant death effect, ''and'' a counter attack on it that works even if the user is killed by the attack. And can be obtained in about the first ten to fifteen minutes of her story.
** The DSC[[note]]Dream Super Combo, Deadly Super Combo, Deadly Suplex Combo, or Dangerous Suplex Combo, depending on who you ask[[/note]], if you have a character proficient at physical attacks, can be unlocked very early in some quests.
** The recruitable monster, Thunder, is himself one. He's obscenely easy to get (just speak to him with Lute in your party). His default Ogre form is powerful, with some good stats and attacks. However, his skillset means any extra skills he acquires will always, without fail, turn him into a Trisaur, which is even stronger, capable of causing 1000 damage with some attacks. Thunder can carry the team into the midgame alone.
* DistantFinale: Two of Asellus' endings take place in these, though the circumstances are different depending on which you get.
* DoomedHometown: Riki's quest to ''save'' his, [[spoiler: Blue's, by the time he gets back]]
* DoppelgangerAttack: A few of the sword moves, such as Godless, Haze-To-Wheel, and ESPECIALLY the visually appealing Life Sprinkler. In addition, the Shadow Servant spell, which creates a clone of you that copies every move you use.
** The "Magician" Arcane spell is a variant- It creates a single DoppelgangerSpin-type copy of the caster, but when it's attacked, it has a chance of causing instant death.
* DoppelgangerSpin: A few spells, such as Mirror Shade, which creates 1-4 clones of the caster to block an attack.
* DressingAsTheEnemy: Red infiltrates Black X in this manner.
* DrunkOnTheDarkSide: Developing Asellus' mystic abilities via three specific pieces of equipment makes her form during her [[SuperpoweredEvilSide Mystic Change]] more powerful, but it also makes her more power-hungry and tyrannical. [[spoiler:Her Mystic ending is the end result of it - she becomes a tyrant, harsher than Orlouge.]]
* DualWielding: Possible, and required by some moves, like Cross Slash and Two Gale Slash
* DubNameChange: "Coon" to "Riki", "Kowloon" to "Koorong".
** "Koorong" is just a translation error. "Kowloon" is written 九龍 in Japanese. The pronunciation, "Kuuron", was "extrapolated" into "Koorong".
* DuelBoss: The battle between Blue and Rouge.
* TheDulcineaEffect: In ''Essence'', Fuse... at least until he realizes Blue is a guy.
-->"Well, caring for the hearts of cute girls ''is'' a vital part of a Region Patrol Officer's mission... [he realizes Blue is only a [[DudeLooksLikeALady very pretty man]]][...] Caring for this jackass is outside my jurisdiction."
* DummiedOut: A '''lot''' of content. To wit:
** At least five songs
** Two characters- "Common Mec" and "Woman"
** Five sprites- Fuse in a Despair 'janitor' costume, a differently colored Type 7 Mec, A mysterious SuperHero-esque woman, and nude sprites of Asellus and White Rose.
** Various views of the region-ships, such as the Cygnus from beneath it, or the red ship with propellers from alternate angles
** Various unused rooms for existing places
** Unused text, much of it from Asellus' game
** "End of chapter" character art
** A few moves--some actually ''were'' used, but were categorized as spells in existing, usable, schools of magic.
* DynamicDifficulty: Enemy encounters increase as you improve your characters' stats.
* EasterEgg: The porno book in the Shrike library. You don't see anything, but the characters' reactions range from complete disinterest, to questioning their own sexuality.
* EleventhHourSuperpower: Blue learns and masters all magic after you fight Rouge. Also, during Red's game, you get to walk around as Alkaiser towards the very end[[note]]This is actually bad if you haven't leveled properly, as Alkaiser's stats are based on Red's, and Alkaiser doesn't get ''any'' stat increases, so you can be stuck with a ''very'' underpowered Alkaiser if you're not careful[[/note]].
* EmergencyTransformation: Asellus to a half-mystic thanks to Orlouge, Red to a super hero thanks to Alkarl. Their reactions to their respective changes are opposite each other- While Red [[JumpedAtTheCall is excited]] about his new-found power to defeat evil, Asellus is afraid and confused about exactly what being a half-mystic entails.
* {{Engrish}}: Not nearly as bad as many examples, especially back in '98, but there are a few minor ones-- "Facinatur'''u'''" was likely meant to be "Facinatur'''e'''," while "Omb'''l'''e" was probably supposed to be "Omb'''r'''e." The Region of Margmel likewise seems to be a mistranslation of [[CelticMythology "Mag Mell"]]. In addition, "katana" is always translated as "sword", rather than left "katana", which leads to some swords having "sword skill usable" as their description and katana moves being labeled as "sword move" in the sword technique folder.
* EvenTheGirlsWantHer: Asellus, due to having Orlouge's blood.
* EveryEpisodeEnding: Though there's variations, each 'section' of each characters game (such as rescuing Mesarthim in Asellus', or receiving the Gift for a school of magic in Blue's,) is ended with a picture of a character involved in it.
* EvilTwin: Oddly enough, Blue could considered the evil twin to Rouge. The former is perfectly willing to manipulate whoever he needs to to kill his brother, while the latter is generally friendly, and in-game, will join anyone's quest, unlike Blue who outright refuses to join Red simply because he doesn't like his name.
** [[spoiler:[[AllThereInTheManual According to the manual]], Blue ''lost'' to Rouge, thus the one who did the remainder of the quest (including the 'eternal' fight with Hell's Lord) was supposedly Rouge.]]
* ExactlyWhatIAimedAt: The Trickshot skill, when used only with one gun: the user shoots above the enemy, causing rocks to cascade down.
* {{Expy}}: Zozma bears an uncanny resemblance to [[StreetFighter Street Fighter's]] Akuma- He's even able to use Evil magic.
** In addition, Red's appearance seems to be based on that of a character of the same name from a little known Squaresoft game called ''TreasureHunterG.'' There's also a Blue in that game, though he only looks somewhat similar.
** Dr. Nusakan bears a rather creepy resemblance to [[FinalFantasyVII Dr. Hojo]], as well.
* FanDisillusionment: [[spoiler:Blue]] has a subtle example near the end of his game. Upon returning to [[spoiler:the Magic Kingdom,]] which is in ruins, he sees a statue of [[spoiler: the goddess of Magic]], calling it a fake, as [[spoiler: magic wasn't able to save the kingdom]]
* FightWoosh
* FlowerFromTheMountaintop: The quest for the Shield card involves getting one of these. Though Fuse ''says'' it's because he can't just give the card away, [[AllThereInTheManual apparently,]] it's because he fancies the girl at the front desk at IRPO.
* FluffyCloudHeaven: Fluffy Cloud Hell, actually.
* FlunkyBoss: Master Ring, Death Lord, Quakeworm
* ForegoneVictory: In Blue's game, if you actually ''do'' lose to Rouge, [[spoiler:he absorbs you instead, and you play the remainder of the game as Rouge.]]
* FortuneTeller: The region of Devin is ''filled'' with these.
* FreezeFrameBonus: At the very beginning of Asellus' game, an image flashes of ''something'' flashes by for a split second while she's trying to remember what happened to her. It's actually an [[http://tcrf.net/File:Sgf-nightmare.png image of the carriage]] she was run over by.
* FusionDance: [[spoiler: The duel with Blue and Rouge is used to establish the dominant personality in]] One of the 'Power Booster' variety. In addition, Mystics have the power to absorb slain enemies into their weapons to increase their stats and learn more moves.
* GameBreakingBug: If played on certain PSX emulators (ePSXe and at least one other), a screen transition will fail in the Tanzer dungeon and leave the game {{Unwinnable}}. Given that a player won't reach this dungeon until several hours into a character's quest, and given the relative difficulty of porting saves between emulators, this is a very nasty surprise indeed.
* GameplayAndStorySegregation: Two aversions- Red is unable to transform into Alkaiser when the humans in his group are healthy, because it would give away his secret identity. Blue is unable to learn Mind magic until after the duel with Rouge, because [[spoiler: his soul is split between the two of them.]]
** Also averted with non-boss mystic enemies doing a fraction of their potential damage to PC mystics, illustrating the power gap between common mystic and the party's noble mystics.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: At the time the game was launched, Asellus' homosexuality was ''extremely'' daring, and required massive amounts of disguise, [[HideYourLesbians ambiguity]] and [[DiscountLesbians phlebotinum]] to make it across.
* GiantSpaceFleaFromNowhere: [[spoiler: Diva.]]
* GlobalCurrency: "Credits." There are also gold ingots which are subject to supply and demand.
* GottaCatchEmAll: The nine rings of power in Riki's game.
** There's also the four Arcana Tarot cards and four Rune Stones.
* GravityMaster: Mastering Space Magic gives you the "Reverse Gravity" spell.
* GreatEscape: At the start of Emelia's game.
* GuideDangIt: Several of the secret characters. Sei can only be found after beating a BonusDungeon in Shrike, Suzaku can be recruited only if you beat a random BonusBoss, while you're on a certain quest, and Rei can only be obtained during Asellus' game, after you lose [[spoiler:White Rose]], if you went into her room with ''just'' White Rose early on in the game.
* GunsAkimbo: The Two Gun ability, which lets the user... hold two guns.
* HopelessBossFight: Shuzer at the beginning of Red's game.
* HubCity: Koorong. It's the only Region which allows you to take a ship to nearly all others, has the greatest concentration of shops in the game, and doubles as a HubLevel in Riki and Emelia's quests.
* IdentityAbsorption: The end result of [[spoiler: Blue and Rouge's final battle.]]
* IdeaBulb: Used to show when a character learns a new move
* ImplausibleFencingPowers: Many, MANY of the stronger sword moves. Notable is Gen's ability to cut rope with a lead pipe. [=T260G=] [[{{Lampshade}} momentarily comments]] [[BeyondTheImpossible on the impossibility]].
* ImprovisedWeapon: Early in T260's game, Gen uses wields a pipe as though it were a sword. He even manages to cut a rope with it...or not...
* InevitableTournament: Shingrow holds a masked martial arts tournament every year. This fact is mentioned just before Emelia gets entered. Red can enter as Alkaiser, though it's not necessary.
* InformedEquipment: Whether you've got on the strongest equipment in the game or charge into battle naked, the sprite remains the same.
** Averted in the case of exactly four swords--Asura, Kusanagi, Light Sword, and Ray Sword are colored differently in battle than any other. Shields are also colored differently depending on which you have, but only appear when being used.
* InspirationNod: A couple of examples.
* InstantRunes: Rune magic is represented by giant glowing runes appearing over the targets.
* InterfaceScrew: During the Tarot Quest, getting the Grail Card requires asking a series of brewers where it is. At each one, your character takes a swig. When you actually head for the Grail Shrine, your character is plastered, and takes random steps in various directions (even if you aren't moving) - usually directly into enemies. In battle itself, your party (aside from Mecs) gets hit with random status effects due to being drunk.
* IOweYouMyLife: Mesarthim to Asellus.
* {{Irony}}: The Freeedom rune is located in Despair, [[TheAlcatraz a prison]].
* JackassGenie: [[spoiler: The 9 Rings of Power- When Riki wishes for Margmel to be reborn, all those that were not there when it was first created vanish.]]
** According to ''Essence'', this is also the reason Hell looks [[FluffyCloudHeaven like it does]]- Long ago, a mage from the Magic Kingdom wished for paradise, but as [[spoiler: the rings]] are evil, got something that appears to be paradise on the outside, but is, in fact, Hell on the inside.
* JumpedAtTheCall: Red was more than willing to become a hero. Probably helps that he would have died otherwise, and that the people he wants to fight killed his family.
* JustEatHim: Tanzer swallows airships whole, and the people inside the airships can cope for a while
* JustifiedTutorial: Arguably, Blue's entire game, as his quest to master as much magic as possible is one the player is likely to repeat in every character's game.
* KenjiIto
* LaserGuidedTykeBomb: [[spoiler: The reason [=Blue/Rouge=] was SplitAtBirth, was so both halves could learn opposite schools of magic, have one kill the other and absorb his magical talent, and fight back TheLegionsOfHell.]]
* LazyBackup: You can send in any of your three teams of five to fight, but if all of one team dies, it's game over.
* LensFlare: Alkaiser and Alkarl's "Bright Fist" and "Shining Kick" attacks. The regular martial arts move "Gold Hand" takes this UpToEleven, with rotating LensFlare around the target.
* LesbianVampire: Asellus, if you get her Full-Mystic ending.
* LetsFightLikeGentlemen: At the end of Red's game, Metal Black refuses to fight Alkaiser while he's tired, and allows him to recover.
* LevelAte: Kylin's Paradise combines this and ToyTime
* LightAndMirrorsPuzzle: The Luminous Labyrinth which must be solved to obtain the gift of Light Magic. It also adds color filters into the mix. You have to hit the exit portal with white light to escape; hitting it with a colored light will either give you an item or start a random battle.
* LimitedMoveArsenal: Done differently depending on the race of the character.
** Humans can go into battle with up to ten moves, and can learn as many as they want that aren't specific to other races.
** Mystics can learn as much magic as they want, but can only use 4 spells at a time. They can also learn up to three moves at a time by absorbing monsters into their Mystic Sword, Mystic Gloves, or Mystic Boots- absorbing a new monster replaces the move with a new one.
*** The Half-Mystic Asellus is the best of both worlds- She can learn techniques as a human ''or'' a mystic, depending on if she uses her Mystic Gloves, Mystic Sword, and/or Mystic Boots, allowing her to go into battle with 7-10 human abilities as well as 0-3 Mystic ones.
** Mecs can download as many moves as they want from other Mecs, but how many they can use at a time depends on their Intelligence stat.
** Monsters can absorb up to ten moves from other monsters-- any more than that and an old one must be forgotten.
* LiteralSplitPersonality
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: There are a total of 31 characters that can be recruited, plus 7 playable characters, some of which can ''also'' be recruited.
** There were supposed to be eight of them. [[DemotedToExtra Isn't it sad, Fuse?]]
* LockedOutOfTheFight: In order to get the gift for Mind Magic, each character fights a group of monsters, alone.
** The WizardDuel in Blue's game also fits, as it's a one on one fight between Blue and his brother. The other characters in your group can be seen watching.
** There's a more minor example in the Shadow Magic quest. Due to properties of the dungeon, monster allies must wait outside. This makes acquiring the gift for your teammates quite easy when playing as Riki however, as you simply spend the "quest" in the waiting room.
* LogicBomb: There's actually a Mec only attack ''called'' Logic Bomb, that damages and puts status effects on other Mecs. It's represented onscreen by a long string of numbers, ending in the word 'DEATH'.
* LossOfIdentity: No matter the result of the duel, Blue and Rouge have a brief moment of trying to figure out who he is. Oddly enough, the winner believes he lost.
* LuckBasedMission: Riki's fight against the Ring Lord Virgil, as he and his crew are required to score combos of 3 or more. Which can easily be averted by using DSC as it is a combo in itself, it doesn't link with other allies during a combination attack.
* MagicAIsMagicA: A few basic rules to it- A) No one person can learn magic from opposing schools (Light & Shadow, Mind & Evil, Rune & Tarot, Time & Space, and Realm & Mystic,) B) Without the Gift, you cannot learn more powerful spells. [[spoiler: Blue and Rouge]] were specifically created to break Rule A.
** Mind Magic has a rule of its own- Only humans can obtain the Gift for it.
** In addition, according to books in the Magic Kingdom, by mastering both Light and Shadow magic, one can learn Life Magic, and Mirage magic was lost to the ages, eventually becoming Mystic and Shadow.
* MagicalSociety: The Magic Kingdom, where Blue and Rouge are from. It's stated that all men born there are born with the Gift for Realm magic.
* MagicMisfire: The Realm Magic spell 'Psychic Prison' forces one of these on the target-- The next time they attempt to use magic, the effect 'Backfire' occurs, and the enemy takes some damage.
* MagikarpPower: T260's original body. While it starts with only 5 in each stat and one piece of equipment, and the other models have fancy gadgets like laser cannons and repairkits, it has the potential to be the strongest in the game, since Mecs level up by the equipment they have on, and the original body has the most available slots.
* MayflyDecemberRomance: Asellus and Gina have an ambiguous mayfly-December relationship in her Half-Mystic ending.
* MeaningfulName: Orlouge's mistresses Japanese names and numbers-- Shirobara Hime's (White Rose) number is 46, which is pronounced "Shi-roku," or "shi-ro" (white) in Japanese. Kinjishi Hime's (Golden Lion) number is 44, which is pronouced "shi-shi" (lion) in Japanese. Due to the adjective "kin" or "gold" attached to the noun, "shi-shi" becomes "ji-shi."
** Some of the regions, such as Luminous (the region where ''Light'' and Shadow magic are learned), Baccarat (a casino), and Scrap (which appears to be made solely of rusted metal). Omble, the place you go to find shadow magic, was likely supposed to be "Ombre", French for "shade."
* MirrorBoss: When you battle Rouge in Blue's game, you find that he's learned the exact opposite types of magic you have. In addition, his (magic-related) stats are the same as yours.
** Red's quest has a RecurringBoss named Metal Black, a robot warrior who remodels himself after every defeat. His final form is modeled after Red's superhero identity, Alkaiser; he even has a copy of Red's finishing move, Dark Phoenix.
* MirrorMatch: If the player visits Omble to learn Shadow magic, the trip ends with a fight between your (main) party and their shadows.
* MultipleEndings: Asellus has three, Emelia has two.
* MutuallyExclusiveMagic: As detailed in MagicAIsMagicA, no one can learn both a school of magic and its opposite, though you can still buy spells from opposing schools. [[spoiler: Except Blue and Rouge, who are specifically designed to break this rule.]]
* NewGamePlus: At the start of the game, the player creates 'system data.' Using the same data every time you start with a new character makes their games a bit easier. For example, Red can start with as much as 180 HP and already know the move Chop, or secondary characters may start with better equipment.
* NewPowersAsThePlotDemands: In the third battle against Metal Black, he takes Alkaiser's signature move, Al-Phoenix, and turns it back on him with Dark-Al-Phoenix, a very damaging move that Metal Black had no indication of using before. After it's used on Alkaiser, ''[[GuideDangIt and for this battle only]]'', is Alkaiser has a free technique slot and uses Al-Phoenix, he'll always learn Re-Al-Phoenix, which takes the original power and turns it UpToEleven, becoming his strongest attack.
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: As it turns out, [[spoiler: since the Nine Rings of Power are evil, wishes made with them are intentionally misinterpreted- Riki wishing for Margmel to be reborn means that anyone ''not'' there when it was born ceases to exist.]] It's AllThereInTheManual that this is also the reason Hell looks like Paradise-- a mage from the Magic Kingdom [[spoiler: wished for a paradise, but since the rings are inherently evil, got something that only looked like it.]]
* NoblewomansLaugh: Asellus in her Full Mystic ending, notable as it's one of the only voice clips in the game.
* NonlethalKO: When your HP runs out, your character is knocked out and loses a life point. If they continue to get hit and lose all their life points, the character is KilledOffForReal. If happens to the main character, it's Game Over, with a short message saying [Character Name] is dead.
* NoodleIncident: Mei-Ling and Fei-On had ''some'' sort of past relationship, but exactly ''what'' that was and what happened during it is left to imagination.
* NoOntologicalInertia: [[AllThereInTheManual According to supplementary materials,]] killing Kylin also destroys the paradise he created, and everyone else in it. Including the children it was created for.
* NoStatAtrophy
* NumberOfTheBeast: The Evil spell "Pain Doubler" doubles the total damage done to all enemies, up to a maximum of 666. When used on a PlayerCharacter, it can be especially damaging, as HP maxes out at 999. When used by Zozma, the only playable character who can learn it, it's not all that great, as the average damage tends to be in the thousands.
* OffscreenInertia- It is implied that Blue never actually ''kills'' [[spoiler: Hell's Lord,]] but fights him eternally.
* OlderThanSheLooks: Not that you can tell by the sprites, but Asellus is a 29 year old who looks 17.
* OminousMultipleScreens: The battle with Genocide Heart in T260's game is fought in a room full of screens, that act as a sort of health meter. The more damaged Genocide Heart is, the more screens fizzle out. [[spoiler: They're also used for mirrors for its signature attack: Carnage]]
* OneNationUnderCopyright: Trinity is a corporation that became a corrupt version of TheFederation. They're involved in some pretty shady stuff, too, though they're only significantly involved in two characters' plots (Emelia and Lute). [[spoiler: One of their most powerful leaders is the BigBad, according to [[AllThereInTheManual the supplementary material]].]]
* OpiumDen: In Kyo. [[spoiler: [=BlackX=] runs their drug operations from it.]]
* OptionalPartyMember: There's a grand total of 31 recruitable characters, though depending on who you're playing, the number is closer to 20. That said, all but one of the protagonists can be recruited in another's game.
* OurMermaidsAreDifferent: Apparently, mermaids are water mystics.
* OurVampiresAreDifferent: Mystics are basically vampires. They're immortal, can be created from humans, some of them sleep in coffins (the princesses are shown to, but everyone else we dunno), and many of them are nobles. But they don't drink blood. They have mystic weapons that absorb souls.
** Though at one point Asellus suggests that she might suck Riki's blood.
* PartyInMyPocket: Characters joining the group just walk right into your body. If they have anything plot-relevant to say, they'll step out, say it, and go back in. Slime even forces his way into the party by [[strike:sliding slithering]] walking into you.
* PetalPower: The katana technique "Tres Flores".
* PlanetHeck: A subversion- Hell looks like a [[BonusLevelOfHeaven really nice place]]- Crystal staircases, clouds, cherubs floating by... then you try and talk to one and get hurled into a battle with a demon.
* PlanetOfHats: Some of the regions. Most noticeably, Devin which is ''riddled'' with {{Fortune Teller}}s of all kinds.
* PlotCouponThatDoesSomething: The nine rings of power in Riki's game can be used in game to buff the party or debuff enemies.
* PointOfNoReturn: Hell in Blue's game, Mondo's base in Lute's, and the Black Ray in Red's. Saving in any of these places before you're trained well enough can make the game {{Unwinnable}}.
* {{Polyamory}}: The state of [[spoiler: Asellus and Gina's relationship in the Half-Mystic ending]] is implied to be incompletely exclusive. [[spoiler: Asellus can't get Gina pregnant, after all.]]
* PowerCopying: Mystics, Monsters, and Mecs learn new skills from defeated opponents.
* ThePowerOfFriendship: Two notable examples, as detailed in [[AllThereInTheManual "The Essence of Saga Frontier"]]. The first is that chronologically, Lute's quest is last, because he was too busy helping everyone else, but as a bonus, his new friends help him in his final battle. The second offers a more optimistic ending for Blue. [[spoiler: Because he remembered that there were people outside who cared about him, he musters the power to break out of Hell.]]
* PowerOfTheVoid: The Space Magic spell "Vanish" which removes enemies from existence.
* PreexistingEncounters
* PrisonEpisode: The first part of Emelia's game, and a part of the quest for the gift for Rune magic.
* PublicDomainArtifact: The Treasures of Amaterasu can be found in Sei's Tomb. The Kusanagi is one of the most powerful swords in the game, and one of a few that are colored differently than normal[[note]]It's blue. The others are Asura, Lightsword, and Alkaiser's Raysword[[/note]], ''and'' comes with a special attack. The Mirror is a shield that grants immunity to fire and water attacks, and equipping the Necklace allows access to the Sacred Song attack, a powerful move that's especially effective on undead creatures. Interestingly, Murakumo, the other name for the sword, can be found there, but it's half as strong as the Kusanagi.
* PunnyName: The AGUNI [[DontExplainTheJoke (agony)]] line of guns. It's also possible they were supposed to be AGNI, which is still funny.
* PuzzleBoss: In Riki's game, [[ShoutOut Ring Lord]]. In order to beat him, you must rack up a score of 10 by doing combos, which becomes more and more difficult after awhile, as he gets tired of waiting and begins to [[CurbStompBattle stomp your party into the ground]].
* RazorWind: Gale Slash, Two Gale Slash, and the monster version, Gale Attack.
* ReportsOfMyDeathWereGreatlyExaggerated: As it turns out, Asellus' accident was twelve years ago, and she'd been presumed dead for the whole time.
* TheReveal: All seven characters' quests have at least one major reveal near their end.
* RubberBandAI: The enemies that appear in a given fight are based on a "class" of enemy (mech, water monster, etc) compounded by a rank system, which is determined on your stat totals and the location the fight occurs.
* ScaryShinyGlasses: Dr. Nusakan
* SealedEvilInADuel: Blue's final battle.
* SecretCharacter: A couple are guide danged hard to find, like Suzaku, Sei, and Rei, mentioned above. Some, like Thunder and Mesarthim, only require you to have certain other characters in your group.
* SecretIdentity: Played completely straight without a hint of GameplayAndStorySegregation. Red can switch to his superhero mode in combat, but until late in the game the command is only available if every member of the party is blind, otherwise incapacitated, or a Mec.
* SecretIdentityChangeTrick: Occasional in Red's game, though usually by happy accidents- power outages, briefly being separated from the group, or, in combat everyone else being somehow incapacitated.
* TheShadowKnows: In ''Essence'', there's a picture of Red casting a shadow of Alkaiser, with the words "[[{{Engrish}} Chang]] for justice!" beneath.
* ShaggyDogStory: [[spoiler: Riki's. Turns out the rings are evil, and he has to stop them. He does so, his DoomedHometown is, well, [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin doomed]], the inhabitants optimistically decide to just move elsewhere, and all the rings are scattered across the world (with the majority returned to where they were originally).]] In other words, going through the whole adventure accomplished absolutely nothing.
* SheIsTheKing: Asellus is called the "Prince" of Facinaturu. This is likel due to the facts that: A)In Facinaturu, "Princess" is a term reserved for Orlouge's mistresses, and B) The Mystics don't tend to care much about gender.
* ShoutOut
** Red's not the only person to become a super hero after Black Cross destroyed his home- ''Series/{{Himitsu Sentai|Goranger}}'' did it first. Late in his game, one of the fights in the [=BlackX=] base consists of a Red Fighter, a Yellow Fighter, a Green Fighter, a Pink Fighter, and a Blue Fighter, the same colors the protagonists from the show wear.
** T260 gets a "G" slapped on the end of its name after being found in a crater filled with junk, and gets used for combat almost immediately. "[[BattleAngelAlita Gally]]" was also found in a crater filled with junk and was used for combat.
** There are two [[VideoGame/WorldOfMana Rabite statues]] just outside the shrine in Devin. They also exist as enemies in-game, though it's unlikely you'll see them.
* ShowsDamage: Genocide Heart's OminousMultipleScreens fizzle out as he takes damage.
* SiblingYinYang: Blue and Rouge. In terms of personality, Blue is a JerkAss in-game, while Rouge [[AllThereInTheManual supposedly]] has an easier time making friends. In terms of abilities, as mandated by the plot, they master opposing schools of magic. The differences even spread to appearance- Blue wears a blue robe and keeps his hair in a ponytail, while Rouge wears a red one and keeps his hair down.
* {{Sidequest}}: Notably, almost all of the sidequests are actually main quests for one protagonist or another; for a case in point, the magic quests are essentially the entirety of Blue's quest, but for everyone else they're a major sidequest. The only pure side areas are the Bio Research Lab in Shrike and [[spoiler: Furdo's workspace]] in the Magic Kingdom; both of those were ''intended'' to be in Asellus' quest before her quest was bulldozed due to time constraints.
* SidetrackBonus: In the quest for the Shield card, should you enter a cave rather than just stay on the main path, you can fight a red and black dragon who're hoarding all kinds of goodies.
* SpacePirate: Nomad and her crew.
* SpeechBubbles: Your words are a different color than normal [=NPC=]s. Even if you come across them in the other characters' stories, protagonists' words will usually be whatever color they are in their own game.
** In Asellus' game, Mystics' text is in blue.
* SpellMyNameWithAnS: [=Vadjoueal/Virgil/Vergil=], [=Schoether/Shuzer=], [=Meiren/Mei-Ling=], [=Kylin/Kirin/Kyrin=], [=Time/Thyme=], [=Ciato/Scheat=], [=Furdo/Furud=] and [=Ildon/Yildun=].
** Lots of translation artifacts, here. "Koorong" instead of "Kowloon" is another.
* SpinningClockHands: Used as an ''attack''- Time Magic's Chaos Stream spell spins the enemies around on a clock face, possibly petrifying it or lowering its speed.
* SplitAtBirth: [[spoiler: Blue and Rouge]]
* StandardRPGItems: Your various health potions, status effect removers, buff/debuff items, damage dealing ones, and whatnot. There's no "Revive" item, though--due to the game's mechanics, any healing item will revive a character.
* StandardStatusEffects: And they actually tend to hit the enemies, too. Petrify especially proves useful. Unfortunately it works the other way, too. Being Charmed or Confused can be a massive pain in the neck.
* StatusBuff: All of Rune Magic, as well as spells in a few other schools.
* StockMonsters: It IS an RPG after all.
* StuckItems: Most Mystics come with Mystic Mail, different Mecs have different bits of equipment they can't remove, and Living Swords can possess characters, becoming "Glirandly," a sword that provides a stat boost, but cannot be unequpped (unless you use it's special move, Final Strike).
* SueDonym: During Red's quest he attempts to investigate a fighting tournament dressed in his superhero outfit. When asked his name at the sign-up counter he stammers part of his real name a few times, and winds up entered in as "Rerere".
* SuperEmpowering: In their {{Emergency Transformation}}s, Red and Asellus get Superpowers and Mystic powers respectively, Red is Type 4, while Asellus is a mix of types 1 and 4.
* SuperheroOrigin: Red becomes a superhero, as it was the only way to save his life after the HopelessBossFight fight with Shuzer.
* SuplexFinisher: The Suplex martial arts technique manifests in three or four different ways depending on the enemy being fought. In addition, there's also Locomotion G, a series of four or five, and the DSC which combines all the different suplexes with a couple of other martial arts moves.
* SwissArmyWeapon: The IRPO's Hand Blaster, which can be used as a laser gun, a beam sword, or a [[StunGuns paralyzer.]]
* TailorMadePrison: The prison region Despair was initially created to house one single prisoner: [[spoiler: the Warden]].
* TakeYourTime: Blue is told to hurry because he cannot learn any magic his brother already has, but you're never forced to get a different school because Rouge got there first.
* TakenForGranite: A few moves (usable by both you or the random monsters that have it), can petrify. If used on an enemy, the result is instant death, while when used on the player, the character is 'Stoned' and unable to attack, but immune to damage and loss of LP. If the whole team (or just the ones left alive) are Stoned, it's GameOver.
* TarotMotifs: An entire school of magic is based on the Tarot, using Swords, Grail, Gold, Shield, Fool, Magician, Death, and Tower.
* TechTree: An absolutely immense one, with over 100 abilities that can be learned from each other with varying degrees of success, depending on which move is being used, who's using them, and what weapon they have equipped while using it.
* TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt: [[spoiler: T260's original mission is to stop Region Buster III,]] a machine capable of destroying [[EarthshatteringKaboom entire Regions]].
* ThemeNaming:
** Rosemary and her brother, Thyme.
** StellarName: Although the translation gets in the way of this a bit, most of the mystics ([[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamma_Cancri Asel]][[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delta_Cancri lus]], [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rastaban Rastaban]], Ciato ([[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scheat Scheat]]), Zozma ([[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zosma Zosma]]), Furdo ([[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Furud Furud]]), Ildon ([[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yildun Yildun]]), [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamma_Arietis Mesarthim]], and [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beta_Coronae_Borealis Nusakan]] are named for stars.
* ThemeTwinNaming: Blue and Rouge (French for "red").
* ThereCanBeOnlyOne: On an extremely small scale-- The Magic Kingdom "does not need two incomplete magicians-- [they] need a superior one", so Blue or Rouge needs to be killed by the other.
* TickTockTune: Fittingly, Time Lord's region has this as its [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bR52Wi5H5uw BGM]], once the clocks start working again.
* TimeMaster: Time Lord, and anyone who learns Time Magic, though only one person in the universe can learn the more powerful spells.
* TimeStandsStill: The Overdrive spell, which lets one character act while time stands still for eight turns.
* ToBeContinued: Red's game ends on this note... but not with Red or Alkaiser's as the story being continued...
* TooAwesomeToUse: The Sanctuary Stone item. Incredibly rare, but works as a portable inn. Can be useful in the final dungeons, if there's no way to backtrack and heal at a real one.
* ToyTime: Kylin's Paradise combines this and LevelAte.
* TheTragicRose
* TransformationSequence: Alkaiser has his HenshinHero-style Alkaiser Change one, Asellus her SuperMode-style Mystical Change.
* TurnsRed: Orlouge. At the start of the fight, he uses one Portrait at a time-- when he's at the last 20,000 to 30,000 HP, he summons all three, giving him access to new, stronger moves.
* [[UndercoverCopReveal Undercover IRPO Agent Reveal]]: Doll, while investigating Berva's Base in Red's game.
* UnwittingPawn: It's revealed at the end of [[spoiler: Riki's]] quest that [[spoiler: the Rings]] are evil and that [[spoiler: Mei-ling]] was the BigBad all along and was manipulating [[spoiler: Riki into collecting them.]]
* UselessUsefulSpell: Tower. It IS incredibly powerful. Sometimes. When it's not, it does as little as 500 damage. And it uses all your JP, so you only get one shot.
* {{Unwinnable}}: It's entirely possible to get to the final dungeon of Lute's game in about half an hour, with no training. Of course, if you save there, you're outta luck.
* TheVeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon: Hell, in Blue's game. Not only is it, y'know, '''''{{Hell}}''''', but even though Blue is the only character with any form of WarpWhistle, you are told before you enter that if you try to use it, "You'll be cast away into [[TheNothingAfterDeath the eternal oblivion]]."
* VictoryPose: ''Every'' character has one. From Gen drinking heavily, to Alkaiser dancing, to Liza swiping her hair.
* WarpWhistle: Blue's Region Map.
* WasItReallyWorthIt: Mei-Ling asks "Do we have to put up with this just to acquire the gift?" after Blue gets the gift for Space Magic. Seeing as how Kylin maintained a paradise for children, that you just [[NoOntologicalInertia destroyed by killing him]], it's a valid point.
* WeaponsThatSuck: Mystic Sword, Mystic Gloves and Mystic Boots, which are used by Mystics to absorb enemies to use their power.
* WeCannotGoOnWithoutYou: If the main character of any story loses all their LP (and therefore dies), it's an instant game-over, even if the other 4 characters in your party are at perfect health.
* WeirdMoon: On the night of the duel between Blue and Rouge, the moon is half full... the ''bottom'' half. It looks like it may actually have been [[DefaceOfTheMoon partially destroyed]]
* WeNeedADistraction: One of the Shadow spells, Hide Behind, creates an illusion of the caster behind an enemy to provide a distraction.
* WhatKindOfLamePowerIsHeartAnyway: Space Magic in general. Of its six spells, two can only affect monsters with either Deathsynthesis or Photosynthesis, one also stops ''your'' status effects, and two are weaker than other spells of similar cost. The instant death spell, Vanish, is decent, but there are still other spells that can do the same thing.
* WhereItAllBegan: Both Blue and Asellus' games end where they begin, The Magic Kingdom and Orlouge's castle, respectively.
* WideOpenSandbox: Any protagonist can go to most (though not all) locations and do some of the quests there (or at least loot the place and grind against monsters), with the expectation that in most quests you'll go out and do some LevelGrinding, skill grinding and otherwise buffing yourself up before you go on the final quest. Asellus and Lute deserve special mention, though: their storylines are almost completely sandbox and directionless for the majority of the game. Asellus' quest is unique because it doesn't happen on her schedule; instead, she plays in the sandbox while being chased by assassins who show up in any of a number of locations, until [[spoiler: White Rose is trapped in the labyrinth and she can go and settle the score with Lord Orlouge]]. Lute, meanwhile, only has one storyline quest, but he has to roam around at random just to find it, and he'd ''better'' build up a bit before embarking on it.
** QuicksandBox: Both present and averted. Some of the stories (like Riki) are very straightforward, and you can learn your way around the sidequests by playing some characters' main quests, but starting with Asellus or Lute is a quick way to get completely lost.
* WindIsGreen: [[RazorWind Gale Slash and Gale Attack]] are green gales of wind directed at all opponents.
* AWinnerIsYou: Blue's ending consists of the screen fading to gray, then the words 'The End' appearing on the screen. That said, everything past the DuelBoss fight with Rouge could be considered a 'playable ending,' as the credits roll after it.
* WizardDuel: The penultimate boss fight in Blue's game is a duel with his twin brother, Rouge. The winner absorbs the loser's magic and personality. During the battle, one school of magic becomes more powerful every other turn or so, including those that cannot be obtained by either.
* WombLevel: Tanzer, a monster large enough to swallow region ships whole.
* WorldOfCardboardSpeech: Asellus gives one [[spoiler: to Lord Orlouge upon her return to Fascinaturu, explaining the moral path that she's chosen and why she's returned to Fascinaturu. Depending on her choices, Orlouge can respond with bored contempt, confusion, or [[WorthyOpponent pride]].]]
* WrongContextMagic: Some characters have very unique abilities that may even break the standard rules. Among others, [[spoiler: Blue and Rouge were created to break MutuallyExclusiveMagic]], and the HalfHumanHybrid Asellus is capable of increasing her stats both as a human and as a mystic (though she has to go into SuperMode to take advantage of Mystic bonuses), and she can use combat abilities (which are human-only), magic (which both humans and mystics share) ''and'' mystics' natural abilities.
* {{Wutai}}: Wakatu and Kyo.
* YouCantGoHomeAgain: Neither Blue nor Rouge can return to the Magic Kingdom until one has killed the other.
* YouAllMeetInACell: Emelia begins her quest imprisoned in Despair, and meets Liza and Annie there.
* YouCouldHaveUsedYourPowersForGood: Red says this word for word to his WorthyOpponent, Metal Black after the final defeat.
* YouKillItYouBoughtIt: Only one being in the entire ''universe'' can possess the Gifts for Time or Space magic. In order to master it, you must kill the one that has it.
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