AliceSoft is an eroge
developer, one of the oldest in existence. Although they are perhaps not as well known as the truly big groups like Type-MOON
and Key/Visual Arts
, AliceSoft has managed to carve out a niche for itself by incorporating interesting and involved gameplay elements that occasionally challenge the player. Where other developers will eschew gameplay in favour of telling a fantastic story
or cutting straight to the heart of the matter
, AliceSoft embraces it wholeheartedly to the point that many of their works on this wiki could be classified as both Video Games
and Visual Novels
The company began in 1989 making games for the PC88
. These included a Visual Novel
known as Intruder
and the very first Rance
game, chronicling the adventures of everyone's favorite Heroic Comedic Sociopath
as he searched for and "rescued" kidnapped girls. They continued to release games in uninterrupted succession until 2008.
Many of AliceSoft's games tend to be either Eastern RPGs
, Dating Sims
or Turn-Based Strategy
Games and have a penchant for sly, subtle jabs
at elements of anime and Japanese pop culture in general. Their more beloved titles fall squarely in the Explicit Content
category and have high quality soundtracks courtesy of their in-house composers. Occasionally the company will allow its games to be adapted into short OVAs that tend to overemphasise the "porn" aspect of the works.
Notable AliceSoft titles include:
- The Rance Series
- Rance/Rance 01 - Search For Hikari
- Rance II/Rance 02 - The Rebellious Maidens
- Rance III - The Fall of Leazas
- Rance IV - Legacy Of the Sect
- Rance 4.1 - Save the Medicine Plant!
- Rance 4.2 - Angel Group
- Kichikuou Rance
- Rance 5D - Lonely Girl
- Rance VI - Collapse of Zeth
- Sengoku Rance
- Rance Quest
- Rance IX - The Helman Revolution
- Rance X (final game in the series)
- The Miki-chan series (Made back when they were called Champion Soft)
- The Toushin Toshi/Tournament of the Gods series
- Toushin Toshi
- Toushin Toshi II
- Toushin Toshi III
- Beat Angel Escalayer
- Beat Blades Haruka
- The Dai Series
- Daibanchou/Big Bang Age
- Gal Zoo Island
- The Pastel Chime Series
- Pastel Chime
- Pastel Chime Continue
- Pastel Chime: Bindseeker
- Ultra Magical Girl Manana (A serial in Visual Novel form chronicling the adventures of the titular magical girl)
- Mamatoto ~A Record of War~
- Widenyo (a remake of Mamanyonyo)
Tropes That Apply To This Company
- Absurdly High Level Cap: A good way of gauging how important someone is in the Rance series is by looking at their level cap. As the average person generally has a level cap in the single digits, someone with a level cap in the mid thirties is considered comparable to an elite soldier. For the most part, however, all of the major players in the Rance universe have level caps of forty or higher, with Rance (and, theoretically, his descendants) having no level cap at all!
- The Ace: The main characters of the Dai games are all incredibly talented alpha males who excel in pretty much everything. While Rance has slowly raised himself to this position in his games, the stand out example for the longest time was Rick Addison, who is presented as handsome, intelligent and better at fighting than Rance.
- Adaptation Distillation: As Kichikuou Rance condenses an entire six games worth of plot that had yet to be fully realized, along with several other pieces of additional background information, the majority of the events are simplified versions of what they would actually become in series canon, with some being completely different entirely.
- Adaptational Heroism: In the Rance series, Oda Nobunaga is presented as a laid-back Nice Guy capable of befriending even Rance, who only did atrocious things after getting possessed by an evil demon.
- Affably Evil: The vast majority of the Dark Lords aligned with the Kayblis faction are pretty okay people overall and simply work for Kayblis due to various circumstances forcing them to. Some, like Galtia, Warg and Kite are Punch Clock Villains while the most villainous ones like Medusa and Kayblis himself are prone to goofing around and having fun.
- Affectionate Parody: Rance is one to pretty much every medieval fantasy Role Playing Games, though particularly Ys and Dungeons & Dragons.
- Big Bang Age follows suit, parodying 80's shonen fighting anime as well as fighting games such as Rival Schools and Street Fighter.
- Dateikoku manages to be on to both the Space Opera genre and all of World War II.
- Afro Ass Kicker: Recurring character Abao Akuu sports a fantastic futuristic looking afro and is almost always a strong unit when playable.
- All There in the Manual: Pretty much the case with every game they make, though none quite like the Rance series, where there are several volumes worth of tie-in books that explain the history of the setting.
- Almighty Idiot: Annis of the Rance series is a level 3 Magic user, which is considered to be an exceedingly rare Physical God level of power. Along with this, she has a level cap in the eighties whereas most high ranking generals' fall some where between the thirties and fifties! While this may seem to make her an obvious candidate for World's Strongest Man, she's so utterly stupid and incompetent that she's much more of a danger to her own teammates than she is to anybody else and is more or less useless in fights as a result.
- Alternate Continuity: Kichikuou Rance is this to the main series, while Mamatoto seems to be a parallel universe featuring several of the same characters.
- Amazon Brigade: While there's no shortage of female warriors in Rance's world, the Leazas Gold Corps. is made up entirely of the strongest women Leazas has to offer and serve as the Queen's personal guard.
- Anti-Hero: Their protagonists manage to fall all across the spectrum. Rance and Akuji accomplish heroic goals, but are overall sociopathic sex offenders who are frequently hard to sympathize with, Tougou and Rouga are both cocky and arrogant but are otherwise entirely heroic characters, while Nanus and Kentarou are straight-laced heroes who frequently get the short end of the stick due to their wimpiness.
- Anything That Moves: Most of their protagonists will have sex with anything so long as it's female. Notably, Rance is the only subversion, if only barely, as he refuses to have sex with anyone who looks underage, even if they're Older Than They Look.
- Art Evolution: Considering how the company has been around since the late 80s, there's been a lot of this. Especially noticeable in the Rance series.
- Author Appeal: TADA, the Director of the Rance Series, Executive Vice President, the chief of the Game developing department, and the one in charge of marketing the AliceSoft brand, likes silly girls, Meganekko, Role Playing Games, Global History (especially Pre-WW2), Romantic Comedies, both insulting and comforting girls, Cute Monster Girls, Battleships, and Military Planes. All of these elements have appeared in AliceSoft games one way or another.
- After Tori left the company due to health reasons, TADA made a post for applicants for her position. While he didn't list any of the above likes as being requirements for the job, they were listed as requirements for being his best friend.
- TADA also has examples of Author Unappeal as well, at odds with some of the other staff members. Primarily the Rance series' half-assed policy on monster design and his dislike of Lolicon.
- AliceSoft really, really likes Gundam. You'd be hard-pressed to find a game of theirs that doesn't reference a character or mobile suit somewhere.
- Author Avatar: TADA once again. He calls himself "King Hanny" around the office and shouts "Moe!" when he sees a cute girl in glasses, so the haniwa are basically an exaggerated version of him.
- A few of the other staff members like to insert themselves in the games as Mooks. Notably Tori and the Iyanayastu (Fan translated as "Asshole" or "Gross Guy") as well as Plum's Ghost.
- "Awesome McCool" Name: The King of Zeth, Ragnarokarc Super Gandhi.
- Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: While Sill's love for Rance is clear, their borderline abusive relationship, mixed with Rance's love of skirt chasing, makes his feelings for her rather dubious. Despite this, whenever he's about to face a near death situation, Rance is always quick to give Sill a very passionate hug. This becomes even more obvious in Kichikuou Rance where, when Sill gets kidnapped, Rance decides to conquer the entire world just to save her. After Sill becomes frozen in Sengoku Rance, Rance gets thrown into a Heroic BSOD and does everything in his power to try and free her.
- Rance X goes through yet another one of these situations when Sill is killed; Rance will become the new Demon King, keep her in a crystal in stasis for recuperation until she recovers much later, and in the meantime he wages bloody hell on the people who harmed her.
- Babies Ever After: With a franchise like Rance, it would be criminal not to end the game series without this. Rance has upwards of 21 children from different mothers, who all become accomplished people in their own right.
- Battle Harem: Rance Quest has a massive character roster, but almost all of them are female characters, with the series' male cast getting reduced to occasional guest appearances. Naturally, Rance has sex with all of them.
- Big Bad: Played with in the Rance games. While Kayblis is certainly the closest thing the setting has to a main villain, he's not actually the designated Big Bad that is the Demon King, who is actually Rance's adorable ally Miki. To further his "kind of the main bad guy but not really" image, it is made abundantly clear that he's just as much a pawn in the game that the Creator Gods are having as anyone else and holds no real power in the grand scheme of things and is generally treated as a Laughably Evil No Respect Guy.
- Black and Gray Morality: While there are some genuinely good people within Rance's world, the majority of the governments are led by corrupt rulers, Leazas included and Rance is the closest thing they have to a hero. The villainous characters, on the other hand, are so despicable that it's impossible not to root for Rance anyway.
- Pretty true for almost every game they make. While there are some legitimately evil people roaming around, for the most part everyone is a decent person, just embroidered in deep conflict with everyone else.
- Bleached Underpants: Their console and handheld ports, naturally.
- Bonus Boss: Generally there's at least one per game, though there are frequently several. The most iconic is definitely Gunagan, a titanic Humanoid Abomination who rewards the player the a bizarre and out of place piece of artwork upon his defeat.
- Born Lucky: Rance is one of the only individuals alive who is completely immune to the laws that govern his universe, which gives him a major edge over pretty much all of his opponents. Later games finally seem to address it and imply that he may be some kind of Humanoid Abomination known as a "balance breaker", though this only opens up more questions.
- Breakout Character: Rance went from just another one of their protagonists to the company's poster boy. In fact, he was so popular that he dominated the Visual Novel Character Polls for years before the poll became exclusively for female characters. It says a lot when the most popular character from an Eroge is a guy.
- Breather Episode: Rance Quest, which takes place in the shadow of Rance's Heroic B.S.O.D., is significantly more lighthearted and less plot heavy than the games proceeding and following it and serves as a way of setting up plot points for the next games rather than actually advancing the plot itself.
- Brilliant, but Lazy: Rance's infinite level cap theoretically makes him the most powerful being in the universe barring the very beings who created it, but he is prevented from completely destroying every game by losing most of his levels between them due to Stat Atrophy from not doing anything between them. He's gotten a bit better by recent games where he's managed to remain around level 40, but characters like Rick and Kenshin still surpass him due to constant training.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Pretty much all of the most powerful people in every game has at least one quirk that makes them this. This includes the protagonists, who are generally more interested in getting laid than saving the world, despite being very competent.
- TADA, the former head of AliceSoft and creator of Rance himself is prone to going off on tangents, making up lore for his universes off the top of his head and randomly shouting "Moe!" in the middle of conversation. Naturally, he is the inspiration for the Mascot Mook hannies.
- Butt-Monkey: Rance's personal slave Sill suffers a lot of humiliation across the series, but she has nothing on Kentou Kanami, who pretty much exists to be the butt of all of Rance's cruelest jokes. Another recurring Butt Monkey is Bird Lithfie, who is guaranteed to lose both his girlfriend and a limb to Rance whenever he appears.
- Everyone ends up playing this role from time to time, simply because Rance acts like a gigantic jerk to everybody, even the people he likes.
- Can't Hold His Liquor: Rance. While he does enjoy alcohol, he tends to try and refrain from drinking it because he is a lightweight to an absurd degree. Sadly, a lot of the men he's come to know as friends (except for Rick) like to share a drink with him, which generally results in him doing something foolish.
- The Casanova: While most of their protagonists are Chick Magnets, Tougou Tsuyoshi of Daiteikoku is the only one who fits the character type, being a suave flirt who constantly sleeps around.
- Cerebus Syndrome: While the Rance series always had genuinely serious moments, they were primarily meant to be wacky parodies. Starting with Rance VI, however, the series has become more and more focused on telling an epic story and the humor, while still very prevalent, has become less and less prominent over time.
- Character Development: While he's still very much a Heroic Comedic Sociopath, Rance has become a nicer guy over the course of his series. Compare his interactions with Patton in Kichikuou Rance with their interactions in Rance IX, which tells the same story but with an in universe year's difference between them. In Kichikuou Rance's disgusted at the thought of shaking hands with Patton while in IX they're Fire-Forged Friends. Rance has also developed a far more heroic motivation besides his usual "have sex with every hot chick in the world'': freeing Sill from the eternal ice she's encased in.
- Char Clone: The most iconic one is Rick Addison of the Rance series, but Idagawa Ren from Daibanchou and Eagle Douglas from Daiteikoku also fit the bill.
- Recurring Traveller Abao Akuu more or less is Char except with a ridiculous design featuring a bright pink spacesuit and afro. Nearly every word out of his mouth is taken directly from the man himself.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Rance himself. From the point of view of someone who doesn't know the things he has done he is a boastful idiot. He does get himself into dangers he could easily avoid by simply thinking twice what he does. But when he gets serious there is nothing in the world able to stop him.
- Crutch Character: Due to the Nintendo Hard nature of most of their games, the player is generally given a character who can steamroll most of the early game with ease (Ferris and Rick from Rance, Shibagami from Daiteikoku), but rendering them unusable after certain events to prevent the player from relying solely on them. Interestingly, the main characters of each of the three Dai games also manage to be this due to having far better stats than pretty much every other playable character, particularly early on, but are incapable of getting character cleared, meaning they'll never get any New Game+ bonuses like the other characters.
- Cute Monster Girl: Played with for Gal Monsters. While most of the Gal Monsters have both "cute" and "girl" down, some of them are lacking in the "monster" department. This is rather apparent in certain classes of Gal Monsters like Magician and Valkyrie, who don't have any part of "monster" on them.
- Darth Vader Clone: Rance after becoming this demon king in Rance X Part 2 has many traits of this. He wears dark armor with a cape and a helmet that covers his face. He was originally the anti-heroic protagonist of his series until he drank the blood of the previous demon king. He was originally a swordsman, but gained more strength and magical abilities after becoming the demon king. He does not want to destroy humanity, but he is struggling to maintain control of himself against the bloodlust of the Blood Soul controlling him. His enemies are his own children, but unlike the original he has eleven of them who need to work together in order to just stand a chance against him. And at the end of the game he pulls a Heel–Face Turn after the Blood Soul was absorbed by Quelplan and turns him back to normal.
- Deconstruction: Toushin Toshi 2 is one of the typical H-game, namely the player's presumed motive for playing to see sex scenes. Within the actual story, while the main character Seed has his own motivation of winning his girlfriend's hand in marriage by winning the tournament, the player can make him have sex with a large chunk of the female cast. While the game doesn't immediately punish Seed for being unfaithful, all but a few sex scenes require Seed to do increasingly horrible things to unlock them, culminating in murdering every girl he has sex with, which the game goes out of its way to describe in horrifying detail and having Seed become terrified and confused by his own actions. Ultimately the game asks the player the question of whether they're invested in the characters themselves, or simply want to see the sex scenes.
- Deconstructive Parody: The Rance series is just as much a deconstruction of traditional Role Playing Games as it is a parody.
- Defiled Forever: Averted in the Rance series, actually. When Kouhime is raped and is depressed because she believes she cannot marry anymore... Rance tells her guys like that don't count, makes fun of the rapists' small penises, and promises to marry her himself if no one else will take her.
- Designated Hero: Rance is an iconic example, but Princess Lia from the same series is another perfect example. She's the de facto Big Good of the story but is a childish Yandere who was the main antagonist of the first game.
- Developers' Foresight: Hacking into Daibanchou to allow yourself to control characters who normally aren't playable like Kamui or Jeanne reveals that they have recorded dialogue for winning and losing battles as well as raising stats, despite never being intended as playable.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: The climax of Rance III has Rance rape the Humanoid Abomination Physical God Demon Lord Gelle, historically noted to be the most dangerous Demon Lord of all time.
- Dirty Coward: A number of characters could fall under this, but Kayblis takes the cake. Despite being by far the most powerful demon other than the Demon King, he has a policy of never getting into a fight if there is even a 0.001% chance he could die. Considering how long he's survived, he might be on to something.
- Does Not Like Men: Rance! He finds ugly men to be hideous wastes of space and attractive men to be threats to his harem, to a point where he'll kill a man in a heart beat if he annoys him too much. There are a small handful of men that he doesn't hate (Patton, Gandhi, etc.) but he's still incredibly abusive towards them and frequently forgets their names. The only men who could genuinely be called his friends are Chaos, Rick Addison and Oda Nobunaga, all of whom he has a heavy Vitriolic Best Buds relationship with.
- Pretty much every AliceSoft protagonist is like this, with the exception of Rouga, who values men and women equally, and Tougou, who vastly prefers women but has no problem working with men.
- The Dog Bites Back: Happens eventually in Rance X, in which the resident Butt-Monkey of the entire franchise, Bird, finally snaps from getting ridiculed and humiliated across the series by Rance and kills Sill right after the entirety of Humanity has successfully managed to defeat Kayblis and liberate themselves from demon opression, inadvertedly setting off the events leading to the game's second part.
- Early-Bird Cameo: Nagi su Ragarl, Shizuka's half sister and rival, appears on the cover of Rance 2, a full four games before her official debut in Rance 6. This is a case of What Could Have Been, as a scenario featuring her was planned for that game, but not implemented until the sixth one.
- Engrish: Due to their love of western settings and names, this happens a lot. Ironically, the most notable case of Surprisingly Good English (albeit a bit nonsensical) is in the opening to Big Bang Age, the game that takes place in Japan.
- Even Designated Heroes Have Standards: Rance can be a pretty horrible person, but he hates racism (especially notable in Rance VI) and goes ballistic when confronted with pedophilia.
- Everyone Can See It: Everyone knows Rance is in love with Sill, no matter how much he denies it. It reaches a point where, during his wedding with Lia in Kichikuou, the only thing several of the guests talk about is how shocked they are that he isn't marrying Sill.
- Final Death: Frequently is employed in their games, though not always. Played straight in Kichikuou Rance, Daiakuji and Daibanchou, used to a lesser extent in Sengoku Rance where fallen characters can randomly die after battles and completely averted in Daiteikoku.
- Genre Roulette: The Rance series almost never sticks to one genre between games. There are generally RPG Elements and an increasing focus on Tactical Combat, but beyond that vary greatly in gameplay and presentation.
- Grand Finale: Rance X to the Rance and Little Princess series. It's even subtitled The Last Rance Series. The game revolves around a full-on demon invasion of all of the world's nations at once, with long-time Big Bad Kayblis at the helm of the demon army. It eventually ends with a Where Are They Now montage for a number of the main characters, finishing with Rance growing old after a lifetime of adventures, siring many children, and passing peacefully with Sill by his bedside.
- Greater-Scope Villain: Ludo-Rathowm, the jerkass God that rules the world, desires entertainment, but sadly he only finds some in suffering, so the entire world, the dark lord system with the Demon King is engineered to give him what he desires.
- Golden Ending: Clearing every ending in Rance IX and then watching one last time the true ending shows Sill getting finally defrosted by Crook thanks to a long ritual and a national treasure from Helman.
- Hard Levels, Easy Bosses: Both Daibanchou and Daiakuji require large amounts of micromanaging to keep troop morale up, maintain conquered territory and fight off endless swarms of enemies. In comparison, the bosses, though by no means ridiculously easy, are simply stronger versions of normal enemies with powerful special abilities, which shouldn't be a problem for you if you can actually reach them. Daiteikoku averts this by having a system that makes all fights be predetermined Curb Stomp Battles, meaning bosses simply require confronting with higher stats than normal enemies do.
- The Hedonist:
- Rance lives exclusively for his own pleasure, and has no real interest in any of the world's affairs despite the massive amount of influence he has on them. Tougou Tsuyoshi is also more interested in sleeping around and having a good time than running a navy, though he takes his job much more seriously than Rance does.
- Rance's hedonism is driven home in Kichikuou Rance, where the Golden Ending, which requires Rance to become King of Leazas, unite the human world, liberate the demon world and (momentarily) defeat the creator of existence, has him immediately filing a divorce from Lia and escaping Leazas to go on more adventures with Sill. In fact, his entire motivation throughout the game is to conquer the world so he can go back to screwing around in it.
- Hero of Another Story: Considering the scale of Rance's world, this isn't very surprising. There are actually three "Designated Protagonists" within the continent consisting of Rance, Kentarou Ogawa and Arios Theoman. Another standout example would be Patton Misnarge, whose quest to reclaim his kingdom is quietly told in the background for over six games before taking center stage in Rance IX.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Tougou and his best friend and second in command Akiyama in Daiteikoku. They've known each other for years, serve as the other's confidant in times of need and raise a child together. Naturally, the Ho Yay gets lampshaded to hell and back, especially when one of their main crew members is a Yaoi Fangirl.
- Rouga and Kyoichirou from Daibanchou are also an example, with Akiyama being heavily inspired by the latter.
- A female example would be Maria and Shizuka in the Rance series, who are almost always together. In the one game where this wasn't the case, Shizuka was quickly added into the game as an update.
- Patton and Hubert from Rance also count, to the point where Hubert is willing to get declared dead by his country to help Patton out.
- Horrible Judge of Character: Almost every heroic character in the Rance series manages to somehow misinterpret Rance as a heroic person despite obvious hints suggesting otherwise. The stand out example would be King Ragnarokarc Super Gahndi, who believes Rance to be the messiah!
- Improbable Age: The cast of Daibanchou is made up of the elite members of the factions warring for control of Japan. Most of them are around 18 and only a small handful are above 30, meaning almost all of Japan's government is run by high school students.
- Irony: Demon Lord Gelle did everything in her power to sandbag the Hero System, ensuring that no noble champion would rise up to strike her down. She is instead defeated by Nominal Hero Rance, who rapes her after she's beaten and abandons her to a very long and lonely imprisonment in the alternate dimension they had fought in. To his credit, he does apologize for doing so as he exits, but it's made clear that a more traditional hero might have been sufficiently moved by her plight to at least try and save her.
- Jerkass Gods: The world of Rance is ruled by a giant Space Whale and his children, who created "The Continent" in an excercise of defeating boredom. Everything that goes wrong in this world (and there is a lot of that) happens only to sate his own lust for entertainment. For example, humans are the third species to have taken control, following Cthulu-esque monsters (who were smart but too squishy) and uberdragons (who were too resilent), while humans can prevail but also can die in so many horrifically entertaining ways.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Sure, Rance is a serial rapist, but he's still a passionate leader, and many of the games show his kindness to his troops and friends.
- Lady Not-Appearing-in-This-Game: Combined with Early-Bird Cameo, Tomato Puree and Nagi su Ragarl have been on the covers of Rance and Rance II, respectively, but they haven't made their in-game appearances until Rance II and Kichikuou Rance.
- Level Cap: One of the most notorious aspects of the Rance series is that every single individual has a set level cap determined from birth. The average person has a level cap of around 5, while an elite soldier has one of around 20. Of course, practically every major character has a level cap of 40 and above, with Rance surpassing everybody with no level cap whatsoever, in theory making him the strongest being alive.
- This becomes an important plot point in Rance 03 Gele opens a dimensional rift, rapidly raising her level and Rance's, not even paying attention to him, only to be stunned by facing a level 560 Rance, and only that level because she closed the rift due to having met her own limit.
- Lighter and Softer: Daibanchou in comparison to their others games. While there's still plenty of rape, the main character Rouga never does any of it and is more or less an All-Loving Hero rather than a Designated Hero. The following game, Daiteikoku's hero Tougou Tsuyoshi is also considerably more noble and heroic than most of the other protagonists, but he's still far more of a jerk than Rouga is.
- Mamatoto, while still covering dark themes, has perhaps the most traditional hero of any AliceSoft game ever and makes almost all sex scenes completely optional, to the point where one could play through the entire game and only see two of them. As a tradeoff, however, the optional sex scenes are almost all rape courtesy of the protagonist's Manipulative Bastard Dirty Old Man of a father.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: Every game introduces dozens of new characters, all of whom are guaranteed to appear again in some capacity.
- Magnetic Hero: All of their heroes are on a first name basis with the most influential and powerful people in their universe by the end of the game, and have slept with all of the female ones.
- Mascot: Alice-chan, the lovable little girl who serves as narrator (in the Rance series), dev room operator (in most of the games), and is usually on the company's logo. The Hannies are also a prominent part of their advertising.
- Mascot Mook: The Hannies, goofy living potteries with a love of all things moe. One is on the company's current logo.
- Men Are the Expendable Gender: Male characters who aren't Rance are generally treated like losers or are outright villains and serve no other purpose than to have their women stolen by Rance or to get beaten up or even killed by him. This has steadily been reduced as the series continues to the point of being more or less averted, as more recent games feature just as many badass male characters fighting alongside the female ones.
- Minor Major Character: Tons in the Rance series. Characters like Arios Theoman, M.M. Rune and almost all of the Dark Lords only ever get passing mentions, yet are some of the most influential characters in the entire series.
- Most Writers Are Male: Averted in the Rance series, of all things. Tori (main writer for Rance 2-7) is a woman, and came up with most of the traits that define Rance as a character.
- Mutually Exclusive Party Members: A preferred tactic of theirs to create more Fake Difficulty and replayability. Generally it is impossible to recruit every single possible playable character in a single run through of a game.
- Nerds Are Sexy: One of the main characters of the Rance series, Maria Custard, is an Adorkable tech geek who is both clumsy and obsessed with robotics. Naturally she's one of Rance's most popular girls both in and out of universe.
- Nintendo Hard: Their games often have a steep learning curve, though some are definitely worse than others.
- Non-Action Guy: A common trend in their territory capture games is to feature one of these as your Mission Control. Examples include 3G in Sengoku Rance, Zanma Gou in Big Bang Age, Jun in Daiakuji and Akiyama Keichirou in Daiteikoku. Occasionally these characters will also be playable in game, but they'll often be a Joke Character with almost no use in actual combat.
- Interestingly, Nanas from Mamatoto plays the very role described above despite being the main character.
- Not Blood Siblings: Nanas and Arvy in Mamatoto were raised as siblings despite Nanas not being Kakaro's biological son. The revelation of this causes Arvy to allow herself to give into her feelings for Nanas and are what ultimately allow them to become romantically involved by the end of the game.
- Not His Sled: As Kichikuou Rance was made long before half of the series was finished and covers the entire plot from beginning to end, by the time the events appear in the actual games they've changed completely to the point of only vaguely resembling their Kichikuou portrayal.
- Unlike the previous remakes that averted this trope, Rance 03 changes multiple plot points, some are small, like certain characters joining Rance, others are pretty big, Like Ithere's fate or Gele's relationship with Rance.
- Oblivious Adoption: Nanas, the protagonist of Mamatoto, is actually the prince of Gaston who was kidnapped by Kakaro as a baby and bread to be a tactical genius so that he could conquer the world for him. Nanas reveals towards the end of the game that he always subconciously suspected that this was the case, but chose to deny it in hopes that it wasn't.
- Obliviously Evil: For a degree of "evil", if the heroes of AliceSoft games (Rance, of course, being the biggest example) do morally reprehensible thing like rape, torture, etc, it's generally because they run off the Insane Troll Logic that heroes don't do evil things, and they're the heroes, so if they do said act then they're not evil. It's actually a plot point in Rance's case, as he was subjected to a power that uses a person's inner evil to destroy them, and he was unaffected because he doesn't comprehend that he does evil things and thus has no inner evil. It generally helps that the villains in their games are usually far more cruel and depraved than the protagonists and revel in being evil.
- Obvious Beta: It's pretty clear that Rance Quest wasn't finished and that the Magnum expansion was how the game was meant to be.
- Old Master: Plenty, though the two most prominent examples are Barres Province, Supreme Commander of the Leazas Army and Freak Paraffin, the hundred-year old robot mage and mentor to the Patton Faction.
- Only Sane Man: At least one per game. While this position jumps around a lot in the Rance series, the most frequent holders of it are Kanami and Shizuka, Rouga and Nanus serve as this in their respective games and Akiyama serves as this in Daiteikoku.
- Orcus on His Throne: Kayblis. Even though he's so powerful that he could easily destroy the forces of man by himself, he refuses to budge from his castle unless absolutely necessary. His personal policy is to never get into a fight if there is even a 0.001% chance he could die, and with up to three demon-killing weapons going around on the battlefield, he'd rather just let his subordinates do everything.
- Pals with Jesus: One of your earliest units in Daiteikoku is Shibagami, who is the god of Japan. He admits to being rather weak for a god but this still makes it no less impressive that he's your subordinate.
- The Power of Love: Technically, it's "The Power of H", but it's what powers Kouenja Sakuya's Escalayer form in Beat Angel Escalayer; and Takamori Haruka's and Shihoudou Narika's Blades form in Beat Blades Haruka. In both cases, it helps that love is a factor in recharging their powers faster, but having sex with a certain person gets the... recharging going. The inverse is true: getting raped by their enemies drains their superpowered forms.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: Hubert's "disguise" in Rance IX consists of wearing a fake mustache and different armor. He's forced to wear it for the entire game.
- "Pink Mask" from Rance 4.1 and 4.2 is most definitely not Sill in disguise. Hilariously, Rance completely buys into it, immediately countering anyone who suggests she may be Sill with "She can't be! Sill's at home!".
- Rated M for Manly: Surprisingly, Rance IX is an example of this. The game is primarily a war drama with a cast made predominantly of incredibly manly men doing manly things, with Rance's antics being sidelined for most of the game.
- Recurring Traveller: The most common ones being the Moe-obsessed Hanny King, his Lust Object and walking Moe Blob Ill Girl Nozomi Okita and Afro Ass Kicker Char Clone Abao Akuu.
- Recycled Soundtrack: Oh, they've done this several times. Notable ones are...
- "Running to the Straight". Originated in Mamatoto as the main battle theme, it was remixed twice. The first time was in Sengoku Rance just before launching the final assault on Tenma Bridge in the True Route. This was not included in the OST or sound test. The second time was in Rance IX which is the final boss theme.
- "Ontology". Originated in Kichikuou Rance as Kayblis's theme, it was remixed in Sengoku Rance, spelled "Ontlogy", as the battle theme for the Demon Army, appropriately enough.
- "My Glourious Days", Rance's Leitmotif, is actually not a remix from any of the AliceSoft games. It's actually a remix of the National Anthem of East Germany.
- "Force" Leazas' theme in Kichikuou Rance was remixed in Rance 03 and used in the scenes where the Tulip III is deployed and Rance and his troops are having the greatest battles against Helman forces.
- Reused Character Design: Tends to crop up from time to time. This gets relentlessly lampshaded throughout Rance IX, with Hubert successfully disguising himself as Barbazza from Mamatoto simply by wearing a fake mustache, Rance confusing Hubert with Bernard and later Alexander throughout the game and Rance wondering why Milacle looks so much like the Raven Princess he saw in his mind during Rance Quest.
- Slasher Smile: Rance's only facial expression besides looking pissed off. He switches between which one is the default depending on how annoying the situation he's in is in each game.
- Sliding Scale of Gender Inequality: Surprisingly quite well balanced. While men generally make up the majority of the armies, there are several women in positions of power all across the continent and several of the strongest characters in the setting are women. At the same time, male characters have become more and more prominent as time has gone on and have just as much plot significance as the females do.
- Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: The world of the Rance series is an incredibly cynical place in a constant state of war, with the few occasions peace had been achieved resulting in a complete apocalypse due to it boring the Jerkass Gods. Despite this, Rance's actions have legitimately shifted things for the better, suggesting that the world can improve, it just takes a complete sociopath with an insaciable libido to do so. In a way the golden ending of Kichikuou Rance and Rance X, the final games of their respective timelines, can be seen as part of the opposing side of the Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism (despite both games ending with Rance continuing to travel with Sill).
- The ending of Kichikuou Rance represents the cynical side of the spectrum. The Top God Ludo-Rathowm still enjoys the suffering of humans in order to entertain himself and launched an attack to slaughter them all after they attained peace. The best Rance could do in the end was put the god to sleep for around three centuries, but the world is still in chaos thanks to the attack and isn't united. This means that Ludo-Rathowm still might get what he wants after sleeping for many centuries.
- The ending of Rance X represents the idealistic side of the spectrum. The Top God Ludo-Rathowm reincarnates into Rance and Crook's child El Mofus in order to experience how life on the continent felt. After an adventure Ludo-Rathowm learns how to appreciate his creations and most importantly empathy. This causes Ludo-Rathowm to dismantle the system his sons have created in order to entertain him. While the world is still divided in some ways. There are no more Demon Kings or Heroes that need to create suffering. This means that humanity may one day truly attain peace and not get attacked by an Angel Army like in Kichikuou Rance.
- Spared by the Adaptation: A completely unexpected one from Rance 03 Dark Lord Ithere was spared by Rance when asked by Shizuka to show him mercy. He was dying from his wounds anyway, but his apostles gave their lives to heal him just enough for him to survive and stay hidden in Leazas Castle.
- Stalker with a Crush: Queen Lia of Leazas' obsession with Rance reaches a point where she monitors his every action intently. She herself doesn't do the stalking, rather she forces a ninja to scout him out at all times while she watches from a crystal ball.
- Stylistic Suck: TADA's drawings in the dev room. A more classic example would be the "art" you get from Gunagan throughout the series, though that might count more towards True Art Is Incomprehensible.
- Supporting Harem: The Rance series features one. Despite his obsession with making every attractive woman in existence his, it's pretty clear that Rance cares more about Sill than he does anybody else. This is even recognized in universe, where characters who are in love with Rance like Maria and Lia recognize that they don't have a chance against Sill.
- Tsundere: Considering the number of games they've made, there are plenty. Interestingly, the two stand out examples from the Rance series, Shizuka and Kanami, lean so heavily to the tsun-tsun side that they more or less genuinely hate Rance, with the few genuine moments of kindness they show towards him leaning more towards "He's not a total asshole" than anything else. The straightest tsundere in the Rance series would be Satella, who insists that Rance is her rival despite clearly having feelings for him. Keep in mind that Satella is a demon lord who is most likely hundreds of years old and one of the most powerful characters in the setting.
- Now averted with Kanami as of Rance IX. Turns out all it took was for Rance to actually treat her like her a girl and not just as a gopher/sex toy.
- Rance himself plays this quite straight in relation to Sill. He's constantly picking on her, but every game shows that he values her more than he does anything else in the world.
- Übermensch: Both Rance and Zanma Rouga are exceptionally talented young men who rise above their fellow men to tear apart the oppressive system. Rouga is a traditional example while Rance seems more interested in enjoying himself through any means possible, with everything else simply being a side effect.
- The Unchosen One: Rance isn't his universe's designated chosen one, but it is actually because of this that he is able to accomplish everything he does. He's a glitch in the system, and his actions tend to drastically change the world as a result.
- Token White: The unnamed Caucasian British man who works at AliceSoft and is only known outside of the company by his nickname Union Jack.
- Unmanly Secret: One of Rance's few hobbies that doesn't involve sex is reading Shoujo Manga.
- The 'Verse: AliceSoft has several major universes. These include...
- The Rance Universe, which is also the setting for the Toushin Toushi series and the "Miki-Chan" series.
- The Dai Universe.
- The Beats Universe, which include Beat Angel Escalayer and Beat Blades Haruka.
- "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: Daibanchou features one detailing what happens to all party members that were Character Cleared, a few that weren't and a handful of secondary characters. Depending on how well the player did, this can last for nearly twenty minutes.
- World's Strongest Man: The previous holder of this title was Thoma Lipton of the Helman Third Army before he was killed in battle by Rance. Currently, Rick Addison is recognized as this though Rance has potential to become far stronger.
- Wrench Wench: Maria Custard, one of the series' poster girls is a witch who is far more proficient with machinery than she is with magic.
- Yandere: Queen Lia of Leazas refuses to allow Rance to see any girl besides her, and has attempted to murder Sill on multiple occasions because of this. Despite this, Rance sleeps with so many women that it's impossible for her to keep up.
- Zero-Approval Gambit: Rance willingly takes up the mantle of the Demon King after Kayblis is defeated, becoming the essential new token Evil Overlord of the continent, in order to ensure peace between the Demon realm and Humanity for the future. Only problem is, while he did this with a good purpose to ensure mankind's survival, he is slowly losing himself to the Demon King blood in his body, and as such is slowly turning into a flat-out villain and has begun the cycle of destruction anew. The entire plot of Part 2 revolves around his children teaming up to find a way to defeat him or find a way to bring him back to his senses.