is a series of Eastern RPGs
devices, developed by Media Vision
(the studio behind the Wild ARMs
series) and published by Square Enix
The games feature two character parties, and use a turn-based battle system, which lets the characters attack either alone, or as a pair. The games all have themes of sacrifice for the greater good.
The games in the series are:
Tropes present in all three games:
- Break Meter: The Break Gauge is present in all three games, although it is slightly changed for II. Instead of having a break meter for each participant in battle, there is an overall one for the entire battle, which is filled or depleted as you attack enemies or take damage. When it swings towards the player, you get improved damage from your attacks and take less damage from the enemies. When it swings towards the enemies, the reverse happens.
- But Thou Must: In universe. None of the contestants are given a choice in participating in the Ark Arena. It's fight or die.
- Combination Attack: All the games have a choice to have both party members attack together to do improved damage, although this also means all attacks directed your way hit both combatants. The third game introduces Awaken, a dual attack which allows you to summon an Ophan.
- Duel Boss
- Earn Your Happy Ending: All three games make a very big deal out of this.
- Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors: Blaze beats Gale, Aqua beats Blaze, and Gale beats Aqua.
- Happily Ever After: Shown heavily throughout the games, but takes the cake in 2. After defeating Piu-Piu and letting him regain his memories, he rewards the characters by showing his true power and destroying the Hall and Amon in one blast. This leads to the eight of them (Lessica included) safely landing on the surface of the earth. Though, it might be Bittersweet Ending somewhat, just because Piu-Piu mourns Jodie, Meg, and Catherine's burning up in space, and it ends with Darwin and the boys failing to create new cut-outs and Marie and the girls substituting for Piu-Piu's harem.
- Hub Level: The Ark Arena itself serves as one.
- Palette Swap: Any enemies in the same family.
- Powers as Programs / Power Copying: Gene plates in the first two games and Sopias in the third. Both function identically - they are obtained from defeated enemies and can be filled with a set number of skills learned from defeating more of those enemies. Up to three can be equipped on a character at a time.
- Lovable Sex Maniac: Piu-Piu. It's even claimed that his perversion was so great, it had to be separated from him and made into a prototype Agent called "Libido". Who is a Bonus Boss.
- Small Annoying Creature: Piu-Piu.
- Vendor Trash: Piu-Piu's collections appear in all three games, and are worth "more than money" to him. In every case, they were confiscated and scattered as being inappropriate. Given his personality, it's not hard to guess what they are.