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Franchise: Disgaea

Disgaea is a series of Turn-Based Strategy games created by Nippon Ichi Software (Atlus published the first game in America, since Nippon Ichi didn't have an American division at the time).

There are currently five main games in the series, plus an upcoming 6th game:

And three Spinoff titles:

All four games are highly regarded by enthusiasts of Turn-Based Strategy games for their twisted humor and myriad ways to customize and level up characters and equipment. Oh, and the Prinnies are so cute too, dood!

The storylines of the games are set in various Netherworlds, populated by demons and the souls of the dead (who serve as Prinnies until they can pay off their sins). Each game stars a primarily new cast, and is set in a different Netherworld, but guest appearances from the previous games are inevitable (and they can usually be recruited). The series' tone is FAR towards the silly side of the Sliding Scale of Silliness Versus Seriousness; expect loads of Lampshade Hanging, Genre Savviness, Shout Outs (enough to warrant their own page), and Parodies, all set in a World of Ham with No Fourth Wall.

The first two games both have PSP ports, with the NA localization of the first entitled Disgaea: Afternoon of Darkness, and a DS port of that port, Disgaea DS. Afternoon of Darkness is known for its Etna Mode, a "What If" story where Etna accidentally kills Laharl, and takes over as the main character. The localization of Disgaea 2 PSP is entitled Dark Hero Days, complete with its own Etna Mode variant (This time telling what happened before the game started) starring the Dark Hero, Axel. The third and fourth game followed suit with PS Vita ports. Disgaea 3 port was released with the new subtitle Absence of Detention, which includes all the DLC from the PS3 version, including Raspberyl Mode, two new characters, and four new scenarios which focus on the rest of the main cast while the Disgaea 4 port, A Promise Revisited, adds two new characters and a new scenario that involves Fuka and Desco traveling back in time to a war as well as all DLC released for that game.

All four main games have been adapted into manga and a series of light novels with the original game also getting an anime.

This series is the Trope Namer for:

This series as a whole provides examples of:

  • Action Girl: Most physical-oriented female units.
  • Absurdly High Level Cap: Max level is 9999, although only a fraction of this is needed to get through the stories of the games.
  • A-Cup Angst: Etna and Flonne get emotional if their underdeveloped breasts are brought up.
  • Aerith and Bob: In a series with Loads and Loads of Characters, this couldn't be avoided.
  • Aesop Amnesia: Despite the canonical good ending of the first game's implications that he's matured into a straight hero, Laharl's most recent non-cameo appearance places his character back at his Tsundere Noble Demon stage, where he strives to be evil despite himself.
  • Affectionate Parody: These games are quite fond of parodying subjects from anime and RPG cliches to Space Operas and Super Sentai.
  • Air Guitar: Asagi has this as her idle animation in Disgaea 3.
  • All Your Colors Combined:
    • The Prism Rangers, a parody of Sentai shows like Power Rangers, would have 'transformed' were it not for Etna shooting two of the three. In a side-quest in the second game, all seven of them show up, and they use this as their ultimate attack. All slots of the Prism Rangers, apart from the relatively strait-laced red and blue, are filled by various random people, such as someone who can't speak English and a salaryman who answered the wrong job posting.
    • And Prism Black, aka Adell. After winning that title Rozalin expresses a desire to be Prism Pink.
    • Purposely spoofed by the main cast of the third game when they do their own role call as the Evil Rangers after defeating Prism Red to make their victory all the more sweet.
    • There's also an actual group known as the Evil Rangers in Dark Hero Days, who are a group of appropriately colored monsters that act in a kid's show.
  • Alternate Continuity: Though most of the sequels and cameos occur after the Best Ending of Disgaea 1, it's possible that Prinny takes place in a different continuity then the main series, judging by the presence of Prinny Laharl as a boss fight.
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: All games have differing Japanese and American box arts, but Disgaea 2 and Disgaea 3 stand out the most. Whereas the Japanese box art for both game uses the standard chibi group shot, Disgaea 2's box art has Adell featured prominently while all the other characters are shadowed out with the exception of their glowing red eyes, while Disgaea 3's boxart is a single image of Mao glaring menacingly.
  • An Axe to Grind: Axes are a staple of combat.
  • Angels And Demons Speaking English
  • Anime Hair
  • Apologetic Attacker: Flonne occasionally exclaims "Oops! Pardon me!" when attacking.
  • Art Evolution: Primarily in Harada's use of color and shading. Compare Laharl in Hour of Darkness to his appearances in later games
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: FLONNEZILLA!
  • Badass Boast: You ever had your ass kicked by a book?!
  • Bad Boss: Netherworld Prinnies are treated (with good reason) pretty badly, but Etna is sadistic enough to them to shock other demons in the Prinny games. Adell, Yukimaru and Rozalin comment about this in the second game.
    Rozalin: I am a princess... yet I feel like I should be on the Prinnies side.
  • Beady-Eyed Loser: Laharl is drawn with his normal eyes in the beginning of the Disgaea 2 manga, but after volume two his eyes have turned into this.
  • Beehive Barrier: In the protecting spells for physical and magical attacks.
  • Benevolent Boss: Both Mao and Laharl's dads were good to work under. Also Valvatorez
    • Presumably, Emizel's Father as well, before Judge Nemo took control anyway
  • Black Mage: Nearly every game has set caster classes.
  • Black Comedy: Lots, usually at the expense of the Prinnies.
  • Blade on a Stick: One of the options for weapons, and Etna's preferred means of attack.
  • Blood on the Debate Floor: If the Dark Assembly rejects one of your proposals, you can attempt to physically persuade naysayers.
  • Bonus Boss: Disgaea (and many Nippon Ichi titles) love this trope in general. The most famous of such is Overlord Tyrant Baal who makes frequent appearances throughout each of the Disgaea titles as a monstrous super side boss, always around the area of 4000+ in levels at minimum. Baal is not the only example, as past Disgaea characters make appearances as powerful bosses, other characters from other Nippon Ichi titles (such as Priere) are also bonus bosses, and the list could continue. Most bonus bosses cannot just be fought either, it requires usually fulfilling certain requirements (i.e. for Disgaea 2 Zetta requires 10 dark sun maps, and the port to the PSP requires Champloo and Raspberyl defeated, and all 16 treasure maps found to fight Mao).
    • One of the most incredibly evil ones they made was Pringer X, a level 9999 unit that has his stats placed at the total stat caps in 40,000,000. Additionally, you have to fight 8 of him, and all 8 become immune to any special attack that one of them is hit by. Nippon Ichi loves Bonus Bosses if it isn't obvious.
  • Bonus Dungeon: There are quite a few of them in all of the games, including a system to create an infinite number of random dungeons.
  • Boobs of Steel: The Felynn class are one of the best physical fighters in the Mook gallery, and sports the largest rack. Among story characters, you have Jennifer, Sapphire, and recurring bonus character Prier.
  • Book Ends: The English narration in the beginning of each game is the voice for each respective game's Final Boss.
  • Boring Invincible Hero: Spoofed. Characters are thoroughly aware of Main Character privileges, and will often try to steal your spotlight.
  • Breakout Character / Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Etna, who's gotten more and more focus over the years, being made into a main character in Disgaea 2, featured predominantly in spinoff titles such as Cross Edge, Prinny: Can I Really Be the Hero? and it's sequel, and Trinity Universe, and Etna Mode (which is essentially a "What if Laharl had never reawakened") in the updated re-release of the first Disgaea. Etna even lampshades it in one of the Netherbattle Tournament cut scenes in Disgaea 4, telling all the other Disgaea heroines that she appeared in more games than they have.
    • However, with Disgaea 3's Raspberyl Mode and Disgaea 4, it appears that Etna has been ditched in favor of Flonne, especially considering that's she's an Archangel now.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: In-Universe, you can give members of the Dark Assembly items before they conduct their vote, which will swing them to becoming more likely to vote for your bill. They also remember previous bribes, and can be bribed further in the future - thus making it possible to have nearly the entire Dark Assembly in your pocket.
  • Butt Monkey: The Prinnies are an entire race of butt monkeys. Mid-Boss is also an example, though much moreso in the anime and especially the manga than in the games.
  • Call Back:
    • All the games will present a "barrier" during Chapter 3. Said barrier halts you from getting to the next battle until the main character has a Lv. 10 item equiped, an excuse to introduce the Item World.
    • The first game suggests you try a Common Sword for your first Item World run, being the cheapest weapon in the game. In the fourth game, you are given a Common Sword to try your first time there, except that now the Common Sword is a special sword that can't be bought, can't be stolen since no enemy will be using one, and can't be gotten as a bonus.
  • Cap: In this series, as well as many other N1 games where it's absurdly high.
    • In example, In Disgaea 2: Dark Hero Days, Pringer X has maxed stats. The main six stats are all at 40,000,000.
  • Came Back Strong: You level up, then you reincarnate into a new body that starts with better stats.
  • Cape Wings: Laharl's scarf. Also, most Nosferatu/vampires.
  • Cat Girl: You have the Felynn race, the Disgaea 2 Bandits, Anise, and the Beast Tamers. This does NOT include Cardamon because she's actually a fox girl.
  • Character Exaggeration: Arguable. But it's a general rule that any character that makes a cameo appearance outside of their debut game will be greatly exaggerated. For example, When Laharl shows up in D2, he seems to have forgotten all of his character development at the end of the first game. Flonne's later appearances, particularly D4, dial-up her otaku-ness and make her much more of an airhead than she originally was. Mao's appearances in Disgaea Infinite and Disgaea 4 also has he seemingly forget his character development and also portrays him as much more of a pervert. Among other examples.
  • Chef of Iron: Mr. Champloo of Disgaea 3. A Demonic Cooking Teacher Martial Artist.
  • The Chew Toy: The Prinnies are the Nippon Ichi world's choice for menial labor and Stuff Blowing Up. They deserve it, though; they're working off their karmic debt for bad deeds done in a previous life.
  • Class and Level System: Subverted. The core of ability progression is more about leveling up individual abilities. While leveling up one class does unlock a new one, typically that class has slightly better stats but the exact same skills. (The exceptions are classes that require combinations of characters to unlock.) Additionally, you can't class change, so if you want the new class you're in for some Forced Level Grinding with your newborn Lv.1.
  • Class Change Level Reset: A staple of the series. The Reincarnation ability allows you to change any unit to any other type of unit, keeping some of their abilities, but they always start over at level 1.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience:
    • All non-main characters you can recruit have differing colors among their strength classes.
    • An unlockable character painter can Palette Swap characters at will, or for a fee depending on which game, allowing even generic characters of the same class to look distinct.
  • Combination Attack:
  • Comically Missing the Point: When Fuka tries to rob the Netherworld mint with Desco and an unwilling Artina in the Fuka & Desco Show, the three of them are stopped by Flonne, who insists they're about to commit a terrible crime: how can they even think of robbing the Netherworld mint without first coming up with an awesome Phantom Thief team name!?
  • Continuity Nod: One of the endings in Disgaea Infinite explains how Laharl ended up in a bottle and his status as a Bonus Boss in Phantom Brave.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: Prinnydom. Basically, human souls are forced to dress as penguins and literally pay for their sins through nonstop, menial labor.
  • Cool Gate: Dimensional gates warps the main characters to selected locations.
  • Council of Angels: Celestia.
  • Crapsaccharine World (The situations in each game can be quite serious despite the quirky characters and humor)
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Adell ran out of demons to hunt after the end of Disgaea 2 and left Veldime because he doesn't know how to do anything but fight. He didn't get a job at Evil Academy because Hot-Blooded isn't a teaching skill! (Or rather, it is, but Mr. Champloo has that position filled already.)
  • Cross-Dressing Voices: Barbara Goodson (Rita Repulsa from Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers and Alcyone from Magic Knight Rayearth) supplies the voice of Laharl in the video games. Rather refreshingly for a profession that has no problem with replacing previous actors with sound-alikes, she voices Laharl in every single instance, even in other games where he's no more than a brief cameo.
  • Cute Bruiser: Laharl & Etna.
  • Cute Little Fangs: General feature of most demons.
  • Cute Monster Girl:
    • The Succubus and Nekomata races in the first game, the plant-girls in the second. Notable because the Succubus and Nekomata characters (as well as Jennifer) were drawn by a different artist — Yoshiharu "Ryoji" Nomura — the artist who did the characters and art for the Marl Kingdom / La Pucelle games — did the "sexy type" characters with the new artist Yuichi "Haradaya" Harada for the rest — which is why they stand out so much. (Both links go to their respective homepages, which are NSFW.)
    • Also subverted when Dratti —one of Laharl's vassals who happens to be a big, scaly (and snarky) dragon— points out that it's a she.
    • Also lampshaded with one of the Flora Beasts you meet early in the second game, who happens to be named Bridget...
  • Cute Mute/The Speechless: Pleinair, but only when she's not a Dark Assembly guide. In Disgaea Hourof Darkness, Disgaea 3, and in one of the chapters of the Disgaea manga, she is able to speak normally, but as one of the anchors in Disgaea 2 and as a downloadable character in Disgaea 3 and the Updated Re-release of Disgaea 2, she doesn't speak at all except for a few select instances. She was given a voice when she became a downloadable character, but her voice is inaudible.
    • This is subverted in Disgaea D2: A Brighter Darkness, since, when you have the game using the japanese audio track, Pleinair's line is spoken clearly, while she has no English voice actress. Pleinair's voice actress however is not credited.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: A major plot point of the four games is the nature of demons/angels as being supposedly "absolute evil/good", nature vs nurture, etc. For example, Flonne staying with Laharl during Disgaea to prove that he can love (and thus, isn't truly evil), Rozalin becoming more upset the more of the outside world she sees, etc.
  • A Day in the Limelight
    • Disgaea: Hour of Darkness has Etna Mode, where she accidentally kills Laharl and tries to cover it up.
    • Disgaea 2 : Dark Hero Days has Axel Mode, where he desperately tries to reclaim his stardom and get work to support his family. Takes place before the main game.
    • Disgaea 3 Absence of Justice has the downloadable Raspberyl Mode, where she makes an attempt to become a teacher at Evil Academy.
      • The Vita port, Absence of Detention, adds four more, each covering two characters; one for Kyoko and a Asuka, one for Sapphire and Almaz, one for Salvatore and Master Big Star, and one for the new character. (This leaves Champloo the only main cast member not to receive a story)
    • Disgaea 4 has a downloadable Tyrant Valvatorez Mode which takes place during Val's time as a Tyrant and a Fuuka and Desco Mode in which Fuuka starts getting interested in Prinny reincarnation.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Etna & Laharl.
  • Death Is Cheap:
    • Disgaea has a weird relationship with this trope. Characters come Back from the Dead on a regular basis, both in the story and game mechanics, but some stay dead for unexplained reasons. Makai Kingdom, a game set in the universe of Disgaea, introduces the Sacred Tome a book that grants any wish provided you have enough mana power, and it is indeed used to bring a person back from the dead. In Disgaea 3 a character dies, but comes right back to life when he receives a different title then the one he had when he died. In Prinny 2 a particular prinny is given their old body back after doing a very good deed. The game mechanics opens even more loopholes. The thing is; this methods of resurrection is never used to bring certain other characters back from the dead, e.g. parents of the main characters are often dead from the beginning or will be by the end, and their deaths are threatened as final.
    • One character is directly killed in the worst ending of Disgaea 2. after defeating True Zenon, Zenon dies and Adell begins to lament since Zenon was Rozalin and he promised to protect her, he feels extreme guilt. This is potentially averted when Zenon then turns and possesses Adell, but in that example he kills his siblings and it is implied he got Yukimaru and Etna as well, as they were in the room.
    • In Disgaea 4 there's Artina who died 400 years ago, then comes back as an angel.
  • Death of a Thousand Cuts:
    • Averted — large level differences will render one immune to enemy attacks. Because combos increase damage, however, it can also be played straight by piling on gargantuan combos For Massive Damage.
    • Also played straight with Prinnies.
  • Deceased Parents Are the Best
  • Demi Human: Humanoid demons and angels.
  • Demon Lords and Archdevils
  • Demoted to Extra
    • Prism Red —> Prism-ish
    • After Disgaea 2, Adell has only been accessible as unrelated DLC events along with Rozalin while his rival Axel is unlockable in every post game afterwards. The creator even made a joke that the Disgaea games that would get a sequel would be 1 (a trilogy) and 3 completely skipping over 2.
  • Difficulty Spike: The first game has this at chapter 12, when you start fighting EDF soldiers with way higher HP that what you have at the same level and brutal skills. Disgaea 2 has it at Chapter 11, a puzzle-themed chapter which is hard to navigate, sports strong enemies and mad geo puzzles. Disgaea 3 stops being nice midway chapter 5 when you start facing advanced enemy classes in high numbers and introduces you to Salvatore. Disgaea 4 has it at Chapter 7 with powerful mages pelting you from everywhere.
  • Disc One Nuke - Some dungeon crawling in the Item World and prodigious Level Grinding can turn any character you wish into this; during the New Game+, everybody is this in just about all but perhaps the last few chapters after the first replay cycle (unless you pass the bill to make the enemy stronger), and even more so in subsequent cycles.
  • The Ditz - At least one per game.
  • Divine Date - Cross-realm romances are very common. To wit:
    • Laharl's mother was a human, his father an Overlord.
    • Laharl himself is not dating a Fallen Angel (and a minor demon)
    • Adell hooks up with Rozalin, a.k.a. Overlord Zenon. Subverted since Adell is a demon.
    • Most recently, Valvatorez, a vampire, hooks up with Artina, an angel who was formerly a human.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Clerics (Female Healers). It's hard to see because of their normal sprites, but you can notice it during some of their attacks.
  • Doppelgänger Attack - One of the Bow's special moves, among other things.
    • Mid-Boss has one. It even uses the combo attack animation, showing four close-up pictures of Mid-Boss before he starts his attack.
    • One of the late-game Zombie abilities from the first game might qualify as this, except he summons more zombies out of the ground to pounce on you instead of making copies of himself (though all zombies are the same rank).
  • DLC: Disgaea 3 has several characters from previous NIS games. Disgaea 2: Dark Hero Days has a handful of them available, though they are glitchy in the American version. Disgaea 4 is looking to one-up the previous game by having characters from previous games, entirely new classes and even making otherwise unplayable bosses available through DLC. Disgaea 3 and Disgaea 4 also have alternative stories starred by secondary characters available for purchase, which rewards players with new items and even more characters.
  • Downer Ending - Each game has at least one "bad ending," which normally requires more dedication than the good ending to get as they are either gained by passing a certain bill or killing your own allies. In the first game, for example, you have to pass at least 100 bills in the Dark Assembly by force before the final battle. This gives you an ending where Laharl wanders the Netherworld for eternity holding the flower that Flonne got turned into.
    • Think that's bad? In Disgaea 2 the worst ending has Adell kill a Zenon-possessed Rozalin before becoming possessed by Zenon himself and EATING his siblings.
    • Disgaea 4 mostly averts this as the bad endings you can get for losing certain battles are still played humorously.
  • Dracolich: Dragon Zombies.
  • Dub Name Change: Who is this Akutare guy I heard about?
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Asagi is a test character that the NIS team used to test the engine for another one of their games, Makai Kingdom. (It is rumored she was going to be the main character for Makai Wars, which was canceled and possibly rerolled into Makai Kingdom, but this is not confirmed.) They liked her so much that they left her in as a bonus character, a "cameo from a game that they haven't made yet" (or since). They've added her to every game since then — including Disgaea 2 and 3 — and she's become a sort of mascot for the company. She's even in the opening movie for Disgaea 3.
    • And in Prinny 2 there is "Asagi mode", which makes her a main character of the half of the game.
  • Eagle Land: Captain Gordon, Defender of Earth is so obviously American it hurts.
  • Earn Your Bad Ending: The worst endings in the games are often much more difficult to obtain than the normal or "good" endings. Sometimes they're for things like wiping out the final boss with the main character solo at an absurdly high level or things like that. Other times the bad ending requires deliberately doing horrible things like killing your own allies fifty or a hundred times.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: Starting with the fourth game, the netherworld and neighboring celestial bodies began to be subjected to this type of abuse by some of the special attacks. D2 decided to take it a step further and blows up the entire galaxy with some of them. One can only assume that it's just a matter of time before not even the entire universe is safe...
  • Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors: Starting in Disgaea, and carrying over to spinoff franchises like Phantom Brave and Makai Kingdom, all characters have three resistance levels to fire, ice, and wind magic; it's usually balanced by anyone having a strong resistance in one category having a weakness in another, though it doesn't follow a pattern.
    • Averted with the "Star" element, which no one is particularly resistant to, but no one is particularly vulnerable, either.
  • Emotional Maturity Is Physical Maturity: Does 1313 year old demons act and look like they are 13? Yes, yes they do.
  • Escape Rope: Mr. Gency's Exit.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: This is a recurring theme between the games, along with What Is This Thing You Call Love? and Noble Demon.
  • Everything's Better with Princesses: A few have shown up, and often were Badass Princesses as well.
  • Everything's Better With Prinnies, dood! They even have their own game.
  • Evil Is Petty: The majority of the demons aren't so much evil as they are simply jackasses, and their most nefarious deeds amount to stuff such as not washing their hands before dinner. Most of them end up appalled at the genuinely evil characters.
  • Evil Laugh: There are Evil Overlords, thus it is required.
  • Evil Overlord: Plenty of them, for a given amount of evil.
  • Expanded Universe: The Disgaea Light Novels. Following the end of the Disgaea: Hour of Darkness novelization, the next four novels introduce Laharl's relatives and Flonne's family as well as Gordon and Jennifer's daughter. Also, the novelization of Disgaea 2, the fifth novel, takes place 120 years after the first novel (In the games, they're only three years apart).
  • Eyes Always Shut: Healers. Word of God says that their beliefs require them to keep them closed. Of course, this being Disgaea, this is often lampshaded when you talk to them.
  • Fallen Angel:
    • The female healers are apparently such.
    • The best ending of the first game also makes Flonne one, but she is still the Love Freak she was as an angel.
    • Some material heavily imply the Succubi are in this class as well.
  • Fantastic Racism: A major theme of the first game despite its light-hearted nature. More specifically, the point about judging a group before you know them, a point elaborated on in detail by Lamington. Almaz comments on this in the third game as well.
  • Fastball Special:
    • Prinnies explode when thrown. If their blast hits other Prinnies, they explode as well, setting off a chain reaction.
    • Taken to ludicrous heights in one sequence where they literally challenge the protagonists to a game of baseball.
    • And later bowling, complete with a black prinny with a custom class, the "10-Pounder."
    • Lifting and throwing your own party members also allow you to get them all over the map, essential for reaching problematic geo symbols and opponents.
  • Fireball Eyeballs: When Flonne gets ticked off (or finds something especially awesome), her eyes turn into fireballs.
  • Five-Man Band: In each game. The descriptions of the Prism Rangers also note such a dynamic:
  • Flanderization: Applies to just about any cameo appearance, possibly due to Rule of Funny.
  • For Massive Damage: You can do trillions of HP worth of damage in one turn by one character if you want; if you're not that patient, you can still kill a lot of things fast by using combo attacks, team attacks, and tower attacks (a new feature of the second game).
  • For the Evulz: This is encouraged by petty demons, such as Mao who goes out of his way to do this.
  • Forced Level Grinding: During the post-story, the game flows like: win battle, unlock new stage, spend some hours grinding your characters and items, beat new stage, repeat. Disgaea 3 is the worst offender, taking 8 full chapters to make enemies reach Lv. 90 while the first optional chapter, Mansion of Ordeals, start with enemies at Lv. 100 and each battle after that raises their levels by another 100 levels. And that's just the beginning.
    • Due to the games' Absurdly High Level Cap, and encouragement of elite tweaks, there are usually ways to make this go very quickly. Statisticians can be collected and stacked for massive XP boosts, team and tower attacks will split xp among multiple characters, Geo Effects provide further boosts, and bills passed in the senate can raise or lower enemy levels to make them more valuable. In the post game, it's seriously not uncommon to take a character from level 1 to level 1000 after a single ten second long battle.
  • Free Rotating Camera
  • Fusion Dance: In all of the games, you can create stronger enemies by tossing them into each other (except for Prinnies, who explode when thrown). Disgaea 3 introduced the Magichange mechanic, allowing monster-class units to becomes weapons for humanoid users (examples being Wood Golems becoming fists and Dragons becoming spears), also transferring evilites and gaining new specials (for the record, don't throw anyone with a magichanged Prinny gun). Disgaea 4 amps this mechanic up two new levels by allowing two monsters to merge into a giant version, then allowing said giant monster to become a whole new weapon for a humanoid when Magichange is used again (Giant Wood Golems become axes, for example.)
  • Gainaxing:
    • Whilst most characters stand still when it's not their turn, the Kit-Kat and Succubus monsters, well, don't.
    • Averted in the case of the Succubus starting from Disgaea 3, where she got a new sprite, and in Disgaea 4 for the Kit-Kat for the same reason (Which may strike some as odd, considering that she got an...upgrade).
  • Genre Relaunch: This series is along with Final Fantasy Tactics Advance is co-credited with saving the entire SRPG genre.
  • Genre Savvy:
    • Nearly everyone. Even Flonne—or more accurately, especially Flonne, as she turns out to be a huge Toku and anime geek.
    • As is Mao, who attempts to use take advantage of his knowledge of tropes. For example, if only a Hero can defeat a Big Bad Overlord, he'll become a Hero. This ends up being Wrong Genre Savvy.
  • Geo Effects: The Trope Namer.
  • Giant Waist Ribbon: The Knight class and Rozalyn's dress both sport one.
  • Girlish Pigtails: Etna, the Archer Class (adding Mega Twintails to boot), etc.
  • Give Me Your Inventory Item: The Dark Assembly.
  • Glass Cannon: Every single character in the post-game content. The long and short of it (see One Stat to Rule Them All below) is that after a certain point, you are simply never, ever going to be able to survive more than a hit or two from the bosses, and gameplay descends to trying to get your numbers high enough to instantly kill the enemies before they instantly kill you.
  • God Guise: Vulcanus does this to Flonne in Etna mode.
  • Going Through the Motions: The cutscene artwork. In Disgaea Infinite and Disgaea 4 they are animated.
    • Disgaea 3: Absence of Detention has animated cutscene artwork, whereas the original PS3 release still used still pictures.
  • Gold and White Are Divine: Most angels.
  • Good Is Not Dumb: Sereph Lamington, a Chess Master grade example.
  • Good Wings, Evil Wings
  • Guide Dangit:
    • Nothing in the game tells you how to get which ending. This can be especially frustrating when you finally do go on GameFAQs and learn that team-killing, accidental or otherwise disqualifies you from the Good Ending. Some of the better equipment is also nigh impossible to stumble into by accident.
    • Also, the conditions for unlocking most Dark World maps in the second game are pretty much impossible to guess, and for some maps it could take hours of experimentation if a FAQ is not used.
    • The requirements to unlock some secret bills and character classes are also unclear, and are sown only when the player actually fills the requirement.
  • Halloweentown: The Netherworld.
  • Healing Hands: Angels are known for their healing powers in the Disgaea universe, all characters with healing abilities are somehow related to the angel race, according to The World of Disgaea.
  • Heart Symbol
  • Heaven and Hell: Celestia and all of the Netherworld.
  • Hey, It's That Voice!: You might find yourself saying this a lot.
  • Holy Hand Grenade: A number of spells.
  • Horned Humanoid: Many, many demons.
  • Horny Devils: Succubi, naturally. Nekomata (and Flora Beasts), also being cute female (er, mostly) demons, are occasionally lumped in with them (usually when they show up together). Almost all the Horny Devils are drawn by the La Pucelle artist, making them stand out.
  • Humans Are Flawed: Demons and to a lesser extent angels tend to be very critical of humans, viewing them as weak or stupid at best or complete bastards at worse, though the main character does eventually meet decent humans.
  • Hyperactive Sprite: Succubus and Nekomata characters bounce around during their idle animation.
  • Idiot Ball: Several characters on several occasions, mostly played for comedy. Mao in the 3rd game is particularly fond of the ball, too — he might have even swallowed it.
  • Immortal Immaturity: Angels and demons can become several thousand years old, but since time flows differently in their dimensions, they age 100 times slower then normal and act exactly as old as they look.
  • Informed Equipment: You can see your characters weapons, but not their armor. Played further with monsters which also don't shown the equipped weapons, which leads to having everything from sardine bones to, er, naughty tentacles.
  • Infinity+1 Element: Star magic is somewhere between this and Non-Elemental.
  • Infinity+1 Sword:
    • With enough Level Grinding, any weapon can become an Infinity+1 Sword. At which point you find a zero-level Infinity Plus Two sword in the hundredth level of the Infinity Plus One sword, level that up until you find an Infinity Plus Three sword in its final level, and so on, until you finally have a 100th-level Infinity Plus Infinity sword of the most powerful base type in the game. To actually get a weapon up to Infinity Plus Most status, you need to ensure it is a legendary item of the most powerful base type, fully leveled, stuffed with the maximal amount of specialists throughout the leveling process, and in the hands of a character with maxed out proficiency (which modifies weapon strength geometrically, not linearly). And weapon proficiency is just one of many, many ways in which one can level up an Infinity Plus One Character.
    • THE Infinity+1 Sword is the Yoshitsuna sword, its base states are significantly superior to all others of any type, not that you need it to break the game.
      • To Illustrate just how much of a game breaker this sword is, among other benefits, it has a range of 5 panels. No need to actually get close to your opponents anymore, just stab 'em from across a gap, or have your Mighty Glacier character stand between you and them! This only applies in the first game though. In later games, it has the same range as any other sword.
      • This is actually broken from the third game on. Yoshitsuna is only the second-best sword, with the Baal Sword being the absolute strongest. And in one of the spinoffs, Yoshitsuna wasn't a sword at all — it was the Space Battleship Yoshitsuna. The Japanese producer has said it doesn't matter what Yoshitsuna is, as long as it's the most badass item in the game.
      • A producer who is, of course, named Kobayashi Yoshitsuna.
      • Note that while the Baal sword, when it appears far outclasses the Yoshitsuna, this is more due to the fact that rank 40 weapons in the 3rd and 4th games all have an insane amount of power of their closest rank weapon of the same type. The Baal sword is in fact not the undisputed death machine the Yoshitsuna was in the first games, sharing both games with other rank 40 weapons that also boost range, movement, and jump like it does, some doing so in areas more than it does, and the rank 40 ax in both said games also does more damage, though the Baal sword does give the highest overall stat boost.
  • Instant Runes: Any time any kind of spell (or spell-like effect) is used, they show up.
  • Inter-Class Romance: This game loves this trope. Almaz is an extremely Unlucky Every Dude Chew Toy guardsman. Sapphire is an Ax-Crazy princess. There's also Rozalin (fake overlord's daughter), Adell (peasent hero). Laharl's dad (overlord) and his mom (unknown social status mage).
  • Invisible Bowstring: Bows in these games don't have strings. This allows for cooler, more impractical designs, though. Especially with Magichange system.
  • Item Amplifier: Every item in the series has a randomly generated dungeon inside of it—the more floors you clear, the stronger the item becomes.
  • Kaiju: Flonnezilla. Contender for the most hilarious special attack Nippon Ichi has ever come up with.
  • Killer Rabbit: the smaller and more adorable it is, the more likely it can utterly destroy you. Sometimes you can only watch in horror as your entire crew is eviscerated by tiny robot penguins of death
  • Knife-Throwing Act: The Marionettes, creepy puppets that throw knives around.
  • Knight of Cerebus: The games are mostly lighthearted, but they still throw one of these in at a certain point, typically at least half way through:
    • The original had General Carter, with his Bad Boss and Jerkass tendencies, unlike the villains before him, weren't played humorously. And even with his departure, the angels Vulcanus sends to aid him means he still sets up for the finale of the game where Flonne starts questioning Lammington's orders.
    • Disgaea2 Fake Zenon. One of the rare demons in the series that qualifies as evil. The real Zenon is even worse, with her appearance marking the possibility of the game's infamous bad ending.
    • Disgaea3 Super Hero Aurum, shortly after he appears its revealed that Mao's father was a lingering ghost after Aurum's fight with him, and nearly causes Almaz's death.
    • Disgaea4 has Nemo, who brings the game's plot shifting from lighthearted fight against other demons, to trying to prevent the extinction of humanity.
  • Lady of Black Magic: The mage-class Player Mooks, inasmuch as their personality can be determined.
  • Laser Blade: A weapon across several games.
  • Laughably Evil: Regardless of how evil most of the characters may be, they rarely fail to be funny.
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: The Prism Rangers.
  • Leitmotif: Several characters have their very own theme songs.
  • Level Grinding: The game caps out at Level 9999, and you can store up to 270,000 levels for stat bonuses through the game's Reincarnation system.
    Prinny: "You gotta play for hours, grind the levels dood!"
  • Level In Reverse: The Dark World and X-Dimension variants of standard campaign maps sometimes move around where the boss and start points are.
  • Little Miss Badass: Etna, Raspberyl, female brawlers, etc.
  • Little Miss Snarker: Etna yet again.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters:
    • The three games have just enough special characters that join so that you don't really have room to use generic characters. Most of these special characters join at a low enough level that it's pointless to use them, however. The third game has an alternative — Loads And Loads Of Generic Characters — it contains male and female versions of every generic NPC that was in Disgaea 1 and 2, as well as generic characters from some other NIS games.
    • The downloadable content goes even farther, offering nearly every playable Disgaea character ever (and some that weren't), as well as a crapload of other Nippon Ichi characters, from Phantom Brave, Makai Kingdom, and Soul Nomad & the World Eaters.
  • Love Chart: Both of 'The World Of Disgaea' artbooks contain such a chart with arrows, though the only relationship that is described with the word Love over the arrow is that between Laharl and Flonne, and even then a question mark is thrown at the end.
  • Love Freak: Flonne, the Trope Namer, is completely obsessed with love.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: A lot of examples. By the third game, they start spoofing it in an alternate ending when Laharl waltzes in and claims to be Mao's father. Surprisingly, everyone believes him even after Flonne and Etna start arguing that they're his mother, though it takes some time before Mao starts believing them as well.
  • Made of Explodium: Prinnies. Picking them up and throwing them causes damage equal to half that Prinny's remaining Life Points. Also, causes any other Prinnies caught in the blast to explode, with similar results.
  • Mana Potion: Drinks restore magic points.
  • Master of One Magic: The starting lineup of Mages and Skulls (male mages) are only able to learn one of three types of attack magic depending on their color: wind, ice or fire (with "Star" Mages being able to learn a fourth). Later down the line you are able to create Prism Mages and Galaxy mages which learn multiple colors of magic at once but they are never able to learn the final elemental spell, so single-element specialists are never totally obsolete.
  • Milestone Celebration: Disgaea D2 is one of five games planned for Nippon Ichi's 20th Anniversary and, unlike the past three games, has Laharl, Etna, and Flonne return as the main characters.
  • Mini Dress Of Power: Archers, Mages in the first game.
  • Mon: You can create or capture monsters by throwing them into the base panel. (You have to weaken them first.)
  • Money Fetish: Hoggmeiser; a Pig Man (possibly an orc?) with obsessive greed. He shows up as a character in the first Disgaea but references to him keep cropping up later. By Disgaea 4 he gives out money loans by phone to the player.
  • Monster Lord: The "elite" ranks of various monsters count. The top type of Prinny is called a Prinny God for example.
  • Mood Whiplash: Each game has a narrative opening that sounds dark, dramatic and tense, as opposed to the general wackiness and humor of the plot. There's generally at least one point in each game where it whiplashes back, though.
  • Multiple Endings: Usually dictated by how many times you kill your own allies. Others lead to a Non-Standard Game Over.
  • The Multiverse: Each game is considered to be in its own universe or series of universes, but dimensional portals abound. This makes for easy cameos from other games in the series.
  • Mundane Made Awesome:
    • A lot of the characters' ultimate special attacks, such as the Prism Cannon example above, seem to operate entirely on Coolness and Nonsensoleum. They're still hella devastating, though.
    • Taken to its logical extreme in Disgaea Infinite. Just to give an idea of ridiculous some of the scenes are, one has Flonne and Jennifer perform a flying trapeze act to hand off a blu ray followed by Gordon smacking said blu ray with a nail-filled baseball bat into Thursday in order to have it play. Another has Laharl using lasers to straighten out posters.
  • Muscles Are Meaningless:
    • Just take a look at the picture above — Do any of them really look like they could blow up the world?
    • Averted in-game. Muscle items give often large HP boosts.
    • Though they do it with magic and ki attacks. But they do hit pretty hard too, okay REALLY REALLY hard.
  • Mythology Gag:
  • New Game+: The game's bonus content tends to become unlocked after 2 or more play-throughs, which is good, cause for the most part the level requirements for even beginning to prepare for a NIS game's bonus content is several exponential orders of magnitude higher than the original bosses.
  • No Cure for Evil: Word of God states that Celestia has something of a monopoly on healing magic, and that demon healers are either fallen angels or descended from them.
  • No Fourth Wall: Most characters are well aware that they're in a video game series.
    Emizel: Veldime? That doesn't ring a bell. Is it in a different Netherworld?
    Adell: A different Netherworld? Well... play Disgaea 2 for more details.
    Fuka: Did he seriously just plug his own game?
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Almaz in the Almaz ending of the third game. Deconstructed in the fourth game with Artina, who was killed as a result of nursing someone back to health. The recipient of her kindness, Nemo, did not take it well, as Artina was the only person who showed him any kindness in his life.
  • Non-Standard Game Over: Triggered by a loss to Mid-Boss in the first game, or to Axel in the second (these also count as Multiple Endings). There are also multiple instances in the games of winning "unwinnable fights" thanks to the New Game+ mode. Some of these cause Nonstandard endings. In other instances, these are caused by the hero having too many Ally kills, which allows unusual plot choices that end the game (refusing to show mercy where in the "real" plot you do, for example).
  • Non Standard Skill Learning: Starting from the second game there is always one party member whose ultimate skill is obtained through story instead of leveling up.
  • Number Two: Overlords and their vassals.
    • Flonne is the new Archangel for Seraph Lamington.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity:
    • Mid-Boss is the grandmaster of this, as Seraph Lamington's secret partner in the masterful Batman Gambit to turn Laharl into a decent ruler and make peace between their two realms. About the only part of his personality that isn't an act is his impressive vanity, exemplified when he pauses to point out to himself how awesome he is after menacing a lesser villain
    • Adell also counts, seeing as he is usually a firm believer in Honor Before Reason, but at one point solves a ridiculously complex Geo Puzzle with one glance. He doesn't play the fool to be sneaky, however. He just considers it more fun to solve his problems by punching them.
  • Oddly Visible Eyebrows: Usually.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: The Deathblow geo effect will turn anyone into this: if they're hit by attack strong enough to do even one point of damage, they die instantly.
  • One-Man Army: Arguably the easiest way to beat the main games. Having one character soak up all the Exp. and Mana will often make him/her naturally overleveled, and by expending all the money on one character allows you to buy much better weapons and armor than sharing the money with multiple characters. In the end the enemies will barely be able to scratch your character while every attack of yours will knock out one or more enemies.
  • One Stat to Rule Them All: NIS games tend to become offense only affairs in post game. Got better in the second game where tank builds (Taro and Wood Golems) are actually playable. This runs out of control in the third game thanks to the way the damage formula works. Modifiers that increase damage occur before calculations based on offense versus defense rather than after (modifiers that reduce damage occur after those calculations). This trope shows up much earlier as a result, around the point where you fight Marona.
  • Only Child Syndrome: Barely any one has any siblings.
  • Only One Name: Most of the main characters got no last name.
    • This is atleast consistent. Most human characters have last names, but demons and angels don't. Almaz's last name is Von Almandine Adamant, Sapphire's is Rhodinite, Fuka's is Kazamatsuri, etc. Gordon's is apparently THE 37TH DEFENDER OF EARTH. It's possible demons and angels just don't bother with last names.
  • Optional Party Member: You'll usually have to fight them first.
  • The Other Darrin: Michelle Ruff took over for Amanda Winn-Lee as the voice of Etna in every game after the first. They even re-recorded Etna's dialogue for Afternoon Of Darkness.
  • Our Demons Are Different
  • Petite Pride: Girl Archers infamously have no chests at all and their character description says that this was deliberate via magic, so their boobs wouldn't get in the way of their archery. (Rather like the legends of Amazon warriors)
  • Plot Armor: Lampshaded with cameo characters, but most prominently with Laharl who wants to be the main character again, stating that the main character has a lot of screentime in addition to always winning.
  • Poke the Poodle:
    • The demons tend to be more naughty and mischievous than anything else, despite what they might say. Except in the bad endings, Demon deciding to kill AND EAT his little brother and sister, anyone?
    • Laharl's theme claims he is a great evil because he doesn't wash his hands after going to the bathroom and he plays with fire.
    • Mao's idea of being naughty in the third game involves sharing sandwiches with a girl.
  • Power Copying:
    • Every time you spawn a new "player mook" in the first two games, it has to be the "Pupil" of an existing character (say, Etna). If Etna stands next to her Pupil, she can now use any skills that Pupil knows�and, with enough uses, can even learn them permanently.
    • This system is abandoned from Disgaea 3 onward in favor of the more convenient Class World system, where any character can share their spells and abilities with another.
      • Disgaea Dimension 2 changes this up again. Now the Pupil learns from the Master, and the Master-Pupil relationship can be interchanged with any two characters.
  • Power Fist: The magichange fist weapons.
  • Power of the God Hand: The second-strongest Fist-type weapon is called "God's Hand".
  • Pretty in Mink: The fur-trimmed robes worn by the lady healers.
  • Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh...: Generally speaking, the Bonus Bosses have stats so high that there are two outcomes to attacking them — either they die in one hit, or you do 0 damage. If you attack and do 0... Uh oh.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The main cast of every game in the series.
  • Rain of Arrows: The ultimate attack for bow users.
  • Ramen Slurp: The preview of episode 3 features Etna slurping a bowl of ramen.
  • Randomly Generated Loot: All items come with a random set of innocents, often leading to different stats between to items that are otherwise exactly the same.
  • Raygun Gothic: The human world in the first game.
  • Really 700 Years Old:
    • Laharl, Etna, and Flonne from Disgaea. Mao and Raspberyl from Disgaea 3. For that matter, most of the Disgaea demons have ages tallied in millennia despite appearing as young humans.
    • Generally, most fans accept the 100 years = 1 year Demon/Human age exchange rate, which basically means that an angel or demon's real age will be their biological age (The age in which they appear to be) times 100. This works for the younger looking demons and angels like Laharl, Etna, Flonne, Mao, and Raspberyl, but not every demon or angel ages the same way. Lamington, for example, is 9147 years old and while he does look about middle aged, he certainly does not look like he's 91.
    • One can also reason that Lamington's power as High Seraph also helped slow his aging process. Either that or he has a hell of a plastic surgeon.
    • Lamington, Druids (quirk of how they get their power), and demons born in Veldime (mature at human speed but have demon life span) seem to be the only exceptions to this rule. The rule seems to apply fine to adult/middle aged angels/demons just fine as seen with Axel, Vulcanus, Champloo, Bigstar, and Salvatore.
      • There seems to be a legimate reason for the Veldime demons age rate. It's stated in Disgaea Infinite that time flows differently in the netherworld, thus causing the crazy ages. Veldime was originally a human world so it's possible it's time flow wasn't affected.
  • Reconstruction: Disgaea was very much a reconstruction of the SRPG genre after it almost died out in the 1990s, dropping the longwinded political stuff that had plagued the genre since it tried to mimic Tactics Ogre.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning:
    • All demons in the Disgaea series, barring non-fire mages (and possibly Yukimaru), have red eyes. They're usually no more or less fearsome than the humans in the game. Adell's sprite also has red eyes, though it may be a result of his hair being in his way because all art depicts him as blue-eyed.
    • Among the Mook gallery, though, there are subversions to this (counting their default colors used in official artwork; Palette Swap only registering a higher tier). The Archers and Magic Knights have blue eyes (fitting, given that supplementary material cites them as being some of the nicer individuals), and the Felynn skirt between blue and purple. Both male and female Samurai have black-colored irises, and the Succubi and Cheerleaders have light-pink colored eyes.
  • Red Is Heroic: Most of the protagonists have red in their costumes. Laharl has a red scarf, Adell has a giant red necktie (and red hair), Mao has a red overcoat and the inside of Valvatorez's cape is red.
  • The Red Mage: Prism and Galaxy mages can use attack spells of all four elements, however, they do not learn the ultimate "Tera" damage spells that single-element mages learn.
  • Reference Overdosed: The series has its own Shout-Out page.
  • Reluctant Warrior: Flonne hates fighting, but does so to help Laharl. Later cameos show she's all too willing to fight for anime DVD collections, too.
  • Rule of Cool: Look at those special attacks!
  • Running Gag: During the tutorials, when one of the characters chooses to end turn (Either accidentally or on purpose to prove their point), the main character is helplessly surrounded and attacked by the remaining enemies much to the annoyance of the main character.
  • Royal Brat: Prince Laharl, much to his vassals' annoyance.
  • Say It with Hearts:
    • The best possible reaction (generally only possible with lots of judicious bribing) in the Dark Assembly is "Loves" with a heart after it. Etna and Sapphire use hearts to cheerfully punctuate death threats.
    • Most of the female monsters use them, as well; succubi, in particular.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!:
    • If a prinny gets enough cash, it can skip the workload needed to pay off its sins.
    • Also an in-game mechanic - to get the Dark Assembly to pass bills in your favor, you can bribe them with items (which items they want are dependent on their rarity... so it's quite possible a given assembly member will heavily desire a copy of the starting weapon and hate your Infinity+1 Sword). There are Elite Tweaks dependent on getting as many assembly members in your pocket as you can.
      • Taken to a literal form in Disgaea Dimension 2. If you have the money, you can easily force a bill to pass if it initially got voted down, and you don't feel like fighting the assembly.
  • Sentai:
  • Serial Escalation: It nearly matches Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann in sheer over-the-topness.
  • Shout-Out: Has its own page.
  • Simple Score of Sadness: It's an entire game full of peppy, upbeat songs... and then there's "Sorrowful Angel".
  • Slap-on-the-Wrist Nuke: Even the most outrageously destructive attacks leave the terrain unscathed, and can cause surprisingly little damage in the wrong conditions. The fight animations play to completion regardless of how effective the attack is, so it is not uncommon to see an elaborate cutscene of a character getting hit so hard that they literally become a black hole and explode...followed by "Miss".
  • Sliding Scale of Gender Inequality: A rare Type 5 example. Men and women of various classes have the same base stats and aptitudes in the key stats, but vary in weapon proficiency, other stats, and evil acts. The main cast is usually relatively equal in terms of gender ratio and there are just as many bad ass women as there are bad ass men.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Averted: The main character gender ratio is roughly one-to-one in the first two games and in the third when you count the hidden story characters, there are more females than males.
  • Sociopathic Hero: Many, many twisted examples, as this is a series with tons of NobleDemons and Dark Is Not Evil characters. Sapphire embodies it.
  • Spell Levels: Elemental spells and the heal spell have the more advanced levels given prefixes: "mega", "giga", "omega", "tera", and "peta".
  • Spiteful A.I.: Enemies will off their allies to rob you of experience. Quite aggravating with high-levelled enemies.
    • In Disgaea 2, the AI will target neutral (Yellow-bar) characters, which includes Specialists, Treasure Chests, and in the Updated Re-release, Level Spheres. Better hope there's an Invincibility effect nearby.
  • Splash Damage Abuse: The area of effect for magic can be abused to extend the range of your spells by a couple tiles.
  • Star Power: "Star magic" is the most powerful offensive spell element.
  • Start My Own:
    Laharl: I don�t even wanna be a part of this stupid world. I wouldn�t stay if you begged me! I�ll go find a better world, with heaps of food! And cookies!
  • Stat Grinding: Both the item worlds and using weapons and spells ups character proficiency with them.
  • Stone Wall:
    • The Galactic Demons. Notably, unlike most monster units, they have a greater-than-100% aptitude in two stats (Defense and Resistance, naturally)
    • The Heavy Knights fulfill this role in every game following the first.
  • Stripperiffic: though, unlike most examples, quite a few of the men are subject to this trope too — shirts seem to be a foreign concept in Hell.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Again, Prinnies; tons of the animations for the attacks also look like they've been directed by Michael Bay, and the explosions seem to become both bigger and more numerous with each new installment in the series.
  • Stupid Sexy Flanders: Characters of either gender can be charged and convicted of the crime of "Liking Girls" or "Liking Guys".
    • The crime "Corrupting the Youth" is given for having a pupil over Lv. 100.
  • Super Move Portrait Attack: So iconically it provides the page image for that trope.
  • "Super Sentai" Stance:
    • The Prism Rangers are the obvious example, but they're certainly not the only ones. Flonne does, at one point, try to get Laharl and Etna to do one, with very limited success.
    • The cast of the third game does one as well. See All Your Powers Combined above.
  • Sweet Tooth: Laharl and Etna both have enormous sweet teeth, and the former's confiscation of the latter's expensive snacks is a frequent point of contention between the two, particularly in Disgaea Infinite.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: Most battle scenes in all the games begin with lots of dialogue between the characters, and can be skipped. Etna hangs a lampshade on it on the tutorial level of the first game. Flonne actually scolds Laharl for even suggesting they attack before a later opponent finishes explaining his motivations.
  • Thieves' Guild: The profile for the rogue class states the existence of one.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone:
    • The idea of the Prinny sytem is sorta built on this. Sure, they were rat bastards in their former life (well, most), but the universe has given them another chance. For those that realize this, and get past the laziness that seems to be inherent in Prinnies, they work their asses off to either work off the bad karma gained, redeem themselves, or gain enough coin to earn that chance, and the potential to be better beings in the next life. The idea that the universe is so willing to give all the chance to be better is...well...uplifting.
    • Exemplified in Disgaea 4. Valvatorez tells the Big Bad, who felt that there was no way he could repent without sacrificing his soul, to become a Prinny, saying that no matter how big his sin and no matter how long he has to work it off, he does not deserve to be denied a chance at redemption.
    • Unfortunately for the Prinnies who end up in the Netherworld, this can rapidly descend into Yank the Dog's Chain depending on who you have to work for, especially if your boss is named Etna.
  • True Companions: One such group forms by the end of each game, though the more stubborn characters refuse to admit it.
  • Unusable Enemy Equipment: Cloned characters cannot have their items stolen. However, using a special item that steals items on death, "Dropouts" from Disgaea 3 can. Whether or not this is a bug is up to the reader — it certainly lowers the post game grinding as you can simply clone thousands of copies of Innocents / Items / etc you want. In addition, it's important to note that Nippon Ichi has patched the game several times at this point and the bug has not been removed yet.
    • The weapon you're talking about, the Puppy Paw Stick, was intentionally added into the game to cut down on the grinding. Considering that the final challenge of the game has well over 400 million HP and around 50 to 75 million in stats, they knew you needed every advantage, though recent patches cut down the PPS' chance to steal items.
  • Unusual Ears: All demons have 'em, but the humanoid non-demon characters don't.
  • Verbal Tic: Lots, okay? Just leave it at that,...Zam.
    • Boom!
    • Gii!
    • Dood!
  • Video Game Stealing: You can steal items from just about any monster, and taking these items away actually has a discernible effect on their performance — for example, steal an archer's bow, and they're a sitting duck. Disgaea Thieves can even steal stats! It's pretty much the only way to level them up, since their growth and aptitude rates are far inferior to other created characters. Thieves in Disgaea 2 are more balanced, and can also use their thievery skills to inflict Standard Status Effects.
  • Violence is the Only Option/Violence Really Is the Answer: The fundamental rule that all Netherworlds thrive on.
  • Weakened by the Light: The Prinny games confirm that demons get stronger the closer it is to midnight and that weaker demons are up at daytime and stronger demons are up at nighttime. This might indicate that weaker demons are up at day time to avoid stronger demons.
  • Weapon of Choice: Largely averted, due to main characters choosing any weapon (save for monsters being stuck with the two monster weapon types), but weapon proficiency means some characters are better at some weapons than others.
  • We Have Reserves: Sort of. You're restricted to only 10 of your units on the field at any one time, including corpses which you cannot revive until the end of the battle. However, the game does absolutely nothing to stop you from tossing your worn-out, beaten, nearly-dead husks of units back into your home base and bringing out new ones. A sometimes legitimate strategy is to attack with a set of fragile speedsters and glass cannons, then throw them back into the home base before they can be killed off, and bring them around for another pass next turn.
  • What Is This Thing You Call Love?: An important plot point in all three games - In D1 you have Laharl learning to be caring - sorta - because of Flonne, and ultimately forgiving Lamington after he "kills" Flonne, as well as Etna defrosting a little after recovering her memory of King Krichevskoy, the first person to ever show her any kindness; Disgaea 2 is essentially a love story between Adell and Rozalin, complete with Meet Cute and Slap Slap Kiss .... Gun To Face... ; and in Disgaea 3, the entire plot turns out to be Mao feeling soul-crushing guilt over selling out his father to the Super Hero out of spite, which he repressed so far he forgot about it. See also Even Evil Has Standards above.
  • White Mage: The Healer classes.
  • Widget Series: ...and those are some damn big widgets, I tell ya whut...
  • World of Badass: Very much so. Nearly any character with a name has some ability to fight and pull of some insane fancy attack that defies the laws of physics. And since demons solve nearly everything through fighting, Netherworlds quickly turn into this because of how their inhabitants keep trying to assert their dominance.
  • World of Ham It's a miracle people in the Disgaea universe aren't deaf from all the shouting the characters do.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Mao is convinced that studying video games, manga, anime, and toku shows is the way to learn how to beat an overlord, and attempts to use his knowledge of Fantasy / Scifi RPG tropes to further his goals. Unfortunately, Disgaea is, for the most part, a parody of those tropes...
  • You Kill It, You Bought It: This is normally how Overlord succession works.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: A common feature of the outfits of various 13-20 year old (at least biologically) female characters.

    Creator/Nippon IchiDisgaea: Hour of Darkness
Dirge of CerberusTeen RatingDisgaea: Hour of Darkness
Discworld NoirFantasy Video GamesDisgaea: Hour of Darkness
DigimonFranchise IndexDisney Animated Canon
Devil Survivor 2Strategy RPGDisgaea: Hour of Darkness
Knights in the NightmareCreator/AtlusDokapon Kingdom
DefenderTropeNamers/Video GamesDissidia: Final Fantasy
Diner DashTurnOfTheMillennium/Video GamesDisgaea: Hour of Darkness
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Dirty PairAnimeDivergence Eve
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alternative title(s): Disgaea
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