The games often deal with themes of self-discovery and growing up. Other important themes involve rebuilding the world, since each game takes place on the barren wasteland known as Filgaia. While a traditional RPG in the sense of battling, Wild ARMS also introduces tool-based exploration and puzzle-solving, giving it some minor action RPG elements.In addition to the game series, there has been a manga adaptation for each installment, as well as an original manga know as Wild ARMs: Hananushubito / Wild ARMs: Flower Thieves. The series has also had its own anime, which is called Wild ARMs: Twilight Venom.While the franchise hasn't enjoyed the massive success of Square-Enix's RPGs, it has managed to build up a loyal fanbase, especially in Japan where the first five games have all managed to become part of the "Playstation The Best", which is similar to the Greatest Hits and Platinum Range labels.
This videogame series provides examples of:
Ability Required to Proceed: The various tools that you get throughout your adventure are used to solve various puzzles. In particular, expect to use said ability a great deal in the dungeon in which you find the item.
Bragging Rights Reward: The Sheriff Star, for the most part. It's almost always given as a reward for beating the hardest Bonus Boss, but of course, by that point, you don't need the tremendous stat boosts it gives you. Recent games have begun to allow you to carry over accumulated Sheriff Stars via New Game+, making this a little more feasible.
Evolving Credits: The opening animation generally changes based on how far into the game you've gotten.
Fake Difficulty: Wild ARMs 2, 3, and Alter Code F don't allow you to buy healing items in shops. This is justified in that healing items are fruits or berries, and you're living in a wasteland. There are sidequest that allows you to grow your own fruits and berries, but they do not usually come in until about halfway through the game.
Fantasy Counterpart Culture The setting is generally Desert Punk, but there are random terms and cultural elements from many different sources scattered throughout. The Baskars are a mix of Native American and a hippie-ish religious commune.
Four Is Death: Cocytus in Wild ARMs 2 is comprised of four members. There is also the Quarter Knights from the original game.
The Four Gods: The guardians Grudiev (the Azure Dragon), Moor Gault (the Vermillion Phoenix), Fengalon (the White Tiger), and Schturdark (the Black Turtle).
There's also the EMMA Motor, which appears in the first two games, but Marivel from 2 claims that the name is an acronym, and that it definitely is NOT named after its inventor. In reality, she's got it backwards (it's still a nice Continuity Nod though).
Guide Dang It: Finding all the Puzzle Boxes, let alone solving some of the later ones.
Improbable Weapon User: Caina's main weapon is Randolf the magic key. Lilka uses an umbrella. Arnaud has quill-pen-shaped throwing knives, Dean's main attack utilizes the aforementioned tonfa-like ammo clips, and Chuck has a "pilebunker" (a tool that works kind of like a jackhammer).
Limit Break: The Force Point system. How it works is slightly different in each game, but in every game there are special moves you can perform by spending 25, 50, 75, or 100 Force Points. In some games, you must build your Force Points up before you can access some of your other spells and abilities.
Typical moves are Extension and Mystic(which expand the range of Magic and Items respectively), Accelerator, which makes you go first in the round, and Aim, which makes your attack hit without fail. Summons also use Force Points.
Ley Line: The Ley Line is referenced in 1 and 3. Ley points also appear in 4, 5, and XF.
Lost Technology: The Holmcross, the Golems, the Dragons, the Metal Demons, ARMS, etc. etc.
Lost Colony: The human population of Filgaia are revealed to be colonists from Earth in the third game, and this is also referenced in the fifth. The planet's tumultuous history has meant this is largely forgotten.
Non-Linear Sequel: Think of a Multiverse, each having their Filgaia of their own. Each have their own "Mothers" and such.
Numbered Sequels: All of the sequels except XF are numbered in their North American releases. Their names contain those numbers in the Japanese releases, but are named much more colorfully.
Our Elves Are Better: The Elw, native inhabitants of Filgaia, are immortal (versus natural causes), highly spiritual, and far better than humans in terms of Functional Magic and Magitek. They have the "thin and pretty" part of the traditional elf image, but their ears are vaguely rabbit-ish rather than simply pointy.
Puzzle Boss: Sort of. Many bosses can be made much easier by using specific trick methods, including Vinsfield's ghost: a Bonus Boss in the second game who can repeatedly take off most of your party's health on each of his turns, but can be killed instantly, before he acts, with absolute certainty, by casting one spell.
Shout-Out: Siegfried might as well have been called Nightmare in Wild Arms 3. There are also many recurring names and events throughout the series, and every single playable character is seen as an NPC in 5.
Flip Flop of God: This is in contrast to an earlier companion volume for the series released during the third game which said that they were different Filgaias that generally followed the same rules. Either different people are now in charge of the mythos or the people behind the mythos simply decided that the one Filgaia version was cooler.