In real life, Lotto, Boromid and Ah-Dol are average kids with average problems, but in the virtual world of Lost Saga, they're heroes. They might even become legends... if they can stop bickering long enough to level up. Whether it's werewolves running rampant or a gorgeous pair of troublesome thieves, our boys must be ready for anything, because in Lost Saga nothing is what it seems and murder can happen with a click of a mouse.Needs a better summary.In addition to MMORPG, fantasy, and game programming references, the manhwa is also about What Measure Is a Non-Human? with respect to the NPCs that make the game possible.Written by Son Hee-joon and drawn by Kim Youn-kyung; it was published in English by TokyoPop as iD_eNTITY (유레카) until the company dropped it, but it is still being published by Madman Entertainment in Australia and New Zealand.Compare with ½ Prince.
10-Minute Retirement: Lotto is quitting Lost Saga! Ha ha. Ha ha ha. Zig-Zagged: Lotto goes through the normal process of -retire for ten minutes -be doubtful about leaving -be convinced to go back, but then pretends to have quit for a considerably longer span after he resumes his online activity. Includes a disguise which is basically Wig, Dress, Accent with a rain cape and a pair of goggles as a Domino Mask.
Absurdly High Level Cap: Though the game limits the number of levels you can take in a specific class there are no limits on the number of secondary classes you take. As a result, you see people who have double master class. Or in Aradon's case, triple.
Annoying Younger Sibling: Jang Gun's sister Rose (or Jang Mi) drives him up the wall by sneaking onto his computer while he's on the Net—taxing his internet connection and causing his presence in Lost Saga to freeze.
The Ark: The transition from Lost Saga to its final version Last Saga is projected in game as a massive, every-man-for-himself battle for keys which ultimately secure one's passage onto an Ark, predictably to escape a world-sweeping Flood. Boarding the Ark ensures the survival of your character and the preservation of your skills and items over the transition from the Beta.
Artifact Title: Team Triple Threat / Lotto's trio is best known as such in- and out-of universe. All four of its regular members.
Backstory: It's well written (and long) so of course. Notable are the story behind the inception of Lost Saga and Dexon (which is likely still being fleshed out, but began concretely as early as chapter twenty) and the explanation of what Jaeha's deal is.
Badass Boast: Many—oh alright, most—players are prone to these. Notable for pulling them off are Lotto and Ah-dol, who are just plain scary at times.
Badass Bookworm / Genius Bruiser: Both are par for the course in a series where most of the physical altercations are actually fights in an MMORPG. The biggest nerds are the best players: people who don't look the part can be strong fighters, and people who look like walls of muscle are still spending their free time in a role-playing game.
Hacking prowess grants maxed out stats and super speed; maxed out stats and super speed arise from hacking prowess.
Bad-Guy Bar: A certain digital bar is where the individuals at the top of the Killing field hang out with the corrupt schemer ruling a legitimate corporation from behind the scenes in the company of the occasional abandoned AI. Our less-than-reputable heroes enact a few business deals there as well.
Beneath the Mask: Offline, Lotto is quiet, inoffensive and studious, especially in school. His classmates think his whole life is harmless studying. He's standoffish, but sweetly polite. On the Net he is heartless, manipulative, violent, and basically his real self.
Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: The popular opinion of Yureka amongst the main cast she is friends/acquainted with that don't know she is an AI, due to the fact that Lotto doesn't change his bipolar behavior very much when he plays as her.
An in-series fourth wall break is when the characters pressure a goblin NPC into admitting that the data processes of the game was slow and that it was the cause of them having to wait for the Final Boss.
References to the fact that the characters are in a manhwa pop up at times.
A Running Gag involving this trope is done by Boromid who complains about not getting enough close ups. He even goes as far as commenting on panel design.
Broken Pedestal: Might be a factor in Jijon Jang's view of the higher-level players who were the "heroes" of the end of the beta. It's hard to say, as he decided to show the admiration we've seen him express for them by being a complete Jerkass to them and manipulating them in every way he can think of, picking them out specifically as targets to scam. If his admiration for them changed after actual encounters with them...who can say?
But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Sort of. K.C. and Julie's involvement with Team Triple Threat was the most embarrassing and horrifying of all their online experiences. For the protagonists, it was just another of their scams ( that was actually not for personal profit) and they have no idea why the Fallen Angels threw them into a pit.
Calling Your Attacks: Magic spells are named and casting is usually accompanied with the calling of such, which text has implied is necessary.
Calvin Ball: Most times, the ways and whys of Lost Saga are meticulously explained. Other times, the reader is left to wonder what the heck is going on. Can any one game be this complicated? Really?
Celibate Hero: Lotto has to go out of his way to avoid his admirers at school. This is real life, so they think he's a quiet-but-cute scholarly kid. If they try too hard, he sics the way-too-enthusiastic Boromir on them.
In-game, pop duo The Lovely Angels don't wear makeup.
Out-of-game, Lotto wears glasses and combs his hair (and tries to act mild-mannered).
Jyung Mung-Gun eventually connects the loud-mouthed manipulator he rendezvoused with in a digital bar with the quiet (shorter) kid in glasses and a baseball cap he showed around a hospital for a friend.
Cloning Blues: Arises in full force with the introduced plot point of NPCs based off of real people's brain patterns.
Comedic Sociopathy: A sizeable chunk of the misfortune befalling all characters falls into this category. The author seems to find it an invaluable writing tool. It's done well, so the schadenfreude kicks in and you laugh every time one of our heroes gets dealt a hand of hard luck. Mostly utilized in brief gags.
Common Character Classes: All of these types appear in Lost Saga, most including multiple classes. There are, of course, other classes as well. Ranger, anyone?
Matters of intrigue outside the game are part programming innovation and part corporate politicking, and Lotto is starkly aware that he has minimal influence as some high school student in the latter. He takes little comfort from the offered help of his similarly-aged friends, and adult characters have to be recruited. Younger characters also become more deeply involved, but Adults Are Not Useless.
Cool Sword: Since most of the story is set in a fantasy RPG, expect these all over the place, in the hands of only the most deserving characters.
The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: There is a skill for identifying different poisons, a cooking skill, there are Easter Eggs, self-aware NPCs, a karma system, magic fusion, and hallucinogenic drugs (for tricking people into believing you have clones). It turns out it was only one guy who programmed all of Lost Saga, making it so that it would self test and implement new facets. Self-evolving game. Awesome.
Diabolus ex Machina: The Demon God was literally a demon from the machine (the programming of Lost Saga, rather). Its appearance was triggered by a ridiculous but preplanned series of events, and its purpose was to kill every player, with no way to win or fight back, resulting in mass character deletion. An in-universe example.
Lotto: "I can walk just fine on my own! You want me to change places with Woonha, is that it?! Okay fine! Then stop treating me like a sack of potatoes!"
Drop the Hammer: All of Boromid's Warrior-class weapons are clubs of some kind. Then in the tourney arc, he pulls out a huge hammer with a head the size of an anvil—his master-level item, Mjölnir. It can control lightning and cause earthquakes.
Dungeons & Dragons: A number of spells (like magic missile and chain lightning) are taken from the game and have exactly the same effects as in Third Edition, to the point where strategies characters use based on minor details of the spells would work in D&D without alteration. There's even a point where Aradon appears to use the Maximise Spell feat.
Then there's lines like "they're throwing everything in the Monster Manual at us!"
Easter Egg: The lead programmer (who frustrated all the other programmers and basically created the whole Lost Saga game himself), Doctor J, was uber-awesome at his job, and while he worked himself to death—literally mind you—he hid Easter Eggs that allow characters to "glitch" the game (but it's not really glitching since the functions of the exploitations were completely intentional.)
Gambit Roulette: The events which eventually summoned the Demon God had to line up just so, and amazingly enough, they did.
Game Breaker: The three rings Lotto recovered during the Demon War are together an in-universe example. They could, if used improperly after the battle they were devised for, completely unbalance the game. Lotto chooses to defend its integrity and refrains from using them, save in truly hazardous situations.
Gender Bender: It's not played up as much as one would expect, but Lotto is in a female game character's body occasionally.
G.I.R.L.: Actually illegal if it requires hacking your physical appearance, as when Jang-Gun logs in under a different ID card to play as Yureka. (If there's no hacking it's just crossdressing with your true-to-life Digital Avatar.)
GMPC: Dexon hires people to act as mostly-players for general upkeep, or in roles that would otherwise be relegated to NPCs for big events.
GIFT: Characters who are sweet as pie or at least normal in real life don't have to keep up appearances and facades on the net, resulting in small to startling additional jerkassery.
The Glasses Come Off: Lotto only really wears glasses outside of the house, and they're an integral part of the disguise that is his appearance in everyday life. He doesn't need them on the Net, and he doesn't wear them much at home. Cue badass behavior.
Hobbes Was Right: Considered, even discussed by the protagonists, but averted fundamentally in principal in regards to the players and the game (Lost Saga is sort of hardwired to let players affect things, usually with good results, and they take charge in game-effecting events when pressed), and even Dexon's handling of their game and its players (programmers and CEOs consider their players as they make changes). The random players who populate Lost Saga tend to prove the point straight, though. Every time, watching them panic...is a bit pathetic. It makes you weep for the masses before the somewhat sensible people step in and give you a group to desperately hope you'd be part of in the event of a crisis.
I Am Not Left-Handed: In the first chapter, it looks like Team Triple Threat is pretty evenly matched with the monsters they encounter in their Dungeon Crawling. Then they get impatient, and reveal that they were fighting the whole time with their secondary classes, much to their companions' shock. A Curb-Stomp Battle ensues, causing them to lament that they'll never get anywhere if they can't refrain from using their main classes.
I Have Many Names: Our favorite ninja prefers to remain anonymous. Doesn't work so well after the first time. Still, he seems to be cycling not only through classes but also through letters of the Greek alphabet, introducing himself as Alpha, Beta, Gamma, is he going by Epsilon now?
Implausible Hair Color: Hair color is somewhat unusually varied for Korea. Yureka is blonde, most notably. Of course, nothing states that all the characters are of Korean descent (although text suggests the Net can only be used within the country) and it is set an indeterminate time in the future. Can thus be reasoned out or interpreted as Hair Color Dissonance.
It's A Small Net After All: Mostly averted, except all the major gamers of Lost Saga seem to live within driving distance of each other. Somewhat justified because the Net hasn't spread outside Korea, but still...
Karma Meter: Lost Saga has this for players. If your karma drops low enough you will be barred from the towns in which most life in the game operates and be be stuck out in the wastelands until your karma goes back up, with a bounty on your head to complete the lovely combination. This has resulted in a civilization of outcasts with their own ranking system and methods of gameplay.
Lotto does this again by casting a "berserk" spell on Yureka, who is his ally. Normally this would weaken her, but due to Yureka's personality it results in Teach Him Anger.
Let's Get Dangerous: Whenever someone switches to their original class, reveals an ability or item they haven't been using or exploiting fully, or just has a reason to get angry and step out of their usual role.
Level Grinding: The protagonists had to get to Master Level somehow. This fills their time when events are lacking, largely off-screen.
Level-Locked Loot: A staple of Lost Saga, like most other MMORPG tropes. Notable are master-level items.
Living Memory: Some NPCs are truly the projected consciousness of coma patients onto the Net. Piri, for example.
Lost in Translation: Many name puns are retained either by convenient/clever translations or footnotes, but some...aren't. Ijoyen and Negosia, for example, are supposed to be anagrams of some sort. Yeah. That didn't carry over.
Lotus-Eater Machine: As of ch.194 the "self-aware" AIs may be powered by comatose people who were pronounced dead.
Lovely Angels: A fictional idol group from the series' world is named this. They go by the Fallen Angels in-game to revel in their anonymity.
Magical Gesture: These are necessary to cast certain spells (such as crossing one's arms to erect a shield or holding the fingers a certain way while casting a blessing) and used instinctually in other cases (pointing or waving a hand to where the spell should go or lobbing a Fireball)
Accentuated by the fact that he got a powerful boss monster to do a Heel-Face Turn by using a sob story that utilized the fact that the boss had a discrepancy with his personal memories.
Lotto also acts kindly or acts generously in a seemingly genuine way, but then he just does the opposite of what he says and betrays people with a cackle at the success of his bastardly (and dastardly) plan.
Meaningful Rename: Some, perhaps even all, ScreenNames, which players choose to identify themselves with as (sometimes) essentially different people, causing it to overlap with Secret Identity. Jang-Gun's (Lotto) is thought to be a reference to the lottery, thus chance. "Jijon Jang" means "king of kings", showing his pride and ambition. Mirenne, of course, chose a feminine name. Wun-ha abuses this trope, trying to reinvent himself with every class change.
The Medic: Boromid and Rapha. Mirrene can heal you...one point at a time.
Mega Corp.: Dammit, Dexon, and to think you looked like you were going to be a normal, benevolent business for so long there. What with all that merger talk we thought Mega Entertainment was going to fill this role.
Played straight with Crunade and Mirenne. Crunade seems to have all of his points in defense while Mirrene has an extremely high critical hit damage modifier. Remy has all her stat points on strength.
Subverted with Wunha's character (Alpha, Gamma, or any other bad name he comes up with), who has points in almost every skill and class available in Lost Saga, which gives him Master Level power without the title.
Jijon Jang and Phuan, in the style of the main pair but even more divergent.
Only Known by Their Nickname: People who've met Lotto via Lost Saga will call him by his Screen Name both in Real Life and in other games with little exception. He is only called Jang-Gun by people he met outside the Net, and only when offline, with rare variances. This holds true for most characters, as in-game they are known nigh exclusively by their user names, and thus get known as such.
Only Sane Man: Ah-dol is often the only one with any common sense within the trio, and when he loses it Boromid has often regained enough sanity to show off, and when all three of them lose it the task of remarking that yes you are still sane and have not forgotten that the actions around you are a bit off may fall to any random passerby, but most often to Lawe. Lowe the Mighty, that is.
Out of Focus: When Lotto splits from Team Triple Threat after "giving up" Lost Saga, Ah-dol and Boromid are barely seen until the end of the next arc, since they no longer meet in game and avoid each other in school and the rest of Real Life. And any reader expecting to see Yureka during that time was in for a long wait! This period experienced a considerable cast-shift, resulting in massive quantities of plot development and new characters (somewhat at the expense of old). The ensemble has since come around full circle, with all original characters and some few new present.
Personality Powers: Justified since "powers" are classes characters choose for themselves in a game, but still used for pretty clear symbolism and nuance:
"The Reason You Suck" Speech: Elca and Jaeha to Lotto on how he doesn't take real death seriously because he's in a game. Makes all the characters and the readers feel like flighty hypocrites.
Also Lotto's explanation of why Alpha and Aradon are only "half" players. Arguably less profound, but at the very least lined up his view of the game nicely.
Red Eyes, Take Warning: Player Killers have this. It's a little warning that those players would love to beat the other characters dead.
Every time you kill a player in Lost Saga you renew your red eyes for another hour. In "The Land of the Dragons", a place where player killers call home, if you don't have red eyes, you are considered an abnormality. If you're abnormal, you should probably be beat to death.
Lotto's eyes, normally brown, tend to show glints of red in color pages when he's feeling particularly murderous.
Reset Button: The events of the story's invasion arc results in the permanent death of every single player character except for Lotto. Fortunately for them, it turned out to be the end of beta event and their character data had been saved as a reward for participating in a high-risk fight they couldn't win.
Requisite Royal Regalia: When the company president is playing the king, he makes sure he's all decked out. He even (mostly) refuses to break character because dangit he earned that scepter!
Revenge: Usually orchestrated toward the heroes or by the heroes...mostly with the necessary second party of participants being other heroes....
Way to not be on the same page, Lotto, Crunade, Whan, Alpha, Jin-Woo, and Elca (and Ah-dol, Boromid and even Mirenne), with the whole save Jang, don't let her kill anybody thing.
The cast also did a fantastic job keeping track of the five parties scaling Great Mountain simultaneously, each counting on their being the only ones slaying monsters, therefore leaving enough alive to avoid the summoning of the dungeon's Final Boss. Those five identical plans didn't all turn identically sour or anything.
Delta (1st to the top): (to the 2nd, 3rd & 4th to the top) "I didn't think anyone would be crazy enough to ascend from the inside of the dungeon...I highly doubt there would be other strange folks such as yourselves."
Lotto: (appears with 2 others) "Sorry to disappoint you."
(One finger-pointing freak-out later)
Delta: "Still, no need to worry! We only killed three of them, that means there are still three left..."
Lotto: "I wouldn't be so sure! This place isn't lacking in crazy people."
Ban (8th crazy, appearing with 9th): "So that would make this the gathering place for those crazy people?"
Ring of Power: Items of this style exist in the game Lost Saga, most notably Lotto's three rings from the Demon War Event.
Robosexual: There are just too many AIs to avoid it. Most legitimate example is Yureka's crush on Lotto, but his feelings toward her and Rapha's schoolgirl crush on her AI bodyguard John warrant a mention, as does Lotto's presumed crush on NPC shopkeeper Piri. Certainly Piri and possibly John are not truly artificial, however.
Role-Playing Game: Much of the plot revolves around the characters' experiences playing one—Lost Saga.
Rousseau Was Right: The game was programmed with this in mind and grants massive stat bonuses/abilities to players who are willing to sacrifice themselves for the greater good. That doesn't stop some people from abusing the system, however.
Schemer: Jijon Jang, to a T. Luckily Lotto is there to occasionally act the Karmic Trickster to foil him, or he could get to the top (or at least get along comfortably) entirely through scheming despite occasional spectacular instances of ineptitude.
Secret Test of Character: The invasion arc was designed to see if players were willing to risk permadeath in order to protect a virtual world.
Serious Business: Naturally comes up from time to time since the setting is in an MMORPG. Notable with Myriah who holds a grudge against Lotto and his friends for killing her tamed monsters for experience and loot. —Done well and within the realm of possibilities, thus barely noticed.
Sharing a Body: Yureka's creator is forced to do this with her AIs after a near-fatal in-game experience leaves her in a coma, with her consciousness shakily expressed in the virtual world. Pity they were already using her avatar....
Spell My Name with an S: His names are Roto and Yang Goon—no wait, Lotto and Jang Kun—no wait...er, yeah. Yureka is Korean, so this applies to all the names. All of them.
Spoony Bard: As if Alpha wasn't spoony enough while trying to invent the Ninja class, his most recent class change was to that of a bard, and superficially he fits this trope to a T.
Stealth Pun: The Running Gag of Woon-Ha cycling through the Greek alphabet for pseudonyms on Lost Saga was introduced long before his Cyber Quest screenname was confirmed to be Omega. Thinking back to his original Lost Saga screenname, his two personas were likely meant to be...the Alpha and the Omega.
The Stoic: Ah-Dol, he's often the only guy who can stop Boromid and Lotto from killing each other.
Later on, one could argue that Lotto is really the glue of the team. Boromid and Ah-Dol cooperate more because they are used to working together because of Lotto.
Super Prototype: The program the main creator of Lost Saga (who died working on the project) wrote was too good, and the current programmers at Dexon can't match it to make updates of equal quality. Or that are compatible. It's the limit of their capabilities to try to understand it. Jung was apparently just that much of a driven genius, and the side effect was that the project got away from everyone else on his team.
Tell Me About My Father: Zig-zagged. Jang-Gun's long ago given up asking his mother to do this, but Wun-Suk and Kwan-Su ask it for him, and pry a story out of her...which she cuts off right before the relevant details. As always.
10-Minute Retirement: For Lotto, twice. Once, after the Lost Saga they've been playing is revealed to have been a Beta, he feels betrayed by the game makers and swears never to play again. He cracks almost immediately, but manages to refrain from playing as his own character or interacting with his party members in order to save face, keeping it up until the situation absolutely forces him resume use of his character and chance results in a facedown between the protagonists. His second really lasts about ten minutes, or days story-wise, when he and his friends nearly die at the hands of Jaeha and he withdraws from life entirely, though unannounced. This one ends when his mother gets sick of listening to the phone ring for him.
Lotto and Yureka. It's a bit of a sore spot with him.
Phuan and Jijon Jang, a thoroughly non-couple example.
Tournament Arc: The Double Trouble Tournament. Prepare for all the most powerful (read: egotistical) characters to punch, stab, or blast the revenge out of each other through a series of unique power useages and newly discovered Easter eggs. Watching from the company that created the game are one of the game's creators and his assistant, and even they are bamboozled. Unknown to the participants, it is involved in deciding who participates in the next big event.
Ultimate Gamer 386: Averted! Lotto, Boromid, and Adol are all master-level characters, and they are quite well-known. Played straight if you think Basara is uber-powerful compared to the already suped-up Lotto Party.
Averted again when they reach the Dragonlands arc. The top player-killers have numerical rankings and bounties placed on their heads and are highly visible and well known in their community.
Unwitting Pawn: Lotto throughout the entire time he was working with Elca is a more linear example. Also most people Lotto battles at one time or another, and even all Lost Saga players up until the Beta's end.
Utopia: It is the view of some that the Net should be like this, or at least limited to its own harmless vices, and that Killers and their trade pervert this ideal.
What You Are in the Dark: Surprisingly, Lotto tends to be nicer, or more considerate of consequences (except when he surprises us and gets more brutal). The norm in Yureka tends to be more calculating and less likely to flare up. Ruthless players tend toward mercy.
Wretched Hive: the Dragonlands. It began as a refuge from bounty hunters. Illegal player-killing is so commonplace that if you don't do it you're an aberration and people have seen certain hacks so often that experienced players can easily counter it.
Xanatos Speed Chess: Due to the nature of Lost Saga each battle can be as much a game of the mind as a test of the body, and Lotto seems to play this every time he fights...when it isn't a curb stomp, of course. Many characters take a turn at it, but Lotto in particular is exceptional at manipulating the properties of the game and the emotions of his enemies.
Averted with Woon-ha (Alpha). Some fans call him by his original screen name, but characters drop his screen name as soon as they realize who he is with a comedic effect, because he changes his name way too much.
Your Mind Makes It Real: Lost Saga is designed so that all the senses are simulated and all sensations can be felt except pain. When a cracker unlocks the pain feature, the sensation of death is enough to kill you. For real.