Roleplay / Mahou MUSH
(aka M2) is a Massive Multiplayer Crossover MUSH
with a Magical Girl Warrior
theme, incorporating many established magical girl series as well as player-created original themes into a comprehensive setting based (naturally) in Tokyo.
Canon themes adapted into the game include:
Save-tan has recorded the following tropes in use on M2:
- Aborted Arc: Mio Kuroki appears during the early stages of the Dark Kingdom arc, and her interactions with Mamoru, Daisuke, and others indicate that - unlike her Bitch in Sheep's Clothing characterization in Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon - she does not fully understand her connection to the other members of the cast or why she feels drawn to them. Around the time that Mamoru is abducted by the Dark Kingdom, however, she disappears quietly from the story. In her final appearance in "Masks Passing In The Night," she talks to Kyra aka Melanite about her feelings of searching for something before leaving to look for "the golden person" implied to be Endymion, and is not seen or mentioned again. This may be because Queen Beryl no longer had any use for her after Endymion was brought to the Dark Kingdom by Kunzite, but the explanation of who she is and what became of her is never given on-screen.
- Arc Symbol: A circle divided into four equal quarters - the sigil of the Golden Kingdom - recurs prominently throughout the later stages of the Dark Kingdom arc, beginning with Rei's fire reading in "The Problem of Mamoru Chiba."
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever:
- The raven spirit Corvus went kaiju-sized for the finale of the Scorn arc in "Feather Fall" parts one and two.
- A grief seed modified by scientific experimentation had this effect on Kyouko in "Kaiju Kyouko Time," temporarily turning her into a massive version of her witch form, Ophelia.
- Ayana was transformed to kaiju size and went on a rampage in "Ayana Kaiju!" after mistakenly eating a youma from Takashi's lab fridge.
- Backhanded Apology: Takashi has a problem with admitting to being wrong, which means any apology he attempts to make tends to end up rather backhanded. Special mention goes to his apology to Makoto in "Agreeing to Disagree," which actually includes the statement, "I don't think my opinion was wrong."
- Backup from Otherworld: At the crucial moment of Serenity and Endymion's final face-off with Metallia in "D-Point: The Last Battle," they receive an unexpected surge of power and support from the spirits of everyone killed by the Dark Kingdom.
- Broad Strokes: The general approach to adapting canon plotlines to the game - the general concept of the story arc as it is depicted in the source material is retained, but the specifics of how it occurs in-game are likely to be quite different, particularly when members of other casts start getting involved.
- The Bus Came Back: Amu Hinamori was temporarily Put on a Bus, explained as her taking part in a foreign exchange program, but she returns to Tokyo a few months later in "Welcome Back, Amu-chan!"
- Canon Welding: The foundation of the whole setting, which incorporates multiple individual magical girl themes into a single world.
- Chekhov's Skill: Once the redeemed Shitennou moved into Mamoru's building, at Mamoru's instigation Makoto began teaching Kunzite the finer points of cooking - most immediately, the use of modern appliances like the stove, which Kunzite admitted to being rather out of touch with. By the time Fiore tried to kill Usagi via Xenian Flower in "Quis Proditores Ipsos Prodit," Kunzite had grown much more practiced in the use of the stove... enough so that his immediate response to the Xenian revealing itself was to light a burner and shove the Xenian into it.
[OOC] Kunzite: "... thank you for the cooking lessons Mako >.>"
[OOC] Makoto Kino: "Mako simultaneously so proud and yet also kind of horrified"
- Clever Crows: The guardian of Zoisite's Pocket Dimension is a giant raven who poses a test of intelligence and wisdom for Sailor Mercury (and is quite pleased by how quickly and easily she passes it) in "La Vie en Rose."
- Climactic Battle Resurrection: At the end of "D-Point: The Last Battle," Sailor Moon uses the power of the Silver Crystal to revive everyone who died at D-Point during the fight against the Dark Kingdom and Beryl.
- Color-Coded Characters: Common to the genre, of course. The Prism Keepers provide the most notable example, given that each Prism Keeper's power is based in a particular color of the rainbow.
- Color-Coded Secret Identity: How strongly characters cleave to their respective Color Motifs when not in costume varies from theme to theme. One on end of the spectrum, the Prism Keepers almost always have some of their signature color on them; on the other end, Seishi of Akai Ito Samurai Girl has an exclusively red motif as Akashimaru but mostly dresses in shades of purple, blue, and/or black when not transformed.
- Crack Pairing: In-universe! In "The Great Reblog," Mamoru discovers that someone wrote a Tuxedo Kamen / Frost Knight slashfic and put it on the internet.
- Creator In-Joke: In "Waders, Walls, Roses, and Honey," Makoto is mentioned to be wearing a t-shirt printed with the logo of a potted plant with a smiley face on it. This is a reference to Project: Infinity, a now-defunct MUSH that Makoto and Mamoru's players were both part of.
- Creepy Crows: Corvus the raven spirit, who went mad from bitterness and despair and manipulated a grieving girl into stealing souls for him during the Scorn arc. Notably, once redeemed at the end of the arc he transformed from a raven to a seagull.
- Creepy Good: Between his energy absorption powerset, his significantly underdeveloped social skills and extreme stoicism, and the array of emotional damage and coping mechanisms developed both before and during his service to the Dark Kingdom... let's just say that making a Heel–Face Turn has left Kunzite only marginally less creepy than he was when he was physically composed of dark energy.
- Damsel out of Distress: In "Grabbing Lightning," Riventon kidnaps Makoto and replaces her with a Nullheart double. In "Crescit Eundo" and "Reap the Whirlwind," Mako breaks herself out of the Eclipse containment cell she was stashed in, finds her henshin pen, and goes roaring off to catch up with her Nullheart as it's attacking Mamoru's apartment.
- Death Faked for You: Kunzite, realizing that there would be a whole lot of magical girls ready to stage a rescue if Mamoru were obviously kidnapped, arranged to instead secretly replace him with a meticulously-crafted youma double. Then he had the double try to kill Sailor Moon. Her attempt to purify "Tuxedo Kamen" destroyed the youma and left everyone present convinced that Mamoru had died (at least for a while).
- Drama-Preserving Handicap: While she can still freely stop time, Homura Akemi has found her ability to rewind time mysteriously blocked by a power which manifests via a cryptic "♇" symbol. Since she's no longer able to reset and try again if things go wrong, the stakes are correspondingly a lot higher.
- Dream Land: The dreams of humanity combine into a realm which can be entered by people with the right kinds of abilities. Dream Defender Ariel of Dream A Little Dream comes from this realm.
- Dream Stealer: The villains of Akai Ito Samurai Girl steal people's dreams to feed to the theme's Big Bad.
- Dream Walker: The heroes of Akai Ito Samurai Girl and Dream A Little Dream have the ability to travel into the dreams of other people and interact with them.
- Dwindling Party: A full two dozen player characters traveled to D-Point to help battle the Dark Kingdom, divided into several groups. By "D-Point: The Last Battle," all but two are dead or incapacitated, either fallen in battle along the way or killed by Queen Beryl if they made it that far. Fortunately, they get better.
- Enemy Mine: Usually thanks to an enemy-of-my-enemy situation or a threat that crosses the Godzilla Threshold.
- The friend-foe lines were already kind of blurry, but Dark Endymion declared an official truce between the Shitennou and the Sailor Senshi while both teams answered Homura's call for help fighting Walpurgisnacht.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The Big Bad of Akai Ito Samurai Girl is called the Eater of Dreams. As Seishi repeatedly notes, this is not a metaphor: his minions steal people's dreams for him to eat.
- Family of Choice: A recurring theme, particularly in the Sailor Moon and Puella Magi Madoka Magica casts, which are both full of characters who are either orphaned or otherwise have difficult family situations. By the time the Dark Kingdom arc has ended, the two casts are firmly interconnected via several characters having unofficially adopted one another; Kyouko openly calls Kunzite her brother, and Makoto does the same for Mamoru.
- Flower Motifs: Many examples.
- Prism Keeper Red, Tuxedo Kamen, and Makoto share a rose motif - predominantly red in the former two cases (although Tux sometimes dabbles with other colors), pink in Makoto's case.
- Makoto and Nephrite's relationship is represented by forget-me-nots, which symbolize memory, faithfulness, and true love. Scenes focused on their relationship are often titled "Hanakotoba" with a reference to a particular flower of relevant meaning, such as plum blossoms (perseverance) and poinsettia (cheer and hope for the future).
- Zoisite's near-omnipresent flurries of Cherry Blossom petals play on that flower's juxtaposition of beauty and death.
- Akashimaru has a motif of red spider lilies, representing reincarnation. Akahana (whose name means "red flower") has red tulips representing trust. Shouhamaru has blue irises symbolizing loyalty and good tidings; his name, written as "iris leaf circle," refers to the blade-like leaves surrounding the flower. Hakuomaru has peonies, representing bravery.
- Haruka Haruno AKA Cure Flora is a walking one of these. The motif includes roses, lilies, and cherry blossoms, as well as a simplified representation of daisies.
- Friend of Masked Self: Mamoru Chiba anonymously runs one of Tumblr's most popular and prolific unofficial fan/info blogs on Sailor Moon and her allies, featuring pictures, 'sighting' stories, commentaries, and egregious shipping.
- Genre Savvy: Being a teenage girl who Thinks Like a Romance Novel can be surprisingly useful in a magical girl setting where fairy tale rules and The Power of Love are frequently the order of the day. It's how Makoto and Rei first come to the realization of Mamoru's role in the story, among other things - they're looking for the reborn Moon Princess, and it only stands to reason that a princess would have a Prince Charming, right?
- Ghost Pirate: The Sailor Senshi battle a ship of undead pirates in a one-off encounter in "Senshi and the Skeletal Scalliwags." They come away with a treasure chest for their trouble, although what (if anything) it contains is never revealed.
- Good Angel, Bad Angel: During "D-Point: The Last Battle," Madoka and Homura take the forms of (respectively) a shoulder angel and shoulder devil when they appear in spirit form to cheer on Sailor Moon against Metallia.
- Heel–Face Door-Slam: One possible interpretation of Melanite's death in "D-Point: Swan Song," although Mamoru and Kunzite are more inclined to believe she was just looking for a way to save herself and point out that, if her change of heart were sincere, she could have taken action to stop her evil clones before they killed Sailor Mars and Sky Jack.
- Heel–Face Revolving Door: Poor Kunzite. Unlike the other Shitennou, who only have to make the journey from villain to hero once, Kunzite goes through several cycles of breaking his brainwashing only to have it forcibly reinstated by Beryl and/or Metallia. This makes it rather difficult for the Senshi and their allies to be entirely sure of which side he's working on behalf of at any given time; it takes effectively killing him in "Power's Out" before he's finally freed from Dark Kingdom control for good.
- I Ate WHAT?!: As previously mentioned, "Ayana Kaiju!" incident was precipitated when Ayana went looking for a snack and ate a proto-youma under the mistaken impression it was food. Whoops.
- Killer Rabbit: Kunzite's MO as a villain is to plant youma hidden behind the guise of something pleasant and harmless: roses in "O Rose Thou Art Sick," kittens in "Hashtag Kitten Doom," ice cream and orphans in "The Orphanage Trap."
- Let Them Die Happy: As Runealy lies dying in "D-Point: The Last Battle," Ariel uses her Dream Weaver abilities to give her a comforting dream in her final moments.
- Love Dodecahedron: Good luck trying to keep up with the various romances, reciprocal or one-sided, amongst the Shugo Chara! and Sailor Moon casts without a chart.
- Mega Neko: The guardian beast of Kunzite's Pocket Dimension is a caracal the size of a draft horse.
- Moe Anthropomorphism: The hourly randomized message which broadcasts during system saves can be a little too apropos to whatever happens to be going on at the time. It was soon dubbed Save-tan and declared to be sentient, becoming the unofficial mascot of the game.
- Mythology Gag: After defeating her dark clone in "D-Point: Swan Song," Sailor Mars triumphantly writes "The Real One" in fire with an arrow pointing to herself. This is a nod to Sera Myu Petite Étrangère, in which Sailor Mars dons a sign reading "The Real One" to differentiate herself from her droid counterpart.
- Necessarily Evil: Princess Runealy and her Guardian Knights in the first season arc of Guardian Princess Runealy are well aware that attacking the heroes of Tokyo for their energy is wrong, and expect to be held accountable. Rune simply doesn't see an alternative, since she needs the energy in order to save Waldia from being overrun by demons. Once she's persuaded that it's possible to Take a Third Option, she abandons the energy-theft plan with relief.
- Nebulous Evil Organisation: Eclipse is a giant conglomeration of magiscience villains from multiple themes, including Pretty Cure's Desperaria, Sailor Moon's Souichi Tomoe, and all of Easter from Shugo Chara.
- Noble Bird of Prey: The thunderbird guardian of Nephrite's Pocket Dimension, an enormous bird of prey who - like all of the palace guardians - advises the senshi when they come calling.
- Non Sequitur, Thud: During "Power's Out," Sailor Moon passes out from overexertion due to unloading everything she had into her Moon Healing Escalation. When she first comes to, she's not quite firing on all cylinders:
Sailor Moon: "Jupiter, the lemondrops ate the boomerang..."
- Please Put Some Clothes On: Once redeemed, Nephrite takes a distinctly lackadaisical attitude towards staying fully-clothed while at home. Mamoru and the other Shitennou, who have to share a residence with him, find his preference for going around in his underwear highly exasperating and a bit disturbing; fortunately for everyone, he usually takes the trouble to put some pants on when the guys have visitors (which is often).
- Pocket Dimension: The "palaces" belonging to the Shitennou, which were their seats of power during the time of Earth's Golden Kingdom and are accessible via Portal Doors connecting them to the corresponding regions of the world and to each other. Despite the name, only one of them (Zoisite's fairytale castle and garden) contains an actual palace; Jadeite's is a zen temple, Nephrite's is a redwood forest and Tree Top Town, and Kunzite's is a desert fortress.
- Pop-Culture Pun Episode Title: "The Fresh Witch of Mitakihara," "Hannah and the Brain," "I Believe I Can (Kinda) Fly," "Five Nights at Faust's," "What's Eating Ao-chan!," "Uncanny X-Meguca," and many, many more.
- Portal Door: The Shitennou palaces are connected to the real world via such doorways. The most frequently-used is the door into Jadeite's palace, which is at the bottom of the stairs leading down to the basement of an abandoned house in Tokyo. Zoisite's palace connects to a cavern reached via the Paris catacombs; the door to Nephrite's is on the west coast of Canada, and it's speculated that Kunzite's probably opens somewhere into the Middle East (though no one has been in a hurry to test it).
- Put on a Bus:
- Mei Akatsuki aka Prism Keeper Red literally got on a bus, leaving to pursue a lead on her Missing Mom.
- In "I'll Miss You Until We Meet Again," Amu Hinamori informs Nadeshiko that she's leaving to take part in a foreign exchange program. In her case, The Bus Came Back a few months later.
- Real After All: The Prism Keepers and Shades of Prism Aegis were originally a game of make-believe invented by Mei and played with her friends. Then the imaginary story started coming true...
- Red String of Fate: Featured prominently in Akai Ito Samurai Girl, including right there in the theme's title (akai ito meaning "red string"). Akashimaru's name also references the red thread of fate, and the cord of fate is explained to connect the past and present incarnations of the theme's heroes, giving them their powers.
- Refuge in Audacity: Basically the point of the theatrics in "Routine Home Lies." Mamoru and company deal with a visit from a private investigator by playing the "rich, mysterious young aristocrat" angle to the absolute hilt, confronting her with a situation so outside anything she was expecting that she can't do anything but go along with it.
- Refusal of the Call: A downplayed variant. Naru became fully aware of the existence of the supernatural and how close her friendship with Usagi has brought her to it as of the "Naru in the Dark" / "Naru Escape" / "Naru Perspective Broadened" trilogy of scenes, but remained reluctant to seek any kind of magic powers for herself, even though Mamoru and several others have discussed obtaining a Device or a PreCard for her to give her a means of protecting herself. Eventually her own naturally-manifesting innate magic rendered the question moot.
- Reverse Mole: A hazard of using brainwashed heroes as your minions - Queen Beryl is undermined in her efforts to conquer the world by several of her subordinates, beginning with Kunzite after his brainwashing breaks in "Freed From The Lies." Dark Endymion eventually follows suit. Both of them are mind-controlled into submission once Beryl catches wise after Walpurgisnacht... at which point Zoisite takes over the role.
- Rotating Arcs: The various themes tend to generate their own Story Arcs, which for the most part play out concurrently and occasionally intersect. Arc finales often draw in characters from all themes given the likelihood of escalating to a city- or world-threatening scale, but the relevant theme's cast retain primary focus.
- Running Gag:
- It's not a party unless someone spikes the punch. Mamoru started the trend by emptying an entire bottle of vodka into the punch bowl in "Fabulous Fall Fanciness," and someone's taken up the habit at every party since, sometimes before anyone has had a chance to drink anything. When Madoka threw a pre-Walpurgisnacht skating party in "Last Chance Dance," she set up two punch bowls with signs indicating that one was open for spiking and the other should be left unadulterated. (The gag is increasingly downplayed in later scenes, however. The "Disaster Relief Charity Ball" doesn't have a punch bowl at all, with the punch and other drinks are served individually specifically to avoid the potential for spiking.)
- It's a noteworthy occasion if Naru Osaka manages to go over a week without being energy-drained or otherwise assaulted by the forces of darkness. Two weeks is nearly unheard of. Since becoming fully aware of the supernatural, Naru has begun semi-jokingly giving her various incidents star ratings along the lines of Yelp or similar review site. There may also be a "Days Since" incident counter in Mamoru's kitchen.
- Sailor Jupiter is an honorary Pretty Cure.
- The Sumimasentai, a gag originated by Koji Silvia due to his frequent apologizing. ("Sumimasen" is a Japanese apology.)
- Sacred Hospitality: The tradition of hospitality and guest-right was built into Kunzite's palace, specifically as a safeguard to protect visitors from Kunzite himself. The senshi and their allies plan to exploit this fact to help them rescue Kunzite from the Dark Kingdom's control, but the final confrontation with him ends up happening elsewhere.
- Sailor Earth:
- In addition to characters drawn from canon and characters from fully original themes, the opportunity is also present to create original characters for canon themes. The Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha and Happiness Charge Pretty Cure casts especially boast a large number of original members due to how easy it is to explain new characters obtaining a Device or a PreCard. (Ironically, the trope-naming theme has relatively few original cast members - and none of them are Sailor Senshi.)
- An actual Sailor Earth is introduced in "Salt of the Earth," claiming that the senshi have forgotten her and that Mamoru is an impostor who is stealing her power and her rightful place beside Sailor Moon, to the great confusion of pretty much everyone. She was created by Takashi via complicated means, pretty much solely to screw with the senshi and distract them from everything else he's up to.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Being party to kidnapping Mamoru and faking his death was the last straw for Jadeite. He fled the Dark Kingdom to beg the Senshi for shelter soon after.
- Shout-Out: Pokémon Go exists in the M2verse and is played enthusiastically by most of the Sailor Moon cast and several prominent members of Eclipse, among others. (It started off development as an energy-draining plot of Jadeite's before he left the Dark Kingdom. That particular undisclosed feature didn't make it into the finished game, but Jadeite apparently retained his developer account.)
- Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome: Most of the Shugo Chara! cast underwent a quiet age-up from elementary-school-aged to middle-school-aged about halfway through the first year, in order to better suit the kinds of plots the characters were involved in.
- Take That!: In Makoto's introductory episode of the Sailor Moon '90s anime, Crane Game Joe was a fairly unpleasant victim-of-the-week who became the object of one of Mako's crushes. In "D-Point: Bringing Down the Heavens," Joe turns out to have been a Dark Kingdom youma from the beginning and meets a quick and ignominious end courtesy of Sailor Jupiter and Sky Jack. The header for the scene even includes Joe in the list of content warnings.
- Tokyo Is the Center of the Universe: The game is set in Tokyo. While plotlines occasionally lead to trips out of the city for one purpose or other, any theme that isn't based in Tokyo in its canon will, of necessity, be adapted to be set in Tokyo for in-game purposes. This also means that, naturally, a disproportionately large number of magical events and organizations end up occurring in or focused on Tokyo, so as to come within the notice of the player characters. A number of the more studious-minded characters, including Sailor Mercury, speculate that there is some supernatural quality specific to the area which draws such phenomena there.
- Two-Person Love Triangle: Before all the secret identities are sussed out, Usagi and Mamoru very nearly manage to form a Two-Person Love Dodecahedron. Mamoru's been searching for the princess who's been appearing nightly in his dreams, but he also feels increasingly attracted to both Usagi and Sailor Moon. Meanwhile, Usagi has feelings for the dashing Tuxedo Kamen, but is also drawn to Mamoru... and Usagi's friends worry about what will happen when they find the Moon Princess if they're right in their guess that Mamoru is her prince reborn...
- Villains Out Shopping: Most antagonists have their own lives outside of active villainy, and scenes of them taking time to enjoy themselves or taking care of mundane business are fairly common. For just a few examples, "Yes, The Tea Is Evil Too" has Takashi and the girls of UMBRA having a tea party, and Kunzite takes Apatite out for ice cream in "Ice Cream Is Not Inherently Evil."
- White Hair, Black Heart: Two of the game's longest, most plot-relevant villains - Takashi Agera and Hannah Sharpe - have beautiful white hair and a complete lack of ethics to match.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: Being a teenage or prepubescent girl who Thinks Like a Romance Novel is not nearly as useful when you're a puella magi or dealing with them, and can in fact cause quite a lot of problems.