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Roleplay: Save The Earth
Save The Earth is a panfandom AU memory-loss Journal Roleplay game on Dreamwidth. Its premise? The Planet Earth is alive and sentient in some way, and guides the placement of souls into bodies. In order to protect itself against extrareality-based threats it pulls the souls of dead beings from destroyed universes in and incarnates them into Earthly bodies.

As that threat makes itself known these reincarnates find their everyday lives disrupted as they become gradually more like their preincarnated selves... to Save The Earth!

Has a shipping matrix.

Tropes Used:

  • Abandoned Mine: The coal mine where the stone for the weird statues was supposedly quarried is long abandoned. After the big relevant log plenty of characters have heard there's something to find in there, but this was proven wrong.
  • Aerith and Bob: Most characters whose preincarnations had names that would stick out in Locke City, USA have reincarnations with more standard names. Not all; in the city are Alex Kusnitz (Aximili-Esgarrouth-Isthill) and Fenn Forster (Fai Fluorite) alongside Banagher Links and Mordin Solus, for example.
  • After the End: The preincarnations of characters are all dead. Their worlds ended, their universes ended for unclear reasons. The world they've been reincarnated on lives, though.
  • Alien Blood: All over the place for the reincarnates, as many of them have blue, green, or yellow blood. The enemy Mooks don't bleed, though Vermaxi secrete pink goop, and we don't know about the alien invaders themselves.
  • Alien Kudzu: Often joked to be the end result should Aaron's athelas be spread around too much. The cuttings he made are growing like weeds, and the very first one was given to a character who planted it somewhere unknown before dropping...
  • Aliens Are Bastards: The Gardeners want Earth for some purpose and consider the extinction of humanity to be acceptable collateral damage getting there.
  • Alternate Universe: In a sense! Each character has been born as a human or animal and lived out their life normally, though of course "normal" is as variable as on any Earth. Some characters have had lives closely paralleling their preincarnation's, with families, friends, and enemies paralleling important characters in the preincarnations' lives. Some, less so. Reincarnates tend to be happier and better adjusted, but that's a broad rule.
  • Amnesiac Dissonance: There are quite a few villains reincarnated as basically heroic characters, and heroic characters who might not be bad people, but aren't on the same level as their preincarnations.
  • April Fools' Plot: The game launched on April 1st. Cynical characters thus take what's happened to their lives since then as a cruel cosmic prank.
  • Artificial Limbs: The robots tend to echo back their body parts piece by piece.
  • Badass Bookworm: The cast includes two librarians, three or four teachers, and a number of other academics, plus enough nerds to run as many D&D sessions and SF conventions as the players could ever want.
  • Being Human Sucks: Characters who have temporarily lost their Echoes tend to be upset when they remember and realize they were reduced to helpless loads.
  • Being Watched: The network is the only safe place, and even there, some people take excessive precautions.
  • Big Bad: There's something bigger than Thunder and the cops out there, referred to by its subordinates only as "it".
  • Brought Down to Normal: Sorta. Well, reincarnates start with no supernatural abilities. They can pick those up as Echoes.
  • Body Horror: Not all reincarnates' bodies match their preincarnations, and the transition is seldom mercifully neat - Julien's system fortunately changed to accommodate breathing with the lungs of a bird shortly after his lungs themselves changed, and an Echo left Shiro vomiting up shed bits of his stomach for its conversion to a carnivore's.
  • Body to Jewel: Kari's human soul turned into a pearl, which nearly outed both her and Vanessa. It would have been a lot worse if the cop who happened by wasn't also a reincarnate.
  • Brain in a Jar: The mysterious enemy base in the old jail, before it was cleared out, had six brains in jars. Some characters suspect that the brains belonged to disappeared reincarnates.
  • Butt Monkey: Kotetsu Kaburagi sometimes has elements of this. See: autocorrect, the crapsuit.
  • The Call Knows Where You Live: After an uneventful Vermini resurgence followed by a more troubling plot with the city's water supply being tainted, select characters were personally targeted by mutated colleagues and family members programmed to kill the reincarnates in their lives or die trying. Fred gets bonus points for actually echoing back his Heroic Resolve after his mother was turned against him and killed by her own mutation.
  • Can't Stay Normal: Discussed when Julien, Alex, and Anthony considered leaving Locke to go back to normal and keep the city safe from what they'd Echoed back. They conclude that Laser-Guided Amnesia would just make them come back because they wouldn't know why they left. Though the image of them driving loops over the border and back is deemed hilarious.
  • Celebrity Paradox: Technically the reincarnations aren't Otakukin due to this. At least, in-game. A lot of the relevant canons have expies.
  • City of Adventure: So far the game is restricted to Locke City and the land around it. Characters can leave, but being too far away removes their echoes and related memories, both of which return when they do.
  • Cheap Costume: If a character is engaging with the enemy and hasn't echoed back a disguise, they're likely to go with hair dye and hand-me-downs. Shiro's "ninja disguise" and Alex's Viking beard are the best examples.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The Blood Keys were paid off to clear out the Dead District early in the game, only mentioned by name in a plotting post. A few months later, they were part of a huge plot where they started to attack people in town.
  • Chekhov's Exhibit: The characters attempt it, anyway, with some statues in the art museum that were brainwashing the populace. However, Thunder then put in a reincarnate-detecting bird to ward them off and then withdrew the museum statues before the reincarnates could steal them.
  • Chemistry Can Do Anything: Averted. Even the mysterious alien compounds have to have rules.
  • The Chosen Many: Subverted. Reincarnates from other worlds were specifically brought to Earth for its defense; however, they were "chosen" from their souls' respective native worlds without any clear method, and "awaken" passively as people who just happened to be born as candidates.
  • Corporate Warfare: Thunder's working with military contractors. The revelation of this caused a Mass "Oh, Crap!".
  • Couldn't Find a Pen: Anything that a person can write with, on, or in can connect to the network.
  • Different World, Different Movies: All represented canons (and some non-represented canons) have STE-world counterparts.
  • Dissimile: Aaron, on the idea of going back into the mines.
    Finding anyone in those caves would be like finding a needle in a very dark, very treacherous haystack. A haystack that gave him flashbacks.
  • Diving Save: True to his preincarnation, Julien sort of bodychecked Emmanuel to keep him from being too mauled by bats. Untrue to his preincarnation, this got Emmanuel bruised up and Julien fell too.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The leading theory on what the Gardeners are.
  • Elevator School: The Starling-Chandler School
  • Elite Mooks: Vermedi, which are the size of a small person and don't need to possess something to fight. They usually appear in secluded areas far from civilians. With the revelation that Vermaxi exist, they're a little further down on the ladder.
  • Emergent Human: Animal characters.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: Inverted with the reincarnate-detecting "drug dogs" the enemy cops use.
  • Fan Nickname: Some characters whose names are different from their preincarnations yet still similar are referred to by a mashup of the names when their players are discussing them and how they might change later in the game. Ex: Juliyuuya, Aarongorn.
  • Fictional Counterpart: Represented canons have them, some closer than others to their sources. For example, My Little Pony is now about singing dolphins, and The Lord of the Rings is replaced by a space epic.
  • Fisher Kingdom: Anyone who's echoed back being an unnatural species is humanized again outside the city.
  • Flash Back: Preincarnation memories can take this form, and they can be jarring. Otherwise they may return in dreams, or bit by bit.
  • Forgot the Call: Dropped characters and those who venture out of Locke City lose their echoes, their memories of these strange events, and return to their normal lives.
  • Frame-Up: Jack Sears being blamed for the deaths of Paul Ben and his family.
  • Friendly Neighborhood Vampires: You'll not find a vampire in Locke City who isn't very kindly.
  • Friendship Moment: During the mine escapade, Julien finds Aaron having a Heroic BSOD and takes his hands, then touches their foreheads together. The latter is only possible - Aaron is One Head Taller - because he's not standing. Later he takes pains to remind Aaron that You Are Not Alone.
  • From Bad to Worse: Unlike in a lot of games, character inaction has consequences and events do not just blow over. If you don't do something and do something big, the situation just gets worse.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Fenn Forster (Fai Flourite) goes by "Fay" most of the time.
  • Healing Herb: The athelas that was Aaron's first echo is this with a side of Fantastic Drug - it's useful in many contexts, from easing the pain of werewolf transformation to regulating moods.
  • He Knows Too Much / Make It Look Like an Accident: The NPC Paul Ben's essentially televised death on the reincarnations' network, just because he decided to go to the police with knowledge of the weird happenings. Followed up with the murder of the rest of his family as well in a staged fire.
  • Hollywood Hacking: Characters who first access the network on a computer tend to presume that this is what happened — either that they have inadvertently hacked the network or that it has hacked them.
  • How Do I Shot Web?: When a power is returned, it doesn't automatically come with much knowledge about how to use it.
  • Ho Yay: In-Universe gag - Colette has a bit of a crush on Julien, who, between his fond mentions and admiring poetry, she thinks may, in turn, have a bit of a crush on Aaron Strider... Similarly Aeron Penning, seeing the same pair interact in normal and very abnormal situations, assumes they are together. Imagined slash fans looking for interactions to interpret would not be short on material.
  • Human Aliens: Subverted. There is one alien in the city during season one, which specifically does not look human. Its followers were suspected to be humanlike aliens, but they are all humans who have been modified with alien science.
  • I Am Who?: Frequent, especially since many players enjoy providing misleading echoes.
  • Identity Amnesia: Justified!
  • In-Series Nickname / Code Name: Paranoia about the network has led some characters into adopting these. For the network itself and its users, meanwhile, "the Secret Numbers Club" or simply "Numbers Club" has stuck.
  • Instant Expert: Skill echoes tend to have this effect. Of course, having a power or item returned but not the skill is always an option.
  • Intellectual Animal: Characters born into animal bodies have "intelligence" as their first echo.
  • Invisible to Normals: Anything on the network is invisible and inaudible to characters who have no echoes yet, as is the "noise/buzzing effect", which is inaudible to recording devices as well as NPCs.
  • Kill the Cutie: Poor Crab. Being the Series Mascot and the game being in a break between seasons didn't save him.
  • La Résistance: The player characters seem destined to form this, and many — though certainly not all — are either happy to do it or see it as the only option.
  • Last Disc Magic: The Echo system encourages useful superhuman abilities to be gained and mastered late in the game.
  • Let Me Get This Straight: An alien conspiracy and a magical network? Hard to believe.
  • Loss of Identity: Characters are being written over by their other selves. Some fear that it will erase the people they started out as.
  • Magical Native American: Subverted with David Proud, who initially seems to be an evil example of this, with his power to infuse the statues he creates with mental suggestion and motion appearing to be connected to his tribe's snake god. As it turns out, he seems to have been brainwashed by the aliens just like his statues do the same to others, and whether his power is actually his is uncertain.
  • The Masquerade: This early in the game, characters try to hide any obvious changes in various ways.
  • Minor Crime Reveals Major Plot: The murder of the Ben family isn't minor on its own, but compared to planetary annihilation, yeah!
  • Misfit Mobilization Moment: Always under attempt, at this point!
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: Vermini-infested animals take on human features - other creatures such as a "batsquito" and a cat with a bird's beak and wings have appeared; there are officers among the Enemy-allied (and network-aligned Reverse Mole) police who have been augmented with ordinarily concealed animal attributes.
  • Mood Whiplash: When characters are reincarnated from a motley assortment of genres into one world with attitudes and Echoes drawing from their original ones, this is bound to come up putting configurations and interactions side-by-side.
  • Never Recycle a Building: The Dead District is full of abandoned buildings. This is actually enforced, with implication in backstory and flat-out canon in the game story that Thunder has been using wards and physical force to keep anyone but them from developing the place.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Danny and Brooke/Terra tried to break off a piece of the giant pink rock under the Tuning Towers, which resulted in an earthquake that killed over a hundred people and wrecked most of the buildings at the epicenter... At least the buzzing stopped?
  • Noble Top Enforcer: Simon Edward, chief of police. He's still a cruel conspirator, a murderer, and all around not a good person, but he at least hesitated over killing Paul Ben, whereas the other humans (and "humans") had no qualms.
  • No Communities Were Harmed: There aren't many physical differences between this Earth and ours, but one is Locke City in a fictionalized New Jersey.
  • One Gender School: Starling, the stuck-up girls' prep school.
  • One Steve Limit: The currently-identified reincarnates include two Aarons (out of whom Aaron Strider shares a surname with an Avery Strider) and an Aeron, three Alexes (one of whom prefers "Xander"), two Johns, two Hikaris, three Reginas (one was a cat), and two Walters. Kotetsu experienced a bit of confusion when a Kairi appeared on the network, who shares a name with his daughter. There's also now two Anthonys (Anthony from Eternal Darkness and a reincarnated Armin of Attack on Titan).
  • Ordinary High-School Student: And ordinary college students, and a couple of ordinary middle and elementary school students.
  • Otaku Surrogate: Enough that there's a thriving SF/F convention in Locke every summer with a number of player characters attending.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different
  • Our Werewolves Are Different
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Which worked in Alex's favour when Sherman tried to have him killed with a chair leg turned wooden stake.
  • Painting the Medium: Each reincarnate has their own number which can access the network - through just about anything, from a phone to a computer to a water trough, a wooden computer, or a wall. Players using peculiar mediums sometimes toy with font and coloration.
  • Paranoia Fuel: In-universe. None of the reincarnates know who to trust, including whether or not they should be sharing information about themselves with others on the network.
  • Past Life Memories: Slowly gaining in number. Trouble is, they tend to come with minimal context, if any, and can be misleading.
  • Plot Coupons: The characters were told that they had to collect a set of Mineral MacGuffins. As it turned out, the story about the gems was a fabrication to get the characters to sit still enough for Thunder to spring their trap. Zig-zagged, though; Thunder is looking for... something that they've labelled and numbered, and they want to get to it before the main cast does.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: The enemies have a machine (now relocated after the PCs found it) that's powered by six preserved brains.
  • Private Military Contractors: They're building fighter planes for Thunder. This can't end well.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The variety in the reincarnated characters is... extensive.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Aaron Strider and Randolph Lyall are two that come to mind. Kotetsu too, as the first and most approachable reincarnate cop.
  • Red Herring: Some people have noticed similarities between their odd memories/powers/returned items/etc. Unfortunately, few of them are from the same world/canon in the first place.
  • Reincarnation: Part of the premise.
  • Reincarnation Romance: Youou and Fay (Kurogane and Fai) are soulmates, and are instantly drawn to each other. Another less obvious in game, but even more notable example is Elhaym O'Connell and Daniel Lu (Elhaym Van Houten and Fei Fong Wong), who already qualified for this trope in canon. Not to mention, potentially, any canonical Official Couple who are both in game and have a chance of getting together again.
  • Remember the New Guy: The AU premise means that newly apped characters are checked over by other muns who can agree that their characters knew each other, and discuss what this knowledge entails - friends, enemies, coworkers, family. In-universe new characters haven't really seen anything of the odd goings-on and were somewhere in the background having "normal" interactions with the other characters, clueless until they received their first echo and a number of their own.
  • Reverse Mole: Nick has been pretending to be a bad guy to feed information from Sherman and the corrupt cops to the network, passing news along to other network members so they can be the public faces of it. (With varying degrees of success, thanks to several smart network members and Kotetsu's habit of fail.)
  • The Right of a Superior Species: The Gardeners think this way.
  • RPG Episode: The Otaku Surrogate characters occasionally do tabletop and LARP. These hobbies have proven to be a good source of Echoes.
  • Running Gag: If a reincarnate has dead parents or other family, it tends to be thanks to a hit-and-run. This has led to OOC speculation that it's the same driver, possibly drunk, for all of them, and jokes about apping this character.
  • Sacrificial Lamb: Mod-controlled Paul Ben's informal execution served as a warning to the rest of the reincarnations to keep the strange things happening to them among themselves.
  • Sacrificial Lion: Dropped player character Candy Rodriguez, who was found out and disappeared by the NPC police chief. Her fate spurred on the other reincarnates to step up investigation of the water contamination instead of wait for the enemy to give up.
    • Angeline's unexpected death in Las Vegas showed the reincarnates that things were far from over.
  • School Club Front: The After School Numbers Club for reincarnate kids, teachers, and former students.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Chris runs for it once the pseudo-werewolves make their appearance on the evening of the Dead District hunt, to her hunting party's momentary frustration - they're forced to focus on the monsters almost straight away.
  • Series Mascot: Joked to be Crab the dog.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Skyler, in contrast with his squeaky-clean preincarnation. The Homestuck examples all carried over their colourful vocabulary, too.
  • Special Person, Normal Name: Common! Though there are Meaningful Renames which may occur later.
  • Spiritual Successor: Veterans from The Sky Tides and Singularity have both claimed that STE is theirs, particularly considering how much overlap there is from both games, even though the plot and tone of STE are quite different.
  • Spoiled By The Manual: Intentional. As explained on the setting page: "First season events will mostly be based giving clues to the mystery that the players are already privy to, the emergence of supernatural beings and the characters' attempts to deal with them."
  • Spy Speak: The characters are developing their own lexicon out of necessity. Terms may vary from the official ones used by the mods and players (e.g. "pulse" instead of "Echo"), but in-game language is evolving and the official terms are becoming more common, mostly to make it easier on everyone.
    • The enemies use Spy Speak too, particularly the metaphor subtype, which gained the otherworldly masterminds the title of "Gardeners".
  • Stages of Monster Grief: An amount of grappling with coming to terms with what's coming to them is almost an inherent given for characters whose Echoes are mutating them in distinctly nonhuman/paranormal ways.
  • Sufficiently Advanced Alien: The Enemy. As Sherman describes the aliens' technology, "The alien says it isn't magic, it's technology. When you see it, it's like you're a Neanderthal, looking at an A-bomb. That farmhouse is guarded with shit I've never seen before. Real science fiction stuff. Incredible."
  • Summon Everyman Hero: Though the everymen aren't at any lesser advantage early in the game.
  • Super Senses: Many reincarnates, but really, it sucks. At least until they can be adjusted to.
  • Suspiciously Apropos Music: Parodied in the Tavia/Alan jailbreak log. After calling for help and getting a rescue lined up, Tavia keeps herself occupied by destroying "Holding Out for a Hero".
  • Synthetic Plague: Carneades! Echoed back to Julien and spreading from there, it's a carefully engineered and distressingly virulent virus... which only affects pigeons, and will not kill all of those. Rather, Locke City might have some interesting citizens in a year or two.
  • Talking Animal: Most animal characters gain sentience as a first echo and then the ability to speak English as their second.
  • Team Dad: Due to Ryan's tendency to "parent" the group, Ellie actually gets him a shirt that says this.
  • Title Confusion: No, despite past lives and space being important to the story, it's not a Please Save My Earth game.
  • Title Drop: "I wanted to save the earth."
    • And an extremely dramatic one here.
  • Tomboyish Name: Chris Starsky (Starscream)
  • The Name Is Bond, James Bond: Eastern Versus Western name orders have resulted in tag confusion in the past. Julien (Yuuya) actually goes by BondJulesBond online.
  • Trapped in Another World: Technically! Not that most know it.
  • Underground Level: Both trips to the mine, but especially the second. Having found nothing but Vermedi, the characters are looking to make another underground trip to either a sewer, an abandoned subway tunnel, or the basement of Tuning Towers, whichever they can get to.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: In the beginning, and still mostly true. The people at Thunder really don't take it well when Riku spearheads a campaign to damage their PR.
  • Visions of Another Self: Memory Echoes are these as Past Life Memories.
  • Weasel Mascot: Mr. Lyall has adopted a class pet in the form of Stella the surprisingly clever ferret, who is the reincarnation of Romsca.
  • We Come in Peace — Shoot to Kill: "Let's Negotiate" quickly devolved to reveal that the aliens had no actual interest in compromise.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Established early on for the cops and Gardeners; it's the reason Paul Ben was a high school kid.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: "We're not in Superman. We're in Watchmen."
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Most odd hair colors are the result of dye, but a few characters have had Echoes causing their hair to grow out in some wild color.
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