"The world is ending. You must create a new one."
A 2009 DS fantasy adventure game, created by the staff of Matrix Software, published by Marvelous Entertainment, and distributed by XSeed Games.
One bright, cheerful day, your Purely Aesthetic Gender
main character decides to take a nap on a hill in the nearby meadow. When they wakes up, you find out that the world around you is going to be utterly obliterated by the Powers That Be
, and the only way you can save everything you care about is by hitting them with a magic book.
But, of course, that's just the opening cutscene. The story in this game is rather fleshed-out and detailed; wars are fought, loved ones are lost, and the mysteries of the world become unraveled as you try to write the story of the new world.
This game has a lot of features that are quite innovative, and a couple that are a bit gimmicky. One of those gimmicks is the Code system, which is featured the most prominently. As the main character journeys across the world, through kingdoms and deserts, they can scan people and weapons with their book, titled the Book of Prophecy. Now, each person and thing in the world has a certain 'code', coloured boxes that represent their ability; for example, a timid novelist has a code composed of Illness
. The main character is able to use these code pieces to change other objects and things he comes across. While humans don't actually change much, you are capable of making strong monsters weak by adding some Illness
, or change your plain sword into a Mithril blade by adding enough Silver
.Each and every character, whether they be just a regular NPC or one of the story's main characters, has a rich backstory that affects who they are and what they do. As the main character travels across the world, looking for things to scan and the missing pages of the magic book, the player will find out more about the people living in the world. If the character progresses far enough, they might even get into a relationship with one of the many people they meet on their travels.
So, whether it's the Zelda
-esque gameplay, the fascinating plot, the developed characters, the beautiful music, or the fact that you just have a thing for manipulating anything you can get your hands on, this game is truly a diamond in the rough.
This game provides examples of:
- Absurd Altitude: Once your character learns a move called the Judgment Link, they can juggle enemies into the sky. Keep up the combo long enough, and your foes will reach orbit. Keep it up a little longer, and they'll go beyond the Astronomic Zoom of the Earth.
- Apocalypse Not: The world doesn't actually end.
- Badass Longcoat: Concept Art shows that Ur was supposed to have one of these.
- Beauty Equals Goodness: There are three witches in this game: Olly,◊ Ellie,◊ and Nanai,◊ Guess which one is a Wicked Witch, which one is a Reasonable Authority Figure, and which one is a Love Interest.
- Big Bad: Kullervo.
- Bilingual Bonus: One of the bosses is named Perkele. For those of you who know Finnish, that is definitely a less than savory word
- Bishounen: Prince Valdo.
- Blocking Stops All Damage: All damage. Yes, even the Final Boss' ultimate attack.
- This is so extreme that Didja Redo mocked it in his Let's Play: "Look at this! Look at it! [...] The final boss is hopelessly, flailingly impotent in the face of a small circle of metal!"
- Boss Subtitles: Technically deconstructed with the Book of Prophecy, as changing their attributes changes their subtitles appropriately.
- Played straight in that all bosses get a more unique subtitle before every battle.
- Brought Down to Normal: After becoming the town hero through the power of the Book, your character is rudely brought down to normal after the Book is stolen, and must learn how to fistfight.
- But Thou Must: Played straight with the desert witch. Inverted with Anwar. If you want to talk to the latter, you must ask him the same question over and over until he gives up and responds.
- Card-Carrying Villain: Werman.
- Cartography Sidequest: You receive Code Points for exploring rooms thoroughly.
- Clear My Name: Your hapless PC gets blamed for nearly everything that goes wrong.
- Cut-and-Paste Environments: You start to see more and more of these as you progress through the game.
- Cute Bruiser: Lauca. She keeps an axe laying around! Her back story reveals that she's fought in multiple wars.
- Cynicism Catalyst: Rex's entire family was slaughtered, turning him into a bitter Street Urchin who hates the world.
- Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Getting killed will let you continue from the entrance of the area where you died, with half your maximum HP, the same MP you had when entering, and retain any items or Codes you acquired or sorted within the area.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: Sylphy, an elf girl who firmly believes that humans are worthless... until you start to get on her good side. The male version is Anwar, who's supposedly heartless but seems to remember where he's put the damn thing after you start chatting to him.
- If you talk to Sylphy in the last few chapters, she breaks down crying and admits that she's honestly scared about the death of the world and asks for your help.
- Demonic Possession: Prince Valdo is possessed by Kullervo.
- Dojikko: Mieli; justified in that her legs have been magically bound.
- Dramatic Wind: Whether you're running through a desert or just standing around there is always some wind blowing your coat/jacket.
- Drop the Hammer: You get one from Rudrud, guardian of the forest.
- Dual Wielding: Your character can hold any combination of weapons in each hand.
- Early-Bird Cameo: Heath is the second character to appear in the game. Though he doesn't appear again after another ten hours of gameplay.
- Easily Forgiven: Rex in chapter 6. The Player Character is happy to see them and doesn't appear angry at all, even though they betrayed the Player Character just a few minutes earlier.
- The End of the World as We Know It
- Entitled Bastard: The entirety of Rhoan expects the Player Character to save them...after they all turned on him/her. Even the spirits think so. You can torment them over it by refusing to help at first.
- Everyone Is Single: Averted with Dorothea (though played straight with everyone else)- she loves Valdo. (Whether or not they actually had a relationship is unclear, though.) That doesn't exactly stop you from being able to date either of them...
- Evil Albino: Subverted. The albino Prince Valdo isn't actually evil, as he is possessed by Big Bad Kullervo.
- Evil Chancellor: Werman.
- Evil Sounds Deep: Inverted by Werman, who has a rather tinny voice. Played straight by Kullervo.
- Exposition Fairy: Rempo starts out as this, but he eventually phases out of this role as you meet the other Spirits of the Book of Prophecy.
- Fallen Hero: It is revealed that Kullervo was the previous holder of the Book of Prophecy who had created the current world and even saved humanity. However, humans betrayed Kullervo, fearing his power, and he grew to hate them, thinking it was a mistake to bring them back.
- Fetch Quest: Almost every task that an NPC wants you to do boils down to this.
- Filler: Chapters 7 through 10 involve doing the exact same things that you did in Chapters 2 through 5, only in reverse order.
- Finger Twitching Revival: Kullervo, after repossessing his body.
- Fire, Ice, Lightning: Rempo, Neaki, and Ur rule over these elements, respectively, with Mieli having Forest powers.
- Funny Afro: A thief living underneath the local castle's dungeon has one of these, and is named Fro... or Sponge. He's been down there so long, he can't even remember his own name. (It's William "Fro" Jameson.)
- Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Pretty much every monster boss, but Tuoni is a particularly egregious offender. They aren't blocking your path or otherwise necessary to fight in any way; the Player Character actively goes out of their way to fight them, even though they have zero plot relevance.
- The elemental dragons very narrowly avert this due to a Hand Wave that they were sealing the spirits with their powers.
- Give Me Your Inventory Item
- Good Bad Translation: If you were to translate Dorothea's character page, it will say: 'They named a cat muzzles that she ate.' What.
- Great Big Book of Everything: The Book of Prophecy.
- Hand Wave / Deus ex Machina: Valdo's postgame resurrection is explained by his soul being housed by his pet cat.
- Heel-Face Turn: Heath, a general of the currently twisted Waisen empire who ends up teaching you how to fight with your fists after you lose the Book of Prophecy.
- Heroic Mime: Both heroes, save for battle cries.
- Heroic Wannabe: Duran.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Olly, killed by her own Pinball Projectile daggers. Bonus points for attempting to literally stab their target in the back.
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Heath and Lauca. Also applies to Heath and Tia if you pick him.
- Humans Are the Real Monsters: From Kullervo's point of view. Even the player character may have the same view, but nevertheless decides against it in the ending.
- I Lied: Kullervo to Rex at the end of chapter 5. He claimed he would resurrect Rex's sister, but tosses Rex aside and leaves him for dead the moment he hands over the Book of Prophecy.
- Ill Girl: Fana.
- Informed Flaw: Rempo, Neaki, and even the Book of Prophecy complain about Ur's tendency to lecture and preach, but he actually does so rarely, and he is the kindest and most patient of the Spirits.
- Inventory Management Puzzle: The Code system.
- Jerkass: The town merchants are seriously obnoxious, and their false testimony gets you thrown in prison.
- Just Before the End: The central premise of the game.
- Kangaroo Court: Your poor, poor PC. As if it isn't bad enough the first time around...
- Karmic Death: Olly, played straight.
- Kleptomaniac Hero: Averted; the main character scans items with their book, and can then create the item out of thin air with a bit of MP. The original item is left wherever the heck you found it.
- Large Ham: Werman. Also Kullervo, after he gets his body back.
- The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: Hilariously when all the Special School masters are trying to get you to join them.
: You learned Rudrud's deadly attack!
taught you my strongest attack!
- Little Bit Beastly: Lauca, all the way.
- Little Miss Snarker: Neaki. Also a Cute Mute since her voice is sealed by the Book of Prophecy, so she thinks her snarky comments instead.
- She could also be mouthing her words.
- Lost Forever: If you give up on the Judgment Link Tournaments (and you might), you won't get the Metalizes you would have won. That is, until the end of the game.
- Lovable Sex Maniac: Old man Vis.
- Luck-Based Mission: Zeno-9
- Luckily My Shield Will Protect Me: This is pretty much the only way to defeat Kullervo
- May-December Romance: Some of the love interests have significant age difference with the protagonists.
- Meaningful Name: Kullervo, the Big Bad, is named after the Anti-Hero of The Kalevala.
- Also Untamo, one of the four dragons, is also from The Kalevala.
- Mind Screw: The New World can look very strange if you haven't done many sidequests.
- Mood Whiplash: You get a breather chapter in which you can potter around the map, clearing up any items and event you may have missed, and given the opportunity to make the opposite-gender character of your choice fall for you. It's pretty slow-paced, and the "love confessions" are charmingly cheesy. After that, you compete in a good-natured tournament, then all hell breaks loose. Your best friend/romantic interest steals The Book Of Prophecy and brings about disaster, while you get blamed for the whole thing and flung in prison after a pretty heart-wrenching interrogation. Oh, and your love interest? They're in dire straits, too.
- Even worse if you're playing a male character, or a female one that didn't choose Rex as a suitor. In this case, your love interest isn't just "in dire straits"; they get sucked into the Book and have the page about them mangled beyond repair. Naturally, when it comes to the book, nothing stays "damaged" forever.
- Mr. Fanservice: Definitely Anwar. To a lesser extent, Ur and Valdo.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Rex, we're looking at you.
- No-Gear Level: In Chapter 6, after your friend Rex steals the Book of Prophecy from you, and you quickly have to learn how to fight with your bare hands.
- Non-Standard Game Over: Near the very end of Chapter 4. You've been infected with a curse, and if you keep telling the Spirits that you're giving up (five times in a row), your game immediately ends.
- No Sympathy: Good grief, the townspeople. Your PC is found injured in a pile of rubble, and their first actions are to arrest you, subject you to a Kangaroo Court, and throw you in a dungeon before listening to what you have to say, in that order. Doubly annoying if you've completed some of their sidequests by this point and have worked miracles for them.
- Not So Different: Kullervo claims this is true for him and the Main Character. He was the previous holder of the Book of Prophecy and the one who created the current world. His Start of Darkness began when he was attacked and sealed away by those who feared him because of the Book's power; an eerie parallel to the Main Character's recent imprisonment at the hands of paranoid and ungrateful townsfolk.
- The Ojou: Dorothea.
- Older Than They Look: Lauca Meia.
- One Head Taller: Nanai for Yumil.
- Our Elves Are Better
- Pinball Projectile: Daggers.
- Deconstructed when Olly is killed by one rebounding back at them.
- Pixel Hunt: To complete maps in the book for the game's experience point system, you need to find several hotspots on the screen which give you an information blurb about the area. In houses and town streets, these are usually easy enough to find. In random, identical-looking grasslands or forests, however, it can get tiresome to find the three or more almost invisible and unremarkable "points of interest" for completion's sake.
- It's at least bearable early on in the game, since you can do the usual "hug every object and mash A" routine at your leisure. But as soon as you learn how to use Judgment Link, it overlaps the "examine" function of the A button, and after that point, every time you press A in an attempt to examine an object in any enemy-infested area and you're not on the exact pixel, you'll instead juggle a nonexistent enemy, causing you to waste at least one whole second for every failed attempt. Most people don't usually even bother.
- The Power of Creation: Though it's more like the power of replication(Though you also get to manipulate the item's properties), the book allows you to scan objects, such as weapon, bread or flowers and create another version when needed. However, unless the object you're replicating is a weapon it'll use up MP.
- Purely Aesthetic Gender: The only difference between playing as a guy or as a girl is who you can have as a romantic interest.
- Puzzle Boss: Several bosses have puzzle elements but the most prominent one is Guardian Torsol.
- Puzzle Pan: The game loves this if switches are involved. In one room, it's easier to bypass the puzzle, however.
- Reality-Writing Book: The book is roughly this. It's meant to record everything in the world, but you must record everything manually by slamming the book on top of them, whether they're a person, a monster or an inanimate object. You can play mix-and-match with some of their attributes to weaken or strengthen them (making monsters easier or harder to fight) and do other tweaks.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: King Xenonbart of Kaleila, and Mayor Georg.
- "Reasonable" is a stretch here. Xenonbart merrily carts you off to jail without giving you a shot at clearing your name the first time you meet him. And while (slightly) sympathetic, Georg admits that he din't cart you off to jail the second time because he believed you were guilty; he did it because the townspeople thought so.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: During your time in prison, literally every single NPC that you didn't complete a sidequest for will come to your cell and outline exactly why everything's your fault.
- Relationship Values: You can date one of five human(oid) characters of the opposite gender, or two of the four spirits. Even if you choose not to date them, the characters' affection for you triggers specific events and revelations.
- Rewriting Reality
- Rich Bitch: Francesca and her brother.
- Schizo Tech: In a world filled with medieval architecture, the bomb's a bit of a stretch, and the gun definitely qualifies as this.
- The book claims that the gun is "Ancient Technology".
- Self-Disposing Villain: Olly.
- Serious Business: Judgment Link battles.
- Also the relationship between Werman and Olly must have went along the lines of: "Gee I wonder which of us is the better magic user. Let's decide it over a game of who destroys the world first."
- Shout-Out: "Come with me... if you want to live."
- Slice-and-Dice Swordsmanship
- Slippy-Slidey Ice World: The dungeon in Chapter 3.
- Spin Attack: After dueling and winning against Gustav, the local swordsmaster, this becomes one of your special techniques.
- Stock Video Game Puzzle: Push blocks? Check. Light torches? Check. Hit all the switches? Double-check. Kill all the enemies? Classic.
- The Stoic: Definitely Anwar, arguably Gustav.
- Sugar and Ice Personality: Valdo.
- Tap on the Head: Although your main character has fought against a master swordsman, a hammer-wielding dwarf, a chimera, a giant demon, and a host of random monsters, at one point you're kidnapped after a stranger punches you right in the noggin.
- A Taste of Power: That cool, golden sword you defeat a giant bullman with in the first minute of the game? You won't see it again until the very end.
- Third-Person Person: Lauca is one of these.
- Tournament Arc: Chapter 5. You even fight your mentors.
- Tsundere: Selphy, oh so much.
- Princess Dorothea, to a lesser extent.
- Two-Faced: Werman.
- Unlucky Childhood Friend: One of the main character's friends is Fana, a girl who's had an uncurable illness since she was born and has lost both of her parents. The male version is Rex, who's lived in poverty all of his life, and watched his little sister, Meenya get killed.
- Voice of the Legion: Kullervo, though he doesn't speak in multiple voices; he just reverberates a bit.
- Warp Whistle: After the game's halfway point, you can use the Book of Prophecy to teleport to any part of the world you've been to before.
- Weaksauce Weakness: The spirits are weakened by water, being tied to a book and all.
- Weapon of Choice: As you go through the game, your main character learns how to use swords, hammers, bombs, projectiles, and eventually his own fists. While each weapon can do something the others can't, you can specialize in whichever field you like. Describing the various styles...
- Wicked Witch: Olly, unsurprisingly. Her default code assortment even labels her as "wicked"!
- Wham Episode: Oh boy the Wham Cutscene at the end of chapter 5. In summary, Rex betrays you, steals the Book of Prophecy and hands it over to Kullervo / Valdo(lets call him Kullervaldo) to bring back his dead little sister. Kullervaldo lied and uses the books power to destroy a part of the town. Werman and Olly has a chat. Heath finally realizes the prince he's working for is evil and pulls a Heel-Face Turn. The Book of Prophecy explodes in Kullervaldo's face and many pages were torn off. Rex finds a page from the book. Werman and Kullervaldo must run out of town and blows Heath away along the way. Olly finds the Book and steals it. The guards find us and mistakens us for being the one who damaged the town.
- What Measure Is a Non-Human?
- You Can't Thwart Stage One / Defeating the Undefeatable: The spirits repeatedly say that if Kullervo repossesses his body, the Big Bad will become unstoppable, and you have to stop him before that happens. Naturally, it does happen, and of course the Player Character still wins handily.
- The Wiki Rule: An in-game example, as the Book of Prophecy basically acts as a full-fledged wiki.