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The heroes of Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean (counter-clockwise from the bottom: Kalas, Mizuti, Lyude, Xelha, Gibari and Savyna)
Cast light upon the darkened earth,
Save those lost in despair,
O Mighty Ocean,
Guide as we journey through
The darkest pit of night
Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean is a memorably named JRPG and part-Card Battle Game for the Nintendo Gamecube, developed by Monolith Soft and published by Namco.The world of Baten Kaitos takes place on a series of magical Floating Continents, high above an endless expanse of poisonous gas. The humans who live here have evolved "Wings Of The Heart", and use a form of magic called "Magnus" to capture, store and reproduce the essence of any item imaginable.Kalas, a young Anti-Hero with an artificial Wing of Heart to replace his missing one, is searching for the murderer of his grandfather and brother with the help of his "Guardian Spirit" (essentially a fourth-wall stand-in for the player). He stumbles onto a Mysterious Waif called Xelha who is on her own quest: to stop The Empire from capturing the five End Magnus that contain the essence of a long-dead evil god and using their power to Take Over the World.As they journey across the islands, they gather an eclectic party of allies: a buff fisherman named Gibari; an idealistic Empire ambassador and Defector from Decadence named Lyude; a cold-hearted mercenary named Savyna; and the bizarre but powerful "Great" Mizuti.So what makes the game interesting? Well, for starters, there's the visual appeal. The graphics remain among the best on the Gamecube, but it's more than that: the game has a visual style which is very interesting. Unlike most media which have used the "floating continent" schtick, the world of Baten Kaitos is more than just a few chunks of otherwise-normal firmament suspended in the air. The architecture and costumes of the world offer unique "local flavor" without clear parallels in other worlds — the land of Diadem, for example, has buildings made out of dark purple clouds which are very striking, and other towns and dungeons are similarly cool-looking. Furthermore, the characters have interesting designs, enhanced by their "Wings of the Heart", which appear during battle and some cutscenes. The wings change the way the characters move and fight, allowing for unique and flashy special attacks. And then there's the soundtracks of both games, which are often collectively considered Motoi Sakuraba's finest work.The gameplay is also worth noting. In the world of Baten Kaitos, cards called "Magnus" are all-important, as they can be used to store the "essences" of objects, or even intangible things like memories and exhaustion. This allows for a Hyperspace Arsenal and interesting puzzles like storing or combining key items. Items even "age" over real time: food items (which provide HP recovery) rot and lose their effectiveness, seeds grow into plants and gain effectiveness, and rare items (like coins) appreciate in value.The battle system also uses Magnus, as each party member builds a deck of attack, defense and support items that can be played in turn. Each card has a set of numbers attached to it, and like poker, playing matching numbers or even straights can increase the potency of the effects tremendously. Co-ordinating your elemental affinities is also critical to success, as opposing elements simply cancel each other out: for example, 50 points of Fire damage and 50 points of Water damage in the same "action" cancel each other and result in a net attack of 0 damage points.It proved popular enough to gain a prequel called Baten Kaitos: Origins (or Baten Kaitos II in Japan). Set twenty years before the events of Baten Kaitos, it tells the story of a Power Trio that find themselves on the run when a faction within the Empire attempt to rid the world of the "Wings Of The Heart" in favor of soul-eating mechanization. They are: Sagi, a elite soldier of the Empire who finds himself framed for the murder of the Emperor; Guillo, a sexless humanoid weapon animated by magic who (unusually) has a degree of sentience; and Milly, an enigmatic and spunky noblewoman. Under the command of the Empire's chief spymaster, they must work together to unravel the various conspiracies that plague the bureaucracy of the Empire and clear Sagi's name.The game is far superior to the first in almost every respect: navigation through the world is quicker and easier, the battle system has been greatly streamlined (notably removing most of the Fake Difficulty) while retaining its strategic elements, the voice acting is vastly improved, and the story expands upon the original exponentially. With all these improvements, the punishing difficulty and the fact that it retconned away quite a few of the plot points from the first game can probably be forgiven. Sadly, the game was released during the death throes of the Gamecube (it actually holds the dubious honor of being the final original game released for the system outside of Japan), so it received almost no press or consumer attention either in Japan or the West, and was unreleased in PAL territories.Monolith Soft's staff previously worked on both Chrono Cross and Xenogears during their days at Square; wheras Xenosaga series could be considered a Spiritual Successor to Xenogears, the Baten Kaitos games could be considered a Spiritual Successor to Chrono Cross.Over the years, both the games have gotten some recognition as excellent RPGs for a system that didn't have too many. Dig up a used copy and your gaming dollars will be well spent.But for the love of God, remember to turn off the voices on the first one. Talk about phoning it in. note This was because the voice acting was recorded in Japan, with the few English-speaking voice actors they had on-hand. Fans of Metal Wolf Chaos or Shenmue may recognize some of the actors as a result. If you do want to hear the voices (Rockin' Narm Charm!) make sure to set the audio settings to surround sound, otherwise everybody will sound like they're talking through a cardboard tube (which was supposed to simulate the feeling that you're really listening in from another world, but ended up sounding like poor audio quality). And please, until you're at the end of the game, do not watch the opening video, unless you don't mind knowing every major event save one in advance.Now with a character sheet!A third installment for the Nintendo DS appeared on a list of games in production, but it never got past the early stages of production and was later officially canceled. The future of the series looked bleak until June 2011, when Monolith Soft placed a picture◊ on their website as a teaser for a new project. Fans, citing the resemblance to the island of Diadem, Monolith Soft's upcoming Wii U and 3DS games, and the artist being Yasuyuki Honne, co-designer for Baten Kaitos, have taken it as a sign of hope that a third game is in the works, and are eagerly waiting for any kind of official confirmation. As it turned out, Monolith Soft's 3DS project was Project X Zone and their Wii U project was confirmed to be Xenoblade Chronicles X. Hope hasn't completely died yet, as Monolith Soft usually makes more than one game a generation for handhelds and consoles...Baten Kaitos has representation in Super Smash Bros. For Wii U, in the form of a remix of Origins' battle theme "The valedictory elegy", which plays on Gaur Plain.
This series provides examples of:
Acceptable Breaks from Reality: After Sagi transforms into an afterling and is transported back for the final confrontation with Past!Guillo, Milly and Present!Guillo are there in battle, despite being nowhere near Sagi when Mental Time Travel kicked in. But who would want to fight Past!Guillo alone?
All Myths Are True: Partially subverted as the War of the Gods in the legend turned out to be the war among humans with too much power and the evil gods who started the war according to the legend were actually good guys trying to stop it. Played straight in Origins, where the gossip magazines Milly dismisses as "each shadier than the last" all describe things players of the first will know are true.
And I Must Scream: So the pieces of Malpercio are still alive after all these years, and they retain who they once were. And the lion's share are placed in magnus and sealed within the islands. If you were fond of Seph and co., you might want to stop thinking about this now.
To a lesser degree, there's the trap that Sagi got caught in while escaping Tarazed. He says something afterward about how he was conscious the whole time. He had to listen to his two best friends arguing about which of them would die for him, and he couldn't do anything about it.
Anti-Frustration Features: Died to a boss? Not only can you restart from the beginning of the fight (no five minute cutscene every time the Godcraft slaughters you), but you can also modify your decks and character order, read up on EX Combos, etc.
The Artifact: While the quality normally isn't high enough to make out, in a direct rip from the disc reveals the book in the opening gives the title as "Endless Wings and the Lost Sea", the title of the game during its first reveal. Said intro also shows a few scenes with noticeable differences from how they occur in-game.
Bad Powers, Good People: The members of Malpercio, who despite making a Deal with the Devil for power, are just five people desperate to stop Wiseman. Sagi probably qualifies as well, seeing as how he's got a chunk of Marno in his heart.
Boss in Mook Clothing: Queen Alraunes and Herculean Dragons in Origins. The former has more HP than most Mooks, hits hard and can hit the entire party as well as poison it with its Poison Breath attack. It can also use a Fast Ball Special attack with a Slave Balloona to deal very high damage to someone, doubly so if they're currently on fire. The latter is the enemy with the highest HP count outside of bosses, has a regular attack that hits the whole party, can buff its defenses up so it becomes even more of a tank, can restore a lot of health back on command, and its Hercules Laser attack deals absurd damage, and will almost assuredly inflict Knockdown or even Unconscious status. And you get to fight two of these at the same time, plus a Lycaon, in the Coliseum. Have fun!
Boss Remix: Both games contain boss remixes of the regular battle theme "The True Mirror."
Boy of My Dreams: Xelha first sees Kalas in her dreams. She felt a great deal of sympathy for Kalas and wanted to help him, even if she never met him before.
The Chosen One: The spiriters. Somewhat deconstructed in that while spiriters are said to be able to "sway the fate of the world" and held in high regards, this does not mean swaying is for the better as Kalas in the first half of Eternal Wings and Baelheit in Origins demonstrate.
Cliffhanger: Origins ends on a recursive one: A wounded, mentally ill Geldoblame staggers back to Mintaka and is greeted by the senate, who elect him in desperation. Cue Start of Darkness. Anyone who's played the first game knows how that ends.
Climax Boss: Lots of 'em — the most notable ones are definitely the Angel of Darkness in the first game and the Godcraft in the second.
Collapsing Lair: Cor Hydrae is sucked into a dimensional rift after Malpercio is defeated.
Tarazed breaks apart and falls out of the sky after the Final Boss is killed.
Combos (The battle systems are completely different in the two games, but in both the object is to play long chains of cards to rack up percentage-based damage bonuses.)
Continuity Nod: The description for the Power Helmet in Orgins mentions grains of rice stuck to it, referencing the helmets use in the uncooked rice->rice recipe in EWatLO
Cool Mask: The Children of the Earth all wear unique masks.
Cross-Dressing Voices: Sadly averted with every single child in Eternal Wings. The actors don't even try to disguise their age. Thankfully played straight with Origins.
Darker and Edgier: While the first one has its share of darkness, the prequel arguably outdoes it. The plot begins with our hero being sent on an assassination mission, the majority of the plot involves failing at preventing the villain's plans of promachination, meanwhile experiencing the creation of the series' Big Bad, after perfectly noble people make a pact with evil in order to gain revenge. Perhaps most brutal of all, after seeing Sagi's mother be forcibly stripped of her wings, it is revealed that the guardian spirit (the player) is not just a benevolent spirit like in Eternal Wings, but rather is a part of Malpercio. This is shortly followed by Sagi essentially being brutally murdered by his best friend, a character who will later sacrifice themselves for him. For the final note, the ending is a downer, with the Empire twisting into the force of evil that it is in Eternal Wings.
In the prequel, the second round of speeches flashes quickly between Gena losing her wings, the revelation that Sagi houses one of Malpercio's afterlings, flashing to seeing the death of Seph and company, revealing that the player has been a part of Malpercio all along, fighting Guillo and watching Sagi get murdered by it, and then locking Sagi up in Tarazed where he needs to face the connection between him and Malpercio.
Demoted to Extra: Bizarrely, the entire island of Mira is demoted to extra in Origins; it's only mentioned in conversation a couple of times, and only becomes plot-relevant when Sagi and Milly elope there in the end.
Disc One Nuke: If you know a few EX Combos, the first disc of Origins gets quite a bit easier.
Disney Death: Xelha, as last of the Ice Queens sacrifices herself to release the Ocean after defeating Malpercio and the continents return to the surface. Shortly before the credits roll, Xelha emerges from her pendant alive and well. Apparently, the Great Whale brought her back.
Does This Remind You of Anything?: When trading with Inca Rose, she says you seem like the type with "a nice magnus package" and that she'll show you hers if you show her yours. Upon canceling a trade, she'll remark that you didn't last long enough, and she'll treat you real nice next time.
The Dog Was the Mastermind: Someone has been playing both the main characters and The Empire to get their hands on the end Magnus. As it turns out, that character is... the sugary sweet ex-damsel-in-distress Melodia?
Dreaming of Things to Come Essentially what causes Xelha to set out in her journey and put the story in motion in the first game. Partially subverted as that event was actually happening while she was having a dream about it. Ironically, her having that dream is mentioned at the end of the game after all important events are finished.
Dual Boss: Giacomo, Ayme, and Folon in the first, and Valara, Hughes, and Nasca in the second.
Sagi vs. Baelheit.
Xelha and Mizuti get Duel Boss fights in the first game (Mizuti's is optional, Xelha's is not). The fights have a completely different battle system, though.
The Dulcinea Effect: Subverted and eventually justified in the first game; Kalas initially refuses to rescue Xelha from Rodolfo's mansion, but when he runs into a door he can't open, he has to double back and find her.
Taken Up to Eleven in Origins; there are only three main protagonists, so they get a ton of characterization, including problems.
Early Bird Boss: The second boss fight in Origins is a brutal slugfest against Giacomo, which tends to be a bit of a stumbling block for new players.
Easily Forgiven: Melodia. Even after all she did, Kalas still puts himself in extraordinary danger to pull her out of Malpercio. That being said, she was at least partially possessed throughout the game.
The Angel of Darkness is forgiven almost immediately after The Reveal, and the party thinks very little of what he did to them. Even the Guardian Spirit forgives him, at least enough to bond with him again.
Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors: Taken to extremes in the first game — using two attacks with conflicting elements in the same combo caused them to cancel each other out.
Empty Shell: In Origins, it's shown that removing the wings of the heart can turn a person into this.
The Ending Changes Everything: The endgame shows you scenes you saw from Kalas's viewpoint from Xelha's instead, it adds some interesting context to the game.
Equipment Spoiler: You can find knuckle attacks before Savyna shows up and start getting swords again just before Kalas comes back.
Failed a Spot Check: Sagi, when you let the mysterious stranger you find in the Emperor's room walk free, it might behoove you to notice the fact that the Emperor is dead.
Fake Difficulty: The first game did not allow you to reap the benefits of leveling up until you used a blue save flower to visit a church and "reflect upon your experience." In practice, this meant that you had to exit the dungeons and return to town to reap the benefits of everyday leveling so you could stand a chance against the boss fight at the end. Origins returned to the more standard JRPG setup.
Eternal Wings also lacked a way to discard unwanted magnus from your hand. This meant that it was possible for a characters hand to end up filled with armor and finisher magnus with no magnus that could initiate a combo, resulting in a situation where they were incapable of attacking until they managed to draw a few weapon magnus. In a tough fight, this could mean the difference between winning or losing.
In addition, discarded cards were not added back to the deck. When the deck for a character ran out, that character wasted a turn reshuffling their deck. Less irritating than it sounds, though, as this also applied to the enemies.
In Origins, many bosses and some late-game enemies have multi-target attacks programmed a certain way. Instead of hitting all three characters with a single powerful attack, they will hit the party at random with multiple weaker attacks (up to ten times). This is fairly manageable if all three party members are up (although it sucks when the Random Number God decides it hates one of your party members and piles all the attacks on that one), but if one of your members is down, it still hits the same number of times, often utterly annihilating them. Translation: Unless you like sudden, unexpected party wipes, prioritize revival over anything else.
Gameplay and Story Segregation: Averted throughout the games as you, as the guardian spirit, occasionally answer questions asked by the characters using a menu. At a few key moments in the second game, you see the menu while a character is talking to their own, different spirit, and the game answers automatically for that spirit. Also, near the end of the game, Sagi is caught in a trap that incapacitates his heart, and as such you aren't allowed to select any options, despite being given the menu. Played straight in the fact that many of the storyline facts about magnus don't seem to bleed over. For example, living beings can't be put into magnus, or they'll die. This is an important plot point, but it's hard to remember when you're hitting enemies with live Roosters from your deck, or how so many of the magnus evolutions use it (Plants grow and meat gets maggots).
In Origins, characters in the Age Of The Gods cannot see or hear Guillo and Milly. However, their attacks still affect enemies there, and enemies are perfectly capable of seeing and attacking them, despite nobody else noticing their presence.
Gone Horribly Right: Sagi qualifies. Baelheit tried to make aritificial spiriters by bonding pieces of Malpercio to human hearts. Baelheit must have been impressed when Sagi, one of the subjects bonded with a piece of Malpercio, trashed all his machina arma and kicked his ass.
Collecting all the magnus in both games, an extraordinarily difficult and frustrating task.
Guide Dang It: The Outer Dimension has mutually exclusive Lost Forever items (do perfect on the minigame for one item, but you have to do badly to get into a fight against an exclusive monster with a unique drop and photo). No where is it hinted you need to choose to restart the minigame (which can't be done manually, you have to fail, which is actually rather hard) to get both.
The EX Combos in Origins are virtually mandatory to survive the later levels without insane grinding, and the game gives no hints as to what they are. Not even the manual explains them.
Heads I Win, Tails You Lose: Way overdone in the second game. Storywise, all the bosses (with a handful of exceptions) are pretty much invulnerable until about two-thirds of the way through the game, so you fight them essentially just to give the player something to do. Of course, when you do start winning fights, it's all the more satisfying.
He Knows About Timed Hits: In the first game, an NPC will give Kalas a brief rundown on the various facets of the battle system if you ask him to. Averted in Origins, where the battle system is left to the player to figure out.
Hello, Insert Name Here: The guardian spirit's name, chosen by the player, appears in the text but not the spoken dialogue. More prominent in the first game, where there was always a pause in the dialog. The second game toned it down a bit by working around it with pronouns.
Impossibly Cool Clothes: Just about everyone in this world has Impossibly Cool Clothes. The playable cast, the other major characters, the minor characters...even the NPCs without names or portraits. It must be normal in this world.
Incendiary Exponent: The Balloona enemies in Origins can do this, considerably raising their attack power. This comes to a head with the armored versions of this species, which tote around flaming spiked armor.
Milly: Open Your Eyesnote This is actually Milly's strongest special attack, since she has no Level 4 SA.][[/note]
Infinity+1 Sword: In both games, all characters note Except Xelha, Mizuti and Lyude. The former two because they attack with chains of the same spells with varying itensity, the latter because he actually obtains his Infinity Minus One Gun instead. will obtain their strongest weapon by doing their Side Quest near the end of the game:
Also, in the first game, you can obtain their Skull Equipment; they grant near-total invulnerability (99% protection) to every status effect in the game at the cost of inflicting perma-Confusion on the character. The Skull equipment is actually inferior to their other endgame equipment option, which all offer ludicrous stat increases in exchange for providing the absolute minimum protection to status effects (1% protection). [[note]]With the exception of Mizuti, whose Broken Bird actually blocks instant death completely, but still confers Confusion like her Skull Birdie.
Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence: Egregious. The characters have wings, fences that don't cover from ceiling to floor shouldn't even be a part of society. And yet you still have to solve jumping and bridge puzzles.
Eventually lampshaded in Origins, where Sagi remarks he could jump over a boulder blocking the path but is angrily dissuaded by a nearby NPC.
Origins justifies this; people's hearts were once powerful enough to let them fly, but the power of heart has atrophied so much since then that wings are only good for brief periods of time.
Interface Spoiler: In Eternal Wings, the Key Items menu tells you when you lose the Che End Magnus several scenes before the characters realize.
Item Crafting: In the first game; often stacks. Gets totally ridiculous at some levels, like the work required just to create a single fourth-level elemental "Yell"—use the appropriate item on the enemy followed by the appropriate first-level yell twice to create a level 2 yell, do this three times so you have at least three level 2 yells, then use a different item followed by the level 2 yell three times to create a level 3 yell, you have to do this at least four times because that's how many times you're going to have to use the yell following yet another type of item to create the level 4 yell. Oh, and after time, the Yells decay back down to the lower levels.
Also was in Origins, but you mixed your Quest Magnus instead of Battle Magnus.
Kill 'em All: The fate of Seph and his companions at the blades of Guillo.
Kleptomaniac Hero: Both games, but it's much more notable in the first, where you examine every square inch of every building looking for stuff.
Kleptomaniac Hero Found Underwear: A few times you find mentions of clothes, including one that chastises you for looking through a schoolgirl's closet. Amusingly, this doesn't change when you're in control of Xelha.
Lazy Backup: Eternal Wings is a particularly irritating example.
Limit Break: In Origins, once you reach a specific class level, maxing out your MP meter gives you the option to perform an MP Burst, which gives you infinite MP for the duration of the combo you're executing, then shuts the meter off for a few turns.
Load-Bearing Boss: In the first game, defeating Malpercio causes Cor Hydrae to collapse in on itself, the Taintclouds to disperse, and the islands to return to earth.
In Origins, defeating the final boss causes Tarazed to implode and fall from the sky.
Long Song, Short Scene: The world map themes in both games, stunningly beautiful songs which you'll probably hear the first five or ten seconds of unless you purposefully wait around and look at the Scenery Porn.
Lost Forever: Quite a few cards in the first game. Plus, you have to take pictures of every single enemy in the game, including bosses, for 100% Completion, some of which appear only at specific times.
And don't forget party members either. For example, there is exactly one battle in which Mizuti fights without her mask on; taking a photo of her in this state is considered unique from a photo of her regular, masked state.
Low-Level Advantage: Leveling up in blocks of 10 gives better stats boosts than otherwise. Class up items, if used when first found, will often force their user to add outdated and or conflicting Magnus to their deck to keep it full if you don't grind for Randomly Drops.
Luck-Based Mission: Sort of; due to the card-battling system, you're always at the mercy of the luck of the draw. Less so in Origins, where the Guardian Spirit can actually stack the deck in your favor, and used cards are shuffled right back into the deck.
Xelha and Mizuti's Duel Boss battles are pure luck; you are shown a card of a certain element and given seven face-down cards to pick from. If you pick a card of the same element, you damage the boss. If you pick a card of a different element, you take damage. Even more luck based if you are going for 100% completion and need to take a picture of the boss.
Theres's also the boss fight against Fadroh, which is this because of his goddamn Orb of Magical Offense, which not only allows him to act twice per turn, but buffs up his damage from a relatively tame 400-500 per half-blocked combo to a ridiculous 900-1200 per fully blocked combo, twice per turn. The kicker is that there is absolutely no specific event that triggers the use of the Orb of Magical Offense. He might use it on the first turn and murderize your party, or he could use it five turns in, after he's already been pounded into hamburger.
Luke, I Am Your Father: Sort of; after the first battle with Giacomo and his gang, Giacomo reveals that Georg, Kalas' grandfather, is Giacomo's father. However, Kalas and Giacomo aren't related at all.
Originsheavily implies Verus is Sagi's father if you do a certain sidequest.
MacGuffin: End Magnus in the first game and arguably Malpercio's afterlings in the second game.
MacGuffin Delivery Service: Played with in the first game. It turns out that no matter which side gains all the End Magnus, they'd all end up in Melodia's hands due to Kalas being a traitor and Geldoblame being her pawn.
The Man Behind the Man: Melodia in the first game. The second game has two - Verus and, if you remembered to go back in time and kill him, Wiseman.
Marathon Level: Tarazed. Four different 'blocks', each of which is a maze where every room looks alike. Just to add to that, to complete every block, you have to complete an actual maze room, which are all maddeningly difficult. And the nearest save point is inconveniently located. And you can expect to get wiped at least once or twice by the Machina Auto-Turrets that roam the halls. The only good thing about this level is the music.
Cor Hydrae in Eternal Wings, while not as long as Tarazed, is still very long, with five minibosses and a two-form final boss.
Not all of the locations. All of the Anuenue locations are Hawaiian words, and the town Reverence in Mira is just sort of randomly pulled out of nowhere.
Mintaka, capital of Alfard, being the name of a star is indeed helpful, but not necessarily to this fandom.
Xelha, in Yucatec Maya; may or may not be of the prophetic variety. Kalas, meanwhile, is a romanized version of the Japanese karasu, which means raven. Ravens are associated with omens; Geldoblame gave Kalas the name after Georg explained that he was a failed prototype.
Daimon, the guardian spirit serving Baelheit in BKO, is named after the "daimon" (most commonly spelled "daemon") beings in Classical mythology, some of which were ordered by Zeus to become guardian spirits to mortal beings: "The daimon of venerated heroes, were localized by the construction of shrines, so as not to restlessly wander, and were believed to confer protection and good fortune on those offering their respects."
Money for Nothing: In the second game, you get loads of money...but there's hardly anything to use it for. You only ever need about forty or fifty attack magnus, there's no consumable items, and all the best specials and weapons are found in treasure chests or are boss drops. The only thing money's good for is upgrading weapons and armor.
Mood Whiplash: The end of Origins, which goes from the escape from Tarazed and death of Guillo, to a heartwarming scene between Milly and Sagi, and finally to Milly going Tsundere on Sagi and a borderline Everybody Laughs Ending.
Musical Nod: In Origins the final boss's theme is an orchestral version of the first game's battle theme.
No Fourth Wall: as mentioned, the player does not directly control the party members. Instead, the player takes the role of a "Guardian Spirit," a helpful fairy creature of some sort whom the characters consult with. Within the first minute of the first game you'll see Kalas turn towards the screen and address you directly. This can seem a bit hokey at first, especially since it doesn't happen all that often, but it also plays into at least one major Plot Twist.
Non Standard Game Over: At one point in Origins, picking the wrong answer nets you one of these. The implications for Sagi aren't pretty.
Actually, it is in a flashback at the end of the first game. It has also been interpreted by some fans as the bleeding usually expected after losing one's virginity (on girls, of course); they also say that Geldoblame was the one guilty for that one. Such a nasty interpretation, indeed.
Not So Different: Promagnation vs. promachination in the second game. Both campaigns are at the opposite ends of the spectrum but they both end up demanding people to give up essential parts of themselves (body for promagnation and hearts for promachination) in order to supposedly ascend to superior beings and will not take no for an answer.
Not the Fall That Kills You: At the end of the second game; Milly is blasted off of the Tarazed by an explosion and Sagi flies down after her and grabs her close. The two are falling at high speeds... Only to be saved by the timely arrival of the Sfida. However, such a fall should have still killed them.
Offscreen Inertia: All Bonus Bosses of Origins are characters that, earlier in the story, were unbeatable. They all remain in the same place you last saw them.
Offstage Villainy: You hear a lot about the Dark Brethren in Origins, but the only thing they do onscreen is grant Seph and co. their power. However, considering the damage that Seph and co. AKA Malpercio ended up causing, this may have been their intention all along.
One-Woman Wail: The Final Boss theme in Origins. Listen carefully and you can hear screaming and crying during the quieter parts of the song. Yeesh.
OOC Is Serious Business: In Origins, when Milly is preparing to make a Heroic Sacrifice to save Sagi from a machina trap, she has a quiet talk with Guillo about her feelings towards Sagi. Guillo quickly picks up that something's not right.
Overly Long Name: The full name of the game itself, Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean.
And this was later outdone by the prequel. The original Japanese name of Baten Kaitos Origins is translated as Baten Kaitos II: Beginning of the Wings and the Heir of the Gods.
Overrated And Underleveled: Savyna is supposed to be an absolute terror on the battlefield, but joins much weaker than the rest of the party.
In addition to this, she executes her combos at a much higher speed than the other characters. This is a Bad Thing because it gives you less time to choose cards to extend her combo, especially since you'll be used to the pace of the other characters.
Party Scattering: After Kalas reveals he was Evil All Along the party is reduced to just Xelha, who has to rescue them all. With the exception of Kalas they come back fairly quickly.
Physical God: Gods from the legend are actually humans who became too reliant on their powers of hearts and ended up waging the war that destroyed most of the world.
With that in mind, Kalas post Face-Heel Turn, Wiseman, and the members of Malpercio could probably all qualify.
The Plan: Melodia's scheme in Eternal Wings. And it would have worked too, if Xelha hadn't been Crazy-Prepared.
Player Tic: Origins lampshades this, where other Guardian Spirits select their dialog from the same style of option box as you do; naturally, just like you, their pointers do not sit still.
Playing The Player: Most players will conclude that the first game's blatant cutscenes about the possibility of a spy in the party are a Red Herring. Genre Savvy players might take it a step further and conclude there really is a spy precisely because it seems like so much of a Red Herring, albeit with a twist such as the spy being forced to spy against his or her will. Nobody will conclude the spy is not only real and utterly unrepentant, but the main character.
Plot Coupon That Does Something: The Broken Earth Sphere, Ocean Mirror, and Sword of the Heavens all count as this. The the usability of the latter two is greatly diminished after they're broken by the plot.
Poison Mushroom: Certain items in the first game were used to inflict status ailments on enemies. If you used them to defend, you could get that same status ailment.
Precision F-Strike: Sagi has this to say to Shanath after the latter ripped Gena's wings off, which shows how royally pissed Sagi is.
Sagi: Go to hell, you son of a bitch! You hurt my mother!
Pretty in Mink: A mink coat is sealed into a card as armor (and protects against cold attacks).
Pronoun Trouble: The gender based pronouns for the Guardian Spirit do not appear in the non-Japanese versions. As a result, there is absolutely no impact to their gender in the English version, as no one uses third person pronouns for the GS either.
Purely Aesthetic Gender: Averted... just not in the normal way. The Guardian Spirit can have its sex selected at the start of the first game, but as the GS is you (thus you never see the GS), and the text doesn't use a single pronoun for you. All it does is change the color of the save file (blue for male, pinkish-red for female). Origins gives you a fixed gender. This is a plot point.
Puzzle Boss: The Post Final Boss from Eternal Wings; while he can be defeated normally, it's much quicker to just string together a chain of attacks long enough to make a Spirit Attack appear, as using one will end the battle immediately.
Quaestor Verus from Origins; if even one of his flunkies is still alive, it'll shield him from damage. Nothing like assembling The Apotheosis just to have him revive one right before Sagi's turn comes up.
Randomly Drops: Ye gods. The second game is rather tame with this, with each enemy having no more than two droppable items. The first one, however, can have as many as TEN per enemy. And there's a few enemies that drops an item that can be Lost Forever if the player doesn't pick it up before leaving the dungeon it's in.
Real Time: Sort of. It's obviously not real time, and there are definite skips, but the magnus that change form must be mentioned. Items can change in a matter of a few seconds (the fortunes) or take as long as two real-time weeks to appear (Splendid Hair, which Shampoo turns into after 336 hours—and which does nothing within the game, but does unlock the sound test).
Recurring Boss: Giacomo in both games — he's a serious villain in the first game, but seems to have started out as an Unknown Rival in the prequel.
Retcon: While it does somewhat explain the Alfard Empire's Start of Darkness, Origins creates quite a few awkward continuity issues for Eternal Wings, ranging from Malpercio being evil in the first place to Savyna's hair color.
The first issue could be explained by the pact with the dark brethren. Their bodies could have slowly been corrupted while sealed inside the end magnus, and the Malpercio seen in the first game is explicitly stated by Melodia to be a fusion of five separate gods.
Science Is Bad: Sort of. A subplot in the second game is the conflict between machina and the Functional Magic brought on through The Power of Friendship. Compromising evidently does not occur to either side. Both played straight and subverted as it also shows what happens if people become too reliant on their hearts. It never quite reaches a level where you could call it An Aesop, though.
Sealed Evil in a Can: In the first game, the End magnus. In the second game, Malpercio's afterlings are sealed inside human hosts.
Sealed Evil In A Six Pack: Malpercio would only be revived if the End Magnus of Ar, Le, He, Che and Bo were brought together. There's a bit of a hint when Bo is pronounced like Bah that there's something going on, and its later revealed that the names are short for Arms, Legs, Head, Chest and Body respectively.
It's actually a subversion, though. Origins reveals the 5 are actually 5 separate, benevolent, people who, as a group, were known as Malpercio (after their childhood home). Connecting the 5 in Eternal Wingsdoes make a nice vessel for the Dark Brethren who now own their bodies by way of Deal with the Devil.
Smug Snake: Just about every significant bad guy in Origins, except Baelheit; especially the arma users and Wiseman.
So Long, and Thanks for All the Gear: When Kalas briefly leaves the party, this character takes everything in their deck with them. Can lead to the previously mentioned Lost Forever if they have one of the defensive auras in their deck and it changes form twice before you get them back.
Spiritual Successor: To Chrono Cross - both games share several staff members including the same art director and writer, both sport the same unique visual style, and both have vaguely similar battle systems which place emphasis on multi-hit combos, customizable command sets, and elemental affinity.
Spoiler Opening: Do not watch the opening movie of the first game if you want to enjoy the plot.
Town with a Dark Secret: Azha in Origins; despite how happy it seems when you first visit it, you later learn that the townspeople are being worked to death by The Empire and are currently harboring a terrorist.
A villainous example in Shanath, given how he was spying on Baelheit for Verus.
True Companions: In both games, your party will end up like this. This is part of Melodia's plan in Eternal Wings.
True Final Boss: Origins has Verus-Wiseman, which is accessible by finding and killing Wiseman on the Battlefields of Atria.
Unwinnable by Mistake: Two remarkably similar cases, one in each game: in the first, the player can use a Red Flower (where they can save but not level up) on board the imperial airship, which can't be left until That One Boss (well, those three bosses) is beaten. In Origins, the Holoholobird attacks just after a disc change which included a save prompt. In both of these cases, underleveled or underequipped characters without a spare save file will be unable to defeat the bosses and continue on.
Video Game Cruelty Potential: You can choose to kill Nasca, Heughes, and Valara after defeating them in Origins. Sparing them opens up extra cutscenes where they help Sagi and Milly escape Tarazed as it falls from the sky.
Villains Never Lie: Averted, Kalas instantly dismisses Giacomo's claim he's the son of Kalas's "grandfather", even though it turns out to be true (An NPC will mention George had a son named Giacomo casually).
The Holoholobird is a mid-game example; it's the point where Origins leaves 'rather challenging' and dives headfirst into Nintendo Hard territory.
We Buy Anything: Averted, anything not meant to be sold as its primary purpose sells for less than a dozen gold while photos sell for 1000s, and you flat out can't sell some items.
Well-Intentioned Extremist: Baelheit wants to prevent people from relying too much on their powers of hearts so that they may not wage war with the said power again. However, he does so by using machina to conquer all other islands and forcibly taking off people's wings of hearts, which bring unhealthy side effects such as concussion and inability to feel and taste. He is willing to go as far as blowing up all islands, which used the power of hearts to float, when his attempt to machinate those islands fails. Ironically, Baelheit is exactly like Wiseman.
Wham Line: Several, chief among them being Kalas' line, which changes the context of the entire game up to that point:
Kalas: It's me. I worked together with Melodia.
Origins has several, but the whammiest of all is Pieda's bombshell:
Pieda: Well, how about Malpercio, then?
Wham Shot: At the climax of Origins, Baelheit shoots Milly in the face, revealing that she's a machina cyborg.
What Happened to the Mouse?: Aside from a brief hallucination, Lyude's siblings Skeed and Vallye never appear again after the confrontation in Mintaka. Becomes Fridge Horror when you realize they were probably killed when Malpercio revived in the Imperial Fortress, or they were executed for treason for leaving their mansion without prisoners.
What the Hell, Player?: If you select the wrong answers to dialogue options, Kalas and Sagi will call you out on it.
Story-wise, Sagi delivers an absolutely blistering one to the player during the Heart-to-Heart scene, as well as a less direct one an hour or two before.
Wrong Genre Savvy: The first game uses its unusal setting device to invoke this in the player. Normally The Mole would have no chance what-so-ever of being the main character, purely because the story couldn't continue otherwise. Too bad Kalas is only the main character, not the Point of View one.
Yin-Yang Bomb: Averted: Opposing elements being paired together lowers the total damage. Played straight in Origins; several EX Combos involve pairing opposing elements like light and dark together.
You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Partially subverted in that it's Kalas, the main character, who does this to his guardian spirit, the player, after his plan to resurrect Malpercio succeeds. Fortunately, Xelha becomes the new holder for the guardian spirit.
In Origins, Verus does this to Geldoblame after The Reveal.