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Video Game: Blue Dragon
An RPG for the Xbox 360, developed by several of the people behind the Final Fantasy series and the artwork of the Dragon Quest series. It's basically Akira Toriyama, Hironobu Sakaguchi, and Nobuo Uematsu's attempt at a Cliché Storm, after seeing how cliche RPGs had become.

Shu, Jiro and Kluke live in a remote village that, once a year, is attacked by a mechanical creature known as the Land Shark. One year, in an attempt to fight it off, they are carried off by it to the flying fortress of the ancient Nene, where they are trounced and a mysterious voice grants them Living Shadows with the ability to use magic.

Stealing (and crash-landing) an airship, they set off to get home and find a way to take down Nene for good...

A sequel/spin-off was produced for the Nintendo DS called Blue Dragon Plus, which is a strategy RPG in which nearly all of the supporting cast from the first game also gain Shadow magic powers and join the main party.

A final third Action-RPG DS game, Awakening Shadow, starring another customizable hero/-ine, was released worldwide. After literally everyone gained Shadow Magic, it's disappeared from the world and Nene's creation (which woke up with no knowledge of him and randomly left his base) has to help Shu and friends bring it back. Its single player mode suffered, to say the least, from a focus on multiplayer and an overall lack of polish; although it is a nice alternative to Tales Of Tempest.

An Aborted Arc has the Hub Level littered with inter-dimensional doors leading to a dozen of impossible-on-single-player Bonus Bosses, with some hidden dungeons that could benefit the game's short main quest had they been included.

There was also an anime adaptation with a new girl, Bouquet, whose superpowers were powered by being naked was added to the cast. The dub went through some pretty heavy editing in places. Season one is available uncut on Hulu. In addition, Zola's decision to leave Nene was erased and Zola became evil.

Includes examples of:

  • Abandoned Hospital
  • Accidental Marriage: Marumaro wearing exactly one hat in Kelaso Village.
  • Action Commands: The charge meter, where holding down the A button will fill up the bar - although sometimes they're erratic (Kluke), sometimes slow (Marumaro), sometimes fast (Zola), sometimes steady (Jiro). This can also place the spell cast after another character's or enemy's turn, because there are lines on the charge meter that show a character's turn.
    • The filling speed is also altered by the type of spell. For example, the Shadow spell under Black Magic is erratic, but Flare under the same is steady.
  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: Toripo's Hearts, which double in cost each time you buy one. Somewhat justified, in that Toripo physically carries his entire stock with him.
  • Always Check Behind the Chair: Not only do some objects contain items you can take, but many more hold "Nothing," which is apparently not the same as not having anything inside. Finding enough Nothing will let you get items from a certain NPC. The “Six Treasures” Downloadable Content includes a pair of glasses that places markers on top of things that are hiding Nothing.
  • Animal Tropes
  • Attack Its Weak Point: The first enemy of the game.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Nene manages to achieve his aim, take away the Shadows, and leave everyone Brought Down to Normal stuck in a village where no-one can leave.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Very noticeable with Zola.
  • Becoming the Mask: Averted with Zola. She wanted power, which Nene granted her, but hated working for Nene. She helped Shu and co., even becoming one of them, which she preferred. She played Double Agent and helped (willingly or unwillingly) with Nene's Evil Plan at the same time. When Shu showed her she had power inside her, she betrayed him.
  • Be Yourself. It's how you get your Shadows back.
  • Big Bad: Nene. At least, up until the end of the game; then it's Deathroy, who is actually the Ancient ultimate bioweapon Destroy.
  • Bigger Bad: Deathroy is Destroy.
  • Bonus Boss: Tons of 'em, even if you ignore the downloadable content mentioned below.
  • Bonus Dungeon: Tons of 'em, even if you ignore the downloadable content mentioned below.
  • Boobs of Steel: Zola certainly qualifies, more so with her choice of — or perhaps it would be more correct to say lack of — a certain supportive undergarment.
  • Broken Record: To play the Blue Dragon Drinking Game, take a shot every time Shu says "I won't give up!" Even if you only do it when he repeats the phrase twice in a row, you'll be drunk inside an hour.
  • Censor Box : Bouquet's blue "dressing" in the anime dub. Audiences are not pleased.
  • Charge Meter: Used for magic, and the Monk job class can use this for normal attacks too.
  • Chickification: Kluke was made into a useless damsel in distress for the anime
  • The Chosen Many: The depiction of Shadow users in Blue Dragon Plus.
  • Cognizant Limbs: The Hydrattler.
  • Determinator: Shu's utter refusal to give up under any circumstances isn't just a plot concern. For a significant portion of the game, he cannot flee from battles.
    • It's also how he gets his Shadow back.
  • Disc One Final Boss
  • Doomed Hometown: There's barely a town in the whole game that Nene doesn't regularly attack. Your own hometown isn't destroyed, but has been abandoned by the time you get back there.
  • Double Agent: Zola is doing one or more out of three things at any given time - helping the party, being treated like a party member, and carrying out Nene's plan. She prefers helping the party, but owes Nene because he gave her power, which is useful because of Nene's Evil Plan. She finally betrays Nene when Shu gives her an alternative to Nene's power.
  • Dragon Ascendent: In a really weird way. Deathroy, the little frog-newt thing that hangs around Nene, is actually one of the creatures that nearly destroyed the planet long ago, trapped in a weakened form. When Zola throws away Nene's power, Deathroy ingests it and, with the aid of the Eternal Engines scattered everywhere, regains its true form, becoming the final boss Destroy.
  • Dream Team: This is the first game that Hironobu Sakaguchi, Nobuo Uematsu, and Akira Toriyama worked on together since they worked on Chrono Trigger back in 1995.
  • Drunk on the Dark Side
  • Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors (but not the typical Fire, Ice, Lightning set - it uses the four classical elements plus Light and Dark)
  • Eternal Engine: Loads of them, and toward the end of the game the whole planet turns out to be one. The term itself, however, is used in-game to refer to the power sources of the Ancient machinery.
  • Evil Old Folks: Nene. He's an ancient, so naturally. This makes him very weak, and he has an illness, so he starts his Evil Plan and tricks Marumaro.
  • Expansion Pack: Downloadable content adds stuff like new items, a randomised Bonus Dungeon, and a New Game+ mode which actually advises you not to even bother trying it unless your party is at least Level 50.
  • Expy: The entire Deevee race, of which Marumaro is a member, are expies of the Moogles from Final Fantasy. They are bat/bear hybrid adorable little creatures with round noses who are obsessed with dancing and live in and around caves.
    • Nene is also more or less one of King Piccolo from Dragon Ball.
    • And Destroy looks almost exactly like Babadi.
  • Featureless Protagonist: The main character in Awakened Shadow. You *do* get to choose gender/hair/etc., but the other characters refer to you with gender neutral pronouns anyway.
  • Fighting Your Friend: Marumaro, the first time you meet him. And Zola much, much later in the game.
  • Five-Man Band
  • For the Evulz: Nene acts like this for so much of the game that even if he revealed a completely understandable, heartwrenchingly sympathetic reason for his actions at the final battle, most players wouldn't care and would just proceed to beat him down in the dirt anyway.
  • Gainaxing: Zola in the game, though at a low level. Bouquet in the anime, at...not so low a level.
  • Global Airship
  • Global Currency
  • Got the Call on Speed Dial: The entire gang after Nene's Evil Plan in Disc 2.
  • Heel-Face Turn: Zola starts when she joins the party, helping them out, and Nene treats her like a party member, but she's still carrying out Nene's plan at the same time, making her a kind of double agent. She kills Nene after Shu takes away any reason to continue working for him.
  • Heroes Fight Barehanded: The only good guy with a sword is Zola but she's The Lancer.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: Shu's default job is Sword Master - since it's a cliche, and this game is an intentional cliche, it had to go in there somehow - the game doesn't have weapons to equip.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: When the party uses the Defense Mecha Robo's barrier device, Nene summons the Servant Mecha Robos. The party proved earlier that they're sentient, unlike the War Mecha Robos Nene was throwing at them for at least an hour, and turn the barrier off so they don't die.
  • Hit Points
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: Really, until you get to the final confrontation with Nene, your encounters with him tend to go like this.
  • 100% Completion: Depending on your opinion, anywhere from 5 to 15 of the Achievements are this kind of thing
  • I Need You Stronger: Nene's entire plan, up to the start of Disc 3. It worked, too.
  • Inexplicable Treasure Chests: If forced to guess, you could say they're left over from the Ancient civilization...and apparently, this group of teenagers are the first people in thousands of years who have thought to open them up and see what's inside.
  • Infinity+1 Sword: Or rather, a bracelet.
  • Interacting with Shadow: Pretty much the entire story.
  • Intrepid Merchant: Toripo, who spends the entire game hunting for Medals. Now, if only he could leave the Hearts to the main characters...
  • Jiggle Physics: Zola
  • Just Friends: Shu does not fancy Kluke. He reveals this in a cutscene with Jiro suspects them of this, even with Jiro saying I Want My Beloved to Be Happy.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: And there are even rewards for searching things that don't give you money or items.
  • Last Disc Magic: Put in a blender with Limit Break and Summon Magic. After you regain your shadows in Disc 3, you get access to powerful "Corporeal" attacks where your Shadow temporarily splits off and becomes solid.
  • Last of His Kind: Nene, at least in the XBOX 360 game.
  • Lethal Lava Land: Primitive Cube
  • Level Grinding: With the Warp Devices, you can go and heal up and level grind from practically anywhere.
  • Living Shadow: The basis of the entire battle system.
  • Mascot Mook: The poo snakes.
  • Mecha-Mooks: All of Nene's mooks, up to and including his Dragon.
  • Medium Awareness: Nene is Genre Savvy enough to trick you into spending the first two discs of the game Level Grinding his Shadow for him.
  • Metal Slime: Several, but the best example is the Golden Poo Snake.
  • Mr. Fixit: Jiro. Give him an Ancient device, and he'll get it working.
    • Inverted in the Moon Laser Arc, where Marumaro actually gets the desired object to work by banging on it.
  • The Mole: Zola. She hates it and prefers Shu and company.
  • Money Spider: Oddly enough, some monster encounters justify this - the money comes out of their poo after you beat them, implying they ate other people with valuables and are literally pooping it out everywhere.
  • Never Bareheaded: Marumaro always wears a hat, which almost results in an Accidental Marriage in Kelaso Village.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Zola's execution of Nene led to Destroy's resurrection.
  • No-Gear Level: after the Xanatos Gambit mentioned below, your party begins Disc 3 without their Shadows, leaving them virtually powerless. Shu eventually manages to recover his through sheer force of will, but you have to beat a boss and work your way through a monster-filled forest before the rest of the party gets back to normal.
  • No Indoor Voice: Marumaro, made specially strange by the fact that literally none of the other Devee talk that way, and made especially annoying by the fact that his voice sounds like someone writing on a chalkboard with a rusty nail.
  • Noob Cave
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Deathroy, AKA Destroy
  • Overworld Not to Scale
  • Parental Abandonment: Averted with Jiro and Marumaro, subverted with Shu (parents killed by the Land Shark, lives with his grandfather) and played straight with Kluke (parents also killed, lives by herself). Zola's are never mentioned, but are probably dead.
  • Pre Existing Encounters: you can see and avoid enemies, or even engage two rival groups simultaneously so that they fight each other instead of you and whittle their own numbers down.
  • Ruins for Ruins' Sake: Averted with the underground hospital early on, played straight elsewhere.
  • Save Point
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Deathroy, a.k.a Destroy.
  • Sigil Spam: That spiky-circle logo on Ancient stuff turns up everywhere.
  • Smug Snake: Nene, who never loses that infuriating grin.
  • Skill Slot System
  • Sorting Algorithm of Evil: Whenever you beat up Nene, he comes back with better Mecha Robos.
  • Standard Status Effects
  • Sufficiently Advanced Alien: Subverted in that they could preform both magic and science.
  • Three Plus Two: Shu, Jiro and Kluke are the three, Zola and Maro are the two.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Quite a lot of the characters. Mostly notably Nene when he manages to cure his illness.
  • Underwater Ruins: This is an odd example, as they're actually inside a massive cube of water floating above the ocean.
  • Unwitting Pawn: After this revelation, Nene promptly rips your Shadows away and reabsorbs them, regaining his youth and strength, and leaving your party all but helpless.
    • Nene was Deathroy's Unwitting Pawn all along. Deathroy, aka the Bioweapon Destroy, was waiting for an opportunity to devour Nene's soul to break the seal on his powers.
  • Verbal Tic: Marumaro sometimes ends his sentences with "-maro".
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: Primitive Cube, a huge lava-filled... cube, floating in the void between the two halves of the planet.
  • Visual Initiative Queue
  • Warp Whistle: And a Global Airship? How nice of them.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Nene. He had Soap Opera Disease and was dying. His lover Himiko put him into cryogenic sleep... he wakes up and she's dead, and he's still dying. In other words, he missed out on living with his true love for nothing. This makes him almost kill everyone in Lago Village for his medicine, and Talta Village because he was basically so pissed off at everyone.
  • Wrong Side All Along: The henchman of the Big Bad (after the Big Bad has supposedly been defeated) reveals that the party is being used to open up the Dark World by their leader. Of course, they don't realize this until after helping almost destroy the world.
  • Xanatos Gambit: At the end of Disc 2, Nene reveals that your Shadows are actually fragments of his one, and you've just spent two discs powering them up for him.
    • This is lucky for Zola: She hates working for Nene, and would rather help Shu and co. This way, she can do both until Shu makes Nene's gift to her defunct.
  • You Have 48 Hours: Disc 2, rescuing Kluke from the clutches of Nene and his collars.

The anime includes examples of:
  • The Anime of the Game: The characters' appearances are the same, except for Jiro's hair being gray, if not much else... There is also a manga spinoff, which is so different from the source material (mainly thanks to being drawn by the Death Note guy) that the only real connections the two have is that the characters have living shadows, and the monsters eat each other (a gameplay gimmick).
  • Bowdlerization: Done in the US version of the anime, regarding Bouquet. Remember girls: If you're under eighteen and your breasts are too big, you aren't allowed to have them!
  • Canon Foreigner: Bouquet the ditzy barmaid from the anime. Surprisingly did not make an appearance in Blue Dragon Plus, even though anything that breathed from the first game was part of the party. Hell, a couple of things that didn't breathe in the original game joined the party.
  • Expy: In the anime, Legolas (No, Not that Legolas) is an expy of Hercule (Mr. Satan).
  • Face-Heel Turn: Zola in the anime. In the original game, she turns out to be The Mole and does a Heel-Face Turn instead.
  • Guile Hero: Homeron, a character exclusive to the anime.
  • Invisible Streaker: Bouquet in the anime. She can become completely invisible, but only she can become invisible.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Bouquet in the anime, whose invisibility powers only activate when she's nude. This would make her an inversion, except she's drawn more often than not as a blue ghost during these scenes. Either way, considering that she's introduced boobs-first in the anime, this still applies.
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alternative title(s): Blue Dragon
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