Video Game: Breath of Fire II aka: Breath Of Fire 2
The second entry into the long-running and popular Breath of Fire Japanese Role-Playing Game series. It was released for the Super Nintendo in December 1994 in Japan and December 1995 for North America. It was later ported to the Game Boy Advance in December 2001 in Japan, April 2002 for North America and June 2002 for Europe. It includes updated Character Portraits, a dash button, upraded graphics for the menu screens, a trade option between games (with a few bonus items) and a re-balancing of Exp/Money given by enemies.Ryu Bateson seems to have the ideal life as a young child. Sure, his mom is missing, but his sister Yua and father Ganer love him very much. However, that all changes when, after saving his sister from a rampaging monster, he goes back into his hometown of Gate only to realize that no one remembers not only who he is, but who his father or sister are (the two of them have disappeared, natch). After spending the night at the local church's orphanage with his new friend Bow Doggy, he decides to flee his hometown for greener pastures.Flash forward 10 years where he and Bow are now Rangers, working to protect the people of HomeTown from various monsters. One day, they get a mysterious call from a princess of Windia that will change their lives...There are two things that stand out most about this game. The first is the terrible, terrible job that Capcom did translating it from the original Japanese (all kinds of butchered names exist). The second is the fact that despite this being the '90s, when Nintendo of America's censorship policies were in full swing, this game got away with having numerous and explicit references to both religion and death. The Big Bad is a deity, for crying out loud! It's pretty much the opposite of what happened with Breath of Fire IV.There exists a character sheet for the series. Place any character-related tropes there.
First: The citizens of Fantasy Counterpart Amphibian France Sima Fort on the whole can tell that the person claiming to be prince Jean is an impostor bent on stealing the throne. They also on the whole care a great deal more about haute cuisine and pursuing their various artistic passions than they do about the ongoing coup d'etat. See Cloudcuckooland, below.
Second, and more disturbing: The citizens of Evrai, who, when not mindlessly and joyfully praising St. Eva, are little more than Empty Shells incapable of independent thought and action, with their ability to communicate cut down to vague mutterings of distress using as few words as possible.
Apocalyptic Log: The deserted hunter's lodge contains a diary, with this summation: Do NOT go into the woods.
Led to the extremely well-done d4s German Fan Translation (complete with the GBA gameplay tweaks added into the SNES game and a new intro that makes great use of original game art). The d4s version has since led to other-language retranslations of the game, such as Ryusei's 2009 English translation.
Bottomless Pit Rescue Service: Nina, if she's leading your party in a dungeon, and not transformed into her angelic shaman-fused form. Averted in Thieves' Tomb, though, possibly due to the pits moving around.
Bowdlerise: Surprisingly little. Among the worst, most blatant Bowdlerisations is the writing of man-crazy witch's name Nimpho Mani (as in, nymphomania) as Nimufu Mani.
Broken Aesop: There's a touching scene with Katt/Lin/Rinpoo (depending on translation), where she explains to Tiga that people don't just fall in love at first sight. Then it turns out that Ganer and Valerie, Ryu's parents, fell in love at first sight.
Since we never really see how long Ganer and Valerie dated before they got married, the point may be that it's not good to rush things, especially with love-at-first-sight cases. After all, Tiga practically proposed to Katt the very second he laid eyes on her, which Ganer did not do.
Corrupt Church: Evarai can be seen as this. One of the first games to pull this trope off effectively.
Creative Closing Credits: Rather than showing up the development staff, the credits lists the names of every single character in the game, even minor NPC and town dwellers, some times in full-name basis. This is also so full of Shout Outs to western culture that it counts as Bilingual Bonus for the Japanese.
Cutscene Power to the Max: It is simply implausible that anyone could take out Ryu so easily in a one-on-one fight, and then die like a chump not two hours later. Unless you're Tiga.
Death of Personality: The reason why being transformed into a "Great Bird" is a heroic sacrifice when Mina does it in Nina's place. To quote one NPC [paraphrased]:
"If you become a bird, your mind becomes a bird's. Isn't that the same as dying?"
Demonic Possession: Several boss characters. Most are humans who were corrupted by power or greed.
Disproportionate Retribution: Because you humor Jean's sister Petape in her attempts to expose the impostor Prince Jean (about which literally no one else, including the real prince Jean, cares all that much), he will have you executed.
Dub Name Change: Plenty, mostly due to the "Blind Idiot" Translation as it seems the translator doesn't even knew how to render names right (Rand Marks instead of Land Marks). Other cases are due to space restrictions (Jean and Spar), making up new ones (Katt) or, randomly, because they wanted to adhere to Breath of Fire's translation (Bleu, some magic spells)
Duel Boss: More than a few. Ryu gets a couple, though one (Tiga) is unwinnable and the other (Barubary) is optional. Nina, Rand, Sten and Bow (optional) get theirs as well.
Eldritch Abomination: The more you go through the game, the more the enemies start becoming this. In the beginning, we're talking things like two-headed werewolves. By the end of the game, you'll be seeing mini-Cthulhu's in priest gear, giant bloated scorpions with human skulls for heads and... and... and whatever the hell THIS is supposed to be!
Free-Fall Fight: Sten and Trubo battle on a collapsing bridge as it plummets.
Fusion Dance: There are six recruitable shamans. Most of the party members can merge with up to two of them at a time. Ryu, on the other hand, absolutely can not because of his draconic heritage, but attempting to do so unlocks his dragon potential.
Getting Crap Past the Radar: As stated above, numerous - and explicit - references to both death and religion. Even more bizarre that Nintendo allowed this, yet denied the Snes version of Final Fantasy II/IV from using the word holy.
In the ending credits, Eichichi's full name is given as A. Titi Efcup and Nimufu's full name is given as Nimufu Mani.
Killing the Gold Fly in the dungeons of Simafort prompts it to say "Damn...", at a time when swearing in video games was extremely rare (if not outright unheard of) in North America. Same for the "battlefield of hell" remark in Highfort, though it's slightly more understandable, given that it was using "hell" in the sense of a place.
Giant Mook: Any Random Encounter on Monster Island counts as one. This also presents the debut of the series-recurrent GooKing enemy (or K.Sludge as its named in this one).
Glamour / Mass Hypnosis: Evrai seems like a utopia full of happy citizens. Try to leave, however, and they're revealed to be muttering, brainwashed puppets.
Glass Cannon: Katt. She can't take much physical abuse, but she can dish it out better than any other character in the game.
Heroic Sacrifice: Sten fakes us out of one, then Nina gets robbed of hers by Mina. Just after you enter Evrai, the amount of sacrifices is considerably increased; Tiga and Ray go down for your sake, followed by Rand's attempt only for his mother to switch places with him, and Ganer is more than willing but it depends on you; some time later it's Valerie's turn so you can progress; and finally Ryu has two different situations: one in which everyone is willing but he must not sacrifice a friend, and the last one in the normal ending where he takes up his mother's place.
Human Resources: There are several ancient machines powered by draining life energy. One under Evrai, in which Ryu's father has been imprisoned, one in Highfort, which the princess must be rescued from, and one under the Township, which Ryu's father insists on powering if you rescue him, allowing Township to fly.
I Have No Son: Windia's royal family has disowned Nina. Her mother refuses to acknowledge they're even related. They were supposed to kill Nina because of a prophecy about a black winged royal bringing destruction to Windia. Instead, they sent her to HomeTown when she was a little girl, and they faked her death to ensure that she would be safe.
I Have Your Mom: The Church of St. Eva, after Rand's mother refuses to donate her land.
Informed Deformity: It would make a lot more sense if Nina's black wings were actually... you know, black.
To be fair, in the 8-Bit engine, if they really were black, they'd likely just look like a shadow following her. They could have made them greyscale, but it likely would have made her sprite look bland, so thusly...we have purple.
Also you meet Nina around the same time you meet Patty, it's likely the colour change was solely so you wouldn't mistake one for the other.
It's Personal: Midway through the game, the Rangers Guild gets what their most veteran members declare an impossible task to slay a monster near the town of Gate, where Ryu and Bow first met. They quickly realize it's Barubary, the same monster that nearly killed them as children and take up the mission without a moment's hesitation. You can opt to ramp this trope's invocation Up to Eleven in the final dungeon, by having Ryu take Barubary on solo. Revenge will never be sweeter.
Japanese Ranguage: The cast lists at the end of the game is filled with blatant misromanizations of proper English words. Apparently, lumberjacks in in this game are called "ramberjacks".
Long-Lost Relative: Patty is actually Yua, Ryu's sister. This is barely alluded to, with only one quick line (" I want my brother!") despite being a central aspect of the The Dragon's plan, and is never followed up. See What Happened To The Mouse?
Also, Gandaroof should've been Romanized as Gandalf.
The "A" in "A. Sludge" stand for "Atomic", which might explain why most of the monsters in the island where you fight them are giant.
Lost Forever: Building up the TownShip community requires previous planning, as there are only 6 available houses, each one with their corresponding tenant. Since it only takes speaking to the tenant to make him/her join, it is quite easy to talk to the wrong NPC and have a house with an important one occupied forever.
There's also the Great Bird, lost very close to the end, which also leaves Ryu's Infinity+1 Sword out of reach.
Lost Superweapon: Highfort. Surprisingly for a JRPG, Shupkay fails to reactivate it.
Love Triangle: Trubo hates Sten for abandoning the Princess, who loves him. Made more complicated by the fact Trubo pines for the Princess, himself.
Missing Mom: She's around, she's just not able to do much...
Mobile Menace: Teleportation is the only possible explanation for Habaruku serving as both leader of the St. Eva church and priest of a tiny backwater village on another continent. For ten years.
Multiple Endings: There's a bad ending where everyone gets killed and the demons win, a bittersweet ending where the world is saved but Ryu sacrifices himself to seal the entrance to the underworld, and the good ending, where Ryu's sacrifice is averted by his father, who plummets Township onto the underworld's entrance, sealing it under thousands and thousands of tons of rock. You can only get the good one if you don't kill a certain person during a boss battle.
Nerf: The original allowed you to stay in dragon form indefinitely after an initial outlay of AP. In this game, the dragon transformation is a one-off deal, and it consumes all your AP with it. The damage the dragon forms deal also relies on how much AP Ryu has at the time of casting. Somewhat mitigated by the fact Ryu can cast the dragon forms multiple times if the player constantly replenishes his AP.
Makes some sense in-series as Ryu is half-breed, unlike the other Ryu's in the series (he's the only one who isn't full Brood) thus his access to the dragon genes would be weakened (as is explained in-game. Inter-breeding with other clans can lead to loss of clan abilities and eventually leads to the future generations becoming Clanless - humans, that is. It's a well established piece of lore in the series and made clear when Nina has her little talk with an old friend...)
Noble Demon: Barbaroi/Barubary. If Ryu decides to face him one-on-one, he will praise him for his honor and courage. Win, and he'll give the location of a useful accessory.
Nobody Poops: Averted. II is the only game in the series to include bathrooms in every house, and even two instances where the bathroom is the dungeon.
Optional Party Member: Bleu/Deis is not necessary to finish the game. That said, she's an absolutely badass mage with a skill that recovers her HP for free and she likely starts several levels above your other characters, so it's probably wise to pick her up.
The area right near Sima Fort. Just Southeast of it, is a signpost. South of this signpost are orange crabs that are meant to be fought a bit later that will come out and they give far more XP than normal, and they all die very fast to Nina's S.Boom spell that she learns about the same time you get to this area.
Planet of Hats: Nobody speaks a word in Tunlan, instead communicating via flute music.
Power-Up Food: Biscuits (a fairly easy item to make) will permanently boost one character's stats by +1 per biscuit. If one doesn't mind grinding to get the proper ingredients, you can max out your party's stats, regardless of level, by the game's halfway point.
Punny Name. Alzheimer (Aruhamel), Aspara Gus (Spar), Eichichi (chichi literally means "udders"), Land Marks (Rand) and Nympho Mani (Nimufu) were Lost in Translation. Algernon and Town Ship made it in, though.
Religion of Evil: Played with the Church of St. Eva. While it's secretly bad to the bone, it's believers (and many of it's puppet preachers) genuinely believe it's so good and noble as they were told.
Roaring Rampage of Revenge: It doesn't matter if you think you're God: If you kill his friends in front of him, Ryu will bring you down no matter how many explosions you throw at him.
Saintly Church: The Dragon Clan and their religious beliefs. There's something very Book of Revelation-y about the story, with the people ignoring the benevolent deity and worshiping a demon who poses as one.
Kilgore Trout is a fictional character created by Kurt Vonnegut of Slaughterhouse Five fame. Kilgore and Trout are the feuding rich folks in HomeTown.
The Gargoyle enemy sprite bears a striking resemblance to Firebrand.
The infamous That One Boss of this game seems to be named after Flowers for Algernon. The English fan translation takes this a step further by using anagrams of the author's name (Daniel Keyes) for the flunkies' names.
One happens as a Secret Test of Character. To obtain the ultimate power of Anfini, Ryu is told he must sacrifice one of his party members. The correct choice is to refuse to sacrifice any of them.
Another happens in the best ending. Ryu is told that Deathevanmay return, so he prepares to sacrifice himself by using his dragon form to seal the entrance to the underworld just as his mother did (which is what happens in the bitterweet ending). Then Ryu's father shows up, flying Township overhead, which he drops onto the gate, burying it completely.
Wake-Up Call Boss: Augus. He gets two turns every round, and one of his actions is to charge up his next attack to do extra damage. Charging up then attacking in the same round will one-shot Katt even at full health (and Ryu and Rand if they're not pretty close to full health). Oh, and he can heal himself.
Also Terrapin, found in the dried up well in Capitan. One of the harder bosses of the game if you're underleveled.
And let's not forget Algernon and her friends who... well, let's say she's been known to put a stop to progression for many people.
What Happened to the Mouse?: After Patty ( who is really Yua, Ryu's long-lost sister) serves her purpose in the plot, close to the end game, she is unceremoniously thrown in the tall grass and never seen again.