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Video Game: Breath of Fire II
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.


Provides Examples Of:

  • Absurdly Spacious Toilet
  • Almighty Idiot: Deathevan after he goes One-Winged Angel.
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: The page picture is the original Japanese box art. North America got something close to what one would find in Conan the Barbarian. In short, Bow looks like he wants to chew you... with the rest of the crew trying to do the same to you.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: In some events you take control of Sten, then Nina, and then Ryu's mother Valerie.
  • Anyone Can Die: Particularly if you're in the Church of Saint Eva. Tiga, Claris, Ray, Rand's mother, and potentially Ganer all bite it in that area.
  • Apathetic Citizens: Two flavors.
    • 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.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Averted by the Death spell; unlike most SNES jRPGs this one is Simple Yet Awesome since it works on a majority of non-boss enemies (but has a pretty simple animation).
  • Badass Preacher: Ray.
  • Berserk Button: You do NOT mess with Ryu's friends. EVER. Not even if you are God.
  • Big Bad: Deathevan.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Eichichi's Punny Name, for starters.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: A famous exponent, to boot; this game came as close to a Translation Train Wreck as is possible without becoming totally incoherent.
    • 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.
  • Bookcase Passage: The hidden entrance to Bando's crypt. A sharp blow from Katt's stick reveals it.
  • 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.
  • But Thou Must: Quite a few, such as when Petape sinks your boat, leaving you with no way out of Sima Fort and therefore no choice but to save Jean. She later forces you to eat the food during the Cooking Duel then complains when you find it unpalatable.
  • Can't Catch Up: It takes roughly half the game to clear Bow's name, by which time he'll be far behind everyone else in exp when he rejoins.
    • To be fair, he can catch up; it'll just take some time grinding him. (And it's well worth it too, as he becomes the party's best healer.)
    • Pretty much everyone compared to Ryu. Since you Can't Drop The Hero, he will almost always be higher-leveled than the rest of your party.
  • Cash Lure: You can catch the fish man merchant Maniro by baiting your hook with a gold bar.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Arguably the Township itself, for a role it will play in the true ending of the game.
  • Clear My Name: Bow. Infamous for being one of the longest Fetch Quests in JRPG history. Humorously, this plot culminates in rescuing Jean, after he's jailed for impersonating the Prince, which is another quest for clearing the name of another character. This whole quest takes up about 4 out of 10 chapters.
  • Cloudcuckooland: Sima Fort. The resident are so laid back, they don't even care if there's a coup d'état.
  • Cock Fight: Optional; if you choose to claim there is something between Katt and Ryu, Tiga will challenge Ryu to a duel, which, sadly, isn't winnable.
  • Colony Drop: In the best ending.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Each of the Shamans' hair color corresponds to their respective element.
  • Confessional: A selectable option at every St. Eva church. The priest's response changes according to Ryu's current mission.
  • Controllable Helplessness: Used to initiate the Moment Of Awesome in the YMMV tab.
  • Cooking Duel: A literal example.
  • 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.
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus: The Big Bad is one.
  • Darker and Edgier: Much moreso than the first Breath of Fire I game. Heck, compared to a lot of SNES games at the time, this certainly fit.
  • Death Mountain: Mt. Fubi, Mt. Rocko and Mt. Maori.
  • 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.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: Katt wearing a nun's habit.
  • 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.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: The worst ending shows the silhouette of the Big Bad, far before he normally appears.
  • 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!
  • Evil Tower of Ominousness: Infinity is an underground variant. Specially seen in the game's intro.
  • "Fantastic Voyage" Plot: A wizard shrinks the party in order for them to enter the body of Tunlan's Queen, who is growing obese due to the demons inside her.
  • Flashback Effects: Scenes from Ryu's past are Deliberately Monochrome. The game itself begins in black & white, but abruptly turns color when young Ryu enters the woods.
  • Foreign Queasine: The frog-people's culinary, with its use of worms, roaches and flies. Ryu gets to taste some...with predictable results.
  • 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.
    • Father Manson.
    • 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.
  • Global Airship: The Great Bird, and later Township.
  • Gods Need Prayer Badly: The entire point of the St. Eva scam.
  • Good Wings, Evil Wings: Averted by Nina ("black" bird wings) and Patty (dark bat wings). Played straight by various demons.
  • Guide Dang It: Finding the guy who teaches Ryu's second-tier dragon spells isn't terribly obvious.
    • Fittingly enough, the Prima Strategy Guide actually references this secret with the heading, "Why People Buy Strategy Guides".
  • Half-Dressed Petting Zoo People: Katt, Tiga and Bleu / Deis.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Ryu and his sister - their father is human, but their mother is of the Dragon Clan.
  • Hand in the Hole
  • 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.
  • Holy City: Evrai. You may never want to leave!
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: The first battle with Barubary.
    • Also, optionally, the duel with Tiga.
  • 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.
  • Inevitable Tournament: The contest in Coursair.
  • 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 All Upstairs From Here: Witch Tower and Sky Tower.
  • 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".
  • Journey to the Center of the Mind: The arc about entering Gandaroof's dreamworld.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: The trope that sets the plot into action. Later, you get to meet the guy who fired the laser.
  • Last of His Kind: Katt thinks she's one, as she's not saw any other around. Tiga later explains to her that there are very few of them scattered all over the world.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: When you enter CotLnd, Tiga decides to fight Ryu because he thinks there's something going on between him and Katt.
  • Listing The Forms Of Degenerates: The fan retranslation has Father Halk delivering such a litany when describing "all of society's refuse" that the Church will nonetheless gladly take in. No doubt as fodder to summon their dark god.
  • 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?
  • Lost in Translation: Most of the Punny Names and Theme Naming.
    • 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.
  • Meaningful Name: Township.
  • 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.
  • My Religion, Right or Wrong: Ray knows that the Church of St. Eva is bad, but fights you anyway out of loyalty to his adopted father.
  • 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.
  • Noob Cave: Mt. Fubi.
  • 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.
  • Orphan's Plot Trinket: The Dragon Tear.
    • Relationship Values: It also measures how close are the characters to Ryu. Subverted in that it barely has any impact in the storyline.
    • It allows Ryu (and by extension, the player) to figure out the feelings of the person he's talking to, which can be useful to get some nice upgrades from a (very shy) recruitable NPC.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: The fake Jean looks nothing like the real one. Subverted in that his subjects don't really care, thus the fake Jean can get away with being thinner and handsomer.
  • Parental Bonus: Tied in neatly with Getting Crap Past the Radar, above.
  • Path of Inspiration: The Church of St. Eva. Probably one of the earliest examples of a video game using a religious organization as an antagonist force.
  • Peninsula of Power Leveling: Monster Island.
  • Planet of Hats: Nobody speaks a word in Tunlan, instead communicating via flute music.
  • Plotline Death: Tiga and Claris.
  • 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.
  • Required Party Member: You need Sten to get to Highfort. And Katt to enter the Whale and CotLnd.
  • 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.
  • Shout-Out: The tenants are full of these: the fortuneteller is named after Whoopi Goldberg, the old guy Barose/Burroughs from the dreamworld is named after a character from Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare, artist Salvador is named after Salvador Dali, etc...
    • 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.
  • Shout-Out Theme Naming: Elforan and Gedd are named after Earthsea Trilogy characters.
  • Storming the Castle: The Grand Church of Evrai.
  • Take a Third Option
    • 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 Deathevan may 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.
  • Theme Naming: All the tenants who sells weapons are named after gun manufacturers (Heckler, Beretta, Kalashnikov, Remington). Obviously, the translator never figured this out...
  • Tournament Arc: Coursair's battle tournament. Subverted by Augus, the crooked manager, into a Blood Sport.
  • Town with a Dark Secret: Several locales in this game use this trope with Evrai being the most prominent example.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Sets the record for sheer number of Trauma Conga Lines in a single game in the franchise, damn near being a Trauma Conga Limbo Party in and of itself with most of the cast.
  • Under the Sea: The Upa Caves.
  • Underground Level: The Dry Well of Capitan.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Ryu and Patty's parents. Their mom is a hot young winged woman who can turn into a gigantic dragon and their dad, while not necessarily ugly, is a normal old human.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: Infinity.
  • 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.
  • Warmup Boss: The giant Roach.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Averted when Rand's mother sacrifices herself to save him.
  • 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.
  • Where It All Began: Ryu's hometown Gate is where the final dungeon is located.
  • Who Names Their Kid "Baba(del)"?: Ryu gets a lot of flak for his alias.
  • Wise Tree: Gandaroof the Great Wise Tree. There are also several "minor" trees around the world.
  • Womb Level: Grampa the Whale and the Queen of Tunlan.
  • Wrench Wench: Eichichi (a.k.a. Gigi). Has massive breasts and finds machines… stimulating. Probably would be Ms. Fanservice, too, if the sprites in this game were large and detailed enough.
  • You Can't Go Home Again


Breath of Fire ICreator/CapcomBreath of Fire III
Breath of Fire IFantasy Video GamesBreath of Fire III
Breath of Fire ISuper Nintendo Entertainment SystemBubsy
Breath of Fire IVideo Games of the 1990sBreath of Fire III
Breaking OutImageSource/Video GamesPlay-Along Prisoner
Breath of Fire IEastern RPGBreath of Fire III

alternative title(s): Breath Of Fire2; Breath Of Fire II
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