Video Game: Conception II: Children of the Seven Stars
Conception 2: Children Of The Seven Stars was a RPG/Dating Sim hybrid created by Spike Chunsoft (Of Dangan Ronpa and Virtue's Last Reward fame) released in Japan for the Playstation Vita and the Nintendo 3DS in 2013 and in America in 2014. It is the second entry of the Conception Franchise.You play as a newcomer (Default name Wake Archus) who turns out to be the God's Gift: A being with a large supply of ether energy who have to power to perfectly conceive Star Children and enter the Dusk Circles; nests of the monsters who terrorize the whole world of Aterra. And it's up to you, along seven girls you can classmate with, to stop those Dusk Circles.The gameplay is a dungeon crawler similar to the likes of Persona 3 and Persona 4 as in you explore several random-generated labyrinth along the heroine of your choice and nine of your chosen star children. During the dungeons explorations, you will find items, weapons and armor to help you combat the enemies.The other thing about the game is the Classmating system. By strengthening the bonds with each of the heroines, you create stronger star children who can assist you and help you progressing in the game.Despite being the second entry, it is not necessary to play the first game since it's its own stand alone game.
Absurdly Youthful Mother: Fuuko in her ending, which takes place several years after the main game. Chances are Wake would be the Father variant if he was shown in the CG
Aborted Arc: Wake mentions to Torri that his late mother's soup recipe requires a rare herb, she risks her life to get him some, and then it's never mentioned again.
The Ace: Played straight with Alec and deconstructed with the hero. Wake is initially admitted to the Academy as a Rank A Elite, rather than Rank S. It's his insanely high ether level that earns him the title of God's Gift. He still proves to be pretty dang good with a sword right away though.
On the heroine side: Chloe Genus for her intellect and Feene for her combat recognition.
Affably Evil: Even after his scheme is revealed, Enzea is still remarkably polite towards Wake. He even thanks his father for giving life to him before getting Clau to kill him.
Affectionate Parody: Of harem anime and dating sim games. It doesn't take itself seriously at all. Until later, at least.
Always Someone Better: Despite being regarded as the top S-Rank and shown to be better in a scrap, Alec feels inferior to Wake because he is God's Gift, especially so when the latter shows he has become just as a good a swordsman as Alec in a very short amount of time.
Serina is trying to get out from under her sister's shadow.
Ambidextrous Sprite: Done with the cut-ins. This is especially noticeable with Torri as the white half of her hair is always facing the camera.
Anime Hair: Torri, whose hair is somehow half black and half white - as in the hair on the right side of her hair is black, while the left side is white. Their are also a couple of Star Children with this as well.
Anti-Frustration Features: Several: Ability to save anywhere inside of dungeons. A One-Hit Kill against weaker enemy mobs that grant full Exp/Money gains and don't slow you down at all. A "Full Heal" option in the Items menu. Colour-coding all enemies from active quests in gold so you know exactly which to go for and even marking which floor of which labyrinth is applicable to a specific quest. And that's not even all of it.
Most notable is the way the save system works: Using 2-3 save slots it's possible to get all nine endings with defeating the final boss only once and at least 1.5 runs of the game to get the Platinum trophy.
The only time this gets averted is with the "Remove All" equipment option as it will unequip everyone's Accessories and all of those have to be manually re-equipped later.
The AI during Auto-Play is often pretty smart with its tactics, too: A strong team will usually aim for a One-Hit Kill against an enemy while the weaker teams will gang up against another opponent and move away from any remaining enemies to force the straggler to waste its turn moving into position.
Avoid the Dreaded G Rating: A weird example in that some things seem to have been put in solely to bump up the rating. However, it likely would've been rated T if these things were removed, which doesn't make as much sense due to the selling restrictions with M games.
Awesome, but Impractical: The bonus weapons given as DLC for the first four heroines. They have increased power, but decrease the Speed stat of whomever is using it. Considering speed is almost the One Stat to Rule Them All, this is a big issue.
Feene, despite being the most popular heroine also suffers from this due to being Shadow element. This is a huge issue, since Shadow is weak to Light and Non-Elemental...which is a large amount of what fills the final labyrinths.
Big Brother Instinct: Chlotz is very protective of Chloe, despite being her younger brother, and Ellie, who he openly states he would love to have as a little sister.
Bittersweet Ending: Interestingly, the harem ending, due to everyone being sucked into Ellie's job of hunting Heretics. While Ellie (and to a lesser extent, Wake) can hunt Heretics, the other girls are a liability at best due to the effects a barrier has on a normal human. While they say they don't mind, they either need to travel the world regularly or see Ellie and possibly Wake leave every so often for a potentially fair amount of time to have them kill people.
Break the Cutie: Luce, when she learns that you killed Alec. Also Ruby, when she finds out that Enzea killed Mark
But Thou Must: During your first trip into the dungeon, you encounter the first boss early, and Ruby orders you to flee. Your options are "No", "I won't run from an enemy", and "Too Hell with that".
When Chlotz asks if Wake wants a sip of his drink, the choices are "No thanks", "I'm not sharing your spit" and "We're not girls, you know."
Cerebus Syndrome: Rhiod is stabbed and killed by Clau, Alec turns into a monster that Wake is forced to kill him, and Enzea reveals his true intentions and proceeds to screw everything up.
Character Development: Used as a gameplay mechanic. The further a heroine progresses in her character arc and works to overcome the problems she faces, along with developing a stronger bond with Wake, the better she gets at birthing strong Star Children.
The Chosen One: Wake's ether levels are 30 times the male average, allowing him to be the only human able to enter Dusk Labyrinths and have a 100% success rate when conceiving Star Children with S Rank female Disciples. The title given to him is God's Gift.
The Chessmaster: Enzea, who ended up manipulating all sides to forward his plan to open Pandora's Labyrinth: Getting Wake's team to collect each Dusk Circle's spawner, distributing the Trigger drug to get people used to infusing themselves with Dusk energy, leading the development of the technology and weapons he would need, and convincing his father to continue the funding of said technology. All in all, the only group in-game he isn't involved with is the Heretics.
Competence Zone: Enforced, since Disciples get their Star Brand at age 16-17 and lose it around their nineteenth birthday, and their ability to fight effectively goes with it. Adults areNOT Useless, however; your Mission Control, most of the support staff at Fort City, and the R&D team that provide you with equipment are all highly-educated adults.
Monsters as well: Ones significantly weaker than the party are blue, ones on par with the party are purple, ones much stronger than the party are red and ones that are related to a current quest (either by defeating that monster or obtaining a certain item drop from it) are gold.
Corrupt Corporate Executive: Rhiod. While he doesn't actually fuel the creation of the Dusk Circles, he aims to profit from the war against them as much as possible.
Damned by Faint Praise: Alec responds to Mark's naming of the Supernova Superchip is to say that it's certainly...unique.
Darkest Hour: The end of Chapter 7: Alec is dead, Mark is still missing (and is later found dead), Enzea is filling the planet with Dusk Energy to turn everyone into monsters, and there is no way to enter Pandora's Labyrinth to stop him. Then Wake returns to his dorm to find a certain message on how to open the door.
Death by Irony: Early in the story, Alec kills a classmate of his who had turned into a monster. Much later in the story, Wake is forced to kill Alec, who has turned into a monster himself.
Difficulty Spike: The game is pretty easy until about 3/4 the way in, especially for those who take the time to develop their city and Star Children.
Dirty Old Man: The high priest of the church, Mattero. Ruby's hated him ever since he hit on her.
Disc One Nuke: Serina and Torri learn skills that hit all enemies fairly early on and those skills can be used to wipe out most enemy parties up through Chapter 6 in one shot.
Does This Remind You of Anything?: During Classmating, the girls are naked, the poses they do become more suggestive as you progress with their relationships, there's a song with the lyrics "Just wanna make love to you" playing in the background and, when it's over, they are exhausted from the ritual.
One of Chloe's events has Wake walk in on her while she's panting heavily and moaning, "No more...!" Turns out she was just exercising and trying to lose weight (but that kind of dialogue is the norm for this game). In a bit of irony, you can give her a food gift she likes during this event and she won't turn it down.
Doomed Hometown: At the end of Chapter 1, Wake reveals this already happened.
Dual Wielding: Wake wields a katana during his introduction scene but switches to twin swords immediately after. Alec does the same as Wake, using a katana outside the labyrinth and twin swords in the labyrinth.
Fuuko's guns as well.
Rus and Clau are shown to fight with a katana and a gun respectively in each hand during their boss fight.
Dump Stat: Tech increases accuracy...in a game where it's entirely possible to never see a single attack miss in multiple playthroughs. Unfortunately, quite a few girls have large natural growth towards the stat.
Ether Levels: The average ether count, according to Ruby, is 50. Depending on this level, Disciples have more success of creating a Star Child and it also affects whether or not a Disciple can survive in Labyrinths. Only the ether count of two characters is revealed in the game. The first being Chlotz, who has an above-average 60. The other being Wake, who has a very much above-average 1500. Needless to say, he has a 100% chance of making a Star Child with an S-Rank female and can enter and explore Labyrinths without any repercussions.
Fire-Forged Friends: Wake and Alec begin to get along much better after dueling each other to a draw.
Same with Wake and Lucian during Ellie's character arc.
Flanderization: Despite only appearing in this game, Serina suffers from it. While her tsundere attitude is originally part of her inferiority complex, she does acknowledge it and apologizes for it. Late in her character arc, she just becomes a generic modern tsundere.
Flunky Boss: Many sub-bosses in labyrinths have one or two flunkies to help them. Enzea has some in both of his forms.
Fog of War: Played with. One of the dungeon traps doesn't hide the enemy locations but rather their power levels, preventing you from knowing how strong you are compared to them.
Gainaxing: There's so much jiggling in this game that it's taken up to the levels of complete parody. Even smaller-busted girls like Chloe and Ellie bounce simply by breathing!
Game-Breaking Bug: Rarely, when you enter a portal to go to the next floor the game may crash to the home screen. This isn't too much of an issue in the first 3-4 dungeons as they have less than 10 floors. The real issue comes from the invisible traps that forces you to the next floor can also trigger the crash. Hope you're saving often and using trap visions!
G-Rated Drug: Trigger, which has the same effects and repercussions as steroids.
Gag Boobs: Narika. With the only person with bigger breasts being Ruby.
While not shown on-screen, Serina's sister, Nazuna, is hinted as quite well-endowed too.
Gay Option: Classmanting. It's actually worth a try, because it produces children that are superior to the ones you get in the normal game.
Genre Savvy: Some of the monsters guard doors instead of chasing the party around, meaning that you have to get through them to get to the next floor. However...
Dangerously Genre Savvy: ...they sometimes guard the wrong door, meaning you just fought a few battles you didn't have to.
Girl Next Door: Fuuko feels that being the most "normal" of the heroines is a setback for her.
I Just Want to Be Special: Fuuko, even though she's an S-Rank, feels like she's too "normal" compared to the character quirks of the other heroines.
I Owe You My Life: Ellie to Wake for saving her life 10 years before the events of the game. Feene to Wake for sterilizing the Dusk Circle next to her hometown after she had spent months at the front lines.
Infinity+1 Element: Light. Aside from non-elemental, it's strong against every element in the game. Plus, non-elemental attacks are both few and far in between and weak to the four basic elements, which are the most common by far.
Informed Attribute: Fuuko is constantly described as average and a wallflower despite being neither. She's also one of very few S-Rank Disciples, causing this to make even less sense.
Chlotz claims that Torri needs to "Come out of her shell," but she isn't very shy at all. Her main problem with making friends is not that she doesn't want to socialize, but that she really doesn't know how and ends up saying/doing things that others consider weird.
Innocent Innuendo: Any that comes from the main cast rather than the older characters is usually this.
Fuuko: "Just for that, you won't be allowed to taste our juices!" Yes, she's talking about juice boxes.
Wake: "My sister's white dress was hanging on her bed when, suddenly, it wasn't white anymore!" It was red with her blood.
Instant Expert: Chlotz may not be as big an idiot he claims (compared to his sister) as he learns how to use the Lab equipment and become part of Mission Control without actually needing to be taught how to use it.
Wake, who was easily defeated by Alec in a fencing match, manages to fight him to a draw after training with Feene in less than a day.
Ironic Echo: Sasami's and Narika's words when Narika points out the flaws in Sasami's plan in the third debate are the exact same as when Sasami pointed out the flaws in Narika's plan in the second debate.
Irony: While the innuendo in the game is turned Up to Eleven the actual Classmating process simply involves the hero and heroine joining hands and focusing their thoughts on each other. It's actually quite sweet.
Jerk Ass: Sasami, the first-year student who belittles Narika and questions her capabilities as an S Rank disciple because she isn't good at public speaking. Subverted as she was behaving like that because of the pressure from the debates and, in actuality, worships Narika.
The Hospital Director from Chloe's character arc who, despite being a former Disciple himself, seriously considers current Disciples as just pawns and cannon fodder to be used in the fight against the Dusk.
Mr. Watts in Chloe's subarc. While the game tries to say it's just that he's set in the old ways, he constantly blames and belittles Chloe for having a fanclub that won't leave her alone, despite the fact that Chloe finds them extremely annoying herself. He even blames and suspends Chloe from teaching for being sexually harassed and having a dirty picture of her taken despite her not knowning. However...
Jerkass Has a Point: Mr. Watts is correct that Chloe's fans need to behave themselves in school instead of forming a mob in the faculty room or whenever they see her so they can get her autograph or shake her hand.
Jiggle Physics: It's rather difficult to ignore since it's even in the mostly-static character models that appear during talking sections.
Keigo: Feene speaks to Wake very formally mostly because she doesn't really know how to act around him. He gets his first glimpse of her natural personality when meeting her childhood friend Raul.
Katanas Are Just Better: Averted. Wake is shown to have a katana in the opening scene where he saves Chlotz and Fuuko from monsters, but he then opts to Dual Wield inside dungeons. There is also a katana visible on Enzea's sprite, though he never uses it.
Kick Chick: Serina is the only heroine whose weapon doesn't fire some kind of projectile.
The Lancer: Alec to Wake. Chlotz to Wake, as well.
Laser-Guided Karma: The Hospital Director in Chloe's character arc who gets seriously ill after Chloe's hospital concert after the power of her songs speed up the healing process of the patients therein while the Director did everything he could to prevent the concert from taking place.
Lost In Localization: The final line of the Harem ending is actually a near Title Drop of the game's Japanese secondary title but not so with the US version.
Love Makes You Stupid: This happens to Ruby, whose reluctance to believe Enzea is completely evil ends up getting Mark killed.
Love Triangle: Chlotz has a thing for Luce but she only has eyes for Alec. Chlotz suspects Mark has a thing for Ruby, but she obviously has a crush on Enzea. Even one between Wake, Feene and Aya can be considered.
Luminescent Blush: Expect this from the heroines a lot when making the right choices to compliment them. Narika and Fuuko especially.
Magic A Is Magic A: All human magic, even Dusk-element magic, in created by using Star Power to manipulate Ether particles in the atmosphere. If there's no Ether in the air, nobody can use magic, and will find themselves grossly outmatched by all but the very weakest monsters. Wake's abilitiy to flood the area around him with enough Ether particles for his allies to make use of is what makes him so critical.
The Magic Goes Away: If a teen receives a Star Brand and becomes a Disciple, it will disappear around his or her 19th birthday. Also played straight in that everyones' Brands disappear after beating the final boss.
Magic Music: Curaoke is an example for the Disciples to recharge their Star Energy. Chloe's singing is also able to heal the sick and wounded at a much faster rate.
Magical Girl: Ellie's battle outfit is very reminiscent of one, especially with the large magic staff.
Meido: Serina sometimes asks why her battle uniform looks like one. Played completely straight in her ending.
Mercy Kill: Wake kills Alec, who was slowly becoming into a monster, by the latter's request.
Mercy Mode: In the very unlikely chance Wake dies, you're given the option to go back to the city without suffering any penalties (apart from a loss of 20% of your money, which can be an issue.)
Modesty Frills: Serina's battle dress doesn't allow for upskirt shots, especially as seen in her official art.
Multiple Endings: There are a total of 9 different endings. One for each of the heroines, another featuring Chlotz and Luce and, of course, a Harem Ending.
My Friends... and Zoidberg: When introducing the Dusk Blasters, Chlotz responds to each girl's comment about their blaster saying either how it was adjusted or how it fits them...except with Chloe, whom he just says that she doesn't need explaining.
And In Chapter 8, Ruby after she discovers her tattling to Enzea led Mark to his death.
My Sister Is Off Limits: Chlotz is very protective of his older sister. He even orders a group of boys about to form a fan club for her to line up so he could punch their teeth out.
Possibly averted in the case of Wake, despite issuing him with the same teeth punching threats earlier in the story. When Chloe is teasing Wake about how Millica, the young girl at the hospital who idolizes Chloe, thinks that he is her boyfriend, Chlotz charges into the room and tells her to get ready for the concert, but doesn't make any comment about the fact that his sister is blushing heavily, talking about Wake being her boyfriend or that Wake is there in the first place. Really, if Chlotz ever approved of somebody dating his sister, it would be his best friend.
New Game+: After beating the game you are able to load from that save file and start from the beginning or Chapter 7.
Punny Name: Chloe Genus, who happens to be a genius. Chlotz Genus, on the other hand, is portrayed as an idiot but is shown to be rather intelligent when he correctly operates lab equipment without being shown how to.
Torri, whose name is very similar to the Japanese word for bird, which is tori. Torri's dream is to fly like a bird.
Aterra, when broken up, is "a terra". Terra is another name for the planet Earth.
Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Considered, but averted during the Harem Ending. Wake realizes that being invited to the Star Conception Festival by all seven heroines will make it impossible to pick one without crushing the others and he decides to run away, but changes his mind for the sake of the one he plans to choose.
She Is All Grown Up: Played with. Serina discovers a magic spell that allows her to "transform" into a version of herself that is taller, bustier and has a slightly deeper voice. It comes with the drawback of not allowing her to use her Star Energy and only lasts up to an hour.
However, Wake states multiple times that he prefers Serina more when she's untransformed, despite everyone else liking her more when she is.
Shower of Angst: Wake gets all of the shower scenes. It's where he likes to think.
"Stop Having Fun" Guys: In-universe example. One of Chloe's fellow teachers, Mr. Watts, is a real stickler for the rules and acts as the primary antagonist of her character arc because she doesn't behave like a "proper" teacher.
Stripperific: While the other girls' transformed clothes are tame for the most part... then there's Chloe's.
Take a Third Option: During one of Serina's scenes, she asks Wake what he thinks her bra size is. In addition to two answers, there's an option to say that it doesn't matter — Serina is an S-rank, and that's all that matters to him.
Teacher/Student Romance: Can happen between Wake and Chloe. Chlotz mentions that his sister is only a year older than him and it can also be taken that both he and Wake are the same age, so the relationship is more acceptable than most examples due to it having a one year age gap.
Teen Genius: Chloe graduated from college at the top of her class and wrote a strategy manual adopted by the government at age 14.
The Nicknamer: Chlotz immediately declares Feene to be "Miss Beautiful", though she doesn't really care.
Title Drop: Used in the Japanese harem ending. Attempted in the English version, but due to a title change and the words not being altered, it just makes Wake come off as an ass.
Tsundere: Serina. Type A. Though it borders on deconstruction, as her tsundere attitude is usually because she's self-conscious about her body and being compared to her older sister. She also acknowledges this and apologizes whenever she says something unjustified.
Feene goes a little tsun towards her friend Raul when he teases her.
Unlucky Childhood Friend: Luce. She's known Alec since they were kids and wants to start a relationship with him, but Alec only sees her as a friend. Chlotz eventually persuades Alec to take Luce to the Star Conception Festival, which he does, but he is killed before he can. Feene's childhood friend Raul also counts.
Useless Useful Spell: Buffs and any status moves that don't cause Seal. Seal is a subversion, as it's only useful against tough enemies, but not bosses.
We Cannot Go On Without You: Considering Wake's ether is the only thing that allows his team to even enter and survive inside of the labyrinths, it makes sense.
We Have Reserves: The attitude of the Hospital Director during Chloe's character arc.
"Well Done, Son" Guy: Alec. His main reason for trying to be the best Disciple is for the sake of his father and so that he will be proud of him.
What Happened to the Mouse?: Aya pretty much disappears from Feene's character arc the moment Raul is introduced. Rus and Clau apparently die at the end of the Labyrinth of Pride, but the game does not make this clear.