Cthulhu Saves The World is a videogame from independent developer Zeboyd Games for PC and Xbox 360.A 16-Bit console style role-playing game, with tongue in cheek Lovecraftian humor, rampant Lampshading of JRPG tropes, plenty of Genre Savvy, and No Fourth Wall to speak of, it is both a loving tribute and parody of the 16-bit JRPG.See also Breath of Death VII, the spiritual predecessor of Cthulhu Saves The World, which features similar gameplay and writing. Both games are available on Steam in a two-for-one pack, or can be bought separately on Xbox Live Indie Games on the Xbox 360.
Cthulhu Saves The World contains examples of:
Absurdly High Level Cap: As seen in this video and this other one (ATTENTION: Final boss spoilers in both videos!), there is no such thing as a level cap in this game. Even though new skills stop being obtained and upgraded at level 40, you can keep gaining stats as long as you keep gaining experience. The amount of experience needed to level up doesn't even go up after that point, you always need 99999 experience points to go up a level. Killing the final boss over and over gives you so much experience that there's no reason to fight other monsters anymore, and pretty soon you're so powerful there's no reason to even continue playing.
And the Adventure Continues: In the PC version's extended ending, Cthulhu and Umi are shown traveling through space in the now-repaired Ultharian mothership.
Anti-Frustration Features: For a turn-based RPG, it does many things right to lower the annoyance level that usually comes with the genre.
Winning a battle revives everybody and earns you back all your HP and a small portion of MP, which makes fights less stressful if you came out of bad random encounter with only one character alive and they are one hit away from death, and also, if you can't find the exit this means the only thing you will truly be lacking in is MP, increasing your survivability.
If you wander an area long enough random encounters turn off. Getting lost in an area eventually means you won't have random encounters anymore, but at the same time they give enough so you keep leveling.
the only item you have are potions and equipment, meaning you don't have to rummage through the menus to find something, while still making potions effective enough to to be useful.
you can save anywhere you want, but save points restore your MP for you, acting as a full heal basically and letting you save.
You get "revives" which allow you to try a battle again. If you just had terrible luck with the RNG and haven't saved in a while, this can save your much stress.
If you want to level-up quickly, you can simply go to the menu and press "Fight".
The only vaguely annoying thing about the game is that you can only have four people in your party, but even so after every battle everyone including the people not in your party gain the same amount of experience points.
Affectionate Parody: The game parodies the JRPG games of the SNES era, without sacrificing gameplay integrity.
All in a Row: Whichever four party members are currently in your party will follow after you in a row.
Amazon Brigade: Bonus mode Cthulhu's Angels features an all-female party led by October.
Arbitrary Head Count Limit: Unlike Breath of Death, you have more than four characters (which include Cthulhu himself, Umi the trident-wielding groupie, Sharpe the sword, October the Necromancer, and a cat), but can only take four at once.
Ascended Extra: In the main game, Elonalina is just one of the three standard RPG heroes you fight halfway into the first dungeon (and in the PC version, at the beginning of the true final dungeon). In "Cthulhu's Angels", she (using the name "Elona") is the second party member, roughly equivalent to main-game Umi in the group.
The Bad Guy Wins: Played for Laughs. Your protagonist is Cthulhu, after all. To clarify, upon beating what seems like the final boss, you regain your powers then drive the world insane. Only the narrator isn't quite sure if he should stick to that, so he arbitrarily makes Cthulhu good again then adds a Bigger Bad so you'll seem like a hero.
Big Red Button: Found on the Ultharian spaceship you go on right after Paws joins your party. After having defeated Paws' Evil Twin, Umi presses it, causing the spaceship to conveniently crash into the river, blocking it and allowing the party to go to the next area.
Bizarre Alien Sexes: The party member Paws, a cat-like alien, explain that his species technically has every member as a unique gender. However, for sake of convenience, he allows the party to refer to him as "he".
Defeat Means Friendship: If you can beat Dem in the main game, he'll join your party. Played straight and subverted in Cthulhu's Angels: Dark Umi is a mandatory recruit and Sara takes Dem's place as the Bonus Boss. Subverted with Dacre and Ember: since this is a different story than that of the main campaign, events unfold somewhat differently...
Defector from Decadence: Paws the Alien Cat is a member of a race of warlike technophiles, but has 'gotten tired of their warmongering ways'. Having noticed that Cthulhu is trying to do the hero-thing, he joins your party in return for your help in stopping his own people.
Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Aside from the premise of the game being about a mage defeating Cthulhu, causing him to lose his powers until he proves himself a hero, the final boss is Azathoth, another powerful being from the Cthulhu Mythos.
Discredited Meme: invokedThe enemy crabs are "immune to massive damage from weakpoints [sic]."
Drinking the Kool-Aid: The description for the Cultist enemy states that he has "Drunk deeply from the punch" in reference to this.
Draco in Leather Pants: An in-universe example. Umi downplays Cthulhu's evil intentions because she fell in love with him when he saved her. Later on, when Cthulhu embraces his heroism, the trope is averted outright.
October shows vague hints of this at points. For example, when Umi asks her what her blood type is:
October: Pain. What I feel when I bleed in the dark recesses of my soul. I linger in the light but yearn for the darkness.
Played with in Cthulhu's Angels during the final encounter with the Narrator. October gives a heartfelt rant about how her life has been nothing but tragedy after tragedy because the Narrator felt the need to be artistic.
Encounter Bait: Each zone has a set number of random battles that need to be won before they stop happening. Should the player wish to level grind, they can be toggled on and off in the menu once the random battle quota has been filled in the given zone.
Evil Is Sexy: In-Universe, this is Umi's exact reaction when she finds out she's been hanging out with an Elder One. Lampshaded by the game even when she thought he was a Knight in Shining Armor-esque hero, noting that her image of Cthulhu doesn't exactly match actual appearances.
Evil Knockoff: The Cthulhu golem fought just before the final boss.
Fourth Wall Observer: Cthulhu. The entire story is kicked off by him eavesdropping on the narrator. The other characters also join in, especially in the Cthulhu's Angels alternate campaign for the PC release.
Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Most of the bosses in Cthulhu's Angels are this: the Cthulhu cosplayer, Mother Hydra and the Kraken have no real connection to the plot, they just turn up instead of the Lovecraftian enemies Cthulhu faces in the main game.
Global Airship: Not an actual airship, but Ember the dragon acts as one and lets you fly around the map, bypassing terrain and and avoiding random encounters.
Grave Humor: About half of the tombstones found in the game bear humorous messages, the others are more serious or bear notorious aphorisms on death.
Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: Easy, Medium, Hard, and Insane. Of course other games have "Insane" difficulties too, but considering the subject of this game it takes on additional meaning.
Interactive Narrator: The story is set in motion when Cthulhu eavesdrops on the narrator as it is explained how Cthulhu might regain his power, and the two spend a lot of time bickering from that point on.
Jekyll & Hyde: In the Cthulhu's Angels alternate campaign, Umi is possessed by the dark sword Sharpe and has her consciousness split into two. One side is the happy-go-lucky Umi from the regular campaign, and the other is a kill-hungry psychopath.
One of the early bosses has "Has a much higher max HP now than he will in a couple minutes." Sure enough, after he joins your party, his max hp drops to a tenth of what it was.
The description for Necromancer enemies states that "the female necromancers are much cuter". Shortly thereafter, you get October.
There's a bookshelf in Dunwich containing a book called "Cat Dictionary". Umi suggests it could be useful, were a cat ever to join the party. Cthulhu blows this off, saying it would never happen. It does.
The description of one enemy is something to the effect of "It's not just a Palette Swap, honest!". Which it is.
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Lovecraft Lite: The story is about Cthulhu, one of the central beings of the Lovecraft Mythos (created by Lovecraft), losing most of his power and being forced to prove himself a hero to regain it.
Mary Sue: invokedWhen she's introduced in Cthulhu's Angels, Molly wonders why her stats aren't 999 in everything. The narrator explains that "Although Molly is, in fact, that awesome, for the sake of the other characters we didn't use her real stats."
Metal Slime: Subverted with the Gold Wisps in the Ice Cave. They give out around ten times the experience and gold of other enemies, but they are fairly easy to beat at that point in the game, are not powerful enemies, and don't run away, making the Ice Cave a great place to grind up the cash to get the Heroine Dress for Umi.
Mythology Gag: Cthulhu's Angels has multiple points where things are different from the original campaign. Several of these are accompanied with characters commenting on the difference in various ways.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: In a meta-example, the player does this to themselves at the end of the Cthulhu's Angels campaign. In leading the party to save the world, you convince Cthulhu to spare it - and he decides to go destroy Earth instead.
Cthulhu's Angels gives us Molly, who is a were-zompire as a result of being killed by a vampire, a werewolf and a zombie at the same time. She's a Mythology Gag to one of Zeboyd's older games.
There is the tombstone of "Uriko the Ninja Pirate", which tells us she was killed by a robot zombie. Might as well be a Shout-Out to TV Tropes!
No Ending: In the original Xbox 360 version of the game, after regaining his powers, Cthulhu plans to pick up where he left off with his world conquest, but the narrator wants to shoot for a more happier ending, but concedes he should stick with the source material (that Cthulhu is evil incarnate) and slaps on a final dungeon and boss and then...that's it. Apparently, the narrator ran out of ideas. The PC version expands the ending a bit—after the final boss, a short movie is shown in which we are told that a) Cthulhu and one of his companions has repaired a starship that crashed earlier in the story, and intends to explore the universe with it, and b) he invites the first of his companions with him. This was later patched into the original version.
NPC Roadblock: There's an area where there are NPCs permanently stationed in front of a bunch of doors, and you can't get in no matter what. If you talk with the NPCs, they just say "sorry, you're not allowed inside". Eventually after talking to one, your party members will say to themselves that there's probably nothing behind the doors anyway and that the developers are obviously doing it just to mess with you.
Took a Level in Badass: Umi is a so-so White Magician Girl in the main campaign, but your most powerful damage-dealer in Chtulhu's Angels. Since she's wielding Sharpe from the previous campaign, and quite insane, this makes sense.
Updated Re-release: The PC version contains extra bosses, four more party members, a director commentary, an entire second campaign, and more!
Villain Forgot to Level Grind: Or Hero, rather. The Goldfish Poop Gang shows up a second time in the PC version, and are exactly the same strength as the first time you fought them. Needless to say, the battle goes quickly, which the characters will comment on.
The Goldfish Poop Gang fought as the first boss encounter are stated to have "likely respawned by now", and according to the director commentary, they were meant to be a recurring element, but the creators ended up completely forgetting about them. They do show up one more time in the PC version, towards the very end, as strong as the first time. They only show up one time in Cthulhu's Angels... but the female of their number is the second Angel, recruited on the starting beach.
You never find out exactly who cursed Cthulhu at the start of the game. The game makes a point about him being a mysterious man, then never bothers to tell you who he is. Cthulhu's Angels ambiguously resolves this mystery, although the differences between the campaigns allows for some doubt if it applies to the main campaign—Dacre, the insane mage from the original, is responsible for Cthulhu's sealing. Presumably the deed drove him mad, leaving him the half-brained genius you find in the Water Temple - although the Cthulhu's Angels version of him is still quite sane. The insane version does comment that the cliffs near R'lyeh seem familiar, and this is where the mysterious man would have cast his spell from.
White Mage: Dacre, the senile old man you find in the Water Temple and who tags along for no discernible reason.