A world with two moons illuminating the sky... The many dazzling adventures of a young boy... But whether or not this is a true story... Do you believe in the story woven in the book? Maybe it's a fantasy that only existed in a boy's heart... Let me tell you this story. This ancient book tells of a magical, and magnificent fairy tale... And the hero of this wondrous tale, whose name is...
Dark Cloud is a PS2RPG developed by Level-5. It was released in 2001.Colonel Flag has had a dark ritual performed to release the Dark Genie, which he plans to use to take over the world. The ritual goes as planned and the Dark Genie is released, killing everyone in the temple except Flag. He uses its evil power to destroy several villages around the world.However the Fairy King was aware of this evil plan. He seals away the various buildings, people and objects around the towns in spheres called Atla. He entrusts a young boy named Toan with the Atlamilla, a magical stone that he can use to open the Atla and restore the towns, houses and people. Toan must travel the world picking up new allies and visiting the dungeons conveniently located right next to the towns to gather the Atlamilla, restore the world and destroy the Dark Genie.A sequel, Dark Chroniclenote known as Dark Cloud 2 in North America was released on 2003.Not to be confused with the Cloud of Darkness.
Anti-Villain: Seda. His goals were good, his methods questionable, and he did his best to fix things.
Background Music Override: The Gallery of Time. Considering that a), it signals the game's tone getting much darker, and b), the standard marbles-thrown-at-xylophone battle music is replaced with a song that's half Drone of Dread, it's effective.
The translation is very inconsistent and contains many Spell My Name with an S disrepancies. Muska Racka is referred to as Muska Lacka in the map, while both Mikara and Mikala are used to refer to Ungaga's girlfriend.
There are also word salad problems, such as when "Osmond is now joined the ally," or plain awkward phrasing when your characters' stats increase. "Maximum Value of thirst meter of Xiao increased 1 point."
There are also multiple instances in the menus when the text wraps into places where it shouldn't.
The Call Knows Where You Live: The adventure begins with the Dark Genie wiping Toan's village off the map and the Fairy King saving him. He can start fixing things as soon as he's collected Atla from the first floor of the first Dungeon.
Can't Catch Up: Very easy to invoke. Fortunately, you can avoid it by beating a monster to an inch of its life with a strong character, then having a weaker character finish it off. Unfortunately, it's very easy to kill a monster by accident if you're in the middle of a combo.
Subvertable through the use of Synthspheres.
Cat Girl: Xiao is a cat given human form by Toan's potion. Predictably, she has the ears, bell and tail.
Character Select Forcing: Several dungeons force you to use a particular character on any floor - the final dungeon has a whole stream of these.
The Final Boss also REQUIRES you to have at least one ranged character capable of dealing damage to stronger monsters.
Cherry Tapping: The default weapon for each character can still be used after it breaks to prevent the game from potentially breaking completely, but each strike will only do 1 damage. Certain bosses have been known to have been defeated by this.
Cool Clear Water: The mysterious Healing Springs that can randomly appear in stages. Stepping into them completely restores your HP and thirst, no matter how many times they're used. Monsters are incapable of entering them.
Drought Level of Doom: The original Dark Cloud had a notoriously bad reputation for this. Whether your item broke, you ran out of repair power, had no antidotes (and thus had to wait in a healing spring until you were brave enough to leave) or water, the game did its best to narrow down your perishable items to slim to none.
Duel Boss: Several, especially when the character has a personal issue with the enemy.
Dummied Out: The "back" part of the Gallery of Time was made inaccessible in the American release because they forgot to add the key that unlocks it.
Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors: Almost every monster has some elemental affinity, and it's possible through careful crafting to attune your weapons to beat them easily. Some enemies take no damage from weapons with elemental attributes set to "on". Sorry, Ruby.
Equipment-Based Progression: You can increase your characters' Health and Thirst meters, but you can only increase damage by adding enhancements to their weapons and, eventually, building them up into bigger weapons. You do find new weapons occasionally, but after you've built up one weapon a couple times, even the mightiest new weapons start to pale.
The Fetch Quest lasting through the majority of the game that rewards you with the special Sun weapon attachment requires you to get a Candy item from Claude in Norune Village by completing his house and initiating his event in the morning. Failing this, your last chance to get Candy is from Couscous in Matataki Village. Fail to do that, and the attachment is Lost Forever.
While you can upgrade your weapons to stronger forms, some are blatantly better than others. For instance, without a guide, you could end up with a 'Sword of Zeus' (199 ATK at max) instead of a 'Chronicle Sword' (250 ATK at max). Or a 'Tall Hammer' (260 ATK max) instead of the 'Inferno' (350 ATK max). Nobody wants second best when putting a lot of effort into grinding a weapon, right?
Heroic Mime: The main character never speaks, at least not in a way the player can understand.
Hope Spot: All of that effort building the Sun Giant has finally paid off! You've just beaten the Dark Genie in a DBZ-esque cutscene! Nope. The Dark Genie you've been working to beat this whole time was actually a rat trapped inside the urn with the REAL Dark Genie for many years, absorbing some of its power. The REAL Dark Genie has possessed Colonel Flag, who proceeds to effortlessly one-shot the Sun Giant.
Inexplicable Treasure Chests: As you continue to rebuild your cities, treasure chests with valuable fusion stones and your characters' favorite foods appear out of the woodwork. The game says that they'll be 'explained later'. It was in fact Seda who put them there. He explicitly tells Simba that he was watching you and placing them there to help you.
Informed Ability: The Dark Cloud. Despite being an evil weapon, it has no effect on gameplay in either game, other than being one of the better weapons.
One Man Party: Unless you have an unhealthy and masochistic obsession with level-grinding, the vast majority of your resources will go into building up Toan (understandable as he's the main protagonist) and a long-range combatant (likely Ruby).
Power-Up Food: Appears in the forms of "favourite foods" for each character that would raise their defense. Also, Gourds that increased the thirst meter and Fruits of Eden that increase the health meter.
Press X to Not Die: There are several segments called "Duels" where the player must input a specific sequence of buttons to win, and one wrong move results in failure. Unfortunately, most are required to advance in the story. Thankfully, you get infinite tries. Completing the sequence with perfect timing nets you a rare gem attachment for your skill. Or patience.
Randomly Generated Levels: Every dungeon floor not containing a scripted event or boss battle is randomly generated each time you play it. Sometimes the exit is even located right next to the entrance, although you still need to find the key to get out.
Stable Time Loop: Twice, mostly the final story dungeon and ending. Time travel Seda kills himself so Toan can travel back to before he unleashed the Dark Genie in an attempt to erase its origin point. Being the personification of hate (it says so itself), it exists outside of time and cannot be vanquished as long as human hatred runs pure (though its definition of "human" seems to include Moon People, i.e. its presence in the bonus dungeon in Chronicle). Despite failing to prevent its release, Toan and his friends are able to seal it back into non-Time Travel Seda. After bringing back Sophia's soul by sacrificing the Atlamillia, Toan and Xiao return to a version of their time line where the Dark Genie was never unsealed. In order for any of this to happen at all, there has to be one instance of Seda who did release the Dark Genie and use the Forbidden Spell to travel forward in time, creating an infinite number of Sedas who both do and don't time travel.
Timey-Wimey Ball: Figuring out how all this history rewriting should have worked, rather than how it actually did, will make your brain explode.
Unwinnable by Mistake: Possible in Matataki Village. To get past the Level 9 dungeon level here, you need an Odd Tone Flute. To get it, you need to complete Cacao's house. However, it's entirely possible to finish other houses before that, locking the Georama pieces to them permanently. And since you can't get any more Atla because you're stuck at the Level 9 dungeon... well, let's just say you're completely screwed. Moral of the story: don't build ANYTHING until Cacao's house is finished. Placing rivers to revive Treant is fine, though.