"I am Alpha, the beginning... AND THERE SHALL BE NO END!"
La Cicatriz de Dhux / Dhux's Scar is a Spanish RPG by Erilex that was later translated into English. It contains unorthodox battles and a deep and interesting story rife with religious overtones. Nothing is as it seems in Dhux's Scar; the plot will take so many twists and turns that sometimes it can be hard to keep up.Once, an angel tried to overthrow God. But he was defeated, and his followers expelled from Heaven. His name was Dhux. God forgave him, but engraved a scar on his forehead and forced him to wander the earth, powerless and forever bearing the wounds he received. However, Dhux betrayed God's trust. Even without his powers, he used his guile and poisonous tongue to turn men against each other, causing wars that claimed the lives of thousands. Enraged by this, God cursed Dhux to be punished for all eternity. However, because Dhux is a divine being, he cannot be truly killed. Every 500 years, he is reborn, and the people are tasked with seeking him out and killing him.So the story goes, but as one will soon find out, there's more to the story than it appears. The plot follows a weakling merchant called Elijah, a young girl called Celliann, and Faye, an androgymous bodyguard and old acquaintance of Elijah's. Faye is the only one of these characters that is really cut out for combat; Celiann is about as useful as you'd expect a little girl to be and Elijah can only dish out real damage by using magical amulets that are in limited supply. (Even then, a single regular attack from Faye usually deals comparable damage)It can be downloaded here.
Awesome, but Impractical: Unholy Prayer. It reduces the HP of all opponents to 1 without fail, even on bosses, but costs 2 PE to use and can therefore backfire horribly later.
Arguably amulets as well. While they allow Elijah to do far more damage, each cost 100 gold. Put that money towards a cheap MP restoring potion to Faye magic and let him take care of the rest and your get far more bang for your buck. The later in the game the more cost-inefficient the amulets get as healing items provide increasingly more mana.
Then again the game, to a lesser extent then some games, has Money for Nothing, so why not use some of it to speed up a boss battle?
Body Snatcher: The mysterious "Shadowy Figure", a.k.a. Elijah. Yes, it's a Mind Screw. Turns out that Elijah the protagonist is actually Sybil, who s/he thinks is dead. But actually, Elijah was the one who died that day and has been trying to hijack Sybil's body and effectively resurrect himself. In the bad ending, it actually happens.
Also the Mysterious Merchant's wares if you use Merchant's Soul. Many of them are Infinity Minus One Swords or at the very least comparable to endgame equipment. They're expensive, sure, but if you buy some you won't need to buy any more equipment for that character.
Fun with Acronyms: SerenityAbsolutionFreedomEternity and Emotional Data Evolution Network.
They actually made more sense in spanish: Sistema (System)Absoluto (Absolute)Felicidad (Happiness)Eterna (ethernal), which translates to Absolute System of Ethernal Happiness. Esfera De Emociones Negativas, or, in english, Negative Emotions Sphere, which itself is a funny acronym if you think about it.
Gambit Pileup: To start with, Elijah and Celliann are both trying to fool each other into not suspecting anything simultaneously. But there's also Alpha, who has a multi-million year-spanning gambit to destroy Omega. Jazz and Samael, on the other hand, ultimately use their knowledge of Alpha's plot to execute their own plan to fulfill the prophecy.
Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Although there's a boss at the end of almost every dungeon, the game does a good job of avoiding this. The only exceptions are the Great Blue Beast and Adult Itargo. Balbersky may or may not count as well.
Go Through Me: A variation; it's the good (ish) guy getting stopped. Nimue does this when Halbarad is about to kill Valedar. However, this is subverted when Nimue says she's willing to die for Valedar, Halbarad simply says, "Then die," and kills her. (Does not end well; it causes a major Freak Out! on Valedar's part and makes him explode.)
Gorn / Cruel and Unusual Death: Oh so much of it. Many, many people die in this game, often graphically and in extremely gory and bloody ways. A few examples: heads exploding into blood, someone getting ripped in half while screaming for mercy, and someone getting impaled and skewered from inside.
Kill 'em All: Only Samael and Sybil die prior to the ending, but since the entire point of the plot is to destroy the world, this is a given. However, everyone either gets reincarnated or goes to Heaven, so this is actually a rather benign example.
Lighter and Softer: The post-Impure Chrysalis part of the game. The gore turns down, the party entirely consists of sympathetic people and you're not in a constant threat of getting butchered by random monsters anymore.
Love Makes You Evil: Celliann loves God, but ever since he made the humans he became more and more distracted with them. She believes that if she kills all of them, God will love her again. Cruelly subverted; he doesn't actually love her and all of his actions are an attempt to kill her.
Inverted with her relationship with Sybil, however.
The Omniscient Council of Vagueness: Diviel's demon council. The game sets them up to be major villains, but this is subverted. All you get to fight is three members, then Halbarad shows up and massacres them. Turns out they weren't major characters at all; they were just Sacrificial Lambs.
One-Winged Angel: Celliann when she turns into the Impure Chrysalis. Also, Gabrielle.
Save The World: Inverted and played straight at the same time; in order to save the universe and afterlife, you need to destroy the planet the game takes place in, which is dangerously past its expiration date.
Schizo Tech: Justified; the world before the Crisis of Faith was one of high technology, but after the Crisis happened, most of it was lost, and of that, only some of it is approved for use by the Church.
Underrated And Overleveled: Averted. The main characters are a mercenary, a traveling merchant, and a, supposedly, teenage girl. These characters are *exactly* as strong as they should be according to their backgrounds. The mercenary with his high stats, and special abilities (including the only healing spell in the game) pretty much wins every battle single handedly. The merchant has 1/3 the mercenaries maximum health, does 1/4 the damage with regular attacks and doesn't have any special attacks to spend his MP on. Though he has some great abilities to help get cheaper or special items from merchants and can do compable damage to the mercenary by throwing amulets only he can use, but the cost of purchasing all those amulets add up so rapidly that it's cheaper to let the mercenary deal with everything and put the savings towards healing items. Meanwhile the girl is every bit as worthless as one would expect from an inexperienced girl (usually), Her damage is so pathetic that if not overleveled many enemies will No Sell her attacks, she has the lowest health and defense and spends every single encounter defending and nothing else; to the point that having her in the party starts to feels like a game long Escort Mission.
Old Man: Serena is a small fishing village located to the south of Jehridan. Elijah: To think the day would come when I would find information like this to be of any use... Faye: We usually arrive in most towns through more conventional means.
Well-Intentioned Extremist: Alpha is revealed to be this right at the very end, where it's revealed that he has a very good motive to destroy the entire SAFE/EDEN system; when Administrators die, they just end up with complete oblivion; no SAFE or reincarnation. Their methods are still quite objectionable, however, and it comes too late to stop the climatic Curb-Stomp Battle.
However, if some lines of dialog hold truth to them, then the administrators would still exist if someone found happiness with them, which is why Celliann exists in SAFE with Sybil.
World Half Empty: The world is filled with corrupt, unpleasant people and ruled by an autocratic, militaristic Church and a psychotic God. The alternative to living under the Church's protection is to suffer nightmarish attacks by demons.
Wrong Genre Savvy: Alpha. "I am the hero of this story, you see. I am the rebel, the one who stands against the system! Isn't that the kind of character you humans idolize the most?!"