Video Game: Dirge of Cerberus aka: Dirgeof Cerberus
Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII is a sequel and spinoff of the whiplash-inducingly popularFinal Fantasy VII, and was released for the Sony PlayStation 2. Unlike other games in the series, Dirge is a Third-Person Shooter with RPG Elements, starring broody ally Vincent Valentine as he fights to come to terms with his past. Although nearly all of the Final Fantasy VII characters make some appearance, focus is off the main characters and onto ones who didn't get much screentime in the original. It includes a Retcon of a scene late in the game which assumed that Vincent and Yuffie, who were optional Secret Characters, were not in your party.Generally considered the weakest of the Compilation Of Final Fantasy VII, and has been criticized for camera, control and targeting issues and lack of difficulty. Its story has garnered mixed reviews.DOC takes place one year after Advent Children and infamously creates a tie-in with Crisis Core, released afterwards but canonically taking place before the original game. Said tie-in involves J-Pop star Gackt in a rare (for video games) live-action cameo.
This game contains examples of:
100% Completion: Doing all the missions and shooting all the little tubes to unlock everything.
Adaptation Expansion: Shinra Mansion sure got a lot bigger. While we're at it, just how many caverns are there under Midgar?
Aesop Amnesia: If you had Vincent in your party when fighting Hojo in the original game, he's shown to realize that Hojo was at fault for everything and that he doesn't need to "repent for his sins" any longer. Not only does he forget about that in this game, he angsts over it nonstop!
All There in the Manual: The online game reveals a lot more history about Deepground and the Tsviets, including the reason Weiss died and later got possessed by Hojo. Unfortunately this was Japan-only.
Arbitrary Headcount Limit: No matter what, you will never fight alongside any other main character. They will always just happen to be knocked out or somewhere else. The CG sequence that shows the WRO's assault on Midgar includes practically all the characters you'd want to fight alongside, along with Vincent. Of course, Vincent goes his own, separate route while the rest of the cast go elsewhere (Shelke even complains about it afterward, asking Vincent why he landed "several clicks off (his) target destination.").
Ascended Extra: Vincent, Lucrecia and Chaos were respectively an optional party member, a minor character and a Limit Break in the original game. In this game, Vincent is the protagonist, and Lucrecia and Chaos have major roles in the story.
Better to Die than Be Killed: Rosso. When you beat her, she stumbles to the edge of the building you're fighting on, declares "No one will stand above me!", cuts her chunk of floor away from the rest of the building, and laughs all the way down.
And yet, hilariously if you take her words at face value, the very way she kills herself leaves Vincent standing above her. As in, he's standing above her as she plummets to her death.
Badass Army: Deepground and World Regenesis Organization, once they decided to go offensive.
Badass Cape: Vincent, of course. One could make a case for Rosso and Azul as well.
Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: While she herself is not overtly malicious, the amount of horrible things that have happened in Vincent's life on account of Lucrecia is positively maddening. At least she's apologetic.
But the accent is so bad that even native Russian speaker can miss it.
Combos: Vincent can do kicks and punches in close quarters.
Continuity Cameo: Rufus is seen being loaded into an ambulance during the evacuation of Midgar as Meteor is starting to fall. It's explained in the novellas as having something to do with a trap door.
Continuity Snarl: Oh God. If the confusing as hell timeline wasn't bad enough, there's the fact that apparently Hojo decided to fuse with Omega after seeing Vincent in Chaos form during his boss battle during the original game, leading to him injecting Jenova cells in himself to help the process. Only... he injected Jenova cells into him before his boss battle (and thus before he saw Chaos) so he can even fight Cloud and co. And apparently after doing Cloud and co left, he changed back to his original form, uploaded himself on the Internet, and then died in a lightning strike during the final battle with Sephiroth. And there's much more than that.
Critical Hit: The aforementioned headshots, though it can happen other times too.
Crystal Prison: Lucrecia is revealed to be in one, apparently of her own free will.
Cutscene Power to the Max: And how! In fact, a large complaint with the game was how Vincent could pull off incredible acrobatics in cutscenes, but during gameplay could do no more than double jump, and even that was something that was added to the US/PAL version of the game.
Dead to Begin With: Weiss, in a manner of speaking. But "not for long", according to Nero. It turns out that he succumbed to a virus implanted in his body that would be activated if he killed his superiors, which he did.
Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Due to auto-saving, you have infinite continues and rarely have to redo more than a few minutes of exploration.
Since you get to keep all of the experience you earned and convert it to levels or Gil after you die, essentially restarting before the problem point with more resources at your disposal, death can be downright beneficial.
Department of Redundancy Department: As the Let's Play was fond of pointing out, "Nero the Sable", "Azul the Cerulean", and "Rosso the Crimson" literally translate to "Black the Black", "Blue the Blue", and "Red the Red", respectively.
Weiss the Immaculate might count, as immaculate deals with purity, a theme commonly represented by the color white in Western cultures. Only Argento and Shelke avoid this (Argento doesn't have a title as far as we know and amber is a translucent fossil resin, usually a deep yellowish-orange in color, not clear and transparent).
Difficulty By Region: The US release removed the Easy setting, changed the Limit Breaks to items, reduced the number of max slots per item and the money that can be obtained by selling them, and tweaked the enemy AI. On the other hand, it did improve the camera controls, lets Vincent double-jump, and increased Vincent's speed by 20% (American audiences can only boggle at how the original version must have played).
Escort Mission: Several of them, involving you trying your darndest not to get your allies killed. Fortunately if they do get killed, you just lose points.
Even Evil Has Loved Ones: The best trope is Nero. Despite his dark and creepy nature at times, he really does love Weiss and would do anything to protect him or being with him. Weiss also seems to feel the same toward him.
Evil Laugh: Weiss and Hojo. At first, you might think that Hojo is affecting the way that Weiss laughs, but the group laughter at the end of the Online Mode reveals that no, he just laughs like that naturally. Most of the Tsviets are also guilty of this — they may be evil, but they have a very healthy sense of humor.
Invisible Wall: Combined with Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence. While Vincent has to find keycards for the energy fences, he cannot, at any point, simply jump over or around them. Even in the US/PAL release, where he can jump higher than these energy fences.
Even more ridiculously, there is a point near the end of the game where Vincent has to crawl under a pipe. The problem is, there is nothing above the pipe. By all logic, Vincent should just be able to jump over it. But no, he has to use the pretty much useless crawl function.
This is also really confusing, because the opening FMV scene showed Vincent jumping from roof to roof, over helicopters, in ways that pretty much defy physics and would make any Olympic gymnast go, "Shit."
Also Yuffie. She goes all-out on her introduction when Vincent asks who she is, as she's wearing a cloak, for some unknown reason.
Left Hanging: The secret ending of Dirgeof Cerberus has not been picked up by any Final Fantasy media since. Genesis flies away with Weiss promising some mysterious new plan... which has never been followed up.
Little Miss Badass: Double subverted by Shelke. She really is a nineteen-year old teenager, but given that she is Not Allowed to Grow Up, she has the body of a nine-year old, yet is more than capable of kicking ass.
Lost Technology: Cid reveals he found the Shera buried in a cave underground, already constructed and more-or-less operational. This may be a Shout-Out to Final Fantasy VI and how Setzer recovers the Falcon, as well as the Final Fantasy tradition of having the heroes find relic airships from another age.
As mentioned in the game's intro, the big celebration taking place in Kalm is in recognition of the "Worldwide Network" being brought back online. Yes, they're celebrating getting the internet back for the first time in three years. At least Square knows its fanbase.
No Export for You: Want to make sense of the situation with Weiss? Or Deepground's origins and how they Turned Against Their Masters? Too bad, because all that stuff was only included in a Japan-only online mode where players would control a Deepground/WRO soldier in team-based battles. This was replaced with additional missions in the English version, without any of the online mode's storyline included.
Token Mini-Moe: Shelke. The creators tried to justify it by having her physically stop aging at nine, but that doesn't explain why they had to make her so disturbingly sexy for a pre-adolescent or one of the closest things to a love interest Vincent has.
Cait Sith is justified at least, supplementary material states that Reeve got the accent from the way his parents spoke. Also Cait Sith (pronounced "Kett Shee") is a mythological Gaelic creature whose name pretty much means "Cat Fairy".
Unwinnable by Mistake: The game auto-saves before and after most boss fights. It is possible to enter a boss fight without sufficient ammo and healing items to win.
However, the game averts the usual problem with autosaving by making separate save files for each checkpoint. Therefore, you can simply go back to the last checkpoint and replay up to that point. It's annoying, but at least you don't have to restart the entire game. Plus, there's usually a shop and some kind of sealed door just before it's about to hit the fan.
Villain Decay: Hojo. Even though he appears to be just as evil as he was in the original game, he is robbed of most of his actual character traits and becomes far more stereotypical, making it difficult for players to take him seriously. However, it is heavily implied that the reason for his more-stereotypical behavior was because he lost his sanity after his botched attempt at injecting himself with Jenova's cells.
Villainous Breakdown: Rosso and later Nero. Hojo had a gargantuan one when Weiss and Nero merged together, causing him to be slowly erased from existance.
Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: The Tsviets easily qualify. They had essentially been raised to be weapons by Shinra, so while they did do atrocious actions, the main characters also at the same time have some pity over them because of how they were raised.