King Krichevskoy, the mighty ruler of the Netherworld... His long reign came to an abrupt end as the news of his death spread throughout the dark land. Ambitious demons rose one after another to seize the opportunity, and thus began the age of turbulence and anarchy. Two years later... —Opening Monologue
Allergic To Evil: Angel trainees like Flonne sicken and die in the Netherworld without a protective pendant.
Allergic to Love: Laharl has a big-time phobia for "happy feelings". One stage uses this against him and cuts his stats in half.
All There in the Manual: Mid Boss/Vyers is actually Laharl's father, which is never stated outright in the game. There are several scenes that make it pretty obvious, however.
Supposedly, the artbook confirms that it was actually Flonne who killed Laharl in the Kill Hoggmeiser ending. The game itself doesn't state it, but the background of the credits and the name of the song that plays appear to imply the opposite.
American Kirby Is Hardcore: Though none of the actual artwork changes, the voiceacting between English and Japanese gives very large differences in tone of character. Examples include Japanese Thursday being a oddly-cute sounding robot (voiced by a woman) while English Thursday is an instant Bad Ass (voiced by a man). It's then inverted when taking on the Alternate Overlord in Chapter 6 (Afternoon of Darkness); he sounds exactly the same from huge to small in Japanese; In English, he goes from a booming voice, to a multiple-helium-based voice.
Artifact Title: Etna still calls the game by its original name, "Hour of Darkness," in the remake despite the remake's name being changed to "Afternoon of Darkness."
Artificial Stupidity: Enemies are willing to hit their allies if an attack will hit one of your units. This itself isn't so bad, except when they combine this mistake with making poor use of attacks that reposition targets, often as the first move in a series of attacks. Additionally, specialists will suicide charge their way into as many enemy units as possible, which contributes to Fake Difficulty in subduing them.
Asskicking Equals Authority: When the dark assembly rejects one of your propositions, you can use the "Persuade by force" option and make the senators agree with you by beating them up.
Badass Normal: Jennifer is a potent fist user with better resilience than most stages of (demon) brawlers.
Played with because Laharl suspects that the retainers were hiding in the forest to ambush him but decided to help instead.
Big "NO!": Gordon pulls this when he's finally aware that he can't escape from the Netherworld, due to the spaceship that he arrived in being broken into several pieces.
Bilingual Bonus: In the English localization, among the voice samples that were not dubbed was that of the Samurai and Ninja classes.
Bittersweet Ending: The "normal" ending, gained upon beating the game after accidentally (or deliberately) killing someone in your party, is a huge downer. The "good" ending (beat the game without accidentally killing your own party members at all) is the one considered canon, however.
Bonus Level Of Hell: Inverted...every level except for the last two takes place in the Netherworld.
Boobs of Steel: Jennifer, who's a straight up brawler, although the creatable girl brawlers are otherwise flat.
Becomes literally true when Jennifer becomes a modified cyborg. Indeed, when the characters imagine what she looks like, she is pictured with machine-gun boobs.
Boring Yet Practical: The first-level Fist ability, Triple Strike. 6 SP, first ability learned, knocks target back a square. Perfect for knocking Geo Symbols out of No Lift areas and Gatekeepers off the exit portal in Item World.
Breather Episode: Probably the reason for Captain Gordon, Defender of Earth! and company getting introduced right after Chapter 8.
Brutal Bonus Level: Etna Mode in the remakes, especially if you play it via New Game Plus. Enemy levels start in the 70s, the same as the end game enemies of the base game, but they rise very quickly, and in just a couple episodes you're going to be facing down Level 100+ enemies, and in the final episode, they're going to rise to Level 200+.
Celibate Hero: Laharl, though it seems to be more a matter of his relative youth.
Chekhov's Gun: Flonne's pendant, specifically how it burns those with wicked hearts - note that Laharl is not burned by it when she gives it to him in the last chapter.
The Chessmaster: Seraph Lamington. Towards the end of the game, he shows just how intelligent he really is as the game reveals that many of the events in the story are essentially a intricate Batman Gambit to bring peace between Celestia and the Netherworld. Cunning enough to even use the plots of his treacherous renegade second in command to his advantage (and dispose of the traitor). Even his battle with Laharl was part of his plan (how well this works depends on the ending). A rare example of a non-evil chess master.
Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Laharl can be very hard to take seriously at first, being a loudmouthed scrawny brat, but as is quickly revealed, he's more than powerful enough to take (and keep) the position of Overlord.
Cute Witch: Apparently, Laharl's mother was one of these.
Flonne could be considered one as well, though she's technically a trainee angel turned fallen angel. Laharl does mention that Flonne is like his mother; though he was referring to her talk of love and demeanor, they may be similar in other ways too.
Deal with the Devil: In an Etna mode chapter break, she offers to beat up bullies harassing a 7-year old kid, in exchange the kid's servitude as a prinny after he dies. Seeing as this is Etna, a nearby prinny immediately objects.
Defrosting Ice Queen: Laharl makes quite a bit of progress in this direction, but never completely stops being an arrogant brat.
Departure Means Death: Angel Trainees cannot survive in the Netherworld unaided for long periods of time. The fourth chapter centers around this when Volcanus steals Flonne's pendant that stabilized her.
Did Not Die That Way: Laharl believed that his father had died choking on a dark pretzel, but in reality King Krichevskoy perished fighting Baal.
Difficulty Spike: The game gets considerably harder after you meet the Earth Defense Force army.
Disc One Nuke: If by "disc one," you mean "the game proper." It's entirely possible to completely walk over the main game simply by using Laharl exclusively, building his sword skill and having him leveled well past the enemies, with occasional dips into Item World for Level Grinding and building up his items and specialists. Don't try this in the bonus content though.
Flonne can be this as well, with good planning. By assigning her the right pupils, she can basically be a Prism or Galaxy Mage long before you could ever hope to unlock such a class. See Magikarp Power below.
Double Entendre: Done by Laharl three times note "Try to make a fool of me? I'll make you moan in pain!" "If you want to show your gratitude, you can repay me with your body." "Well, maybe he'll be more submissive with a little physical persuasion.", which is then lampshaded each time by Etna note "Prince, did you mean to say, scream in pain?" "Hmmm... I never knew you were like that..." "Uh... Prince, I hope you didn't mean it THAT way..."
Not to mention a large portion of Jennifer's dialogue.
Dual Meaning Chorus: The lyrics to "Red Moon" in chapter 8 first refer to the Prinnies being literally reborn... and then, repeated at the end, refer to Laharl being figuratively reborn by rediscovering love.
DVD Commentary: Spoofed with the "Prinny Commentary" on the DS version, activated with a New Game Plus (which means can be unlocked from the first Mid-Boss fight).
Elemental Tiers: The various tiers of Dragon and Great Wyrm monster classes have many variants of skills that differ only in the element. For the Dragon class, each tiers learn different combinations of elemental skills, although only the weakest one learn any Wind. For the Great Wyrm class, the first tier learns Fire skills, the second one learns Wind, and the third Ice. The fourth and fifth are Non-Elemental, and the sixth and final tier learns Fire again.
Elite Tweak: The point of the bonus portion of the game (which is at least as big as the game proper) is to twink yourself to the max.
Everyone Calls Him Barkeep: "From now on, your name is Mid-boss!" Notably, everyone in the game calls him that after that scene, and his name in dialogue boxes changes as well. (At one point, he accidently calls himself mid-boss.)
Expy: Aside from having tighter pants and a much prettier face, Mid-Boss' sprite resembles a recolored Alan from La Pucelle.
Failure-to-Save Murder: Kurtis' family got killed and he personally holds Captain Gordon accountable for this, even though the latter wasn't involved in this in any way. As far as Kurtis is concerned, though, Gordon didn't do his job as a Defender of Earth and should be replaced.
Fanfare: "Anthem of Braves", for Captain Gordon and his crew.
Green Aesop: When Jennifer asks Laharl if he's really not planning to invade Earth, he replies, "Earth is that planet where humans foolishly pollute their own environment, right? Why would I be interested in that?" To further drive the point home, the Prinny commentary in the DS version adds, " Man, that's harsh. It's pretty much the end of it, if a demon says that about you."
Carter justifies invading the Netherworld because mankind needs a new home when Earth becomes uninhabitable. Laharl's response? "Clean up your own damn mess!" You can't get more direct than that.
Heavy Sleeper: Laharl, who at the beginning of the game spends two years taking a ten day nap! It was the result of being poisoned.
Hell Invades Heaven: This is what the last few levels are based around. You're the one controlling The Legions of Hell. It turns out to have been a part of a plan cooked up between the guy in charge of heaven and Laharl's father to make sure he ends up as a Noble Demon.
Her Code Name Was Mary Sue: Etna loves doing this during most of her chapter previews, particularly the one for episode 6. Laharl and Vyers provide snark.
Heroes Prefer Swords: Played straight by Laharl for promotional images and cut-scenes. Being a humanoid character, however, the player can choose to equip him with any weapon. In fact, he's one of the few in the first Disgaea to be highly proficient with multiple weapons. *
He has an A ranked proficiency with all melee-type weapons (Fists, Swords, Spears, and Axes) and even a bow
Hub Level: Laharl's castle acts as your base of operations.
I Know Karate: Jennifer does. Hilariously, the Art Book even goes so far as to say that this makes her stronger than Gordon.
I Made Copies: In episode 5 Maderas sends a challege to Laharl to contend for overlordship on the back of a embarrassing photo, he threatens to scatter copies of set photo all across the Netherworld if Laharl does not comply.
Infinity–1 Sword: Class-wise, the Angel. 100% aptitude in all stats save for 110% Resistance, A-level skill with four weapon types and B-rank in a fifth, great base stats, and they naturally learn Heal spells up to Omega Heal, Espoir, and a tier of elemental spells up to Omega. They're unlocked much simpler than the Majin and can still kick a lot of ass until you unlock them.
Infinity+1 Sword: The Majin. 110% aptitude in all stats, 120% at higher levels, S-rank skill with all weapons, and huge base stats. The catch is unlocking them requires five specific jobs all in the party at once at Level 200. Once you do unlock them, aside from reincarnating mages as different types to learn new spells, there's little reason to not reincarnate your entire team as Majin.
Lethal Joke Character: Scouts and Thieves. They have mostly low stats and aptitudes and poor weapon skills outside of Guns. But in the Item World they shine. Scouts can use Dark Cannon to blast out-of-reach enemies from across the map and Geo Change to shift up troublesome Geo Panel set-ups, while Thieves can throw teammates farther than any other class to move them across the map quickly and they can use stealing items to grab rare and powerful equipment off of enemies for free.
Love Freak: Named for Flonne, who was very fond of talking about love and kindness, in contrast to Laharl and Etna, who are both demons and have no use for that stuff.
Or so they say.
Magikarp Power: Flonne again. She starts out really weak, but if you assign Mages and Skulls as apprentices to her, she can learn magic abilities that surpass just about any other character you can create.
Mood Whiplash: In Episode 7, you have to bring back Aramis' zombies (including the one with the Horse Weiner). Episode 8 is a Tear Jerker in which even the battle music is depressing. In Episode 9 we meet none other than CAPTAIN GORDON, DEFENDER OF THE EARTH! . (Yeah, it's just fun to say.)
Multiple Endings: At least eight endings not counting the general Game Over screen.
The Good Ending, which is canon: Laharl beats Lamington down, but stops before inflicting lethal damage since Flonne wouldn't want him to and begins to sacrifice himself to turn her back to normal. Mid Boss stops him and reveals it wasn't a permanent transformation, after which Celestia and the Netherworld begin making steps towards peace. Reguires you not triggering any other ending.
The Normal Ending: Laharl kills Lamington in a rage and then does sacrifice himself to turn Flonne back. Etna becomes the new Overlord and Laharl apparently shows up again... as a prinny. Requires one or more team kills.
Item God 2 ending: Laharl near fatally wounds Lamington and decides he is not ready to be Overlord yet, abdicating the throne to Etna and dedicating himself to Walking the Earth at least for the time being. Requires you to have defeated the Item God 2 at the bottom of a level 40 item.
Dark Assembly Ending: Laharl picks Flower Flonne and vanishes. Requires passing at least one hundred bills by force by the final level.
Flonne Tragedy Ending: Laharl decides to go through with killing Hoggmeiser but Flonne stops him with lethal force. Requires fifty team kills by the end of the third chapter and choosing to kill him.
Maderas Ending: Maderas is killed instead of recruiting as well as Flonne when she tries to stop it from happening. Laharl follows before too much time passes. Requires one hundred team kills by the end of the fifth chapter and choosing to kill him.
Human World Ending: Laharl takes a side trip before confronting the final boss and takes over the Earth instead. Requires unlocking the Human World map and defeating the last level.
Mid Boss ending: Without intending to Vyers defeats you in battle and decides to just run with it.
Murder Is the Best Solution: Passing bills in the Dark Assembly is not a simple matter of just winning a majority vote, you have to win by a margin greater than the mana cost of the bill you're trying to pass. For the larger bills this ranges from difficult to flat impossible, particularly as many have penalties that make normally neutral senators dislike the bill proposed and there's no way you can win by 1000+ votes. The only way to get a bill passed once it is voted against is to kill off the opposing senators. Unlocking all the optional areas and getting your party's power to the highest limit will require you to regularly mass murder senators in order to pass your bills by force.
Mundane Made Awesome: The Dark Assembly voting is done with a rapid-fire sequence of senators casting their votes as tallies for Yay and Nay at the top of the screen count up, and when voting is concluded the word "Rejected" or "Passed" appears in large black letters as the screen turns dark red or lights up in bright yellow depending on the result, appropriate music accompanying.
The Napoleon: Laharl, according to official sources, is about 4'3". The ridiculously oversized scarf he wears is an attempt on his part to mask this fact.
Never Trust a Trailer: Parodied with Etna's implausible next episode previews at the end of each chapter. Except for the one for episode 9 which sounds just as implausible but turns out to be mostly correct.
Noble Demon: Laharl, after some character development, in the anime and in the canon ending. He's still a brat, though.
Noob Bridge: If you've never played the game before, the first battle with Mid-Boss can be incredibly difficult because it's the first level where Geo Effects play a large role, as well as being the first level where you're supposed use the throwing mechanic. If you forget that you can toss your troops to the Geo Effects rather than trying to get there normally, most of your team will be dead before you get a second turn.
Noodle Incident: Episode 5 gives us the "embarrassing picture". All we ever know about the picture is Laharl's reaction◊ to said picture and that it's something Flonne never expected Laharl to have done.
Just before that, Etna talks to Flonne about how some guy pissed her off so in response she "kicked him right there".
Norio Wakamoto: The DS version opens with a gloriously hammy "NIPPON ICHI SOFTOWEAHHH PUREZENTSU", and the rest of the narration just needs to be heard to be believed.
Obfuscating Stupidity: Vyers aka Mid-Boss. It's also spoofed when, after an incredibly serious scene where he chews out General Carter and informs him he's cruising for an Ironic Hell, he then congratulates himself for being awesome.
Oedipus Rex: Laharl's relationship with the former Overlord, King Krichevskoy. It later turns out his old man is Not Quite Dead...just reincarnated in the form of one-man Goldfish Poop Gang Mid-Boss. It also doesn't help that the UST between Laharl and Flonne starts creeping up when Etna mentions that she acts an awful lot like his late mother.
Only the Pure of Heart: Vyers The Dark Adonis Mid-Boss can touch Flonne's pendant (which harms evil) without being punished. He says that "the heavens wouldn't punish such a pure heart as mine". This is foreshadowing, as he is King Krichevskoi, and working with Seraph Lamington in a Batman Gambit (it depends on the actions of the player) to make his son a better person (or demon).
Over Rated And Under Leveled: Kurtis pulls a Big Damn Heroes and joins your party... at level 50, at a point your party should be level 60 (150 is easy at this point if you try). This makes him pretty ineffective on the monsters you were "saved" from.
The scene actually spoofs itself - Kurtis's Big Damn Heroes moment is instantly undermined by his newfound status as a Prinny, and nearly gets laughed off the stage by the heroes before they finally accept his help.
Peninsula of Power Leveling - Several. Which is natural, given the insanely high level cap. One level in particular is peppered with Succubi and Kit-Kats, and aside from one square at the far end of the map, everyone is invincible. So the trick becomes to lob the monsters onto one another, creating one much stronger femme fatale which can be trapped in the single vulnerable square and whittled down.
An even more effective one is in the Cave of Ordeals - though you have to be pretty high-leveled already just to make it there. There are no invincibility squares, but the entire map is covered in a "+50% EXP" Geo Effect, and the nine monsters on the map (already of a class that grants the highest experience per level) are arranged in a convenient 3x3 clump for efficient disposal. Happy slaying!
At the highest levels (mostly useful for embarking on a career of making maxed-out Divine Majins with 185,000 stored levels; not really that useful for regular play), Beauty of Evil. It can be cleared in 45 seconds if you're properly prepared, and in so doing, provides the highest XP-to-time ratio in the game. Since this is Disgaea, players have gotten BoE runs down to a mathematical formula for maxing out your characters as efficiently as possible.
The PSP and DS remeake gave us the Demonhall Mirror. Like Cave of Ordeals 3 this one had 9 Galactic Demons in a 3x3 formation. However it has 2 EXP +50 effect and the monsters are of higher levels and tiers. However you have to fight you way through Bonus Bosses such as Serra Winguard, The alt. Overlord, Laharl's dad's vassals and Adell and Rozalin before getting to the grinding first.
Pet Monstrosity: Episode 7 involves helping a kid find his pet zombie. Etna also kept zombies as pets when she was a child.
The Power of Love: Subverted. When a massive AU overlord decides to off Laharl and snatch his throne, Flonne claims that the Overlord can't win, as he lacks the enough Love (TM) to defeat them...just before she, Laharl and Etna get their asses massively handed to themselves.
The Power of Friendship: Towards the end of the game, a force field needs to be broken past, the happy-go-lucky Captain Gordon, Defender of Earth! and his team are ready to go with this, Laharl and his crew (sans Flonne, who's even more enthusiastic than Captain Gordon, Defender of Earth!) all sound like they're being made to go take Piano lessons or something. It works anyway.
Flonne actually has a special technique called "The Power of Love". It's a healing technique, naturally.
A very important point the game, the main plot actually revolves around this. Seraph Lamington and Laharl's father wanted to see if angels and demons can love each other and co-exist. The whole reason why Flonne was sent to the Netherworld was so she could develop a bond with Laharl and Etna. Then, Lamington pretends to kill Flonne to see the reaction that that bond has created; he almost ends up dead for it in the canon ending and did end up dead for it in the alternate ending.
Rage Against the Heavens: Laharl's plot to rule the Netherworld in Disgaea eventually extends to Celestia and in a silly optional side-quest, the Human World. Possibly subverted, as Celestia did attack first, after all.
Rapid Fire Interrupting: Captain Gordon, DEFENDER OF EARTH!'s infamous interrupting Etna in the end of Episode 9. Which ends with...
Etna: "Ha ha ha ha", MY ASS!! *gunshot, beating sounds*
Red Oni, Blue Oni: Inverted. Cool blue-haired Laharl has an extremely short temper, while fiery red-haired Etna is calmer and (usually) more rational.
Rounded Characters: Each of the three main characters got a great spectrum of emotions, possesses a wide variety of personality traits that that can be categorized as virtues, flaws and idiosyncrasies, struggles with internal conflict, learns and grows from their experience, got backstories and motivations that reinforces their behavior. Even the masterminds behind the plot get their fair share of hidden depth as well.
Say My Name: All up and down the final chapters of the first, mostly by Captain Gordon, DEFENDER OF EARTH!:
Flonne! (Laharl and Etna both yell Flonne's name at least twice apiece in the scene leading up to the final battle. Laharl gets one more in the good ending)
Prince!! (Title, not name, but close enough. Etna, in the good and normal endings, when Laharl is going to sacrifice himself for Flonne.)
Scripted Battle: Etna plays with this by scripting the tutorial battle to make you lose, to show the player what NOT to do.
Shoo Out the Clowns: Lampshaded in the DS version: During the New Game Plus, the Prinny commentary stops during really emotional scenes, usually prefaced with something to the tune of "I'll shut up for awhile." It's back as soon as the dialogue turns goofy again.
At the end of chapter 13, Etna's 'next episode' preview is completely serious and accurately describes the upcoming event, instead of the goofy and wildly inaccurate scenarios she usually predict. The others find this utterly terrifying.
When you encounter Vyers at the entrance to Celestia, Laharl calls him "Dark Adonis" instead of "Mid-Boss" as usual, recognizing that the guy may be more than he seems.
Laharl after Etna's spell bounces off Flonne and burns up his hair.
Too Awesome to Use: The DS and PSP re-releases add the ultimate Hand (stealing item), the Dream Hand. Hand success rate is based on HIT, and the Awesome hand, the best usually, maybe ballparks at just over 100 HIT without specialists and is Legendary Rare. Dream Hands ballpark at over 1500 HIT, almost always ensuring a successful steal and making them excellent for grabbing Legendary Rare top-rank items otherwise very difficult to grab. The catch? They have a range of one, forcing the Thief to get right next to their target to use them, and you can only get a handful on each playthrough of the story.
Torpedo Tits: The Prinny commentary jokes that when Jennifer is kidnapped, this might have been done to her.
Tsundere: Laharl comes pretty close to the textbook definition, when he finds Flonne's pendant, and when he follows her to Celestia.
Etna is is ridiculously Tsun to everyone but, if you read her diary, shows she has a pretty soft spot for the late King.
Unexplained Recovery: Laharl in the main ending of Etna mode. The shot that supposedly killed him just knocked him out for four episodes.
Unknown Rival: The sassy demon Vyers, whom the protagonists unflatteringly refer to as Mid-Boss.
Unreliable Narrator: Etna's On The Next monologues. Subverted in Chapter 9, when the (highly unlikely) introduction of Captain Gordon, Defender of the Earth plays out exactly as foretold, and then Chapter 14, when Etna's too disheartened to make up more tall tales.
Unwitting Pawn: Everyone is a pawn of Sereph Lamington. The most awesome part of this was that said gambit involved a three link chain of Xanatos Suckers (Gordon to General Carter to Vulcanus to Lamington).
Updated Rerelease: Afternoon of Darkness and DS are the same as Hour of Darkness, with a few new features.
Verbal Tic: Thursday's "BEEP BEEP BLIP BEEP", and the Prinny's "Dood".
What If?: Etna Mode in the two updated re-releases — what if Etna accidentally killed Laharl while trying to wake him up? On the one hand this results in Vulcanus being killed without contacting the EDF and thus the war that consumes the second half of the game never occurs. On the other hand because it's Etna doing all the work, Laharl never undergoes the Character Development intended by Vyers and Lamington, and Flonne is probably going to head back to Celestia once Vulcanus is taken care of. So a bit of a mixed bag.
Winged Humanoid: Flonne, though outside of one of her attacks, in which they spread out and grow, she's never seen actually flying with them. Etna also has wings, and in Disgaea 2, demonstrates that they actually grow to 3 times their normal size to allow for flight. Official art and a cutscene in Disgaea 2 also reveal that Laharl has a pair under the cape — and they're absolutely tiny.
With Catlike Tread: When Flonne infiltrates Laharl's castle, she loudly provides sound effects. note Whoosh! Nin nin nin!. Wumph!
You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: In Chapter 4, Maderas does this to Etna after she unwillingly betrayed Laharl. Fortunately, she foresaw this and her counter-plan was set into motion.
And near the finale, Lamington, as a reminder to the viewer that he truly is a badass, does this to Vulcanus by turning him into a flower as punishment for his sins (in Makai Senki Disgaea, he turned him into a frog) when Vulcanus gets a Villainous Breakdown upon finding out that he was an Unwitting Pawn and tries to kill him after he has served his purpose of bringing peace between Celestia, the human world, and the Netherworld. Serves that mad archangel right.