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Video Game: DragonForce

A Real-Time Strategy game by Sega for the Sega Saturn involving war among eight nations of the continent of Legendra. It was localized by Working Designs.

Gameplay is split between administrative mode and campaign mode. Each nation starts with five generals, including the monarch. During campaign mode, generals and their troops are organized among castles and sent to capture enemy castles.

Combat plays out on a side-scrolling map with free-roaming camera, one army against one army until all generals are defeated on a side. Troops can be given preset attack patterns and generals can use magic skills to affect either army.

Administration mode allows equipping of items, strengthening of castles, searching for new items, honoring generals with combat awards (which grant more troops) and persuading captive generals to switch sides.

Defeating enemy monarchs causes them to either join as subservient generals or escape to fight another day. Once all nations are defeated, the eight monarchs learn they are the Dragon Force destined to fight the Dark God Madruk. Variations occur through each nation's path, making for excellent replayability.

It is a rare gem on the Saturn, and was critically praised for its addictive gameplay. From The Other Wiki: "Dragon Force won Electronic Gaming Monthly's Game of the Month award, as well as their Saturn Game of the Year award for 1996. EGM later ranked the game as #111 on their 'The Greatest 200 Videogames of Their Time."

This game contains examples of:

  • Absolute Cleavage - Astea is goddess of creation, but she could be the goddess of this as well.
  • Action Girl - Plenty
  • All Deserts Have Cacti - averted: there is not a single cactus in sight during desert battles, and the adventure map is too zoomed-out to make out such details anyway.
  • All There in the Manual - Working Designs put a lot of work into this one. Information ranges from the hilarious fact that Bozack's chief export is bananas to the useful Soldier Chart.
    • A more direct example is that the CD itself, when put into a PC, has additional story info in a plain text file going into more detail into Madruk's motivation and the ancient era mentioned in the introduction.
  • Always Save the Girl - if the player stops by at the Fiend Tower to recruit Vlad, a side story will open up, wherein Ryskim, Vlad's mortal enemy, takes over a random castle and taunts Vlad with his Brainwashed and Crazy girlfriend, Sierra. After you beat him, he comes back yet again, and captures a female general in order to lure out your monarch. For the other monarchs, the female in question is from their starting Five-Man Band, but for Wein? It's Teiris.
  • Amazon Brigade - to a certain extent. 3 out of Tristan's 5 starting generals (including the monarch) have harpies (the only clearly-female troop type) as their default troop type.
  • Amazon Chaser - Leon, who in his own words, strong women turn him on a lot.
  • Ambiguous Gender - Rykker and Ardor
    • Due to graphic constraints, Archer and Mage troops could belong to either gender.
    • Magician, Priest, and Thief generals use the same sprites regardless of gender. This is made worse by the Mook Lieutenant Magician generals, whose portraits are also ambiguous.
  • Anachronism Stew: Some snippets of dialogue obviously draws from modern history and pop culture. This is very common in English translated Japanese games to give variation to the dialogue. In the case of quasi-medieval fantasy, this trope is Older than You Think.
    • A Monty Python reference when you unuccessfully attempt to recruit a character: "Go away or I shall taunt you again."
    • One very agressive female character clearly refers to herself as a Dominatrix.
    • There's a character named Vlad. We usually associate certain things with this name. He lives up to most of them.
    • Grudar's references to Christie Love and his attack line "I'm gonna git you suckas!". Somewhat appropriate being that he's also the Token Black Guy.
    • The chief export of Gongos' kingdom is banannas.
    • Gongos punctuates some of his sentences with a drawn out "Yesssss!" Much like Megatron in Beast Wars.
    • If you take away an award or artifact, one character says: "Where I come from, we call that Indian Giver."
    • When Tieris tries to persuade Leon to join in their common cause, referring to Astea, he responds: "Astea? THE Astea? Never heard of her."
    • Gayrus's taunt is "You speak with the air of a true idiot. By perchance are you a member of the Lollard League?"
  • Ancient Artifact - You have to acquire a couple of these. Three, to be precise:
    • Magic Wand - The Moon Cane, useable by the casters (Teiris & Reinhart).
    • Power Fist - The Sun Bracelet, useable by the "brawlers" (Leon & Gongos).
    • Heroes Prefer Swords - The Stargem sword, useable by all the others (Wein, Goldark, Mikhal, and Junon).
  • Annoying Arrows - Archers are the weakest class (except when they battle Harpies)
  • Anti-Gravity Clothing - Half the generals' capes float.
  • The Apocalypse Brings Out the Best in People - Madruk's impending revival unites the entire continent.
  • Artificial Stupidity - CPU-controlled Gongos is this. If you attack him with melee troops, he'll often place his own troops in the "breach" formation, where the vast majority will be clustered around the middle rows of the battlefield. If you have a general with Sonic Wave (hits the centre 3 rows), or Sonic Blast (hits the centre 5 rows), you can easily decimate his army with just 1 or 2 spells.
  • Ass Kicks You - The female beast's version of the Sky Driver and Cross Rush will slam the opponent with her butt, several times in the case of the latter.
  • Attack! Attack! Attack! - issuing the "melee" command in battle causes all your surviving troops to blindly seek and destroy any remaining enemy troops, before making a beeline to the enemy general. Problem is, they cluster around the centre rows of the battlefield en route, and there is NO WAY to withdraw the order or change orders. Now, if the enemy general has a spell that hits the centre rows...
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning - Goldark's intro where he escapes from prison and kills his corrupt brother so he can realize his plan to unite the continent
  • Authority Equals Asskicking - The Monarchs
    • Applies as to all commanders. Even a low level mage general, the physically weakest commander, is much stronger any type of troop.
  • Babies Ever After: Teiris and Leon's endings. There's no offspring to be seen in their love interests' respective endings (Wein and Junon)
  • Badass - the Fandaria Empire, though played as the Big Bad if only for the first part of the story, is just full of this.
    • Even the SCENE in which Goldark's BFS's are introduced is badass! upon finding out Gyzzdark's plans, Goldark quickly asks Lyria (a waify nun who, by the way, is one of his inner circle of generals) to hand him a sword. She somehow manages to heft one of the BFS's over to him (a badass feat in it's own right, considering her build). Goldark then somehow cuts himself free, even when both his hands are shackled, picks up the second BFS, and brutally murders his own brother before he can cry for help or fight back. Oh, and did we mention that Goldark's been shackled like that for goodness knows how long? And he pulls off the entire stunt smoothly and flawlessly?
  • Badass Adorable - Teiris might be the sweetest Elf-girl in Legendra, but is fully capable of decimating an entire army with Dark Vortex (read: a black hole summoned above the battlefield that ONLY affects the enemy).
  • Badass Beard - Goldark, oh so much. Some other generals have this to a lesser extent.
  • Badass Grandpa/ Cool Old Guy - Tsugal: "There's no way I'm losing to a bunch of preening quakebuttocks!
  • Back from the Dead - Gyzzdark
  • Bald Black Leader Guy - Grudar. While not a leader, he probably would be if his leader Zanon wasn't a demonic Blood Knight with Nigh-Invulnerability
  • Bare-Fisted Monk - Plenty. Leon being the monarchical example.
  • Bare Your Midriff - the Spirit User generals.
  • Beast Man - Umm...the Beast Men
  • Berserk Button - Hayate's Dark and Troubled Past. Further elaborated upon when you meet Hayate when playing as Mikhal, because Mikhal was one corner of a Love Triangle, though he didn't win the girl in the end. When Kyoem killed Hayate's wife, the master ninja did NOT take it well. Thankfully, Mikhal's gracious enough to support Hayate's quest for revenge.
  • BFS - Goldark is probably the only character to dual-wield BFS's in the game, lending further weight to his badassery.
  • BGM - Each Monarch has their own, most of which fit in very nicely with their kingdom's profile.
    • Wein's is a rather catchy, brass-and-wind affair, which really brings out the heroic, Knight In Shining Armour spirit that Highland embodies.
    • Teiris and Reinhart use slow-paced, mystical sounding themes. Teiris's is more orchestral, with strings and gentle percussion, while Reinhart's has a strong xylophone and synthetic organ feel.
    • Leon's theme is strange in the sense that it doesn't quite match the "zen" feeling of monks...it's predominantly done with harpsichord, and is quite fast-paced.
    • Mikhal uses a beautiful melody of oriental strings and percussion that conveys Izumo's Wutai theme very well.
    • Gongos has a very tribal, shamanistic theme with a heavy emphasis on drums, perfect for the beast men.
    • Junon's theme might sound out of place at first, what with Tristan being a militaristic empire and all, but when you think about how she subverts so many evil tropes, the gentle, orchestral theme kind of makes sense.
  • Big Bad - Madruk
  • Big Damn Heroes - midway through the game, you're prompted to investigate the mysterious Shadow Tower. Inside, you meet Ramda, who helps you by revealing some of the plot. On your way back, you get ambushed by Gaul and Scythe, who simply stand up after you defeat them in battle, and are on the verge of killing the party when Frest and Ramda show up, prompting them to retreat.
  • Big Red Devil - Madruk is an interesting case, in that he appears to be a Big BROWN Devil.
  • Bishōnen - the Archer troops (which are Elves, so this is a given), and many, many male generals, especially Scar of Tristan, and Yuri.
  • Black and White Morality - Classic story of Good vs. Evil
  • Black Knight - Subverted by Junon and Gulen, who are good.
    • Wein is an inversion of this trope: he wears a helmetless white armor.
  • Blessed with Suck - Zanon with Eclisis
  • Blood Knight - Zanon
    • From Trandor, we have Presto, whose profile states that he enjoys using violent spells in combat, all while wearing a Nice Hat, a monocle, and a tuxedo!
    • From Palemoon, we have Reiner, who outright states in his Pre-Asskicking One-Liner that he's become a "battle junkie"!
  • Blow You Away - Hyperstorm and Megatornado. Also, the Spirit User's summon, Wind Dancer.
    • Interestingly, mooks hit by the first 2 spells are only taken out of combat, and are returned to the general afterward if they win the battle.
  • Calling Your Attacks - Often used to hilarious effect, thanks to Working Designs.
    • Rudger of Highland is particularly notable:
      • Sonic Boom (basic fighter spell): "No one does it like Rudger! Atomic wedgie, comin' up!"
      • Sonic Blast (his ultimate, tier 3 spell): "This might sting a little."
    • This little gem from Gulen of Palemoon:
      • Sonic Wave (tier 2 knight spell): "Special delivery!"
  • Cat Girl - Female Beasts
  • Child Mage - Reinhart
  • A Child Shall Lead Them - Reinhart, son of Valhart, god of war. He may be wise and precocious, but his age is never explicitly mentioned, so it may be reasonable to assume that he averts the Really 700 Years Old trope.
  • Color-Coded Armies - has the effect of making the early-game map look like a rainbow!
    • Highland: White
    • Fandaria: Gold
    • Palemoon: Blue
    • Topaz: Yellow
    • Izumo: Purple
    • Bozack: Green
    • Trandor: Red
    • Tristan: Black
    • Neutral (i.e. everyone else): Grey
  • Combat Medic - Priests
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard - Duels tend to end in the CPU's favour if both generals are fairly evenly-matched. Made worse when there's absolutely nothing the player can do to control their general during the duel itself. Some players avoid dueling with their monarch at all to avoid this, since the defeat of your monarch means an automatic Game Over.
  • Cool Mask - Junon, "The Black Knight of Masked Death", although is really a helmet.
  • Crippling Over Specialization - Archer troops. They're really only good against harpies, and are terrible against almost everything else. Zombies in particular eat them for breakfast. This is made especially egregious by the presence of mages, who are as good as or better than archers in every way (in particular, they absolutely slaughter zombies).
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus - Astea and Harsgalt. Harsgalt get bonus points for being a dragon.
  • Cute Monster Girl - Many examples, Yuni being one.
    • Katt even more than Yuni.
    • Uryll and Sierra
  • Dark Is Not Evil - Ramda and Vlad being good examples.
  • Death By A Thousand Cuts: Using troops against generals typically works like this. Troops do very little damage to generals, and are often killed in one hit by them. However, if you have over fifty troops attacking the enemy general, chances are their individual attacks will eventually defeat the general, unless they run away first.
  • Defeat Means Friendship - All over the place, though some captured Mook Lieutenant generals may refuse to join you despite repeated offers.
    • It varies depending on who you play too. Some leaders will join you willingly, and in some cases will join even without your interaction. Others must be defeated in combat before they're willing to join. However, Gongos and Goldark are unable to utilize the faction leaders until the end when Madruk and his forces begins to cause mayhem.
      • In Gongos' case, this is because none of the other leaders can bring themselves to work under him (or believe that they've been beaten by a Beast Man). They end up either escaping from battle, or from imprisonment. It seems the Guardian of the Forest really can't catch a break.
      • In Goldark's case, he actually captures the other monarchs, but imprisons them after they refuse to join him. Later, he stages their public execution to draw out Wein, the only one who escaped.
  • Devour the Dragon - after you defeat Madruk the first time, he absorbs the essences/souls of his (already defeated) Quirky Miniboss Squad in order to go One-Winged Angel on you.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu? - if you play as Leon, his Finishing Move that ends the final battle against Madruk is a spectacular, holy-dragon-fuelled Bare-Fisted Monk combo.
  • Dirty Coward: Bastion, Bastion, Bastion. An opportunist who will defect even if you give him tons of Faith Coins or medals (on the plus side, if he's on an enemy army, he might desert them to join yours). If he's in your army, then the best solution is to either let him rot in jail or send him to a castle far far away from any enemy troops.
  • Doomed Hometown - Izumo used to be an island off the west coast of Legendra. Madruk sank the entire place like Atlantis in the game's backstory. The survivors fled to the mainland and rebuilt, but the incident remains a very sore spot in Izumo's history. This probably explains why Samurai have become so good at dealing with Dragons.
    • Alternatively, Madruk might have crushed Izumo so thoroughly precisely because the Samurai were such a great threat to his Dragon armies.
  • The Dreaded: Junon, nicknamed "The Black Knight of Masked Death".
  • Dual Wielding - Goldark and his magnificent BFS's.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady - Mistal: "Before we fight, I should tell you. I'm a man!"
  • Duel Boss - a few:
    • Goldark vs Wein in Wein's campaign ( though it's actually a Hopeless Boss Fight)
    • The spirit of Leviathan, Gongos' ancestor (through possession of Gunner), vs Gongos in Gongos' campaign
  • Dumb Muscle - the Beast Men tend to get this treatment from the other races, especially Gongos in relation to the rest of the Dragon Force.
  • Dying as Yourself - Gyzzdark. Raised from the dead and manipulated by Gaul into attacking his brother Goldark, by Gaul playing with his feelings of jealousy and vengeance. Defeating him frees him from Gaul's control.
    • Also Zanon, during his My God, What Have I Done? moment, when he stabs himself with Eclisis to free himself from the sword's addictive power.
  • Elite Army - Scythe uses hovering...ghost women...things in the final battle, and they're the only troop type not mentioned in the game manual. Said troops seem to have a general advantage over all other types, except high-end ones like harpies and dragons.
  • Empathy Doll Shot: One is shown in the intro video for the game when Madruk makes his appearance to destroy life on Legendra.
  • The Empire - Fandaria and Tristan, although the former more than the latter.
  • Evil Laugh - Some of the only non-cutscene voice acting are Scythe's and Gaul's evil laughs
  • Evil Makeover: Sierra gets one while under Ryskim's control.
  • Evil Sorceror - Gaul
  • Evil Weapon - Eclisis
  • Eyepatch of Power- Inverted by Viper: "Curse this infernal eyepatch!"
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture - Izumo is obviously Japan, Topaz's architecture looks Chinese, and Bozack appears to be May Inca Tec.
  • Fantastic Racism - the Elves and Beast Men really don't get along, probably because of past events concerning the previous Dragon Force.
    • Subverted when Gongos (lord of the Beast Men) falls head-over-heels for Teiris (the Elf-Queen), going so far as to propose to her in the epilogue of his campaign! he doesn't get her in the end; Teiris marries Wein
  • Fat Bastard - Borgon. His final words even reference his gluttony!
  • Fire-Forged Friends - The Dragon Force
  • Five-Man Band: You start with one.
  • For the Evulz - the reason why Scar of Tristan is a Shellshocked Veteran (and probably how he got his name) is because Scythe brutally murdered his entire band of bandits when they tried to rob her. Why did they do such a stupid thing? Because she was disguised as a rich noblewoman at the time. Why was Scythe doing that? because she WANTED TO KILL THEM JUST FOR THE EVULZ.
    • In Junon's campaign, this is the first hint that Scythe is not what she seems to be.
    • Understandably, The above event forms the basis of Scar's vendetta against Scythe, to the point where he asks Junon to specifically let him fight Scythe if they meet her.
      • Then subverted when you realize that it doesn't make any difference to the game if you do not pit Scar against Scythe in battle. He still carries on his merry way without even complaining about any missed opportunities.
  • God of Evil - Madruk
  • Gondor Calls for Aid - Your job is to unite the continent to fight a greater evil. Sounds about right.
  • Guide Dang It:
    • Worried about generals leaving your army due to lack of recognition? When selecting through them, there is a small box that tells you if a general is worthy of an award or not, so you can use that as a guide. If you don't want to give them a medal, you can also give them an item to keep their loyalty. Additionally, the starting generals for each lord will never leave, so once they join your forces, you can neglect them if you'd like, although it's still a good idea to reward them as medals increase how many troops they command during battle.
    • Additionally, make sure you use the enemy leaders as much as possible once you acquire them. The reason is that these 8 characters are the ones you use at the end, and if they're not fully geared/leveled, they'll have a tough time against the final bosses.
    • The Mooks that randomly show up on the map are annoying, especially if they pop up at a remote location that's weakly guarded. However, they're the best source of leveling up for your generals as conquer more lands, and have fewer enemies to fight. Dragon generals/troops take over once you hit end-game, so make sure you have plenty of samurai, mage, or harpy soldiers scattered throughout your lands to combat them.
  • Happily Married - in the epilogue, Wein marries Teiris, and Leon marries Junon.
  • Heel-Face Turn - Goldark. Though he was arguably good all along
  • Herd Hitting Attack - if a general's spell is stated to hit "enemy-army" or "enemy-all", prepare to see Mooks dying en masse.
  • Hero Unit - any of the generals, technically, but moreso the Dragon Force.
  • Heroic Sacrifice - Ramda. See Hopeless Boss Fight below. This spurs your monarch into an Unstoppable Rage (which may or many not contribute to their powerup via Ancient Artifact), after which you get the satisfying opportunity to kick some serious mecha ass.
  • Highly-Visible Ninja - Sayaka, literally. She wears pink.
  • Holy Hand Grenade - the aptly-named Holy Blast. A similar version, Solar Flare, hits both enemy and friendly troops.
    • For those who wish to read between the lines, the fact that Goldark has access to this spell is a sign that he isn't evil to begin with.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight - Ramda sacrifices himself to weaken Katmando during your first encounter with it. As Katmando can only be harmed once the heroes obtain their powerups via Ancient Artifact, the battle is essentially this.
    • In Wein's campaign, Goldark evades capture, but returns a short time later to have it out with you. During this scripted event, there is nothing (and I mean NOTHING) you can do to stop him from marching right up to wherever Wein is and challenging him to a duel. Like any other duel, there's nothing the player can do but to watch as Goldark beats the hell out of Wein (but this doesn't result in a Game Over due to the event script - rather, Wein survives with 1HP) and leaves him with a Reason You Suck Speech about how he's too young and inexperienced to lead, before vanishing again.
  • The Horde - Madruk's army...of Dragons, no less, both mook- and general-types. Once freed from Ruinledge, they will continue to ravage the continent until the Dragon Force marches up the mountain for the final battle. Better put all those Samurai troops to use quickly...
  • Horny Devils - Uryll, Sierra
  • HP to One - Katt's tier 3 spell, Summon Reaper, has the unique gimmick of reducing the enemy general's HP to 1, allowing for an easy kill. The catch? It reduces her HP to 1 as well.
  • Instant Awesome, Just Add Mecha - Fairly standard fantasy setting, then there's Katamando, a giant space robot.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold - Goldark
  • The Juggernaut - Katmando, which can only be harmed once the heroes get their powerups via Ancient Artifact.
  • The Kingdom - Highland
  • Ki Attacks - Many spells could be considered this, notably Aura Assault
  • Knight in Shining Armor - Many examples, Wein and Galam being notable. Galam himself borders on The Fettered.
  • Lady of War - Common, Teiris being the most prominent example.
  • Lampshade Hanging - of all people, the narrator gets in on this. "However, as with all such tales bordering on morality plays, one lied in wait to cast a dark shadow over the prosperity and tranquility of Legendra."
  • Large and in Charge - generals tend to have bigger sprites than their troops, and then there's Katmando and Madruk, who are big enough to occupy several squares on the battlefield map (when even generals only take up one square each).
  • Leave Him to Me - used during the Final Battle against the Apostles of Darkness, so that your monarch can hurry on to face Madruk. The basic pattern is: Junon & Leon vs Scythe, Mikhal (thank God for Samurai) & Reinhart vs Gaul, and Wein, Teiris, & Gongos vs Katmando. If you're playing as any of these 7, Goldark will substitute them when they go on to fight Madruk.
  • Lightning Bruiser - any general who can use the skills Cross Flash and Cross Rush (which take a solid chunk out of the enemy general's HP) may qualify. While it's quite logical for monks wearing simple martial arts clothes & beast men wearing loincloths to be able to pull these off, it's quite another thing to see warriors in full plate armour doing it.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters
  • Loners Are Freaks - Baghib "I'm alone and pissed off at the world!"
  • Love Triangle - a possible one between Wein, Teiris and Gongos. it's one-sided on Gongos' part, though
  • Luck-Based Mission - the battle with Madruk can sometimes be this, since he has over 100 MP, and may sometimes spam spells (that cost only 1 MP apiece!) at your monarch. Each spell takes off a good chunk of HP, so even at max HP (127), your monarch won't be able to take more than a few hits before you see the dreaded Game Over screen...
  • Making a Splash - the Spirit User's summon, Trident's Daughter.
  • Mage Killer - Ninjas, and to a much lesser extent thieves, are excellent for dealing with magic users.
  • Magic Knight - Plenty. Ardor being a good example.
  • Magical Society - Tradnor
  • The Man Behind the Man - Gaul. While he seems like just another evil sorceror at first, in Goldark's campaign, it's revealed that he's using Madruk's power to bankroll Fandaria, in an attempt to tempt Goldark over to Madruk's side. When Goldark betrays him by refusing to execute the other members of the Dragon Force, Gaul (with Scythe) deserts, showing his true colours.
  • May Inca Tec - Bozack, in terms of architecture.
  • Mook - the troops your generals command.
    • Elite Mook - the sirens/ghosts commanded by Scythe. High-performance troops like Dragons, Harpies, and Zombies may qualify.
      • Dragons and to a lesser extent zombies and harpies could qualify too.
    • Mook Lieutenant - the "generic" generals, who have identical portraits and palette-swapped sprites.
  • Mr. Vice Guy - Rudger: "Who loves ya, baby?"
  • My Master, Right or Wrong - Perfect example of Ogredd under Borgon Thankfully talked out of it
  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much - hiding out in one of the mountain villages (location varies depending on the monarch you're playing) is a dragon-man called Vangal, who is tired of all the destruction his kind are causing, and just wants to live a quiet life. You can recruit him into your army, but doing so incurs the wrath of Zado, a powerful dragon-man who later attacks you with 100 dragons!
  • Ninja Pirate Robot Zombie - Kyoem. Ninja Zombie, anway.
  • No Arc in Archery - The archers' arrows go hilariously straight
  • No Export for You -The PS2 remake, much to many gamers' dismay
  • Noble Demon - Happens a couple times, notable Uryll and Vlad.
    • There isn't much especially noble about Uryll. She outright spells it out from the get go (and Reinhart's general Sophie also mentions it) for players that she's in love with Reinhart and that's pretty much the one reason why she decides to side with the good guys in spite of punishment. While she does risk her life by refusing to betray him, it's for an entirely selfish reason. Other than that she couldn't care less about the Dragon Force OR Madruk and is in the whole thing for personal amusement, not goodness of heart.
      • In a way, this makes Uryll a Shotacon. Reinhart may be the son of the god of war, but his age is never explicitly mentioned, so it may be reasonable to assume that he averts the Really 700 Years Old trope.
  • Official Couple - aside from Wein/Teiris and Leon/Junon in the epilogue, we also see Ardor riding away from Trandor together with Uryll.
    • That last one might be debatable, considering Uryll's nature, though where Ardor is concerned, the relationship could mean something else.
    • Also, from Izumo's epilogue, Mikhal and Shione, although the subtext was already present during their cutscenes together.
  • One-Man Army - within certain limits, all the generals can be this (see Authority Equals Asskicking above), but those that stand out are the heavy, combat-oriented ones like Knights and Dragons. For the Dragon Force, Leon, Gongos, Junon, and Goldark are known to hold their own relatively well in battle.
  • One-Winged Angel: Madruk gets a particularly spectacular one after you defeat him the first time, complete with an FMV. Also, Gaul and Scythe
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You - Vlad vs Ryskim. You can still save Sierra if you do not pit Vlad against Ryskim, but Vlad gets pissed and deserts your army (with Sierra in tow) if this happens. Thankfully, Vlad doesn't have to win (but your party must still defeat Ryskim) for his story to continue.
  • Only the Chosen May Wield: Only the Dragon Force may equip the Ancient Artifacts.
  • Our Dragons Are Different - Even in-game the roles of dragons vary, from expendable troops, to good or evil generals, to powerful gods.
  • Our Zombies Are Different - They attack with their ribcages
  • Out-Gambitted - in Goldark's campaign, it's revealed that Gaul is using Madruk's power to seduce Goldark over to the dark side (and thus potentially ruin the Dragon Force), and Goldark shows signs of giving in, what with his merciless continent-wide war and all. However, when Gaul asks Goldark to execute the captured monarchs, the latter laughs in his face, and reveals his Well-Intentioned Extremist plan to unite Legendra into a single, massive army AGAINST Madruk, and that he was merely using Gaul, Scythe, and all their power to help him achieve that goal. The magnificent combination of You Have Outlived Your Usefulness and Unwitting Pawn really does a good job of driving the two of them into a seething rage.
  • Palette Swap - Used a lot to differentiate generic generals.
  • Perma Stubble - Rudger of Highland (even reflected in his sprite!), and Ortega of Tristan are notable.
  • Pimped Out Cape: Practically every general has one.
  • Playing with Fire - several spells, from small fireballs that target only the enemy general, to screen-clearing ones like meteor storm and Dante's Inferno.
  • Power Floats - some generals, like Vlad, Presto or the generic spirit users float.
  • The Power of Friendship - The game's Stock Aesop
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: Every general has one before the battle starts, another one to prepare his/her troops, another one for casting a spell and another one before a duel starts.
  • Pride - The reason the previous Dragon Force failed
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy - the Beast Men have shades of this.
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad - The Apostles of Darkness: Scythe, Gaul, and Katmando. Unlike some other examples, they are a very palpable threat, and it takes 7 out of 8 Dragon Force members (the last being the monarch you chose, who fights Madruk) to bring them down during the final battle.
    • Goldark himself gets one in his campaign, courtesy of Gaul, who's trying to use the offer to bribe Goldark over to Madruk's side. Predictably, all of them desert together with Gaul & Scythe in the second part of the game, only to reappear later to challenge the Dragon Force as they try to obtain the ancient artifacts.
  • Razor Wind/ Sword Beam - Sonic Boom/Wave/Blast
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning - Reinhart, not because of his looks (if anything he's Just a Kid), but because he has enough magic at his disposal to lay waste to entire armies.
  • Redshirt Army: This happens if you send the wrong troops against the enemy troops, such as sending samurai against cavalry, or zombies against monks.
  • The Reveal: A few:
    • Goldark is actually Good All Along, even though he plays the Big Bad for much of the game, even when you play as him.
    • For non-Junon players, Junon's portrait is the black helmet until they join your ranks. Junon players find out right away that it's actually a woman inside the suit.
    • Gaul and Scythe were merely using Goldark to help resurrect Madruk. Unfortunately for them, he was also using them as well, to help unite Legendra against Madruk's inevitable revival.
  • Revive Kills Zombie - Averted. The spell Resurrect revives zombies.
  • "Risk"-Style Map - The focus of much of the game
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something - all 8 members of the Dragon Force are either royalty, or the appointed rulers of their respective kingdoms.
  • Samus Is a Girl - Junon is a great example of this trope.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can - Madruk, in the Ruinledge mountains just west of Fandaria.
  • Secret Character - a few, each complete with their own storyline.
    • Vlad, vampire lord of the Fiend Tower, seeks your help to rescue his girlfriend, Sierra, from the clutches of Ryskim.
    • Hayate, a master Ninja who agrees to fight for Legendra against Madruk. His own storyline is only expanded upon if you play as Mikhal, and pit him against Kyoem.
    • Vangal, an old and disillusioned dragon-man, who just wants to live out his days in peace. Unfortunately for him, Zado sees him as a traitor to their species.
  • Serial Escalation- The average fighter-type general gets somewhere in the order of 10 MP or less by end-game, with casters seldom reaching 20. Even Reinhart, Child Mage and son of the god of war, will probably have somewhere between 20 and 30 MP by end-game, and that's if the player pumps him full of MP-boosting consumables. During the final battle, the Quirky Miniboss Squad and the Big Bad have somewhere between 100 and 200 MP. Thankfully, they aren't prone to spamming spells at every last opportunity they get.
  • Shmuck Bait - so you've just thrashed an enemy Priest's army, and your troops are in his/her face, negating the usefulness of Resurrection (since most Priests command Mages, which get ripped apart in melee combat). Victory, right? Hello, Holy Shield!
    • To elaborate: Holy Shield is a cheap (2MP to cast), mid-tier spell available to most Priests. It surrounds the Priest with blue streaks of light that spiral outwards, clearing out nearly every enemy troop in the vicinity.
    • And just when you thought you could catch the Priest in a duel and snatch victory, he/she retreats! Have fun!
  • Shock and Awe - Thunder Fall
  • Slap-on-the-Wrist Nuke - Meteor Storm
    • Subverted by Gaul after he reveals his allegiance to Madruk. To put it simply, spell damage (on generals, since every Mook is a One-Hit-Point Wonder) depends on the caster's intelligence. After revealing his true colours, Gaul (and Scythe) gets a huge boost, making this spell of his truly deadly. Coupled with his huge MP reserves, this makes Gaul the deadlier of the two when compared to Scythe.
  • The Something Force
  • Spikes of Villainy - Subverted by Junon.
  • Spoiled by the Format - There are eight member of the Dragon Force and eight rulers, is it any wonder that Goldark turns out not to be the villain and is the last member of the Dragon Force?
  • Spoony Bard - Thieves. They're basically ninjas with worse overall stats, a smaller movepool, and that uses the awfully common soldier troop instead of the exotic and much better samurai.
  • Squishy Wizard - Mage types(which includes Magicians, Priests and Spirit Users) aren't good in duels.
  • Storming the Castle - once all 8 members of the Dragon Force have gotten their Ancient Artifact, all that's left is to saddle up and confront the Big Bad (and Quirky Miniboss Squad) in the Ruinledge mountains.
    • Played straight when your forces invade a enemy castle, or vice versa.
  • Summon Magic - eg. Summon Wyvern
  • Tactical Rock-Paper-Scissors: Troop strengths/weaknesses
  • Taken for Granite - Stone Pedestal, which temporarily encases the enemy's troops in stone
  • Take Over Legendra
  • Technical Pacifist - CPU-controlled Teiris automatically allies herself with Wein and Junon when you approach Palemoon territory in their respective campaigns without a fight, but she is fully capable of thrashing an enemy army when deployed in battle (see Badass Adorable above).
    • This is also a good thing, gameplay-wise, for Junon, as the player would be VERY Harpy-heavy so early in the game. What troops does Palemoon have an abundance of? Archers.
  • Terrible Trio / Goldfish Poop Gang - The Skull Children, replaced by Those Two Bad Guys (Paine and Aggoni - who don't actually talk that much) if they're defeated by the other, CPU-controlled kingdoms instead of the player.
  • Token Minority - Grudar, the only black guy in the game. He also has an Intelligence of 10, the lowest in the game!
  • Verbal Tic - Yuni of Bozack tends to pepper her speech with the occasional "Mew!" and "Meow!", even when retreating from battle.
    • Also from Bozack, Gongos tends to end his lines with "yes".
  • Victory Quote - Surprisingly averted, since both generals get a Pre-Asskicking One-Liner and one gets a defeat quote
  • Wacky Marriage Proposal: Before the final battle, Leon asks Junon to marry him in the clumsiest way you can ever imagine. She accepts, and if you're playing as Leon, in the ending, they have a son.
  • Warm-Up Boss - of a sort. Each monarch (save Reinhart) starts out having to deal with a minor antagonist and their cronies, most of whom will end up joining their forces. The nice thing is, they will remain "extra" loyal throughout the game (i.e. more loyal than the average Mook Lieutenant, but not as much as the members of the starting Five-Man Band).
    • Wein has, by far, the largest story development in this area. First, he has to deal with Rock and Hilga, two vigilante thieves who attack him because they mistook him for a commander of Travan. Once Wein sorts out the mistaken identity, he goes on to face the Flash Knights of Travan, Ogredd and Lone, before offing its tyrannical ruler, Borgon.
    • Teiris has to contend with Laine, a jealous Elf who has her eyes on Palemoon's crown.
    • Goldark faces off with Talon, the son of his brother, Gyzzdark, who wants revenge for his father's murder.
    • Leon has to deal with Dayne, a renegade monk who's thrown in his lot with mercenaries.
    • Mikhal's case is interesting, in that it involves the blood feud between Hayate and Kyoem, though the former is not strictly needed for the story to progress.
    • Gongos is challenged by Gunner, an ambitious beast man (he even starts with an item called an "Ambition Ring") who wishes to usurp his position.
    • Junon is confronted by Gustav and his mercenaries, who have been hired by Fandaria (probably Gaul) to assassinate her.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist - Goldark. After usurping his brother, he finds out that Gyzzdark had already set an epic, continent-spanning war into motion. Unable to avert the war, Goldark instead decides to use it as a ploy to unite all of Legendra against Madruk...by forcefully conquering all the other kingdoms to create a massive, united army.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years - arguably, Wein, king of Highland at age 17. While he does have a very capable advisor in Nolun, he seems to have gotten the hang of ruling his kingdom very well, to the extent that he is genuinely loved by the populace. Reinhart has the excuse that he's the son of the god of war.
  • Wutai - Izumo
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair - Quite a few characters, Teiris and Scythe being the most prominent examples.
  • You Killed My Father: Junon wants to kill Goldark for this reason.
  • Zerg Rush: A viable tactic in most cases. However, keep in mind that Tactical Rock-Paper-Scissors is also at play here, and sending out your large army of troops, perhaps a hundred dragons, that are weak to the enemy general's troops, such as samurai, will quickly turn them into a Red Shirt Army.

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