Video Game / Dual Hearts
"Eating is my one true destiny." — Tumble
is a relatively obscure
2002 Action RPG
, developed for the PlayStation 2
by Matrix Software.
It just happened that the game was situated around some pretty turbulent circumstances, mostly owing to its rather unfortunate choice of title; the bigger-budgeted and better-hyped blockbuster Kingdom Hearts
was released in the same year, along with the cult classic Shadow Hearts
. A little lack of creativity that cost dearly, moreso when you realise that the phrase is somewhat word salad-ish
That being said, Dual Hearts
is often considered to be the Spiritual Successor
of the original Alundra
, revolving around the similar premise of exploring people's dreams
(It helps that the developers behind this game are
the same developers behind Alundra
). Rumble the feisty treasure hunter set out to the tiny isle of Sonno, eager of discovering the fabled relic, the Dream Stone
. Meanwhile, Tumble the Baku was sent by the Queen of the Dreamworld to collect the nine keys of the Holy Instruments
, in her preparation of repelling a prophesied impending doom
. And the story began thusly.
The mechanisms of Dual Hearts
might remind people of the Ocarina of Time
. Rumble and Tumble dwelt in the peaceful island of Sonno, waiting for people to fall asleep, and dashed into their dream realms, where the battles would occur. It is a well-polished game with gameplay elements that are simple, yet solid; and a light plot, but with quite endearing characters. One of those games without any particularly strong area, but executed beautifully and merits a better score than the sum of its parts.
This game provides examples of:
- Awesome, but Impractical - the Baku Shield grants you invulnerability, and allows you to run into enemies for good damage. The speed at which it drains your MP, however, is too much to handle even at the maximum possible capacity of 50. May be redeemed with the Ultimate Esamon (see below), but then it's Bragging Rights Reward.
- Big Eater - Tumble.
- Blade on a Stick - the Longinus.
- Block Puzzle
- Bonus Dungeon - Parfait's, Phoebe's, Sarti's and Penne's dreams are all optional.
- Boss Rush - In Sarti's dream.
- Camera Lock-On
- Chekhov's Gun - Averted. Val's bells. The supposedly no-nonsense Rumble keeps it in his pocket at all times. Kept building up. Nothing happened. Could have been an Aborted Arc.
- Cosmetic Award - Collecting 500 Dream Rings grants you a strong, albeit MP-draining weapon. Collecting 1,000 gets your defense doubled. Collecting all 1,500 allows you to... change Tumble's skin/fur colour. There's not even a good colour scheme.
- Defrosting Ice Queen - Val and Chiffon, albeit only vaguely. Textbook example goes to Rumble, the bona fide Defrosting Ice King.
- Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors - the Draw Card(s).
- Final Boss, New Dimension
- Emo - Chiffon.
- Fridge Logic - Tumble teleports at ease, which should enable him to cheat a great many of puzzles. Lampshaded by Rumble saying that he doesn't know why.
- Fake Difficulty - Normal challenges + time limit = Nintendo Hard.
- Friend to All Living Things - Lilian.
- Gimmick Level
- Grand Theft Me - The Queen.
- He Knows about Timed Hits - Dream Mentor.
- Heroic Sacrifice - Some random sheep in Lilian's dream went to put out a forest fire. Then he died. Considering the tone of the scenes up to the point, that was rather shocking.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners - Yars and Tucker.
- Infinity Plus One Item - the Mystic Esamon allows free and instantaneous full MP recharge. Would have been rather useful if only you can acquire it sooner.
- Journey to the Center of the Mind - as stated in the summary.
- Jump Physics - Justified as it can only be done in the dreamworld.
- Living Statue - Statue Knight.
- MacGuffin - the Dream Stone, and to a lesser extent the Holy Instruments.
- Minigame Zone - the Bonus Dungeons.
- Mirror Boss
- Mirror World - Val's dream.
- 100% Completion
- Puzzle Boss
- Remixed Level
- Ruins for Ruins' Sake - Yuri's and Toma's dreams.
- Santa Claus
- Sequential Boss
- Spiritual Successor - To Alundra.
- Take Up My Sword - McTuve is the Sage.
- Tsundere - Both Rumble and Val.
- UST - That's how it ends? Such buildups and the ending was an all-out bromance.
- Video Game Cruelty Potential - Watching Rumble falling from great height and Tumble frantically choking is... amusing.
- What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs? - Cacey. Also lampshaded.
- Word Salad Title - Just what does it mean anyway. The closest it gets would be Val's dream, with its dual appearance. Otherwise it would be very vague and loose.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair