, known as Kouklotheatro
(lit. "Puppet Theater" from Greek) in Japan, is a strategy/tactics RPG for the PlayStation
. It is unusual in that it combines strategy gameplay with the Mons
genre—all of your units (except The Hero
, of course) are monsters (or Magical Puppets, as the case may be). It also has a unique, if complex, spell system.
Long ago, the Crimson Eyed tribe used magical jewels in order to bring puppets to life. These magical puppets served the Crimson Eyes and were their helpers, pets, and friends. However, people came to fear the Crimson Eyes for their powers. The people fled and their abandoned puppets grew wild.
Many years later, there was a great war where the people battled the great Goddess of Destruction, Luna. But she was sealed away. In the present day, however, a group of her followers are out to release her and wreak havoc!
It is in this chaos that Luke, a young boy from the kingdom of Gross, learns that he is a descendant of the Crimson Eyes. With the help of his friends, sister, and the magical puppets of yore, he must learn to harness his powers and become a hero!
This work contains examples of:
- Action Girl: Elena in New Game+.
- Always with You: Luke and Elena's parents tell their children this before vanishing to keep Luna imprisoned.
- American Kirby Is Hardcore: The Japanese logo is the cute, anime-style hero over a scroll with the title on it. The American boxart is a pair of looming, menacing red eyes in a red sky, over a sword.
- Anti-Grinding: If you fight in areas that are way below your level, or keep fighting in one area, the amount of bonus EXP you get for clearing a field steadily drops. High-level monsters also gain fewer EXP for beating up on weaker ones.
- Subverted when you find yourself desperately hunting for gems.
- Barrier Maiden: Luna is held in place by the puppet-ized spirits of Luke and Elena's parents.
- Big Bad: Vorless
- Brother-Sister Team: Luke and Elena... or at least they would be, if Elena didn't end up the Neutral Female so often. Until you get to New Game+, that is, in which case... ELENA SMASH!
- Combinatorial Explosion: Finding the right combinations of gems to evolve puppets can be hard sometimes.
- Concept Art Gallery: Unlocked in New Game+.
- Dead Man Writing: Luke and Elena find a letter from their father, which informs them of their Crimson Eyes status.
- Died Happily Ever After: Luke and Elena's parents, thanks to Shillay, get one last chance to tell their children goodbye before turning back into puppets forever.
- Difficulty Spike: Chapter 10 like woah.
- Extreme Doormat: Vorless' other henchwoman Ciel follows orders from him or Lolita without question.
- Envy: Vorless was jealous of the King being made the Blade Earl, and was willing to do anything to get the title.
- Fluffy the Terrible: "Luna" is not the first name that comes to mind when you think of goddesses of destruction.
- Guide Dang It: Evolving Magical Puppets past their second stage requires specific combinations of colored gems—the third stage requires two, the fourth stage requires 3, and then 4 for the final stage. The problem is, there are 6 different colors. That's 36 possible combinations for the third stage, 100+ for the fourth stage, and for the final? Don't even ask!
- Not only that, it seems learning spells from the gem is pretty random. Be careful as it might overwrite your stronger spells to weaker ones!
- Inconsistent Dub: Is it Luke or Luca? And are your puppet allies called Magical Puppets, Pappets, or Mappemon? And is that the Blue gem or the Lightblue gem?
- The Pappets are the magical puppets that turn into Mappemon when you use gems on them.
- Interestingly poisoning your enemies will make them fall asleep, casting a sleeping spell on them will poison them. Well, blame the spell names!
- Item Caddy: Luke himself, by virtue of being unable to use magic at all (but being able to throw gems as a substitute).
- Legal Jailbait: Lolita, if the name wasn't obvious enough.
- Lost Forever: Some of the dungeons cannot be re-entered after you beat them, and some of them also change over time. Some of the early-level ones make decent but safe places to train new puppets, but some of the locked-off dungeons also can drop equipment you might want.
- Mascot Mook: Mooscue, of the "Adorable, vaguely-rabbity pink fluffball" variety.
- Molotov Cocktail: It's an item Luke can use to attack. It has similar effects to the "Temp" range of spells.
- Neutral Female: Poor Elena. She's a Crimson Eyes too, but something always happens to keep her out of the action.
- New Game+: After beating the game, you get the option to start over again with all your puppets intact. But you do get one new bonus, though: the ability to finally play as Elena.
- Overly Long Fighting Animation: Some of the high-level spells, with CGI animation and everything. Unskippable, too, but that's par for the course.
- Palette Swap: Every monster type save three has at least one variation.
- Perky Female Minion: Lolita.
- Promotion to Parent: Elena raised Luke after their father was killed in the war.
- Pyro Maniac: Vorless' henchwoman Lolita.
- Retired Badass: The King of Gross was once the greatest swordsman in the world.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: The Mooscue, which doubles as the Mascot Mook.
- Random Drop
- Rare Random Drop: Getting Puppets outside of chapter ends is a matter of grinding like heck and hoping the RNG is kind to you.
- The same goes for hunting gems of a specific color and attribute.
- Trap Master: If you don't feel like bashing your enemies yourself or having your puppets do it for you, you can have Luca set up gems as tile traps. They deal much larger damage compared to the damage dealt by simply throwing gems at your enemies. On the other hand, getting the enemy to move onto the trap tile is another matter entirely.
- Translation Train Wreck: Ranging from cringing typos to misplaced spell descriptions.
- The New Game+ secret area is partially translated. Be careful, some options may freeze the game.
- Troll: Some enemy AI do specifically target Luke/Luca but some target treasure boxes, frustrating if you're on a gem hunting spree.
- Unique Enemy: Almost all of the monsters in the game have at least one Palette Swap. Only three don't: One is a special monkey-like puppet belonging to Shillay (though it's possible to get for yourself), and... Moh, and another one, humble (but cute-in-a-weird-way) mid-stage monsters that for some reason don't have any variations.
- What the Hell, Player?: Elena gets pissy if you try to use gems on her like you do with puppets.
- If you manage to use it on her, the game will freeze.
- If the game didn't freeze after that, the game will force her to become a pappet.
- ...then freeze