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Final Fantasy: Endless Nova is a fangame base on the knuckle-reddeningly popular Final Fantasy franchise made in RPG Maker 2000. Taking the same futuristic approach as the 7th and 8th entries in the official series, the game follows the exploits of Deren Star, an odd jobs person who, with his android lady-friend Motor, is unexpectedly pulled into an adventure to save Hell's Dome, a solar system surrounded by an impenetrable asteroid belt (hence the name) from an artificial supernova. Not quite as artificial as that, though.Along the way he meets Lisbeth, an amnesiac girl with cat ears, a thief named Ibis, a blue mage named Ellana, a monk named Fuban and a walking talking doll named KioSen who used to be human, who end up helping him for various reasons.The game was released on velv.net some time around 2002/2003 and is still available to play as long as you have RPG Maker installed on your machine. It was notable for being one of the Final Fantasy fangames out there that, despite some odd little shortcomings, was actually quite good. It incorporated a fairly inventive way to learn spells that worked like a cross between FF8's draw system and 6's Magicite, and each character had a unique set of abilities to make them all worth trying out and, somewhat unusual by RPG Maker standards at the time, adding some replay value.
Acceptable Breaks from Reality: Asteroids with air seals and atmosphere generators? That's fine, but it goes all the way into Willing Suspension of Disbelief when you realise how strong their gravity is. Keep in mind you can walk all the way from edge to edge of some of them and see nothing but space on the horizon.
Ax-Crazy: Fuban, before he was taken in for training by a martial-arts master.
Back from the Dead: Deren and Quenlin might qualify, though it's more like they were preserved for four centuries after they were presumed dead. Fuban is a more literal example, brought back by necromancy with side effects.
Backtracking: At a certain point in the game, namely when crossing Ventry Heights and you've yet to encounter the next town, thus giving the option to skip the area on the world map, this is the only way to access an inn.
Belated Happy Ending: Deren's body floats to the coast of Corret, much as he did in the events before the game started. It's unknown whether anyone will find him alive or dead, unless you defeat an optional boss, causing an extre scene in which a young man finds him.
BFG: Motor's Graviton Cannon Limit Break. Also, Regal Sura, a space station designed to blast a hole in the asteroid belt encasing the solar system.
BFS: Quenlin brandishes one during his boss fight.
BGM Override: During the siege on Necelia, and later when climbing the Tower of Stillness. Very frantic, and creepy, respectively.
Big Bad: Quenlin is made out to be this. It's really Paradorn, the true name of Obeska, who in turn owes it all to Dr. Fesha, who basically sold out the entire universe to be remembered as the greatest scientific mind of all time.
Big Damn Heroes: Motor and Ibis catch up to Ellana during the Necelia siege and insist on helping her. In fact Fuban is so offended by this intervention that he runs off!
A Day in the Limelight: Returning to each area after a certain point in the game triggers scenes with each character, either reflecting on their experiences, interacting with another character or telling the party more of their past.
Debut Queue: The game is about halfway done by the time all seven party members are recruited.
Declaration of Protection: Deren to Lisbeth, because of her amnesia and the fact he just plain hated the man that was holding her hostage. He also wants help with his own amnesia and as such has them working toward a common goal.
Defeat Means Friendship: Ifrit and Bahamut. Atlas sics three Behemoths on you but doesn't directly fight you himself.
Disproportionate Retribution: When Deren humiliates Sho at the beginning of the game. Considering Sho originally left Deren to die in a scrapyard...
Doomed Hometown: Arleah would be this for Deren, until he gets his memory back, at which point his real hometown is very much safe for the rest of the game.
Dressing as the Enemy: Early on in the game after escaping a prison cell. It doesn't fool the boss though.
Dummied Out: A piece of armour and an enemy that specialises in Confuse spells. Version 2.5 of the game re-implemented them. However the Comet Dice minigame, found within the map editor, never saw the light of day.
Version 1.0 of the game showed an incomplete mugshot of Deren if one perused the game's files. This was deleted entirely from version 2.0 and onwards.
Force Field: How the atmosphere is held in place on asteroid colonies.
Friendship Moment: After Paradorn has made her final threat to end all life in the universe, the heroes give up. Deren, aided by Motor of all people, berates the team for sitting around waiting to die and storm out. A few moments later, everyone sees the error of their ways and comes at them apologies flailing.
Fusion Dance: Less of a dance and more of a spell, by the Obeskan High Mage and Quenlin. He's even called "Fusion Quenlin" during the battle.
Gatling Good: Motor's first special ability, which can one-shot entire enemy groups in the earliest stages.
Genre Shift: All pretty much optional. There's a peculiar turn-based fighting game, a Chocobo-themed Tamagotchi, a space courier simulator and a mining game. If you want all the summons though, you'd best be ready to put in the time.
A God Am I: Paradorn pulls this off by posing as the more benevolent (albeit humourless) Obeska and convincing people to follow her religion of nihilism and generally doing nothing. She wants more, and is willing to destroy the entire universe so that only her kingdom will remain.
Grave Marking Scene: The town of Ress has what Deren desribes as gravestones with recent dates on them. The town may have gone a bit peculiar from the Obeskan religion taking it over but at least they're still burying their dead.
Guide Dang It: Thankfully this is an RPG Maker game so you can just open the game in the editor and find out what you're missing.
Happy Fun Ball: Being a Final Fantasy fangame, the infamous Movers make an appearance in the final dungeon, and will obliterate you if you didn't come packing at least one multi-targeting spell as they will constantly revive one-another. Great for farming Mega Potions though.
Infinity+1 Sword: Each character gets one (hell, Deren gets two) and they give a satisfying white flash on contact. The weaker melee fighters gain additional benefits such as instant death or an insane boost to their magic power.
Info Dump: Lisbeth to Deren when the party reunites at Tazuu Falls. See the Wham Episode entry below for details.
Laser-Guided Amnesia: Lisbeth and Deren can't remember who they are or where they come from, but thankfully can still speak English fluently. In Deren's case, said English hasn't evolved in four-hundred years. Lucky him.
Last Disc Magic: Unless you grind to masochistic proportions and exploit the game's item-trading system, you'll be waiting until quite late in the game to find all the -aga level spells and their successors.
Lazy Backup: Considering all seven of them travel together.
Leitmotif: Deren, Lisbeth, Ibis, Ellana, KioSen, Obeska and Quenlin. There are also special battle themes for Paradorn's spawn in the four temples, Quenlin and Paradorn. And they are all awesome. The title screen also plays a MIDI of the song Duvet by Boa, whose lyrics seem to reflect Motor's and Lisbeth's reactions to Deren.
Let's Split Up, Gang: By the time you first arrive at the Astral Tower, Ibis and Ellana have left the party, and Motor then has to temporarily leave as the tower repels robots somehow, leaving Deren and Lisbeth to climb the tower alone. The other three then meet up again and form a secondary party, which splits up yet again later on, recruiting Fuban and KioSen in doing so. The seven all come together at Tazuu Falls, at which point they (with the exception of some one-on-one boss battles) don't split again.
Magitek: The Specran race seem to be proficient in this with their methods of space travel.
Mega Manning: Ellana need only witness an enemy casting blue magic in order to learn it.
Messianic Archetype: Lisbeth starts out as this, but has to pass the torch to Deren when her powers as such are drained by the bad guys.
Metal Detector Puzzle: With no indication as to how close you are to finding anything. And it's the only way to obtain the Phoenix summon. Have fun!
Money Spider: The random encounters keep you quite rich in this one.
More Dakka: Some of Motor's special skills get pretty brutal.
Mythology Gag: The optional superboss Watcher Omega drops a completely useless item, much like its predecessors in 5 and 8. It does have a spell and piece of equipment worth having, but they have to be earned during the battle.
New Era Speech: President Heran's is cut short by an aide walking on stage to distract him.
Nintendo Hard: Thanks in part to the stat-raising system that is based on Final Fantasy II, thought thankfully it's much easier to gain powerful spells in this one, and beating bosses automatically boosts each character's base stats.
Non-Human Sidekick: KioSen, on account of having merged himself with a doll by accident. He gets better.
Nuke 'em: Regal Sura was designed to do this to Vesta Belt, but was never quite finished.
Our Presidents Are Different: The Finel Capital is run by four governors collectively known as the Finel Quartet. During the game's intro they announce that they are, for no real reason, changing the system to have a single president. It's all part of an evil plan to replace governor Heran with Quenlin so that Dr. Fesha can essentially pull the strings of the government and ultimately sell out the universe for a bit of fame.
Pamphlet Shelf: As per typical RPG standards, the libraries in Avanta and Osha.
Party in My Pocket: Only Deren (or the designated leaders of the split up parties) is shown while you're playing, but cutscenes have all seven characters present.
Plot Coupon: The four temple wishes, which Deren needs to stop the sun going supernova. True to RPG tradition, they're too late and are pipped at the post by the big bad.
Scenery Gorn: Most of the asteroid colonies you visit are strewn with litter, pollution and graffiti. Impressive to say they're just a modification of RPG Maker 2000's default cavern graphics.
Schizo Tech: A major thing in the game, allowing for some very diverse locations. Finel is the only nation in the game's world that uses technology, but due to losing their sovereignty years before the events of the game, they had to use their technology to migrate to space. A few places on the southern hemisphere of planet Coyas, the main planet of the game, have begun to adopt technology, but for the most part they live in low tech and rely on magic.
Ship Sinking: The ending. Ellana, who is shown standing next to Ibis in almost every cutscene, suddenly chooses to marry Fuban when he decides to accede the throne of Necelia, knowing he'll need her help, and probably because Ibis' lifestyle didn't suit her; the one Fuban was about to take on was far closer to how she had lived before the events of the game.
Sphere of Power: Cryna orbs, which absorb the latent magical energy present in all living things.
Stat Grinding: No experience points for you! The system is quite easy to use though, and even fleeing combat has benefits now.
Take Your Time: "That nova could happen any moment" really means "anyone else fancy another round of Star Fighter? No? Well how about going to explore that hidden temple to the west of the Imil Gulf to fight the Queen of Magik, a fight we may well lose thus dooming the universe? Ooh, and after that we can go mining in Kortira to win that Phoenix Dainsev!"
Wham Episode: Earlier on in the game, the party splits up. As soon as all seven are reunited, we learn what's really going on. The Obeskan religion is a comparatively peaceful front for the far more malevolent Paradorn, who wants to use the sun within Hell's Dome to literally blow up the entire universe. Lisbeth is a member of the Specran race from planet Frena, and was supposed to travel to the other surrounding planets to obtain a power called the Wish to re-establish the barrier around the sun that would've protected it from exploding and also stopped the likes of Paradorn from amplifying it and destroying everything. However, Lisbeth expended all the energy she'd already absorbed from the temples trying to stop Paradorn's cultists from murdering her, so it all rests with Deren, who just happened to be trained on using the same Wish energy four hundred years ago, back when he was Kiro Gashmith, a member of Necelian royalty. Yeah, it's all a bit much to take in on a first playthrough.
What Happened to the Mouse?: Sho is never heard from again after Deren steals his MacGuffin. We also never find out what happened at Finel Capital after their usurper essentially ran off to join the circus and eventually got killed.
What the Hell, Hero?: Lisbeth feels this towards Deren when she first cracks her amnesia, thinking he only helped her to help himself. She is kidnapped moments later and pretty much takes it back.