After making the first two Lunar games, Game Arts developed Grandia. It was originally released for the Sega Saturn in Japan in 1997, but the Saturn version was never released in the west due to the system's poor sales. The game was ported to the PlayStation two years later, and this version localized and released by SCEA in the US and by Ubisoft in Europe. It remains the best-selling entry in the series.It's the Age of Exploration, and aspiring adventurer/local pest Justin is itching to leave the mining town of Parm and pick up where his late father left off: Finding the ancient civilization of the Icarians. Along with his stalwart childhood friend Sue, the two teens perform enough favours around town to finally earn a seat on the steam liner destined for the great unknown.Unfortunately for them, it happens to be the age of exploration Brought to You by Disney. The adventurers' trade is heavily regulated, with every crook, shakedown artist, and bureaucrat in the western hemisphere barring access to the New World. There's also the Garlyle Forces, a private army originally established to make the frontier safe, but whose incredible technological advantage (no doubt due to their plunder of Icarian relics) has resulted in a suffocating security state. Which is quite handy for them in case their top General decides to... oh, lose his goddamn mind.Being primarily aimed at children, the plot makes no efforts to be ground-breaking. Hot-Blooded protagonist with red hair and blue clothes? Check. Ancient civilization? Check. Save the girl? Take a guess. Tropes Are Not Bad, of course. Some enjoy the plot, as it makes interesting use of the Motifs of the "End of the World" (no, not that one) and adventurers, the protagonist is a great example of an aversion of The Chosen One, and the whole cast of characters is a textbook example of good Character Development in action. It also does an unusually good job of making the world seem like it's actually unexplored, whereas most RPGs have a map which rarely exceeds Baby Planet size.
He also accidentally stumbles on Saki, Mio and Nana when they are changing clothes.
Action Girl: Feena is one when you meet her on your trip to New Parm. She's also on equal ground with Justin as a melee fighter and has fire magic to boot! She undergoes some Chickification by mid CD 2, but recovers towards the End Game, although she is surpassed as a melee fighter and her attributes grow towards magic, making her the second best mage in the game, maybe the best if you count her plot related spells.
Action Mom: It's also stated that Lily, Justin's mother, was a pirate who first met his father when they clashed swords.
Armies Are Evil: Originally a security detachment for the Joule Foundation, the Garlyle Forces now control the excavations, hoard ancient technology, and even withhold the revelation about "The End of the World" being a myth.
Chaste Hero: Justin; that romantic moment that's trying to happen midway through the game on the ocean? It takes Justin a phenomenal amount of time to realize what's going on, and by the time he (probably?) does (or at least seems to be trying to attempt a 'come on' himself), they're interrupted.
Cool Ship: The Grandeur. Almost makes you sad to see it explode.
Fortunately, Mullen has a duplicate airship of his own: the Lyonlot.
Cosmic Horror Story: What happens to Zil Padon at the hands of Gaia as well. Some of the side effects are unpredictable, fear inducing and make little sense and aren't explained, such as petrification and inter-dimensional anomalies
Defensive Feint Trap: Thinking they've got Justin cornered, Nana, Saki & Mio pursue him into the engine cab of a runaway locomotive — only to find that Justin backtracked into the opposite car and decoupled the engine. Also, the brake lever is broken.
Duel Boss: Mullen demands proof of Justin's will in a one-on-one fight.
And the two fights against Gadwin
Easing Into the Adventure: Justin's first task is to win a scavenger hunt consisting of garbage around Parm. Funnily enough, the last item — the Wooden Sword — is dubbed the "Spirit Sword." This is the same name as Grandia's Infinity+1 Sword, which you acquire much later.
Everything's Better With Cows: When the males of Laine come of age, they sprout horns of knowledge (sic) and take on a new form — a walking, talking bovine.
Exact Eavesdropping: Justin stumbles on the three sergeants just as one of them is asking about the password she herself needs at that exact moment.
Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The so-called "End of the World"—a wall that cuts the planet in two, which stretches up for miles into the sky. For most people, it literally is the end of world, unless you have an airship that can fly over it or you're like Justin and you climb over the damn thing.
Leen also shows up as a more traditional Guest Star Party Member for a very brief stretch of the game, though as a non-combatant.
Guide Dang It: Mana Eggs are the only way to teach characters magic and there are only just enough for every character who can learn magic to have every element. Combine this with the fact they are sellable AND the fact that you cannot return to many places after particular plot points AND that the eggs themselves are often well hidden...Suddenly, this becomes quite frustrating.
An enemy in the final dungeon will drop Mana Eggs quite frequently. Granted, you've been permanently cut off from all shops by that point in the game so they're completely useless, but you could get more than you would ever need...
Improbable Age: Pretty much the whole main cast, but Sue being only eight years old is the biggest offender.
Grandia at least tries to avert this trope by having the journey make Sue seriously ill due to sheer exhaustion and stress, a little shy of halfway into the story (when things are only just beginning to really get difficult for the heroes). She has to be sent back to Parm with the implication things could have become a lot worse, were it not for Justin and Feena sacrificing the safe way to the next continent in order to transport her home instantly. This is foreshadowed by her getting a stat-progression handicap that becomes noticeable around the time she should be getting ill.
Konami Code: During the Exact Eavesdropping moment described above, Saki mistakenly thinks the password is Up-Up-Down-Down-Left-Right-Left-Right. The correct password is a reshuffled version of the code, switching every instance of Up for Right, Down for Left and vice versa.
Mayincatec: The Icarians, though only with architecture, artwork and the occasional monster.
Meaningful Name: The Icarians. Icarian can be seen as an adjective referring to things relating to Icarus, a popular figure in Greek Mythology; this may be where the Icarian Sea gets it's name, as it's the sea into which Icarus supposedly fell and drowned. The Icarians themselves are a race of winged humanoids who are laid low by hubris, but in this case it's the hubris of humans, rather than themselves, which results in their downfall.
Mini-Game: Deck swabbing aboard the ship to the New Continent.
Peninsula of Power Leveling: Grinding your water magic at the poison puddles of Mt. Typhoon or any place where you take damage on foot.
Justin's Immortal Aura skill. It always gives you a lot of experience when used, and with the game's tendency to always have those handy healing save points near, you can easily grind Justin into epic Game Breaker levels.
Any place where the enemies come in groups of six is a very good place to train your magic levels. The Savannah once all the enemies have been 'Gaia-ifed' in particular is a favorite place for players that want to grind for Time Gate.
Pirate Girl: Justin's mother Lilly is revealed to have been one in her youth.
Rare Candy: There are various item that boost stats. And then there's Mana Eggs, which teach one specific element for spellcasting.
Retired Badass: Subverted(?) by Java, who insists that he's still an active adventurer. He's modeled from Don Quixote, complete with goofy-looking armor and lance.
Shoo Out the Clowns: It's only after Sue and Gadwin leave your party that the story turns from a light-hearted romp around the world into a more serious "Save the World from the Eldritch Abomination !" deal.
The Un Chosen One: Justin starts out as an ordinary boy who just wants to be an adventurer. Though he Jumped at the Call, and gains the powers of the "Spirits", he wasn't chosen; instead, he fought hard in order to be accepted.
Violation of Common Sense: Mullen, the good son of the Big Bad, is willing to let his love, Leen, make a Heroic Sacrifice to stop the end of the world. When Leen sees that her sister, Feena, has a power to stop it without anyone dying, Mullen says they are to go through with the original plan anyway.
Wake-Up Call Boss: Squid King. The main problem is that you only have extremely limited options for healing at that point in the game outside of Rah-Rah! Cheer, and it's unlikely that Sue has the SP to use it more than once or twice.