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Video Game: Grandia

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.

Provides Examples Of:

  • Accidental Pervert: Justin accidentally grabs a handful of Feena in Ghost Ship.
    • 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.
  • It's All Upstairs From Here: No shortage of these. We have Typhoon Tower, the Twin Towers, the Tower of Doom, and the (optional) Tower of Temptation.
  • Knife Nut: Feena, Guido and Rapp.
  • 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.
  • Lady of War: Leen.
  • Last Disc Magic: "End of the World", Feena's ultimate ability and the strongest spell in the game. And good God, do you ever have to work for it.
  • Last of Her Kind: Feena and Leen are the last of the Icarians.
  • Letting the Air out of the Band: used as an indication that time has frozen.
  • Level Grinding: Spells and attacks power up the more you use them, up to 99 times per element and weapon, per character.
  • Locomotive Level: Justin hijacks a Garlyle train while escaping Mullen's base.
  • Love at First Punch: How Justin's parents first met.
  • Massive Numbered Siblings:Justin and Feena have no less than six kids in the future.
  • 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.
  • Money for Nothing: Only at the very end of the game. By the time you're heading to the The Very Definitely Final Dungeon, you will be permanently cut off from all shops. Yet, the enemies still drop gold...
  • Mood Whiplash: At the end of Typhoon Tower, so badly. It goes from serious, to Gadwin being too big to fit through a skinny mirror, and then back to serious.
  • Musical Assassin: Cactus Men enemies fight with guitars and one of their special moves is a guitar solo (that sadly, has no sound).
  • Mysterious Waif: Liete.
  • New Neo City: New Parm. Catchy name, but that's the only thing it has in common with its steampunk brethren.
  • Non-Linear Sequel: Of course, there's Grandia II, Grandia III, and Grandia Xtreme, but there's also Grandia: Parallel Trippers—a game for the Game Boy Color which stars a trio of kids who get pulled into the Grandia world and team up with Justin and his friends (and his enemies!) to Save Both Worlds. It never made it out of Japan.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Klepp King, who turns into the four-headed Serpent when confronted.
  • Palette Swap: Almost all enemies and bosses have these.
  • 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.
  • Power Gives You Wings: Both Leen and Feena whip these out from time to time.
  • Pretty in Mink: It's not seen but a mink coat is one of the armors available, at least in the US translation.
  • Prophetic Name: Java.
  • 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.
  • Sinister Scythe: Klepps at Mt. Typhoon use them.
  • Someone's Touching My Butt: Justin gets up close and— er, personal with Feena in a crawlspace after she halts too quickly.
  • Sprite/Polygon Mix: Sprite character, polygonal levels.
  • Standard Female Grab Area: Feena in the Hostage for MacGuffin scene.
  • 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.
  • The Wall Around the World: An enormous wall about a mile high that divides an entire continent.
  • We Have Reserves: By triggering the golems, Baal knowingly brings the entire town of Zil Padon crashing down onto his own troops.
  • Weapon of Choice: All the characters can use at least two different weapon types in battle (ie. Justin can use Swords, Maces and Axes).
    • The exceptions being Liete and Gadwin, who only use maces and swords, respectively.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Defeating General Baal results in him... turning into a small snake-like creature and slithering away, never to be seen again.
  • When Trees Attack: Gaia is a giant bug/tree hybrid.
  • Whip It Good: Feena's second weapon of choice. She is also the only character in the game who uses them.
  • Woman in White: Technically, she wears purple, but Liete fulfills this role in the storyline until she joins the party in Alent.
  • You Are Not Alone: Guido snaps Justin from his Heroic BSOD by gathering all the past party members to encourage him.
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