The second entry in the Grandia series, Grandia II was the only game developed by Game Arts for the Sega Dreamcast. Originally released in 2000, it received PlayStation 2 and Windows ports two years later. The game received its English localization from Ubisoft.The plot kicks off when Ryudo, a snarky but experienced mercenary, is hired by the Church of Granas to act as a bodyguard to one of their most valuable Songstresses: Elena, a young and idealistic nun who is taking part in a ritual to renew the seal on one of the pieces of an evil fallen god.Unfortunately, something goes awry with the ritual and Elena is possessed by the evil fragment, which manifests itself as a saucy split personality calling herself Millenia. With the destruction of the seal, the other "Pieces of Valmar" around the world have gotten loose, and both Ryudo and Elena are tasked with tracking them down. Naturally, it's not quite as simple as that, and the game mostly deals with a deconstruction of Black and White Morality.Grandia II's most notable aspects are the battle system — a refinement of the battle system from the original Grandia and arguably the benchmark for successful merging of real-time and turn-based battle — and the music. Particularly the battle themes. Yes, the battle system was so popular that the next game was almost entirely built around it (with less-than-stellar results).
This game contains examples of:
Abandoned Laboratory: The Birthplace of the Gods, the place where Granas and Valmar conducted their 'research'.
Acting for Two: The developers were eager to get lots of mileage out of their (probably expensive) VA talent. The actors voiced three characters apiece, including the performers in Gonzola's circus troupe.
An Aesop: Money so important to the engineers of Liligue that they refuse to desert the town (and their high-paying jobs), despite slowly dying of starvation.
And Now for Someone Completely Different: Millenia takes over Elena's body at set points in the story. Her move set is entirely different and requires you to level her up separately, which can be a pain if you've just spent all your coins on Elena.
Played With: Genre Savvy Players will notice that Millenia only joins your party when there's a major boss coming up. So, players may (correctly) feel that something is amiss when Elena is in your party for the battles against Melfice and the Heart of Valmar.
Angst Coma: Defeating Valmar's parts causes their human hosts to fall into an unshakable catatonia. (Their souls have been devoured.) At the end of the game, they each recover.
Anguished Declaration of Love: Millenia confesses her love to the unconscious Ryudo after she finds herself unable to absorb Valmar's Horns from him, taking his soul with it.
As Long as It Sounds Foreign: The ending theme, "Canção do Povo". This goes beyond merely singing with a Japanese accent, the singer doesn't even try to sound Portuguese, as the lyrics had probably been converted to kana for her to read.
Attack of the Town Festival: Subverted with Cyrum Kingdom, which uses the crisis as an excuse to launch a brand new festival on the heels of an old one.
Autobots, Rock Out!: Possibly inverted, since the majority of the battle themes qualify as this.
Similarly, Aira's one wish was for everyone in the world to stop fighting and love one another.
The King of Cyrum grew weary of showing penance for the crimes of his ancestors, and sought to reclaim his kingdom's "pride" by becoming a military power again. Melfice nearly unleashes Valmar's machines on the kingdom to destroy it - and takes the King's soul once he fails.
Big Eater: Ryudo pokes fun at Elena's huge appetite throughout the game. She has a rival in Mareg, though, whose meals consist of giant platters of steaks.
Elena: Awwww! Mareg, that was mine! .....Too late...
Mareg: I beg your pardon, Elena, but I must note that had your ear been more alert, you would have marked that I had requested seconds.
Big "NO!": Aira, realizing that Granas isn't responsible for her new eye.
Elena (along with Say My Name) when Ryudo is infected by the Horns of Valmar.
Blade Spam: Melfice's Wailing Sword Slash and his brother's equivalent, Purple Lightning.
Blind Seer / Creepy Child: Aira, a little girl in Mirumu village, has been blind since birth. She mysteriously regained her sight, along with some sort of clairvoyance. (It's no miracle; she's possessed by the Eye of Valmar.)
Bonus Dungeon / Remixed Level: Raul Hills Labyrinth, which hides key items that double the amount of experience and SC you receive after battle, in addition to the best accessories in the game and a Mana Egg. It's also full of demons that can wipe out your entire party with one attack.
Body Motifs: Valmar's parts inflict side-effects on their hosts, as well as on surrounding villages. The Tongue reduces Gaden to a corpulent money-grubber, and robs people of their sense of taste; the Eye grants Aira the gift of sight, but also invades people's dreams with their darkest memories; the Horns turn the peace-loving Melfice into a bloodthirsty killer; the Heart fills Selene with an abundant love for Pope Zera, but zero compassion for everyone else.
The Claws don't do anything, apart from turning Tio into a Dalek. Perhaps because she isn't human?
Bookcase Passage: Cyrum Castle conceals a revolving wall passage, from which Roan and his buddies exit the sewers.
Boss Rush: Three parts of Valmar are fought again just before the final boss. Justified in that Zera has already absorbed them all.
Break the Cutie: Elena, when she finds out that everything she's believed in is a lie.
The Bridge: The hilt of the spoiler:Granasaber is actually its flight control room: a floating platform surrounded by a spherical viewscreen.
Broken Bridge: The entire continent is split in half by a broken bridge — namely, the Granacliffs. According to the doctrine of the Granas Chruch, the fissures were formed by Granas' sword when it struck through Valmar.
The greedy manager of the Skyway refuses to allow passengers aboard, preventing you from crossing the Granacliffs. Ryudo gets around this by, err... killing him.
Burn the Witch!: When a sleep curse starts tormenting Mirumu, the village chief reaches out to nearby Granas Cathedral for help. Who ya gonna call? The Head Inquisitor of the church, who places the village on lockdown and announces her plans to "cleanse" the poor bastards.
Ryudo: Somehow I doubt they're packing bubble bath under all that armor.
Later, Selene goads the villagers of Mirumu into blaming Sandra, a reclusive single mother, for placing the curse on the town. Sandra had previously been ostracized for using herbal remedies to try to cure Aira's blindness.
But Thou Must: When Ryudo is inside his own soul, he is forced to answer three questions about whether he desires power. However, if he says that he desires it, he is told that that is not his real opinion, and must answer again. Which is kinda weird, since after answering all the questions 'properly', the inner voice explains to you why your answers do mean that you want the power. Are you trying to confuse us, game?
This is just Valmar's attempt to corrupt Ryudo's soul.
Cavalry Betrayal: Selene and her pack of stormtroopers—er, holy knights. The chief foolishly invited them in hopes they would save his village.
Church Militant / Malevolent Masked Men: The Cathedral Knights are the personal escorts of High Priestess Selene. These brutes are positioned around villages suspected of harboring evil, giving Selene ample room to "purify" everyone inside. They eventually go crazy, slaughtering everyone in their way when the Day of Darkness comes. And they're not human.
City Guards: Deconstructed - The Cathedral Knights cordon off Mirumu, suspecting a demonic possession taking place there. There is absolutely no way to leave until you smoke Valmar and lift the curse.
Clipped Wing Angel: Valmar's final form is much weaker than the form before the Boss Rush.
Elena: Gross! Can you imagine all the sand that gets in your hair and clothes?
Ryudo: You're missing the point.
Con Man: Roan makes fun of Gonzola when the latter offers a coin toss to determine whether they part ways. As Roan good-humoredly notes, it's a trick coin, and Gonzola would've let him go no matter what.
Contractual Boss Immunity: With one major exception; none of the bosses — up to and including the final boss — are immune to Spellbinding Eye's paralysis effect.
Corrupt Church: Not only is "god" dead, the Pope knows it, and is manipulating the entire church as a vehicle for seeking out and absorbing the parts of Valmar.
Couldn't Find a Pen: The evening before her faux "date" with Ryudo, Elena wakes to find that Millenia has scribbled a message in lipstick on her dresser mirror: "Elena, I know you like Ryudo! Let him know it!"
Crappy Carnival: Gonzola's traveling troupe. From little we hear of them, Gonzola is an unfunny comedian, while his lover Paella performs a knife act (which she threatens to rehearse on Gonzola when he casts his eye on Millenia).
Crazy Consumption: While chatting with Gadan in his office, one clue that something's amiss is the banquet of food on his desk. Meanwhile, everyone outside is cursed with an inability to taste anything.
Darker and Edgier: From the wide-eyed idealism of the first game to a main character that wants to kill his brother and body-surfing demons in the sequel.
Dark Is Not Evil: Millenia winds up being this, however this trope is half the point of the game itself.
The Dark Side: Elena and Roan point out that Ryudo's psyche has been compromised by the deaths of Millenia and Mareg; he can't raise his sword against Valmar's monsters without the Horns of Valmar taking him over. Ultimately, Ryudo asks Elmo to remove the barrier Millenia placed on his soul, though he risks being possessed by Valmar, just like the previous hosts. Fortunately, Ryudo triumphs and his inner evil is extinguished for good.
Darkest Hour: Mareg is dead, Millenia is dead (or so it seems), Valmar is awake, the Granasaber has been smashed into itty bitty pieces, the entire city of St. Heim has melted into a howling, black wasteland, Cyrum Kingdom is burning, and the dead now walk. But the ultimate insult comes when Ryudo remembers he's still holding a piece of Valmar, which Valmar is still looking for — and is putting the whole city at risk just by being there. Time to retreat.
Defiant to the End: During Ryudo's inner battle with Valmar's Horns, Valmar tries to break him by conjuring up a demonic body for him. It fails, however; even as a unrecognizable beast, Ryudo still pledges to fight on.
Dug Too Deep: Liligue's problems started with Gadan complaining about the stone pillars rooted deep into the ground. Looking to excavate them, he instead unearthed the temple containing Valmar's Tongue and was possessed.
Cyrum Castle sits atop an assembly line for robotic soldiers, used by Valmar's followers in the war. The King, who has chosen to embrace this legacy rather than live in shame, willingly breaks the lock on the factory.
Eldritch Abomination: Valmar's appendages fit the bill. The reassembled body is, funny enough, comparatively normal: a flying chimera with five heads, one of a lion, an insectoid, a dragon, and two others.
Environmental Symbolism: Mirumu's town hall is filling up with comatose villagers. If you take a look at the outside, you'll notice the roof shingles visually resemble eyes.
Et Tu, Brute?: The word "monster" inadvertently passes through Sandra's mind when she glimpses her child's third eye; this last betrayal causes her to retreat back into her dreamspace.
Eternal Engine: The Underground Plant, a facility for building Automata soldiers.
Eureka Moment: Roan has one when Ryudo, speaking of Valmar's army, says aloud "We need to BURY them." This jogs Roan's memory about Cyrum's royal mausoleum, which contains records of Valmar from the time of the war. "That's it! Graves!"
Evil Redhead: Subverted. Millenia is a piece of the world's devil, so many think Millenia is evil, even herself. But helping Roan shows early on that she might be something else.
Evil Is Visceral: The various parts of Valmar's anatomy. Even their special moves are disgusting.
Exact Eavesdropping: Ryudo accidentally lets slip his affection towards Elena while she pretends to be asleep. Elena keeps silent on the matter, but her impression of him greatly improves as a result.
Expendable Clones: The party comes across a desert full of dismembered automatons resembling Tio. While scanning the memory of one of her "sisters", Tio reports they were ordered to charge into the wind barrier protecting the Granasaber, knowing that they would all die.
Extreme Doormat: Mirumu's chief is a basket case during a crisis, and is easily railroaded into Selene's witch hunt. Once Ryudo sends her packing, the chief matures into an assertive leader.
Valmar's Moon sprouts a Sauron Eye while searching for his last piece, which Ryudo is still carrying.
Fantastic Drug: "Silvervine Moss" is apparently the equivalent of catnip to Beastmen. The village elder sends Ryudo and Elena into a pit of slimy moss, just so the whole village can revel in the SMELL of the stuff. They can't go themselves, because the scent of the pit robs Beastmen of their will to leave.
Fat Bastard: Aptly enough, the businessman who's possessed by Valmar's Tongue (with everyone around the guy suffering from starvation).
The Ferry Man: Capt. Bakala, the only man crazy enough to sail over the Granacliffs. He'll be your host during the voyage to Garland.
Fetch Quest: Refreshingly spare — but only due to most of the quests involving a piece of Valmar (see "Gotta Kill 'Em All"). In Agear, Ryudo gets roped into retracing Roan's whereabouts after the boy goes missing. It turns out that the whole middle portion of the game was really just the Big Bad manipulating your party to fetch the pieces of Valmar for him.
Fission Mailed: No matter how you answer Valmar's questions, he makes it seem as though Ryudo has failed to resist the evil inside him. When the lights turn on, Ryudo sees he's been fully corrupted into a demon. Cue Skyward Scream.
Forbidden Zone: The Great Cleft Island of Arachna is so named for being the nexus of the Granacliffs, a.k.a. the "Great Rift". The site is sealed off by a perpetual tornado. This is a security feature of the Granasaber to prevent Valmar's troops from entering.
Foreign Queasine: Arum root. The most tasteless, gag-inducing vegetable around is, ironically, the only food Liligue's citizens can now eat.
In the first battle against Millenia (a Hopeless Boss Fight), the battle is scripted to end when Millenia casts her Zap! spell. She can get caught in an AI loop that causes her to never use Zap!, and it's impossible to end the battle in any other way (her HP doesn't decrease, and you can't escape the battle).
Ghibli Hills: St. Heim Papal State is half-sheepherder community, half-Vatican.
Fortunately, the ending confirms that she (along with Valmar's other hosts) are A-OK.
Mareg grits his teeth and grins reassuringly after being fatally wounded by Valmar's younglings. He's doing this with a mouthful of blood, making it even moreharrowing to see.
As she is devoured by Valmar, Millenia expresses happiness at experiencing love, even it it was for a short while. Subverted when she gets better.)
Go Wait Outside: The innkeeper at Mirumu begs the party off, saying she needs time to prepare a meal. This is a pretext for Ryudo to visit the end of town and speak with Aira's mother — though the game doesn't allow this until you've visited the inn first. Grumble...
Played for Laughs when Elena, drowsy from the Cyrum festival, tells Ryudo to go fetch her a drink — only to be replaced by Millenia the moment she nods off.
God Is Dead: Unknown to all but a few (who actively hide the truth from the rest of the world), Granas lost the war against his Satan-analogue, Valmar. While Valmar was indeed sealed away as the Church of Granas claims, Granas died in the process.
Though there are vague hints that this might not be entirely true, such as Mareg's (first and only) prayer to Granas being answered by the Granasaber, which miraculously powers up. The conclusion of the game also sees the Granacliffs transforming into rivers upon Valmar's defeat.
God Guise: Essentially everything that had to do with Granas and Valmar was a great big Scam Religion. Granas is dead, the seals on Valmar were designed to help resurrect him, the Church is evil and both Granas and Valmar weren't gods but merely really powerful scientists. Of course, Zera later steps into this role.
God and Satan Are Both Jerks: It's implied (though not directly stated) that Granas and Valmar were originally mere mortals who somehow elevated themselves to god-like beings via technology. The pair of them more or less enslaved humanity, eventually pitting them against one another in an apocalyptic war. Though Granas was killed, his followers continued to dupe the world into believing that he will someday rise again to save them.
Gotta Kill Them All: The parts of Valmar. It's never explicitly made a goal of your travels, but you run into all seven of them eventually. But it was pointed out that the pieces of Valmer seek each other out, to battle/absorb one another, till there is only one left. And since you travel with one of them...
Götterdämmerung: The prologue depicts a great war between "Good and Evil". Evil eventually won, but needed a couple thousand years of rest. The remnants of humanity deluded each other into thinking good had won and built a whole religion around brain-washing control.
Grave Marking Scene: In the epilogue, Mareg's house is replaced by his gravestone. Roan pays his respects to it while venturing around the world.
Gravity Screw: The latter half of Aira's dreamspace resembles someone's backyard, except with the picket fence and trees bending at impossible angles.
One segment of Valmar's Body consists of arterial passages with transparent blue/red floors. There's a switch to flip the dungeon 180°, allowing you to reach the treasure chests on the opposite-color side.
Hallucinations: One NPC in Liligue is so delirious from hunger that he mistakes Mareg's mane for whipped cream and, later, cotton candy.
Let's face it: the entire cast is a "who's who" of popular voice actors from the late 90's and early 00's, including roughly half the cast of Metal Gear. Compensating for the amateurish voice acting of the first game, maybe?
Using a cheating device to increase Ryudo's stats means the battle can be won by reducing Millenia's HP to 0 - though this is incredibly time-consuming and if she is able to use the lightning spell mentioned, the fight will end immediately. You don't gain any rewards for winning this way, and the game continues as if you'd lost to the lightning spell anyway.
Hidden in Plain Sight: If you inspect the shed behind Sandra's house, it's locked. Ryudo is only allowed to enter later on, when it turns out to contain a hole leading straight down to the Seal containing Valmar's Eye.
I Know What You Fear: Valmar's Eye spawns eyeballs-shaped bats that fly into surrounding homes at night, staring into the minds of townsfolk. First the victim is plagued by their darkest memories; if they aren't awoken in time, that villager sinks into a permanent sleep state.
Improvised Zipline: During his flight from Garmia Tower, Ryudo hoists Elena in one arm and slides down a rope in epic hero style.
Inn Security: Mirumu Village. Try using a JRPG inn in a village where nobody ever wakes up.
Instant A.I., Just Add Water: Mareg sacrifices himself to get the party off the Moon of Valmar. After trying to teach Tio what freedom and emotions are, it takes his death to actually give her emotions and free will.
Elena declares this while witnessing the attack on Cyrum by Valmar's monsters, having been duped into lying to Ryudo and cooperating in the dark god's revival. (Justified in that, well, it is all Elena's fault.)
It's Up to You: None of the guards in Cyrum Castle lift a finger when Melfice tries to restart a robot factory beneath the building. That's because it's up to you.
Justified with Ryudo embarking to kill Melfice, as he's the only one who can match his brother in swordplay.
Kirk Summation: Elena lays down one before the final boss fight. She gets nowhere, of course, but Ryudo and Millenia don't exactly help with their shouting at Zera that he's insane and a weakling.
Knight of Cerebus: The story is not exactly a buddy comedy; nevertheless, the Eye of Valmar is arguably the most sinister of the sealed bosses, using Ryudo's own memories against him. It's also the most difficult to thwart. Selene could also count as Elena's Knight of Cerebus.
Melfice was probably intended as a more straight-up version of the trope. He's the key element in Ryudo turning away from his own avaricious past and slipping into a hero role. Interestingly, Melfice basically parrots the same cynicism his brother's been spouting all along.
Large Ham: Jodi Benson (Millenia) has the time of her life chewing the scenery in the English version.
Let's Dance: Melfice's line to Ryudo before their duel.
Light Is Not Good: Contrary to its name, the Church of Granas turns out to be helping to revive Valmar. The Pope could actually be said to be much more evil than Valmar, as he seeks to absorb Valmar's power in the same manner as Millenia and make himself a replacement for the long-dead Granas.
Mareg's religion doesn't believe in complete evil or good (much to Elena's consternation) and is proven correct when the "real" history of the gods is shown to the heroes.
Load-Bearing Boss: Defeating the Core causes Valmar's Body to start collapsing. Millenia negates this by absorbing the Body in the same manner as Valmar's other parts, leaving the party to awaken in an empty field.
Once Valmar's Eye is beaten, the plug is pulled from the Garden of Dreams, and the townsfolk awaken from their slumber. Ironically, now only Aira is stuck in a state of permanent sleep.
Killing the Final Boss of the game (Pope Zera) results in New Valmar tearing itself apart from the inside. Also, the Granacliffs fill up to the brim with seawater, allowing for free travel and commerce for the first time ever.
Love Triangle: And both women share the same body (for most of the game). Awkward.
MacGuffin Delivery Service: Millenia is on the hunt for pieces of Valmar, absorbing them into herself and learns their abilities. Gee, what an impossibly convenient way of gathering of all Valmar's parts in one place! This is the entire reason why Pope Zera wanted Elena to go with Ryudo. Later subverted by Ryudo after he kills Melfice and absorbs his piece of Valmar.
Madness Mantra: After having his soul stolen by Melfice, King Cyrum is reduced to a jibbering shell of his old self, endlessly repeating "We shall regain our pride....We shall..."
Marshmallow Hell: Millenia does this to Roan when they first meet. No wonder he took to her so quickly.
Man-Eating Plant: Valmar's Eye exhibits a plant motif — a sick parody of Aira's love for flowers.
Mauve Shirt: Elena's friend Tessa is bumped off within a scene of her introduction.
The Seal Guardian of Cyrum Castle, Menory, pretty much exists to be killed so villains can get the door open.
Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Did the Sword of Granas lift off by itself? Or did it get a boost from Mareg's prayer to Granas? You decide.
Meaningless Meaningful Words: Alas, invoked quite a bit in the game's last couple of hours. The heroes continuously say things like "True power... true justice is in the heart" and talk an awful lot about "the power of the human heart".
Mercy Kill: At one point in their journey, Ryudo angrily suggests killing Elena if she doesn't quit wringing her hands about the Wings of Valmar residing in her. Overcome by anguish, Elena shocks Ryudo by kneeling in front of him begging to be killed. He was kidding.
Not long afterward, Sandra begs the party to find and kill Aira before she harms any more people. Ryudo's not having it.
"Ma'am, we do that to our pets, not our children!"
When Ryudo is placed in a coma from Valmar's Horn, Millenia resurfaces to do her work. Her mood is calm and detached: Ryudo might have been a comrade and lover once, but he's grist for Valmar now. Subverted when she cracks and starts sobbing at his bedside.
It's suggested that Melfice killed his fiancée not out of malice, but to free her from Valmar's Horn. A vision of Melfice appears to Ryudo and regrets having done this.
Mobile Menace: To reach Garland Island, Ryudo charters a ship and puts his own life in peril by surfing over the Granacliffs. Melfice still manages to beat him there, despite starting from the exact same location.
Similarly, Selene shows up at the exact moment that Ryudo finds the Granasaber. Well if it's so easy to sail around the world, why didn't you go look for the sword?
Monster Progenitor: Valmar's Eye is unusual in that it spawns flunkies and sends them out to do mischief. It's possible Valmar does not want any clues pointing to Aira, as it's perfectly camouflaged.
Motive Rant: Selene gives one before transforming into Valmar's Heart. She's a true zealot, believing it to be a spiritual test.
Motor Mouth: When the party reaches Cyrum Castle the first time, one of the ladies-in-waiting who serves as the castle guide has a rather unique way of giving directions — she takes a deep breath, then babbles out the entire guide to the castle as quickly as possible in one breath.
Mordor: St. Heim becomes this following Valmar's rebirth. (See "Sugar Apocolypse")
Mr. Exposition: Father Carius is the friendly face of Carbo Village. When the party journeys to Liligue, they are aided by another, unnamed Priest who gives them the 4-11 on the town's troubles.
Roan has a lot to say about Silesia and its culture, though most of it is explained over the dinner cutscenes (which are optional). Additionally, he gives Ryudo the lowdown on Cyrum Kingdom's past and their connection to Valmar.
Elmo fills this role in The Birthplace of the Gods. In fact, it's her entire reason for being, which is why she's glued to a wall.
The Munchausen: "Flyin' Jack Phoneix", an octogenarian in Carbo Village, claims to leaped across the Granacliffs and killed monsters with his bare hands. Just don't look for him when Valmar attack the village, though; he's inside the inn, wetting himself.
Mysterious Informant: Subverted with Hemble, who pretends to be one of these, but is only interested in showing off to women.
Elena learns of Ryudo and Meflice's past history through Skye, who hides in a tree outside her window to relate the story in secret.
Mythology Gag: Justin's cap and goggles make an appearance. You can spot them in dungeon maps as lightweight helmet icons.
The "Mogay Bomb" is one of Grandia II's many throwable weapons. It's namesake, of course, is Guido's species from the original Grandia.
The previous Grandia's battle music can be heard while arm-wrestling Hemble. The deck-swabbing music plays during the Nanan village minigame.
At one point during Ryudo's test of character, he's flung down a bottomless pit with Skye flapping nearby, snarky as ever. This calls to mind a similar scene in Grandia, where Justin and Feena bicker as they're falling into a volcano.
Never Sleep Again: Mirumu's got an issue. Townsfolk are going to sleep one night, and never waking up. One night, upon being woken from a nightmare, Ryudo manages to catch the culprit in the act: a flock of Eyeball Bats, floating through peoples' windows and latching to their faces.
Never Tell Me the Odds: You have to be a born gambler to parasail over the Granacliffs. That's why Captain Bakala named his ship the 50/50.
News Travels Fast: Subverted by the self-proclaimed "Trade King" of St. Heim, who is unaware of a) the collapse of the Skyway into the Granacliffs (courtesy of you), and b) Liligue's curse being lifted, meaning that its citizens no longer have any appetite for the "King's" disgusting arum root.
No Hero Discount: Gadan initially charges 10,000G to ferry your party over the Granacliffs, citing his overhead costs.
The The Very Definitely Final Dungeon is hanging in the sky, the whole world is pleading for the party to save the day... and the merchants still insist on charging full price.
Non Standard Skill Learning: Some of Ryudo's most advanced moves can only be learned after defeating his brother Melfice. Millenia, meanwhile, gains new special attacks from every piece of Valmar the party defeats.
Not Now, Kiddo: Mirumu's villagers blow off Ryudo's report of a dream garden, claiming it's just a bedtime story. Aira is practically waving her arms and shouting, "I'M POSSESSED", but her mom tells her to pipe down in front of her guests.
Nothing Exciting Ever Happens Here: Quoted by a few citizens in St. Haim Papal State, or as Ryudo calls it, "the dinner plate of Granas". The church's followers huddled here to seek protection from the prophesied Day of Darkness. In a sick twist, Selene and her Cathedral Knights butcher absolutely everyone in the town.
Oh Crap: Ryudo realizing they're all trapped on a monster-infested reef in the middle of the ocean, and their only escape route is underwater — the tide's come in. This is a replay of Justin's foray to a siren-infested island in the previous game.
Once More with Clarity: The opening cinematic depicts the showdown between Granas and Valmar, overlaid with heroic-sounding music as Granas blasts his rival to smithereens. When the scene is retold by Pope Zera, Granas is destroyed, leaving Valmar hovering triumphantly over the planet.
When Ryudo is forced to relive his memories of Melfice stabbing Reena, he discovers that Reena had been possessed by Valmar's Horn, which then transferred into Melfice when he killed her out of mercy.
Only the Chosen May Wield: For generations, the villagers of Garlan trained as swordsmen to protect the "Idol" of a nearby mountain. Legend says that the Idol Sword was put in place to keep evil from escaping. Melfice stole the sword when the Horns of Valmar took him over.
Order Versus Chaos: Elmo's version of history paints Valmar as an opponent to Granas' benevolent dictatorship, which bestowed such unlimited power to humans that they no longer needed to build anything, able to summon up entire cities on a whim. From Valmar's point of view, Granas was making the human race complacent and self-indulgent.
Our Fairies Are Different: Aira is responsible for the sleep curse placed on Mirumu. If the villagers fail to wake up, they emerge as "fairies" in her garden and exist in a state of permanent bliss. (That is, until their real-world bodies atrophy and die.)
Patrick Stewart Speech: Ryudo, Elena, and Millenia deliver one to Zera/Valmar before entering the last dungeon and, later, at the game's closure.
Percussive Maintenance: The Granasaber automatically shields itself behind a tornado if it senses Valmar's old military is nearby. Ryudo fixes this by smashing a derelict ship's computer, cutting off the power and signaling the sword to lower its defenses.
After extracting Valmar's Eye from Aira and putting her into a coma, Millina sniffs that Valmar's causalities are beneath her concern. ...However, she makes amends to her victim's mother by suggesting that if she somehow converts the icy, inhospitable village into a flower garden, then Aira's soul might come back. Ryudo knows this is nonsense, of course, but is so taken aback by Millenia's kind gesture that he holds his tongue.
While spending the night with Elena on Ceceile Reef, Ryudo finds her staring apprehensively at the reflection of Valmar's Moon on the water. Ryudo says he knows a way to make it disappear, then chucks a stone at the water. Well, it works.
The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Aside from acting as Selene's evil entourage, the Cathedral Knights aren't terribly useful; Ryudo suggests that they go marching in search of the Granasaber instead, but it's apparently outside their purview. They won't even bother to seek out the sealed parts of Valmar, and only spring into action when a possession has already taken place. Later, this makes sense when you consider Selene herself is possessed, and is likely protecting Valmar's progeny from harm.
Playing Against Type: The most obvious and cited example is Jodi Benson as Millenia, but Jennifer Hale, who generally plays Action Girl types, voices shy, proper Elena. And despite Benson being the better-known singer of the two, it's Elena who does the singing in-game. The rest of the cast, however, generally don't get pigeonholed, and most play multiple roles in the game's dub (Cam Clarke even does some Talking to Himself early on).
Point of No Return: There are three major points where all access to previous areas is completely cut off for the rest of the game (with a few exceptions). In the last third of the game or so, after finding the Granasaber, you go directly from dungeon to dungeon without looking back, so almost everything becomes a Point of No Return. The most significant items that can be Lost Forever are the last two skill books and the last two mana eggs.
Translations of Elmo include "Protector" and "God's helmet".
Pyrrhic Victory: The conclusion to the Mirumu quest. On the one hand, Aira is in a coma, and Sandra's family is in ruins. On the upside, the whole village is coming together to plant a garden, which was her wish all along.
Religion of Evil: In the old days, Valmar had followers of his own. Their descendants founded the kingdom of Cyrum, where they cultivated a margarita-soaked party-image to conceal their shameful legacy.
Though if you pay close attention this was more like a Religion of Chaos.
Retirony: On your first visit to St. Heim, a recovering alcoholic asks you to deliver a letter to his son Mark, promising to stay sober. During Selene's attack on the town, Mark's father is found dead, still clutching a letter in which he plans to soon reunite with his son.
The Reveal: Pretty much everything that happens once you find the "Granasaber".
Late in the game, Ryudo discovers he's even more of a puppet than he thought: the Granas Seals are all fakes — machines designed to keep Valmar in hibernation, not imprisonment.
Rubber Face: Ryudo does this to Elena shortly before the dungeon containing Valmar's Tongue. Any remaining shred of dignity the Songstress had officially goes out the window.
Rule of Cool: How can you not like a game where eventually you go to the moon to kill the pope? It's worth playing for that single concept alone.
Sealed Evil in a Can: The "Seals of Granas" imprisoning Valmar's body parts — only one is intact by the time you discover it, but it gets released almost immediately anyway.
Cyrum Castle is built atop a centuries-old factory that produces automata soliders. It was created by Valmar's followers during the war with Granas.
Sealed Evil In A Six Pack: The game gave us Valmar, the Big Bad demon that was defeated in ancient times, and the pieces of it's body spread around the world and sealed away. Interestingly, each of the pieces has a mind of its own - none lay claim to being the original. The Church of Granas sends Elena on a quest to gather the pieces so they may be destroyed, though it turns out that Pope Zera, who has discovered that God Is Dead and believes that life has no meaning without him, actually wants to become the new Valmar himself so he can destroy the world.
Seven Deadly Sins: The world's equivalent of the devil is in seven parts, so we can expect those to make an appereance:
The Wings/Millennia: Lust, albeit in a very tame version as she his hit by Love at First Sight.
"Beware, evil takes forms far from foul."
The Tongue: Gluttony.
The Eye: Not from the piece/host itself, but the Villagers envied the good fortune of Aria & Sandra, when everyone else suffered from bad harvests.
The Claws: Wrath.
The Horns: Melfice outright says it: "I gave in to Valmar. No, to my own Greed"
The Body: Sloth, as it did not move a bit during the entire level.
The Heart: Pride. Selene, during her Motive Rant, explains at length how much she detests all other believers in Granas.
Shattered World: The Granacliffs, as their name would suggest, are giant glowing fissures stretching across the Silesia continent. They are said to have been created when Granas' sword struck through Valmar. Indeed, the Granasaber can be found at the center, with fissures radiating outward from it.
Shout-Out: The localization team had some fun with this one since the original Grandia's sound mixing was done by Skywalker Sounds, George Lucas' audio division.
Slow Motion Fall: The heroes collapse in dramatic slow-motion when they lose all their HP.
So Long, and Thanks for All the Gear: Notably averted with Mareg's death; you even get all of his skill coins back. Played straight with Millenia and Elena, though they switch out so often that it's almost a non-issue. They don't take accessories or Mana Eggs, though.
Roan leaves the group for an extended period, taking his loot with him. He later rejoins to fill the void left by Mareg.
Sound of No Damage: During the few Hopeless Boss Fights, any attack produces just a metallic clanking sound without dealing any damage.
Though really Millenia deserves that title for sealing the Horns into Ryudo in the first place rather than absorbing them as she was expected to.
Sprint Shoes: The "Warp" skill is attached to certain equipment, allowing party members to Flash Step across the field during battles. In a game which relies so much on Active Time as Grandia, you need all the speed you can get.
Storming the Castle: Sneaking into Cyrum Castle with Roan. Later invoked when Ryudo makes a return trip to Granas Cathedral, which is less hospitable this time around.
Swallowed Whole: Gadan makes good on his compliment to Elena that she looks good enough to eat. Luckily, getting swallowed by Valmar's Tongue reverts her back to Millenia, causing him to spit her back out. He wasn't counting on that...
Sword of Plot Advancement: Finding the Granasaber, a sword that fell to earth during a battle between two Gods, is the focal point of the game's second act. Subverted as it turns out to be a spacecraft, not a sword at all, and then played straight at the end of the game when the hero actually does acquire a sword called the Granasaber, capable of harming the evil God.
Sugar Apocalypse: The Cathedral Knights unexpectedly go on the march in Act 3, killing every last resident of St. Heim. A black ooze transforms the grassy hills into something reminiscent of Grail Mountain: black slime and spikes protruding from the earth — a mockery of the Granas Church and what it represented.
Once Aira is taken out of commission, the Garden of Dreams reverts back to a dead wasteland.
Testosterone Poisoning: Hemble refuses to speak to anyone who's not a romantic couple. Once he invites them in, he proceeds to emasculate Ryudo in front of his "girlfriend" Elena, hoping to steal her away. And this is apparently all he does with his time.
That's No Moon: The voyage to Garlan Island is halted when Elena complains of seasickness. The group parks their boat at Ceceile Reef, where Ryudo remarks on all the giant stones lying about. Little do they realize (though it's readily apparent by the time they wake up) those weren't stones... Those were giant crab eggs.
Literally with Valmar's Moon, as it's an organic body.
Think Nothing of It: Cash is welcome, but your gratitude is not. Ryudo tends to distance himself from clingy rescuees, as epitomized when he lifts a curse that brought Liligue to the brink of starvation.
"I blame the whole thing on bad chefs."
Everybody in Cyrum showers thanks on (King) Roan as he's wandering the town in the epilogue. Roan shrugs this off, since saving the world is no big deal.
Third Eye: The scar on Aira's forehead eventually opens to reveal this, exposing her true nature as Valmar's host. Perversely, she thinks it's a gift from Granas.
Ticking Clock: To lift Mirumu's curse before the entire town dies in their sleep. Or Selene burns them to death — whichever comes first. This is one quest that won't be be solved by beating a single boss; meanwhile, the villagers drop one by one and the town atrophies.
Pope Zea eventually became this to Valmar, systematically piecing the beast back together, only to sublimate it's "will" and control it from within. If this seems far-fetched, it's worth noting that Valmar was originally a mere man himself.
Tomorrowland: The reason for the townfolk's reluctance to flee Liligue is that it is an engineer's paradise. Visually, the city is reminiscent of the original Grandia's steampunk locales.
Tron Lines: Present in architecture built during The War, most notably in the Granas Seals.
Undercover as Lovers: Ryudo and Elena are forced to pose as a couple to get past Hemble, a weirdo sailor who allegedly has info regarding the Granasaber.
Unwitting Pawn: Ryudo was sent to find the Granasaber not for the sword itself, but to uneseal the Body of Valmar.
Valmar was merely waiting for Millenia to collect all of his parts before reactivating. By defeating the game's major bosses, Ryudo was turning up the clock on the Day of Darkness, which occurs after all of the Granas Seals have been broken.
Utopia Justifies the Means: Aira just wants everybody to be nice to each other. She created the Garden of Dreams for everyone to live in peacefully, completely unaware that she's a tool of Valmar.
Who Names Their Ship "Dude"?: While examining the hull of the 50/50, Ryudo guesses that it must be #50 of fifty ships or perhaps that's its registration. No, the Captain corrects him, that be the name of the ship, matey!
A pack of Eyeball Bats function as a Trick Boss in the catacombs beneath Mirumu. Ryudo's not fooled, though; indeed, the root of the problem is Valmar's Eye, which is flanked by additional Eyeball Bats when you finally do fight it.
Womb Level: 3 out of 4 of the game's final dungeons — Valmar's Body, Valmar's Moon, and Final Valmar.
Would Hurt a Child: The Eye's possession of Aira. This is a wakeup call for Ryudo, who realizes Valmar is indiscriminate in its possession. According to Millenia, Valmar feeds on all desire — good and bad.
One of the grave markers at Garlan Island belongs to Sasha, a little girl who couldn't believe that Melfice would turn evil. She trusted him until the end.
Yin-Yang Bomb: The ultimate message of the game is that good and evil must coexist. Both are necessary to win the game, as your final party arrangement consists of a holy priestess (Elena) and a servant of evil (Millenia) — and Ryudo, the hero, is kind of a neutral mix of both.
You Can't Thwart Stage One: Ryudo corners Zera in Valmar's womb, but finds himself separated by a transparent dome. He can't do anything but watch as Elena is forced to re-conceive Valmar.
You Shall Not Pass: During the climatic scene on the moon, the party is surrounded by the Valmar's hatchlings, their escape vehicle is low on energy and the horde is closing in. Mareg orders his friends to run, then creates a choke point between the baddies and the ship. Just before he's overwhelmed, he makes a prayer to Granas, who is a) a god he doesn't believe in, and b) a god which has been dead for thousands of years, to deliver his friends to safety.It works.
Before the final battle, a chasm separates Roan and Tio from the rest of the party, forcing them to go it alone against Valmar's insectoids. This means they're left with no path of escape when Vamlar's body starts to crumble (in space). Subverted when Tio activates some sort of shield around her body and grabs Roan, protecting both of them as they drift down toward the planet.
You're Insane!: Ryudo uses this phrase at Selene and Pope Zera when the full scope of their plan is exposed.
Millenia shouts this ad nauseum during the final boss fights, complete with the following pot-kettle line:
Millenia: "Hah, you really ARE completely nuts! WHOOOOO! You'd better reel yourself in, YOU PSYCHO!"
Your Princess Is in Another Castle: No sooner does Ryudo drop Elena off at St. Heim as promised, he gets volunteered to lead a crusade for the Sword of Granas. Melfice was originally hired to do it, but he went AWOL, and so his holiness turned to his brother for help.
Zombie Apocalypse: As quoted from scripture by Elena, Valmar is quite capable of raising a zombie army during the Day of Darkness. When the bodies of human casualties hit the ground, they are enveloped in darkness and then turn into demons.