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Video Game: Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning

"From the beginning our fates were sealed. Decades of war gave rise to a new enemy. The losses were great. But one would die and be reborn. A hero with no fate but many destinies."

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is an Action RPG developed by Big Huge Games (Rise of Nations, Rise of Legends) and 38 Studios, founded by baseball legend Curt Schilling and named after the number he wore whilst playing for the Boston Red Sox. The game features the efforts of three "visionaries": a story written by fantasy author R.A. Salvatore, a lead artist in Todd McFarlane and its lead designer Ken Rolston. Schilling, a long-time MMO gamer, provided the money... or, at least, somebody's money.

For centuries, the world of Amalur was one where fate could not be altered and your destiny was sealed from birth. When an immortal dark army called the Tuatha Deohn appear, the threads of fate dictate that no-one will be able to stop them from conquering Amalur and plunging the world into darkness.

That is until the Well of Souls, a gnomish experiment to bring soldiers Back from the Dead, has an unexpected success: the Player Character, who soon discovers that they have become Immune to Fate as a side-effect of their own resurrection. As the laws of the world begin to unravel and order descends into chaos, the Player Character must rise to the challenge as the only person capable of defying fate and saving the world from the grim future that lies ahead.

The game forgoes choosing a standard class from the start in favor of a new "Destiny" system. This allows the player to build their characters stats from the outset in any of the three disciplines - Might, Sorcery and Finesse. These choices will unlock Destiny cards that enhance their selected abilities. Each card is rewarded based on the type of build you choose allowing unique bonuses for specializing in a single discipline, creating a hybrid warrior or even choosing to possess skill in all three. The system is an attempt to allow stats and bonuses to be altered with a level of flexibility that most RPG's don't offer and to avoid the player being locked into a specific build. Reckoning also seeks to merge the deep RPG mechanics with the combat system of action games. It takes advantage of hybrid abilities and skills, allowing the merging of abilities and cross-class combos, and lets you carry up to two of nine weapon types, with Real Time Weapon Change.

Has two DLC campaigns. The first, titled The Legend of Dead Kel, involves being shipwrecked on an island run by said dreaded pirate. The second, titled Teeth of Naros, involves coming to the aid of the Kollossae, a civilization based upon ancient Greece located in said region.

Reckoning itself is the brainchild of Big Huge, owned first by Microsoft and then 38 Studios, who were themselves developing an MMORPG called "Project Copernicus." Reckoning became a Dolled-Up Prequel to it. Reckoning met a decent reception from critics, almost all of whom praised the game's ambitious design regardless of what they thought of the execution, and it sold over a million copies during its first week of release. However, the game had gone so over-budget that it needed to sell three million copies just to break even. In late May 2012, 38 Studios dissolved in the midst of catastrophic financial shenanigans and a barrage of accusations. The majority of Big Huge has since been swept up by Epic Games, while the IP was awarded to the State of Rhode Island.

The State had planned to auction the IP, opening the door to the possibility of more games, but no buyers were forthcoming. Meanwhile, Big Huge itself, rebranded as "Impossible Games," was shuttered in less than a year without producing anything tangible. Amalur remains a Stillborn Franchise for the time being.


Tropes:

  • Aborted Arc: One of the first plot hooks involves a Fae who gets attacked in Gorhart by an unknown villager, heavily implied to be one of the monks of St. Odwig's Mission. Unfortunately, there is no questline to determine who the true culprit is, much less make him (or her) pay for their crime.
    • Then again, its just as likely that the attack was done by a Red Legion bandit, as the questgiver confirms that the attacker's weapon was a dagger, the Legion's Weapon of Choice.
  • Action Girl: Any of the female NPCs that help you fight or fight against you, notably General Tilera, the Dark Empyrean, and Ayln Shir, as well as a female Fateless One.
  • Actually a Doombot: The Gadflow you fight in the main quest's penultimate battle turns out to be this.
  • The Ageless: The fae are ageless and immune to disease, and if they do die return to the Great Cycle to reincarnate in a short time. In fact, in some quests you can get them to kill themselves by passing a simple persuasion check.
  • All Up To You: In full force. Justified, as you are the sole person Immune to Fate.
  • Alternate Continuity: According to DLC, a previous leader of the Warsworn was Commander Shepard.
  • Alternate Dimension: The Omniblade Daggers DLC are Strange and Mysterious Magic, lost from another Time.
  • Amnesiac Hero: Coming back to life has given The Fateless One amnesia.
  • Amnesiac Dissonance: On the rare occasions that you meet characters who knew you before your death, they'll describe you as having been scarier than your present incarnation, even if you've been playing a certifiable psychopath.
    "We wouldn't be talking, like we are now. You'd have just stabbed me and looted my corpse. Seriously, I saw you do that. Often."
  • And I Must Scream: The villain of the Scholia Arcana questline was trapped within a prison under the college for centuries. The Archsage gets trapped as well, thanks to the spell used to seal the Dark Empyrean.
  • Anti-Villain: The Maid of Windemere. All she wants is to be free to choose her own path in life rather than be forced to be a villain.
    • Of course, some characters note that she likes playing the villain, and her plans upon securing her freedom can be summed up as, "place House of Ballads under mind control and Take Over the World." She may want to be free of fate, which is well and sympathetic, but her plans for what to do next are pretty standard villainy.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: The current Archsage of the Scholia Arcana has the sole vote on who becomes the next Archsage, and always insists on choosing the greatest master of war magic, rather than someone more rounded who would be better suited to administering the school. This is because the actual purpose of the Archsage is to fight the Dark Empyrean if she ever manages to free herself.
  • Apocalyptic Log: A set of lorestones tell the tale of the last survivor of a group of Fae stationed in a fortress, tasked with stopping the resurrection of a fae sorceress known as the Widow. The survivor slowly realizes something is wrong when the rest of his comrades who had returned to the Fae Lands for the Long Sleep never returned and fears that when the time comes, the same fate awaits him. His final message for the player: The Widow Walks.
    • Also sets in Klurikon and Alabasta describing Gadflow's rise to power.
    • "The Legend of Dead Kel" DLC has the three volume log of the architect that built Gravehal Keep long ago. It ends with him desperately writing his final words as the things assaulting the fortress start breaking down his door...
    • The lorestone set in the Red Marches start out detailing how the Fae fought and sealed an ancient Niskaru Lord deep below the region. After the first three stones explain the sealing, the fourth stone has a member of Belen's Testament madly ordering his minions to excavate the Niskaru lord's tomb, and the final stone has that same member ritualistically disemboweling himself to summon it.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: Prismere, a crystal that enhances magic in people and items—for mortals. For fae, it corrupts their power and drives them insane. The Tuatha use mountains of the stuff.
  • The Archer: Many NPCs and the Player Character if he/she chooses to.
  • Ax-Crazy: The Narca, a group of Summer Fae who have become so insane they're practically wild animals. It turns out their insanity is a side effect of a renegade Summer Fae's attempts to end the Long Winter.
  • Back from the Dead: The Player Character emerges as the Well of Souls only successful attempt bring someone back to life. It is also the reason the main character is no longer bound by fate.
    • A common occurrence for the Fae, they die, resurrect, and then lead essentially the same life they led before.
    • Interestingly, the Fateless One did not have his corpse resurrected, but it was actually completely reformed from nothing in the Well Of Souls. The creator of the Well wanted to revive the dead, but did not want to desecrate corpses to do so. So the pile of corpses that the Fateless One wakes up in is from people who did not reform as successfully as he did.
  • Bald of Evil: Gadflow, as well as various other Tuatha.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: A few battles in the Scholia Arcana quest line take place in various characters' minds.
    • Bizzarely enough, you can still find random loot drops inside their minds and take the items with you when you leave.
  • BFS: The greatswords. Some Reckoning finishers use one as well.
  • Big Bad: Gadflow But it turns out he's just the dragon to Tirnoch
    • Each faction questline has one.
      • The House Of Ballads - The Maid Of Windemere. Can be sided with.
      • The Warsworn - Niskaru Lord Khamazandu and his dragon, Besin the sorcerer. Can be sided with, turning all Warsworn hostile against you.
      • The Scholia Arcana - Ciara Sydanus, aka The Dark Empyrean.
      • The Travelers - The Hierophant, aka Argine of the Sun Camp. Can be sided with.
      • The House Of Sorrows - Saturnyn, aka King Bisarane.
      • The House Of Valor - Tyr Magnus, the house champion .
    • The Legend of Dead Kel DLC - The undead pirate Dead Kel.
    • Teeth of Naros DLC - Primos Anokatos.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Essentially your role throughout the entire game.
  • Bigger Bad Tirnoch
  • Black and Grey Morality: The Bone Town quest arc in Apotrye. The Darkvari, Cynrics and Zungars are scum (Star-Crossed Lovers Steg Darkvari and Hrindi Zungar being the sole exceptions), and the Storias are fairly ruthless, but the mayor of Whitebone (the titular "Bone Town") had an innocent man imprisoned to make an example, and the end of the chain reveals he's little better than the bandit families himself.
  • Black Mage: Any NPC or yourself that primarily uses spells in combat.
  • Blade on a Stick: With aversion of Slice-and-Dice Swordsmanship. Spears have long reaching stab attacks.
  • Body Horror: Dead Kel has a thick branch in place of his left arm and a skull mask that might not really be a mask at all but rather his own deformed skull. His twisted appearance is one of the reasons he's not happy that Akara brought him back from death. It's implied that he was left in that state because Akara aborted the revival process midway when he realized Kel would abuse Akara's power.
  • Body Surf: The method used by the Dark Empyrean to facilitate her escape. She uses several high level mages to create the artifact necessary for her release. And she controls all of them simultaneously.
    • The Whispering Witch, one of Dead Kel's minions, does this to Alder Malloi's wife Bridgette (the next in line for Scion), and had apparently been using her body for years.
  • Bow and Sword, in Accord: The Fateless One is free to use this.
    • There's an achievement/trophy that can be earned very early via sword + bow called "Juggler", where you have to land five consecutive hits on an airborne enemy. A special move with the longsword that you get very early launches an opponent into the air, and then you just have to spam him with arrows.
  • Bonus Level Of Hell: The Den of Night, Ysa's 'prison.' The enemies there are tough and numerous (it is a jail for immortals, after all) but even a short foray into it will earn you some very good loot and more than enough Fate Points to fill up your meter. Which is fair, because you'll probably need to fateshift quite a lot if you go further in...
  • Blue and Orange Morality: A key aspect of Fey culture is "The Telling", of which our modern re-enactments and LARPing is but a pale shadow. New Fey will assume the roles and responsibilities of past heroes by actually fighting their old enemies, living their triumphs and even dying their deaths. Over. And. Over. Again.
    • Most Fey consider deviating from the telling a bad thing. So dying when you are supposed to as part of the telling is a good thing. If a mortal helps them they will get upset if the mortal assuming the role of a doomed person does not die (they may forget that mortals don't go to the Great Cycle like they do).
  • Breakable Weapons: all EQ has a "durability" rating that goes down over time. Blacksmith NPCs can repair it, but the cost goes up dramatically if you're using blue (rare), purple (unique) or gold (Set Bonus) gear; you'll save money by buying Repair Kits from vendors and making field repairs.
  • Broken Angel: The Fae are slowly losing their magic and immortality thanks to the Tuatha Deohn's actions wrecking havoc on the Great Cycle. They're not happy about it, but most of them know deep down that their time has passed.
  • Butterfly of Doom: The Fateless One. Agarth has a minor Freak Out! when you save him from the monster that was destined to kill him since that is the moment he realizes the full ramifications of one person being Immune to Fate. Everything the Fateless One does changes the Weave of the entire world, for better or for worse. This actually happens in the very beginning of the game when Hughes avoids the death foretold by Agarth just by meeting you.
  • But Thou Must: Sometimes what you say just doesn't matter. The quest for dealing with the ballad of Bloody Bones: He says, "Forget the hostages and I'll tell you what I know about the person who let me adjust the story." Your options: roll with his proposal, persuade him to let the hostages go, or fight him. End result: identical; hostages run free while Bloody Bones attacks you (even on a SUCCESSFUL persuasion!). It seems he just can't NOT be a villain (which is part of the point of the House of Ballads, so this may be a justified example of this trope).
    • The finale of the Motus Mining quest chain in the Hollowed Lands is another example. Even if you pass the persuasion check to convince Edgard to give you Calover's Artifact (which he was using to cause all the problems in the questchain), you'll still have to kill his Sprite bodyguards before he surrenders.
  • Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp": It's not skeleton, it's faer gorta.
    • An interesting inversion is the alfar (elves) and niskaru (demons). "Alfar" is what elves were called in Nordic mythology. Dökkálfar were the subterranean dark elves, and Ljósálfar were the light elves from Ālfheimr. So if anything it is the rest of us who are calling these rabbits smeerps.
  • Cassandra Truth: The owner of the Gorhart inn adamantly refuses to believe that the Red Legion are a serious threat, instead seeing them as just a loosely organized nuisance. This is despite the heavy implications that one of the bandits raided the town and critically wounded a Fae.
  • The Chosen One: There wasn't supposed to be a Chosen One! No one was supposed to defeat the Tuatha Deohn! Someone went out of their way to build a machine which would bring someone back...that's you.
    • In a strange twist of this trope in the Teeth of Naros DLC, the goddess Ethene knows that she is not fated to have a champion, and so she waits for someone who is not bound to Fate.
  • Came Back Strong: The Fateless One. Whatever he was like before his or her death, (s)he's definitely come back more powerful.
  • Came Back Wrong: Until you came along, the Well of Souls produced at best mindless zombies. One of the journals you can pick up strongly implies that during the early stages of the project this trope also applied to the physical aspect, with the Well producing variously malformed bodies.
    • It turns out that this also happened to Dead Kel, thanks to the misguided generosity of Akara.
  • Camera Screw: there have been numerous reports of PC players having difficulties with the field of vision and mouselook, both of which seem optimized for consoles and in some cases cause instant motion-sickness. This makes the PC version seem like an afterthought.
  • Can't Argue with Elves: Played with a little, the literal elves of this setting usually can be disagreed with when they get huffy...you can even disagree with them through actions that ruin them. As for the Fae which more accurately fit the whole long lived magical special race, you can argue with them and outwardly disagree with them, but they tend not to listen and if they're tuatha they generally don't listen on the grounds that they feel you simply can't understand them because you're mortal.
    • The 'good' Fae don't listen because they're willingly or reluctantly bound to their old stories, of which the Fateless One is not a part. More reasonable ones, like the High King Titarion and Prince Cydan (note that these are the leaders of the sane Fae) acknowledge that the Fae's time has passed and have a healthy respect for mortals.
  • Character Class: These are your "destinies," and if you have enough combat abilities in the Fighter, Mage, Thief trees, you can equip more and more powerful versions of these destinies. You can also mix and match for hybrid classes!
    • Warrior: Based off your Might abilities, this is all about melee damage, wearing heavy armor and blocking stuff with your shield. Physically pretty tough but low on mana. The ultimate Warrior Destiny gives you an emergency revival if you die in combat.
    • Mage: Based off your Sorcery abilities, these destinies greatly pump up your elemental damage and your mana recharge rate. The ultimate Mage destiny lets you randomly revive enemies as allies in combat.
    • Thief: Based off your Finesse abilities. It gives a lot of benefits to your ranged combat (particularly your longbows) and improves your critical hit chances. The ultimate Destiny gives you a chance to completely evade damage sometimes.
    • Magic Knight: Combo of Might and Sorcery. This is the most defensive class, giving you big damage-reducers and a skill that recharges your mana as you take damage.
    • Shadowblade: Combo of Finesse and Sorcery. Highly offensive with the ability to hit panicking enemies for huge damage, but a bit fragile.
    • Blademaster: Combo of Might and Finesse; expect to do a lot of physical damage with this one, though it's not as tough as a pure Warrior. Its ultimate destiny lets you beat the crap out of fallen enemies for extra gold.
    • Jack of All Stats: Combo of everything. Gives you a flat damage increase across the board, makes you a bit tougher, lets you wear all armors more easily, but the real benefit to this class is that it gives you bonus points in your non-combat skills, which can be hard to come by. The ultimate destiny, "The Universalist," gives you +3 to all skills (that's 30 levels worth of skill points!)
  • Character Select Forcing: The Travelers questchain, to a degree. Unlike the other two factions that focus on a specific talent class (Warsworn for Might, Scholia Arcana for Magic), you actually do require investments in Finesse and stealth-oriented skills in order to get far in the chain.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Captain Rast Brattigan of the Dead Kel DLC. She is the worst sailor alive, after all.
    • The Strange Almain, a hermit who lives in the deepest part of Idylla's sewers. Turns out that he's actually the famed explorer Denric, who before you was the only outsider to reach the Teeth Of Naros. He ended up going mad and living in the sewers. If you bring his journal entries to him, he'll remember who he is and tell you what his mission was, but also states that he failed in it, and that his current life is who he is now.
  • Contrived Coincidence: It's really ironic when you consider that the Fateless One, who was part of a group that kept Tirnoch's existence a secret, was the one who actually manages to put her down for good.
    • A hard charge to make when she flat out tells you when you finally meet that SHE picked you specifically to be the fateless one, as a bit of a Gambit Roulette, since she was trapped in the web of fate herself, able to make only minor alterations to other people's fates but was fated to be trapped there for eternity and figured that if she set you out by making the well of souls a success, you'd eventually make your way back again and interacting with you would allow her to break free of her own fate, which she has no power over. She just underestimated how badass being able to screw destiny had made you.
  • Crapsack World: Amalur has been getting progressively darker for centuries, culminating in the fated victory of the Tuatha. It's to the point that fateweavers, who were once the advisors to kings, are forced to live as beggars, since all they do is predict bad futures that are impossible to avoid. There's a reason why every fateweaver who meets the Fateless One treats him as the messiah; as far as they're concerned, he can't possibly make anything worse.
  • Cult: The Tuatha Deohn are an evil cult of Winter Fae led by Gadflow. Unfortunately the Tuatha have taken over the Winter Court and killed most of the Winter Fae who opposed them.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: The Winter Fae. Their main court is "The House of Sorrows" and they hold a reverence for waning of the seasons and present a foreboding appearance. However they hold death as merely a part of the Great Cycle and necessary in life. Subverted however in that Gadflow is doing his best to forcibly convert the Court of Winter into a force of evil and much of the court has fallen prey to the ways of the Tuatha Deohn.
  • Dawn of an Era / End of an Age: The disappearance of fate at the end of the game and the return of mortal magic eventually leads to a time of unprecedented growth and change dubbed The Age of Heroes. At the same time, the Fae are slowly losing their magic and since their immortality relied on the Great Cycle of fate, the end of fate means the end of their immortality. They are effectively mortal now.
  • Deal with the Devil: At the end of the Warsworn quest chain, you can choose to ally yourself with the demon you've been hunting the whole time. This gives you a few nifty things, but also turns any Warsworn hostile.
  • Deadly Disc: The chakrams, which also double as Precision Guided Boomerangs and Boomerang Comeback.
  • Deadly Dodging: High level wizards and wizard/thief hybrids can perform a flash step with a damaging effect included. This can be spammed, and costs no mana, allowing you to perform this move repeatedly, to the point that you can wipe out an entire party of attackers without ever drawing your weapon.
  • Death Mountain: A quest in the Scholia Arcana chain takes you to the top of Skycrown, a huge mountain in the center of the Plains of Erathell.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Most of the Faction Quests have you defeating entities that have stood over mortals for centuries.
    • The final boss fight has you defeating a dragon so large that you look like a mosquito next to it. A dragon capable of controlling fate. After it is beaten, the fateweavers become unable to see a fate for anyone, leading to the possible conclusion that it was responsible for the entire weave of fate throughout all of history. In short, you killed the creature that created destiny and which has been constantly rewriting the destiny of the entire world to ensure that it could not be defeated.
      • And probably engineered the extermination of all mortal races since, unlike the Fae, mortals did not meekly accept Fate's designs, but constantly pushed against it. A world with just Fae meekly obeying the commands of Fate would be far easier to manipulate for all of eternity. Interestingly, if Tirnoch did in fact script all of Fate then she may have sealed her own defeat as the Fateless One's creation (foreseeable by Agarth) was apparently part of the plan.
      • A simpler explanation for the end of Fate: The world was fated to end, but it didn't. Thus, the surviving world no longer had a fate. Tirnoch didn't control fate, but she could Screw Destiny and give that power to others.
      • Doesn't make sense with other examples of the Fateless One changing fate. Didenhill, for example, was supposed to have been completely wiped out by the plague before the Fateless One intervened, yet once their fate had been changed Agarth could still see a new fate for them. Clearly preventing someone's death or destruction doesn't remove them from the weave.
  • Difficult but Awesome: Chakrams have the sort of range and multi-hit capability we last saw in God of War. As a downside, you can't block with your shield until they have returned to your hands. Perhaps in compensation, the final strike of their combo actually loops around behind your character a little bit, and if timed correctly will ward off incoming attacks.
  • Dirty Coward: King Wencen near the end of the House of Ballads questline chickens out and leaves you with his role because his victory is no longer guaranteed.
  • The Dragon: Gadflow is this to Tirnoch, an actual dragon.
    • Dragon-in-Chief: However, despite this Gadflow is the main force behind the Tuatha for most of the game, due to Tirnoch being sealed.
    • With Knight Myreyr to Saturnyn/Bisarane in the House of Sorrows questline.
  • The Dreaded: Dead Kel to the sailors of the world even back when he was an ordinary mortal. He's become even more infamous as an undead horror.
    • Saturnyn is this to the House of Sorrows. The Winter Fae are used to Tuatha tactics being brute force, and having to deal with a crafty Magnificent Bastard who works from the shadows terrifies them.
  • Drop the Hammer: Yet another option for the Fateless One.
  • Drunken Master: Agarth implies a few times that he's actually more competent after he's had a few.
    • Also, in the House of Valor, one of your partners is a sorceress who claims that her fire-based battlemagic is fueled by alcohol. It's hard to tell if it's true, though, since nobody's ever seen her sober.
  • Dual Wielding: Daggers, Faeblades, and Chakrams allow this.
  • Dudewheres My Respect: Averted but later played straight with Fey interactions. Become the king/queen of the House of Ballads and everyone there will recognize you with "your grace" or similar. But go to Ysa, the fey capitol (to whom the House of Ballads is a very important place) and barely anyone will say anything about your role. Not even the guy in the Ballads Sanctuary. You also cannot use your position as a title to be introduced with, the announcers will only call out titles you buy.
  • Dwindling Party: Your introductory mission for the Warsworn has you, a sergeant, and some other eager young hirelings looking around for bandits where some trade caravans got ambushed. While looking for clues the party splits up (so you inevitably have to take your eyes off of someone) and the rest of the recruits get killed by something off screen, one at a time. When it's down to just you and the sergeant, you find out that it's Niskaru, these horrible blade-armed demon things. Tracking down their source, the sergeant tempts fate by saying that you, at least, will be promoted to Pledgeshield and how he's going to enjoy a drink with you when it's all over. It looks like he's actually going to make it through but he gets skewered by Niskaru at the last leg of the journey, forcing you to take on the boss alone.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Niskaru. Creatures from a chaotic plane of existence, they come in several flavors: hunters (look like a freakish mix of a preying mantis, human, and a box of glowing crystals), tyrants (ten feet tall, with very malleable bodies, can reach across the screen with one attack), greater (you fight one as part of the story line they're 40 feet tall and can destroy cities, and can only be defeated with specially created weapons), and Lords (The Warsworn quest involves stopping the emergence of one, and it is implied that these things can ravage CONTINENTS if they emerge, and are almost impossible to kill once free. Just one emerging into the mortal plane of existence is something that can shake the foundations of the world).
    • The Fateless One, in a sense. They died, then their soul was captured and stuffed into a body created purely from arcane energy. And since they aren't bound by Fate (and often use it as a weapon), they are often asked "What are you?!" by NPC's who are sensitive to the Weave of Fate. The Tuatha even consider him/her an abomination.
  • Eldritch Location: The path that the greater Niskaru took, from the point of it's conjuration to the site of the siege, is a tract of blighted terrain where nothing grows and that continuously spawns hunter and tyrant Niskaru. It's implied that the greater Niskaru had passed through that region years ago, and the land has not recovered from it... and possibly never will.
  • Everyone Is Bi: Most NPC's who flirt with the Fateless One will not change their dialogue based on his/her gender.
  • Fair Folk: Fae in Amalur take inspiration from this trope, with a new spin on it though.
    • Interestingly, the Tuatha are the exact opposite of what most Fae are considered. They are not subtle, nor do they shy away from violence or direct confrontation, nor do they rely on trickery. They are violent, cruel, and merciless, and in regards to tactics, they have roughly the same amount of subtlety as a warhammer blow to the face. You could almost mistake them for humans in that regard.
      • It is also commonly commented that there's something WRONG with the Tuatha. They're a radical branch of the Winter Court, who "are not nice, but not evil."
    • Agarth claims the Fae are even simpler to understand than mortals, because the Fae don't change with time thanks to the "Great Cycle".
  • Fake Difficulty: Like most action games, getting hit just once in a Multi-Mook Melee can lead to being stagger-locked for half your lifebar or more. Your only saving grace is the fact that you can use healing potions no matter what else is going on.
    • The game's auto-targeting system also leads to Interface Screw sometimes. The algorithm works by a combination of range ("What's nearest me?") and aggro ("What most recently hit me?") and has no option for locking in a target in case you want to pursue it.
  • Fake Ultimate Hero: Tyr Magnus, champion of the House of Valor. At the start of the quest chain, he is billed as an honorable, absolutely badass warrior, but late in the chain you learn that he's actually a Dirty Coward who has the fights rigged to ensure he always wins, and has anyone who comes to close to taking his position as champion assassinated.
  • Fan Disservice: Banshaen have breasts the size of your head. Too bad they're giant, monstrous, lightning-spitting reptiles that vomit up their young.
  • Fetch Quest: There are several, but they're mostly filed under "Tasks" and are mostly the player turning in Vendor Trash they find scattered across the various lands.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: Of course, you can choose to combine aspects of these into a style of your choice.
    • You can be all three at once, or have your fate unwoven so that you can select different skills and abilities, letting you change from Warrior, to Thief, to Wizard, or any combination of the three on a regular basis, so there's no worries to be had over not being able to meet the requirements to go through a faction quest (or being stuck with a gimped character because you accidentally chose the wrong skills to level up). For a modest fee, you can reset your stats and remake your character (the only thing you can't change are the destiny cards concerning the choices you've made).
  • Fighting a Shadow: The problem with fighting the Fae. You can kill their bodies, but they just come back. On the other hand, you, the Fateless One, have a tendency for literally ripping out their future and beating them to death with it, so it's likely that any Fae you kill won't be back for another Cycle.
  • Finishing Move: If you use Reckoning Mode correctly, it will end with you ripping the threads of fate out of your victims, turning them into a glowing weapon, and beating them to death with it. Yes, you beat/stab/slash/crush/maul your enemy to death with its own fate.
  • Fire, Ice, Lightning: The three elemental magics. Fire has a chance to cause panic, ice slows, and lightning stuns.
  • Flash Step: By ranking up in Sorcery, your dodge roll becomes this instead. Depending on your class, it can get added extra effects too (a pure Sorcerer will get an Ice dodge, a Finesse/Sorcerer will get poison clouds that appear as they pop around).
    • The Lunge skill in Finesse uses this to dodge attacks and get behind enemies.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: Tirnoch, the Goddess of...Mercy?
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Before murdering the heads of the Winter Court, forming the Tuatha, and leading them on a war to annihilate all mortals, according to the lorestones, Gadflow was... the court jester of the Winter Court.
    • The Fateless One goes from some amnesic person in tattered, bloody clothes to being The Archsage, King of the House of Ballads, Grand Champion of the House of Valour, the Siege Breaker of Mel Senshir, The Godslayer and having the potential to kill everything in existence with their combat abilities.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: The Fateweavers originally read the Destiny of others through cards. For the Fateless One who makes his/her own Destiny, the cards instead allow access to the Class and Level System via deliberate choosing of the cards.
    • A more subtle example in the main questline. One quest requires you to recover a spear that is the only thing that can defeat a greater Niskaru. When the weapon is lost during the battle against this monster, and you have to take it on, once it's health is reduced to a sufficient level, you use a finisher, and what you create to destroy the enemy is AN EXACT REPLICA OF THE SPEAR, FORGED FROM THE WEAVE OF FATE.
    • Another example comes up in the "Teeth of Naros" DLC. Primos Anokatos uses the Fateless One's role as Beckoned to fulfill the Kollossae's prophecy just enough to open the way to the Hyperian and breaks the Fateless One's Cipher. At that point, since the Fateless One had gained a new fate, he becomes the very victim of the kind of power he commanded, becoming inflicted with the Broken Fate status.
  • Gambit Roulette: Alyn Shir suggests near the end of the game that the Fateless One planned out everything including his/her death and subsequent resurrection. If this is true, then the Fateless One essentially Out-Gambitted Tirnoch.
  • Gladiator Subquest: House of Valor has this in two flavors - one is chain of teamfights leading to a championship match and coupled with some plot (what little of it can be applied to such quest); second is just series of fights against common enemies, sometimes with additional rules.
  • A God I Am Not: Akara in "Legend of Dead Kel" allowed the people of Cape Solace to think he was a god to give them peace of mind, but admits he isn't one when the Fateless One finally meets him.
    • Which is odd. Due to his power and the fact he was old when the world was made he has a good claim for Physical God.
  • Gold and White Are Divine: Generally not invoked except for a few legendary weapons. Piercing Light is a big, gold, glowy spear and the Mystic Hammer is a big gold hammer with glowy lines.
  • Green Rocks: Prismere, a powerful magical mineral that is usually blue, unless treated with magic the right way, whereby it turns bright glowing red. Prismere is the mineral of choice for most of the evil or corrupting people in the game, in particular Gadflow and his Tuatha, or the Maid of Windemere. In limited amounts, it allows the bad guys to Screw Destiny too, though not to the same extent that you can.
  • Groundhog Day: The Fey are big into reliving the past, including killing the same villains and being vanquished (actually dying) by the same, if the story goes that way.
    • The Fae are thrown for a loop in the House of Ballads questline because the story has been changed, starting with the champion Sir Sagrell being killed by the monster he always triumphed against in past tellings.
  • Healing Factor: Using blacksmithing and sagecraft, a player can give his equipment a boost to health regen (you start with 0 health regen). Top tier equipment dedicated to defense and health regen makes the damage most enemies can deal to you negligible, and heal before it can show on your health bar.
  • Heel Realization: Primos Anokatos in the "Teeth of Naros" DLC realizes he was a monster near the end of the questline after hearing Ethene's true desires. He challenges you to a fight to the death anyway because the evil he committed in life made him a suitable scapegoat for his entire race's flaws (he was that bad). As a result, when the Fateless One kills him, the Kollosae as a whole are redeemed of their past arrogance and savagery.
  • Heroic Mime: The Fateless One's dialogue is never heard aloud.
  • High-Pressure Blood: Doing bleeding damage to enemies causes impressive torrents of blood to burst out of their bodies.
    • There's also one quest giving NPC, who suffers this effect permanently.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Tirnoch severed the Fateless One from the weave of Fate intentionally, seeing that as the only way to secure her freedom. He is then the only one who can kill her. Bonus points if the Fateless One is using Prismere equipment, since Prismere is crystal infused with Tirnoch's power.
  • Home Run Hitter: The Reckoning kill animation for gnomes can be this, using a huge Fate-woven mace and some Ragdoll Physics. Terrific fun.
    Templar Octienne: "You wouldn't dare-" *WHACK!*
  • Hourglass Plot: In "Legend of Dead Kel", Alder Malloi is a devout worshipper of Akara while Paddy is one of Akara's most outspoken skeptics. By the end of all of the questlines, Alder believes that he was wrong to put so much blind faith in Akara rather than relying on himself. Meanwhile, Paddy ends up believing that Akara was responsible for guiding him in the restoration of Gravehal Keep and plants a tree seed in the Keep's courtyard to honor Akara.
  • Humanoid Abomination: People who take Fate really seriously like the Fae and the Fateweavers get freaked out when they understand that Fate doesn't apply to the Fateless One. The Fateless One is not only Immune to Fate, he/she can wield the very Weave itself as a weapon. No one like the Fateless One except maybe Tirnoch has ever existed before; the oldest living mortal in the world notes that he/she is something new. The Tuath outright call the Fateless One an abomination. The Fateless One's origin is also suitably disturbing: he/she is a dead person whose soul was pulled back from the afterlife and shoved into a new body, identical to his/her original form, but created entirely by magic.
  • Hyperspace Is a Scary Place: Walking through shadows is heavily implied to be this. Before you make the trip, Cydan tells you to keep your eyes closed — and to ignore the whispers. The trip itself is uneventful and offscreen, presumably because your character actually listened to Cydan's advice.
  • I Am Who?: Alyn Shir and the Fateless One were originally members of a secret organization designed to keep the secret of Tirnoch's existence from the world.
  • Immune to Fate: "The Fateless One". Being ressurected from the dead has allowed him/her to be freed from their destiny and forge a new one. In a world governed by fate and the inability to fight it, this individual marks an omen for serious change in the world. For good or ill.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: The Reckoning Mode finisher against Trolls is chucking a glowing javelin right into its face.
    • The Reckoning Mode finisher for most human enemies consist of the Fateless One creating a spear, sticking it to the ground and then throwing the helpless schmuck to impale him/her.
    • Tirnoch gets a fate spear stabbed through her head at the end.
    • During the fight with Balor, you impale both of Balor's "hands" into the ground so he can't move and then stab a fate spear through his eye.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: The sidequest titles in particular are rife with these.
  • In-Game Novel: Plenty. Most of them are descriptive writings about the world and its occupants, but there's a fair amount of fiction to find, too, especially amongst the translated ancient texts in the Dead Kel DLC.
  • Inhumanly Beautiful Race: The Dokkalfar. Despite a well-earned reputation for being skilled manipulators and puppet masters, individuals cannot resist their natural allure. It's apparently strong enough that people still deal with them knowing full well the risks of working with the Dark Elves.
  • Insurmountable Waist High Fence: Played straight several times, but most egregiously regarding jump points at the end of certain dungeons that allow quick access to the front door. Basically all you'd need to do to bypass the dungeon and whatever mystical locks/traps they have in their entirety is bring a ten-foot ladder. Hell, even the Hall Of The Firstsworn, which has a fate-proof door protecting a legendary forge, could have been bypassed thusly.
    • Even more so than that, there are places that you can't reach without walking the long way around even if the only thing blocking you is a foot-tall log or a pile of rocks and ferns. You can't even jump off the side of stairs even though the ground is less than a foot lower. Come to think of it, the protagonist, who is Immune to Fate and can do whatever he/she wants, whenever he/she wants, can't jump at will.
  • Item Crafting: Almost any piece of equipment can be disassembled into components with varying properties, which can then be used to produce custom armor and weapons.
    • With the proper components to construct them, this equipment far outshines even the best armor sets in the game, including a complete armor set that you can get just moments before the final boss battle.
    • You can also collect "shards" to turn into gems to use on Socketed Equipment via the "Sagecrafting" skill, and "Alchemy" lets you make your own potions, once you've learned or experimented out the appropriate recipes.
  • Kill 'em All: The Fateless One can actually press a button to toggle that attacks against villagers.
    • Everyone in the House Of Sorrows is either dead or sealed in Esharra by the end of its questline
  • Lady of Black Magic: The Dark Empyrean. The Widow to a lesser degree.
  • Lag Cancel: Pulling your shield, or dodging, right before dealing the last attack of a combo (save from Chakrams) will null any lag during your attacks and possibly prevent you from getting hit or ganged up in the Multi-Mook Melee. The last attack of a combo is powerful but it is either slow or has a lot of recovery.
  • Land of Faerie: The Fae races claim to be from a different realm of existence. There's also the suggestion that if any mortal has set foot there, they have not returned.
    • The Fateless One makes a brief visit to the place at the end of the "House of Sorrows" questline. The Fae who takes the Fateless One there is impressed that he/she seems none the worse for wear.
  • Land Mine Goes Click: Due to the mines being magical in nature it's more of a "whoom" sound, but it serves its gameplay purpose of giving the player time to jump out of the way.
  • Large and in Charge: Tirnoch is huge
  • Last of His Kind: By the end of the House of Sorrows questline the Fateless One is the last member of the House.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: A journal in the Legend of Dead Kel DLC contains the following passage: "I see before me, as if written in bright letters in the air, precisely how effective a student's attack has been."
  • Lecture As Exposition: The Lorestones will just jabber on no matter what, even if you've hit pause. Similarly, in the last level, your companion goes on at length about how you died. Timing the lecture, it goes for five solid minutes.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: The Fae who had sought the role of Sir Sagrell in the latest Telling. The latest Sagrell can be found having obviously been mauled to death by trying to fight a powerful thresh directly, and the others who join you competing to take up his mantle fare no better. With a decent Detect Hidden, you can discover lorestones that reveal the first Sagrell, and presumably all of his successors to that point, had been more of the Pragmatic Hero type and had used a secret path to an overlook to rain arrows on the monster rather than face it in straight-up combat, but part of his story had included him keeping it secret.
  • Legacy Character: The roles of the various heroes of lore taken up by the Fae of the House of Ballads, as explained to you by King Wencen and Lady Belmaid are as a matter of continuity to them as a people and is likened to mortals passing on their legacy to their children. You can participate in this by becoming Sir Sagrell.
  • Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards: Roll a sorcerer, equip chakrams, and mash the action button, and you can happily shut your brain off for a few hours while decimating everything on the field.
    • Averted somewhat with Greatswords: big sweeping arcs, lots of damage, knockback, and a rolling attack that instantly sends groups of enemies flying.
    • Also averted with Longswords. They have amazing field control and one of the best knock-ups in the game. However, to use them effectively, you will want to be both a warrior and a rogue (longsword + bow = absolute field control and no fear of death if active).
  • Luckily My Shield Will Protect Me: Characters of any build can equip a physical or magical shield in addition to their weapons and pull it out instantly to block attacks, even in the middle of a combo (however not after dealing the last hit of it). This makes sense when you have a talisman equipped, since a talismans is basically a magical Deflector Shield mounted on your arm that activates whenever you want it to, but it gets a bit silly when you pull a tower shield just as tall as you are out of thin air.
    • The one exception to "even in the middle of a combo" are chakrams: unless they're physically in your character's hands, s/he can't block... and their whole purpose is to go flying around dealing razor-sharp death at range.
  • The Magic Comes Back and The Magic Goes Away: Having been lost to the mortal races since ancient times, magic has returned to the world. The era the game takes place in has been dubbed "The Age of Arcana". However, as the mortals' magic waxes, the fae's wanes. It's not clear whether or not there is a connection or if it is just a coincidence; fae and mortal magic are too different from each other to be really sure. And according to the Amalur webpage's history section, magic will become even stronger over time. Roughly 1600 years after the events of the game, people all over the world are manifesting incredible abilities ranging from an unprecedented control over magic to physical abilities beyond anything seen in previous ages. This era is dubbed, quite fittingly, the Age of Heroes.
    • Also, fate disappears after the death of Tirnoch.
  • Magikarp Power: Magic Knight (Might + Sorcery) characters, while not powerful as their pure counterparts, get bonus abilities, like converting the damage they take as mana. Additionally, high level mage knights are able to use Warrior level armor and also use powerful magic weapons like Chakrams, staffs, and scepters. However, the most powerful, room clearing spells in the mage tree are really only attainable to magic dedicated characters.
    • Bonus points to the Universalist Destiny. Putting 37 points in all skill trees nets you a destiny that gives 20% bonus damage to all weapon types, 12% resistance against all types of damage, 10% chance to critical hit and a +3 skill point bonus to all skills. Equipment restrictions are also reduced by half. The Universalist destiny also "Unlocks all weapon mastery abilities.", meaning the player can use all special attacks for all weapon types.
    • Finesse characters will eventually earn Scattershot can fire up to eight arrows at the same time. Good for crowd control, excellent at blank-point against single characters, especially Trolls, Thresh and even Niskaru Tyrants.
    • Sorcery characters will find themselves with a meek lighting ball spell and then an awkward fire spell where you must tag your opponents before actually damaging then. Later level spells like Thunderstorm and Meteor are extremely powerful and even though costly one can earn 100% Decreased Mana Cost with the right pieces of equipment.
    • Blademasters (Finesse + Might) starts off as mere fragile warriors with no shinning statuses, but as soon Pristine gems can be sagecrafted they can put Critical Hit Chance gems on every piece of equipment they can find. Combine that with a high Critical Hit Damage and the Blademaster can deal massive amounts of damage with no mana cost.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Elf: Rast Brattigan from the Legend of Dead Kel DLC. The trope itself is name-dropped via an achievement regarding her.
  • Mike Nelson, Destroyer of Worlds: Rast Brattigan in the Legend of Dead Kel DLC. If you spend time talking to everyone and reading the logs you find out the Calamity, her ship, managed to accidentally shipwreck a whole lot of ships on the island
  • Money for Nothing: If player is using self crafted equipment there is very little to spend money on, leading to a very probable possibility of ending game as multi millionaire.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Tirnoch to Gadflow.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: This game is 'pretty' full of these with one dying fewer than five minutes after giving a speech about years from now, sharing a mug with you. All in all, accounting for the human factions within the game you lose about three; two deaths and one sealed in a dimensional prison meant for a darklord.
  • Message in a Bottle: There are eight of these in the "Legend of Dead Kel" DLC, and there is an achievement for collecting all of them. "Briar", the mysterious penpal responsible for saving the first writer's sanity and lead him to fellow castaways, is implied to be either a figment of his imagination or Akara itself.
  • The Mole: King Bisarane of the House Of Sorrows is actually their feared enemy Saturnyn.
  • Money Spider: Wolves carrying around swords, armors, and various other adventuring supplies abound. As do actual spiders. Some even carry unique weapons...somewhere.
  • My Greatest Failure: In "Legend of Dead Kel", Akara deeply regrets failing to realize Kel was a monster before reviving him. Akara's only goal is to rectify his mistake by empowering a champion to slay Dead Kel — which would also mean Akara's own death, since the two are linked thanks to the incomplete resurrection magic.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The Dark Empyrean is able to rise because the Fateless One took part in the ritual to enter the Scholia Arcana. Had the Fateless One not initiated the questline, the Dark Empyrean may have slumbered for centuries longer. On the bright side, the Fateless One kills the Dark Empyrean, ending her threat and freeing the Scholia Arcana from their age old burden.
    • The Fateless One is also partially responsible for the end of the House of Sorrows. It was already doomed since its leader was secretly a Tuatha who wanted the House dead, but the Fateless One accelerated its demise.
    • If you use all the lorestones in the Cradle of Summer, it triggers a side quest because you've destroyed the magic protecting the area and now you've got to fight the Wild Fae.
      • A more literal example is, during a part of the main quest line, you use a device that allows a fateweaver to see where a person is on the Great Weave. When you touch it it falls apart. There is even a dialogue option where you can apologize for breaking it.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Tirnoch's efforts to free herself by creating the Fateless One ultimately end with her dead and everyone else free of fate.
  • Not So Invincible After All
  • Oh Crap: Tirnoch isn't quite what Gadflow expected.
    • Hilariously, during the House of Valor DLC questline that comes with the Online Pass, when the champion of the House of Valor betrays you and tries to get both you and your team killed (by separating you from your team), the assassin that is sent to kill you will, if you pass an easy persuasion check, realize that he was sent, alone, to kill a guy whom he watched best multiple teams of top warriors, in one case singlehanded, and he has just succeeded in pissing off. He then begs forgiveness and runs for his life.
  • Our Monsters Are Different: Most monsters are wild fae, magical creatures only slightly better than animals. More specific examples below.
    • All Trolls Are Different: Another type of wild fae, sometimes used as siege weapons by the Tuatha. They are a monstrous mix of rock and fifteen-foot tall gorilla wielding a tree-trunk as a club.
    • Our Angels Are Different: The Erathi are "creatures of order" who left the world long ago, leaving behind massive underground ruins.
    • Our Demons Are Different: The Niskaru are "creatures of chaos" mostly exterminated ages ago by the precursors of the Warsworn. Their Lords are intelligent, but the lesser ones don't seem to be.
    • Our Dragons Are Different: There's only one (that we know of) but she has godlike powers, including controlling fate.
    • Our Dwarves Are All the Same: The Dverga people are one of the heavily customized models of dwarf. They're mentioned frequently in the Dead Kel DLC and were responsible for nearly all the construction on the island, including Gravehal Keep. They're a grim seafaring people intent on carving out settlements on any island they find in the Frostbreak Sea. To help with this, they rely heavily on slave labor, so nearly everyone else hates them as a result. They have an important tradition of raising the first buildings of a new colony with the wood of the ships that brought them there.
    • Our Elves Are Different: The Dokkalfar (dark elves) and the Ljosalfar (light elves) used to be one species, but split long ago over ideological differences. They are explicitly mortal (albeit long-lived) and used to rule over the other races before humans as a species began equaling them in magic. Elves are basically "elf-light" in this game; the most elfy tropes really belong to the Fae.
    • Our Fairies Are Different: And not to be confused with the elves in this game! Elves may also have pointy ears and inhuman beauty, but they are explicitly mortal and separate from the fae, which is really confusing if you're used to reading lots of Neil Gaiman...
      • Made even more confusing considering the Light Elves are tall, pointy eared, blue skinned, and fond of face paint. The problem is the Fae are also tall, pointy eared, blue skinned, and fond of face paint... The main visual difference is the Fae tend to dress like Poison Ivy while the Ljosalfar dress like normal people. The Fae also have black eyes with almost glowing Iris' as well as a slight flanging to their voices and nearly-neon Anime Hair.
    • Our Giants Are Bigger: The ten-foot tall and six-foot wide Jottuns (basically Ogres) and two-headed ettins.
    • Our Gnomes Are Weirder: Fit the standard modern mold of being focused on science and engineering. They're also the ones who created the Well of Souls that brought the Fateless One back to life. Also, they're Romans.
    • Our Zombies Are Different: The "Sons of Laz" are are animated, mindless corpses that attack all living things without reason. They were created by a related resurrection experiment to the one that produced the Fateless One, and are the reason Hughes refused to use corpses in his own experiments.
  • Pirate: Dead Kel.
  • Point Build System
  • Power Floats: Several sorcerer characters hover a couple feet off the ground when they fight, including your sorceress partner in the House of Valor and Fomorous Hugues. You and sorcerer mooks don't.
  • Private Military Contractors: The Warsworn make up large parts of the armies fighting the Tuatha. They're much more sympathetic than most examples of this trope, however, and in fact were originally founded to exterminate demons.
  • Purple Is Powerful: In accordance with other RPGs, "Epic" items have their names in purple. Also, Niskaru Bloodhunters have purple crystals on their backs.
  • Real Time Weapon Change: Including in the middle of combos. This ability is probably an even bigger advantage for the Fateless One than his or her power to Screw Destiny, as most enemies don't seem to use it.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: The Tuatha's armor and weapons.
    • Many of the top tier equipments have this scheme, which isn't surprising, since, like the tuatha's gear, contain prismere, which is formed from the emanations of Tirnoch.
  • Religion of Evil: Aside from the Tuatha, there's also Belen's Testament, fanatical followers of the Alfar god of death who strive to commit mass murder, claiming that death is a "salvation".
  • Revenge Before Reason: Therias in The Legend of Dead Kel. You can talk him out of it, but its very hard, even with a maxed out Persuasion skill.
  • Rewarding Vandalism: Destroying a pile of crates or vases gives you a small amount of money, destroying a lot of them nets you an achievement.
  • Sadistic Choice: This happens in the climax of the Travelers faction quest chain, in which you can choose to expose the Hierophant, or serve her and betray the one who helped you discover her identity. This also happens in the main quest line of "Teeth of Naros", in which you can choose to help the Kollossae council members in the Nyxaros torture chambers, or free the Naros Jottun slaves from execution and permanently befriend them.
    • The teeth of Narros choice is subverted if you free the Jottun, you are still free to go back and save "the council". It doesn't work the other way around though
    • The sidequest "Bell, Book and Candle". Do you side with the First Scaith and kill the necromancer to bring an immediate end to the Scaith family curse (which permanently removes Faer Gorta enemies from Tala-Rane), or do you side with the necromancer and kill the First Scaith so the necromancer can control the Faer Gorta and use them to protect Tala-Rane from the Tuatha, knowing that the curse will be lifted when the necromancer eventually dies? (this causes the Faer Gorta in Tala-Rane to become friendly and assist you in battle)
    • When dealing with the Belen's Testament cultists in the Red Marches, you are forced to leave one of your allies behind to open a door so you can access Fyragnos's tomb. It's stated that they'll be in great peril left behind, and they don't show up at the camp afterwards. If you backtrack all the way to Fyragno's chamber you'll end up finding the corpse of the one person you choose to leave behind.
  • Scenery Gorn: The Winter Fae revere death and decay and their lands show it. The northern half is mostly swampland whose most notable feature is the giant tree with corpses hanging from its branches, and that's the nice part. The lands held by the Tuatha are a frozen bleak hellscape. It's implied that the Winter Fae's lands used to be much nicer before the Tuatha took over.
  • Scenery Porn: Amalur is beautiful. On rare occasions, the camera pans around to make sure you know how awesome the area you just stepped into is.
    • In light of how beautiful the game is, it's a shame that the camera is slightly angled down by default, so around 3/4th of the screen show the ground. Tip: Look up every now and then.
  • Screw Destiny: Imagine a giant upthrust middle finger flipping off fate, destiny, and all things pre-determined. Now imagine that finger given human form. That is the Fateless One in a nutshell. As mentioned above, he can rip a person's fate out of the weave, turn it into spears, swords, daggers, or gigantic maces, and pummel people to death with it. Oh, you're not fated to die this day? Let's change that. Permanently.
    • At one point Agarth starts yelling at you about this. Until he realizes that your ability to do this just saved him from his predetermined death.
  • Screw You, Elves!: Though the difference between man and elf is not emphasized in this setting like others and the two usually seem to get along amiably there are examples where elves put on airs on occasion, one example that comes to mind is the town Tirin's Rest where through your actions you may,
    • Aid a couple of refugees and former citizens of the region and snubbing your nose at the local church's claims that it's their gods plan that these people deserve what they got arbitrarily.
    • Aid a thief in stealing the donations of the citizens meant for the war effort, the thieves intent being to donate it to refugees who the town gives a knowing cold shoulder to, again because of their local beliefs
    • And last but not least, free an unjustly imprisoned fairy who than curses the head priestess of the local church as well as one of the towns main guardsman for their involvement and then you can even blackmail the priestess lest you blow the story wide open to the locals of the town.
    • Also, elves had magic first, and looked down on humans for not having it. Then humans got it.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: A few. The Niskaru Lord of the Warsworn quest chain and the Dark Empyrean of the Scholia Arcana chain are the most obvious, but the villains of the House of Ballad's stories could count as well. They are forced to play out their roles eternally, with no hope of victory. Although that one is less clear; the heroes, at least, are free to leave and let someone else play their part, so its possible the same is true of the villains.
  • Seers: The Fateweavers. Able to see the destiny of anyone. Except you of course.
  • Shaggy Dog Story: Early on, you'll get a quest to find ten books of "ribald literature" collected by a monk. These books are scattered across the Faelands, and you won't be able to finish it until very late in the game. Your reward for finishing is a negligible amount of gold and a note saying the monk in question would be proud of you.
    • The reason the amount of gold is negligible is that the quest reward is level-dependent on the level you are when you start the quest, not when you turn it in. The quest start happens to be in the first town in the game, but you can't get the last book in it until you're a good 90% of the way through the game. In a second playthrough, it's advisable to ignore that quest until you've unlocked all the locations for it and can fast-travel, since it also takes up up to ten inventory slots.
  • She Is the King: Playing through the House of Ballads storyline lets you take on the role of Sir Sagrell, a fae hero, and eventually King Wencyn himself. This doesn't change if the Fateless One is female.
    • Nor does it change if you choose the tyrannical approach which is choosing to spare the life of the end boss and become king to her queen in a changing of the telling
  • Shockwave Punch: The Tempest spell is essentially charging up with lightning and slamming your fist into the ground, causing lightning to rain down, frying everything in the area and/or sending them flying. It's also awesome.
  • Shout-Out: The Warsworn wear light blue armor with massive shoulder pads trimmed in yellow and their mission is to "fight chaos wherever they find it". Does that remind you of anything...?
    • The name of the Greater Niskaru, Balor, is a shout out to the Formorian king by the same name from Celtic Mythology. In addition, the devs showed their work by giving it an Evil Eye and having it (usually) require a Mook to open and close it.
    • An in-game book documenting fae magical items and artifacts calls itself an "Encyclopedia Magicka" - the Encyclopedia Magica was a series of 2nd Edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons books meant to document all the magical items and artifacts so far published in D&D books at the time.
    • The Sons of Laz monsters are pretty much zombies. Turns out they were created by a failed earlier version of the Well of Souls, and named after a legendary figure named "Laz" who was raised from the dead.
  • Smoke Out: A Finesse skill allows you to turn briefly invisible by throwing down a smoke bomb.
  • Spikes of Villainy: The Tuatha use Prismere weapons and equipment, which are noticeably more spiky than equipment made from other materials.
  • Starter Villain: Red Idward and his bandit clan, the Red Legion. Much of the early sidequests involve combating him and his schemes.
  • Sticks to the Back: So that the player can always see the entirety of his or her hand-crafted pride and joy, of course! Although having a fiery sword that never goes out stuck to your back can't be all that comfortable.
  • Stripperific: Armors most female character can wear are surprisingly sensible in this respect.
    • Played very straight by Alyn Shir.
    • Most Dokkalfar fashion tends in this direction, as noted in the Compendium. Dialogue from a few dokkalfar suggests that they feel that more conventional clothing is unfashionable, unflattering, and ugly.
  • Suicidal Overconfidence: Regardless of level, enemies in the field will take you on, to the point that your character can be at level 25-30, with enchanted prismere armor and weapons, and wolves and bears at the opening areas will still try to take you. Apparently living in the Fae lands removed their survival instincts.
    • Justified for the Fae, who have spent the entirety of existence knowing exactly how and from what they will die, as they have gone through those deaths a thousand times. They don't realize that the one they are fighting is the one person in the world capable of violating fate and killing them permanently.
      • Also Alyn Shir threatening to find you if you ever reveal truth about Tirnoch to anyone. Considering what the Fateless One has gone through to get to Tirnoch, I doubt a single Dokkalfar woman armed only with a pair of daggers and a distracting-as-all-hell outfit is any danger to him/her.
      • King Wencen remains confident that he and his Court will prevail against the Maid as they have in previous tellings despite the Maid's newfound power. The very moment he understands that victory isn't guaranteed this time he panics and passes his role onto you before running for his life.
      • This can apply to basically everything when you hit level 40 and/or have access to the Tempest spell along with semi decent armour and weapons. At level 40 you are basically a Physical God to varying degrees. The Tempest spell can make any fight against a dozen Tuatha end in two attacks. Even the final boss can be killed very, VERY quickly when you are that strong.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Surprisingly averted. Not only can he/she swim, the Fateless One can use breaststroke for normal swimming and freestyle for sprint swimming. You can't go up and down, but it's still a surprise for a game with such blatant insurmountable fences.
  • Super Empowering: Once every generation Akara imbues a person with his power, and he/she becomes the Scion. The people of Cape Solace call this ritual the Offering and have given it a religious significance and treat the new Scion as the avatar of Akara's will. This isn't at all what Akara wants. The Scion's true purpose is to slay Dead Kel, Akara's greatest mistake. Dead Kel's goal is to claim the power of the Scion for himself.
  • Super Mode: Reckoning Mode, recharged by beating enemies (and recharged faster by doing so with showy mix-ups of special combos, spells and abilities). Once you activate it, you enter Bullet Time, everything turns blue, and you gain a huge damage-bonus along with Glowing Eyes of Doom. Then you can rampage through as many enemies as there happens to be around, before finishing the last one with an unusually brutal Quick Time Event, and getting a HUGE Experience Bonus for everyone you killed. (Up to 100%, depending on your performance on the QTE.)
    • Oh, and killing enemies in Reckoning Mode is the main way to obtain 'Essence of Fate', an ingredient required for mostly every top-level alchemical recipe. Did I mention that the capabilities of top-tier Alchemical potions borders on Game Breaker territory if you actually go to the trouble of using them regularly? Modes don't come much more super than this...
  • Take Your Time: There don't appear to be any time limits on quests whatsoever. Even when the quest in question involves providing first aid to a woman who got knifed and is lying on the street groaning and writhing in pain.
    • Averted in one sidequest in "The Legend of Dead Kel" DLC. Take too long to come to the aid of a man who left to pursue his wife's attempted rapist and you'll find the man bleeding to death outside of a cave. Oddly enough, the reward is actually better since you can loot the man's body afterwards and his widow still gives you the same reward though she also chews you out for releasing her attacker from his cage in the first place.
  • That Man Is Dead: The Maid of Windemere if you spare her. If you talk to her about it, she declares that the name will soon have no meaning anymore.
  • The Stoic: The Fateless one barely reacts to everything, whether they were just told they basically have the power of a god, to fighting an enemy as big as a city, s/he is always completely calm.
  • The Unchosen One: Played with. Hugues' success at bringing someone Back from the Dead was foreseen by Agarth but the mountain of corpses in the Well clearly shows that the specifics weren't set in stone. Nothing beyond that was, either. Certainly not the fact that the resurrectee would defeat the Tuatha and free the land from Fate entirely. High King Titarion will mention that he has seen people destined to be heroes come and go, and adds that trying to save the world due to choice rather than destiny makes you a far greater hero.
  • The Unfought: The Niskaru Lord at the end of the Warsworn questline. All you do is decide whether to let it rot in its prison or become its new champion.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: Bhaile and Amethyn.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: The Finishing Moves of Reckoning Mode are plain brutal.
  • This Cannot Be!: Tirnoch's reaction right before the Fateless One finishes her off.
  • Token Evil Team Mate: Ventrinimo, a Mad Scientist necromancer who is key to the Fateless One's infiltration of Alabastra. Towards the end of the game, he tries to betray you, but Alyn kills him before he can.
  • Too Many Belts: What little Alyn Shir wears consists mostly of belts.
  • Treacherous Advisor: Bisarane of the House Of Sorrows, who is actually their feared but never seen enemy Saturnyn. Templar Octienne is one as well.
    • Likewise Primos Anokatos. I'd imagine the Fateless One would be pretty wary of superiors the more the game goes on.
  • Trial by Combat: Played with in the Teeth of Naros DLC. In the Kollossae debating forum, called the Lykeios, self-titled philosophers, experts on matters of morality, society, and theology, frequently debate with each other by stating their argument and then fighting a duel to see who's right. They do this because they believe that the gods will grant strength to the righteous, which makes for some interesting dialogue if you enter the ring with an argument like "Power and Morality are unrelated." Also, their battle commentary is hilariously ridiculous.
    "YOU CANNOT DEFEAT MY THESIS!" "PREPARE FOR MY REBUTTAL!" "FACE MY CONCLUSION!"
  • Try to Fit That on a Business Card: If you do all the sidequests, the Fateless One will end up with a lot of titles. If you go by the fae tradition, every single quest chain could probably be a new one—but there are still more than a few explicit ones as well. King Wencyn of the Court of Enchantments, Archsage of the Scholia Arcana, Truesworn of the Warsworn, Champion of the House of Valor, Master of Gravehal Keep, Scion of Akara, Beckoned of Ethene, Herald of the Gods, Hero of Mel Senshir...
    • You can even purchase a title for announcement purposes by officials in Ysa, to tack onto your already long list of names.
  • Ultimate Blacksmith: The player. With Blacksmithing and Sagecraft, you can create armor and weapons that have such high stats that they make anything else, even high level armor sets, look weak in comparison. And you can max these both out before you reach level 20 if you make use of trainers and fateweaving.
    • The Hermit Blacksmith. He is the only one who knows how to reforge a unique sword (if the player has points in Blacksmithing he/she can admit to not being able to fix it) and after going through his quests he'll come out of retirement to become a blacksmith for the Warsworn.
  • Unwanted Revival: Dead Kel really isn't happy being an undead abomination. He had accepted death, satisfied in the knowledge that he had escaped the gallows and died at sea.
  • Unwinnable by Mistake: The Silence Falls glitch. Said quest involves you going around Klurikon and destroying prismere crystals that allow Gadflow control over the region. However, if you destroy a crystal before starting the quest, the game will glitch and you'll be unable to finish the quest....and the game, because Silence Falls is part of the main storyline. What makes it worse is that the quest is relatively late in the game (it's after you first leave Mel Senshir), so you can potentially waste 40+ hours of gameplay; and it's even more painful if you've been going for achievements/trophies that span the whole game, such as finding all of the lore stones, succeeding at 50 persuade attempts, and beating the game on Hard mode.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Some questgivers, including King Bisarane of the House of Sorrows and Primos Anokatos play the Fateless One like a fiddle to take advantage of his/her power to alter Fate. Being Immune to Fate doesn't mean you can't be manipulated in other ways.
    • The Teeth of Naros DLC's main questline ends by revealing you, Anokatos, and many others have been Ethene's pawns in her great plan that relied on someone free from fate finally appearing. To be fair, she is the goddess of wisdom.
  • Vendor Trash: Assorted non-magical jewelry, nuggets of precious metals, and various other items can be sold for a nice profit.
  • Villain Forgot to Level Grind: The Dark Empyrean.
  • War Is Hell: The game isn't shy pointing out that war is a horrible thing. Reflected in the environment, as the closer you get to where the war is fought, you go from Scenery Porn to Scenery Gorn.
  • Weapon of Choice: Exaggerated. Not only is the main character's exclusion from fate literally weaponized, each of the Might Finesse and Sorcery disciplines gravitate towards their own equipment types. This trope applies to the player as well, because custom weapons can be created with blacksmithing and Sagecraft.
  • We Buy Anything: And we have an infinite amount of money to buy your Vendor Trash with, too!
  • We Sell Everything: As pointed out by TotalBiscuit, apparently inns can sell blue-level weaponry when the blacksmith does not.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • You basically are told this if you betray the Warsworn and ally with the Nishkaru at the end of their questline, turning every Warsworn NPC in the game aggressive to you. Can lead to Video Game Cruelty Potential if you decide to go and slaughter each of the keeps afterwards.
    • At the end of the House of Ballads quest chain, if you choose to spare the Maid of Windemere, finally bringing an end to her being forced to be a "villain" and allowing her to live a normal life, the rest of the House berates you for changing the play and refuse to acknowledge you as the House's new king.
  • Wicked Witch: The Maid of Windemere (whether she wants to be or not), The Widow. "The Legend of Dead Kel" DLC has the Whispering Witch.
  • World Tree: Nyralim is a huge sentient talking tree that is one of the oldest mortals in existence. Akara from "Legend of Dead Kel" is one as well. Akara reveals that he was once a member of a group of twelve such trees that called themselves the Ring of Keozai.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: The Fateless One will drop kick a Thresh before riddling it with arrows if the Reckoning Mode Finisher is used against it.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: A big theme in the game. Prophecy keeps on reiterating that no one is actually destined to defeat the Tuatha Deohn. Until you come along that is.
    • True for the vast majority (i.e. all but one) of the people in the game. Of course, the exception is out to change the norm.
    • The Fair Folk take the trope Up to Eleven by being tightly bound to their Cycle, gaining pseudo-immortality through the fact that as a Cycle it will repeat their parts again and again. When the Fateless One severs them from the Cycle they lose this immortality. Their House Of Ballads is essentially a bunch of Fae destined to repeat the same heroic deed over and over again, never failing to perform whatever deed was needing doing, or always dying whatever tragic death fate had in store for them.
      • The Fae are so super serious about this that it is part and parcel to the reasoning behind the long standing war in Amalur currently.
      • Off the Rails: The House of Ballads questline's plot involves this trope In-Universe. Their archenemy is the Maid of Windemere, who managed to break the plot of some of those reenactements. You eventually choose whether you kill her again (maintaining her into the Cycle) or ally with her (ending her cycle of pain).
    • Many of the followers of the god Lyria believe that fate is the will of Lyria, and all things that occur are by her design. They believe that bad things happen to bad people explicitly because Lyria is punishing them for their misdeeds, which, by extension, means that Lyria, one of the gods, is out to kill all mortals for some perceived sin, since Fate decrees that the Tuatha will succeed in wiping out all mortal races, and until the Fateless One, this could not be changed. They're wrong, unless Lyria is another name for Tirnoch. invoked
    • Abelyra Seranon (a priestess of Lyria and 'The Orison' questgiver) has an interesting perspective on this; her quest involves sending you to humiliate a cruel maltheist, who speaks scornfully of Lyria's followers and encourages the poor and downtrodden to hate her for forcing them into their current lives. After the quest is complete, she explains to you that fate is not wholly good or evil, and that- even in Amalur- some follow destiny's path by seemingly defying it.
Abelyra: There was a grain of truth and a grain of deceit in his ravings. You see, the most powerful king may die in a gutter...and the lowliest peasant may someday sit a throne.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Tirnoch to Gadflow, once she awakens.
  • You Have to Burn the Web: In the introductory dungeon and periodically thereafter.
  • You Shall Not Pass: The Well's inventor Hughes pulls this against the invading Tuatha to cover the Fateless One's escape. He even manages to escape his predestined death as a consequence of meeting the Fateless One.
  • You Will Not Evade Me: The early Might ability, Harpoon, is very useful to reel in enemies who tend to keep distance from your melee weapons. It works the other way around with bigger targets, though.
  • X Meets Y: The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion meets God of War was often used to describe the gameplay both in early previews and the developers themselves. Though for many it also feels a lot like the former mixed with Fable's control scheme, 3 style system, and semi-open world. Just with deeper RPG mechanics. Style wise it actually comes closer to World of Warcraft. It has an Elder Scrolls-like open world, but instead of being Real Is Brown everything is incredibly bright and vibrant like World of Warcraft. So in short, a mix-and-match of elements from several types of RPG.


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alternative title(s): Kingdoms Of Amalur; Kingdoms Of Amalur Reckoning; Kingdoms Of Amalur
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