Video Game: Little King's Story
No pressure.Little King's Story
is a Real-Time Strategy
game for the Wii
. You're a young boy who found a magic crown
and now rules a kingdom. With your "helpful" ministers at your side, you set out to dominat... er, unify a candy-colored fantasy setting under your rule. So storm the oddball kingdoms of the rest of the world with an your swarm of various troops, collect all the treasure, conquer every monster, and marry every princess.
Despite the rather childish design motifs, the game is fairly deep with a huge number of optional sidequests and clever combat mechanics. Among the most enjoyable aspects of the game is the fact that beating bosses literally expands your empire. Once you've beaten an area's guardian, you can build a strip mall over it.
A remake, entitled New Little King's Story
, was released for the PlayStation Vita
, featuring a revamped art style, touch controls, and a story that isn't quite sure if it wants to be a sequel or a retelling.
Not to be confused with the WiiWare
title My Life as a King
by Square, which has a similar premise, but is a city sim game where you simply dispatch other adventurers on escapades instead of directly controlling anything
This game provides examples of:
- Aliens Steal Cattle: Comes in two flavors. UFOs steal all the animals, including cows, in one sidequest. Also, when you actually fight a UFO, it drops headless cattle to fight you on the ground.
- All in a Row: A very long row with thirty followers.
- And Your Reward Is Clothes: In an odd way. Completing Princess Ferne's jewel sidequest doesn't let you edit your clothes, but lets you change the color of your scepter's jem, from prismatic Dynamond to glowing black Akumamarine.
- Played straight in New Little King's Story, where defeating certain bosses nets Corobo with different outfits.
- Arbitrary Headcount Limit: You can only have as many soldiers as you have command badges. It maxes out at 30.
- Awesome Moment of Crowning: Happens in the opening after the young, small king smashes open a giant boulder to find a crown.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Inverted: The king is the only character whose health you can't upgrade. His squishiness is justified, being a child and all...
- It does apply for the king bosses though.
- He does have a fairly powerful attack in New Little King's Story, but it leaves him very vulnerable and he's still ridiculously squishy, so it's often better to just let your royal guard handle things and only use his attack if there's a big, obvious opening or to help knock down obstacles.
- Backtracking: Lots of it for the Princess sidequests.
- Balcony Speech: How the king calls subjects to come and join his party.
- Baleful Polymorph: Your Rainbow Magician's basic attack. Also, one boss can scramble your troops' jobs.
- Another boss turns your troops into turnips, which is effectively a One-Hit Kill and spawns additional enemies.
- Bullfight Boss: Many of the bosses and enemies have this type of attack.
- But Thou Must: When the Astronomer comes to you telling you that the sky is falling and he needs help researching it the game obviously intends for you to believe him and help but your ministers put it to a vote and defeat the motion every time.
- Rather annoying since this is a monarchy and there are no other situations where they disagree with your decisions.
- Pretty much anytime there's a vote, expect the majority to go in one direction, effectively deciding what you're doing for you (though it doesn't matter for the most part...)
- The Caligula: Duvroc
- Canon Name: The main character is Corobo.
- Chasing Your Tail: The Ogre Ergo guardian.
- A Child Shall Lead Them
- City Guards: In a fun twist, you can turn your citizens into a guard class. They'll stand around the city gates when they aren't in your team.
- Collection Sidequest: Many of them. Every princess gives you a new one, and there's an overarching quest to find all the artworks in the game.
- Command And Conquer Economy: You have to order every building to be built, and despite a profusion of farmers, lumberjacks, and miners your economy is solely based on your king picking up candy and turnips from dead enemies and random bushes. On the other hand, you can tax your citizens, which implies that they are making money at their jobs, just not giving it to you.
- Concept Art Gallery: Most of the sidequests reward you with this, including one where what you're collecting is art from a design-an-enemy art contest.
- Convenient Questing
- Corridor Cubbyhole Run: The Tiptoe Kingdom Boss. Also, That One Boss.
- Cool Crown: Undoubtedly, the king's signature crown and possible mind control device.
- Cypher Language: Jumbo Champloon is an odd case. His speech appears to be nonsense (Hamburger mantis toilet!), but finding bits of paper around his kingdom reveals that it's a word substitution cypher.
- Damsel in Distress: Each king you defeat nets you a princess, whom you immediately marry.
- Dark Is Not Evil: The ghost haunting the cursed suit of armor you bought from the merchant? He's actually a pretty noble guy who volunteers to become your right-hand man and bodyguard.
- Death Course: The Tiptoe Kingdom Boss is essentially this.
- Degraded Boss: Several of the early area guardians show up later as regular enemies.
- Door To Before: All the other kingdoms are arranged around yours in such a way that after you've been forced to hike all the way around the entire map to reach one, you can build a bridge or find a gate that takes you right back to your kingdom.
- Doppelgänger Spin: The final boss.
- Dude, Where's My Respect?: Despite having united the world, villages still talk to the king as though he were a servant.
- Enemy Detecting Radar: Slightly odd in a medieval setting.
- Everything's Better with Cows: Someone on the production team loved cows. One of the basic enemies is a demon cow and the practice boss is an undead cow.
- Later, Oniis use a live cow as a weapon. Your main adviser is the "Bull Knight", who rides an adorable little Holstein calf which carries you and each princess you rescue back to the castle in cutscenes. You warp between areas by being fired out of a Holstein-print cannon that moos when fired. Also, if you don't put other pictures in the frames your castle will be filled with photos of a cow.
- Ermine Cape Effect: The king 'always' wears his royal outfit, even when exploring the unknown world.
- Everything's Better with Princesses: So much so that you marry seven of them.
- Everything Trying to Kill You: Granted, you are invading everyone else's territory.
- Expy: The blonde, pink dress-wearing Princess Apricot according to Word of God is based off of Princess Peach.
- Fartillery: The final boss fight.
- Fat Girl: Princess Spumoni
- Femme Fatale: Princess Ferne
- Final Death: Usually, when one of your villagers dies, he/she washes up on shore the next day. However, sometimes, when killed, they stay dead until you either load a save before they died or start anew (which isn't worth it, seeing as how they are easily replaced by other townsfolk).
- Even worse during the final boss fight when The Rat King swallows your Queen whole, she doesn't come back out when you beat him. This implies that she was DIGESTED ALIVE along with several of your troops.
- Finders Rulers: How Corobo came into possession of his kingdom.
- Five-Man Band
- Foreshadowing: Once you conquer the Tiptoe Kingdom , you can climb the mountain and look through the telescope, revealing a sight of your castle, one of several toys hanging down from a ceiling, and what appears to be the interior of a room with a crack, with an eerie red glow behind it. Depending on the order in which you tackle the kingdoms, you can do it as soon as you rescue your fourth princess.
- Fungus Humongous: The mushroom forest and its enemies, including a gigantic toadstool boss.
- Gainax Ending You go beyond space to the giant bedroom of, and appear to be either toys or imaginary characters created by, a boy who looks just like the king. The world is ending because of rats chewing on toy stage that is your world, and you get a running news ticker during the final boss fight describing areas of your world that have been wiped off the map by the fight outside! Oh, and the princess you chose to go with you gets swallowed by a giant rat that gets casually tossed out the window. Hope you didn't like her too much. Of course, depending on your interpretation, it was All Just a Dream anyway.
- Giant Enemy Crab: The Onii Crabs
- Grievous Harm with a Body: The little Oniis are fond of using pieces of dragons and live cows as weapons.
- Harder Than Hard: Beating the game unlocks tyrant mode where everyone starts with just one point of health on top of the normal additions for hard difficulty, also unlike the normal difficulty levels, you cannot switch to a different level throughout the game.
- Hello, Insert Name Here: You get to name your Heroic Mime, of course
- Horsemen of the Apocalypse: The final boss fight is against rats who are destroying the game's world by eating the cardboard box diorama of which it is made. There are four of them and they come in different colors. The color scheme is a little off compared to the traditional description of the four horsemen, though.
- Hotter and Sexier: The Play Station Vita remake.
- HP to One: Annoyingly used by the UFO enemies.
- Hub City: You build your own as you go, and it ends up taking up significant portion of the game map by the time you're done.
- Improbable Weapon User: The onii enemies attack you with everything from pogosticks and pieces of dragons to fan-tanks and a live cow.
- You can find (and equip your troops with) weapons such as a giant ham, a squid, a squeaky mallet or a pillow.
- An Interior Designer Is You: Almost every optional quest unlocks literally hundreds of pictures that you can use to decorate your castle. Which is nice, because all the picture frames start out with a cow's face.
- In-Universe Game Clock: Sometimes annoying when things that only appear between certain hours are in inconvenient locations.
- Job System: A very basic one. All your Pikmin-esque troops can be placed into numerous different job classes.
- Kid Hero: Corobo.
- The Kingdom: The entire premise of the game is to rule this.
- King Mook: The Onii King.
- Level Ate: The Ripe Kingdom. Its boss battle combines this with Pinball Zone as you literally play pinball with the boss.
- Lethal Joke Character: The Culinary Chef. It doesn't really have any specialties in combat or digging, which makes it seem like they're useless. That is until you find out that they can perform a One-Hit Kill on giant chickens, a variety of which can only be killed by Chefs. (Still, at 500,000 Bol, it's pretty pricey...)
- Lost Forever: Possible with some one-of-kind treasures. The Legendary Bow appears at the end of the Onii Bride battle, but if your inventory is full before you reach it, it might not be there when you come back for it.
- Mascot Mook: The designers really seem to love the cute little oniis.
- Meaningful Name: Most of the enemies in the game. Some examples are: the Onii King, who commands the Oniis; King Eggbert, who lives in a giant egg; Shishkebaboo, who is defeated by skewering him (on a fork); and TV Dinnah, who has a TV for a head.
- Medieval European Fantasy: Very literally. Although it begins getting obvious with the cardboard New Island.
- Meganekko: Princess Bouquet.
- Mind Control: How the titular Little King gets people to follow him around.
- Mission Pack Sequel / Video Game Remake: New Little King's Story is perhaps the first game to genuinely blur the line between the two.
- Monster Compendium: One of the princess quests. Also adds them to you images for redecorating the castle.
- Nice Hat: The king's ability to command comes from a magic crown he found.
- Non-Lethal K.O.: No matter what happens to your troops, most of them will wash up on the beach the next morning in perfect health.
- In perfect physical health, maybe. When you find them on the beach they're rocking back and forth in the fetal position. They seem to get over it pretty quick... as soon as you use your mind control on them.
- Obake: The most common enemy type is the oniis, which look more like adorable muppets than ogres.
- One-Hit Kill: A handful of enemy attacks and other phenomena will instantly kill any of your troops they hit. Examples include the frogs' tongue attack, the dragons' 360 degree tail sweep, and two different attacks used by the rats in the final battle.
- Organ Drops: Livestock based enemies drop meat, oniis drop horns, killer turnips drop turnips...
- Our Ogres Are Hungrier: Naturally, as the most common enemies are based on Oni.
- Polyamory: When you defeat any rival King, you rescue a Princess and are instantly married. Subverted at the end of the game; before using your flying machine, you're given seven sets of divorce papers, and your female Records Minister resigns.
- Pop Quiz: The Worrywart Kingdom boss battle takes the form of this.
- Prehensile Hair: One of the bosses.
- Public Domain Soundtrack: Pomp and Circumstance, Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, the William Tell Overture...
- Puzzle Boss: Numerous: The Boss of the Worrywart Kingdom is a quiz game, the boss of the Tiptoe Kingdom is an obstacle course, and the boss of the Prime Time Kingdom is a geography test! And we already mentioned the pinball game...
- Rags to Royalty: In the opening cutscene, you find out that the Little King was a lonely boy with no friends and a rodent problem before accidentally finding a crown and instantly becoming the king.
- Remember the New Guy: Played Straight (?) and Inverted in New Little King's Story. Azul is new to this game, but everyone seems to already know him — he's even apparently known Verde since they were kids. Meanwhile, although almost everyone from the previous game reappears with little or no re-introduction, Kampbell is introduced as though no-one has any idea who he is.
- Requisite Royal Regalia: The king wears a brilliant red cape, an expensive-looking medallion, royal boots, a "magic" sceptre, and his golden crown.
- The staff is replaced with a sword in New Little King's Story.
- Retcon: Remember the weird Gainax Downer Ending of Little King's Story? Totally didn't really happen. Corobo ruled the world happily until a mysterious force dethroned him and imprisoned the princesses.
- Rewarding Vandalism: Oh yes. Somewhat realistic in that smashing a bush gets you a sellable plant and raiding trashcans yields worthless garbage.
- Ribcage Ridge: The Skull Plains are littered with giant bones for no apparent reason. There are also trees with foliage made out of bones.
- Secret Character: The Doctor, Steel Knight, and Rainbow Magician are optional secret classes that you can get late in the game.
- Save The World: After you defeat the other kings your quest becomes saving the world from earthquakes caused by rats eating the toy stage that is your world.
- Self-Imposed Challenge: Some players occasionally go out of their kingdom without their posse. Corobo can hurt enemies with the command action, and doing so makes taking down enemies and bosses harder. for example, Duvroc can be taken down with only the king, but doing so takes about an hour as you deal with all the enemies and avoid their attacks as the king is a bit of a One-Hit-Point Wonder.
- Shout-Out: Howser is an old knight with grandiose ambitions who has a cow named Pancho; was an old man who travelled for many years with a companion named Sancho.
- Near the Worrywart Kingdom there is a cube with question marks on the sides. Break it, and a red mushroom comes out.
- You can get far too many villagers with the names of Touhou characters for it not to be a Shout-Out.
- Princess Apricot is a shout out to Princess Peach.
- One of your grunt soldiers calls your army the SOS Brigade.
- One of the plants you can find out in the world is Neil deGrass.
- There are several to the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:
- TV Dinnah talks about "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the World"
- The Animal Book says that the dog found "...the answer to Life, The Universe, and Everything!"
- The Tunesmith Book, when talking about the song "Brave New World", about the universe, it mentions "...the restaurant at the end of it!" This refers to the Restaurant at the End of the Universe, the second book in the series, which is about the character's journey to a restaurant that is built to be frozen in time when the universe was ending.
- According to Princess Spumoni, Shizuka has a weird laptop with the words "DON'T PANIC" written on it. This is an actual Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which, in the books, is an encyclopedia with information on the galaxy and all of its creatures (along with some stuff on towels!)
- Playing with the "random" button when naming the king makes the names "Cheech" and "Chong" appear.
- Verde mentions Galactus during one debate.
- According to the Gourmet Book, the White Tangerine "Tastes like teen spirit."
- As per the ending, a little hero leading an army of toys against invading rats isn't exactly unheard of...
- Smooch of Victory: You can get one from each princess after rescuing them.
- Speaking Simlish: The spoken dialogue is actually gibberish composed from multiple languages.
- Spoony Bard: The Doctor and Rainbow Magician classes can stun enemies, but by the time they use their impressive stun attacks your soldiers would have already beaten it.
- Standard Status Effects: Your troops can be poisoned, paralyzed, confused, on fire, or turned into snowmen.
- Sucking-In Lines: The New Island Boss and the Vacuum Cleaner mooks.
- Suddenly Voiced: After you beat the game for the first time, time unlock Tyrant Mode; amongst other features, Pancho, Howser's faithful companion who was previously believed to speak solely in moos, talks to you casually in English.
"Moo moo moo. What's up, Corobo. I'm Pancho. How ya doing? Sorry I kept it a secret from you all this time. I can actually talk, but I kept quiet about it. Now that you're trying out the Tyrant Mode, I thought that I should greet you formally. I'm so glad you made it to the ending. It may be a bit late but congratulations. Now then, welcome to Tyrant Mode. It's gonna get hard, so be prepared."
- Talkative Loon: King Jumbo Champloon.
- Theme Naming: All the princesses have plant-related names, though some are a bit of a stretch.
- Toy Time: The New Island area is this combines with arts and crafts in a Macro Zone.
- The entire game turns out to be set inside a toy stage.
- Unexpected Shmup Level: Not totally unexpected, since you spend half the game building a flying machine. Not exactly a Shmup either, since you have no weapons. It is a level though.
- Valley Girl: Kokomo Pine
- The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: You know you've reached the finale when you've exited reality and find yourself on the bedroom floor of the real little boy who imagined up this world.
- Victory Pose: The king will do a little salute with his scepter when you complete a mission. With guardians, he often jumps up on their corpse for his victory pose.
- Video Game Caring Potential: Your regular troops usually wash up on the beach if they die (yes, even if they get swallowed by a giant frog), but sometimes they don't come back. In that case, any villagers that were close to them dress in black for the day, and you can attend their funeral at the church.
- Which makes it all the more horrifying when you get see reports of the apocalyptic calamities happening to them during the final boss fight.
- War for Fun and Profit
- Where It All Began: The location of the Final Boss fight in the Vita version is located at Corobo's castle, aka the one you escaped at in the beginning of the game.
- This is also the clue for the final Wonder Spot: It's the area where you fought the Onii King, and therefore rescued Apricot, who gave you the sidequest in the first place.
- World Domination: The goal for 90% of the game.
- Yoko Shimomura: Composed part of the music.