Love and War
is a freeware RPG
, created by Admiral Styles, using RPG Maker
2000.Love and War
is set in the world of Terra, an Alternate Reality
Earth which has been ravaged by war for centuries. The people of Terra have assembled into five nations, which are more or less constantly in conflict, until the Crown Prince of the Zion Empire, Lord Geraud Valtemond
, convinces the countries to unite in the cause of peace. His ideals lead to the formation of the Commonwealth
, a multinational body which - after some false starts - manages to keep the peace for over three hundred years.
Now, there are signs that things are starting to unravel. But all this seems rather far away for Ryan Eramond
, a young man of eighteen who has just graduated from high school, and has the rest of his life in front of him...
After a mysterious opening, the story begins light-heartedly enough, with situations based on the joys and trials of adolescence. However, as the game progresses, we slowly begin to learn about political unrest in Terra, and by the end, our hero and his friends have all been touched by it.
Currently, Act I ("The Ties That Bind") of the story is complete, and its Updated Re-release
can be downloaded here
. A playable demo
of Act II, based upon Act I's original version, is also available. The author's site, including side projects based on the Love And War
universe, can be found here.
General tropes used in Act I of Love and War include:
- Abhorrent Admirer: Greg, with his lame pick-up lines and his love of alcohol, is this for Lavie. In a neat bit of symmetry, Greg's girlfriend Sheri also is one as far as Ryan is concerned.
- Aerith and Bob: Played with. We have perfectly ordinary names like Ryan, Theodore, Henrik, Sheila and Emily; rare but existing ones, like Lavender and Armin; slight hacks of existing names, such as Arlbert and Carranya; and more "RPG-ish" ones, such as Londes Kodenai, Samath, Nealus and Horamin. Notably, except for Kodenai, the latter names all belong to long-dead characters.
- Alcohol Hic: Used to comic effect with some of the minor characters in the pubs that Ryan visits.
- Alcoholic Parent: Lavie's father, Sigmund Regale, if we believe Henry the bartender, who tells Lavie that he has a long, unsettled bar tab.
- All Just a Dream: No in-game examples, but C'est Lavie ends this way, much to Lavie's relief. Scattered Pictures can also be interpreted this way, but it's deliberately kept ambiguous.
- All Nations Are Superpowers: The five nations of Terra are each powerful in their own way: the Zion Empire has magic and technology on its side, Galvenia has won its independence from them, the Varald Directorate has the strongest army, the Fulton Republic is economically powerful, and Itaria is the home of the Church of Infinity.
- Badass Grandpa: Ryan's late grandfather, Gustav Eramond, who was a war hero, and Colonel Whitworth, who is still thrashing far younger trainees well into his seventies.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: One explanation of the relationship between Ryan and Lavie. Alternately, he could just be Oblivious to Love, or still hurting from the breakup of his first "real" romance, with Marianne.
- Berserk Button: Do not make fun of Lavie's cooking skills. Also, it's not a good idea to criticize the Commonwealth in front of Ryan.
- Betty and Veronica: A very interesting version. The Archie is Ryan. The Veronica is Marianne, who is from a lower social class (she's shown working as a barmaid, and has a much smaller house than either Ryan or Lavie), but is mysterious, dresses more suggestively, and is shown taking the initiative in their relationship. The Betty is Lavie, who (though wealthy) is more of a Girl Next Door and a Childhood Friend, and whom Ryan often finds annoying with her lower-key persistence.
- Big, Badass Bird of Prey: The Crowled Eagle, which attacks the Three Compadres several times as they investigate the ruined fort of Ozunhold.
- Big "NO!": Used to comical effect just before Ryan and Lavie begin the Glendale quest. If you visit Ryan's house at that time, Ryan's mother is pleased to see Lavie, and Lavie then offers to visit them more often, prompting the inevitable..
Ryan (under his breath): "Noooooooooooooooooooooooooo....."
- Lampshaded when Henrik and Ryan are searching for clues to Kodenai's whereabouts in Mayor Talmadge's house. When they run into a dead end, Henrik says: "Now would be the appropriate time to let out a NOOOOOOOO!"
- Bilingual Bonus: In-universe examples: though the commonest language on Terra is "Common" (English), there are characters who speak other languages. For example, Hamid, a trader from the Republic whom Ryan meets in Davenport, speaks Arabic (and teaches Ryan a bit of his language). The Varald Directorate apparently also uses a language akin to German, if we go by the name of their secret police.
- Bishōnen: Ryan, though he's not just a pretty face. Check out some art here◊.
- Bittersweet Ending: Ryan ends up helping many people (including the Galvenian government), makes a cool bit of money, and gets to go on a luxury cruise. But his relationship with his best friend Henrik is damaged, perhaps beyond repair, and there are signs that the Commonwealth is dissolving into chaos.
- Bonus Boss: Easton Stokel, a slightly crazed soldier who believes the Galvenian War of Independence is still going on.
- Bookworm: Sigmund Regale, Lavie's father, who has a magnificent library and also collects rare books. Ryan and Henrik also seem to appreciate a good read.
- Badass Bookworm: Ryan and Henrik are valedictorian and salutatorian of their school, respectively. They're also the star pupils of Colonel Whitworth's academy, and worth their weight in gold in a fight.
- Brainy Brunette: Lavie. Her cooking skills notwithstanding, she's an excellent piano player, a Level Ten archer, and stood third in her class (behind Ryan and Henrik). Also, unlike the other characters who level up the traditional way, Lavie can also gain levels by solving tests of agility or intelligence.
- Bring My Brown Pants: After battling the Lekutak, a fish-like monster, in Ozunhold, Armin complains that his pants are wet. Cue much mockery from Henrik and Ryan, and Armin protesting that it was from the splash of water, and that he was standing closest to the pool. Needless to say, they don't quite believe him.
- British English: Ryan's home country, Galvenia, is rather like England (independent from the rest of its continent, boasting of an ancient king named Richard Lionheart, and ruled as a parliamentary monarchy), and its characters make full use of common British idioms and phrases ("old bean", "Mum".) The music that plays in the Military Museum is also a remix of "Rule Brittania".
- Bunnies for Cuteness: In their first trip to Davenport Woods, the Compadres encounter an adorable fluffy bunny named Sir Fuzzington. Armin wants to make a rabbit pie out of him, but when Fuzzington gives him Puppy-Dog Eyes, he just can't do it.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Joshua Evens, Headmaster of the Archery Academy at Mann Island. He has a remarkably short attention span, spends a lot of his time making jokes that fall flat, and his reaction to growing a head of hair is, well, interesting. Despite all that, he's obviously meant to be a good teacher - Lavie and the other pupils have learnt a lot from him, and he can put on one hell of a quiz show.
- But Thou Must: Lavie will accompany Ryan on his second trip, whether he likes it or not.:
- Casanova Wannabe: Armin. Watching his unsuccessful attempts to pick up girls is an enduring source of humour.
Armin: (suavely) "I've got all the time in the world for you, baby!"
Rachel: (deadpan) "Good. Why don't you spend it on self-improvement, or something like that?"
- Catch Phrase: Two notable ones. First, "Always do the right thing", a lesson Ryan was taught by his grandfather, and that both he and Henrik take to heart. Second, when Lavie is determined to complete a task, she says, "I, Lavie Regale, will do X, or die trying!"
- Caught in the Rain: This happens to Ryan and Lavie just as they are wrapping things up in Glendale, forcing them to seek shelter in an inn for the night, which conveniently happens to have only a single room for couples, with two beds joined together. Will They or Won't They? They don't. Poor Lavie.
- Character Level: There is a level cap of 15 for all the characters in Act I.
- Cheerful Child: Betty in Westchester exists solely to bring a smile to Lavie's (and the player's) face.
- Chick Magnet: Ryan, to some extent. Apart from Marianne and Lavie, there are several girls in Davenport - Jaina, Jessibelle, Rachel, Eliza and Sheri - who express feelings for him more or less subtly. Lavie is not amused by this. Justified, though, given both his appearance and his personality in the game.
Jessibelle: (admiringly) "Sir Cool! I hope that if I live well and try hard, I may one day have a shot at becoming the next Lady Cool!"
Ryan: (not sure where this is going) "Er... I guess that if you try hard, you can do anything you want to."
Ryan: (not realizing what's up) "What exactly is she asking for, I wonder?"
- Childhood Friends: Ryan and Lavender "Lavie" Regale, who grew up together. Lavie deeply wishes that this would grow into a Childhood Friend Romance, but Ryan sees them as Just Friends at best, and is often annoyed by Lavie's hinting at anything else.
- Christianity Is Catholic: The Church of Infinity, which has its own country, is governed by a Pontiff and Archbishops, and has several missionary nuns found in different parts of the game world. Henrik, who is a member of the Church, even has a rosary - or something much like it - in his room.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Jennifer "Bubblebrain" Clarkson, complete with bizarre utterances.
Jennifer: (spaced out) "Doth my eyes, see the lies, as the crow flies?"
- Coming-of-Age Story: When the story begins, Ryan is unsure about his future goals; he's also a self-described agnostic, in contrast to his friend Henrik who has chosen a University life and belongs to the Church of Infinity. As the story progresses, Ryan learns several lesssons, but is still undecided. More subtly, the story also touches upon Lavie's coming of age, as she learns about life and love from her grandmother.
- Cool Old Lady: Lavie's grandmother, Anne Lancaster. A wonderful cook, a friend to all the young people of Mann Island, the widow of a man from a distinguished family whose love for him continues long after he's gone, and a romantic advisor and confidante to a confused Lavie. Though we only meet her for a short period of time, she's easily one of the most memorable characters in the supporting cast.
Anne Lancaster: (referring to her engagement ring) "It didn't matter to me if the ring was made from gold, silver, or even wood. All that mattered was... I knew. I knew he was the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with."
- Cool Sword: The protagonists encounter several in the course of the game: the Claymore, the Galvenian Sabre and the Giant Sword. The crowning example is Eramond's Legacy, which belonged to Ryan's grandfather, and which he receives as a coming-of-age gift at the very end.
- Cordon Bleugh Chef: Ryan's mother, Sheila Eramond. She's enthusiastic and means well, but her improvisations often don't turn out the way she expects. This might explain why Ryan enjoys eating at Lavie's house so often.
- Cue the Rain: This happens to Ryan, Henrik and Juno as they hunt for Kodenai, the final boss. And as the trope suggests, things go downhill from there.
- Cute Clumsy Girl: Lavie, who breaks almost all her grandmother's crockery after generously offering to sweep her cottage for her.
- Cute Kitten: Pookums, a fairly sensible little cat who unfortunately has a rather silly owner.
- Darker and Edgier: The final quest, in which Ryan and Henrik are contacted by the Prime Minister of Galvenia to capture Mayor Talmadge's aide, Kodenai, who has escaped from jail. By the end of it all, Ryan has seen a man killed for the first time in his life, and his friendship with Henrik has been put under severe strain.
- Deadpan Snarker: Henrik has his moments.
- Democracy Is Bad: According to Commissioner Jansen of the Varald Directorate.
- Disappeared Dad: Armin's unnamed father left his family to fend for themselves shortly after the birth of his younger brother, claiming that he "couldn't take it."
Armin: (bitterly) "Hope there's a nice, warm place in hell for him."
- Distant Prologue: Nealus, the Grand Master of the Journeymen, is mentioned in the books in Sigmund Regale's library. The order of the Journeymen no longer even exists according to records. Whatever problems Samath and Kaleb have go way back, along with whatever they unleashed by opening that gate.
- Doting Parent: Ryan's mother Sheila fits this trope nicely. While she doesn't go overboard with it, she genuinely admires her son, does not try to tell him what he should or should not do, and is happy whenever she sees him, without asking embarrassing questions about where he's been.
- Downer Beginning: The game's first playable sequence has you as a pair of mages trying to battle a mysterious plague, while their relationship unravels... and then we suddenly move to the adventures of Ryan and his friends.
- Dramatic Ellipsis: Often used to indicate that a character is annoyed, taken aback, or just surprised.
- Easing Into the Adventure: After the enigmatic opening sequence, Day One of the gameplay exemplifies this trope - we get to meet Ryan, his family and his friends, and explore the town he lives in.
- Establishing Character Moment: For Lavie, her first conversation with Ryan at the docks serves this purpose.
- Evil Minions: Kodenai starts out looking like this: he's just the sidekick to the corrupt Mayor Talmadge. However, as the story advances, we find out that he has hidden depths, and he is actually the Final Boss of Act I.
- Expanded Universe: There are a number of side-projects set in the same universe, namely:
- Scattered Pictures, a webcomic made by the creator, Admiral Styles, along with artist 15385bic, which portrays a brief encounter between Ryan and Lavie on Davenport beach. Check it out here.
- C'est Lavie!, a fifteen-minute short film (made in RPG Maker with voice acting) featuring an encounter between Lavie and Ryan in Davenport Park, that doesn't quite go the way she planned. Truly hilarious, though at the end we learn - to Lavie's relief - that she dreamed the entire thing after eating too many pastries! It can be downloaded here.
- Love and 24, a trailer based on the popular television series, but with Love and War characters in the lead roles - Ryan is Jack Bauer, for a start. Available at this link.
- Face-Heel Turn: Samath, a "Journeyman" (a highly skilled mage) who turns on his friend Kaleb, leading to both their deaths. This is alluded to in the intro, but made explicit in the books that Ryan reads later in the game.
- Fake-Out Opening: Used to good effect. After an introduction about the history of Terra, you play a mysterious sequence as two Journeymen (expert mages) battling a magical sickness in a small town. The relationship of this sequence to the rest of the story is slowly revealed, but never made fully explicit, throughout the course of Act I.
- Fangirl: Ryan has more than one, to his discomfiture. First there's Cathy, who dubs him "Mr. Cool" after hearing of his adventures with the Baron Snakes, and spreads the word around. Then there's Jessibelle, who re-dubs him "SIR Cool" when she hears the story. Finally, there's Lavie, who has looked up to him from childhood, and truly wishes that they could be a couple, but can laugh at herself as well.
Lavie: (light-heartedly) "Go Ryan! Go Ryan! You can do it, or else I'm lyin'!"
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Events in the world of Terra have many parallels with the real world, some played for laughs, some serious. Examples include a military traitor named Benedict Reynold, the battle of Chespa Bay, a Galvenian king named Richard Lionheart, and a Church whose leader is called Pious XXI.
- Fetch Quest: Ryan and Lavie have to complete one in the Glendale quest. A potentially important paper has flown out of the Mayor's house, but the boy who found it refuses to give it to them, unless they give him a pet frog in exchange. Off goes the pair to Blackwater Park to find the frog.
- Fighter, Mage, Thief: Played with. Ryan is clearly a Fighter, and Armin is a Thief, who even has a "Steal" move. Henrik has the fighting style of a Fighter, but the personality of a Mage, and is the only one of the three with religious / spiritual beliefs.
- Flaming Sword: A minor example: when visiting the Military Academy, Ryan sees a sword used by the Galvenia Rough Riders which bursts into flame when it's used in combat, and wishes his sword could do that.
- Follow in My Footsteps: Slightly annoyed by Ryan's indecisiveness about his future, his father Theodore talks him into doing this, by helping him in his package delivery business. This serves as an unintentional trigger for most of the future events in Part I.
- Game Show Appearance: Who Wants To Be A Level Ten Archer, a contest that Lavie has to pass to achieve the prized top rank at the Archery Academy.
- Gestapo: The Varald Directorate has a secret police called the Geheimpol. (This is actually a clever modification of the actual German; "Gestapo" is a portmanteau of "Geheime Staatspolizei", or Secret State Police, while "Geheimpol" would just mean "Secret Police".)
- Genki Girl: Betty Taylor, whose mother outright states that keeping up with her is difficult. Lavie is a grown-up version.
Betty: (beaming) "I'm going to pway awl day!"
- Girl Next Door: Lavie. Though Ryan would beg to differ, his dad sums up the general sentiment near the end of the game: "She's a perfectly sweet, innocent, lovely young lady".
- Girls Love Stuffed Animals: Though she's finished high school, Lavie has an inseparable companion of the teddy bear variety, imaginatively named "Mr. Bear". Part of the reason for this is that Ryan won it at a shooting contest, and gave it to her, when she was about eleven.
- Good Morning, Crono: A variation on the theme. After the intro sequence, Ryan wakes up on his own, but his mum greets him with "Ryan! Good morning, Ryan!"
- Good Parents: Ryan's parents, Theodore and Sheila Eramond. Lavie's mother, Emily Regale. And then there's Armin's mother, Melody Tamas, who raises two children as a single parent, and - we later learn - actually eats less to make sure her two boys have enough, as she has financial troubles.
- Gossip Evolution: Ryan, Henrik and Armin save the town of Trinden from an invasion of Baron Snakes. By the time Cathy spreads the word around, it sounds more like Ryan has singlehandedly saved the whole of Galvenia from evil Snake Demons. He is not amused.
Lavie: (jokingly) "With a slash of his sword and a flash of the muzzle of his gun, Ryan despatched Glanindor, the evil Snake Caliph who planned to take over Galvenia!"
Ryan: (to himself) "Aaaaaargh!! Damn you all to the bowels of bloody hell!!"
- Granny Classic: Lavie's grandmother, Anne Lancaster.
- Hair Decorations: Lavie's red ribbon is her constant companion, and is now getting artwork of its own.◊ When a character suggests that she swaps it for another sort of hair ornament, Lavie is justly annoyed.
- Heroes Prefer Swords: So says Colonel Whitworth, and he will willingly demonstrate it to you. Sort of averted with Ryan, who is proficient both with a sword and with firearms.
- Heroic Bastard, The Wise Prince and The Good King: Lord Geraud Valtemond. He's the illegitimate son of the Zion Empress and the Director of the Varald Directorate. Initially, he is viewed as a symbol of the failure of these two countries to unite. However, when he grows up and becomes Crown Prince, he begins calling the leaders of all five nations to unite, and as Emperor, he continues to work until this unity has been achieved in the Commonwealth. Ryan considers him a personal hero.
- Heroic BSOD: Ryan has a mild bout of this after seeing Juno kill Kodenai in front of him, and believing that Henrik has betrayed him without a reason.
- Hidden Depths: Kodenai. The first time we meet him, he's just the Mayor's sidekick. But it soon becomes evident that he's the brainier of the two - he is deeply involved in some sort of conspiracy, and we never truly learn what it is at the close of Act I.
- Hopeless Boss Fight: Juno's fight with Lugner, who cleans his clock spectacularly. Juno's normally devastating attacks only deal 1 or 2 points of damage, and one whack from Lugner takes almost all his HP away.
- I Have to Wash My Hair: Lavie uses this excuse, word for word, when repelling the ham-fisted and unwanted advances of Sheri's boyfriend Greg. When Greg tries to get trope-savvy by suggesting that they meet up the next day, Lavie comes up with: "My hair needs a lot of attention!" This is actually a Justified Trope, in that Lavie canonically has quite a lot of hair.
- I Surrender, Suckers: According to Henrik, this was what Kodenai was trying to do after his defeat in battle. To elaborate: after being apprehended and defeated by Ryan, Henrik and Juno, he says "I surrender", but then appears to be reaching for knives at his back to attack Ryan. Or is he? We'll never know, because Juno kills him for unclear reasons before he can actually do anything.
- Innocent Blue Eyes: Ryan, the innocent hero.
- Iyashikei: The entire Lavie quest, especially the time she spends with her grandmother, would count as a shining example.
- Just Following Orders: When he's caught by them, Kodenai defends his actions to Ryan, Henrik and Juno by stating that he was just obeying his superior. It's left unclear who exactly the superior being referred to was, though.
- Kawaiiko: Sheri, a girl around Ryan's age, who dresses like a younger child, wears pigtails, and uses unbearably cutesy-pie talk to her pet kitten.
- Lethal Chef: Lavie, but no one can tell her that, except Ryan.
- Level Grinding: Averted, in that there's a level cap in this episode, and that there are ample opportunities to level up. However, you do need to do a bit of this before fighting the Gorn Jabola in Alton, or it will make mincemeat out of you.
- Lighter and Softer: After quests that involve fighting off giant reptiles, a Big, Badass Bird of Prey and a mysterious beast, and putting a corrupt mayor in jail, the game takes a lighter turn when you play as Lavender Regale. This is essentially a Character Development sequence for Lavie subtly cloaked in challenging but non-violent tasks, such as a quiz show and a treasure hunt.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: There are only five playable characters - Ryan, Henrik, Armin and later Lavie and Juno - but there is a huge supporting cast, all of whom are memorable in their own way.
- Love Hurts: Ryan has just broken up with his girlfriend, Marianne, after walking in on her kissing another boy, and he can't quite get over it yet. Lavie is in love with Ryan, but for obvious reasons, it remains unrequited as of Act I.
- Loveable Rogue: Armin, whom Ryan describes as "loose on the whole 'morals' thing" - and who even has a "Steal" move - but is likeable and a loyal friend nonetheless.
- Luminescent Blush: Lavie on a few occasions, particularly when dealing with her feelings for Ryan, or when her grandmother has a chat with her about finding one's true love.
- Make Up or Break Up: Halfway through Act I, Marianne asks Ryan to meet her one last time, and asks him to forgive her. He can't make his mind up, though.
- Magical Girl: There's a Shout-Out to the genre when the Three Compadres visit the Museum of Science and Lore in Lorean, a museum dedicated to both science and magic. The second floor has a mahou shojo (that is, magical girl) exhibit, but it's currently closed, prompting this response from Armin:
Armin: "Isn't that the way it always is? You get in the mood to see some mahou shojo, and they let you down!"
- Mayor Pain: Samuel Talmadge, mayor of Glendale. He is involved in various shady activities, including theft and treason, and Ryan and Lavie help put him behind bars in the game's second quest.
- Meaningful Name: Galvenia's Prime Minister, Martell Socius, who is a liberal of the "social-democratic" variety. A subtler example is Lavender Regale: her first name brings to mind flowers, romance and femininity, while her surname reminds you that she's from a wealthy family.
- Meido: Carmen, the Regales' housekeeper, is a grown-up example, at least in terms of her outfit. Played with in the case of Marianne, who's a barmaid, and wears a rather fanservicey apron.
- Men Don't Cry: Ryan was taught this by his grandfather, and he hasn't yet, as of Act I.
- Minion with an F in Evil: A mysterious, recurring character named Lugner has two ninja sidekicks named Kin and Kun who can best be described as this.
- Missing Mom: Henrik's mother, Barbara Spenson, whom he was very close to, died when he was about fourteen.
Henrik: (sadly) "When she took ill and died, I didn't think I could go on..."
- Ms. Fanservice: Marianne in the original game, if we go by the photo of her and Ryan at the fair. Lavie Regale in the webcomic, Love And War: Scattered Pictures. Pictorial proof here.◊
- Mysterious Past: Juno, a classmate of Ryan's who is spoiling for a fight with him. Unlike the other characters, we learn very little about his family or his motivations for this.
- Noob Cave: Baron Snake Cave is debatably the first real dungeon of the game. Subverted by Davenport Woods as being the first area with monsters, but not really qualifying as a real dungeon.
- Non-Standard Game Over: If Ryan loses to Juno at the dueling hall, the player is treated to a scene where Juno takes the opportunity to unleash his vengeance on Ryan by fatally stabbing him while Lavie and Whitworth watch in shock and disbelief.
- No Guy Wants to Be Chased: This is one likely explanation for why Ryan stonewalls Lavie's increasingly obvious attempts at getting closer to him.
- Not-So-Omniscient Council of Bickering: Over the course of the story, we see that the Commonwealth has largely become this.
- Nuclear Family: The status quo in Ryan's town of Davenport, except that the families of the playable characters (Ryan, Henrik, Lavie, and presumably Juno) have only one child. Armin is the exception, as he has a younger brother, Shirvin.
- Nuns Are Funny: Sister Miriam has her moments, particularly when Lavie finds her having a quiet drink.
- Oh, Crap: Armin's reaction when he realizes that he's just insulted Lavie's cooking, and that she is out for blood.
- Old Master: Colonel Whitworth.
- Passed Over Inheritance: In terms of cooking genes, Lavie is a Lethal Chef, but both her mother and grandmother are great cooks. In terms of sword skills, Ryan seems to be shaping up to follow in his grandfather's footsteps, but his father Theodore failed to make it into the army.
- People's Republic of Tyranny: The Varald Directorate.
- Plucky Girl: You can't keep Lavie down! Solving a crime, exploring a creepy swamp (though she's scared to death), helping Theodore Eramond deliver parcels, becoming a Level Ten archer - by the end of Act I, she has accomplished a lot through sheer force of spirit.
- Power Trio: The Three Compadres - Ryan, Henrik and Armin. They can also be viewed as a Freudian Trio: Ryan (ego), Henrik (superego) and Armin (id).
- Purple Prose: Hilariously parodied in Farewell, My Summer, a romance novel that Lavie finds (and enjoys) in her grandmother's house.
- Real Men Love Jesus: Henrik. He's the most gifted of the trio, and has the most hit points, but he's a devout member of the Church of Infinity, and wouldn't mind living in Itaria.
- Recurring Extra: A muscular, silent man whom Ryan encounters in various parts of the game world, and who has a single line: "Arr. I be a ... (insert noun) lifter". This quickly becomes a Running Gag.
- Relationship Values: The way Ryan chooses to behave towards other characters - particularly the two female leads, Lavie and Marianne - can have consequences both in this and in future episodes.
- Reptiles Are Abhorrent: One of Ryan's missions involves saving a town from an invasion of Baron Snakes, along with his comrades. Later, while trying to put Mayor Talmadge behind bars, he and Lavie have to fight a Crocogator, a giant lizard.
- Ronald Reagan: Gets a Shout-Out in a library where Ryan comes across a book on "Reaganomics". His response? "Sounds like voodoo to me!"
- Rhythm Game: A mini-game in Lavie's quest involves her having to copy the moves of the Mau, a mischievous woodland creature, in order to get back something that it stole.
- Ruins for Ruins' Sake: Ozunhold, a ruined fortress of unknown past significance, which the Three Compadres can choose to investigate as an optional quest.
- Russian Reversal: Apparently the Varald Directorate is based on the Soviet Union in more than one way - in one of the game's libraries, Ryan finds a book by "Yakoly Smirnikol" entitled "In Varald Directorate, Ministry Owns You!"
- Scripted Battle: Ryan and Juno's duel plays out this way: though it's interactive, it's laced with enigmatic bits of dialogue from Juno, and particular events (such as being poisoned) occur as per the script. Later, the boss fights with the Gorn Jabola, Crowled Eagle and Kodenai all have scripted elements, though they're not fully scripted.
- Security Cling: Lavie does this to Ryan in Blackwater Park, when she's frightened by an owl hooting.
- Shipper on Deck: Lavie's friend Cathy ships Ryan x Lavie, much to his annoyance. Later on, it seems like Theodore Eramond is also doing a bit of match-making for his son: he appoints Lavie as Ryan's deputy on their errands, and buys them tickets on a ship (as part of another errand) - on which they will have to share a room. Finally, if Ryan talks to Lavie's parents before the ending (when they're going on the cruise together), both of them (and Carmen, the Regales' housekeeper) all drop not-so-subtle hints that they'd be happy if Ryan and Lavie got together.
(Cathy meets Ryan and Lavie going out on their first errand..)
Cathy: (brightly) "Why, Ry-an! And Lavie! Together! Could this be a D-A-T-E?"
(later, when Ryan learns that he and Lavie will be travelling together..)
Ryan: (irritated) "But she's so annoying..."
- Shout-Out: Several, often in unexpected places. Some of the allusions to real-world historical people and events are covered in Fantasy Counterpart Culture, above. For other references, see below...
- Ryan has a lot in common with Ryle Laster, the protagonist of Romancing Walker. They're both dark-haired, handsome young men who are accidentally drawn into larger conflicts in their respective worlds, and who have the chance to develop relationships with a variety of young women. (Ryle has a lot more women to choose from than Ryan, though.)
- Ryan's mother's first words to him: "Ryan! Good morning, Ryan!"
- The late King of Pop gets a couple. First, one of the villagers in Hartridge quotes the Vincent Price monologue from Thriller. Second, in one of the libraries, Ryan finds a book entitled "It's BAD, it's BAD, and you know it" by "Jichael Mackson".
- Gerald Lancaster's love poem to Anne, in Lavie's quest, ends with a neat allusion to the wedding custom of "something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue."
- One of the books that Ryan finds in his adventures alludes to Russian Reversal, apparently current in the Varald Directorate.
- Ronald Reagan gets a humorous mention, listed above.
- Ryan refers to Shakespeare's plays a couple of times when he and Lavie are on their quest at Glendale.
Ryan: "Okay, lay on, Macduff."
Lavie: (puzzled) "Huh?"
(later, in the inn at Glendale)
Ryan: (dramatically, looking at some corn)
"Friends! Galvenians! Fellow Terrans! Lend me your ears
Lavie: (smiling) "That's a terribly corny thing to say, Ryan!"
- In the same scene at the inn, Ryan and Lavie continue the laughs when looking at the food on the table:
"Red, red wine." (a song made popular by the reggae band UB 40.)
Lavie: "Yes, but we have no bananas." (a famous novelty song from a 1920s Broadway revue.)
- A couple of books in the Military Academy at Lorean are by an author named Cormac McCarthy, and "Cormac Mc Carthy Jr.", respectively.
- The quiz show that Lavie takes part in is an obvious nod to Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.
- When Ryan and Lavie have finished the Glendale quest and move on to Lorean to deliver the necklace to the Royal Palace, a random guy tries a lame pick-up line on her, triggering this exchange:
Lavie: (annoyed) "Drop dead, jerk."
(cue guy slinking away..)
- As mentioned earlier, the Museum of Science and Lore in Lorean has a "Mahou Shoujo" exhibit, though it's closed when our heroes visit it.
- Early on in Lavie and Ryan's quest, Sigmund Freud gets a shout-out when Ryan jokingly describes a character as "acting on repressed Oedipal urges." Lavie finds this rather amusing, and awards "Professor Eramond" a "fistful of air" as a reward for his brilliant deduction.
- In the Ozunhold quest, after the Three Compadres first encounter the Crowled Eagle, Armin says - sarcastically - "How sweet it is..." This happens to be one of the catchphrases of Rhue, the protagonist of another classic RPG Maker game, The Way.
- The Way also makes several other appearances. One of the wanted posters in the Glendale police station is for a criminal whose name is an anagram of Lun Calsari, creator of The Way. A book in the Alton library has an author whose name sounds suspiciously close to Lun's. And in Gerald Lancaster's love poem, he writes, "I must find The Way", with the capitalization being a clue that it's a Shout-Out.
- Love and 24 also has two references to The Way. First, in the opening scene where Ryan is on trial, one of the jury members is Alanthreonus, who acts as a lawyer for The Way's protagonist in its final episode. Later, there's a scene where Ryan has an assistant named Kloe - a double reference to both the 24 character Chloe O'Brien, and Kloe, a memorable character from The Way.
- A Blurred Line also gets a shout-out in the Glendale police station; a wanted poster says "Wanted dead or alive, preferably alive, Lye Sander". This is a reference to the game's creator, Lysander86, as well as to the fact that A Blurred Line remains incomplete to this day.
- A young mother and her daughter in Westchester, who are friends of Lavie's, are named Veronica and Betty Taylor.
- Several of the items in Ryan's room, and early on in Davenport, are allusions to the fan community of The Antioch Chronicles, a fan-made StarCraft campaign that attracted quite a following in the early 2000s—including the game's author, Admiral Styles.
- Sleazy Politician: Junzio Koketsu, the Imperial President-Elect of the Commonwealth. He is assassinated in mysterious circumstances before he can assume office, though.
- Sleeping Single: Lavie's parents, Sigmund and Emily Regale. This may be related to Sigmund's apparent problems with alcohol, or to a family fight - which we learn about later - that resulted in Emily's mother, Grandma Lancaster, leaving their home.
- Sliding Scale of Libertarianism and Authoritarianism: The nations of Terra provide good examples. At the libertarian end, we have the Republic of Fulton, which has no federal government, and in which businesses are minimally regulated. At the authoritarian end, we have an Empire (the Zion Empire), a parliamentary monarchy currently ruled by a "big-government liberal" party (Galvenia), and a People's Republic of Tyranny (the Varald Directorate). The remaining nation, Itaria, is a theocracy governed by the Pontiff, similar to the real-world Vatican but larger. The Three Compadres also illustrate facets of this in their political views: Armin is a libertarian who believes in "less government" and private enterprise, Henrik believes that "big government" is a good thing (and is a fan of Galvenia's Prime Minister, Martell Socius), and Ryan is a centrist.
- Speech Impediment. Little Betty Taylor at Westchester is determined to "dwink her milk", and thinks that it's "cwathy" that anyone could ever be prettier than her Cool Big Sis, Lavie. And having said that, she's going to pway all day! It's done to add to the cuteness of the character.
- So Proud of You: Ryan's mother says this to him on more than one occasion.
- Supreme Chef: Both Lavie's grandmother, Anne Lancaster, and her mother, Emily Regale, are renowned for their culinary skills. Jaina Vellin, one of Ryan's classmates, is also described by him as a good cook.
- Sword Fight: This technically happens between Ryan and Juno, but it's represented through the game's battle system.
- The Bartender: Henry Vellin, at the Queen's Head in Davenport, is a sympathetic version, and admires teenagers such as Ryan, who are determined to start drinking only when it's legal (19 in Galvenia.)
- The First Cut Is the Deepest: Ryan, after the shock of finding out that Marianne wasn't faithful to him.
- The Four Loves: As befits the title, we get examples of all four throughout the game:
- Storge: Several, particularly: Ryan and his parents, Lavie and her grandmother, Armin's mother and her sons
- Phileo: The Three Compadres.
- Eros: Ryan and Marianne, at least before they broke up. Lavie's feelings for Ryan also count.
- Agape: There are several striking retrospective examples, which we learn about in Act I through cutscenes and books: Kaleb, the Journeyman who sacrifices his life to destroy a demon plaguing a town; Lord Geraud Valtemond, who tirelessly fought for peace and helped found the Commonwealth; and from a Galvenian point of view, King Richard Lionheart, his son Prince Derren, and Lady Penelope, all instrumental in gaining their country's independence. Some of Ryan and Henrik's actions - such as helping Ellesimar find his dog, or agreeing to help the Galvenian Government - can also be included.
- There Is Only One Bed: Well, two beds joined together, actually. This happens to Ryan and Lavie when they are caught in the rain at Glendale. Ryan solves the problem by sleeping on the couch, which is not what Lavie was hoping for.
- The Quisling: Samuel Talmadge and Kodenai, though in the latter case, things may not be as simple - and we do not know whom they are betraying Galvenia to.
- They Call Me Mister Tibbs: Juno will not allow anyone to use his first name, except Henrik - and even then, not if Armin and Ryan are present.
- Treasure Map: There's a non-piratical example in Lavie's quest: she has to find a time capsule that her grandparents buried long ago, using a love poem written by her grandfather to her grandmother - which doubles as a map.
- Tree Cover: Lavie makes use of this to listen to Ryan and Marianne's conversation in Davenport Park.
- Tsundere: Lavie is a classic example, in the "Type B" (dere) category. Eliza Shropshire, the bikini-clad newspaper girl on Davenport Beach, also counts, if her explosive reaction to finding out that Ryan has another job is any measure.
(in tsuntsun mode)
Lavie: (annoyed that Ryan doesn't treasure their childhood friendship) "Ryan Eramond, I...HATE...YOU!"
(a little later..)
Lavie: (remorseful) "Ryan...I don't really hate you... I hope you realize that.."
(and in deredere mode, when she and Ryan are on their first errand)
Lavie: (smiling) "You want to get me alone in the woods, don't you?"
- Unfortunate Names: Ryan's mysterious, vengeful adversary, whose sword attacks are the most powerful in the game, goes by the none-too-impressive name of Makarov Juno. Ryan and Armin cannot resist calling him Juno the Luno, and he will not allow anyone, except Henrik, to use his first name. (Not to mention that Juno is, well, a woman's name.)
- Verbal Tic: Colonel Whitworth tends to end his sentences with "what what?"
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Henrik and Armin. They are polar opposites, and Ryan often has to break up their arguments, but when it comes to the crunch, they genuinely care for each other.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: Juno, at least whenever he explodes into battle.
- War Is Hell: The intro sequence, which depicts Terra as permanently wracked by one war after another, decimating the populace, and ruining the land.
- Welcome to Corneria: Magnificently averted. Even the most trivial of characters generally has something interesting, funny or informative to say. Even a random passer-by may point you towards a side-quest, give you some backstory, or serve to develop the playable characters further.
- X Meets Y: The Varald Directorate is basically "Nazi Germany meets Glorious Mother Russia" - in an Alternate Reality version of Earth!
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Marianne. It's viewed as attractive - Ryan considers her the most beautiful girl he's ever met.
- You Meddling Kids: Uttered by Mayor Talmadge when he gets caught.
- Your Cheating Heart: Poor Ryan. He spent all his savings on a tuxedo and flowers to go to the prom with his girlfriend, Marianne - only to walk in on Marianne kissing another boy. Needless to say, the two break up.
- Zettai Ryouiki: Lavie's hunting garments place her in Grade B, if the official art (shown above) is a reliable indication.
Tropes used in the Part II demo of Love and War are listed below. Beware of spoilers!
- Actor-Shared Background: [invoked] Princess Carranya plays her own ancestress, Lady Penelope, in a play about the Galvenian War of Independence.
- Actual Pacifist: Princess Carranya, which is why she stows away on the HMS Paradiso to meet the Zion Emperor to prevent a potential war involving Galvenia and Zion on one side, and the Varald Directorate on the other.
- Annoying Younger Sibling: Rinoa's brother, if we go by what she says. He is mostly seen accompanying his parents to various parts of the ship, and grumbling that he didn't get to go swimming.
- Badass Boast: When Captain Blackheart captures Carranya, right at the end, Ryan has this to say. What makes it more awesome is that he lives up to his boast:
Ryan: (bravely) "If you hurt her, you're a dead man, Blackheart! A DEAD MAN!!!"
- Beneath the Mask: Behind the refined accent and polished manners, Princess Carranya is just a regular girl of nineteen who just wishes that her father would show more affection to her, and that she could do the things that other girls her age do. The mask slips, slowly, as she and Ryan get to know each other.
- Biblical Names: The Zion Empire, which, amusingly enough, has a border town named Issachar. ("Zion" is another name for Jerusalem in the Bible, and Issachar is one of Jacob and Leah's sons.)
- Boarding Party: At the climax of the episode, the HMS Paradiso is invaded by pirates, commanded by the ruthless Captain Blackheart.
- Boom, Headshot: At the very end of the demo, Ryan kills Captain Blackheart in this way, saving Princess Carranya's life.
- Boyfriend Bluff: Ryan saves Carranya from being arrested for travelling as a stowaway, without a valid ticket by telling the guard that they're engaged, and giving her a spare ticket he happened to have. This leads to a series of sequences that are alternately sweet, funny or both.
- Breaking Speech: There's a classic moment right at the end of the story, where Captain Blackheart grabs hold of Carranya, tells Ryan to drop his gun if he wants to save her, and taunts him saying that "he's not really a killer". Ryan's response? A huge Tommy gun blast to Blackheart's head, followed by his comforting a terrified Carranya as the episode ends.
- Chekhov's Gift: In Act I, Ryan is given a gem that has accidentally come off a necklace he was supposed to deliver; he thinks it's nice, but little else is said about it. However, in Act II, Ryan has the choice of giving the gem to Princess Carranya, who owns the necklace, and making sure that, even away from home, she has a memorable nineteenth birthday.
- Coming-of-Age Story: If the first act was this for Ryan, this episode not only continues his character development, but serves as this for Princess Carranya, who faces the world outside the Palace for the first time in her young life.
- Cosmetic Catastrophe: A fellow passenger whom Ryan meets briefly on board the ship has one - her hair is unnaturally spiky, thanks to a "tragic superglue accident".
- Convenient Slow Dance: Ryan and Carranya share one in the discotheque of the HMS Paradiso.
- Crash-Into Hello: This is how Ryan and Princess Carranya meet - she's fleeing from the laundry room, where she's been hiding as a stowaway, and they literally knock each other down by accident.
Ryan: (surprised) "Excuse me...!"
Carranya: (contrite) "Pardon me...!"
- Dirty Coward: Admiral Eldon of the Zion Navy, who hides behind his poor wife when the pirates attack, then tries to cut a deal with them. Captain Blackheart responds by chucking him into the sea.
- Distracted by the Sexy: In the play, Lady Penelope distracts the guards at the entrance to the Viceroy's house with an impromptu striptease down to her petticoat. Prince Derren is at once outraged and fascinated, so much that he misses his cue to run in and knock them out.
- Everything's Better with Princesses: After beginning with apparently trivial high-jinks aboard a ship, interspersed with dramatic cutscenes of events back in Davenport, the tempo of the story truly picks up once Princess Carranya makes her entrance.
- Everything's Funkier with Disco: The HMS Paradiso has a discotheque in the classic mould, headed by the appropriately-named Beatmaster Donald James. On Day 3, Ryan and Carranya share a memorable moment here.
DJ: "I'm Beatmaster Donald James, and people call me DJ DJ!"
- Everything's Sparkly with Jewelry: Princess Carranya carries her precious necklace - a birthday gift from the Varald Directorate - with her, even though she's trying to hide her identity. This turns out to be a clue that helps Ryan find out who she really is.
- Face Death with Dignity: Prince Wilhelm.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Continues from Act I. The ruling dynasty of the Zion Empire is called the Hohenzollern Dynasty, and its current rulers are Emperor Charlemagne and Prince Wilhelm.
- First Kiss: Derren and Penelope in the play. It's quite possibly Carranya's first kiss, too. Ryan, on the other hand, has canonically had his first kisses with Marianne shortly before the events of Act I begin.
- Forceful Kiss: Lady Penelope gives one to Prince Derren in Act II of the play. What makes this amusing is that these characters are being played by Princess Carranya and Ryan, and Ryan has no clue whether this was really in the script or not. Carranya seems to have enjoyed it, though, if we go by a later conversation they have.
- For the Evulz: Captain Blackheart. He even tells his men that he enjoyed killing passengers so much, that he would have done it even if he wasn't getting paid.
- Fun with Acronyms: After acting in the play, Ryan gets a Royal Actors' Guild card from Tremfein, the director, leading to the following exchange:
Tremfein: "It means you're a certified member of the Arlia Association of Actors And Actresses!"
Ryan: "Ah, yes, the good old 'AAOAAA'."
Tremfein: "No, dear boy, the 'O' is silent!"
- Genki Girl: In the aptly-named Happy Happy Fun Fun Teahouse, Ryan encounters a Fangirl Japanese-spouting woman named Miki who embodies this trope.
- Gilded Cage: Princess Carranya tells Ryan that her childhood was like this.
Carranya: (wistfully) "Everything I wanted was mine, except... to just play outside."
Ryan: (reflective) "Sometimes the simplest things are the ones that make us happy."
- Gorgeous Period Dress: Carranya (as Lady Penelope) and Rin (as Princess Amanda) both get to wear them in Tremfein's play.
- Identical Stranger: Ryan, who has accidentally left Lavie behind at the end of Act I, and is travelling on board the HMS Paradiso alone, gets a shock when he bumps into a girl who looks exactly like her, and thinks that Lavie made it on board somehow. She turns out to be an unrelated tourist named Rinoa, and they end up being friends and acting in a play together.
- I Just Want to Have Friends: Carranya tells Ryan that being the Crown Princess makes it nearly impossible for her to have any, except her parents.
- Innocent Innuendo: Lady Penelope, though she catches herself.
Penelope: "If we don't stay together, it'll arouse... I mean, people will get suspicious!"
- Intentional Engrish for Funny: Used in the play-within-a-play, in which two guards named Biribob and Joeyjiro appear for laughs. These are, of course, Engrish transliterations of "Billy Bob" and "George".
- Irrelevant Sidequest: On day one aboard the Paradiso, Ryan has the option of choosing to jump through hoops and using every bit of his persuasive skills in order to get a jar of marmalade for a fellow passenger he's just met. He does get a cool Tommy gun for his pains, though.
- Iyashikei: The vast majority of this episode plays like this; it's a gentle, heartwarming story of the brief encounter between Ryan and Princess Carranya. This goes out of the window once Captain Blackheart and his men attack the ship.
- Japanese Sibling Terminology: Apparently used in the Zion Empire, as seen during the play - a little girl asks the protagonists if they know where Oniisama (her elder brother, who was forcibly recruited by the Zion army) is, and whether he will come back.
- Large Ham: Lanat, an actor whom Ryan meets on board ship, who travels the world searching for the "perfect gig".
- Luminescent Blush: As befits her rank and standing, Carranya often does this quite becomingly.
- Match Maker Quest: Ryan gets a minor one on Day One aboard the Paradiso, when he has to help a squabbling couple get back together. The irony of doing this when his own love life is in a shambles is not lost on him, especially when he sees them being Sickeningly Sweethearts soon after.
- Mean Character, Nice Actor: The actor playing Prince Johan, the villain of the play, is a timid man who worries whether he'll start acting evil in real life. Rinoa, though she plays a villain and traitor who forms an alliance with Johan, is just a regular teenage girl who's rather amused by the whole experience. And Ryan, though he's the hero, is quite clueless (at times hurtfully so) towards Lady Penelope, though in real life, he is kindness itself to Carranya.
- Michael Jackson: Two of his classic songs - Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough and Liberian Girl - are featured in the discotheque of the HMS Paradiso.
- Mistaken Age: Ryan mistakenly assumes that Carranya's in her twenties when they have a chat in the Calypso Bar; it's actually her nineteenth birthday.
Carranya: (annoyed) "I look that old?"
Ryan: (apologetic) "Er....Not at all! I just remembered reading that somewhere, I think..."
- Mood Whiplash: Day 3's gameplay alternates between hilarious sequences, especially in the play, and tender moments in which Carranya and Ryan get to know each other. Then Blackheart's Cutthroats attack the ship, and all hell breaks loose.
- Mr. Fanservice: Parodied with Joakim, an unseen character who's handsome, wealthy, and famous for writing depressing love poems. We only learn about him from the adoring hordes of mainly female fans who are willing to wait in line for over a day to see him.
- Nice Hat: The Sun Hat, a bonus item that Carranya can pick up near the end of Act II. It's not just a fashion accessory - it blocks critical attacks from enemies.
- Obi-Wan Moment: Colonel Whitworth's death.
- Oblivious to Love: Prince Derren Lionheart, in the play. For example, when Lady Penelope coyly tells him that she loves a man "from the House of Lionheart", this is what he thinks:
Lady Penelope: (taken aback) "What?"
Prince Derren: "My father is, like, four times older than you! Trust me, becoming Queen like that is not something that you want to..."
(Lady Penelope bursts into tears.)
- Our Werewolves Are Different: The HMS Paradiso's touring theatrical troupe has a comical example - an actor named Wolfman, who wears his wolf mask all the time.
- Overly Long Name: Princess Carranya Gerius Elizabeth Alexandra Lionheart. Justified in that royalty tend to have such names, and that "Gerius" and "Lionheart" are the names of her ancestral noble houses in Galvenia.
- Pimped-Out Dress: Lady Penelope's costume, in the play within a play about the Galvenian Revolution.
- Plucky Girl: Lady Penelope in the play - her courage proves vital to saving Galvenia in the end, even if things don't quite go the way she expected. Princess Carranya also turns out to be one, once she gets into battle mode.
- Princess Classic: Princess Carranya, heiress to the throne of Galvenia, whom Ryan bumps into, befriends, and helps out of more than one tight spot. At one point, Ryan suggests that she might have a rebellious streak in her, but by and large, she fits the Classic mould.
- Princesses Prefer Pink: Though she's travelling incognito, Carranya jumps at the chance to wear a noblewoman's pink "period" gown when acting in a play. She also openly refers to it as her favourite colour at one point.
- Relationship Values: Ryan can choose to behave kindly, awkwardly or even romantically towards Carranya, and this affects the responses he gets from her. Saving her life isn't optional, though.
- Religion Is Magic: Princess Carranya's powers in battle seem to work this way: she prays to the Deity, allowing her to use light-based attacks.
- Rich Bitch: Duchess Faye, who mistakes Carranya for a commoner, annoying her. She tragically loses her son - and her own life - during the pirate attack.
- Screw Destiny: Though done gently, Ryan does make it clear to Carranya that not everything in life is predestined.
- Serious Business: Ryan convinces one of the restaurants that he cannot live without his daily marmalade. For that matter, the entire sidequest is treated as far less irrelevant than it should be.
- Significant Green-Eyed Redhead: Princess Carranya falls into the "good" variety of this trope - passionate, yet sensible. However, she also has a well-concealed joie de vivre, leading to a good laugh when she decides to kick her heels up a bit.
Ryan: (bemused) "I thought Princesses were supposed to be quiet, and shy, and demure..."
Carranya: (amused) "I am all those things. It's just that I feel a little different today."
- Ship Tease: Ryan and Princess Carranya, who manage to share a slow dance, confide in each other, act in a play together, and even share a Forceful Kiss. Of course, Ryan has other women waiting for him at home (Marianne and Lavie), and Carranya is the heiress to the Galvenian throne, so it's hard to call it more than a tease at this point.
- Shout-Out: As in Act I, there are quite a few of these..
- Rinoa may be named after a main character in Final Fantasy VIII. She lampshades this by saying that only her parents call her that, when they're mad at her, and she prefers to go by "Rin".
- Lanat, the actor, is a tribute to Talan, the protagonist of the RPG Maker classic A Blurred Line: they share the same sprite, and Lanat is an anagram of Talan. This explains why Ryan does a double-take on hearing his name.
- The Michael Jackson allusions become more obvious, as we get to hear two of his songs in the discotheque.
- Though this isn't done too obviously, Ryan and Carranya's relationship brings Titanic to mind. More overtly, an elderly female passenger on the lower decks worries about the Paradiso colliding with an iceberg after the first day.
- The Show Within a Show starring Ryan, Carranya and Rinoa is a nod to The Way, in which the protagonist and two of his allies also perform in a grand stage production.
- Two minor characters, the obnoxious Duke Browne and Duchess Faye, are references to characters from another classic RPG Maker game, Three the Hard Way.
- Ryan and Carranya's initial encounter - involving a literal Crash-Into Hello, a concealed royal identity and a lost necklace - is an affectionate tribute to the classic Super Nintendo RPG, Chrono Trigger.
- A sleeping boy in one of the cabins seems to be dreaming about Xeno Gears.
- A woman Ryan meets on the ship encourages him to try a Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster, in a neat tribute to Douglas Adams.
- Caris Burnfist, a character from Romancing Walker, appears as one of the guards on the ship.
- In the fancy restaurant on the ship's top deck, Ryan and Carranya admire a painting called "Imdahl's Sunrise".
- Show Within a Show: Much of the action on Day 3 involves Ryan, Rinoa and Princess Carranya acting - with 9 minutes and 47 seconds of rehearsal time - in an amateur production of a play about the Galvenian Revolution. Hilarity Ensues.
- Someone to Remember Him By: At the end of the play, though Prince Derren has been killed in the Battle of Lorean, Lady Penelope discovers that she is pregnant with his child. He grows up to be King Arlbert I of Galvenia, who signs a peace treaty with the Zion Empire.
- Smithical Marriage: A hilarious example in the play. When Prince Derren Lionheart and Lady Penelope (see Undercover as Lovers, below) travel to Issachar to find out what the Zion Empire is up to, Penelope tells the innkeeper that they're a newly-wed couple on their honeymoon. When the innkeeper - an eccentric actor who always wears a wolf mask - asks for their name, Penelope nearly blurts out "Lionheart", and then extricates herself as follows:
Penelope: "Mr. and Mrs. Li.....er...Ly....can....thrope!"
Derren: (who can't believe his ears) "Mr. and Mrs. Lycanthrope?!"
Innkeeper: (deadpan) "Mr. and Mrs. Lycanthrope?"
Penelope: (brightly) "Mr. and Mrs. Lycanthrope!"
- Spoiled Brat: Josh, the son of a Duke, who mistakes Ryan and Carranya for waiters and rudely asks them to bring him a snack. He is callously killed by Captain Blackheart's pirates towards the end of the episode.
- That Came Out Wrong: For all his usually smooth manners, Ryan has a hilarious moment where he accidentally hints that he'd like to see Princess Carranya in a swimsuit. His attempts to save himself reduce her to helpless laughter.
Carranya: (laughing) "Stop, you're killing me!"
Ryan: (embarrassed) "And you're returning the favour!"
- The Mafia: Ryan encounters a duo of gangsters, who speak with stereotypical Italian accents, on board the ship.
- Title Drop: The play put on aboard the HMS Paradiso opens with this line: "This is a tale of Love... and a tale of WAR."
- Undercover as Lovers: Prince Derren and Lady Penelope, in the play, as part of an espionage mission in the Zion Empire. They later become lovers in reality, and unknown to Derren, Penelope gives birth to his child, the future King of Galvenia, after his death.
- Utopia Justifies the Means: In the play, Princess Amanda betrays her country, Galvenia, to Emperor Johan of the Zion Empire because she wants people to live united without further bloodshed.
- When She Smiles: Princess Carranya. She's not described as plain, but her smile is what catches Ryan's eye the very first time he sees her. This is also invoked when Ryan gives her a birthday present (see Chekhov's Gift above)
Ryan: (appreciatively) "What a refined accent she has.... and a lovely smile, too."
- Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: Comically used by Ryan in the first scene of the play - he has little idea what his lines are, and makes up the following:
Ryan: (with a goofy grin) "Lady C - Penelope! How you doing! I mean - dost thou feeleth welleth?"
- You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Ryan tells Carranya that, regardless of her doubts, she will make a great ruler.
- You Called Me X, It Must Be Serious: In the play, Prince Derren always addresses Lady Penelope as such... except near the end of Act II, where he calls her Penelope after accidentally offending her (see Oblivious to Love, above, for the exchange that leads to this). This moves her to the point where she is able to confess her feelings for him.
- You Cannot Kill An Idea: Prince Wilhelm's dying words allude to this: "The sword.. will never triumph over the spirit."