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Video Game: Mabinogi
aka: Mabinogi Fantasy Life
Don't worry lads she's in the game.
Mabinogi: Fantasy Life is a unique MMORPG developed by DevCat and released by Nexon, South Korean game company. It's a 3-D game with Anime-style artwork, using the Pleione engine (unique to Mabinogi). The world and storyline are based in part on Celtic Mythology, specifically the Welsh Mabinogion and bits of Irish mythology, and is concerned primarily with the conflict between humans and "Fomors". Unlike many MMORPGs, there is plenty to do besides combat, although it is still an important part of the game. The extensive and robust crafting, music, and exploration systems make it possible to play Mabinogi without engaging in any sort of combat, beyond the beginner quests, and still find plenty to do. However, this does make advancement somewhat slow and difficult by comparison.

There are no job classes as such (and only minimal differences between the three available races), or level-based building points. Instead, the game uses a number of non-exclusive skill paths to develop abilities and increase stats; originally divided into "Combat", "Magic", and "Life" categories, there are now more than 11 skill tabs. The player can advance in any path, at any time, and can theoretically max out every single skill in the game. However, due to the time and effort required to level up skills, most players concentrate on skills that apply to more traditional character builds, such as Fighters, Magic Users, or Rangers, along with some secondary life skills to boost stats appropriate for their play style. Skill advancement is done through the use of "ability points", gained through aging (up to a certain point) and leveling up.

One of the most unusual aspects is the "Rebirth" mechanism, which enables the player to reset a character's age, stats and level while retaining skill development (and the stat boosts gained thereby). Because of this, Level Grinding is unimportant and reaches a point of diminishing returns fairly quickly. Due to the ability point system, rebirth is an essential gameplay mechanic.

Unlike most MMORPGs, the combat system is fairly complex, requiring strategy and the ability to think quickly. Monsters use a wide range of AI styles and skills, requiring the player to react fairly quickly to changing combat situations, and develop good use of skills and counter-techniques. Autocombat is available, but minimally useful, and macros are generally ineffective (there is no in-game mechanism for creating them for the player, and the AI pets use is not overly flexible).

Mabinogi does have an overarching story, which is released bit by bit in large updates called "generations", which themselves consist of smaller updates called "seasons".

A Prequel game Mabinogi: Heroes was released for the Asian market in December 2009, and was released in North America in October 2010, under the title Vindictus. While set in the same world, this is a darker and bloodier version, using Valve's Source engine. Although it maintains some of the original's skill-based system and titles, gameplay is far more combat-oriented — it is being promoted as an "Action RPG" — and the game mechanics are simplified. The storyline takes place during the period of Mabinogi's history referred to in-game as the "Fomor Wars", which forms the backdrop for many of the original game's storyline quests.

It is available on Steam here

A sequel game, Mabinogi 2, currently appears to be stuck in Development Hell.

This game provides examples of:

  • Adaptation Distillation: G13 cuts away the plot of Hamlet down to the important scenes. G14 does the same with Romeo and Juliet.
  • Alien Sky: Erinn has two moons: Ladeca, the large white one; and Eweca, a smaller pinkish one. They are very pretty to look at, though; you can actually watch the moons and the clouds drift through the sky if you just look up.
  • All Deserts Have Cacti: Averted. Only one of the deserts has actual cacti, and very few of those.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: If you pay attention to the backstories of some minor NPCs, there are a few one-way crushes. Malcolm likes Nora, Trefor likes Dilys, Ranald likes Endelyon, Aeira likes Stewart, Sion likes Ibbie, Galvin likes Del, Del likes Lucas, Del AND Delen like Aodhan, Elain likes Leslie (who's married)...
    • G10 has a pair of RP quests based around this. Arenen likes Ilsa, who confessed her love to Voight, who didn't reciprocate. As a result, Arenen and Voight are no longer friends, and Arenen and Ilsa are both lonely.
  • An Economy Is You: Averted. There are a large number of useless but decorative items available in shops (such as hats and glasses), as well as a number of books which lack any in-game function aside from providing flavor text and background fluff. There are also restaurants and grocery stores which sell a wide range of both cooking ingredients and prepared foods, and bars which sell booze. The shops are about as varied as you would expect for any average town of their size and technolgical level.
  • An Ice Person: The Snow Witch in Par dungeon, who has pale bluish skin, wears light blue clothes, lives in an ice cave, and will deliver an icy magical beatdown upon you if you manage to make her show up. Doubles as a Winter Royal Lady. You're required to face her to learn Hail Storm, and advanced ice magic.
    • Aspiring mages can invoke this by putting most of their AP into Icebolt, Ice Spear, Hail Storm, and Ice Mastery.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: "RP missions/dungeons" are a major quest type in this game, wherein you play as NPCs, who often have unique equipment setups and skill selections. Some NPCs are brutally efficient for what they're expected to tackle, but others require a bit more care from the player.
  • Annoying Arrows:
    • If you get hit by an arrow, ninety percent or more of that damage is liable to be taken away from you as "wounds", which cannot heal by normal mechanisms. In the case of Magnum Shot, it can knock you flat on your back. Any monster carrying a bow, that you can't take out in one combo, instantly gets elevated to Demonic Spider. Of course, newer skills such as Charge and Evasion can combat these, but they are either difficult to get for newer players or hard to execute in the heat of battle.
    • This trope still applies to those player characters with a low-ranked Ranged Attack skill. You have to dump a lot of Ability Points into Ranged if you want archery be feasible as your primary type of attack.
      • Except for taking out the aforesaid enemy archers - the simplest way for new players to disrupt the monster's aim is with a bow of their own. Basic spells don't always have the range to safely snipe archers and charging can aggro their companions. And fairly unskilled player archers are still superior to the first enemy bow-wielders encountered.
  • April Fools' Day: And Ferghus comes down to greet you, twirling and spinning around daintily like Nao does. But rather than floating away gently like Nao does, Ferghus... swims upwards through the air, froggy-style. It's one of the funniest things ever.
  • Arrows on Fire: But only if you're near a campfire.
  • Artificial Stupidity: The pets. Oh God, the pets. Somewhat subverted in that players can modify the pet AIs, and even create their own from scratch using an XML-based scripting language. You can also log in as them yourself to deliver a fuzzy beatdown.
  • Ascended Extra: Tarlach and Mari were both given backstories and motivations to try to save Morrighan, and continued to be important up to present time though the player doesn't learn until after G1 that Mari was reborn as Nao. Ruairi was just a guy with a sword who might have wanted to save Morrighan mostly because he was infatuated with her. Later storylines show that he survived, became much less happy-go-lucky and turned evil.
  • Author Avatar: Two of them! Both of them are bedridden, however.
    • In the Dugald Housing Town, there is a house that belongs to Naak, the director of Mabinogi. You can enter the house to see him. Strangely, you might see him at the Confessional, albeit with a shadowed face.
    • In Taillteann, you can find Inflames, the director of Chapter 2 at the Healer's House.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • There are some weapons that have very low durability, and so they're practically useless. Especially true for the Ghost Sword, which, according to the description, breaks after one attack. This is justified in a way, in that these one-shot weapons are typically required to complete certain quests.
    • The Demigod transformation starts out powerful and only increases from there, but it costs EXP to even use them and risk downgrading the skill from overuse. This is averted later on, however. The transformation and its skills gain EXP on level-up and rebirth, and once you reach rank 1 and max out with 120 EXP saved up, you'll find yourself spamming it or even using it in town to goof off, just to avoid wasting points.
    • The item you receive for completing the G11 storyline can really help with the grind involved in many skills. The problem is that using said ability can wreck its durability, and you can only repair it with points you receive from leveling up.
    • You can also combine the two latter and fire off a powerful Spear of God, which is generally agreed as the most powerful attack in the game barring special, impractical set-ups. Like the skill grinding above, it takes durability points out of the weapon. Although few people use the Spear of God, it is a generally accepted tactic for several of the solo bosses.
    • More of an "Alright but Impractical" is the Broad Stick. It's a weapon you can get for less than 100g (which is dirt cheap, by the way.), you can get it right away if you don't mind a walk, and it has a max damage over 40, more than double that of a comparable longsword. Downside? Its minimum damage is 1, meaning that the damage per hit is entirely random if you don't have enough Dexterity.
      • You can find weapons whose minimum damage is 0. Pretty reliable in the right hands, though, as damage isn't a linear range but a bell curve whose apex is stat- and skill-dependent.
    • Advanced Magics are fairly powerful, but have the downside that, once you start charging, you can't move around until you fire off the spell, and most scratch damage will cancel your spell entirely.
    • Grandmaster status of a particular talent. Costing over a Million of gold, and tedious quests to just get some stamps, your only reward: A new medal in your beside your name, and little bonuses that may or may not help you at all.
  • Back to Front: The Chapter 3 credits cutscene, beginning from The Stinger at the end of G12 and ending with the first G9 quest.
  • Badass Bookworm:
    • The hundred Royal Alchemists per server. They can research upgrades for cylinders that permanently become available in the game's database for everyone.
    • Buchanan could be an unexpected one. He spends an unusual amount of time in the G11 storyline exploring the Shadow Realm or Dungeons, and always seems just fine doing so.
    • Mage-type player characters, if you're rich enough. Spellbooks are an equippable "useless shield" that do things like increase mana, increase mana recharge rate, or make your spells cheaper.
  • Bag of Sharing: One of the most complex examples of this trope. Each player has their own personal inventory, as well as a bank inventory (banks are available in every city, village, and camp). Players with paid subscriptions can share bank inventories between all the characters on their accounts; players with free accounts cannot. However, pets have individual inventories and are available to all characters on the account, so can be used to share items between all characters on the account, even for free accounts. Currency is shared between all characters on an account via the bank system, regardless of account type. This is further complicated by certain items, some of which cannot be shared through pets, but can be shared via the bank for those with paid subscriptions, and some of which cannot be shared at all.
    • As of the 1st of may 2013 inventory plus is now part of free play, every play can now use extra bags in their inventory, some of which don't have a limit of 1 per character which sometimes leads to royal alchemists being strapped with more belts from crystal pouches then a Yu Gi Oh main character and use the enlarged bank taps of all their characters on the same server.
  • Battle Ballgown: The female version of the Holy Moon Armor. Some female Elf armor also qualifies.
  • The Battle Didn't Count: Morgant tends to brush off in-game losses like nothing serious happened. The first time this happens he returns just one scene later to quickly dispatch the people who had just beaten him. The second time he implies I Let You Win and decides to let the local Eldritch Abomination have his fun with you instead.
  • The Beastmaster: If you've got several pets with on-summon attacks, some mercenary scrolls, and a control bar, this is a perfectly valid way to fight.
    • Some enemies do this, too; Glas Ghaibleann summons Crag Cows, Arch Liches summon Bomb Steeds, and Deian (the farm boy) summons the world's most badass flock of sheep ever when you face him in the Martial Arts tournament.
  • Beef Gate:
    • Averted on the fields; monsters usually stay off the main dirt path in any given junction area and generally don't try to chase players around unless you walk right up to them and stand there, and they tend to give up the chase quickly enough (though nearly every monster can outrun humans, so you'll usually get hit once or twice before you can get away). Dungeons tend to use this one in several variations of straight and/or subverted. Giant and Elf Guards however, used to be absolute straight examples: if you happened to be of the opposite race, or a human supporting the opposite race, and tried to enter either of their capital city, they would crush you like a bug on a windshield.
    • As of a past content update, Elf and Giant Guards no longer attack the opposing faction, likely due to some storyline quests involving visiting those towns, and it would be rather tricky to get them done if such invincible juggernauts were bearing down on you.
    • Played straight while doing the trading mini game where random encounter bandits will try to block your path forcing you into a fight. You can try to avoid them however, your ability to do so might be limited by the map your currently in.
  • BFS: The two-handed sword, the claymore, the dragon sword, the cleaver, the great sword, and especially Vales great sword. Later generations added the Glory Sword and the Dragon Fang, which each take up as much space as a suit of armor. Most Two-handed swords are so ridiculously large that, if you use Equipment Preview when looking to buy one, you won't be able to actually see most of the sword because it doesn't fit in the window.
  • Big Bad: In G1, Morrighan is this...only to be revealed as Cichol, the real Big Bad for most of the rest of the story, although Esras takes the lead in G2. In Chapter 2, it's Crumena and perhaps Irinid. In Chapter 3, Cichol is at it again, only to have other villains such as Tuan the Python Knight in G11 and Nuadha in G12 after Cichol is unceremoniously disposed of in G11. The Big Bad of Chapter 4, in a bit of a twist, actually is Morrighan, though she seems to be more of a Well-Intentioned Extremist than previous ones, as she only wants to stop Shakespeare from writing any more plays. Chapter 5 has the Big Bad Duumvirate of Black Mask and the Black Dragon Knight AKA Tarlach and Ruairi. However, Tarlach hints that there's a greater threat at work.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Neamhain seems cursed with this. She's tried to be the Big Bad from G10 onward, only to be the Unwitting Pawn for Cichol in G10, and then Tuan the Python Knight in G11, and finally she's weakened during G12 by the Big Bad of that Generation.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Some of the dungeon names.
  • Bishōnen: Oh, yes. Kelpie is one of them, with long hair to boot! Though it's somewhat justified since he's fifteen. There's an elf named Lepus who also fits the bill, and don't get us started with Hamlet.
  • Bittersweet Ending: All the Mainstream quests have these in varying amounts of bitter and sweet.
    • G1: You've saved the Goddess Morrighan and defeated Glas Ghaibhleann, but Mores is dead and now Cichol has opened a path for the Formors to invade.
    • G2: You stopped Esras, but not before she framed you in front of Ruairi for Rian's death. Now Ruari has teamed up with the Dark Lord to get vengeance.
    • G3: Cichol's plans have been thwarted for now, but Chromm Cruaich has taken Ruairi away, Cichol is still at large, and the Milletian's faith in Morrighan is probably shaken.
    • G8: Taunes and Atrata are reunited and the Milletian has become the Gold Dragon Conductor, ensuring that his power is used for good. However, Taunes is now completely blind and Adniel warns that the threat to Iria is not over.
    • G9: Claimh Solas has been defeated, but Leymore died to stop its self-destruct and Cai sacrificed his life to bring him back.
    • G10: Cai is back to normal and the Milletian has gained the power of Neimhain, but Elatha still died before then.
    • G11: Cichol is dead and has given his powers to the Milletian, and Tuan's plans are thwarted by the Brionac choosing the Milletian. However, Tuan warns the Milletian not to trust Morrigan, and the post-credits scene shows her fearing how powerful the Milletian has gotten.
    • G12: Nuadha has been sealed in Falias and the Milletian has emerged from the whole incident with Morrigan's powers at his disposal. However, it turns out that Cichol is still alive.
    • Chapter 4: Bella sacrifices herself to purify the Soul Stream, meaning the Milletians don't have to be massacred, and Lugh has been defeated with Eirawen rightfully placed on the throne of Uladh. However, Shakespeare, tired of all that has happened, decides to return to his world, losing all memory of his time in Tir Na Nog. Also, it turns out that the events of this chapter were the final push for Ruairi and Tarlach to start the events of the next Chapter.
    • G18: The Lia Fail has been destroyed, stopping Macha from destroying Tir Na Nog, and Tarlach is reborn into a child with no memories, possibly giving him the chance to live a happier life. However, Ruairi and the Cessair are still at large, Millia is still in a coma, and Tarlach warns of an even greater evil coming to tempt the Milletian.
  • Blackand Gray Morality: At least concerning the gods and goddesses, even the more benevolent ones like Morrighan do some questionable actions in some of the generations as well as her becoming the Big Bad of Chapter 4. There is a reason why some NPCs in the world don't look kindly to them. This doesn't become Grayand Gray Morality because the Big Bad of most of the game, Cichol emphasizes the extreme part of Well Intended Extremist more and more with each appearance.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: Yes, Nexon, the boss of Peaca dungeon's normal version is a ghost that is close to being wealthy, AKA, "Demi Rich". Especially weird since it isn't the only Lich enemy in the game, but it is the only one to mistranslated in that way (It seems likely Arc Lich was supposed to be Arch Lich.) Another bit of fun is that Esras is referred to as a male about half the time through G2.
  • Boss Subtitles: This happens whenever you fight a dungeon boss.
  • Bow and Sword, in Accord: You can have it this way through the use of the two weapon slot system.
  • Boxing Lessons for Superman: One way to raise your stats (and the only way that persists through rebirth) is to train skills, because almost all skills contribute one or more points to some stat or another. This leads to things like taking up weaving and tailoring to raise Dexterity for melee and ranged attacks, or wizards studying music theory and composing for extra Intelligence.
  • Breakable Weapons: All equipment has a certain amount of durability, which slowly decreases as they are used. Eventually, they'll break, and you'll have to repair them at one of the many blacksmiths. How much you'll have to pay to repair it depends on how expensive the weapon is, and who you're asking to repair it. Some equipment can't be repaired, however, and others are unworthily costly (like Accessories).
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Rua is extremely well-connected, enough that she can pick up rumours about the rebirth system that even Nao (the person who guides the player characters through the rebirth process) doesn't talk about.
    Rua: Apparently it involves a card or something. I guess that's some kind of Milletian-talk?
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory:
    • When it first came out in North America, the game was like this. You had to pay for character cards in order to rebirth your characters, which is a nearly essential part of the game, and you had to buy one of three extra services available in order to play through the storyline and possess a Spirit Weapon. However, this was changed with the Pioneers of Iria release. It is now possible to rebirth for free, with some time restrictions, and anyone can do the storyline quests and own Spirit Weapons. Paid service does still provide a significant advantage over free service, mostly via access to Auction House selling, expanded storage, better experience point awards, and a small number of complimentary useful items.
    • Pets are also highly useful, though not necessary, and are also only available as a paid premium.
    • Many very useful items have been added to the premium shop, including resurrections (which used to be complimentary), and items to temporarily or permanently modify stats and abilities. Rare weapons are also available through the premium shop's gachapon, some of which are available in-game, others only through the gachapon.
    • as of the Ultimate Anime Summer event and the new beginnings patch,paid rebirths have been scrapped, everyone can now rebirth for free after 6 days since last rebirth and only a ace talent which required a card rebirth before now costs 39 pons or 3.900 NX instead of the 7.400 nx for a card it costed before. This removed a major Paywall from the game as players now rebirth at the same speed instead of 3 times as fast for the people with enough cash lying around.
  • Brutal Bonus Level: When entering Peaca Dungeon, the game warns you that it's "beyond difficult." It's not joking. Enemies often have complete immunity to some forms attack and can churn out fully-charged spells five times faster than players can. The difficulty levels keep increasing, too: the hardest form of the dungeon can take from five to seven hours to finish!
  • Buxom Is Better: Nao and Morrighan are the most obvious ones, but Juliet is surprisingly endowed for a teenager.
    • Rua is so famously hot that many players will shill out a million gold or more just because she asks them to, resulting in her giving you her dress (which you can, in turn, give to Nao).
    • Players can invoke this, if you use a coin to allow transformation into Nao, Rua, Neamhain, Human Scathach... although some of these transformations essentially turn you into a living prop.
  • Call Back: G13 has a few similarities to G1, most notably Morrighan's periodic messages to the player. Therefore, it comes as a surprise that, unlike G1, Morrighan actually is the Big Bad this time.
  • Camera Abuse: The boss intro for Ciar Beginner has the camera quickly zoom in on the Small Golem, only to cause a crash and knock both the cameraman and the golem out. The player character walks up and stares at the now-flickering camera with a bewildered expression before the camera shuts out and game returns to normal and the proper boss fight begins.
  • Cassandra Truth: So you've saved the goddess and are proudly sporting the "who saved the Goddess" title. Good, because now 90% of the NPCs don't believe you...
  • Chain Lightning: Lightning Bolt hits as many enemies as you have charges (assuming there are enough enemies nearby). The Thunder skill, depending on your skill ranks and charges, takes this Up to Eleven. Or rather, thirteen (13 targets, that is).
  • Chainmail Bikini:
    • Averted for the most part, but occasionally played straight. The vast majority of the female wear, at least in the armor department, covers everything realistically.
    • There are a few examples where it's played straight and subverted — straight in that the coverage is less effective than desirable for real-world armour; subverted in that both male and female specific armours have similar coverage, or lack thereof; and they typically provide magical protection. The most obvious example is the Bone Marine armour, which consists of a very brief chest-armour top and a very short skirt for both males and females (the only difference is that the female top is contoured for breasts) and is magically enhanced.
  • The Chessmaster: Cichol is quite the manipulator.
  • Class Change Level Reset: Your character can "rebirth" at any time, starting over anywhere between age 10 and 17 and reverting to level 1. As you level, you earn AP, which you can spend to increase skill ranks, which in turn get you stat bonuses. While rebirth loses you all the stat points you gained from experience levels themselves, you keep your skill ranks and the bonuses, as well as your inventory. Then you get to take advantage of the fast level gain for a starting character to earn more AP.
  • Cosmetic Award: The journal feature that lets people compare to others to show off. It's used partly to choose Royal Alchemists for the week.
  • Collection Sidequest:
    • It is possible to obtain books in the game that ask you to collect a number of items. If you do this, you'll get a special item, usually an equip.
    • Many NPCs offer part-time jobs, most of which are effectively time-limited collection/production side-quests.
    • In addition, most monsters drop some sort of item (Fomor Scrolls in Uladh, assorted body parts like fur, hooves, and scales in Iria) that can be collected into stacks of 10 and turned in for a reward by purchasing a quest from an NPC.
  • Competence Zone: Given an in-game justification through the rebirth mechanic.
  • Continuing Is Painful:
    • When you die, you're given a choice of where to revive. If you revive in town, the amount of experience deducted is much smaller than if you decide to revive right where you are.
    • Averted with Nao's Soulstones, a paid premium item, which can be used to revive and fully restore the character without penalty.
    • Also, with paid Premium Service you can revive in town without penalty.
    • If you're with friends, people usually carry Phoenix Feathers to revive you with. The exp penalty for being revived is minimal, but most of your gear will lose its blessings, which means either your equipment wears down faster or you'll have to use precious holy water to re-bless your stuff.
  • Crapsaccharine World: The world of Erinn starts out presenting itself as an ideal, easy-to-live-in world. The image that the generation quests present, however? Not so much.
  • Crippling Overspecialization:
    • The three warriors, Tarlach, Ruairi and Mari. Tarlach was a pure mage, Ruairi a swordsman and Mari an Archer, although she does have some melee capabilities, unlike Tarlach. The most painful point of this trope is that a pure mage in Mabinogi can be hard to play without wands or advanced spells, and Tarlach has neither of them, and the player who happens to be running the G1 quests must play as Tarlach up to three times. Whoever they happen to bring with them will get Ruairi or Mari depending on their position in the party lineup.
    • The skill system makes it possible to build player characters like this. Rarely done, and mostly used for secondary characters that specialize in some type of crafting skill.
  • Critical Hit: There's even a skill that increases the damage you deal from one... and the Will bonuses from that skill increase your chances of dealing one, too.
  • Cutscene: As well as the story-related cutscenes, you also see a cutscene before fighting a dungeon boss. Also, you sometimes see a short scene after eating very well-made food.
  • Dangerously Genre Savvy: Cichol.
  • Darker and Edgier: To say that Vindictus is Darker and Edgier is like saying that the weather in Antarctica is a bit chilly.
  • Dark Is Not Evil:
    • Morrighan is a black-haired, black-winged Goddess of Vengeance and War who has Crows as servants, but she's actually pretty sweet.
    • Until G12; then she gets kinda scary, especially when she finally opens her eyes * shiver* .
      • Though some would find her eyes to be quite beautiful.
    • Cichol himself gets some sympathetic moments from time to time.
  • Dark World: Another World, and the appropriately named Shadow World.
  • Death Is Not Permanent: This is actually explained. All the player characters are actually from another world, and therefore cannot die in the world that the game takes place in.
  • Deconstruction: The concept of Milletians, player characters, is an excellently-done bit of Gameplay and Story Integration on just why the characters the player uses are different than NPC's.
  • Deflector Shields: The Natural and Elemental Shields protect the user and surrounding allies from incoming arrows/magic...although they only last a few seconds and render the user immobile.
  • Development Hell: Mabinogi Europe was stuck at G12 from October 2010 to the shutdown of that server.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?:
    • The final bosses of each chapter are supposedly powerful enough to destroy the world, and yet a party of three people can kill them.
    • G12's final boss is the King of the Gods of Erinn. You defeat him, albeit with the help of other gods and goddesses.
  • Does Not Like Men:
    • Dilys, although she doesn't treat male player's characters any differently.
    • G11 reveals that Belita thinks this way too. Turns out both cases are caused by the same man.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Morrighan and Neamhain both are barefoot, though in Morrighan's case this isn't easily noticeable for a while.
  • Doomed by Canon: You can't save Hamlet or Ophelia, you can't save Romeo or Juliet. Sadly, the second one is your fault entirely; you're the one entrusted to deliver the letter to Romeo, and you get attacked by the final boss of G14 and are beaten spectacularly.
  • Doppleganger Attack:
    • The boss of Shadow Cast City, the Doppleganger, summons a few clones after you hit it a few times, then turns invincible until you beat them all.
    • The aptly named "Doppelganger" skill in North America. In Japan and Taiwan, it's called Shadow Bunshin.
  • Difficulty Spike:
    • G3 in Chapter 1 and G11 in Chapter 3. G3 is reduced somewhat in that it doesn't really get hard until near the end, but G11 is pain and misery the whole way through. Even worse, you're forced solo for nearly all of G11, while in G3 you can almost always bring backup. G14 includes another difficulty spike for Chapter 4, bumping up the Mooks considerably.
    • Most of the harder G11 missions allow the player to bring one Royal Alchemist to help, which depending on his/her power and skill level can greatly alleviate the difficulty of these missions. Buchanan Inside the Castle and Location of Destiny, however, do NOT allow Royal Alchemist assistance; Buchanan Inside the Castle is particularly infamous because its difficulty certainly warrants Royal Alchemist assistance.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Outlaw hunting. You cut down spawns of bandits till one of them drops you a pass. Sometimes the outlaw isn't in their place, and more bandits are inside. You mow them down. You then try again and again, until the outlaw appears in its homestead, and end the outlaw with a Spear of the God. You can think of the body count on just finding them. And you're doing this just because they stole items from other players or from you.
  • Dual Wielding: The "Pioneers of Iria" release gave Humans and Giants the ability to dual-wield certain one-handed weapons based on their signature combat motif — bladed weapons for Humans, blunt weapons for Giants. Elves do not have the ability to dual-wield any weapon, as their signature combat motif is archery, but they shoot two arrows at a time.
  • The Dragon: Dark Lord/Morgant.
  • Dragon with an Agenda: Morgant implies himself to be one.
  • Dummied Out: Nekojima to the North American Servers, As the Cat's Eye item was found at an event, which even drives more questions.
  • Dynamic Difficulty:
    • Shadow Missions attempts this, but does so poorly, since they do so simply by doubling just about every enemy stat for every hundred Empty Levels you earn. It gets really bad at Advance levels, at which points players just won't have the strength necessary to combat their foes. The range for Advanced levels is level three hundred to level one thousand. Compare Basic and Intermediate, which range for one hundred and two hundred levels, respectively.
    • The cruelest example is in G14. Every Generation before that would not scale difficulty for RP missions (wherein you play as an NPC), as the NPC is clearly not getting any stronger even if you do. Unfortunately, G14 does scale difficulty while you're playing as Romeo, who isn't even very strong to begin with.
  • Earn Your Fun: Many skills require epic amounts of grinding to advance to useful levels, others require extensive and/or difficult quests, and a few require both. Advanced skills typically involve a Brutal Bonus Level as part of a collection or story quest. Spirit Weapons have to be fed large amounts of expensive or hard-to-obtain items to achieve useful stats. The best enchanted gear is typically found via extremely difficult dungeons, extensive Exploration grinding, or through the cash shop gachapons.
  • Eldritch Abomination:
    • Glas Ghaibhleann.
    • Claimh Solais's transmuted form, too.
  • Elemental Crafting: A rare complete aversion of this trope. All weapons, armours, and shields are constructed primarily of iron, with the exception of a very few wooden weapons (clubs, sticks, wooden swords), some magic wands (wood), and certain uncommon magic items (usually special-event or quest related, and often of limited lifespan). Effectiveness of weapons and armour is determined by the design and quality of crafting, not the materials. Most non-event/quest gear that's made out of special materials is justified by being magically enhanced, or very fragile and limited lifespan.
  • Eleventh Hour Superpower: The Paladin transformation in G2, and the Demigod transformation in G10, though you can use both after clearing their respective generations. The latter is particularly notable because the boss starts out with it and you must steal it from him.
  • Elves vs Giants: The interracial war plays a large part of the Chapter 2 story. Even players can get in on the action by enabling the Elf vs Giant Player Versus Player option, although that turns into camping fairly quickly. In G9, the war is finally resolved by...sketching the Artifact Of Doom the two sides were fighting over.
  • Emote Animation: In addition to emotes that change your facial expression, there are emotes for greeting, laughing, crying, and now even saluting or doing Napoleon Dynamite's dance!
    • Shortly after Gangnam Style became popular, Mabinogi released an event where everyone online received an AP 50 potion, a copy of Psy's suit and shades, and the ability to do the horse dance. The servers were full to bursting on that day...
  • Empathic Weapon: Every beginning player is given a special weapon like this, inhabited by a spirit. She's always named Eiry and she always looks the same. She leaves you after you hit level 26 and complete a certain quest. Once she's gone, however, you can give most weapons that have been used enough an "ego spirit." They make your weapon stronger (and make it glow), but they also are rather expensive to maintain, as they require FOOD. That is, random items that the weapon spirit "absorbs", with different items granting different stat boosts. The most effective stat boosts come from jewels, obtained through the use of the Metallurgy skill.
  • Enemy Chatter: Some of the enemies, such as Imps and Kobold Bandits, will actually say things to you. There's even one dungeon boss, the Succubus, that you can actually have a pseudo-conversation with.
  • Mr. Fanservice: The female playerbase really likes Hamlet.
  • Evil Is One Big Happy Family: The Fomors accept anyone who wants to expunge the human menace, even human renegades.
  • Excited Title! Two-Part Episode Name!: "Conflict! An Unexpected Battle!" (The original Korean name for this level was simply "Encounter.")
  • Fake Difficulty: There are numerous examples of this, such as:
    • G11 seems to be an experiment by the developers to find the most annoying combination of Videogame Tropes. An early level is a combination of an Escort Mission and a Marathon Level. A later level combines Randomly Drops with a Timed Mission.
    • Any monster fighting can become this if you are lagging. Overlaps with Hitbox Dissonance.
    • While performing commerce, all damage inflicted by the player is cut in half, on top of Bandits already having high HP values as it is.
    • Blade wyverns. Most classes are simply unable to defeat any individually, so they need the help of an ally. This is because they fly around, rendering them immune to most forms of attack, until they swoop down and begin gnawing your face off. This is the only time they can be attacked normally, but you're obviously too occupied being mauled to actually do any attacking.
  • Fire, Ice, Lightning: The basic types of magic available to the player.
  • Fishing for Sole: Using the fishing skill can get you fish, clothes, and gargoyle swords. Some useful items, including books, can only be found via fishing.
  • Four Is Death: The pass to the Scary Library is bought for 4,444 gold.
  • Full-Contact Magic: Blaze.
  • Gainaxing: Subverted. While Nao's breasts do bounce a bit, they stay together and don't go off in opposite directions. None of the other characters have any bounce at all.
  • Game-Breaking Bug:
    • On March 15th-17th, for the 2011 Quiz Show update, there was a glitch that made it so the effects of your title stacked every time a new item was added to your inventory. Every time you picked up, say, a gem or dungeon key, and had a title that increases your Strength by 10, you would gain 10 Strength (temporarily until you logged off or changed channels) every time that item was picked up. Cue people running around for 2 days with a 999 or higher in at least 1 stat, if not all of them, running dungeons or missions they shouldn't be able to do yet.
    • A glitch involving new Mercenary scrolls to not dissapear upon use allows instant five Lion spams to help on shadow missions, making That one levels and That one bosses of Shadow missions like a piece of cake. Averted with the Elite type lions, where the glitch isn't present.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Player Characters can't die because they aren't from the same world; NPC's can and will die if the plot calls for it. However, during RP dungeons, NPC's can respawn from death the same way as PC's can. This could be because all RP dungeons are memories of the character you're playing as, so it could be that the actual events that occur while player is controlling the character are given a sort of reality overwrite after the fact. Or else it could just be an Anti-Frustration Feature.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Tracy, complete with Freudian Excuse.
  • Get on the Boat: Only really useful for the title that you get from riding the boat ten times, as every twelve hours in-game, you can warp from one continent to the other. Also, the Uladh seaport is in the middle of nowhere. If you get the title, though, you can get on the other boat, and discover some exclusive items fishing there.
  • Get Thee to a Nunnery: Spoken, but not word for word. G13 is an adaption of Hamlet, you know.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: So you're fighting dark skeletons in Verona, when an ordinary Panther suddenly attacks. Evidently, it seems to belong in the top percentage of Panther to boot.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: If you're having trouble believing that Morrighan is the Goddess of War and Vengeance, just find an image of her with her eyes open. Other than that, bears and other animals possessed by Fomors will also have glowing eyes.
  • Golem: Fomor or transmuted by alchemists to aid in battle.
  • God's Hands Are Tied:
    • Subverted; the whole reason her hands are tied is because she did actively help humanity in previous struggles. Doesn't excuse all the other gods though.
    • Morrighan finally helps you directly during the G12 Final Boss.
  • Good Costume Switch: Kristell, an ex-Succubus, traded out her Leotard of Power for a full Nun's habit long ago.
  • The Goomba: Raccoons and Foxes of all colors are the most prominant example, as well as some species of early spiders, rats and bats, though later Palette Swaps of the above three will be actual threats. The buck stops there though; even simple wolves are dangerous to newbies.
  • Grid Inventory
  • Grim Up North: Physis. Subverted in that the Giants there tend to be fairly relaxed and (assuming you aren't an elf) friendly.
  • Guide Dang It: There is no way anybody could defeat the G10 Final Boss without first consulting a walkthrough of some sort; the sheer amount of things you need to do to make it even vulnerable is mind-boggling. Beating The Grim Reaper in G13 also heavily relies on you learning how to dodge his attacks; taking them will cause a lot of damage.
  • Gun Fu: The Gunslinger skills, some of them are fairly okay, but the 'Shooting Rush' skill is this trope.
  • Guns Akimbo: With the Gunslinger update, players may now equip two and only two guns.
  • Handicapped Badass: Morrighan might be one. Since she keeps her eyes shut whenever she's not fighting, it's unclear whether she's really blind or just doesn't want to scare people.
  • Harmless Freezing: Briefly played straight and then subverted with every casting of Ice Spear. The targets are rendered immobile and un-hittable for a few seconds after being hit, then they take damage and are knocked over, and any unharmed enemies nearby when they flash-unfreeze have the spell applied to them.
  • Health/Damage Asymmetry: Averted. Most often battles are decided in Mabinogi in only a few blows, since both players (especially new players) and monsters can die in very few hit. Averted, however, with Shadow Monsters who tend to have High HP and deal low damage until you reach higher difficulty.
  • Herd Hitting Attack:
    • Lightning Bolt and Thunder (see Chain Lightning, above).
    • Ice Spear and Fireball do this too.
    • Windmill can do this, usually if you stand in the middle of a dungeon room and have someone else hit the switch to summon the enemies.
    • Several Field Bosses have Rush-type attacks, which uses their absurdly large hitboxes and fast speed to deal lots of damage to lots of people.
      • During one RP quest in Shamala's questline, you RP as the Giant Lion field boss, and get to use this move on swarms of enemies.
  • Heroic BSOD: Tarlach and Ruairi both went through one after they were tricked by Cichol into believing that Morrighan had betrayed humanity.
  • Heroic RROD: The Dark Knight Super Mode, after a period of time will begin to deplete the user's HP at a steady pace. The Windmill technique used to be this, by deducting 10% of the user's HP with each use.
  • Heroic Willpower: When characters takes damage that would normally kill them, they have a chance based on their Will score to instead enter Deadly status (see above). Enemies can do this, too. In extreme cases, a character may make the Deadly save while in Deadly status, as many times as the rapidly decreasing probability allows.
  • Hitbox Dissonance:
    • Most large enemies (especially giant spiders) have larger hitboxes than what they seem to have. This means both you and them can strike from further away, and can make it hard to gauge some strategies, especially Windmill, which seems to have a minimum range as well as a maximum range against such enemies.
    • Ancient enemies all seem to have the same hitboxes as regular versions of enemies, which is unfortunate, because they're generally larger than usual.
    • The low level versions of the skill Windmill, in high latency times, the skill is near useless, as the enemy will ALWAYS be able to attack you first.
      • Bandits. In theory, you're supposed to be able to see them and go around them if you can. In practice, their spawn markers are fully capable of dropping right on top of you (triggering an ambush), and sometimes they don't even give you that much courtesy and simply spawn at random.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight:
    • Every time you fight Ruairi (With the exception of the Math dungeon version in Generation 2, because of the addition of the hydra skill .
    • Also, during G13 in Act 2 Scene 2, it is impossible to defeat the Grim Reaper, as it is immune to all damage.
  • Hyper Competent Sidekick: Priest Meven isn't incompetent at his job, but he's pretty easy going for a priest, contrasted with his more serious assistant, priestess Endelyon.
  • Idle Animation: A select number of clothes in the game lets the player have one when they're unarmed. A Swan Lake Outfit will have the wearer do pirouettes in place, a male wearing the After School Uniform would fiddle with their tie occasionally, the Bell Fox Wear will have the player reach and pet their tail, to name a few examples.
  • Impossibly Delicious Food: Eating perfect five-star food produced by perfectly completing the cooking skill minigame actually triggers one of several cutscenes depicting just how impossibly delicious the food you just ate was, one of which actually has your character pass out and be revived by Nao, who informs you that without her intervention you would be dead.
  • Improbable Age:
    • Used to be that most people choose to start off as a 10-year-old, so that when they grow a year every (Real Life) Saturday, they get the most skill points. As of the Pioneers of Iria release, it's smarter to constantly rebirth at age 20 and revert to age 17 so that you can rebirth again as soon as possible.
    • Due to the new beginnings patch removal of paid rebirths and letting everyone rebirth to any age after 6 days since last rebirth, age 10 is again the most common due to the 0.75 luck per level up humans get at age 10.
    • Deliberately having a low age allows you to get titles such as "<name>, who killed a bear/golem/etc at 10 years old". One of the NPCs makes note of this, saying that sure it's impressive for a kid to kill a bear with their bare hands, but isn't it kinda mean to the bears?
      • It's not mean to the bears because some bears have the title "who knocked out a person at [age] 10"
    • On that note, Comgan is a Priest in the mining town of Bangor, trying to raise money to rebuild the old church (which got destroyed in a fire). He's 14 at best.
  • Improbable Weapon User: When the game first came out, this was largely averted, as gathering tools were nigh-useless, which just left swords, bows, and wands. Several events and skill updates later, it's possible to see an adventuring party containing someone who fights with puppets, someone with a chemistry set (alchemy cylinder), someone with a pair of spring leeks (which are even more ridiculously overpowered than beam swords), someone with a spiked mandolin, someone who fights with knuckles, and maybe someone who fights with a dream catcher, by using it to turn into a chess piece.
  • Inexplicable Treasure Chests: These are typically only found in dungeons. However, during certain events, they can drop from just about every animal and monster in the game.
    • Usually though, this trope is an indication that you're looking at a Mimic monster instead of a treasure box. Load your windmill skill to determine what has a key and what will try to eat you.
  • In-Game Novel: Many of these. Most of which are simply flavour text relating to the game's main storyline. Some are stories by random adventurers, or musings by NPCs. A very few actually contain info on game mechanics.
  • Instrument of Murder: One of the weapons you can have is a mandolin with spikes on it, useful both for hitting enemies with and casting Magic Music.
  • Insurmountable Waist High Fence: And bushes. And tree stumps. And rocks.
  • Interchangeable Antimatter Key: Subverted. Dungeons often have many keys and locked doors which disappear when used/used on, but only keys and locks of matching color will work.
  • Interface Screw: A boss character named Tiamat has a skill called "Bewlider", rotates the player's view by 180 degrees. Have fun trying to move around!
  • Interface Spoiler: The Transformation Diary, which displays the preview pictures and descriptions of the transformations, whether you've unlocked them or not. This is not so much of a problem with monster transformations, but it is for NPC transformations. For a while, it was mostly good at avoiding this by giving non-descriptions for plot-only NPC's like Elatha ("Nothing much is known about him.") or giving bare minimum descriptions if they're town NPC's that have a role in the plot as well. However, NPC transformations for characters in "The Saga" have spoilers regarding the identities of certain masked characters.
  • Item Crafting:
    • A large portion of the clothes, tools, armour, and weapons available in the game can be crafted, using the tailoring, handicrafting, and blacksmithing skills. You can do things like cooking food and making potions, as well as crafting completely useless items like paper cranes, "costumes", and furniture.
    • There are a number of items which are only available through crafting, such as the highest level armours. A high enough crafting skill can also create better quality versions of commonly available items.
  • It Makes Sense in Context: Chapter 4 is about A Goddess trying to kill Shakespeare. Yes, really.
  • It's Not You, It's Me: Midway through the G1 storyline, it's revealed that Tarlach actually does care about Kristell, but after seeing how far she was willing to go to prove her love for him, he feels he's not worthy to receive. Also there's the fact about him being a Druid, and unable to leave the area he's taken residence in.
  • Jiggle Physics: Applies only to Nao. No other characters exhibit any sort of bounce at all. Not even Rua.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Averted — nearly all of the swords in this game are Western swords. There are only about two Eastern swords in the game, and while good, they're not overpowering.
  • Kick Them While They Are Down: The Assault Slash skill. Multi-charged icebolt, or fusion bolt with ice in it, can do this as well. If you've got friends with you, backing the boss into a corner and taking it in turns to use Windmill on him is a widely-accepted tactic.
  • Kick the Dog: Triona is attacked by the brainwashed paladins.
  • Kid Hero: You will see a lot of these. They can probably still kick your ass.
    • The Age 10 Potions have this as a cosmetic effect; regardless of your actual age, you appear as a 10-year-old (until mid-day Saturday, when it wears off).
  • The Law of Diminishing Defensive Effort: Averted: you either learn how to fight defensively in Mabinogi, or you die a lot. You choose. Once you advance your skills enough, though, the focus shifts toward defeating enemies before they can notice you.
  • Lethal Chef: Aeira, the bookstore owner, tries to make a bag lunch for another NPC. The picture depicts some kind of oatmeal explosion, with Aeira cowering behind the counter.
    • As per Impossibly Delicious Food, above: players can make food so tasty, it will kill you and send you to the Soul Stream. If not for Nao's help, you'd be perma-dead.
  • Level Drain: Mabinogi allows a player to periodically undertake a "rebirth" which resets the character's level, age and stats and allows the character to rank skills faster. However, the rebirth is voluntary and the character retains all previously learned skills (and any stat bonus from them).
  • Level Up Fill Up: Right after rebirth is an excellent time to visit a tough dungeon, since you'll probably get upwards of half a dozen level-ups before you even clear the first floor, with a health fill-up every time.
  • Light Is Not Good: Neamhain.
  • Loads and Loads of Loading: Lag spikes started to become a serious and omnipresent issue in North American around the time of the implementation of G17.
  • Locked Door: Many of the doors in the dungeons are locked, and require you to get the right key from the enemies in the dungeon in order to progress.
  • Lost Forever: Any exclusive items from Gachapons and Limted edition pets falls into this. The Vocaloid Hairstyles and colors gives a special mention as being unavailable at the beauty shop/dressing room.
  • Lost in Translation: When G17 first came out, the translators and localizers were apparently behind schedule. The map for Emain Macha had to be changed, so they had to use the map they had... which was in Korean. Several of the quest descriptions for Huw`s questline were also in untranslated Korean, resulting Huw telling you (in perfect English) to go to Tir Chonail and talk to Duncan, and then give you a quest to... um. Just go to the quest marker on your map and see what's there.
  • Luck-Based Mission:
    • Keith's part time job requires you to deliver an item to another player. If they're AFK, decide to log off seconds after you get the job or are just a simple Jerk Ass, the job becomes impossible to complete. Keep in mind Keith's PTJ is the ONLY way to get Falias Fragments.
    • While performing commerce, you're meant to trade goods between towns in Uladh or Belvast while avoiding bandits. Get too close to their hiding places and they'll ambush you. Unfortunately, it's entirely possible for bandit spawns to appear close enough that you're automatically within their detection radius. Sometimes the game doesn't even give you that courtesy; ambushes can begin seemingly entirely at random.
      • You can control how dangerous every bandit spawn is; it's just that the system encourages people to haul loads they can't properly defend. Alternatively, high ranks in Commerce Mastery make it possible to just play dead (for non-giants), get thoroughly robbed, go to your destination without further encounters - and still turn a profit without relying on combat or friends.
    • The "Evolution of Caliburn" section of G11 is the first of the EscortMissions with Leymore and Cai. It's mostly simple, until you hit the boss, who has a multi-hitting life draining move that causes alarming amounts of damage with no cost to him, which renders him invulnerable during both charge-up and execution. You will lose if he decides to spam it, because it'll slaughter your brain-dead allies.
  • Luckily My Shield Will Protect Me: at the earlier stages in the game. While shields can soak upwards of 50 damage, that becomes a drop in the bucket when faced with later, more difficult dungeons.
  • Magic Music: Ranking the Musical Knowledge and Composing skills high enough gives the Magic Music ability, which allows characters to play music that can buff teammates, debuff mobs, and even mind-control single enemies. One of three ways to get the "who seduced a Succubus" title.
  • Magikarp Power: Spirit weapons start off weaker than a normal weapon of their kind, and only become the best choice after tens of millions of gold worth of equipment to power them up.
  • Marionette Master: G17 introduced the Puppeteer skillset and control bars, allowing player characters to summon a Pierrot or Colossus marionette and control it like a marionette. They are quite powerful once you train your skills up, and are ridiculously good at chaining their attacks together.
  • Master Computer: The elves of Filia keep their memories in the Memory Tower. This is good and bad for them, because it means their memories can be saved, but also erased at will, as was done to Atrata and Phaseus. The "Lost Elf" NPCs you can dig up in the desert are probably also victims of this, all done by the elven leader.
  • Meido: You could purchase a maid (or butler, or commerce partner) for a limited time from the cash shop.
  • Money Spider: Including actual spiders, that drop piles of neatly-stacked coins as you blow their corpse through the wall. Hand waved in that apparently Glas Ghaibhleann ate gold, and so monsters started carrying the stuff around in case he got hungry and cranky.
  • Medium Awareness:
    • The first time you meet Rua she says you and her and destined to meet, you then ask how did she know your name? She points at the name above your characters head and laughs.
    • Alissa, the one who operates the windmill in Tir Chonaill, does something similar when you first start a conversation with her.
    • Similarly, if you're using the "Who saved the goddess" title, some NPCs will express disbelief and make remarks about the increasing incidents of counterfeit titles.
  • Mighty Glacier: Bran, the final boss of G14, can't run and the majority of his attacks are at melee range. However, he can soak up a lot of abuse before he rolls over.
  • Mook Chivalry: Some enemies believe in this, some don't. And when they don't, you can be surprised how easily you can die when even two extra enemies you were previously slaughtering gang up on you.
  • Ms. Fanservice:
    • That would be Nao. Anyone who so much as clicked "start" after making their character knows why.
    • The Succubus, with her destructible clothing also qualifies.
    • Rua also qualifies, both in her character art and her conversation. She's very aware of her Ms. Fanservice status, and uses it to extort demand request an increasingly expensive series of gifts from the player characters as a mini-quest, which earns you a copy of her highly fanservice-y outfit, as a gift for Nao. (Yes, bouncy Nao in Rua's dress).
  • Multiple Endings: Apparently G16 has them, while G15 had a variant. Depending on your choices, you could get one of two titles at the end of the G15 storyline, however this doesn't affect the actual ending
  • Mundane Made Awesome: In G11, you can cook food by going into a giant pot and beating walking ingredients to death.
  • Nintendo Hard: The Generation 11 storyline pushes Difficulty Spike Up to Eleven compared to the dull-but-simple G10, and G9, in which you weren't forced to fight alone for the majority of battles.
  • Non-Combat EXP: The game has lots of ways to get XP from crafting and other non-combat activities.
    • The two skills for crafting finished adventuring gear, Tailoring and Blacksmithing, give some of the easiest XP in the game, especially if you take part-time jobs or process your own raw materials.
    • Additionally, the Merchant Destiny give you more than double XP for crafting stuff for as long as you keep it.
    • There is also Exploration XP, which is basically an entire second XP-and-level system, fueled entirely by tracking down Irian artifacts with an L-rod.
    • Mabinogi is one of the few combat-oriented games where you can make a respectable character who never fights.
  • Noob Cave: Alby, Par or Longa dungeons, specifically their normal versions, are the lowest level dungeon available for Humans, Giants and Elves, respectively. Don't take their bosses too lightly when you're first starting out, though.
    • Alby has this even more than Par or Longa, since you can ask the school teacher for a Beginner Pass, which is even easier than normal mode.
  • Not Worth Killing:
  • Numerical Hard: Higher-ranked Shadow Missions usually work this way; higher difficulty ranks just have enemies with higher stats, although on Basic rank important areas will appear as blips on the minimap.
    • Several strong monsters are just Palette Swaps of other animals with way higher stats. And Hardmode Dungeons are typically a lot like the normal version, complete with having the same kinds of monsters but harder.
  • Obvious Rule Patch/Nerf: When Alchemy was first released many players went straight for the Summon Golem skill. For good reason- Snow Golems backed by high Alchemy Mastery could single-handedly obliterate entire rooms of enemies with their Rank 1 Windmill. When the Clay Alchemy skill was released some time later, said Golems got even bigger and stronger than before. Then came a series of patches which first reduced the Golem's size then later reduced their Windmill ranks from 1 to 6, greatly reducing their Windmill radius.
  • Offhand Backhand: Your character does this to the Nightmare Humanoid in the Coil Awakening dungeon in the victory cinematic. Or at the least, this seems to be what the design team was going for; animation limitations make it so your character has to turn around and do a normal hit, but the trope is there in spirit.
  • Oh Crap: Your face during the Ciar Dungeon golem's intro. The players also have an emote to this effect available.
  • Ominous Pipe Organ / One-Woman Wail: The background music of Peaca Dungeon. Appropriate, considering...
  • One-Winged Angel: All players can undergo this when they learn their race-specific transformations. The Demi God transformation crosses the Bishounen Line going a step above the first form, but simply takes the form of a Battle Aura and energy wings over the player.
  • Only the Worthy May Pass:
    • Every time a new area is opened up, there will be something called a seal stone blocking the way. To break the seal stone, you must meet the requirements. Breaking a seal stone only needs to be done once, and once it's done, the name of the person who broke it will stay there next to the stone.
    • The underground Ant Hell maze has a number of doors leading to higher-reward areas. These can only be opened by possessing certain titles, skills, or items, or by performing certain very specific actions based on rather vague clues.
  • Our Elves Are Better: How many fantasy settings do you know of with Desert Elves that are also a Hive Mind? (NPCs only)
  • Parental Neglect: A quote from Elen explicitly says that her mom always neglects her.
  • Patchwork Map: Iria at first appears to be this. On closer examination, the layout does make climatological sense, with forests and plains seperated from desert by huge mountain ranges creating rain shadows. The north is a frozen waste, with the a small, arid zone consisting of a volcanic island laden with hot springs similar to parts of Iceland. Although Karu Forest appears to be sandwiched between two deserts (Muyu and Nares Plateau), it's at the very southern tip of Iria beside the mouth of the Rutra river. This enables it to benefit from the rain shadow created by the mountains on other side, which channel moisture from the ocean into a narrow river valley.
    • It's also worth noting that neither the frozen wastes of Physis nor the second desert that is Connous were naturally formed; they're the result of The Irinid's curse on those regions.
  • The Pen Is Mightier: During one of his RP quests, Shakespeare is armed with a feather quill. Sounds weak compared to the swords that the Tara infantry use, right? Wrong. It has better attack stats than any weapon available to player characters, and allows the use of all advanced magics, making it more versatile and therefore arguably better than any wand or staff available to players as well.
  • Pet Monstrosity: The pets you can buy include venomous snakes, giant spiders, and even bone dragons.
  • Power Gives You Wings: The Paladin transformation at its max level, as well as the Demigod transformation.
  • Practical Taunt: The giants' Taunt skill attracts the aggro of all nearby monsters, taking the pressure off any teammates. They can mix it with Wind Guard to avoid knockdown and reduce damage.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Bandits will often try to tell the player that they won't be killed if they let the Bandits make off with their goods. Depending on how powerful the bandits you're facing are, this could be the only choice for a weaker character.
  • Purely Aesthetic Gender: Well it is... besides G3.
  • Race Lift: Type A. Bebhinn, who was a light-skinned, blue-eyed, pink-haired girl in Korea and a Native-American-like girl in North America. Also, Manus, who was a pale, long-haired blonde in Korea, but a short-haired, dark skinned man in North America. The latter retains his old appearance in various pictures in quests and during the NPC Battle Tournament.
  • Rainbow Pimp Gear: Averted. For the most part, all gear of the same class (light, medium, and heavy) has the same stats and upgrades (aside from durability), and gear obtained from NPC shops changes colour every in-game day. There are also dyes available from the cash shop that will let you change the colours. So, generally speaking, you can usually find some sort of attractive outfit combination that will be no weaker than any other in its class. Or you can just equip a cloak, which obscures your character if you end up making them look hideous.
    • You're able to avert this deliberately if you're willing to spend $1.20 every month to maintain your Decorative equipment slots.
  • Random Number God:
    • Archery. Always archery. If there is ever a point in which you have to make that one clutch shot to avoid being run down and murdered you are guaranteed to miss it, even if your probability of hitting is at 100%.
    • Percentages are actually quite infamous in the game considering that everything from Enchanting to Weapon Repairs to Life Skills rely heavily on them. Many players swear that the random number generator is flawed, and even those that don't usually have small rituals they created to avoid failure.
  • Razor Floss: If you have a control bar equipped but aren't controlling a puppet, you can use the Wire Pull skill to do this for a few seconds.
  • Razor Wind: The Area of Effect skill Windmill, when sufficiently ranked, gains increased attack range, increasing initially 1.2 times the original attack range and 1.5 times when the skill maxes out. At that skill level, you're pretty much slicing enemies with air. Said skill ignores an enemies' protection rate and making it easier to get critical hits, making it really like a razor.
  • Really 700 Years Old: The "rebirth" mechanic (see below) allows players to reset their character's age back to anywhere from 10 to 17 every once in a while, so players will gradually become more and more this trope as they advance.
    • Also, Nao.
  • Repeatable Quest: The game allows the players to perform part time jobs with the game's vendors, and allows them one in-game day to complete them. This is a useful means of accruing monetary wealth, especially for characters who are primarily crafters.
    • The Exploration Quests in Iria.
    • There's also the Shadow Missions, which you accept from a quest board which always has every shadow mission available on it.
  • Rightful King Returns: In Generation 16, with Princess Eirawen being the rightful queen. This is a given, as said Generation's plot structure is intended to take elements from Macbeth.
  • Rock Monster: The game has Golems in the Rock, Forest (looks like pieces of overgrown ruins) and Sulfur varieties. Also, the two dungeons in the Rano region are full of stone beasties that are basically animate Mayincatec sculpture.
  • Run Don't Walk: Played straight for most everyone, certain skills force you to walk, but otherwise there's no way to unless you hold in the shift key. Reversed with Morrighan, who cannot run during the short rp mission you play as her; she only moves in slow, purposeful strides, or by teleportation.
  • Sealed Good in a Can: Happens to Morrighan with unusual regularity.
  • Secret A.I. Moves: The enemy version of Life Drain is the most blatant: it has no charge time, you can't hurt an enemy who is currently using it, and it multi targets. Your party will have to use Evade quickly to escape, or this skill will cripple it and completely heal your enemy (Commander-type Shadow Enemies) to full health.
  • Shakespeare in Fiction: Chapter 4 is based around several Shakespearean plays such as Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet.
  • Shields Are Useless: Averted! Let's count the ways...
    • Equipping a non-upgraded shield appears to only add 2 defense stat to your character, but other features make them more effective than that. Shields are expensive, but they can be extremely helpful while your character still has low defense and HP. And upgrading them makes them even more effective.
    • The G7 release included the Charge combat skill (known as Assault in non-NA localizations) which requires a shield for Humans and Elves to use (Giants don't need one, due to their size). It also included some substantial buffs to shield usefulness, and combined with Charge made "sword and shield" or "blunt and shield" as popular a fighting style as dual-wielding became in G4.
    • Shield Bash: When using the Charge skill, the player rams the enemy from a distance (Higher the rank, the longer the distance is), while lessening the damage from arrows. Once the player reaches foe, they slam the shield at them and stun them for 2.5 seconds. Giants can use Charge without a shield though.
    • In spite of the game telling you they only have 2 defense points, shields in general give around 17 defense points and lower the chance of you taking a critical hit by 10%. They give even greater bonuses when you use the Defense skill with them. None of this is actually listed on the shield though so you'd never know this without extensive testing.
  • Smash Mook:
    • Pets' suicidal AI will cause them to just keep attacking, even if the enemy is defending or in a counterattack stance.
    • Also seen in the AIs of some of the NPCs you must help or protect in Shadow Missions, who constantly attack nearby enemies, drawing aggro to themselves and/or interrupting the player's combo. It becomes particularly annoying when keeping these NPCs alive is the focus of the mission.
  • Something Completely Different: The Chapter 4 storylines deal with adaptations of Shakespeare plays and depart from the gods-and-goddesses storylines Mabinogi was known for before. At least, that's what it looks like at first glance.
  • Sound of No Damage: Triggering a Passive Defense (Three variations: Melee, Magic, or Ranged) will cause a loud metallic PING! to sound. While the mechanic cannot fully nullify damage, high enough levels of Passive Defense will render it down to a measly 1 damage.
  • Springtime for Hitler:
    • To rank the Refining skill, you have to fail the skill more times than succeed. Prepare to get royally screwed over by the random number generator after it cranks out success after success. The key, if you have any intention of mastering refining, is to rank it up before your dexterity or production mastery get too high.
    • Failure of the Metallurgy skill produces Unknown Ores. They're used to learn a skill, metal converting to common iron ores and ingots, and for making ice mines, which thankfully means they're not worth very much most of the time.
  • Squishy Wizard: Tarlach is this, which makes his solo Rabbie Dungeon run a test of patience. Mores would be one too, if he weren't so damn powerful. For player characters, this is completely and totally averted.
  • Standard Status Effects: Strangely absent. There's poison, but that's about it.
    • Well, there is petrification, however the others may fall under a type of "Uncommon Status Effects" in that there's things like weakened, which your stats aren't as powerful as before, and deadly status, where you're alive with negative health but become a One-Hit Wonder.
  • The Stinger: The end of the G12 storyline reveals a new plotline and twist, but then the next chapter deals with Something Completely Different.
  • Stripperiffic: Rua, the entertainer at Bean Rua, has a rather revealing dress.
  • Stupidity Is the Only Option:
    • Any player quickly comes to realize that if there's more than on treasure chest in a room, there's about a 90% chance it's actually a mimic. Mimics are generally weak, but they tend to be irritating to fight.
    • Giants can use Stomp to activate all mimics in range. This would be a very bad thing except that they don't know what hit them.
    • Canine pets are capable of detecting mimics, and will attack them if their AI is set to allow auto-attack.
      • Any pet can find them in auto-attack mode. Dogs can just do it without activating them.
    • And the basic fighting skill Windmill works on all close enemies, whether your character knows about them or not. The mimics it won't one-shot it'll activate and knock down, making finishing them easy. And creative use of camera angles will identify any mimic visually (make it transparent and check for teeth inside).
  • Super Mode:
  • Sword of Plot Advancement:
    • The eponymous Sword of the Gods in G11.
    • Once acquired, the Brionac from then on is a permanent resident of the player's inventory. The weapon cannot be Dropped, Destroyed, Sold, or Traded.
    • In Generation 12, the sword is required in order to enter Falias. After that mission, that particular ability of the sword becomes locked, and the player must then complete a whole series of quests in order to regain this ability and get back to Falias for the final battle of G12.
    • In the final mission of G12, the boss has very high Protection that must be reduced in order to deal significant damage. Though only a single use of the Shadow Spirit skill is needed to make the boss vulnerable, repeated attacks with the Sword of Plot Advancement will reduce his Protection even further, possibly even to zero given enough attacks.
    • Empowering the sword with the Shock skill turns it into an Infinity +1 Sword. In this state the sword's damage is increased and several unique abilities are unlocked, including the single most powerful attack in the game with a recorded damage of over 12,000 that bypasses Defense, Protection, and even Mana Deflector. Rank 1 Shock raises the weapon's base damage to a colossal 145-239, which dwarfs even the most powerful maxed-out Spirit Weapons. Bear in mind that unlocking the sword's full power requires completion of That One Sidequest and a whopping 448 AP, and an additional 4 AP PER POINT to repair.
  • Tactical Rock-Paper-Scissors: The basic melee skills form an intricate little net of weakness and advantage: The Smash skill wins over Defense, but Basic attacks beat Smash, and Defense blocks basic attacks but not Smash. The Counter Skill protects against Basic Attacks and Smash, but Windmill beats it, while Defend blocks Windmill. The problem, of course, is that Counter and Windmill look exactly the same between charging and execution, and so does Defend and Smash if the user chooses not to run. Of course, you could just use a ranged attack - only Defend with a Shield equipped will beat those.
    • Once you take the various other types of skills into account, it becomes less like tactical Rock Paper Scissors and more like tactical chess. Mages can beat melee combatants (usually), Alchemists are good in general but can't keep up with speedy fighters, puppeteers can deal with anyone who relies on ranged combat...
  • Tactical Suicide Boss: The Arc Lich has 30,000 hitpoints and takes one damage from absolutely everything...except the Bomb Steeds he summons.
  • Taken for Granite: Happened to Morrighan in the backstory. She seems to have gotten better.
  • A Taste of Power:
    • Arch-Wizard Mores from one of the G1 RP dungeons was once the most powerful RP character, with Rank 1 bolt spells that the players, at the time of its initial release, could not obtain (and later-made players running G1 are not likely to have). He also had the monster skill version of Chain Casting, allowing him 5 charges at once.
    • The second example comes in the G3 sub-story as a way to allow players to test drive Dark Knight abilities before making the final, irreversible decision to become one. It is a run of Barri Dungeon as Ruairi after the events of Tir Na Nog, during which he's much stronger and stocked to the gills with various potions.
    • In G12, the player plays as Morrighan, so that the player can have a chance to see how her Demi God Skills work.
    • Chapter 4 later has several RP missions as Shakespeare. While the first few are not so special because they detail his beginnings as a Milletian, he has more high-ranked skills in his palette with each subsequent mission until he has nearly every skill at Rank 1 by the time G16 rolls around.
  • Sword and Sorcerer: Newer mages (and archers to a lesser extent) generally should seek out the aid of a meatier melee character to keep enemies away from them while they cast spells, since casting spells leaves you exposed and unable to move during the charge up while most physical skills can be readied while at least walking, if not running even.
  • Take Your Time: So Glas Ghaibhleann is being summoned, and he's going to destroy the whole world soon? If you rebirth at a certain point during the G1 storyline, you have to train your character back up to a certain level before one of the NPCs will give you the quest to continue.
    • Or you could just not bother for 50 in-game years, who cares. It's not like the NPCs are getting older or anything.
    • Inverted with part time jobs; if you run out of time, you've failed your task. It's better to report a partially-complete job (when possible) than not reporting at all. This results in the odd situation where you're more desperate to deliver clothing to the bookstore than to go save the world.
    • Also inverted with Shadow Missions. Many of these also have deadlines, and missing the deadline results in a complete failure of the mission.
  • Thanking the Viewer: The closing credits for each generation do this at the very end using the player character's name.
  • Thirsty Desert: A good 80% of the Connous region is covered in the cursed, inhospitable Longa Desert.
  • Total Party Kill: Adniel. If you ever have the bright idea to summon him in a room your party is confined to, be sure that at least one person has Nao Soulstones to revive on the spot, and Party Feathers to revive the whole party with.
  • Transformation Is a Free Action: Averted for both normal transformations and Demi God. You can't be harmed during the normal transformations, but it takes one or two crucial seconds to regain mobility afterward, and enemies can attack you during that period if they've aggroed you. This is a very good reason to disable transformation cinemas; they extend that vulnerable window another two or so seconds. The Demi God transformation blasts nearby enemies away, making you safe during the change while still averting this trope.
  • Unblockable Attack: Wings of Rage, which ignores all forms of defense and tracks the target, making it undodgeable and ublockable.
  • Unnecessary Combat Roll: The Evasion skill. When in use, the player can avoid being hit with arrows, bolt magic and alchemy depending on the success rate, which gets lower near the end of the skill's animation. Higher ranks of the skill raises the success rate, the number of rolls that can be executed before going into cooldown, and shortens the time to recover from rolling.
  • Ultimate Blacksmith: In Generation 2, Edern is the one to make the Paladin armour out of mythril, the unobtainium du jour that of course you must retreive in a Fetch Quest... which is of course also a Timed Mission.
  • Useless Useful Spell: The magic music scrolls sometimes gives stats, but only 1~10 of str/dex/int which isn't that much.
  • Weak, but Skilled: Assuming half-decent skill ranks, a low-level player can curb-stomp opponents that vastly outclass them in terms of raw power.
    • Low-level characters who specialize in the Counterattack skill become this. With even novice rank in firebolt and icebolt, you can bait most enemies into attacking you, and then turn their own damage rating against them.
  • What Is This Thing You Call Love?: In the backstory, Kristell thought that love was about dominating your partner through force, mostly because adventurers tried to do just that to her several times through her life. She eventually came to understand love properly though.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Total aversion: If Cichol doesn't try to immediately blast you on the spot, its because he has some use for you, or some giant monster about to disembowel you. Your continued survival is in no way attributed to the villain's unwillingness to do things himself, to say the least.
  • With This Herring: Partially averted. The starting armor is just plain clothing, which is effectively worthless (although, like all clothing, it can be upgraded a bit). However, the beginner's Empathic Weapon (always named Eiry, regardless of race and weapon type) is actually the most effective weapon available for new players, since it compensates for the new player's low stats (other weapons need higher stats to be more than minimally effective).
    • Oddly, this is played almost to the point of subversion when fighting with tools. Contrary to real-world expectations, fighting with non-upgraded tools, even knives and large hammers, is typically less effective than fighting with bare hands (the game informs you of this), despite the tools being functionally identical to many weapons.
  • Wizard Needs Food Badly: Your characters have a stamina meter, which decreases whenever you do something like fighting or gathering. However, there's a part of it that decreases from hunger. You replenish this by eating food. Your characters can't actually die from hunger, though.
    • All hunger does is slow down the restoration of usable stamina. Of course, transforming and leveling up restore any hunger you may have. In addition, the hunger meter portion can only decrease to about 50%. Food can also make your character fat if you eat nothing but meat and the like, although a retool to the system increased the benefits gained from stat-increasing food.
    • If you have a maid/butler/commerce partner, you must keep them well-fed or their disposition towards you will go down and their stress level goes up.
  • Xanatos Gambit: The only thing you manage to do through the course of the G1 storyline to actually hinder Cichol's plans is release Goddess Morrighan. Even if you kill his Eldritch Abomination, he simply reveals he was hoping that you would, since it essentially opens up an invasion corridor for him to use.
  • Vancian Magic: Alchemy crystals. Normal magic uses up mana, and comes in pre-defined spells.
  • Vendor Trash: A rather nicely thought out example. Enemies across Uladh will drop "Fomor Scrolls" associated with the general race of the enemy killed; these scrolls are used by the Fomors to turn normally benign monsters feral. Selling these scrolls to NPC's themselves will get you no money, but you can purchase quests for chump change to collect 10 of them, at which point you complete the quest and turn the ten in for a nice profit. Enemies in Iria will instead drop body parts used to complete Exploration Quests. The reason for this is because the enemies in Iria are not Fomors or controlled by Fomors; they're simply naturally wild animals.
  • Villain Exit Stage Left: Reversed in G1: Cichol all but lets you go, and he only does that because The Cavalry was the Goddess of War and Vengeance Herself.
  • Villains Never Lie: Cichol spends the entire course of G1 trying to trick everyone that Morrighan had turned against Humanity. In G3, he tries to do it again. Whether to believe him or not is up to the player.
  • Virtual Paper Doll: Due to the wide selection of clothing items and the ability to use dyes for customization. Nowadays, the game even has a "dressing room" function that allows you to store one piece of nearly every outfit.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Pick up a dream catcher, and you're good to go. You can expand your selection of forms through the skill's Collection Diary, which includes, but certainly not limited to, wolves, horses, skeletons, NPCS, and even DRAGONS.
  • Wide Open Sandbox: Although an overarching story exists, Mabinogi is far less story-driven than most MMORPGs, and the majority of the game's content is available outside of the main storyline.
    • Iria is literally an entire continent for the player to explore and find stuff in, walking from Vales (the Giant's starting town) to Filia (the Elves' starting town) then to Port Qilia (Human settlement) can take nearly two hours, if not more.
  • Wiki Rule: http://wiki.mabinogiworld.com/
  • Yandere: Kristell used to be a minor example, as she attempted to invoke defeat means love on Tarlach at least five times before she realized it wasn't working. She's grown out of most of the negative aspects of Yandere, but she's still somewhat obsessive over Tarlach, though not as much.
  • Younger than They Look: Mores looks like an old man at any point in the story, but he's actually only 36 as of his RP Math Dungeon. Juliet is only supposed to be 14 or so, but she's quite developed for her age.



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