Video Game: Magical Vacation
(2001) for the Game Boy Advance
was the first entry in a Nintendo
role-playing game series that takes place on Kovomaka. The main characters are a group of trainee mages that attend the Will-O-Wisp magic school. They can interact with elemental spirits and cast elemental spells.
In the first game, the students are on summer vacation (hence the name) when they are attacked by The Heartless
which splits up the students. It's up to the main character to travel through different planes of existence to rescue their fellow students. Sadly, this game never met a Western Release, similar to Mother 3.
The Nintendo DS
sequel, Magical Starsign
(2006), takes place 800 years later, when one of the teachers disappears. The students find a six-pack of magical spaceships in a part of the school and get lost in space, having to reunite with each other and rescue their teacher.
Also, for some reason, a great deal of things in the games are made out of gummi. Including the power-ups and the Cosmic Keystones
This series provides examples of:
- An Ice Person: Sorbet
- Awesome McCoolname: General Knucklestorm. Magnus Muzzleflash.
- Ax-Crazy / Psycho for Hire: Magnus Muzzleflash, a "murderous psychopathologist and a gun-toting pox" who doesn't think twice on gunning down his own troops if they get on his way. He was actually in prison due to his crimes against the galaxy before Abalon required his services.
- Blow You Away: Lassi. See also Razor Wind.
- Book Ends: While searching for their teacher, the player character and Lassi land on Erd, where they face antagonistic robots in a tower with no electricity before discovering that they are the subject of a Spiny mole prophesy to kill a large insect, the Ant Queen. Which they do, and then go on to "Where the stars sleep" to restore the power (The star is a Windmill which Lassi turns with magic). It's all very easy and mostly Played for Laughs. Later, The same tropes are Played for Drama in the endgame, with the same robots threatening to go berserk and war with the entire solar system when they run out of batteries; prophesies of doom eroding the party's resolve, Butterfly of Death and Rebirth Shadra, and the party despite all reason reigniting the Sun itself.
- Boss Dissonance: After Cassia, Starsign allows the player to decide which of two planets to visit next, which is actually a choice between:
- Easy Levels, Hard Bosses: Puffoon has low leveled random encounters, but a very difficult boss.
- Hard Levels, Easy Bosses: The forests of Gren are long and winding, with higher leveled random encounters, but lower leveled bosses compared to the alternative.
- Boss Remix: The final boss theme of Magical Starsign is a remix of the "trouble" theme that usually plays when the Pirate otters are up to no good.
- Butt Monkey: Poor Mokka gets kicked around a bit. He takes everything in stride, though. "Bad things always happen to me. Sometimes, I lose my head. Things happen."
- Butterfly of Death and Rebirth: The final boss is one: It's supposed to create a new sun after it finishes eating the old one, though there are implications that this isn't actually the case. Your party killing it causes the sun's light to intensify, and is treated as a very good thing.
- Casting a Shadow: Dark elemental magic. In addition to the usual stylings it also often involves a gambling motif.
- Chekhov's Gun: Semolina's clip ends up being a conduit that allows her to speak through Mokka from beyond the grave.
- Comically Small Bribe: An early clue that the police are corrupt.
- Crapsaccharine World: There's a wind planet that looks like it's made of cotton candy, a jungle village full of cat people, places named after food, as well as corrupt police, a robot society that kills people for fuel, and an eldritch worm that is eating the sun from the inside out.
- Creepy Child: Farina in Magical Starsign is unspeakably creepy. She barely ever speaks, and for the majority of the game her dialog box face graphic is the same blank expression. She's a magical prodigy, which is unusual enough, but you learn about this when she wordlessly vaporizes a monster that was enchanted to revive endlessly after your party beats it. Her pet frog died and her nursemaid put it into a potted plant's soil as fertilizer, after which she began gathering animal corpses and packing them in. Later in the game, she beats up the pirate otters stranded at Assam and exercises dominion over them. But worst of all is when, stemming from those last two examples, she nurses a holy tree sapling by burying said otters and her own neighbors up to their necks in soil and letting the sapling slowly suck the life out of them, with her own father closest to the sapling. An unidentified member of your party even lampshades her creepiness in the team's diary.
Where did Farina go? Did she take off again? She sure was a weirdo. I probably shouldn't say that. Oh, well. Nobody's going to read this.
- Considering her nicer actions when she's first introduced (Destroying said monster, and a second one, and helping Pico escape) she's probably a truer example of Ambiguous Innocence
- Dark Is Not Evil: Ganache Nighthawk, Miss Madeleine and optionally your own character can use dark magic.
- Dark Messiah: Master Kale wants to speed up the upcoming apocalypse because he thinks the world has "gone off it's proper course.'' With the Robot War set to start in a few years, Sorbet finds it hard to argue with him. Depending on your interpretation, Farina might fit too.
- Deadpan Snarker: Mokka.
- Dishing Out Dirt: Mokka.
- Driven to Suicide: Semolina immediately volunteers to be made into a Cosmic Keystone, and does so before the party can try to stop her. And Sorbet reveals if Semolina hadn't done it, she would have.
- Elemental Powers: The main system of magic. The full list of elements in the game is earth, machine, bug, wood, poison, beast, thunder, water, beauty, sword, wind, sound, fire, love, darkness, and light. The sequel trims it down to earth, fire, wind, water, wood, light, and darkness.
- Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors: In Magical Starsign, the elements are effective against one another like this: Wind -> Earth -> Water -> Fire -> Wood -> Wind. Dark and Light are weak to each other.
- Everything's Funkier with Disco: The first Space Police detective the party faces is Mugwort, an afro-wearing lizard with bell-bottom pants and platform shoes. He even strikes the classic Disco pose when casting.
- Also one of Picos best head-gear the "Disco wig"
- Gosh Dang It to Heck!: The Book of the Darned.
- Got Me Doing It: Both Lassi and Lord Persimon SLURP just like the Salamanders and essentially say this trope's name.
- Green Thumb: Chai
- Heart Is an Awesome Power: Everyone looks at Chai as the weakest team member because sissy plant magic is "hardly galactic hero material". Then he breaks open a gargantuan boulder that the Earth mage couldn't even move...using a single sprout.
- Heel-Face Turn: Brie Pourri and a good portion of the Space Police.
- Hello, Insert Name Here: You get to name your entire party. Not only that, the dev team went the extra mile with when user-inputted names are spoken in certain context: Soon after Mokka joins the party, Lassi has a line where she whispers to your character, addressing him/her by name in a hoarser whisper. How do they show that she's adding emphasis without the ability to use italics? The same way most people do it: ALL-CAPS. Even if your name isn't in all-caps. Most games don't do this, even in mid-all-caps lines.
- Hp To One: One party member starts this way in the final boss battle, in addition to losing access to some commands. It's Mokka, after he inflicts Explosive Instrumentation on himself.
- Human Resources: Robots? Their battery cores are made from gummified humans. Even your Robot Buddy Mokka.
- Inverse Lawof Utility And Lethality: Subverted: everyone's magic is useful in combat and in exploration.
- Jack of All Stats: Your character and Chai
- Kill It with Fire: Pico, who also fits Playing with Fire.
- Kill It with Water: Sorbet
- Light Is Not Good: The Space Police make a good example.
- Luke, I Am Your Father: Parodied, a dwarf tells this to a Pirate Otter. A dwarf who'd inherited an exile on Cassia...
- Magic Knight: Especially Pico, who can have a good mix of attack and IQ, but Mokka, the main character, and Chai can pull this role off as well.
- Metaphorgotten: At one point on Nova, Grenadine says: "Right, so, space is like this big onion, ya see? You know, onions got lots of layers? Well, you start peeling those layers off, and all you get is tears. But we do it anyway! You can't stop peelin' the layers, or else you've got nothing to eat! You feelin' me, kid?"
- Mighty Glacier: Mokka. Slow as hell and has almost one and a half times as much health as anyone else. Also has the best defense out of anyone else.
- Mood-Swinger: Sorbet
- Mood Whiplash: Inverted, as the (until then) light-hearted, goofy gameplay gives way to a cutscene where a likable (yet creepy) side character commits suicide by letting herself be eaten by a plant, to allow you to continue on your way. The game itself gets fairly dark towards the end, but after the aforementioned scene they head back to light-hearted for a few hours of gameplay. Oh, and you still get the cheerful "You got a Cosmic Keystone!" jingle.
- Right after said scene, Sorbet tells you SHE was about to make the sacrifice needed.
- The fact the main ingredient in a robot power core is a gummy made from magic users, right there in black and white, within something you need to read for plot purposes? Which becomes a lot more of a shock when you learn that's why there's ruins on Erd and that the robots will eventually move on to other worlds when they need more. Oh, and when you find what's left of them? You can go upstairs and fight a girl who happened to be one of the ones that lived through the process. Who asks to be killed. THEN the game goes back to normal for a while.
- Oh, and remember, this was made by the same team who brought you Mother 3.
- Not Quite Saved Enough: Miss Madeline.
- NPC Roadblock: The otter blocking the team from getting to the waterfall on Cassia after thawing the place out. Lamp Shaded. "You can't go past here. Back when the town was frozen, you could, but not now. I know that doesn't make any sense. Just roll with it."
- Obstructive Bureaucrat: Pretty much every employee in the Space Police HQ.
- Power Trio: Kinda shaky, but in Magical Starsign:
- Main: Ego.
- Lassi: Id.
- Mokka: Superego.
- Chai: Ego, often the fastest to break up arguments between Pico and Sorbet
- Pico: Id, hot-headed, needs to be brought back to earth by Sorbet regularly.
- Sorbet: Superego, tries to keep Pico in line.
- A Pupil of Mine Until He Turned to Evil
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Pico and Sorbet. Also the closest thing to a canon couple the game gives us.
- Really 700 Years Old: The sequel has an 800 year timeskip. The same teachers are still teaching at the magic school, and they still look the same.
- Lampshaded by Chai.
- An NPC in the beginning mentions a teacher named Pistachio. Pistachio was a party member in Vacation.
- Recycled In SPACE: Magical Starsign
- Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Oh, though you saved Miss Madeline from her fate? Too bad, she has to join the The Lifestream just as you finally rescue her. Kinda goes double due to all the effort you went to in order to save her in the previous game.
- Single-Biome Planet: Kovomaka is diverse, the other planets in the galaxy consist of a jungle, a volcano, a tropical island, windy plains, and rocky barrens.
- Small Name, Big Ego: Detective Beignet, the first member of the Space Police the Starsign party meets is happy to declare that the pirate problems are outside his jurisdiction and overstates his abilities, but is otherwise quite friendly. He's shocked when the main organization comes around and mistreats the civilians, is initially unaware that the police and pirates are actually allied - though he soon finds out, and spends the latter 2/3's of the game getting you past security to places where you can do the most good. He's last seen Holding off Biek Fowler...
- Space Pirates: The Pirate Otters. Right down to rehashing 18th century pirate wardrobes and accents.
- Space Police: Uh, the Space Police. However, they're not exactly out to help people
- Squishy Wizard: Every party member except for Mokka could fit but Lassi and Sorbet are the best examples.
- Stepford Smiler: Sorbet and Semolina. Especially Semolina, though. At least with Sorbet her inner thoughts surface more often than not.
- Arguably, the game's world itself is a Stepford Smiler, with jokes and bright colors hiding a rather sordid history. Arguably, Kale's Start of Darkness was noticing this.
- Stripperiffic: Brie Pourri is quite the scantily-clad police officer that doesn't go unnoticed by some of the NPCs in Bena Rikashi. Her boss sprite only serves to cement this. Her official art is even worse.
- Suicide Is Painless: Talk to the villagers after Semolina becomes a Cosmic Keystone. They reveal she wasn't very happy with her life. Sorbet reveals the same thing about herself.
- Surprise Creepy
- Terrible Trio: Pirate otters, who sometimes come in Terrible Quartets, too.
- Theme Naming: Every town/race has a different theme. The dwarves are named after sauces, the otters are named after famous musicians (mostly rockers), and the residents of Bena Rikashi are named after elements, metals, and the like.
- In addition, all the playable characters in Magical Starsign (except for the protagonist, who you name) are named after foods.
- Not only that, but the spiny moles are all named after cheese. This is even Lampshaded when one digs a tunnel and the map title for it is "Gorgonzola's Hole-a".
- In Vacation, The heroes' first names are foods, while their last names hint to their elemental powers, either by something simple like 'Blueberry Lakeside' or the color that represents said element, such as 'Candy Mintblue'.
- Those Two Bad Guys: Caldarroste, a bumbling pirate otter wannabe and Lord Persimon, Chard's "512th-in-Commander"
- Gil Mudflap and Abalon Demar also count, though they're much less recurring.
- Tome of Eldritch Lore: The Book of the Darned. And it used to be standard curriculum, too.
- Two-Teacher School: We see Madeline and Gran Degree and that's about it.
- Wake-Up Call Boss: Master Chard at Cassia is by far the hardest boss faced to that point in the game.
- Warmup Boss: The Antlion on Erd.
- Wizarding School: The main setting.
- World Tree: Yggsalad.