Video Game: MapleStory

MapleStory is a free-to-play MMORPG from South Korea that is both loved and hated for its unique graphics reminiscent of 16-bit games. Oh, and there's also an anime version, which has a plot with nothing in common. Like most MMORPGs, MapleStory is crawling with all sorts of people, including (but not limited to) kids, tweens, teens, adults, noobs, hackers, people who take it too seriously, and normal people who want to have fun.

The various regions of MapleStory have differing backgrounds and plots. In order to really notice this information, the player has to finish certain quests and then connect the dots while looking through their completed quests log. These quests can be fairly boring since most of them are fetch quests requiring you to collect Twenty Bear Asses. However some quests are worthwhile and have good rewards, but you won't know this until you look at your 'In Progress' quest log AFTER accepting a quest (which most of the time shows the reward) or reading a quest guide on the internet beforehand. Interestingly, a few quests actually have some unexpected plot twists in them, but these tend to be ignored since the player is just clicking "Next" and not reading the text.

Later MapleStory expansionsnote  reveal that an entity called the Black Mage, his Commanders, as well as an affiliated organization called the Black Wings, are responsible for the activities of some of the major bosses, as well as the chaos happening within the regions where these bosses reside.

There are currently fivenote  main character factions: the Explorers, the Knights of Cygnus, the Legends, the Resistance, and the Nova Race. All of them have been affected by the Black Mage, with some factions having morenote  and some lessnote  to do with him.

A fair word of warning while interacting with others in MapleStory: To a significant amount of players in this game, just about anything can be grounds for some Serious Business.

In short: Picture a 2-D Ragnarok Online and you get the idea. It is now available on Steam.

Now has a character sheet here. It really Needs Wiki Magic Love.

Not to be confused with Cave Story or Maple Town.


MapleStory contains examples of:

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  • Absurdly High Level Cap: 250. As of this edit (April 23, 2015), only 26 players on Global MapleStory have achieved this.
    • Absurdly Low Level Cap: However, getting to 200 (the old level cap) has become increasingly easier over the years, and at that level you can experience basically everything that the game has to offer. Nearly 70,000 players have reached 200 in Global MapleStory alone.
  • Action Commands: When trying to activate a rune.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Sort of - official Nexon art and in-game sprites often tend to disagree on certain details such as the eye color, clothing and hair color of certain characters. This can be jarring when the official character art is released quite some time after the character was put into the game.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Four of the Bosses in the Tower of Oz are evil versions of the four protagonists from The Wizard of Oz. The Final Boss of the Tower is Dorothy, and she can even summon a vicious, bestial version of Toto.
  • Advancing Boss of Doom: In first act of Black Heaven, for you and your NPC allies have to escape the Pulverizer, a machine that looks like a demonic steamroller. Not only does being touched by it mean instant death, but you have to avoid the falling rocks in the room you’re running through, which can cause you to lose health. You have to flee from this thing again at the end of Act 5, which adds even more obstacles (and it’s very, very gratifying to see Claudine and the other Resistance members swoop in and blow it to pieces after you succeed.)
  • Affectionate Parody: Basically almost every single area of the game and several weapons; even the BGM tends to do this.
  • The Ageless: Several characters qualify:
    • Ever since Maya took the Weird Medicine, she hasn't aged a day up to the point in the Future. This was later retconned into being an illusion created by the Black Mage as opposed to the future
    • Orchid hasn't seemed to age a day in almost a thousand years...
    • Subverted with Athena Pierce. She's about a thousand years old, but has physically aged since leaving her home, going from a little girl, to a teenager, to an adult woman. Even so, in all that time she appears to be in her 20s, at best.
      • Justified, as she's an elf, and elves in-universe are shown to have extremely long lifespans.
    • Inverted with the 5 heroes that fought the Black Mage, as they were all sealed away.
    • Subverted with Wing The Fairy who tends to claim he's several centuries old... Mercedes correctly guesses his age as only 21.
    • Becoming a job leader seems to extend one's lifespan except for the Dark Lord, who seems prone to dying of unnatural causes. Dances With Balrog was an infant when Victoria Island was settled a few centuries ago and Kyrin is old enough to be your grandmother.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: The main plot point of the Neo-Tokyo level.
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg:
    • Part of a New Leaf City storyline results in your character being captured by an alien; if you beg and plead to be let go, he actually does it. (This is how you go back to town if you're having trouble with the Stealth-Based Mission that comes next; the other option you can take also shows that the jailer is pretty stupid.)
    • In Black Heaven, after Gelimer poisons the your character, he tells him/her to beg for the antidote. Whether the he/she does so or not is up to the player; either way, Gelimer doesn't give him/her it, destroying it and laughing sadistically.
  • The Alliance: At around Level 70, you become part of one as all the leaders of Maple World gather to oppose the Black Mage. Not that they are in perfect agreement over everything, something that comes up a lot in Black Heaven. For example, Cygnus favors mercy towards Orchid, while the Resistance leaders don’t even like the fact that they spared her in the first place, arguing for a harsh punishment when she wakes up.
  • Aliens Speaking English: Maple World has a unified language(and even the ancient language, often represented by Greek text, was pronounced close enough that the 900+ year old Mercedes was able to communicate with no problem). This gets worse when Jett crashes on Maple World and speaks the same language. The home planets of Kaiser/Angelic Buster and Beast Tamer also speak it(and have for centuries). This also presents no problem whatsoever in Friend Story, when Maple World meets people from South Korea on Earth, let alone the Sengoku plot where several people from feudal Japan are sent to Maple World and have no issues at all communicating with the local population. The crossover events with Vocaloid, Mabinogi, Sword Art Online, Attack On Titan, Psy and many others have also featured no issues whatsoever.
  • Allegedly Free Game:
    • Although you can play for free, getting (good) hairstyles/faces, inventory slots/experience multipliers/clothes, and certain shop-only items require the use of real money. Real world money is also helpful if you want a chance at having higher leveled equipment or over 100 million mesos.
    • Though as of 2011, Nexon has partnered with various companies that offer NX rewards for completing "surveys" (advertiser spam) and other such offers. It is now technically possible to earn NX funds without buying it, but it often requires a lot of patience and a willingness to have an email inbox filled with spam to do so.
    • As of 2015 Nexon has tried to remedy this with the special "Reboot" server, where the only items available for purchase with NX are cosmetics and pets, items such as cubes and Mastery Books are purchasable with mesos and trading is completely disabled.
  • All in a Row: Averted with pets, that kinda move all over the place.
  • All Swords Are the Same: Averted. Swords, 2H swords, Desperados, Greatswords, Alpha’s Katana, Hayato’s Katana…
  • Ambiguously Human: The Yakuza thugs in Showa Town look human at first, but are classified as Devils in the Creature Codex. The Boss Battle with the Big Boss (who clearly is not human) hints that the whole gang is more infernal than they look.
  • Amusement Park of Doom: Fantasy Theme World, although, the living plushies and toys that attack you here seems to be the reason paying customers even come to this one. (Although, the owner does seem to be taking unnecessary shortcuts just to make more money, possibly even tricking warriors into taking care of the problems by offering discounts and free passes.
  • Anachronism Stew: Playable classes include fantasy staples such as warriors, mages and archers, but there are also classes such as Jett and Xenon who are very clearly based on Science Fiction. A number of modern-day and futuristic areas exist alongside more fantastic locales.
  • And Now You Must Marry Me: What the Mole King threatens two of the students with near the end of Ellinel Fairy Academy. He tries to soften it by claiming he has standards and will wait for the girls to become adults, but they aren't any less grossed out by this.
  • An Asskicking Christmas: Not only has Maple Story had a Christmas Event that involves slaying monsters, like most popular online games, but as of 2007, it occasionally has the Hanukkah-themed Shalom Temple for players of Jewish faith.
  • Animated Adaptation:
  • Animation Anatomy Aging:
    • All player characters share the same body type, and everything is interchangeable, so the only way character designs can represent age is by the size of the eyes on their default face.
    • Various NPCs bypass this with obvious facial features, body types and even being drawn larger- but they get by on using unique sprites rather than default player bodies.
  • An Ice Person: Some classes. Snipers can summon Frostprey, an ice hawk, and fire ice-charged shots. Ice/Lightning magicians are partially these. Arans can charge their attacks with snow and summon blizzards.
  • Annoying Arrows: Played with in the Bowman path: due to the wide damage range, they play this straight one moment, and avert it the next. Finally averted later when skills narrowing the damage gap become available.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • Wizet has progressively introduced a multitude of these for more casual players to the point that reaching the old level cap is nearly a no-brainer even for those who eschew cash - though it's only after that point the game's real depth begins to open up.
    • Also in place in the new Black Heaven content. There are a few difficult segments which allow you to skip them if you fail enough times in a row.
  • Anti-Grinding: Inverted with the pendant of spirit, which gives increasing experience multipliers based on how long you’ve been logged in.
  • Anti-Poop Socking :
    • "You have played MapleStory for X hours." (If X is greater than 3) "We suggest you take a break from Mapling." However, aside from the warning, the game does nothing else - and this warning has recently been removed.
    • Except in the Chinese version, where the game boots you off.
    • Subverted, as well. Many of the Marathon Boss enemies require several hours to finish, and there are actual awards (in the Global version, at least) for actually being on consistently for 3 hours or more.
    • Not only has GMS gotten rid of the "played for X hours" message, the Tempest event features the Gale Gourd, which rewards the player for staying on for a half hour. As soon as the player gets that award, they're given another Gourd to fill up, encouraging the player to stay on another half hour. The current Springtime event has a similar feature.
    • At this point, events that have you hold an item for a while are par for the course. Every event seems to have an item like this of some kind.
  • Anthropomorphic Food: Let's see, where to start... Many standard mobs are like this, such as Grape Juice Bottles in Edelstein, the Bubble Tea in Kerning Square (comes in Cherry, Mango, and Melon), and the feral turnips and onions at the Ellinel Fairy Academy; lots of Event mobs too, including the cake, pie, and cookie mobs in Anniversary events, and the Whipped Cream Wight and Sweet Choco Cream during the Maple Castle Halloween event. Most recently, the Food Fight event brought back several of those, plus new ones like walking Hot Dogs and bags of French Fries.
  • Anti-Hero/Anti-Villain:
    • Not only the backstory of Demon Slayer, but even the way he/she talks. While Evan is clearly a Wide-Eyed Idealist, Demon Slayer's motive for joining the Resistance is outright revenge, and he/she talks more like a villain in general than any of the other heroes (talking for instance about how he or she "can use this" Resistance to further their plans of payback).
    • Kyrin may want the Black Mage dead, but she's also out to make a fortune and it's implied that the Pirate ranks she leads contain any number of wanted criminals. She also considers selling Jett, either into slavery or for scientific research/dissection, upon learning that Jett is an alien. Jett’s ship, too – even if it is broken.
    • Dark Lord and the Dual Blade faction would probably be plundering the land and be engaged in a bloody war between each other, if not for the fact both of them hold a mutual hatred of the Black Mage.
    • After the events of Black Heaven, Orchid has apparently become this, as she lost her brother and no doubt isn't too happy with the Black Mage because of it, topped off with saving the population from Gelimer's plot.
  • Arbitrary Gun Power: Guns have low weapon attack.
  • Arc Welding: The Black Heaven storyline ties together several previous storylines:
    • Beryl, from Xenon's story quests, survived, got adopted by two other robots as Bitterbot, and helps the player get onto the Black Heaven, despite seeing opposing Gelimer as futile.
    • Riena Strait was being melted because the Black Heaven needed a coolant. The commander seen there was Gelimer's childhood friend, and the Demolishizer returns and the player gets to control it.
    • The Evolving System was collecting combat data for Lotus.
    • Shinsoo's Teardrop is used to revive the player at the end of the story.
  • Arrows on Fire: Bowmaster’s upgraded hurricane and flame surge.
  • Art Evolution:
    • Compare the first soundtracks with the newer ones, you'll notice big differences. Also Many NPCs (especially event ones) are given new sprites.
    • Compare the sprites of monsters on Victoria Island/Ereve and their monster versions in the future world. Although they are gigantic mutants, you can see a huge boost in details.
  • Art Shift: despite this being a super deformed game, actual facial photos are used in several places, notably Showa hideout and Red Leaf High.
  • Asteroids Monster: In Aqua Road, a Bombing Fish House is a stationary monster that releases a swarm of Goby when destroyed. The Scrapyard has Modded Deliverybots and Modded Buffroids, both of which release a Modded Scaredroid, a Modded Broken Android and a Modded Laseroid when destroyed. (These monsters do spawn Elite versions, but if destroyed, they don't release Elite versions of the smaller monsters.)
  • The Atoner: Orchid. After being almost killed by Lotus/Su and Gellimer and left to die in an alley, she was saved and nursed back to health by the Resistance, joining them and abandoning the Black Mage. Whether or not she feels genuine remorse is unknown, but she did stop Gellimer's mind-control bombs in Black Heaven, and after having lost Lotus for good, she appears to be working against the Black Mage these days. Her reasons aside, she's switched sides.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • Androids. They follow you around, they look human... but they literally do nothing else. They can only wear clothing from the Cash Shop and do not attack or even pick up items. To make it worse, the hearts that operate them expire, requiring players to either buy replacements or find recipes and craft replacements quite often. The exceptions are the Hilla and Magnus androids, which are highly sought after by players maybe Hilla more so). They have a very valuable ability, letting you access a merchant anywhere, thus letting you buy potions or return scrolls wherever you are, or sell unwanted junk cluttering your inventory. Unfortunately, both are very expensive, and to date, have only been available in one event.
    • Extractors. They basically allow people to rent your extractor to break down items into raw materials. They expire, much like androids. But here's the real great part, how do you make extractors? By extracting weapons, and gaining enough item crystals to put one together note .
    • Transformation potions. They let you temporarily become another monster. You lose the ability to fight or use your movement skills, and as soon as you get hit, you shift back to normal.
    • Older equipment which was only available through the CCG, such as the Arcana Crown and Bosshunter armor sets. These items were rare and looked nice, but were released well before Big Bang and are now obsolete. Being only level 70, even if potential is added, it's capped at 2% stat increases(4% for the double stat potential). Even the HP boosts the armor gave- which were quite useful to Bowmen back when their HP was a mess- are now moot as many changes since Big Bang have given players more HP. The Arcana Crown has almost no useful stats whatsoever, making it eye candy.
    • A lot of stuff you can get in events qualifies. Damage skins (which cause the numerals that appear when you deal damage to do so in bizarre fonts) can be fun, but not worth spending hard-earned coin on. The same goes for most Mounts and Chairs, most are cool, but frivolous.
  • Badass Grandma:
    • Female Boss/Anego in Showa. To top it all off, she has one mother of an Armor-Piercing Slap and packs a gun.
    • Though as with most enemies in the game, pre-Big Bang she was much more powerful than she is right now. It used to require a team of high leveled players to kill her, now it only takes a 4th job player a few minutes(or less than a minute for players in the 170-200 range).
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: In the first Act of Black Heaven, you have to enter Orchid’s memories to find out what the Black Heaven is, and fight hordes of cute bunny-like creatures that seem to represent a lost innocence. A more benign one is there to guide you. unfortunately, when Orchid wakes up in a later chapter, she's very angry at you for "trespassing" in her mind...
  • Bears Are Bad News: There are several bear enemies in the game. The most fearsome of these is an upcoming raid boss that dwarfs any other seen in the game thus far.
  • Bedlam House: The Madhouse dungeon (installed for the 2015 Halloween event) revolves around this. A highly interactive take-off of the Survival Horror genre (much Darker and Edgier than most of MapleStory, however), it starts when your player receives a letter from his/her hospitalized friend Chloe, pleading for help. Your character and five other friends go to check on Chloe, only to find the hospital turned into a zombie infested madhouse. You have three main goals: Escape the Madhouse, collect all the pieces of Chloe's diary, and defeat the Problem Patient (who turns out to be one of the aforementioned six NPCs.) To do so, you have to explore the highly interactive rooms of the madhouse, where each room gives you only a five minute time limit and entering any room without power in your flashlight results in your character's frightening demise. (Starting the search over.) Along the way, you can defeat monsters for coins to buy useful Totems and Chairs from the Vending Machine.
  • Beef Gate: Leaving Victoria Island before your second job advancement isn't a very good idea. Especially after the Big Bang, which drastically increased the levels of almost every monster outside of Victoria Island, the World Tour areas and the various Noob Caves.
  • Beehive Barrier: The Battle Mage class has a Beehive Barrier that shields anyone in your party that stays inside it.
  • Big Bad:
    • After years without one, it finally got one with the Black Mage. (Actually; the Black Magician has been there since Orbis was released; but because of the majority of the players neglecting questline no one really knew about him.)
    • The Black Wings, an evil organization that intends to bring back the Black Mage, may act as the Big Bad, with the Black Mage himself acting as the Bigger Bad. ( As of Black Heaven, the Black Wings are gone. Most of their members were killed, the base wiped out when the airship crashed and exploded, and the only surviving members - Francis and Orchid - have turned on the Black Mage.)
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: Lots of insect and arachnid monsters, and the Big Spider is one you'll want to recruit as a Familiar right away. Most notably, are the mobs in the Colossus area, which include giant hornets and a huge tarantula for a Boss.
  • Big Eater:
    • Oz is seen scarfing donuts and cookie in the cinematic opening of FriendStory; The Hidden Mission of Chapter 5 requires the player to get Comfort Food for her, and if successful, he/she remarks that "eating is Oz's favorite hobby".
    • Also, Wonky, a fat fairy who acts as a Quest Giver in some Events; all his quests involve bringing him junk food.
    • Of course, Oz and Wonky are hardly alone, considering the amount of food some Quest Givers must eat. For example, the hermit Eurenth asks you to hunt down Dinorams and bring him 30 sirloins, while his pet - a dog-like creature - wants 30 tenderloins. In Malaysia there's a young girl named Nami who asks you to bring her 20 orders of Kangkung Belecan (a local dish made of water spinach and spicy sambal) from a vendor, and when she gets a tummy-ache from eating it all, wants a hundred guavas to settle her stomach. (She's thin as a rail, by the way; the title of the quest is "Nami the Voracious".)
  • The biggest eater of all is likely Alicia, the spirit of the Maple Tree. The mission on the third floor of the Tower of Oz has her request you collect a thousand Ancient Turtle Eggs, because she's hungry! (Justified, perhaps, because she's a goddess, but still...)
  • Big Fancy Castle: Lion King's Castle. Now, the revamped Mushroom Castle as well.
  • Bilingual Bonus / Meaningful Name: Ludibrium is Latin for "plaything".
  • Bittersweet Ending: A couple:
    • At the end of Black Heaven, Maple World is safe, Gelimer is dead, the Black Wings are history, and the Black Heaven is a pile of junk. But this victory did not come without cost. Lotus, despite his crimes, was murdered by a crueler villain, and because Cygnus used the final Seal Stone to heal the player, there is no longer any restraint at all on the Black Mage and nothing hindering his return. On top of that, said “pile of junk” isn't as harmless as it seemed. The dark magic involved in the Black Heaven's creation and destruction has created a portal over Blackgate City, turning it into a deadly place populated by five vicious demons. What's more the Scrapyard itself is even deadlier, with many of Gelimer's evil creations still acting on his final orders and hunting down the friendlier robots, others acting on no orders at all and attacking anything that moves. (Each new area is for two different Level ranges, and the appropriate players can explore both areas to gain loot, items, and experience, if they dare. they can even fight Lotus in the Scapyard if they so choose.)
    • The Madhouse event has an ending that takes this as far as it can go without an outright Downer Ending and combines it with a Cruel Twist Ending. You're too late to save Chloe, and it seems your other friends have been murdered too, given how Sean mocks you before the Boss Battle by saying "you're the only one left". Even worse, Chloe claims she has fled after you defeat he, making Sean appear to be a Karma Houdini after committing multiple murders. But it only gets worse; the epilogue shows that Sean and Chloe were the same person all along, with Sean being an evil side of her. (Meaning that you are the one who killed both of them.) The only truly good thing to come out of this is that your character escapes and Chloe's good side can rest and no longer has to haunt the awful place.)
  • Bland-Name Product: Just look at the Kerning Square.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: Poor, poor Athena (or most other clearly female NPCs for that matter). She is constantly referred to either as 'him', 'it', or 'they' by other NPCs.
  • Blown Across the Room: The Dragon's Breath skill. Also, several boss monsters are capable of this.
  • Bonus Boss: While most bosses are technically optional, defeating the Boss of Showa Town is not required for any official quest. However, defeating him - which can be done once day - nets you a hundred Elixers, so it's worth the effort, especially at lower levels.
  • Boring but Practical:
    • Battle Mages. First job’s main attack is triple blow. Second job’s main attack is quadruple blow. Five hits for third job and six hits for fourth job. One of your hyper skills is a blow skill as well.
    • Also the Junior Boogie Familiar which heals 15% of the players MP every ten seconds and is a common drop. This allows some classes to never use potions because of self-healing abilities.
    • All Mihiles can do in 3rd and 4th job is fire small laser blasts. The damage itself isn’t bad, though.
    • Wind Archers only ever use Song of Storm, which is a keydown skill. Thanks to the rapid fire rate and Trifling Wind, it’s quite effective for just holding down a button.
  • Boss In Mooks Clothing: The game has some literal examples:
    • In the map right outside of Showa Town, you're likely to run into Male Boss B; it's easy to mistake him for a Leader B, but he's two levels higher, has ten times more HP and has a far more dangerous ranged attack. (Later he shows up in the Armory as a Degraded Boss.)
    • In the Parlor you might encounter the Lady Boss. She might not be there (like most minor Bosses, she has a respawn time of about an hour) but if she is, it's easy to mistake her for one of the female Mooks, a fatal mistake, as she's three levels higher than they are, also has ten times more HP, and a much deadlier ranged and physical attack. (And you need to defeat her and pick up her Comb to get to the room with the Big Boss.
    • Also, Riche, a Boss who appears in the Dead Mine area of El Nath. It's very easy to mistake him for one of the other undead roaming the area, but he's a lot tougher than they are.
    • Elite Monsters often qualify too. When they appear, players attack them with impunity, because when killed, they give good drops, and when enough are killed, one of the much coveted Elite Bosses is summoned. However, the Elites can sometimes come with dangerous abilities, like Seduce, Reflect, Transform, and Petrify (the last two notorious for getting AFK players killed).
  • Boss Bonanza: The second-to-last part of the Beasts of Fury storyline is like this. You have to fight four Bosses in a row; first the two number two and number one students of the rival dojo, who aren't very hard; the third, however, is the rival dojo's Sensei. He's got two OTK moves with no damage cap, and can kill you quickly if you aren't careful. After you beat him, you do not get a chance to rest before fighting the fourth and final one, even though you could after defeating the first and second. Defeating all four unlocks the final part of the storyline which requires you to win 50 victories against the dojo members (you can chose, but can only do ten a day) but you get quite a few good rewards for succeeding, including a very useful chair, an Epic Potential Scroll, and a Meister's Cube.
  • Boss Rush: The entire point of the Mu Lung Dojo, and Red Leaf High, currently.
  • Bottomless Magazines:
    • Mechanics cannot use bullets like their Gunslinger cousins, but they have gatling guns that do not use bullets.
    • Jett does not use bullets either, but it’s probably just special space technology… even if you’re wielding a Wild West handgun.
    • Mercedes uses energy arrows.
    • Angelic Buster gets an arm cannon which has unlimited ammo, but not many attacks actually fire it anyways.
    • Cannoneers don't require ammo either, despite the fact that they use weapons that can only hold a single cannonball at a time in real life.
  • Bowdlerise:
    • Until the Big Bang, when the Bowlderization was reversed, Global version's Showa Town had human monsters turning into animals when they died (to show that you weren't really killing humans) and all guns were turned into hammers. It was feared this would happen to Pirates, but it didn't.
    • Removal of Gachapon (slot machines) and introduction of Pigmy (egg-hatching pig, with prizes in the eggs) could also count, since it's Pigmy in Europe among others and gambling can get a +12 on an otherwise innocent game under PEGI.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: If you have a Kaiser at or above Lv.150 and seriously want to show off your skills at bossing, have a go at obtaining the Liberated Kaiserium. With +200 to all stats and 400 weapon attack, it is one of the strongest weapons in the entire game. However, you can only get it from a quest that requires the Cursed Kaiserium as well as 5 Spirit of Cursed Horns, both of which are only dropped by Magnus, and he is one of the most difficult bosses in the entire game, so once you've beaten him that many times...
    • Then again, you might need it when you stare down Lotus...
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall:
    • The biggest example is the Nexon Administrator, a perky young woman who gives you several tutorial instructions; sometimes it's hard to tell whether she's speaking to the player or character.
    • Seeing as Cassandra's job these days is to assign event-specific quests, she clearly knows she's a character in a video game; when speaking to the character - and player - she uses terms like "level range" and "time online" to explain the requirements.
    • There is a quest where you give a guard named Mike three different HP healing potions. When you complete the quest, he says ""Maybe the effects will kick in later. That's usually how medicine works, right? It's supposed to heal me right away? Haha! I don't know about that... It's not like this is a video game or something.
    • Mercedes acknowledging herself as being level 10 after awakening is regarded as another example
    • A rather large chunk of Phantom's dialogue is him complaining about his current level.
    • Many of the NPCs have dialogue that falls under this category. In fact there are probably too many examples to list.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory:
    • The Cash Shop used to only sell items (for real money) that were purely aesthetic. With the introduction of the Gachapon "coin-op" machines, real money can buy items that can change gameplay.
    • A few examples are items that: Double EXP gained (granted, it's for everyone), ignore EXP penalties upon death, and allow the user to teleport anywhere. Sayonara, ships.
    • Even that can be beaten. Two words: EXP Gachapon. You can buy your way all the way up to level 50.
    • With the introduction of Evan (in the Global version), buying special skillbooks from the Cash Shop was required to increase the level of essential skills such as Magic Guard. note  Cue many justified cries of Nexon (at least the branch running the Global version, as the original Korean version didn't do any of this) crossing the line and making the game no longer be truly Free-to-Play.
    • Also in Global with the release of the Dual Blade, like Evan there's mastery books in the Cash Shop for several skills. The people angry about the Evan mastery books are in a state of blistering fury about these ones as well. It doesn’t help that Dual Blade is one of the strongest classes for DPS in the game.
    • Miracle Cubes in the Cash Shop allow you to reset an item's Potential trait. Using enough of them with the in-game purchasable Magnifying Glass can give you Infinity Plus One Equipment.
    • Shielding Wards that allows you to use Equipment Enhancement Scrolls without penalty on an item up to 8 (12 in Korean Maple) stars.
    • Maple Leaf High is the ultimate example. Each successful run through the 11 rooms (provided the player does not die) can net at least 12%-15% experience, regardless of level (the EXP reward scales to your level, higher levels getting slightly less), and there are also various daily repeatable quests for more EXP (typically 1.5%-2% EXP per quest). You get one free entry a day, but extra keys can be bought in the cash shop... for 400 NX each (or 40 cents worth of NX). Several keys can be bought a day for very little cash(or bought in batches of 11 for 4000 NX, netting a free key by the bundle), making it possible for even top level players to level up quite fast. That's not counting the fact you get to complete a quest just by going to the school each day! At least the area is tied to an event that comes and goes, so it's not so bad if you play while the event is not on.
      • Not only that, but future versions of Maple Leaf High gave you a great skill for getting enough coins. The event would last for 15-or-so days, but you would need to run the schoolday 40 times.
    • Higher leveled gameplay tends to focus on AOE-ing down massive numbers of mobs at once, leaving a carpet of gold or greens that a pet-less character needs several minutes to pick up. Looting is a huge hassle, but a pet will automatically loot anything it walks over. You used to have to buy a meso magnet for it to pick up money and an item pouch for all items, but you no longer need to.
    • The new Reboot World update is changing all that. This new server, which focuses on the game's RPG roots, does not allow trading or access to the Cash Shop! (More info will be added as it becomes available.)
  • Built with LEGO: The world Ludibrium, complete with toy monsters. Even some of the monsters - and one Boss - are made of Lego.
  • Busman's Holiday: The Gold Beach storyline. You’re invited for a vacation by Gold Richie, but you end up doing chores (well, quests) for the two lazy and bossy managers (who hate each other) which involve killing the Muck Monsters. At least when you finish, you get Reward Points and a one-use item that boosts all your traits by five points.
  • But Thou Must:
    • Zigzagged in Black Heaven. You have options at times, but they don't change goals or outcomes of the story or plot, although they do change the methods such goals are accomplished. For instance, In Act 3, when the Alliance airship is being attacked your goal is to rescue the soldiers trapped in the part that's on fire, you can either let Francis out of his cell, or leave him to die (the guard tells you to leave him, as rescuing the soldiers is the priority, but some players might prefer a more moral choice). Regardless of the player's choice, Francis escapes, Claudine later believing he warned the Black Wings and thus contributed to Belle, Brighton, and Checky's apparent deaths, leading to a rift in trust between Claudine and Cygnus. (And worst of all, Claudine blaming you for it.)
    • One hilarious example of this occurs the next time you meet Francis, which occurs when you and the Alliance temporarily part (either via your own decision or after they kick you out). Your options are, "Hit him", "Hit him hard", and "Hit him very hard!" Not that you likely don't want to after the trouble he caused.
  • Butt Monkey:
    • The game balance was never really kind to Archers. Their HP is among the lowest, have average DPM, and in general the buggiest class in the history of the game. The release of Wild Hunters also made this worse as they're basically Archers with superior mobility, DPM, and HP. Though this was finally changed in a later patch. Essentially, dropping the need for summoning rocks to use your bird, coupled with massive boosts to HP through summoning the Phoenix, more than made up for the lack of HP. The Phoenix no longer needs to be summoned to boost HP, the HP increase is now a passive skill. The character card system can also add additional HP and MP to every character on a player's account- if 6 characters are used and sorted correctly, up to a 1000 boost of each stat can be gained.
    • On one the hand, before Big Bang, Archers could actually win against boss enemies several levels above them. Post BB, there is a accuracy equation based on level difference that creates an automatic miss after 20 levels.
    • Francis the Puppeteer, a low ranking Blackwings general and a minor boss in several characters' storylines, all of which canonically happen alongside each other. He starts to get a bit annoyed by how many people keep showing up to beat him up. His position in FriendStory isn’t much better.
  • Calling Your Attacks:
    • A toggleable feature when setting up macros. Sadly, it's less awesome in practice than in theory for various reasons. Any attacks that make your character flip or jump in midair make the text box disappear, and anything with a cooldown can’t be put on a macro.
    • Some classes have voice acting. Now, it can be turned off in the system options menu.
  • Canon Name:
    • Kind of. When playing as Angelic Buster or Kaiser, you can see that the official name for the other character is Tear and Kyle respectively.
    • Many playable characters have official names, even though the player can name them whatever they want.
  • Captain Ersatz: Several. This is a game which features a lot of Lawyer Friendly Cameos and such-
    • Athena Pierce is likely based on Elwing from Shining Wind.
    • Grendel The Really Old is Gandalf.
    • Marco, an agent in a black suit and holding a big gun in Omega Sector, is based on Agent J (Will Smith) from Men in Black.
      • And as of the Big Bang patch, Nexon America renamed the character to "Agent M" in the Global version which makes it even more obvious.
    • Stirgeman, a costumed character in New Leaf City, is based on Batman.
      • Of the equip items he gives out, some are black and red, based on Batman Beyond.
    • Icebird Slymm, mayor of New Leaf City, looks a lot like Mayor Tilton from The Mask. (Though he's supposedly based on governor David Patterson, but Patterson is a rather skinny guy with some hair whereas Mayor Tilton and Icebyrd Slimm are rather overweight and bald. And the name would seem to be a shoutout to memoirist/crime writer Iceberg Slim.)
    • The first Boss fought by Explorers is a giant snail with a mustache named Mario.
    • Lita Lawless seems to be based on Xena (hence the similar name to Lucy Lawless) though she wears armor more inspired by futuristic anime.
    • Bell, conductor of the subway to and from New Leaf City, looks a lot like another conductor of a rail vehicle.
    • Spiegelmann, the man who runs the Monster Carnival, is only a pointy nose off from being Batman's enemy The Penguin.
    • Tigun, the guard at Ariant castle (not Tigun The Advisor from Ludibrium) looks like a very overweight parody of Jonathan Frakes. No coincidence this character was created at a time Frakes was being hit with jokes about weight gain.
    • The Mesorangers in Omega Sector are basically the Power Rangers, specifically based on the earlier years of the show. There are also Chury, Hoony and Gunny, three characters which wear Power Rangers costumes but not the helmets.
    • The animal-color combination seems inspired by Choujuu Sentai Liveman.
    • A non-character example would be many of the shops in Kerning Square, which often look so much like the real businesses that it's skirting very close to the legal line.
    • Cake Boss Daniel, of the Cake VS Pie event, looks almost exactly like Hells Kitchen host Gordon Ramsey. Pie Lord Tiara, of the same event, may be based on Rachel Ray but the visual likeless is not as strong.
    • One Quest Giver for Halloween events is a cute little ghost named Gasper
    • There are two Cheshire Cat Expys, Fanzy and Tricky.
    • Ghosthunter Bob of Ludibrium is probably based on the Ghostbusters, but he looks more like the Filmations Ghostbusters than the more well-known Dan Akroyd film/Real Ghostbusters series. A mini version of the familiar "no ghost" logo can be seen on a related quest item, if you were doubting the connection.
    • Red Leaf High's "Four Pillars Off Heaven"; Hermoninny is Hermione, Ika looks like a white Chewbacca, with Vega's claw, Little Dragon is Bruce Lee with purple hair, Joe Joe may be based on Ashita no Joe since he turns white upon defeat, with a bit of West Side Story thrown in as well.
    • In the Rein Strait scenario, you rescue - and then are accompanied by - Nora the Explorer.
    • You even meet an Expy of The Little Prince (or maybe the real one, given how the plot works) outside of Ariant.
    • Boss Kumi was an almost direct sprite re-creation of a character from the Japanese TV series "Gokusen", only replacing the sword with a notebook. WAS. It seems legal hassles forced Nexon to totally redesign the character for her return in February 2013.
    • Eskalade, the ancient dragon that instructs Angelic Buster, may be a comedic rendition of Paarthurnax
    • General Orchid is an evil Sailor Moon wannabe in a Nazi uniform, and Hilla is Queen Beryl in a striperiffic Mayincatec outfit.
  • The Cassandra: Cassandra, the NPC fortuneteller. Played straight pre-Big Bang, subverted post-Big Bang after she was reverse-aged and retconned into being a ditz.
  • Cast from Hit Points:
    • Many of the Demon Slayer's skills use HP instead of MP, in addition to his character specific Demon Force. Also just about all the Dark Knight’s skills.
    • All of Demon Avenger's attacks use HP, as he does not use MP (or Demon Force, for that matter).
  • Charged Attack: The Crusader's Combo Attack is a Collect type that's charged by hitting the enemy.
    • The Buccaneer tree features the Energy Charge system, which allows you to collect energy from attacking. Additionally, Buccaneer Blast takes a few seconds to charge up before being fired.
  • Chaos Is Evil: The terms seem mutually inclusive in this game, as the hardest settings for some main Bosses, including Zakum, Horntail, Pink Bean, and all four Root Abyss Bosses, is called "Chaos".
  • Chef of Iron: The Cooking with Tangyoon Party Quest (available for players between level 60 and 90) requires you to prepare a meal by fighting the ingredients. (For example, if the stated entrée is Escargot, you have to summon waves of Chubby Snail, Red Snail, Orange Mushroom, Wine Bottle, and Potted Sprout, and slay them). Complete the quest enough times, and you get a chef armor skin, so your character can look the part. Also, players who completed the entire Beefy's Kitchen even get a similar, permanent skin, along with the Food Truck mount.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • In the Ellin Forest quest line (which takes in the past), everyone mistakes you for a person named Kao, who is never seen and has seemingly gone missing. Later in the game you eventually do find Kao, who ended up at the Temple of Time without his memories. Just to top it off, the reveal gives him the same face as your player character. The other players on the ship in the Explorer tutorial also call you this name.
    • Shinsoo's Tear. It showed up back when the Cygnus Knights were first released and while it recieved mentions here and there, it's never really used. In the ending of Black Heaven, Empress Cygnus uses it to revive the player after they die to Gelimer's poison.
    • Several characters that you encounter very early in the game, including Jay, Alex, Utah the pig farmer, and Camilla (the girl who made horny mushroom pie) play important roles much later in Gate to the Future.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: The Maple World has a modern force of secret agents that are supposed to patrol the world. They were first seen in a massive event in version 72, and again in the alien invasion event prior to Big Bang, as well as one lone agent who was seen around the haunted mansion during a Halloween event. These agents are connected to the Omega Sector. But as of Big Bang, they've all but vanished, with only the original Agent Marco in Omega Sector remaining, as well as Gaga, who has had his role in the story changed since then. The rest of the agents have vanished with no trace or hint of showing up again, and their role in the world seems to have been replaced by the Edelstein Resistance and Silent Crusade with some possible retconning happening to the overall plot.
  • Circling Birdies: Mushrooms, in this case.
  • Classic Video Game Screw Yous
    • When taking the ship between Orbis and Victoria Island in either direction there is a 50% chance two Crimson Balrogs will show up and kill everyone on the ship (unless at least one person onboard is around level 100 or higher, which is around the level the Balrogs are at, and able to defeat them or if you spend the trip safely inside the cabin), making you go back to where you were. However, there’s also a safe zone inside the ship, which is where everyone would hang out anyways.
    • To get to Crimsonwood Keep, or just to the training maps before it, one has to go through two maps where a monster that does 10k or so damage randomly spawns. After that one has to do a jump quest which involves dodging giant totem poles that will OHKO you if you touch them. When one gets to Lower Ascent and the next few maps it's possible to fall off the map, forcing you to do the second part of the jump quest again.
      • Not anymore. As of the "alien invasion" that destroyed New Leaf City, they simplified the haunted forest and Crimsonwood Keep maps into just a few straight maps, ditching the confusing maze and puzzle jump segments.
    • This game just looooooooooooooves to spawn monsters right where you're standing. This is especially frustrating as a Mechanic since the mech has no knockback and can block out quite a few enemy sprites. You suddenly take damage for no apparent reason until you move or the enemy comes into view.
    • When you're trying to fight a mob one by one, your character either locks on one mook you hit first, regardless of where it is as long as it is within your attack range, while ignoring other mooks which are about to crash onto you, or locks on random mooks in the mob, usually the furthest ones, even after you hit the one on your face, while ignoring other mooks which are about to crash onto you. This is why multi-target attacks/crowd control are extremely useful, and Wizet indeed seems to acknowledge this by giving most new classes some crowd control skills; when you can smack multiple mooks at once, it doesn't really matter which ones are almost out of reach and which ones are about to crash onto you.
  • Cloning Blues: Vita turned out to be an attempt at cloning Orchid, only she came out without any superhuman abilities and Gelimer decided to dispose of her by turning her into an unwilling suicide drone against the Resistance.
  • Clothes Make the Superman: Some armors can have extremely powerful bonuses (e.g. up to 21% to your main damage stat). Additionally before the Big Bang patch physical defense was entirely dependent on armor.
  • Collectible Card Game:
    • The Monster Book. Doing this is beneficial, as once you collect enough cards of a specific monster, you can view basic background information about the monster, see everything that it Randomly Drops, and be able to gain bonus experience from that specific monster for an hour after collecting their final card. This was reworked in a later patch after being temporarily removed.
    • Also, the spinoff game Maple Story ITCG.
  • Conspiracy Redemption: Evan joins the Black Wings initially.
  • Continuing Is Painful:
    • All classes lose 10% exp when dying, which isn't good considering the amount of Level Grinding needed to level up at later levels. (Post-Big Bang, a character lost his entire XP bar.)
    • Having a higher LUK statistic used to reduce the penalty. In the past, mages that went "LU Kless" would lose over 30% of their EXP if they died.
    • As of Chaos and professions, building up the Ambition trait reduces EXP loss at death by a small bit every 5 levels it's raised.
  • Cool Chair: The very first chair you get (allowing you to sit down anywhere and recover health and MP) is a lounge chair for the beach, and it only gets fancier from there. You can eventually sit with key characters, bosses, on planets, inside potion bottles…
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Some of the opponents in the current version of Red Leaf High, which all resemble Player Character classes, exhibit this. For example, the Dual Blader uses a Necro Sword (PC Dual Bladers can only use Necro Daggers) and all of the Cygnus Knights except Mihile summon the monsters that the ones Gate to the Future do, with a few of the skills edited.
  • Convection Schmonvection: Zigzagged; You can survive in lava-filled caverns, but you do take damage from being there; how much depends on your Strength Score. Having said that, falling into lava does a lot of damage, but you can survive it. (And one of the most universally-hated Jump Quests, which is now optional, forced you to wade through it every time you fell.)
  • The Corruption: Maple World was, for the most part, a paradise world once, before the White Mage himself was corrupted in his quest to find the Ultimate Light, and instead found an evil force that caused him to become the Black Mage. Since then, the monsters have turned feral and predatory as his dark influence spreads. This same corruption created Zakum, Horntail, Gollux, and other Boss monsters. In the Gate to the Future scenario it's much, much worse. The monsters of Victoria Island have become mutated, nastier versions of their previous selves. It isn't known what happened to other parts of Maple World.
  • Covers Always Lie:
    • All the promo art and material for Angelic Buster describe her as the "idol of the battlefield" and often show her holding a microphone. She never once sings in the game (with the exception of cutscenes, albeit being single-panel and without music). She IS declared some sort of battlefield mascot by her people but only for killing lots of monsters.
    • Also, promo art for the Beefy's Kitchen event showed a tough-looking African-American in a chef's outfit who fans assumed was Beefy. This character has yet to appear in game. In fact, there was no NPC named Beefy seen during the event.
  • Crazy-Prepared: In one early quest, while infiltrating the mine, Gelimer asks you to take Dolcetta 2000's NC Heart. But... She'll stop functioning if you do that, meaning she'll die. And Gelimer clearly doesn't care. Then her "brother" Zechtok-2000 tells you to take his heart to Gelimer instead, telling you that because he and his sister are two versions of the same model, it will work. But then, what about Zechtok-2000? No problem, he tells you to go to his other sibling Muscat-2000, who has crafted him a new one. Muscat-2000 said that all three of them knew Gelimer would do this eventually, so they planned ahead and built a new heart for Zechtok-2000. (Why not just build a new one for Dolcetta-2000? She's an advanced model, and her brothers lack the skills to craft one for her. your character comments on how much thought they put into this.)
  • Critical Hit: All Archers, all Pirates (except Mechanics), Assassins, Cleric, Evans, and Battle Mages have skills that boost critical rate on all attacks. Other classes have only a 5% but some have skills that have separate critical hit chances. 4th advancement Archers can boost their entire party's critical rate and raise critical damage. Before the Big Bang only these classes (minus Clerics, Pirates and the classes that didn't exist at the time.) could critical hit at all.
  • Critical Hit Class: Phantom. Getting enough critical hits allows you to hurl a storm of cards and give you a buff. Your critical hit rate can easily go higher than the 70s, and Phantom’s Link Skill itself will increase the critical hit rate.
  • Crossover:
    • For the games's 9th year anniversary, Slave.In.Utero, author of Tower of God, was asked to do a promotional crossover. He delivered.
    • Nao from Mabinogi was brought into the game for a guest appearance, and some meager quests, in Septermber 2013.
    • The (JMS) Japanese server contains quite a number of anime crossovers... with notable examples being Steins;Gate, Full Metal Alchemist,K-ON!!, Puella Magi Madoka Magica, and Sword Art Online.
      • Attack On Titan and Sword Art Online were released in the US client as well
    • Korean musician Psy received a massive crossover event when "Gentleman" was released as a single. It was only released in Korea and Europe and most of the content was merely quests from old events with slight tweaks.
    • An official crossover event with Frozen took place in 2014... bizarrely it only happened in Korea. And if you're doubting this actually happened, a clip from Let It Go can be found in the game's sound.wz file.
    • Friend Story is called a crossover, but with what, they don't say. (It seems to combine Maple Story with a typical teen sitcom.)
  • Crutch Character:
    • Used to be the entire point of the Cygnus Knights. They become stronger faster, and get access to more advanced skills at an earlier level, as well as skills unique to the Cygnus Knights, but have a smaller level cap at 120note , where everyone else can eventually overtake them. They are meant for people that plan on losing their patience by then. Now, they have the regular level cap at 250 for all Cygnus Knights like everyone else and gain AP at a normal rate as well.
    • The Mechanic was the first class able to deal out such massive damage at early levels. This has become less unique with some of the newer classes, however.
  • Cutscene Drop: Very, very often, to the point where you might just take advantage of it to get somewhere faster.
  • Darker and Edgier: The beginning of the Demon storyline: he was once a commander for the Black Mage, but does a Heel-Face Turn when the Black Mage orders the world to be destroyed for defying his rule, starting with the place where the Demon Slayer's family lived. In a cutscene you visit their burning house and pick up a photo of his now-dead mother and brother. Made worse when you realize that
  • Dark Is Not Evil:
    • A lot of the Battle Mage's skills involve some very "dark" themes (ex: "Dark Genesis", "Summon Reaper"), but the backstory of the Resistance faction puts them as the good guys. Additionally, the Knights of Cygnus' "Night Walker" class, and the Adventurers' "Night Lord", "Shadower", and "Dark Knight" classes - all involve some form of manipulation of shadows, darkness, or otherwise normally "sinister" skills. Also the Demon Slayer is a half-demon good guy with very edgy, dark, spiky attacks. Even though he was a commander in the Black Mage's army, he was only there to protect his loved ones.
    • Subverted with Luminous. His dark half is quite evil, coming straight from the Black Mage himself.
    • The Resistance Leaders, especially Claudine, are pretty dark, as their costumes show, but are on the heroes side; not that they're soft or nice, however, given what they've had to endure under the Black Wings.
  • Deadpan Snarker: YOU are! Your character's dialogue has him/her snark all the time at the characters he talks to, even showing frustration after given the runaround in long quest lines.
  • Dem Bones: A lot of monsters, from humans to dogs to fish.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Literally, if playing as a Buccaneer, Thunder Breaker, or Eunwol.
  • Die, Chair! Die!: Ironic, in that most veteran players got their first chair from destroying boxes.
  • Disc One Nuke:
    • Before you even make your second job advancement, a quest is available that requires you to kill one of five relatively easy bosses depending on your class, and the reward for said quest is a mask of that boss that boosts your class' main stat by 12, and even the defense of these masks is greater than many higher-leveled hats. (The downside being that these full-head helmets are butt-ugly, and hide your character's face for dozens of levels...unless of course you buy a NX hat.)
    • Killing monsters has the possibility of making them drop familiar cards, which allow you to use that monster in battle, but only if you are at least the same level as the monster. One of the most useful familiars is Jr. Boogie, which heals 15% of your MP every 10 seconds, making it incredibly difficult to run out of mana unless you're playing a mana intensive class with low reserves like Dawn Warrior. It can be used as early as level 20, and is usually used well into 4th job. For the manaless classes, the Level 7 Shroom can save a lot of money on health potions early on with its small healing effect of 5% of one's Max Health per 10 seconds.
    • If you can manage it, beating Crumbling Zakum at level 50 turns the Zakum Helmet into this. It provides +15 to all stats to boost your offense while providing the highest defense bonuses in the game up to that point. Aside from the fact that it isn't all that cool looking (but better than the helmets described above), it can easily serve you into the early-mid 100s. However, much like the original, Crumbling Zakum loves to spam status conditions and mana eater attacks, so defeating it is not an easy task for a first-timer.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Everyone in Henesys loves horny mushroom pie.
  • Do Not Run with a Gun: Jett can fire while sliding, but most classes cannot.
  • Double Jump: Originally a Thief skill, eventually given to some Pirate classes and later on to almost every class. A few classes can use their double jump twice.
  • Draconic Humanoid: The Nova race, which resemble humans with dragon wings, horns, and tail. Two of them are playable classes: Kaiser, who can temporarily transform into the less human-like variation of a Dragon Man, and Angelic Buster, who lacks a tail. (If you're wondering, both classes, as well as their race, came out right after Skyrim was released, so it's likely one big reference to the Dragonborn.)
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?:
    • Poor Irwin; the guy rescues Belle, Checkers, and Brighton from falling to their deaths in Black Heaven, and all your character can say when this is revealed is, "Who's that?" (There's no other dialogue option, unfortunately, even if you know who he is.)
    • Averted entirely for the actual playable characters in their respective stories, as their past achievements (in their questlines) are frequently touched upon (especially the Legends).
  • Dumb Blonde: Cassandra and Shumi.
  • Dummied Out:
    • The game client typically contains raw data from other versions of the game, partly to make integrating them into that region's version easier when the time comes. This means your data files contain a fair amount of sprites, quests and other stuff that isn't used. Data from past events and pre-Big Bang content may have also lingered, though Nexon does do some degree of outdated data file cleaning, which is likely necessary to keep the install files from being larger than they already are.
    • There is also a bit of content that's not used at all- for example, a sprite of Athena Pierce laying unconscious on the floor is present, but neither it nor the map it's supposed to be found in can be accessed. Tespia also featured a sprite of Orchid in a simple villager outfit in the Resistance base, but when that plot point came to the public version, she was only seen in her hospital gown.
  • Easing Into the Adventure: Maple Island is pretty relaxed.
  • Eldritch Location:
    • The further down you get in the Ludibrium Clock Tower, the more the whole place seems off. It doesn't exactly help that a good portion of the monsters down there are technically ghosts, as well.
    • Although that's only the right side. The left side suffers from Soundtrack Dissonance.
  • Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors:
    • Fire hurts plant-based and ice-based monsters. Ice hurts fire-based and many fish. Holy hurts undead and dark. This is not true in all cases however; which tends to annoy the elemental-users because of how most of the game is biased towards those who specialize in non-elemental offensive methods.
    • This is ironically enough one of the biggest reasons why Mages were nerfed retroactively after the Big Bang patch. Almost every area added after that patch contains neutral weak monsters making the Mages ability to exploit elemental weakness completely useless (it borders an Informed Ability.)
    • Classes with elemental affinities were all given Elemental Reset buffs that remove their elemental attributes entirely meant to allow them to deal with resistant enemies, but such buffs have been heavily nerfed as they gave those classes a huge advantage in terms of bossing, as all bosses are resistant to all elements, neutral included.
  • Emergent Gameplay: Before Big Bang, Lucky Seven had an increase in range if used while jumping. Additionally, classes that normally can’t attack while midair could attack and jump at the same time if timed perfectly. A quirk that let revamped Night Walkers throw stars twice as fast as they should be able to by jumping and throwing at the same time was also left in as it gave them a unique characteristic.
  • Emote Command: F1 – F8, ever since everything right of F3 was pushed forward.
  • Emotionless Girl: Lilin, according to video.
  • Engagement Challenge: In order to make an Engagement Ring, the male must acquire "Proofs of Love" from the various towns which are given by collecting certain amounts of items, as well as the materials to actually make the ring out of. The female has to get a blessing from her parents (Who are an in-game NPC), which also requires collecting "Proofs of Love". Of course, to actually get married, you have to buy a reservation from the Cash Shop.
  • An Entrepreneur Is You: Monster Life. Additionally, you can now set characters to work part-time to get free stuff.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: Not the SNAILS!
  • Elaborate Equals Effective / Evolving Weapon: Lapis and Lazuli.
    • Additionally, lots of equipment, such as the reverse weapons, can also level up. However, it doesn’t increase attack by much.
  • Elite Tweak: Mercedes and Jett. They have the best in-combat mobility, allowing them to fight and jump to the next target at the same time. Their actual damage isn’t so great. However, if your equipment is powerful enough, you can always disregard that.
  • Essence Drop: Weapon points, if hunting in the mirror world. Additionally, souls, if a soul weapon is equipped.
  • Evolutionary Retcon: Some NPCs get really nice-looking design revamps. Additionally, every time the explorers get a revamp, skills that don’t change suddenly look really nice.
  • Evolving Attack:
    • Kanna’s main attack is always Shinigami Haunting, but every job advancement gives you an elemental buff that increases its power, at an attempt to allow you to keep up the damage with other classes.
    • Demon Slayer’s Demon Lash is upgraded every job advancement.
  • Excuse Plot: Most people in the fanbase have taken a valiant stance that MapleStory’s overall plot is this (though part of this notion is a clear consequence of many skipping most of the actual story part of the game), while the rest believe that its plot is actually incredibly deep. However, Chase leaves her hometown simply because she wants to become one of the Legend classes, and that’s pretty clearly this trope.
  • Experience Booster: Many. The simplest are Mercedes’ link skill and Zero’s character card. Thankfully, all experience boosters or multipliers stack with each other.
  • Explosive Overclocking:
    • Dark Scrolls work more often than their regular counterparts, but can potentially destroy the item they're used on if they fail. Potential and Equipment Enhancement Scrolls are like this too, but they WILL destroy the item they're used on if they fail.
    • Done in-universe with Mechanic’s overclock.

    F-J 
  • Failure Is the Only Option: In the Grand Athenaeum, the stories you experience are history, and you are specifically told you cannot change the past. Thus, in the first story, where you play the role of the unnamed Doomed Protagonist who witnesses the White Mage’s descent into evil, there’s nothing you can do to prevent your character’s death at the villain’s hands. (And worst of all, he dies after ignoring his own advice; but still, that is a potent message.) Fortunately, the other two books/quests have happier endings.
  • Fake Balance: Absolutely every class in some way.
    • Arans are limited to using a special melee combo as an ordinary attack, and can only use their skills by consuming their combo count. They both deal piddly damage.
    • Angelic Buster has an easier time upping the damage cap. She doesn’t have an easy time upping her actual damage.
    • Evans get over eight job advancements. You don't receive your best attacks aren’t until level 160, and your damage is subpar until then.
    • While most screen-clearing skills have a cooldown of 30 seconds when maxed out, some skills have no cooldown and clear the screen anyways, such as Demon Cry (Demon Slayer) and Reflection (Luminous).
    • Mercedes has incredible combat mobility and very little combat DPS. Ditto for Jett.
    • Demon Avengers have 4x the health of everyone else when buffed. This is due to their main stat being max HP instead of STR and their buffs giving you more than 200% bonus max HP. Expect a buffed 40,000 HP by level 120.
  • Fake Difficulty:
    • Leveling took several times longer than the current EXP curve brought by the Big Bang. It could take 10 straight hours of dedication to gain even a single level.
    • One of the biggest problems with jump quests is that the game has this tendency to lock up for really short split seconds. This doesn’t interfere with most aspects of play. But it totally interferes with your ability to make precisely-timed jumps.
      • Jump quests? Try entering your PIC without the lag messing things up! Evem if a character is clicked and a star appears in the box, it may have not registered with the server. Oh, and if you enter the wrong PIC too many times in a row, you get banned for 5 minutes as a security measure.
  • Fake Ultimate Mook: The stone golems have become this as a result of the Big Bang.
  • Fantastic Foxes: An enemy. Additionally, Kanna’s fox Haku.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture:
    • Korean Folk Town
    • Mu Lung (China)
    • Ariant (Middle East with)
    • Zipangu (Japan)
    • New Leaf City (New York)
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink: Oh so much.
    • Half the planet seems to be based on medieval times and ancient myths of magic and wizardry, with a strong emphasis on swords and knights. The other half? American Indian culture, an inner city slum, a town made of building blocks, a futuristic military base, ancient Japan, modern Japan, Japan in the future, pirates... you get the idea. It can be jarring walking from a town that looks like it came from a Tolkein book to a town that looks like Compton.
    • In this universe, the story of Romeo and Juliet involves alchemists, advanced technology and Frankenstein's monster piloting a mech walker.
    • Don’t forget all the science fiction. Xenon is a playable robot hybrid and Jett is a futuristic alien/bounty hunter.
  • Fantastic Racism: The fairies in Ellinia and Orbis usually consider humans to be selfish, inferior, or sometimes just plain destructive. While some of the humans they talk about really are such things, and a few do have human friends, some will still talk down to the (human or humanlike) player without provocation, or make an offhand remark about how said friend is good for a human. The Ellinel Fairy Academy theme dungeon revolves all around this and was in fact partially caused by the students being forced to hide their admiration for the non-fairy Heroes.
  • Flat "What.": Demon Slayer gives one of these in the "Turn Me Back" quest.
  • Flash of Pain: The only thing that will prevent you from being decimated sometimes. Some hidden potentials can extend it.
  • Fluffy Cloud Heaven: Orbis looks like one, complete with heavenly music and angels. However, there are still monsters that will can kill you. Very fast if you aren't of high level.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: Bob the Snail. And Pink Bean. PINK BEAN.
  • Foe-Tossing Charge: All warriors except the Dawn Warrior will have this skill one time. Useful for grouping monsters together to kill them all at once, or shoving mobile bosses to a more convenient location or for some of their squishier friends. Notably this is the only movement skill the Adventurer warriors get.
  • Friendly Enemy: Murgoth is a lich who is a Boss in some events; he'll do his best to kill you if you confront him in said events. However, he's also an authority on Soul Weapons, who'll aid you in crafting them. (Ironically, you can even craft a Murgoth Soul Weapon, seeing as he's a Boss.)
  • Future Badass: A lot of characters in the scenario presented as future Henesys have become quite tough, especially given that in the present many of them are either children or non-combat NPCs, like a hair stylist. Jay, Anne, and Big Headward have all taken up arms to defend what's left of their town, while Alex returned to Henesys at some point and is now the new chief.
  • Future Imperfect:
    • Going through the Door of the Future in the Temple of Time shows you that Henesys is now in ruins, and Ereve fell to the Maple World.
    • The Alien Invasion event, prior to Big Bang, saw the Maple World in ruins, polluted so badly that people had to wear protective suits just to breathe... all because visitors from the past kept stealing chunks of the big crystal that kept the world going, causing it to malfunction, polluting the environment.
    • And even IF all the above is somehow prevented from happening, there's still the matter of those robots that will eventually bomb several major cities and send their machines to patrol the remains from the Neo City time traveler quest.
  • Funny Robot: Even the Mecha-Mooks and Bosses that are robots are funny. For example, Guard Robots have one wheel instead of legs, use weapons that look like electric tennis rackets, and have a siren on the “head” that blares when they attack, while the more humanoid robots have eyes that bug out when damaged. The first Boss in Black Heaven is a bulky robot that looks like some Dumb Muscle thug with a square jaw in a suit – except he’s a robot. He can seriously damage you if you aren’t careful, but he looks so absurd, it’s hard to take him seriously.
  • Game-Favored Gender:
    • Engagement ring quests for males involve collecting gold, diamond or other precious materials and gems, followed by the cost to make the ring. For females? Collecting Proofs of Love (which the males also do), and talking to your parents.
    • Also in terms of hair and clothing options, the female’s choices are better.
  • Gameplay Automation: Thankfully, Monster Life quickly added a way to automatically collect your Warus for you. You still have to open Monster Life, however.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: A few-
    • Non-explorer characters are all unique, yet it's possible to be in a map with multiple copies of a single character if it's filled with players.
    • One Halloween event featured both Angelic Buster and Phantom as NPCs, even if the player was of either class.
    • Mihilie's plot is supposed to take place some time before the present, yet a player will be walking through the same current world map and interacting with player characters regardless.
    • One notable aversion- in some maps, if two or more players are playing as the same unique character, they won't be able to see each other. However, they can still see the other player's monster kills, and are unable to interact with each other for purposes of trading or communicating, so it's a bit broken.
  • Game Within a Game: Monster Life.
  • Gatling Good: Mechanics get a skill like this.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Evan, like any other class, can be either gender, but will still be called Evan even if she's female. Aran as well.
  • Gentle Giant: Well to start, there’s the holy beast Shinsoo, who despite being a dragon, is a kind, friendly creature who protects Cygnus. There's also The Colossus, a living mountain with the personality of a child, although the player's goal in the quest line surrounding it is to make sure it remains gentle by destroying the demonic giant insects trying to corrupt it.
  • Get on the Boat:
    • With literal boats that take you places! Also comes in varieties such as airships, subway trains, random tour guides, and a cloth pouch carried by a crane.
    • And even one that gets invaded by Crimson Balrogs while you're traveling.
    • Notably, a flying boat made to resemble a brightly-colored plastic toy train.
    • Aaaaand a giant genie. And a bird that has a platform to stand on that's rather loosely attached...
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
    • Red Leaf High's random challenge rooms featured one which was a mini dating sim, randomly cycled between 3 female characters(fairy pet handler Mar, dumb blonde Shumi, and anthromorphic panda merchant Laya). Despite only having female options, this quest would show up for both male and female characters, rendering some rather blatant lesbian flirting for the latter.
    • For an E-Rated game, there's an awful lot of cursing. Damn, hell, and crap are scattered sporadically throughout NPC conversations. The latter can be seen as early as level 50 during a cutscene, where Frostwitch Barbara drops it when talking to the animals.
    • The Spiegelmann's Gonzo Gallery theme dungeon has a quest in the Summer area where Spiegelmann says he needs a better gift than "An empty box with a hole in it", a reference to the infamous "Dick in a Box" video.
    • The amount of obvious sexual flirting that Eskalade lays on Angelic Buster not only freaks her out but is pushing it for the audience as well. One quest even has him with a picture of her in a swimsuit.
    • One of the characters in Korean Folk Town is named Mr. Cantsee Shim.
    • The revamped Mushroom Kingdom, at least by the game's standards and rules concerning player-to-player marriage (male+female only, no Zeroes). It's blatantly said that people of all genders are attracted to Violetta, and at least one female NPC does try to suit her. Another NPC (based on the aforementioned Zero) is implied to be interested, but if so then she is working together with her brother to woo Violetta, with no sign that they're in competition with each other. Towards the end, Violetta falls in love with the player regardless of their gender, and all the other mushrooms try to set up a marriage between them. Much to the player character's horror.
    • The unlockable mission for Chapter 2 of Friend Story (unlocked by doing Friend Story a second time) is called "Corn and Cheese". (One of the regular missions for that chapter involves getting laxatives for Francis; very funny, Nexon.)
  • Glass Cannon: Archers, and pirates on a lesser scale. Every other class seems to have some kind of workaround for their defensive issues. Warriors have massive HP, Magicians have Magic Guard, and Thieves have tons of evasion. Archers have evasion, but not as much, and pirates generally only have some kind of defensive buff that lets you drop 20% or so damage taken.
  • Global Airship: Owned by Phantom.
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: In Star Planet, several Bosses have roles in the games; Zakum is the PVC opponent in Speed! Rock, Paper, Scissors note , while several of the Black Mage Commanders are game squares for Star Monsteropoly.note 
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: Ariant Queen Areda. Also, Empress Cygnus in the future. Arguably the mook perspective on a high leveled Mercedes.
  • Goggles Do Nothing: Lampshaded, on the item Spectrum Goggles there is a description saying "Allows vision in multiple dimensions. Who says the goggles do nothing?" STR+1, LUK+1
  • Good Bad Translation:
    • At places in English version. One of the most outrageous ones is the case of Horny Mushrooms in the European version. Originally "Horny Mushrooms" in Global (mushrooms with horns. What did you think?), they were changed into "Horn-shape mushrooms". And no, no typo there. However, they renamed them "Horny Mushroom" in Europe too, but forgot to rename the ETC-drop, which is still called "Horn-shape Mushroom Cap". Also, they couldn't decide how to translate the Knights of Cygnus; SEA and Global have different names for them and Europe (which takes most of stuff straight from Global) uses SEA names.
    • And the "Wind Breaker" class, as mentioned above.
    • There is a quest given by The Rememberer that requires you to kill a certain number of Horny Mushrooms. It's called "Raging Horny Mushrooms."
  • Good Is Not Nice: Claudine and the other Resistance Leaders show this, especially during Black Heaven when interacting with Cygnus and the Knights. While Cygnus pleads for mercy to be shown towards the now-helpless Orchid, Claudine favors a harsh punishment. Justified, of course, because the Resistance members live and grew up under the Black Wings’ oppressive rule.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: Monster cards. Collecting a set allows the player to utilize stat or ability bonuses. Also on Japan and Global servers are familiar cards, which allow the player to summon a monster to help fight and sometimes grant special boosts (increased money drops, faster HP/MP recovery, etc.).
  • Gratuitous French: The Global name changes to some of Phantom's skills feature French expressions or English expressions using French words (Double Entendre, Carte Blanche, etc.), but the skill itself has little to nothing to do with what those words mean.
  • Gratuitous Greek: The signs in Orbis and at the Victoria island airship port are English written with Greek Letters. Among other things, they say "Cloud", and "Welcome to Orbis". Especially gratuitous is the fact that they simply typed the words in Greek mode on an English keyboard, which meant that some English letters were interpreted as completely different Greek ones, leading to a sign that's supposed to say "Victoria" saying "ςΙΧΤΟΡΙΑ", which would be pronounced "Sixtoria." Oh and if it looks weird that the first letter is lower case and the rest is upper case, they even tried to cover that up by scooting the ς at the start up a bit so it would match the height of the others. But because they moved the ς up, it appears to say "Sixtopia" to an unknowing observer, which is oddly fitting with six city-states on the surface of the island.
  • The Greys: Monsters in Omega Sector, which are even called Grays. Also includes purple octopus-like aliens (Mateons, their derivatives, and the appropriately-named Octopus).
  • Ground Pound: So many monsters do this, it's probably taught at monster school. Also, Mechanics do this when the land from their jet pack jumps.
  • Grumpy Bear: Played with, with a bear. Edelstein's Checky, a man in a bear suit, is constantly picked on by kids trying to get a look at his real face under the hood, even going so far as to task the player into throwing snakes into his costume to try and make him take it off. He also sometimes has trouble breathing and must occasionally use a special respirator with a mask cast to fit the bear's face. He's not grumpy, really, and stays cheerful but he's always being annoyed about the bear mask despite his insistence that the only thing under the mask are "hopes and dreams". But really, Checky is secretly the leader of the Mechanics in the Resistance, and he will eventually admit to the player that there is nothing under the mask because it's not a mask- it's his face. Checky is actually an anthromorphic bear who only seems to resemble a cartoonish bear suit.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: This is one example where this Trope applies to the good guys HQ, at least the Resistance. At the beginning of the Evolution quest line, Orchid wakes up briefly and somehow manages to sneak away to Gelimer's lab (she no longer has her powers, remember, is injured, and is wearing a hospital gown). The player has to rescue her before she's killed in a confrontation with the AI. Also, in Black Heaven, the player assumes control of Francis, and is able to sneak past the guards and surveillance system in the Resistance HQ by doing nothing more than hiding under a box and inching past.
  • Handguns: Every weapon a Gunslinger utilizes is a handgun resembling dated flintlock pistols. To put this in perspective, modern weaponry exists in the Maple World, but all job classes are expected to use medieval swords, bows and blunt weapons with Pirates being the most modern, but still quite outdated, in terms of equipment, whereas the random soldiers standing around in Omega Sector are armed with M-16s. (Averted with Xenon and Jett, who are futuristic.)
  • Haunted Castle: The haunted Prendergast Mansion, and it has many, many ghosts and ghouls. During October, it is replaced by a larger, bigger one for the Halloween event.
  • The Heartless: In FriendStory, the Bosses are called Troublemakers, and are created by the negative emotions (like Greed, Jealousy, and Pride) of characters, amplified by the link to Maple World. (Except for the one in Chapter 5, which is a "special" one created purposely by the White Mage.)
  • Heel-Face Brainwashing: Subverted. This happens to The Knights of Cygnus and their Queen in the FUTURE.
  • Heel-Face Turn:
    • The Demon Slayer does this when his house is burned with his brother inside.
    • Orca/Orchid sort of did this after her brother almost killed her under Gellimer's orders, the pair dumping her into an alley to die. She's saved by the Resistance and joins them, albeit is too weakened from the attack to really do much beyond offer information. Black Heaven's story focused on Gellimer trying to carry out a massive attack against Maple World, using the brainwashed Lotus. Orchid comes to, lays waste to Gellimer's artillery and helps the Maple Alliance to defeat Gellimer, although Lotus is killed thanks to a brain implant Gellimer activated once Lotus shook off the mind control. The epilogue scene showed Orchid plotting her revenge on the Black Mage thanks to this long series of events costing her brother's life, as he'd largely been responsible for what Gellimer did in the first place.
  • Heroic BSOD: Mercedes has one of these after finding out that the Black Mage cursed Elluel and the rest of the elves along with her during her battle. The elf counsel breaks her out of it quickly, though.
  • Hero Killer: According to Lita Lawless, Bigfoot has stomped 160 Heroes, 100 Night Lords, 80 Arch Mages, 190 Paladins, 90 Bow Masters, 110 Marksmen, 50 Shadowers, and a pet Skunk named "Moofy Snugglekins". With the obvious exception of the last, all victims named have 4th promotion Job titles. Indeed, Bigfoot is a tough Marathon Boss, being one of the few high level bosses capable of jumping, and it spawning on several different maps, giving the illusion that it's encountered randomly as it walks through the forest. If you succeed in slaying it, Lita is surprised you came back alive.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: Averted with Aran, who uses the giant polearm.
  • Heroes "R" Us: Find something you can't use or don't want that other players could conceivably use? The Free Market is accessible from most large towns, and you can set up shop a there. (After paying a percentage as rent, of course.) Some special shops can be set up so you can sell something to a player's shop. Ordinary NPC merchants even sell a device called an Owl of Minerva that let's a player look for the item in the Free Market he wants to buy.
  • Historical-Domain Character: The US-only 2012 presidential election event featured the spirit of George Washington vising Maple World. The Sengoku crossover plot also features many historical Japanese figures.
  • Hobbits: The Halfingers, short, furry guys who live in Minar Forest; ironically, they're friends with dragons - at least they were before The Corruption created abominations like Horntail - and tirelessly watch and care for dragons' unhatched eggs, their houses converted into special dragon-egg incubators.
  • Hold the Line: One mission in the Mushroom Castle questline. Also several in Black Heaven.
  • Hollywood Density:
    • The strongest of the Mechanic mech equips are made of pure gold and the second strongest are still made primarily of gold. Hopefully the Maple World's version of "gold" is not the same as ours because if it were, these engines and other pieces would literally mangle themselves upon use, as gold is one of the softest metals in existence.
    • In the Maple World, gold is the median in terms of crafting materials.
  • Homing Boulders: All projectiles home towards enemies when applicable.
    • Wind Archer’s trifling wind projectiles like to perform shuttle loops before they ever actually target anything.
  • Horse of a Different Color: At level 70 or higher, adventurers can tame a pig for riding, Arans get a wolf, Evans learn to ride their own dragons. Cygnus Knights can get a bird at level 50 instead. A Wild Hunter can earn a mount at level 10 with the ability to tame a jaguar. Phantom gets a car at level 100. Yes, a car.
  • HP to 1: Annoyingly, many of the more well-known bosses can do this. If that wasn’t bad enough, it also drops your MP to One, stopping you from attacking – thankfully, not all classes use MP.
  • Hub Level:
    • Victoria Island during the first and second job. Orbis becomes this from the third job onward, due to being able to get to almost any region from there.
    • Victoria Island gets the Six Path Crossway from Big Bang; Instead of having to walk around the perimeter of the island to get from town to town, facing stronger monsters the further away from a town you got, all the towns are connected to the Crossway, with the monsters getting weaker the closer to it you get. The Crossway also holds the entrance to Sleepywood as well as the Airports.
    • Now that Six Path Crossway contains the portal to Pantheon, which itself contains a portal taking one to almost anywhere in the game, the Crossway/Pantheon can be thought of as a sort of hub even for more advanced players.
    • To make things even easier, New Leaf City can now be reached by the dimensional mirror, which is in nearly every major town. New Leaf City had a subway ride straight to Kerning, which itself is only 3 maps away from the portal to Pantheon. It can now take only 5 minutes of travel to reach most destinations in the game using this trick.
    • And it get's better. Since the Friendstory update there is essentially a free portal to Henesys from any major town with a Dimensional Mirror starting from Level 33. After this is unlocked one can simply port to Henesys and use the quickmove option in town to port to the airport, which is right on top of the portal to Pantheon, cutting out pretty much all of travel and waiting time associated with the previous method.
  • Humiliating Wager: In FriendStory, Irena inadvertently gets the player and the other Knights into one of these with Damien's band after a back and forth bout of Trash Talk goes too far, with the losers of the Battle of the Bands having to moon the entire school. (Fortunately for all involved, after you win the contest, she excuses them from it.)
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: At any given time a player is usually carrying hundreds of potions, twenty or so different armors and weapons (ranging from suits of armor to two handed weapons, hundreds thousands of etc. items, and don't forget the equipment that they already may be wearing! Those poor mounts.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism:
    • To the point that it's silly. At any given moment while Level Grinding, your character will be sucking down potions, gulping handfuls of pills, or eating reserves of junk food in the double or triple digits. Recovery items can be ingested faster than you can breathe air.
    • To the point where you can consume an air bubble that allows you to breathe underwater.
    • In a store in Kerning City, there is a sign that says “Abuse of drugs is good for your health”. They’re right.
  • Idiot Ball:
    • By all accounts, Shumi is holding onto it tight. Her quests involve retrieving things she lost while wandering around in the old subway tunnels. That's not even getting into why a non-adventurer would even be down there but she does this 3 times!
    • Cassandra seems to get progressively dumber every few patches. This video suggests a glow stick is enough to distract her.
    • After seeing the Black Mage betray both Demon Slayer and Orchid, one has to think that this is the only reason the rest of his generals are still loyal to him.
  • Immune to Flinching:
    • Various class abilities can protect the player from flinching when struck by an attack (at varying rates, depending on the ability); these are often high-level abilities, but some classes like the Mechanic, Demon Slayer, Shade, and Mihile can learn them earlier than others.
    • Mihile’s link skill allows any character to have this!
  • Impossibly Cool Clothes: The Cash Shop has this in spades. There's even an outfit that can literally turn your character into a centaur.
  • Improbable Power Discrepancy: Especially in the mirror world. All of the monsters are the same as in the normal world, but scaled up to your level. Why are orange mushrooms suddenly level 120?
  • Improbable Weapon User:
    • And some of the non-NX Joke Items are even more effective than normal weapons.
    • Angelic Buster’s Soul Shooter is a dragon-shaped arm cannon that fires explosive space bubbles.
    • Permanent Beginners get stuff like Frozen Tuna and giant Sake Bottles with almost twice the base power of an equivalent regular weapon to make up for their lack of skills.
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain:
    • Most of the Black Wing henchmen around Edelstein are lazy, Only in It for the Money, or just not cut out to be bad guys. The first one you deal with (unless you play as a Resistance character) sternly tells you that it costs ten million mesos just to be allowed to stay in town – but he’ll waive the fee if you do an easy fetch-quest for him. Later, you can get into the mine – where only Black Wings are allowed – by buying a hat from another henchman, who tells you that only the guy watching the door even bothers to check for it. (Meaning, you can switch for your normal helmet once inside.) Once inside, pretty much everyone assumes you’re a recruit, and you can gain experience, gold, and items doing the quests there.
    • Zigzagged with Francis. He can be a somewhat dangerous opponent in Boss Battles, able to use effects that prevent you from using skills or control your movement like a puppet. However, during the cutscenes, he proves to be incompetent, messing up and inadvertently letting the Alliance get ahold of the blueprints for Black Heaven.
    • In one New Leaf City quest, you wind up caught by one of the aliens, but after he foolishly tells you how to escape from your cell and gain the mechanized armor, you’re able to get rid of him by telling him to go tell off his superior; a scream when you leave the room is proof that it works.
    • The villains in the Mushroom Castle quest are pretty incompetent too, the Prime Minister being Laughably Evil at best, and the Black Viking being a wanna-be. (And a Sissy Villain who tries very hard to hide it.) Of course, the whole Mushroom Court is a pretty nutty place.
  • Inexplicably Preserved Dungeon Meat: As if meat wasn't strange enough, the Power-Up Food that drops from mobs includes ice cream, cup ramen, sushi, egg rolls, and dozens of others.
  • Infinity+1 Sword:
    • The potential scrolls and equipment enhancement scrolls turn your equipment into this. However if the scroll fails, severe penalties are incurred. (see Explosive Overclocking above)
    • Thanks to Nebulites from the March 2012 Alien event, it's now possible to have "infinity +2" equipment as nebulites stack with potential.
    • Now we have Bonus Potential... "infinity +3" just happened. Or "infinity +4" as you can get 2 lines of bonus potential per item with enough bonus stamps.
  • Infant Immortality:
    • Subverted - Vita is killed by a bomb. You may also count player character deaths if you want, since a lot of the in-game script suggests the average adventurer is a child.
    • Inverted with the Resistance character's early quests- the in-game dialogue suggests your character is merely a child, who is forced to kill an adult member of the Black Wings in combat.
  • Instant Gravestone: When a player's character dies, a tombstone appears.
  • Interservice Rivalry: The Resistance is on bad terms with the Cygnus Knights because the Knights couldn't help when the Black Wings took Edelstein. Relations are a bit better in the present day enough that the Resistance and the Cygnus Knights are in an open alliance together, but there's still some bad blood between them, as seen in Black Heaven.
  • Interspecies Romance:
    • Dr. De Lang(human) and Phyllia(fairy) had one. It was a taboo relationship from the start as fairies generally look down on humans, and their romance would have been brief as fairies live for centuries. This ended abruptly when Dr. De Lang tried to decipher some of the Black Mage's old research and died in the process. They had one daughter, Keeny, who is physically ill when you first start the Magatia quest chain, due to severe health problems resulting from the cross-breeding. At the end of the quest chain, you deliver a rare, experimental cure to her which De Lang had been working on.
    • Implied/played with between Angelic Buster and Eskalade- it's one-sided but is all but stated that the only reason Eskalade took a shine to Tear is because he wants to have sex with her, and the whole Angelic Buster transformation is just his way of making her look more sexually appealing to him. Eugh...
    • Two of the three female characters you get to flirt with in the mini dating game in Red Leaf High aren't even human- one is a fairy, the other is an anthromorphic panda girl.
    • Cassandra has admitted several times to having a strong romantic interest in her inanimate crystal ball, to the point she tries to feed it ice cream and thinks it's alive.
  • Item Crafting: Players can choose to take up two of five professions, which are Herbalism and Alchemy for making recovery potions and novelty transformation potions, Mining and Smithing for making armor and weapons, and Mining and Accessory Crafting for making capes, rings, earrings, pendants, and belts.
  • Joke Item:
    • Various holiday/seasonal items, like V-day roses, summer inner tubes, and Independence Day US flags.
    • Lethal Joke Item: Snowboards and surfboards are generally seen as the best weapons to use as an Aran, due to their attack speed being faster than most actual polearms. Although one would think that they would break after a combo of 100 or so...
  • Just Like Robin Hood: You get tricked into thinking you're doing this in the Sand Bandits storyline, before doing it for real.
  • Juxtaposed Halves Shot: Luminous has his character portraits which depict his normal and corrupted side.

    K-N 
  • Killer Rabbit: One of the strongest bosses in the game looks like this.
  • Kill It with Fire: A few classes.
    • Bowmasters can learn to summon a phoenix and a mini firestorm with their arrows.
    • Fire/Poison Mages are half this.
    • Blaze Wizards are two halves this.
  • King Mook: If you kill enough mobs of your level range (that is defined as 20 levels below your level to 10 above) eventually, an Elite Monster will appear, a large version of the mobs with more HP, better stats, and a special ability. With the latest upgrade, there are Runes of Darkness that can be used to summon three at once. If an Elite Monster is killed, every player who participated gains a few special private drops (meaning you cannot see the other players' drops. Also, if enough Elite Monsters are killed in one area, one of the Elite Bosses will eventually appear; while tough, killing it starts a much coveted Bonus Round where the participants can grab mesos, XP, and some good Power Ups.
  • Lethal Lava Land: Deep within the El Nath mines. One of the most universally reviled Jump Quests (which is now optional, fortunately) is done over lava, and requires you to wade through it back to the starting point every time you fall.
  • Level Grinding:
    • And how. This game is famed for its level grinding, although as time went on it became much easier due to addition of party quests, experience needed to level up reduced by 25%, and the family system which lets even non-payers get 2x exp for 15-30min. However, its still near impossible to level up at much higher levels.
    • The game changing Big Bang patch dealt with this issue somewhat by greatly lowering the exp curve though it's still in effect at higher levels.
    • The insane amount of level grinding makes Priests extremely valuable in parties. In addition to healing and buffs, Priests have a skill called Holy Symbol, which gives 150% exp. It also stacks on top of family buffs and 2x exp events. Phantoms can steal and use this skill as well, though their stolen version doesn't work as well.
      • The grind is no longer there. Even at higher levels it takes only a few hours to level… until you get to 140 or so.
    • Nexon recently lowered level requirements for job advancement- 3rd job to 60(down from 70) and 4th job to 100(down from 120). Even without a change to the leveling curve, it means less work to advance.
    • The famed level cap of 200, is now 250! Thought you wouldn't have the patience to earn 2 billion experience for one measly level-up? Try 16 trillion.
  • Limit Break: Was originally possible in the Mu Lung Dojo, but very unlikely to happen unless you were really sucking against a boss and somehow still managing to survive, in which case it wouldn't make a difference anyway. However, some classes with healing spells could exploit this.
  • Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards:
    • Pre-Big Bang MS was built on this. Mage!Beginners are weaker than the others because they don't add stat points to dexterity or strength (which affect weapons), while Warrior!Beginners add to strength so they out damage everyone else. The Mages advance to the first job earlier but in order to be optimal have to spend several levels building up passive skills before they could start building up their attacking skills while the other classes just raise their skill damage from the beginning. In the end of the first job thanks to built in mastery Mages are the most powerful class. But when Mages move to the next job they have to build up their mastery for every new spell while the rest of the classes only have to build but mastery for their weapon type (and they only have to do this once). So at the beginning of every job mages are the weakest while near the end they end up the strongest thanks to Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors.
    • And of course the Big Bang changed this by giving mages a mastery skill and changing spells from having their own formula to multipliers which retroactively nerfed them. But later patches brought them back up to speed.
  • The Little Shop That Wasn't There Yesterday: Sometimes you'll see a Mysterious Chest in the Temple of Time; clicking on it opens a shop with special inventory, like Premium Hair Wax, Suspicious Mineral Pouches, and maybe even Growing Potions, but you can only buy one each of each item. Also, when certain Bosses are defeated, like the ones in the Root Abyss, a strange Merchant named Frederic de Blanc sometimes appears, who is similar.
  • Living Relic: Mercedes. Somehow, this is averted in the case of Aran, but this is possibly due to the relatively short lifespan before the freeze in comparison.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Taken to the logical extreme in GMS, where there are no less than (soon to be) thirty different playable classes, excluding Beginners.
  • Loot Command: When attempting to pick up a rune.
  • The Lost Woods: Ellinia, home of magicians. Also, the forest surrounding the Haunted Mansion and the forests surrounding Mushroom Shrine.
  • Luck Stat: Much like STR is to a warrior/brawler, DEX to an archer/gunslinger, and INT to a mage, LUK is to thieves. LUK used to influence the amount of EXP lost when a player dies. Now, it only influences accuracy, avoidability, and a vague stat called 'hands' (Which was later removed).
  • Machinima/Fan Vid: A growing number of these are on YouTube, amazingly. Very subject to Sturgeon's Law, and varies from animated music videos and homemade series to movie versions of romance movies.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: Zeno Eclipse can fire a barrage of rockets out of his mouth that collide into the ground near him, damaging the player with the resulting explosions. Deet and Roi has a similar attack that it spams much more often.
  • Magic Versus Science: Xenon’s attack power increases with all stats… except INT, the magic stat.
  • Magical Library: The Grand Athenaeum, where reading a book causes the reader to assume the role of the protagonist. This area lets you take three plot-heavy quest lines where you can learn about the origins of the Black Mage, Empress Cygnus, and a story of the Knights in more recent history.
  • Magical Native American: Some residents of Perion, like Dances With Balrog and Wrestles the Wolves are based on this Trope; others like Blackbull seem based on ordinary Native Americans, and others, like Sophia, seem more like Caucasians dressed like them.
  • Magikarp Power: At one point in the game, before various revamps and rebalancing patches, the Gunslinger class would embody this trope. Due to a wonky damage formula, and generally weak abilities, they did abysmal damage in first and second job even if they go a statless or low-stat build. Come third job they began to catch up in damage thanks to a more powerful main attack and various abilities that increase their damage, and in fourth job they receive insanely powerful abilities, giving them top-tier DPM, rivaling Arans and Night Lords.
    • Back when there were no other classes besides the original four, Archers suffered heavily from this. Compared to the Assassins (the closest other class in terms of general mechanics), Archers in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd job were underpowered and generally unwanted in training parties and the then current end game content. Cue 4th job which included More Dakka (bow users only however) and the ability to give the entire party the ability to Critical Hit and they're suddenly they're a hot commodity.
  • Marathon Boss:
    • Many of them but Pink Bean is very notable, with his 2 BILLION health, 5 statues (with a couple million to their names that MUST be destroyed) and attacks that can one shot anyone. Oh and you gotta do it in a time limit. Did I mention that the statues can nullify your Magic or Physical Attacks? The new Chaos version of Pink Bean will also heal itself in a fashion via respawning—a total of 15 times. What makes this figure truly daunting is the damage reduction backing it up—180%. That means without at least 45% defense ignore, you'll only inflict 1 damage. Of course, CPB's ability to seduce, reflect damage on multiple timers, and cancel your damage-boosting equipment potentials only complicate matters further.
    • Queen Cygnus is now the leader of this trope. She has the ability to call on her Knights with just as much health as herself, has the ability to lock you into place while you take damage over time, the ability to disable your Infinity Plus One Equipment, and inherits the traits of Pink Bean. The map also slaps you with a cooldown on potions. Brutal.
    • As of the Black Heaven update Lotus is the king of this trope with 900 Billion HP on normal mode. How hard is hard mode? Try 8.1 Trillion HP. He also has all of the tricks listed above and more. He's so hard, that even the best players on every server consider beating him on anything but Easy or Normal impossible.
  • Marathon Level: The Tower of Oz combines this with Brutal Bonus Level, it is hard. The fifty-floor tower consists of levels where you have to kill monsters, Jump Quests (some with invisible platforms, mobs, obstacles, or any combination of the three), nasty quizzes, and the Bosses, which are the easy part. What makes the Tower hard is the time limits; run out of time or get killed, you have to start over, and while there are floors where you can rest and pause the time, you can't save. You can increase the overall limit of ten minutes with the Stupid Pills, and upgrade the counter to use more at once using the points you earn, but the Levels also have a sort of time limit, with the Flying Monkey Filbert swooping in to attack you if you spend too much time on one floor.
  • Mascot Mook: Orange Mushrooms and green slimes are featured prominently on the official website and the game's login screen. Ribbon Pigs and Iron Hogs show up a lot, too.
  • Mass Monster Slaughter Sidequest:
    • Either you're committing genocide on the order of hundreds of creatures a quest, or you're collecting random drops at the same rate.
    • The game itself is essentially a supersized version of this trope as endgame is purely about maximizing farming efficiency.
    • Fighting Pink Bean is the last quest in a long quest line that requires slaughtering at least three thousand other monsters, three of them Bosses.
  • Mayfly-December Romance: In Magatia, this was Dr. De Lang's motivation for trying to extend his lifespan; even his daughter Keeny would have outlived him by a mile, to say nothing of his fairy wife Phyllia. It drove him to do anything to live longer, including studying notes from the Black Magician. Unfortunately, not only did he learn far too much about Magatia's origins, but his experiment failed spectacularly, caused an explosion that threatened the town's livelihood, and made himself and his family into social outcasts.
  • Mechanically Unusual Fighter: Many, many classes.
    • Angelic Buster was born without magic, meaning she has no MP bar. However, her skills use the Soul Battery system, meaning you can use a skill multiple times in a row so long as it lands a “recharge” on hit. If you fail to recharge, you just use a different skill.
    • Aran casts his skills by using MP and combo count, which is obtained by hitting the enemy with his melee swings.
    • Beast Tamer can summon four animal guardians. You can only have the skills and passives of whichever animal guardian is currently summoned.
    • Demon Slayer casts skills from Demon Fury, which is obtained by using the regular attack, Demon Lash.
    • Demon Avenger’s damage isn’t based on STR, it’s based on Max HP. His buffs generally increase his Max HP Tenfold, and his skills cast using a percentage of his HP.
    • Kanna’s MP is locked at a maximum of 100. It recharges 50 MP every few seconds, but the only skills that use MP are sub-weapons.
    • Xenon uses a battery system. Energy is recharged upon successful attacks and dodges or the emergency recharge skill. It’s used to cast certain buffs and fire missiles.
    • Thunder Breakers can Lag Cancel using … every skill.
    • Zero is played as two characters. When using an attack as the other character, the character you were originally playing as sticks around for a few seconds. During that time, using an attack will have both characters fight. Additionally, attacks use Time Force, which regenerates so quickly that it’s never a problem.
  • Merchandise-Driven: Strangely subverted, despite the game's 10-year life span. There isn't much tie-in merchandise out, and what little there is has mostly been released in South Korea only- a few 3D papercraft town environments, art books and a small handful of building block sets by Oxford. The only US-released tie-in was the short-lived card game, which most players only bought for the in-game item codes(and since those codes no longer work, the cards themselves are all but worthless these days).
  • Min-Maxing: Putting all EXP towards the few stats crucial to the specific job class. EVERY class has some sort of formula for stat allocation. Typically, secondary stats should be some function of the player's level, while the rest goes into the primary stat. Don't even THINK about putting anything in HP or MP, let alone any other stats.
    • As of Tempest, this has now been simplified to its logical extreme: You only need your primary stat for any and all equipment purposes. Combined with Global's simplified accuracy formula, there is practically no purpose whatsoever for putting points into any other stat unless making an HP build or reaching the natural stat limit of 999 (which otherwise happens a few levels below 200). The Auto Distribute Stat button has been adjusted accordingly, making the whole stat system little more than vestige.
  • Modesty Towel: Surprisingly, one of the better items to have while Min-Maxing. It gives you lots of speed.
  • Mon: Monsters will sometimes drop a card that can be picked up and clicked on in your inventory's use tab so you can summon that monster as your familiar to have it attack enemies and give you a buff, after which it can be summoned for several minutes before its Vitality meter empties and can get more Vitality meters if you use multiples of its card (to a maximum of 3). The chances of cards dropping is high in lower levels but at higher levels you need to kill about a million of that monster to get one.
  • Monster Compendium: Monsters usually drop a card (larger than the above-mentioned familiar cards) that when picked up stores information on that monster in your Crusader Codex and allows you to see their HP, MP, and drops.
  • Money Sink:
    • Getting the class mounts costs ridiculous amounts of money. Made worse with Evan, who has to pay for it multiple times as Mir grows larger!
    • Taxi and Cabs can transport you to various maps and dungeons for a((n) ever increasing) fee. Also there's a quest when an NPC straight up asks for 5 million mesos for very little justification. There's also a much higher-leveled quest that requires you to drop *50* million mesos for no apparent reason.
  • Money Spider: Possibly every monster save for the leprechaun, who actually has reason to carry money.
  • Monster Is a Mommy: Mushmom, Zombie Mushmom, and Mushdad/Blue Mushmom.
  • Mook Horror Show: Due to the very fast respawn rate, Level Grinding effectively turns into this, with hundreds of adorable little mushrooms or slimes or piggies entering the scene and being instantly mass-murdered by Herd Hitting Attacks.
  • More Dakka: All ranged classes except Cannoneers with various degrees. Turned Up to Eleven with Bowmasters, who can drop an Arrow Blaster while firing Hurricane – both fire so rapidly that there’s no gap between the arrows.
  • Ms. Fanservice:
    • Kyrin is perhaps the closest example, given the chibi style of the graphics. She wears a tube top, leather skirt with a slit up the side, and thigh-high black boots.
    • Although Shumi, the dumb blonde schoolgirl, (as well as a few other characters that share a similar sprite) sits with her butt practically flashing the camera. If the sprites were any more detailed, the game would have a stricter rating thanks to Ms. Panty Shot.
    • One NPC sprite is of a woman in a pink Playboy bunny outfit, complete with large breasts. This one was present since the early days of the game.
    • Friend Story's female Aran not only has large breasts, but she wears her school uniform with the tie undone and her shirt a bit unbuttoned.
  • Muck Monster: Lots of these, particularly in the Gold Beach Theme Dungeon, where they have a Boss, Captain Darkgoo.
  • Multiple Life Bars: Alpha and Beta don’t share HP bars and regenerate 4% of their maximum HP per second when out of combat.
  • Murderous Mannequin: These appear as enemies in the Kerning Square area.
  • Near Villain Victory: Black Heaven was very close to bombing Edelstein, and the player character would have died if not for Shinsoo's Tear.
  • Nerf: Maplestory has gotten infamous for this in recent years, with their version of balancing basically being "let's lower everyone's damage output because certain classes are a bit too strong!" Needless to say, this has garnered negative criticism, with the displeased calling the game "Nerfstory" due to just how prevalent this trope has become.
  • Nice Hat: The GMs's hat not only identifies them as GMs, but is also what gives them their insane stats. Also the extremely high statistic hats such as the Zakum helmet; although arguably they don't look very nice depending on the person.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • According to the stories on the official website, the Cygnus Knights do this twice. First, they invaded Von Leon's castle, causing him to turn to the Black Mage for vengeance. In the future, Cygnus also steps right into the Black Mage's trap because she wants to find the Tree of Life for her knights.
    • The pre-Big Bang Alien Invasion event focused on Dr. Bing, an Omega Sector researcher, developing a crystal in the future that basically powered all technology and kept the planet safe. That is until his past self-peeks into the future, sees this crystal and takes samples to study it. This ruins the environment terribly and forces the population into protective suits, some of which are sent to the past to recover the stolen crystals and repair the damage... only to be mistaken as alien invaders which prompts the Omega Sector to send adventurers into the future to steal even MORE crystals, assuming the damage to have been caused by an invasion in the future, making things even worse! The end result relied on time travel and changing history to avoid the entire mess.
    • Everyone’s afraid of the Black Mage. Guess who actually ended up releasing the Black Mage from his seal? The explorer.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot:
    • Zombie mushrooms, giant zombie mushrooms, ghost pirates, toy octopi riding LEGO generic block golems, just to list a few.
    • The transportation from one continent to another continent. There's a boat-plane-train with candy paint and swirly propellers!
    • Papulatus, a ghost vegetable thing riding a robotic clock that casts magic. That's pretty crazy.
  • No Arc in Archery: Arrows (every projectile, really) only ever fire straight, or +- 30-or-so degrees. The only exception is Wind Archer’s Trifling Wind, which likes to perform shuttle loops before actually targeting anything.
  • No Ending:
    • Previously, the Silent Crusade questline, which ends with your partner quitting offscreen before you can make your confession to him/her, and you never see him/her again after that.
    • Played straight with Zero’s plotline. When everything is all good and done, and you enter the Maple World, you talk to the Black Mage’s commanders… and that’s it. Everything plays out normally.
    • Thanks to Jett being region-exclusive, her plot sort of ends with Burke's death and the recovery of the core. The fact her quest opened with the death of her king and several planets worth of bounty hunters after her is never brought up again, the one bounty hunter after her in the early promo videos never shows up in the game at all, and even the revamp didn't explain any of this. Furthermore, due to being region exclusive, she never factors into the main plot at all.
    • Like most MMORPG games, MapleStory as a whole has no real way to "win"; each group of players bring some closure to their storylines in some way, but the Black Mage is still out there, and many loose ends still remain unresolved as yet, as more updates are added.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Right before the Black Mage was sealed, he punished the heroes who fought him by casting a curse on them. Given, he is a villain.
  • No Hugging, No Kissing: Several female characters, including Cygnus, flirt with your player (even if you have a female one) but they never get very close. Unless you unlock the first Hidden Mission in FriendStory, where Cygnus catches the player by surprise and gives him/her one, earning you a special title.
  • Non-Human Sidekick:
    • The purchasable Pets. They can do various tricks when given verbal commands, and level up, learning more tricks and gaining the ability to talk. They're fundamentally all the same, though, with specific tricks they can do at certain levels, and after enough grinding, typically gain the ability to speak English. They automatically pick up all items and mesos. Handy!
    • Cannoneer pals around with a handy monkey in a propeller cap who performs attacks with the character.
    • Eskelade, who is a dragon inside an arm ring.
  • Noob Cave: Everyone has a different one. Maple Island, Ereve, Rien, Momijigaoka, etc. Subverted with Edelstein, the Resistance starting area, which is a very large city that still has quests and training locations available well into a character's third job, presumably due to there not being enough room on the map to put it anywhere near Victoria Island.
  • Noodle Incident: It's been revealed in the Fall 2012 "Red Leaf High" event that Athena Pierce once "ate an entire donkey".
  • Nostalgia Level: The Korean Folk Town used to be a regular town until it was shut down as of the Elite Heroes/You and I update. Since then, it was brought back in an event as a Nostalgia Level where the player could fight Mushmom, the first Boss of the pre-Big Bang, fight mobs on the old grinding areas (using limited skills) and buy weapons and armor from pre Big Bang.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: In the original Friendstory, the Motes and Troublemakers were just pests, doing little but pilfering things and causing mischief, although it was hinted in Chapter 5 that they likely worked for the Black Mage. When Kinesis shows up, however, there's no more "likely" about it, and they become far more deadly, attacking a subway and threatening lives, eventually leading to the sinkhole appearing.

    O-S 
  • Oktoberfest: The Beer Tent, an event held during actual Oktoberfest weeks. The beer served is alcohol-free, but some of the Mushrooms found around the place have somehow gotten drunk on it anyway.
  • Only Idiots May Pass: The Maple Tree is convinced that intelligence made the monsters of Maple World evil, so the Tower of Oz has a security system that prevents any but stupid people from staying inside long. (There's a mechanism to turn this off, but she has forgotten the password. (And she's already tried her birth date and phone number.) In game terms, you have to use Stupid Pills to increase the time limit; the more powerful the Stupid Pills, the more time you have. (This is only in GMS, by the way; in the original version, Oz is a dream world, and the player takes different pills to extend the time limit.)
  • Only Smart People May Pass: Mir’s math quiz in Mirror Leafre. Also, the quiz to go on a date with PST during the final chapter of Friend Story.
  • On-Site Procurement: Kind of. NPC stores generally don’t sell equipment above level 50, but there are so many classes, so finding equipment of your level AND class was too difficult. Equipment is much more common now, allowing most players to find on average one piece every one and a half minutes of combat.
  • One Stat to Rule Them All: You only ever put AP into your main stat. There was a time where you would need a secondary stat, but most players would only put it at five points above your level, and some people didn’t even use it at all.
  • One-Winged Angel: Von Leon of the Lion King's Castle.
  • Organ Drops: Some monsters have particularly gruesome drops, like the Evil Eyes who sometimes drop their tails and their bleeding eyeballs upon death.
  • Orgasmic Combat: Queen Cygnus, SERIOUSLY. Listen to her voice while fighting her.
  • Our Hero Is Dead: Near the end of Black Heaven, the Player character gets poisoned by Gelimer, and the antidote gets destroyed right in front of them. The Hero really does die, but Shinsoo's Tear is used to resurrect them at the very end.
  • Palette Swap:
    • Pretty much played straight with older monsters but there are subversions. But it's not avoided with many equip items - some armors and weapons can have up to 4 different color versions, each with specialized stats... like 1 less STR and 1 more DEX! Yay?
    • Equips added after pirates were released come in one uniform color which includes all pirate equipment and most items beyond level 100.
  • Pamphlet Shelf: Averted. The books in Zero’s Temple are randomly selected in a pool of about 20.
  • People of Hair Color: The living forms of the Goddess Tears all share the common trait of blue hair, or in one character's case, blue fur. Once Alpha and Beta figure this out and start looking specifically for blue-haired people, the Shadow Knights plant fakes who have blue hair and fake time magic, causing the duo to waste time on them. After Arsen ends up hospitalized, his hair becomes brown, presumably its natural color.
  • Player Party:
    • Encouraged with EXP boosts while partying, and mandatory in some areas, like the Root Abyss. However, when one or two people can clear an entire map by themselves between spawns, more people are generally not welcome. Most monsters have not kept up with the players' Power Creep over the years, so this issue comes up regularly now.
    • Party Play Zones specifically enforce this, typically featuring very monsters with very high HP to require multiple players working together to defeat efficiently and even higher bonus exp boosts, the most popular of these featured a 50% per member bonus, for a staggering 250% exp bonus for a full party.
  • Player Versus Player: After years of bickering about the lack of this trope, it finally gets introduced in the Chaos Update. Years later … no one ever does it.
  • Plot Coupon That Does Something: Goddess’ Teardrops increase the level of Rhinne’s Blessing, rather than level.
  • Plot Hole: Thanks to region-exclusive content never being worked into the main plot, certain story elements that seem like they should happen are never considered, such as "why didn't they just use Jett's orbital space ship to blast Black Heaven out of the sky?"
  • Point Of No Continues: With some bosses, like Von Leon and Normal Hilla, you can rejoin the battle if you're killed, so long as there's time left. Other Bosses, however, have a Death Counter, meaning that you respawn in the arena when killed, but only a limited number of times; when you run out, your character is either kicked out of the arena or does not respawn until the battle ends. Some hard bosses like Pink Bean don't have this at all, and the only way to continue the battle if your character dies is with special items like a Wheel of Destiny or specific Skills like a Bishop's Resurrect and Heaven's Door are useful in such battles.
  • Pop Quiz:
    • Given during Friend Story. Requires knowledge of MapleStory, painters, and musicians for some reason. (Justified as Friend Story is set on Earth, so they'd likely be asking such questions. The former makes no plot sense whatsoever. Although since there are only so many questions and you can repeat this part infinitely, even if you don't know the answer, you can just keep playing until you guess everything.
    • Also given by Boss Kitty in Showa Town for one quest (He requires 300 Fried Chickens first, and if you miss a question, you need 300 more.) Here the questions all pertain to the game.
  • Power Floats: Levitation and flight is a common villain ability; all the Black Mages commanders except Damien can do it, along with Francis, Baroq, and Elenor. They even tend to levitate - rather than walk - during cutscenes.
  • Power-Up Mount: Averted. You can’t attack while on a mount, unless it’s Wild Hunter’s jaguar. Although many mounts provide you with some kind of jump skill, most class’ inherent jump skills are already faster.
  • Prestige Class: For example, magicians. They start as Magicians, then can become a Fire/Poison Wizard, Ice/Lightning Wizard, or a Cleric. The next job advancement goes onto Mages or Priests, then Arch Mages or Bishop. And that's just for Magicians.
  • Product Placement: KoreanMS and JapanMS used to have Coke Town, a Coca-Cola themed area. It didn't last long.
  • Purely Aesthetic Gender:
    • Anyone can do any job save for Mihile who is always male and Angelic Buster who is always female. Gender-specific armor for females tends to be cheaper due to lower demand.
    • This is partly because all players use the exact same base body sprites. Gender features are usually added by the face and hair overlays, and details such as breasts are hinted at by the way armor or clothing is drawn.
    • This occasionally falls under the variant of the writers just not caring that the character might be a different gender than expected, usually female instead of male. In some questlines, the NPCs involved will assume your character is male and treat them as such, playing up to masculine ideals, flirting with them despite being female themselves (this being a game where player marriages can't be between characters of the same sex), or outright using male pronouns. The Kaiser storyline is especially bad about this and does all three within the first thirty levels.
  • Rainbow Pimp Gear:
    • Someone who's truly Min-Maxing will probably be wearing a bathrobe, a Zakum Helmet (Complete with glow), some white gloves (with or without lightning bolt), shoes, earrings, and cape. Needless to say, NX items are recommended.
    • Big stone helmet with flashy glow, towel around the waist, pink cape. The standard adventuring gear amongst funded users. Animal mask optional.
    • This has been averted with the advent of the potential system, which gives bigger stat bonuses on higher-leveled gear.
    • Thanks to the Mysterious Anvil item, it's now possible to make any item you wear look like any other item of that type. Cue level 100 players in level 140 Empress gear and level 190 players in beginner clothing.
  • Rain of Arrows: Played straight with the Ranger's Arrow Rain skill. Inverted with the Sniper's Arrow Eruption skill (which has arrows shooting upwards from the ground instead).
    • Hayato’s Summer Rain skill is this. Additionally, Explorer-Thieves can get it as well.
    • Wind Archer's Chilling Fusillade also qualifies for this trope. The best part? It can be controlled.
  • Random Encounter: Crimson Balrog. Escape is recommended if you aren't trying to fight it.
  • Randomly Drops: See entry on that page for details.
    • There seems to be a serious case of Not Available In Stores going on for all weapons and armor, past about level 35, making the game particularly painful in the case of item hacks.
      • Averted with the introduction of shops in Orbis that sells equips to level 50 and Sakura Castle Theme Dungeon that sells equips up to level 70
  • Recurring Character:
    • Athena Pierce (also known as Helena), the main Bowman job instructor, has been frequently appearing as a plot-important character in Korean time travel expansions. Odd considering how the main job instructors for the other four classes are not featured as often, but not surprising since Athena is an elf who appears to have spent her entire life fighting the Black Mage In the Alliance cutscenes and the Explorer storylines she is the representative for the entire Explorer Guild.
    • Athena Pierce is said to be over 1000 years old. By contrast, Dark Lord is a title, not a name. It's been mentioned in-game that the current one is the ninth to hold the title. The previous one was killed. The other two may have had their lives extended by magic but are showing their ages. Kyrin is rather young, having only recently founded the Pirates and was raised from childhood by Athena Pierce until running away as a teenager.
      • The Mercedes patch plot revealed that Athena Pierce is not only old, but she's the only elf (besides her late father) that was not frozen solid with everyone else in Elluel. Not only is she ancient but she's been the only one of her kind that's been around for centuries.
    • Dances With Balrog DOES show up in the Ellin Forest area... although he's named Crawls With Balrog because he's only an infant.
  • Regenerating Health / Regenerating Mana: Depends on one’s class. By default, you can heal 10 HP by just standing there, which is next to nothing, but some classes such as Mercedes and Buccaneer have innate HP and MP regeneration that even works during combat.
  • Region Coding:
    • As mentioned before, the game is available in various regions. Some regions will get stuff other regions will not. But the annoying thing out of all this is, if you meet someone at a forum and he/she is in a different region, you can never play together, ever. Did we mention that Nexon makes it as hard as possible for you to get a global account (involving IP blocks that requires the use of VPN - as open proxies does not work - to get to the registration page) if a local version of the game exists in your region?
    • Made worse with region-based classes. Given, GMS generally gets them all anyways. Jett and Zen used to play the exact same, however, Jett was recently revamped. The Sengoku were meant to be JMS only, but GMS got them anyways.
  • Relationship Values: You and your pets.
  • Remember the New Guy: Happens a lot. Examples:
    • In Black Heaven, you are often accompanied by three bird-like NPCs named Dolpi, Gupi, and Lepi. The dialogue suggests you've known them for a long time, although this is the first time they appear.
    • In the Madhouse scenario, released in the 2015 Halloween event, your goal is to rescue an old friend named Chloe from a Bedlam House, and some other friend - Eddie, Marilyn, Chu, Lopez, and Sean - come with you. Thing is, all six NPCs don't appear in any previous scenario, despite dialogue that suggests you've known them for a long time.
  • Repeatable Quest: They did not introduce these until later versions despite growing and rather vocal demand for them in the early days.
  • Resting Recovery: It doesn’t mean much, but chairs do heal more HP than simply standing there.
  • Retcon:
    • Done several times, mostly with the expanding story of the Black Mage. Mercedes used a bow in Aran's flashback, before it was revealed that she used Dual Bowguns. Freud/Freed was also having stated to have fled the battle to protect Afrien's egg, which eventually became Mir, Evan's dragon. However, in the new Silent Crusade quest line he and his dragon Afrien shown to have left early to block off the moment in time when the Black Mage was sealed, using all his energy.
    • Cassandra, the fortune telling NPC used in various event quests, was originally a middle-aged woman with gray hair... now she's a young woman with blonde hair. No explanation, of course.
    • Hey, remember the Silent Crusade quest chain? The one where your character falls in love with a member of the Silent Crusade? As of the Alliance Rising patch of February 2012... well, none of it happened. They've reset the entire Silent Crusade story with a new quest series.
      • As of 2014 they've reset it again. Only... they didn't change the dialogue this time around. Things get really confusing when an NPC tells you to go to Ludibrium when your mark is in the Nihal Desert.
    • Ellin Forest is full of retcons or outright mistakes. It's a mess! Despite its age, the recent revamp changed nothing and made things even worse with no attempt to fix things.
      • The expedition is said to have fled Orbis and crash landed on Victoria Island right after the battle of the five heroes against the Black Mage. Athena Pierce is a teenager and talks about her home as if it were in Orbis. As of the Mercedes patch, Athena was only five years old when the battle happened and the Elf hometown is on Victoria Island, not far from Ellinia.
      • Athena and Yuris describe themselves as fairies, despite being elves.
      • Yuris states she's pregnant and is considering the name "Kyrin" for her daughter. Much of the other game lore suggests Kyrin isn't quite that old.
      • Yuris is an elf, despite Mercedes lore suggesting Athena Pierce and her father were the only two elves who left Elluel before the battle with the Black Mage.
    • Little attempt is made to make a coherent story without retcons. It may be a mixture of poor translations, or they just don't care.
    • Prior to the Pirate revamp, Sharyl, prince of whales lived in the bottom of the Nautilus and had a one-sided crush on Kyrin. Now he's merely a visiting dignitary who you will find several maps over.
    • In prerelease material and later, Aran was consistently played up as being canonically male, including his appearance in Silent Crusade Reloaded and as a chair. Then, between updates, Aran was inexplicably retconned to be female.
      • To make matters worse, the male version is still occasionally used in certain scenes(the Maple Alliance meeting cutscenes even have two versions of the still shot with Aran). The licensed Oxford building block set uses the male artwork on the box, even though the minifigure is female. Then just to confuse things further, leaked promo artwork for future Friend Story expansions suggests they will be 2 separate characters in the spinoff. Worse still, the character design director merely gave Aran's gender as "Aran" when prompted to provide the canon gender.
    • Future Henesys was originally just that- 20 years into the future after the Black Mage had escaped. This was later retconned into being an illusion world created by a mystical girl that the Back Mage recruited to demoralize Maple World.
    • Red Leaf High was renamed to Maple Leaf High, for no apparent reason.
    • Previously we were hinted at, or outright shown, that Maple World prior to the Black Mage's rise to power was somewhat medieval with a heavy aesthetic based on magic. Come MapleStory 2, set during that time, which has modern cities, cars, 2010 and later type touch screen cell phones, MP3 players, etc. At this point, the writers do not give a damn.
  • Revive Kills Zombie: Although not invoked directly, heal will target enemies, but only damage undead.
  • Reward from Nowhere: Low-level hunting quests in Henesys and mid/low-level quests in the Excavation Site allow you to receive a reward from a sign.
  • Romeo and Juliet: Plot used as a party quest in Magatia, where two alchemist groups (debating about the use of machinery in alchemy) are having a bitter rivalry.
  • Scunthorpe Problem: Ever tried matching wits with MapleStory's swear filter? The October 2013 update managed to make communicating in the game almost impossible. Nexon decided to add several HUNDRED new entries to their swear filter, ranging from words people would want to use in-game such as "GM" or "event" to odd entries such as "Blink-182". Not only was the filter expanded with many things that don't belong but it's made chatting with other players an incredible chore.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can / Epic Fail: The explorer plot quest unleashes this.
  • Secret Character: To some players, Zero. You have to be level 100 to even make one, but that’s the easy part. Zeros are generally locked and can only be made as some part of an event. Additionally, their plot and level design is laid out in such a way that they’re generally in their own little world from level 100 to 180. This makes them rare to some players.
  • Self-Imposed Challenge: Some people choose to remain as a Beginner even after Level 10.
  • Self-Referential Humor: Upon reaching his 2nd job advancement, Phantom comments that he remembers it taking much longer to reach level 30 years ago.
  • Set a Mook to Kill a Mook: The familiar system allows you to do this, but not very feasibly – they do fixed damage, and not very much of it.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Subverted and Inverted. The Bad Future scenario of Gate to the Future might lead the player to think this is the character's goal. In truth, the scenario is a nightmare the Black Mage is inflicting on Maple World residents in an attempt to enact the opposite Trope and make sure it happens.
  • Shamu Fu: Thunder Breakers can now punch people by using sharks. Before Cygnus Reborn, they could also throw them. Ultimate Explorer pirates can still throw the sharks, but they don’t do much damage.
  • Shifting Sand Land: Ariant.
  • Short-Range Long-Range Weapon:
    • The Bows, Crossbows, Guns, and Claws (used for Throwing Stars), when compared in scale to characters, seem to only fly a few feet before the relevant projectile simply vanishes from existence. Justified overall in that there's no way to usefully have arrows and bullets fly the tens/hundreds of feet they could travel (like in real life), and further justified with the Throwing Stars and Claws in that those are meant to be used at similar ranges in real life to their in-game counterpart.
    • Pirates hold their handguns with one hand, and don't aim, so they probably only could reasonably hit monsters from that distance. Bow-wielding Hunters and Wind Archers seem to pull the bowstring back for only a little, so an arrow would be able to only fly a couple dozen feet at best anyway. Played straight for crossbowman, though.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Some ninja gear and attacks bring to mind Naruto. Cash Shop items have referenced anything from Korean mythology to movies to a certain anime about "befriending" others (Check the Cash Shop, and you will find Fate's Bardiche and Signum's Sword... somewhat.) Monsters have been anywhere from Shout Outs to affectionate parodies to "isn't this from another game?".
    • The look of the game is very similar to the Wonder Boy series (especially the Monster World games).
    • The Evan class is highly reminiscent of the Eragon series. Everything from the character starting out as a farmer, to the symbol appearing on the character's hand, to finding the egg in the woods which hatches a blue dragon basically screams ERAGON. (In the first Eragon book, the main character even uses the alias of "Evan" at one point.)
      • What's odd is that some Korean players theorized that the class was based on some Korean indie fantasy novel/comic book/whatever.
    • In the Omega Sector, we have the Mesorangers and an NPC who is a Will Smith look-alike that oddly enough sports a black suit and sunglasses. Not to mention that you find these NPCs in a level where you fight aliens...
    • The Mushroom Castle quest chain is a heavy example of this. Ghostie is Phantom. Mikhail uses Mihile’s KMS name and says butchered Knight Solaire quotes. Anne Nah is Anna from Frozen, down to the point of singing hit song “Do you want to build a mushroom-man”. Bowser. HIMSELF is there! Oh, and it’s always at war with A tyrannical penguin.
    • Someone in the Nautilus says "This message brought to you by the letter ARRRRR!"
    • While it's not as tight of a fit as the Evan/Eragon connection, Aran awakening in the trailer is very reminiscent of Aang's awakening in Avatar The Last Airbender.
    • There is also an item in the Cash Shop called the Alchemist Overall. It consists of a red jacket, black pants and black shirt.
      • There is also an outfit that resembles Winry's work outfit, and headgear that looks like Alphonse's helmet.
      • Now there's the Johnny Depp's Mad Hatter's hat, with red wig and blue face shadow, from Tim Burton's remake of Alice in Wonderland.
    • Starling and Crow, the two NPCs of the Silent Crusade, were name Sheryl and Crow in Tespia prior to the public release. No doubt this was changed to avoid some legal hassles with the singer.
    • A robot NPC in New Leaf City is named T-1337.
    • It may be a coincidence, but both adamantium ore and plates are orange. An episode of the old 1990s Fox X-Men cartoon showed off a solid bar of adamantium as a scientist was showing off to Wolverine prior to his infusion. It was orange. Though the inclusion of adamantium as a metal could also count as a Shout Out.
    • Also, the concept art for Mercedes looks like every elf in Lord of the Rings. And did I mention that she's an archer and the Elf Queen? Here and here. Definitely a Shout Out to Legolas.
    • The various anime crossover projects between Nexon and Aniplex... Here's an example.
    • Ignoring the fact that the homes are meant for humans, almost every house in Henesys looks like the homes of the Smurfs.
    • In Fantasy Theme World, there's a quest where you have to find a confused, lost alien's communication device. When you do, the quest completion message says, "Hopefully he can phone home."
    • The Silent Crusade storyline (2012 version) centers around portals opening across the land that the player must enter and fight monsters, a secretive group of heroes that recruits the player to fight an evil threatening the land, and an ancient wizard who has returned and plans to release an unstoppable villain onto the world, said villain being the wizard's close mentor and leader.
      • The final path in the Temple Of Time is called the "Road To Oblivion" and contains burning piles of lava rock everywhere. And a couple of final gates at the end of it look like lawyer-friendly copies of Oblivion gates, they're just missing the pointed corners.
      • The Dragon Tail Mage Robe, a level 140 armor for mage characters, looks like a black recolor of the robe worn by Uriel and Martin Septim.
      • Athena Pierce is now warning people of taking an arrow to the knee in her training center.
      • When Dances With Balrog quizzes the player on what's being built in Twilight Perion, one of the possible choices is "a giant siege weapon", a reference to the weapon the Daedra used to destroy Kvatch and almost destroyed Bruma with.
      • The Nova race are half-human, half-dragon people. They were included not long after Skyrim was released.
    • Mar the fairy, in Red Leaf High, humming out "dooby dooby doo" in her random dialog.
    • Jett's former partner is named Burke, referencing Carter Burke from the film Aliens.
    • During the Kanna storyline multiple figures from the Sengoku period will show up as NPCs and give quests. Among them is a female Uesugi Kenshin. While there are theories that Kenshin was female, the design bears some semblance to that of an infamous strategy games rendition of a female Kenshin.
    • Humanoid A, an android in the alchemist town of Magatia is probably based on Bicentennial Man.
    • A hairstyle available exclusively through a random hairstyle coupon in Kerning City resembles that of Rukia from Bleach.
    • Demon Slayer looks a bit like Alucard from Castlevania, mixed with a bit of the Elder Scrolls Dremora race. Demon Avenger only makes him look more like Alucard.
    • The scene of the Crystal Garden meeting Black Heaven for the first time evokes a similar scene in Star Trek: The Next Generation when the Enterprise D met the Borg Cube. Topped off by the interior of Black Heaven having creepy tech patterns with green glowing lights amidst poorly-lit rooms everywhere.
    • The Ludibrium airship music is titled "Flying In A Blue Dream".
  • Shows Damage: The boss Zakum slowly breaks down and falls apart as its health drops.
    • Bergamot and Nibelung, two giant robots from Neo City, do this- each is actually 3 enemies, killing one switches to the next copy, and so on. Their attacks are affected based on which part blows up.
  • Simultaneous Arcs: Aran's and Evan's storylines are very clearly happening at around the same time as each other. Evan helps Francis recover from his fight with Aran and Aran cleans up the giant Nependeaths Evan is tricked into planting.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World:
    • El Nath. Sliding can be prevented by buying and equipping snow boots.
    • There is a scroll that can also add "spikes" to any pair of shoes as well as a scroll that adds cold protection to capes (regardless of available slots). During the Maker skill, they had to be crafted. Now they merely drop from monsters and Maker was removed in favor of Professions. Though it's only a 10% scroll, so good luck with that.
    • Arans can exploit the sliding. The ice carries momentum and the Arans can use a quick jump boost to make them slide really fast. When it wears off... they're still sliding pretty fast.
      • Though with a bit of practice, almost anyone can use the sliding to their advantage.
    • Outlaws (3rd job Gunlsingers) get this as well in the form of Recoil Shot, though its a backwards leap and deals damage to enemies.
  • The Slow Path: Aran travels back in time to the Altaire Camp to find the Heroes left an important letter with Athena Pierce. Unable to take it then due to time travel reasons, Athena (correctly) assumes she will still be alive in Aran's time and promises to save the letter until then.
  • Solo Class:
    • Really, every class. At this point, every class gets some amount of in-combat and out-of-combat mobility. Low HP or MP can be offset by the character card system, accessories, and link skills. However, it wasn’t always that way…
    • When MapleStory had builds, clerics were possibly the only class that it actually makes some sense to turn into a HP magician, since their Magic Guard drains from the one thing their heal can't restore, instead of healing them directly. Nevertheless, this pretty much has to be supplemented with HP equips and done by someone who really knows what they're doing, or you end up with a class that takes roughly 30 hits to kill enemies of an equal level.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance:
    • From the cheery (and catchy!) music of the Swamp of Despair to calming underwater cave music while bone fish kill you horribly.
    • Most places have this, mostly because the music in the game is so beautiful. There are a few exceptions, like for Zakum and Horntail. Otherwise, feel free to listen to the music as you spam your HP potions because you're dying.
  • Spam Attack:
    • Tons. Dual Blade is the worst offender of this, performing so many slashes and stabs that you can’t really see this.
    • Buccaneer’s Octopunch hits eight times, nine with the hyper skill. Thunder Breaker’s annihilate can hit fourteen times, but there’s only one punch.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: In the Romeo and Juliet scenario, the two young lovers survive and are reunited, provided the heroes succeed in their mission.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Erev/Ereve/Ereb. Alos, Freud/Freed
  • Spikes Of Doom: Spikes, thorns, and brambles. Especially terrible during jump quests. However, if you hit them at the right angle, you can damage boost forward.
  • Springs Springs Everywhere
  • Stance System: Hayato’s stance increases his combat statistics while draining his MP.
  • The Stinger: After the credits for Black Heaven, a cutscene shows Arkaryum and the Black Mage discussing Gelimer's defeat and the seal stones being reborn in a new enemy (the player). The Black Mage decides to send out Damien, and he's more than ready with an army of what's most likely other demons. Another quest after Black Heaven shows that Francis and Orca escaped from Black Heaven before it's destruction and Orca meets Guwaru, the King of Spirits, and despite having defied their law by gaining a human body, asks him to help her unlock the true power of a spirit of darkness.
  • Squishy Wizard: Apart from Fort-mode Beast Tamer, Magicians generally all have low HP. However, this is averted in that there are many ways to get around it. Every Magician class (well, except for Beast Tamer, who has medium HP anyways) has a skill to take damage into MP. It’s made even better by using the Mana Eater skill that explorer magicians tend to have, which lets them siphon MP out of targets (and you do get a nice amount of it). Even so, character cards and accessories can boost your HP by at least a thousand easily.
  • Stable Time Loop: The Silent Crusade plotline eventually leads to the player travelling back in time and becoming the reason the heroes survived the battle with the Black Mage. This means the heroes can go back and time to save themselves.
  • Stance System: Hayato’s stance increases his combat statistics while draining his MP.
  • Stone Wall:
    • Subverted with the Paladin class after the Big Bang patch. They literally have up to eight different skills that directly affects the amount of damage they don't take, plus a dependable self-recovery skill that instantly heals them.
    • ... And their DPS is surprisingly on par with many others even on neutral-element monsters.
  • Stripperiffic: Kyrin(thigh-high boots, skimpy skirt and tube top), Shulynch(cut-off shorts, ripped shirt tied in the front), Hilla(a few straps across her body), to name a few.
  • Sugar Bowl: More like World of Sugar. Every monster is adorable, every female has a high Moe-factor, the environments are bright and whimsical. There are some darker elements (mostly to do with the Black Mage,) but overall this is a child's fairy-tale world.
  • Suicide by Cop: Beta, believing herself to be so thoroughly corrupted that she cannot become the Transcendent of Time, attacks Alpha, hoping that he will kill her in self-defense so that he can go on to become the Transcendent. Alpha (who remains in the player's control) does fight back, but he uses non-lethal force and talks her down from her attempted suicide.
  • Super-Deformed: The graphics in general.
  • Springs Springs Everywhere
  • Super Move Portrait Attack: Hayato, Kanna, and Zero.

    T-Z 
  • Take That: The Singapore map may be a Take That aimed at the real Singapore; most of the Quests deal with fighting dirty monsters who in some way pollute the place and spread trash, and one Quest Giver is a cop who justifies the quests as community service for littering (which you didn't do). There's even a fetch quest that involves picking up monster droppings. This is all likely a reference to Singapore's draconian laws against littering, probably.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: Averted. Don’t try to turn in quests if you’re not in a safe area.
  • A Taste of Power / Teased with Awesome: Many classes start you off as a level 250 character and remap the attack button to your main attack.
  • This Banana Is Armed: How weird do you want it? Available weapons have included huge flowers, umbrellas, shish-kebab skewers, surfboards, and possibly even actual bananas. If an object is shaped like the weapon it's supposed to emulate (and sometimes even if it isn't) the characters in this game can use it as such.
  • This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman: A very old version of the Ludibrium Party Quest required a character with maxed-out range bonuses, which, at the time, was archers only.
  • Tier System: Rare, Epic, Unique, Legendary.
  • Time Stands Still: One of Zero’s Transcendent skills allow you to stop time, locking your health bar in place and making you invincible.
  • Time Trial: All of the Mirror Dungeons track your fastest time.
  • Timed Mission:
    • There’s no reason for said dungeons to have a time limit. Many boss raid fights have a time limit of one hour... which is a lot given that most inexperienced players fall within the first few minutes. It's not that long for the later boss raids, where the bosses have billions of HP.
    • There's also a hidden one in the Balrog raid. If 120,000 damage isn't dealt to the boss before five minutes pass (not very hard in a five man party of Level 65-100 players), everyone is booted back to the lobby and they're forced to start over. This is meant to discourage the players from simply waiting out the first phase, as the damage doesn't transfer over to the second phase.
  • Title Theme Drop: Whenever Wizet comes out with a promotional video and song, it plays before the login screen (but can be clicked to skip). One of these was the RED Promotional Video, which is also played during Friend Story when Francis decides to… not… stop… stalking…
  • Tornado Move: Kaiser, Buccaneer, and Battle Mage have this.
  • Too Dumb to Live: In Black Heaven, Francis sneaks on the Alliance airship in an attempt to “rescue” Orchid (who he’s in love with) with no plan for getting off; then, after you take him prisoner, he offers to give you the blueprints to Black Heaven if you let him see her (forgetting he’s tied up, and can just take them from him now that you know he has them).
  • Town with a Dark Secret: Magatia was built over the original laboratory of the Black Mage, and discovering it and trying to harness its secrets is what doomed Dr. De Lang. Eventually, the player learns this, and whether he shares this knowledge with one of the two Guilds or his wife is up to the player.
  • Toy Time: Ludibrium. It has plenty of Living Toys of both the Good kind (mostly citizens, merchants, and workers) and evil kind (below in the factory).
  • Tree Top Town: Ellinia.
  • Trick Boss: A couple:
    • In Golden Temple, once you reach the room that contains the Boss, Ravana, you find an exhausted monk who says he has fought Ravana for hours, but cannot continue. Thus, Ravana is injured too, and it’s easy for you to finish him off. To fight the real Ravana, you must find a special version of the key you used to come to the room the first time, and be in a party of two to six players. (And for this Boss, you’re gonna need them.)
    • In Act 2 of Black Heaven there's a variation. You fight a long, grueling Boss Battle against a large airship that everyone assumes is the actual Black Heaven. But after you shoot it down, the real Black Heaven flies out of the clouds, a colossus several hundred times larger than the airship you’re on, surrounded by a fleet of airships like the one you defeated. (Cue Mass "Oh, Crap!" from your forces, and Empress Cygnus ordering a retreat.)
  • The two Bosses of Fantasy Theme Park are called Tanga and Scarboss; however, both of them have both a Normal and an Angry version. (Angry is more dangerous.) When you enter the Boss arena, you always find one Boss, and it might be Normal or Angry, both chosen at random. (However, completing the quest requires defeating one Targa and one Scarboss, and it doesn't matter if either is Normal or Angry.)
  • Tsundere:
    • Starling of the Silent Crusade. "Don't you dare treat me like a little girl.", "Do what you want! I don't care!", "Enough smalltalk. Get to the point.", "Me? Worry about you? Ha!"
    • Crow of the Silent Crusade as well, particularly at the Magatia and Leafre parts of the questline.
    • Well, they were, anyway. That was the original Silent Crusade story... the retconned new version, not so much for either of them.
    • Definitely Lazuli, who says Alpha is only her “murder buddy, that’s all!”
  • Twenty Bear Asses: Infamous for being much more like One Thousand Bear Asses. Almost mitigated by the fact that almost all classes can One-Hit Polykill monsters by the truckload, and stuff respawns almost instantly. But then you realize how long it takes to loot the dead monsters.
  • Underground Monkey: Mushrooms. THE MUSHROOMS. EVERYWHERE. They aren't the only mobs that fits the Trope; Snails, Slimes, Pigs, and Stumps do too. Most of them have a Boss counterpart. (Or more than one.)
  • Under the Sea: Aqua Road. Popular for its Goby Houses and especially for Poison users since it's very easy to move around the map and poison everything.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Evan is lured into joining the Black Wings under the pretense that the organization is doing good for Maple World. In the process he not only does their dirty work but gets the Seal Stone of Ludibrium for them.
  • Vague Age: All of the generic classes seem to be written as KidHeroes of some young age, but the art style and the fact that characters can get married makes it hard to tell.
  • Valley Girl: Cassandra, after the Big Bang retconned her. Her speech and stupidity have gotten progressively worse since then.
  • Vendor Trash: Pretty much every monster drops one. Or more than one. Some are used for quests; some are just useless other than for selling. And some of them can't even be sold as they have no monetary value, or can't be traded.
  • Very Loosely Based on a True Story: Currently, Red Leaf High is run by a Samurai warlord named by Oda Nobunaga who gained control of it by force and now used it to train Maplers to become strong and powerful warriors. Oda Nobunaga was an actual historic figure who did attack a Tendai school during the Sengoku period, as he feared the Tendai would use religious claims to make him unpopular.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: Red Leaf High plays with this; if you every wanted to beat the crud out of a cute school girl (like Hermoninny) and an equally cute teacher (like Kumi) this gives you the chance, although both are tougher than they look.
  • Virtual Paper Doll: Cash Shop items let players dress up their characters.
  • The War Sequence: The Dimensional Invasion Party Quest features a bonus stage that places the party in the middle of a war between two enemy armies. It is very long, the enemies are very strong, and is very rewarding if you can defeat them all before they defeat each other.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Evan. He/she wants what's best for Mir the dragon, and actually has a quest calling Condition for Joining the Secret Organization, where Evan gets duped into following the Black Wings.
  • You Have Researched Breathing: You have to learn how to sit via a subquest. Admittedly, you learn how to use a chair you can sit on anywhere, which heals you over time, but still... it's sitting down.
  • You Killed My Father:
    • The Black Mage killed Athena Pierce's father, which drove her insane and led her to form an army to hunt him, and became almost as bad in the process. People began to fear her, until she was finally forced to confront her darker side in combat (which is the "clone" that Bowman players fight for the 3rd job advancement). Since then she's been the Bowman job instructor and a respected member of Henesys, her efforts redirected into teaching others how to fight and to oppose the Black Mage.
    • This happened AGAIN with Kyrin. Both of her parents were killed by the Black Wings, and she was taken in and raised by Athena Pierce... until Kyrin overheard a conversation and learned what happened, then ran off on her own to hunt down the Black Mage. She eventually returned, as the head of the Pirates, though while she primarily serves as the captain of the Nautilus and Pirate job instructor, there are many in-game hints to suggest she's still hellbent on defeating the Black Mage.
    • In the case of the Demon, it's a "You Killed My Mother and Brother" despite the Black Mage's explicit promise to avoid doing so in exchange for the Demon's services. Subverted with the brother. Damien is currently the Black Mage's newest Commander.
  • Your Magic's No Good Here: The opening for the Kanna class has her in Japan on our world at level 200 with all her abilities. At the end of the tutorial she's transported to Zipangu in Maple World and she has to relearn all her magic.
  • You Shouldn't Know This Already:
    • Manually going into the Resistance HQ to make your first job advancement as a Resistance member won't work; you have to use the invitation that the Headmaster gives you.
    • At one point, Mercedes must track down and speak with Athena Pierce. It doesn't matter how many times the player has seen Athena before, or even if Mercedes has already accepted a completely unrelated quest from her; she still has to ask another NPC about her whereabouts. (Justified in this case, as Mercedes being good at history but totally oblivious to everyday events has no concept about Athena Pierce, despite having passed by her hut at least ten times!)
    • Some of the Twenty Bear Asses quests will deliberately require you to kill the monsters, as well as grabbing Twenty Bear Asses, just so someone can't simply give you the Twenty Bear Asses needed. No this doesn't make any sense in context. The game makes sure you have to work your ass off.
    • Pocket slots... you must reach a Charm level of 30(requiring either lots and lots of fame, charm point bonuses from NX items or high level equips, or lots and lots of cologne item drops), then you must take a rose clipping(found by Herbalists during random digs) to Big Headward in Henesys to receive the slot. Does he magically do anything, doe she stitch a pocket into your clothes? No... he just tells you to put stuff in your pockets. Again... you have to be told by a hairdresser to put stuff into your pockets because it's not obvious to you from the start.
  • Your Soul Is Mine: The heroes can do this to the villains! Well, sort of. When a Boss is defeated, he or she may drop something called a Soul Shard; if you collect ten of the same type, you can combine them into a complete Soul, and socket them into a weapon to create a powerful Soul Weapon. This can be interpreted any number of ways, but it does create a phantom image of the Boss behind or above your character...
  • Your Worst Nightmare: According to Shinsoo, the Bad Future your character encounters in the Gate to the Future is a nightmare caused by the Black Mage using the Dream Stones, and he assures you it is not likely to occur. (We have to trust Shinsoo on this, but seeing as the Black Mage did recruit a girl with the ability to manipulate dreams in the Cygnus Returns update, it makes sense.)
  • Zerg Rush: Dimension Invasion, blackgate City, and Kritias Invasion scenarios involve fighting wave after wave of endlessly spawning mobs.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: Grade B. General Orca of the Black Wings sports this in her full screen shot.
    • Mercedes also sports this.
    • Lilin from Rien sports this in Grade A form.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: The Zombie Survival event, also installed for October 2015 as part of the Halloween Event, is like this. After accepting the quest, picking up one of the infected coins turns your character into a zombie in 30 minutes unless you apply a vaccine, including the Basic Vaccine. After that, you become one of five zombies, each with a specific beneficial buff, for 10 minutes, and becoming human again requires a special vaccine specific to each. After ten minutes, you lose the buff and become a Vector, meaning you cannot become infected again, but spread the infection to other Maplers; this condition requires a cure called a Source Vaccine. Basic and specific vaccines are gotten from killing Disease Control Agents and Disease Control Wagons found in towns, while Source Vaccines are gotten from Titan Zombies, also found in towns. At the end of the event, players who found a vaccination 100 times gain a special prize, and those who were zombified 30 times gain another prize. There's a third prize for those who have undergone 30 consecutive Zombie Examinations. (Seeing as these prizes are special androids, it's only one per player.)

You have read TV Tropes for 3 hours." We suggest you take a break from the Wiki Walk.

Alternative Title(s):

Maple Story