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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 organisation 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.


Maple Story contains examples of:

  • Absurdly High Level Cap: 250. As of this edit, there is currently a whole 5 players on Global MapleStory who have achieved this.
  • 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.
  • Affectionate Parody: Basically almost every single area of the game and several weapons; even the BGM tends to do this.
  • The Ageless: Ever since Maya took the Weird Medicine, she hasn't aged a day up to the point in 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.
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • All in a Row: Averted with pets, that kinda move all over the place.
  • All Swords Are the Same: Heavily averted. Swords, 2H swords, Desperados, Greatswords, Alpha’s Katana, Hayato’s Katana…
  • Alt-itis: Link skills, which are skills specific classes have that can be equipped to another character on the same account and server.
  • 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.
  • Animated Adaptation: The only similarities were the monsters involved. Here.
  • 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 horribly, horribly 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Arbitrary Gun Power: Guns have low weapon attack.
  • 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.
  • The Atoner: Orchid. After being almost killed by 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.
  • 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.
    • 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.
  • Badass Grandma: Female Boss/Anego in Showa. To top it all off, she has one mother of an Armor-Piercing Slap.
    • 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).
  • 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 not giving a crap about the 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.
  • Big Fancy Castle: Lion King's Castle. Now, the revamped Mushroom Castle as well.
  • Bilingual Bonus / Meaningful Name: Ludibrium is Latin for "plaything".
  • 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.
  • Boring but Practical: Battle Mage. 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 Rush: The entire point of the Mu Lung Dojo.
  • 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.
  • 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...
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: 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 ore 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.
  • 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.
    • Red 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 Red 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.
  • Built with LEGO: The world Ludibrium, complete with toy monsters.
  • 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. Thought 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 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 Friend Story 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.
  • 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 balding.
      • And the name would seem to be a shoutout to memoirist/crime writer Iceberg Slim.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • Conspiracy Redemption: Evan joins the Black Wings initially.
  • Contest Winner Cameo: For some definition of contest, FangBlade (the first global player to reach level 200) appears as an NPC in Evan's storyline as a famous dragon rider (as level 200 explorers get a dragon as a mount) who teaches Evan how to ride his Dragon, Mir.
  • 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.
    • 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…
  • 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. She IS declared some sort of battlefield mascot by her people but only for killing lots of monsters.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 (Jr. Boogie, which heals 15% of your MP every 10 seconds) can be used as early as level 7, and is usually used well into 4th job.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.)
    • Now, all classes with elemental affinities have buffs that let you temporarily remove all of the element from the attack. This allows you to deal normal damage against monsters that generally resist your element.
  • 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.
  • 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 NP Cs 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, 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.
  • 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. 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: 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 player without provocation, or make an offhand remark about how said friend is good for a human. … Even if you aren’t playing as a human.
  • 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.
  • Fragile Speedster: Mercedes and Jett.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Gentleman Thief: Phantom.
  • 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.
    • The Spiegelmann's Gonzo Gallery theme dungeon has a quest in the Summer area where Spiegelmann says he needs a better gift then "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.
  • 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.
  • 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."
  • 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.).
  • Graffiti Town: Kerning City.
  • 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.
    • Mechanics do this when the land from their jet pack jumps.
  • Ground Punch: Buccaneer’s shockwave.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • Averted with Xenon and Jett, who are futuristic.
  • Haunted Castle: The haunted Prendergast Mansion, and it has many, many ghosts and ghouls.
  • Headless Horseman: One of the boss monsters.
  • 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.
    • According to info from the recent Korean test server version, Orca/Orchid will do this after her brother almost kills her under Gellimer's orders, the pair dumping her almost dead body into an alley to die. She's saved by the Resistance and joins them.
  • Heroic Comedic Sociopath
  • Heroic BSOD: Mercedes has one of these after finding out that the Black Mage cursed Eurel and the rest of the elves along with her during her battle. The elf counsel breaks her out of it quickly, though.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: Averted with Aran, who uses the giant polearm.
  • Hold the Line: The new Mushroom Castle quest.
  • 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 One: 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.
      • Actually, 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.
  • 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!
  • 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, 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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: A lot of bosses.
  • Lethal Lava Land: Deep within the El Nath mines.
  • 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. However, besides the opportunity to add secondary stat points, there doesn't seem to be any point in going that far.
      • That is, of course, assuming they don't add in a 5th job level... the decrease in level requirements for 3rd and 4th job seem to indicate that may be the plan.
      • 5th job is confirmed.
      • Hyper skills sort of qualify as a 5th job, but they only serve to augment your stats and your important skills.
      • Then again... the game is coded in 32-bit, so the maximum level cap they could do is 255, and the maximum experience that could be required for any level is roughly 2.1 billion(or the same as the max meso cap). The only way to go past is to redo the game in 64-bit, and it'd be easier to lower the experience curve again than to recode the entire game. And if they did go with a 64-bit game, it'd alienate players using 32-bit operating systems anyway, reducing the player base which means fewer NX cash customers.
  • Level Up Fill Up
  • 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.
  • Living Relic: Mercedes. Somehow, this is largely 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.
  • 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).
  • MacGuffin Girl: The Goddess Teardrops have all become sapient beings who have settled down among mortals. Some of them have attachments to the citizens that have to be addressed before they're willing to go back to their true forms, while others have been waiting for their rightful owner to show up and feel that the long wait means they're unworthy. Arsen is very strongly against the idea of having a would-be Transcendent just waltz right up to him and end the life he's been living...except that it turns out he's only brainwashed into thinking he's a Teardrop.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Mighty Glacier: Warriors. All of them.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Right before the Black Magician was sealed, he punished the heroes who fought him by casting a curse on them. Given, he is a villain.
  • 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".
  • 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.
  • 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. 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.
  • Pop Quiz: Given during Friend Story. Requires knowledge of MapleStory, painters, and musicians for some reason.
  • 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.
  • 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 somewhat 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.
  • 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 slightly 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 Dark Magician.
    • 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 Eurel. 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.
  • 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.
    • 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.
  • Revive Kills Zombie: Although not invoked directly, heal will target enemies, but only damage undead.
  • Reward from Nowhere: Low-level hunting quests in Henesys 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.
  • Reward from Nowhere: Low-level hunting quests in Henesys allow you to receive a reward from a sign.
  • Schizo Tech: Xenon.
  • Scratch Damage
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • Sinister Minister: The Prime Minister from the old Mushroom Castle quest.
  • 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.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Erev/Ereve/Ereb.
    • 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 then 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.
  • 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.

  • Stance System: Hayato’s stance increases his combat statistics while draining his MP.
  • 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
  • Stance System: Hayato’s stance increases his combat statistics while draining his MP.

  • Super Move Portrait Attack: Hayato, Kanna, and Zero.

  • Talking Is a Free Action: Unfortunately 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 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.

  • 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 Frances decides to… not… stop… stalking…

  • Tornado Move: Kaiser, Buccaneer, and Battle Mage have this.
  • Tree Top Town: Ellinia.
  • Toy Time: Ludibrium.
  • 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 part 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Valley Girl: Cassandra, after the Big Bang retconned her. Her speech and stupidity have gotten progressively worse since then.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • 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.
  • 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.
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