MapleStory is a free-to-playMMORPG 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 As early as the release of the fifth Adventurer class, the Pirate, with many quests in the Nautilus referring to the Black Mage 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 five main character factions: the Adventurers, 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 the Legends and the Resistance and some lessnote Adventurers 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.
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.
Allegedly Free Game: Although you can play for free, getting (good) hairstyles/faces, slot/experience boosters, 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.
Alt-itis: The game offers bonuses for creating multiple characters and each character leveled past a certain threshold will offer scaling buffs to all others on the 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
An Ice Person: Crossbowmen get Ice skills in the third job. Ice/Lightning wizards are partly this.
Aran, in addition to his combination attacks, uses many powerful ice elemental attacks later on.
Annoying Arrows: Played with in the Bowman path: Initially, 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-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.
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.
Anti-Hero/Anti-Villain: Not only the backstory of Demon Hunter, but even the way he/she talks. While Evan is clearly a Wide-Eyed Idealist, Demon Hunter'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.
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.
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.
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 Well, at least alchemists don't need to use another alchemist's extractor. Alchemists can extract equipment near their own alchemy station in Ardentmill, the crafting town. But where do they get equipment? From blacksmiths and jewelers, perhaps? It's a lovely cycle!
Giant potions. These can be gained through alchemy. While it sounds fun to grow giant and step on foes, the fact you take the same damage as you would normally by touching the enemies makes it useless.
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.
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.
Bottomless Magazines: Mechanics cannot use bullets like their Gunslinger cousins, but they have gatling guns that do not use bullets.
Mercedes uses energy arrows which is why she can use two crossbows at once.
Angelic Buster gets an arm cannon which has unlimited ammo and can target up to three separate enemies at a time.
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 is currently required to increase the level of essential skills such as Magic Guard. 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.
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.
The examples that have been there for the longest time are the Pets and the Meso Magnet Pet Accessory. 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. A pet user with a Meso Magnet can just walk over the money and have it vacuumed into his or her inventory. The Item Magnet is in the same category but it's slightly less beneficial due to the massive inventory clutter it tends to cause. Pets, like most Cash Shop purchases, are temporary as well; you'll have to keep reviving the pet every 90 days with an NX item, unless you are fortunate/patient enough to obtain a perma-version occasionally sold for twice the price. The same applies for all those pet equips, too!
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.
Calling Your Attacks: A toggleable feature when setting up macros. Sadly, it's less awesome in practice than in theory for various reasons.
Sometimes happens automatically now that classes have sound clips associated with them. Angelic Buster seems to do it the most.
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 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 Angelus 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 Dragon 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. On the 4th job, most classes get a Hold type.
Don't forget the Brawler class tree, considering you pretty much rely on a skill that charges up to access half of your other skills.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
With the Cygnus Returns update, each of the knights is getting a revamp to avert this trope. So far the Thunder Breaker, Wind Archer, and Dawn Warrior have all gotten revamps, with the other two to eventually follow.
Darker and Edgier: The beginning of the Demon Slayer 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.
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 Dark Mage himself.
Dem Bones: A lot of monsters, from humans to dogs to fish.
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.
Double Jump: Originally a Thief skill, eventually given to some Pirate classes and later on to almost every class. Angelic Buster gets a triple jump.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Flat "What.": Demon Slayer gives one of these in the "Turn Me Back" quest.
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.
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 bad 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 females choice is better.
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 of the characters in Korean Folk Town is named Mr. Cantsee Shim.
Glass Cannon: Gunslingers. Near the endgame, they have the strongest attacks of all the classes. The problem is that they can't take hits like Warriors (massive HP), don't have workarounds like Magicians (Magic Guard), and can't dodge as well as Thieves (Evasion), although Evasion tends not to fare very well at the areas where you would be taking such high damages anyway. Archers are also like this; except they don't compare to Gunslingers.
Also applies to most ranged classes with higher damage as their HP tends to be lower than average.
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.
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.).
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.
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.
Haunted Castle: The haunted Prendergast Mansion, and it has many, many ghosts and ghouls.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 (The Berzerker)), 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 breath air.
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.
Impossibly Cool Clothes: The Cash Shop has this in spades. There's even an outfit that can literally turn your character into a centaur.
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.
Jack of All Stats: Bowmen qualify, which is why they aren't really picked over Thieves and Magicians for parties that need ranged attackers.
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.
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.
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, once formidable and now just a regular grind, will be bumped up to 250 in future updates. 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.
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.
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.
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 home made 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.
Magikarp Power: The Gunslinger class embodies this trope. Due to a wonky damage formula, and generally weak abilities, they do abysmal damage in first and second job even if they go a statless or low-stat build. Come third job they begin 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?
In the current Korean version: 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.
The Korean version's has since been simplified, but Global retains two nasty features: The Queen will heal herself at low health without fail until both 50 of the 60 allotted minutes have passed and she has already healed herself at least 35 times. This effectively gives her 31.5 billion HP. with 70% damage reduction.
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.
Mascot Mook: Orange Mushrooms are featured prominently on the official website and the game's login screen. Ribbon Pigs and Iron Hogs show up a lot, too.
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.
Mighty Glacier: Warriors. Brawlers and Thunder Breakers as well to a lesser extent.
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.
Nowadays, the game will automatically optimize your character correctly, although you can allocate the stats yourself if you're doing something different, such as...
HP warriors. They're a warrior who doesn't level their stats up until the second job at lvl 30. All they do is add to HP. By lvl 30, it's something like 10,000. Furthermore, the second job grants the Power Guard ability, which deals damage back whenever you get hit.
HP Priests. This is generally not recommended for the other two magician classes, but seeing as how many parties don't care for any abilities but your buffs, the Priest/Bishop may be able to get away with it (and it's actually an advantage for spam healing with minimal pot usage). That said, it usually requires many rare equips to pull off without extensive hp-washing (which could screw up the character offensively).
Any other builds, including the somewhat impractical Str wizard (which is now largely useless, since mage weapons deal physical damage that is a fraction of their magical attack).
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.
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. 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.
More Dakka: All ranged classes except Cannoneers with various degrees.
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.
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, asusming 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.
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: The Archer class. Arrows only ever bend to show that the shot is flying towards a monster, and even then they're more likely to just show the arrows inexplicably come out at an angle without the player actually aiming at that angle.
No Ending: How does them original Silent Crusade questline end after the final boss? Well, your partner quits offscreen before you can make your confession to him/her, and you never see him/her again after that.
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. For extra money, you can deck your pet out in accessories which can make them more functional, allowing them to pick up items and gold for you, and even automatically use potions for you when your HP or MP get low. Handy!
Cannoneer pals around with a handy monkey in a propeller cap who helps the character perform skills.
Noob Cave: Maple Island for the Adventurers, Ereve for Cygnus Knights, Rien for Aran, and Utah's Pig Farm for Evan. 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".
Organ Drops: Some monsters have particuallry gruesome drops, like the Evil Eyes who sometimes drop their tails and their 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.
Equips added after pirates were released come in one uniform color which includes all pirate equipment and most items beyond level 100.
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.
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).
Random Encounter: Crimson Balrog. Escape is recommended if you aren't trying to fight it.
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.
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?
Repeatable Quest: They did not introduce these until later versions despite growing and rather vocal demand for them in the early days.
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: Heal and Holy/Light attacks damage undead types more. Also the only way holy magicians can mob monsters until they reach 3rd job.
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.
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.
Short-Range Long-Range Weapon: The Bows, Crossbows, Guns, and Gloves (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 Gloves 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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: The Clerics and their Prestige Classes are the best solo classes after a certain level, as their heals damage undead enemies while affecting themselves as well.
Clerics are 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 pots because you're dying horribly.
Spam Attack: Some classes get a few skills that can do quite a few hits to one (or multiple) targets. Most prominently, the Dual Blade's attack pattern is all about this especially the 4th job move Phantom Blow.
Unless you exploit the damage recoil to make yourself go faster.
Squishy Wizard: Magician class. Subverted in two ways: First, they have Magic Guard, which converts the majority of their HP damage into MP damage (and they get a LOT of MP). And second, they can learn the MP Eater skill which allows them to syphon MP from magical enemies. With those two abilities active (okay, the second one is a passive ability, but the first one is an activatable buff), a Magician technically has a Life Drain combo going. It reached Game Breaker levels after the Big Bang patch even though MP regeneration was removed, the MP Eater skill siphoned so much MP that attacking made your MP bar go up rather than down which combined with the Mage's low HP (which means they can use low leveled HP potions much longer than other classes) made them cost nothing to play as and nearly unkillable.
And if you play as a Cleric, you won't need health potions either! The Cleric's heal works by healing you as well as five targets near you. If at least one of those targets aren't your party members, you can damage undead enemies. And also, the formula for heal damage is your max health, multiplied by three (if heal is maxed out), divided among you and the recipients you are healing.
Really all the MP regeneration patch did was mess up further any HP-washed Priests, forcing them to carry around pots. Before, if they could survive the first hit, they could essentially camp in a boss battle, and spam heal.
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 DPM is surprisingly on par with many others even on neutral-element monsters.
Stripperiffic: Kyrin(thigh-high boots, skimpy skirt and tube top), Shulynch(cut-off shorts, ripped shirt tied in the front), Hilla(a few straps across her body), to name a few.
Sugar Bowl: More like World of Sugar. Every monster is adorable, every female has a high Moe-factor, the environments are bright and whimsical. There are some darker elements (mostly to do with the Black Mage,) but overall this is a child's fairy-tale world.
Suicide by Cop: Beta, believing herself to be so thoroughly corrupted that she cannot become the Transcendent of Time, attacks Alpha, hoping that he will kill her in self-defense so that he can go on to become the Transcendent. Alpha (who remains in the player's control) does fight back, but he uses non-lethal force and talks her down from her attempted suicide.
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.
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.
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.