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Video Game: Master Of The Wind

Shroud: Give me one good reason why I should keep trying to make the world better when all I get in return is my life taken apart.
Laurel: Cade, only you can answer that.

Master of the Wind is a freeware superhero RPG created with RPG Maker XP by Volrath and ArtBane. It takes place in the land of Solest, in which many common fantasy races such as elves, orcs, goblins, and fairies all reside. Atypically, all these races seem to live together more or less peacefully, ever since the fall of the xenophobic, demi-human hating regime known as Gallia. However, not everyone is happy with things this way, and there are those who are trying to revive the ways of the Gallians anew.

While at first glance, Master of the Wind may seem like typical light-hearted superhero fare, it is actually a thoughtful deconstruction of the superhero genre. The hero and eponymous character of the story is Cade Mistral, a Wide-Eyed Idealist with a Dark and Troubled Past who uses his wind magic to protect people from harm and evil, disguised as the masked vigilante and paragon of Justice, Shroud . He is joined in his crusade by Stoic, a powerful death knight who has lived for many centuries and provides a counterpoint to Shroud's idealistic views.

The duo manage to keep their hometown of Port Arianna safe from bandits and vampires for some time, but after investigating a kidnapping they find incriminating evidence against a local weapons company doing shady business. As they set out to try to bring down this evil conglomerate (which also threatens to put their blacksmith secret identities out of business) they discover a conspiracy which threatens to bring back the days of Gallia, headed by a mysterious organization known only as "The Hand".

Joining the duo on their adventures across Solest are Finley Donner, aka The Baron, annoying next-door neighbor extraordinaire whose power is having guns in a pre-industrial society, and Laurel Hargrove, a telepathic cleric who is something of an Ojou. Also occasionally aiding the group on their missions is Auburn Illiaca, a fire mage and bodyguard who works for the enemy who seems to be harboring a few dark secrets of her own...

Stalked every step of the way by agents of the Hand as well as the legendary and deadly masked assassin known only as "The Sparrow," the heroes struggle to uncover the plot and bring the villains to justice, or else not only face letting down the people they have sworn to protect but also to fail to uphold the very ideaology they have sworn themselves to.

Filled with laughs, heartache, and some legitimately outstanding writing, see why it is one of the most acclaimed freeware RPGs on the net. After a agonizing wait of over two years, the seventh and final arc was finally released in November 2011. The game's separate chapters have won numerous Misaos (The RPG Maker community's version of the Oscars) over the years, including Game of the Year for both Arc IV(2007) and Arc VII(2011). Check it out at the official site.


This series includes examples of:

  • A Boy And His Tiger: Morias and Douglas.
  • A Day in the Limelight: The majority of Arc V is focused on Stoic and his past.
  • Action Girl: Auburn.
  • Aerith and Bob: The game is fond of names with origins in ancient history (Cleon, Lysander, etc) but also uses lots of common names like Barry and Emma.
  • Affably Evil: Solik and Voyd.
  • All There in the Manual: The events of the Gallian war, starring the Guardian heroes, is told from Volrath's first RPG Maker game Clean Slate. Despite its importance to the lore of Master of the Wind, the game was never officially released. After years of fans asking to see it, Volrath released a series of Let's Play videos of the complete game with detailed commentary.
  • Aloof Big Brother: Rayne Mistral.
  • Always Check Behind the Chair
  • Always Someone Better: Sparrow's typical response to Shroud's tough talk.
  • And Then John Was a Zombie: Gabriella becoming a vampire
  • Anticlimax Boss: Cleon, surprisingly enough. The story makes him up to be quite the foe, and he could have been if he'd been fought with a one or two man party like many other bosses, but instead he had the misfortune of fighting Valkyrie who flatly ignores his signature ability. If you even have to heal once during this battle it's because the mooks beforehand left you injured. (Of course he gets another go at it soon after).
    • Also Cari, especially given what comes immediately before and after, but that was a given considering her powerset and role in the story.
    • His attacks are pretty devastating, but the final boss battle with Ketsu is much shorter than the battle immediately before against Ariel, and you get a full heal and an Eleventh Hour Superpower buff partway in.
  • Avenging the Villain: Evrind wishes to avenge his older brother, Dican.
  • Back from the Dead: Solik as a lich, Gabriella as a vampire.
    • Ariel, despite having died long ago, is a straighter example, as she's the second person to be successfully revived through necromancy and not as a skeleton. In the end, she dies again and is turned into a vampire.
  • Badass Normal: Finley, aka The Baron, manages to hold his own among prodigy mages and a millennium old undead warrior.
  • Badass Grandpa: Stoic is basically this.
  • Bag of Spilling: An in-story justified example: Why does Stoic start at level 1 when he has almost a millennium of experience? He forgot how to fight after spending four-hundred years sealed in a cave.
  • Bash Brothers: Kovak and Vec.
  • Battle Butler: Vec.
  • Beta Couple: Finley and Laurel.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Rayne does this in Arc VI.
    • And in Arc VII, Rayne again, The Touten Corps, Daydream, and Enkur all help the heroes.
  • Big "NO!": The last we see of Yaled the Hammer.
    Fairy: Aww, sounds like somebody needs a hug.
    Yaled: ...What?
    Legion of Fairies: Free hugs!
    Yaled: NOOOOOOO!
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Four of the five descendants of the strongest magic casters (except for ice, dark, and light) were subjected to this to carry out a worldwide apocalypse similar to the Rain of Fire. It is also revealed that Leonard Barca, birth son of General Lysander, was subjected to this by Cari's mother until she reprogrammed his mind into believing himself to be Ketsu.
  • Broken Pedestal: Stephen, who claims to be continuing the ideals that Volrath held, but is actually just a power-hungry glory hound.
  • The Cape: Deconstructed.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Chard, Finley's arch-rival, is an affectionate parody.
  • Catch Phrase: "I know all."
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Ariel is known for killing Lysander's wife during the Gallian war. Even when she's later brought back to life by Solik and the Hand, she secretly plots Ketsu's death with the Touten Corps' help. She also kills Cari in cold blood so she can manipulate Ketsu for to her own ends.
  • Cool Old Guy: Gino and Stoic. Also Kovak, though he's a villain.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Don Kovak.
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus: Arcadius.
  • Clark Kenting: Played with. Many people easily figure out the heroes' identities. This provokes some Lampshade Hanging from Shroud.
  • Cliff Hanger: Arc VI ends with a huge one.
    • At the time, Arc III's was pretty huge too.
  • Climax Boss: Arc VII is basically a Boss Rush of these.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Ketsu vs the Touten Corps. All of them at once don't even manage to land a single blow.
  • Cursed with Awesome: Stoic was resurrected to serve as an undead slave. Said resurrection transformed him into a giant Badass skeleton who does not need to eat or breathe, will never get sick, and who is implied to be immortal. Stoic doesn't seem to particularly mind the change, however.
    • Also, the Boreal region is "cursed" with extreme magical cold and ice (to the degree that the inside of an active volcano is covered in ice even right next to the lava). People's opinions on how nice or annoying the cold is vary, but at the end of the arc we discover that this curse is the only thing that's stopped a group of mages from making the volcano erupt and destroy the town.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: But it seems to attract a lot of shady sorts....
  • Dark Magical Girl: Rana.
  • Dark Messiah: Ketsu.
  • Dating Catwoman: Auburn, Cade's romantic interest, works for Don Kovak.
  • Daydream Surprise: Finley has one of these in Arc IV, in which he beats up every single villain he's laid eyes upon up to that point (including the Sparrow), winning the respect of his comrades and Laurel's heart. Contains such great lines as "I'm a sore loser!", "I'm Stoic, and I won't give you any credit because I'm grumpy just for the sake of being grumpy!" and "I can't help myself Baron... make me a woman!"
  • Dead to Begin With: Stoic has been dead for nearly a thousand years when the story starts. In Arc V, we see what he was like when he was alive.
  • Death by Irony: Gabriella, who hates undead, is turned into a vampire.
  • Death Is Cheap: For necromancers, anyway.
  • Derailing Love Interests: Emma was introduced early in Arc 1 as a seemingly close friend to Cade since he moved in. He never took interest in her, but decided to pursue it because he found her coming into his store to talk to him flattering. Cade gets annoyed by being called cute by her, and in a heated argument with her roommate about Equipment King, Emma tells him to leave. To his credit, Cade tries to apologize for this, but a combination of bad timing, run-ins with Auburn and Finley tattling shot it all down by the end of the second arc. Around the start of third, she's seen dating Vec, and Cade is left to pursue Auburn.
    • Also happens in a way with Bones and Rana. Andau calls him out on being protective of a human when he's a skeleton, but after his defeat, they start hanging out more often. Rana is about to leave Port Arianna indefinitely and asks Bones to come with her. Bones politely refuses, but she pushes the issue... and reveals she's a necromancer. Hurt and betrayed, Bones and his friends are understandably wary of her after this.
  • Dem Bones: Explored and subverted in several ways. Necromancers have the ability to resurrect humans as unthinking servants, but they can also restore the person's consciousness and memories. Opinions on which approach is more useful vary from necromancer to necromancer. Skeletons who can think for themselves and do not serve a necromancer can be found wandering around many of the game's towns, and their treatment by the living (especially overzealous holy mages) is something of a civil rights issue in Solest.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Equipment King is an unsubtle caricature of Wal-Mart, The Hand is an evil religious action group preaching against all non-humans. The writer has also said on at least one message board that The Rain of Fire, a catastrophe that brings about a flood of compassion followed by a descent into paranoia and ignorance, was inspired by what happened in America after 9/11.
    • The Robin family are a bunch of racists who refused to accept that their nation's government granted equal rights to a previously oppressed minority (in this case, undead), and in the present day continue to terrorize both the minority and the people who support them. Remind you of the KKK?
  • The Dog Bites Back Leonard, upon seeing Ariel and after just being dispelled from the illusion that he is Ketsu, deals a lethal blow to her for killing Lynnia Barca, his mother.
  • Domino Mask: Shroud's.
  • Dragon Their Feet: Ketsu is effectively this, since the real Big Bad turns out to be Ariel.
  • The Dreaded: Enkur. Enough so much that his skeletal appearance comes with its own ominous theme and that Stoic, of all people, is more than willing to bail at his very appearance.
  • Drunken Master: Bubba.
  • Duel Boss: Lots, including Gabriella, Goma, Evrind the second time, and every encounter with The Sparrow. Several more reduce you to just two party members. Arc VII includes a boss rush of five consecutive Duel Boss battles for five different characters (broken up by a few mooks and easy minigames), and gives you another somewhat later with Cleon.
  • Easily Forgiven: Rana.
  • Elemental Powers: There are eight main schools of magic; water, ice, fire, lightning, earth, wind, holy, and dark. Learning one element changes the mage to be more like that element; fire mages can resist extreme temperatures but are weak to ice magic, etc. It's extremely difficult, but not impossible, to learn multiple schools of magic.
  • Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors: Not really rock paper scissors since the weaknesses are symmetric. Often treated as a plot point, especially when the Sparrow appears to be immune to this rule.
    • At least it's so in theory. In reality, near the end of the game when you have the widest variety of damage types most spellcasters start casting shields which give them great resistance to their weakness element and moderate resistance to everything else, translating to attacking their "weakness" coming out slightly behind. You can rack up some big damage before they get the shield off though.
  • The Empath: Laurel stands out as one of three heroic versions (along with her mentor Lily and the elf Ivory). Cari, however, is her Evil Counterpart.
  • The Empire: Gallia, before its fall.
  • Enemy Mine: Shroud fights the Touten Corps twice when they try to rob Port Arianna, but they were more than willing to help him on anything related to Equipment King and the Hand. The reason being is that he was once a brief member of their group before realizing their values didn't coincide. As they put it: "Once a Touten, always a Touten."
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Ketsu and Cari to their ailing mother even though Ketsu doesn't know he's not really her son, The Hand Lieutenants, especially Danika, genuinely miss Dican and Torin, and Ariel is given a small scene paying her respects at Lysander's grave.
  • Evil Overlord: Yaled the Hammer is a parody.
  • Eye Scream: Stoic, when he was alive.
  • Face Heel Revolving Door: Auburn, who aids the heroes on several occasions and is Cade's love interest but also works for the villain. Doubly so once you learn she's the Sparrow.
  • Face-Heel Turn: Shroud at the end of Act V, after learning the Sparrow's identity. He gets better.
  • The Faceless: Sparrow.
  • Fauxshadow: It is strongly implied that Cade's brother, Rayne, is The Sparrow. He isn't.
  • Fiery Redhead: Auburn.
  • Frameup: Gallia was formed after human supremacists spread propaganda claiming that the nonhuman races were responsible for the Rain of Fire. The Hand seeks to recreate Gallia by doing this again with their own engineered cataclysm (which they call the Great Awakening).
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Spectacularly avoided as it relates to magic and the characters' abilities in general. A large portion of the game's frequent minigames and puzzles make creative use of the various characters' powers, especially Shroud's wind magic, Stoic's Bull Rush ability and Finley's sharpshooting. They also see great use in cutscenes, especially healing magic and Shroud's ability to leap great distances (which improves as the game goes on). The Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors is also treated as a serious plot point in-universe, especially with the Sparrow (who can cast spells Shroud is weak to but isn't weak to his wind spells in turn).
  • Genre Savvy: Stoic, having lived for so long, knows all the tricks by now.
    • Also, Cade, seeing large, glowing crystal, remarks: "Let me guess, I need seven of these to save the world." He didn't, but he seems to be perfectly aware how videogames work.
  • Gentleman Snarker: Pilc, kind of. When he's not boring people with lectures about semiotics.
  • Gentleman Wizard: Don Kovak and Vec
  • "Get Out of Jail Free" Card: The Sparrow is allowed to join the group as an alternative to jail time.
  • Glowing Eyelights of Undeath: Stoic and, presumably, all skeletons. (Stoic only has one eye glowing at any one time, however, which could just be the way he's drawn, or because one of his eyes got stabbed when he was alive)
  • God Is Evil: Arcadius may or may not be, depending on whether or not the Hand really represents his wishes. Laurel has a crisis of faith over an event which appears to suggest that they do. Later, she receives the same blessing as Dasani and Ketsu, and Solik implies it to be the light-equivalent to a necromancer's transformation to a lich.
  • Gold Fish Poop Gang: The Touten Corps. Although they are dangerous adversaries, they are soundly defeated every time they appear.
    • Stoic sees the Robin family as this. Since he's lived a long time, he's seen his share of bigoted exorcists, starting from Gabriella's ancestor. He even muses on what attempts they tried on him before, casually treating a run in with her as tradition.
    • Also most of the antagonists from the Sacred River Monastery, particularly Gabriella pre-vampirisim and Forcas.
  • Guest Star Party Member: Finley and Auburn. Multiple times. Each. Eventually both become permanent party members, one much sooner than the other. Also, Bubba does this, completely out of nowhere, then does it again in the final chapter along with Gabriella.
    • More stage-stealingly, this is what Laurel is resigned to after gaining her wings, despite having previously been a primary party member.
  • Guide Dangit: Most bosses have one or more flunkies. Whether the game wants you to kill the flunkies first or just the main boss varies arbitrarily and randomly, with some high-health bosses having flunkies with strong attacks and pitiful health and some bosses giving their flunkies almost as much health as the boss or easily reviving them. This is possibly relieved some in the full version where you can pay to see the health of your enemies.
    • The worst case is Dican and Danika, a monk and a mage from the same religious cult. The first creates two copies of himself with low health and the same attacks as himself, and if you don't kill them first will eventually mock you for it and cast a powerful buff on all three that can easily finish you off. The latter summons copies of two previous bosses, one of whom is Dican, but if you kill one of those she will laugh at you and restore them to life at full health instantly, without even wasting a turn.
    • The game has lots of minigames and puzzles, most of which are mandatory to continue. These range all the way from Quicktime Event challenges to simple switch puzzles to elaborate mazes to quizzes on the game's lore to scavenger hunts. Some are very difficult.
  • Guns Akimbo: Finley.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Auburn.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Andau, surprisingly enough, to Gabriella..
    • Enkur helps Stoic hold off the Hand army, at the cost of his already drained life energy.
  • Heroes Of Another Story: Stoic's old friends like Zala and Dasani were main characters of the prequel game Clean Slate. They are now either retired or dead by the time of Master of the Wind, with the exception of Stoic himself. As mentioned in All There in the Manual, you can watch their story unfold from the Let's Play videos.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Shroud and Stoic.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The mole king boss throws his own minions at you for devastating free attacks—until the hilarious moment when he tries to summon more only to find that he's run out of minions.
  • I Let Gwen Stacy Die: Shroud has a Heroic BSOD on the spot seeing Gabriella as a vampire. He rationalizes that Gabriella became undead because he told her about the Hand.
  • Instant Runes: Anytime anyone casts a spell in a cutscene, during a puzzle, or otherwise outside of combat.
    • Interestingly, one of the superpowers gained when Ketsu gains wings is that he no longer needs to wait on these before casting a spell, and this is commented on by the characters who witness it.
  • Karmic Death: Ariel, who desired power and control over others above all else, is turned into a powerless undead outcast by Gabriella at the end.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Ariel is a full-on sadist who has killed many people, including Gino. She also kills the weakened Cari after her fight against the heroes, but for personal reasons in keeping control of Ketsu for herself. Considering Cari and her mother brainwashed not just Leonard into being Ketsu but other mages, including attempts on Cade and Rayne, to bring about the Great Awakening, it goes without saying that the pink-haired bitch deserved it.
  • Killed Off for Real: Dican, Torin, Cleon, and Cari from the Hand. Others include Andau, Gino, and Enkur.
  • Knight Templar: Ketsu, the apparent Big Bad.
  • Large Ham: The Baron.
  • Lawful Stupid, Chaotic Stupid: Shroud can veer into Lawful Stupid territory at times, but this is usually grounded by Stoic's more experienced and thoughtful world view. The Fairies, on the other hand, appear to be Stupid Good....
  • Legacy Character: Cole Marin reveals that the real Sparrow died years ago and the one Shroud's been fighting up till now is either an old man, a product of necromancy, or another person all together. It is the latter as the real Sparrow was Auburn's adopted father, who wore the costume initially as a fear tactic while living in Coromant. Through a series of events and scavenger hunts in her old home, she is given the choice to take on the mantle for something greater or abandon it entirely. After a wardrobe change, she simply decides to be called Auburn.
  • Light Is Not Good: Some of the main villains wield light elemental powers. In fact, Mooks from the Hand primarily use Light spells for healing themselves or damaging you.
  • Lightning Can Do Anything: Lightning mages have the innate power to....see in the dark?
  • Like Brother and Sister: Cade and Violet don't interact a lot, but they argue very much like siblings. Especially since they're actually related.
    • A straighter example is Cade and Gabriella, who hug each other but are just close friends and nothing more.
  • Lizard Folk: Called "Lodites" here.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Most of whom are integral to the plot.
  • Long-Lost Relative: Rayne, Cade's brother.
    • Also Bardo Crag, Vec's nephew.
  • Lost Forever: Almost everything; most areas will not be revisited after you go to them, so if there are any secret recipes there and you didn't find them, tough luck.
  • Magic A Is Magic A: A sort of in-universe subversion: Magic on Solest follows very specific rules, and when mages who are able to break those rules start to appear, it prompts suspicion and investigation.
  • The Man Behind the Man: This happens tree times. Ariel behind Cari behind Ketsu behind Don Kovak.
  • Marathon Boss: Ariel, who is actually fought twice in a row. After they're beaten, they then summon another boss that has as much health as they do.
    • And she appears soon after another marathon boss battle with the three lieutenants (you have to defeat three boss-worthy opponents, then use a single-target move of one party member on each of half a dozen illusions, then beat all three bosses again only this time they have their signature abilities. And when I say "soon after", I mean that the only thing in between is another boss battle (sort of).
  • Master of Illusion: Danika.
  • Meaningful Name: Several.
    • Mistral is a term for wind.
    • Stoic's real name, Zeno, is a reference to the founder of Stoicism.
    • Auburn has red hair.
    • Voyd is a dark mage.
    • All the people intended to be used in the "Great Awakening" ritual—Aiden Sear, Levina Galvan, Kenda Brine, Bardo Crag, and Rayne Mistral. I dare you to guess what element of magic each one uses.
    • There's even a spoiler about the Sparrow's identity hidden in the character names—which the creators admitted they were surprised nobody called them on.
      • Specifically, Auburn's surname, Iliaca, comes from the scientific name of the fox sparrow, Passerella iliaca.
    • "Arcadius" comes from the Greek word "Arcadia", which means paradise or utopia. Similarly, "Perditia" comes from "perdition", another word for Hell.
  • Mega Manning: The Sparrow can do this, and uses it to exploit his foes' weaknesses. Which powers he's copied by the last time you fight actually could provide a subtle clue to the Sparrow's identity.
    • Sparrow isn't the only one, but is definitely part of the minority of "Copy Mages" along with Torin and Brumalia.
  • Mind Rape: Cari seems unassuming and harmless for five whole arcs, but do not be fooled—you do not want to be on her bad side.
  • Mook Chivalry: When you reach Chard, and he orders the six ember mages present in the room to attack, rather than fight seven powerful fire mages at once you fight two at a time, and every time you kill one another immediately replaces him.
  • Motive Rant: Solik has an epic one in Arc V.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Let's see: Wyre, Bane, Yaled the Hammer, Voyd, Volrath Blacksteele, Enkur, and Chard, for starters. Of course, Shroud, Stoic and the Baron aren't exactly wimpy names either. They're about evenly divided between good guys and bad guys.
  • Nigh Invulnerable: Enkur.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Zombie TIGERS.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Stoic's backstory seems to embody this trope, and later on, Shroud goes rogue and nearly quits the hero business in part because of frustration with this.
  • Non-Action Guy: Though a formidable fighter, Shroud's abilities lend themselves more toward a supportive role.
  • No Sell: Cleon has a special ability to completely negate any attack against him though not twice in a row, making him a serious threat. But the trope is turned on him when Valkyrie's spells can completely ignore this ability and you can easily win the first boss fight with him by spamming your cheapest attack until he dies..
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: For much of the game, the meaner students at the Sacred River Monastery are so over the top in their religious zeal-fueled racism towards undead and just plain incompetent that its hard to take them seriously. Then they kidnap Gabriella in the endgame, plotting to sacrifice her to Arcadius and coming dangerously close to succeeding.
  • Oh My Gods!: "By Arcadius!"
  • Older Sidekick: Played with. Most people seem to assume that Shroud is The Hero, while Stoic is his sidekick. Both are quick to point out that they consider each other equals. The creators have stated, however, that if anything, Shroud is Stoic's sidekick.
  • Only One Name: Completely averted! Nearly everyone has a surname.
  • Only Smart People May Pass: The Tower of the Sun, which actually requires the player to have memorized information about the world's history. Another such test appears on Altar Island. Both can be forgiven since they were meant to be inflicting these tests on students to ensure they were doing their studying, as can the non-required history quiz being given by a fairy in Guardia.
  • Path of Inspiration / Corrupt Church: The Hand of Arcadius.
  • Power Gives You Wings: Dasani, Ketsu, and then Laurel.
  • The Power of Rock: Ercello.
  • Predatory Business: Equipment King
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: Cyneric.
  • The Reveal: The Sparrow's identity at the end of Arc V. Obviously, overlaps with Dramatic Unmask.
  • Too Dumb to Fool: Finley.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Andau.
  • Retired Badass: Bubba.
  • Rich Idiot with No Day Job: Finley was one of these even before he became The Baron. It is later revealed that from his sister that he was supposed to use the money to sell and expand his family's gun designs at Port Arianna.
  • The Rival: Stoic has had a bitter rivalry with the Robin family for generations. The present day patriarch of the Robins, Gabriel, finally calls off the feud towards the end of the game.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: King Terr and Queen Arianna.
  • Samus Is a Girl: Sparrow
  • Sarcastic Confession: "I left my costume at home."
    • "How did you escape from your cell!?" "...Magic."
  • Schizo Tech: The world for the most part seems to be standard medieval, escept for the presence of electric guitars.
  • Secret Identity Identity: Explored with Cade/Shroud.
  • Self-Disposing Villain: Andau walks right into this.
  • Shape Shifter: Pilc.
  • Shoot the Medic First: Ariel combines this trope with Dangerously Genre Savvy by attacking the dungeon fairy attempting to give the heroes an option to heal and save during their fight. The Fairy survived, and was given an honorable delicacy for this.
  • Shout-Out: Several, and a lot are obscure references indeed. A handful of NPCs have nothing to say except lyrics from various power metal songs.
    • Let's see, a superhero named Stoic with a troubled past who calls his Domino Mask-wearing partner "chum". And Finley calls him "B-Man".
    • The fictional band "Daydream", when they get on stage, perform Masterplan's "Heroes", followed by "Spirit Never Dies", from the same band.
    • The equipable boots called Sonic Sneakers: First you say no! Then you get out of there!
    • The Ninetails hat: The strongest tailed hat of them all. Believe it!
    • In the last dungeon, there's an Easter Egg where Auburn can play the intro to"Mr. Crowley" on an organ.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: The heroes are, for the most part, very idealistic. The rest of the world, however....
  • So Long, and Thanks for All the Gear: If you so much as suspect that somebody might be leaving the party after you finish a dungeon, you'd better swap all their gear with something you won't mind missing before approaching the boss. Luckily, they all come back later except at the end of the final dungeon and when Laurel ascends—often too much later to matter though.
  • The Stoic: Guess.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Finley.
  • Smug Snake: Forcas of the "Holy Three".
  • Techno Babble: Pilc has a habit of teaching others like they're in a classroom. In two scenes where the Touten Corps are in focus, we cut to Pilc explaining some long winded, scientific idea to his fellow members. By the time he's done, they both still scratching their heads to make sense of his gibberish, and wondering why they need to learn what he's talking about anyway.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: Whenever Stoic's theme song starts playing, serious ass kicking is about to ensue.
    • Finley has two themes. His normal theme, and his badass theme. Guess which one plays the first time we see him in battle, and during his mountain climbing minigame.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Shroud and Sparrow.
  • Tragic Villain: Leonard, the adopted son of Arius and Nova. Realizing that his real father is General Lysander, he left on a journey to discover more of his origins. When he met Cari and her mother, he was slowly but gradually mind-raped into staying, and then believing himself to be her overzealous son Ketsu. He was willing to bring back the old Gallian regime, which was what Cari and their "mother" wanted. When his real family sees him again, Ketsu's genuinely upset and enraged to be called "Leonard". Interestingly enough, when Cari reveals this backstory, she plays it off as sympathy for her and her mother, who was losing her mind powers. They came back miraculously when Leonard was about to leave, which she used to turn him into Ketsu. They suffered when Gallia lost the war, and "recovered" when Ketsu joined the family. The heroes aren't moved, as they quickly point out that her suffering is more important than anyone else's in her mind.
  • Untrusting Community: The Sacred River Monastery tends to be leery of the rest of Solest due to their acceptance of the undead.
  • Useless Useful Spell: There's a variety of status inducing moves available. Many of the milder ones work against a surprising number of bosses as well as the mooks (pistol whip, for instance, can weaken the spellcasting of nearly every boss in the last arc, and it's always worth trying Bull Rush and Soul Burn a few times to see if it can stick), but the major ones like silence and paralyze are predictably limited. (Though Auburn can paralyze Danika's illusions and most boss flunkies, with a mediocre chance of success). Almost all status skills also deal damage, however, which means most are at least potentially useful either for random encounters, bosses or both.
    • Auburn's Dispel, however, stands out as a complete aversion: It never fails, and many bosses cast extremely powerful buffs on themselves. It's even worth using on a few random encounters.
    • Sparrow's evade-boosting moves aren't nearly as useful as they could be since most of the bosses in the last arc are spellcasters. Though several turns of 100% immunity to the ones who aren't is nothing to scoff at.
  • Very Special Episode: Bubba's alcoholism is played for laughs until Arc IV, which has a subplot about the toll it has taken on his life. Thankfully, it never gets too cheesy.
  • Video Game Setpiece: The battles with the Hand lieutenants thus far all have one.
    • Dican is pretty tame, being an early boss—his illusions are pretty much copies of him with lower health, though he does pull out a scripted move that'll flatten you if you try to take him out before them.
    • Danika has illusionary fighters that she summons, and to defeat her you need to have Laurel see through the illusion.
    • Voyd can use a special skill called "Teleport" that can remove a party member from the battle for a few turns, or summon two flunkies.
    • Cleon can completely nullify the first attack against him every round.
    • There's also Cari, who does not fight you directly — instead, they throw a bunch of Elite Mooks at you and make your characters forget all their skills.
    • And for that matter, Ariel. The five phase battle with Ariel. The fight starts with the effects of the previous boss's skill-blocking slowly wearing off while the boss holds back somewhat, then continues with the boss fighting more seriously, then when you finish that the boss summons two really nasty helpers and fully heals, and when you get the boss mostly dead again she sacrifices those helpers to fully heal and keep fighting, and when you finish it off again she summons another boss with the same health.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Voyd... does not lose gracefully.
  • Villainous Friendship: Don Kovak and Vec are best friends, seen making light talk about the other's fighting.
    • Also the Lieutenants of the Hand, who are shown to be quite vulnerable with each other and miss their fallen comrades. Made especially so that they'd go the extra mile to help each other, like when Cleon sacrificed himself so Voyd and Danika could escape.
  • Villain by Default: Although Solest as a whole seems to be very accepting of all races, most people still agree that vampires suck.
  • Villain Teleportation: "I hate it when bad guys do that. Why haven't we learned to do that?"
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Kovak and Ketsu.
  • Walking the Earth: Both Cade and Stoic have done this.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Mina, a hero of the Gallian war and a relative to the Mistral family allows Cade to infiltrate the Hand's base on the presumption he could win. Given that she had prior bad judgment in Ketsu's agenda, Bones/Stoic feels appropriate to call her irresponsible for this.
    • Stoic also calls out on Cade for leaving them on his own in a gambit that will either succeed in stopping the Hand or die trying.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: Explored with Stoic and Enkur.
  • You Killed My Father: Rayne's rivalry towards Cleon is because of this trope.

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alternative title(s): Master Of The Wind
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