Prinny: Can I Really Be the Hero? is a spinoff of the Disgaea games. This one's not a Turn-Based Strategy game like the others, though: it's a Platform Game. A very hardPlatform Game.Prinny puts you in charge of the combustible penguin army as they quest to find the legendary "Ultra Dessert" for their abusive master Etna. Hardly anyone knows what the actual ingredients are, but Etna sends them off to the most dangerous parts of the Netherworld anyway.In order to get around the Made of Explodium properties of Prinnies, Etna gives them a special "Hero Scarf" that offers (very) limited protection against sudden impacts. Unfortunately, there are a thousand Prinnies and only one scarf... so the Prinnies just pass it to the next one in the queue when the current wearer meets his (inevitable) demise, essentially giving the player one thousand lives. And you will need them.The sequel, Prinny 2: Dawn Of Operation Panties, Dood, is essentially more of the same, except this time the Prinnies are looking for Etna's stolen panties. The sequel introduces a Baby Mode, a Super Mode called "Break Mode" and an Another Side, Another Story starring Nippon Ichi's eternally-miserable cameo character, Asagi.As in the grand tradition of Disgaea games, the Hero Prinny appears in Disgaea 3 as a unique character with his own special attacks and personality.
Gotta have tropes, dood!
Affectionate Parody: Darth Moab, an obvious parody of Darth Vader, has lines like "If he could be churned, he'd make a powerful stir-fry," and "The sauce is weak with this one..." After defeating him, the hero even says "Enough of this parody crap, dood! I've got to get to Sir Sweet!"
Alas, Poor Villain: At the end of Asagi mode, her prinny suit explodes and kills her. It's not all bad, though, in The Stinger, she comes back as a prinny. She also gets her own mini-campaign in the sequel, the closest she's gotten so far to getting her own game.
Alternate Universe: In this one, Laharl sacrificed himself to resurrect Flonne, becoming a Prinny in the process. However, Seraph Lamington is possibly alive, meaning it could be a mix of the original Disgaea's good (canon) ending, and the normal ending. If this game is part of the regular Nippon Ichi continuity, it remains to be revealed.
It's also possible Laharl died in a different scenario. It was mentioned by one Prinny that he died in a war, which could mean Disgaea's last chapter, or something else entirely.
According to his file in Prinny 2, it was in a war between the Netherworld and Celestia, which does add some support to the theory.
Appeal To Pity: Asagi Kurosugi tries this on Prinny Asagi, claiming that she entered because she is deep in debt and is trying to raise money for her sick mother and baby sister. Most likely a lie considering her true character.
Artifact of Death: Spoofed with Etna's panties. According to rumors, her panties can cause total annihilation, but that's only because Etna will kill anyone caught sniffing them or wearing them on their head.
Art Shift: The Disgaea: Love-Hate Battle Tale trailer uses the more realistic artwork of the Hayarigami artist instead of Takehito Harada's artwork.
Moreso with the Baal battle. If you thought Etna was huge...
Awesome but Impractical: Prinny Raid. While it's certainly very useful for clearing the screen and makes the Prinny invincible the whole way through, you lose 1 life for every Prinny that falls onto the screen.
It's actually a bit of a gamble. You have to weigh the use of those lives now against the very real possibility of losing them anyway though repeated replays.
Prinny Laharl and Prinny Asagi in the sequel. Their attacks are powerful, but they use up an extra life when used and you can use them only for one level, after which you have to buy them again. But then again, considering their power, you might actually end up losing less lives, making them Awesome Yet Practical.
An Axe to Grind: Haldi in the sequel has an absolutely HUGE one. It's twice as big as she is, and causes her to have to build up her run.
Big Eater: The Gourmet Ogre. His character info notes that he invented a fifth meal just to kill time before going to sleep.
Bittersweet Ending: Eventually the Prinnies sent out to gain the Ultra Dessert ingredients demand a raise in the form of actual money instead of fish. Etna, of course, refuses, and engages the Prinnies, who have banded together against her along side all but four of the Prinnies out of her entire staff (giving the player infinite lives). By the end of the battle, Etna shows that defiance of her power is futile.
And even without the Etna Bonus Boss, the original ending has a lighter, more comedic variation. Etna decides to reward the Prinnies with a party...that they have to pay an obscene amount of money to attend.
Brutal Bonus Level: The hidden Martial Tower is orders of magnitude harder than the rest of the game. In the sequel, the Martial Temple and Martial Tower: Abyss.
Chainsaw Good: After collecting all 120 Lucky Dolls in the sequel, you can use these as a weapon for the Hero Prinny and Prinny Asagi. The weapon is stronger than the knives that the Hero Prinny usually wields, and has an auto-attack, but does not have the ability to shoot projectiles. For Prinny Asagi, it's a powerful, unlimited use, extreme-close-range weapon that prevents you from being able to use the other weapons unless you pick up her cat or guitar items.
Classic Cheat Code: NIS uses the same code to unlock the alternate storyline on all three of its PSP games— Triangle, Square, Circle, Triangle, Square, Circle X (US version— The original Japanese one swaps the Circles and Xs).
Using it in the sequel to unlock the Asagi Wars campaign, however, will only get you the preview. No shortcuts this time around. The code will unlock Asagi Wars, however, if you buy a special ticket for it via PlayStation Network. (Thankfully, it's for free!)
Complaining About Things You Haven't Paid For: In-universe example: Etna asks the Hero Prinny to sell some games and the console she's playing them on, claiming they suck. The prinny points out that she pirated the games and hacked the console.
Cosmetic Award: The various medals that can be unlocked do... nothing.
If anything, they're largely there as in-game milestones. In the sequel, though, collecting them all unlocks a final stage... if you haven't already figured out how to unlock it manually.
Curb-Stomp Battle: In the first and second games, the boss battle against Bok Choy (Demon Sea Aria or Sandwich Palace, 10 Hours Left, respectively) is about on par with the Waddle Dee battle from Kirby Super Star. He's just a single zombie that hops as his only attack. That's it. No gimmicks, no pitfalls, no Dark Sun, nothing.
Dirty Cop: Though none appear in the actual game, the Prinny you play as says he was one of these before he died.
"Turmeric of the Phoenix Clan is not ready to climax just yet!" "I, Turmeric of the Phoenix clan, am a no-holes[sic] barred warrior of passion..." "I, Turmeric of the Phoenix clan, will not allow such a tiny worm to penetrate my tight barrier!"
Downloadable Content: For about $4 each, there are additional levels available for download from the Playstation Network. So far, there are three, Flonne's Castle, Li'l Asagi Come Home, and Marona of Phantom Brave.
The sequel holds the record for the cheapest piece of paid for Downloadable Content in gaming's history, with the ten yen Demon World Radish, though it's about 99 cents in the US. There's also Pram's stage and the Asagi ticket for free.
Dynamic Entry: If you choose to play as Prinny Laharl, he will drop from the sky and land on the current Prinny. And yes, it does cost you a life every time that happens. Same happens when you unlock Asagi.
Easy-Mode Mockery: Baby Mode gives you three hit points (Or lower rating decrease in Asagi Mode as well as increased ammo on all weapons), pick ups that allow you to regain lost hit points, extra blocks to make platforming easier, and less stun points on bosses in exchange for turning all of your hit points into diapers.
For extra mockery, there is a medal for clearing 22 stages in this mode. But considering that it's needed to obtain the last actual medal in the game....
Evil Laugh: Laharl's laugh increases his combo gauge, but leaves him vulnerable to enemy attacks. Just like the Evil Overlord List predicted.
Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: The CHEFBOT-9000 has no real reason to be in the game except to break up what would otherwise be a very long cutscene with a boss fight, and has no indication that he actually exists prior to his pre-battle introduction except the mysterious giant padlock on the scene. Lampshaded by the Hero Prinny himself.
Jerkass Has a Point: During one of the visits to the Antechamber in Prinny 2, Flonne urges Etna to be nicer to the Prinnies, starting by telling them to keep up the good work, believing that it will produce harder working Prinnies than Etna's current methods. Etna begrudgingly complies which only causes the Hero Prinny to believe that he'll get increased pay, a bonus, a vacation, and other benefits. Flonne keeps quiet for the rest of the scene as Etna goes back to yelling at the Prinny to get back to work.
Kinda Busy Here: Joshua, the Omega Cool spell keeper, spends the entirety of the battle against the Phantom Thief on the phone.
Lethal Joke Character: The Prinnies were always helpless little things in the games. Now, with your help, they can conquer the Netherworld!... For food and panties... while losing hundreds of their own... Eh.
Lethal Joke Weapon: The downloadable Netherworld Radish in the sequel for Hero Prinny and Prinny Asagi. The weapon's melee attack is weaker than the knives that the Hero Prinny usually wields, and has an auto-attack, but does have the ability to shoot projectiles (which actually become more powerful with this weapon), as opposed to the chainsaw, and is also capable of being used at the beginning of the game. For Prinny Asagi, it's an unlimited use extreme-close-range weapon that prevents you from being able to use the other weapons unless you pick up her cat or guitar items, just like with the chainsaw.
Lunacy: On the night of the full moon, Hoshikagenote "Star Shadow" becomes Tsukikagenote "Moon Shadow". Much faster, stronger, and angrier than usual. She even scares Master Frog.
Similarly, Mustard becomes Bloomin' Mustard during full moons. She gets possessed by a ghost, changing her from a Flunky Boss who cheers from the sidelines to an insane, famished, rabid maniac jumping all over the arena on all fours.
Non-Standard Game Over: When you ask the ninja at your hub to help you run away to start a new play cycle, the end credits roll, showing your prinnies' failed attempt at escaping. You also get one if you lose all 1000 of your lives. Replaced by "Death" in the sequel. He's really a pants tailor.
One-Hit-Point Wonder: On "Hell's Finest" difficulty, Prinnies die if they're touched by anything hazardous. With Score Break in the sequel, they also explode if they jump onto the walls or ceiling after a dash, in ANY mode.
The Other Darrin: Almost all the returning characters including Hero Prinny, Laharl, Etna, and Flonne in the sequel.
Outside-the-Box Tactic: The Prinny Laharl boss battle. You have the option of fighting him normally, but Ground Pounding him three times and then tossing him ends the battle much more quickly. This goes for Prinny Asagi in the sequel. As in previous Nippon Ichi games, Prinny Baal lacks this weakness.
Panty Shot: The final boss of Prinny 2, a giant Etna, uses this as an attack!
Pet the Dog / Throw the Dog a Bone: In the sequel's ending, Etna decides to be nice to the Prinnies for once and treat them to a hot spring vacation with no strings attached. Yeah, she says she's using a free coupon, but this is probably the nicest Etna has ever been to the Prinnies. And even after Hero Prinny comes in with her panties on his head (Which was totally by accident), she doesn't go back on her word about the vacation, though she does leave Hero Prinny with multiple bruises.
Phantom Thief: The eponymous Big Bad of the sequel who goes around stealing rare items. Later revealed to be Lord Junkie, a demon noble who wants revenge on Etna.
Platform Hell: Especially in the later parts of the game. Martial Tower and Martial Tower 2 note AKA "Lil Asagi Come Home" deserve special mention.
Getting Torn Letter 10 is enough to make you snap your PSP in half. You have to master the double jump, running jumps, and just about every other little bit of platforming just to reach the halfway point. The last jump in particular has to be pixel-perfect, or you'll be doing the whole thing all over again.
Press X to Die: Pressing L R and X together kills you and brings you back to the last checkpoint. You lose a life, but it's useful if you want to restart boss battles and such.
Punch Clock Villain: Dolvalky, a giant four-armed god who is being summoned to bring the Netherworld into chaos and wields two evil swords called Animosity and Hatred. He is also retired and has taken up gardening in his spare time. In fact, once you get past that whole chaos thing, he's actually pretty friendly.
Rank Inflation: A mild example; it uses the fairly standard D,C,B,A,S.
Refuge in Audacity: The subtitle of the sequel is Dawn Of Operation Panties, Dood... You're tasked with finding the guy who stole Etna's panties...
And to further dig themselves in, NIS America announced a contest...to design a new pair of panties for Etna.
Even further, there is a bonus level based upon the old bosses hunting down a spot where the "ultimate panties" are. You end up in a land where panties scatter the background, are used as items to collect tons of points, and beat an old boss who's wearing a pair on his head and uses EXPLODING panties as weapons.
Scarf Of Ass Kicking: Sort of. The scarf keeps prinnies from exploding. So it's more like a Scarf of Not Getting Your Ass Exploded.
In the sequel, once in Standard Break mode, it can be used as a weapon while Prinny is spinning.
Secret Level: You can unlock an alternate campaign involving Asagi's attempts to become the hero by entering a code at the title screen, or by collecting all the Torn Letters. This returns in the sequel, this time collecting Torn Tickets.
Timed Mission: Sorta. You have ten hours to find the ingredients for the Ultra Dessert before Etna goes ballistic, but that's the exact number of stages you'll need to play to win (the first six can be selected in any order)
Played straight during actual gameplay. Each stage has to be beaten in eight minutes and bosses have to be finished in three.
Theme Naming/Punny Name: The prinnies in the main hub. If you take the time to talk to 'em, you'll notice their names are things like Pripaid, Prittany, Prix, Pritchy...
In addition, a lot of the characters specifically added for the game are named after various cooking terms or foods, considering the goal of the first game is to obtain the ultimate desert. Names include Bok Choy, Anise, Kim and Chi, Basil and Chevril, Cardamon and Turmeric.
A large majority of the monsters in this game are also Makai kingdom monsters, which mostly have food designs
Turns Red: When enemies are near death, they turn red, and somehow become volatile. When the bosses turn red, they get more dangerous.
Uniformity Exception: The game plays with this by making the main character one of the disposableMascot Mook prinnies whose wearing a red scarf. However there's nothing special about said Prinny; when they die, the player's next "life" is another prinny wearing the scarf.
Unsettling Gender-Reveal: You know that cute little Lilim? The one that looks like a little sister to the Succubus? It's not until you earn the secret file that you learn it's a guy.
Bouquet Garni, the girly looking alraune in the sequel, is also male. The game is kind enough to tell us right off the bat in his normal gallery page at least.