If you could rewrite history ... ... What would you do differently?
In the world of Vainqueur, a land of men and beastmen, the theocratic nation Alistel is in a state of war with the fascist monarchy of Granorg. Vainqueur's land is slowly dying alongside its people, as an unusual disease known as the "Sand Plague" turns its citizens into sand. The ruler of Alistel directly blames this disease on the queen of Granorg, Protea, meaning they are justified in a holy war.Enter our hero, Stocke, an Alistel spy. He is sent into Granorg territory alongside new teammates Raynie and Marco to rescue another spy who was captured. Unfortunately, the lot of them find themselves surrounded; the spy, Raynie, and Marco bite the dust; and Stocke is heavily wounded. He finds himself in Historia, a world between time and space. It is there that a pair of children give him the ability to travel through time, space, and the timelines, telling him that the world needs his new power. Going back and rescuing his team from their fate, Stocke must now cross between two timelines - one where he remains a spy, one where he joins his friend Rosch in the army - to guide history down the "razor-thin path" that leads to salvation.A DS RPG by a dream team made up of members of the Persona 3, Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey, Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne, Radiata Stories, and Etrian Odyssey development teams, with music by Yoko Shimomura. Released in North America on Feb 22nd, 2011. Not to be confused with Radiata Stories, of course, or Radiant Silvergun.
Abusive Parents - Between the Offing the Offspring, Protea's habit of locking Eruca in her room as often as possible, and Heiss, who is essentially Stocke's foster father, putting him through everything up to and including Mind Rape in a well-intentioned but deeply messed-up attempt to control him, the Granorg royal family seems to have had some... problems in this regard.
Alas, Poor Villain: Heiss, in his capacity as Big Bad and Final Boss, gets one of these moments during the ending, and it's made even stronger in the Golden Ending, in which he decides to become the Sacrifice himself so Stocke won't need to die.
All Swords Are the Same - Both Stocke and Marco can wield swords, and despite the fact they are clearly two completely different types of swords (a longsword and a short one-handed blade), they both can equip any and all types of swords. Slightly subverted in one of the sidequests that involves finding a replacement sand sword for a character whose fighting style revolves around them, making him unable to use normal swords due to his preferred kind of sword's unique shape.
Always Save Your Loved One - This is actually the motivation of the Big Bad; if saving the life of the one person he cares about means dooming the world to desertification, that's a price he's willing to pay.
Ambidextrous Sprite - Mostly played straight (especially with portraits) except for one aversion: Rosch's left-facing and right-facing map sprites both have his Gauntlet as his left arm.
Because Destiny Says So - Stocke is only capable of changing certain decisions he makes. So, his inability to prevent the destruction of the Rosch Brigade and the necessity of Kiel's sacrifice is understandably infuriating to both him and the player.
Make the wrong choice during Marco's sidequest, and you'll get a bad ending where he snaps and kills the entire party (except Stocke, because Stocke's gotta learn from this experience somehow).
Another bad ending: make the wrong choice during Aht's sidequest, and she winds up using her shaman powers to trap Stocke in an illusory world so she can be with him forever.
Big Bad Ensemble - Queen Protea for the Standard History, General Hugo in the Alternate History, and Heiss for the overall plot.
Bishōnen - Stocke, Dias, and Selvan. It's implied Dias and Selvan got their jobs because of their looks.
Bittersweet Ending - Unless you clear the 10 specific sidequests required for the best ending, that is. Even then, it's somewhat bittersweet. Some of the premature endings should also qualify.
Block Puzzle - A particularly time-consuming one in the final dungeon, mostly because of lots of forced battles (both the blocks themselves and on the paths they need to be pushed through, latter of which respawn every time you fight a block but can thankfully be run away from) and the fact that it resets if you backtrack to save (instead of just pushing on to the next savepoint, which is also a node), unlike most other puzzles.
Blue and Orange Morality - Zig-zagged. The Beastmen loudly insist that it applies to them. For the most part they come across as simply resentful of the humans' history of exploiting them, and one side-quest involves bridging the gap. On the other hand, when one of the bad endings involves a Gutral character becoming a mindless avatar of destruction and beating the game's other impending apocalypses to the punch, there is no indication that his race regards the transformation as anything but a legitimate religious experience.
Boring but Practical - Despite all the cool higher-level Mana Burst abilities, the first one you get, Turn Break, is often the most useful. All party members can use it and it removes an enemy's turn, making it easier to string together massive combos or buying you some breathing room to heal.
Boss Rush - Near the end, to unseal a door, you have to fight four bosses in a row. At least you can do whatever between fights, and the ones you defeat don't have to be refought.
Bottomless Magazines - Eruca's guns somehow work without bullets. Justified in that they're magic guns.
But Thou Must - Countless times you will need to choose between two options. Invariably, one of them leads to a Non Standard Game Over and the other choice allows the story to proceed. If you guess wrong, time is reset and you have an opportunity to make the choice again.
Zig-Zagged in the very first choice of the game (joining Rosch's Brigade): you can choose either option, but you'll continuously encounter roadblocks that will require you to visit the other timeline.
Most of the world is shockingly blase about the fact that the world is turning into sand; they're most concerned with winning the war.
And, in the sidequest with Mimel, the bar patrons don't seem to notice the fact that someone just got turned to sand right in the middle of the room.
Can't Catch Up - Due to the strange way Leaked Experience is handled, there's a couple of characters this can potentially happen to. Rosch drops in and out of the party so often that by the time he gets over his Heroic BSOD, he'll probably be about 15 levels below everyone else, and can easily stay underleveled the entire game. On the other side of things, Eruca gets kicked out of the party for plot reasons for the entire last three dungeons, so unless you turn around right before the final boss fight to go Level Grinding, she's going to be at a significantly lower level than the rest of the party.
Prince Ernst has been dead for several years, but since the game keeps bringing him up, you know he's gotta be important. Especially about halfway through the game, when it's revealed that Stocke looks so much like him it's making Eruca uncomfortable. Sure enough, he is: Stocke is Ernst, Back from the Dead and with his memories erased.
There is one line that establishes that the previous sacrifice for the ritual's location is unknown, and this is likely to go unnoticed due to the much bigger revelation in that same line that the ritual requires a sacrifice. Guess who the ultimate Big Bad is?
Cherry Tapping - Aht's Dancing Death skill hits seven times, and due to her abysmal Attack stat most of them will hit for 1 damage. But it's fantastic for raising your combo level, and when facing one of the handful of enemies with invulnerability skills can completely negate all shields in one turn, since each shield level blocks one hit, regardless of damage.
The Chessmaster - Heiss and Stocke. Understandable, since the one is a master spy and the other is his protege.
Dias and Selvan to a degree, though they're not as good at it as Heiss and Stocke keeps ruining everything.
Chess Motifs - Chess pieces can be worn as stat boosting accessories. Pawn is the first and King is the best.
Also, the Black and White Chronicles can be seen as opposing chess masters, trying to outmaneuver the other.
A Child Shall Lead Them - Eruca to the Resistance and later Granorg in both timelines, and Aht, who, as a shaman, acts as the spiritual leader of Celestia.
Child Mage - Aht at 9 years old. Marco to an extent, since he looks small and childlike but is actually 17 years old.
Child Soldiers - Raynie and Marco are both 17 and have been mercenaries for years.
Chokepoint Geography - For some reason, you can't get anywhere in the game without passing through Lazvil Hills and/or Gran Plain.
Copy Protection - You'll be allowed to save, and your file won't get deleted, but a new game will start when you hit "Continue" at the title screen, so you won't be able to actually access your save file.
Crapsack World - You either have the organized, religiously-motivated, puppet-government in Alistel, the vapid and corrupt government of Granorg, or the democratic and free, but dangerous and outlaw nation of Cygnus. There are other small towns, but they're rather unfriendly towards humans (check the Fantastic Racism trope below).
Custom Uniform - Kiel wears something other than standard armour for some reason.
Darkest Hour - The beginning of chapter 3 in the alternate timeline, fittingly called "Despair". Kiel, Raynie and Marco weren't seen again after the battle, Stocke was deemed a traitor and had to flee, Heiss turned against him, and Rosch lost his will to fight along with his mechanical arm.
Dark Is Not Evil - The Black Chronicle has the same powers and is intended for the same purpose as the White Chronicle.
Dead All Along - A prerequisite for Sacrifices- namely, Stocke and Heiss. A variation of this applies to the Prophet Noah.
Devour the Dragon - Heiss offers to make Selvan and Dias "a part of something great" - i.e., himself.
The Dev Team Thinks of Everything - While there's plenty of minor examples, one of them stands out due to it being pretty obscure: if you choose to view the Bad Ending where Rosch assassinates Marco and Eruca and is mortally wounded for the second time after seeing the event where Stocke slaps some sense into him to cure him of his Lawful Stupid tendencies and finds Sonja the necessary items to repair his Gauntlet in the other timeline, the reason for their deaths is changed from Rosch assassinating them to Eruca and Marco not knowing he had changed sides and not giving him a chance to explain himself and Rosch having to kill them in self-defense.
Another even more obscure one: if you find and disarm the bombs in the Sand Fortress without actually seeing the cutscene where they go off, Stocke's dialogue changes so instead of counting down how many are left, he wonders what the hell a bomb was doing there.
Diabolus Ex Machina - While some of the bad end triggers are rather obvious (attacking a soldier during an undercover mission, sending troops into an obvious trap, accepting Hugo's offer of power), quite a few of them will blindside you due to being triggered by decisions that actually make the most sense in their situation, or seem trivial. "The Queen Ascendant" ending, which is triggered by actually investigating the mine a missing messenger was last seen at, is one such example. "The Princess' Charge" is another bad ending that seems far too sudden considering the events surrounding it: A little girl wants to play Princess Erica and wants a replica of her ring to complete the costume, they're sold out but Erica's willing to part with the real deal, which leads to Stocke suggesting that she shouldn't push herself so hard to fulfill her role, which she takes to mean "Organize a public rebellion" that fails and leads her to be imprisoned and/or executed as a traitor.
Dual Wielding - Aht, Pierre, and Otto (daggers); Will and Viola (swords); and Eruca (guns).
Dual-World Gameplay - There are two timelines that you have to swap back and forth between to progress in the game.
Dual Boss - The Desert Crows, Palomides the Executioner when Stocke fights him properly.
Duel Boss - Heiss, Eli's gladiator, King Garland, and Rosch (twice). In the optional category, you have Gafka vs. Bergas (x4!).
Dysfunction Junction - Stocke, as the bearer of the Chronicle, is subjected to all the horrors of both timelines, both naturally and in the various "bad ends", Rosch sees his entire brigade slaughtered to the man, loses an arm, and his loyalty to his country dangerously borders on fanaticism to the point that he betrays Stocke and attempts to murder Eruca. Eruca is forced to fight against her own stepmother as Protea's ever-increasing madness sends her kingdom ever further down the drain, plus having to cope with working with someone who's basically a stranger in her brother's body. Raynie and Marco both have Survivors Guilt from when the rest of their mercenary company was wiped out, plus Raynie lost her entire family at a young age, forcing her into becoming a freelance mercenary just to survive and Marco is Forced to Watch as his crush is brutally murdered right in front of him. And that's not even getting into the bad endings, like when Marco turns into a murderous psychopath, Aht goes completely Yandere, or Gafka becomes an inhuman monster that the entire world has to team up to take down.
Evil Versus Evil - The war between Granorg and Alistel turns out to be this. Queen Protea is a petty, egomaniacal tyrant who brutally oppresses and taxes her kingdom purely so she can have more luxuries, has hundreds of innocent people murdered on flimsy charges, and at one point sets her own city on fire, killing millions, just to kill one rebel. Oh, and her adviser and best general are both manipulating her for their own ends. As for Alistel, Fennel is a Mad Scientist whose research is questionable at best and downright terrifying at worst, and General Hugo has been using fabricated messages of bigotry and hate, allegedly from the Prophet Noah (who has in fact been dead for years) in order to control the populace, sends thousands of his own men, including literally all of Rosch's brigade to die on a suicide mission because their leaders are better-liked than him, and transforms Alistel into a horrifically dystopian military dictatorship. Oh, and the chief of intelligence is the game's Big Bad.
Exponential Potential - Scrolling through all your skills to pick one every turn (or set of turns) gets annoying.
Fisher King - Alistel propaganda holds that the desertification is due to Queen Protea's tyranny, and that the land will die anytime a corrupt ruler reigns. There actually is some truth to this, as the desertification is caused by the ruler of Granorg not performing a specific ritual, which Protea is incapable of doing (as it can be only be performed by one of royal blood, and she married into the family) even if she wanted to. There's no evidence that the propagandists of Alistel know this, though.
Fog of War - A variation. Unexplored areas of the map are completely shrouded in fog so you can't see what might be there.
Foreshadowing - In the Standard timeline, Eruca dismisses a suggestion to quietly assassinate Protea on the grounds that if she isn't openly removed from power, Selvan and Dias will just claim that she's gone into seclusion and run Granorg however they like in her name. In a later chapter of the Alternate timeline, it is revealed that the Prophet Noah died (Possibly assassinated, but potentially just from being an old man with health problems) at some point after he had withdrawn from public view five years earlier. General Hugo then decided that since he was the only member of the Alistel High Command who knew this, he could pretend that the prophet was still alive and continue running the country to suit himself in Noah's name.
On a replay, be prepared to feel stupid for not picking up on the vast number of hints that Heiss has the Black Chronicle. There's even a few scenes where you can actually pick out decision points in his timeline.
For Science! - Fennel — for thaumatech research! He prioritizes gathering test data on his thaumatech mechs very highly.
Ah, data! The beautiful crystals of promise and potential...
For Want of a Nail - The Big Bad is running around stealing as many nails as he can; the resulting timeline damage sets off the events of the game. In one timeline, Stocke is a special ops soldier (read: spy). In another, he's a low-ranking (but rapidly-rising) grunt in the military. Due to Historia, he retains the skills of both. He can also use his time jumping to figure out which nails are missing from each timeline (one example given is the realization that a courier who delivered explosives is dead in timeline A, discovered by asking in timeline B, where the explosives arrived on time).
Fragile Speedster - Aht. Becomes not-so-fragile after many, many levels and with the right equipment.
Good Republic, Evil Empire - Subverted: Because of the backstabbing and secret pacts in both timelines, they both eventually become the enemy in both timelines. Considering how messed up both governments are, the choices are more like Zealous Republic Apathetic Empire.
Vainqueur, the continent's name, means "winner" in french.
Gratuitous German - Mainly some unique weapons, like "Der Lowe" (it should be "Der Löwe" or "Der Loewe" - "The Lion") or the Freikugel brand of guns. This fits the theme of most Alistellians having German-sounding names.
One sidequest in particular requires you to make the correct dialogue choices at three points in time, in two separate timelines, with the last necessary dialogue choice taking place AFTER the sidequest. Without prior knowledge to the requirements, it would be near-impossible to trigger (unless you're the kind of person who makes chivalrous choices automatically).
Another sidequest involving a mana-absorbing plant requires you to see both less-than-preferable outcomes before you're allowed to Take a Third Option.
Guns Are Worthless - Eruca is a Glass Cannon when it comes to magic, but most of her physical attacks are pathetic. Generally speaking, if a skill has her pulling a rifle out of Hammerspace, it will do decent damage, but otherwise, her guns are indeed pretty worthless.
Healing Hands - Aht, Stocke, and Marco. Eruca and Raynie also have Regen magic.
Hell Is That Noise - invoked To the characters, the clanking footfalls of Palomides's armored division.
Hero Antagonist - Early on in the Standard History, Stocke gets sent to capture a man named Vlad who's part of a resistance movement in Alistel. Most of Vlad's comments about the government later turn out to be completely correct.
Hopeless Boss Fight - One sets off the whole story. If you do manage to win it (probably by hacking), you gain no EXP, no cash, and no items from it. You can return to Alistel, but the plot won't continue (since you're supposed to lose). If you walk back through the bridge, you can trigger the fight again. The only reward for winning the fight legitimately is bragging rights.
In the final dungeon, one of the last obstacles is the player being repeatedly sent back to various moments throughout the story for multiple boss fights, including the aforementioned Hopeless Boss F Ight. This time it's quite beatable.
I Am Who? - Stocke. By whom I mean Prince Ernst of Granorg. He even uses his real name as a pseudonym at one point.
Inevitable Tournament - Stocke is forced to take part in one to find his missing party members. Luckily for you, you don't have to go through the entire tournament, considering the last opponents are very difficult. But you do have to finish the tournament in order to finish a sidequest.
Inexplicable Treasure Chests - Normal treasure chests are one thing, but why would you go to the trouble of turning one invisible, then leave it lying around in the woods?
Late Character Syndrome - Depending on the player, Eruca, Rosch, and/or Gafka may suffer from this. Lampshaded in Rosch's case by someone telling him he'll have to work twice as hard after his absence.
Lazy Backup - The fate of the world is riding on your battles, but your backup still won't step up if you get wiped out.
Leaked Experience - Annoyingly, only if the character is available at the time. This tends to result in Rosch in particular having a bad case of Can't Catch Up.
Leitmotif - "The Melody Connecting The Universe" is played in scenes related to Historia, the fate of the world and the desertification, and "Unending Clear Blue Sky" is Aht's character theme.
Life Energy - Mana. The desertification is caused by improper flow of Mana (called Flux).
A Lighter Shade Of Gray - Cygnus may be a rather brutal place that sees nothing wrong with slavery or solving every argument with a duel, but at least they're not an oppressive, corrupt dictatorship like Alistel or Granorg.
Limit Break - Mana Bursts. Everyone can use "Turn Break" (an enemy turn is skipped) and also gets two unique attacks.
Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards - Physical attacks are next to useless in this game. It also helps that there are no such thing as elemental resistances or immunities in this game, only weaknesses. This makes the Mythril Edge, which is bought from a random merchant near the end of the game, more useful than the True Historica, which you get after beating the toughest boss in the game due to its substantially higher Magic boost.
Long Song, Short Scene: The appropriately-titled "Interrupted Moment", which plays over the bad end title cards. Unless you specifically stop to listen to it, you'll probably hear about three seconds of it, tops.
Lost Forever - There is exactly 1 missable fight in this game: Hermit Pierre. If you escort Claire out of the sewers in Standard History Chapter 2 before the event where Pierre betrays you, you've officially locked yourself out of this fight for the rest of that file. You can still get 100% Completion without it, though.
Misapplied Phlebotinum - Both the White and the Black Chronicle. Their intended purpose is to provide Sacrifice candidates with the experiences necessary to understand and embrace their duty. It's Heiss's meddling that leads to both books being used to alter history.
Modular Epilogue - The ending contains several scenes that must be unlocked by completing optional storylines. The Golden Ending requires that you complete all the major ones. Ironically, the most important of all doesn't seem especially significant until you complete it; the fate of the world hinges on what appears at first to be a simple Fetch Quest.
Multiple Endings - Send the timeline into an unsustainable path, and you end up continuing from the beginning of that chapter. The final ending also has multiple permuations depending on which sidequests you cleared.
Mundane Utility - The Chronicles, books that allow the bearers to travel through time at will and rewrite history as they see fit were originally intended to make their bearers wiser so that their sacrifices would have more of an effect. That's pretty damn important, but still...
Non Standard Game Over - Stocke never actually dies in any of the game's bad endings, but triggering one will set you back a bit, forcing you to continue onward from the beginning of the respective chapter. That being said, you can quickly skip the character intro cutscene and get back to where you were from the closest save point.
Notice This - Walking close to an invisible treasure chest, switch, or plot item once you get the Mana Sight ability is accompanied by a sound effect and a glow as it appears. This is particularly handy in the case of a couple of chests hidden in the shadows of walls.
Now, Where Was I Going Again? - May happen to players once the timeline(s) get more complicated, especially since much of the game involves replaying scenes they've played already with just a slight change.
Thankfully, the White Chronicle is accessible from the menu, and lists both timelines, their events, their branching paths, and even the effects your manipulation had on them.
Offing the Offspring - The late King Victor killed Ernst not only because the original Sacrifice (Heiss) ran out on him, but also because Ernst's altruistic endeavors were making Victor look bad. Eruca was his first choice, but she "behaved."
Protea likes to threaten Eruca with what happened to her brother. She's also implied to have her assassinated in one bad ending.
Off the Rails - One of the false endings (The World's Betrayal) has Stocke join Granorg as an assassin, killing multiple important NPCs and Teo and Lippti comment that they never expected him to try such a thing.
One Size Fits All - 9-year-old Aht and 19-year-old Stocke can wear the same armor, but the shared category is cloaks, so it's not as ridiculous as it sounds. A more glaring example is between Stocke, Raynie, Marco, and Rosch, all of whom are very different in size.
Given Teo and Lippti's pointy ears, they may have been be elf analogues.
Preexisting Encounters - May be annoyingly difficult to avoid before you gain the skill to turn yourself invisible to them. This saves much time near the end of the game when completing quests in early areas, where all the enemies do nothing more than slow you down.
Red Oni, Blue Oni - All over the place- Raynie and Marco, Stocke and Rosch, Teo and Lippti, and Rosch and Raul. Though ironically, the pair who most fit the red/blue symbolism in terms of colors and Elemental Powers are both Blues: despite the red clothes and fire magic, Stocke is if anything even calmer and more subdued than ice-wielding, blue-clothed Eruca, and the only thing that might qualify him as the Red of the two is a slight bias towards action and impulsivity. Though from the sound of things, they used to be a rather straighter example.
Restraining Bolt - One is placed on the White Chronicle itself, so Stocke can only alter history relative to his own decisions and experiences. Another is placed on the twins so they cannot interfere with history from within the Chronicle. They later injure themselves trying to overcome it to give Stocke some direct hints.
Not only does Stocke have it, he can also make the opinions and feelings of certain characters from one timeline bleed onto the other, or even backwards in time. The most notable examples are curing Rosch's Lawful Stupid and making Raynie and Marco's loyalty override their fear of betraying Heiss.
Schizo Tech - Only one human ally and no enemies use a gun (everyone else uses crossbows) and one kingdom has Magitech mechs and teleporters.
Screw Destiny - Zig-Zagged. Heiss defied his destiny to become a sacrifice to save the world and tried to help Stocke do the same; however, Stocke fought his plans at every turn, and eventually his conviction convinced Heiss that the future was worth saving, causing him to offer himself as the sacrifice in Stocke's stead.
Self-Disposing Villain - Dias throws a knife at Eruca, and Stocke jumps in the way and lethally reflects it back to him with an extremely well-timed sword strike.
Sequel Hook - The ritual to stop desertification is nothing but a quick fix. This is not fixed in-game, leaving room for a sequel that puts an end to desertification once and for all. Lippti and Teo imply that the scientist with two kids will be the one to do it.
So Happy Together - In one bad ending, Stocke agrees to give up fighting to live with Raynie and seek a peaceful solution to the desertification. They admit to their relationship to Rosch and the others, and receive their congratulations. Although they are truly happy together, they watch the world slowly end in one year. Stocke uses the White Chronicle to get back to work, telling Raynie he can't give up, and making The Promise.
So Long, and Thanks for All the Gear - Sort of. It can happen; the game removes members from your party without warning often enough. But it isn't a big deal since you can time travel back to when they still were in the party, retrieve your stuff, and go back.
Garland: Shackles can't bind the soul, or something like that.
Spell My Name with an "S" - Alternates between Stock/Stocke depending on the age of the promotional material. The Japanese "official" romanization was Stock, but Atlus USA chose to go with Stocke, so Stocke is his official English name. Same with Roche/Rosch.
There are, however, at least two instances of "Stock" that slipped into the final game.
Survivors Guilt - Rosch is hit by a case of this after the loss of his brigade. He partially gets over it eventually though.
Marco and Raynie have this early in the game, but it gets dropped pretty quickly. It's also hinted that Stocke has some, but the game never goes into detail about it. Eruca also feels some, considering that she was originally going to be the sacrifice, but her brother was picked instead, simply because she wasn't openly rebellious.
Raynie and Marco. She blasts things, Marco makes sure they're in the right place to be blasted and heals.
Take Your Time - You can choose to do all your sidequests right before the final battle. Go ahead, the Big Bad will wait. Justified for once, since you are using time travel, so you'll return to the final dungeon at the same moment of time you left it.
However, it doesn't explain how you can spend night after night at the inn while the city outside is in total chaos.
Targeted Human Sacrifice - The ritual requires the caster to use part of their soul to temporarily resurrect someone who died, then use that person as a reserve of Soul Power to fuel the ritual itself. Since there's not exactly a lot of recently-deceased people in the family who Eruca could resurrect, that just leaves two: Stocke and Heiss. And considering that the former is a Messianic Archetype, the latter is the Big Bad, and the sacrifice has to be willing to work...
Tarot Motifs - The disciples of the world's greatest martial artist are Chalice, Wand, Pentacle, and Sword. Considering this, it's probably not coincidental that part of the sidequest they're involved in uses a sun as Eruca's symbol and a star as Aht's. Or that one of Stocke's Skill Pacts is called the Death Pact.
Terminator Twosome - The two Chronicle wielders are basically pulling a chessmaster variant of this. There's also a more standard use later, when Heiss tries to skip back in time to kill Eruca before she and Stocke can meet, only for Stocke to go to the same point in time and fight him off.
Thanatos Gambit - Field Marshal Viola tries to pull one, for various reasons. The key word here is "try," because she ends up surviving if you've completed her sidequest.
Theme Naming: Most of the battle themes' titles involve colors. Blue Radiance is the standard battle theme, The Edge of Green and The Red Locus are boss themes, and An Earnest Desire of Grey is the final boss theme.
There are quite a few characters named after plants and flowers, with Stocke (named for a type of night-blooming flower), Eruca (named for the scientific name of a type of salad green, the poor girl), Viola, and Garland being some of the more obvious ones.
There Are No Tents - Except in a cutscene. However, you can use mana crystals to heal at Save Points, but since they're in limited availability and are ridiculously expensive, you're much better off just travelling to a node near to an inn and using that.
Too Awesome to Use - Certain very rare items that make the whole party invulnerable for a few turns. Certain sidequests will all but force you to use them, though. However, you have absolutely no excuse for not using them during the final battle, since they get returned to you even after you save the clear file.
Too Many Belts - Pretty much everyone. Stocke, Raynie, and Kiel are the worst offenders.
Tricked Out Time - In the Golden Ending, Stocke goes back in time and saves Kiel and the rest of the Rosch brigade, but manages to keep them stuck in Granorg long enough that everyone thinks they're dead.
Two Guys and a Girl - Stocke, Marco and Raynie could be this, except Marco seems more brotherly to Raynie than anything.
Alternately, Stocke, Rosch and Sonja. In one Side Quest, when Stocke confronts Rosch about his feelings, Sonja overhears and runs off. If Stocke goes to comfort her, it's a Bad End. If Stocke pushes Rosch to chase after her, though, the two hook up.
Useless Useful Spell - Averted: spells like Poison and Sleep work on enemies and even bosses more often than not.
Useless Useful Stealth - Stocke gets the ability to turn invisible partway through the game. Sometimes this works for the whole party, sometimes it doesn't (or he just forgets to use it), and of course he never goes back and redoes past events where the ability would have been useful if he'd had it then. (It's somewhat justified when he's trying to get Raul out of Alistel, though. The soldiers that do detect him aren't exactly normal...)
Vicious Cycle - The Granorg Royal Family regularly needs to carry out a certain "ceremony" to keep the world from turning into sand. Neither of the game endings do anything to change this, but two of the epilogue scenes might show results.
Video Game Stealing - Aht and Stocke are your battle kleptomaniacs. Most enemies have two items to steal, one common and one rarer. They usually won't drop them if you don't steal them.
Villain Exit Stage Left - There's a mysterious person under the control of the Black Chronicle who shows up a few times, summons Shadows for a miniboss fight, then disappears. While you eventually learn his identity, you never fight him. This also happens once when Palomides pulls a You Shall Not Pass to let High Colonel Dias escape, only for your two inactive party members and Garland to do absolutely squat to stop the latter while you're busy fighting the former.
What Happened to the Mouse? - In terms of the Standard History, the fates of Hugo and Fennel are left unanswered, but it's possible that the whole "echo effect" between timelines had done its job; they probably suffered a similar fate to their Alternate History counterparts, but the writers either didn't have time or didn't consider it necessary to put in at that point. The fate of King Victor is a smidge more annoying to leave hanging; after fighting you in the Imperial Ruins, he retreats through a doorway, his identity is finally revealed... and he's never mentioned again!
You All Look Familiar - Particularly bad with the soldiers, since you're never sure whether you're supposed to be fighting them or not.
Even more ridiculous with the "Thaumachines End" sidequest. It involves rescuing a man who was heavily experimented on, and outfitted with a thaumachine body as a makeshift gauntlet. But when you finally destroy the armor to reveal the tortued man within all you see is... the standard soldier sprite!
Raynie and Marco do this for Stocke once. They succeed and reunite later.
One of the "bad endings" has Stocke do this for Raynie and Marco, serving as a distraction so they can complete the mission on their own. This being a bad ending, he gets out, but they don't.
Kiel acts as a decoy so Stocke and Rosch can escape the ambush that destroyed the rest of the Rosch Brigade... and never comes back.
Otto, a Resistance member, does this for Princess Eruca and the rest of the party. Later in the game, you will be given the means to ensure that Will, another Resistance member, will be able to assist him, allowing them both to survive.
Younger Than They Look - Heiss. Justified since using the Black Chronicle caused him to age a lot more than he should have. Also, according to official material, Rosch is only 21.
Zero-Effort Boss - Subverted in the boss fight against Alternate History Rosch. At first, his attacks never reduce you below 1 HP... then, after some dialogue, they do.
And Hugo. That is, until you get the Infinity–1 Sword. Then he actually puts up a fight.