Video Game: Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale
Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale
(Recettear: How To Run An Item Shop
in Japan) is a doujin
role-playing game, originally released in December 2007 by EasyGameStation
at the 73rd Comiket
. It is the successor/sequel to Chantelise
It tells the story of Recette Lemongrass, a young girl who has been living on her own since her father abandoned her
to become a famous Adventurer. One day, she is visited by a fairy of the Terme Finance company and discovers that her father left at least one thing behind: a monstrously-high debt that will render Recette homeless if it's not paid off within five weeks.
However, all is not lost: the fairy, Tear, suggests that Recette convert the bottom floor of her house into an item shop and raise the funds through good old-fashioned capitalism. And so, with the aid of the local Merchant's Guild and an ever-expanding roster of Adventurers willing to help loot the nearby dungeons for merchandise, Recette's days of being an item merchant begin.
Gameplay alternates between tending to the shop and entering the dungeons around the town of Pensee. Recette and Tear can't fight, but they can hire mercenaries to enter the dungeons and fight for them in search of new items. At the end of each week, Recette must have enough money saved in her account to pay off an increased portion of her debt in order to continue. Failure causes it to be revealed as All Just a Dream
and allows you to restart from the second day with everything you've accumulated apart from story related aquisitions, such as adventurers.
Officially localized by Carpe Fulgur
, the game has been picked up for online distribution by Impulse, Steam
, and GamersGate. The international version of the soundtrack is up on iTunes and includes, among other songs, both the vocal version of the theme and its instrumental version. To date, the localized version of Recettear has sold over three hundred thousand copies, and by Carpe Fulgur's claim has made EGS well over US$500,000.
Due to the lighthearted and comedic nature of the game and its translation, a Shout-Out
page can be found here.
It has its own Character Page
. Be sure to add tropes related to them there.
Tropes used by this game:
- Absurdly High Level Cap: Your Merchant Level can go all the way up to level 99, despite the fact that Recette doesn't get any extra privileges after level 50.
- Adam Smith Hates Your Guts:
- Inverted in the fact that you are the shopkeeper now, gouging poor adventurers out of their hard earned cash. Tear even mentions Adam Smith by name when you buy your first stock from the Merchant guild with the express purpose of reselling at an inflated price.
The game however strongly encourages selling them equipment at low prices since it'll benefit you when you go adventuring with them later.
- "Gouging" is the light term once you start seeing increases or decreases in prices. You can charge upwards of 300% on something that has had a price increase and get away with it. More so if people trust you and/or you run a more high-end expensive shop.
Of course, you can do this both ways when people start selling stuff back to you. You can buy things as low as 20% of the base price.
- The game does reward you for being kind to your customers, though: selling things at about 108% of the base price and buying (from customers) at about 70% of the base price will give you merchant experience bonuses, which unlocks things, such as shop expansions, more ways of selling, shop customization, etc. It also increases the heart points of your customers, which in turn gives them a bigger budget to spend in your shop. Buying high and selling low is a necessity if you want to sell really expensive items later. And if you gouge certain customers, they'll consistently enter your store with a very low budget (see: the little girl).
- All Just a Dream: If you fail to meet a debt repayment, everything prior to that point turns out to be this as Recette wakes up on Day 2. Well, everything but any renovations and remodeling done to the store, store levels, and your items.
- Considering that you return to Day 2 with everything you'd earned up until the point you failed (items, merchant levels, store renovations, and adventurer levels) it may feel more like Recette just got sent back in time, rather than just woke up from a particularly bad dream.
- Ambidextrous Sprite: All of the characters seem to use this, but it's most noticeable with Recette. When facing left or right, her hair bubbles face the screen.
- In dungeons, Louie swings with his right hand in every direction except when he's facing right. For some reason, he mysteriously becomes left-handed when facing right - you can see his shield strapped to the arm facing the screen.
- Anachronism Stew: Being set in a medieval-ish Fantasy Counterpart Culture France is no reason not to have vending machines, canned goods, a Robot Girl, and a Wal-Mart expy, among other things.
- Annoying Arrows: The boss fight with Tielle. She's behind boxes which you must first break down, and pelts you with arrows while you're attempting it.
- Anti-Frustration Features: If you lose, you go back to the second day, but you keep all your items and pretty much everything else that isn't story related, such as Merchant Level, Adventurer Levels, and dungeon floors cleared. This tends to make getting back to where you were absolutely trivial and beating whichever week you lost on much easier. It also means that not running your shop well for a single week won't force you to completely redo everything.
- Artificial Brilliance: Pay attention during the 'final' boss and you'll notice the Archdevil's Hand actively tries to hem you into the edge of the field so Griff can fall back into a position that allows him to cover your entire limited movement zone with his bat swarm.
- Artificial Stupidity:
- Even if you stock the entirety of the store with one specific item, there's still a possibility that a customer will ask for the specific item that's currently flooding your shelves. note
- The Guild Master may come in and ask for an item you just bought from him right before opening your store for the block of time.
- Awesome but Impractical: The chain combo system in dungeons. While it's great if you run into multiple of the same mobs, the dungeons often have a wide variety of different mobs, so running around killing the same type isn't very practical. Generally it's better to just mow everything down if not speed-running through the dungeon.
- Bag of Holding:
- Averted in dungeons where you'll generally fill up your (initially 20-space) inventory well before you reach each checkpoint. It's also more directly averted in that adventurers can only hold the armor and weapons they use in a dungeon, it's you the shop owner that tails along behind them to hold all the loot they leave behind. If the adventurer goes down you typically only get to keep one or two items from the run as you have to physically carry the unconscious adventurer's body out of the dungeon which means emptying your pockets to accommodate.
- Played straight in that you can hoard as many items as you like otherwise, but easily justified - an item shop owner would be expected to have a massive basement or something for all that stock.
- Also played straight with the vending machines - it is quite possible to stuff ten vending machines into the one you have set up in your shop.
- A later patch fixes this so it changes the vending machines as intended instead of placing vending machines inside vending machines.
- Bare Your Midriff: Quite a few female characters.
- Beleaguered Assistant: Tear.
- Big Bad: For as simplistic as this game's story is, even it has an ultimate antagonist: Avall, President of Terme Finance.
- Big Eater: Tielle, especially when it comes to sweets.
- Boring but Practical: Food selling. Although their prices pales in comparison to the shiny and valuable equipments they are (mostly) cheap, sells fast being able to level up the Merchant Level quickly and is also a very easy way to earn the customer's trust early on the game.
- Boss Rush: Unlocked for a given dungeon by completing every floor.
- Boss Subtitles: Few of them are serious, most are downright silly.
- Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick:
Recette: Ah, it's such a nice day today! Bright sun, blue skies, white clouds, happy people, and a collapsed Louie!
- Breaking the Fourth Wall:
- Mostly done in the tutorials. Recette doesn't understand what "custom.exe" or "Button 3" is.
- When Recette runs into Alouette in a dungeon, Alouette comments on the seediness of the accompanying adventurer. Recette replies that the joke was already done before.
- After the main quest is completed, Alouette and Prime explain the new game modes and other unlockables, while Recette and Tear describe the survival modes in more detail.
- Brick Joke: Subtle example. Early on, Tear worries about the shop name sounding like "Racketeer". Later, Charme starts selling you blatantly stolen goods and buying with money she pretty much says isn't hers.
- When meeting Griff for the first time he picks on Tear for being a fey, but Recette thinks that this is due to him liking Tear and not being able to express it properly. Later, when Griff gives Recette his card, she asks when he's going to ask for Tear's hand in marriage, then swiftly tells him that it won't happen when she is around.
- Brutal Bonus Level: Crystal Nightmare.
- Buffy Speak: Recette dips into this sometimes.
- Bumbling Dad: Recette's dad is presumably this. And later, in the 80th floor of Lapis Ruins, he is seen wearing nothing but pants on his head while struggling against a single monster. Recette decides to ignore his existence.
- But Now I Must Go: Tear must leave Recette once the debt has been cleared. At the end, however, Recette "forgets" to fill out the paperwork and Tear ends up staying with her for the Endless mode.
- Can't Hold Her Liquor: Charme, especially compared to Nagi. She's actually a lot less drunk than she lets on.
- Catch Phrase:
- Capitalism, ho!
- Oh, carp!
- Cardboard Box Home: What Recette is forced to live in if you miss a payment deadline (at least until she wakes up for the next try)
- Cassandra Truth: No matter what Recette says, Caillou refuses to believe that she's the store owner.
- Cat Smile: Recette has a very minor one on the pause screen, and the mushrooms in the dungeons for some reason.
- Cerebus Syndrome: Subverted. Griff tries to restore power to the demon race at the end of Obsidian Tower by awakening an archdevil and wreaking havoc... and then Recette mocks his plan for being really cliche.
- Changing Gameplay Priorities: Early on, the game essentially boils down to keeping only the most profitable items of each kind in stock. However, as the game progresses, vending machines, customer requests and value fluctuations dramatically alter your purchasing habits. Late game, it's important to keep a huge selection of various goods on hand, because one failed sale will break your combo and squander your experience bonuses.
- Charged Attack: Tielle's bow is a hold-type charge with 6 power levels (0-5). She gets a 7th level when she enters "Berserk Mode".
- Caillou has one too. Hold down the attack button and he charges up an Energy Ball similar to the enemy wizards. However, it's rather slow to charge up and move.
- Cheerful Child: Recette.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Recette again. Quoth Griff:
"Misunderstandings as deep as hers start religions. BAD ones."
- All of Recette's customers can come across as this, thanks to just slightly imperfect dialogue choices. Nagi and the housewives can dig out golden statues and cauldrons from under the couch while cleaning, and the men will hold onto their grandparents' Walnut Bread until it's time to let go of the past, whereupon they will try to sell the (presumably years-old) food to you. Dialogue lines about children pestering their grandparents to pick up some food could suggest that there are a lot of families out there starving due to parental neglect.
- While not as bad as Recette, Tielle qualifies. She even forgot about her quest to find her sister.
- Collision Damage: Ropers. Most other enemies don't hurt you when you touch them. Nagi and Elan are also capable of causing minor damage to enemies they run into.
- Combat Tentacles: Electrojelly attacks with its tentacles (and they're the only spots vulnerable to attack). Averted with most of the Ropers, who don't really do anything in particular with their tentacles, and run into you instead to hurt you.
- Competitive Balance: Each adventurer fits one of these.
- Jack of All Stats: Louie, no particular strengths or weaknesses.
- Lightning Bruiser: Elan, hits hard and fast, but has a very short range and poor SP, limiting his spells/special attacks.
- Fragile Speedster: Charme, hits and moves fast, but can't take much punishment. Nagi skirts between this and Jack of All Stats, depending on gear.
- Glass Cannon: Caillou and Tielle. Both have powerful ranged attacks, but can't take too many hits.
- Mighty Glacier: Arma, has high defense, but attack is average.
- Continuing Is Painful: Averted. If you fail you go back to the start with all your items, merchant levels, shop upgrades and the adventurer's equipment and levels (although you'll have to unlock them again) intact. This means you can spend less time worrying about the early debt payments and more time getting more valuable items for the later ones or on plot related events.
- It's actually averted to Game Breaker levels. The debt is balanced toward your exponential growth, the more money you have the more you can spend on supplies to sell for even more money. If you hit close to the debt every time then it'll take a day or two for you to rebuild that steam to tackle the next debt wall. However if you fail but carry over even one week's worth of items, that means that you not only have a week's buffer of money, but that buffer can be used to make it's own buffer and you'll never actually hit that low point and you can just keep going at full speed with debt walls becoming speed bumps. Goes almost into Fridge Brilliance as a display of the rich getting richer as you can see just how hilariously minor the debt becomes in comparison if you have even a little starting cash to jump start your exponential growth.
- Played straight in the dungeons, usually. If you die you get to bring back only 1-3 items out of an inventory of 20-35 (depending on how far in the game you are). This includes whatever gear you loaned the adventurer beyond what he's bought, so if you loaned him a fusion armor that takes up a slot if you don't want to lose it. And you still lose the same two time cycles as if you'd won. You're almost always better off ragequitting unless you found one or two extraordinarily rare items and didn't bring anything important with you. That said, during Crystal Nightmare charging in with nothing but cheap rings and food with the hopes of finding 3 pieces of endgame equipment before you die is a viable strategy.
- Cowardly Boss: The fight with Tielle has the adventurer chasing her down through three different rooms while clearing a path through various crates to reach her, after which she runs off to the next room. The last room is where the adventurer gets to fight her proper.
- Cursed with Awesome: The snow trap which makes the ground slippery can, with some practice, actually be quite beneficial to some characters as it allows them to attack in a different direction while moving.
- Day Old Legend: The descriptions of many fusion items describe their origins or rumors surrounding them. These range from "Found within the ruins" to "Found within a great desert, which was said to be created by the item itself" (for a middling fire-themed bracelet no less!). Possibly these are what Recette is supposed to be telling her customers about the item, more likely they're just nonsense.
- Deadpan Snarker:
- Tear's most common attitude, acting as a foil to Recette and everyone else.
"Please tell me that you have not reached the point where your face is frozen in a vapid smile for all eternity."
"Your logic, as always, is breathtaking in its faultiness."
- Defeat Equals Friendship/Playable: How Recette and Tear befriends a number of potential adventurers.
- Denial of Diagonal Attack: Louie has a wide attack arc to compensate for this. Played straight for everyone else.
- Slightly averted, as Charme, Elan, and Nagi all have a special attack (a flame-cloaked charging attack) which can be used diagonally, and Louie and Nagi have a spin attack.
- The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: Already have the items Caillou requests when he first appears? Recette says that she has them now (much to Caillou's surprise, since he thought them impossible to get) and sells them (with a fat bonus) without Caillou having to come in again!
- When food shortages raise up the price of your food items, they also increase the price of seeds and chestnuts (both of which are labeled as crafting materials, rather than edibles).
- Digital Distribution: Par for the course given that it's a doujin game. The demo even points this out at the end.
- Digital Piracy Is Evil: At the end of the demo Tear informs you that people who download the game without paying will be foreclosed on.
- Disappeared Dad: Recette's father who ran off to become an adventurer and left his poor daughter at the mercy of his debtors.
- Disc One Nuke: Alouette or the Guild Master can show asking to buy a treasure after finishing the Jade Way. Even at market price, the amount they'll pay for the oddly-painted vase will make the 2nd week's payments on its own.
- Going back to the beginning after failing (Especially if it was on the 4th or 5th week) tends to feel like this. You will easily make enough from selling one or two items to earn the payment for the first two weeks, and if you had enough items saved, you can get the payment for the first three in just one day.
- It's a complete game breaker if you want it to be. The game is balanced toward your exponential profit growth lining up with your debt payments' exponential growth. Starting off with extra money from a failed run means you can, for example, earn the money to make a payment normally, then use all the carried over surplus to make profit which in turn also raises exponentially, so your profit can completely outpace the creeping debt wall after one lost game.
- The Ditz: Recette and Louie. It's no surprise that he and Recette get along well and drive Tear crazy.
- Doppelgänger Attack: One of Charme's abilities is to create a temporary shadow that can attack along-side her mimicking her actions. She can create up to five at a time as long as you have enough MP.
- Do Well, but Not Perfect: While the early tutorials encourage players to squeeze every last pix out of each customer's purchases or resales, it is generally recommended to aim for around 104% on purchases and 70% on resales to gain Near Pin or Just Pin bonuses to raise the Merchant Level and customer reputation much faster.
- DRM: Carpe Fulgur specifically refused to use any, instead politely requesting the people not pirate it. They're even uncomfortable about Steam's wrapper which is generally considered the lightest-handed form of DRM out there.
- Dual Wielding: Charme uses two daggers to fight.
- Griff fights with two claws.
- Dungeon Bypass: Though you have to unlock the dungeons themselves again, each new loop remembers which floors you completed and can warp to. By bum rushing the bottom strata of each and triggering events at the earliest opportunity, it's possible to recover weeks of dungeon-diving and recruitment by day 10.
- Dungeon Master: Not just the trope, but the literal version: Arma.
- An Economy Is You: Played with. Not all the items you sell are appropriate for adventurers, but an awful large percentage is. Item categories all have about the same number of items, but there's eight weapon types, three categories for varying body armor, and categories for helmets, shields, armored armbands, and three kinds of magic jewelry. Even items in the more mundane categories can be equipped by adventurers and higher-end ones tend to be combat-oriented. However, it turns out that people besides the adventurers buy all this stuff, and quite frequently too—middle-aged men frequently buy weapons and armor, healing items are all food anyways and magical jewelry appears to be quite fashionable. There's also several categories of item which are notably unpopular with non-adventurers, like helmets and capes, and almost never sell unless the customer requests a general category.
- That said, claws and arm parts mysteriously don't appear in the merchant guild until you find the adventurer who uses them.
- Electric Jellyfish: Electrojelly, the Wandering Jellyfish.
- Emotionless Girl: Arma, though why she is like that should be obvious just from her appearance. She sounds more normal in the final scene of the Brutal Bonus Level, since she's severing ties with the system that requires her to be emotionless and impartial.
- Endless Game: You may continue playing after you pay back all your debt. The game plays out the same way other than the lack of the debt.
- Energy Ball: Caillou, and the wizard enemies, can fire them off.
- An Entrepreneur Is You
- Everyone Calls Him Barkeep: The Guild Master whose name is never actually mentioned.
- Expospeak Gag: Played in reverse - Recette is so used to Tear's verbose explanations of things that when Alouette explains Truffles as simply being a rare mushroom, Recette's response is a blank "Huh? That's it?"
- Fairy Companion/Exposition Fairy:
- Tear. In fact, fairy companions were specifically bred by The Fair Folk; upon being genocided by humanity due to them being... The Fair Folk. Facing extinction, they recreated themselves into something; anything that humanity would find useful and not kill off. This involved inhuman breeding, training, and banishing of anyone who showed aspects of the old ways.
- Prime, for Alouette. Subverted in that she's not contracted to Alouette, and is in fact Free. However, she helps Alouette out due to respect to her father, who freed her. Also, it's probably not a good idea to advertise that she's not Bound.
- Both Recette and Tear are kind of this for adventurers in the dungeons.
- Fairy Sexy: Prime is dressed quite revealingly for being so pint-sized. Possibly Tear as well if you're into the midriff-baring secretary look.
- Fantastic Racism:
- Fairies are considered a lower class. At least they are accepted somewhat by the human society. Other races don't have that luck.
- According to Griff and Tear every race separates itself from every other race - fairies and humans are just about the only races that interact with each other as often as they do. Tielle doesn't seem to have any problems living in Pensee, despite being an elf—though when she first meets Recette she calls her a "nasty humanperson."
- Fighter, Mage, Thief: Louie, Caillou and Charme respectively.
- Flat "What.":
- Tear utters this when Charme elaborates on her thievery in the Pub.
- And once more when she and Recette are spying on Caillou in the park.
- The Demon you meet in the Town Square lets one out when Recette tries to guess why he's giving Tear such a hard time.
- Foreign Cuss Word: "Merde", which Tear likes to say when Recette or others are being particularly frustrating.
- Fridge Logic: An in-universe example. Recette and Tielle are discussing the delicious jelly filled donuts at the butcher shop before one of them wonders why a butcher has donuts for sale. They promptly decide it doesn't matter since they're so good.
- Gameplay Ally Immortality: While exploring the dungeons, Tear and Recette follow the adventurer around. They are completely immune from any danger/damage that happens to the adventurer, no matter what happens. Tear states early on that she casts a protective spell over herself and Recette, so that they will be considered invisible and invulnerable, but unable to interact with anything.
- Gameplay and Story Segregation:
- Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor being "quarantined" in the Lapis Ruins keeps Arma from coming in to pick up her item order.
- Part of the Lapis Ruins storyline involves Alouette wanting to speak to Recette, but if she or Prime comes into the store in the meantime they have nothing special to say.
- Possessing certain True Cards during a New Game+ can lead to some interesting situations such as Charme fighting herself in the Jade Way.
- Customers trying to buy and sell food at higher prices when the underlying reason is that the harvest failed, and food is tight. (Never mind that this resolves itself in a day or two or that said food is often a family heirloom.)
- Genre Savvy: Recette proves to be something in this line during her argument with Griff at the top of the Obsidian Tower. Griff's reaction is priceless.
Recette: A darkly handsome demonic overlord who only wants war and suffering, and uses an ancient, sealed evil to achieve his ends? Nowadays? Are you serious? People will just laugh at you! I'm kind of embarrassed just listening to all this!
- Getting Crap Past the Radar:
- One night Charme, while drunk, complains that she can't "take Recette home with her" if Tear is around. Tear quickly objects, saying that she'd never let Charme do that.
- Louie asking Recette to take his first adventurer's card. Tear tells him he should think carefully about who he wants to give it to, but he insists that Recette should have it.
- One of Alouette's cutting remarks if you overcharge her (which is hard to do!): "Capitalism ho, indeed."
- In a meta example, the guys at Carpe Fulgur note that Tear's exclamations of "merde" doesn't count as profanity for the game's rating.
- Giant Enemy Crab: One of the bosses in the Amber Garden. Naturally, you have to flip it over to Attack Its Weak Point For Massive Damage.
- Gosh Darnit To Heck: "What the Heckles?" and "Oh Carp!" are probably the closest that Recette comes to swearing in this game. Tielle also exclaims the latter after realizing she's been so busy eating her way through Pensee that she forgot about looking for her sister.
- Gratuitous French: Plentiful. Intentional and justified though; Carpe Fulgur felt that it would seem more appropriate, in a setting that looks very fantasy French/European, that they would talk about French things, compared to the original script, in which the references are to Japanese food and such. From the original: one of Prime's voice clips is "Bonjour."
- "Groundhog Day" Loop: One interpretation of what happens after you get a Game Over.
- Guide Dang It:
- The game advises you to haggle hard and gouge prices. However, there are a lot of disadvantages to this:
- If a customer accepts your first offer, then you get a "Just" bonus to experience points. This "Just" bonus doubles with each successive sale and is the best way to increase your Merchant Level, which gives you access to more profitable abilities and items.
- Treating a customer well (by giving them good deals) increases their Relationship Values with the shop. Over time, this gives your customers larger amounts of disposable income and makes them more willing to pay higher prices.
- Each customer has a finite amount of money. If you gouge them to hell by selling too high and buying too low, then the customers will have less money on hand to spend in your shop and you'll be forced to sell at a lower profit margin.
- All customer types have a certain budget. Trying to sell high-priced luxury items to a small girl will likely fail: she only has pocket money to spend, after all. A customer's maximum budget increases over time if you give them good deals and increase their Relationship Values.
- Another thing that Tear never explains is that if you sell a lot of the same category of item (weapons, accessories, food, etc) then you over-saturate the market and crash their value. As many items belong to more than one category (Longswords count under "Weapons", "Swords" and "Metal Items"), it's easier than you may think to do this accidentally. This is one reason why it's a good idea to stock a wide variety of items and constantly rotate your merchandise.
- Tear mentions offhand that the mood of the store affects what customers show up when first putting something on a window display shelf. The player will likely think showcase items are the only factor here. They're not. Unless the player intuits that certain customers will only appear under particular atmospheres by remodeling the store, paying off the debt quickly becomes next to impossible.
- Don't want Euria dropping by your shop? Set the atmosphere with "Plain" and "Light" moods. However Allouette will not show up either.
- When you get the ability to install vending machines in your shop, Tear tells you that they work best dispensing cheap items since you can't charge more than 100% base price. Funny story: items in vending machines have a percentage chance of selling as long as the purchase doesn't bankrupt the customer (who can each buy a maximum of one "counter" item and one "vending machine" item per visit). This makes them excellent for offloading certain high-priced, low-demand items like furnishings. Blue/reduced items will also sell at 100% base price regardless.
- He Knows About Timed Hits: Recette has no clue what Tear means by "Button 3" or "custom.exe".
- Honest John's Dealership: In this case run by the player. But there is also Euria who fits even better.
- Hostile Show Takeover: Attempted by Alouette when you finish the main storyline, but she's only able to describe the post-game content.
- I Cannot Self-Terminate: so Arma quarantines herself when she's compromised instead. After being released, she realizes she's too attached to Recette and still can't do her job.
- Improbable Weapon User: Reginald Drisby, the giant rat boss enemy, first starts off using a crowbar, then a humongous paper fan, and finally a large frozen fish.
- I'm Taking Her Home with Me!: Charme mentions wanting to do this with Recette, though how serious she was may depend on how much one believes her booze was affecting her.
- Inexplicable Treasure Chests: Par for the course, about three or four per floor. There is a good chance for each chest to be a trap though, resulting in various effects when opened - slimes surrounding you, a bomb appearing or even random teleportation.
- Justified, since the Dungeons are alive and change based on who is in them. Specifically, Arma is a golem whose job is to rearrange the dungeons. It is outright stated that she is the one placing the chests and putting items in them. WHERE she gets the items from is another question entirely
- The answer to the spoiler is alluded to when Caillou mentions the Church has been seizing artifacts from people not protected by the Adventurer's or Merchant's Guilds. Combined with a priest in Chantelise (which shares a world with Recettear) who can give hints on finding hidden treasures, it seems likely the church is supplying the golems for some reason.
- Inexplicably Preserved Dungeon Meat: The game lampshades this with many of its item descriptions.
- Insistent Terminology: Tear is a loan shark. She just doesn't like being referred to as one.
- Instant Bandages: Tielle gets one of these on her head when she takes damage.
- Interface Screw:
- Normally, the window you use to set buying and selling prices starts at base value. Whenever Euria tries to sell you something, it starts at 500%.
- A random event in dungeons can disable the minimap for the current floor. Another reduces your sight radius to about half the screen, and another coats the entire level's floor in ice.
- An Interior Designer Is You: Different decorations affect the probability of certain customers visiting. However, changing the location of the counters is only for your convenience and aesthetics, except for the counters close to windows which are showcase items.
- Ironic Echo: Caillou gives a short and rather academic description of fairies in human society when he mistakes Tear for the shop owner. Later, Griff repeats this word-for-word before pointing out that it's a lie to cover up human bastardry.
- Item Crafting: After a few merchant levels you can use Fusion to craft various items, usually using an item of the same type as base and some Ingredients (dungeon-only items) and maybe a treasure or another item. Picking the ingredients carefully can net a high quality modifier (up to +15), though that only really matters if you plan on using them for your heroes.
- Karl Marx Hates Your Guts: Very much averted. Prices fluctuate as does demand for certain types of items. Trying to invoke this trope will likely get you a game over.
- King Mook: Some of the bosses are these, some even in a literal sense (for example, the Crowned Slime).
- Last Stand: One of the post game modes is survival mode. It's just like the normal game except you can never fully pay off the debt.
- Level-Map Display: The dungeons all have a minimap that completes itself as you go through each randomly generated level. Two of the random effects that can happen on each level play with this; one reveals the entire map from the start, the other disables it.
- Low Fantasy: A particularly interesting example since, from the outset, it doesn't appear to be so. But considering the main focus of the game is on the simple everyday trials of an item shop owner, most of what mixes up the setting is only implied or heard of as background information, some of which could be base enough for a game plot in and of themselves. Outside of just what Recette deals with personally, we got a refugee princess, The Fair Folk reinventing themselves in order to avoid extinction, which ties into the inherent human dominance of the setting which leads to the prejudice against Elves and Demons, and while magic is a simple and everyday occurrence the local churches are trying to snuff out any and all magic items, something Recette helps prevent only through a head-ache inducing loop hole. And let's not forget the most prevalent threats to the world are dispatched by a simple item shop owner and her hired help. The closest thing to a Heroic Fantasy stock hero is Recette's dad, who is... underwhelming to say the least.
- Luck-Based Mission: Getting adventurers to purchase worthwhile equipment can seem like this if you only stock basic types. They'll buy any fused item they can use virtually at the first opportunity, however. Pity the game doesn't even try to tell you this.
- Of course, that's even more luck based since somebody else could snatch up your rare and valuable fusion item first. Expect most of your premium equipment to be bought by strange old men for God only knows what purpose and little kids "on an errand".
- And filling the item encyclopedia obviously requires a lot of items which Randomly Drop from treasure chests.
- Magikarp Power: 'Ingredient' items in general. At first they're nigh-useless, practically worthless junk that takes up inventory space while dungeon-diving and are usually the first thing thrown away when you fill up your bags. Then you unlock Fusion and find out sale price on a fused item more than covers buying the base version wholesale, and they're suddenly much more valuable.
- Marathon Level:
- The 100-floor Lapis Ruins. You can still take breaks and come back later, and there's no pressure to worry about getting through the whole thing before the deadline since it can only be reached in Endless Mode.
- More traditionally, the "Gauntlet" floors of the later dungeons spawn a very large number of enemies given the size of the floor, and requires that you kill each and every one of them before advancing.
- Crystal Nightmare, the hardest dungeon by far, forces you to beat ten level chunks instead of five as well. And at the end is a reward directly proportional to the number of sections you beat in a row; to get all three chests you must beat the entire 30 level dungeon in one go. And then there's its Boss Rush, with thirty increasingly strong bosses in a row. You fight every boss in the game at least once, including the unique ones, and fight a few of them three times (most of them coming at you 2-3 at a time when you fight them again).
- Meaningful Name:
- Amongst other meanings, "Recette" in French means "revenue."
- Louie's name in the original Japanese is "Lui", which can stand in for both "Louis" or "Lui" - "Him", as in, "that generic guy".
- Arma's name complements another fellow Golem and final boss of the story mode, Geddon.
- Alouette in French is a type of bird renowned to be attracted to shiny things.
- Griff is similar to "griffe", which means "claw" in French.
- Prime can mean a "bonus", "premium" or "subsidy" in French.
- Elan can mean "enthusiasm", "momentum" or "impulse" in French.
- Caillou means "pebble" in French.
- Nagi can be seen as a short term of Naginata, a polearm. Since she uses lances, this might be where the developers got the idea for her name.
- Money for Nothing: Obviously not the case in story mode or survival mode, since money is literally the goal of the game.
- Even in endless mode saving money to buy expensive equipment before tackling on Survival Mode is a good idea since you do not carry it over, but you carry items to it (save from Survival Hell). This can exponentially extend your score as the debt will eventually reach millions in the later weeks.
- Monster Compendium: Well, Item Compendium. It keeps track of all the items you've discovered. Mostly useful in that the items needed for a particular Fusion are only revealed when you discover them, though you can see what type of item the recipe needs beforehand.
- Moral Dissonance: Recette. She immediately forgives and befriends people who were moments ago trying to kill her, but when she finally finds her father struggling deep in the dungeons, she leaves him for dead without lifting a finger to help. Even worse, it turns out that he's on a well-intentioned but misguided quest on her behalf.
- More Dakka:
- Caillou can hold down the ability key to spam one of his magic in a cone, though it runs on mana to keep him restricted.
- Some of Arma's equipments allow her to spam bullets in a large range as her standard attack.
- Multi-Mook Melee: At the end of some floors, instead of a boss, you instead face off against a large swarm of regular monsters.
- Mundane Fantastic: Even in a world rife with adventure, magic and evil sorcery, daily life goes on, and ordinary people still need to buy and sell ordinary items. Even Recette's own adventures are just part of her job.
- Mythology Gag: While Griff holds disdain for fairies, he states that fairies who used to be human are exempt. This is likely a nod to EasyGameStation's previous game Chantelise in which one of the main characters is a human-turned-fairy.
- A similar one in an early scene when Recette muses whether she and Tear look like sisters. Tear dismisses the idea on the grounds that she is a fairy, when the human and fairy pair in Chantelise really were sisters.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: While mid-bosses tend to be silly, normally the end dungeon bosses are not, they come conveniently accompanied with a badass tagline.
- Griff & Archdevil's Arm, He Who Would Bring The End.
- The Geddon Device, Speaker Of The Words Of The End.
- Never Live It Down: In-Universe examples:
- It takes a while for Tear to warm up to Charme, but then again she did try to rob them.
- It's only about the fifth time meeting Elan buying sweets for orphans, discussing his (insane) training regimen, or how he's a priest in training that Tear finally realizes that Elan's not so bad in spite of coming across him running up a bar tab he couldn't pay the first time she met him.
- New Game+: A necessity in order to earn True Cards.
- Nintendo Hard: It's not likely that you'll be able to pay off all of your debts on the first try. Fortunately, if you fail to make a payment, you get to keep all your experience and items and start over from Day 2.
- More accurate for survival mode, as there is nothing stopping the game from 'gifting' you with the walnut bread craze random event which forces you to have a couple of the cheapest item in the game for sale unless you are specifically trying to avoid the housewives.
- Crystal Nightmare . You only get an exit every ten floors, rather than five like the other dungeons, every floor always has some kind of negative status effect and enemies level grow up every floor which will kill an unprepared adventurer.
- No Hero Discount:
- Can be averted or played straight since you set the prices. Tear expressly advises you to offer this to the heroes you hire personally since they will use gear they buy which saves you from having to equip them yourself. Plus not having to equip them means being able to carry more loot.
The heroes actually expect you to do that, as the price range they find agreeable is a lot lower than usual when they could upgrade their equipment with the item on sale.
- Non-Combat EXP: You get Merchant Exp by haggling in your shop. Vending Machines do not count.
- Noodle Incident:
- Occurs in full view of the player. The first time Arma wanders into your shop, she requires a lengthy explanation of what a shop is, which is faded out. She then needs to be told how money works, so Recette begins her explanation as the screen fades out and comes back to Recette telling an adventure story, fades out again, then comes back with Recette finishing her explanation of money. Which Arma somehow gets. Exactly how these points are logically connected is left up to the player's imagination.
- After delivering a package to the local orphanage:
Recette: What do you think they'll do with... I mean, just the...
Tear: Honestly, I'd rather not think about it.
- No Sense of Direction: Nagi, who you first meet inside a dungeon. Even after a detailed directions for her to visit Recettear it takes a good while for her to eventually show up.
- Only Sane Man: Tear again.
- Orphaned Punchline: While explaining how money works, Recette somehow says this line:
Recette: ... And that's when the hero yelled, "this is the end of my journey!" ...
- Our Fairies Are Different: Fairies are described as having a natural talent for administration and management.
- Painfully Slow Projectile: The balls of light that Caillou casts for his charged attack move so slow that it's barely worth using them to attack.
- Palette Swap: Most mooks with the exception of kobolds and pumpkins.
- Paper Fan of Doom: Reginald Drisby wields one the second time you fight him in Lapis Ruin.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: Recette and Tear, in an effort to try finding out why Caillou keeps watching the Orphanage, hide behind a built tree that literally says "Totally A Tree" on the front.
- Parental Abandonment:
- Recette's father left home on an adventure and never came back. It's not clear what happened to her mother.
- In Lapis Ruins, Recette abandons her own father in the dungeon after feeling too embarrassed at her father's terrible state.
- In the main theme, Recette gives someone (apparently Louie, since he's the one who frequently reminds her of her father) a sandwich her mother made. Given that customers selling food can often refer to it as a family heirloom, though...
- Perpetual Poverty:
- Louie. Eventually he resorts to eating plants growing around the town square.
- Elan is noted to be bad as Louie. His shopping budget is the same as Louie's.
- Recette herself is the one who gives Louie advice (apparently from experience) on what plants you can survive on and which ones are yummy. Fortunately, the game is largely about digging herself out of poverty.
- Prime, though this is self-enforced. She's so dang cheap it's easy to presume Alouette has her on a shoestring budget. In reality though she probably just stores it away like a crazed magpie.
- Portmanteau: The shop's name is derived from Recette and Tear's names.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!:
- Recette: But... I... am... the... OWNER! ARRGH!
- Once you finish the same quest:
Recette: I TOLD you! I! AM! THE! OWNER!
- Also, at the end of the game, when Tear was about to leave Recette's side after the debt had been fully paid, she finds blank ledgers that Recette was supposed to fill in, but didn't:
Tear: M-e-r-d-e. I said it. Over. And over. And over. "Make sure to keep these books straight." Recette... THESE! ARE! ALL BLANK!
- Punny Name:
- Recettear sounds like "Racketeer" if pronounced wrong. See Unfortunate Name.
- See also WMG, for the secondary pun.
- Tear pronounces it as a homonym for "receipt".
- Nagi wields polearms, including naginata.
- Alouette and Prime become "prima loot".
- Randomly Drops: Monsters will occasionally drop fusion ingredients with varying levels of rarity. Good luck gathering the required ingredients to craft Level 5 items.
- Randomly Generated Levels: All of the dungeons, though every 5th floor is static for boss fights. There is actually a substantial bit of plot related to the random nature of the dungeons.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Recette gives Griff a great one at the top of the Obsidian Tower... then promptly apologizes for it.
- Griff himself delivers a particularly strong one to Tear. He actually goes so far he manages to anger Recette for the only time in the game. No wonder why she was harsh with him afterwards. It doesn't last though.
- Recurring Boss: Most of the bosses (except the end boss of each dungeon) are fought multiple times — sometimes two or three at once.
- Redemption Demotion:
- Charme's hitpoints go down drastically and she loses the fiery charge and web shooting abilities when she starts working for you. She eventually re-learns the special moves on levelling up though.
- Tielle also loses most of her hitpoints once she decides to work for you, but she at least has the decency to keep all of her special moves and gains another one after about five levels.
- Griff also, but not to the same degree as Charme since he keeps all his abilities and only really gets a fair HP deduction.
- Rich Bitch: Alouette. Players will love her precisely for this reason. You can present ridiculously high prices for already ridiculously pricey items, and she is always ready to pay for it.
- The Rival: Subverted with Alouette who appears to be this to Recette in their initial encounter. However there are no game mechanics that actually have her compete against Recette, and in fact she will be your favorite customer as she buys at some of the highest percentages. The subversion is intentional in the end since what Alouette really wants is a friend, not a rival.
- Robot Girl: Arma.
- Running Gag:
- Recette once hears about a strange lady who gives helpful advice in the pub. Players get to find out that the lady is actually Charme in the same event (apparently she gives really good advice when she's drunk.) After that scene, there are occasionally mentions of her from various people, including the humanity-hating, Well-Intentioned Extremist demon assassin Griff:
Griff: This is what humans do when they seek to work with another, yes? It's what the woman in that pub suggested, at least.
- Caillou will never believe Recette's claims that she is the owner of the store.
- Save Scumming: Averted when playing in the dungeons, which only saves the data prior to entering the dungeon should you try it. Played straight during the item shop sales, since you can save prior to opening your shop, and should you get a string of bad customers, you can simply exit the game, then reload the last save and hope that the random number generator gods are on your side.
- Sequence Breaking: Possible to happen, and in a rather amusing way, as Charme starts coming to your shop acting familiarly with Recette in the fourth week even if you only cleared the Hall of Trials, and never saw her before in the 2nd dungeon.
- New Game+ is an exercise in sequence breaking. With True Cards you get access to adventurers from the start of the game, allowing you to do every Defeat Equals Friendship boss battle as a mirror match if you possess the right True Cards. This also leads to weird dialogue such as Louie being grateful for Recette helping him through the Hall of Trials... Despite him not entering the dungeon at all.
- Shockingly Expensive Bill: Recette's father's debts are so huge, Tear refuses to tell Recette the exact amount for fear of making her faint on the spot.
If you're curious, and to ensure you don't faint on the spot, this is spoiler-tagged. Over the course of normal gameplay, the debt adds up to 820,000 pix. Have fun in the game's final week, where your goal is to pay back 500,000pix - over half the loan in one shot.
- This can be made hilarious in a New Game+. Since your items carry over, you can easily have millions worth of top-end equipment sitting in your inventory ready to go right from the beginning. Despite this, Tear insists the quantity of money would make Recette faint.
- Shut Up, Hannibal!: Recette gives one quite spectacular to Griff at the top of Obsidian Tower.
- Shoryuken: A favored move of Elan's.
- Soundtrack Dissonance: In one event in the night, Griff reveals the truth behind the fairies in the city and why the Humans Are the Real Monsters. Meanwhile, the joyful music continues to play in the background.
- Spin Attack: Both Louie and Nagi have one.
- Sprite/Polygon Mix: This is fairly noticeable in dungeons. The characters are 2D sprites while the monsters are pre-rendered sprites of the Donkey Kong Country or Super Mario RPG type. The backgrounds and bosses are true 3D, and look like they came from a Playstation era game.
- Squishy Wizard: Calliou, to Glass Cannon extents.
- Stalked by the Bell: Spend too long on a dungeon floor, and deadly Will-'o-Wisps will start to spawn. The first time you see one, Tear recommends outright that you drop whatever you're doing and make tracks for the level exit. note
- Suspiciously Specific Denial: When the guildmaster asks Tear for a favor:
- Sweat Drops: Aplenty.
- Title Drop: Not too long into the game Recette crafts the iconic item shop sign named "Recettear".
- Third-Person Person: Arma, when talking about her duties as the Dungeon Master, refers to herself so obliquely ("This unit") she sounds more like a voice of a Hive Mind.
- Throat Light
- Tsundere: Alouette to Recette, Type A. She is nothing but tsundere in the Lapis Ruins storyline. Tear also acts a bit like this towards Recette.
- Tutorial Failure: Tear suggests you sell at a price that makes "near pin" bonuses impossible to obtain, meaning you get less merchant XP and customers don't become your friends or get more cash. She does the same with buying from customers as well.
- Unfortunate Names: Tear notes that the name of the shop sounds too close to "racketeer" in English, and as a bill collector it makes her uneasy.
- Unidentified Items: The only way to appraise the items you use is to get out of the dungeon. Makes sense because the merchants are running behind the adventurer and therefore are unable to sit down and appraise the items before they get home.
- Unstable Equilibrium: To a massive degree. The rate at which you can make money depends directly on how many/expensive items you can afford. The rate at which you raise your merchant level depends on how much stuff you can sell, which means the upgrades to the shop and increased customer base that come with high merchant level feed into it. And the two feed into each other. If you play your cards right early on you can easily find yourself having enough to pay off the later weeks' debts by the start of the week (though you'll keep reinvesting it until the last day).
- Vendor Trash:
- Various items will fall under this as you progress, but the worst culprit has to be Unthankful Statues. Treasures in general are hard to sell, have very few if any practical uses, and Unthankful Statues are virtually worthless, having a base price of a mere 140 pix.
- Slime Fluids don't even sell in the store, putting them at 30 pix worth for selling to the market or guild master. They are used for fusing a single item, which requires ten of them and an item dropped by a boss first appearing in the main storyline's final dungeon, and which is drastically less effective than items sold in the merchant's guild by that point and worth a pittance. And while Unthankful Statues are cheaply bought to keep the customers happy, slime fluid takes up valuable space in an unspoiled player's inventory during dungeon crawls.
- Cheap vendor trash are useful in fulfilling random customer requests. Selling them crap helps maintain your customer relationships and bonus experience point chains when you're unsure of the customer's budget.
- All these items and more can become literal Vendor Trash - stick something in a vending machine, and it'll eventually sell without taking up shelf space or troubling you to barter for it.
- Though you shouldn't since the machine is equally likely to sell things regardless of price, meaning it should be filled with the most expensive things you can afford.
- It's better to put carpets or blue items in vendors. Especially carpets, as very rarely will anyone buy decorative things other than old men or housewives. If you are properly cultivating Alouette appearances they simply don't show up more than once a MONTH. To sell plain no-stat vendor trash wait until someone asks during a sinister event, or just drop it on. You can ever only sell a certain amount per day. Every customer can buy 1 'open' item and one 'vended' item. It's entirely reasonable to throw the useless items up to fill up space, unless you are in the midst of a 'craze.'
- The Very Definitely Final Dungeon:
- Throw The Mook At Them: Volcanicrab will literally take no damage from any of your attacks initially. Bomb mooks appear eventually, however, which can flip him over to strike his underside for massive damage.
- Video Game Caring Potential:
- The entire point of the main game. You don't want poor little Recette to end up in a box, do you?
- Admit it, it breaks your heart when a little girl wants to buy something but doesn't have enough for your normal prices. On the other hand, it'll break your heart in other ways when she demands to sell something to you at 110% percent of cost.
- As you enter the endgame and postgame content and start fusing powerful items you may find yourself running a charity for certain adventurers, giving them incredibly expensive items you want them to use for a quarter or less of their list price.
- Video Game Cruelty Potential: Selling people food at over 200% of the base price when the news says the harvest has failed is both extremely profitable and rather underhanded. That said, don't feel too bad since they usually choose that time to come sell you food, and demand a high price. Clearly people in RPG-land do not need to eat.
- This food may be the family heirloom that same person just sold you and wants back.
- Wake-Up Call Boss:
- Lady Thief, Charme. Unlike all the previous bosses, she will actively circle around, leap away if cornered, and quickly punish you if you miss with an attack. She may also throw down some traps that will restrict your movement in the arena.
- Tielle. After several bosses with predictable movement and little health to make up for their weakness, the game throws a a three-stage battle. The boss boasts a ridiculously great health bar for her size and has instant reaction that allows her to attack you faster than you can attack. The infinitely-respawning rock-throwing kobolds throughout the whole battle don't help the situation either.
- Wave Motion Gun: Eyebat King attacks like this. You can fight up to three of them.
- Archdemon's Arm has one which limits your movement through the arena while you have to fight off another boss.
- Arma's special attack. You can only fire it once, and it consumes all your SP.
- We Buy Anything: After you get some experience selling items, you will get some customers who will want to sell things to you. You don't have to buy anything, but usually you should, because rejecting an offered item breaks your combo which harms your experience progress.
- We Sell Everything: You can sell almost anything you find in the dungeons either in the shop or at the Guild Master/Market. You'll have to; specializing will bankrupt you fast, as people will march right past your counters full of groceries and demand to purchase a book.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Recette's father is never seen again after Lapis Ruins.
- Likewise We don't know what happened to Avall after the battle with The Geddon Device.
- What You Are in the Dark: After the battle against Tielle, Recette and Tear comes across an extremely rare and expensive elven medicine. Instead of grabbing it to sell they use it to heal Tielle who was very wounded from the battle and wasn't likely to survive the trip back to Pensee.
- Will-o'-the-Wisp: Will-'o-Wisps spawn when you spend too much time on a dungeon floor. The first time you see one, Tear recommends outright that you drop whatever you're doing and make tracks for the level exit. Most of the time, Wisps are not worth fighting due to lack of reward except they are the only enemies to drop Salamander Scales which are needed to make high level items.
- Wise Beyond Their Years: Recette.
- Work Off the Debt: The main premise of the game.
- Which was actually a lie from Terme Finance to provide a cover for Tear.
- Worst News Judgment Ever:
Recette: Ah, the news again!
Tear: Watch carefully! This information could be vital!
Ticker: Louie the swordsman bounced check at local cafe, now on the lam.
Tear: ... And, sometimes, the news is like THAT.
- Ye Olde Butchered English: Tielle finds a map that's apparently supposed to reveal the locations of all the best sweets in Pensee that has been written in such a manner.
- Young Entrepreneur: Recette.