Known in Japan as End of Eternity, this is an Action RPG / Eastern RPG for the PS3 and Xbox360 created by Tri Ace and published by Sega. It was released in January 2010 in Japan and in both America and Europe in March 2010.Twenty Minutes into the Future, the world has become a complete wasteland unable to support human life. As a last resort, humanity built a giant tower-like clockwork machine called Basel that would purify the environment in the immediate area. The last remnants of humanity flocked to live within and around the machine itself, turning it into the last bastion of civilisation in the world.Hundreds of years later, the people of Basel have forgotten the original purpose of the machine, or even that there is a world beyond its borders. However, Basel has begun to break down and a mysterious ailment called Spontaneous Death Syndrome is striking down citizens seemingly at random. In response, the ruling Cardinals begin to plot ways to save their people from Basel's impending failure.Meanwhile, three individuals- Vashyron, Zephyr and Leanne- try to eke out a normal life for themselves in the middle of Basel. They work together as a Private Military Firm: gun-slinging mercenaries who will do any odd-job that pays well. However, their Mysterious Pasts are catching up to them and landing them on a collision course with forces outside their control or comprehension...The Battle System of this game uses a mix of both Eastern RPG system and Action RPG elements, allowing the characters to move in real-time while shooting enemies with their array of guns and explosives in amazing maneuvers, yet still maintaining a turn-based pace.Leanne, Zephyr, and Vashyron appear in the Nintendo 3DS game: Project × Zone.
Accidental Pervert: Zephyr ends up walking in on a showering Leanne in the beginning of Chapter 2 during a blackout. He says he didn't see anything, but "he's good in the dark."
A-Cup Angst: Vashyron and Zephyr occasionally make such comments about Leanne's minute figure. A notable scene occurs when the trio meets with LadyBarbarella, who gives them a mission to fetch a rare bottle of wine. Vashyron, who is partly paying attention to the mission details, retreats into a little fantasy where he contemplates Lady Barbarella's assets and relates them to wine and grapes.
Vashyron: [In his fantasy, while doing a weird dance] If you're serious about letting loose with those bunker busters... Don't be surprised when I return fire with my trusty magnum. Vashyron: [focusing] No! No. Have to focus! Come on, Vashyron, keep it together! What'd she want? Not a war, it's... Vashyron: [Losing it again] Wine! Of course! Fermented grapes! Vashyron: [Staring at Barbarella] Full, ripe grapes need fertile soil. That's it! It's so obvious. Vashyron: [Back to reality, looking at Leanne's chest, thinking to himself] All we have are raisins. [Cue Leanne elbowing Vashyron in the crotch]
An earlier incident during Zephyr's "good in the dark" scenario.
[During a power outage, after Zephyr went to check on Leanne in the shower] Zephyr: [To Vashyron] See anything? Vashyron: I was about to ask you the same thing. [Laughs] Zephyr: I didn't see a thing, okay?! Vashyron: Too small to get a good look? Leanne: [Annoyed] What's too small!?]] Vashyron: Your rack. [Cue slap]
Aerith and Bob: Zephyr, Vashyron, and... Leanne? Less so in the Japanese version, where she was called "Reanbell".
After Combat Recovery: If you win a battle, all scratch damage is healed and the Hero Gauge is restored to full. However, if you run away it is not and is carried over to the next battle.
AKA-47: All the guns in this game are clearly real-world guns with different names. One random NPC possibly Lampshades this by noting that of all the technologies humanity has lost during its time in Basel, guns don't seem to be going away anytime soon.
Arc Words: "Never stop imagining the possibilities."
Armor-Piercing Slap: Leanne delivers one to Zephyr after he peeps on her in the bath, but this pales (literally) in comparison to the haymaker slap she gives to Vashyron when he says her rack is small. The mark on Vashyron's face is a much deeper red.
Zephyr: We deliver wine, help build statues, and even stop the odd terrorist!
Attack Its Weak Point: Many enemies have points that are more vulnerable to attack than others since they have less armor (body parts) covering that area. Most notably is a boss that is covered in layers of tough metal armor in the front, but is completely unarmored from the back, leading to a strategy of unloading a fully charged machinegun hero run into it's back (and then hitting it with a single Direct Damage attack) as the quickest and safest way to take it out.
Awesome yet Practical: Need to shoot someone, but there's a wall in the way? Spend a hero action to rush them, place the destination marker behind them, and jump over wall and enemy both. Guns blazing, of course; what other kind of jump is there?
Badass Boast: The characters dish these out constantly whenever they enter Hero Actions, but Vashyron squeezes off a particularly good one against Cardinal Rowen, considering he's telling off the leader of the known world:
Vashyron: You really think you have a chance? You're nothing but a common thug. We are the merchants of death!
Vashyron: "My fallen enemies and forgotten lovers outnumber the stars in the sky!"
Bathos: Can be created by the player, of all things. Some of the outfits are downright ridiculous, and when worn during some of the more serious, heartrending scenes can add levity.
Also intentionally used here and there to help set the game world's tone. For instance, the Arena is known all throughout Basel for two things: brutal bloodbaths, and the fantastic soft serve offered at the concessions counter.
Big Damn Heroes: Leanne has one in in Chapter 10 when she saves Zephyr from Lagerfeld.
Blown Across the Room: Normal attacks from guns and grenades don't move the target much, but multiple or powerful attacks can knock an enemy into the air, where shooting them from above will smash them against the ground for damage to all body parts with enough force to bounce back into the air.
Killing an enemy barehanded, though extremely unpractical, makes enemies fly like a ragdoll.
Bonus Boss: Several of the Red Hex battles on the world map, the Arena bosses that appear every 5 ranks, and ones in the optional dungeons.
Bonus Dungeon: Neverland is the most obvious example, but there are also several other dungeons in the game which are purely bonuses or only used for sidequests.
Boring, but Practical: For hard fights against melee-only enemies, jump on top of a wall and just use normal attacks against them.
Bottomless Magazines: Partially averted. The size of the magazine on the gun determines how many shots you get each time you shoot at an enemy. You have to recharge the attack gauge to get off another series of shots, however, the heroes are rarely shown to reload during this charging period. This is especially obvious during Hero Actions, since the character is continually running, jumping, and rolling between bursts of shot.
Break Meter: A variation. Dealing Direct Damage has a chance to break the enemy's HP gauge. Broken enemies will be briefly stunned and unable to move or attack. Additionally, dealing damage down to the broken point in the gauge will restore one bezel of the Hero Gauge.
Broken Bridge: This game may be the new reigning champ of this trope. Between the Core Lifts, that require passes obtained during certain missions, the colored hexes that can only be unlocked with the corresponding colored energy hex, and oddly shaped hex patterns that can only be unlocked with certain shapes of energy hexes, you won't be doing any Sequence Breaking.
Cartography Sidequest: A variation. Completely filling a level with energy hexes allows you to teleport back to your HQ from any Energy Station you erect there. There are also useful items (and fashion items) hidden in the most unlikely places on all the maps, so filling them in is usually worth the time.
Casual Danger Dialogue: In spades. It's not uncommon, particularly in long boss battles, for enemies and the party to talk to each other, often as they are being shot repeatedly with several clips from a sub-machine gun.
Cherry Tapping: Killing enemies with dog droppings. As the description says, the damage is mostly psychological.
It's also one of the core game play elements. Damage can only be truly dealt by hitting an enemy with Scratch Damage attacks then following up with a Direct Damage attack. This can lead to many situations where you can unload 10,000 rounds of Scratch Damage-dealing SMG rounds to no palpable effect, only to finally finish the big guy off with a single bullet from a handgun.
Unarmed Attacks count as this: no weapon customization, never gets stronger, no skills, only one maximum charge, charges slowly (compared to guns with lots of scopes, anyway), doesn't work during Hero Actions or Tri-Attacks, and requires you to be standing close to the enemy. There's a trophy for killing 30 enemies like this.
Chest Monster: There are monsters that wear the game's version of treasure chests in addition to those that disguise themselves as Exploding Barrels. Fortunately, they're easy to spot thanks to the monster name and HP gauge present on them.
Cognizant Limbs: Most enemies have multiple body parts, which act as a shield from certain angles for their main body. Destroying a body part nets you a Hero Gauge bezel and any items that part might have, but you get no experience for attacking it.
Combination Attack: The Resonance Attacks somewhat work this way, as it enables all three characters to act simultaneously and shoot things.
Contractual Immortality: An important plot point revolves around this trope. The Zenith System essentially protects humanity from dying of unnatural causes (like the lethal environment of the outside world) by strictly regulating their lifespans through the quartz; in other words, you can only die when the Zenith System decides you die (or when your quartz is broken). This does not necessarily make you "Immortal", as getting severely sick or wounded can cause the system to decide that it is your time; i.e. if you're shot, you will probably die; furthermore, the system has started to break down and kill people spontaneously (such as the late Prelate Frida). However, there are rare occurrences where the system, for unknown reasons, will invert this law and prevent a person's death from something that really should have killed them (such as a shot to the head). This is important for the Three main characters, as all of them should have died in the past, but were spared by Zenith.
Cool Guns: The main characters start out with a Colt 1911, a Beretta 84 and a H&K MP5K. Later, you can get stuff like a SIG P226, a TDI Vector, a Luger P08 and an IMI Desert Eagle.
Zephyr: (muffled due to reindeer costume) Now all we need is a trampoline. Leanne:What did you say? Zephyr: (louder) I said, the hem looks really keen.
Cryptic Conversation: Rowen and Sullivan's specialty. Vashyron has a few with people from his past, as well.
Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: You can retry a lost battle at a low cost (or an alternative and more expensive option that also restores your Hero Gauge), and you don't even need to die to resort to this.
Deus ex Machina: There's a huge chain of literal examples in the ending, when all the Cardinals you've killed up to that point just get up again. It's literal and therefore a little more clever when you consider that RoF's god is a machine, and there's some kind of black-box subroutine that makes it choose to spare certain people's lives at critical points.
The control over everyone's lifespans has passed onto the Big Bad by that point, so it was his choice that everyone lived. There was some uncertainty about whether it would work, though.
The same black-box subroutine mentioned above plays a big part in the protagonists back-stories; all 3 were saved by that function.
Defeat Means Friendship: Zephyr and Vashyron first met when Zephyr was on a rampage in the Crank Seminary and the latter was called in to take him down; Vashyron beat him and took him in.
Dodge the Bullet: Invincible Action makes your character do this while running or jumping in the air. Don't just keep spamming it, though, as using up all your Bezel points will lock you in Critical Condition, where pretty much the opposite of this trope takes effect.
Earn Your Happy Ending: The Main Characters have made it clear they won't be manipulated, Leanne has her quartz safe, and the characters are outside Basel, revealing that the poisonous gas has gone inert, allowing them to live outside the tower.
Enemy Chatter: All of the humanoid enemies talk during battle. In later boss fights, the heroes respond.
Everyone Loves Blondes: Zephyr, Vashyron and Leanne - the protagonists of the game - all have blond hair as their default (and starting) selection.
Exploding Barrels: A few lying around in the stages while the drum-bots' drums function as these as well.
Fake Difficulty: At several points in the game, you're reduced to two characters. That's when you realize how useful those Tri-attacks are. There are also points where you're reduced to one character, but fortunately you should be able to dual wield a machinegun and handgun by that point, making it only slightly harder than two characters.
Fight In The Nude: While the clothing your characters wear shows up even in cutscenes, and the guns your characters have equipped do show up in battle, their accessories and gun modifications do not show up. Unfortunate, considering how hilarious seeing those modifications in use would be.
Gameplay and Story Segregation: In the early chapters, the characters often comment on how Leanne isn't very useful, which isn't exactly held up in gameplay since she's just as useful as Vashyron only with less health and with healing items instead of grenades.
Gargle Blaster: While at Cardinal Theresa's home, Zephyr takes a sip of champagne; cue Spit Take and Zephyr coughing and choking.
Global Currency Exception: The Arena shop is the only place in the game where you need to exchange Arena coins for items instead of Rubies.
Gory Discretion Shot: One of the two pre-game cutscenes makes you think this is happening, but the opening cutscene proves that what you think happened, didn't. Or at least it didn't play out the way you think it did.
Gray and Grey Morality: Essentially, the villains have an arguably noble cause. Unfortunately, this required some rather detrimental sacrifices on the part of our protagonists, who are technically mass murderers. The antagonists win with no really detrimental long term affects, and some possibly quite good ones. The protagonists are just trying to live their lives, and need to impress upon the antagonists the importance of leaving them alone. They do so with gusto. The protagonists could be said to have won MORE.
Guide Dang It: The game doesn't tell you that you can move the gun itself (plus all currently-attached parts) around the customization grid with the right analog stick. It really ought to.
Guns Akimbo: You can have any of them do this, but you have to meet the weight requirement, which you won't be able to do until they're at least close to level 30.
Heroic RROD: Zephyr, in the prologue video. Vashyron and Lagerfeld find him in a church, surrounded by corpses, clutching his head and a handgun while visibly shaking. He quickly snaps and starts shooting and screaming maniacally. Depending on who you ask, he's either a "Bedevilled child" who committed an atrocity, or a hero for the downtrodden. He joins Vashyron as a hunter.
Interface Spoiler: There are several terminals with offensive effects on the top three levels of Basel, despite having only safe hexes. There are several dungeons to explore there, including the final area of the game.
Impossibly Cool Weapon / BFG: The weapon customization system allows for this. Want a gun with five barrels, half a dozen scopes, two magazines, and three grips? Go right ahead.
Several attachable magazines have attachments that only allow you to attach scopes to it... scopes that could not feasibly point at anything other than the gun's magazine.
One of the Cardinals fights with a sniper rifle that's about as big as he is...
Impractically Fancy Outfit: Mostly averted by our three heroes, as they wear nice and simple clothes when they do what they do. "Mostly", because Leanne's fancy high-heeled boots makes you wonder how her heels aren't in pain from running and jumping in those things a lot. (Of course, Leanne also wears high heels when she's lounging around the house in her PJs, so maybe she's just used to it by now.). Still, Barbarella throws in an option of a bottoms for Vashyron that are made of the same fabric as her unmentionables. They are called 'Panty' and they are silver.
Improbable Aiming Skills: All three main characters, really, starting in the opening cutscene with Zephyr shooting through a rope to rescue a plunging Leanne.
Interrupted Suicide: As shown in the prologue, Zephyr first met Leanne when he saved her from jumping to her death off of a bridge.
Jigsaw Puzzle Plot: Dear god yes. For those utterly confused: The Zenith System essentially protects humanity from dying of unnatural causes (like the lethal environment of the outside world) by strictly regulating their lifespans through the quartz; in other words, you can only die when the Zenith System decides you die (or when your quartz is broken). But Rowan and Sullivan are both trying to free humanity from the control of the Zenith System because it's starting to break down and kill people spontaneously. Rowan does it by taking control of Zenith, but suffers a crisis of faith since he's gone from worshipping God to being God. Sullivan does it by experimenting on Rebecca- a mutated human who can survive outside Zenith- and incorporating her traits into himself. Zephyr was one of Sullivan's experiments, which gave him superhuman powers but also drove him insane. In the end, Rowan is fatally wounded but survives, proving that he had succeeded in gaining total control over the Zenith System. Sullivan has Rebecca break his quartz and survives, proving that he had also succeeded in separating himself from the Zenith System..
Large Ham: Absolutely everyone with a speaking part longer than one sentence. The Cardinals are all a little off, and are otherwise defined by one personality trait each that they take Up to Eleven. Our heroes alternate between quirky and homicidally insane.
Leap and Fire: If you don't do this at every given opportunity—you die!
Lost Forever: A very palatable version. Sidequests are tied to particular story chapters and will be missed if you advance the plot without completing them, but the game makes absolutely sure that you know this so you don't skip any by accident.
Machine Worship: Zenith. It was built by humans long ago to regulate Basil and the Quartz in order to keep humanity alive. By the time the game opens, however, humanity worships it as a god and most are unaware of its true nature.
Molotov Cocktail: Why yes, and it's also classified as a thrown incendiary. Comes in regular, plus, double-plus, and EX versions.
More Dakka: if you launch Tri-Attack and spam attack every time it's just enough to shoot, it results in this, and there is even a Trophy/Achievement for making 500-hits chain.
Mood Whiplash: Chapter 11 is dark and very emotional, Chapter 12 is a humorous episode involving Leanne and Zephyr being body doubles for a bride and groom while Vashyron, unknowing, accepts a job to kidnap a certain bride. Chapter 13 is a Christmas Episode. Chapter 14 swings back to dark. Justified, perhaps, because there is an unknown amount of Time Skip between each chapter.
New Game+: Two versions: One's a traditional New Game+ where you keep many things from your previous playthrough, including your levels, items, and uncolored hexes; the other where you carry over far fewer items, but can access a harder difficulty mode, where enemies have higher HP. This can be repeated multiple times, up to a difficulty where foes have x5 as much HP as the first playthrough!
The Overworld: The game takes place entirely within one tower. This tower is big enough to warrant having a hex-grid-based world map to travel between cities and dungeons. You can also activate terminals on the world map to give yourself bonus effects in combat, if you connect it to a dungeon or, better yet, the arena.
Panty Shot: with Leanne's most expensive skirt, every Hero Action includes several.
Peninsula of Power Leveling: Using the same kinds of energy hexes that unlock the world map can also be used to activate terminals on the map that allow for special status effects in any battle taking place in a hex the terminals are joined to. A common investment of time is to activate the Exp x1.5 and Double Effect terminals on Level 6, Item x1.5, Rare Item x1.5 and Double Charge Speed on Level 5, and another Item x1.5 on Level 4, and join them all using the same colored hexes connected through the various elevators directly to the Arena. Terminal effects can be joined to dungeons through the overworld map, which the Arena technically is. And because you gain items and experience in arena battles (not always the case in a typical RPG), when the above terminal effects are present, every battle gains you triple the normal experience, four times the normal amount of item drops, double the number of rare items, and charging weapons is done at four times normal speed. Using the Exp Trainer item allows for double experience gained and is stackable with terminal effects... and with itself. A character equipped with two Exp Trainers in the above scenario can conceivably gain twelve times the standard experience in an Arena battle. When fighting on the higher Arena ranks of whichever chapter you happen to be in, it is common to gain 3-4 levels per battle.
Private Military Contractors: Not really evident, but the main characters work for Vashyron. There's an explanation in the verse about how the work is stretched and Private Military Firms began to take any job offered in the bounty office, explaining why you do a lot of menial tasks.
Ragdoll Physics: Especially obvious when you kill a leader and he or she flops around in slow motion.
Sick Episode: Leanne's out with a cold for most of Chapter 6.
Side Quest: A bounty board puts up new ones every chapter.
Slice of Life: Very much so in the first chapters. The three protagonists pretty much treat being badass Gun Kata specialists as just another day-job.
Socketed Equipment: The guns can be enhanced in extremely ridiculous ways using a grid-based modification system. You can do things like attaching barrels to your gun clip, and you're seriously underpowered if your handgun doesn't have at least five scopes attached. You don't even need to care what your barrels are pointing at. In fact, to most effectively fill the grid, you'll have to install them pointing up. It's just too bad the attachments are Informed Equipment, as it would have been hilarious to see the characters actually carry and fire the kind of frankenstein monsters that gun customizing inevitably produces.
Steampunk: The setting and many of the costume designs are obviously heavily influenced by this genre. Oddly, the other half seems to be influenced by modern Japanese fashions.
Team Dad: it shows especially when Lagerfeld comes to kill Zephyr, how Vash feels about his companions; acting lightly at first, when Lagerfeld invokes a friendship between them thinking that will give him the boy, Vashyron snaps and blocks Lagerfeld way to come in.
There is also a variant of the straight version of this trope: when you use a Hero Action, the music changes to a more upbeat version of the area's battle music.
Throw Down the Bomblet: Vashyron starts with the grenade box, but any character can equip it and throw flaming, electric, frozen, or dog shitty death.
Time Skip: Between the opening cutscene and the prologue and between each chapter. You may not realize how much time is passing until you reach chapter 13 and find out the first twelve chapters covered 8 months.
Trigger Happy: The heroes' magazines aren't bottomless, but they don't so much reload as just stop shooting for maybe a second. Popping off half a dozen full clips in one jump isn't too hard.
True Art Is Incomprehensible: An in-Universe example. Garigliano and Jean-Paulet (and quite possibly, Vashyron) certainly have... eccentric tastes in art. Remember that statue Garigliano made and had you put on top of the Forest of Idols? It creeps people out.
Underrated And Overleveled: The game manages a little of this and Overrated And Underleveled during the beginning of the game. Vashyron is an experienced war hero who taught the others everything they know about fighting, Zephyr is much younger, but was trained by Vashyron for some time and Leanne is the naive newbie and The Chick. Logically one would expect that their combat strength would be Vashyron > Zephyr > Leanne, but the game starts them out as nearly identical in strength (though vashryon does have a little more health, they're mostly interchangeable this early on). This wouldn't be too bad if the in combat banter of the first quarter of the game didn't make constant references to Leanne being inexperienced and supposedly weaker then the rest of the team.
Universal Ammunition: Whoever has the magazine case equipped can use any ammo the party has stocked, regardless of what kind of gun it is.
Unnecessary Combat Roll: You would think that Vashyron would prefer to just shoot behind him or run backwards or pretty much anything other than bellyflop-flipping...
Occasionally averted; you can squeeze an extra second or two out of your hero action if you jump towards the end of your movement.
Urban Segregation: Easy to see how different life is on the various levels of Basel, especially when one just looks up at Chandelier. This doubles as an example of Gameplay and Story Integration; there are no random encounters on the overworld in Chandelier, the only enemies to be met up there are highly-paid guards who are assigned to specific locations.
Vendor Trash: One of the three ways to get money in the game.
Virtual Paper Doll: You can really customize the main character's appearances, with all articles of clothing, hair color, eye color, and accessories all being changeable. These modifications are even visible in cutscenes, which can turn otherwise serious scenes comedic.
Wrong Genre Savvy: There's a blackout at one point, and Leanne (who was in the bath at the time) shrieks a few seconds later. Zephyr figures they're under attack ("Monsters? Here?!") and runs off to help... and gets smacked for his trouble, leaving a red hand-print on his face.