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Video Game: Riviera: The Promised Land
aka: Rivierathe Promised Land
Rose (cat), Serene (blue), Cierra (red), Lina (orange), Fia (green), Ein (gray-brown-purplemale)

Role-Playing Game produced by Sting Entertainment; Episode I of Dept Heaven and chronologically the final story in The Verse thus far. Originally for the Wonderswan Color, remade for the Gameboy Advance and then for the PSP. Both the Gameboy Advance and PSP versions were published in the US by Atlus.

One thousand years ago, the gods and the most powerful demons enacted an extremely destructive war called Ragnarok. The gods, who otherwise would have lost, broke the taboo that mortal creatures must not have godly powers in order to create the Grim Angels, incomplete yet extremely powerful beings who were able to turn the tide. Afterward, the gods vanished, sealing their powers within the recently liberated land of Riviera and entrusting the rule of Asgard to seven proxies called the Magi. The Grim Angels, too, were sealed away until the time would come that their powers would once again be necessary to protect Asgard from the threat of demons.

In the present day, Hector, one of the Seven Magi, has discovered great demonic activity within Riviera. For the sake of Asgard, a pair of Grim Angels named Ein and Ledah are awakened and sent down from Asgard to Riviera to actuate the Retribution, using the power of the lost gods to destroy Riviera and take the demons with it. However, this will also wipe out the Sprites, the natural inhabitants of Riviera—who pose no threat to Asgard at all. Ein, being The Hero, is uncertain about this. When he and Ledah are almost to Riviera, a mysterious woman named Ursula appears to kidnap him and inflict him with Laser-Guided Amnesia, depositing him in a Sprite village. While there, Ein befriends several girls, and decides to work with them to protect Riviera from demons—and those in Asgard who still want to see the whole world destroyed for the greater good.

Riviera combines turn-based RPG battle systems with a Dating Sim-influenced affection system, minigame-influenced "AT screens", point-and-click style exploration, and a clever Inventory Management Puzzle integral to mastering the game. It is considered both the easiest Dept Heaven game and the best entry point to the series, as it explicitly portrays the background conflict between Asgard and Niflheim that subtly influences all the other episodes.

In addition to the original game and its remakes, there are two spin-off cellphone games available in Japan. There are also two drama CDs, both of which provide important background for the characters. Other background information on Riviera and its world can be found in the Dept Heaven canon bible, Dept. Heaven Episodes World Guidance.

See also this interview with the game director and main artist.

Includes Examples Of:

  • Arcadia: Elendia
  • Accidental Pervert: Ein, though occasionally he's a pervert on purpose (ironic as he's an angel, albeit a wingless one).
  • Action Commands
  • Action Girl: Serene, although Lina also counts to some degree.
  • Adults Are Useless: In fact, they will hinder you until you prove yourself.
  • All There in the Manual: The dramas and Dept. Heaven World Guidance book clear up a lot of background information.
  • Alternate Continuity: The Epilogue Disc provides the series with a high-school AU, featuring Fia and Lina as nurse's assistants, Serene as a delinquent, Cierra as a teacher, and the three Grim Angels as student council members. Everyone keeps their in-game personalities, so Hilarity Ensues on a regular basis.
  • Amazing Technicolor Battlefield: Riviera is actually pictured in the trope example. The entire second half of the last dungeon is a pretty trippy place.
  • Animal-Eared Headband: Serene wears a metal helmet with prominent cat ears sticking out of it.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: Lampshaded in that there isn't room for more than three.
  • Art Evolution: From Wonderswan Color to GBA. And PSP make it even better with extra shadings.
  • Ascended Demon: Red Sage and Blue Fool, as long as you don't decide to be a dick and kill them.
  • Attract Mode: A narration of the storyline before the title screen and introductions for each playable character after it.
  • Audio Adaptation: Three of them.
  • Badass Adorable: Lina! She's short, cute, has Girlish Pigtails, talks in the third person, and uses longbows twice her height to annihilate squads of enemies.
  • Bee Bee Gun: The beehives, of course. They're a double edged sword, as they can revolt against the user.
  • Black Mage: Cierra.
  • Boke and Tsukkomi Routine: The Red Sage and the Blue Fool in chapter 4.
  • Bokukko: Rose and, though she only uses it while introducing herself, Lina.
  • Bonus Boss: Hades. It comes along with the BonusChapter.
  • Bonus Chapter: Chapter 8, Parveeju Temple. (It if can even be called one...)
  • Breakable Weapons: Except for the Diviners.
  • Broken Bird: Lulu and Malice.
  • Buxom Is Better: Cierra is the largest of the girls. If Ein failed to catch her from falling off the bridge in chapter 3, Serene will save her instead, then subtley comments her jealousy when noticing how large Cierra's boobs are. Also when climbing the goddess statue in chapter 4 once reaching the statues bust, the girls comment on how "big" the statue is. Ein will look in the "ditch" (which is actually the statue's cleavage) for some hidden items, which Serene and Lina get angry for. Oddly enough, Cierra and Fia don't berate Ein for the innocent action. The vampire girls also count, as they taunt Lina for being flat.
  • Catgirl: Rose, in her true ending. Elendia's resident catgirl Mursya.
  • Can't Drop The Hero: Nope, though Ein is rather useful, especially since he's the only one who can use Einharjar with its infinite usage. Run out of items in a fight without said Diviner and you're screwed.
    • Actually the only time you don't have to use Ein is in practice battles, he has to be present for all story battles.
    • You're also allowed to exclude him from fights in the PSP bonus chapter.
  • Celestial Bureaucracy: Asgard.
  • The Chessmaster: As the series progresses, Hector, one of the Seven Magi, is revealed to be this. In fact, both Yggdra Union and Knights in the Nightmare, which take place BEFORE this game, show Hector at the early stage of his plan manipulating events in those games to fulfill his scheme to become the true creator.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: The way Fia is portrayed in the voice dramas. She shows hints of it in the game, but then all the characters' personalities are exaggerated in the dramas.
  • Competitive Balance: As follows.
  • Covert Pervert: A common interpretation of Cierra, thanks to some unusual dialogue choices that raise her Relationship Values (answering "Don't worry, you're soft" after her Crash into Hello, for instance.)
  • Crash into Hello: Cierra does this admirably, though it's not so much a "crash into" hello as a "Fall onto" hello.
  • Curtains Match the Window: On nearly every character.
  • Cute Mute: Meute (who else?) if you don't cure her illness after chapter 2.
  • Cute Witch: Cierra and Soala.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: One of the options offered at death may actually make the game easier.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: You can choose to spare Sage and Fool after defeating them both in Chapter 4. Also the thief in Chapter 5 who stole Lina's backpack, who gives a thief manual in return.
  • Detached Sleeves: Lina
  • Demoted to Extra: Ledah and Malice (and even Rose, to some degree) are often noticeably absent in the extras (the drama CD The Precious Chapter in particular is guilty of this).
  • Disc One Nuke: If you've ever S-ranked the final battle, a Longinus x01 will be sitting where the Rosier x01 formerly was in Chapter One. This is the second most powerful item in the game (only Fanelia is stronger), and is capable of one-hit-killing just about everything but the final two bosses of the game.
    • The Rosier x01 counts since it can be abused in training to master Over Skills for Ein, Fia, and Serene in Ch 2, and Fia's Lv 3 Over Skill with it can one shot the boss of that chapter, given that it ignores the obscene guard rate that can make Isher That One Boss, as well as the fact that Rosier is only reacquired as an endgame weapon, and its stats were obviously made with that segment of the game in mind.
  • Disney Death: Hector sacrifices the girl who likes Ein most to achieve his ambitions. After Hector is defeated, she comes back.
  • Do Well, But Not Perfect: Usually the S-Rank rewards are the most desirable, but sometimes, such as during a battle against an enemy group called "Sniper Squad" in Chapter 4, the A-Rank reward is much more practical. In this case, the S-Rank reward is the exact same bow as the one received from a chest that appears after winning the battle.
    • Averted in the PSP Bonus chapter, where good items are at a premium and TP rewards from battles is cut down by 1, meaning that S-Ranking nearly all the fights is the only way to guarantee that you won't get trapped (and even that's not certain, it's possible to be trapped on the first screen even if you S-Rank the first battle: 3 TP and 4 Triggers, 2 of which are much needed items, one of which is a red herring, and the last of which opens the way forward; all four costing a TP).
  • Dub Name Change: "Ecthel" to "Ein" and "Lyuri" to "Lina" are the best-known ones, but there were others—the Magi were originally known as the Goth, for instance, and the Retribution was originally called the Ark of Ruin. Cleaning up the rather Engrishy "Death-Bring Angelix" into "Grim Angels" was a rather unambiguous good move out of Atlus, though.
  • Emergency Weapon: Einherjar, for the girls, as they throw it at a random enemy with a low chance of hitting. Ein, on the other hand, can use it to devastating effect.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Ein. Reiche not-so-subtly hits on him throughout the game.
  • Everything's Worse with Bees: The party's encounters with beehives. They're powerful usable items that may turn against the user.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: There are many points in the game where you have to lower your Relationship Values for one of the party members, although the game gives you a choice which one.
  • Fake Difficulty: Many items require you to know to do a certain thing (which often isn't hinted at) to get them. One even requires you to not talk to someone despite generally being encouraged to talk to everybody and having to find three items in the next area!
  • Fanservice: Hellooo, secret FuroScenes.
  • Fantastic Racism: Just... do a little research on how Grim Angels live during times of peace. It's practically Player Punch material.
  • Fusion Dance: Hector and Seth; Seth-Rah, the result, seems sexless—which solves the opposite-gender problem.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: Even in Practice, most attacks slimes use decrease the durability of all items by one. While this isn't much of an issue normally, it can really hurt if you didn't know this and brought a low-use item into battle for someone to master.
  • Gay Option: Played with using Ledah and Reiche.
  • Gender Flip: Ekukko and Malisuke are somewhat popular fanart subjects.
  • A God Am I: Hector
  • Godiva Hair
  • Gosh Hornet: The team disturbs a Kredna Beehive early in the story and somehow manages to forget the incident in time to anger some killer bees later in the game. Failing the quicktime sequence results in stings and HP reductions for the whole party, but humorous dialogue makes up for it.
  • Guide Dang It: While the game itself is not difficult, finding some bonuses can be pretty hard.
  • Hand in the Hole: In chapter 4, Ein and the girls come across a lion statue that was supposedly used by warriors to test their courage. Ein has the option of doing so by sticking his hand in its mouth; if the player hasn't run away from any battles, he's blessed with a stat boost. If not, he's "cursed"—Based on the dialogue that occurs before Ein puts his hand in, the most likely theory is that running away from battles will cause the lion to chomp down on Ein's hand. Because the battles are generally quite easy before this point save for a few in Chapter 2, most people don't get to see the 'curse'.
    • This could also be turned into "cat in the hole" if Ein tries to put ROSE into the lion's mouth instead, resulting in a scratchy retaliation.
  • Harem Genre: Many girls in Elendia, and even Reiche, are implied to have feelings for Ein—not just the girls in the party.
  • Have You Seen My God?: Asgard, after Ragnarok.
  • He Knows About Timed Hits: Rose and Ledah spend a chunk of the tutorial level teaching Ein how to attack, drink potions, and use his eyes. "Press the A button to enter Look Mode!"
  • Heroic Resolve: Ein, after Hector sacrifices the girl who likes him most to revive Seth. Counts as his Crowning Moment Of Awesome, and his ascent into classically heroic Hot Blood.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: At the end of Chapter 6, when Malice attacks Ein, the already-injured Ledah throws himself in the way and takes the hit.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Fia and Lina.
  • Hot Springs Episode: Twice, with the second largely topping the first.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: the first encounter with the Black Dragon in Chapter 2.
    • And the first fight with Malice in the same chapter. And round one against Isher.
  • Idiot Ball: Several occurences, all of them lampshaded in Didja Redo's Let's Play(Link below). Most blatantly, there is a scene triggered in the Mireno Cemetery in which the party is ambushed by two Vampire foes who try to trick the party into thinking Serene is one of them, when it's been said lots of time until this point that she's an Arc, and the party seems to be falling for it...
  • I Found You Like This: Fia and Lina find the temporarily amnesiac Ein on the outskirts of town and take him to their home to recover. ...And then strip him so they can wash his clothes.
  • Infinity+1 Sword: Fanelia, bitch! It's easy enough to find if you know where it is. If not... tough luck. Some people save it for the second-to-last boss battle.
  • In the Name of the Moon: Each of the playable characters, and certain bosses (all enemies, in the PSP remake), have one of these when they unleash their level-three Overskills.
    • Ein (sword): "This should end it! (sword skill)"
    • Ein (Rose): "Go Rose! BLAZING ROSE!"
    • Ein (Einharjar): "This is the will of the Gods! DISARESTA!"
    • Cierra: "I'll show you the power of magic! (staff skill)"
    • Serene: "Here's my trump card! (scythe skill)"
    • Lina: "I never miss! (bow skill)"
    • Fia: "My resolve shall prevail! (rapier skill)"
    • Ledah: "Thy sins shall be purged... LOST SERAPH!"
  • Intoxication Ensues: Caused by eating the mushrooms in Nelde. One in particular causes Ein to laugh uncontrollably.
  • Inventory Management Puzzle: There is a permanent fifteen-item limit on your inventory, which forces players to use or discard obscenely powerful low durability weapons like Excalibur to make room for more practical weapons that offer stat boosts and a more reasonable number of uses.
  • Japanese Pronouns: How Ledah shows his opinion of other characters, primarily Ein. Sadly, a lot of the connotations (and thus an important part of Ledah's character) are lost in the English script.
    • Also a large part of Ein's Crowning Moment Of Awesome during his final confrontation with Hector/Seth-Rah. He starts out calling Hector anata (Hector is the only person Ein uses this pronoun with), and works his way through increasingly impressive pronoun drops until he hits kisama.
  • Kawaiiko: Lina
  • Keigo: Fia.
  • Killed Off for Real: Ledah and Malice.
  • Lady of War: Fia
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: In order to convince Ein that the Sprites need protecting, Ursula seals his memories and powers and dumps him in the middle of Elendia; until she removes the seal, the only thing Ein remembers about himself is his name. (Interestingly, the game avoids the usual drama associated with this trope as A) the amnesia doesn't last very long and B) that the player is already aware of who and what Ein is).
  • Last Of Her Kind: Serene, after Malice wipes out all of the other Arcs.
  • Lazy Backup
  • Let's Play: A particularly funny one by Didja Redo that can be found Here:.
  • Light Is Not Good
  • Limit Break: Almost every weapon has one.
  • Loads and Loads of Loading: PSP version.
  • Lost Forever: The game is missable hell. With almost every optional item or scene in the game, you're given one opportunity to get it and if you fail, it's gone.
  • Magikarp Power: Fia has to use a Rosary over fifteen times in order to master them—the highest use-count in the game. The reward is a Level 3 Overdrive that instantly kills all enemy monsters, at the cost of destroying the Rosary, too. The Unleash text for this skill differs from Fia's other Level 3 Overdrives, too.
  • Mercy Mode: Forced upon you if you choose Retry instead of going back to the main menu.
  • Moral Dissonance:Serene's ending where she and Ein decide to kill all the monsters in the world. Its shown at several points that the monsters aren't Always Chaotic Evil, so its quite unnecessary cruel.
  • More Dakka: Certain monsters—and Lina, when she has her most powerful weapons—are capable of projectile attacks that count as the medieval version.
  • Multiple Endings
    • Although, as Word of God would have it, Rose's ending is the one that's canon.
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: Serene and that giant scythe. The blade's almost bigger than she is!
  • Named Weapons: Einherjar, Lorelei, and Skadi, as well as the ones that drift into Public Domain Artifact territory.
  • Obviously Evil: Hector (barely) tries to come off as a good guy at first, but his appearance and theme says otherwise.
  • Odd Couple: Fia and Lina.
  • Older than They Look: Lina. The jury is still out on whether she's actually older than Fia, but she's definitely older than she appears to be (her original character design, in fact, showed her with bigger breasts than Serene!). Hinted at early on in an optional conversation with Coco.
    • Confirmed later, when her age is brought up and she defiantly states, "I'm a year older than Fia!"
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Hector
  • The One Guy: Unless you count Ledah, Ein is the only male player character.
  • One-Hit KO: Fia's Exorcise skill.
  • Only Sane Man: Usually Serene; sometimes Rose. Meute has this role in the high-school AU voice drama.
  • Our Angels Are Different
  • Perpetual Molt
  • Petting Zoo People: Quite a few of the villagers.
  • Power Perversion Potential: Okay, so it was inevitable for the plant monsters, whose vines resemble tentacles. But the spiders? The slimes?!
    • And let's not even get started on Hector's weapon, the Tentacle Rod...
  • Press X to Not Die: This trope's variations and Smashing Survival are required in many events.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Subverted with Ledah and Malice in every way but elementally—Ledah is calm, collected, devout, and apathetic due to the loss of his emotions; Malice is temperamental, judgmental, quick to start fights, and almost mindlessly devoted to Hector's plans.
  • Relationship Values
  • Rie Kugimiya: Ein's seiyuu.
  • Say It with Hearts
  • Shout-Out - "They don't call me the Scarlet Witch for nothing!" Ditto for the Wolvie claw weapons.
  • Sinister Scythe: Serene, although others can use them too.
  • Skippable Boss: Golem ZK-III in Chapter 4-6. You can get past it if you use the code in the Golem Manual.
  • Spanner in the Works: Ein, with a little help from Ursula.
  • Squishy Wizard: Subverted; Cierra has poor defense, but the most hit points of anyone.
  • Standard Female Grab Area: In the PSP version, Malice does this to any one of the girls save Lina, whom she picks up instead.
  • Stock Weapon Names: Excalibur, Gae Bolg, Longinus...the list goes on.
  • The Stoic: Ledah, who's literally an Emotionless Guy.
  • Super Move Portrait Attack: Level 3 Overskills use this.
  • Surprisingly Good English: The Riviera "calendar discs" featured some.
  • Talking Animal: Rose.
  • Tarot Motifs: Tarot cards are a possible weapon, and each character uses their "favorite"—The Hermit for Ein, Justice for Fia, The Wheel of Fortune for Lina, The Devil for Serene, and The Magician for Cierra.
  • A Taste of Power: Ledah makes losing the first chapter almost literally impossible.
  • Third-Person Person: Lina.
  • This Is Unforgivable: Ein's reaction to Hector's actions near the end.
  • Those Two Guys: Randy and Levin, in the dramas. (They're actually characters from Chapter 5 in-game.)
  • Throw the Book at Them: Lina and the male mages do this.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Besides the use of the book type as said above, weapons are thrown when used by characters who can't use them - to the point the throw itself is badly aimed.
  • Tomboy: Serene. Although she's secretly extremely feminine.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Fia (girly girl) and Serene (tomboy).
  • Trauma Inn:
  • True Companions: Ein's party. The Power of Friendship is explored in Chapter 6, when Fia gets very angry with Ein for keeping to himself in order to Wangst about having to fight his former ally Ledah.
  • Tsundere: Lulu. It seems childhood trauma is as much a part of her attitude as typical tsuntsun.
  • Unusual Ears: Serene and the Arcs.
    • This refers to her actual ears which are pointed versus the helmet she wears. It comes off for the Hot Springs Episode, assuring that it isn't something that is attached to her head.
  • Victory Quote: Each character has one, depending on who landed the final blow on the last enemy and if it was a normal attack or an overskill.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Hector gets one after Ein defeats him as Seth-Rah, complete with a "WHAT ARE YOU?!" also making it a Crowning Moment Of Awesome.
    • He has a slightly less severe one when Ein and the girls beat him the first time around, too.
  • Weapon of Choice: Each party member has one type of weapon they can gain a Level 3 Overskill for - swords for Ein, rapiers for Fia, bows for Lina, scythes for Serene, and staves for Cierra. In addition, there are certain items that only one person can use (only Fia can use katanas, only Lina can use bowguns...)
    • Nobody but the Grim Angel who owns it can use a Diviner.
    • Only Ein himself can use Longinus and the infamous Fanelia.
    • Ledah refuses to use anything but his Diviner, Lorelei. In Chapter 1, this isn't a problem, but if you play the PSP Bonus Chapter, it gets tricky fighting enemies that absorb fire damage.
  • Who Would Win: In-Universe; in one scene, Lina and Serene briefly debate a magical duel between Fia and Cierra.
  • Winged Humanoid: Serene, again.
    • The Grim Angels also count. Except for Ein, of course.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: The playable characters alone have nearly every color of the rainbow.
  • You're Insane: Ein, again directed toward Hector just before the final battle.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: Lina counts as a Grade B.

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alternative title(s): Riviera The Promised Land
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