The 6th Rune Factory game, and the first for the 3DS. This game is also the first to provide players with the option of going through the game as a girl or a boy right at the start, contributing to its nearly outselling its predecessors in just the first week of it's release. In addition to a boost over the other handheld games' graphics is features a more elaborate dating system, including actual dates, becoming a steady couple, and dealing with personal issues before getting married.The game begins with the protagonist riding an airship, carrying valuable cargo on their person. Before they reach their destination they are attacked, and after losing their memory and their cargo from a blow to the head they are tossed overboard. Luckily, their fall is broken by the dragon Ventuswill, who guards the town of Selphia. She has been expecting a member of nobility to come and manage the town, and assumes that this must be them. From then on it becomes job of the player character to attract tourists to their town, to have new festivals implemented or shops built, and to investigate into the strange occurrence of boss monsters taking on human forms after being defeated.This game is the first since the original Rune Factory to include heavy involvement from the Sechs Empire.Rune Factory 4 was released in Japan on July 19, 2012 by Marvelous AQL while North American version was released by XSEED Games on October 1st, 2013. Zen United later announced plans to release the game in Europe during Spring 2014.The character sheet can be found here.This series provides examples of:
Action Girl: The main character can take just about anyone they've befriended into dungeons with them, but as the town knight who will accompany them regardless of affection, Forte best fits the trope.
Aerith and Bob: Doug, Leon, and Margaret stand beside Vishnal, Volkanon and Illuminata.
Artificial Atmospheric Actions: The game lacks particular cliques, so any character can be seen conversing with another. There are a variety of different conversations to drop in on. There are also a wide range of NPCs who go in and out of town as tourists, making the world feel more full without overfilling the character roster.
Bag of Holding: There's a limit to how much it can hold, but considering what can fit in a bag that they don't even bother to show the player carrying...
Body Wipe: The animated scene for Xiao Pai's introduction involves her trying not to trip; it ends with her falling backwards onto and sitting on the camera.
The Bus Came Back: Ethelberd comes back into the plot after being absent in every game since the first.
But Thou Must: At one point in Vishnal's main sub event a options menu will come up with only one option. Not two options that mean the same thing. One option.
Taken to its logical extreme when you speak to Ventuswill after rescuing Dolce. While you are provided plenty of options, not only are you forced to the same conclusion regardless, but you are forced to select every last option at some point during the conversation. You only get a say in what order they go. Sometimes.
On multiple occasions when Porcoline confesses his undying love to the player, they're presented with a long list of options that all harshly shut him down. Porcoline may or may not even notice, and if he does, he may or may not have been serious.
The Cameo: Raven and Barrett both visit Selphia regularly.
Continuity Nod: The main villain's motivation is based primarily around events from the first game in the series, and uses plot devices from the second, although the game is vague enough in referencing these. It explains the basics that you need to know too, so that if you haven't played the first two games it might just sound like the main villain happened to have an encounter with an Earthmate once and one of the people who frequently visits town conveniently knows about the rare spells being used.
Various hints show that Margaret is Daria's little sister, and in her cameo appearance, Raven will talk about Gaius. Barrett will also make some call backs to Alvarna.
One of Barrett's lines is that he lampshades how every town seems to have a member of the De Sainte-Coquille family. And even lampshades how weird their huge fat faces are and wonders "Will Max (Handsome son of Herman De Sainte-Coquille) look like that someday?"
Mistress Trupin also has a number of lines that scream "I AM MIST" up to and including recounting an incident where she gave a traveler collapsed from hunger a hoe and watering can (which is how the first Rune Factory game starts). She also mentions having once met a man and woman who shared a body.
Chainmail Bikini: Forte's armor is actually highly practical and protective. One of Bado's many get-rich-quick ideas is not.
Damn You, Muscle Memory: Remember how streamlined the L button menu was in Rune Factory 3? Now you have to press A twice to equip and up then A to hold versus just tapping the button you'd press to use it anyway.
Easy Amnesia: Lest/Frey doesn't get amnesia when they're knocked out of the airship. They get it when they're hit on the back of the head a few minutes earlier.
Embarrassing Nickname: When you begin dating someone, and again when you get married, they'll ask if you want to call them by a nickname, and if they should call you anything special. Depending on what you call them, they may find it slightly embarrassing or they may just think it's cute.
The Empire: The Sechs Empire from RF1 makes a comeback in this game.
Fanservice: All male and female marriage candidates can be seen in swimsuits and pajamas.
Getting Crap Past the Radar: Some of the lines are really suggestive. If Frey marries Dylas, he'll be happy to hear he's moving in with her because "the [restaurant] walls are really thin." The fact that you can choose to call him "Big D" and he insists you swear to never, ever use that name in public only makes it worse (could you imply that he's hung like a horse?).
Attempting to sleep in Arthur's old bed after marrying him prompts him to tell Frey that, if they go home, he can let her do "all sorts of spoiled things." Margaret, on the other hand, teases Lest and asks him if he's preparing for children when he tries to sleep in her old bed.
Lin Fa reflects on pasts mistakes and comments that if she hadn't made a particular mistake, Xiao Pai wouldn't be here now. Arthur is in fact the illegitimate child of a mistress to the king.
The item summary for shells in the English version also has a dick joke, not to mention that while no one ever goes off on a foul mouthed tirade, there's no hesitance on the part of Doug or Dylas to use mild swear words, some of which are voiced. XSEED Games was actually expecting the game to receive a T rating.
Happily Adopted: Borders on a theme of the game; adoptive and surrogate families outnumber the biological ones, especially once the unlockable marriage candidates start moving in.
Happily Married: Nancy and Jones. Lin Fa also has a husband who stops in on occasion, making a broken record of two already married couples in a single Rune Factory game. Naturally, you can end up this way as well.
Lame Pun Reaction: When Forte starts wanting a horse to complete her knighthood, Volkanon suggests she ride an Elefun instead. He thought getting her to ride it would be an elephantine task, but really, it's no tusk at all. Everyone else gets "..." bubbles over their heads and a gust of wind blows through the town square. The Elefun in question decides to trample him.
Laser-Guided Amnesia: Though as a first for the series, the main character actually gets amnesia after the game starts. The player still doesn't learn much anything about them beforehand, however. Ventuswill forcibly removed memories relating to her from each of the people you bring back to town, so that they won't try to sacrifice themselves for her again.
Lethal Chef: Vishnal. If Frey marries him, he may give her a Fail or a Super Fail each day.
Forte as well.
Little Bit Beastly: Dylas retains his horse ears and tail after turning human. Leon ends up with fox features. Amber has antennae, and occasionally wings.
Luck-Based Mission: The final plot event after the player finishes the main storyline is triggered at random.
Mistaken Identity: Lest/Frey is not the nobleman/woman they were waiting for. Arthur was.
The Mole: It turns out that Doug is actually a spy.
Mythology Gag: The game instructions mention that the Sechs Empire was temporarily known as Zzyzx, and that historians believe the temporary name change to be due to an illness within the Empire's ranks, or a practical joke. This is what the empire was called in Rune Factory Frontier, the other game localized by XSEED Games. It's been referred to as (and generally preferred as) Sechs in every other game.
Our Dwarves Are All the Same: As with Rune Factory 3 this is averted. Doug is somewhat brash, but is average height, beardless, hopeless when it comes to crafting things, and works in the general store. Bado is a laid back giant.
Pajama Clad Hero: Talk to someone when they're at the beach in summer and ask them to go adventuring with you; they'll run around in their swimsuit the entire time, despite normally changing clothes instantly when leaving the beach. If you have someone's affection high enough, you can get them to let you in their house early in the morning or late at night, catching them in their pajamas; asking them to go adventuring then, and you get the trope. Once you unlock the costume shop, you too can run around defeating monsters in absurd clothing.
Playing Possum: Dylas in monster form will fall over and fake defeat once in Lest's/Frey's match with him.
Running Gag: The option to sleep in another person's bed is in this game as well. If Lest/Frey is dating someone, it changes a bit, and if they marry them, their particular dialogue if he/she goes back to their old bed will change yet again.
Shout-Out: Vishnal was inspired to become a butler by a man named Sebastian who despite being amazing dedicated all his efforts to making his master look even more impressive.
The game also has a few Pokémon references. Dolce quotes the "I choose you" line and tries to send Pico to use Thunderbolt, and Pico comments on how it would have been super effective, and Clorica makes a pun off of Tentacool and Tentacruel.
The bath section of the bathhouse is named Bell Bath (and Beyond).
Un-Confession: The player has the option to confess their love to the marriage candidates, but even if their Relationship Values are beyond high enough, there's a very good chance the candidate will think they're joking. You can also confess to the rest of the town, who will never take you seriously, and Porcoline likes to confess randomly for no apparent reason.