Sands of Destruction is a Nintendo DS game developed by Imageepoch and published by Sega. It was released in Japan in 2008 as World Destruction: Michibi Kareshi Ishi, with a North American release in January 12th, 2010. It was also adapted into an anime which aired in 2008 and similarly had a North American release in early 2010.The setting is a fictional world, where animals and human-animal hybrids reign supreme, and humans are considered second-class citizens.Meet the World Annihilation Front (World Destruction Committee in Japan and in Funimation's subtitled version). A human member of the Front is the main 'heroine', Morte Asherah, who has a nasty attitude, a massive sword and a goal of (what else) to destroy the world with the powers of something known as the "Destruct". Along the way, she picks up Kyrie Illunis, a mild-mannered human with the power to destroy the world, but has no desire to do so, and Taupy Toplan, a small bear creature on the scale of a teddy. (Just don't call him "bear.") Kyrie and Taupy, unlike Morte, have no desire to destroy the world, but they are guilty by association and hunted as part of the collective "World Annihilation Front."The World Salvation Committee consists of one highly intellectual (but not necessarily intelligent) wolfman with an intense sense of honor and one dragon girl who is prone to spouting wings, horns, and a nasty-looking tail when she becomes enraged. Finally there is the guy in an awesome green longcoat.This series has a Character Sheet right here. Read at your own risk for spoilers for those who haven't watch the anime, read the manga or played the game.(Now has its own Abridged Series! Brought to you by The World Parody Committee.)
Ambition Is Evil: Subverted. Despite Pictis Rex's motive to hold the peace talks, he was actually very reasonable, and he would have helped end the conflicts between Beastmen and humans peacefully. Unfortunately, someone else had other ideas...
American Kirby Is Hardcore: A weird case where the hardcore was too much for the demographic. If they kept the hardcore, it would have kept the general theme of the game. Why they didn't keep the hardcore for the American release is anyone's guess. See Executive Meddling for details.
Art Shift: The anime can get weird in some episodes, such as when Morte decides to throw Toppy at the warden in the third episode, it's shown in extremely minimalistic line art.
Ax-Crazy: The first lines out of Morte's mouth are about killing people and blowing up the world...so naturally, the protagonistfinds this really hot. Of course, Kyrie actually has a reason for agreeing with her, even if he doesn't know it.
It's even worse in the manga. In the game, she's never shown touching an innocent, and it can be inferred that all of the rumors about her are just Beastmen propaganda. In the manga, she blows up an entire city without batting an eye. This is enough to drive Kyrie away.
Badass Adorable: Taupy. He can (and will, if the price is right) kick your ass up and down the street with his bear hands, but just try resisting the urge to hug him.
Bears Are Bad News: Subverted. Taupy is one of the strongest characters... Which, really, just means that the trope applies to your opponents.
Black and Grey Morality: Sure, some of the beastlords (Keyword some. Felis and Ursa Rex are all nice. Elephas Rex is also shown not to be that crazy, Pistris Rex just wants a better spot on the council) are downright evil, but the party is trying to destroy the world. They even wind up fighting God. Granted, said god is trying to get Kyrie to destroy the world, while Kyrie just wants to make a new one, but still.
Blessed with Suck: Kyrie has the power to turn everything (yes, everything) in a large area into sand.
Blood Knight: Morte is the only member of the Front who seems to enjoy fighting.
Boy Meets Girl: Kyrie and Morte, of sorts, when he first meets her in the Sky Gaol. She doesn't feel the same way he does for her at first... until he dies. Then he got better. In the ending, when they remake the world into a better place, the two share a kiss, and recite the words that creates the new world. The last scene shows the two of them side-by-side looking out at the blue ocean, with the delightful heart emotes over both their heads.
Catch Phrase: These are an actual gameplay feature. As you progress through the game, each playable character gains "Quips", which they can equip up to four of at a time. When a Quip is triggered (by things like taking damage, killing an enemy, or even just starting a battle), they provide a bonus of some sort to your characters.
Deathbringer the Adorable: The World Annihilation Front members are actually pretty affable folks for the most part, and apart from a few alarmists, most of the folks they encounter along the way don't have any problem with helping them even knowing who they are.
Death World: The game goes to great lengths to show just how fucked up everything is, and why the World Annihilation Front feels so justified in their goals.
Deus ex Machina When exactly did Kyrie get that Super Mode? It's implied that Crimson Sun merged with him when he was resurrected but isn't said outright and it only when a player goes to customize his moves or enters battle to an awesome new battle theme.
He got it when you resurrected him and he accepted his identity as the Destruct. Notice that in his profile, his race changes from 'Human' to 'Destruct' to reflect this.
Also quite literal with The Creator, which appears to be a machine.
To paraphrase a forum poster from GameFAQs, if it weren't for the meddling, "The developers could have made Xenogears but instead gave us Wild ARMs."
Facial Composite Failure: The bounty posters of your group are naturally exaggerated caricatures, and seemingly can't even decide on what they want to caricature.
Fantastic Racism: Ridiculously straight with ferals to humans. Unfortunately, it's the kind of Narmy, cartoon-characterish racism instead of something a little more subtle. Probably a definite sign that the game you're playing wasn't intended for adults.
Exceptions going to Rana Rex right? Working children to death then using them as fertilizer is not cool.
And even though it's Morte's primary motivation for wanting to destroy the world, for every city where humans are openly bullied, it seems like there's another where they live more or less as equals. Morte's hometown even has a human chief with a laid-back feral population.
In the anime, at least. In the game, Morte just seems to want to destroy the world for the sake of it. The crappiness of it is just her best argument.
Fastball Special: Taupy's special finishing move was summoning Muffy, being picked up, spin for momentum and thrown at the enemies.
Flat Character: There's a reason she's called Morte. Lampshaded near the end. All the other characters are forced to undergo a flashback which tells their reason to go against the world, and she complains that nothing is happening to her.
Going Through the Motions: Every time a character speaks, he/she display one gesture specific to him/herself, such as Agan fixing his hat or Rhi'a rocking back and forth on her heels. Every. Single. Time.
Gory Discretion Shot: When Morte kills Rajiv, the camera follows the rest of the party while they leave the room. It's implied that she took her time.
Semi-averted when Naja kills Kyrie. We see the silhouette, but Naja's claw is quite clearly going through Kyrie's chest.
Gratuitous Latin: It's everywhere in this game. The Arc Words are Latin for "the play is over." Nearly all of the Beastlords' titles combine the latin words for their species followed by Rex (King). Even the last boss spouts several lines in latin before finally dying.
Half-Human Hybrid: Naja from the Salvation Committee. Despite being a reasonable person, some of his colleagues doesn't exactly refrain from showing their racism in regards to his parentage.
Larynx Dissonance: Taupy, as mentioned above, is an adorable teddy bear-like feral...with a gruff, badass voice.
Lethal Chef: Kyrie's special skills involve the use of food to attack. But also to heal.
Luck-Based Mission: What battles inevitably turn into, thanks to the combat system's method of giving you or your enemies another attack based on getting a critical hit. You can steamroll a boss in one playthrough, or just never get a turn in another.
Magikarp Power: Flurry attacks are rather weak (though accurate) at the beginning of the game when compared to blow attacks (more damage and less accurate, but this can easily be compensated for) however, once you reach lvl 20 (which isn't very further into the game, even without grinding, which is also fairly easy to do) you get the option of further improving all your attacks, giving them certain bonuses when doing so. Blow attacks can get some decent powerups from this, but flurry attacks get the option to chain which is more or less a Game Breaker.
Meaningful Name: Kyrie means 'Lord' in Greek, Morte means 'Death' in Portugese.
Mirror Universe: Literally, in the case of Serpens Rex's crazy mirror dimension.
Mood Whiplash: On paper, the story looks like pretty serious stuff, and the original draft by writer Masato Kato was apparently even darker and more violent. As it turns out, the higher-ups insisted on marketing the game to a younger demographic, and so they settled on the worst solution possible: keep the same basic story points, but pack each and every scene with lame, anime-cliche humor and have the game's position on the Sliding Scale of Silliness Versus Seriousness go haywire.
More Dakka: Rhi'a if you chain her Flurry attacks, and Agan's Special Attack.
Petting Zoo People: Subverted in that most ferals look human. Played straight with the beastlords, as well as Crimson Sun (who is technically the embodiment of Light/Fire, but come on, he's a giant lion-man.)
However, it's implied that they do have a transformation form. (not just the beastlords, mind you)
The Savage South: Summer Continent appears to be an expy of Africa, complete with deserts and savannah. The biggest sign of civilization is the complex operated by Elephas Rex, and travellers who fail to take precautions usually collapse from heat exhaustion before they reach it.
Sliding Scale of Antagonist Vileness: The beastlords. We have Elephas Rex on one end, who will treat any and all patients who come to him, including Morte, down through Felis Rex, who is a nice guy, but still blackmails you into running errands for him, to Noctua Rex, who traps you in your memories and tries to kill you, but is trying to save the world, to the Jerkass Aqulia Rex down to Porcus Rex and Rana Rex, who eat random humans and use humans for fertilizer, respectively, and finally we have Lacertus Rex, who wants to use all of humanity as raw material for a new world where he is God.
Screw Destiny: Kyrie does not want to destroy the world. Just remake it into a better one.
Suspicious Videogame Generosity: Any healing points found inside the dungeon, after the party has traveled deep enough. Suspicious enough, due to the game allowing you to save anywhere.
The Ark: The very last setting houses the DNA of all creatures and plant life. It was stored so that in the event of the world being destroyed or suffering some other cataclysmal event, it could be recreated again.
Transformation Sequence: All the beastlords before battle, as well as Rajiv's, Naja's, and Rhi'a's Special Attacks. And Kyrie at the start of each fight, after his awakening as the Destruct.
Verbal Tic: Taupy puts "bear-o" at the end of his sentences in the anime. When asked by Kyrie and Morte to stop, he says that he can't do it because it's an important part of his tribe's culture.
In the FUNimation English dub of the anime "Toppy" (as they spelled it in the credits) ends nearly all of his sentences with "kuma" which is the Japanese for "bear." At one point in the anime, you meet a friend of his (also a dwarf-bear) who ends all of his sentences with simply "bear."
What Could Have Been: As mentioned above, the original draft was much more darker, with possible depictions of ferals eating humans. Alas, executive meddling made the game's finalised story as it is. Well, there's hints like the time where Porco Rex threatens to eat that human child, but it's not quite the same. There is also Lacertus Rex's plan to use humans as base material for his ascension to godhood.