Video Game: Sands of Destruction

aka: World Destruction

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, Sands of Destruction, 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 no desire to do so, and Taupy Toplan, a small bear creature on the scale of a teddy. (Just don't call him a stuffed animal). 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." Latecomers include a dragonkin who can see the future and a guy in an awesome green longcoat who grew up with Morte.

The World Salvation Committee consists of one highly intellectual (but not necessarily intelligent) wolfman with an intense sense of honor, his fellow wolfman rival who looks down on him for being a half-breed, an eagle-man with an ego, and several hundred Faceless Goons.

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.)


Sands of Destruction provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Action Girl: Morte is gung-ho about fighting. Rhi'a is less intense in her enthusiasm, but no less capable of taking care of herself when she needs to.
  • Action Girlfriend: Morte to Kyrie, after she realizes her feelings about halfway through the game.
  • Act Of True Love: Kyrie asks Naja to kill him so he can't destroy the world specifically so Morte will be safe. Morte struggles to find the entrance to, and then get to the top of, the Temple of Light because she finally realized her feelings toward him were more than a mere desire to see him end the world. The rest of the Front helps because they consider Kyrie a personal friend and unequivocally the nicest guy they've ever met.
  • Action Prologue: The game opens with you controlling Naja as he and Rajiv fight off Morte in Viteaux. It then cuts to Kyrie going about his normal business in Barni, picking up vegetables and hunting for sandcaps to cook (which naturally turns into fighting a sandwhale).
  • Affably Evil: Lacertus Rex.
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: When Porcus Rex threatens to eat a boy, Kyrie suggests he just beg for mercy. He then says that, if it'll help, he'll beg for the boy's life, too. Everyone else is convinced Kyrie is either insane, stupid, or both.
  • All The Worlds Are A Stage: The Depths of Memories has you revisit each location you encountered along your adventure.
  • Alternate Timeline: As Kyrie began researching the Destruct Code's history, he noted how it extends to the beginning of creation, when the gods were given a choice: either to allow humans to rule over beasts, or vice versa. The gods for that world gave that power to beasts, which gives an interesting perspective flip when you think about it.
  • Amazing Technicolor Battlefield: The Primal Cataract contains a chunk of rock for each of the seven colors of the rainbow. When you finally reach the end to fight Lacertus Rex - the real one - it has a flowing, twirling rainbow.
  • Ambidextrous Sprite: Anyone with Fashionable Asymmetry is fully flippable, such as Kyrie's single glove and Taupy's eyepatch.
  • 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 the YMMV page for details.
  • And the Rest: After Kyrie is resurrected at the Temple of Light, he's overjoyed to see Morte and the fact that she's gone through such trouble to find him again. It takes a few moments before he realizes the rest of the team is there, too, and then he thanks them as a group.
  • And This Is for...: After They Do, Kyrie's post-Limit Break Pre-Mortem One-Liner changes to "That one's for Morte!" Rather odd, considering she may be perfectly unharmed or not even in the active party.
  • Anger Born of Worry: After traveling to the Temple of Light to visit the Crimson Sun, Morte is at first overjoyed to see Kyrie, but soon switches to screaming at him.
    Morte: Did I ask you to die for me!?
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Kyrie makes two to Morte:
    • First, after seeking out Elephas Rex to cure Morte of the curse Serpens Rex put on her, he exclaims how much she means to him while crying Tears of Joy. Unfortunately, Elephas Rex walks in before she properly responds.
    • Second, in the Valley of Dragons, as he lies dying in her arms from Naja sticking his claws straight through his chest, he tells her again that he loves her. Unfortunately, Morte was once again too preoccupied to properly respond.
  • Anti Anti Christ: Kyrie was supposed to be the one to end the world. Unfortunately, he's really not into the whole doom-and-death thing.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: In the Cave of Memories, you must visit the rooms containing Kyrie's memories of the adventure in reverse order that they happened. If you mess up, Kyrie will helpfully remind you what he did before and where you should go next.
  • Anyone Can Die: Up to and including Kyrie, but he revives.
  • Apathetic Citizens Played very straight by the [NPCs]. Let us count the ways:
    • Your hero Kyrie is a Person of Mass Destruction who was jailed for accidentally killing a beastlord and turning his whole village to sand, and his Love Interest Morte is the Crimson Plague, feared Beastslayer, and supposedly one of the most notorious members of the World Annihilation Front (and definitely carrier of a BFS that no one ever asks her to please leave outside). Most people don't even blink when you walk into town - not just the humans, who might believe you're there to liberate them from feral rule, but even most of the ferals don't seem to care (including if you walk into a feral-only portion of a city; the most reaction you'll get is a casual, "Oh dear, how did you get in here? This is no place for humans," not even a threat to call the guards if you don't leave).
    • When people start noticing that the world may actually be ending, their reactions are pretty low-key, too - a couple say they're scared but still roam around the city as usual, though some question if such a thing is even possible.
    • The Most Triumphant Example for the game has to be in the city of Viteaux, however, when Porcus Rex threatens to eat a child for accidentally running into him; the crowd of onlookers definitely feels sorry for the kid, but doesn't dare intervene or even raise an objection. Even his companions point out to Kyrie that this is simply the way things are (luckily for that kid, though, Kyrie is an All-Loving Hero and refuses to accept the status quo).
  • Apocalypse How: Kyrie accidentally causes two Class 0s: once at the start of the game when he destroys Barni, and again at the Sky Gaol during the peace talks. If his powers ever fully activate, he's capable of causing a Class 6, turning the entire world and everything on it to sand.
  • Apocalypse Maiden: Kyrie can't control his powers of destruction; when that pesky voice starts talking, his body acts of its own accord and obliterates everything around him. When he decides he's too much of a danger to continue living, he asks Naja to kill him.
  • Apocalypse Wow: Kyrie's destructive powers are shown twice in all their sand-inducing glory.
  • Arbitrary Head Count Limit: You're limited to only three people in battle at once; the rest are Lazy Backup.
  • Arc Words: Acta est fabula
  • 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.
  • Armor of Invincibility: Kyrie may get the Crimson Gear, assuming you revisited Barni before he died, then revisited Barni again after he was resurrected. If not, it becomes Lost Forever and you get the Crimson Robe as a consolation prize. Both are stronger than any other armor he can obtain, but the Gear nullifies all elements as well as having a higher defensive value.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Elephas Rex eventually points out to Kyrie that if Morte succeeds in destroying the world, they won't be able to be together. He leaves him to figure out for himself exactly what he should do and whether he should continue assisting the World Annihilation Front.
  • Ax-Crazy: The first lines out of Morte's mouth are about killing people and blowing up the world...so naturally, the protagonist finds this really hot. Of course, Kyrie actually has a reason for agreeing with her, even if he doesn't know it. However, she's never shown touching an innocent, and it can be inferred that all of the rumors about her are just Beastmen propaganda.
  • Back from the Dead: Kyrie dies and is revived about halfway through the game. Lacertus Rex is fought twice and at first the characters believe it to be this trope, but the first time was Actually a Doombot; he's also the one behind the Boss Rush automatons inhabiting the Primal Cataract.
  • 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.
  • Badass Longcoat: Morte is, and Agan WISHES he was one of these. Well, at least he's got a Nice Hat.
  • Bad Moon Rising: Morte's super-powered Limit Break has her jumping in front of a red crescent moon before delivering maximum pain.
  • Battle Aura: Rhi'a has one when she transforms; it's a light purple dragon, of course. Kyrie gains a golden lion aura after the Crimson Sun resurrects him.
  • Battle Couple: Kyrie and Morte become one about halfway through the game.
  • 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.
  • Black and White Magic: Blood Skills and Life Skills, respectively. Everyone has access to both, though what their specific skills do within the categories varies.
  • 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.
  • Bomb-Throwing Anarchists: The introduction makes Morte and the World Annihilation Front seem like this, but as their name implies, they're not just interested in toppling evil governments; they want to end the world. That doesn't stop various characters from calling them anarchists, though.
  • Bonus Boss: Dark Kyrie, a doppelganger atop the Temple of Darkness.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: The Desert King, a breed of large, vicious sand whale randomly encountered only during Agan's Rite of Ascension. You're playing as Agan alone, which makes it difficult enough, but it can turn you to stone and nullifies fleeing (even including Agan's Quip), in addition to being tough and hitting just as hard as it takes.
  • Boss Rush: The Primal Cataract is populated by mechanical reconstructions of the various beastlords you've fought. They're Random Encounters, though, so you probably won't encounter them in order and will almost definitely encounter them more than once.
  • 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.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Morte ends up this way briefly, under the mind control of a certain Beastlord. The ensuing fight will net you a Nonstandard Game Over if you accidentally kill your companion.
  • Came Back Strong: Kyrie is both mentally and physically stronger after he comes Back from the Dead.
  • Character Check: After Morte spends several minutes in deredere mode, she quickly snaps back to her usual tough self. Agan points out that this is the feared Beastslayer they're talking about; no one should expect her to get all sappy.
  • Can't Drop the Hero: For most of the game, though Kyrie is later dropped from the party after he asks Naja to kill him to save the world. At this point, Morte becomes undroppable, whereas previously she could be switched out at will. After Kyrie returns, he's undroppable again and Morte returns to her previously-switchable role.
  • 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.
  • Character Portrait: Named characters have them; random villagers don't. Beastlords also lose their portrait when they transform.
  • Chain of Deals: A couple:
    • When you visit the Sky Gaol for the second time, several of the prisoners ask you to pass letters and packages between then (why none of them ask you to go find the guard with the keys is never mentioned). Completing the chain nets you a few good items.
    • Talking to certain beastwomen in various towns around the world will have them comment on Morte's good fashion sense and gift her with a gaudy piece of armor. When you find the next woman, she'll take the last piece from your inventory and give you a new one more outlandish than the last.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Rhi'a, at times.
  • Cold Equation: A desperate and depressed Kyrie decides that if Naja kills him, Morte and the others will be able to continue to live because he can't destroy the world if he's dead.
  • Conflicting Loyalty: Kyrie promises Morte that he'll help her end the world if that's what she wants, but after Elephas Rex points out that he can't be with her if the world is destroyed, Kyrie begins to feel an internal conflict between his desire to keep his promise and his desire to keep Morte safe.
  • Continue Your Mission, Dammit!: At certain points in the plot, you'll be locked into moving along a certain path. Attempts to take other paths will result in one of your party members scolding you that this is not a time for detours. When the plot calms down, you can come back and poke around to your heart's content.
  • Covers Always Lie: The American box art makes it seem like Kyrie is the one out to destroy the world and Morte is some sort of pensive Macguffin Girl or Apocalypse Maiden. The reality is quite the opposite.
  • Cradling Your Kill: In a flashback, it's revealed that Taupy held his best friend in his arms after defeating him in a duel.
  • 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.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: Kyrie dies in Morte's arms when Naja kills him in the Valley of Dragons. Pietà Plagiarism is involved, especially given that he explicitly sacrificed himself for her.
  • Disappears into Light: Kyrie does when he dies. You later encounter him again as a glowing ball of light, which is apparently what the Destruct looks like when not in a human body. It's still very obviously Kyrie, though, refusing to obey the Crimson Sun's orders to go back and destroy the world and then flashing with excitement when Morte speaks to him.
  • Discretion Shot:
    • Battle Discretion Shot: Played for Laughs atop the Tower of Light. Morte beats and berates Kyrie for deciding to die so that the world - and, more importantly to him, she - couldn't be destroyed, but the camera just cuts to a Reaction Shot from the rest of the team.
    • Gory Discretion Shot: In the Sky Gaol, 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.
    • Shadow Discretion Shot: In the Valley of the Dragons, when Naja kills Kyrie, we see the silhouette, but Naja's claw is quite clearly going through Kyrie's chest.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Porcus Rex attempts to eat a child just because he ran into him.
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: When Morte's Anger Born of Worry leads her to punch Kyrie, the rest of the team simply laughs and says he's lucky she didn't pull her BFS on him, despite the fact that it's been established that Morte is not someone you want to make angry. As Kyrie is a Nice Guy, he just lets her get it out of her system. Refreshingly, however, she only does this once in the whole game instead of turning it into a Running Gag; the rest of the time, she's quite gentle with him (though at least half the team likely wishes it did become a running gag instead, as they feel they should Get a Room! for their sweet talk).
  • The Dulcinea Effect: Kyrie is ecstatic when Morte decides to drag him around the world in order to convince him it's an awful place mere moments after breaking him out of the Sky Gaol and soon promises to help her in whatever she needs, including ending the world. He's obviously not thinking clearly at that moment.
  • Dramatic Wind: Blows during your Victory Pose.
  • Dying Declaration of Love: Kyrie to Morte in the Valley of the Dragons.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Kyrie goes through much angst over his Destruct powers and the accidental carnage he causes, dies and is brought back to life, and is forced to fight and kill his mother, the Creator of the world, but is eventually able to master his powers and be with Morte in a new, better world they create together.
  • Easily Forgiven: Naja requests forgiveness for killing Kyrie and to join the team; he is allowed to do so and only Agan is even slightly suspicious of him (despite forgiveness not being her first instinct, Morte decides to do what Kyrie would do and forgive him). The only thing that keeps it from being Insane Forgiveness is that Kyrie asked him to kill him to save the world.
  • Elemental Embodiment: The four Primals.
  • Everything's Better with Spinning: Most Limit Break attacks and several regular attacks involve at least a modicum of spinning.
  • Evil Plan: Lacertus Rex has one going. He runs the World Annihilation Front so he can gain power over the Destruct and become the creator of a new world.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The World Annihilation Front wants to end the world. The World Salvation Committee wants to prevent this.
  • The Extremist Was Right: Morte wants to end the world...and the world agrees. That's why the Sand Sea is growing and Kyrie's destructive powers have awakened. Subverted in the end, though, when it turns out remaking the world is better than outright destroying it.
  • 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.
  • The Fellowship Has Ended: The epilogue shows the main characters doing different things in different parts of the world, each apparently on their own. Except for Kyrie and Morte, who are now a couple looking out over the new water-filled sea.
  • 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.
  • Final Speech: Kyrie lasts an awful long time for someone who was Impaled with Extreme Prejudice.
  • Firing One-Handed: Rhi'a in the opening movie.
  • Five-Man Band
  • For Doom the Bell Tolls: An ominous bell rings out as Kyrie's Destruct powers activate.
  • Forgotten Fallen Friend:
    • The entirety of Barni Village becomes one for Kyrie. Apart from one passing mention several hours after the fact, he never even reflects on the matter, though it's somewhat implied that he was deep in denial (and when it finally hits him that he's really the one responsible and that he can't be rid of these powers, he decides suicide is the best option).
    • Elephas Rex eventually becomes one for Rhi'a when his views come into opposition with the Front's new goal. Even though it's established that she highly respects him, after his death she never comments on it again. Of course, given her Psychic Powers, she likely knew how he would die long before it ever happened, and given that she's 300 in a world of human-length lifespans, she's likely seen a lot of death.
  • Get a Room!: Agan is at least mildly annoyed by how open Morte and Kyrie are in their affection for each other. Naja agrees with him. Surprisingly, no one says anything about Taupy and Muffy, though they're even more shameless.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Serpens Rex. She pops up in the middle of the desert sandsea, traps you in a literal Mirror Universe, scatters the party, then hypnotizes Morte into fighting you.
  • A God Am I: Lacertus Rex tries to pull this off.
  • 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 Deadly Overkill Title of Fatal Death
  • 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.
  • The Gunslinger: Rhi'a.
  • 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.
  • Happily Married: The game's two couples both fit this trope to a degree.
    • First there's Taupy and his wife/live-in girlfriend Muffy. While she's largely a Satellite Love Interest, it's clear they love each other and that their situation works for them; any time Taupy is home, he and Muffy are shamelessly affectionate.
    • About halfway through, Kyrie and Morte become an Official Couple. Agan seems to think they're Sickeningly Sweethearts, but he's the Butt Monkey and The Complainer Is Always Wrong; they're actually less schmoopy than Taupy and Muffy. While they're still teenagers (and thus unmarried), they have none of the drama or jealousy typically associated with teen romance, and the ending implies that they'll continue to stay together.
  • Hearing Voices: Kyrie hears an ominous voice telling him to "awaken and destroy" and saying acta est fabula every time his destructive powers activate, though no one else hears the voice. He also hears a bell; while he's the only one who hears it the first time, his soon-to-be accidental victims also hear it the second time.
  • Heel-Face Turn: Naja. After he kills The Hero.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: Averted; our protagonist Kyrie is a Knife Nut and the only sword-wielder of any sort in the group is Morte, with a BFS scimitar. Played straight after Kyrie Awakens; he trades his pair of knives for a single, standard sword.
  • Heroic BSOD: Morte has one after Kyrie is killed. She refuses to eat anything for three days, apparently just sitting on her bed and staring off into space. She finally snaps out of it when the Front sends new orders suggesting a way to resurrect Kyrie.
  • Hey, That's My Line!: When Agan picks up Morte and Kyrie from the Sky Gaol, she encourages them to hurry up and get on the Sea Gail with a standard "All aboard!" Agan complains that he's the one who's supposed to say that.
  • Honorable Elephant: Hospital administrator Elephas Rex refuses to turn away patients.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Gender inverted by Taupy and Muffy.
  • I Cannot Self-Terminate: When Kyrie decides he's too dangerous to continue living, he asks Naja to kill him rather than considering a way to do it by himself. After he's resurrected, he apologizes for making such a cruel, selfish request without thinking of how guilty Naja might feel.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: In the original version, before the executives told the writers to tone it down, the beastmen didn't just rule over humans, they ate them. Porcus Rex threatens to eat a human boy, and perhaps implies he does so routinely, but is stopped before he can even decided how he wants to cook him.
  • Infinity–1 Sword: The Zephyr Blade is Morte's second-strongest weapon in the game and is available as soon as you find 20 Green Ore and can give it to the smith on the Bacchitav Caravan. If you feel like farming Green Anima in the Undercroft, you could potentially have that sword for nearly the entire game.
  • Infinity+1 Sword: Every character has one:
    • Kyrie gets the Destruct Blade after defeating his shadowy doppelganger, which requires returning to the Temple of Light after it's turned dark, finding yet another way in, and then chasing the shadow down.
    • Morte gets a giant sword called Infini, so heavy that most men can't even lift it, much less wield it effectively. Randomly visiting Agi Wharfs will have Felis Rex show up to offer it to her if she can get him the Divine Ear Pick.
    • Taupy gets the Friend's Gloves by defeating three fellow bounty hunters and taking their gloves, then accidentally being confronted by Muffy, who already knew who killed Ace and was no longer angry.
    • Agan gets the Ganza Whip for completing the Sand Tribe's ceremonial quest.
    • Rhi'a gets Omega, a pair of guns, for revisiting the Tower of Wind after her scene in the Depths of Memories.
    • Naja gets the Silverwolf Fang, an ancestral weapon from his tribe, after searching the Tower of Earth and fighting off looters.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Kyrie is clearly smitten with Morte, but her interest in him is more pragmatic at first. He eventually decides he wants her to live safely more than he wants to be with her, and asks Naja to kill him so he can't lose control of his powers and accidentally kill her or destroy the world. She doesn't take it so well.
  • Just Before the End: Morte points out that the world is already well on its way to the end with the ever-expanding Sand Sea, earthquakes, and whatever else the environment can think of to throw at them. She's just here to give it a kick in the pants and hurry it along.
  • Justified Title: The Japanese title is World Destruction. Guess what the World Destruction Committee is out to do?
  • Knife Nut: Kyrie until he Awakens as the Destruct.
  • Kiss-Kiss-Slap: Morte's first reaction to seeing Kyrie again atop the Temple of Light is utter joy, but she quickly shifts to berating him for deciding suicide was the best option. The camera cuts away to a Reaction Shot of the rest of the team watching her punch him and commenting that he's lucky she didn't pull her sword.
  • Larynx Dissonance: Taupy, as mentioned above, is an adorable teddy bear-like feral...with a gruff, badass voice.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: The Japanese boxart shows all the main characters lined up, facing the same direction as if they are a team, despite Naja being antagonistic. Naturally, he makes a Heel-Face Turn - or, given the Villain Protagonist nature of the game, perhaps that'd be a Face-Heel Turn.
  • Lazy Backup: Everyone follows you around and is present for all of the plot, but only three may fight at once. The rest apparently just stand there even when their teammates are getting whaled on.
  • Leaked Experience: Your Lazy Backup gets between 1/3 and 1/2 the experience of your active party. There's an item which allows you to give one person on the bench a full complement of experience (but no Customization Points), but no one likes to wear it.
  • Lethal Chef: Kyrie's special skills involve the use of food to attack. But also to heal.
  • Let's Split Up, Gang: In Mechto, Kyrie and Morte sneak up on Aquilla Rex while Taupy, Naja, and Rhi'a keep the rest of the World Salvation Committee busy.
  • Limit Break: All characters have a Super Move Portrait Attack which hits For Massive Damage, plus a Blood Skill and a Life Skill that are only available after filling a critical hit gauge during battle.
  • Love Epiphany: It takes Kyrie dying in her arms for Morte to realize she's fallen in love with him.
  • Love Redeems: Kyrie's love for Morte eventually convinces her to turn from her Omnicidal Maniac tendencies, and her love for him allows him to resist the Destruct Code's orders to destroy the world.
  • 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.
    • This isn't the case if you activate the Game Breaker powers from flurry attacks though. Of course, if a boss manages to get the first turn in a battle, it can still steamroll over you.
  • 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 far 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 many Latin-derived languages.
  • Milholland Relationship Moment: Muffy knew all along.
  • Mirror Universe: Literally, in the case of Serpens Rex's crazy mirror dimension.
  • Moment Killer: Elephas Rex walks in just after Kyrie admits to Morte that he cares for her and isn't sure what he'd do without her. Instead of continuing their conversation with an audience, she takes the opportunity to change the subject.
  • 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.
  • Mother Nature, Father Science: Averted by the final boss. Mother Nature is science.
  • Motivational Lie: When confronting Aquilla Rex, Rhi'a tells Kyrie she's seen a vision in which everyone survives the fight; she admits she saw no such thing as soon as he's out of earshot. When everyone does survive, Kyrie apologizes for doubting her.
  • MST3K Mantra: A couple characters question things like how the World Annihilation Front is able to find its members anywhere and everywhere and rain down notes with their instructions even when indoors. Morte tells them to stop worrying about such things.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Morte Asherah, in account that "Morte" is the Portuguese word for "Death". Her nicknames "Scarlet Plague", "Beastslayer", and "Lady Death" also count. Kyrie ends up nicknamed "Destruct", but anyone who meets him immediately decides that it doesn't suit him at all.
  • New Eden: The game ends with the world remade by Kyrie's powers - the sea is now water, humans and ferals apparently get along, and the new world looks pristine.
  • Ninja Zombie Pirate Robot: Taupy is a teddybear-sized bear with a gruff voice, a bandanna and an eyepatch who fights enemies with martial arts.
  • Nonstandard Game Over: Don't kill Brainwashed and Crazy Morte during that one boss fight. This means not using your Limit Break, as it will hit all opponents and the Beastlord is much tougher than your companion.
  • Not So Different: Agan tells Kyrie he's more like Morte than he realizes; despite the fact that she's much more enthusiastic about the World Annihilation Front's goals than he is, they're both exceptionally stubborn. This cheers Kyrie up.
  • Official Couple: Kyrie and Morte.
  • Off Model: A couple of characters have inconsistent coloring between their sprites and Character Portraits:
    • Kyrie wears a complete pair of gloves in sprites, but only one glove in portraits and art; his other hand is bare. After he's resurrected as the Destruct, his battle portrait has brown eyes whereas they're blue in his sprites and other art.
    • Morte's hair is a light reddish-chestnut in portraits and art but a medium dull brown in her sprites.
    • Muffy's bow is red in her portraits and brown in her sprites.
    • Agan's eyes are green in his battle portrait; they're blue in art and other portraits, and sometimes blue or sometimes black in his sprites. The cross on his face is also green in his battle portrait, whereas normally it's just drawn in black.
  • One-Winged Angel: All the beastlords pull this (the ones you fight, anyway).
    • The Creator does this after you defeat her human form.
  • Our Souls Are Different: You can be created without one, but if enough people show you love and affection, you'll develop one all on your own.
  • Party in My Pocket: You'll only ever see the character you're controlling (normally Kyrie, but Morte for a portion of the plot), but everyone else will show up for cutscenes.
  • Party Scattering: Serpens Rex scatters the party in a Mirror Dimension and hypnotizes Morte into fighting you alongside her. Kyrie has to find everyone before they can leave.
  • Penultimate Weapon: Kyrie gets the Hand of the Sun, which he receives when he's resurrected by the Crimson Sun.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: Kyrie's status as one is what catches Morte's attention and kickstarts the plot.
  • 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 most ferals do have a transformation form, not just the beastlords.
  • Pitbull Dates Puppy: Morte is a tough Action Girl who's normally Oblivious to Love and a bit of an Omnicidal Maniac. Kyrie is an All-Loving Hero and consumate Nice Guy. Somehow they make it work.
  • The Power of Love: It can make you grow a soul and allows Kyrie to refuse to follow the Destruct Code.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: After activating their Limit Break, each character has a line which plays before the enemies tally up which of them are now dead and which are just missing a large chunk of their health bar.
  • Present Absence: Kyrie gets one about halfway through the game. While he's currently dead (or, more specifically, a ball of light), Morte still acts the way she knows he would. Of course, considering the Front is trying to resurrect him, he also becomes the driving force of the plot for this time.
  • Pun-Based Title:
    • The Japanese subtitle Michibikareshi Ishi is translated as "Guided Wills", but the verb conjucation -kareshi is rather irregular. This is because kareshi is also the Japanese word for "boyfriend", making it clear that Kyrie's will is being guided by Morte.
    • The English title Sands of Destruction clearly refers to Kyrie's power to turn everything to sand.
  • Random Encounters
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: As far as Beastlords go, Ursa Rex was evidently a fair and just ruler, who had no problem with humans, and Elephas Rex treats both humans and ferals equally at his hospital. Felis Rex may be a blackmailer, but he's overall fairly reasonable as well.
  • Red-Headed Hero: Agan, the Redhead In Green. This is also Kyrie's battle form after he is resurrected.
  • Resurrected Romance: Kyrie and Morte don't get together until after he comes Back from the Dead, because it took him dying in her arms for her to realize he meant something to her.
  • Right Behind Me: A couple of prison guards comment on Morte and how scarily psychotic she is as she's walking up behind them. In an Inverted Trope, she loves the things they're saying about her.
  • Sand Is Water: The Sand Sea is exactly like every sea on Earth - it's big, everybody sails on it, it's full of whales and jellyfish - except that it's made of sand.
  • 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 travelers who fail to take precautions usually collapse from heat exhaustion before they reach it.
  • Schizo Tech: Farming is apparently still done by hand and Rhi'a's guns are the exception rather than the rule for Weapon of Choice, but Sand Skiffs are essentially hovercraft with internal combustion engines.
  • Screw Destiny: Kyrie does not want to destroy the world. Just remake it into a better one.
  • Seeks Another's Resurrection: After Kyrie asks Naja to kill him so he can't destroy the world, Morte sets out to revive him.
  • Senseless Sacrifice: Kyrie eventually decides his death would mean the world would be saved. Unfortunately, the Destruct has numerous backups in place to ensure the system works, including a method of resurrection in case of premature death.
  • Shoot the Dog: Naja eventually kills Kyrie at his request because they both believe that it will save the world. Nope. There are backups to ensure the Destruct continues to exist.
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts: Agan and Naja accuse Kyrie and Morte of being this, though they're actually pretty low-key in their affection. Taupy and Muffy are much more blatant, but no one ever complains about them (being size-mismatched live stuffed animals apparently gives you license to be teeth-achingly cute).
  • Single Tear: Morte cries one atop the Tower of Light when Kyrie comes back to life. Immediately afterwords, she switches back to her usual tough demeanor.
  • 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.
  • Sliding Scale of Shiny Versus Gritty: Despite being titled Sands of Destruction, the game is far over on the shiny end of the scale.
  • Smart Ball: Morte is normally the type to suggest blowing stuff up first and not asking any questions later, but she gets to hold the Smart Ball for a bit atop the Tower of Light and declares that instead of destroying the world, she and Kyrie will use his power to recreate it. Apparently she was actually paying attention when Lacertus Rex was babbling at the team, as everyone else dismisses the idea at first.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: The song which plays during Kyrie's Dying Declaration of Love starts off melancholy but becomes oddly hopeful, considering the whole dying part and all, especially as he doesn't get a real answer as to whether or not the feeling is mutual.
  • Spiritual Successor: To Xenogears. Shares numerous staff members and some story and gameplay elements in common.
  • Sprite/Polygon Mix: Intentionally invoked to make the game resemble Xenogears, as it was developed by the same people.
  • Standard Status Effects: Namely, Poison and Paralyze (Stun).
  • Story-to-Gameplay Ratio: 20-30 hours of gameplay, compared to about 3-4 hours of cutscenes. Many of those tend towards the front of the game.
  • 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.
  • Tears of Joy:
    • Kyrie is overcome with happiness when Elephas Rex manages to save Morte from a curse and makes an Anguished Declaration of Personal Importance through them. He even notes how silly it is of him to start crying at a time like this, though Morte doesn't rib him for it, surprisingly.
    • Morte cries a Single Tear atop the Tower of Light when Kyrie comes back to life.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: When Naja joins the group, Agan is more than a little distrustful of him. They eventually do find a common ground, though: annoyance with Kyrie and Morte's shameless PDA.
  • This Is Something He's Got to Do Himself: Some characters' personal quests, such as Agan's and Taupy's, are set up such that they are the only one allowed to fight. The other characters merely hang back and cheer them on, even if that means they get trounced a time or two.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Kyrie, after being resurrected, in combat anyways. He's still a whiny bitch otherwise.
  • 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.
  • Treacherous Spirit Chase: If you return to the Temple of Light after it's darkened, Kyrie will spot a person who he claims looks just like him and insist on chasing after him. At first no one else believes him, but eventually they decide it does look a lot like there's a second Kyrie out there. When you finally catch up, he's a Bonus Boss.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: The Primal Cataract appears to be one; Agan claims sailors avoid it because no one who goes in has ever come out again. Then subverted, as not only is it possible to leave the Cataract, but it's not even the final dungeon - just the gateway to the real final dungeon, the Ark.
  • Victory Pose: Morte jumps up and down while punching the air. Most other characters simply stand in place, satisfied that they've won, though Taupy does turn his back to the camera.
  • Visual Initiative Queue: It's constantly changing its order, though, so you probably won't be looking at it very much.
  • Welcome to Corneria: Somewhat averted. While NPCs only ever have one thing at a time to say to you, they do gradually change what they say over the course of the story. If you kill a beastlord who lives in a town, they will comment on it - some gleeful, some fearing retribution, some rather detached and unemotional. If you come back after advancing the plot further, some of them may even change what they say again, going from commenting on just the local problems to world issues like destroyed Primal Lords.note  However, only certain people do this; others will continue to say the same line endlessly.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Morte, a member of the World Annihilation Front, intends to "destroy this meaningless world."
  • We Were Your Team: After Kyrie commits suicide-by-Naja, the rest of the team wonders what they will do and contemplates splitting up, as their original reason for sticking together is gone (despite the fact that they're now considered wanted members of the World Annihilation Front - whether or not they personality have any desire whatsoever to destroy the world - and it might be a little difficult to reintegrate into society). Luckily for them, the plot moves on before they actually split up and they don't have to spend time Putting the Band Back Together.
  • What Would X Do?: After killing Kyrie at his request and learning of plans to resurrect him, Naja asks to join the Front. Everyone bickers about it until Morte decides to do what she knows Kyrie would do, even though he isn't there at the moment.
  • Where I Was Born and Razed: A variation of it happened to Barni, Kyrie's home village. The awakening of his Destruct power turned almost everything, including people, to sand.
  • Whip It Good: Agan
  • Wide Eyed Extremist: Kyrie would fit it the most since.
  • Xanatos Gambit: Looking closely at the events that lead to Kyrie's joining the Front, which began with the Front leader announcing this to the world, when Lacertus Rex reveals himself as the one in charge of the World Destruction Front, having done so jus to get his followers to bring him the Destruct and to use its power for the sake of creating a new world in his image, iyou realize that even if Morte hadn't managed to bust Kyrie out of Beastmen custody, he would have been ''more'' than capable of getting to Kyrie himself.
  • Your Favorite: Agan attempts to get Heroic BSOD'd Morte to eat by offering her sandwhale bacon sandwiches. He knows it's serious when she refuses to so much as look at him.

Alternative Title(s):

Sands Of Destruction, World Destruction