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Video Game: Seventh Dragon
Released in Japan March 5, 2009 for the Nintendo DS
, 7th Dragon
was developed by Imageepoch
and published by Sega
. The director behind this game is Kazuya Niinou the mind behind the first Trauma Center
and Etrian Odyssey
game. Music is handled by Yuzo Koshiro
and produced by Rieko Kodama (Phantasy Star
, Skies of Arcadia
The game’s plot involves the world of Eden, which was peaceful until the sudden arrival of 666 Dragons which dragged the world into conflict and brought the strange Furowaro, a poisonous flower, into the world. It is up to a brave guild of adventurers to slay every dragon and save Humanity and the Rushe from extinction.
The gameplay is a mixture of Etrian Odyssey
's point based level up system and class reliance combined with a more traditional JRPG structure not unlike Dragon Quest
. The player begins by creating and naming their own guild; then selecting guildmates from among seven classes: Fighter, Knight, Samurai, Mage, Princess, Rouge, and Healer. The game’s battles are turn based and utilize a mechanic in the exhaust system where a character can expend one exhaust bar in order to power up their next action. With a short prologue to help introduce the mechanics, soon the player finds the world to be infested by both 666 Dragons and Furowaro. And literally infested, the furowaro appears directly both on the world map and in dungeons. By stepping on the flower the player permanently eliminates the flower from the world map but only temporarily in a dungeon. By doing this the player also takes damage from stepping on the flowers. The bottom screen also displays a counter of the amount of dragons left in Eden which starts at 666 and slowly ticks down as the player defeats each one. The dragons themselves appear on both the overworld and in dungeons and have the ability to enter random encounters at will.
The game proved to be a success in Japan, selling around 80,000 copies on its first week of release. Later a spin-off called 7th Dragon 2020 appeared for the PSP. It departed from the fantasy setting of the first 7th Dragon in favor for a post-apocalyptic Tokyo. The amount of classes was reduced to five and the dragons to only 200. It was released November 23, 2011 in Japan and was successful enough to spawn its own sequel simply known as 7th Dragon 2020-II, which centers around new dragon baddies and the return of the Rushe from the original game
. None of these games have left Japan however
A useful resource for the first game can be found here
; a fan-translation of the first game was in the works but was unfortunately cancelled. However, Cavespeak
released a translation patch for the first game in April 2014.
7th Dragon and its spin-offs contains examples of:
- Demoted to Extra: (2020-II) Rin is largely outside the spotlight. The personal drama now centers around Emelle.
- Defeat Means Friendship: (2020-II) SECT11]. Unfortunately, SECT11 is almost immediately destroyed by Fomalhaut.
- Doomed Hometown: Kazan.
- Draconic Humanoid: (2020) Mankind Warrior Takehaya.
- The Dragons Come Back: 7th Dragon and its sequel 7th Dragon 2020; Dragons appear and wage war against humanity. It doesn't help that the dragons cause the world ecosystem to shift to their liking, which is deadly for humans.
- The Dragonslayer:
- (2020) Murakumo. Their official seal is a sword that goes through the head of a dragon.
- Driven to Suicide: (2020-II) There's a sidequest where you have to prevent some refugees from carrying out a suicide pact.
- Dumbass DJ: (2020) Chiron, member of World Relief Association. She listen to people's requests and forward them to you as quests. She is either Crazy Awesome, or a particularly obnoxious kind of The Scrappy.
- Dungeon Crawler: Plays as one crossed with a more traditional JRPG.
- Eagleland: (2020) The game really doesn't portray USA nicely. However, the ethics of individual Americans varies.
- (2020-II) The real reason SECT11 is sent to Japan is to secure anti-Dragon weaponry, the Rushe. If they have to trample on somebody else's sovereignty, so be it.
- Earth All Along: One that applies retroactively due to 2020-II: Eden is Earth, 12,000 years before the present time. During that time the civilization of Atlantis existed, and the Rushe lived there.
- Easing Into the Adventure: The start of the game does not begin with any dragons at all, and serves mostly to get the player acclimated with the game’s mechanics.
- Everyone Has Standards: (2020-II) Even Souji is appalled that President David of the USA decide to abandon Japan to the Black Furowaro, now that he's got a Rushe in his hands.
- Exponential Potential: The number of gimmicks can be overwhelming. This is probably why the number of classes were reduced in the PSP games. And some of them require trial and error to use effectively, such as various forms of counters.
- Fantasy World Map: The world of Eden, which starts out like most other fantasy settings until the Dragons arrive and infest it with Furowaro.
- Featureless Protagonist: Each class has four portraits, two for each gender. One portrait in each class would be a Rushe a race of elvish or cat-people depending on the gender. There are no default names for each portrait except for special names that would give one extra skill point to the class. In 2020, there are only two portraits for each class and the Rushe are gone.
- Five-Man Band: (2020) Narrative-wise: The Hero is Rin, The Lancer is Group 13note , The Smart Guy is Kirino, The Big Guy is Gatou, The Chick is Aoi.
- Fire, Ice, Lightning: The three elemental types of magic that the Mage can use.
- (2020, 2020-II) Everyone get them eventually, but the Psychic is the classic Mage archetype.
- Flying Seafood Special: Some of the enemies are hostile flying fishes.
- Fossil Revival: (2020-II) Turns out that Murakumo has been reviving the Rushe this way, in order to use them as the sword that shall slay the Dragons, as they were in the distant antiquity.
- Global Currency: (2020) The Az.
- Gotta Kill Them All: (2020) The Dragons. Some of them can be avoided, but you want their Phlebotinum to repair the facilities in your base.
- Graceful Loser: (2020-II) Souji admits his defeat at the hand of Group 13 in Kokubunji, and let them take the MacGuffin Girl. It's not like SECT11 want to fight, anyway...
- Greek Chorus: (2020) Miku's role in the game is something like this. You can replace the BGM of the game with her songs, the lyrics of which gives interesting insight into your current situation, if not outright Foreshadowing.
- (2020-II) Miku's role as a Greek Chorus is made more blatant.
- Guns Akimbo: (2020) The gun-wielding Trickers. They are mechanically similar to Dragoons from Final Fantasy: they enter a hard-to-attack state and start attacking with impunity.
- (2020-II) Souji's preferred fighting style.
- Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: (2020) If a combatant character matters in the story, they don't wear helmet. This even applies to JSDF personnel such as Rin and Gatou!
- Here There Were Dragons: (2020-II) Turns out that there were Dragons invasion 12,000 years ago, which was fought by the Rushe.
- Heroic BSOD: (2020-II) Izumi, after Souji make a Heroic Sacrifice to break Fomalhaut's siege of Murakumo HQ. She only gets out of it after everyone gives her a Get Ahold Of Yourself Man talk.
- Heroic Mime: Your adventuring party is made up of them.
- Subverted in the 7th Dragon 2020.
- Heroes Prefer Swords: (2020) The female Samurai gets the most publicity, she even appears in the game cover. In the game proper, it's perfectly OK to build a party that is completely free from anything resembling a blade.
- Heroic Sacrifice / Sacrificial Lion: (2020) Gatou.
- Hey, It's That Voice!: In the 7th Dragon 2020, you can choose a certain voice type for your character you picked. The list of the seiyuus are listed here
- Hey, You!: (2020) Your characters are rarely referred by their name, only "Group 13". For the civilians, you're simply "Murakumo".
- (2020-II) Emelle is about the only one who refer to your party leader by their name, which is rather touching.
- Hopeless Boss Fight: (2020) The first fight against Emperor Dragon War Cry in Chapter 0, but thankfully Neko and Daigo are there to bail your asses out. The second fight against him —Wounded War Cry— is difficult, but you can win.
- (2020-II) The fight against Mark of Fomalhaut in the Prologue. The first fight against Sleepy Hollow in Chapter 3.
- Hostage Situation: (2020-II) When it becomes clear that Murakumo can't be stopped from saving the Rushe clone in custody of SECT11, Souji gives Emelle two choice: either the Japanese allow his squad a safe passage back to the USA, or the Rushe clone gets it.
- Humanoid Abomination: (2020-II) What Emelle actually is. She is not human, but an entity from outer space known as Hypnos. She is interested in humans, because 'humans are strong'.
- Humans Are Bastards Towards Each Others: (2020-II) The conflict between Murakumo and SECT11 over Marina takes over a significant portion of the story. The portion that can be spent, you know, actually fighting Dragons.
- Hurting Hero: (2020-II) It's strongly implied that Murakumo members are like this. After all, your hometown has been doomed twice. It really shows when they help SECT11 despite the latter having stabbed them in the back, because SECT11 are human too.
- Improbable Weapon User: (2020-II) The Idol class uses megaphone.
- Informed Equipment: Your character model will only reflect the change of the equipped weapon. Probably because the design of the characters are meant to be very memorable.
- It's All My Fault: (2020) Rin blames herself on the catastrophic loss of the JSDF, which includes Gatou.
- Knife Nut: (2020, 2020-II) The Trickers class. It doesn't help that their 'official' character design is the guy In the Hood and there is an Ax-Crazy-sounding male voice set that seems to be designed solely for them.
- Limit Break: Exhaust Gauge. They can be expended when they are full, and the next thing you do in the turn will be significantly empowered: attack does more damage, healing item heals more, etc. There are also EX-Skills, which uses a full gauge to execute.
- Little Bit Beastly: All female Rushe have cat ears, the males do not however, instead having pointed ears.
- (2020) SKY member Neko (that's her name) is a nice send-up to the Rushe.
- (2020-II) The Rushe are back (as clones), starting from Chapter 4 (from the beginning if you use New Game+).
- MacGuffin: (2020-II) Orichalcum, which is required to forge Dragonslayer.
- MacGuffin Girl: (2020-II) The pink-haired Rushe, Marina. She has the key to both defeating the Dragons and recreating Atlantis.
- The Medic: The aptly named Healer class, though the Knight and Princess possess healing abilities of their own.
- (2020, 2020-II) This healer archetype has been merged with wizard, and are now called Psychic. They are a necessity.
- Metal Slime: The crystal flowers. Bizarrely, they can dodge attacks despite being completely static, rendering low-accuracy multi-hit skills less useful.
- Mission Control: (2020) NAV3.6 (male, originally named Miroku), NAV3.7 (female, originally named Miina).
- No Export for You: None of the three games in this series has been released outside Japan. Perhaps there is difficulty with licensing Hatsune Miku overseas.
- Non-Elemental: Another type of magic the mage can use, carries the distinction of not being resisted by anything, but doesn’t match the elemental magic in raw power.
- Now, Where Was I Going Again?: (2020) If you don't remember where you're supposed to be going, consult the Terminal in your room.
- Number of the Beast: The total number of Dragons add up to 666.
- (2020) Doesn't apply in 2020, where they are only 200 of them.
- (2020-II) There are now 255 of them.
- Our Dragons Are Different: And how! The miniboss Dragons look like Dragons crossed with something else, such as Dragon-turtle, Dragon-grasshopper, Dragon-dragonfly, Dragon-hyperactive-puppies, Dragon-on-giant-nut... Also, Dragon-human such as what become of Mizuchi and Takehaya.
- Patriotic Fervor: (2020, 2020-II) One of the item is the Flag of Japan, which increases your defense. (But then, stir-fried tofu also boost your stats.)
- Phlebotinum: (2020) The Dz, which you use to rebuild your base. Only obtainable from Dragons, and there are only 200 of them in the game.
- Player Headquarters: (2020) Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building.
- Power Nullifier: The Confucators(?). You need to install them throughout Shinjuku before you can fight Sleepy Hollow.
- Precursor: Even though humans and Rushe used to coexist 12,000 years ago, 2020-II clearly put the Rushe in this role. They were once advanced people, they repelled Dragon invasion, and the humans of present time uses Rushe technology to fight Dragon invasion of today.
- Random Encounters: By the boatload. It doesn't help that a Dragon can join the fun (F.O.E. style) in the middle of an on-going battle.
- (2020) To remedy it, there is a support power that reduces encounter rate.
- Recurring Boss: (2020-II) Those SECT11 folks aren't the type to give up, aren't they? They keep hindering you from saving Marina in Chapter 4. On the upside, their boss music (vs. human battle theme) is one of the best in the game.
- Red Shirt Army: (2020) Not entirely. While they are no match for Dragons, the JSDF are portrayed as competent and sometimes even heroic. (The game has a subtle right-wing nuance in it.)
- Refuge in Audacity: (2020-II) The Idol class is a living embodiment of this trope. All of their skills are based on being a superstar on an ego trip. They even have a special gauge for this purpose, called Fever. An Idol with SS-level Fever is an unstoppable presence on the battlefield.
- The Rival: (2020-II) SECT11, American equivalent to Murakumo. They have other mission beyond slaying dragons.
- Save Point: While one can save at an inn, there are save points located in most other areas.
- Healing Checkpoint: (2020) Green save points will recover your LF and MN just by walking through them.
- Scenery Gorn: Tokyo is absolutely devastated by the Dragon invasion. One area is nearly completely submerged in sands. And in some places, the laws of physics itself is a casualty.
- Scenery Porn: Furowaru-affected environment are brightly colored and crystalline, they would be nice places for picnic were it not for their temperamental wildlife.
- Shock and Awe: The dragon Jigowatt. Also a serious case of That One Boss.
- Shout-Out: The designation the JSDF gives to the biggest and nastiest dragons are rather interesting, these includes Sleepy Hollow, Jigowatt, and Jabberwock.
- (2020-II) Certain skills of the Idol make her do a pose similar to Travolta from Saturday Night Fever. And her special gauge is called 'Fever'!
- Sibling Team: (2020-II) SECT11's Souji and Izumi Sakuraba.
- Side Quest: Multiple, including some that can be Lost Forever.
- Slap-on-the-Wrist Nuke: (2020-II) The Destroyer's EX-Skill, Sky-High Meteor is clearly learned from Dincht's school of pugilism. They launch themselves beyond the atmosphere and administer a meteoric kick to the enemy, which then explodes. The explosion engulfs (at the very least) the entirety of Tokyo, visible from outer space.
- Skill Scores and Perks: Each class starts with 3 skill points that are spent on a large skill tree. 1 skill point is gained every level, 2 for every fifth level. As with most, certain skills must be leveled up to unlock other skills.
- (2020, 2020-II) The skill system has been made more flexible and less tree-like. New tiers of skills are unlocked by building advanced facilities, and only a few skills require investment in other skills.
- Spell My Name with an "S": (2020-II) Is it Emelle? Emeru? Omar? She's from America, at any rate. Her true identity is Hypnos, though she doesn't use that name anymore.
- Strawman Political: (2020-II) There is a quest chain where you have to justify the existence of Murakumo in a parliamentary hearing. The argumentation gets cut off by a Dragon attacking the daughter of one of the PM.
- Stance System: Both in the 7th Dragon and 2020 gives us a rare dungeon crawler instance with the Samurai class. The Samurai is able to switch between Iai and Battou stances, where the Iai stance allows the usage of elementally-imbued, single-hit attacks while Battou stances are for multiple-hit physical attacks.
- The Destroyer (read: Monk) class combines this with Counter Attack. They enter a stance that allows them to counter attack of certain kind (fangs, claws, breaths, etc). A party solely consisting of counterattacking Destroyers is one to behold.
- Take Your Time: Narrative-wise, you generally move from one clearly defined mission to another. Gameplay-wise, you're free to hunt dragon and finish quest and grind the levels.
- Taking Up The Mantle: This game is rather fond of this trope, because clearly Anyone Can Die. (2020) Rin takes Gatou's JSDF mantle, Emelle takes Natsume's Murakumo mantle. (2020-II) Kirino takes Emelle's Murakumo mantle, Izumi takes Souji's SECT11 mantle.
- Total Eclipse of the Plot: (2020) The entirety of chapter 0 takes place during an extremely long solar eclipse, climaxing with the fight against Emperor Dragon War Cry with the eclipse as the background, over the falling-apart-upward Tokyo Metropolitan Building.
- Trauma Inn: In each town, inside each one is a doctor that can revive dead party members if you lack the skill or item.
- (2020, 2020-II) You have your mess in the Murakumo HQ.
- The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: (2020-II) Tokyo Sky Tower, which has been occupied by Mark of Fomalhaut and its ultra deadly Black Furowaru. A significant portion of the game is spent looking for a way to walk into it without dying. It boasts a whopping 46 Dragons, about one fifth of total Dragons in the game.
- Villain Song: (2020-II) Battlefield - The Seven Threats [DIVA Ver.] is pretty clearly sung from the Dragons' point of view.
- Walking Wasteland: Each Emperor Dragon brings their own type of wasteland. Oceanos turns rain poisonous. Sleepy Hollow carries deadly pollen. But the god-emperor of wasteland is Fomalhaut, who brings Black Furowaro with him.
- Weapon of Choice: Each class can only use certain weapons, and most have skill trees dedicated to said weapons.
- We ARE Struggling Together: (2020) Dragons are invading, but Murakumo (your group) and SKY are at each others' throats.
- Wham Episode: (2020-II) Emelle know all along that the new super-secret weapons that the Americans are after are the Rushe. And that Murakumo has been cloning them for some time, trampling upon the sanctity of life itself. Souji mocks Emelle for her hollow moral posturing. Also, said people have cat ears.
- Wolverine Publicity: (2020, 2020-II) The game heavily advertised itself as featuring Hatsune Miku (specifically, Hatsune Miku Type-2020). Her role... is not as significant as expected.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Pink and blue are the most common odd colors for the class portraits.