Solatorobo: Red the Hunter is a 3D Action RPG and platform game published by Namco Bandai in Japan the 28th of October, 2010 and developed by CyberConnect2. It is a Spiritual Sequel to the 3D anime-style Action Adventure and platform game Tail Concerto, the first game produced by the developers. Solatorobo is considered to be the third of the Little Tail Bronx series, and was released in Europe and Australia in July 2011, with a US release confirmed at E3 2011, although the release date (September 27th) wasn't given until a few days later.The game is set in the same universe as Tail Concerto, floating islands above a sea of plasma inhabited by dog people and cat people, but is now set in the Shepherd Republic instead of Prairie.In the game, you play as Red Savarin and gameplay focuses on controlling his Mini-Mecha, DAHAK-AZI03, or simply DAHAK. The combat usually involves picking things up and throwing them at enemies. The DAHAK is also customizable, with different armor types made for different combat situations (speed, defense, power, etc.). The game also boasts a large selection of side-quests which help flesh out the world the player is in and various mini-games, including airship racing and giant hermit crab fishing. Notable for being absolutely gorgeous for a DS game and having 100 different advertisements made for it aired on the 21st of October in a successful attempt to break a world record. Also, Yoshitake Taniguchi of Super Robot Wars fame was in charge of the Mini-Mecha designs.Now has a character sheet in progress!CyberConnect2's president, Hiroshi Matsuyama, has also recently confirmed that they are working on a sequel!For another game that also involves mechas, Petting Zoo People and grabbing+throwing gameplay, check out Mischief Makers.
Solatorobo contains the following tropes:
Adventure-Friendly World: About half the world's economy seems to revolve around moving crates around and mercenary-work.
Aerith and Bob: We've got Red and Bruno (common dog names) and Alicia (common human name) running around with Béluga (a type of whale), Opéra (like the music), and Chocolat and Waffle. Then there's the question of what Elh's name even came from.
After the End: The remains of cities under cloud level indicate that a massive extinction-level war tore apart a previous civilization.
Animal Jingoism: The island of Mau is almost exclusively inhabited by Felineko, due to their proficiency at using Nono. Around the island are several statues of an evil dog god, deliberately kept upside-down to take away his power. However, they welcome Red as warmly as Elh, just commenting that they don't get many Caninu coming around.
Animal Stereotypes: A few are taken into account in the two races. Caninu are described as loyal, friendly, good at physical labor, and like eating hard foods. Felineko are described as fiercely independent, quite aggressive, moody, calculating, and agile. One stereotype that only applies in-universe is the Caninu's proficiency for technology contrasted by the Felineko's proficiency for magic.
It's not so much nonsensical as it is antiquated. "Nom d'un chien!" and "Sapristi!" are something you'd expect in Tintin.
As Long as There Is Evil: At the very end of the game, Baion warns Red that if the planet ever sees the inhabitants as a threat to it again, like with humanity, he will return to execute the "Reset" order.
Bait-and-Switch Boss: Redfinally wises up and answers the third guardian's riddle, gaining the last piece of the Magic Flute without having to fight him. However, at that exact moment Blanck shows up and a boss battle against him ensues.
The Battle Didn't Count: The first battle versus Nero and Blanck outside their robots. After getting them to half health, they just say they're tired of playing around and just shoot a huge, undodgeable fireball at you.
Beam Spam: How the the Titano-Machinae Lares and Lemures attack air ships and open a rift in Tartaros.
Boring, but Practical: The acid stage in Lemures can be crossed in one go with the R-type mecha's Spin Floater, but it's so very slow it's not worth it. Similarly, using the G-type once a boss is defeated during the Boss Rush, you can go to the next one with full health but the regeneration is slower than continental drift.
Boss Rush: Two are available as endgame, repeatable quests.
Canada, Eh?: Viszla, sort of: while it has a temperate climate, the inhabitants are fond of adding "eh" to their sentences, not to mention that their entire economy is based on making a sweet, sticky substance made from the local plant life (honey rather than maple syrup).
A minor, nameless female NPC constantly tries to tell herself to spit something out to another male NPC. Subverted when the guy just owes her some money.
Also Elh to Red, so, so much.
Cartoon Bomb: The weapon of choice of the Black Cats Gang's battle balloon.
Cast of Snowflakes: Just about every NPC has a unique sprite, and even generic enemies have some personality attached to them. Lampshaded during one sidequest:
Red: Another "unique" character I have to deal with. Gimme a break...
Cats Are Magic: Felineko are stated to have a great interest in and aptitude for spells. Averted with the Felineko Precursors, the Lions, who are said to have had absolutely no interest in magic of any sort, relying solely on their physical strength.
The Cavalry: When Red is facing Nero while the Dahak is being repaired, Chocolat and Elh come in to drop the Dahak Mk. 2 just in the nick of time.
Changing Parts Is A Free Action: Middle of a fight? About to die? No problem, just pause everything, open the hatch on Dahak, and switch the parts out to your heart's content!
Character Portrait: Most everyone has a portrait, except perhaps for a very few minor NPCs. Most of those with portraits also have multiple portraits for various moods/facial expressions as well.
Chekhov's Gun: One early side-mission in Pharaoh has you searching trains for suspicious packages. You find a high-grade explosive in one of them, which makes a reappearance much later on, prior to - and as part of - the attack on Tartaros.
Clap Your Hands If You Believe: Functions as a bit of Deus ex Machina after the final boss. Baion is subdued and even admits he's proud of Red, but Tartaros is about to return to its alternate dimension, threatening to take Red with it. He moans that he'll never make it out in time, since Septentrion has reverted to Dahak and can't fly near fast enough. Baion tells him that, since his Mini-Mecha is made out of nanometal, all he has to do is wish hard enough and Dahak will do whatever he wants it to. Nero and Blanck's spirits have to give it an extra power boost to get Red back to his friends.
Colony Drop: The ultimate goal of Baion is to issue CODA, the order to defloat all of the floating continents and reset civilization again after its destruction. Interestingly it isn't the fall that will kill everyone, but rather passing through the electrified Cloud Sea that will.
Colossus Climb: Minor example, to defeat the superheavy prototypes on the Golden Roar you need to get a crate, jump on top of it, then jump onto the top of the prototype and yank out the power crystal, rather than throwing its cannonballs back at it like most similar enemies.
Colourful Theme Naming: Red, Nero (black), and Blanck (white). The Red Data Children, a series of sidestories, details four more "failed" hybrids - Rose, Rouge, Vermillion, and Carmine - who are all named after shades of red as well.
Compliment Backfire: When Waffle tries to complement Alicia for looking pretty in a princess dress, she just gets mad at him for comparing her to Theria.
Cool Airship: Although the Asmodeus and the Royal Envy are somewhat standard, the Golden Roar of the Kuvasz definitely applies, housing a Wutai palace on top of and hanging, inverted, off the bottom of it.
Cooldown: Present only in the fishing minigame. Any weapons are able to be fired until they run out of ammo.
Crippling Overspecialization: Two of the antagonists, Nero and Blanck were created to be "perfect". Unfortunately for them, said perfection means they are perfectly suited to completing one task, after which they're useless - both to the Big Bad, and in general; they complain that they seem to be getting weaker and weaker...
Cycle of Hurting: Getting your Hydraulics (how fast you can pick up an enemy) high enough allows you to do this to enemies. Duel ship bosses can be picked up, thrown into the wall and picked up again for an easy No Damage Run.
Defeat Means Friendship: A quest with Alman has him asking Red to teach his new apprentice to work harder. The apprentice wants none of it, telling them to leave him alone, and eventually prompts Red to fight him. Once beaten, his attitude does a 180 and he'll do anything "Boss" Red tells him to, including working as hard as he possibly can. Subverted in a later quest, where he's still as big a slacker, but now he wants to be a Hunter just like Red.
Destructive Savior: One quest has Red interrupt a Sky Pirate gang lifting an entire warehouse with their airship. They defend themselves by throwing bombs one the ground, which Red throws right back. When the airship takes enough damage, it crashes, taking the warehouse with it. At least Red still gets paid.
Difficulty Spike: The Boss Rush quests after the end of the game. The game proper gives you a very generous amount of health throughout, so dying is not a big issue for the average gamer. There are save points before the bosses restoring your health. The Boss Rush, however, gives no recovery spot whatsoever and increases the damage the bosses need to be defeated, making it much harder than the rest of the game. At least the bosses are split into two different quests.
The difficulty for said battles is laughable easy once you realize you can customize Dahak in the middle of any battle, inserting those dusty-old revive parts you can get out of the Hermit Crab Fishing Game, or similarly switching modes. Not to mention that each time you win either quest, you get 5 P-Crystals allowing you a chance to open a new slot for Dahak and make the battles that much easier.
The first battle against the Howler gang can be this, as it involves going on a narrow platform littered with ticking bombs, picking one up and throwing at an airship before it or one of the neighboring bombs go off. Oh, and the airship keeps firing them at you all the while.
Disc One Final Dungeon and Disc One Final Boss: Lares and Bruno, respectively. They do a real good job of hiding that it's only Disc One, too; running the credits after completion and labeling that part of the game the "Final Chapter" (the next part winds up being "Part Two Chapter One").
Distressed Damsel: In a downloadable quest, you need to rescue Opéra from a cave-in in Shetland.
Do a Barrel Roll: When in flight mode on the Dahak, press R to spin in mid-air. Unlike most barrel rolls, this is a form of attack rather than dodging.
Doomed Hometown: You get your first few quests in Airedale before Lares sends his shades at you and razes parts of the town. It gets better, thankfully. There's also Ragdoll, the hometown of the Paladins which gets razed by Baion prior to the game.
Earth All Along: A more unique variant. The existence of the Old World is revealed to be underneath the Cloud Sea, and almost immediately after, it is revealed the Old World is actually Earth. The game later clarifies the matter once the group reaches Earth: the floating continents in the game were actually once part of Earth's land mass.
Edible Theme Naming: Chocolat Gelato, for starters. The Fraisier orphanage is named for a strawberry pastry.
Emotionally Tongue Tied: Red can turn into this, depending how you play one sidequest. In a new, "special" simulation, Elh admits that she wants to stay with Red forever, and you're given the dialogue choices of "I'd better be honest too" and "Too embarrassed to say".
Enemy Mine: The Kurvasz, Howler Sky Pirates, and a train conductor join forces to procure a powerful bomb to help in the fight against Tartaros.
Filler: Despite the ONE HUNDRED ADVERTISEMENTS containing a lot of information on character bios, gameplay mechanics and lore, there are some... very random, tangentially related, and (somewhat) funny little sketches here and there. Prize for most unrelated commercial has got to go to sneezing man.
Fluffy the Terrible: The guard in Spinon has a quest requiring you to tame two giant killer fishes. He calls them Cathy and Anna. When you find a third giant fish, he decides to name that one Mary. At the end of the quest, he says if he ever finds another, he would name it after Red. And if you go in the sewers again after that, you find such a fish, though you can't fight it.
Flying Seafood Special: Sky fish, obviously. However, it's a rare delicacy, as the crystal in its scales make a lot of it inedible.
Foreshadowing: See Colourful Theme Naming. Also, when the party visits Spinion and notice the Kurvasz walking past, Merveille stops momentarily and glances at them. Red looks awfully familiar to her.
Fragile Speedster: The Type R Dahak Mk. 2 model naturally increases your mobility at the cost of defense. Given how little damage the enemies do anyway, however, you probably won't notice the fragile part.
Freudian Trio: Red is constantly the impulsive Id, but Elh and Chocolat take turns playing Ego and Superego. Normally, Chocolat is Mission Control and Elh is in the field helping Red, but when Elh's betrayal in the Rite of Forfeit is concerned, Chocolat becomes the mediator helping to reconcile the two.
From the Mouths of Babes: While Elh manages to confuse Red and Chocolate about being female, one of the orphans immediately realizes she's a girl and asks her why she dresses like a boy. Red replies that it makes it easier to play, volunteering a flustered Elh for babysitting duty.
Humanoid Female Animal: Most of the girls have a decidedly more "human" look to them, with peach or tan fur and shorter muzzles than their male counterparts; this has confused many players into believing Chocolat is a Felineko.
Merveille is an exception, having a longer muzzle but peach fur.
Furry Reminder: Red spends a great deal of time chewing on a Stock Femur Bone, and Caninu are shown as catching flying discs in their mouth like regular dogs in lore.
Giant Enemy Crab: A common enemy, the Crustacrab and its baby variants. An even more giant version with a large airship or an entire small island can be fished in the Fishing Minigame.
Goggles Do Nothing: A lot of characters in this game have goggles, which can be justified by the setting. Some characters never take them off, while others never wear theirs. However, Red never wears his pair and Chocolat's pair is also fairly questionable, what with her flying within the airship's already protected cockpit. The second intro ends with a pair of cracked goggles on the ground.
Gondor Calls for Aid: To fight against Nero, Blanck, and eventually Tartaros, Red enlists the help of Opéra and the Kurvasz, who then put out a call for everybody to help. And they do.
Gotta Catch 'Em All: The gang of mischievous kittens, and their stolen photos Red can collect to complete his photo gallery. Red even says that he's "gotta catch them all" when Barry the photographer sends him to find the rest of the photos.
Gratuitous French: The dominant language of the Shepard Republic is French. Fittingly, most of the characters say a little stock French phrase before engaging in dialogue. Nom d'un chien!, indeed.
Grapple Move: The core gameplay mechanic. your mech can grab enemies and (solid) projectiles and toss them around, either hurling them at enemies or indulging in Metronomic Man Mashing. If you're quick enough you can grab a thrown enemy after it bounces and throw it again and again.
Grid Inventory: The Dahak can be upgraded with modules slotted into a grid, but the entire grid isn't available at first. Finding Power Crystals to unlock new slots is one of the main reasons to search areas thoroughly! The modules come in all shapes and sizes, including some of the classic Tetris blocks. Once you get the Mk 2, the total unlockable space increases as well, allowing for further enhancement.
Living Emotional Crutch: Elh becomes this during that time, talking to him to keep him calm. Considering he tried to strangle her the first time he heard the Order, she has good reason to keep him calm.
He Won't Come For Me: The Kurvaz capture Elh to use as bait to make Red turn over the medalion, but Elh says that won't work because she betrayed him, tried to sacrifice him in the Rite of Forfeit, and he won't come.
Hindenburg: The first airship you're on is named the Hindenburg. Naturally, it goes down in a ball of flames, though at least this time we know exactly what happened: Lares.
Holding Paws: Red and Elh are forced to, during Merveille's "special" training simulation, which was just her way of getting Red to finally admit his feelings. It eventually leads to a "You two can let go of each other now."
Hostage for MacGuffin: At the end of Samoyede, Bruno kidnaps Elh to make an exchange for Red's medallion and indirectly his life.
Human Sacrifice: The medallion requires the sacrifice of the person it chooses in order to active the Rite of Forfeit or the Rite of Awakening. This is implied several times in the story and it gets much more obvious the closer that Elh gets closer to being able to seal Lares, finally coming out on the Golden Roar.
Humans Are Bastards: The reason why the Juno offered to wipe the planet clean and start over, giving it a chance to recover. The fact that the humans contacted accepted the offer also says something.
I Ate What?: Venom Barnacles are a delicacy, and can be a key component when making a stew. No, really!
Immortal Life Is Cheap: Averted. Red is upset at the thought of having to leave Elh inside Lemures while he takes on Tartaros. She points out to him that she is technically immortal, and he notes that somehow, that doesn't make him feel any better about it. Considering Baion wiped out the rest of the Paladins and her form of immortality is just "never ages but can be killed", he's right to worry.
Played straight by Béluga, but averted for Elh, who seems to be stuck as a teenager. After losing her immortality, she comments that she seems to have finally grown a bit after three hundred years.
Also played semi-straight by Baion, who looks somewhere in his forties.
Infinity +1 Form: Dahak Type Omega, a form that combines the abilities of all four of its regular forms and turns the power Up to Eleven. As can be imagined, this form is incredibly broken, so you may find yourself asking "What's the catch?" The catch is that it only becomes available to you during a New Game ++, so you have to play through the ENTIRE GAME a grand total of 3 times in order to use it. Good luck.
Interface Spoiler: As Disc One Final Dungeon above says, the game does a decent job of making you think that beating Bruno beats the game...except that your Hunter Rank, if you did all available sidequests is roughly six and a half, and anyone who's seen a 'sidequest rank' in a JRPG before knows that the game always give you just enough quests to reach whatever the max level is. Plus, there are some sub-plots in the sidequests that don't get resolved by the Bruno fight. Plus the customize screen won't have everything unlocked yet. Basically, you'll think it's the end of the game, if you haven't been going for 100% Completion.
Interrupted Declaration of Love: In one sidequest, Elh and Red. She says she hasn't been able to feel happiness or love in years, but has finally begun to feel them again with him. He says he's got something he needs to say to her as well, but then the simulation ends and he loses his train of thought, though he remembers vividly that he was going to say something important. She decides she'll just be patient and wait until he can tell her himself (despite the fact that it was her confession that prompted his in the first place).That was Merveille's plan all along.
The game's romantic subplots seem to live on this trope. All three couples that are teased with any seriousness - Red with Elh, Alicia with Waffle, and Béluga with Merveille - are one part Caninu and one part Felineko.
Baion's Mini-Mecha, the BERIUS P-2, is specialized in this.
Certain other minor enemies as well, plus flamethrower traps placed here and there.
Land Down Under: The Futzu Tower is this twice over, being both literally on what used to be Australia and located down under the clouds. Perhaps surprisingly, the only place where everything is trying to kill you is inside the tower; the small path outside is perfectly safe.
Late-Arrival Spoiler: The European boxart shows Red's Trance form and advertises the fact that the world has a "mysterious origin" and is not simply a fun setting.
Lift of Doom: Two elevators have you dodging moving flamethrowers in the Golden Roar.
Living Battery: While they don't require one to operate, Lares and Lemures will turn you into one in exchange for controlling them.
Lost in Translation: In the EU version, a few of the puns get lost. One instance is Kuvasz which is renamed "Kurvaz" and the misspellings of Princess Terria and Stare Pris's names (Theria and Stair respectively).
Mis-blamed: All of the above are actually the official romanizations given out by CyberConnect2 itself, as can be seen in the Japanese commercials which use the Roman alphabet to spell the aforementioned names. Nintendo of Europe simply went with those over keeping consistency with the Atlus-translated names in Tail Concerto.
Red's mecha is named after Azi Dakaha, a Sumerian demon, while his ship is named Asmodeus.
Lares and Lemures are named respectively after guardian deities and vengeful spirits from ancient Roman religion.
Tartaros is named after an ancient Greek deity associated with the underworld.
Opéra's mecha Tiamat is named for a chaotic Babylonian sea goddess.
Nero (black) and Blanck (white) represent Yin and Yang. Red the character is the odd sibling out and the one lacking the "perfection" given to Nero and Blanck, just like red the color, which in Yin-Yang symbolizes the absence of both.
Men Don't Cry: Red seems to hold this view, as after saving Elh from some bugs and getting told to stay away, he teasingly asks "Eyes red from crying?" By that point everyone knew Elh's a girl and Red was likely just being a jerk. Red himself also lacks any sort of crying sprite.
Tender Tears: Elh apparently does not have a problem with crying, possessing at least two separate sprites with small droplets at the eye corners and displaying them without shame (the above comment to stay away was because a second wave of bugs was coming). The second opening animation even includes a Sparkling Stream of Tears.
Metaphysical Fuel: Crystals. They are also the driving force that started the war which ended humanity, representing a darker side of the trope.
Mix-and-Match Critter: The Giu (not appearing in the main game) are a mix of boars and cows. They serve the role of livestock.
Mole Miner: Appears as a recurring enemy in the game, in various sizes.
More Dakka: several quests put you behind a rapid-fire anti-air gun.
Sums up Captain Grumpf's tactical sense: when his missiles keep exploding on a magic barrier, he fires more of them.
Named Weapons: The Mini-Mecha all have names (some are appended with a serial number, but when referring to them that part is usually dropped, giving each a personal name).
Nanomachines: Used to explain some of the magic which happens in the game, like Red's Dahak fusion.
New-Age Retro Hippie: The music man in Airedale, who advises Red to "feel the waves, man" and provides the ability to gather music notes from phonographs and hornweed to be used to purchase songs.
N.G.O. Superpower: The Kuvasz Guild, had ( Red destroyed one) four battleships including the Golden Roar (see Cool Airship above) and used them and legions of infantry with mechs to intimidate local governments.
Nice Shoes: The people in the Shepherd Republic wear shoes that leave paw prints due to a strange bump pattern on the sole. Shown here.
No Biochemical Barriers: Not only can vastly different races within the species breed freely (foxes with wolves and housecats with lions, for example), but Caninu and Felineko can have children with no problems as well.
Hollywood Genetics: The children will be either Caninu or Felineko, not some sort of dog-cat hybrid.
Béluga can't socialize very well, so after the Kurvasz join forces with the heroes, he leaves the jobs involving others to Red and Elh. This only comes out when dealing with strangers, however; he seems perfectly capable of talking to his teammates without trouble.
Elh isn't particularly skilled in social graces, either, but is at least able to talk to villagers without making them angry.
Not a Date: Elh manages to turn a flower-picking quest into something that's nearly a date, complete with several rounds of small Dialogue Trees (though each question only affects the lines immediately after it and the quest/pseudo-date continues as normal afterward whether your response made Elh happy or not). Red, dense as ever, just thinks Elh's being a little weird and does not notice the date-like atmosphere. She was being a little weird, since she was stalling for time before having to perform the Rite of Forfeit. It doesn't change the fact that she was doing it because she's quite fond of him.
Notice This: Places that hide rings or P-crystals have blue sparkles over them if you get close enough.
Oblivious to Love: Waffle to Alicia. One quest has Waffle and Red puzzle over why Alicia would take a compliment so badly (Waffle told her she looked like Theria), while Chocolat sighs that neither of them understand how women's feelings work.
Oddly Visible Eyebrows: Most everybody has bangs of some sort in their face, but this does nothing to hide their eyebrows.
The European boxart◊ shows Red with gold glove plate edging (it should be white) and furry glove trim (he has none, though he does often roll up his sleeves and expose a lighter cuff at about the same point).
Elh's eyes are occasionally shown as red, including in the second opening sequence◊, despite officially being gold. Varying shades◊ of orange◊ or light brown aren't uncommon, either, and sometimes they're even drawn as Technicolor Eyes, with red shading and cream highlights on a gold base.
One Hundred IN Eight: The game broke a Guinness world record by running 100 different commercials in 8 hours on its release day in Japan.
One Stat to Rule Them All: Hydraulics is far and away the best to boost; increasing Attack means your throws do more damage, but with high Hydraulics it won't matter - your enemies will be back in the air, ripe for more throwing, before they can react.
Invoked by Elh to get into the canals in Spinon, telling the worker that they dropped a pendant from Elh's dead mother in there. As soon as the worker opens the sewers for them, the waterworks immediately stop and it's back to business as usual, causing Red to comment on how creepy it is for someone to be able to turn their emotions on and off like that.
The actual pendant that Red found on the Hindenburg also counts, as it's one of the last Paladin relics.
Palette Swap: The Pink Peaches gang has the exact same robots as everyone else...except they're pink.
Poor Communication Kills: There is a quest where Cocona receives a letter from the Howler sky pirates warning her of their imminent arrival, and its Red's job to stop them from apparently attempting to kidnap her. After fighting off a few of them, their leader explains that the sky pirates are just really big fans of hers and wanted to get some autographs. The letter was just a friendly warning about them coming over, which is hard to come across as benign, given their occupation.
The Power of Friendship: What Red says keeps him going even when things get rough. Also the reason he claims they will not dissolve into war like the humans did, since they only began to war on a global scale when they stopped helping each other get better.
Precursors to the Caninu were the Wolves, who were highly skilled in the magical arts (unlike their decedents) andgood with technology, first providing robots to Shepherd during the Hundred Lilies War five hundred years ago.
Precursor Killers: The Juno to humanity. In an interesting twist, they actually only made the suggestion and provided the kill program. The humans are the ones who made the final suicide call, seeing it as the only way to end their wars and give the planet a chance to recover without them.
Protection Mission: During Red's Journey to the Center of the Mind, the software begins by creating a warmup for him from his memories. He winds up defending Elh from a bunch of bugs, seeing as that's what he considered the most laughably easy thing to come up with.
Psychopomp: The Anjalists believe that birds guide souls to the afterlife.
Pun: The soundbytes, such as Red's aforementioned "nom d'un chien!"note lit. damn!. One of Opéra's is a fairly subtle combination of "meow" and "oui".
Punch Clock Villain: The Kuvasz special ops forces. Calua is mostly just having fun and goofing around. Gren is a noble soldier who considers Red to be a Worthy Opponent, and Opéra shows displeasure at the more ambiguous moral choices she has to make as the leader.
Terrible Trio: Opéra (boss lady), Gren (calm and composed lacky), and Calua (goofy lacky).
Rainbow Speak: Red is for items or people vital to the plot, Green is for important-but-not-quite-vital sentences, and (Blue in parenthesis is for thoughts or whispered words.)
Real Men Wear Pink: Diamundo's racer is built for power, from an old motorcycle, is decribed as being the manliest vehicle around... and is bright pink.
Real Women Never Wear Dresses: In-universe, this attitude (and a literal instance) is the whole reason for the photo collection sidequest: Alicia got a photo taken while wearing a princess dress, and she's so embarassed by it the has her gang swipe all the photographer's photos. Waffle eventually sees it and compliments her, but she's offended by the comparison to Princess Theria.
Calua Napage and Gren Sacher of the Special Office elite unit, respectively. They're even Color-Coded Characters.
Also Blanck and Nero. Again respectively, although the their color schemes are switched.
The major villains of each storyline: Bruno (red) and Baion (blue).
Regional Bonus: The US release skips the "downloadable" part of the DLC; those quests are unlocked like any other as you go through the game.
Religion is Magic: Most followers of Oshilasama are able to cast spells using Nono, thanks to years of rigorous training that looks a bit like stereotypical Shaolin monk exercises (though some degree of natural talent is required for training to do anything, and usually only men are allowed to train, though women can be born with the talent). The name of the religion seems to denote they worship someone named Shila (with o and sama for politeness's sake), but precisely how that worship is carried out is never mentioned - maybe the god/goddess just likes to watch Cat Folk sweat?
Rent-a-Zilla: The Titano-Machinae Lares, a 5 kilometer (over 3 mile) long monster and Lemures, which also appears later on.
Self-Imposed Challenge: During a Duel Ship tournament, Red promises a Fangirl of his that he will beat the battle in 3 minutes. When the announcer/referee hears about this, he goes ahead and makes it official, making the match timed. After this battle, the arena begins to hold special battle conditions in more of its traditional leagues.
Sequel Hook: A ridiculous amount of foreshadowing is piled on you after you beat Bruno. Ranging from subtle like Merveille and Béluga's expressions to obvious, like the ominous silhouettes of the new villains or Lares's glowing eye and restarting core. Luckily, this is all just mid game.
A lot between Red and Elh during the main story, but much more so in the DLC quests.
In #5, they both act embarassed when Red sees Elh in her cheerleader outfit, not to mention the fact she's disappointed if Red doesn't manage to beat the track record (which is the condition she agreed to in order to wear that outfit in the first place).
In #7, she gets extremely upset when Red has Princess Terria and Toffee fangirling over him, and in the end Red admits he wanted to give her the tournament prize as they make up.
Béluga and Merveille also get a lot. They are mostly seen together in the main quest and in the DLC quests Béluga gives a field of flowers hologram for Merveille and tries to impress her in an arena fight.
The information terminals on Earth were apparently made by CyberConnect. Not the Real Life developers, but the CyberConnect Corporation from .hack, as the logo accompanying the CyberConnect name is only used by the fictional counterpart (the closest the real company has is their current logo, which still has a notable difference of incorporating a "2" in the image). It may induce Epileptic Trees if one thinks about it for too long.
You can also see Kite's outfit on a mannequin in the tailor shop at Pharaoh.
The DAHAK's RX-type has the same color scheme as the EVA-01.
Speaking of which, Lares looks like EVA-01 Took a Level in Badass, being made of stone and five kilometers tall.
Statuesque Stunner: At 180cm/5'11", Merveille is the second-tallest character with a given height, towering over most other characters. The tallest is Bruno (190cm/6'3"), but he's not exactly attractive. Opéra is quite tall compared to most of them, being 170cm/5'7".
Teens Are Short: A possible attempt at justifying the above, as Merveille is 29, Bruno is 40, and Opéra is 20. Red is 17 and 140cm/4'7", Calua is 18 and 145cm/4'9", Gren is 19 and 160cm/5'3", and Chocolat is 13 and a mere 120cm/3'11". While their exact ages aren't given, due to their more private natures, Elh and Béluga are stated to "look about" 14 and 18 and be 130cm/4'3" and 160cm/5'3", respectively.
Staying Alive: After the credits roll for the first time, Lares' eyes begin to glow under the water. It comes back for the second half of the game.
Steam Punk: Coal and crystals are the only forms of energy available in this world, the latter being able to also create heat, electricity, and light. Steam is seen used a lot in the game, including powering most robots.
One quest has you mining some minerals when the supervisor's men refuse to work. The supervisor provides you with some explosives to help you get through the mine, and makes a slight "miscalculation" in the amount of gunpowder needed, resulting in the mine nearly collapsing on Red. His reaction is just, "Oops, enjoy the fireworks!"
Most enemies also explode when you defeat them. Makes sense for the robots; not quite so much for the giant bugs or mice.
Stylistic Suck: When a guy gives Red a quest to take a box from his ex, he opens the box to find out that it contains a notebook of very sappy and poorly written poetry from the quest giver. He and Chocolat get a few laughs out of it, but it somehow wins the ex over.
Take Your Time: Lares is about to be reawakened? The enemy captured Elh? Then succeeded in waking Lares? Nah, go ahead, go fishing, go toss some crates around, see how long it takes you to break 'em!
Tennis Boss: A large majority of the bosses, although it's not so much hitting projectiles back like tennis, but rather catching them and throwing them back, like dodgeball. This is also a valid tactic for most of the normal enemies you encounter.
To Be Continued Right Now: After beating the "Final Chapter" and having the credits roll the game appears to end with a Cliff Hanger. Fortunately it turns out that your only half way through the story at that point. Starting the game again brings you to chapter two.
Transforming Mecha: DAHAK can use "Mode Change" from his battle forms to an anchor-shooting mecha and a flight mecha. There are also variations of his standard fighting mecha available after the half way point.
And improved versions of those are available in New Game+ mode, once you reach the Duel Ship. They're not cheap though!
The Library contains a good deal of lore and is essentially the developers showing off their World Building skills.
Mass Monster Slaughter Sidequest: Unlocking the History section requires you to "defeat lots of enemies". Just how many is "lots" has never been counted, but even playing through the whole game isn't normally enough to completely unlock the entire History section.
Talk to Everyone: Unlocking the section about the Races of the world requires you to "talk with many people". Once again, how many is "many" is not quantified, but apparently it's just number of times you've spoken to someone, rather than the number of unique people you've spoken to.
Double Unlock: Cutscenes and music are unlocked as they are seen/heard, but to actually be able to play them at any time, you have to purchase them. Cutscenes cost 300-500 rings, which can be gotten just about anywhere, but music must be purchased via the use of notes than can only be obtained from phonographs and the oddly-musical plant hornweed.
Vampiric Draining: What Lares and Lemures do to anyone who tries to merge with and control them, eventually draining the Life Energy of their "masters". Being immortal, Elh and Béluga are able to control them without dying, though the "excess" Life Energy is siphoned off and they lose their immortality.
Viewers Are Morons: The game is constantly reminding you that floor switches need something heavy sitting on them to activate, and maybe you should go fetch that giant box over there. This is due to focus groups with elementary school children testing to see what things they tended to forget.
Villain Exit Stage Left: Taken to a ridiculous degree. Almost every single enemy capable of speech that you defeat apparently gets out of a battle alive. Especially if their machine explodes and leaves no trace of them, even when the machine is flying over the abyss. Sadly averted for Nero and Blanck.
Weaponized Offspring: One of the Divine Beasts lays eggs in midair that hatch into small birds that attack you.
Welcome to Corneria: Thankfully averted, what with the game's Cast of Snowflakes and all. All the characters, major or not, have at least two dialogue changes throughout the game, if not more.
Special mention goes to Flo, the Quest Broker, who, instead of just giving you the same shtick about what quests are available every time you talk to her, actually seems aware of the environment and the situation at hand pretty frequently. This is especially noticeable when Pharaoh is attacked by Tartaros; after Flo gives Red a quest, she'll be concerned and urge Red to be careful. Also, she appears in a few sidequests outside of just working as a broker, and at one point Red can take up a quest from her personally.
The game does state that it was a file containing a list of cash transactions. It isn't specified what for.
What Measure Is a Non-Cute?: The only sentient anthropomorphized animals are cat people and dog people. There are lizard/insect hybrids, fishes, and large rodents which act as the monsters in the game. There are fish and cow-like animals called Giu which serve as a food source, with the cow animals also providing milk.
Dahak is capable of lifting and tossing things. Naturally, this applies to each and every enemy you encounter, though at least it varies between picking up the enemy itself and picking up the enemy's projectiles to return them. At least until Red learns to control his Trance, in which case Ki Attacks become a viable option.
Likewise, Red isn't very good at solving riddles. So, when the guardians of the flute ask him riddles, he just jumps right in and attacks them instead.
With This Herring: Red goes up against what amounts to professional military troops with combat mecha and ancient weapons of mass destruction with a robot that is designed to be a cargo hauler. This is kind of like going up against tanks with a forklift... and winning anyway.
Wolf Pack Boss: At one point, you fight all three members of the Kuvasz special ops forces at once.
Zeppelins from Another World: Although the Shepard Republic dose have airplanes, airships are by far the most common form of transportation between islands. However the trope is subverted when the setting turns out to be far future Earth.