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Video Game: Soul Sacrifice
Soul Sacrifice is a video game developed by Marvelous AQL and Japan Studio for the PlayStation Vita. The concept was created by Keiji Inafune, best known for being the co-designer for the Mega Man franchise.

Soul Sacrifice is played in the third-person perspective. The player character is a slave that serves a powerful and cruel sorcerer. Just before the protagonist is going to be sacrificed, a demon in the form of a book appears before him. The book is a collection of stories that describe past fights between monsters and the powerful sorcerer. The player character is able to enter the book's world and experience the fights, thereby gaining experience and power. One particularly notable mechanic is the ability to sacrifice parts of the character's body or items to create devastating attacks. These sacrifices will be permanently marked on the player character's body, meaning that unless a slow-regaining resource is spent, they are not an infinite resource that can be tapped into.

The game was released in Japan on March 7, 2013, while the North American and European versions hit stores on April 30, 2013 and May 1, 2013 respectively.

A combination sequel-Updated Re-release, Soul Sacrifice Delta, released in Japan on March 6, 2014, and in the US and EU on the Playstation Network on May 13 and 14 of 2014, respectively. It will receive overhauled graphics, systems, and AI. There will be an enhanced focus on co-op play, a number of new spells, more areas, monsters, and archfiends based on the Grimm Fairy Tales. Players will be able to choose between the two old factions and the third new one: Avalon, Knight Templars who seek to destroy all monsters, no exceptions; Sanctuarium, a splinter group of sorcerers who believe that monsters can and should be saved; and the new faction the Order of Grim, a cult started by a sorcerer who noticed the Eternal Recurrence of the Twin Gods' feud and who's followers bring hope to both sorcerers and non-sorcerers alike, in hope of somehow ending the vicious cycle. Which organization the player chooses to join will change what mission rewards and types of magic they can gain.

A character sheet is under construction HERE.

This game contains examples of:

  • A Glitch in the Matrix: The sheer existence of the Grim faction is one, since nobody was supposed to notice the Twin Gods' Feud and the Eternal Recurrence.
  • Arc Words: "This is where your story begins."
  • After the End: "Several Years Later" reveals that the world suffered a disastrous cataclysm 13 days after the Sorcerer you play as in the Phantom Quests became Magusar's partner, and the now-insane Magusar came to rule what remains of the world.
  • All Just a Dream: If you lose to Magusar after challenging him, the battle is immediately retconned to being another story from the diary.
    • If you've finished the original Soul Sacrifice, transferring your save file to Delta reveals that the final battle from the original was all a dream, with Librom wondering what you are talking about.
  • All There in the Manual: The Lore section of Librom, containing backstories of Archfiends and levels, or a rundown of how certain enemies came to be.
  • And Then John Was a Zombie: In two of the endings, depending on whether you choose to sacrifice or save Magusar in the final battle, you will either become the new Magusar or the new Librom.
  • Artifact of Doom: The grail, which also doubles as a Jerkass Genie and, arguably, the Bigger Bad for a majority of what all has happened.
  • Ax-Crazy: Sortiara ends up being a Deconstruction.
  • Becoming the Mask: When sorcerers sacrifice monsters, they absorb the souls of those monsters. In process, they also gain emotions and memories of those whom they sacrificed. As a result, sorcerers start losing their sense of self.
  • Being Good Sucks: You're told outright from the very beginning that Avalon considers the Rite of Salvation to be an act of heresy, and those who use it too much risk suffering "serious consequences". These consequences include reduced quest rewards, getting yourself crippled while simultaneously giving the boss a free power up, and, eventually, pissed off bounty hunters.
    • From a gameplay perspective, being good (saving more than sacrificing) makes you tougher and harder to kill, but your attack power will suffer and fights will take longer and longer to finish, so if you find yourself with a Divine arm you're probably a glutton for punishment.
  • Being Evil Sucks: On the other hand, people who sacrifice someone/something they cherished in order to obtain what they want often realize too late that making Deal with the Devil never ends well. Even sorcerers who sacrifice monsters ultimately succumb to all the souls they absorbed while hunting for monsters, which leads to transformation into the very monsters they fight and execution by other sorcerers.
  • Big Bad: Magusar for the single player campaign.
  • Bigger Bad: The younger of the two Gods who created the setting's world. While the older believes in order, the other likes chaos and greed, and that's why he created the chalice and gave sorcery to his people (the druids). And that's why the world is in a constant state of destruction and restoration, because he engineered for an especially greedy individual to destroy the world.... the same person who was chosen by the other god to be devoid of greed and be able to save it.
    • Finally able to be faced. In the original game, you only got a free DLC that let you face the two in a pair of Forgotten Pacts. Delta lets you fight God-Magusar, who is possessed by the Twin Gods, as the True Final Boss.
  • Black Magic: Pretty much all magic is bad news, since it turns man and beast into monsters. Unfortunately, only a sorcerer can kill a monster, so there's a catch-22 for cleaning up all this magical contamination.
  • Blood Magic/Bloody Murder: One of the possible offensive magics. While these are powerful, they are Cast From Hitpoints, meaning you have to watch out for your health.
  • Blood Knight: The Valkyrie constantly seeks out Sorcerers to fight, believing that each victory she achieves will bring her closer to her dead father.
    • The Dullahan was one both in life and as an Archfiend. The man was a Combat Sadomasochist who built up a rather fearsome reputation for actively directing his opponents to always wound him, even making sure they never hit him fatally. It got to the point that he wore chains during his fights, and eventually ordered his footmen to torture him for his own pleasure during his off-time.
  • Body Horror: The way you use magic practically revolves around this.
    • Chaos mode is particularly nasty.
    • The way that some monsters and Archfiends are created.
  • Bonus Boss: While it's not exactly harder than, say Double Illecebra, the Leviathan you see in tutorial can only be encountered in the tenth Avalon pact's group, where all combats are extremely hard.
  • Boss Banter: Some Archfiends and Bounty Hunters engage in this, though in the case of the Archfiends, they speak in garbled gibberish that's translated in the subtitles.
  • Breakable Weapons: A strange example. Since the only things that can be equipped are spells, it's possible to "break" your spells. Though it must be noted that story-wise the objects that break are not the spells themselves but the offerings that lets the sorcerer wield them.
  • But Thou Must: You must sacrifice Nimue/Sortiara when you face her. Attempting to save her will bring her back and make the fight against her continue. This is also true of the assassins sent after you for saving Archfiends. In both cases, however, you need to save them the first time if you want to get their Life soul.
  • Call a Pegasus a "Hippogriff": Standard monster names, decidedly NON-standard designs and origins. Goblins are rat-men made up out of other, smaller rats. "Orcs" are housecats mutated by magic into horrible blobby cannibalistic things with gaping mouths full of human skulls. Koholds are trees that are transformed by residual magic. Ghouls are crows who fed on the corpses of sorcerers until the magic made them just as intelligent as humans, even creating their own society.
    • Soul Sacrifice Delta introduces fairies, which were bees infected with magic, gaining self awareness and had overthrown their queen. Also introduced are gnomes (rabbits that have been horrifically mutated by magic, gaining the ability to merge with the ground and attack with giant ear hands) and orichalcum (snails who have gained a sense of self through magic, and had their shells transformed into treasure chests).
  • Cosmic Plaything: What the chosen saviors amount to. The older god chooses a person completely devoid of greed, then that sorcerer is forced to face the apocalypse caused by a crazed magician. The sorcerer wins and sacrifices the magician to restore the world... in that point becoming tainted with the same curse that causes the previous end of the world. With luck they may fight the greed that consumes them since their victory, and avoiding losing their very identity, but even if they'd be able to win against it, it'd only mean than another crazier sorcerer would take their place, forcing for a new savior to come and repeat the process.
  • Crapsack World: It goes without saying.
  • Cruelty Is the Only Option: Most of the Avalon Pact sections have quests that are only available if you Sacrifice the segment's first Archfiend, as well as quests only available if you save it. Thus, if you're fully committed to one or the other, you'll have to go against your morals at least once in order to fully complete the Pact segment.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Librom.
  • Deal with the Devil: Many of the backstories of levels and Archfiends within Librom involve this, with people sacrificing something of theirs to get what they desire. Suffice to say, they don't end well.
  • Death Seeker: Centaurs.
  • Downloadable Content: Is available. Announced content so far is the Japanese audio tracks (US/EU only), around 10+ free Archfiend battles, additional Black Rites, occasional codes for more spells, and paid episodes.
  • Dub Name Change: The Japanese version makes whole references to the Arthurian mythos, while the US/EU English versions have the references veiled due to some areas of Europe still treating the mythos as Serious Business. Hence the changing of the names of the depicted characters from the Arthurian mythos in the English versions.
  • Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors: Ice beats fire, which is effective against venom who beats stone, which in turn curbstomps lightning who finishes the circle by cracking the ice.
  • Expy: Librom is one to Grimoire Weiss.
    • Also, the grail functions similarly to behelits in that it appears before the mortals who are in the state of total despair and grants their wish for a horrible price.
  • Eyes Do Not Belong There: Even by the Body Horror standards of the game, Magusar's arm is particularly nasty, with so many eyes... and that's before the end of the world.
  • Flunky Boss: Most bosses summon goblins at some point during their fight so you have something to save/sacrifice during the battle to recharge your offerings.
  • Fusion Dance: Done in rather grotesque fashion as many monsters are amalgam of beasts and men.
  • Greed: Arguably one of the main reasons why the world has become so dark. Orcs and other monsters turn to devouring sorcerers just to further increase their power, a human will make a Deal with the Devil and end up an Archfiend... it also plays an important part in the legend of how the world was formed.
  • God and Satan Are Both Jerks: Technically a spoiler, but given that both the "good" and "evil" gods appear as DLC bonus bosses, and the state of the world, it'd be more surprising if it wasn't true.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Pretty much all sorcerers in general. Sooner or later, all sorcerers succumb to all the souls of monsters they absorbed and transform into monsters themselves.
  • I Am A Humanitarian: Notably exemplified by Harpy although there are other monsters who indulge in this as well.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Unsurprisingly, Magusar isn't really happy to be immortal while being forced to sacrifice monsters non-stop to fuel that very immortality.
  • Improbable Weapon User: The protagonist, who uses his own body parts as weapons.
  • Insistent Terminology: Librom is quick to remind you that the Lachrima are not his tears. So stop asking if they are.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Carnatux, of all people, turns out to be one towards the end of his quest chain.
  • Knight Templar: The sorcerers of Avalon must follow one rule: All monsters must be slain. They're willing to turn a blind eye to the occasional saved target. But for those who consistently save monsters, well, see No Good Deed Goes Unpunished below...
  • Limit Break: At low health, you can perform ultimate sacrificial spells called Black Rites. While they are powerful, they have negative side effects that do not go away until you fix them with Librom's tears.
  • Magical Society: The Secret Sect Avalon, a sorcerers' guild whose members are the descendants of surviving Druids.
  • Medieval European Fantasy: Noteworthy as the game's world is essentially an alternative version of the King Arthur mythos and appropriately includes...
  • Multiple Endings: Three in the original game, five in Delta.
    • The original three. In Delta, you can only get these endings if you avoided completing certain quests.
      • If you defeat Magusar before finishing all the main story chapters in Librom, the game ends immediately after Magusar's defeat, with the protagonist musing about how his/her actions have saved himself/herself, but the future of the world is still uncertain.
      • If you complete all the main story chapters and choose to sacrifice Magusar in the final battle, then the grail fulfills your wish and returns the world to its original form, however the protagonist is left with the curse of Magusar and his right arm, unsure of what the future holds for him or the world but still believing that hope can change it for the better.
      • If you complete all the main story chapters and choose to save Magusar, the protagonist begin a cycle of defeating and saving Magusar over an over, while line between the protagonist and Librom becomes blurred and they become one. They fight with Magusar for years until the protagonists body breaks down and can no longer fight. Like the original Librom, they sacrifice their body to become a book that will pass on both their story and Librom's tale to the next prisoner that can take on Magusar.
    • The two added in Delta, which require you to complete a certain series of quests, unlocking the True Final Boss: the God-Dragon, Magusar possessed by the Twin Gods and turned into a tyrant.
      • If you choose to save God-Magusar, the wills of the Twin Gods are destroyed and Magusar still holds their power. He becomes a benevolent guardian deity of humanity, watching over them to help combat the madness to come.
      • If you choose to sacrifice God-Magusar, the wills of the Twin Gods are destroyed and the protagonist achieves apotheosis. Magusar and Librom have a heart-to-heart over what will become of the world.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: The histories of areas and Archfiends have cases of this.
  • Mythology: The world of Soul Sacrifice contains many references to numerous mythologies, even telling alternate versions of certain stories.
    • King Arthur: A number of (renamed) characters from the Arthurian mythos, Avalon and Camelot, and the Holy Grail appear. Excalibur is even one of the Black Rites.
    • Classical Mythology: The war that tore apart the world was called the Olympian War, the tribe of humans born without magic are called the Romalus, there are numerous areas named after things from the mythos: the Plains of Olympia, the Catacombs of Pandora, the Ruins of Tartarus where the Cerberus dwells, Mount Helios, the Icarus Pasture, the Poseidon Inn, Lake Andromeda. Gorgon and Vulcan are Black Rites.
    • The Bible: The city of Babylon, Noah's Desert, the fallen kingdom and Archfiend both know as Leviathan, the Caverns of Goliath.
    • Norse Mythology: There is the Valhalla Abbey, a Valkyrie is an Archfiend, and Gleipnir is a Black Rite. Delta reveals that the founder of the Sorcerers' Guild became a monster which they named Odin.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: If you primarily save the bosses instead of killing them, you'll eventually start encountering vigilantes hired by Avalon, who are not happy with you saving so many monsters.
  • Old Save Bonus: Importing a save file from the demo adds the Spirits' Heart spell.
    • You can import your save from the original Soul Sacrifice into Delta.
  • One-Winged Angel: Magusar. After you defeat his human form, he turns into a gigantic dragon.
  • Our Monsters Are Weird: Dear lord...
  • Power Incontinence: In the setting, this often happens to magicians who get consumed by the souls of monsters they absorbed. Thankfully, this doesn't happen in-game.
  • Power at a Price: Almost all monsters, especially ones who were once humans, sacrificed something/someone they cherished in order to be granted a tremendous power.
  • Power-Upgrading Deformation: The creation of monsters in a nutshell, to put it mildly.
  • Pre-Order Bonus: Quite the list: two exclusive costumes (one male, one female) and three exclusive magic spells (Spirits' Flamespike, Spirits' Blightstone, and Spirits' Fulgurwood). It also includes the Japanese audio for free.
    • Buying Delta within the first four weeks of release grants you a number of unique costumes.
  • Press X to Die: You can actually go right to the Final Boss at the very beginning of the game, which ends about as well as you'd expect.
  • Public Domain Artifact: The Holy Grail appears as a sentient entity who appears to humans who are at their lowest, promising to grant their deepest desire in return for "an offering". In reality, however, it ends up turning the human into an Archfiend.
  • Red Right Hand: A sorcerer's right arm become corrupted by "the blight" due to the magic they wield. It gets worse the more they sacrifice monsters and better the more they save them.
  • Relationship Values: Allies have an Affinity bar that rises with the more quests you complete alongside them. In addition to this, Allies with Divine or Dark arms can actually lose affinity if you save (Dark) or sacrifice (Divine) an Archfiend while they're with you, and if you do this too many times, that Ally will become "Separated" from you, preventing you from using him/her. Allies with Neutral arms don't care whether you save or sacrifice Archfiends.
  • Retcon: This is actually a game mechanic. By using Lacrima, you're able to alter certain events and aspects the journal, which include undoing the status buffs caused by Black Rites and resurrecting fallen Allies.
  • The Reveal: The author of Librom is Librom himself.
  • Scenery Gorn
  • Seven Deadly Sins: Most boss monsters are categorized this way based on what sins they most indulged in before turning into monsters. There is an eighth category known as the Desperate, who represent the strength of will (Jack-o'-Lanterns and Jack Frosts) and madness (Unicorn and Phoenix) that people go through during life.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: The game starts very deeply in the cynical end of the scale, and then little by little, notions like companionship, friendship, and especially hope, make their way into the plot, finally becoming a powerful force by the ending. While the game doesn't get really idealistic, those tones lessen the grimness of the setting.
  • Stable Time Loop: Heavily implied in the ending.
  • Summon Magic: Golems.
  • Swiss Army Tears: The game's currency.
  • Together in Death: Illecebra's goal is to die with Magusar. Later Librom and Magusar are united like this in the sacrifice ending.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: One of the biggest aspects of the game is sacrificing your comrades in battle. It may be a subversion however. While sacrificing your comrade will take him out of the fight, it will not only give you a very powerful attack spawned from his sacrificed carcass, but at the end, he'll get bonus rewards for being sacrificed, so it's a win-win situation.
    • Monsters may be "saved" or "sacrificed" when you get them near death. Saving them turns them back to a normal creature (a housecat, a civilian, whatever), it heals you and boosts your defense. Sacrificing them increases your attack power and recharges your offensive spells. Leaning too heavily on one or the other is a potentially powerful strategy that could really unbalance you if you're not careful.
      • "Saved" boss monsters unlock AI-controlled NPC comrades for the single-player version of the campaign.
    • You can also tip Librom over by tapping at him. He'll then get up and make a few snarky comments.
  • Videogame Cruelty Punishment: Actually this trope could be inverted since the game constantly punishes moral choices, while giving easier outcomes and rewards to those who choose selfishly. In one boss battle, choosing to save your enemy will not only drag the battle, but drain half of your current health on the spot, giving it to your enemy.
    • Multiplayer isn't much better, if you save a team-mate, half of your health goes away to heal him. If you choose to sacrifice him instead? Your spells get a nice recharge, and a very powerful attack erupts from the sacrificed, instakilling all normal enemies and harming quite a bit the bosses. If you have a lot of life levels, even the reward for saving enemies will be much less interesting than sacrificing them. A bit of healing? At that point your healing skills will do a lot more in one go.
  • Voice of the Legion: The narrator of the diary speaks with both a male and female voice simultaneously. Librom does the same in the Japanese voice track, but only has a single, male voice in the English one.
  • Was Once a Man: The backstories of many bosses in this game start out that way.
  • Weird Currency: The book occasionally cries moisture from its eye, and wiping away the tears is how you get your currency. It insists they're not tears, and calls them "lacrima ," but that's just a fancy word that means "tears" anyway.
  • Wham Line: The Postscript.
    My name is Geoffery Librom.
  • X Meets Y: Monster Hunter meets Demons Souls/Dark Souls.
  • Your Soul Is Mine: When you sacrifice monsters, this is essentially what you do.


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