Big things are happening on TV Tropes! New admins, new designs, fewer ads, mobile versions, beta testing opportunities, thematic discovery engine, fun trope tools and toys, and much more - Learn how to help here and discuss here.
Sword Girls is a (mostly) freeCard Battle Game. It originates from Korea, and had English and Japanese versions before both were shut down.The game's setting is a world with an Improbably Female Cast. There are four factions: Vita, a high school; the Royal Academy, a private school for aristocrat girls, and their maids; Crux, a theocratic country; and Darklore, a catchall name for dark forces rejected by Crux, including vampires, Heretics and witches. The game's backstory is mostly pieced together from the flavor texts of cards.Its gameplay is also known for being very dependent on the Random Number God. Followers, the cards you use to fight with, are AI-controlled and can sometimes make decisions against the player's wishes, making every battle a Luck-Based Mission depending on how dumb your cards feel like being.The game is also filled with truckloads of Fanservice.There is an ongoing series of light novels published by Novel Engine, which compiles the scattered in-game lores together (albeit in an Alternate Universe) and a Manhwa adaptation.
This game provides examples of:
Accidental Misnaming: The maids who never had names except for the "title" of what they do. The 3 most known maids who work for Cinia are New Maid, Mop Maid and Chief Maid. As a matter of fact, these are 3 had other titles. Of all of the maids, currently only four have listed names.
Also some of the knights in the Crux Faction like New Knight which later her name is revealed in EP10
A-Cup Angst: Esprit, who tells the lore explaining the story. She often mentions Rio's breasts, the Crux knights' assets, etc.
Animal Motifs: The Vita faction is a bird, the Academy is a lion while the Crux Faction is a pegasus. Their guardians are this.
Armor-Piercing Attack: Anything with "Reverse Defense"note Gain Atk/Sta based on the target's defense, at the cost of being locked at 0 Def, "Null Defense"note Reduces the target's defense to 0 once per turn, or "Ignore Defense"note Target loses Sta equal to its Def, effectively cancelling it out.
Crapsaccharine World: It's full of cute girls doing cute things! However, The Empire has invaded before, monsters are on the loose, class warfare is brewing, the fundamentalists are going on a pogrom, the elements of the underworld are too busy politicking to notice the inevitable rise of an antediluvian evil. Oh, and Linia is ruining everyone's lives for giggles.
Demoted to Extra: By the 2nd season, the four heroines of each faction are nearly unmentioned in the story. Its only main focus was Iri joining Vita and befriending Sita.
"If destiny exists, the girls will meet again. They have no say in it"
Ditto Fighter: Lunia Scentriver copies the abilities of opponents before she attacks, and gains a slight Attack/Stamina buff as a bonus every time she succeeds. There's also Witch Baker, who snags abilities from other witches in your hand.
Elegant Gothic Lolita: The style of choice for Darklore girls. Other factions also display it to various degree.
Perky Goth: The younger Darklore girls seems to be both dark and fun-loving. The (physically) older are just plain dark.
The Empire: The Lazion Empire, mentioned in the backstory and possess advanced technology. They don't appear in the main story often due to its problems with monsters.
In later episodes they've now appeared as the 5th Faction in the game.
Glass Cannon: Any follower that sacrifices Sta for Atk, such as the "Valor Strike" followers and Coin Girl. Crux Knight Lukif's EP 11 card is the biggest cannon, with a whopping 15 Attack, and a bonus in that the glass can only be broken in certain ways.
Magical Library - Vita's underground library. Heavily featured in Season 2.
Manipulative Bitch: Linia is single-handedly responsible for almost all of the main characters' misfortunes.
Esprit: "Whenever someone is torn on what to do, Linia is there."
She brainwashes Jaina into going a full assault in attack the land of the vampires, with resulting casualties in both sides and Crux being left wide open to a GS invasion.
She "helps" Iri by telling her how to get close to Vernika, which leads to Iri turning Vernika into a vampire. Things get worse from there.
She tells Sita about Cinia's sword, which she claims can rewind time. Not only does this cause Sita to steal the sword, but the sword's power is a Dangerous Forbidden Technique, and the resulting effect reduces the entire area to ruins.
Manual Leader, AI Party: Any card on the field acts on its own, and if its rules permit a choice among targets, that choice is randomly made with no player input. This serves to shoo the game along by preventing you from stopping your followers from doing stupid things, which in turn resolves cases where nobody if given the choice would make a move. Greatly limiting the choices the player can make at any instant also expedites AI; it's hard to make a deck where A.I. Roulette will do that much worse than a human. There's a regular tournament where players' decks and all games are entirely resolved by the server - you submit your deck and are notified of the results.
Meido: The Academy faction is a good source for maids.
Maid Corps: The three Pacifica daughters have their own maids according to their clothing. Linia's maids wear Japanese style, Rosa's... Well some of her maids act like witches and lastly Cinia's maids wear in French maid clothing.
Meganekko: All the factions have girls with glasses, like Esprit and Vernika.
Meaningful Name: While some of the female characters have strange names, others carry a cue about the character's personaity. Like Esprit meaning vivacious cleverness or wit, while Conundrum means riddle.
Guide Dang It descriptions for NPC Character effects, which are generally powerful, examples including "If this character's life is less than 10 at turn start, the opponent gets Life=0", "At the start of turn, move this character's entire grave to the bottom of the deck", "At turn start, discard all spells in the opponent's hand, debuff the Attack and Stamina of all their followers by an equal amount, then move the first card in this character's grave to the bottom of the deck", and "At turn start, all allied followers gain +3Attack / +3Stamina, then move the first card in this character's grave to the bottom of the deck".
NPC exclusive spells that either cover their character card's weakness (Sion and Rion use Sage's Slipper, for instance), enhance their character card's effect (Nanai's Origin Reader, which would be useless without her own effect), or are just generally overpowered (Rio's Ward, Flee, and Meltdown, for instance).
Obvious Rule Patch: In the Korean version, it was once possible to use the size reduction ability of Detective Asmis to allow you to cast Eternal Witnessnote This link is to the pre-change version over and over, with the obvious results. Cue Eternal Witness being shifted to returning as the second card in the deck. When the combo came back with the inclusion of Halloween Asmis (-1 Size to the top two cards), it took only two weeks before the character was changed from top two to first and third.
One-Gender School: Vita doesn't seem to have male students. Justified, though: monsters can only be hurt with Talentium, and only women can use Talentium weapons effectively.
Vita Principal: [Boys, be ambitious!] Student [This... is a girl's school.]
Otaku Surrogate: As seen on this card, Layna Scentriver, despite being the head of Vita's Morals Committee, also owns quite an extensive collection. Fitting with the theme of the game, her preferred genre is, of course, Magical Girl. Specifically she is a major closet fan of Musiciter.
Pandaing to the Audience: Cinia's Pet Panica, the Episode EX 1 boss. You can also gain her as a character, in which case she inexplicably turns into a little girl whose dress is panda motif.
Up to Eleven: Possible to do in-game by players. The maximum field size is 10 and it's impossible to add cards above that, but players can get to 13 without their own inputnote Being hit with "Bondage" spell when they have three or more followers with total size of 10, to 16 with just one cardnote Playing "Four Messages" spell when they have four followers on the field, 19 if they both happennote If one were to be hit by "Bondage" when his field size was 16, it would increase to 19, or up to 34 via careful deck building and a ridiculous streak of lucknote Having a size 7 follower on the field which is an eligible target for "Scardel Rite", and playing three size 1 (decreased from 3 by playing "Black Magic Preparation" twice when they were all in hand) "Scardel Rite" spells while the first three followers in grave were all "Dress Up Sionrion" cards (though such a deck would likely not be very effective in winning against players).
Waif-Fu: By CCG standards, mildly inverted. Every fighter here is a girl or woman, and the limited visual cues provided by the medium (often wearing neat uniforms or elegant dresses, slender builds, gentle expressions...) seem to imply this kind of fighting. But the battles in this game are brutal. Everybody who isn't a player character randomly (and often suicidally) attacks an enemy at every opportunity, and every survived attack is responded to by an immediate free counterattack. Your forces continually tear into each other, and it's uncommon for any of your followers to survive long at all.
Whip Sword: Lago de Cisnes, the sword Iri goes and gets to kill Vernika. It also has the Evil Eyes of her ancestors.
World of Action Girls: There are males in the story, but only one is even relevant to the plot: the Crimson Magenote He appears on the Forced Entry card... with his back turned. He does like showing up in dungeon cutscenes, however. The novels have a few more males added on, however.
The manhwa adaptation introduces Laon, a mage swordsman.
Wound That Will Not Heal: Asmis is stuck with one on her head after this, and is told that she can only recover is to kill her assailantnote Fourteen.
Zettai Ryouiki: Practically everywhere. The Vita Public School employs this trope as a part of their school uniform.
0% Approval Rating: Happens in the Pacifica household, with so many maids leaving that part-time maids are required.