O Wizel, white warrior, wielder of the ancient sword, grant me your power. Verto!
Take your standard Eastern RPG styled adventure, and slap a Guymelef in there as the most badass Limit Break ever.White Knight Chronicles is the first game for the PS3 by developer Level 5 Games. You are... well, you - the game features an insanely robust character creator, which was actually used to create every NPC in the game. However, the main character is Leonard, a seventeen year old boy of no real importance until, in an effort to save the princess of Balandor, he acquires the Incorruptus "White Knight", a seven-meter tall suit of white and blue armor. What follows is your standard RPG fare, involving princesses, evil conspiracies... and Humongous Mecha.While not exactly critically acclaimed (reviews tend to be mixed, with some reviewers giving it 8-9, while others setting it firmly in a 5-6 range, the general consensus being that it's not much new, but it's not bad either) the game has an impressive cult following due to its long development time and interesting game play, as well as it's distinctive Western RPG elements, including (but not limited to) free-roam gameplay, loads of sidequests, and a customizable avatar.A sequel was released in 2011, which includes the entire first game enhanced with all the new features added in the sequel.See also White Knight Chronicles: Ancient Heart and Foreign Soul, a fan comic that serves as a more detailed telling of the story, and also gives the Avatar character a much larger role.It has a character sheet that is currently under construction.
Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: Item Binding. To get the best items and Incorruptus parts, you've got to do binding. But to bind the best equipment, you need the exactly right bits and pieces of monsters or flora (most of which have random drop rates approaching the .000% range), or else you're screwed. So go buy a straw hat and a pitch fork, because you're going farming for a couple of days.
Advertised Extra: You. Despite the trailers and the fact that you, not Leonard, are the one mentioned on the back of the (sealed, so people can't see the intro in the manual) game box, be fully prepared to have your avatar stand in the background of scenes, nodding dumbly, with hardly anyone even addressing dialogue directly to him or her — if your avatar is even in the scene at all.
Air Jousting: Black Knight vs Ancient Dragon in the first game, Dragon Knight vs Netherwyrm and White Knight vs Black Knight in the second.
Anticlimax: Both games sputter across the finish line when they finally get to their endings, but its particularly egregious in the second game, which feels like the ending of a Act Two of a three act story, when it is the ending of that story.
Apathetic Citizens: You'd never know there was anything wrong with the world just by visiting the towns. Hell, Balandor's about as bright and cheery as it ever was the next day after the castle is raided, their king is murdered, and their princess is kidnapped.
Beam Spam: The farian navy. It literally rains energy spears when they start shelling the Yshrenian forces.
Becoming the Mask: This the majority of Kara's character arc, to the point where it happens twice. Once before the game starts when she falls into the identity of General Dragias, and the Black Knight, and again when she becomes the Kara the party knows for much of the game.
Berserk Button: Dragons don't like seeing their kin get attacked or killed.
Big Damn Heroes: Leonard and the gang when they save Miu and Scardigne at the beginning of the game.
Bishounen: At one point in Albana, during the first game, you're required to play as Leonard and walk around looking for information. One of the NPCs the player speaks to will hit on him. It's also lampshaded by Kara.
Kara: You're all looks and no brains.
Black Eyes of Evil: Emperor Madoras combines this with gold eyes. He has golden irises and black sclerae.
Black Market:...is located in downtown Greede. It's more of an auction than a market though and you need a pass to enter.
Blood Knight: Shapur became this after stealing the Black Knight.
Bonus Dungeon: Vellgander. Madoras comes back to life after the plot of the second game concludes just to drag it out of the water and challenge you to clear it. It's Nintendo Hard.
Book Ends: The first game starts (more or less) with Leonard picking up the White Knight's Ark from its pedestal to save Cisna. The second game ends with Leonard placing the White Knight's Ark back on its pedestal after being saved by Cisna.
By the Power of Grayskull!: To activate the Knight, a pactmaker has to recite a short incantation. Each Knight has a unique incantation but all of them follow this general structure "O name, descriptive title, X of the ancient Y, grant me your power. Verto!".
Cast from Hit Points: Inverted with the Knights, whose simplest of physical attacks eat up mana instead. At the same time, partially supported, in that if a Knight runs out of MP, they revert back to human form.
The Cavalry: In spades in the second game. Both Faria and Greede come to Balandor's aid in the Final Battle against Yshrenia. First the Farian navy shows up to help break through to Redhorn Isle, and then the frickin' Demithor appears out of nowhere to help out too.
Chainmail Bikini: Not all armors but some of them take on a more Stripperiffic form when worn by women. [[labelnote:E.g.]]The swordmage set worn by a man consists of black and purple armor worn over a darkbrown full body suit. The same set worn by a woman gets rid of the fullbody suit, revealing the leg armor to be nothing more than a metal thong with kneesocks-esque greaves. The chest armor is ommitted to make way for a big Cleavage Window which combined with an extreme case of Absolute Cleavage allows a genereous view of the female character's bust. All in all it gives the wonderful impression of the character being completely naked under the armor.[[/note]]
Character Customization: Not just your Digital Avatar, but your whole party up to a point. You can choose to make Leonard a healer but he'll have a much easier time with a sword or axe.
The Chessmaster: Ledom manages to play two sides of a war against each other in order to fulfill his own goals. It works. Flawlessly.
Conveniently an Orphan: The five Pactmakers. Being stolen from your parents, shoved inside giant suits of armor, and then shot forward in time 10,000 years will do that to you, though.
Cutscene Incompetence: Ok, granted there wouldn't be much of a plot if the heroes did everything in their power to save the princess during them. But, would it kill them to at least try? It's funny and silly at the same time. Especially when they half-assedly "rescue" her, only to have the bad guys re-capture her two seconds later.
Cut Short: The ending to the second game smacks of this.
Eleventh Hour Super Power: The Avatar gets his or her own Knight at the very end of the second game, just in time to go into the final dungeon.
While its not overtly stated, the Arc Knight is the only Knight not tied to Emperor Madoras, and is thus the only Knight that is usable against the Final Boss when all the Yshrenian Knights are destroyed. Plot-wise, this allows for you to finally be the hero of the game ... and still get zero credit for it.
This might be because some gamers might have decided to wait till after they beat the game to try and get their Knight and did not necessarily know the were going to lose the others Knights right before the Final Boss. Level 5 might of realized this as well, so they decided not to include the Arc Knight in the story at all.
Empathic Weapon: The Moon Maiden is shown to have a mind of her own and within the White Knight resides a Phantom that may or may not be Emperor Madoras.
Energy Bow: The Moon Maiden's bow. The laser arrows it fires are quite small but the effects are massive. One shot is enough to down one of Yshrenia's aircraft carrier sized airships.
Enigmatic Minion: Shapur, for much of the first game. The twist is, he's not conniving, just crazy.
Escort Mission: Most of the guests that join your party at random points can't die. If they do, it's considered a Game Over.
Failure Hero: Leonard—to the point where the "hero" part is highly debatable.
Failure Knight: Cyrus and Eldore. They handle their failures quite differently, though. Eldore leaps across time to forcibly redeem himself, while Cyrus becomes a wandering drunkard for a game-and-a-half.
Fetch Quest: Phibianacci's errands. The search for the Goddess statue. The search for the Insignias. Errands in general. ...Hell, both bloody games are giant fetch quests.
Foreshadowing: In the very first camp Miu advises against overusing the Knight's power because she senses something sinister beneath it's metal surface and it only gets more obvious from there. The game takes every chance it gets to remind you that something is very wrong with the White Knight.
Forgot About His Powers / Gameplay and Story Segregation: This is at play a lot in the first game, particularly regarding the party's hapless attempts to rescue Cisna. Leonard (and Ceasar) often flat-out do not transform into their Knight forms until after the Magi throw a similarly sized Rent-a-Zilla out to keep them at bay.
Giant Spider: Though the game has some very liberal views on what qualifies as a spider.
Giant Mooks: Many of them. Every area offers at least one or two.
Global Airship: Zig-zagged like crazy. Once an area has been cleared, the party whiz back and forth from one end of the map to the other in the first game. On foot. The Shagna, the supposed Global Airship is acquired by the party at the end of the first game during the ending cutscene, and is only used in the second game as transportation at the beginning and end of the game.
Heroes Prefer Swords: Averted. You have many different weapon-type skill sets to choose from for each character (although some characters can't use some specific weapon types). Your Avatar can use every type, however.
The High Queen: Cisna, in everything but title. Seriously, she's never technically coroneted, even a year after her ascension to the throne.
Horned Humanoid: The Farians. Men have deer-like antlers while the women sport ram-like horns.
Human Sacrifice: Kara's sister was sacrificed in order to fuse three Gigantes into one creature.
Idiot Ball: Leonard and the rest of the heroes spend most of their time in the first game asking the villains to release the princess, and then make no move to stop them when they make good their escape.
Indecisive Parody: The main plot is "serious" enough, but when you sit right down and look at it, most of what happens is actually pretty goofy.
It Began with a Twist of Fate: Leonard and co sneak into the palace on a whim. The guards just left the front doors open when they were delivering wine to Princess Cisna's ball. (No, seriously. That's how it happens.) Then he decides to rescue the princess from an assassin as the palace is under attack. Then he decides to take control of the incredibly powerful Wite Knight in order to defend his home town.
Item Crafting: Called binding. Absolute necessity if you want to tackle quests.
Jerkass Fašade: Count Drisdal pulls this on his own son Caesar in a Thanatos Gambit to try and get him to act responsibly. He kicks Caesar out of his house in a fit of rage after learning he'd fashioned a (pretty damn good) replica of a statue that was responsible for him meeting his wife, more-or-less saying I Have No Son. Then he goes and dies without ever reconciling with Caesar. And then Caesar finds a letter from him telling him he knew the statue was a fake all along, and he actually treasured it more than the original because it was Caesar's own handiwork, and he threw a shitfit... just 'cause. Come to think of it, scratch the "Facade" part off—the Count's a bona-fide Jerk Ass.
Just in Time: A staple of the first game's plot. Even though the Magi have an airship, and you're on foot, and you're in a race against them to get to the next Plot Coupon point on the map, you always arrive right as shit's about to go down, even if you've spent nine hours Level Grinding. It seems like a huge coincidence, until Belcitane straight up tells you he sits around and waits for you to finally show up because he needs you there because the aforementioned shit going down is all a part of The Plan]].
My Greatest Failure: His failure to prevent the king's death and Cisna's abduction hits Cyrus hard.
New Game+: The first game allows you to start a new game with all the items and gear (except storyline items) you have aquired and your level reset to 35. The world also features new chests which are filled with Guild Rank 7/8 weapons and gear that allow a smooth start into online questing. The second game let's you keep items, gear and levels but doesn't offer new chests like the first did.
Nigh-Invulnerability: The Knights are indestructible, capable of routing entire battlefields alone. The Sun King takes it a step further as it is even impervious to the attacks from its fellow Knights. Until you get Falcyos.
The Netherwyrm as well. The "deathless" part of its boss subtitle wasn't just for show.
Nintendo Hard: While the game's main storyline range from easy to moderately difficult, the high Guild Rank quests will slaughter you if you aren't careful. Vellgander takes it Up to Eleven.
No Export for You: White Knight Chronicles: Origins and the Avatar Story DLC never made it to North America.
One Game for the Price of Two: Inverted. The sequel includes an Updated Re-release of the entire first game (with the second's graphics and gameplay), making it two games for the price of one. That said, the second game reuses every location from the first game with only six new visitable locations, so the Enhanced Remake of White Knight Chronicles I came about by default.
One-Man Army: Every pactmaker as demonstrated by Shapur who conquered Albana thanks to the power of the Black Knight.
One-Winged Angel: All over the place. Every named character and mook who has a summoning card can and will do this.
Orcus on His Throne: Grazel spends the majority of the second game sitting on his enormous Cool Throne and gloating over the puny efforts of his adversaries.
Reincarnation: Princess Cisna is the reincarnation of Queen Mureas of Athwan.
Reluctant Warrior: The Moon Maiden refused to take further part in battle and sealed herself inside Father Yggdra. She changes her mind for Yulie.
Retcon: Happens in-game. Initially it appears that Kara killed King Valtos in the guise of General Dragias, making her look like a sociopath. Its later revealed that while Karais General Dragias, she wasn't the Dragias that killed Valtos. Who was really in the armour at the time isn't revealed until the second game. And, suprise! It was Evil Chancellor Sarvain, the guy everyone's always hated anyway.
Retired Badass: The legendary mercenary "Iron Fist" retired from his job and now works as wine merchant in Balandor.
Sealed Evil in a Can: Madoras, who's soul is locked in the five Knights, but mostly inside the White Knight.
Sequel Difficulty Drop: The first game isn't exactly difficult, but Origins is very very easy, and even for the more difficult bosses, the strategy of "add more + to your equipment, and go into Power Ranger mode before you die" will get you through them.
Sequel Difficulty Spike: The story mode in the sequel is much harder than in the first game. Monsters are more numerous (including giant mooks), have more HP, hit harder, and your final line of defense, the Knights, are much weaker and there are several stretches near the end of the game that leave you without any Knights at all.
Schizo Tech: The world as a whole is set in medieval european fantasy but the city of Greede seems to be in the middle of the industrial revolution, Yshrenia's army is flying around in giant airships while deploying tanks and attack drones on the ground and the farians outfitted their ships with beam weaponry.
So Long, and Thanks for All the Gear: Thanks to a mounting series of plot contrivances, there's a good ten-hour stretch of the second game that leaves you without any character who is able to transform into an Incorruptus. Cue several vicious boss fights.
The first game does this too, though not as egregiously, as Kara and Eldore are the only two playable characters who never get (usable) Incorrupti.
Sticks to the Back: Played straight with longswords, two-handed axes and spears. When wearing certain form-fitting pieces of armor, said weapons even levitate visibly away from the character's body a slight bit.
the sequel gives us the Sword of Falcyos, the new "only sword able to damage the Sun King"
Take Your Time: This is at play through both games, but it becomes inescapable at the end of the second game when your given the opportunity to walk away from the Final Battle for the fate of the world while its raging around you to go do sidequests and run errands for the peasantry.
Telepathy: With the Dragon Knight's Knight Arc Caesar gained the Dragon Sight which lets him look into the hearts of people, revealing their true colors. It's not fullblown mindreading though and some people can block it.
Time Skip: Between Part I and Part II. Cisna says that it has been a year has passed since Grazel reclaimed his ark and declared that he and his followers where the second coming of the Yshrenian Empire.
Took a Level in Badass: Yulie, Cisna, and Miu in the sequel. They each become a Knight, a Queen, and an Archduchess respectively.
Time Travel: The Retrospecticon allows Leonard and the gang to go into the past. They find that they can't actually change history, however, but they can take objects with them back to the present.
Unusable Enemy Equipment: Despite Kara being in your party for the majority of both games, you never get the chance to control the Black Knight. You sure fight it a hell of a lot though.
The Unreveal: A roundabout example: It's never revealed to anyone but the audience that Sarvain killed Queen Floraine, not some Farian assassin, as was assumed.
Unspoken Plan Guarantee: At a point late in the game, Setti makes the other characters believe that Eldore, who they met early on, had been setting up their acquisition of the Knights as an attempt to unite them together and take the power for himself. This causes Eldore to teleport away. However, when they set up camp later that day, all the playable characters, including a returning Eldore, confront Setti, revealing that they knew what Setti was up to, as well as who he really is—Grazel.
What Happened to the Mouse?: Kara's sister who wasn't actually her sister is largely forgotten about after the party moves on from Albana, as is the fact that she wasn't really her sister.
This also happens to Brimflamme, who's last seen tearing away from the Yshrenian fortress on Redhorn Isle before the Garmatha lifts off. In this case it's more like What Happened to theEldritch Abomination?
What the Hell Is That Accent?: Everyone seems to have roughly North American accents; except for the Farians, who sound vaguely Spanish; Eldore, who's incredibly British; the Toads, who are shockingly Cockney; and the Papitaurs, who sound ... weird.
There's also the original wielder of the Black Knight in Origins who is essentially a less arrogant Grazel with shorter hair.
With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Shapur's mental health took a turn for the worse after he stole the Black Knight. He develops Blood Knight tendencies and goes apeshit when the knight was taken from him in the final battle. His addiction to the Knight's power is what costs him his life in the end.
World Tree: Father Yggdra, the giant sentient tree in the midst of Faria.
You Are Too Late: Grazel had already aquired the Sun King when Leonard and the gang arrived on scene to stop him from doing so.
You Can't Fight Fate: While the Retrospecticon allows you to go to the past and take some things (like the Insignias) with you, it doesn't have the power to change events of the past. Miu and the party learn this the hard way.
You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: One of the first things Madoras does after his revival is kill Grazel. He makes it quick and painless because Grazel was a useful pawn.
It's a bit of Laser-Guided Karma on his part, seeing as how he pulled the same move on Belcitane halfway through game one.