The sunset got more room than the charactersWild ARMs: The 2nd Ignition
is the second in the series of roleplaying video games
produced by the Sony Company. Released in the year 2000, the game shares stylistic elements (combining the Western
genre with both Fantasy and Science Fiction
) with the previous game, but no direct story connection.
Like the other Wild ARMs
games, the story takes place on the planet Filgaia, which, long ago, was attacked by a powerful demon. A magical sword chose a young woman, known as the Sword Magess, to wield it against the monster, banishing it to another dimension. Centuries later, when a young man is possessed by the demon, he is also granted the sword's powers, which not only returns him to normal but grants him great powers. Because of that, he is chosen to become part of the A.R.M.S., a new international anti-terrorist organization, to combat Odessa, a group that seeks to rule the world. Joining him are various heroes from around the planet.
Most of the playable characters have (noncanonical) cameos in Wild ARMs 5
, just like all the other heroes in the series. Marivel also stars in a story that the characters read in Wild ARMs 3
This game provides examples of:
- Absurdly Long Stairway: Nearing the end of the game there's the spiral tower, which has an extremely long staircase leading down into the center of the planet. Once you get to the end of the staircase you have to go through another dungeon then fight several minibosses, and the final boss to beat the game.
- Adjective Noun Fred: Most bosses are named like this.
- The Alcatraz - Ilsveil Prison.
- All Your Base Are Belong to Us - At least once.
- Arc Word - Hero. The entire game is an analysis of what it means to be a hero.
- Ascended Extra - You'll be surprised to see how much Tony took Marina's screen time in the Drama CD.
- Bittersweet Ending: Irving and his sister both had to die to destroy the Kuiper Belt. And, as always, Filgaia is still a wasteland that is slowly recovering.
- Ashley's weapon isn't actually a sword, but a rather normal rifle...equipped with a ridiculously large bayonet that may as well be a sword.
- The sword Argetlam might as well count. While it won't rival some other BFSes, it's as large if not larger than Ashley's bayonet.
- BFG - Brad's weapons of choice are generally this, especially his Railgun.
- "Blind Idiot" Translation - The game script has signs of this throughout and it's jarring when one comes upon them, but overall the translation is actually fairly decent for a Playstation-era Japanese RPG. Not to say it's great, but it's definitely better than both versions of Wild ARMs 1.
- Liz's poetry is this; since it's originally a mass of Japanese cultural references, translated directly it becomes a mass of gibberish.
- Befriending the Enemy: Ashley & company develop a friendship this way with Kanon. Kanon, a demon hunter, has made it her mission to assassinate Ashley who is possessed by the ancient demon Lord Blazer who Kanon's ancestor sealed away thousands of years ago. The team reluctantly fight repeated battles with Kanon, until Ashley manages to convince her that he's a good person, and asks her to join the group plus entrusting her with the responsibility of striking him down (and killing Lord Blazer) if he can't control the demon's influence any longer when this moment finally does arrive however she can't bring herself to kill Ashley as she's developed feelings of friendship with him and the other members of ARMS.
- Better to Die Than Be Killed: With Judecca after his boss fight, as the camera turns away (along with Tim and Lilka) right before a bright flash and sound like a gunshot, then turns back to show Judecca's body falling away into the void inside his Diablo Pillar.
- Block Puzzle
- Blood from the Mouth: Judecca coughs up a sizable spray after his boss fight, to help get the point across with the sprite artwork.
- Bonus Boss - Lots of them, entrapped within the sealed pyramids you see floating around certain towns and dungeons.
- Boxed Crook - Prisoner No. 666 Brad Evans.
- Boss Subtitles
- The Cameo - Axel and Ruka (translated as 'Luka' in the English version) from Gunner's Heaven appear in a bar named after their game of origin.
- Child Mage - Tim and Lilka.
- Cognizant Limbs - A lot of bosses, which grant bonus experience at the end of the battle if you destroy the parts before the core.
- Combined Energy Attack - How the Big Bad is destroyed.
- Curb-Stomp Battle - The second battle with Trask after Ashley gains his superpower. What was about half an hour ago a reasonably tough boss battle for Ashley, Lilka and Brad is now a powerless wimp for Ashley by himself. Trask can barely hurt Ashley with the big damage attack, and does single digits (or 0 depending on your level and gear) damage with its regular attacks, and seems to always miss with the poison breath. All it can do is flail around helplessly while you murder it.
- Desert Punk
- Disc One Final Dungeon - Heimdall Gazzo, which leads up to Ashley temporarily being stranded in outer space.
- Does This Remind You of Anything? - If you've played Xenogears, many things about Wild Arms 2 will seem oddly familiar.
- The navigation has extremely similar camera rotation and platform mechanics, but unlike in Xenogears you aren't able to jump up. The sprites on 3D background were in an extremely similar visual style as well.
- Both games' worlds have extremely violent histories that at least once or twice involved the a planet-wide near-genocide. But the theme of Filgaia being a scorched world is common to the Wild Arms series in general.
- The Sword Magess was a fairly ordinary girl who became a Hero of extraordinary means and elevated to legendary icon Sacrificial Lion, reminiscent of Sophia's tragic canonization in Xenogears.
- Though a trend already started in the first Wild ARMs game, Filgaia is a scorched world, having seen the trauma of cataclysms in the past. Similarly, the world of Xenogears has been battered just as badly, with one continent shattered and another continent all but desertified — the latter being similar to Slayheim's utter desertification in Wild Arms 2. There seems to be at least mild cross-pollination of concepts.
- Ashley holds two conflicting personalities within him, one of which is a veritable Eldritch Abomination, which is very reminiscent of Fei's cataclysmic Id in Xenogears. In both cases, the protagonist gains effective partial control over their dark size and summon it to battle when necessary. But neither have total control over it.
- Brad and Rico are both tall half-Walking Shirtless Scene Mighty Glacier Badasses wearing an Explosive Leash while sitting in prison for years, slated to become mighty heroes with a potent LGBT Fanbase factor. And considering that Rico's chronic roommate is a smaller Ambiguously Gay guy whom Rico later mourns and frequently reminisces about, it begins to seem like Brad is all but a Race Lift Captain Ersatz of Rico.
- Valeria Chateau feels very much like the Yggdrasil in Xenogears, being simultaneously a base of operations, a small town of inhabitants, a fairly complex explorable structure, and later actually gains the ability to fly.
- Marivel is the last of her kind after they were wiped out suddenly by Lord Blazer. In Xenogears, Dominia Yizkor believes herself to be the last of her exotic elf-like race, which was all but wiped out overnight by Id, who as mentioned above also has interesting parallels with Lord Blazer.
- Just as Xenogears introduced a dizzying complexity of world background and plot turns that rarely seemed so numerous in a game of its time, the Wild Arms 2 story and game script seems endlessly detailed. But this trend was increasingly arising in most console RPGs of the day.
- Not having anything to do with Xenogears, Tim's friends are apparently Iron Man◊ and Cyclops◊
- Do Not Adjust Your Mirrors, Windows, and Pools of Water - Odessa makes itself known to the world by transmitting Vinsfeld's message across every reflective surface in the world.
- Doppelgänger - Several fashioned in Brad's image.
- Dreaming of Things to Come - The Dreamseers of the Baskar have this ability, granted by the Guardians.
- Duel Boss - Trask (the second time), Caina (the last time), Brad's doppelganger, Judecca, Vinsfield, the Kuiper Belt roots and Lord Blazer. Possibly even more. There are a lot of 'em.
- Until you get your fifth party member, you can arrange for any battle to be one.
- Edge Gravity
- Eldritch Abomination - Lord Blazer, along with the Sealed Evil in a Can like Ragu O'Ragula. And then there's the Kuiper Belt, which is somewhere between this and...
- Eldritch Location - Encroaching Parallel Universe: Kuiper Belt
- Everyone Can See It - Everyone in Meria assumes Ashley and Marina are going to get together sooner rather than later, no matter how much Ashley protests. It doesn't help his case that Ashley spends his first leave from ARMs visiting her, or that he instantly decides to give her a gem he finds. Not to mention he goes into a genuine panic when someone brings it up.
- Evolving Credits - The opening animation changes depending on how far into the game you are.
- Evolving Weapon - You can buy upgrades for Ashley's and Brad's guns.
- Explosive Leash - On Brad.
- Fake Difficulty - You can't buy healing items (though as with later games, this is justified as Filgaia is mostly a barren wasteland). You also can't take back Personal Skill points once you've used them to buy skills. Did you buy a useless skill? Sorry! Put everything into Up HP first and don't ever get the status resistances, with the possible exception of Ability Block. However, see the Game Breaker entry on healing items.
- Famed In-Story: "The Eleniak Witch-Girl", Lilka's older sister. Which makes it odd that she's Only Known By Her Nickname.
- Fantastic Nuke - One mission has you intercepting a "nuclear weapon". It gets unleashed and it's a nuclear breathing dragon.
- Also the Angel's Halo, which was used on the country of Slayheim prior to the start of the game and left behind nothing but endless plains of salt.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture - The American Old West combined with the Modern World
- Free Rotating Camera
- Getting Crap Past the Radar - See G-Rated Sex below. Also, Irving and Altacia are very strongly implied as being in a relationship.
- Giant Space Flea from Nowhere - The Kuiper Belt is not even hinted at for the entire first disc, and is the focus of the second.
- On a smaller scale, there are also plenty of random giant monsters for the party to fight throughout the story.
- Played with by Lord Blazer. It was obvious he and Ashley would eventually fight, but not many expected him to be the Final Boss.
- G-Rated Sex - Ashley and Marina. The scene does a Fade to Black, but the subtitles that stay are pretty much Getting Crap Past the Radar.
- Likewise Irving and Altaecia Valeria. The same thing happens, but it's somewhat less G-Rated considering it's incest.
- Guide Dang It - Some of the puzzle solutions, especially on the second disc, are quite obscure and would have required references on The Other Wiki if The Other Wiki had existed back then. Also, if you don't receive recommendations on which Personal Skills to pour your points into (which you can't take back, by the way, unlike the games that followed), it's very easy to have an underpowered party and struggle through the game.
- Hello, Insert Name Here - To a rather ridiculous extent; you can name not only the party members and Lilka's spells, but almost every single plot-important NPC ally in the game.
- Heroic Sacrifice - This is a major theme throughout the game. Apparently, it's the job of heroes to sacrifice their happiness and their lives so the common people don't have to fight. The game makes a heavy point of pointing out all the myriad flaws of this idea. In the end a planet-wide Combined Energy Attack is much more effective.
- The Hero - The concept is put through the wringer, along with Heroic Sacrifice, above. Ashley's early fixation on becoming a hero comes off as fairly naive, Brad is hostile to the very idea (and blames it for his arrest at the beginning of the game), and Kanon is utterly driven by the need to live up to her legendary ancestor, the Sword Magess. Just to drive it in further, after you fight Kanon for the third time, Judecca comes along to mock her and Ashley and the simplistic black-and-white morality inherent in the idea:
Judecca: The 'Demon' and 'Hero' are passing dreams, a bequest from the past.
- Honor Before Reason - Kanon is obsessed with her family honor, as is Irving. Not particularly surprising as they are in the same family, after all.
- Homoerotic Subtext - Caina and Vinsfield (Caina was male in the Japanese version); definitely also Billy Pilder and Brad Evans, who even manage to avoid being Heterosexual Life-Partners by failing to be heterosexual in any way.
- Caina is male for the entire first disc of the American version, as well. And part of the second.
- Apparently, in Japan, Brad and Billy were slanted as an actual couple, and North America tried to tone it down when they brought it over. Obviously, it didn't work.
- Humongous Mecha - Marivel uses these as her summons. Some of the Bosses are Mecha as well.
- Improbable Weapon User - Lilka (umbrellas) and Marivel (robot-things)
- Insufferable Genius: Marivel, mixed with Proud Warrior Race Girl. And Liz. especially Liz.
- Interchangeable Antimatter Keys - Duplicators.
- Justified Tutorial - All three characters' introductory chapters, since they can be done in any order.
- Let's Split Up, Gang - For the final three sub-boss fights.
- The Lifestream - Glaive Le Gable.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero - Way to go, Irving. You genuinely saved the universe, and all it took was a boatload of Necessary Evil that tore the heroes an emotional new one. Oh, and did I mention that the demon inside of Ashley feeds off of negative feelings? The demon that you put there!?
- Non-Lethal Bottomless Pits
- No Name Given/Only Known by Their Nickname: Lilka's sister, "The Eleniak Witch-Girl". Quite odd, considering she's Famed In-Story to the point of Lilka having a bit of an inferiority complex.
- Our Demons Are Different: Unlike in the other Wild Arms games, the demons here are not aliens, but actual supernatural beings.
- Our Dragons Are Different: They're sentient, bio-mechanical airships.
- Our Vampires Are Different - Marivel and the other Crimson Nobles. They're still pretty traditional Vampires as far as this trope is concerned (Exposure to sunlight is life-threatening, they drink blood, they even have the fancy collars and annoyingly-designed castle).
- Party in My Pocket
- Pensieve Flashback - The Memory Maze
- Percussive Maintenance - Using Brad's kick ability on a malfunctioning computer terminal in the prison level makes it work again, giving you access to a room with a few bonus stat boosters.
- Plot Tailored to the Party - Some of the dungeons are tailored to the party's skills to a ridiculous extreme. Others are slightly justified by having the tool necessary to get through given right there - either left behind by the makers (such as Tim's Air Ballet) or given expressly because it could be used to get through (Ashley's throwing knife).
- The Power of Friendship - A mild theme throughout the game, exemplified in Ashley's Impulse ability in the final battle.
- Recurring Boss - You fight almost every major villain three times, including each member of Cocytus, Kanon, Liz and Ard, and Vinsfeld (the third time is his ghost, as a Bonus Boss).
- Save Point: The Memory Service Ladies who appear in towns and the Amazing Stones that are found in dungeons.
- The Scapegoat - Brad is in jail for a crime he didn't commit; later, Ashley and company almost get executed but Super-Powered Evil Side Ex Machina happens.
- Sealed Good in a Can - Lilka's sister is trapped in another dimension; unusually for this trope, she never gets freed from the can and Lilka even has to give up the hope of ever getting her back to save Ashley instead.
- Shout-Out: The land of Urartu was once the home of the Crimson Nobles, but was genocidally depopulated during the past rampage of Lord Blazer. Urartu is an archaic name for Armenia, where a Real Life genocide in World War One killed 1.5 million Armenians, including nearly the entire Armenian population in most of the former West Armenia.
- Solemn Ending Theme: "Atomic Arms" and "Zephyr's", the ending themes of Disc 1 and 2 respectively.
- Sprite/Polygon Mix - Overworld sprites, polygon battle screens.
- Stable Time Loop - Ashley meets the Sword Magess, Lucied, and Marivel during a time travel sequence.
- Stupid Sacrifice - Luckily averted in Tim's case, and is a major theme throughout the story.
- Theme Music Power-Up
- Transforming into Knight Blazer is accompanied by an awesome theme song that lets it be known that you're about to kick some serious ass.
- The final boss theme is a remix of the game's main theme, "You'll Never Be Alone". Appropriately, Ashley has just transformed into a warrior capable of wielding the Argetlahm and using The Power of Friendship to kick ass.
- The Very Definitely Final Dungeon - The final dungeon in this game sees the party heading into the living, mud core of the planet called Glaive Le Gable, where an encroaching parallel universe has been manifested into a physical form. Before this dungeon was a huge, inverted Spiral Tower located conveniently on the center of the world map, and on the highest point to boot.
- The Voice: Lilka's sister.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist
- Odessa wants to unify the world... with themselves on top, of course, in such a way that they're also Western Terrorists.
- Kanon starts out as this when you first meet her, but she gets better.
- Then there's the man behind Odessa: Irving.
- What the Hell, Hero? - To say Ashley is outraged over Baskar Village's plans for Tim would be a huge understatement. He's also outraged that Irving arranged for him to be sent to Ilsveil Prison, risking both his and Lilka's lives, just to recruit Brad.