Wild ARMs 5, released in Japan as Wild ARMs: The Vth Vanguard on 2007, returns us once again to the improbably disaster-prone planet of Filgaia.Humans struggle under the rule of the Veruni, a highly-advanced race of Human Aliens that conquered the planet a century ago. The world is full of Lost Technology, the most prominent ones being Humongous Mecha known as Golems and special weapons called ARMs. Those who search for this Lost Technology are known as Golem Hunters.Dean Stark is an average 16-year-old boy who dreams of leaving his tiny hamlet and becoming a world-renowned Golem Hunter. One day he witnesses something fall from the sky: a golem's arm clutching a strange white-haired girl named Avril. What begins as a simple quest to help Avril regain her lost memories soon develops into something far more grandiose as Dean learns the true extent of the divide between the Human and Veruni races, and vows to reform a system that is hurting both sides.Joining Dean and Avril on their journey are: Rebecca Streisand, Dean's childhood friend who dreams of becoming a famous gunslinger; Greg Russellberg, a drifter and "Golem Crusher" who has vowed to destroy all Golems; Carol Anderson, a child prodigy with an interest in Golem research; and Chuck Preston, a rookie Golem Hunter looking to climb the ranks.Wild ARMs 5 uses the same engine and HEX battle system from Wild ARMs 4 but with several refinements and improvements. The number of members allowed in battle at once is reduced to three, while the much derided need to choose between movement and attack was removed. For dungeons, the use of tools to solve puzzles returns in the form of unique bullets for Dean's ARM, combined with other actions such as sliding and stomping. Being published on the tenth anniversary of the franchise, it also includes a ton of references and cameos from previous Wild ARMs games.This game provides examples of:
Arbitrary Head Count Limit: Although you eventually have 6 (7, if you count Asgard) party members, only 3 can fight in battle. If using Asgard, none of the other characters can fight.
Arc Words: "You can do anything as long as you don't give up!" Starts out as Dean's Catch Phrase, but eventually becomes this when everybody starts saying it.
Artistic License - Physics: When Dean and Greg are jumping off a train, they use grenade blasts to cushion their fall. And no one gets singed.
Pretty much anything Captain Bartholomew does.
Awesome, but Impractical: The Limit Break combo moves between two characters have some of the best effects in the game, but their damage output is less than spectacular. Especially after characters can use Finest Arts.
Baleful Polymorph: The Misery status effect turns the character into an adorable anthromorphic cat version of themselves, as well as disabling all commands but Move.
Beast and Beauty: Averted. Kartikeya is unusually friendly towards Avril when he first meets her, even calling her a "young lady". However, she has no interest in him.
Big Damn Heroes: Dean, Rebecca, and Avril showing up just in time to save Chuck.
Bittersweet Ending: Although the world is saved and Veruni and humans will now live in peace, Avril is stuck in an infinte Stable Time Loop for all of eternity, never to be with Dean except for the brief period during the game.
Bleached Underpants: The character designer produced (and still does) hardcore doujinshi under the pen name of Shuhan/Syuhan/Article 60 of Criminal Code.
Can't Hold His Liquor: A random Drifter whose status as a lightweight is even in his "name." You first meet him in Gounon (a wine-making town), and he keeps having bad brushes with alcohol everywhere he goes.
Carrying the Antidote: In battle, some poison-inducing enemies have Antidotes on them that you can steal. The giant moth boss Twilight Venom is a good example.
Cerebus Syndrome: The light and funny tussle over a mirror early in the game stands in stark contrast to the hundreds of people who Volsung immolates alive near the end.
Diary: Used as a framing device to end each chapter. Rebecca reads her entry on whatever events have happened at the end of each "chapter." They also often foreshadow the Bittersweet Ending. Her diary also plays a minor role in the plot, first as an introduction to her character when Dean finds in the ruins, and later she tries to get him to read it to explain how she feels about him since she can't work up the courage to do it verbally.
Dean fights Nightburn, who betrayed the image he had over him.
Rebecca faces Persephone, both struggling because of their feelings.
Greg gets Kartikeya, who murdered his family.
Carol gets her mentor Elvis.
Chuck faces Fereydoon, who puts in question Fereydoon's blind loyalty and love for Lucille.
Dull Surprise: Joseph has a bit of trouble with this. In particular, his flashback scene to where finds his daughter and grandson murdered. He emotes anger fine, but his shock and sadness mostly consists of blank staring.
Good Bad Translation: A French exclusive one. While the English translation was perfectly fine, the French translation was completely off. The translators included private jokes which were completely absent from the original script, affecting the personality of characters, and the overall mood of the game. While some of these changes are funny (Go Goldorak, GO !!! upon the discovery of the golem), some are crossing the line, like a NPC who says in a dialogue the slogan of the actual French president, Nicolas Sarkozy ("Work more in order to earn more"). A lot of French anglophones switched to the English translation because of that.
Gotta Kill Them All: Toward the end of the game, you have to track down each of the Four Sentinels and defeat them. Although only one of them actually dies, and it's by his own hand.
Ham and Cheese: In-universe example - Nightburn's wacky Golem Hunter's Guild commercial.
Hopeless Boss Fight: Always immediately recognizable since attacks will have no effect and scans reveal that there's no experience for winning.
Human Aliens: They're even called humans. Justified, since they are humans. Just ones that have had divergent evolution.
Human Resources: The Locus Solus' main gun, the Darkness Tear, is powered by life force. Volsung fires off a warning shot powered by every Veruni aboard at the time, one of whom was his second-in-command's grandmother.
Infant Immortality: Averted with Greg's son. When Kartikeya threatens Greg in a flashback, his son steps in front of him. He promptly gets blasted, much to his parent's horror.
Interspecies Romance: This is quite common. Volsung's parents were a Veruni father and a human mother. Persephone's elder sister, now deceased, was once Nightburn's lover. Lucille and Fereydoon are glaringly obvious.
Item Crafting: The Tim Expy in Mithysmere can synthesize new badges from ones you collected.
Lazy Backup: Despite having 3 party members sitting on the sidelines somewhere twiddling their thumbs, it's still Game Over if the three currently in battle die.
Let's Split Up, Gang: In the beginning of TF Tower O, your party must split up into two groups. However, only Dean's group will go through the tower; the other group only fights one boss.
Lethal Joke Item: 100% Orange is a Badge that reduces the damage you give or take to 100 and prevents you from being healed, and you have to turn in a Sheriff Star to get one. Might seem counterproductive, but that means even Bonus Boss monsters capable of dealing more damage than you can ever have Hit Points will only deal 100 damage. A character equipped with 100% Orange can shrug off powerful blows and revive their allies turn after turn (granted, they only get 100 HP back), making Superbosses a cakewalk.
Equip your characters with the Boxing Glove badge, and their critical hit animations turn into incredibly flashy Finest Arts. It also allows Greg and Avril to subvert Informed Ability by using their weapons' secondary functions (Greg's sword in his gun, Avril's whip.]]
The Maze: All of the bonus dungeons except Cocytus.
Milestone Celebration: The game was released in 2007 — a decade since the first Wild ARMs game was released. Thus as a celebration the makers decide to put lots of cameos from previous games.
Monowheel Mayhem: Dean obtains a monowheel for faster transportation around world map areas.
Mythology Gag: So many it qualifies as Fanservice. All the previous game's playable characters appear as NPCs and reference their previous roles and relationships. Some of the alternate costumes for the heroes also resemble outfits from previous Wild ARMs heroes.
A somewhat obscure one may be present in the form of Nightburn's name, which can easily be construed as a synonym-slash-homonym for Knight Blazer.
The most powerful armor in the game, Nine Lives, has appeared in previous Wild ARMs games; however, this is the first time it looks like Knight Blazer, and even plays its battle theme.
One of These Doors Is Not Like the Other: During the Deadly Game segment, you're inside a square room with three identical exits and one slightly different one. Most of the differences are obvious, but the last one not so much note Shooting the pot next to the correct door gives you money, the ones next to the incorrect doors are empty. Bonus points for starting a random encounter if the short time limit runs out.
Point of No Return: Save on a different file after beating Volsung the first time and heading to Locus Solus.
The Psycho Rangers: Each of the your party members has a rival in one of the villains. Lighthearted and idealistic Dean has to face the defeated dog of the villains, his idol Nightburn; Rebecca ends up with Persephone, both of which share the same inability to express their feelings for their loved ones (Dean and Nightburn, respectively); family man Greg fights his family's killer, the Ax-Crazy Kartikeya; Avril has story reasons for rivaling Volsung, leader of the radical Veruni; small but heavily-armed Carol fights against her former caregiver, the muscular Elvis; and Chuck rivals the surprisingly noble Fereydoon over the same girl.
Shaggy Search Technique: An actual solution to a puzzle in the Memorial Sanctuary.note Near the end of the dungeon, you have to go through doorways that a torch is pointing to, but the last torch points to a corner instead. Search that corner and this trope happens.