The long-awaited sequel to Legend of Heroes VI and the second arc of the Kiseki series, 'Zero no Kiseki'' moves the setting to the bright lights of the wealthy but corrupt city of Crossbell. Four rookie cops are enlisted to improve the reputation of the police. Of course, it doesn't stop there...One of the game's unique points is its intense focus on the city of Crossbell as a setting. Unlike Trails In The Sky, which has you bouncing around a number of roughly-equal-sized locations and learning some stuff about each to make up a country as a whole, Crossbell is gigantic and makes up a substantial portion of the entire game. While you will eventually leave the city limits to travel to other parts of the wider Crossbell State, these all really serve as "suburbs" of the city itself and the focus is on Crossbell City itself, in all its grand, towering, corrupt, decadent glory. When combined with series staples like orbments, it creates a fairly unique "Urban Fantasy in The Fifties" atmosphere. The only really comparable games would be the Shin Megami Tensei games, and even then there's a lot of differences in tone and content.This game got a sequel called Ao no Kiseki featuring the same characters and continuing the plot (in the same manner that Trails in the Sky SC continued Trails FC). Feel free to add related tropes. Ao no Kiseki is in turn followed by the unrelated Nayuta No Kiseki, but the next story in Zemuria Sen No Kiseki, which takes place in the Erebonian empire, was released on September 2013.
This game contains examples of:
A-Cup Angst: Tio, Sully and and Shirley all have a bit of this.
Abandoned Laboratory: Any location the D∴G Cult has left behind is pretty much one of these by definition and that means that they tend to house various demons summoned by the Cult and sometimes monsters that used to be human before Gnosis was used on them
Abandoned Mine: There are two mines in Mainz, one of which has been shut down and can only be entered in the second game. It's the first area where you observe higher dimensional phenomena at work in the form of the very first Phantom Beast.
Absurdly Spacious Sewer: The Geofront complex is a high-tech combination of sewage treatment and recycling, power distribution and the location for all the cabling and many access terminals for the experimental Orbal Network. It's designed on a large scale to permit easy access, repair and expansion.
And it houses all the machines necessary to complete the alchemical circle encompassing the entire country, providing additonal justification for all that space
Air-Vent Passageway: Some of the ducts in the Geofront are large enough for grown adults to walk through. Definitely not true for air vents in buildings though.
All Chinese People Know Kung-Fu: Toyed with, because while the entire staff of Heiyue does know martial arts and are as close to Chinese as it's possible to get in Zemuria, they're also all trained to fight because they're gangsters, not because they're Chinese. The rest of the Chinese-inspired characters in Crossbell don't play according to this trope.
Alternate Timeline: KeA essentially created one, with the original timeline completely overwritten aside from the (supressed) memories of the people most directly affected by the manipulation.
Anachronism Stew: Applies a fair bit once again. While most of Crossbell is styled heavily on the 1930s-to-50s, there are still things like Lloyd's very modern-looking jacket, most of the Bracers insist on using melee weapons (so do Lloyd and Randy, for that matter, despite being police officers with access to government-issue firearms), and the beginnings of an internet being worked on in Crossbell (a technology that wouldn't really get serious use until the latter parts of The Sixties in reality). Crossbell itself is also a bit of an anachronism in the wider setting, given how much higher the technology base is comparatively (but then, non-Crossbellans point out in-universe how disorienting they find modern Crossbell at times, so this is likely intentional on Falcom's part).
Amusement Park: Michelam Wonderland, complete with ferris wheel, roller coaster, minigames galore and its mascot character Michey. Some of the developments outside the park proper are visited in Zero while the park itself becomes open to the player in Ao.
Amusement Park of Doom: Briefly becomes this when Campanella uses his powers to change Michelam Wonderland into Fool's Wonderland, complete with creepy clown imagery and ghost monsters. It's all an illusion. Becomes this again when the Pleroma Flowers start blooming among its grounds.
Angel Unaware: The Hayworths assume this to be the case when they hear from Colin that "a girl with purple hair just like Papa's" appeared to save his life, then vanished. They're, oh, about 25% right. Renne has been called an angel before, but of aratherdifferentkind.
Anti-Frustration Features: You can buy or find some of the Great Success/Epic Failure cooking items that need to be exchanged as part of sidequests, in case you missed finding the recipe. Ao also provides a way to acquire a second Zemurian Stone (three in NG+) which isn't linked to finding fourteen books with very limited acquisition windows.
Art Shift: Although the sprites and world design remain the same, the characters got a very different art style this time. Just compare Joshua in this game with Trails In The Sky Joshua, or Estelle. A little justifiable in that they're older now, but still.
Also, (late-game spoiler) Renne got somewhat more redesigned than one would think. She looks a bit older, sure, but her hair, which was a kind of pale lavender in SC and was a little brighter in Third, is now a violent shade of electric pink. Even more hilariously, she has her dad's hair.
Abbas, Mireille, Sully and Michel are upgraded with portraits in Ao no Kiseki. The latter three are also integrated into main plot (in Zero, they're just parts of sidequests). Abbas, on the other hand...
A Taste of Power: Subverted in Zero where it looks like this will be the case at the start but the scene ends without any action. Played straight in Ao when you start with Arios and Dudley in your party, many levels higher than Lloyd and Noel and with a set of extremely powerful Crafts and high-level Master Quartz.
Auction of Evil: Crossbell annually hosts a Black Auction, where Revache and Co auction off totally legitimately acquired art to the rich and powerful. The police can't do anything about it because Revache has very powerful friends in Crossbell's government (including the man hosting the event) and it's regularly attended by scores of legitimate tax-paying citizens. The centerpiece of the auction during the events of Zero is a new Rosenberg doll, which actually is a legitimate sale. Except that it's a cover story for the real 'item' being auctioned: A little girl named KeA.
Badass: Arios. How badass is he? When he was first introduced, it was mentioned that an application is pending to have him declared an S-Rank Bracer. For everyone who's played the previous games, yeah, he's that good.
Word of Badass: Wazy reflects that Arianrhod is undeniably on a whole different level from other people... but his superior might be capable of taking her on. He may not be correct but the fact that he thinks it's even possible says volumes about how powerful Ein must be.
Badass Family: The Brights were already this, then they adopted Renne
Also, the Orlando family, who are the leaders of the Jaeger group Red Constellation. Very badass and very scary
Badass in a Nice Suit: Befitting his role as chief enforcer of the local mob boss, Garcia 'Killing Bear' Rossi wears a nice suit when he's at a fancy party and when he's beating you within an inch of your life. Dudley also wears a very nice suit, though he'll take the jacket off before using his S-Crafts to knock you into next week.
Bare Your Midriff: Rixia, Ilya, Wazy, Wald and Shirley, although the latter two barely cover anything.
Barrier Warrior: Tio, a somewhat straighter example than Kevin because at least she's kinda frail and her normal attack is weak. On the other hand, when she's not protecting the team with Zero Field, she's also one of the best Art users in the party. In Ao we also see Kevin extending his Grail Sphere barrier to an entire airship
Beach Episode: Done literally in the Intermission of Ao as Mariabell provides most of the cast with an all-expenses-paid trip to Michelam Wonderland for some much-needed time off. The trip includes a morning of exclusive access to the newly opened Lake Beach. Pretty much every staple of the trope either appears or is name-dropped.
Beware the Nice Ones: This game and its prequel series will have you second-guessing everybody's motives.
BFG: Randy and Shirley's weapons in Ao incorporate these.
BFS: Randy's Berserga in Ao incorporates one, Yin weilds a large blade which is amusing because underneath that outfit, Rixia is a fairly skinny girl. Arios' katana is also rather long and while it's technically a Big Fricking Chainsaw the size of Shirley's weapon counts.
Also, Earnest's sword is fairly big and gets even bigger in his Demon and True Demon forms. And along the same lines Demon Wald's sword is enormous.
Big Applesauce: While clearly not actually New York, Crossbell City as a setting takes a lot of obvious cues from the New York of the 1930s-to-50s in terms of fashion, design sense and culture.
Big Bad Friend: Arios was this to Guy until the latter figured things out. Then when Guy attempted to reason with Arios, Ian shot him in the back. Arios winds up becoming this to your party as well since he becomes friendly with you over the course of the first game (out of a sense of loyalty to Guy and his massive guilt complex) until you get too close to uncovering the same conspiracy that got Guy killed three years ago...
Also, Mariabell to Elie since the two were close friends before The Reveal.
Arios actually does it on purpose in some cases; he usually waits and sees if Lloyd and co. can solve the problem at hand by themselves. He only steps in if they bite off more than they can chew. This is likely due to the fact that Arios and Guy (Lloyd's brother) were close friends and worked as a team before Guy's death so Arios is looking out for Lloyd in Guy's place.
Absolutely everyone during the events of Crossbell's Longest Day.
Ao no Kiseki is full of too many of these to count.
Bishie Sparkle: Ke A gets these with some frequency. Other characters occasionally get in on the fun too.
Bittersweet Ending: At the end of Ao no Kiseki, Lloyd and co. manage to save KeA and stop the treasure of zero from going on further rampage. However, Crossbell City is taken over by The Empire and Ouroboros gets away with everything and even manages to add Shirley and Mariabell into their ranks. Plus, Prime Minister Gilias Osborne of the said empire, who is allied with Ouroboros, wins over the nobles of The Empire and gains nearly complete control of Erebonia, which can only mean trouble. Although it's implied in the final ending CG that Crossbell city will get liberated within few years, the ending is hardly uplifting.
Blackmail: One of the ways D∴G increased their influence and cash reserves at the same time, and a particularly disgusting example: Kidnap children and force them into prostitution as well as using them in Gnosis experiments. Encourage the rich and famous to patronize Paradise, then blackmail them to keep their crime a secret. The Cult effectively controls Representative Hartmann in this way.
Blade on a Stick: Arianrhod's massive lance. Next to that, the Stun Halberd used by members of the Crossbell Guardian Force (including Randy) barely rates a mention.
Bluff the Impostor: In one sidequest in Ao, the SSS is trying to determine which passenger on a train stole a ticket to Oled. When they've narrowed it down to the ones heading to that country (both of whom claim to be from there), Shin appears to lend a hand, asking one of the suspects which of three names belongs to Oled's famous hot spring. After the man picks one of the answers, Shin tells him that Oled doesn't have any hot springs, as anyone who lived there would know.
Boss Bonanza: The final dungeons of both games, naturally. Also Monastery of the Moon and Stargaze Tower in Ao featuring four bosses each, including That One Boss.
Boss Rush: The second visit to Michelam Wonderland in Ao begins with a string of fights against powered-up versions of previously fought Phantom Beasts.
Bragging Rights Reward: Some of the monster chest treasures become this by default because they are almost impossible to earn on a first playthrough due to the levels of the monsters in question. You can deliberately avert this on a replay by choosing not to carry over certain things like levels or equipment, thus making it possible to actually get the chest treasures while making them much more useful.
Brainwashed and Crazy: Earnest especially but anyone using Gnosis in Zero qualifies as the person who created it specifically designed it to have this effect in addition to the usual properties
Brick Joke: A bit of post-sidequest NPC dialogue in SC has a character thinking up names for kittens and musing that Kuro could be a shortening of Klaudia (it makes sense in Japanese) as well as a reference to the kitten being black. In Zero, Lechter finds a black cat and calls it Kuro.
Cat Girl: The sensors on Tio's headband look remarkably like cat ears.
Call Back: Lots, to the previous trilogy. Chapter 2 (Day 2) of Ao is loaded with these, since it's when so many familiar faces arrive in Crossbell. In short order, references are made to Julia's fan club, Renne and the Brights, R&A Research, the Non-Agression Treaty and Axis Pillar.
Cameo: The Wildcat appears in the background at Crossbell's airport during part of Zero no Kiseki, in a sequence set up during The 3rd. It appears again in Ao and is part of a Support Request.
Cargo Cult: The village where Wazy was born worshiped a deity who turned out to be an Artifact. Wazy was viewed as blessed because his partially awakend Stigma allowed him to hear the 'Voice of God'
Charity Ball: Ao features one of these as a sidequest where the SSS is asked to help with the preparations for one after Red Constellation wrecks the Entertainment and Waterfront Districts and the IBC Building. One of the female characters will be roped into the Miss Crossbell Contest after another entrant isn't able to participate. She can't actually win though.
Chaste Hero: Lloyd, although apparently it's in the blood.
Chilly Reception: All of Crossbell City to the newly formed SSS, including the rest of the police force. They're seen as 1) A rookie, a dilettante, a little girl and a washout respectively 2) Wannabe Bracers, 3) A glorified publicity stunt and 4) A laughingstock after their first mission. It takes quite a while before things get better.
City of Adventure: Considering that Falcom managed to squeeze as much content into Crossbell City as they did in the entire Kingdom of Liberl, it definitely counts.
City of Spies: Crossbell edges into this trope, given that the city is divided into factions that support Erebonia and Calvard and agents from both countries are active in the background, along with Wazy and Abbas keeping tabs on things for the Church and later Ries keeping tabs on the Church.
City of Weirdos: Played for laughs in a scene in Ao. When a (justifiably) worried mother asks her daughter if she's seen anyone strange walking around the city lately, she says that she sees a lot of strange people and mentions several who stood out from the rest, then remarks that one of the SSS members who just left is pretty weird himself. For added points, the people she mentions (a young man who looks like he's on vacation and a nun carrying a mountain of bread) are known to the player.
Combination Attack: Replacing the Chain Craft system from the previous trilogy are Combo Crafts, which are learned through the plot or sidequests and involve two characters performing a unique attack. They require 100 CP from each character but won't drain excess unlike S-Crafts (nor can they be used to S-Break) and they are extremely powerful.
Comm Links: The Enigma model of Tactical Orbment functions somewhat like this, although their range is limited by the reach of Crossbell's Orbal Network. Both the CSPD and the Bracers have been assigned the Enigma to test all its capabilities.
Continuity Lockout: Ao no Kiseki. Sweet Aidios. It requires at least basic knowledge of what happened in Zero and SC. Then, some characters' goals, behavior and interactions won't make a lot of sense if one hasn't played The 3rd.
Convenient Decoy Cat: Lechter arranges this to deflect suspicion from the fact that several individuals the Mafia would like a word with are hiding behind the curtains of his room.
Cool Airship: The Red Constellation has a customized airship called the Beowulf.
Being a Dominion, Wazy has access to a Merkabah of his own and Kevin also arrives with his. The class gets retroactively more awesome with the reveal that they have optical camoflage, beam weaponry and Mode-S, which allows a Dominion to channel the power of their Stigma through the ship for massively increased effects. Kevin is able to extend his Grail Sphere barrier to protect the entire ship... and use the Stigma Cannon.
Also, the two terrorist groups that attack Orchis Tower in Ao have advanced military-grade gunships designed by the premier manufacturers of their respective countries.
Cool Car: The SSS gets one in Ao no Kiseki and the player can customize it with both aesthetic and functional parts. KeA gets giddy when she gets to ride in it for the first time.
Noel also has a pretty cool car she operates while working with the Crossbell Guardian Force. Some mention also has to be given to Dieter's limousine, which is a fancy looking car designed by the Reinford Company for VIPs, bulletproof armour plating and glass included.
Car Fu: Dieter is happy to use said limo as an improvised weapon while helping extricate the SSS from a tight spot. Noel then takes the Car Fu Crown by doing this with her armored car, forcing several other armored cars off the road near Zero's climax.
Cop Show: The heroes issue parking tickets as well as fight monsters.
Cosmic Retcon: KeA's rewriting of history to bring the SSS and the Brights together is one of these on a massive scale, undoing the 'original' ending of Zero and making the subsequent games possible. It also may explain the timeline discrepancy between when Estelle and Joshua arrived in Crossbell according to The 3rd (mid 1203) and Zero (early/mid 1204).
This was also the entire goal of the Azure Zero Plan, rewriting Crossbell's history in the hope that the result would be a more powerful and independent state.
Cover Identity Anomaly: At one point the SSS is trying to find a criminal suspected of smuggling counterfeit goods into Crossbell. The clue to discovering which of several possible parties is the guilty one is to find the one who forgot to research their excuses properly, specifically by stating they've been to Michelam Wonderland before... but it wasn't open yet the last time they claim to have visited Crossbell.
Crash into Hello: Kirika meets the SSS through one of these by deliberately crashing into a suspect they were pursuing.
Crapsack City: The premise of the arc. Crossbell State is a young country situated in what used to be a hotly disputed area between the much larger Erebonian Empire and the Republic of Calvard. Both nations still want that territory for themselves and take every opportunity to try to upstage the other, to the inevitable detriment of Crossbell itself. The city is internationally known as the "City of Sin" and is famous for its Black Auction. The government is divided into factions. The Mafia has ties to major government figures so they can operate more or less with impunity and there's a second underworld group starting to engage in a shadow war with them at the start of the games, making everything worse. The downtown area experiences regular violence as its two resident gangs fight for dominance. The police who really care and try to do the right thing aren't allowed to make a difference to Crossbell's biggest problems because of the political situation. The people have basically given up on their government and its officers and have turned to the Bracers... and this is the situation Crossbell is in when the game starts and the idealistic Lloyd and company are assigned to the newly formed Special Support Section.
It gets worse, of course. First there's Joachim, a survivor of the demon-summoning, child-enslaving D∴G Cult who wants to unleash a Zombie Apocalypse on the city to further his research into Gnosis and the goals of his Cult. Then there's the people behind D∴G who have been using the city as a staging area for centuries to try to recreate the power of one of the Sept-Terion... and then Ouroboros gets involved and everything really goes to hell.
Just to give you an idea how much the setting sucks, realize that Elie's parents divorcing due to Crossbell's factional tensions and leaving their young daughter alone with her grandfather is one of the least traumatic backstories and/or plot developments in the arc.
Before that, we have Tio defeating Campanella, in A FREAKING TETRIS GAME.
Also the three Aion units versus the combined military forces of Erebonia and Calvard. It ends with two completely destroyed divisions and Garelia Fortress being reduced to a perfectly spherical hole in the ground
Curtain Camouflage: Your party hides from Mafia pursuit by ducking behind some heavy curtains. This really only works because the room you're hiding in belongs to someone the guards trust, he's covering for you and he arranges an additional distraction.
Cute and Psycho: Shirley is easy on the eyes and her introduction is cute (for a given value of cute) but you don't want to be there when she loses it.
Deadly Upgrade: Lloyd's Burning Heart Craft which raises all stats for five turns. At the end of those turns, he takes damage and is inflicted with Faint, which can't be prevented even with a Grail Locket.
Death Trap and Deadly Game: Campanella lures the SSS to Jona's Hacker Cave, locks them inside with a large amount of explosives and tells them he'll unlock the door if you can beat him at Pomtto in a best out of three match. He's a good enough sport to not only allow you to substitute a player but to actually let you out after he gets his ass handed to him.
Digital Avatar: Players of Pomtto have avatars similar to the actual appearance of the person. Similarly, during the hacking plotlines, the users are visually represented by an abstracted figure amid lines of code.
Disability Superpower: Since she is blind, Shizuku has developed her hearing to the point where she can identify both the identity and the number of people in her vicinity just by their footsteps.
Disc One Final Dungeon: The inner levels of Orchis Tower. Following a whirlwind tour of the plot-significant dungeons from the previous game (including a fight with That One Boss, a sign in previous games that you're getting close to the end), you fight to the obvious location where the people behind everything are controlling events, fight your way to the top... and then you realize that you've forgotten something. Namely, that huge tree that appears in the opening movie but hasn't yet shown up in the game...
Distant Finale: The last part of Ao's ending takes place about two years after the rest of the game and the series hasn't yet caught up to that point.
Doppelgänger Attack: Yin can create duplicates during battle. Fortunately they have less HP and fewer attacks than the original. Unfortunately, they still have the attack with the 90% chance of inflicting Death. Rixia manages to lose this ability when she joins you, both masked as Yin and as herself, probably because it would break the difficulty otherwise.
Duvalie also has this ability. In a departure from series tradition, her duplicates have more health than she does.
Dragged by the Collar: How the Seeker sisters persuade Lloyd to go on a date with the two of them during Crossbell's anniversary festivities.
Dramatic Irony: The D∴G Cult preaches that Eidos is a lie spread by the Septian Church which has held humanity back for centuries and kept them under the control of the Church. The Cult preaches the existence of the True God 'D' and hopes that by using Gnosis, they will awaken their sleeping god and usher in a new age for humanity. The entire cult is revealed to be itself a lie, created by people who were attempting to recreate one of the seven treasures Eidos bestowed upon humanity. It doesn't get much better than that.
For that extra special touch, the 'D' the Cult was trying to awaken was the sleeping power of Demiourgos, which is known as the 'Hollow God' in the same way that Aureole is also known as the 'Shining Ring'.
Driving Question: If you weren't paying attention to the beginning of Zero, you might not even realize there was one, until Ao forcefully brings it back to your attention: Why were Estelle and Joshua not present during the opening sequence of Zero?
Dual Wielding: Lloyd does this with tonfas, Noel packs dual SMGs and Sigmund swings around a pair of enormous axes. Elie normally only uses a single pistol but can pull out a pair when executing Divine Crusade.
Duel Boss: Lloyd convinces Noel to abandon Dieter's plan and join La Résistance after beating her in a one-on-one duel
Dueling Hackers: Tio and Jona versus Kitty. Since the Orbal Network that functions as a rudimentary internet also provides the power to the computers and those computers are running the International Bank of Crossbell, the simple solution of unplugging the machines either from the network or entirely isn't really an option.
In Ao, Tio and Jona versus Campanella.
Elemental Absorption: A pair of Quartz (The Helios Orb and Selene Orb) allow a character to absorb all elemental attacks from either the basic four elements or the higher three.
Elemental Powers: Because of the way Orbments work, all characters except for Lloyd have at least one Slot restricted to one of the seven types of Quartz, giving them a natural inclination towards one element or another. Despite this, actual specialization is mostly a matter of player choice combined with line setups. The presence of Master Quartz in Ao (which take the place of the previously restricted central Slot) let pretty much any character accumulate a lot of points in any of the seven Art families.
Enemy Scan: Tio's Analyzer skill lets you see all stats and item drops, plus the enemy description and then it lowers DEF and ADF as a bonus. The Battle Scope item and Analyze spell perform the same task minus the debuffing. The Information Quartz provides a temporary version of this that doesn't result in a Monster Encyclopedia entry while the Dragon's Eye Quartz lets you get an Encyclopedia entry by killing that enemy while it's equipped.
Engineered Public Confession: Lloyd gets Rixia to admit to a large group of people (including her current employer) that it's obvious that what's most important to her is Arc en Ciel. This forces her to deal with that side of herself and convinces Cao to cancel her contract.
Ensign Newbie: Noel joins the SSS at the start of Ao and is technically a rookie to that group but seeing how she's already an officer in the CGF she's hardly a newbie. Played a bit closer to straight with Wazy since his prior occupations were running a bar and a gang.
Epic Fail: A new feature introduced into the cooking system is multiple outcomes. Depending on a variety of factors, you can produce what you were trying to cook, something better than you were trying for or epic failure. You're actually rewarded for getting all the 'bad' results since both games provide someone who wants the things. There's also results beyond epic failure, producing cat food, fishing bait and 'a failed cooking experiment serving as a warning to others'. There's also the extremely rare Epic Fail that produces U-Material. Somehow.
Her father gets his own such moment almost immediately afterwards.
Everyone Meets Everyone: Happens ten minutes into Zero when all four main characters meet each other for the first time. It makes sense as the SSS was just formed and officially commissioned as the game began.
Evil Eye: Joachim is able to recreate Weissmann's power, although this may also be somewhat recursive since it's suggested Weissmann may have gotten the power from researching demons, which is also in part where Gnosis comes from... though it turns out the powers were ultimately an illusion so who knows.
Evilutionary Biologist: Dr. Joachim Gunter. The D∴G Cult believe that the Septian Church and belief in Eidos are holding humanity back. Their Gnosis experiments were intended to put humanity where it 'should' have been. Said experiments included summoning demons and creating drugs based on researching the demons, kidnapping children and testing the drugs on them to inevitably horrifying results and using some of the survivors as child prostitutes for blackmail purposes.
Surprisingly, manages to avert the usual Science Is Bad aspect of the trope since it's clear they're an abberation... and ultimately revealed to be The Pawn in someone elses scheme.
Exposition Cut: Used frequently to keep the characters from repeating things the player already knows. Also used on occasion to avoid repeating things the player is presumed to already know, such as the main plot of the previous trilogy when Estelle and Joshua explain why they're in Crossbell.
Dieter, Noel, Arios, Sonya and the rest of C.G.F. wear white suits after Dieter revealed his 'plan'. Fortunately, everyone minus Dieter changed their mind.
Evil Versus Evil: In the backstory, at least. Ouroboros and the Cult of D∴G absolutely hate each other and take practically any opportunity to do harm to one another, much to the relief of anyone else in the know.
Bigger spoiler: Of course, in the end, it's all an act; the Cult was a lie from the very start, and Ouroboros knew this. They just kept the pressure on to encourage the "growth" of a being like KeA.
Fanservice: Not really so prevalent in the games themselves, but the promotional material for the Crossbell games tends to pile the sexy on fair bit harder than older Falcom titles (bar perhaps Brandish). Reactions to this tend to be a bit mixed, particularly from older LoH/Falcom fans who were attracted to the series and company for being a bit more sedate than other, contemporary game companies.
The mixed reaction was really not helped by the President of Falcom giving a big interview about how Falcom explicitly doesn't focus on that sort of thing, when some of the promotional material seems to run counter to that.
Ferris Wheel Date Moment: The player can invoke this by taking Lloyd and a character of your choice to the wheel in Michelam Wonderland.
Fiery Coverup: Dieter and Mariabell arrange for this to happen to the IBC, at the hands of The Red Constellation.
Flashback Nightmare: Lloyd has a nightmare in Ao, flashing back to the end of the final boss battle of Zero. Except that unlike what really happened, in his nightmare Estelle and Joshua aren't present, Renne doesn't arrive and Joachim's Taking You with Mesucceeds...
Force-Field Door: A set of doors in the Revache building are guarded by both a physical door and an energy barrier, both of which have to be disabled before you can proceed.
Foreshadowing: In his first appearance in Ao, Olivier mentions 'the Military Academy' and though it isn't named he's referring to Thors, the setting for the immediate next game.
At the very beginning of Ao Kevin mentions that the Grals Ritter are forbidden from operating in Crossbell by order of Bishop Eralda. This is why Wazy is posing as a gang leader/bartender.
Four Element Ensemble: While there are seven elements, the final three become subject to the same mechanics regarding elemental weaknesses and resistances only in some instances. It's also highly relevant to the plot when this happens. The Crois family was attempting to recreate the lost Sept-Terion 'Demiourgos' which goverened Mirage. What they got was the 'Treasure of Zero', all three higher elements in one. The work involved in creating that power led to the weirdness with the higher elements.
Fridge Horror: Sigmund is so terrifyingly powerful that the characters themselves ask if he's really human. He's the second-in-command of Red Constellation, his brother Baldur is even stronger... or was stronger, before he died offscreen as foreshadowed in The 3rd, never appearing in person.
Friendly Local Chinatown: East Street, where many immigrants from Calvard (or Calvard by way of the countries further east) live. It's not limited to that ethnic population though; the Bracers Guild and Fishing Guild are both set up there and the Seeker sisters live in an apartment within the district.
Full Body Disguise: Yin's mask and all-concealing hooded coat which serves two purposes: First, to hide that 'Yin' is a Legacy Character and second, to hide that the current Yin is Rixia.
Gameplay and Story Segregation: Thoroughly averted. Arios' ability to pull off Big Damn Heroes moments in Zero carries over to Ao when he's playable. Arianrhod is just as nasty in gameplay as the reputation that preceeds her.
Geometric Magic: Alchemy is mentioned a fair amount in Zero and in Ao the subject of the books stored in Stargaze Tower become important. It turns out that the Geofront complex is in fact a massive alchemical circle which is crucial to the plan to reawaken the power of Demiourgos.
Guide Dang It: As with Sora No Kiseki, these games are absolutely loaded with it. Between getting max DP, collecting all the books/recipes, finding hidden quests and all those Quartz and other items with secret requirements, players will be uttering this a lot.
One standout example in Zero should suffice to illustrate the depths of Guide Dang It present in the games: In Chapter 4, there's a quest that takes you to Rosenberg Studio and is the only time you'll be allowed past the gate. It's a hidden quest so you have to talk to the right person to trigger it and you can't even do that unless you have almost all possible DP up until that point. Miss a couple of earlier hidden quests or fail a couple of bonus DP conditions and you'll never know this quest exists. You also need to clear this quest if you want to get the rewards for having a full Monster Encyclopedia from Rebecca and for the in-game Record.
Ao has a particularly fun one: A series of hidden quests that are all required for Lloyd to realize something during a story event (which gets you one of the Records) so if you miss finding even one of them, you're out of luck. Finding these quests requires you to go out of your way as the giver likes to hang out in places away from where the player is supposed to be at the time.
The Gunslinger: Elie, Dudley and Sergei all use handguns and the latter two include shotguns in their arsenal. Noel is More Dakka personified with an arsenal starting at the dual-SMG level.
Hacker Cave: Jona has a nice setup in the Geofront. The floor is, naturally, strewn with empty food and drink containers. Apparently Crossbell's pizza delivery boys are really brave because they do deliver down there. It gets cleaned up by Campanella in Ao. With fire.
Haunted Temple: The Monastery of the Moon appears this way when you first visit it, being haunted by undead spirits and demons. Once you clear it out, it's actually quite pleasant. The Fortress of the Sun also comes off this way, being a largely ruined and monster-infested structure. The D∴G Cult sets up shop in its depths, thus contributing to the atmosphere
Heal It With Fire: In a sign that The Dev Team Thinks of Everything, as of Zero no Kiseki it is possible to 'heal' the Frozen status effect by hitting the victim with a fire-elemental attack. Potentially doubles as Worst Aid if accidentally done to you by the enemy. The reverse is also true as the water-elemental Tear spells cure the new status effect Burning.
He Knows Too Much: The reason for Guy's death. Guy realized the plan to use the Treasure of Zero for Crossbell's independence and confronted Arios about it. Ian, who knew Guy would not join them, murdered Guy while Guy was busy trying to persuade Arios to stop the plan.
Hero of Another Story: Even moreso than in Trails In The Sky; Investigator Dudley, Arios MacLaine, Wazy Hemisphere and the Seeker sisters all definitely feel like this and many join the party for a bit. Natch for Estelle & Joshua, too. In fact, those two quite literally have another story going on in the background for a significant portion of the game, in the form of their search for Renne, which eventually intersects violently with the main plot.
Interestingly, most of these characters also join the party in Ao no Kiseki, with Noel and Wazy acting as more or less permanent party members. The Brights (now including Renne) also reappear in Ao. and played major role in the Crossbell invasion.
Lechter and Kirika, Kevin and Ries, Olivier, the four Bracers of Crossbell, and Mireille are this in Ao.
Hero on Hiatus: Ao no Kiseki starts this way for the entire SSS, with Lloyd performing counter-terrorism work, Elie helping out her grandfather, Randy working with the CGF after the events of Zero and Tio back with the Epstein Foundation. Upon returning to Crossbell after the Prologue, Elie joins up again and Noel and Wazy become new members to bring the team up to four. Tio and Randy rejoin in due time, having finished the duties that were keeping them away.
Heroes Prefer Swords: As with the previous trilogy, averted. Nobody in the SSS uses a sword, the closest we get being the bladed part of Randy's Berserga near the end of Ao and the Beam Zanber mode of Tio's staff. Rixia uses a sword but she's not an SSS member and doesn't become a permanent ally until the end of Ao.
Host Club: Toyed with. Trinity doesn't function as one but Wazy moonlights as a host and is in much demand with Crossbell's ladies.
Humongous Mecha: Pater Mater returns in the climax of Zero and again in Ao. Workshop Thirteen has been busy producing more mechanical terrors for you to fight, chief among them the Aion Series, which can operate autonomously or be piloted by a human as needed.
Improvised Weapon: Lloyd and Garcia create some improvised armaments while in captivity and use them in their escape.
Infinity+1 Sword: As with FC and SC, your ultimate reward for completing the book collection quest is the strongest weapon for your character of choice. Also as with FC and SC, actually getting all the books is a massive Guide Dang It. Ao no Kiseki has a bit of mercy on you by providing the means to acquire a second Zemurian Stone without having to collect all the books, which in turn lets you get two per playthrough if you're diligent and three in New Game + after you fight the optional bosses.
There's also character-exclusive Infinity+1 Armor for each SSS member in Zero and for everyone in Ao, plus gender-exclusive Infinity+1 Shoes. All of these can be synthesized and getting the item(s) necessary is much less of a Guide Dang It than the Zemurian Stones are.
Inner City School: Actually completely subverted, there's a running background story where a nun at Crossbell Cathedral is trying to get the youth of Downtown to attend Sunday School without much success. The big fancy church that also educates the children of the rich and powerful is open to everyone, the kids in question just aren't going. This becomes Hilarious in Hindsight since one of Downtown's two gangs is led by a high-ranking agent for the Church in disguise. When Ries arrives in Ao, she has somewhat better luck getting the kids to attend.
In Ao it even uses its newfound sentience to pull a Heroic Sacrifice in order to protect Renne.
Instant Runes: Falcom likes these in general but they took the opportunity to really go all out in these games. These appear during chants and in a couple of Arts, as well as in a number of Crafts and Combo Crafts.
Interface Screw: An unusual example of one happens early in Ao. The party is required to look at all the Support Requests under the guise of getting new members Noel and Wazy up to speed on how the SSS works and one of those requests is an optional monster hunt. You're forced to pass through the area where those monsters are, only to find that someone has already slaughtered them. The request then vanishes from the list as it only existed to set up this encounter. Yes, the game uses its own mechanics as foreshadowing.
The Internet: Crossbell has a rudimentary one in the form of the Orbal Network, installed and undergoing testing by the Epstein Foundation. Originally it was going to be tested in cooperation with Zeiss Central Factory in Liberl but the IBC was able to offer more money and the convenience of Crossbell's existing Geofront system. The Network plays a minor role in the plot of Zero and a larger one in Ao, while being generally important because it's the reason your characters get cellphone Orbments.
Late in Ao it's revealed that the Orbal Network (like so many other things in Crossbell) was developed for the sole purpose of turning the entirety of Crossbell State into an enormous alchemical circle to complete the ritual that will recreate one of the Sept-Terion
Involuntary Group Split: Happens to the party in Ao's Prologue, forcing Lloyd and Noel to go on alone. Much later, you'll run into a Party Scattering situation that forces you to reassemble the entire team.
Item Crafting: A new feature in the Crossbell Arc is the ability to upgrade your weapons or create new items from raw materials. Weapons (and certain protective gear) can be upgraded through the use of U-Material and occasionally Sepith. Accessory upgrades/creation sometimes require Noodle Implements like fish.
Item Amplifier: The effect of the Master Quartz 'Moebius'. It increases the amount of restored HP/EP, increases the range at which you can use items and at max level, even makes the items possess an area of effect. Once you have a few Zeram Capsules, this becomes game-breakingly powerful.
Jurisdiction Friction: The 1st Department of the Crossbell Police like to step in on all the interesting cases, to the annoyance of both the 2nd Department and the Special Support Section. Also, this exists between the Bracers Guild and the CSPD as a whole during the events of Zero. Both issues generally go away after the SSS proves themselves to the rest of the city and restore the faith of the people in their police.
Bishop Eralda does not like the Grals Ritter, which forces their people to operate undercover, such as when Ries arrives in Ao and Wazy and Abbas for the bulk of the games.
Katanas Are Just Better: As in the original trilogy, they're the preferred weapon of Hachiyou Ittou practitioners. Arios does pretty ridiculous damage with it. Of course, he's also twenty levels higher than you are with an amazing assortment of Crafts and a high-level Master Quartz.
Kick the Son of a Bitch: Demon-transformed Earnest is Drunk with Power and zaps Hartmann... who was actively conspiring with Erebonia to return Crossbell to the Empire in return for power. Oh, and he was a former patron of Paradise, meaning that he enjoyed raping little children
Lady Looks Like a Dude: Sully, who talks like a boy, dresses like a boy and has extremely short hair. Lloyd even mistakes her for a boy when they first meet. Sully is not amused.
Land of One City: Crossbell State does have some smaller towns and developments but mostly, it's Crossbell City. Justified in universe by the political situation that led to its existence in the first place and the fact that it's so small that there isn't really room for a second city.
La Résistance: The SSS and the remnants of the CGF form the core of this after Erebonia occupies the country, with covert assistance from a number of characters from the previous trilogy.
Laser-Guided Karma: Joachim is beaten to the point of Body Horror by a party including one of the victims of the cult he helped lead, then additionally fried by yet another survivor of the Gnosis experiments, using technology she can only operate because of those experiments.
Late-Arrival Spoiler: Ao no Kiseki's promotional materials have oodles of these for Zero, especially concerning Rixia and her actual skills and place in the world. Magazine promotional articles have also openly spoil many plot elements from Trails In The Sky SC.
Double Subverted by Lechter. The promotional materials for Zero and Ao didn't shy about revealing his occupation and alignment; yet they keep their mouth shut when it comes to his relationship with Kloe (which is half of the reason of his existence in the first place).
Live Bait: During a hidden Intermission sidequest in Ao, Lloyd, KeA and a chosen female SSS member hunt a monster who is attacking girls at Lake Beach. The plan is for KeA to swim around as bait while the other two look out for the monster. It doesn't quite work out that way...
Lolicon and Shotacon: It's revealed that the Lodge 'Paradise' was both a Gnosis research facility and a means for the D∴G Cult to increase its influence by catering to pedophiles and then blackmailing them. Representative Hartmann was one such individual
Luck-Based Mission: The fishing contests in Ao can become this, particularly the final match against Lakelord. There, victory is determined by three things: Whether you have a wide selection of bait and can remember which ones attract which fish, whether you triggered the conditions necessary to have a Royal Bait EX and the Aqua Ruler needed to use it and whether the RNG decides to play nice when you use a bait that can catch more than one kind of fish.
Luck Manipulation Mechanic: When playing Poker at the casino, you can fold once per 'level' for a nominal loss of tokens and replay the hand. Since the game already runs on video game logic (to prevent Save Scumming your way to infinite Mira from the start of the game) this is understandable from a challenge perspective, even if real gambling doesn't work that way.
Make a Wish: The centerpiece of the Mirror Castle attraction at Michelam Wonderland is a bell and a mirror. After you ring the bell, you look into the mirror while making a wish and it's believed your wish will come true. Lloyd can take a large number of characters with him and see what their wishes are. Sometimes, what they say they wished for isn't what they really wished for. Every wish winds up coming true, eventually.
Meaningful Name: Arianrhod's 'Iron Brigade' is a reference to the Eisenritter, a group of warriors who fought in a civil war in Erebonia 250 years ago. Arianrhod is in fact Lianne Sandlot, the leader of the Eisenritter who was supposed to have died under mysterious circumstances.
Merchant City: Crossbell is a trade hub between Erebonia and Calvard to the west and east and Liberl and Remiferia to the south and north. It's the capital and heart of Crossbell State and unlike its Liberlian equivalent of Bose, there is a thriving Black Market run by the Mafia. It's also the second-largest city in western Zemuria, after Erebonia's capital Heimdallr.
Metamorphosis: The end result of Red Gnosis use is becoming a gigantic demonic creature. This turns out to have been foreshadowed in The 3rd with the strange substance Renne was made to take in Paradise and (sort of) by the boy who transformed into a demon that Kevin was forced to kill.
This also happens to Wald, who uses a new kind of Gnosis where the transformation was caused by Wald's will to gain more power, rather than as an inherent property of the drug itself.
Meteor Move: Garcia does this with his S-Craft Killing Drive.
Minigame Zone: In Zero, the casino in the Entertainment District offers Shout-Out fun, three different games to play and a nice assortment of items you can purchase with your winnings. Evolution adds even more minigames scattered throughout Crossbell. Ao adds Michelam Wonderland. Getting Sidetracked By The Golden Saucer is entirely possible in these games, even moreso when you include fishing.
Mythology Gag: Halfway in the game Lloyd and a character he choose disguises themselves and Lloyd uses his dead family member (in his case brother) Guy's name just like what Estelle and Joshua did in Trails In The Sky.
The way Olivier appears in front of the party in Ao is basically this. To elaborate: he appeared out of nowhere and proceed to sing "Amber of Love" when two of Wald's lackeys were arguing. He did the same when two factions of new Ruan's Mayor supporters were arguing in SC.
No, Michel is not the other Michel from the previous Legend of Heroes series.
The Nicknamer: Randy likes coming up with nicknames: Tiosuke, Ke-bou, Jona-kou...
KeA does it as well; she at least has the excuse of being nine.
Noble Wolf: Zeit, a big badass wolf who chooses to hang out with the SSS and whose true form is one of the Sacred Beasts tasked with watching over the Sept-Terion
Noisy Robots: The Angel Doll and Tyrdon Doll enemies are visually indistinguishable from the Blade Angel and Tyrdon enemies from the previous trilogy... except that it's noted in their flavor text that they emit obviously mechanical sounds when they move.
Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Rixia and Walter fought offscreen prior to the events of Zero, a fight that ended in a draw. Renne speaks for the audience when she's impressed and wishes she could have seen that.
Also happens in Ao with the Chapter 3/4 transition. We have the fights between Rixia and Shirley and Abbas and Ashley versus Wald off-camera.
Ojou: Elie, of the Proper Lady subtype. She has the social standing based on her relationship to Crossbell's mayor and her household calls her by the title. Randy also calls her this before the SSS realizes the implications of her last name and keeps calling her that throughout the series in lieu of her name.
One-Winged Angel: The final bosses has several forms, each more over-the-top than the last.
Earnest does so as well.
KeA or rather her power of Zero.
Online Alias: The hacker the IBC is looking for during the events of Zero goes by the alias of Kitty. Players were not entirely surprised to find out that this was Renne
Overranked Soldier: Noel is either a Master Sergeant or a Sergeant Major depending on how you translate her rank. Either way, at eighteen she is impossibly young for her age in the real-world and that's allowing for the fact that you can become a Bracer (non-military but at least as hazardous) at sixteen in Zemuria. Possibly justified by the CGF not technically being an army.
Parts Unknown: Sully and Wazy both start out as this, although it's only parts unknown to the audience and both characters are fully aware where they're from. In Sully's case, it's because her place of origin is a Continuity Nod and in Wazy's it's done deliberately to add to the aura of mystery he deliberately cultivates. All we ever learn about his origins are that they lie somewhere in 'Eastern Central Zemuria'.
Personality Blood Types: The fortune-teller at Michelam Wonderland askes Lloyd and his chosen partner for their blood type before answering questions, stating it's important to her method of divination.
Player Headquarters: The SSS Building contains the only terminal where you can file your reports and get quest completion rewards, along with containing everyone's rooms which provide free HP and EP healing. In Ao, the Cool Car actually serves as an even better example (and a mobile one at that) since you can rest in it to heal CP as well, once you've purchased the right part.
Point of No Return: Walking into Marconi's secret vault in Zero functions as one of these, as afterwards you completely lose the ability to wander around freely. The game flat-out tells you this and to not proceed until you're sure you've done everything you want to.
As does walking into the very same room in Ao. Again, the game warns you beforehand that you'll be greatly restricted in your movements for quite some time.
There are also a host of lesser points where doing something will cut off certain opportunities. For major things like Chapter or Day endings, you'll usually be warned ahead of time.
Private Military Contractors: Jaeger groups, who are a cut above regular mercenaries. In the Crossbell games the most prominent group is the Red Constellation which is led by members of the Orlando family. Sigmund and Shirley come to Crossbell in Ao in part to get Randy back.
Purposely Overpowered: Arios is an A-Rank Bracer with a pending application to raise him to S-Rank. Given that the one S-Rank Bracer we know about in the series is CassiusBright, it's entirely to be expected that Arios is just that powerful when he joins your party.
Rapid-Fire Typing: Jona, Tio and Renne engage in this. Rather justified for the latter two since both are victims of Gnosis experimentation and are faster and smarter than normal humans.
Reality Warper: The Crois family was just trying to recreate Demiourgos' powers which influenced 'fate', what they got was Azure Demiourgos, capable of rewriting time and space as well.
Randy Orlando: The Son of The War God, The Red Reaper
Sigmund Orlando: Ogre Rosso
Shirley Orlando: Bloody Shirley
Wazy Hemisphere: The Blue Testament
Red Eyes, Take Warning: Overuse of the refined form of Gnosis leads to the user developing reddish eyes, as opposed to the gold eyes characteristic of the victims of earlier experiments.
Red Herring: Baldur Orlando is set up as an imposing figure, the strongest member of the strongest Jaeger group in western Zemuria, father to Randy and known as The War God. Ao no Kiseki reveals that he's been dead since around the time that Zero no Kiseki started.
Refuge in Audacity: Basically everything Lechter does when you first meet him. First, he openly admits to the SSS that he's an Erebonian agent and working with the guy whose party you're about to infiltrate. He also suggests that now that you know he's going to have to kill you (complete with musical sting). When the party begins, you see him fishing in his host's ornamental pond, then feeding his host's fish to his host's cat, who he's come up with a new name for. Later when all hell has broken loose, you're forced to take refuge in his room. When the guards show up, he then tells them he just saw something move behind the curtain... which turns out to be the cat but your party was also behind those curtains... then the Chapter ends with him beginning a conversation with a known agent of Calvard.
Religion of Evil: The D∴G Cult, which believes that Eidos is a lie spread by the Church and has been conducting rituals to bring about the revival of the 'True God <D>' discovered by the Cult's founder. These 'rituals' take the form of summoning demons and performing horrific medical experiments on children.
The Remnant: Joachim Gunther is a surviving member of the D∴G Cult, which got wiped out by the Bracers, the Crossbell police, and Ouroboros few years prior to the start of the game. Ouroboros' involvement is supressing the Cult is in fact how they came to recruit Renne.
Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Lloyd and Randy, Wazy and Abbas... pretty much Wazy and anyone actually. Note that being the sensitive one in the pair in no way makes Lloyd or Wazy less badass.
Sensible Heroes, Skimpy Villains: Played straight and subverted. Playing this trope arrow-straight is Mariabell, who goes from a business suit to... yeow while subverting the trope is Rixia, who is much more sensibly dressed as Yin, who you have to fight. When she drops the disguise, she starts showing a lot more skin. The latter actually makes sense because the Yin costume both hides that 'Yin' is a Legacy Character and the identity of the current Yin. Once hiding her identity because pointless, she shifted to something that allowed freedom of movement.
The Jack, Queen, and King cards used in the Poker and Blackack minigames have characters from both Zwei games, Brandish and Gurumin.
A state surrounded by an empire and a republic? The Hero comes from outside of the capital? Said empire occupying the state and our heroes must free their hometown from their grasp? And super-powered humans who play a crucial role in the story? Hello Valkyria Chronicles!
Lloyd's final S-Craft (Meteor Breaker) and Dudley's first S-Craft (Justice Hammer) are references to Gawaine from The Legend of Heroes Gagharv Trilogy: A Tear of Vermillion.
Again from A Tear of Vermillion, you can fight a soldier named Douglas as part of sidequests.
Ao no Kiseki's title screen song is titled "Aoki Shizuku" (lit. "Blue Tears"). The Japanese title of A Tear of Vermillion? "Akai Shizuku".
Tio's Orbal Staff exhibits a few similarities to the Intelligent Devices from Nanoha, Raising Heart in appearance and Bardiche in function.
Sibling Yin-Yang: It is almost unbelievable that Renne and Colin are siblings. Then again, Colin hasn't suffered from half a year of terrible physical and mental abuse and medical experimentation followed by half a decade being molded into a Tyke Bomb assassin.
Signature Team Transport: The SSS gets one in Ao in the form of a car that the player can customize the hell out of. Being the only SSS member with a drivers license, Noel is usually the one operating it. She also has a separate armored car she uses as a member of the CGF. With guns. Lots of guns.
Silk Hiding Steel: Elie is a Proper Lady through and through and can get the SSS into meetings with the wealthiest and most powerful people in the city. When politeness fails, the handgun comes out.
Sixth Ranger: A succession of characters fill this role in Zero, temporarily joining the fixed party of four at one or more points. Wazy and Noel each do this twice, Dudley and Yin do it once as do Estelle and Joshua in the final dungeon. Everyone but the Brights become permanent allies by the end of Ao, with Wazy and Noel being playable for almost the entire game.
The Slacker: Throughout Zero, Sergei seems to make it his job to do as little actual work as possible while commanding the SSS. Thus, he spends most of his time in his office while Lloyd and the others do anything remotely difficult. Until circumstances demand action at the end of Zero and Ao, at which points we realize why Sergei is famous within the CSPD
The Snack Is More Interesting: Throughout a rather tense conversation between Sigmund and the SSS on the subject of the former trying to convince Randy to become the next leader of Red Constellation and more generally what the most feared mercenaries around are doing in Crossbell at a tense time, Shirley is stuffing her face with parfait and sometimes even talking with her mouth full.
Sole Entertainment Option: Heavily averted. Crossbell has an entire entertainment district including a casino and a theater that the player can visit and other locations implied but not accessible by the player. There are also bars scattered throughout the city (Ignis doubles as a music venue and Trinity has billiard tables), people go to Armorica for relaxation and there's an entire theme park that attracts residents and tourists alike.
Our female lead here is usually spelled "Elie" by Falcom sources. Problem is, that's the male version of that name; many Western sources correct it to "Ellie", the female version. (It's worth noting that a certain famous-in-Japan alchemist heroine, who may have inspired the name, runs into the exact same problem.)
Then there's "Cecil Neues", the female nurse. Most fans spell it "Cecille".
The single absolute worst of the lot, however, is "Wazy" Hemisphere. That's based mostly on a the katakana given for his name. The way Falcom prints his name? Łazy. That is, the Polish/Slavic "dark L". Yeah.
Don't forget that Lechter receives ANOTHER spelling change in Ao. First it's "Lechter Arundel" in The 3rd, "Lecter Arandor" in official website, and finally "Lector Alandor" in the in-game picture viewer. FALCOOOOOOOOOM!!!!!
Spoiled Brat: Jona, who is completely full of himself. He's also nearly good enough to justify it.
Shin initially comes off as one of these, being the son of the head of Heiyue in Calvard, on a trip to Crossbell to familiarize him with the organization's newest area of operations. He initially acts the brat full force when the SSS escorts him around the city (Cao wanted Arios but he wasn't available) but Elie's diplomacy (politely ignoring his attempts to be KidAnova) wins him over. He soon reveals that his father did teach him some manners and he eventually starts acting like a perfect gentleman around KeA and Shizuku. He even helps out the SSS with a case, while increasing Heiyue's influence in the bargain.
Squishy Wizard: Tio's arts attacks are really powerful but her defense is abysmal.
Stat Sticks: Zero and Ao both introduce weapons that can inflict status effects without needing a Quartz. These can remain handy even when outclassed in STR, especially as they allow you to double up on inflicting these conditions and some have very nice effects indeed.
Stock Costume Traits: Revache's rank and file are apparently traditionalists and have the fedoras to prove it.
Storming the Castle: The end of Zero, in which the party finally penetrates the depths of the Fortress of the Sun. Done in epic style in Ao as well except replace 'Castle' with 'Orchis Tower'
Summon Magic: The most powerful attack Arts in Ao visually function like this, summoning dragons, giants and even battleships. Tio can also do this with one of her Crafts, summoning Zeit as a one-shot Support Character.
Something rather similar happens to Ernest, except that Kevin was there to save him.
Super Prototype: Ao no Kiseki ultimately averts this as Pater Mater is no match for the newer Aion models of the Gordias Series for which it was the prototype.
Super Serum: Blue Gnosis works like this, greatly increasing some ability of the user, such as intellect, speed, strength or even luck. It works by forming a connection between the user and Demiourgos, for the purpose of ultimately reviving the latter; the powers obtained by the Gnosis users was a side-effect.
Superweapon Surprise: Crossbell does not have an army, they have a small self-defense force which has its hands full dealing with less than a hundred mercenaries. A full army would roll right over the place and everyone knows it. Except that they also have Azure Demiourgos and the Aion series machines empowered by it which are on loan from Ouroboros. Erebonia stops snickering after Garelia Fortress becomes Garelia Crater.
Survivor Guilt: Tio, who was the only survivor in a base of the D∴G cult where she was experimented on.
Taking You with Me: Once it becomes apparent that he's going to die one way or the other, Joachim uses what strength he has left to trap the party so they'll go when he does.
Teaser Equipment: Everything sold at Imeldas and most of what is offered at Nine Valley exists to tease you; you won't have the Mira or necessary items to obtain those goods until much later.
Teen Genius: Jona, Tio and Renne. There is dark side to the latter two as their intellect is developed from horrific experiments by the D∴G cult.
Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Any time the Saber Vipers and Testaments work together in Zero is an exercise in this, starting with their teaming up to fight your party because you're getting in the way of their fight. Played more heroically later when they work together to fight off the Mafia and later the Gnosis-controlled CGF.
Tempting Fate: Wazy, you just had to dismiss the idea that the Railway Cannons would ever be fired at Crossbell, didn't you?
That One Case: The murder of Guy Bannings was never solved and continues to trouble his friends and family and it's a running plot thread in both games. Nielsen continues to work on the mystery in Ao.
The City Narrows: Played straight and subverted at the same time. The warren of alleys between Central Square and the Entertainment District contains the headquarters of the Mafia and later, Red Constellation and is hinted to contain some of the seedier establishments but it also contains a rather pleasant jazz bar and an antique shop which sells some of the most expensive and useful items in the game.
The Family That Slays Together: The Orlandos, heads of the Red Constellation. They consider work as highly skilled mercenaries to be a fun activity for the whole family and one that can be enjoyed by children as young as nine.
Actually averted in the case of Tio, who recieved months of care at St. Ursula after she was rescued from the hands of the D∴G Cult. This explains why she is so much better adjusted than fellow victim Renne
Took a Level in Badass: And how. The Special Support Section start out as nobodies with no respect from anybody. By the end of Zero no Kiseki they've outsmarted a threat that no one else could stop.
Estelle and Joshua most certainly count too. They are now internationally known Bracers and Estelle getting closer to Cassius' level of combat skill now, given that she can use his S-Craft Houou Reppa. As for Joshua, he's at last made peace with the idea that his ferocious potential doesn't have to be used for murder and terror and can be used for good - meaning he's one of the most skilled Bracers living. He won't kill you, but that's the only break you'll get.
The Tower: Stargaze Tower, a ruin from the Middle Ages. Also, Orchis Tower, built by the descendants of the people who built Stargaze Tower, for much the same purpose
Transforming Mecha: The Aion Type-Beta has both humanoid and flying configurations. The Aion Type-Alpha and Gamma do not but they do have a shooting mode.
Tsundere: Tio and Mireille, towards Lloyd and Randy respectively.
Ultimate Authority Mayor: Justified, due to the small size of the country the mayor of Crossbell City is also the head of Crossbell State.
Unblockable Attack: Azure Demiourgos' Spacetime Collapse. Absolutely nothing will prevent it from wiping out your entire party if it gets used.
Unobtanium: Zemurian Stones function this way, described as an ore with unusual properties. It was rare 1200 years ago when the Ancient Zemurians used it and it's rarer still in the present. They're used to synthesize the strongest weapons in both games.
In retrospect, the fact that Mariabell not only isn't affected by Lloyd's charm but actively seems to dislike him might have been intended by Falcom as a hint...
Updated Re-release: Zero and Ao no Kiseki Evolution, for Playstation Vita. They add full voice acting for the main plot, rearranged music, enhanced graphics and a few extra sidequests, among other minor changes.
Urban Fantasy: Very much so; Crossbell is a big city, and much of it and its residents are styled on 1950s, especially the suits (sweet Aidios, the suits) and the cars (SWEET AIDIOS, THE CARS). This is a bit of a departure from the previous games, which were rather more Steam Punk-19th-century-ish than this. (Estelle and Joshua do express some surprise at the technology they find on display in Crossbell, though.) This also gives the game quite a different feel from the previous Trails games, since so much of it is focused on one city; while you do visit some of what basically make up the "suburbs" of Crossbell, the focus is on events in the city limits.
Urban Segregation: Played kinda straight in gameplay terms since there's no way they could either show the entire city or fit what they do show on a single map. The result is that the city is divided up into a whole lot of individual maps each representing a district of the city. In story terms, the usual elements of the trope are very much averted. There is a distinctly poorer segment of town left behind by the pace of development and there is a posh district where the wealthiest citizens live but absolutely nothing prevents anyone from one part travelling to the other and hanging around, nor are the elite 'out of touch' or the Downtown inhabitants the poor or the scum of society. Several major characters live Downtown and others in the upper-class Residential District and they mingle frequently and even work together.
Useless Useful Spell: Generally averted. Most mooks remain vulnerable to at least some of the effects and stat downs and the effects themselves are nasty enough to remain potent throughout the game. Plus, the Arts that inflict the effects tend to either have the infliction as a secondary property or they're impressive in their own right. Luna Craze for example makes a lot of mooks much easier to fight since they'll all start killing each other. Even some of the hardest bosses are vulnerable to a status effect or two.
Vice City: Crossbell is presented as this during the events of the previous trilogy. It's not quite as bad as the reputation that preceeded it but considering that our primary point of reference was the little girl whose parents apparently sold her into sex slavery at the age of five, you can forgive players for taking a dim initial view of the place but it still has a powerful underworld with ties to City Hall, sharply divided politics and police that are generally percieved as useless. Oh, and it is still internationally known as the City of Sin.
Weaponized Exhaust: Aion Type-Beta's energy propulsion system doubles as a melee weapon, as a lot of airships found out the hard way.
We Have Been Researching Phlebotinum For Years: Some of the crazy things the SSS runs into have been known by the Bracers, the Church and/or higher ups in the CSPD for years. Once you start to run into it, they help explain things to you, to the extent of their own knowledge.
Well-Intentioned Extremist: Ian, Arios, and Dieter. The first two have lost their loved ones due to the political state of Crossbell City. They are trying to liberate Crossbell City from influence of neighboring countries, regardless of consequences.
Western Zodiac: A series of twelve extremely powerful Quartz found in Zero are named for the twelve constellations.
Wig, Dress, Accent: Lloyd and an SSS member of your choice don fancy clothes to infiltrate a posh auction run by the Mafia. It's done less to fool anyone that might recognize them (it doesn't) but to make them look like they belong at the event.
Winds of Destiny, Change: One of the effects of Blue Gnosis and one of the first noticed by the characters is that it can enhance 'luck'. A miner from Mainz makes an absurd amount of money this way, until his luck finally runs out when he comes across Lechter
This is also hinted to be one of the powers of the original Demiourgos, before it was combined with elements of Space and Time manipulation to turn it into a Reality Warper. Since Gnosis forms a link between the user and Demiourgos, increased luck would be a natural byproduct.
You Can't Go Home Again: In Zero: Renne technically can go home after the events of the game but she chooses not to, believing it best for all concerned if her parents don't learn what happened to their missing daughter over the past eight years, especially as she is wracked with guilt once she understands their side of the story. It isn't all bad, though, because she has a new home by the end of the game.
Ao reveals this to be the case for Wazy. How his Stigma appeared resulted in the people of his hometown considering him a 'godslayer' and banishing him. Lloyd invites him to consider Crossbell his second home near the end of the game if you see his special bond scene
You Shall Not Pass: Garcia of all people does this for Lloyd when they are escaping from prison together in Ao no Kiseki.
During the crisis at the end of Zero, Sergei and Dudley stay behind to buy time for the SSS to escape with KeA and Shizuku. The party then does this themselves, holding the line at the IBC against the controlled CGF forces attacking the city. Fortunately, multiple Big Damn Heroes prevent the scene from turning into a Last Stand.
You Should Know This Already: The plots of both games assume the player has a working knowledge of the previous trilogy and thus freely spoils the hell out of most of the major twists.