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Videogame: Dragon's Dogma

Dragon's Dogma is an open world action roleplaying game that was developed by Capcom Europe for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. The game has an open world fantasy setting and has been released in North America on May 22, 2012, Europe on May 25, 2012, and on May 24, 2012 in Japan.

The game kicks off with your village under attack by a dragon. You take up arms and attempt to face off against him, but are defeated. The Dragon however, tells you that you are The Chosen One and promptly rips your heart out. However, you somehow manage to survive. Now revived as an "Arisen," you must seek out your fate by defeating the dragon.

Now comes with a character sheet.

A sequel is currently being discussed. An Updated Re-release, titled Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen, was released in North America on April 23, 2013. The Japanese and European release dates were April 25 and 26, respectively. It is available as both a retail disk and digital download, with the PS3 digital download being available on release day and the Xbox 360 digital download delayed to some point in the summer.

Dragon's Dogma provides examples of:

  • Absurdly High Level Cap: The maximum level is 200. Stat growth changes between Levels 1-10, 10-100 and 100+.
  • Action Girl: Mercedes, possibly the player character and just about every female pawn.
  • All There in the Manual: The backstory of the characters you encounter can be found on the official website. The game chooses to have little exposition cluttering up the monster stabbing.
    • More stuff is found in the Official Design Works artbook, such as monster origins and character notes.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: One of the main quests involve defending a fort overrun with Goblins. It is possible to lose this quest if one of the major Non Player Characters dies, but whether you win or lose, the reward is the same.
  • And Then John Was a Zombie: If you are defeated by the Final Boss, then your Arisen, who originally set out to slay a dragon, becomes the next dragon himself.
  • Annoying Arrows: While they do have a fairly good knockback, you can easily get up and brush yourself off and continue the fight with no problems.
    • Human Pincushion: Sometimes the arrows will remain stuck to you (or an enemy). This has absolutely no effect on fighting skill or speed.
  • Anti-Frustration Features
    • You're allowed to skip a stage of equipment enhancement and go straight to the second or third enhancement if you have the required money and items for that stage. This comes in handy when a weapon or armor's second stage enhancement requires an extremely rare drop, such as the Dragon's Toll and the Dragon's Faith.
    • The game has a Fast Travel system using the Ferrystone item and Portcrystals, though initially you can only fast travel back to Gran Soren. Late in the game and into New Game + you get portable Portcrystals which you can place anywhere you want, if you buy Dark Arisen (and you already have a save from vanilla Dragon's Dogma) you get the eternal ferrystone, a permanent, reusable ferrystone, and even without the Old Save Bonus, the price of Ferrystones has been reduced to 1/10th of their original price, the Black Cat now sells an infinite amount of them and you find multiple portable Portcrystals by just playing the game normally.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: Your party is limited to four: yourself, your main Pawn, and two support Pawns hired on. No reason is given for why you can't hire more if you've got the Rift Crystals for it.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Or at least unpleasant both on-screen and off. Between Mercedes' father sending her alone as a token gesture of support, Duke Edmun strangling his new wife and sacrificing his previous to the Dragon, Fournival evicting his tenants for a bit of quick coin, and the Duke's wife dropping her panties over a gift of a stupid hat, it's hard to find a reason to put down Julien's little rebellion at the Northern Stronghold.
  • Arrows on Fire: If you're playing a class with arrows and a Pawn grants you Fire Boon or Fire Affinity, your arrows will catch fire (along with all your other weapons, of course). When you find a ballista and commandeer it, you have a choice between a normal bolt and an explosive bolt that does what you think it does and then sets the enemy on fire.
  • Artificial Stupidity: While there are a handful of good points in the AI it is still more than capable of making some really stupid decisions. Pawns will occasionally try to rush into melee when equipped with ranged weapons, or enchant your weapons with whatever element your enemy is immune to. Definitely don't count on their help if an enemy grabs you - chances are your pawns will ignore your cries for help, instead spinning stupidly in a circle while the enemy slowly crushes the life out of you.
    • A potential Game Breaker may appear during the Final Battle versus the Seneschal. Dropping him to zero health doesn't kill him, your pawn has to grab him and you have to deliver the final blow. Since you have no direct "Grab the annoying Fucker!" command, you have to rely on the game's AI to make the grab and sometimes your pawn is all too happy to just wail away at him endlessly even while reminding you repeatedly that they must grab him and you must deliver the killing blow.
      • Alternatively, you can grab the seneschal and hope the pawn will attack before you get blown up. Too bad that doesn't always work either.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: Many of the strongest monsters will require you to attack a vulnerable spot on them. Your pawns can learn tactics for use against the monsters and use them to help other Player Characters.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Dark Arisen adds the condemned gorecyclops, an (even more gigantic) form of the regular cyclops. Condemned gorecyclopes are at least 50 feet tall, possibly even bigger.
  • Autosave: The game has autosaving, though it doesn't seem to pop up often enough to be effective, especially considering the singular save file: furthermore, it only functions as a checkpoint save, meaning that you can only continue from it if you die and choose to retry. If you mistakenly reload your game after the game makes a checkpoint save thinking that the game will resume from that point, you risk losing a large amount of progress since reloading your save puts you back where your last manual save was.
  • Badass in Distress: Nearly any knight who becomes the arisen's beloved &, arguably, the duke if he does.
  • Bag of Holding: Your inventory does have a weight limit, but whether that limit is taken up by a few heavey weapons or a thousand light flowers makes no difference. It's just weight, not volume, that matters.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Some of the outfits allow you to do this. Strangely, taking off all of your clothes results in the character covering their stomach with cloth wrappings.
  • Barrier Warrior: This is one of the Mystic Knight's tricks, via Elemental Wall enchantments. Some enemies can also pull this off, notably the skeleton lord and the silver knight from Dark Arisen.
  • Beat Still, My Heart: The game begins with a dragon stealing the Player Character's heart.
  • BFS: One of the weapons of choice for the Warrior advanced class.
  • Bishōnen: The character creation sliders for body and face are extremely detailed and varied, and typically-female hairstyles and makeup are available to male characters, allowing the player to create some seriously pretty men as Arisen.
  • Bittersweet Ending/Downer Ending: In the end, the Arisen becomes the godlike Seneschal which binds him/her to the cycle, then kills himself to free himself/herself and falls out of the sky with his/her pawn. The pawn then wakes up on the beach, now having the exact same appearance as the Arisen, as all pawns eventually start to look like the Arisen who they follow. The pawn is then greeted by your Arisen's love interest running up to it as the screen fades to black. But your pawn has the will to live your life at its fullest and Gransys is recovering from the catastrophe. But the cycle will repeat itself.
    • Also, the Arisen is a wanted man/woman, and it's potentially only a matter of time before the Duke tracks his/her Pawn double down to Cassardis and attempts to have them arrested.
  • Bonus Boss: The Ur-Dragon, a much more powerful version of the dragon apparently made up of the hearts of several Arisen. It can be fought at any point in a New Game+.
    • Daimon's awakened form as well. You only get to face it if you fight your way through the entire dungeon a second time with much harder encounters along the way. Your rewarded with what many people consider to be That One Boss.
  • Book Ends: If you lose the battle with the Seneschal in the rift, your Arisen falls into the open sky, transforming into the Dragon, and exits the rift among a flock of harpies. The very same cutscene, minus the transformation scene, plays at the very beginning of the game.
  • Border Patrol: In the form of the Brine.
  • Boring, but Practical: Sometimes, the best way to lower a person's affinity to avoid having them become your love interest is to just not talk to them for several days.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: Drakes are about the hardest thing you can encounter in the wild, with one of the highest health totals in the game.
  • Bottomless Quiver: Archers need never worry about running out of normal arrows, which is basically required considering how many of their special attacks shoot multiple ones simultaneously. The special arrows on the other hand are limited in quantity and can weigh a lot if you carry around a lot of them, but depending on the situation, their special effects can be extremely useful.
  • Bow and Sword, in Accord: Both the Strider, Ranger and Assassin classes do this. Ranger focuses most on the bow while the Assassin favors sword and Strider is the middle ground.
    • Technically, the Assassin is the only one of the three which actually wields a sword. The Strider and Ranger both use daggers.
    • Magic Archers also have this option, only with a magic bow and either a staff or dual daggers.
  • Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: Basically how you become the Arisen. You manage to stab the dragon, it decides to take your heart.
  • Butt Monkey: Valmiro. He goes out exploring & nearly gets himself killed offscreen three times before he learns to play it safe. He later leaves with various supplies to sail the ocean & explore the world but, if he's the arisen's beloved, Grigori presumably kidnaps him from his boat in the middle of the ocean & has him beaten up by goblins before rendering him unconscious by breathing too much fire next to him.
  • But Thou Must: At the beginning after you become an Arisen, the Dragon will speak to you telepathically telling you to take up arms and face him. You cannot leave the room as he'll always say this:
    Dragon: Take up arms, Arisen. For my kind do not heed the toothless.
    • Despite the Dragon giving you options before you face him, you will need to face him to advance in the story. Or else you are just going to see a Non-Standard Game Over screen over and over again.
  • But Now I Must Go: Certain characters will end up leaving the game for the playthrough once their personal quests are completed, for various reasons.
    • Quina becomes a nun and leaves Gransys for the Grand Cathedral.
    • Madeline is forced to flee Gran Soren after the guards learn of her involvement in Julien's attempted coup. If you help her escape, she comes back after the Dragon's death.
    • Mercedes is forced to return to her homeland in disgrace following Julien's attempted coup.
    • Julien flees Gransys if you do not interfere with his duel against Mercedes.
    • Reynard, having discovered his father's fate, leaves Gransys for parts unknown.
    • Aelinore, now wanted for adultery, flees Gransys with her retainer.
    • Valmiro becomes an explorer and leaves Gransys to see the world.
  • Call to Adventure: The game begins with the Dragon stealing your heart. Later, said Dragon communicates with you telling you to take up arms and face him.
  • Camera Screw: Sometimes when you're clinging to a monster, the camera goes wonky. Then there are spells like Maelstrom, which will black out the entire screen. Some enemies can even inflict it on you.
  • Captain Obvious: Pawns often dispense such invaluable advice as "Don't let that enemy grab you!" and "Watch out for their attacks!".
    • They even tell you about things you can do the instant you finish doing them like when you wake up and are immediately told you can sleep in the inn you're in or when you hire pawns from a riftstone and your pawns that you hired from a riftstone tell you you can hire pawns from riftstones.
  • Cassandra Truth: Duke Edmund absolutely refuses to believe that you could have slain the Dragon, having witnessed its power first hand.
  • Cast from Hit Points: Steffen implies that magick does this, claiming that it is as taxing to the body as swinging an axe and that the heart and mind suffer most. However, it doesn't appear in actual gameplay. (Except for the fact that both spellcasting and special attacks run off the same regenerating stamina bar).
  • Cast of Snowflakes: Since there's already a large repository of eyes, noses, etc. for use in creating your own Arisen, the townies who populate Gran Soren simply make use of randomized faces pulled from those parts. This can result in the facial equivalent of Rainbow Pimp Gear, as many of the less important characters are rather unattractive (those who have a bit of personality fleshed out on them via quests are usually a bit prettier).
  • Catapult to Glory: Fighters and Warriors get two different flavors of this. The former uses their shield to provide a stepping stone, while the latter uses their BFS to launch you towards a flying enemy. Warriors also have an offensive version which hooks an enemy with their weapon in order to launch them several dozen feet into the air.
  • Chainmail Bikini: The "[Material Type] Breastplate" armor pieces. On a male character, it covers him shoulders to waist, front and back, and looks like it could do its job of keeping sharp pointy things out of your soft squishy things. On a female character, it transforms into a little bra and yet still manages to provide the same amount of protection.
  • Character Customization: A ton of it. In addition to being able to change your Arisen and main Pawn's faces and hair (which has no effect), you're allowed to customize their height and build. Larger characters have a larger stamina pool and can carry more weight, but small characters recover their stamina faster and can be picked up and tossed at flying enemies or into small holes that typically hold loot.
  • Charged Attack: The staff's core skill upgrade enables this, allowing you to hold down the button to charge up a stronger magic blast.
  • Chekhov's Gun: When you first find Selene's house, your pawns will likely comment on the strange-looking stone near it. It's a Golem, and you'll have to fight it for a later quest.
    • The Everfall itself. At first, it just seems like something you have to deal with for an errand that has otherwise no bearing on the main plot, but it turns out to be The Very Definitely Final Dungeon.
  • Chest Monster: Dark Arisen introduces mimic-type creatures called Maneaters. The second you open a chest, the monster springs out and attempts to swallow your Arisen or Pawn whole. If your Arisen gets caught, you have to wiggle the analog stick hoping to get out or hope one of your pawns breaks you out of it while taking Massive Damage before it swallows you whole.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Possible with the NPC Quina, one of the other survivors of the Arisen's hometown.
    • Valmiro is also an option, though exactly how much of a "friend" he was growing up is debatable. You were both friends with Quina, though, so it's likely you were at least well-acquainted if not common playmates.
  • A Child Shall Lead Them : One of the body presets is the size of a child, and, with the right adjustments, you can make your Arisen look like a young teen.
  • The Chosen One:
    • The Arisen, and apparently there has been many before.
    • The prologue and comic focus on a previous Arisen by the name of Savan.
    • There is apparently millions of Arisen, as it is suggested by the numerous pawns wandering the Rift and almost outright said that there are multiple universes where they have their own respective Arisen.
  • City of Adventure: Gran Soren, which may also be the only city in the country.
  • Colossus Climb: This is one way to fight gigantic monsters — the Strider and its derivatives actually specialize in this, having much faster movement when executing it than other classes and being able to reach them easier thanks to their Double Jump. They're also the only ones with special attacks that can be used while clinging onto an enemy, one of them even being only useable when clinging onto an enemy too heavy to lift.
    • The Golem minibosses are basically a recreation of the trope namer, what with climbing all over a giant flailing stone creature to stab his magical symbol weak points.
  • Combat Pragmatist: The game encourages you to stab enemies while they're down, throw enemies off of cliffs, and pawns will often grab opponents or otherwise pin them so you can hammer them. Goes Up to Eleven later in the game when pawns can not only grab targets, but light themselves on fire before doing it.
  • Crapsack World: A Dragon capable of destroying the entire world is loose, and to make things worse it brought all kinds of monsters into the world with it. However when you finally defeat said Dragon it gets worse.
    • Crapsaccharine World: Of course, that doesn't stop some of the scenery from being absolutely gorgeous, and a couple of the peasants seem quite a bit more preoccupied with their own lives than impending doom. Your Pawns will even comment that it'd be a nice place to sightsee if it weren't for the monsters...then you look around and notice an animal carcass, ripped to shreds...and an impromptu grave formed of a knight's sword...and there are human remains pinned to a tree with more swords...
  • Cruelty Is the Only Option: What's that? You want to get the Innkeeper to stop falling in love with you? No problem. Just make him flinch or outright attack him. He won't bother you no more.
    • Forcing the refugee family to leave Fornivaul's land comes off as pretty damn assholish, but its the only way to ensure the mother and father survive when the residential quarter is destroyed in the postgame.
  • Crutch Character: Rook, the Pawn who appears to guide you before you get to make a Pawn of your own. You can keep him as long as you like, but he doesn't level up no matter what you do; while level 6 is great when the rest of your party is level 1, he soon becomes Overshadowed by Awesome as you and your Pawn level past him and other Pawns become available.
  • Cursed with Awesome: Congratulations, you had your heart stolen. Now, you have to fight the dragon to get your heart back. But, a race of homonoculi sees you alone as their savior, you get an unbelievable boost in power, and you get to fight a dragon! A side effect of this means that you have become ageless, stuck in a stasis and unable to die of old age.
    • If you lose the final fight with the Seneschal, you'll wind up turned into a dragon. Yeah, yeah, you lost and now it's kinda your job to destroy the world until someone finally kills you, but come on, you're a giant, fire-breathing, flying beast of scaly awesomeness!
  • Damsel in Distress: Aelinore, three times.
    • Depending on your love interest, any female character captured by the Dragon.
  • Darkness Equals Death:
    • Enemies usually hide out in dark areas like caves or woods. To help counter the darkness the game issues you a lantern, and you're well advised to use it.
    • Nighttime, full stop. Dragon's Dogma takes on a whole different atmosphere when the sun sets. The environment goes pitch-black, and the most effective way to get a glimpse of what enemies you're facing is by casting fire magic and hoping you see their silhouette. If you think nighttime before you kill the Dragon is bad, especially at lower levels, wait until you experience nighttime after you kill the Dragon because, boy, are you in for a surprise.
    • The Assassin vocation gets some perks that grant you greater abilities at night, actively encouraging you to venture out in the dark rather than during the day.
  • Death of a Thousand Cuts: The general idea when facing large monsters, much like another Capcom series, but especially the Strider and its Scarlet Kisses attack.
  • Dem Bones: Skeleton warriors and Skeleton Magi are fairly common in the dungeons, with lich-like Mook Maker minibosses popping up to harass you at night in a region called the Cursewoods.
  • Determinator: Seems to be a prerequisite of the Seneschal, as one of the tests he puts the Arisen through consists of just slogging toward him as images of your friends and loved ones swarm you and tell you to abandon your quest.
  • The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: Giving back a forgery of the Wyrmking's Ring makes Duke Edmun unable to open a chest containing the Paladin's Cape. The Duke plays it off as the ring's magick wearing out.
    • Likewise, if you give Steffen a forgery of Salomet's Tome, his attempts to help you out to fight the Griffin with it fall flat when it turns out to be nonfunctional. If you then talk to him in the city afterwards, he says he's learned something from all of this: if you want your good will paid back in kind, don't waste your time with the Arisen.
    • If you kill Selene before you finish the quest where she realizes her humanity thanks to the spirit of her former Arisen, she dies like a pawn, ie. via a small rift that pulls her back into the pawn realm, but killing her afterwards just causes her to keel over like any other human NPC.
    • The Maker's Finger is a special arrow that you can buy from Fournival for a hefty price of 300,000 gold that instantly kills anything in the main game and deals a single lifebar of damage to most Bonus Bosses in the Updated Re-release. And yes, you can use it on Grigori when he's forcing you to choose between sacrificing your beloved or fighting him, allowing you to skip the entire battle with him and skip straight to the normal ending.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Arguably the driving force of the game; it's really hard not to feel a sense of accomplishment when you drop a massive enemy.
  • Difficult but Awesome: The very act of exploring Bitterblack Isle is this. There are heinously powerful enemies around every potential corner, but the promise of great loot and quick experience makes the trip worth it.
  • Difficulty Spike: A major, noticeable one from the jump between the main game and post-game. ( After you defeat the Dragon.)
    • It's beyond a difficulty spike, it's jumping off the spike onto a whole new level. That annoying little group of harpies that usually have someone captured? Replaced with a golem. All those annoying bandits and wolves? Replaced with hellhounds and giant undead.
  • Disc One Final Boss: Defeating the dragon is only half the adventure.
  • Disappeared Dad: Reynard's father left his family while his mother was pregnant with him. Buying enough items from him will eventually open up a quest chain in which he asks you to figure out what would drive a man to leave his unborn child.
  • Distressed Dude: Any male character who becomes the arisen's beloved.
  • Does Not Like Men: A certain female bandit to the northwest of Gransys absolutely hates men and will attack your party if you have even a single male in it (you can avoid this by sticking him in women's clothing).
    • Bishounen: One of her underlings mentions that she's seen some men with "womanly frames and beautiful faces" in her time, and perhaps their leader could stomach one of them.
  • Doomed Hometown: How many Arisen begin their quest after the Dragon arrives.
    • Subverted in the player's case, whose actions prevent his hometown from becoming doomed.
  • Double Jump: The Strider can get this as an ability.
  • Downer Ending: If you choose not to kill yourself in the game's ending, you'll be assigned the quest "Live as the Seneschal", which means you can wander around completely invisible and able to terrify people...but also unable to interact with anyone or complete any quests.
  • Drop the Hammer: The other weapon of choice for warriors.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Not many people seem to care about your status as Arisen. You know, the world's last hope? It's also played straight with Pawns, who are shunned by humans for being different.
    • You're not even the only Arisen of your time, just the latest one the dragon picked. Why give a crap about the latest "Hero of Ultimate Destiny" until you've actually done something worthy of it.
  • Elemental Powers: Mages have control over fire, ice, lightning, holy, and dark initially. Upgrading to Sorcerer adds earth and wind to the mix, in the form of earthquakes, meteors, and tornadoes. Depending on their currently active weapon element, their normal and charged magic shots change properties (fire and darkness target single enemies for large amounts of damage and knockback, ice pauses momentarily before flying off to a target, thunder bounces off walls and holy first flies forward slowly and then quickly homes in on an enemy).
  • Enemy Chatter: Sometimes if the player can sneak up on enemies, they will talk amongst themselves.
    • The creepiness factor is taken Up to Eleven when the player can overhear what the undead have to say: they usually mutter something about their past lives or are confused by their condition.
    Undead Woman: My baby...
    • The dragons that you randomly encounter say a line or two when fought for an extended amount of time, killed or when they succeed in killing you.
  • Eternal Recurrence: The cycle of a Dragon creating an Arisen, who then eventually goes on to defeat the Dragon and then the Seneschal to the new Seneschal of the world, has occurred without beginning and without end. Any Arisen who is unable to defeat the Seneschal becomes the Dragon and goes off to create another Arisen.
  • Every Scar Has A Story: Specifically, a scar on the chest (where the heart was removed) marks one as an Arisen, and a scar on the palm of the right hand is the mark of a pawn.
  • Everyone Is Bi: The Affinity system makes it possible to romance any NPC, regardless of your gender or theirs.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: With the exception of bunnies, pigs and birds. Oxen and even deer may occasionally decide to charge you instead of running away! Possibly Lamp Shaded when your pawns go into panic mode over taking fall damage. "'Tis a troublesome foe!" No, pawn. 'Twas a troublesome cliff.
  • Evil Is Hammy: The Elysion and Salomet.
  • Escort Mission: A good chunk of the side quests, although at least you can heal them and don't have to wait for them to catch up when you change areas.
  • Everyone Calls Him Barkeep: You get to name your character, but everyone will just address you as Arisen (or occasionally Master, in the case of Pawns).
    • Lampshaded in at least one instance. Upon your first meeting with the Duke's wife, she asks your name. Her next line implies that you told her your name is "Arisen."
  • Eye Scream: Whenever you encounter a cyclops, your pawns (if they are knowledgeable enough) will encourage you to stab/shoot it in the eye and attempt to do so themselves.
  • Fanservice: The vast majority of the game's armor and clothing can be equipped by either gender, but there are several pieces that can be worn only by female players/pawns. They're abnormally skimpy, and sport Jiggle Physics.
    • Sent up with a trophy; buy a male character the female armor, and you unlock it.
  • Fastball Special: If you have a pawn with a large build, they may offer to throw you at a large airborne foe. You can also do this with a tiny pawn to get them into hard-to-reach places, and even throw enemies at each other.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: Or in this case, Fighter, Mage, Strider.
  • Final Boss Preview: Sort of. You fight the Dragon in the very beginning at Level 1, but obviously he's very powerful and your attacks barely leave a dent on him. Once you become a true Arisen, you will become stronger over the course of your journey to take him down. Of course, he has the same exact stats as when you first fought him. The game even continues after you beat him too.
  • Flash Step: The Strider and Assassin skill Cutting Wind (later upgraded to Biting Wind). While not quite teleportation, the user is capable of crossing a large distance in a very short amount of time, normally dashing in, striking an enemy, and then continuing to dash past them and out of harm's way before the enemy even has time to begin its stagger/death animation. This move can also be chained as long as the user's stamina holds out, resulting in a very fast, very difficult target that will not sit down long enough to be hit. If you are carrying a lot of mushrooms or fish, that means this move can go on nearly indefinitely until even large swarms of enemies are dealt with.
  • Forced Level Grinding: While the levels themselves aren't quite that essential, Discipline Points are much harder to come by and are needed for a vast majority of essential skills and special attacks. The main difficulty in getting enough of them comes from the unique way you get them: depending on how much EXP each enemy gives, you get a varying portion of it as DP, with enemies that give 100 or less EXP giving around 35% of the amount in DP, 101-1000 EXP for 15% in DP and anything over 1000 EXP as 7% in DP. This generally means that the optimal way to get as many DP as possible is to find a location with many easily killable weak enemies that give less than 100 EXP per kill. Furthermore, even if you don't want to master each class, you still need to level up each Vocation to high enough rank if you want their high-end skills and attacks, which is, again, based on the amount of DP you gain in that class.
    • Fortunately, there's an easy way to gain as many DP as you want without even having to touch the controller: the first plot quest in the post-game involves fighting the now-aged and insane Duke, which naturally brands you a traitor and gets the entire royal guard on your ass. This causes an endless amount of soldiers to spawn whenever you enter the Noble Quarter, but since they can't climb walls and only target the Arisen, you can park him on one of the walls there and just have him sit still while his pawns murder them endlessly: their EXP also easily scales so that it's slightly under 100, allowing you to get the maximum amount of DP per kill.
  • Foreshadowing: On the way to your first meeting with Selene in the woods, you can hear loud footsteps in the distance. When you get to Selene's house you may notice weird boulders that your pawns may talk about. It'll be a long time before you find out that the boulders are sleeping golems.
  • Friendly Fire Proof: Zigzagged. You can't accidentally hit your Pawns and escorts with a stray attack, but any NPC that is not flagged as an escort will take damage if you accidentally hit them while fighting other enemies, and their Affinity will tank accordingly. Friendly fire from your Pawns, oddly enough, doesn't seem to affect Affinity.
  • From Bad to Worse: It seems that killing the dragon has worsened the situation in Gransys.
    • The mission when you stop a group of people who blame Selene for the return of the dragon. First there's an angry mob pounding on her door, but then the Golem shows up!
    • Death and the corpse eating beasts have a habit of showing up during or right after some of the tougher fights on Bitterblack Isle.
  • Generation Xerox: Your New Game+ begins with "Countless generations passed..." and yet there's an entire country full of identical great-great-great-grandkids.
    • Possibly Justified, considering The Seneschal explains that everyone who has lived or died returns to life eventually, as a part of a never-ending cycle without beginning or end. As such, it's entirely possible these are just reincarnations of their past selves.
  • Get Back Here Boss: All flying enemies will tend to irritate the player by flying out of reach for most of their fights - cockatrices, dragons, and drakes will go even further by spamming their breath weapons from the air.
    • The griffin that is fought as part of the main questline is a much more obnoxious example: it originally appears on a hill outside Gran Soren, but if the player can't finish it off in a short enough amount of time it flies away to a ruin way off to the north and must be followed there by the player.
    • Salomet stays far away, teleports if you get remotely near him, and attacks by summoning skeletons and casting spells.
    • The seneschal teleports frequently and mainly fights by firing large waves of energy at you.
  • Ghibli Hills: The majority of the lands of Gransys are plains, mountains and forests filled with all sorts of beasts.
  • Giggling Villain: Specters and Phantasms emit a sound not unlike a laughing child. It's possible they're actually ghosts of angry brats who find it funny to scare Pawns.
  • The Grim Reaper: Randomly appears on Bitterblack Isle in Dark Arisen and his scythe instantly one-shots anything it hits. If it happens to kill a pawn, they are instantly sent back to the rift without a chance for revival. However, his scythe swing is his only actual attack and the sleep spell he casts with his lantern can be nullified with proper equipment, making him less threathening.
  • Guide Dang It: Hand in hand with the less than friendly difficulty curve, some quests will be really hard to complete, mostly because you'll have no idea where to go next or what to do. The game helpfully points out you can engage in another quest while you're blundering around clueless. While you can mark a quest as a priority which adds some markers to your map that point out NPCs and locations essential to it, it doesn't help much with some of the more obscure requirements.
    • There are a lot of quests you can undertake, and some have a strict time limit which will cause them to be automatically canceled if you finish too many plot-related quests. The game will never inform you of this.
    • The introductions for Madeline and the Elysion are incredibly easy to miss because they're only available between two specific missions, and the end of the first dumps you right on top of the starting point for the second.
    • Both of the missions that feature Selene have blink-and-you-miss-it starting points.
    • The Arisen's Bond, a unique item that you can gift to NPC's for a massive affection boost, is found in the deep Witchwood, sitting on the grave of Selene's mistress. The problem is that it's not there during Selene's missions, so you'll only discover it if you happen to trek through the entire area strictly on a whim.
    • The duel between Mercedes and Julien. The game tells you simply to observe, but you can intervene and kill Julien. You can even intervene, kill Julien, and bring him back to life with a Wakestone so he can stand trial, which is also the only way to have a relationship with him.
    • The Golden Idol is an item which can be obtained in two ways, and they are not that easy. The first way is by escorting Fournival's daughter Symone. And even there, if you mess up, she will not give you the idol (and she's a Spoiled Brat, so it's easy to mess up, although you can cheat the system slightly if you give her some items she likes before you start the quest so you have more leeway). The second way is, if you turned Fournival guilty, buy it from Symone at 100,000 gold. Finally, unlike most items you can make forgeries of, giving the fake item to the shopkeeper will deny any new weapon updates (since the person who made the original can obviously tell it's a fake), although thankfully keeping the fake version for yourself still gives you the real deal's shop discount.
    • Shopkeepers sell better items if you raise their affinity high enough.
    • Hell, the affinity system in general. See, what the game tells you is that by doing tasks for certain NPCs and/or giving them gifts, they begin to warm up to you, granting you some small bonuses (shopkeepers lower their prices and buy your loot for more, among other things). What the game doesn't tell you is that when you reach the Disc One Final Boss, the NPC you have the highest affinity for automatically becomes your permanent lover. Even if the NPC is a small child. You pretty much have to micro manage who you do quests for and who you give gifts to in order to get the lover you want.
    • Monsters can have very hard resistances to certain builds. A golem for example is highly magic resistant but very vulnerable to climbing and physical attacks. If you stumble upon a story golem fight and you happen to be a mage you will have almost no impact on the fight needing to rely on your uncontrollable pawns to figure it out (assuming they're physical attackers) which can take quite a while. This means you need to either run away to the nearest rest stop to change classes or endure through a very long and tedious battle. Since there's little way to know about many boss fights beforehand, your first run through becomes a trial and error ordeal depending on how much time it will cost you to cope.
  • Happiness in Slavery: The Pawns fit this trope. They can't really be "happy" due to having no emotions, but they are only fulfilled when they're serving under an Arisen. Pawns who have lost their Arisen will either hang around where their Arisen was last seen, like lost puppies, or worse turn homicidal out of grief. Notably, hanging around their Arisen will eventually lead the pawn to gain emotions and free will, but even these "liberated" pawns still retain traces of their master/servant relationship with their Arisen.
  • Have a Gay Old Time: Because the game uses older English language dialogue, expect people to describe unusual things using the term 'Queer'.
  • Healing Spring: There are a couple spread out across the map, and is one of the few ways to heal everyone in the party.
  • Henchmen Race: Rare non-evil example in the form of Pawns, homunculi created to fight the dragons and aid the Arisen.
  • Hide Your Children: The game has children down to about the age of twelve, then stops; it's as if a decade ago, everyone decided to stop reproducing. This is due to characters being constructed using the same system that the player is allowed in Character Customization, and the youngest Arisen possible is about that age. This also means that every young girl is post-pubescent, if however so slightly, as there is no body for a completely breastless female; there is only a range from A to DD.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: The fight with The Dragon at the beginning. You can swing at him all you like, but you'll deal zero damage and the second he hits you, you're dead.
    • Your first encounter with an Evil Eye. All you can do is run to the dungeon's exit and pray that you survive the barrage of magic the Eye's tendrils throw at you.
  • HP to One: The Evil Eye's Chew attack can't kill you and will actually leave your HP at one. It can still kill Pawns though.
  • Humanity Is Infectious: Spending enough time with an Arisen will eventually cause a Pawn to be gifted with a piece of its master's soul, granting it full emotions and a human existence.
  • Humans Are Special: The Dragon mentions this in his speech when you meet him, noting that goblins and other creatures are perfectly content just eating and sleeping, while humans crave change.
    • He seems to imply that humans are diverse, as "some welcome the end with arms outstretched, while others approach with arms in hand."
  • Idle Animation: Stand around for a bit and your Pawn will come wave in your face to see if you're still awake.
  • I Have Your Wife: PAY ATTENTION TO THE AFFINITY SYSTEM. The dragon captures the one with the highest affinity (or the one you gave the Arisen's bond) and uses them for a Sadistic Choice.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: You may find the occasional skeleton pinned to a tree with its own sword.
  • Implacable Man: In the Dark Arisen expansion, The Grim Reaper. He randomly appears while traveling through the Bitterblack Isle, seeking you out with his magical lantern, then putting you to sleep and One Hit Killing you with his Sinister Scythe. Although it is eventually possible to take Death down most players will find it a much better idea to just run.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Bandit Archers' accuracy with their arrows never seem to decrease even in the beat black of night. You on the other hand...
  • Inexplicable Treasure Chests: That are inexplicably refilled a few days after you open them!
  • Informed Flaw: A big deal is made early on about how Pawns are emotionless, mindless automatons who lack any form of free will. Traveling with your Pawns for any length of time and Selene's very existence show that this is actually false.
  • Inn Between the Worlds: Inns are one of two places (the other being Sigil Stones) where Pawns from every different plane of reality gather.
  • In-Universe Game Clock: The game has a non-static night and day cycle (entering towns, dungeons and menus does not pause it) that affects monster spawns and some quests.
  • Jiggle Physics: Mostly the female-only armor, though some of the unisex pieces have it. Some armors have more jiggle than others; i.e. a simple leather bra bounces A LOT, while full plate holds those puppies tight.
  • Job System: The player starts with Fighter, Mage, and Strider. Earn Discipline by defeating monsters, and you can either spend it on new skills or to change your class. You can either upgrade to Warrior, Sorcerer, and Ranger, or opt for a hybrid class of Magick Knight, Magic Archer, or Assassin (though Pawns can't take hybrid classes). You can even switch to an upgraded class that you didn't use the previous form of, so a Mage could suddenly become a Warrior or Assassin without ever switching to the Fighter class first. Switching must be done at the inn, however.
    • Job skills are handled as a mix of type one and type two. There are actual class-unique skills that are used directly in combat which are handled as type one, but there are also basic skills that require a certain class level to learn, but once learned can be kept across any class.
    • Stats are type two: the amount you gain per stat is determined by your current class when leveling up. Switching between classes is a valid way to become a Jack of All Stats.
  • Just Add Water: Item crafting is always Item 1 + Item 2 = Item 3 and the result is instantaneous. Most of the recipes make sense (vial of Spider Venom + Empty Bottle = Poison Flask), but some stretch it quite thin (chunk of Iron Ore + flimsy piece of Kindling = Pickax that never breaks, no forge necessary) or are just outright ridiculous (Hammer + Shackle = nothing, but Shackle + Hammer = Skeleton Key).
  • Karl Marx Hates Your Guts/Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: Somehow, both are in here. The inn at your hometown costs a measly 50g, while the one in Gran Soren, a short walk through a mountain pass, is a whopping 500g. Aside from the inns, though, there are ways to get massive discounts on items, from gaining favor with the merchants, or collecting certain special items. Also a Game Breaker in that one could purchase a perishable item, wait until it grows mold (which improves its effects), then sell it back to the very same merchant for well over triple what they paid for the fresh item and easily earn millions of gold long before they even set foot outside of their hometown the first time.
    • At least the inns do have an excuse: Gran Soren is the capital, so it's likely that its inn sees a lot of traffic, while Casardis is a tiny fishing village on the other side of a mountain that no one wants to visit. What doesn't have an excuse are the various rest camps scattered around the map: they're just tents with sleeping bags, not even a proper building and bed, and were specifically set up to help the Arisen, yet they cost 100g. The tent in the first fort costs a whopping 300g; apparently that wooden fence with a gate is worth a premium.
  • Karma Houdini: The Duke. Julien if you don't help Mercedes defeat him.
  • Kill It with Fire: Fire based spells are especially effective on feathered beasts and are handy in lighting the way at night.
    • This is also a pretty good tactic against most any enemy. A good portion are actually weak to fire - wolves, harpies, zombies, Saurians, and, yes, the aforementioned goblins - and those that are not specifically weak to it still have a tendency to catch on fire and be too busy to attack you anyway. But the most common enemies are weak to it, so expect to be hearing your Pawn shout "'Tis weak to fire!" and "Fire works well!" a lot.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: The weight limit does a good job of making you a little less likely to pick up every last thing you see, but with so many Inexplicable Treasure Chests just begging to be opened, you may just resort to hiring the biggest Pawn you can - not for his battle skills, mind you, but because he's strong like an ox and makes a great beast of burden for carrying all the stuff that's too heavy for your inventory (and if he dies, all that stuff gets autoshipped back to your safety deposit box at the inn, which has no limit).
    • Pawns also have a habit of breaking open any and every box or jar they see, just to check if something interesting is inside. Pawns with the "Acquisitor" trait will even do this in the heat of battle, spouting lines like, "You fight, I'll take this!"
  • Knight in Shining Armor: The Arisen, at least to Aelinore.
  • Lag Cancel: The "Reset/Instant Reset" skill is essentially this, it works in a wide variety of situations.
  • Level Grinding: Done subtly; for a lot of quests you'll be required to backtrack, meaning you'll often be killing respawning thieves, goblins, wolves, etc.
  • Level Scaling: As you level up, new enemies will begin spawning in place of old ones. You thought fighting zombies all night was annoying? Wait until you get the skeletons coming out. You'll love zombies then.
    • Sorting Algorithm of Evil: If you follow the main plot closely, at least. Gran Soren and its immediate surroundings are fairly safe, and your first quests are fairly close. As the story goes on, you'll be sent further and further away, where the stronger monsters live. Of course, since the world is quite open, if you don't follow the main plot closely you can end up with Schizophrenic Difficulty instead as you explore a forest to kill cyclops and chimeras but then get asked to go kill a dozen goblins.
  • Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards: Averted completely, surprisingly enough. The different classes all have different play styles, but the game puts emphasis on teamwork, not going it alone.
    • Unless you choose to become an assassin, in which case you actually get a huge attack and defense bonus for not having any pawns with you, including your own.
  • Loads and Loads of Loading: Just to get into the game, you go through (none of these is skippable):
    Checking HDD for free space...
    Checking trophy data...
    Title Screen: Press any button
    Auto-save warning
    Checking saved data...
    Checking downloaded content...
    Launching in offline mode...
    Connecting to server... (if online)
    Main menu: choose to launch game or manual.
    Main menu: choose New/Load Game
    Checking downloaded content... (again)
    Loading actual game
  • Luminescent Blush: Characters with a high Affinity become so luminescent that they get a pink aura when you talk to them.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: The Magick Archer's Threefold Bolt, Seeker Bolt, and their upgraded versions fire off multiple magic arrows that home on their targets following erratic trails. Unfortunately, your opponents will also have this buff.
    • Laying down multiple of the Mystic Knight's Great Cannon following with hitting them with the Full Moon Slash results in a frame-rate breaking amount of magical seeking orbs flying for the nearest monster.
  • Made of Iron: Valmiro. One quest requires you to track him down three times &, each time, you have to save him from the brink of death by giving him herbs. If you don't do the quest, he comes back fine eventually. If he becomes the arisen's beloved, he gets kidnapped from a boat in the middle of the ocean by Grigori who has him beaten by goblins with spiky clubs before breathing fire next to him to render him unconscious. He soon gets up & runs away with no apparent injuries.
  • Magick
  • Magic Knight: The Mystic Knight class, which functions as a defender with some support spells.
  • Mle Trois: During "A Fortress Besieged", the soldiers that were supposed to guide you to the Stone of the South run afoul of a pack of goblin raiders...only for a griffin to swoop down and kill both the soldiers and the goblins, leaving you to make the trek to the fort on your own.
  • Mind Screw: Plenty of it. For one thing, if the player uses the Godsbane sword too early at the end of the game, before sitting on the Seneschal's throne, the intro sequence plays again ... with the Arisen having become the Dragon.
  • Mistaken Identity: Pawns sometimes do this when encountering unfamiliar monsters, usually calling them something they're familiar with. For instance, one's first encounter with a drake will often prompt a reaction something along the lines of "The dragon, here?". Similarly, expect succubi to be referred to as harpies, hellhounds to be referred to as wolves, etc.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: The Chimera is said to be born "of the sorcerer's arts."
  • Molotov Cocktail: Dragon's Spit, an item which can be tossed at enemies to light them on fire.
  • Monsters Everywhere: It's pretty much a guarantee that if you are not in a town or settlement, you will be in a battle with—or running away from—monsters.
  • Multishot: Classes that use a bow all have some form of this.
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: A surprising gameplay aversion. Your character's weight matters a lot as heftier characters (either with more muscles, more fat, or just more height) have a much higher encumbrance rating. Lightweights on the other hand are very fast, but can't carry nearly as much stuff.
  • My Master, Right or Wrong: After the Duke frames you for causing his Rapid Aging, if your affinity with the unique guards was high before then, its made clear that they're reluctant to attack you, but they can't disobey their Duke.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: When you kill the dragon, the monsters unleashed on the world are ten times worse than what were there before. Oh, and the residential district of Gran Soren collapses into a giant sink hole.
    • Before that, some knights find the body of a dead cockatrice and decide it would make a nice trophy for the duke. Of course the thing gets brought back to life and starts wreaking havoc the moment it's inside.
  • Nintendo Hard: The main missions aren't bad at first, but the second you get into the sidequests...
    • And then there is the part after you defeate the dragon.
    • Bitterblack Isle takes this to the extreme, with enemies that spawn specifically after you make a lot of kills, such as zombie drakes or even the grim reaper.
  • No Arc in Archery: Averted. Arrows travel in an arc and may even wobble just a bit.
  • No Body Left Behind: When you kill a golem, their hard stone body crumbles into dust and blows away. Other large monsters, like cyclops and chimeras, have their flesh essentially melt into a puddle, leaving behind a spine and pelvis. After you beat the dragon, he too crumbles into dust.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: In one side quest you are asked to evict a family from their home. You can Take a Third Option and just buy the home from the current owner allowing the family to stay. While this seems like a good and generous idea at the time it comes back to bite you later as everyone but the young boy dies in the city collapse after the dragon is defeated. If you evict them they survive.
  • No Hugging, No Kissing: Inverted by the Affinity system: there is no such thing as a platonic friendship; it's all love, all the time. You can't explain to a character that you want to be Just Friends, or that you're just being nice because you're The Hero and heroes tend to be pretty nice people, or even that you're Only in It for the Money and their quest reward is a nice little item. Nope. Even asking the innkeeper for a bed one too many times can get him thinking that you want to share a bed, as some players have discovered when they didn't actively pursue another romance and the game just picked whoever had the most Affinity - or, in this case, whoever had been talked to the most, even strictly for business.
    • This also gets players with Chronic Hero Syndrome in trouble. Because It's Up to You and noticeboard quests tend to appear for only a set time and then disappear days later, players tend to take on a lot of Escort Missions, which the game treats as dates and results in Affinity spikes for all characters involved, meaning all of Gran Soren is in love with the Arisen and any one of them is a viable candidate for being the love interest. This also results in players having to attack innocent civilians to make them less in love with them or else try to "trick" the system into picking the one they want. Current thinking is that the last max-Affinity person you speak to before accepting the quest "Deny Salvation" is the one chosen as your love interest. However, there's also a suspicion that the system may have a hierarchy of sorts within it, and when presented with several characters with high enough Affinity, it simply picks the one who's highest on the list without checking the status of others. In that case, it may be that Cruelty Is the Only Option.
  • No Kill Like Overkill: Even when equipped with weaker spells of the same element, pawns always seem to prefer to do things like rain down meteors on goblins and wolves when fireballs or even staff bolts will work.
  • Nonstandard Game Over: When you finally confront the Dragon, if you accept his deal and allow him to sacrifice your Love Interest, then your game will end with your Arisen sitting on the throne of Gran Soren alone.
    • If you die in the final battle, you'll be treated to a cutscene where your Arisen transforms into the next dragon.
  • Notice This: Spots to be gathered from, chests to be opened, and items sitting on the ground to be picked up will all activate your Shiny Sense.
  • One-Hit Kill: All dragons in the wild have some kind of roar ability that instantly kills your pawns, regardless of health, requiring you to go each one of them and revive them to half health. It's not frequent enough to constitute The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard but is still annoying.
  • One Size Fits All: Any armor can be equipped by any size of character, which is kind of a necessity given the amount of Character Customization you can do. Some pieces are limited by class, however.
  • Orcus on His Throne: After he finds a worthy mortal, the Dragon is content to simply wait for the Arisen to come fight him at Tainted Mountain.
    • The Seneschal does this quite literally, waiting in his throne room for someone worthy to come along and resume his duties.
  • Our Monsters Are Different: A lot are based entirely on old representations of Medieval and Greek mythology, with a few other things thrown in for good measure.
    • Chimeras: The classical Chimera with a lion's head and front legs, a goat's head in the middle of its back and hind legs, and a snake's head for a tail. The snake spews poison and can be chopped from the body (you are advised to do this first), the goat casts magic, and the lion is a physical attacker that your Pawn claims is afraid of magic.
    • Cyclops: A rather big one-eyed monster that likes to smash things with a club and may wear armor. You are advised to climb up and stab it in the eye. They also have some Orc-like tendencies, with large pig tusks that can be broken off and are valuable for crafting. Can also apparently be tamed, as a certain female bandit living in the mountains shares her camp with one, and it just rolls around and rocks back and forth on its legs like a large child.
    • Dragons: Obviously. Only come around to mark the end of the age, bringing with them a huge surge of monsters around the world then await their respective Arisen on a mountain or other high, easily noticeable place. They come in five different flavors: Wyverns, Wyrms, Drakes, The Dragon, and the Bonus Boss, Ur Dragon.
    • Evil Eye: The Beholder from D&D makes an appearance under its name from Final Fantasy I as a boss, with a lesser version called Vile Eyes appearing as mooks. However, the Design Books artbook reveals that Vile/Evil Eyes are the result of a Dragon slain by an Arisen pushing their remaining magical energy into one of their eyeballs, resulting in the eye taking on a life of it's own. As the Eye grows in power, their eyelids become a mouth with their eyelashes becoming teeth, and the eventual mouthed tentacles are formed from the optic nerves.
    • Gargoyles: Yet another monster you can fight. Resemble grey pterosaurs or Aerodactyl. One late-game sidequest asks you to exterminate three of them. They can also Petrify you.
    • Goblins: They're about as smart as children, capable of understanding how to use weapons and armor, and tame other creatures like cyclopes.
    • Golem: Yep. They're in here too. Slightly different in the fact that, instead of general magic animating them, they have actual magickal seals encrusted on them.
    • Griffins: They resemble classical representations but with the coloration of bald eagles and their wings generate electricity in flight.
    • Harpies: They sing a song which will lull you to sleep, and tend to try to carry you off. Mostly bird-like, but with human faces and breasts.
    • Hydra: A big, four-headed snake that likes to try to eat you. Thankfully, it does not grow more heads when one is chopped off, but they do regrow very quickly if you don't use fire to burn the neck.
    • Ogres: Moderately large monsters, formed from giants cursed by the gods, that Pawns claim are more vicious than a Cyclops, but are basically Dumb Muscle. They also have a taste for human flesh, particularly women, and hoot like large apes when excited. Oh, and it Turns Red.
    • Pawns: Spawned specifically to fight dragons, pawns are immortal non-human beings that aid the Arisen.
    • Saurians: They resemble a cross between crocodiles and bearded dragons and can spit a substance that inflicts poison or torpor. They also carry spears.
    • Skeletons: Walking skeletons are capable of playing as any class that a living human is, which results in skeleton swordsmen, skeleton mages, skeleton archers, and so on. Smashing them with a hammer is extremely effective, while stabbing them with a sword or knife is not, as they have no soft tissue to cut.
    • Spirits: They will posses you or your Pawn and generally make a pest of themselves. An attack from an ally will dislodge the possessing spirit, but this is the only time they're vulnerable to physical damage; outside of a body, magic is required to hit them.
    • Undead: They're still undead with the standard weaknesses to fire and holy magic, but they apparently remember some of their lives and might even be aware of their surroundings. They can often be heard commenting on the state of their clothes, mumbling about having to be home, or wondering aloud where their loved ones are.
  • Pinball Projectile: The Ricochet Bolt for Magic Archers bounces off surfaces and gets more powerful each time, last for a good while and does a god job of seeking out enemies. Its upgraded counter part fires three at a time. In tight quarters such as caves or ruins, it is truly devastating as a single firing can clear out entire rooms.
  • Player Data Sharing: Your pawn (a fully customizable follower of your character) can be used by anyone in the pawn community. While with another player, your pawn will gain gifts from the other player, rift crystals, and quest experience from the quests they went on while away. You can also hire other's pawns and have them travel with you on your quests.
  • Point of No Return: One of the few times that the game is Merciful: you are warned before Coming to Court that you must finish all your Wyrmhunt quests before visiting the Duke, and again before heading to fight the dragon that you will not be able to turn back afterward.
  • Power Perversion Potential: Pawns have basically no free will of their own and can be created to look and act however their master likes...
  • Pretty Freeloaders: If you rescue Selene from the Witch Hunt, she'll move into your house in Cassardis, despite having her own hut and being quite shy around people. Whoever you get as your love interest will also move in with you, meaning there can be up to three people attempting to sleep in your tiny bed at once. If your LI is one of the merchants, though, they will continue to sell you stuff. No, you don't get a discount for giving them a free bed.
  • Previous Player-Character Cameo: In a New Game+, you'll eventually run into your old Arisen if you're playing in offline mode, or a random Arisen from the 'net in online mode.
  • Rainbow Pimp Gear: Given that you can often find pieces of gear before the full set is available, or that certain classes are only allowed to wear certain items, or just that sometimes the best combination available at the moment looks pretty silly, you can expect to see yourself and some Pawns wearing some pretty outlandish things at one point or another. If you hire a Pawn from another player, when you dismiss them you're given the option of rating the Pawn's appearance as well as helpfulness.
  • Relationship Values: The Affinity system allows you to befriend every single NPC available, giving you discounts or advice. The one with the highest affinity gets captured by the dragon and becomes your Love Interest.
  • Religion of Evil/Cult: In the form of a cultist group named Salvation, who believe the path of destruction the Dragon leaves will save Gransys. Even the dragon thinks they're nuts.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Daimon wishes to destroy the cycle of arisen, dragons and the seneschal for forcing him to choose between his love and killing the dragon that was his previous master
  • Sadistic Choice: The Dragon captures your love interest, whoever that might be, and takes them to The Tainted Mountain. There, he asks you to fight him to let your love interest go free or let him kill your love interest while promising to leave the land... temporarily. However, if you choose the latter, the game will treat it as a death and allow you to Retry before the Dragon's query.
    • You do get an ending cutscene, however, which shows that your situation after the deal is exactly the same as that of Edmund Dragonsbane.
    • The arisen who became Daimon was presented the same choice with an extra twist: the dragon was his old master and his beloved was his master's (and his) main pawn.
    • Before that, there's plenty of sidequests along the lines of "Do you want to kill this guy outright, or do your job, which means somebody else will kill him?"
    • Then there's The Seneschal making you choose between an empty existence and killing your friends and family. Suffice to say somebody at Capcom was NOT in a good mood when they were writing the game.
      • It's possible to avert the last one though; you can just run past all the shades of your friends, though you'll probably take a little damage in the process.
  • Savage Wolves: As your Pawn will helpfully point out to you, wolves hunt in packs! The real problem with them isn't their numbers, however; it's the fact that they don't sit still and so you'll have a hard time actually landing a hit unless you catch one mid-howl or just after an attack.
  • Scenery Porn: Some of the views are absolutely breathtaking. Not that you'll have a lot of time to stop and admire the view with all the monsters.
  • Sequence Breaking: It's possible to get past the Broken Bridge and up to Gran Soren before said bridge is 'repaired'. However, it seems that The Dev Team Thinks of Everything, since the guards will turn you away at the gates, and the entrance via the aqueduct is closed tight.
    • Also near the beginning is a minor break in the Watergod's Temple where you can dash/hover/doublejump over a pit to get behind a plot-locked door and strip the place of loot well before you get the quest that sends you down there.
  • Shield Bash: The Fighter has a number of attacks based around using the shield.
  • Shout-Out
    • To Berserk. As part of a cross-promotion deal with the 2012 anime, it includes the armor sets of Guts and Griffith. Two of the preset characters also bear a strong resemblance to Guts and Casca.
    • As a nod to one of Capcom's own franchises, one of the character classes is the ninja-like Strider.
      • Either that, or the devs really like Aragorn.
    • Possible pawn quote: "'Tis but a flesh wound!"
    • The list of monikers that you can pick for your characters that're displayed instead of the name you've input for them yourself if the other person has blocked it from their console's parental controls all come from many of Capcom's other games. They include Chun-Li, M.Bison, Dante, Asura and Magnus.
      • One of the monikers available is Rhaegar.
    • The golems definitely seem to reference certain other laser-spewing constructs with their delayed-explosion beam sweeps.
    • The trophy for maxing someone's Affinity is called "To Affinity And Beyond".
    • One of the quests is called "Off With Its Head".
    • The "Blink Strike/Burst Strike" sword skills are similar to Dante's "Stinger".
      • Similarly, the "Sprint/Mad Dash" special attacks are almost identical to Guy's Hayagake dash special, with the only difference being that the overhead kick is replaced with a jump which can then be followed up with midair attacks.
  • Skeleton Key: are also somehow Interchangeable Antimatter Keys! They only work on doors in the dungeon or the Smuggler's Pass, however; ordinary house doors simply can't be opened.
  • Smashing Survival: When the player is captured or pinned down by a monster, the player is prompted to frantically flick the left analog stick back and forth. There's a passive skill that doubles the speed at which the bar that fills up when you waggle the stick, although it's mistakenly labled as making it easier to escape battles.
  • Soft Water: Averted. A fall from a height is a fall from a height, no matter what you land in.
    • Averted only with shallow water, but if you fall from a great height then land into deep water, The Brine takes you which lands you back into solid ground, instead of killing you.
  • Spam Attack: Most classes get a spam of some sort. Beware, because enemies playing those classes also get the spam.
    • Beam Spam: The Magic Knight move Great Cannon, which places a glowing orb of energy about waist height that shoots off more glowing orbs when struck.
    • Blade Spam: The Strider moves Scarlet Kisses and Hundred Kisses do many small slashes with daggers. Fighters also get a sword-based move that does fewer but more powerful strikes.
    • Rain of Arrows: The Strider and its derivatives get several Multishot moves, some of which fire multiple arrows at once and others which fire several arrows in rapid succession.
  • Squishy Wizard: Can be avoided by players and pawns depending on your build and class, but played straight for many bands of rogues you run into.
  • So Long, and Thanks for All the Gear: Averted. When a Pawn leaves your party, anything they didn't bring themselves is sent to storage at the inn.
  • Sprint Meter: Stamina is consumed when sprinting, climbing up large monsters, casting a spell, or performing a special attack move.
  • Standard Status Effects:
    • Poison - Saps your HP. Can be cured with any one of several herbs or potions.
    • On Fire - Saps your HP. Can be cured by rolling on the ground or jumping in water.
    • Sleep - You can be roused by a Pawn, using the same animation that you use to help them up after they've fainted.
    • Silence - Magick is unusable, but physical skills still work.
    • Stifling - Same as Silence, but affects physical skills as well.
    • Blindness - Causes your screen to be covered in dark clouds, making it difficult to see your enemies (except for that bright purple HP gauge over their heads).
    • Petrification - You slowly turn to stone, and as the petrification progresses, you slow down to a crawl before stopping entirely. Counts as a death for you, but Pawns and enemies simply turn into breakable statues.
    • Torpor - Slow. Your character reacts sluggishly to button commands.
    • Critical - Turns the edges of your screen red and muffles all sounds except your own ragged breathing.
    • Curse - Substantially lowers your attributes to 60% of their normal total and increases damage taken by 40%.
    • Possession - The ghost slowly overtakes your body (or your Pawn's, which really freaks them out). Can be cured by smacking the afflicted's sense back into them.
  • Starter Equipment: When you wake up in Quina's house at the start of the game, you'll find some rusty equipment laying on a table nearby.
  • Stealth-Based Mission: Two sidequests ("Arousing Suspicion" and "The Conspirators") require you to sneak into the Duke's palace at night (which is considered an illegal act), avoid detection with the guards, meeting with your quest contact, then sneaking back out.
    • Also, the quest that requires you to follow Julien without drawing his attention.
  • Stop Poking Me: A good way to lower an NPC's affinity without outright attacking them is to repeatedly bump into them while dashing.
  • Suicidal Overconfidence: The game levels you up fairly quickly, and there's a triple figure level cap. The various enemies out to pick a fight with you don't seem to realize this.
  • Super Drowning Skills: In a way similar to Jak and Daxter, it is possible to go into the water, but stray too far out and a creature known as the Brine (taking the form a deep red fog) will surround you and deposit you back on shore. (It'll spirit off any Pawns that you dump in it, though.)
  • Swamps Are Evil: If you walk into the Grimy Water, they'll inflict one of the Standard Status Effects on you. They also tend to be full of Saurians and attract Phantasms at night. Your Pawns will point out that because they're so unpleasant, there's a good chance that you'll find rare materials that others haven't plundered yet.
    • Amusingly, the goblins and saurians you can find around the swamps aren't immune to them. This can lead to a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown when you and your Pawn's whale on blind, poisoned enemies.
  • Take a Third Option: In "Land of Opportunity", you are required to evict a family of refugees from a plot of land so Fornivaul can sell the land to a higher paying customer...or you can buy the land yourself, pleasing Fornivaul and allowing the family to remain. This, however, results in the entire family except for the boy being killed when the residential section collapses into the Everfall.
    • Played with in Dark Arisen. The final boss was an Arisen who tried this when he was presented by the Dragon's Sadistic Choice - either risk losing your own life (and lose your immortality even if you win) or sacrifice your most beloved. He refused to give an answer, instead vowing to destroy the gods for forcing this on him. The Dragon, however, chose to go the Literal Genie route and gave him the second option. It took the life of his beloved and transformed the man into a form which could kill a god, the Daimon, and then it banished him to the Bitterblack Isle.
  • Talk to Everyone: One of the random comments that your Pawn can make is "A good start to any task is talking to people." Thankfully you rarely have to resort to it, as the game marks any NPCs essential to your prioritized quest on your map and a lot of them have repeated lines.
  • A Taste of Power: The Prologue features Savan, a high level, well-equipped Arisen and a company of experienced Pawns who kill a chimera on their way to face the dragon. Once you make your own Arisen, do not expect your first encounter with a chimera to go so well.
    • In-universe example: The Arisen, being the Chosen One with the potential to become the Seneschal, has the ability to create a pawn as a traveling companion and replacement when they become the next Seneschal and gain the ability to create actual life.
  • Tempting Fate: On your way to the Bluemoon Tower, your pawn will occasionally comment on how the area hasn't been touched by man in a long time. The first thing you will encounter are male Bandits.
  • Tentacle Rope: While the Brine normally appears as a red-and-black fog as you're walking out into the water, when it finally takes you (or if you fall stra ight into the depths), you may see several clear tentacles waving about in the air as it grabs you and drags you off.
  • That Makes Me Feel Angry: Pawns have a tendency to voice how exactly they're feeling.
  • There Are No Tents: If you want to recover HP in the field, you'd better have some food or potions on you.
    • You can, however, sleep in tents other people have setup in the field.
  • Tin Man: How most players come to perceive their Pawn. Despite several characters and the manual stating that Pawns have no emotions, they certainly seem to act as though they have them, expressing concern for their Arisen and wonder at the beauty of the landscape. There's a bit of debate going around whether the Pawns are just mimicking human behavior they've seen, or if they really do have emotions and are just experiencing some sort of Internalized Categorism from everyone else looking down on them.
  • Title Drop: You will obtain the sword, Dragon's Dogma, after defeating the Dragon with a sword.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Everything, every single monster you fought before killing the Dragon, will now destroy you utterly after killing the Dragon. The puny, weak Goblins are now Pint-Sized Powerhouse Grimgoblins. The slow, shambling zombies are now fast, hard hitting giant zombies, etc.
  • Top Heavy Food Chain: While there are prey animals like deer and rabbits, there are barely as many of them as there are wolves in any single area. And, as a possible nod to this trope, the wolves are all very lean and ragged-looking with visible ribs, which also makes a handy justification for why they're all excessively human-aggressive instead of just quietly slinking off in the woods.
  • Token Romance: The game will force one on you with whatever NPC you have the highest affinity with. Whether you want it or not.
  • Total Party Kill: It'll happen a lot.
  • Trauma Inn: Resting at an inn is one of the few ways to recover lost or unconscious pawns.
  • Trick Arrow:
    • The Strider, Ranger and Magick Archer classes all have multiple shot types, least of which being the Multishot and Rain of Arrows. Magick Archer is notable for being able to make their arrows home in on targets.
    • The Magick Archer even has a shot that gets more powerful when bounced off multiple surfaces before striking a target.
    • The Ranger can launch a arrow that sticks into a surface and fires even more shots at everything around it.
  • Underground Monkey: Just a small sampling of the creatures you'll be fighting are Harpies, Snow Harpies, Saurians, Sulfur Saurians, Snow Saurians, Wolves, and Dire Wolves.
    • Palette Swap: Some monsters are simple palette swaps on the same mesh (as in the above examples), while others use a new mesh with the same animations. For example, a cockatrice has the same animations as a griffin, but uses a mesh with a turkey vulture head instead of an eagle.
  • The Unreveal: You never actually find out who the Westron Labrys are or why they want you dead.
  • Updated Re-release: Dark Arisen. In addition to the improved fast travel opportunities and included DLC quests from the main game, its main attraction is the Bitterblack Isle, a huge new dungeon with lots of exclusive endgame equipment, including a set of class-specific accessories that allow you to use upgraded third-level versions of a select number of special attacks and spells.
  • Urban Segregation: Gran Soren is broken up into the Noble Quarter, Craftsman's Quarter, Urban Quarter, and the slums.
  • Ur Example: In-Universe example with the Ur-Dragon, an incredibly powerful dragon that literally requires hundreds of people to defeat.
  • The Usual Adversaries: Bandits and Goblins are your most recurring enemies in the earlier portions of the game.
  • Wide Open Sandbox: You're free to go absolutely anywhere in the world at any time. On the other hand, go to the wrong place when you're under leveled, and you're pretty much toast.
  • Vicious Cycle: The game's story heavily implies that Gransys is caught in a vicious cycle between the fates of the Arisen, the Dragon, the Pawns and the Seneschal.
  • Videogame Caring Potential: A possible side-effect of having to lead a team of naive, dependent pawns through various dangers. Particularly when they become distressed and call for help; time to go Mama Bear on whatever's threatening them!
  • Videogame Cruelty Potential: You can pick up and throw pretty much anything or anyone. This can range from pragmatic tactics like tossing an enemy off a cliff, to random dickery like a back-and-forth game of "catch the pig" between you and your pawn.
    • Or tossing your pawn off a cliff...
    • This isn't even getting into the in-story dickery you can get up to, some of which is actually required to get all the trophies. The most common example is taking advantage of The Black Cat, which allows you to make convincing forgeries of practically any item, including quest items with gameplay use. You can then give those out to the quest giver NPCs, netting you both the quest reward and the actual item and possibly screwing them over in the future when they'd need the item the most, or if multiple people want the item, you can give both the original and the forgery to them and get twice the quest reward.
    • What with the game's strange mechanic of affinity = romance, you might find yourself being very cruel to some NPCs to lower their affinity. After all, who wants Fournival as their recognised romance?
  • Video Game Cruelty Punishment: Be careful what animals you pick on, or you'll find yourself on the business end of an oxs horns. And don't attack people in town, or the guards will get you and throw you in jail.
    • A more subtle one: if you complete a quest to find a magic book for somebody in Gran Soren, you can choose to give him a forgery. Do that, and his attempts to help you out during a boss fight with it fail for obvious reasons.
    • In "Aroused Suspicions", letting Duke Edmun murder Aelinore will make your subsequent jailbreak much harder.
  • Voice of the Legion: Quite literally. Your first encounter with a riftstone will have voices of the Pawn Legion speaking to you.
  • Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: A bad repeat offender. Aside from quest-essential dialogue, which resembles modern English (bar a few shoehorned-in archaic-sounding ones), all of the game's dialogue is delivered in pseudo-Shakespearean dialect that uses so many "ye olde"-sounding words it can get very confusing at times.
  • Wallet of Holding: While everything else counts toward your weight limit, your money does not. This despite the fact that when enemies drop money or you find it in the field, it's displayed as a sack of gold coins - 10,000 worth is at least a foot or two around, so if you've got over 1,000,000 in your pocket, you logically shouldn't be able to move.
  • Warp Whistle: Ferry Stones, which will whisk you away to the Port Crystal outside the Pawn Guild in Gran Soren. After defeating the griffin, you can obtain a moveable Port Crystal that you can set up anywhere on the world to teleport there.
  • We Buy Anything: While there are separate shops for curatives and weapons (and even shops which specialize in one kind of weaponry or another), they'll all take whatever you want to sell.
    • If you sell items that have the ingame description of being "a rarity" to Fournival, he pays 20% extra for them.
  • We Cannot Go On Without You: If one of your Pawns is killed in battle, simply waltz over to it and press circle to help the poor thing back on its feet (with about half-full HP, even, meaning sometimes it's more efficient to let a Pawn die and then resurrect it than to actively heal it with a spell or pass the herbs). If you die, however, your Pawns will simply begin screaming and refuse to continue the fight, forcing a reload from your last save.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Some characters will depart Gransys with the promise of returning to help you at a later date including Quina and Mercedes. They won't appear in the game again unless you managed to get their Affinity high enough, in which case the Dragon kidnaps them.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: You get an achievement for sticking a male party member in female clothing.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: While Pawns never seem to express suicidal Death Seeker tendencies, they do seem a little sullen about continually living without having a real reason to live, while the humans around them lead short but interesting lives.
    • Part of the reason why the cycle of Arisen, Dragon, and Seneschal continues: Seneschals will eventually become extremely bored and will be driven to die at the hands of an Arisen.
  • You Kill It, You Bought It: Kill the Seneschal and take his job.
  • Zero-Effort Boss: In the Playable Epilogue of the game, you end up in a duel with Duke Edmun (complete with health bar), who's now a feeble old man weakly swinging his sword at you. Defeating him triggers a cutscene where he sics the guards on you.
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alternative title(s): Dragons Dogma
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