Video Game / Radiant Historia

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If you could rewrite history... What would you do differently?

In the world of Vainqueur, a land of men and beastmen, the theocratic nation Alistel is in a state of war with the fascist monarchy of Granorg. Vainqueur's land is slowly dying alongside its people, as the world slowly turns to desert and an unusual disease known as the "Sand Plague" turns its citizens into sand. The ruler of Alistel directly blames this disease on the queen of Granorg, Protea, meaning they are justified in a holy war.

Enter our hero, Stocke, an Alistelian agent working for the Special Intelligence division. He is sent alongside new teammates Raynie and Marco to meet and escort a spy who has important information that could turn the tide of the war. Unfortunately, the lot of them find themselves surrounded; the spy, Raynie, and Marco bite the dust; and Stocke is heavily wounded. He finds himself in Historia, a world between time and space. It is there that a pair of children give him the ability to travel through time, space, and the timelines, telling him that the world needs his new power. Going back and rescuing his team from their fate, Stocke must now cross between two timelines — one where he remains a spy, one where he joins his friend Rosch in the army — to guide history down the "razor-thin path" that leads to salvation.

A RPG for the Nintendo DS by a dream team made up of members of the Persona 3, Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey, Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne, Radiata Stories, and Etrian Odyssey development teams, with music by Yoko Shimomura. Released in North America on Feb 22nd, 2011. Not to be confused with Radiata Stories, of course, or Radiant Silvergun.

An Updated Re-release for the Nintendo 3DS, Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology, was announced in late March 2017, and released in February 2018. The remake contains some new content such as a Bonus Dungeon, an expanded postgame, updated artwork, and full voice acting. DLC can also be purchased.


This game provides examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Between the Offing the Offspring, Protea's habit of locking Eruca in her room as often as possible, and Heiss, who is essentially Stocke's foster father, putting him through everything up to and including Mind Rape in a well-intentioned but deeply messed-up attempt to control him, the Granorg royal family seems to have had some... problems in this regard.
    • Turns out it goes even further back than that. Perfect Chronology reveals that the the Emperor and Empress that the royal family is descended from decided to punish their daughter's love interest (for being a commoner) by doing horrible experiments on him.
  • Acceptable Breaks from Reality: Stocke keeping his levels and items between timelines is justified by his personal timeline remaining unchanged. The same cannot be said of his party members, but they keep their levels and skills regardless. As Nintendo Power put it: "Just think about how much it would suck if they didn't."
  • Actually Four Mooks: Up to 7 can appear from a single overworld enemy.
  • All Swords Are the Same: Both Stocke and Marco wield swords, and despite the fact they are clearly two completely different types of swords (a longsword and a short blade, respectively), they can both use most swords that can be equipped.
  • All There in the Manual: There are a fair number of details that are only mentioned in the artbook, including characters' ages (mostly absurdly young), the Big Bad's real name (Heinrich), and the fact that the mana breach and desertification are caused by an all-devouring eldritch horror created when a wielder of the Black Chronicle lost control of it, which is sealed in Historia.
  • Alternate History:
    • Stocke's decision at the beginning of the game to either stay in SI or leave to join a brigade commanded by Rosch leads to two alternate histories.
    • Perfect Chronology adds optional scenarios called Possible Histories that contain major or minor diversions from the two original histories, such as a timeline where Prophet Noah still healthy enough to go out in public.
  • Always Check Behind the Chair: Treasure chests may be invisible, so make sure to check everywhere for hidden goodies.
  • Always Save the Girl: This is actually the motivation of the Big Bad; if saving the life of the one person he cares about means dooming the world to desertification, that's a price he's willing to pay.
  • Ambidextrous Sprite: Mostly played straight (especially with portraits) except for one aversion: Rosch's left-facing and right-facing map sprites both have his Gauntlet as his left arm.
  • Anime Theme Song: Haruka Shimotsuki on -HISTORIA- during the end credits.
  • Antidote Effect: Lots of it. Though since most end-game enemies can either drain MP or block Item and Skill use, it's always handy to have some extra healing items and a healer on the ready.
  • Apathetic Citizens: The people of Alistel are remarkably chill considering what's going on around them due to their blind faith in the Prophet Noah. In fact, the latter is the main reason why Noah chooses to fake his death upon being revived in the original timelines so the Alistel people will have to start making their own futures.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: You can only take three people into battle, even though you can have up to seven party members.
  • Artificial Limbs: Gauntlets are artificial limb replacements powered by thaumatech. Rosch has one for his left arm.
  • Assassin Outclassin': In an unlockable ending scene, some unidentified assassin tries to kill Eruca. However, the target uses the Vanish technique they learned from Stocke to take out the assassin.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: King Garland united Cygnus by beating up the other factions.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Mana Crystals. The ability to fully heal mid-dungeon seems useful, but it costs a hundred times more than staying at an inn, which has the same effect. Plus, you need a save point to use them, so it might be more efficient to just time-travel to before you entered the dungeon and go rest at an inn there. Especially since there is at least one point in each timeline where inns are free.
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning: Averted: Eruca becomes Queen with no fanfare at all.
  • Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: The bad ending to "At Journey's End." A popular bad end because it's the only way to see Raynie give Stocke The Glomp, and reveal their affection for each other, which not even the Golden Ending does.
  • Backtracking: The nature of the game's Time Travel means you'll frequently have to go back to previous parts of the story to progress or complete sidequests.
  • Babies Ever After: Sonja and Liese are pregnant in the ending if their respective sidequests are cleared.
  • Bad Ending: Make the wrong choices, and you'll get a Non Standard Game Over where the world ends, everyone dies, or some other disaster occurs.
  • Because Destiny Says So: Stocke is only capable of changing certain decisions he makes. So, his inability to prevent the destruction of the Rosch Brigade and the necessity of Kiel's sacrifice is understandably infuriating to him. They get better in the Golden Ending.
  • Beware the Nice Ones:
    • Make the wrong choice during Marco's sidequest, and you'll get a bad ending where he snaps and kills the entire party (except Stocke, because Stocke's gotta learn from this experience somehow).
    • Make the wrong choice during Aht's sidequest, and she winds up using her shaman powers to trap Stocke in an illusory world so she can be with him forever.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Queen Protea for the Standard History, General Hugo in the Alternate History, and Heiss for the overall plot.
  • Bishōnen: Stocke, Dias, and Selvan. It's implied Dias and Selvan got their jobs because of their looks.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Unless you clear the 10 specific sidequests required for the best ending, that is. Even then, it's somewhat bittersweet. Some of the premature endings should also qualify.
  • Block Puzzle: A particularly time-consuming one in the final dungeon, mostly because of lots of forced battles (both the blocks themselves and on the paths they need to be pushed through, latter of which respawn every time you fight a block but can thankfully be run away from) and the fact that it resets if you backtrack to save (instead of just pushing on to the next savepoint, which is also a node), unlike most other puzzles.
  • Blue and Orange Morality: Zig-zagged. The Beastmen loudly insist that it applies to them. For the most part they come across as simply resentful of the humans' history of exploiting them, and one side-quest involves bridging the gap. On the other hand, when one of the bad endings involves a Gutral character becoming a mindless avatar of destruction and beating the game's other impending apocalypses to the punch, there is no indication that his race regards the transformation as anything but a legitimate religious experience.
  • Bluff the Impostor: In the "The Prophet Speaks" Possible Historia scenario, Stocke is looking for a Professional Killer who, according to his intel, is also a Master of Disguise. When Stocke think he's identified the fake, he starts a conversation and asks if there are any updates regarding Rosch's Thaumatech Gauntlet on his right arm. The fake plays along and soon finds the business end of Stocke's sword posed to strike him/her because, as Stocke explains, it's impossible for the real Lt. General Raul to not know that Rosch's Gauntlet is on his left arm.
  • Bookcase Passage: The entrance to the Royal Hall is behind a bookcase in Castle Granorg's basement library.
  • Boring, but Practical: Despite all the cool higher-level Mana Burst abilities, the first one you get, Turn Break, is often the most useful. All party members can use it and it removes an enemy's turn, making it easier to string together massive combos or buying you some breathing room to heal.
  • Boss Rush: Near the end, to unseal a door, you have to fight four bosses in a row. At least you can do whatever between fights, and the ones you defeat don't have to be refought.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Eruca's guns work without bullets. Justified since they're magic guns; the attacks that fire them use up MP. Eruca's default attack command involves a pistol whip.
  • Butterfly of Doom: Many of the bad endings are caused by innocuous choices, like telling Eruca to relax in a sidequest.
  • But Thou Must!:
    • Countless times you will need to choose between two options. Invariably, one of them leads to a Non Standard Game Over and the other choice allows the story to proceed. If you guess wrong, time is reset and you have an opportunity to make the choice again.
    • Zig-Zagged in the very first choice of the game (joining Rosch's Brigade): you can choose either option, but you'll continuously encounter roadblocks that will require you to visit the other timeline.
  • Bystander Syndrome:
    • Most of the world is shockingly blase about the fact that the world is turning into sand; they're most concerned with winning the war.
    • In the sidequest with Mimel, the bar patrons don't seem to notice the fact that someone turns to sand right in the middle of the room.
    • Merchants in Granorg during Standard History chapter 3 will continue selling their wares while the city is on fire. They comment on what's going on outside, but only in the context of it proving that you need to buy their stuff.
  • Can't Catch Up: Rosch and Eruca can easily fall behind in levels. Rosch is only a party member on a consistent basis in Alternate History, and even then he leaves the party for a bit due to a Heroic B.S.O.D.. Eruca is mainly only a party member in Standard History, and she ends up leaving the party multiple time throughout the game for various reasons.
  • Can't Drop the Hero: Stocke is always required to be in the party. To compensate, he's a Jack-of-All-Trades with all-around good stats.
  • Captain Smooth and Sergeant Rough: Inverted in the Alternate History. Rosch, the captain, is very outwardly tough, hands-on, and prone to good-naturedly terrorizing his soldiers, while Stocke, the sergeant, is quiet, reserved, surprisingly kind, and well-known to be far and away the most dangerous person in the brigade.
  • Cardiovascular Love: A handful of characters make a Heart Symbol appear when they're around someone they like.
  • Chainmail Bikini: Raynie wears a strangely-cut dress with a low neckline and some small piece of armor to protect her neck, with some unprotected skin in between.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The sword Historica is offhandedly mentioned during Chapter 4 of Alternate History, way before its existence becomes relevant in Chapter 6.
  • Chekhov M.I.A.:
    • Prince Ernst has been dead for several years, but since the game keeps bringing him up, you know he's gotta be important. Especially about halfway through the game, when it's revealed that Stocke looks so much like him it's making Eruca uncomfortable. Sure enough, he is: Stocke is Ernst, Back from the Dead and with his memories erased.
    • There is one line that establishes that the previous sacrifice for the ritual's location is unknown, and this is likely to go unnoticed due to the much bigger revelation in that same line that the ritual requires a sacrifice. Guess who the ultimate Big Bad is?
  • Cherry Tapping: Aht's Dancing Death skill hits seven times, and due to her abysmal Attack stat most of them will hit for 1 damage. But it's fantastic for raising your combo level, and when facing one of the handful of enemies with invulnerability skills can completely negate all shields in one turn, since each shield level blocks one hit, regardless of damage. It's also very useful for the final boss in the epilogue, who after a while can only be injured by attacks of a given combo level, which is otherwise rather tricky to reach.
  • The Chessmaster:
    • Heiss and Stocke. Understandable, since one is a master spy and the other is his protégé.
    • Dias and Selvan to a degree, though they're not as good at it as Heiss and Stocke keeps ruining everything. Though to be fair, you cannot fault Dias and Selvan for not being able to beat [i]time travel[/i]
  • Chessmaster Sidekick: Stocke to Rosch in the Alternate History timeline.
  • Chess Motifs:
    • Chess pieces can be worn as stat boosting accessories. Pawn is the first and King is the best.
    • The Black and White Chronicles can be seen as opposing chess masters, trying to outmaneuver the other.
  • A Child Shall Lead Them: Eruca to the Resistance and later Granorg in both timelines, and Aht, who, as a shaman, acts as the spiritual leader of Celestia.
  • Child Mage: Aht at 9 years old. Marco to an extent, since he looks small and childlike but is actually 17 years old.
  • Child Soldiers: Raynie and Marco are both 17 and have been mercenaries for years.
  • Chokepoint Geography: For some reason, you can't get anywhere in the game without passing through Lazvil Hills and/or Gran Plain.
  • Chromatic Arrangement: Stocke wears red, Raynie wears blue, and Marco wears green.
  • City Guards: All over the place.
  • Climax Boss: Rosch in the Alternate Timeline, when Stocke tries to convince him he's still got the strength to fight. He hits like a truck, too.
  • Co-Dragons: Selvan and Dias to Protea.
  • Combat Medic: Marco and Aht's skillsets. Then again, Aht can dish out so much damage that using her as a medic is usually a waste... Except if you're fighting something too large to knock into her traps.
  • Combos: A major part of the battle system.
  • Competence Zone: Despite their looks, the playable characters are actually very young. Rosch is only 21 (which is old by RPG standards).
  • Contractual Boss Immunity: Averted. Many bosses are vulnerable to things like Poison and Sleep.
  • Copy Protection: You'll be allowed to save, and your file won't get deleted, but a new game will start when you hit "Continue" at the title screen, so you won't be able to actually access your save file.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Literally every time one of the major faction's leaders offers you a truce or an alliance, accepting it will lead to a bad ending where they betray you once they got what they needed.
  • Crapsack World: You either have the organized, religiously-motivated, puppet-government in Alistel, the vapid and corrupt government of Granorg, or the democratic and free, but dangerous and outlaw nation of Cygnus. There are other small towns, but they're rather unfriendly towards humans (check the Fantastic Racism trope below).
  • Custom Uniform: Kiel wears something other than standard armor for some reason.
  • Cutscene Boss: High Colonel Dias.
  • Dangerous Deserter: King Garland's consultant, Hedge.
  • Darkest Hour: The beginning of chapter 3 in the alternate timeline, fittingly called "Despair". Kiel, Raynie and Marco weren't seen again after the battle, Stocke was deemed a traitor and had to flee, Heiss turned against him, and Rosch lost his will to fight along with his mechanical arm.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: The Black Chronicle has the same powers and is intended for the same purpose as the White Chronicle.
  • Dead All Along: A prerequisite for Sacrifices- namely, Stocke and Heiss. A variation of this applies to the Prophet Noah.
  • Degraded Boss: The two types of Thaumachines are first encountered as bosses before later becoming normal encounters.
  • Deuteragonist: Alongside Stocke, each timeline has one character who gets major focus: Eruca in the standard history (spoilered because this character is initially thought to be an antagonist) and Rosch in the alternate history. These characters also don't join in their opposite histories until far later in the game.
  • Developers' Foresight: While there's plenty of minor examples, two of them stands out due to it being pretty obscure:
    • If you choose to view the Bad Ending where Rosch assassinates Marco and Eruca and is mortally wounded for the second time after seeing the event where Stocke slaps some sense into him to cure him of his Lawful Stupid tendencies and finds Sonja the necessary items to repair his Gauntlet in the other timeline, the reason for their deaths is changed from Rosch assassinating them to Eruca and Marco not knowing he had changed sides and not giving him a chance to explain himself and Rosch having to kill them in self-defense.
    • Another even more obscure one: if you find and disarm the bombs in the Sand Fortress without actually seeing the cutscene where they go off, Stocke's dialogue changes so instead of counting down how many are left, he wonders what the hell a bomb was doing there.
  • Devour the Dragon: Heiss offers to make Selvan and Dias "a part of something great" — i.e., himself.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: While some of the bad end triggers are rather obvious (attacking a soldier during an undercover mission, sending troops into an obvious trap, accepting Hugo's offer of power), quite a few of them will blindside you due to being triggered by decisions that actually make the most sense in their situation, or seem trivial:
    • "The Queen Ascendant" ending is triggered by actually investigating the mine a missing messenger was last seen at.
    • "The Princess' Charge" is another bad ending that seems far too sudden considering the events surrounding it: Eruca wants to be able to do more to help her people, and Stocke tells her not to push herself too hard trying to fulfill her role. She takes this to mean she should completely renounce her title and start an open rebellion, and is killed in the ensuing fighting.
  • Disc-One Nuke: It's possible to get Stocke's best armor as early as SH Chapter 4 by abusing Standard Status Effects to defeat two endgame Bonus Bosses.
  • Downloadable Content: Perfect Chronology offers some, including experience boosters, portraits done in the DS release's style, and extra events to play through that flesh out the story (and one involving a Hot Springs Episode).
  • Draco in Leather Pants: An in-universe example: the Dias fangirls in Granorg refuse to believe he might be a villain because he is just that pretty.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: Stocke, Raynie, and Marco pull this to free some captured Gutrals.
  • Dual-World Gameplay: There are two timelines that you have to travel between to progress in the game.
  • Dynamic Entry: Every party member outside of Stocke can do this in the remake. There is a chance, if not in the party, to perform an attack during a combo with one of their abilities.
  • Dysfunction Junction: Stocke, as the bearer of the Chronicle, is subjected to all the horrors of both timelines, both naturally and in the various "bad ends", Rosch sees his entire brigade slaughtered to the man, loses an arm, and his loyalty to his country dangerously borders on fanaticism to the point that he betrays Stocke and attempts to murder Eruca. Eruca is forced to fight against her own stepmother as Protea's ever-increasing madness sends her kingdom ever further down the drain, plus having to cope with working with someone who's basically a stranger in her brother's body. Raynie and Marco both have Survivor's Guilt from when the rest of their mercenary company was wiped out, plus Raynie lost her entire family at a young age, forcing her into becoming a freelance mercenary just to survive and Marco is Forced to Watch as his crush is brutally murdered right in front of him. And that's not even getting into the bad endings, like when Marco turns into a murderous psychopath, Aht goes completely Yandere, or Gafka becomes an inhuman monster that the entire world has to team up to take down.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Depending on how thoroughly you travel across time, you can right several wrongs before the credits finally roll. Perfect Chronology ups the ante even more, adding in several new sidequests that allow you to save and redeem various lives.
  • Easily Forgiven: Everyone is pretty quick to forgive King Garland (and Cygnus as a whole) for that whole slavery thing.
  • El Cid Ploy: The Prophet Noah died sometime with the past 5 years. All of his "proclamations" since then have been fabricated by General Hugo.
  • Endgame+: Defeating the Final Boss returns you to your last save with the chance to do quests you forgot to do/complete. The best part? Any items you used during that fight are returned to you!
  • The End of the World as We Know It: Desertification, which is slowly turning the entire continent into barren desert. It is the indirect cause of the war taking place during the game, as the two major powers of the continent fight over the remaining scraps of fertile land.
  • Enemy Mine: Deconstructed. Choosing to ally with Granorg to defeat Alistel after Hugo takes over results in a Bad Ending where they turn on you afterwards.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Dias and Selvan, despite their deceitfulness and ruthlessness, are completely disgusted by some of Queen Protea's worse excesses. They decide that she needs to go after she orders that Granorg be burnt to the ground just to catch the relatively small Resistance.
    Selvan: Mm. If you'll excuse me, I must go set my own city on fire.
    Dias: ...I am sorry.
  • Evil vs. Evil: The war between Granorg and Alistel turns out to be this. Queen Protea is a petty, egomaniacal tyrant who brutally oppresses and taxes her kingdom purely so she can have more luxuries, has hundreds of innocent people murdered on flimsy charges, and at one point sets her own city on fire, killing millions, just to kill one rebel. Oh, and her adviser and best general are both manipulating her for their own ends. As for Alistel, Fennel is a Mad Scientist whose research is questionable at best and downright terrifying at worst, and General Hugo has been using fabricated messages of bigotry and hate, allegedly from the Prophet Noah (who has in fact been dead for years) in order to control the populace, sends thousands of his own men, including literally all of Rosch's brigade to die on a suicide mission because their leaders are better-liked than him, and transforms Alistel into a horrifically dystopian military dictatorship. Oh, and the chief of intelligence is the game's Big Bad.
  • Extra Turn: The Trans-Turn skill lets the user sacrifice their turn to give it to an ally. This doesn't affect future turn order like the Change command and lacks the vulnerability downside.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: No matter which choice you make, Marco's friend/potential love interest Mimel dies. Poor Marco.
  • Fantastic Racism: Humans and the Beastkind have mutual hate for each other. Humans hate the Beastkind because they're just terrible racists, while Beastkind rightfully hate humans in response. You help fix this somewhat during the main story, and can do more through your sidequests.
  • Fisher King: Alistel propaganda holds that the desertification is due to Queen Protea's tyranny, and that the land will die anytime a corrupt ruler reigns. There actually is some truth to this, as the desertification is caused by the ruler of Granorg not performing a specific ritual, which Protea is incapable of doing (as it can be only be performed by one of royal blood, and she married into the family) even if she wanted to. There's no evidence that the propagandists of Alistel know this, though.
  • Fog of War: A variation. Unexplored areas of the map are completely shrouded in fog so you can't see what might be there.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In the Standard timeline, Eruca dismisses a suggestion to quietly assassinate Protea on the grounds that if she isn't openly removed from power, Selvan and Dias will just claim that she's gone into seclusion and run Granorg however they like in her name. In a later chapter of the Alternate timeline, it is revealed that the Prophet Noah died (possibly assassinated, but potentially just from being an old man with health problems) at some point after he had withdrawn from public view five years earlier. General Hugo then decided that since he was the only member of the Alistel High Command who knew this, he could pretend that the prophet was still alive and continue running the country to suit himself in Noah's name.
    • If you try to rush the guards when infiltrating Granorg castle before learning the invisiblity technique, you get the "Fated Assassination" bad ending where Marco and Raynie are arrested for the assassination of Eruca. But the narration notes that the date of the princess' death didn't match up with the date your party infiltrated the castle. This won't make sense until much, much later in the game. It's a big clue that when the Big Bad goes back in time to kill Eruca, the infiltration is not the node you need to travel to to stop him...
    • On a replay, be prepared to feel stupid for not picking up on the vast number of hints that Heiss has the Black Chronicle. There's even a few scenes where you can actually pick out decision points in his timeline.
  • For Science!: Fennel's only really interested in thaumatech research, and doesn't care about the terible ramifications of his actions. He prioritizes gathering test data on his thaumatech mechs very highly.
    "Ah, data! The beautiful crystals of promise and potential..."
  • For Want of a Nail: The Big Bad is running around stealing as many nails as he can; the resulting timeline damage sets off the events of the game. In one timeline, Stocke is a special ops soldier (read: spy). In another, he's a low-ranking (but rapidly-rising) grunt in the military. Due to Historia, he retains the skills of both. He can also use his time jumping to figure out which nails are missing from each timeline (one example given is the realization that a courier who delivered explosives is dead in timeline A, discovered by asking in timeline B, where the explosives arrived on time).
  • Get Ahold Of Yourself Man: Stocke beats the hell out of Rosch to snap him out of a Heroic B.S.O.D..
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
    • Early on, Generals Dias and Selvan make a remark about Queen Protea attending services to worship the little boys in choir.
    • "After he'd spilled his guts, well... he spilled his guts."
    • "You really know how to handle your sword."
    • The little girl outside the inn in Granorg promises the party lots of "...amenities."
    • Between a couple: "Ready to plunge your sword back into the fray?"
    • The most egregious examples are when Aht is made a barmaid in Cygnus. There are very MANY references to a certain other service while she's there. Oh, and she's 9-years-old.
  • Giant Spider: One of the types of bosses you encounter is a massive spider. It takes up the entire enemy grid, so you can't use movement skills or Aht's traps on it.
  • Gladiator Subquest: In the desert town of Cygnus, you'll need to fight in a gladiator tournament to proceed in the plot. Though only some of the fights are mandatory, as you can face additional Bonus Boss fights for some good equipment.
  • A Glass of Chianti: When scheming, Selvan and Dias are usually seen drinking wine together.
  • Golden Ending:
    • If you complete all of the key quests, Heiss will decide to fulfill his belated role as the Sacrifice so Stocke doesn't have to. One of the ending permutations also suggests that the desertification problem will eventually be solved.
    • Perfect Chronology adds a new ending where you definitively solve the desertification problem by destroying its source: the Singularity. Accessing this ending requires that you obtain the original Golden Ending and complete a new set of sidequests.
  • Golden Path: Invoked by the game's plot-mechanics; figuring out what events in which timeline lead to the "True History" is a major theme of the game.
  • Goldfish Poop Gang: Bram and Hertz, the Desert Crows, are a recurring duo of thieves that aren't particularly bright or threatening. One sidequest involves cheering the leader up after he disbands the group due to their goldfish poop status.
  • Good Republic, Evil Empire: Subverted: Because of the backstabbing and secret pacts in both timelines, Alistel is eventually revealed to be just as bad as the Empire of Granorg, and they both become the enemy.
  • Government Conspiracy:
    • Granorg is effectively under the control of Dias and Selvan, with Queen Protea as their unassuming puppet. The duo also collude with General Hugo of Alistel to sell out Granorg for their own personal gain.
    • Alistel's leader, Prophet Noah, has actually been dead for around five years (or comatose in Perfect Chronology). General Hugo has been hiding the fact so he can amass power, sway the religious masses by claiming things under Noah's name, and eventually conquer the continent.
  • Gratuitous French: The names of some of the equipment. Also, Vainqueur, the continent's name, means "winner" in French.
  • Gratuitous German: Mainly some unique weapons, like "Der Lowe" (it should be "Der Löwe" or "Der Loewe" — "The Lion") or the Freikugel brand of guns. This fits the theme of most Alistellians having German-sounding names.
  • Great Offscreen War: A lot of the war events happen off-screen.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: The Singularity, the Eldritch Abomination created by the Empire of the old that is responsible for desertification in the first place. Its existence is only revealed in the Updated Re-release.
  • Grey and Gray Morality: Each of the three factions in the game are neither completely good nor completely evil.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • To access the sidequest "At Journey's End", you need to make the correct dialogue choices at three points in time (two of which seem to be "are you prepared for a boss battle?" Anti-Frustration Features but actually aren't) in two separate timelines, with the last necessary dialogue choice taking place after the point where the sidequest is supposed to be accessible. And to even initiate the sidequest after all this, you have to go back to a point where you're asked if you're ready for a major assault, say you're not ready, then talk to one of your teammates in town when you have no reason to. Worse, this sidequest is required for the Golden Ending. Without prior knowledge to the requirements, it would be near-impossible to trigger and the rationale behind the requirements only becomes clear in hindsight. spoiler explanation 
    • "What was Inherited" involves a mana-absorbing plant and requires you to see both less-than-preferable outcomes before you're allowed to Take a Third Option. And it's also required to unlock the Golden Ending.
  • Guns Are Worthless: Eruca is a Glass Cannon when it comes to magic, but most of her physical attacks are pathetic. Generally speaking, if a skill has her pulling a rifle out of Hammerspace, it will do decent damage, but otherwise, her guns are indeed pretty worthless.
  • Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: All three female party members are magic-focused while the males are largely melee-focused.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Liese is implied to be pregnant with one in the Golden Ending.
  • Have We Met Yet?: Repeatedly. Nearly everyone gets déjà vu at some point in one of the paths. The funniest is probably when Aht introduces herself to Stocke in the Alternate History and he offhandedly says, "Yeah, I know."
  • Heavily Armored Mook: Several of the army mooks from Granorg are in full plate. Very bulky full plate.
  • Healing Hands: Aht, Stocke, and Marco. Eruca and Raynie also have Regen magic.
  • Heel Realization: Perfect Chronology allows you to give the major villains this by completing possible histories that remind them of their younger, less villainous selves.
  • Hell Is That Noise: invoked To the characters, the clanking footfalls of Palomides's armored division. Also the Epipath from the Vault of Time in Perfect Chronology has a distinct, ominous sound when it is on the floor.
  • Hero Antagonist: Early on in the Standard History, Stocke gets sent to capture a man named Vlad who's part of a resistance movement in Alistel. Most of Vlad's comments about the government later turn out to be completely correct.
  • Hidden Agenda Villain: Most of the villains have their goals and motives laid out early on and made very obvious. Heiss's goals and motives are not made clear until the end of the game.
  • Hidden Elf Village: Celestia, the secret forest village of the Satyros. It is protected by a magic barrier that keeps outsiders out.
  • His Name Is...: Mimel gets killed this way during Marco's sidequest if Stocke chooses not to turn them in. Necessary to avoid giving away the identity of the Big Bad early.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Dias is killed by his own throwing dagger, which Stocke reflects back at him.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: The fight against Palomides in the prologue is rigged so you lose. He's stupidly powerful and will one-shot Stocke before you even gain control.
  • I Am Who?: Stocke. By whom I mean Prince Ernst of Granorg. He even uses his real name as a pseudonym at one point.
  • I Have This Friend...: Raynie has a conversation with Stocke about her feelings for him, but she refers to him as "this guy [she] know[s]".
  • I Let You Win: After defeating Garland. Considering he uses a powerful buff spell at low health, this is quite believable.
  • Impossible Item Drop: Frogs which drop swords are the most obvious type of offender.
  • Impossibly Cool Clothes: Basically the whole party. Lampshaded in Standard History Ch. 1 when Vanoss asks Raynie and Marco to wear robes over their "quite conspicuous attire" in order to help them to cross the border into Granorg without rising suspicion. He doesn't ask Stocke to do the same because his outfit is "uncommon enough that could pass off as a [performer] costume."
    Stocke: [Sweat Drop] Are my clothes that odd?
  • Improbable Age: The ages given for most of the player characters in the artbook are distinctly on the low side. Sonja is apparently the most skilled doctor the army has at eighteen.
  • Inevitable Tournament: Stocke is forced to take part in one to find his missing party members. Luckily for you, you don't have to go through the entire tournament, considering the last opponents are very difficult. But you do have to finish the tournament in order to finish a sidequest.
  • Inexplicable Treasure Chests: Normal treasure chests are one thing, but why would you go to the trouble of turning one invisible, then leave it lying around in the woods?
  • Infinity -1 Sword: Historica, a magicial Satyros sword that can counteract the power of Flux.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: True Historica, an upgraded version of the Historica you get for beating the Bonus Boss. The 3DS remake lets you upgrade it further into an even better Infinity +1 Sword, the Radiant Historica.
  • Informed Equipment: There's no visible difference between any of the items your party members have equipped. The sword that Stocke carries at all times is even visually identical to Historica, his Infinity -1 Sword.
  • Instant Expert: Stocke. Justified in some cases because of Time Travel, but he does pick up the Vanish technique after just seeing it used a handful of times.
  • Interface Spoiler: There are many events that seem like sidequests at first glance, but are added to the Chronicle as main story events. If this happens, you know the seemingly minor action will be necessary to avoid a roadblock later on. Particularly notable with saving the resistance members in standard history Chapter 3, as this won't become important until Chapter 6.
  • Interfaith Smoothie: The Gutrals, and Gafka's attacks, are themed around Shinto.
  • Interspecies Romance: A sidequest has you playing matchmaker for a human and Satyros.
  • Irrelevant Sidequest: Both played straight and averted; some of them are essential to get the better endings.
  • It May Help You on Your Quest: How Stocke gets the White Chronicle.
  • It's a Wonderful Failure: Every choice (except the first, between soldier and spy) has one choice that lets you continue and another that leads to this.
  • It's Up to You: It's up to Stocke and his team to do anything worth doing in the world. Reinforced in that in the two realities, the one Stocke isn't involved in fails.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: Stocke learns more skills than any other party member and can fill most roles. Since he's always in the party he'll out-level your other party members by midgame as well.
  • Jungle Japes: The Abyssia Forest, the homeland of the Gutrals, is a lush jungle that contrasts the rest of the continent drying up from the desertification.
  • King Mook: Palomides the Executioner is just a stronger version of a Granorg Knight.
  • Kung Fu-Proof Mook: Some enemies, mainly underground ones, can't be pushed around.
  • Lady and Knight: Eruca and Stocke have this dynamic. It even gets a Lampshade Hanging from Rosch, though Aht does not approve.
  • Late Character Syndrome: Depending on the player, Eruca, Rosch, and/or Gafka may suffer from this. Lampshaded in Rosch's case by someone telling him he'll have to work twice as hard after his absence.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: In a sidequest, Stocke can convince Aht that it's okay to imprison the soul of someone you care about just to keep them safe and to yourself. Aht just happens to care a lot about Stocke. You can guess how it ends.
  • Lazy Backup: The fate of the world is riding on your battles, but your backup still won't step up if you get wiped out.
  • Leaked Experience: Annoyingly, only if the character is available at the time. Rosch in particular has a bad case of Can't Catch Up.
    • Somewhat averted in Perfect Chronology: Every character who's joined your party is available in the Possible History and the Vault of Time.
  • "Leave Your Quest" Test: When Aht asks Stocke to quit fighting, his response amounts to, "What? No." When Raynie asks, he actually considers it.
  • Leitmotif: "The Melody Connecting The Universe" is played in scenes related to Historia, the fate of the world and the desertification. "Unending Clear Blue Sky" is Aht's character theme.
  • Life Energy: Mana. The desertification is caused by improper flow of Mana (called Flux).
  • A Lighter Shade Of Gray: Cygnus may be a rather brutal place that sees nothing wrong with slavery or solving every argument with a duel, but at least they're not an oppressive, corrupt dictatorship like Alistel or Granorg.
  • Limit Break: Mana Bursts. Everyone can use "Turn Break" (an enemy turn is skipped) and also gets two unique attacks.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Nobody ever changes clothes except for the rare disguise.
  • Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards: Physical attacks are next to useless in this game. It also helps that there are no such thing as elemental resistances or immunities in this game, only weaknesses. This makes the Mythril Edge, which is bought from a random merchant near the end of the game, more useful than the True Historica, which you get after beating the toughest boss in the game due to its substantially higher Magic boost.
  • Long Song, Short Scene: The appropriately-titled "Interrupted Moment", which plays over the bad end title cards. Unless you specifically stop to listen to it, you'll probably hear about three seconds of it, tops.
  • Love Redeems: Heiss, to an intense degree.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Heiss is actually Stocke's uncle. The latter is also Eruca's brother.
  • Mad Scientist: Fennel.
  • The Magic Goes Away: Defeating the Singularity uses up all the power in the Chronicles.
  • Magitek: Thaumatech is medieval technology powered by Mana.
  • Make Wrong What Once Went Right: Due to the game's time travel mechanics, this will happen more than once.
  • Mana Burn: Fear drains MP each time the inflicted character acts in combat.
  • Match Maker Quest:
    • One involving Rosch and Sonja, and another involving Liese and the captain of the Granorg guard.
    • And, technically, Raynie and Stocke, because it was only after his suggestion that Raynie realized she loves "this friend of hers".
  • Matriarchy: Granorg, of the Patriarchy Flip variety.
  • Meaningful Name: Judgement Cliff, retroactively. It's where the "Divine Judgement" is stationed.
  • Messiah Creep: Stocke, to an incredible degree. It's part of the Chronicle' intended effects on his wielders to help them to naturally empathize with people of Vainqueur during their travels through time and prepare them to become the Sacrifices. It's as questionable as it sounds and the reason why King Victor's brother, the previous Sacrifice, refused to go along with the ritual, allowing the Desertification to run rampant by the time the game takes place.
  • Misapplied Phlebotinum: Both the White and the Black Chronicle. Their intended purpose is to provide Sacrifice candidates with the experiences necessary to understand and embrace their duty. It's Heiss's meddling that leads to both books being used to alter history.
  • Modular Epilogue: The ending contains several scenes that must be unlocked by completing optional storylines. The Golden Ending requires that you complete all the major ones. Ironically, the most important of all doesn't seem especially significant until you complete it; the fate of the world hinges on what appears at first to be a simple Fetch Quest.
  • Mook Promotion: Raynie and Marco. They were originally going to be Red Shirt allies to make the beginning of the game easier. Instead they stayed in and got some character development. And Raynie got Promoted to Love Interest.
  • Multiple Endings: Making the wrong choices at nodes or during some sidequests will lead to various Bad Endings. There are also two (or four depending on the version of the game) good endings:
    • Base Ending (Complete main game): Stocke defeats Heiss, then offers himself as a sacrifice in the ritual. The desertification is stopped for the time being, but Stocke will never see his friends again. This ending has a number of extra scenes in it depending on what key sidequests are completed.
    • Golden Ending (Complete main game with all key sidequests finished): Stocke defeats Heiss, and prepares to offer himself as a sacrifice in the ritual. But when Heiss sees the world that Stocke has created, he offers himself as a sacrifice in Stocke's place. The desertification is stopped for the time being, and Stocke is able to return to his friends.
    • Epilogue Ending (Complete epilogue chapter - unlocked by getting Golden Ending on the 3DS version - but do not use all artifacts): With the artifacts that Stocke has gathered, Nemesia launches a plan to stop the desertification at its source using the power of all three Chronicles: Stocke's White, Heiss' Black, and her Red. They succeed in destroying the Singularity, but doing so drains the Chronicles of their power, leaving barely enough to bring most of the party back home. The desertification has been stopped for good, but Nemesia is trapped in the Vault of Time, cradling the body of her fallen lover on the ruined Dunamis.
    • Perfect Ending (Complete epilogue chapter, use all artifacts): By using all the artifacts to repair the Red Chronicle, it returns to its full power and creates a new artifact, the Seed of Possibility. Stocke is able to use this seed to return to the Vault of Time and repair the Dunamis, allowing Nemesia and her lover to return to the world.
  • Mundane Utility:
    • The Chronicles, books that allow the bearers to travel through time at will and rewrite history as they see fit were originally intended to make their bearers wiser so that their sacrifices would have more of an effect. That's pretty damn important, but still...
    • Stocke takes it even further by basically solving every problem he encounters with time travel, whether it's important or not.
  • Musical Spoiler: The boss fight against Heiss uses the same music as the fights against the Black Chronicle's wielder's minions do.
  • My Country, Right or Wrong: Rosch, depending on time and timeline.
  • My Master, Right or Wrong:
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: One of Granorg's most notorious soldiers is known as Palomides the Executioner.
  • Noodle Incident: Marco mentions someone trying to make a move on Raynie and it ending violently.
  • Non-Action Guy: Lt. General Raul. Failing to keep him off the front lines even nets a bad end at one point.
  • Non Standard Game Over: Stocke never actually dies in any of the game's bad endings, but triggering one will set you back a bit, forcing you to continue onward from the beginning of the respective chapter. But since you can get back to where you were just by skipping any cutscenes and going to the nearest save point, it barely even qualifies as a slap on the wrist.
  • No One Could Survive That!: Subverted during the beginning sequence. After Stocke, severely injured, jumps off a bridge into a flooded river, Palomides says he almost certainly couldn't have survived... but then sends soldiers out to search the riverbanks anyway. (It ends up being a moot point due to time travel, though.)
  • Non-Standard Character Design: The Final Boss is a still image done in the style of the character portraits instead of an animated sprite.
  • Notice This: Walking close to an invisible treasure chest, switch, or plot item once you get the Mana Sight ability is accompanied by a sound effect and a glow as it appears. This is particularly handy in the case of a couple of chests hidden in the shadows of walls.
  • Not So Different: Heiss and Stocke. Stocke later understands Heiss's Refusal of the Call.
  • Now, Where Was I Going Again?: May happen to players once the timeline(s) get more complicated, especially since much of the game involves replaying scenes they've played already with just a slight change. Thankfully, the White Chronicle is accessible from the menu, and lists both timelines, their events, their branching paths, and even the effects your manipulation had on them.
  • Obligatory War-Crime Scene: Several; the game is about a war.
  • Of Corpse He's Alive: When people start demanding a public appearance by Noah, Hugo attempts to cover up the fact that he's been dead for some time by using a wooden dummy. This works about as well as you'd expect.
  • Offing the Offspring:
    • The late King Victor killed Ernst not only because the original Sacrifice (Heiss) ran out on him, but also because Ernst's altruistic endeavors were making Victor look bad. Eruca was his first choice, but she "behaved."
    • Protea likes to threaten Eruca with what happened to her brother. She's also implied to have her assassinated in one bad ending.
  • Off the Rails: One of the false endings (The World's Betrayal) has Stocke join Granorg as an assassin, killing multiple important NPCs, and Teo and Lippti comment that they never expected him to try such a thing.
  • One Size Fits All: 9-year-old Aht and 19-year-old Stocke can wear the same armor, but the shared category is cloaks, so it's not as ridiculous as it sounds. A more glaring example is between Stocke, Raynie, Marco, and Rosch, all of whom are very different in size.
  • Party of Representatives: Your party consists of four characters from Alistel, one from Granorg, a Satyros, and a Gutral. Well, okay, two from Granorg, but who's counting?
  • Percussive Maintenance: A Possible History scenario in Perfect Chronology has Stocke and co. come across a glitching Fennel, and you need to figure out how to fix the computer controlling his thaumatech body. Raynie suggests giving him a good smack, and you can choose to have Stocke do so. It works, but it leads to a Bad Ending due to fixing Fennel too well and giving him total mental control over all Thaumachines.
  • Permanently Missable Content: There is exactly 1 missable fight in this game: Hermit Pierre. If you escort Claire out of the sewers in Standard History Chapter 2 before the event where Pierre betrays you, you've officially locked yourself out of this fight for the rest of that file. You can still get 100% Completion without it, though.
  • Perpetual Expression: The character portraits never change. Averted in Perfect Chronology, which gives them changing expression.
  • Place Beyond Time: Historia lies outside of the timestream.
  • Plothole: Stocke cannot undo his own death with the White Chronicle, and is only able to revert the Bad Endings because he survives them all. An ending added in Perfect Chronology actually gets him killed during a Possible History, yet he's still able to turn back the clock somehow.
  • Point of No Return: Completely averted: you can always go back, up to and even after killing the Final Boss. Though it is possible to lock yourself out of at least one fight (by saving Pierre's sister).
  • Precursors: The Empire, bordering on Abusive Precursors. Given Teo and Lippti's pointy ears, they may have been be elf analogues.
  • Preexisting Encounters: May be annoyingly difficult to avoid before you gain the skill to turn yourself invisible to them, mainly because they move as fast as you do and whether or not you'll stun them by swinging your sword at them is entirely random: if they're not stunned, they're just knocked back slightly and continue running at you, barely giving you enough time to swing at them again. The invisibility skill saves much time near the end of the game when completing quests in early areas, where all the enemies do nothing more than slow you down.
  • Proud Warrior Race: The Gutrals.
  • Quest Giver: Given the number of sidequests, all over the place.
  • Railroading: Zig-zagged. The game has a pretty tight grip over where you're able to go at any point in time, but the ability to Time Travel gives you a roundabout way to bypass this.
  • Reality Bleed: Some actions that Stocke makes in one timeline affects events in the other, such as saving Heiss's agent in Alternate History preventing his death in Standard History. Characters also get déjà vu related to Stocke due events in the timeline opposite theirs.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: Field Martial Viola's popularity led her to be placed on the front lines to prevent her from outshining General Hugo. Hugo tries a similar tactic with the Rosch Brigade in the hope that they'll all be killed, but it doesn't go as effectively as would like.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure:
    • Lt. General Raul is one of the few people in Alistel's top brass that isn't corrupt or passive. He ends up being a key ally to Stocke due to his military experience and leadership skills.
    • King Garland of Cygnus won't put up with cowards or terrible people like Dias, so he very willingly helps Stocke and co. fight Granorg in Standard History.
  • Recurring Boss: Palomides is fought three times over the course of the game. Perfect Chronology adds several more matches via Possible History scenarios.
  • Red Baron:
    • Rosch and Stocke are known as the "Young Lions" of Alistel.
    • Field Marshal Viola is known as "The Valkyrie".
    • Raul is known as the "Sleeping Lion".
    • King Garland is called the "Desert Tiger".
    • Palomides, an officer of the Granorg army, is called "the Executioner".
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: All over the place- Raynie and Marco, Stocke and Rosch, Teo and Lippti, and Rosch and Raul. Though ironically, the pair who most fit the red/blue symbolism in terms of colors and Elemental Powers are both Blues: despite the red clothes and fire magic, Stocke is if anything even calmer and more subdued than ice-wielding, blue-clothed Eruca, and the only thing that might qualify him as the Red of the two is a slight bias towards action and impulsivity. Though from the sound of things, they used to be a rather straighter example.
  • Restraining Bolt: One is placed on the White Chronicle itself, so Stocke can only alter history relative to his own decisions and experiences. Another is placed on the twins so they cannot interfere with history from within the Chronicle. They later injure themselves trying to overcome it to give Stocke some direct hints.
  • Save Point: You can only save at specific locations (or the world map), marked by the White Chronicle.
  • Schizo Tech: Only one human ally and no enemies use a gun (everyone else uses crossbows) and one kingdom has Magitech mechs and teleporters.
  • Screw Destiny: Zig-Zagged. Heiss defied his destiny to become a sacrifice to save the world and tried to help Stocke do the same; however, Stocke fought his plans at every turn, and eventually his conviction convinced Heiss that the future was worth saving, causing him to offer himself as the sacrifice in Stocke's stead.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Teo and Lippti are supposed to remain impartial and not influence the White Chronicle's wielder directly, only provide general advice and some hints. At the end of the game they decide that saving the world is more important than following the rules, so they tell Stocke where to go to stop Heiss from assassinating Eruca.
  • Self-Disposing Villain: Dias throws a knife at Eruca, and Stocke jumps in the way and lethally reflects it back to him with an extremely well-timed sword strike.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Stocke and Rosch, respectively. Rosch even asks Stocke for relationship advice!
  • Sequel Hook: The ritual to stop desertification is nothing but a quick fix. This is not fixed in-game, leaving room for a sequel that puts an end to desertification once and for all. Lippti and Teo imply that the scientist with two kids will be the one to do it.
    • In the 3DS remake, the new ending for the extra content lets you figure out what's actually causing the desertification and put a stop to it for good.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: The theme of the game. The game starts with the main character using the White Chronicle to prevent his unit from being wiped out in an ambush, and he continues using it to avert various other disasters in an attempt to end a war and save the world.
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: Both Stocke and Eruca wind up having to explain that no, really, I know I keep staring at her/him, but it's not like that. Unusually for this trope, this is actually completely true.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Skeleton Government: Granorg only seems to have three political figures, and two of them are military. Alistel at least has a few bureaucrats.
  • Sliding Scale of Linearity vs. Openness: Around a high 3; the storyline takes centre stage and progresses linearly, but there are a lot of sidequests, with backtracking openly encouraged.
  • So Happy Together: In one bad ending, Stocke agrees to give up fighting to live with Raynie and seek a peaceful solution to the desertification. They admit to their relationship to Rosch and the others, and receive their congratulations. Although they are truly happy together, they watch the world slowly end in one year. Stocke uses the White Chronicle to get back to work, telling Raynie he can't give up, and making The Promise.
  • So Long, and Thanks for All the Gear: Sort of. It can happen; the game removes members from your party without warning often enough. But it isn't a big deal since you can time travel back to when they still were in the party, retrieve your stuff, and go back.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: Minor example.
    Garland: Shackles can't bind the soul, or something like that.
  • Sound of Darkness: The Black Chronicle's heartbeat noise.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Alternates between Stock/Stocke depending on the age of the promotional material. The Japanese "official" romanization was Stock, but Atlus USA chose to go with Stocke, so Stocke is his official English name. Same with Roche/Rosch. (There are, however, at least two instances of "Stock" that slipped into the final game.)
  • Strong Flesh, Weak Steel: By the endgame, you'll tear Thaumachines to pieces.
  • Survivor's Guilt:
    • Rosch is hit by a case of this after the loss of his brigade. He partially gets over it eventually though.
    • Marco and Raynie have this early in the game, but it gets dropped pretty quickly. It's also hinted that Stocke has some, but the game never goes into detail about it. Eruca also feels some, considering that she was originally going to be the sacrifice, but her brother was picked instead, simply because she wasn't openly rebellious.
  • Sword and Sorcerer:
    • One part of the game leaves you with only Stocke and Aht in your party.
    • Raynie and Marco. She blasts things, Marco makes sure they're in the right place to be blasted and heals.
  • Tactical Suicide Boss: The Black Chronicle can only be damaged if it's occupying the same space as one of its Shadows. It doesn't even need the Shadows to deal damage, but it constantly spawns them anyway.
  • Take Your Time: You can choose to do all your sidequests right before the final battle. Go ahead, the Big Bad will wait. Justified for once, since you are using time travel, so you'll return to the final dungeon at the same moment of time you left it.
  • Targeted Human Sacrifice: The ritual requires the caster to use part of their soul to temporarily resurrect someone who died, then use that person as a reserve of Soul Power to fuel the ritual itself. Since there's not exactly a lot of recently-deceased people in the family who Eruca could resurrect, that just leaves two: Stocke and Heiss. And considering that the former is a Messianic Archetype, the latter is the Big Bad, and the sacrifice has to be willing to work...
  • Tarot Motifs: The disciples of the world's greatest martial artist are Chalice, Wand, Pentacle, and Sword. Considering this, it's probably not coincidental that part of the sidequest they're involved in uses a sun as Eruca's symbol and a star as Aht's. Or that one of Stocke's Skill Pacts is called the Death Pact.
  • Tempting Fate: After getting the Beast Mark, Raynie says that no one is injured. Cue the Giant Spider.
  • Terminator Twosome: The two Chronicle wielders are basically pulling a chessmaster variant of this. There's also a more standard use later, when Heiss tries to skip back in time to kill Eruca before she and Stocke can meet, only for Stocke to go to the same point in time and fight him off.
  • Theme Naming:
    • Most of the battle themes' titles involve colors. Blue Radiance is the standard battle theme, The Edge of Green and The Red Locus are boss themes, and An Earnest Desire of Grey is the final boss theme.
    • There are quite a few characters named after plants and flowers, with Stocke (named for a type of night-blooming flower), Eruca (named for the scientific name of a type of salad green, the poor girl), Viola, and Garland being some of the more obvious ones. Perfect Chronology adds Nemesia (named for a type of flowering shrub) [[apoiler:and the ancient family]] to the list.
  • There Are No Tents: Except in a cutscene. However, you can use mana crystals to heal at Save Points, but since they're in limited availability and are ridiculously expensive, you're much better off just travelling to a node near to an inn and using that.
  • Thriving Ghost Town: Cornet Village has around ten citizens.
  • Time Travel: The central plot device and mechanic is bouncing between different parts of two separate timelines.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: Oh god, yes. Stocke's actions in one timeline can rebound in the other. Perfect Chronology ups the ante: Stocke's actions in the possible timelines can impact HIS timeline(s), leading to some Bad Endings. And the Golden Ending
  • Title Theme Drop: The title screen music plays during a few cutscenes.
  • Too Awesome to Use: Certain very rare items that make the whole party invulnerable for a few turns. Certain sidequests will all but force you to use them, though. However, you have absolutely no excuse for not using them during the final battle, since they get returned to you even after you save the clear file.
  • Trapped Behind Enemy Lines: The beginning of the game has Stocke, Raynie, and Marco trapped by Granorg's forces Raynie and Marco bite it due to a fight with Palomedes the Executioner while Stocke escapes, albeit heavily wounded.
  • Tricked Out Time: In the Golden Ending, Stocke goes back in time and saves Kiel and the rest of the Rosch brigade, but manages to keep them stuck in Granorg long enough that everyone thinks they're dead.
  • True Companions: Stocke, Rosch, and Sonja are this before the story starts; Raynie notes how close they are and wonders if she could form a bond like that. But Marco knows what's up.
  • Two Guys and a Girl:
    • Stocke, Marco and Raynie could be this, except Marco seems more brotherly to Raynie than anything.
    • Alternately, Stocke, Rosch and Sonja. In one Side Quest, when Stocke confronts Rosch about his feelings, Sonja overhears and runs off. If Stocke goes to comfort her, it's a Bad End. If Stocke pushes Rosch to chase after her, though, the two hook up.
  • Underrated and Overleveled: The most game-breaking party member is... the nine-year-old girl.
  • The Unfought: Selvan and Protea are never fought, which makes sense since they're non-combatants, but Dias — supposedly a master swordsman, and one of the chief villains for large parts of the game — being a Cutscene Boss is rather egregious. And even as a Cutscene Boss, you only encounter him in one bad ending.
  • Universal Poison: Everybody uses one poison, to a degree where the solution to prevent a NPC from dying of illness is to give him an Anti-Poison.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Protea to Dias and Selvan, most of Alistel's population to Hugo. However, all of the above are this to Heiss.
  • Uriah Gambit: Attempted in the Alternate History timeline. Hugo conspires to get Rosch's squad killed by leaking their position to the enemy. It works until Stocke goes back in time to prevent it, and even then he can't get anyone but Rosch and himself out alive.
  • Useless Useful Spell: Averted: spells like Poison and Sleep work on enemies and even bosses more often than not.
  • Useless Useful Stealth: Stocke gets the ability to turn invisible partway through the game. Sometimes this works for the whole party, sometimes it doesn't (or he just forgets to use it), and of course he never goes back and redoes past events where the ability would have been useful if he'd had it then. (It's somewhat justified when he's trying to get Raul out of Alistel, though. The soldiers that do detect him aren't exactly normal...)
  • Vicious Cycle: The Granorg Royal Family regularly needs to carry out a certain "ceremony" to keep the world from turning into sand. Neither of the game endings do anything to change this, but two of the epilogue scenes might show results.
  • Video Game Stealing: Aht and Stocke are your battle kleptomaniacs. Most enemies have two items to steal, one common and one rarer. They usually won't drop them if you don't steal them.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left!: There's a mysterious person under the control of the Black Chronicle who shows up a few times, summons Shadows for a miniboss fight, then disappears. While you eventually learn his identity, you never fight him. This also happens once when Palomides pulls a You Shall Not Pass! to let High Colonel Dias escape, only for your two inactive party members and Garland to do absolutely squat to stop the latter while you're busy fighting the former.
  • Villainous Friendship: Dias and Selvan, the Big Bad Ensemble from Granorg, are best friends.
  • Wham Episode: Alternate History Chapter 2 is the first major one. The Rosch Brigade is wiped out, and even with time travel you can only save him. Kiel sacrifices himself to buy time, and unlike all other character deaths up to this point, this one is not preventable. Stocke goes into a Heroic B.S.O.D. over it, and then you learn that the intel resulting in the massacre was leaked by someone on your side, specifically, General Hugo. Stocke has to flee Alistel with Rosch, with the entire army becoming his enemy. Ouch.
  • Wham Line:
    • At Journey's End ending:
      Raynie: Maybe I've been fooling myself this whole time. I guess that just won't do, will it? I admit it, Stocke. I love you.
      Stocke: [Shocked] I...I thought we were talking about this guy you knew...
    • Also, until it gets explained a bit more:
      Aht: I have to take people who are done on earth to the heavens. It's my job.
    • And shortly before that, one that does not get explained for a very long time:
      Aht: Besides... Only you can meet God anyways.
    • And a double one:
      Eruca: It's not that he intended to neglect his duty to perform it, but even if he wanted to, he couldn't. The sacrifice necessary for the ritual refused to do his duty, and escaped...
    • The 'Eternal Prosperity', where the Artifact shows memories of the people of the ancient empire...and one figure in particular stands out among them.
    Stocke: So you really are Nemesia.
    Nemesia: ...An A+ answer.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Though Lippti and Teo always take bad endings rather in stride, especially when they happen for consequences of Stocke's actions he couldn't predict at the time, they are one shade of politeness away from chewing you out over your screwup should he willingly help a scientist with a research which he knows will only quicken the world's desertification through indiscriminately extracting Mana.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: In terms of the Standard History, the fates of Hugo and Fennel are left unanswered, but it's possible that the whole "echo effect" between timelines had done its job; they probably suffered a similar fate to their Alternate History counterparts, but the writers either didn't have time or didn't consider it necessary to put in at that point. The fate of King Victor is a smidge more annoying to leave hanging; after fighting you in the Imperial Ruins, he retreats through a doorway, his identity is finally revealed... and he's never mentioned again!
  • White Mage: Marco dresses like a soldier and wields swords but learns healing magic, buffs, and debuffs.
  • The World Is Always Doomed: Ever since the ancient empire screwed up the world's Mana, the continent has been in constant danger of turning into a desert.
  • Worst Aid: One of the best healing items is called Tourniquet (which "stings like crazy when applied").
  • You All Look Familiar:
    • Particularly bad with the soldiers, since you're never sure whether you're supposed to be fighting them or not.
    • Especially ridiculous with the "Thaumachines End" sidequest. It involves rescuing a man who was heavily experimented on, and outfitted with a thaumachine body as a makeshift gauntlet. But when you finally destroy the armor to reveal the tortued man within all you see is... the standard soldier sprite.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: You're a wanted man! You do still wind up waltzing back in for reconnaissance purposes once, though, and of course the time-travel premise means you can step back to when you were allowed there whenever you want if you forgot something.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Selvan and Dias betray Queen Protea in both histories since she loses any usefulness as their puppet figurehead. In Standard History, Selvan lets Stocke and co. just walk up to her unimpeded while he leaves the besieged Granorg. In Alternate History, the duo sell out to Alistel and have Protea executed.
  • You Shall Not Pass!: Done several times, by different characters:
    • Raynie and Marco do this for Stocke once. They succeed and reunite later.
    • One of the "bad endings" has Stocke do this for Raynie and Marco, serving as a distraction so they can complete the mission on their own. This being a bad ending, he gets out, but they don't.
    • Kiel acts as a decoy so Stocke and Rosch can escape the ambush that destroyed the rest of the Rosch Brigade... and never comes back.
    • Otto, a Resistance member, does this for Princess Eruca and the rest of the party. Later in the game, you will be given the means to ensure that Will, another Resistance member, will be able to assist him, allowing them both to survive.
  • Younger Than They Look: Heiss. Justified since using the Black Chronicle caused him to age a lot more than he should have. Also, according to official material, Rosch is only 21.
  • Zero-Effort Boss:
    • Subverted in the boss fight against Alternate History Rosch. At first, his attacks never reduce you below 1 HP... then, after some dialogue, they do.
    • Also subverted with the boss of the Holff Ruins. After making your way through, you expect a tough fight against the "guardian" as your final test to claim the Beast Mark. You enter the boss room and fight... a single, Black Chronicle-infused Gutral, who doesn't put up much of a fight. But right afterwards, you're thrown into a much tougher fight with a Giant Spider, without a free heal.
    • And Hugo. That is, until you get the Sword of Plot Advancement. Then he actually puts up a fight.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Videogame/RadiantHistoria