Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure, known in Japan as Marl Oukoku no Ningyou-hime (The Puppet Princess of Marl Kingdom), is a game developed by Nippon Ichi Software for the PlayStation (and later remade for the Nintendo DS). It is the first game by the company to be released in the United States, and one of the first games to be developed before the company's love of insane Power Levels.The story is set in the aforementioned Marl Kingdom, and stars a young girl named Cornet, who possesses the ability to talk to puppets and dolls. She has a big-time crush on Prince Ferdinand, who rescued her from an evilCat Girl. However, just as she nearly succeeds in winning the prince's heart, the witch Marjoly attacks the castle and turns the prince to stone, and then kidnaps him. Determined to win her beloved Prince Ferdinand back, Cornet sets out on a magical and musical adventure all over Marl Kingdom with her Fairy Companion Kururu and an assortment of other puppets.Rhapsody appeals to a different demographic than most RPGs. On the surface it seems aimed at young girls, but it has become a Cult Classic, mostly due to Moe appeal. Besides, the tunes are catchy!There were also two sequels (Little Princess and Angel's Present), as well as a majhong and puzzle game, none of which have been released outside of Japan. However, these games laid the groundwork for La Pucelle and, eventually, Disgaea. GameFAQs translations of Little Princess and Angel's Present can be read here and here. Additionally, it gained a Spiritual Successor in the form of the Japan-only Princess Antiphona’s Hymn: Angel’s Score Op. A which includes a Marl Kingdom prince and Marjoly.Has a Character Sheet with characters from the whole series.
The main character of the sequel, Little Princess, is Cornet's daughter, named Kururu.
Copy And Paste Environments: Done to the point of nauseum. When the (literally) god-forsaken netherworld looks like every castle/tower you've roamed through throughout the game, something is clearly wrong.
Germans Love David Hasselhoff: In universe with the people of Frogburg, who seem to think that Golonzzo is extremely handsome and not that bad a guy.
Good Is Dumb: Played straight with Etoile, who just plain outclasses your party during the Hopeless Boss Fight in chapter 2. During the battles in which she decides to help you out later in the game, all the dakka in the world can't save her from doing pitiful damage while your party is lashing out with heavy hits.
"I Am" Song / "I Want" Song: The game frequently breaks into musical numbers. When one of Marjoly's minions cameos in Phantom Brave she's mystified as to why people don't spontaneously burst into song.
James Bondage: Ferdinand. Ironically, he made his entrance by saving Cornet...
Lost Forever: Two of the puppets who can join Cornet's party become Lost Forever if you miss out on the sequences necessary to obtain them.
The first, an Expy of Spawn, can only be obtained if Cornet subscribes to Ferdinand's Instant Fan Club's newsletter during the early chapters.
The second is even easier to miss. After being sent out on your MacGuffinFetch Quest, you must immediately return to Cornet's hometown to learn that a local boy's dog has died and then head over to its grave to have it join you as a doll. If you don't, the little boy will die as well, and his dog will be Lost Forever.
Magic Misfire: Happens twice to Marjoly. Once when she accidentally takes Ferdinand for granite instead of putting him to sleep so she can kidnap him, and again when she's about to finish off the Final Boss. The second time, her spell literally blows up right in her face, leaving her incapacitated and causing the defeat of the boss to be up to you.
Mineral MacGuffin: The Heartstones required to cure Ferdinand Or so you're told. In reality, they're the keys to the Lost Technology that will allow you to reach Marjoly's floating castle.
Mood Whiplash: Happens a couple times when the plot swings from lighthearted to dead serious without warning.
In the Frog Kingdom, The King orders Michael to help you retrieve the Earthstone in order to earn his respect. He succeeds... but the King just adds his defeating the guardian to his list of crimes and executes him on the spot, in full view of his lover.
Soon afterwards, his lover, the princess, takes his body to the Ice Temple and is Driven to Suicide in order to be with him again.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: In order to obtain a MacGuffin, both Cornet and a random group of villagers kill two dragons. It turns out that the dragons were the ones keeping the local volcano from erupting...
There's also an optionalNice Job Breaking It, Hero moment during the raid on the Ninetails Tower. If Cornet chooses to kill the tower's guardian and obtain the MacGuffin it carries, she saves the life of one person... At the cost of the entire town becoming cursed and hating her guts. If you refuse to kill the guardian, Cornet will fight Gao instead, who is always after the Thunderstone. Defeating her results in you getting the Holystone instead of the Thunderstone, and also changes one of the 5 bosses at the bottom of Cape Hope.
No Export for You: After the failure of Rhapsody, Atlus decided not to localize the remaining two Marl Kingdom games.
No Fourth Wall: If you beat the worm right heart on the 6th turn (as Etoile told you too) on the first time fighting it, Etoile will come in asking what you're doing. Cornet's reply? "Hey you! Yeah, the one with the controller in your hand! Did you make me mess up?" Etoile admits she screwed up worrying about you screwing up. But then later she gets mad at you and blames you anyways.
Puzzle Boss: The heart of a giant sandworm. In the original game, Cornet had to land the killing blow on it during her sixth turn. It was toned down in the DS remake so that she had to land the killing blow before her sixth turn.