Videogame: The Reconstruction
"Would you stake your life on a world that cannot be saved?"The Reconstruction
is a very atypical RPG from Tilde-One Games
. The author describes that his intention in making this game was to defy convention at every turn
— both in Eastern RPG
gameplay and Heroic Fantasy
The story is set in a seemingly-peaceful world that is full of turmoil under the surface. Three species live in a rough and unhappy coexistence in the world along with humans: fih'jik, cat-like humanoids who are very religious and devoted to the Supreme One
, despite her apparently turning her back on them in a catastrophe known as "the Blackening"; fortians, similar to humans in appearance, but extremely stoic and scientifically-minded, with exceptional magical talent; and shra, Lizard Folk
who cannot use magic, and are reviled and enslaved
because of it.
The story focuses on Dehl Sikohlon, a shra of the peaceful Sikohlon clan. He's devoted his life to repaying the kindness the city of Wadassia has shown him with civil service as a city guard. To further this goal, he comes up with the idea to make a guild — a band of heroes — who go around doing tasks that ordinary people cannot, such as slaying monsters. Dehl's guild eventually traverses the entire world, exposing and mitigating the problems that each species face, with varying results. Further compounding problems is the existence of a mysterious woman
known as Fell, who claims to receive messages from a divine being she calls "The Voice Himself". She seems to have even greater plans in store for Dehl and his guild, dispersing cryptic clues
throughout his journey. But can she be trusted, and does she really know as much as she claims?
It can be downloaded here
. A prequel
, I Miss the Sunrise
, can be found here
. A semi-sequel, The Drop
, can be found here
. The fourth game, How Far
, was in development until the creator had put it on an indefinite hiatus to focus on his first commercial project, The Tenth Line
). Some data on How Far
can be still found here
For those interested, the creator has posted a load of trivia
about the game on his blog. Beware of spoilers, obviously.Has a wiki here
Is not related to the 6th season in the web series Red vs. Blue
Provides Examples Of:
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- Accidental Murder: Dehl killing his father. After Father Sikohlon went insane and tried Offing the Offspring, Dehl's pseudo-magic powers manifested for the first time, and he spirit-crushed Father Sikohlon right before he would have been killed himself.
- Action Prologue
- Alas, Poor Villain: Skint. Towards the end of the story, it seems like he's going to turn out to be the Big Bad, but when your party arrives at The Very Definitely Final Dungeon, you find him collapsed in a bloody heap right outside it. He reveals that he actually tried to stop the Big Bad and was on the heroes' side the whole time before asking Dehl to Mercy Kill him.
- An Aesop: It's not explicitly stated, but it's definitely an important part of the ending and Dehl's Character Arc. A single person cannot save the entire world, and even if they could, the psychological stress would break them first. So, instead of shooting for over-ambitious goals or lamenting the fact that we can't accomplish them, we should focus on what we can do to make the world a better place.
- After the End: Chapter 6.
- All There in the Manual: Sort of. There's an in-game glossary that has background information and history on tons of things, some of which are part of the plot that the game itself only half-explains to you.
- All Your Base Are Belong to Us: In chapter 6, Wadassia (and all other major cities for that matter) has been burned to the ground. Causes Dehl to have a Freak Out.
- And Now for Someone Completely Different: The prologue centers on Rehm, Vasra, and Taru, then chapter 1 switches the focus to Dehl and the starting cast.
- Anyone Can Die: By the end of the game, Vasra, Skint, Aryn, Cort, Adi, Metzino and literally millions of unnamed NPCs all bite it.
- Arc Words: "Scope". Fitting, since it's the game's Central Theme.
- Arbitrary Skepticism: The main characters bring Tezkhra Back from the Dead, but his claims to actually be the one known as Tezkhra? Preposterous!
- In fairness, he looks and acts completely different than how the legendary Tezkhra is described.
- Back for the Finale: Though it's done in a rather depressing manner. Yacatec appears in the final dungeon as a slave, and helps you get through said dungeon after you free him.
- Back from the Dead: Tezkhra.
- Bad Powers, Bad People: Discussed — the "Noxious" element is directly opposed to the "Holy" one, and it's generally perceived as purely destructive, so the character who specializes in it tends to worry about whether it will corrupt him. He's one of the nicer folks around, though, and eventually he decides that Dark Is Not Evil.
- Big Damn Heroes: Subverted. After the world is destroyed in chapter 6 and the Big Bad kills or enslaves everyone, Dehl's guild is the people's only hope...but they aren't able to come until it's far too late.
- Bloodless Carnage: The game isn't afraid of showing blood in some of the monsters' Character Portraits, but avoidance of blood in cutscenes is the norm. The trope is, however, averted in a few instances, usually as a sign that things just got really serious.
- Brain Bleach:
Kott: "'The sky boils, the sea burns, the soil begs forgiveness.' You ever heard anything like that?"
Qualstio: "No, but, it's pretty creepy. I wish I could un-hear it."
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: In the opening cutscene of chapter 1, Fell talks to the player directly.
- Break the Cutie: Dehl's Dark and Troubled Past has this, in spades. Possibly subverted, though, as it's part of the Back Story that is only revealed near the end of the game; most of what we see of him is after the fact.
- Happens to Xopi as well, who, as another Sikohlon child, is quite identical to how Dehl used to be.
- Brick Joke: At the beginning of the game, Qualstio complains about the fanfare that plays when characters join the guild. Much later on, another character comments on it after joining.
- Central Theme: Scope; the necessity to understand all sides of the story and the full truth before one can make the correct decision, and the danger of jumping to conclusions. However, you must acquire the necessary knowledge without also losing sight of what is truly important.
"How far back must we stand before we can see everything ahead? And...does that mean we must lose sight of what was closest to begin with?"
- This is strongly represented by the Multiple Endings; if you get the normal ending, your scope stays in place, and does not expand. In the Golden Ending, your scope explodes, as you realize the story was Science Fiction all along, not Fantasy.
- It seems like I Miss the Sunrise is continuing in this vein. It is likely to be the theme that ties together the trilogy.
- Character Development: Dehl, and how! He undergoes an almost complete transformation from the beginning to the end of the fifth chapter. Though you may wonder if the change is completely positive...
- Chekhov's Gun: The artifact Havan finds, as well as the fact that he technically becomes the leader of the si'shra in Chapter 4.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Havan.
- To a lesser extent, Hiu in chapter 1. He is visible in quest mode as the "human researcher" and can even be examined, but he looks like window dressing until it's revealed that he's the client for the final quest. He doesn't even speak if you examine him, cleverly avoiding the Nominal Importance problem by hiding his Character Portrait.
- Cryptic Conversation: As explained in The Quiet One below, Tezkhra almost never speaks audibly, but does hold internal monologues often. They usually take the form of this, however.
- Dark and Troubled Past: An impressive portion of the cast: Dehl, Moke, Rehm, Sirush, Ques, Qualstio, Skint, and Tezkhra.
- Darkest Hour: Chapter 6. The Watchers are dead, the world is in ruins, and an all-powerful "Lord-God" is sweeping up what little remains.
- Deliberate Values Dissonance: Most of the characters are perfectly okay with slavery, and even those who don't treat the shra like dirt are prone to using racial slurs or calling them out on their smell.
- Diabolus Ex Machina: Chapter 3's climactic reveal that Metzino is in a blood feud with Pazzato, leading to them dueling and him getting killed. There is absolutely zero Foreshadowing or build-up towards it, and seems to exist only so that chapter 3 can have a more dramatic conclusion.
- Doing In the Wizard: The Golden Ending reveals that Tezkhra isn't actually a god and the Watchers aren't actually angels/demigods/things; it's all just because Tez and his pals are Sufficiently Advanced Aliens. Magic is still magic, though. Probably.
- Double Entendre: Almost every sentence Kidra says.
- Driven to Suicide: Rehm, though some Nalian officers catch him before he can finish it.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: "Everything we once knew and loved has vanished from this world. We are the only surviving chance for reconstruction."
- Dysfunction Junction: Not everyone has major problems, but there are reasons why there are so many character-centric sidequests, most of which deal with resolving the Dysfunction Junction.
- The End of the Beginning: Subverted. By the end of the story, the world is almost completely annihilated and has to be rebuilt practically from scratch — it is definitely the beginning of a new era. However, it's never actually said anywhere that it's a new beginning — even the phrase "reconstruction" is never mentioned.
- Fake-Out Opening: Rehm isn't the main character, and the prologue happened 50 years prior to the actual story. This is fairly obvious, though.
- Flat "What.": Qualstio's reaction to seeing the Tatzylvurm.
- Flash Back: All the interludes. Subverted in that all but one of them are flashbacks to the prologue's cast.
- Calm and level-headed Zargos to the hot-headed and eccentric Santes.
- Qualstio to Dehl. Opposite elements, and pretty different personalities too. This even extends to their attire: Dehl wears a simple white robe while Qualstio wears a black leather coat. They both share similar goals and ideals, however.
- Dehl and Skint, once you realize Skint was the third Sikohlon father. At heart, Skint is almost exactly like Dehl — a lawful, orderly man devoted to defending those in need. However, unlike Dehl, he was betrayed by a friend and was cursed as the "scourgelord", warping him into the bitter, jaded man we see. Or...maybe they're not so different after all?
- Alito to Kulkumatz, at least during the latter's recruitment mission. A young scholar, highly educated but somewhat naive, and an impossibly old warrior, who lived his entire life in the jungle, fighting for survival.
- Foreshadowing / Futureshadowing: There's tons of this, though most of it is so subtle that it's unlikely you'll pick up on it except on a replay. Make sure to remember every Cryptic Background Reference referenced in the early game.
- The Fundamentalist: Most Kir'Sshans. The Blessed Corps in Do'Ssha are extremely dogmatic as well.
- God Is Dead: Tezkhra is. (You have to bring him Back from the Dead.) Subverted in that he isn't actually a god, he's a sufficiently advanced alien, and just as killable as anyone else.
- Hailfire Peaks: Fortifel is a volcanic island. However, the area is so elevated that it's often blanketed in snow where there are no thermal vents or lava pools.
- Healing Factor:
- Shra have very high rates of bodily regeneration. This is deconstructed with Skint who got stabbed in the back with a large sword...and his body healed the wound, with the sword still in. To make things worse, the sword was lodged through his heart, making it impossible to take out without killing him. It also means he can never take off his armour, which must make sleeping pretty difficult, too.
- Qualstio's final passive skill, Physidrawing, gives him high regeneration rates as well (in gameplay terms); it is not as strong as the bodily regeneration of the shra, but regenerates all his gauges quickly. Plus, being intrinsic regeneration, it's still stackable with regeneration buffs.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Sort of. The Cryomancer dies from being Impaled with Extreme Prejudice by one of his own icicles.
- Similarly, Dehl's father dies by falling into a sword he left lying on a table.
- Home Sweet Home: In the epilogue, Santes and Zargos settle down in Wadassia. The four Nalians in the party also return home. Averted with the fih'jik members of the party, not only because they don't want to go back, but because they don't really have a home to return to. Also averted with Dehl and Qualstio, who continue to wander and help the world.
- How to Stop the Deus ex Machina: Rulian is stripped of his necromancy powers by Tezkhra accidentally. If not, he probably could have simply resurrected the millions who were killed during the rise of the Lord-God, making the ending much less of a downer and allowing an easy reconstruction.
- I Choose to Stay: Tezkhra.
- Idiot Ball: After the Watchers are killed and the party decides to wait for someone to show up and tell them what to do, the only attempt Tezkhra (if you have him in your party) makes to stop them from trancing out is saying that they should tell him if they "feel anything unusual". Even though he knows that emitter radiation, which they're currently being exposed to, causes trancing if people sit around and do nothing, which is exactly what they said they would do. He should at least have done something to keep himself from trancing... But despite all this, he just goes along with them and sits there like an idiot. See also the Fridge page.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice:
- Infallible Babble:
- Averted with Fell. Most of the weirder things she says are just nonsense.
- Also averted with Desmon's final rant. He does brush up against the truth, but taking his theory seriously isn't going to get you anywhere.
- Surprisingly, played straight with Falitza's cryptic predictions. Actually subverted, as she's sane and just analyzing the situation.
- Killed Mid-Sentence: The Cryomancer.
- Killed Off for Real: Metzino and Sara.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall / Left the Background Music On: Whenever a character joins the guild's roster, there's a little fanfare that plays. When the starting cast joins in the beginning, Qualstio says "Is that nauseatingly cheerful music gonna play every time someone joins?" at one point. Kulkumatz also asks "What was that sound?" when he joins.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: The game borders on this, with eighteen playable characters and quite a few important NPCs as well. However, almost all of the main cast have genuinely unique and interesting personalities and good Character Development, sidestepping some of the negative traits of this.
- The Man Behind the Man: Havan behind Skint. Subverted by the man in front of the man turning out to not have been a villain in the first place. The real Big Bad also has much shallower motives than the fake one, which may qualify as an additional subversion.
- Man in White: All Sikohlon. They dress this way to show their ascent from savagery.
- Mathematician's Answer: Ques does this at a few points.
- Mental World: Sirush's sidequest takes place in one...maybe. It could just be an example of Bad Dreams.
- Mercy Kill: Skint asks for one in chapter 6. Dehl gives it to him.
- Mission Control: Ques. (And later, Alito.)
- Mood Whiplash: In chapter 6, interlude 3, and interlude 4, done well.
- Motive Rant: Havan, right before you fight them, explains exactly why they snapped and killed the Watchers.
- Neglectful Precursors: The Sufficiently Advanced Aliens who terraformed and populated the planet are somewhere between neglectful and outright abusive; they periodically annihilate all life on the planet to prevent it from getting too advanced, and don't seem to view the populace of the planet as actual people, just subjects in their experiment.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Dehl leaves Havan behind at the end of chapter 5, who then proceeds to slaughter the Watchers and take over the world. Dehl also allowed Havan to get the Chekhov's Gun that drove him to do that in the first place.
- Also, Tezkhra accidentally makes the final boss go One-Winged Angel.
- Dehl broke it before the game even started; he brought the Blue Plague to the mainland via Moke, though it did abruptly end the revolt, saving some lives...which were probably then taken by the Plague anyway.
- And Father Sikohlon broke it even before that by creating the Plague in the first place.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Funnily enough, in spite of everything that happened in the last chapter, if Havan had not interfered in the Watchers' plans, the entire surface would have been razed to the ground by the Watchers, resulting in a level of death and destruction even Havan's rule as the Lord-God would not have matched.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Kidra.
- Off the Rails: Throughout most of the game, you're part of the Watchers' plans, and everything seems to be going well...until Havan kills them. As such, the entirety of chapter 6 is this.
- One Degree of Separation: (spoilers, seriously)
- Taru Clapian is Tehgonan's father.
- Moke served Dehl's 'father'.
- A Pazzato attacked Rehm's ship and killed Vasra.
- Tezkhra and Mahk have the same ...origin.
- Skint was a Sikohlon father.
- Councillord Crossar is the father of both Yfus and Zaka.
- Both Zargos and Skint fought in the Nalian Revolt.
- Out-of-Character Moment: See To Be Lawful or Good, below. Your choice will be spoken through Qualstio's mouth...and since he normally despises the Fantastic Racism and laws in general, it makes no logical sense for him to tell the truth. Lampshaded by Tehgonan, who worries Qualstio's "going soft" by avoiding trouble.
- Pan Up To The Sky Ending: The Golden Ending uses the "night sky" version.
- Pardon My Klingon: Yacatec does this twice; Early in chapter 4, he calls Tehgonan a "Zin d'an"note , at which point Dehl snaps, "Yacatec, please do not call him that." Later, after the camp is threatened to be washed away by magical rain, he snaps at Ques, flinging what is presumably a heinous insult at him in his native language.
- Personality Powers: Averted or played straight for the most part, but maimed, stomped on, and tossed out a window with Moke, a compassionate, meek, and lovable little guy who wields noxious, foul poison.
- Please Wake Up: In Interlude 4. Upon seeing that Father Sikohlon has killed all his brothers and gone insane, Dehl says "What happened to our brothers? Why aren't they moving?"
- Poison Is Evil: Subverted; the Noxious element is generally regarded as evil or at least more shady than other elements, but both Noxious-elemental party members are perfectly nice people. One's sidequest even revolves around disproving this.
- Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Partly because you end up having humans, fih'jik, shra, and fortians all in the same group, but also, pretty much all the optional party members are just random people off the streets, some of which have rather weird class names. While one can probably guess that "Spectrumancer" and "Whiteblade" are legitimate classes, what in the world is a "Flashcurve" or "Whitewind"?
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Qualstio and Dehl. Lampshaded by Qualstio with their support quote.
"A little cliché, don't ya think?"
- The Reveal: The revelation of who the Big Bad is doesn't come until the cutscene before the Final Boss. And your jaw is guaranteed to drop when you find out that it's Havan.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Dehl goes on one in chapter 6. His temporary personality change makes some of his skill descriptions read almost like black comedy.
"The serene, peaceful nature of the knight manifests in enhanced inner traits."
- Sacrificial Lion: Skint, Aryn, and the Watchers.
- Sacrificial Lamb: Metzino is either this or the above; though they only appear for one chapter and are killed off long before the Sacrificial Lions, they are only killed off at the very end of the chapter they appear in.
- Save The World: Deconstructed. Dehl attempts this, but finds that he can't, as any accomplishment he does make will not last; only the people can truly save themselves. He also finds that the psychological stress is unbearable (especially combined with his other issues). See An Aesop, above.
- Screw Destiny: A villainous example. After performing tests of character for years, Havan is casually brushed aside and told that he isn't The Chosen One after all. But he won't tolerate this, and murders all the Watchers in an attempt to get to Dehl.
- Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: There are a few quests where Dehl turns down payment afterwards.
- Sequel Hook: And a prequel hook, no less, in the Golden Ending.
- Sound-Only Death: The screen abruptly fades to black right before Dehl kills Havan, who we only hear screaming. This is rather odd, considering that there was a graphic Family-Unfriendly Death not much earlier, plus the fact that the game has no reason to pretend it's still a happy-go-lucky family-friendly adventure story at that point.
- Although, it could be a way of showing that the extremely dark tone of chapter 6 is finally over, and that the story is now going to return to a more lighthearted state.
- Strength Equals Worthiness: Moke assumes this when he is told he will be put through a "test" by a mysterious stranger; he quickly objects, but it turns out the test is of a different nature.
- Sufficiently Advanced Aliens: Tezkhra and his pals. See Clarke's Third Law and Doing In the Wizard, above.
- Things Man Was Not Meant to Know: Falitza allegedly destroyed her mind by "peering into the unknown". Subverted, though — it's Obfuscating Insanity. She was so sick of being "little miss perfect" that she staged the whole thing to get thrown into Sanctifel.
- Title Drop: The First and Second Reconstructions. Subverted in that they're only minor backstory events that are only briefly mentioned once each throughout the entire game (and you won't get any details unless you read Ques' glossary).
- Those Two Guys: Prowlers Tamo and Teno in Chapter 4.
- Three-Stat System: Body, Mind, and Soul.
- To Be Lawful or Good: The player themselves must make this choice at the end of one quest — after you see a bunch of criminal shra run out of the city, you have the option of pointing the Nalian Officers in the right or wrong direction.
- Took a Shortcut: There's one quest that involves trailblazing a previously-untraversed mountain pass. One of the obstacles you face is a camp of bandits. This is Lampshaded in the narration.
- Treachery Cover Up: The fortian Councillords cleverly disguise what is effectively Metzino's execution as a seemingly fair duel against Pazzato.
- True Companions: The guild ends up like this by the end.
- The Unfought: Skint. You come extremely close to battling him (there's even a Fight Woosh!), but Dehl calls off the battle and solves things diplomatically.
- Unwitting Pawn: Literally the entire game is pretty much simply the Watchers moving Six Stars around like chess pieces (remind you of a certain stylistic art choice?). Until chapter 6, that is...
- Possibly subverted, as the chessmasters don't seem to be inherently evil. It seems like their ultimate goal in finding The Chosen One is so that the world won't have to be destroyed, in fact.
- Villain Exit Stage Left: The Big Bad attempts this after he's defeated, but just as he's about to escape, he discovers that all the survivors of Wadassia have arrived to block his path.
- Weapon of Choice:
- An Axe to Grind: Zargos, Yfus
- Archer: Fero
- Blade on a Stick: Cort. Zaka uses a lance, as well.
- Cool Sword: Dehl uses a blunted one (that deals Slashing damage), Rehm uses two shortswords, Ques uses a rapier, and Havan uses a giant scimitar-like blade.
- It should be noted that if you are strong enough you can still cut with a sword even if it has dull edges, but the cut won't be nearly as deep, making it harder to land a lethal blow on somebody accidentally.
- Good Old Fisticuffs: Falitza (bizarrely)
- Knife Nut: Vasra, Kidra, Sirush, Moke
- Luckily My Shield Will Protect Me: Lani
- Magic Wand: Tehgonan. Adi uses two when you fight her.
- Prongs of Poseidon: Taru
- Power Fist: Tezkhra
- Simple Staff: Qualstio, Santes, Kulkumatz
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: the Cryomancer. He just wanted to preserve things and help people! But then you went and killed him. You Bastard.
- Wham Episode: "To Ascend", the final quest of chapter 3. Up until that point, the story reads like a fairly typical Heroic Fantasy adventure story, with a few hints of a greater, overarching plot and only a few very serious moments. You'll probably think that it'll maintain the fairly carefree, happy-go-lucky vibe the heroes have going on. Well, at least, until Metzino gets thrown off the Faithall Tower, you fight your first boss fight with a human character (who dies bloodily), and the entire mess ends in a giant Downer Ending revealing that the characters were Unwitting Pawns the whole chapter and their efforts were meaningless. It's also immediately followed by interlude 3, which is filled to the brim with Tear Jerker.
- Even moreso, Interlude 4. By the Supreme One, interlude 4.
- Also lampshaded; the "accept" option for the save prompt afterwards is "After all that? Hell yes."
- Chapter 6 is also pretty shocking, though it comes quite late in the story.
- Wham Line:
"Third Watcher? You mean Donz? I thought he went down with you guys, Ma!"note
- What the Hell, Hero?: Dehl receives an indignant speech from Mahk after he kills (or at the very least, severely injures) two Nalian slavers in front of Xopi. He becomes an outcast of the Sikohlon family because of this.
- "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue
- You Can't Fight Fate: Subverted. There's no such thing as "fate" — the Mysterious Informants who prattle on about it are just as fallible as everyone else, as the Big Bad proves spectacularly. The "you can't fight fate" mentality is only propagated to keep the Watchers and people in general from acting out of line, and it's all a lie.
- You! Exclamation: Dehl's "YOU?!" at finding out that the "Lord-God" is Havan.
- You Monster!: Dehl's response to learning that Havan tortured Donz to death.
- Your Princess Is in Another Castle: The game doesn't actually wrap everything up when the twist is pulled, but it looks like it's on a fast track towards doing so. However, just when it looks like you're about to have some climactic final boss fight and Save The World, Qualstio screams in horror as he finds that the Watchers have all been slaughtered. Also, you failed to stop Donz from activating the pillars, so civilization has been nearly wiped out. So, instead of going along with Fell's advice, the rest of the game revolves around stopping the Big Bad and trying to reconstruct civilization.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: Downplayed with the tchiitra, which are giant, dangerous bugs, but are never any larger than a human (and are usually a bit smaller than that). Played straighter with the tchiitra broodmother, who is much bigger.
- Cat Folk: The fih'jik. The Encyclopedia even says that the word "cat" comes from the Fih'Jik word for "child".
- Interestingly though, they carry very few of the typical Animal Stereotypes associated with cats — they are neither the Proud Warrior Race associated with predatory cats (they are actually physically frail when compared to the other three species), nor do they fit the "hyperactive, selfish hedonist" portrayal associated with domestic cats. Some of them do still like hunting, though.
- Clarke's Third Law: And how. The shra thought Tezkhra was a god because of it.
- Crapsaccharine World: The world looks innocuous enough at first, but the more you explore it, the more you realize just how messed up it is. Here's a chapter-by-chapter breakdown of reveals:
- Chapter 1: Wadassia is practically the only country in the known world that can grow food, so the welfare of all other places is placed into one basket — a basket that hangs by a thread.
- Chapter 2: A large portion of the populace is poverty-stricken, and forced to live in the slums of Nal. Also, the large lagoon in which the game takes place is the only habitable area in the world — everywhere else is just ocean as far as the eye can see. This will no doubt lead to painful population plateaus.
- Chapter 3: The Fortian Councillords economically control the rest of the world through monopolization of magical artifacts, and kill anyone who is a threat to their stability.
- Chapter 4: The Fantastic Racism against shra is so bad that their own kind sell each other into slavery to make ends meet.
- Chapter 5: The fih'jik cling to their warlike religion, refusing to let those in Do'Ssha live in peace. Warfare is so frequent that their continent earned a nickname that basically means "bloody sands". The Knight Templar leader of Kir'Ssha even commits suicide because he knows it's the only way to stop the war...temporarily, at least.
- Chapter 6: And none of that even matters, because Havan razed the entire world to the ground because you let him! Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!
- Crystal Dragon Jesus: The fih'jik religion is very similar to the Christian one, though there's no Jesus figure and the god (or "Supreme One") in question is female. Subverted in that she seems to be either dead or sadistic.
- Elemental Powers: Heat, Cold, Physical, Mental, Divine, and Noxious. Everyone in the setting has this to some extent, since every being has an elemental affinity.
- The Empire: Kir'Ssha. It's an iron-fisted, totalitarian fascist regime that has religious intolerance as law, and its leaders and military openly plot to conquer the rest of the world and force them to worship the Supreme One. Pretty much their only redeeming trait is that, despite their intolerance of other religions, they treat shra as equals rather then second class citizens or slaves, just like Do'Ssha does.
- Entropy and Chaos Magic: Sort of. It's not a standard feature of the setting, but Tatzylvurm and the True Final Boss both have "Chaos" as their element, as opposed to a certain optional character who has "Order" as their element. Both end up effectively Non-Elemental.
- Fantastic Racism: Everywhere except Do'Ssha and the Berylbrine Outpost, shra are slaves or servants, and are treated like dirt in Nal.
- Feuding Families: The Pazzato and Metzino lines have been at this for quite a while.
- God of Evil: Tezkhra certainly seems to be this; the encyclopedia describes him as a foul, wretched, poisonous creature that brought death everywhere he walked and gave birth to the si'shra, one of the most violent creatures in the world. However, this is subverted if you get the sixteenth character — Tezkhra himself. He turns out to actually be Shrouded in Myth and a perfectly nice guy. The Tezkhra figure that the si'shra worship was actually an evil creature that killed him and stole his name.
- Good Republic, Evil Empire: Do'Ssha and Kir'Ssha. Both are traditionalist theocracies, but Do'Ssha is ruled by an elected council, while Kir'Ssha appears to be a military dictatorship. Do'Ssha isn't without its flaws, but it is, by far, the nicer of the two societies.
- Half-Human Hybrid: I Miss the Sunrise reveals that the entire shra race are half-Lesser hybrids, as they were cloned from Tezkhra's DNA. Tezkhra himself is not a Half-Human Hybrid, but Rami altered his physiology so much that he can't be easily classified as either a Lesser or a lacertian, and this weirdness was passed on to his "children".
- Have You Seen My God?: The Supreme One is either missing or dead. That or she enjoys seeing her children launch violent and bloody holy wars against each other. Kir'Sshans are all convinced that she's still alive, though.
- Heroes "R" Us: Guilds.
- Humans Are Average: They're actually below average, in pure gameplay terms, since they tend to have the lowest regeneration rates in all three stats.
- Humans Are Leaders: Due to lack of competition. Of the other sentient species in the setting, the shra have a tendency to follow whoever seems strongest, the Fortians don't care much about outside affairs, and the fih'jik are traditionalistic to a fault, leaving humans as the primary explorers and leaders.
- It's also subverted, since The Hero is a shra. Could be Double Subverted, though, since he's an extreme subversion of most fantasy heroes and doesn't actually do much leading.
- Immortality Inducer: The "artifact" that Havan finds is an active +ii emitter.
- Last Name Basis: The fortians do this. The only time they're referred to by their first name is informally or by someone of higher rank. This extends to your party members; Sicious Qualstio and Halia Falitza are always referred to by their last names.
- Lizard Folk: Shra.
- Medieval Stasis: As in most Medieval Stasis worlds, magic takes the place of science and technology for the most par except that not everyone can use it. On top of that, only Fortians have magical abilities potent enough to perform the really important spells and create the really important Magitek. This means that things are stacked in the favour of Fortians — everyone has no choice but to depend on them. When Metzino decides to make steam-powered technology (meaning that everyone can contribute to society equally), the fortian councillords are not happy.
- One-Gender Race: Subverted; the shra seem to be this at first, but in chapter 4 we learn that the females are all forced to stay inside the Shra Capital.
- Panspermia: Of the "alientelligent design" variety; the planet was terraformed and populated by Sufficiently Advanced Aliens as part of a science project.
- Perfect Pacifist People: The Sikohlon, though they're a small clan instead of an entire society.
- Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Subverted. The setting invokes this; virtually every character you meet finds an excuse to hate on shra. However, in the narrative itself, shra are given a rather sympathetic viewpoint — the main character is even one. Possibly a type of Deliberate Values Dissonance.
- Rubber-Forehead Aliens: Averted with Fortians. They seem like they're this; they look almost exactly like humans, only more slender, with crazier hairstyles, and paler skin. However, Word of God says that they are humans, and the difference is purely cultural. Their magic affinity is simply due to the fact that they focus on it so exclusively.
- Science Is Bad: The Fortian Councillords think so, anyway. The game's actual message seems to be an inversion of this trope.
- Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: The story and characters start off rather idealistic, but gradually slide towards cynicism, nearly hitting the end of the scale by the end.
- In the ending, the slider jumps back to the idealistic end; all the characters come to terms with their Dark And Troubled Pasts (albiet not completely in some cases) and civilization is rebuilt. However, it doesn't dial all the way back; how can it, after everything the player has seen? This is demonstrated by Dehl having the realization that he cannot do everything and save everyone; sometimes, the only option is for the people to save themselves.
- Snaketalk: According to the glossary, one in five shra have tongues too big to perfectly pronounce the human language, and speak like this. None of the Sikohlon seem to have this trait, interestingly. Kulkumatz does, though.
- Sufficiently Analyzed Magic: The fortians are all over this. They're the closest thing the setting has to modern scientists, and they're the race with the greatest affinity for magic.
"How far back must we stand before we can see everything ahead? And...does that mean we must lose sight of what was closest to begin with?"