Visual Novel: Bliss Stage: Love Is Your Weapon
aka: Bliss Stage First Act
Visual Novel adaptation of the Tabletop Roleplaying Game Bliss Stage, by Ben Lehman's imprint, These Are Our Games. The game is being produced by Perpetual Motion Games.A public demo was made available on the official website at BlissStage.com on July 23rd, 2012.The main discussion thread on Lemmasoft is here.The story expands on the events and characters from the one-shot, Final Act, published in the first edition of Bliss Stage. It follows the adventures of Josh Preston, the newest pilot of The Treasure Island Resistance and son of its Magnificent Bastard Commander, Jim Preston. They are fighting a losing battle again an Alien Invasion by the Nightmares, a race of Eldritch Abominations from a dimension adjacent to our dreams.His weapon? The ANIMa, a reverse-engineered alien device that creates a psychic manifestation of his intimate relationships. But time is running out for him... Bliss happens, and if he drags his feet too long, or acts like a Jerk Ass, he is going to either die messily or fall to the Bliss.In addition to the tropes from the main Bliss Stage page, this game and its characters provide examples of:Dev Team
- Author Appeal: If a certain writer is in charge of a given character's dialog, this is probably part of the reason.
- Not to mention the character designer openly admits to a fetish for scars.
- Dating Sim: The Interludes.
- Discretion Shot: This game is probably going to be the equivalent of an ESRB M rating. Including explicit Optional Sexual Encounters is probably, given the age of the survivors of the Bliss, a very good way to wind up in a hostile court.
- Infinity+1 Sword: Hitting Intimacy 4 with a character gives you an upgraded weapon with special powers, useable at at least Trust 2: Intimacy 5 makes the power available without prerequisite trust (which is a mixed bag.)
- Level-Up at Intimacy 5: Based as it is on the Trope Namer.
- Ace Pilot: A mix of Steamroller and Bushwhacker on most paths. He rolls over your blind spots, especially when he manifests Anna Lin as the Sun-Tzu Tactical Matrix.
- Deadpan Snarker: this is his general response to adversity, especially on Practical paths.
- Expy: Sort of; it depends on the path. He's based on Shinji on Sensitive paths, Simon on Idealist paths, and Setsuna on Practical paths.
- Hot-Blooded: On Idealistic paths.
- Military Brat: Considering that the Colonel is A Father to His Men - literally in his case...
- Momma's Boy: which helps to explain his submissive tendencies.
- Race Lift: Joshua Preston from the Bliss Stage Canon main rules was of unspecified race. Josh Castellano Preston specifies it as Irish and Colombian.
- Translation Convention: Everything Joshua understands is 'printed' in English, but the voice actors will actually speak it in the language it's intended to be. Joshua knows Spanish at the start of the game and picks up some other languages.
- Uke: For all his bluster, he's pretty goddamn submissive in relationships to begin with. And then you just had to go on the Derek Smith path...
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Averted on the paths where he actually talks with Colonel James Paul Preston, but on the others, his Shinji is showing.
- Absurdly Youthful Mother: The REASON she's filled out considerably is because of her earlier pregnancy.
- Ace Pilot: Bushwhacker type.
- Arc Words: Pure White.
- "Love ain't romance, kid."
- Bi the Way
- Broken Bird: "I have seen better than you shattered by worse than you can imagine, boy. Don't presume you're a hero. And don't think you're my friend."
- Sergeant Rock: While she's rather colorful in her descriptions of your fuckups, she's equally appreciative of well-executed hotshotting and good tactics.
- Sugar and Ice Personality: Originally she was going to be more tsundere, but she mellowed out considerably in writing.
- Transforming Mecha: Her ANIMa switches forms from a jet plane, a chicken-walker VTOL with arms, and a monkey-like mecha with a staff. Like all ANIMa, that's also a symbol of her relationship with her Anchor, Meredith.
- Arc Words: "I never want to have to lie to you again."
- Black and Nerdy
- Discriminate and Switch: Early in the Meredith path, Josh delivers a compliment about her intelligence using the phrase "someone like you." It isn't obvious to Meredith that he meant a teenager by 'someone like you.' Hilarity Ensues.
- Failure Knight: "Have you ever seen someone as close as a sister die in fire and darkness because you didn't love them enough? No? Then you don't know what Anchoring is like."
- Genre Savvy: Seeing as she explains the Relationship Values of the game to you in a tutorial, she'd have to be.
- Metagaming: See "Shut Up" Kiss. Somewhat subverted if you've had a so-far perfect Meredith run...
- Mission Control: She's Joshua's Anchor for most of the game.
- Precision F-Strike: Only kind of swearing she does, to the point that Anna comments on it.
- Shout-Out: "Why do I wear this scarf? ...It reminds me that wit beyond measure is man's greatest treasure."
- And her Halloween costume, which consists of a wand and a pink and blue streak of hair dye.
- "Shut Up" Kiss: One of the ways she gets Josh to Pilot on his first mission.
- Stepford Smiler: Played with. She is genuinely kind and cheerful, but there are times when she's faking it.
- Xanatos Speed Chess: Kissing Josh purely for the Level-Up at Intimacy 5 is only the first and most obvious one of these she pulls.
- Yamato Nadeshiko: Sure, the tea is Southern Sweet Tea. Sure, her long flowing dress is patched and her hair is kinkier than The Imageboard That Must Not Be Named. She's freaking Belldandy to Josh... if you don't have high Stress.
- Ace Pilot: Sniper-type.
- The Big Easy: He's from New Orleans, a lifetime ago: his childhood reminiscences have that kind of flavor.
- Chivalrous Pervert: And how.
- Glass Cannon: He has a lot of low-Trust, high Intimacy relationships at the beginning of the game.
- Handsome Lech: What Josh starts out thinking of him as: the fact that Anna agrees, having been on the receiving end of his charm, doesn't help.
- Hollywood Voodoo: His ANIMa is named the Chevalier Du'Samedi, and a lot of its attacks have a cinematic Voodoo style. Keenan himself actually knows better.
- The Lancer: He's like this on most playthroughs; on the other hand, it is possible to piss him off or get pissed off by him.
- Let's Get Dangerous: The first time you see him, he comes off as a - well, as a carefree hedonist. On missions, though, he becomes deadly focused and laconic.
- Polyamory: It's why he's such a scary combatant in his ANIMa. Provided that he's sniping: Yukiko occasionally needs a reminder that Keenan loves her first and foremost.
- Punny Name: His ANIMa is named the Chevalier Du'Samedi.*
- Rebel Relaxation
- Scary Black Man: Played with. Josh doesn't like to admit that this is most of the reason his relationship to Sara gets under his skin, and both Keenan and Meredith will call Josh out on that.
- Arc Words:"Innocence isn't cowardice. Innocence isn't naivete. Innocence isn't purity, either." Alternately, "I may be innocent, but I'm not..."
- Berserk Button: You get to call her "cute" once for free. After that, she'll assume it's an insult.
- Children Are Innocent: Played with. Sara is very much an innocent - her character template is Innocent Sweetheart! - but see her Arc Words.
- Covert Pervert: "Josh? What's 'making love?' ...Wait, it's just fucking then?"
- A-Cup Angst: Well, she is only 13. This doesn't usually bother her, but there are times...
- Entendre Failure: Ahahahahah so subverted.
"Josh? It's flattering, but don't do that in front of Hurf Durk again - pretending I don't know what it means bothers me."
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: In Twin Tails (well, French braids) to really hammer the "innocence" thing home.
- Hey, It's That Voice!: Sara is played by Juliet Cesario.
- The Ingenue: This explains a LOT of her romantic ideals, sadly.
- Little Miss Badass: "Yoo~hoo~! Mr. Nightmare! I'm packing plasma grenades~!"
- Shout-Out: The design of her Genki Lilith mecha is a shout-out to Saber. The name is a shoutout to WALL•E.
- Tsundere: She really, REALLY doesn't like being treated as a child, and would rather have friends than lovers. Really.
- Tykebomb: She's the youngest pilot on the team, and truly terrifying in battle.
- Ascended Fanon: The only Pilot not from the original book. She's from the first game the creative designer ever ran.
- Aztec Mythology: She considers herself a Mexica, which may or may not be true: she is Latina. She syncretizes Quezacoutl with Christ. She expresses an affinity for the Lady of Guadualupe. She's really, really weird.
- Cat Girl: Played with. She doesn't have any obviously cat-like features, but her behavior is feline. This should frighten you.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: Played with. Her 'tangents' are always relavant to the conversation, but...
Josh: "Sometimes you just can't see the trees for the forest, Gabby."
Gabriel: "I would say that's accurate, yes."
- Innocent Fanservice Girl: She's a LITTLE better about this in front of her neighbors in the mission, but her natural tendency is towards wearing skintight clothes and very little of it.
- Let's Get Dangerous: She's very affectionate and affects being ditzy, and plays with her foes - until they threaten bystanders. Then you run.
- One Pilot Resistance: Literally as well as figuratively, at the beginning of the game; she's the protector of a community built on the ruins of the Mission District of San Francisco.
- Raised by Wolves: She didn't know her parents since even before the Bliss hit. Lampshaded:
Josh: "Were you raised by wolves or something?"
- Spicy Latina: Gabby is rather affectionate. The Unfortunate Implications of this are lampshaded by Joshua's father, but then again he's Joshua's father.
- Anything That Moves: Lampshaded.
Joshua: Do you flirt with all the guys you meet?
Mulan: Well, not just the guys...
- Beautiful Lech
- Berserk Button: Don't call her Laura.
- Broken Bird
- N-Word Privileges: She mentions having them with Keenan, and grants them to Joshua in return for being able to call 'him' by a slur.
- Polyamory: She, Keenan and Yukiko have an understanding.
- Pretty Fly For An Asian Chick: The inevitable result of her time in a gang.
Keenan: What, is there anyone here who you think 'acts black?'
- Refuge in Audacity: Does this in-universe. She has the most... colorful... language of the entire Resistance.
- Sophisticated as Hell: Affects this when making fun of Keenan or Anna Lin.
- Unrequited Love: Heavily implied this is the reason she joined the Resistance with Anna Lin.
- Child Prodigy: He reverse-engineered the ANIMa from poorly understood alien technology.
- Failure Knight: Really, just expect this to be true for any Anchor.
- First Church of Mecha: Derek never stopped calling the ANIMa "Anima Weapons" because he believes them to literally draw on a Pilot's soul.
- God Is Good and God Is Flawed: Derek believes both to be true.
- Mission Control: As Sara's Anchor.
- Mr Fix It
- My Sister Is Off-Limits!: Much to Sara's annoyance, Derek is deeply suspicious of anyone taking an interest in her.
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Normally a 16-year-old wouldn't count for this, but in the world post-Bliss that makes him positively ancient...
- Straight Gay: His path provides Joshua with some Gayngst, but he's perfectly comfortable with his own sexuality.