Synn Sakura, our hero, a second-year in Ryuusei Academy, becomes the Student Council President through sheer dumb luck. His sole reason for joining is to have free food. Unfortunately for him, there's no such thing as a free meal. Also, part of his new job is to fight the Mazoku invading the town. Joining him in the student council are second-year Childhood Friend Nanaka Yugiri (the accountant), first-year Cloud Cuckoo Lander Lolotte Rozenkreuz (the secretary), second-year Tsundere Misa Brigitta Cristelis (the vice-president), and former Student Council President, third-year Ria Kujoh. The cast continues with other major characters, like the mysterious Transfer Student second-year Azel or the seven most powerful demons that make up the 7th General.Twinkle Crusaders is a Visual Novel created by Lillian, released in September/October 2008. It was originally an eroge known for its turn-based strategy-like battle system, which was expanded upon from the once-unrelated, but as of recently, overlapping) visual novel, Princess Witches (by Pajamas Soft).In September 2010, it was ported to the PSP, called Twinkle Crusaders Go Go!, with an improved battle system and a new original character. An expansion, Twinkle Crusaders STARLIT BRAVE!!, adds 10 more characters, half of which are from anime/manga, the other half from other visual novels, and all of which are Dengeki G's character cameos.A fandisk called Twinkle Crusaders -Passion Star Stream- released in February 2012 removes the previous cameo characters in favor of adding more original characters, as well as adding cameos of the Princess Witches cast. Prior to this release, two versions of a web trial were released, which gave a sneak peek of the upgraded battle system, as well as seeing the Princess Witches characters in battle. The first release, called Twinkle Crusaders -Passion Star Stream- Battle Trial Edition, was released in September 2011. The second release, called the Battle Trial Final Mix Edition, was released on New Year's.The full game of PSS consists of four parts:
Twinkle Crusaders Venus Embryo, a sequel story focusing on the newest original characters, a pair of goddesses, as well as returning to the original main cast.
The Queen of Witches, the crossover story with the Princess Witches universe.
Ku RUKU-Ru, a comedic side-story parodying To Love-Ru, introducing a Lala Expy who creates inventions and h-scenarios for the original five heroines.
Twinkle Crusaders AFTER STORY, consisting of five after-stories, most notably on some Ascended Heroines.
Furthermore, an expansion of the expansion, Twinkle Crusaders STARLIT BRAVE XTREAM!!, was released along with the above-mentioned PSS. Unlike PSS, this is purely a game focused on the battle system, having no plot whatsoever. The roster includes the original, Go Go!, and PSS casts, as well as the Dengeki G cameos from SB, the ones that originated from visual novels (but unfortunately, not the anime/manga side). Two (technically three) more visual novel cameos also show up as guest characters. This game also comes with three modes:
Starlit Brave Xtream mode, which starts the player with the original five Crusaders, and has them defeat each character to be recruited for future battles. The mode is split into three phases. The first phase consists of the SB and other VN cameo characters. The second consists of the Princess Witches cameos, as well as other strong characters from the original and Go Go. The final phase consists of the goddesses of Venus Embryo.
Brave mode has several battles with set opponents, arranged by theme (e.g. original Crusaders, Princess Witches, cameo characters, etc.).
Free mode, which lets the player select a party, with limitations based on how strong the characters are. Each character has a star value from 1 to 9, with weak characters being 1-2 stars, average characters being 3-4, and strong characters being 5+. The party's value cannot exceed 15.
Most of the original four girls' EX attacks are this. Misa's Noblesse Laser (EX Barrage) hits 2-5 times, dealing potentially large amounts of stun damage. Ria's Cardinal Brighter (EX Purify) is an essential offensive and defensive move that drains the enemy's EX gauge by a nice 200%, preventing future EX attacks, and also does decent damage and knockback.
In the port and sequel, Lolotte becomes a lot more useful with her Absolute Tears (EX Dome). It is a must-have defensive buff that negates ANY attack, be it regular, charged, or even Unison and Rumble, up to 3-4 hits. It cancels all forms of damage, not just HP, but stun/knockback as well, and it also negates EX gauge gains. However, it is obviously vulnerable to barrier-breaking/piercing moves, and multi-hit moves. A two-person Unison could easily break it as well.
Ana is a weak charater on her own, being essentially the only "normal" playable character, but she can buff her teammates with Cutieful Cheering (EX Booster), resulting in massively overpowered Unisons for a short time (similarly, Ria can do the same in Passion Star Stream with her new EX attack, Sprite Strain (EX Fairy), though it is limited to only during the specific frame it is casted).
Similarly, Macaron's Legionic Weaver (EX Legion) levels up everyone in her party by one, until their next turn.
Crystal's Unlucky Lips (EX Prediction) sets up a timed bomb on a target to go off a few frames after she casts it. It does a fair amount of damage, though the real benefits of this move are that it ignores barriers, and the explosion does a large amount of stun damage and knockback, which can mess up future Unisons from the enemy.
Both of Feena's EX attacks. Lost Technology: IF (EX Prohibition) freezes the opponent's EX gauge for a short time, so it serves a similar purpose to Ria's Cardinal Brighter. Earthlight Limit Break (EX Unlimited) is a multi-hit move that does a large amount of damage.
Chelsea's Divine Slash (EX Slasher) is a decent damaging move that breaks barriers. And unlike Nanaka's barrier-breaking move, it doesn't require charging. 'Nuff said.
Rin has a variety of attacks, both offensive and defensive. On the offensive side, there's Cutting Seven Colors (EX Prism Shots), an attack that hits a random number of times from 0-10, with the potential to deal a lot of damage, whiff completely, or break even. Also, Scarlet Dracule Anchor (EX Bombard) is an AoE move. As for defense, she has her Anti-Magic attack, Photonic Cage (EX Silence), and Saber supports her and her party with Little Excalibur (EX Caliburn), a shield that reduces damage from all elements except Dark.
Awesome, but Impractical: In the original, Nanaka's Raging Nova (EX Explosion) and Lolotte's Seraphic Whisper (EX Healing), if going for a high score/rank. The latter is completely useless if you're trying to not get hit at all in the first place (which requires a lucky start and some decent planning and luck). Which isn't to say that EX Healing isn't useful in a pinch. The former actually does TOO much damage if used too often and at the wrong time, and can ruin your chances of getting a high combo and overall score. It will, however, end battles quickly and give you a good time score, and against troublesome opponents, can save you time and frustration in the long run.
Illear's Doomsday (EX The End). 300% EX gauge for an even stronger finish than Kururu's Royal Execution... but the damage output isn't that much better, and it deals five stun damage... the same as Bylous's Deadly Assault (EX Mortal Attack), a 100% EX attack. It also breaks barriers, but there are several 100% EX gauge attacks for that as well.
Boring, but Practical: Synn's Demon's Rave (EX Knock Back). It does exactly what you'd expect it to do, and not much else. It's something to throw in if you're short on EX gauge to use EX Cooperation, but it's pretty lackluster otherwise.
Macaron's Bang Comet Splash (EX Strike) would be this as well, but the attack's knockback is based off of her level, which happens to go hand-in-hand with her other EX attack, the level-raising Legionic Weaver (EX Legion).
Butt Monkey: Paki and Ardin. The latter IS a 7th general though, so he isn't to be taken lightly in a serious fight.
Calling Your Attacks: The series looooves this trope. With lots of Gratuitous English. In particular, EX attacks consist of two names: the first is the attack name itself, which is called out. The second is EX *insert name here*, where said name is usually indicative of the attack's properties (e.g. EX Healing obviously heals).
Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Lolotte has a tendency to mess up a lot of quotes, so the majority of her dialogue is made up of Malaproper malapropisms. Justified, in that she's an angel, and thus, foreign to many matters of common sense.
Conservation of Ninjutsu: Averted. Many of the harder battles have to deal with the fact that your party is outnumbered. For example, even the battle against four neko-Mazoku can be difficult if all you have are the two powerhouses, Nanaka and Ria. Synn, even in maou form, has an incredibly difficult time going solo (even if he makes a team of three of himself) against 4-5 Merilots or Soltias. And let's not get started on the 5v5 Princess Witches battle in the PSS demo. In battles like these, your best bet is to focus on one or two opponents and hit them hard while they're stunned to end battles quickly. Because of the number disadvantage, the longer these battles go, the harder it gets to win.
In a slight subversion though, more opponents typically means all but one are slightly lower-leveled, with one serving as an alpha role and having a higher level and stronger/more elemental variety. Under the right circumstances, the lower-leveled opponents may be easy pickings for Rumbles, but they can still be a large threat than if there were less opponents to begin with.
The effects of this trope can be seen in Pasta's Boss Rush as well. Following the above four neko-Mazoku battle, Pasta's 3-on-5 battle is pretty much in your favor. She tries to even the odds a little by replacing two of herself with three neko-Mazoku, making it 4-on-5, but still mostly in your favor. The last battle, however, replaces the three neko-Mazoku with one Odelock, making it a laughable 2-on-5 battle.
Cross Over: In a good scale. Namely, the PSP game Starlit Brave, added several heroines from other anime, manga, and visual novels.
Again, in another upcoming game called Starlit Brave Xtream, some characters return from the previous game and 2 (or 3) heroines from 2 other visual novels are added.
In Passion Star Stream, we have the Princess Witches cast. Masaki/Asuna, Kururu (and her pet cat familiar, Miche-Kururu), Iinchou (and her pet hamster familiar, Hamuchuu-Iinchou) are playable. Lillian-sensei also seems to be confirmed playable. Other characters that show up are Ringo and Karen (two other Princess Witches heroines).
In Starlit Brave Xtream, the visual novel girls from Starlit Brave (Feena/Chelsea/Yui/Temari/Rin) are confirmed. Also joining them are Unohana no Sakuyahime, or Hime for short (Tenshin Ranman - Lucky or Unlucky!?), and Kayoko Kano & Sera (Koiiro Soramoyou).
Doppelgänger Attack: Lillian's Split Mirage (EX Alter), which doubles the caster, allowing her to Unison with herself or simply pose a double-threat. Being Lillian's most dangerous move, it requires 200% EX gauge to use.
Easter Egg / Holiday Mode: Starting up the original game on a character's birthday would lead to one of a few scenes greeting and/or celebrating the character's Happy Birthday. It also says "Merry Christmas!" above the date when the player reaches 12/24 (which is near the end of the game).
Casting a Shadow: Synn, Merilot, Macaron, Sally-chan, Odelock, Iinchou/Hamuchuu-Iinchou
All Your Powers Combined / Yin-Yang Bomb: Typically come in two kinds. Some characters can use Fire/Aqua/Thunder or Light/Dark at once, and some can use all five at once. The former includes Dokuro-chan and Temari (who use Fire/Aqua/Thunder, though the latter is attributed to Aqua), and Rin/Saber (who use Light/Dark, despite being Dark-attributed). The latter includes Re-crea Bylous, Lillian, and Shel (though Lillian and Shel cannot use Light). Kayoko/Sera is an odd case, using Aqua/Dark. Some of the characters listed as one element may have multiple elements when fought as enemies (most notably Sally-chan, Azel, and the 7th Generals). Generic Mazoku come in all flavors of elements, in addition to being regular/speed/power-type (of course, they also tend to be a lower level).
Ana is the exception to all this, having a neutral element.
The sequel adds a new element, God. Hime, Lullshare, and Illear are all this.
Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors: As mentioned at top of the page, the system goes like this during Rumble: Fire defeats Lightning. Lightning defeats Water. Water defeats Fire. Light and Darkness defeats all the aforementioned three, while they cancel each other out. In normal combat, the mechanics is: Light and Dark -> (Fire -> Lightning -> Water -> Fire), where the left element deals more damage to and takes less damage from the element on the right.
Ensemble Darkhorse / Breakout Character: Shel, full stop. Despite only having a relatively minor role in PSS (in a side-story, no less), she won the minor character chara poll and earned herself playable character status in SBX, as well as a short story in PSS.
Game Breaker: Some of the EX attacks in the original are this. Future games have attempted to balance them out by making them cost more EX gauge, only to be replaced by a few new game breakers. Examples include:
Synn's EX Cooperation, which summons a bunch of assists to attack in tandem. Initially, his Fatality Force isn't that strong, since the attack is plot-specific and only summons assists who have joined him prior to a battle. Even after he has gained a fair amount of allies, they aren't all guaranteed to attack in one turn. This changes once he hits maou form, and his EX attack becomes Arcane Meteor Stream. When he uses this, the main 5 assists (Paki, Sally, Riesling, Shio, and Helena) are almost always guaranteed to attack, Paki may attack several times, and some even stronger assists may appear, like Odelock and his health-draining skill, or Azel and Merilot's EX attacks. This was balanced in the port by making Arcane Meteor Stream cost 200% EX gauge. In Passion Star Stream, however, it looks to be nerfed even further by making Fatality Force worth 200% EX gauge as well, despite the damage output tending to be relatively equivalent to a 100% EX gauge skill.
Both of Azel's attacks were devastating to Synn's party in the original. Her EX Judgement, Saishu Shinpan no Toki - Hikari no Seisai (Final Judgment - Sanction of Light), could instantly reduce her enemy's EX gauge to 0%. And her EX Force Field, Reigen Naru Kago - Hikari no Shouheki (Miraculous Divine Protection - Barrier of Light), created a barrier around her and her party that reduced all damage to 1 and lasted up to 7-10 hits. Battles against her frequently had a very annoying tendency where she would use both of them in a Unison. This was balanced somewhat in future games by making EX Force Field cost 200% to use, along with introducing barrier-breaking/piercing moves like Volking Melt Swarm, Divine Slash, and Unlucky Lips.
Merilot's Shadow Reactor (EX Unison), at the time it is casted, enables her to gather up anyone in her party who wasn't in the same Unison as her, shorten their wait time and immediately force them into a Unison after her turn. Said Unison could also charge up in a short amount of time, allowing to set up devastating follow-up combination attacks. That's not even mentioning her other attacks, which are slightly altered versions of Nanaka's, Lolotte's, and Misa's attacks. With the exception of Shadow Reactor, Soltia also shares these attacks, in addition to her EX Purify, Heaven's Note, which functions exactly like Ria's EX Purify, Cardinal Brighter.
As if Masato's passives weren't enough, his EX attacks consist of EX Final Wave, Ryuuga Souretsuzen (Twin Dragon Fang Slash), which forces a character to use double EX gauge to activate their skills, as well as EX Super Hero Time, Reimeijin, which RESETS his turn, enabling him and everyone in his Unison to attack a second time. The latter move costs 200% EX gauge, but with enough EX gauge, the move can be spammed repeatedly if no other EX attacks are used before Masato can activate the reset.
The Princess Witches cast as a whole, in their first appearance, were pretty broken, having fast speeds and hard-hitting moves for a variety of situations. As of Final Mix/PSS/SBX, they've been tweaked for balance.
As of PSS/SBX, while Illear and Lullshare are game-breaking characters themselves, of note is Lullshare's Crossing Cosmos (EX Crucify), which automatically aligns her next position with the closest enemy, setting up an easy Rumble. Illear's Supreme Devourer (EX Lust), with its large EX gauge recovery and hit count (can hit upwards of 8-10 times!), or her Omega Desire (EX Rampage), which is a stronger Blastic Cyclone, aren't laughing matters either.
Specifically, Sally/Odelock always join, Ardin joins in Lolotte's route, Ardin/Pasta join in Misa's route, Merilot joins in Ria's route, and Azel joins in her own route. In Starlit Brave, all of them have joined.
Henshin Hero: The transformation scenes are like in a magical girl except WE can see them naked.(In the eyes of Synn course.)
Also lampshaded in the port. Yui, Suzuno, Temari, and Ana end up seeing more than they expected of Nanaka's transformation, and the first two are troubled that they also turn naked when they transform as well.
Hey, It's That Voice!: All cameo characters are voiced by their original seiyuu. Crystal (voiced by Haruka Tomatsu), being a manga-only character, is the exception, given that she had no previous seiyuu to begin with.
Idiot Hero: Shin as seen in the manga(and perhaps in the VN as well).
Example as seen in Episode 5:
Shin:"Oh! This must be a new kind of chestnut."Nanaka:"It's a sea urchin."Shin:"This must be rare!It's my first time seeing one!"Nanaka:"To think that poor little Shin has never see a sea urchin before... I could cry."
Impossible Task: Obtaining a GOD rank, which essentially requires taking no damage, and getting Greats in Time, Max Combo, and Max Damage, as well as a good EX gauge score (determined by opponent's EX gauge - your own at the end of the battle).
Mostly only applicable in the original. In PSS and SBX, you have access to many more broken characters, allowing you to get GOD ranks more easily.
Large Ham: 90% of Ardin's lines. PAAAAASTAAA-CHAAAAAN!
Exael in PSS/SBX. AUROOORAAAAA SCREAAAAMMMEERRRRRRR!
Life Drain: Odelock's Ether Scavenger (EX Gluttony), Iinchou's Bloody Lick Touch (EX Drain), Lillian's Desiccation Menace (EX Hunger), Illear's Supreme Devourer (EX Lust)
Lightning Bruisers: Interestingly, Thunder-type characters tend to be this, but not in the traditional sense. Both Misa and Pasta have weak-damaging multi-hit moves that deal large stun damage, and in doing so, can drop an enemy's defense to zero. Both also have fast speed, but low charge speed. Taiga plays this straight, however, having a fast charge speed and an extremely powerful EX attack. Last bosses like Azel and Bylous are also this, for good reason.
Love Makes You Crazy: Illear's goal is to destroy and recreate the world solely for her and Synn, who she's fallen for. Despite her playful personality, she may be bordering on Yandere, albeit justified, given that she is a goddess of destruction.
Love Triangle: In Misa's Route, Misa and Nanaka are fighting for Synn. While in Lolotte's Route, Lolotte and Emilina
Lolicon: Ardin. More than half of the time of his screentime, he was shown stalking or chasing after Pasta, leading her to call him a stalker or pervert. He also called Sally-chan cute before going back to his Pasta fandom. He even admitted in-game that any girls with hills on their chest doesn't interest him.
Mega Manning: Iinchou's Necro Synthesizer (EX Joker). What move she copies is random, but is limited to whoever is in the battle she's in. She can copy both teammate and enemy moves alike.
Same goes to our new heroines from Princess Witches.
Nerf: Several EX attacks, as of PSS's Final Mix trial and the actual game.
Barriers like Lolotte's Absolute Tears now break on losing Rumbles.
Misa's EX attacks have a lower propensity of hitting as much as it used to, making them less reliable stun attacks.
Masaki's Reimeijin now fully empties the EX gauge, regardless if it's from 200% to 300%, to prevent it from being spammed.
Iinchou's Symphonic Haken got a significant damage output and stun reduction.
On the flip side, Synn's Fatality Force is back to being a 100% EX gauge move, and Masaki's Ryuuga Souretsuzen and Kururu's Royal Execution got buffed in terms of damage.
New Transfer Student: Azel. She is introduced at the second half of the main arc (before the character's routes).
Nosebleed: Pakki sometimes when over-excited by Ria's... err, huge tracts of land.
Officially Shortened Title: Kuru Kuru, from Twin-KURU KURU-saders (in English, it'd be Kle Cru). In scenes where the fourth wall is done away with (like tutorial corners or promotion skits), the series title will be referred to as Kuru Kuru by all characters.
Red Baron: Anyone in the battle mode has a class/title.
Of note, however, are the characters who have the subtitle -7th General-, which means they are one of the seven strongest demons. Only six of the seven actually participate in battle, however.
Recurring Boss: A few (mostly Ardin/Pasta/Odelock), though Pasta of all people invokes a Boss Rush-esque series of battles in Ria's route (11/27). During the Crusaders' night patrol, Pasta launches a surprise attack on Ria and Nanaka, who have to fend for themselves against her flunkies until Synn, Lolotte, and Misa show up to help. Next, Pasta tries to fight the group solo. Following this battle, Pasta recognizes the Crusaders' strength in numbers. Still having energy to fight, she has her minions accompany her in the next battle. After losing that battle, Pasta calls Odelock in, much to everyone's confusion. Finally, after both are beaten, Odelock decides to call it a day, and Pasta finally retreats as well.
Bylous, Ardin, and Soltia again in Starlit Brave. However, they turn out to be fakes when defeated.
Secret Legacy: Synn's bloodline was a line of overlords. He has no knowledge of it until a few months before Recrea.
Spell My Name with an S: Official romanization tends to botch this up a lot. Is it Synn or Shin? Macaron or Macaroon? The list goes on and on.
Stone Wall: God, Masato! Boasts a ridiculous defense (provided he doesn't get stunned) and he can REFLECT RUMBLES. Not to mention that, with enough EX gauge, he can RESET Unisons. He is a considerable challenge... Luckily, only in terms of defensive support.
Suspiciously Specific Denial: Lolotte always denies her Angel identity whenever she hears the word "Angel", even if no one was specifically directing the word to her. Most notable of her SSD is during her route when she explained that she and Emilina were childhood friends back when they were living in heaven, followed by the dialogue: "But I'm not an Angel!".
Merilot in Misa Route (12/15). Merilot appears to have been eavesdropping at Synn and Misa when she suddenly exposed herself. When asked what she was doing, she gave an excuse of "She did not expose herself because of having an extreme interest for kiss".
The Nicknamer: Pakki, Synn's servant(?) mocks most of the heroines and gives names: Nanaka as Soba, Misa as Hiss (taken from the first two syllables of "hysteria", because she frequently goes hysteric when around Synn), Lolotte as Angel, Sally as Pettanko, Macaroon as shorty and he calls Synn as Maou-sama (Another way of calling a overlord).
The Power of Friendship: A major theme of the series. Strength comes in numbers for the Crusaders, which is why EX Cooperation is so damn broken by end-game (assuming you have as many allies joined as possible), and also why Conservation of Ninjutsu is averted overall.
The Rival: Nanaka and Akane. It's Western (Nanaka) versus Eastern (Akane) proxy war in terms of snacks and desserts.
Also, Misa to Synn. At least in Misa's perspective. She always tries to vie with Synn for superiority with every opportunity she can get. Much to her vexation, the match always turns out his victory.
The game even keeps a count of Misa's losses against Synn.
Through His Stomach: Nanaka. She cooks breakfast for Synn everyday (usually Soba), taking advantage of Synn's impecunious lifestyle.
Vapor Wear: Seems to be the thing with gods in this series. Illear doesn't wear a bra, so her nipples bleed through her thin skirt in some poses. As for Lullshare, it doesn't look like she even wears panties in one CG. Not the case for Hime, being The Cameo.
Yamato Nadeshiko: Akane Misasagi, Ria's best friend and classmate, is the head of the Japanese Pastry Club. Nanaka considers her a mortal rival considering she is the head of the Sweets Club.