"What do you desire? Money? Glory? Power? Revenge? Or something that surpasses all other? Whatever you desire — "
"That is here."
Twenty-Fifth Baam is in a strange place. He has just lost his only friend. He is staring at a monster.He is on the lowest floor of the Tower.His best friend, Rachel, sought the door to the Tower in order to escape the dark world they lived in. Baam simply got dragged along for the ride. But once inside the Tower, everyone must make their own way to the top, and Baam quickly learns that the Tower's inhabitants have a low opinion of "Irregulars" — those who enter the Tower without invitation. Faced with the prospect of a new test on every floor and many, many, many intrigues and colliding stories and wills in this alien, magical realm, his determination to reunite with Rachel is the only thing keeping him going.Written and illustrated by Slave.In.Utero, Tower of God (신의 탑) is a Korean Webtoon with over 190 chapters at the time of this writing. And it is awesome, filled with giant monsters, puzzle-like tests, true companions and nasty competitors.Chapter 78 served as the end of the first season, the second begins at Chapter 80 with an epilogue and prologue between the two seasons.It is currently the first officially published story of the Talse Uzer universe; previous privately uploaded stories by S.I.U. have been infokilled by the author.The webtoon can been seen here (in Korean) and officially translated into English here, although note that the official site is designed for mobile viewing and may not look as good on a computer. A more comfortable viewer for viewing in a browser is available here.Now has its own wiki.
Tower of God contains examples of:
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A - D
Abusive Parents: This is rather common in the 10 Great Families, most notable case would be the Hendo family, whose head made a deal shortening the life span of every single descendant of his blood in order to stay immortal.
Koon's mother drove him to excel and be as ruthless and manipulative as she was. Until he'd had enough and used everything he'd learned to run away from home and steal a lot of expensive items on his way out that is...
Academy of Adventure: The second floor — the Floor of Test — is essentially a condensed, accelerated cross between one of these and a Wizarding School, spending a month teaching students the various skills and supernatural arts they will need to climb the tower.
Action Duo: Or rather, trio, in which Anak and Hatsu make up the Action part and Ship Le-Soo gets to run around and brag.
The Princess of Zahard arc (three chapters) focussing on Anak.
The Knot of Wool/Completing Fences arc for Aguero and new character Edin Dan, after the time skip.
The first chapter of the FUG arc begins with a typical day in the limelight for Yeon on the 21nd floor.
Aerith and Bob: There are fantasy names like Rak and Anak, a person is named after his birth date, some characters have Korean, Chinese or Japanese names while there yet others with names like Serena and Rachel. It all seems weird, but with the Tower being a multicultural focal point, the opposite wouldn't make more sense.
There is a character that's a sharp-beaked bipedal mantis-shrimp called Kukaku Rakukakuka.
Gas Bill?! That's a name? Um... it seems so.
Affably Evil: Headon. He withholds information, makes things more complicated, plots against the ruling system, sets up Rachel against Baam and thus brings pain into his life, but he sincerely welcomes Baam and anyone with enough balls to climb the Tower with a genuine smile.
Ha Jinsung. He actually came to kill the rest of Viole's team, but he ultimately respected Viole's decision to stay with them as he noticed this team came together on the basis of free will. He is always very cheerful and seems to have taken a liking to Wangnan.
Ha Jinsung in all his slightly rumpled glory is unhappy he's been left out particularly as he pushes 'Ole's clothes at him every season. He's maybe not quiteas much of a bad boy as he'd have you believe, but good luck trying to find that out without getting flattened by his sharply shaped shirtness.
A God Am I: The Slayers are declared the de facto gods of FUG.
Alien Blood: Ren's creatures are green-blooded. And orange-blooded. And red-blooded. ◊ ◊
All Girls Want Bad Boys: Yeon is really falling for Viole, a self-declared enemy of the ruling structure she is part of.
All There in the Manual: S.I.U.'s blog provides a huge amount of detail on the setting and major characters within it. Some translations are available here.
Almighty Janitor: Yu Han Sung, based on ability alone, is a High Ranker. He, however, just takes an executive subordinates job in the second floor. Reason being he has most control and power paired with little interference from the top.
Amazon Brigade: Zahard's Princesses, including Anak, Yuri and Androssi. They are the highest authority in the Tower, representing their father, and every single Princess (bar Repellista) is a certified and high performance Action Girl. Naturally, they are Always Female.
Amazing Technicolor Population: Even the fairly-average looking humanoids can come in alternative colours to the usual selection. Be it a pale slate, taupe, a strange violet shade, white-beyond-albino to other colours altogether, skin can get interesting. And, some Lizard Folk come in green, unsurprisingly. Others in brown, but, hey. Doubt we've seen the last of the colour combos.
Applied Phlebotinum: Shinsoo, a magical substance replacing air inside the Tower that can be controlled at will. It's density rises with the number of floors and it can become as thick as water. One character, instructing others on its use, even explicitly states that it can do absolutely anything.
Art Evolution: There has being a growing degree of consistency and increase of detailed drawing over the course of the story.
Artificial Human: Macseth and Enryu both have the ability to create life. Macseth's son and Lord Flux are living proof.
Makes sense though, given that the fights we've seen are often hard on the testing area and they likely need to replace pieces or event he entire arena often.
Asskicking Equals Authority: Zahard and the ten families originally got their power by fighting their way up the tower, and modern Rankers get their authority the same way. Defeating your cut throat competition in a fight is also part of the selection criteria for Zahard princesses.
Attack Animal: Many of the pets Anima use, especially Ren and Yu Han Sung.
How Baam perceives Anak's power during Lero-ro's test.
Ha Jinsung is seen for a short moment shrouded in dark clouds, sporting an angry smile, from the perspective of Karaka, so it can be assumed he has aura vision as well.
Author Appeal: WATER. This series is chockful of water and aquatic imagery in any and every form.
And, by extension, all things remotely fishy. Water-life and things amphibious seem to be a... quirk. Not just monsters and beasts are such: many characters have water or aquatic beast-related sobriquets.
Authority Equals Asskicking: In a sense. Most of the authority figures are Rankers who gained strength by climbing the Tower for several hundred years and wield the unlimited force that is Shinsoo. Those who have authority and are have never been Regulars and therefore Rankers are equally incredible, as seen with Repellista Zahard.
A World Half Full: For those not at the bottom or middle of the heap, but nearer the apex of the social pyramid, the Tower comes across as something like this: there are perks with the costs and you can probably find some simulacrum of happiness for a time. For everybody else... well... see Crapsack World below.
Badass Bookworm: Ship Leesoo is kind of a dork. A very loud and extroverted dork, but still, kind of a dork. But he can fight two people at once, proving that his knowledge of the Killer Arts is not just for show. Severe case of Overshadowed by Awesome.
Badass Normal: Subverted. Though it appears initially that Baam is heading towards this way, it's effectively confirmed now that he is not normal. Ship Leesoo is a genuine example, but being Ship Leesoo in a World of Badass, one is ultimately a Butt Monkey and Action Survivor.
Took a Level in Badass: Baam quickly turns from being relatively useless in combat to a Shinsoo genius capable of freezing someone at will. Then after the timeskip he is by far the strongest regular on the 20th Floor. And on the 28th floor, the Wangnan's team, especially Miseng, shows its progress in winning easily a test.
Back Story: While characters like Anak and Serena have back stories that are fairly easy dealt with, the four main characters Baam, Rachel, Koon and Wangnan all have back stories that only slowly trickle through. Then there's the massive history of the Tower itself which has barely been explained.
Bag of Holding: Aguero's seemingly harmless bag. Not only can it clone knives and swords and store it all in the bag, it can also hold three people inside, copy almost anything, and it's a useful shield.
Barbie Doll Anatomy: This counts for some races inside the tower: they have no nipples, as seen by Ja Wangnan in the bath.
Bash Brothers: Anak/Hatsu, Rak/Aguero as well as Anak/Androssi and Akraptor/Horyang.
Among the 10 Great Families, the Defender Hendo Lok Bloodmadder and the Spear Bearer Koon Eduan were renowned as an unbeatable combination.
Bland-Name Product: Macksim, Yu Han Sung's favorite instant coffee, spoofs the Koreans most famous instant coffee, Maxim.
Blessed with Suck: Baam's incredible talent, determination and kind personality have some surprisingly bad drawbacks. A lot of people want to use him manipulate him or get rid of him, among them the person he truly wants to be with.
Blondes are Evil: First Baam was all alone in the cave and Rachel came along. So Baam thought, what a nice girl. Then on the 2nd floor Baam would have a happy future ahead of him what with Koon and all the 2nd floor Regulars, then Rachel, the blonde, pushed him down and ruined it for him.
Blood Knight: Rak, though he isn't itching for the thrill of the fight, but the thrill of the hunt (of the strong which he can fight).
Blue Blood: The Ten Great Families, including Koon Aguero Agnis, Yihwa Yeon, Phonsekal Laure and Zahard's Princesses.
Bruiser with a Soft Center: Rak and Kang Horyang. One really likes Baam, the other really likes Goseng, both are really adorable about it.
Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Laure. He sleeps during battle and his blanket is like a child to him.
Butt Monkey: Evan, Rak and Ship Leesoo. And in season 2, Ja Wangnan and Prince.
Word of God states explicitly that Yeon is meant to be such.
Novick. Oh dear god, Novick. originally portrayed as a very strong fighter, he quickly descend into getting annihilated by almost every opponent he faces. Reaches its peak when he gets impaled by a gigantic spear accidentally.
By the Power of Grayskull!: The activation phrases for Ignition Weapons, e.g. "Narumadanote or Black March or Green April, ignite!"
Cain and Abel: It's been implied that Androssi may have killed some of her adopted sisters to become a princess candidate, and it certainly doesn't stop after you've become a princess. Also, Yuram Zahard, who got murdered by Garam Zahard.
Call a Smeerp a "Rabbit": For starters, bulls are male, relatively docile herbivores, not bipedal, super-intelligent female amphibians that eat almost anything that gets near them.
In the first volume, a random unimportant character tries to use a secret attack they call "First Emperor's Scorching Fist of Death", but gets beaten before they can finish charging it up (and it's played for laughs.) Much, much later, later Urek Mazino, the most powerful Ranker currently active in the tower, uses an identical attack with a nearly-identical name, "Supreme King's Scorching Fist of Death."
"Hey Lizard, when this is all over, lets eat together."
"I am not interested in your body, Ms. Yeon."
"A guide only shows the path to those who can walk it."
Though some of these appear to be the Author telling us what we're seeing, not the character out-right naming the attack. Other times it's played hilariously straight.
Lampshaded with the "Supreme King's Scorching Fist of Death" which, in an author's note, is joked as having a name too embarrassing to use.
Cannot Tell a Lie: Kang Horyang. He cannot lie, deceive, withhold the truth and doesn't need or want to.
Catch Phrase: Aguero's "Trust trustworthy people." He never means himself.
Celibate Hero: Viole is really not interested in girls. No, not in boys, either.
Less not interested and more that clueless about the world in general and women specifically. He even seemingly doesn't understand what a "Date" is when Androssi, explicitly one of the most beautiful and sought after women in the tower, mentions that they "might not have time to date" if he doesn't hurry back
Character Tics: Novick's tic to chew his thumb. Baam likes to stare into the sky. Rak likes to call everybody turtles.
Character Name Alias: Baam calls himself Jyu Viole Grace and Rachel is suddenly Michelle Light. It is implied that Ja Wagnan's name is also just an alias. Finally there is Wave Controller instructor Yuga, who's real name and identity is the secret service agent Ren. In fact many regulars use aliases when entering the inner tower.
Code Name: Yuri's group uses these when they interfere with one of the test. The bubbly red-head is known as Ice Strawberry, Koon Hatchuling is known as Mr Blueberry, Evan is Mr. Yeongji Mushroom and Kurudan is Kurudan.
Combat Stilettos: Androssi should stop wearing them, people keep attacking the heels.
Comm Links: The pockets, which allow amongst many other things, long range communication.
Complete Immortality: Zahard and the 10 Warriors per contract with the Tower's Guardians. Well, except for Bloodmadder, as explained somewhere else on this page. It turns out that only Irregulars, who are exempted from the Towers contracts, are able to kill Zahard. That's why FUG is so interested in Viole and may be the real reason why the government prosecutes Irregulars.
Conflict: Two predominant kinds: Man vs. Man, with all the Regulars clashing, and Man vs. Society, with people like Baam and Anak being regarded as dangerous elements to the Tower. Then there is the theme of Man vs. Fate, or as it is described here, Luck, exemplified in Lero-Ro's test and Ho's struggle and attempt at Baam's life. This conflict turns interestingly enough into a conflict of Man vs. Man again. According to the author, the Tower itself started as Man vs Nature (all the existing positions were originally invented to fight the aquatic monsters of the tower), but eventually became largely Man vs. Man.
Crapsack World: This never really is spoken out loud, but in the outer part of the Tower, life is a unfair horrible dog eat dog society, even in the royal families. In the center of the Tower, where the exams are held… well, at least the food's good therenote except Leroro quite frankly disagrees on that . Fact is, everyone has a damn good reason to abandon everything to risk their life for the tiny chance of reaching the top.
Cue the Sun: After the Untrustworthy Room Game, Viole just stares at the morning sun.
Curb-Stomp Battle: Aguero, Hatsu, Laure, Levin and Anak to the regulars in the preliminaries, Akryung and Androssi vs 197 regulars, Hwa Ryun vs all the participants of the final round of the crown game bar Androssi and Baam, Androssi using Anak to defeat all other regulars in the fishermen test, Quant vs all the regulars, Androssi vs all the regulars Quant didn't get, Ren vs Androssi and Anak, Yuri vs Ren, Baam oneshots the Bull, and Viole dominates the 20th floor with ease.
Defeat Means Friendship: Aguero and Baam won Rak over to their side by tricking him. Ja somehow got Viole on his side when he tricked him into making his team win.
Deity of Human Origin: The Exis, which includes Phantaminum, as they were gods made by humans out of humans.
Determinator: Baam, but especially Rak. The moment he got bested by Akryung, he disappeared for several chapters, until the position tests were declared. Then it got revealed that Rak, like Akryung, already qualified for the final test. He also thinks that everyone should do everything to get what they want, basically demanding from Aguero that he should kill Zahard to get Maria.
Difficulty Spike: According to Evan, Headon did one for Baam's test, which was set about 20 levels higher than expected. Although it should be noted that was a gaurdian test wich are said to be much harder than regular test (regulars dont get tested by Headon they go straight to the 2nd floor)
The top of the tower has one, as none of the top high rankes has cleared the 135th floor's test (not even The Great Zahard, king of the tower) and there are more floors after that.
Although they were only unable to pass due to hostility from the gaurdian, so it's not so much the tower having a massive difficulty spike as it is the guardian of the 135th floor being a dick.
The 2nd and 20th floors are where most regulars drop out because the difficulty rises immensely.
Dude Looks Like a Lady: Ho and Yu Han Sung, the second floor's administrator. The fans and translators thought for a long time that they were women. Done again with Nya Nia, with the author referencing his disposition to confuse the readers ("Huh? You're really a guy? Well, that was confusing." — Wangnan to Nia). And then Baam stole Yuri's hairstyle and got assigned to be roommates with Yeon, who fully expected him to be a girl... until he walks into the male showers.
Even the official translation sometimes has people who would logically know better refer to Yu Han Sung with female pronouns.
And now we have Quaetro Blitz. SIU has outright lampshaded the past couple ones and it seems this is outright becoming a Running Gag.
Dumb Muscle: Rak. He isn't the brightest, but damn can he fixate.
Character Development shows him to be less dumb and more very very direct, with little patience for plots and indirection. He almost immediately figures out that Viole is Baam and seeks out and finds Aguero despite the latter being supposedly dead at the time. That makes him rather disturbingly clever given his tendency to run off on a whim often making him a Spanner in the Works to everyone's plans.
Emoticon: Kang Ho-ryang's icon sometimes transforms into symbols expressing his feelings.
Empathic Weapon: Again, Black March, which has a female spirit and has taken a shine to Baam, and probably the rest of the 13 Month series.
Enclosed Space: You wouldn't think that a place with roughly six and a half timesnote 134 x North America the surface of planet Earth is enclosed, but it's nearly impossible to get out of the Tower, and once you're in the Inner Section, you only get out by failing, winning or giving up.
Enigmatic Empowering Entity: The Guardian's who empower every Regular by making contracts with them. Nobody knows what's going on in their heads, especially not in Headon's.
Everyone Loves Blondes: You might remember that girl Baam is chasing. The one who he calls his light? Yeah, totally a blonde.
Shown to be subverted by the time Part 2 rolls around, Aguero figured out Rachel''s ruse and none of her Part 1 or Part 2 team-mates like her. Even Baam doesn't seem to be chasing her anymore given that he's, again, wondering why he's climbing the tower.
Famed in Story: Phantaminum, Quant, Urek Mazino, Enryuu, Hatsu, The Devil of the Right Hand, Yuri, Zahard, Androssi.
Fanservice: Interesting case of mainly the male cast being sexy with their clothes off. The only sexy shots you get to see of the ladies are Yuri's Proper Tights with a Skirt, Yeon's shoulders and Androssi in shorts and t-shirts. The guys don't only flash their abs, they sparkle!
Five-Man Band: The normal makeup of a team in the tower, with the Positions being Fisherman, Light Bearer, Spearbearer, Wave Controller, and Scout. Subverted somewhat in that many or all of the Positions will have multiple members and one person can have the ability to fill multiple positions.
Flash Back: They are generally kept short, except for Rachel's.
Gambit Pileup: The entire 30F story-line with Aguero, FUG both sub-groups, Viole, and an un-named group affiliated with the Factory all trying to out-gambit each other. May have evolved into Xanatos Speed Chess in the Team Finals with the number of Chessmasters currently in-play and how quickly the various plots are bumping into each other and coming undone.
Genius Loci: The Tower. It is not Headon that chooses the Regulars, he merely approaches them and sees if they are worthy of proceeding.
God Emperor: King Zahard, an existence that is like a god to the residents of the Tower.
Grappling-Hook Pistol: The fishing reels. They are, however, designed to retrieve small things and hold enemies down.
Gratuitous Foreign Language: SIU admits that he uses Google Translate write English and Spanish in his works. Notably, the Koon Family's skills are all set in Spanish since SIU based their colour scheme on the Argentinian flag.
Guile Hero: Aguero. He purposely directed A Team to their defeat just to give Baam and the other people in his friend list in B Team a chance to pass.
Baam and Ja Wangnan can get pretty crafty from time to time.
Ship Leesoo seems to be a Guile Hero in training since Aguero left the main team for Part 2. Still not a patch on his mentor though.
Hair-Raising Hare: Headon is decidedly creepy and is either sadistic or merely enjoys fulfilling his duties in as literal a manner as possible.
Hammer Space: The invisible inventories and fishing reels always make it seem like the fighters are pulling weapons out of nowhere.
A straighter example of this trope is where ever Ren and Yu Hansung keep their giant monsters.
Hidden Depths: Several characters, especially Rak and Arkraptor. Aguero even points out that Rak is unexpectedly perceptive when he sees through Aguero's trick to get the other to help Baam in the final second-floor test. Also one of the first characters to figure out that Viole is Baam and immediately upon hearing that Aguero is supposedly dead declares that Aguero is scheming again and doesn't believe he's dead. He's right.
Hidden Eyes: Viole has Blinding Bangs. Headon has eyes in his mouth. Hwa Ryun has her mask at first and then an eye-patch for most of the series so far.
Hikkikomori: Jaian Repellista Zahard. She is holed up in her giant Opera light house all day long in her floating castle, plays computer games and watches everything.
Homeless Hero: The Regulars have no home they could speak of, mostly renting rooms, cottages, or entire buildings on each floor while they train, rest, or take the tests.
Huge Girl Tiny Guy: When we first see her, Yuri towers over both Evan, her guide, and Baam. While Evan comes from a race noted for their lack of height, we have yet to know if Baam has grown enough to match her.
Humans Are White: Only three human characters of a rather large cast are not white.
I Have Your Wife: The reason Viole works for FUG: The rings Yu Hansung gave the Regulars as they left for the third floor are tracking devices. Viole HAS to become a Slayer, or else FUG will kill every friend Baam ever had.
Icy Blue Eyes: The rest of Koon's family, especially Aguero, Maschenny and Hatchuling.
Indy Ploy: Quant's tactic of saving Rachel, Ja's plans in general, Baam also has a few of these.
Inexplicably Awesome: Rak, as every reader you ask will attest to you. He is a goddamn Badass and nobody knows anything about him.
Inherent in the System: A major theme in Tower of God. The current climbing system allows those who reach the top to fulfill their wish, but on the way up, many suffer, die or drop out. The main problem is that there are set limits of how many regulars per batch can pass. This increases competition between regulars who go out of their way to play mind games with each other, lie, trick and deceive each other and often abandon friends and fight innocent people.
Innocent Cohabitation: Hwa Ryun and Baam spent five years together, yet nothing happened. Sure, Heroes Want Redheads, but then again, Baam was a Chaste Hero. And then he became a Celibate Hero. Can't have been all that innocent when he learnt what sex is. Baam and Rachel probably count as well, but we don't know how much time they spent together before the story started.
Jerkass: Several people, especially Parakewl, Mauchi, Prince and Kim Lurker.
Joshikousei: That's what Yeo Goseng's name really means. No kidding. Her name is really High School Girl. Her cousin, Yeo Miseng, is actually named Middle School Student. She is a straighter example of the joshikousei trope since she actually wears a school uniform.
Ki Attacks: Some Shinsoo-based attacks function that way.
Kick the Dog: Rachel. Just because Edin Dan (rightfully) told her off after she asks him to be her legs, she goes berserk and literally takes his legs from him. Even with that, just ask Baam about it. Actually, many other characters fit the bill too, since betrayal runs deep in the Tower.
Killed Off for Real: Ho, Nia, and Gyetang. Other than that, a lot of regulars die in the first few chapters, approximately 400 in the first test of the second floor.
Knight, Knave and Squire: Rak is the Knight, proud, optimistic and strangely idealistic. Aguero is the Knave, a pragmatic loner with great skill. Baam is the Squire, a Naïve Newcomer with ideals that will very soon be tested and whose optimism shines brightly.
Knuckle Cracking: The Bull does this when it wakes up with it's neck, as does Rapdevil with his hands before he punches the Shinsoo meter.
Lamarck Was Right: The daughters of princesses who have been empowered by Zahard inherit the enhanced powers he granted them, which is why they're forbidden to have children (or relationships with men, period.)
Large Ham: "How dare you presumptuous newbies mock and defy me, the magnificent ranker Quant!"
Rak, all the way.
Last Name Basis: Baam says Mr. Koon to Aguero all the time, even if he is his best friend.
Leeroy Jenkins: Rak, who just passed the Door Test by gambling while Aguero was still trying to figure it out, and Parakewl, who simply attacked the Goblins, nearly screwing up the plan.
Legacy of Service: Evan Edrok is the attendant of a Zahard Princess, as is his father.
Legally Dead: Baam, after Rachel tried to kill him and never was found. Anak, who took the name of her dead mother.
Lethal Chef: Yeon. She made Miseng cry just at the idea of her cooking.
Let's Split Up, Gang: Aguero suggests doing this after Baam's 'death' to cover up that Rachel has tricked them all and so that he can keep an eye on her.
Light Is Not Good: Rachel. Just Rachel. Also, her alias was Michelle Light. The way she came down from the light that Baam sought, how she was illuminated, how she taught Baam everything, her golden hair and her attempt at murdering Baam out of relative pettiness just really qualify her.
Limited Wardrobe: Ship Leesoo and his sweatsuit. Rankers in general, which comes from the fact almost all of them come into the tower with basicly nothing but the clothes on their back.
Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards: The "wizards" in this case are the Shinsoo users, who still can focus on physical combat as Magic Knights. The difference in power growth and a lack of Shinsoo resistance causes most warriors (those not capable of using or resisting Shinsoo) to drop out at the latest at the second floor.
Loads and Loads of Characters: Here's a run down of characters that play a rather important role: 25th Baam, Rachel, Headon, Evan Edrok, Ha Yuri Zahard, Black March, Rak Wraithraiser, Koon Aguero Agnis, Lero-Ro, Anak Zahard, Hatsu, Yu Han-Sung, Ship Lee-soo, Yuga/ Lo Po Bia Ren, Quant, Serena Rinnen, Ho, Androssi Zahard, Akryung, Hwa Ryun, Parakewl, Sunwoo Narea, Hong Chunhwa, Kurudan, Jaina Repellista Zahard, Koon Maschenny Zahard, Ja Wangnan, Kim Lurker, Nya Nia, Miseng, Goseng, Kang Horyang, Jyu Viole Grace, Hon Arkraptor, Prince, Yihwa Yeon, Love Mule, Rapdevil, Tin, Novik, Koon Ran, Edin Dan, Ha Jinsung, Urek Mazino, Karaka, Cassano, Xia Xia, and more to come.
Names to Run Away From Really Fast: For starters, Rak Wraithraiser (or alternatively, Wreckraiser), and Akryung, meaning evil ghost. In series, the title Irregular instills fear into everybody due to guys like Phantaminum and Urek Mazino. Also, carrying the name of Zahard certifies that you are a really dangerous person. Also, Baam's new title is Slayer.
Baam's "I am ... (Jyu Viole Grace)" got the fake and his thugs running quickly.
... and again in the Flower of Zygaena arc with the other team running away from his reputation.
Naming Conventions: The naming order in the Tower seems to be quite unique, because if you become part of another family (adoption happens a lot here), it gets integrated into your name. The east-asian naming order, surnames first, given names second is preserved, as with Phonsecal Laure, Ha Jinsung and Yu Hansungnote Aerith and Bob however do apply here as well: Serena Rinnen and Rak Wraithraiser are examples of western name order. If someone gets taken in, they tack the name of the foster parent at the end, as it is with all of Zahard's Princesses: Ha Yuri Zahard, Koon Maria Zahard, Koon Maschenny Zahard. Jyu Viole Grace is the fosterling of Grace Mirchea Luslec. Koon Aguero Agnis is probably named of his family branch… and don't ask us about Lo Po Bia Ren.
Nerves of Steel: Baam faces down Headon's monster eel without flinching, simply because it's an obstacle.
Although in Headon's case it got subverted, as everything was part of his plan to change the tower.
Offing the Offspring: Hendo Lok Bloodmadder, in a rather round about way. When the 10 Great Warriors received Immortality from the 100th Floor Guardian, Bloodmadder was the only one to be left out. He somehow managed to convince the Guardian to grant him immortality, but it came at a cost: Bloodmadder's children would have to be extremely short-lived, as it was their lives that sustained his from now on. After debating on this for a while, Bloodmadder's fear of his mortality finally took over, and hence on the Hendo clan was cursed.
Older than They Look: Yuri is over 600 years old, Anak is with 300 years older than Androssi. Every single Ranker. Being in the Tower and having constant contact with Shinsoo can either kill you or give you a long life with no aging.
Ominous Multiple Screens: The Lighthouses, which are a Lightbearers base of operations, are basically a bunch of floating screens. Pretty harmless by itself. But then Repellista's 'Opera' gets revealed.
One-Man Army: Phantaminum, who defeated the high rankers of Zahard all by himself.
Only I Can Kill Him: Only an irregular can kill Zahard, which is why the FUG wants Baam in their organization and will stoop to anything to make it happen. Funnily enough, Rachel is an Irregular, too, so…
Rachel also has never revealed herself publicly as an Irregular.
Only the Worthy May Pass: The concept of the tower. What constitutes one's worth is never explained (or for that matter, perhaps understood), the one thing that all Regulars and Irregulars have in common is there exceptional desire to reach the top, at least at first.
Parental Abandonment: All over the place. Especially Baam, who never knew his parents, and many children born in the middle section, where child birth is prohibited. Many of them end up being lab specimen for unpleasant experiments.
Parental Substitute: Rachel for Baam, Sophia Amae for Cassano and Horyang, Garam Zahard for Anak, if you want to call the last one that.
Power Copying: Baam's talent for Shinsoo techniques is so great, that he can basically copy any technique that is used against him, though it still needs to be trained.
Powered by a Forsaken Child: The workshops that make all the wonderful toys in Tower of God use experiments on literal forsaken children to produce them (one we were shown had a survival rate of 0.2%); it's implied that creating an Ignition Weapon in particular requires using a human soul.
The 13 Month Series weapons were outright stated (and shown) to have a soul sealed within them.
Power Levels: As the names suggest, Rankers have a ranking based in theory on how well they did climbing the tower (but, in practice, based on how powerful they are.) Exact numbers are rarely bandied about, though, aside from a listing the author provided of the top ten and a general distinction between the (top thousand) 'high rankers' and the rest.
Pyrrhic Victory: These kind of victories are handed out like candy — or, just murky ones where you wind up unsure if a clear "loss" or "gain" was ever possible from the start. Every last win has a price (even the apparently easy-looking ones), and many of them are steep to the point of only looking like a win on paper, particularly if you don't scrutinise either the build-up, the background shenanigans or the long-term practical or psychological effects on the "winners". It even manages to hand out the inverse, of course: Pyrrhic Losses happen to major or majorish characters where, although they technically lost, they won the mid-game (Ran and Novick) or got a surprise prize from it (Lurker — although it's unlikely to do him much practical good; Serena is a better example — she's no longer in the game, but what she learned may give her a better life than she had before). Baam manages to practically be the Anthropomorphic Personification of "Pyrrhic Victory", though.
Q - T
Rags to Royalty: Androssi Zahard, quite literally, as she is a Princess now.
Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The Irregular. The strong-willed girl in a wheel chair. The distrustful outlawed royal. The kind-hearted blood-thirsty alligator. The butt-monkey, boastful, goofy strategist. The anti-social girl on a revenge-trip. The mysterious silent giant. The loyal dual-wielding swordsman. The Knight in Shining Armor. His animal-controlling admirer. The power-house that powernaps. Permanently. The cold-blooded princess that came from rags to riches. The sneaky, arrogant coward. The reptilian sniper. And that Russian-Mexican muscle-devil. Weird bunch.
To cheer Yeon up from her insecurities about her Power Incontinence and resulting Team Killer tendencies, Akraptor says that no one in the team will kick her out or make fun of her since everybody damn well knows they are all a trashy group of regulars. This is also a bit of danger for the team, since several FUG members think the team is not appropriate for Viole and want them dead.
Rapunzel Hair: Baam in his flashbacks, Ho, Black March, Yu Han Sung, Yeon, Yuri and Maschenny. And Baam after five years again. Trope winner is Robert Aisand, whose silver is said to reach his heels.
Razor Wind: Any cutting Shinsoo attack is basically this, since Shinsoo is the surrogate for air in the Tower. The only difference: It gets denser the higher you climb the tower. and the denser it gets, the more it becomes like water.
Red Baron: High Rankers have sobriquets that are officially issued out by the Ranking Administration Office, and the titles in question are usually in reference to the High Ranker's battle Position or other aspects. Some turn them the names down, though.
Red Herring: For a while, you are to think that either Hwa Ryun, Aguero, or Androssi is manipulating Ho.
This rather a common ploy of SIU.
Revenge: Anak is driven by revenge for her parents, Ja Wangnan wants to kill Lurker for brutally murdering Nia and Love has a grudge with Viole, because FUG killed his parents before he started climbing. Viole is still pending on the thought of having his sweet revenge on Rachel. Hand in hand with the revenge theme however is a theme of forgiveness ( Anak befriends Androssi Zahard, Ja Wangnan forgives Lurker for killing Nia because the three of them were the same, Love says his desire for revenge has made him unfit to be an administrator and he wants to see Viole grow.).
Schizo Tech: There's guns, modern video games, and eventually a full blown AI (or maybe not?), existing alongside spear throwers. Justified by the way Shinsoo affects weapons and by the nature of the Tower — with little trade or communication between floors beyond what Rankers enable (which mostly goes towards their own swag), tech levels can vary wildly from place to place.
Secret Identity: Rachel takes on the alias of Michelle Light, Anak Zahard pretends to be her mother and Baam himself is known as Jyu Viole Grace in season 2. Rachel may be at it again in the 30F ark as Beta, same goes for Hwa Ryun
Len, the wave-controller instructor and member of the Royal Enforcement Division is a good schemer, but a foul bastard, clearly enjoying pushing several of Zahard's Princesses into a corner and trying to make them go at each other.
Parakewl isn't even a good schemer, he's just an arrogant backstabbing whiney jerkass.
Soul Jar: Ignition Weapons, which are literally powered by the soul of an abandoned child.
Space Whale: The guardian of the second floor, the steel eel on the first floor and we expect to see many others.
Some characters have the ability to feel and read the flow of Shinsoo and can safely navigate in complete darkness.
Sword Almighty: Explicitly subverted. While a few people use them, swords become increasingly useless in the higher reaches of the tower due to high concentrations of dense water-like Shinsoo, which replaces air in the tower and makes broad-bladed weapons unwieldy. Instead, the default weapon-type of the tower is the needle.
That said, the only S+ Rank weapon in the entire tower, the White Oar, is still a sword.
The Straight and Arrow Path: Subverted, Levin and his sniper rifle take down the only bowman of the series, and double subverted that the Spear Bearers over power his rifle quickly because the strength of an arm can grow, a guns fire power can't and in higher floors, the shinsoo is more viscous.
Token Minority: Quant. Kinda. If ethnicity wasn't so weird to begin with here. Kurudan is black with white hair (possibly a french or brazilian football player?). Amigochaz… is kinda mexican, with red wings.
Token Nonhuman: Rak, who is an alligator. To be fair, he is a token non-humanoid, since some people like Ja and Androssi aren't really human either.
Tomboy: Lady Yuri, much to Evan's chagrin, Rachel also gives off the vibes of such. And of course Anak.
Trapped in Another World: Very likely. No sign of the door through which he came in, and the environment of the second floor strongly suggests that the Tower doesn't follow the rules of a normal world.
Troubled Backstory Flashback: Anak flashes back to her childhood and the assassination/execution of her mother who was guilty of having relations with a man and giving birth to Anak despite being a Princess of Zahard.
Also, the short snippets of Aguero's past are rather uncomfortable.
Same goes for Ho, who regretted his past, Serena who accepted her past and Androssi, who grew stronger and colder through her past.
Also Baam, in a way, though the things he goes through after he enters the tower are, to him at least, worse. After all, before he didn't know he had anything to lose and now that he does he'll do anything to protect it.
True Companions: Despite the harsh circumstances, even the anti-social Anak and the cynical, manipulative Androssi help Baam and Rachel take the Guardian's exam, even though they had no personal gain from it and it supposed to be ungodly hard.
Turtle Power: Rak's verbal tic makes everybody but him and Anak an example of this trope.
Bloodmadder got the nick name Long-Life Sea Turtle for his perseverance in his successful quest for immortality.
U - Z
Unholy Holy Sword: The 13 Month series is continuously getting a worse rep as information is trickling through that these weapons might have a damaging effect on the wielders psyche, causing the strongest Princess in the history of the Tower to go berserk along with her weapon.
Unni: Narea and Miseng hold great respect for Androssi and Goseng respectively.
Unlimited Wardrobe: Not much in season 1, unlike the second. Some even wonder where Viole puts all his clothes.
Unobtainium: Suspendium, the main material to create Lighthouses. The purer, the better, and naturally they are very expensive.
Webcomic: As a Korean Webtoon, it is one of the rarer examples where complete, manhwa-like chapters are published instead of single pages, but in one long, continuous strip and full-color.
We Used to Be Friends: Baam and Rachel. In her quest for the skies, she left Baam behind, but he followed her and, from her perspective, stole her place in the story, resulting in her growing resentment for him. So she follows Yu Han-Sungs plan and kills him.
Several in brutally quick succession: Rachel can stand! Rachel tries to kill Baam! Rachel was not chosen by the Tower, Baam was! Rachel hates Baam for stealing her dream! Headon is a Jerkass! Well, that last one isn't quite as much of a surprise by now, but still.
Nia's betrayal and death.
The Devil of The Right Arm has this back-to-back in increasing 'wham-ness'. As of season 2 chapter 51, Apple and Michael are traitors, Gyetang is dead, Dan turns out to not be such a bad guy after all, Rachel is finally confirmed as flat-out evil and/or insane, and Koon is has gone missing. Possibly one of the biggest Wham Episodes in the entire series.
Volume 2, chapter 65. Viole wipes out two of Leesoo's teammates easily with his new "thorn" power, Rak shoots up Koon and Wangnan, Traveller reveals Viole's identity to Androssi, and Viole outright says that he's lost the will to live.
Chapter 164, full stop. After Team Mad Dog seemingly allies with Viole to help him rebel against FUG, not a chapter later it reveals that all of them, Bharghov included, are loyal dogs to FUG and the ENTIRE act of running from and despising FUG was solely to lure Viole/Baam into a trap, and they show no remorse in mercilessly trying to kill Novick. Also, the true Thorn is the leftovers from when Enryuu killed a Guardian, and to revive it as a proper weapon again FUG has been working on implanting a proper host with a demon that can resurrect its power. As if THAT wasn't enough, domo-kun cap boy Beta reveals to Viole that many veteran Slayers of FUG despise the idea of the new junior member obtaining what is basically one of the most powerful known weapons to exist, and have plans of their own, and cements that FUG and the scientists of the Workshop have been working together the entire time snatching up humans from the middle tower in secret for experiments. Finally, if the fridge logic is to be believed, Beta might be Rachel. Wham.
Chapter 170. Hwa Ryun was disguised as Yuto, the real Yuto's purpose was to deliver the fake Thorn and gain the Elders' and Reflejo's trust. The fake Thorn is a container for the real Thorn which absorbed the Thorn when Viole was in close proximity for a good while. Viole is now free.
What You Are in the Dark: When alone Rachel shows how she really is. Self-centered, pampered and not a bit remorseful. And also slightly insane.
Yin-Yang Bomb: FUG's signature move, Hwa Jeop Gong Pa Sul, which applies the simultaneous use of Flow Control and Reverse Control, making an extremely devastating close range attack that doesn't harm the wielder.
You Are Number Six: 25th Baam, and before they got their names, Cassano and Horyang were #99 and #21 respectively.
You Killed My Father: Or in this case, mother and father, but the focus is on the mother. And when Anak sees Ren with the necklace she gave her mother on the day they parted, her Berserk Button is jammed down.
Aborted Arc: Were you expecting more talk about the Black March's fickle spirit and relationship with Baam? Too bad.
Achievements in Ignorance: Baam does a no sell on a Shinsoo barrier and thinks he must redo a test. Then he gets hit with a spell and is told to copy it. Nobody thinks it's possible. It is, when you're Baam.
Action Mom: Anak's mother, who was a Princess of Zahard.
Quant: A mere Regular acting on the behalf of God? Ridiculous! The true god of this testing area is ME!
Boom, Headshot: Levin eliminates several people in the preliminaries with clean shots through the head.
Break the Cutie: The three-stage plan that transforms Baam into Viole: Having to see people who don't hate each other fight and sacrifice each other. Being used and betrayed by a friend who blames him for his misery and then commits suicide, leaving a strong pang of guilt. Being betrayed by the person that he calls his Light in the darkness.
Broken Heel: Happens to Androssi twice during fights. She hasn't been wearing high-heels since.
Can't Catch Up: Played out with Ho, who lost everyone he cared about to a monster he lacked the power to stop. Climbing the tower he comes to realize he lacks the innate talent that Laure and Baam have and will never be able to beat them, so he's tempted by the local Knight Templar director into killing Rachel to destroy Baam's will to continue and improve his own chances of advancing. When he fails he drops a brutal Hannibal Lecture on Baam and his naive idealism before killing himself.
Exact Words: Saying "The answer is always at the top, that is all I can tell you" really glosses over the fact that the answer to the question is "Yes I have seen her. She is in the room right next to us, watching through the door."
Eye Scream: Hwa Ryun gets cut right through her eye.
Flashback Nightmare: Ho experiences a short nightmare in which a monster murders a bunch of children while he's putting on a Shinsoo trick show.
If I Do Not Return: The condition Baam makes with the Guardian: If he happens to die during the test and Rachel survives, the Regulars can advance to the next floor.
If We Get Through This: Androssi, twice. One of her promises was to go on a date with Baam after the Submerged Fish test, the other was the promise with Anak to eat together after they defeated Ren. Funnily enough, the second was no if-clause.
Ignored Enemy: The Bull ignored Ship Leesoo for a Mangdol whale, Anak ignored Ren for the Bull and Androssi and Anak ignored the Bull to bicker with each other.
Insignia Rip-Off Ritual: When Lero-ro quits, he rips off Evankell's Badge and puts it on Yu Han-Sung's table. Quant follows suit and gets his insignia plucked off by the Yu Han-Sung.
In the Hood: Androssi's team before they got formally introduced.
Intoxication Ensues: Chopin goes so crazy whenever he sips alcohol that he could perform at parties.
Lo Po Bia Ren: If King Zahard were to find out about this… I can't imagine how disappointed he would be…
Ha Yuri Zahard: Oy, RED newbie, are you threatening me right now?
Lo Po Bia Ren: Th- Threaten? Of course not. I'm simply worry about the future of Zahard…
Ha Yuri Zahard: Ah, really? Everything seems to be solved for you when you just add Zahard's name. That's really convenient! Using Zahard's name to threaten one of Zahard's Princesses… you must be out of your mind.
Know this, the strength of Zahard isn't the kind that can be called upon so conveniently. Though, there's no need bothering to explain this to somebody who just uses Zahard's name as he pleases… Get out of here or I will kill you!
Baam saving Rachel from Ho by using a technique he just saw pushes the latter off the far end. Realizing that he will never be able to achieve his dream (it's a long story), he begins to rant against Baam how just by his innate talent he was getting in the way of those who did not have as much power as he did and was thus crushing the dreams and lives of others. He says that in face of that his attempts of trying to be friends are just belittling and claims to have never seen Baam as a friend. He then commits suicide.
Rachel was really having doubts about killing Baam, but those quickly vanished when he one-shotted the bull and showed her how far beyond her reach he was.
Teach Him Anger: Baam, for the life of him, could not conceive any reason why people would fight. The Rachel asked him what he'd do if somebody hurt her. He then understands he'd be angry enough to hurt somebody.
Headon takes this to the next level when he tells Baam that he won't see Rachel ever again if he doesn't take that test. This is more a case of evoking Baam's greatest fear. Headon being Headon, he doesn't mention that Rachel is in an adjacent cavern watching them.
Twist Ending: Season 1. Rachel tries to kill Baam, since she thinks Baam took her place as a regular, this puts Akryung's and Baam's irregular status in question. It seems as if Rachel also held some kind of fear of Baam. Furthermore, Headon is a mastermind that plans to change the tower with the support of Yu Han Sung, Akryung and Hwa Ryun, who turns out to be a Ranker and Baam as a central figure must vanish from the public eye, so his death must be staged. Since Baam was apparently chosen by the Tower, it also means that the tower is trying to change the system of Zahard. What. A. Tweeeest.
Unexplained Recovery: So, how did Baam survive being digested by the Mangdol Madame with out a protective Shinsoo bubble?
He Didn't. He fell away from the bubble when Rachel pushed him out, and sank to the bottom of the "wineglass"/was transported out by forces unseen. He never went up into the Mangdol Madame.
A Father to His Men: Ha Jinsung to Jyu Viole Grace. He really is proud of Viole and therefore even respects some of his more unpopular decisions.
Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Ja Wangnan. When he sees his last chance to pass the test, he walks up to Viole and simply begs, disregarding everything else, not only once, but twice. In the first instance, Akraptor, Kang Horyang and Miseng do the same.
A Glass in the Hand: Yeon shatters a glass in her hand as she is trying to deal with Ja Wangnan and Hon Arkraptor in the kitchen.
Arson, Murder, and Lifesaving: At the end of the Untrustworthy Room arc, Augusgus chews Mule Love out for acting independently to get revenge, conducting an unauthorized test and thus indirectly causing a Regular's death. Furthermore, he criticizes him for not being even able to kill another Regular (as a Ranker, Love should outclass any Regular) and giving him great publicity that way. But he still can see the right side of the matter and is glad that first of all, the Regular in question didn't die and even got the team mates he needed through that test. If this sounds a little wonky, that's justified: Augusgus is actually a sleeper agent for the same criminal organization that employed the Regular and killed Mule's parents, and Mule's independent action contributed greatly to their plans.
Aren't You Going to Ravish Me?: When Yeon tells Baam that even though he won her in a bet, she won't let him have her body. Turns out he didn't want her anyway. This makes her very angry.
Baseball Episode: Love's fight with Viole, including two giant pitching gloves and attacks like strait ball and pitch change up. The test which frames this fight is designed so that one must catch the MacGuffin that has been pitched before the Ranker gets it. It works with the three-strike system.
Creepy Child: Verdi. When we're formally introduced to her, she's going on about how she's going to turn Prince and Miseng into her dolls. She controls a giant octopus and goes by the name "puppet master," as well.
Eviler than Thou: Ja Wangnan discusses this trope when he tries to make Viole, the worst guy in the Tower, fight the petty Arc Villain.
Expository Hairstyle Change: Viole's old self did not have Blinding Bangs and a ponytail of awesome and nowadays Yeon is copying Viole's ponytail. The Blinding Bangs fulfill a certain purpose: With out them, Viole looks like Baam, so he has them to remind us that Baam has changed a lot.
Furo Scene: The 'Bath' chapters. Only Manservice and plot development, guys, nothing interesting like Goseng or Yeon in a bath.
Godzilla Threshold: Lurker killing Nia and being about to win the Room Game was apparently enough for Ja to beg Viole for help.
Go Karting with Bowser: At one point, two members of FUG, Hwa Ryun and Ha Jinsung come over to visit Viole. Ja, Goseng and Miseng had to sit together with them at a table and they were extremely nervous.
Gondor Calls for Aid: Nobody expected Viole to help Ja, but in the end, he did much more than even Ja hoped for.
Gory Discretion Shot: Lurker killing Nia and Kang Horyang beating up Rapdevil are not seen but heard.
Grows on Trees: Jigena's flower, a parasitic plant that grows inside the sea beast Jigena and which has a flower that is pure crystal.
Human Resources: The idea behind the Skeleton Beautification Diet that Lurker offers Wangnan. Short version: organ theft.
I Lied: Lurker told Nia that he lied when they made an agreement and then killed him.
Koon Aguero Agnis does that to anybody after he's tricked them. Only trust trustworthy people, indeed.
Impaled Palm: Akraptor impales Yeongsuk's hand with his umbrella to ensure that she doesn't use her wands.
Inelegant Blubbering: After Ja realizes he is about to fail the test and is going to die by forced organ donation, he stops giving a fuck, sits down and bawls. Luckily, it's up to Viole to choose his team members, so Ja still has a chance.
Instant Sedation: The dart's Aguero uses against Edin knocked him out on the spot.
Insulted Awake: Viole snaps Yeon out of the parasites mind control by using the same phrase that made her snap before: "Ms. Yeon, I have no interest in your body!"
Out-Gambitted: Through the Workshop battle arcs, 'The Truth' through to The 'Thorn'. The plan originating from Anak for Mad Dog's team, Novick and Viole to team up against FUG was thwarted by Team Mad Dog being affiliated with FUG themselves, pulling a Gambit with the end goal of melting Viole down into the thorn. That plan was thwarted by Hwa Ryun's side when they anticipated this and the Fake Thorn which was given to Viole was actually a container for the REAL Thorn, which then gave Viole ownership of the Real Thorn itself when he stayed in the same room he was trapped in with it for some time.
Rubber Band A.I.: According to Traveller, the security robots in 30F behave this way; If you destroy them too efficiently (such as via One-Hit Kill), the next robot chasing you will be massively stronger than the one you just destroy.
Talking Is a Free Action: Urek Mazino takes the time to tell Horyang that even the best Lighthouse in the Tower couldn't even delay him for a tenth of a second — while he's in midair and falling. Shouldn't the time spent saying it have delayed him for more than that?
Technically, just because the lighthouse wouldn't have slowed him down, it doesn't mean he is crossing the intervening distance instantaneously. He has plenty of time to say that.
Unusual Ears: Nia has very furry beast ears, and Xia Xia has rabbit ears.
Uriah Gambit: The test on the 21st floor was set in a manner that Team Tangsooyuk would face off against Urek Mazino, who was protecting the MacGuffin for his own personal reasons, and hopefully die.
Crosses with Morton's Fork: the bet with the factions of FUG. Except, Karaka's side was deliberately playing for a heads they die; tails, they die situation from the start: the most that Baam could hope for was to fend the inevitable off — or Take a Third Option by breaking the rules of the game.
Visible Silence: The greatest part of Viole's dialogue when he first entered.
Wing Ding Eyes: Love's eyes don't have pupils, they have hatchings and scribbles.
What the Hell, Hero?: Ship Leesoo may be a great guy, but you'd think he'd be more bothered by his teammate turning innocent people into lifeless puppets with no free will. All he has to say on the matter is "She's doing something weird again."
It's revealed later that she doesn't necessarily do this against the persons will. She offers it as a way of quickly making themselves stronger, at the cost of her having a form of control over their body. She's just a bit overenthusiastic about it.
Womb Level: The test where Team Tangsooyuk has to retrieve a flower of the insides of Zygaena.