Heartcore is a web graphic novel by T.L. Welker about Amethyst Lashiec, a Fiendlord and princess of Asgar that grew disdainful of her father Royce's methods and decisions ever since the end of the demons' war against the beastmen. Royce, likewise, becomes fed up with his daughter's rebellious attitude and strips Ame of her rank and inheritance and promises the other Fiendlords that the one to bring him the ex-princess' head will become the new heir to the throne, before Ame can try to overthrow him.As of late 2013, the first few chapters are being remade since the author wants to make improvements to the story both in terms of writing and drawing. Many of the older pages can be found in her deviantART page linked above.Has very little to do withHeart Drive.
Tropes used include:
Absolute Cleavage: Every woman exept for Teodora has at some point not been too shy about revealing what they have above below the collarbone.
Abusive Parents: Royce probably didn't pay attention during parenting classes...
A-Cup Angst: Teodora. Being surounded by far bustier women than herself (including Ame, the one woman she hates the most) doesn't help this fact in the slightest.
Adaptation Dye-Job: For the remade first chapters, Suko has recived a darker shade of pink for her hair and dress. Her horns has also grown much taller and gone from red to black.
All There in the Manual: The side story known as "History of Niefelheim" explores many events that happened before the start of Heart Core, sutch as the death of Lilium, the birth of Ame and the war between demons and beastmen. Some of the events in the story has been stated to appear in the comic.
Anime Hair: Considering that the webcomic has an artstyle based on anime, this shouldn't be a suprise to anyone.
Armor-Piercing Slap: It is implied in page 15 of the remake that Ame gave Asmodai one of these. What does Royce have to say about this, you say?
Royce: She got that from her mother, not me.
Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Among the charges Royce brings against Ame are disorderly conduct, harassment, vandalism, conspiracy to commit treason, extortion, and three counts of grand theft (one of those counts involving Royce's birthday cake).
"But grand theft? You have a birthday cake every day!"
Badass Beard: Warlord Karlsen, a Beastman who looks like Augus if he dressed up as a paladin. Sure, he probably died just as fast as he appeared after Volaster blew the Beastman capital into ashes (making his total comic time 4 pages), but he is so far the only mortal character who has been seen causing significant damage against a demon. Not just any demon, but an Overfiend!
Goristro has recived quite the goatee to brag about in the remake.
Beam-O-War: Ame/Lilium has one of these against an empowered Royce.
Be Careful What You Say: When Ame is locked up in a dungeon in Asgar, waiting to be escorted to a court martial, Asmodai appears. She says she would rather have anyone but him to escort her, but he then reminds her that the one who was originally meant to pick her up was Slade. Her reaction clearly shows that having Asmodai around is for the better.
"...a demon never truly dies...but they never truly reproduce either. It's rare, but when a demon decides to renounce their life, an egg with their reincarnation appears...This egg will also have attributes from another demon they've been in contact with. Within two years' time, the new demon will require the originator's Heartcore, effectively relieving them of duty."
Black Eyes of Crazy: The whites of characters' eyes turn black when fighting or when they get enraged. Particularly powerful demons like Lilium and Volaster have permanently black eyes, even when calm.
Blood Magic: Played with. Salamander demons such as Carval are said to have fire flowing through their veins, and...well, Word of God says you shouldn't make them bleed.
Bond Villain Stupidity: Royce is guilty of this. Considering his power, he could have easily killed Ame at the very beginning of the first chapters, but he thought sending his weaker servants against her in order to make them compete for a position of power would be more entertaining.
Boobs of Steel: Averted with Teodora, considering that she possesses more phsyical strength than most of the Overfiends, yet still has the body of a child. Her giant, crystal hammer is proof of this.
Bribe Backfire: During the trial, it is revealed that Ame tried to bribe Lutz with a game console in order to get out of Asgard. Sadly for her, he took the bribe, but then ratted her out in an instant without living up to his part of the deal.
Butt Monkey: Lutz as well as Asmodai in the remade chapters.
Calling the Old Man Out: Has there ever been a day since that painful ritual that Ame hasn't done this? She pretty much dedicates all of her time in the castle just to piss off Royce in any way possible, whether it includes stealing his cakes, ruining his artwork, or trying to overthrow him.
Calling Your Attacks: Spells in Heartcore require one to call out its name to execute. More powerful and elaborate spells require long incantations followed by the spell's name.
Curb-Stomp Battle: The only two Overfiends other than Royce that actually managed to put up a fight against Ame during her escape from Asgard were Teodora and Slade. The rest of them stood little to no chanse.
Wile on the topic, the only thing that saved Ame and Suko during their fight with Royce, was the fact that Lilium possesed Ame, giving her the power to make it an even fight. Even then, it served mostly as a distraction just to give them the opening to flee once and for all.
And then there was Volaster vs the entire Beastman capital. Guess who won.
Daddy's Girl: Ame thought she was this towards Royce. Boy, was she wrong.
Suko on the other hand, seems to be much more favored by their father. Then again, he's perfectly ok with punishing her for things that Ame did.
Dark and Troubled Past: Having his mother die of illness, growing up poor, and getting his ass kicked for stealing while only being a mortal child was enough to cause Volaster to blow up his home, which in turn caused him to become a demon and getting found by Royce. Not that Ame cares, of course.
Darker and Edgier: Would you believe that the characters trying to brutally murder each other used to be part of a comedic, gag-a-day webcomic? Or that even before THAT, Ame used to be a Sonic the Hedgehog fan-character before being remodeled into a succubus?
Dark Is Not Evil: The heroes of Heartcore, although you may say otherwise at some points.
Deader than Dead: The only way to kill a demon is to either destroy its head or rip out their heartcore. Word of God says the latter is easier.
Fangs Are Evil: Again, the vast majority of characters thus far are demons.
Fanservice: Considering that one of the main characters is a succubus, this trope is bound to happen a couple of times through the series.
Fantastic Nuke: Volaster turned himself into one to destroy the Beastman capital and wipe out most of the Beastman race.
Fat Girl: While not necessarily fat, Emerald is fairly chubby. This is mainly the result of influence from the character's original creator Cory Holmes, for whom large-bodied girls is something of a kink.
Fish out of Water: Ame has some trouble adjusting to her exile in human society. It's also been said that demons are easily overwhelmed by human sights and sounds, which is why Beastmen are practically required to assist them as tour guides and bodyguards.
Freakiness Shame: A fandom example. Though Ame isn't directly ashamed of her scars, they still serve as a reminder of what Royce did to her so many years ago (though she isn't too comfortable of showing them off too much, especially the ones on her arms). Most fans seems to think that she's prettier with them, often mistaking it for regular body paint due to the artsytle of the comic.
Gem Heart: The eponymous Heartcores are created by using demonic powers to corrupt a human heart, changing it into a crystalline mass that demons can eat to replenish and strengthen their own Heartcores. It is the source of their power, and their weakness: its destruction or removal will kill the demon.
Heartcores can be found in other creatures as well, such as mice, but they are often of a far lesser quality in terms of power when compared to that of humans.
Gemstone Assault: Teodora's giant crystal hammer has a tendency to lodge sharp pieces into whatever she strikes.
Good Wings, Evil Wings: Demons have wings of various shapes and sizes, from Ame's itty-bitty little red wings, to trueform!Royce's badass prismatic wings.
Gory Discretion Shot: Sukina's face gets seriously messed up by Ame while she is under Royce's spell. We never see the injury, though, as the afflicted side of Sukina's face is cleverly hidden behind Ame's head after she picks her up.
Hot Witch: Lilium, in addition to being one of the most powerful women to have ever lived in the demonic realms, is also amongst the most beautiful. Two good reasons as to why Royce married her before mortally wounding her in an attempt to eat her Heartcore.
Hunter Of Her Own Kind: It is heavily implied that Ryo is a demon, considering how Emerald refered to her as a "Dretch" and how she seems to have powers beyond that of most mortals.
It Is Pronounced Tro-PAY: Amethyst's shorthand, Ame, was originally derived from the Japanese word for rain. Word of God says Ame's nickname is not pronouned "Ah-May", but instead is pronounced like "aim".
Invocation: Magical spells in Heartcore require an invocation to use. For simple spells like Ame's Fireball, this is as simple as saying "Fireball!" For more complex spells like Devil Drive, the caster needs to recite the spell's incantation first, then call its name.
Know When to Fold 'Em: At one point, Emerald has Ame in a good position to shoot her in the head with a shotgun and does think highly of the possibility to do so. However, once Ame reminds her that there is a good chance that she will shrug off the shots (considering how she just survived an encounter with an Overfiend Salamander Demon) and retaliate horrifically, Emerald takes the option of leaving instead.
The Merch: In-universe, Syranon Glaed is famous enough in New Ayers to have merchandise based on him due to his popularity.
In reality, recent incentives have included bookmarks and stickers with Heartcore characters.
Mind Rape: The Devil Drive spell doesn't only deal fire damage, but it also causes damage to the mind as well. And then there is the Dominate Demon spell, that can take control of even the strongest inhabitants of the demon worlds.
Mix-and-Match Critters: The Meefus are an adorable combination of bees and cats. And possibly vampire bats considering how they drink blood.
Mook Horror Show: The first chapters can be summed up like this for Teodora, Emerald, Carval, and Goristro. Sure, they might be powerful demons, but let's see YOU try to fight the daughter of the demon who rules Asgard without crapping your pants!
Morphic Resonance: Even though Ame has the power of shapeshifting into other women and can shape her clothes any way she pleases, her hair must have the same shade of pink or green that she normally has. Also, her clothes must be either the same shade of black, red, or white that her normal outfit has. Thankfully for her, she can mix these colors in any design she pleases.
The Napoleon: Carval is shorter than most characters, quick to anger, and all too eager to blow stuff up. Word of God is that Carval's height is attributed the Heartcore he inherited from Volaster, which was damaged in his Suicide Attack.
Oblivious to Love: Syranon seems rather unaware of the fact that Gimlett is a bit of a fangirl for him.
Oh Crap: Almost anytime Ame gets pissed or scary, someone is bound to have this expression. Ame has also sported this reaction a few times when in trouble.
The Only One Allowedto Defeat You: It is implied that Emerald stopped Volaster/Carval's rampage in New Ayers just so that she could have the satisfaction of killing Ame herself. Sadly, she didn't have the guts to pull off the kill in case Ame would survive.
Pyro Maniac: Nearly all of Carval's powers include fire in one way or another. To say that he really enjoys using them, even in public areas of the human world where everyone can see it, would be an understatement.
Red Oni, Blue Oni: Amethyst and Royce are the Red to Teodora and Asmodai's Blue, both in attitude and color.
Reincarnation: According to Volaster, demons do not die, but come back as a different form. When demons decide to give up living, an egg carrying their new form appears bearing attributes of the original demon and another demon the progenitor had contact with. Wait two years, introduce the original demon's Heartcore to the egg and voila! The new incarnation lives on, carrying the consciousness of its original form.
In short, Carval is the reincarnation of Volaster, and to an extent Ame is the reincarnation of Lilium.
Scars Are Forever: Those red marks on Ame's face and arms? Those aren't paint, but exposed muscle that she gained thanks to a ritual that Royce pulled on her. Not even eating Heartcores, something that can even replace missing limbs, will heal them.
Many characters' names harken to classic Sega. The family name Lashiec, for example, comes from the actual translation of the name "Lassic", the villain of the first Phantasy Star. Likewise, Lutz is named after the esper in the same game. Meanwhile, Teodora is named after a character from Skies of Arcadia. Then there is also the aforementioned Slade...
Word of God is Carval and Volaster are two big walking talking shout-outs to Stephen King. Volaster's line before beginning his incantation for the Blast Bomb spell, "My life for you", is another quote from The Stand: in this case, the Trashcan Man's Madness Mantra from the TV series adaptation.
Super Toughness: So the only way to kill a demon is to either destroy the Heartcore or the head. Sounds easy, right? Then keep in mind that Carval, one of the weakest of the Overfiends, survived a headfirst fall from a scyscraper, suffering only a black-out and some bleeding. And also notice that Ryo, implied to be a rather low class of demon (dretch), has survived many falls from a similar scyscraper without dying. Doesn't sound so easy anymore, huh?
Vampires Are Sex Gods: Though not entierly a vampire, the incubus Asmodai does have some vampiric themes sorounding him.
Villainous Breakdown: Volaster didn't take it well when Ame decided to press all of his Berserk Buttons (interrupting his childhood story and claim that Royce doesn't care about him). In fact, he took it so badly that he tried to destroy the dome that protects New Ayers, the last human settlement.
And in "History Of Niefelheim" Royce had a big one when his arm was cut off, but also had an even bigger one when he found out that Lilium died and gave birth to Ame, making him unable to eat her heartcore and thus putting a stop to his plans for greater power.
Virgin Power: After feeling Gimlett's scent, Ame could tell that she was a virgin, wich would lead to her Heartcore being tastier and more powerfull than normal.
Winged Humanoid: Most of the demons we have seen so far have wings on their backs.
Wings Do Nothing: Depends from demon to demon. Some demons like Teodora have wings, but are next to incapable of any actual flight compared to her father Asmodai. Ame herself can only glide with her wings.
With Us or Against Us: After Asmodai refused to help Ame overthrow Royce in the fear that he might lose both her (they were in a relation at the time) and Teo, this is what Ame told him nearly word for word.