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YMMV: Eternal Sonata
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Is Prince Crescendo a kind and wise ruler, or is he an idiot who can't even come up with the most basic of competent plans?
  • Anvilicious - The game is not particularly subtle. During the credits, the characters break the fourth wall and impart their beliefs to the player..
  • Cliché Storm: A Rag Tag Bunch Of Misfits fighting against an Evil Overlord that wants to Take Over the World with ill-gotten Super Soldiers made with phelbotinum; this could describe any number of games and the Dying Dream aspect takes a backseat.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome - As might be expected in a game revolving around music. There are many possible choices but some of the stand-out themes are: The mediocrity sought out by everyone, A flicker which divides light and darkness, Leap the precipice, I bet my belief, and The boundary between snow and ice. Sakuraba really outdid himself for this game. And then, of course, there are the Chopin pieces themselves, which were performed by professional pianist Stanislav Bunin. "Heaven's Mirror" also qualifies for many fans. There's also "Rebuilding Ourselves," the final battle theme for the battle against Chopin that is a battle-theme remix with ominous chanting of his "Revolutionary Etude." That's right - you are fighting Chopin in a battle set to his own music!
  • Designated Hero - Allegretto is the onscreen avatar, despite Frederic and/or Polka ostensibly being the main character.
  • Designated Villain - Legato, who seems to be a reasonable person whose only real crime was serving Count Waltz. Even after going One-Winged Angel he remains a Designated Villain as all he does is run away to a distant tower in a desert on the moon where he can't harm anyone. The PS3 version makes it even clearer that Legato is just serving Waltz, who is the real villain.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse - Captain Dolce, leader of the Terrible Trio Goldfish Poop Gang, has gained some popularity over on the Game FAQS forums. Guess why... She also her sexy, seductive voice. ("Oh, you've been naughty, haven't you?")
  • Evil Is Sexy: Captain Dolce and Rondo; see Ensemble Dark Horse.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple - In the Xbox version, Chopin and Polka have better chemistry than the Official Couple despite the fact that A) she's analogous to his real-life dead little sister, and B) he's twenty-five years older. The PlayStation 3 Updated Re-release goes a long way to improve the chemistry between Allegretto and Polka by adding a number of new interactions between them and compleltely altering others. One of the most notable is that in the Xbox 360 release, Allegretto does not so much as mention Polka when Beat and Frederic first return to Ritardando. In the PS3 version he most certainly asks after her and then heads off to Tenuto to go after her before grudgingly agreeing to stay and give Frederic a tour of the town. Later, when he does slip away on his own, in the PS3 version he shows great concern for Polka's health, as well as frustration at the idea that she doesn't want to do things for herself. In the Xbox scene, he doesn't express any concern about her illness and instead of the sequence being about his feelings for Polka, it's just moralizing about the suspicious nature of human beings.
  • Game Breaker
    • Harmony Chains at Party Level 6 can be exploited to greatly reduce almost all difficulty you may encounter after that point. Level up Polka to 48 (40 in the PlayStation 3 version) so that she learns Blossom Shower and, for her sake, since she is admittedly squishy, keep her as far away from the action as possible and in sunlight. Once you're able to consistently pull off a 5 or 6 Harmony Chain, Polka can use Blossom Shower to heal everyone for a sizable amount at infinite range every turn. It also works with Viola and her Heal Arrow, but the trade off is that while Viola can deal absolutely absurd damage from long-range, Heal Arrow isn't as powerful as Blossom Shower. Serenade's L'energie du Vent is a good choice too if you have the PlayStation 3 Updated Re-release.
    • Selling photographs can net you ungodly sums of money early on, making a mockery of the cost of curatives and equipment for 99% of the game.
    • Alegretto's final weapon in Mysterious Union critically hits every time, making him hit max damage with every attack. Combine that with his multi-hitting attacks along with the Werewolf Choker accessory, which doubles the amount of echoes you make and see how easily bosses go down.
    • The Werewolf Choker accessory is also a Game Breaker itself. If you give it to fast characters like Falsetto it destroys most bosses in a matter of minutes.
    • For most of a regular playthrough, Salsa's Shadow Silhouette buff makes her this, as it makes all characters within a certain range do 250% as much damage with their next specials. This essentially makes 4-echo moves be on par with 24 echo ones. For extra brokeness, use a hell mustard on any character, shadow silhouette, then build up a 32 echoes for the special attack. This will allow even a level 17 Polka to deal out damage above 100000k with Nether Wave and a weapon with less than 20 ATK. She won't deal that much damage on her own until she hits levels above 30 using far stronger weapons! Even when you hit the harmony chains (shadow silhouette seems to end these chains, so it's risky to use) she stays incredibly good, being one of the best Echo builders both in regular combo AND in the chains themselves.
  • Idiot Plot: Prince Crescendo, Count Waltz (see What an Idiot, below), Chopin (his rationale for attempting to murder all the party members), the entire population of the world.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks: The game is a strictly traditional Eastern RPG; people who went in with other expectations shouted this.
  • Memetic Sex Goddess: Captain Dolce has been renamed "Captain Sexy" by the fandom. Viola, also.
  • Moe - Polka for being a sweet Ill Girl.
  • Narm - Claves' Final Speech is so long it becomes comical.
  • Narm Charm - Many agree that the second-to-last cutscene of Claves' death was surprisingly well done and incredibly effective. Sometimes the game's narmness loops around to oddly awesome, including the scene when Fugue meets his end. He is eaten by a glowing powderpuff. It's surprisingly satisfying.
  • Older Than They Think - The game received a lot of praise for the originality of the Chopin storyline, though the basic premise has been done before in works such as The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant.
  • Padding: Why else would you need to get special water from the end of a graveyard to give to a child to feed a plant; defeat a ghost in the basement of a church; have to board a pirate ship to defend a military vessel that has its own guards and guns; or climb a temple/tower as requested to by a priest.
  • Purity Sue: Deconstructed with Polka. She knows she doesn't have long to live, and so only keeps up her Pollyanna act because she doesn't want to drag the party down. When it's just her and her mother, though, the waterworks come on.
  • Scrappy Mechanic - The game tends to shuffle your battle party of three around before certain boss fights, which makes a few of them even more difficult, especially if it kicks out your healers.
  • That One Boss:
    • Count Waltz definitely counts for this: Crazy fast, crazy strong, and positively brutal specials, if you don't block. Volcano Concussio can KO even Jazz. This is also when you have to fight Legato at the same time, who's been turned into a dragon thanks to the mineral powder.
    • Tuba, because the first time you fight him, Beat (if he's in the party) gets forced out. The second time, Beat is forced in. Either way, it can seriously screw up your formation from the start, and if you haven't been levelling Beat for that second fight...
    • Captain Dolce counts for this in your first fight with her due to the fact that the characters you have to fight her with don't have access to any good healing at the time. She also has strong and quick attacks, and has two minions who are both powerful and will revive each other if one is knocked out, meaning you have to kill both them quickly, all while holding off Captain Dolce.
    • Fugue, who's capable of inflicting Stop? Check. Fast? Check. Gets two turns in a row? Check. Capable of killing Salsa in a single round if you're unlucky? You bet your ass!
    • Rondo, due to the fact that she's VERY difficult to guard against, due to her speed and she can inflict status, damn her. Plus Falsetto gets forced into the third slot of your party moments before the fight, which can screw up your formation, and if your healer gets kicked out...
  • That One Sidequest: The Score Pieces, and it's the main sidequest to boot. The score pieces themselves are found in easily-missed locations, they're not numbered in any way, and to get some of them on the second playthrough, you need to play some of the ones you already have to NPCs exclusive to that playthrough. As for actually playing them...oh boy. The scoring system is completely arbituary, each attempt takes up to 30 seconds and you ultimately get 32 of the damn things, any 2 of which could produce an S or A rank, many of which give you unique items you can't get elsewhere. Finally, the NPCs that want you to play them with them are often in hard-to-reach locations that require you to backtrack a good deal.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot - One of the most original concepts for a game—the dying dream of Fredrick Francois Chopin—given one of the most unoriginal executions ever. That Chopin is mostly Out of Focus for the majority of the game (except for his not-so-subtle monologues that come out of nowhere) does not help either. The PlayStation 3 Updated Re-release tried to fix this by altering a number of scenes involving Frederic, and adding many new ones, including him speaking in the game's intro sequence, but the problem is still there to a limited degree.
  • Toy Ship - Beat and Salsa; two children with an immature 'push him down in the sandbox' style relationship.
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy: Polka and Jazz.
    • Polka is a healer in a game where healing items are superior to healing spells, and cheap to boot. She has terrible damage output in a game where killing the opponent before it gets to move is the key to everything.
    • Jazz suffers from terrible speed(Salsa will occasionally go THRICE before him), relies on team effort for real damage output(since his own echo-building is average), and is underlevelled on rejoining. He never has a reason to be used- he's inferior to Allegretto, Viola and Falsetto when he first appears, and he's inferior to more or less the entire team upon rejoining. He was made worse in the PS3 version.
  • What an Idiot -
    • Prince Crescendo's plan to surrender himself to Card-Carrying Villain Count Waltz would, rather than ending the war peacefully, have allowed Forte to invade a weakened and confused Baroque. Everyone else seems to understand this, and tells him so.
    • Count Waltz, rather than ordering his men to fire and kill the heroes, instead decides to take them all on himself for 'fun', accompanied only by a dragon that's extremely easy to defeat. He is then brutally killed. Then [[spoiler:Legato decides to drink the super mineral powder and turn himself into a giant monster for no apparent reason, even though he knows it will eventually kill him even if the heroes didn't. This fiasco is averted in the PS3 version- Waltz survives the fight as every other major villain, orders a reluctant Legato to drink the poison, then orders him to kill the dragons to try his new powers, and finally, they run away because Polka's astra stops their lethal strike against the group. Everything is explained, everything makes sense, and it allows for a harder pre-final boss battle and a kickass Breaking Speech from Waltz explaining his motivations.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Symbolic?: Though the events of the game are supposed to be representative of Chopin's life experiences, there are some events that just do not make sense in this context, yet are given the air of being symbolic of something. Most noticeably, the final scene of the game is a tÍte-a-tÍte between a snail and a caterpillar.
  • The Woobie -
    • Polka. If you like her, then by the end of the game you'll wish that you could give her a hug.
    • Beat considering he gets insulted by Allegretto, knocked around by Tuba, and constantly pestered by Salsa. At least Allegretto and Salsa still care about Beat.

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