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YMMV: Oracle of Tao
  • Abandon Shipping: Nevras has about three childhood friends. One is a girl from his town, and the other two are soldiers in the royal guard. But one of those soldiers is a guy with the no male hormones, who Nevras found out about by bathing with.
  • Acceptable Religious Targets: Everything from Christianity to weird cults. Some are bashed/spoofed more than others...
  • Angst Dissonance: Possible, the main character does do a healthy dose of whining, since she has amnesia, a life characterized by poverty, and God keeps asking her to do things.
  • Come for the X, Stay for the Y: The main story might be initially what gets you hooked, only to find that you do a bunch of sidequests instead, or make money to upgrade your tent to a portable mansion.
  • Creepy Awesome: Ambrosia's mirror half. She actually manages to act as a sort of conscience for Ambrosia, making her aware when she's lying to herself or when she is about to cross a Moral Event Horizon, she has at least one scene where she's doing some seriously good fighting, and while Ambrosia tends to be angsty and repressed with her relationship with Nevras, her other half seems to be ready and willing for one. In the same token, she murders people within the first five minutes of her initial appearance, and in an attempt to warn Ambrosia about something, treats her to a Black Bug Room.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: Some of the endings are a bit much...
  • Cliché Storm: Although some of it is intentional.
  • Designated Hero: This is actually lampshaded at an early point of the game, that Ambrosia by doing her job, is a bully/meddler rather than a hero.
  • Designated Villain: The villains are either Pelagian Villain type, or an outright Hero Antagonist.
  • Epileptic Trees: There are enough loose ends left to make a few of these. Several of them are Poison Oak Epileptic Trees too, probably.
  • Esoteric Happy Ending: Ewww, the best ending of the game has Ambrosia basically leaving the villain to bleed to death slowly, while she pursues her own happy ending. Or she could save the villain, and have Who Wants to Live Forever?. Or she can kill of the villain and go Ax-Crazy as a result. Your choice.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: Even the main plot point of Belial causing the world's end is debated, contested, and in some cases outright dismissed. One version of the event involves the Mayan Doomsday.
  • Faux Symbolism: Loads of it.
  • Hell Is That Noise/Brown Note: The game has about five or six "songs" that are basically huge masses of random notes, filled with lots of irritating high- or low-pitched discordant sound.
    • Such as this. Absent is all sense of rhythm, chord progression, and even consistent tempo is nonexistent. It at the very least, will give you a headache, trying to find some sort of pattern.
  • Neutrality Sue:
    • Ambrosia. God-Mode Sue is averted, since she only has her godly powers in plot events, but her Yin Yang powers are part of battle and the game. She can and does actions of great good or evil, with little regard to some of the finer points of character development. Lampshaded at one point, where Ambrosia actually points out that that she never really had to work for her powers, and it seems more like a delusion than Real Life. It turns out she's half right, in the weirdest possible way.
    • Otherwise downplayed. There are clearly other characters in the story that have their own strengths and weaknesses, and for much of the game she has no powers at all. Still, the whole "only one who really exists" thing is more than a bit weird and unbalancing. Not to mention, the universe can't exist without her.
  • One-Scene Wonder: A couple of cameos here, including Lina Inverse from The Slayers.
  • Only the Author Can Save Them Now: It seems this way, due to a game balance issue, where magic is more potent than physical attacks. You tend to win if you use the right magic, while you tend to lose in the game's beginning if you use physical attacks. This crops up in the later game mainly in the case of epic bosses.
  • Padding: Plenty of the dialogue could be cut down into more manageable length. Along with much of the map, and some of the levelling.
  • Play the Game, Skip the Story: Unfortunately, due to some non-linear bits, and rather heavy dialogue, this can happen.
  • Real Women Never Wear Dresses: Guilty (though technically Ambrosia does wear a dress, she never acts that way). And Real Men Probably Do.
  • Rewatch Bonus: To come up with more Epileptic Trees, obviously. Not because of the Multiple Endings.
  • Rooting for the Empire: You can certainly do this. The main villain is a poor misunderstood demon that got booted out of town, and sealed in a jar.
  • Shocking Swerve: Holy crap. The final enemy is impaled by one of his allies, and is at the mercy of Ambrosia. Put him out of his misery, right? That should end evil in the world, right? Wrong. Ambrosia finds out Murder Makes You Crazy, and starts killing her own party if she does that. Nope, the best ending is actually ignoring him entirely and letting him die slowly and painfully, while you have a quiet country life.
  • Strangled by the Red String: Lampshaded. One of the second characters his some reincarnation issues to deal with, and is doomed to end up with one of the others.
  • That One Sidequest: Some of the sidequests are fairly easy to complete (the romance one, most of the ultimate weapons). The sidequest to get all the treasures (you get a reward if you do) in either game is obnoxiously time-consuming (though not outright difficult in the first game), but in the Playable Epilogue, the chests are for the most part in different places, some inside mazes, while others involving involving complex puzzles (the worst of which is probably an extended music puzzle). You get the real treasure the first time (either game) you get all treasure, and the second time you do it, it's just a rare equip, so it's better if you figure it out the first time.
    • The bounty hunt is not terribly easy either. Most of the enemies can just fall in a few hits. Good luck killing the final one, though.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: Much of the things in the game would disturb most children.
  • What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: Seriously...
  • Why Would Anyone Take Him Back?: Possible, the main lover interest ditches in the middle of a trip to another dimension. Honestly, here the party depended on him to transcend dimensions, and he bails?!?
  • What The Hell, Casting Agency?: The voice actors range from fairly good to outright Ham and Cheese acting.
  • What The Hell, Costuming Department?: Your main character is dressed like a housewife, the evil wizard has a Vivi knockoff outfit that looks nothing like his faceset, and others.

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