Accidental Innuendo: The name Freudenstachel in-game means "The Stinger of Joy". However, to anyone fluent enough in German, it can also mean "Pleasure Stinger", which is a sexual euphemism. One of Darksquid Media's developers was quick to catch this oversight, and ran the translation over to a native-speaking German to fix any mistranslations that could lead to this, given the games' extensive use of Gratuitous German.
Alternative Character Interpretation: Regarding Iris. Seeing that Spiritia is the other incarnation of Rosenkreuz as Iris is, does she want to kill Spiritia because "there can only be one god" or because she wanted to steal Spiritia's inner powers and become "whole"?
Awesome Art: The artwork is simply gorgeous. From the dark atmosphere, gothic crosses, demonic statues, distinctive, eerie but adorable character designs, and stunning backgrounds, even as a low-res release it's a very pretty game. It rivals some of the Castlevania games in darkly beautiful pixel art.
And then we have more themes added for Rosenkreuzstilette Freudenstachel that sound EVEN MORE AWESOME.
Freudia's theme, which plays during her actual boss fight instead of the usual boss fight theme. Add up being the hardest normal boss battle thus far (with her being constantly in red life), you will hear this for quite some time and enjoy it to the fullest. It even returns in Freudenstachel... except as a title theme that are often skipped.
Grolla's fight with Spiritia, replacing her own boss in her home stage now that she's a playable character. Not only does she avoid the usual reputation of these kinds of bosses, but she uses strategic fighting and won't hesitate to use moves your character was weak against as a boss, again with a unique battle theme. Lily will even give her a Cross Tank when her health goes down, making it genuinely feel like a battle against another player. It's a frantic and crazy fight that although tough, is worth the effort that brings to mind the fight against Copy X.
Breather Boss: Surprisingly, Graf Michael Sepperin, the boss of the first fortress stage in Rosenkreuzstilette Freudenstachel is nowhere near as hard as the stage it appears in. Although it isn't an actual weakness per se, the Frostklinge, obtained from Dolis, is very useful against it, able to damage it without the need for standing on the platforms on the sides, and its attacks are very easy to avoid when you learn how. And if you use its actualweakness...
Complete Monster: Iris Sepperin's goal is to become god of a world of her own design, but many of her actions are purely for her amusement. Believing that she has a right to destroy whatever she wants, Iris commits wanton murder, of innocents; those she deems not useful to her; and her own family members, choosing victims based on who would suffer most from their deaths. A prime manipulator as well, Iris masquerades as a harmless young girl while also staging in motion the war between the RKS and the Empire. In Rosenkreuzstilette Freudenstachel, Iris and her Dragon Eifer manipulate the Schwarzkreuz into starting a "witch hunt", and turn the Schwarzkreuz against their own captain Pamela by having them brand her a holy traitor to the Orthodox Church, motivating Pamela's resolve to slay her vilifier. Iris later has Eifer murder the pope, and afterwards has her badly wound Pamela with a surprise attack. Iris continues to show her selfish and manipulative side by having Eifer turn into the Dark Devil and allowing her to die, and brainwashing Spiritia and forcing her to fight to the death against Freudia, her own childhood friend. Driven by little more than a sadistic desire to satisfy her lust for pleasure and entertainment over the suffering of others, Iris stands out in the world of the Rosenkreuzstilette series.
Demonic Spiders: The bouncing gargoyles that are usually found near the end of a stage. They have a ton of health and can do some serious damage to your character. To be fair, they were inspired by the bouncing spring robots found in several Mega Man games.
Draco in Leather Pants: As this page abundantly makes clear, Iris is a manipulative, self-entitled psycho with a God complex that does everything out of pure sadistic pleasure. In Kiora's doujinshi Rosenkreuzstilette UnOfficial AfterStory, otherwise known as Tearis, she gets reduced from a Complete Monster to a Jerkass Woobie who is placed under the care of Spiritia, who believes that killing her won't solve any of the problems she left behind, and thinks she has a kinder, gentler side inside her. Of course, Zorne still blames Iris for her adoptive father's death and vows to kill her, leaving Freudia to attempt to stop her through battle (which gives way to Zorne's new rage-born power), and Iris, knowing of the conflict, asks Spiritia to end her life in order to truly end the ensuing chaos.
Schwer-Muta Casasola Merkle, seen by many as the fandom mascot; which is funny because she also has her own mascot in her pet squid Zeppy. With an adorable design, somewhat creepy emotionless dialogue, a trollish stage design, her dialogue providing many funny moments, and a genuinely sad reason for feeling betrayed by RKS, it's no wonder why.
Luste Teuber, since she is Fun Personified and because her Idiot Hero ways are actually quite adorable. She even got an April Fool's site made by the creator himself, where she's fairly attractive in her aged-up redesign and has many hilarious gags.
Evil Is Cool: While not exactly evil, Graf Michael Sepperin definitely looks stylish. Raymond Sayfarth as well. He's based on Death from Castlevania, it comes with the territory. And let's not forget the Count's daughter.
Fanon: Along with what has already been denoted as such, there are fanonbiographies of the (human) characters of the first game (mostly by trolls), which list everyone as being all born before Y2K. At least it explains their clothing....
First Installment Wins: A rather odd example not with the games themselves, but rather, the series' Spiritual Successor status to the original Mega Man games. Ever since it's official English release, many fans feel that RosenkreuzStilette succeeded where Mighty No. 9 failed, saying that it is more faithful to the Mega Man series with plenty of throwbacks and Shout Outs to back it up.
In the first game, since Luste Teuber is Metal Man's expy, Spiritia in turn gets Metal Blade in the form of Lustatem. Like Metal Blade, Lustatem has a TON of energy (second to the Freudenstachel), normal shots does more damage than an uncharged Seelegewehr, and Spiritia can shoot it in any direction.
Another for Spiritia is the Grollschwert. Sure it sucks at first and doesn't do much in the way of damage, but remember, it is the Grollschwert. The weaker you become, the stronger it gets! So once you're at a pitiful amount of HP, the short-ranged normal shots becomes a mid-ranged Spread Shot that can tear apart most of the enemies with ease and can break some of their guard. It even slaughters the Demonic Spiders above and Goddamned Bats below with little effort.
Lili, like her inspiration Beat, will home in on any enemy, doing a hefty amount of damage. The only reason why she's not a complete joke to every boss in the game is that you can't used charged shots while selecting her.
Girl-Show Ghetto: Gameplay aside, the series tends to receive scorn because of its unabashedly cute characters and emphasis on friendship, never mind the darker aspects to the story and challenging difficulty.
Goddamned Bats: The barrels in the Sichte Stage of Rosenkreuzstilette Freudenstachel. You know, the flying ones with eyes that extend their antennae and shoot electric beams from the spikes on their tips. Yeah, they're goddamn annoying. Also, the enemies that resemble Mega Man's Mettaurs. And the spear-throwing knights. And the cross enemies. And the egg-dropping eagles. And the skulls that are invulnerable except against some special weapons. And the fireballs that resemble a certain power-up from Bomberman.
Hilarious in Hindsight: RosenkreuzStilette Freudenstachel started out as an April Fool's Day joke in 2008 with mock screenshots of what the game would look like while staring Freudia as the protagonist. Years later, production of an actual RosenkreuzStilette Freudenstachel came to fruition and released as a sequel to the first game in 2012, with a few things from the April Fool's Day version making it into the game.
Internet Backdraft: Not long after RosenkreuzStilette's official English release, the game got a lot of backlash on Steam for simply being a Mega Man clone that draws on the Moe aesthetic with anime girls, but mostly because of Luste's character design, who essentially looks like an under-aged little girl wearing revealing underwear. Thanks to Values Dissonance, a lot of activists have popped up on Steam in response to this and demanded Valve to "ban content of this type" on their network. The developer even notified this problem on his blog, and admits that it could affect the sales of the games in the future.
It's the Same, Now It Sucks: While praise was given to the original art, appealing character designs, music, and to an extent the plot, critics tend to see the gameplay as So Okay, It's Average. The controls are tight and responsive, but the level designs and bosses recycle so many gimmicks of the Mega Man series it limits its potential. It's also hard to sell a series that sticks so closely to the formula with the abundance of hacks to the Classic games that have come out since the game's release. Fast-forward to 2016, however, and this consensus ironically inverted after the failed perception of Mighty No. 9 with many suddenly clamoring to the RosenkreuzStilette series (as well as other similar Mega Man-like games such as Azure Striker Gunvolt) as a successor to Mega Man, especially thanks to its official English release the following year.
Sure Grolla's not the nicest girl you'll meet, but knowing the burden of carrying on her grandfather's legacy with her demonic sword, the strong implication that she doesn't have much love among the RKS who are intimidated by her, being harshly humiliated by Iris and mistrusted by Lady Sichte who's the only one that comes close to a personal friend, nobody believing her about Iris' plans, and later forced to put down and lay to rest her reanimated grandfather, it's no wonder she looks unhappy most of the time.
There's quite a bit of subtext between Zorne and Trauare. Aside from this image◊, when you fight one of them, they'll be quite angry if you've already beaten the other. Additionally, in Rosenkreuzstilette Freudenstachel, when you fight one of them, if the other hasn't been beaten yet, they'll join in with a combo attack, which wouldn't normally carry much subtext, but Trauare's combo attack with Zorne being heart shaped bombs definitely does.
There was already some subtext with Spiritia/Freudia in the first gam. Childhood friends? Check. Have nicknames nobody else uses? Check, in the form of "Tia" and "Freu", which are almost always used rather than each other's full names. Their pre and post-dialogue conversations in both fights are a bit longer and more dramatic than the other RKS members, special attention is called to the fight with a somber battle theme unique to Freudia's fight and a sad piano piece that plays post-dialogue, only Grolla's with Sichte has that honor. And there's the fact that Freudias clearly holding back in the prologue, with her Desperation Mode kicking in for the duration of the second, clearly regretting what she feels she must do. The sequel only increases it. Freudia will apologize to Spiritia when she dies, she goes Tranquil Fury when she finds out what the Big Bad has done with her and the Game Over screen for the final stage resembles a certain Ho Yay scene from Mega Man X6.
"Pitting the peaceful Liebea against your idiotic ideals was sheer brilliance! Turning friends on one another thanks to a tiny seed of doubt I planted... wonderful! Even the stoic Sichte swallowed that drivel about a world just for Magi. Hook, line, and sinker, no less! Magnificent! And witnessing the dreams of the commonfolk being trampled underfoot... Hahaha! I think I'm going to cry!" ♪
Her Dragon Eifer, too. The fact that she and Iris manipulated the Schwarzkreuz into attacking RKS and witch-hunting Magi and kidnapped Spiritia to have her all Brainwashed and Crazy places her into Magnificent Bitchery as well, even if she was just another pawn of Iris. Of course, she tends to constantly alternate between this and a Smug Snake as well, and the reason is obvious.
Moe: There's a reason why this game has an Improbably Female Cast, after all. Liebea with her scared and crying fits makes her easy to feel pity for, Spiritia's cute in a determined way and still believes there's good in everyone, Freudia's a nice girl underneath her frosty surface, Lily and Strudel Aare tiny fairies that proove helpful along the protagonists' adventures, and Schwer is downright huggable with her cute wolfy pajamas and how generally sad she seems. And yes, even Iris can be seen as this. True, she may be a despicable monster, but seriously, you have to admit she's cute even when she feigns helplessness.
Moral Event Horizon: Iris did this entire gambit to accomplish her ultimate goal, but, she says she also did it for personal amusement. She's murdered her father, jailed somebody who knew about her plans, and, in Rosenkreuzstilette Grollschwert, kills a priest just for fun, and by being forced to kill her own grandfather and put him back to rest is this in Grolla's eyes,that shows that Iris crosses the line. She tops all that in Rosenkreuzstilette Freudenstachel, where she mind controls Spiritia and forces her to fight Freudia to the death.
Most Wonderful Sound: Strudel saying "Rosenkreuzstilette" sometimes (it's usually Freudia) when you start Rosenkreuzstilette Freudenstachel is simply adorable. More badass, but Spiritias occasionally shouting "Seelegewehr!" when performing a Charged Shot is satisfying, especially if you've just destroyed a particularly annoying enemy or boss.
That One Achievement: With the addition of achievements on the Steam version, there's the aptly-named "Devil Hunter", which requires beating the Deviled Egg without taking any damage. Given the Deviled Egg's That One Boss status like the Yellow Devil that inspired it, you can understand why this achievement is so reviled, and it seems that it was likely made to challenge even the most expert of players. To further add to this, only 0.3 percent of total players have actually managed to get this achievement.
That One Attack: Schirach's Megaton Punch in Rosenkreuzstilette Freudenstachel. One too many of these can have the player doing the same to the monitor.
Liebea counts as a Woobie as well. She was trapped at the top of the research tower for her refusal to take part in the rebellion. Sepperin did this to her to avoid her becoming an obstacle and, out of fear that she'd become his adversary if he told her the truth, he lied to her that the Empire had taken Kahl captive and said that there was no hope to pray for his safe return. And when someone points out his/her disbelief that the Empire should do anything to him or that he/she knows whether he's dead or alive, Liebea just gets upset and her power goes out of control until that someone calms her down through battle.
Sichte may count as a Woobie as well since she apparently has trouble having faith in anyone older than her due to often fretting about her troubled childhood that she had when she was born and raised in the slums.
Spiritia. Think about it for a second. You see a girl you held dear being taken away from you and you try to save her, then you find out all of your friends are in a rebellion and you are forced to fight against all of them, unable to convince them out of it without fighting, and in the end, you find out the girl you were trying to save is actually a Complete Monster of the highest order who set the events into motion only For the Evulz, you're forced to fight against her, and a while after that, you end up mind-controlled by said girl, forced to fight your best friend. Wow.
Lilli. It's really easy to want to give her a hug considering her home was burned down. If Spiritia wasn't around...