YMMV / Rune Factory 4

  • Anti-Climax Boss: The final bosses of the First Arc of the game certainly feel like this. After a fight against Rafflesia, the two Anubi statues and Sarcophagus himself are pitifully easy to defeat, even without filling up on potential healing items. Likely a way to counter the fact that the entirety of Leon Karnak/The Forest Of Beginnings must be done in one swoop with no means of saving in-between.
  • Broken Base: Earlier Harvest Moon and Rune Factory games allowed the player to potentially romance all the available love interests to the point of proposal with no penalty, and fans would often "harem" to see all the romantic cutscenes, wedding scenes, after-marriage dialogue, etc. Rune Factory 4 was part of a shift away from the mechanic, with Harvest Moon franchise games typically all turning to the "going steady" option; players face penalization for deciding to "harem" and face far more difficulties trying to romance multiple romantic options. While some fans were glad to see a more realistic love subplot that allowed for more steps to the relationship (in contrast to other games where you could move from ostensible friendship to marriage quickly and with few romantic cutscenes for development), others were frustrated that the game was essentially punishing them for trying to view more than one romantic arc when romances are a staple of the franchise and one of the most interesting parts.
  • Demonic Spiders: Thunderbirds have an attack that shoots lightning bolts all around them, which comes out so fast it is impossible to fight them in melee without getting hit.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: A complaint had about the male MC, which is ironic because Lest is the first male MC to be voiced by a guy in the JP version.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse
    • There are many who wish Porcoline was one of the possible love interests for Frey.
  • Game-Breaker: Lest/Frey aside due to them normally due to story mechanics.
    • Dual Blades are ridiculously good if you get the Lucky Charm accessory, making each hit do a critical hit which does more damage. The added fact that they also hit more times than the other weapons and that the ultimate art for them results with you doing multiple hits if you are successful means that most bosses aren't going to stand so much of a chance before their already close to defeat.
    • The spear shares a similar trait, but only for one of the arts that you learn should you get that weapon skill level to 10. Upon having the skill level for spears hit level 10, your charged attack followed a normal attack in rapid succession results in you doing a flurry of blows so fast that normal enemies can't even move until your assault is over. Combined with the Lucky Charm and the natural long range that spears offer for striking distance means that melee opponents will often die the moment the battle begins. At a high enough level, you can easily kill most non-final bosses like this in under a minute.
    • Steel Heart, a Long Sword rune power that you can equip is a mixed blessing and a curse. It lowers your defensive stats...but makes it so your character can't be stunned when attacked, period. This means that whenever you would normally be stunned and be left vulnerable, you instead take more damage but stay standing. This can help you defeat some bosses if you play wisely but can result in a quicker defeat due the fact that you take more damage. Getting it is a bit hard since it's in Sechs Territory and you have to solve a puzzle to obtain it from a chest. Forte also has this ability by default but she rarely uses it in battle.
    • Power Wave a Short Sword rune power. It's one of your earliest damage dealing Rune Abilities found in the second dungeon and it's useful for the second boss who melee'ing isn't quite so simple. It does a lot of damage and it travels in a straight line for a while and until it stops, anything in its wake gets hit. Since it also moves through enemies while doing damage, it can easily hit several enemies who are lined up.
    • Giga Swing, an Axe/Hammer rune ability. Find yourself being cornered? This ability sends enemies hit flying backwards or away from you until the hit a solid obstacle. Doesn't really work on bosses who are immune to this kind of attack but useful for getting out of rooms where hoards of enemies like to team up against you.
    • In general, Cure Spells are a blessing. Master Cure is very costly, requiring a lot of RP (unless you maxed out the uses to where it doesn't require so much RP) but healing both you and your allies HP by a ton. Overall, Cure, Cure All and Master Cure can also revive your fallen allies which is a wonderful trait in hard dungeons but Cure All can heal allies who are far away from you in the same room which Cure can't do while Master Cure can heal everyone in your team who's just about in the same room you are in.
    • In the 'Cures' Spell section but for different purposes we have Medipoison, Mediparalysis and Mediseal which only affect the player. Medipoison and Mediparalysis do just as they say, curing you from poison and paralysis respectfully. Mediseal is unique in that a few bosses and normal enemies have attacks that seal off your ability to use rune abilities...Mediseal however isn't affected. What this ability does is remove that ailment so you can use your rune abilities again, very useful and trivial to have once you get into the second arc where enemies start using just about every status ailment on a daily basis and in the final arc where every enemy starts using status ailments.
    • Earth Spike, an Earth Elemental rune ability. Yeah, it homes in on one of your enemies and doesn't end until it hits them. Unfortunately, two bosses and certain enemies also have this ability as well. Still it makes it good for hitting annoying flying enemies like Thunder Birds and Hornets who are a nightmare to melee.
    • Time for unique abilities that work for your ally monsters. Iron Waltz boosts your ally monsters' defensive stats allowing them to tank hits as they take less damage from enemy attacks for the duration of the day it was used, pretty useful when combined with Cure All or Master Cure since you can use your ally monsters as meat shields when under pressure. Striking March is like Iron Waltz, but instead boosts their offensive stats such as physical and magical attack, good for elemental fairies and minotaurs who are incredibly powerful in their respective offensive stats. Lastly there is Bonus Concerto...the description says that it makes your ally monsters fight with their best efforts. Instead it has you hurl your ally monsters at your enemies and the damage dealt is equal in proportion to their stats. Essentially, it helps you get some of the lazier monsters you have that normally don't attack to move by having you throw them at the enemies nearby you. Since monsters tend to have much higher stats than your human allies, your well raised ally monsters will often do more damage than you can thanks to this ability.
  • Goddamned Bats: Spiders, due to their web attack which slows you, making it hard to dodge other attacks, including the webs again.
  • Ho Yay: Quite a lot of it in this game compared to its predecessors, with one notable example being Doug and Dylas as stated below.
    • The eligible bachelors will complement the main character's cuteness, get flustered at the thought of spending time with the main character and get jealous when they're getting along so well with their current partner... even if the main character is Lest, the male main character.
    • During one of the boys' sleepovers, Leon suggests that next time, they should invite the girls, too. Lest claims they can have fun without girls, and Leon tells him to please be sure to sleep on the other side of the room.
  • Les Yay: The day before White Day, Illuminata tells you she's going to be participating like one of the guys and asks if that's a problem. If Frey gives her a cookie on White Day, she says she's always happy to accept one from a lady. Maybe her High-Class Glass goes back to really old lesbian stereotypes?
    • Margaret thinks Forte is really cool as a knight in shining armor, though she seems to treat her phrasing as more That Came Out Wrong than a demonstration of her preferences.
    • Saying that Pico is canonically in love with Dolce is easier than saying they're like sisters. In one random conversation, Pico will claim them to be "lawfully married" due to the fact that she follows Dolce around all the time, earning a scorn from the latter.
    • If you, as Frey, say "I love you!" to Nancy, she will lament that she would have given some thought on dating you had she never met Jones. Also, during White Day, if you give her a cookie, you have an option to tell her: "See this as my heart".
    • Pico compares Dolce and Clorica and asks the player who of the two would he/ she choose as a wife. If the player is Frey, she will say "I'm female, you know...", to which Pico will answer "Minor detail. Who would you choose?". You can choose to answer Dolce, Clorica, Pico or "No way!". If you answer either Dolce or Pico, Pico will say she's sorry, but they belong to each other, and Clorica will be upset. If you choose Clorica, Pico will be disappointed, and Clorica very happy.
  • Moe: The word is not enough to describe Amber and Kiel.
  • The Scrappy: Illuminata is not very well-liked among fans, due to her overconfidence and tendency to jump to conclusions as a self-proclaimed detective. It does not help that in one of the random events, she slaps Amber without apologizing later for taking flowers from the shop without permission.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: The random Town Events system is the bane of many players' existence, especially those trying to activate the third plot arc or get married. Both require events that have a random chance of triggering and can't trigger unless there are no other active town events; that is, once an event starts, the player has to complete it before starting a new one, and some can take over a week to complete.
    • Worse still, any villager involved in a town event can't go adventuring with you until it's completed. Usually, this makes a small group of villagers unavailable for a day or two, but at the other end of the spectrum, Doug's proposal event takes nearly the entire town (including every marriage candidate and some of the non-candidates) out of commission for at least ten days.
    • Earlier games allowed the player to easily romance love interests as long as they had a high enough relationship value. In this game, whether or not a romantic option will accept your initiation is completely random. The player can't initiate a relationship unless the marriageable candidate is at a higher LP level, and though guides encourage the player to raise LP to improve their chance of success, reaching maximum LP has little effect overall. The player can either do a soft reset until the candidate accepts or try daily until success is reached (which may take seasons depending on their luck), though some have found that the success rate briefly spikes when a new LP level is reached.
  • Ship Tease: The game is more than happy to tease Doug/Dylas. Their competing and bickering is interspersed with veiled kind gestures (showing concern when the other is injured, or secretly giving each other birthday gifts) and multiple characters will comment on how fond of one another they are. Dolce even calls them lovers, much to their mutual horror.
    • It's also suggested that Leon likes to pick on Forte so much because he's basically a giant kindergartener pulling her hair.
  • Take That, Scrappy!: During the random town event 'It's a Mystery!' Illuminata, mistaking the player character to be the thief that stole Kiel's watch, attacks and knocks them out briefly. She attempts to repeat her actions on the next unfortunate person to walk in...only for it to turn out to be Forte, who parries her attack and knocks her flat with her own weapon. After having her lecture you after she knocked you out (on top of her other annoying actions), watching Forte lay her out is very satisfying.
  • That One Boss: Thunderbolt, who is impossibly fast and strong, likes to spam lightning attacks, one of which shoots out in a dozen directions (becoming That One Attack in Hard mode because after he Turns Red, it fires in every direction very quickly, with very narrow safe zones to avoid it), and plays dead at one point, so that just when you think the fight is over, he jumps back up and probably gets a good hit on you. Fighting him without a healer or lots of healing potions is not recommended.
    • Thankfully, your allies aren't fooled and this gives you the hint that he's playing dead. They'll keep attacking him while he's down, something they won't do against anything after it's been killed. This would go into artificial stupidity if the situation was even slightly different in any way. Unfortunately, he gets more aggressive after he gets back up.
    • Rafflesia in the Delirium Lava Ruins. Made up of the main body and four other plant parts, one which heals all of them for 1.200 HP, and summons hornets and can inflict one status effect after another on you, which all stack. When its HP is half-depleted it gets a big boost in defense, so even if you did some decent damage beforehand, it is likely that you're reduced to doing about 10 points of damage with melee attacks. Oh and the other parts of its bodies get regenerated after some time, so if you couple the boost in defense with the low damage you put out with the big healing from one of the plant parts, you've got one annoying boss.
    • The Sechs Golem leans more towards Marathon Boss, especially if you haven't got a high magic attack or you haven't levelled up your rune spells. It still hits like a tank though.
    • The Crystal Mammoth in Rune Prana is essentially the only obstacle in its segment of the dungeon, and deservedly so. It's significantly harder than even the Dual Boss of the next area. It also has the honorable mention of having a huge room filling attack that does enormous damage and stuns anything that gets hit, the only saving grace is that there are very few spots when that attack comes up that are safe to stand on. If you are equipped with 'Aqua' equipment (Aquamarine Gems when used on equipment that aren't weapons tend to result in defensive buffs that reduce all Water damage taken which Crystal Mammoth specializes in), you can possibly survive but don't expect it to make things a lot easier.
    • G Golem, an Earth damage specialist makes its return from the earlier installments and doesn't make things easier, especially since it's harder than the Sechs Golem. First off, it passively takes half damage from all melee attacks and it punishes melee fighters making it difficult for you to get close. Making it harder than that is that G Golem has at least two attacks that hit at a distance, a dual rocket punch that homes in on your character (or if you have allies, occasionally targets them instead) and a very powerful homing earth blast. Both of these attacks will auto-stun your character and allies should they get hit making them vulnerable for a few seconds. Earth resistant equipment doesn't help because it has one attack where it spins around and locks your character's movement making it impossible to escape until the attack ends meaning that one way or another you'll be taking a ton of damage.
    • Death Wall... Normally, you wouldn't get a boss like this but this one boss makes things harder than before, possibly harder than the actual final boss of the Arc. Starting things off, it's both a Luck-Based Mission and a timed mission at the same time. The former applies because the boss has a One-Hit Kill attack and the latter due to the former and a dead end being applied at the same time. The room moves down meaning that your maximum running space is reduced over time. Death Wall also has a few powerful attacks, but it's strongest is when it assumes the form of a drill. Thankfully, Death Wall when in this form, will randomly target any character in your party should you have allies so having at least one ally is recommended but what makes this attack devastating is that it constantly punishes the victim by doing continuous damage that won't end until the target's HP hits 0.
    • The four Giant Elemental Fairies, which is a pretty big boss rush at once where you fight four powerful elemental enemies at the same time. They are encountered within the boss room located a few areas from the final boss of the dungeon. Each specialize in a particular element, Water, Fire, Wind and Earth...with all of them doing magical damage. What makes this particular battle annoying isn't that you're not likely going to have more than one elemental resistance on your equipment meaning that three of the four fairies can easily harass you around but that they constantly move in circles around you making it nearly impossible to land a melee attack without being stunned. They each have a special attack that will auto-home in on you and only you after you do a certain amount of damage. This can be solved yet make things harder since if you or an ally hit them with an element they specialize in, they are healed for the same amount of damage they take. Meaning that should you bring the normal elemental fairies, chances are that they will heal two of the four half of the time.
    • Ragnarock. The Final Boss of the final Arc, while he/it looks like a palette swap of Ethelberd, this boss will make you think on the run. Sharing nearly every attack as Ethelberd, this boss has a few new traits in that he/it can use a unique attack by assuming the form of one of the four Native Dragons. The pain of the fight is that Ragnarock uses the same room filling, heavy-hitting One-Hit Kill attack that drags you towards it that Ethelberd used in the previous Arc. Oh, and the fact that this boss teleports about 90% of the time in battle means that you need to anticipate where he'll end up appearing if you want to get off some good hits.
  • That One Level: The Forest Of Beginnings. For starters, you are on your own for this stage, and to enter you have to destroy a large gate that summons random monsters and changes types frequently. Next you have to make it though 7 stages, each are blocked until you defeat the monster and invoke Checkpoint Starvation, this combined with the fact that you can't return to the clinic if you died (since you're on another plain of existence that requires a rare artifact to escape from or a rare magic that only earthmates can cast to rescue something form there) mean you have to run this gauntlet from the very beginning if you fail. The first three are easy if you know what you are doing, the 4th and 5th can ruin you if you're not careful, the 6th one is a Dual Boss between two statues that shoots Fire and Ice attacks in a pattern (one attacks after the other) make it difficult to focus on one and the last stage is Sarcophagus; a monster with Teleport Spam, a plethora of attacks that all hit hard and once he Turns Red, a barrier that deals damage if you are too close and could kill you even if you defeat the boss at the same time. All in all this would be the first blatant Difficulty Spike in the game.
    • Delirium Lava Ruins is also a massive pain. It's the first long dungeon in the game and features several environmental hazards including flame bursts that you have to time perfectly as you run across, carnivorous plants that will knock a good chunk of health off an underleveled player, and rooms that damage you just by being in them. Not to mention that Rafflesia, one of the most annoying bosses of the first arc that self heals and racks up status effects on you.
  • WTH, Costuming Department?: Frey has soda can tabs on her nipples. Um, what?
  • The Woobie: Most of the characters have some sort of tragic past, but Venti, the Guardians, and Doug take the cake. Venti is slowly dying from a lack of runes coming from the land, only being able to keep on living due to her four best friends sacrificing her humanity to maintain the rune population, thus keeping her alive. Once the protagonist defeats them, though...things go downhill quickly. The Guardians, as previously mentioned, pulled a Self-Sacrifice Scheme and turned themselves into monsters using the Etherlink spell to keep her alive. This froze them in time, being kept as monsters for centuries until they were beaten by Lest/Frey. All four of them show visible signs of missing their former lives, but Leon and Dolce arguably have the hardest time readjusting to the new time period. Doug is hiding some serious anger toward Ventuswill, being manipulated by the Sechs Empire into thinking that she leveled his village, killing his family and friends, when it was really the Sechs who did it. He tries to outright murder Ventuswill in the first arc, but only stops when she gives him a Kirk Summation on what he's doing. In the second arc, he nearly gets killed twice, first taking the bullet for Blossom after a Sechs Soldier attacks her, and trying to get the Rune Spheres back from Ethelberd the second time.
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