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AliceSoft is an eroge developer, one of the oldest in existence. While perhaps not as well known as the truly big groups like Type-MOON and Key/Visual Arts, AliceSoft has managed to carve out a niche for itself by incorporating interesting and involved gameplay elements that occasionally challenge the player. Where other developers will eschew gameplay in favour of telling a fantastic story or cutting straight to the heart of the matter, AliceSoft embraces it wholeheartedly to the point that many of their works on this wiki could be classified as both Video Games and Visual Novels.
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The company began in 1989 making games for the PC-88, MSX and PC-98. These included a Visual Novel known as Intruder and the very first Rance game, chronicling the adventures of everyone's favorite Heroic Comedic Sociopath as he searched for and "rescued" kidnapped girls. They continue to release games in uninterrupted succession to this day.

Many of AliceSoft's games tend to be either Eastern RPGs, Dating Sims or Turn-Based Strategy Games and have a penchant for sly, subtle jabs at elements of anime and Japanese pop culture in general. Their more beloved titles fall squarely in the Explicit Content category, and have high quality soundtracks courtesy of their in-house composers. Occasionally, the company will allow its games to be adapted into short OVAs, that tend to overemphasise the "porn" aspect of the works.

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Notable AliceSoft titles include:

  • The Rance Series
    • Rance/Rance 01 - Search For Hikari
    • Rance II/Rance 02 - The Rebellious Maidens
    • Rance III/Rance 03 - The Fall of Leazas
    • Rance IV - Legacy Of the Sect
    • Rance 4.1 - Save the Medicine Plant!
    • Rance 4.2 - Angel Group
    • Kichikuou Rance (Alternate Timeline)
    • Rance 5D - Lonely Girl
    • Rance VI - Collapse of Zeth
    • Sengoku Rance
    • Rance Quest
    • Rance IX - The Helman Revolution
    • Rance X - Showdown (final game in the series)
  • The Miki-chan series (Made back when they were called Champion Soft)
  • The Toushin Toshi/Tournament of the Gods series
    • Toushin Toshi
    • Toushin Toshi II
    • Toushin Toshi III
  • Darcrows
  • The Beat series
    • Beat Angel Escalayer
    • Beat Blades Haruka
    • Beat Valkyrie Ixseal
  • The Dai Series
    • Daiakuji
    • Daibanchou/Big Bang Age
    • Daiteikoku
  • Atlach=Nacha
  • GalZoo Island
  • The Pastel Chime series
    • Pastel Chime
    • Pastel Chime Continue
    • Pastel Chime: Bindseeker
  • Ultra Magical Girl Manana (A serial in Visual Novel form chronicling the adventures of the titular magical girl)
  • Mamatoto ~A Record of War~
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    • Mamanyonyo
    • Widenyo (a remake of Mamanyonyo)
  • The Evenicle Series
    • Evenicle 1
    • Evenicle 2


Tropes that apply to this company's games:

  • Aborted Arc: Ithere was Spared By Adaption in Rance 03, but he didn't appear at all in Rance X and a guidebook even stated he died, making the sacrifice of his apostles worthless.
  • Absurdly High Level Cap: A good way of gauging how important someone is in the Rance series is by looking at their level cap. As the average person generally has a level cap in the single digits, someone with a level cap in the mid thirties is considered comparable to an elite soldier. For the most part, however, all of the major players in the Rance universe have level caps of forty or higher, with Rance (and, theoretically, his descendants) having no level cap at all!
  • The Ace: The main characters of the Dai games are all incredibly talented alpha males who excel in pretty much everything. While Rance has slowly raised himself to this position in his games, the stand out example for the longest time was Rick Addison, who is presented as handsome, intelligent and better at fighting than Rance.
  • Adaptation Distillation: As Kichikuou Rance condenses an entire six games worth of plot that had yet to be fully realized, along with several other pieces of additional background information, the majority of the events are simplified versions of what they would actually become in series canon, with some being completely different entirely.
    • The Animated Adaptation of the first game, cuts off several characters, quests and subplots and focuses mainly on telling the main story of Rance finding Hikari and punishing Queen Lia. Those who yearn to see Mikki Kurusu animated will be severely dissapointed.
  • Adaptational Heroism: In the Rance series, Oda Nobunaga is presented as a laid-back Nice Guy capable of befriending even Rance, who only did atrocious things after getting possessed by an evil demon.
  • Affably Evil: The vast majority of the Fiends aligned with the Kayblis faction are pretty okay people overall and simply work for Kayblis due to various circumstances forcing them to. Some, like Galtia, Warg and Kite are Punch Clock Villains while the most villainous ones like Medusa and Kayblis himself are prone to goofing around and having fun.
  • Affectionate Parody:
  • Afro Ass Kicker: Recurring character Abao Akuu sports a fantastic futuristic looking afro and is almost always a strong unit when playable.
  • All Abusers Are Male: While there is no shortage of especially cruel female villains, all cases of Villainous Incest in the company's games involve men violating their daughters or nieces.
  • All There in the Manual: Pretty much the case with every game they make, though none quite like the Rance series, where there are several volumes worth of tie-in books that explain the history of the setting.
  • Almighty Idiot: Annis of the Rance series is a level 3 Magic user, which is considered to be an exceedingly rare Physical God level of power. Along with this, she has a level cap in the eighties whereas most high ranking generals' fall some where between the thirties and fifties! While this may seem to make her an obvious candidate for World's Strongest Man, she's so utterly stupid and incompetent that she's much more of a danger to her own teammates than she is to anybody else and is more or less useless in fights as a result.
  • Alternate Continuity: Kichikuou Rance is this to the main series, while Mamatoto seems to be a parallel universe featuring several of the same characters.
  • Alternative Calendar: Rance's world numbers their years by the reign of the current Archfiend. The series begins in LP003, third year of Archfiend Little Princess's reign. The known reigns are KK (Kkulf-Kkulf's reign, 2,014 years), AB (Abel's reign, 721 years), SS (Ssulal's reign, 500 years), NC (Nighcisa's reign, 960 years), JL (Jill's reign, approx. 1000 years), GI (Gai's reign, a little over 1000 years), and LP. When Rance becomes Archfiend in Rance X (LP008), the RA reign begins. The timekeeping system used prior to the first Archfiend's creation is unknown.
  • Amazon Brigade: While there's no shortage of female warriors in Rance's world, the Leazas Gold Corps. is made up entirely of the strongest women Leazas has to offer and serve as the Queen's personal guard.
  • Anti-Hero: Their protagonists manage to fall all across the spectrum. Rance and Akuji accomplish heroic goals, but are overall sociopathic sex offenders who are frequently hard to sympathize with, Tougou and Rouga are both cocky and arrogant but are otherwise entirely heroic characters, while Nanus and Kentarou are straight-laced heroes who frequently get the short end of the stick due to their wimpiness.
  • Anything That Moves: Most of their protagonists will have sex with anything so long as it's female. Notably, Rance is the only subversion, if only barely, as he refuses to have sex with anyone who looks underage, even if they're Older Than They Look.
  • Art Evolution: Considering how the company has been around since the late 80s, there's been a lot of this. Especially noticeable in the Rance series.
  • Author Appeal: TADA, the Director of the Rance Series, Executive Vice President, the chief of the Game developing department, and the one in charge of marketing the AliceSoft brand, likes silly girls, Meganekko, Role Playing Games, Global History (especially Pre-WW2), Romantic Comedies, both insulting and comforting girls, Cute Monster Girls, Battleships, and Military Planes. All of these elements have appeared in AliceSoft games one way or another.
    • After Tori left the company due to health reasons, TADA made a post for applicants for her position. While he didn't list any of the above likes as being requirements for the job, they were listed as requirements for being his best friend.
    • TADA also has examples of Author Unappeal as well, at odds with some of the other staff members. Primarily the Rance series' half-assed policy on monster design and his dislike of Lolicon.
    • AliceSoft really, really likes Gundam. You'd be hard-pressed to find a game of theirs that doesn't reference a character or mobile suit somewhere.
  • Author Avatar: TADA once again. He calls himself "King Hanny" around the office and shouts "Moe!" when he sees a cute girl in glasses, so the haniwa are basically an exaggerated version of him.
    • A few of the other staff members like to insert themselves in the games as Mooks. Notably Tori and the Iyanayastu (Fan translated as "Asshole" or "Gross Guy") as well as Plum's Ghost.
  • Awesome Mc Coolname: The King of Zeth, Ragnarokarc Super Gandhi.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: While Sill's love for Rance is clear, their borderline abusive relationship, mixed with Rance's love of skirt chasing, makes his feelings for her rather dubious. Despite this, whenever he's about to face a near death situation, Rance is always quick to give Sill a very passionate hug. This becomes even more obvious in Kichikuou Rance where, when Sill gets kidnapped, Rance decides to conquer the entire world just to save her. After Sill becomes frozen in Sengoku Rance, Rance gets thrown into a Heroic BSOD and does everything in his power to try and free her.
    • Rance X goes through yet another one of these situations at the climax of part 2, Archfiend Rance, who should be little more than an Empty Shell consumed by the demonic bloodlust, incapable of even recognising his own family, staggers for a moment after seeing Sill frozen in ice. Later on, when his sanity is restored and Sill asks him why he would go that far for her, he finally admits loving her.
  • Babies Ever After: With a franchise like Rance, it would be criminal not to end the game series without this. Rance has upwards of 100 children at the time of his death, who all become accomplished people in their own right.
  • Battle Harem: Rance Quest has a massive character roster, but almost all of them are female characters, with the series' male cast getting reduced to occasional guest appearances. Naturally, Rance has sex with all of them.
  • Big Bad: Played with in the Rance games. While Kayblis is certainly the closest thing the setting has to a main villain, he's not actually the designated Big Bad that is the Archfiend, who is actually Rance's adorable ally Mikki. To further his "kind of the main bad guy but not really" image, it is made abundantly clear that he's just as much a pawn in the game that the Creator Gods are having as anyone else and holds no real power in the grand scheme of things and is generally treated as a Laughably Evil No Respect Guy.
  • Black-and-Gray Morality: While there are some genuinely good people within Rance's world, the majority of the governments are led by corrupt rulers, Leazas included and Rance is the closest thing they have to a hero. The villainous characters, on the other hand, are so despicable that it's impossible not to root for Rance anyway.
    • Pretty true for almost every game they make. While there are some legitimately evil people roaming around, for the most part everyone is a decent person, just embroidered in deep conflict with everyone else.
  • Bleached Underpants: Their console and handheld ports, naturally.
  • Bonus Boss: Generally there's at least one per game, though there are frequently several. The most iconic is definitely Gunagan, a titanic Humanoid Abomination who rewards the player the a bizarre and out of place piece of artwork upon his defeat.
  • Born Lucky: Rance is one of the only individuals alive who is completely immune to the laws that govern his universe, which gives him a major edge over pretty much all of his opponents. Later games finally seem to address it and imply that he may be some kind of Humanoid Abomination known as a "balance breaker", though this only opens up more questions.
  • Breakout Character: Rance went from just another one of their protagonists to the company's poster boy. In fact, he was so popular that he dominated the Visual Novel Character Polls for years before the poll became exclusively for female characters. It says a lot when the most popular character from an Eroge is a guy.
  • Breather Episode: Rance Quest, which takes place in the shadow of Rance's Heroic BSoD, is significantly more lighthearted and less plot heavy than the games proceeding and following it and serves as a way of setting up plot points for the next games rather than actually advancing the plot itself.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Rance's infinite level cap theoretically makes him the most powerful being in the universe barring the very beings who created it, but he is prevented from completely destroying every game by losing most of his levels between them due to No Atrophy from not doing anything between them. He's gotten a bit better by recent games where he's managed to remain around level 40, but characters like Rick and Kenshin still surpass him due to constant training.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Pretty much all of the most powerful people in every game has at least one quirk that makes them this. This includes the protagonists, who are generally more interested in getting laid than saving the world, despite being very competent.
    • TADA, the former head of AliceSoft and creator of Rance himself is prone to going off on tangents, making up lore for his universes off the top of his head and randomly shouting "Moe!" in the middle of conversation. Naturally, he is the inspiration for the Mascot Mook hannies.
  • Butt-Monkey: Rance's personal slave Sill suffers a lot of humiliation across the series, but she has nothing on Kentou Kanami, who pretty much exists to be the butt of all of Rance's cruelest jokes. Another recurring Butt Monkey is Bird Lithfie, who is guaranteed to lose both his girlfriend and a limb whenever he appears usually because of Rance, but mostly because of himself.
    • Everyone ends up playing this role from time to time, simply because Rance acts like a gigantic jerk to everybody, even the people he likes.
  • Can't Hold His Liquor: Rance. While he does enjoy alcohol, he tends to try and refrain from drinking it because he is a lightweight to an absurd degree. Sadly, a lot of the men he's come to know as friends (except for Rick) like to share a drink with him, which generally results in him doing something foolish.
  • The Casanova: While most of their protagonists are Chick Magnets, Tougou Tsuyoshi of Daiteikoku is the only one who fits the character type, being a suave flirt who constantly sleeps around.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: While the Rance series always had genuinely serious moments, they were primarily meant to be wacky parodies. Starting with Rance VI, however, the series has become more and more focused on telling an epic story and the humor, while still very prevalent, has become less and less prominent over time.
    • Even within the serious entries, Rance X is the darkest entry on the series by the largest margin, with mechanics depicting how many millions of humans are dying every month (keeping the remaining population and the percentage of casualties since the war started) tons of bad endings that either state or imply mankind's extermination (or at least the end of their role as protagonist race) and the A endings being very Bittersweet Ending at least until Part 2 brings things to a close and a Golden Ending.
  • Character Development: While he's still very much a Heroic Comedic Sociopath, Rance has become a nicer guy over the course of his series. Compare his interactions with Patton in Kichikuou Rance with their interactions in Rance IX, which tells the same story but with an in universe year's difference between them. In Kichikuou Rance's disgusted at the thought of shaking hands with Patton while in IX they're Fire-Forged Friends. Rance has also developed a far more heroic motivation besides his usual "have sex with every hot chick in the world'': freeing Sill from the eternal ice she's encased in.
    • His development comes to a head at the end of Rance X With Rance being willing to absorb Miki's demonic blood to spare her becoming Little princess, heartbroken by Sill's demise. Later on he did all he could to keep the bloodlust at bay, enduring five years every time, whereas the other Archfiends always succumbed to the bloodlust instantly.
  • Char Clone: The most iconic one is Rick Addison of the Rance series, but Idagawa Ren from Daibanchou and Eagle Douglas from Daiteikoku also fit the bill.
    • Recurring Traveller Abao Akuu more or less is Char except with a ridiculous design featuring a bright pink spacesuit and afro. Nearly every word out of his mouth is taken directly from the man himself.
  • Child Hater: Rance is an interesting example, because while he does not have trouble getting along with the children of the orphanage in Rance VI, he personally does not want children himself, which is why he makes Sill use Contraception Magic on him. However, after getting Reset, his first child who actually wants to spend time with him, he does not mind getting more kids which is a far cry with Rangi whom he did not even want to meet due to being uncomfortable with having another kid.
  • Chuunibyou: While several characters play this straight, Miracle from Rance IX is a subversion. She is a level 3 mage and she does have great magic powers, and she can travel to Another Dimension at will, but the spells she normally uses are much less powerful than what she lets on.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Kenshin and Senhime are both highly skilled Ladies of War and two of the most powerful units in all the games they appear in, but they both have neglected their other (social and/or survival) skills and are highly naive to the point that they need a Cloudcuckoolander's Minder to function properly.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Rance himself. From the point of view of someone who doesn't know the things he has done he is a boastful idiot. He does get himself into dangers he could easily avoid by simply thinking twice what he does. But when he gets serious there is nothing in the world able to stop him.
  • Complete Immortality: Most of the higher gods in the Rance setting possess this attribute, though it's been stated that if the human population of the Continent plummeted to the single digits, the Hero would be powered up enough that even the Supreme Gods could be killed (the gods tried to object to this when it was implemented, but Rudrathaum found the idea of the highest gods getting killed by their own creations for negligence to be hilarious, so he overruled them). Archfiend Jill was also granted absolute immortality, on the condition that she be permanently reduced to 5% of the power she had previously commanded.
  • Crutch Character: Due to the Nintendo Hard nature of most of their games, the player is generally given a character who can steamroll most of the early game with ease (Feliss and Rick from Rance, Shibagami from Daiteikoku), but rendering them unusable after certain events to prevent the player from relying solely on them. Interestingly, the main characters of each of the three Dai games also manage to be this due to having far better stats than pretty much every other playable character, particularly early on, but are incapable of getting character cleared, meaning they'll never get any New Game+ bonuses like the other characters.
  • Cute Monster Girl: Played with for Gal Monsters. While most of the Gal Monsters have both "cute" and "girl" down, some of them are lacking in the "monster" department. This is rather apparent in certain classes of Gal Monsters like Magician and Valkyrie, who don't have any part of "monster" on them.
  • Cutting Off the Branches: Generally speaking, only one route is followed from game to game. However, there is a notable exception with Rangi, Isoroku Yamamoto's son. Normally, he only appears in the (non-canon) "Isoroku Route" of Sengoku Rance, but by the time Rance goes to NIPPON in Rance Quest, it is confirmed Isoroku was impregnated by Rance and that Rangi was just recently born.
  • Darth Vader Clone: Rance after becoming the Archfiend in Rance X Part 2 has many traits of this. He wears dark armor with a cape and a helmet that covers his face. He was originally the anti-heroic protagonist of his series until he drank the blood of the previous Archfiend. He was originally a swordsman, but gained more strength and magical abilities after becoming the Archfiend. He does not want to destroy humanity, but he is struggling to maintain control of himself against the bloodlust of the Blood Soul controlling him. His enemies are his own children, but unlike the original he has eleven of them who need to work together in order to just stand a chance against him. And at the end of the game he pulls a Heel–Face Turn and joins his children after the Blood Soul was absorbed by Quelplan and turns him back to normal.
  • Deconstruction: Toushin Toshi 2 is one of the typical H-game, namely the player's presumed motive for playing to see sex scenes. Within the actual story, while the main character Seed has his own motivation of winning his girlfriend's hand in marriage by winning the tournament, the player can make him have sex with a large chunk of the female cast. While the game doesn't immediately punish Seed for being unfaithful, all but a few sex scenes require Seed to do increasingly horrible things to unlock them, culminating in murdering every girl he has sex with, which the game goes out of its way to describe in horrifying detail and having Seed become terrified and confused by his own actions. Ultimately the game asks the player the question of whether they're invested in the characters themselves, or simply want to see the sex scenes.
  • Deconstructive Parody: The Rance series is just as much a deconstruction of traditional Role Playing Games as it is a parody.
  • Defiled Forever: Averted in the Rance series, actually. When Kouhime is raped and is depressed because she believes she cannot marry anymore... Rance tells her guys like that don't count, makes fun of the rapists' small penises, and promises to marry her himself if no one else will take her.
  • Depending on the Writer: The characters in Rance series behave really differently depending on who handles the script. This becomes especially apparent if you compare Rance 01-03 (the 2010s remakes) to Rance I-III (the 1990s originals). For example, in the original Rance III, Rance murders the essentially innocent Weapon Shop keeper because he got pissed off about something that was beyond the keeper's power (his shop was raided by bandits and he lost his merchandise). In the remake, the Weapon Shop owner actively antagonizes Rance and gives away the weapons Rance is looking for, just to spite him for sleeping with his "beloved daughter". The end result is the same (Rance gets angry and kills him), but Rance's actions are somewhat more justified in the remake.
  • Designated Heroinvoked: Rance is an iconic example, but Princess Lia from the same series is another perfect example. She's the de facto Big Good of the story but is a childish Yandere who was the main antagonist of the first game.
  • Despair Event Horizon: If you play the open-ended games, you will most likely cause a character to cross one (yes, even the one you control), either deliberately though your actions, or by mistake. This, more often than not, leads to a Downer Ending.
  • Developers' Foresight: Hacking into Daibanchou to allow yourself to control characters who normally aren't playable like Kamui or Jeanne reveals that they have recorded dialogue for winning and losing battles as well as raising stats, despite never being intended as playable.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: In general Rance does not care who is in front of him and how powerful they are. Special mention goes to the Blood Memories who he fights with his children in Rance X: Part 2. His reactions to its transformations into every Archfiend range from Bring It, annoyance and even amusement especially from its transformation into Kkulf Kkulf which he only sees as a Last Stand which signals the end of the battle.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: The climax of Rance III has Rance rape the Humanoid Abomination Physical God Archfiend Jill, historically noted to be the most dangerous Archfiend of all time.
  • Dirty Coward: A number of characters could fall under this, but Kayblis takes the cake. Despite being by far the most powerful Fiend other than the Archfiend, he has a policy of never getting into a fight if there is even a 0.001% chance he could die. Considering how long he's survived, he might be on to something.
  • Does Not Like Men: Rance! He finds ugly men to be hideous wastes of space and attractive men to be threats to his harem, to a point where he'll kill a man in a heart beat if he annoys him too much. There are a small handful of men that he doesn't hate (Patton, Gandhi, etc.) but he's still incredibly abusive towards them and frequently forgets their names. The only men who could genuinely be called his friends are Chaos, Rick Addison and Oda Nobunaga, all of whom he has a heavy Vitriolic Best Buds relationship with.
    • Pretty much every AliceSoft protagonist is like this, with the exception of Rouga, who values men and women equally, and Tougou, who vastly prefers women but has no problem working with men.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Happens eventually in Rance X, in which the resident Butt-Monkey of the entire franchise, Bird, finally snaps from getting ridiculed and humiliated across the series by Rance and kills Sill right after the entirety of Humanity has successfully managed to defeat Kayblis and liberate themselves from Fiend oppression, inadvertently setting off the events leading to the game's second part.
    • However if you think about it. It's really hard to say how much of that was this trope, because while it's true that some of Bird's misfortunes came because of Rance directly (such as causing Kisara to leave him) or indirectly (Copandon deciding to leave him because his fortune actually read "Misfortune" instead of "Great luck" like Rance). Most other if not every misfortune he got were were actually his own fault or just outright bad luck with the biggest reason being his inability to admit his own faults and instead blame them on others and using it to guilt them into apologizing to him through sulking which in turn causes them to leave him since they believe his gentleman behavior is just a facade which is correct. This even escalated till a point he started blaming Rance for every misfortune that happened to him just so that he doesn't have to confront his own failings.
  • Doing It for the Art: TADA stepped down from being President of AliceSoft to make the last few games of the Rance series, the best thing AliceSoft has ever made.
    • Even though he has officially left the company due to health reasons, Shade (their in-house composer) said that he's making sure he sees the Rance series through to the end, because he can't see it going on without his scores.
  • Doorstopper: Rance X is not only the longest eroge ever made, in terms fo sheer wordcount it's one of the longest pieces of fiction period.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Nagi su Ragarl, Shizuka's half sister and rival, appears on the cover of Rance 2, a full four games before her official debut in Rance 6. This is a case of What Could Have Been, as a scenario featuring her was planned for that game, but not implemented until the sixth one.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Getting the Golden Ending in the company's games often involves going through a lot of replays and seeing many bittersweet or downright bad endings and unpleasant scenes. Have fun!
  • Engrish: Due to their love of western settings and names, this happens a lot. Ironically, the most notable case of Surprisingly Good English (albeit a bit nonsensical) is in the opening to Big Bang Age, the game that takes place in Japan.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Rance can be a pretty horrible person, but he hates racism (especially notable in Rance VI) and goes ballistic when confronted with pedophilia.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: In Evenicle Rance 2, the game's main villains become so appalled by Rance's behaviour that they have a Heel Realization and perform a Heel–Face Turn in order to stop him, complete with a Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Everyone Can See It: Everyone knows Rance is in love with Sill, no matter how much he denies it. It reaches a point where, during his wedding with Lia in Kichikuou, the only thing several of the guests talk about is how shocked they are that he isn't marrying Sill.
  • Fantasy World Map: Both Sengoku Rance and Kichikuou Rance involve interacting with this quite a lot.
  • Fan Translation:
    • The only source of English translations of their games, to the point where AliceSoft themselves encourage them.
    • The efforts of the fan translations have caused AliceSoft to experiment with the idea of giving their games commercial releases internationally, with the very same fans working on the localizations.
  • Final Death: Frequently is employed in their games, though not always. Played straight in Kichikuou Rance, Daiakuji and Daibanchou, used to a lesser extent in Sengoku Rance where fallen characters can randomly die after battles and completely averted in Daiteikoku.
  • Fountain of Expies:
    • They do this to themselves. Several character designs and personalities have been recycled in other games.
    • Big Bang Age is on the receiving end of this to Rival Schools.
  • Forbidden Fruit: Mikki Kurusu (aka the archfiend Little Princess) is one in the Rance series. Whenever Rance encounters her, there's always an option to assault her and force himself unto her. Doing so, will always cause her to give in to her Superpowered Evil Side and blast Rance out of existence, resulting in an instant Game Over. So it's always best for Rance to mind his behaviour around her, unless you're on her route in Rance X, where she gets Laser-Guided Amnesia and Rance can actually seduce her.
  • Genre Roulette: The Rance series almost never sticks to one genre between games. There are generally RPG Elements and an increasing focus on Tactical Combat, but beyond that vary greatly in gameplay and presentation.
  • General Ripper: Nelson Server in the Rance series is one. He is so obsessed with toppling over Zeth's corrupt government for thinking they didn't give him what was entitled to him that he doesn't realise his actions cause the demon army to invade and take over the his country.
  • God Is Evil: In the Rance series, Rudrathaum, the Space Whale Top God who created the world (AKA "the Continent") along with his three children Creator Gods, did it to stave off his boredom; unfortunately for pretty much everybody, what Rudrathaum finds to be the most entertaining is pain, suffering, despair and constant struggle on a grand scale, so the rules of the world are explicitely set up to ensure the perpetuation of its Crapsack World nature. Even the three Creator Gods have a strong vested interest above and beyond that in ensuring the world stays that way due to Rudrathaum having put in place a clause that can screw them over, just for the lulz. If, due to war and genocide and other atrocities, the population of the world ever drops to single digits, The Hero's sword then becomes powerful enough to kill anything save Rudrathaum. The sole justification given for this is that if such a thing were to come to pass, it's because the Creator Gods were lax in their duties ( mortals can't provide entertainment if they're all dead...).
  • Golden Ending: Clearing every ending in Rance IX and then watching one last time the true ending shows Sill getting finally defrosted by Crook thanks to a long ritual and a national treasure from Helman.
    • Rance X also has one when the player managed to save very kingdom. This unlocks Part 2 which is about the children of Rance who need to defeat their father who became the Archfiend and clearing it shows us the true ending of the series.
  • Good People Have Good Sex: Played mostly straight. If you are the hero and you act heroically, expect sex to be hot and steamy. If you act like a villain, the scenes you get will call you out on how much of a bastard you are. Furthermore, whenever a sex-scene involves a villain, it will inevitably involve a lot of pain and humiliation.
    • Subverted in the Rance series. Most of Rance's scenes are Played for Laughs in an over the top fashion, and it's made abundantly clear they are only pleasurable for him and not the woman involved. However, whenever he gets to appreciate the woman he's with (for example Isoroku Yamamoto in the "Yamamoto Route" or Uesagi Kenshin in the "Kenshin Route" of Sengoku Rance) and gives in to his more noble/heroic tendencies, the sex tends to be hot, passionate and good for everyone involved.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: The monster gals in Rance 5D and VI. They are only needed for 100% Completion in Rance VI. In Sengoku Rance, there is a list of named commanders that you can recruit and "clear", and you need to finish the game with. Considering you can't recruit all of them on a single playthough (since some of them are only available as a New Game+ bonus), this means you have to finish the game numerous times in order to get them all and see all of their stories.
  • Grand Finale: Rance X to the Rance and Little Princess series. It's even subtitled The Last Rance Series. The game revolves around a full-on demon invasion of all of the world's nations at once, with long-time Big Bad Kayblis at the helm of the demon army. It eventually ends with a Where Are They Now montage for a number of the main characters, finishing with Rance growing old after a lifetime of adventures, siring many children, and passing peacefully with Sill by his bedside.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Rudrathaum, the jerkass God that rules the world, desires entertainment, but sadly he only finds some in suffering, so the entire world, the Fiend system with the Archfiend is engineered to give him what he desires.
  • Guide Dang It!: Most of the company's games have some element of this to it. Catching some of the commanders needed for 100% Completion in Sengoku Rance for example, means you have to be patient and not take over their territories right away, up until a specific event unlocks them or going out of your way to catch a very specific commander before conquering them. Getting NIPPON's six great treasures is an especially egregious example since you need to (1) Upgrade the National Power of two specific provinces, (2) Complete a specific dungeon twice, (3) Clear a character that you can only recruit in New Game+ under very specific circumstances, (4) Do the Pork Hunt event more than six times and finally (5) Deliberately losing a specific province to the Demon Army -all actions that are counter-intuitive to how someone normally plays the game. Good luck getting them all of these without a walkthrough.
  • Hard Levels, Easy Bosses: Both Daibanchou and Daiakuji require large amounts of micromanaging to keep troop morale up, maintain conquered territory and fight off endless swarms of enemies. In comparison, the bosses, though by no means ridiculously easy, are simply stronger versions of normal enemies with powerful special abilities, which shouldn't be a problem for you if you can actually reach them. Daiteikoku averts this by having a system that makes all fights be predetermined Curb Stomp Battles, meaning bosses simply require confronting with higher stats than normal enemies do.
  • The Hedonist:
    • Rance lives exclusively for his own pleasure, and has no real interest in any of the world's affairs despite the massive amount of influence he has on them. Tougou Tsuyoshi is also more interested in sleeping around and having a good time than running a navy, though he takes his job much more seriously than Rance does.
    • Rance's hedonism is driven home in Kichikuou Rance, where the Golden Ending, which requires Rance to become King of Leazas, unite the human world, liberate the demon world and (momentarily) defeat the creator of existence, has him immediately filing a divorce from Lia and escaping Leazas to go on more adventures with Sill. In fact, his entire motivation throughout the game is to conquer the world so he can go back to screwing around in it.
  • Hero of Another Story: Considering the scale of Rance's world, this isn't very surprising. There are actually three "Designated Protagonists" within the continent consisting of Rance, Kentarou Ogawa and Arios Theoman. Another standout example would be Patton Misnarge, whose quest to reclaim his kingdom is quietly told in the background for over six games before taking center stage in Rance IX.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Tougou and his best friend and second in command Akiyama in Daiteikoku. They've known each other for years, serve as the other's confidant in times of need and raise a child together. Naturally, the Ho Yay gets lampshaded to hell and back, especially when one of their main crew members is a Yaoi Fangirl.
    • Rouga and Kyoichirou from Daibanchou are also an example, with Akiyama being heavily inspired by the latter.
    • A female example would be Maria and Shizuka in the Rance series, who are almost always together. In the one game where this wasn't the case, Shizuka was quickly added into the game as an update.
    • Patton and Hubert from Rance also count, to the point where Hubert is willing to get declared dead by his country to help Patton out.
  • Hilarity Ensues: Basically, the premise of the "Evenicle Rance 1 & 2" Pre-Order Bonus. Aster (1) and Alex (2) is replaced by Rance and the player watches as he turns the world of Evenicle upside down. Both cases end with Evenicle's resident Game Over Pair commenting on how Rance is completely unsuited for this world and urge the player to finish the game with the normal protagonist instead.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Almost every heroic character in the Rance series manages to somehow misinterpret Rance as a heroic person despite obvious hints suggesting otherwise. The stand out example would be King Ragnarokarc Super Gahndi, who believes Rance to be the messiah!
    • This even applies to evil characters such as the Jerkass Gods that govern and created the world Rance lives in. The Top God Rudrathaum expected him to become an evil tyrannical king that would bring chaos, destruction and despair to humanity which is why he was allowed to live despite being a Balance Breaker, but instead Rance actually shortens the wars he's involved withnote  and minimizes the amount of suffering humanity has to go through.
  • Improbable Age: The cast of Daibanchou is made up of the elite members of the factions warring for control of Japan. Most of them are around 18 and only a small handful are above 30, meaning almost all of Japan's government is run by high school students.
  • Irony: Archfiend Jill did everything in her power to sandbag the Hero System, ensuring that no noble champion would rise up to strike her down. She is instead defeated by Nominal Hero Rance, who rapes her after she's beaten and abandons her to a very long and lonely imprisonment in the alternate dimension they had fought in. To his credit, he does apologize for doing so as he exits, but it's made clear that a more traditional hero might have been sufficiently moved by her plight to at least try and save her.
  • Jerkass Gods: As a rule of thumb in their games, the bigger power a deity has, the bigger jerk they are:
    • The world of Rance is ruled by a giant Space Whale and his children, who created "The Continent" in an excercise of defeating boredom. Everything that goes wrong in this world (and there is a lot of that) happens only to sate his own lust for entertainment. For example, humans are the third species to have taken control, following Cthulhu-esque monsters (who were smart but too squishy) and uberdragons (who were too resilient), while humans can prevail but also can die in so many horrifically entertaining ways.
    • Even the Gods that serve under him are humongous jerks. The goddess ALICE for example appears to be caring and loving to her followers, but in reality she is ruthless, manipulative and cruel. To be fair though, this is because her job is to provide entertainment (i.e. pain, war and bloodshed) to the creator god mentioned above and failing to do so will spell the end of her existence.
    • The world of Evenicle is ruled by Eve who appears to be a benevolent deity at first... And then you actually see what her rule of law has done to her world. To put it simply, her sole rule is that if you have sex with somebody, then you are obligated to have sex with them and only them until you die. If you cheat on him/her then you become Cursed, you are branded an "Outlaw", and you are no longer even considered human to the rest of society. You are forced to become a Subhuman Savage in order to survive since you literally can't do anything else and wait for a hero to come by, kill you and put you out of your misery. Oh, and the same goes for your partner by the way. Even if you or your partner are literally captured, imprisoned and forced into cheating by force, you are still cursed and dehumanized even though it was against your will and you had no power over it.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Rance might be a jerk to everyone, including his allies, but he occasionally comes up with nuggets of wisdom that are hard to argue against, such as pointing out to Rocky (in Rance VI) that his "Wizards are evil" attitude is no different from the Fantastic Racism both of them witnessed at the start of the games or making Maris Amarylis realize that her My Master, Right or Wrong attitude did more harm to Queen Lia than good.
    Rance: You say that the Queen's mind is broken and that she deserves pity. So what? Does this give her the right to kidnap those girls and do all those horrible things to them? And, by the way, what have you ever done that actually helped her?
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Sure, Rance is a serial rapist, but he's still a passionate leader, and many of the games show his kindness to his troops and friends. A good example would be when he alongside his troops were supposed to subdue Medusa. Since she's an attractive woman he was originally planning to spare her for sex, but after hearing and seeing the atrocities she caused including crippling Rizna, he decides to just kill her even when she tried to bargain sex for her life. Naturally everyone was surprised to see him kill an attractive woman without any hesitation.
  • Lady Not-Appearing-in-This-Game: Combined with Early-Bird Cameo, Tomato Puree and Nagi su Ragarl have been on the covers of Rance and Rance II, respectively, but they haven't made their in-game appearances until Rance II and Kichikuou Rance.
  • Level Cap: One of the most notorious aspects of the Rance series is that every single individual has a set level cap determined from birth. The average person has a level cap of around 5, while an elite soldier has one of around 20. Of course, practically every major character has a level cap of 40 and above, with Rance and his descendants surpassing everybody with no level cap whatsoever, in theory making him and his descendants the strongest beings alive.
    • This becomes an important plot point in Rance 03 Jill opens a dimensional rift, rapidly raising her level and Rance's, not even paying attention to him, only to be stunned by facing a level 560 Rance, and only that level because she closed the rift due to having met her own limit.
  • Lighter and Softer: Daibanchou in comparison to their others games. While there's still plenty of rape, the main character Rouga never does any of it and is more or less an All-Loving Hero rather than a Designated Hero. The following game, Daiteikoku's hero Tougou Tsuyoshi is also considerably more noble and heroic than most of the other protagonists, but he's still far more of a jerk than Rouga is.
    • Mamatoto, while still covering dark themes, has perhaps the most traditional hero of any AliceSoft game ever and makes almost all sex scenes completely optional, to the point where one could play through the entire game and only see two of them. As a tradeoff, however, the optional sex scenes are almost all rape courtesy of the protagonist's Manipulative Bastard Dirty Old Man of a father.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Every game introduces dozens of new characters, all of whom are guaranteed to appear again in some capacity.
  • Love Martyr: In the Rance series Sill and Kenshin play this straight. Sill is the constant target of Rance's bullying/lust and performs a Heroic Sacrifice for him while Kenshin is completely selfless in her affection to the point where she prays that whatever punishments Rance has to face in the afterlife (which she realises are going to be many) get inflicted on her instead.
    • Copandon Dott and Queen Lia on the other hand are subversions. They are both highly selfish individuals, attracted to Rance for selfish reasons and they would definitely prefer if Rance didn't sleep around and focused solely on them, but they also eventually realise that they can't change him or stop him and that maintaining any sort of relationship with him, practically requires them to be somewhat selfless.
  • Luck-Based Mission: Essentially the entirety of Rance 5D. To explain: You have a limited amount of actions before the game ends. Using this limited amount of actions, you play a special roulette game where you have to land five "event balls" that will allow you to progress to the next level. If the actions run out, it's Game Over. Also, you need to be leveled up sufficiently to beat the Mini-Boss and Level Boss. Some of the game's bosses are not even possible to beat if Rance hasn't acquired his patented Rance Attacks that you get at certain levels. Battling monsters and getting treasures costs additional actions. To further complicate things the game's battles are also entirely luck based (though some bonuses can affect outcomes), which means that even when you are sufficiently levelled you can still lose and get a Game Over. Oh, and did we mention that the game autosaves and there's no way to save scum? Lets just hope you chose to get that hourglass bonus when you had the chance.
  • Magnetic Hero: All of their heroes are on a first name basis with the most influential and powerful people in their universe by the end of the game, and have slept with all of the female ones.
  • Mascot: Alice-chan, the lovable little girl who serves as narrator (in the Rance series), dev room operator (in most of the games), and is usually on the company's logo. The Hannies are also a prominent part of their advertising.
  • Mascot Mook: The Hannies, goofy living potteries with a love of all things moe. One is on the company's current logo.
  • Men Are the Expendable Gender: Male characters who aren't Rance are generally treated like losers or are outright villains and serve no other purpose than to have their women stolen by Rance or to get beaten up or even killed by him. This has steadily been reduced as the series continues to the point of being more or less averted, as more recent games feature just as many badass male characters fighting alongside the female ones.
  • Minor Major Character: Tons in the Rance series. Characters like Arios Theoman, M.M. Rune and almost all of the Fiends only ever get passing mentions, yet are some of the most influential characters in the entire series.
  • Morality Chain: If a character is powerful in some way, expect him or her to have one. In the Rance series Kentarou Ogawa is what keeps Mikki's Superpowered Evil Side at bay and losing him can cause her to cross the Despair Event Horizon. Sill is the one who keeps back Rance's more destructive and selfish tendencies and Rance himself is the one that keeps Queen Lia from Jumping Off the Slippery Slope and using her power and influence to Take Over the World.
  • Most Writers Are Male: Averted in the Rance series, of all things. Tori (main writer for Rance 2-7) is a woman, and came up with most of the traits that define Rance as a character.
  • Mutually Exclusive Party Members: A preferred tactic of theirs to create more Fake Difficulty and replayability. Generally it is impossible to recruit every single possible playable character in a single run through of a game.
  • My Master, Right or Wrong: Heavily Deconstructed, especially in the Rance series. Generally speaking, blindly following someone's orders without question never leads to anything good, even if that someone is benevolent and has his country's best interests in mind. This is even true with you at the helm.
  • Nerds Are Sexy: One of the main characters of the Rance series, Maria Custard, is an Adorkable tech geek who is both clumsy and obsessed with robotics. Naturally she's one of Rance's most popular girls both in and out of universe.
  • Netorare: Actually used as a game mechanic in Sengoku Rance. If you are on the Ran or Monkeyslayer route, instead of the standard Demon Army, you get to fight the Shimazu brothers who can seduce any of your female roster members that isn't in "Love" status. This means that highly strong units such as Urza or Leila are in great danger of being lost, since you can't raise your affection to more than "Trust". And, to twist the knife further, even if you do manage to somehow recapture them after they ditch you, you can't recruit them again on your roster. So, the units the brothers manage to seduce are effectively Lost Forever to the player and unavailable for the rest of the playthrough.
  • Nintendo Hard: Their games often have a steep learning curve, though some are definitely worse than others.
  • No Export for You: Sadly AliceSoft isn't interested in licensing their work in the west, probably because of the media outbursts similar titles have caused in America.
    • AliceSoft has recently entered a partnership with MangaGamer to give Beat Blades Haruka an official localization, with the potential for further commercial releases still on the table depending on how well it sells. Fortunately, it sold well enough that Rance 5D, 6, Sengoku Rance, Rance Quest, and Evenicle are getting official localization!
  • Non-Action Guy: A common trend in their territory capture games is to feature one of these as your Mission Control. Examples include 3G in Sengoku Rance, Zanma Gou in Big Bang Age, Jun in Daiakuji and Akiyama Keichirou in Daiteikoku. Occasionally these characters will also be playable in game, but they'll often be a Joke Character with almost no use in actual combat.
    • Interestingly, Nanas from Mamatoto plays the very role described above despite being the main character.
  • Not Blood Siblings: Nanas and Arvy in Mamatoto were raised as siblings despite Nanas not being Kakaro's biological son. The revelation of this causes Arvy to allow herself to give into her feelings for Nanas and are what ultimately allow them to become romantically involved by the end of the game.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Rance 5D and Rance VI, has a bespectacled Expy of Bill Gates as a Random Encounter. He wears a "95" shirt that gets upgraded all the way up to a "Millenium" costume as the fight goes on. It's then that he starts freezing and breaking down. He can cause major damage to your party, but fights with him typically end with him self-destructing before you can even touch him.
  • Nonstandard Game Over: All over the place in the company's games. If you make the wrong choices in Evenicle for instance, you are branded an outlaw and your story ends. And if you beat the first battle against the Helman Army in Kichikuou Rance (which is doable with a bit of grinding), Rance goes on to become the greatest bandit leader in history, without needing to marry Queen Lia to save Sill thus ending the game prematurely.
  • Not His Sled: As Kichikuou Rance was made long before half of the series was finished and covers the entire plot from beginning to end, by the time the events appear in the actual games they've changed completely to the point of only vaguely resembling their Kichikuou portrayal.
    • Unlike the previous remakes that averted this trope, Rance 03 changes multiple plot points, some are small, like certain characters joining Rance, others are pretty big, Like Ithere's fate or Jill's relationship with Rance.
  • Oblivious Adoption: Nanas, the protagonist of Mamatoto, is actually the prince of Gaston who was kidnapped by Kakaro as a baby and raised to be a tactical genius so that he could conquer the world for him. Nanas reveals towards the end of the game that he always subconsciously suspected that this was the case, but chose to deny it in hopes that it wasn't.
  • Obliviously Evil: For a degree of "evil", if the heroes of AliceSoft games (Rance, of course, being the biggest example) do morally reprehensible thing like rape, torture, etc, it's generally because they run off the Insane Troll Logic that heroes don't do evil things, and they're the heroes, so if they do said act then they're not evil. It's actually a plot point in Rance's case, as he was subjected to a power that uses a person's inner evil to destroy them, and he was unaffected because he doesn't comprehend that he does evil things and thus has no inner evil. It generally helps that the villains in their games are usually far more cruel and depraved than the protagonists and revel in being evil.
  • Obvious Beta: It's pretty clear that Rance Quest wasn't finished and that the Magnum expansion was how the game was meant to be.
  • Old Master: Plenty, though the two most prominent examples are Barres Province, Supreme Commander of the Leazas Army and Freak Paraffin, the hundred-year old robot mage and mentor to the Patton Faction.
  • Only Sane Man: At least one per game. While this position jumps around a lot in the Rance series, the most frequent holders of it are Kanami and Shizuka, Rouga and Nanus serve as this in their respective games and Akiyama serves as this in Daiteikoku.
  • Orcus on His Throne: Kayblis. Even though he's so powerful that he could easily destroy the forces of man by himself, he refuses to budge from his castle unless absolutely necessary. His personal policy is to never get into a fight if there is even a 0.001% chance he could die, and with up to three Fiend-killing weapons going around on the battlefield, he'd rather just let his subordinates do everything.
  • Pals with Jesus: One of your earliest units in Daiteikoku is Shibagami, who is the god of Japan. He admits to being rather weak for a god but this still makes it no less impressive that he's your subordinate.
  • The Power of Love: Technically, it's "The Power of H", but it's what powers Kouenja Sakuya's Escalayer form in Beat Angel Escalayer; and Takamori Haruka's and Shihoudou Narika's Blades form in Beat Blades Haruka. In both cases, it helps that love is a factor in recharging their powers faster, but having sex with a certain person gets the... recharging going. The inverse is true: getting raped by their enemies drains their superpowered forms.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Hubert's "disguise" in Rance IX consists of wearing a fake mustache and different armor. He's forced to wear it for the entire game.
    • "Pink Mask" from Rance 4.1 and 4.2 is most definitely not Sill in disguise. Hilariously, Rance completely buys into it, immediately countering anyone who suggests she may be Sill with "She can't be! Sill's at home!".
  • Peaceful in Death: By the end of the series, Rance sires a ton of healthy children, became a successful adventurer who experienced tons of exciting adventures, succeeded in every goal of his life and died of old age with Sill by his side, smiling all the while. Pretty fulfilled life, is you ask us.
  • Pre-Order Bonus: AliceSoft tends to do them from time to time. For example, the pre-order bonus for Evenicle 1 and 2 was a bonus extra named "Evenicle Rance 1 & 2" respectively wherein Rance takes Aster and Alex' places in the story. It doesn't go well for the game world in both games due to Rance's chaotic often stupid behavior and Invincible Hero status. In the end, the game's own Game Over Pair end the whole thing by commenting on how unsuitable Rance is for the Evenicle game world and beg the player to start the game again with the normal protagonist this time.
  • Power Levels: Everyone in the Rance series is aware of their Level that determines how strong and tough they are. It ranges from an average human being at around Level 10, a soldier around 20, elites ranging from 30 - 40, with 60 and above being at "legendary hero" status, and no human being in history being recorded above level 120 (the Hero's unique Game-Breaker powers notwithstanding). Originally, the Archfiend had a power level as well (suggested to be somewhere around 500) but this was retconned around Rance 5D: they still have great power, on par with 2nd or 1st class gods, but it is not codified in a Level system.
  • Rated M for Manly: Surprisingly, Rance IX is an example of this. The game is primarily a war drama with a cast made predominantly of incredibly manly men doing manly things, with Rance's antics being sidelined for most of the game.
  • Reality Ensues: What's the way to improve such Crapsack World ruled by a manchild whale god who only finds entertainment by watching the suffering of mortals? Convincing it to experience one life as a mortal, being able to mature, to grow a conscience, to gain loved ones and appreciate the world for what it was. Even though it was that easy to Stating the Simple Solution, it took mortals and gods alike thousands of years for Crook to reach such a simple solution.
  • Recurring Traveller: The most common ones being the Moe-obsessed Hanny King, his Lust Object and walking Moe Blob Ill Girl Nozomi Okita and Afro Ass Kicker Char Clone Abao Akuu.
  • Recycled Soundtrack: Oh, they've done this several times. Notable ones are...
    • "Running to the Straight". Originated in Mamatoto as the main battle theme, it was remixed twice. The first time was in Sengoku Rance just before launching the final assault on Tenma Bridge in the True Route. This was not included in the OST or sound test. The second time was in Rance IX which is the final boss theme.
    • "Ontology". Originated in Kichikuou Rance as Kayblis's theme, it was remixed in Sengoku Rance, spelled "Ontlogy", as the battle theme for the Demon Army, appropriately enough.
    • "My Glourious Days", Rance's Leitmotif, is actually not a remix from any of the AliceSoft games. It's actually a remix of the National Anthem of East Germany.
    • "Force" Leazas' theme in Kichikuou Rance was remixed in Rance 03 and used in the scenes where the Tulip III is deployed and Rance and his troops are having the greatest battles against Helman forces.
  • Reused Character Design: Tends to crop up from time to time. This gets relentlessly lampshaded throughout Rance IX, with Hubert successfully disguising himself as Barbazza from Mamatoto simply by wearing a fake mustache, Rance confusing Hubert with Bernard and later Alexander throughout the game and Rance wondering why Miracle looks so much like the Raven Princess he saw in his mind during Rance Quest.
  • RPG-Mechanics Verse: As a part of the Planner Scenario, Skills, Levels, and Experience Points are something everyone is aware of. Skills and one's Level Cap are determined at birth, while Experience Points have to be handed off to a "Level God" in order to level up and become stronger. There's even a Archfiend who is the ultimate evil for humanity to defeat ("Ma-ou" or "Demon King" in Japanese, which is eye-rollingly stereotypical for a Japanese fantasy RPG Big Bad) and a "Chosen Hero" with many supernatural advantages who is destined to battle against the forces of evil.
  • Runaway Bride: In the very first Rance game, as well as the remake, Queen Lia attempts to force Rance into a Shotgun Wedding after she gets reformed by "his whip of love". Rance promptly packs his stuff with Sill, jumps off a windows and runs away. In Rance VI he leaves poor Magic the Ghandhi waiting at the altar while he absentmindedly leaves Zeth incognito thinking to himself that there was something important he forgot.
  • Schmuck Bait: There are certain choices in the company's games that lead to an instant Nonstandard Game Over, for example following Brainwashed and Crazy Athena's instructions to put the sunflowers on your head in Rance 5D or going into the room Rodney tells you to fight him in instead of directly pursuing him in Rance VI. To be fair, the games DO tell you that going through with those choices is a bad idea.
  • Screw Destiny: Several characters do this within all universes. The most notable example is Copandon Dott who, upon receiving a "Bad Luck" Divination, proceeds to modify on her own it as "Great Luck" and makes it her life's goal to marry someone who has a legit great luck status -which unfortunately for her ends up being Rance. Through her efforts to win Rance over, she ends up becoming the richest person in Rance's world and the de facto leader of the Free-Cities alliance. And then Rance X happens.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: You can finish Sengoku Rance and Rance VI before achieving the Golden Ending. Doing so will just usually display A Winner Is You text message that also implies that the game didn't end so well for the other characters involved. But, hey, Rance is alive and kicking so all's good, right?
  • Secret Character: Takega Satsu from the Daiakuji game can join your team in Rance VI, if you put her C Gs in the game's folder. In Sengoku Rance Shizuka can join your commander's roster if Maria is in your group and you clicked on the "enable secret characters" option during New Game+.
  • Serial Escalation: The first Rance game was Rance doing a job for the guild to find a missing girl. By Rance X, he's uniting the entire world in fighting against the invading fiends led by Kaybliss. Then this is taken Up to Eleven in Rance X: Part 2 where Rance's kids are fighting against him to stop him. And finally, the series ends with Rance taking on the source of the Archfiend's life, permanently destroying the fiend system forever.
  • Slasher Smile: Rance's only facial expression besides looking pissed off. He switches between which one is the default depending on how annoying the situation he's in is in each game.
  • Sliding Scale of Gender Inequality: Surprisingly quite well balanced. While men generally make up the majority of the armies, there are several women in positions of power all across the continent and several of the strongest characters in the setting are women. At the same time, male characters have become more and more prominent as time has gone on and have just as much plot significance as the females do.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: The world of the Rance series is an incredibly cynical place in a constant state of war, with the few occasions peace had been achieved resulting in a complete apocalypse due to it boring the Jerkass Gods. Despite this, Rance's actions have legitimately shifted things for the better, suggesting that the world can improve, it just takes a complete sociopath with an insatiable libido to do so. In a way the golden ending of Kichikuou Rance and Rance X, the final games of their respective timelines, can be seen as part of the opposing side of the Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism (despite both games ending with Rance continuing to travel with Sill).
    • The ending of Kichikuou Rance represents the cynical side of the spectrum. The Top God Rudrathaum still enjoys the suffering of humans in order to entertain himself and launched an attack to slaughter them all after they attained peace. The best Rance could do in the end was put the god to sleep for around three centuries, but the world is still in chaos thanks to the attack and isn't united. This means that Rudrathaum still might get what he wants after sleeping for many centuries.
    • The ending of Rance X represents the idealistic side of the spectrum. The Top God Rudrathaum reincarnates into Rance and Crook's child El Mofus in order to experience how life on the continent felt. After an adventure Rudrathaum learns how to appreciate his creations and most importantly empathy. This causes Rudrathaum to dismantle the system his sons have created in order to entertain him. While the world is still divided in some ways. There are no more Archfiends or Heroes that need to create suffering. This means that humanity may one day truly attain peace and not get attacked by an Angel Army like in Kichikuou Rance.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: A completely unexpected one from Rance 03 the Fiend Ithere was spared by Rance when asked by Shizuka to show him mercy. He was dying from his wounds anyway, but his apostles gave their lives to heal him just enough for him to survive and stay hidden in Leazas Castle.
  • Spiritual Successor: The Evenicle series is one towards the Rance series even though the first Evenicle game came before the release of the final Rance game. The Evenicle series shares much background and beings the Rance series has, but still differs in way to be unique on its own.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Queen Lia of Leazas' obsession with Rance reaches a point where she monitors his every action intently. She herself doesn't do the stalking, rather she forces a ninja to scout him out at all times while she watches from a crystal ball.
  • Stylistic Suck: TADA's drawings in the dev room which in turn are used for doodle monsters. A more classic example would be the "art" you get from Gunagan throughout the series, though that might count more towards True Art Is Incomprehensible.
  • Supporting Harem: The Rance series features one. Despite his obsession with making every attractive woman in existence his, it's pretty clear that Rance cares more about Sill than he does anybody else. This is even recognized in universe, where characters who are in love with Rance like Maria and Lia recognize that they don't have a chance against Sill.
  • Technology Marches On: Every Rance game features at least one joke enemy or character that is a reference to a specific technology that was present during the time of that release. The problem is that that those games got officially translated (or fan-translated) several years after they got originally released, so a lot of players are lost on what that enemy or character is referencing. Okay, a lot of people might still be familiar with 3G mobile networks, but how many are old enough to remember FM Towns home-computers or that the Windows Millenium OS had a tendency to freeze and break itself down?
  • The Cameo: Characters from later Rance games, such as Tomato Puree, Maria Custard and Isoroku Yamamoto show up briefly in the Animated Adaptation of the first game's remake. Curiously, Rance VI's characters are the only ones absent.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Satella was considered to be one of the weakest amongst the Fiends, but still more powerful than humans. By the time of Rance X: Part 2 she became strong enough to be The Dragon to Archfiend Rance and even managed to break Nikkou, the weapon she was supposed to be weak against.
  • Tsundere: Considering the number of games they've made, there are plenty. Interestingly, the two stand out examples from the Rance series, Shizuka and Kanami, lean so heavily to the tsun-tsun side that they more or less genuinely hate Rance, with the few genuine moments of kindness they show towards him leaning more towards "He's not a total asshole" than anything else. The straightest tsundere in the Rance series would be Satella, who insists that Rance is her rival despite clearly having feelings for him. Keep in mind that Satella is a Fiend who is most likely hundreds of years old and one of the most powerful characters in the setting.
    • Now averted with Kanami as of Rance IX. Turns out all it took was for Rance to actually treat her like her a girl and not just as a gopher/sex toy.
    • Rance himself plays this quite straight in relation to Sill. He's constantly picking on her, but every game shows that he values her more than he does anything else in the world.
  • Übermensch: Both Rance and Zanma Rouga are exceptionally talented young men who rise above their fellow men to tear apart the oppressive system. Rouga is a traditional example while Rance seems more interested in enjoying himself through any means possible, with everything else simply being a side effect.
  • The Unchosen One: Rance isn't his universe's designated chosen one, but it is actually because of this that he is able to accomplish everything he does. He's a glitch in the system, and his actions tend to drastically change the world as a result.
  • Token White: The unnamed Caucasian British man who works at AliceSoft and is only known outside of the company by his nickname Union Jack.
  • True Companions: If there is a resistance or rebel group in a Rance game, expect them to stick together and do their thing long after Rance leaves the scene.
  • Unmanly Secret: One of Rance's few hobbies that doesn't involve sex is reading Shoujo Manga.
  • Unwinnable by Mistake: It's generally a good idea to save your game in many different files and at different times, as it's possible to screw yourself over royally by mistake. In Rance 02 for example, if you do anything other than going directly to the wizard's house to find the mayor's daughter when the designated NPC tells you she's been sighted there, then you will not find her there, which means you won't be able to progress the game, which means you'll have no choice but to start over from a previous save (if you are lucky enough to have one). In Isoroku's Route of Sengoku Rance, you can find yourself in a Press X to Die situation if you don't get the truth out of Isoroku fast enough, which can be bad if you've been relying on the game's Autosave too much. And god help you if you do a bad move in Rance 5D, where the game doesn't even allow you to save manually.
  • The 'Verse: AliceSoft has several major universes. These include...
    • The Rance Universe, which is also the setting for the Toushin Toushi series and the "Miki-Chan" series.
    • The Dai Universe.
    • The Beats Universe, which include Beat Angel Escalayer and Beat Blades Haruka.
  • Videogame Caring Potential: In the Rance games, there is at least one character that is Too Good for This Sinful Earth, that Rance can take under his wing. Examples include Rizna in 5D, Caloria in VI and Kenshin in Sengoku Rance.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: All of the open-ended Rance games from Kichikuou Rance to Rance X have at least one instance where you can utterly screw (often in more ways than one) a character with Videogame Caring Potential. Doing so will inevitably lead to a scene where you witness how much your actions have hurt that character, and how much of a jerk you are for doing so. For example, choosing to betray Kenshin in Sengoku Rance by allying with Kensei, will lead to a scene where she laments on how much of an idiot she was (emphasis on was) for falling in love with Rance and for trusting him to do the right thing
  • Video Game Cruelty Punishment:
    • Again quite a few present in the open-ended Rance games. Those can range from permanently losing access to some of the best units in the games to a Nonstandard Game Over.
    • There are a lot of opportunities in Toushin Toshi II to perform various atrocities. Toward the end of the game, the main character is confronted with a demon lord who lists the ones the character committed, and offers him one last chance to atone - unless the player chose to commit all of them, in which case he is unceremoniously condemned to Hell. Considering that the list includes slave trading, rape, and throwing an unarmed woman to her death for no reason, it's hard to say you don't deserve it if you play that way.
  • Video Game Long-Runners: Would you believe the Rance series is nearly 30 years old?
  • Villainous Incest: Really prevalent in the Rance series. If a character is evil or non-sympathetic, expect him (and yes, it's always a "him") to have at least one scene with his daughter, provided they have one.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Being born with a Level 3 skill in the Rance universe means you are practically God Level at it. It also means, more often than not, that you will also be too crazy, too paranoid, or just too plain stupid to do anything positive with it on your own.
  • Wham Episode: Absolutely no one expected that Rance X would even have a Part 2 and star Rance's kids.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: Daibanchou features one detailing what happens to all party members that were Character Cleared, a few that weren't and a handful of secondary characters. Depending on how well the player did, this can last for nearly twenty minutes.
  • World's Strongest Man: The previous holder of this title was Thoma Lipton of the Helman Third Army before he was killed in battle by Rance. Currently, Rick Addison is recognized as this though Rance has potential to become far stronger. Rance officially took the title after becoming the Archfiend, not only did his sword fighting skills improve, but he also gained Magical Abilities. He was so powerful that not only was he stronger than other Archfiends, but 11 of his children were needed to level grind to level 250 and above and got help from many allies just to fight against him. This still wasn't enough to defeat him and all they could do was restore his sanity with Reset's slap.
  • Wrench Wench: Maria Custard, one of the series' poster girls is a witch who is far more proficient with machinery than she is with magic.
  • Yandere: Queen Lia of Leazas refuses to allow Rance to see any girl besides her, and has attempted to murder Sill on multiple occasions because of this. Despite this, Rance sleeps with so many women that it's impossible for her to keep up.
  • Zero-Approval Gambit: Rance willingly takes up the mantle of the Archfiend after Kayblis is defeated, becoming the essential new token Evil Overlord of the continent, in order to ensure peace between the Demon realm and Humanity for the future. Only problem is, while he did this with a good purpose to ensure mankind's survival, he is slowly losing himself to the Archfiend blood in his body, and as such is slowly turning into a flat-out villain and has begun the cycle of destruction anew. The entire plot of Part 2 revolves around his children teaming up to find a way to defeat him or find a way to bring him back to his senses.

Alternative Title(s): Sengoku Rance, Rance Quest

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