- A collaboration fic by Wax and Keitaro Hirochi, inspired by Sword Art Online.
Absolute Sword STRATA is the first-ever immersive virtual reality game. One year later, knowing the game's popularity is waning, game developing team and in-game guild leaders Daystar and Rockwald gear up for a challenge: taking on their new Harder Than Hard Challenge Mode, with teams of 6 players each. The challenge is set to unfold during spring break, so that the teams may include school-aged players. Daystar scouts his guild, the Order of Sol, and creates a sub-guild with his six best elements for the challenge, known as the Zenith Knights. Rockwald aligns skillful players from his guild, the Sleeping Forest, and recruits long-time player Dragun to join his team.
Tropes used in Absolute Sword STRATA:
- Dual Wielding: It's a Unique Skill.
- Jump Physics: The Dual Jumping skill allows characters to jump in mid-air.
- Taking the Bullet: Pets can take a hit meant for their owner. With the Beast Bond skill, they can even block, though Blocking Stops All Damage is completely averted, the pets just don't die in one hit.
- Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Only players with Weapon Throw can even throw their swords (and other main weapons), but when they do the system helps guarantee the best hits.
- Zerg Rush: When the Crew goes clear the Challenge Mode, they use their insane numbers to achieve this.
Tropes associated with characters:
Jesus-kun / Niwa Kirito
Tropes associated with Jesus-kun:
- Anti-Hero: Mostly because of his gigantic ego.
- Badass Longcoat
- Bifurcated Weapon: His Angel Bless can divide into two swords.
- Chick Magnet: He's very good at driving them straight off of him, though. Sunny is also very good at driving them off of him.
- Crippling Overspecialization: He has a massive damage capability due to his offense and speed. He focuses so much on damage, however, that his only form of defense is blocking with his swords, which isn't very effective, and he'll often take more damage than other characters regardless.
- Glass Cannon: His Dual Wielding gives him access to huge DPS but he's also completely unprotected against any hit he would take.
- A God Am I: He named his character Jesus-kun for a reason.
- Insufferable Genius: He's great at the game, and he knows it.
- It Amused Me: A lot of what he does is for the lulz.
- Man in White: Demonstrates his god complex and illustrates his game name perfectly.
Sunnyspark / Kusanagi Minako
- Jesus-kun's girlfriend. They met in-game after Jesus-kun joined the Order of Sol after losing to Daystar. Jesus-kun and her have been a subject of controversy in the Order early on, leading to Sunnyspark being punted from commanding positions.
Tropes associated with Sunnyspark:
- Counter Attack: Her fighting style is based on defending (or dodging) and then riposting to the opponent's attacks.
- Fiery Redhead: While she has light brown hair, it is slightly orange-ish. In-game, she uses a fiery dye item to make her hair look fiery.
- Genki Girl: It's a façade that can come off pretty easily if any girl gets too close to Jesus-kun. Except AI, who she doesn't perceive as a romantic threat.
- Kicked Upstairs: Her being in the Zenith Knights means she has lost all pretense of political power within the Order of Sol.
- Lady of War: In appearance, with her dress and fencing-based fighting style that favors speed and grace over raw power.
- Manipulative Bitch
- Non-Indicative Name: The only reason her sword is named Kusanagi no Tsurugi is because it was made by Tifanie, her real-life friend, who would know her actual family name. It has nothing to do with Japanese mythos at all.
- Royal Rapier
- She's named in similar fashion to Youtuber Sunnysplosion.
- Her RL family name and use of "Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi" (despite it being similar to the Regalia in name only) are shout-outs to Kyo Kusanagi from The King of Fighters.
- Stalker with a Crush: She's Yandere for Jesus-kun.
- Tranquil Fury: She's never obviously furious. She just gets cold and loses her sunny disposition.
Tifanie / Kisaragi Hiroe
- The game's most known expert blacksmith. Her prowess is taken from her apprenticeship in real-life blacksmithing, that she applies in-game rather than using game mechanics (an art known to insiders as "truesmithing"). She forged Daystar's Lightbringer by herself.
Tropes associated with Tifanie:
- The Blacksmith: She personally forged or reforged all the Zenith Knights' weapons. Starting with Daystar's Tower Sword, the Lightbringer.
- Deadpan Snarker
- Drop the Hammer: Her hammer is two-handed, yet her Unique Skill Heavy Arms allows her to use a shield with it.
- Fiery Redhead
- Genki Girl
- Glacier Waif: She's not a big girl, but her heavy equipment and possession of the strongest single blunt hit in the game sets her as this.
- Likes Older Men
AI#16v8. 4 / Yuubae Satsuki
- A skilled player who is known for being as young as she looks, being a top player at a mere 8 years old.
Tropes associated with AI:
- Artificial Intelligence: Averted. She only likes to make people think she is one.
- Badass Adorable: She's a cute little button, but she's a top player for a reason.
- BFS: Her trademark weapon when going on the offense is the single most powerful sword in the game barring STRATA. Sadly, when she's holding it, she can't equip anything else. As a result, she isn't as powerful as the top power players.
- Master of None: Her main flaw is that she has no specialization, and due to the variety of weapons she can equip, she is not as skilled as specialists.
- Mysterious Waif: One would wonder why any player would venture anywhere near top players with no equipment. It turns out she's a top player like the others, and her Unique Skill Gear Shift allows her to change equipment mid-battle.
- Unskilled, but Strong: Her reliance on her Bigger Stick seems to set her as this, but she has mechanical skill befitting of a top player and her Unique Skill grants her great adaptability, making her style actually Difficult, but Awesome.
- Woman in White: Signifies her innocence, but also her mechanical, soulless playstyle.
Caitlyn / Yayoi Shian
- A famous healer, due to being one of the few players actually dedicated to being a healer first and foremost.
Tropes associated with Caitlyn:
- A Girl And Her Dragon
- Badass Adorable: She's cute, yet she's also one of the strongest players in the game due to how hard she is to defeat at all.
- Crippling Overspecialization: Her focus on self-defense and being undefeatable means that she has comparatively little attack power, so anybody with good defense can ignore her damage output, often better than she gets to ignore theirs.
- Healing Factor: The bulk of her defense is not that she doesn't take damage, but her pet will keep on healing her.
- Lighter and Softer: To nearly everyone else. She's the only healer (until L.M.A.O., where she doesn't show up), as sweet as they come until the hard-to-reach breaking point, and she named her pet dragon Happy because that's what she wanted it to be.
- Stone Wall: She's insanely hard to take down because of the aforementioned Healing Factor and the fact that her pet will sometimes take hits for her when it's not healing her, and her top-tier speed will allow her to avoid attacks too.
- Support Party Member: She's one of the only healers in the game, due to her being the only one to tame a white dragon.
- Token Mini-Moe
Daystar / Ayagaki Yasufumi
- A developer of the game, and leader of the Order of Sol until the challenge, where he dedicates himself to the Zenith Knights to the point of handing leadership to another player. He is also a pioneer of the Tower Sword weapon class in the game, with his Lightbringer being known as the best weapon in the game, barring the event-only STRATA.
Tropes associated with Daystar:
- BFS: His Tower Sword weapon class. It was added to the game after people where impressed at the size of his sword, even when he couldn't actually fight using it.
- Big Bad: Can be taken as that due to STRATA's ambiguous morality. Rockwald does interfere with Daystar's clearing efforts, but Daystar was also an Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy on the matter.
- Non-Action Big Bad: He has little contribution to the team clearing, and is held back from actually helping against Rockwald's intervention because they are planned to circumvent him and his very low speed.
- Big Good: He mostly sidelines himself and lets the rest do the work, reserving himself for clutch saves.
- Bigger Stick: The Tower Sword is the single biggest weapon class in the game. The Lightbringer is also the biggest of them, and it deals the single strongest hit in the game, barring weapon throws.
- Crippling Overspecialization: He is a total juggernaut, dealing massive damage and taking it in kind, but he's the slowest character in the challenge and is easy pickings for faster characters that can bypass his guard and dodge his extremely-punishing attacks. During the challenge, his slowness proves to be his team's undoing as assassins who want to interrupt the challenge simply dodge him.
- Large Ham: He speaks loudly and bombastically.
- Mighty Glacier
- Squat's in a Name: Despite his name being a moniker of Lucifer's, he never betrays his guild. He even makes a point of his team knowing that he will not help defeat the bosses because he helped make them.
Dragun / Hoshizora Mitaro
- The latest recruit of the Sleeping Forest, chosen for the challenge. Dragun is a star player on his own right going solo for most of his game career, he displayed quick immersion to the game's physics as well as his flavor, and was one of the first players to achieve his Unique Skill when he showed Dual Jumping to the public during the initial clearing rush. He has had an on-and-off working relationship with various members of the Sleeping Forest at several points before the challenge.
Tropes associated with Dragun:
- Ax-Crazy: Dragun goes ballistic when even in-game death gets involved.
- Badass Longcoat: His trademark black longcoat.
- Black Swords Are Better: The Shadow Seal is entirely black.
- Blade on a Stick: His sword has an extremely long hilt.
- Cute and Psycho: He's a Bishōnen, but he gets mad really easily.
- Dark Is Not Evil: But Good Is Not Nice either.
- Ineffectual Loner: He's not exactly alone, but he's not social.
- Internet Tough Guy
- Jerkass Façade: He's still a jackass underneath it, just less colossal than on the outside.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He doesn't like people in general, but he loathes player-killers. Additionally, he's extremely scared of death, and he lets go of a bit of his jerkassery with people he's seen die in-game (such as MICHIKA).
- Laughing Mad
- Pay Evil unto Evil: Extremely prone to this.
- Psychotic Smirk
- The Rival:
- Fire-Forged Friends: With Jesus-kun. Working together on an investigation brought them to recognize each other's existence as real-life classmates, but the rivalry during the challenge and the L.M.A.O. develops it into a full-blown friendship.
- The Sociopath
- Sugar-and-Ice Personality: To those he's seen die, he remains cold and distant on the surface despite deeply caring for them.
- Surrounded by Idiots: His initial belief. In fact, this causes the Sleeping Forest to be on a slow start.
- Thou Shalt Not Kill: To a pretty ridiculous level. Even the in-game death of others affects him enough that he's less of a jackass to them. This causes an Epic Fail on his part when he's sent to assassinate the Zenith Knights: he leaves Caitlyn on low health without doing a thing to her pet before going for Jesus-kun, leaving ample time for the Zenith Knights to collapse on him. He is subsequently forced to turn back, barely making it out with his life.
- Weak, but Skilled: His combat stats are generally low, with light armor and a sword not known for its damaging ability. He has relied on his speed and mechanical skill to juggle aggro correctly and survive for years, and this became easier when he acquired his Unique Skill. He became top 12 simply by forcing his strengths to the forefront and hiding his weaknesses.
MICHIKA / Joukouji Michika
- A player who was there during the initial clearing rush despite being a completely new player to the game back then. She's the daughter of the CEO of the enterprise who developed the game. Despite her status, she is a dedicated player who quickly was recruited in the Sleeping Forest.
Tropes associated with MICHIKA:
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: She acts nice, but only to fit in.
- Deadpan Snarker
- Hopeless with Tech: Clumsiness with the interface early on is what caused her name to be written in capslock.
- Real Name as an Alias
- Royal Rapier
- Tsundere: For Dragun. Even while berating him she's contantly forcing herself on him.
- Woman in White
Lucina / Suguri Yumemi
- A Sleeping Forest member, Lucina is an expert blacksmith... as in "she has developed a propensity for doing the forging minigame flawlessly".
Tropes associated with Lucina:
- Brainy Brunette
- Foil: To Tifanie. While Tifanie is loud and brash, Lucina is quiet and reserved. Where Tifanie also uses a huge blunt weapon to be a DPS threat, Lucina throws slashing weapons for massive burst.
- Genius Bruiser: She was already brainy, but the game made her a bruiser.
- Hikikomori: IRL. Even in-game she doesn't get out much, resulting in her being less known at large than the rest.
- Only Friend: IRL, Tifanie is hers. Her gaming-wise Only Friend is MICHIKA.
- Perpetual Frowner: She usually only smiles when she's alone.
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: She's very much inarticulate usually, and speaks with no slang, instead using obscure winded words.
- Sugar-and-Ice Personality: She's very shy, but loves to dote on her guildmates.
Musashi / Hiyama Yoshitsugu
- A player famed for peace-making and leading a guild full of tanks to stall litigious situations.
Tropes associated with Musashi:
- The Berserker: Due to his Stone Wall-type stat and gear build, he often rushes straight ahead.
- Boisterous Bruiser: A melee-based strong asset of the Sleeping Forest.
- Emotional Bruiser: He's very open with his emotions.
- Katanas Are Just Better: To go with his Iaijutsu Practitioner gimmick. When his Zanmatou gets broken at the end of the challenge, he gets it reforged into another katana.
- Nice Guy: He always tries his damnedest to ensure people around him survive. Rockwald recruited his entire guild in one go because none of them died in-game by that time.
- Only Sane Man: Doesn't have much outlandish about him other than his love of samurai movies, and often reacts with bafflements at the others' antics.
- Stone Wall: His heavy armor already alludes to this, but his true strongest defense asset is his Unique Skill Super Armor, that negates all blowback from enemy attacks, even when he gets hit clean.
Leila / Yamamoto Miyako
- A widely-unknown player. That's because she's a Punisher a Sleeping Forest assassin sent to stop player-killers by killing them.
Tropes associated with Leila:
- Extreme Doormat: She always does whatever she's asked.
- No Social Skills
- Shrinking Violet: As she puts it, she naturally belongs in the shadows.
- Silent Bob: She lets her facial expressions and gestures do most of her talking.
- Speed Blitz: Can pull it off by dashing through opponents, with her weapons dealing damage right before she's done.
- Sugar-and-Ice Personality: She's very friendly to her guildmates. When they do get close, that is.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Dark blue.
Rockwald / Kaba Shisou
- The second main developer of STRATA, along with Daystar. He is the leader of the Sleeping Forest, that he formed to keep principles within the game by discouraging Player Killing.
Tropes associated with Rockwald:
- Big Bad: The closest thing STRATA's Challenge Arc gets to a primary antagonist, and that's because Daystar's lack of strategy enforces A Lighter Shade of Gray.
- Non-Action Big Bad: As his Guild's Leader. He spends most his time on the background letting the rest do most of the fighting.
- The Great Player Versus Player Debate: PvP is unrestricted in the game, but Player Killing is frowned upon Rockwald tries his best to alleviate the issue. His guild, the Sleeping Forest is one of the largest guilds in the game, to the point it's assumed it is everywhere. Its members are required to only engage in PvP in Colosseums or after being attacked, and if a Sleeping Forest member witnesses griefing behaviour, the Sleeping Forest regularly answers by sending squads of appropriately-named Punishers to return the favor.
- Non-Indicative Name: Divine Blade enables shield attacks, nothing related to the actual blade he carries.
- No-Sell: His Tower Shield is the second-biggest shield in the game, and with it he can nearly block all damage.
- Shields Are Useless: Inverted: His sword is a secondary asset since he can use his shield to bonk his opponents in the face.
- Shout-Out: Kaba was meant to sound like Kayaba from Sword Art Online. His avatar's name Heathcliff is referenced through Rockwald's gear The Heath and The Cliff.
- The Stoic
- The Strategist: While he does not take any physical part in the challenge, he does formulate most of the plans.
The Aces & Eights
PoP / Refah Gere
- The head of the Aces & Eights. A deranged madman who hears Jesus speak to him even in VR.
Tropes associated with PoP:
- Gratuitous French: PoP stands for "Prince of Pelle". He fittingly named his shovel The Pelle, insisting for it to be named in French.
- Hearing Voices: Suffers from this on top of his OCD and hallucinations, even in VR.
- Improbable Weapon User: A shovel. He uses it to bludgeon, slash and literally bury his targets.
- Puppet King: Somewhat, to JeJe. While he is the leader of the guild per se, he sometimes takes JeJe's words as orders from Jesus.
- Super OCD: His ritual murdering method must not be interrupted.
Bloodshot JeJe / Jesus Robles
- The straight man of the Aces & Eights. Don't be fooled by his relatively sane outlook he's just as murderous as the rest of them.
Tropes associated with JeJe:
- Don't You Dare Pity Me!: In the real world, JeJe is deeply ill. He shows no mercy to enemies showing concern.
- Malevolent Masked Man: He wears a mask to make others think it's the mask that makes his voice so raspy.
- Only Sane Man: He's the serious one of the Aces and Eights' founding three (PoP, Jacky and himself).
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: In the game, he has an accessory that gives him red Glowing Eyes of Doom that has become his trademark.
- Shout-Out: His real name being Jesus is taken after an Episode 2 cameo from Sword Art Online Abridged.
- Worthy Opponent: Regarded as such by Jesus-kun, as he's the only one that's matched his Dual Wielding.
Jacky Blohnn / Tarozumi Masao
- The Aces & Eights'... ace. A crazy serial-killer-esque assassin whose mention sends shivers down the spine of any non-top-tier player.
Tropes associated with Jacky:
- Ax-Crazy: He breaks whatever little restraints he has in the real world when he's playing.
- Hero Killer: While the Aces and Eights as a whole are this, his name is the most recognizable one. His reputation as this goes wild after Lear's assassination.
- Master Poisoner: He maxed out his poison-making skills and is the guild's most consummate user of those.
- Shout-Out: His name is a partially-swapped version of Johnny Black from Sword Art Online.
Crowe / Kurohane Chitaru
- A former member of the Order of Sol, Crowe was cast out after ousting herself as having joined the Aces & Eights, killing Benvolia and sabotaging the mission she had set up.
Tropes associated with Crowe:
- Ascended Fangirl: She loved PoP's pamphlets and joined his guild in secret early.
- Black Knight: What she looks like now she has discarded the Knight in Shining Armor image required by the Order of Sol.
- Black Swords Are Better: Her Blood Ombre sword is partially black, though the blade is colored in a gradient that gets to red at the tip.
- Hidden Depths: She actually enjoys theater. Enough to kill Benvolia for trivializing Shakespearian prose.
- It's Personal: She interferes with the challenge not always on order of the Aces and Eights, because she has really bad blood with Jesus-kun.
- Revenge Before Reason: Sure, killing Jesus-kun during the challenge would take him down a peg, but doing that 1v6 while not level 100 is not exactly in the realm of the possible.
- Theme Naming: It was obvious she wasn't a fit for the Order of Sol when everything about her says black. Kurohane means "black feather", Crowe alludes to crows, and her sword is named the Blood Ombre (ombre being French for shadow).
- Villain Forgot to Level Grind: Averted. She went hard on Level Grinding to get back at Jesus-kun.
L.N. / Kuchinashi Towa
- A mysterious assassin working for the Aces & Eights.
Tropes associated with L.N.:
- Creepy Child / Emotionless Girl: Her dispassionate tone of voice sets her in the middle of these.
- Evil Counterpart: To AI, being another Child Prodigy that's unchildlike despite being below 10 years old. However, she has extremely negative reactions to the expectations placed on her and bad influences from Jacky Blohnn which makes the difference between AI's mock-mechanical playful Challenge Gamer to LN's emotionless anti-social player-killer-for-hire.
- Implacable Man: Her penchant for simply walking to her targets and her ability to shrug off knockback with her Unique Skill make her look like that.
- Lack of Empathy: Her callous disregard for people's lives is jarring for a 9-year-old.
- Meaningful Name: Kuchinashi means "no mouth". She barely ever speaks.
- Put Them All Out of My Misery: She feels miserable in her real life, and vents her frustration by killing other people.
- Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: When she does speak, she holds conversations like you'd expect an adult to.
The S-Kill Club
exXElL / Mishima Seiya
- The leader of the S-Kill Club, as far as STRATA is concerned. exXElL himself is an infamous gamer and hacker.
Tropes associated with exXElL:
- Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: He's a beast even when he's not cheating.
- The Dreaded: Lear made sure to track his ID and not reroute him to L.M.A.O. because he could hack the game to pieces even from within. This bites Lear in the ass even more as a cherry on top of the cake, as exXElL then sues him for using confidential data.
- Everyone Has Standards: He regrets his attempt at forcing Catherine to play tank.
- Glory Seeker: His goal is to be the best and to get everyone to know it.
- Insufferable Genius: He's extremely cocky, but he beat the game by finding various ways of cheating himself up the ladder.
- The Leader: To the S-Kill Club clear. He's trying to take over the challenge.
- Lightning Bruiser: He's an all-arounder type, and at his level it means this.
- Shout-Out: His RL family name is taken after the Mishima bloodline from Tekken.
Zi-tan / Shirogane Ajisai
- exXElL's girlfriend, who specializes in exploits rather than downright hacks.
Tropes associated with Zi-tan:
- Cowardly Lion: Her response to triggering the death trap that got Catherine killed was "teleport out and leave everyone else to die". She is actually good at the game, she just dislikes the effort.
- Insufferable Genius: So insufferable even fellow Insufferable Genius Jesus-kun hates her for being more insufferable than he is. Also intelligent enough to have gotten rich from finding out and exploiting stealing-related glitches.
- Min-Maxing: Very guilty of this: her build is obviously skewed in favor of speed.
- Nepotism: Hanging out with exXElL has gotten her into the position of second-in-command.
Morningtide and Eventide / Kanmuri Amane and Tiara
- A relative unknown, Morningtide and Eventide are real-life twins, a fact they used to confuse players to no end.
Tropes associated with both:
- Coordinated Clothes: They always wear the same things.
- The Dividual: They're mostly defined by what they do together, and always act simultaneously.
- For the Lulz: Their main reason for interfering with the challenge.
- Identical Twin ID Tag: Without dyes, the color of their hair is this, with Morningtide having very dark hair while Eventide's is white. With dyes, they are incredibly hard to distinguish as they act as each other; the difference being Morningtide's far more lighthearted disposition contrasting with Eventide's spiteful attitude.
- Up to Eleven with their real-life names they're written with the same kanji.
- Shout-Out: They're named after Magic: The Gathering expansion sets.
- Strong Family Resemblance: Even in real life, the distinction is made by the color of their hair.
- Theme Twin Naming: Their real names are written with the same kanji, and their game names are Morningtide and Eventide.
- Trickster Twins: They weird out the Sleeping Forest and the Zenith Knights with conversations in the middle of their challenge.
- Twin Switch: Their main schtick is confusing people so much they don't even know if they're doing this or not.
Tropes associated with Morningtide:
- Token Good Teammate: Double Subverted. Morningtide is the only one of the S-Kill Club to have a great reputation. However, that's because she and Eventide are fooling people so that most backlash would fall on Eventide. Nonetheless, she remains the nicer one of the two and one of the few agreeable persons in the S-Kill Club.
Tropes associated with Eventide:
- Because You Were Nice to Me: The reason she cares about IKARI so much.
- Evil Twin: Plays herself up as this to Morningtide.
- Evil Brunette Twin: Inverted: she's white-haired to Morningtide's brunette. She uses the same hair dye as her sister to pose as her in front of the Sleeping Forest and Zenith Knights.
- Hyde Plays Jekyll: Sorta, but she does pose as Morningtide.
- Mega Manning: Her two main builds mimic IKARI's and Morningtide's.
- Twin Switch: In fact, with the same hair dye on, they look exactly alike.
IKARI / Hadano Tadashi
- The self-proclaimed best fighter in the game, IKARI made his way to the S-Kill Club and to level 100 by hacking a superpowered steroid item into his inventory. In contrast to most of the S-Kill Club, IKARI frontlines for the S-Kill Club's clear rush and shows his prowess as a true fighter.
Tropes associated with IKARI:
- The Berserker: His fighting style is to rush at the competition, and hit it until it dies. Heavy Arms allows him to be a lot faster than anyone with a Tower Sword is expected to be.
- BFS: His Darkbringer is a Tower Sword.
- Blood Knight: In contrast to the rest of the S-Kill Club who mostly favor smarts, he's a pure fighter.
- Bully Hunter: Despite his belief that life is best lived at others' expense, he does not suffer strong people who hunt weaker people who want nothing to do with them.
- The Corrupter: Downplayed, but his attitude has slightly rubbed off on Eventide.
- Glory Seeker: In the vein of exXElL, except he only claims to be the best fighter.
- One-Handed Zweihänder: His use of Heavy Arms is to use his BFS as though it were one-handed.
- Pet the Dog: He cares a lot about Eventide, but noone else.
- Screaming Warrior: He shouts very loud when he gets going.
Toshi / Tetsuo Umehara
- The leader of the Crew, he took over following a shaky start for what now is the widest guild in the game.
Tropes associated with Toshi:
- Badass Bookworm: The strongest member of the Crew, and this is noted to be due to his intelligence.
- Foil: To the entirety of the guild, being a lucid and competent leader.
- 100% Adoration Rating: He's clearly the most skilled player in the guild, and nobody has anything bad to say about him.
- Katanas Are Just Better: He goes for the daisho aesthetic with his Dual Wielding, with his best weapon being the katana.
- The Men in Black:
- Toshi is the shortened nickname used by Toshiro Umezawa from Magic: The Gathering.
- His real name could also be pronounced Tetsuo Umezawa, the aforementioned Toshiro's descendant.
- Konezumimaru is named after the Koinumaru clan from Arcana Heart, except with a different animal (the rat [nezumi] rather than the dog [inu]).
Vorecats / Saitou Tomoyoshi
- The Frontline General of the Crew. A hot-blooded man who speaks with a Spanish accent.
Tropes associated with Vorecats:
- Badass Cape: He's definitely stronger during the challenge than Dragun remembers.
- Frontline General: He always tries to go first. He justifies this as it gives a morale boost to his men.
- Kindhearted Cat Lover: He just loves cats, as evidenced by his game name.
- Shout-Out: Vorecats is named after Corvatz from Sword Art Online.
Hathaway / Meya Soushi
- The former leader of the Crew. He is a trusting, but ultimately foolhardy man. After an incident during the initial boss clear, he was punted from command due to losing all credibility when he was trapped in a dungeon.
Tropes associated with Hathaway:
- Mundane Utility: Uses his spear, pet and parkour skills to mimic dual jumps.
- Nice Guy: Too much for his own good. He lost leadership when he got trapped in a bonus dungeon by his second-in-command at the time. The rumor that he died to a level 1 dungeon killed his credibility as a leader (despite being false).
- Non-Action Guy: Sure, he's got a spear, but he remains underequipped for combat situations and mostly uses it for defense and mobility as opposed to actually defeating anyone or anything.
Ormecia / Tategami Kinu
- A knightess who's known as one of the most powerful players of the Crew... in the frontlines.
Tropes associated with Ormecia:
- Berserk Button: Saying anything remotely bad about Hathaway.
- Love Makes You Stupid: Infinitely in love with Hathaway, which screws with her fighting and leading prowess.
- Not So Stoic: Outside of her Berserk Button, she has a quiet personality, but the moment something trips her, she bursts into a rage.
- Silk Hiding Steel: Acts like a gentle and demure, if still upstanding, wife, yet she is one of the powerful fighters the Group has.
- Violently Protective Girlfriend: She's the most powerful of the two in battle, in fact, surely because he's mostly a Non-Action Guy.
Benvolia / Ichijou Uiri
- A roleplayer who likes to quote the Bard at every possible occasion.
Tropes associated with Benvolia:
- A Mother To Her Men: She tries to behave like one.
- Big Fun: She's noticeably larger than most other girls (and most of the guys too), and she has an amiable personality.
- Go and Sin No More: Deconstructed: Crowe has proven that Benvolia is far too forgiving for her own good. Endangering Jesus-kun in fact caused him to dislike her, and also caused Sunny to fire Benvolia from the Order of Sol for the blatant oversight.
- Large Ham
- No Indoor Voice
- She's named after Benvolio from Romeo and Juliet.
- Her RL first name alludes to William Shakespeare.
- Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: She likes theater. Contrarily to Crowe, though, she goes about with it non-stop, which annoys the latter to no end.
Jugg / Kajiya Karina
- A streamer who uses her assets to attract masses to help with the Group's clear.
Tropes associated with Jugg:
The sequel, "Lear's Magic Archive Origin", deals with a more dire menace: one of Daystar and Rockwald's rival developers, known as Lear, hijacked the STRATA servers, locking many players inside the game as he reroutes incoming players to his game, an Obvious Beta. This results in a high alert the following day, as he is hunted down inside of his game.
Tropes used in Lear's Magic Archive Origin:
- Adult Fear: Dragun starts his intervention in that mindset MICHIKA was kidnapped. He taps into the fear of losing Michika to fight Lear, even seeing her instead of Cordelia in Lear's room.
- Cerebus Syndrome: This part is significantly Darker and Edgier.
- Crippling Overspecialization: Dragun and Jesus-kun learn it the hard way in their fights against Genesis and Myuu learning how to fight as part of a team against usually oversized bosses made them bad at fighting 1v1 battles against another person just like them.
- Difficulty Spike: The early creeps are easy, but the first sign of resistance is from Goneril and Regan, with their significant stats alone posing a threat.
- Flight: One of the new features of Lear's Magic Archive.
- Foil: To the original arc of STRATA, mostly due to there being a true villain and thus morality is firmly established.
- Hard Work Hardly Works: In the end, the victories in this arc don't really depend on skill.
- Lord British Postulate: Nearly invoked: the protagonists have to kill server admins. They win when admin status is taken away from them.
- Mood Whiplash: From the end of the Challenge's stress, to relief after it's over, to instant panic when MICHIKA is kidnapped and the STRATA servers are locked.
- The Most Dangerous Video Game: It's not the video game itself that is dangerous, but the glitch and bug abuse Lear ends up doing.
- Player Killing: Not a strong aspect here, even though Lear sends Goneril, Regan and Darkstar to PK the protagonists once they get into his game in an effort to get them to quit.
- Reality Ensues: Despite all their skill at STRATA, a game in which they're both swordfighters, Jesus-kun and Dragun get easily beat by Flora and Gunicorn respectively in real kendo spars because they had stopped so long ago. Their playing the game turns out to be their downfall, each in their own way:
- Jesus-kun ran straight into the wall because he didn't accelerate as fast in real life as he did in STRATA, and focused on his speed rather than his position.
- Dragun gets screwed by his muscle memory from playing STRATA because his real body can't move as fast as he can in the virtual world, so he trips over his first step.
- Unwinnable by Design: Lear's Magic Archive (the location, not the game) doesn't exist. Jesus-kun and Dragun can only get in Lear's personal map (the closest thing to any magic archive he might have) when they are teleported inside by the hackers on their side.
- What You Are in the Dark: A case where it shows the characters to themselves majorly Dragun realizing that with noone to play edgelord to he's a relatively normal person.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Completely averted by most as avatars are taken in straight from STRATA. However, Freya and Alysia have obviously new avatars, with Freya's golden-blonde hair and eyes being obvious marks that Lear's Magic Archive has an entirely different aesthetic.
Tropes associated with the new characters:
Order of Sol:
Flora / Niwa Haruka
- Jesus-kun's sister. Sadly for most, she's just as annoying as he is.
Tropes associated with Flora:
- Do Not Taunt Cthulhu: After getting Jesus-kun with a surprise Divine Blade smack to the face, Flora gloats about it in front of him despite being terribly underleveled. It doesn't end well for her.
- Flower Motifs: Everything related to her in-game. Her sword is named Black Lotus and her armguard Sakura Premium.
- The Gadfly: She likes annoying other people.
- Katanas Are Just Better: Averted, despite being a kendo champion in real life, her in-game self packs a shortsword and arm protector combo.
- Kick Them While They Are Down: Highly enjoys this pre-Character Development. She even steps on Jesus-kun as she pokes him in the head with her bokken at their kendo practice.
- Lightning Bruiser: She has a very quick-footed style with her fighting skills from real life granting her combat ability among the greatest.
- Not So Different: From Jesus-kun himself. For all the time she spends jabbing at his ego, she's just as annoyingly boastful as he is. Luckily for herself, she's very good at kendo up to in-game. Unluckily for her, Jesus-kun himself makes her swallow her pride.
- A Sinister Clue: While not exactly a villainess, she does antagonize Jesus-kun whenever given a chance and does wield her sword left-handed. However, just like Jesus-kun, she's ambidextrous, see below.
- Unsportsmanlike Gloating: Very guilty of this.
- Villainous Breakdown: When Jesus-kun forfeits their duel after decimating her after the Divine Blade smack. She stares in shock at her level up screen, unable to speak for 10 seconds until she starts ranting about how this is not a true victory.
- Weak, but Skilled: She says she got to level 65 so fast because she destroyed people 20 levels higher than her simply by being more skilled, reactive and adaptive.
Genesis / Yokka Yuzuki
- An expert duelist who only accepts strong challengers. Her current streak is at 21 victories.
Tropes associated with Genesis:
- Attack! Attack! Attack!: Her main use of her Dual Jumping skill is low jumping and feint attacks, notably a lot more offense-centered than Dragun's waving in and out of range.
- Blood Knight: She lives for good fights. She built herself a reputation as one of the Colosseum's top duelists by making mincemeat of her first opponents, and makes a big deal of every fight she gets into.
- Combat Pragmatist: She does not hesitate to use dirty tactics. Aiming for the head, kicking weapons, anything's good to win.
- Commuting on a Bus: Her policy in the Colosseum. Her first half-dozen fights were regular, and then she simply dismissed unworthy opponents.
- Establishing Character Moment: Dueling Dragun. And beating him with his own Unique Skill.
- Hero Killer: Hero Beater in her case, as she beat Dragun in her first appearance.
- Only in It for the Money: Averted. While she does make a big deal of her fights and asks for a lot of money to show up, she's in it for the fight and doesn't actually take the money.
- Pint-Sized Powerhouse: She's smaller than Caitlyn. It doesn't hold her back a lot.
- Shout-Out: She's not named after Genesis from Sword Art Online, but instead after The Bible itself, which she routinely quotes.
- Slasher Smile: She enjoys fighting a little too much.
- That One Player: She's widely considered this. Contrary to the usual assumption, she's far from being a munchkin, instead enjoying how strong she can become in-game and how huge a deal she can make out of it, while in real life, she can't leave her hospital room.
Catherine / Yonoshita Shizuka
- A player who partied once with Jesus-kun, but she's the player who started his path to being a better person.
Tropes associated with Catherine:
- The Big Guy: The party she formed with Jesus-kun and a few other guys had a fatal flaw: all of them were damage-dealers, so they tried to force the girl into becoming their tank. It didn't work... at first.
- Forgiveness: She does not resent exXElL at all for forcing her to play tank.
- Graceful Loser: She's way too late when she finds Jesus-kun again, as he's with Sunny, who would never allow any romantic advance she might make. She remains a very close and helpful friend to him.
- Heel Realization: She drove Jesus-kun to be less condescending and exXElL to be less pushy during the time they partied together.
- Morality Pet: Downplayed: Jesus-kun isn't anywhere near turning evil, but her mere presence does keep his ego in check.
- Never My Fault: The reason the party she was in with Jesus-kun split is that members kept throwing the blame on one another, most notably Jesus-kun for his condescending attitude and Catherine herself for her unwillingness to frontline.
Black / Nagi Kuro
- Tifanie's mentor in real-life blacksmithing, and the one who introduced her to STRATA. He got in only to test how real-life smithing worked in STRATA, but ended up helping the initial clearing group.
Tropes associated with Black:
- Ascended Extra: As he gets hooked into the L.M.A.O. disaster while most of the old cast remains sidelined for a while, he gets a share, since he only appeared previously to keep Tifanie's shop up while she was gone on the challenge and gets a majorly expanded role this time around.
- Big Brother Mentor: To Tifanie. Originally, he didn't care all that much about the game, with his main goal being to see how blacksmithing works in VR. He ended up being hooked to the game and supporting the first ever boss clear.
- Genius Bruiser: He's Tifanie's mentor in blacksmithing, and he takes this knowledge to the game to create the best weapons.
- I Have Many Names: Not him, but his axe. It's been given various names by bystanders, such as Thunder Lion and the Chocolate Axe. Each time, Black took care to incorporate the new nickname of his weapon into it.
- Older and Wiser: Being 30 years old makes him this to the rest of the Order of Sol's cast.
- Only Sane Man: Among the first ever boss clear in the game, he says that Devli was the only one who was remotely competent at party strategy, with people like Dragun and Jesus-kun in the party who relied on their own skill to carry the crew.
- Scary Black Man
- Sink-or-Swim Mentor: To Tifanie.
Devli / Kaimon Hisao
- A famed player, he was the one who lead the first ever boss fight party.
Tropes associated with Devli:
- Challenge Gamer: Instead of going on with the clearing rush, he power-leveled himself to be the first one to solo-clear the first boss.
- Non-Indicative Name: Swap the last two letters of his name. He's all but that.
- Older and Wiser: Than Jesus-kun. He is renowned as the first man to beat a boss by himself, yet when he boasts, it's usually about his looks.
- Pick-Up Group: He directed the first ever boss clear with this.
- Shout-Out: His self-appointed title of "Duke" alludes to Duke Devlin from Yu-Gi-Oh!.
- Stone Wall: His playstyle is very defensive.
- Stupid Sexy Flanders
Barretta / Amamori Honone
- A player who clings to Devli as of the latest incident.
Tropes associated with Barretta:
- Cold Sniper: She has a cold exterior and fights by throwing discs from the longest possible range.
- Does Not Like Men: She knows her mother died, but can't explain how her father left. She grew major distrust for men, though she does make exception for those she recognizes as having good morals (Devli), or those she can find at least some good in (Jesus-kun).
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Her dagger is named Kusun after its blade length of 9 sun (approximately 27.3 cm).
- Fragile Speedster: She even defied picking weapon throw to have more damaging attacks because the most important stat to her was speed and she was going for Master Walk from the start.
- Happily Adopted
- Hates Being Touched: She even admits to picking her Unique Skill so that she could phase through people who would attempt to touch her.
- Long-Range Fighter: As long-range as STRATA gets, but she usually skirts around midrange of her enemies throwing edged discs at them, with her Unique Skill only getting useful when her path is blocked by people.
- Ms. Fanservice: Invoked with her tacky outfit; time people spend looking at her body is time they don't spend looking into her mentality.
- The Stoic: She's very cold-looking, mainly due to her shyness.
- Tsundere: Non-romantically, towards Jesus-kun, which inverts the usual character development related to him. Other girls usually start out trying to get with Jesus-kun, with his attitude (or Sunny) eventually making them think twice about it. Barretta starts out hostile to Jesus-kun, but eventually accepts being his friend.
Gunicorn / Hoshizora Miaka
- Dragun's sister. Sadly for others, her attitude is just as bad as his, if not worse.
Tropes associated with Gunicorn:
- Character Development: Dragun took it upon himself to teach her that no matter how good you think you are or even how good you really are, being abrasive or condescending for the sake of looking cool will never earn you favors.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: By default, she's standoffish, condescending, overly competitive and she's got quite a bad temper. However, the easiest ways to get her to gun for you are sadism and bullying.
- Lightning Bruiser: She's got extremely quick reflexes, and the experience she brings from real life puts her head and shoulders above most players in every respect. This is only complemented by her stats and her Unique Skill, that she specifically grinded towards to patch her weaker defense with her good attack. When she does get overwhelmed though, she becomes more of a Fragile Speedster.
- Not So Different: Just like her brother, she's a ruthless, unforgiving smartass, with a massive Inferiority Superiority Complex, but she shares his intense fear of even in-game death, and she's got no patience for stupidity and player-killers. Both of them often use their attitude to drive the other forward.
- Tranquil Fury: When she's pissed, she goes completely silent, as she's entirely focused on dismantling her target as fast as possible.
Myuu / Tajiri Miyu
- A frequent sight at colosseums, Myuu spends most of her time fighting. Unbeknownst to most, she's actually in the Sleeping Forest not that she acts any part of it...
Tropes associated with Myuu:
- The Ace: Not only does she dual-wield like Jesus-kun, she defeats him clean. Her win streak only proves her expertise in one-on-one duels, which widely surpasses Jesus-kun's.
- Badass Adorable: Very subverted. She doesn't make an adorable first impression despite what her looks would have some others think.
- The Berserker: Her fighting style is to force pressure on the opponent and not leaving them with any time to think. Due to her superior reflexes and damage output, she can avoid and deal more damage than her opponent.
- Call-Back: When beaten by Jesus-kun, Myuu throws a temper tantrum about how she risks dying if she fights, which is reminiscent of Dragun's pathological fear of death. But Myuu actually suffers from excess adrenaline, so being stuck in the death timer screen even for one minute is one minute of idleness she actually can't stand.
- Defeating the Undefeatable: Beating her in one-versus-one is considered this. Considering her massive winning streak that even Jesus-kun failed to break, this has some grounds.
- Establishing Character Moment: Her increasing her colosseum victory streak to 173 by defeating Jesus-kun.
- Genki Girl: This is actually an effect of her excess adrenaline.
- Glass Cannon: Subverted: Dragun expects her to go down easily to Jesus-kun due to her Dual Wielding just like him. Unlike Jesus-kun, her stat spread isn't as specialized and not only does she manage to block some of Jesus-kun's offense, but his defense doesn't keep up to her offense.
- Hidden Depths: Few people get to meet Myuu outside fighting-related situations. Outside of battle, she is constantly seeking for fights not out of her love for thrills but out of fear this life may end at any moment. She also has mutism attacks out of this very same fear.
- Ill Girl: In real life, her underdeveloped physique leaves her naturally weak and frail. This is one of the reasons she turned to VR gaming.
- In Harm's Way: She's described as an adrenaline junkie by guildmates, due to her massively enjoying the thrill of danger in dueling.
- Killer Rabbit: She's small and adorable on the surface, but she's a deadly duelist, and a Punisher on the side.
- The Nicknamer: She calls Rockwald "Rocky" and finds similar diminutives to address just about everyone.
- Embarrassing Nickname: Dragun doesn't enjoy being called "Draggy".
- The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: Unlike other Sleeping Forest members, her primary interactions in L.M.A.O. are with Jesus-kun, a Zenith Knight.
- Purple Is Powerful: While coincidential, her purple wear sets her as this.
- Rebellious Spirit: She isn't a stickler for rules, and mostly obeys Rockwald because he's a nice person.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: The first thing she rushed wasn't even her weaponry set, it was, by her words:"The dream of all girls: pink hair!"
Mirai / Saejima Rumika
- A short-time guildmate of Dragun's from very old days. She had retired for a long time due to her friends, but has found the strength to see beyond what was her friends' Rage Quit. During the challenge, she tracked down the Sleeping Forest to find him again.
Tropes associated with Mirai:
- Determinator: Her story goes a long way back. Early in Dragun's STRATA runs, when he dropped off the initial floor-clearing rush, he joined the guild she was a part of. However, following a party wipe, her friends ragequitted the game and dragged her along. It took her a while to build herself up to this, but when she was back to playing STRATA, she resolved to find Dragun to at least apologize. She spent a long time seeking him out, and during the challenge, she was looking for a way to join the Sleeping Forest.
- Failed a Spot Check: At level 50, she was proposed to learn a Unique Skill and picked Gear Shift without a second thought as it was the only one she could learn at the time (because she spent half her time switching between spear and shield on the whims of her old guild), unknowing that she could fulfill the requirements for learning another Unique Skill later.
- Graceful Loser: By the time she gets back to Dragun, he's with MICHIKA. Mirai only wishes them the best and forfeits her romantic advances, but still preserves a genuine friendship.
- Nice Girl: One of the reasons Dragun got nicer is because of how nice she was to him even though he tried his hardest to be the biggest douchebag he could be. For this reason and the time they lost due to her leave from the game, he refuses to get angry at her.
- Her game name and her shield's name form Mirai Asahina, aka Cure Miracle.
- Shrinking Violet
- 10-Minute Retirement: Averted; she was gone from playing STRATA for a full year, and then had to desperately look for Dragun.
- Theme Naming: Her motif is the future. Her name "Mirai", means "future", "Mayonaka" translates to midnight (the exact minute where a new calendar day starts), and Asahina is a family name meaning "morning field" (the morning being the moment where a person's day starts).
Seth / Yamamoto Jun
- Head of the Sleeping Forest's Punishers, Seth is a man of a few words. He remains a constant voice of reason, reminding the party of the objective at hand.
Tropes associated with Seth:
- Knight In Sour Armor: He's not optimist by any stretch, but he still tries his best to be as agreeable as he can, unless he's on the job.
- Guile Hero: Despite his juggernaut stat lineup, Seth mostly tries To Win Without Fighting.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: His weapon is a lance, and he does impale his Punished victims if he gets his lance out.
- Implacable Man: When he doesn't set himself up to do the kill, Seth approaches Punisher duty by endlessly walking towards his target, shrugging off most attacks and relying on the scare factor to let whatever other Punisher is on the job do his/her work.
- Neck Snap: His go-to method of punishing is hiding in a place and doing this on the griefer who's unfortunate enough to have met him.
- Orcus on His Throne: As Head Punisher, he doesn't do much Punishing himself, more often supervising other Punishers.
- The Reliable One: His seriousness and drive got him recognized as such to the point he's on Rockwald's council.
- The Stoic: It's in the blood.
Annie / Unohana Miku
- A dragon tamer, Annie is also one of the youngest players in the game but she is a Punisher for a reason.
Tropes associated with Annie:
- The Baby of the Bunch: She's noticeably more childish than the other top members of the Sleeping Forest, even though she's only Dragun's junior by a couple years.
- Badass Adorable: Contrary to Caitlyn, though, her threat comes from how fast she can kill you.
- Glass Cannon: Even with Beast Bond, Annie remains fragile due to being entirely geared towards offense.
- Knife Nut: She wields two daggers.
- Shout-Out: Her pyromancy, young age, temper, and even her name: everything points to Annie from League of Legends.
- Taking the Bullet: Much like Caitlyn, she has a pet that can take hits for her.
Deadeye / Asaya Tsunon
- A Punisher. She approaches her appointed jobs very seriously.
Tropes associated with Deadeye:
- Handicapped Badass: Averted. She's one-eyed in real life, but only a badass in-game.
- Meganekko: In the real world, she wears them both because she needs them and they help hide her damaged eye. In the game, she wears them for aesthetic effect, and because she's used to them.
- Pay Evil unto Evil: She spends most of her time acting as a Bully Hunter in-game because she's victim of bullying in real life.
Achroma / Komatsuzaki Kayoko
- A player aligned with the Aces & Eights, she has a hit on Lear.
Tropes associated with Achroma:
- HeelFace Turn: Her presence is one for the Aces&Eights. From player-killers set on making money off of disturbing Daystar and Rockwald's challenge, their presence goes to basically doing the same thing as the heroes, with a much friendlier face, to boot.
- Shout-Out: Besides her game name meaning "colorless", it also is a reference to Magic: The Gathering angel Akroma.
- Token Evil Teammate: Sort of, but she's the one that's willing to murder every player looking to stop the progression.
Alysia / Harusame Kokona & Freya / Orikasa One
- Two players asked to advertise the game. They appear in the starting cities.
Tropes associated with both:
- Badass in Distress: Despite being trapped in their respective cities, they are quite strong at fighting. Though they can't ever break out and are thus unable to contribute.
- Friendly Enemy: They're only here to advertise the game, and have no personal bone to pick with anyone only fighting because Dragun and Jesus-kun are out to take down Lear (who they know nothing really bad about), which would take down the game.
Tropes associated with Alysia:
- BFS: Her nodachi is extremely long.
- Boobs of Steel: The most well-endowed character in the entire cast. Turns out to be quite good with a sword in her hands.
- Lady of War: Exhibits an air of elegance, yet she is very skilled at fighting.
- Rapunzel Hair: Her hair almost reach her ankles.
Tropes associated with Freya:
- Cat Girl
- Cute Little Fangs: Appear on occasion.
- Fragile Speedster
- Kindhearted Cat Lover: She's a jolly person, and it's obvious she likes cats considering everything about her alludes to cats and how she coddles her pet in this game.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Her pet Nyu is a cat dragon.
- Puppet Fighter: She attacks in tandem with her pet cat, which, constrasting Caitlyn's healing pet and Annie's magic attack pet, is a DPS physical attack pet.
- Theme Naming: Everything about her is related to cats. Freya is a norse goddess who was related to cats, Mau is the Ancient Egyptian name for cats and Nyu is a slightly changed "nya", Japan's equivalent of "meow".
- Wolverine Claws: Her Weapon of Choice.
Goneril & Regan
- Two of Lear's sisters, sent to antagonize the players attempting to get at him.
Tropes associated with both:
- Know When to Fold 'Em: Goneril and Regan stop protecting Lear out of the blue when they realize he's doing it all for no reason.
- Theme Naming: Lear forced his sisters to choose between the name of the original King Lear's three daughters.
- Turn Coat: Goneril is the first, but Regan quickly follows.
Tropes associated with Goneril:
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: She surprisingly inverts GIFT, acting professionally and amiably to Freya and Alysia, but condescending to Cordelia, Regan, Darkstar, and even Lear.
- The Chessmaster: She prefers manipulating people rather than getting her hands dirty, even turning to manipulating Darkstar much like her brother would, except she just annoys him into doing what she asks him just so she'll leave him alone.
- Fish out of Water: She doesn't behave like you'd expect an MMORPG gamer to, instead acting like a person in the normal world. In fact, she never adresses people by their character name, instead referring to them by their real name and in the case she doesn't know it, she finds other ways to address them.
- Flaming Sword
- Noble Demon: She's polite even to her enemies (more so than to her allies, in fact), but makes it clear she comes to halt their progress. Still, she is appalled at what Lear will do, doubly so at the fact that it's all for no gain.
- The Ojou: While much less rich than MICHIKA, she behaves the part.
- One-Handed Zweihänder
- Pet the Dog: While distant, she behaves amiably to characters who aren't related to her.
- Pragmatic Villain: She turns coat when she notices that Lear has trapped Cordelia for no apparent reason and stands no chance against the opposing party.
- Villain: Exit, Stage Left: Halfway through, she simply decides fighting for Lear is not worth it, and leaves after an attempt to intimidate Regan into leaving.
Tropes associated with Regan:
- Blood Knight: She has quite the propensity for violence.
- Cain and Abel: With Goneril, to Cordelia.
- Kick the Dog: She most often acts as Goneril's watchdog. This includes beating up Darkstar if he doesn't obey her.
- Know When to Fold 'Em: She's not much slower than Goneril in pulling away from Lear when given the chance.
- Meaningful Name: The sisters' game names hit very close to home.
- Middle Child Syndrome: As Goneril is the older sister and Cordelia is the youngest and Lear's favourite.
- The Sociopath: In game, she doesn't care about anyone but herself.
- Another player aligned with Lear. He always appears to strike a conversation only to start a fight over the flimsiest of reasons.
Tropes associated with Darkstar:
- Anti-Villain: He's coerced into the situation by Lear who's using his love for Cordelia to pressure him into doing his bidding. Even though he'd rather not protect him, he has a tendency to attack the protagonists anyway because of his really snappy temper.
- Awesome, but Impractical: His build itself combines Jack-of-All-Stats with this. His stat lineup is built with speed while the Luminario's size and Divine Block cover offense and defense. However, the weight of the Luminario makes him unable to Flash Step and his attack speed is slower than his movement, not to mention he effectively only has one asset for offense and defense.
- Black Swords Are Better: The Luminario is black with a white edge.
- Cute and Psycho: His little size and mood make him look like a little kid, yet slips into psychotic rage as he's fighting.
- Darker and Edgier: His only source of ego is playing himself as some dark variation on Daystar. He's also this to the similarly-clad Dragun.
- Emo Teen
- Evil Wears Black: Subverted because he turns on Lear as soon as he thinks he can afford to, and he was wearing black before the incident.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Due to his massive inferiority complex and the pressure Lear puts on him.
- Hey, You!: Addresses everyone this way in the game, with varying degrees of disrespect depending on Japanese Pronouns.
- Lightning Bruiser: Despite the lackings of his build, he still has high power, defense and speed.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: He insists on it, as he doesn't like his real name. Lear, being Lear, always calls him by his real name.
- The Power of Love: Not always a good thing; he notes that his association with Lear is only due to Cordelia being Lear's RL sister. However, it also causes his HeelFace Turn when he leaks all his knowledge of The Very Definitely Final Dungeon (including boss stats, spawn point and The Maze) to Dragun and Jesus-kun so that they can save her, since he can't.
- Redemption Promotion: It mostly has to do with the opposition's mettle, but he beats Dragun and Jesus-kun at clearing the final dungeon's creeps.
- Sixth Ranger: Is this to whatever group he's in.
- Unskilled, but Strong: He looks like so early on, mostly due to fighting like The Berserker. Post-HeelFace Turn, he doesn't let rage overcome his reason and thus his actual skill shines.
- Lear's sister, she was kidnapped by him and put into the place he intended for Michika.
Tropes associated with Cordelia:
- Attempted Rape: Possibly falls victim to this.
- Badass in Distress: While her build is mostly an Informed Attribute, she has hit level 50 and learned Divine Blade.
- Damsel in Distress: She's held captive by Lear where he used to have MICHIKA.
- Defiant Captive: When Jesus-kun and Dragun get to Lear, she does nothing to help him, instead cheering the rescuers on the entire time.
- Shout-Out: Named after Cordelia from King Lear, alluding to her family bond to Lear.
- Uptown Girl: She's from a substantially richer social status than her lover Darkstar.
- The apparent Final Boss of the World Tree. He's also the one responsible for acting out the hacking plan.
Tropes associated with Draco:
- The GM Is A Cheating Bastard: His mod status gives him access to all skills in the game (including Unique Magic and even Unique Skills) and maxed-out stats.
- The Heavy: While Lear is the main threat, most of his crimes have been committed by Draco's hands.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: His overpowered skills are not limited to him, and Dragun and Jesus-kun use the ones they got to defeat him.
- The Law of Diminishing Defensive Effort: Used against him by Darkstar. When he tells Jesus-kun and Dragun about how to beat him, he asks them to go for a huge initial burst of damage as Draco won't even defend himself due to how invincible he thinks he is.
- No Cure for Evil: Draco doesn't think of using the overpowered healing spell he has access to to heal himself.
- One-Handed Zweihänder: His sword is a two-handed sword, as made obvious by its length.
- Playing with Fire
- Shout-Out: Named after Draco Malfoy, as in the Trope Namer for Draco in Leather Pants.
- Troll: See below.
- Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: When defeated, he fakes a glitched-out message as he disconnects.
- The Big Bad, responsible for the entire plot of that season.
Tropes associated with Lear:
- Always Someone Better: Despite his gorgeous artwork, Lear is not competent at game design a major point of his jealousy of Daystar and Rockwald.
- Arc Villain: This time around, he takes center stage.
- Arranged Marriage: Attempts to stage one with MICHIKA.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Lear appears as a competent businessman in real life enough to get into the good graces of MICHIKA's parents (even though he's working to betray them). And yes, he was comparatively nice in the first part.
- Contrasting Sequel Antagonist:
- The fact that there's an antagonist at all, let alone a true Villain Antagonist, is the biggest contrast.
- But compared to both Daystar and Rockwald (who had the role of the Final Boss), Lear is not a honorable opponent: he locks the log-out button for STRATA players, hacks the servers so log-ins get redirected to his own game, locks MICHIKA in his admin-only room to take over her parents' company, and when it fails, does the same to Cordelia and uses her to pressure Darkstar into doing his bidding. Also, he's obviously incompetent at game design, with his only talent being his gorgeous art, and he needs to abuse his admin tools to be a threat.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: He's trying to take over the company he's working at.
- Dirty Coward: When the tables are turned on him, he throws a hissy fit and tries to get out of here but fails as Dragun and Jesus-kun carry out his punishment.
- Faux Affably Evil: Especially obvious in how he deals with Darkstar. He speaks formal and polite while preying on the boy's ego in what is essentially blackmail.
- The GM Is A Cheating Bastard: The entirety of his threat level comes from this. He disables magic in his admin rooms and blinks his avatar as fast as his perceptions allow him to. He also uses STRATA, a game-breaker of a sword not meant for normal gameplay.
- Half the Man He Used to Be: Jesus-kun ends up bisecting him with the Lightbringer.
- Hate Sink: There's not a second where he appears not to be an asshole.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: When Rockwald lends his admin account to Dragun, the latter overrides his admin tools, disabling his constant teleporting and his pain nullifier.
- Humiliation Conga: Again. It starts when Goneril and Regan both turn on him, with Regan preventing Darkstar from interfering for a good while. Then Darkstar himself finds an opportunity to turn on him and helps his opponents rush through the endgame; at this point, he can't turn to Alysia or Freya because he kept them in the dark and they would refuse to help him, and his only defense left is Draco who loses in short order. Then Daystar (from outside the game) teleports Jesus-kun and Dragun in his private admin room. Even though his admin tools allow him to dominate Dragun and Jesus-kun, nearly killing the former off in the process, his luck turns as Dragun relogs in as Rockwald, complete with admin tools, which gives the two time to remove his admin powers from his own game and punish him in kind as Cordelia cheers them on the entire time. When he escapes the game, he gets fired, thrown to court and executed for the number and variety of the crimes he has committed.
- I Have You Now, My Pretty: He tried on MICHIKA, but it failed as she was quickly pulled out of the game. So he put his own sister in her place.
- Inelegant Blubbering: When he gets hit in the face by Divine Blade, his initial reaction is this. Then Dragun nulls the Pain Absorber and he Screams Like a Little Girl.
- Kick the Dog: In copious amounts, mostly towards Darkstar and Cordelia.
- Kick Them While They Are Down: How he tries to kill Dragun after killing his avatar. He freezes Dragun's death animation, so he's vulnerable to another hit that would kill him again and lock him in a bugged death state, sticking him in a coma.
- Killer Game Master: He lets Draco go to town with all the spells in the game in an attempt to kill Dragun and Jesus-kun. Even when they defeat him, they find out that the supposed path to the final boss does not exist, instead being replaced by an infinite loop of vine to climb. And when Dragun and Jesus-kun actually get to him, he tries to actually kill them.
- Moral Myopia: He complains about everything that happens to him while he's guilty of far worse crimes.
- No Sense of Personal Space: He gets far too close to every girl he has on hand at any moment.
- Orcus on His Throne: He sits back and watches as his subordinates do all his dirty work.
- Promotion to Parent: He ran away from his home and took away his sister Cordelia from their neglecting parents when he got his job. He hasn't been much better to her.
- Psychopathic Manchild: Lear. He uses admin powers for the Catharsis Factor of getting away with being the absolute worst dickbag he can be, and throws a temper tantrum when things start not going his way.
- Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: He has Attempted Rape on both MICHIKA and Cordelia. This doesn't help his case when he is ultimaely brought to court for his various crimes.
- Stalker Without a Crush: To MICHIKA. His attempt at marrying her only carries the purpose of helping him get higher up the social ladder.
- Villainous Breakdown: As things start going wrong for him, he effectively rages at everyone and everything for getting in his way.