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Off the Line by esama is a Final Fantasy VII Alternate Universe fanfic. Cloud gets a Virtual Reality Dream Console, a high-tech virtual reality video game console, as a sleeping aid assigned by his regiment's physician for his sleeping problems.

Cloud decides to use his VRDC to play the popular MMORPG Terra Online as the character Rainstorm so he can have some fun while he dreams. It goes downhill from here.

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Tropes:

  • A Darker Me: Cloud is a shy teenager in real-life, but Rainstorm is an assertive Blood Knight and Deadpan Snarker who takes shit from no one.
  • A Friend in Need: After the Albrook Massacre, Treasure Princess and Red XII seek out Rainstorm and protect him from bounty hunters.
  • Acceptable Breaks from Reality: VRDC's simulation technology is so advanced that the creator had to scale things down so they wouldn't lose themselves in the game.
  • Achievements in Ignorance: Rainstorm's shtick is that he achieves a lot of things because he doesn't know any better as a new player:
    • Rainstorm befriends Red XIII because he assumed that the latter had an unique player class as opposed to most players who assume Red XIII is a mob or a pet.
    • Rainstorm kills players higher-leveled than him, due to applying real-world logic and physics onto the game, which most players don't.
    • Rainstorm finds out that Vincent is a real person and not a boss nor a glitch after a few minutes of talking to him, while Cait Sith didn't know even after ten years of attempting to delete Vincent.
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    • When hired by Reeve to work in Terra Online's Development team, he is able to do many things in the 'primordial soup' of the VRDC, despite Reeve stating it takes months to years of training to be able to do the things Cloud was doing.
  • Affectionate Parody: Of full-immersion MMORPG stories like .hack and ½ Prince.
  • Age Lift: Cloud's age is changed from 14 to 16.
  • Amazon Brigade: The Vieravengers, a whole assassins guild of Viera women who banded together swore a blood feud against Rainstorm for making them victims of Revenge by Proxy.
  • And I Must Scream: Vincent is trapped in a game where he can never sleep or let his guard down without risking being killed by players or the game's moderator, and no one until Rainstorm had ever realized that he was a person. The reason his mind is such a wreck and he can't remember anything is because he never had the chance to rest, thus he couldn't properly process his memories.
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  • Angel Face, Demon Face: When Vincent was a boss mob, his head was circled with jagged horns and he had claw-like hands with leathery wings. He was a Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette with visible veins on his skin with his hair covering his face, giving him a very demonic appearance. As a pet mob, he's nearly indistinguishable from a human aside from his wings, as he loses the horns, the veins, the paleness, and his face is visible.
  • Ascended Fanboy: Cloud starts as a newbie player and ends up joining the Terra Online development team, having been personally scouted by the game's creator.
  • Asshole Victim: A lot of Cloud's kills are people trying to kill him or sexually harass him.
  • Badass Adorable: Cid as Naut. Naut is an adorable moogle who is a high-level Machinist and Dragoon.
  • Bait-and-Switch: When Bigshot discovers Rainstorm's actual gender after he drops his disguise, he keeps asking if Rainstorm's gay. He stubbornly refuses to let the subject die and or let Rainstorm change the subject. When Rainstorm admits that he's bisexual, Bigshot turns out to be supportive of Rainstorm's sexuality and gives him a Bear Hug, to Rainstorm's relief.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: Cloud is thankful that avatars are not anatomically correct and his character is built like a doll, or he would risk flashing other players. Not to mention other reasons...
  • Beautiful All Along: The Demon of the Wastes is surprisingly good-looking.
    • Vincent is surprised that Cloud is actually handsome in his actual appearance.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: Rainstorm and Red XIII became fast friends because they were the first people that didn't harass them upon meeting them.
    • Vincent became very devoted to Cloud after he protects him from Cait Sith and treats him as a person.
  • Bedlah Babe: Rainstorm's heavy armor is transformed to make him look like a harem girl.
  • Beneath the Mask: Cloud in real life is timid and unassuming, while Rainstorm in Terra Online is assertive and brave. Cloud's body language shifts when he decides to "be Rainstorm" when standing up for himself.
  • Benevolent A.I.: Despite being a Troll, Cait Sith does and is programmed to have the players' best interests at heart as moderator. He was created so humans wouldn't get access to the ton of sensitive information that VRDC collects.
  • Berserk Button: Rainstorm is noted to have two things that can anger him to the point of homicide: sexual harassment and bounty hunters.
    • Vincent's is being made to do nothing while Rainstorm is attacked; he is outright offended when Rainstorm asks him not to fight so the former doesn't accidentally level up Rainstorm. He calms down when Rainstorm assures him that the ban only applies to monsters and not players. And that's nothing compared to when someone tries to hurt Rainstorm. The destruction of the Elder Tree started when someone was badmouthing Rainstorm and made threatening motions. Vincent shot the guy, which accidentally outed Rainstorm.
    • Add Killing Vincent to the things that piss him off, it being the main reason why he was able to kill the leader of the Vieravengers, namely because she killed Vincent.
  • Bi the Way: Cloud identifies as bisexual with a preference for men.
  • Big Good: Cait Sith, the AI created by Reeve, who serves as the moderator and head admin of the game. Reeve, creator of Cait Sith and of Terra Online serves as the Bigger Good.
    • When Nanaki suffered glitches in his gameplay due to the incompatibility of his headgear, Reeve tracked him down and made him a custom headgear in exchange for Nanaki's permission to study Nanaki's data.
    • When Rainstorm finds out that Vincent is a player and not a virus, Cait Sith does everything he can to make up for his past actions to Vincent, and Reeve plans to track down Vincent's comatose body.
    • Reeve then offers Cloud a Job at Shinra as a programmer, just so then he could help with finding Vincent's body and improve Terra Online.
  • Bounty Hunter: Countless scores of them are constantly chasing after Cloud/Rainstorm for his massive bounty, which they need to kill and loot him to get. They are noted to be an opportunistic and unpleasant bunch who often hunt down lower-level players instead of the stronger players. Rainstorm kills them in order to either defend himself or just for sport.
  • Bridal Carry: This is the easiest way for Vincent to carry Rainstorm while he's flying.
  • Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: Vincent and Rainstorm have this dynamic, especially when the latter is in his female form.
  • Bully Hunter: Rainstorm meets Flower when he defends her from perverts harassing her by killing them.
  • Bullet Proof Human Shield: Justified game mechanics make it impossible for attacks to kill party members, so Rainstorm grabs a fallen bounty hunter to use as a shield to protect him from the other bounty hunters' attacks.
  • Bullet Time: Being on Haste makes time feel like it's slowing to a crawl and everyone else moves slowly.
  • Butt-Monkey: The game goes out of its way to make things difficult or embarrassing for Rainstorm.
  • Catch a Falling Star: Rainstorm has to jump out of the unconscious Vincent's arms, slide down the canyon wall to land, than jump back up in the air to catch the falling Vincent.
  • Chainmail Bikini: Any armor the Viera wear turns into this. Its impracticality is lampshaded twice: when Rainstorm fights a monster, he gets whipped in his vulnerable bare midsection. Rainstorm kills a woman by piercing her heart when he steps on her because all she wore on her midsection was a corset. Red XII notes that most Viera tend to be long-distance fighters like archers and mages, which tend to negate the inherent disadvantage.
    • Rainstorm meets a whole guild of people who dress in one.
  • Ceiling Cling: Yuffie had to cling to a stalactite for 4 hours because she had lost her levels due to the Overseers, and attempted to fight the cave's boss and then realized how week she had become and didn't have the means to escape.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: The plot started to move and darken at the arrival of Vincent and Aerith.
  • Combat Pragmatist: When Rainstorm fights, he aims for the throat and heart. And later on, he decides to trick people into firing on each other, uses people as meatshields, and uses/destroys the environment around him.
  • Combat Stiletto: Rainstorm's shoes. They are literally so sharp that he accidentally killed a woman when he stepped on her. They are almost surprisingly practical for his race because they help with his balance.
    • In the Elder Tree incident, Rainstorm's heel slices a bounty hunter's throat open when he kicks him in the throat.
  • Continuing Is Painful: The practice of Corpse-Camping, the act of repeatedly killing a character to make them lose their levels, items, and stats. Yuffie was corpse-camped so badly that she went from level 42 to level 1.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Lampshaded by Sephiroth when he meets Rainstorm in the Wastes just after talking to Zoto and Beloved about him.
  • Covert Pervert: While Vincent keeps a straight face, and for the most part, his affection for Rainstorm is kept chaste, he is definitely affected by always having to be near a Shameless Fanservice Guy. In his own thoughts, he expresses the desire to touch Rainstorm more intimately.
  • Crutch Character: Out of boredom and to help their newbie friend, Treasure Princess and Red XIII give needed help, advice, and status buffs. Although Red XIII avoids fighting so he won't be an EXP sponge.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The bounty hunters have no chance against Rainstorm.
  • Cute Monster Girl: Treasure Princess is a Gria, a half-dragon half-girl.
  • Death Is Cheap: Due to being in a video game, characters are constantly getting killed with the only consequences being a loss of EXP and gold.
  • Desperately Craves Affection: Vincent craves positive physical contact, because the only time he had any contact in the last 15 years was when people were trying to kill him. Thankfully, Rainstorm is patient and gives him affection while checking that he doesn't violate Vincent's comfort zone.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: While Flower didn't like being robbed by Treasure Princess, she thought that the Overseers went too far by Corpse-Camping Princess back to level 1.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Beloved experiences this when he finally gets a good look at Rainstorm during the battle at Alexandra, and gets killed by Naut's Dynamic Entry.
  • Dramatic Irony: Barret is the one of the few people in Correl that supports ShinRa despite having his suspicions.
  • Double Standard: A lot of players heavily discriminate against female players who chose to play in non-humanoid and unsexualized player characters.
  • The Easy Way or the Hard Way: Nanaki tells Cloud that there's an easy way to deal with his bounty and infamy: let someone else kill him and start over. Naturally, Rainstorm refuses, despite how much easier it would make things for him.
  • Entertainingly Wrong: Sephiroth thought Rainstorm deliberately went out of his way to break his kill record by instigating the massacre.
    • With Red XIII visibly talking to players, everyone assumes that he's a hacker due to his unique appearance. These same players also logically assume that Vincent is a regular if high-leveled player.
    • Once Aerith realizes that Vincent is a person she starts thinking that Cloud and him are a Dominant/Submissive couple that is hacking the game in order to be owner and pet. She finds it adorable, in a weird, kinky way.
  • Everyone Can See It: Everyone in Rainstorm's party can see that Rainstorm and Vincent are a little too affectionate to be considered platonic.
  • Expecting Someone Taller: People are always surprised that That Viera Bastard, the player who massacred many players, happens to be very Stripperiffic.
    • Flower thought Rainstorm would be vicious and cruel person going by his reputation, only to be surprised that he's actually an honorable and protective person.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: 40 chapters take over the course of 4 days.
  • Face of a Thug: Bigshot/Barret comes across as extremely intimidating despite otherwise being a nice person.
  • Famed In-Story: Rainstorm is rather infamous in Terra Online to the point that he has forums dedicated to him and leaderboards dedicated to his kills.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Rainstorm and Treasure Princess become friends after they take a boss down together.
    • Rainstorm and Flower become friends after they destroy a city together in an attempt to get away from harassers gone wrong.
  • Foreshadowing: When Rainstorm is being harassed by a lecherous guild, one of the members promise him a cuter pet, assuming that Red XII was Rainstorm's pet mob. Vincent, who becomes Rainstorm's pet, is noted to be a Bishōnen.
    • Yuffie/Treasure Princess lost her levels and her loot when she was corpse-camped by the Overseers for robbing their darling. The Overseer's darling turns out to be Aerith/Flower.
    • Sephiroth mentions trying to find the Demon of the Wastes, since it's the strongest and most elusive monster in the game. When Rainstorm tries hiding in the wastes, he stumbles upon the monster, who turns out to be Vincent.
    • Cait Sith mentions making in-game businesses run by players a new feature. Later, Tifa/Sonata is shown running her own bar in her guild house via loophole.
  • Frame-Up: Rainstorm is framed by Tseng for Aerith's destruction of the Elder Tree, putting a huge bounty on his head in the hopes that Rainstorm's higher bounty and bad reputation would distract bounty hunters from Flower's higher kill count.
    • Funnily enough, Rainstorm considers the bounty on his head a good thing, as this would do as the bounty is intended, but decided to get rid of Flower's bounty as well for good measure.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Rainstorm.
  • Gender Bender: Rainstorm gets an enchanted choker that turns him female.
  • G.I.F.T.: Players can be jerks in Terra Online. Red XIII got killed and robbed several times, and Rainstorm and Flower get sexually harassed. They also pull this as revenge, causing other players grief and causing as much havoc as possible.
  • Gilded Cage: Aerith/Flower is coddled and absolutely forbidden from leaving the city of Alexandria and the watchful eye of the Turks/Overseers. It took Flower months of planning for to escape them.
  • Glamour Failure: Vincent can see past people's player avatars to the actual person.
  • Guardian Entity: As Rainstorm's pet, Vincent is this in practice. He would defend Rainstorm from threats with extreme prejudice.
  • GMPC: Cait Sith is not only an NPC, but the game's admin and head designer.
  • Happiness in Slavery: Vincent is turned into Cloud's pet by Cait Sith due to him being unable to turn Vincent into a player. Vincent becoming a pet is for the best, since Vincent won't be constantly attacked by players, and Cloud wouldn't even consider exploiting him. On Vincent's part, he doesn't like being a pet, but likes Cloud's affection and protection. Helps that Cloud is very respectful of Vincent's boundaries.
  • Happily Married: Mena and Bigshot AKA Myrna and Barret Wallace.
  • Hard Work Hardly Works: Zigzagged. Red XIII and Vincent can power-level weaker players as long as the players are in their party. Yuffie takes this option to get her character's levels back, Cloud refuses because he doesn't want to be cheated out of the experience.
  • How Do I Shot Web?: As a newbie, Cloud has little idea how the game works.
  • Humans Are Special: This is Reeve's reason why he's more fascinated by Rainstorm than Flower or Red XIII. While Flower and Red XIII are unique, being nonhuman means that anything he gets from them will be nothing more than a curiosity. Since Rainstorm is a normal human but has such strange instincts when it comes to VRDC, means it can be applicable to other people. This leads Reeve to hire Cloud as a techie for Terra Online.
  • I Just Want to Be Free: Vincent's biggest wish is to get out of the virtual reality and rejoin the real world.
  • Identity Amnesia: After 15 years of no sleep, the only thing Vincent remembers of his old life is his name, his marksmanship, and that it is cold where his actual body lies. a little later he remembers certain Turk signals, like making a distraction.
  • Ill Girl: Mena/Myrna Wallace is one in real life, being so ill that she has no energy to leave her bed. Barret introduced to her Terra Online so she could have a life outside her illness.
  • I'm Cold... So Cold...: Whenever Vincent is killed, the only thing he remembers of the place he gets sent to is that it feels extremely cold.
  • The Insomniac: Vincent has not properly slept in 10-15 years due to being physically and mentally trapped in Terra Online, and his mental health has suffered from it. It's implied that he only slept when he was killed by other players.
  • In-Universe Nickname: Naut calls Rainstorm "skimpy."
  • Irony: Despite being a ShinRa product with high-ranking guilds being full of ShinRa employees, a lot of Wutai citizens and anti-Shinra organizations also play the game.
    • Vincent in canon was sealed in a coffin and slept for many years. Here, Vincent hasn't properly slept for 15 years!
    • Cait Sith, who in canon was made to leak information to Shinra, was made here to protect information from ShinRa.
    • Cloud does kill Aerith...but since Death Is Cheap it's no biggie and merely gives them extra money for their needs and removes the Bounty from Aerith.
  • It Amused Me: Naut, a high-level Moogle armorer, helps Rainstorm, Red XII, and Treasure Princess defend themselves from bounty hunters because he thought it was funny. In fact, he had a blast messing with them.
  • "It" Is Dehumanizing: The Demon of the Wastes is referred as an 'it' and treated as a fascinating glitch AI.
  • It Can Think: Cait Sith is rather surprised that the Demon of the Wastes glitch can remember things, assess danger, and make decisions. Only to find out to his horror that Vincent is not an 'it'.
  • Joke Character: The Viera Race were created as a fanservice joke about skimpy impractical armor.
  • Kill Steal: So they don't get infamy from killing players, Princess and Red XIII attack players but have Rainstorm finish them off.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Reeve flat-out calls Rainstorm a "video game protagonist" for his strange abilities, weird honor, and the varied company he keeps.
  • Lethal Joke Character: Rainstorm proves to be one for the Viera Race. While his clothing is always impractical, he is crazy-fast with great reflexes and balance due to his natural reflexes and racial bonus.
    • The Vieravengers are noted to be full of assassins and ninjas and reveal that they are classes that are not only popular for Viera, but they are very good at. Red mage, white mage, black mage, summoner and shaman are also popular choices, resulting in an entire Guild you don't want to piss off.
  • Level Grinding: The preferred and fairly quick way is to do quests, even though one can level up by killing monsters, or power-level by having a high-level party member do the work for you.
  • Loophole Abuse: Treasure Princess gives Rainstorm ninja status buffs by using a magic-reflecting mirror to bounce the buffs off herself onto Rainstorm.
  • Marshmallow Hell : Rare gender-inversion. The young Treasure Princess ends up running into Rainstorm's bare chest when she fails to steal Rainstorm's loot.
  • Mind over Matter: As it turns out, people could apply what they learned in Terra Online to real life, as Terra Online uses real physics and players' actual physical capabilities. Cloud finds this out when he decides "to be Rainstorm" when defending himself from his bunkmates, who tried to beat him up over his resignation as a trooper.
  • The Missing No: In-Universe with Vincent. Vincent is assumed to be a boss monster, but is actually a glitch character who turns out be a comatose prototype player that couldn't be removed from the game.
  • Mook Horror Show: The bounty hunters have the misfortune of being part of Rainstorm's experiment on friendly fire, which consists of one man going against five players. That consists of said man skewering players on their teammates' weapons, using them as meat shields, and killing them off one by one until they stopped resurrecting.
  • MST3K Mantra: In-Universe, when Bigshot complains the Elder Tree is too big to even to be possible, Mena tells him it's just a game.
  • Ms. Fanservice/Mr. Fanservice: the Viera are a race of sexy bunny-eared people with skimpy outfits. Cloud loathes being one.
  • Mundane Luxury: Being able to sleep without fearing attack or feeling safe is something Vincent hadn't had in a long time and one of the things he enjoys in Cloud's protection.
    • Sonata's bar, Seventh Heaven is the only place in Terra Online that has hot chocolate.
    • Rainstorm is ecstatic when he gets an outfit that fully covers his body, despite it being women's clothing.
  • Mundane Utility: VRDC was initially intended as a training aid for SOLDIERS before mass-marketed as a videogame console.
    • It is also used as a sleep aid and a way to enjoy junk food without breaking diets.
  • Myself My Avatar: Vincent is still a victim of ShinRa's human experimentation, and his comatose body was used to test out the VRDC and VR prototypes, trapping him in Terra Online since the very beginning.
  • Mythology Gag: The many races of Terra Online are actual Final Fantasy races: the Viera, the Moogles, the Gria, the Miqu'ote, the Burmecian, the Ronsos and so on.
    • The sword Cloud makes while he is in the VRDC primordial soup with Reeve is the Fusion Sword.
  • Neck Snap: Rainstorm delivers one to Flower, so he can get rid of her bounty.
  • Needle in a Stack of Needles: In order to visit a city without being attacked by bounty hunters, Rainstorm wears an enchanted choker that turns him female. Since Rainstorm stood out for being the only male Viera, it's pretty effective. Until he reveals himself to a party of guys hitting on Flower, thanks to Vincent one-shotting one of them when one of them threatens Rainstorm; then all hell breaks loose.
  • Never Sleep Again: Sleeping out in the open without a tent is an extremely bad idea, as opportunistic players will kill you.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Rainstorm helps Flower with people harassing her, and as a result, he gets a massive hit put out on him by her overprotective handler.
  • No Kill Like Overkill: Wherever Rainstorm and his friends go, the bodies will drop. Their tendency towards this leads Rainstorm to naming their guild Overkill.
  • No-Self Buffs: Inverted; the Ninja class's powerful and versatile buffs can't be used on anyone besides the caster. Treasure Princess, however, finds a loophole.
  • Not Me This Time: The destruction of the Elder Tree mostly wasn't Rainstorm's fault.
  • Noodle Incident: the Fanocalypse of Alexandria. It involved Genesis shouting that Sephiroth was in Alexandria and him carving a path through the mob that followed.
  • Obliviously Evil: Cait Sith didn't mean to torment Vincent; he thought Vincent was a glitch!
  • Off with His Head!: How Rainstorm finishes off the leader of the Vieravengers, after weighing them down with his other swords he had made by stabbing them into her.
  • Oh, Crap!: Rainstorm gets one of these when he realizes that Sonata is Tifa and could recognize him even in disguise.
    • Especially straight after when Tifa blurts out his character name in a fit of laughter right as some Overseers walk into the bar.
  • One-Gender Race: The Viera were assumed to be this due to their largely female faction.
  • The Outside World: Vincent has been trapped in the Wastes for a 15 years since its creation, unable to leave or remember the outside world. It's only until Rainstorm helps him that he gets to finally leave and go to other zones in Terra Online.
  • Path of Most Resistance: Rainstorm is given the option early on by Red XIII to either power level in the wastes or die to one of the bounty hunters to make things easier on him. Rainstorm chooses neither and goes down his path, bounty hunters and all.
  • Persona Non Grata: Rainstorm is unofficially banned from towns, as bounty hunters come in droves whenever he steps in one. Especially Alexandria, due to being Overseers' territory and their bounty on Rainstorm.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: Flower. Just by summoning Bahamut, she killed over 500 players and destroyed the Elder Tree. Just being near her makes things more breakable; this is a side effect of being a Cetra.
  • Pervert Revenge Mode: Although Rainstorm gets sexually harassed during his first visit to Albrook, he manages to endure it until a woman gropes him. Then Rainstorm snaps and accidentally kills the woman before killing her guild when they try to kill him in retaliation... Then killing the people that tried to join in the fight... And then killing them when they resurrect, multiple times.
  • Phrase Catcher: When Rainstorm meets new people, the first thing they'll ask is why he's half-naked.
  • Player Killing: Where Rainstorm is, the body count rises.
  • Power Gives You Wings: High-leveled players can equip wings as that will allow them Flight. Even winged races like Gria, can only glide compared to the true flight of equipped wings. They also serve as decorative status symbols.
  • Race Against the Clock: Rainstorm has to race to get into a tent or an inn before the ten-minute countdown finishes, or his avatar is stuck where he is, defenseless.
    • Until he gets the special multiple-use tent from Cait Sith, anyway.
  • Read the Freaking Manual: Cait Sith implies that Cloud should have looked at his character's equipment customization when he realizes that equipment becomes skimpy as a side-effect of being a Viera.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Angeal/Noble mostly enjoys the cooking and interior-decorating elements of Terra Online, but is the third strongest player in the game.
  • Real Name as an Alias: Sephiroth doesn't bother hiding who he is in-game. Vincent goes by his real name because he was trapped before the game was even a concept and probably can't change his name.
  • Reality Ensues: While Vincent is physically intact due to his supernatural abilities, 15 years of no sleeping has mentally tore him to shreds. Due to being unable to rest his mind, he pretty much loses his memories due to being unable to process them. He's only able to remember his own name at the end of this.
  • Reality Warper: Flower, whose Cetra nature causes real-world physics to be applied in the game.
    • Cloud transforms the world of VRDC's primordial soup with a thought; a big deal, since it takes programmers years of training to do what Cloud's doing.
  • Red Baron: Titles are achievements in Terra Online for a player's accomplishments. This also extends to the Honorifics that are given by the admin to noteworthy players.
    • Rainstorm gets the Rabbit of Caerbannog for breaking the record of 'most player kills within an hour' and 'most kills as a low-level player'.
    • Rainstorm is also called That Viera Bastard in the Terra Online forums.
    • Vincent is the Demon of the Wastes.
  • Reluctant Fanservice Boy: Cloud finds out the hard way how skimpy armor is made to look on Viera, and he despises it. Every item he wears turns into jewelry or skimpy clothing.
  • Revenge by Proxy: Viera women would get targeted by bounty hunters who would kill them thinking they were Rainstorm in disguise.
  • Roundhouse Kick: Rainstorm does this to a bounty hunter trying to kill him when his razor-sharp heels slice the man's throat open.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Reeve lies to his superiors about the VRDC's compatibilities so its invasive properties won't be abused.
    • Cait Sith reveals Rainstorm's identity to Reeve in the hopes Cloud can help them find Vincent.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Reeve abuses his connections as Head of Urban Development to contact Cloud to get him working for immediately, getting immediate discharge papers.
  • Shameless Fanservice Guy: While Rainstorm admits he still hates his Stripperific armor, he is no longer bothered by it anymore.
  • Shame If Something Happened: Vincent snarks this when Rainstorm is excited over being in Alexandria.
  • Serious Business:Subverted; no one takes the game all that seriously. Heck, Cloud got a bounty on his first day and he treats it more as a challenge.
    • Aerith even scolds Tseng for taking the game so seriously and for being so overprotective when she wants to have fun.
    • Cloud is legitimately concerned when he does start worrying about the game in real life, although this is justified since he's also worrying about Vincent.
  • Shipper on Deck: Aerith thinks Rainstorm and Vincent are a couple, due to how they act around one another and thinks their relationship is adorable.
    • Cait Sith thinks Rainstorm and Vincent are adorable.
  • Ship Tease: Cloud and Vincent get a lot of this.
  • Sleepy Head: Vincent randomly falls asleep, to his own detriment. He even fell asleep in the middle of flying!
  • Slut-Shaming: A player sexually harassing Flower calls the disguised Rainstorm this when he sees Rainstorm's skimpy outfit while the latter is calling him out on his harassment.
  • Status Buff: Due to being a shaman, Red XIII can give plenty of them. It's due to him and Princess that Rainstorm is able to do much damage despite his low level.
  • "Stop Having Fun" Guys: In-Universe; Aerith accuses Tseng of being one due to his treating Terra Online as his information network as opposed to the game it's supposed to be.
  • Stripperiffic: Rainstorm and the entire Viera race dress like this. Rainstorm's apparel can be generously called well-placed pieces of cloth and/or jewelry.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Beloved denies being a fanboy for Rainstorm, despite buying information about Rainstorm and constantly talking about him.
  • Tree Top Town: The whole town of Elder Tree is one village in one massive tree with bridges connecting to individual branches.
  • Truce Zone: Tifa/Sonata's bar, Seventh Heaven, is a place that people from other guilds can eat and gather without worrying about being killed by other players. Which Sonata enforces with her fists.
  • Unequal Pairing: Vincent and Cloud are attracted to each other, but their relationship is unequal both ways. Vincent is an adult far older than he looks and is far stronger in both strength and skill, while Cloud is a teenage newbie player. On the other hand, Cloud is advantaged in that he's only one that realizes Vincent is a person and is the reason Vincent has any safety in the game.
  • Uniqueness Value: Rainstorm sticks out, being the only male Viera.
  • Vocal Dissonance: Naut is a cute moogle, but he still has Cid's deep masculine voice and curses like a sailor.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: Massive amounts of it. Rainstorm kills players while they resurrect, and Naut demonstrates how many other players can suffer without being killed. Many low-level players become bounty hunters to kill lower-leveled players for some quick gold.
  • Video Game Cruelty Punishment: Infamy is a status effect that makes it difficult for players to level up or get monster drops, as a deterrent for Player Killing. Cloud accumulates a ton of it when he causes the Albrook Newbie Massacre, and half the destruction of the Elder Tree.
  • Walking Wasteland: Rainstorm. Arguably, Overkill as a group, since the disasters get bigger when his friends are around.
    • Day 1: Tries to end a grope, starts the Albrook Massacre.
    • Day 2: Recruited Naut to secure a pathway to another zone in exchange for weapons for Nauts friend, a deal which included a Gender Bender item given to Rainstorm.
    • Day 3: Tries to stop another case of sexual assault on another player, destroys half the town.
    • Day 4: Tries to buy a guild hall, walks into the above Truce Zone, and ends up causing a full out war in Alexandra after Beloved shouts that Rainstorm is there.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Due to Terra Online's humanoid player base, Nanaki as Red XIII has to constantly watch his back, because he is constantly mistaken for a mob or a pet and killed.
    • Due to him literally existing before the game, Vincent was assumed to be a glitch character or Secret Boss, because no one bothered to actually interact with him nonviolently until Rainstorm.
  • Women Are Wiser: Mena, Bigshot's real and in-game wife, quickly spots Rainstorm's trouble leveling up his skills. She points out that he's using the weapons recommended for his race, not the weapon he needs for himself. She recommends a heavier sword.
  • The Wonka: Reeve is strange and kooky, but he's the creator of Terra Online, the head of Shinra's Urban Development, and Cloud's new boss.
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