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Literature / Oracle of Tao

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Years ago, an amateur RPG Maker game was posted on The author (me!) decided this game was so good (not really) they were going to make it into a novel. The book has several key differences in pacing of events, and lacks the interactive element (since you can't really play a book), but attempts to emulate the experience of playing an rpg.

You can read samples of the book here (login required). The book is in planning for publishing upon its completion.


The book is a bit different from what most novel readers are used to. The author, having adapted it from a video game, makes heavy use of Painting the Medium (including using shadow text, small caps, foreign alphabets, and zalgo text). Characters are either adventurers who can be freely revived, or the Neutral Protected Class who cannot be killed because they are protected by God. The story is also able to go back in time using save points. There are also two types of chapters, conventional numbered chapters for major themes that are always In Which a Trope Is Described and minor "sub-chapters" that are character chapters in Switching P.O.V..


This book contains examples of:

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  • Action Girl: Our female lead, Ambrosia Brahmin.
  • Adaptation Deviation: There are a few, yes. The biggest one is that the game had Christianity almost go extinct but for one small church in a town surrounded by vampires, with the story focusing mainly on Taoism. The book changed where it was almost Hi Jacked By Jesus. This also meant Jesus was a Recurring Character when before he basically didn't appear.
    • In the book, the way the Aiken monastery is built includes stuff like an anti-air force field.
    • The video game simply allows you to go back to the New Earth from the Void. The book has them trapped there (for unexplained reasons) until they complete their quest. Because of this, Book 2 jumps backward in time to before they entered the Void, and Ambrosia gets them to go on sidequests.
  • Adaptation Expansion: Several of the characters are fleshed out so far.
    • And not surprisingly, world-building. A great deal of effort is spent explaining how exactly how magic works. Some of the expansion creates issues of its own, since the way things look or work wind up different.
    • The inclusion of the town of Qurac which in turn created a sort of Retcon where the game wound up having it too. This also added in the religion of Sakun, a sort of mix of ex-Islam (the customs without many of the more objectionable rules), pre-Islamic Sumerian religion, Hebrew beliefs, and Zoroastrianism.
  • Admiring the Abomination: Subverted, though Azrael and Elias are often very surprised they got to see one legendary creature or another.
  • After the End: On the surface, the world in more or less the same, besides some portals closing. In fact, the universe has been created from scratch, and many things that didn't actually exist and were covered by illusory reality now do exist. Oh yes, and there's a giant floating egg in midair now.
  • A God Am I: Ambrosia. Inverted.
  • All Amazons Want Hercules: Defied. Most of the men are pretty boys, some of which border on Dude Looks Like a Lady.
  • All Deaths Final: Subverted. There are "revival" spells, but certain deaths are not able to be remedied. There are graves, so understandably, old age is one of the constants. As are certain effects like disintegration or Cessation of Existence. Or diseases, judging from the cause of death in many gravestones. Also, there are a vast number of war-related casualties, so resurrection probably only works on bodies before decay has set in. This is possibly due to some sort of Resurrection Sickness (in the case of disease, causing them too be too weak, and die again) or Destination Host Unreachable (in the case of old age).
    • Not played straight with Yazim Jianne, surprisingly. In the novel version, the reason he can't raise his wife is not because resurrection is impossible, but because he is a Mad Scientist, and refuses to consider that possibility.
  • All Myths Are True: Except when they're not.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Ambrosia, before she met anyone in the party.
  • Always Save the Girl: Gender Flip. Ambrosia seems to care little about her heroic quest, but has a mini-Heroic BSoD if something goes wrong in her relationship.
  • Ambition Is Evil: Neither Ambrosia, nor the crown prince Nevras, nor Tamashii, their daughter want the kingdom promised them. Instead, they want freedom and a house in the fantasy suburbs.
  • Amnesiac Hero: Ambrosia, although it is subverted. She can't remember her real parents or anything before age nine. It was four, in the game.
  • Anatomy of the Soul: It's something along the lines of Body soul (that which animates everything), Heart (divided into Light and Dark, and ideally in balance), and Name (for this reason there is True Name magic).
  • Anchored Ship: Until the hero confronts and joins her evil half, she's too neurotic to embrace her feelings.
  • Angels, Devils and Squid: The New Earth is host to Heaven, Hell, and the underwater world, complete with portals to sleeping deities, and sea creatures chanting in R'ylehian.
  • An Interior Designer Is You: Sort of. The party can add a bed, banker, and other features to your tent. Later morphs the tent into a house, mansion, and a portable town, if they get obscene amounts of money. This trend continues in the book.
  • Anonymous Benefactor: In the first scene, some random guy gives you enough gold to start. Too bad what you spent in the plot gets wasted
  • Apocalypse Maiden: Don't knock Ambrosia out. The universe will start to crumble when she's unconscious.
  • Artifact of Doom: The Ring of Nibelung.
  • Artistic License – Biology: When talking about golems, apparently living matter can exist in a state of perfect health on an inert substance with no source of nutrition. That's right, chia pets for all lifeforms.
  • Artistic License – Physics: Apparently, the universe's physics works on about the same laws as Cephiro. As long as you have a strong will, you can defy laws like gravity, momentum, and water pressure.
    • The Earth is apparently flat, yet shaped vaguely like a "burrito" allowing one to fall off in one direction but loop back around the other.
    • The most egregious example of this trope, however, is device that is built which is called the Paradox Engine, which inverts the natural reactions of matter, so fire that is made will create ice, which in turn cannot melt since melting is heating up. It conveniently ignores causal reactions (such as building the fire in the first place) or reactions of reactions (what this ice does to food trying to refrigerate).
  • Ascended Fridge Horror: Something suspected by the protagonist and the audience is reprised later in the game. The possibility of Dream Apocalypse and Dead All Along. Although not quite true, it goes From Bad to Worse.
  • Asian Rune Chant: The Kuji-in pops up at least once, as Azrael's special attack.
  • Attractive Bent-Gender: All male angels, and half-angels. But especially Michael.
  • Author Appeal:
    • The game, being made without a corporation or outside input, but as a hobby game, is presumably entirely this (or else it wouldn't be included). On a more specific note, both the high number of MarathonBosses and RomanceSidequests are the author's main reason for liking the game.
    • The author also has a thing for Cerebus Endings, as most of the main game and one of the second game have extremely bleak, if not downright scary endings. This game literally has an Axe-Crazy ending where the hero wipes out her own party.
    • There's obviously a fetish for crossdressing. It is possible to go through the game with three of the characters wearing women's clothes, and there are some side-references to it in some NPC lines. Not to mention the whole "angels are sexless" thing, where Michael is clearly wearing a skirt and appears to have breasts in his battlesets.
      • The author of the game is an actual user of tvtropes, so likely this entire page.
  • Awesome by Analysis: Elias can learn to summon (or several other magic types) just by reading books about various creatures (when usually this involves fighting monsters).
    • He can also learn how to do runecasting this way.
    • For that matter, if he browses through the libraries, he reads a four volume set called History of The World, memorizes it, and reprints it from memory in game.
  • Awesome Mc Coolname/Meaningful Name: Ambrosia Brahmin (the surname having to do with Hindu priestly castes and also with the similarity to the word Brahma, and the first name being "food of the gods").
    • Theme Naming in this regard. Her mom is Manna Leaven (or "leavened" "bread from heaven") before taking the "family name" of God, Brahmin.
  • Awful Truth: Ambrosia is God, and neither the world, nor anyone in it is real. But Ambrosia fixes that, and later becomes the bearer of the Awful Truth that was the case.
  • Axe-Crazy: Ambrosia, in one (or two) of the bad endings.
  • Babies Ever After: In both the original game, and the Playable Epilogue, this is part of the best ending.
  • Badass Family: Ambrosia is a Person of Mass Destruction, and Nevras is a warrior with a BFS who can slice things into ribbons. Their daughter is The Empath with Magikarp Power on all stats.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: The fable "The Ever-Exploding Head"
    Once, when humanity was still young, a man wished he could watch humanity forever. As I giant disembodied head. However, years of viewing violence, betrayal, and cruelty made his head explode. But because he wished to view forever, his head reformed. However, every so often it explodes again. Be careful what you wish for.
  • Beef Gate:
    • (Simultaneously this, and Giant Space Flea from Nowhere). Much of the enemies are sort of mystical fantasy-themed, with dragons and the like. And then, if the party goes out of order in the plot, there are three distinct places where it can encounter Elder Beings.
    • Also a Cash Gate, though this one is more manageable. Just pay the toll, and cross the bridge.
  • Beneath the Mask: Both Ambrosia and Nevras have things they'd rather not show.
  • Beta Couple: Every character besides the main two (and one extra character, who stays single).
  • Better as Friends: One of the couples can be swapped out for another. Since it's borderline platonic, it may be a better choice.
  • Betty and Veronica: A couple of bisexual cases. For Aqorm, the resident thief, her "Betty" is Elias, the somewhat bookish type man, and her Veronica is Lilith, another girl and a succubus. Lilith's Betty is actually Aqorm, and her "Veronica" is Michael, a very effeminate-looking angel guy who is this because they are polar opposites.
  • Big Fancy House: Aqorm's house. She ran away from her family mansion, because she wanted to be a street musician.
  • Black and White Magic: Since it's based on Taoism, usually merged.
  • Black Bug Room: Shortly before facing Estheriel, Ambrosia gets separated from her party, and faced with her evil half taunting her. She is forced confront the fact that despite supposedly being The Hero, she's been killing Mooks this whole time and it's making her as bad as them. Then she has a vision of either dying at the hands of the villain, or killing her family off. In comparison to any other Black Bug Room, it really isn't that disturbing but it does pave the way for later events.
  • Blackmail: Ambrosia gets some pictures of Nevras crossdressing in order to sneak in to a plot-important building. Once sold, she can always make more...
  • Blue and Orange Morality: God, who apparently is more into some sort of balance than true goodness. Knowing what you do later on, though, God's motivations are downright weird. Ambrosia is God, and vice versa, so any problems God and his minions caused are effectively somewhere along the lines of Ambrosia giving herself something to do since she's bored.
  • Bodyguard Crush: Possibly the main couple.
  • Bonus Boss: Zakum from MapleStory. It has several million hp and has numerous attacks that will kill you.
  • Break-Up Bonfire: Averted. She keeps his personal items, like his diary.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Ambrosia herself, in a moment of doubt (she later is talked into "realizing" she's real again).
  • The Butcher: Oddly subverted, and made into one of the Acceptable Feminine Goals and Traits. Lilith being from a race of violent demons, wants to be a cook because she likes cutting things up.
  • Call to Agriculture: Seriously, this is among the good endings.
  • Can't Get Away with Nuthin': Ambrosia's second mission is to stop the angel Estheriel. When she finally faces him, she's told that killing an angel that hasn't given its way to evil and become a demon, is like killing an innocent child and will probably drive her mad. It does.
  • Can't Have Sex, Ever: The not-so-evil wizard, Yazim Jianne. His wife dies during an experiment gone wrong, and although he joins the party, he's pretty much the only one that ends up couple-less at the end.
    • Eventually averted, with Selqui.
  • Capital Letters Are Magic: This seems to be the approach used with most of the magical effects in the game, named items, etc.
  • Cast from Hit Points: Nevras's Dragon Strike ability requires one turn extra, and this, in order to use. Well, it is strong enough to kill a dragon. In the novel, since hit points may or may not exist, this amounts to him coughing up blood.
  • Casting a Shadow/Light 'em Up: Elias. Ambrosia can use these two, but not directly, needing help from a Power Tattoo.
  • Cerebus Retcon: Double Subverted. Ambrosia has a sudden flashback where she thinks she was dead, and can't explain why she had no wounds after that. At the time, this turns out to be a test for her resolve, before gaining another Crest, so she denies it showing . It turns out this might have been true later, and she starts to again not exist, this time fading to nothing (that is, the original retcon was subverted, then retconned again as a symptom of another, more horrifying conclusion). Which is then subverted again, as she manages to force herself into existence. Which is then retconned again, this time, applying to everyone but her.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: Much of the game is Sweet Dreams Fuel with various moral lessons about love being taught. Then, around the fourth of these, there is everything from a Family-Unfriendly Aesop to the implication that Ambrosia at some point died and the other characters are part of a dream.
    • For that matter, Reverse Cerebus Syndrome: Immediately after a terrible point in a story where someone gets Impaled with Extreme Prejudice you have three choices as to whether to finish them off, leave them, or kill them. Killing them makes the story head south, while either of the other options causes the ending to take a dramatic upswing.
  • Chandler's Law: Raymond Chandler actually appears as a preserved holograph in a futuristic town, partially explains the trope (with ninjas dramatically popping up, walking up to the hero and attacking, and disappearing before anyone can figure out what's going on).
  • City with No Name: The opening town? It's called Opening town, and you can rename it.
  • Closed Circle: The town of Sekai can't be left until you fix everyone's problems.
  • Cognizant Limbs: Zakum
  • Comedic Sociopathy: Ambrosia literally kills her counterpart in a rival party, because she says the wrong thing.
    Ambrosia: Be right back, guys. I have a murder to perform.
  • Comically Missing the Point: The dialogue with God's battle.
    Azrael: Uhhhh... guys? Do we really wanna fight God?
    God: Have no fear. I cannot be killed, even if I am defeated.
    Ambrosia: Did you hear that? We have nothing to worry about, God can't be killed.
    Azrael: That wasn't what I was worried about at all!
  • Common Tongue: While elves know Elvish, and there are some languages from the original Earth (the only ones that survived also had an alphabet attached), there is Common. There's also confusingly, English, which Common is based on. But Common has different grammatical rules such as being able to start sentences with but and ignore some punctuation like commas, except when used to break a sentence up arbitrarily. Obviously, the author is writing in Common, not English, for convenience.
  • Contemplate Our Navels: Good lord, Ambrosia.
  • Continuity Drift: A significant problem in the adaptation of the book. Basing it on a video game meant it had certain rules that started to change when rewriting as a book, so it sometimes wound up with Broad Strokes or Out of Character moments.
  • Conveniently Unverifiable Cover Story: Due to the fact she can't remember her early childhood (averting No Infantile Amnesia), she remembers being adopted at a young age. Too bad her original parents are dead, we can't ask them anything. And she grew up on the streets of a town a continent away after their death, so we can't ask the villagers anything. Needless to say, her actual past turns out to be quite different, once she remembers everything.
  • Cosmic Egg: The Universe Egg.
  • Cosmic Horror Reveal: Not the main plot, but the game has a bounty hunting sidequest that is relatively calm and relaxing, until you get to about the last monster, who turns out to be an Eldritch Abomination. Losing the battle against this last bounty results in a Mind Rape ending. For a Side Quest, this is still pretty heavy... and there are actually a number of these practically immortal destructive beings roaming about.
  • Crapsaccharine World: The universe and everyone in it, beside the hero don't even exist. Unlike the typical Dream Apocalypse, where some people may have been there before the dream, it is kinda clear that the only option for the remaining person (who in fact turns out to be the avatar of God) is to either spend eternity alone once she awakes from this dream, or knowingly create every living thing, realizing that there's a change they still might not be real.
  • Crazy Homeless People: Ambrosia, although subverted later in the game, when she buys a house. She's still very much like a crazy person, though.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Yazim Jianne has plans up to J-4, at least, including the option that he will meet the Oracle of Tao (who he firmly believes does not exist, yet plans for anyway) and tell her all of his plans. This plan involves teleporting away to safety.
  • Crocodile Tears: The name and premise of a Fairy Tale. A talking crocodile has massive amounts of Wangst about how the other forest critters don't trust it, so it cries alot. They finally learn to trust it, and everyone lives Happily Ever After. Until the crocodile eats everyone.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: To its credit, the battle against the boss monster is fake. The real monster is the one who told them to climb the tower, and is standing outside it.
  • Cutting the Knot: One puzzle involves turning all the keys into one key to open a door. Or ramming into the door until half-dead.
  • Cute and Psycho: Ambrosia is definitely crazy, but doesn't seem to have any Yandere tendencies. She's not The Fake Cutie either, she's just unstable.
  • Dan Browned: The libraries are actually funny to read. Not only do they often have gaps in knowledge about certain subjects like Real Life history and math, but even some of the books about the more fantastic elements don't match up with other books. Either there are varying views of history, or a problem with the author's story, which is even more hilarious since it's all the same author writing it.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Lilith uses dark powers, but is otherwise friendly.
  • Dark Reprise: There's a few songs that pop up later with a distorted tempo.
  • Deadly Distant Finale: Only Nevras and Ambrosia, but it's made clear that except for immortals like angels/demons, that Life Will Kill You.
  • Death Is Cheap: Not only is there in-universe resurrection, but God routtinely resets reality
  • Deliberately Monochrome: The Void world has much of the landscape in grey, with the characters in Splash of Color. Also, this happens in some Flashback Effects.
  • Democracy Is Bad: The current Earth is run by a group dedicated to organized anarchy. That is, a world government is set up in order to ensure cities cannot form large governments and oppress people.
  • Demoted Memories: With a bit of Medium Awareness. Ambrosia manages to convince herself that her quest never happened, that this is a Dying Dream, and that she's a character in a novel. She's right on at least one count.
  • Derailing Love Interests: Also Discount Lesbians
  • Diabolus ex Machina: Poor Ambrosia never can catch a break. She finally makes some money thanks to a generous donation and uses it to buy something. Giant worms attack her, ruining the purchase.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Played straight and averted. The party gets Cthulhu as a bounty, of all things. The first time, they lose horribly, coupled with with what you might expect from such a loss. Later, they try again, and are able to beat him. Averted with their fight against God though. While the video game version of this does allow you to win with effort, in the book, God beats the party by doing stuff like blowing on them or with the Finger Poke of Doom.
  • Dirty Communists: a number of object lessons on why socialism doesn't work, using apocalyptic imagery to show happens when the Anti-Government Council fails and big government takes over. In addition to causing widespread suffering, it isn't even profitable, because when the government wants to enforce the Mark of the Beast (here, a RFID chip inside people to track how wealth is spent and tax accordingly), most people prefer to stay broke. All it does it make the government run out of money when they overtax the poor, and the rich figure out how to keep their money.
    • There are also numerous scenes where people actually call them "dirty communists" and one of them involves a town full of vampires and how they suck the lifeblood of others. One chapter has one popping raised fist first out of a coffin.
  • Dismantled MacGuffin:
  • Divine Date: Nevras finds out Ambrosia is God, and shortly thereafter asks her on a date.
  • Divine Parentage: Tamashii's mom is literally God.
  • Divine Race Lift: You get to fight God not Ambrosia, the original Trinity who turns out to be three women. That, or God looks like the Triforce.
  • Double Consciousness: Ambrosia has this. As does Anideshi, due to her Sage trance ability.
  • Downtime Downgrade: Averted. During the downtime, not only do they not break up, but Ambrosia actually has a child.
  • Dragons Up the Yin Yang: Lots of both, including a few Eastern dragons.
  • Dual Boss: Sera and Phim.
  • Earth All Along: lampshaded from the very beginning of the game, along with a second world called the Void due to World Sundering. The Playable Epilogue omits the extra world, since the gate to this other world was presumably sealed.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Three to be exact.
  • Eldritch Location: Also Bizarrchitecture. Castle made of flesh, veins, and blood flowing in the background? Check. Same castle also filled with floating islands with few to no walls? Check. Same castle really the foundation of the universe and possibly a fetal metaphor? Check. Hands and eyes as part of the landscape? Check.
  • Empathic Environment: Played straight and defied. In the game, weather is often random, defying the notion of an empathic environment. In the book, the weather is usually random, but Ambrosia is kinda a Fisher King (that she has an actual fishing pole lends to the analogy).
  • Eternal Love: Ambrosia and Nevras, in at least one ending.
  • Everyone Meets Everyone: Also, Putting the Band Back Together.
  • Evil Gloating: Parodied. He apparently is the time not only to reveal his identity and his mission to what should be his mortal enemy, many of his plans (including what he plans to do if he accidentally tells his plans) but also...
    Yazim Jianne: You'd like to know about me, now wouldn't you? You'd like to know that I am Yazim Jianne, the sorceror who will summon the dread demon Belial to give my beloved a new body. You'd like to know that, wouldn't you? But I won't tell you, I'll never tell you!
    Ambrosia (narrating): He continued ranting, and telling me increasingly personal details about his wife, his past, and several things about his sex life that were honestly too kinky to share.

  • Fairy Tales: Each library has a few. These are typically not known tales, but rather in-universe fantasy stories. For instance, one of the better stories is "The Bloody Pet Shovel" (in its entirety).
  • Fantastic Religious Weirdness: The world religions are greatly affected by a demonic upheaval that destroys most of the population. Churches, even Catholic ones, are referred to as "revival" churches, which takes on a new meaning entirely, since much of these religions are gone, along with their members. Instead of temples, most people in need of healing or worship, have to seek out wandering old priests. Also, many religions have become their endtimes equivalent (such as Miroku Buddhism, which is mainly composed of itinerant monks). That and the general state of the Earth is such that angels and demons are present in temples.
  • Female Angel, Male Demon: Inverted. Though the male angel has Ambiguous Gender, and the female demon is highly aggressive.
    • In the book however, it is stated that demons use their tails to sire children, while angels can shift their sex to bear children. So, while Michael is male, he can have children like a female, while Lilith can make children like a male.
  • Feminine Women Can Cook: Except that for much of the early story, Ambrosia is forced to eat raw meat. Not having a knife or a way to make fire doesn't help.
  • Fertile Feet: Ambrosia, after becoming the Oracle, grows massive amounts of some generic weed. Also, in flashbacks ( since this power was originally hers ), she as a kid grew tiny sprouts inside her shadow when she moved.
  • The Fettered: Ambrosia. Which is good, because she's Cute and Psycho, and without her rules she'd go totally Ax-Crazy.
  • Fictional United Nations: Somewhat inverted actually. The Council is a big one-world government, dedicated to preventing one-world governments and even countries from forming.
  • Fighting Your Friend: Ambrosia fights her former party.
  • Five-Finger Discount: Not outright theft, so much as con artistry and a heavy does of sex appeal. Nevras, being a crossdresser heads around town on a shopping trip. In one of these places, a merchant offers an extreme discount in exchange for other payment, but Nevras sneaks out without paying except for the reduced price.
  • Five-Man Band/Psycho Rangers: In the town of Momiji, there is a rival group trying to stop Belial forming a Five-Man Band (amusingly, when they meet their counterparts from Ambrosia's team, they don't fare well due to Open Mouth, Insert Foot comments):
  • Flash Step: Nevras uses it in one scene, but it is never referenced again.
  • Flat World: Anideshi reveals she knows that the New Earth (not clear about the first one), is a layered world. The surface we stand on has hills and valleys, along with sea level extremes, but is essentially a series of discs: surface, inner layer, molten core, bottom layer (to keep the lava in). As for the sky, there are two domes, the inner firmament (where the sky is), and the outer firmament (where the stars are), with the sun and moon rotating around within a sphere outside the firmament. This is explained as why you can see stars but not past the horizon, despite the first being light years away. Other planets do exist but they are surrounded by Outer Space (that is to say, there is a space between them that is not our reality but God's universe) and have their own spheres. This is one of the hints that Ambrosia's reality isn't what it seems.
    • This is an example of an Orwellian Retcon, as the earliest version of the story had this, but updated the concept to more like a coin, flat yet with hemispheres. From there, it became an idea that it was flat yet folded vertically. The final description?
    Let's compare it to a burrito: wrapped on the main side, stuff inside, and a vertical end on the sides.
  • Forging Scene: In Heaven, one of the angels makes Nevras a sword out of sunlight, love, tempers the sword with words about various struggles in his life, and quenches it with his tears and the blood of the Lamb.
  • The Four Gods: A group of bosses in game.
  • Functional Magic: Some of the spells fall under various categories...
  • No Periods, Period: Averted. Uses the Lina Inverse rule of magic loss during the menstrual cycle. This is a balance to the above advantage for females. Downplayed in the book version, but it is still mentioned that "being distracted" is a source of spell failure. This probably counts.
  • Generic Doomsday Villain: Many of the secondary villains seem to have little backstory, beyond just wanting to destroy the world.
  • Genre-Busting: There are dating variables like a romance game, puzzles (ranging from easy to That One Puzzle), some of the endings have strong horror aspects, is it a comedy, a tragedy, a sci-fi, or a fantasy? It's not a western. Yet.
  • Genuine Human Hide: Tiamat is seen wearing a flesh suit of sorts to resemble a pretty woman. Somehow or other, this overlaps Bigger on the Inside, since Tiamat's true form is not only male, but a huge three-headed dragon.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: There are sudden jarring changes from a fantasy setting monsters to robots and the like.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: When defeated by Elder Beings, the group experiences Cthulhu-style sequence where unspeakable things which we won't speak of here happen to Ambrosia, driving her nuts before the universe is consumed by the Elder Beings.
    • This hasn't happened yet in the book, but the party did have an encounter with an Eldritch Abomination. They were killed first.
  • Go Mad from the Isolation: Even if you would get the Golden Ending, you have a choice to either let the universe go on with just Ambrosia ruling as God or do something about it. If you choose the first choice, she gets to sit by herself and her evil half for all eternity. This is avoidable, though.
  • God's Hands Are Tied: God can reset time, appear in dreams and the like, but cannot publicly help the party, since doing something major will strip all nearby humans of free will and fill them with compulsion to worship and obey.
  • Grand Finale. The novel is in three parts, part on covers Belial up to the party being defeating and the universe ending, then part is sidequests ultimately ending in a rematch, and the story essentially wraps up three generations of a few family lines, ending in the death and afterlife of our main characters. Unless Ambrosia gets wished back with a Dragon Ball, there's no viable way to continue this story.
  • Green Aesop: Two of these, actually. The nature of the Earth is split due to destruction of the environment and God's resulting intervention. And one whole town screwed up its air and water by using radioactive matter to power their city.
  • Grey and Gray Morality: Much of the game, Ambrosia is either morally mixed, fighting a mostly evil (but with Pet the Dog moments) enemy, or a mostly good (but with Utopia Justifies the Means moments) enemy.
  • Grow Old with Me: Followed by Eternal Love. (In the final and best ending)
  • Has Two Mommies and actual Homosexual Reproduction: Aqorm and Lilith might be shown with a child at the ending.
  • Haunted House: Inverted, if possible. That is to say, the Castle of Fear is dark and spooky with some dangerous traps. But it is not half as scary as the sweet and innocent looking girl outside by the name of Tiamat.
  • The Heart: Ambrosia, and later Tamashii, her daughter.
  • Helping Would Be Kill Stealing: It's within God's power to wipe both of the game's major villains out. Instead, he makes Ambrosia do it. Likewise, Ambrosia herself decides the best way to help humanity is to live her own life and let other people solve their own problems.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: The selkie girl, Selqui has an attack command called "Fish" which can defeat sea creatures. It seems very limited given the short supply of sea creatures except it is pretty much the only attack that can kill Cthulhu outright.
  • Hermit Guru: Several.
  • Hero Antagonist: Estheriel. Her/his heart's in the right place. It's just that, being an angel of justice, (s)he's a bit of an over-the-top Knight Templar. In fact, during the entirety of her in-plot backstory events, (s)he has several Pet the Dog moments, and the only Kick the Dog one she has, is when someone else forces his hand. Her/his only flaw besides that is really that (s)he's willing to accept the risks of her actions, in order to try to make the world a better place. Even the commonly used End Justifies The Means is subverted, as he throws away the Ring of Nibelung and later seals it away when it causes two brothers to murder each other. Not that it helps, unfortunately, as the means she uses as a failsafe to the sealing has a loophole that the Ring uses to undo him.
  • Heroic Neutral:
    • Nevras actually quotes from The Godfather when he hears of his new quest:
    Nevras: Another one? Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!
    • Also Lilith, despite being a demon. She's locked her house until Ambrosia enters her life, then gets persuaded by her earnestness.
  • Heroic BSoD: Ambrosia can have one at about two or three different points, since she doesn't really want the quest in the first place.
  • Heroic RRoD: Nevras learns a technique named Blossom at some point. It's basically a combo attack that can give him up to eight attacks. The ninth time this is used, though... he executes a single attack that drains enormous amounts of life, and then kills him.
  • Hidden Elf Village: The town of Ru'un is right smack in the middle of a forest maze.
  • Hi Jacked By Jesus: In the video game, Jesus is not even a character, and the story is far more Taoist. In the book however, Jesus is a Recurring Character who pops up everywhere, despite the fact that he's supposedly under house arrest to the town of Kushiyama. The book is more of a syncretic story with both Christian and Taoist elements, so Jesus acts very much like surfer or Zen master despite saying some of the same lines.
  • Homeless Hero: Subverted, since over the course of the story, she gains a house.
  • Hope Spot/Despair Event Horizon: If you don't have the right party, the characters will still make pretty speeches on The Power of Love. It'll seem effective for awhile, but... everyone dies.
  • House Husband: Nevras, if the second intro is to be believed.
  • I Call It "Vera": Lilith has a giant rock called Christina. This also counts as a Shout-Out to Thadius from Slightly Damned.
  • I Fought the Law and the Law Won: One of the towns.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: Ambrosia, since much of her quest doesn't seem to be directly related to her. Instead, she starts out alone in a town and gathers a party.
    • Lonely Together: Ambrosia and Nevras.
      • Heck, half the party seems to have no secondary friendships, and is drawn together for this reason.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Averted. The party tries to stop/talk to Ambrosia when she goes off the deep end and starts killing people. It turns out she doesn't even remember them. And then things go really wrong on both the stopping and talking parts.
  • Immortal Immaturity: Lilith and Michael, though probably more a case of Emotional Maturity Is Physical Maturity since they look in their twenties.
  • Impossibly Cool Weapon: There's a few.
    • Nevras's Phoenix Sword is made from love and light, and is drawn from his chest, coming into being even after getting broken. It's a cute pink hilt with a golden blade.
    • Ambrosia's First Steel dagger reforges itself if broken and is poisonous to Eldritch Abomination types. Her fishing rod is also cool as it is made from a material called Conception, which remakes itself into any tool the user desires. It's also impossible to break as its wielder simply has to think about it being whole again.
    • Azrael has a flame sword filled with the spirit of Raphael. It's pretty much an exorcism sword too, and an across the board anti-evil weapon.
  • Indestructible Edible: There are a few, but the aversions are not what you'd think. Organic or religious-themed food lasts forever, while preservative-laden white bread rots in about a month. Word of God is that the author is skeptical of many aspects of Pasteur's germ theory.
  • In Harmony with Nature: Anideshi, presumably.
  • Intimidating Revenue Service: Largely inverted. The novel is much more conservative than the video game, explaining the complete worldwide lack of income tax, and how instead the town guards usually resort to either extortion, shady businesses (one town has an entire economy based around creating convincing crossdressers), or outright prostitution. Still, those tax collectors tend to be such that you don't mess with them (they are not only strong warriors with heavy armor, but they have Anti-Magic due to the fact they they tend to be atheists).
  • In-Joke: Jokes from multiple media are mixed together, such as the Rheingold section of the Ring Saga mixed together with the "Precious" line from Lord of the Rings.
  • I Lied/False Reassurance: Played for Laughs with a demon. Twice, and the wizard working for him falls for both.
    Belial: Seek the rest quickly and I shall reward you greatly!
    Belial: I promise, on my honor as a demon to grant any wish I am capable.
  • I'm Not Afraid of You: In Selqui's character chapter, she talks in-depth about dinosaurs and how for years people have been making plaster casts of dinosaurs, and how she doesn't believe they are real. The dinosaur-like Jabberwock is defeated by a combination of this, and a Puff of Logic as the beast stands upright with a stoop, yet it long-necked like a hydra, forcing it to fall over when all necks extend. It quickly turns into dust.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: One of the final bosses gets run through with a heavy spear.
  • Interspecies Romance.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Angels. Which is why killing one, even for morally questionable deeds, is enough to trigger a Moral Event Horizon, apparently.
  • In Which a Trope Is Described: The novelization only has its own chapter system. It has mini-chapters with the name of the character that the point-of-view centers around, then it has larger chapters that mostly start with "in which" (may of which are punny or deliberately misleading), such as Chapter 5:
    Ummmm, Leeroy Jenkins. In which everyone dies because Ambrosia is stupid. But don't worry, God resets everything.
  • It's Always Spring: Averted, as there are seasons.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: The underlying theme of the series. The villains usually have a valid goal, even if they don't go about it correctly.
  • Jesus Was Way Cool: Jesus has had a Second Coming and is now in one of the towns. Not only is he awesome relaxed about people literally drinking his blood, not only is he an unkillable shapeshifting superhuman who is set up to eventually rule... All of these things are cool in themselves, but Jesus's blood is also used as a quenching liquid for swords in Heaven.
  • Jigsaw Puzzle Plot: Many things are revealed in this game, spaced out all over the place. There is at the very opening, a World Sundering, of the New Earth and the Void which was the old Earth. Then Ambrosia gets a series of religious truths foisted on her, along which the revelation that she might not be real, and the realization that she has a Literal Split Personality causing chaos around her. This is to say nothing of the often conflicting (as viewed by histories, versus personal accounts, versus the demon's own account) versions of people getting raptured by a demon's coming, various personal plots scattered about the world, Ambrosia's quest to find her memories of her parents, and various secrets revealed at the end about her identity, the world, and everything in it. And it's not even truly over, so there is a second game to tie up loose ends, with an additional secret or two the Oracle's role is actually a replacement to extend the lifespan of God, since without someone to renew the cycle, God and everything else in existence is doomed to return to the Void they came from.
  • Judge, Jury, and Executioner: The police in Hotaru will literally cause a gameover if they manage to catch you.
  • Jumped at the Call: Ambrosia, largely since she had nothing better to do (the second time, not so much).

  • Kaizo Trap: The Final Boss has one if you have the wrong party. The boss in question would before dying and being removed from the field, as part of the plot blow up the surrounding area, killing off everyone who isn't somehow immortal. This includes Lilith, Michael, and Anideshi the Sage. It also includes Azrael, and Nevras as their presence triggers a different event. But if you have Ambrosia, Elias, Aqorm, Anideshi (normal, without a special item she gets), or Yazim Jiane, the blast will kill everyone off resulting in a bad ending (well, worse, considering the ending is already bad simply for choosing the wrong party).
  • Kill ’Em All: One of the most interesting endings involves Ambrosia snapping after killing an angel, and deciding that since she has already created the universe, her job description of maintaining the Balance Between Good and Evil requires that she... balance the scales.
  • Kill Me Now, or Forever Stay Your Hand: This situation is on the final showdown against rivals. Later becomes the start of a Heel–Face Turn, when the mercenaries (motivated by greed not malice ) find out the Big Bad temporarily exploying them is lying about the payment, because they will be nowhere to spend it.
  • Killer Rabbit: One of the bounties. It is described using an comparison of a chipmunk from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure created by the Pillar Men, describing the whole incident as ancient archaeology.
  • Knight Templar: Estheriel, though to his credit, he actually does care for humanity. It's just he has completely wrong way of going about it, when faced with the choice of people hurting/killing each other due to free will.
  • Konami Code: the group are stuck in the villain's mansion and there is some arrow trap puzzle (that somehow you can't just go around) involving a cross-shaped stone pressure plate, two circular pressure plates, and two long ones. Aqorm fiddles with the pressure plates in the general pattern (never mentioning B, A, or start but "the circular plates" or the "long plate on the right") and the pressure plate deactivates. Then you hear this exchange.
    “Wait, how'd you know to do that exact pattern?” I asked. Aqorm explained, “Oh that? That's the secret code to the universe.”
  • Lady Land: Sort of. The town's name is Futanari.
  • Lamarck Was Right: Elves can fire (at least crossbows) and dodge arrows as a racial ability. Their reason for being able to dodge arrows is because previous generations trained to do so, as well as themselves.
    • Also, you can apparently educate generations of crows, until they finally understand how to read and use mailing addresses to deliver mail. Yes, seriously.
  • Laser Hallway: One of the futuristic towns has this on several floors.
  • Last Minute Hookup: The Gay Option above, only is completable after the Playable Epilogue.
  • Lazy Backup: RPG Maker has it designed this way, barring massive coding. Subverted in one bonus castle that actually requires teamwork from the multiple parties. But still, they won't actually help in battle if your party dies.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Zig-zagged. Ambrosia (usually) doesn't appear to know that she's in a book, while the others sometimes refer to action as an "account" or "log" and address the audience as "readers."
    • At one point, Ambrosia is told she is in a book.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Shortly before Ambrosia attacks a boat salesman, prompting him to summon Leviathan, she mutters the words "Leeroy Jenkins," causing everyone in the party to gasp, except for Elias, who has not heard the 'legend'.
  • Legacy Character: Ambrosia was not the first Oracle of Tao. The first one failed because he discovered he wasn't real. Given that the Oracle is actually note , this is likely to get passed on whenever Ambrosia retires from the post.
  • Lemony Narrator: Ambrosia is also the narrator. She goes on side topics about her family or personal history, glossing over what a normal narrator would consider the main story. It somehow manages to avoid Protagonist-Centered Morality, since Ambrosia has no real illusions of her own righteousness. But she talks a great deal about her personal interests in the story at hand (if she's interested in it), her failings in knowledge legends and history, and her overall skepticism in the story's plot.
    Ambrosia: ...God would send an Oracle to restore the Earth to Balance, and stuff. But that'll never happen.
  • Let Us Never Speak of This Again: There are a few New Powers as the Plot Demands, that are basically limited by being used once, and then thrown away.
    • Nevras's full name is Crown Prince Nevrasia Astra Danger Fitz Embor Phoenix III, but every point outside his initial introduction, he is either Nevras Fitzembor or ... well, without the Danger.
  • Light Is Not Good: Two distinct versions of this, one a Knight Templar who is a party member, the other an Endgame+ final boss.
  • Little Miss Snarker: Tamashii to some extent. She says some pretty off-color things.
  • Loophole Abuse: You can actually make your money, by repeatedly selling blackmail pictures.
  • Lost at Sea: Both the novel and the game have a shipwreck early on (conveniently washing up near shore for a Derelict Graveyard event where the group stumbles through wreckage to get to shore), but the novel also has the mast break, stranding the group within sight of the nearest island, but unable to get there for awhile.
  • Lost Technology: The story is set in a post-apocalyptic Earth that has basically been created anew. Most of the technology of the old world is lost, and thanks to an overbearing anti-government group (the Council), most of this technology is not coming back.
  • Love at First Punch: Ambrosia doesn't get to know Nevras until after a bar scene where he's beaten up over something he said.
  • Lovecraft Lite: Turning Eldritch Abominations into overpowered yet beatable enemies, check. Tentacle hentai jokes, check? Having a side character say stuff about Cthulhu when she dies from an effect, check.
  • Love Will Lead You Back: With An Aesop about how it's hard work to fix what's broken.
  • Loving a Shadow: In the literal sense. (Also, Fighting a Shadow)
  • Magitek: To a really huge extent. Cellphones run on lightning magic, and emotional connections. Automatic Teller Machines run on some sort of magic. One town has an subversion of this, since it is an ancient city of lost technology.
  • Make-Out Point: One of the bars.
  • Make Up or Break Up: The option which happens actually determines your ending.
  • Mark of the Beast: In universe it is less a supernatural concept and rfid chip implanted in the hand or neck used for currency. It kinda screws up the economy, since nobody wants all their transactions tracked.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Nevras definitely fits this side of the equation, and Ambrosia is both tough physically and has a fearsome temper.
  • Masquerade: Subverted. There is a lot of freaky stuff that goes on in this world, and for the most part the general populace (at least, the educated general populace, Ambrosia seems to need to be explained things) knows about them, and doesn't care. Except for the one big secret: that the world and everyone in it but Ambrosia, don't exist, at least not until after her help.
  • The Masquerade Will Kill Your Dating Life: The reason Ambrosia's Oracle and God powers get taken away at the end of the first arc.
  • May–December Romance: Averted. Thank God.
    Yazim Jiane: Why, hello there little child, will you come play with me?
    Tamashii: Look Mommy, this man is a pedophile.
  • Mayfly–December Romance: Two, actually. One with a man and an half-elf girl, the second between the same half-elf girl and an immortal demon.
    • Oddly, this is averted in the novel, as it is explained that lifespan in the New Earth tends to be subjective, and couples tend to grow old together, even if different lifespans.
  • The Meaning of Life: The meaning of life is defined twice. First, it's defined as bonds to nature, family, and love (but this is part of some religion). And then later, someone asks as a test what the meaning of life truly is. The answerer basically says that it's a self-defining question (as in the meaning of life is "the meaning of life", that is to say what life means to you is the meaning of life, making it a personal question).
  • Men Act, Women Are:
    • Played straight in that Ambrosia is God's daughter/God , and Nevras is the resident warrior.
    • Inverted, since Nevras is by default the crown prince and more or less a Non-Action Guy that doesn't even want the job, and manages to avert it mainly because he marries into poverty. The case for Ambrosia is based on her quest, that it something she has to do, to earn her birthright.
  • Might Makes Right: Regardless of what your character believes in, usually the way to "prove" it is to defeat the other in battle.
    • And oddly enough, its inverse. Although "right" is replaced with "love."
  • Mirror Match: Also an important plot point, as you have a dark side.
  • Mistaken Declaration of Love: One of the reasons for a breakup, is after a kiss.
  • Money Spider: Subverted. Killing enemies, except in the case of humans, dragons, and some humanoid ghosts, does not add to party gold. Selling excess crap (including furs and bones ) on the other hand, does.
  • Moon Logic Puzzle: There is a complex puzzle which involves solving three puzzles to decode the fourth. All of them are in groups of three, and it seems logical that the answer is something to do with three. Nope, you are supposed to exit out of the multiple choice, and Mr. Exposition then explains that the answer is in fact Death. Why? Because the question as given was:
    Answer this fourth and final question. What do these other questions have in common?
  • Moral Myopia: A heroic version of this. Ambrosia makes no bones about the fact that she seriously doesn't care about the villains' troubles. So much so, that she turns apathy into almost a religion of its own.
    • At the other hand, many of the ethics Ambrosia learns are ones only she follows, letting others of her party do as they please, making it an inversion of sorts.
    • They help feed Phoenix with some extra fish they caught in exchange for the best minds working on refrigeration tech. Only because of Schizo Tech (see below) they can't just make HVAC systems and cool food, they have to do it through strange applications of magic and/or alchemy. One of these involves teaching bacteria magic. They declare it a failure though and release these bacteria out into nature. Another one, they try uses the fabric of time to freeze food in place but it's heavily implied that if this tech ever goes wrong, it might destroy the fabric of time.
  • Move in the Frozen Time: has a scene where the evil wizard Yazim Jianne tries to freeze everyone. Ambrosia manages to unfreeze at the last second, talking with him for awhile before he flees. She also manages to kiss her love interest Nevras during this time, having him complain about not hearing when it unfreezes.
  • Mr. Exposition: Your priest, Elias is a bit of a brainiac, knowing just about everything about every subject in the game. Justified, in that he's spent about 2/3 of his life in a library.
    • In the novel, God tends to also take this role, since his being The Omniscient means he can talk about literally anything.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Lilith, and to some extent, Ambrosia's dark half.
  • Multiple Endings: And how! There's over ten endings, most of them bad.
  • Murder Makes You Crazy: Ambrosia is more or less a little crazy already (being a Mood-Swinger Sugar-and-Ice Personality with a Literal Split Personality), but in a Bad Ending she goes noticeably over the edge after killing an angel. She starts talking about "balancing the scales" (which, since she created the universe from a Dream Apocalypse, means basically destroying everything), and goes on a homicidal rampage, even killing her own party.
  • Must Not Die a Virgin: There's a Sexy Discretion Shot on top of a mountain, while the world is gonna end if they don't do anything.
  • My Own Grampa: Ambrosia is an incarnation of God, and God married her mother to make her. So she's her own "father."
  • Nature Hero: Anideshi.
  • Necessarily Evil: The demon, Belial. It turns out he knows that he is doing evil, but not for any discernible benefit of anyone on Earth. He's coerced by his fellow demons to find them a homeland, even though this likely means the destruction of most current life on Earth. Likewise, he destroyed a huge number of people on Earth because he was treated like a monster and sealed into an urn.
  • Nuclear Nullifier: The Fantastic Nuke, the Brahmastra Sutra has a counter, the Gayatri Mantra. These are based on actual chants, and the latter is basically a World-Healing Wave. When cast after the first spell, it cannot heal any who have been hurt or killed in the blast, but it remove fallout and makes even ice into fertile land.
  • No Guy Wants to Be Chased: One of the reasons given for why the breakup may have happened.
  • No Ontological Inertia: Basically everything, inside the Void. The only place that is safe is town.
  • No-Sell: Two cases of it, both in the New Game+. The first is when Estheriel shrugs off the Power of the Void. The second happens when Ambrosia goes crazy, and her party tries to stop her, but she's fueled by the Power Born of Madness, and shrugs their attacks off.
    • Also, one of the final bosses does this for the first turn, before the party pulls out all the stops.
  • No Such Thing as Wizard Jesus: There is some overlap between various characters and what religious characters can do (notably Fertile Feet). This trend is actually lampshaded, as Ambrosia is worried that if there's Heaven and Hell on Earth, she has doubts about an afterlife.
    • Jesus actually appears in the novel. To some extent this is averted, as Jesus can still do stuff that would be considered miraculous given the setting.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: In one town, there's an upstairs room that people nearby say "don't go upstairs, there's nothing up there." If you do it anyway, there really is nothing there (you get trapped in the room, which fades to black, until it swallows you up). Making it literally nothing is scarier.
  • Official Couple: Ambrosia and Nevras. Given a limited fanbase, there's no real shipping though.
  • One World Order: An anarchic one, which forbids all towns from developing organized military and centralized governments.
  • Only in It for the Money: Sera and Phim, the two recurring bounty hunters.
  • Ontological Mystery: Subverted in that it doesn't take place inside a Closed Circle. But it does involve a Quest for Identity. And it does involve a Dream Apocalypse.
  • Only Smart People May Pass: That, or several cases of Moon Logic Puzzle.
  • Our Gods Are Different: In general, Oracle of Tao is a mashup between Taoism and Christianity, with heavy amounts of henotheism and pantheism. This means there is one God, who is in basically everything, but every other religion's gods are our "angels." Thor? Yup, he's just another servant of God, and brings his hammer along.
    • Besides God though, we have beings called Reapers who effectively act less as deities and more like backstage crew than pull the various levers and buttons to make stuff like gravity work. We're told it's done by magic, but at the level of reality they exist on, it's not clear magic even exists (magic runs on particles called runes).
  • Our Monsters Are Different: See below. It's practically an index.
    • Our Angels Are Different: There are two type of angels, the modern WingedHumanoids, and the older EldritchAbominations model. This is actually justified, explaining that traditionally angels were all like the Eldritch Abomination mentioning this story, but because humans have a great tendency for interspecies relationships, current angels are actually a watered-down breed.
    • Our Demons Are Different: Demons are supposedly the same initial breed as angels, just more inclined toward evil. They've somehow bred differently than angels, becoming more the Horny Devils variety, those there are several subspecies of demons. Children of angels and demons appear human.
    • Our Dragons Are Different: Everything from Eastern, to Western, to Dungeons & Dragons style chrmoatic, metal, and jewel dragons.
    • Our Elves Are Better: Elves are essentially human, but even half-elves have abnormal lifespans and centuries of youth.
    • Our Genies Are Different: In a town called Qurac, genies are part of the regular population. They sleep in their urns or lamps, they mainly grant wishes only if they owe favors (you can't just run up to one and rub their lamp, but if it's plugged for 1000 years they may owe you a wish if you release them), they can grant wishes for themselves (minor only, compared to what they can do for others), and they can marry humans bit in return they start to look human (still have powers though).
    • Our Ghouls Are Creepier: The idea was based from the movie Ghouls. They keep coming back, unless somehow sealed away, and come from another dimension.
    • Our Goblins Are Different: Goblins are cursed immortals, suicidal since they prefer death to pain, and have an ability called doubt which has a psychic effect and is displayed with white text with black outline.
    • Our Homunculi Are Different: There is rather heavy overlap between golems, homunculi, and chimera. It's implied that you can build a golem with mostly organic materials like kelp, and have most of the constituent part alive even if the golem itself is not. Golems tend to follow the whole hebrew letters "emeth". Chimeras can be done from multiple animals/plants through genetics, but it's not limited to weird-looking animals, you can also make something resembling a human. Homunculi are not really mentioned, so golems are basically a stand-in.
    • Our Mermaids Are Different: Everything from merfolk, to water elementals, to sirens.
    • Our Monsters Are Weird: You fight everything from Elder Beings, to robots, to Stonehenge. Super-cute anime style sirens, Shout-Out enemies, and truly freakish monsters populate the game.
      • The book attempts to distinguish between "creatures" and "Monsters". The former are common beasts like medusas or mummies or vampires, while Monsters are shadow creatures that become an Eldritch Abomination if they touch other creatures (it doesn't always get it right, though).
    • Our Vampires Are Different: Vampires are subject to silver and holy effects, and vampire lords can only be killed by destroying their coffin. Vampires protect one of the towns, in exchange for their food. Stakes are never mentioned, and vampires actually like garlic. Vampires are more like some wild beast than true undead, and can probably mate.
      • In the book, there are vampires and there are Followers. The vampires are pretty standard, aside from the above, but it is strongly implied that they are socialists. The Followers however are Christians, and literally drink the blood of Christ.
      • Also, standard vampires basically implant a rune on those they want to turn after biting them, sucking blood isn't enough. The rune starts tempting them to become a vampire, and they can refuse. If they accept, a leech-like parasite enters their body, and they are driven to suck blood.
    • Our Werewolves Are Different: The cursed werewolves come from a side effect of skin magic, using wolf skins (and similar) to transform into that creature. A bite or scratch from these creatures gives you the werewolf curse. On the other hand, there are also beast forms that accomplished mages can do, which literally transforms you into the animal itself with no advantages or weaknesses (no silver allergy, no heightened strength or speed beyond a normal wolf).
  • Ouroboros: As a boss.

  • Painting the Medium: In the novel, italics, bold, and other text features are used to large effect.
  • Pair the Spares: Pretty much every character.
    • Selqui was created just for the one character that didn't get a romantic match, Yazim Jianne.
  • Pals with Jesus: The party literally meets Jesus. She is very different from normal (see Our Vampires Are Different for more info).
  • Paralyzing Fear of Sexuality: The reason for the Anchored Ship above. Thankfully, Ambrosia gets over it.
  • Perfectly Arranged Marriage: Anideshi and Azrael. Sort of an odd example though, since it's not the parents that arranged it, but destiny (that and it's a two-woman relationship). In a book she reads, there's some prophecy that Anideshi is doomed to be reincarnated over and over again, until the last time where she's reborn to save the world with an exorcist, and finalize the relationship. She struggles with this and doesn't want to see anyone for fear her life would get written for her, but actually pairs up with Azrael, who just happens to be an exorcist.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: Ambrosia can, in the story, at least, destroy the entire universe with nothing more than a whim. She only has it for brief periods, though.
  • Platonic Cave: It turns out the entire world is an illusion.
  • Please Select New City Name: This is actually still true in the novel, there are large blank spaces where you can name the town (not that it sticks).
  • Pointof No Return: There are a few of these.
  • Posthumous Narration: Possibly subverted, in that it's never clear exactly when she starts narrating. She may start at the beginning in fact, but by the end of the game she is dead and in Heaven of sorts.
  • Polluted Wasteland: Hotaru, which has air so toxic you can't even stay outside for more than about 5 minutes.
  • Portal Picture: In one of the towns, the painting is so real you can just walk into it.
  • Power Born of Madness: A one point, Ambrosia crosses her Moral Event Horizon by choosing to murder an angel. She then decides to become a sort of moral balance, since there's too much good (or something), and tries to destroy everything. When they try to stop her, it turns out her madness has given her Reality Warper powers, not to mention Nigh-Invulnerability, so she slaughters the entire party.
  • Power of the Void: Which is usually the ability to slowly consume things in nothingness.
  • Power Tattoo: Ambrosia has eight of these, plus a Yin-Yang Bomb ability when she gains full control of them. Anideshi also is able to get them.
  • Pre-Climax Climax: Blacked out, but there are sound effects to indicate what's going on.
  • Psychic Powers: The hero's daughter, Tamashii is The Empath, with some pyrokinesis and healing powers.
  • The Quiet One: Azrael can be this at times. She rarely speaks, except to note some supernatural or magical event.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: A dwarf and a Bishonen seem to have teamed up as mercenaries. They end up being the game's recurring Worthy Opponent equivalent for the party, ultimately helping them when faced with the fact that their employer will destroy not only the world but the economy.
    • The party itself has everything from elves, to angels, and demons.
  • Rasputinian Death: Belial is beaten up in two or three forms, the party unites their powers to blast him away. This doesn't kill him, and the party has to kill off his true true form, which turns him into a ghost. Once that ghost is dead, to put him away for good requires draining all his magic.
    • The angel Estheriel is beaten in combat, Impaled with Extreme Prejudice, and then killed by the hero (assuming they don't choose instead to save him).
  • Reality Warper: The end of the game, Ambrosia gains the power to create/destroy pretty much the entire universe. Still, due to Gameplay and Story Segregation, she never uses these in battle.
  • Reconstruction: See the Fridge Section for more details.
  • Red Mage: Elias.
  • Reference Overdosed: There are ShoutOuts to several anime, things like the Abhorsen series, Earthbound (with regard to the game style), assorted books, and other games. Some of the characters are Expy-types for this reason.
  • Reincarnation: Anideshi is blessed (or cursed) with the ability to remember all her incarnations.
  • Reincarnation Romance: Anideshi and Azrael.
  • Religion Is Magic: To a large extent. Atheists have Anti-Magic, agnostics are scholars (and can thus learn any spell), and other religions basically empower magic. Everyone is a Super to a varying extent, except for Ambrosia, who explicitly can only use her Oracle magic.
  • Religious Edutainment: The game is a strange mix of several different religions to teach the author's personal beliefs.
  • Religious Vampire: The Followers' hat is that they are Christians that attend the Church, donate to charity and drink only the blood of Christ.
  • Respawn Point: God resets time, dropping you in the last place you were saved.
  • The Reveal Prompts Romance: Nevras's dark secret as a Wholesome Crossdresser.
  • RisingCostOfHealthInsurance: Both inns and priests cost more as your character levels.
  • Roleplaying Game Verse: To the point where the novel uses the same acronyms as a role-playing game but with different words (M.P. is mystic power; N.P.C. stands for Neutral Protected Class, which are humans that cannot be harmed by others, by virtue of God's protection).
  • Romance Sidequest: for basically all characters (except Yazim Jianne).
    • Now he at least has a meeting up with a romantic match. Time will tell about the rest.
  • Save Point: A rare non-video game example. It affects the story about like you might think.
  • Scary Scarecrows: When Ambrosia goes Ax-Crazy, she uses the party's dead bodies as scarecrows to keep the voices in her head at bay.
  • Scenery Porn: Just about every background scene is either a shot taken on a camera, or a wall painting, or some sort of fanart, with everything from gorge overlooks to pictures of fields or forests, to Alien Sky or even The End of the World as We Know It.
  • Scheherezade Gambit:
    • There's some heavy speeches in this game. Everything from a Green Aesop, to political or theological viewpoints. Much of it is also Talking the Monster to Death, though it doesn't really avert battles.
    • Often it works after the battle, getting you the MacGuffin, or interesting the monster enough with your responses that they join your party.
  • Schizo Tech: Because the New Earth is basically a post-apocalyptic world with a strange world anti-government called the Council that imposes rules against certain technology and much of it is Lost Technology in the first place. What remains ranges from medieval civilization which uses magic as a sort of technology (updating maps and calendars, and even magical cellphones) and alchemy (a strange mix of high tech chemistry and some weird Equivalent Exchange abilities, while most other technology is prior to the invention of electricity, while being able to invent extreme futuristic tech like "refrigerators" that freeze time or bracelets that reverse petrifaction).
    • After the Council falls, alchemy gets replaced by technology, which given the strange way things have developed, is a sort of nuclear steampunk. They have largely coal-powered golems that can fire various energy weapons or outright radiation, while they spew black smoke in the air.
  • Schrödinger's Cast: Ambrosia at one point is unsure whether she's alive or dead. She's given a choice whether she decides she's alive or dead, based on various flashbacks. It can go either way. The rest of the cast is either alive, or doesn't exist, depending upon whether Ambrosia decides to create them.
  • Schrödinger's Question: Pretty much the ending options you choose can determine whether the entire universe exists or not. Among other things...
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Belial has been trapped for much of his life in an urn. Although, he's only really evil after being sealed in an urn.
  • Secret Character: Selqui, the seal girl.
  • Self-Disposing Villain: On a Mook scale. Some of the lesser creatures, notably goblins/kobolds, would rather kill themselves than let you take them alive, and may do so after about 1/2 their life is gone. Largely preserved in the novel.
    • This is continued in the novel.
  • Self-Inflicted Afterlife: Hell is an empty desolate waste, resembling Yomi, the Japanese equivalent. The Heaven appears as a Fluffy Cloud Heaven, at first, but it turns out that both are based on the hero's conception of the fate she deserves. Her final destination is a sort of Mundane Afterlife resembling her living existence.
  • Sequel Reset: Game's all wrapped up, but then we have a sequel. Why? Just to show Ambrosia as an Action Mom. In fact, since Ambrosia is God's incarnation, it's heavily implied she manufactured the problem leading to the sequel. Also a Sequel Hook, as the antagonist is introduced in the first game (but other than that, the story is more or less resolved).
  • Selkies and Wereseals: The bonus character, Selqui, is a selkie with the ability to shed her skin.
  • Shapeshifting Seducer: Portia has some shapeshifting ability (because of the working rules of the universe, impersonating other people is impossible, but animal transformations, and gender transformation is possible), and is able to become male. It's hinted that she might have become male to end up with Tamashii (since she is mysteriously absent when Bakamaru first shows up).
  • Sharpened to a Single Atom: Played straight and downplayed. The sword is covered with a sort of ceramic outer coating that is impossibly strong and sharp on the atomic level, but a master swordsman uses a special technique to deliver An Aesop about swords being sharp to the point of getting easily broken.
  • Sheathe Your Sword: There's at least one battle like this.
  • Shock Value Relationship: Michael and Lilith. The two characters make out in a bar, wrecking the place while they bang into stuff with passionate kissing. Not to mention it's relationship that's sort of taboo anyway, since it's an angel/demon pairing. Subverted in that unlike most relationships of this sort, they actually like each other.
  • Silly Rabbit, Cynicism Is for Losers!: Ambrosia at the end of the First Disc (so to speak) heads off for the second world. Unless she bothered to do the romance sidequest (or can get past the Beef Gate of skipping a key romantic scene and heading directly through the entrance without stopping at the vacation town first), the plot requires you to visit Nevras at his castle. If you decide not to, or if you didn't get the memo, the story suddenly gets much darker, most notably in the endings. Basically because Ambrosia decided her love life with Nevras was doomed, things got a whole lot worse for her.
  • Sincerest Form of Flattery: Some of the Shout-Out examples are cited by name, or included as concepts in the game. Most notably, Lina Inverse makes a brief cameo appearance in the game.
  • Silk Hiding Steel: (Nevras has got the Silk Hiding Steel personality down pat, even though ostensibly he looks like Cloud. He's attractive enough for a guy, and has a the quiet nobility thing too) .
  • Single-Target Sexuality: Portia loves Tamashii to the point where she says no matter how beautiful or kind or intelligent (or nude) another person is, she won't even think about them.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man.
  • Space Whale Aesop: Likely many of the morals taught by the game. One Green Aesop is:
    Don't pollute or the Earth will turn into a black hole, and God will need to split existence in half.
    Don't hurt living things. It has no side effect on you, but they tend to take it out on weaker things, who in turn take it out on weaker things, until that single action causes some chain reaction that kills off the mice (possibly causing an insect infestation).
  • Spin-Offspring: Amazingly, this happens within the same story, thanks to the Playable Epilogue.
  • Split-Personality Merge: Ambrosia does this after a mountaintop scene.
  • Stripperific: Lilith, the succubus, is wears a black bikini. And nothing else.
  • Sudden Downer Ending: May or may not be. Depending on the circumstances at the end of the game, and choices you make, the otherwise cheery story can end on several different bad notes. Sorry, not giving it away.
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: Ambrosia. At first glance, she seems to be a Tsundere, but this is part is her Mood-Swinger Kuudere personality, and when she's actually upset, she'll revert to a cold, gloomy personality. She gets better.
  • Taken for Granite: Anideshi has a Naruto-style Sage transformation, complete with the risk of turning into stone if things don't work out right.
  • Taste the Rainbow: Especially in racial variation, but this is typical in-game.
  • 10-Minute Retirement: Many of Ambrosia's Heroic BSoD events.
  • The Anti-God: The Ancient One, a hooded ghoul who rules the void. God isn't really good or evil, but rather has Blue and Orange Morality of some sort. The Ancient One, on the other hand seems to be merely territorial, destroying whatever is nearby. God is ruler of all existence, the Ancient One is ruler of nonexistence. Supposedly the two are equally powerful, but this may be an Informed Attribute, because God's power is never tested in battle, and there are stronger enemies out there.
    • In the novel, they have something called Rival Powers, which is basically the concept that something that is part of the universe aside from God creates horrible side-effects. For instance, Eldritch Abominations have a power of fear in the minds of humans because they might exist.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: An attack called Attack Player targets the screen. Considering this is a sidescroll RPG, rather than vertical format (as is true of RPG Maker XP), this is pretty interesting. If the player dies, the game is over.
  • The Hero Dies: Although, less a sudden death or murder, and more of simple old age. It's actually a good ending.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Given to Estheriel, telling him that he was defeated by The Power of Love. It's actually a subversion, because it's completely off-base accusation (it's worse in the book, where Tamashii's power, which is most of what did the beating, is described, and is only vaguely related to love). Estheriel, because he was tired of seeing other people get killed over meaningless squabbles, tried to remake the world to a more decent one.
    Ambrosia: ...if you can't treat those around you with love and decency, soon or later you'll fall to it.
    Ambrosia: It's best not to think of such things... (Beat) Remember, it was The Power of Love that undid you!
  • The Sacred Darkness: The Earth is made of two halves, the New Earth (which is completely different from Earth in its history), and the Void (which is made of some kind of all-consuming darkness with No Ontological Inertia). This Void is sort of the inverse of the stable energy of Light, but not associated with normal darkness or dark energy.
  • The Treachery of Images: Used to great effect later in the game.
  • Through the Eyes of Madness: A possible interpretation of what's going on is that aside from meeting her party, the entire quest is a giant delusion of a girl hoping to feel important because her birth parents abandoned her.
  • Title Drop: Several times, as it's Ambrosia's goal.
  • Token Mini-Moe: Tamashii, Ambrosia's daughter.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Yazim Jianne. Sort of. He still is a creepy wizard, and a pervert, even after becoming good.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: Ambrosia.
  • Too Dumb to Live: At one point, a villain asks her "Who are you gonna trust? Me, who you've just met? Or these guys, who you've known for months?" Ambrosia can choose the person they've just met.
  • Trauma Inn: Defied. Inns heal hp/mp only, priests and hospitals heal certain status effects (usually at a high cost that gets worse as you level up). You need to travel a long way before you find an area where someone will heal you fully, no questions asked.
  • Tricking the Shapeshifter: Estheriel's teammate (Loki) pulls this off.
  • Troperiffic: Just look at this page.
  • Trope Trigger: Ambrosia Brahmin is a Trope Trigger for Elias as Mr. Exposition. Ambrosia's average intelligence and amnesia allow Smart Guy Elias to expound on obscure details pertaining to the plot.
  • Troubled Sympathetic Bigot: Lilith hates angels. How can you hate angels?!? She's a demon, so angels kind of hate her.
  • True Final Boss: If you qualify for the New Game+, you have to fight a set of three new bosses. Whereas the original Final Boss was basically just a Damage-Sponge Boss some of these require real strategy.
  • Truly Single Parent: God. Has a child with Manna Leaven, Ambrosia's mother, but it's later revealed that nobody really exists aside from Ambrosia, so God effectively created a clone.



Example of: