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  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Gel Wulff, again. And quite literally you have to run away from them! (At least in the earlier areas.)
  • Narrator All Along: The EPISODE 5 narrator is Shiva. This makes the fact that she sounds a lot like Harriet much, much more meaningful.
  • Near Victory Fanfare: A lot of major raid bosses get a version of The whole new world replacing the boss theme when their health gets down to 25%.
    • Elder gets the standard version.
    • Loser gets a remix with Ominous Latin Chanting.
    • Magatsu actually gets the third opening theme as the fanfare. Magatsu Sai gets the theme song instead, with an oriental-themed version.
    • The Profound Darkness gets an Autobots, Rock Out! version.
    • Apprentice changes to Vibrace's theme when it's low on health.
    • ESC-A Falz Mother gets a similar Autobots, Rock Out! version to the Profound Darkness, albeit much more subdued.
    • Deus ESC-A's theme changes to a themed variation of "The whole new world" during the DPS check.
  • Necessary Drawback:
    • For obvious reasons, charge time reduction effects and Charge Escape don't work on Namegid and Gigrants Type-0.
    • Vegas Illusia is the only Field boss that can drop 13★ weapons. So of course, it's the only Field boss that can't be fought on demand, only appearing as a random spawn in Vegas Exploration and Riding Quest. This makes it very hard to hunt for, unfortunately.
  • Nerf:
    • Shunka-Shunran is possibly one of the hardest-hit PAs in the entire game in terms of nerfs; it went from the best Katana PA in the game in EPISODE 2 to being near-useless in EPISODE 4 to gaining a utility in EPISODE 6 but still having lackluster output compared to the rest of Katana's kit, which was progressively buffed compared to Shunka.
    • Clones were nerfed very badly to the point of being borderline non-threats. As they are now, they hit for a fraction of the damage they used to hit and die far faster than they used to.
    • Even more was thrown all over the place by Episode 3; Gunners got hit with the brunt of it, Fury Stance isn't as strong, and some overpowered Technics or Artes got slammed with the nerf bat.
    • Generally, SEGA will more or less nerf aspects that result in overpowered strategies that everyone relies on. For example, the Nabarta/Elysion combo was badly hit by nerfing both Crafted Nabartas and Innocent Appearance. The aforementioned Gunner nerf was made in response to players not playing the class how it was intended (Combo oriented), and it didn't pan out as expected; Gunners went from being one of the most popular classes to being one of the least popular classes almost literally overnight.
    • Deus ESC-A Zephyros was nerfed within a week of being released, dropping his HP by 20,000,000 for the fight proper and dropping it by 10,000,000 for the DPS check while reducing his ATK in all forms. According to the developers, this was done with such haste because the failure rate pre-nerf was much higher than expected; the clear rate difference between regular Extra Hard Blocks and Expert Blocksnote  was a whopping 4x.
    • The Battle Arena Skill "Protection" had its usage limit cut to 1 (down from 2) in mid-May 2017. This is the result of most people taking Protection whenever it shows up and using it to hold down the Rainbow Emblem spawn zone during the last 1:20 to secure a victory.
    • EPISODE 5 hit a lot of the Game-Breaker stuff really hard. Special mention to Weak Bullet, which got cut down to a measly 1.2x multiplier, Chain Finish, which got turned into a Main Class Only skill, Compound Techniques, which got iced with a two minute cooldown timer, Zanverse, which no longer receives the effects of Skills and Potentials, and Maron, which got nerfed at Level 2 charge and requires more hits to reach Level 3 charge.
    • The 9/27/17 balance patch nerfed most of the core skills on the Ranger tree, such as Weak Hit Advance and Standing Snipe. This isn't a bad thing, though; the raw power of most of Ranger's Photon Arts was buffed to compensate, resulting in much higher, more consistent damage for Ranger.
  • Neglectful Precursors: It's noted that the Photoners were as lazy as hell; this created the Profound Darkness because their laziness allowed their man-made Xion replica to become corrupted with negative Photons.
  • Nested Story Reveal: The Wham Episode of EPISODE 5 manages to zigzag this to hell and back, almost to Mind Screw territory. After The Reveal that Shiva is the Narrator All Along, it is also revealed within the same scene that the story that the player and Xierra participated in is simply an alternate telling of the events in Omega that resulted due to the player's presence; the real story of Omega is much different, as in the original Omega, there was no player to act as the world's savior, and thus Harriet was lost to darkness. However, the "alternate" version of events is somehow just as real as the original, as not only was the black hole's closure the catalyst for Shiva's revival, but Harriet's soul from the alternate Omega carried over to the Oracle dimension as a Genesis Weapon.
  • New Media Are Evil: A literal, and rather unique, twist to the concept. For some reason, the same Applied Phlebotinum that makes The Alternet of 2028 run also happens to power the Phantoms, hostile constructs that threaten Earthlings and ARKS alike.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: It happens a lot.
    • In Episode 2, stopping Luther saves the lives of everyone onboard Oracle, but creates a new Dark Falz.
    • In Episode 3, Persona's Heroic Sacrifice saves the life of Matoi, but inadvertently gives the power of Time Travel to The Profound Darkness, allowing it to infinitely revive from defeat. What's more, the creation of The Profound Darkness tears such a wound in space-time that it affects the parallel world of Earth, paving the way for the creation of Mother Cluster and the Phantoms.
    • In EPISODE 5, you get to imbue your Coat Doublis with the power of the Ame-no-Murakumo, which causes the entire rescue operation to go wrong.
    • While confronting the first of the Four Heavenly Apprentices, Margaretta accidentally reveals that she's the one who summoned the Four Heavenly Apprentices, in a harebrained scheme to become popular and respected by then getting the player's help and piggybacking on their victory. Xierra is clearly not happy with this development and only doesn't say Screw This, I'm Outta Here! because Harriet convinces her that dealing with the Ephemera is bigger than Margaretta's mishap.
    • Margaretta uses her power to kill Elmir in the throne room. However, this just lets Elmir gain control of the power residing within the throne room, allowing him to force Margaretta to become Dark Falz Apprentice.
    • The climax of EPISODE 5 reveals a major plot twist. By defeating each of the Omega Falzes, the player is not actually obtaining the raw Falz essence itself, as such a power would inevitably destroy them; the consciousness they obtain is simply a fragment of the original Falz. The essences are actually returned to the earth, as Omega itself is the incarnation of the Profound Darkness, and by doing so the player had been playing into Elmir's hands the entire time.
    • It is revealed at the very end of EPISODE 5 that closing the black hole instigated Shiva's resurrection.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!:
    • In gameplay, Barbarillipans dig stuff out of their backpack to attack you with. However, they have a chance of throwing Recovery Pods at you, which restore your health.
    • Ardem kills and absorbs Mother in EPISODE 4, Chapter 7, an action that ultimately proves to be his undoing.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Blu Ringahda is a badassnote  avian centaur darker. Even by this series' standards, this one is just plain weird...
    • The Phantom-type enemies in Tokyo are stranger still: their ranks include zombies with blades and machine guns hidden in their torsos, tanks that can summon missile launchers of varying shapes and sizes, polar bears that can split their heads in half to project larger hidden mouths, Tyrannosauruses Rex that can stick their skulls out of their stomachs to use as a Wave Motion Gun, and for the field's boss, bullet trains fusing together into a three-headed dragon ala King Ghidora.
  • Nintendo Hard:
    • Plan on fighting Dark Falz Loser on Super Hard? Better bring all the healing items you can carry and some friends to revive you when (yes, when) you get KO'd. Extra Hard then goes and gives him even faster attacks, a shield that appears over his main weak point, and new moves (including a double time stop!) Have fun!
    • Mining Base Defense: Despair. Not only are bossess and Elite Mooks far more plentiful than in previous iterations, but the field is wider and there are far greater elements in place that single-handedly threaten entire runs with their presence, including Darker Particle Cannons, which One-Hit Kill Mining Bases if left unchecked, infected Campships, which kill players as fast as you can say "Oh, Crap!", and the addition of new Waves with Falz bosses and greater enemy numbers than ever before. You get the A.I.S. on your side for this mission, but if you're not careful with how you use them, you can still throw an entire run down the drain with one slip.
    • Upon release, it was basically impossible to get a net gain out of playing Mesetan Shooter without bringing friends. An update lowered its difficulty, but it's still difficult to acquire more Casino Coins than you paid for without at least one extra player. The March 2017 update further boosted potential payout by adding a Rainbow Coin that adds +20 CC, which is double up from the Gold Coin, which is only worth 10 CC.
    • Extreme Quests can get fairly nasty even for parties towards the end stages. The Solo Extreme Quest deserves special mention, which pits one player against nigh-insurmountable odds, AKA heaps upon heaps of ridiculous Level 80 boss fights.
  • No "Arc" in "Archery": Averted. Your basic Bullet Bow shots will be subjected to arc gravity. Charging your shots, however, can mitigate this for more accuracy.
  • No-Sell:
    • The Weapon Potential "Wings of Fortune", found on the Rappy weapons, has a chance to negate damage when the player is attacked.
    • The 14★ Sword Akatsuki has a somewhat similar effect as part of its Potential when unsealed; it gives the player a 10% chance to reduce damage from any given hit by 99%.
    • Shiva manages to completely negate anything and everything that the player and their party throw at her. Matoi at first believes that she is simply immune to their attacks, but Maria points out that she is not only immune, she is actually absorbing their attacks.
  • Non-Indicative Name: The Council of Six has a total of seven members. In numerical order, starting from #0: Quna, Regius, Maria, Casra, Zeno, Claris Claes, and Huey.
  • Non-Uniform Uniform: Karin does not wear an ARKS Trainee Uniform. No one seems to know why.
  • Nostalgia Level:
    • Gal Gryphon's arena was basically ripped straight out of Phantasy Star Online and given updated textures. Gal Gryphon even makes its appearance the same way!
    • The Episode 4, Chapter 7 Story Quest is essentially a reskinned Mothership level from Episode 2, Chapter 6, but with a blue Palette Swap. The final two rooms are even identical to the real thing.
  • Not Completely Useless:
    • While the majority of Partners are only good for being meat shields and drawing Hate from enemies you aren't fighting, some are actually decent to have around. For example, Echo (EP3) knows War Cry in spite of being a Force, allowing her to distract enemies for you. Ranger Partners also know Weak Bullet most of the time, although they treat it the same as a normal attack and won't necessarily fire it where you want it. Friend Partners with optimized builds can also deal actually respectable damage if their normal damage output is high enough.
    • Nabarta Type-0, otherwise considered PP-inefficient, does have its uses; namely, tanking multi-hit attacks, which cannot otherwise be negated with Just Guard. Nabarta Type-0 has a niche of having always-active Just Guard, so it can break through multi-hit attacks with ease. Demon Phaleg after she Turns Red is especially notable in this case, as all of her attacks hit one to three times per hit, allowing Nabarta Type-0 to deal a ridiculous amount of damage with an Ice-specialized Force tree.
  • Not the Intended Use:
    • Due to the fact that Lobby Actions override all actions the player is performing when you use one, there is a popular trick known as "Lobby Action cancelling", in which you use a Lobby Action to immediately cancel the animation of a Photon Art or Step, then immediately cancel the Lobby Action back into the same Photon Art or Step to negate endlag or other hindrances.
    • Prior to Episode 3's running speed buff, many players often used their dash action repeatedly to double-dash (or perhaps triple, with the aid of something like Assault Buster) to get from point A to B faster than just running on foot.
    • Many Forces and Techers who wield Ilzonde utilize it more as a sort of dash or faux-flying than as an actual attack.
    • Some players may keep a Rod, Talis, or Wand around on their Weapon Palette even if they have zero offensive use for it, because holding one gives the user Mirage Escape. Mirage Escape is the game's longest evasion maneuver, and thus gives the most invulnerability, which makes escaping sticky situations much easier than if one used Step/Dive Roll/Stylish Roll/Mirage Step.
    • In boss fights where One-Hit Kill attacks are involved, many players don't bother using their Photon Blasts for actually attacking; rather, they save them for when said One-Hit Kill attacks occur, so they can survive them by abusing the Photon Blast's ten-second invincibility window.
    • Techers were introduced as a class that specialized in support techniques, with Wand Gear providing some melee ability to distinguish them from the long-range Forces. Yet the sheer burst damage of a fully-charged Wand Gear combined with the enemy-gathering power of the Zondeel technic is so ridiculously effective at clearing large groups of mobs that "melee Techers" are by far the most popular build.
    • Jet Boots in a nutshell. They were designed to be melee weapons that used T-ATK to determine damage, which would let them be Magic Knights. The Switch Strike skill lets them change to S-ATK, presumably so that S-ATK Bouncers (specialising in Dual Blades) could also use Jet Boots. However, because there is no subclass that supports both melee combat and T-ATK, the most dominant Jet Boots builds are based around S-ATK.
    • Some Photon Arts are widely used as a method of getting around faster than on foot, such as Guren Tessen, Rodeo Drive Type-0, and Moment of Trick.
    • Some players may put items on their Player Shop for overtly exorbitant prices when the item in question isn't worth a fraction as much. Why? Because it frees up inventory space.
    • Many Rangers take Gravity Bomb and Level 5 Tactics Trap. While they do this partly because Gravity Bomb is useful for mob situations, it's mostly used because the two skills enable a Ranger to instantly recover 20% of their PP on demand.
  • Notice This:
    • Matter Board related items and events will have a gold sparkle when they appear.
    • Likewise, guaranteed drops that you earned from a Collect File will sparkle white on the field, and will have an accompanying pop-up at the bottom of the screen.
    • You're also bluntly notified when a Rare Random Drop has appeared. The screen will display RARE DROP! in big letters, and it becomes rainbow colored if it's a 10★+ item. If you can't find them, they teleport to you after 60 seconds or so.
    • When someone in the vicinity uses Weak Bullet on something else in the vicinity, a large, orange reticle makes sure everyone knows what just got shot. This also applies if a player/partner gets hit with an attack that inflicts Weak Bullet.
    • Sometimes in Single-Party Areas or after completing a mission on Very Hard or higher, you'll hear a short, cheery, ping-pongy tune unlike any other jingle in the game. This means that a rare Parallel World teleporter has appeared in the area. Beyond it are a gaggle of rare enemies: it will either a bunch of Rappies (either the best thing ever or a Zonk, depending on if you're looking for Rappies or not), a rare boss with a bunch of rare mooks, or Urth's Fount.
    • In Battle Arena, the top three players on each team are marked by an emblem above their heads. The problem being that this enables all players to roughly gauge their position at all times, so being within the top three essentially paints a target on your back; not only does it tell the opposition that you're worth more points for being killed, it also tells them if you're trying to attempt a sneak attack, so attempting to backstab your enemies while being within the top three is generally a no-no.
  • Not So Above It All: Amusingly, for some reason, Dark Falz Elder shows up 30 mintues after Quna's live performances start without fail. It's now a fandom joke that he's (literally) her biggest fan. Subverted when the real reason for Quna's live performances (to get as many Arks in one place as possible to prepare for an oncoming threat) is revealed.
  • Oddball in the Series:
    • It's easy to tell when Odin decides to say hello; instead of getting an Emergency Code, the "FATE Joined" message from Final Fantasy XIV appears.
    • Unlike previous collaboration bosses like Cougar NX, Knight Gear, and Odin, Monster Hunter Frontier's Elzelion only appears exclusively as a random spawn in Free Fields as opposed to having his own Limited Quest. Defeating him gives a chance to obtain his Quest Trigger, which will allow you to engage him in a four-player hunt at Frontier's resident Boss-Only Level, The Tower. Elzelion is also the first collaboration boss who does not possess a weakness to Lightning.
  • Official Couple:
    • Zeno and Echo. A subplot in EPISODE 5 even involves Echo trying to tie the knot with Zeno.
    • As of EPISODE 5, Matoi is confirmed to have a romantic interest in the Player Character. Out of respect for open-ended character relationships in terms of the player, the player does not explicitly return her feelings, but he/she can if the player imagines it to be.
  • Oh, Crap!: Just when you think you're through with Wave 6 on Mining Base Despair, the 7th wave reads "Wave 7 Start: EXTREME DANGER". You also hear Melitta freaking out over the Falz Arms showing up. On Wave 8 though... You hear the opening rift of Falz Hunar's theme, as well as a sudden visit from the Falz Hunar himself.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting:
  • Older Than They Look: A lot of characters are much older than they appear to be. For example, Zeno is actually almost as old as Huey, Echo is a year younger than Zeno, Matoi and Io are both 18 (in Episode 5 and after timeskip respectively), Melrandia is around 20-21, Patty and Tea are 20, and most CASTs have crazy ages; Regius is 73 years old. It's justified in the latter case, since CASTs are also robots and look the same consistently. Though as Regius himself has proven, CASTs are not immune to looking rustier over the years.
  • One-Hit Kill:
    • Guar Zigmorde's so-called "instant death" attack, where she attacks with an area-wide slash that causes a wisp to appear over the heads of those affected. If you wait too long, she will follow up with a second attack that will one-shot all affected players instantly.
    • Dark Falz Apprentice's Wave Motion Gun has an extremely high chance to one-shot most players not protected by invulnerability or Iron Will/Automate/Dear Master. It also one-shots AIS and Mining Bases.
    • Odin's Shin-Zantetsuken, as is Final Fantasy tradition. Once he starts it up, the battle becomes a fight to the finish; failing to kill Odin before it goes off results in the death of the entire Multi-Party, no questions asked. This even goes straight through stuff that gives you invulnerability, such as Katana Combat Escape and the charging animation of your Photon Blast.
    • In Battle Arena's VR Volcano, falling into the lava results in instant death. The enemy team also gets 10% of your points, but as they're attributed to no one, you can't kill a specific target to get them back.
    • During the second encounter with Hagito Phemut in Magisterial Onslaught, Yamato will spawn a large, white ball of energy above the field. If it is not destroyed before it touches the ground, it inflicts a field-wide AOE that kills anyone not under invulnerability effects.
    • Yamato's Desperation Attack causes missiles to appear around the battlefield. If they aren't destroyed in time, they'll unleash a massive blast that destroys all A.I.S. on the field unless you time a dodge properly.
    • Let ESC-A Falz Mother absorb enough cubes during her deadly cubes attack, and the resulting field-wide AOE will hit anyone not under the effect of invulnerability for thousands of damage per hit.
    • Deus ESC-A has two.
      • After the first phase, he'll charge up a glowing white orb. If you don't avoid it by running away, it'll do enough damage to kill instantly.
      • If, somehow, you are unable to kill Deus ESC-A while he's stunned during the DPS check, he'll get up and sweep his sword, which does enough damage to one-shot anyone.
    • Apostolo Dragon has a unique interaction with Dark Blast that causes him to deal instantly fatal damage to anyone using Dark Blast with his absorption attack.
  • One-Hit Polykill:
    • Gunslash's Aiming Shot is a Charged Attack that fires a moderately-powerful bullet at enemies. It's one of the few attacks in Gunslash's arsenal that has no Striking component to it, and it goes through enemies to hit groups.
    • Piercing Shell for Assault Rifles. It doesn't do a lot, but it goes straight through enemies, allowing you to hit multiple enemies in one attack.
    • End Attract seems like it would be this, but it stops at a single enemy. Instead, it penetrates through an enemy, dealing continuous damage throughout. Against boss monsters, especially enormous ones, one fully charged bullet can chew through HP extremely fast.
    • Last Nemesis for Bullet Bow takes the cake. Single piercing arrow that hits for astounding damage, and with enough R-ATK and damage multipliers, you can mow down a line of enemies in one blow.
  • One-Winged Angel:
    • Most Dark Falzes have this, the specifics of which are difficult to describe.
    • Averted with Dark Falz Apprentice Gia; while it is a Falz form, it isn't complete, as it requires the essence (read:host body with Apprentice) of Dark Falz Apprentice to become complete. Guess where it decides to look?
    • The Chrome Dragon is a minor example. It's already an enormous monster, but as the fight goes on it starts eating the Darkers it summons. This causes it to sprout wings, a bloated, glowing torso and an array of claws and spikes. These additions substantially boost its abilities (and grant new ones) until destroyed.
    • Deus Angeus transforms into his final form, Deus ESC-A Zephyros, once he is defeated.
  • One Steve Limit: Subverted; The game doesn't enforce this limit when naming characters, but is defined via Player ID and its assigned ID number. There may be multiple Alice's wandering around the lobby, but the ID number and Player ID assigned to each of them are unique.
  • Only the Knowledgable May Pass: Meta example. To play the game, you are required to possess a Japanese SEGA ID. Since this is usually the only game of interest to foreign players that requires it, many potential players are subject to the account creation process. This comes with a standard-issue captcha, which wouldn't be so bad... if it wasn't Hiragana based. This requires a rudimentary knowledge of the Japanese kana alphabet; if one does not know anything about Japanese kana, they can expect to either have their recognition skills tested or ask a friend who does.
  • Our Dragons Are Different:
    • The natives of Planet Amduscia are all dragonkin of one form or another. Full-sized dragons (typically based on the western variety) are a recurring theme in boss fights; Vol Dragon, Quartz Dragon, Chrome Dragon, Goronzoran and Dragon Ex all present a new spin on the concept.
    • The boss of the Tokyo Free Field, Train Ghidoran, is a hydra-esque dragon formed out of multiple sentient trains.
  • Our Giants Are Different: Male Harukotanese tower over the players and the females of their race, with Kuronians being slightly larger than Shironians. Gigur Gunnegam, the boss of the Shironia field (along with its rare counterpart) is even larger than standard Kuronians, and Magatsu, the boss introduced in an Emergency Quest in the December 2014 update, is even bigger still: it features prominently in the game's fourth opening as ARKS members fight it in a sequence that wouldn't be out of place in Attack on Titan.
  • Overly Long Fighting Animation: The animation for Kazan-Nadeshiko involves the wielder performing a slow, circular motion with the Katana before creating a Laser Blade and bringing it down on their foes. The elapsed time for the windup is around three seconds, which is more than enough time for whatever you're fighting to either run away or body you. The Type-0 craft removes the animation and converts it into a Charged Attack.
  • Painting the Medium: When Hitsugi travels into PSO2 for the first time, the process of being transferred is depicted as her "loading" into the game, replete with interactable loading screen.
  • Paint It Black: Becoming a Dark Falz comes with a nifty new dark-photon-composed outfit, which can be seen to instantly materialize during Gettemhult and Luther's transformations.
  • Palette Swap:
    • The rare versions of certain enemies are of a different color. Rare Darkers are a bright red, Burn Draal is gold, King Vardha is blue, just to name a few. Some of the monsters starting from Episode 2 also gain physical differences on top of the color change, such as Org Keratos' bigger, spikier horns when compared to Org Blan.
    • There's also the color variations for clothing that cannot be dyed with a Recolor Ticket, roughly four to six versions.
      • Mikoto Cluster, the outfit Matoi wears, however, has nine different colors, plus a special tenth. It's in Dark Falz colors.
    • Unusually, Cyleion, an NPC in Franka's Cafe, is a copy of Hyperion, but with orange tertiary colors instead of green.
    • The 3rd Anniversary event featured Weapon Camos based on existing weapons chosen out of a poll; all of the Weapon Camos are palette swaps of existing weapons.
    • Most of the special PSO2es weapons are this.
      • The Sigma series of weapons are Rig weapons, but black/green instead of gold/red. The Gram series of Camos is also based on the Rig weapons, but are pale grey and blue instead.
      • The Arion and Rate weapons are recolored Nox weapons.
      • The Dominacio weapons are recolored Revolucio weapons.
  • Palmtree Panic: Vopal's Coastline field.
  • Panty Shot: Barring the ability to invoke Proper Tights with a Skirt or Modesty Shorts, the Rideroid in general is very guilty of this. The stance your character makes when you're using it involves a very bent-over pose, your feet planted on the vehicle while your body is hunched over nearly 90 degrees holding onto the handles; as a result, anyone with a miniskirt will always flash their panties at the camera.
  • Peninsula of Power Leveling:
    • You can powerlevel classes rather quickly if you link your character to es and play that instead, which overall earns EXP significantly faster outside of main-game Emergency Quests and Advance Quests.
    • The "Special Training" Quests released as part of the 5th Anniversary event were major cases. Especially the "Episode 2" and "Episode 1~4" Quests. This is due in part to a stacking bonus known as Extra Boost that bumped up the EXP that the Quests dispense, as well as the Boost Week right before the release of EPISODE 5 that boosted it even further. At full boost compounded with additional EXP boosters and Triboosts, players were earning full levels per run below Lv. 65, at least half their EXP gauge between 65 and 75 per run, and 1/6th of their EXP gauge between 76 and 80, which is a blistering fast grind rate. The Quests made level grinding so efficient that when Hero released in late July, people were capping out Hero at Lv. 80 on the first day.
    • Buster Quests dispense an immense amount of EXP at Grade 3 and Advanced, which makes level grinding significantly less time consuming.
    • There's a category of Featured Quest called "Level-Up Quests" that are intended to be this, consisting of once-Limited Quests packed with enemies with a constant EXP boost active. The one that takes the cake, however, is "A World Engulfed In Shadows", a quest consisting entirely of a gauntlet of Aberration bosses capped off with a Dual Boss fight against Dio Hunar and Anga Fundarge. The reason it's so effective is that unlike its original incarnation, it supports a Multi-Party of 12 players. Boss stats don't scale beyond a single party of four, so a full Multi-Party can shred through everything extremely quickly over and over to rack up an incredible amount of experience.
  • Percent Damage Attack: The damage-over-time effect that Apprentice Gia spreads when she spawns in Demise deals a percentage of the player's maximum HP in damage every few seconds. This is done to dissuade AIS from wandering into it, since it will go through AIS health extremely quick if stood in too long.
  • Pile Bunker:
    • EPISODE 5's Buster Quests feature a weapon called the "Buster Pile", a giant, cannon-mounted lance that has the power to destroy large structures that otherwise wouldn't be able to be destroyed. Two guesses as to where this weapon comes from.
    • The "Bunker" series of Launchers contain a large metal pile on the inside. The last of these, Exium Bunker, accentuates this by giving it a Potential that enhances the power of the Zero Distance PA, which, for all intents and purposes, involves getting in your enemy's face and firing an explosive shell at point-blank range.
  • Piñata Enemy: The Mesetan, who not only spawns Meseta by simply existing, but drops a ton of it upon defeat. Carrying tickets that boost Meseta drops is a common practice in case a Mesetan shows up.
  • Pixel Hunt: Somewhere in the casino, there's a Lilipan sticker that you can find. It does nothing significant, but it's a rather small object to find on a 3D environment, not to mention that the sticker's location is randomized. This is really just a fun little thing for most players, unless you're trying to get 100% Completion on the PS Vita, in which case it's a Trophy.
  • Play Every Day: There are various systems that operate on a 22-24 hour clock in order to encourage daily play.
    • The first time you log in each day, you receive a Login Stamp. Each Login Stamp earns you an item, including valuables such as Este Passes and Star Gems. You also receive some FUN points, starting at 100 and increasing up to 500 on the fifth consecutive day. Both the number of stamps and FUN values are doubled with an active Premium Set.
    • Extreme Passes and Casino Coin Passes are also handed out on a daily basis.
    • Daily ARKS Missions provide useful items and experience as a reward for completing simple tasks such as using a drink or clearing any one quest at a specified difficulty level. There are also weekly missions, some of which pay out large sums of meseta. One of the weekly missions offers a gold Bonus Key for simply completing enough daily ones.
    • Each day has four Featured Quests. The first time you clear each of them with at least an A rank, you receive a gift that can contain, among other things, Bonus Keys or Crests.
    • Daily Orders refresh each day. Three of them — tied to the featured Free Field — provide a 5% Daily Triboost buff, which can stack up to 50%, and decays by 5% every 24 hours.
  • Player Versus Player: There are two systems in place: ARKS League and Battle Arena.
    • In ARKS League, players are randomly grouped together and must compete with each other in completing a particular task. The highest scoring players can win lots of Star Gems.
    • Battle Arena plays like a real PVP mode, in which 12 players are split into groups of six and battle each other for the most points on a confined playing field. To do so, players must Mine weapons from points on the map and use the gear they dig up to stop the opposition cold while gathering emblems for themselves. By playing in Battle Arena, you can earn Battle Coins that can be used as a currency in the Battle Coin Shop to purchase exclusive prizes, such as special Boosters required to unlock Hidden Potentials on certain 13★ weapons. In addition, players who participate in the Arena can play the Battle Scratch at the end of a match, which allows players to earn special prizes such as exclusive Weapon Camos and the rare Grind Cap +1 item that can be used in New Type grinding to increase the target weapon's Overgrind Cap by 1 without the need to sacrifice another copy of that weapon.
  • Playing Possum: (Nab) Rappies fake their death. After a few moments they'll get up and make a run for it, in which the players can hit them again to make them drop an item.
  • The Points Mean Nothing: Played with. In Mining Base, you gain points from killing enemies or collecting Crystals. While the points from killing enemies are completely arbitrary, the points from collecting Crystals are not, as they help fund important tools such as Base Recovery and AIS. However, both systems count toward a "total" score, and at the end of each Wave and at the end of the Quest, every player in the current Quest is ranked based on how many points are collected that round. This system is also completely arbitrary and exists purely for bragging rights.
  • Pokémon Speak: Lillipans only ever say "Li!". Fourier tries to learn their language, and against all odds, successfully does so to a degree.
  • Power Floats:
    • When Jet Boots are brandished, the wielder hovers in the air. The Etoile class similarly floats while using any of their weapons.
    • When using Sphere Eraser or Final Nemesis from the ground, the user floats into the air before executing the attack.
    • Charging Fusion Technics makes the caster glide as movement.
    • Prolonged usage of Nazonde in the air keeps you suspended mid-air until you drop the attack.
  • The Power of Friendship: In the final battle against The Profound Darkness, the players who clear the boss fastest contribute towards a massive HP/PP buff for the players who are still fighting, making things easier for them. This buff is appropriately called, "ARKS".
  • Power Gives You Wings: While using Zandion, wings made of wind energy appear behind the caster.
  • Power Palms:
    • Played With. The Signobraver gunslash is built from the arm of a robotic enemy, and fires/creates a Laser Blade from its palm.
    • And now there's the Elder Rifle which is Dark Falz Elder's arm which shoots bullets out of it.
    • Il Megid takes this trope quite literally by launching a hand made of darkness that flies into enemies palm-first to deal damage.
  • Power-Up Food:
    • The Naura sisters' cakes provide stat buffs.
    • Certain events feature special food items that you can consume for bonuses, such as the Valentine's and White Day events, which have Chocolates, and the recurring Donut item, both of which grant a +50% Triboost on consumption for 5 minutes.
    • The March 8, 2016 update adds a restaurant that can make stat-boosting food from fish and produce gathered in free fields and meat from defeated monsters.
  • Power-Up Letdown:
    • The 14★ evolved Pets (Jinga, Aero, Popple) are infamous for being very marginal upgrades from their 13★ versions, gaining very little by way of stats between Lv. 120 and Lv. 130. The base Pets (Wanda, Torim, Cery), by comparison, have explosive stat growth between Lv. 120 and Lv. 130, gaining several hundreds of HP and DEF in the process.
    • Dodge Auto Field is the worst Level 85 Skill in the game by a vast margin. It gives the player the ability automatically activate Bouncer's Field Skills (Critical Field and Elemental PP Restorate Field) without triggering Recast when you dodge an attack with Step. This is on a class that decentivizes using Step due to the truckload of invulnerability frames it gets, and the trade-off for dropping DPS to use Dodge Auto Field isn't worth the effort. The icing on the cake is that a balance patch in July 2019 made Field Remain last 30 seconds, meaning Fields now have no downtime whatsoever and making Dodge Auto Field even more meaningless.
  • Powers via Possession: When Mother possesses Aru in the final chapter of EPISODE 4, they gain the power to rip a hole in space-time, which they use break through the barrier between Oracle and Earth to assist the player's party in the final fight. Aru also more or less gains Mother's abilities on top of his own.
  • Press X to Not Die: X on the default keyboard setting is your Dash key. Since most things can easily kill you if you are not a tank, the preferred way to stay alive is to dodge every attack.
  • Previously On…: After Episode 3 was introduced, players could access a lengthy video summarizing the plot (narrated by Xion) up to that point, even if the player hadn't completed up to that point or even started the story. Justified, as the update also allowed all players to begin Episode 3 without having finished Episodes 1 or 2, and they wouldn't be caught up on the plot otherwise.
  • Product Placement: Every so often, a collaboration will also include a trailer promoting whatever it is the game is collaborating with, such as Shin Godzilla trailers being added to the TV rotation during the Godzilla collaboration. Other times, SEGA will add a trailer promoting one of their games, such as Tyson Hesse's animated Sonic Mania trailer and the "Custom Character" trailer from Sonic Forces being added to the rotation during the 2017 Sonic Lobby.
  • Public Bathhouse Scene: EPISODE 4 features two after the end of the story, one for the girls (Hitsugi, Kohri, Och, Phul, and Phaleg) and one for the guys (Enga, Aru, Hagito, and Aratron), in which both parties talk about breast sizenote . The former is actually a prerequisite to opening up the Demon Phaleg Bonus Boss fight.
  • Public Domain Artifact: The Ame-no-Murakumo and Gram, both weapons of legend that are wielded as Hitsugi and Kohri's Embodied Weapons, respectively. They are not actually the real weapons (for obvious reasons), but Ether constructs formed in their image with the power of imagination.
  • Pun-Based Title: The name of the November 2017/December 2017 AC Scratch can be either translated as "Soft Burst" or "Soft Bust". It is a Dead or Alive 5 collaboration, after all.
  • Punched Across the Room:
    • The Knuckles have a Photon Art called Backhand Smash that can cause this. While you have to be right in the enemy's face to hit with it (or at least moreso than all of the other Knuckles PAs), it hits hard; aside from doing a crap-ton of damage, anything that isn't a boss or otherwise defending itself will be sent flying straight backward. Bonus points if the enemy in question flies into a wall, in which case they bounce off of it and into the sky before crashing back down a few seconds later.
    • To a lesser extent, Rangers can get a Photon Art for their Launcher called "Crazy Smash" which is essentially using the Launcher as a golf club. Not as drastic as Backhand Smash, but still enough to knock some of the heavier enemies on their ass.
  • Purple Is Powerful: With the Katana Gear, Bravers can envelope themselves in a fiery violet aura that boosts their critical rate.
  • Purposely Overpowered:
    • The A.I.S. (ARKS Intercept Silhouette) (See Instant Awesome: Just Add Mecha!.) It comes equipped with a portable Photon Particle Cannon, and will make mincemeat of pretty much everything. However, it comes with a strict time limit; over-use makes it vulnerable to Darker infection and possession. Thus it is only used sparingly, such as Mining Base Defense: Despair/Demise, Gold Magatsu and Phantom Yamato.
    • As noted under Infinity +1 Sword, the 14★ weapons have extremely powerful Game-Breaker Potentials that put 13★s to shame. However, they haven't had any noticeable effect on the metagame; this is because they're so exceedingly rarenote  that 13★ weapons are still the go-to; having a 14★ makes you extremely overpowered, sure, but it's more of a sign of having god-like RNG than anything else.
    • The Hero class is a Game-Breaker by design; the developers explicitly intended the Class to be able to output incredibly high amounts of damage even in the hands of a novice player.
  • Put on a Bus:
    • Everyone who wasn't popular to at least some degree got shafted in EPISODE 4. This includes effectively all of the minor side characters, including Aki, Light, Fourier, Rogio, Afin, and Eucreta, and even some of the more story-relevant ones including Echo and Zeno. Half the Council is also missing, including Regius and Maria, although it is commonly believed that it has to do with the voice actor's schedules.
    • Matoi also gets the bus in EPISODE 4 for the first few chapters as the result of purifying Aika of the Apprentice essence she absorbed in the last episode of the anime, which sent her into Cold Sleep. She comes back later on to reunite with the player.
      • She then promptly subverts it completely in Episode 5, where she takes part in the events from the start, and is the only character NOT Put on a Bus for Episode 5.
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    Tropes R-T 
  • Rain of Arrows:
    • The Bullet Bow PA "Torrential Arrow" is a textbook example.
    • Archer-type Dragonkin Aberrations can use an attack that is very similar to Torrential Arrow. If you're caught in the target marker, it deals multiple hits of damage and has a high chance to inflict Poison.
  • Rainbow Pimp Gear: Can be invoked by players who ignore everything about Unit Sets and slap on a trio of mismatching Units with tons of affixes, giving them awesome boosts but making them look a bit ridiculous. Can be averted by equipping a Unit Set or just hiding your Units.
  • Random Drop: Decided on a character-by-character basis to avoid Loot Drama... though it may be inevitable if it was a Rare Random Drop, as the rares you get are displayed for every player in your party to see.
  • Random Event:
    • Randomly-occurring "Emergency Trials" happen every so often in Quests, and can be anything from defeating a group of enemies or even a boss to collecting a bunch of items and returning them to a designated point. There's no penalty for ignoring them, with the exception of a rare few that block your progress until completed.
    • A good majority of Emergency Quests can recur at random times during any given day. You can be notified as to when these happen by up to an hour in advance if you have a Premium Set active and you own Phantasy Star Online 2es.
  • Rank Inflation: At the end of a Quest, you're given a grade based on a variety of factors, and grades can range from C through S.
  • Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs: Dark Blast Elder has a Photon Art known as "Infinity Rush", where you start punching repeatedly at blinding speed until you let go of the PA button or you run out of PP.
  • Rare Random Drop:
    • Notoriously, the Elder Pain. It was considered incredibly potent for its time due to its powerful Life Drain Potential, but was outclassed by EPISODE 3 due to the shift in meta towards stronger weapons. However, even in EPISODE 5, it still remains one of the rarest weapons in existence by sheer virtue of being one of the only pieces of gear in the entire game that requires the player to break a specific part of the target.
    • Anything 13★ and 14★ qualifies. The game knows this too, as it invokes Law of Chromatic Superiority by displaying such drops as rainbow item boxes as opposed to the standard red.
  • Razor Wind: Double Sabers' Gear ability allows them to summon a whirlwind that deals damage to enemies in close proximity for a brief period of time. There is also a Skill Ring called "L/DS Kamaitachi" that gives Double Saber a chance to automatically summon their whirlwind when using a Photon Art, up to 100% chance at +20.
  • Rearrange the Song:
    • Ignoring "The whole new world" having a rearrangement of the original version of the song from Phantasy Star Online, the song is rearranged whenever it appears as the Theme Music Power-Up.
    • Some of the tracks in the game are rearrangements from other songs from across the franchise. "Comedy Again" from EPISODE 4 is a rearrangement of "Comedy" from Phantasy Star Universe, ESC-A Falz Mother has a rearrangement of "The Place of Death" from Phantasy Star II, "Unfathomable Darkness" combines a rearrangement of "Ooze" from Phantasy Star IV, "IDOLA the Strange Fruits" from Phantasy Star Online, and "The whole new world", and the fight against the Profound Darkness itself is capped off with a rearrangement of "Rose Confession" as the Quest Clear theme.
    • Xiao's theme is a rearrangement of Xion's theme, as he is Xion from a parallel universe. Mother as well, and there's a good reason for the latter.
    • Omega Hunar, Omega Angel, Omega Falz Loser, and Omega Dourumble all have rearrangements of their Oracle counterpart themes that prominently feature instruments associated with Omega, and Omega Falz Loser even gets added vocals. Omega Apprezina and Omega Falz Apprentice get entirely original pieces instead due to their Oracle counterparts debuting in side material (the manga and the anime respectively), but their themes feature stylistic similarities to the Mining Base Defense music and have samples of Dark Falz Apprentice Gia's theme.
  • Recurring Character: To date, the only characters besides the player to have had any form of story appearance in any capacity in every single Episode are Matoi and Lisa.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over:
    • The Darkers' default color scheme. Rare variants go for lots of red instead. Dark Falzes like a more varied palette, though.
    • The rare version of Chrome Dragon, Haze Draal, is black-and-red instead of white-and-red, which happens to make it look quite a lot like the Darkers it summons and devours.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Knight Gear/Magiknight Gear flashes these during his pre-battle cutscene in Border-Piercing Blade.
  • Red Sky, Take Warning:
    • A weather effect in Mining Base Defense turns the sky a deep shade of red and boosts enemy stats. Bonus points for being accompanied by the word "WARNING" at the beginning of the wave.
    • Waves 7 and 8 in Despair get "EXTREME WARNING" with their darkened red sky. They're not lying.
    • Inverted on one occasion: The sky turning a light purple signifies the arrival of the swift, deadly Anga Fundarge.
    • The sky in Omega turns red during the Final Defense Phase in Buster Quest. It also turns red when an Accident occurs.
  • Regenerating Health:
    • In Battle Arena, you will regenerate 10% of your maximum HP regularly as long as you're not being attacked.
    • Players with the Skill or Skill Ring "HP Restorate" automatically start restoring their own HP when it dips below a certain level.
  • Regional Bonus: The now-defunct SEA/Taiwanese version had a few things exclusive to their version, such as regional holidays to replace Japanese ones, such as Malaysia Independence Day and Chinese New Year, special holiday Rappies to go with them, such as the dragon-themed Drag Rappies, and some exclusive Costumes and Accessories.
  • Relationship Upgrade:
    • By the time Matoi returns in Episode 4, her and the player character are very much a known item on board the ARKS Ship, and their 'relationship' is however the player intends it to be, ranging from Heterosexual Life-Partners (for females) to Platonic Life-Partners (if males), and Matoi herself sits waiting for her partner to return when they are thrown into a space-time rift at the start of Episode 5.
    • A subplot in EPISODE 5 centers around Xierra convincing Echo that she and Zeno should get married.
  • Relationship Values:
    • Every NPC has a friendship level that gauges how friendly they are to you. Their friendship level can be raised by doing their Client Orders, and/or going on Quests with their Partner Cards if applicable. The system is mostly negligible, though, as it only affects how they talk to you, though there are some Titles, and NPCs may give you presents, which range from Vendor Trash, to cool, to actually useful.
    • Your Support Partner also uses this friendship system, though it's a lot more applied, since it also affects their Nature and how many Client Orders they can take at any one time.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Subverted. The EPISODE 1 Chapter 9 update focuses on a new heroine that the player has supposedly met before, who is the center of a major subplot at the end of the Episode. When the Chapter was added, the update also retroactively added story events to every previous Chapter that shows the player and the heroine meeting several times over the course of the story before her subplot starts.
  • Retcon:
    • Omnibus EPISODE 1 Chapter 2 has a scene after the fight with Hi Loga where the player jumps on his head after he's incapacitated and uses their power to purify him. This scene is not present in the original Matter Board version of the Story Quest.
    • Omnibus EPISODE 2 Chapter 2 has an additional action scene where you save Sara from an attack by deflecting Falz Hunar's Elder Pain with only your wrists.
    • Omnibus EPISODE 2 Chapter 5 makes Franka's EPISODE 4 outfit canon much earlier.
  • Retconjuration: This is the Matter Board's actual ability; by collecting "Matter" via nodes, the player is able to edit the past and create possibilities not foreseen by the Akashic Record.
  • Retro Upgrade: The Fighter, Gunner, and Techer classes were once used by ARKS in the distant past, but were eventually retired due to being rendered obsolete by the Hunter, Ranger, and Force classes. However, the Fighter, Gunner, and Techer classes were subsequently revived in A.P. 238 due to advancements in technology and outfitted with everything new to make them bright and shiny classes again.
  • Revenue-Enhancing Devices: The revenue model for the game uses a currency called Arks Cash. Premium status and the various knick-knacks in the AC shop are certainly convenient, but in no way necessary to enjoy the game.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter:
    • Rappies! They even come in different flavors depending on the current promotion, season, or holiday PSO2 is running. Even the realistic-looking Nab Rappies are adorable.
    • The Lillipa species are a species of large, brown-furred critters sporting rabbit ears and are often taken as such.
    • Nyau is an adorable feline-like creature who carries a sword as big as his body, and seems to be a cocky kid out to fight ARKS. If you break said sword, he'll break down into tears. And possibly summon a boss in the process. Like Rappies, he also gets the seasonal change treatment, with him changing outfits and weapons by the occasion.
  • Ridiculously Human Robots:
    • CASTs have the option of playing it straight, as certain cosmetic functions enable them to appear virtually identical to humans. Their distinguishing feature is their glowing eyes, which show regardless of whatever cosmetics they are wearing.
    • Xierra plays it straight compared to most of the other storyline CASTs, as she is a special model of CAST called a Hi-CAST specially designed by Xiao and patterned after Ulc. She notably lacks the robotic echo that most CASTs typically have.
  • Robot Buddy:
    • Mags are back. They can be fed weapons and armor like Phantasy Star Zero, use Photon Blasts and can perform auxiliary functions like in Phantasy Star Online, and higher-level mags can also assist in combat like R-Mags and Tech Mags in Phantasy Star Universe.
    • Episode 2 added Support Partners, reminiscent of PSU's Partner Machines. They have just as much customization as the player characters, in Fun Size!
  • Rock Beats Laser: In the 5th opening, the Battleship Yamato and a fleet of World War II-era biplanes are seen trouncing a Zerg Rush of A.I.S. The ARKS still manage to gain the upper hand through sheer numbers and a special weapon.
  • Rocket Ride: The Rodeo Drive PA has you mount your own Launcher with the barrel pointing backwards. Amusingly, this is also a decently quick method of travelnote , assuming you have ways to recover your PP fast enough to continuously use it.
  • Rocket Punch: One of the Demon Castle's attacks during Final Attack in Buster Quest involves firing its fist at players.
  • Rocket-Tag Gameplay: Battle Arena's gameplay primarily consists of 12 players being armed with weapons that can kill everyone else in one or two attacks and letting them loose on each other in a team deathmatch. The average life tends to last no more than 30 seconds.
  • Sad Battle Music: A Lonely Piano Piece plays during the battle against Matoi Viel.
  • Scenery Gorn:
    • The emergency city missions takes place in a city devastated by the Darkers.
    • The battle against Falz Elder takes place among the wreckage of several Oracle Fleet ships.
    • The Pocket Dimension Double holds all it consumes in is a barren wasteland littered with fragments of various iconic scenery from previously-visited fields, such as remnants of pagodas from Shironia, and building rubble from the City. Naturally, practically every enemy type in the game appears here as well.
  • Scenery Porn:
    • Vopal Coastline is a very scenic beach, complete with a sunrise and sunset sequence.
    • The rare, otherworldy Parallel Worlds look quite stunning. Better take some screenshots!
    • The Black Territory/Kuron may be one of the most aesthetically fantastic areas yet.
    • Thanks to the Stage 6 graphics setting, all of the areas fall into this. See for yourself with the Tokyo Game Show 2015 Trailer.
  • Schrödinger's Gun: Overlaps with Schrödinger's Player Character, oddly enough. During the battle in 2-6, Persona's gender, appearance, and battle voice are based on you.
  • Science Fantasy: Par for the course of the series. The Oracle Arc and EPISODE 6 have a greater emphasis on science fiction, while EPISODE 4 brings in Urban Fantasy elements, and EPISODE 5 mixes this with Medieval European Fantasy.
  • Screen-to-Stage Adaptation: Phantasy Star Online 2 -ON STAGE-, which takes place in a separate continuity where Phantasy Star Online 2 is actually a video game, and the main characters are players. While it was rendered non-canon, various elements of the play were adapted for Phantasy Star Online 2: The Animation, such as the Game Within a Game concept and several of the anime's characters being expies of the play's cast.
  • Secret Level:
    • The early Episodes had additional Matter Boards after you completed the chapter, allowing you to explore a side story of that arc and earn rare partner cards.
    • Parallel Worlds. Sometimes when you wander around a mission, you might find a rainbow-colored telepipe that leads to a very otherworldly land. What lies in it? Oodles of rare spawns, rare bosses included. The warp to the area disappears once you get in, so you only have one shot at clearing the area.
    • Extreme Quests sometimes have "hidden" stages that replace normal levels. Their details are typically obscured in the stage overview screen until you reach that stage. The contents of the stage can vary, between just being a normal stage, being a stage with lots of rare enemies, being a stage with lots of Rappies, or fighting Falz Arms or Dark Falz Elder.
  • Self-Destruct Mechanism: The "Automata" Lobby Action imitates the infamous Self-Destruct action from NieR: Automata.
  • Sharing a Body:
    • By the end of EPISODE 5, Gettemhart, Luther, Margaretta, Flo, and Frau all end up taking up residence inside your head.
    • In EPISODE 6, Harriet uses Risa's body to talk to her companions, in addition to being an Equippable Ally.
  • Shield Bash:
    • The below-mentioned Shield Bearing Mooks can, of course use this as an attack. Sil Dinians and Sil Sadinians specifically use them as their Counter Attack if you strike their shield.
    • Dragon Ex and Drago Deadlion can attack with this method, using their left wing as the "shield". It does very little damage, but inflicts Stun, which can leave you vulnerable to a very powerful attack if you can't break out of it quickly enough.
  • Shield-Bearing Mook: The Guwonda and Gawonda are twin enemies, sporting a large shield that deflects all attacks. Unlike the usual Shield-Bearing Mook strategy, the best way to take them down is to bumrush them the moment you see one, as they can turn around surprisingly quickly, but take some time to notice you.
  • Shifting Sand Land: The Desert field of Lillipa. The Quarry, from the same planet, is a subdued version of this, having pieces of Lillipan technology around, along with the occasional oasis.
  • Shock and Awe:
    • The Zonde series of Techniques, of course.
    • Some Mechs are capable of lightning-based attacks.
    • Tagamikazuchi and Izanekazuchi fight with storms of electric attacks.
    • Gal Gryphon uses lightning strikes and stomps alongside tornadoes. Ironically, it's also vulnerable to Shock...
    • Alongside its plethora of Light-based attacks, Deus ESC-A uses a lot of lightning that can inflict Shock if it hits you.
  • Shoot the Hostage: One cutscene involves Apprentice chokeholding Afin and putting a Twin Dagger to his throat while she tosses his Gunslash, preventing him from fighting back. You pick up the Gunslash and charge a Penetrating Bullet, and whether you want to or not, you shoot them both, knocking them out. They're both okay, since Photon wielders are Friendly Fireproof... including Apprentice. This ultimately helps Afin prove that she isn't a Dark Falz.
  • Shooting Gallery: The Mesetan Shooter minigame.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Not the player thankfully, but a couple of NPCs are hit rather hard by this. In one of the sub-plots, you converse with Theodore, an unmotivated Arks Force who hates fighting, and Ulc, his (girl?)friend who is trying to join the Arks but has no combat skills. It takes some doing, but she eventually gets a job as a staff member before the Chapter 7 story mission. She's then killed offscreen in said story mission, because even staff members had to fight in emergencies, and Ulc knew what she was getting into despite that. Worse yet, come Episode 2, Theodore has all but snapped as a result...
  • Short-Range Shotgun:
    • Diffuse Shell for Assault Rifles. It has pitiful range, and will probably hit about three meters in front of you. However, it packs a huge punch and knocks down instantly, and if you happen to peg a monster in the face, with the right skills you can be almost guaranteed to One-Hit Kill regular Mooks.
    • Nazan is the Technic version of this. The effective range is absolutely horrendous, but it deals gigantic damage to whatever's in front of you, and on smaller enemies, it also deals absurd Knockback. You can throw enemies quite a ways, and even make them bounce off walls.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Early pre-release images named the demo characters after Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, and Amy. This was changed later on to Phantasy Star Online references.
    • There's a Talis named Duel Gaze, which looks like a Duel Disk. Its description even claims that it's a remodeled card game device. For emphasis, it's latent ability is called "Trap Activation", which increases the damage of Traps.
    • The planet Lillipa is named after a continent of little people in Jonathan Swift's novel Gulliver's Travels, the novel which also made mention of a floating city named Laputa, of which there are robot enemies on Lillipa that have a certain Miyazaki feel to them.
    • Played with with the Egg Blasters. The weapon was originally from Phantasy Star Online, but was a Rifle. In Online 2, it's been reclassed as Twin Machineguns as a reference to Sonic Riders.
    • Most likely unintentional, but Chrome Dragon looks disturbingly similar to an Evangelion.
    • The entire Magatsu fight is a shameless love letter to Attack on Titan. You're fighting in a walled-off city that the boss bashes its way into, facing off against a massive, vaguely-humanoid monster that towers over everything and looks like it could crush you flat with a single step. Attacks to anything but a weak point are completely ineffective, and you have to climb its body to get to those weak points.
    • The Mesetan Crown Camo looks a lot like a Keyblade...
    • Certain concerts, such as We're ARKS! and Cosmic Twinkle Star, use a Rhythm Game mechanic where your character dances along when the player pushes buttons in time with the song, indicated by a target at the top right corner of the screen that rings approach. The target design uses an eighth note design identical to the one used in the Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA series for its Song Energy gauge.
    • Train Ghidoran is a bit of an on-the-nose Expy of King Ghidorah that uses train tracks similar to the ones used by the train-themed heroes, Kamen Rider Den-O and Ressha Sentai Tokkyuger, both shows also being of the Tokusatsu meta-genera, tough they are part of the live action version of the Henshin Hero sub-genera and not the Kaiju sub-genera.
    • The Valkyrie R25 definitely isn't a pair of Walther P99s. Their description even mentions them being used by a "Legendary Secret Agent".
    • Take one look at the Blanc Noir camo and try not to mention that it looks almost exactly like Elucidator and Lambent Light.
    • Bethor's death scene is one big reference to a certain time-stopping Knife Nut. Bonus points for also being an Actor Allusion.
    • The U.F.O. enemy can use an attack where it attempts to grab a player with claw machine arms, alluding to SEGA's own line of "UFO Catcher" claw machines.
    • The Battle Arena version of the Ride Slasher PA bears a striking resemblance to Temjin's Surfing Ram special from Virtual ON Oratorio Tangram. The reference is deliberate, since the PA was introduced during the A Certain Magical Virtual-ON collaboration event, and the Slepnir camo that can appear randomly on Swords will transform into its surfboard form if used with Ride Slasher.
  • Shows Damage:
    • Inflicting enough damage to Elzelion's tail will cut it, causing it to separate from its main body. The tail can be carved for extra Hunting Stones.
    • Dark Falz Persona's chest will break twice as players attack it, gradually exposing raw muscle underneath his outer "skin".
  • Show Within a Show: One of the fan videos Sega played on the lobby monitors in the spring of 2015 was a fan-made Super Sentai parody made within PSO2.
  • Sigil Spam:
    • ARKS' star logo appears all over the place. Dual Blades even have a Photon Art where they generate the logo out of slashes then fire it forward to deal damage.
    • The Council of Six is represented by a six-pointed star emblem. Each member wears it somewhere on their clothes, and it briefly appears when they activate their Genesis Weapons.
    • The Dark Falzes have a vortex-like sigil that appears on all of their outfits. It is later used as the icon for Dark Blast.
    • The ESC-A logo appears over most Phantoms' weak points when they are exposed.
  • Single-Biome Planet: Lillipa and Vopal are both a Shifting Sand Planet and ocean planet, respectively. Naberius and Amduscia subvert this trope: Naberius is covered all over in forest, but has frozen regions, while Amduscia has a whole two biomes: volcanic caves and floating islands.
  • Sinister Geometry: Most of the architecture on Amduscia is composed of distinctly cubic and cuboid shapes. Some of these can glow, move to trap players, or even (in Sanctum) unfold into turrets. Taken Up to Eleven in Destroyed World: Amduscia, where the environment is explicitly out to kill you.
  • Sinister Scythe:
    • Some Rods and Partizans come in the form of these.
    • Luda Sorcerers sport one of these. Their Omega counterparts, the Foie Sorcerer, Megid Sorcerer, and Gran Sorcerer, also have them to cast magic.
    • Phantom's Rod is thematically and functionally based on a scythe. Being a Rod, the actual weapon itself can either fit this bill or not , but is still used like a scythe.
  • Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Trailer: Strangely, the Summoner does not appear in the 5th opening sequence for the game despite being billed as the face of EPISODE 4; instead, the A.I.S. take center stage.
  • Situational Sword:
    • Salus Punisher's Hidden Potential. It provides a whopping +27% damage... but only during the hours of 9 to 3note .
    • Certain weapons have a second Potential that only takes effect during one specific raid boss quest, but has an extremely potent effect within those confines. For example, the Japanese-style weapons granted by trading in Weapons Badge 2017 have the "Perennial Conqueror" ability, which grants +20% damage dealt and -40% damage taken in "The Endless Darkness", the solo version of the Profound Darkness battle.
    • One of the most notable examples comes from the 12★ Dual Blade Niren Orochi. There's a reason why it's one of the only weapons that hasn't been obsoleted by the 13★ meta: at Hidden Potential Lv. 3, Niren Orochi grants an utterly explosive damage bonus of +60% against breakable parts during Break Stance. Given how Break Stance is only viable for select content, it's rare to pull out Niren on a conventional basis, but when you can, it can outshine even the best 13★ Dual Blades in raw DPS.
    • The Cleasis Series weapons have a Potential effect that gives a generous +12% damage during the Defense Phase of a Buster Quest.
  • Skyscraper City: The City Area has lots of tall buildings to navigate around. Tokyo being, well, Tokyo, is also this.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Naberius' Tundra. There is no slipping, nor sliding, though.
  • Smashing Survival: Some grapple attacks, such as Rockbear/Wolgahda's grab or the UFO's tractor beam, can be escaped by Button Mashing. Others, like Gwanahda's pincer attack and Decol Malluard's electric field, cannot be escaped from; you can do nothing but eat the damage.
  • Sneeze Cut: Used several times during the ending of EPISODE 5, when Klariskrays I is badmouthing her host, Alma, who reacts accordingly in the Oracle dimension.
  • Songs in the Key of Panic: During the Rideroid segment of Racing the Phantom Mother, falling behind to the point where the notification for using Over Boost appears will cause the music to transition to a very panicky version. If you fall too far behind, you'll continually take unavoidable damage until you die.
  • Sound of No Damage: Four different ones; one when your attack bounces off the shield of the Shield-Bearing Mook, another when you successfully Just Guard, one when you attack Goronzoran's/Zoron Goraal's energy shield, and one when Luther's energy shield deflects your attacks.
  • Space Elves: What modern Phantasy Star game would be complete without Newmans?
  • Spam Attack:
    • The Twin Dagger Photon Art Facet Folia runs an enemy through repeatedly from every direction, the user being invulnerable throughout.
    • Partizans get in on the action with Tears Grid, an Art where they jab with the Partizan an innumerable amount of times before finishing off the target with a powerful thrust.
  • Space Battle:
    • The EPISODE 6 Emergency Quest "Armada of Demise" pits a fleet of Oracle ships against a fleet of Shiva's Photoner battleships. Players must tear through Luminmech forces on foot to pave a route for ARKS to counterattack, then board the A.I.S. Vega to launch an all-out assault against the Photoners.
    • The EPISODE 6 Magatsu raid involves fighting a super-amped up Magatsu in the outer space above Harkotan.
  • Space Pirates: Azanami (in appearance at least). The players can be one too, thanks to the Wild Ocean Pirates scratch including such costumes.
  • Spanner in the Works: The Ame-no-Murakumo inadvertently gets the player into trouble in EPISODE 5. The Profound Darkness evidently does not react well to Ether. This creates a time-space distortion that it pulls the player into, transporting them into Omega.
  • Special Guest: Vivienne and Lumia Waber from the Universe saga are unique among guest characters in the sense that they also star in bonus voiced cutscenes that expand on their characters, as part of Universe's 10th anniversary.note 
  • Spell Levels: This is the first game in the series to avert this; while the prefixes in front of the Techniques are retained from previous games, this game bucks the trend of a certain prefix denoting a specific attack range or area of effect for that element Technique. While some of the effects of previous prefix/Tech combos are carried over from previous titles (Rafoie causes an explosion, Gizonde causes Chain Lightning, etc.), many of the newer Techniques in the Na- and Il- categories have no relation to each other in terms of attack type.
  • Spell My Name with an "S":
    • The players have been using the "Dewman" or "Duman" spelling since the race has no official English name. However, with the remade prologue including them, if one is able to read the stylized font, their spelling is actually "Deuman".
    • How Lillipa is officially spelled in Japan seems to run into a few inconsistencies. Is it "Lillipa", "Lilipur", or "Ririepa"?
    • Thanks to Japanese Ranguage, a lot of the official spellings for character names in the credits can vary wildly from their translations given by the fan translation. For example, Lisa is "Risa" in the credits, and "Melphonsina" is "Melfonseana".
  • Spin to Deflect Stuff:
    • The Partisan's method of blocking. Persona in Episode 2 Chapter 6 can and will use this against you, with a nasty Counter Attack waiting in store if your attack bounces off.
    • A well-timed spin with Twin Daggers will register as a Just Guard and nullify damage.
  • Spot the Imposter: Mithra tries to pull this on Regius when she shapeshifts into Maria in a flash of light and locks Partizans with the real Maria. Unfortunately for her, Regius only needs a split second to figure out the ploy and gives Mithra a good whack.
  • Springtime for Hitler: A technique known commonly as "downslotting" allows you to decrease the number of abilities on a piece of gear by purposefully failing an affix through attempting to add abilities with low success rates; by decreasing the number of slots, it makes it possible to use fodder of lower slot counts. However, if Dudu or Monica doesn't like you, they'll pass those abilities anyway in face of the odds, which is all the more frustrating for the poor player and forces you to find more affix fodder to retry the attempt.
  • Stable Time Loop:
    • The event that turns Klariskrays into Matoi happens because she mistakes Persona for you. This could only have happened if you had traveled back in time to meet her.
    • This is ultimately what Persona attempts to invoke by making you kill Matoi, which turns you into Persona, which causes the loop to start over. However, Xion's intervention allows you to break free from the loop and change the course of fate.
  • Stance System: Each standard melee class has two stances that alter their attacks in certain ways. The first is active by default, while the second can be switched to manually. They are as follows:
    • Hunter: Fury Stance (increased attack, decreased defense) and Guard Stance (increased defense, decreased attack)
    • Fighter: Brave Stance (increased damage when attacking from the front) and Wise Stance (increased damage when attacking from behind)
    • Braver: Average Stance (non-conditional damage increase; weaker than other stances) and Weak Stance (increased damage when attacking weak points)
    • Bouncer: Elemental Stance (increased damage when exploiting elemental weaknesses) and Break Stance (increased damage when attacking breakable body parts)
  • Standard Status Effects:
    • Burn: Gradually reduces HP. Capable of spreading to others in close proximity.
    • Freeze: Renders you completely immobile. Petrify is a cosmetic variation.
    • Shock: Causes you to twitch occasionally, interrupting attacks and leaving you vulnerable.
    • Mirage: Causes attacks to miss randomly.
    • Panic: Causes enemies to attack one another. Players, on the other hand, have their directional controls scrambled.
    • Poison: Gradually reduces HP. Unlike Burn, which deals flat damage per tick, Poison damage scales with your max HP.
    • Stun: Renders you completely immobile. Wears off faster by spinning the analog stick/mashing the movement keys in a circular motion.
    • Jellen: Decreases ATK stats.
    • Paralysis: Renders the player unable to move, but still capable of other actions.
    • Wound: Maximum HP Reduction.
    • Weak Bullet: Multiplies damage taken. On monsters, Rangers can target specific spots to afflict this condition on.
  • Stat Stick: Takts are completely worthless as actual weapons, since it's the Pet rather than the Summoner that does the fighting, and exist solely to give the wielder ATK and abilities.
  • Stealth Pun: The Easter Emergency Quest's background music is, of all things, Robotnik's theme from Sonic Adventure 2, thus making it Easter Eggman.
  • Stone Wall: A Hunter can become this, given full investment into the Guard Stance tree, including Guard Stance, Guard Stance Advance, and all three types of Flash Guards. This can be augmented further by subclassing Summoner, which gives Regenerating Health as a generic Skill. Unfortunately, while this does let you reduce the damage from practically any hit to double digits, it's not very useful, since your damage output tanks in the process.
  • Story Difficulty Setting: An "Easy" difficulty was added to Story Quests in response to people wanting to simply enjoy the story. Easy caps the enemy levels to roughly the same as Normal difficulty enemies, making them extremely weak. However, playing on Easy denies you of earning certain Titles.
  • Stripperific:
    • Many an outfit, but special mention goes to the Smart Inner, a default Innerwear piece that covers little more than the essentials. While it's intended for clothes that show a lot of skin, it's enough to make even non-players tilt their heads.
    • Astonishingly, there's actually an in-universe justification for why this trope is so prevalent. Photons are absorbed through the skin, so greater skin exposure increases photonic intake and thus boosts the available resources for one to draw on. Mind, this has no bearing on actual gameplay, but this is used as an actual plot point to explain why the Stella Tears is as skimpy as it is.
  • Strong as They Need to Be: Chances are, if you're fighting what's normally a raid boss in a normal Quest, it'll be far weaker than the actual fight. This generally happens to the ARKS Grand Prix version of Dark Falz Loser, the secret Dark Falz Elder fight that can happen in Extreme Stages, and the story fight against Dark Vibrace in Episode 2 Chapter 6.
  • Stuff Blowing Up:
    • Cars in the City, bombs on Lillipa. The latter tends to be more dangerous, since they're generally clustered in groups, and blowing up one can cause a chain reaction of bombs that can cause instant death.
    • Melon and Maron, a pair of Pets for the Summoner, have this as their main gimmick. Once they've been hit enough, they'll inflate to large sizes and begin to blow off steam, at which point you can use a Photon Art to throw them at enemies like a grenade for massive damage. Maron Strike, Maron's throwing PA, has the highest power of any existing attack at 25,500, but using it knocks him out instantly. Conversely, Melon Strike, Melon's throwing PA, is substantially weaker, but to compensate, Melon can be chucked multiple times in a row before going out.
  • Suddenly Voiced: Hadred, right on the verge of his death, after having been Quna's silent friend for who-knows-how-many years.
  • Super-Deformed: Tama-hime, which looks like a miniature chibi version of Sukuna-hime.
  • Super Mode: EPISODE 5 grants the player access to Dark Blast, which transforms them into a modified version of one of the Dark Falzes' combat forms (Hunar, Angel, Apprezina and Douran/Dourill), giving them extremely high stats and powerful attacks. Elder Form is a tanky close-combat powerhouse, Loser Form can fly and harass the enemy with constant ranged attacks, Apprentice Form is highly agile and can summon Darker drones to fight for it, and Double Form can hammer foes with a range of versatile moves, growing even stronger in the process. The transformation only lasts one minute, however, and can only be used once per quest.
  • Superpower Lottery: 1st Generation ARKS worked like this. Due to unrefined Photon compatibility, whether an ARKS member was competent at wielding Photon energy varied wildly. Some were incredibly capable, others near-useless, and more still fell just about anywhere in between. Regius and Maria won the lottery, but were forced to sacrifice their original bodies for CAST bodies due to their original bodies being unable to withstand the sheer power.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: A lot of things from Universe/Portable 2 got reworked here and/or replaced:
    • The gunslash is the all-around weapon replacing the Saber
    • Photon Blast works the same way as the Mirage Blasts and SUVS that Human/Newman and Casts respectively had.
    • Dark Blast meanwhile works more like the transformation that Beasts carried.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: The description of the Rappy Fan Fan talis claims that "it definitely does not use real [Rappy] feathers... definitely not."
  • Sword Beam:
    • One of the Photon Arts/Technics for sword-type weapons, named Sonic Arrow. They can hit multiple enemies at a range, with excellent damage. Also great for cutting the tall grass in forest levels. It should be noted that Sonic Arrow does not create a single flying wave like most Sword Beams. Instead, it produces two air-current-like lines which rotate, forming a spinning projectile.
    • There's more than that: the Partisan weapon has Speed Rain and Slide End, both of which produce... Spear Beams?
    • A sword Photon Art, Over End, involves producing a huge blade of light over your existing weapon to cleave enemies with. The last hit in particular hurts.
    • Dragon Ex, the armored dragon knight boss in Sanctum, has his own version of Over End.note  If you're not a Hunter or Fighter with above-par HP, expect to eat dirt if you're hit by it.
    • The katana Photon Art, Hatou-Rindou, throws a vacuum wave in front of you. If you time the attack right, it can also produce a small blue flame.
    • Gigur Gunnegam combines this with Blade Spam by slashing several times in rapid succession, sending out a beam with every slash, before ending with a powerful thrust. It's one of his stronger attacks, has a moderate chance to inflict Freeze with every hit, and is almost inescapable if you get caught.
    • The avatar summoned by the Ilios Imera Photon Blast attacks using these.
    • The Form weapons have a Potential that enables them to fire projectile waves with normal attacks. Thing is, they only come in Tech weapon formats, there being a Rod, Wand, and Jet Boots. The higher the Potential level, the more waves fired at once.
    • Some of Deus's attacks involve shooting energy waves from his sword at you.
    • When charged up for its secondary attack, Brightness End fires a mid-range shockwave in the direction you're facing when released.
    • Lavis Cannon, true to its original game, throws a powerful shockwave during a Wand combo finisher. If you use the Wand PA "Heavy Hammer" in conjunction with Lavis Cannon, the shockwave grows even stronger based on the charge level of the attack.
    • The Sword Complex PA, Imperial Cleave, involves the user swinging their BFS Laser Blade to fire a shockwave that mows down everything in its path.
  • Swords/Guns Akimbo: Dual Blades, Wired Lances, Twin Daggers, and Twin Machineguns.
  • Sword of Plot Advancement:
    • The Clarissa, a Genesis Weapon which can absorb, transfer and purify corrupted photons. This ability makes it invaluable to certain characters throughout the first three Episodes, and since it contains a copy of Xion's consciousness, it can act as the final key to her Core.
    • From -ON STAGE-, Star Quaser, the katana used by the legendary ARKS "R", is the only weapon that can defeat Dark Falz.
    • EPISODE 4 has the Ame-no-Murakumo, a Mid-Season Upgrade Hitsugi acquires that enables the wielder to temporarily dispel the effects of Ether from a desired target.
  • Synchronization: The Summoner Skill "Alter Ego" has this effect: in exchange for boosting attack power, you'll take damage when your Pet gets hit.
  • Symbol Swearing: When an expletive is typed in chat, it is replaced by a bunch of symbols. The filter is, as per MMO tradition, overzealous due to trying to cover all intended regions' expletives at once.
  • The Battle Didn't Count:
    • The Falz Hunar fight in Story mode. If you've done your Level Grinding, got your best equipment together, you could completely wipe the ass of a partly-awakened destroyer of the universe in under two minutes (possibly one), and it will still be standing (commenting on how the fight has warmed it up nicely) and you still have to leave two of your three NPC friends behind to do their Heroic Sacrifice. Even if you're thirty times stronger and one of them has a legendary status. Would've been a huge kick in the teeth by SEGA if his level were high enough for him to drop his rare equipment (you're booted back to the Campship and can't return, so no Boss Crystal), but thankfully he isn't 41+ here.
    • Now you can wipe what seems to be a fully awakened version of said destroyer in under three minutes (although there's twelve of you at him now, though it's disturbing how the player-base have practically turned utterly destroying Dark Falz Elder into an art form) and the previous guy who was possessed by said destroyer simply pops out and escapes. Oh, and Dark Falz is still in control of said body, so he's still alive.
    • The fight against Valna in EPISODE 6 Chapter 2 features a Level 96 miniboss with decently powerful attacks and flashy gimmicks but is otherwise fairly straightforward and easy. One cutscene later he's giving the heroes what for and taunting them like they've done basically nothing.
  • Taken for Granite: There is a unique "petrified" status that can only be inflicted by two enemies in the game: Odin from Final Fantasy XIV and the Omega Cockatrice. The Petrify status is functionally identical to the Freeze status, with a very slightly different appearance.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: In the cutscene mentioned above, there's an argument between your NPC friends on who should rescue the victim who was (consensually) used to summon said destroyer and who should stay behind to fend him off to buy time. After you and another NPC leave with the victim, the following conversation happens:
    Zeno: "You were waiting for us? You're surprisingly considerate of people's conversations, Dark Falz."
    Elder: "I have no interest in weaklings who aren't willing to fight."
    • During the final mission of Episode 2 the Player Character, Matoi, Ohza, Lisa, Marlu and Fourier are able to have a long conversation while darkers are continuously spawning around them but not attacking for some reason. Slightly humorous when you catch a glimpse of any Luda Sorcerers since they look like they are just twirling their scythe due to boredom.
  • Tactical Suicide Boss:
    • Gigur Gunnegam infuses some of his stronger attacks with ice to boost their effective range and hit a lot harder. He also winds up freezing himself whenever he uses any of these attacks, creating ice structures that the player can scale to get to Gigur Gunnegam's head.
    • A common trait of Phantoms is that they typically expose their weak points by performing specific attacks.
  • Tactical Rock–Paper–Scissors: In theory, weapons work this way in Battle Arena. Sword beats Rod, Rod beats Rifle, and Rifle beats Sword.
  • Taking the Bullet:
    • 3-7 features one that is almost immediately subverted. When Double fires a huge packet of corrupted Photons in a last-ditch attempt to transform Matoi into the Profound Darkness, you push her out of the way and take the hit instead. However, Matoi, unwilling to allow you to become the Profound Darkness, transfers the Photons from you anyway and becomes the Profound Darkness instead, rendering the entire action pointless.
    • The Summoner Skill "Dear Master" is a pseudo-Iron Will clone that gives you up to a 100% chance to survive a fatal blow, and the damage is instead dealt to your Pet. This can KO the Pet as well.
  • Tank Goodness: The Type-15 Tank. In addition to being able to fire heavy-duty shells your way and run you over, it also comes stocked with rocket payloads, a flamethrower, and a localized missile.
  • Team Shot:
    • Similar to the final boss of the original Phantasy Star Online, defeating a raid boss rewards the players with a shot of all the players who took part in the battle. Unlike in the original PSO, this Team Shot includes not only the player and their party, but the other parties that fought the battle for up to twelve players in the shot.
    • The Vita version, conversely, only supports up to four players in the shot. If you aren't in a full party, any remaining slots are filled by other random participating players.
  • Technologically Advanced Foe: Shiva and her crew are unlike any other enemy the ARKS have faced before, to the point where they manage to apply The Worf Effect to the four strongest characters in the story (including the player) with hardly any effort. It's suggested that as Photoners they have access to technology far beyond that of Oracle, including Photon-manipulation abilities that can negate anything the ARKS can throw at them, making it impossible to fight them on even ground. Only Harriet in her Rifle form is able to inflict any damage, and even then only a little.
  • Teleport Gun: Inverted with Chase Arrow, which functions like Chekhov's Gun weaponized. The user fires up to three arrows (per cast) into the sky, which warp out to a pocket dimension. After that, the next time the user attacks with a Photon Art, said arrows warp back in and deal extra damage to the target.
  • Temporary Online Content:
    • As one would expect, the Collaboration Scratches. Once their Scratch card expires, that's it. No more new stuff. The only remaining stuff is what currently exists when the Scratch expires, which means the price of said gear will proceed to skyrocket once it's no longer readily available. And God help you if you want any of the older Collaboration items, like Evo. Device/Kyubey or whatnot.
    • In a strange case where this applies to common equipment, many of the older, common-rarity gear is no longer obtainable by normal means. This is because the introduction of New Type grinding brought with it a change that removed a bunch of older gear from the drop tables that used the original Grinding system and replaced it with gear that uses the new New Type grind system; as such, much of that gear can no longer be found except by looking on the Player Shops. Some of the replaced gear does drop in Phantasy Star Online 2es, however, since that game didn't accommodate for the New Type update and thus some gear can still be found as regular drops or as Weaponoid Presents.
    • An update removed the Matter Board part of the game entirely, rendering all related Titles, rewards, and Client Orders lost to the void if they weren't obtained prior to the update.
    • Elzelion, who was originally added in November 2018, was removed from the game in late May 2019. While his drops weren't unique and could be found elsewhere, during the period he was active he was known as a very potent source of the Doom Break abilities on Units, meaning that after he left getting Doom Break drops became vastly more difficult and rare.
  • Terse Talker: The Dragonkin on Amduscia usually speak like this.
  • Thanking the Viewer:
    • In the Endless Quest "Endless: Memories Beyond", the final room at the end of each Lap is a variant of the Menacing Castle Limited Quest map, with the enemy spawn patterns spelling out the phrase "THX 4 PLAYING".
    • In "Endless: Eternal Rondo", Stage 30 tasks you with defeating Omega Masquerade with a 3939 second time limit. 39 is a Goroawase Number for "thank you".
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: In-universe, Hitsugi learns this the hard way in the first episode of Chapter 4. In the anime, it's revealed what could have ended up happening to her. And it's revealed that almost all the computers in 2028 have Phantasy Star Online 2 installed...
  • Theme Naming:
    • Many Darkers have -ahda attached to the ends of their names.
    • Twin Dagger Photon Arts are named after types of music and music terms, such as "Dark Scherzo" and "Raging Waltz".
    • Katana Photon Arts feature Floral Theme Naming as a Bilingual Bonus, such as Sakura-Endonote  and Kazan-Nadeshikonote .
    • Dual Blades Photon Arts are named after birds and bird terminology; "Starling Fall" and "Justice Crow" for example.
    • Jet Boots Photon Arts, which are named for synonyms of "wind". Moment Gale, Strike Gust, and so on.
    • The NPCs at the Casino have... well... casino-themed names. The emcee is "Deal", the quest receptionist is "Any Pair", one of the prize counter NPCs is "Chip", another is "Ante" (as in the term "Ante Up"), etc.
    • The Apostles of Mother Cluster each take their given name from one of the seven Olympian spirits and, with the exception of Hagito and Phaleg, their surname from a notable writer.
  • Third-Person Shooter: A button on the keyboard can switch the camera mode to over-the-shoulder, allowing ranged fighters to play like this. This gives the player pinpoint-precise aim, and it is often recommended to master it to attack targets that your lock-on can't latch onto.
  • Throw It In!: In-universe example; when a Secret Stage starts in an Extreme Quest, Karin will briefly mention not having included it in the training program, then tells the player to roll with it.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: While Ulc did get killed offscreen, you eventually end up rewriting history so that she is simply believed to be dead. With her alive, she manages to pull Theodore back from the brink of despair.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works:
    • Falz Hunar has an attack that involves him tossing his sword and having it constantly hover around him like a boomerang. Subverted however in that you can break his sword, nerfing its damage by a great deal.
    • Then there's the Double Saber Photon Art called "Deadly Archer" which, if properly distanced, can inflict a ton of damage. It also has a variation called "Deadly Circle" that orbits you.
    • And then there's Hien Tsubaki for Katana!
    • Falz Dourumble can also toss the Elder Pain as an attack.
    • Hero has the Rising Slash PA, where they throw their Sword upwards in an arc while it spins around. If the PA button is held throughout the attack, instead of letting the arc finish, the player will instead jump up to catch the Sword and start slashing repeatedly in midair.
  • Time Bomb:
    • The target of Emergency Code: Judgement, where you have to defuse time bombs. Each bomb has glowing lines running across its side connecting an unlit node to a lit node on the other end via tracks that direct the player to move up or down across the maze; defusing the bomb is a matter of deciphering which of the unlit nodes, Top, Middle, or Bottom, links directly to the lit node. However, messing it up only results in a painful shock, and you can retry a few seconds later.
    • Darchymes and Baize in Emergency Code: Destruction also do bad things if you let them explode, though, counter-intuitive to the trope and true to the Code's name, you have to destroy them to stop them.
  • Time Skip: Two years pass between Episode 3 and Episode 4, during which you remain in Cold Sleep.
  • Time Stands Still:
    • Dark Falz Loser stops time as part of his Desperation Attack. You can avoid being stopped by dodging the attack, or otherwise invoke Smashing Survival to break free.
    • Alma possesses the ability to stop time, although only in short bursts without the help of another person. Curiously, this ability is explicitly stated not to be Photon-induced, which lead to Regius and Maria referring to it as "magic".
  • Timed Mission:
    • Let's face it, this is a staple for MMOs. A fair few of the client orders will have a time limit in which to fulfill them, started when you enter the required area/mission; fortunately failing doesn't mean you get kicked out of the area or anything, so it won't interrupt whatever else you're doing.
    • Literal Timed Missions - as in the ones that do kick you out for failing - exist as periodic events that are available anywhere between fifteen minutes to an hour, and their in-mission timers last anywhere between ten to twenty minutes. These mostly consist of invasions and Dark Falz Elder, though seasonal events do this too. The game server is at least kind enough to inform you well ahead of time if an event is going to start, so you have a chance to finish up whatever you're doing and prepare.
    • Many Emergency Codes are timed, and fail you for timing out, except in Emergency Code: Avoid.
    • Played with in the case of Racing the Phantom Mother; the first phase will eventually end if you fail to deal enough damage within a set amount of time. While you still go to the second phase anyway, failing the first phase will automatically drop your Rank to a B, locking you out of the best rewards.
    • The notorious DPS check in Phantom God of Creation is this. You and the other players get 5 minutes to inflict about 20 million damage worth of HP to kill Deus ESC-A Zephyros. Most multi-parties can make it up to this point, but once you get to the DPS check, if your team has undergeared players, you're effectively screwed.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: How the Time Travel aspect of the plot works. It's not technically time travel so much as observing different variations of the same timeline either to discover the full details of a complicated scenario, or to keep trying different things until you find a beneficial sequence of events.
  • Tokyo Is the Center of the Universe: Initially played straight, then averted after the plot moved to America.
  • Too Awesome to Use:
    • Many AC consumables, including Scape Dolls and Cosmos Atomizers. It costs real money to get them, so odds are, you either won't get them or you'll never use them because you're waiting for that exact moment when you absolutely have to use it. Downplayed with Half Dolls, which are distributed for free via the Stamp Card and various promotional events, but the player can only carry one at a time, so figuring out the best situation to expend your only one can be a task.
    • Grind Rate Up (+100%). It allows you to bypass the RNG and get any single grind guaranteed. However, they're one of the few items you can't get through either AC Scratch or the normal course of gameplay; they're only ever event-distributed and untradeable at that, so you'll only ever have a handful at once.
  • Total Party Kill:
    • If Magatsu breaks the final gate, it will unleash a blast that wipes out everyone in the party.
    • In Demise, Apprentice has a charging Wave Motion Gun she'll launch every so often. If the charge isn't stopped before the attack is launched, it's basically a Non-Standard Game Over; the beam is a One-Hit Kill against players, AIS, and Mining Bases.
    • Letting the Mothership Trial expire in Riding Quest will cause it to fire a Wave Motion Gun that wipes the multi-party.
  • Tower Defense:
    • The Mining Base emergency quest tasks players with defending three towers against waves of Darker enemies. Crystals scattered about the area provide points with which to repair the base, erect shields, and set up turrets.
    • Half of Buster Quest involves defending your Buster Towers from enemy assault, not unlike Mining Base. Unlike Mining Base, however, you have far more armaments at your disposal that can be used as defense, and the other half of the Quest involves fighting back.
  • Transforming Mecha: The Tranmizer miniboss, as well as the core of the Big Vardha.
  • Trap Master: In addition to the regular guns-and-bullets assortment, Rangers are also fluent in Trap Skills. They can passively search out set enemy traps before they activate, and they can lay down their own traps that can inflict various status conditions or launch enemies.
  • Tricked-Out Shoes: The Bouncer's Jet Boots are weapons attached to one's feet that have blades for kicking attacks and allows the wielder to use magic.
  • Tron Lines: The pre-release image gallery has a few characters sporting a lot of these.
  • Tsundere: Friend Partners can get this as their Trait. A Tsundere Friend Partner will increase frequency of healing the player relative to how low the player's HP is.
  • Turns Red: Notably, Orota Biketta can do this. If you trigger both of its alarms, it becomes enraged and begins rampaging around the area while slamming everything around it with its gigantic lollipop. Unless you're fairly tanky, it's pretty easy to die to this. A fair number of bosses also get it, usually denoted by a specific animation accompanied by an aura/sound shockwave.
  • Turtle Power: Zeshrayda looks like some unholy fusion of Blastoise and Gamera.
  • Twenty Rockbear Asses: A lot of the client orders take the form of either "Kill X (Monster Name Here)" or "Collect X Item Drops Off (Insert Monster Name(s) Here)". They're usually worth a significant amount of experience, so they're often necessary for grinding once you get into the higher levels. The monotony of it, however, is mitigated since all of these drops (excluding Team Order drops) can be and usually are sold in the Player Shop.
    • Most of these are courtesy of the NPC Franka, who is your best friend if you need EXP in a hurry.
    • Most of these can be used to level your support partner, who can also be used to take part of the work as long as it has the right level and equipment to actually beat the required enemies.
    • The Random Event version occurs in Emergency Code: Collect, which has players doing things like collecting keys to open blockades, picking up crystals for inspection, or drilling for minerals.

    Tropes U-Z 
  • Uncanny Valley: In-universe, the "mysterious ARKS": a group of new ARKS members that look like regular ARKS members, but act rather strangely, behaving somewhat out-of-character and being capable of unusual actions such as "Logging Out", where they spontaneously disappear without warning or trace, seemingly invoking Medium Awareness. As it turns out, the "mysterious ARKS" are Digital Avatars of video game players on Earth.
  • Uncanny Valley Girl: Fourier herself states that CASTs are usually seen as being cool and calculating. The only two CASTs ever being portrayed as such are Regius and Maria. Everyone else is eccentric in one way or another.
  • Underground Level: The aptly named Subterranean Tunnels of Lillipa. Amduscia's Caves, too, to an extent.
  • Underground Monkey:
    • Most Tundra enemies are reskins of Forest enemies with one or two extra snow-based attacks. The King Yede enemy is even a palette swap of Rockbear, but as a regular enemy, different attacks, and its weak spot is its rear instead of its head.
    • While not immediately apparent, both Wopal and Lillipa have variations of the Gulf enemy, and all of them share the same basic moves. They do have slightly different moves or otherwise new moves to mix it up between planets.
    • Several of the Dragonkin found in the Skyscape are the same as those native to the Volcano, but in pale blue and white colors instead of reddish orange (and weak to darkness rather than ice). Even the area mid-boss, Caterdra'nsa, is just a recolored Caterdra'n; in fact, they share the same rare variation.
    • The Aberrations faced in Ultimate Quests are massively powered up versions of previous enemies with new attacks. While the Darkers are simple Palette Swaps with a stronger black and red, many of the other Aberrations are visually completely different from their original counterpart. This is especially true with the bosses — Vol Dragon's Aberration is a giant bird found on Naberius, while Lillipa has mechanical versions of the Banshee and Banther.
    • Similarly to Abberrations, ESC-A Darkers use existing Darkers as a base, but are colored varying shades of white and blue due to the use of Ether. However, ESC-A Darkers have slight design variations and even get several new attacks or variations of existing attacks.
    • The fight against Aika as a denizen of Apprentice in EPISODE 5 involves her Dark Rappy transforming into a Dark Empe Rappy. Despite its black coloration, it shares most of the same moves with a normal Empe Rappy.
    • Omega Falz Loser is essentially one; it has an Aberration-themed Palette Swap and shares almost the entirety of its core moveset with the original Dark Falz Loser. However, it has a few new tricks up its sleeve, in addition to a different elemental weakness.
    • Ultra Enemies, which are new versions of old bosses encountered exclusively in Ultra Hard difficulty. They have new Light Is Not Good-themed color schemes and boast immensely upgraded attacks.
  • Underwater Ruins: Vopal's Seabed.
  • Undesirable Prize: The SG Scratch has EX Boosters. EX Boosters are Booster tickets that have the unique property of boosting other rates including the one listed on the ticket, as well as being stackable with normal Booster tickets. However, they are largely considered not worth the Star Gems paid to roll on the gacha, and are swiftly recycled into SG Recycle Badges when acquired.
  • Unexpected Character:
    • The existence of the Profound Darkness in this continuity caught quite a few series veterans off-guard, since it hasn't made an appearance in any game in the series since its debut game.
    • Sachiko Kobayashi, famous enka singer. She performs in-game with her own concert.
    • EPISODE 5 brings back Alis Landale and Lutz as part of the Omega Alternate Universe.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: Emergency Code: Gesture. You must communicate a message from one Lillipan to another via Lobby Actions.
  • Unexpected Shmup Level: The first phase of ESC-A Falz Mother is a Rideroid chase a la Star Fox. You must take her down with bullets, missiles, and barrel rolls in time to get to the second phase.
  • Unfortunate Names: The Goldrahda Launcher is the butt of many jokes in the English fandom due to having the questionable localized name of "Illegal Negro".
    • There's also the unfortunately named fist weapon "Hebrew Punisher".
  • Unfortunate Implications: This was the reason why all Specter of Destruction EQs were taken off March 11th, 2019 and moved to the next day; March 11th is the anniversary of the devastating 2011 Tohoku Earthquake, and the Japanese name of the Quest can easily be perceived as insensitive.
  • Unidentified Items: The game gives rare weapons a chance to drop in an unidentified (and unequippable) state, though you can tell what type of weapon it is at a glance. This is a good thing for the most part, as when you do identify it, you're allowed to attach a special ability to it and to choose its elemental affinity.
  • Unique Items: Some items are exclusively obtainable as rewards for completing Omnibus Quests. Most of these are rare weapons, like Ignis and Coat Doublis.
  • Unlimited Wardrobe: Xie, the NPC who gives out Client Orders for seasonal events, always comes dressed for the occasion, wearing a different outfit in every appearance.
  • Unrealistic Black Hole:
    • The black hole that shows up where Xion used to be is actually a portal to an Alternate Universe known as Omega, a Medieval European Fantasy land inhabited by, among others, AU counterparts of residents of Oracle.
    • It's later revealed by Enga that a mysterious black hole has also appeared in the Earth dimension, and despite the Earth Guides and Mother Cluster's efforts, the black hole is rapidly expanding. Mission Control projects that the two black holes are connected, leaving it to the player to save two universes from total annihilation.
  • Unusable Enemy Equipment: Played with. While you can't literally pick up enemy weapons, some of the gear you can get is fashioned after enemy weapons, or the enemies themselves.
  • Urban Fantasy: Everything happening on Earth is this.
  • Useless Useful Spell: Several classes have largely useless Skills that no one bothers to put points into.
    • On both Force and Techer, players avoid the Status-based Skills. Status is useless for boss fights except for some instances, and it takes away points that can be invested in percent damage increases.
    • Fighter mains try to not put points into the situational stat boosts whenever possible. The keywords are "situational" and "stat boosts"; raw stats are less favorable for damage than percent damage increases, and having them active for only certain segments of gameplay makes them even less useful.
    • On a lesser note, Chase Advance and the relevant skills. Status damage has no use on bosses since most of them are immune to status, and for some reason, the "special status" effects that some bosses can be affected by don't count as being afflicted by status, rendering the point moot. However, it has a fair use for mobbing if you have either a weapon affixed with a proper status-inducing Ability or a caster on your team.
    • Automate Deadline is considered pointless because the activation threshold is 25% HP, which is way too low to reliably activate without taking a kill shot. Also, since Gunners have Perfect Keeper, there's no reason for a Gunner to be dropping below half health anyway unless they don't like damage bonuses for some reason.
    • Reverser Field. Revive your friends for free! Except it has a cooldown of 10 minutes, which means that unless it's called "Mining Base Defense", you're only going to be using it all of once most of the time. Also, it requires investment before it restores more than 50% HP so it can stop being a weaker Moon Atomizer with inferior range, at which point it also stops being worth it. There is a Skill Ring that halves the cooldown time, but it's still not efficient to put points into unless you play full support and have no points to put anywhere else.
    • Attack Advance increases normal attack damage by 50%. Normal attacks aren't really relevant for the majority of builds, so this Skill is skipped over for other, more relevant skills. Unless, of course, you play the Dragon Slayer HU/BR build, in which case Attack Advance is a major component for dealing obscene damage.
    • Break Stance gets the shaft a lot in the sense that it's considered one of the worst Stances in the game. The number of enemies that have breakable parts is minimal at best, and once a part is broken, Break Stance is useless. Elemental Stance, while more pricey to invest in, is considered much more consistent for damage. SEGA tried to avert this with Break Stance DB Bonus, but the multiplier for DB Bonus is still too small to consider using over Elemental Stance. It has a niche for Magatsunote , but is otherwise not very good.
    • Summoner's Subclass Grow Up was originally considered a waste of a Skill Point because its only effect was to double the EXP gained by a Subclass. Thing is, 5% multiplied by 2 is still only 10%, and your Subclass stops getting EXP at Level 40 onward anyway, so it's basically a noob trap to put a point in. This was fixed in a Skill Tree revision that made Subclass Grow Up a default skill.
    • Massive Mate is unnecessary on Summoner Main because it gives you super armor when consuming Mates. Except Summoners have Technique access anyways, so there's no reason for them to be using Mates when they can just Resta to heal. This is only important for Subclassing Summoner for main classes that rely on Mates and don't have enough T-ATK for Resta to be efficient.
  • Variable Mix: The music works this way. When you are attacked, the usually gentle music changes into a more intense mix, only to go back to calmness when the enemy is down. Boss battles also have variable mixes that become more intense the more you progress through the fight.
  • Vendor Trash:
    • If you defeat an Izanekazuchi, it will often drop a rare type of Stone. This is the only Stone that has no value as a trade-in; however, you can dump it on the Item Shop for 50,000 Meseta apiece.
    • EPISODE 5 introduced an item called a Meseta Crystal, which has no use except for being sold for a small amount of Meseta.
  • Verbal Tic: Nyau ends many of his sentences with "nyau". He also says it when he gets hit.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: While playing as Summoner, Pets will occasionally ask the player to cast either Resta or Shifta, marked by an icon appearing next to them. If you do so while the player owns the Pet Sympathy skill, Sympathy activates, which boosts various Pet parameters, including damage.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential:
    • If you've beaten your Clone in Darker Den, then congratulations, you've just turned it loose on the rest of the PSO2 community for three days; they copy all your stats and weapons and have a lot of HP, and you can potentially have given them a lot of good equipment. Expect anyone who dies to your Clone to curse your name if they see the real you.
    • Video Game Caring Potential: By the same token however, you can also make them complete pansies by beating Darker Den with terrible equipment, or just by having a Crippling Overspecialization for other players to exploit against your Clone. The latter is more likely though. Clones of players in your friend list also yield more loot upon defeat, notably Photon Spheres.
    • If you dodge Empe Rappy's healing hug, Empe Rappy will become sad.
  • Video Game Objectives:
    • Emergency Codes work like this. Sometimes you're issued one of these, and they vary depending on the area. Common ones include "Attack" (Defeat the marked enemies), "Collect" (Find a specific pickup and bring them to the collection point), and "Duel" (Defeat the boss). Turned on its head in spectacular fashion with Emergency Code: Abyss, where you're the target!
    • Odin is unique in the sense that instead of using a standard Emergency Trial display, a Full Active Time Event popup from Final Fantasy XIV appears instead.
  • Video Game Perversity Potential: There's no apparent moderation with what you can whip up in the game's Symbol Art system. Although not rampant, don't be surprised when someone shows off a picture of boobs, panties, or other lewd whatnot through Symbol Art.
  • Visual Pun: One of the pre-release screenshots for Jet Boots shows off literal Jet note  Boots!
  • Violation of Common Sense:
    • The infamous "Protection" Emergency Trial that requires protecting a Lillipan from harm while its friend tries to rescue it can be made very easy by running away from the Lillipan. This works because for whatever reason, enemies only aggro on the Lillipan if you're also standing near it, so running away from the target as soon is it spawns will cause the enemies to simply ignore it.
    • The Infection Cores seen in Ultimate Quests and Grade 3/Main Match Advanced Buster Quests gain power in stages, maxing out at Stage 4. As the core levels up, it grants the affected enemy more buffs. You can break the core to remove the infection and power down the target... or you can kill the target at max Infection and rake in a ton of EXP.
  • Vocal Dissonance:
    • Seems to be a running theme for Dragonkin, though it's justified by them communicating through telepathy.
    • Dragon Ex suitably has the voice of a gruff, battle hardened warrior. Its rare counterpart, Noire Draal, has the voice of a confident teenage schoolgirl.
    • Box Dewbles swings even harder in this department, as her voice sounds like a young-to-middle-aged woman. Contrast against the other Dragonkin Aberration bosses, Gruezoras Drago and Drago Deadlion, whose voices are more in line with Dragon Ex's style.
    • It can be fairly jarring to have a female character, then activate Dark Blast and your voice suddenly changes to a very loud, masculine Large Ham voice. It can be turned off in Options if you don't like it, though.
  • Voice Clip Song: Many of these can be found on Nico Nico Douga, typically involving Dark Falz Loser and his plethora of lines that he likes to repeat very often.
  • Volleying Insults: A side cutscene between Luther and Gettemhart in EPISODE 5 largely consists of both of them taking potshots at each other, with the player caught in the crossfire. They don't back off until the player threatens to either get rid of them or tell Xiao, and even then only the former decides to let the topic go.
  • Wave Motion Gun:
    • The Photon Blast Cetus Imera fires a large, frontal beam. You can't exactly aim this thing, but it is smart enough to keep itself locked on a moving target.
    • The Big Vardha boss has five of them: four on the front, and one in its core.
    • Dark Falz Elder has one that fires out of his head.
    • Photon Particle Cannons will rip apart nearly anything it hits, but you only get one shot.
    • The A.I.S. comes equipped with a cannon known as the Photon Blaster. Unlike a Photon Particle Cannon, it doesn't need to be charged, ticks more, and is much more mobile, but in most Quests, it can only be used once per piloting session.
    • Sphere Eraser turns your Launcher into a laser cannon, enemy-piercing included. Designed after the A.I.S.'s own Wave Motion Gun, no less.
    • The Fusion Technic Fomelgion is essentially a giant laser powered by fire and darkness.
    • Dark Falz Apprentice Gia has one that is fired via a very suspicious-looking appendage. It has to take some time to charge up, but it has more than enough firepower to destroy all of your towers in one blast, so it's a race against time to inflict enough damage to the appendage before she can fire. At the finale of the battle, you get to combat its Wave Motion Gun with one of your very own and blow it to high hell.
    • Phantom Battleship Yamato's guns are turned into lots of laser cannons. During the latter half of the on-foot section, it will attempt to deal massive damage to players by firing them in bursts. The A.I.S. section instead trades them for Frickin' Laser Beams.
    • In the Godzilla Lobby, you can watch Godzilla fire his signature Atomic Breath at the TV in the distance. It's just a prop Godzilla, though.
    • In Mining Base Defense: VR, if you let a Zeta Guranz stay alive for too long, it will initiate a unique move where it summons a ginormous laser that destroys a Base in two ticks before flying up, up, and away.
    • In the "Cosmic Twinkle Star" concert, Quna combines her power with the A.I.S.' Photon Blaster to make a superpowered laser to destroy the holographic Dark Vibrace.
    • This is the default method of attack for the attack ships used in "Armada of Demise". If Demoire Dominus is challenged as the final boss, the Quest ends with a cutscene of your ship blasting a laser into Dominus to blow it and the Armada's flagship to smithereens.
  • We Need a Distraction: Alis needs time to cast a powerful magic to disable the Erythron Dragon so Luther can absorb Lutz, and the Dragon with him, using Ephemera, so the player distracts the Dragon by going Guns Akimbo and shoots up a storm before jumping onto its head and showering its face in bullets.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: The AIS Exoda take quadruple damage from anyone not in an A.I.S. This means they take five digit damage on average from even mediocre attacks and keel over very quickly as long as an A.I.S. hasn't showed up.
  • Weather and Environment: Weather can change at random. Weather changes vary by region; some are pretty standard, like Thunderstorm, Thick Fog, and Heat Wave. Then there are the really weird ones, like Dragon Spirit, Black Dust, and Butterfly Dance.
  • Weapon of Choice: Each class has its own set of weapons that are unique to it (barring the universally equippable Gunslashes):
  • Weapon of X-Slaying:
    • Some weapons have a Potential that gives them an advantage against certain enemy types. For example, weapons with the Potential "Negative Hunter" deal boosted damage to Darkers. Dragon Slayer has a Potential that boosts damage to Dragonkin, and the Welk series weapons dropped by ESC-A Ragnus increases damage against and decreases damage taken from Phantoms.
    • Curiously inverted by Rig weapons, which deal bonus damage to everything except Dragonkin.
  • Weapon Twirling: Partizans have this as their main schtick, and it's not just for Rule of Cool. Not only does it restore a big chunk of PP, if Partizan Gear is learned, letting the Player Character twirl the Partizan at the end of any combat action, be it standard attacks or Photon Arts, charges the Gear Gauge, which can then be consumed when attacking to boost the Partizan's effective range.
  • Wham Episode:
    • After seven chapters of seemingly filler events and buildup chapters, Chapter 8 finally drops the first big bombshell of the game with Melphonshina's taking of a fatal attack from Gettemhart, Gettemhart reviving Dark Falz, Gettemhart's subsequent possession due to Dark Falz, and Zeno's Heroic Sacrifice. Episode 2 expands on this further by granting you the power of Time Travel and using it to pull a Big Damn Heroes moment to save Zeno.
    • Episode 2 Chapter 5 serves as another one, with the truth about Matoi and Xion finally being revealed, Zeno making his return (As one of the six heroes, no less), Theodore and Ulc being reunited, and Luther becoming Dark Falz Loser after his initial plan fails.
    • Chapter 6 keeps the whams coming, taking you back in time to the terrible darker raid ten years before the game's events.
    • Episode 3 Chapter 4 is another one: First, turns out Apprentice isn't actually Apprentice (Double ambushed and ate Apprentice while she was starting to possess Eucreta). Then Elder of all people pulls a Big Damn Heroes and fights alongside the player (in human form) against clones of Apprentice and Loser. This culminates in Elder (again of all people) pulling a Heroic Sacrifice to save Melphonsina from Double. Elder's (or possibly Gettemhart's) parting words to Melphonsina give her the redemption she has been seeking and she begins using her real name again.
    • Episode 3 Chapter 6 continues the trend of significant plot developments. Double finally gets off their high horse to fight you and Matoi in combat, but no sooner than they are defeated that they attempt to infect Matoi with a large mass of corrupted photons to transform her into The Profound Darkness. Of course, being The Protagonist, you step in the way and take the brunt of it, and are very nearly transformed into The Profound Darkness before Matoi steps in and uses the Clarissa to transfer the mass to her, saving your life while becoming The Profound Darkness herself. After Sara carts the unconscious you back to the Medical Center, Persona appears and takes the Clarissa for his / herself.
    • Episode 4 Chapter 4 drops the first real bomb of the story by killing Hitsugi. Aru then proceeds to reveal that he possesses a Falz-like form that commands Photons, and revives Hitsugi. However, Mother Cluster abducts Hitsugi before Enga or the player can act, leaving them with Falz!Aru.
    • The entire post-credits scene of EPISODE 5 Chapter 6 turns the whole story inside out.
  • What the Hell, Player?: Breaking Nyau's sword causes him to break down in tears, looking practically heartbroken. If you feel bad about doing that, that's understandable. However, what cements this trope is the possibility of actually getting downed by Nyau's tantrum, and if that wasn't enough, the game may throw a boss at you for good measure.
  • When All You Have Is a Hammer...: Thanks to Complacent Gaming Syndrome, the majority of solutions to all of a Ranger's problems can boil down to two words: "Weak Bullet". Elite Mook in your way? Weak Bullet its face. Demonic Spiders? Weak Bullet them. Fighting Your Friend? Weak Bullet. Staring down a universe-ending Eldritch Abomination? Weak Bullet that too.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: Of sorts. At the end of EPISODE 4, Hitsugi narrates an epilogue detailing what happened to everyone after the events of the main story. Hitsugi, Enga, and Kohri return to their normal lives, Och and Phul integrate into regular society and become teachers at Tensei so they can hit on Enga, Aratron formally disbands Mother Cluster and becomes the new head of ESC-A, Phaleg is taking "special care" of Ophiel for the time being, and Aru enrolls as a new student in Tensei Academy. Hagito doesn't appear in person, but is mentioned to have turned over a new leaf in a news article.
  • Whip Sword: The Wired Lance weapons can be used for medium-range special attacks.
  • Wingdinglish: The strange hexafont you see on the ship actually spell English words. There's sign boards that read "SHOP AREA" or security walls that read "KEEP CLOSE" to name some examples. Here's a guide if you wish to try to decode it.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: In Omega, the Ephemera can be used as a catalyst to cast powerful magic, but slowly drives the user mad in the process.
  • The Worf Effect:
    • When the party finally confronts Ardem/Deus Hunas during the climatic battle, Ardem demonstrates the extent of his god-like power by simply banishing the Player, established to be practically the strongest character in the entire story, back to the Oracle dimension with a simple flick of his hand. It's only Mother's intervention that not only allows the player to stage a comeback, but gives the party the advantage they need to defeat Ardem for good.
    • When Shiva and her party appear on the ARKS Ship, they almost effortlessly defeat the player, Matoi, Regius, and Maria simultaneously. They only don't wipe them out due to Risa's interference. It was later commented in Matoi's NPC flavour text that they did not lose due their difference in power, but possibly due to something that they, Shiva and her party, as Photoners, possess that they as ARKS, did not.
  • Wutai: Episode 3's Harukotan has a planet-wide civilization that resembles feudal Japan.
  • Year Inside, Hour Outside: Xierra points out that despite the player and the Profound Darkness entering Omega at nearly the exact same time, Ephemera (which is the embodiment of the Profound Darkness' corruption) was already running rampant throughout Omega. Alma explains that Omega and Oracle normally have a separate time flow, and that in the split second difference between the Profound Darkness entering Omega and the player doing the same, decades passed in Omega, during which Ephemera was established as a global source of power. It's only when Alma steps in that they are able to synchronize the flow of time between the two dimensions.
  • You Can't Thwart Stage One:
    • Matoi becoming the Profound Darkness is all but predetermined; it's the only destiny you can't screw. What you can change is her ultimate fate.
    • The heroes are dealt a devastating loss at the start of EPISODE 6, as Shiva kills Xiao and successfully takes over the Mothership. Zeno also loses Nanaki to Mithra, and the heroes are only saved when Ulc and Theo pull a Big Damn Heroes and distract Shiva long enough with a self-destructing A.I.S. for Ulc to use Abyss to pull everyone to safety.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: While a handful of the characters have normal hair colors, there are several characters with funny hair colors like Zeno's red hair, Marlu's light purple hair, Melphonsina's green hair, and so on. The player can gleefully pick any color of the spectrum if they so wish.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness:
    • Aki is the first to get this treatment come Episode 2; in fact, the ARKS seems perfectly fine with doing this to a lot of their staff, seeing as how it considers most of them pawns.
    • When the Black King Clone that Double manifested begins to gain a consciousness, Double swiftly takes action and invites Sukunahime to the Black Castle, then offs the Black King Clone and pincers Sukunahime in a trap. She barely makes it out thanks to a Heroic Sacrifice from you and Matoi.
  • Zerg Rush: The 3rd opening treats us to the characters facing off against an entire legion of Darkers on Lilipa Desert. Mining Base Defense throws you into that, and boy does it get chaotic.
  • Zero-Effort Boss:
    • Stage 1 of "Heaven and Hell" is six Nyau. They're pitifully easy to defeat if you bait out their spin attacksnote . Just beware the flailing of arms that follows shortly afterwards, which will make short work of you if you get too close.
    • The Story fight against the Profound Darkness during the prologue of EPISODE 5. It starts in Phase 3, has barely any HP, and can barely inflict any damage with any of its attacks. Even the worst class combos can kill it in just a few button presses.

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