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Video Game / A Very Long Rope to the Top of the Sky

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Look at this one, Ivy.
This is a very special plant—
a plant that aches, that loves.
It's called a "Mourning Vine."

Do you see it, daughter?
See the pretty flowers?
See how every bud is
connected on the vine?

If I clip one,
I can press it in this book,
and it will be
beautiful forever...

but all the other flowers
will wither when it's gone.

A Very Long Rope to the Top of the Sky is a freeware Eastern RPG by Housekeeping, created for PC in 2013. It is set in an original, and generally coherent, universe with a relatively rich history, both ancient and modern. The game uses RPG Maker VX as its engine, but makes use of an entirely original soundtrack.

The plot starts with Ivy and Mint, two sisters (ages 14 and 12, respectively) who have grown up in a harsh environment inside a massive, barren chasm. The only person they know, besides themselves, is their father Gram, and Gram has just died a day ago. Ivy and Mint are left to fend for themselves as best they can, but they very quickly discover that the world they inhabit is not the world they thought they inhabited, and the plot twists only get more convoluted from there.

On June 29th 2015, there was a Major Update to make the game less tedious. Download here.

This game provides examples of:

  • Abandoned Mine: The very first section of the game is an abandoned mine with pickaxes and minecarts scattered about. Later in the game, you learn that they were mining Saecelium.
  • Actually, I Am Him: Walker was supposed to deliver an apology from King Albus to Ivy, but didn't realize that Ivy was the nice lady giving him directions!
    Walker: I'm supposed to deliver this to Ivy.
    Ivy: I'm Ivy.
  • Advanced Ancient Humans: Lydians and the Somnians. Their war created the present world.
  • After the End: There is a Precursor society destroyed millennia ago. The planet's surface is a charred wasteland due to fallout from the war. The precursors were ancient Lydians.
  • Anaphora: When Oliver is talked to about in Queen Claire's personal garden, he talks about what he's seen about what this world favors:
    Oliver: I've been living a long, long time in this backwards world—a world that favors tradition over progress, a world that favors stagnation over growth.
    I've found little ways to keep my sanity, but, when I met [the Bandit King], it was the first time I'd found someone who I thought could really change things.
(Passionate) And he could! [Pause] He did! [Pause] But he's going to disappear soon and leave us alone again.
  • Animal Theme Naming: Rings that protect against multiple status effects are named after snakes; the best one is the Ouroboros Ring, which stops every status effect except instant death and stun.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: The Major Update increased the rate of random item drops, as well as making it possible to disable Random Encounters from the very beginning. One wonders how many players Rage Quit during the first forest, without these features. Additionally, from the very beginning, there have been ways to easily regenerate MP, without the need for a Save Point or Healing Spring.
  • Apocalypse How: The prehistory of the setting; a Planetary/Species Extinction example, with a twist. The Lydians and the Somnians were in an all-out species-wide war, and had been for a while. The Somnians developed nuclear technology, while the Lydians investigated saecelium instead. When the Somnians nuked Logos-3, the Lydians retreated to MUB-5 and counterattacked with unstable saecelium weaponry. In the process, the entire surface of the planet was turned into a haunted wasteland; every Somnian, save for a few isolated tribal groups, was killed. Disgusted with his own race, Solomon trapped every remaining Lydian in a time loop on MUB-5, brought an ancient (and, in his eyes, untarnished by the war) Lydian civilisation forward in time, and then escaped to the Ubiquity.
  • Big Red Button: The switches that open the grates in the cave in the beginning.
  • Blob Monster: Gels, Slimes, Sludges, Goops, and Mildews.
  • Blue Means Cold: The tundra features blue dogs called Frostbites.
  • Bonus Level of Heaven: The Shrine of the Mother sub-dungeon of the Temple of the Elder Gods. God can also be fought as a Bonus Boss in the main temple. However, in a subversion, you are not literally visiting Heaven, but rather a projection of it formed from the collective subconscious. See also the entry for Planet Heck.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: A few times:
    • When you recruit Amos for Sanctuary, he becomes the in-game reference for meta-game data, such as the number of steps you've taken, or the number of times you've saved. The general impression is that it's Played for Laughs.
    • One of Lovie's many dialogue phrases does this as well.
  • Brick Joke: In the first hours of play, the party finds a mansion with a Hedge Maze in the front garden, and a servant trapped inside. Half playthrough later, after the time-skip, there is a soldier now.
  • Bubblegloop Swamp: The swamp of Dragon's Throat, is a swamp.
  • Cap: You can only possess 99 of any item, and the limit for every stat other than Level is 9999.
  • Caring Gardener: Rose, Ivy and Mint's mother, managed to make a garden in a jail cell, and cares about her children one character, Claire jokes that Rose always has her mind on the garden, as a reference to the Floral Theme Naming of her children. She also is a friend to Yvette, whose own mother isn't as there for her as she wants, Rose, being somewhat of a Parental Substitute.
  • Catch Your Death of Cold: A woman in Lilledragen:
    Woman: It's dangerous to go outside without heavy clothing. Are you trying to catch the flu?!
    Gainer: No, ma'am...
    Woman: Just try to keep warm, dear.
  • Character Blog: The Ask Mint page.
  • Cheat Code: Lovie has a greeting with a fake cheat code:
    The secret code is up, up, z, down, z, left, right, space, but it only works when you're standing in front of the council building at night.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Hidden within the large Infodump in the Central Research Database is the information that taking away a saecelium crystal from the "stable eight" configuration makes it very unstable. Rutger then proceeds to find this out the hard way.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: With one exception, every character with a face portrait (who doesn't die or join your party) is recruitable for Sanctuary. Since there are quite a few such characters, many of whom are relatively out of the way or seemingly incidental at the time, it takes some significant memory of whom you've talked to before, and where you found them, in order to recruit every eligible NPC.
  • The Chosen People: The Winged people's religion says that they are the special children of the "Mother".
  • Climax Boss: It's a long game, so there are multiple. All of them get special Battle Theme Music, too.
    • Archbishop Gebhart and the Judgment are particularly notable, as they mark the end of the childhood arc.
    • The third fight against Rutger also counts, as it involves taking down a long-term villain who presents a major threat to the world.
    • Oliver, fought during the liberation of Avishun, may also count. He isn't a major villain and the battle doesn't coincide with as important a plot event as the other two examples, but it is fairly important (and difficult).
  • Confused Question Mark: A Pictorial Speech-Bubble of this is used by Gainer when sneaking into his house, and is confused, and then he says:
    Gainer: Where are all the servants?
  • Colony Drop: Logos-3 a Floating Continent that fell, although it was pretty much accidental.
  • Constructed World: The history, and prehistory, of the Lydian continents and the surface underneath them is fairly in-depth, including a few things that almost no one knows, and the Player Characters have to rediscover.
  • Creatures by Many Other Names:
  • Critical Hit: Noted with a message after the message of who was attacking. An "An excellent hit!!" for the protagonists and "A painful blow!!" for enemies.
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus: The unnamed religion is very similar to Christianity, though interestingly, it actually lacks a Jesus figure. Sunday mass, churches, crosses, and Catholic-looking vestments are all the norm (though the latter are likely a result of using the standard RPG Maker graphics pack rather than an intentional artistic decision). The main difference is that God had two children; one of them, "The Mother", gave birth to the world, while the other, "The Eater", was a lazy hedonist who only devoured his sister's creations. The society of Winged Humanoids claim that wingless humans are the children of the Eater, and use this to persecute them.
  • Crystal Landscape: The Saecelium Mine, whose walls are covered in blue crystal formations.
  • Crystalline Creature: There are humanoid enemies that look somewhat crystalline, called Crystal Women.
  • Crystal Weapon: Possibly the Saecelium series of weaponry. Saecelium is known as a type of crystal, but the weapon's themselves are never physically described, and there's an official Shrug of God as to whether they're pure crystal or just be metal with Saecelium incorporated into it or something.
  • Curtains Match the Window:
    • Clive has green hair and green eyes.
    • Pallance has grey hair and grey eyes.
  • Dawn of an Era: King Albus rejects the long-standing association of Balfur with the Church, and as a result (and, in fact, the primary goal) accepts Somnians into Balfur as humans, just like Lydians. So far, though, the only one who has taken advantage of this is Ivy.
  • Defend Command: Halves any damage taken, rounded up. So it can turn One-Hit Kill attacks that do 9999 damage, so they do just 4999.
  • Demonization: Modern Lydian society regards Somnians as "children of the Eater". The Eater being a devil figure.
  • Deus Est Machina: A machine is called God by a "weak, timid, little man", who is scared of it. Other people arrive and worship, and eventually, the machine "spoke to them as a God". Who is it? It's Weiss.
  • Disgusting Vegetarian Food: When Deidre makes vegetarian food for Mint, she's the only one who likes it.
  • Dramatic Irony: When the greeter in Solomon's Furrow doesn't know that Rose is imprisoned.
    Greeter: How is Rose, anyway?
    Cyril: We're... just about to visit her.
    Greeter: Tell her I said hi!
  • Drop the Hammer: The hammer weapons, like the Giant Hammer, and the Thor's Hammer that can be made from it.
  • Dual Boss: Archbishop Gebhart and the Judgment.
  • Easter Egg: On a New Game Plus, the number of endings you've found will be added to Amos' rotation of statistics. If you get all 13, Amos will scream "Oh, God! It's the voices again!" and the developer will speak through him to provide congratulations and some hints on the Bonus Dungeons.
  • Elemental Motifs:
    • Downplayed with Brooke, a girl who's really focused on water, with blue hair. She helps develop the water features of the town that the player creates, A.k.a a water show outside the theatre.
    • There's a blue dog-like enemy called Frostbites that live in the tundra, who don't have any elemental attacks, but are otherwise associated with ice.
  • Enemies with Death: Pallance is in this scenario, although it's never entirely clear why Death is chasing him.
  • Everybody Hates Mathematics: After recieving Amos's Book of math, Ivy's face is not happy. Instead, she's neutral and speaks stiltedly, pausing after each ellipsis:
    Ivy: Thank you...for the gift...of math.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Subverted by Rutger. He invokes it to an extent by allowing people to believe he lost it in combat (this is possibly a rumor he started himself). However, the Corrupted Region reveals that his eye was the result of a birth defect, something that deeply upsets a Social Darwinist like him.
  • Fainting: Exhaustion variant is discussed by Amy, who says:
    As soon as I get off work, I'm going to practice in front of the mirror until I pass out!
  • Fantastic Nuke: The God's Eye, and unstable saecelium weaponry in general.
  • Fantastic Racism: Modern Lydian society regards Somnians as "children of the Eater", and the common Lydian religion sentences Somnians (and their supporters) to death. Something similar, although less severe, is the case with the black-winged "witches" who live for hundreds of years and have extremely powerful magical abilities; they are regarded as "demons" and avoided unless necessary.
  • Family Theme Naming: Overlaps with Floral Theme Naming, Rose named her kids with plant-related names, of Mint, and Ivy.
  • Female Angel, Male Demon: The God figure is The Mother, while the Devil figure is The Eater, who's refered to with 'he'.
  • Fight Woosh: When entering a battle, there is a exploding star-like blackness that fills the screen and then transitions into a swirly distortion of the area map which also has a heat-haze effect.
  • Final Boss, New Dimension: In order to fight Raccoon, you have to enter Ubiquity's computer system.
  • Flavor Text: There is some, for crafting materials and non-crafted equipment. Crafted equipment just has lists the stats boosts that they give.
  • Floating Continent: The Lydian continents, as well as MUB-5, the Flying Mountain. Unlike many examples, these (except MUB-5) are truly continent-sized, with Terasu and Balfur in particular each requiring three separate world maps in order to display even just their accessible portions.
  • Floating Platforms: In Logos-3, to travel between the different teleporter rooms, and in other Lydian facilities. They need power to operate.
  • Floral Theme Naming: Overlaps with Family Theme Naming. Ivy, Mint, and their mother, Rose are all named after plants. Lampshaded in Rose's soul tear, where Claire jokes that Rose always has her mind on the garden.
  • A Form You Are Comfortable With: Raccoon invokes this when the heroes finally find him in Ubiquity's computer system. He is initially formless, but adopts his old body while quipping "Is this the form you're used to?" when Yvette requests he make himself tangible.
  • Functional Magic: It's even taught in the school at Mossvine.
  • Game-Favored Gender: The dresses that do special things like like halve MP consumption, guard against all status effects except for Instant Death, and provide Regenerating Health, can only be worn by girls, and there are no male equivalents.
  • Garden Garment: The Autumn Robe, whose Flavor Text says: "A magic robe composed of fallen leaves; slightly boosts evasion."
  • Gender-Equal Ensemble: The final party lineup (Ivy, Lief, Gainer, and Yvette) as well as the Silver Spring city council. Averted with the villains, who are all male.
  • Gender-Restricted Gear: Only girls can wear dresses, and the dresses do things like halve MP consumption, guard against all status effects except for Instant Death, and provide Regenerating Health.
  • Genki Girl: When you first meet her, Yvette is extremely energetic, with the particular additional quirk that she comes up with outrageous lies for seemingly no other purpose than to either make herself look good or energize the whole group. Later, she tones this down a bit, but it still shows though sometimes.
    Raccoon: [referring to Yvette and Mint] Come on. The hyper twins are chomping at the bit.
  • Giant Spider: One of the enemies that can be faced in the Green Heart.
  • Give Me Your Inventory Item: Just once, when part of the Chain of Deals in Silver Spring leads you to an Non-Player Character who only wants a potato...
  • Gladiator Games: The Coliseum in Terranoire used to be like this, before Greta "opened it up".
  • Glass Weapon: There's the Glass Sword, whose Flavor Text is: "While not physically strong, the glass allows it to more easily channel magic."
  • Glowing Gem: Justified. Active saecelium crystals give off constant power, some of that power is inevitably going to be lost via entropy as electromagnetic radiation, including visible light.
  • A God Am I:
    • Weiss, in a particularly tragic example. He initially only acted the part, but his mind deteriorated to the point where he could no longer remember it was an act.
    • Raccoon talks this way when describing the power of Ubiquity; in a way, he's right, as in a computer simulation, anyone has godlike control over perceived reality.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • There is a portion of the game where you get a lot of new temporary party members. The Medic starts equipped with a gun, which will make his healing pretty pitiful. He can also equip staves, which are much more useful for this purpose, but it's not obvious that he can, and many players never notice the possibility. If you never switch him to staves, boss fights will be a lot harder.
    • Many weapon recipes consume a unique weapon. However, some weapons are used for multiple recipes, making them mutually exclusive outside of a New Game Plus. One NPC does warn you to be careful, but there's still no way to know exactly what you're missing out on or what you'll need later until you reach the endgame and can buy the final recipes. The Major Update makes it so that when you get Sanctuary you can craft the previously unique equipment.
    • If you miss the status protection rings, you're in for a world of hurt. They're the only way to protect against multiple status effects for about half the game, you only get one of each, and they're usually in out-of-the-way places (particularly the Ring of the Viper and the Ring of the Cobra, which involve some backtracking). They're also the only way to protect against stat downs, period. They can't be Permanently Missable, but there are a lot of Points of No Return in the childhood arc, which is where you need them most.
    • The Duel Bosses in Silver Spring don't have Contractual Boss Immunity to status effects. Knowing this makes them much easier, but it's not immediately apparent. (Similarly, one of them has an elemental weakness that makes it easier for the Squishy Wizard to take him down, but it's not obvious that he has one.)
    • Mint's Ribbon. It's a component for the Fading Memory — to get it, you have to revisit Ivy's home and examine Mint's grave. Given that most players have little reason to revisit Ivy's home in the first place, much less to reexamine everything there, this is easy to overlook. Fortunately, unlike Mint's Cloak, this can't be Permanently Missable.
  • Hat of Power: There's the normal variety of helms, circlets and hats which boost your stats, but there are some whose Flavor Text give them some special powers like the Saecelium Circlet, which says that "Time slows around this, giving the wearer more time to think." and the Goddess Helm, which "Contains the wisdom of the universe".
  • Heal It with Water: In the first dungeon, the party heals by drinking water.
  • Healing Checkpoint: Some Save Points also heal you in addition to allowing you to save, giving a different sound when used, and the circle marking the Save Point is a different color.
  • Healing Hands:
    • Some enemies can heal other enemies, such as the sun and water-themed enemies that can heal their plant-based companion, in Yvette's Arena.
    • Fairies / Pixies have the Heal spell they can use on themselves or others:
      • Forest Pixies found in the Green Vein.
      • Snow Fairies, found in the forest from Dragon's Mouth.
    • First Aid, is a skill most of the party learns, that can heal the rest of the party.
  • Hedge Maze: In front of Brunhilde and Solomon's mansion in Silver Spring, where Brick Jokes happen with people trapped inside:
    Soldier: Why the hell did they install this maze?!
  • He Knows About Timed Hits: A couple of examples.
    • When Ivy and Mint are first exploring the cave, Mint casually mentions that the SHIFT key is used for running.
      Mint: Oh, and Ivy? You might be able to catch me if you use SHIFT to run.
    • Rose, in the post-game area, basically does nothing but this, explaining how the area works.
  • Heroic BSoD: Ivy after Mint's death — the cutscene that immediately follows shows her completely ignoring everyone, to the point that we can't even hear what they're saying. She eventually returns to the surface, and stays there for 30 years.
  • The High Queen: Yvette, after the time skip.
  • Holier Than Thou: Archbishop Gebhart, who is a Fundamentalist and Principles Zealot who strongly believes in With Us or Against Us and has a particular fondness for Abomination Accusation Attacks.
  • Human Subspecies: Lydians (who have wings) and Somnians (who don't). They are definitely biologically compatible, though, as Ivy's and Mint's existences demonstrate.
  • Interface Spoiler: Darius is resistant to dark and weak to holy. This is because he's a ghost, but you only find this out if you track him down for his Bonus Boss battle, late in the game.
  • In the Hood: The Death, who's sprite is a brown cowl, with the face in shadow, in Sanctuary's Inn, gotten after getting Pallance.
    Juliette: Who's that new guy in the dark robe? So handsome and mysterious...
  • Intrepid Merchant: This happens a couple of times, with the one at the bottom of a buried tower in the nowhere of a desert lampshading the trope.
    How did I end up here? Who cares? Let's just call it "merchant's intuition".
  • Item Crafting: Equipment, and consumables.
  • Joke Item: There are a few for sale in Silver Spring. Like the Fun Sword, and Fun Sword Deluxe, which give no ATK, but the Fun Sword Deluxe has a different sound effect when it attacks, which matches its Flavor Text.
    They added realistic slashing sound effects
  • Journey to the Sky: The starting Sibling Team, after fighting their first boss, climbs the titular rope to a Floating Continent.
  • Kill the Cutie: Mint; also Pallance's dog.
  • Kill the Poor: Not directly, of course, but this is what ends up happening to most of Raccoon's "work force".
  • Law of Cartographical Elegance: Incredibly, averted for the most part due to the fact that there are multiple world maps, each of them is shaped very, very irregularly, and there is good justification for why you can't walk off of any of the edges (mostly having to do with them tending to be the literal edges of the Lydian continents).
  • Lady and Knight: Yvette and Leif, although both are Badasses and probably qualify as Bash Brothers. Claire and Magnus are a much more traditional example.
  • Language Drift: The names of some places are distorted versions of their original names after millennia. Silver Spring was originally Silvia's Ring, and the continents' names were descended from their military designations. Like Terasu was originally Terra-2.
  • Large Ham: Raccoon, after he becomes a Straw Nihilist. He's actually quite emotionless and soft-spoken, but his lines manage to be amazingly over-the-top regardless:
    • "For a long time, I've thought about killing myself. [...] Existing tortures me, but how can I face not existing? You see, I've been bouncing back and forth between those two thoughts for trillions of years. Which is worse: the pain of existing or the pain of not existing? One is a pain I know, the other a pain I do not."
    • "Life...death...they mean nothing to me anymore. If you don't fight, I will remove you from existence!"
    • "What's this? I can feel my heart beating for the first time in an eternity... Why does my body still cling to life? Can't it see the pointlessness of it all?"
    • "Raccoon? I have no name. I am nothing." transforms into The Nameless "I don't know why I cling to life. But I can't stop. Please. Eradicate me."
  • LEGO Genetics: Averted, since Ivy and Mint aren't obviously "half-and-half" except inasmuch as would be entirely realistic; phenotypically, both lack wing, but Ivy has blue eyes, which is a Lydian trait.
  • Less Embarrassing Term: The Flavor Text for a Bandit's Coinpurse is "Shut up, it's a wallet!"
  • Locked Door: The Four Winds Fortress has four locked doors, one for each Bandit of a Wind, whose key is dropped upon their defeat by combat. Darius, the Bandit of the West Wind, drops the Old Key to get into the Old Avishun Tower to defeat him again to drop his key to his section of the Four Winds Fortress.
  • Long Title: The title has 11 words.
  • Lost Technology: Basically anything to do with saecelium.
    • The teleporters are probably the most obvious example.
    • The reflecting pond.
    • The God's Eye, a Lost Superweapon.
  • Love Letter: Emil writes one to Genevieve, in the form of a poem, and asks Ivy for help with what similes to include. Depending on the player's choices, Genevieve can either accept or reject the letter. This divergence persists even after the time-skip, affecting where you'll find Emil and some of the relevant dialogue.
  • Luck-Based Mission:
    • Most Boss Battles. Between A.I. Roulette, Critical Hits, One-Hit Kill attacks, and status effect spells, things are going to be hectic. This is particularly bad in the early game, where status protection is very limited and you don't have instant death protection at all.
    • The Final Boss normally isn't too bad, but if you want to get the New Game Plus endings, there are two points where you have to fight him with only two party members. He has an unavoidable One-Hit Kill attack, Ivy is usually slower than him, and you can't buy max revive items at that point (though if you bought a stockpile on a previous run, it'll carry over into New Game Plus).
    • Some Bonus Bosses have an attack called "I'll kill you all!" that tries to instantly kill the whole party. It has a low rate of success and you can get instant death protection at that point, but its still dangerous.
    • All three contests of the pig arena, if you don't have high enough stats. Not only are the quiz bowl questions random (which makes sense), but the portions that are decoded are as well. On some runs you might get a totally decoded question, other times it might be complete gibberish. The arena is also a bad offender, since the combat system is such a Luck-Based Mission to begin with, at low stats, a single miss or critical hit can change the course of the whole event.
  • Magic Staff: All the staves/rods/canes/scepters/etc. give a boost to the Spirit stat, which is used to attack with, and defend against, magic, but also the Attack stat, which governs physical attack damage.
  • Maligned Mixed Marriage: The relationship between Rose and Gram, due to Fantastic Racism between the Winged Humanoid Lydians and the wingless Somnians.
  • Making a Splash: Water spells like Vapor's Tsunami, and water weapons like the Water Cannon.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Mort, the gravekeeper. Mort is the Latin root word for death.
    • Brooke, the girl who likes water.
    • Deirdre is Irish, Gaelic, and possibly Celtic for "broken-hearted, sorrowful", and she's initially sorrowful over the loss of her son, Ben.
    • Solomon, which was the name of a king, known as "the Wise", and the one in-game is a scientist, and tries to wisely handle the relationships between the Somnians and Lydians.
  • Mechanical Lifeforms: Despite being created by pre-catastrophe Lydians, droids like Oliver are as "alive" as anyone, in everything except automatic reproductive and repair capability, which they don't have. They live in villages of their own, like Attis, and describe themselves as being alive regularly.
  • Memory Jar: Soul Tears are objects that Ivy can get from certain people that store a kind of memory that the reflecting pond can display.
  • Minecart Madness: The Saecelium Mine has minecarts that you ride in to traverse the area.
  • Minovsky Physics: The properties of saecelium are remarkably well-defined: it exists in the "liminal space between realities", and as such is fixed in spacetime relative to other saecelium; it outputs a fixed amount of power for a stable crystal of a given size; and fallout from unstable saecelium has (for the most part) known effects.
  • Mirror Monologue: Discussed by Amy, for her acting practice:
    As soon as I get off work, I'm going to practice in front of the mirror until I pass out!
  • Missing Reflection: A Lydian that's probably a ghost is therefore probably haunting the exit point of the Old Avishun Teleporter, looking at water. When interacted with, he says:
    Didn't...[pause] didn't I used to have a reflection?
  • Multiple Endings: Obtained by beating the Final Boss at different points in the story on a New Game Plus, Chrono Trigger style. They mainly revolve around what various characters would use Ubiquity's powers for.
    • Before climbing the rope: Ivy and Mint create a copy of their home and their father, presumably never leaving.
    • Before reaching Avishun: Cyril creates a copy of Rose and her cottage in the Mossvine woods, and directs the kids there instead of guiding them to the real Rose in Avishun. Mint and Ivy forgive him for being a distant grandfather.
    • Before reaching Balfur: Yvette turns into a "cosmic knight" and insists that Raccoon is an Evil Overlord she has to defeat. Raccoon plays along, cracking his only genuine smile in the entire story, and Yvette ascends to the stars after defeating him.
    • Before finishing the Flying Mountain: Cyril creates a copy of his dead wife.
    • Before finding Ivy: Rutger creates a reality where he is supreme ruler of the world, and creates clones of various characters who humiliate themselves and swear fealty to him.
    • Before reaching the Bandit King's camp: Gainer creates a clone of Luca and lives out a life of modest domesticity. Shadows of his parents show up to admonish him — he banishes them, but it's implied that he can't get them out of his mind completely.
    • Before Lief and Yvette join the party: Ivy throws Gainer out of the simulation. Events proceed the same way as the standard ending, but this time Ivy never leaves.
    • Before Sanctuary is founded: Yvette prevents Raccoon from committing suicide, expels Gainer and Lief from the simulation, and creates a clone of Mint. They all live out happy childhoods.
    • Before heading to the labor camp: Events play out as in the standard ending, but this time Ivy never leaves. The rest of the party manages to escape from the labor camp, but without Ivy to help them they die in the wasteland.
    • Before liberating Avishun: The party stays in Ubiquity to look for Raccoon. Meanwhile, Oliver turns Avishun into a technological utopia, which produces the parts needed to repair Weiss.
    • Before liberating Balfur: The party stays behind again, allowing Rutger to obliterate Avishun City and take over the world. The Balfurian populace loves him.
    • Before the Green Heart: We stay with the party after they decide to search for Raccoon. Along the way they create clones of all their family members who died, until finally finding what looks like a shadow of Raccoon.
  • Named Weapons: Some of the crafted equipment, like the staffs, "Fairy Light" and "Ice Princess", and Rutger's personal sword, "Mothcutter".
  • Neutral No Longer: Ivy is a powerful warrior who initially doesn't care about the world and just wants to be left alone; however, after the Big Bad reveals his Evil Plan, they decide to stop him.
  • New Game Plus: You can start one any time after beating the Final Boss. In addition to the standard carry-overs, it also gives you the ability to disable Random Encounters and to fight the Final Boss at various points in the story for additional endings (the developer says the latter part was directly inspired by Chrono Trigger). However, one stipulation is that certain treasure chests (mainly those containing the rare crystals and Nightmare Dimension rewards) do not reset, so you can only ever have one copy of their contents. This is likely because four copies of the Luminous Armor would be a Game-Breaker. Sidequests don't reset either, so you can't farm the Bonus Bosses or the pig arena for their special equipment.
  • Ninja: Darius, the Bandit of the West Winds.
  • No Cutscene Inventory Inertia: Whenever Ivy draws a weapon in a cutscene, it is always referred to as being a sword (complete with an "unsheathing" sound effect), regardless of what weapon she actually has equipped.
  • No Full Name Given: We only know the first names of most people save a few exceptions, but they should have surnames as said by Word of God: "I haven't attributed any to them, but you can assume that everyone has one, i.e. it's normal to have a surname in the game's world."
  • No-Sell: It's possible to get enough Defense or Spirit to make an attack or spell do 0 damage.
  • Nothing Left to Do but Die: Raccoon eventually decides this, but forces the PCs to kill him instead of committing suicide.
  • Not-So-Omniscient Council of Bickering: Silver Spring's city council. Especially after the establishment of Sanctuary!
  • Old Soldier: Both Lief and Magnus qualify; Lief invokes it.
  • One-Hit Kill: There are attacks that instantly kill a character if not blocked, doing the maximum amount of damage, 9999, but if defended against, they do about half that. 4999 damage.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Raccoon, as he's an orphan who was never properly christened. He got the name after getting into a fight and receiving two black eyes. In actuality, the last part is a lie; his soul tear reveals that the other orphans called him a raccoon after they saw him rifling through the trash for food.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: A number of varieties exist, such as Stone Dragons, Ice Dragons, and Red Fangs (Fire Dragons). Then there's the Elder Dragons, and special named Dragons, like Blight Tail and special Dragon at Dragon's Tail, which is just called Dragon. Most dragons drop their respective skulls on death.
  • Our Fairies Are Different: Snow Fairies use the Freeze spell.
  • Our Nymphs Are Different: The "Nymph's Robe" item is described as being "spun by pixies".
  • Peninsula of Power Leveling: Right after clearing up the first mountain, one can return and gain access to the actual hideout of the Bandits of the Four Winds. There's a Healing Checkpoint just outside the entrance, so with some careful grinding, a player can get the party up to level 17ish in a short period — more than enough to curbstomp the next few bosses. (The area also includes a Disc-One Nuke for Ivy, which can be taken advantage of by turning off random encounters.)
  • Permanently Missable Content:
    • Mint's Cloak, which can only be obtained by completing the Chain of Deals sidequest to get Mint the best present in Silver Spring. This one seems pretty minor at first, but it's used to craft a very useful item later in the game, so it pays to get it.
    • The Jr. Bandit's Badge and Amos' Book can only be obtained while infiltrating Avishun's prison as kids. Fortunately, these are pretty minor accessories and are quickly outclassed.
    • Cupid's Bow, obtained by successfully completing the Match Maker Quest in Dragon's Mouth. If you mess up or continue with the plot before finishing, you don't get another chance until New Game Plus. Fortunately, this is also quickly outclassed.
    • Champion's Medals, which are only dropped by enemies in a one-time dungeon (the assault on Balfur), though fortunately the drop rate is 100%. In fairness, if you recruit Emil and ask him about Champion's Medals, he will explicitly tell you that you'll only have a limited time to get them. However, they're only used in one weapon recipe that you can only buy after the dungeon is over, so it's impossible to know how many you need in advance. You need all of them. If you don't kill every foe that drops them in Balfur, you're not getting the item.
  • Pictorial Speech-Bubble: If you agree to participate in an arena, the person you talk to for that, says: "".
  • Planet Heck: The Shrine of the Eater, a sub-dungeon of the Temple of the Elder Gods. It's more of a gloomy Underworld than a Fire and Brimstone Hell, however. In a subversion, you are not literally visiting Hell, but rather a projection of it formed from the collective subconscious. See also the entry for Bonus Level of Heaven.
  • Please Select New City Name: When founding a city, Ivy gets the option to name it, and can be changed later, if wanted. The default name is Sanctuary.
  • Please Wake Up: Ivy's reaction to Mint collapsing at some point. Her last collapse, to be specific.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Double Subverted with Rutger. Though the story seems like it'll set him up as one — he's a narrow-minded nationalistic military Jerkass — he actually seems to be a case of Equal-Opportunity Evil. In one side scene he expresses sympathy over Ivy and Mint's Wingless status, as he is a commoner himself and thus feels some empathy for those born into poor circumstances. He's not a He-Man Woman Hater either, as the army contains female soldiers, and he respects Ivy's strength — he even defends her when she's sexually harassed at one point. Then in one of the bonus endings in New Game Plus, he uses a virtual reality chamber to create a naked clone of Yvette to amuse himself, painting him as a sleazy misogynist.
  • The Pollyanna: Mint is seemingly incapable of dropping her incredible positive outlook. When Ivy and Mint are prevented from legally seeing their mother, Mint takes this as a personal challenge, remaining inexplicably overjoyed at breaking into Avishun's prison to visit Rose. Even when close to death, Mint is cheerful with her Last Words.
    Mint: Don't you think this is a nice place, Ivy? I never though there could be a place this nice...
  • Power Crystal: A small stable saecelium crystal can power a droid effectively indefinitely.
  • Power Glows: Justified; since an active saecelium crystal gives off constant power, some of that power is inevitably going to be lost via entropy as electromagnetic radiation, including visible light.
  • Precision F-Strike: Solomon: This world is fucked. On the last message crystal in the Terra-2 facility, it is the preface to the rest of his message, which is about the Lydian evacuation to MUB-5, and a ensuing genocide of one of either the Lydians or the Somnians.
  • The Quiet One: Nox has a sermon for them:
    Nox: I see among us men of the land, men of the earth.
    Pullman: Mhm.
    Olson: Yep.
    Mort: ...
    Nox: You have no doubt been called men of few words, and perhaps you have even been chided for this.
    Nox: However, a tree does not speak, yet it shares its wisdom with us through its roots and trunk and branches—and the many circles of its trunk.
    Pullman: Mhm.
    Olson: Yep.
    Mort: ...
  • Random Drops: Crafting items, healing items, etc, with a random chance to drop from enemies, like Fire Dragon Skulls from Fire Dragons.
  • Really Gets Around: Yvette after the time-skip, although she seems to regret it by the time she rejoins the party, judging by her disgusted reactions to her previous suitors. The narrative also treats this fairly seriously, and does not seem to judge her negatively for it.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Sylvia, Oliver, and Weiss. Justified, since they're droids.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Walsh, for a short time.
  • Rebellious Princess: Yvette, although she doesn't fully understand at first just how extreme the difference between her life and that of a commoner actually is.
  • Recurring Boss: Two, both of which are the variant where the boss retreats the first time and fights you to the last in the final battle.
    • Rutger is fought three times over the course of the story. A version of him from another timeline can also be fought as a Bonus Boss in the expert arena.
    • Darius is fought twice over the course of the story, and can be fought once more in a final showdown as a Bonus Boss.
  • Reduced Mana Cost: There's equipment that cuts the MP cost of spells and skills by half.
  • Regenerating Health: The Lifeblood Necklace gives back a small percentage of HP per turn, and so does the Don't Hurt Me dress.
  • Replacement Goldfish:
  • Reptilian Conspiracy: Referenced by one of Gretchen's greetings:
    All of the residents are actually lizards wearing human skins.
  • Rock Theme Naming: Regular status protection rings are named after gemstones, often playing off of folklore (emerald rings prevent poison, for instance).
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Yvette and Albus both qualify, although Claire not so much.
  • Save-Game Limits: You save at Save Points located all over the world and there are 4 save slots to put your saves in.
  • Save Point: Save points are marked by glowing blue circles.
  • Say It with Hearts: If you agree to participate in an arena, the person you talk to for that, says: "".
  • Schizo Tech: Justified, since the world is gradually rediscovering the Lost Technology of the ancient Lydians, while still developing some new technology of its own.
  • School Setting Simulation: The magic school in Mossvine is basically a single classroom to be walked around and examined.
  • Shapeshifter Default Form: The shapeshifter default form is of a "hideous snake lady", in Yvette's words.
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: Double subverted. Yvette constantly insinuates that Gainer has a crush on Luca, but Gainer deflects the accusations quite convincingly — no over-the-top denials or excessive exclamation points here. We also see that they've comfortably stayed Just Friends for quite a while, and Luca's quite a bit older than him anyway. Then in one of the New Game Plus Multiple Endings, he uses Ubiquity's simulation to create a fawning clone of her and lives out a fantasy of happy, married domesticity with it, implying he does have romantic feelings for her after all.
  • Sliding Scale of Unavoidable vs. Unforgivable: Raccoon goes through a lot of Angst over this, not that it stops him in the end.
  • The Sociopath: Raccoon, after the time-skip.
  • So Long, and Thanks for All the Gear: Averted. Though your party is often in flux, party members who leave will always have their equipment dumped back in your inventory. (This actually gets a little weird when you still retain Mothcutter after Rutger leaves the party, despite it being described as his personal weapon.) There are two exceptions: At one point Ivy leaves the party for one dungeon and keeps their equipment on them (this is necessary, as they rejoin in the middle of a Boss Battle), and everyone retains their equipment when the party splits up in the Silver Spring prison. (The last one can actually be a problem, since it can leave certain party members crippled against their Duel Bosses.)
  • Soulful Plant Story: The opening goes, "Look at this one, Ivy. This is a very special plant, a plant that aches, that loves. It's called a "Mourning Vine." Do you see it, daughter? See the pretty flowers? See how every bud is connected on the vine? If I clip one, I can press it in this book, and it will be beautiful forever... but all the other flowers will wither when it's gone."
  • Sound Test: What BeBop Deluxe does for Santuary, allowing switches of background music.
  • Standard RPG Items: There's Panaceas, Healing Potions, Mana Potions, etc.
  • Starter Equipment: At the start, Ivy and Mint are both wearing Old Clothes, and have a Wooden Sword and a Toy Crossbow, respectively.
  • Static Stun Gun: Oliver has one, and it's one of his most powerful abilities. Gainer eventually gets his own from Switch.
  • Status-Buff Dispel: Some enemies can do this, usually the magically inclined bosses.
  • Suspicious Videogame Generosity:
    • If you run into a Healing Checkpoint, expect a boss fight up ahead. This is occasionally averted for certain long dungeons that have a Healing Checkpoint in the middle.
    • The penultimate Bonus Boss drops a nice piece of armor that grants both dark resistance and instant death immunity. Guess what spells the ultimate Bonus Boss loves to use?
  • Think Nothing of It: When rescuing the Silver Spring City Council:
    Ivy: Thanks for your help.
    Jerrick: Don't thank us until after you're out and safe, alright? We'll be waiting by the prison gate when you're ready.
  • Third Eye: The helmet known as the Third Eye. Its Flavor Text is "This helmet allows the wearer to see the unseen."
  • Time Abyss: Solomon would qualify even if Ubiquity's time progressed at a normal rate, as the Lydian society collapsed ages ago; however, due to time dilation within the computer system, he is stated to have lived for trillions of years if not more. Raccoon becomes similar after entering the system.
  • Timed Mission: There's a few:
    • Getting through the super cold area to climb up to the Flying Mountain.
    • Phobos's Nightmare Dimension challenges, where you race to an exit and defeat the boss of each challenge after a certain amount of time.
  • Time Stands Still: The Saecelium Circlet's Flavor Text says that "Time slows around this, giving the wearer more time to think."
  • Transferable Memory: A lot of characters, later on in the story, will give you "soul tears" without much comment. It turns out that they store a kind of memory that the reflecting pond can display.
  • Trauma Inn: And boy, are there a lot of them. There are also some Healing Springs as well, along with the majority of Save Points being Healing Checkpoints. The latter end up being Suspicious Video-Game Generosity much of the time.
  • Travel Transformation: Saecelium teleportation applies a Ball of Light Transformation to the traveler, that travels to their destination then turns back.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Ivy and Mint are very unperturbed about murdering human opponents. For instance, Ivy's only reaction to the Diego battle is to joke about how he wasn't strong enough to beat them. Weirdly, this doesn't seem to be intended as a red flag, as the girls act like normal, well-adjusted people otherwise. It is possible that this is simply meant to reflect their isolated upbringing.
  • Turns Red: Multiple:
    • Weiss will activate an overdrive chip at low health, boosting his stats.
    • In the third fight against Rutger, he'll go One-Winged Angel after taking some damage, giving him a slew of new attacks.
    • The Bonus Bosses love this:
      • The Mother will gain two actions per round — "Do not think I am weak!" Indeed, most players will probably think she was quite easy up to that point.
      • The second Phobos will summon two clones to help him out when he reaches half health, along with the quip, "You're already barely holding on... What hope do you have?"
      • God and the Eater each get three powerups. God will summon one flunky, then two, then get a stat boost ("I'll show you the power of your creator!"). The Eater will get two actions per round ("You think you've hurt me? This is only the beginning!"), then three ("You may be strong, but I'll strip your skin and add you to the bone pile!"), then a stat boost (without a quip, oddly).
      • The Rutger in the expert arena gets a stat boost after taking some damage.
  • Underground Level: The Saecelium Mine and the starting cave.
  • Undying Loyalty: Lief, towards Yvette; Magnus, towards Claire; Darius, towards whoever employs him.
  • Underground Monkey: Different Palette Swaps of enemies are stronger/weaker than other palette swaps, like:
    • Gels, Slimes, Sludges, Goops, and Mildews.
    • Succubi and Temptations.
    • Forest Pixies, Dark Pixies, Nymphs, Snow Fairies.
    • Etc.
  • Unnaturally Looping Location: The Tundra works like this. A specific path must be followed to reach the other side, although, every other important landmark can be reached just by walking to the right spot. The Tundra is infinite, except at the bottom, where walking down enough leads back to where exiting to where the player enters the Tundra.
  • Violence is the Only Option: To the point that a few villains (Oliver and Darius) seem to attack you for no other reason than because the game needed a boss battle. This is especially grating in the endgame, where the party's entire goal is to avoid violence and save Raccoon. Of course, once they actually reach him, they're railroaded into fighting, and once the battle starts the heroes have no qualms about turning him into chunky salsa.
  • Virtual-Reality Warper: At the end of the game, a cyberspace is the Final Boss, New Dimension, and inhabitants of that cyberspace can manipulate its features, create Artificial Intelligences that reside in it as well, and possibly override others' control of the space.
  • Visible Silence: Multiple:
    • A Pictorial Speech-Bubble of this is used by Gainer when sneaking into his house after he is confused, by the lack of servants. Presumably to represent him thinking.
    • Used by Mort in Nox's sermon on The Quiet One:
      Nox: I see among us men of the land, men of the earth.
      Pullman: Mhm.
      Olson: Yep.
      Mort: ...
      Nox: You have no doubt been called men of few words, and perhaps you have even been chided for this.
      Nox: However, a tree does not speak, yet it shares its wisdom with us through its roots and trunk and branches—and the many circles of its trunk.
      Pullman: Mhm.
      Olson: Yep.
      Mort: ...
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: The shapeshifters that infested the Green Heart can take basically any form, and use their power to mess with people.
  • Wasteland Elder: The tribal Somnians have "Grandpa."
  • Windows of the Soul: After Yvette calls machines soulless, Oliver confirms that he's a artificial Lydian by talking about his Monochromatic Eyes of white:
    Oliver: Look into my eyes: do you see a soul there?
    Ivy / Party: ...
    Oliver: Maybe you're right. Maybe I don't have a soul. [pause] I don't even know what that is.
    (passionate) One thing I do know is that I want to live!
    I want to live as bad as every blade of grass that stabs through the cold soil just to feel the warmth of the sun!
    I want to live as bad as a cub clinging to his mother in the middle of winter!
    I want to live just as bad as you! [pause] I don't know if that gives me a soul, but it makes me alive, and that's all I know!
  • Winged Humanoid: The Lydians. A less ridiculous depiction than most, since their wings don't actually do anything; in particular, they don't let Lydians fly (by natural means, that is).
  • Womanliness as Pathos: Subverted. The Lydian religion, which is based around a Mother Goddess, is the source of all the conflict pre-Time Skip, such as the imprisonment of the initial protagonists' mother and their need to live in a barren land... And then that goddess is revealed to actually be a male nearly-immortal android pretending to be a god, who is so insane that he actually believes it.
  • World of No Grandparents: Cyril is the only grandparent that appears in the story, being the grandparent of the main characters. His wife's name, is only known after the Time Skip, and that's through her gravestone.
  • Would Be Rude to Say "Genocide":
    • The ancient Lydian president takes the second option ("I Did What I Had to Do") regarding the near-extinction of Somnians perpetrated by his orders. However, Solomon does explicitly refer to it as genocide.
  • Wrench Wench: Switch. Her father Gunther is as much of an engineer as she is.
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: The God's Eye can be clearly seen to have nine saecelium crystals. After Raccoon takes one crystal, Rutger is left with... seven, somehow. (This is fixed in the Major Update.)
  • Year Inside, Hour Outside: Ubiquity's computer system takes this to an extreme, with a few days outside being equivalent to several eons inside!
  • You're Not My Father: During Nox's sermon to Margo and Scully's family:
    Julian (to Holiday): You can't tell me what to do. You're not my mother!
    Margo: Yeah, well I AM your mother, and I'm telling you to be quiet!
  • Zeppelins from Another World: Oliver has one; it is used to transport people to and from Raccoon's labor camp.