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Video Game / A Witch's Tale

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A Witch's Tale is an RPG video game developed by Hitmaker and published by Nippon Ichi for the Nintendo DS in 2009. The game revolves around a feisty witch-in-training, Liddell, who aspires to be the greatest witch in the world. After entering a mysterious castle and opening a Tome of Eldritch Lore, Liddell releases the Eld Witch, an evil being who was sealed away by Queen Alice thousands of years ago.

The castle's owner, the narcoleptic, tomato-eating vampire Loue, tells her that she must take responsibility for her actions and work to save the lands she put in peril. While at first resistant, Liddell agrees, and they go to save the land's princesses.

Not to be confused with the 2010 DS game Witch's Wish, a much lighter game that also features a witch-in-training and Geometric Magic.


This game provides examples of:

  • After the End: Florin is completely different from how it was after dark magic wiped out the race that used to live there. You get to see what Florin was like in the past in the New Game Plus.
  • Alice Allusion: The game has characters from Alice in Wonderland, including the Cheshire Cat, Jabberwock, Mad Hatter, March Hare, White Rabbit, and Dormouse. The main character, Liddell, takes her name from the last name of the real Alice, and her doll Dayna takes her name from Alice's cat Dinah.
  • All Just a Dream:
    • The entire first playthrough is this, brought on by Queen Alice to test Liddell. The New Game Plus is the real adventure, and contains story elements not seen in the first one.
    • The second playthrough is also this, but it's a 'real' dream.
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: The Japanese box art has Liddell looking mischievous and more on the adorable side of her Badass Adorable persona while the American art leans more towards the badass side.
  • Backstory Horror: Every kingdom has this.
    • Rem Sacchras was created by Queen Alice to make a seventh kingdom in order to complete the seal on the Eld Witch. But the land was ruled by evil, and to appease the evil being, she chose to sacrifice the younger twin princess from Rem Boreas, and the younger sister's bitterness towards being sacrificed manifested in poison.
    • The Eld Witch's daughters wreaked havoc on Rem Boreas, killing the Ice Queen's two daughters in the process. It's treated as a legend, but the shadow blocking the way to the Shadow Lands in Shadow Town speaks of her home freezing over and how the Ice Rune killed her and her sister.
    • The Eld Witch ruined Florin, which was then occupied by the Winged. She killed all of the peaceful Winged and burned their wings off, and Rapunzel's diary describes the pain she felt when it happened.
    • Oceria was a surface kingdom, but got submerged when the Eld Witch's third daughter grew jealous of its magic.
    • In Al'Sahra, the Eld Witch's daughters cursed the land to burn forever. The Eld Witch killed Princess Shahrazad the day after she was crowned, and Lyra is tormented with nightmares of what happened.
    • Artis fought in the war without magic at all, using machines. They were all turned into scrap, including Dorothy's dear friends.
  • Bad is Good and Good is Bad: Liddell leans more on the mischievous side, thinking torture instruments are awesome, romance is hackneyed, and that ancient, destructive magic is just what she needs to be a great witch. She does like sweets, though.
  • Badass Adorable: Liddell and the princesses are adorable and can kick butt.
  • Badass Cape: Loue, especially in CGs and in the Bonus Boss fight against him.
  • Big Bad: The Eld Witch is the source of the evils plaguing the lands.
  • Bishōnen: The March Hare and Loue are both young and very handsome.
  • Blush Sticker: Almost every character has blush stickers except for the Eld Witch and the Cheshire Cat.
  • Bonus Boss: You can fight Loue for his doll just before going to Lenore.
  • Brick Joke: Babayaga hitting Liddell on the head.
  • Can't Drop the Hero: Justified in that Liddell is the one magically controlling her dolls.
  • Cat Girl: The aptly-named Kitty.
  • Cats Are Mean: The Cheshire Cat is pretty insensitive to Liddell, not caring when she cries. In the unlockable Blackjack mini-game, he will tease you. A lot.
  • Cats Hate Water: Averted, as the Cheshire Cat meets you above and below the ocean. He has no problem teleporting you underwater, either.
  • Character Development: Liddell starts out selfish and uncaring, only wanting to fix what she started because she'd become more powerful. As the game goes on, she starts to genuinely care about the consequences of her actions and grows determined to stop the Eld Witch because it's the right thing to do.
  • Cherry Blossoms: Florin is filled with these; there's even a Fetch Quest where you help two souls in different gardens reunite. When you first see a particular sakura tree, the Mad Hatter talks about their connection to death.
  • Cheshire Cat Grin: The Cheshire Cat is in this mode almost all the time.
  • The Chosen One: Liddell was chosen to wield the ancient magic. Loue mentions that the same thing happened with Alice 1,000 years ago. Liddell is also chosen to become Alice if the current one dies.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Aquell is this towards Liddell, believing Loue is hers.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: The CPU always knows exactly what your total is in the Blackjack game.
  • Cool Old Lady: Babayaga helps Liddell out, gives her advice, and sells potions and items.
  • Covers Always Lie: The shading on the American box art makes Liddell look like she has brown hair. She's a blonde.
  • Cute Witch: Liddell and the princesses, with their magical abilities.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Dorothy doesn't trust anyone at first, but gradually warms up to Liddell.
  • Early Game Hell: Just gaining your first level will be extremely difficult, since enemies give you very low EXP and can hit fairly hard, especially in the Candy Maze. You also have only 100 MP when the Ancient Rune magic costs 99 MP.
  • Easy Levels, Hard Bosses: Regular battles can actually be challenging if the player doesn't spam Liddell's Ancient Magic. The bosses, however, are designed with this in mind and are a lot harder.
  • Everything's Better with Sparkles: Pretty much wherever you touch with the stylus, sparkles appear.
  • Face–Heel Turn:
    • Loue undergoes this temporarily when you fight him for his doll.
    • In the New Game Plus, Anne grows up to become the Eld Witch.
  • Fairy Tale Motifs: Aside from familiar ones, like Snow White and Hansel and Gretel, it also has references to The Snow Queen, A Thousand And One Nights and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Princess Kaguya is also a reference to Kaguya-hime, a princess in Japanese folklore who came from the moon.
  • Fashionable Asymmetry: Liddell wears one striped stocking and one purple one with holes in it.
  • Gainax Ending: Both playthroughs have one.
    • The first playthrough ends with the Eld Witch killing Alice. After her defeat, Loue and the Wonderland inhabitants try to force Liddell to become their new Queen. The screen goes red, and then Liddell wakes up—the entire playthrough was a dream when Baba Yaga hit her on the head, but it's later revealed it was a test from Queen Alice.
    • The second playthrough ends with Liddell killing the Eld Witch, who is revealed to have been Anne and transforms into her as she dies. Liddell begs her to live, but it's too late, and she dissolves into ashes. Liddell works her way through the maze and is told that death isn't always the end. Then she meets the six princesses, who tell her that this was all a dream Queen Alice created on Liddell's side of reality, and it's time for her to wake up. They hope to meet Liddell in real life and bid her farewell. Liddell wakes up in her room and can't remember her dream, but she has Anne's bracelet with her. Loue is seen on the rooftop above her.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Princess Hansel has a masculine name, but is a girl.
  • Genius Loci: The Demon's Mouth Inn is alive, and swallows Liddell to restore her health.
  • Geometric Magic: Runes are drawn on the touch screen to cast powerful magic.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Liddell wanted to find a powerful spellbook to become a great witch. She found the spell but also unsealed the Eld Witch.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Alice did what needed to be done to stop the Eld Witch, including sacrificing a princess to create the seal and denying the Eld Witch's daughters reincarnations.
  • The Goomba: Slip Cranes are very easy to kill even if you have no magic.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: The Eld Witch and her daughters were jealous of the surface world, which led them to invade it.
  • Green Thumb: Kaguya's doll ability is to cast a powerful Biota spell.
  • The Grim Reaper: Appears in preset treasure chests and breakable obstacles. Luckily, he's pretty easy to beat.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • Finding all the cards can take quite a while. You can't get them all until the New Game Plus.
    • It's quite hard to find your way around and get the required items for each world, so the whole game can qualify for this.
  • 100% Adoration Rating: Queen Alice is adored and revered by all of her subjects, especially Liddell.
  • An Ice Person: Hansel's doll ability is to cast a powerful Frei spell.
  • Killed Off for Real: This can happen to any of Liddell's dolls if she runs out of the Rainbow Yarn items needed to repair them if they run out of HP.
  • Legacy Character: Seen in the first playthrough's ending. Liddell is forced to become the new Alice after the current one is killed... whether she wants to or not.
  • Level Ate: The kingdom of Rem Sacchras is made of sweets.
  • Level-Up Fill-Up: The biggest incentive to just spam Liddell's Ancient Magic on everything. More often than not, she'll gain a level before fully running out of MP.
  • Limit Break: Every 10 or so battles are a "BURST!" battle wherein the critical hit rate for all party members massively increases and the team earns 2x the experience after winning.
  • Making a Splash: Aquell's doll ability is to cast a powerful Supra spell.
  • Metal Slime: The card monsters. Luckily, if you fail to defeat them you can leave the room and come back.
  • Mind Screw: Both endings are very confusing and dreamlike, as befits the Wonderland theme.
  • Mood Whiplash: At the end of the first playthrough, we get a scary scene, and then not two seconds later, the peppy end credits music.
  • Mr. Exposition: The Wonderland characters. Lampshaded by the Dormouse, who asks if it's Exposition Day.
  • Never Say "Die": Defeated monsters are crushed into bits.
  • New Game Plus: Unlike some cases, it is actually incorporated into the plot. It's the real adventure, and contains story elements not seen in the first run.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The game starts off with Liddell unsealing the Eld Witch.
  • Or Was It a Dream?: The second playthrough ends with Liddell waking up from a dream, but she still has Anne's necklace.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Rather than feast on blood, Loue eats tomatoes.
  • Oxygenated Underwater Bubbles: When Liddell is under the sea, she'll constantly take minor damage and lose air until she finds air bubbles.
  • Parental Abandonment: Poor Liddell was abandoned by her mother at the school at a young age.
  • Peek-a-Bangs: While in human form, Loue always has his hair covering his right eye.
  • Permanently Missable Content: One of the cards can only be obtained in a one-shot area available in the New Game Plus.
  • Pink Girl, Blue Boy: Gretel wears pink while Hansel wears blue. Otherwise, the two girls dress quite similarly.
  • Playing with Fire: Lyra's doll ability is to cast a powerful Volc spell.
  • Point of No Return: Entering the final world after obtaining the six sigils. Loue explicitly warns about this.
  • Poisonous Person: Gretel's doll ability is to cast a powerful Vile spell.
  • Posthumous Character:
    • Princess Rapunzel, who was the first princess of Florin, is only seen posthumously.
    • Alice killed the Eld Witch's daughters and denied them reincarnation rights. In the New Game Plus you can fight their hateful shadows.
  • Princesses Rule: Each of the lands except for Queen Alice's is ruled by a Princess.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: The Eld Witch and the Cheshire Cat.
  • Save the Princess: Liddell must save all six princesses before she can meet Queen Alice.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The Eld Witch.
  • Sequel Hook: After the second playthrough, we see Loue watching Liddell from a rooftop.
  • Shock and Awe: Dorothy's doll ability is to cast a powerful Thun spell.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Hansel's kingdom is a snow-bound land. It has sections where you move the stylus and go flying in one direction, and must navigate icicle mazes.
  • Stock Control Settings: Averted, as the entire game is played using the touchscreen, despite the existence of SNES-style buttons on the DS.
  • Swallowed Whole: The Demon's Mouth Inn is alive, and swallows Liddell to restore her health. (It warns her that it might accidentally digest her.)
  • Tears of Blood: The White Rabbit cries perpetual tears of blood.
  • Tomboyish Name: Hansel is a girl.
  • Tome of Eldritch Lore: Liddell wanted to find a powerful spellbook to become a great witch. She found the spell but also unsealed the Eld Witch.
  • Too Kinky to Torture: Liddell sees a torture room early on and admires it.
  • Tsundere: Liddell has elements of this towards Loue.
  • Vegetarian Vampire: Loue eats tomatoes, not blood.
  • Was Once a Man: Aquell was once human, but Alice needed her power and turned her into a mermaid in exchange for Oceria helping in the war.
  • We Cannot Go On Without You: Justified since the dolls can't move without Liddell powering them.
  • Winter Royal Lady: Hansel is dressed in a fur coat, and is the ruler of the ice kingdom.