Follow TV Tropes


Video Game / AŽdemphia

Go To
Travel between the worlds of Aëdemphia.

Aëdemphia is an independent French freeware game, developed with RPG Maker 2003 for PC.

Its creator, Sylvanor, describes his game as a fusion between Western RPG (freedom of action and of choice, plenty of sidequests, roleplay with your main character, the possibility to resolve fights with stealth or diplomacy, freedom in the evolution of the statistics of the characters) and Eastern RPG (presence of an overaching plot, party members written into the plot).

The game allows you to play Irzyka, a White Magician Girl whose personality will entirely be determined by the player's choices. The game begins when Ufa, with the help of his mentor Egaj and his friend Irzyka, is about to fight his last battle against the "Heartless Soul", a bloodthirsty tyrant who terrorizes the world of Estarzall. However, during the battle between the two armies, Irzyka gets sucked in an explosion. She survives but, without knowing how, she's sent into another world: Akzalfir. Trapped in a foreign world, Irzyka will try everything she can to discover what happened to her, to return to Estarzall and to find her friends. On the way, she will befriend some new companions and meet various people.


During her journey, she will discover that a terrible and powerful enemy threatens both Estarzall and Akzalfir. Jumping between the two worlds with her friends, she will try to stop this threat. However, the fight may be more difficult than she expected, as this strange man claims to have a connection with her. Who is he in reality? Why does he claim to know her? And, more importantly, why doesn't she remember him?

The plot may be a little classic sometimes, especially in the beginning, but it has some neat twists. The main strengths of Aëdemphia are its characters and (especially) its atmosphere. Irzyka's companions all have their own personality and the player has the possibility to converse with them in order to befriend them and to reveal their Hidden Depths. All the sprites, settings and landscapes have been drawn by Sylvanor. This gives the game his own unique style. Akzalfir and Estarzall have their own setting with its own history, geography, customs, species, climate, religion... Each town has its particularities that set it apart from other towns. The amount of details put in the construction of the universe is massive.


You can find the official website (in French) here and the trailer of the latest version here for more informations. In order to download the game (only in French however), click here. The game isn't finished yet, but the current version covers a good two thirds of the plot and gives a very good idea of what the finished version will look like.

Aëdemphia provides examples of:

  • Above Good and Evil: Aïnorie considers herself above the concepts of good and evil, as she's basically tasked with protecting all worlds. Therefore, she's ready to sacrifice lives for the greater good. In an optional conversation, she explains to Irzyka that she regards good and evil as things that only concern the mortals. She tends to judge people by their personal qualities, not their morality.
  • Animal Wrongs Group:
    • Parodied with the Defenders of the Bainures. A group of people solely dedicated to preserve... a weak and rather ugly plant-animal whose main use is as of a food source. A lot of their members are shown to go very far in their veneration of this thing, considering this basically defenseless creature the pinnacle of evolution.
    • Played more straight with the worshippers of Némiéry, the Avatar of Nature, who fight for nature in general.
  • Anti-Villain: The Great Oracle, who ends up fighting the main characters, but is only trying to protect his kingdom and his people.
  • The Archmage: Both the Great Oracle and the Great Chamberlain are powerful mages. The Great Oracle even sports a wizard beard.
  • All There in the Manual:
    • Plenty of informations about the settings of the game (history, geography, customs, fauna, flora, etc... of the worlds) are given in the encyclopedia present in the website. In-Universe, you can read about it in books Irzyka can find.
    • Irzyka's backstory before her arrival in Estarzall (see Trapped in Another World below) is only partially revealed in the game proper. It used to be told in a tie-in novel by Sylvanor. The story isn't available anymore, because it was too badly written according to Word of God. A summary can however be read on the game's website.
  • Anyone Can Die: Well, not everyone, but depending on your actions, the death toll in the game can become pretty big. Aredas will kill his father if you fail to convince him to spare the man. Party members Manalianne and Aredas may kick the bucket if some conditions are met and, depending on your choices during the sidequests, several towns may have their population completely wiped out, notably the capital city of Aredas' kingdom if you didn't spare the Great Oracle and set up enough things during various sidequests to ensure that Séfanine will win the war with Tharankis. And that's not counting all the NPCs you can kill if you choose the Evil path, as well as the offscreen victims of the Avatars' rampage or the war between Séfanine and Tharankis.
  • Big Bad: Alzarith is the main antagonist of the game.
  • Black Magician Girl: Yeranaë uses elemental spells to fight.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: The Avatars are neutral forces which are Above Good and Evil. They destroy everything because it's in their nature (they need to consume human souls to survive), not because they enjoy it.
  • Boring, but Practical: Early in the game, Irzyka can learn a healing spell that affects all the team. This is the most useful magic in the game.
  • Bratty Half-Pint:
    • Yeranaë is an immortal goddess who acts like an immature brat.
    • A good chunk of kids NPC are either rude, gross, snotty, disturbingly willing to resort to violence once older, or all of the above. You're sometimes given the choice to slap them.
  • Brutal Honesty: Aredas is very upfront and never tries to sugarcoat his thoughts.
  • Creepy Child: Alzarith looks like a child, but acts like a (creepy) adult. Justified, because he's in reality an adult and only has the appearence of a child. Once he becomes powerful enough to do it, he takes the form of an adult.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Master Egaj looks like a laid-back and somewhat silly Eccentric Mentor. He's also a brilliant strategist and is able to obliterate an (admittedly weakened) Avatar in one magic blast.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Aredas' element is darkness. He's still a good guy, even if Good Is Not Nice.
  • Defrosting Ice King: Non romantic example between Irzyka and Aredas, if the player chooses to befriend him. At first cold, rude and even aggressive, Aredas is one of the slowest companions to befriend. Once it's done however, while still somewhat rude and very direct, he will become one of her most loyal and trusted friends.
  • The Dragon: The Great Chamberlain, for Alzarith.
  • Eccentric Mentor: Master Egaj has a quirky personality, but was Ufa's mentor and is a hidden badass.
  • Empty Shell: Alzarith's priests are nothing but soulless puppets controlled and animated by magic.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones:
    • Alzarith deeply loves his sister Irzyka, to a disturbing degree.
    • Due to how the Character Alignment system and the dialogs with the companions work, the player can turn Irzyka into an unredeemable murderer who's genuinely friend with her True Companions and will be supportive of them and try to help them overcome their problems.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": When a man becomes the Great Oracle, people stop calling him by his name and only refer to him with his title. When Aredas overthrows his father and, if Irzyka convinced him to spare him, has him arrested for treason, the first thing he does is to call him by his name in front of the guards in order to show that his father is not the Great Oracle anymore.
  • Face Death with Dignity: The Great Oracle calmly accepts his death, unless you unlock the optional scene where you can spare his life.
  • For the Evulz: The evil choices, even the most ruthless ones such as helping someone poisoning an entire village to death, usually have logical motivations (mostly money or rare artefacts). However, the game sometimes allows Irzyka to be pointlessly cruel, and offers the choice to kill some bystanders for no good reason.
  • Freudian Excuse:
    • Aredas became a jaded man and acts like a jerk after witnessing the horrors of the previous war between Sefanine and Tharankis. Especially because he had to watch his father's less than savory (even if necessary) actions in order to win the war.
    • Alzarith is a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds who has been driven mad after he was fused with his world's essence, which inflicted him a horrid sickness that causes him tremendous amounts of pain. And the only way to ease his pain is to feed on the lives of the people who are killed.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes:
    • Due to him acting like a jerk, most of his companions aren't really fond of Aredas.
    • Up to Eleven with Yeranaë. With the exception of Aïnorie, and possibly Irzyka, nobody in the group can stand her. It's easy to see why.
    • Depending on the player's choices, Irzyka can become one. You can choose to have her treat all her companions like crap, which will make them dislike her in return.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: Aredas will survive his Heroic Sacrifice if his HPs are high enough.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation:
    • The Avatars are god-like entities who feed on human lives in order to stay awake. However, once they're set free, they never attack any known location outside of story-related events. You can take entire months to do sidequests - literally as there is a night / day mechanic -, they will never destroy any town in the mean time.
    • The story implies that, during their quest to defeat the "Heartless Soul", Irzyka and Ufa became good friends. When Ufa joins the party, the player can choose to make Irzyka treat him like crap.
    • Sometimes during the game, little conversations between Irzyka's companions or between Irzyka and her companions will pop up. However, this feature is triggered at random. Therefore, during a life-threatening situation, a totally unrelated discussion about something trivial may randomly show up.
    • No matter how many dogs you kick if you choose the "Evil" alignment, your companions will always remain in your team, even the more traditionally good Manalianne, Arniok and Ufa. Aredas will also never stop you from doing sidequests that either weaken his kingdom Séfanine or strengthen its enemy Tharankis.
  • Good All Along: The Great Oracle, Aredas' father, was only trying to prevent his people from being killed by Alzarith, even though it meant seemingly obeying him.
  • Good Is Not Nice:
    • Aredas is a Jerk with a Heart of Gold: he's loyal, but also openly rude and insulting with anyone who hasn't earned his respect.
    • Aïnorie is ready to make big sacrifices to protect the greater good. Justified since, as a goddess, she views humans as expandable (even if she grew to like them).
    • Again, depending on the player's choices, Irzyka may or may not be this trope. You can play her as a Jerkass or a thief, who still does the right thing in the end.
    • The Great Oracle is, for the most part, a decent leader who wants to protect his kingdom and his sujects. However, if it's necessary, he's ready to do amoral actions in order to do it.
  • The Greatest Story Never Told:
    • The player only hears about small bits of Ufa's quest to slay the "Heartless Soul". One of them hints that he fought with a Physical God at some point.
    • Irzyka's backstory, mentioned in All There in the Manual, could be the base for another game, but we only learn a small summary of it. There used to be a novel of it, but according to Word of God, it was too badly written.
  • Great Offscreen War: Several of them actually!
    • On Akzalfir, there is the first war between Séfanine and Tharankis, that ended a decade before the start of the game. It is often mentioned and deeply scarred (physically and/or psychologically) several people, most notably Aredas and Arniok.
    • On Estarzall, there is Ufa's campaign against the Heartless Soul, which has even left its mark in the landscapes, as a lot of djidaquenote 's wrecks can still be found in the wilderness. The Zurithor (a non-human race) also had theirs: the Rhanadandra, a bloody civil war.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: After the second big confrontation with the Great Chamberlain, Aredas takes a magic blast aimed at Aïnorie and Yeranaë, and will die if he hasn't enough HPs.
  • Hero of Another Story: We only see the conclusion of Ufa's epic quest to raise an army and fight the "Heartless Soul".
  • Hidden Depths: All the main characters have some. You can unlock them by talking to them. Some highlights:
    • Aredas has a lot of these:
      • He behaves like a jerk mostly because he was deeply affected by the horrors he experienced during a previous war. To simplify, he thinks that if he had been more firm and had been able to prevent the decisions of his higher-ups, he could have avoided a lot of casualties among his soldiers and the civilians. Therefore, he now acts like a big Jerkass to keep the other higher-ups of his kingdom in line.
      • His hate of his father and the ruling council of Séfanine also stems from the fact that they sent him into an Uriah Gambit during the last war with Tharankis, as he often opposed their decisions. He survived, but his left arm was left crippled.
      • Depending on wether you have a high Relationship Values with him or not, he will also confide about his fears of not being a good enough leader after becoming the Great Oracle.
      • On a more trivial note, he's also a talented painter.
    • Arniok is one of the nicest members of the team, if a bit simple and boorish at times. However, he wasn't always a Nice Guy. When he learned he was conscripted for the first war with Tharankis, he was so angry that he mistreated his friends at his home village and started to drink. A lot. His behaviour only worsened in the army, as he spent all his free time drinking in bars. He even once accidentally killed a man while drunk during a brawl. He realized years later how bad he has behaved and now considers his quest with Irzyka a way to redeem himself and be truly useful to someone for once. The last part actually explains why he stayed with Irzyka after bringing her to Séfanine. Also, he used to be in love with Accalia, Aredas' fiancée, when they were younger.
    • Bratty Half-Pint Jerkass Goddess Yeranaë feels guilty because she's not able to control her dreams, meaning she creates worlds where people don't believe in Aëdemphia (this universe's paradise). In this setting, people who don't believe in Aëdemphia can't go in it after death, meaning that their souls will just disappear. If Irzyka answers that it's not that serious, Yeranaë will answer that this is the most serious problem to ever exist, for once displaying absolutely none of her usual immaturity.
    • Aïnorie fell in love with a mortal during a journey on Estarzall and became his lover until he died. Although, to keep in line with her characterization, he was a smart and charismatic, but also ruthless, leader who tried to stage a coup to overthrow the legitimate government.
  • Immortal Immaturity: Yeranaë is an immortal goddess that created all life... and a rude immature little brat.
  • Inexplicable Treasure Chests: Mostly averted. Chests are generally found in places where it would be logical to have them (houses, prisons, arguably ruins). Although you do find some in sewers. In the wilderness, they are replaced by Shrines in Akzalfir and Djidaquenote 's wrecks in Estarzall. Gameplay-wise, they play the same role as treasure chests, but they have an in-story justification. Shrines are put by Akzalfirians to help travellers with some goods and the Djidaque's wrecks are here because of Ufa's previous war with the Heartless Soul.
  • Jerkass Gods:
    • The four Avatars in Estarzall destroy everything in their path without distinction. They are worshiped not because of love, but because of fear that they will come back. Though it's ambiguous whether they are real gods or simply really powerful entities.
    • Yeranaë, the goddess who created all the worlds with her dreams, is a Bratty Half-Pint and a Jerkass with no wisdom and no patience.
    • Played with and downplayed with Aïnorie. On the one hand, she considers herself superior to humans and won't hesitate to remind it to Irzyka if she holds the goddess accountable. As a consequence, she's perfectly okay with the idea of sacrificing lives for the greater good and of withholding vital informations, like the fact that Aredas' father was Good All Along, if it suits her needs. In an optional conversation, she will express her disdain for temples and prayers, explaining that a goddess wouldn't have the time to answer to all her followers' demands... while also mentioning that she let them do that in order to give them hope, as they believe that someone above them is watching them and listening to them. On the other hand, she's genuinely trying to be nice and pleasant to her companions, if a little condescending, and means well in the end. (After all, she's trying to save the worlds.) All in all, she acts like a real benevolent goddess would probably do with mortals.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Aredas. He's openly rude and insulting with everyone. However, he's also deeply loyal to his kingdom, genuinely wants to protect his people and, if befriended, can become a trusted companion of Irzyka.
  • Karma Meter: Between Good and Evil. Once you've accumulated enough bad or good deeds, NPCs will start to react differently. Moral people will be wary of an evil Irzyka and, conversely, criminals or shady people will refuse to deal with a good Irzyka. With a high Persuasion score, she can still sometimes convince them to giver her their quests.
  • Kick the Dog: The player can have Irzyka do this on a regular basis if they choose the "Evil" path: swindling, betraying, and often murdering or causing the death of some people For the Evulz.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch:
    • Some sidequests allow Irzyka to gleefully slaughter bandits or to bring criminals to justice in order to have them executed.
    • A non-lethal example. Some merchants will try to swindle Irzyka by overpricing their products. She can retaliate by stealing their merchandises or holding them up.
  • Light Is Good / Light Is Not Good: Irzyka uses Holy and Healing Spells. However, her personality is determined by the player's actions. Therefore, she will be the former or the latter depending on the player's choices.
  • Mad Scientist: Creas, who does all his crazy experiences For Science!, even if it means havesting people's souls or causing the end of his world.
  • Magic Knight: Aredas uses both sword techniques and spells.
  • Money Spider: Averted. Only human enemies give money upon defeat. You will get most of your money from completing sidequests and, if you choose to not craft, from selling the ingredients you get after killing monsters.
  • Morality Pet: Accalia is this for her fiancé Aredas, as she is the only one with whom he doesn't act like a Jerkass. If Irzyka befriends him, she will become a second one for him. Especially highlighted in the optional scene where she can convince him to not kill his hated father, who seems to have betrayed them.
  • My Greatest Failure: Overlaps with Survivor's Guilt. Because of his failure to kill the "Heartless Soul", Ufa is deeply haunted by the pointless deaths of all his soldiers who were killed in the battle to reach the tyrant's palace.
  • Nice Girl: Irzyka, if you choose the Good alignment.
  • Nominal Hero: If he wants, the player can turn Irzyka into a violent dog-kicking thief (or even an outright murderer) who, for some reason, also happens to be fighting against a genocidal lunatic bent on destroying worlds.
  • No Points for Neutrality: There's no real advantage trying to balance out good and evil deeds to remain neutral.
  • Patriotic Fervor: Aredas is very proud of his home city Séfanine.
  • Poke the Poodle: Some of the "Evil" choices involve Irzyka being *GASP* rude!
  • Punch-Clock Villain: Most of the enemy soldiers are simply men doing their jobs and it's sometimes possible to "defeat" them by using persuasion or diplomacy. However, that doesn't mean they won't commit atrocities and Tharankis' soldiers will raze one or several towns during their war with Séfanine if you don't set up enough things to prevent that.
  • Rat Stomp: Some sidequests involve clearing out rooms from rat-like monsters.
  • Relationship Values: There's one with each of Irzyka's companions. Depending on her answers during conversations with them, the score will lower or increase. Paying a drink in a tavern to your companions will also increase their score. Having a high relationship value with someone will modify some of their lines during story events and unlock optional conversations in which they often reveal their Hidden Depths.
  • Save Both Worlds: Or rather Save All the Worlds. What Irzyka's mission ultimately becomes.
  • Schizo Tech: Akzalfir's technology is very... varied. The heroes and some soldiers use your standard medieval fantasy weapons: swords, axes, staffs. Then, Tharankis' soldiers all use firearms while Séfanine has some gunners with cannons. Then Tharankis also uses futuristic looking robots for exploration and battle.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Because of what he experienced during the previous war, Arniok has become a jaded misanthrope who lives alone outside his town. Irzyka's first challenge is to convince him to help her reach Akzalfir's capital city Séfanine.
  • Ship Tease:
    • Between Irzyka and Ufa, unless the player takes huge steps to have Irzyka treat him like crap. In the introduction scene, she's shown to be worried about his safety. They do share common traits with classic couples in RPG, including the "You Couldn't Get To Sleep Either, Huh?" listed in The Grand List Of Console Role Playing Game Clichés note . At least, they have enough moments for Alzarith to be jealous.
    • Between Arniok and Manalianne. He quickly becomes protective towards her and at one point he gives flowers to her (and Irzyka). You can even play The Matchmaker between them, giving them a Relationship Upgrade.
  • Shrinking Violet: Manalianne has a lot of troubles to impose herself, especially when she has to deal with Aredas.
  • Shout-Out: A lot, to games, series and mangas alike. They are listed on the website. One of the most memorable may be the appearance of a NPC looking a lot like Krillin, who wonders if his friend could handle the problem, as he's very strong but also not very bright.
  • Suicidal Pacifism: Wanermal, a village near Séfanine, believes in pacifism and preaches nonviolence. They refuse to receive military help from the capital city. They will be slaughtered by Tharankis' army during their campaign against Séfanine if Irzyka didn't take the time to convince their mayor to create a contingent of guards to protect the village when she visited it before the war.
  • Summon Magic: Aïnorie's power allows her to summon powerful creatures.
  • Survivor's Guilt: Ufa feels guilty because he is his army's only survivor after the battle of Hyurne, especially because he failed to kill the "Heartless Soul", meaning he thinks that his men died for nothing.
  • Tragic Villain: Alzarith is the Big Bad, but also a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds.
  • Trapped in Another World:
    • The premise of the game. Irzyka spends the first part of the game trapped in Akzalfir, trying to find a way to go back to Estarzall.
    • Also, Irzyka's backstory, as she's not from Estarzall either. She actually comes from a post-apocalyptic and dying world called the Dumping Ground (in French, the Dépotoir). She managed to escape her world right before its destruction thanks to an invention created by her father and his Mad Scientist Creas, and ended up on Estarzall.
  • True Companions: Irzyka and her companions will become these if you take the time to raise their Relationship Values.
  • Turns Red: Inverted. Because of the battle mechanics, enemies are actually at their strongest when they are at full health, and will receive a malus to all their stats after losing a certain percentage of their health. In fact, a key strategy in the boss fights is to deplete as much of their health as possible during the first few turns to take advantage of their weakened stats before they destroy you.
  • Videogame Caring Potential: The numerous sidequests allow you to help a good chunk of people resolve their problems. You can save numerous people's lives, free an entire race from slavery by using diplomacy, help hostile groups to make peace, neutralize monsters, thieves and other criminals, and generally be a nice and helping person. With proper care, you may turn Irzyka into such a beacon of light and goodness that random bystanders will call you on the streets just to tell you how awesome you are. Good Feels Good indeed...
  • Videogame Cruelty Potential: The backbone of all the "Evil" choices. Irzyka can rob, swindle or hold up merchants, steal in people's houses and even kill some bystanders For the Evulz. Moreover, nearly every sidequest has an outcome where you can backstab the client. After all, Evil Feels Good right?
  • Videogame Cruelty Punishment: Averted. The "Evil" path isn't harder or easier than the "Good" path. Sometimes, "evil" choices can even be very rewarding. For instance, holding up merchants may allow Irzyka to receive expensive weapons and armors that are huge Game Breakers at that point of the game.
  • War Is Hell:
    • Arniok's and Aredas' tales of the previous war between Séfanine and Tharankis aren't pretty.
    • The second war between Séfanine and Tharankis can be just as brutal depending on your choices. Tharankis' soldiers won't hesitate to raze several cities, killing all their inhabitants (civilians included), if Irzyka doesn't set up things to prevent them from doing it.
  • White Magician Girl: Irzyka. However, the player can subvert this by turning her into an Evil White Magician Girl.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Alzarith. Once a normal man and a loving brother for Irzyka. Because of scientific experiences, he has been fused with a world (hard to explain, It Makes Sense in Context). Basically, he has received god-like powers, but he's also tormented by a horrid sickness that gives him Body Horror and unbelievable pain. Now immortal, he can't even kill himself and is condemned to live eternally with his pain. The only thing that can ease his sufferings is blood. As a "world", he can feed on the lives of the people who live in him. At first, he refused to pay such a price. But over time, his pain started to drive him mad and he began to stage wars in order to feed of the deaths. When the heroes meet him, he has long since jumped the Slippery Slope and is now trying to destroy all worlds to stop his pain. Cruel, hateful and destructive, he's also pathetic and pitiable because of his tragic backstory, his madness, his pain and the horrible successive Body Horrors he has to go through. Even his love for his sister has been twisted into something far more disturbing.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: