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Video Game / Alter A.I.L.A.

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"In a world like this, there are no morals."

In a post-apocalyptic world, on a pocket of land run by the evil Emperor Kugar, prisoners fight for their lives everyday for the entertainment of the masses. Only nine survive to this day. They are (at least initially) known by their color designation:

One day, however, an opportunity presents itself: rebels fighting against Kugar attack and give the prisoners an opportunity to escape, at which point you join one of three factions:

  • Rebellion: Putting an end to Kugar's regime.
  • Imperials: Squashing the rebel scum between your fingertips.
  • Independents: Not joining any sides, and simply trying to find freedom.

As it soon becomes apparent, however, fighting for one's faction is just the tip of the iceberg...

Okay, getting past the movie-trailer-speak, Alter A.I.L.A is a fun, free, and highly-regarded RPG made by NeoK. As mentioned above, the game has three main routes, and a not-terribly-secret fourth route which ties up the questions left by the first three. The plot is engaging, the aesthetics are strong, and the quality-of-life features are good enough to make it not a huge slog to play through four times.

Definitely worth checking out. (Alternate link.)


A remake titled "Alter A.I.L.A. Genesis" was released on October 10th, 2010. It removes the multiple-route mechanism in favor of a longer, more humorous plot, adds more art, and completely reworks the combat system. In addition, it expanded the playable cast, and gave them both set names and significant personality changes.It can be downloaded here.

A sequel, Alter A.I.L.A. Variant, was in the works. However, it was cancelled, revived, then cancelled a second time when Neok retired from the indie game scene. More information here.


Tropes used in Alter A.I.L.A.:

  • Anyone Can Die: Even the Golden Ending leaves a lot of important bodies on the floor. The other routes leave most of the playable characters dead.
  • Arm Cannon: Gold is in possession of one.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: Black, when fought at the end of the Rebellion route, is naked.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: Happens in multiple instances, though only played unambiguously straight when getting the EX Guns and fighting the character's shadow self. Other cases might include the Shadow characters and, for certain values of "mind," Heaven.
  • Battle Theme Music: Each faction has their own unique theme music, the theme for whichever faction you play only playing for that route's Final Boss.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The Independent ending. Violet is dead and President Gold is doomed to be assassinated, but the surviving heroes are free to explore the world without the Rebels and Imperialists dogging their trail.
  • Black-and-Gray Morality: The Empire is straight-up evil, but the Rebels are no saints either, and the Independents start out just wanting to be left alone and end up trying to take both sides out; the Empire because It's Personal, and the Rebels, Black had a feeling about White and went Knight Templar.
    • Subverted. Except for Red, all the playable characters and Kugar are heroes by nature, but some are being secretly manipulated by Aila. Oh, and Black was both right and wrong about White; White was one of Aila's pawns, but by nature he's good and makes a Heroic Sacrifice in the Innovator path.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Averted somewhat. When at critical health, playable characters will start showing signs of bleeding.
  • Bonus Boss: One of Jackal's forms, others are required to get everyone's Infinity+1 Gun. Except Blue, who gets his from Gray. Who is himself a Bonus Boss.
    • There's also the Shadow characters in the Innovator route, plus Shadow Omega Weapon, which is the hardest boss in the game.
  • Climax Boss: Limit Green, fought at the end of part 1.
    • Gold in Imperial Chapter 2.
    • Red and Violet in Independent Chapter 2. Also Rebellion Chapter 2, but it doesn't mean quite as much as it does in the Independent Route.
  • Crapsack World: Whatever inhabitable land is left is in control of a dictator.
  • Duel Boss: Limit Green, and Blue on the Innovator route.
  • Enemy Scan: Blue's skill, Analyze, allows you to do this.
  • Final Boss: One for each route.
    • Rebels: Black on a power trip
    • Imperials: Experiment 13, the Rebellion's secret weapon
    • Independents: Jackal Epsilon
    • Innovators A: Kugar
    • Innovators B: Aila
  • Full-Circle Revolution: White becomes just like Kugar in the Rebel ending.
  • Glass Cannon: Black, without the mask.
  • Golden Ending: You'll need to play through the game four times to see it, though.
  • Guns Akimbo: Only Blue can do this. Everyone else is out of luck.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Orange, sort of.
  • Hello, [Insert Name Here] / No Name Given: The entire cast. Genesis does give everyone canonical names, however.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: The first battle against Aila.
    • Also, the battle against Ultima Weapon between part 1 and 2.
  • Joke Item: Throughout the game, one can find such items as "Revealing Suit", "Masochist Suit", and "Pants".
    • Handguns also border on this — they're by far the least useful of the different guns and are easily outclassed by anything, except for possibly shotguns, which have terrible accuracy. And even then, Yellow's EX Shotgun is no lightweight weapon.
  • Kill 'Em All!: In all three of the routes, 5 out of the 8 main characters (Indigo doesn't show up again after the prologue) will die, invariably at the hands of Blue and his team. Considering each path has a strong Hero of Another Story vibe to it, this makes Blue a Hero Killer from their perspective. The casualties are:
    • Loyalists: Green, Black, Yellow, Orange and White.
    • Rebellion: Green, Red, Violet, Yellow and Black.
    • Independents: Green, White, Orange, Red and Violet.
  • Kudzu Plot: Several plot questions, such as why Black betrays the Rebellion and why White becomes just like Kugar in the Rebel ending, are only answered in the Innovator path.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Black, masked and armed with a rifle, has high speed and strength, though no special abilities. Gets a bit more fragile without the mask, but her PK abilities more than make up for it.
  • Lone Wolf Boss: Jackal Epsilon from the Independent Route. It's not aligned with anyone, it's just a mutant with super-psychic powers looking for a fight. Its only connection to the plot is being a high-level Imperial project.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Aila behind Kugar.
  • The Medic: Green, though she's capable of using one of the best weapon types in the game, meaning she's strong offensively as well.
  • The Men in Black: Kugar's black-suited, white shirted flunkies. In the innovator route, the one named Agent Smith kills Yellow.
  • Mind Control: Violet gets put through this halfway through the game.
    • The Man Behind the Man, Aila, is capable of doing a specific form of this; they can imprint a "suggestion" on a target, causing them to think they thought of the idea themselves. Later in the game, this functions as straight-up Mind Control.
  • Multiple Endings: One for each route.
  • New Game+: At the end of each route, you're allowed to sell most of the items you've acquired and retain the money gained for the next route. Subverted in that very few things are carried over — only the special bombs that you get at the end, the "badge" gotten for completing a route, and EX Gun items like the Zodiac tiles are.
  • Nonindicative Name: Blue's a redhead.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: The playable characters are treated like this after their escape by both Empire and Rebellion, and victory in the war hinges on who gets the most (and the most powerful) arena survivors. Black, the Jackals and Aila are, of course, the real deal.
  • Poor Communication Kills:
    • Uri in the Innovator route.
    • It never even occurs to Green to talk to Blue, ask him why he's picked the side he's chosen or try to convert him; she simply accepts that he's become her enemy and, by their second encounter, is ready to murder him out of hand. This, of course, leads to her death. In the Innovator route, meanwhile, because Blue is willing to talk to her first and call her out over this, she averts this trope and lives.
  • Scenery Porn: Kugar's virtual Heaven.
  • Schrödinger's Gun: Whatever side Blue chooses, Green will sign up with his group's enemy. It's possible that Aila manipulated Blue into picking whatever choice he took, however.
  • Sequel Hook: Indigo speaking with Aila's voice.
  • Technical Pacifist: Orange is soft-spoken and prefers to take the path of least resistance when possible. He joins Kugar's regime because it's "the path of least resistance" when he has no other allies, but he performs a Heel–Face Turn and joins the rebel side halfway through the game anyway.
  • Theme Naming: Everyone is named after a color. Justified for the most part, as at the beginning of the game everyone is participating in a Deadly Game and assigned a code color. "Gray" isn't that uncommon as a name, either.
    • In addition, Word of God says that "Gold" and "Silver" are not the characters' actual names, but titles given to Rebel generals.
  • Title Drop: "A.I.L.A." stands for "Artificial Intelligence Lifeform Apex". It was a creature created for the purpose of harvesting psychic energy for power generation. However, the creatures eventually rebelled by creating massive outputs of energy, overheating the planet and causing the ice caps to melt. This caused most of the world to become flooded and destroyed, and marked the beginning of a new era, "Altered AILA".
  • Turned Against Their Masters: Aila. She and her sisters had perfectly good reasons for rebellion, but she takes it a little far, long after anyone who offended against her is dead.
  • Unusual Euphemism:
    Black: "Hmph, like I'd tell some two-shoe foogie like you!"
  • Useless Useful Spell: A few of your characters' abilities.
    • Indigo's Siphon Shot: Deals a low amount of damage for a low amount of healing; useless.
      Yellow's Sharpshot: Takes too long for too little damage bonus. Not much good once you switch to rifle anyway.
      Violet's Trick Shot: Confuses enemies, but a confused enemy's actions will probably hurt you anyway, so not that good.
  • Video Game Remake: Alter Aila Genesis.
  • Verbal Tic: My friends, Kugar has an unique way of friends.
  • Virtual Ghost: Kugar

Tropes used in the remake, Alter A.I.L.A. Genesis:

  • 100% Completion: There are fourteen jokers, twenty darkside bosses, a hundred-round street tournament, two Bonus Dungeons with a total of eight Bonus Bosses between them, and a Perfect Run Final Boss. This game will keep you busy for a while.
  • Absurdly High Level Cap: As in most JRPGs, you'll end the main game around level 50, despite the level cap being 99. You'll need to do a bit of grinding to have any hope of completing the postgame, though.
  • Action Girl: Every single female character, pretty much.
  • After the End: As in the original, there are only two small, devastated islands surrounded by endless ocean.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • Downplayed with the bonus characters. While they're still a pain to level, their EXP requirements are much lower than the main story members, to the point where they will reach the level cap much faster if the player decides to spend some time on them.
    • Possessing the GPS Unit will automatically reveal hidden passages and possessing the Signal Ring will alert the player if there's at least one shard in a dungeon. This makes it much easier to track down every shard and complete the Joker sidequest.
    • In the postgame, the player can use the Personal Device to jump to any phase and reset the optional areas, which can subvert most cases of Permanently Missable Content.
  • Anti-Villain: Kugar and Hawk aren't in control of themselves.
  • Apocalyptic Log: You find one in the Orbital Prison.
  • Arm Cannon: Galde, as in the original, though his cannon only shoots random elements rather than set elements.
  • Artificial Gill: The Aqualung item allows the party to breathe underwater and swim.
  • Ascended Extra: Jeebes and Reeves, Tinder's assistants, have their roles in the story expanded.
  • Aura Vision: Celia is capable of this. Actually a plot device, since it allows her to see whether or not someone is being Mind Controlled, and who is doing the controlling.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Nova, Aila's Exceed attack as a bonus character. It requires the use of the game's only activation ability that does not refund the points spent to use it, and only deals about twice as much damage as their second-strongest attack. In the time it takes to set it up (and charge to get your EX back again), you could deal more damage with less impressive abilities. It becomes somewhat more practical with her unique Sync, which does refund the cost.
  • Barrier Change Boss: Nightmare can change its weaknesses while resisting anything it's not weak to.
  • Battle Aura: As in the original, whenever a character goes into a "limit" form, they gain this. Some of the designs are quite interesting; for example, Silvra's looks like the wings of a butterfly, and Hawk's looks like crystal.
    • In phase 5, Erin gets a blood red aura as she tells Scott that very bad things will happen to him if anything happens to Indy.
  • Battle Theme Music: One for regular boss battles, three for Climax Bosses and Bonus Bosses, one for the Final Boss, and one for the penultimate Bonus Boss.
  • Body Horror: Trauma, the boss of Orbital Prison 3 was the writer of all those Apocalyptic Logs who mutated into a Humanoid Abomination. During the fight itself, the room is pitch black and the boss makes gross sounds when you damage it enough. The silhouette of the boss just gets bigger and more tentacle like as you whittle it down.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: The Tear of All Ocean, one of the most powerful syncs in the game. However, to get it, you need to have beaten almost everything the game has to offer.
    • Subverted; this sync may still be useful for the True Final Boss. Played straight, however, with the devices, which you get for beating it.
      • And those, in turn, are still potentially useful for Level Grinding the bonus characters, which is necessary for the Reverse Mirror bosses.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Using your Personal Device to turn off entry indicators at certain point in the Orbital Prison will show the path to an Easter Egg. It's fitting, given the setting.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Jeebes and Reeves at the end of phase 6.
    • Also Scott, Violet, Jake, and Dread at the beginning of phase 7.
  • Big Freaking Gun: Jeebes' ultimate weapon is literally called this.
  • Blatant Item Placement: An Artificial Gill in the middle of an underwater megastructure that has been abandoned for years? Makes perfect sense...
  • Bloodless Carnage: The main characters and villains that get horribly beat up in battle show no signs of injury afterwards. Blood is only ever shown in a few endgame cutscenes.
  • Bonus Boss: The Fallen Horde in phase 3, which is also a quadruple boss. There are also "darkside" characters that can be fought after getting a certain item from a secret area. In the postgame, we have the bosses of the two Bonus Dungeons, Below Stynx and the Orbital Prison, culminating in the Controller and Nightmare, respectively. There is also the True Final Boss, Alter Aila.
    • The Metal Hydra is a miscellaneous example; it guards a special sync during the postgame.
    • The final round of the street tournament consists of a battle with Tinder, Reeves, and Jeebes.
    • The Enforcers found in the Core Shaft are Bonus Mini Bosses. They drop Rare parts which can be sold for 10,000 creds a piece.
      • They appear later on in one of the areas as regular encounters.
    • There's also Tinderbot Mk. III, which is fought at the end of a postgame sidequest.
    • The Behemoth in Orbital Prison Level 2, you can either fight it at it's fullest strength or weaken it and defeat it then.
    • Shadow Ultima in Orbital Prison Level 4, you best bring a lot of reviving items/Revive fields. Destroying one bit kills the one who dealt the killing blow, if he or she destroyed all 3 at once, it's a Total Party Kill, you also have to destroy the bits to prevent Shadow Ultima from using its' strongest attack.
  • Bonus Dungeon: Below Stynx and the Orbital Prison.
  • Bonus Feature Failure: The bonus characters. You get them after completing the game. They start at level one. There is no Leaked Experience in this game. Conclusion: Forced Level-Grinding ahoy! This is jarring considering that all the main story characters join with at least some levels, especially Hawk who rejoins in the final chapter at level 50.
    • It's a real pity too — some of them are really cool to have as playable characters, and one of them has absolutely amazing stat growth.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Hawk to Kugar at the end of phase 4.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Sort-of-maybe averted with Gray's Buster Cannon, which he needs to load before he can fire it. note  Played completely straight everywhere else.
    • This could be considered averted with Reeves' Ray Gun, which is powered by psychic energy. He actually does need to charge first before he can fire it.
    • Maybe the characters generate bullets using their Psychic Powers?
  • Calling Your Attacks: Lampshaded heavily with Celia's "Psychostasis" technique.
    Erin: ...You're not going to yell that out every time you use it, right?
    Celia: Huh, why not?
    Erin: Just... don't.
  • Cap: Through use of battle events, Neok has managed to bump the normal damage cap for RPG Maker 2003 up by one numeric place (see the above link under Up to Eleven to see how people know this). Also, EX is capped at 5 and never changes, and AP is the same but with a cap of 10.
  • Can't Drop the Hero: Averted, Leon can be dropped from the party once you have enough members and many sections in the game don't include him.
  • Character Portrait: Player characters and important NPCs get a portrait. In the postgame, all the important NPCs end up as bonus playable characters.
  • Climax Boss: One for each phase, excluding 2. There's even a special Battle Theme Music for them!
    • Phase 1: Black
    • Phase 3: Jake and Dread
    • Phase 4: Lavitz, Scott, and Violet
    • Phase 5: Galde and Silvra
    • Phase 6: Leon
    • Phase 7: Leon again
    • Phase 8: Kugar
  • The Chosen One: Celia believes herself to be this due to her rare psychic abilities.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Enemies always have maximum AP.
  • Crutch Character:
    • Scott. His high HP and multi-targeting capabilities are useful in the beginning, where those traits are unique to him. Once you gain access to other characters, however, he begins to fall behind — his abilities deal pitiful damage compared to everyone else, and there are others with better stats and similar HP totals.
    • The entire main story party becomes this to the bonus characters, since the latter group has much lower EXP requirements to level up, to the point where they'll easily overtake the main party if you're willing to train them.
  • Defeating the Undefeatable: Subverted. In Stynx, Black is capable of shrugging off all of the prisoners' attacks. Leon, Scott, and Violet try to fight him, but actually don't win — they actually just stall him long enough for the rebels to attack Stynx.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: While Scott and Violet were well on their way to doing a Heel–Face Turn when they're exposed as special ops, it still takes an obligatory boss fight to seal the deal.
  • Demoted to Extra: Ultima Weapon goes from the Empire's best weapon to the last line of defense.
    • The Jackals go from a race of Imperial Super Soldiers who had a vital role in the plot to a small cameo at the end of Phase 3.
  • Despair Event Horizon / My God, What Have I Done?: Hawk after being freed from Aila's control.
  • Developers' Foresight: Tinder and his allies randomly replace Tinderbots to sell goods, but they're also playable characters. Speaking to them with the same character as party leader results in a confused reaction from the shopkeeper.
  • Developer's Room: Half of your reward for beating the True Final Boss is getting to read Neok's final thoughts on the game. It also shows a few scrapped sprites and ideas that never made it into the game.
  • Disc-One Final Dungeon: Oberon Tower seems to be wear you'll confront Kugar, only for Hawk to become possessed by Aila.
  • Disappears into Light: Aila. Justified, since they're an Energy Being.
  • Dramatic Shattering: Scott's sunglasses when he makes a Heroic Sacrifice to save Violet during the ending.
  • Driven to Suicide: Lavitz kills herself after losing the boss battle.
    • Also Tinderbot Mk. III kills itself so that it doesn't get used as a war machine.
  • Duel Boss: Mind-controlled Leon, twice. Becomes one of the hardest bosses in the game because the person on your side is Erin, who is slightly slower than the boss and deals pitiful damage.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Silvra is first seen near the end of phase 1 in a cutscene. However, we don't learn her name or her role in the plot until the end of phase 5.
  • Easter Egg: The SNEWS article in Oberon Tower.
    • Also, through a strange but fitting method, at a certain point in a Bonus Dungeon, you can find the cell of the "little girl" talked about in the Orbital Prison's Apocalyptic Log. And unlike most Easter Eggs, this one has major connections to and implications for the plot. No, we won't dare spoil it for you.
  • 11th-Hour Ranger: Hawk only joins your party permanently when you're literally on the Final Boss' doorstep. Subverted in that they do join your party for short periods of time prior to when they join permanently.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: Femaelstrom is used to finish the Final Boss. However, you can also get it permanently from a joker during the postgame.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Nightmare, the boss of the Orbital Prison Core, is mess of red and black lines that vaguely resembles a dragon.
    • Possibly the Orbital Prison itself, judging from the map graphic.
  • Energy Being: Variants, including Aila, of course. They are made up of pure psychokinetic energy, which is what allows them to be so powerful. This is a big deal; humans are only able to use very small amounts of psychokinesis due to it being poisonous to them.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Erin gets two, due to the nature of her personality — the first is her scaring off Dread, one of the most dangerous figures in Stynx, with nothing but a warning shot and a Death Glare, then congratulating Leon for standing up to Dread and saying that she's not a cold, heartless monster like everyone says. Her second establishing moment happens in her next appearance, where she curb stomps three exceptionally powerful fighters, then proceeds to slaughter them without batting an eye while they beg for mercy...after which she hugs Leon and profusely apologizes for lying to him before walking off.
  • Expressive Health Bar: Before and After. The red-haired guy, called "Blue", gets wounds on his face after he gets hurt.
  • Fake Balance: The different skill types — attacks, techs, and spells. Attacks are influenced 100% by your ATK stat, techs are 75% ATK and 25% MND. (Spells are 50/50) While this looks balanced on paper, in reality, it means that attacks are much stronger than techs and spells overall, since ATK is easier to increase than MND via syncs and the like. Techs and spells also require you to raise two different stats to gain the same effect, which can be crippling during the endgame, where everything is dependent upon buffs and debuffs. With attacks, only ATK Boost is necessary, but with everything else, both ATK and MND Boost are necessary to achieve the same effect.
  • Fight Woosh: Bosses get red animations before their battles begin.
  • Final Boss Preview: Quite literally. At the end of the Underwater Facility, you fight a short battle against Aila.
  • Fire, Ice, Lightning: These are the elements of the game along with Force and Psychic.
  • Flunky Boss: Multiple. Most notable are Ultima Weapon and the Final Boss. Interestingly, both use them to charge That One Attack rather than act as random monsters.
  • Forced Level-Grinding: Due to the lack of Leaked Experience. Mercifully, level doesn't impact much other than HP, but you will still need to do a fair bit of grinding if you want to do the postgame content. Especially annoying because each and every character has a Duel Bonus Boss that you'll have to raise their level for. This is somewhat mitigated by how bonus characters have lower EXP requirements.
  • Fun with Acronyms: S.P.E.A.R., G.U.A.R.D.I.A.N., and C.R.I.S.I.S. We never actually learn what they stand for. Word of God says that "C.R.I.S.I.S." stands for "Covert Reactant Intelligence Systematic Integral Special Force". He doesn't have any secret definitions of for the other two, though.
  • Game-Breaking Bug:
    • Due to the fact that the game is made in the (incredibly buggy) default battle system, the Guard stat does absolutely nothing.
    • If auto-walk is active while traversing the Jackal Labs or other places with stairlike entry/exit points, the sidescrolling movement system will break.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Some bosses are just really random and only seem to be there because every dungeon has to have a boss. The greatest example of this is definitely Ultima Weapon, though. It's That One Boss, comes after two other legitimate Climax Bosses, and is never explained or mentioned again.
  • Gladiator Subquest: The Arena, natch.
  • Global Currency: Justified, since the entire game (and known world) only spans two tiny islands that are right next to each other, and all of that space is theoretically under the control of a One World Order.
  • Good Wings, Evil Wings: Played with. Kugar has regular white angel wings (they can also sprout six larger wings that look more like they're made of energy).
  • Gender-Equal Ensemble: Almost manages this, but is slightly slanted in favor of guys. The playable character balance is 6 male/4 female, and the list of major NPCs would be perfectly balanced if not for Tinder's crew (3 guys).
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Scott's death. Enforcers advance on him, then the screen goes black and the sounds of gunshots are heard, then the sound of a body slumping to the ground.
    • Also Kugar's "death" at the end of phase 4. Though the screen doesn't turn completely black, the characters are reduced to silhouettes.
  • Guide Dang It!: Getting through the Underwater Facility. Especially the teleporter mazes.
    • Also, finding some of the shards. The ones in Oberon Tower requires you to press the four switches in the order south, north, east, west, south (SNEWS). The only hint is an article titled SNEWS in one of the offices.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Jake and Dread.
    • Also, Scott and Violet almost immediately after being outed as The Moles.
  • The Hero: It's hard to label any one character as this, as it's an ensemble piece, but Erin quite possibly qualifies. She tends to be the character the plot revolves around the most, and the one who relates to many of the plot elements the most. She certainly has the personality, as well.
  • Heroic BSoD: Celia, once she sees Aila in phase 6. Indy manages to cheer her up again in phase 7.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Hawk, Dread, and Scott during the ending.
    • Also Kugar, during the game's backstory, who gave up his life to resurrect Erin after she was shot by Tinder.
  • Human Aliens: Gray, Leon, and Celia.
  • Inexplicable Treasure Chests: Lampshaded by Scott in the game's tutorial section.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: Each character has one, obtainable by defeating their darkside.
    • The Tear of All Ocean is a more general example. Incredible stat boosts across the board, and has the properties of every element, meaning that if an enemy has an elemental weakness, it will hit it, no matter what.
  • Informed Equipment: Justified; equipment for the "wear" slot is usually more akin to a small accessory, so not seeing any difference on the character's model makes sense. And if it's not an accessory, it's probably a jacket, but given how many characters wear Badass Longcoats the difference wouldn't be very noticeable.
  • Item Caddy: Tinderbot. It literally has zero offensive abilities except for its Limit Break.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: Leon. Also Scott and Jake, to a lesser extent.
  • Killed Off for Real: Scott, Dread, and Hawk during the ending. Also Kugar, possibly.
  • Late to the Tragedy: In the Orbital Prison. Something really awful happened there, but your only clues are a few notes in the form of an Apocalyptic Log and someone who has gone insane and mutated into a Body Horror.
  • Law of Inverse Recoil: Magnums have incredible recoil; firing them one-handed is a good way to end up with a broken wrist. However, Hawk manages to fire one one-handed with no problem at all during a cutscene.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Scott loves this trope.
  • Lethal Joke Character / Glass Cannon: Indy; see the above note on Game-Breaker.
  • Let's Split Up, Gang!: Avalon.
  • Lighter and Softer: The game is still pretty dark, but is a bit lighter than the original overall.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Lavitz, as a bonus character. Has even higher speed than Violet, and pretty high ATK and MND as well.
    • For another bonus character example, Aila. Has the highest stat growth in the game, in every stat, period. Too bad they're a bonus character; see Bonus Feature Failure, above.
  • Limit Break: Exceed abilities.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: There are ten playable characters total. Only three can be in your party at any one time. The game has no Leaked Experience. Have fun Level Grinding. If you beat the game, you can unlock ten additional bonus characters, who all start at level one. Forced Level-Grinding indeed.
    • Word of Neok says that he realized his error in including so many playable characters, and intends to make a smaller cast for the sequel.
  • Lost in Transmission: In a secret area of the Dam Facility, where there is a computer that contains a log of the Underwater Facility, but is missing pieces and terminates itself halfway through. Also overlaps with Foreshadowing, naturally.
  • Love Triangle: Between Scott, Violet, and Lavitz.
  • Magikarp Power: Some of the bonus characters are quite powerful if you take the time to train them from level 1. Some of them also have lower EXP requirements than the main story members to compensate for their low starting level.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Aila is controlling both the rebellion and the empire through her mind control powers.
  • Marathon Boss: Kugar has a second phase where he'll only take damage from static damage syncs.
  • The Medic: Erin and Reeves.
  • The Mentor: Scott to Leon during the first two phases of the game.
  • Metal Slime: Significant Bits in No Man's Land 3. They give out a whopping 50,000 exp; and can drop Rare Parts but are unkillable without static-damage syncs and flee when their EX is maxed out.
    • Them running away can be minimalized by using EX or Speed Crush Fields, even using Breakdown (Reduces EX Gain per round/ability) can make it easier to kill them.
    • Melons in the Orbital Prison core which have a countdown timer can drop Enhancers
  • Mind-Control Eyes: Subverted. When Aila mind-controls people, their pupils disappear and their eyes turn turquoise, but only for a second.
  • Mind Screw: The core of the orbital prison.
  • Mirror Boss: The "darkside" Bonus Bosses. There are twenty, one for each character, and every one is a Duel Boss.
  • Money Spider: Justified or averted for the most part. In the cases where it doesn't make sense that an enemy should be carrying money, they'll probably drop Vendor Trash instead. Why zombies or "???"-type enemies would be carrying money is anyone's guess, though.
  • Musical Spoiler: Since there's a special Battle Theme Music for bosses fought at the end of each phase, it's easy to tell when the phase is about to end.
  • My Name Is ???: Sort of. There's a certain enemy type classified as "???". Yes, really. What makes this egregious is that there is also an "Enigma" enemy type, which is for enemies with abnormal elemental affinities (usually bosses).
    • The trope itself does apply to unknown characters, however. Characters that have not introduced themselves have a "???" under their Character Portrait.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: "Nightmare", one of the Bonus Bosses. It's an apt name, considering the general creepiness of the area in which you fight it.
  • Neck Lift: Dread does this to Jake in one cutscene.
  • Never Found the Body: Played with. Kugar falls off a building when Hawk shoots him, and, of course, turns out to be Not Quite Dead later on. However, he falls off said building due to taking a magnum shot at point blank range.
  • New Game+: Played with. After loading from a game clear file, you can use the Personal Device to jump to any phase, which essentially lets the player get phase specific content without having to play the entire game over again.
  • No Cure for Evil: Averted with some human Mooks, who can use Stim Fields. Erin's darkside can also use First Aid, naturally. A few Flunky Bosses can use Revive Fields to restore their flunkies, too. Played straight with everyone else.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Dread delivers one to Hawk late in the game.
  • Nominal Importance: Played so very, very straight. Characters without names aren't even drawn with faces, and the lack of sympathy for their deaths comes close to What Measure Is a Mook? at times, especially given how often your characters fight each other. Odds are very good that if someone's got a name and picture, then they will join your party during the game, or in the post-game.
  • Non-Elemental: The Final Boss and ultimate Bonus Boss have take equal damage from everything — they have no weaknesses or resistances.
  • One Size Fits All: Mostly played straight, although some equipment can only be worn by one gender.
  • One Stat to Rule Them All: As with all ATB-based battle systems, Speed. Doubling it essentially doubles all of your other stats at the same time, since you can act twice as often. Fortunately, Neok is clever in this regard — Speed can only be increased through equipment, and only in small amounts. SPD Boosters also cost more than other boost items.
  • One-Winged Angel: Ultima Weapon, played for laughs. After you defeat it once, it shoots off a Pillar of Light and gains a Battle Aura. After you defeat it again, it tries to do the same thing, but a tinderbot shows up and blasts it with a laser, defeating it before it can transform.
    • Happens quite literally in the case of Kugar, who transforms before the fight begins.
  • Opening the Sandbox: Happens after the main game is completed, interestingly.
  • Orphaned Series: The cancellation of Variant has effectively turned this continuity into this.
  • Our Angels Are Different: Kugar.
  • Palette Swap Shadow Ultima
  • People Puppets / Mind Control: As in the original, Aila is capable of both.
  • Permanently Missable Content: Tinder, Reeves, and Jeebes may spawn instead of Tinderbots, but their stock will change as you progress through the game, making it easy to miss opportunities to get extra copies of items that are normally chest-exclusive. Subverted after beating the game, since that allows you to jump to any phase.
  • Pillar of Light: Whenever someone is endowed with the CRIT Boost status.
  • Pop Quiz: G-Bot hosts one of these if you find it during the postgame. It appears in certain areas randomly, and asks a whopping 100 questions. The good news is that you don't have to get them all right on the first try. You just need a total of 100 correct answers from all attempts.
  • Power at a Price: The Demon King Cradle, sort of. It gives an incredible boost to Attack — even moreso than the Tear Of All Ocean — but reduces Speed. note . Unfortunately, due to the Game-Breaking Bug mentioned above, this made it unbalanced, so the creator changed the tradeoff to Speed instead.]]
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: Every playable character delivers one right before the final battle.
  • Psycho Serum: Red Juice in high doses, which is also justified. It's designed to heighten both mental and physical capabilities, but overdose causes neurological deterioration and reversion to primal instincts. However, the heightened strength and endurance are retained, meaning you now have someone who's effectively a superpowerful zombie on your hands. Mind's Smile is mental version of the serum
  • Rainbow Speak: Important phrases are highlighted in azure blue. Also, whenever characters' names are mentioned, they're in the colour they were in the original Alter A.I.L.A. Lavitz, Jeebes, Reeves, and Tinder get name colours as well.
  • Rare Candy: Enhancers. Interestingly, they are infinite in amount; they can be obtained from red core chests and even bought from stores. To counteract this, however, they only raise stats by 1 per use. And there are none that raise Speed.
  • Rebel Leader: Hawk is the leader of the Rebellion though he's only doing this to perpetuate a Snowball Lie rather than out of good intentions.
  • Redemption Demotion / Overrated and Underleveled: The bonus characters. Many of them can be fought as bosses during the main game, but as playable characters, not only are most of their abilities horrendously gimmicky, they also fit the "underleveled" part quite literally — they start at level one! Averted if you do take the time to level them up normally.
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: Only because Aila is calling the shots, however.
  • Red Herring: It's easy to assume that the little girl from the Orbital Prison is either Aila or Indy due to their Mysterious Past and supernatural powers. It turns out to be Violet Alias.
  • Reward from Nowhere: You just defeated a Bonus Boss? Congratulations, an Infinity +1 Sword has just appeared out of nowhere!
    • Possibly justified in the case of the characters' unique ultimate weapons, since their darksides may have been carrying them. The Tear of All Ocean, on the other hand...
  • Ridiculously Human Robots: Tinderbot Mk. III and G-Bot.
  • Significant Anagram: The names of opponents in the bi-yearly tournament are anagrams of their enemy type. ("Trobo" = "robot", for example)
  • Sequel Hook: The second Easter Egg mentioned above. Neok says it's Foreshadowing for a plot point in Variant, and it's basically there to prove he's plotted out the story that far.
  • Skippable Boss: The Turrent Wall boss in the first visit to the Bridge Facility can be skipped if you figure out the correct password.
  • So Long, and Thanks for All the Gear: Averted. You can un-equip every playable character at any time, even ones that aren't currently in the party as long as you have recruited them once.
  • Squishy Wizard: Celia, Indy, Silvra, and Kugar as a bonus character. Hawk fits the "weak" part but not the "frail" part.
  • Status Buff: Boosters. However, they're so game-breaking that Neok is considering removing them entirely for the sequel!
  • The Stinger: Tinder stares at Gray's ship as it takes off, extinguishes his cigarette, then walks off into the distance.
  • Stone Wall: Gray, Hawk, and Tinder.
    • The Heart of Mysia and Al Di La syncs turn whoever equips them into an extreme version of this. They increase Guard and Speed by incredible amounts, but reduce the characters' damage to 1. (And before you try giving them to Erin, be aware that they affect her healing skills as well) They are useful for Item Caddies, though, as damage from items is not affected.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Averted. Characters can only swim on the surface until the Aqualung is obtained, however.
  • Supporting Protagonist: As in the original, Leon starts off dangerously close to this, and becomes more and more of one as time goes on.
  • Wham Line:
    Aila (to Celia): You are a hazard to my existence.
    *screen goes black*
    Aila: Die.
  • What Could Have Been: The game was originally planned to have Multiple Endings. The final battle of the bad ending would have been Leon vs. Erin.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Generally averted; the protagonists don't mind mowing down mooks, regardless of if they're humans, aliens, mutants, robots, or androids.
  • With a Friend and a Stranger: Scott, Violet, and Leon in the first three phases. Turned around from its usual form; the protagonist is the stranger.
  • Word-Salad Horror: The final note you find in the third level of Orbital Prison.
  • Wolfpack Boss / Dual Boss: Most of them, if they aren't Flunky Bosses.
    • The Gatekeepers are an interesting version of this. If one dies, it is revived by the other instantaneously. You must kill both of them at the same time to win. However, they're always revived with low HP, making it easier to wipe them out in the long run.
  • You Shall Not Pass!: Jake, Dread, Scott, and Violet hold off the rebel army at the end of phase 5 so Erin, Leon, Celia, and Indy can escape. Miraculously, they survive, and manage to return for a Big Damn Heroes moment in phase 7.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: This happened in Pallas six years before the game started. It was caused by a lab accident that flooded the city with a dangerous experimental Psycho Serum.

Alternative Title(s): Alter AILA Genesis


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