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Video Game / Attack The Light

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Find the light.

"This is just like an RPG!"

Steven Universe: Attack the Light is a standalone mobile game based on the Cartoon Network show of the same name created by Grumpyface Studios, and featuring a self-contained story written by the show's creator Rebecca Sugar. It is considered canon to the series, set in Season 1B, between "Fusion Cuisine" and "The Return". It was released on April 2nd, 2015 for iOS and Android, and features turn-based RPG gameplay with Action Commands along the lines of Super Mario RPG, Paper Mario, and the Mario & Luigi series, along with room and hotspot-based exploration that recalls Riviera: The Promised Land. Early in 2016, an expanded port for the Apple TV was announced.

Starting out as a normal day in Beach City, Steven is enjoying playing an RPG on his tablet, when the Gems return from their mission with a magical prism. Pearl explains that the prism contains an army of light, and Steven naturally asks to observe it. Suddenly, a white creature emerges from it! Garnet easily defeats it, but the creature splits into seven colored monsters that scatter all over the world. Now Steven and the Gems must travel around the planet to find and defeat the Light and save the day!


A sequel titled Save The Light was released on October 31st, 2017 for PlayStation 4; November 3rd, 2017 for Xbox One; and October 30th, 2018 for Nintendo Switch.

Attack the Tropes:

  • A Form You Are Comfortable With: After Steven convinces the Light to be anything it wants, they all take the form of Steven before fading away.
  • Absurdly Low Level Cap: The Gems cap at level 9030, but they start at 9001. Steven originally capped at level 20, but thanks to a glitch that would let him level up to 21 (albeit very slowly), it was changed so he caps at level 22. Reaching the cap for all four is doable before you beat the final boss, provided you've done all the optional material along the way.
  • Acceptable Breaks from Canon:
    • While Pearl has stated in "Fusion Cuisine" that she can't stand eating food, that doesn't stop her from eating Cookie Cats from Steven to heal her 'Harmony'. Of course, having a character who refuses to be healed would just make the game unnecessarily difficult. The developer's blog even commented on this, half-jokingly suggesting that just the thought of Steven giving her food is what helps her recover.
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    • If Garnet is reduced to gem form, she recovers the same way as Pearl or Amethyst. Were such a situation to happen in the show, it would be a bit more complicated because Garnet is actually a Fusion of two Gems, who would regenerate separately and have to refuse. The devs were informed of this revelation in advance, but didn't see specifically what it would look like until late in development, which is part of the reason why Garnet's gems in this game are both red instead of one red and one blue when separate from her body (though the coloring was later corrected).
    • Steven's Bubble Shield surrounds only himself in-canon, with him unable to project it onto others unless he is in the bubble with them. Of course, it would be pretty pointless for Steven to have a self-shield spell when he can't ever be attacked.
  • Action Commands: Attacking and defending require different kinds of input to be most effective, such as tapping the screen rapidly, in the right places, or at the right time.
  • After-Combat Recovery: A Crystal Gem reduced to gem form will recover after battle with 10 Harmony left.
  • All Your Powers Combined: The Prism Monster/Light Soldier, being an amalgam of all seven lights, has all of their attacks. Prism has Indigo's Mook Maker ability, Green's White Magic, Orange's Spam Attack, Blue's Static Stun Gun, and even though they are never fought, Purple's Frickin' Laser Beams, Yellow's Nigh-Invulnerability, and Red's Fireballs. Prism also has Yellow's ability to communicate with Steven.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: If the game notices that the player is having an exceptionally difficult time with the Timed Hits mechanic, it'll remind the player exactly how it's done and inform the player that the stars that appear on the screen only indicate when the player needs to tap the screen, not where; the player can actually tap anywhere on the screen.
  • Arc Symbol: The Crystal Gems' five-point star emblem shows up in various places:
    • Every action but using an item requires spending Star Points, and more are recovered by eating Star Fruit.
    • Moves are selected from a Ring Menu that, once full, will have five options spaced like the gems in the emblem.
    • The game's five areas are arranged on the world map in the same manner.
    • The game's Final Boss, the Prism Monster/Light Soldier, also has a star-shape to its body.
    • However, several areas, including the healing spring and the statues to purchase items, utilize a diamond shape.
  • Arc Words: "Believe" comes once again as a major theme in the story.
  • Artifact of Doom: The Prism and the Army of Light. Except the Army of Light isn't actually evil, they mindlessly follow the orders of their summoner and were confused after Steven summoned them by accident and the Crystal Gems attacked them.
  • Attack of the Killer Hard Light: Pretty much.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: The blue whale boss will open its mouth to inhale fish, which are occasionally pitched at the Gems as part of its attacks. Its defense drops significantly during this period.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • Alexandrite. To even use her you need full health and nine Star Points. This is basically impossible to achieve normally, so you have to use an item to make up the difference, and that's assuming you can keep all three Gems at full health. Furthermore, she can only be used once per battle. She's most easily used right at the start of a battle, and is great at weakening bosses.
    • Moves with costs greater than five points, since you only get five points per turn without items. Special mention goes to Steven's full-party healing spell which doubles as an attack booster, but costs a whopping seven points to cast.
  • Bandit Mook: Chameleon-monsters use their tongues to steal items, then spend the next turn cloaked. Luckily, you get it back once they're defeated and they never run away.
  • Big Bad: The titular Light spawns the light monsters attacking the Crystal gems, but only out of a misguided belief that Steven is their master who is testing them.
  • Black Comedy: Among the objects you can loot are human skeletons. Amethyst will lampshade this the first time.
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • Garnet's basic one-two punch combo costs only two Star Points and has no restrictions, and it will be by far your most used attack. One or two hits from it will usually put down any regular mook.
    • Pearl's one-two spear combo is a close second. Though nowhere near as powerful as Garnet's attack, it only costs a single Star Point to use, making it useful for knocking off that last sliver of health before an enemy gets another turn.
    • Amethyst's basic whip attack may cost three star points, but it's the only basic attack that can hit the entire field of enemies at once. After bumping her strength a few times this attack can make short work of large groups of weak enemies in a single turn, and is a fantastic finisher when you have a lot of enemies at low health (especially if you get the extra hit on it).
    • Garnet's Anti-Armor Ground Punch will probably be the special attack players will end up using most often, since its necessary for breaking shields (which is unavoidable unless the player wants to try a kill a Heavily Armored Mook with Scratch Damage). The boring part stems from the fact the attack only does damage if the player succeeds on a Mini-Game, and even then, the damage is pretty negligible.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: The Lucky Star badge, received at the end of the Red Gauntlet... which means the player has already beaten the final boss and the most difficult bonus stage in the game.
  • Bullfight Boss: Large beetle enemies can use a Charged Attack bull-rush that can eject a Crystal Gem from battle for several turns. Unlike most bullfight bosses, these attacks cannot be dodged, although they can be blocked by Steven's Bubble Shield, or made a moot point by the Iron Boots Badge which makes a Gem immune to ejection.
  • Call a Hit Point a "Smeerp":
    • HP in this game is 'Harmony,' which falls when a Gem desyncs with their flow of battle—which, conveniently, occurs with taking damage. If they completely deharmonize, they revert back to healing mode until either the battle is over, or they're revived. This explains why words of encouragement from Steven "heals" them, but not why ice cream may also serve the same purpose. In addition, Harmony serves as a secondary condition for using anything other than basic attacks; the more an attack costs, the more Harmony you need to use it.
    • Action Points are called "Star Points".
    • A Critical Hit is called a "Lucky" hit.
  • Calling Your Attacks: "Holo-Pearl, go!"
  • The Cameo: Lion (Steven's pink Loyal Animal Companion) makes a brief cameo as the Lion Badge.
  • Cognizant Limbs: Indigo is a massive crystalline scorpion-esque monster who starts the battle with three tails, all of which can attack the party, and be defeated separately with non-melee attacks. However, if the tails are destroyed before the core body is, the body will simply regenerate a new tail every turn.
  • Combat Exclusive Healing: Healing can be done outside battle with items (barring Rose's Tears, which can't do anything because the Gems restore after battle when KO'd), but Steven's song can only be used to heal in battle—since it has no cost except the Star Points and Steven can't be KOd, it would basically give you free, infinite healing.
  • Composite Character: In classic RPG terms, Steven is half White Mage, and half Bard. Takes on a symbolic meaning when you realize his (biological) mother had healing powers, and his father is a musician.
  • Continuity Nod: The strawberry battlefield, the desert where the Desert Glass was found, and the sunken Lunar Sea Spire serve as stages 2, 3, and 4, respectively.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: Strangely, the game's specific form of Turn-Based Combat can cause this trope to apply to you. The team's total supply of Star Points is the same regardless of how many of the Gems are conscious, meaning if one or two are knocked out, the remaining one(s) will attack more often. This avoids the tendency in most party-based RPGs for a single casualty to cause a sudden death spiral if not quickly revived. While losing party members causes your flexibility to take a hit and makes the surviving ones harder to keep alive, it doesn't utterly cripple your ability to attack or heal.
  • Counter-Attack: The Bubble Shield causes a timed block to damage the attacking enemy, provided it was a melee attack.
  • Critical Existence Failure: Averted in an unusual way: using any attack but the most basic requires Harmony to be above a certain fraction of its maximum value as indicated by the Ring Menu attacks are displayed in. The nth attack learned will require Harmony to be above (n-1)/m times the maximum, where m is the total number of attacks that Gem currently knows. So, as you learn more attacks, the second attack's requirement goes 1/2 -> 1/3 -> 1/4 -> 1/5, the third's requirement goes 2/3 -> 2/4 -> 2/5, and so on. The exception is the shared fifth attack, Alexandrite, which requires every single party member to be at entirely full Harmony (and the maximum number of Star Points to be saved up).
  • Cutscene Incompetence: After the Crystal Gems defeat Orange, it launches a final Counter-Attack reducing all of their Harmony to 1. At this point they all agree they have to run away (which is very out of character for the group) and only change their mind through Steven's encouragement (which also revives any of them in gem form), unlocking their Fusion Dance Limit Break to defeat Orange once and for all.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: If Pearl, Amethyst, and Garnet are reverted to gem form simultaneously, the party is forced out of the level, but lose no items or experience points. The implications is that Steven always manages to grab their gems and make a clean escape.
  • Divergent Character Evolution: The Gems all start out about the same, only differing one or two levels in stats. As you unlock skills and build paths, you can enforce this by shaping their stats however you choose.
  • Exact Words: In the opening, Pearl states that a powerful gem can control an army of light with the prism. During the final battle, it is revealed that all of the light creatures were actually under Steven's control and they believed that he and the Gems were testing them.
  • Experience Booster: Several badges increase experience when any Gem wears them.
  • Fake Shemp: While Steven, Amethyst, and Pearl have their voice actors credit for lines unique to the game, Garnet does not. Estelle was unavailable, so the game instead just uses voice clips of Garnet's recycled from the show. Given her usual behavior, it's not as obvious as other examples.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: Garnet is the Fighter; she has the greatest attack power, almost all her moves do straight damage, and her only move that isn't about damage is to lower defense and break shields so she can do more damage (if timed right, it also causes damage). Amethyst is the Mage, as described under the Squishy Wizard entry below; she specializes in spread damage and has the lowest base health of the group. Pearl is the Thief; she utilizes Standard Status Effects and Anti-Air attacks, has extremely high luck compared to the others, and has the cheapest attack move, but her attack power is mediocre by comparison. That said, their stats by endgame will mostly depend on what you choose at level up, allowing more flexibility in terms of offense vs. defense. Certain skills and badge combinations can shift this as well—for instance, Garnet's Rocket Punch and Amethyst's Rolling Attack have roles opposite to their standard attacks, and each one can spend a level to make them one star point cheaper.
  • Flying Seafood Special: Blue enemies all take the form of various species of fish, and despite Stage 4 being set in Underwater Ruins the Lunar Sea Spire is still airtight so all the enemies float in the air instead of swim through the water.
  • Four-Fingered Hands: Or rather, three-fingered hands in contrast to the five-fingered hands in the show. This is only really noticeable in the cut scenes.
  • Fusion Dance: Alexandrite returns as a collective Limit Break for Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl, but only if they all have full Harmony and have 9 Star Points available to burn (that or a White Star Fruit).
  • Game-Breaking Bug:
    • The game will sometimes crash, most often when using the pause menu to return to home base—although the game autosaves constantly and home base is the main menu, so this is just a slight annoyance of having to turn the app off then on again.
    • There was a glitch for the Android version during release where pausing and changing badges while warping caused all of your Crystal Gems to revert back to level 1 with none of their moves unlocked and all of your collected badges gone. This was patched a few days after release.
    • All bosses can be fought repeatedly by returning to their area, and the relevant cutscenes will be repeated. This includes the scene after the actual fight with Orange, where the Gems finish it off by using Alexandrite for the first time in-game. However, Alexandrite has a once-per-battle limitation, so repeating the battle and using Alexandrite beforehand will leave the player stuck at the part where they're instructed to use it during the cutscene. This has been resolved in the v1.0.2 patch.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: The use of the Crystal Gem's Fusion Dance is only supposed to be used in cases of dire emergency, Garnet even saying so outright. However, once the ability is unlocked during the fight with Orange, Steven can command the Gems to use it whenever he wishes, even against the weakest of enemies.
  • Giant Mook: Every basic enemy in the game has a giant version. These have much more health and defense, and do at least twice as much damage. Some even have additional abilities to make them more challenging.
  • Glass Cannon: Amethyst has really low health and defense. That said, she's really good at AOE attacks, and her second attack can rip enemies to shreds if it's focused on one enemy.
  • Harder Than Hard: Diamond mode, which has several features to make the game more challenging. Enemies are harder to kill, Giant Mooks are more common, and the star cues for attacking and blocking are no longer visible.
  • Healing Potion: Health is mostly recovered by eating food and Steven's words of encouragement, but Gems are recovered from gem form by Rose's Swiss Army Tears saved up in bottles.
  • Healing Spring: Spring which presumably contain Rose's Tears can restore the Gems health completely, but can only be used once per visit to that level.
  • Heavily Armored Mook: With the exception of Stage 4, every level in the game has one. Garnet's or Amethyst's Anti-Armor attacks are required in these battles otherwise these enemies will only take Scratch Damage.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: All the health items that recover HP are food. Given the game's use of Call a Hit Point a "Smeerp", presumably it works because the food Tastes Like Friendship.
  • Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: There are two difficulty modes: Normal and Diamond.
  • Improvised Weapon: Some enemies will use nearby rocks and rubble to shield themselves as well as to attack. One type of enemy in Strawberry Fields actually submerses its head in a giant strawberry for protection. If you use an Anti-Armor attack to break the shields, they have to spend one or more turns recovering it and can't attack.
  • Inexplicably Preserved Dungeon Meat: Despite being ice cream, Cookie Cats will still be edible when pried from treasure chests, monsters, piles of dirt, and human skeletons. Together Breakfasts are arguably worse; at least Cookie Cats have wrappers, Together Breakfast is just a plate of exposed-to-the-elements waffles, popcorn, and whipped cream.
  • Infant Immortality: Steven does not directly engage in combat. He doesn't even have hit points or any stats besides a level, though he can still be robbed by a Bandit Mook. Ironic, given that he's technically the Player Character. All the light creatures perceive Steven as their master, so it makes sense that they wouldn't attack him.
  • Infinity -1 Sword: The Garnet Badge, Amethyst Badge, and Pearl Badge when equipped will increase all of their respective Crystal Gem's stats by 15% with no negatives.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: The Lion Badge, unlike the individual Crystal Gem badges, can be used by any Gem and increases all stats and Harmony by a whopping 30%, and can stack with the aforementioned Crystal Gem badges.
  • Interchangeable Antimatter Keys: There are two different kinds, which both come in several colors: keys and gems. Keys are unique to a specific level, being used to open light barriers. Gems open ancient stone doors and function similar to keys, with the exception of red gems. Red gems open unique stone doors and are carried in Steven's inventory, as they aren't always found in the same level.
  • Item Caddy: Steven is the only one who can use items, because they're all stored in his beloved cheeseburger backpack.
  • Item Get!: Steven will hold up items he loots from chests or junk piles.
  • King Mook: Three out of the five boss colors are this, with Indigo being a massive scorpion with a few extra limbs, Green a massive plant-mage-thing that can summon Ditto Fighters, and Orange a massive shielded turtle that can shoot lasers, all of which are seen in their respective levels as basic enemies. Blue and Red break this trend, however, Blue being a big-mouthed whale and Red a giant three-headed centipede, neither of which are ever seen in the game at all, let alone in their stages.
  • Last Lousy Point: For the most part, it's easy to know you've cleared an area fully because the end of the level shows if you've found every treasure chest and secret room. However, shop inventories aren't counted towards completion, even though they sometimes sell badges and red gems, the latter being necessary to unlock red gem doors to access secret levels. It isn't even technically necessary to find the shop to get 100% completion, as the game doesn't require you to explore every room, only find every chest and secret room. The game doesn't have a map, so if you skip or miss a shop selling a red gem, you'll have no in-game hint as to where to look. People getting stuck just short of 100% Completion because of this is so common the developers made a blog post explaining this and listing what stages those shops are on. A later patch made it so red gems count toward the completion percentage displayed.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Steven likes to compare their current adventure to an RPG (which, obviously, this game is). When Pearl asks him what is this "Are-Pee-Gee" thing he keeps talking about, he explains it's about going out on quests, solving puzzle doors, and collecting treasure, at which point Amethyst admits that does sound like exactly what they do.
  • Licensed Game: For Steven Universe.
  • Light Is Not Good: For obvious reasons. But it turns out Light Is Not Evil, either, just an ancient Gem Weapon who acts on its summoner's commands. The Light actually averts this after Steven gives it the chance to make its own decisions, and it chooses to copy Steven's form before peacefully fading from existence.
  • Magic Music: Steven can play his ukulele to heal status effects or to increase the collective attack, defense, or luck of the other Crystal Gems. His most expensive song restores Harmony and boosts attack simultaneously.
  • Mini-Game: Several special skills use these in place of timed hits.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The art for the characters is mostly based on the simplified character models the show used for long-distance shots.
      • The art style also resembles the Art Shift in Garnet's Universe, which represented Steven's imagination of Garnet in a very video-gamey/anime adventure.
    • The use of 'Harmony' as hit points references Garnet's request that Steven "keep the harmony" between Pearl and Amethyst during "Giant Woman". She even brings the quote up during the game.
    • Most of the support items are from episodes of the show, including Cookie Cat ice cream sandwiches ("Gem Glow"), Fire Salt ("Joking Victim"), and Rose's Tears ("An Indirect Kiss") among others all kept in Steven's Cheeseburger Backpack ("Cheeseburger Backpack"). In addition, the game only uses items that logically should not be in short supply, and doesn't use any items that are one-of-a-kind (like the Moon Goddess Statue or the Shooting Star).
      • The Moon Goddess Statue (from "Cheeseburger Backpack" and later, "The Test") is referenced via the Moon Goddess Badge, however.
    • While there has never been a Star Fruit in the show proper, it along with the use of Star Points is consistent with the star-motif the show often utilizes.
    • Several levels re-use locations from the show as well, Stage 2 taking place in Strawberry Fields from both "Serious Steven" and "Rose's Scabbard", Stage 3 being the desert from "Steven's Lion", and Stage 4 being the (now-sunken) Lunar Sea Spire from "Cheeseburger Backpack". Stage 1 is an original location, but has design elements similar to the caves from episodes "Arcade Mania" and "Monster Buddies".
    • Upon completing a level, Steven may ask if they can get some pizza, in reference to a line from the longer version of the theme song that was in the pilot ("We'll win the fight and then go out for pizzas") or may just say "Skills!", from "Together Breakfast". Garnet may also give a flat "OK we're done" when finishing a level from the episode "Future Vision".
    • When Steven uses his White Magic to restore Harmony, he may say "Let's get beefy!", and when healing Pearl may say "Pearl, you're strong in the real way!". Both are quotes from the episode "Coach Steven". When Amethyst gets healed she may mockingly say "Aw, you care about me!", which is a direct quote from "An Indirect Kiss".
    • The sudden appearance of human skeletons for Steven to find hidden items in may seem out of place, but this has shown up in the series proper before, specifically when Steven and the Crystal Gems randomly run into a spelunker's skeleton in "Monster Buddies" (in pretty much the exact same pose skeletons are in this game). A human skull would later show up in "Reformed".
    • Red, the Final Boss of Stage 5, looks a lot like a three-headed version of the Centipeedle Mother, the Monster of the Week from "Gem Glow".
    • Although he never appears in the game, the Gems talk about Steven's father Greg Universe, and Amethyst even mentions how he'd go crazy if he knew Steven was on such a dangerous adventure, which is exactly how he acted in "Space Race".
    • Amethyst's shout of "Bowacunga!" is similar to a line ("Bungacowa!") said by Steven's dream version of Amethyst in "Chille Tid"—an episode which wouldn't air until months after the game's release.
    • Not surprisingly, the Achievements include references to several Steven Universe episodes as well. "This is Gonna Be Intense" and "A Serious Mission" are both references to "Serious Steven", "Really Really Giant Woman" is obviously a nod to "Giant Woman", "Perfect Porkchop" from the episode "Laser Light Cannon", and "We'll Always Save the Day" is a line from the show's Theme Song.
    • A non-Steven Universe nod, but within the game there is the Grumpy Badge, which uses a stylized version of the developer's own Grumpyface logo. The Grumpy Badge is even located in a skeleton holding a wedge of cheese, which is a reference to the first game Grumpyface Studios ever created named "Wispin".
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!:
    • After Steven accidentally summons the prism monster, the first thing Garnet does is punch it so hard it splits into seven colors, each of which fly out into the world and form an individually colored army of their own. And for a double helping of this trope, if Garnet hadn't attacked the prism monster, it would have done absolutely nothing, as it was under Steven's command. It was confused by her attack and assumed Steven was testing it, so it went all out in fighting back.
    • When the group faces off against the final boss (Red), Steven suddenly says he feels 'funny' before he loses grip on the prism, allowing Red to absorb it and become the even more powerful prism monster once again. While it's never made clear if Steven had any actual control of the situation, his "whoops" afterwards certainly doesn't help his case.
  • Not Evil, Just Misunderstood: The Light. This is actually done on purpose and is the driving force for the entire game. The light creatures never actually do any harm to anyone, and only attack the Crystal Gems because they attacked it first and it assumed they were 'testing' it.
  • Non-Lethal K.O.: As in the show, a Gem whose body is sufficiently damage is reduced to a gem that comes back after battle. Unlike the show, this happens in what appears to be a few minutes (even faster if you use some of Rose's Tears) rather than several weeks. It is also implied the defeated monsters are dispersed or retreat to the prism—both the description for Amethyst's Spinning Attack and a badge that has a chance of making all attacks one-hit-kills describe enemies as being KOed—and it's explicitly shown the latter happens to the bosses.
  • Original Flavor: If it wasn't already obvious, the graphics, many references in gameplay ad dialogue to the cartoon, locations from various episodes, and newly-recorded lines by the main cast sans Garnet hew faithfully to the tone and art style of the series. Being written and overseen by Rebecca Sugar helps.
  • Palette Swap: Every enemy in Stage 5 (to re-capture the Red Light) is a stronger red version of enemies seen in the past four stages (Scorpions and Bats from Stage 1, Plant-Mages and Giant Beetles from Stage 2, Shielded Turtles from Stage 3, and Electric Jellyfish from Stage 4).
  • Poor Communication Kills: The entire events of the game occur because Steven accidentally summoned the light monster from the prism, and after it was immediately attacked by its "Master's" allies, assumed it was being tested. The Purple and Yellow parts of the light monster even try to communicate with Steven to make sure it assumed its orders correctly, but Steven only gets the opportunity to set things straight at the end after all seven lights have finally reformed into the prism monster and can communicate effectively.
  • Powerup Food: Cookie Cats and the Together Breakfast serve as Healing Potions. Star Fruits recover Star Points or negate the next action's Star Point cost, letting you perform more moves each turn.
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: Considering that Alexandrite hadn't been seen in combat in the show at the time the game was released, the only voice clip she has (from "Fusion Cusine") comes off as this.
    Alexandrite: Hi.
  • Purple Is Powerful: Inverted as Indigo is actually the first and thus weakest of the light monsters the Gems encounter, and the actual Purple light doesn't even put up a fight before Steven recaptures it in the Prism.
  • Rainbow Motif: All seven light creatures are colors of a rainbow.
  • Rare Candy: There are level-up charms found throughout the game that instantly increase a Crystal Gem's level by one, though they can't be used on Steven. Steven will also gain several as rewards for leveling up.
  • Ring Menu: How actions are displayed for Steven and the Gems, with options spread out evenly until all five of a character's actions are unlocked, giving the ring a star-motif.
  • Robbing the Dead: Steven can find items hidden in human skeletons, which Amethyst calls out as weird.
  • Scratch Damage: The defense stat subtracts damage, but every attack does at least 1 point of damage regardless.
  • Shoot the Mage First/Shoot the Medic First: Enemies that can cause Damage Over Time and heal should absolutely be killed first. Helpfully, they have no direct attack, just those two abilities. The boss of the strawberry fields is one of these, and also attacks with a squad of Crystal Gem copies—the easiest way to win is to not bother attacking the fake Crystal Gems and destroy the boss as soon as possible, taking the fakes with it.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Shown Their Work: The developers, Grumpyface Studios, are self-admitted huge fans of the source material, and it shows. The game is full of Mythology Gags and Continuity Nods, and anything that doesn't match up with the show has either been embraced by the fans as Acceptable Breaks from Canon, or the creators have been more than willing to explain on their Tumblr.
  • The Spiny: The blue puffer monsters can inflate, producing spikes which will poke the Gems if you they to use a direct melee attack, doing damage and interrupting the attacks so any Action Commands automatically fail.
  • Splash Damage Abuse: Enemies which can avoid attacks by flying or cloaking are still vulnerable to total party attacks like Amethyst's whip, Splash Damage attacks like Garnet's rocket punch, or manually targeted attacks like Pearl's fireballs and spear toss.
  • Spontaneous Weapon Creation: Just like the show, the Crystal Gems summon their weapons before every fight, and re-summon it in the case of Pearl after she throws her spear or after Garnet uses her Rocket Punch.
  • Spoonerism:
    Amethyst: Bowacunga!
  • Squishy Wizard: In a strange case, Amethyst fits the bill at first. Her specialty is spreading damage around and she has the lowest base HP to start. All her abilities have rather high Star costs, too, starting at three for her basic attack.
  • Standard Status Effects:
    • Poison and Burn each deal 6 points of damage per turn. The only difference between them, besides what causes and prevents them, is that both can be stacked together.
    • Paralysis is referred to as "distracting" the enemy, either with a Hologram, an on-hit effect applied by a badge, or a Bagel Sandwich. All cause the enemy to not move until a certain number of turns pass or they take damage. There's actual electrical Paralysis as well which can be used against the Crystal Gems by certain enemies if they fail a defense command.
    • The giant beetles have a charged attack that ejects a party member from battle altogether for several turns.
  • Stylistic Suck: While most of the art is based on the long-distance character models with simplified backgrounds, the Stage Select screens are crude drawings done in crayon on notebook paper by Steven.
  • Support Party Member: Steven. He can't attack or take damage, but can heal, shield, or buff the gems (whether with an item or one of his learned skills).
  • Talking the Monster to Death: How Steven ultimately defeats the white prism monster once he realizes it isn't actually evil, but just misunderstood its orders after it assumed Steven was its new "Master".
  • Think Happy Thoughts: The Crystal Gems are healed by Steven's compliments, explained that positive encouragement restores their 'Harmony', basically a measured gauge of a Gem's willpower for continuing to fight and their ability to use stronger attacks.
  • Too Awesome to Use: Items can quickly become this, as you might not see the value in using them except on bosses, by which point you have more than you'll ever need.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Steven's favorite snack, Cookie Cats (and by extension Cookie Cat Bites and Mint Cookie Cats), make an appearance as this game's Healing Potion.
  • Turn-Based Combat: The game breaks from its Mario RPG influence, and the majority of Turn-Based Combat games, with a unique combination of "One Side, One Turn" and "Action Points": the entire party has a shared pool of Star Points (Action Points) with no limits on how many are used by each character—you can spend them all on one Gem's move one turn, a different one the next, spread them out among several, etc. You generate 5 Star Points each turn, and Star Points unused by a turn's end pass on to the next turn, capping out at 9. Using items is separate from this, instead being limited to one each turn. Enemies each get one move during their turn.
  • The Unfought: Purple, Yellow, and Red and are never actually fought, although Red does get built up as the final boss before it absorbs the other six colors from the Prism and becomes the true end boss, a white prism monster able to use all the colors.
  • Unwinnable by Mistake: Summoning Alexandrite is a scripted requirement to defeating Orange. The developers were quickly pointed out that when going back to fight again, using Alexandrite to defeat it before the script activates prevents the fight from being completed because you can only summon her once per battle. This was fixed in the 1.0.2 patch.
  • Useless Useful Spell: A late-level upgrade gives Amethyst's Rolling Attack the potential to also be a One-Hit Kill. Not only does this not work on bosses, but this upgrade is gained so late in the game that any basic enemy it might be useful on (if it even activates) could just as easily and more reliably be taken out in one or two turns with your more Boring, but Practical attacks. It's still useful against beetles and armored enemies like turtles, whose greater health means you're likely to score a killing blow without having to do as much damage.
  • Video Game Settings:
  • Wallet of Holding: Steven starts the game only being able to hold 100 units of the game's currency (which look like tiny gemstones), but as he levels up he can upgrade this several times, capping at 600. Some items near the end of the game (including the 250 light stone Garnet Badge) require you to do this a couple times at least.
  • Weapon of Choice: Just like in the actual show, every Crystal Gem has a signature weapon:
  • Wingding Eyes: Whenever one of the Crystal Gems successfully pulls off an Action Command attack, or lands a Critical Hit, Steve's icon is shown having stars in his eyes, just like he often has on the show.
  • You Have Researched Breathing:
    • Most of the abilities the Gems unlock as they level up are ones they'd used in the show and probably have known how to do for thousands of years.
    • You can only try to retreat from battle once you unlock an ability for Steven for that specific purpose. Given the Crystal Gems very much dislike the idea of running from battle in the show, it's possible this represents Steven's ability to convince them to do it.


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