The game has you take on the role of Blitz Ymir, once a warrior for the Aesir, who is made an offer by Loki. Besides the trickster god, Blitz meets other important figures and warriors in Norse mythology, from the gods to einherjar and valkyries.
Balmung Cycle uses rips from the game Treasure of the Rudra. Beyond that, it stands on its own legs, with its own take on an active-time battle system, RPG character tropes and minigames (including dueling and rescuing a man from heart failure).
Tropes found in Balmung Cycle:
- Dialogue Tree: Blitz gets to choose between dialogue options in some conversations. However, they rarely matter, and if they crop up in a player-initiated conversation with an NPC, then they may even be cycled endlessly just like their normal lines.
- Enemy Scan: Blitz's starting skill, Study Foe, reveals their HP, EP and any notable strengths/weaknesses.
- Every Scar Has a Story: Parodied in the opening conversation between Blitz and Loki, when the former receives a lump on the head after the latter tosses him off the bed and into the ceiling, and complains that it now mirrors the one he also got from him last week. Loki laughs that each lump gives him one more story to tell, and Ymir grumbles that unlike scars, lumps just make one look like a careless idiot. The trickster god observes that all the actual scars could ultimately be attributed to recklessness as well.
- Gratuitous French: Invoked with the name of Elm's starting body armor, Cuir Bouilli, whose description outright acknowledges "Apparently it's French." (It actually means nothing more than Boiled Leather.)
- Hijacked by Jesus: Most of the world seems to inexplicably follow a monotheistic religion that seems unrelated to any of the Norse Gods who are present in the setting.
- Hyperactive Metabolism: Played straight with the basic healing item, Jelly, which is simply a strawberry jelly that nevertheless heals 80 HP.
- Limit Break: By building up your adrenaline points, each character can perform wicked, over-the-top Hyper Attacks. You can also spend adrenaline on minor skills.
- NPC Roadblock: Some of the Valhalla guards act in this manner, and will straight-up tell you about it. One of them, Dotal the Brave, even won't let you through the door he is standing in front of until you prevail in a 100 battles.
- She Is All Grown Up: Elm following the time skip, though no one really comments on this.
- Universal Currency: Discussed, as talking to a guard in Valhalla will have him ask if Blitz ever wondered why the currency happens to be universal. Blitz did not, but he receives 500 of it anyway, thanks to the guard's hunch.
- Welcome to Corneria: NPCs generally have just one line to tell Blitz, which will appear again and again. Sometimes, they'll have unique lines during their first conversation (often because they are giving something), but will repeat the subsequent line endlessly.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: A lot of sub-plots drop off without explanation, notably Hod's.
- You All Look Familiar: Played straight, as the result of the game relying on a "borrowed" tileset. In the starting area alone, several fellow Einheri all look exactly the same.