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Video Game / Beyond the Beyond

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Beyond the Beyond was one of the first Role Playing Games released during the Sony PlayStation's life cycle, and one of the first developed by Camelot Software Planning (after changing its name from Sonic! Software Planning and working on the first two Shining Force games).

The plot is as follows: a war erupted between the surface-dwelling Beings of Light and underground-dwelling Warlocks of the Underworld, with the two sides eventually agreeing to a ceasefire after untold amounts of damage. This peace would last for hundreds of years until the "Vicious Ones", a quartet of powerful underground sorcerers, broke through the boundary separating the two worlds and started causing trouble. Finn, a young knight-in-training, is sent from his home of Isla Village to investigate the matter after learning about an attack on Marion Castle by the Bandore Empire.

As this was Camelot's first "true" Eastern-styled RPG (most of its previous games were either tactical RPGs or dungeon-crawlers), Beyond the Beyond took flak for its sometimes confusing game mechanics and uninspired characterization and plotting (though there were one or two unique twists toward the end). It would be a few years before Camelot would attempt this genre again with the Golden Sun games.

Has nothing to do with Beyond the Impossible, the manga of the same name, a light novel with a similar name or the unproduced sequel to the Lucio Fulci film The Beyond.

This game uses the following tropes:

  • Aerith and Bob: Almost every friendly human character has a "standard" name like Finn, Annie, and Galahad, while the non-humans get "fantastic" names like Tont and Dagoot.
  • Ambidextrous Sprite: Most noticeable during battle, as the characters will switch the hand that they use to hold their weapon depending on the direction they're facing.
  • Attack of the Monster Appendage: An early route have Annie nearly getting dragged underwater by the tentacle of some unseen monster after taking a wrong turn, until Finn saved her. The rest of the monster isn't shown at any point of the game.
  • Bare-Fisted Monk: Lorelei.
  • Black Mage: Edward.
  • Black Knight: Percy, following his supposed death at the hands of the Bandore Empire.
  • Blade Enthusiast: Domino. Interestingly, when upgraded, he switches to a more traditional cutlass (he's a pirate), but just like the knives he used before, he attacks by THROWING it.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: Tont's thunder-elemental summon beast, Thor, is mistransliterated as "Tolle" in the U.S. version.
  • But Thou Must!: That frustrating sliding-block puzzle early on in the game? Yeah, you're going to have to solve that on your own, and no FAQ can help you since its positions are randomized each time.
  • Button Mashing: Certain button combinations increase the chance of double attacks, critical hits, counter-attacks, and even critical counters and critical double attacks.
  • Call a Hit Point a "Smeerp": Your characters' health is measured by two gauges: Vitality Points (VP) and Life Points (LP). If a character's VP run out, they get stunned for a turn and have to use up some of their LP to get their fighting strength back. If a character's LP run out, the character is considered "dead" and has to be revived by a priest.
  • Character Name Limits: There is a limit of six letters for player characters' names. Lorelei's name is spelled as "Lorele" (or "Loreli" in the manual and back-of-the-box screenshots) because of this.
  • Critical Hit: And performed while the character is on fire! Except for Finn, who performs a unique combo attack with his dragon pal.
  • Demoted to Extra: Everyone, but Finn is subject to this after the Bandore arc, with them only occasionally commenting on certain events.
  • Distress Ball: Annie, in the very first moments of the game, runs off to the Cave of Spirits to the south of her home village after her father denies her the chance to go on an adventure just because she's a girl.
  • Dual Boss: Ramue and Shutat, the penultimate bosses of the game.
  • Elite Four: The Vicious Ones: Yeon, Dagoot, Ramue and Shutat.
  • Evil Chancellor: Glade of Zalagoon, who seems unusually adamant in labeling the mighty Samson a fraud. Surely enough, while the heroes are away trying to lift Samson's curse, Glade tries to cow the king of Zalagoon into surrendering to the Bandore Empire.
  • Evil Overlooker: Shutat, on the box art.
  • Evil Sorcerer: All four of the Vicious Ones. Dagoot is less obvious than the others, but he still relies quite a bit on magic during his boss fight.
  • Forced Transformation: An irreversible accident involving transformation powder turned Tont (and another Simone villager later in the game) into a yellow slime.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Normally, you can remove curses by going to a priest, but a plot-based curse saps Samson of his legendary strength, and no priest is strong enough to remove it. He has to go and personally ask for the help of Crystal Dragon Jesus to lift it. Even that doesn't work, as Master Zeon, who Arawn sent you to, admits after trying that he couldn't break it and that it was Samson himself that did.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: After Shutat is defeated by the heroes, an evil alien named Akkadias shows up and reveals that he was mind-controlling Shutat all along and is the true villain.
  • Guide Dang It!: You'd think the game would at least tell you what the items or spells do. Also, good luck finding a number of locations without a lot of aimless wandering.
  • Gonk: Yeon, the greenish sorcerer of the Vicious Ones.
  • Heroic Mime: Finn. Steiner does all of the talking for him.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: You'll be forced into one with Ramue if you attempt to leave the Border Church without solving the arbitrary sliding puzzle that's there. Also counts as a Non-Standard Game Over.
  • I Never Said It Was Poison: How did Glade know that Samson was cursed when nobody told him directly? Because he's working for the Big Bad.
  • Killed Off for Real: Percy, if you attack and defeat him in combat without realizing that he's the Black Knight.
  • King Mook: A few forced encounters against enemy soldiers. Two of these are guarding a specific location and give no outright indication of just how much tougher they are, having several times the HP of normal men and bordering on Marathon Boss status (or at least Bait-and-Switch Boss), capable of one-shotting weaker team members with their arrows. Another one of these guys shows up later with several regular soldiers with him, and it is plainly obvious this time because he is quite noticeably taller than the others. You can be easily smashed by either encounter if you think it'll be over in a couple of rounds.
  • Klotski: While hiding in the church to escape a hot pursuit, you encounter a sliding tile puzzle that you must solve in order to not be killed by the Big Bad.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Shutat is manipulating the emperor of Bandore for his own goals, but even he is a pawn of the true villain, Akkadias.
  • Marathon Level: The final part of your quest to cure Samson's curse qualifies for this. You have to fight through two different dungeons (the Magic Beans Tower and the Tower of Arawn) without saving in order to reach the sorcerer Arawn.
    • Expect any dungeon you enter to become this if you're underleveled, as the majority tend to have several enemies quicker than your party who utilize area-of-effect attacks.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: If you see a piece of equipment that has a dark-sounding name like 'Dark', 'Devil', etc... do yourself a favor avoid it, because it's always cursed when you try to equip it.
  • Nintendo Hard: A few hours into the game, you will encounter Elves, possibly the first normal enemy with an all-party attack (Wind), and it will be brutal. After this point, mental-note which foes use area attacks and kill them ASAP. Also applies to the Water Guardian, the first real boss, encountered some 10 hours in, at the end of a long dungeon, and it sucks (Level 2 Ice).
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Not necessarily a new power but, Adult!Steiner can fly over anything and anywhere in the ending, something he couldn't do during gameplay.
  • Noob Cave: Averted. It is actually quite easy to die in that first cave where you pursue Annie. In fact, you should probably grind a few levels here before you do anything.
  • Non-Human Sidekick: The hero's pet dragon, Steiner.
  • Optional Party Member: Only Finn, Samson, Edward, Annie, and Domino are "required" to finish the game. Tont is almost dropped into your lap, while Lorelei and Black Knight Percy will actually require some searching.
  • Overrated and Underleveled: Samson. A big deal is made about his massive physical strength early on, but he's only in your party for a few minutes before he's inflicted with a curse that renders him nigh-useless for the next several hours of the game (and this is before you have the option of switching him out for someone better). Even after you get the curse lifted, he's a Glass Cannon that's outclassed by most of the other characters.
  • Prestige Class: At a certain point in the game, once Finn reaches level 20, he has to complete a long dungeon (by himself) in order to graduate from Swordsman to Hero. Once he completes the quest, his allies can access their prestige classes at level 20 without having to endure the trial again. Except Percy, who is already in his Prestige Class if you manage to successfully re-recruit him.
  • Prophetic Name: Samson, a soldier known for his Super-Strength.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Prince Edward, and later, princess Lorelei.
  • Sheathe Your Sword: This is how you get Percy back. Don't attack the Black Knight.
  • Shoulder-Sized Dragon: Steiner, at first.
  • Sprite/Polygon Mix: Character and enemy sprites are in 2D, while the overworld map has 3D elements.
  • Squishy Wizard: All three of the main magic users: Edward, Annie and Tont. Taken literally in Tont's case, as he's a human-turned-slime creature (and he becomes even squishier and gooier after his promotion).
  • Stay in the Kitchen: Annie gets hit with this early on when her father (and Finn's foster father) send him to the Cave of Spirits on a Fetch Quest. Annie asks if she can go too, only to get the "you can't 'cause you're just a girl" treatment. That just makes things worse when she gets pissed and takes off for the cave on her own, where she takes a wrong turn and is almost killed by a Kraken. She's almost hit with this again after returning from the Cave of Spirits, but the combination of the swamp water and the water from the Fetch Quest lead her to develop healing magic and she's allowed to go with Finn.
  • Summon Magic: Tont specializes in this. There are two varieties: One summons a random mook to deliver a one-time attack on an enemy, while a second variety allows him to summon powerful guardian beasts that hit every enemy at once.
  • Super-Strength: The expected proof that Samson is who he says he is is that he's strong enough to lift a solid marble pillar. This is sapped from him by the curse.
  • A Taste of Power: You've got Samson busting heads for about five minutes after he joins the group before he gets affected by his plot-induced curse. Then he becomes The Load for a great long while, as the curse will either occasionally freeze him in place, or hit him for damage.
  • Token Non-Human: Subverted with tont, a human boy transformed into a monster after drinking a certain potion by accident. He returns to normal in the ending.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Steiner, after you complete the promotion quest. He goes from a harmless-looking baby dragon to a majestic golden wyrm, and you can ride on him and summon him into battle. He becomes useless as a vehicle later on once you gain control of the Pyramid, which moves much faster and can fly over mountains that Steiner can't.
  • Villainous Breakdown: The normally calm and self-assured Glade explodes into a rambling nonsensical rant when Samson returns to Zalagoon free from his magical curse to showcase his trademark brute strength. Glade then takes a pill that transforms him into a monster, providing a very tough boss fight.