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"It is time to choose. Accept your fate and await oblivion... or make a stand and fight for survival. Step into the light, young hero! Be brave!"
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Bravely Default II is the third entry of the Bravely Default series, releasing for the Nintendo Switch for the first time.

The story is set in a new world, on the continent of Excillant, where five mighty kingdoms reside. Two years prior, the four elemental crystals that keep nature in check were suddenly taken away by evil forces led by Lord Commander Adam of Holograd, who aims to use their power to Take Over the World, putting the citizens of the kingdoms in danger. Fleeing from her fallen kingdom of Musa, the guardianship of the four crystals, Gloria goes on a journey to retrieve them. On her journey, she meets Seth, a sailor not native to Excillant who happens to wash up ashore thanks to the crystals saving him from an unseasonal storm. They are both accompanied by Elvis, a scholar from Wiswald who inherited a mysterious book from his mentor that he hopes to decipher by gathering Asterisks; and Adelle, a skilled hired sword Elvis enlists to help him on his task. The four decide to travel together, becoming the new 4 Heroes of Light of the tale.

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The reveal trailer can be found here, and the Nintendo Direct trailer can be found here. The first playable demo for the game was released on March 26th, 2020; this demo was removed, but a Final Demo which incorporated changes based on feedback from the first demo emerged in its place on December 17th, 2020. The full game was released on February 26, 2021. A PC version released via Steam was released on September 2, 2021.


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Bravely Default II provides examples of:

  • 20 Bear Asses: The subquests in the first demo ask you to collect things like wolf pelts or snake venom. The Final Demo and actual game have the player collecting other objects, but monster parts are also present.
  • All the Worlds are a Stage: The Very Definitely Final Dungeon, the Isle of Nothingness, is divided into five segments based on each of the five major kingdoms you visit over the course of the game.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • The game warns you that entering the Flying Fortress is a Point of No Return, which means you'll be trapped in a dungeon with no shop to buy supplies from. It turns out that Adam brought some wealthy Holograders to come aboard as a good chance for business, with one of them providing shop services next to a save point to boot. Ironically still, the shop is right across the room where you fight Adam.
    • There are a few tweaks to the formula that make the third outing a little smoother.
      • The biggest improvement is JP acquisition. In the previous games, it could be an utter slog to level up classes quickly, often forcing players to go against the spirit of the game and focus solely on one or two classes for each character over the course of a playthrough. Here, JP acquisition is a lot faster due to each class level layer having a smaller increase in the JP needed to level up per level. The more salient point, however, is just how much JP each encounter gives you. It is incredibly easy to get a ton of JP just from the starting point because enemies give JP out in spades. You also unlock a feature fairly early in the game that allows you to get treasures while the Switch system is asleep, and some of these treasures are JP orbs.
      • The 'Chance to be Targeted' stat. Tank builds were nigh-useless in the first game because there was no easy way to draw aggro, and the second game tied most aggro building to the Swordmaster and the Patissier; one class is optional and can be missed on the first run-through, and the second comes at about the midpoint, well into the story. Here, you can raise aggro considerably via simple stat boosts, and the first class you get from an asterisk-bearer is Vanguard, which is built around drawing aggro.
      • While it's random when an enemy responds to a certain action with a counter, the counter itself is consistent. Most creatures only have one or two moves they will counter with, and enemies with multiple counter conditions will consistently use moves connected to the counter they use. Furthermore, because counters can be as specific as 'Used Savagery' to as open as 'Used a physical attack,' the game will highlight what action caused the enemy to counter so you'll be more wary about using that action next time.
      • If the player is a fan of using Status Effects, they'll be happy to know that the game will tell you if an enemy is immune to a specific condition each time you try it. This is a lifesaver for boss fights, as a lot of them can be made easier by poison and it helps to know when poison isn't a potential answer to a problem.
      • The Gambler's All or Nothing Specialty, which makes it so that either EXP, JP, or PG gained after a battle is reduced to zero in return for a minuscule chance of one of those factors instead being multiplied by fifteen, is almost entirely centered on the person or people currently equipped with it. So while the Gambler themself might gain zero JP, their allies will still gain the full JP owed to them. The one exception is PG, as everyone shares the PG total.
      • Arcanists are hard-coded to occasionally catch themselves in their own spells. However, they also get the spells Drain and Aspir, which take HP and MP respectively from an enemy and gives it to the caster. These spells will never target the caster themselves, likely to allow the Arcanist to restock on HP when they inevitably blow themselves up with their own magic.
      • While Vent Fury mostly does as it says and picks abilities and targets at random to brutalize, it will never commit friendly fire.
      • While classes won't level up past 12 until you clear the Halls of Tribulation in chapters 6 and 7, the excess JP you get will be counted when the class level cap is raised to 15, giving you instant access to all of the new skills if you kept playing as that class even after mastering it.
  • Apathetic Citizens: The citizens of Rimedhal greatly fear the judgements, and all bets are off when someone is accused of being a fairy. Other than close family members, no one dares to contest the accusations to avoid wrongful suspicions. At worst, the accused will deflect their accusations and cast them to another person to save their own skins.
  • Ascended Extra: The Asterisks of all things get increased importance this time around, as they're causing trouble due to bad guys using them to steal the Crystals and are also revealed to be linked to the Greater-Scope Villain of the game.
  • Arc Villain:
    • The Prologue has Horten, King Vernon's Treacherous Advisor. Desiring to rule Halcyonia, Horten hires Selene and Dag to steal the Wind Crystal and kill Gloria, and takes matters into his own hands when they fail to do that.
    • Chapter 1 has Bernard Alfard, a member of Savalon's Council of Elders. Once a master thief, Bernard abuses the Water Crystal's power, flooding Savalon in the process. The two other major Asterisk Holders in the chapter, Orpheus and Anihal, answer to him. Only that Bernard isn't the true villain of Chapter 1—that title goes to Prince Castor. Using both Bernard and his friends, Castor pits them both against each other to obtain the Water Crystal for his own gains.
    • Chapter 2 has Folie. A Mad Artist who invaded Musa, Folie uses the power of the Earth Crystal to overrun Wiswald with trees, altering the town's landscape. She also murdered Mona, and uses her death to manipulate Roddy, Lily and Galahad into working for her. Lastly, she orphaned many children by killing their parents. All this so she can obtain the paint needed for her painting, as normal paint won't work for her.
    • Chapter 3 has Domenic, the archbishop of Rimedhal. Holder of the Fire Crystal, he began the fairy trials within the kingdom to ensure that his position of power isn't taken from him. Much like Bernard, Domenic is a Red Herring. The actual villain of the chapter is Bishop Helio. A spy sent by Holograd to destabilize Rimedhal for invasion, Helio used Domenic's envy and paranoia towards fairies to kickstart the fairy trials in the first place, and was the true killer of Gladys's parents, using their deaths to manipulate her.
    • Chapter 4 has Adam Holograd, Lord Commander of Holograd. Desiring to conquer all of Excillant, Adam mounts a full-scale invasion with his forces after Domenic's defeat. When his generals are defeated, he uses the Wind Crystal's power to create an airship he can rule from. After his defeat, his position of Big Bad is usurped by both Edna and the Night's Nexus.
  • Artificial Brilliance: Guest Star Party Members are generally pretty smart. For example, Prince Castor likes to dispatch enemies that are already on the ropes so your party members don't waste their time dealing finishing blows, instead of attacking blindly at random. Moreover, during boss battles, he tends to strike the boss more often to debilitate them.
  • Badass Bookworm: Throughout both demos, Elvis is characterized as a scholar studying the Asterisks who is also perfectly capable of lighting things on fire whenever you need to with his magic. Gameplay-wise, he obviously becomes this in one or more of many ways as he's as capable of using the Asterisks as the rest of the party. His teacher Emma and colleagues Roddy and Lily also qualify.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: Anihal has complete trust in and respect for Bernard, as he was the only soul who gave her a home when she was treated like dirt in Savalon due to not being native to the kingdom. This trope extends to the party, who defends her after she helps treat a child's dog and said child's father "thanks" her by scolding her for getting too close to his daughter. Unfortunately, Bernard very much abuses her blind loyalty to further his own goals, though Anihal is too grateful to even question his actions until Seth and the group defeat her and convince her that he's taking advantage of her as a loyal minion.
  • Big Bad: Adam is the Lord Commander of Holograd who destroyed Gloria's kingdom to gather the crystals and Take Over the World to bring an end to all wars. In truth, he is being manipulated by his right-band woman Edna, who seeks to awaken the Night's Nexus and destroy everything due to her hatred of humans, having given people the Asterisks not only to drain the power of the crystals, but to ensure that the Nexus could never be defeated.
  • Bonus Boss:
    • In the first demo, outside of quests, there is the Wood Golem located northeast of Savalon.
    • In the Final Demo, there are the Mussushu and Nightmare bosses, the latter which is incredibly Nintendo Hard.
    • After Chapter 6 begins, you'll have access to the Halls of Tribulation—seven chambers which allow you to rematch every Asterisk Holder in the game (plus a new one in Lady Emma) in order to unlock the final levels of each job class.
    • Besting all of the Halls of Tribulation unlocks a fight against the game's superboss—Gwydion.
  • Bookends: The game both begins and ends with Seth washing ashore on a beach thanks to the Wind Crystal reviving him.
  • Boring, but Practical: The Monk's level 15 passive, Maximize HP, simply doubles your max HP. This can give you more HP than the normal damage cap, making it a very valuable defensive skill.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: Defeating the Wood Golem in the first demo rewards the player with a Party Chat where the team congratulates itself for making it through the battle before leaving...and then a talking Orc from Bravely Default representing the dev team shows up and thanks the players for making it all the way in the demo.
  • Call-Back: Enderno village is Norende's letters rearranged differently, and the main side quest there involves helping out two brothers. One of them has been stuck sleeping for a long time.
  • Cap: You can carry 99 of each item. Most stats max out at 999. HP and damage normally max at 9999, but with the Monk's Maximize HP you can double the HP cap for a total of 19998, while with the Hellblade's Surpassing Power you can increase the damage cap to 99999.
  • Card Battle Game: There is a card minigame called "Bind and Divide" (or "B n' D" for short) that can played with various NPCs. Playing this game is also required to acquire the Gambler Asterisk.
  • Cast from Hit Points:
    • Certain skills take a set percentage of HP, leaving jobs that rely on such to consider whether it's worth losing more HP to use the skill during their turn or to save what remaining HP they have left to survive a potentially fatal attack from an enemy. This is most prominent in the Monk class, who use HP as the 'currency' for almost every action they take.
    • The 'Bloody-Minded' Berserker passive ability causes this to apply to normal attacks. The benefit for this is that all attacks are 100% accurate and will never miss. Additionally, while it will reduce HP, it will never reduce a person's HP below 1.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Seth receives a Pretty Stone during a second forced boat expedition though it doesn't get any attention. Much later, it turns out it's the other half of the Bravebearer Asterisk that got lost in the void but wound up being found from outside Excillant.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: At the beginning of the game, Seth heads towards the shore where he was found, and encounters an old woman, who lends him her boat as thanks for rescuing her. At the end game, when the party visits the shore, the old woman is encountered again and turns out to be Aileen, Queen of the Fairies and one of the previous Heroes of Light.
  • Clothes Make the Superman: Much like the previous games, the characters change outfits based on the job they currently possess, which can be altered using an Asterisk. Unlike them, however, when an Asterisk is taken from you, you are reduced to what amounts to a peasant outfit or whatever you were wearing before. As it turns out, the Asterisks are the only way to expose the Soul Jar for the Night's Nexus, who herself wields the man-made Librarian Asterisk and disguised it as Elvis's book. The other Asterisks were deliberately scattered around by Edna to ensure that humans cause turmoil and that her master couldn't be destroyed.
  • Cowardly Mooks: Overworld enemies start fleeing from you once you reach a high enough level. A loading hint/tutorial informs you that this is an indicator that you need to move on to bigger challenges.
  • Death by Irony: Happens quite a bit.
  • Draw Aggro: The game introduces the "chance to be targeted" stat. Heavier or flashier armor increases the wearer's chance to be attacked by enemies; bulky units like Vanguards want to keep this stat high while squishier fighters should avoid it like the plague.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: There are two possible endings to the game other than the Golden Ending (the party even witnesses one of them via Elvis's book), prompting them to seek another way to end the Night's Nexus in order to save Gloria and Adelle's lives.
  • Easy Levels, Hard Bosses: Pretty much this the game. Even if you can grind enough to get regular enemies to chicken out, the bosses will EASILY wipe your party in very annoying fashion if you don't have an exact strategy and LOTS of luck.
  • Everybody Was Kung-Fu Fighting: While there is a passive effect to buff your characters' unarmed damage, if you leave them unequipped they'll strike martial arts stances and at least visually fight like experts even if they don't have it.
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • The people of Rimedhal despise fairies and conduct what amount to witch hunts in hopes of rooting them out. Anyone who has even the slightest bit of evidence against them gets thrown into the Jaws of Judgment, where they'll inevitably die from the fall or be forced to reveal themselves as fairies.
    • The fairies of Mag Mell show that the feeling is mutual, regarding humans as lowly, contemptible creatures who bring calamity wherever they go. Though their concerns are justified by the Night's Nexus, an Eldritch Abomination that Was Once a Man who transformed into the greatest threat the world has ever known.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Orpheus presents himself as a minstrel who likes to sing and acts as Bernard's sort-of secretary. However, he uses the power of the Bard Asterisk to brainwash people so they stop pestering Bernard. Put him next to Gloria, and the man will start tossing Stealth Insult after Stealth Insult because he blames her family for tossing him out (for embezzling the royal family, mind you) and forcing him into a life of poverty he brought upon himself.
  • For Doom the Bell Tolls: A successful casting of Doom is accompanied by a single toll of a bell.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: You didn't think a Bravely Default game wouldn't have some form of this, did you?
    • The Night's Nexus is a master of this. A secret ending earned by actually beating Adam in the prologue has it tell Edna to take the Asterisks into the player's world.
    • How does the Night's Nexus keep reviving? Because the book Elvis carries is actually its Soul Jar, and saving keeps it immortal. To destroy it, you invert the trope when you destroy the Night's Nexus' memories, represented in game by overwriting its save data.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Hidden in a battle theme of all places, the definite final boss theme includes the character themes just like in Bravely Default, but instead of going in a sequential order, it starts with Adelle's, but then goes with Gloria's, then Elvis's, and lastly Seth's. Their initials together in said order spell "ages", the same word that's constantly being toyed with starting Chapter 5.
  • Gaia's Lament: The game shows that the world has been falling apart ever since the four crystals were stolen two years ago, with Savalon being flooded by the power of the Water Crystal and trees overtaking Wiswald thanks to the Earth Crystal.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration:
    • As a companion, Castor can use two attacks called Lower Defense and Lower Magical Defense. These attacks are renamed versions of the Berserker's Scale Strip and Shell Split abilities.
    • Lily uses a bow when she joins your party as a companion, even though it's mentioned that she never knew how to used a bow before obtaining her Asterisk, implying that using the Asterisk made her an Instant Expert just like the main cast. Other characters still make use of their Asterisk granted abilities after losing them because they ostensibly mastered several skills from them while the Asterisks were still in their possession.
    • Seth ends up poisoned when he tries to grab the fake Earth Crystal at the top of the tower, but it melts and poisons him. Once you regain control of the party, checking on his condition has him poisoned.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: The main version of Sandswept Ruins includes a variety of enemies that wouldn't be hard to imagine in a desert fantasy setting...and then there is the Daidarabocchi; a giant mutant zombie that wouldn't look out of place in Resident Evil.
  • The Glomp: Gloria of all people does this to Seth when he's resurrected in the Golden Ending.
  • Golden Ending: After seeing two Downer Endings that where Gloria and Adelle respectively suffer great misfortune, the Warriors slay the Night's Nexus for real, and the Wind Crystal rewards Seth with life even though his duty was finished, allowing everyone who survived a truly happy end.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: The depths of the Jaws of Judgement are filled with broken corpses of all the people who underwent the judgements, though the game won't let the player even see past the dark censor. The player only gets a very good idea of the reactions of trespassers who see the bottom.
  • Go to Your Room!: In a flashback at the end of Chapter 1, King Orion adamantly refuses Castor's suggestion that they invade Musa for the Water Crystal and dismisses him by ordering the guards to escort him to his chambers. Castor furiously responds by activating the Berserker Asterisk and murdering him on the spot.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Edna is this to nearly all of the Asterisk Holders in the game. The destruction of Musa? The theft of the crystals? Castor's newfound ruthlessness? The murder of Mona? The death of countless people in Rimedhal (including Rhydion's daughter and Gladys's parents)? Holograd's goals of conquest? All of these can be ultimately pinned on Edna and her goal of awakening the Night's Nexus.
  • Guest-Star Party Member: People that accompany the group can participate in battle and attack every turn to assist in the battle, but cannot be directly controlled. The Prologue gives you Gloria's mentor and former Hero of Light Sir Sloan, Chapter 1 gives you Prince Castor of Savalon, Chapter 2 gives you Elvis' old buddies Roddy, Lily, and Galahad, and Chapter 3 gives you the Lord of Dragons' successor Gwilym and his aide Martha.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • Near the end of the story, there comes a point when the party needs to talk to a certain someone in Excillant to know how to properly defeat the Night's Nexus without having it return over and over from the dead. Unlike how the game always points to the direction the player has to go, it won't tell you this time. You do get some hints from talking to the party. All you know all but spells out that you must go to Sir Sloan's grave in the Vale of Sighs.
    • Common drops are completely different than rare drops. You may be led to think that using the Gambler's Rare Talent also lets you get more common drops often, when in truth any increase to Luck makes it more likely to obtain rare drops but makes it harder to get common drops. This gets especially annoying later on when certain bosses' common drops are far more precious than their rare drops, but there is no way to get common drops easier...ironically.
  • Have a Nice Death: Fall to an Asterisk boss and they'll have some final taunts for you as the "Game Over" screen transitions in.
  • Healer Signs On Early: The White Mage asterisk (which, naturally, deals with healing and protection) is one of the first asterisks you'll pick up.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Quite a few of the Asterisk bearers do so once defeated: Dag and Selene become a pair of errant heroes who are rather heroic and selfless behind their respective bluster and aloofness, Shirley becomes content to run the gambling hall, Anihal realizes her error in blindly following Bernard (not that she was that antagonistic to begin with), Orpheus eagerly accepts a chance to have a honest job as an entertainer, Gladys joins the fight to defend Rimedhal (though at the cost of her life when she's backstabbed in revenge for the fairy hunts), and Lonsdale seeks atonement for the deaths at his hands from under Adam's command.
  • Hell Is That Noise: At a certain point in Chapter 6, an aggravating static-like noise starts to play on the save screen. This is an auditory version of Notice This; the Night's Nexus' save file has appeared on the save screen, ripe for overwriting.
  • Henotheistic Society: Gwydion is the Lord of Dragons who is worshipped solely by the people of Rimedhal. He acts as its Guardian Angel in times of need, and is said to speak to them through the archbishop Domenic. But in recent times, Domenic and the inquisitor Helio have led a crusade against fairies, blaming them for all of Rimedhal's ills, and purging suspected fairies in Gwydion's name. Meanwhile, Gwydion's voice has fallen silent on Domenic's ears.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Multiple times. Sir Sloan doesn't make it out of the Prologue doing this to save the party from Adam. Gwydion does the same against Adam during the battle at Rimedhal. Next, both Gloria and Adelle pull these off during the first few endings of the game though in the latter's case, she chose to stay sealed off from the human world when she didn't have to. Finally, Aileen, the Fairy Queen vanishes after sending the heroes off to the true final battle, using her power to send them to the dimension beyond the seas. Her spirit showing up later heavily implied that doing so cost her her life.
  • Hidden Elf Village: Mag Mell is the homeland of fairykind. They hid themselves from the rest of the world after centuries ago, a woman they invited consumed the forbidden knowledge the fairies kept, becoming the Night's Nexus. Mag Mell also happens to be the home of Adelle and her sister Edna, and the origin of the Asterisks.
  • How Is That Even Possible?:
    • During the "In Dreams" side quest, Gloria is rather confused after the Aine in the dream seemed too supportive of Glynn in his dream when he was supposed to be relieving a nightmare instead. It isn't really explained, but Gloria gets a "thank you" from Aine's spirit, which she shrugs off a bit.
    • The party as a whole being so surprised about fighting Sir Sloan in his prime, theorizing that the book somehow made it happen.
  • Hypocrite: In the demo Adelle teases Elvis for being over 30 despite her being far,far older.
  • Infinity -1 Sword: The Hellblade Asterisk, which is obtained towards the conclusion of the game's second act and not only has a decent specialization bonus that constantly regenerates HP and MP (with the tradeoff of losing all BP and hitting -3 when knocked out) but possesses an array of physical attacks that can hit with every single magical element in the game, hit for two more turns after being used, and upon killing an enemy transfer the unused hits to another. It is, in fact, surpassed only by the Bravebearer.
  • Infinity +1 Sword:
    • At the end of the game, you unlock the Halls of Tribulation, where you can refight all of the previous Asterisk-bearers (plus Lady Emma). All of them save Horten drop extremely powerful weapons that grant the player all of the passives of their respective classes, greatly expanding your tactical flexibility.
    • Special mention goes to the Bravebearer, an Infinity+1 Job which combines utterly overpowered abilities with great stat boosts. And in a more traditional term, the Sword of Light, which is not only one of the most powerful weapons stat-wise but gives you 5 skill slots worth of the Bravebearer's awesome passive skills.
  • In Medias Res: Similarly to the first game's demo, Bravely Default II's first demo takes place a fair way already into the story with the characters doing plot irrelevant quests in the game's desert area. The Final Demo starts midway through Chapter 1 with the heroes searching Savalon for the Water Crystal.
  • Innocently Insensitive: When introduced, Prince Castor appears cordial, but that only happens when he is around people of royalty like Gloria. With Seth - a commoner - among her ranks, he can't help sounding insensitive by reminding Gloria about his social status and how he shouldn't have much of a say. It takes a little time before Castor sees Seth's worth and truly apologizes for his behavior. Subverted in that it's all an act. He wanted to get in the party's good graces so he could betray them later.
  • Interface Screw:
    • There are exactly two points in the entire game that the main quest marker refuses to point at your actual destination due to surrounding story circumstances, instead pointing at the direction to a bad ending. Surrounding context clues are instead what point you to the proper way ahead.
    • The Night's Nexus does this whenever it's on screen by causing everything to have static.
  • Interface Spoiler: Savvy players who played the demo would know that something happens to Sir Sloan at the Vale of Sighs, which is the last dungeon before the start of chapter 1 as he's unavailable in the demo, which starts at the beginning of Chapter 1.
  • Legacy of the Chosen: There was a previous group of Heroes of Light who fought the Night's Nexus fifty years ago. Sir Sloan and Gloria's grandfather were two of them. The other two were Emma, Elvis's mentor, and Aileen, the Queen of the Fairies.
  • Leitmotif: Par for the course for this series, each of the Heroes of Light has their own theme. A faster, shorter arrangement plays during their special attacks. Their themes are also part of the music for the last phase of the True Final Boss battle.
    • Seth's theme is a Spanish-influenced guitar melody, featuring castanets in the background.
    • Gloria's theme is an elegant harp melody.
    • Elvis's theme is a laid-back jazz tune featuring a solo clarinet.
    • Adelle's theme is a folk-influenced theme featuring a solo trumpet. Her leitmotif also carries a bit of deeper meaning.
      • Adelle's theme is in 3/4 time, while all the others are in 4/4. This may be a nod to Adelle's status as the only non-human main character. This could also be a reference to the fact that fairies experience time differently from humans.
      • Parts of Adelle's theme pop up more frequently than the others, notably: the descending line in the introduction shows up in the first bad ending as part of Edna's boss battle music, and in Chapters 6 and 7 as the theme for Mag Mell, Adelle and Edna's home.
  • Lighter and Softer: In comparison to the previous two Bravely games and the sister game, Octopath Traveler, Bravely Default II is significantly on the optimistic side. With all respect given to the serious nature of the mass deaths and religious fanaticism in Rimedhal and Folie's atrocities against man and the environment, there is no child labor, the Red Mage isn't liquefying women in an obvious allegory to sexual assault, the Salve-Maker isn't a depraved sadist capable of mixing potions that will kill off thousands of people, and the closest the game gets to having sexual content is Adelle accusing Elvis of having a foot fetish. There's a bigger focus on the sense of wonder regarding each location the party visits, and Rimedhal excluded the major flaws of each major city are downplayed considerably in comparison to the other games.
  • Long Song, Short Scene: Those We Must Face, a slower, softer arrangement of one of the boss themes, is only played during Bernard's introductory scene in chapter 1.
  • Magikarp Power: Two classes really exemplify this trope;
    • The Freelancer is a novelty for the first half of the game. You level it up because it's the only thing available until you get Bard in chapter 1 and finally have a class for each major niche and because it makes leveling up classes faster in the long term. However, its second Specialty, Late Bloomer, changes everything once you get into the second half of the game and start mastering many of the classes, allowing the Freelancer to act as a tank, a magic cannon, a physical Lightning Bruiser, or really anything.
    • The Beastmaster falls under the same principle, except the floor is even lower and the ceiling is even higher. Not only do you need to master Beastmaster to get Creature Comforts, you need to actually catch hundreds of monsters for it to compete with the Freelancer. However, as the game goes on, easier tricks for mass-catching note  become available. By endgame, a good half hour spent catching monsters will easily make the Beastmaster the most powerful class in the game, but it's a slow journey up to that point.
  • Metal Slime: The Wiki-Wikis, a family of shiny birds who randomly appear in battles. Like most Metal Slimes, they're fast, flee easily, and have massive evasion and defense stats, making defeating them a chore, but they give high EXP and JP if defeated, making the struggle worth it.
  • Monster of the Week: While there is an overarching plot running through the game, in the actual narrative of each kingdom the Asterisks and Crystals function more as MacGuffins. As opposed to Luxendarc, Excillant has no global authority placed in its counterpart of Eternia. Instead, each aforementioned Arc Villain helms contained stories, with distinct motivations separate from Holograd, until Adam finally makes his move.
  • Morton's Fork: Rimedhal's judgments are of the "dunking those accused of witchcraft" (in this case, fairies) variety. The accused of being fairies are forced down a deep, deep pit — if they really are fairies, they would fly out and thus be guilty and executed. If they are not, they fall to their deaths and are judged by the town's Lord. Either way, the accused are dead.
  • Multiple Endings: There are two bad endings, a true ending, and a secret bad ending.
    • The first bad ending has Gloria sacrifice her life to seal away the Night's Nexus once more, repeating her grandfather's sacrifice. Everything calms down once more, but it is only a matter of time before the Nexus reawakens again, and since Gloria was the last of the Musan bloodline...
    • The second bad ending shows that the Night's Nexus repeatedly revives itself no matter how many times it's beaten, forcing the fairies to seal it away forever by freezing Mag Mell in time and permanently cutting it off from the rest of the world. Just as the party is about to finish escaping Mag Mell, Adelle ends up staying behind, believing she has to atone for her sister's crimes, to Elvis's dismay.
    • After witnessing the events of the first two endings, the true ending has the party seek out the Asterisk of Bravery from Sir Sloan's spirit. After being taken to where the Nexus truly resides in by Aileen, the Queen of the Fairies, they succeed in permanently killing the Nexus, and return home with the Crystals' blessings. Seth seemingly dies once again, but is resurrected by the Wind Crystal as thanks for all his heroic deeds.
    • The secret bad ending is obtained by defeating Adam in the Prologue. The next scene reveals that the Night's Nexus and Edna know about the existence of multiple worlds, and the Nexus tells Edna to bring the Asterisks into a certain someone's world... YOURS.
  • Musical Nod:
    • The first couple of notes in the main battle theme are the same as the first couple of notes from the Bravely Default battle theme.
    • Starting in chapter 4, the main battle theme gets a violin remix with guitars. Not only is the instrumentation similar to the Asterisk boss theme of Bravely Default, 'That Person's Name is' / 'He of the Name,' but a couple of notes that play before the theme loops are the same notes that play when 'That Person's Name is' / 'He of the Name' is about to loop, too.
    • The battle with Edna contains a snippet of Wicked Flight from the first game, which is very appropriate considering you're fighting an evil fairy who's The Dragon of the Greater-Scope Villain.
  • Near-Villain Victory: Actually a requirement for the best ending, where it is made a plot point, enforced, justified, invoked, and exploited. Each of the successive bad endings, including the secret one possible in the prologue, result in a better outcome than the last; the problem is that each time the heroes get a chance to try for a better ending, it means releasing more safety nets preventing the Night's Nexus from succeeding in one fell swoop. The best ending requires that the Nexus get incredibly close to beginning its grand 'unification.'
  • Nerf: A lot of abilities return in this game that were present in Bravely Default and Bravely Second. Some of the more overpowered abilities and jobs have taken a hit;
    • Arcanists got hit incredibly hard from the transition over from Bravely Default to Bravely Default II. While they maintain their position as incredibly powerful mages, they don't get to take advantage of BP anymore to deal more damage to people with a lot or only a little BP - almost a necessity given the change in how turn order works and how enemies have become more likely to Brave or Default in a given situation. They've also lost Exterminate, further cutting down how much damage they do. The only thing they retain beyond their incredible damage is, unfortunately, the fact they can sometimes hurt their allies.
    • In the transition from Bravely Default to Bravely Default II, Stillness was moved from Spiritmaster to Bastion, and had a few tweaks to prevent it from being abused. First, it stops any change in BP, HP, or MP, making it mostly about stopping painful assaults from enemies and less about making the party unkillable. It's still useful, but after its Game-Breaker status in the first game, it's taken a heavy hit. The change in how combat plays out over a turn also means that eventually some damage will fall between the cracks, since it only ends at the start of a Bastion's next turn and that Bastion will, eventually, take damage if they want to deal damage.
    • Steady MP Regen is back from Bravely Second as MP Regen, but what isn't back is the Bishop or Benediction as it was in the previous games. This makes it impossible to heal allies back to full HP and gain MP in the process, aided by the higher cost in MP spells have in this outing. Also, while MP Regen can become stronger than Steady MP Regen note , this is only really the case with investment into the MP statistic through mage jobs and special accessories. This prevents warrior classes from easily spamming their best moves. While it's possible to combine MP Regen with Lunar or Solar-Powered, this is a costly decision late-game, where literally every passive ability equipped counts. There are still ways to invalidate the limitations of the MP bar, but in general it requires a dedicated team build to work properly.
    • The mere existence of the ATB gauge makes it impossible for Valkyries, now called Dragoons, to prevent all possible damage against themselves via Jump. When the Dragoon hits the ground is entirely dependent on when their turn comes up, as Jump is considered its own special status effect that is immune to any measure that would end it normally. Additionally, the speed stat and the ATB gauge aren't as exploitable as they may appear - to prevent one character from going thirty times before another, the game cheats a bit to ensure that after a set number of actions, the bar takes a bit longer to fill, and after most actions the bar doesn't fill for a little while. This means the Dragoon will inevitably have some period of time spent grounded, where they can't stop damage against them.
  • Never My Fault: Orpheus refuses to take responsibility for being a nuisance and embezzling Gloria's royal family for prestige and blames her for getting thrown away and forced to wander like a hobo.
  • Nice Guy: Seth has a way with words despite being a commoner. After the battle with Anihal and convincing her that she's not alone in the world because she has her pets and the party for comfort, optional conversations with Elvis and Adelle has them compliment him on how he managed to sway her to help them, admitting that they wouldn't have done a better or equal job than he did.
  • Nintendo Hard:
    • The first demo explicitly states that it is harder than the main game, and it shows. If you're inadequately armored, monsters inflict a few hundred damage with their most dangerous attacks (a Vanguard's HP is about 1400ish), and they can Brave just like you can; play your cards wrong or don't grind, and you, just like a few competent game journalists, can expect to know the Game Over screen on a first-name basis. The Final Demo like the main game has three difficulty settings you can change as you so desire.
    • The final demo introduces the player to a new kind of counter. Bosses can counter white magic a healer uses and render them useless to keep them from doing further healing. This even extends to the all-counter "Counter Any Ability." That's without mentioning the fact even normal enemies can counter certain actions.
    • The Asterisk holder rematches fall under this. They seem to be designed for you to take full advantage of the job system and use the most broken strategies possible.
  • No Mere Windmill: Zigzagged in chapter 3. It turns out there are fairies hiding among the human populace and one of them is malevolent, but the fairy hunts are actively serving her ends, the other two disguised fairies are perfectly friendly, and the actual fairy nation just wants to be left to their own business.
  • Non-Linear Sequel: The game takes place in its own continuity separate from Bravely Default and Bravely Second, but it contains many thematic references to Bravely Default; the party dynamic is very similar to the dynamic of the first gamenote , the overarching objective is to restore the four elemental crystals to stop the world from decaying, and the demo takes place in a desert (yet again).
  • Non Standard Game Over:
    • Defeating Adam in the prologue triggers one. Upon learning of Adam's defeat, Edna takes the Asterisks and departs to attack a new world, implied to be our own. The credits then rapidly play with the Game Over music in the background, and the game informs you that you have to lose to Adam to continue the story.
    • In one sidequest, you need to beat Shirley in a game of B n'D where the party bets all of their own asterisks against Shirley's one Gambler asterisk. If you lose, she does take your asterisks, ending the game on the spot.
  • Oddly Named Sequel 2: Electric Boogaloo: The game is titled Bravely Default II in spite of the fact that the game's second installment is titled Bravely Second.
  • Once per Episode: The demo of the game takes place in a desert, just like how the previous entries have also set their demos around Ancheim, and similarly to how the first demo for its sister game Octopath Traveler had Sunshade as one of two available starting points.
  • Orphaned Etymology: One of Adelle's quotes for hitting an enemy's weak point is that she's found its Achilles' Heel. There is no indication that Achilles exists in Excillant.
  • Peninsula of Power Leveling: Ironically the starting area of Halcyona is this for Asterisks, due to both the fact that Job Points don't scale as much as Experience or PG, and most of the enemies in the region are types that have monster snacks associated with them.
  • Pensieve Flashback: Elvis' book works like this, allowing the person who carries it to experience flashbacks to the lives of the Asterisk bearers. Later on, it also starts showing visions of the future.
  • Point of No Return:
    • There are quite a few of these in Chapter 4:
      • Entering Halcyonia, Savalon, and Wiswald while Holograd is occupied there will only allow you to access the town and its respective overworld map.
      • During the Halcyonia mini-arc, there's no turning back once the mission to rescue King Vernon begins.
      • The final mini-arc of the chapter is a point of no return in of itself—once you complete it, you'll be unable to leave Halcyonia, forcing you to press on to Holograd.
      • During the chapter's climax, entering the Flying Fortress will prevent you from heading back to Holograd until Adam's defeat.
    • Chapters 5 and 6 have respective points before battling Edna in the Crystals' Resting Place and the Night's Nexus in the Fount of Memories. Both turn out to be Red Herrings, as Seth seeks out another way to defeat the Nexus both times.
    • The definitive point of no return is at the Isle of Nothingness, before the true final battle of the game.
    • On the sidequest side of things, Glenn's sidequest has one. Once you enter Glynn's dreams, you won't be able to return to the real world until you defeat Glenn's dream self.
  • Press X to Die: During Seth's brief interlude with the Wind Crystal, it tells him that if he wants to embrace death, he should stand there and let darkness consume him. You have thirty seconds to approach its light; if you actually do stand still, you are greeted with the Game Over screen.
  • Recurring Element: Like its parent series, this game is showing a trend of recurring ideas, motifs, and themes with its previous installments, despite this game being the first divergent narrative in the series.
    • Most obviously, the crystals that grant class powers are still called Asterisks, and you have to defeat their owners to obtain them.
    • Like the first game, the plot revolves around four elemental crystals, and evil forces draining them to bring about the end of the world.
    • The Dragon of the true Big Bad is revealed to be a fairy, just like the previous two games. And just like in those games, that Dragon is manipulating people to their whims, though unlike the original and like Second she's manipulating the Big Bad Wannabe instead of the heroes.
    • There are multiple endings, though there are multiple bad endings this time. Thankfully, unlike the first game, they don't require you to replay the whole game to get the Golden Ending, and in fact the bad endings are mandatory to unlock it.
    • While nowhere near as heavy as the first two games about it, the game still plays with the fourth wall. Notably, to get the Golden Ending, you have to reveal and override the Night Nexus' save file note  in your save menu, and there is a hidden ending that results in the Night's Nexus and Edna deciding to invade the real world.
    • The first Asterisk-bearers you fight are a female Support Party Member and a male Mighty Glacier. Sound familiar? Like Holly and Barras, the two eventually become a couple. Going even further, Selene and Dag are eventually surpassed by another healer-and-warrior pair, though the female is the warrior this time and the male is the healer. And just like Victoria and Victor, the relationship between Gladys and Helio is toxic.
    • The first full chapter takes place in a desert facing a water crisis perpetrated by a bandit. A Job that relies on money is up for grabs, and the current regent is actually a foe. The major difference between Savalon and Ancheim is that Ancheim was quickly running out of water, while Savalon had way too much.
  • Revenge:
    • Orpheus's whole motivation for his antagonistic behavior towards Gloria is due to being thrown out of her kingdom while he was the court minstrel, but his obvious Professional Butt-Kisser status to mooch off of her family's riches ended up getting him fired, leaving him as a vagabond until Bernard took him in. Bernard exploited the fact Orpheus wanted to make her miserable and manipulated him to be part of his group to keep the Water Crystal away from prying eyes.
    • Edna's motivation for working for the Night's Nexus stems from the fact that she despises humanity for the countless wars they cause for the sake of the crystals.
  • Revive Kills Zombie: Just like in the rest of the series, undead monsters as well as one Asterisk Holder take damage from healing effects. It's even given a justification as part of the plot; objects and spells that revive the undead do, in fact, bring them back to life. They just then die anyway because the process of becoming undead meant they were on death's door before they became skeletons and ghosts and reviving them doesn't help that issue.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something:
    • Gloria herself has no issues putting herself in battles. One of her former subjects reveals that she used to come to training sessions with other soldiers and made everyone worry whenever she decided to spar with the biggest, toughest soldier among them. She even defends her point by saying she believes she had to be ready for anything that may threaten her life. She was right.
    • Prince Castor isn't the least afraid to fight during battles, wielding some scary-looking scythes. It's also foreshadowing the reveal he's not as benevolent as he appears, having killed his father in the past to become ruler and steal the Water Crystal in order to use it stop save the people from the drought by flooding it.
  • Sequel Hook: Even after the final boss is defeated, there's still a couple of plot threads that need to be answered.
    • During the "Like Teacher, Like Student" side quest, one of Emma's notes comments on her trying to solve the riddle of the book for "his" sake. It's unknown who she was talking about.
    • The black-haired youth that was with Inanna before she became the Night's Nexus is still a mystery.
  • Sequel Number Snarl: The game with "II" in the title is the third main game in the series.
  • Shout-Out:
    • If it's not made obvious by his first name, it's eventually revealed that Elvis' last name is Lesley.
    • From a structural standpoint, Bravely Default and Octopath Traveler love sharing ideas with each other. The credits of Bravely Default II is a massive love letter to the sister game, with a fake-out at the end where the player still has one last set of inputs to make after the credits, like what is done in Ophilia's story, and a hand-drawn, stylized image of the characters following their adventure, much like how every story in Octopath finishes with an end card. If there's any uncertainty the connection is intentional, the sepia tone and the presence of 'Fin' written in the bottom right corner should remove all doubt.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Evil: In full force in this instalment.
  • Theme and Variations: Three of the Asterisk bosses - the Bastion, the Phantom, and the Arcanist - share a common battle theme, but have unique variations in the final 16 measures (roughly 20 seconds) before the theme loops.
    • The Bastion's variation features a stately French horn line and a high, tense piano ostenato.
    • The Phantom's variation features a melancholy and fast violin line.
    • The Arcanist's variation fits a lot of chaos into not a lot of space. It suddenly switches to 3/4 time with what sounds like a pipe organ paired with a piano, includes a purposely off-kilter section that switches back and forth between putting the emphasis on the downbeat for two measures and then on the upbeat for another two measures, and then just as abruptly switches back to 4/4 time just before the theme loops.
  • To Be Continued... Right Now: There is a bad ending where you decide to face Edna, only for her to succeed in awakening the Night's Nexus and for Gloria to sacrifice herself to seal it away again. After the credits, starting the game up reveals it was a vision the book told the heroes.
  • Unfriendly Fire: In the climax of Chapter 3, a Rimedhal soldier who lost his sister to the fairy hunts frags Gladys in revenge.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Despite appearing shady and suspected to be the reason Savalon is flooded, Bernard still has patrons coming to his gaming hall to play and the Lady Cygnus, a fellow elder on the Council, even calls his character unimpeachable. But it's nothing compared to the true mastermind behind the Water Crystal's theft: Prince Castor, who is both well regarded by the people and willing to help the party out extensively.
  • Witch Hunt: In Rimedhal, the local religion is persecuting people suspected of being fairies, shoving them off a cliff under the logic that if they're not a fairy they will simply be judged by the Lord of Dragons as good faithful people and thus will have a good afterlife, and if they are a fairy they will spread their hidden wings and fly off. Double subverted as fairies actually do exist but are mostly good beings, and one of the outsiders trying to help the town turns out to be a fairy. In addition, the chief inquisitor Helio who started this witch hunt turns out to be The Mole indirectly working for a rare villainous fairy, the purpose of the witch hunt being to soften Rimedhal up for invasion by Holograd forces.

Alternative Title(s): Bravely Default 2

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