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From left to right: Leif, Vi, and Kabbu
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Bug Fables: The Everlasting Sapling is a Role-Playing Game heavily inspired by the Paper Mario series, with similar battle mechanics and artstyle. It was developed by Panamanian studio Moonsprout Games, published by DANGEN Entertainment, released in November 2019 on PC and consoles at May 28, 2020.

Hidden within the foliage of nature lies a small but prosperous continent - Bugaria. Insects from all over the world travel to it in search of the treasure scattered across it. The most sought after of these relics is the Everlasting Sapling, as eating just one of its leaves can grant unmeasurable power, even immortality.

In search of this ancient artifact, Queen Elizant II, ruler of the Ant Kingdom, hires Team Snakemouth, a brave team of explorers - originally the duo of Vi (Honey Bee) and Kabbu (Rainbow Scarab Beetle), but joining with the mysterious Leif (Geometer Moth) in their first expedition - to find the various artifacts that lead to the Sapling. But the wicked Wasp King, dictator of the Wasp Kingdom, also seeks the sapling so he may use its power to conquer Bugaria.

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And so, the race to find the Sapling begins, as Team Snakemouth must travel across many different environments, work together to clear puzzles, defeat strong enemies, and help the general bug populace.

Now with a Character page, please move all character specific tropes there.


Tropes:

  • A Dog Named "Dog": Originally, Vi, Kabbu, and Leif were named Bee, Beetle, and Moth respectively, which was reflected in the earliest demo. That was changed later on, likely due to how awkward it was to have them in live a world where other bugs had proper names.
  • Action Commands: An important part of the battle system is to time button presses in order to give a boost to defense or attack.
  • Actually Four Mooks: A single enemy on the field could represent a battle with up to four foes.
  • After the End: The Day of Awakening for bugs is heavily implied to also have been the day of reckoning for the "Giants" whose relics dot Bugaria. That said, when the group finally enters the Giant's Lair, despite massive disrepair and whatever the hell that's living there that is very clearly not human being there, this is still only one house, leaving it unclear if the story is simply set in the yard of an abandoned home or if humanity has truly disappeared. The final Ant Kingdom lore book offers up several possibilities, which even in universe are considered unclear and possibly just myth.
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  • All in a Row: How the party walks. Switching leaders swaps their positions too.
  • All There in the Manual: A lot of the details of the setting are only explained in the lost Ant Kingdom lore books
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: The Wasp King and his cohorts invade the Ant Kingdom to steal the artifacts to find the Everlasting Sapling, twice.
  • Aluminum Christmas Trees: Yes, termite soldiers can have built-in cannons on their heads, they're called "Fontanellar guns".
  • Ambidextrous Sprite: Much like its inspiration, the character models literally flip over when changing direction, swapping anything asymmetrical like eye scars (Alex and Zasp) and Artificial Limbs (Ven's girlfriend and Engira).
  • Animals Lack Attributes: They’re insects, after all. If you don’t know insectoid social conventions, you’ll generally need to wait for someone to use a pronoun.
  • Anthropomorphic Transformation: The "Day of Awakening" granted insects plus a few spiders human sapience and lifespans alongside a number of other human features.
    • All became bipedal, losing a pair of legs in the process, with the exception of the spiders.
    • All who had ocelli lost them with the exception of the Mantises.
    • Mantises gained fingers in place of their scythe-arms.
    • Many lost their mandibles and have a simple human looking mouth. Some butterflies, moths and mosquitoes retain their proboscis. Strangely, a few mosquitoes have both a mouth and a proboscis.
    • When Zasp gets indigestion during the Eating Contest, he clutches his midsection like a human would, implying the organs are in there and not inside the abdomen.
  • Anti-Climax: One of the side missions involves the repair drones in the Honey Factory going haywire, and the recommended method of rebooting their program is Percussive Maintenance. They do not fight back at all. After all, there's no reason to install weapons on repair drones, right? Even the characters lampshade how disappointingly easy this sidequest was.
  • Anti-Grinding: Leveling up decreases the amount of EXP you gain from enemies, until weaker ones will only give one point.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • Water, thorns, and Bottomless Pits don’t carry a penalty for falling into them, which helps a lot during some of the trickier platforming sections.
    • Items and Berries which bounce away into the aforementioned hazards will generally be thrown back, or you can chase after them, causing the game to load both of you back on the edge.
    • The team’s inspection dialogue is generally more direct with hints in some puzzle rooms than Paper Mario’s.
  • Arrange Mode: Naming your file "MYSTERY?" causes all of the overworld medals to get shuffled around between their locations, also acting as a minor Video Game Randomizer.
  • Artistic License – Biology: Invoked with flight and water. Most sentient insect species have lost the ability to fly, save for bees, which prevents characters from simply flying to wherever they want to. Likewise, water isn't nearly as lethal to bugs as it is in real life because instant death pits aren't fun.
  • Artifact of Doom: The Wasp King's crown is revealed by a roach in the post-game to be the Ancient Crown, created by the ancient roaches. It's the source of the Wasp King's powers of mind control and fire. Said roach considering what the Wasp King did wonders if the crown should have been properly sealed away instead of discarded in a way it fell into the wrong hands.
  • Astonishingly Appropriate Appearance:
    • Leif apparently wore his blue and gold wings like a robe even before he became a mage. He tells Kabbu in an optional conversation that he got the style from his father.
    • The six main Miner Ants all look like they were born solely to tunnel to the one place that the Queen has ordered them to tunnel to at the start of the game.
    • In a weird inversion, several species of insect that mimic bees show up in the game, and they are almost always obsessed with Bee culture or eager to get to know bees. Hawk, Professor Honeycomb’s assistant, is a hawk moth that even Vi mistakes for a Bee.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The group eventually gains access to dual and triple skills. While powerful in their own right, it uses up both or all their turns, on top of each one having their own set up that allows them to dish out just as much damage by themselves, meaning it's frequently better to have each one use one of their own skills rather than a dual or triple skills.
  • Bait-and-Switch:
    • The leadup to the Chapter 2 boss has a lot of Foreshadowing that the goddess Venus is really a Venus flytrap and is using Aria to feed her sacrifices. Her name, the flytraps around the rest of the level, the fact that no one has seen her face, the emphasis placed on "feeding her", etc. In reality, she's named "Venus" because of her Theme Naming of the Roman gods with her unseen siblings, and that while she is a sentient plant, she isn't a flytrap. She's actually more like a rose, the stuff about feeding her is because she actually really likes non-bug food, is actually Good All Along, and only attacks because she wants to reprimand Vi for her bratty behavior in Snakemouth Den.
    • The game at first paints a very different picture of the Hive than we eventually get, through Vi’s dialogue and a couple of Bee Kingdom NPCs. The player is given the impression that it’s a very elitist utopia with a Hive Mind mentality and strict social castes, and Vi was basically an outcast for wanting to be the first bee explorer, facing merciless bullying until finally just barely escaping. It’s actually a friendly, welcoming Kingdom with a kind and progressive monarch, and most bees don’t want to leave just because it’s such a nice place to live. Most of the real teasing came from Vi’s older sister, which made her oversensitive to the other bees’ relatively mild comments, leading to her telling her sister and her boss to shove it and running away.
    • For the first half of the game, there's no clear overarching Big Bad, but the best candidate seems to be Queen Elizant II. Her personality comes across as that of an authoritarian bully, her bodyguard Zaryant is incredibly antagonistic, she refuses to explain why she wants the Everlasting Sapling, her castle and fashion sense are eerie, and she's allowed several alliances with other kingdoms to fall apart while banning almost all ladybugs from her kingdom for a crime only a few have committed. More than a few bugs openly distrust and despise her such as Leif, and even when the Wasp King invades the Ant Kingdom he can come off as a Red Herring due to what's hyped up to be the final battle being in the fifth chapter of a seven chapter story. But as it turns out, the Wasp King truly is the villain of the story and Elizant isn't evil so much as she an insecure, inexperienced queen trying too hard to live up to her beloved mother's example.
  • Bait-and-Switch Character Intro: Mothiva's first proper meeting with Team Snakemouth has her arrive with Zasp into the Golden Hills entrance when Team Snakemouth installs the big crank that is required to operate the lift into the hole. Initially, she compliments Team Snakemouth, praising them on their hard work...and then starts insisting that they allow her to finish the mission, even trying to bribe them with exposure, and when they refuse, she reveals her disdain for them threatening to overshadow her popularity and initiates a fight. This establishes her as a Glory Hound and a massive jerk beneath the facade she puts on public.
  • Barrier Warrior: Another of the spells that Leif learns to manifest is a barrier that can make himself or one of his allies completely invulnerable for a turn of battle.
  • Battle Boomerang: Vi wields a boomerang. She can use it both in combat and the overworld.
  • BGM Override: Used in all areas of the Giant's Lair. Even the chase music that plays when spotted continues into battle.
  • Big Bad: The Wasp King is the Evil Overlord of the militaristic Wasp Kingdom who seeks the Everlasting Sapling so he can become immortal and conquer Bugaria. The post-game reveals that he isn't even a wasp, but a wasp-mimic fly named Hoaxe who usurped the rightful Queen.
  • Big Eater: Leif is obsessed with food, and seems to be perpetually hungry no matter how much he eats. This might be a result of either him not having eaten for literal decades and making up for lost meals, or him technically eating for two thanks to the cordyceps controlling his body. Chubee also has quite the appetite and puts up a good fight against Leif in Golden Settlement's eating contest.
  • Bleak Level: While this game is typically cheerful, there are several areas that are not:
  • Bonus Boss: There are five Bounty Bosses you can take from side quests that are a major step up in difficulty compared to the storyline bosses. There is also the Mother Chomper, encountered in an optional dungeon, the Broodmother in the power plant, multiple criminals and hostile bugs fought in sidequests, and a fight against Team Maki in the Playable Epilogue as the final challenge in the game. Patch 1.1 adds a fight against Team Slacker, who are even more powerful than Team Maki.
  • Bonus Dungeon: The Snakemouth Lab is totally optional, but doing it unlocks Leif's useful Ice Rain ability. It's also fairly challenging, especially if you do it as soon as you unlock it.
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • There is a quite extensive set of recipes in game based on cooking with different food items found in the world and by enemy drops... most of which are outclassed by Drowsy Cakes, which can be bought from a merchant right next to an Ant tunnel for 10 berries, partway through Chapter 2. Drowsy Cakes restores 7 HP and 7 TP at the cost of putting a party member to sleep note , which can be avoided with two Sleep Resistance badges that can be obtained early on for cheap and cost only 2 Medal Points. They also have no downside at all outside of battles.
    • Out of all the combination attacks, Fly Drop is rather unspectacular since Vi simply lifts Kabbu into the air and drops him onto the enemy. But its ridiculous damage output and comparatively low TP usage make it a lot more practical than most, if not all of it's flashy alternatives.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: The majority of the Wasps are actually being controlled by the Wasp King with the powers of the Ancient Crown to mindlessly obey him. In the post-game, many of them, especially General Ultimax, are rather apologetic about the topic.
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: Vi's spy notes on the chapter 4 boss.
    Vi: Why can't we ever just grab the artifact? There's always gotta be a creepy, giant, or creepy giant monster!
  • Bubblegloop Swamp: The Wild Swamplands, where Kabbu passed through to get to Bugaria and where his old adventuring party was killed. It's not the nicest of places.
  • Call a Hit Point a "Smeerp": What's usually called Magic Points is called TP, or "Teamwork Points" here. Levels are called Ranks, and with it Level Ups are Rank Ups. EXP, while still abbreviated as EXP, is "Exploration Points."
  • Cartoony Eyes: Zig-Zagged. Some bugs (usually mantises) have white (or colored) eyes with black pupils, most have large Monochromatic Eyes, and a few have teeny dots, but all kinds have eyelids and sometimes eyelashes. The only character to explicitly have realistic compound eyes is Fry. This is justified as part of the in-universe evolution.
  • Cash Gate: If Team Snakemouth wants to access Metal Island before Chapter 6, they have to pay up 300 berries for a ferry ride, though there isn't all that much to do on it before that point anyway. You do get access to a way to purchase Tangy Berries earlier on if you do, as well as not needing to pay in order to unlock the tunnel between it and the Ant Kingdom. Beating all the card masters lowers the price from 300 to a much more reasonable 80 berries.
  • Cast of Snowflakes: Each and every non-military NPC is unique, representing many species of insects.
  • Censored for Comedy: Cooking a Mistake will result in a Big Mistake, which is so horrible that its icon is censored out.
  • Cel Shading: 3D objects in the game are rendered with flat colors and outlines to keep with the storybook aesthetic. The outlines can be turned off in the settings menu.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: The game starts off as rather lighthearted around the beginning portion (even having a fun-sounding battle theme to boot), but once you encounter the Wasp King for the first time after Chapter 4, the game's tone starts to shift to a serious one, including even changing the background music for the battle theme (conveniently called "Team, It's Getting Serious!") to indicate this change (something that's also present during Upper Snakemouth as well). Come Chapter 7, and the tone shifts to a far more sinister and serious one as you enter the Giant's Lair, where no battle theme is present and instead uses whatever is currently playing in the background, whether if it's this very foreboding piece, a horrific sounding theme that plays whenever you're spotted by Deadlander Omega, or the same theme that played when Ant Kingdom got under attack the first time by the Wasps, all which are far more serious sounding than both battle themes..
  • Chain of Deals: What the side quest to obtain red paint for Vi's sister Jaune entails.
  • Challenge Run: While there is no conventional New Game+ feature, there are a number of codes that can be input on the file select screen for various kinds of additional challenge. For added difficulty, these can be combined together and added onto with the existing difficulty increasing badges.
  • Critical Status Buff: The party can obtain medals that grant attack and defense buffs if the user is poisoned, at low health, or in similar trouble.
  • Crown of Power: The gold crown Wasp King wears on his head is an ancient Roach artifact that allows him to use the magic of flame and brainwash wasps to blindly and unquestionably serve his will.
  • Cyberpunk: The Termite Kingdom has a very strong feel of it, considering that the area is technologically advanced compared to the rest of Bugaria, yet also has a dystopian feel to it too.
  • Darkest Hour: When the Wasp King invades the Ant Kingdom (again), he brings everyone in the queen's throne room to their knees, including Queen Elizant II. To stop him from killing all of her subjects, Elizant surrenders and gives him the artifacts.
  • Deadly Euphemism: When Queen Elizant I is discussed, her ultimate fate is referred to as having fallen into a "hard-earned sleep." Subverted, in that she isn't dead.
  • Deconstruction: What happens when social insects gain sapience and human lifespans? Some of them (namely Vi and one of the termite soldiers) begin to resent the idea that they were born into their role of being a worker/soldier and would be stuck with that "job" for life.
  • Defector from Decadence: Vi originally hailed from the Bee Kingdom, but left in order to be an adventurer.
  • Developers' Foresight:
    • Riz when approached in the Far Grasslands will give the option to initiate the fight or leave. However, if you first enter the Fishing Village after getting the submarine and then exit to the Far Grasslands, Riz will be shocked by Team Snakemouth, assume they're poachers who'd harmed his family, and automatically starts his boss fight. His dialogue afterward is altered to reflect this.
    • Each party member has their own unique things to say on the Spy entry for each enemy. On bosses where a party member doesn't participate in the fight, they have something to say about the enemy in retrospect.
    • There’s a Captain at Bugaria Pier who exists as an expensive method of getting to Metal Island before you get the submarine and can travel on the water freely, at which point it gets destroyed later in the game. The team’s Spy dialogue for the heartbroken Captain will change depending on whether or not they rode his boat.
    • If you use the Abombination item on an Abomihoney or Ahoneynation, they get healed instead. Because you cannot fight unstable honey with more unstable honey.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The Deadlanders; the beasts that reside in the house on the outskirts of Bugaria. They look like stitched together creatures made of other bugs. Then there is the Deadlander Omega; a giant (relative to bugs) thing with one glowing eye and boney purple hands that stalks you in the background throughout the house.
  • Eldritch Location: It may just be an abandoned house, but to the bugs the Giant's Lair is an otherworldly, frightening hellhole. It's oppressively dark, a strange fog permeates the air, Venus can't send her buds any further past the entrance, horrific monsters unlike anything bugkind has ever seen stalk its halls, and the fridge in the middle translates into a sudden icy mountain that serves as a jarring contrast to the rest of the Lair. Even when it's not observed from the lens of a bug, there's something unnervingly off about the whole place.
  • Fantastic Caste System: All of the species that make up the four main kingdoms of Bugaria have some sort of castes, at least when it comes to soldiers and guards. It ranges between the fairly relaxed and cosmopolitan Ant Kingdom, where the Queen's guard Zaryant is the only notable soldier born to the role, to maintaining a military caste but letting others do as they'd like in the Bee Kingdom as well as the Wasp Kingdom before the Wasp King took over, and strict worker, scientist, and soldier castes in the Termite Kingdom. However, it's also averted for species that don't have queens, which reproduce in ordinary families.
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • Ladybugs have a somewhat contentious relationship with the Ant and Bee Kingdoms due to a recent raid on Golden Settlement’s aphid farms by a score of ladybugs. However, most ordinary citizens you meet in the game consider the restrictive laws passed in the aftermath to be an overreaction, and are generally sympathetic to the ladybugs.
    • In the Defiant Root, you can meet a lone blue dragonfly named Dran, who laments that almost everyone distrusts him due to him being a dragonfly, because most dragonflies encountered in the game are thieves. He even says he would've been locked up in a prison if he wasn't blue.
    • Due to their own technological superiority, Termites on the whole tend to consider Ant society less socially and intellectually developed than their own. Plus the whole “isolationist society that blows up any ships that approach their port” thing.
  • Fate Worse than Death: The Wasp King turns into a regular tree after losing control of the Everlasting Seed. It's kept there as a warning so that others know the danger of vying for the sapling's power.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: Kabbu is the most offense-focused member of the team, Leif has Ice magical abilities, and Vi is focused on rewards while also providing support, such as using a satchel of spare healing items.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: Leif had been trapped in Snakemouth Den for decades, which in bug years is long enough to outlive an entire generation.
  • Fission Mailed: When you fight the beast in the Wild Swamplands, it will knock down Team Snakemouth with a series of bites that deal 99 damage each. If Kabbu is already knocked down, he will get back up and continue fighting with increased attack power.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • There is a lot of early references to later plot points, such as brief references to Kabbu's past having had tragedy as well as Leif's tendency to refer to himself as "we", both of which get explored later on in the game.
    • In the Spy notes for the Zombiant, Leif is the only one to recognize it as cordyceps fungus animating an ant corpse.
    • One of Leif's skills (the second one he learns) is called Frigid Coffin. In a sense, Leif is a coffin; he's a cordyceps fungus inside the long dead corpse of the real Leif.
    • Kabbu's first skill is Taunt, which draws in enemy attacks for the round. Kabbu has lingering Survivor's Guilt for being the only one of his travelling party that made it to Bugaria after encountering the Beast; likely, he's subconscious trying to sacrifice himself to ease this pain.
    • One of Vi's early skills is Secret Stash, which is described as her using her own supplies for the skill, implying she has her own funds separate from the party's. Which she uses to buy the expensive toy from Metal Island needed to trade for the red paint Jaune needs.
    • When Venus first encounters the party through a bud, she doesn't realize Leif is present with Kabbu and Vi. After her boss battle, she admits she still can't sense Leif's presence.
    • Leif in the Hive gets signaled out during a security check, and Professor H.B. mentions something odd inside Leif aside from crystal fragments.
    • In the Wasp Kingdom Hive, the party can enter the hangar featuring two tanks, and there is also an empty place for another one, whose absence is noted by characters in the help dialogue. Since all of those tanks are Drill Tanks, it foreshadows that the Wasps are attacking the Ant Kingdom through underground, as noted in the Ant Mines in Chapter 6. Also, said tank, now refitted for combat, ends up becoming the boss of said chapter.
    • Half of an old Roach statue is on a rock next to the open fridge in the Dead Lands. A subtle clue that the Roaches didn't just hide the Sapling there, but stayed to protect it.
  • Forest of Perpetual Autumn: Golden Path and Golden Hills are set in perpetual autumn, due to Venus' influence. As a result, the Golden Settlement farms always provide harvest, providing food and dyes to Bugaria.
  • Four-Legged Insect: Simultaneously played straight and averted. Almost every single major character or NPC stands on two legs while the enemies have the proper number of appendages.
  • Frothy Mugs of Water: The "Berry Juice" is suggested to be intoxicating judging from the places you get it and those who drink it; Celia and Levi are implied to have had a hangover during the festival, the border guard is Drowning Her Sorrows with Berry Juice in the Defiant Root bar in Chapter 6, and the bar musician Tristan is clearly wasted the one time you can talk to him.
  • Game Gourmet: You can cook many different kinds of food to heal yourself with, and each of the three in-game chefs even has a specialty you can enjoy. Many of the food items are more to an insect's taste than a human's, with items like leaves covered in honey and aphid dew shakes, but some look appealing to both, such as Crisbee's honey-covered Crisbee Donuts and the fruity Tangy Carpaccio.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Lief enters a Heroic BSoD after seeing his "wife" Muse for the first time in years and can't bring himself to approach her, yet he doesn't react any differently to her son Tod.
  • Green Rocks: The Ancient Crystals that appeared everywhere after the Day of Awakening. They’re used as expensive lighting all across the kingdom, and they also function as save points, with the in-universe explanation being that they literally store a record of nearby consciousnesses. Several machines exist that can read this data. There are gold variants that save and heal, and a red variant that only heals. There’s a giant one underneath Bugaria that prevents it from becoming a Dead Land, and the soil and plant life is laced with shards, which causes some plants to become animate, like Seedlings and Venus. Honey made from Bugarian flower nectar will also come to life if it gets too hot or in accumulations larger than the Honey Drop item. The Roaches used them as a power source for their robots and Cordyceps experiments. A large one in the Giant's lair has been supplying the appliances with electricity for years. It’s also apparently well documented that bugs with Ancient Crystal shards in their body will develop magical powers as a side effect.
  • Group-Identifying Feature: All members of the Bandit faction wear hoods with their distinct insignias, which are upside-down emblems of the Ant Kingdom, representing their leader's resentment towards the Ant Queen.
  • Growling Gut: When this happens to both Leif and Kabbu at the end of Chapter 1, it prompts Vi to take them to the local chef which serves as a way to introduce the player to the game's in-depth cooking mechanics.
  • Hailfire Peaks: The Ancient Castle, a dungeon featuring both sand and ice elements.
  • Happily Married:
    • Queen Layra and King Hector are a loving couple who respect each other for the most part, which is reflected in their stained glass murals. They do bicker a bit while dealing with Elizant, but there's no love lost between the two.
    • Despite Cricketly's fiery temperament and Huscada's shyness, husband and wife alike are loving and supportive of one another.
  • Hard Mode Perks:
    • The very first medal the party gains acts as a Hard Mode switch that can be toggled at any time. Enemies are stronger when it's enabled, having more HP and some unique attacks, but they also give more experience points and drop items more frequently. Additionally beating bosses note  while it's active rewards the team with medals when they return to town. While achievements for beating bosses on Hard Mode can be done later on as part of H.B.'s simulated Boss Rush, these do not grant medals unique to beating a given boss, but these medals can be bought from the travelling caravan on normal mode after defeating the boss the first time.
    • There's also two additional badges that have similar effects. Harder Hits makes enemies all have one additional attack, and they drop more money in return, while EXP Booster drops the party's attack by one in exchange for increasing EXP earned in battles.
  • The Heart: Kabbu is a noble soul that adventures to help others, and does his best to respect everyone he comes across. Early on, he even learns a skill to revive his allies in battle by just giving a pep talk.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: Wouldn't be an RPG without them.
    • The first encounter with the Spider in Snakemouth Den, when you fight it only as Kabbu. It uses its webbing to get up above the ground, where he can't attack it, making the fight impossible.
    • Also, when you battle The Wasp King for the first time, who uses fire magic to defeat Team Snakemouth.
  • Hub World: Upon reaching a new town, worker ants dig a passage between it and the cavern under the Ant Kingdom's hive.
  • An Ice Person: Leif, who can wield ice magic. The Watcher and other Roach constructs are also capable of weaponizing ice.
  • Idiosyncratic Combo Levels: When a character lands a successful multi-hit attack, these pop up, with the best level being "Unbeelievable".
  • In-Game Banking Services: The Ant Bank offers 2.5% interestnote  on deposited berries for every 30 minutes of play time. Depositing 500 berries for the first time will upgrade you to the bank's Platinum Card membership and double the interest. Up to 10,000 berries can be deposited in total.
  • Insect Gender-Bender: The game tends to avoid this with its portrayals of social insect hierarchies... save for male bees and wasps. Bee and wasp drones don't have stingers in real life, but drones like Zasp, Reeves, and Crisbee all have them. Similarly, the Wasp Kingdom's military seems to be mostly male-dominated. While the stinger issue can likely be explained as both a quirk developed through the "Day of Awakening" as well as an out-of-universe way to make the Wasp King's status as a fake wasp more noticeable, the same can't be said about all the male soldier wasps.
  • Interface Spoiler: Two minor examples.
    • The false wall in Defiant Root’s well has no collision with Vi’s Beemerang, even though the rest of the well does. It’s unlikely that you’ll notice it unless you’re looking for it, though.
    • You're have to go out of your way to do it, but after fighting The Wasp King for the first time, you can choose to listen to that particular theme in Ant Kingdom. The theme name? The Usurper. Why would the Wasp King be called The Usurper?
  • Irony: The Roach scientists in Snakemouth Labs threw away a cordyceps experiment as a failure, as their aim was to achieve eternal life without the Sapling. Said failed experiment eventually made its way to the corpse of a dead moth and assimilated his memories and personality to where the cordyceps believed it was Leif.
  • "Just Frame" Bonus: Blocking exactly when an attack hits reduces damage more than a a regular block. Using the code FRAMEONE, given by Shades after collecting all Crystal Berries and purchasing all rare medals from Shades, makes it so that only super blocks prevent any damage.
  • The Lad-ette: Vi tends to be a tad rough-and-tumble compared to other bees, particularly if loot is involved (to Kabbu's chagrin).
  • Lady Land: A lighter version of this trope, but most of the bees and all but one of the ants in the game are female. Case of Truth in Television given that bee hives and anthills in real life are almost entirely comprised of females.
  • Leaked Experience: Instead of characters having individual Experience Points, there's a shared Exploration Points counter that gives the whole party a boost when filled up.
  • Leitmotif: The Everlasting Sapling theme, which shows up in a number of songs, including the title, the introduction, both final boss themes, and, oddly enough, the inn theme.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: It’s a Spiritual Successor to the first two Paper Mario games. Expect almost every NPC to have a unique design and at least a paragraph of character development.
  • Logical Weakness:
    • It makes sense for plant & fungal enemies to take extra damage from Leif's ice magic, since they can't handle the cold in real life.
    • Vi, Kabbu, and Leif are all crippled by The Wasp King, since Fire is deadly to all insects. Also, fire based enemies deal more damage, and the Burn status effect saps more HP than Poison.
  • Long Game: The Roach Elder’s musings in the postgame very lightly imply that she is beginning to suspect that the Ancient Roaches sealed the Everlasting Sapling in the Dead Lands with the hope that it would eventually wilt and lose power, to keep potential abusers weak enough to defeat.
  • Low-Level Run: invoked Using the code RUIGEE, given by Eetl after completing all quests makes it so enemies do not give EXP, and level ups need to be purchased from Eetl with berries.
  • Man-Eating Plant: Normal flytraps, walking, semi-sentient ones known as Chompers, and a massive pitcher plant called The Devourer. One special Chomper in particular can be an Optional Party Member.
  • Metal Slime: Golden Seedlings. They rarely appear during encounters with other Seedlings (the chance is higher in the Seedling Haven). They drop a hefty amount of experience and the Tangy Berry, a very good TP recovery item that is used in several recipes. However, they have high Defense (unlike most enemies, their Defense divides damage instead of subtracting from it, meaning attacks will only deal 1 damage each), will more often than not run away if they aren't finished off quickly, and if they don't run off, they still deal about 10 damage with their attacks (which is a lot, considering the max HP any character might have is less than 20-30).
  • Mouse World: All of Bugaria is a small yard, with the desert being a sandbox.
  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much:
    • Despite spiders being portrayed as nightmarish beasts to bugkind in this world, there are two notable exceptions; a friendly spider in the Forsaken Lands who possesses at least rudimentary literacy skills who will buy items for twice their usual price and a Spider Sorcerer in the Far Grasslands who possesses the same level of sentience as the rest of bug kind. Neither of these spiders bare any ill will towards the party, though the Spider Sorcerer is initially annoyed about the party crashing into his basement.
    • Similarly, despite the Wasp Kingdom being the game's leading hostile faction, you meet several friendly wasps hanging around Bugaria, the most prominent one being Zasp of Team Mothiva.
  • New Super Power: Leif does not recall having any magical talent before Vi and Kabbu resuscitate him in Snakemouth Den, but uses his new abilities to help as best as he can.
  • New World Tease: The Far Grasslands can be entered as soon as chapter 3 when competing a quest allows you to enter it, but you won't be able to explore beyond two rooms until chapter 5.
  • Noob Cave: Snakemouth Den is the first area Kabbu and Vi head to once they start their team, and despite the game painting it as The Dreaded, it's actually full of some of the easiest enemies (besides Seedlings, which you fight on the way to the cave). It introduces you to Leif, various puzzles involving the basic abilities of all three characters, and particular enemies that need various tactics to take on but are very manageable otherwise. You're even not allowed to go back afterwards as the area is locked until Kabbu discovers his Dig ability. Beating Chapter 4 will even let you explore another portion of the dungeon, which is not noob friendly at all.
  • No OSHA Compliance: The Rubber Prison, which was meant to serve as a high security prison for the worst criminals, but seems just as dangerous for the guards, especially with the thorns covering most of the floors.
  • Not So Extinct: The cockroaches. Team Snakemouth stumbles upon a surviving cockroach population in the Dead Lands, and one of the lore books indicates that there may be other roaches far beyond Bugaria.
  • Odd Friendship: Minor characters Seb and Madeleine are a cicada butler and his cicada killer wasp mistress, but they get along well and are very committed to each other's happiness.
  • Oh My Gods!: Bugs (mostly from the Golden Settlement) typically refer to Venus when exclaiming. Even she gets in on it when you have a picnic with her.
    Venus: Oh my self!
  • Opposites Attract: King Hector is a foul-tempered hothead while his wife Queen Layra is far more calm and reasonable. But at the end of the day they're a loving couple, with Layra even telling Hector that their relationship works because of how different they are from each other.
  • Optional Party Member: By going to an optional out of the way area and beating a Bonus Boss, then taking the reward from it to one of the scientists in the hive, it's possible to gain a baby Mother Chomper as a fourth party member. While her options are limited to just attack and do nothing, she doesn't take any damage from attacks, making her a straight increase in damage output for the group.
  • Parasite Zombie:
    • Snakemouth Den features Zombiants, which are (presumably dead) ants infected with cordyceps. This is Truth in Television, as cordyceps are parasitic fungi that can control ants once they've infected them.
    • Later on you can return to Snakemouth Den and discover the Snakemouth Labs, a place where cockroaches experimented to try and find another source of eternal life. These experiments used cordyceps and crystals, and led to the creation of the Zombiants, Zombees, Zombeetles, Zommoth, and one "failure" that ended up becoming Leif.
  • Patchwork Map: The whole of Bugaria could be contained within a small backyard, yet it features an Autumn-esque bountiful settlement, an incredibly hot desert in a sandbox, a lifeless wasteland with few plants, and a humid, thick jungle and swamp in close proximity to each other.
  • Peninsula of Power Leveling: After obtaining Kabuu's Dig skill in the middle of Chapter 4, you gain access to the optional Stream Mountain area, which houses enemies that you'd normally encounter in the sixth chapter. Around the point you encounter them, the Water Spider and Diver Spider enemies yield about 10 exploration points while the Belostoss yield about 20. All of the enemies have rather predictable and easily dodgeable attack patterns, and even though the Belostoss are tough and bulky, they're rather easy to slowly chip away. You can easily earn a couple of ranks just by doing so to the point where the enemies in the Ancient Castle yield none, making it easy to just steamroll through them with the "Bug Me Not" medal.
  • Playable Epilogue: The game continues after beating Chapter 7 and stopping the Wasp King, with a separate achievement for truly completing the game after completing some post-Chapter 7 and all other tasks in the game, bar the Cave of Trials and the B.O.S.S. system.
  • The Pin Is Mightier Than the Sword: The party can find a number of medals that can augment their abilities, from granting a new skill to making them more susceptible to status ailments (either as a challenge, or to combo with a Critical Status Buff). The number of total medals that can be equipped depend on the party's Medal Points, but with some exceptions, the player has to choose which of the three party members receive a medal's effect.
  • Plant Person:
    • Venus, hailed as a goddess by the town she's rooted near, is a long-lived sentient flower with control over other plants. And a secret room in Upper Snakemouth shows that she's not the only one of her kind: there are at least two other plant gods named Mars and Pluto respectively.
    • The Wasp King becomes one after eating a leaf of the Everlasting Sapling.
  • Point of No Return: After the stove segment in the Giant's Lair, passing the wooden spoon triggers the final boss sequence. You're given a subtle warning with everything being quiet, roaches and scorpions laying dead on the ground, and a save point.
  • Pokémon Speak: Aphids say "aphee" and pillbugs say "pibu".
  • Precision-Guided Boomerang: Vi's weapon of choice, with its unique abilities explained as it being a prototype drone she bought on the black market.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Despite Bugaria being established for at least several hundred years, the Ant kingdom is only on its second Queen, and the Bee and Termite Kingdoms’ rulers were both in power during the first Queen’s rule. This points to the monarchs being much, much longer lived than their subjects. Which is Truth in Television as far as insect lifespans are concerned, but makes it difficult to really understand the scale of time between the settlement of Bugaria, Leif’s abandonment, and the present day of the game.
  • Red Baron: The player's band collectively gets the moniker of "Team Snakemouth", for not only finding the artifact in Snakemouth Den, but also being some of its only survivors.
  • Rewatch Bonus:
    • On the first playthrough, the player might not think too much about the enemies in Snakemouth Cave. However, a specific one of them serves as subtle Foreshadowing about a certain character's reveal...
    • Venus's words about Leif's original mission to Snakemouth Den take a very different meaning when looking at it again knowing Leif's origins.
      Venus: Yes, a team of three. One of them falls, the other two flee with their lives. The remaining one lingers, yet the presence vanishes.
  • Rule of Symbolism: In the beginning of the Chapter 6, Queen Elizant II was forced to surrender the artifacts to the Wasp King, who then proceeded to escape with them, breaking through the stained window depicting her image. Afterhand, Queen Elizant's stoic and cold facade finally breaks and she reveals all of her doubts and insecurities to the group present, lamenting her inability to protect her people and obtain the Everlasting Sapling. During this entire sequence, the stained window of Elizant was shattered, representing how, with her physical imposing image shattered, so was metaphorical.
  • Schizo Tech: The Insect Kingdoms have all developed in very distinct technological directions, at very different speeds. Although technological and cultural exchanges have started taking place on a larger scale by the end of the game.
    • The Ant Kingdom, having focused on diplomacy and exploration throughout its existence, is a largely mercantile society that has only recently invented ships that don’t rely on sails.
    • The Bee Kingdom has been focusing on rapidly developing technology and research to improve the quality of life in Bugaria in general and the Hive in particular, and from the base of the tree to the top you can find windmills connected to batteries feeding a generator powering the Hive which connects to a largely automated honey factory powered by a separate, much stronger core.
    • The Termite Kingdom has been industrializing, focusing all of their energy on their own development, and their dome has ten story skyscrapers, fast food, heavy pollution, a submarine, automated supermarkets full of mass-produced goods, and even internet.
    • The Wasp Kingdom is poor but highly militant, with a fortified wall and three giant tanks in a garage.
  • Sealed Good in a Can: Leif is this at the start of the game, resulting in him emerging decades later. Ditto for Elizant I.
  • Seldom-Seen Species: The game's chock-full of them. We see a rainbow scarab, a paper wasp, an orchid mantis, a peacock spider, and Cordyceps fungi, just to name a few.
  • Sequel Hook: Quite a few, though none directly stated in the ending. For starters, A hidden area in the Snakemouth Labs reveals that Venus isn't the only one of her kind and there are other plant deities in Bugaria. There's also whatever the Deadlanders and Deadlander Omega are, which is never properly explained in the game itself, as well as the mysterious hints about the northern and eastern kingdoms scattered throughout the game.
  • Serial Killer Baiting: In the "Requesting Assistance" sidequest, Levi and Celia request Team Snakemouth's help in apprehending Monsieur Scarlet, the infamous criminal who preys on exploration teams by posting false help requests on quest boards and then draining their lifeforce when they arrive into his lair. His lair is obscured by an illusionary wall that becomes invisible for anyone who takes his request. This is also the case when Levi and Celia took his quest to set themselves up as Scarlet's target. Before, they asked Team Snakemouth to assist them to catch Scarlet off-guard. Though Scarlet escapes, Levi and Celia still managed to see his face. After they reveal Scarlet's operating methods to the public, he's no longer able to prey on explorers like he did before.
  • Shadowed Face, Glowing Eyes: Some characters have faces that are obscured by their exoskeleton, leaving only their eyes visible underneath. Notably, beetle characters usually only have one eye visible, but them all having an Ambidextrous Sprite confirms that they all have both eyes and that they function correctly.
  • Shout-Out
    • As a game heavily inspired by the Paper Mario franchise, there are naturally some obvious references aside from the design influences:
      • One medal that can be found is called "Luckier Day" as a reference to the Lucky Day badge, which was somewhat infamous for being hard to obtain and having a very powerful effect that is also completely random. Luckier Day on the other hand makes all your blocks and attacks automatically hit "Unbeelievable!" and has 0 cost because it's actually just a cosmetic change.
      • Another obvious reference is that paths between different rooms often have orange and yellow triangles on the side, identical to the design used for paths between different rooms in every Paper Mario game except Super Paper Mario (because the only transitions between areas in that game are doors, Warp Pipes, elevators, and wormholes).
      • There's also a drink called "Mega Rush (tm)" as a reference to the badge of the same name.
      • When you use Spy on him on the overworld after defeating him the first time, Vi dismissively refers to General Ultimax as General Guy, who is the fourth boss of Paper Mario 64 and a fellow hammy tank-driving military man.
    • There are some obvious references to Hollow Knight, such as a room with a rusted nail and some flowers (referencing the Knight's first weapon, and the Delicate Flower quest respectively). Even this line from Vi references what Millibelle does after scamming you.
      Vi: Hmph. What if after we put in a huge deposit they just steal our money and run to a hot spring or something!?
    • The Colosseum in the Termite Kingdom has a portrait of a former champion who highly resembles the designs of the unique enemies from the Colosseum of Fools. It also has an NPC with a nail, to hammer home the comparison.
    • One of the playable arcade games in Chapter 6 onward is Mite Knight which has a similar art design and style as Fight Knight note .
    • To Pikmin, being bug sized explorers in a small world surrounded by relics of humanity which has possibly gone extinct.
    • The set up of the protagonists being a new adventuring team and getting slowly drawn deeper into a plot that concerns the fate of the whole continent has drawn comparisons to Pokémon Mystery Dungeon.
      • There are an extensive number of medals that revolve around the poison status effect, such as making it permanent, making it heal, and making it boost attack or defense, much like several abilities in the main franchise, especially Poison Heal and Guts.
    • At the Card Master Tournament on Metal Island, one of the contestants is an ant named Bu-Gi who wears a hat of colored leaves resembling spiky hair and proudly states his deck was made using his grandfather's cards. Sound familiar?
    • Right before the final battle, the Wasp King gloats about his rise to power and the crown on his head that proves it. In the sentence immediately after, he says this...
    • If Kabbu spies Cenn, he'll say the catchphrase of Kamen Rider Double:
      Kabbu: Maki's judgment was correct. You're not ready to be an explorer! It's not only to gain riches, but to help others! Now, let's count up your sins!
    • The Flower Journey minigame at the Termacade is based off Flappy Bird.
  • Shown Their Work: The bug theme isn't just for show- the writers put a lot of work into taking actual bug ecology and accurately representing it in the story. For example, the Ant and Bee kingdoms only have Queens, just like real life, while the sexual dimorphism of the Termite King and Queen is accurate as well. This is also true of wasps, who only have queens, meaning that an astute player can guess that the supposed Wasp King isn't who he says he is.
  • Sidequest: Loads. You can access most of them from job boards, but you'll have to go out of your way to find a few.
  • Slaying Mantis: Maki and Kina form the highest-ranked exploration team in Bugaria, with Maki being knighted by Queen Elizant and entrusted with all kinds of dangerous missions, and Acolyte Aria is a Badass Preacher who managed to thwart the Wasp invasion offscreen before the events of Chapter 2. Thankfully they're firmly on the side of good, and are incredibly powerful fighters. However, there are still villainous examples in the form of the Ruffian enemies, which are hard-hitting mantis criminals that are fought in the penultimate chapter.
  • Sound of No Damage: A soft "clonk" sound effect, like clicking your tongue in your mouth, accompanies anything that does no damage.
  • Spiders Are Scary: In this world, spiders are ferocious beasts that terrorize bugkind and can't be reasoned with. The most prominent ones are the giant spider living in Snakemouth Den (designed after a brown recluse) and the Peacock Spider, while others are generic enemy encounters such as the Jumping Spiders (Which can steal items) and Mimic Spiders (which are capable of mimicking the behavior of sentient bugs in order to lure in prey). However, there are a handful of friendly spiders such as the tarantula wizard of the Far Grasslands and a jumping spider in the Forsaken Lands named Pinky, both of which are sentient and helpful to the player.
  • Spiritual Successor: Bug Fables does not deny the fact that it is a reimagining and improvement of Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door which is wonderful and alright with those who just want the classic and reliable formula of the first two Paper Mario games. Especially after they felt disillusioned by the stark contrast of Sticker Star, Color Splash, and Origami King.
  • Standard Status Effects: Poison, Sleep, Paralysis (referred to as Numb), Freezing, and Burn are all present.
  • Stationary Enemy: With Preexisting Encounters: Wasp Bombers are completely immobile and they attack simply by throwing bombs at the party, initiating the encounter if hit.
  • Stock Beehive: Strangely, instead of looking like what an actual wild beehive would look like, the Bee Kingdom Hive instead resembles a yellow skep hanging from a tree branch.
  • Stupidity Is the Only Option: The Mushroom sitting on top of the obvious trapdoor in the first chapter is the only item in the game that cant be picked up from a distance with Vi’s Beemerang.
  • Sugar Apocalypse: Despite the cutesy artstyle, whimsy music and common comedic scenes throughout, the game can actually be quite dark when it wants to be. Right away, its made clear that brutal death and dismemberment is a very real danger for Explorers, with Snakemouth Den stated to have claimed hundreds of Explorers before Team Snakemouth conquers it. And then there's pretty much everything about the Giants, the Cockroaches, and the Wasp King.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Falling in water is the same as falling in a Bottomless Pit (which the game also has). Fortunately, they're all the not deadly variety.
  • Surprise Creepy: While the game as a whole doesn't hold back on darker elements, as the game goes on and more about the backstory of the world and certain characters are revealed, things start to get markedly darker. And then there's the final area of the game, which takes a dive into straight-up horror.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: Even the Everlasting Sapling would eventually wilt being kept in a sealed container in a place with no sunlight as it's still a plant, which the party and the cockroach elder discuss in the post-game epilogue.
  • Take That!:
    • The bad books side-quest has a pretty big one towards the All Just a Dream trope, in which the character cites it as so bad that even he can't stand it, and promises to burn the book later.
    • The fight against Mothiva and Zasp in Chapter 2 has a stab at "choosing beggar" celebrities who insist on being given things for free in exchange for "exposure".
  • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: Used with most (but not all) female insects important to the story, to help players unfamiliar with the very different primary sexual characteristics insects use. Subverted with Monsieur Scarlet, who wears a pink dress and sunhat, fighting with a parasol, but is nevertheless a male ant. The only one in the game.
  • Throne Room Throwdown:
    • Team Snakemouth encounters and fights the Wasp King for the first time in the Ant Kingdom Palace's throne room. However, their fight ends up being the Hopeless Boss Fight, as he immediately defeats them with a pillar of flame, until Maki wards him off.
    • Later, to reclaim the artifact Wasp King stole during an attack, Team Snakemouth sneaks into the Wasp Kingdom Hive, and just when they enter the throne room, ready to attack the King in his royal chambers, his right-hand man General Ultimax reveals himself and calls forth his troops, initiating the fight with Team Snakemouth. However, they quickly defeat him and his troops before heading off into quarters only to find out the Wasp King is not there and already went to attack the Ant Kingdom for second time.
    • The False Monarch, one of the five Bounty bosses in the game, is fought in the throne room of an abandoned ancient ant city, where swarms of Mothflies impersonating bugs took residence.
  • Turn-Based Combat: As part of it being a Spiritual Successor to the first two Paper Marios, the combat is turn-based.
  • Two Guys and a Girl: Vi is the only girl of the three-bug band.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Vi gives a very different perspective on the Bee Kingdom than the one we eventually get. It doesn’t help that one of the few Bee NPCs the party can examine early on is a soldier that was born into the military.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: The old merchant on Metal Island unknowingly fished up and sold a magical crown to a young fly, who then headed north... so that he could become the Wasp King using its magic.
  • Vendor Trash: Dark Cherries are scattered all over the world buried underground, but cannot be eaten and exist mostly to be sold, with even the description encouraging the player to sell it with In-Universe justification that "collectors will buy them for a big price". However, they can also be used for cooking, making either a powerful bomb that can inflict random status effect, a powerful healing item that can restore the entire party's HP and TP, the best TP recovery item which immediately restores TP to maximum, and an item that can revive the entire party.
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: While the game is rather lighthearted and whimsical for the most part, the same can not be said for the Wasp King or the roach scientists in charge of Upper Snakemouth. The former is a brutal tyrant obsessed with crushing bugkind under his heel while the latter committed scientific atrocities in pursuit of immortality, and both are taken dead-seriously with their appearances heralding some of the game's darkest moments.
  • Virtuous Bees: While there tends to be at least one bad egg or two among the various bug races, the bees as a whole seem to skew towards firmly being on the side of good. Most of the ones you meet are hard-working, personable, and friendly, and even the meaner ones like Vi and Dr. Honeycomb balance out their rudeness with good deeds. Snotty Spy Cards player Ritchee and the Zombee enemies are the closest ones to avert this, but even then the former is merely rude while the latter are innocent bugs puppeteered by horrific fungi.
  • Wicked Wasps:
    • Soldiers from the Wasp Kingdom are set up as an antagonistic faction to the Ant Kingdom the protagonists hail from. Subverted, as it turns out the Wasp Kingdom was under some kind of mind control from the king, who isn't even a wasp himself.
    • Zasp tends to flirt with this trope when in the presence of Mothiva. When he's not around her however he's a lot more pleasant, albeit still fairly gruff.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: When Team Snakemouth goes to the Wasp Kingdom in hopes of getting one of the artifacts back after the Wasp King invaded the Ant Kingdom to steal it, they enter his bedroom only to find... the real ruler of the Wasp Kingdom, Queen Venessa II. She then tells them that the Wasp King went back to the Ant Kingdom again to steal the other artifacts too.

Alternative Title(s): Bug Fables The Everlasting Sapling

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