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From left to right: Leif, Vi, and Kabbu

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 Moonsprout Games, published by DANGEN Entertainment, and released in November 2019.

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! Eating just one of its leaves can grant even immortality! In search of this ancient artifact, a brave team of explorers - originally the duo of Vi (Honey Bee) and Kabbu (Rainbow Scarab Beetle), but joining with Leif (Polyphemus Moth) in their first expedition - will travel across many different environments. In order to do so, they must 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.


  • 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.
  • 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, there's still running electricity and gas, even though it's been a minimum of 350 years by the Roach's calendar since the Day of Awakening, 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.
  • Artistic License – Biology: A number of the insects in the game have a far above average number of males in their society compared to how the gender ratios would be in real life. This is most prominent with the number of male ants and wasps in the game.
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • BGM Override: Used in The Giant's Lair. Even the chase music that plays when spotted continues into battle.
  • 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.
  • Big Bad: The Wasp King, who invades the Ant kingdom to claim the artifacts for himself and gain the Everlasting Sapling to become immortal.
  • 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, and a fight against Team Maki in the Playable Epilogue as the final challenge in the game.
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • Cartoony Eyes: Zig-Zagged. Some bugs do have white (or colored) eyes with black pupils, and some have normal compound eyes.
  • 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 NPC is unique, representing many species of insects.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • 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.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: There's a white mantis girl in the game you encounter several times. First on the outskirts of the wasp kingdom, second when a majority of Bugaria's citizens get captured by the wasp kingdom and finally her hanging out at the wasp kingdom permentantly. Although the game never outright says it, given her dialogue and how she doesn't seem to mind being capture, especially since there's a wasp in her cell who doesn't want to follow their kings orders, it's heavily implied that this character has a wasp fetish.
  • Hair Decorations: The baby Mother Chomper can be given ribbons to wear that increase damage output or inflict Standard Status Effects.
  • 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, meaning that completing all achievements on one save file is not possible without defeating bosses with Hard Mode on, as these unique medals cannot be earned any other way.
    • 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.
  • Idiosyncratic Combo Levels: When a character lands a successful multi-hit attack, these pop up, with the best level being "Unbeelievable".
  • 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.
  • 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 in the game are female. Case of Truth in Television given that bee hives 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.
  • Logical Weakness
    • It makes sense for plant & fungal enemies to take extra damage from Leif's ice magic, since they can't handle 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.
  • Lovable Coward: Upon first encountering the giant, bug-eating spider of Snakemouth Den, Vi originally flees and leaves Kabbu and its webbed-up prisoner (Leif) at its mercy, but comes back when Kabbu is close to dying from it.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Not So Extinct: The cockroaches.
  • 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!
  • 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 it's options are limited to just attack and do nothing, it doesn't take any damage from attacks, making it 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.
  • 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.
    • The Wasp King becomes one after eating of the Everlasting Sapling.
  • 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.
  • Reality Ensues: 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.
  • 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.
  • Sealed Good in a Can: Leif is this at the start of the game, resulting in him emerging decades later. Ditto for Elizant I.
  • Self-Imposed Challenge: Invoked and integrated into the game; 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.
    • Low-Level Run: 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.
    • "Just Frame" Bonus: 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.
  • 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
  • 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, elevators, and warp holes).
      • There's also a drink called "Mega Rush (tm)" as a reference to the badge of the same name.
    • 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.
  • Standard Status Effects: Poison, Sleep, Paralysis (referred to as Numb), Freezing, and Burn are all present.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Two Guys and a Girl: Vi is the only girl of the three-bug band.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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