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Video Game / Chaos Rings

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Chaos Rings is a series of Eastern RPGs for iOS devices, developed by Media Vision (the studio behind the Wild ARMs series) and published by Square Enix.

The games feature two character parties, and use a turn-based battle system, which lets the characters attack either alone, or as a pair. The games all have themes of sacrifice for the greater good.

The games in the series are:

Tropes present in all three games:

  • Anti-Magic: Magic Resistance reduces magical damage taken, Magic Block gives a chance to block magical attacks
  • Attack Reflector: The Mental Wall status effect causes one magical attack targeted on the user to be reflected onto the enemy.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: Averted in the first game and the normal mode of Omega, where you only have two people in your party at any time, but played straight otherwise: in Extra Mode of Omega and nearly the entirety of the third and fourth games, your party has more than two members but the active party is still limited to two (in Omega and II) or three (in III) people.
  • Armor-Piercing Attack: The Critical Pierce skill causes the user's critical hits to ignore the target's defense.
  • Barrier Change Boss: Due to how elements work (using a magical attack will set one's elemental affinity to that of the attack, including strengths and weaknesses), all bosses capable of attacking in more than one element qualify.
  • Break Meter: The Break Gauge is present in all three games, although it is slightly changed for II. Instead of having a break meter for each participant in battle, there is an overall one for the entire battle, which is filled or depleted as you attack enemies or take damage. When it swings towards the player, you get improved damage from your attacks and take less damage from the enemies. When it swings towards the enemies, the reverse happens.
  • Cast from Hit Points: The Risk Breaker ability deals damage to both the user and the enemy, while Sacrifice uses the user's remaining HP to deal damage.
  • Combination Attack: All the games have a choice to have both party members attack together to do improved damage, although this also means all attacks directed your way hit both combatants. The third game introduces Awaken, a dual attack which allows you to summon an Ophan. However, this option is completely gone in Chaos Rings III. Instead, you improve your damage by making sure that your party members attack one after another, which means you really need to pay attention to their agility stat.
  • Counter-Attack: A character that uses Counter or Devotion will immediately retaliate when taking physical or magical damage (respectively); Auto Counter, Auto Magic Counter and Perfect Counter passively grants a chance to do so for physical damage, magical damage, or both.
  • Critical Status Buff: The Auto Defend skill gives a chance for a character to automatically defend when at low HP.
  • Desperation Attack: The ability called Soul's Appeasement (in Omega) or Empathy Attack (in II) deals more damage if the user is low on HP.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: The Agent in the first game, Neron in the third, the Old One in the fourth. The game even rolls the credits, and boots the players back to the menu afterwards, and it's not until the player reloads their file that they'll find still more content in the game.
  • Dual Boss:
    • In Chaos Rings, there are the fights against the other couples, as well as the Atman bonus bosses in Bereshith Road.
    • In the story mode of Chaos Rings II, we have: Progenitor's Left Eye and Progenitor's Right Eye halfway through Purging Sin and Cyllis and Yorath at the beginning of the Conglom Plant, though you only need to defeat Cyllis to win the fight. Dante and Rachel (which refers to the abomination mashed from them by Cyllis) can be seen as this, as it only has a single health bar but each turn can do two actions, one physical and one magical attack. In extra mode, there are the recurring fights against Garrick and Alto, as well as one fight against each playable couple in the original game plus Cyllis and Yorath.
    • Near the end of Chaos Rings II, we have a fight against Conquest and War, and later Famine and Death.
  • Duel Boss:
    • The first game has Eluca vs. Eluca Copy in Eluca and Zhamo's story, and Olgar vs. Ayuta in Olgar and Vahti's story.
    • In the second game Vieg fights Olgar in a one-on-one duel in their couples' match in the Ark Arena, since their wives are indisposed. Later, you have to go through the first half of the third dungeon with Vieg alone until the boss, Progenitor's Spine, is defeated. And near the end of the game, Vieg fights Yorath one-on-one, then when Vieg collapses Olgar takes over for him.
    • In Chaos Rings II, all Ophanim battles (except for Ophan Lessica), plus the Final Boss Preview (at the beginning of the game) and the Post-Final Boss (at the very end) are fought with Darwin alone. And in the post-game, for each party member, there is one P.U.B. quest during which they must fight a boss one-on-one: Darwin vs. Neron, Orlando vs. Li Hua, Marie vs. Death, Araki vs. War, Conor vs. Famine, Li Hua vs. Conquest and Lessica vs. Herald.
    • In Chaos Rings III, the protagonist fights Drei 6 in the Winter Wonderland, although you're not supposed to win it.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: All three games make a very big deal out of this.
  • Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors: In the first three games, Blaze beats Gale, Aqua beats Blaze, and Gale beats Aqua. In Chaos Rings III, attacks deal reduced damage to targets of the same element and extra damage to those of the opposite element (Blaze and Aqua, Earth and Bolt, Light and Dark).
  • Encounter Repellant: The Encounter ability allows you to turn encounters on and off.
  • Enemy Scan: The Analyze ability (present in all games) and the Infrared Camera item (in the fourth game) displays the target enemy's HP and weak point.
  • Experience Booster: The EXP Up skill increases XP gained by 20%.
  • Happily Ever After: Shown heavily throughout the games, but takes the cake in 2. After defeating Piu-Piu and letting him regain his memories, he rewards the characters by showing his true power and destroying the Hall and Amon in one blast. This leads to the eight of them (Lessica included) safely landing on the surface of the earth. Though, it might be Bittersweet Ending somewhat, just because Piu-Piu mourns Jodie, Meg, and Catherine's burning up in space, and it ends with Darwin and the boys failing to create new cut-outs and Marie and the girls substituting for Piu-Piu's harem.
  • Healing Factor: The skill called Recover HP Every Turn (in the first two games), Life Trickle (in the third) or Natural Remedy (in the fourth) heals a character by 5% of their maximum HP at the end of every turn. Trickle Charge does the same to both HP and MP.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight:
    • Both modes of Chaos Rings Omega begin with one fight that you cannot win: against the Agent in normal mode and Piu-Piu in extra mode.
    • The Final Boss Preview at the very beginning of Chaos Rings II and subsequently every fight against the Herald except for the very final one. The first fight against Bachs also counts.
    • In Chaos Rings III, we have: Aries in the Ruined Battleship (against which you are only supposed to survive a few turns, not win); the two Drei 6 battles in the Forgotten Village; Johannes in the Chancellor's Cup; the first two Axion fights immediately afterwards, and finally Auz in the Terraformer Ark. Downplayed, in that it is completely possible to win these battles if you have strong genes, and for each victory you'll get a special Fate Seal trophy, but the story still proceeds as if you lost.
  • Hub Level: Each game has one: the Ark Arena for the first two, the All-Seeing Eye for the third, and the Spaceport for the fourth.
  • King Mook: Many bosses across the series are simply more powerful, reskinned versions of standard enemies.
  • Last Chance Hit Point: The skill called Braveheart (in the first two games) or Regenerate (in II) causes an ally to be reduced to 1 HP when they would have been KO'd.
  • Legacy Boss Battle: Piu-Piu appears as a Bonus Boss in all the three games in which he appears.
  • Lovable Sex Maniac: Piu-Piu. It's even claimed that his perversion was so great, it had to be separated from him and made into a prototype Agent called "Libido". Who is a Bonus Boss.
  • Money Multiplier: The OZ Up skill increases OZ earned by 20%.
  • Non-Combat EXP: The Happy Smile skill gives 1 XP for every step taken in the field.
  • Powers as Programs: Gene plates in the first two games and Sopias in the third. Both function identically - they are obtained from defeated enemies and can be filled with a set number of skills learned from defeating more of those enemies. Up to three can be equipped on a character at a time.
  • Random Encounters: In all games, standard monsters appear at random intervals while the player travels across a dungeon.
  • Second Hour Superpower: In Omega and Chaos Rings III, you don't get access to Genes until after the very first tutorial battle.
  • Status-Buff Dispel: Format and Triumphal Song remove all status ailments from an ally, except Fallen.
  • Superboss:
    • In the first game, after the Almighty is defeated, two cylinders will appear in each of the first four dungeons (plus another at the Bereshith Road). Inside the cylinders are bosses with levels higher than even the True Final Boss, and defeating all of them with all couples is required to unlock the final Superboss, Piu-Piu.
    • In Chaos Rings II, there are plenty of Piu-Piu P.U.B. quests that are only available after you defeat the Final Boss of the game.
    • Chaos Rings III:
      • In Story Mode, similar to the previous game, many high-level quests are only available after the Final Boss is defeated.
      • In Battle Mode, we have Catastroph, the final opponent in the normal battles, and the S-class superbosses which you can only fight in the 8th, 18th and 28th days of each month.
  • Underground Monkey: Enemies in the same family, which only differ in colour palette and elemental affinity, can usually be found in different dungeons.