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Video Game / Chaos Rings I

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...a spiral of fate, spun from two lives...
...a fate that will lead to the end of all things...
...the door has been opened...

The first entry in the Chaos Rings series.

Four Battle Couples suddenly find themselves trapped in a mysterious place known as the Ark Arena. Their host, a being known as The Agent, informs them that they have been entered into a competition where they must fight to the death. The victors are awarded immortality and eternal youth. The losers—or those who refuse to play by the Ark Arena's rules—are condemned to oblivion. Thus, each couple must work together to survive the trials that lie ahead, discovering in the process just why they have been paired together and what the purpose of the Ark Arena is.

The couples are:

  • Escher and Musiea: He's a cocky mercenary; she's a Lady of War who has sworn to kill him. Just why has the Ark Arena seen fit to pair the two together, and can they trust each other long enough to survive its trials?
  • Eluca and Zhamo: She's a cynical, battle-hardened royal bodyguard; he's the naive but determined prince of a southern kingdom. Yet why is there a strange tension between them, and will Zhamo's inexperience drag them both down?
  • Ayuta and Mana: He's a lowly stablehand; she's the princess of an eastern kingdom. Will the love of these Star-Crossed Lovers survive the Ark Arena, and why is Ayuta a natural at combat despite never having held a sword before?
  • Olgar and Vahti: He's a brutal warlord; she's his beloved wife. Their relationship seems clear enough, but why do they know more about the Ark Arena than anyone else?

Each couple has their own playable scenario, each one revealing more about themselves and the nature of the Ark Arena, with a final chapter unlocked after at least one scenario has been completed. The battle system is turn-based, with playable characters given the option to act solo or together with their partner. Fighting in unison combines the power and abilities of both characters, but any attack received will target both of them.

Formerly available on the iTunes Store and Google Play, the entire series has since been removed from the App Store, rendering them unobtainable by anyone who didn't already own them.

This game provides examples of:

  • Adam and Eve Plot: But not in the standard After the End way, thanks to Time Travel. A bit in Ayuta's route also addresses the fact that only two people makes for a poor gene pool, noting that First Couples are dropped off at a point where humanity has already emerged.
  • After-Combat Recovery: All HP is restored after winning a battle. MP is not, however, unless you have the MP Recovery skill.
  • Alternate Universe: Characters' backstories differ based on who you're playing as, implied to be because each takes place in an alternate timeline.
    • Escher and Musiea: In their own story, Escher killed the priests who raised Musiea and admits it, but in Eluca's story, he claims Musiea is mistaken and that it was a traitor to his organization that killed her family instead. And in Ayuta and Olgar's stories, they've always been lovers; in Ayuta's he doesn't even care for the immortality that he desires in other routes!
    • Eluca and Zhamo: In other people's stories, Eluca swears to protect Prince Zhamo, where in their own story he's a noble that she's been ordered to execute; she has to come around to the ideas that the current king should be deposed and that Zhamo could replace him.
    • Ayuta and Mana: Escher's and Eluca's stories only show the Star-Crossed Lovers part, but in their own route, it's more complicated thanks to Ayuta's amnesia and Mana's Secret Identity. And in Olgar and Vahti's story, Ayuta has his memory from the start and is a major Jerkass towards them because of it.
    • Olgar and Vahti: In their own story they're less secretive about having done this before. Also, this route drops Garrick and Alto entirely. In Ayuta's story, Olgar (and Vahti to a degree) are ironically the ones who Took a Level in Jerkass, becoming excessively arrogant and bloodthirsty in order to bait Ayuta.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different
  • Another Side, Another Story: There are four playable stories, one for each couple, each taking place in a different timeline. Escher's and Eluca's stories are available from the start; defeating the Final Boss as either unlocks Ayuta's and Olgar's stories.
  • Battle Couple: Everyone is split into couples of the opposite sex. You find out just why later.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: Eluca, the poor girl. And right before a boss battle, too.
  • Block Puzzle
  • Bragging Rights Reward: The Super MV, dropped by the Super Boss Piu-Piu, far outclasses any other accessory in the game. However, by the time you've obtained it, the only things left for you to fight are regular monsters.
  • Break Meter: An interesting variation. Rather than one for each battler, there's one for the entire battle. When the gauge is tilted towards the player, your attacks do more damage, and enemy attacks do less. When the gauge is tilted towards the enemies, the opposite is true. Critical hits, hitting weaknesses, or just attacking can increase or decrease the gauge balance.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience/Color-Coded Elements: The spells are color coded by their element (red, green, or blue), as a healing spell (yellow), or as non-elemental (white).
  • Combination Attack: Choosing Pair instead of Solo in battle allows both characters to perform the same action, usually for spectacular results. This means both characters will be hit by any attacks aimed their way, but it also means that they share any healing, damage blocking or reflecting abilities.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: If you die in anything other than a boss battle, you'll just wake up next to Piu-Piu with a percentage of your money gone. He Handwaves this as their being no real predators, scavengers, or bacteria on the Ark to disturb the bodies.
  • Declaration of Protection: A common sentiment for the male characters towards their partners.
  • Degraded Boss: The eight storyline bosses fought in the first four dungeons are likely to be the very first enemies of that family that you encounternote , since regular enemies of these families can only be found in The Very Definitely Final Dungeon, or in other dungeons at high levels.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: The Agent. 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 can enter Bereshith Road. The Almighty appears as the final boss of the individual scenarios, but once the player beats all four, they can beat the true final boss: the Qualia.
  • Dual Boss: Each couple fights two other couples during the main storyline, and one of the post-game Super Boss fights is a pair of Atmans (dark versions of the player couple). These are the only enemies in the game capable of using pair attacks like the player can.
  • Duel Boss:
    • Happens in Olgar's scenario, when he fights Ayuta one on one to be reunited with the real Vahti.
    • Escher also gets a one-on-one fight against Musiea.
    • And Eluca gets one against herself.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending
  • Easy Levels, Hard Bosses: During the dungeon stages, the monsters tend to go down pretty fast, especially when you use pair attacks. But by the time you reach the boss, be prepared for some brutal deaths.
  • Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors: The elements follow this, with Blaze being strong against Gale, which is strong against Aqua, which is strong against Blaze.
  • Elevator Action Sequence: Two bosses in Bereshith Road are fought as you're taking the elevator to higher levels: the Executioner and the True Agent.
  • Elite Mook: Everything you find in Bereshith Road.
  • Escape Rope: The Emergency Exit allows the player to instantly return to the Ark Arena from any point in the dungeons.
  • Exposed to the Elements: Justified as all the environments are artificial.
  • Faux Symbolism: The Agent is dressed like a Catholic bishop and has crosses decorating his body for no apparent reason.
  • Fixed Damage Attack: An attack called Rebuke (by the Agent) and "The power to overcome destiny." (by the Almighty) always deals exactly 1000 damage to the player character(s).
  • Flying Seafood Special: The fish enemies.
  • Gambit Roulette: Defeating an Eldritch Abomination by having warriors fight to the death to determine who has the strongest genes, then travelling back in time and having the victors birth humanity so that humanity is strong enough when the time comes? That's... a long shot.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: The Agent and the Almighty both have glowing eyes.
  • Hailfire Peaks: The first part of Clashing Grounds seems like a frozen mountain, and the second part is like a volcano.
  • Hammerspace: Where everyone but Ayuta and Escher seem to keep their weapons when not in battle.
  • Happily Ever After
  • Hub Level: The Ark Arena itself serves as one.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: All of the healing items for HP and MP are food.
  • Immortality Inducer: The Agent offers immortality as the Prize. It's not true Complete Immortality, however, since the Healing Factor does not extend to fatal wounds and it has a hard limit of 10000 years (though as Escher comments "It should be enough for anyone"). It is also useless against the Qualia, which can neutralize it, and is removed if the beneficiary returns to the Ark Arena.
  • Inexplicable Treasure Chests: They are randomly placed at predetermined locations. The higher level the enemies, the better the goodies in them will be. At the highest levels, you can encounter locked chests, which can only be opened with a consumable Key, but often contain equipment superior to what you are wearing or can buy for a while.
  • Infinity -1 Sword: Defeating the Disc-One Final Boss and the Final Boss, respectively, unlocks dungeon levels 61-80 and 81-100. The equippable items in these dungeons, though not the best in the game and will likely require some time opening locked chests, are better than anything sold in the shop, and, unlike the actual best items in the game, do not require you to defeat powerful optional bosses.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: Each couple's best pieces of equipmentnote  are dropped by the various Superbosses who are even more powerful than the True Final Boss.
  • Interchangeable Antimatter Keys: Keys can open any locked treasure chest but are consumed upon doing so. They are card keys, though, so this makes more sense than usual.
  • Interface Spoiler: When multiple characters have identically-named equipment, the different versions are noted with the character's initials. So when one of Mana's armors is marked "S" and not "M", you know something's up. Earlier on, one of Mana's armors is called Princess Coat (Fake)
  • Involuntary Battle to the Death: Each of the couples eventually has to face the others until only one couple is left.
  • King Mook: The various bosses fought in the first four dungeons (both mandatory and optional) resemble reskinned versions of normal enemies.
  • Mana Burn: Void Soul is an enemy-exclusive attack that deals damage to a character's MP, instead of HP. Since enemies do not use MP, the player cannot (and does not need to) use this ability.
  • Metal Slime: Billikens are rare enemies that give an extraordinary amount of XP and/or OZ, if they are defeated before they could escape from you.
  • Multiple Endings: Each couple can choose to go through the Original Door, and start humanity over again. Or you can go and face the Almighty, and once all four couples have, the Qualia.
  • My Name Is ???: In dialogue boxes, the names of characters who speak before the player's chosen protagonist learns of them are displayed as three question marks.
  • Mythology Gag: A few of the stages resemble some Square Enix games, like when you battle in the corridors, they look like the basements of the Mansion in Kingdom Hearts II. Also, call it a fan guess but Escher's attitude and history make him seem like a combination of Axel and Cloud. And finally, one of the bonus bosses is a Genomoth (giant turtle) with extremely pale skin that looks almost like bone with a white tree that resembles the ones you see in Advent Children's Forgotten City. That boss's name is ...
  • New Game Plus: Uses those exact words too.
  • Nobody Poops: The subject is brought up during Eluca's route. Piu-Piu throws out some Techno Babble but the short answer is that there's some Year Inside, Hour Outside going on; despite what it feels like they haven't actually been on the Ark Arena long enough to need to use the facilities.
  • Opposites Attract
  • People Jars: The cold sleep containers on the Ark. They are where Theia's cloned body was stored, where Ayuta is stored in between tournaments, assuming he didn't win, and where Vahti is stored after she is kidnapped.
  • Percent Damage Attack: The Stress skill and Stressor item deal damage equal to 10% and 15% (respectively) of the target's maximum HP.
  • Phlebotinum Breakdown: On Ayuta's and Olgar's routes, it's revealed that the Ark is starting to break down since each loop brings it closer to the Qualia. One of the consequences of this breakdown is that contestants are actually being killed by the system instead of just being sent back to their original time.
  • PiƱata Enemy: "Billiken" (panda) enemies. They only show up rarely at higher levels, but they're worth a lot of EXP and/or OZ.
  • Platonic Cave: The dungeons within the Ark Arena are quickly discovered to be fake: as if being able to walk around "backstage" didn't give it away, Piu-Piu admits straight out when asked that it's all just a big studio set.
  • Plot Coupon: First the rings, and then the "proof".
  • Poisoned Weapons: The Poison Pot inflicts poison on a single enemy when used.
  • Post-End Game Content: After you defeat the Disc-One Final Boss and proceed through the Original Door as one couple, the game rolls the credits and boots you back to the main menu; you'll need to reload the save file to discover The Very Definitely Final Dungeon that just got unlocked. At the end of this dungeon, after defeating the Final Boss, you'll once again see the credits and get returned to the main menu; you'll need to defeat the Final Boss as all four couples in order to fight the True Final Boss and see the game's true ending, and then return to the game again to fight the most powerful Super Boss.
  • Power Copying: Gene Plates gain new abilities by defeating monsters in the same group, although you're not guaranteed to get an ability every time.
  • The Power of Love
  • Powers as Programs: The Genes system allows you to equip up to three Gene Plates on each character, with each Plate having up to 6 abilities on it.
  • Psychic Powers: Humanity has developed telekinesis, pyrokinesis, and teleportation as a result of the Ark's "breeding program", but you can only use them inside puzzle rooms, for some reason.
  • Randomly Drops: Items, but they're not the big offender. The abilities for the Gene Plates don't always drop, although fighting higher leveled enemies and having the More Genes ability help.
  • Rare Candy: When eaten, a Seed adds 1 point to a stat depending on the type of the seed.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: The Agent. For those who want to say he's a robot, remember that he was organically grown...
    • Don't forget the Atmans.
  • Reduced Mana Cost: The MP 1/2 skill reduces all MP usage by half.
  • Sprite/Polygon Mix: 2D backgrounds, 3D foregrounds, just like the PS-generation Final Fantasy games
  • Shop Fodder: Piu-Piu's Collection items have no uses other than being sold to Piu-Piu for OZ. Omega explains why they're scattered around the place; Piu-Piu smuggled the stuff aboard the Ark Arena and the Agent confiscated it. A collection of what is never specified, but one can hazard a guess.
    Piu-Piu: Especially those 3D ones. Once you try those, believe me, you can never go back...
  • Stable Time Loop: Or rather, Stable Time Spiral. The Almighty sends the winner of the tournament back 10,000 years to crossbreed with emerging humanity, creating an even stronger crop of contestants the next time around. This has happened 2004 times, including the current iteration.
  • Super Boss: 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 Super Boss, Piu-Piu.
  • Time Travel
  • Total Eclipse of the Plot: The couples are summoned to the Ark Arena when the sun goes dark. But it's not the moon doing it, it's the Qualia.
  • Victor Gains Loser's Powers: At game start, a Human Gene Plate starts with two skills, which varies from couple to couple. When the player's couple defeats another, the winner's Human Gene Plates will receive the skills that the loser starts with.
  • Year Inside, Hour Outside: The Ark itself is this way. This is explained as allowing the participants to hyperfocus, ramping up their skills much faster than normal. It also means that there's actually time for a tournament before the Qualia destroys everything.