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Video Game / Citizens of Earth

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A true politician would never get his own hands dirty, after all!

Citizens of Earth is a Role-Playing Game made by Eden Industries. The company cites EarthBound as an inspiration, most seen in the game's modern-day setting.

In Citizens of Earth, you play as the vice president of the world, tasked to save the earth by gathering a team of your friends, family, and local townsfolk. Like any good politician, you don't actually do the work yourself; fighting is handled by recruiting citizens, from your brother and mother to a bodybuilder and even a conspiracy theorist.

The gameplay is similar to that found in earlier JRPG games. One of the clear inspirations is the game’s low level battle avoidance system. If at least one of your citizens is at a high enough level, using the VP's charge attack to hit an enemy from behind will immediately defeat your foe. In fact, after you progress through the game's chapters, enemies that formerly rushed your party will actively avoid you.

The game came out on January 20, 2015. Though its Kickstarter had failed, the game was picked up and published by Atlus on Steam, PlayStation 4, Play Station Vita, Nintendo 3DS and Wii U.

A sequel, Citizens of Space, launched on June 18, 2019 for Steam, PS4, and Nintendo Switch, with Atlus' parent company Sega picking up publishing rights. A Compilation Rerelease titled Citizens Unite: Earth x Space was released on January 28, 2021, this time being published by Kemco and featuring new content that ties both games together.

Citizens of Earth provides examples of:

  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • The School/Teacher's tutoring talent. You can pay to put recruited citizens "in class" to gain experience to raise their levels. The Citizens will be unusable until a certain amount of real game time has passed (which can be circumvented with the Scientist's talent). While tutoring leaves out the bonus stats from leveling your citizens in battle is inconvenient, you also don't gain experience to level a citizen's talent. The real issue is that it gets very expensive to level your citizens to higher levels. By the time you are able to get the cash flow to invest in tutoring, you are basically at the end of the game.
    • Most elemental based equipment for the citizens. This gives your citizens more versatility to exploit enemy elemental weaknesses. This is great for citizens who get electric equipment since few citizens can effectively use electricity, not all equipment will be that useful. The problem is that you need to know which enemies will have which weaknesses in advance and then remember which citizens have the appropriate gear. The Baker is an egregious case of giving him a redundant fire element that he already has command over in a game where few enemies have a fire weakness. Unless you know for sure that you're going into a battle where an enemy has that elemental weakness, equip your citizens with different gear.
  • Big Bad: At first, a race of shipwrecked aliens are revealed to be behind the stranger elements of the game, having caused mayhem under the belief that it's what make humans happy, and needed that happiness to repair their ship and go home. In truth though, its actually the VP's Secretary who is behind it all, having lied to the aliens to use their tech and destroy the Earth out of frustration over his job and envy for the VP and President's success.
  • Big "NO!": Several human enemies when they're defeated.
  • Bland-Name Product: The barista works at Moonbucks, and the VP's brother works at FedUPs.
  • Canon Identifier: Every recruitable character has a customizable name, but they default to an epithet which sums them up (e.g. Conspiracy Guy, Pilot, etc).
  • Chekhov's Gun: The World's Largest Donut(TM). It ends up being used for the Pharmacist's quest.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: The Conspiracy Guy is one of the first characters you recruit. He starts up the plot by informing you that there's something strange about the Moonbucks' Special Blend, which appears to brainwash people. In combat, he can perform an Enemy Scan, talk enemies to death (literally), reveal government secrets to confuse enemies, or perform elemental attacks with a cattle prod, Truth Serum, and a spotlight.
  • The Cuckoolander Was Right: The Conspiracy Guy's belief that there's something shady going on in Moonbucks is proven right when the VP discovers that his town's Moonbucks is a front for a factory full of evil coffee robots and coffee mutants. He'll even gloat about it if he's in your party when you first enter the factory.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: After Hometown's Moonbucks blasts off, the police accuse the Vice President of being involved in it and start hunting him down. They back off once you defeat the Cop. There are a handful of Citizens that can only be recruited by beating them in a mini game or other form of competition.
  • Drive-In Theater: Found near the northern area of the map. It doesn't play a role in the main story, but if you drive your car into the big screen, you can play one of a few mini-games. Players still need to visit it if they want to recruit the Pilot.
  • Eagleland - A mix of type 1 and 2.
  • Elite Tweak: Each citizen gains a bonus in a certain stat when leveling up in a fight with other citizens. Each citizen has a specific bonus they give out when a team mate level up with them in the party. This allows you to buff out some of the more problematic stats on certain citizens, or buff up their best stats, to which can cause some to become down right Game Breakers if you put enough effort into them. Even then, this pales in comparison with how fast it can be done with the Yoga Trainer's talent.
  • Emotion Eater: The aliens causing the strange happenings need the people of Earth to be happy in order to gain enough power to be able to return home. Unfortunately the Big Bad manipulated them into making everyone miserable instead.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Every character. You can rename them, though.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: The first release of the game was rather infamous for having a plethora of bugs that could ruin all the hard work you've done, or get you trapped in an unwinnable situation, with many players wondering if the devs did any play testing for the game at all. Though they eventually did make a patch that fixed a lot of the examples below, it's still something most people remember the game for. Some examples of these bugs include:
    • There was a bug where certain areas of the game, like the VP's dream world, wouldn't load properly, causing the game to go to a black screen based on the previous area you were in, and even when you attempted to leave the screen based on memory, it would still remain a black screen in the next area.
    • If you get a notification saying that a character has finished their time at the school while entering a minigame or battle, the game will soft lock after finishing loading.
    • It's prone to reading all your inputs as a certain direction at random times for no reason. The duration is also random, meaning it could wear off in five seconds or until you feel like quitting the game.
    • The car is another terrible part. While it sometimes works fine, it vanishes if you save and quit in one, can get stuck in certain areas, and occasionally has difficulty registering any collision with an enemy. This can leave it either on the field but without a battle/roadkill trigger, or just flat out soft lock the game. For bonus points, you can manipulate it into an area that it normally can't get to. Just good luck getting it back out.
    • The 3DS version can not load the final boss of the game and will always freeze. You can fix this by entering another map (fortunately, an entrance to a different map is right next to the final boss), saving the game, quitting, reloading your save, and making sure not to start any normal battles before reaching the final boss, but having to follow these steps is still unfair to players.
    • The Weather Lady herself can cause numerous problems as well: Use a weather-related attack indoors and the game will crash. Switch the weather conditions during battle and the game will likely soft-lock. And, use an ability that doesn't correspond to the current weather pattern, she will do pitiful damage (if the game doesn't crash then either)!
    • If you run across the wall of an area and enter a loading zone, there's a chance you'll end up passing it and end up stuck, unable to move.
    • If you run from an enemy while you're near a wall, there's a chance of being pushed on the opposite side of the wall, rendering you, once again, unable to move. To make it worse, you can still encounter enemies.
    • It's possible to complete the daytime movie required for recruiting the Pilot and end up on the top of the building without her appearing on there. Due to the game autosaving there, if you don't have the Firefighter, you're stuck there until you load your latest manual save.
    • If you defeat the Puppet President before the Seat of Power, the game will be stuck on that part, with nothing else happening. You need to shut the game off and restart it, and fight the boss all over again.
    • The sun and moon doors in Whisperwood will sometimes open without the screen-shaking effect. If this happens, the cutscene effect will stay on, meaning you can't continue the game unless you restart the machine.
    • Even in Citizens Unite!, there still runs the risk of the game crashing just because you've been playing for too long.
  • Girl Scouts Are Evil: Justified, as they're hopped up on sugar from the nearby cookie factory. Boy scouts too!
  • Good Morning, Crono: The game starts with the VP being woken by his mother.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: The Yoga Instructor will only join when your entire team reaches a suitable amount of enlightenment. The VP responds with, "So... Level 20?" (He's right.)
  • Loads and Loads of Loading: Granted, by normal game standards, it's nothing too bad. However, considering most RPGs have nearly seamless transitions between areas, with load times being at the bare minim, it becomes very noticeable rather quickly when even the load screen needs to pause to load the overworld of the game. To make matters worse, the load times increase as you progress through the game. This has been mostly fixed in the Citizens Unite version of the game where the loading times are far more reasonable.
  • MacGuffin: The "Special Blend".
  • McNinja: The Limbo Ninjas of Panjama Island.
  • Monochrome Casting: Thoroughly averted.
  • New-Age Retro Hippie: An entire commune of them!
  • New Game Plus: The Talent of the only citizen who can't be recruited until after clearing the main story.
  • Nobody Poops: Lampshaded by a file in the municipal building which notes that none of the buildings have proper sanitation facilities and they should be added.
  • Obvious Beta: The first release of the game is noticeably very buggy. Some areas don't load properly like the dream world, causing you to get trapped in a dark void based on the VP's bedroom, if you get hit while talking to an NPC, the conversation carries on into the battle, and that's not to say anything of the load times... Granted, it's not a bad game in and of itself, but all those glitches aren't doing it any favors.
    • Eden Industries does not have an in-house QA, leaving the game's testing to Nintendo and Sony. The fact that many of these numerous problems "were not reported" is simply another way of saying they did barely, if any, testing at all.
      • Though due to the amount and frequency of the bugs, it's also very likely that Eden Industries also didn't even play the game (or at least not that long) themselves before giving it to the publishers.
  • One World Order: The planet seems to be under one, based on if not taken over by America.
  • Promoted to Playable: The trailer for Citizens Unite reveals that The Opposition Leader will be a playable character.
  • Permanently Missable Content: Averted with the treasure inside of the Chapter I dungeon. When recruiting the Architect, she will rebuild it and make the treasure accessible again.
  • Previous Player-Character Cameo: Inverted in Citizens Unite; The Ambassador shows up as a recruitable citizen.
  • Sequence Breaking: The game opens itself up to the player as soon as they're done with the forest, But you can skip large chunks of the story if you know where to look. The easiest way is to go into the office in Hometown and get the psychologist, go to your own bed and then travel in your sleep. From the dream hub you can head to the desert and end up in a plot relevant area before you've really even started the main quest.
  • Shout-Out: Naturally, it has a lot towards the game that inspired it.
  • Stock Ness Monster: The Ogopogo.
  • Surprisingly Creepy Moment: Much like its inspiration, things get a lot darker when the Big Bad and his master plan are revealed.
  • The Mafia: The Chronies from Citizens Unite are a time traveling mafia of Humanoid Abominations that all talk and act like prohibition era gangsters.
  • Time Master:
    • The Scientist's talent lets her change the current time of day.
    • Introduced in Citizens Unite, The Chronies can pop up in combat randomly and start attacking you with crazy time powers. In addition, the Librarian (another citizen exclusive to Citizens Unite) has his own powers over space and time.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: One trailer, which seems to have been deleted from Atlus's Youtube channel, showed the party screen with every citizen unlocked, including two spoiler characters, the Alien and Photon. Another trailer makes things better by having a few characters still locked, but the Photon is still visible.
  • Useless Useful Spell: Most ailments are worthless, ranging from doing practically nothing (blindness, distracted) to falling into the general pitfall most games have in that your time would be better spent just using more damaging attacks. It doesn't help that the two best ailments wear off slightly when someone with it is dealt any damage.
  • Warmup Boss: The Opposition Leader at the end of Chapter 0.