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Cosmic Star Heroine is Zeboyd Games' first full-fledged Eastern RPG after the two short comedic titles Breath of Death VII and Cthulhu Saves the World, and chapters 3 and 4 of Penny Arcade Adventures. After a successful Kickstarter campaign that ended in October 2013 with more than $130,000 raised, the game was finally released on April 11, 2017 on Steam and PlayStation 4.

Alyssa L'Salle, the titular heroine, is one of the best agents of the Agency for Peace and Intelligence (API) set on planet Araenu. After uncovering a conspiracy, she is outed as a spy by her own government and forced to flee, crossing paths with a terrorist organization and several new friends and foes, while the API's men are still on her toes. What's the mystery behind the kidnappings and strange experiments that unfold on three separate planets?

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Cosmic Star Heroine is, like the previous Zeboyd productions, a throwback to classic 16-bit JRPGs, but much longer and more epic in scope than those, and with a refined and more complex battle system.


The game contains examples of:

  • Animesque: The main characters' portraits are drawn in a Japanese-inspired style, as a homage to the origin of those games CSH takes inspiration from.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: A staple of Zeboyd Games. You can save whenever, change the difficulty on the fly, the enemy encounters are clearly visible on the map and, while the encounters are finite, if you need to grind you can select in the menu the option to fight "virtual" battles against enemies you've already defeated.
    • Z'xorv's Murder works on everything, which is a huge help in shortening fights against the countless bulky, but relatively unthreatening enemies you encounter around the time he learns the skill, regardless of the difficulty setting.
  • Badass Cape: Alien bounty hunter Z'xorv is quite fond of these.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: Borisusovsky AKA "Sue", the Husky Russkie API agent in a snazzy black suit and sunglasses, who joins Alyssa's group after she uncovers the cospiracy. He only needs his punches to defeat enemies.
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  • Better to Die than Be Killed: After being defeated, Director Steele blows himself up rather than suffer the indignity of being killed by the heroes. He was pretty much gone crazy at that point.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: The inhabitants of planet Nuluup start their lives as regular humanoids, then they die, at which point their spiritual essence gets brought together again and given new form by being put in a special suit that gives them a humanoid ghostly shape. Basically, like the ectoplasmatic guy from Hellboy II. Their condition makes them attuned to both the physical and spiritual worlds, and this becomes a plot point.
  • Bonus Boss: From previous Zeboyd titles: Lita, Dem, Paws and Cthulhu himself.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: The Lovecraft Satchel you get from defeating Cthulhu. It gives Alyssa a massive twenty points to every stat, by you're just about done with the game by the time you're strong enough to beat him.
  • Brain in a Jar: An one-time enemy is a vehicle armed with missiles and operated by a brain in a dome. Its description states that the brain is robotic too.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Arete has been this for quite a while, though they're sane enough to keep up a guise of sanity.
  • Can't Drop the Hero: Nope, you can't get rid of Alyssa.
  • Contractual Boss Immunity: Defied. Due to the way ailments work, bosses just take more uses of ailment skills to hit them with it. Z'xorv's Murder skill will also always work on every single enemy in the game, provided the conditions for it to trigger an instant kill are met.
  • Dance Battler: Clarke the robot, another member of the party, is more or less this.
  • Dug Too Deep: The Zanzaran Mines are abandoned because the miners have inadvertently unleashed all manners of ghosts and demons. One NPC even says the very trope name.
  • Enemy Mine: The now-directorless API joins forces with you at the end.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Arete, the leader of the resistance, betrays the heroes in the end.
  • Flat Character: To be honest, none of the characters are very deep, but Chahn takes the cake. She's there from the very beginning of the game, yet we only get to know that she's Alyssa's friend, practices Gunmancy and has the typical perky, optimistic personality. That's it.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: If you use a skill that kills Clarke and he's your only living party member, there's a chance that he'll remain dead if you retry the battle.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: As per Zeboyd Games' tradition, most bosses in the game are just "there" without any foreshadowing. For example, the Nightmare, the Holographic Knight, the Shade, not to speak of the optional bosses like the giant mutant squirrel. The weirdest example has got to be the Gunmancy ultimate test on Nuluup: to pass it you have to defeat three doglike creatures in samurai armor named "Rosie"... Sorry, what?
  • Gratuitous English / Gratuitous Japanese: Lauren's song is one of these. Averted, however, in her dialogue.
  • Harder Than Hard: The Super Spy difficulty violently hates your guts and will try to flatten you at any opportunity. It does, however, play completely fair while doing so.
  • Hive Mind: The Scimerex, a race of insectoid aliens, are organized in one of these, but they still have their individual identities. One of them, Psybe, becomes a party member. Unlike most examples in media, they are peaceful and have a mostly spiritual connection to one another.
  • Homage:
    • The whole game is a homage to Chrono Trigger and Phantasy Star. For a more specific example, the Freedom Festival is basically CT's Millennium Fair under another name.
    • This article details other sources of inspiration.
    • One optional sub-quest set in a police station full of zombies is Resident Evil 2 in all but name.
  • Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: Tourist, Agent, Heroine and Super Spy.
  • Knife Nut: Lauren is adept at using knives.
  • Late Character Syndrome: Defied. You're forced to use the final three characters for a segment.
  • Luck-Based Mission: Until you get a full party, fights on Super Spy are purely dependent on the RNG not screwing you over.
  • MacGuffin: The Lumina device, a thing that can be used to control anyone's mind and of course fell into the wrong hands.
  • Make My Monster Grow: The Blobmith, a presumably artificial summoned creature that can grow in seconds to kaiju proportions. It is fought in a very unusual boss battle.
  • Master of All: Alyssa. While her individual stats aren't the highest, she's still one of the best characters in each stat and has an incredibly versatile moveset that lets her run any role.
  • Mechanically Unusual Fighter: Clarke, whose moveset is centered around him dying and cheating death.
  • Nominal Importance:
    • Several of the NPC that aren't named just "Man/Woman/Robot" etc. can be recruited to be part of the protagonists' crew on the spaceship they stole. They will give some additional effects during the battle, one at a time.
    • Jaxx Blasterfist, on the other hand, isn't recruitable and doesn't matter at all; just an assassin sent by the API to get rid of Alyssa in the early part of the game, and an optional encounter too.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname:
    • Arete, the leader of the terrorist group Astrea. Her real name is unknown. Although an Apocalyptic Log found on the abandoned lab on Rhomu during an optional mission near the end of the game implies that her name is Lisa Ananke.
    • Borisusovsky is usually called Sue by the others and the interface, mostly because his name is too long.
  • Only One Name: Most of the characters, except for Alyssa L'Salle, Lauren Gambino and Orson Bolibar.
  • Permanently Missable Content: A few things are only doable early on. These are proving the innocence of an NPC, giving 3000 credits to a homeless woman, and not paying to do the fight in the fair. Though you can give the credits shortly after the event in the fair without any issues, the other two become this then.
  • Sci-Fi Kitchen Sink: With some Fantasy Kitchen Sink as well. Alyssa knows or will meet in her travels robots, cyborgs, mutants, aliens, ghosts, alien ghosts, demons, zombies, mecha, kaiju, Cthulhu...
  • Sequential Boss: The final boss battle.
  • Skewed Priorities: Just before the Point of No Return Very Definitely Final Dungeon, it is possible to talk with Dave and unlock his additional mission. While our heroes are trying to save the galaxy, Dave is worried about... someone one-upping all of his high scores at the local arcade.
  • Space Western: The cities under the surface of planet Rhomu are Wild West towns In Space, complete with sheriff, bandits, bounty hunters, saloons and so on.
  • Standard Status Effects: There are several.
    • Stunned, Charmed, Poison: These are pretty self-explanatory. The latter only works on organic creatures and is permanent.
    • Rust: Only works on robots. Halves defenses, reduces turn frequency, and is permanent.
    • Cursed: Only works on spectral creatures. 15% damage penalty, lowers ailment resistance, and is permanent.
    • Vulnerable: Next hit causes double damage.
    • Disarm: 35% damage penalty for one turn.
    • Enrage: All hits target the attacker if possible, 25% damage penalty on attacks that hit multiple targets.
  • Suddenly Voiced: The game has no voice acting, however when the heroes first meet Lauren (the informant, secret agent and singer) at the Nightshade club we can hear one of her songs during the cutscene. It's written and performed by none other than Laura Shigihara, better known to gamers as the Sunflower from Plants vs. Zombies.
  • Sunglasses at Night: Sue and the API's director Steele are never seen without their sunglasses. It could be that they hide some cybernetic modifications. Though in the ending sequence we get to see Sue's eyes.
  • Unique Enemy: The semifinal dungeon has a mimic-lookalike that clashes with the game's treasure chests called Pandora's Box. It has ten HP and goes down to any attack that isn't Pacifist Smash and serves seemingly no purpose.
  • Useless Useful Spell: The way ailments work, they "seem" bad due to their short durations, but a crucial turn skip or a vulnerable on a Hyper turn with a buffed character using a Burst ability can make them pretty good.
  • Whatever Mancy: Gunmancy, or the art of summoning guns, that originated on planet Nuluup. Alyssa's friend Chahn is a practitioner.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: The ending cutscene shows what the various party members are up to after having defeated the final enemy and saved the galaxy... They pretty much go on doing the same things they did before except for Sue, who's now become the API's new director.

One million little voices still make a sound.

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