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An RPG in an RPG. Getting kinda meta, here...
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CrossCode is a 2018 action RPG inspired by the likes of The Legend of Zelda and Alundra. Originally released on PC, the game was ported for consoles in 2020.

A futuristic Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game called CrossWorlds is a revolutionary MMO. Its gameplay is literally physical, set in a planetary environment with players and game elements being "instant-matter" constructs. Some indeterminate time before the story begins, a young woman named Shizuka is attempting to rescue her brother Satoshi from some shady group who is trying to get him to program codes for the game against his will. When Shizuka reaches Satoshi, he finishes the program right before he collapses into her arms, begging her to escape the whole mess before he dies, much to her shock and grief.

In the present, the avatar of a young woman named Lea materializes onto a cargo ship heading for CrossWorlds. Lea has lost her memories, and a few people helping her are trying to fix that. They think the answer lies somewhere in CrossWorlds. However, there is a slight problem: Lea's voice synchronization module is malfunctioning, rendering her functionally mute. Also, there's some strange, floating player who seems to be really, really interested in her for some reason...

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The game itself was successfully funded through crowdfunding after getting some attention for its surprisingly polished prototype demo, and was released in full on September 20, 2018 after seven years in development.


Tropes present in this game:

  • Absurdly High Level Cap:
    • The maximum level is 99, which is probably not something most players are going to reach without bolstering the enemy levels in the fields. Reaching the final boss will have Lea around level 60 or so. Also, even reaching the maximum level doesn't give quite enough circuit points to unlock every ability.
    • In-universe, one fellow player in Basin Keep notes that he got to level 99 long beforehand... by grinding 99,000 Frobbits. Ouch.
  • Accidental Aiming Skills: Due to the game's mechanics. When you miss an enemy with a charged ranged attack, the projectile can ricochet on a wall and hits anyway.
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  • Action Bomb: The Jack'on'Fire enemies have a suicide explosion attack.
  • After-Combat Recovery: When not in combat, a player's health will rapidly recover to full in just a few seconds. It's designed so that if a player misses a jump, falls into water or plummets off of a cliff, the HP penalty is momentary. It's possible to jump into hazards so often that you die out of combat, but you'd really have to be trying to do that.
  • Alien Sky:
    • Though it's mostly unseen outside of the main menu and a few cutscenes, there is a large gas giant planet looming in the sky. This is because the Raritan Gem, the celestial body CrossWorlds was built on, is actually a moon in orbit of said unnamed planet.
    • The Zir'Vitar temple's windows shows the sky above the forest's rooftop with a purple tint.
  • All There in the Manual: Much of the background information, including the full name of Emilie, Schneider and C'Tron, are included in the in-game Encyclopedia.
  • Amnesiac Hero: When Lea is summoned on the MS Solar, she doesn't remember a thing about herself. She also can't speak, which makes things more complicated. She does remember bits and pieces when she logs out for the night, though. However, it's eventually revealed that Lea's an Evotar of Shizuka. The memories that Lea was seeing were Shizuka's, not her own.
  • Animesque: Given how much inspiration it takes from old-school JRPGs and the overall art style the game has, it squarely falls under this since it's made by Western devs.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • The "Assist" menu allows you to lower the damage you receive, reduce the frequency of enemy attacks, and slow down puzzle elements, all without any penalty or cut content. It can also be changed at any time (even during battle) in case you find one particular boss or puzzle a bit too hard.
    • When a CP has been invested into a branching Circuit path, you can freely swap between the two paths out of battle, allowing you to use the other Combat Arts at no cost.
    • Circuit Overrides are handed out to you during the game, which can be spent in Rookie Harbor to completely reset a circuit tree. The 1.2.0 update also gave the option to reset all of your circuits at once for a small fee of credits.
    • After beating the game, you can go back in time to the very beginning of Chapter 10, keeping the levels and items you obtained. If you do so, you'll be able to skip the final raid, the entirety of The Very Definitely Final Dungeon, and even the final boss. This makes the good ending much less frustrating to achieve if you didn't get it the first time.
    • The game autosaves halfway through the fight against the Final Boss, meaning you won't have to fight the first part of the battle again if you went all the way through to the final part and lost.
    • New Game+ mode gives you the option to skip the intro (which is just a glorified tutorial) and go straight to the first chapter. It also costs no Trophy Points to do this.
    • Most bosses forcibly recover from a combo after you knock their HP gauge past a threshold. If they heal past the threshold, they can't use that threshold again to break out of a combo. However, this also means the player won't get a free heal from that threshold.
  • Arc Symbol: Losangles. They appear almost everywhere in the game, ranging from the game's logo to the user interface. If you suffer from elemental overheat, a bunch of losangles will flash on the corners of your screen.
  • Archnemesis Dad: Sidwell could technically be considered this, as he not only bankrolled Lea's creation but also served as her father figure, yet is still the Big Bad of the story.
  • Artificial Brilliance:
    • The party member AI is quite good at dodging stuff from enemies, and can easily snipe them from a good distance. If they take a lot of damage, they'll also make sure to try get away from the battle before attempting to heal up.
    • This is particularly clear in the PVP fights against other avatars like Apollo, who learn from the player's actions in the early rounds, and adapt to a human playstyle. Dodging the player's projectiles is one thing, but they will also stop attacking if the player tries to use a perfect guard art too early.
  • Ascended Meme: During a stream, a viewer nicknamed the Blue Avatar "Egyptian Mr. Freeze". The devs found that name funny, and took it over as a nickname.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: A core mechanic in the game requires you to find out how to break enemy defense and hail damage on it while it's stunned. The tutorial boss on the MS Solar is a Robot Giant Enemy Crab, and its weak point is covered by a crate that collapses and reveals its crystal energy source (along with providing a convenient ramp right to it) when the crab lands from a too high of a jump.
  • Attack Reflector: The Pin Body trait reflects a certain percentage of an enemy attack's damage when you block it.
  • Awful Truth: Not only is Lea an AI clone of Shizuka, but the process used to create Lea was a direct cause of the current crisis threatening the game, meaning that everything that's gone wrong is partially her fault. This also means that Sergey was knowingly lying to Lea about her being in a coma in order to make her follow his orders. Lea does not take this well.
  • Bag of Holding: Lea can carry an infinite amount of items, but only a maximum of 99 of each. Justified as being part of CrossWorlds' game mechanics.
  • Barrier Change Boss: Gautham's first form does this repeatedly, with a shield that can be hard to make out sometimes next to all the flashy effects. A few others earlier in the game go into this, as well.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: Downplayed. While you do go into space after the Grand Krys'kajo, it’s actually just an illusion, since not even avatars could survive the vacuum of space.
  • Big Boo's Haunt: Pumpkin Fun Land, accessible during the second half of the mission where you must kill seven Jack'on'Firesinvoked.
  • Big Damn Heroes: The Last Minute Heroes guild invoke this with their modus operandi. They aim to save other players when they're in trouble, but only at the last minute. During their quest, Lea is tasked with saving a reckless Triblader from large enemy mobs. When the mobs become too much to handle, the guild leader, Wervyn, takes out the mob at the last minute.
  • Bird People: The Shads, a species native to Shadoon, are this.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The good ending, in more ways than one.
    • Sidwell's plot has been foiled and the systematic abuse of the Evotars has been ended. Yet Gautham commits suicide after "the ultimate experience" with Lea, unable to continue doing Instatainment's dirty work anymore, while Sidwell basically just washes his hands of everything, and walks away scot-free after everything he's done.
    • Lea eventually has to be permanently logged out in order for Sergey to try and convince Instatainment to research Evotars. However, Sergey and Ivan both end up convincing the board to go forward with the Evotar program in a few months, meaning Lea will be able to see all of her friends again.
    • While Shizuka and all of Lea's fellow Evotars are now free from Sidwell's exploitation and abuse, the Evotars must come to terms with the knowledge that they can never return to the real world.
    • Of the three friends Sergey set out to find, one was dead before he began, another committed suicide, and the third has been reduced from a cheerful young girl to a bitter Broken Bird. In spite of this, he still saved dozens of lives he hadn't even know about, and can (potentially) give them and Lea a better future than they would have had otherwise.
  • Blocking Stops All Damage:
    • Averted by default, you just take reduced damage through your shield (and the shield breaks after taking too much damage). However, if you focus your skills and gear on defense, you can reach the point of taking 0 damage. On top of that, the Perfect Guard mechanic reduces all damage to 0 if Lea guards just as the attack lands.
    • Downplayed for the enemies. While they aren't completely immune to attacks when in a blocking stance, they will take very little damage.
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • Essence Drain and Vital Pulse, the level 1 and 2 Wave Throw Arts. Sure, they might lack the flashiness of Flare Burn!, the crowd control capabilities of Frigid Flake or the homing projectiles of Radiant Swarm. But you get to absorb the enemies's HP, often bringing you back to full life with a well-placed Vital Pulse. In a game where everything goes so fast and where your means of healing are limited, this can make or break a boss fight.
    • The Level 2 Shock Throw Art, Radiant Swarm. If it lands, it spawns several small homing orbs that all track the target that Lea hit, allowing for a lot of easy Shock damage at range. The Level 3 Shock Throw Art does much more damage, but it's much harder to land, and can potentially send Lea hurling over a cliff.
    • Elemental charged shots, and normal-mode regular shots. Rapid-fire or melee with an element does more raw damage and breaks bosses' guard faster, but both cause elemental overload. Charged shots can be used indefinitely without overloading, and are the main way to inflict status effects. Normal-mode rapid fire, meanwhile, quickly empties your elemental overload and fills your energy meter, even if you're doing 0 damage.
    • Each element has a level 1 guard art which completely blocks one attack and applies a small element-specific counter. They all have upgraded level 2 and 3 versions, but defensively the level 1 gives you the most bang for your buck.
    • The Neutral level 1 guard art, Guard Sphere, can reduce damage from most attacks, including unblockable ones.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: The Infinity Spiral Drill. It's the most powerful weapon in the game, but it takes a Chain of Deals that lasts almost the whole game before you can get it. One of the Drill's special abilities increases enemy drop rate. But since you just got the rarest item in the game, you definitely don't need enemies to drop any more loot. And since it also prevents Lea from gaining experience while she's got it equipped, it'll probably be used on the final boss and not much else.
  • Break Meter: Both enemies and Lea have one.
    • Lea's ability to guard can be disabled by blocking too many attacks in succession.
    • A lot of enemies have a meter that, when filled, inflicts a status that's outright named "Break". Once an enemy is broken, it always takes more damage and usually (but not always) will be stunned temporarily. The condition to fill it changes with each enemy: some enemies like Shokats can be broken at any time with any attack, but some enemies like Tim require a specific element, and others like the Pinceron can only be broken when they're using specific attacks.
  • Central Theme: Empathy and sympathy.
    • Lea's entire predicament regarding her speech module shoves a wedge in her progress multiple times until another character can understand her situation and offer their help.
    • Lea can resonate with Lukas losing his memory of the offline world in the Vermillion Wasteland, and Lukas can understand Lea's emotional turmoil after her run-in with Shizuka. It's by them bonding over their shared situation that helps them plan and escape.
    • Lea and Emilie's entire debacle after Lea is forcibly ejected out of the raid and can't explain herself is solved by C'tron making them understand each other's viewpoints.
    • At first, Sergey saw Lea only as a tool to accomplish his goals. However, seeing her struggles and development caused Sergey to begin working for her sake, damn the consequences to himself.
    • The Big Bad lacked empathy for the people under them, and cared nothing about the moral implications of letting Evotars exist as sentient beings with their own free will.
    • The true ending. It's unlocked by speaking with Beowulf before the Point of No Return, involves Beowulf, despite his initial hesitation, ultimately showing empathy towards Lea and the Evotars as a whole, and it is his words and encouragement that convinces Instatainment to give the Evotars a second chance.
  • Chain of Deals: Through the trading system, you can trade materials and cash for other materials which you then need for other materials which you then need for that one weapon you want.
    • Obtaining the highest level Drill weapon requires making 5 trades in 4 different cities, then taking on a quest which includes 6 more unique items.
  • Charged Attack: Aside from the charged projectiles, Lea can charge up her skills up to level 3 by holding the skill button which results in powered up versions of the used skill.
  • Chekhov's Gag: Emilie explodes before the guild's first raid due to the avatar server she's stored on crashing. In the endgame, the main objective of the group is to crash the Evotarground server to put all Evotars in stasis.
  • Climax Boss: Gastropolis, a large gastropod monster with over fifty quintillion hit points, that Lea needs to take down with a damage modifier, is the last boss before Lea escapes the Vermillion Wasteland and the end of the first act.
  • Clones Are People, Too: A main theme. While Lea is an Evotar based on Shizuka, she's still considered a person in her own right, with feelings and a unique personality. On the other side, Sidwell's treatment of the Vermillion Wasteland Evotars and Expendable Clone philosophy is shown as cruel, unethical, and monstrous.
  • Cloning Blues: Discussed. Sergey talks about how while Evotars were in development, some of them would learn the truth about themselves and not take it well. Seeing as how Lea reacts to learning she's a clone of Shizuka, how Lukas reacts to being unable to properly log off, and how the Evotars in the Vermillion Wasteland act after being stuck in the game for god knows how long, one could only imagine what the Evotars were going through before the project was shut down.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Vermillion Wasteland's Evotars are subjected to torture once they enter the Vermillion Tower, for the sake of gaining information and intel from their human selves.
  • Color-Coded Characters: Quite a few characters are color-coded.
    • Blue: Lea, Blue Avatar
    • Orange: Emilie
    • Green: Apollo, Buggy
    • Yellow: Schneider
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience:
    • Each of the four elements are associated with a colour: Heat is red/orange, Cold is blue, Shock is purple and Wave is green. Enemies strong in that element tend to be the matching colour.
    • All of the classes in CrossWorlds also have a colour assigned with them; Triblader is green, Quadroguard is blue, Pentafist is orange, Hexacast is purple, and Spheromancer is red.
  • Convenient Weakness Placement: Some bosses require you to use their own attacks against them, like the Temple Mine boss, which shoots several bombs on the stage which you then fire back at it to break its defense.
  • The Corruption: The northeastern end of Gaia's Garden has fallen to the infestation, which turns the woods significantly darker and gives it its own unique vegetation comprised of virus mushrooms.
  • Counter-Attack: There are several guard arts that will perfect guard the next attack you're hit by and respond with a devastating elemental attack. For example, the level 3 ice guard art Crystal Keeper will respond to an attack with a massive ice wave that completely freezes everything in front of you.
  • Damage-Sponge Boss: Exaggerated.
    • Lea goes up against a snail boss which has fifty quintillion HP.note  Luckily for Lea, Sergey cheats in her favor to make the boss capable of taking any sort of meaningful damage.
    • The Final Boss hacks its own HP to consistently multiply it. At its highest, the boss gives itself 2.2 quadrillion times its normal health. Lea's mission control has to step in again, letting Lea take out some mooks to multiply her attack power.
  • Defend Command: Lea can block attacks with a shielding command.
  • Developers' Foresight: Characters will react accordingly to things that seem out of place with Lea if you manipulate the game mechanics or Level Grind.
    • Take the time to grind before your first battle with Apollo? He'll acknowledge that you spent a lot of time before the duel to get Lea's stats up. Should you ridiculously over-level or have really high stats, Apollo will notice, saying "What is up with your stats?"
    • Several of the boosts on New Game+ will be noticed by the characters in-universe.
      • Carrying over things like credits, items, elements, etc. will have Sergey openly wondering how Lea has all of those things in her inventory.
      • Carrying over Lea's level will have people comment on how overleveled she is. It also makes Apollo's accusations of cheating more accurate, though not for the reasons he thinks.
      • Activating "Sergey Hax" in the New Game Plus menu causes Lea to do an insane amount of damage with every attack — her attacks will do literally thousands of times more damage than normal. Emilie will comment on how boring it is having a party member who gets a One-Hit Kill on everything. After Lea first parties up with someone, her text will be red for a bit with insane expressions on her face, reveling in how much damage she's doing. However, the Final Boss works this into their calculations for the battle, and they're just as tough as ever.
  • Digital Avatar: Players in CrossWorlds are playing digital avatars that can physically interact with the real world because they are made of Instant Matter.
  • Discredited Meme: An overheard conversation in Basin Keep shows that referring to VRPs as balls is fine, but making vulgar jokes about it will instantly draw scorn from other players because they've been done to death. invoked
  • Don't Explain the Joke: Emilie asks Schneider about his name. He answers "I'm a Triblader. I cut things". Emilie still does not get it since it's a German pun, and she's French.
  • Downer Ending: The bad ending. In addition to Instatainment's higher-ups basically getting away with black market information trading and torture, Lea and the other Evotars are permanently banned from the game. This means that Lea is effectively dead, and she'll never see her friends again. Emilie, in particular, is distraught.
  • Dual Boss: The boss of the Grand Krys'kajo is the Ancient Guardian and the Son of the East attacking together. After one of them is defeated, the other one attacks more aggressively.
  • Easter Egg: Bonus Codes can be entered in the title screen, and have various (but generally comedic) effects. They're often given in the game's changelog or in conventions.
  • Elite Mook: Many enemies get stronger versions of themselves throughout the game. To cite a few examples:
    • Hedgehag -> Old Hedgehag -> Radical Hedgehag. locations 
    • Rockin' Hillkat -> Flamin' Hillkat -> Chilln' Hillkat. locations 
    • Mad Bovine -> Red Eyed Bovine -> Ivory Buffalo. locations 
    • Young Frobbit -> White Frobbit -> Dirty Frobbit. locations 
    • Seafly -> Fallfly. locations 
    • Horny Goat -> Horny Cavegoat. locations invoked
    • Digmo -> Infected Digmo. locations 
    • Pinceron -> Boss Pinceron. locations 
    • Shokat -> Wiccat. locations 
    • Gelleric -> Jelleric. locations 
  • Earn Your Bad Ending: The option to have Lea meet up with Ivan and Beowulf becomes available late in the game. You're told outright that you can do it, where you can do it, and how you can do it. The game's narrative also explicitly spells it out that this meeting could very well be the deciding factor in whether or not Lea gets what she wants. Sure enough, choosing to ignore these prompts comes back to bite you at the very end.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: In the true ending, Lea has to endure the entire CrossWorlds experience, her own personal hurdles, multiple factors trying to hurt her, and at the end, being put in the game's programming once again until Sergey could convince Instatainment to let him host Evotars on the Playground... but the project is soon greenlit, and Lea is due to be reunited with her friends in time.
  • Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors: The game has four elements, each associated with a stat: Heat, associated with Attack; Cold, associated with Defense; Shock, associated with Focus; and Wave, associated with Health. Generally, Heat and Cold cancel each other, and ditto for Shock and Wave. There are enemies who are weak to two elements and resistant to the remaining two (example: Gellerics are resistant to Wave and Heat, but weak to Cold and Shock).
  • Elevator Action Sequence: In the last dungeon, just before the final fight, Lea will have to fight multiple enemies as the elevator ascends to the top.
  • The Extremist Was Right: Potentially. The Big Bad claims that his sordid and ruthless methods are the only hope for the Evotars to exist at all, as they would never receive the support needed to survive via legitimate means. If the player fails to achieve the good ending, his words become heartrendingly prophetic. You do however have the opportunity to prove him wrong.invoked
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: The class system in CrossWorlds adheres to both of these somewhat, but in a somewhat abstract way:
    • Triblader is basically the Damager/Fighter, primarily using a blade. Lukas and Raph use this class.
    • Quadroguard is basically the Tank. This is Linda's class.
    • Pentafist is basically a Bare-Fisted Monk, as Emilie demonstrates.
    • Hexacast is the mage class, and Albert's and C'Tron's roles.
    • Spheromancer is the Jack-of-All-Stats. It's Lea and Apollo's class, but not the Master of None depending on how you allocate your CP.
  • Final Dungeon Preview: You are captured and taken to the Vermilion Wasteland about halfway through the game and eventually have to sneak your way through the Vermilion Tower. You return to the Vermilion Wasteland during the endgame, with the Vermilion Tower being the final dungeon. Some of the enemies during your first visit to the Wasteland are at endgame level, but you have a powerful Guest-Star Party Member to help you take them down. There are also elements of future puzzles seen in one room, but you can't use them yet.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Apollo calls Lea out for leaving the tutorial area at a higher level than possible, and deduces she must have cheated somehow; while it can come off as him deducing such through logic, he possibly knows it's impossible because he went through the area twice beforehand (once on his previous playthrough, the other as his current avatar) and found no way to do so.
    • Similarly, when realizing Lea can't talk, his first reaction is an angry "How is that STILL be a thing?", something that wouldn't make sense if he was a new player who would have heard about this beforehand.
    • Sergey says that in the event of an error, he still has "backups" of Lea in case of emergencies. That isn't exactly something you can do with a human conscious.
  • Friendly Rivalry:
    • Emilie becomes something of a rival to Lea early on, but they act more like competitive friends. The only time they ever compete against each other is in their dungeon races, and that's just an informal thing between the two of them.
    • Apollo, a fellow Spheromancer, is more of a proper rival. He initially accuses Lea of cheating (which she technically did, but by accident, and the slightly higher level is not really ban-worthy). Lea will earn Apollo's respect if you beat him down during your duel, but he intends to ensure that you keep your wits about you and don't get complacent.
  • The Gadfly: Buggy likes to mess around with the other members of the First Scholars. Each of his Direct Link conversations involves pranking or messing with Lea somehow.
  • Giant Enemy Crab: A mechanical version summoned by the floating dude. It's even called "Huge Hostile Crab". You can fight a second one as an optional boss fight in Autumn's Rise.
  • Gratuitous French: Emilie, being from France, often punctuates her speech with French words. Several of her attacks also have French names, such as "Faucon Poing" (which is French for "Falcon Punch").
  • Gratuitous German: Lukas also likes to pepper his sentences with German expressions, though not as much as Emilie.
  • Green Hill Zone: Autumn's Rise. You later revisit it through Autumn's Fall, which is a smaller branch of it filled with far stronger versions of the Autumn's Rise enemies.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: A quest given by Talatu Lips asks you to collect information about the entire flora of CrossWorlds by continuously destroying plants and collect their loot to unlock the wanted information.
  • Hard Levels, Easy Bosses: While it's possible to gain decent stat advantages against bosses, the puzzles are purely skill based and cannot be overcome with good gear. Averted on New Game+, which allows the player to choose bonuses that increase enemy damage or cause all attacks to always One-Hit Kill Lea.
  • Helping Would Be Killstealing: Discussed by Wervyn and Puelladocta. They note that the Last Minute Heroes' mission to save other players could be viewed as kill stealing. However, Crossworlds will prevent those who jump into ongoing battles from getting EXP and loot. Regardless, some player don't want to be saved and prefer the challenge of overcoming the battles on their own, though most appreciate what the guild is doing.
  • Heroic BSoD: Lea undergoes one in Vermillon Wasteland after Shizuka gives her the Awful Truth about her past. She only snaps out of it thanks to Evotar!Lukas.
  • Heroic Mime: Played with. Lea is not normally mute, but she quickly gains a limited ability to speak a few words, with more unlocked as the story progresses as Sergery harcodes them into her speech. Her limited speech is effectively treated as a bug in the game, which is not unheard of in CrossWorlds, and other characters who learn about it are quite understanding of Lea's condition and willing to accommodate her. The First Scholars in particular reassure her that her disability doesn't affect how they think of her. Lea's limited speech is generally unnoticed, because being able to say hello, her name, a few other pre-programmed words over time and use non-verbal communication still manages to get her quite far. (It's Played for Laughs when Emilie doesn't even notice because she tends to dominate every conversation she's in, and just thinks that Lea is the quiet type.)
  • High-Altitude Battle: The second phase of the final boss fight happens in what seems to be a platform in the sky, though it probably is just an illusion by Gautham.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: The first fight against the blue avatar (also a Final Boss Preview). If you survive long enough Sergey will create an escape route for you. But the boss will cut it off as soon as he sees it, then throw away all pretense of fighting fair. The outcome is the same as if you'd lost right away.
  • Horned Humanoid: Some of the Shads have noticeable horns.
  • Humanoid Abomination: The Plasma Phantom, the boss of the Zir'Vitar Dungeon.
  • Humongous Mecha: The X01 Driller H.F.S., which is the first real boss the player fights.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: The game's standard healing items are all various types of sandwiches that can be eaten in seconds and immediately heal you. There are also a wide variety of foods that give different buffs instead of healing, but they can also be eaten very quickly. This is likely an in-universe game mechanic in CrossWorlds.
  • Immune to Flinching: The Iron Stance modifier gives Lea super armor based on a percentage of her maximum HP.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: Infinite Spiral Drill. It's a story-long quest to get this weapon, starting from creating the Core Spiral Drill, and each upgrade requires to find rare items to craft. Wearing it means you can't gain EXP from monsters or quests, but it's almost the end of the main game when you get it, and is one of the strongest weapons you can use, and the high item drop ability it has makes finding rare items for final item crafting easier.
  • Interface Spoiler:
    • After Lukas joins the party at level 60 in the Vemillion Wasteland, the party menu will show two entries for him, with the other one at level 56. This is foreshadowing that the Lukas in the party isn't the real one.
    • Subverted in the final dungeon. Comparing the elevator's numbers with the size of the empty space might lead the player to believe that there's a total of 15 floors in the Vermillion Tower. However, after the 4th floor, the game goes straight to the end floor, meaning the dungeon is actually "only" five floors long.
  • Joke Weapon: Excalibro, which promises to be a legendary weapon, but instead reduces item drops and credit gains by 50%, and cuts off all sources of experience. It doesn't have anywhere near enough power to justify these nerfs, either.
  • Jungle Japes: Gaia's Garden. Overlaps with The Corruption as mentioned before, as well as Underwater Ruins in the So'Najiz Temple.
  • "Just Frame" Bonus: Perfectly timing your block input will mean you take 0 damage from the attack you blocked, and you might stun the enemy if you get a perfect guard against certain attacks. The Focus stat and Royal Guard modifier both increase the timing window to get a perfect guard, and the Avenger modifier restores your SP faster when you achieve a perfect guard.
  • Killer Rabbit: The Legendary Frobbit of Bergen Trail. Actually just a regular Frobbit... Or was it?note 
  • King Mook: Sir Blobus Starnikus, a humongous Jelleric fought at the end of So'Najiz Temple.
  • Large Ham:
    • Whenever Apollo appears, he does so with an overly dramatic entrance accompanied by his own theme. He's particularly fond of standing atop a nearby cliff and dramatically pointing at Lea as he shouts "Blue-haired Spheromancer!"
    • The Blue Avatar is also fairly large in the hammy department, especially during his boss fights.
  • Lawful Stupid: Apollo approaches Lea and accuses her of cheating, despite not having any proof or authority to do so. He declares himself to judge by challenging her PVP duels.
  • Lava Adds Awesome: The Faj'ro Temple has plenty of fiery lava pools.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: The game takes the Game Within a Game narrative and rolls with it. The amount of Justified Tutorials, people using the term "endgame" near the end of the second act, varying references to early access and upcoming updates... There's quite a bit of in-universe use of game mechanics as plot points, and it can get pretty meta pretty fast.
  • Luck Stat: Focus, which influences your critical hit rate as well as the enemy's, the timing window for parries and dodges and your SP gain.
  • Magikarp Power:
    • Defensive builds. When starting, you have very little circuit points to spend on defense perks, which only start taking real effect when acquired en-masse, which also means you'll be screwing yourself out of offensive capabilities. That, and defense-oriented armor is both rare and very expensive to get, unlike attack-oriented and balanced armor, which means you'll suffer from an accentuated Early Game Hell. To make matters worse, most of the defense-oriented upgrades are focused on the Cold elemental mode... which is sealed within the bowels of the Faj'iro Temple, filled with fire-elemental enemies which have titanic attack stats. However, once you do get a defensive run going, this means that you'll be able to tank attacks that would normally severely hurt you or even one-shot you - that, and your shield can reduce all incoming attacks to zero damage. That's right, not even Scratch Damage will hurt you. It gets better: If you acquire the Pin-body circuits and equipment that boosts it, your shield will gain the ability to deal Collision Damage, based on the attack strength and your defense. Eventually, a defense player can kill mooks just by blocking their attacks. By around the Level 50 mark, an ideal defensive run character will have a Defense stat over 400! invoked
    • The Core Drill. It's a weapon you can buy in Rookie Harbor whose stats are about average for a Level 10 weapon, with the special perk of increasing your Random Drops rate. The problem? The materials you need to craft it are inaccessible until you've cleared Temple Mine, for which the recommended level is 18, meaning it's guaranteed to be outclassed by the time you can make it. That being said, if you bring it to a merchant in Maroon Valley, you'll be able to upgrade it to the Level 30 Giga Spiral Drill, which is about the level at which you'll leave Maroon Valley. This would be enough of an example on its own, but if you then bring it to Basin Keep in the middle of Gaia's Garden, you'll be able to upgrade it a second time to the Level 51 Galaxy Spiral Drill. And if you read a note the trader leaves behind, you can do a side-quest to upgrade it one final time to the Infinity Spiral Drill.
  • Mirror Match: Apollo fights you in PvP matches multiple times during the adventure and, being a Spheromancer, has access to the same moves as you at this point in the game. Shizuka's fight is an even better example, as Lea looks very much like her.
  • Mission Control: Sergey Asimov assists Lea on her journey through CrossWorlds, even periodically adding new words to circumvent her broken speech pattern. She's also the only one able to hear him. That is, until Sergey intentionally inserts himself into the game in the third act to explain everything about Lea, Evotars, and the situation that they find themselves in.
  • Monkey King Lite: The boss, Son of the East, is an intelligent ape that wields a Simple Staff, rides on a cloud, wears a headband, and has an attack where he can clone himself.
  • Multiple Endings: Depending on whether or not Lea went to go talk to Beowulf and Ivan, Evotars are either granted the opportunity for a place on the Playground for them, or are banned and Sergey is forced to delete their data. Including Lea, Lukas, and Satoshi.
  • Mutually Exclusive Powerups: The Circuit board has this in two forms.
    • Each board has several branching paths, allowing Lea to use one attack or the other. Broadly speaking, one attack deals with a single opponent, while the other is area-of-effect. Both can't be used at the same time. However, outside of battle, a player can switch them at no cost.
    • A few Circuit Nodes will eventually become this. Even if you reach the level cap of 99, you'll never get enough Circuit Points to activate every node. As a result, some picking and choosing must inevitably occur.
  • My Rules Are Not Your Rules: Downplayed in PvP fights. While the enemy Avatar's stats and skills are the same as the player can achieve, they're harder to stagger. On the flip side, they will glow whenever they're about to use a strong combat art and they become vulnerable right after using a strong art, which is a disadvantage the player doesn't have.
  • New Game+:
    • Choosing to start a New Game Plus opens a boost menu akin to a Tales Series Grade Shop. The amount of points that the player can spend depends on how many trophies/achievements they've earned. More powerful boosts (such as quadruple EXP) cost more points.
    • In-universe, it's revealed that Apollo has played through CrossWorlds multiple times. When he joins one of the dungeon races, he'll always win no matter how well Lea does, because he knows the temple like the back of his hand.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: If the player fails to obtain the good ending, then Lea dies as a direct result of foiling Sidwell's plot.
  • Nintendo Hard: While the combat is well balanced, the puzzles are brutally difficult, to the point where you must think and act fast in order to solve them, and they get gradually harder and harder as the game goes on. The developers even admitted that one of the main inspirations for this game was Alundra, and those who played that game knows how hard the puzzles are.
  • No Hero Discount: Lea always has to pay the full price.
    • There is a side mission at the Hermit's Hut where the owner will grant a discount on her wares. A whole credit off.
  • Non-Lethal Bottomless Pits: If Lea falls down a bottomless pit or pool of water, she'll take about 10% of her HP in damage. This also applies to enemies if they're pushed into pits or water.
  • Open-Ended Boss Battle: The outcome of the PvP fights with Apollo and Shizuka have no major effect on the story and only result in minor dialogue changes.
  • Overheating: When using ranged/melee attacks in any of the 4 element modes for too long, Lea will suffer an Elemental Overload, which disables her ability to use elements for a while.
  • Percent-Based Values:
    • New Game+ boosts has a quadruple Experience Booster.
    • All of the consumable items have an effect that's expressed in the form of a percentage. For example:
      • The Chef Sandwich will restore half of Lea's HP.
      • The Chili Dog will temporarily increase Lea's Attack and Focus stats by 15% each.
  • Pinball Projectile: Lea's charged range attacks cause the balls to ricochet up to four times until they hit a target or vanish.
  • Poirot Speak: Emilie and Lukas pepper their phrases with French and German words, respectively. Emilie does it far more often than Lukas, though. It's justified as Emilie being from France.
  • Power Up Motif: If a player reaches Rank S in combat (the highest possible rank), the music changes to a jaunty high-energy theme. Stars also fly across the screen to emphasize how much butt Lea's kicking.
  • Punny Name:
    • Emilie's In-Universe Nickname, "Emilienator".
    • So'Najiz Temple is a pun on "So Nice".
    • Ms. Teak. Ms. Sandra Teak, to be precise. (S.Teak)
    • Talatu Lips
  • Purposefully Overpowered: The "Sergey Hax" ability in New Game+. Lea does so much damage that pretty much everything is a One-Hit Kill. It even gets some Gameplay and Story Integration; other characters comment on how strong Lea is, and Apollo's accusations of cheating are much harder to deny. After their third PVP duel, Apollo says he's going to report Lea to the moderators until Joern convinces him that this is probably something that she can't turn off. It helps that Lea is undergoing some rather hard times emotionally, as Joern comments on how Lea is alone, miserable, quiet even for her, and almost on the verge of tears. Far from the "dirty cheater" who doesn't care about the rules that Apollo claims she is. This convinces Apollo to let it slide.
  • Puzzle Boss: Most bosses in the game are this: The temple bosses, especially, often incorporates small puzzles and gimmicks from the dungeon you fight them in.
  • Puzzle Pan: Several times during larger puzzle rooms, the game will pan over to show the puzzle's extent.
  • Puzzle Reset: Lea can reset a puzzle by leaving and reentering the room.
  • Randomly Drops: This can sometimes be a bit of a bear. While it's helped along with the various drill grades, as well as the straw hat, certain enemies both need a chain to drop certain items, and are so far apart that one needs to kill a lot of foes in between to maintain that chain.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • A person can't play a video game all the time. Party members have to leave every once in a while because they're dealing with schoolwork or other real-life issues. In particular, Emilie says that she lost track of time due to playing CrossWorlds, and missed her part of a group project.
    • In an immersive MMO as massive as CrossWorlds, glitches and bugs are bound to happen. Lea's Heroic Mime status is brushed off as an uncommon but known bug where players lose the ability to talk. Emilie accidentally glitches out once through no fault of her own as well, causing her game to crash.
    • CrossWorlds was released in early access, and some features aren't in the game yet. When Lea learns that the final dungeon for CrossWorld's story isn't implemented, she can find a handful of players around a NPC complaining about it or asking when the next update is.
    • Brute force hacking can lead to a lot of trouble. In the first pass through Vermillion Wasteland's dungeon, Sergey's hack code doesn't work quite right, and he has to debug it quickly. This happens again the first time he tries to hack through a wall instead of the floor.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Emilie's the red oni to Lea's blue oni. Whereas Emille is a Genki Girl and a chatterbox, Lea is a Silent Snarker and rather shy.
  • Retired Badass: Captain Jet apparently used to be a highly skilled player. And even though he's around working in regular human form, he still can kick quite a bit of ass with the help of his jetpack and rocket launcher.
  • Rocket-Tag Gameplay: In a PvP battle between two players of similar stats, it only takes a few well-placed skills from either side to win a round. Though the overall duel can last anywhere from five to nine rounds.
  • Rule of Symbolism: When Lea first wakes up in her dorm in the Vermillion Wasteland, she can examine a zen garden in the corner of the room. Sergey says that it'd be near impossible to have them at the Playground, as avatars would just ruin them. After Shizuka soon breaks Lea by telling her the truth of her existence, she promptly throws Lea into the zen garden, and it stays messed up until Lea recovers from her breakdown.
  • Scarf of Asskicking: Apollo's scarf.
  • Scenery Porn:
    • A few areas and backdrops are exquisitely detailed and rich. A prominent example is Gaia's Garden.
    • The giant tree in Maroon Valley also qualifies for this.
  • Sequential Boss:
    • Every boss has more than one, usually 3 phases. All of the PVP fights technically have five phases, since they're best-of-nine.
    • Taken Up to Eleven with the final boss fights, who technically has sixteen different phases. Though the're all fairly short and the game autosaves at the halfway point.
  • Shifting Sand Land: Maroon Valley.
  • Sidequest Sidestory: A few sidequests in Cross Code have a mini story behind them. An example would be the Goatfather quest.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Apollo is a walking reference to Apollo Justice. Desire for justice, Spiky Hair, tendency to dramatically point at people... Joern even nicknames him Polly, just like Trucy does in Ace Attorney!
    • One of Lea's level 2 Heat Melee Arts is called Calamity Trigger.
      • One that crosses over with Bilingual Bonus: Emilie has an Heat Combat Art named "Faucon Poing", which literally translates as... Falcon Punch.
    • Two tradable weapons are the Core Drill and Giga Spiral Drill. Unfortunately, they're also early-game weapons, so they don't quite live up to the name. The Galaxy and Infinity Drills, on the other hand...
      • The trader who provides you with those last two drills? An NPC resembling Simon post-series. And the "Old Man" giving up all of his energy to create the Infinity Drill and turning into a statue is heavily reminiscient of Vegeta or Raoh.
    • One trading item players can acquire is a Master Ball. Satoshi might also be a reference to the Japanese name of the protagonist of the first generation games and anime.
    • The inn in Rookie Harbor is laid out exactly like a Pokemon Center, and a conversation inside lampshades the resemblance.
    • There are multiple Sonic the Hedgehog references, including items and enemies, and a mini-boss that is blue, very fast with spin-dashing and can ground-pound you.
    • If the Hillkat leader miniboss in one of the Autumn's Rise sidequests runs out of reinforcements before he's taken down, the subtitles above him will say "But nobody came... [furious Hillkat noises]". An old version of the game also had a rock you could inspect that said "A rock formation. You're filled with determination."
    • In Basin Keep's Corner Mall you can find one of the many umbrella-wielding NPCs blocking the stairs leading to the third floor. She has this to say about it:
      NPC: I'm sorry dear customer but Umbrella Inc. is currently experiencing a... sort of outbreak.
      NPC: In order to avoid any residents from getting inf... from having a bad time, we have closed off access to the third floor.
    • There's also an Arms item known as the Gunner's Trigger. Its description says it is "ideal to defend a fortified border against hostile neighbors".
    • One late-game cosmetic item gives you a "Menacing Aura", complete with purple katakana.
    • Should you fight Apollo with the "Sergey Hax" boost on in New Game+, he'll recite a speech that references the meme "You Cheated Not Only the Game, But Yourself".
      • By the same token, when C'tron comments on Lea's insane level of damage, Emilie references the "You Get Used to It" meme from Goblin Slayer, complete with a similar Thousand-Yard Stare expression.
    • The questgiver for the "Pumpkin Land Superfun" quest is basically a walking reference to Oogie Boogie.
    • The Excalibro weapon according to it's description is something that "promises victory".
    • In the shopping district of Rhombus Square there is a small chance for one of the cars on the highway to start drifting by all while a Eurobeat track plays in the background.
    • One of the late game armors available for purchase once you have all the materials is something called a Life Fiber Uniform that is said to cause a symbiotic relationship with it's wearer.
    • Some of the options available in New Game+ have some references to other game series, most notably Which Time and Devil Trigger.
  • Shy Blue-Haired Girl: Lea is rather shy around people which is shown by her incredibly broad range of expressions.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Bergen Trail. Also when the game stops going easy on you.
    • Actual Slippery Ice can be found in the Temple Mine in Bergen Village.
  • Skill Tree: Five of them, in the form of the Circuits system. Each element, including Neutral, has a circuit tree you can spend CP on. The perks range from an increase of the base stats, to more specific modifiers (More knockback for your charged shots, passive HP regen...) and various Combat Arts.
  • Take Your Time: Downplayed. In-universe, every dungeon is instanced, meaning each player gets their own version of it. Emille and Lea turn trying to clear their dungeons into a friendly race to see who can complete them faster. Take too long in any dungeon, and Emille will beat Lea to the finish. However, winning or losing any dungeon "race" doesn't affect the story, aside from slightly changing the scene right after completing the dungeon, depending on who won. There's also no rewards for completing the dungeons first.
  • The Stinger: C'tron, in the Vermillion Wasteland, comments on a conversation he shouldn't have been privy to, implying that he was The Mole.
  • Training Stage: The basement at the Info Hub of Rookie Harbor has a training room, where you can try out your Combat Arts and combos against an invincible enemy. You can even choose to add multiple enemies, make them attack or change their element!
  • Trapped in Another World: Lea is effectively trapped in CrossWorlds while she and Sergey try to recover her memories. Ultimately ends up as a subversion of the standard trope. While Evotars believe they're trapped in the game, they don't exist outside of it, and the only people actually trapped are the small handful of people physically stuck on the world that CrossWorlds takes place on.
  • Turing Test: A variant: During the good ending's sidequest, Ivan tries to test Lea to see not only how humanlike her reactions are (By asking her simple questions about the weather or the color of her favorite fruit), but also if she is actually an Evotar instead of a human masquerading as an AI (By using a program to make her listen to a minute-long record instantly).
  • Super Drowning Skills: Everything in CrossWorlds will take ten percent of their maximum health in damage if they fall into water or off a cliff. This includes Lea, her party members and most enemies, allowing Lea to knock them into the water for extra damage. Two avatars are seen in Rookie Harbor having a conversation about how instant matter dissolves in water.
  • A Taste of Power: When controlling Shizuka, you'll be able to crush the enemies that appear quite easily. When they first show up when controlling Lea however, you'll only be doing Scratch Damage to them while they will be doing enough damage to cause a One-Hit KO.
  • The Thing That Goes "Doink": One of the puzzles that a player needs to solve is waiting for a shishi-odoshi to strike exactly twelve times before shooting a target. It not only changes speeds at how fast it doinks, but it also features lots of other creatures making annoying noises while it happens.
  • Trick Shot Puzzle: A lot of puzzles or boss fights evolve around trick shots that requires projectiles to ricochet in specific angles.
  • Turns Red: Zig-zagged.
    • Shokats and Jack'on'Fires play this straight - if you hurt them enough, they'll each unleash their own Special Attack. Shokats will suck you in like a black hole and take away huge chunks of your HP if you get too close; Jack'on'Fires will unleash a difficult-to-dodge attack that will practically deal an One-Hit Kill to anyone who isn't either a Stone Wall or a huge damage sponge.
    • Tim, the enemy in the Maroon Valley which looks rather akin to a gooey volcano, has a nearly impenetrable shield, which can lead players to think that it needs to be taken down later. Instead, if you hit it with Heat, it'll turn red and its attacks will grow about twice as strong — but it also becomes trivial to eliminate. (This information is given in the monster encyclopedia... and only appears after killing a certain number of Tims.)
    • Sir Blobus Starnikus downplays it; though its attacks get gradually harder to dodge, its stats get weaker as you get to further phases, and the main challenge is to circumvent the fact that, since it's stationary on the middle of the arena and it gets smaller as you whittle its health down, you'll need to figure out a way to get the conveniently-placed shock bomb to actually hit it. Once you get to its last phase, it begins actively chasing you around the arena with fast moves, but now it's so small and weak you can kill it with ordinary attacks.
  • Ultimate Blacksmith: Some weapons/armor can only be made through specific traders with certain items, including rare items you find in treasure boxes. The Spiral Drill has a special quest unlocked after getting to the Galaxy Spiral Drill.
  • Unblockable Attack: Lea can only block horizontally. Attacks coming from above or below are unblockable.
    • A defense skill exists that can block attacks from all directions for a brief period
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: Downplayed, as they don't change the gameplay itself, but various sidequests pits you in various situations outside of regular monster bashing and puzzle solving:
    • A Maroon Valley sidequest has you making alcohol, out of all things, by cooling down brewing machines with ice palets out of water bubbles.
    • A quest in Basin Keep turns the game into a Tower Defense mission, making you create elemental turrets to hold down waves of enemies coming at you.
  • The Unsolved Mystery: Ever wondered what kind of music the Rockin' Hillkat listen to? If you didn't, Emilie definitely will bring this up.
    • You never learn what your friends look like offline. Is Emilie a dude? Does Lukas really have a fashionable goatee? Is Apollo's hair truly green!? We may never know.
  • Version-Exclusive Content: The console ports and original PC version each have their own version of an endgame quest, with the quests having similar structure but different locations and enemies. Each quest gives the player a hint to finding a secret event that ties the quests together, but all the hints are needed to find the event. The developers' intent is that players from different platforms are supposed to share hints with each other.
  • Voice with an Internet Connection: Quite literally, courtesy of Sergey.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: Apollo. For the most part, the tutorial puzzles and enemies are pathetically easy and the first real level, Autumn's Rise, can be tricky but still easily doable. Then, just as you reach the beginning of Bergen Trail, Apollo stops you from proceeding and demands you to fight against him. He does not hold back and is a straight example of the Turns Red trope mentioned before - as the battle progresses, he changes his playstyle and gets very aggressive very fast. Fortunately you don't have to win against him (defeating him is often a Self-Imposed Challenge), but the battle itself is supposed to be a warning that things will only get harder from there. Indeed, Bergen Trail introduces the game's very first Demonic Spiders: Horny Goats and Karottos (the latter of which can easily one-shot you).invoked
  • Warm-Up Boss: In-universe, the tutorial boss is supposed to be the Rhombus Heavy Turret 2.0. However, Lea starts the game on M.S. Solar, where the Blue Avatar forces her to fight a Huge Hostile Crab as her first boss.
  • Welcome to Corneria: Lampshaded through a direct adaption of the trope, where a non-player avatar talks with an NPC and the latter only repeats "Welcome to Bergen Village."
  • Wham Episode: Chapter 7's Vermillion Wasteland. You are trapped in a closed off section of the Playground, essentially a prisoner in a forgotten beta area with search lights and over-leveled mobs that will kill you if you do something you're not supposed to. And that's not even going over the emotional moments like Lea's BSoD when she finds out she's really an AI, not a person.
  • Wham Line:
    • In Maroon Valley, Sergey delivers a hard one to Lea:
      Sergey: Please promise me to stay calm. Lea, you... Your real self... Is currently in a coma.
    • Which is upped by Shizuka's rant at Lea, after she stormed Vermillon Wasteland:
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Poor Emilie is terrified of bugs. This doesn't stop her from tearing her way through the ice dungeon, of course, but she complains to Lea about it a total of three times.
    • Doubles as a Brick Joke at Pumpkin Fun Land; the final showdown of that level is a fight against tens upon thousands upon thousands of respawning, fire-breathing bugs. Emilie even lampshades it, saying she thought she left the bugs behind for good back at Bergen Trail.
    • Subverted in Sapphire Ridge. While Emilie is absolutely terrified of the samurai beetles, she has no problem fighting spiders. At one point, when you enter an arena of spiders, Emilie even hopes that it’s only spiders.
  • Wutai: Sapphire Ridge is an area with Japanese architecture and bamboo gardens everywhere. The most common enemies in the area are two types of beetle samurai. The main quest in the area requires you to, among other things, watch The Thing That Goes "Doink" and battle a ronin in an abandoned dojo.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Lea, literally. Sergey even lampshades this when he says you'd look almost human if it weren't for that.
    • Apollo has green, spiky hair. Emilie constantly mocks him that his hair looks like grass, even nicknaming him "Grasshead".
  • You No Take Candle: The Shads talk this way, with a few rare exceptions.

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