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Video Game / Dhux's Scar

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"I am Alpha, the beginning... AND THERE SHALL BE NO END!"

La Cicatriz de Dhux / Dhux's Scar is a freeware RPG for PC, which was made by the Spanish developer Erilex in 2009 through RPG Maker 2000 and translated into English later the same year. It contains unorthodox battles and a deep and interesting story rife with religious overtones. Nothing is as it seems in Dhux's Scar; the plot will take so many twists and turns that sometimes it can be hard to keep up.

Once, an angel tried to overthrow God. But he was defeated, and his followers expelled from Heaven. His name was Dhux. God forgave him, but engraved a scar on his forehead and forced him to wander the earth, powerless and forever bearing the wounds he received. However, Dhux betrayed God's trust. Even without his powers, he used his guile and poisonous tongue to turn men against each other, causing wars that claimed the lives of thousands. Enraged by this, God cursed Dhux to be punished for all eternity. However, because Dhux is a divine being, he cannot be truly killed. Every 500 years, he is reborn, and the people are tasked with seeking him out and killing him.

So the story goes, but as one will soon find out, there's more to the story than it appears. The plot follows a weakling merchant called Elijah, a young girl called Celliann, and Faye, an androgynous bodyguard and old acquaintance of Elijah's. Faye is the only one of these characters that's really cut out for combat; Celiann is about as useful as you'd expect a little girl to be, and Elijah can only dish out real damage by using magical amulets that are in limited supply. (Even then, a single regular attack from Faye usually deals comparable damage)

It can be downloaded here.

Provides Examples Of:

  • A God Am I: Celliann. With good reason, too.
  • A.I. Roulette: Many bosses have at least one attack that can completely annihilate you, and whether or not you beat them often relies heavily on how often they use it.
  • Anti-Grinding: returning to areas previously cleared costs one PE, and using too many PE is not a good idea if you wish to get the good ending. Since one needs to leave the area to visit a Trauma Inn or restock supplies this makes grinding harder, though not impossible. The key to grinding is efficient use of money to stock up on healing items before visiting a new area, allowing one to fight more battles before they need to leave the area.
    • Since healing is always a percentage of the characters maximum healing items, particularly MP based ones, become far cheaper relative to income in later levels, making grinding at later levels much easier, just a few extra MP-restoring items, used for healing, can result in dozens of extra battles
    • There is one location that has a store inside of the forest, which can be visited without spending PE. This makes grinding much easier. This area is a decent way into the game, which means grinding here can prove useful throughout much of the rest of the game. Even more then the levels the money gained allows spamming of healing items and Amulets during a difficult bosses long after the extra XP gain has become less relevant.
  • As the Good Book Says...: Subverted. "I am Alpha, the beginning... AND THERE SHALL BE NO END!" Bonus points for the quoter actually being called Alpha.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Unholy Prayer. It reduces the HP of all opponents to 1 without fail, even on bosses, but costs 2 PE to use and can therefore backfire horribly later.
    • Arguably amulets as well. While they allow Elijah to do far more damage, each cost 100 gold. However, the amulets' damage is still not much more than Faye's regular attack, and putting amulet money towards a cheap MP restoring potion to fuel Faye's healing magic so he can kill everything with regular attacks will get you far more bang for your buck. The later in the game the more cost-inefficient the amulets get as healing items provide increasingly more mana while amulets actually do slightly less damage relative to level.
      • Then again, the game, to a lesser extent than some games, has Money for Nothing, so why not use some of it to speed up a boss battle?
      • Due to the Anti-Grinding mentioned above if one wishes to grind they can only do so by using healing items. Efficient use of money is the only way to be able to grind at low levels.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: The battle with Elijah.
  • Berserk Button: Do NOT mess with Celliann unless you want to bring down Sybil's wrath.
  • BFS: Faye's weapon of choice.
  • Cry for the Devil: Elijah's death, where all his previous dignity evaporates and he's reduced to a gibbering wreck, crying "S...Sybil! Help me! I don't want to die!!" as he melts away into light.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: You deliver one of these to GOD.
    • Also Archangel Remiel. He doesn't even manage to get a single hit in.
  • Cycle of Hurting: Sabidnatzat enemies can cause this, since they have an all-hitting stun attack.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: A completely normal human and a distant descendant of an angel are able to kill the being that was meant to destroy their world.
    • Admittedly, it had only a fraction of its full power. Still a pretty amazing feat, however.
  • Did We Just Have Tea with Cthulhu?: Amidst their mutual plotting against each other, Elijah and Celiann take some time to enjoy a festival together.
  • Disc-One Nuke: Unholy Prayer. See Awesome, but Impractical, above.
    • Also the Mysterious Merchant's wares if you use Merchant's Soul. Many of them are Infinity Minus One Swords or at the very least comparable to endgame equipment. They're expensive, sure, but if you buy some you won't need to buy any more equipment for that character.
      • It helps that his presence effectively makes the forest a Peninsula of Power Leveling, the one place where it's possible to grind money for the gear indefinitely without worrying about eventually being forced to move the plot forward to reach a Trauma Inn to heal.
  • Frothy Mugs of Water: Lampshaded.
    Man: Here I am, drinking my sorrow away...
    Elijah: You might want to try booze. No one was ever very successful in drowning their sorrows in water.
    Man: Leave me alone!
  • Fun with Acronyms: Serenity Absolution Freedom Eternity and Emotional Data Evolution Network.
    • They actually made more sense in Spanish: Sistema (System) Absoluto (Absolute) Felicidad (Happiness) Eterna (eternal), which translates to Absolute System of Eternal Happiness. Esfera De Emociones Negativas, or, in english, Negative Emotions Sphere, which itself is a funny acronym if you think about it.
  • Gambit Pileup: To start with, Elijah and Celliann are both trying to fool each other into not suspecting anything simultaneously. But there's also Alpha, who has a multi-million year-spanning gambit to destroy Omega. Jazz and Samael, on the other hand, ultimately use their knowledge of Alpha's plot to execute their own plan to fulfill the prophecy.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Although there's a boss at the end of almost every dungeon, the game does a good job of avoiding this. The only exceptions are the Great Blue Beast and Adult Itargo. Balbersky may or may not count as well.
  • God Is Evil
  • Go Through Me: A variation; it's the good (ish) guy getting stopped. Nimue does this when Halbarad is about to kill Valedar. However, this is subverted when Nimue says she's willing to die for Valedar, Halbarad simply says, "Then die," and kills her. (Does not end well; it causes a major Freak Out on Valedar's part and makes him explode.)
  • Gender Bender: Faye is only the beginning...
  • Gorn / Cruel and Unusual Death: Oh so much of it. Many, many people die in this game, often graphically and in extremely gory and bloody ways. A few examples: heads exploding into blood, someone getting ripped in half while screaming for mercy, and someone getting impaled and skewered from inside.
  • Karl Marx Hates Your Guts: Lampshaded when you sell things to shopkeepers; they think "Sucker! I'll sell this for twice as much!"
    • You can also use the Merchant's Lens to screw the merchants over. Normally, they'd attempt to scam you if you barter. They can't with the lens.
  • Kill All Humans: Celliann's goal. See Love Makes You Evil, below.
  • Knight Templar: Maikas and Halbarad. The former has a hidden agenda.
  • Large Ham: The few bits of voice acting that exist in the game, especially those in the very final confrontation.
    "By the power of GOD!!"
  • Last Disc Magic: Pulsating Light, Heavenly Assault, and Catastrophe.
  • Lighter and Softer: The post-Impure Chrysalis part of the game. The gore turns down, the party entirely consists of sympathetic people and you're not in a constant threat of getting butchered by random monsters anymore.
  • Pre-emptive Declaration: "Are you sure you should be paying so much attention to me? A distraction could prove fatal."
  • Sub Text: There's often a contrast between Celiann's (and occasionally Elijah's) spoken text and thoughts.
  • Super Move Portrait Attack: Celestial Assault, Pulsating Light, Jazz Smash and all of Samael's skills.
  • Squishy Wizard: Arguably Elijah, whose amulets cover most of the traditional "elemental spells" in most RPGs. Also, as stated above, he's a weakling; all of his stats except intelligence are pathetic.
    • Celliann's actually much more fitting for this trope, since her powers are far greater than the amulets'... but she's still physically a little girl.
  • Super-Soldier: The Cherubs. They're actually all clones of Faye.
  • Sword Beam: Underground Missile.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Sybil, unlike their previous equivalent, is a formidable fighter.
  • Underrated and Overleveled: Averted. The main characters are a mercenary, a traveling merchant, and a, supposedly, teenage girl. These characters are *exactly* as strong as they should be according to their backgrounds. The mercenary with his high stats, and special abilities (including the only healing spell in the game) pretty much wins every battle single-handedly. The merchant has 1/3 the mercenaries maximum health, does 1/4 the damage with regular attacks and doesn't have any special attacks to spend his MP on. Though he has some great abilities to help get cheaper or special items from merchants and can do comparable damage to the mercenary by throwing amulets only he can use, but the cost of purchasing all those amulets add up so rapidly that it's cheaper to let the mercenary deal with everything and put the savings towards healing items. Meanwhile the girl is every bit as worthless as one would expect from an inexperienced girl (usually), Her damage is so pathetic that if not overleveled many enemies will No-Sell her attacks, she has the lowest health and defense and spends every single encounter defending and nothing else; to the point that having her in the party starts to feels like a game long Escort Mission.
  • Welcome to Corneria: Lampshaded.
    Old Man: Serena is a small fishing village located to the south of Jehridan.
    Elijah: To think the day would come when I would find information like this to be of any use...
    Faye: We usually arrive in most towns through more conventional means.
  • When Trees Attack: The "Sabidnatzat" enemies.
  • Triple Boss: Omega's Wing.
  • Theme Naming: All the forests are named "Fors[negative emotion]".
  • Unreadably Fast Text: There's a fisherman NPC at the beginning of the game who has this while he's trying to explain a fishing minigame (that does not actually exist) to you.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Alpha, amazingly.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Jazz and Samael.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Alpha is revealed to be this right at the very end, where it's revealed that he has a very good motive to destroy the entire SAFE/EDEN system; when Administrators die, they just end up with complete oblivion; no SAFE or reincarnation. Their methods are still quite objectionable, however, and it comes too late to stop the climatic Curb-Stomp Battle.
    • However, if some lines of dialog hold truth to them, then the administrators would still exist if someone found happiness with them, which is why Celliann exists in SAFE with Sybil.
  • Wham Line:
    Shadowy Figure: I am Elijah.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Faye occasionally calls Elijah out on his jackassery.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: No points for guessing this one. (Celliann)
  • World Half Empty: The world is filled with corrupt, unpleasant people and ruled by an autocratic, militaristic Church and a psychotic God. The alternative to living under the Church's protection is to suffer nightmarish attacks by demons.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Alpha. "I am the hero of this story, you see. I am the rebel, the one who stands against the system! Isn't that the kind of character you humans idolize the most?!"