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Video Game / Divinity: Dragon Commander

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Divinity: Dragon Commander is a video game set in the same universe as Divine Divinity by Larian Studios. As a Half-Human Hybrid, royal bastard, and youngest prince of an empire in chaos, the player character (the eponymous dragon commander) is tasked with capturing territory and using armies to battle those of his evil half-siblings.

The game has two primary phases with two genres. The strategy map is where the player determines army movements, building placement, research, and the use of strategic cards in typical Turn-Based Strategy fashion, reminiscent of a Risk map. When opposing armies occupy the same territory, the player can let the computer auto-resolve the battle, or opt to take command personally in a Real-Time Strategy engine, with the most notable feature being your ability to turn into a dragon and personally partake in the battles.

The single-player campaign adds RPG Elements by means of the dragon commander's actions aboard his airship, the Raven. As the autocratic leader of an empire and military force, there are decisions to be made in both domestic and military affairs. Decisions have an impact on the approval ratings of the empire's five primary species. Many decisions also have an impact on the strategic map itself — for example, enacting conscription is unpopular with most species, but permanently reduces unit construction costs.

This game provides examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Theron to Aida. Probably the reason why she's so prickly.
  • Action Bomb: Troopers and Transports can be given the ability to become these.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: Contained in the dialogue of a lot of characters, particularly Edmund and Ophelia.
  • Antiquated Linguistics: Ophelia speaks in rather Shakespearian prose compared to other characters. Appropriate, really, given the name.
  • The Alliance: The imperial council is an assembly of representatives from all six Civilized Races, with you as the Human representative. Similarly, your military is assembled from members of all races.
  • Arranged Marriage:
    • Towards the beginning of the second Act, you must marry one of the princesses of four of the races (the imps did try to provide a princess but she managed to blow herself up along the way). While the dwarven and lizard princess are primarily in it for political reasons, the undead and elven princess start off quite smitten with you.
    • These are the subject of one of Catherine's grievances, and the Commander can actually outlaw the practice in the Empire if he so chooses. Doing so will, however, earn you a few choice comments since your own marriage was one.
  • Asshole Victim: The Elven noble whom Scarlett kills with extreme prejudice if you allow her. As a Witch Hunter, he has the authority to inflict truly horrific deaths on anyone found to be a witch. This noble has been abusing his position by declaring homosexuals (or suspected homosexuals) to be witches in order to justify their painful execution. While extra-judicial vigilante justice may not be a good thing, the fact of the matter was that he was so highly placed it seemed that he would have gotten off scot-free with his crimes otherwise. Even your Elven Councillor is aware of his deeds but to protect the good name of the elves he is willing to *bribe* you just to turn a blind eye.
  • The Battlestar: Juggernauts are capable of launching Goblin Fighters in the middle of battle, even as their immense gun batteries flatten shore targets.
  • Blue Blood: The Lizard's hat is refinement. They tend to dismiss other races as brutish and unintelligent. Despite their occasional abrasive arrogance, they are usually a pragmatic and democratic people with progressive viewpoints.
  • Big Bad: The demon Corvus is both your greatest ally and the reason why you are fighting this war in the first place. While he was bound before the events of the game, he still visits the dreams of your chief engineer Grumio and gives him the ideas for all of your military upgrades. However, he does the same for your siblings and drove them to their madness in a bid to create a Forever War for him to thrive in.
  • Blood Knight: Troopers, who are remarkably eager to get stuck in for expendable Mecha-Mooks.
    Trooper: Pay me in blood!
  • Boy Meets Ghoul: One of your possible queens is the undead princess.
  • Break the Haughty: The events of the Harrowridge genocide on both Yorrick and Edmund's parts. Yorrick tries to fathom some reason why the Undead would have murdered the Elves, but can't come up with one and is reduced to gibberish before condemning the genocide with quiet hatred. Edmund is a much more direct example to come out of the affair: the last you see of him before the investigation is him contemptuously spitting that he'll 'hop to it'. He comes back in shock at what he's seen.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Henry all the way. Think so highly of himself that when Scarlet turns him down he thinks it's because she is a lesbian. (She is but that's besides the point). However, he's quite understanding in regards to the aforementioned revelation, and he agrees with Catherine that any soldier caught raping a woman should have his instrument cut off. He also approves of you making half of the officer corps women, mainly because it makes him happy to see more women.
  • Cleavage Window: The dwarven princess wears an outfit with one. Amusingly, it seems that she improvised it, as it consists of a row of undone buttons, and she remarks on how tight her shirt is. Lampshaded at one point, when she states "With all the dirt we'll find in there, we can squeeze [my father] tighter than my boobs are in this bloody blouse!"
  • The Comically Serious: By virtue of having the hat of The Fundamentalist, Yorrick, the Undead councilor, falls into this quite often. One Idle Animation involves Yorrick briefly using his hands as puppets.
    Yorrick: To show our appreciation, we are organizing an event completely novel among the Undead. A... 'party' I believe the word is. Trinculo also suggested something called an... "orgy"? But Prospera shooed him away.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: The Dwarves, as packaged with their traditionally greedy ways.
  • Deal with the Devil: A literal one with Corvus. You can offer up some of your subjects or even your wife as a sacrifice to him, receiving a substantial boost in power depending on the price you paid. This can end up screwing you over when Corvus turns against you in the final act, becoming more powerful for every deal made with him.
  • Death from Above: Warlocks can summon a barrage of flaming meteors with a power by this name.
  • Dem Bones: The undead — fairly civilized as a species unto themselves, although their religious zealotry sometimes gets out of hand.
  • Democracy Is Flawed: Your own cabinet of squabbling political leaders doesn't always paint a pretty picture, and having you as the tie-breaking vote in every deadlock is seen as a good thing. If the high lizard approval options are taken, you can move in the direction of a real democracy, something which horrifies all the other councilmembers from beginning to end.
  • Dream Weaver: While trapped in the Raven, Corvus is still able to influence mortal minds through their dreams.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Henry is often prone to this.
  • Due to the Dead: You can allow Aida, the Dwarf Queen, to do pretty much anything but if you allow her to dump her Jerkass of a father's corpse in a pig pen you won't hear the end of it.
  • Dysfunction Junction: Your generals and potential queens all have some kind of serious personality flaw or inner grievance that you can either help them overcome — or exacerbate further — with your advice and actions.
  • Emergency Transformation: Princess Ophelia's arc involves her curing her disease in any one of a number of ways: gaining a living human body (either by taking one from a living woman or having a powerful mage "draw" her one), transferring her soul to an imp-built robot, *then* either leaving it that way or adding some skin, simply cutting a Deal with the Devil and turning her into a vampire... or, just being a jerk and letting her die.
  • The Empire: A potential choice for running your territorial holdings. With just a few consular decisions, you can have a highly militarized theocratic state which guts civil liberties on a whim and is led by a power hungry madman backed by a soul devouring demon. Typically taken by players aiming for high Undead approval.
  • Enemy Mine: Happens occasionally, when two normally opposed councilors fall on the same side of an issue, such as the reactionary and theocratic Yorrick backing the uber-libertine Oberon in a policy of restricting the number of children an Imp family can have. Lampshaded during one such occurrence by Trinculo.
    Trinculo: Commander, here was me agreeing with one of Yorrick's proposals and still you disagree! You won't see an opportunity to please both imps and undead pop up again in a hurry!
  • Evil Is Easy: The primary reasons for turning your faction into The Empire are the considerable bonuses to your military that such policies will grant you. This is also the main reason for striking a deal with Corvus.
    • Retroactively averted in the Act 4 (with Corvus' deals, if not the authoritarianism) when Corvus uses the power you gave him through sacrifice to fight you.
  • Expy: Maxos is basically Merlin to the Dragon Commander's Arthur.
  • Fake Boobs:
    • It's noted in the design documents that Ophelia, the undead princess, was supposed to use different kinds of fruit as artificial breasts depending on her mood. Unfortunately, that idea didn't make it into the game. However, completing her story arc by turning her human gives her a Buxom Beauty Standard figure comparable to Aida's.
    • The undead barmaid at the Raven's bar is shown using a pair of small pumpkins for artificial breasts.
  • Fantastic Nuke:
    • The Imp Bunker Buster, which single-handedly makes the Juggernaut one of your most useful units in the later stages of the campaign. Hell, its HUD icon is a nuke.
    • The dragon's Eye of the Patriarch spell also serves this purpose.
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • Orcs, despite being a sentient species, are not one of the "civilized" races, and so are discussed in the same way as cattle or other base creatures. In at least one instance, using them as lab monkeys to test a new wonder drug is presented as a positive choice, as it won't harm anyone civilized, though their intense Constitution is part of the consideration.
    • Edmund considers all non-Lizards to be lower life forms, an attitude which Prospera sees fit to rebuke him for, and earns the Commander comparisons to him if he hints at having racist sentiments himself.
    • In general, everyone has some very nasty insults regarding anyone not of their race.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Corvus is a fairly polite and friendly chap, which does nothing to disguise the fact that he's an Eldritch Abomination Card-Carrying Villain.
  • Fetish: If you choose to marry the undead princess, the newspapers will report some people think it's because you have a skeleton fetish. Edmund is the only one on-board to state that you're basically practicing necrophilia.
  • Fiery Redhead: Princess Aida of the Dwarves.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: A possible issue to deal with are domesticated Fangbears - twice as large as regular bears, plus the pack mentality of wolves. Yorrick's is named "Cuddles".
    Yorrick: Seven bless your merciful soul, Commander! I don't know what I'd do without my Cuddles! His blood-stained fur, his glimmering white teeth... He's a darling, that Fangbear!
  • Forced Transformation: Warlock units have an in-battle ability that can turn enemy units into beetles.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Yorrick the undead councilperson is a cranky old curmudgeon and a pompous, religiously conservative windbag. Even his usual political ally, Sir Falstaff Silvervein of the dwarf party, doesn't like him much, and Oberon (who respects Sir Falstaff despite their utter lack of anything in common) mocks Yorrick behind his back. He doesn't even seem like a terribly good politician compared to his fellows, and one of those fellows is an imp.
  • The Fundamentalist: The hat of the Undead race. They tend the view the social status quo as divine will and resist the majority of potential social reforms.
  • For Science!: The Impish hat, blended evenly with the Mad Scientist. They relish experimentation and research, especially anything with explosive or combustible applications, and love to see the results in action. Needless to say, they're quite happy that a new war has broken out, and will back any proposals which would escalate or expand the scope of the conflict. As their councilor puts it...
    Trinculo: Damn the Gods, for there are none, and damn petty morality, for it is a break on progress.
  • For the Evulz: Corvus may want the dragon's soul at the end of the day, but he basically kicked off the plot and plunged the world into war for the funsies.
  • Funny Background Event: When the undead barmaid serves drinks, she does so in a wig with a pair of pumpkins down her shirt.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Grumio, the Raven's chief engineer. You purchase any and all upgrades for your units from him. Played with, as his inspiration comes from things the demon Corvus shows him in his dreams. He is, however, still capable of building fully functioning versions almost totally from memory.
  • Genre-Busting: It's a strategic, card battling, Third-Person Shooter Role-Playing Game (at least according to Angry Joe).
  • Glass Cannon: Your dragon form may be able to bring the pain, but if the enemy has any anti-aircraft units, death comes quick.
  • Godiva Hair: Ophelia, the undead princess, if you choose to encourage her to become human (either as a Body Snatcher or by asking a wizard to "draw" a humunculus which she can inhabit) to escape her disease.
  • The Good Kingdom: Another social option for you, it's quite easy to build a society of libertine values, social freedoms and open government with only a few counsel meetings.
  • Groin Attack: Catherine's solution to your solders' tendency to Rape, Pillage, and Burn the conquered counties is to cut off their members. Even your male general agree with that solution.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: You. Your mother was one of the last dragons. You can transform into one during battle once a turn. It goes as well as you think for the opposing army.
  • Heir Club for Men: Strangely averted with half of the Princesses presented to you. All four princesses were chosen for their potential political alliances, but the subject of heirs is seemingly not a concern. Only Princess Camilla mentions the possible necessity of producing heirs at a later date, but she seems uninterested in doing so unless absolutely required before she warms up.
  • Hidden Backup Prince: The main character was the illegitimate love child of the previous king and the last dragon in the guise of a human woman. He suddenly finds himself heir to the throne when Maxos summons him to defeat his insane siblings.
  • Historical In-Joke: One event involves the Dwarven Scientist Darles Charwin and the controversy surrounding the hypothesis of his latest research paper, specifically, that Lizards and Orcs have a common ancestor. Much like in real life, everyone gets the meaning of this assertion completely wrong and it accidentally creates a small wave of racism.
  • Hot Consort: You are given a choice of four Princesses to marry.
  • Hover Tank: Hunters, Armors and Devastators.
  • Humongous Mecha: Troopers and Grenadiers are towering Spider Tank-style mechs which easily dwarf the ancient trees around them.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: Princess Camilla of the Lizards is technically only the Queen Consort but she presents herself as being far more competent than anyone else in your inner circle and, one suspects, her own husband. Certainly of the Princesses, she is the only one with a distinguished career as a Supreme Court Justice.
  • Hypocrite:
    • The organ donation debate event reveals Yorrick to be this in regards to medicine: despite such things being forbidden by his religion, and repeated votes against medical ordinances like national health care, Yorrick is willing to...ahem...make an exception for the sake of fixing his brittle knee.
    • There's his line if you opt to not ban violent games and books:
      Yorrick: I bet you were one of those youths that brought a candle under the bed sheet to leer at dirty drawings in the night! That's how fires start, you know! And if you're not lucky enough to come back as an undead, you... but er... never mind all that... I seem to have lost my train of thought.
    • Catherine initially has a Freudian Excuse for her misandry in that men overthrew her as queen in her native country, and she is the primary voice for things like suffrage and wage equality. A bit of digging reveals that men were treated like trash under her rule even before the rebellion, however, and she quickly reveals she's less interested in equality than she is in female superiority, often making astounding feats of doublethink in the progress: just look at her opinion on arranged marriage.
      • When Trinculo is about to arrange his very young daughter with a much older man, Catherine is livid and demands that the marriage be stopped. The Commander can reveal that Catherine married off her sons in arranged weddings just like Trinculo. Catherine realizes her mistake and makes a final plea with a very good point.
        Catherine: But... that was different! They were boys; they couldn't wait to get their hands on their bride! Surely... Oh fine I admit it. I did the same, but can I not repent? Must that innocent imp maiden suffer because you, I, and every bloody nobleman out there seeks power and wealth?
  • Ice Queen: Princess Camilla starts as cold blooded as an actual lizard in both marriage and her court cases. She'll warm up to the Prince slowly if he proves competent enough in his views on her verdicts to earn her respect and compassionate enough to break her narrow view of the law. To put this in perspective, she encourages the Commander to take on a mistress immediately after the wedding, so as to minimize the chances of her being distracted from her court cases.
    Camilla: Now then, to read through last week's transcripts. I'll see you later. Maybe we can have a spot of dinner together. Marriage is a happy occasion after all, and demands some sort of formal celebration. That is the custom, is it not?
  • If It's You, It's Okay: Scarlett doesn't normally express interest in men, but she does flirt with the Commander quite a bit, cracking puns about riding him like a horse and offering him a "kiss that'll blow [his] jetpack off".
  • If Only You Knew: If so desired, the player may secretly allow the demon Corvus to devour any or all of the four possible queens. From everyone else's perspective, it appears the queen vanished overnight. If you do this to Lady Camilla, Prospera will ask if you threw her off the airship, then admit "that sounds about as likely as you feeding her to a demon."
  • The Ingenue: Princess Lohannah was brought up to be the "embodiment of elven ideals". She starts painfully naive of the customs of other races and necessities of politics, but grows more pragmatic and competent as the story continues and if the player advises her in that way.
  • Interspecies Romance:
    • All four potential queens are princesses of non-human (in one case, formerly human) races chosen for potential alliances with their respective racial parties.
    • Edmund, to everyone's abject shock, considering his tendency to look down on other races. Given the right dialogue choices, he ends up smitten with an elven girl.
      • He later complains that the girl's father does not have a decent opinion of him and even insulted him. The girl herself reciprocates Edmund's feelings and wishes to resolve the conflict by inviting him over for dinner. The prince can then offer Edmund advice as to how he should act. While acting prideful will simply ruin things, convincing Edmund to be the 'better lizard' and be courteous and humble. This has the effect of actually making the father apologize for his earlier behavior and finally accept Edmund as his daughter's partner. This noticeably changes Edmund's attitude to be more accepting and polite towards the other races as well, and earns the commander his gratitude.
  • Jerkass: Yorrick, for one. He starts off a pompous fundamentalist windbag and ends a pompous fundamentalist windbag. Catherine, too: even her compliments, should you earn them, all end with a heavy-handed slap about how much she hates men, and at no point does she even begin to acknowledge her bigotry like Edmund does. Just give her a click during your own goddamn wedding day and see how unapologetically low she can be when she wants to.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
    • Edmund can get some Character Development along these lines if the player sends him out to deal with rumors of a genocide in Harrowidge, finding them to be true. He muses that he might pay for the library there to be rebuilt. He also falls in love with an elven girl as detailed above.
    • Henry picked up a pretty abrasive attitude after being abandoned by his so-called comrades during a major battle and tends to push people away rather than take the risk to trust them. Given the right dialogue options, he reveals himself to be a rather civil individual, all things considered: he's rather open-minded in regards to social issues, he gets along swimmingly with Scarlett, and he's a loving father.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Both Charlotte and Scarlett run the risk of this over their personal storylines. The former, initially pushing for voting rights and pay equality, culminates in asking the Dragon to fire his male military officers and hiring women in their place. When a corrupt, homophobic elven witch hunter gets off with a light sentence after his crimes are exposed, Scarlett asks the Dragon for permission to enact vigilante justice on him. In the latter case, tempting as it is to give her the go-ahead, doing so deals a disastrous blow to elven relations, while denying her ends with Scarlett writing a scathing treatise that gets the witch hunter punished properly and keeps elven approval intact, at the cost of a bit of gold per turn, while Scarlett is given a deluge of thankful letters from the LGBT community: her treatise helped her cause far more than simply murdering a disgraced witch hunter ever would have.
  • Kaiju: The Dragon Commander's dragon form is colossal. For reference, the standard troops are as tall as oak trees: compared to the dragon they are pinpricks.
  • The Lad-ette: Scarlett all the way. Princess Aida is somewhat more feminine, but is still a hard talking, hard drinking woman with no patience for fools.
  • Lady Drunk: Aida, as befits her usual racial depiction, to the point of having an entire second bar installed in the Queen's Chambers.
  • Lady Land: Westbridge, the country from whence Catherine was queen, is described as being a realm where "...women ruled and men served." Interestingly, talking with Catherine about the place reveals that it isn't a Utopia as such places are usually portrayed, but is actually more repressive than the rest of Rivellon when it comes to gender politics. To clarify, in the greater Empire, women are treated slightly worse than men, but can easily be high ranking officials or generals with little fuss made of their gender, while in Westbridge, men were essentially slaves based solely on the virtue of their gender. Catherine ended up out of a throne and in your employ when a huge rebellion by the men ousted her and her sexist regime.
  • Lizard Folk: Contrary to the usual depiction, the lizards in your entourage are classy and progressive-minded. Your lizard councilperson is by far the most willing to weigh all points of any issue and take the most progressive approach.
  • Mad Scientist: The entire imp species, to the point where "a true imp's death" is to to be accidentally blasted to smithereens by their own bombs.
  • Made of Explodium:
    • A distressing amount of impish pastimes revolve around it. It's hinted and lampshaded that this is the reason why the impish princess doesn't show up.
      Maxos: There was an... incident. Best not to speak of it.
    • Trinculo can be found in the Engineering Bay immediately after, and explains what happened.
      Trinculo: O dear, o dear! A ravishing Imp princess was on her way to the Raven, Commander, but she and her chambermaids were playing hide-and-seek-the-lit-fuse aboard her transport ship and... well... they didn't find it in time. Poor girl. Died a true Imp's death, though - blasted to smithereens, fireworks in the sky. I'm happy for her really!
    • Their celebratory custom for receiving dignitaries from other races involves the spectacular and colossal combustion of purpose built edifices.
  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much: The overarching theme behind the Elvish and Undead princess storylines. Barring a few times where she thanks or prays to The Seven, Ophelia is nowhere close to Yorrick in terms of devotion, and is blatantly going against the decree of her people by seeking a cure for her disease. Lohannah's story revolves around her breaking away from elvish tradition and trying things forbidden to her people (meat, wine, etc.) and becoming noticeably less sheltered over time or staying true to the ways of her culture depending on how the player advises her.
  • Nice Girl: Ophelia, the Undead Princess, is also the closest to the Princess Classic, and acts it. Which is hilarious, given the Undead look.
  • Noble Bigot: Edmund ultimately ends up as this at the end of his character arc, should you take the proper dialogue choices. He talks about how he was a Child Prodigy, and notes that the fact he was so far above everyone else he began to look down on them. While he admits he may never be able to overcome his bigotry entirely, he vows to make an effort to change and appreciate others more than he has.
  • Noodle Incident: When asked about the absence of an Imp princess, Maxos replies with "There was an... incident. Best not to mention it."
    • Then revealed by either Trinculo or in the following day's newspaper - "Imp Princess dies during Hide-and-seek-the-lit-fuse game! Ministry of Education demands Nationwide ban!"
  • Non-Mammal Mammaries: Both lizard women in the game are surprisingly well-endowed for reptiles.
    • The undead, being skeletons, avert this trope; Ophelia (in her first form, anyway) wears a typical dress, which is noticeably loose on her given her lack of flesh. Then there's the bartender, who decided to fill out her shirt using a pair of pumpkins.
  • Not So Above It All: If you convince Henry to bond with the other generals over poker, Edmund denounces it afterwards as "the past-time of booze-hounds and imbeciles". Catherine similarly partakes in the game, but comments that it was fun, albeit in a "vulgar sort of way".
  • Our Demons Are Different: Imps apparently carry some demon lineage in their blood. However other than being a bit unconcerned with the ethical ramifications of their technological marvels and having a fascination with blowing things up they aren't in any way bad. Played more straight with Corvus, a giant man/bird demon who's the cause of everyone's suffering.
  • Our Dwarves Are All the Same: Rough-spoken, capitalist industrialists with Scottish accents. Which means Elves Versus Dwarves is in full swing. It's taken to a point of near self-parody, as the preeminent nation of the Dwarves is called "Hammerdale". They are, however, also master shipwrights and provide the vast bulk of your naval personnel.
  • Our Elves Are Different: Elven culture is put to the forefront during Lohannah's storyline and shown to often be as repressive and closeminded as the Undead side, just on the other wing: hard left as opposed to hard right. The elf councilperson Oberon is also not above making some truly mind-boggling decisions (the homophobic elf inquisitor debacle comes to mind), and it is well within your power to shut him down.
  • Our Goblins Are Different: A race of short, red, Mad Scientists without terribly much in the way of research ethics referred to as Imps.
  • Properly Paranoid: Edmund is quite reserved and cautious about anyone else he meets, which he claims is a byproduct of his having spent a good deal of time among backstabbing, self-interested nobles.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Maxos is obviously no spring chicken, but the sheer extent of his age is made apparent when, upon seeing the princesses offered up for marriage to the Commander, he wistfully muses...
    Maxos: Oh, to be a youth of 500 again.
  • Royally Screwed Up: Besides the Player Character and the terrible things he can get up to, his half-siblings are a corpulent lunatic who has replaced both his hands with axes, a paranoid schizophrenic woman who cut out her tongue to make the voices in her head be silent, and a man who thinks he's an undead who just hasn't died yet and tries to remedy the situation by peeling off his skin. It's implied that it was Corvus's influence in their dreams making them crazy before the endgame.
  • Rule of Cool: Pretty much everything to do with the RTS parts of the game. Steampunk Humongous Mecha, Fantastic Nukes, Jet Pack wearing Dragons...
  • Science Is Bad: Your advisers' stance. He blames the current situation on science and how rapidly it advanced. The war machines the royal bastards built to conquer the world in record time add weight to his complaints, but the actual source of his disdain is the fact that it is all powered by an insanity inducing demon eager to escape his seal.
  • Schizo Tech: The Juggernaut is a WWII-esq battleship with super-firing turrets, and with upgrades, carries a wing of fighter planes on its own and is capable of launching missiles with Fantastic Nuke-warheads, and yet it's a paddle steamer with the construction not out of place in mid 19th century.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The Raven, your Cool Airship, is powered by a captive demon called Corvus. Unfortunately, though the can stays sealed, it starts to leak...
  • Share the Male Pain: Late in Aida's questline, she offhandedly mentions that she used to bet people down at the pub that she could crack walnuts with her bare hands, resulting in horrified winces from all present when she did so.
    Aida: Always got me drinks, that trick. Never got me any boys though.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Some unit quotes:
    • Prospera will, at one point, mention the current Dwarven king, whose name is "Theon or some such."
    • The councilors are all named after characters from Shakespeare's works:
      • Yorrick is rather fittingly named after a character from Hamlet who only ever appears as a skull.
      • Sir (John) Falstaff is a recurring character from Shakespeare's Henriad tetralogy who shares the dwarf Falstaff's love of ale and general body shape.
      • Prospera is a feminized version of Prospero from The Tempest. Imp councilor Trinculo is named after another character from the same play.
      • Oberon is the king of the fairies in A Midsummer Night's Dream.
  • Shrinking Violet: Ophelia the Undead Princess.
  • Significant Wardrobe Shift: All of the brides can have this at the end of the game, depending on how they've developed.
    • If Lohannah becomes more pragmatic and less naive she will change out of her flimsy elven clothes into ones more dwarven in style. She keeps her outfit if she remains naive.
    • Camilla will always change into a more queenly outfit, but the stricter path gives a more severe wardrobe while the freer path is slightly more relaxed in look.
    • Aida has three options. The middle path has no change, the reconciliation with her father is a more conservative dress, and the revenge path is a more wild dress.
    • Ophelia, with one exception, changes her whole look. She is normally topless and either a vampire, a robot, a robot with flesh covering that resembles a attractive flesh golem, or a human. Notably, one of these (the uncovered robot) sees everything but her wardrobe change.
  • Steampunk: Mixed with a few dashes of Clock Punk and Magitek for flavor, Rivellon unabashedly parades this aesthetic for all it's worth. And damned if it's not cool.
  • Straw Feminist: Played with through Catherine, former queen of a Lady Land that you conquered, who has some straw elements. Her character arc can go one of two ways, and in the design document the two paths are actually called "Feminist" (the more mellow path) and "Chauvinist" (the angry, frustrated one).
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: Camilla the Lizard Princess. Her cold side is readily apparent to everyone, but she will display a softer side if encouraged by her husband to see the world less harshly.
  • Theme Naming: The named Undead characters in the story are all named after Hamlet characters.
  • To Be Lawful or Good: The Lizard Queen consort arc is you helping her decide this.
  • Tsundere: Aida the Dwarf Princess. She's somewhat dere to you but is really Tsun to her father to the point of arranging him to be killed and his corpse being eaten by a bunch of pigs.
  • True Companions: Your Generals can become this if you get them to work together.
  • Turn-Based Strategy, Real Time Combat: The strategic level plays out akin to Risk, while the battles, if you direct them personally, take place in real time.
  • The Undead: An entire faction that you have to please. Oddly enough they are actually very religious and conservative, which goes against pretty much every other fantasy setting.
  • Undeath Always Ends: Averted for most Undead. They're perfectly happy as they are, seeing their second life as a sign of the gods' favor. Played straight with Ophelia. The only way she'll survive is to return to flesh and blood or transfer to a robotic body. Her speeches note that she'd prefer to be human again even if she didn't have a disease, missing her human beauty and the sensations of life (especially the touch of the man she loves).
  • Undying Loyalty: You can sacrifice citizens and wives to Corvus one after the other, but even after realizing what's going on, Maxos sticks by you to the bitter end. The most he does is make absolutely sure you know the weight of your choices, and once you go through all four wives he puts his foot down and refuses to bring any more.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Choose to bar religion from public school curriculum and Yorrick will, as one might expect, throw a truly spectacular tantrum.
    Yorrick: This is impossible... intolerable... beyond comprehension! May the Seven tear you limb from limb! May they boil you in demon's feces! How will our children learn morality and compassion when you ban the Seven Scriptures!?! MAY MAGGOTS DEVOUR YOU ALIVE!
  • Video Game Cruelty Punishment: Every sacrifice you make to Corvus increases the demon's power, and when he turns on you in Chapter 3 he will be markedly stronger for it.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Scarlett and Henry, according to the former. The two usually get along like a house on fire, both being hard-drinking, foul-mouthed, boisterous individuals, but they've butted heads on more than one occasion.
  • War Is Glorious: A really, really dark example in Corvus: to him, war is glorious not for anything so mawkish as patriotism, religious fervor, or even the idea of Social Darwinism. He loves war because it's fun to watch.
  • What Did I Do Last Night?: Scarlett after attending her friends' lesbian wedding if you allow gay marriage. She's still somewhat drunk when you talk to her and the wedding was two days ago.
  • You Are a Credit to Your Race: Catherine tends to come across as this if the Commander is amenable to her requests for more equality.
  • You Killed My Father: Corvus arranged for the death of the Prince's dragon mother as well as his siblings' destructive madness before the game began.
  • Zeppelins from Another World: Shamans are small, ground hugging airships, zeppelins are also in play in the form of... well, Zeppelins, and Warlocks are odd stealth-sabotage-nuker units held aloft by two balloons.
  • Zerg Rush: The game is very aggressive, fast paced, and thus heavily geared toward this type of play; due to there only being a finite number of build spots to own, rushing out as fast as you can to claim them is imperative. On the unit side, Troopers are the go-to guys for this: the cheapest and fastest unit you can make, they can swarm en masse to either capture enemy buildings with Spoils of War, or use For The Empire! to blow up units much larger then themselves. Of course, units like Hunters and abilities like Mustard Gas can quickly end a rush before it gets anywhere.
  • 0% Approval Rating: King Thelor of the Dwarves is thoroughly disliked by the vast majority of his people, and Falstaff will, despite his slightly misogynistic streak, remark with obvious disgust at the kings abominable treatment of his own daughter and express relief she's safely away from him should you marry Aida. If, via careful maneuvering, you get him assassinated, Falstaff will imply that the "ocean of mead" he's ordering for the funeral isn't to drown sorrows, but to properly mask the almost boundless relief the old bastard is dead.