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Video Game / Drakengard

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Keep struggling until the end.
Characters from left to right

The unsuppressed soul lets flow oceans of blood.
The Watchers drink and raise high the basin of fire.
Mighty generals hesitate beneath a crimson sky.
As the tears of a goddess flow, four lost temples forebode the coming of the Queen.
The dragon plummets from the tower of red thunder, and where it falls no one has seen.

Drakengard is an Action RPG game, originally released in 2003 for the PlayStation 2. It disguishes itself as being both by being the first entry in Cavia's Drakengard series, as well as being the first game directed by Yoko Taro, who already at this point displayed a lot of his Creator Thumbprints. It's notable for its combination of a multilayered, surreal plot and excellent atmosphere, with rather weak, repetitive gameplay. The gameplay switches between Hack and Slash and Flight Sim, so one could think of it as a mixture of Dynasty Warriors and a sandbox version of Panzer Dragoon. It takes place in a Heroic/Low Fantasy medieval setting, and it follows Anti-Hero Caim on a mission to destroy an evil empire (aptly named "the Empire") while also protecting his sister Furiae. Also known as "the Goddess", Furiae is part of four seals that protect the world from an unknown danger—she is a living seal, and her death would herald chaos in the world. Caim is joined initially on his quest by Inuart, his best friend and Furiae's betrothed before she became the Goddess, and four other characters, the circumstances of each being varied and always tragic.

One of the major concepts in Drakengard is that of a pact, or of two beings of different races binding their souls into one. Caim is mortally wounded in the first stage as he runs towards Furiae's castle in the midst of a battle, and discovers a chained and wounded dragon in the courtyard. He proposes that in order to save them both, the two should form a pact. In forging the pact, Caim can control the dragon during flight and has access to the dragon's vast strength, but gives up his voice in exchange (although he's still capable of conversing with the dragon through telepathy). However, if either of the pact partners dies, so will the other, and it seems the pain one feels is transferred to the other as well. All of the other members of Caim's party have a pact, and a certain price they have paid for it:

  • Leonard the forester has a pact with a fairy. With it, he has access to the fairy's powerful magic. He gave up his sight. He is a pedophile in the original Japanese version; international releases mostly edited this part of his character out.
  • Arioch the elf mother has a pact with Undine and Salamander, the water and fire spirits, respectively. She can control water and fire to a certain degree (she can be seen walking on water in one cutscene, or being undamaged by a house burning down in another) and can summon the spirits to her aid. She gave up her fertility. She is quite insane; she's developed a certain fondness for the other, other white meat as a consequence.
  • Seere the young boy has a pact with Golem, a stone giant. Golem provides the ultimate protection for the boy's life and can destroy The Legions of Hell with ease. Seere gave up his "time", meaning that he will never age beyond his six year old body.
  • Verdelet the hierarch also made a pact with a dragon, but that was long before the events of the game and the dragon has since been petrified. He would normally have gained the allegiance of the dragon as Caim has from his pact, but he can't call upon his pact-partner. As a consequence, Verdelet can hear the telepathy that goes between pact-partners, but he gave up his hair.

The game starts off simply enough, with Caim and any party members he's managed to find running from one location to the next, trying to prevent the Empire from destroying one of the three land-based seals. Each seal that is destroyed makes the burden on the Goddess that much more unbearable. As Caim journeys on, he learns about the Cult of the Watchers which has taken hold over the Empire and their evil machinations for the Goddess. The game gets progressively weirder and more surreal as events go on, and the interactions between characters gradually become more nuanced and complex from the straight-up swords and sorcery formula. By its end, Drakengard has gone beyond the standard unspoken agreement between author and audience and thrown us into the stuff of nightmares. Watching how the characters react to this and observing their hopeless and doomed plight is strangely interesting; morbid curiosity drives one to finish the game's five endings. Drakengard does not shy away from the surreal, the macabre, and the downright depressing.

One of the most striking things about the game is how so many Video Game Tropes are turned completely on their head. Your main cast is less than virtuous: Caim is a mute bloodthirsty nutcase, Inuart goes completely nuts and evil, Furiae isn't entirely innocent, and the list just goes on and on. Really, there's few games like it out there.

A sequel named Drakengard 2 and a spin-off named NieR, following different endings of the original Drakengard, were released in 2005 and 2010. Drakengard 3, a prequel, was released in 2013 to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the game. This page covers Drakengard and Drakengard 2.

These videogames provide examples of (Warning: major spoilers):

  • Alien Sky: Happens several times in both games. When the seals that keep the world from ending are broken, the sky becomes a sickening red (in Drakengard 2, the blue sky literally shatters). In the "bonus" ending of Drakengard, Caim and his dragon emerge in an alien dimension (actually modern-day Tokyo) where everything is Deliberately Monochrome.
  • All There in the Manual: Among other things, it's revealed that Leonard was absent from the massacre that killed his brothers because he was alone masturbating in the forest.
  • Alternate History: The game actually takes place in an alternate world version of 11th century Europe (specifically around the Iberian Peninsula), just with magic and fantasy elements, though the connections to the real world are otherwise pretty slim. Or so it seems. In truth, the game takes place in a timeline which started off identical to our world until the year 856, at which point a futuristic city filled with magic and fantasy creatures (the Imperial Capital from the game) inexplicably materialized in midair and greatly impacted the course of history for millenia to come. Ending E has Caim and Angelus travel to 2003 in a version of the world where this event didn't happen — as in, the normal human world — but by doing so, they inadvertendly introduce magic to it, thus kicking off the NieR timeline, which is heavily implied to eventually cause the aforementioned event of 856 back in the world of Drakengard. If all this sounds like a Temporal Paradox, that's because it is. There are forces In-Universe who are aware of this and are trying to stop it by unscrambling the Timey-Wimey Ball that the timeline had become, but not only have they not been succesful thus far, it's implied the world has already looped over in different ways multiple times. As a final twist of Mind Screw, the real real world (as in, the one you exist in right now, where Drakengard is a game) appears to be observable In-Universe as demonstrated by Accord in Drakengard 3. So, yeah, just a bog standard medieval fantasy world.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: How Caim views the people of the Empire. As far as we can tell, this is true as long as the Cult of the Watchers is in charge. Once they're deposed in Ending A and the sequel rolls around, though...
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Among the sequel's New Game Plus bonuses are accessories that change the appearance of Urick, Nowe, and Eris.
  • Anti-Hero: Caim is… not a very pleasant fellow, with a magnificently enthusiastic approach to violence who just so happens to be fighting people and/or things which are even worse. He does occasionally have good or at least understandable motivations behind his behavior, though, especially in Drakengard 2.
  • Apocalypse How: The Empire initially seems to be striving for a Class 0~3 extinction by ignoring peace treaties, destroying the status quo, and generally murdering as many innocents as possible in their attempts to break the Seals. As it turns out, they're being manipulated by the Cult of the Watchers, who is in turn a vessel of an elusive God who is aiming for a Class Z Apocalypse; the destruction of not only the world of Drakengard, but its parallel worlds (i.e. Ending E's "real world" and by extention the Nier timeline that picks up from there) and different game universes altogether (i.e. Final Fantasy XIV, whose collaboration event with Nier Automata inadvertently sheds some light on the original Drakengard).
  • Armor Is Useless: The protagonist and company rarely wear more than a little shoulder armor. The hordes of tin can knights might as well be in jammies for all the good their armor does.
  • Assist Character: Your ally functions like this. You can summon them to take your place 3 times per level, and their health gradually decreases until it reaches 0 and they leave. But in the meantime they get infinite uses of their magic ability, which can not only be charged for greater power, but bypasses red enemies' magic resistance.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: When Verdelet attempts to exorcise the Watchers from Manah in Ending A, she instead transforms into a giant. The big momma Grotesquerie counts as well.
  • Badass Boast: Angelus gives a good one near the end of game one.
    Angelus: Nothing is stronger than we are now. Let nothing that values life stand before us!
    Angelus: You fight well. But your strength is no match for my dragonfire!
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: The Grotesqueries are missing any sort of identifying genitalia, making them androgynous.
  • BFS: Hymir's Finger, a collectible weapon that's a Shout-Out to the dragon slayer and would since appear in every future game in the series (under the more-accurately-translated name "Broken Iron").
  • Bittersweet Ending: For the first game, Ending A. Ending D is also this with a bit of Fridge Logic: much of "Europe" is frozen in time and the protagonists have all suffered A Fate Worse Than Death, but the world as a whole is safe from the Grotesqueries. As for Ending E, Caim and Angelus's world is safe (maybe), but not only did they die immediately after their victory in an exceedingly humiliating and contrived fashion, they also completely ruined another world. Also, the first two endings in the second game, with the third ending approaching outright happy ending territory.
  • Black-and-Gray Morality: A revenge-driven genocidal maniac, a Jerkass, human-hating dragon, a suicidal pedophile and his sociopathic fairy companion, a psychotic cannibal who likes to eat children, a cowardly priest, and a naïve young boy who shouldn't be in this Ragtag Bunch of Misfits... They are all that stands in the way of The Empire headed by a possessed Creepy Child.
  • Bleak Level: Tokyo, oddly enough. All of Ending E is Deliberately Monochrome, with all voice acting and sound effects during cutscenes sounding muted underneath a layer of static, and the only music to be heard are some ominous bell chimes created by Caim and the giant Grotesquerie Queen battling it out. After the ending and Caim and Angelus' deaths are some Silent Credits with only the sounds of traffic in the distance.
  • Bolivian Army Ending:
    • Drakengard 1 has Endings B and C, where Caim has to face off against an army of mutated reborn Furiaes in the former and pretty much every dragon alive in the latter.
    • Drakengard 2 has Ending B, where Nowe and Eris are shown leading an army of Holy Dragons to fight against the Watchers in the sky.
  • Bond Creatures: In the setting, a person can form a "pact" with a creature (or in some cases, a pack of creatures), the person sacrificing "their most important trait" in return for both of them becoming more powerful (and for a chance for the monster to feast on the human's "negative emotions", which according to extraneous materials is a favorite of them).
    • Caim and his dragon, Angelus (sacrificing his voice).
    • Leonard and his fairy (sacrificing his sight).
    • Arioch and her twin spirits, Undine & Salamander (sacrificing her fertility).
    • Seere and his Golem (sacrificing his time).
    • Verdelet and his petrified dragon (sacrificing his hair; though his pact partner is petrified, rendering him powerless other than the telepathy shared between pact-partners).
    • The four Knights of the Seal lieutenants guarding the various keys in Drakengard 2 all have pacts as well. Zhangpo is bonded with the jinn Ifrit, sacrificing his ability to eat; Hanch is bonded with the sea creature Kelpie, sacrificing her charm; Yaha is bonded with a large pack of gnomes, sacrificing his "luster"; and Urick is bonded with a Reaper, sacrificing his mortality.
  • Boring, but Practical: For the most part, one of the easiest ways to get through this game is to stick with Caim's Sword and fully level it up. It's attack power is decent enough to get you through the Ending A route and it's magic attack is useful for mowing down weaker enemies and stunning stronger ones at least. If anything, it'll do until you can get your hands on better long swords or other weapons with far higher attack power.
  • Bowdlerise: The Brother–Sister Incest was slightly more overt in the original Japanese. Also, Leonard was a pedophile (or had urges towards pedophilia) in the original that were completely removed for the American release. The incest was crucial to the plot, but one could argue the paedophilia was not. Also, Angelus' racism was significantly toned down from "blind, genocidal hatred" to the more subdued "I'm a dragon, your argument is invalid" that is common to most dragons in media.
  • A Boy and His X: A Boy And His Dragon. Caim and his dragon are both an emotional and battle pair. Throughout the game, the two’s relationship evolves from a very reluctant team-up due to hatred on both sides to a deep partnership and even romance, best seen in Ending A and C and the sequel.
  • Breakable Weapons: Mostly averted, but weapons with the "Chip Easily" trait in the second game display a downplayed version of this. They're stronger than average at level 1, but become weaker at levels 2 and 3 to represent a damaged weapon, before becoming strong again at level 4.
  • "Bringer of War" Music: The ground theme in "Seere's Prayer" samples the piece itself.
  • Brother–Sister Incest: Furiae wants Caim. Sexually. References to such were mostly removed from the US release (although it was left explicit in the PAL version), but some hints remain sprinkled across a few scenes. Whether or not Caim returns those feelings is left to the player's interpretation of his wordless reactions, though some novelizations explicitly state the feeling is mutual, and that the reason the price of his pact was his voice was that it prevented him from telling her the truth before it's too late.
  • Brutal Bonus Level:
    • Getting Ending E unlocks a Free Expedition mission to Tokyo, where you're pitted against a squadron of fighter jets that can fly circles around you (they fly so fast not even your homing shots can keep up with them) and fire even faster homing missiles. This is the closest measure of payback that Caim and Angelus will get after their deaths in Ending E.
    • New Game Plus in the sequel unlocks several Free Expedition maps as you progress through the additional playthroughs. Among these are incredibly tough enemy gauntlets where the Royal Duel took place in the tutorial as well as one in Manah’s mind.
  • Came Back Wrong: If Inuart succeeds in resurrecting the goddess Furiae, it goes… poorly. Very poorly.
  • Character Development: Caim and Angelus start out hating each other's guts and only cooperating for the sake of survival. Canonically, they grow to respect each other and by the end actually become friends and even possible lovers, as seen in ending A and C. In the sequel, Caim is willing to destroy the world in order to free Angelus from her torment.
  • Chasing Your Tail: The dragon versus dragon aerial fight with Inuart later in the original game. The fight with Angelus in the second game also counts.
  • The Chosen One: Nowe from Drakengard 2, which earns him some disrespect among the Knights. Nowe himself just wants to be normal.
  • Collision Damage: Considering you'll be fighting enemies by the hundreds, this is one thing you don't have to worry about (except for the occasional ramming attack). A few of Caim's spells can damage adjacent/nearby enemies on contact, and the "shield" power in the sequel enables Legna to ram through enemies while it's in effect.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Note that red Mooks are immune to magic (including dragonfire) and will merely reflect spells back at you.
  • Colossus Climb: See that scaffolding on the Imperial war cyclopes? Better get ready to... take them out from the sky with your dragon instead.
  • Completion Mockery: The more you complete of the original game, the more psychotic the main character reveals himself to be and the worse the endings that you unlock become.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: The Grotesqueries don't follow the same rules from level to level. After a flying level where the player can roast them with ease and their projectiles only hit for about a circle of health, the next level is an on-foot level where they're suddenly immune to dragon breath and magic. Two levels later is one more flying level where their projectiles suddenly hit you for a quarter of your health. No mention is made of them getting stronger in-universe, they just seem to have whatever abilities is convenient for that level.
  • Contrasting Sequel Main Character: One of the most major reasons for the Broken Base regarding the second game was due to the shift from the cruel Caim to the standard fare Idiot Hero Nowe.
  • Conveniently an Orphan: Deconstructed with vengeance. The brutal deaths of Caim's parents act as the driving force behind his bloodthirsty behavior.
  • Convenient Questing: For the main story, at least. The side quests in the first game instead take the heroes well out of the way of where they're supposed to go. Chapter 10, which you never play in the first ending path, is called "Astray" for a reason.
  • Cool, but Inefficient: Hymir's Finger is huge and damaging but slow. It's brutally damaging, but until it reaches its highest level, it's too slow for its damage output to be meaningful. At level 4, though…
  • Copy-and-Paste Environments:
    • Nothing but bleak landscape for miles in some, even most cases. The second game does a better job with the environments.
    • Not to mention the Ocean Fortress has the exact same floorplan as the Sky Fortress, the only real difference being whether you'll have to deal with anti-magic enemies.
  • Cosmic Keystone: The seals, including Furiae, a living seal. They keep two extraordinarily important things under wraps.
  • Counter-Attack:
    • Most enemies have this ability; strike them repeatedly, and they'll eventually flash and become impervious to frontal strikes as they prepare to strike back.
    • In the sequel, when defending against attack, pressing the Attack button with precise timing will throw the attacker off guard and allow you a quick combo.
  • Crack in the Sky: In Drakengard 2, the destruction of the final seal causes the sky to crack and shatter as The End of the World as We Know It sets in.
  • Crapsack World: In Drakengard 2, see that horrific red-sky hellscape that overtakes the normal world when the seals break? Legna reveals that this is the default state of things.
  • Creepy Monotone: As practiced by The Evil Army, who mutter inane semi-ominous gibberish a few times throughout the game. Manah's second voice also dips into this at times.
  • Cutting Off the Branches:
  • Dark Fantasy: Starts off this way, and graduates into a Cosmic Horror Story by the end.
  • Day-Old Legend: Averted here (where, in both games, weapons reveal their histories as they increase in level) in two ways: one, you don't craft weapons, but instead unlock them, so you're not just making ancient weapons from scratch; and two, the starting weapons of your characters in the second game... have the backstories of their wielders as their histories.
  • Death Course: The final level of Ending D. Instead of a final boss battle, you have to fly through a cloud of Grotesqueries and repeatedly dodge their onslaught of magic, all to get Seere into postition over the Queen Beast. Faltering for even a few seconds will see you fail, and you'll have to do this Suicide Mission all over again.
  • Death from Above:
    • Following the biggest military engagement in the game, the Empire nukes the victorious Union army from their sky fortress, rendering your entire efforts pointless. ...uh, thanks?
    • And as a gameplay mechanic, in ground missions you can incinerate most enemy Mooks via dragonfire with absolute impunity.
  • Deconstruction:
    • The game gives us a glimpse into the psyche of the kind of person in an RPG who would be willing to kill a buttload of people in order to strengthen his weapons and level himself up. The result? Not very nice.
    • The game also takes a jab at Multiple Endings being unlocked by completing other criteria in-game. What, you think you deserve a better ending because you killed more people? Indeed, almost every ending past A makes the situation worse and worse for the cast and world. Or, in Ending E's case, a parallel universe.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: Modern-day Tokyo in Ending E is black and white. Even the final boss's attacks are black and white energy waves.
  • Destructible Projectiles: Attacks from enemy mages and archers can be blocked by striking them with an attack, although the precise timing for this can be difficult to accomplish when fending off swarms of other Mooks at the same time. Some projectiles (like the bounty hunters' knives) can even be deflected back at the thrower.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: The universe of Drakengard is just deadset on killing any chance of hope or success, especially in Ending B through E.
  • Distressed Damsel: There exists Furiae concept art where she wields a crook as a weapon and is shown with a pact-beast. In-game, she spends all but the first handful of levels captured and dies in every single ending.
  • Doppelgänger Attack: The boss battle against Manah's personal demons in the sequel; defeating the dopplegangers doesn't even earn you kills or experience points.
  • Downer Ending: Every single ending in the first game apart from the first one, most especially Ending B, Ending C and Ending E, the last of which creates NieR's post-apocalyptic Crapsack World. According to Word of God, this is because he believes a story where the main character kills thousands of people in a horrible war doesn't merit a happy ending, not to mention the cast of Drakengard being comprised of such terrible people that they don't really deserve one anyways.
  • Dragon Rider: Caim (and Nowe in 2) can take massive leaps to mount his dragon in field battles and rides on her back in aerial battles.
  • Dub-Induced Plot Hole: The choice to turn "God" into "gods", plural, created some plot-related confusion, which was further exacerbated in Drakengard 2 as it implied that the Watchers and the "nameless entity" that once warred with the dragons are one and the same. The true nature of "God" and the Watchers is a closely guarded mystery even in the Japanese versions, but at the very least the in-game text implies them to be separate from one another and "God" is usually addressed in the singular.
  • Dysfunction Junction: Anyone who is important is either a tragic figure of some sort or a slaughter-happy monster. Or both.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: As the first game in the series as well as Taro Yoko's first real project, it's unsurprising that this game sticks out compared to later installments, for instance lacking much of the quirky humor and moral complexity of later titles. To elaborate, not only are the villains essentially mere thralls of an Ax-Crazy genocidal cult, the "heroic" main cast of the game is a rather unsubtle Take That! against the tropes he was Deconstructing at the time, with their humanizing and sympathetic moments being few and far between. The characters in all his later games were given considerably more nuanced and sympathetic portrayals even with the Deconstructor Fleet being in full effect.
  • Earn Your Bad Ending: The first ending you get in Drakengard 1 is bittersweet. All subsequent endings get progressively worse (mostly) and require increasingly more effort to unlock.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending:
    • In Drakengard 2, you need to beat it at least three times to get the best ending. The bad part? The game automatically fixes the difficulty to hard and then extreme. Not even an option in the first game, where each ending becomes both harder to achieve and more depressing.
    • To wit with Drakengard 2's best ending: The corrupt Knights of the Seal are defeated, the world is saved from both the dragons and God, all of Nowe's friends survive, Caim and Angelus are finally at peace, and after two games' worth of death, destruction, betrayal, and despair, the world is finally beginning to improve.
  • Easy Level Trick: "Awakening" would be considered one of the hardest levels in the game due to it pitting you against an army of Grotesqueries, all of whom are much stronger now and can shave off masses of your HP with a few shots despite your Dragon being in Chaos Form. Or you could just use the Circle button to shut off your lock-on and go straight to the target, ending the mission in less than a minute.
  • Eats Babies: Arioch, in an act that she believes would "protect them in the safety of her womb". She has the tables turned on her by the Watchers, which she seems to actually be pretty happy with.
  • Eldritch Abomination:
    • The Grotesqueries, in an unspeakably creepy parody of innocent baby-like cherubs. They have teeth and slasher smiles.
    • In Ending 2, Inuart places Furiae into a Seed of Resurrection, causing her to return to life… as a horrifically twisted version of herself. The end result has thorned tentacles, massive angel wings with her old arms on the very ends, and with her human face still on the end, among other things. And then, in the end, every other seed gives birth to a copy of that monstrosity!
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: In the first game, the dragon obtains a Chaos Form for use in the final air battles and one boss fight against Caim in some routes. In the sequel, depending on your ending, Nowe will fight the final boss in his "New Breed" form.
  • The Empire: Subverted with "the Empire", who aren't actually an empire by any definition of the word, but rather are a ragtag collection of mind-controlled strangers assembled into a zombie-esque army by a cult who is trying to destroy the world, meaning they understandably don't care much about gaining land and their "capital" is just the city they happened to pillage first in their quest to break the Seals.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: Most endings except in Drakengard 1 imply this to some extent sans Ending A. Ending E ends up bringing it to the modern-day world.
  • "Everybody Dies" Ending: In most endings, the cast gets decimated at least, wiped out entirely at worst. The events of Ending E even lead to the extinction of the human race in another timeline.
  • Evil Hero: Caim battles the Empire so as the save the world, but also does so to satiate his bloodlust and hatred against them, and frequently abuses both his teammates and random innocents.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: You'd think, compared to nearly every weapon in the game, Caim's weapon would receive a terrifying nickname, especially judging by his personality. What is the name of his sword? Caim's Sword.
  • Exploding Barrel: You'll find plenty of them hanging around in the sequel, with completely no explanation why. Their explosions are surprisingly deadly to Mooks and surprisingly harmless to you.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: Furiae dies in every path of the first game.
  • The Fair Folk: Brushed upon. Fairies are mostly jerks who mock humans for their failures and weaknesses.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Map: The map is an inverted version of Europe, especially Spain, reflecting how it was an alternate version of Europe before magic was introduced by Stable Time Loop.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Several. Including...
    • Manah begging for death after being defeated in Ending A.
    • Furiae being resurrected into not one, but several thousand horrific monstrosities.
    • Seere, Caim, and the dragon when time itself is destroyed around the Imperial capital. Seere never gets to die and rejoin his mother, and Caim and the dragon are stuck in the midst of being devoured by Grotesqueries. Forever.
  • Fighting Your Friend:
    • After the Empire kidnap Inuart and brainwash him, he fights against Caim a couple of times. He still does so after his brainwashing is broken, due to him wanting to resurrect Furiae, which (unbeknownst to him) will bring about the end of the world.
    • Subverted with Urick in the sequel. He explicitly informs you how to actually kill him, but Nowe won't have any of it and decides to take Caim out instead. In return, Caim's the one who slays Urick.
    • Then there's Ending C in the first game, where the dragon ends Caim's pact and the two of them fight to the death to determine the fate of the world.
    • Likewise, the standard ending in the sequel pits Nowe against Legna, which also happens in the final one.
  • Flavor Text: The histories behind each and every weapon you can collect. They also differ between the two games.
  • Foe-Tossing Charge: Caim is capable of these in the opening movie and during gameplay.
  • For Doom the Bell Tolls: The Final Boss theme of the first game is nothing but eerie bells.
  • Foreshadowing: Right at the start of the game, Caim gives Angelus the choice between "a pact or death". Post-Ending E, it is revealed that anyone who comes into contact with the maso particles brought into the world by the queen-beast is forced to make a pact with a god and become one of the mindless Legion, or else be turned to salt and die.
  • Freak Out: Nearly the whole cast has a little moment at one point or another.
  • Friendly Fireproof: Friendly units in the sequel almost never take any damage from your attacks, combos, spells, whatsoever. Even Legna's dragonfire, which sends them flying like any other enemy, fails to inflict actual damage on friendlies.
  • Gameplay Ally Immortality: In the first game, allies are "summoned" to replace Caim for a limited time. The manual even recommends summoning them when Caim is low on HP.
  • Genre Deconstruction: Drakengard is to Action RPGs what Neon Genesis Evangelion is to the Super Robot genre (which is incidentally directly stated to be an inspiration and has a Shout-Out to it in-game).
  • Genre Shift: From dark Heroic Fantasy to Cosmic Horror Story Survival Horror.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: The final boss changes based on the ending route, and most of them could not have been expected from information presented in-game —
    • "A" route: Giant-sized Manah! While the opponent was expected, the form was not.
    • "B" route: Giant mutant resurrected Furiae!
    • "C" route: Not-that-giant-but-still-rather-large Chaos-version Angelus!
    • "D" route: Giant swarm of Grotesqueries (those freaky monster babies you've probably read about by now)!
    • "E" route: Rhythm game with a giant Mama Grotesquerie in downtown Tokyo! And then some fighter jets blow you up.
    • "D" and "E" routes also apply for the title of Makes Just as Much Sense in Context.
  • Grimdark: In spades. Here's the little story for Bonebreaker, an axe you can unlock: "Once, a man opened a shed, and there were a bunch of skeletons and stuff. Oh, and he had an axe. THE END." And it just goes from there.
  • Guide Dang It!: The various weapons have often-counterintuitive and occasionally contradictory unlocking conditions.
  • Hack and Slash: It's similar to Dynasty Warriors with RPG Elements, except with extremely limited combos and magic and a slower pace and... well.
  • Hand Wave: Happens a lot in some of the more disturbing endings, often as a Lampshade Hanging on the intensity of how crazy things get.
  • Happy Ending Override: Ending E ends with pieces of the Grotesquerie Queen's magical flesh falling over Tokyo as ash. As NieR would reveal, people ended up getting sick from this foreign substance, although it's heavily implied that it was more that she was forcing those who ingested her flesh to pact with her or die rather than foreign contamination.
  • Harmful to Minors: As a child, Caim witnessed the brutal death of his parents at the hands of the Empire.
  • Heroic Mime: For a very, very loose definition of hero. Caim is mute, due to his pact price with the dragon, and tends to 'communicate' through the medium of "kicking my allies in the head and brutally murdering my enemies". This carries on into the second game, where he is an Enemy Mime (and not as in the trope) instead.
  • High School AU: Not really, but there are some images of this for the second game in the Memory of Blood supplement. They even show how Angelus and Legna would look like in human forms!!
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters:
    • The Fairies justify their Jerkass natures with this. Angelus also has a tendency to act haughty and superior when around humans.
    • "A wise man chooses death before war. A wiser man chooses not to be born." Ouch.
    • Legna picks up right where Angelus left off in the sequel.
  • 100% Completion: Downplayed. Ending E requires you to collect every weapon in the game before it can be played, though you thankfully don't have to max them all out (and doing so doesn't really have much purpose besides that).
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: You can carry eight weapons ranging from polearms, hammers, and axes to daggers and swords (including the world's largest sword) into battle with you. Joy!
  • Idiot Hero: Nowe. Dear god, Nowe. He doesn’t like that people have to be sacrificed for these seal things to stay active and he falls with Manah to destroy them, ignoring everyone else screaming at him that the seals are the only thing staving off the apocalypse. He has the audacity to be surprised when he destroys the seals and triggers the apocalypse.
  • Infallible Babble: Graffiti written in blood is surprisingly reliable!
  • Interchangeable Antimatter Keys: During one Timed Mission in the sequel, Nowe picks up some dungeon keys, specifically noting that each one only works once. Otherwise averted.
  • Jiggle Physics: Averted, in one case because the mother of the Grotesqueries seems to be made of sodium, and thus wouldn't be prone to a-jigglin'.
  • Journey to the Center of the Mind: In the sequel, Nowe enters Manah's mind to save her.
  • Just Eat Gilligan: Deconstructed. The last two Ending routes happen because Seere decides to do the logical thing by killing off the Big Bad. Instead of just instantly solving everything, things get worse as the Grotesqueries show up and begin the process of laying waste to the entire world.
  • Kaizo Trap: In the original, the final battle for Ending E is a two-and-a-half minute rhythm game, where getting hit once will force you to start the "battle" over. As it approaches the end, the Queen-Beast will launch a rapid-fire series of 49 attacks. If you manage to survive this attack, don't put down your controller and relax just yet. She'll fire a single attack five seconds afterwards.
  • Karmic Death:
    • Inuart's role in kidnapping Furiae eventually leads to her death and his attempt to resurrect Furiae with the Seed of Destruction only makes things worse in the Ending B route. For his trouble, Inuart ends up getting impaled by the resurrected Goddess's skeletal tail.
    • Arioch, in the fourth and fifth endings, gets devoured by the Grotesqueries.
    • Caim spends most of the game butchering enemies en mass and shows no qualms about killing children. While he gets the closest he'll ever get to a happy ending in Ending A, manages to secure a Bolivian Army Ending in Endings B & C and barely averts getting this in Ending D by being eaten by Grotesqueries, Ending E sees him and Angelus killed by a missile from a F-15DJ with only Angelus's body remaining, ensuring that Caim dies forgotten and that the only people will miss him are the Union (who are likely gone as well).
  • Katanas Are Just Better: They look better, sure, but they're actually no better numerically than any other weapon you could choose from.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: Deconstructed in the first game with Caim, and then played straight with Posthumous Character Oror in the second.
  • Knockback: Hammers, maces, and axes generally send enemies flying with every hit that connects, making them useful crowd-clearing weapons in your hands, and annoying weapons in the enemies' hands.
  • Kung Fu-Proof Mook: Red-colored enemies are not only immune to magical attacks and your dragon's fire breath, but will automatically counter with a projectile attack of their own.
  • Lampshade Hanging: When the metaphysical shit hits the fan this hard, even the game has to step back and acknowledge it. In an especially cruel fashion, Seere's Heroic Sacrifice is mocked in the ending titles when he tries to compare it to a fairy tale his mother told him. Even the post credits screen isn't so kind either.
  • Law of Cartographical Elegance: Yup, all the world a square. At least the map is.
  • Let's Play:
    • Of the first game by The Dark Id of Let's Play Resident Evil fame. Particularly notable for turning the interplay between Caim and the dragon into that of a Buddy Cop Show (with more murder) and pointing out some of the hypocrisy and lunacy of the characters and setting. Drakengard! note 
    • He later moves onto Drakengard 2, where Nowe is presented as a self-absorbed nitwit clueless of things he should by all means be aware of who only became a Knight of the Seal because of Dragon Dad, while Eris, Urick, and Legna are forced to weather his stupidity. Also, General Gismor is a Troll.
  • Level Grinding:
    • The main reason to slay hundreds upon hundreds of enemy Mooks.
    • In the first game, Caim's kills increase his maximum HP (which the dragon shares), while the dragon's kills increase her attack power. Weapons increase based on the number of actual kills, so replaying early levels to slaughter scores of low-level enemies is a fairly easy way to level up.
    • In the sequel, characters collect their experience points individually, with slight increases in HP, attack, and/or defense power as they level up.
  • Level-Map Display: Both games display a map of the level when pausing the game; the second also allows you to switch between your enemy-radar and level-map overlay at any time (once you collect the area's actual map).
  • Lighter and Softer: Drakengard 2, compared to the original, is much less messed up in its tone, though it still has its fair share of dark moments.
  • The Load: Seere borders on this: he wastes a lot of the group's time by making them go on a wild goose chase looking for his family, then gets kidnapped and needs rescuing; without Golem, he's about as useful in combat as you'd expect from a real eight-year old. His (or rather, Golem's) actions when they encounter Manah may make up for it, though. (May being the key word, seeing as this act ends up causing the Grotesqueries to descend upon the world.) Verdelet also borders on this, not so much because he needs saving all the time, but because he never really does anything useful, and one of the few times he tries, it backfires spectacularly.
  • Love Triangle:
    • Inuart is in love with Furiae. Furiae is in love with her brother. Caim is in love with murdering everything that gets in his way.
    • Nowe and Eris have mutual crushes, though Eris is destined to become the celibate goddess. Nowe falls in love with Manah through the course of the game. Depending on the ending, he can end up with either woman.
  • Low Fantasy: While the game is technically high fantasy (flying castles, airships, enemy wizards, goblins, giants, apocalyptic horrors, dragons, seventy-odd cursed magical weapons collectible by Caim), the game is so dreary and depressing the wonder of such things is replaced by horror.
  • Magikarp Power: A few weapons in the sequel (including the legendary Weapons of the Seal) have weak attack power, learn few or no combos, and level up much slower than other weapons. But once they reach maximum level...
  • Magnet Hands:
    • Caim never drops his weapons no matter how far he gets thrown around. It gets ridiculous when bigger weapons are involved.
    • In the first game, the only time we ever see Caim without his sword visibly in hand is in one of the ending cinematics.
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": In 2, Eris and a small army of Knights of the Seal ambush Nowe and Manah...and then Caim shows up, and everyone panics and flees.
  • Medium Blending: Tokyo in Ending E is rendered in cutscenes via live-action footage with 3D models added in.
  • Mercy Invincibility: Except for a few enemies' combo attacks, taking any damage in the first game results in this, allowing you to counterattack immediately. The second game lacks Mercy Invincibility entirely.
  • Metal Slime: In the first game, magical soldiers with a 60-second timer appear in a few levels. If you can defeat one, they drop a bonus orb that bestows free "kills" on all weapons you brought into the level with you.
  • Mind-Control Eyes: Inuart and the whole Empire — anything acting at the behest of the Watchers.
  • Mind Screw: Endings D and E in the first game. The first suddenly introduces the Grotesqueries, who start to devour and destroy everything, and the second has Caim and Angelus chase the Grotesquerie Queen into real-life Tokyo to defeat it, where they're promptly shot down by fighter jets afterwards.
  • Mirror Boss: Inuart's Black Dragon has similar abilities to your own.
  • Mook Chivalry:
    • Nope, enemies will gladly surround you and start poking you from all directions. Most enemies don't actually attack very frequently, but if several of them start attacking all at once...
    • This also applies to enemy squad leaders (marked with a yellow dot) in the first game, who are often higher-class soldiers than their subordinates and are more aggressive.
  • Mook Commander: In the first game, enemies with a yellow dot next to their Life Meter are designated squad commanders (some of which may be Elite Mooks). The more commanders that are present in a given fight, the more aggressively they (and other Mooks) attack.
  • More than Mind Control: Inuart and, again, possibly the whole Empire. While some are under obvious Mind Control, a few soldiers at least retain their individuality; they may even make small-talk when they aren't required to fight.
  • Multiple Endings: Five for the first game, three for the second. Both games are kind enough to tell you exactly how many, and toss in some broad hints for unlocking them. Deconstructed in the first game, as all the alternate endings are bad endings.
  • My Significance Sense Is Tingling: Verdelet's goes off all the damn time. To a lesser extent, Leonard might as well have 20/20 vision thanks to how he "senses" his way through battles.
  • New Game Plus: Unlike the first game, Drakengard 2 doesn't allow the player to revisit/replay earlier story chapters at their leisure but all weapons, items, and Experience Points carry over to a new game, and it explicitly tells you what other bonuses you get (like rare weapons, and the ability to use all party members at any time). This is also a requirement for achieving the alternate endings, but it's also accompanied by an increase in the game's difficulty level.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Seere in Ending 4. We know his time has been taken away from him, so obviously throwing him at the Time Monster causing the world to fall apart will end in kind-of sort-of victory! It's a cross between a bad-episode-of-Star Trek Ass Pull and partly justified, given what the heroes are up against.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • In Drakengard 2, Nowe and Mannah's crusade to stop the knights' oppression unleashes Angelus, who's gone Ax-Crazy from her imprisonment and wants to burn down the entire world. And since Angelus is the new Goddess Seal, killing her means saying hello to The End of the World as We Know It. Oops.
    • Hilariously, our heroes had always been told that disaster would follow if the seals holding Angelus were broken. But because they believed the organization protecting them was oppressive, they mistakenly assumed it must also be lying and corrupt.
  • No Biological Sex: Dragons, while they may have voices and traits that may make it seem that they have genders they are genderless.
  • No Endor Holocaust: Averted. As Grimoire Nier reveals, the events of Chapter 13 in Tokyo do result in massive damage. 320 are injured, 56 are dead and 60 billion yen in damages was dealt. Not to mention the remains of the Queen forcing a pact on the population and eventually leading into the apocalypse that the NieR games take place after.
  • No Ontological Inertia: There are a few cases where defeating a squad leader eradicates its entire party, such as with the Imperial war cyclopses in Chapter 7.
  • Not Quite the Right Thing: Ending E. Caim and Angelus defeat the Queen in another world to ensure that she can't return in the Drakengard world... except this other world is our world. At first, it seems the only downside is that it resulted in expensive property damage as well as some injuries and casualties and the government having to clean up the corpses of Caim, Angelus, and the Queen — but Grimoire Nier and collectible files in NieR reveal that the Queen survived via forcing everyone who ingested her ashes to pact with her or die so she can take over the world, resulting in the decline of Earth's society over the next century or so as they try to preserve humanity, leading to the post-apocalyptic background of the NieR games.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: Subverted. Some of the game's stages have it as part of the background music, but Ominous Latin Chanting is never used to underscore an important plot event.
  • On-Ride/On-Foot Combat: Most open-air segments let you fight as Caim on the ground or from the skies on his Pact-bonded dragon Angelus. While the dragon can wreak devastation on ground units, Caim's weapons won't level up unless he's killing things in melee, and some units (notably archers and some units which actually reflect dragonfire back at you) can do a lot more damage to the dragon than to Caim, and Caim can only regain health for their Shared Life-Meter while on foot.
  • One-Man Army: The player character, whether it be Caim and his allies in the first game, or Nowe and his in the sequel.
  • Optional Party Member: Leonard, Arioch, and Seere are completely optional. Seere in particular cannot be unlocked until having beaten the game once already.
  • Outside Ride: With the unlockable jet figter Caim decides to sit on top of it instead of in it.
  • Party in My Pocket: Only one member of the party is actually on the field at a time, though dialogue overlays imply that they're intended to be all present at once.
  • Pet the Dog: Near the end of the second game, as Angelus lays dying, Caim does his best to comfort her.
  • Point of No Return: Nope, the first game uses a level-select feature, while the second allows you to return to the World Map for shops / sidequests before any mission.
  • Power at a Price: Pacts. The human partner loses a function of their body, with implications that the beast is the one deciding what that price is. Some prices are particularly karmic, and some less literal than others; Caim lost his voice, Leonard his sight, Seere... his ability to age? Verdelet lost his hair?!
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: In the first game, the seals were just kind of... there. In the second, they're fueled by the life force of the surviving Imperials.
  • "Psycho" Strings: The first game's soundtrack is pretty much entirely made of spliced and distorted samples of classical orchestral symphonies, and thus is all over this trope like jam on toast. The sequel, less so, but when the world breaks again after the seals get destroyed, the background music makes use of it again.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Consider the, uh, "heroes" —
    • Drakengard: Deposed prince with a penchant for slaughter, dragon who thinks humanity barely rates above roaches, paedophile and his jerkass fairy companion, cannibal survivor of the elven holocaust with a taste for human veal and her elemental buddies, blond kid with a giant magic rock friend, and a long-winded old bald priest.
    • Drakengard 2: Over-idealistic fluffy-haired protagonist, his slightly grumpy childhood friend of the opposite sex, amnesiac major antagonist from the last game, purple-haired masked coolguy with a pile of hidden remorse, and non-amnesiac antagonist from the last game (who is a dragon).
  • Raised by Wolves: It's never clarified how old Nowe was when he was adopted by either Legna or the knights; there are hints that he used to think he was a dragon (and didn't know how to wear clothes), but that he also apparently hasn't had too much trouble learning how to behave as a human.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: The soldiers of the Empire all have red eyes to indicate that they have been mind-controlled, which would later become an important recurring theme in the franchise.
  • Religious and Mythological Theme Naming: All named dragons introduced so far all have some sort of angelic name such as Angelus, Legna, Mikhail and Gabriel. The human characters meanwhile are mostly named after demons.
  • Ring Menu: The Weapon Wheel allows the player to switch between up to eight weapons during combat. The sequel adds a second layer which can hold up to six items (Healing Potions, etc).
  • Rogue Protagonist: Caim in the second game. And nope, it's not due to the main character being Locked Out of the Loop, or any of the other common reasons: All that's changed is that you're now on the receiving end of Caim's sword.
  • Scratch Damage: While melee attacks can be blocked without harm, blocking magic attacks will incur token damage to Caim in the first game (though at least without the accompanying stun or knockdown).
  • Screw Destiny: Nowe's answer in Drakengard 2 when he learns how the dragons intend to save the world.
  • Sdrawkcab Name: Legna? 'Cause if Angelus was just "Angel" in the Japanese version, then...
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The Grotesqueries are prevented from entering the world due to the four seals. Though they break in the all the endings, the Grotesqueries don’t show up until Ending D.
  • Sensory Abuse: The soundtrack is made up of orchestral pieces chopped up and remixed together, often in very jarring and repetitive ways and with lots of "Psycho" Strings. The result gives the game a very manic and unsettling atmosphere.
  • Sequel Hook: The cutscene after the end of the credits of Drakengard 2's Ending C shows the shadow of a dragon flying overhead, despite what Seere said before about all the dragons disappearing, also possibly implying that Legna may not be dead.
  • Shared Life-Meter: Caim and his dragon share a life bar both when he's riding and on the ground, though Caim has the opportunity to replenish it (by killing enemies such as archers, who can take out them very quickly when airborne).
  • Shoot the Medic First: Some enemy mages have the ability to strengthen/heal their comrades, and the game explcitly advises slaying them first to gain an advantage.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Many of the endings of the first game, except the ending A, are like this. Probably the worst offender is the bonus "E" ending, which only unlocks after collecting all 65 weapons (Guide Dang It!!), whose sole mission pits the player against a Nintendo Hard Unexpected Gameplay Change, which ends in the player characters being shot down by a jet.
  • Shout-Out:
    • In the Japanese version of Drakengard, the fighter jet that kills Caim and Angelus in Ending E has the callsign of "Scarface", referring to the Player Character in the Ace Combat series who has the callsign "Scarface 1". You can also unlock the Su-47 Berkut, a jet prominently featured in Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies, as a playable dragon for Caim to ride.
    • According to the developers, the official title of Ending E, "The End of the Dragon Sphere" ("Dragon Sphere" being the game's Working Title) is a reference to The End of Evangelion.
  • Hide Your Children: Very, very much averted, with one level even having Caim slaughter Child Soldiers
  • Silent Credits: Ending 5, immediately after the Dropped a Bridge on Him moment.
  • Simulation Game: Flight Sim in particular, via Dragon Rider.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Very cynical. The second game shifts a little towards idealism, but only just a little. With the exception of the final ending, which plays the Earn Your Happy Ending trope completely straight.
  • Standard Snippet: A few bars from classical music appear here and there, most noticeably from Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring.
  • The Stoic: Arioch's pact-partners Undine and Salamander, for what little time they have on-screen.
  • Stylistic Suck: The first game's soundtrack, while not meant to be "poorly composed" per se, is intentionally cacophonic and dissonant, utilizing classical music samples that are edited with lots of short loops and glitches in order to evoke a feeling of anxiety in the listener rather than being pleasant to listen to. Drakengard 2 and the rest of the series dropped this concept in favor of more traditional soundtracks for the most part.
  • Summon Magic: Leonard, Seere, and Arioch summon their pact monsters for magic attacks. Caim appears to summon his party members to deploy them in the field.
  • Sword Beam: Specific weapons can produce a projectile attack when finishing certain combos.
  • Sword Pointing: Caim's Idle Animation in the first game.
  • Tactical Rock–Paper–Scissors: Nowe's swords are super-effective against knights. Eris's spear is super-effective against undead (she even says so in a bit of in-game tutorial); Manah's staff against mages, and Urick's axe against monsters.
  • Take Your Time: Sure, go and chase after Seere after he gets his fool ass kidnapped. It's not like you're going to save that seal anyway.
  • Theme Naming: The main cast in the first game are named after demons, while the dragons seem to have angel-related names.
  • Timed Mission:
    • All missions in the first game have a standard timer of 60 minutes (not that you really need that much time to complete your objectives), although some missions have shorter time limits and will display the clock onscreen. Chapter 10, Verse 3 in particular gives you 150 seconds to traverse the level (fortunately, devoid of any enemies to slow you down).
    • The second game generally lets you Take Your Time, except for a few cases where a blue "time" meter is shown on the side of the screen and slowly drains.
  • Tokyo Is the Center of the Universe: Because where else would Caim and Angelus get transported to in ending E if not the capital city of Japan? The Shinjuku ward to be exact, though they (or at least Angelus) wind up skewered on top of Tokyo Tower by the end.
  • Too Much Information: On a second run through Drakengard 2, there's a bunch of additional scenes. One of them is a flashback to 13-year-olds Nowe and Eris talking, and suddenly Eris brings up her period out of nowhere.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Gets worse and worse as you obtain the rest of the endings (in the first game, anyways).
  • Trippy Finale Syndrome: Ending E. Caim and the dragon are warped to modern-day Tokyo, where they defeat the queen Eldritch Abomination with an Unexpected Gameplay Change. Then they are shot down by Japanese air defense pilots. Really.
  • Turns Red:
    • About the only boss who doesn't change their attack patterns is the Final Boss of Ending 2 in Drakengard 1, the Came Back Wrong goddess Furiae.
    • General Gismor also plays this literally; he normally switches from red to blue to indicate his particular attack pattern, but when he runs low on HP, he turns a dark red and opts for homing projectiles instead of the usual energy shockwaves.
  • Unbreakable Weapons: Which is good, considering how much of a workout they get.
  • Underground Monkey: Most enemies in the first game also come in red armor which protects them from magic attacks, but they are otherwise the same. Enemy mages in the sequel have different colors and attacks, and then there are "the gods'" monsters which resemble knights and orcs.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: The Final Boss fight (which proceeds like a game of Simon Says) is a controller-shattering exercise in frustration until you memorize the pattern.
  • Unexpectedly Realistic Gameplay: Upon appearing over Tokyo in Ending E, Caim and Angelus are eventually shot down by JSDF fighter jets. The Free Expedition unlocked after this pits the player against an entire squadron of them, and they're easily able to outmaneuver and outgun Angelus.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom:
    • Done in quite an asinine-yet-realistic fashion in Ending E when Caim and Angelus finally defeat the Eldritch Abomination Big Bad... and are then abruptly shot down by fighter jets. The citizens of Tokyo have no understanding of what is going on, they just want to stop these otherworldly things that appeared out of thin air and wrecked half of their city. Unfortunately, the truth is that only one of the beings was malevolent and is spreading The Corruption from its remains, and the only being Tokyo could've asked for help is the same one they lethally shot down. This results in NieR.
    • A weapon story in Drakengard 2 reveals that when Manah and Seere's mother was pregnant with them, a nameless seer crashed her baby shower and told her a prophecy that one of her children would be of darkness and the other of light. He then left before anyone could question him. This foretelling made her so paranoid, that she abused Manah and treated her as The Un-Favourite while giving Seere all her love. This caused Manah to develop a nasty case of I Just Want to Be Loved, which made her vulnerable to being possessed by the Watchers and kickstarted the entire plot of the first game, making this a truly epic case of Self-Fulfilling Prophecy. To that nameless seer, nice job breaking it, jackass.
  • Upgrade Artifact: The weapons gain levels and longer (tragic) back stories as they kill more enemies.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: That level where you kill Child Soldiers with Leonard calling you out on it? It's possible to have Leonard kill them.
  • Wave of Babies: The Grotesqueries in Chapter 12 are giant-sized babie.
  • We Cannot Go On Without You: In the sequel, characters have discrete HP meters, but if any one of them dies, it's instant Game Over.
  • Weapon of Mass Destruction: The Seeds of Resurrection aren't particularly good for resurrection, unless you count the last thing in the universe you want resurrected.
  • Wham Episode: Chapter 12, "Chaos", where the Watchers are introduced and all hell breaks loose.
  • Wham Shot: The shot of a modern cityscape in Ending E of the first game, followed by a caption reading "TOKYO".
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • Whatever happened to Leonard and Arioch in the sequel?
    • Leonard gets a brief mention in the City of Rust, and his weapon's Flavor Text says he went back into hiding due to his "certain anti-social tendency". Arioch is never mentioned at all.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Caim is openly criticized for his eagerness to go out, fight, and slaughter Imperial Mooks by the hundreds. Especially in "Leonard's Regret", which involves wiping out Imperial child conscripts.
  • Where It All Began: The Castle of the Goddess was the very first stage in the first game. In the sequel, the skies above it are the setting for the final duel against Angelus, aka Red, aka the new Goddess.
  • Wolfpack Boss: A dogfight against Tokyo's elite air defense pilots is unlocked if you successfully unlock (and complete) bonus ending 5 in the first game. Who will win, a dragon armed with homing firebreath, or a squad of five high-speed fighter jets with (equally high-speed) air-to-air missiles?
  • Would Hurt a Child: The side chapter, "Leonard's Regret", involves taking out a garrison of Imperial child conscripts despite vocal protests from Leonard. And frankly, the whole game may as well be renamed "Would Hurt A Child: The Game".
  • You ALL Look Familiar: Any soldier you talk to looks the same and has the same face.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Drakengard 2


The Grotesqueries

The Grotesqueries -- also known as the Watchers -- are a monstrous race of angelic monstrosities. They look like twisted versions of cherubs; namely, gigantic babies made of marble with wings of lightning... and perhaps creepiest of all, adult sets of teeth.

How well does it match the trope?

4.93 (15 votes)

Example of:

Main / AngelicAbomination

Media sources: