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Video Game / Fell Seal: Arbiter's Mark

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Fell Seal: Arbiter's Mark is a turn-based tactical RPG with a focus on storytelling and strategic battles, developed by 6 Eyes Studio and published by 1C.

Centuries ago, a brutal beast of destruction rent the world asunder. In this time of need, the first Immortals came into their uncanny powers, powers so great that they succeeded in destroying the beast ravaging the land, where all else had failed. To prevent such destruction from ever happening again, the Immortals banded together to form a Council that would enforce order and stability on a global scale, stepping in at any hint of war or chaos.

The Immortals might be vastly powerful, but they are few. Even they can't oversee all of the lands. This is why they rely upon their mortal agents, the Arbiters, to guard the land's people from the more day-to-day dangers they face. Arbiters range over the land, rooting out bandits, unruly monsters, and crooked officials; their word is law. But one Arbiter uncovers the deepening corruption pervading her own order, and it falls to her to halt the spread of a threat as dire as the brutal beast of yore.


It was released on PC on August 16h, 2018, on Playstation 4 and Xbox One on April 30th, 2019, and on Nintendo Switch on August 14th, 2019. A DLC expansion, Missions and Monsters, is set for a 2020 release, adding new classes, monsters, and a base-building system.

Tropes present in this game:

  • Action Initiative: Turn order is based on a unit’s Speed stat. The Haste buff makes a unit’s turns come around faster, while the Slow debuff delays them. A few skills and abilities muck around with this, however:
    • The Gambler’s Initiative passive gives them a free turn at the start of combat, regardless of their actual Speed.
    • The Peddler’s Critical: Quicken counter lets them take an immediate extra turn if an enemy’s attack leaves them at low health.
    • The Demon Knight’s Cleave passive gives them an extra turn when they kill an enemy, though they can only gain it once per “natural” turn.
  • Alchemy Is Magic: The Alchemystic class is described as “blending science and mysticism” in-game, and they use Soul Magic to give their allies various status buffs.
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  • Always Accurate Attack: The Mercenary’s Precise Strike is an attack which never misses.
  • And the Adventure Continues: The Golden Ending has Kyrie return to her peacekeeping duties after the Immortals are depowered (and reduced to two in number) and the possibility of anarchy looms across the land.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Some events, such as the Graveyard fight at night, just add new customization options for generic units at the Guild.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Lord Alphonse certainly is! He appears to relish lording his position over others and appears legitimately flummoxed that the Arbiters are punishing him for attempting to kill someone.
  • Auto-Revive: The Rebirth buff will bring a unit back to life if they fall in battle. It doesn’t work if the unit was killed with Collect Pelt, Collect Bounty or Collect Trophy, however.
  • Back Stab: The Scoundrel’s Sneak Attack does massive damage when attacking the target from the back or the sides, and very little damage when attacking from the front. In general, most attacks do more damage when attacking from any direction other than the front.
  • The Beastmaster: One of the new classes added in the DLC is the Wrangler, which brings a small pet into battle.
  • Black Knight: The Demon Knight class unlocked by plot events and available only to Anadine is this with the focus on dealing large amounts of damage for the price of HP.
  • Black Mage: The Wizard, Sorcerer, and Lich classes.
  • Blood Knight: The Reaver class is this with their brutal abilities.
  • Bows Versus Crossbows: Bows and Crossbows are distinct types of ranged weapon. Bows hit harder and have greater range, while crossbows give their wielders a bonus to accuracy and several of them can inflict elemental damage. Both weapons hit harder than guns.
  • Cast from Hit Points: The Marked class’s Wrathful Blow and Wrathful Burst are dark-elemental attacks that consume a quarter of the user’s HP. The Demon Knight class has many powerful attacks, including the two above, that cost anywhere from one-sixth to one-quarter of their HP. The Lich class’s Blood Magic passive lets them spend HP instead of MP to cast spells.
  • Casting a Shadow: Darkness is one of the six elemental damage types in the game, and spells of this element tend to be stronger than their equivalents in the other elements. Classes that specialize in dark-elemental attacks and spells include the Marked, the Anatomist, the Demon Knight, and the Lich.
  • Character Customization: All non-plot characters can have their skin tone, face, hair, eye color, outfit, and hat changed by the player.
  • Charge Meter: The Sorcerer class’s Eruptor passive gives them a stacking bonus to the damage of their next attack for each turn that they don’t attack beforehand. Since their spells are too expensive to be cast every turn, this effectively turns all of their spells into Charged Attacks.
  • The Chosen Many: When an Immortal chooses to retire, the Council chooses various candidates to go on a Pilgrimage, with the first to complete it becoming the Immortal's successor. These Marked people are considered mostly above the law, but there are exceptions, such as if they take direct action against the Arbiters.
  • Color-Coded Armies: All generic enemy humans are red, and members of Sigil wear black. While the player's troops can be customized, the corresponding default appearances for their units (as well as for other Arbiters) are blue.
  • Combat Medic: The Plague Doctor class combines powerful buffs and healing spells with the ability to poison enemies and inflict crippling status ailments. More generally, any unit can become this by equipping the Mender’s Holy Magic skillset.
  • Corrupt Politician: From the moment that the criminal Alphonse is chosen to be Marked, it's evident that not every member of the Council of Immortals that governs the world is acting in everyone's best interests.
  • Counter Attack: Every class learns a unique counter skill, though not all of them are actual attacks. The Mercenary’s Counterattack is a basic attack with their equipped weapon against an adjacent attacker; the Knight’s Thorns is weaker than Counterattack, but can hit the attacker from any range; the Wizard’s Magic counters enemy spells by casting a non-elemental spell of equal power back at them; and so on.
  • Critical Hit Class: The Ranger. Their Know Weakness passive gives them a flat 25% boost to critical hit rate, and their Scout ability increases their critical hit rate even further for a few turns. Combine this with the Scoundrel’s Exploit Weakness passive, which makes critical hits do 50% more damage, and you have a monster on your hands.
  • Critical Status Buff: Several classes learn counter abilities that apply a specific buff to them when their health gets dangerously low. Examples include the Reaver’s Critical: Rebirth, the Peddler’s Critical: Quicken, and the Assassin’s Critical: Mirage.
  • Defend Command: The Knight class’s Defend ability halves the damage they take from attacks until their next turn. It also heals them slightly. Their Protect ability lets them shield other units from harm.
  • Double Unlock: Secret classes require a rare badge that can be crafted or dropped by monsters in addition to having enough skills learned from lesser jobs. For the curious, they are: the Lich, the Werewolf, the Vampire, the Vessel, the Lord, and the Princess.
  • Dual Wielding: The Assassin’s Dual Wield passive lets them equip two weapons or two shields.
  • Elemental Absorption: Any unit whose resistance to a given element is greater than 100 will be healed by attacks of that element. Pektites will take advantage of this by blasting themselves with their own spells if they’re hurt.
  • Elemental Embodiment: Pektites are floating, jellyfish-like creatures that embody the elements. They’re healed and empowered by attacks matching their element, so they’ll often position themselves to be hit by their own spells when attacking other units.
  • Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors: The game’s six elemental damage types are Fire, Water, Thunder, Earth, Dark, and Holy. Units have individual resistance stats for each of these elements, and can be weak against, immune to, or even healed by them. There’s also Physical and Magic damage.
  • Feed It with Fire:
    • The Adaptive Affinity counter makes any elemental attack which hits a unit power up that unit’s corresponding elemental attacks. For instance, casting a fire spell on a Druid with Adaptive Affinity will make his own fire spells stronger. Pektites have his ability as well, and will also be healed by spells of their own element.
    • The Reaver’s Bloodlust passive makes them hit harder as their health gets lower.
  • Final Boss, New Dimension: Should the Golden Ending path be unlocked, Kyrie will use the portal that summoned Kairu to chase The Maw to its home dimension, using a piece of it as a tracker, and slay it for good.
  • Five-Man Band: There are five mandatory plot-important characters, each of which has access to a unique class instead of secret classes.
    • The Hero: Kyrie, an Arbiter and the main protagonist.
    • The Lancer: Reiner, Kyrie's adopted brother and fellow Arbiter.
    • The Big Guy: Anadine, Kyrie's apprentice, and daughter of the Arbiter that taught Kyrie.
    • The Smart Guy: Yates, the land's most skilled (if morally dubious) doctor.
    • The Chick: Katja, the Bounty Hunter.
  • Fixed Damage Attack: The Rock item inflicts a fixed amount of damage, with higher-quality rocks inflicting greater damage. There’s also the Reaver’s Desperate Blow attack, which inflicts damage equal to the difference between the Reaver’s maximum and current HP.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: A few characters make their first appearances like this, such as Katja spying on Kyrie from the top of the first Pilgrimage temple, or Raife & Grim Eye leaving the second temple just as Kyrie arrives.
  • Friendly Fireproof: The Wizard’s Smart Casting passive prevents their area-of-effect spells from harming allies or healing enemies. This trope is otherwise averted, and poorly-aimed spells and attacks will damage your allies or heal your enemies.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: The Gadgeteer class is fittingly this, with an arsenal of gadgets you can make and deploy in the field.
  • Gambit Pileup: Primus had no intention of giving up power; he announced his retirement solely to start a Pilgrimage, mark Raife, and have him steal dark energy from the Pilgrimage Temples (which the Immortals cannot enter themselves) that would then be used to power up Primus further. Raife, however, knew all about The Maw's sealing through his Kawa partner Grim Eye and only agreed with Primus in order to use the Immortal as a conduit and create the opportunity to kill The Maw for good.
  • Gathering Steam: The Duelist class’s Blood Mark passive gives them a stacking damage bonus for attacking the same target each turn. Switching targets makes the bonus reset. In a broader sense, all characters start a battle with zero MP and need to accumulate it over time, preventing them from unleashing their most powerful spells and skills right away.
  • Gender-Restricted Ability: Only males can access the secret Lord class, and females the secret Princess class.
  • Glass Cannon: This is the case for the spell-casting classes in general, but can be particularly pronounced for more melee-oriented mage classes like Fellblade and Warmage.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: The Maw was originally summoned to the realm by the Kawa, who were warring with humans at the time and wanted to use it as a super-weapon. Not only did it cause massive destruction indiscriminately, its sealing also ended up creating the first Council of Immortals, who promised to keep the Kawa's actions out of the history books in exchange for no Kawa ever being eligible for the Council.
  • Grimy Water: Phougamouth Bogs and Strangled Cove have purple water that will poison any character who ends a turn in there.
  • Guns Akimbo: Possible if you equip the Assassin class ability Dual Wield along with a pair of guns.
  • Guns Are Worthless: Guns do less damage than bows are crossbows and are among the weakest weapons in the game. To compensate, they have the greatest range of any weapon type.
  • The Gunslinger: The Gunner class.
  • Healing Shiv: The aptly-named Healing Staff is a weapon that heals whatever it hits.
  • Holy Hand Grenade: “Holy” is one of the game’s six elemental damage types, and attacks of this element tend to be stronger than those of the four main elements while being on par with Dark. Classes that specialize in Holy-elemental attacks include the Templar, the Marked, and the Princess.
  • Improbable Use of a Weapon: Possible with the Mercenary class's Sturdy Hand passive ability. Any two-handed weapon can be equipped in one hand, making it possible to wield a giant scythe in one hand and a shield in the other, for example.
  • Item Crafting: Available on the camp screen. You can craft gear, items, gadgets, and medals/crests using components you pick up during battles.
  • Job System: Taking direct inspiration from games like Final Fantasy Tactics, characters can gain new classes by learning enough abilities in previous classes.
  • Knockback: Several abilities, like the Mercenary class’s Forceful Strike, can push the target back one space. The target will take extra damage if pushed off a ledge or into a wall, and if a unit that can’t swim is pushed into a body of water, they’ll drown.
  • Leaked Experience: Characters not participating in battle still gain some AP for their equipped job, as well as for the jobs used by participating fighters, even if they may not have access to them yet. In fact, it's recommended to accumulate a significant number of mercenaries as soon as possible, even if most of them will just be bench-warmers, as they can be used to replace injured characters as necessary, and even if they're not used in that capacity, an inactive unit will gain a lot more AP just sitting out fights than a new unit recruited later will.
  • Life Drain: The Duelist class’s Leech Life passive heals them whenever they inflict damage to an enemy. Other classes have active abilities which drain health from their target, like the Fellblade’s Health Siphon or the Marked’s Drain Health.
  • Loophole Abuse: The Marked are considered immune to all laws until their Pilgrimage is complete. Arbiters have a law of that allows them to self-defend against those who are out to kill them…including Marked. Kyrie exploits this in her pursuit against Alphonse. That said, It Only Works Once as the Council then explicitly orders Kyrie against going after him… until one of the Immortals makes her a Marked as well.
  • Mage Marksman: The Gunner class can inflict a variety of status ailments with their enchanted bullets, and their counter skill magically teleports an adjacent attacker to another location.
  • The Magic Goes Away: The death of The Maw in the Golden Ending takes away the special powers of the surviving Marked and Immortals, though regular magic remains.
  • Magic Knight: The Fellblade and the Warmage classes are essentially this with varying levels and combinations of melee and magic attacks.
  • Magic Music: The Templar class learns magical Chants that they can sing to damage enemies or support their allies.
  • Mana Drain: Several classes learn abilities which steal MP from their targets, like the Marked class’s Drain Soul or the Templar’s Siphon. The Warmage’s Leech Mana passive skill replenishes some MP every time they hit an enemy with a regular attack.
  • Mauve Shirt: The player's party always starts with the same two non-plot-important units, the wizard Vergil and the mender Lana, balancing out how the main characters start out in physical-focused classes.
  • Mechanically Unusual Class:
    • Bzaro doesn't have access to any human classes, but can use various monster abilities.
    • The Gadgeteer class is also this. The skill tree is tiny, mainly relying on the player having built gadgets for the character to use in battles. The gadgets function like spells, but instead of having to spend AP to unlock the abilities, it all depends on what gadgets the player has found or more likely built in the camp crafting menu.
  • Metal Slime:
    • Should a Kawa bandit appear in battle, the player has a limited number of turns to defeat it before it escapes the map; success makes it drop three uncommon crafting materials.
    • There are also Zitzots, enemies who resemble fluffy grinning bees that award increased ability points. It has an ability that lets it avoid the last type of attack that hit it. So, for instance, if you hit it with a regular attack the first turn, you'd have to use a spell or skill to hit it the next time, but after that it would be susceptible to regular attacks again, but would automatically avoid all spells or skills (whichever one you hit it with).
  • Multiple Endings: There is a standard ending, and a Golden Ending if the player recruits Kairu and then kills the Final Boss's minions with the Collect Pelt skill, allowing a fight against its True Final Boss form.
  • Necromancer: Yates' "experiments" involve turning the dead into mindless zombies, either as personal bodyguards or to better examine whatever conditions originally killed them. This is reflected in gameplay by his Reanimate ability, which turns dead enemy units into Cadavers that fight on his behalf. The secret Lich class gets the same ability.
  • No-Sell: Several classes learn counter abilities that let them dodge all attacks of a certain type without fail. They are the Templar’s "Evade Attack", the Fellblade’s "Evade Magic", and the Duelist’s "Evade Skill". There’s also the "Mirage" buff, which lets the character infallibly dodge the next attack to target them, and the "Barrier" buff, which negates the next status ailment they would suffer.
  • Non-Elemental: Certain attacks and spells inflict Magic damage, which is outside the game’s normal Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors system. Examples include the Alchemystic’s Soul Tendrils spell and the Sorcerer’s Voidstorm.
  • One-Handed Zweihänder: The Mercenary class can learn a passive skill, Sturdy Grip, which lets them wield a two-handed weapon in one hand and a shield in the other.
  • The Paladin: The Templar, an unlockable class in the game with access to Holy magic, physical skills, and some light buffing/healing abilities.
  • Percent Damage Attack: Several attacks inflict damage equal to a fraction of the target’s current health, like the Knight’s Heavy Hit (1/3) or the Peddler’s Painful Trap (1/2).
  • Power Copying: How the abilities of the Bzil race work. Instead of the regular classes, they take on the abilities of monsters and learn more through defeating them and collecting their "essences."
  • Power Tattoo: The Marked are called such because an Immortal has left a magical mark on them.
  • Practical Taunt: The Knight’s Taunt skill drives its target Berserk, making them attack the nearest unit.
  • Proud Merchant Race: The Kawa, a tiny, scaly race that share abilities with the Peddler and Gadgeteer class.
  • Rain of Arrows: Rangers can learn an attack called Rain of Arrows which hits all units in a four-square line extending from them.
  • Random Effect Spell: The Gambler class's Wild Card ability generates a random effect depending on which suit of playing cards the character is casting with. Red suits like Hearts and Diamonds heal or buff allies and black suits like Clubs or Spades inflict damage or debuffs on enemies.
  • The Red Mage:
    • The Druid class is a jack-of-all-trades class with a fairly even mix of offensive and healing spells as well as buffs and debuffs. They also have access to melee weapons and shields which most magic-based classes do not.
    • Yates’s unique Anatomist class combines potent single-target healing magic with powerful dark-elemental attack spells and the ability to raise dead enemy units as zombies.
  • Reduced Mana Cost: The Sorcerer class’s Economy passive reduces the MP cost of abilities by one-third.
  • Regenerating Health: The Renew buff restores some health every turn. The Knight’s Life Font passive restores hit points whenever they move during their turn, with the amount based on their level and the distance traveled.
  • Regenerating Mana: Each unit starts a battle with zero MP and gains 10 MP on its turn. This prevents them from using their most powerful and expensive abilities right away.
  • Revive Kills Zombie: Averted! Healing spells will heal the undead just as well as the living ones.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: One of the main instigators of Kyrie's quest is seeing Alphonse, a criminal she just brought in, be marked as an Immortal candidate and immediately be let free.
  • Secret Character:
  • Shout-Out: The pool of names for generic units includes names like Mad Martigan and Shizuru Fujino.
  • Situational Damage Attack: Several abilities and passive skills work like this:
    • Several of the Vampire class’s abilities become stronger or gain additional effects if used on a target suffering from Bleed.
    • The Templar’s Cleansing Blade attack does extra damage for each buff that it dispels.
    • The Gunner’s Height Advantage passive makes all of their attacks do increased damage as long as they’re standing at a higher elevation than their target.
    • The Execute passive shared by several classes makes the user’s attacks more powerful when the target is at half health or less.
    • The Reaver’s Into the Fray passive increases the damage they deal and the healing they receive based on how many enemies are adjacent to them. Their Bloodlust passive further boosts their attack power as their health gets lower.
  • Spell Blade: The Duelist class can inflict elemental damage and debuffs with several of its Flourish skills. There’s also the Warmage’s "Infused Edge" skill, which is a melee attack followed by a single-target version of any spell the Warmage can cast.
  • Standard RPG Items: The player has a small pool of consumable items that can be used during battle, and are replenished automatically once the battle is done. Potions restore health, Phoenix Ashes revive dead units, Rocks inflict fixed damage to an enemy, and Remedies cure a unit’s debuffs. There are also Mana Stones for restoring MP, and two types of bombs that lower the target’s Defense or Resistance.
  • Standard Status Effects: Quite a few, all of which wear off after a few turns. Poison and Bleed do Damage Over Time. Blind halves the target’s accuracy. Mute prevents the target from casting spells, while Cripple prevents them from using skills. Root immobilizes the target. Berserk makes the target attack the nearest unit whether friend or foe, while Charm makes the target fight on the enemy team’s behalf until damaged. Weaken prevents the target from being healed directly, though Gradual Regeneration still works. Slow delays the target's next few turns, while Sleep makes them skip turns.
  • Status-Buff Dispel: Several classes have abilities which remove buffs from their target. The Druid’s Dispel removes all buffs in an area. The Scoundrel’s Steal Buffs removes all buffs from the target and gives them to the Scoundrel. The Templar’s Cleansing Blade attack dispels the target’s buffs and inflicts extra damage for each buff removed.
  • The Stinger:
    • In the final mid-credits scene of the Normal Ending, Anadine and Yates, having seen Kyrie immediately show signs of corruption after becoming an Immortal, reform Sigil with Katja with the goal of permanently killing The Maw.
    • And in the Golden Ending, it's instead revealed that Yates is planning to experiment with the fragment of The Maw used to hunt it down, with the goal of creating a new age of Immortals.
  • Summon Magic: What the Vessel class is all about.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Most classes and monsters cannot swim. If a character without the ability to swim gets pushed into a body of water, they will drown instantly.
  • Support Party Member: The Mender class is a pure healer with no offensive abilities whatsoever. The Alchemystic’s skillset consists mainly of buffs, with a single offensive spell as one of their final skills.
  • Taking the Bullet: The Knight’s Protect skill has them take all direct damage that would be dealt to another party member.
  • Trap Master: The Peddler class specializes in laying traps on the battlefield. These traps inflict damage or status ailments, are invisible to the enemy team, and will end an enemy unit’s turn immediately if stepped on unless the enemy can hover. The Ranger class can reveal traps with their Scout action.
  • Utility Party Member: Peddlers have passive skills which double the power of consumable items and let them perform situational commands, like opening chests, without wasting their action. They can also buff their allies, lay traps for enemies, and make single-target consumables affect an area.
  • Video Game Stealing: The Scoundrel class can steal a wide variety of things from enemy units, including gold, consumables, crafting components, and buffs. Even their counter ability involves stealing something from their attacker.
  • Visual Initiative Queue: The turn order is depicted with a line of portraits running along the top edge of the screen.
  • Weaponized Teleportation: Favored by Primus during a fight. Kyrie has some doubts about this given that Immortals are not allowed to use direct offensive force on mortals.
  • White Mage: The Mender, Plague Doctor, and Princess classes.
  • Yin-Yang Bomb: The Marked class learns an equal number of dark- and holy-elemental attacks.


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