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Video Game / Flawed Crystals

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I need you to respect me, I don't respect me
I need you to love me, I don't love me
But I want you to know you don't know me
Can you change my mi-i-i-i-ind
Can you change my mi-i-i-i-ind
Can you change my mi-i-i-i-ind
Change my mind

Flawed Crystals is a Steven Universe text-based RPG fangame made by A Friendly Irin and Farla in Twine.

Set in an Alternate Universe where Rose Quartz actually shattered Pink Diamond, the Gems leave Steven behind to fight the Diamonds themselves. They return from the mission corrupted; Steven and Connie now need to track them down, capture them, and figure out a way to restore them to their former selves.


The game is equal parts RPG and fanfiction, with the RPG-style dungeons balanced with character- and dialogue-focused healing scenes. Its major focus is on character study, with each gem's section exploring details of their history and personality that went unaddressed in the show itself.

Can be played here. The game's build notes, as well as extensive commentary from both developer and artist about the inspiration and creation of the game, can be found here. A short tie-in story called Dissonant Harmony, which tells the opening "cutscene" from the gems' perspective, can be read on both AO3 and FFN.


This game provides examples of:

  • 11th-Hour Ranger: The last gem you recruit (probably Bismuth) will be this, as at that point the only thing you can use them for is the final dungeon. Fortunately, the non-linear nature of the game means the 11th hour ranger isn't fixed, and you can get more use out of them if you grab them earlier in a different playthrough.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower:
    • When Jasper is fully healed, several of her abilities are upgraded to stronger variants. This occurs right before The Point Of No Return and The Very Definitely Final Dungeon.
    • Inverted in the final dungeon, where Stevonnie will lose abilities after every battle due to the corruption damaging their psyche.
  • Absurdly High Level Cap: Averted; the level cap is relatively low, at 35. You're likely to reach at least 30 easily by the end of the game.
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  • Action Bomb: The Serpent enemies in Pearl's dungeon, which have only one attack: exploding to deal a ton of damage. They will spend the first turn picking a target to help you brace for impact... unless you're doing Pearl's dungeon last, in which case they will explode immediately.
  • After-Combat Recovery: With a few exceptions; during the apple portion of the Barn and the first run through the Strawberry Battlefield, this is turned off, forcing you to retain damage across battles. The limited uses for Steven's Lick ability also do not recover after battles, only on return to the hub.
  • The All-Concealing "I": A rare second-person example. In the bad endings, after Steven is killed, you're suddenly transferred to a new scene, still in second-person. This is designed to mislead you into thinking Steven survived, but it's quickly revealed that the viewpoint character has changed to Connie.
  • All Just a Dream: Not for the story as a whole, but the canon ending of the show is revealed to be a wish-fulfillment fantasy Steven fell into when he was unable to accept that Rose shattered someone.
  • All-Loving Hero: Deconstructed. Steven valued loving everyone, even the monstrous Diamonds, more than he valued justice. This led to his fantasy of making up the canon ending, where the injustices against the gems are swept under the rug so that everyone can get along. Steven ultimately admits that he cared more about inhabiting the persona of the all-loving hero than he cared about what people actually needed.
  • Alternate Universe Fic: Passive-aggressively termed "Rose Quartz is Rose Quartz". Rose Quartz is, obviously, a Rose Quartz and not Pink Diamond. Several other changes are made as well: During this continuity's version of "A Single Pale Rose", Pearl showed Steven a memory of Rose actually shattering Pink Diamond; a few months later, Bismuth was reunited with the Crystal Gems, Lapis Lazuli and Lars returned to Earth, and work began on a special weapon to assassinate the Diamonds, bringing us to the opening scene. In addition, it is later revealed that Steven had a Freak Out and made up the canon ending of Steven Universe within Rose's Room to cope.
  • Amnesiac Dissonance: After Steven wipes her memories, Jasper thinks she and Stevonnie are on the same team. Obviously, this is very much not the actual case. For most of the game, this is turned around from its usual form, with Steven potentially snapping at and abusing Jasper due to his fear and past conflicts with her, much to her confusion. It's ultimately revealed that this is what's driving Jasper's corruption: Her memories have been tangled up with Ocean Jasper, the corrupted Crystal Gem she fused with, and she can't remember which side she's supposed to be on. You can attempt to exploit this by telling her she was a Crystal Gem, but Connie will give you a horrified rebuke and tell her the truth instead.
  • Amnesiacs are Innocent: Jasper, after losing her memory, becomes childlike and naive, reverting to her instincts of protecting a commander (even though the commander she was designed for is nowhere to be found).
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • Items can be sold back for the same value as their buying price, to avoid punishing the player for misclicking or buying stuff they don't need.
    • Stevonnie cannot be cracked. Since they're the only character who can cure cracked status, it would really suck if this wasn't true.
    • Multi-hit attacks with multiple targetsnote  cannot hit the same character multiple times, preventing them from disproportionately affecting smaller parties. (If the number of conscious gems is lower than the number of hits, the excess hits will actually miss completely.)
    • Normally, battles follow a format of every player character acting at once, followed by every enemy acting at once. This isn't a problem in the early game, but in the late game with party sizes of up to 6 or 7, it's possible for enemies to gang up on individual characters and annihilate them even from full health. An update late in development allowed the player to end their turn early, which would only run a number of enemy turns equal to the number of player turns taken, followed by resuming the player's turn. This allows players to space out enemy turns to avoid this problem.
    • After completing the game, you can warp back to before the Point of No Return with your stats and levels intact, in case you forgot to make a backup save.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: Averted. You don't have to leave any gems behind; they will all join your party when they're healed, leading to a gradually increasing party size. Of course, enemy groups will also get bigger to match. According to the author, this was intended as a form of Gameplay and Story Integration by demonstrating The Power of Friendship.
  • Area of Effect:
    • Amethyst's specialty. Her regular attack hits a full row of enemies, and her ultimate attack hits the whole party.
    • Pearl has an ability that hits a column of enemies, and there are attack items corresponding to row, column, and hit-all attacks that anyone can use.
    • The Perfect Crystal's "Oblique Asymptote" ability has a unique area, hitting gems in a cross pattern.
  • Armor-Piercing Attack: Bismuth's Shifting Strike and Pearl's Eclipse. Several enemies have similar abilities as well.
  • Attack Reflector:
    • Stevonnie's "Thorns" ability, which will protect a character from one attack and damage the attacker.
    • Corrupted Lapis and her urchin monsters don't protect themselves from damage, but you'll suffer the same damage you did to them — unless you use a ranged attack to avoid their spines. (The endgame rematch removes this exemption and makes you suffer more than the damage you inflicted.)
  • Battle Theme Music:
  • Beat the Curse Out of Him: Averted — beating the corrupted gems only stops them from rampaging. To heal their corruption, you have to perform a Journey to the Center of the Mind.
  • Beef Gate: While areas truly can be tackled in any order, a few discourage you from attempting them early.
    • The Forge, unlike other areas, starts at tier 4, so you will need to either get a few other gems first or do a lot of level grinding before you stand a chance of completing it.
    • Pearl. Though her area isn't any more difficult than the others, her Boss Battle is brutal at lower tiers, as it's a Wolf Pack Boss rather than a Flunky Boss with easily-dispatched Mooks. This is intentional according to the developer, who believed it made more emotional and narrative sense to force the player to wait before rescuing Pearl.
  • Beige Prose:
    • Most enemy descriptions are fairly ornate, but corrupted Steven's description simply reads, "A corrupted fusion of a human and a Rose Quartz."
    • The boss rematches in the final dungeon have their previous descriptions replaced with terse one-word adjectives, with Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl's being exact quotes of White Diamond's insults towards them in the canon finale.
  • Big Bad Slippage: Steven. Healing the gems makes him absorb their corruption, and his desires slip out.
  • Big Sister Instinct: The amnesiac Jasper has this towards Stevonnie, whom she sees as weak, inexperienced, and in need of protection. This is eventually revealed to be a real personality trait of hers, and she felt this way towards the other jaspers in her squad as well.
  • Blank Slate: Jasper is reduced to this when Steven accidentally wipes her memories in his first healing attempt. She has no memory of the war, Rose Quartz, or Steven himself, leading to her believing Stevonnie is her ally instead of her enemy.
  • Bonus Boss: The Perfect Crystal, a twisted Room phantom representing Steven's fear of the Diamonds and guilt for their deaths. It can only be fought in The Very Definitely Final Dungeon, and is extremely difficult, using several Video Game Set Pieces based on the Diamonds' canonical abilities.
  • Boss Rush: The final dungeon involves a rematch against every boss at their highest level.
  • Brainwashing for the Greater Good: You are given several chances to express this attitude towards Steven's accidental mind-wipe of Jasper. Some gems will call you out on it, but some won't. When she regains her memories, Jasper will demand an apology if you did so at any point.
  • Buried Alive: Jasper's true mindscape has this for both Steven and Jasper.
  • Cap: Levels are capped at 35 (unless you're the Perfect Crystal), Attack and Defense stats are capped at 30, and HP is capped at 100.
  • Charged Attack: Peridot can stockpile metal components to make her abilities stronger. Though her basic attack is weak, her fully-charged attack is the strongest damaging ability in the game.
  • Climax Boss: All the gems are the bosses of their dungeons, which are themed around them.
  • Cognizant Limbs: Corrupted Amethyst has six tails, all of which act as independent units. In an aversion of Didn't Need Those Anyway!, her counterattack will be weakened as she loses tails.
  • Competitive Balance:
  • Contractual Boss Immunity: Downplayed; bosses are resistant to stun effects, but with the exception of the Bonus Boss, not completely immune.
  • Cosmetic Award: The reward for beating the Perfect Crystal. Lampshaded in the description, which describes it as having no intrinsic value.
  • Creator Cameo: A late-game piece of equipment is called the "Dragon's Quill", the name of the author's blog.
  • Creepy Cute: In-Universe, Stevonnie considers the jumping spider enemies in Garnet's dungeon to be this, an opinion shared by the developers.
  • Crutch Character: Stevonnie. In the early game, their wealth of abilities and the flexibility offered by their personality switch mechanic makes them steal the show while other characters are still filling out their abilities; however, their basic attack is never upgraded and their switch mechanic becomes more rigid as the game goes on, making other gems outpace them at high levels. This is further emphasized in the final dungeon, where they lose abilities after every battle.
  • Curse Cut Short: In Rose's Room, after seeing the scene revealing Pink Diamond as Rose Quartz from the canon episode "A Single Pale Rose", Bismuth yells, "WHAT THE F—" before being cut off by Pearl.
  • Continuing is Painful: Outside of the tutorial, falling in battle will make you lose half your scrap. This is justified as Lapis needing to drop her current stockpile of scrap to rescue you.
  • Dark Fic: The canon was already pretty dark, but the beginning of the game involves Connie getting her leg bloodily torn open when she tries to fight on her own, and things progress from there, with moments like Bismuth's Breaking Point attack and Steven's potential death scenes being incredibly graphic. The game also charges headfirst at the darker elements of the setting that the main show glossed over, such as the horrors of the gem rebellion, the inferred genocide against off-color gems, shattering, and the severe PTSD and other mental traumas suffered by the gems.
  • Dark Reprise: Textual only, but the chapter description for the final dungeon is a warped version of the lyrics of the song "Change Your Mind" from the main show, with the message and pronouns inverted.
  • Death of Personality: Bismuth will point out this is what you're doing if you say you want to keep Jasper mindwiped permanently. You can also attempt this directly during Jasper's full healing sequence, by overwriting her personality with Ocean Jasper's to make her think she was always a Crystal Gem and your friend. Connie will prevent you from doing so, however.
  • Deconstruction Fic: Of the canon ending of Steven Universe. The canon events specifically are acknowledged as a sick wish-fulfillment fantasy made up by Steven that shaves the gems' personalities down into the traits he likes most. During the bad endings, this desire leads to Steven's corruption and him capturing the gems, or the gems killing him in self defense.
  • Defend Command: It's not standard for everyone, but Jasper's "Stonewall" ability is this, halving the damage she takes on the next turn. It can be upgraded to reduce the damage even further, making her nearly invulnerable.
  • Developers' Foresight:
    • There is a standard defeat handler for if you lose a battle in the main game, but there are also unique defeat handlers for certain special battles where the story justification for the standard handler can't apply. This includes several of the tutorial battles, and the battle against Jasper in one of the bad endings.
    • Stunning abilities will have different descriptive text if they hit a resistance and fail to stun the enemy.
    • If you exceed your corruption threshold for the bad ending via lying to Ruby and Sapphire, the resulting scene is different, as Steven refuses to accept Connie's rebuke and is instead consumed by the corruption.
    • A few lines in some of the gems' optional conversations change if you have already done Bismuth's healing sequence and thus know that the Diamonds were successfully shattered.
    • When facing the Final Boss:
      • Some of the gems' attacks that had flippant or enthusiastic descriptions will change to become more serious, in some cases preventing them from attacking at their full power.
      • Every gems' basic attack will have an altered description noting that the attack draws blood, since you are now fighting an organic creature.
    • If you kill Steven, the injuries described in the following sequence are unique depending on who struck the killing blow.
    • Attempting to use a toy car or bagel sandwich on corrupted Steven won't work, and will instead get a unique reaction where he chastises you for thinking he'd be dumb enough to fall for it.
    • Attempting to use a bubble to block Bismuth's One-Hit Kill attack will result in her popping it with an instant attack before poofing the gem anyway. Similarly, the Serpent enemies will pick a new target if their current target is bubbled.
  • Didn't See That Coming: Garnet is completely blindsided by Steven suffering from corruption.
  • The Dog Bites Back: If you give into the temptation of Video Game Cruelty Potential and are cruel to Jasper at any point, she will remember when it comes time to fully heal her, and throw everything back in your face.
  • Don't Like, Don't Read: Interestingly averted by the authors, who, in the author's commentary, outright encourage people to comment even if they hated the story. A Friendly Irin has even said that he purposefully made the story controversial in the hopes of encouraging people to speak their mind. Unfortunately, this didn't really materialize.
  • Easy Amnesia: Jasper loses her memories due to a botched healing attempt by Steven at the start of the story. Played for Drama; Jasper's amnesia is extremely convenient for Steven and the gems, as it means she does not remember her animosity towards them. Stevonnie notes how incredibly lucky this was, but also notes how dishonest it is to abuse it to make her help them.
  • Enemy Scan: You can do this for free at any point by clicking on an enemy's name, displaying their stats, level, and any active status effects.
  • Escort Mission: Subverted. Ronaldo's appearance on the battle map during the Barn dungeon seems like it will be this, and Stevonnie expresses frequent worry for his safety; but he cannot actually be targeted by the enemies, so you don't have to worry about him.
  • Family of Choice:
    • In the capstone of Pearl's healing sequence, Steven calls Pearl his mom.
    • One of Amethyst's dialogue options during the battle against corrupted Steven has her call Steven her brother.
  • Field Power Effect: The Blue Diamond fragment of the Perfect Crystal can use these to debuff the gems' stats or prevent them from generating star points.
  • Flunky Boss: All of them, except for corrupted Bismuth and Steven. Each one has a slightly different method of summoning and maintaining flunkies.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration:
    • Stevonnie is immune to interference, because they don't have a light-based form.
    • Peridot is statistically weaker than the other gems, because unlike them, she's an untrained fighter with no combat experience.
    • Peridot also starts with tons of HP. This is a reference to a line from one episode of the show stating that peridots "don't poof easily".
  • Get A Hold Of Yourself Man: A fully-healed Jasper will do this to Steven when he starts showing signs of corruption, buying you enough time to enter The Very Definitely Final Dungeon and save him properly.
  • Golden Ending: It's always possible to get a "good" ending where Steven is saved, but it is only possible to get an additional scene where Jasper forgives Steven and agrees to be his friend if you navigate Jasper's true healing sequence perfectly.
  • Gradual Regeneration: The Optimism buff, granted by Peridot's "Infectious Enthusiasm" ability, provides this. A less impressive version can be granted by the Optimist Badge and Stevonnie's "Self-Care" ability.
  • Green Thumb:
    • Corrupted Peridot gains the ability to make the fields around the Barn grow wild, as well as animating plant-based monsters.
    • Corrupted Steven crosses this with Body Horror to shapeshift his arm into a thorny vine.
  • Happiness in Slavery: Pearl in Steven's fantasy, just as she was in canon. This is called out as twisted and awful.
  • Hate Fic: An odd example. The authors actually loved Steven Universe... right up until "A Single Pale Rose" turned everything on its head. The story is a very pointed and scathing criticism of the canon ending, particularly the move away from the supporting cast to focus entirely on Steven, but the characters and overall setting are portrayed with a surprising amount of love, almost feeling like a Fix Fic at times. But the "hate" part is taken Up to Eleven in the final arc, where the canon ending is revealed to be nothing but a sick wish-fulfillment fantasy of Steven's, and is subjected to scathing criticism by the characters in the story, portraying it as a nonsensical mess of Plot Holes and Character Derailment. The good ending actually requires the gems to stand up for themselves and criticize Steven for his behavior, a complete inversion of the ending of Steven Universe Future where he is saved by unconditional support.
    • Steven in particular is portrayed as a self-centered narcissist with a god complex who only helps people to fuel his savior fantasy. The author commentary outright calls him "a terrifying, awful person" and that "no one but the Diamonds deserve to suffer his twisted, possessive, controlling idea of 'love'." (They do, however, go on to say that they liked Steven before his character took this turn in the final episodes, and his Character Development in the fangame is something of a Fix Fic in this regard.)
  • Hint System: Connie functions as a hint on failure system. If you pick an incorrect option during the healing sequences, she will sometimes tell you why it didn't work and what you should try instead.
  • Healer Signs On Early: Your very first party member is Stevonnie, who is also your main healer. Peridot, another White Mage, was also the first character to be released, and is recommended as the first gem to rescue.
  • Healing Factor: Stevonnie shares Steven's healing powers, which self-apply. This is the justification for why they can recover as quickly as the gems after a Non-Lethal K.O..
  • Heel–Face Brainwashing: Jasper, after losing her memories, becomes willing to help Steven rescue the other gems. Whether or not she stays on your side after she regains her memories depends on how you've treated her throughout the game — if you push her too far, she will attack you and lead you to a Non Standard Game Over.
  • Homage:
    • The method for defeating the Final Boss safely is highly reminiscent of the final battle of Undertale, complete with the Battle Theme Music changing to softer music and the player character becoming unkillable. Additionally, allowing the player to backstab Steven during the final sequence where he lets down his guard is very reminiscent of a similar mechanic from the battle with Toriel in Undertale.
    • The author has stated that the particular mechanic of Steven poofing every character except Jasper with an unstoppable attack is meant to evoke a very similar moment from the final battle of Mother 3.
    • The author states in the postmortem that the star point system was based directly on similar mechanics from Obelisk: Devilkiller and Alter AILA Genesis.
    • The aversion of Arbitrary Headcount Limit was directly inspired by the indie RPG Czarina Must Die.
    • The non-linear nature of the game, and the ability to pick up party members and items in any order, was directly inspired by Teenage Constume Squad and even more directly, Obelisk: Devilkiller.
    • Corrupted Lapis' fighting style — damaging you only through her Attack Reflector and debuffing her defense to make said Attack Reflector hurt more — was directly inspired by the Usurper battle from yet another Craze RPG, Wine & Roses.
  • A House Divided:
    • The opening scene. Steven decides at literally the last minute that now is a good time to push for Thou Shalt Not Kill against the other gems, who have all agreed the Diamonds need to die and whose plan will only work if they do so without hesitation. The gems pre-empt the fallout by choosing to drop Steven from the mission, but this leads to them being corrupted without his shield to protect them from the Diamonds' attack.
    • Dissonant Harmony reveals this was the case among the gems themselves; their plan to dupe Steven was such a poorly-coordinated mess it's a miracle they pulled it off. They kept Amethyst in the dark until it was too late for her to back out, knowing that she would also argue, they kept Bismuth in the dark about keeping Amethyst in the dark, and they appear to forget to consult Lapis about it at all.
  • HP to 1: The Perfect Crystal's "Time All Things Upends" ability does this to the entire party.
  • Hurt/Comfort Fic: The gems' healing sequences take this format, showing them beaten down by their worst fears, traumas, and mental illnesses, and requiring Steven to show them love and understanding in order for them to recover.
  • Identity Amnesia: Jasper, for most of the game. When Steven first tries to heal her at the beginning of the game, he accidentally induces amnesia that makes her not recognize him.
  • I'm Standing Right Here: If you select an incorrect option during Amethyst's healing sequence, Amethyst will interrupt Connie's normal Hint System to remind you she can still hear you.
  • Interface Screw: Normally, activated abilities are given a narrative description followed by a clinical report of their gameplay effects. However, the Perfect Crystal's Emotion Control abilities use descriptive messages in the report section as well, such as "There's no hope. Give up."
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Jasper, known for being a scary antagonist, turns out to be a loyal and protective friend under her aggressive demeanor.
  • Journey to the Center of the Mind: Steven must do this for each of the gems to cure the source of their corruption.
  • Karl Marx Hates Your Guts: Averted; unlike in most RPGs, items can be sold back at the same rate as their buy price. This is because Lapis is making them out of their literal components and not a merchant trying to stiff you.
  • King Mook: Each of the Mini Bosses in Bismuth's dungeon are this for one of the three weapon enemies, sharing their attacks and tactics plus a few upgraded moves.
  • Lampshade Hanging:
    • Losing a battle will result in Connie noting that a Non-Lethal K.O. usually involves permanent brain damage, so it's a good thing Stevonnie has Steven's Healing Factor.
    • Picking an incorrect option in the gems' healing sequences will usually lead to Connie discussing with you why it didn't work and what you should try instead. However, if this happens during Amethyst's sequence, Amethyst will point out that I'm Standing Right Here and it's pretty rude of you to talk like she's not there.
    • If you can beat the Perfect Crystal, Rose will remind you that "you can't solve your problems by beating them up" — even though that's basically what you've been doing all game. This is also a bit of a jab at other combat-focused games with nonviolent morals.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Averted; Jasper's amnesia is extremely destructive, reducing her to a Blank Slate with no memories at all, and she expresses confusion about several basic concepts. She is only functional due to gems being born with a set of innate instructions.
  • Lazy Backup: Averted due to also averting Arbitrary Headcount Limit. This even extends to Non-Player Character Lapis Lazuli, who, despite being unable to fight herself, will extract you from the battle if you lose. In the battle against Jasper in one bad ending, she will actually attack and win the fight for you if Stevonnie falls. Played straighter in the final dungeon, however, where Lapis never participates in battles despite accompanying the rest of the party.
  • Life Drain: Jasper's "Bully" attack, though it's turned around from its usual form — due to the conceit that gems' HP is tied to their self-image, she gains the HP spontaneously just because bullying the enemy makes her feel better about herself.
  • Light 'em Up: Several gems and enemies use light-based attacks.
  • Light Is Not Good: As in the main show, the Diamonds' corruption blast takes the form of a bright light. Several enemies including corrupted Steven use light-based attacks as well.
  • Literal Transformative Experience:
    • The gems' corrupted forms are giant monsters representative of their worst fears and traumas. Healing them requires addressing those traumas.
    • At the end, Steven corrupts into a giant-armed monster representing his self-loathing and how he demands people to change in the ways he wants.
  • Magic Music: Downplayed; Steven's music helps the gems heal (and can directly cure their status effects when used in battle), but this is implied to be due to the nature of gems rather than a property of the music itself.
  • Mana Burn: Some enemies can use your own star points to fuel their own abilities, reducing your resources and smacking you with a nasty attack at the same time.
  • The Medic: Steven, natch. Peridot also functions as a secondary healer.
  • Mini-Boss:
    • Pearl's dungeon requires you to fight two minibosses, The Sun (a warped copy of Rose) and Son of the Sun (a warped copy of Steven) before you can fight Pearl herself. Both of them reappear in her own boss fight as unkillable flunkies.
    • Corrupted Bismuth will tear off her own arms and throw them at you, creating three independent minibosses you must defeat before fighting Bismuth proper. Each functions as a King Mook version of one of the weapon enemies in her dungeon.
    • Corrupted Peridot is fought multiple times throughout her area before engaging with her properly. She appears each time without minor enemies and flees after sustaining small amounts of damage, making her less dangerous than in her final encounter as a proper Boss Battle.
  • Modular Epilogue: The final scene of the good ending will be different depending on if you successfully navigated Jasper's healing sequence. If not, she spits at your feet and swears never to see you again; if you did, you get a longer scene where she shows vulnerability and accepts Steven's friendship.
  • MST: Sort of. This happens in-universe within the final dungeon, as the characters are shown specific scenes from the canon ending of Steven Universe and comment on them, often by accusing them of Character Derailment. Insterestingly enough, it's Steven himself who provides the harshest criticisms, with the Crystal Gems mostly just being baffled.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Bismuth has a brief moment of this when she realizes her plan not only got all the Crystal Gems corrupted, but forced Steven to take on that corruption when he healed them.
  • No Hero Discount: Averted in spirit if not in function; Lapis Lazuli doesn't charge you any money for her items, but you do still need to provide her the raw materials to make them.
  • Non-Lethal K.O.: As in the show and canon games, gems are only poofed when their HP reaches zero. Stevonnie does actually fall unconscious, but suffers no lasting injuries, justified by their Healing Factor. This is averted for Steven himself when fought as the Final Boss, as his Healing Factor no longer works and he will die for real if you exhaust his HP.
  • Non-Player Character: Lapis Lazuli. Unlike in Unleash The Light, she is a noncombatant, and instead supports you by providing items and reconnaissance.
  • Non Standard Game Over: If you make too many poor decisions in a healing sequence, Steven will become corrupted himself, leading to a difficult boss fight where you must either kill him or let him capture the gems. In either case, the game ends afterwards.
  • One-Hit Kill:
    • Corrupted Bismuth's "Breaking Point" attack. It actually goes a step farther and cracks the victim as well, preventing them from respawning naturally.
    • The Perfect Crystal's "Infinite Refraction" ability inflicts "infinite damage", amounting to this.
  • Only Flesh Is Safe: Stevonnie is immune to getting their gem cracked. This is largely for gameplay reasons, since they are the only character who can cure cracked status, but it is Hand Waved as the monsters being confused about how to target an organic creature.
  • Painting the Medium:
    • When fused into Stevonnie, Steven's thoughts are colored pink, while Connie's thoughts are colored indigo.
    • When Steven is influenced by corruption, his text gains a fuzzy black background. Once he becomes fully corrupted, this even extends to his spoken dialogue.
    • The inside of Amethyst's dungeon is white text on black background, as it's deep underground.
    • Similarly, Bismuth's dungeon has an orange glow background, representing the heat from her forge.
    • Rose's Room has a claustrophobic reddish background that fades to black at the edges, representing Steven's stress and panic as the corruption encroaches on him.
    • When Steven is becoming corrupted, the background slowly shifts towards darker colors until it becomes fully black.
  • Personality Powers: Everyone. (This is a Steven Universe fangame, after all!)
    • Stevonnie can shift between Steven and Connie's personalities to use either of their abilities. Steven, true to his kind personality, has healing abilities and higher defense, while Connie has higher attack and attacking abilities learned from the gems.
    • Pearl has the ability 'One For All', which decreases her damage and lets her take damage in another team member's stead, paralleling the way she deals with the people she cares about.
    • Peridot has a few healing abilities based on cheerfulness and encouraging others.
    • Jasper has abilities centered around taunting and bullying the enemy.
    • Amethyst has wrestling-related abilities, mirroring her time as the Purple Puma, and she also has an attention-drawing taunt.
    • Garnet has the ability 'Duet' where she separates into Ruby and Sapphire to attack, which should theoretically hit for 150% damage, but her personalities are often too distracted by each other to make it work.
    • Bismuth has revolution-themed abilities, as she is a revolutionary.
  • Point of No Return: Once you choose to heal Jasper fully, there's no going back. You are directed towards The Very Definitely Final Dungeon immediately after, at which point the Room will trap you there. You are, however, given the opportunity to warp back with your stats intact once you finish the game.
  • Poison Mushroom: Picking the wrong dialogue options during the battle with corrupted Steven will result in the gems losing stats, as opposed to the stat buffs they gain by talking in other battles.
  • Pragmatic Hero: Garnet. She is the one to strike the killing blow against the Diamonds, and she is the only gem who does not apologize for leaving Steven behind, pointing out that he could have gotten them not just corrupted but shattered. She explains that as the leader of the Crystal Gems, she has to make a lot of hard decisions, even if not everyone agrees with them.
  • Press X to Die: Some of the options in the healing sequences are very obviously bad ideas.
    • Lying to Ruby or Sapphire about how the other feels about them probably takes the cake here. It leads to Steven suffering four times the normal corruption points, very likely driving you straight to the bad ending.
    • Lapis Lazuli's healing sequence, as the tutorial, will not automatically forward you to the bad ending if you take the wrong option at every possible point. You have to do that to yourself by saying you want to make her listen.
    • In Jasper's true healing sequence, you can attempt to convince her she was a Crystal Gem, effectively cementing her personality reset. Doing this will lead to a scathing rebuke by Connie and an immediate jump to Steven becoming corrupted.
    • Attempting to force Jasper into an ultimatum of choosing between her friends and Pink Diamond leads to her kicking you out of her mind, attacking you, and then Steven immediately becoming corrupted.
    • It is possible to deliberately attack Steven instead of talking to him even when you are on track for the good ending. This will kill him instantly.
  • Purposefully Overpowered: Jasper and Bismuth each have 3 more stat points than the other gems. Inverted with Peridot, who has 2 fewer points. According to the author, this was to reinforce her role as an inexperienced noncombatant.
  • "Rashomon"-Style: Bismuth's healing sequence requires pursuing three separate conversation threads, each tied to one aspect of her personality. The final scene of each depicts her final battle with Rose, but the description and emotional framing of the scene is different depending on which fragment you're on, casting doubt on her recollections and making it ambiguous what actually happened.
  • Reality Ensues: Throughout most of the game, exhausting HP only results in a Non-Lethal K.O.. But during the Final Battle with Steven, if you defeat him, he will actually die, because he is organic and can't recover from mortal wounds like the gems can. Bismuth will warn you of this if she's been recruited.
  • Rejected Apology: If you make too many excuses instead of actual apologies during Jasper's true healing sequence, she will decide you're not really sorry, because if you were you would have changed your behavior instead of continuing to abuse her. Steven will also suffer this in the good ending if he bungled Jasper's healing sequence; she will declare she will never forgive him and doesn't want to see him ever again. The only way for the apology to be accepted is to navigate Jasper's healing conversation properly and take full responsibility for your actions.
  • Required Party Member: Jasper must be healed and recruited before you can track down any of the other gems.
  • Save the Villain: Deconstructed twice over.
    • Steven's attempt to argue for this in the opening is utterly rejected by the gems, leading to strife and divisions before they ultimately decide his naivete makes him too much of a liability to take with them.
    • The knowledge that Rose really shattered Pink Diamond, the final nail in the coffin against the possibility she could be saved, drove Steven into a Freak Out that led him to using Rose's room to create a wish-fulfillment fantasy where he could save everyone: the canon ending. The final arc of the game explains why this desire was selfish: He valued saving the Diamonds more than he valued justice for their victims. When dealing with villains as evil as the Diamonds, attempting to save them will only create more harm; there comes a point where you have to be willing to pull the trigger.
  • Shaped Like Itself: The tags and summary helpfully inform us that the story is a "Rose Quartz is Rose Quartz" AU. (According to developer commentary, this is a passive-aggressive jab based on a tweet by Steven Universe producer Ian Jones-Quartey that said simply "Her name is Rose Quartz" in response to a fan asking about the Rose Quartz = Pink Diamond theory.)
  • Shout-Out:
  • Stance System: Stevonnie can switch between letting Steven, Connie, or themself dominate the fusion, leading to a different set of abilities for each. Steven is The Medic but lacks offensive abilities, while Connie has access to more powerful offense but loses Steven's healing abilities. Stevonnie can use a limited set of abilities from both, but has to learn them through level up. Steven and Connie also gain stat bonuses to defense and attack, respectively.
    • At the beginning of the game, switching personalities is a free action, making Stevonnie very versatile and capable of making up for the gaps in other gems' abilities. However, as the game progresses, the personality switch will gain a cooldown, requiring Stevonnie to wait up to 5 turns before they can switch again. This has the effect of turning Stevonnie into a Crutch Character in the late game.
  • Status-Buff Dispel: The Perfect Crystal's "Doomed Aspirations" attack strips the most recent buff from the target.
  • Survival Mantra: As Stevonnie is under duress, Steven and Connie remind each other with "I'm here," to center themselves.
  • Take That!:
    • The developer commentary makes a sarcastic jab at the direction Steven Universe took in its final episodes and particularly in Steven Universe Future:
      And [letting one party member steal the show is] totally antithematic to Steven Universe! This show is supposed to be about working together and valuing everyone's contributions, not one person being the center of the universe and single-handedly solving every single problem with overpowered abilities! *looks directly into the camera*
    • The developer commentary contains a jab at Attack The Light:
      I called [Pearl's energy blast attack] "Meteor" instead of "Fireball" because I don't pigeonhole cool ideas into bland RPG tropes, Attack the Light.
    • According to the author's notes, Steven's blithe acceptance of his transformation in the bad endings is meant to be a metaphorical jab at the fans who saw nothing wrong with the show's tonal shift in the final episodes.
  • Theme Naming:
    • Many of the gems' abilities are named after cosmological terms, often relating to stars.
    • Similarly, the star fruit variants are named after actual star classifications: giant and supergiant.
    • The gems' basic attacks all take the form "[Adjective] Strike".
    • All of the gems' corrupted forms are named by the game text as some variant of "The [Adjective]". This becomes more blatant in their rematch forms, which replace their gems' name with this title.
  • Title Drop: The Cosmetic Award for beating the Perfect Crystal is a "Flawed Crystal". The Perfect Crystal itself is also an inverted title drop.
  • Unwinnable: Purposefully averted by the developer. Unlike in some infamous text-based games, there's no way to lock yourself into a bad ending; it's always possible to reach the good ending, no matter how many corruption points you've accumulated.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: You are given several opportunities to be kind to the amnesiac Jasper, even though Steven is scared of her. Do this perfectly and her true healing sequence will be a breeze, as she realizes she can't actually think of anything to hold against you.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential:
    • You can say some truly awful things to and about Jasper. She will remember this when it comes time to heal her properly. The healing sequences also provide ample opportunities to callously dismiss and invalidate the gems' problems, including outright gaslighting them. All of these options are in-character for the Steven of the canon ending of Steven Universe, Foreshadowing the twist that the canon ending was a fantasy of his.
    • It's possible to pay Steven's cruelty back in kind: During the final battle against Steven, even when you are on track for the good ending, you can still choose to attack him. This will kill him instantly, reverting you to the bad ending.
    • You can forget about Jasper (or purposefully refuse to heal her) in the endgame, treating you to an alternate ending where Steven gives her one last Kick the Dog moment.
  • Video Game Cruelty Punishment: If you treat the gems cruelly and callously in their healing sequences, Steven may become corrupted early, leading to an unwinnable boss fight and Game Over.
  • You Bastard!:
    • If you give into Video Game Cruelty Potential and are mean to Jasper at any point, she will call you out on it during her true healing sequence, forcing you either to apologize or burn your bridges with her permanently. Some gems will also call you out even before then, particularly Amethyst and Bismuth.
    • Attempting to lie to Ruby and Sapphire or Mind Rape Jasper into a permanent personality reset will lead to Connie chewing you out.
    • Averted with Bismuth's optional chat. You can rebuke her quite harshly, but she will always accept your judgment without protest.
  • You Have Researched Breathing: As in the canon video games, the gems need to level up to unlock abilities they already have in canon.
    • In particular, Stevonnie doesn't gain in-game regeneration from their Healing Factor until level 15. This is justified by Steven's healing being unreliable depending on his mental state.
    • In Jasper's case, this is justified by her amnesia.
  • Useless Useful Spell: Every character except Stevonnie has a useful-sounding joke ability. They potentially have some use, but tend to have severe downsides.
    • Jasper can try to recall one of her memories. You may think this would result in a powerful attack, but it instead results in a nervous breakdown, stunning her for the next round and resetting all aggression against her. Since she's your tank, this is generally not a good idea. After Jasper regains her memories, this changes to intentionally crying it out to vent her emotions. This averts the stun, making it potentially more useful if Jasper is in a bind and you really need to take heat off of her.
    • Peridot can insult a monster to gain a ton of aggression. She is also The Medic and has the worst defense of any gem, so this is almost always a terrible idea.
    • Garnet can unfuse to attack twice. This does result in a stronger attack... if both hits land. Ruby and Sapphire each have a 50% chance of being too distracted by the other to fight, giving the attack poor performance on average.
    • Amethyst can shapeshift to attract monsters' attention... but in doing so, she'll overexert herself, sustaining a defense debuff. Oops.
    • Pearl can guard a specific gem, taking all hits that would otherwise strike them... but she has so little concern for her own well-being that her defense stat goes to zero, making this effectively a suicide ability.
    • Bismuth can forge "the perfect weapon", providing an immensely powerful attack buff that outperforms any other item... but it takes her five turns to make it, during which she can't do anything else.


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