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Video Game / Fortune Summoners

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From left to right: Sana, Arche, Chiffon, and Stella

Fortune Summoners: Secret of the Elemental Stone is a sidescrolling Action RPG created by LizSoft in 2012. It has some platforming elements as well. After making an impact in Japan, it was localized and released in the West by Carpe Fulgur (of Recettear and Chantelise fame).

The plot centers on the adventures of the heroine, Arche, who has just moved to the town of Tonkiness, and her two friends as Arche seeks a stone for school and an exciting quest unfolds.

Available for Steam here.

The game provides examples of:

  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: The farther you go from the starting town of Tonkiness, the more expensive each inn is. Partly justified by the fact that Tonkiness is a tiny town and the larger cities thus attract far more tourists, and that the local innkeeper knows you and drops the price for you.
  • Adjective Noun Fred: The naming of the Magical Girl Merrin story.
  • Adults Are Useless: Ridiculously blatant, as is typical of most games with child PCs and many magical girl media...and this is something of a hybrid of both. Archmagus Towarin is the only adult presented as competent. Otherwise, guards are useless and stupider than even Arche, no one believes the PCs when they try to warn the town about the Dark Witch's attack, the current teachers of the magic school are more powerful than most of the students but not by much at all, and every single kid at the school is expected to be competent enough to waltz through hordes of monsters and dungeons on a simple field trip when any one of these monsters is explicitly capable of taking down most adults...even magic-users.
  • All-Accessible Magic: For all that the opening narration says that magic is now a personal and commonplace part of people's lives due to the mass-manufacture of elemental stones, which appear to be the only requirement to cast elemental magic, as long as they're trained on how to use it, in practice, it's limited to those with the large amount of wealth to purchase said stone, and get trained on it.
  • Alliterative Title: Well, subtitle: The in-game book: The Elm: Myth & Mystery, about the Gnome-Elf hybrids known as the Elm.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: Quite a bit into the game, you're pulled out of Arche's perspective and into Stella's for a while, as sort of an interactive flashback, and has a Bag of Sharing.
  • Animal-Eared Headband: The "Kitty Ears" hat: "A hairband with odd little cat ears on it. For some reason, wearing this fills you with feline fury, increasing your attack and defense."
  • Anti-Grinding: Each level up takes a while, but that's not enough; you can only go up to a very low max level, which is increased by one for every Mark of Heroism you find. And they're hard to find.
  • Armor and Magic Don't Mix: Justified. Arche is the only one who can wear metal armour and use a sword because she doesn't rely on magic (because she can't cast it until the end, where she becomes able to do a Fusion Dance with an air elemental), which large metal objects interfere with.
  • Badass Adorable: Arche, once she gets strong enough. Hell, she wields a sword as tall as herself.
  • Badass Normal: Arche, being the only member of your group incapable of casting magic until the endgame. By the world's standards, Sana, as she is the only party member without a legendary elemental stone (or does she?).
  • Bag of Sharing: During this segment, Stella has access to all of the items you just had on you while playing as Arche.
  • Battle Theme Music: As an interesting variation; when you encounter monsters that are far below you, the battle music doesn't often bother to start up at all. Quick trips to school, for example, retain the peaceful hillside music as you plow through low-end slimes and snakes.
  • Beef Gate: You can reach the North Chartreaux Guardpost a full two days in advance, technically. The monsters between Chatreaux and the Outpost are next to impossible to face early in the game, but other than them nothing stops you from trying to get there. However, since character level determines the maximum amount of money you can carry, and your maximum character level is limited at each point in the game, reaching it early is pretty pointless since you can't afford the equipment yet.
  • Betting Mini-Game: There are a few capsule machines scattered around the game that you can give in money to get a random prize, from weak healing items to collectibles to accessories and a grand prize. One machine costs 20 CP to use and promises a grand prize of a Merrin's Staff, while another later in the game costs 200 CP and promises a grand prize of a Legendary Sword (there are several weapons more powerful).
  • Berserk Button: When the party confronts the Dark Witch (who is a teenager), she remains very calm until Arche (who is an 8 year old) calls her an old hag, which sets her off.
  • BFS: In relative terms, Arche's sword is this. It would be a one-handed sword for an adult, but for Arche it's so big that she has to wield it two-handed. And, even though the sprites don't reflect this, her swords get progressively longer the better they are. She can wield bastard swords, whose Flavor Text directly says that it's "Really kind of huge for Arche".
  • Black Swords Are Better: The Black Steel equipment: Stinger, Premium Rod, and Black Rose. Stinger, "Could, in theory, pierce any armor known to man", and as the Premium Rod Flavor Text says, "Unlike normal metals, Black Steel does not interfere with magic much".
  • Blue Means Cold: Played with. Sana usually wears blue and is the one to cast ice magic, but she wears blue because she's a water mage.
  • Big Damn Heroes: At one point on Day 8, while Arche is on a rescue mission, even though she has found the Damsel in Distress, she is surrounded and vastly outnumbered by Orgs, and on the edge of surrendering. Cue Stella busting into the room to heroic music and evening the odds in a cutscene with her Chaser Fireballs all while giving Arche a pep talk to never give up. Stella gets all the good moments.
  • Bonus Dungeon: Beating the Dark Witch in the Labyrinth of Night starts the story ending cutscenes, in which the Class President tells Arche a unique 4-digit number which is used to unlock a coded door in the said Labyrinth upon loading the Game Clear save. If you lost that code, you need to beat the Dark Witch to get it again. There are several top-tier items hidden in there.
  • Broken Bridge: Before the Crest is retrieved from within the Shrine of the Wind, it prevents access to the majority of areas which happen to lie at the west of Tonkiness, namely Barness Village, Chartreaux City, the Loch, Weathervane Tower, the Outpost, and the gate to Scotsholm.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Sana and Stella always cry out the names of their spells, although enemies casting the same spells never utter a single word.
  • Catching Some Z's: Related to the Sleep condition:
    • Characters afflicted with Sleep have Z-s rising off from them.
    • Sana's Sleep Mist spell icon, is of a staff-wielding person bent over, with Z-s rising from them.
  • Cheerful Child: Arche. Sana even notes that "Arche gets over disappointments really quickly."
  • Continuing is Painful: Entirely averted, to the point where the player even has the option to force an instant Game Over in order to escape the area (at the cost of 10% of your current money)
  • Cute Clumsy Girl: Sana's sprites, especially her slide. One of Stella's maids is implied to be this.
  • Dem Bones: Plenty of them in the game. The first one you meet is the boss of the prologue.
  • Developer's Foresight: The four-digit code needed to access the Bonus Dungeon is only given out after beating the Final Boss. And you can't just look it up online, either; the code is randomly generated for every playthrough! This is done to prevent the player from accessing it early, since the equipment obtained in there would make the final boss too easy.
  • Didn't See That Coming: Selene never expected Alagorn / Royal Scarlet and Sylpheed to protect Arche, Sana and Stella from the petrification side-effect of her Dimensional Nexus.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Arche, Sana and Stella manage to fight off The Dark Witch in the end despite the whole City Guard of Chatreaux City not being able to lay a finger on her, and being warned time and again that they are completely outmatched. spoiler:This is partly in thanks of Arche and Stella's elemental stones protecting them from the petrification of being in the Dark World.
  • Dramatic Wind: Stella's victory animation starts off with her being blown by an unseen wind.
  • Dueling Player Characters: There's a brief section where you play as Stella in a flashback explaining how she got to the section of dungeon you just reached. When you reach the present she challenges Arche to a duel, serving as a Boss Fight (something of a Curbstomp Battle, since she's a Squishy Wizard and the battle takes place in a small arena), before joining the Player Party.
  • Dumb Muscle: Arche might be good with the sword, but she has to use her fingers (and toes!) to count.
  • Elmuh Fudd Syndwome: Chiffon's speech, although not nearly as bad as most examples.
  • Experience Meter: At the top of the screen, a thin bar at the bottom of the GUI section that displays the character statistics.
  • Fireballs: Marina's parents fling them around when they fight:
    Yesterday, my mom and dad got into [a] fight. It was... so horrible... [...] Well, Mom said to Dad, 'You were ogling that harlot in the weapon shop the whole time, I saw you!'... [...] and, uh, after that, it was just a lot of shouting and fireballs..
  • The Flame of Life: Stella's Heal It With Fire spell is literally named "Life Force".
  • Flashy Teleportation:
    • There are trapped chests that teleports the party set places, with a lot of sparkles before and after.
    • Sana also has a teleportation spell that functions as a Warp Whistle, that forms the spell circle before it can be activated.
  • Flavor Text: Most items have some, such as:
    • Taiyaki:
      Fish-shaped snacks made from baked wheat filled with bean paste. Arche loves these. Restores some HP. (Restores 50-60 HP)
    • Slime Bean:
      A jellybean shaped like a slime. Green ones are lychee, blue ones are mint, yellow ones are lemon. Restores a fair bit of HP. (Restores 90-120 HP)
    • Walnut Chocolate:
      Chocolate candy with a walnut inside. Be careful when biting down on it or you'll hurt your teeth! Restores some HP. (Restores 120-170 HP)
  • Fusion Dance: After unsealing Arche's elemental stone, she gains a spell that allows her to fuse with Chiffon temporarily, giving her a power boost that enables triple jumps and projectile attacks, as well as an attack spell.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Several examples thereof, possibly the most notable being: Sorry, Arche, you're going to need to go on a huge quest to unseal this elemental stone, because your parents can't afford to buy you a normal one! .......Except for the part where it takes just a few days of questing for Arche, personally, nevermind her parents, to be wealthier than the majority of people who can afford stones.note 
  • Guide Dang It!: There are several parts of the game that are very much this trope. For instance, did you forget to keep track of the number of gargoyle statues you passed in the Hill of the Wind dungeon? Welp, good luck with that guess or back to the start of the dungeon you go. Also worthy of mentioning is the rather convoluted dialogue chain that unlocks the Shrine of the Wind.
    • This seems to be intended. Arche gets to the door first (it's obvious she did the puzzles before Stella reached them), but had to go back to count the statues, during which Stella successfully guesses the number without needing to go down the halls and count. There are a couple that make no sense no matter how you look at it (like having to jump down a specific water pit to get the key to the door to the left, especially since every pit you probably accidentally fell into did damage to you by this point.
  • Grumpy Old Man: Towarin the archmage, who was a very nasty headmaster when he ran the Minasa-Ratis school, and who doesn't like kids that mess with his Priceless Magic Pot.
  • Heal It with Water: The earliest healing spell available is Sana's starting spell "Heal Water".
  • Healing Hands: Sana and Stella get some healing spells.
  • Healing Potion: A few items:
    • Taiyaki: (Restores 50-60 HP)
    • Slime Bean: (Restores 90-120 HP)
    • Walnut Chocolate: (Restores 120-170 HP)
  • Hearts Are Health: The Life Meter has a Heart Symbol to its left to denote its Life Meter-ness.
  • Harder Than Hard:
    • Expert Difficulty.
    • Clearing the game at least once unlocks Nightmare difficulty, which puts the previous hardest difficulty to shame.
  • Harping on About Harpies: Harpies appear in Weathervane Tower. They are quite Cute, but they are no less hateful and annoying.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: Arche wields a sword in combat. Further, when told by a teacher that she should use something else because swords disrupt the ability to use magic, she still insists on using it.
  • Ice Crystals: Sana's Diamond Dust spells create large chunks of ice in mid-air which are then tossed forward. These aren't quite as polished as other examples of the trope, but still have a crystalline shape.
  • Idle Animation: If left alone long enough, the characters will stop just bobbing up and down, and do specific actions:
    • Arche does leg or arm and head stretches.
    • Sana rubs her eyes, or looks around.
    • Stella fixes her hair ribbons, or taps her face in thought.
    • Chiffon blinks, or does a few punches.
  • Ice Magic Is Water: Sana is the water mage, but she also has ice spells like Diamond Dust, which summon large chunks of ice thrown at her enemies.
  • Immortality Begins at Twenty: Literally, for the Elm, except they're not immortal:
    The typical Elm has a lifespan of roughly a millenia and a half; they age in a similar fashion to humans until the age of 20, at which point they appear 'immortal' like an elf.
  • Improbable Infant Survival: Played with. While it's entirely possible for the whole party to be killed/knocked outnote , the player characters who are knocked out later get up and cower for the rest of combat until healed.
  • Instant Runes: Color-coded magic circles appear around anyone while they cast a spell.
  • Karl Marx Hates Your Guts: All items have a fixed price everywhere, and when selling, the amount of copper coins you get is always half the price of the particular item you sell.
  • Kid Hero: Stella, Arche, and Sana are all prepubescent and they fight off the Dark Witch. On a smaller scale, Arche and Stella also get medicine to heal Sana for their next adventure.
  • Kill Enemies to Open: When passing through a level the first time, the way out cannot be used if monsters are near you.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: Well, Heroine: Arche, so so much. Lampshaded by a little girl during the second day.
    Girl: Taking stuff from people you don't know is bad. But heroes can take whatever they want, and you look like a hero, so...
  • Kleptomaniac Hero Found Underwear: If you go rummaging about people's wardrobes, there's bound to be a few of these. The characters can wear them (the female versions at least), but why the heck would you want to do that??
  • Level Limiter: The inverse, where Arche has to find Marks of Heroism to increase her level cap, otherwise she's forced to stay at a specific Character Level.
  • Life Meter: At the top of the screen. The bar is orange, instead of the usual red.
  • Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards: Averted. Using magic is slow, so Arche generally blitzes most mages before they can get off a spell, making her quite balanced (in singleplayer mode at least) with the other party members. In fact, while Sana or Stella being hit with Confuse (which temporarily makes you attack your allies) is only a minor inconvenience, a confused Arche can easily cause a Total Party Kill within seconds in the lategame.
  • Magically Inept Fighter: Arche spends the majority of the game without a single spell. And she only gets two magical moves by the end of the game and she still aren't allowed in magic class. But she more than compensates for this with her sword skills.
  • Mana Potion: Magic candy restores MP.
  • Mana Meter: At the top of the screen. The bar is blue.
  • Manual Leader, A.I. Party: The player controls up to three characters (controlling one directly and having the option of choosing the other two's tactics). In addition to switching in battle, the player can also switch between different characters to solve puzzles. There's is an unlockable option to let the AI control everyone.
  • The Medic: Sana, who has the earliest healing spell.
  • Midair Bobbing: The Dark Witch does it when floating.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: Beware of Mothbees. There's also the Orgs, who are described in-universe as hybrids of orcs and ogres.
  • Named After Someone Famous: Marina, as she relates what her parents told her:
    They told me my name was inspired by some big, famous magician from the past.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Colm and his buddies, who have no visible weapons and mediocre elemental abilities at best, will often show up deep inside hostile dungeons or on the other side of a Broken Bridge with no explanation as to how they got there. Hanging out in a cave full of low-level slimes and bats is one thing, but they also somehow beat you to Chartreaux City to buy candy, unperturbed by swarms of deadly mothbees, insurmountably wide lakes that need a water caster to cross, and an entire dungeon filled with heavily armed merkids.
    • Dialogues in the Weathervane tower do suggest that they're perfectly capable of fighting their way through monsters. The mystery still remains though on how they managed to reach Chartreaux City with neither fire nor water users.
  • Ojou Ringlets: Stella wears this style. She is a haughty little rich girl, but becomes more friendly as the game progresses.
    • She also gets lampooned by a random townsperson who asks her why her hair looks like drills.
  • Our Gnomes Are Weirder: Mentioned, in Elemental Stones & Magic that an elemental stone starts as "an ore of Gnomish manufacture".
  • Our Orcs Are Different: We never see orcs in the game, but there are Orgs, which pretty much qualify the same: Big, green, stupid and evil to the core.
  • Palette Swap: Several enemies have more powerful versions that look identical except for a change in color. In addition, you can buy different outfits for each of your characters that simply change the color of what they wear.
  • Perfect Play A.I. and Computers Are Fast are both found in spades in this game: Perfect timing on all combos and spell casting (as well as instantly selecting the right one). Perfect dodging by enemies even on the lowliest of slimes on lowest difficulty. You rely heavily on your allies who can do the same. When soloing (especially with the mages long ranged attack) you must break the AI by using terrain, retaliating from a block at point blank range, or using an attack the enemy has no counter for.
  • Permanently Missable Content: This can happen, but not to anything good or important. You can miss an accessory for Arche in the bonus quest if the player continues with the main story from a Prologue Clear save without playing through it. The bonus quest can only be accessed from a Prologue Clear save. Also, the two accessories which can be won from Rock-Paper-Scissors, as well as the few items to be found in Minasa-Ratis Magic School after fixing Mr. Towarin's magic pot, as the normal school area becomes permanently inaccessible.
  • Plot Coupon: The Crests of the Wind.
  • Point of No Return: Just before fixing Mr. Towarin's magic pot. After that, the player is locked out of the normal Minasa-Ratis Magic School and it becomes the access point for the Labyrinth of Night, even after loading the game clear save. It is not obvious although the game recommends a save before proceeding.
  • Poisoned Weapon: In the Story Within a Story, Magical Girl Merrin, Part 4/12:
    goblins descended on Merrin from all directions. Their swords were bent and rusty, their bows and arrows small and ridiculous... but even these could be deadly when coated in terrible poison, and the weapons lashing out at Merrin were.
  • Poor, Predictable Rock: One of the people you can play Magic Rock Paper Scissors with will always pick the same element every round. Which element specifically is randomized each time you talk to her, but during a given game she will always pick the same element.
  • Porn Stash: Owned by one particularly sleazy bachelor in Chartreux, hidden under the bed. The characters' reactions to everything in that room are rather... amusing.
  • Priceless Ming Vase: In archmage Towarin's room lies a very valuable magic pot. No points for guessing what happens to it when Arche and her friends mess with it.
  • Protagonist Power-Up Privileges: Inverted and then played straight. The main character, Arche, can't use magic (because she hasn't learned any, her parents can't afford the Magitek needed to cast spells and because her weapon makes casting spells harder). In the final level you unlock the elemental stone you recover in the prologue and she gains a Super Mode.
  • Pyromaniac: Every single one of Stella's spells has something to do with fire. She administers "cleansing fire from above" to the "Naughty book" in an apartment instead of just commenting on it like Arche (oblivious) or Sana (disgusted) if the player was controlling her.
  • Rare Candy: There are candies and juices that boost stats, like:
    • Strongirl Juice: Using it at full HP doesn't raise current HP to match.
      A strange, oddly-flavored juice that permanently increases Max HP.
    • Tough Drop: A mysterious - and VERY chewy - candy drop that strengthens those who eat it. Increases Defense permanently.
  • Retired Badass: Arche's father has quite a reputation as one of the best swordfighters alive.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Chiffon, the flying rabbit wind elemental.
  • Sadist Teacher: Mr. Harnel is a pretty open version of this (much of his dialogue early in the game is gleefully thinking of how he can torment his students). Ms. Sophia is a more subtle version; she seems nicer, but still has a mean streak (one student had to be "rescued" from her by the headmaster and she picks Arche to answer a mathematics question because she was the only one who didn't put her hand up).
  • Scenery Porn: Even more so than the original Japanese release, as Carpe Fulgur used the visuals from the Deluxe version.
  • School Setting Simulation: The game is about Kid Hero Arche moving to a new town, and therefore, going to a new school, which is a fully traversable place in the game.
  • Sequel Hook: The way the story wraps up, with there likely being an Earth Elemental Stone and calls for a sequel. Sadly, there's none, not even in Japan, and there are no announcements of one.
  • Show Within a Show: Magical Girl Merrin, a series of stories, with merchandise, like "Merrin's Staff: A replica of Merrin's talking staff, Ankle", "Guardian Badge: A toy Guardian badge from the Merrin series; essentially made for playing as a Guardian.", and "Merrin Gum: Gum branded with the Magical Girl Merrin character." One of the Merrin stories is presented in twelve parts found throughout the world.
  • Species Title: The in-game book: The Elm: Myth & Mystery, about the Gnome-Elf hybrids known as the Elm.
  • Sphere of Power: Sana's humble Shield spell. As long as it's active, anyone in the shield takes half damage, spells become uninterruptable, and renders immunity to knockdowns, grabs, and geysers of hot steam in Korat altogether.
  • Status Effects: Sleep, poison, freezing, confusion and paralysis all make their appearances.
  • Stripperiffic: Lampshaded to hell and back by the (entirely unsensibly armored) swordswoman NPCs.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Arche and Stella are unable to swim, treating water as a bottomless pit. Justified in Arche's case as swimming with that sword of hers would require more strength than a child would usually have, but not so much in Stella's case.
  • Super Not-Drowning Skills: Sana, on the other hand, can survive underwater indefinitely thanks to her (water-)elemental stone. Sana also gets a spell that temporarily gives this ability to Arche and Stella.
  • Suspicious Videogame Generosity: Fountains and Marks of Heroism (both of which fully restore HP and MP) are few and far in between. There are exceptions, but if you are deep in a large dungeon and find one of these (especially a Fountain, close to a big stone door, no less) prepare for a boss fight right ahead.
  • Taken for Granite: Just about everyone at Minasa-Ratis Magic School on the final day.
  • Teleportation with Drawbacks: Sana's Teleport spell is a Warp Whistle that costs Mana and has a casting time.
  • Tsundere: Stella, despite the lack of romance in the game, has the personality right down.
  • Tempting Fate: Brought up by a guard in Tonkiness whose boring duty makes him wish something interesting would happen, but quickly changes his mind saying that he shouldn't give fate any ideas.
  • Toast of Tardiness: One day at school, Marina says:
    This morning I was running late, so I tried running to school with my toast in my mouth.
  • Unlockable Difficulty Levels: Nightmare Difficulty is unlocked after beating the game once.
  • Victory Pose: After winning a battle, or getting a Mark of Heroism, each character performs one, as seen here.
    • Chiffon: Does small cheers to the left and right, then spins rapidly, before ending in a wink.
    • Stella: Blown by a Dramatic Wind from the right, then twirls and ends in a curtsy.
    • Sana: Claps repeatedly, then bows.
    • Arche: Jumps repeatedly, then does a gesture where she frames herself with her arms, before punching them upwards.
  • Villainous Breakdown:
    Disembodied voice: Selene, why have you dawdled! HE has found us!
    Selene: Uwaaaah!!!
  • Useless Useful Spell: Stella's Disintegrate, on the grounds of it never working against anything you'd want to blow mana on. Status effects tend to not work on boss-type enemies for too long either.
  • Underground Monkey: See Palette Swap.
  • The Weird Sisters: The three protagonists, being female, and all being able to cast magic once Arche gets her elemental stone unlocked, and is fused with Chiffon.
  • Water Is Womanly: Sana is the demure Water mage with Healing Hands.
  • Would Hurt a Child: The game's villains and enemies have no qualms with threatening to kill the protagonists, each of whom are school girls around the age of ten.
  • Yonkoma: There are some about the characters, online at the official site: