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For The Greater Good!note 

"Fight Your Way to Freedom!"
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Freedom Wars is an Action Game with Third-Person Shooter elements for the PS Vita, developed by Japan Studio, Shift, and Dimps, and published by Sony. It was released in Japan on June 26th, 2014, October 28th in the US, and on the 29th in Europe.

The year is 102014 PE, one hundred-thousand years into the future. The Earth has been stripped of its resources and mankind has grown too large to sustain itself. To prevent the complete collapse of life, humanity has organised itself into competing "Panopticons": oppressive city-states where control is maintained through draconian law and pervasive surveillance. Those who are not "Citizens" working tirelessly for the greater good of their Panopticon are judged to be "Sinners" and sentenced to one million years imprisonment for the high crime of being an inefficient use of resources.

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You are one such Sinner, and like all Sinners you have two options: to rot in your holding cell until you die, or to "repay society" by fighting on the frontlines against rival Panopticons and the mysterious "Abductors". With the aid of your Accessory, an android that acts as both your companion and warden, you must fight to earn your freedom amidst an escalating clash of forces that seek to bring about something called "The Great Transformation".

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Freedom Wars provides examples of:

  • Aborted Arc: Quite a few, unfortunately.
    • Nina, Kai and Uwe refer to your Sinner as an old friend and someone near the top of the ladder prior to your amnesia, yet nothing about your character's past ever comes up and Nina and Kai are unimportant side characters at best.
    • The Fraternity and "Them" come up quite often and are often in conflict with you, but there is never a real confrontation or resolution..
    • Hal or Ann's death just sort of happens and has very little attention called to it afterwards, despite being treated as a major development at the time. Especially considering that you can undo it later in the game.
    • The entire plot of the game could be considered one given how it "ends".
  • Action Girl: You meet a lot of female Sinners over the course of the game. You can also be one if you're female.
  • Admiring the Abductors: Beatrice thinks about Abductors the same way others might think of puppies or kittens.
  • Advertised Extra: The Dionaea-class Abductor that shows up in promo material, the box art, and Soul Sacrifice Delta. You never get to fight such an Abductor until the post-game.
    • Early previews of the game mentioned that you will have access to your own Abductor. Not only does this only happen in one mission, it ends up being an Escort Mission where the Abductor is virtually useless.
  • Aerith and Bob: It's about a fifty-fifty split, given you have names like Uwe and Mattias, and then Carlos and Beatrice.
  • All There in the Manual: La Vie en Rose is a literal textbook of Freedom Wars data, containing a wealth of information that, quite unfortunately, is never explained in-game. Such data includes:
    • Chapter names for each of the game's story segments, as well as a full synopsis.
    • Nicknames and descriptions for every character in the game.
    • Artwork and descriptions for all of the game's weapons, including weapons you can't get.
    • An entire segment dedicated to how Panopticons actually function.
    • Timeline detailing the events leading up to the events of the game.
    • "Utopedia" that defines and explains every single term in Freedom Wars.
  • Alternative Calendar: Subverted. All the dates in the game are still set to the Earth calendar, just increased by 100,000 years and set to PE (Panopticon Era) instead.
  • Amnesiac Hero: You, after you fell, hit the floor, and got punched in the face by an Abductor.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Believe it or not, this is what you get for clearing your sentence.
  • Anime Hair: Aries has a strange looped twintail thing going on with her hair. It's downplayed, though, since this hairstyle is entirely possible to replicate in a few steps, if you have medium-long hair.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: One of the boons granted in Versus Operations as part of Competitive Balance is Accessories that respawn after being downed for a certain amount of time. In the standard game, they stay down until you revive them, which, on later levels, can be a much harder and more annoying job than it sounds.
  • Apathetic Citizens: Invoked and justified. Citizens are far above the social ladder than Sinners, so most of them don't really care what happens to you, since you're as good as disposable grunt units to them.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: Will'O, short for "Will of the O", the mysterious energy that powers pretty much everything in the game, including the Thorn Whip, your Accessory, Abductors, firearms, etc. It is essentially a future variant of electricity, but fueled by willpower.
  • Artifact of Doom: The Casket, which is said to have destroyed the Panopticon of Arcadia overnight. Abel's goal is to use the Casket to turn the world into an endless warzone by releasing the monstrosities within.
  • Artificial Brilliance: The powers that be in the Panopticon want you alive for as long as it takes to serve out or commute your sentence. As such, your Accessory will prioritize reviving you if you get KO'd, even at its own peril.
  • Artificial Stupidity: While the AI is generally competent, it misses a few vital points here and there, such as getting out of the way of various fatal attacks and using the Thorn Whip for anything other than its Charge functions or hooking an Abductor. It's especially egregious in the revival department, since they completely ignore the fact that you can use the Thorn Whip on a dead player to revive them, and at occasions ignore you outright.
  • Author Appeal: Going by how the game portrays it, ice cream is THE tastiest thing in the world bar none and even plays a significant role in one of the story cutscenes. It's the only food that has a model in the game, and you even get a bronze PSN trophy for tasting all the ice cream flavors in a small side quest.
    • Also, headphones. All sinners wear headphones of every kind of make and model.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: The Reclamation Pack DLC comes with a pair of matching suits for male and female players and Accessories, so you can be this.
  • Back from the Dead: Ann/Hal, if you choose The Path of Other Pasts.
  • Benevolent Genie: Simeon, who is able to grant any wish. There are rumors about him abound, though no one has actually met him. At the climax of the game, you meet him in person at the very end of Limbo, and he helps you out of your current fix with a Deus ex Machina Sword of Plot Advancement. You can later meet him at will in the post-game, and he will grant you some wishes for a little effort.
  • BFG: Pretty much any gun that isn't an Assault Class.
  • BFS: All Heavy Melee weapons are this flavor. The TB-32/H in particular weighs 80kg!
  • Big Bad: Abel.
  • Big Brother Is Watching: Every square inch of Panopticon territory is covered by surveillance cameras that watch practically every step you take. The only locales where this doesn't happen are the Cell Gardens, Zakka, and the Fueling Station. The Cell Gardens make up for the deficit by placing patrolling Accessories in restricted areas, just in case someone decides to sneak in to do something like rescue a girl from On High bounded to a structure in the heart of the Cell Garden.
  • Big Damn Heroes: You manage to wake up in time to save Beatrice from a fatal blow from Sylvia.
  • Big Good: It's heavily implied that Simeon fills this role. While he doesn't take any real action, he states that his ultimate goal is the downfall of On High, so that he can begin the Great Transformation. Alas, it never comes to pass.
  • Blade Lock: You clash with Abel in his introduction cutscene, which makes him peg you as a Worthy Opponent.
  • Blade on a Stick: The Polearms class of course! Bonus points for the Gration and Hyuga line, as they're drill spears.
  • Blinded by the Light: Flash Grenades, of course. It also somehow works on Abductors, too, but to what extent is another matter entirely.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Zigzagged. In gameplay, you can see blood splatters when you get shot by an assault rifle. However, when people die in cutscenes, there's no blood whatsoever, even when they're being Impaled with Extreme Prejudice.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Depending on the gun, you can get bonus damage for shooting a humanoid target in the head.
  • Boring, but Practical: Spamming the mission "CP100: Retribution - Jakarta". It's a Citizen Reclamation mission where you must extract three Citizens before Warriors of On High do, while being assaulted by an Abductor. You could eliminate the Abductors while stalling the Warriors from On High so you can safely transport the Citizens... Or you can just cut out the middle man and make a beeline straight for the Citizens. If you use the "Protect Citizens" order for your team, you can finish in one to five minutes. This operation cuts 10,000 years off your sentence. You can shave off 100,000 years in thirty minutes just by playing this mission over and over. Equip Contribution Boosters, and it'll go even faster.
    • In terms of weapons, the EZ Katze snuggly fits this trope, thanks to its decent damage output, good accuracy, large ammo capacity, and decent elemental proc chance.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Averted. Guns have clips and magazines, and you won't be able to use them if you run dry. You can replenish lost ammo by collecting Ammo Boxes or using an Ammo Box item. Played straight for Accessories, AI teammates, and Abductors, however.
  • Breakable Weapons: Anything that isn't an Abductor's torso or legsnote  can be severed off with a Light Melee weapon or simply destroyed by dealing enough damage.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: A minor example with the pre-order weapons. They are the ONLY rank 3 weapons you have access to for a while as you are not allowed to keep any rank 3 weapons you find in battle until you reach CODE 3, and will OHKO early enemy sinners easily. The rocket launcher stays useful if equipped on your accessory even after getting access to rank 3 factories, as its sheer power and the accessory's infinite ammo make it very useful against Abductors.
  • Brick Joke:
    • At one point, you buy Sylvia a cone of ice cream, but after a run in with Beatrice, she leaves before she can repay you. When she helps you and your team escape from Hourai and the impending Retribution, she remarks about having finally paid you back for the ice cream.
    • On the early levels, quite a few people insist that Percy Propa is a real person and that they want to meet him. When you reach CODE 7, an optional conversation with Carlos reveals that this is true. It's Natalia.
    • Non-comedic variant. In his introduction cutscene, Carlos complains that his glasses are missing and you're to blame, but it turns out he's pulling your leg. After Carlos's Double Agent reveal at the very end of the game, Sylvia comes down on an Abductor and gives Carlos his glasses back.
  • But Thou Must!: Some of the infractions you get punished for, such as lying to Natalia or reclining without proper clearance are the only options given to you and required to advance in the game.
  • Button Mashing: Used extensively. Be it severing parts, escaping an Abductor's grasp, or performing a Dragdown, you gotta mash Onote . That said, you can simply hold down the button when severing parts and dragging down.
  • Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp": The food product of choice for Sinners is the "So-Chlo", which sounds like some exotic drink. Check the bartender's wares, however, and you'll discover that it stands for "sodium chloride", or salt.
  • Chain of Deals: You can go on a minor Fetch Quest for coupons that will let you taste the ice cream at the Fueling Station, and then you can tell the bartender how it tastes and if you prefer it or the other flavors. It has no effect on the plot and gives you nothing except a Trophy, but it's fun to see how the future reacts to ice cream when it's not widespread anymore.
  • Chainsaw Good: The EZ Schwarzfalke Light Melee weapon is this.
  • Character Class System: The three Thorn Whip choices are designed to be this: The offensively-tuned Binding Thorn, the White Magic-powered Healing Thorn, and the defensive Shielding Thorn.
  • Charged Attack: All Melee weapons get this, and attacks can be charged up to two levels. Heavy Melee and Polearms in particular get both a Light Charged Attack and a Heavy Charged Attack. The Thorn Whip also can be charged up to two levels, with varying effects depending on what kind of whip you have equipped.
  • Chewing the Scenery: Abel sure does love to twirl his katana and pose as he gloats about his strength and trash talks you.
  • Chick Magnet: The player who wins over both Beatrice and Sylvia, has Natalia warm up to them, was hinted to have been close to Nina before memory loss as she seems the one most upset, and their interactions with Aries M.
  • Choice of Two Weapons: Given the player's options, you can take the route of a Multi-Melee Master, a Multi-Ranged Master, or The Musketeer.
  • The Chooser of The One: Contrary to what the game leads you to believe, it's actually Aries herself. She didn't pick you for any particular reason, she only picked you because she felt like it.
  • Colossus Climb: While optional given the ability to use guns and heavier weapons, you can certainly do this to Abductors to attack higher areas of them, especially when wielding Light Melee weapons or the Flare Knife, which will let you cut off their weapons and limbs.
  • Combos: Pressing the Light Attack button at least twice then switching to the Heavy Attack button can perform attack combos with Melee weapons. If you can hit the timing properly, you can even start your finisher at a Level 1 charge.
  • Combat Medic: Players can be this with the Healing Thorn Hookshot.
  • Combat Stilettos: Natalia wears high heels all the time, but she can still kick some ass.
  • Competitive Balance: Some rules are tweaked for Versus Operations, such as a revival gauge, increased Will'O consumption for the Thorn Whip and related actions, and Accessories that respawn after being dead for a while.
  • Cosmic Retcon: When you choose The Path of Other Pasts in the Casket, Simeon brings Hal/Ann back from the dead. Choosing to tell Beatrice what your wish was results in her calling you out on your nonsense, as if Hal/Ann were never dead in the first place.
  • Counter Attack: Don't melee Abel while he's walking.
  • Crapsack World: It's a hundred thousand years in the future, there's hardly any resources left, and what remains of humanity is fighting to gather and keep a hold of as much as they can. And God help you if you waste anything that's given to you by your benevolent overlords.
  • Critical Annoyance: A dead or captured Accessory will remind you constantly that they're dead/captured and need reviving/rescuing.
  • Critical Existence Failure: Averted. Characters will audibly show exhaustion when their health dips to low levels.
  • Crossover: Crossed into Soul Sacrifice Delta with a special boss fight against Dionaea, Sinner and Accessory outfits, and the Sinner's Thornnote  spell, and Phantasy Star Online 2 with Costumes, Hairstyles, Accessories, and Weapon Camos.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Abel against pretty much everyone else except you.
    • Also, Sylvia against pretty much everyone else except you.
  • Cut-and-Paste Environments: The game has only about nine or so different maps on which to fight on. This is especially egregious with Panopticon Top Level, since the Coffin is still there even when the Operation in question is explicitly mentioned not to take place in Hourai.
  • Cute Bruiser: Elfriede. The knuckles of her gauntlets are even adorned with hearts!
  • Cutscene Incompetence: In gameplay, you can be downed as much as you like, and you won't ever be the worse for wear, but when you get downed in the first cutscene, you lose your memories. Slightly justified in that you PHYSICALLY recover from the attack in the first cutscene easily, but not from the MENTAL damage.
  • Cyborg: Accessories are manufactured human bodies with cybernetic modifications.
  • Cycle of Hurting: The resident flamethrower, Adelring, can Stun Lock humanoid targets. When Japanese players found this out the hard way, they weren't happy, so the Version 1.10 patch addressed this. It still works on the players' end, which makes it ridiculously easy to kill a target like Abel.
  • Damager, Healer, Tank: Binding, Healing, and Shielding thorns, respectively.
  • Damage-Sponge Boss: Red Rage. Although it's constantly looked upon as more powerful than any Abductor in existence, once you get a certain MacGuffin and actually fight it, it's no stronger than any other Abductor of its type, except that it can eat multitudes more damage than normal Abductors.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: The controls change slightly between guns and melee weapons. It may take a second or two to get used to the gun you just switched to mid-combat, and vice versa.
  • Defeat Means Playable: You can add Natalia to your team after beating her in the CODE 7 Exam.
  • Deflector Shields: Some Abductors come equipped with shield generators, which null all incoming attacks except for those performed while latched onto the Abductor.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Natalia eventually gets round to showing you a shred of respect by the time you get to CODE 7. She completely defrosts by the time you finish your sentence.
    • Generally, Citizens get nicer as your CODE Level increases. Most of them, anyway.
    • It's very subtle, but your Accessory becomes slightly friendlier and more concerned about your well-being as you raise your CODE rank.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: Slow yet heavy-hitting weapons, such as Gration/Hyuga, Caliburn, and Dragon-Fang are clunky to use at first, but planning ahead of your attacks and positioning can make every Abductor battle a breeze.
    • Speaking of the Dragonfang, the weapon's DPS skyrockets with the quick-firing exploit note , and the exploit also works with the SR-42/LA, AR-7/L, and Creamy Screamy.
  • Didn't Need Those Anyway!: Abductors have enough attacks to kill you without their head, arms, or guns, it's just that having those things makes killing you easier for them. If you cut off an Abductor's parts/limbs, it may also turn red and target you specifically.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Even performing the most minute task such as walking more than several steps or lying down on your bed without the proper entitlement will earn a Sinner hundred years in their sentence.
  • Distressed Dude/Damsel in Distress: A third of the game is made up of rescuing trapped Citizens from Abductors. Your Accessory can also be kidnapped, turning them into this.
  • Drunk on Milk: Since alcohol pretty much doesn't exist any more, the hard liquor of choice is "So Chlo"...which is essentially just salted seltzer water. Mattias, Marie and others still manage to get tipsy from drinking it.
    • Real sugar is treated as a highly addictive drug, with references to sinners that are hooked on "the white stuff".
  • Double Agent: Right after the final boss, Carlos suddenly knifes you In the Back and reveals himself as an agent for On High before making his getaway on an Abductor.
  • The Dragon: Hourai has Abel, who is their be all, end all trump card when they absolutely need something done. He winds up taking matters into his own hands and achieves Big Bad status once he reveals his plans.
  • The Dreaded: Absolutely everyone except the player character is scared shitless of Abel and Red Rage.
  • Dual Boss: Abel and Red Rage.
  • Dub Name Change: Ibara Hookshot to Thorn Whip, which is more or less a direct translation.
    • Though confusingly, they kept the Thorn Gauge marked as "Ibara"note .
    • Several concepts and characters got their names tweaked for the English release. For example, "Simeon" was originally the more plain "Simon".
    • Propa-kun was translated to Percy Propa, dropping the honorific and giving him a first name, which is more common among Western mascot characters.
    • "Volunteers" are referred to as "Sinners".
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Actually averted. While most Citizens have complete disdain for Sinners, the OPP actually gives you more credit when you do pull your weight, such as granting your CODE 3 clearance (and possibly showing leniency on the prerequisites for doing so) for handling yourself well during a crisis.
  • Dummied Out:
    • There is an option to change the phrases used by your Accessory, using an in-house voice synthesis program. This program has support for multiple languages, including Japanese and English. The problem? It's only in the Japanese version. Astoundingly, the existence of this feature is referred to repeatedly in the localized version in spite of the fact that it was completely removed.
    • The Citizen's Voice was also never used, although it is in the game. It's just that no content was ever released for it.
    • There exists data for Uwe and Elfriede's knuckle weapons being able to be wielded, but it can only be accessed by hacking.
  • Emergency Weapon: Zigzagged with the Flare Knife. While it's an optional item to take, it can be incredibly handy in Multi-Ranged Master setups due to its infinite uses, and it has a single use, upgraded version that burns off any Abductor part with relative ease.
  • Empathic Weapon: Exodus, a Polearm that draws from the user's emotions as power. It can also combat On High's influence on emotions, which is exactly what it's used for in the cutscene that comes right after getting it. That being said, it loses this trait after being used and becomes a standard Polearm afterward.
  • Escort Mission: You get to carry an allied Abductor for one Operation. It's not nearly as good as the enemy Abductors, since it doesn't fight back unless you hit the beacon while it's on the ground (and even then it's temporary and against sinners who are easy to kill anyways) and you have to guide it manually.
    • All civilian rescues are this as well, except you, your accessory or an ally have to carry them to safety before they are recaptured.
  • Evil vs. Evil: All Panopticons have the same goal: to steal resources from each other. You're doing their dirty work for them, and you don't really have a say in the matter.
  • Exact Words: Carlos calling himself a spy. The game makes you think that it's just Carlos being his usual trolling self, but he was actually admitting that he was a spy... just not the spy the Panopticon is looking for at the time.
  • Exposition Fairy: Accessories report to the player a lot. Granted, it's generally useful advice and reminds you that your allies are doing things you may want to partake in, such as Dragdowns.
  • Fake Longevity: The average player will finish the story with about 900,000 more years to go. After that, the rest of the game is cycling through mission varieties to get your sentence down to zero. Granted, they throw in Special Operations that shave off many more years than the Story Operations and don't suffer from first-time-completion reduction, but even those get recycled and many are too hard to complete without going online and finding allies, anyway.
  • Fangirl: Beatrice is absolutely obsessed with machines, especially Abductors and Accessories, much to the confusion of her friends. She can't help but squee and ask endless questions about their components when they show up.
  • Fanservice Costumes: The bikini and swim trunks you get for working off your sentence. Seriously.
  • Five-Man Band: By the end, your team falls into this.
  • Flunky Boss:
    • Natalia, the CODE 7 Exam boss. She has two Accessories and a team of allies that grows each time she dies and respawns.
    • Peltatum starts the fight bearing few attacks but a ton of health and certain areas you can't use the Thorn on. Then you deplete its health a little, and it releases the chains attached to it, which turn into eight separate Demonic Spiders and trash your team while Peltatum snipes you from behind the lines.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Aries's only effect on the plot is to tell you things that you won't understand until later.
    • Carlos having unusually deep knowledge of what was going on in the Panopticon. It's initially played off as him being a veteran Sinner, but later advice and "requests" he gives shows that he knows stuff that normal sinners do not. To the game's credit, it paints Carlos as a sarcastic troll so most of the things that he waves off just come across as Carlos teasing the player.
  • Frickin' Laser Beams: All-purpose Abductors can fire a beam from their featureless head, and one of the weapons that can be equipped to any Abductor is a massive laser cannon. Dionaea-class Abductors have a special variant that fires a charged beam of infinite distance from their head, which is always a One-Hit Kill. You can also wield one with the Phalanx laser cannon.
  • Foe-Tossing Charge: Most Abductors can bullrush and knock around everyone who stands in their way.
  • Four-Element Ensemble: Weapons can bear four different elements: fire, ice, electricity, and Will'O.
  • Fun with Acronyms: This game loves acronyms, including OPS (Office of Peace and Stability), CODE (Contribution-Oriented Distribution of Entitlements), GPP (Gross Panopticon Product), and RRP (Resource Reclamation Pod).
  • Future Food Is Artificial: Sinners are fed a strict diet of tasteless, processed nutrient bars. Real food is a hot black market commodity.
  • The Future Will Be Better: Averted. With the current amount of remaining limited resources unable to sustain the Earth's population, the future is a place of oppressive city-states without love, true freedom, and happiness.
  • Gameplay Ally Immortality: While your AI allies and their Accessories can die, they'll always respawn without consuming your Sustainability count, so the only death you really have to worry about is your own.
    • Also plays into the story. See Gameplay and Story Integration.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: A surprisingly large amount of it:
    • The way that Uwe carries the citizen in the beginning, and the way it slows him down, is exactly how characters carry citizens in-game. You can also do virtually everything you see in the opening movie, short of being hit by the flying body of an ally then losing your memory.
    • Death Is Cheap in battle, and it's even acknowledged in-story several times (including the beginning, where Uwe doesn't seem all that worried that you got squished like a bug and is more annoyed about your amnesia). The only way that death seems to be permanent in-story is when your entire squad is annihilated and there's no chance to be rescued.
    • The reduction in rights that result from being a CODE 1 even affects your interface, as you are not allowed to even change your control scheme without earning the right. It's just as bad as Uwe makes it sound in the intro cutscene.
    • The government treats citizens like objects, referring to them as "human resources". The game itself actually teaches you to think this way too by making them part of your inventory, where they're used up like items to improve your factories' production.
  • Genetic Engineering Is the New Nuke: Citizens are modified to be smarter and more energy efficient, Sinners are augmented to be faster and stronger, Abductors are just as much living creatures as they are machines.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Retributions are basically this in an event: Abductors from On High invade the surface with no prior warning, wreaking havoc and kidnapping Citizens abound.
    • The final boss, Peltatum, is a more straight example. There's no explanation as to why it pops out of the Casket, especially given what the Casket really contains, and is not even mentioned by Aries or Simeon.
  • Giant Spider: The Paradoxa-class Abductors are gigantic armored spider-tanks.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: Uwe and Elfriede both use the KD-M2 series of weapons, which take the form of large, metal gauntlets. Neither you nor anyone else can procure this type of weapon.
    • Interestingly, data for the weapon exists, but is only accessible through hacking.
  • Graceful Loser: Abel seems to have no qualms about dying, only being disappointed that he won't live to see his dream, probably because the the Sealed Evil in a Can he unleashed wakes up right when he dies.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: Accessories in the Cell Garden. They're supposed to be super-advanced cyborgs from the future, but as far as the game is concerned, they're straight-up deaf with the sight range of a bat with literal tunnel vision.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • The various item trades and sidequests around your Panopticon. Many are only available for a limited time and require talking to a specific unmarked NPC.
    • Almost all Basic Operations have a secret bonus objective that can net you a good item if you succeed. What's the objective? Well... It's a secret!
  • Hammerspace: Averted; it only looks like your weapons come from here. The animation is much too fast to actually see well, but when weapons are switched, the black boxes strapped(?) to Sinners' backs transform into their weapons.
  • Handwave: After clearing your sentence, you don't get moved into a new cell because Percy Propa tells you that all the 2nd Class Citizen blocks are full. He also mentions that you will be moved into one if a 2nd Class Citizen happens to go missing.
  • Hover Board: The Thrusterboard item, which lets you zoom forward in midair while riding said board. There are two versions; one propels you slowly while the other propels you at high speed.
  • Human Resources: Taken to its logical extreme: the whole human, knowledge intact, is the most valuable thing in this world. Hence all the giant robots whose sole purpose is stealing skilled workers.
    • Taken further in that the actual human body is a valuable resource as well. The organs, skin and musculature of the dead are recycled in the manufacturing of Abductors, Accessories and genetic modification.
  • I Choose to Stay: Cesare's fate and final decision to stay with Simeon to help him bring about the Great Transformation. Justified because Cesare wanted to go to Limbo in the first place, because of the Great Transformation, going so far as to essentially sacrifice his mortal being in order to get there.
  • Idol Singer: The Propaganda Idols Panna, Opti, and Coni. While they don't appear within the context of the game itself, they appeared in videos released on YouTube and Nico Nico Douga, and their songs are included as Downloadable Content.
  • Improvised Weapon: The Mimas is, for all intents and purposes, a gigantic block of concrete on a stick that you bludgeon stuff with.
  • In Case of Boss Fight, Break Glass: Optional, but breaking the amber pod on an Abductor's head or torso will cause a Pod Break and deal relatively large damage. Performing a Gauge Break on a Pod Broken Abductor will cause another Pod Break.
  • Inescapable Net: Spider webs, which are spit out in spades by what else but the resident Giant Spider Abductor. The Creamy Screamy Jr. also generates these, which can be handy in trapping the opposition for an easy kill.
  • Instant Awesome: Just Add Dragons!: The Dionaea class of Abductor are basically cybernetic dragons.
  • It Only Works Once: The Exodus can counteract and negate On High's ability to manipulate emotions... once. After the cutscene it is used in, it reverts back into a regular polearm.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: The Panopticon's higher-ups in general. Some of them are additionally prickish because of their perceived superiority, but it all boils down to the fact that by existing, you are a drain on desperately low resources. But at the same time, you are a potentially valuable resource yourself that can't just be disposed of, forcing your Panopticon to take care of you. It's harsh, but when you're responsible for keeping alive what's left of the human race, you have to really work with what you've got.
  • Justified Tutorial: You lost your memories at the beginning, so you need to go through "Re-Education" to relearn how to fight.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: The Hawkshadow and Aftershadow melee weapons. The former is a light melee weapon with very strong critical hits, while the latter is the only heavy melee weapon that can inflict cutting damage.
  • Kill the Cutie: Ann, if you choose to save Hal.
  • Kiss of Life: Not the way you expect. Aries kisses you in the forehead to revive you — to a subconscious state, at least, since your body is still recovering.
  • Lampshade Hanging: One Sinner-turned-Citizen talks about not being too thrilled about becoming a Citizen because all they do is stand around and get randomly talked to by strangers like you.
  • Left Hanging: The plot leaves a lot to be desired by its end. How was the Casket "opened wrong" if there's only one known way to open it? Where did the Peltatum come from? What exactly is Limbo? Who are the "First of the Fallen" and what makes their weapons so powerful? What is the special power that On High has that makes them so powerful and how does Exodus negate it? What is Will'O and why does Beatrice have the unique Will'O signature that opens the Casket? What happened at the end? Why did Carlos betray you? What happened to starting the Great Transformation? And where's the other two Abductor prototypes?
  • Lethal Joke Item: The Creamy Screamy Jr. initially seems to be a rather useless weapon, with its use being only to trap enemy sinners, but upgrading it with elemental properties reveals that it's surprisingly very effective in breaking Abductor parts with its shots.
  • Level-Locked Loot: At the end of an Operation, you can only take drops whose rarities are equal to or lower than your current CODE Level. You can try to take anything rarer, but any attempt to do so will result in getting years added to your sentence, then the loot is confiscated anyways. Averted with Operation Rewards, which can be taken even if you don't meet the CODE Level requirement.
  • Little Miss Badass: Elfriede is one of the youngest and physically smallest members of the cast, even compared to the rather short citizens, yet she is the only character besides Uwe to use fist weapons, carries the absolutely massive MG-M7 gatling gun as a back up and is the champion of an underground street fighting tournament.
    • Your Sinner can be one too if you choose to make them on the small side.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: Accessories are actually designed to become this for their assigned Sinner, since human relationships beyond casual friendship are outlawed and people need an outlet for their emotions.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: There are fourteen possible party members available in the game, each with their own variety of Thorn, melee weapon, and firearm. You can never have more than thirteen of them at a time, however, for various reasons.
  • Longer-Than-Life Sentence: Every Sinner, including you, is born with a 1,000,000 year life sentence that they must clear by doing missions from their Panopticon. In your case, this is the premise of the game.
  • Luck-Based Mission: Modifying weapons to get Modules onto them to make them better. While the randomness of the process can be mitigated by throwing an extra Material into the process and the fact that Modules already on a weapon being used for parts has a higher chance of being inherited by the target, it's just as easy to get the stuff you want like Power Up (L) accidentally overwritten by something like Carryable Ammo Down (M), or just get a bad Module in general.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: You can launch missile salvos with the Dragonfire and Nambu Mk. 25 guns. Abductors with missile packs and S-Type Abductors can also utilize these.
  • Made of Iron: There is no "armor" to be crafted in-game, save for a few augmentations that increase defense. Your character and all characters can take a hit from a giant mech's hand that would have the force to positively pancake a car with no explanation (or even Hand Wave!) given.
  • Magikarp Power: Weapons that are within 15% of their weapon type's minimum base damage are "Late Bloomers", meaning they get minimal damage from upgrades until about level 6 or 7, at which point they begin to outclass everything else.
  • Marathon Boss Game: 90% of the entire game is battling Abductors, and as the time limit helpfully points out, they can take forever to kill, especially if there's more than one.
  • The Mentor: Uwe, and not just for you.
  • The Mole: Carlos. When the Office of Peace and Stability suspect espionage within the Panopticon, Carlos off-handedly mentions his being a spy when asked by Elfriede, but the comment is brushed off as his being an ass as usual. While not the spy OPS was hunting for at the time, he eventually reveals that he's a spy from On High.
  • Morton's Fork: At the beginning of CODE 5, you're forced to choose between one of two Operations against hostile forces. Take the Liquidation Op, and Ann dies. Take the Citizen Reclamation Op, and her brother Hal dies. Both go into a Heroic BSoD when the other dies.
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: Elfriede, Beatrice and every other small, slender Sinner is just as strong as the hulking Uwe, justified because Sinners are genetically modified for combat and need to be able to lift their sometimes massive weapons.
  • Mysterious Waif: Aries M, a strange resident of the Immaterial Plane that pops in to give you vague clues to what's going to happen in the near future.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Red Rage.
  • Never Bring a Knife to a Gun Fight: Zigzagged. Guns on Abductors are very deadly weapons that will put you down in seconds, but whip out your Flare Knife or Light Melee Weapon and you can cut them down to size by slicing their guns off, although it's a slow and patient process that's likely to kill you at least once.
    • Played painfully straight in Sinner-to-Sinner combat. If the guy with the assault rifle spots you with your melee weapon before you spot him, it'll take some superhuman dodging skills to arrive at and kill your target before he fills you full of lead. And even then, don't expect to leave unscathed, at which point you're liable to get sniped off by another Sinner.
  • No Ending: The ending is you and your friends riding off into the sky with Sylvia, with her mentioning that she has something else to take care of. Literally nothing else happens, not even bringing about the Great Transformation that you were supposed to do.
  • No Scope: Every gun works just as effectively as when scoped, including the SR-42 series, which are the resident sniper rifles. Justified in that it's an Action Game with Third-Person Shooter elements, which means your unscoped crosshair also determines where your Thorn Whip will go, and anything that would hinder that would walk into Fake Difficulty territory.
  • No-Sell:
    • The Full of Life augmentation stops One-Hit Kill attacks in its tracks.
    • Red Rage generates a unique Will'O field that completely neutralizes all attacks launched against it. Part of defeating it means creating special tools that bypasses this field.
  • Noble Demon: Abel of all people comes across as this. He may be a condescending Blood Knight, but he never breaks his promises, killing only those that attack him first when he invades the Panopticon to kidnap Beatrice and releasing Beatrice instead of killing her after his use for her was done. He even lets the player live after their first encounter simply because the player had the guts and skill to stand up to him.
  • Nobody Poops: Averted. According to La Vie En Rose, each prisoner's cell has a toilet next to their bed that can be accessed via a panel. This has no bearing in the actual game whatsoever.
  • Nominal Importance: Played with. Enzo is essentially a plot important character, having a name, voice, and unique model to boot. Too bad he's only important to you for all of five minutes (or more, depending on if you know how to get past him or not), after which you never have to talk to him again.
  • Non-Action Guy: Julien, being a Citizen, never fights, but is still integral to your efforts.
  • Nonstandard Skill Learning: Your growth as a character is tied directly into what Entitlements you own, which in turn are governed by your CODE Level. If you want better things and more options, you will need to increase your CODE Level before you can buy the rights.
  • Notice This: If an Abductor with an unoccupied Pod is nearby, unconscious Accessories and unaccompanied Citizens that need rescuing will be marked on your minimap and exude a bright glow made of Will'O.
  • Odd Name Out: The Peltatum class of Abductors includes Peltatum, Oltatum, and Blinding Light α.
  • Off with His Head!: While by no means easy, you can sever off the head of an Abductor (where applicable), dealing massive damage to the Abductor and rendering them vulnerable. They're no less functional if they live, though.
  • One-Hit Kill: Abel can use these, and he does at regular intervals. If you have full health, you can No-Sell attacks of this type with the Full of Life Augmentation.
  • Organic Technology: Abductors are a mix of computer science, standard machinery and genetically engineered biology, following programmed directives but carrying them out and behaving more like animals.
    • Accessories are more like cybernetic organisms than completely artificial androids, their construction consisting of organs and other organic components recycled from the Panopticon's dead with a mechanical infrastructure.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: The only time that Carlos acts serious is when he tells the player's team that Hal/Ann's unit was wiped out. The suddenness of his change of behavior adds a lot to the mood for the situation.
  • Out-of-Genre Experience: After the team is sabotaged and Ann or Hal dies, depending on the player's decision, the rest of your time as a CODE 5 Sinner is spent in a Mystery Arcnote .
  • Panthera Awesome: The Ramosa/Koushin-class Abductors, which are giant flying mecha tigers.
  • Panty Shot: Playing around with the camera allows you to peek up the skirts of NPC's, your accessory (if she's female) and the player character.(if you picked female) Curiously, every girl in the game wears black or dark colored panties instead of the more mainstream white variety.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: Scraping through a mission with less than 20% sustainability left will net you a sentence extension instead of a reduction.
  • Player Versus Player: While the standard version exists, it factors into a much larger scale of PVP known as the League of Panopticons. This system allows players to ally with one of fifty Panopticons based on cities around the worldnote  and compete by earning Gross Panopticon Product, or GPP, either through Donations, PVP, or going on Invasion Operations against other Panopticons.
  • Post-Peak Oil: The central theme of the game. A few mentions are made to pollution doing no favors for what's left of Earth, but it's obvious that humanity's main problem 100,000 years from now is being Post Peak Everything.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: The Casket can only be located and opened by Will'O of a specific signature. Sadly, the only one who gives off that signature is Beatrice. Her father counts too, but he's already inside.
  • The Power of Friendship: Enforced by the Nintendo Hard difficulty of later missions, which can be cleared in Request Cooperation mode to net you a free pass to clear the mission in single player. Word of God even encourages this.
  • Punny Name: Percy Propa, or Propa-kun in Japan. The "Propa" part comes from propaganda, and in English, it sounds like "proper" with a cockney accent, which quite a few characters in the English translation seem to have.
  • Purely Aesthetic Glasses: Right after his reveal as a Double Agent, Sylvia gives Carlos a pair of glasses, which he puts on. Considering how he was completely fine without them before, the glasses could be this.
  • Puzzle Boss: Peltatum-class Abductors require a deliberate and methodical strategy to defeat, as just attacking them head on like every other Abductor will cause them to release all of their Chains at the same time, making victory borderline impossible.
  • Red Herring: Natalia is HEAVILY implied to be the spy who's leaking information.. If you carefully follow what characters say about the person during the story, however, you'll realize before the reveal that it can't be the case.
    • Carlos is a double subversion. At the end of the game it turns out he IS a spy; just not the one you were looking for.
  • Regenerating Health: Players have it, but it regenerates at such a slow rate that it's practically negligible. The Regeneration Augmentation can make it slightly more useful, but it's still easier not to rely on it.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Julien's boss, Gene, is very briefly introduced early on the in the game, then disappears and loses all significance. Fast forward to a later story arc and he's being talked about like a consistent and important character.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: There are two revolvers featured, but neither of them are available to players.
    • The HG-38/HV "Easy Eight" is the handgun wielded by the main Sinner's Accessory in the promotional art. Ironically, it isn't even in the actual game.
    • The Eagle Hunter is a revolver wielded exclusively by Shizuka's Accessory, of all characters.
  • Ridiculously Human Robot: Accessories. They're basically robotic parole officers made to keep surveillance on you and give you a helping hand in battle.
  • Ripple Effect-Proof Memory: After Ann/Hal comes Back from the Dead via Simeon, your character remains incredulous at how the person in question resurrected, since your character only remembers that person dying, even though said death was Cosmic Retconned.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Ann/Hal almost goes on one when Hal/Ann dies. Elfriede intervenes and manages to coax her/him out of it before they do anything reckless. Almost veers into Break the Cutie territory in Ann's case.
  • Robot Buddy: Your Accessory, although they are less your "buddy" and more your "personal corrections officer".
  • Save Scumming: The best way to get the modules you want when modifying weapons, unfortunately.
  • Secret Circle of Secrets: The very top of the Panopticon chain of command, a group so secretive that They don't even have an official name and is therefore referred to simply as "Them".
  • Sharp-Dressed Syndicate: Every member of the Fraternity wears slick suits with their full-head helmets. You can also get the Fraternity's attire and do it yourself.
  • Ship Tease: The player character gets a lot with Beatrice, gender be damned.
    • With Sylvia as well.
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: The Dragonfang and Barbara's Easy Blaster. The former subverts this due to Awesome, but Impractical, since it's a minigun-sized packet of absurd damage, but has to be carried in two hands and needs to warm up before a blast, allowing most targets to peg you before you even shoot. The latter, conversely, is a semi-automatic gun, and fits in the palm of your hand, so you don't have to lug around heavy weight. Despite this, while both are incredibly effective against humanoid targets or smaller, neither is largely effective against an Abductor of any kind, unless you're EXTREMELY savvy with the module system.
  • Shorter Means Smarter: Invoked by the Citizens, who are genetically modified to be smaller and weaker than the average human so that they can dedicate more energy to thinking.
  • Short-Range Shotgun: Dragonfang and Barbara's Easy Blaster, which are both nailguns with shotgun properties. They both also have horribly short effective range, requiring the player to stand in direct proximity to the target for maximum effect. This can be mitigated with Modules that boost a gun's effective range.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Silent Protagonist: Outside of dialogue choices, you're completely silent in cutscenes. You have a voice in combat, though.
  • Slobs vs. Snobs: This is essentially On High's relationship with every other Panopticon, with On High as the snobs and everyone else as the slobs. Beatrice quickly finds out that the "slobs" aren't as bad as On High makes them out to be, and eventually mentions that On High residents are naturally taught that they are better than all the other Panopticons.
  • Small Girl, Big Gun: Elfriede, the smallest member of the cast, wields the MG-M7, which is a giant, hulking minigun.
  • Smashing Survival: Abductors with hands or jaws (or in Dionaea's case, its tail) can grab you, which will constantly drain your health unless you mash O to break free. If you let it play out, the Abductor will eventually throw you at some point, which is a One-Hit Kill.
  • Standard FPS Guns: Despite being an Action Game, this game has most of them.
  • Standard Status Effects: There are stat reductions and poison, but the more common ones come from the four elements.
    • Fire causes a damage-over-time effect when it is applied enough to Abductor parts.
    • Ice freezes an Abductor part, making it take 1.5x more damage.
    • Lightning paralyzes the Abductor for a short duration.
    • Will'O causes an Abductor part to explode and take massive damage when applied enough.
  • Story-to-Gameplay Ratio: While there is a story and it makes up a third of the time you spend in the main scenario, it easily walks into Excuse Plot later on, and by the end of the main scenario, they don't even bother resolving what plot there is.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: The Will'O element, which causes overcharging in Abductors, which causes explosions that deal bonus damage.
  • Super Prototype: Red Rage is one of the three Abductor prototypes from which the generic Abductors were based on. In addition to everything the average All-Purpose Biped Abductor can do, it can also regrow its limbs if broken off to continue using arm-based attacks against you, and has magnitudes more health than other Abductors.
  • Sword Beam: Abel's got them.
  • Sword of Plot Advancement: Exodus, a legendary Polearm that draws its strength from the user's emotion. Also crosses with Deus ex Machina, since it's given to you while you're inside the Casket in a subconscious state to solve a plot crisis that started literally five minutes prior. Afterwards, it loses its Cutscene Power to the Max and just becomes a regular polearm (albeit one with a very desirable module on it).
  • Spam Attack: The Aftershadow can do this as its Heavy Charged Attack.
  • Theme Naming: All On High abductors and the Final Boss are named after carnivorous plants. Pinguicula ramosa, Drosera paradoxa, Dionaea muscipula and Triphyophyllum peltatum.
    • Bilingual Bonus: P. ramosa's Japanese vernacular name is "Koushinsou", from which one gets Ramosa's Japanese name, "Koushin". Doubles as a pun meaning "Tiger God" for good measure.
  • The Syndicate: The Fraternity is played up as one comprised of Sinners, though very little is revealed about them or what they do, and the only hint you're given about their alignment is being warned to "stay away" from them. However, they happen to run a very useful shop at the Level 6 Cell Garden 2, which sells materials you would otherwise need to acquire on the field, and a critical Module Removal service.
  • The Stinger: A special cutscene only viewable through the Audiovisual Library after beating the game reveals how everything started: Cesare, Beatrice's father, used himself to power a Casket so he could reach Simeon and wish for the Great Transformation.
  • Throwing Your Polearm Always Works: The Light Charged Attack for Polearms allows you to throw them at enemies like a javelin.
  • This Is a Drill: The Gration and Hyuga polearm lines are basically lances with drill heads. Despite their clunky moveset, both lances offer excellent damage against specific Abductor parts, such as legs, arms, and pods.
  • Timed Mission: Every Operation has a time limit that you need to complete it under, the most common limit being a lengthy 45 minutes. Don't think for a second that they're being really generous.
  • Too Long; Didn't Dub: Zigzagged. While all instances of "Ibara Hookshot" and "Ibara Gauge" have been renamed to "Thorn Whip" and "Thorn Gauge" in all named references, your HUD still says "Ibara" next to the Ibara/Thorn Gauge.
    • Played straight with Percy Propa's announcements while walking around the panopticon, any in-battle dialogue from characters, and your Accessory's comment upon loading the title screen.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: After the Player Character gives Sylvia a cone of ice cream, she takes an instant liking to them. Seconds later, she's holding four different flavors of ice cream, and has another tray of cones at the ready to consume. That is, until Beatrice shows up.
  • Treacherous Advisor: Gene. However, he only begins to show up at the start of the mini-arc where he gets caught, and there is absolutely no indication that he was doing anything behind anyone's back besides vague suspicions towards the engineering department he heads, so his betrayal is completely out of nowhere.
  • Trick Boss: Abel and Red Rage. They're nothing compared to Peltatum.
  • Turns Red: All Abductors can do this after they wake up from a Gauge Break/Pod Break or someone rescues a Citizen they were holding hostage. It's possible to get them to calm down in the former situation if you don't aggro them for some time, but in the latter, absolutely nothing will stop them from trying to get their hostage back.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: Mandatory Cell Garden trips, which are stealth missions. The guards' ability to detect you is about as good as a straight line from their face, however.
    • Subsequent voluntary trips to the Cell Garden are timed platforming sections that require you to gather resources within a 2 to 5 minute time frame.
  • Unexplained Recovery: Right after you get the Exodus and leave Limbo, you somehow get up in time to save Beatrice from Sylvia's finishing blow, completely omitting the fact that you were knifed in the back five minutes ago.
  • Unusable Enemy Equipment: Averted. Hostile Sinners who die may leave their weapon behind, allowing you to snatch it and use it as a temporary third weapon.
    • Some of your allies on the other hand, use equipment that is impossible for you to acquire. Notably Uwe and Elfriede's fist weapons and Beatrice's pistol.
  • Unusual Euphemism: The Future Slang "shaz" is used in place of, well, you know. Though every other swear word in the game has no future counterpart, strangely enough.
  • Video Game Flamethrowers Suck: Averted. While having the second-shortest range of all autocannons (the first being the Dragonfang), the Aldering flamethrower is an excellent anti-Sinner weapon, capable of keeping human targets in stunlock as you roast them crispy.
  • Virtual Paper Doll: You're free to change your outfits and accessories at will from your cell. Halfway through the game, your Accessory gets in on the action as well.
  • Wardens Are Evil: Averted. Natalia, head of the Office of Peace and Stability and the sinners' warden for all intents and purposes, isn't evil. She's just a hardass.
  • Wave Motion Gun: Dionaea-class Abductors can fire one from their head using their horns. If you see it charging and don't have Full of Life, run.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Abel can be stunlocked by the flamethrower Adelring. Have fun!
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Abel wants to end the endless war between Panopticons by uniting all of humanity under a single banner. Only problem is, he plans to do this by turning Earth into a living Hell and forcing everyone to work together just to avoid extinction.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Percy Propa and the Committee of Safety do this to you after you lose your memory at the beginning of the game, complaining that you lost a valuable resource.
  • What the Hell, Player?: If you are killed and revived by your Accessory an excessive amount of times without respawning, it will start reprimanding you.
    Accessory: Revival successful. Please minimize wasteful expenditure of life.
  • Whip It Good: The Thorn Whip, which functions like a grappling hook, useful for zipping across the battlefield and dragging hulking Abductors to their knees.
  • Win Your Freedom: Sinners can take years off their sentence through missions carried out in the service of their Panopticon.
  • Worthless Yellow Rocks: You'll occasionally come across Diamond-Like Carbon, a Material that is considered quite useless as it's from the pre-Panopticon era. Subverted in gameplay, as they can be used to craft weapons.
  • Year Inside, Hour Outside: Time passes much more slowly in the Casket than in the world outside of it. From the time the player enters to when they return, it's only been a few minutes outside of the Casket.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Elfriede's hair is a very light shade of blue. You can make your Sinner and Accessory's hair blue, too, as well as several other colors. Even two-toned!
  • You Have Researched Breathing: An interesting take occurs with your Entitlements. From the start of the game, you aren't even allowed to perform the simplest of actions without incurring a penalty, such as sleeping lying down or taking more than three steps in your room. To perform these actions without violation, you are required to purchase them with Entitlement Points earned from Operations.
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