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Video Game / Gagharv Trilogy

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"Long forgotten...are the days before the land was cloven by Gagharv...
When the three worlds existed as one...
The crack in the earth is the scar of our sins...
How long have we been living in guilt?"

A trilogy of turn-based RPGs created by Falcom that is part of the larger The Legend of Heroes series (itself a Spin-Off of the Dragon Slayer series). The Gagharv Trilogy is a sub-series composed by the third, fourth and fifth Legend of Heroes games, which shares the same continuity.

The trilogy discarded the Dragon Slayer brand its predecessors have. The games were later remade for the Playstation Portable and given a North American release by Bandai.

  • The Legend of Heroes II: Prophecy of the Moonlight Witch - (1994)note 
  • The Legend of Heroes: A Tear of Vermillion - (1996)note 
    • Platforms: PC-98, PlayStation, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation Portable
  • The Legend of Heroes III: Song of the Ocean - (1999)note 
    • Platforms: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation Portable

The games are rather infamous for its Bad Export for You, which very nearly killed the chances of localization for The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky, and by extension, the Trails Series as a whole. Even then, they influenced a lot of plot points in Trails.

In 2023, the Geofront, the group that created the translations that were used as the basis for the official localizations of The Legend of Heroes: Trails from Zero and Trails to Azure announced plans to provide a Fan Translation for Prophecy of the Moonlight Witch, under the title The White Witch.

These games provide examples of:

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    General Tropes 
  • Adults Are Useless: Averted. In fact, the trilogy established a tradition of the Legend of Heroes series that adults are never useless; and each game features a Cool Old Guy as a final party member.
  • Advanced Ancient Acropolis: The Blue Tribe, who created advanced teleporting devices and ruled the land with their magic powers.
  • All There in the Manual:
    • The trilogy's Memorial Book all but confirmed that Avin and Rutice had been married for years and had children by the time of Ocean. Rouca's profile even mentioned that he and Avin are "brothers in law."
    • PSP version's History entries add flavour to the trilogy's world-building, by noting on significant historical events in the games' respective region.
  • Anachronic Order: The trilogy's first game (Prophecy of the Moonlight Witch) is set in the Distant Finale. The other two games serve as its prequels.
  • Back for the Finale: Another of series' traditions is that every single playable character the party have met will be back for helping the final party members in some way.
    • Averted for Filly in the non-PSP versions of Moonlight.
    • Downplayed in Ocean, as everyone (except Altos, Shao and Rachel) is already together just before the final two chapters.
  • Backtracking: There is no warp or teleport item/spell, so the characters have to backtrack pretty much every dungeon on foot. Song of the ocean occasionally subverts this, however.
  • Badass Adorable: Jurio, Chris, Shannon (implied), Rael, Forte, Una, Aida.
  • Bit Character: Many NPCs you can talk to change their dialogue as the game progresses.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: Outside Japan, this trilogy is infamous for Namco's less-than-stellar translation of the PSP remakes. Fandom has it where if you have to ask how bad is the translation, they mention this line from IV: "I didn't have eaten a unusual today."
  • Gotta Catch 'Em All: The trilogy established the books-collecting hidden sidequests which later is going to be rather crucial in the successing series.
    • The PSP remakes added History entries, which can be filled by going through the story and talking to NPC at the right time.
    • In addition to that, the PSP remake of Song of the Ocean has Sonomemories, Orbs, and Tuning Fork-exclusive characters.
  • Equipment Spoiler: A common trope in those games. If the next town's weapon shop sells things that none of the main characters can equip (usually lances), expect a new party member.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: The Otherworldly Moon, a giant mass of accumulated Harmful Frequencies that threatens to destroy the world. Its existence is what driven most of the antagonist's actions.
  • Guest-Star Party Member: In general, the parties gets well-shuffled over the course of the games, and the number of characters who leave are enough to fill at least two parties. For example, in Moonlight Witch, the final party members are Jurio, Chris, Stella and Durzel. Everyone else note  is temporary.
  • Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: The male leads (Jurio, Avin and Forte) always use swords, while their female pairs (Chris, Rutice, Una) use magic staffs, throwing knives or bows.
  • Inexplicable Treasure Chests:
    • Moonlight Witch averts this trope most of the time, as treasure chests are rare. Jurio even lampshades this when he find a chest for the first time.
    • Tear of Vermillion and Song of the Ocean plays this trope straight, as there are lots of treasure chests to open.
  • Interface Spoiler: The PSP remakes have world maps that displays every place you'll have to visit, and a timeline that also shows a percentage of how close you are to beating the game.
  • King Incognito: Each game has a person of noble birth disguised as a commoner as a party member. The are: Alf/King Alfred from Moonlight Witch, Muse from A Tear of Vermilion and Palman/Ektor from Song of the Ocean.
  • Limit Break: In PSP version, everyone has one of these and they can be used once their Special gauge is full. The protagonists are usually the ones who have more than one Special Technique, though Aida already has two by the time she joins the party and she even upgrades her second Special Technique with completely different animations.
  • Lost in Translation: Courtesy of the "Blind Idiot" Translation. In Prophecy of the Moonlight Witch, Chris and Jurio meet a man named Folt who plays the organ for them before they view the magic mirror. In Song of the Ocean, his name is spelled "Forte".
  • Mythology Gag: Every game features a small quest where the party has to find a girl's missing teddy bear, named Bang Bang, who fell in the water.
  • Old Save Bonus:
    • Using save data from the previous games unlock move information in the "History" session of the newer one.
    • Song of the ocean also has a Bonus Dungeon where you can play as characters from the previous games and replay certain battles.
  • Recurring Character:
    • Michel Lap Heaven is the only character to appear in every game.
    • Captain Thomas appears in the second and third games, but a book about him can be found in Moonlight Witch.
  • Running Gag: The "Pretty lady? Where? Where?" joke.
  • Spell My Name with an S: Falcom has used both "Julio" and "Jurio" for the protagonist of Moonlight in promotional materials. "Michel" is also called "Mitchell" in Ocean.
    • Is Vermillion's Badass Teacher Elenoa (original Bandai translation), Ellenoa (Falcom's romanization), or Eleanor (Ocean's translation)?
  • Summon Magic: Spirit Magic.
  • Sword of Plot Advancement: The Esperanzer, which is also the Infinity +1 Sword of every game.
  • Took a Level in Badass:
    • Michel was just an NPC in Moonlight. In Vermillion he took on several of Octum's Apostles by himself, and won. In Ocean, however, he is almost omnipotent.
    • Thomas is a strange example, mostly due to the anachronic nature of the games. In Moonlight, he only knows some basic spells, although it's justified by his age. In Vermillion, he is downgraded to a mere NPC, which is also justified by the timeline. By the time of Ocean, he takes a major level of badassery, to the point of becoming one of the final party members.
  • Theme Naming: Colors, at least for the Japanese titles... except Ocean. Unless "Ocean" refers to ocean blue.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Most of the Big Bads have noble goals despite their extreme methods.
    • Revas and Queen Isabelle from Profecy of the Moonlight Witch were trying to prevent the Wave of Raual/Otherwordly Moon from destroying their world... by summoning it into Tirasweel's world to destroy it instead.
    • Bellias from A Tear of Vermilion wants to use Octum's power to recreate the world into a paradise before it can be destroyed by the Wave of Raual that he saw in his vision at Truth Island.
    • Not unlike Revas and Isabelle, Prince Duorl from Song of the ocean tried to save his world by sacrificing theirs. His adviser, Stigma subverts this and is a Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist who wanted to destroy the Another World as revenge against the Revas family, and planned to Take Over the World.

    Prophecy of the Moonlight Witch 
  • Bare-Fisted Monk: Badatt, who is against the use of weapons.
  • Broken Bridge: The bridge leading to the Deane Shrine is broken. This forces Jurio and Chris to use an underground cave to reach the other side.
  • Cutscene Boss: Despite powering up, both Woolght and Kandata are defeated by the party in a custcene.
  • Disk One Nuke: Jurio's Spirit Magic. He learns his first Spirit Magic after visiting Deane's Shrine in the Prologue, and it is powerful enough to instantly win battles when used, at the cost of 20 MP.
  • Evil Duo: Goose and Shirla, a pair of unsuccessful thieves that crosses paths with the party several times. Goose is more laid-back and flirtatious, while Shirla is stoic and more professional.
  • Inevitable Tournament: In Baraka, Jurio is arrested by guards and forced to participate in the coliseum battles.
  • The Lost Woods: The Forest of Deception.
  • The Maze: The final dungeon is a giant underground labyrinth. The party even finds a hopeless soldier lost midway.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Any time Goose and Shirla attempts to do something bad, their plan backfires and them end up helping Jurio and co. instead.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Gueld's pilgrimage twenty years before Moonlight begins is often considered as this, even in-universe.
  • Sea Monster: Galga is creature bigger than a whale. It's usually tame, but it became very aggressive after being corrupted by Kajim's magic.
  • Supporting Protagonist: While Jurio and Chris' pilgrimage is important, the main focus of the story is the titular Moonlight Witch Gueld and her pilgrimage twenty years ago.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Mr. Heston, a thief Jurio and co. met at Hawk Talon, is never seen again after his robbery attempt is fooled.
  • Your Soul Is Mine!: Revas' Doomsday Device is fueled by the stolen souls of the Roudo soldiers. Their soulless bodies become mindless killing machines for him to command.

    A Tear of Vermillion 
  • Abhorrent Admirer: Shannon is one to Mile, which is why he avoids her as much as he can. However, he later admits that she is kinda cute.
  • Adaptational Heroism: In the original version, Madram was a Spree Killer who went around killed innocents as sacrifices to revive his dead sister; in the remake, he is only targets Avarice and the Octum Apostoles.
  • Adaptation-Induced Plot Hole: In the PSP remake, when the party meets the silver-haired hooded sorcerer for the first time, Rutice acknowledges him as being Bellias' high-hand man. Except that she shouldn't know him because the sorcerer's true identity is Mile, who was corrupted by Bellias after Rutice defected to Avin's side.
  • Back from the Dead: Zig-Zagged with Mile in the PSP remake. He is supposedly killed by Bellias halfway trough the game, but Came Back Wrong and is being controlled by Bellias. However, after beating the Octum, Mile reveals that he was Dead All Along, but Avin still manages to revive him for good in the end.
  • Darker and Edgier: The darkest game of the trilogy. Moreso in the original PC-98 version, in which Madram was a Well-Intentioned Extremist who went around killing people as sacrifices to revive Dominique, Mile and Eimelle were permanently killed off in the middle of the game, and Bardus goes berserk after Octum is defeated, which prompted Avin to kill him too. It also helps that Avin is three years older than Jurio and Forte, which allows more mature insight of the game's story.
  • Free Wheel: When Avin's monster cart crashes offscreen on the way to Valkd a single cart wheel rolls into the picture.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: Bellias became an Octum's Apostle after witnessing the Wave of Raual during his trip to Truth Island.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Rutice turns on the Octum Apostles and defects to Avin's side.
  • Honor Before Reason: Douglas refuses to use the Thunder Sword given to him by his master when it is returned to him, due to his negligence being the reason he lost it in the first place. The sword has very high stats. He temporarily forgoes this vow when he has to save Avin and the gang before they face Bellias.
  • Lighter and Softer: The Windows remake of Vermillion, which is now considered the canon version, changed the story to be more positive than the PC-98 release. Specifically, Mile Came Back Wrong AND Strong instead of being permanently killed off, Eimelle was unconscious and had reasons to be kidnapped by Octum Apostles instead of sharing Mile's original fate, and Madram's Senseless Sacrifice was changed into a more heroic one.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Douglas. Avin even lampshades this before facing him in battle.
  • Meaningful Name: Great Oracle Avarice, a greedy, corrupt and Obviously Evil member of the Bardus Church.
  • My Sister Is Off-Limits: Avin is REALLY against Eimelle dating or marrying anyone. Eimelle also gives Avin stares when he says he will protect a female NPC if she gets in trouble. Subverted in the ending, where Eimelle even had to encourage her brother to talk with Rutice for one last time before she set off to a journey of redemption.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Shannon was able to travel between towns and cross islands full of road-blocking monsters just to chase her crush Mile. One has to wonder if she simply avoided the monsters or beat them into pulps.
  • Time Skip: There is a 8-years time-skip in the beginning of the game.
  • Tragic Keepsake: The bell that Avin receives after Mile dies. When Mile is brainwashed after being brought back to life, Avin uses the bell to bring him back to his senses.

    Song of the Ocean 
  • Awesome, but Temporary: Palman's second skill, Dance, raises his and nearly allies Limit Break gauge by 60%. Unsurprising, he isn't on the team very often and is one of the last characters unlocked in the Tuning Fork.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Emperor Rauzen and the Numeros Empire planned to conquer Weltluna with an army of wood soldiers and the power of the Dark Sun. Upon experimenting with the latter, they learn the hard way that Evil Is Not a Toy.
  • Canine Companion: Jan, who can fight alongside the humans and use healing magic.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Una has romantic feelings for Forte, but her attempts to confess are always interrupted by others.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: The first hours are very light-hearted, as the main trio go around searching for the Resonance Stones while performing songs to entertain people. However, it becomes more serious during the Kavaro story arc, as the Numeros Empire and their Wood Soldiers start become major threats.
  • Foreshadowing: Altos and Aria, two unrelated characters, are found in the same house in the Tuning Fork level. In the ending, it's revealed that they are bother and sister, and members of the Water tribe.
  • Fragile Speedster: Jan, the Canine Companion, is the fastest party member and can use healing spells without a Resonance Stone, but he is also fragile due to not being able to use most equipment.
  • Guide Dang It!: The game doesn't tells you that you can equip Resonance Stones by pressing the right button at the equip screen.
  • Hidden Remote Village: Shulf, where the remnants of the Blue Tribe lives.
  • Magic Map: McBain's Fantasy World Map also works as a radar to display the current localization of the nearby Resonance Stones.
  • Marionette Master: Aida and her father.
  • Obviously Evil: Necross, the spook sorcerer with undead-like glowing eyes and and a maniac Evillaugh to match.
  • Plot Coupons: Leone's Resonance Stones. McBain wishes to collect them all to perform the "Water Melody".
  • Powers as Programs: Forte, Una and McBain have to equip Resonance Stones to use magic.
  • Supporting Protagonist: While the story is seen from Forte's point of view, Macbain is both more relevant to the plot and the one who set out on a journey in the first place. It comes in play in the last two chapters of the game, in which Macbain encouraged Forte to take up his mantle and become the main character from then on.