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Video Game / HarmoKnight

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HarmoKnight, known as Rhythm Hunter: HarmoKnight in Japan, is a Rhythm/Platformer created by Game Freak and their first non-Pokémon game since Drill Dozer. The story follows a warrior-in-training named Tempo as he adventures through the musical realm of Melodia.

A meteor has crash landed on Melodia, causing its creatures to go berserk. Along with it, aliens called Noizoids begin to arrive, wreaking havoc on the planet. Led by their leader Gargan, the Noizoids take over various parts of Melodia, spreading their noise wherever they go.

Tempo, having found a magical staff in the belly of a beast, must bring it to Symphony City to give to a HarmoKnight who could put an end to Gargan and his crones. Along the way he meets Lyra, a sharpshooting archer, and Tyko and Cymbi, who use drums and cymbals to take down their foes. Together, they reach Symphony City, only to find out that Gargan had captured its princess, Ariana, putting everyone within the city into a deep slumber afterwards. With no one else to stop him, it's up to Tempo and his friends to find Gargan and defeat him themselves.

This game shows the following tropes:

  • Angry Guard Dog: Growlord, the first boss of the game.
  • Archer Archetype: Lyra.
  • Aside Glance: All three playable characters do this a lot by flashing a smile at the player either midway through or at the end of a level.
  • Auto-Scrolling Level: The entire game uses this. Tempo runs along automatically with the screen-edge at his back.
  • Bee-Bee Gun: Buzzooka, who shoots bee missiles from his abdomen.
  • Badass Adorable: Tempo, and the other playable characters to a lesser extent
  • Band Land: Melodia is a band planet.
  • Bee Afraid: Buzzooka, who is the second boss in the game.
  • Big Bad: Gargan, the leader of the Noizoids who intends to take over Melodia.
  • Big Damn Heroes: During the final battle with Gargan, Tempo leaps into the air in an attempt to attack him and nearly falls into the lava... until he's rescued by the same cantabill he met earlier in the level who becomes a steed for Tempo to ride.
  • Bilingual Dialogue: The English narration at the beginning of the story is this for most versions.
  • Bonus Stage: Pokémon-themed bonus stages can be unlocked after beating a world's boss. There's also a bonus world that can be reached if the player collects all five birds in the game.
  • Book Ends: The world map theme from Woodwin Village is the same one used for the theme for Sky Roost.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall:
    • Master Woodwin in the demo says that certain parts of the game won't be revealed until purchasing the full version. Understandably, Tappy and Tempo are confused.
    • At the end of Sky Roost, Master Woodwin tells the player to make sure they've gotten 100% Completion in the game before moving on to another one.
  • Brick Joke: At the beginning of the Discordred boss battle, one of the Poinks that attack Tempo get flung into the air. It falls back down into the water at the end of the battle.
  • Bring It: Gargan does this in the final battle.
  • Brutal Bonus Level: In the aptly named "Final Trial" stage, the player has to run through a Lethal Lava Land with narrow platforms and rings of fire, populated by swarms of enemies that appear at very short notice, all while at an awkward camera position.
  • Charged Attack: Tempo can do this with his staff to gain an extra note when he hits an enemy or Percussiplant.
  • Checkpoint Starvation: It saves when you complete stages, but there's no means of saving within stages themselves, so if you get killed just meters from the finish post, you have to go back and start over. Given that the game already has Tappy standing with a sign in parts of the game, it wouldn't have been hard to use those for a checkpoint if they'd been implemented.
  • Cutscene: Usually character chatter, but they do occur prior to boss battles as well.
  • Disconnected Side Area: A certain level in Sleighbell Slopes can not be accessed until the Royal Note from Gargan's stage has been obtained.
  • Do Well, But Not Perfect: Most levels don't require a perfect run to get the highest rank of "Great". The only ones that do require perfect performance are the boss levels.
  • Event-Obscuring Camera: invoked The player's vision will occasionally be obscured by blizzards, smoke, foreground objects, and camera angle changes. Particularly egregious in some levels with jump drums.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: After Tempo reflects Gargan's final attack, the Noizoid leader is sent flying into the volcano with the meteor on it. The volcano erupts, sending both the meteor and Gargan into space. The last shot of Gargan we see is his horribly burned body as he flies back up. And this is supposed to be a kids game again?
  • Glass Cannon: The Noizoid bosses all appear to be this. While their projectile attacks are powerful, the moment Tempo actually reflects one back at them, they get knocked away to their deaths in one hit, even Gargan. Even Growlord, who never gets hit with his own attacks, is defeated after Tempo directly smacks him only thrice.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: In order to advance through the plot, Tempo has to collect enough Royal Notes to destroy parts of the Noizoid meteor in his way.
  • Heroic Mime: Almost everyone in the game but Tempo speaks.
  • Hitbox Dissonance: If you don't hit things at just the right timing, your hits don't gain you a note, or in some cases don't even register, frustratingly. (This can also apply to jump drums, of all things.)
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Pretty much every boss battle in the game. Zig zagged in at least one battle where the reflected attacks create more obstacles for Tempo to avoid.
  • Instrument of Murder: Lyra's trusty bow also doubles as a harp.
    • Tyko and Cymbi also qualify, with Tyko using his drumsticks as clubs and Cymbi squashing foes with his cymbals.
  • Interface Screw: Occasionally the screen will be obscured by the environment, such a snowstorm in the ice world, smoke in the volcano world. In addition, the camera angle changes sporadically in a lot of the later stages.
  • It's All Upstairs From Here: The "Scaling the Tower" level at Baroque Volcano.
  • Jet Pack: Gargan uses jet boots to fly.
  • Kaizo Trap: Final Trial seems to end after you land the last jump onto solid ground. You are then met with a fire column out of nowhere a split second afterward. It is the only hazard in ANY level that appears after the level music has ended.
  • Knight of Cerebus: The story gets more serious when Gargan appears. Particularly when its revealed he plans to turn Princess Ariana into a Noizoid.
  • Ledge Bats: During Baroque Volcano and the Final Trial. Have fun trying to jump and hit at the same time.
  • Ominous Pipe Organ: The seventh and final world, Baroque Volcano, is a mix of this trope and Lethal Lava Land. The levels look like your standard lava level, but organ pipes are partially submerged in the lava and the Mini-Boss comes out of a giant organ (and is knocked back into it after the rematch). Additionally, the map screen's Variable Mix and the Mini-Boss theme use pipe organ as their main instrument.
  • Punny Name: Almost every character and enemy's name is a pun on a musical term or instrument.
  • Purple Is the New Black: Gargan's body is colored purple and black.
  • Platform Hell: Sky Roost's levels fit this to varying degrees with Clockwork Trial being on par with Final Trial for brutal level design.
  • Recurring Riff: The riff from the map screen shows up at least once in almost every song in the game, including its startup jingle on the 3DS home menu.