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Following the series' first foray into the mobile scene with Phantasy Star Online 2es, as a tie-in to Phantasy Star Online 2, SEGA decided it was high time to go whole hog and dive in headfirst with a fully-fledged Phantasy Star mobile game. And what better way to celebrate the series 30th anniversary than by Revisiting the Roots?

Unlike many of its predecessors, IDOLA: Phantasy Star Saga is a Free-to-Play mobile game in the Phantasy Star series developed by Appci and published by SEGA. It was released in Japan on November 27th, 2018, with Chinese and English versions released by Taiwanese publisher Boltrend Games. Contrary to the trend set by Phantasy Star Online, IDOLA prominently features a return to classic turn-based RPG gameplay as opposed to an Action RPG, and is thematically reminiscent of the original games in the franchise.

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The world of Vandor is a faraway, magical land populated by six races: the Humans, Elves, Gnomes, Demonics, Machina, and Lycans. According to mythology, Vandor was assaulted one millennia ago by an Eldritch Abomination known as "Dark Falz", which was defeated with the aid of the mysterious "Starlord" who descended from the heavens and departed just as suddenly.

Now in the present day, there are two major powers in conflict across Vandor: "Law", the ruling caste who use the Runes passed down from the Starlord and heartlessly impose their order upon the populace; and "Chaos", who empower their bodies with the taboo magic of Crests and seek lives of reckless freedom. In addition, a handful of people possess a mysterious ability to transform into monstrous titans known as "Idola", which are all based on a major constellation (with the most powerful being the "Zodiates" of the Western Zodiac).

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List of Episodes

  • EPISODE 1: Released on November 27th, 2018. When a young sailor named Ulysses (aka "Uly") is caught up in the attack of a berserk Idola, he is recruited into the Aries Knights: an neutral organisation of travelling heroes who employ parties of both Law and Chaos to protect the innocent against any Idola which loses control and rampages. With the help of Stella, the newly-appointed leader of the Aries Knights, Uly sets out on a world-spanning adventure that will decide the future of Law, Chaos, and Vandor itself.
  • EPISODE 2: Released on May 21st, 2020. The newfound peace of the Kingdom of Leonis is shattered when it is suddenly attacked by the Duchy of Canceed: a country from the north with the technology to mass-produce Idola. Canceed launches an aggressive campaign to resurrect a Dark Falz of their own by kidnapping and brainwashing Zodiates across Leonis. The Aries Knights set out to save Vandor from the misuse of Idola once again, accompanied by a mysterious "Warrior" who suddenly arrives from the stars, and a defector from Canceed named Giselle.


The game has an official YouTube channel, starring the game's very own Virtual YouTuber, Poponanote , who hosts "IDOLA Channel", a video uploaded every two weeks at 11AM JST Monday and presents information on upcoming character releases and events in the game. On October 25th, 2021, the 116th episode of "IDOLA Channel" was uploaded, and is stated to be the final episode of "IDOLA Channel". Popona would later go on to promote Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis.

There is also a comedy web manga known as Yuru Idola, initially created to promote the game before spinning off into a second season called Yuru Idola R. The final installment of R was posted on October 26th, 2021.

The Japanese version of the game officially went out of service on January 13th, 2022, soon after the game's 3rd Anniversary Event. The final update added the last two units to the game: Victoria, and Farley (Assassin). Microtransaction services were halted on October 31st, 2021; the IDOLA Points service ended in December 2021; and the IDOLA Points Shop in Phantasy Star Online 2 ended service on January 13th. The game's main story cutscenes (as well as Bond Story scenes) are available to view through the game's YouTube channel following its end-of-service.


IDOLA provides examples of:

  • A-Cup Angst: In Yuru Idola, Stella's insecurity about her bust size is massively played up, practically to the point of Flanderization. It's enough of a Running Gag that it manges to work its way into nearly every comic that Stella appears in.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Each character has a small series of extra story chapters that focus on them, often exploring their past, motivations and/or relationships, similar to the Weaponoid chapters from Phantasy Star Online 2es. One needs to actually have the character as well as increase their Bond level to unlock more of their story and have reached a point in the canon story where the heroes have already met and befriended the character. It's necessary to completely view a character's story for their motivations to resolve and allow them to choose their final alignment through Fate Divergence.
  • Aborted Arc: The end of service announcement essentially left virtually every EPISODE 2 plot thread stone-cold dead as the plot quickly accelerates to a finale in the last three chapters with very little meaningful information explained or justified.
  • Achievement System: Completing certain in-game tasks awards you with Titles that can be claimed from the Titles menu. All Titles also give out a free prize for claiming them, making them a good source of extra materials, items, Star Diamonds, and more.
  • Action Initiative:
    • Certain Skills have the effect "Fastest Priority", which causes them to always go first at the start of the turn. Unlike normal Skills, there's a priority tier for priority: Healing (green skills) goes first, followed by Support (blue skills), Debuff (purple skills), then Attack (red skills). Conversely, there are skills with "Slowest Priority" that always go last.
    • Starting in EPISODE 2, the "Super Fastest" priority tier was introduced, which is even faster than "Fastest". Originally they did not follow internal priority tiering, but an update changed it so they now follow the same rules as Fastest Priority.
    • A few characters have the ability to inflict "Fastest Seal", a debuff that removes the priority effects from Fastest (but not Super Fastest) skills.
  • Aerith and Bob: The majority of the cast have reasonable normal-sounding names, like Stella, Jasper, Roxanne, Clemence, Shannon, Siegmund, Erwin, and Gerda... then you have names like Matoi, Meldor, Lillimo, Ulysses, and Flammy.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Jasper's crew prefers to refer to him as "Boss".
  • All There in the Manual: An official stream revealed that characters who identify as "Rovers" are marked with a transparent stylized "R" at the bottom left of their character card. "Rovers" are defined as characters whose Idola have had their elements changed from their original element in the Western Zodiac (such as Stella, who has a Water Aries), and are mentioned in the game's theme song.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: Canceed's hostile takeover of Leoria ends in them turning the city into their new base of operations.
  • All Your Powers Combined:
    • Player-created Idola are basically what happens when you cross a Kaiju with the power-combining functions of a Megazord.
    • The method that Canceed created to unseal Dark Falz Cave involves four mechanical arms, one for each of the four elements, rooted in the earth that have the ability to blast off into space when a Zodiate passenger of the corresponding element boards it and feeds it life energy to use as fuel. The Arms link up with a spaceship orbiting the planet called the Avalon, which, when all four Arms are linked, summons Dark Falz Cave.
  • Alternate Continuity: Averted unlike other games in the series, as IDOLA is strongly implied to take place in a distant future version of the PSO2 continuity.
  • Aluminum Christmas Trees: A Soul Symbol released in November 2019 called "Popona's Thanksgiving" features some Thanksgiving-themed artwork like traditional Fall season colors and a turkey, bewildering some international players who are accustomed to Thanksgiving being an American holiday. This is a reference to an actual Japanese holiday called "Labor Thanksgiving Day" that is celebrated on November 23rd and is basically the Japanese equivalent to American Thanksgiving despite having a different connotation and history.
  • Always Accurate Attack: Elemental Blasts can never miss, even if the user is Dizzy and/or the target has Evasion buffs.
  • Amusing Injuries:
    • Lillimo's first Skill Craft Bomb (and its Law upgraded variant Artistic Bomb) has him walking up to the target and rolling a grenade towards them. There is an 80% chance that Lillimo will just stand there as the grenade detonates in his face, causing him to take 10% of his max HP in damage as he gets blasted back to the party formation while shouting "Liiiiiii!".
    • Lillimo's Elemental Blast, Go Go Lillipa (and its Neutral upgraded counterpart Let's Go Lillipa) also involves Lillimo building a tank that promptly self-destructs, blasting him toward the enemy party to inflict damage.
  • And Then John Was a Zombie: Benevolent and non-permanent example in one of the most interesting features of the game, which is the ability of the heroes to manifest an Idola they directly control from a starry space within the creature. The Idola Battle feature lets you assemble an Idola from your various units, which is then given to AI control and sent off to fight as many people as it can before it either is put down or a timer runs out. However, in story mode there are certain chapters (typically near the end of a story chapter) that allow you to actually play as an Idola, with its full suite of incredible powers, typically against a hostile Idola.
  • Anime Theme Song: "Endeavor", performed by Shaylee and Florence McNair. It has a similar feel to the Omega-styled music found in Phantasy Star Online 2.
  • Another Side, Another Story: A December 2019 event quest follows the escapades of Popona, who was with the Aries Knights for the entire story prior to her official debut in Chapter 12 but was never actually onscreen.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • Spending Star Diamonds on the Gacha will award you with a currency called Scout Medals. Scout Medals can be spent on various items, including several types of Gacha Tickets, allowing you to get free extra pulls or guaranteed rarity characters even if you spend Diamonds but don't get what you want.
    • While the game employs No Bulk Discounts, most banners give you a free prize for a batch pull. For Symbol Gachas, the free prize is typically a Symbol Fragment of the Symbol featured on the banner, referred to by fans as "pity fragments". Two Fragments can be combined into a Level 1 Symbol, meaning that just pulling 10x twice means you'll get a pity Symbol guaranteed.
    • Story Quest costs 0 Stamina to play, allowing you to run through the entire mode in one go or at your leisure.
    • There is a Retry button for certain Quests that lets you replay the Quest with the same team and Assist. This streamlines the process of farming and level grinding, as it lets you skip all the menus in-between. This was later upgraded with a function called "Auto-Quest", which allows you to let the game play itself until you run out of Stamina. Auto-Quest was later replaced by a function called "Bulk Quest", which uses the same mechanic as Descent Quest tickets by allowing you to play a Quest once and get rewards as if you had played it up to 10 times.
    • Arena has a function that lets you "stack" up to six plays, useful for players who don't have the time or patience to play six Arena fights. Stacking plays multiplies all relevant rewards accordingly, including Arena Coin payouts, enemies defeated, and rounds played, but for the purposes of ranking only a single fight still counts as one round.
    • An update additionally added the Forfeit function in Arena, allowing you to cancel your winstreak without using up a play. Particularly useful if you got poor scores in either your first or second rounds.
    • The Attack on Titan update in May 2019 added Limited Dolls as an item. Limited Dolls can be used on units who have the Limited status to Limit Break them without requiring duplicate units, making it easier to max them out even if you didn't get the requisite four duplicate units for max Limit Break after their banner expires.
    • A later update added Platinum Dolls, which are like Limited Dolls but usable on any character. This helps compensate for the Destiny Bond mechanic added at roughly the same time, which rewards players for maxing the Limit Break of two different copies of the same character (thus requiring ten copies for max stats).
    • Unlike most games with a Character Focus story mechanic, IDOLA does not actually require you to own the character in question to play their Bond Quest. In fact, you can raise a character's Bond Gauge solely off Friend Assists, which give you a bit of Bond Points every time you run a Quest with them. However, you still need to own the character in the end to complete the final Bond Quest, as the final Bond Quest determines the character's Fate Divergence. The only characters exempt from this rule is the Attack on Titan characters, whose Bond Quests are inaccessible if you don't own the characters.
    • The fourth Bond Level requires a whopping 1000 points, which is extremely grindy without using certain Symbols or characters to speed up the process. EP2 removed the fourth Bond Level, meaning that you can now finish characters much earlier, and added a Bond Quest that allows you to grind for Bond Points very quickly compared to other content.
    • An update added the ability to reconnect from a force quit for Arena and Brigade Battle as it does in normal content. However, It Only Works Once is in effect to prevent players from Save Scumming.
    • A March 2021 update enabled the ability to consume up to 10 Descent Quest tickets per fight, drastically accelerating the pace of grinding Descent Medals.
    • You cannot desynthesize Unique Weapon Symbols into Fragments. This is typically a positive since they are explicitly designed to be all but impossible to fuse normally and you only ever get one copy of most. However, Descent Quest Uniques get a bit more complicated since it is possible to get dupes of them unlike other Uniques, and Scorpio Abyss's Unique Weapon Symbol has a much higher drop rate than the others, meaning dupes of it will wind up collecting dust in your inventory with no way to get rid of them.
    • The 2.10.0 update added a Mock Battle option to Brigade Battle, allowing you to fight your own Brigade's Defense teams (including your own) to test their function in combat.
  • Armor-Piercing Attack:
    • The Guren no Odachi weapon allows the user to ignore the enemy's DEF buff stacks when attacking. Potentially extremely lethal on the right characters.
    • Some of Lisa/Harriet's attacks allow her to ignore DEF buffs when dealing damage.
    • Increasingly common in EPISODE 2, with many characters (mainly Giselle and her variants) having the ability to either ignore Damage Resistance or DEF buffs with their attacks.
    • Cetus Eclipse starts out fairly normal, but once it gets its Charge Attack the fight gets much worse, as it gains a permanent, unremovable buff that allows all of its attacks to pierce Damage Resistance. This is in addition to the boss being able to repeatedly buff its damage and ATK as well as its Elemental Blast wiping your buffs. Bring adequate healing or burst it down fast, cause if you let the boss take control of the battle it will go downhill fast.
  • Artificial Stupidity:
    • The AI is notoriously stupid and predicable. Examples include never using heal skills or healing EBs unless someone is low on HP, always staying in if an offensive EB is charged and using said EB, using Law Reverse Rush if available in response to enemy EBs even if it isn't fully charged, and so forth. It's commonly said that part of Arena's challenge is fighting the AI.
    • Special mention goes to Shooters; the AI has absolutely no idea how to use their Charged Attacks. You could make a drinking game out of how many times the AI will activate the charge then immediately Reverse Rush on the next turn.
    • Gemini's AI only has two settings: "Destroy" and "Knucklehead". The former is That One Boss, upon which he buffs and uses Elemental Blast on Turn 2/Turn 3 to wipe your party. The latter is Gemini being stuck in a loop constantly buffing and refusing to use his Elemental Blast even when it's been charged for the past two turns.
    • In an Idola Battle, unless you tell the game to target a specific body part, your characters will typically target the part that gives a Weak Hit... until you down the Idola, in which case the game will always target the main body even if there are body parts still remaining. This is extremely disadvantageous against Theatri Remnant, as it has a barrier gimmick that drastically reduces all the damage its main body takes unless you kill off the body parts, and if you don't instruct your party to target the parts you will most likely end up hitting the main body and only deal Scratch Damage.
  • As Himself: Popona's VA is listed as "Popona", as revealing the VA name would spoil her Vtuber's identity.
  • Attack Its Weakpoint: Idola with any part still alive have a "break threshold" represented by a line drawn through the part's HP bar. If that part's HP is depleted past that line or the part is defeated, the Idola will collapse and expose a Core for one turn, which allows the player team to hammer the main body for massive damage.
  • Attack! Attack! Attack!: Due to the highly limited turn count in Brigade Battle, the main goal of a Brigade Attack team is to burst down the opponent's Defense team as quickly as possible. Conversely, the main goal of a Brigade Defense team is to stall out (or alternatively, overpower) the opponent's offense to prevent them from getting points.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Kibaki's Lynx Critical/Lynx Final EBs open with her getting distracted by a butterfly. After the butterfly leaves, she sulks back to the enemy party and deals a devastating blow.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Flammy [Fighting Administrator] has a very special Elemental Blast that gives her the ability to force her equipped Soul Symbol to activate on the following turn, ignoring any activation conditions or limitations. However, to make up for this the Elemental Blast is incredibly weak, and the fact of the matter is that the ability to spam cast your Soul Symbol doesn't mean much when there aren't really any Soul Symbols worth spam-casting for 5 Fire every turn.
  • Baby Talk: Unlike normal Stella, whose normal attack names are written in katakana, Stella [Memories] has her normal attacks written in hiragana to emulate this effect. Ditto with Giselle [Memories], who is also a child.
  • Back from the Dead: It's strongly implied that the Warrior, Mirabel, and Lindsey all died during the Elevator Failure accident, but the power of Giselle's Phoenix Idola combined with her immortality resurrected them.
  • Badass Adorable:
    • Most Gnomes. Small, cute, and can fight along the ranks of their human-sized companions.
    • Stella [Memories] is literally just a kid Stella, yet kicks even more ass than her normal teenage counterpart in gameplay terms.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: Jasper's style of choice if he Fate Diverges to Law.
  • Badass in Distress: Right after the climatic fight against Erwin in Chapter 14, Dark Falz ensnares Uly in a trap and takes him to another world through the Stargate, rendering him comatose and slowly sucking the life force out of him. Stella, Rosa, and Jasper ultimately come to his aid by opening a Stargate to follow Dark Falz.
  • Balance Buff:
    • The Mark debuff, originally considered completely useless due to being consumed when an Archer uses certain Skills, got an update in mid-2020 that increased its effect to 10% DEF reduction per stack and now prevents it from disappearing when an Archer uses a corresponding skill. Also qualifies as an Archer buff since many of the class's members rely heavily on Mark to be effective.
    • Charge Attack was also changed to be immune to support effect removal, which also affects any buffs that are active during the charge step. This incidentally makes Shannon EX crazy powerful as she has a 90% Evasion chance while her Charge Attack is active and if it successfully goes off she generates a massive amount of Element for the entire party.
    • Originally the Provoke debuff only affected single target attacks and had no effect on All Target attacks, making its usage incredibly limited, but it was buffed so it now completely nulls attacks against other party members if the Provoked enemy uses an All Target attack.
    • EP2 started handing out buffs to EP1 characters so they don't fall as far behind compared to recent releases. In addition to huge stat buffs that bring them in line with current stat spreads, they also tend to get minor kit adjustments, such as Stella's buff applying a stack of Support Protection.
  • Bait-and-Switch: When we are first introduced to Farley and Lindsey in Record 1, Lindsey is presented as a murderous psychopath who is hellbent on killing Giselle, while Farley is presented as a level-headed and reasonable soldier who wants to avoid unnecessary bloodshed. Late into EPISODE 2, it's revealed that Lindsey was Giselle's Childhood Friend and Giselle spends a good chunk of the story trying to make amends, ultimately pulling a Heroic Sacrifice that convinces Lindsey to pull a Heel–Face Turn. Meanwhile, Farley is revealed to be the actual murderous psychopath who killed all of Lindsey's friends and framed Giselle for it when she couldn't kill her.
  • Barrier Change Boss:
    • The Idola "Chameleos" has an ability where he attacks a unit with his tongue; his main body then becomes the Element corresponding to that unit's Element. This can make battling Chameleos slightly tricky as he can change things up at will.
    • Theatri has this ability. While normally an Earth Unit by default, his first Skill causes his Element to change to whatever Element the enemy is weak to after it's used.
  • Battle Aura: Rosalinde's second skill, Scarlet Strike, engulfs Rosalinde in a flame aura at the start of the turn. The more times she is attacked that turn before casting the skill, the stronger and more violent the aura becomes.
  • Beach Episode: The Summer 2019 event, which features the cast going to a private beach at Boozer's recommendation. In addition to a summer-themed story, the game features seasonal variants of Stella, Wyndis, and Flammy while other characters get summer-themed Soul Symbols.
  • Behemoth Battle: Usually happens in story mode whenever the heroes are faced with an enemy Idola, leading to them promptly summoning their own Idola and engaging the enemy in a gigantic Idola Vs. Idola boss battle.
  • The Berserker: Berserker Class characters, belonging to Chaos. Berserkers hit hard, but usually inflict debuffs to themselves, reduce their Element Value, or have conditionals that can further increase output if met.
  • Beware My Stinger Tail:
    • Scorpio, befitting of its basis, has a poison tail that is occasionally integrated into its attacks. It tends to prefer its blade arms, however.
    • Dark Leo has a bladed tail that is used to attack.
  • BFG: Soldier Class characters wield big Launchers as large as they are tall. They primarily specialize in a low-cost All Target Skill 1 that has some form of priority, such as Farley's Skill 1 being a Fastest All Target attack that has a 0 Wind requirement and EP2 Flammy's Skill 1 being a 1 Fire Fastest party buff.
  • BFS: A few characters have pretty large swords, but none can top Siegmund, who wields a big honking slab of metal on a tiny stick that's taller than he is! And he's gigantic! Ditto for Empress Rosalinde, who inherits her father's sword.
  • Bifurcated Weapon:
    • Jasper's Weapon of Choice is a pair of twin blades. In certain Skills and his EBs, he combines the swords into one big sword to deal meatier hits.
    • Chaos Wyndis [Summer] splits her giant popsicle into halves then proceeds to go to town on the enemy party with a barrage of slashes.
  • Bizarre Sexual Dimorphism: Lycan males are very obviously bestial in design, while Lycan females are visually similar to humans with animal features tacked on, such as kemonomimi. One such example is Lycaon and Karin; Lycaon is essentially a bipedal wolf man, while Karin is basically a human girl with wolf ears and a tail. And Karin is Lycaon's daughter.
  • Black Mage: The Wizard Class, belonging to Chaos. They predominantly specialize in offensive magic and the ability to debilitate their enemies with debuffs and status effects. Some Wizards gain a slice of support magic if they Fate Diverge to Law, making them closer to an offense-tuned Red Mage.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: The English version is quite obviously a cleaned-up machine translation, with multiple translation inconsistencies like calling Dark Falz "Dark Phallus", Luther's class being typo'd as "Fotoner", and Gene getting a Dub Name Change to "Jeanne" note .
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: New is an AI whose main directives are "stop Dark Falz" and "protect the Warrior". As long as it fulfills these two directives it doesn't really care how it gets accomplished as long as it's the most logical and efficient method. Unfortunately for the heroes, New calculates that the best way to stop Dark Falz is to kill Giselle and attempts to do so at least once (while also endangering multiple others in the process) while strongly recommending it on another occasion. Mirabel suggests to the Warrior that they should turn New off as it has proven to be a danger to them; to the party's surprise, New is shockingly accepting of this course of action, realizing that the Warrior's experiences and growth throughout their journey has made them far stronger than it had anticipated, and that the Warrior no longer needs its direction.
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • Law Gene's Elemental Blast charges one unit of the Reverse Rush gauge. Given the potency and effects of Chaos Reverse Rush, being able to skip a turn charging can work wonders for your DPS.
    • The Palm Spear decreases the Element Cost of Elemental Blasts by 1 when maxed. It's amazingly potent due to Stella's generally-high Elemental Blast costs. It's also one of the easiest Uniques in the game to max out due to being an Event reward, giving Stella an accessible Stat Stick without going through the trouble of maxing out her other staves.
    • The Natal Croshell weapon increases all Elements by 2 when the user lands a Weak Hit. It doesn't do anything super special like some other Uniques, and being Guardian locked means it can only be used by Matoi and her variants, but the weapon functions like a vastly upgraded Yasminkov 9000M and all versions of Matoi are versatile and powerful all-purpose units, allowing her to double as an Element battery while bolstering her stellar damage output.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: It turns out Rockingham's spiffy spaceship happens to have the ability to corrupt people by hitting them with a large dosage of concentrated Dark Falz energy. Part of their plan to revive Dark Falz Cave involves gathering Zodiate bearers together, and brainwashing them helps significantly. They first attempt to use it in Record 2 on Rosalinde, but Jasper bails her out, while in Record 3 they manage to successfully control and capture Astraea (with help from Kaempfer, who pulled a Face–Heel Turn off-screen).
  • Brutal Bonus Level:
    • The game periodically features event quests known as "Tower Quests" where the player clears a sequence of Quests each designated by a floor number. As you ascend the tower, the difficulty of the Quests scales up from "mind-numbingly trivial" to "punishing in every sense of the word".
    • The final Free Quest in EPISODE 1 (unlocked by defeating the final boss) pits the player against four of the most difficult Free Quest fights in the Episode in sequence. Beating this gives you a Weapon Fragment that can be used to synthesize/upgrade the powerful Yamigarasu Weapon Symbol.
  • The Cameo: The Cougar NX Blast Runner from Border Break appears in Yuru Idola #49. Rosa's t-shirt Running Gag also has her wearing a relevant "Border Break" t-shirt.
  • Cast from Hit Points:
    • The Soul Eater Weapon Symbol gives an unconditional damage bonus, but in return takes 10% (up to 2000) of the user's maximum HP at the start of each turn.
    • Gilbert has a stronger normal attack than average that has a high chance to Curse his target, but using it costs him 5% of his HP.
  • The Cavalry: During the climax, Duncan, Popona, and many of the friends and enemies the heroes have met along the way, including the Lillipans, Lycans, and Messala's former Resistance allies, arrive to the aid of the Aries Knights and help them hold the fort against the onslaught of Idola while Stella, Jasper, Rosa, and Uly confront Erwin at the top of the royal castle.
  • Character Class System:
    • There are two primary classes, Law and Chaos. Law Characters are defensive, with support and heal abilities, while Chaos characters are offensive, with high damage and debilitating abilities. While the primary role of each Unit can't be changed, they can be given a secondary role through Fate Divergence, which augments their primary role. There are also Neutral Units, which are rarer, sport balanced traits, and can be teamed up with any other character.
    • All three alignments also have Classes within them that cover specific roles, such as the Knight and Elementer Classes in Law, Grappler and Bard Classes in Neutral, and Berserker and Wizard Classes in Chaos. Fate Divergence then allows you to take these alignment-exclusive classes and their capabilities into the opposite alignment, allowing you to diversify your Law and Chaos parties accordingly.
  • Charged Attack: The Shooter Class's gimmick is the Charge Attack effect. One of the character's skills is endowed with the effect; when the Skill is activated, the user will begin the charge and buff themselves simultaneously. The user is unable to take action for that turn, but on the following turn they will automatically unleash their attack and deal heavy damage. Later Shooters (mainly EP2 Shooters) have begun to add attacks that execute when they activate the Charge, such as Odette applying a single-target Disable on the turn she starts charging, allowing it to essentially be two-for-one in terms of Skill usage.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The Stargate. During the finale of EPISODE 1, Anna reveals to Stella that all users of the Aries Zodiate have the ability to both open and use the Stargate, a tunnel that connects time and space. Stella opens the Stargate and sends herself, Rosalinde, and Jasper to Dark Falz's world to save Uly from an untimely death.
    • Stella being a Rover is made into a plot point in EPISODE 2, as she volunteers to get into the Water Arm in Rockingham's place as they are too late to stop the launch, but as the Arms are designed only to work with pure Zodiates, Stella being in the Arm has a high chance to kill her mid-flight since the Arms siphon the life energy of its passenger to fly.
  • Cliffhanger: EPISODE 2 Record 4 ends with Giselle preparing to unleash a secret technique to save herself, Lindsey, Farley, and Mirabel from an untimely end after Rockingham accidentally damages the Space Elevator and causes it to fall towards the earth.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Many monster enemies are colored according to their Elemental affinity.
  • Combination Attack: Lindsey has the unique ability to apply the Offensive Command buff that causes the active party to strike with a pseudo-Reverse Rush at the end of each turn that the buff is active.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard:
    • Many Tower Quests feature a boss room where one of the boss units starts the fight with 10 Element where it would not normally be possible for them to have it. They can and will open the round with an Elemental Blast, potentially wiping your party if you failed to account for this.
    • AI-controlled characters tend to cheat. For example, you are not normally allowed to cast Skills or EBs if you don't have the requisite Element at the start of the turn, but if the AI gets enough Element during the turn, they'll cast it anyway. Likewise, you cannot choose an action for a unit who has Fear or Numbness, but if the AI heals them during the turn, they'll get to attack. Strangely, this applies to you too, as Auto Battle works this way as well.
  • Cooldown Manipulation:
    • A large variety of Skills, Elemental Blasts, and Symbols can reduce the cooldown of Skills for the user or the entire party.
    • The Skill Fever buff causes the cooldown timers on Skills to increment downward faster. Anna Marie's Skill Fever causes it to increment by -1, while Vanessa's Skill Fever causes it to increment by -2.
    • Torbjorn's unique gimmick is the ability to add cooldown turns to the enemy's skills. While his Skill can only hit one target at a time, his Law Elemental Blast hits all foes with the effect.
  • Co-Op Multiplayer: The resident multiplayer game mode, "Idola Battles", use PSO2es's flavor of asynchronous multiplayer, where a raid boss instance is only challenged individually but the instance can be passed around between other players.
  • Combat Hand Fan: Anna Marie's Weapon of Choice. Goes hand in hand with her being a Dancer.
  • Combat Medic: Quna after either Fate Divergence. Chaos Quna especially is notable for gaining significant ground offensively while still maintaining a degree of her original support skills.
  • Comeback Mechanic: Unlike normal battles, where defeating enemies charges your Element gauges according to what you defeated, enemies you defeat in Arena charges Element for the enemy party, giving surviving opponent units the potential to counterattack with Elemental Blasts. This also applies in reverse, as losing units to enemy attacks will charge your own Element.
  • Continuity Nod: The Profound Darkness is referenced by name a handful of times, largely due to its shared history with Dark Falz.
  • Contractual Boss Immunity: Surprisingly averted even for Idola, who are prone to pretty much every status in the game despite being classified as raid-tier enemies. The only status that major bosses have natural resilience to is Fatal Wound, which is a One-Hit Kill effect (and a boss wouldn't be much fun if you could one-shot it with a status). However, Fatal Wound still does enhanced damage to major bosses even if it can't kill them.
  • Costume Evolution: Stella in EPISODE 2 has a slightly redesigned top with puffed upper sleeves and a popped collar in place of a hood. Her updated artwork also has her looking significantly more confident and outgoing than before.
  • Counter-Attack:
    • Rosalinde and all of her variants have a Counter Skill. The specific effects vary based on the unit; base and [Christmas] have the ability to tank single-target attacks for other characters before countering, while [New Years] doesn't but either gets an Area of Effect Counter or applies a Symbol Seal debuff to the offending enemy depending on Fate Divergence. Empress Rosa combines the Area of Effect trait of her New Years variant with huge base damage and has the unique distinction of lasting for more than one turn.
    • Siegmund has a similar Counter that lacks the Protect effect. However, Sieg's Counter really freakin' hurts. It's known to be able to One-Hit Kill weak enough opponents if Siegmund's stats are high enough.
    • Walter also has a Counter-Attack skill very similar to Rosalinde, and both of his paths power it up. Law Walter's skill increases his defense during this state, allowing him to tank much more effectively, while Chaos Walter instead adds a chance to freeze the enemy he counters.
    • Sasha's Elemental Blast makes her take all the damage for her allies, which itself is not this trope—but if she goes Chaos, the skill then adds the ability to return half of the damage she takes, leading to some fairly damaging counters if timed properly.
    • Lisa/Harriet's Satellite Cannon skill allows her to automatically attack any unit that uses a buff skill.
    • Matilda's Charge Attack combines elements of multiple counter skills, being both an Overcounter and having the Protect ability that allows her to block single-target attacks for her allies. In addition, due to being a Charge, it can't be removed like most normal Counters without killing her.
  • Critical Hit Class: Grapplers have various ways to increase their Critical Hit Rate, which can be further compounded with Symbols that boost Crit Rate to further the odds.
  • Crossover:
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Popo Pudding is a Gnome who is almost fatally obsessed with sweets and typically acts like any young child would. However, once she gets her candy, Pudding's true abilities shine through, transforming into a masterful battle tactician and analyst.
  • Crutch Character: The free Quna unit you receive from the pre-registration bonus serves as a potent early-game cleric, with an Elemental Blast that gives a decently strong burst heal and regen that is a fair bit stronger than most characters you can get.
  • Cycle of Hurting: If you have the right units and team, it's possible to get an Elemental Blast charged every turn against an Idola. Done correctly, you can repeatedly knock down an Idola with Elemental Blasts without them so much as being able to do anything beyond the first turn.
  • Damage-Sponge Boss:
    • The final boss fight against Dark Falz Theatri is no slouch, with over a million HP (more than most Idola, even).
    • Taken up to eleven with the Idola vs. Dark Falz battle against Dark Falz Cave, which has 50,000,000 HP! Luckily this isn't as big a number as it looks, as knocking it down by breaking a part drastically increases the damage it takes (to where a single normal attack can shave off several hundred thousand HP), and the game forces you to use Phoenix, who has the strongest Elemental Blast in the game and can wipe out over half of its health bar in one shot if it Elemental Blasts while Cave is down.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: The game's concept of "Chaos" is more like "Chaotic Good", and characters in this role wear predominantly dark-colored and/or edgy clothing. They're still the good guys, though.
  • Dark-Skinned Blond: Roxanne and Nicole fit the bill to a T.
  • David Versus Goliath: Any normal party Vs. Idola battle is this. Notably, it's very difficult for a party to defeat an Idola in a single battle due to the Idola having several ten or even hundred thousand HP. Story battles with Idola in this manner never require you to actually defeat the Idola, just damage it enough to fend it off, while the Player Versus Player feature against other players' Idola is meant to have a single Idola challenged multiple times by several people in order to finish it off through collective effort. And yes, with their multiple actions per turn and massively powerful area attacks, Idola generally will tear through several parties before being brought down.
  • Death from Above: Neutral B Popona's EB has her performing her own take on the gacha animation (complete with copying Stella's "Todoke! Kono omoi!"). The "gacha pulls" fly through the Stargate and laser beam the enemy from the sky, inflicting damage.
  • Death Is Cheap: Giselle's true Idola, Phoenix, grants her the ultimate form of resurrective immortality, being able to take any amount of lethal damage and come back fully healed after a few minutes. Once this ability is revealed, she takes advantage of it to pull off a few stunts that would've straight-up killed anyone else, including taking a gunshot to the head at point blank range and being fatally impaled by a knife. It's later revealed that the Warrior has the ability to bypass this protection and kill Giselle permanently (although how or why is not explained).
  • Declaration of Protection: In EP2 Record 2, Jasper tells Rosa that if she's ever in trouble, he'll be right there for her. He gets to fulfill this promise no less than a day later in a Big Damn Heroes moment.
  • Defeat Equals Friendship: Jasper and his forces of Chaos are made into allies after they are defeated by Uly and his Law team.
  • Deflector Shields:
    • The Zodiac Idola "Virgo" has a unique "Shield" buff as a gimmick. Certain Skills and her EB can summon a stack of Barrier. Barrier greatly reduces the damage that Virgo takes while it's active, and it can only be dispelled by using an attack that's super-effective against it. Due to the way this works, triple-Earth Virgos are some of the most dreaded Idolas you can encounter.
    • Uniquely, Kokorock has the ability to apply this same "Shield" effect as an allied buff.
  • Dem Bones: Animated skeleton knights are among the enemies you can encounter.
  • Discard and Draw:
    • Mint's gimmick is that she gets a more powerful Elemental Blast in exchange for giving up Reverse Rush Gauge. To offset this, most of her skills add +1 to the gauge on use to fill it up faster.
    • Rockingham's Skill 2 allows him to cast a buff on an allied target that causes them to use their Elemental Blast for free at the end of the turn. However, this forces him to give up 10 Water element in return, essentially substituting one cost for another. Depending on the Divergence, he can also either buff his target at the same time, or reduce his Attribute consumption to 5 Water but inflict a -40% ATK debuff on his ally (which can be blocked by Debuff Immunity effects).
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": In one event quest, Flammy reveals that her true name is "Seraphy", but insists that it's still fine to call her "Flammy".
  • Double Weapon:
    • The signature weapon of the Brave class is Double Sabers. Both Uly and Gene have them, and there's a lot of spinning involved.
    • Ditto for the Zodiac Idola "Polaris", who uses a massive Double Saber befitting of its size.
  • Dracolich: Zombie dragons are a type of boss enemy you can encounter throughout the Story and in some events.
  • The Dragon: Messala to Dark Falz Theatri, although the way they interact with the heroes it's more like the former is the Big Bad and the latter is The Man Behind the Man.
  • Draw Aggro:
    • The Provoke debuff forces the victim's attacks to always target the unit who inflicted the debuff. In the case of All Target attacks this effectively means that attacks against units other than the target are null and void, drastically neutering their offense.
    • Self-Sacrifice causes the affected unit to redirect all attacks on their team to itself. If the party is hit by an All Target attack, this causes them to take all of the hits while their allies take nothing. Note that this isn't necessarily a positive or negative effect; while some units like Barnabus use it on themselves to exploit their Stone Wall traits, it's technically classified as a debuff and some characters and enemies can inflict it on their opponents to nuke a single unit by effectively multiplying the damage it takes.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Earlier PSO2 crossover characters such as Quna were able to summon minor Idola, such as Chamaeleon. Later PSO2 characters are barred from summoning Idola entirely except for a unique case in Summer Quna, who summons an A.I.S. as an "Idola".
  • Easily Forgiven: Canceed (although revealed to be Good All Along) suffers no repercussions for their actions whatsoever, despite inflicting massive amounts of territorial damage, taking over an entire kingdom by force, and brainwashing multiple people to summon Dark Falz. The best they get is Rockingham apologizing to Rosalinde for his actions near the very end of the story, with Rosa simply brushing it aside due to the threat of Dark Falz Cave taking priority.
  • Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors: The core mechanic of the game. Fire beats Wind, Wind beats Water, and Water beats Fire. Earth beats itself, which can make Earth vs. Earth matchups fairly risky if you don't come in with backup for your Earth damage dealers/support.
  • Elevator Failure: Canceed blasts Aero with a Wave-Motion Gun to capture Mint, which has the unfortunate side effect of severely damaging the Space Elevator with Giselle, Mirabel, Lindsey, and Farley in it, causing it to plummet at terminal velocity to their near-certain deaths.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Dark Falz Theatri's true form definitely qualifies, sporting an absolutely horrifying design even by Dark Falz standards.
  • Elite Mook: The 2019 Summer event introduced Gabugabus, enhanced versions of the normal Gabu that have enormous amounts of HP and hit much harder. Then there is the Gabugabugabu, a giant Gabu with Red Eyes, Take Warning that has Idola-tier HP (but takes more damage) and One-Hit Kill attacks.
  • Enemy Civil War: Forms the crux of Record 7, where part of Canceed's crew is revealed to be a splinter faction aiming to use Dark Falz Cave for far more nefarious ends, acting as a Spanner in the Works by disrupting Rockingham's plans and attempting a hostile takeover of the country. The heroes find themselves caught in the crossfire at exactly the wrong time.
  • Equipment Upgrade: Weapon and Soul Symbols can be upgraded by expending corresponding Fragments obtained from Quests or from disassembling other Symbols. In addition to raising the Symbol's base stats and the potency of its special effect, raising a Symbol's Level additionally rolls between one to three randomly generated bonus stats, which can boost various parameters such as Attack, Defense, Speed, Critical Hit Rate, Status Resistance, and Element Value Gain.
  • Equippable Ally: The Zodiac Idola "Gemini" takes the form of a red and blue pair of humanoid entities. They have the ability to transform each other into swords, which are used to buff themselves and attack the player.
  • Evil Is Bigger: If you thought Idola were already pretty damn huge, Dark Falz Theatri is at least twice the size of Polaris!
  • Evil Overlooker: The silhouette in the promotional art. Just look at him! Although this is a subversion because that is Zodiac [Aries], which is the Idola that Stella (and her mother) create and control, meaning that, outside the Player Versus Player feature, it's actually on your side whenever it appears in the story.
  • Evolving Attack: The main gimmick of the Striker Class (exclusive to Giselle and her variants) is the tiered Elemental Blast, giving Giselle effectively two different Elemental Blasts depending on how much Element Value she has. The first tier is a weaker Elemental Blast that costs less Element, while the second tier costs more Element but has more power and typically adds on more bonus effects.
  • Excuse Plot: Most Event Quests have some loosely defined "story" surrounding them to justify beating the crap out of tons of enemies for loot. For example, the Attack on Titan event has you gathering bundles of meat because Eren and his friends are chowing down on the Aries Knights' supply of meat at an inhuman rate.
  • Expy:
    • The premium currency, Star Diamonds, are essentially a reskinned variation of Star Gems from Phantasy Star Online 2, but with the appearance of an actual five-pointed star instead of a gem-like shape. They're even colored a vivid rainbow just like Star Gems.
    • Flammy looks and sounds extremely similar to Seraphy from Phantasy Star Online 2es. A post-EP1 event quest has her finally confirm that she is in fact Seraphy.
  • Eye Beams: Taken to ridiculous levels with Stella [New Years]' Elemental Blast, which involves Stella firing laser beams from a kite with Aries' picture on it.
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • The big example is the clash between the "Law" and "Chaos" factions, with Law in particular making a point of persecuting Chaos forces.
    • Lycans are an oppressed race, serving as motivation for a few characters (such as Kibaki).
    • "Rovers" are Zodiates who possess a different Element from other Zodiates of the same Idola: for example, Stella and Anna Marie can transform into the Water-element Aries Idola, when normally the Aries Idola should be Fire-element. Rovers are generally outcast as impure or aberrant by the rest of their Zodiate tribe, such as Gilbert (a member of the Leonis royal family) being wiped from the history books for being born with a Water-element Leo Idola. In Episode 2, Victoria is revealed as a Rover whose family was persecuted by Canceed's nobility, leading them to set in motion a plot to overthrow the ruling caste and create a better Canceed where Rovers would not face such discrimination.
  • Fighting Your Friend: In EP2, Rockingham hits Rosa with a large dosage of raw Dark Falz energy, causing her to turn on the heroes. Luckily, the Aries Knights are able to defeat and rescue her before any permanent damage is done.
  • First-Name Basis:
    • Stella's full name is "Stella Marie" (as the daughter of Anna Marie), which is referenced a few times by certain characters. The bulk of the cast prefers to just call her Stella.
    • Likewise, Uly's full first name is actually "Ulysses", but he insists that everyone call him "Uly" for short.
  • Flawless Victory: If you win an Arena battle with all of your allied units standing, you get a "Perfect Win" and a massive score boost.
  • Forced Level-Grinding: The game is extremely punishing if your overall team is underleveled. You will need to level grind at some point to avoid getting absolutely destroyed by enemies 5 to 10 Levels higher than you.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: Neutral A Popona's EB has the Idola summoning animation playing before it's bonked out of the way by a "Popona Idola" symbol with a giant Hatosuke "Idola". The giant Hatosuke flies into the sky before falling on the camera, cracking the screen.
  • Fragile Speedster: Lulutemia specializes in being insanely fast, having one of the highest SPD stats in the game when in Law FD and having Fastest on almost all of her attacks; combined with her high ATK stat and the ability to get extra effects when she avoids taking damage before executing certain attacks, she's an extremely effective and powerful Lightning Bruiser. However, her main critical flaw is her DEF; she's relatively squishy, so losing a speed check to a good Water character can be potentially fatal.
  • Freemium: The Star Diamonds shop offers a "Pass", which, for the low cost of ¥490, grants the player 300 Paid Star Diamonds and an additional 100 Paid Gems per day for 30 days. In addition, Pass players also get an additional Idomag slot and the Idomag Food Gauge gains a passive 50% depletion rate. This was removed and replaced by an "Idomag Pass" that only costs ¥120 and gives the same passive benefits but with the Star Diamond present drastically reduced to just 100 SD.
  • Gainaxing: There is definitely some Jiggle Physics going on for a handful of the women. Especially Rosalinde, whose breasts are shown jiggling when she is standing still.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: Idola Cores are a material needed to summon Idola for other players to fight in Idola Battles. During EPISODE 2, Lambridge asks Crulla if they can just turn into an Idola and break out after being imprisoned by Victoria's army. Crulla denies since the enemy soldiers confiscated their Idola Cores in addition to their weapons.
  • Gathering Steam: Applies to everyone in the game as a universal gameplay mechanic. No unit is able to use all of their available Skills from the outset, as higher tier Skills and stronger basic attacks are locked behind Element Value requirements. Attacking, casting Skills and using Reverse Rush can raise Element Value, which unlocks the relevant units' stronger Skills and eventually their Elemental Blast. However, using an Elemental Blast drains your Element Value stocks, meaning that you will have to build steam over again. Additionally, this mechanic applies to both the player and enemies, but in different ways:
    • The Elemental Values are shared among the player's Law and Chaos parties, so having multiple characters of the same element allows them all to collectively raise their element and unlock more of their skills, but only one Elemental Blast of a particular element may be used at once, and they will all have to adjust to the lowered element value afterwards.
    • For enemies, each enemy has their own Elemental Value independent from other enemies. This means you don't have to worry about an enemy team including a boss version of a playable character rushing to that character's Elemental Blast in one or two turns. However, this does mean that if the enemy party has multiple different boss characters, its possible for them to hit you with several Elemental Blasts in a row specifically because they all build element separately. On top of that, boss characters can use all their skills and full normal attack regardless of elemental value, so abilities affecting enemy elemental values are very useful in delaying the incoming Limit Break!
  • Genki Girl: The real life Popona is super pumped about basically everything. Her fictional, in-game counterpart is more subdued but is still pretty upbeat.
  • Genre Shift: IDOLA is the first turn-based game in the franchise since Phantasy Star IV.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Our heroes' standard response to encountering a hostile Idola is to fight it with their own Idola, leading to some fairly impressive boss fights.
  • Good All Along: It's revealed that the true end goal of "Operation Babel" is to destroy Dark Falz Cave, a secret only known to the royal family of Canceed and Melvi. Melvi is forced to divulge this secret to Rosalinde to win her cooperation and convince her to join forces with Canceed troops loyal to the royal family. For what it's worth, Rockingham personally apologizes to Rosalinde for causing so much havoc without expressing his true intentions.
  • Grim Up North: Canceed is up north from where the main continent is, and it's definitely not a friendly place. A lot of Giselle's early dialogue is dedicated to explaining how crappy it is to live there.
  • Ground Pound: Astraea's "Melodious Fall" Skill (and its Chaos evolved version "Melodious Sone") has her fly in front of the enemy, then slam the ground to inflict damage.
  • Gullible Lemmings: Dark Falz Theater full-heartedly believes that as humans submits to authority, and he manipulates said authority, humanity in general are mobs who blindly follows his "puppets" to pointless deaths. He even states as much during his Final Boss battle.
  • Gray-and-Gray Morality: What the Leonis/Resistance subplot comes down to. Both parties represent extremes of the Law and Chaos alignment system, and neither are portrayed in particularly positive light; the Resistance relies on morally dubious and generally destructive means to accomplish an end, while subjects of Leonis tend to brutally persecute Chaos-aligned entities. The Aries Knights only side with Leonis due to Siegmund being a Reasonable Authority Figure and being personally acquainted with Anna, plus Dark Falz running the show on the Resistance side means that they have a bigger fish to fry than sorting out any squabbles.
  • Gratuitous Japanese: Uly's "Hero" and "Gratitude" t-shirts are written in Japanese kanji. This is justified as Amane (a Gratuitous Ninja who made the shirts) comes from a faraway country in the east where the Japanese language is practiced.
  • Hand Wave: The Stargate is a plot device mentioned several times that basically exists as an excuse to canonize crossover characters like Quna, Gene, and Matoi.
  • Hatsuyume: Referenced in Stella [New Years]' Elemental Blasts. Her base Elemental Blast takes place in front of a stylized Mt. Fuji, and her Chaos Elemental Blast features her running alongside a hawk and through an eggplant patch in front of Mt. Fuji.
  • Heel–Face Turn:
    • After Erwin takes the Dark Falz essence from him, Dark Falz Theatri becomes pure and is downgraded to simply "Theatri". He is later found being sheltered by Popona, and joins Uly's expedition to the city of Aero.
    • After Giselle stops Farley from killing Lindsey by getting herself killed in her stead, Lindsey, moved by Giselle's selflessness and the knowledge that Farley is the real culprit behind the deaths of her friends, vows to avenge Giselle and joins the Warrior and Mirabel in fighting off Dark Cancer before making a hasty escape in Polaris Nova.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: When Farley prepares to strike down Lindsey, Giselle runs between them and takes the hit instead, allowing Farley to kill her. Granted, Giselle did this being fully aware that Death Is Cheap is for her, but being temporarily dead forces the heroes to leave her behind when they escape.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: As usual, Dark Falz is the Big Bad. Again. However, owing to the title of the game, the story intends to delve further into the lore behind Dark Falz than most Phantasy Star installments and explore its past.
  • Home-Run Hitter: Reiner's Elemental Blast, aptly named "Reiner the Slugger", involves Reiner punting the target with his sword with the crack of a baseball bat, turning them into a Twinkle in the Sky before exploding spectacularly. Chaos Reiner's version of the Elemental Blast simply adds a bigger explosion.
  • Horned Humanoid: As the Demonic race shares its visual characteristics with PSO2's Deuman race, Demonic males have one large horn sticking out of their heads, while Demonic females have two.
  • Hulking Out: Law Lilimo's Elemental Blast causes him to transform into a Barbarillipan and attack the enemy with Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs.
  • Humongous Mecha:
    • Unlike other Zodiac Idola, which at least resemble humanoid and/or organic creatures, Polaris (and Polaris Nova) is an out-and-out giant robot Idola.
    • Andromeda and Andromeda G are also giant mecha Idola, explained by Canceed's ability to create artificial Idola.
    • Summer Quna's Idola is her custom-color A.I.S. from her "Cosmic twinkle star" concert.
    • Dark Falz Cave is itself a manually-piloted Dark Falz made of the space battleship Avalon and the four Arms attached to it. At its full size it utterly dwarfs every Idola in the game.
  • An Ice Person:
    • Chaos Mikasa, who forges a Double Saber out of ice and uses it to lay the beatdown on the enemy party.
    • Abielle has an ice-themed kit and most of her attacks can inflict the Freeze status.
  • Idol Singer:
    • Quna, as in PSO2. Wyndis' Bond Story has her trying to follow in Quna's footsteps and become an idol herself.
    • Summer 2020 released variants of Quna, Wyndis, and Stella as "Idol" units with an idol singer-themed appearance and kitnote . Their unique gimmick is the Live buff, an enhanced version of Dance that applies a buff with Fastest priority at the start of the turn but still allows the user to act.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Erwin takes Rosalinde's sword and runs Siegmund through hard enough that the blade comes out the other side. It's no wonder that he dies shortly after.
  • Important Haircut: No matter what path she picks, Karin cuts her hair short after Fate Divergence as a way to show her newfound confidence and resolution. This is even a canonical event in-story.
  • Improbable Weapon User:
    • Stella [New Years] involves Stella weaponizing a kite to shoot a Wave-Motion Gun.
    • Stella [Summer] wields a large oar after Law FD or a fan on a stick after Chaos FD. Wyndis [Summer], meanwhile, wields a giant popsicle, while Law Wyndis [Summer] wields a parasol.
  • Informed Attribute: In promotional material, a major character element for Stella was her helmet; due to her personal insecurities, she wears it during times of need where she feels that she needs to be taken seriously. The helmet is used once in the Prologue... and is promptly never used again outside of a handful of Bond Story cutscenes.
  • Instrument of Murder: Most Bard characters have this, typically a lute. They use it to support their allies and attack enemies by firing music notes at enemies.
  • Item Crafting: New Weapon Symbols and Soul Symbols can be synthesized by using Fragments, allowing you to acquire them outside of the Gacha. Unwanted Symbols can also be desynthesized into Fragments, and spare Fragments can be used to upgrade your existing Symbols.
  • Jack of All Stats: The Brave Class, a Neutral Class held by Uly, Gene, Mint, and the EP2 Player Character. The Brave Class sports balanced attributes and self-buff abilities, which is further enhanced with Fate Divergence.
  • Justified Tutorial: At certain points in the story, a friendly character will summon their Zodiac Idola and challenge the Aries Knights to a duel. These serve mainly as glorified tutorials against the Zodiac Idola, some of which have unique mechanics like Virgo's Deflector Shields.
  • Kaiju: The Idola themselves, being without exception giant creatures with massive destructive capabilities. The twist here is that, while there are wild Idola roaming the world, quite a few of the Idola that appear in the story are actually the characters themselves combining their powers to create and control an Idola from within, often in response to a hostile Idola showing up. You can guess where this is going.
  • La Résistance: Messala leads a band of Chaos-aligned Resistance forces that seek to usurp the Kingdom of Leonis. While they have a positive ideal, they aren't portrayed as being good guys, especially not with a Dark Falz pulling the strings behind their movement.
  • Laser Blade:
    • Law Reiner trades his Home-Run Hitter Elemental Blast for Over End (based on its PSO2 incarnation), where he summons a massive blade of energy to cover his sword before slashing all targets on screen.
    • Chaos Walter's Elemental Blast has him swing down a massive dark energy blade, similar to Over End as well, though in his case he cuts the enemy with the blade and then lets them get shredded by the debris shot out as his blade cuts into the earth.
    • Law Matoi's second Skill, Heroic End, involves Matoi summoning the giant energy blade from Hero Time Finish on the Clarissa III before hammering the enemy party with an overhead strike.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Traveling through a Stargate occasionally has this effect. Gene and Flammy got it, while the Attack on Titan cast and Matoi didn't. A post-EP1 event has Gene and Flammy recovering their memories of Oracle, whereupon Flammy reveals that she is actually Seraphy.
  • Last Chance Hit Point:
    • The Guts status allows a character to survive lethal damage with 1 HP. Unlike most games, Guts still works if the character only has 1 HP left as long as the character still has a stack of Guts left to use.
    • Rappies have the ability to survive with 1 HP in the event that their HP is depleted. When this occurs, they will drop a Rappy Feather and fall on the ground, playing dead. If they are attacked again on the next turn, they will drop another Rappy Feather and run away, but if not defeated on the subsequent turn, they will simply run without leaving anything behind.
    • The playable Rappy also has this as an inherent character trait, functioning identically to its enemy counterparts.
  • Last Episode, New Character: Marie, Stella's ancestor and the creator of the Aries Zodiate, appears before the Aries Knights during the final chapter of EPISODE 1 when they travel to Dark Falz's world.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Lisa's full title in IDOLA is "Lisa (Harriet)", referring to Harriet's Sharing a Body status as of EPISODE 6.
  • Latex Space Suit:
    • While the EP2 male protagonist simply gets armor/clothing that resembles a streamlined version of PSO2's Close Quarters outfit, the female protagonist gets an exceptionally form-fitting suit that shows off her ample bust and shapely figure, among other things.
    • Giselle is wearing a tight-fitting suit underneath her clothing. When she Fate Diverges, the suit becomes white (if Law) or red (if Chaos).
  • Left Hanging: The story "ends" with EPISODE 2 Record 10, but very few, if any, questions are answered by the end of the storyJust to name a few... , and given the game's cancellation the odds of any of them being answered anytime soon is rather bleak.
  • Let's Split Up, Gang!: When Canceed suddenly attacks Aero in search of the Libra Zodiate, the heroes decide to split their forces to throw off their enemies; Uly, Stella, and The Warrior stay on Aero and fend off Crula and Melvi, while Mint, Giselle, and Mirabel attempt to escape through the Space Elevator. Unfortunately, Farley and Lindsey catch up to the elevator before it leaves, significantly complicating matters on the way down.
  • Lethal Joke Character: Sasha, a 3★ Wind Knight. She packs a surprisingly scary kit for a 3★ unit, with the ability to inflict the Provoke debuff to shut down enemies who don't have debuff immunity and a cheap Elemental Blast that cranks up her DEF by 40% and gives her the Self-Sacrifice buff to tank damage for other characters. She is also the only character in the game who can use her absymal stat tier to her advantage, as her Chaos EB packs a Counter-Attack that is extremely lethal in specific PvE content. Such as being able to tank several hundred thousand damage at once, survive, and return it to one-shot enemies with several magnitudes more HP.
  • Life Drain: Knut can give his party the Drain buff, allowing them to heal HP according to the damage they deal to a target.
  • Light 'em Up:
    • While Stella is functionally a Water/Fire character, her Skills and Elemental Blasts are light-themed.
    • Matoi's base EB, Ragrants, has her shower the enemy party in a massive beam of condensed light Photons for heavy damage.
  • Light Is Not Good: The "Law" alignment contains a rainbow palette of characters, which range from typical "good" characters to the Ax-Crazy and Fantastic Racism types.
  • Limit Break:
    • Each character has access to a special attack called an Elemental Blast, which is used by consuming stocked Element charges. Leveling up a character's Elemental Blast will power it up and allow it to consume less Element per use. Performing Fate Divergence on a character will typically alter their Elemental Blast, either by augmenting it or even changing it entirely into a new one.
    • Many minor enemies also have access to a pseudo-Elemental Blast where they perform a stronger attack at the cost of their own stocked Element charges. These typically aren't as strong as real Elemental Blasts but have lower costs.
  • Little Bit Beastly: Female Lycan are almost invariably this, compared to the wide variety of forms that male Lycan take.
  • Losing Your Head: In Record 7, Melvi decapitates Crawford as payback for foiling Rockingham's attempt to link up with Dark Falz Cave. However, Crawford, being a Machina, simply picks his own head up and has his robot lackeys capture Melvi.
  • Magic Knight:
    • Stella and all of her variations share this as a common trait. She is a strong Area of Effect DPS unit who also provides valuable party buffs. Most of her Elemental Blasts also provide powerful support effects to the party such as healing, Status immunity, or damage boosts.
    • Giselle serves as a defensive counterpart to Stella, with strong Area of Effect damage as well as the ability to produce party-wide support effects such as damage reduction and Guts.
  • Magic Music: Most Bards have this as an ability by default.
  • Magikarp Power: Uly starts off as a weak 3★ with unremarkable stats and no unique Idola of his own. By the time you clear Chapter 13, he has stats competitive with most 5★ characters and a unique Idola, the Zodiac Idola "Polaris".
  • Male Gaze:
    • All of Nicole's Elemental Blasts open with the camera focused on her butt. Nicole happens to wear a short skirt.
    • Law Wyndis [Summer] and Flammy [Summer]'s Elemental Blasts also have the camera panning up over their bodies in the middle of the animation.
  • Mana Burn:
    • A few characters have Skills that reduce the enemy's Element Value, such as Gerda and Flammy [Summer]. Luther takes this a step further and goes straight to Mana Drain territory.
    • Chaos Erwin's second skill, Eliminate Abyss. It has a high cost (8 Fire) and a long cooldown (9 turns), but it removes all of the target's Element Value.
  • Mascot Mook: Alongside the recurring Dark Falz, the Rappies (using their post-Phantasy Star Zero design) appear as rare enemies.
  • Mechanically Unusual Fighter: The playable Rappy character lacks access to the Fate Divergence and Destiny Bonus mechanics that most other characters have. He also doesn't have an Idola, much like Luther and Matoi. However, he is the only character with an inherent trait (a single-use Last Chance Hit Point), and his Elemental Blast is the only one in the game that raises Bond Point gain.
  • Megaton Punch:
    • Leo's Elemental Blast is a super extravagant punching attack that ends in a massive explosion.
    • For his Elemental Blast, Eren Jaeger transforms into his Titan form and hammers the target with a titanic punch.
  • Me's a Crowd: Jasper and Wyndis can grant themselves the unique "Other Self" buff. The "buff" causes a shadow clone to appear next to them, enabling them to hit twice per hit with any attack or Skill outside of Elemental Blast.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • The title, "IDOLA", is a word commonly associated with Dark Falz in post-tetraology Phantasy Star games and used in the names of their battle music. However, it never held much meaning prior to this game besides being associated with Dark Falz.
    • Dark Falz Theater, an Eldritch Abomination that caused endless suffering by manipulating several authority figures and made them kill each other like a doll on a stage. Even when he was backstabbed by Erwin and became Theatri, he still screws everyone over, reclaiming his power and becoming the Final Boss of Episode 1.
  • Microtransactions: As with most games within its genre, IDOLA uses a premium currency that you can purchase with real money, called Star Diamonds (a Suspiciously Similar Substitute to Star Gems). Star Diamonds are used to pull on the gacha and various other features.
  • Mid-Season Upgrade: Uly gets one by way of unlocking his own Idola, Polaris, in Chapter 13.
  • Mighty Glacier:
    • Jasper hits brutally hard due to a combination of his stats and his Double Team Skill, but he sports a lackluster Speed stat and thus has a hard time gaining initiative in combat. This is further compounded by his Elemental Blast inflicting a self-debuff that decreases his Speed, meaning he will almost always go last for a few turns unless low-level units with weak stats are involved.
    • Ditto for Meldor, who is slow but tanky and sports a strong offensive presence.
    • Sasha and Barnabas are both tank-type characters that can redirect damage meant for other party members towards them. There are also other tanks such as Rosalinde, Walter, and Kyra that are less effective but still serve their purpose.
    • Gene is infamous for her hilariously beefy DEF stat that exists alongside a self-buff Skill that gives her a stack of 15% DEF Up and an Elemental Blast that costs 8 Wind and gives 300 Power party heal. She's miserably slow to compensate, but with the right allies Gene can potentially become a Stone Wall that is nearly impossible to kill without buff cleanse. A fandom joke is that the tankiness comes from her huge breasts.
  • Mirror Match: Mimic Dolls are rare spawns in certain Quests. Given the opportunity, it will transform into one of your units then proceed to attack with your own abilities.
  • Money Mauling: One of Stella [New Years]' Skills involves dropping gold coins on the enemy party. It hits random targets a number of times equal to the currently accumulated Water Element value.
  • Monster Clown: Dark Falz Theatri, befitting its name, takes the form of a jester.
  • Morton's Fork: New presents one to the Warrior, where it reveals that if Giselle is binded to Dark Falz Cave, it will become invincible, and the Warrior is the only one capable of permanently killing her. New promptly commands the Warrior to kill Giselle, or else risk Dark Falz becoming completely unstoppable. Of course, the Warrior refuses to take Giselle's life without a second thought, taking New by surprise since stopping Dark Falz is their primary directive.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Most female Chaos units of at least teenage or older. Gene and Rosalinde are two of the most well-known examples.
  • Mundane Object Amazement: Eren, Levi, and Mikasa are astounded at the Aries Knights' supply of meat, as in the Attack on Titan world real meat is an extremely rare and valuable commodity. So naturally, with meat being quite plentiful on Vandor, they can't really help themselves to anything other than stuffing their faces as much as their bodies can physically carry.
  • Musical Nod:
    • Edited versions of the Phantasy Star Online 2 theme song, "The whole new world", are used in certain cutscenes, such as when the Aries Knights discover an abandoned Campship buried deep underground.
    • Matoi's theme in this game is a rearrangement of the EPISODE 2 ending theme, "Living on like stars".
  • Mutually Exclusive Party Members:
    • Another facet of the Law/Chaos alignment system is that Law characters can only put in a Law Party, and Chaos characters can only be put in a Chaos Party. Neutral alignment characters are the exception here, as they can work in either party. Fate Divergence allows one to game the system, up to a point, by shifting a character's alignment and thus allowing you to put formerly Law characters in a Chaos Party and vice-versa. Note that Neutral characters, with the exception of Uly, do end up sticking with one alignment after Divergence. Fortunately the process is not irreversible and one can always change the alignment again through special items.
    • More traditionally, you can't have duplicates of the same character in the party, even if the two duplicates are of different alignments. This does not apply to Seasonal variations, which are considered different units from their original versions.
  • My Future Self and Me: Stella [Memories]'s Bond Story, where a 5-year-old version of Stella (before her father died) is sent through a Stargate to the present day. Present day Stella and Uly get to know her before deciding to throw her a birthday party.
  • Mythology Gag: Has its own page.
  • Navel-Deep Neckline: Shannon's bodysuit is open at the chest area, allowing her to show off all of her cleavage and some of her midriff.
  • Nerf:
    • "Sleepy Giselle", a notoriously omnipresent Soul Symbol due to the sheer potency of its Status-Buff Dispel properties, was nerfed heavily by causing it to disappear after removing buffs once and replacing its powerful 2-turn duration effect with a 20% SPD buff.
    • The Super Fastest speed tier was reworked in the same update. Previously there was no sorting for Super Fastest like there was for Fastest attacks and was based solely on the SPD stat, but this update revised it so that Healing Skills go first, followed by Support, Debuff, then Attack Skills.
  • Neutral No Longer: As a gameplay mechanic, the majority of Neutral Characters will diverge into either Law or Chaos after Fate Divergence, thereby revoking their Neutral status and restricting them to their new alignment. There are very few characters who have the option of a Neutral Fate Divergence (Duncan and Flammy being two), and only Uly gets two Neutral Fate Divergences.
  • Ninja Maid: Lieze, Wyndis' maid as seen in Chapter 9. Depending on the chosen Fate Divergence, Law Lieze emphasizes the "maid" part while Chaos Lieze emphasizes the "ninja" part.
  • No Fair Cheating: If the game unexpectedly closes during an Arena Battle, the round will be treated as a loss and you will lose the Stamina point. This is done to deter Save Scumming, but if your game crashes for whatever reason...
  • Obvious Rule Patch: If you thought you could be cheeky by purposefully gimping your team via removing characters from the slots to lower your Team Score, the game does not award a Flawless Victory if you have any unfilled slots, even if you don't actually lose any characters in battle.
  • Off-Model:
    • The sprites of characters have a habit of being inconsistent with their artwork or otherwise less detailed. Some of the earlier Elemental Blast sprites are also known for having some visual oddities.
    • Egregiously common with Wyndis. For some reason, Wyndis consistently sports bizarre anatomical errors in the majority of her artwork. The most common of these are massively enlarged hips in relation to the rest of her body, but some other highlights include her exposed thigh on her EX artwork (it's much higher up than it realistically should be, as if her hip were removed entirely) and her legs on her Summer artwork (much longer than they should be).
  • Oh, Crap!: Both the heroes and villains start panicking when Rockingham's attempt to capture Mint winds up sending Giselle, Mirabel, Lindsey, and Farley plummeting to their doom after he unwittingly causes an Elevator Failure.
  • Old Save Bonus: The Japanese version gives you the option of linking a SEGA ID. If you link up and you also play Phantasy Star Online 2, you gain access to "Idola Points", a type of Global Currency Exception in PSO2 that can be spent on a special shop. While you can only earn 10,000 points per week, you can spend the points on not only Star Gems, but also on Idola-themed cosmetics and items, as well as rare consumables like EXP Tickets and the powerful Idola-style Steak.
  • Ominous Visual Glitch: Before Dark Falz Theater's special attack, the screen with start glitching out and have static for a few moments. Likewise, when he's beaten and gets sucked into his own black hole in his death animation, the screen goes completely static before going black.
  • One-Hit Kill:
    • The Fatal Wound status instantly kills any lesser enemy it afflicts. It is also effective on major bosses, but inflicts bonus damage as opposed to killing.
    • The Phoenix Idola's Elemental Blast is explicitly designed to put the "overkill" in "There's No Kill Like Overkill". Granted, it costs a whopping 20 Fire to activate and only activates at the end of the turn it's used, but it has a whopping 2500+ Power notation and hits all foes. There's very little chance of taking a hit from that to the face and surviving without a Last Chance Hit Point.
  • One Stat to Rule Them All:
    • Speed/SPD. The SPD stat is the sole factor in determining turn order outside of Action Initiative Skills (mainly healing/buff effects). In Idola Battles and Arena, the SPD stat can make or break a fight, and Arena meta tends to favor units with outrageously high SPD stats, Soul Symbols that boost SPD, and Weapon Symbols with high SPD like Blade Dance.
    • The increasing prevalence of Action Initiative has made SPD less of a relevant stat outside of Scorpio Abyss or Mirror Matches, as more often than not you will speed check enemies easier with Super Fastest moves.
  • Order Versus Chaos: In full effect in the setting, with characters and groups directly identifying with and proclaiming themselves to be aligned with either Law or Chaos, with a comparatively minuscule number staying Neutral, and usually not permanently. The most visual representative of Law is Rosalinde, as an imperial princess, while her counterpart is the rogue Jasper, leader of a band of former thugs. The organized forces of Law typically hold contempt for those of Chaos, and often persecute them. The feeling is mutual from the bands of Chaos.
  • Orphaned Etymology: Lillipans are still referred to as such despite the lack of a Planet Lillipa, thereby making it unclear why exactly they are called that. Given that the game takes place in the PSO2 continuity, it is possible the name was simply passed down.
  • Our Hydras Are Different: The minor Idola "Hydra", a three-headed dragon creature that's a fan of spitting poison bile at your team. Its individual parts are just its separate heads, which disappear as you destroy them.
  • Palette Swap: The "-bear" series of miniboss enemies are just color-coded Rockbears from PSO2.
  • Passing the Torch: In a post-EP1 story event, Anna decides it's time to retire and leaves the Aries Knights in Stella's capable hands.
  • The Phoenix: Giselle's Idola is revealed to be the Zodiate "Phoenix", which gives its owner the ability to literally cheat death.
  • Player Character:
    • Uly serves this role as a special unit; his Element is determined by the birthday you input upon initial startup, and he is the only unit who maintains his Neutral alignment status even after Fate Divergence, allowing you to choose either Fate and slot him into any team. Unlike normal Units, he also gains Limit Break through story progress, making him progressively stronger over time.
    • EPISODE 2 features a unique player unit who can be named and whose gender can be chosen.
  • Player Versus Player:
    • Not directly, but Idola Battles consist mainly of Idolas that other players create for you to fight. You can also create your own Idola and send it out to crush other players.
    • A conventional PVP mode called the Arena was added as part of the game's Half Anniversary Update, which pits player parties against each other in head-to-head combat.
  • Playing with Fire: Fire Element units, obviously. The Zodiac Idola "Leo" also is predominantly Fire-based.
  • Posthumous Character: Gerda continues to get new seasonal variations and events despite the fact that she dies near the end of EPISODE 1.
  • Power Copying: Dark Falz Cave uses the attacks of the Zodiate Idola used to charge up its Arms and link them with the Avalon: Virgo (Astraea in the Earth Arm), Libra (Mint in the Wind Arm), Sagittarius (Lulutemia in the Fire Arm), and Aries (Stella in the Water Arm). Depleting its HP to trigger a phase change causes it to change the Idola it's copying.
  • Power Creep: A particularly egregious example; units released in EP2 have absolutely massive stat bloat and superior skill sets compared to most EP1 units, to the point where almost any EP1 unit who isn't a Star Fes or fills a specific niche is automatically invalidated (for Arena purposes).
  • Power Floats: Matoi's Clarissa III floats behind her constantly during her idle stance. She only physically holds it when attacking.
  • Power Gives You Wings: Law Stella's Elemental Blast, Holy Impact, has her sprouting large angel wings before rushing the enemy party from the sky.
  • Power Tattoos: Characters aligning with Chaos sport a tattoo somewhere on their body, which serves as a source of power for them.
  • Precursors: It is strongly implied that ARKS itself is the distant predecessor of the world of Vandor.
  • Promoted to Playable:
    • Lilimo is the first instance of a playable Lillipan in the franchise; PSO2 and PSO2es relegates them to strictly non-playable appearances.
    • The 1st Anniversary event also introduces a playable Rappy. While players could previously dress up in Rappy costumes, this is the first time a Rappy is directly playable (aside from being a Summoner Pet).
  • Punny Name:
    • IDOLA's unique species of Rappy is the Ido Rappy, whose name is spelled "イドラッピー". The way it's spelled is Japanese wordplay on the spelling of "IDOLA", spelled "イドラ" and pronounced "idora".
    • Law Lieze's Elemental Blast is spelled "メイド • イン • ヘブン", which can be read as either "Made In Heaven" or "Maid In Heaven".
    • The Idomag "Arbear", who is just the bear mascot Arkuma from PSO2 but with the "ARKS" pun in its name switched to a bilingual pun.
  • Puzzle Boss: Dark Falz Theatri is guarded by four Barrier buffs that cannot be removed by normal means and significantly reduce the damage it takes. To remove the Barriers, the player must deplete the HP of the boss's other parts to hit Break Lines, which remove a Barrier buff for each Break Line hit.
  • Rain of Arrows: If Bernhardt Fate Diverges to Chaos, his Elemental Blast becomes Million Storm, which is based on the Braver Photon Art from PSO2 of the same name. Bernhardt plants his bow into the ground, then fires a massive salvo of arrows at the target at lightning speed akin to More Dakka, inflicting multiple hits of damage to the enemy party.
  • Rank Inflation:
    • An Idola's overall strength is graded on a scale between D to SS. The higher the rank, the better an Idola's stats and Level and the more Points it's worth for fighting it or defeating it.
    • Team Power is also graded similarly, except the highest rank is SS+.
  • Rare Random Drop: Psycho Wand Fragments are infamous for being one of the rarest drops in the game; they only drop from Mimic Dolls, already a rare spawn in Free Quests that have a chance to replace certain fights, and the Fragments themselves have a hilariously low drop rate.
  • Recurring Riff: The main melody of "Endeavor" finds its way into several tracks.
  • Redemption Equals Death:
    • Erwin, realizing that Dark Falz has strayed from his original goal, decides to pull a Taking You with Me and creates an opening for Rosalinde and Jasper to destroy Dark Falz once and for all using the Divine Sword Lionel. Erwin and Rosa take the time to reconcile before his death.
    • Farley throws herself out of Cave's body and into the death of space as a way to atone for countless lives she took as a professional hitman.
  • Regional Bonus: The Global version received a Japanese lyric arrangement of "Endeavor" called "燐光 'Phosphorescence'", performed by Mika Kobayashi, in commemoration of the Global version's 1.5th anniversary.
  • Relationship Values: They increase every time you finish a quest with a unit and if that unit gets picked by other players as a temporary unit. Gathering enough Bond points will level up the Bond Level, up to 4, which progressively unlocks more of that character's A Day in the Limelight story chapters. Once you reach max Bond and view all of their story scenes, you can then have the character undergo Fate Divergence.
  • Required Party Member: In Story and Event Quests that involve controlling a friendly Idola, one spot on your team will always be reserved for a special NPC unit that can summon the required Idola.
  • Robot Buddy:
    • Early on in the story, Uly and his party dig up a MAG known as "Pai", who subsequently accompanies Uly and helps out with information.
    • The 1.8.0 update added Idomag, the IDOLA version of MAGs. They come in multiple varieties each with their own unique traits, and you can grow them over time by giving them Food. Leveling them up gives them points you can spend on stat boosts and unlock boost equips that can be used to power up your main party.
  • Running Gag: In Yuru Idola:
    • Stella's A-Cup Angst is brought up constantly.
    • Rosalinde's t-shirts, whose text changes in every comic. It usually has something to do with her large breasts, but occasionally the text is replaced with other relevant phrases.
    • Uly's t-shirts, though not to the same degree as Rosalinde's.
  • Science Fantasy: Par for the course, although the way it's done in this game is closer in style to Phantasy Star I than the rest of the franchise, which was decidedly more "science" than "fantasy". The setting is largely medieval fantasy in style and real magic is used, but the medieval elements also co-exist with Machina (humanoid robots) and what is implied to be ancient ruins of ARKS technology.
  • Sequel Hook: The Rosalinde's Coronation event sets up the events of EPISODE 2, such as introducing the Aries Knights' new foes, the forces of Canseed. It also features Matoi, Risa, Gene, Flammy, and Quna banding together to discover the reason they were brought to Vandor.
  • Sequential Boss: Dark Falz Theatri. It is first fought as Polaris, where you must beat it down to the last 1/5th of its HP. Then you fight it on foot and finish it off. Then you face its final form on foot.
  • Sharing a Body: The version of Lisa added to IDOLA is based on EPISODE 6, where she wields Harriet (the heroine of EPISODE 5) as her weapon. If Lisa Fate Diverges to Law, Harriet becomes the dominant personality in Lisa's place.
  • Ship Tease:
    • Uly and Stella, almost to Official Couple levels.
    • Rosalinde and Jasper start off at opposite ends of the spectrum but get a lot of teasing later on.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Situational Sword: A great deal of Weapon Symbols in the game provide conditional damage bonuses for attacking a target or targets that meet the requirements. These include attacking enemies with Status Effects, attacking a single target, or attacking all targets. There are also those that vary based on your own team's status, such as Coat Doublis boosting Reverse Rush damage if Reverse Rush is cast at maximum charge, or Quotz Lithos boosting damage based on the number of buffs applied to the wielder.
  • Space Station: Uly, Popona, and Theatri travel to one in Chapter 12, bound to the earth by a Space Elevator linking it to the high-tech city of Aero. It is here where the party meets and recruits Matoi to the team.
  • Spam Attack: Law Kibaki's Facet Folia, where she uppercuts the enemy before showering them in a blinding rush of slashes.
  • Spanner in the Works: Canceed's plans usually take a turn for the worse whenever the Warrior gets involved.
  • Speaks Fluent Animal: Pai is able to translate Lillipan.
  • Spin Attack: Levi's Neutral Elemental Blast features him performing his famous spinning slash maneuver from Attack on Titan on the enemy party.
  • Spiritual Successor: IDOLA shares quite a few similarities with the other Phantasy Star mobile game, Phantasy Star Online 2es, which can be attributed to the director of IDOLA previously directing es. This includes the Idola Battle mode, which uses many of the mechanics from PSO2es's Emergency Quest system, and the Bond Gauge being functionally similar to the Gaiden Gauge.
  • Split-Personality Team: Jasper has an alternate self, dubbed "Jasper Beta", who's considerably more even-tempered and analytical than Jasper's usual self. His presence is the basis for Jasper's "Double Team" skill and goes hand-in-hand with his Gemini zodiac. Jasper and his cohorts (including eventually Uly and friends) are fully aware of Jasper Beta and accept him, as however differently he thinks or acts he's still Jasper and wants the same things as him. If Jasper goes Law, it's effectively Jasper letting Beta take the stage in his stead.
    • This is eventually revealed to be a trait common to every carrier of the Gemini Zodiac; Jasper's little sister and father both possess alternate selves similar to him: one even-tempered side and one wild side.
  • Sprite/Polygon Mix: The characters are composed of 2D sprites but the battle environments and some setpieces use 3D models. EPISODE 2 upgraded characters to 3D models as well.
  • Stat Stick:
    • Unique Weapon Symbols. Actual utility of their effects tend to vary between "decently useful" and "meaningless in an actual fight". However, to compensate for both this and their outrageously high upgrade costs, they also come with equally outrageous base stats baked in, much higher than any average Weapon Symbol you'll come across. That being said, Uniques are inherently Class-locked, but for those that can use them they may consider running a Unique over other options for the stats alone.
    • Due to how heavily Arena prioritizes Team Score in matchmaking and score calculation, the backline of any Arena team will usually be crammed with characters and Symbols who don't serve any actual purpose in the fight but exist to pad numbers for better matchups and better scores.
  • Status-Buff Dispel: Known as "Support Effect Removal" and colliqually known as "cleanse", Removal effects are meta-defining for their ability to shut down your opponent's setplay. The way buffs stack and augment stats means that punching through a fully-loaded buffed-up team is extremely tough without being stacked yourself, making the ability to remove your enemy's buffs that much more pivotal for winning Player Versus Player matchups.
  • Stripperific:
    • This is the dress code of choice for female Chaos Units. This even includes Chaos Stella, who dumps her white robe in favor of what appears to be a thong and an exposed lower midriff.
    • Sandra's outfit remains fairly revealing even if she goes Law after Fate Divergence, though her overall image becomes less rogue-like and more knight-like after the fact.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Of the six races represented in IDOLA, the Elf, Demonic, and Machina races are obvious stand-ins for the original Newman, Deuman, and CAST races, but with names and designs refitted for the medieval setting. The Lycan race can also be compared to Beasts to a degree.
  • Super Move Portrait Attack: Most Elemental Blasts feature the portrait of the character flashing across the screen at some point during the attack animation. If you have EB Skip turned on, this is the main indicator that a unit is using their EB.
  • Status Effects:
    • Burn: Target loses HP at the start of the turn. Hellfire and Dark Flame are enhanced variants that deal more damage; Dark Fire in particular can't be removed by Status cleanse effects.
    • Freeze: Target loses their turn and can't act. Wears off after a few turns or if the target is damaged.
    • Numbness: Target can't use Skills or Elemental Blast.
    • Dizzy: Attacks and Skills (but not Elemental Blasts) will sometimes miss.
    • Poison: Target loses HP at the start of the turn. Has a variant called Deadly Poison that deals more damage.
    • Sleepy: Target loses their turn and can't act. Wears off if the target is damaged; the attack that wakes the target deals increased damage.
    • Element Halt: Target can't gain Element.
    • Fear: Target can't act for a few turns.
    • Confusion: The victim attacks random targets.
  • Stepping Stones in the Sky: Chaos Levi does this, using segments of trees that he slashed down as footholds.
  • Stock Sound Effects: Several notable jingles are recycled straight from PSO2, such as the Level Up jingle (used for Rank/Unit level ups) and the Client Order Clear jingle (used for Symbols).
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Several Elemental Blasts have an explosion happen on the enemies as part of whatever insane maneuver the character is pulling off, often inexplicably. For example, Reiner bats his enemies hard enough to make them explode midair...somehow. Uly B's high-altitude drop creates a giant explosion...somehow. Both Rosalinde and Gustav have a tendency to make fiery explosive hell consume their enemies after letting giant fire lions have their fun first. The winner is probably Zodiac Leo, however, whose Elemental Blast is simply a glorified Megaton Punch that creates an outrageously huge explosion when he lands it.
  • Stat Stick: Blade Dance's utility is niche at best, but it's still a popular weapon due to its incredibly high SPD stat outweighing its lackluster ability.
  • Tag Team: A single party consists primarily of two smaller parties of four characters each: a Law Party and a Chaos Party. There can only be one active team on the field, but a special Area of Effect attack called a Reverse Rush allows you to switch between Law and Chaos Parties mid-combat. While Reverse Rush can be used on any turn that you haven't used one already, Reverse Rush can be "charged" for up to three turns, and each turn that you stock a Reverse Rush boosts the benefit earned from using it; switching into a Chaos Party reduces enemy Defense, while switching into a Law Party boosts the party's Defense.
  • Technicolor Fire: When Lycaon Fate Diverges to Chaos, his Elemental Blast evolves into "Full Moon Tomahawk", which produces purple and black flames instead of red flames.
  • Temporary Online Content:
    • Certain characters cannot be obtained beyond a certain engagement period. The May 2019 update even gave them a special name: "Limited" characters. There's an upside though; characters who are "Limited" are eligible for Limited Dolls, which can be used to Limit Break characters without using duplicates.
    • The Attack on Titan event, which not only includes the Limited characters, but also the story cutscenes, which can't be seen after the event period. You also can't see the Bond Story of characters you don't own.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: When Dark Falz Theatri is knocked down and has his core exposed in the final fight, the music changes from its theme to an instrumental version of "Endeavor".
  • Theme Naming: Both Dark Falz Theatri and Dark Falz Cave are named after Sir Francis Bacon's idola, or "idols", as detailed in the Novum Organum.
  • Third Act Stupidity: Victoria proves herself a cunning chessmaster once her true plans are revealed; however, the one time it actually matters she chooses to give up control of Giselle to the heroes despite the fact that retaining control of Giselle is the only thing that would guarantee her plan's success.
  • This Cannot Be!: Kampfer is taken aback by Victoria's overwhelming power when he attempts to betray her. Unfortunately for him, he missed the memo on Victoria being an inheritor of the Cancer Zodiate (and Rockingham's distant relative by extension) before he tried to backstab her.
  • This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman:
    • Gratitude Uly is an extremely lackluster unit in most scenarios, as his kit is not very versatile for dealing with multiple targets and his EB is comparatively low power for a single-target attack. However, pit him against an Idola, and he's one of the most powerful Idola killers in the game, with both his Normal Attack and EB always dealing Weak Hits and his EB getting a huge 50% damage boost against Idola.
    • Torbjorn, an otherwise weak character with very little utility, can be used to cheese the everloving daylights out of Hydra Diablos by forcing its extremely annoying Support Effect Removal Skill to go on cooldown.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Lycaon's Elemental Blast, "Moon Tomahawk", and its Chaos evolved variation "Full Moon Tomahawk", involves using the power of the moon to set his tomahawk on fire, then chucking it at the enemy party. The tomahawk bursts into a pillar of flame upon impact, engulfing the targets.
  • Timed Mission:
    • Idola Battles have an 8 turn limit before the battle ends. You must deal as much damage as possible within the turn limit, or kill the target.
    • Arena battles have a 10 turn limit. If you run out of turns, the team with the most units standing is declared the winner. If both teams have the same number of units, the fight ends in a Draw.
    • Brigade Battles have a 6 turn limit per match. You gain Stars equal to the number of units you defeated at the end of the round or if one team is wiped, whichever comes first, and the status of both teams is preserved across battles.
  • Trapped in Another World: The fate of anyone who travels through a Stargate. Anna Marie reveals in the Attack on Titan event that outside entities can be called to Vandor via a strong wish, and that said beings cannot leave until the wish is fulfilled.
  • Tricked-Out Shoes: The signature weapon of the Striker Class is Jet Boots. Giselle's in particular take the form of bulky red high-heels that make her float in combat.
  • Tsundere:
    • She doesn't look it, but Stella is actually one of these. Getting complimented on her beauty by Uly results in her turning red(der), then acting huffy and storming off, much to Uly's confusion.
    • Sandra is also one of these, though mainly towards Boozer. They're pretty much already joined at the hip however.
  • Two Lines, No Waiting:
    • Starting from Chapter 12, the story splits into following Uly and the Aries Knights separately. The Aries Knights attempt to handle the Dark Falz situation on the ground level, while Uly goes through Time to Unlock More True Potential.
    • In EPISODE 2, the main split once again occurs at Aero, where Giselle, the Warrior, Lindsey, and Mirabel are trapped in a damaged Space Elevator and sent plummeting to the ground at lethal speed. In subsequent chapters, the story splits between following the Warrior's party while Stella, Uly, and the Aries Knights take care of business elsewhere in the continent. The story also occasionally gives glimpses at Canceed's plotting at various points. The two parties ultimately rejoin in Record 6, when the heroes ride in on Polaris Nova to help lead the Aries Knights' counter-assault against Canceed.
  • Underground Monkey:
    • A mid-September 2019 update introduced EX Characters, variants of existing characters that are Limited and have different artwork, stat distribution, Element, and Skills. The first EX Character was Stella EX, who is Fire Element and has various added effects, such as Law FD Elemental Blast gaining a buff cleanse effect.
    • Stella herself is super prone to this due to being The Heroine. As of the end of 2020, she has seven different versions, more than double of any other character, including her base form and six variant forms (New Years, Summer, EX, Memories, New Resolve, and Idol).
    • Giselle, being The Heroine of EPISODE 2, also gets similar treatment. As of early 2021, she has four versions, including her regular form and three variants, each of a different Element (Summer, New Years, Memories).
    • Leo has more variations of any single Idola in the game: Leo, Dark Leo, Royal Leo, and Arch Leo.
    • "Arch" Zodiac Idola are just Zodiac Idola but with a Palette Swap and much more powerful kits.
    • Andromeda, Andromeda G-Type (Giselle's Idola), and Andromeda L-Type (Lambridge's Idola) are all variations of each other with only slight differences in movesets and different color schemes.
  • Unstable Equilibrium: In PvE content, defeating an enemy causes your Element stocks to charge according to the Element of the enemy that you defeated. This also applies in reverse, as enemies that kill your own units get Element stocks according to what character died. In endgame content, allied character deaths can quickly cause the enemy team's pressure to snowball as the Elemental Blast that just flattened your team can be converted back into enemy Element so they can use Elemental Blast again.
  • Useless Useful Spell: Sasha EX's Draw Aggro Skill gives her a 100% chance to inflict Provoke against any enemy that isn't Water. This stipulation singlehandedly neuters its effectiveness to almost none, as (ironically) the one character whom Sasha and Sasha EX get countered by in Brigade Battle is a Water character.
  • Villains Out Shopping: The 2020 Christmas event stars the Canceed crew in a Christmas-themed episode. The event also serves to give Melvi and Rockingham some backstory via a prolonged flashback.
  • The War Sequence: Chapters 10 and 11 focus on the climatic battle between the Kingdom of Leonis and Messala's Rebellion forces. Also serves as a Wham Episode.
  • Wave-Motion Gun: Rogia's version of End Attract takes the form of a massive laser beam as opposed to its original One-Hit Polykill depiction in PSO2. If Rogia becomes Law, his Elemental Blast evolves into True End Attract, which makes the laser even bigger.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Siegmund is only relevant for all of two Chapters before he gets whacked by his son Erwin.
  • Weapon of Choice: EP2 introduced Unique Weapon Symbols, highly rare Weapon Symbols that are based on the weapons wielded by the characters themselves. They can only be used by a character of the Class corresponding to the weapon's owner (such as Uly's Nautical Star only being usable by Brave characters), but in return they have more potent abilities and stats than normal Weapon Symbols.
  • Weapon of X Slaying: Uly's Elemental Blast, in all forms, has a unique effect that increases the damage dealt by 50% if the target is an Idola.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist:
    • It turns out New isn't as innocent as it looks, as it takes an extremely pragmatic approach to ensuring the prevention of Dark Falz's resurrection regardless of who gets hurt in the process. The facade starts to unravel in Record 8 when the Aries Knights start to connect some plot points that don't add up and realize that the only one who could have caused the Elevator Failure in Record 4 is New, and it flatly admits it with a You Didn't Ask.
    • Victoria wants to overthrow Canceed's royal family, who is notoriously biased against Rovers, and instate her own rule in its place where Rovers can live free without persecution. Unfortunately her methods are far more extreme and banks on harnessing Dark Falz Cave's power for her own gain, not helped by the revelation that the royal family was actually trying to destroy Cave and free Canceed from its influence.
  • Western Zodiac: The game is heavily themed around the Western Zodiac. There are 12 major Idola, who are referred to as "Zodiates"; each one shares its name with and is thematically designed around a member of the Zodiac, and when summoned in combat its corresponding astrological symbol appears to represent it. The game's four elements, Fire, Water, Wind, and Earth, are also based on the four elements corresponding to the Zodiac. There are Zodiate holders who have mismatched Element/Zodiate pairings, such as Stella, who is a Water Aries, that are referred to as Rovers.
  • Wham Episode: The end of Chapter 11 and the start of Chapter 12. Erwin backstabs damn near everyone by impaling his father Siegmund in cold blood, allowing him to steal Dark Falz's power for himself. Not only are the heroes absolutely livid, Siegmund barely has time for parting words before he dies in front of Anna and Rosa. This also ends up depowering Theatri in the process, causing him to make a Heel–Face Turn.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • New calls out the Warrior on their decision to protect Giselle even though killing her is the most logically sound option, completely shocked that they are willing to risk Dark Falz Cave becoming immortal just to protect her.
    • In return, Mirabel tears into New for having no sense of morality and causing the Elevator Failure with a complete disregard to her or Lindsey's safety in an attempt to kill Giselle.
  • What If?: Certain Bond Quests are listed as either "History" or "Legend". "Legend" Bond Quests are non-canon, but serve to depict an alternative scenario with that character. While it is common for one of the Fate Divergence Quests to be Legend and the other History, certain Bond Quest series are Legend altogether, such as Uly's path (who never Fate Diverges) and Quna (who is non-canon in general).
  • Whip Sword: Messala's Weapon of Choice is a bladed whip. This translates into gameplay as a unique normal attack that hits all enemies, unlike every other melee character who only hits single or random targets.
  • White Mage: The Saint Class, in Law. Saints specialize in healing and buff magic, including abilities such as Resta, Shifta, and Deband (or some combination of them). Some Saints also gain the ability to inflict debuffs on the enemy party after Fate Divergence.
  • Whole-Plot Reference: IDOLA is essentially Phantasy Star III but set in the PSO2 universe.
  • Word Salad Lyrics: "Endeavor" has some interesting English lyric choices. At least half of which sound grammatically incorrect.
  • You Didn't Ask: When grilled by Mirabel on why it didn't mention that it caused the Elevator Failure in Record 4, New just responds by stating that no one bothered bringing it up.
  • You Wouldn't Shoot Me: In EPISODE 2 Record 5, Lindsey turns on the heroes and holds Giselle at gunpoint after the party lets their guards down while traveling the desert. Despite literally having a rifle pointed at her head by a person whose entire motivation up to this point is to kill her, Giselle outright commands Lindsey to pull the trigger. She does, and Giselle keels over almost immediately... before getting up not a minute later and revealing (much to Lindsey's shock) that she is virtually immortal.
  • Zerg Rush: Totonotto's Elemental Blast, Rappy Rush, has her summoning a massive swarm of Rappies that stampede the enemy party, inflicting damage and removing buffs from them.

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