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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, released in Japan on November 27th, 2018. 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.

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.

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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 have the mysterious ability to transform into monstrous titans known as "Idola", which are all based on a major Constellation (with the most powerful being the Western Zodiac).

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.

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The game has an official YouTube channel, starring the game's very own Virtual YouTuber, Poponanote , who delivers regular content updates through videos. There is also an ongoing comedy web manga known as "Yuru Idola", initially created to promote the game before spinning off into an irregularly-updated second season.


IDOLA provides examples of:

  • 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.
  • Absolute Cleavage: Shannon's bodysuit is open at the chest area, allowing her to show off all of her cleavage.
  • 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. If multiple characters are using Fastest Priority actions simultaneously, then it boils down to the Speed stat. Conversely, there are skills with "Slowest Priority" that always go last.
    • In addition to having the unique distinction of having a "Fastest Priority" normal attack, Rosalinde [New Year] has the ability to inflict the unique "Fastest Seal" debuff, which negates the enemy's "Fastest Prioirty" effects.
  • 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 Phuramy.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Jasper's crew prefers to refer to him as "Boss".
  • All Your Powers Combined: Player-created Idola are basically what happens when you cross a Kaiju with the power-combining functions of a Megazord.
  • 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.
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 Phuramy 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.
  • 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!
  • 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 beastial 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 rare 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.
  • 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.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Many monster enemies are colored according to their Elemental affinity.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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 vs. 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.
  • 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 "Barrier" 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.
  • Dem Bones: Animated skeleton knights are among the enemies you can encounter.
  • 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 Single Target attacks to always target the unit who inflicted the debuff. Does not apply if the victim uses Random Target or All Target attacks, however.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • Phuramy looks and sounds extremely similar to Seraphy from Phantasy Star Online 2es. Various hints scattered throughout the game strongly imply that Phuramy is not only from another world, but she possesses a strong, unknown connection to the actual 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:
    • Law and Chaos factions outside of the main party do not like each other. Law in particular is rather extreme in persecuting Chaos.
    • Lycans in particular are an oppressed race. This serves as a motivation for a few characters, mainly Kibaki.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 is an out-and-out giant robot Idola.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 Phuramy got it, while the Attack on Titan cast and Matoi didn't.
  • 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.
  • Lethal Joke Character: Sasha, a 3★ Wind Knight. Most 3★s that aren't Elementors like Kampfer or Emil are considered nigh-useless due to their lacking stats and kits compared to higher rarity characters. Not Sasha though; Sasha packs the best tank skill in the game: a 7 Wind EB that gives her a maximum 40% DEF buff and Self-Sacrifice (plus Guts or a Counter Attack depending on FD). Compounded with DEF buffs from other characters, Sasha can eat nearly anything and everything the game can possibly throw at her and shrug it off like it's nothing.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 Dangerously Short Skirt.
    • Law Wyndis [Summer] and Phuramy [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 Phuramy [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.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Most female Chaos units of at least teenage or older. Gene and Rosalinde are two of the most well-known examples.
  • 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.
  • 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 Phuramy being two), and only Uly gets two Neutral Fate Divergences.
  • Nice Hat: Ido Rappies are identified by their signature white and green color scheme and big fancy hats.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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".
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Standard 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".
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 2019, she has five different versions, more than double of any other character besides Wyndis, including her base form and four variant forms (New Years, Summer, EX, and Memories).
    • Royal Leo is simply a straight upgrade of Leo with some extra trinkets added to make it visually distinct. Only Siegmund can summon Royal Leo, compared to his offspring, who can only summon regular Leos.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • 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 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 Gotta Have Blue Hair: Stella takes it Up to Eleven in the promotional art. "Rainbow" is a hair color only a few characters can claim to have.
  • 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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