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Video Game / Legionwood

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The characters enjoy a romantic sunset.

Legionwood: Tale of the Two Swords (or just Legionwood) is a popular PC RPG game released by Dark Gaia Studios (who also created the popular One Night Trilogy and the novel Sun Bleached Winter) on February 10, 2008. It's a 16-bit style JRPG in the tradition of Final Fantasy and is best known for its epic gameplay length and extremely tough battles.

Players take control of Lann Northwise and his sister Liana as they attend a local festival, only to witness their king being assassinated by a mysterious villain. Joining up with other anime styled characters, such as Ark, the famous general and Alexis, a pirate (there's even a naive princess, too) they try to find out who is behind the assassination plot and soon discover that a clandestine organisation is working behind the scenes to turn each of Legionwood's nations on each other and thrust the world into a brutal war. What follows is a pretty exciting story all about love, betrayal, forgotten secrets and reincarnation.

The game is linear for the most part though there are quite a fair number of side-quests and optional bosses to tackle, and a pretty innovative character development system where you choose your characters' stats as they level up and are free to teach them any skill or give them any equipment, even though nobody will be good at everything - and you can even reassign your stats at any time and redo your character builds if they aren't working.

A sequel called Legionwood 2: Rise of the Eternal's Realm was released on February 28, 2014. It takes place 300 years after the events of the first game and pits a new cast of characters up against the undead, gateways to other worlds, and hordes of barbarians. Unlike the first game, it's a commercial release, but it only retails for five bucks and a free demo containing the first hour of the game is available here.

In Legionwood 2, the player controls Lionel Lucem, an imperial soldier of Trevelle whose objective is to defend his homeland from invaders. Eventually, Lionel discovers that the current crisis gripping Legionwood is related to the events of the first game, and his relatively simple mission becomes a desperate struggle to prevent history from repeating itself. At key points in the game the player is called upon to make a choice, which influences the story and decides which of the Multiple Endings plays at the end of the adventure.

The third game in the series, Heroes of Legionwood, is an episodic RPG taking place one century after an apocalypse. Its first installment, Age of Darkness was released on July 24, 2015. Its second, Resurrection, was released on March 3, 2016. And its third/final, End of Days, was released on August 28, 2017.

The Legionwood games provide examples of these tropes:

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    Legionwood 1 
  • Aborted Arc: A large portion of the game focuses on the empire of Trevelle gradually turning over to Castoth's influence, with the assumption the party will go there at one point and see it first hand, but they never do.
    • In Chapter 3, Ark does take out Arcanius, who is the one chiefly responsible for the emperor's Face–Heel Turn.
      • It does also get briefly tied up in the epilogue.
  • Absurdly High Level Cap: Although you're roughly around level 60 by the end of the game, you can level up all the way to 99.
  • After the End: Although not immediately apparent at first, the game takes place two thousand years after an apocalypse, and ruined technological cities and spaceships serve as later dungeons.
  • Arbitrary Gun Power: Guns can be found in later dungeons, but they are mid-game weapons and strangely not as powerful as late game swords.
  • Arm Cannon: The robot enemies fought in the Technopolis can use this against you.
  • Battle Theme Music: There are three separate themes for random battles, boss battles and special boss battles. Halfway through the game, the music suddenly changes and new themes replace all three.
  • Big Good: Gaia created the two swords in order to seal Castoth and reincarnates as Lann in order to continue fighting him.
  • Big Bad: Castoth is a powerful demon who wants to break his seal, get revenge on his creator, and destroy Legionwood.
  • Bittersweet Ending: It's particularly notable in this game due to Liana dying right after the final boss fight and, although the Big Bad has been destroyed, the world is still in the midst of a horrible war.
  • Bonus Boss:
    • The Rift Entity, a superboss which can be fought after completing all of the side-quests in the game.
    • Beating it unlocks a different version of the final boss, which kinda counts as well.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: Several areas in the game contain rare enemies that you don't possibly have a hope of beating at your current level, such as the Green Dragons in Aldagard Forest, the Grudge Holders in Border Desert and the Zolom line of monsters.
    • If you do manage to beat them though, you usually get a *very* valuable reward, such as extra EXP, money or a rare item drop.
  • Blatant Item Placement: There are chests of *modern* money and healing items in ruins that are thousands of years old.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Non Player Characters often tell you about game concepts using terms that would not be known to them.
  • Character Portrait: The game uses a combination of pre-made portraits from the RPG Maker VX RTP and Kaduki faces.
  • Climax Boss: Bone Dragon, fought after the player discovers a sword handed down to them from the gods.
    • Undine, fought at the end of Chapter 3.
    • Kind of subverted in that there are bosses fought before a big chunk of exposition is handed out, such as the Tome Keeper fight, which happens right before the player character finds out that he is Gaia.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Later bosses always have the maximum value of SP and are able to predict your moves.
  • Crutch Character: Ultimately subverted in that while Ark has higher base stats, he has less overall AP to balance it out, and is eventually on par with the rest of the party due to the nature in which characters grow.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: Liana being able to trap herself and Castoth in another dimension in the ending, even though the final boss battle takes over half an hour to complete. Justified because Castoth himself sent Terminus into another dimension before the fight, allowing Liana to figure out how to do the same. Castoth's Cradle is also close to the Weave, making it easier to pull off such feats.
  • Defeating the Undefeatable: Subverted. The party aren't actually able to defeat Castoth and instead have to resort to sealing him away in a pocket dimension instead.
  • The Dragon: Merces to Terminus.
    • And Terminus to Castoth.
  • Dramatic Irony: Merces is introduced as a ruthless assassin in the opening of the game. If the player visits the first inn in the first town, he sitting right there, telling the party to move along. Lann and Liana do not find this suspicious at all, since they weren't present for the opening.
  • Duel Boss: Ark and Arcanius in Chapter 3.
  • Eccentric Mentor: Martyn.
  • Easter Egg: Several, from items being references to Harry Potter, to the numbers from LOST being on a computer terminal in Chapter 4.
    • There are also the gravestones in each town, which subtly refer to other games, television shows and books.
  • Elaborate Equals Effective: The late game weapons tend to look far more intimidating and complex than their earlier counterparts (swords in particular).
  • Eldritch Location: Castoth's Cradle
  • Enemy Scan: The Study Enemies skill, which seems to be removed in the latest version of the game.
  • Final Boss: Unsurprisingly given the opening cutscene outs him as the Big Bad, Castoth is the last enemy in the game. Though which version of him you fight depends on whether or not the player defeated the Rift Entity.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: You can sail your ship right into any of the game's ports, enter them and then be unable to get back into your ship because the impassable tile for the port is blocking your way. To avoid it, you have to dock your ship on the coastline, instead.
  • Gladiator Subquest: The Magris Arena.
  • Global Currency: Kyphers.
  • God Is Flawed: Gaia and Ark turn out to be the ones responsible for a lot of Legionwood's woes. The two are the gods who created the universe, and at some point, Gaia reincarnated himself into a human and went on to rule over Technopolis. Unfortunately, he and Ark eventually had a falling out, and in all his infinite wisdom, Gaia decided that building a planet destroying cannon would impress Ark and rekindle their friendship. The cannon misfired, destroying several planets under Ark's domain. In retaliation, Ark creates the demon Castoth and orders him to destroy Gaia and Legionwood. By the present, both deeply regret their actions, and Ark reincarnates as a human in order to help take down his former minion.
  • Guns Akimbo: Alexis can do this, and later in the game everybody else can if you give them the Dual Wielding skill.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • Gaia, when going up against Castoth.
    • Also played straight with Liana in the ending.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight:
    • The fight against Terminus at the end of Chapter 3.
    • There's also the fight with the Grudgeholder in Chapter 2 that shows how the Lann and Liana's parents died.
  • Interface Spoiler: The game's title screen shows only five of the six party members in the game. The title screen depticts a scene from the game's ending, after Liana has sacrificed herself.
  • Level-Up Fill-Up: Leveling up will result in HP and SP being restored.
  • MacGuffin: During Chapters 1 and 2, Martyn is one and later in the game, the Two Swords and the Forges take his place.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Agents of Castoth and Terminus who pretty much control each of the minor antagonists, such as Merces and the Trevellian emperor.
  • Mind Control: Both Ark and Merces are implied to be able to do this.
    • In fact, in Chapter 1 Merces uses it to turn an entire castle of friendly soldiers against you.
      • In the early betas of the game where the characters had Limit Breaks, Ark had a set of skills based on attacking the enemy's mind.
  • Non-Elemental: Several enemies and bosses, notably the Tome Keeper and the Trevellian Elite are this.
  • One Size Fits All: Mostly played straight, although one Runecraft has male and female versions.
  • One Stat to Rule Them All: Intellect. Combining a high Intellect with Quick Thinking and using Tri Spell or Time Slip can do upwards of 6000 damage to an enemy.
  • Palette Swap: Many random enemies later in the game.
  • Perfect Run Final Boss: You get to fight True Castoth if you take on the final boss after completing all of the optional side-quests.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: Whoever holds the Sword of Lore is implied to be this.
    • Technically, both the player character and Ark are this since they're the gods who originally created Legionwood *and* the Two Swords in the first place.
      • Even though he's not a "person" in the traditional sense, so is Castoth as he does wipe out two cities single-handedly in Chapter 4.
  • Point Build System: The game's AP system fits this trope. Ironically, the sequel inverts it with a more traditional class based system.
  • Point of No Return: In a rare case for J-RPG style games, this is actually inverted. The player can leave Castoth's Cradle at any point after entering — even if they're on the screen just before the final boss.
  • Rare Candy: Spices can be used to permanently increase stats. Better yet, some monsters drop spices, allowing for stat grinding even if a character hits the 255 AP limit for a stat.
  • Reincarnation Romance: Lann and Thyrra were Gaia and Terra in their past lives.
  • Save Point: Those blue crystal things scattered around the game. They fully heal your party, as well.
  • Sequel Hook: The game's epilogue, which says that Lann and Thyrra mysteriously disappeared after their adventure.
  • Shout-Out: The Final Fantasy series has a pair of recurring elemental swords called Flametongue and Icebrand. What does Legionwood have? Ice Tongue and Flamebrand.
    • Not to mention many of the monsters, such as the Zolom/Grand Zolom/King Zolom and its "Zolom Breath" attack. What does it do? Inflict a bunch of status conditions, of course.
  • Soft Reset: The F12 button, like in all RPG Maker games.
  • Status Buff: There's one skill for each stat that does this in battle.
    • The AP system also allows you to add to and decrease your stats at any time by reassigning AP.
  • Take Your Time: Particularly in Chapter 3 onwards, when the plot gets decidedly more urgent.
  • Title Drop: Both the terms "Legionwood" and "the Two Swords" are constantly echoed in cut-scenes and by Non Player Characters.
  • Turned Against Their Masters:
    • Merces, right before he fights you for the last time.
    • Castoth himself turned on Ark long ago for abandoning him.
    • Also somewhat inverted by Castoth turning against Terminus and trapping him in a pocket dimension for all eternity at the end of the game.
  • Updated Re-release: The "Final Edition", which was released in 2012 included rewritten dialogue and more polish, among other things.
  • Underwater Ruins: The lost city of Crebt.
  • The Unfought: The entirety of Chapter 4 seems to be building up to finally taking on Terminus, and then Castoth flings him into an alternate dimension in the final dungeon before you get to.
    • Technically, you do get to fight him once in Chapter 3, but it's more of a Hopeless Boss Fight.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: Castoth's Cradle.
  • Virtual Ghost: Scylla in the Technopolis and Gaia in the scene following the Tome Keeper fight.

    Legionwood 2 
  • Absurdly High Level Cap: The max level in Legionwood 2 is 50, but you'll only be pushing 30 by the time you get to the final dungeon. Though the higher levels might be more justified on Expert Mode
  • An Aesop: The first game touched on the idea of giving the benefit of doubt to those who want to atone for their grievous crimes, and the second game expands on this aesop. While Alexis eventually forgives Ark for his role in creating Castoth, Lionel has the choice to forgive Felix for selling out Ferrum to bandits, to put aside his grudge against the Entobians for killing Clara, and sparing Terminus so he can atone for his crimes as a Follower. In the case of the Entobians and Terminus, Lionel can choose to work with them for the greater good, but still won't entirely forgive them. The Entobians make the aesop more complicated, as many are unapologetic about the Trevellians they killed despite the Trevellians acknowledging their own crimes against Entobians. This makes it harder for both the player and Lionel to work with them, but the good route makes it clear that taking out the Eternal Gates is a larger priority, even if the people they're working with don't seek forgiveness. It is also shown that giving the Entobians a chance can change their minds, as shown in an optional cutscene where Khan realizes that the Entobians and Trevellians aren't so different.
  • Already Done for You: Most of the Eternal Gates. Two were destroyed by the Entobians and one was closed with the Lore Shard before it was given to you, leaving only two left for you to actually deal with.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: The essences used to teach Shaman Techs have infinite uses, which is good because they cannot be bought like other Techs.
  • The Atoner: Felix. In all of the good endings, he sacrifices himself because of his guilt over indirectly causing the death of his brother.
  • Big Bad: The Followers, with Circei being their current leader.
  • Bittersweet Ending: In the Reboot endings, Castoth is killed and not sent into the void outside of time, thus preventing the Stable Time Loop that created the Darkness. However, the battle was long and destructive enough to destroy most of human civilization and cause them to regress again.
  • Bonus Boss: The Dark Soul, which you can fight if you spare Terminus.
  • Combatant Cooldown System: Your Agility stat determines how often you get turns. Additionally, certain powerful attacks can increase the waiting time until your next turn.
  • Character Customization: While you don't have the freedom of the first game's AP system, you can still make some pretty unique character builds by mixing certain Sub Classes and Runecrafts.
  • Class and Level System: Unlike Legionwood 1, your characters' abilities are clealy and neatly determined by their chosen class. However, you're still free to mix and match the classes at will at any time.
  • Continuity Nod: The NPC dialogue refers to the first game's events due to information about the Followers' War being made public. However, some information was lost to the ages, such as Castoth and Terminus's actual fates of being trapped in a dimensional rift.
  • Critical Hit Class: The Gunner.
    • A dual wielding Rogue/Gunner may be even worse.
  • Crutch Character: The Gunner and Rogue classes are necessary in the beginning of the game for inflicting debuffs and ailments on the enemy, but their abilities have enough accuracy issues that they can't keep up with late game enemies. The Magus, Cleric, and Ranger will eventually be able to fulfill the debuff and ailment roles with more accuracy.
  • Darker and Edgier: While Legionwood 1 had its moments, it was definitely whimsical and light-hearted. In Legionwood 2, Lionel's lover dies in his arms in the intro, and there is noticeably much more death and suffering overall.
  • Defeat Means Playable: Terminus and the Vampire, if you decided to keep them alive.
  • Difficulty Levels: Later updates added Casual and Expert modes, which modify enemy stats. The difficulty can be changed in the camp menu.
  • Early Game Hell: Due to the low early game money drops, it can be difficult to get new equipment and experiment with different classes. While the late game is still difficult, the player will also have access to more useful classes, runecrafts, and techs.
  • Earn Your Bad Ending: While playing an evil game doesn't require much more effort than playing a good game, the game is decidedly harder if you play with a negative morality value (necessary to recieve one of the three bad endings) due to the items and quest rewards you receive.
  • Extra Turn: There are some Techs (such as the Gunner's Debilitating Shot or the Rogue's Speed Up) which can sometimes give you an extra turn right after your current one. This is because these Techs are delaying the enemy's turn. Unfortunately, it's not always clear which Techs have delaying effects.
  • From Bad to Worse: The odds get steadily grimmer throughout the game. Several of the endings imply that the heroes will eventually lose no matter what they do.
  • Gainax Ending: The Reboot A and Reboot B endings, which involve Lionel somehow going back in time to Legionwood 1 and altering the outcome of the fight with Castoth. While it's stated the Eternal Gates can allow Lionel to go to a void outside of time and space, thus allowing time travel, it doesn't explain how Lionel is able to change the past while Castoth merely fulfilled a Stable Time Loop.
  • Graphics-Induced Super-Deformed: Compared to the first game's art style (which at least included detailed renditions of the characters during some cutscenes), the protagonists are definitely this.
  • The Greatest Story Never Told: All things considered, this would probably be the outcome of the Reboot endings.
  • Happy Ending Override: Liana's Heroic Sacrifice in the previous game ended up allowing Castoth to escape to the past, become an Energy Being known as the Darkness, kill both gods, destroy Westholm and many other worlds, and cause a Stable Time Loop.
  • Healer Signs On Early: Averted, as you never actually get a character whose default class is Cleric.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: Lionel's default class is Warrior, which mainly uses swords and swordplay in combat.
    • You can easily change him into any other class, though.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Felix or Aelia, depending on your morality.
  • Hypocrite Has a Point: The Entobians have a point in not trusting Trevelle, since the latter country did attempt to annex them through force in the past and killed many Entobians. However, many Entobians, including party member Khan, have no empathy for any Trevellian civilians that were killed by Entobian soldiers, and go to insane mental gymnastics to claim the civilians were evil and deserved it.
  • Late Character Syndrome: Averted with Khan as he joins your party with a brand new class equipped and all the Techs to go with it.
  • Luck Stat: Literally called Luck. It vaguely affects your Critical Hit and Evade rates, but it's not exactly clear how it works.
  • Never My Fault: Zigzagged with the Entobians. Many feel as if they are blameless in the war between themselves and Trevelle, but others acknowledge that their country isn't so innocent and are willing to give the benefit of doubt to Trevellians.
  • No Points for Neutrality: You can only choose between good and evil. Neutral choices don't even exist.
    • Well, there is the "Neutral" morality label that your party can get, but it only means you haven't made enough choices yet to be properly considered good or evil.
  • Numerical Hard: The Casual and Expert difficulties multiply enemy stats by 0.75 and 1.24 respectively. These multipliers make a huge difference, since agility determines the frequency of a character's turn.
  • Multiple Endings: Six, to be exact.
  • Outside-the-Box Tactic: The Lich fight in the Unknown Castle can be rather long and difficult. The way to speed it up? Turn either of your party members into a Rogue and steal the Phylactery from him.
  • Permanently Missable Content: It's possible to lose out on the reward for the Hobgoblin subjugation quest by completing the bandit breakout quest first. Said reward is also required to get into the Emperor's Citadel and get the true endings.
  • Properly Paranoid: The Entobians suspected that Trevelle is behind the Eternal Gates corrupting the wildlife all over Legionwood. While Trevelle itself isn't behind it, one of the senators, Marcus, is a Follower who is secretly aiding the Darkness and trying to impede all attempts to seal the gates.
  • Red Herring Mole: The party realizes that someone is trying to prevent them from sealing the Eternal Gates and that information is being leaked from Trevelle to their enemy. Senator Glacius is suspected by the party, since he was somewhat forceful in having them take the Barbarian's Proof, which didn't endear them to the Entobians like he said it would. The real mole is actually Senator Marcus, who traveled with the party in order to inform Circei of their movements.
  • Relationship Values: You can get special items from Aelia and Felix, provided you've been nice to them throughout the game.
  • Run, Don't Walk: You can toggle this in the Options menu.
  • Scratch Damage: Averted. If your Defense is high enough, you can cancel out enemy attacks entirely.
  • Shout-Out: In a similar vein to Legionwood 1, there are a whole lot of them, from Fallout 3 to The Walking Dead.
  • Stable Time Loop: The ending of Legionwood 1 causes Castoth to go back in time and become the Darkness, whose attack on Westholm is the reason for Legionwood's creation in the first place. The events of Legionwood 2 are just the final phase of the loop.
  • Taking You with Me: So what if Felix/Aelia is about to die? They're going to take Circei with them!
  • This Is the Final Battle: Ironically, it's spoken in the Revelation A ending after you've already beaten said battle.
  • Took a Level in Badass: The Swords of Gaia and Ark were depowered in the first game, but due to being trapped with Castoth in a rift outside of time and space, they gain power surpassing the Sword of Lore.

    Heroes of Legionwood 
  • Changed My Mind, Kid: In Act 2, the player can choose to side with either the Lightbringers or the Dark Disciples. Both choices will cause two party members to leave because of their varying sympathies or grievances with the factions. If the deserters' Relationship Values are high enough, they will rejoin in time for the Final Boss of the act.
  • Magikarp Power: The Shaman class starts with low SP, but all of their offensive Techs hit the entire enemy party and they will eventually gain enough SP to spam these Techs. They also come with their own magic-increasing buff that can stack with the standard magic buff.
  • Old Save Bonus: At the end of the Acts 1 and 2, the player can make a save file to carry over into the next act, allowing them to keep their stats. Otherwise, the next act will start them out with random story choices and very basic gear.
  • Purely Aesthetic Gender: Locke, the main protagonist of the first episode (and optionally the others), can be a guy or a girl.
  • Skippable Boss: Depending on Locke's class and Talents, some boss battles can be avoided. For example, the Grudge Holder in Wildwood Cave can be instantly purified in a cutscene if Locke has the Shaman class.
  • You Lose at Zero Trust: This game will penalize the player for not properly balancing everyone's Relationship Values. The Final Boss of Act 1 can steal the soul of any party member who has low influence values and temporarily turn them into a minion. After the pyramid dungeon in Act 2, two party members will leave depending on your chosen faction, and they won't return during the final battle unless their influence values are high. They will return later, but having fewer party members for any period of time is still a harsh punishment, especially on higher difficulties.