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Book, Librarian, Star and City

May you find your book in this place.
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Library Of Ruina is a Deck Building Turn-Based Strategy RPG Simulation Game developed and published by South Korean independent video game studio Project Moon. It was released on Steam Early Access on May 15, 2020. The game is a direct sequel to Lobotomy Corporation and as such reveals important plot points about the game's main plot and ending.

The game's story takes the form of a Visual Novel and follows directly from the ending of the previous game. Roland, a low-grade Fixer from a location known only as the City, one day finds himself transported into the foyer of the titular Library, a mysterious location filled with books on any subject one could think of. He soon finds himself in the company of the Head Librarian Angela, and after a brief scuffle, she decides to spare him and recruits him to be her guide on the outside world. Angela has a strange way of going about it though, as she sends out calling cards called Invitations to ask people to come to the Library and gives them a choice in whether they accept or decline. If the guests accept, they must survive mortal combat against the Librarians that guard the building; if they win, they can take any book they want. If they lose, they will become a book themselves. All of this is in service to Angela's true goal — gaining the one "perfect" book that can make her into a human.

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As Roland and Angela fight to add more and more books to the Library's shelves, a winding plot unfolds that explores multiple parts of the City and its people. From the lowly gang members and various psychos that prowl the streets, to the Fixers of varying strengths and moralities, all the way to the highest echelons of society, the Library picks a fight with stronger and stronger forces as it rises from a mere backalley rumor to the City's top position of infamy. All the while, a war brews over the land occupied by the Library, and a figure known as The Blue Reverberation puts into motion a strange plot that will shake the City, and its people, to their very core.

The game's battle system takes the form of a Turn-Based duel with your team of Librarians against the invading Guests. At the beginning of each turn, both teams roll Speed Dice, which determines the order of attack — characters with more than one Speed Dice can take as many actions as they have Speed Dice. The Librarians and Guests then pick and choose combat cards called "Pages", apply them to their respective Speed Dice, and then both teams engage in combat with the Speed Dice determining the order in which combat plays out. Status Effects, special defensive cards and the Light cost of each card add depth to the combat system and incentivize the player to build a strong, cohesive deck for their Librarians to use.

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An additional layer of depth lies within the Emotion Point system. As the Librarians and Guests clash with each other, they will generate a supply of Emotion Points which will raise the Emotion Level of their side. For the Librarians, their Light supply will be refilled and they will gain access to powerful buff cards called "Abnormality Pages", based off the Abnormality monsters from the previous game. Each floor of the Library has their own unique Abnormality Pages which center around a specific playstyle, such as the Floor of Technological Science's Glass Cannon approach, or the Floor of Art's Regenerating Health intricacies. For the Guests, higher Emotion Levels will cause them to drop more Books when defeated, which can be consumed after the battle to gain the Pages the Guests themselves used. All of this adds up to a game with lots of playstyles and viable approaches to battle, with hundreds of Pages to collect, plenty of Abnormality Pages to play with, and dozens upon dozens of potential decks to be built.

The game has been fully released as of August 2021. Later updates on PC also added an "Invitation Editor" allowing users to create their own custom battles for the game.

The game also has a novel tie-in, The Distortion Detective, which is set concurrently to the events of the game, but from the perspective of a Fixer outside of the Library. The series has been cancelled, but ProjectMoon has announced that they intend to develop a full-scale game based on the series following their next game's release. In November 2021, ProjectMoon announced a comic taking place in the game's setting, Leviathan. Since June 2022, said comic has since been adapted into an illustrated webnovel due to management issues and concerns over the artist's health.

Has an upcoming winter 2022 sequel of its own, Limbus Company.

May you find your tropes in this place:

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  • Achievement Mockery: The achievement appropriately called "Whoopsie-daisy!", earned by entering a combat phase without slotting any Speed die for all librarians who can act.
    Your finger probably slipped for this one.
  • Action Bomb: Fighters in the Floor of History if they take the Footfalls Abnormality card.
  • Aerith and Bob: The Sephirah from Lobotomy Corporation return, so we keep the mix of names, now with the addition of the very plainly named "Roland". Revealed to be Subverted later on, since Roland is based on one of the twelve paladins of Charlemagne.
  • An Aesop:
    • A simple, but timeless one: a Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse. No matter what happens to you in life, it is unacceptable to visit pain upon others to cure your own. Half of the major cast learns to express this moral in some way, with the climax of the story being Angela realizing how much damage she's caused and undoing it while stating that she's doing so to end the Cycle of Revenge, and Roland dropping his desire for blind revenge and becoming actual friends with Angela.
    • Revenge Before Reason inevitably brings forth disaster. Roland and Angela's motivations can be summed up as revenge against their unfortunate consequences despite the source of their sorrow being long gone. If they "succeed" in their revenge, they lose everything — Angela remains trapped in the Library and becomes just another Star of the City to eventually be shot down, while Roland dies an inglorious death with nothing left to live for. Even Guests who were once rational professionals demonstrate this; their loved ones get booked inside the Library, and they decide to storm the building in revenge only to be booked anyway, causing a chain of Disaster Dominoes that ensures the entities who could otherwise stop the Reverberation Ensemble from spreading the Seed of Light are removed from the picture.
  • Affably Evil: All over the place: the nature of the setting means that almost everyone shown is, at the very least, incredibly ruthless and pragmatic, but plenty of them don't take this to mean they have to be rude about it. In the City, you end up with such things as cannibal killers, Ambiguously Human monsters, and brutal Syndicate thugs who are nothing if not friendly, polite individuals.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • Unlike Guest Invitations, Abnormality battles don't cost you anything if you lose, letting you try as many times as you want. Given that Abnormalities offer the game's biggest Puzzle Bosses compared to Guests, this is a welcome feature.
    • During The Realization Of Keter Floor, you do not reset to the beginning of the fight if you lose or quit out, only to the beginning of whichever phase you were on, due to each phase being a fair bit longer than normal for a Floor Realization.
    • The Reverb Ensemble/Uninvited Guests/Endgame event has a number of these to make it significantly less frustrating.
      • The game gives you ample warning that even initiating this event has long-term consequences. As a result, the game makes it very clear that you should be prepared before entering the Point of No Return. This also serves as a hint to finish the Floor Realizations. In addition, you don't need to put up any books for this invitation due to the Ensemble invading the Library of their own accord, meaning you can access the fights at any time they become unlocked.
      • Initiating the Reception of the Reverb Ensemble triggers the Uninvited Guests scenario, locking you in and preventing you from burning books. At the same time, you can quit out of this immediately after starting it if you feel ill-equipped. The Uninvited Guests scenario proceeds as such: each floor must fight a one on one with the Ensemble, and any decks used to beat that respective fight get locked in, unable to be used on other floors since the fights are meant to be happening simultaneously. However, in the interest of opening more strategies, completing each of the Asiyah, Briah, and Azitluth encounters unlocks the decks used to complete them, which prevents a player from getting stuck after spending all their good stuff on earlier fights.
      • You can break in between every fight, which is helpful since altogether there are a whopping 18 bosses in the entire Uninvited Guests sequence: ten fights against the Ensemble, Roland, the five Keter Floor Realization bosses, the Ensemble Distorted, and the Head's elite troops. This monstrous gauntlet will likely take several hours to finish alone, so being able to stop and come back later to chip away at it makes it far easier to digest. The Keter Realizations fights are also far longer than any other Realization in the game, and with unique rules for fighting them to boot, so the game graciously checkpoints between each phase.
    • While there is an achievement mocking you for if you start a round with no actions assigned, suggesting that your finger slipped, the game does ignore "begin round" inputs for several seconds after you roll your speed dice, making it less likely that you'll just double-click and pass your entire turn by accident.
  • April Fools' Day: In form of an announcement for an OVA about the Smoke War, that was said to involve R Corp, Ayin, and Benjamin.
  • Art Evolution: A few justified examples
    • Character sprites have more realistic proportions due to the lack of a perception filter.
    • E.G.O. equipment comes in a more diverse variety of shapes due to the Library being a less formal work environment than its predecessor. They are also more intricate-looking; a prime example would be Gold Rush now looking like a proper king's robe, full with Bling of War and Pretty in Mink. A rather interesting change is the Wrist Cutter E.G.O, which is now identical to Angela's former outfit but soaked in blood.
  • Asshole Victim:
    • A lot of the people invited to the Library are just trying to get by in a Crapsack World, but some are prime examples of this.
      • Yun, the Operator of Yun's Office, sacrificed all of his employees in the hopes of claiming books to make cash. It should be noted, though, that Yun is on the verge of bankruptcy and is doing all he can to stay afloat, and that he is also not happy with what he has to do to his subordinates.
      • Jack and Pierre are two cooks from the Backstreets of District 23, with all that implies.
      • The Kurokumo Clan is a Syndicate and subsidiary to the Thumb which belongs to the Five Fingers, very powerful Syndicates whom the Wings and even the Head can't fully control. The aforementioned Thumb itself is also notorious for its hierachy and politeness-based culture, which is taken to such an extreme that it comes across as horrifying rather than admirable.
      • The Index, another Finger like the Thumb, also visits the Library. The Index doesn't tax its wards with money; instead, taxes come in the form of bizarre orders known as "Prescripts", which must be followed at all costs. Those who do not follow the Prescript will face execution.
      • Cane Office's president, Nemo, is literally a money-grubbing Corrupt Corporate Executive, and is among one of the most blatantly greedy people you will meet in the game. He accepted Pluto's deal in taking W Corp's singularity so they can start a patent war and get their Singularity for their own use. However, per rule of the Yesterday's Promise, there's a very small line of text which states that Nemo must go raid the Library for him...and he still treats that as an opportunity to get money. Sure enough, the whole office gets decimated in there.
    • Out of the Library, there's also Thelma, the corrupt manager of the Shi Southern Branch who openly abuses his position and has only preserved it thanks to Argalia. After manipulating him into exhausting and decimating Section 2 of his branch through a slew of difficult tasks, Argalia orders the Smiling Faces, an Urban Nightmare-tier Syndicate consisting of inhuman abominations, to flake him alive into 10,000 meat flakes as he belittles and insults Thelma.
  • Background Music Override:
    • Some Guests will have their own background and theme replacing the Floor of your choosing's theme, as shown with Love Town's Tomerry, Philip, the 8 o'clock Circus' Emma and Noah, The Crying Children, the Red Mist, Xiao, and Yan. In the case of Tomerry and Emma/Noah, there are multiple enemies on-screen units, but defeating the strongest unit will restore the background music and background to its default state.
    • The player can do this by using any E.G.O. page that allows you to synchronize with its corresponding Anomaly, overriding the background music with the Library of Ruina version of Second Warning for the duration of the synchronization. Likewise, when Gebura uses her Red Mist E.G.O. page, the background music is overridden with The Red Mist, including the guest-specific overrides above.
  • Bait-and-Switch Boss:
    • The introduction for the Full-Stop Office deals with a cult called the Church of Gears. It seems that the Church will be the ones fought, but the Office bursts in and kills everyone except its leader, who is saved by Argalia/the Blue Reverberation and Pluto. The Full-Stop Office is then forced by Argalia to enter the Library.
    • The Wedge Office might resemble a normal fight against Fixers just like the reception before it, Dawn Office. However, the Office itself is just phase 1, and the real boss battle occurs in a second Act against an incredibly powerful E.G.O. Philip.
    • Tiphereth's floor realization features you going up against the Magical Girl Abnormalities. But instead of Angela, it's Roland who wields the E.G.O.s of the floor, and from then on, he's the one who undergoes a Meltdown.
    • Xiao, the president of the Liu Association, was noticeably growing horns and scale at the end of her first reception, seemingly setting herself up to become a Distortion. Instead, the second phase of her last fight has her manifest a full E.G.O. instead.
  • Band of Brothers:
    • Double Subverted in terms of Fixers. Relationships between Fixers are often distant and rife with betrayal and abandonment due to the sheer lethality of the profession, where a close friend or loved one can easily be killed without warning. This makes long-term relationships in the business much harder to achieve without threatening personal capability. However, many groups of Fixers encountered in-game still display some amounts of compassion or concern for one another.
    • Played completely straight for many Syndicates, which espouse tight loyalty between members by principle, and are much less likely to betray their own circles. The Brotherhood of Iron, the Stray Dogs, and the Thumb are prime examples of this.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For:
    • Near the end of the game, Angela's desire to become human finally gets fulfilled. However, this is right after she learns from the Reverberation Ensemble that she is indirectly responsible for the Distortions that made Roland's life hell, and now due to her mortal body Roland can finally get the chance to kill her. If Angela kills Roland instead, she will terrorize the City using the Library and her newfound mortal body, but she is still bound inside the Library due to what she did, unable to get the freedom she wished for, and is finally slain by an unnamed woman after 13 years. At the end, Angela will not get a happy ending from becoming a human.
    • In addition, the more human Angela becomes, the more she realizes just how bad the means she used to do so, namely inviting guests to the Library and then subsequently killing them to turn them into books in order to gather light, are. By the time she's fully human, she ends up having a Heel Realization when Roland calls her out for it, which can lead to a full Heel–Face Turn where she releases the booked Guests at the cost of her newfound humanity.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: There are several faction leaders who are fighting against the protagonists:
    • Zena is an Arbiter of the Head, the shadowy entity which controls the Wings, the megacorporations which tyrannically reign over the districts of the City. She directly leads the to destroy the Library on behalf of her superiors, and is the Post-Final Boss.
    • Moirai and Kalo are two high-ranking members of the Five Fingers, the most powerful, infamous, and dangerous Syndicates in the City which exert control over the Backstreets and have enough power to rival that of the Wings. Moirai and Kalo are an Index Weaver and Sottocapi, respectively, who are in charge of some operations in Nest L which bring them (or those around them) into conflict against the Library.
    • Argalia, the Blue Reverberation, is a Color Fixer and the supreme leader of the Reverberation Ensemble, a gang of Distortions, who seeks to overthrow both the Wings and major Syndicates, hoping to use the Library to turn the entire City into Distortions. Compared to the aforementioned two, he has the most focus and relevance in the story as an antagonist.
    • Carmen, founder of the Seed of Light project, is now the Voice, the City-Distorting omnipresent existence that tries to make other turn into the Distortions of the game, and is the will of the Library itself, manipulating both Angela and Argalia to do her work.
  • Bishōnen Line: "Stabilized" Distortions tend to look much more humanoid than their initial forms, and are also quite a bit more powerful. This is seen with both Philip and Roland, who both start as monstrous and inhuman Distortions and assume a more powerful humanoid shape later.
  • Bittersweet Ending: After having a Heel Realization, Angela gives up on her quest to become human, separating herself from Carmen and freeing everyone she absorbed, with Roland letting go of his vengeance and keeping her safe while dealing with the revived Reverb Ensemble. However, this act of Angela returning to being a robot is seen as the final nail in the Library's coffin, and Enforcers of the Head arrive to move all of it to the Outskirts, despite everyone's best attempts at protecting it. Now stranded and back to where it all began, Angela works to reopen the Library under a different operation, redirecting her vengeance at the Head itself for perpetuating the cycle, while Roland decides to write a book about all that he knows about the City. A deleted scene also features a new Association is created to deal with the rising threats of Abnormalities and Distortions, as issued by the Purple Tear, leading up Project Moon's next game, Limbus Company.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: The game gives up its Grotesque Cute style completely when depicting violent or gory events in cutscenes since the cognition filter used in Lobotomy Corporation does not exist in this game. As a result, many disturbing images presented to the player are displayed in their full glory. This is especially obvious in Love Town, where the player can see cutscenes of Warp Train passengers mutilating and eating each other.
  • Bonus Boss: The "General Invitations" count as these. Instead of following the main story, the player can at any time place a random assortment of books from a chapter into an Invitation and be put into an encounter filled with unique enemies and cards. For example, any one-to-three Urban Plague books will put the player into a fight against either the Rusted Chains, Workshop-affiliated Fixers, or Jeong's Office, who can never be fought outside of this scenario. Some of the cards earned during these fights make certain builds much easier and are generally quite strong, so it's important that a player stops progressing with the plot every now and again to give these a whirl. In particular, several General Receptions in the Star of the City chapter can only be fought using certain tiers of books (based on which row of episodes they were obtained from.)
  • Book Ends:
    • The story's first battle against the Rats takes place in the Floor of General Works with only Roland. The story's Post-Final Boss battle against the Head also takes place in the Floor of General Works, starting with Roland as the sole combatant (although Gebura and Binah will join in later).
    • The Floor of General Works is both the first floor available and the last floor to be realized.
    • Carmen and Ayin's research started in the Outskirts and progressed into the next phase because of an invasion by the Head. At the end of the game, another attack by the Head expunges the whole Library back into the Outskirts.
    • The prose seen at the start of each chapter are excerpts from Yun Dong-ju's poems. Specifically, the Canard and Impurity chapters use the first and last sentences of "The Road". Both can also refer to Roland in some way at those points in the game; the former refers to his appearance in Canard, while the latter refers to his motivations.
  • Boring, but Practical: A huge element of the metagame for Library of Ruina is being able to assemble competent decks. Each set of pages can have a completely different focus from the rest, such as inflicting Bleed via Kurokumo Clan or Thumb pages, or more unique effects such as Smoke (which grants a buff that increases card strength depending on how many stacks of it you have) or Charge (where certain cards grant stacks of a buff that can be expended on other cards for different effects). Or you could just build an Index Singleton deck, where every card in your deck must be unique to proc the Singleton bonus. Doing so usually grants cards with the Singleton tag huge dice roll bonuses or other useful effects, and unlike most card packs, Index cards are designed to synergize extremely well with one another. Singleton even retains its usefulness into Star of the City, where new Singleton cards are introduced and can be very powerful if built around - especially since, by its very nature, you can just replace individual cards in a Singleton deck with stronger ones as needed.
  • Boss Rush:
    • To 100% complete a Floor, you must face off against Angela (and later Roland), who goes into a Meltdown-esque freakout after being stood up to by said Floor's Patron Librarian, using the E.G.O.s of every Abnormality faced on said floor without break, including an additional one which has not previously appeared.
    • Just like in Lobotomy Corporation, the final scenario of the game, triggered after defeating the Hana Association is a slew of 18 boss fights, consisting of 10 individual Reverberation Ensemble members, the Black Silence (a Marathon Boss), the Keter Realization (consisting of 5 separate Abnormality bosses with breaks, made up for with the increased difficulty of each battle), the Reverb Ensemble Distorted (three boss fights), and an Arbiter and a Claw Executioner. There's also a roadblock after the Black Silence that makes sure you have to clear all previous nine Floor Realizations before you could continue. If you don't, you are forced to choose a bad ending and back off, clear the remaining Realizations, and start over from the first series of encounters.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: Some of the rewards from the End Game Boss Rush ( Black Silence, Kether 5th Abnormality pages, Kether EGO Pages, and Reverberation Ensemble Unique Combat Pages ) are all given after the last of these fights, With only one fight left where you can't use any of them.
  • Break Meter: Every character has a Stagger meter in addition to their Health meter, which acts as an equivalent of the Sanity Gauge in the prequel. If it's emptied, the character will be unable to act until the end of the next turn, and all resistences will be lowered to Fatal (damage is doubled). Attacks normally damage both the Health and Stagger meter, but characters have separate resistances/weaknesses for each: so, for example, a character might take half Health damage, but doubled Stagger damage.
  • But Thou Must!: A non-player example. Invitations are sent to people who are in a situation where they have to accept it. The invitees' reasoning for it vary.
  • Characters Dropping Like Flies: With a few exceptions, nearly every guest of the Library has their own short little subplot or connection to a larger picture and dies once you manage to beat them.
  • Call-Back: Many are made to the prequel game, Lobotomy Corporation.
    • Roland recalls seeing a "weird white light" that happened a while ago, referencing the Seed of Light which manifested in the true ending of Lobotomy Corporation.
    • The Red Mist's book and Tiphereth's cutscenes mention a boy named Enoch. While merely a Posthumous Character who never appears in-game, Enoch is actually the human ego of the now-deceased Tiphereth B, who appeared in Lobotomy Corporation.
    • Clearing the Floor of General Works' Realization leads to Angela re-releasing the Library's collected Light, seen in an image of the Library releasing a bright beam of light into the sky in the middle of Nest L. This deliberately calls back to the ending scene of Lobotomy Corporation, which depicts almost the exact same thing, just without the Library.
  • Capitalism Is Bad: Heavily exaggerated and Played for Horror. While the game doesn't outright state it, the City doesn't have any non-corporate governors. In fact, it's solely ruled by corporations known as Wings who basically run on fanatical capitalism; even the Head, supposedly being ruling authorities, are actually one such Corporation known as A Corp. It's not even a matter of pure greed; many of them seem to just make decisions that maximize bloodshed or violate all common sense either because they are integral for the Wing's survival, outright weirdness, malice or even any combination of the above. Standouts include the former L Corp, whose manager deliberately gets his employees horribly killed by Abnormalities, or W Corp. forcing passengers of the WARP Train to suffer from a torturous 2000 century-long ride only to undo their trauma upon arrival. The commonfolk are thrown into backstreet slums that the Wings barely regulate and everyone has to more or less stab each other in the back just to survive. Most people there actually have to earn enough money to go to metropolitan areas called Nests, where the Wings who are in charge can and will kick you out if you do not contribute enough to their society.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Literally everything a group says foreshadows upcoming opponents.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: All over the place here. Along with the Flavor Text from Lobotomy Corporation hinting of the Crapsack World beyond the facility, most chapters mention characters who will show up later. For example, at the start of the game, the Rats talk about the Stray Dogs and the Fingers. They also mention an entity heavily implied to be the Puppeteer, and the mangled corpse they collected was implied to be a victim of Pluto.
  • City of Adventure: For every deadly danger the City has to offer, there’s a proportionally great opportunity for talented and well-armed denizens to achieve fame and riches by eliminating these dangers... or becoming one themselves.
  • City with No Name: The eponymous City itself, where the events of the game takes place. If it has a name, no one's bothered mentioning it.
  • Censored Child Death: Despite the game holding nothing back in telling us that children are being killed or experimented upon back and forth especially in the Outskirts, child deaths are always only mentioned in-passing. The most notable instance is Enoch's death, but in Angela's bad ending, Tiphereth (formerly Lisa) was presumably killed offscreen alongside the other Sephirah, but she does not show up on-screen, nor does Hod confirm her death unlike Malkuth, Yesod and Netzach.
  • Conducting the Carnage: According to the Purple Tear, the Distortions that make up the Reverberation Ensemble are based on orchestra placement:
    • Pluto/Yesterday's Promise is the pipe organ.
    • Eileen is the harp.
    • Tanya/L'heure de Loup is the voila.
    • Philip/The Crying Children is the cello.
    • Oswald is the clarinet.
    • The Musicians of Bremen's three heads, Doodle-Doo, Heehaw, and Woof, serve as the horn, tuba, and trombone.
    • Elena/Blood-red Night is the first violin.
    • Greta is the percussion.
    • Jae-heon/The Puppeteer is the second violin.
  • Continuity Nod: Several are made to the characters and plot of The Distortion Detective.
    • Oscar's Page mentions Moses and her Fixers, who visited the 8 o'Clock Circus in District 12 at the same time that Oscar's crew were defeating them.
    • While not naming her outright, Maxim's Page and Nikolai's Page allude to Dias, main antagonist of The Distortion Detective, and her role in helping to mastermind the Smoke War.
    • The Udjat, the main antagonistic faction in The Distortion Detective, is one of the General Invitations during Star of the City. In fact, the Udjat's Page is the only place where Dias is mentioned by name in the whole game.
  • Crapsack World: While alluded to in Lobotomy Corporation, the world outside the facility is the main setting this time around, and it's... not great. To say it's not great is actually an understatement; the City as seen in game is pretty much hell on earth.
    • It says a lot that Hired Guns, whether police-like paramilitary units or thuggish Syndicates, are about as common as retail workers.
    • The whole city is run by the Wings, corrupt corporations practicing fanatical capitalism; their leader, the Head, actively maintains this status quo through outlandish laws that are enforced with absolute severity, inflicting harsh and often lethal punishment on anyone who even thinks of disobeying their rule while objectively obscene crimes are left ignored and only regulated by Fixers. Most, if not all, of the Wings are thoroughly corrupt and not simply for monetary reasons; it seemed like they were powered by an unholy combination of carnage, human suffering, outright weirdness and greed. If you do get enough money to go to a Nest (aka a Metropolitan area), the Wings will kick you back to the slums if you don't yield any form of produce.
    • Even in the Slums called Backstreets, Syndicates, consisting of organized crime groups and their more overtly thuggish associates, roam around the Backstreets and tax its residents with hefty sums of cash or weird orders and will happily execute those who don't pay or follow these orders without a question. They are also more than willing to fight with each other to death and let nearby residents be caught in the crossfire. At the top of all Syndicates are the Five Fingers, who are considered equal to the Wings in terms of power and influence.
    • The Seed of Light Golden Ending back in Lobotomy Corp was halted by Angela, creating a whole, new set of threats against The City itself; Distortions. These are recurring phenomena where people, sometimes even a collective, outright transform into half-Abnormalities who go around and wreak havoc, self-destruct, or even becoming shrewd manipulators who use their powers for nefarious purposes. As it turns out based on revelations later on in the game, it's implied Angela just slowed down the Distortion Phenomenon and limited its frequencies; if the Seed of Light were to be completely realized, then every other person would become distortions or came out wielding E.G.O.s, something that based on how many crazy lunatics are in the City, will most definitely end up in mass, uncontrolled chaos.
    • Just about every person coming to the Library is either someone looking for their big break out of squalor, trying to make ends meet, just plain crazy, or even being forcefully thrown into it.
    • The pre-combat story for the Rats shows us that harvesting human organs (referred to as 'Gut-Harvesting') is common enough to be a lucrative business. And that's just scraping the surface; Human Resources are really a thing in the City.
    • Perhaps the most interesting element of all of this hopelessness and inequality is the presence of something called "the disease of the mind", which is only alluded to briefly as the motivation for Ayin and Carmen's creation of the Seed of Light and a prevailing problem plaguing the citizens of this world. What is said disease? A species wide Lack of Empathy epidemic, which is slowly causing the human race to slide further into despair and self-destruction. Arguably, this may be less of a true disease and more an effect of the Head's imposed status quo and their general neglect towards the chaos in the outside world, leaving the Cityfolk to suppress actual criminals and perpetuating the cycle when their loved ones get killed and they descend into extreme, irrational acts for revenge.
    • Double Subverted in terms of the Library. According to Roland, the Library is somehow better than being on the streets due to the fact that at the very least, they're inviting people to lose their lives, rather than having it taken away from them by force. However, later on, knowing the Library's combatants never lost a fight, Argalia and his fellow minions start using the Library as a glorified execution chamber and the authorities start to raid the place periodically with their elite agents. Even later still, it's revealed that the Will of the Library has been directly interfering with things behind the scenes to get people to accept the invitations and the Library abducts the Guest's physical bodies as soon as they set foot, making this Played Straight from the get-go.
  • Curb Stomp Cushion: At the end of the game, while the Library is completely outmatched by the Agents of the Head, they still manage to hold out for a surprisingly long amount of time, all things considered. Zena is even surprised that they're still holding on, and ultimately, while the Library is still banished to the Outskirts, the Head fails to recover Binah.
  • Cycle of Revenge: A prevailing theme of the game is the destructive and pointless impulse of revenge, especially in that it can lead to hurting innocents, who then will themselves descend to the unthinkable to carry out their revenge, perpetuating the cycle. It is only when Roland and Angela finally let go of their grudges that they can move on and have a happy ending.
  • Damage Over Time: Several ailments produce this effect, and slowly weaken every time they're activated. The most common ones are "Burn", which inflicts damage at the end of every turn; and "Bleed", which activates every time the affected character attacks, but disappears completely at the end of a turn.
  • Darker and Edgier: Downplayed, since Lobotomy Corporation is a dark enough game with gruesome deaths all over the place and a Dystopian outside world mentioned in passing, although we don't really see how bad the outside world is. However in Library of Ruina, since the outside world is now the main focus, we get to see it in its full glory...and just as expected, everything is terribly wrong. Basically nobody seems to be in their right state of mind, bloodthirsty and eccentric Megacorps and organized thugs who kill for strange reasons rule over every square mile of the city, aspiring young men and women are forced to enroll into paramilitary units, people can lose control of themselves and mutate into Humanoid Abomination entities called Distortions... the list of horrors goes on and on.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: No matter how a battle turns out, all your Librarians are automatically revived to full health at no cost thanks to being entities of Light rather than true flesh-and-blood humans. The only downside to losing a battle entirely (As in, exhausting all of the available teams allowed for the fight) is losing the book(s) wagered to initiate the fight.
  • Deconstructor Fleet: Fittingly for a game about books and stories, Library of Ruina deconstructs a huge amount of tropes in pretty much every part of the narrative. Examples like Time Abyss, We Have Reserves and Roaring Rampage of Revenge among others are taken to task, while more sophisticated tropes like Heroic Willpower, Lack of Empathy and The Power of Hate are also explored and brought to their logical conclusion.
    • A large part of the story, specifically the E.G.O. User Story Arc, savages the concept of the ideal hero who is completely selfless and virtuous. Philip's selfless drive to retrieve his friends is criticized by multiple characters as being deeply selfish, since his mentor and seongbae sacrificed themselves to let him get away. Choosing to re-enter the Library to avenge them would make their deaths a Senseless Sacrifice, which Oscar explains to him in no uncertain terms. In addition, it's also made clear that Philip's Classical Anti-Hero qualities are fairly problematic, and his shy and polite exterior hides an individual who is judgemental and defensive to a fault. Despite partially manifesting his E.G.O., Philip is defeated and subjected to a Breaking Speech that transforms him into a Distortion, showing what not only is a Heroic Second Wind not always a surefire way to victory, but that broken people don't spontaneously get over their issues. We last see Philip after he's pulled a Heel–Face Turn and allied with the Reverb Ensemble, and his conversation with Malkuth reveals that there's barely anything left of the Fixer once named Philip within. This eventually becomes a Decon-Recon Switch of sorts with Xiao, who also manifests her E.G.O., but manages to retain control of her psyche after owning up to her flaws instead of denying them like Philip does. While she still gets defeated by the Library, she comes to terms with her defeat and is satisfied that she remained unbreakable until the end.
    • The leftmost path of the story which deals with Syndicates deconstructs Quirky Miniboss Squad and You Can't Fight Fate. In any other setting, the trope of "weird criminal organization with strange eccentricities" would be a subject of comedy, but in the City, syndicates like the Five Fingers are incredibly disturbing. The Thumb has Undying Loyalty to such a degree that their policy for insubordination is mutilation, with even something as small as asking your boss a question being grounds for having your tongue ripped out. Where this becomes a deconstruction is that The Thumb are so bloodthirsty that no one likes dealing with them, and their obsession with loyalty comes across more as a manifestation of their insanity than it does an admirable trait. The Index storyline meanwhile deals with the Prescripts of the Index and Yan's struggles as their messenger. It's revealed that Yan has been handing out fake Prescripts to try and disrupt the Index from within, but discovers to his horror that the Prescripts have already accounted for this, and are now using his fake Prescripts to further their own agenda anyways. After being lead to where the Prescripts are made, Yan learns that the Index has no leadership to speak of. The entire organization is handing out Prescripts based on the vibrations of the Earth, and the Prescript manager Moirai describes this as being "the will of the City". Confronted with the fact that Yan has no ability to change the Prescripts on his own, he distorts and is summarily put down by the Library. This storyline demonstrates how trying to change things by yourself is impossible- Yan's mistake is trying to change his fate by himself, which puts him up against the vast network that is the Index. Angela points out in the post-battle debriefing that Yan's mistake was fighting fate in a way that still relied on the Prescripts, showing that for all his attempts to subvert them, he still gave them the weight they needed to exert control over him. Essentially, Yan believing in fate at all is what made it impossible for him to actually change it.
    • As mentioned in An Aesop above, the overarching theme of the game deconstructs the idea of Revenge to its most cynical degree, and can be summed up very succinctly: no matter how much you think your revenge will only affect you, your actions will have consequences. This is taken to the most logical conclusion when it comes to Roland and Angela; For Roland, he went into an insane Roaring Rampage of Revenge against people who had literally nothing to do with his wife's death, which caused many of his victims to Distort and form the Reverberation Ensemble who nearly thrown the entire City into unprecedented chaos. This is to say nothing of how many other factions he screwed over in his quest for revenge, up to and including several of his old friends and allies. For Angela, Ayin's neglect and his orders that forced her to be as cruel to his fellow Sephirot as possible caused her to become a vengeful machine who halted the Seed of Light and manifested the Library, and was manipulated by Carmen into obtaining the "One True Book" for the sake of a selfish goal of "freedom". And even if Angela and Roland succeed in their revenge, they will be denied a proper closure and fade away - Angela never gets the freedom she sought for and merely becomes a Star that lets herself shot down after more than a decade of terror, and Roland relapses into doing shady businesses and taking drugs before he loses the will to live and lets his former friends and enemies kill him.
    • Getting people to act like themselves would be admirable in any other setting, but in here it's yet another trope that is deconstructed as a detriment. The true purpose of the Seed of Light, as lined out by Carmen and executed by Ayin, was to get people to act as their honest, truest selves by manifesting them in physical form. However, when the "honest, true selves" of many cityfolk are sociopaths and madmen in the likes of the Reverberation Ensemble or a depressed, unstable man who could break at any time like the Pianist, the flaws of this premise begin to show and this potentially becomes an invitation to unprecendented disaster, further made worse by that just about any person can become a city-wrecking abomination if Carmen's plan would ever go through fully. This is to say nothing of Angela, whose personal goal of becoming a free human served as a display of her naivete that will result in her downfall and put her under the whims of Carmen's manipulations, and reaches its most cynical conclusion in her bad ending where she got her way, only for her guilt to render her desires to experience the outside world null and void before she was inevitably put off as a nuisance.
    • In all other media, a character with Common Mary Sue Traits would just be treated like the paragon they are, with all critique on such a character coming from those who follow the work. However, in the world of the City, it shows that as much as having this trope is rather uncanny, and you stick out like a sore thumb - being able to traverse the most dangerous areas unarmed just being one thing. This is shown in Carmen. While the first game showed her as nothing but the Big Good, this game subtly points out her many similarities to WhiteNight and goes as far as painting her in an Ambiguously Evil light.
    • In many respects, the game’s insight into Fixer culture undermines the power fantasy aspect of Cyberpunk fiction. Whereas the Fixer life is often glamorized to those yearning after freedom, it’s abundantly clear that being one involves the same hopeless grind everyone else suffers through.
    Really, does being a Fixer sound cool to you? [...] This is a tough job, I tell you. It might be better for you to try and enter a small company to do desk work instead. If you really believe that Fixers are cool… then let me tell you something.
    Fixers have to risk their lives at every moment. I know, it sounds silly. Everyone already struggles and fights for their life, so what’s so special about us. But, at least, you won’t have to hear of your friend’s death while you’re having lunch. You pack your favorite food, savor its taste, and when you’re about to swallow it… Know how it feels to choke on it? Your friend’s head suddenly rolls over to your feet. Things… just happen like that. Syndicate grunts rush into your Office all of a sudden, heads are blown off, and a gruesome fight breaks out. It’s the so-called ‘Office raid’.
    Are you still not convinced? Syndicate or Fixer, once you set foot in this business, all the things will bind you like shackles, slowly dragging you to the bottom. The sheer weight is going to tire you, and you’d no longer be willing to go back up… Go back and think again carefully. It’s not too late for you to make the right choice.
    Book of a Grade 7 Fixer
  • Designated Victim: Most cards has featureless humans who are generally the victims of whatever attack is in the art. One example is Punishing Bird pecking someone, much to the victim's discomfort.
  • Developer's Foresight: Several characters have different pre-battle banter depending on who you bring to fight them. In particular, Kali has ones for Binah, Roland, and Gebura, the only patron librarians you're allowed to use against her.
  • Developing Doomed Characters: The basic structure of the story means that most chapters consist largely of this; you're shown an extended scene with that chapter's latest guests, showing their personalities, motivations, and backstories. Then they arrive at the library and you kill them and turn them into books.
  • Disaster Dominoes:
    • Most of the guests you encounter never come out alive, or even come out with a body. Even the executives of well-equipped offices or Syndicates are puzzled about what actually happens to the Library's victims. This results in a quicksand scenario leading to all sorts of offices, syndicates and other entities getting killed and black-holed inside the library; several low level syndicates or associations go in and investigate the library and got a big chunk of their forces annihilated, stronger ones got blackmailed by Argalia or went to investigate only to get annihilated as well, and then the big guns, namely Wing employees, Finger thugs or high rank associations go raid it to cover up for their bosses, see what's happening there or are just forced to by superior orders, with the same fate as the rest before them.
    • Invoked by the Library itself during a specific arc that arches from Urban Plague to Star of the City, featuring a Grade 5 Fixer named Philip who joined his superiors, Salvador and Yuna in raiding the Library only for the latter two to be killed. Since Philip is a Cowardly Lion, he becomes the sole survivor and leads the sister office of his former office to their deaths, while manifesting an E.G.O.. The operator of that office managed to install an escape button onto him, allowing him to escape the Library...but he landed onto the 8 O' Clock Circus Distortion, where its ringmaster broke him down to the point that it only took some convincing from Pluto to turn him into a Distortion as he hears the "voice of a woman" (implied to be Carmen) and throws him into the Library only for the Library itself to let him escape, finally leading to the Liu Association invading it and get wholly decimated; not even its section head Xiao survived fighting inside the Library despite having been manifested an E.G.O. from the same voice Philip heard. The Library is most likely tampering with Philip's escape and releasing him from it just to bait out the association or paramilitary group trying to investigate him and get it decimated.
    • The Library's attack against the City started with one of these as well. After scamming Pluto with a bogus deal that caused his whole Office to be decimated by O Corp, Roland was denied access to a Nest and was grounded in I Corp's Backstreets, where everything seems safe and sound. Unfortunately, Olivier told Roland to do some errands for him, leaving his wife Angelica defenseless, then the Pianist spawned right in her District and killed her out of nowhere. Roland went in and killed the monstrosity, but couldn't save his wife from the catastrophe, causing him to outright lose it and launch an inane Roaring Rampage of Revenge against multiple entities that he suspected had anything to do with the Distortion (they don't), killing Eileen's father, Jae-Hon's son, a big chunk of the Rumanos Cartel and a quarter of the Middle Finger commanded by Tanya. This led to Roland losing his standing in the City for his misconduct, and Iori sends him to the Library for ambiguous reasons which he took advantage attempting to kill Angela. The Library and Angela's actions also caused many capable combatants that could otherwise stop the Reverberation Ensemble (formed from victims of Roland's past actions) to vanish, allowing them to spread the Seed of Light virtually unopposed and potentially turning the City's denizens into Distortions or E.G.O.ists.
    • The Library itself is one of the many mishaps directly or indirectly triggered by Carmen sacrificing Enoch for a Cogito experiment and failing, alongside Carmen's suicide, the deaths of Ayin's employees (which he may or may not be involved in), the Head attacking Lobotomy Corporation, the Smoke War and Angela's creation.
  • Disk One Nuke: Olga, Oscar, Yujin, Emma, Puppet 2, Bamboo-Hatted Kim and The Crying Children/Philip are all strong keypages that will carry you for a while after you get them, and offer strong passives to attribute later in the game. In particular, Emma and Kim become mainstays in Blunt decks and Slashing decks respectively.
    • In general, pages with a Speed passive are this, especially purple and golden pages. It gives you an extra dice from the get-go, essentially allowing you to move again after you've already done so. Against early-game enemies that don't have this passive, you can severely cut the time you spend fighting them using this. The first golden page defaultly equipped with this passive (meaning you don't have to spend passive attribution points or slots) is Mars' page, which is usually tossed around note  among Floors when a hard fight is coming up during early game. The very first Abnormalities also lack this passive, so it can be easily used to gain an edge over them. Later on, this passive becomes mandatory as even non-boss enemies will gain it.
  • Dismemberment Is Cheap: Losing a limb means absolutely nothing in the City, since they are easy to replace for its technology standards. An entity who suffered from an otherwise extreme injury in real life such as losing an eye or a whole limb can get a new one back for a cheap price, at least cheaper than firearms. In fact, often you have to deliberately get your body parts cut off and replace them with a prosthetic body part, and almost every combatant in the city had at least one of their body parts replaced, or the tattoos on their body aren't just for show. Some entities such as the Brotherhood of Iron or the Gaze Office even resemble cyborgs than someone who had their body parts replaced. It's justified too considering how most of the City's residents rely on jobs that require bloodshed for income, indicating that severe injuries are all but the inevitable. Getting body replacements not only increase the user's strength but also ensures otherwise crippling injuries can be easily mitigated.
    • Within the Library itself, this is taken up to eleven as lost limbs and other lethal wounds can be repaired in a snap without any sign of injury. This fact is forgotten once they enter battle, however, for various reasons.
  • Do Well, But Not Perfect:
    • Your opponents will drops more copies of their books the higher their emotion level is. It's better to intentionally keep them alive and let them win clashes against you when you try to grind for their books.
    • The Queen of Hatred's Hysteria Gauge will rise if she loses clashes or if she's attacked by characters that she's marked, and it'll fall if she wins clashes or if she attacks marked characters. If her Hysteria Gauge fills up then she'll transform, fully restoring her health and making her attacks much stronger, therefore players are encouraged to purposefully lose some clashes in order to manage her hysteria.
    • In the Little Red Hooded Mercenary battle, you HAVE to let her score the final blow against the wolf, otherwise she'll freak out and try to kill your entire party.
    • The Servant of Wrath battle is similar to Little Red, though instead of freaking out and turning on you, you just get a Non Standard Game Over in old versions of the game. In the current version the Hermit cannot be killed by anything but the Servant.
  • Downer Ending: Two after defeating the Black Silence. Also doubles as Non-Standard Game Overs since they boot you back to the title screen and force you to restart the Black Silence encounter. They also serve as a Broken Bridge that forces the player to clear all Abnormality fights and Floor Realizations, since the game will lock the options to spare Roland and Angela otherwise.
    • If the player does not complete the Asiyah Realizations, as well as Hokma's, they will be forced to let Angela turn Roland into a book and all of the Sephirot into humans. They resist her once again, but failed and were all killed. The now human Angela expands the Library into the City, engulfing its southwestern quarters, and never leaves the Library against her wishes. Due to being human instead of a machine, however, the Library was demoted from an Impurity to a mere Star of the City and a Bookhunter Fixer kills her after 13 years, ending her "legacy" once and for all.
    • If the player does not complete the Briah Realizations as well as Binah's, they will be forced to let Roland kill Angela. Because Angela is now a human and she realizes the wrongs of her actions, Roland kills her, evaporating the whole Library. He returns back to the City and his former colleagues discusses how he started overdosing and taking shady businesses. His former friends and foes track him down and kill him, and his corpse, filled with their weapons, drifts alongside a gutter, with Astolfo being the only person who was slightly sympathetic for his indignant demise.
  • Dramatic Irony: Roland notes that the process for changing into a robot body from human is something that shouldn't be done at all. Not knowing the fact that his fellow Librarians are the former Sephirah from Lobotomy Corporation, who were robots there but somehow became flesh and blood in this game.
  • The Dreaded:
    • You (yes, you as in the player themselves) quickly become this in-universe because everyone knows you had never lost a fight canonically, and the Library itself seemingly engineers a series of events to get a bunch of high-end authority figures killed.
    • The Head, the enigmatic rulers of the City, are this from the very start. Their appearance as the Post-Final Boss shows that this is completely justified, as seen by how a mere two of their agents can very nearly curb-stomp the Library's best of the best.
    • Downplayed for entities who reach the "Star of the City" threat level. While it's not tied to the deadliness of the entity but based on how willing people are going to pay to hunt them down with a bias over entities that attack Nests, most of the time someone had to be considerably dangerous on their own to justify that threat level. Since the Stars of the City will always settle no matter how long it takes for them to, it also does nothing against the City's ecosystem in the big picture.
  • Dueling Player Characters: Roland is the very first playable character unlocked. In the endgame, when Angela becomes human due to the Light, he reveals he was always planning on betraying her out of revenge for her causing the Distortion Phenomenon, and instead becomes a boss fight. In fact, if you fail to complete all nine Floor Realizations before hitting the endgame, he's the Final Boss.
     E to M 
  • Eldritch Location:
    • The titular Library, transformed from the remains of the former L Corp and is basically used by Angela to lure and kill people from the outside world for her own goals. Later on, it turns out that the Library itself is doing this for something seemingly separate from Angela...
      • It's even later revealed what the true nature of the Library is: It's Angela's E.G.O- and it turns out it wasn't so seperate....
      Zena: That, Angela, is because this Library is the shell of your mind and consciousness... or E.G.O, as you call it.
    • Abnormality Books, which are pocket dimensions that are completely different from everything else, yet fitting the theme of each monster, such as Bloodbath's stage being the inside of its tub, while Porcubus's is a garden of flowers and overdosed victims.
    • The Warp Train that became Love Town is also this, though for different reasons...and it turns out that isn't the first time this happened before. In fact, it's usual for Warp Trains to become Eldritch Locations.
  • Evil Versus Evil: A presiding theme of the game. You have the Villain Protagonist Angela deliberately leading various guests to the Library to kill them and turn them into books for her goal which sums up as selfishness for the sake of, the various Fixers who vary morally but are not above doing horrible things in the Crapsack World, criminal organizations known as Syndicates who rule the lawless Backstreets, mad and corrupt corporations known as Wings who willingly send their employees to die in the library for various reasons, and finally the Reverberation Ensemble, a group of Distortions led by an insane former Color Fixer who takes interest in the library to unleash the Seed of Light and potentially throwing the City into unprecedented chaos. Last but not least, while the exact details were not quite known, Carmen, who was portrayed as nothing short of a saint in Lobotomy Corporation, was revealed to be the source of all distortions, the true will of the Library who lures guests to their presumed demise and a master chessmaster, with testimonies from Librarians implying that something was horribly wrong with her from the get-go.
  • Evil Will Fail: Not evil in general (which is a facet of life in the City and won't be going down anytime soon), but the "Stars of the City" a.k.a. its most dangerous and terrifying entities that everyone is compelled to hunt down and slay for the sake of profit and the public's safety. It's said that no matter how bright a Star is, it will eventually fade, meaning that no matter how dangerous an entity is to the City, it will eventually be slain and forgotten. One such example is the Blood-red Night who terrorized the City's northern and eastern sides and killed thousands before she was defeated by Roland and Angelica. Angela, in her Downer Ending, is downgraded into a mere Star instead of an Impurity due to being a human, and is eventually slain after more than a decade's reign of terror and forgotten like the Stars of the City before her.
  • Fantasy Gun Control: Downplayed. Guns exist, but the Head has extremely strict gun control laws and gun manufacturing regulations, rendering firearms expensive and highly ineffective in most circumstances. While the Head supposedly made these regulations for ethical reasons, it's heavily implied that the laws are there to make sure that every killing in the City is as brutal and painful as they can be.
  • Final Boss: The game's final confrontation(s) are not consisted of a single boss, but a slew of 18 different bosses, each with stats on par with the three boss battles from Star of the City and their own gimmicks. These include the Reverberation Emsemble reception (which itself consists of 10 boss fights), the Black Silence, the Keter Realization (consisting of five individual boss fights unlike the rest), the Distorted Reverberation Ensemble (3 boss fights with 5 floors), and finally, two agents from the Head. The player may not burn books or challenge any more Abnormalities or past levels after triggering this scenario, and if the player forfeits any of these fights they will have to start from the first part all over again (and this "first part" is the most gruesome since it contains 10 boss fights on its own). Finally, there is a checkpoint after the Black Silence — if you do not clear all nine realizations, you will be forced to choose a bad ending after that fight; this means that you have to get out, do all the floor realizations you missed and start over from the ten-part Reverberation Ensemble if you haven't cleared all of them yet.
  • Final-Exam Boss: The final stage of every floor's Realization is a boss fight against Angela where she goes through the form and powers of each of the Puzzle Boss abnormalities on that floor - in sequence, with no chance to heal or change your party composition between, so you need a party capable of clearing all of their gimmicks in sequence.
  • Foreshadowing: Many guests or factions which show up to the Library are mentioned far in advance. The Library itself was already mentioned in Lobotomy Corporation, during the Dusk of White Ordeal.
    • Day 30 in Lobotomy Corporation is a cutscene where Carmen tells A about her philosophy and that she wants to become "a person with a beautiful voice, like the wisest person in the world." In this game, Carmen became the beautiful voice that Distorts.
    • On day 47 of Lobotomy Corporation, Abel (one of A's many split personalities) warned the player character that they might not acheive anything meaningful upon getting through the Kether Meltdown trials. His warnings come true, for the half-baked Seed of Light only instigated more chaos in the city instead of solving any of the problems it was supposed to. Furthermore, it's implied that the Seed of Light will ultimately be integrated into the City and does not break its cycle of destruction.
    • As soon as you send out your first invitation to the Rats, they imply a strange man is going around and turning people's body parts into puppets, and the corpse they collected was heavily mangled to the point that it is unrecognizable, and it had an orange brand mark on it. That man is actually the Puppeteer, and the corpse is actually a result of Pluto/Yesterday's Promise's modus operandi.
    • Before the Rats arrive to the Library, Angela also tells Roland that she merely borrowed the power of invitations, and it wasn't fully hers. In reality, she borrowed the Invitation's power from Carmen, who is behind the creation of the Library itself by convincing Angela and the Library's machinations.
    • Early on, Roland discusses how a well-mannered, well-dressed person roaming around the backstreets are actually a red flag for someone who is extremely dangerous and/or just plain crazy. One will later realize that Roland is correct for the most part- the most dangerous thugs around the Backstreets such as Index or Thumb agents are very polite and well-dressed, and they could probably pass as Fixer offices if not for their obsession with brutal murders. This is in contrast to their subordinates such as the Kurokumo Clan or Stray Dogs who look like poorly dressed and threatening thugs. The fact that Roland fits this description is one of the first hints you have that there's more to him than meets the eye.
    • Related to Five-Second Foreshadowing above, Roland, at the start of the game mentions how Fixers generally don't make much intimate connections with each other because Love Hurts, something that led to the Streetlight Office getting decimated. However, later on in the game, this was presumably exploited by the Distorting Voice and the Reverberation Ensemble to trigger multiple City-destroying incidents when Philip got his love interest and mentor booked, which would in return got Xiao's newlywed husband Lowell booked, something that traumatized Xiao so hard that she manifested an E.G.O. (and still got booked anyway despite her best efforts). However, what actually defines this is the events of the game were kickstarted when Roland's wife, Angelica was killed out of nowhere by the Pianist Distortion, leading to him going into an inane Roaring Rampage of Revenge that caused him to be downgraded from a Grade 1/Color to a Grade 9 Fixer and sent to the Library by Iori for ambiguous reasons.
    • Among one of the earliest discussions between Roland and Hod has Hod telling him about how she snitched on the Outskirts Lobotomy Corporation facility to the Head who responded by going full metal with an Arbiter, something that instantly struck Roland as being rather odd. He explains that the Head putting that much effort into squashing some random Outskirts facility means that whatever was going on there was enough to really piss them off, but it's later established the Outskirts is supposed to be used for containing Impurities (so that existences that aren't otherwise welcomed into the City there wouldn't be considered by the Head for extermination), and the experimentation on abnormalities was something they did not particularly care about since pretty much every corporation does equally messed up stuff in secret. Despite what we were led to believe back in Lobotomy Corporation that the Seed of Light directly attacks the Head, judging on how they didn't respond at all when the Reverberation Ensemble was planning to overthrow them with the Seed of Light, they most certainly didn't seem to care about that, either. It turns out that the main reason why the Head attacked was because the Eye foresaw the creation of Angela right inside the City, who they view as a direct affront to their policies.
    • When the Dawn Office was about to take the request to raid the Library that results in its fixers being decimated by the Library's combatants and Philip escaping and being traumatized from what he saw, one of its Fixers, Yuna, suggested opening a party in Salvador's home if the operation was successful. This significantly bothers Philip and Salvador requests to talk with him when the raid was done. Unfortunately, both Salvador and Yuna died in the Library and Philip was left heavily grief-ridden by the loss of his mentor and his inability to explain matters with him, as well as Yuna's constantly bickering and condescending attitude towards him. When Oscar's escape button teleported him to the 8 O'Clock Circus, it turns out that Philip was thinking that Yuna was going to do something a lot more sinister. It's implied that he somehow believed that she was about to go to bed with Salvador and cheat on his wife and children. Oswald takes advantage of this to break him down and Pluto turns him into a new distortion; the Crying Children. After Philip was transformed, Oswald also tells Pluto that none of the illusions he uses to break Philip down were true, they were just delusions in Philip's mind, and thus Yuna's "party" is most likely just a regular celebration campaign.
    • Before the Dawn Office reception, Roland also mentions having been fought the Smoke War with Salvador and talks about him as if he knew him personally. When the Library starts driving Roland into an E.G.O. Meltdown in the Floor of Social Sciences, it was revealed that the Nest immigration office prevented him from moving into a Nest using this excuse. In reality, he was denied access to the Nest because he was involved with a deal where he asked a Fixer Office to smuggle Enkephalin to O-Corp without their knowledge. In the Floor of Philosophy Realization where the same thing occurs to Roland, a flashback also displays that Salvador was the person who enlightened him to the corruption of the City when he displayed Roland the source of L Corp's energy before Benjamin and Ayin took it over.
    • At Lobotomy Corporation's day 50 true ending, right before Angela is going to screw with Ayin's final plan, Gebura wonders if people might be able to develop their own E.G.O.s like her. Philip, when you encounter him a second time, successfully manages to produce his own E.G.O., and the results of that event turn him into a veritable One-Man Army.
    • Early on, Roland will tell Angela that he had a wife and an unborn child who was killed by an unknown incident that collapsed his house. While the game's major cutscenes don't actually reveal this, if Roland happens to be defeated in the first personal encounter against Argalia much, much later on in the game, Argalia will reveal that Roland married his sister Angelica, and she died because of the the Pianist incident.
    • Roland also tells Angela early on that he used to be a "Kickass Grade 1 Fixer" who was demoted to a Rank 9 because he only did intel. He uses this to explain how much he knows about the City and it's people, since his role is to serve as Angela's Mr. Exposition. As the story continues on, however, Roland keeps revealing a lot of information that even a Rank 1 Fixer shouldn't know, and begins producing connections with some rather important individuals, including a powerful Fixer named Salvador, elites of Fixer Associations and even the Color Fixers known as the Purple Tear and the Blue Reverberation. It also becomes increasingly clear that Roland has been a rather influential figure in the development of the setting, up to and including fighting in the Smoke War. Despite this, no one seems to recognize him. This discrepancy is later revealed to be due to Roland's personal choice of wearing a mask whenever he went out to work as a Fixer, which hid his identity from the average people. His connections come from being both a member of one of the best offices in the setting, and the husband to the Black Silence herself.
    • One of the scenes at the opening of the game features a Joker card peeling off to reveal Roland being tugged on strings like a marionette. During the final phase of the Floor of Natural Sciences Realization, Roland, under the influence of the Library, manifests the E.G.O. of an original abnormality, The Jester of Nihil, which is also based on the Joker card. The puppet strings also foreshadow his later animosity with Jae-Heon.
    • The third episode of Netzach's story contains two very subtle ones.
      • The first is Roland and Netzach's discussion about art, which naturally leads into a discussion about The Pianist. Netzach makes a grandiose statement about The Pianst's music, stating that whoever heard it must have "awoke this gray City from it's ennui". He then asks Roland if he's one of those people, who gives a vague response. While one could assume this is merely Roland agreeing with Netzach's conclusion, later story reveals show Roland was actually the one who helped kill The Pianist, meaning he did in fact hear The Pianist's music.
      • The second one is Netzach's statement on people declaring they want to die. From personal experience, Netzach believes that people who say they want to die really want to live most of all, and people who are ready and willing to die do so quietly. In Roland's bad ending, he self-neglects after completing his goal of killing Angela and dies bleeding to death in a gutter shortly thereafter, with only his former comrade Astolfo being aware of his quiet, inglorious death. There's also the difference between Enoch and Carmen as shown in flashbacks in Lobotomy Corporation and confirmed by the Book of the Red Mist — Enoch made a concise speech that basically meant he wanted to die so he could go to a better world moments before he died in a failed Cogito experiment, but deep down the boy wanted to live and see things go better for good. In the other hand, Carmen, just like Roland, after seeing the horror she enabled and told spiteful things by Lisa, self-neglects before silently attempting her infamous Bath Suicide days later.
    • In the Thumb Cartel gathering, Kalo comments on the legendary "Black Silence", a Color Fixer that decimated the Rumanos Cartel and has since disappeared. The implication is that the attack on the Rumanos Cartel was seemingly random, with the Black Silence's disappearance afterwards only adding to the mystery. We later get a more intimate view of this event, including meeting the Black Silence in person.
    • In the center left path of the Star of the City arc, Angela creates a simulation of the Red Mist in an attempt to gain her book so she can lure the Blue Reverberation back into the Library. Angela's method of creating this simulation is no different than sending an ordinary invitation to a guest, foreshadowing the fact that all of the guests fought in the Library are simulations. Their real selves are simply put into hibernation immediately upon entering the Library.
    • Before the Warp Cleanup Crew reception, the employees involved in the raid against the Library discuss about how the Love Town Mom Elena is actually the Blood-Red Night, a Star of the City-tier Distortion who was slain but revived for unknown reasons. In the Floor of Philosophy Realization, it turns out that Roland and Angelica were the ones who put her down the first time.
    • Before the Hana Association reception at the start of Impurity, their section 3 elites discuss about how the Head was doing literally nothing against the Library and the Reverb Ensemble despite the sheer magnitude of the havoc they create in L-Corp's former nest. It turns out that the Head doesn't really care about City-wrecking Distortions or individual threats as long as they are human because they are technically welcomed. The implication was since Angela was under the process of becoming human at that time, they decided not to interfere for the time being (and will no longer consider her an Impurity if she does become one, causing her to become a Star of the City instead), but as soon as Angela releases all the trapped guests and reverts into a machine, the Head steps in immediately in an attempt to exterminate her because they want a City with humans being humans.
    • While Carmen was considered nothing short of a straight-up paragon back in Lobotomy Corporation, there's hints added in this game that she's not as saintly as purported. While the sephirah have nothing but nice things to say about her, Roland repeatedly questions the validity of her assertions- in his own words, "no one is that nice all the time". It's implied that she was also responsible for various circumstances that led to people being distorted and/or booked, and a discussion between Angela and Hokma reveals that she's behind the Library's machinations. Sure enough, Roland is right - the Keter Floor Realization reveals that Carmen is more of a Dark Messiah figure, who willingly induces Distortions in people to evolve humanity. The Seed of Light turning people into distortions is also intentional.
    • One of the Abnormalities available of Tiphereth's floor is the Knight of Despair, who gets stabbed by her swords in her chest if they fail to land her strongest attack even once. The same Abnormality will later become one of Roland's forms in the Floor of Natural Sciences Realization. In Roland's bad ending, he falls into despair after killing Angela, and ends up letting himself killed by having numerous weapons stabbed on his back.
    • Back in Lobotomy Corporation, when Big Bird, an Abnormality that is an Allegorical Character to the Head alongside two other associated Abnormalities, enters the Gate of the Black Forest, the message "Big Bird, with its many eyes, decided to watch over the forest for intruders. For Big Bird's eyes could see very far, and see things we cannot see" will appear on the screen alongside a close-up on Big Bird. The same animation occurs after defeating Roland as Big Bird in the Floor of Philosophy Realization. At the game's epilogue, we hear from Zena, the Arbiter in charge of expunging the Library back into the Outskirts, that they invaded the Outskirts laboratory because of Angela (presumably in fear of her unleashed right into the City), implying that they had advanced precognitive technology that they use to spy on people.
      • In a similar tangent, the Black Forest Bird's story is about how the three birds heard of a terrible monster about to destroy the forest and accidentally became the monster themselves through a series of deadly and overbearing body modifications that led to the creation of the Apocalypse Bird that destroyed the forest. Despite the Head foreseeing the creation of Angela (which is a sapient machine, and thus a "monster" by their standards) through multiple wings and preemptively destroying the laboratory that would later spearhead her creation, their raid upon the laboratory created the exact conditions where Ayin would collaborate with multiple wings to create Angela, effectively unleashing the monster they swore to destroy.
    • During Angela's Downer Ending, she is re-classified as a Star of the City, no longer Impuritas Civitatis, despite having assimilated half of the City and releasing Abnormalities onto the Cityfolk. As its revealed before the final Reception, this is because she fulfilled her dream and truly became human, and thus the Head welcomed her presence into the City. Her action of letting go of her desires and staying as a machine, however, made her classified as Impuritas Civitatis, forcing the Head agents to get rid of the whole Library because an existence like that isn't welcomed in the City.
    • In The Distortion Detective, YuRIA's Workshop was heavily implied to be an E.G.O. taking the form of a portable building. At the end of the game, it's revealed that the structure forming the Library is actually Angela's E.G.O..
  • Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse: This is the Patron Librarians' opinion of Angela. While they all admit that she has indeed suffered a lot, none of them for a moment act like it justifies her stealing the Light and creating the Library. Much later on, Roland reveals he feels much the same way. He specifically calls out how ridiculous it is that she considers her misdeeds "compensation for her suffering".
  • From Nobody to Nightmare:
    • It's in the gameplay itself. As the number and status of the people you kill on behalf for Angela increases, authorities will place you higher on an in-universe threat list. At one point, authorities will actually perceive you as a force of terror, and most basic fights will be replaced almost exclusively by invitations against the elite troops of Syndicates, Fixer Associations and Wings.
    • On a more individual character level: Philip, who starts as just another Fixer at the Dawn Office, who after a Trauma Conga Line, eventually manifests his own E.G.O., like Kali, and even becomes a Distortion whose scale of threat is comparable to that of the Pianist.
    • If Hokma's words before his floor realization were taken as granted, then Carmen absolutely qualifies. When she was still (actually) alive, she's just a backstreets preacher-turned scientist that is difficult to take seriously unless you pay attention to what she's preaching and get to know her in-person. But now, she's a literal omnipresent, invisible force capable of causing Distortions, manipulating and compromising the City's entities and baiting them into the Library to get them killed (or at least, frozen).
  • Fun with Acronyms: The fact that 'Church of Gears' abbreviates as 'CoG' is likely not accidental.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: The three unique Key pages only attributable to certain Patron librarians are by and large the most powerful Key pages in the entire game. This is only fair, since the three Librarians these belong to are two Color Fixers and an Arbiter. In particular, Gebura's Red Mist exclusive Key page turns her into an absolute monster, capable of producing immense amounts of damage and regenerating a ton of Light, while Roland's Black Silence Keypage is a powerful Master of All that is strong in pretty much every scenario. Their unique Key Pages are also why they're the only Librarians to take part in the battle against the Head - since Angela had released all the other books, no other Librarian would have a Key Page needed to take them on.
    • If you fight R Corp on Gebura's Floor, Myo and Gebura have special flavor text. If you reach the fourth wave on Gebura's Floor, all of their initial dialogue is changed. Even more so when you deal the killing blow on Myo with Gebura.
  • Genius Loci:
    • The titular Library was later revealed to display cognizance, capable of handing out invitations, seemingly monitoring the guests it has invited and showing them to Angela and Roland, deciding which guests can (or can't) escape it and triggering E.G.O. Meltdowns, all on its own volition. Even further on, it's revealed that Carmen herself is the one guiding the Library's Invitations, and beyond that, that the Library itself is Angela's E.G.O.
    • The City itself has a heartbeat and "will" that gets translated into Prescripts for the Index, and is implied to be a "god" born from it's inhabitants. It's also implied that the the failed Seed of Light has allowed either Carmen, Ayin or the Library itself to take control of the City's will somewhat for their own plans.
  • Gray-and-Black Morality: There are no heroes in this game. You have corrupt corporations, eccentric Mafia-esque Syndicates, insane Distortions, and the Library itself inviting people there to essentially die. Even Carmen, a person who wasn't portrayed as anything but a saint up to this point, was revealed to be the ultimate threat of the City that threatens its collapse instead of saving it as she intended, and if the Librarians' accounts of her were taken to be granted then something very suspicious is most likely being set up from the get-go.
  • Great Big Library of Everything: The titular Library, where the game takes place. Or at least, that's the goal you're working towards.
  • Great Offscreen War: Just like in Lobotomy Corporation, the Smoke War that resulted in the ascension of the Seed of Light Project team into L Corp. remains a focal point of the story — and it is also explored more innately this time around. Not only is it revealed in The Distortion Detective that Benjamin and Ayin started the war themselves by recruiting Dias and the Udjat (who recruited R Corp's Fourth Pack in turn), Roland and Salvador were also involved in it, and seeing the exposed, monstrous Singularity of the former L Corp. was enough to shape Roland's cynical worldview.
  • Guide Dang It!: The description of the abnormality page Lament doesn't mention several things about it. For one, anyone can activate its effect of extra damage on targets with status ailments, not just the librarian it's equipped on. This means that both allies and enemies can activate this effect. Said librarian is the only one who gains strength when having a status ailment, however.
  • Guns Are Worthless:
    • A justified and in-universe example, as both guns and bullets are heavily controlled and regulated, are very expensive and, as Roland states and Argalia proves, are often ineffective against skilled opponents. It would be cheaper to outfit an entire Office with augmentations than with guns. It's subverted in the case of the Rabbit Team and the Head themselves, however, since unlike the rest, they do possess unregulated and often highly lethal firearms, ensuring that they are the deadliest fighters out there.
    • Downplayed for the Thumb's members. While they do use firearms and they are still heavily expensive and of mediocre quality, these enforcers have bayonets on their firearms, allowing them to fight at close range as well.
    • Ranged Combat Pages can be effective if used properly. Most of them have very powerful effects or do massive damage, but this is offset by the fact that the majority of them can only be used once per reception.
  • Guest-Star Party Member:
    • Little Red-Hooded Mercenary fights alongside you during her Abnormality battle. Downplayed, in that she's almost as dangerous to your party as the Wolf, ESPECIALLY if you deny her the final blow.
    • In a similar manner, the Servant of Wrath fights alongside you against the Hermit of the Azure Forest, along with the Hermit's staff, during her Abnormality battle. If she falls in combat, it will automatically result in a Non Standard Game Over, and only she could deal the final blow to the Hermit.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: The Post-Final Boss battle against Enforcers of the Head (more specifically, Zena the Arbiter and Baral the Executioner Claw). Roland, Gebura, and Binah aren't exactly at their finest during this battle, they're left without any of the Library's keypage's or passives since Angela had released all of the Guests she booked by that point, and Zena and Baral are both seemingly unable to be damaged and staggerednote , leading to them both overpowering the Librarians with ease. As of a recent update, you can actually die and lose the fight despite its post-credits status, making it also a Kaizo Trap, although this is downplayed as you just start from the beginning of that fight immediately should you die.
  • Human Resources:
    • The books are made from visitors who manage to get invited to the library. The pages your librarians use to fight are also gotten from burning these books.
    • The Carnival are tailors who specialize in creating clothes made out of human flesh, with an E.G.O.-like effect where the armor they create grant the wearer properties of the person they killed and used to create the armor.
  • Infinity -1 Sword: Many of the Objet D'Art keypages you obtain qualify as either this trope or Disk One Nuke depending on when you acquire them. For specific lategame examples, the keypages of Nikolai, The Red Mist, The Purple Tear, Yan, Xiao, and the Hana Association Fixers are all powerful keypages that can make difficult content much easier through using them.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: The Black Silence's keypage, the Ensemble pages and the Keter Floor E.G.O. pages are incredibly strong, but are only obtainable during the very end of the game.
  • Interface Spoiler:
    • If you are fighting an Abnormality or a boss, you will be notified of whatever attacks they will use, or their general behavior in their Passives list.
    • Gebura has a locked passive when you first obtain her. The passive will be unlocked after defeating the fake Red Mist, allowing Gebura to equip her core page.
    • At the final phase of the Black Silence's reception, he will use multiple passives based on the floor of General Work's Abnormalities. However, there is a 5th passive named "Leer". It's actually the ability from the final Abnormality of the game, Silent Girl, which is fought right after the Black Silence.
  • I'm a Humanitarian:
    • Cannibalism is a common thing in the Backstreets, though Roland states that it's taboo even there; it's actually the rich elites that indulge in human meat often. However, the cooks in Backstreet 23, obsessed with the "ultimate flavor", will gladly put people on the chopping block.
    • Throughout the game, you also meet The Carnival, The Sweepers and the Smiling Faces, all of them which are are fearsome, Ambiguously Human cannibals.
  • Irony: None of Yesod's kill lines are positive, and his entire dialogue suggests a careful, disciplined way of work. However, the reality is that his Floor is the Floor to go Glass Cannon Attack! Attack! Attack! on as indicated by its Abnormality pages. The Funeral of the Dead Butterflies in particular grants pages that encourage you to finish off weaker enemies and even to get status ailments yourself in exchange for power. If there's one Floor focused on pure mindless firepower, it's Yesod's Floor.
  • Kick the Dog: You will be doing it most of the time, usually friendly and easygoing young people desperately craving for a living in a Crapsack World where working for paramilitary units are nigh on mandatory for survival. Standouts early on include Finn, the Naïve Newcomer who gets killed because his boss sends him out to the Library to investigate, knowing very well what the outcome will be.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: You also put down pretty nasty people in the Library, like cannibals, the cronies of corrupt rich elites, and Finger thugs.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler:
    • The trailer does not bother to hide the fact that the game takes place after the events of the True Ending of Lobotomy Corporation, and the game proper holds no punches in mentioning that the Sephirah used to be robots. The game's opening also shows Carmen fully, albeit with a censored face.
    • Among one of the earliest discussions with Hod (a Patron Librarian unlocked at Urban Myth) is about the Outskirts Arbiter raid spearheaded by the same person used to create Binah.
    • Hokma's true identity as Benjamin and the "mysterious informant" 'B'. Angela even calls Hokma by his deadname at a few points, and others talk about themselves using their deadname at least once.
    • The Sefirot and Angela refer to the true name of L Corp's manager as "Ayin".
  • Lethal Lava Land: The Floor of Language reception area appears to be a foundry with the floor below the reception stage being pure lava.
  • Let's Fight Like Gentlemen: While unbeknown to outsiders, this is how the Library manages to gather this many victims as the story progresses. It's just canonically, the combatants in the Library never lost a fight. Subverted in The Reveal before the Floor of Religion's realization fight begins where Hokma reveals that every guest that has entered the Library is instantly put to sleep by the Library and a simulation of them is created in their stead, ensuring that the Library always wins.
  • Limit Break: Two variants. The first are E.G.O. pages that are unlocked following the end of a Floor Realization. These are powerful and expensive combat pages that have devastating effects, usually being either some strong mass attack or a devastating single-target attack. Each one has a variety of uses, and are designed to synergize well with their respective floor's playstyle. such as Fourth Match Flame being meant to help with Malkuth's Burn focus. You get three of them per fight when a floor levels up to Emotion Level 3, 4, and 5. The second are "Synchronicity" pages, which are E.G.O. pages that physically transform their users into miniature versions of Abnormalities or allow them to manifest their latent E.G.O. to aid them in battle. These act as more traditional Super Mode-type powerups which either dramatically boost your stats in battle or give you an entirely new deck to play with.
  • Love Hurts: A very common phenomenon in this game is someone's romantic/platonic interest or lover dies because of bad luck or confronting the Library kickstarting a series of ugly events that could potentially lead to city-wide catastrophe. An office fought near the start of the game was the first to fall victim to this, followed by Philip losing his love interest in the Library, causing a series of tragic events that led Xiao into losing her husband as well. Later on, it was even revealed that the Library's attack was kickstarted by Roland getting his wife killed out of nowhere by the Pianist, driving him into an indiscriminate Roaring Rampage of Revenge that caused his standing in the City to collapse and through his attempt to assassinate Angela, gave her exactly the person she wanted to keep around so she could kickstart her attacks. However, none of these compare to what happened a decade before; Enoch, Lisa's platonic partner was killed by Carmen in a failed experiment to extract Cogito. Carmen quickly fell into a bout of extreme depression and attempted suicide by slitting her wrists, something that traumatized Ayin, her Implied Love Interest and fellow student, hard and acted as the beginning of a series of events that led to the creation of the Library.
  • Lyrical Dissonance:
    • The melody of "From a Place of Love", the Love Town battle theme, makes it sound like an upbeat (if slightly nostalgic) love song. The first few verses are merely slightly unsettling; the last few verses, however, unambiguously have Tomerry wishing they were dead.
    • Children of the City, the battle theme for 얀샋ㄷ요무 / Distorted Yan, has an upbeat jazzy tune, but the lyrics focus on the impersonally horrifying nature of the prescripts and the city's desires in general, with multiple references to self-harm and suicide.
  • Mana Points: One of the most critical mechanics is that during each turn, you get access to a certain amount of Light, along with a set of skill cards ('combat pages') you can use. Combat pages can be rather powerful, but each has a Light cost, and you have to use them wisely.
  • Marathon Level:
    • The Floor Realization battles against Angela and Roland needed to 100% complete a floor take the form of a Boss Rush based on all of the Abnormalities previously fought on said floor, plus one additional phase, with no opportunity to change teams in-between.
    • The fight against The Crying Children consists of a whopping 7 phases, with no opportunity to change teams in-between.
    • The reception of The Reverberation Ensemble is a grueling series of boss fights, one for each floor of the Library. That means ten fights, each with multiple phases. Thankfully one can save and change their team up inbetween each fight.
    • After the battle against The Reverberation Ensemble you face off against Roland, the Black Silence, which is already quite a long battle in of itself, but if you are going for the true ending you then will need to face the Keter Realization, aka Carmen, which consists of arguably the five hardest fights in the game, followed by a fight with The Reverberation Ensemble Distorted, and THEN followed by a final battle against the agents of The Head. Thankfully you can take breaks in between each of these fights, but you don't have the ability to burn books or enter old battles until the game is complete.
  • Mêlée à Trois:
    • The Five Fingers don't get along well and often start turf wars against each other over control of certain Backstreets, with the exception of during a Finger Bow Bell, where the Finger elites discuss affairs together.
    • Happens in L Corp's former Nest where the Thumb and Index troops, the Liu Association, R Corp, the Black Silence, the Blue Reverberation alongside his whole ensemble, Moses and Ezra (from The Distortion Detective) and a whole slew of Distortions are gathered and fighting each other at, to say nothing of the Library itself situated between the massive Nest war.
  • Melting-Pot Nomenclature: The City appears to be quite multicultural, with names of Guests and other characters hailing from many cultures and languages such as English (Valerie, Roland, Lowell), Korean (Gyeong-mi, Jae-heon, Lee Deok-gu), Japanese (Sayo, Gin, Tenma), Chinese (Chun, Mei, Xiao), European (Isadora, Nikolai, Tanya), and of course, fantastical (Katriel, Argalia).
  • Multiple Endings: Similar to Lobotomy Corporation, depending on how many Floor Realizations you've completed (as well as the answers you pick towards the end of the game) after the reception of The Black Silence.
    • Foreword: Fail to complete the Lower Layer and Hokma's Floor or chose to reject Roland. Angela proceeds to book Roland, turn all of the Sephirot into humans and kill them, and unleash the Abnormalities onto the City. Despite having finally achieved her humanity in the process, she never steps foot out of the Library. Over the course of 13 years, she continues to expand the Library, eventually conquering the southern part of the City, before a Fixer finally reaches her and kills her. Angela does not resist, and thanks the Fixer for freeing her when she's finally vanquished.
    • Prière pour aimer la douleur (Prayer for Loving Sorrownote ): Fail to complete the Middle Layer and Binah's Floor or chose to reject Angela. With Angela's back turned to release the Light and everyone's she's booked, Roland takes the chance to behead her. With that, the Library fades away, killing everyone inside except for himself. News of the Black Silence's return spreads throughout the City, but Roland himself, left with no other purpose after having achieved his revenge, has basically given up on life, turning to drugs and alcohol and taking on dirty jobs to fill his void. A few days later, Roland's corpse is found in a gutter, stabbed by numerous weapons, as Astolfo sadly notes that this is the fate for someone consumed by vengeance.
    • That’s This, and This is That: Complete all nine Floor Realizations and have Angela and Roland forgive each other. Angela decides to let go of her thousand year sorrow and undo all that she's accomplished throughout the game, turning back into a machine in the process, while Roland lets go of his vendetta and forgives her for causing the Distortion phenomena. As Angela releases the Light she gathered, Carmen, taking her form, tries to stop her from releasing the Light, only to fall to Angela's growth and is separated from the Library. Meanwhile, the Reverberation Ensemble is revived and empowered thanks to said Light. Roland and the Librarians then face off against the Distorted Reverberation Ensemble while Angela deals with Carmen for the next seven days, with Roland saving Angela from disappearing at the last moment just before killing off Argalia for good as the former Blue Reverberation finally accepts him as family. Just then, the Head finally raids the Library, having seen Angela as too big of a threat to be allowed to enter the City. Despite Gebura, Roland and Binah's best combined efforts, Zena and Baral managed to stall enough time for Luda to banish the Library into the Outskirts as planned, but the Library's efforts ensured Angela's safety and Binah's freedom. Now expelled and stranded in the Outskirts, Angela decides to redirect her anger at the Head, while Roland decides to write a book about the City with her help.
     N to Z 
  • Never My Fault:
    • Yun rationalizes sending Finn to his death as this, saying that since Finn is such an enthusiastic young man, he'll get killed and abused regardless of who takes him in.
    • Angela really likes to blame Ayin for the consequences of her actions. She's slowly called out on this perspective as the game continues on, with each Floor Realization being about the sephirah standing up to her way of thinking.
  • Nintendo Hard: Downplayed. While the game can be tricky in certain intervals and its controls are fairly complex, Most of the Guide Dang It! liberally used during Lobotomy Corporation are non-existent as the enemy's speed dice perfectly telegraphs the cards they use, and for Puzzle Bosses, their behavior are usually listed in their passives, allowing the player to actually be prepared with specialized configurations against them. Fights are also significantly easier than those in Lobotomy Corporation, and the penalties of losing them are minimal to none.
  • Not Quite Dead: The guests who fall within the Library are put into an "eternal sleep." Whether or not they get awoken depends on Angela's success.
  • Noodle Incident: The higher-tier Fixers who come into the Library often discuss past cases they dealt with in this manner, casually mentioning fighting things like Fragments from Beyond or incidents where everyone in an area had their nerves woven together.
  • Obvious Rule Patch: Bosses in Star of the City starts having Power Nullifier abilities. This is to prevent Gebura with her Red Mist keypage from demolishing them easily with massive power stacking capability.
  • One Stat to Rule Them All: The speed stat used to be this, since the bonus it granted to your dice rolls threw any sort of strategy out the window. This ended up being fixed in a later patch.
  • One-Steve Limit: Played With. None of the Guests end up having the same name, but the preset name pool for Assistant Librarians means that it's entirely possible for your Librarians to have the same names as certain Guests, including Mika, Emma, Noah, Mei, and even Elena. Meanwhile, it's entirely possible for Assistant Librarians to be given the same name as each other, just like back in Lobotomy Corporation.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: As first revealed in The Distortion Detective, vampires in this setting are called Bloodfiends, and are characterized by a thirst for human blood, furtive nature and invariably having red eyes. They have been around since before the White Nights and Dark Days, and their power level ranges from Urban Myth-tier nuisances to Star of the City-level threats. A famed Bloodfiend mentioned many times through the story is Blood-red Night, a Star of the City who is a member of the Reverberation Ensemble and fought Roland and his wife before the events of the game.
  • Older than They Look: Or Younger than They Look, and sometimes even a Downplayed version of Really 700 Years Old. There are some characters in the game that literally look or sound like children but are actually grown men or women around their late 20s. While rare, there are also characters that look older than their actual age. This is largely justified considering how advanced body augmentations or prosthetics are, indicating that characters could look a lot younger than they actually are.
  • Point of No Return: Once the player reaches Impurity and defeats the Hana Association, they will be thrown immediately against the "Uninvited Guests", consisting entirely of 18 boss fights of varying difficulties that act as the game's final battles. From that point on, the player can no longer burn any books, fight past receptions or fight any Abnormalities (including Floor Realizations) until all 18 fights are complete and the game reaches its ending or the player forfeits one of the receptions (the latter will cause the whole scenario to revert back to the state prior to the first fight). Floor Realizations for the Atziluth floors were also unlocked right before the player may start the scenario, and the player has to complete them alongside the previous 7 Realizations to bypass a roadblock halfway into the gauntlet which forces the player to choose a Downer Ending.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: Roland lost his wife and unborn child to the Pianist Distortion, leaving him emotionally devastated, and some of his dialogue implies he feels personally responsible for it. Later on, it's revealed he took this much, MUCH worse than he initially lets on.
  • Private Military Contractors: Or Murder, Inc. in case of Syndicates. The City's harsh living conditions usually requires its denizens to go around and kill fellow human beings for a living. It's actually one of the more lucrative jobs out there unless you can earn a position in one of the Wings or other jobs inside the Nests, but it really depends on your income and the stability of your Wing.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: Almost everyone who went to an office to become a Fixer aren't as despicable or horrifying as their jobs suggest. Many of them have lives, have strict moral codes or conducts, and are overall just people trying to survive in a world where people's lives don't really mean anything and cities can kick you out to the slums just because you have no work. They are usually just taking up arms because becoming a Hired Gun is actually one of the most lucrative and widespread jobs out there.
  • The Purge: In a similar vein as the movie with the same name as the trope, the 90 minutes from 3:13 AM each day in the Backstreets is known as the "Night of the Backstreets", where all crime is permitted and Sweepers arrive to kill and feast on people indiscriminately, with the implication being the Head sponsoring it to remove the homeless from the Backstreets. Usual law enforcement such as the Zwei or Backstreet neighbor watch squads are forced to back off during that time of the day, but inversely the criminals are forbidden from committing crimes in residential areas, so most people who are not homeless or happen to end up in the streets at midnight are relatively safe from it. If anyone tries to film the crimes that happened during this hour and present them as evidence, the Head will deploy a Claw and kill the person who attempted to report the crime.
  • Rainbow Pimp Gear: Using E.G.O. briefly dresses your Librarians in corresponding attire. This may or may not make them look absolutely ridiculous.
  • Recurring Boss: Philip. The man is fought a total of *six times* throughout the story, only getting stronger and more dangerous with each fight. He's only a true 'boss' for his final four fights, but that is still a lot of boss battles.
  • Red Herring: A recurring plot point in the later chapters of the game is a WARP Train that seemingly malfunctions and doesn't arrive to its destination in 10 seconds as intended, stranding its passengers inside for thousands of years, unable to die even as their bodies become more and more mutilated, driving them insane. The train is actually working as intended, and the forms of grotesque insanity and body horror which occur on the train we see is just about normal for WARP Corp, which even has special Cleanup Crews to restore the passengers and wipe their memories after they arrive at their stop. The only major deviation with WARP Train UW-212 was the involvement of the Reverberation Ensemble, who transform the train's passengers into particularly nightmarish creatures and vanish people into the Library to expose W Corp.
  • Red Riding Hood Replica: Just like the main game, this game includes the Abnormality known as Little Red Riding Hooded Mercenary is a twisted version of the classic fairytale, being, as her name suggests, a Mercenary. Her suppression is basically helping her to suppress the Wolf, but she needs to land the final hit or she will turn on you instantly, and she's just not strong enough to take the Wolf down on her own.
  • Red Sky, Take Warning: Several abnormalities you face (and at least one distortion) have this feature in their environments during their fights, which is usually meant to highlight the escalating danger as you continue the battle.
  • Rewatch Bonus:
    • Anyone who has played Lobotomy Corporation before will notice that Angela acts in a very hostile fashion against them, especially from Day 20 onwards. That's because you are actually playing as Ayin (aka X) in that game, and it was revealed here that on top of all the atrocities Ayin committed towards his inner circle and subordinates, he also created Angela and then proceeded to abandon her on a whim. Angela obviously didn't forget this, and the events of this game are a direct follow-up to what happened at the end of Lobotomy Corporation.
    • As early as the prologue of the game, Roland will tell Angela that an "acquaintance" of his developed the ability to jump between dimensions after a Wing experimented on them. Said "acquaintance" is actually Iori, the Purple Tear, who proceeds to show up near the endgame, during Star of the City.
    • During Love Town, Nurse Elena and Jae-heon's behavior makes a lot more sense considering who they actually are. Notably, while the rest of the passengers in the WARP Train are increasingly unstable as time goes on (which is actually perfectly normal), the duo are capable of retaining their sanity even as the other passengers degenerate. The doctor also mentions Eileen sending them in. That's actually the name of Argalia's left-hand woman, hinting that the Reverberation Ensemble is involved. And last but not least, Jae-heon reveals that Pluto also used his magic offscreen to render them unaffected by T Corp's Singularity before he assumes his true form and wreaks havoc.
    • Eileen, when first met in Urban Plague, mentions that she converted her father into a gear after he was murdered by someone. It's heavily implied, and confirmed via dialogue file script notes, that the murderer was Roland, who killed her father during his Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
    • Oswald, when first met in Urban Nightmare, makes mention of a "Ms. Sun" who granted him the desire to open a circus filled with his "imaginary friends". In Lobotomy Corporation, A (as Abram) refers to Carmen as "our sun". Even elsewhere and by the other Patron Librarians, she had been referred to as a fiery and upbeat woman during her lifetime and before she succumbed to suicidal depression. Knowing all of this, it should be a dead giveaway that Carmen was instigating the Distortion Phenomenon amongst the City, something that is confirmed by Hokma much later on in the game.
    • Many of Roland's interactions throughout the game take on a sudden different light after the dual reveals near the end of the game that not only was Roland familiar with one of the most influential Fixers in the setting, The Black Silence, but that he was only helping Angela so he could understand her reasoning and get the chance to kill her himself.
    • If one rewatches cutscenes from Lobotomy Corporation after completing this game, they will notice that Lobotomy is ridden with Unreliable Exposition because most of the dialogue or actions in that game (especially those from Angela) are actually non-organic events from Ayin's "script" to make sure Angela runs the facility like he would and force the Sephirot to break down. Ayin also has a very biased view of Carmen as some sort of saintly paragon like most Sephirot, but her actions in Library of Ruina point to her being more of an Ambiguously Evil Dark Messiah.
  • Rule of Escalating Threat: As noted below in Sliding Scale of Villain Threat, as the game goes on, the people you invite increase in danger as well; at first you will just invite low-rank Syndicates or Offices that are probably not even good at direct combat, but as the game goes further, you will be pitted more frequently against highly-skilled Fixers or Syndicates, with the occasional Elite Mook of a Reverberation Ensemble member wreaking havoc. By the time you're public enemy number one, invitations will almost exclusively consist of Colors or the elites of the Wings, Syndicates and Fingers. And by Impuritas Civiatis (which basically means the Head doesn't like you and wants you gone), you'll be dealing exclusively with entities who actually become a threat against the Library after the first episode of the chapter (Consisting of the most elite Fixer Association of the City) with no breaks in between, ending with the Head themselves trying to get rid of you because Angela, a sapient machine in the middle of the City, was too much of an eyesore for them to ignore. They eventually did get the Library out of the City, but at least everyone ends up alive and well in the Outskirts..
  • Save Scumming: About to lose a reception that happens to use rare books? You can just force close the game to keep the wagered book.
  • Secret Art: Certain key pages have combat pages that can only be used by them, known as exclusive combat pages. Additionally, certain key pages can only be used by specific characters. Discounting the default Patron Librarian key pages, there are two exclusive key pages, one of these being unable to be removed from its respective character once obtained. The two exclusive Key Pages are Gebura's unique key page, the Red Mist, and Roland's unique key page, the Black Silence. Curiously, they're both pages related to Color Fixers.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy:
    • As it turns out, the major reason why the Head attacked the Seed of Light Project during its existence as a mere Outskirts laboratory had close to no relation to what Michelle told them about (which they actually condone), but because the Eye/Beholder believed that someone in that facility was going to make a sapient machine, something that actually triggers their worst berserk buttons. Unfortunately, this created the exact conditions where Ayin and Benjamin move back to the City and constructed Angela, effectively unleashing the monster they swore to prevent from surfacing.
    • Big Bird, Punishing Bird and Judgment Bird return in this game — the three were birds in a forest who heard of a monster about to encroach it, and seeks to do anything they could to prevent its emergence, including arbitrarily patrolling and killing its other inhabitants. Unfortunately, this led to them becoming the monster itself, known as the Apocalypse Bird that destroyed the whole forest and left it with nothing but the three Abnormalities that consisted of it.
  • Sequel Hook: Early versions of the game ends with Angela deciding to rebuild the Library to combat the Head, while the Hana Association plans to create a specialized Association to deal with Distortions. The latter will specifically tie into Project Moon's next game, Limbus Company. This is removed in the current version.
  • Shown Their Work: Now that the Tree is upright, the depictions of the Sephirah are fairly accurate. For example, Malkuth mentions that she would've been an architect, and how Roland has a perception-blocking mask.
  • Sliding Scale of Villain Threat:
    • There's a level system similar to the Risk Levels from Lobotomy Corporation called the Threat Classes within the city, given to the entities of the City or threats roaming around it by the Hana Association. From lowest to highest, there's Canard, Urban Myth, Urban Legend, Urban Plague, Urban Nightmare, and Star of the City. This has no relation to the actual danger the threat can pose, but how much people are willing to pay to remove them, although higher-level threats will often have the resources and commitment to cause immense levels of harm. There's also a special rank called Impuritas Civitatis (Pollution/Impurity State) given out by the Heads of The World themselves for threats to the city as a whole. The levels are also the names of the chapters of each section.
    • This is also played with, as according to Walter's page the higher ranked threats simply means that more people are willing to pay to eliminate them, regardless of danger. Walter's assertions are partially true; while the threat level has no direct relevance to how dangerous an entity is, an Urban Nightmare or Star of the City threat would often make full commitment to cause virulent levels of harm (with entities directly attacking Nests considered public enemy number one). This means an Eldritch Abomination capable of apocalyptic destruction walking around the streets without causing much harm would be an Urban Myth at best, but a Serial Killer who indiscriminately kills thousands of Backstreet and Nest dwellers alike within a year or two would qualify as Star of the City, despite the former being capable of causing significantly greater degrees of destruction.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Usually, the Syndicates that the library confronts are trios consisting of two male entities and one female entity. Even if said group consists entirely of mechanical or heavily mutated abominations, there will often be that odd one out with a young woman or cute girl's voice.
  • Space Zone:
    • The Floor of Philosophy reception area appears to be a galaxy like area with stars and the moon shining above.
    • The stage where the Child of Galaxy's suppression takes place is also fittingly enough a galaxy-like area.
  • The Stinger: Dummied out content found in the original Early Access versions and no longer found in the current game show that after the credits following the Golden Ending, we are given a Sequel Hook in the form of a Hana Association executive meeting discussing the fate of the Library and the possibility of creating a specialized Association to deal with Distortions, advocated for by none other than Iori, the Purple Tear herself. She further specifies that she wants to lead the new Association and that she would specially hire E.G.O. users to deal with a new tower found on the Outskirts, filled with Distortions, Abnormalities, and other monsters.
  • Story Arc: Once the player hits Urban Plague, the story splits into four unique paths that each deal with a different topic plaguing the City. The leftmost path deals with the Syndicates and the criminal element of the City, the path second from the left puts a spotlight on the aftermath of the Pianist's rampage and Argalia's creation of his Evil Plan, the path second from the right focuses on Distortions and E.G.O. users, and the rightmost path is mainly about the Wings and their Singularities. The Reverb Ensemble coming together under Argalia also makes up the Myth Arc of the story, which comes to a head in the finale.
  • Story Breadcrumbs: While the main plot is pretty straightforward, the rich lore of the world that the Library inhabits, as well as the people that visit the Library itself, can be seen in the pages that you gather to fill the collection.
  • Suddenly Voiced: For Angela and the rest of the Sephirot, whom were previously unvoiced in Lobotomy Corporation.
  • Surprisingly Happy Ending: Well, relative to the sheer bleakness of the previous game and the setting as a whole, but shockingly, despite the sheer amount of horror and heartbreak leading up to it, the game ends with only the villainous Reverb Ensemble dead. Though the Library is transferred to the outskirts, Angela and Roland have finally managed to put their trauma behind them and grow as individuals, all of the innocent victims the Library claimed have been revived (except for the aforementioned Reverb Ensemble) and the Seed of Light nearly established itself fully.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: All illness has been cured and Dismemberment Is Cheap. Body augmentations are so commonplace, as described below, that they're practically a necessity if you want to remain safe when going out. They can make you defy your normal limits...but the ones that are of better quality need quite some money.
  • The Syndicate: Syndicates are common organizations you will be confronting, and can range from typical street goons to extensive, well-structured mafia gangs. However, perhaps the most influential and infamous are the Five Fingers made up of several Syndicates who have as much authority as the Wings, and even them are unable to exert authority unto them.
  • Transhuman: Almost every combatant you encounter is one, and it's a perfectly justified example here. Because of the harsh conditions of the City, any form of biological augmentation, be it Artificial Limbs, Bio-Augmentation, Nano Tattoos, Badass Transplants or even whole body replacements are required to even reasonably participate in combat. They are also quite cheap, at least cheaper and more practical than firearms, and if they happen to get cut off or severed, they are easy to replace.
  • Terrible Trio: Most of the time, the core group members/leaders are a trio of crooks, fighters and otherwise dangerous individuals who enter the Library to do battle. Later on, some groups bring Mook backup to fill in the gaps, but the main targets with the unique combat passives will be the main trio.
  • Under the Sea: The Floor of Social Sciences reception area takes place seemingly underwater and on top of what appears to be a sunken ship with various cars adrift.
  • Unusable Enemy Equipment: The Shimmering passive used by boss-type encounters. Considering it lets you shuffle your hand into your deck, draw a full hand of cards back, and reduces their light cost to zero, such an ability would be a game-breaker in a players hands.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom:
    • Angela, whose interruption of the Seed of Light started the Distortion phenomenon and all the carnage which that led to in turn. A major part of her character is her refusal to accept responsibility for collateral damage since, as Roland's philosophy seems to justify, "This is this and that's that."
    • While no guests are actually Killed Off for Real in the Library by Angela's design, their incapacitations all lead to severe indirect consequences, such as Walter's disappearance causing the Stray Dogs to massacre Zwei South Section 6, or the Thumb's loss of its leadership to the Library causing all its soldiers in Nest L to be purged by the Index. However, the most severe consequences of Angela's actions was the disappearance/booking of influential Fixers and other factions who would otherwise interfere with the Reverberation Ensemble's ability to control Nest L, ensuring that they are able to take control of L Corp's former Nest for their final performance with no competition. While there's a valid argument that the Voice (Carmen) was manipulating the Library's Invitations to create this outcome, Angela still unintentionally gave her the opportunity through her betrayal of Ayin's plan at the end of Lobotomy Corporation.
    • The Head themselves attacked Carmen's former laboratory over a decade ago not for reasons Michelle told them, but to prevent an upcoming event where Lobotomy Corporation would team up with multiple Wings to construct Angela. Not only did the Arbiter sent for the job fail, the attempt itself created exactly the ideal conditions where they could create her right inside the City. Even worse, Angela would've been content to ignore the Head in spite of this — until they made another attempt on her life in this game's ending. Not only does Angela survive and have full justification to target the Head in earnest, she now has a realized E.G.O the size of a several-story building to do it with.
  • Unwitting Pawn:
    • The Library itself becomes this when later on, the more dangerous personnel in the game, such as Argalia, Elena, or the Index have been sending their targets or subordinates into the Library. Argalia in particular, has been deliberately sending his victims to there, knowing that they will absolutely get killed, and also given that his plan hinges on feeding the Library to completion.
      • It is later revealed that the above case is partially subverted. While the librarians themselves definitely were unwitting pawns, the Library itself (or to be more specific: Carmen, the will behind the Library) is the Man Behind the Man for many of the events going on outside the Library as well as within, and the Reverberation Ensemble is presumably being exploited for goals unknown to themselves.
  • Urban Legend: The namesake of one of the many threat levels within the City. It houses lucrative ordeals for Offices and Associations to resolve and are usually realistically manageable by veteran Fixers, unlike Plague and Nightmare cases which often involve supernatural elements.
  • Vicious Cycle: All of the Cityfolk are trapped in one for their lives. The Head doesn't care about anything save for upholding their strange and outlandish laws with extreme stringency and leaves suppressing actual crimes to the cityfolk. This causes a perpetual loop where criminals and chaotic forces run rampant and people start Fixer Offices in an attempt to control the rampant criminals, which would inevitably get people killed. And if said casuality was the loved one of another, their other half will descend into the unthinkable for the sake of revenge, causing more deaths and sacrifices in return. As a result, people adapt by becoming purposefully distant and cruel to each other in fear of death or the death of someone whom they genuinely cared about, basically leading to nothing changed in return as the criminals and lunatics still run free, people risk falling off the deep end in one pull of a trigger and their coping methods prove to be more toxic than the problem itself.
  • Virtual Paper Doll: Key pages you equip physically alters what the librarian is wearing (and sometimes their body shape) to whom the page came from.
  • Vocal Dissonance: Several of the entities encountered in the game, such as Beta (The Carnival), Mi (Smiling Faces) or Gloria (Index Proxy) have surreal appearances and terrifying mannerisms that make them look like humanoid abominations. However, Beta and Gloria sound like young girls and Mi has the voice of a young woman.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential:
    • You will be doing this almost all of the time, in a way that exceeds Lobotomy Corp in scale, since getting outsiders killed in combat is the gameplay itself, unlike the prequel where you have to try not to get your key Employees killed. This is further compounded by the fact that most combatants you invite to the Library and kill are people who can easily pass off as characters of their own regard, and often have their lives, ethics and stories to tell.
    • A standout occurs a lot later on in the game where R Corp's elite agents are dispatched to deal with the Library personally. One of the agents dispatched is Myo, the Rabbit Team captain who was a close friend of former L Corp. Since this is actually a character that everyone who played and completed the prequel will be familiar with, you will actually feel sorry for killing her, especially when using Gebura, since this means that the ego of the person who ended her was actually her friend and personal savior. Thankfully, it's revealed that Myo is just a clone that can be infinitely resurrected, but since R Corp already exhausted most of their fuel to clone liberally courtesy of the destruction of L Corp and dangers of procuring the Head's wrath, Myo and the other captain's days are numbered.
  • Wham Episode: The final chapter, Impuritas Civitatis, starts off with the confirmation that Roland is indeed the Black Silence after facing an old friend of his from the Hana Association. The chapter after that then has the long awaited duel with the Reverberation Ensemble, and ends with their defeat and Angela's claiming of a human body and the one true book. However, Roland betrays her to make her pay for instigating the White Days and Dark Nights, now that she's a human. After defeating him, you'll have to have completed all nine Floors to access the next chapter, where Angela and Roland forgive each other, with Angela giving up her human body and letting go of everything she's gathered, deciding to suffer Ret-Gone in the process. During said process, Carmen takes the form of Angela to convince her to keep the Light and Angela confronts her. The Reverberation Ensemble is also released and Distorted further thanks to the Light. However, Angela defeats Carmen, and Roland and the Librarians manage to kill the Reverberation Ensemble off permanently, with Argalia finally accepting him as his brother-in-law before dying. Both Carmen and the Reverberation Ensemble were defeated and Roland saved Angela from disappearing by pulling her out at the last second, but the Seed of Light has now emanated fully in the City. As a result, Angela is a machine again, and all the Light gathered has been lost, freeing the Guests who had been trapped in the first place. And then the Head sends some Agents (Specifically, Zena, an Arbiter, Luda, a Beholder and Baral, an Executioner of the Claw) into the Library, so as to expel it to the Outskirts, eliminate Angela and retrieve Garion's body. While Roland (with help from Binah and Gebura) does manage to hold out long enough to prevent the latter two, they are still unable to prevent the Library from being expelled into the Outskirts.
  • Wham Line:
    Jae-heon: It's not defective. This train is operating as intended.
    • "Angela, you can guess what I'm about to do, yeah?" After Angela becomes mortal and after Roland finds out it was Angela's light that created the Pianist that killed his wife.
  • Wham Shot: After the third time Philip was defeated as the Crying Children, he fled and destroyed V Corp's Nest. It's unclear where he went to for a long time, but when the Blue Reverberation threatens the Purple Tear with his whole ensemble, Philip, now a full-blown Distortion, can be seen alongside his tormentors. He's broken enough to join what was previously his enemy.
  • Whole-Plot Reference: Apart from its ability to invite guests, the Library is nearly identical in function and scale to The Library of Babel in that most of its books are randomly arranged gibberish, and The Stinger reveals that it explicitly transforms into a tower following its expulsion from the City. Invitations are less a matter of gaining information the Library does not have than it is about sorting through literal mountains of junk and outright falsehood.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: This game does not stop you from equipping male characters with pages that belonged to female characters and vice versa. It also does not alter the clothing when done so. While this doesn't especially matter since the multitude of female characters wear clothes that are made for practability first, some examples can be rather egregrious such as Yesod wearing Meow's page. That being said, some Key Pages, such as Meow's, have alternate appearances with smaller chests.
  • Womb Level: The Heart of Aspiration's Abnormality battle is one, where you'd have to battle a human heart accompanied by some sentient lungs.
  • World of Technicolor Hair: Despite the more muted art style compared to its predecessor, many Cityfolk from different walks of life sport some exotic colored hair. Meanwhile, the Patron Librarians as a group make an entire palette of hair colors.
  • Wretched Hive:
    • The Backstreets of the City are basically this, with Syndicates fighting each other to the death for turfs, the Five Fingers who are above even the Wings' reach go around and demand heavy taxes to their serfs (although the Index uses Prescripts as tax instead of monetary matters) and Sweepers rise up every day at late night to hunt down and eat whatever human beings who are unfortunate enough to walk around at that time, heavily contrasting the Nests which are standard sci-fi dystopias. Just how bad the situation is depends on the Wing, some only suffer limited degrees of violence and forbid cannibalism, while standouts like District 23 are rife with cannibals and gang violence, and that even the most mundane of people can actually backstab and loot your house for no reason.
    • Downplayed in terms of the Nests. While they are generally more comfortable places to live, the Wings might use its denizens for experiments, Syndicates might attempt to kill people in certain areas, and if the Wing behind it gets torn, it will go as bad as the Backstreets with Syndicates roaming around trying to tax or kill people, which can't be stopped until the Head appoints a new Wing on its place.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: A big chunk of the Guests that the Library fought against would translate into a protagonist or even a legendary hero in any other franchise...but this one. Sure they have hopes, they have dreams and some even manage to put a great effort for their last stands, but they all either ended up being booked, broken down, turned into Distortions, or any combination of the above. A few even valiantly manifest a proper E.G.O. for their last stand, but they still go down like the rest.
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