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Video Game / LostMagic

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LostMagic is a 2006 video game for the Nintendo DS, made by Taito Studios and released outside Japan by Ubisoft. It advertises itself as an RPG, but it's really a Real-Time Strategy game.

LostMagic follows the story of Isaac and his battle against the maddened Diva of Twilight.

This is a story of the age ushered in by the passing of the Great Creator, divine architect of our world. The people were long protected by the Six Forms of Magic and the Seven Wands left to them by the Creator. The wielders of magic, Magicians, maintained law and order. The Seven Wands were entrusted to seven especially powerful Magicians, called Sages, and passed down from one generation to the next. Thus the power of the Creator was kept safe, and the many benefits of magic made the people's lives rich and easy. In this way, a thousand years of golden, blessed peace continued across the world. But a fateful event was to forever change the world. The Diva of Twilight, a Sage and keeper of the Wand of Balance, lost all hope in those she was charged to protect, the people.

Disillusioned and angry, she called forth monsters — terrible creatures from another realm — into the world. The death knells of the golden age tolled across the land as the monsters ravaged towns and killed wantonly. Many of the other Sages, the defenders of the people, succumbed to the power of the Diva. Hope, now little more than a flickering candle, was about to burn out completely.

Then, a youth by the name of Isaac appeared...

Isaac, a 14-year-old boy separated from his parents amid the chaos enveloping the world, is found by a venerable Magician who lives deep in the old forest. Taking him as her student, the Magician begins the boy's training in magic. Not long afterward, Isaac's father appears before him in the forest. Without saying a word he hands Isaac a Wand and then is gone. "What did father want to say to me?" Isaac wonders.
His desire to find his father is about to spark a great adventure! For this is the story of hope, however small, in a world ravaged by despair.

LostMagic's main shtick is the runic circle control. Press the L button (R if you switched to left-hand settings) and a magic circle will appear in the Touch Screen. Scribble your runes on it — the more accurate, the more powerful — and you can cast spells. Overall, due to a maximum of 18 runes available and the Duo Runes system, LostMagic has about 400 spells, each with a different effect.

Provides examples of:

  • All Your Powers Combined: Isaac can do this by himself, using Duo Runes and, if you take the right Sadistic Choice, Trio Runes.
  • Always Save the Girl: In the Sadistic Choice, you can play this straight or subvert this; you have to do the former to get a good ending.
  • Artificial Stupidity:
    • Both Isaac and your monsters will repeatedly get stuck, running into walls.
    • Then there's the civilians, who will occasionally run towards the ten-foot-tall war golem (who will promptly beat them to death).
  • The Battle Didn't Count: You die when your HP hits 0, you even get a little halo. But all of the bosses are revived.
    • However, the game also has a rare Player example — after the Hopeless Boss Fight, Isaac only clutches his arm, despite being repeatedly struck by lightning.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: The Sages. Also, your father — not. Or is he?
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Present in getting more use out of the Useless Useful Spell and amped up to eleven on a New Game Plus. Also, any AI enemies that aren't Mooks have ridiculous stamina, HP, and — the most glaring example — infinite range. Whilst you are limited, at maximum range, to the part of the map you can see (and one entire-map targeting spell that damages you and your enemies with a flood), they can merrily cast all over it.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: The Big Bad, the Diva of Twilight, becomes the new Creator. You can pimpsmack her to death.
  • The Dulcinea Effect: Isaac and Trista. One of the Bosses hangs a lampshade on this.
  • Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors: Six elements, and those attuned to none. Hitting anything with its opposite elements will deal lots of damage; same-element spells will heal it.
  • Exponential Potential: Your range of spells allows you and all your enemies to do the following: healing HP (directly, long range, over time, via rain, using a wall), terrain effects, elemental armor (times six), elemental weaknesses (times six), buff and debuffs for about six different stats, zones for buff and debuffs for about six different stats, terrain effect zones (lava, ice, sand, etc.), invincibility, invisibility, instant death roulette, monster capturing, elemental walls, traps, teleportation (though only half as far as the AI), turning your monsters into an Action Bomb, ALL Status Effects (Berserk, Fire, Frozen, Poison, Gravity), etc. etc. Oh, and huge-ass dragons. All that and a bag of chips.
  • Fake Difficulty: Arbitrary time limits, idiotic ally AI, and the computer able to think and move quicker than you, not to mention that they get to fire spells across the entire map.
  • First-Name Basis: Isaac, Trista, etc. — though Isaac's last name — Lightbrad — is stated.
  • Functional Magic: In the form of runes.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: It borders on violating Magic A Is Magic A, as all the Sages have you fight them for their Lost Magic, and a great deal is made out of everyone adhering to one flavor of magic, Isaac being the big exception — but they all use spells that require high-power runes from other elements, though possibly not others' Lost Magic. Also, on a New Game Plus, you have to fight them for the magic you'll probably use against them.
    • However, to be recognized as a Sage by the other Sages, Issac has to get the higher-level runes from each element (gathering all of the Lost Magics is left for the hero that will save the world); presumably, this also applied to them before they became sages. Gameplay-wise, since the spell's element, power, and cost is determined by the last rune, casting spells outside of their own element might not be very effective — the PvP mode supports this, as each elemental character has his or her element at level 5, but all others at a measly 3 (Issac is balanced at level 4).
  • Geometric Magic: You have to draw the runes of the spell you want to cast; as it's a DS game, it's obvious how.
  • A God Am I: The Diva of Twilight. You beat the snot out of her.
  • Gotta Catch 'Em All:
    • You don't have to, but there are 400 spell combinations out there. If you have the runes required, you can make them whenever you want, then promptly forget about them.
    • Played straight with the Lost Magics. You have to get all the runes — one way or the other.
  • Hermetic Magic: Fits nicely into the RTS genre — get too distracted while scribbling and a monster will sneak up and kill you, or your troops will dawdle.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: The fight against the Bishop of the White Night, the first time at least.
  • Humans Are Bastards: The Big Bad's motivation; the heroes themselves discuss it and come to the result that, sadly, some people will always abuse power and that it's better to seal away the Creator's gift of magic because people shouldn't suffer under those that abuse it.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Predictably, Russell is Isaac's father and the Bishop of the White Night, your Love Interest is a Sage, and the Diva of the Twilight is her sister. Also, the guy who teaches you the Dark Rune is actually a monster; his mother is an elder dragon and teaches you the uber-powerful trio runes.
  • Made of Iron: You can get mauled by ice chunks, hit by lasers and darkness, burnes, frozen, sliced etc. and nothing happens.
  • Made of Plasticine: Get mobbed by monsters and you die faster than you can say "chunky magician paste". In fact, anything in the game dies in seconds if it is mauled by a mob of monsters.
  • Mooks: Whatever monsters you and your enemy have around.
  • Monster Allies: The Dark Rune allows you to trap monsters and later on use them as your own private army.
  • Neglectful Precursors: Arguably the Creator — could he foresee that (some) Humans Are Bastards?
  • New Game Plus: With heightened difficulty, and lots of possibility for the pimpsmack spell.
  • No Sneak Attacks: Subverted. The Diva of Twilight appears right next to you when you think you've just escaped. Twice.
  • Offing the Offspring: The Bishop of the White Night wants to "test your worthiness"; that is a few missions after the Hopeless Boss Fight against him where he also "kills" you. Fortunately, here you employ The Battle Didn't Count.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Just about everyone who isn't the player.
  • Razor Wind: The lowest-level Air element spell is "Wind Blades".
  • Parental Abandonment: Subverted: Isaac finds both his parents during the course of the story. However, in one of the Multiple Endings, he kills his father.
  • Permanently Missable Content: The Lost Magic of Wind, if you let the Diva kill your Love Interest.
  • Power Nullifier: The Diva of Twilight wields the Wand of Balance, which allows her to do this to any magic directed at her, effectively making her invincible and setting her up to effortlessly steal the wands from the then-defenseless Sages.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: It turns out that monsters are made from humans, in a way that makes them a literal embodiment of hatred.
    • The method to make monsters out of actual humans was lost, but it is possible to make them from misery, suffering, and hatred, which justifies Diva of Twilight just staying in her tower. She's amassing as large an army as she can.
  • Sadistic Choice: Will you hand over the Wand of Light to the Diva or will you keep it? If you don't, your love interest dies and you'll get controlled and/or killed.
  • Status Effects: You can inflict them on others, as zones or curse, can buff your monsters, heal them, etc. etc.
  • Some Dexterity Required: The game has an infuriating tendency to read your runes wrongly (or ignoring them) in any situation. I wanted Heal, not Ice Bullet, damn it!
    • Due to the similar shapes, 2 times out of 5 your basic water spell will read as the basic dark spell.
    • It is possible through lateral thinking to make a Teleport (Wind 3) rune look almost exactly like a Light Armor (Light 2) rune, although this must be done intentionally.
  • Squishy Wizard: The justification for your Monster Allies — or do you want to go against Wyvern and other such things alone, you, a weak, ten-year old boy?
  • Status Effects: Oh, so many. Charm, Curse, Accurancy Up/Down, Poison, Defense Up/Down, Magic Up/Down, Magic Defense Up/Down, Speed Up/Down, Frozen, Burning, Quicksand, other Terrain effects, ...
  • Timed Mission: Every single one. Even the random encounters are timed.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: The Temple of Balance — NOT: The Diva will, no matter what Sadistic Choice you make, make her own, the Twisted Wand Tower.
  • You Never Asked: Your lovely female sidekick Trista is also the Sage of Wind. That rune she gives you without warning would have helped with the boss(es) you had to defeat to get her to give it to you.