It's the story of an elite group of children, from Ever Garden, naturally known as the "Garden Children". The children have all been raised by the Luminous Church to fight Monsters and Witches, both of which apparently tried to destroy the world several thousand years ago.
However, one day after the monsters attack, the group meets one of the witches, who doesn't seem too bad. Hence, we begin an enjoyable, if somewhat cliche, trip around the world the uncover the truth about the world, and the teachings of their Church.
The game is notable for having a very good multiplayer mode, even if the single player mode can be sluggish and somewhat predictable.
Also, it has a nice opening.
There is also a sequel of sorts, which involves an entirely new cast: Luminous Arc 2.
This game provides examples of:
- An Adventurer Is You: You get a whole bunch of different classes (Kaboose?!), but they're mostly all variations of standard fare. Mostly.
- An Economy Is You: Even in the "thriving trade town". They even OFFER YOU A POT!
- Antidote Effect: Averted, as most of the time you are given enough status cures that it's not a problem, and your spellcasters are typically too busy doing other stuff to cure ailments.
- As You Know: Averted, Alph and the Garden Children generally don't know much more about what's going on than the player and need more knowledgeable characters to explain things as they come up.
- Awesome, but Impractical:
- The Rainbow Array Synergy. It's powerful, cool...while requiring all seven Witches (out of 8 deployable characters) with max Flash Points. There is absolutely no way you will use this without explicitly going out of your way to do so.
- Synergies in general can fall under this category, as they need max Flash Points and all require the characters to be close to one another. Furthermore, more than one or two of the available Synergies use characters that by the time of unlocking the Synergy will have likely been outclassed by other character options, making them mainly purposed for the Bragging Rights Reward of the original artworks accompanying the techniques.
- Back Stab: Attacking from behind is stronger than attacking from the front.
- Barrier Warrior: Alph, after his class change.
- Big Damn Heroes: Kai's introduction is one of these.
- Black and White Magic: Averted. You'd think that witches, the destructive force of the apocalypse, would use black magic as a counter to the white magic your cleric gets. You'd be wrong.
- Boss Remix: The final boss theme "Believe in Yourself" contains a paritul remix of "Theme of Luminous Arc." It may also contain some of "Existence," but it is difficult to tell.
- Cosmic Keystone: Lapis.
- Crippling Overspecialization: Averted - for the most part, each unit has attacks or abilities capable of hitting at both short and long range. It won't let you archer beat a knight one on one, but it will let said archer fight back if your lines are breached.
- Critical Hit: Averted! The game doesn't seem to have any sort of chance-based damage boost.
- Crystal Dragon Jesus: The Luminous Church.
- Dark Is Edgy: Cecille, the Twilight Witch.
- Dark Is Not Evil: The Twilight Witch
- Everything Fades: With sparkles.
- Evil Costume Switch: Cecille again. Sorta.
- Flechette Storm: Alph's "Flechette" skill, natch.
- Forced Level-Grinding: With the same enemies!
- Gainaxing: The opening has rather obvious close-ups of Claire and Vanessa's "assets" in action.
- Improbable Weapon User: Vivi and her magic lamp (which doubles as a machine gun), as well as Mel's big LEAF.
- Item Crafting: Imbuing equipment with "Vitae."
- Lampshade Hanging: Much more frequent and clever than one might think.
- Level-Up at Intimacy 5: The "Intermission" system.
- Limit Break: Flash Drives.
- Meido: Lucia first arrives at the Garden to work as its maid (her outfit is much more realistic then usual for this trope).
- The Twilight Witch's outfit, however, is very much reminiscent of a stereotypical maid outfit.
- Memory Gambit: Cecille, who had Mother Lapis seal her memories of being the Twilight Witch. Which apparently included changing her hair color.
- Never Say "Die": Subverted. The characters spend the first few scenes talking about a duty to "condemn" Witches, making it look like a straight example, but when the first Witch Alph meets asks point-blank if he intends to kill her, he baulks.
- New Game+: Your intimacy stats carry over.
- Official Couple: However many Intermissions you did with your party members (especially if you maxed out Cecille), Alph and Lucia ends up together. The whole destined Witch-Rym partnership helps
- Permanently Missable Content: Weren't able to get all the items and the special CG image from Cecille's Intermissions before her class change into the Twilight Witch? Try again next time, and no, we don't mean by New Game+, but a new clean game.
- Prepare to Die: Or as Priel puts it: "So, uh... Prepare, to like, die!"
- Recurring Boss: Most of the villains are fought multiple times.
- Revolvers Are Just Better: The "Magnum" ability does much more damage than any other ability the Rifleman class gets.
- Save Scumming: To maximize the character's Heart level, the player can save just before finishing off the last enemy and proceed to the Intermission stage. If they choose the wrong dialogue choice, the player would just reset and choose the other options.
- Standard Status Effects: Not as annoying as usual, most enemies are as vulnerable to them as you are. That is to say, not very.
- Status Buff: Nikolai's specialty. Most characters get a self buff or two, as well.
- Stripperiffic: Vanessa. Hoo, boy. Not to mention Cecille when she becomes the Twilight Witch.
- Super Move Portrait Attack: The Flash Drives.
- The Tease: Vanessa, and how. To the point where she's delighted if Alph asks "Are they real?" and offers to let him find out.
- Token Mini-Moe: Mel. Also Alice and Therese, but they don't get as much screentime.
- Tyke-Bomb: The Ever Children's upbringing (all orphans trained and indoctrinated from a young age) suggests the church was aiming for this.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Theo and his eggs.
- Useless Useful Spell: Played straight with the Standard Status Effects. Averted with the status buff spells, which are just potent enough to make a difference.
- Unusually Uninteresting Sight: You can go back into towns with a dragon in your party, and nobody will mind. Even the one that, in one scene, throws that character out... It helps that said character can now hide anyone semblance of being a dragon. Still, you think they'd remember...