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Video Game / Magical Vacation

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Magical Vacation (2001) for the Game Boy Advance was the first entry in a Nintendo role-playing game series that takes place on Kovomaka. The main characters are a group of trainee mages that attend the Will-O-Wisp magic school. They can interact with elemental spirits and cast elemental spells.

In the first game, the students are on summer vacation (hence the name) when they are attacked by The Heartless which splits up the students. It's up to the main character to travel through different planes of existence to rescue their fellow students. While previewed in Nintendo Power, this game never met a Western release.

The Nintendo DS sequel, Magical Starsign (2006), takes place 800 years later, when one of the teachers disappears. The students find a six-pack of magical spaceships in a part of the school and get lost in space, having to reunite with each other and rescue their teacher. This game was released in the West.

Also, for some reason, a great deal of things in the games are made out of gummi. Including the power-ups and the Cosmic Keystones.

A fan English translation for Magical Vacation was released on June 7th, 2016, by the aptly named member Magicalpatcher.

This series provides examples of:

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    Tropes that apply to both games 
  • Absurdly High Level Cap: For both games, the max level cap is 99. However, you're more likely to beat the games at either the mid-to-late-fifties or early sixties.
  • An Ice Person:
    • Sorbet uses ice and water magic.
    • Blueberry in Vacation.
  • Blow You Away: Lassi. See also Razor Wind.
    • Candy in Vacation.
  • Bonus Dungeon:
    • For Vacation, there are 3.
      • First, there is Tuoekat, a brief yet brutal 10-floor dungeon that require gathering friends with the link cable to attain 100 so that you can gain dark magic, which is mandatory for entry. Located inside are many dark themed enemies, the five pieces of the black set, and on the very final floor, the final dark spirit is there provided you've captured 1000 GUMMY FROGS beforehand alongside a be-friendable pink enigma hidden along the walls.
      • Once you've mastered every element (I;e Leveled all the magic you've gained by linking up in Amigo Mode to Level 18 including dark) you gain access to Light Magic which, while blocking you off from Tuoekat, gives you access to another 10-floor dungeon named Yekrut. Here, battles are less brutal, but focus is shifted on many sequential puzzles relating to chess pieces on a board and which pieces can take what. Throughout the dungeon, a room full of respawning red frogs, red worms, the five pieces of the white set, a be-friendable gummy frog, and the final light spirit can be found.
      • Finally, there is the 50-floor Garam Masala, available after beating the game and rousing the 5 downed dwarves across the Dark and Abyssal Realms with Latte's ability. Here, porcelain pots block your path unless you pay them a specific amount of gummy frogs, with costs rising after every exchange. The only way to reduce the cost is to challenge shadowy mimicrys wandering about. Through the dungeon, 10 putty peas needed for Osim Village's expansion, and 6 characters are findable, with characters ranging from a chappy and a pot to a doll and a small sparrow on the final floor. With three difficulty modes affecting how much the porcelain pots increase their gummy frog costs, and how many friends you can recruit, if you want everything, you need to play strictly through every floor and make every gummy frog count on Spicy Mode.
    • For Starsign, the Glissini Caves, which house the game's strongest monsters, including an even stronger version of the final boss.
  • Butt-Monkey:
    • Mokka gets kicked around a bit. He takes everything in stride, though. "Bad things always happen to me. Sometimes, I lose my head. Things happen."
    • Cafe-au-Lait in Vacation also shares this trope.
  • Casting a Shadow: Dark elemental magic. In addition to the usual stylings it also often involves a gambling motif.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Ganache Nighthawk, Miss Madeleine and optionally your own character can use dark magic.
  • Elemental Powers: The main system of magic. The full list of elements in the game is earth, machine, bug, wood, poison, beast, thunder, water, beauty, sword, wind, sound, fire, love, darkness, and light. The sequel trims it down to earth, fire, wind, water, wood, light, and darkness.
  • Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors:
    • In Magical Starsign, the elements are effective against one another like this: Wind -> Earth -> Water -> Fire -> Wood -> Wind. Dark and Light are weak to each other.
    • Vacation has 16 elements, including Earth, Machine, Bug, Wood, Poison, Beast, Thunder, Water, Beauty, Sword, Wind, Sound, Fire, Love, Darkness, and Light. Love is neutral to all elements, Dark is stronger than the others except for Love and Light, and Light has no weaknesses.
  • Really 700 Years Old:
    • The sequel has an 800 year timeskip. The same teachers are still teaching at the magic school, and they still look the same. It's lampshaded by Chai.
    • An NPC in the beginning mentions a teacher named Pistachio. Pistachio was a party member in Vacation.
  • Squishy Wizard: Every party member except for Mokka could fit, but Lassi and Sorbet are the best examples.
    • Pistachio in Vacation.
  • Superboss:
    • In Vacation, at the bottom of Garam Masala, a robotic guardian awaits. He doesn't guard anything in particular, and he's notably weaker than the upgraded boss recolors you have to fight in droves to get to that point, but he's the final encounter of that bonus dungeon.
    • Starsign has one on every 5th floor of the Glissini Caves, featuring stronger recolors of the Securitron, the Holy Sapling, the Cybersaurus, and Shadra. Additionally, using figurines on Master Macadameus will summon special enemies into battle, and some of them — particularly the ones accessed by tagging with someone who's already beaten the game — are stronger than the final boss. Macadameus himself also qualifies, being stronger than even the Insect Mage, the mightiest monster summonable through figurines.
  • Theme Naming: Every town/race has a different theme. The dwarves are named after sauces, the otters are named after famous musicians (mostly rockers), and the residents of Bena Rikashi are named after elements, metals, and the like.
    • In addition, all the playable characters in Magical Starsign (except for the protagonist, who you name) are named after foods.
    • Not only that, but the spiny moles are all named after cheese. This is even Lampshaded when one digs a tunnel and the map title for it is "Gorgonzola's Hole-a".
    • In Vacation, the heroes' first names are foods, while their last names hint to their elemental powers, either by something simple like 'Blueberry Lakeside' or the color that represents said element, such as 'Candy Mintblue'.
  • Warmup Boss: The Antlion on Erd.
    • Vacation has The Enigmas on Valencia Beach or Demice in Mimoretto Forest.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue:
  • For Vacation
    • Ganache is able to unite the other magicians of Kovomaka that had been Enigma Possessed and starts a revolution without violence to save his sister from Chiboust Castle and ensure lasting peace to their country.
    • Olive goes on to bond with animals in an unmanned archipelago.
    • Cabernet becomes the guardian of the land of hat wearing frogs.
    • Candy gives up on magic entirely, becoming Will-o-Wisp's Historian.
    • Blueberry goes to the Water Realm to deepen her bonds with her heritage.
    • Peche funds and creates a Dodo Sanctuary.
    • Kirsche travels the world, then returns home to teach at Will-o-Wisp.
    • Arancia gives birth to three children, wondering when Kirsche, her husband, will ever come home.
    • Chocolat moves to a hill near the school, enjoying the breeze all year long.
    • Lemon founds a Magical Martial Arts Technique that she hopes to spread across the land.
    • Cassis goes solo on a journey after giving all his gains to impoverished kids.
    • Cider passes the adventures of the story on through his career in painting.
    • Pistachio becomes a professor at the school.
    • Sesame becomes a researcher of the ancients, retooling Latte into a rocket that shoots off into parts unknown.
    • The protagonist's ending varies on how many amigos you've gained and how much magic was mastered.
      • The regular ending has them become an instructor at Will-o-Wisp to teach future generations of other uses magic can have aside battle.
      • The next ending requires that you fill your amigo log to 100 to gain Dark Magic. This results in them becoming a legendary traveler known by a number of titles across countless realms even after death at 87 years of age.
      • The final ending requires that you level all 16 elements to Level 18 to gain every spell, resulting in the protagonist seek out and successfully discover the cure to the Dodo's Curse, logging their findings in a journal that is sent to Will-o-Wisp to spread. However, they're never heard from again.
  • For Starsign
    • Pico is held back at Will-o-wisp Academy for eight years in a row, and ultimately drops out, becoming a great hero traveling across the galaxy and fighting monsters.
    • Sorbet is granted a scholarship and finishes her education, joining the Space Police to restore it's honor alongside Brie Pourri and General Knucklestorm.
    • Lassi delves into rocket science, though is ridiculed for her flawed theories and articles. Nonetheless, she manages to finish a rocket of her own and travels the galaxy to discover new worlds.
    • Mokka assists Lassi, ultimately converting his body into a part of Lassi's rocket.
    • Chai grows bored with studying at Will-o-wisp Academy and stows away on Lassi's rocket to secretly join them on their journey.
    • The Protagonist works with the dwarves of Razen to convert the Kahve Ruins into a giant radio telescope. After discovering a signal that was coming from Lassi, he/she sets out to follow them in a prototype rocket designed for a single occupant to investigate.
  • Wizarding School: The main setting.

    Magical Vacation 
  • Womb Level: In Vacation, the final dungeon, Drazzig Grotto starts out fairly cave like with glowing turquoise walls, the occasional gaping hole here or there, and some rougher purple terrain, but heading into the second half, the layout becomes much more grotesque. There, the walls and floors begin to pulsate, breathing holes start to pop up in droves of varying sizes, and green eyeballs watch you from above as you head ever closer to the Chamber of Rebirth.

    Magical Starsign 
  • Ambiguous Innocence: Farina in Magical Starsign is unspeakably creepy. She barely ever speaks, and for the majority of the game her dialog box face graphic is the same blank expression. She's a magical prodigy, which is unusual enough, but you learn about this when she wordlessly vaporizes a monster that was enchanted to revive endlessly after your party beats it, destroys a second one, and then helps Pico escape. Her pet frog died and her nursemaid put it into a potted plant's soil as fertilizer, after which she began gathering animal corpses and packing them in. Later in the game, she beats up the pirate otters stranded at Assam and exercises dominion over them. But worst of all is when, stemming from those last two examples, she nurses a holy tree sapling by burying said otters and her own neighbors up to their necks in soil and letting the sapling slowly suck the life out of them, with her own father closest to the sapling. An unidentified member of your party even lampshades her creepiness in the team's diary.
    Where did Farina go? Did she take off again? She sure was a weirdo. I probably shouldn't say that. Oh, well. Nobody's going to read this.
  • Ax-Crazy: Magnus Muzzleflash, a "murderous psychopathologist and a gun-toting pox" who doesn't think twice on gunning down his own troops if they get on his way. He was actually in prison due to his crimes against the galaxy before Abalon required his services.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Starsign has the students find their teacher again after a very long adventure, but the Chromagar Cave's influence had taken its toll on her, and she's already solidified into hard candy since long. After some tearful parting words, she disappears into light. The epilogue shows the main cast of six's future, with wildly varying moods from Sorbet being able to finish her studies safely after a loan was allowed to her to Mokka literally donating his body to science as a primary component of Lassi's rocket.
  • Book Ends: While searching for their teacher, the player character and Lassi land on Erd, where they face antagonistic robots in a tower with no electricity before discovering that they are the subject of a Spiny mole prophesy to kill a large insect, the Ant Queen. Which they do, and then go on to "Where the stars sleep" to restore the power (The star is a windmill which Lassi turns with magic). It's all very easy and mostly Played for Laughs. Later, the same tropes are Played for Drama in the endgame, with the same robots threatening to go berserk and war with the entire solar system when they run out of batteries, prophesies of doom eroding the party's resolve, Butterfly of Death and Rebirth Shadra, and the party despite all reason reigniting the Sun itself.
  • Boss Dissonance: After Cassia, Starsign allows the player to decide which of two planets to visit next, which is actually a choice between:
    • Easy Levels, Hard Bosses: Puffoon has low leveled random encounters, but a very difficult boss.
    • Hard Levels, Easy Bosses: The forests of Gren are long and winding, with higher leveled random encounters, but lower leveled bosses compared to the alternative.
  • Boss Remix: The final boss theme of Magical Starsign is a remix of the "trouble" theme that usually plays when the Pirate otters are up to no good.
  • Butterfly of Death and Rebirth: The final boss, Shadra, is a giant butterfly. It's supposed to create a new sun after it finishes eating the old one, though there are implications that this isn't actually the case. Your party killing it causes the sun's light to intensify, solving the robot apocalypse problem and saving eveyone in the solar system in the process.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: The game is mostly lighthearted and fun until the second visit to Erd, at which point it becomes very creepy and existential.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Semolina's clip ends up being a conduit that allows her to speak through Mokka from beyond the grave.
  • Comically Small Bribe: An early clue that the police are corrupt.
  • Crapsaccharine World: There's a wind planet that looks like it's made of cotton candy, a jungle village full of cat people, places named after food, as well as corrupt police, a robot society that kills people for fuel, and an eldritch worm that is eating the sun from the inside out.
  • Dark Messiah: Master Kale wants to speed up the upcoming apocalypse because he thinks the world has gone off its proper course. With the Robot War set to start in a few years, Sorbet finds it hard to argue with him. Depending on your interpretation, Farina might fit too.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Mokka.
  • Degraded Boss: In Magical Starsign, Pookas and Dab Hasnels, formerly Mini-Boss encounters, reappear on Shadra as regular enemies.
  • Deus ex Machina: The party defeating the final boss causes the sun's light to intensify, singlehandedly stopping the robot apocalypse and dissolving the gummi mist.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Quite a few times with Pico in Starsign. Like deciding their ship would be fine to fly to Razen (the problem going there being the sun frying their ship) because the space pirates (whose ships all resemble pirate galleons) can fly there too (when they probably have their own means of dealing with the heat.) Or attempting to use his fire powers to put out a forest fire, just because he's the only one with an elemental power who didn't do anything yet.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: Mokka uses Earth magic.
  • Driven to Suicide: Semolina immediately volunteers to be made into a Cosmic Keystone, and does so before the party can try to stop her. And Sorbet reveals if Semolina hadn't done it, she would have.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: The Book of the Darned.
  • Got Me Doing It: Both Lassi and Lord Persimon SLURP just like the Salamanders and essentially say this trope's name.
  • Gratuitous Disco Sequence:
    • The first Space Police detective the party faces is Mugwort, an afro-wearing lizard with bell-bottom pants and platform shoes. He even strikes the classic Disco pose when casting.
    • Also one of Picos best head-gear the "Disco wig."
  • Green Thumb: Chai uses Plant magic.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: Everyone looks at Chai as the weakest team member because sissy plant magic is "hardly galactic hero material". Then he breaks open a gargantuan boulder that the Earth mage couldn't even move...using a single sprout.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Brie Pourri and a good portion of the Space Police.
  • Hello, [Insert Name Here]: You get to name your entire party if you want.
  • HP to One: One party member starts this way in the final boss battle, in addition to losing access to some commands. It's Mokka, after he inflicts Explosive Instrumentation on himself.
  • Human Resources: Robots? Their battery cores are made from gummified humans. Even your Robot Buddy Mokka.
  • Inverse Law of Utility and Lethality: Subverted: everyone's magic is useful in combat and in exploration.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Parodied, a dwarf tells this to a Pirate Otter. A dwarf who'd inherited an exile on Cassia...
  • Magic Knight: Especially Pico, who can have a good mix of attack and IQ, but Mokka, the main character, and Chai can pull this role off as well.
  • Metaphorgotten: At one point on Nova, Grenadine says: "Right, so, space is like this big onion, ya see? You know, onions got lots of layers? Well, you start peeling those layers off, and all you get is tears. But we do it anyway! You can't stop peelin' the layers, or else you've got nothing to eat! You feelin' me, kid?"
  • Mighty Glacier: Mokka. Slow as hell and has almost one and a half times as much health as anyone else. Also has the best defense out of anyone else.
  • Missing Secret: It seems like there should be 30 Putty Peas, but there are only 29.
  • Mood Whiplash: The light-hearted, goofy gameplay gives way to a cutscene where a likable side character commits suicide by letting herself be eaten by a plant to allow you to continue on your way. The game itself gets fairly dark towards the end, but after the aforementioned scene they head back to light-hearted for a few hours of gameplay. Oh, and you still get the cheerful "You got a Cosmic Keystone!" jingle. Right after said scene, Sorbet tells you she was about to make the sacrifice needed.
    • The fact the main ingredient in a robot power core is a gummy made from magic users, right there in black and white, within something you need to read for plot purposes? Which becomes a lot more of a shock when you learn that's why there's ruins on Erd and that the robots will eventually move on to other worlds when they need more. Oh, and when you find what's left of them? You can go upstairs and fight a girl who happened to be one of the ones that lived through the process. Who asks to be killed. Then the game goes back to normal for a while.
  • Non Standard Game Over: Touching the giant ball of lava kills you instantly. Mokka is kind enough to warn you about this.
    Game: <Player> and friends turned to ashes and left this world behind.
  • Not Quite Saved Enough: Magical Starsign revolves around the party trying to save their teacher, Miss Madeline. After defeating the planet-devouring worm holding her captive, they find they were too late and she dies. It's even worse when she was successfully saved in the previous game.
  • NPC Roadblock: The otter blocking the team from getting to the waterfall on Cassia after thawing the place out.
    You can't go past here. Back when the town was frozen, you could, but not now. I know that doesn't make any sense. Just roll with it.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: Pretty much every employee in the Space Police HQ.
  • Optional Boss: Fighting the Gummi Girl in Starsign isn't required to pass through the story.
  • Point of No Return: After you defeat the giant larva boss, you can't leave Chromagar Cave. Though you can leave after you enter its room but before you fight it.
  • A Pupil of Mine Until He Turned to Evil: Kale used to be one of Miss Madeline's best students until he turned evil for reasons unknown.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Pico and Sorbet. Also the closest thing to a canon couple the game gives us.
  • Recycled In SPACE: Magical Starsign takes place in space, while the first game took place on different planes of existence.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Oh, though you saved Miss Madeline from her fate? Too bad, she has to join The Lifestream just as you finally rescue her. Kinda goes double due to all the effort you went to in order to save her in the previous game.
  • Single-Biome Planet: Kovomaka is diverse, the other planets in the galaxy consist of a jungle, a volcano, a tropical island, windy plains, and rocky barrens.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Detective Beignet, the first member of the Space Police the Starsign party meets, is happy to declare that the pirate problems are outside his jurisdiction and overstates his abilities, but is otherwise quite friendly. He's shocked when the main organization comes around and mistreats the civilians, is initially unaware that the police and pirates are actually allied - though he soon finds out, and spends the latter 2/3rds of the game getting you past security to places where you can do the most good.
  • Space Pirates: The Pirate Otters. Right down to rehashing 18th century pirate wardrobes and accents.
  • Space Police: The Space Police, though they're quite corrupt at first.
  • Stepford Smiler: Sorbet and Semolina. Especially Semolina, though. At least with Sorbet her inner thoughts surface more often than not.
  • Stripperiffic: Brie Pourri is quite the scantily-clad police officer that doesn't go unnoticed by some of the NPCs in Bena Rikashi. Her boss sprite only serves to cement this. Her official art is even worse.
  • Suicide Is Painless: Talk to the villagers after Semolina becomes a Cosmic Keystone. They reveal she wasn't very happy with her life. Sorbet reveals the same thing about herself.
  • Taken for Granite: Or gummi, in this case. Chromagar Cave at the end of the game is practically made of gummis, and its atmosphere will gradually coat a person in layers of gummi until they're completely turned into the stuff. You can even see several unfortunate pirates who have succumbed to this fate.
  • Terrible Trio: Pirate otters, who sometimes come in Terrible Quartets, too.
  • Those Two Guys: Caldarroste, a bumbling pirate otter wannabe and Lord Persimon, Chard's "512th-in-Commander"
    • Gil Mudflap and Abalon Demar also count, though they're much less recurring.
  • Tome of Eldritch Lore: The Book of the Darned. And it used to be standard curriculum, too.
  • Two-Teacher School: We see Madeline and Gran Degree and that's about it.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: Master Chard at Cassia is by far the hardest boss faced to that point in the game.
  • World Tree: Yggsalad.

Alternative Title(s): Magical Starsign