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In the world of Ospes and the people who inhabit it, the Thymetians, there exist a race of people with the ability to control matter to suit their whims: the Theolar. For many, many years, the Thymetians have feared and persecuted the Theolar for their destructive potential, but eventually a Theolar named Syndarion and his brother Dalamaug formed a group called the Andurium, to show the Thymetians that the Theolar are just as capable of good as they are of evil.

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However, during a rash of Theolar kidnappings, Dalamaug goes off to meet the Thymetian High Lord to negotiate peace, and returns with other Theolar in sinister robes to raze the Andurium's home town to the ground on behalf of the Thymetian High Lord, leaving just two survivors: Syndarion and a young man named Armegmus.

Years later, Syndarion and Armegmus live in hiding in a small, rustic town, the former refusing to believe that his brother was of sound mind when he committed his act of genocide, and the latter bitter and distrustful of Thymetians. However, when the Belarus' hooded agents return to abduct Syndarion, Armegmus is forced to seek the help of a local blacksmith named Vellamik and his trusty "dog" Trux in order to go after him.

Manifest is an RPG made in RPG Maker. Though it uses mainly stock RPG Maker assets, it's still manages to have a very well-written story with a surprisingly large amount of gameplay.

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This game provides examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Val's parents were nobles in Dagron. Her father used to beat her if he came home having lost a bet at the Red Garden, and her mother was a drunk. When they used up all their Etherum, they sold their daughter to a merchant to pay off their debts.
  • Action Girl: Val is easily one of the biggest ass-kickers in your party. While not as kick-ass, Efflora comes rather close to Val's level.
  • A God Am I: Project Archangel, as well as the development of Focus, is frequently described in these terms on the Theolar homeworld.
  • All-Loving Hero: Syndarion refuses to let the racism against Theolar or even the slaughter of his entire organization by his own kind get to him, and because of that he makes a lot of allies amongst various Thymetians (including Vellamik.)
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  • Anti-Villain: Vekros is fully aware that what he's doing will destroy an entire world, but sees no other way to save his own. He even pays the party respect for coming from lightyears away to stop him.
  • A Pupil of Mine, Until He Turned to Evil: Belarus is Lemryll, one of Syndarion's students while he was still living in Eborill. After fighting in the Grey War, he became disillusioned to the idea of Thymetians and Theolar coexisting
  • Artifact of Doom: The Exitium Stone is stated to be able to be used as such if it falls into the wrong hands. Eventually it's revealed that it was the core of an alien weapon that leeches the Life Energy of one area to give to another. Once the Theolar homeworld gets it back, they decide to drain Ospes dry to restore their own dying world.
  • The Atoner: Solus, the researcher found in the Cave of the Recluse, having been forced to take part in the brainwashing at Ordune until he finally escaped.
    • Argyle has spent 12,000 years atoning for accidentally unleashing Naarxoth and causing the destruction of the Nayrin.
  • Badass Normal: In a party full of Theolar and a giant dog-monster-thing, Vellamik and Val are the only normal Thymetians in the group.
  • Battle Couple: Novriath (post-Heel–Face Turn) and Efflora, and eventually Armegmus and Val.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Argyle wanted to accomplish something great and be looked up by his people, which Naarxoth took advantage of to get him to release him. After a long and bloody war, Argyle is the one to stop Naarxoth's onslaught and be regarded as a hero by his fellow surviving Nayrin...all 50 of them (who all die out within a few generations.)
  • Big-Bad Ensemble: High Lord Belarus and Chancellor Vekros. The former is the mastermind of everything going on the game, while the latter suddenly jumps in and kills him in the last hour of the game, steals the Exitium Stone, and then plans to drain all the Life Energy from Ospes to save the Theolar homeworld.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Armegmus jumps in to save Val when a brainwashed Novriath defeats her and is about to finish her off.
    • When the party is locked in a cell in the Imperial facility in the Ice Wastes, Baaj walks up and reveals that he was ordered to follow them and springs them from the cell.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Belarus is dead, the Exitium Stone is destroyed, and Ospes is saved, and the party even managed to evacuate the inhabitants of the Sanctum while they were at it. However, the Theolar have lost their homeworld for good, and the Theolar refugees are on their way to a world that hates and fears them (Belarus' death didn't stop Theolar persecution from existing, after all.) However, the game still manages to end on a hopeful note regardless.
  • Block Puzzle: Quite a few of these, usually of the "Push these boulders around to weigh down all these switches" variety.
  • Bonus Boss: Quite a few, with the obligatory harder-than-the-final-boss foe being Naarxoth.
  • Bonus Dungeon: The various Nayrin towers located throughout the game, though they're all pretty much just puzzles with no enemy encounters (though one sidequest boss can be fought in one of them.)
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: How the kidnapped Theolar seem to become agents. Syndarion refuses to believe that his brother could've razed the Andurium's hometown unless he had been changed drastically, and when Armegmus meets Novriath after his Face–Heel Turn, he notes that he's definitely not himself anymore. Fortunately, Efflora manages to get her husband to recover.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The Exitium Stone. It's collected at the beginning of the game and, other than being part of Matthiad's backstory for the Theolar, doesn't really come into play until it's taken by Belarus at Ordune. And even then, it still isn't important until the last hour of the game when it's taken by Vekros, who actually plans on using it.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: A flashback near the beginning of the game shows Syndarion about to leave Eborill, and having to convince a young boy named Lemryll to stay behind. Eventually, Lemryll grows up to become High Lord Belarus.
  • Convection Schmonvection: Not only does Mt. Phoenix, an active volcano, have an Etherum mine, but the Thymetian Empire have had slaves working there without being allowed to leave for two years, some of them working in close proximity to lava floes with seemingly no ill effects.
  • Cool Old Guy: Vellamik, a wise-cracking blacksmith who can still put up a good fight and even pick a few locks thanks to his past as a member of the Crimson Palms.
  • Crapsack World: Matthias' journal does not make the Theolar homeworld seem like a fun place to live. When you finally return there, it's become a full-on post-apocalyptic Death World.
  • Crusading Widow: Val is pissed that her husband is killed right in front of her by Novriath and his fellow agents, and forcibly joins the party in search of revenge. When Novriath finally comes to his senses, she realizes that her efforts would be better spent getting revenge on the one who brainwashed him in the first place, though not being able to get her revenge properly hits her pretty hard.
    • Not much of a widow by the end of the game, either.
  • Curb Stomp Cushion: Ironically, the cushion is winning the battle. When Val and Novriath finally square off, Novriath wins due to his longer years of training, his mind control making it so he doesn't feel pain, and his psychic powers giving him an unfair advantage. That being said, Val beats the ever loving shit out of him and, if the party has been leveling up properly, will be too strong to fall to his normal attacks. It takes Novriath busting out a One-Hit KO move to subdue her, and no matter how much HP Val has, the attack will only do slightly more HP than what Val has, meaning that he only barely overpowered Val. Val was delivering the curbstomp; Novriath needed to use his most powerful move to eek out the win.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Vellamik is a pretty fun-loving guy, but will not hesitate to snark on people he doesn't like, even if it gets the group in trouble.
  • Death by Childbirth: The fate of Fidese's mother.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Val starts out very confrontational towards the rest of the party, but eventually starts warming up to them.
  • Doomed Hometown: The closest thing Armegmus has to a hometown, Krell, is destroyed right at the start of the game. However, it's revealed that there are more unturned survivors of the attack than just him and Syndarion.
    • After getting the zeppelin back, the party can travel to Eborill, Syndarion's hometown, only to discover that Belarus razed it years ago (and since Belarus is also from Eborill, that means he also doomed his own hometown.)
  • Dying as Yourself: Dalamaug returns to his old self just before Belarus roasts him before he can reveal anything.
  • Earth All Along: The Theolar homeworld is Earth.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: When Armegus destroys the Exitium Stone, the resulting explosion destroys the entire Earth (though fortunately Vekros is able to hold off the explosion until the party can evacuate everyone in the Sanctum.)
  • Elemental Powers: Armegmus is able to wield these, and apparently the other members of the Andurium could as well.
  • The Ending Changes Everything: The player already knows that the Theolar came from another world and are essentially mutants about 3/4s of the way through the game, but the Sanctum drops an even bigger bombshell: that the Theolar homeworld is a futuristic, post-apocalyptic Earth.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: The Incendium, the incident that caused the Theolar homeworld to become the Death World that it is now.
  • Evil Former Friend: Novriath, who was captured by Belarus' agents when they razed Armegmus' hometown. Eight years later, he reemerges as one of them.
  • The Faceless: The "Shady Characters" that you find throughout the game. Fortunately, they seem nice enough, and only really care about gambling.
  • False Cause: One boss is fought at the end of a mountain pass in the middle of a sandstorm. Vellamik immediately pins the blame on the monster for the sandstorm, but when the party defeats it, the sandstorm doesn't go away. Vellamik's response: "My mistake."
  • Fantastic Racism: The Theolar are the biggest targets of this, though other races are subject to it as well.
    • The Greymarg turn out to be not very fond of the Thymetians, either, thanks to having been driven out of the Verada Ice Wastes by the Thymetian Empire.
  • Forgot About His Powers: Armegmus can use his Elemental Powers to clear obstacles on the map, but only when the game decides you can start using them (which forces a lot of backtracking in the late game.)
  • Gladiator Games: The Red Garden deals in this, forcing convicts to fight against monsters for the entertainment of the people in Dagron. When the party gets there, Hazrim, the owner, has managed to rope a bunch of haughty nobles into fighting as well. Val also used to fight in the Garden as well while serving time for killing the merchant who bought her.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Novriath gets a blinding injury in one eye when he's captured by the agents at the beginning of the game, and the scar is still there after his Face–Heel Turn.
  • Gotta Catch 'Em All: The Nayrin Relic sidequest. There are various Nayrin Relics hidden in treasure chests throughout the game, and after collecting enough of them the player can visit the nearest Nayrin Trading Post and they'll reimburse them with rare items for their efforts.
    • There's also the sidequest to visit the 8 Nayrin Ruins and collect their keystones for Argyle, and collecting Bethurial Ore to craft the game's Infinity Plus One Weapons.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Fidese, a half-Thymetian, half-Theolar.
  • Happily Adopted: Armegmus was raised by a Thymetian family after his biological parents abandoned him to give him an opportunity of a better life.
  • Harmful to Minors: Armegmus managed to put out a house fire when he was young and drag his unconscious father outside, but the house collapsed and killed his mother before he could do the same with her.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: Novriath takes one full revolution after getting brainwashed into becoming one of Belarus' agents, and then getting snapped out of it and joining the party.
  • He Knows Too Much: When Dalamaug reappears before the party in the present day, he starts speaking in cryptic hints and implying that he's come to know all kinds of earth-shattering revelations since he was turned. When he's finally brought back to his senses, Belarus immediately steps in and kills him before he can reveal any of these things.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: When the Exitium Stone becomes unstable and is about to explode in an Earth-Shattering Kaboom, Vekros stays behind to keep it under control for as long as possible until the party can evacuate the inhabitants of the Sanctum.
  • Hidden Elf Village: Noor isn't particularly hidden, but it does appear to be an abandoned town on the surface, when in reality its Theolar residents fled underground to escape attacks from bandits. Krell is also turned into one as well after its destruction, getting converted into a hiding place for the Talon.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: Val's Dual Boss fight with Novriath. If it goes on for too long, he casts Dark Matter and takes her out in one turn. Played with in that it's not so much that Val didn't stand a chance, and more that after a protracted beatdown on both sides, the one under mind control that wouldn't react to stimuli such as exhaustion simply endured. When he goes for the finishing blow, Armegmus is easily able to block it despite Novriath being established as far more powerful in magic, implying that Novriath was on his last legs.
  • Human Aliens: The Thymetians look no different from normal humans.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: Vellamik is a general mix of all classes, with some low-level healing magic and decent damage output. Where he really shines, though, is his thieving abilities and buff skills.
  • Jerkass: Val is a rather unpleasant, intimidating person when she joins the party (though it's somewhat justified by her having just lost her husband to the hooded Theolar.)
  • Last of His Kind: Argyle, the last Nayrin.
  • La Résistance: The Talon are revealed to be led by Efflora, Novriath's wife, and are made up of Thymetians opposing Belarus.
  • Lethal Chef: Vellamik, according to him and Brynn.
  • Light 'em Up: On top of healing magic, Fidese also has a collection of light-based offensive spells.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Trux has the highest agility in the party, has a boatload of HP and can attack twice per round, making him the game's other offensive powerhouse.
  • Likes Older Women: Armegmus kinda has to, being in his mid-to-late twenties at most. Contrast Val, who, at the very least, given what she says, would have to be 42.
  • Lockpicking Minigame: Once you get a set of lockpicks, you can open certain locked chests and doors by sussing out a 6-digit combination (you only get a finite number of tries per lock, though, before your pick breaks and you have to buy a new one.)
  • Look on My Works, Ye Mighty, and Despair!: Quoted verbatim at the entrance to some of the Nayrin Ruins.
    • This is the entire story behind the Theolar homeworld (aka Earth). Having destroyed itself in a nuclear war, the survivors are still unable to stop fighting and even after unlocking the secrets of Transhumanism, they still go and build a planet-destroying superweapon as their only means of salvation. When the party goes to stop them, arguing that they could just abandon Earth and come to Ospes, Vekros is still unable to let go of his hubris and declares that he would rather be buried under 200,000 years of scientific progress than abandon the Earth and have to start all over.
  • The Lost Woods: The party has to trek through a haunted variety early in the game.
  • MacGuffin: The Exitium Stone, an artifact that Syndarion hides to keep the Thymetians from finding it. It eventually turns out to be the core of an alien superweapon.
  • Magic Knight: Armegmus can use Focus spells along with regular swordplay.
  • Mask of Power: Belarus wears one to hide his being a Theolar.
  • The Messiah: Armegmus starts off too bitter and distrustful to count, but eventually he starts to embrace Syndarion's ways and tries to make peace with the Thymetians.
  • Mutant: The Theolar are basically genetically-engineered mutants, created from the original Theolar who had received the perfect storm of radioactive mutations.
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg: Val (also known in the Red Garden as "The Valkyrie") steals the show when you fight there, to the point that when you clear the Gauntlet, Hazrim declares the winner to be "The Valkyrie! (...and her companions.)"
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Fidese is pretty shook-up when she's forced to kill a Thymetian commander to save the rest of the party.
  • Never My Fault: Fail to pick a lock enough times and one of your lockpicks will break. Vellamik will always pin the blame on the obvious shoddiness of the pick, though.
  • No Holds Barred Beat Down: When Val and Novriath finally fight, things get ugly. By the end, Val is on her knees, and the only thinking keep Novriath upright is his mind control suppressing the pain.
  • One-Word Title
  • Only Smart People May Pass: The (thankfully optional) Nayrin Ruins, all of which are purely puzzle-based.
  • Our Centaurs Are Different: The Rulwook are a race of peaceful centaurs (though "peaceful" doesn't mean they'll just roll over easily if someone tries to mess with them.)
  • Our Elves Are Better: The Greymarg are an elf-like species that used to live in the Verada Ice Wastes until they were driven out by the Thymetian Empire (something they're still pretty bitter about.)
  • Our Orcs Are Different: The Orzrak resemble red orcs, but turn out to be a lot smarter and more reasonable than regular orcs.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: Argyle eventually managed to seal away Naarxoth and his followers and got his wish to be looked up to by his people, but by then there were only 50 Nayrin left, and they all died out except for him within a few generations.
  • Psychic Powers: Focus skirts the line between this and magic. Seeing as it originated on Earth, it's more likely the former.
  • Puzzle Boss: A lot of sidequests gotten from the various bulletin boards involve fighting these.
  • Rape as Backstory: The merchant that Val was sold to "forced herself on her" every night for a month until she finally killed him.
  • Riches to Rags: Val was part of a Dagronian noble family until her family squandered away their fortune and sold her to a wealthy merchant.
  • The Red Baron: Val is known as the Valkyrie in Dagron, back when she fought in the Red Garden.
  • Religion of Evil: The cult of Naarxoth, who incited a massive campaign of world conquest and eventually led to the destruction of the Nayrin people.
  • Running Gag: Armor dealers having terrible slogans.
    • Trux interjecting when someone doesn't count him as a party member.
  • Shout-Out: One room in the Sanctum has a poster with the Watchmen symbol on it.
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts: Vellamik tends to wax poetic about his wife whenever she's brought up, to Armegmus' dismay. It's eventually revealed that his mentor, Toorm, does the same thing with his wife.
  • Space Elves: Since the Theolar homeworld is Earth, that could technically make the Greymarg count as this.
  • Squishy Wizard: Fidese is the party's healer, and takes a hit about as well as you'd expect.
    • Syndarion is even squishier, in exchange for starting with every high-level elemental spell in the game and devastating Focus power.
  • Stuffed into the Fridge: A male example with Val's husband, Wyrick, who's only given a few lines before he's murdered by Novriath and the hooded Theolar right in front of her.
  • Team Pet: Trux is a giant dog-like creature that serves as this. Just don't forgot to count him in when you're mentioning the rest of the party. He's eventually revealed to be a monster from the Grotto that befriended Vellamik.
  • Thieves' Guild: The Crimson Palms, a guild working out of Azriad. Vellamik used to be a pretty famous member, before falling for one of his marks and eventually eloping with her.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Val and Fidese.
  • Ultimate Blacksmith: Vellamik's mentor, Toorm. He starts off unable to provide much after spending two years forced to work in an Etherum mine, but eventually he's able to craft everyone's Infinity Plus One Weapons.
  • Undying Loyalty: Vellamik has no reason to accompany Armegmus to rescue Syndarion other than sheer gratitude for Syndarion saving his wife's life.
  • The Unfought: Belarus is killed in an explosion right near the end of the game.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: Azriad Castle, the heart of the Empire ...is not the final dungeon. Instead it's the Sanctum, a futuristic installation on the Theolar homeworld.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: To the public eye, Belarus is a Thymetian hero fighting against dangerous super-powered monsters.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Brynn and Trux seem to hate each other, but according to Vellamik, they're just having difficulty expressing their fondness for each other (which is eventually confirmed if the party returns to Relna.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: The reason for the Talon abducting Theolar from Noor and holding them prisoner is to protect them from Belarus. Though Efflora gets called out on this pretty quickly by Fidese.
    • Belarus' secret plan is to built a spaceship so that he and a select few other Theolar can return to their home planet. Too bad he had to brainwash and kill so many other Theolar to accomplish his goal.
  • Weird Currency: Etherum, a kind of crystalline substance. Larger crystals are harvested by the Empire to help power the Exodus, but the smaller stuff is used for currency. In the endgame, the party can purchase a full set of Etherum armor for each character, meaning your entire party can be decked out in armor made out of money.
  • Wham Episode: The pages of Matthiad's journal revealing that the Theolar are from another world.
    • The Sanctum. All of it.
  • Wretched Hive: Dagron has some shades of this, with the Red Garden (a colisseum that, until the Gauntlet, apparently had convicts fighting monsters,) an extremely seedy inn, and a guy selling buff/debuff items that ensures you that "all of this will be legal in a few years," but if you get caught, he doesn't know you.
    • Old Town, a ghetto in Azriad and home of the Crimson Palms, is even worse.
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