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Video Game / Musashi Samurai Legend

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Musashi: Samurai Legend is the 2005 Playstation 2 sequel to the Playstation's Brave Fencer Musashi. The main character, named for Miyamoto Musashi, is brought into a fantasy world to save the Mystics and their magical city from Gandrake Enterprises. Namely by gathering The Five Swords and rescuing the Princess of the Mystics who summoned him there in the first place, and finding the scattered citizens of the evacuated village. Oh, and he gets to collect cards of the friends and foes he meets during his journey.

Like its prequel, Tetsuya Nomura (of Final Fantasy VII and Kingdom Hearts fame) is its main character designer, with his artwork being translated into the game as very stylized Cel Shading compared to its prequel or Kingdom Hearts (this exact style would be reused later on for The World Ends with You). Its main theme is composed by The Surf Coasters, and is featured in an animated opening of the game by Studio Gainax. Its in-game music is composed by Masashi Hamauzu and Junya Nakano, as well as Takayuki Iwai and Yuki Iwai from Wavelink Zeal (mainly known before then for their soundtracks for several classic Capcom games).


This game provides examples of:

  • Accidental Pervert: Oh, poor Banon. After leaving Clochette in a room alone, Musashi informs Banon that she's a thief, and that he should be worried about her pilfering everything in the room she's held in. Banon runs in to stop her, but quickly walks out after she yells at him, with him having a defeated, blushing expression on his face, implying that he walked in on her in a state of undress.
  • Acid Pool: There is an acid pool full of bright green bubbling acid in old Mouna Temple.
  • Anti-Hero: Musashi, to a point. Midway through the game, he confesses that he was mostly doing his good deeds for himself, but he acquires his morals later in the game, truly becoming a Messianic Archetype. And he falls in love with Princess Mycella, and even gets a kiss from her to boot.
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  • Action Girl:
  • Attack Its Weak Point: With the exception of Moltan, every boss has a weak point that must be exposed and then slashed in order to damage the boss itself.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: A number of the Secret Techniques, but Musashi's regular combo finisher with his BFS is the biggest standout in the game. Yes, it does big damage and looks impressive, but it's also a ponderously slow attack that's aimed in only one direction and leaves you vulnerable to flankers as you carry it out. Ending your combos with the 360 is faster, does only slightly less damage, and will protect you against surrounding foes better.
  • Bait-and-Switch Boss: At one point, you must fight off a massive, fire-breathing Crimson Gorger. Which is quickly eaten by a much more massive Great Crimson Gorger, which launches meteors and hides a Wave-Motion Gun in its tail.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Part of Musashi's outfit is a high-riding shirt that exposes his stomach.
  • Bat Out of Hell: The Ripper Bat is a robotic bat that attacks you by using its spear-like tail as a drill.
  • Beware My Stinger Tail: Gorpus, a giant scorpion, who can launch explosives out of it. And also Shiraz.
  • BFS: The Great Oar, and the rest of the acquired swords throughout the game. Gandrake himself carries around a very long sword, which makes sense considering he's based on Kojirō Sasaki, a swordsman well-known for his use of nodachi. Doubly so when it turns out Gandrake is the man himself.
  • Blow You Away: The Sword of Wind's Latent Power, Hurlwind, allows you to lift an enemy and drop him on a platform.
  • Bonus Boss: It's possible for Musashi to fight Istara in the game's arena. And she really is as tough as Musashi is led to believe she is.
  • Boring, but Practical: Inner Refuge. It's a Secret Technique that makes Musashi immobile and gradually drains his MP, but in exchange, he's immune to ALL kinds of damage, even those of bosses. Not the flashiest of his abilities, but it'll make tanking hard to dodge assaults a breeze. Ditto for the Sword of Void's Shadow Warrior power.
  • Boss Bonanza: All the dungeons seen so far have one boss (except the first two who have two bosses): the final level puts you against Gandrake's Quirky Miniboss Squad (4 battles, as one is a Dual Boss), your Evil Knockoff and then Gandrake's One-Winged Angel form.
  • Big Bad: Gandrake is the leader and founder of Gandrake Enterprises who forces Antheum to bend to his coporation's will or be eliminated and stripped of their magic and resources. Princess Mycella summons Musashi to save Antheum's people and defeat Gandrake.
  • Bridal Carry: A variant. The opening animation featuring Musashi carrying and throwing the princess up into the air and catching her again at the end? Yeah, that's actually a gameplay mechanic. Mushashi carries all of the girls he rescues this way, usually because they all end up having some reason or another to disable their ability to walk. Luckily, Musashi can still attack while carrying someone, and these attacks do a lot of damage to make up for the inconvenience.
  • The Brute: Glogg and Riesling are both the two physically strongest of Gandrake's Five Directors, though Glogg shows this with his bulky appearance, while Riesling is a Glacier Waif with a big chainsaw-axe.
  • Camp Gay: Laden the Bartender is quite an over-the-top example, with a lisp in his speech, his girly fashion sense, and running a fancy wine shop in Antheum.
  • Clothing Damage: During Malbec's fight, he summons female Ninjaroid lab assistants to gun down Musashi. Like the other Ninjaroid mooks Musashi's defeated over the course of the game, their clothes burn away when they're beaten, but instead of leaving behind a skeleton, Malbec's entourage just end up being stripped of their clothing, making them shriek in surprise and run off.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The elemental powers and maidens, specifically: Green for Earth, Blue for Water, Red/Pink for Fire, Light Blue for Wind and Violet for Void.
  • Continuity Nod: A brief one to Brave Fencer Musashi during Musashi's chat with Master Mew, Banon, and Fermiére at the beginning of Chapter 1. While responding to the looming threat of Gandrake Enterprises, Mycella "learned of a legend from a distant land" (the Allucaneet Kingdom) wherein "a hero summoned from another world delivered their people from calamity" (likely referring to the Legendary Brave Fencer Musashi sealing away the Wizard of Darkness before his younger self was brought forth later in history for the events of the game to deal with the Thirstquencher Empire). Thus, Mycella "invoked the greatest of magic—Vocatus Heroa" (the Hero Summon) to call forth Musashi in Antheum's time of need.
  • Credits Medley: Plays through a slideshow with remixed versions of the Leitmotifs all of the Elemental Maidens, a more serious tune during the slideshow revealing Rothschild's ascension into the next potential Big Bad and Gandrake surviving his final fight against Musashi, all before finishing off with a flourished remix of Princess Mycella's theme.
  • Critical Existence Failure: A robot enemy will absorb slash after slash until you cut away that last bit of health, at which point your sword cleaves it neatly in half (as if it could have done so all along).
  • Damsel in Distress: Princess Mycella, but is subverted in the end (Mycella actively participates in the final boss fight).
  • Dark Chick: Clochette is literal example due to having the The Power of the Void. This is only the case figuratively before her Heel–Face Turn.
  • Diagonal Cut: In various fashions, including double, cross-shaped, X-shaped, strip-shaped, and in case of the last technique, net-shaped.
  • Disney Death: Princess Mycella ends up getting killed by Gandrake and the Archnebulus after she assists Musashi in defeating Gandrake's Shadow Musashi form. However, after defeating Gandrake's One-Winged Angel form, Mycella gets revived by the fully-revitalized Anthedon.
  • The Dragon: Rothschild is the leader of Gandrake's Five Directors, and therefore the next one after him to take charge of their enterprises. During the credits, after Musashi beats Gandrake one last time, Rothschild ascends to the new leader of Gandrake Enterprises, with Shiraz as his Dragon.
  • Dual Boss: Glogg and Riesling share a room and are fought as a team near the end of the game on Rampart Isle, whereas all of Gandrake's other Directors and the man himself face Musashi in each of their own rooms.
  • Dual Wielding: Musashi swings his unnamed katana in his right hand and the BFG du jour in his left.
  • Dug Too Deep: Roquefort Mine. Gandrake hires Glogg to run this area and mine for Nebulite. He is also tasked with keeping Fontina, the Maiden of Water, held hostage.
  • Fanfare: "Samurai Struck" by The Surf Coasters. An Autobots, Rock Out! theme that accompanies Musashi throughout the game to represent his wild One-Man Army method of slashing through Gandrake's hordes. It usually plays when he's riding a vehicle, such as a motorcycle or one of the Ninjaroid's flying machines.
  • Fanservice: Musashi: Samurai Legend has a little for everyone; Fontina (Meganekko, which is even mentioned as her best asset by one of the NPCs), Istara (Action Girl with a hint of Tsundere), and Burrini (The Chick), among others. And then there's Clochette, who is in a league all her own. She even gives Musashi a blatant proposition, though he's so innocent that he completely misses the point.
  • Also, the Crimson Gorgers. Unlike basically every other boss in the game who has either an in-story justification or at least serve as a thematic match, these guys come literally out of nowhere at the end of a mission that didn't really seem to need a boss, just because the devs felt it had been a while since there'd been a boss fight.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Amestris is the Goddess of Destruction and the true mastermind behind the events of the game. She manipulated Gandrake into freeing her. Then she uses him to run his own Enterprises and torment the Mystics.
  • Green Rocks: Nebulite is a mineral that Gandrake Enterprises seeks for their projects, and they'll stop at nothing to get as much as they can of it. It can also be used ideally, as one sub-mission has you gather more Nebulite for Mugwort the Blacksmith so he can keep his fireplace going in order to continue tempering Musashi's katana.
  • Ground Pound: The Tremor Thrust sword is used for crushing boulders and pushing down industrial buttons. It cannot, however, hurt your enemies.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Clochette, the secretary for Gandrake Enterprises, is actually the Maiden of the Void, who started working for Gandrake to get revenge on her village. She turns good when Musashi saves her, though.
  • Hostage for MacGuffin: A variation: during The Very Definitely Final Dungeon, to release Mycella, Musashi has to insert the Five Swords into a machine, which promptly makes them vanish. Later, Gandrake uses a Mirror Boss version of himself to fight you, and he's got your swords to do it with.
  • Hulk Speak: Mugwort the Blacksmith. He refers to himself in third person and speaks in simple sentences.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: Musashi's: he can eat bakery products, onigiri and various kinds of food from pasta to grilled meat in order to heal himself. There's however a variation: ice-cream replenishes the magic bar and cocktails and drinks give you an attack/defense bonus. Except for Pepper's deadly Five Alarm Angry Angler Hellstew, which burns going down but affords a Strength boost.
  • Informed Ability: Golovnin is the Arena manager. The toughest arena challenge, "Leaders Cup 100" when beaten; Golovnin says that only 2 people have beaten it and implies that he was the first person to. Golovnin isn't shown in any action spotlight throughout the game.
  • Item Crafting: Somewhat. One of the helpful NPCs can pop any combination of three or fewer items into a machine and invent something new. Some inventions are quite handy, such as a portable refrigerator that keeps valuable food items from spoiling. Unfortunately, your selections are limited — only three types of crafting materials exist in the game.
  • Jiggle Physics: All of the Maidens have this going on (except for the two child twins, for obvious reasons), as well as certain NPC characters. Burrini (who's especially buxom) and Ishtara in particular each get a close-up which points this out further. Mycella also bounces a little in the opening animation.
  • Kevlard: The fat Sumoroid enemies have the most health among the enemies.
  • Leitmotif: All of the main characters have a theme song, though for the villains it's a more collective representation of them as a whole. All of the main female characters, however, have their own theme song dedicated to them. In particular, Mycella has two versions, Mirabo and Maribo's themes are two separate themes for each of them instead of one collective theme, Istara has the longest theme, and Clochette's theme only appears after her true identity as the Maiden of the Void is revealed and subsequent Heel–Face Turn.
  • Lethal Lava Land: Mount Terroir. Riesling is tasked by Gandrake to run this area and use a Maiden of Fire to control a Magma Monster known as Moltan. Unfortunately for Riesling, he was short another Fire Maiden, which caused Moltan to go wild.
  • Living Ship: the Anthedon, a giant flying whale which carries the city of Antheum on its back.
  • Living Weapon: Gandrake, instead of using his own power, relies entirely on that of his power source/boss, the Archnembulus, along with Musashi's Elemental Swords.
  • The Lost Woods: Wellspring Woods and Picodon Jungle. The latter has also some cavern sections and is more like Jungle Japes.
  • Magma Man: Moltan, a dragon-like monster made of magma.
  • Making a Splash: The Hydro Blast sword extinguishes fires.
  • Mercy Kill: Istara decides to kill Arachnoblia herself so that she can be free of Malbec and Gandrake's corruption of her.
  • Miko: The Elemental Maidens' attire when performing the rite of transfer in the Chamber of Rites at Antheum to unlock their respective sword's Latent Power (which in turn restores some of Anthedon's might).
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: The Scarlet Kraken boss, which is part octopus and part elephant.
  • Monster Arena: The Arena which features most of the enemies and even bosses Musashi has faced.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Asura, true to its name, has six arms and three faces.
  • New Game Plus: Upon beating the game, you can play a New Game+ where enemies deal more damage. The tutorial is also skipped. A certain room in the final level will be unlocked to obtain collectables not attainable in the first playthrough.
  • Not Quite Dead: Played straight with Gandrake. Musashi kicks his ass twice, blows up the building he's occupying, and finds him still up for a fight.
    Musashi: You've got to be kidding me!
  • Number of the Beast: The Vault Guardian Enemies, which are giant enemies, have 666 HP, which stands out because all other enemies have HP values in multiples of 50.
  • Oh, Crap!: Gandrake's Henchmen mocks Musashi as he reaches The Very Definitely Final Dungeon, only for him to instantly move out of their sight and attack them from above. They react like this.
  • Old Master: Master Mew has apparently known the people of Antheum for ages, and when he meets Musashi for the first time, he's become quite an old cat who's nonetheless still capable of teaching Musashi the arts of the Way of the Stray Cat.
  • One-Man Army: Musashi himself. When he agrees to help out Antheum, he remains their one and only mercenary who can shred through a countless number of Ninjaroids.
  • One-Winged Angel:
  • The Drill Golem turns in a different model the second time you face it. The Asura boss does a similar trick.
  • Permanently Missable Content: As soon as you rescue Mycella for the second time, be sure to visit her room for a bonus cutscene and a highly useful accessory.
  • Power Copying: The Duplication process. It's of the "watch the move and instantly learn it yourself variety"—in fact, Musashi counters the move he's learning with the move he's learning. This leads to a good explanation as to why the moves are sometimes different—he's adapting the moves for use with his gear and, at times, biology, so a 1-to-1 match is sometimes impossible.
  • Punny Name:
    • Princess Mycella and all of the Elemental Maidens sans Istara are named for different kinds of cheese. Also some of the villagers (and their pet animals) like Pecorino or Asiago.
    • Gandrake's minions are named for kinds of wines.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Musashi and Gandrake. Also Maribo and Mirabo, though they have the same color scheme (dark red for Maribo and bright pink for Mirabo).
  • Rule of Cool: Those Mecha-Mooks must be really shoddily manufactured; much of the fun of the game is dashing hither and yon, dicing robots Samurai Jack style. Oddly, some of them even leave a red skeleton behind when you slay them.
  • Save the Princess: In spades, particularly when you end up having to find, pick up, and carry each of the Elemental Maidens at one point or another. Also subverted when Mycella dies during the final boss fight.
  • Scary Scorpions: Gorpus is a giant, partly-robotical scorpion that shoot fireballs from his stinger.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Many bosses. Usually the guardians of the Five Swords are this, and must be freed in order to obtain their sword. The same holds true for Amestris, the Goddess of Destruction, sealed in the Archnembulus.
  • Sixth Ranger Traitor: Shiraz. After Gandrake's defeat, he's the only one besides Rothschild to still direct his Enterprises in any way. He even becomes Rothschild's dragon.
  • Spike Shooter: The Sumoroid can spit needles at you.
  • Spin Attack: The Great Oar's magic, Maelstrom. Musashi pumps it up to about twenty feet long and spins, demolishing everything in its path.
  • The Stinger: One plays during the epilogue, revealing that, among other things, Glogg, Riesling and Malbec pulled an Heel–Face Turn, Rothschild took over Gandrake's place with Shiraz as his Dragon, and apparently Gandrake has recovered from his battle with Musashi.
  • Summon Everyman Hero: The plot of the game, that Musashi was summoned into this world.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Musashi's ability 'Karmic Circle', copied from Ninja Troopers, which lets him throw his sword.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Riesling would've had quite an easier time controlling Moltan in Mt. Terroir if only he Read the Freaking Manual.
  • Tsundere:
    • Istara, somewhat. She's badass, a swordswoman who is on par with Musashi himself, and was the champion of the Arena for years before the events of the game. But give her a compliment on how good she looks in her Maiden's outfit and she'll blush harder than everyone else.
    • Fontina, indubitably. She treats Musashi with disdain at first, but warms up to him after he proves himself to her.
  • Turns Red: Sort of with the Scarlet Kraken, who's already red in color, "turns blue" when his HP are halved and becomes stronger.
  • Unknown Item Identification: Shiranzo is an appraiser who can identify unknown items, which unlocks their potential.
  • Vacuum Mouth: The Sumoroid robots can suck you up by inhaling.
  • Waiting Puzzle: In the final level, on a New Game Plus, there is a door at the end of the Galvabot assembly line that is open, however there is a chasm that is too wide to jump over. The solution is to let yourself be part of the assembly line and not press any buttons for over a minute to hang onto the queue.
  • Weapon Twirling: The ability Twin Turbine copied from miner, allows Musashi to twirl his katana into a whirlwind that deflects attacks and pushes away some projectiles.
  • Who Needs Their Whole Body?: When a vault keeper (zombie-like enemy) is sliced, the lower and upper halves can still function and attack you.
  • Wicked Cultured: Rothschild. Doesn't stop him from being an asshole on wheels, though. He tries to pull a Les Collaborateurs with Musashi, but Musashi will have none of it and beats the tar out of him.
  • Wolverine Claws: The Ninjaroids primary weapons are 3 long blades protruding out each of their hands. Several attacks Musashi can learn from them via Duplication involves converting these to work with his two-handed sword-fighting style.