WARNING: LATE ARRIVAL SPOILERS FROM THE FIRST GAME ARE UNMARKED
Nights of Azure 2: Bride of the New Moon (Yoru No Nai Kuni 2 in Japan) is a JRPG created by Gust Co. Ltd. for the PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and PC and is the sequel to Nights of Azure. The game was released on August 31, 2017 in Japan and on October 24, 2017 in North America.
During the 11th century, a demon called the Nightlord attempted to plunge the world into an endless Night that would put all of humanity in a never-ending slumber. During this time, a woman that would eventually be called "the First Saint" did battle with the Nightlord, eventually managing to slay the demon at the cost of her own life. However, as the Nightlord perished, the demon's Blue Blood rained on the world, transforming all that it touched into fiends that prey on humans. In response to this disaster, a mysterious organization known as the Curia was formed in order to combat the threat of the Blue Blood, the fiends, and the Night.
Centuries later, on the island of Ruswal, the Curia sends one of their agents, a half-human/half-demon hybrid named Arnice, to the island in order to investigate rumors about the Nightlord's return. During this mission, Arnice is reunited with her Only Friend, and eventual Love Interest, Lilysse. Working together, Arnice and Lilysse determined that the rumors of the Nightlord's are indeed true and they report this back to the Curia. To Arnice's dismay, the Curia chose Lilysse as the newest Saint to be sacrificed in order to stop the arrival of the Night. Arnice decides to go against the Curia's orders and protect Lilysse instead of sacrificing her and in her mission, Arnice discovers new evidence that shed light on what truly transpired centuries ago during the battle between the Nightlord and the First Saint. Eventually, after overcoming many hardships, Arnice manages to defeat the Nightlord, saving the world without sacrificing the Saint but at the cost of becoming the new Nightlord herself.
Now, years later, a new threat has appeared in the form of the Moon Queen, Malvasia. In order to combat this new danger to the world, the Curia sends a new agent, Aluche on a mission to protect the Bride of Time, her Childhood Friend Liliana. The Curia knows that Liliana holds immense power, being able to control time, and they plan for her to be sacrificed to the Moon Queen in order to seal her away, much to Aluche's dismay. Soon after, both Aluche and Liliana meet up with their third childhood friend, Ruenheid, who has turned her back on the Curia and has gone with the organization that opposes them, the Lourdes Order. The Lourdes Order, in contrast to the Curia, does not want to sacrifice the Bride of Time as they believe that instead of sealing Malvasia away, it would instead give her complete control of time thus allowing her to destroy the world. As the three friends try to work out their problems, they are attacked by Malvasia whom, during this meeting, referred to Liliana as "[her] bride". Sharing a common goal of wanting to protect Liliana, Aluche and Ruenheid work together in order to combat the Moon Queen but it was for naught as Malvasia's power was too much for both of them to overcome. The fight ends with the Moon Queen killing Aluche while both Ruenheid and Liliana manage to escape.
Soon after, Aluche awakes and is surprised to find out that she has been turned into a Half-Demon by a brilliant doctor named Camilla. Camilla fills Aluche in on what has transpired since her death and she tells the latter that they have been ordered by the Curia to find Liliana, who has gone missing, and proceed with the plan of sacrificing her to the Moon Queen. The two of them head back to Aluche and Liliana's childhood home of Eurulm in order to search for clues for Liliana's whereabouts. During this time, they are joined once again by Ruenheid who is surprised yet happy to see Aluche alive and well. However, despite this joyous reunion, Aluche is plagued by a nightmare of an Azure Moon bringing about the Eternal Night, and she is shocked to find out that the Azure Moon has appeared in the sky over Eurulm as well. Aluche's mission to find Liliana now becomes a race against time to prevent the Azure Moon from becoming a new moon and bringing about the Night. As she progresses further with her quest, Aluche finds evidence regarding Malvasia's true motives as well as signs indicating that the legendary half-demon Arnice is around...and she's not happy.
Nights of Azure 2/Yoru No Nai Kuni 2 contains examples of:
- Absurdly High Level Cap: The max level in the game is 50. Playing through the first two playthroughs will have players beating the Final Boss at level 35 at the most. Reaching the level cap is only possible in New Game+ and beyond due to the first playthrough being a Timed Mission.
- All Your Powers Combined: In the true ending, Aluche drinks Liliana's blood, gaining her ability to alter the flow of time, and combines it with the power to get energy from emotion that she received from drinking Ruenheid's blood earlier. Then she seals herself, Liliana and Malvasia in a bubble of slowed time. Because of those combined powers, so long as Aluche and Liliana love each other, they will have the power they need to maintain the bubble of slowed time, keeping Malvasia imprisoned.
- Anti-Grinding: There are a finite number of fiends to fight on any given day, and unless you are playing New Game+, only a finite numer of days to fight them on.
- An Axe to Grind: Once again, not a usable weapon but it is an item that can be equipped to certain characters in order to increase their attack potential.
- Bad Moon Rising: The Azure Moon signals the impending return of the Night. However, while in the first game the heroes are trying to prevent Milada from becoming full, the heroes are trying to prevent the Azure Moon from disappearing into a new moon in this game.
- Bittersweet Ending: Both endings are this:
- In the default ending, Aluche kills the Moon Queen, but ends up becoming her successor. Rue is forced to use the self-destruct on Aluche's heart to stop her from claiming Liliana as the Bride of Time, killing her. The Eternal Night has been prevented, but Liliana, Ruenheid, Camilla, and the others are all mourning Aluche's untimely demise by the game's end.
- In the true ending, Aluche and Liliana decide to stop time for themselves and Malvasia in order to halt the spread of the Night for eternity, leaving Ruenheid and the others behind. However, the others express hope that Aluche and Liliana will one day return with Arnice expressing her desire to come and save the two of them should the need for it arise to Christophorus.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: Vallderossa is a spider demon that can switch from a humanoid appearance into one resembling, well, a spider.
- Blood Knight:
- Muveil enjoys fighting strong opponents and her Lily sidequests involve helping her deal with demons that issue challenges to her.
- Arnice has grown into one, admitting that she enjoys fighting as well but she is still shown to be the nice person that she was from the first game.
- Chick Magnet: Continuing on from Arnice's example, Aluche is one in this game as well as no less than six girls are shown to be interested in her.
- Darker and Edgier: Bride of the New Moon is definitely darker than the first one. The story of Posthumous Character Alstromeria, in particular, is revealed by Christophorus to not be the story of a brave Knight that humanity made for her but instead that of a woman forced to kill her lover due to not being able to handle humanity's prejudice against demons. Alstromeria struck her lover in the hopes of performing a murder-suicide but that failed and she was instead hailed as a hero by humanity. Some time after this, she took her own life by hanging herself. Even the endings reflect this as the most the heroes can achieve is a Bittersweet Ending in contrast to the first game's Golden Ending.
- Developers' Foresight:
- In Chapter 6, if you bring any other companion apart from Ruenheid during the fight against the chapter boss, the post-battle cutscene will show Ruenheid being kidnapped at Hotel Eterna. If you decide to bring Ruenheid with you during the boss fight, a scene will play after the battle showing Vallderossa grabbing Ruenheid in the boss arena and then teleporting away with her to the Eclipse Palace.
- In Chapter 7, Christophorus is shown to have made her way to the Eclipse Palace and she will hold a conversation with Aluche before she presses onward to confront the Moon Queen. If Aluche is accompanied by Arnice during that conversation, there will be some extra dialogue between Arnice and Christophorus with the latter blaming the former for turning her into a softie.
- Difficulty Spike: Similar to the first game, the majority of the game is simple enough. However, the fight against Moon Queen Malvasia at the end of the game is a sequential boss fight and her third form can shred through Aluche's party quickly. And unlike in the first game, there are no Servans with healing Bursts anymore.
- Downer Ending: Alstromeria's story as revealed by Christophorus. In official records, Alstromeria was a Knight honored by humanity for her bravery and for striking down a demon in one blow. Chris reveals that the truth is something else: Alstromeria was in fact the lover of the demon she struck down and she didn't want to kill the demon to begin with but was forced to because of pressure from her fellow humans. Alstromeria planned for a murder-suicide but that failed and she was instead celebrated as a hero. Losing all hope, Alstromeria hanged herself soon after, leaving her demon lover alone. This event is what turned Alstromeria's lover, Malvasia, into the coldhearted Moon Queen that she is in the game.
- Foreshadowing: There are several supposedly throwaway lines that actually reveals Malvasia's true motives and identity:
- During the prologue of the game, Moon Queen Malvasia apparently calls Liliana "[her] bride" which makes sense since Liliana is the Bride of Time that has to be sacrificed in order to seal Malvasia away. However, Malvasia also says that "it's still not enough" and that it's still "too early". The final boss fight reveals that Aluche was the one Malvasia was referring to in the prologue as Aluche is an exact lookalike of Alstromeria and that it's still too early because Aluche hasn't suffered enough.
- In the overworld, there are several glowing items that Aluche can interact with that tells of the story about a Knight named Alstromeria, who defeated a powerful demon with a single blow. These glowing spots later becomes important in Chapter 5 when Christophorus has Aluche looking for the fragments of the Memory Mirror. Each fragment of the Memory Mirror contains a certain emotion (rage, hope, despair, sorrow, and determination) and for each one found, Chris tells Aluche a story about the demons whom felt those emotions before Chris ultimately reveals that all of those emotions were from the same demon.
- One of the objects Aluche can interact with in the overworld of Eurulm is a mural in front of the Church Yard titled "Courage" which depicts a Knight named Alstromeria defeating a demon in one blow. During one of the main quests in Chapter 5, after finding the fragment of the Memory Mirror in the mural, Christophorus reveals that despite that mural being titled "Courage", the demon depicted in it never actually fought back. In fact, Alstromeria didn't want to kill the demon as she and the demon were lovers and Alstromeria only pierced the demon's heart due to not being able to take humanity's displeasure of their relationship with each other, hoping for a murder-suicide so the two of them could be Together in Death.
- In Chapter 6, in the Moon Palace, Aluche finds a painting of a woman that looks a lot like her. The identity of this woman is the Wham Line of the game.
- After defeating Vallderossa for the final time, she reveals that the Moon Queen has been living a sad life ever since losing someone she deeply cared about due to humanity being prejudiced against demons.
- Aluche and Arnice notice that their stories have a lot of similarities, and openly wonder if they'll have the same ending to their stories (becoming the very demon they set out to fight).
- Upon being reunited with Aluche, Lilliana comments that she wishes that she could stop time just for the two of them.
- Gainaxing: The smallest movement sends the characters' rather sizable assets bouncing.
- Happy Ending Override: Unfortunately for Arnice, her happiness with Lilysse was cut short when Malvasia appeared and kidnapped the latter. Malvasia twists the knife further when she reveals that she killed Lilysse, driving Arnice into a rage and leading to her Loss of Identity. However, things turn around for Arnice later on in the game when it's revealed that Malvasia lied about killing Lilysse and that Lilysse is still alive and waiting for Arnice to find her in the east.
- Hopeless Boss Fight: The first fight against the Moon Queen is impossible to win - the consequences of Aluche losing the fight set the rest of the game in motion.
- Humans Are Bastards:
- Still present as one of the themes in the game. In fact, none of the events of the game would've happened had humanity simply been more tolerant of the relationship between Malvasia and Alstromeria. Had they simply accepted the love between a demon and a human, Alstromeria wouldn't have killed herself and Malvasia wouldn't have followed in the old Nightlord's footsteps and decide to bring about the Eternal Night again.
- Vallderossa also has this view on humanity when she tells Aluche that despite the demons not doing anything to them, they are driven to drive away the night and turn the world into a Land Without Night, destroying all the demons as a result. The demons are only bringing about the Eternal Night in retaliation to humanity's xenophobia against them.
- Improbably Female Cast: Some of the fiends and Servans might be male, but all major cast members are female.
- I Have Your Wife: A non-married example: this is the reason why Arnice went berserk and suffered from a Loss of Identity as it's revealed during Arnice's Lily quests that the Moon Queen kidnapped Lilysse, forcing Arnice to surrender. After being tortured by the Moon Queen, the latter tells Arnice that Lilysse has already been killed. This caused Arnice to snap and fall into the Despair Event Horizon for a considerable amount of time before Aluche snaps her out of it.
- Most Common Superpower: The only member of the party who isn't stacked is Eleanor, who is younger than everyone else.
- Multiple Endings: The game has two endings, one in which Aluche dies and one where she lives. In addition, there are epilogues for each Lilies whose Affinity Levels with Aluche are maxed out in the ending where Aluche lives.
- Nerf: A lot of tactics that players can employ from the first game no longer apply as much in this game like farming blood over and over again from one spot as the night actually progresses, or that there are no Servans who can heal players. Not to mention, only two Servans are allowed per trip compared to the first game where Arnice can have up to four Servans out at a time and can be in different decks.
- New Game+: Comes with a number of bonuses. First, the moon stops fading after what would be the final night in a given chapter, allowing extra time for grinding and subquest completion. Second, depending on the ending received and/or the number of times completed, additional accessories, granting extra Blood, AP, or SP, are provided.
- No Canon for the Wicked: All the endings from the first game where things ended badly for both the heroes and the world? Rendered non-canon as this game reveals that Arnice is the Nightlord, and that Arnice and Lilysse end up with each other.
- Official Couple:
- This game reveals that the Golden Ending from the first game is the canon one, meaning that Arnice and Lilysse get together. Christophorus further reveals to Aluche that Arnice and Lilysse are/were explicitly lovers, and Arnice herself refers to Lilysse as her "beloved" and "the most important person to [her]". Arnice even gave Lilysse a ring with the engraving "From A, to L".
- The main couple of this game turns out to be Aluche and Liliana. The in-game Collection even calls the two of them lovers when the true ending is attained.
- Relationship Values: Lilies gain more abilities as their relationship with Aluche progresses.
- Sequel Hook: Arnice's epilogue has her going east with Christophorus to search for Lilysse. In addition, she expresses her desire to save Aluche and Liliana from their imprisonment with Christophorus.
- Ship Tease: Aluche has this with both her childhood friends, Liliana and Ruenheid. Arnice herself even explicitly asks if Aluche is in love with Liliana which Aluche just flimsily sidesteps (although she's smiling during this time). Ruenheid's affections for Aluche are made apparent from the beginning, with Rue even asking if Aluche ever thought about getting married.
- Standard Status Effects: Just like the first game, both the player's party and the enemies can be afflicted by status effects. The effects present in this game are charm, poison, burn, shock, freeze, and stun. Muveil's sidequests involve inflicting these on enemies.
- Stripperiffic: Aluche's outfit is a miniskirt and a skimpy halter top meant for someone at least two cup sizes smaller than she is, resulting in Underboobs and Side Boob.
- The Night That Never Ends: Once again, the heroes are trying to stop this from happening.
- Then Let Me Be Evil: After being struck down by, and the death of, her lover, Moon Queen Malvasia decides to become what humanity thought she was and becomes determined to end the world as detailed in Christophorus' story about the Fragment of Determination.
- Timed Mission: On two levels. First, after the prologue Aluche is only capable of exploring dungeons for a certain amount of time before needing to return to Hotel Eterna. On the second level, the party can only leave the hotel so many times before the new moon in any given chapter, providing a deadline to complete the chapter. The second limit tends to be more constraining than the first - after a while Aluche gains enough levels and skills to increase the mission time to the point where you can explore 100% of a dungeon, kill everything, and still have time to spare, but as the chapters go on, there are more sidequests than there are nights to complete them, many of them mutually exclusive even if they take place in the same dungeon ("Go to point A in dungeon B with character X" cannot be done on the same night as "Go to point C in dungeon B with character Y", because Lilies cannot be swapped without returning to Hotel Eterna and ending the night). After the 1.01 patch for the game, the new moon time limit no longer applies on New Game+ and onward, giving Aluche all the time she needs to do everything she wants.
- Take Your Time: Since there is no bonus for completing a level or chapter early, it is in the player's best interests to search as much of a level as possible on each visit even if all allowable quests have been completed to kill as many enemies as possible, and to spend most of the chapter completing sidequests and only complete the final stage of the main mission at the last possible day.
- Tsundere: Ruenheid when it comes to Aluche although not to extreme examples.
- 20 Bear Asses: Eleanor's sidequests center around gathering random drops from the enemies for her to sell.
- Version Exclusive Content: The PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita versions received costume DLC based on Millennia; the Nintendo Switch port had a costume based on Yuri Kozutaka.
- "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: Each Lily, with the exception of Liliana as she performs a Heroic Sacrifice along with Aluche, each have one when their Affinity levels have been maxed out:
- Camilla and Eleanor both stay at Hotel Eterna, keeping the hotel running while hoping for Aluche and Liliana's return from their imprisonment. Camilla, in particular, is also revealed to have been responsible for retaking Eurulm from the fiends, allowing people to flock back into the city once more.
- Muveil joins the Lourdes Order and helps Lady Loergwlith with keeping the peace by eliminating powerful demons. Muveil also hopes for Aluche's return one day so they can have a rematch and notes that since she's a demon, a few hundred years of waiting won't trouble her.
- Veruschka is revealed to still be alive despite her body being pushed to their limits. She continues fighting for the Lourdes Order and awaiting Aluche's return so she can one day fight together with Aluche again for one last time.
- Arnice is revealed to be going on a journey eastward to search for Lilysse with Christophorus accompanying her. She also mentions to her friend that once that's done, they might want to find and rescue Aluche and Liliana from the time bubble they sealed themselves in.
- Ruenheid is shown making a speech to welcome the new members of the Lourdes Order, encouraging them to never give up in the face of overwhelming odds in order to live up to Aluche and Liliana's example. She too hopes for their return one day and while they're gone, she's shown to be taking care of the flowers that Aluche and Liliana planted on Hotel Eterna's rooftop.
- You Are Too Late: In the true ending, Liliana reveals that the Endless Night began at the end of the prologue, with Liliana's power the only thing keeping it contained - and she's running out of the strength to do so. So Aluche and Liliana are forced to make a Heroic Sacrifice to seal Malvasia away permanently to prevent the Endless Night from spreading.
- Yuri Genre: Much like the first game, the relationships are portrayed as both heartwarming and tragic, resulting in a darker tone overall. In fact, the main motive of the Big Bad is due to her lover striking her down and then hanging herself soon after.