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Video Game / Onmyōji

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Onmyōji is a Sino-Japanese smartphone RPG developed by NetEase Games. It basically does to the Heian period what Sengoku Basara does to the Sengoku era. It features a world where humans and Youkai coexist and follows the protagonist Abe no Seimei on his quest of restoring peace and order to the land. The game features stunning scenery, beautiful character designs, elements of Japanese culture and mythology and a highly inaccurate portrayal of history. Well, it's a fantasy game, after all. In 2018, a spin-off Multiplayer Online Battle Arena game entitled Kessen! Heian-kyō has been released, which features a number of characters from the original game.

This page provides tropes on the game's storyline, characters as well as mechanics for both the original game and the MOBA spin-off. All tropes relating to specific characters go on the character page.

Unrelated to the Japanese film series.

Arise, tropes! The time has arrived!

  • Actually Four Mooks: All PvE enemies, be it in the story mode or the dungeons, with very few exceptions.
  • All There in the Manual: Almost all characters have in-game autobiographies that reveal their backstories and touch upon aspects of their personalities that are not present in the game's main plotline. These autobiographies can be unlocked via completing quests.
  • Animesque: Even though the game is based on Japanese mythology, has Japanese voice actors and audio, uses game mechanics inspired by Japanese games, and has an anime-inspired art style, the developers, NetEase Games, is based in Hong Kong. In fact, even some Chinese players were initially confused that the game is made by an all-Chinese studios instead of being a Japanese game re-released in China.
  • Artistic License – History / Anachronism Stew: Most characters wear clothes that do not reflect Heian period dress, save for maybe Seimei who at least somewhat looks like a low-rank government officialnote . And there's also the fact that nearly everyone speaks modern Kantō dialect, with a few people using archaic vocabulary and regional accents as their "unusual" traits (though this is certainly for readability purposes, as Heian Japanese is as hard to parse for native Japanese speakers as early Middle English is for modern English speakers).
    • The game has had crossover events with series that clearly don't take place in its era, namely Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan and Hoozuki no Reitetsu (modern time) and InuYasha (Sengoku period). One has to wonder whether Time Travel was involved.
    • Subverted in the case of the city's name. It is never mentioned in dialogue and is only ever referred to as "Kyoto", but it means "the capital" and not Kyoto in the modern sense; signs in the background shows that the city is, in fact, named Heian-kyō, like how it was actually called in this period. It is also called this way on the game's official Twitter page and the spin-off game.
  • Asian Rune Chant: When using the Summoning feature, the kuji-in and some variations can be heard recited by Seimei. You can even hear a variation chanted by Yaobikuni if you're extremely lucky.
  • Augmented Reality: One summoning feature allows players to summon shikigami in the real world à la Pokemon Go. First, the player has to have a printed template, then enter this feature which connects to the smartphone's camera. Once you point the camera to the template, the game will recognize it and turn it into a summoning circle on the screen. The player then drags-and-drops summoning talismans into the circle. A video demonstration can be found here.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: SSR shikigami are flat-out the most powerful in the game, but usually require an incredible investment of time and effort before they start to get really good, or even to work at all. As well as being by far the costliest shikigami to Awaken/Evolve, a lot of their power is tied to maxing out their skill ranks, which requires investment of rare Skill Daruma (as even if you could get multiple copies of the SSR in question, you will want to trade them for tickets at the shrine instead). Susabi is one of the most-prominent examples, as until you max out his Scourge: Star ability, he completely lacks the board-clearing devastation that makes him worth using, as well as needing to rank up his Stellar Field to get it to trigger more reliably. This also applies to some SR shikigami as well (like Chin, who is almost useless until you rank up her Poisonous Beauty) with the added drawback that it's even harder to justify using Skill Daruma on them when you have SSRs waiting to receive them.
  • Bishōnen: The game has enough to qualify as Cast Full of Pretty Boys.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Everyone. They either do this or exclaim something else before every single attack.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: Kickstarted by the chapter with Sakura-no-sei. It becomes known to the heroes and the players that there's a Big Bad who looks like and smells like the hero out to destroy the city and the hero's life. Yay.
    • Think that's bad enough? How about the revelation that Yaobikuni is actually the henchman of a bigger, stronger villain?
  • Chainmail Bikini: Largely averted with most humanoid characters' clothing's covering enough for battle save for a few who are very obviously designed for Fanservice (or Disservice).
  • Containment Field: The inkai barrier. Once holes have been poked in it, the air reeks of negative energy and malicious yōkai run amok.
  • Cool Mask: This game seems to have many, among them is Yōko who overlaps with Malevolent Masked Men below.
  • Counter Attack: Equipping a shikigami with four mitama grants them a 35% chance to automatically swat their enemies right back using their normal attacks when they receive damage.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Before the update in which Sakura-no-sei is released as an attainable shikigami, her skills are exactly the same as Momo's. Now A.I Sakura's skills still are, which becomes The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard when you realize A.I Sakura can resurrect while yours can't.
  • Kimono Fanservice: Everyone, for both types. Most of those are not what people actually wore in the Heian period, but still…
    • Averted with Yoto Hime and Aoandon; what they are wearing is, while sexy and revealing, not a kimono (except in Yoto Hime's Scarlet Saber skin).
  • Hollywood Medieval Japan: Not technically "medieval", but there is quite a number of liberties taken in the game's portrayal of the Heian period. You can't expect a fantasy game to be too historically correct.
  • The Lost Lenore: The entire fucking plot of episode 4 and 8. It involves everybody's trying to get Ame-onna and Sakura respectively to get the fuck over him already.
  • Massive Multiplayer Crossover: The game has had crossover events with enough series to qualify. In chronological order: Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan, Mononoke, Hoozuki no Reitetsu and InuYasha. The latter three have appeared in the English version; Nura ran into licensing issues which have held it up, if not aborted it altogether.
  • The Musical: A musical adaptation performed between March 9 and March 18, 2018.
  • Never Say "Die": The filter in the chatroom and shikigami comment sections does not allow posts containing the Chinese character for "death" 死. While Japanese players can get around this by using kana, this is a problem for Chinese and Taiwanese players.
    • The character for "kill" 殺 isn't allowed either.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: A Twitter user has discovered this ad depicting Seimei and Hiromasa with the caption "Which one is your type?", making the game look like an Otome Game even though it isn't.
  • Non-Specifically Foreign: The kyonshī/jiangshi siblings. Jiangshi are from Chinese folklore, but it's unknown whether these game characters are from China or not.
  • Paper Talisman: Of course.
  • Party in My Pocket: The Player Party comprises of the onmyōji Player Character and three to five shikigami depending on the battle, but outside of fighting, all you see is the onmyōji walking around. Justified since the player character is actually shown performing a summoning ritual before every battle.
  • Player Character: The game has four. All players get Abe no Seimei as their first PC, and the rest (Kagura, Minamoto no Hiromasa and Yaobikuni) has to be unlocked as the game progresses.
  • Power Dyes Your Hair: Almost all Awaken-able yōkai get their hair color changed when Awakened.
  • Rare Candy: The materials used to Awaken shikigami, which comes in four types and three tiers for each type. These can only be collected in the four Awakening dungeons — each one giving only one type — or given as a reward along with high-quality mitama after fighting an Octopus.
  • Rocket-Tag Gameplay: PvP battles frequently come down to which side has the faster acclerator (usually Yamausagi or Kamaitachi). Even if there's only one point of speed difference between them, the faster one will speed boost their entire team, which will then all get to act before any of their opponents, often leading to the slower team getting blown off the board without even getting a single action; even if they don't get completely wiped out, they'll have taken serious damage (and the faster team will also have already set up any defensive skills they have), meaning they have a massive uphill battle if they want to have a chance.
  • Series Mascot: Seimei, Kagura and Kohaku are often featured on the game's icon.
  • Summon Magic: Since this game is about Onmyōdō, this one is very much expected. The player can summon any yōkai present in the game at varying levels of rarity as shikigami to aid them in battle. Acquiring a new shikigami requires the player to enter the "Summoning" room and use a variety of talismans (which can either be bought or earned by winning battles and completing quests).
  • Useless Useful Spell: The Forced Sleep effect functions exactly the same as Stun, but with the added drawback of the victim waking up when they're attacked.
  • Wham Episode: Episode 8: Goodbye Monster of the Week. Hello Big Bad.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Blue, purple and pink hair all make appearances.
  • Youkai

Alternative Title(s): Kessen Heian Kyo, Onmyoji Arena