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Video Game / Onmyōji

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Onmyōji, or alternatively Onmyōji Honkaku Gensō RPG, is a Sino-Japanese smartphone RPG developed by NetEase Games, which can be briefly described as the Heian counterpart to Sengoku Basara. 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. A musical adaptation, Heian Emaki, was also performed in Japan in March of the same year; another musical entitled Ōezan-hen was announced in May 2019.

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.
  • Adaptational Villainy: A majority of the Minamoto clan's upper echelon receives this treatment. The only exceptions are Hiromasa and Kagura.
  • Adaptational Wimp: Happens to the occasional crossover shikigami, who has to be hit with the Nerf bat to balance them out. More precisely, they are battered into a bloody pulp by it, as their in-game kit usually bears only a very faint resemblance to what they are capable of in their home series.
    • Usually, they either lose most of their abilities from their home series, or are rendered weaker and more fragile so that they could be defeated in a (reasonably) fair fight by your other shikigami. Inuyasha and his brother Sesshōmaru are probably hit the hardest with this.
    • Even the stock standard shikigami are hit by this, as they all bend to the will of the protagonists once summoned, regardless of whether they're a lowly Hahakigami or a mythical legend capable of untold powers in their own tales. Even Physical Gods and the diabolical Yamata-no-Orochi suffer from this, though the latter subverts this if his skills are set up properly.
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  • Adapted Out: The musical adaptation compresses much of the plot of the game, so naturally most characters who appear in the game's story mode don't show up in the musical. Even Kohaku doesn't make an appearance.
  • 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.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Certain skins for given Shikigami are not purchasable and have to be unlocked by beating specialized challenge dungeons. See Bragging Rights Reward below.
  • 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.
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  • Anachronism Stew: Now with its own page.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • The game itself has this as a kind of "pity" feature, where if someone fails to summon an SSR after so many attempts, they will unlock "bad luck" achievements that give them hefty amounts of jades to use in summoning some more, or buy amulets with. The achievements are incremental, and getting an SSR in between each milestone will reset the progress. If the player is so unlucky that they fail to get anything better than an SR after 500 summons, it will straight up give them a free one. As of current, getting an SP from the summon does not wipe the "bad luck" progress, despite their greater value compared to an SSR.
      • The achievements are one-time only, however, and stop at 500, so if your luck is still as rotten as ever afterwards, you're on your own.
    • The Play Every Day counter doesn't force players to log in consecutively to earn goodies, but rather tracks the total number of days they've checked in and reward them accordingly.
    • Unlike most card-collecting games, hurt or killed shikigami do not have to be healed after battles to keep them in fighting shape.
    • Also unlike many gacha-based games out there, none of the summonable post-launch shikigami are Temporary Online Content, and as such cannot be missed even if you fail to get them during their rate-up windows. They simply have an inflated summoning rate during the week of their introduction, and are permanently added to the gacha pool on release. Even those who aren't added to card pools will eventually become obtainable via the shrine. The only exceptions to this rule are crossover shikigami, who will go away after their events are over, and couldn't be summoned the usual way anyway.
    • Starting with Yamata-no-Orochi, the game will massively increase the drop rate of new SPs and SSRs during their release events for players who already have a complete collection up to those points.
    • Sending a given shikigami on Dispatches won't actually prevent you from using them in battle.
    • Beginning at Tier 3, players are given two "Tier Buffers" in PvP that prevents their ranking score from dropping for two defeats. Getting promoted to a new Tier refreshes the buffer count, though dropping back down to a lower Tier doesn't.
    • Beginning with Castle of the Sun, many limited-time events now offer very accessible SSR/SP summoning scrolls that can be bought in the event shop. Unlike some of the higher-tier prizes, which usually require the player reaching a certain score threshold before they can be bought, these summoning scrolls can be traded for as soon as the main event boss is defeated, and for the most part are quite reasonably-priced, thus encouraging participation. The only catch is that these do not guarantee a new shikigami when they are used.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: Six, five shikigami and one onmyōji. Exploration stages further narrow this down to four, and special story missions only allow around one to three. The one time this headcount limit goes above six is during the Ghostly Songstress world boss battle, where players can bring one more shikigami to shore up their attack (presumably because the Seductress will permanently incapacitate at least one of your shikis by seducing it).
  • Artistic License – History: No, Yorimitsu did not use Onikiri to battle Ibaraki-dōji. Watanabe no Tsuna did. See more under Anachronism Stew above.
  • 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: A function in the shrine allows players to spend rare AR amulets to summon new shikigami à la Pokémon GO. First, the player has to have a printed template or failing that, a picture of the template on a flat, readable screen, then enable 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. Understandably, this is not available on the PC version, though that build allows the player to exchange AR amulets for regular ones.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Certain shikigami are this. Almost every rarity have a few, but the most commonly seen are SSR and SP ones. Most of the time, the true potential of their abilities are gated behind skill upgrades, making it so that they're weak, if not useless as they are, without significant investment of time, effort, and Skill daruma. As a result, it is not always a good thing to roll an SSR at earlier levels when one couldn't invest as much into them, though there are exceptions.
    • This also applies to some SR shikigami as well (e.g. Chin, Kainin, Mannendake, etc...) with the added drawback that it's even harder to justify using Skill Daruma on them when you have SSRs waiting to receive them. Those that can only be summoned from the shrine for a high talisman cost like Mannendake and Ninmenju are on another level of impracticality altogether, as getting duplicates of them are exorbitantly expensive, and their lackluster capabilities often cannot justify the use of Skill Daruma to enhance them.
  • Beef Gate: A few, with the most prominent one being the Dark Seimei encounter during Chapter 18. While his lineup is nothing fancy, consisting of a few basic units and Ōtengu, they boast pretty strong stats and two mitama set effects. Being able to beat them means your lineup is probably strong enough to last you for a while. If you keep failing, well then keep building, you're not there yet.
  • Bishōnen: The game has enough to qualify as Cast Full of Pretty Boys.
  • Body Armor as Hit Points: The game uses the Deflector Shields variant for almost all shieldsnote , which add an additional layer of HP to the shiki or onmyoji they're protecting (visible as a white line under the target's HP bar) which has to be chewed through before anything can affect the target.
  • Bragging Rights Reward:
    • Certain unlockable skins for a select few Shikigami are this, since obtaining them requires the player to be able to surmount very hard challenge dungeons where the odds are ever stacked massively against them and the AI blatantly cheats without even being remotely subtle about it.
    • Ultimately, the four Golden skins for the main quartet are the ultimate bragging rights rewards, as merely unlocking them means one has achieved 100% Completion, at least up until that point. To elaborate, the Golden skins are gated behind three separate Completionist achievements for getting all Secret skins (see above), collecting all available shikigami up until any given point (including Ryōmenbotoke, but excluding Crossover ones), and beating stage 10 of Ultimate Orochi, none of which are small feats easily achievable even for seasoned veterans of the game.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: There are various purchasable packs in the shop that grant many useful items like Mystery Amulets, buffs, massive amounts of currency and/or AP, along with high-grade Daruma that severely cuts down on the amount of grinding one needs in order to be viable. It should be noted, however, that most of these packs command premium prices which the game duly warns players about, and certain special ones can only be purchased once per account, or once per item rotation.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Everyone.
  • Camera Screw: The game's camera is entirely inadequate, even for a turn-based RPG. It's permanently locked on to a fixed point in the centre of the battlefield and you can only rotate it around that point. The real problem is that you can't zoom it in or out, meaning during some bigger battles where you have more shikis on your team they don't all fit on the screen at once so you will often have to adjust the camera to click on them, and when fighting large enemies the damage numbers will extend off the top of the screen, making it hard to track how much damage you're doing to them. Camera control is done with the same input as selecting targets too (either screen tapping or left mouse clicking) and is quite finicky, meaning you can often end up accidentally targeting the wrong thing when you just wanted to rotate the camera a bit.
  • Cap:
    • The player level cap is 60, whereas the shikigami level cap depends on their rank, but the highest level a shikigami can ever reach (at max rank – 6 stars) is 40.
      • From the get-go a shikigami can only level up to 20, where passive XP gains stop and they cannot be fed more fodder past this hurdle (though any excess amount will carry over). Through investment, it is possible to raise them up to level 40, five levels at a time. In order to breach these caps, one must upgrade them using fodders of the same grade, with the amount needed being equal to the grade they are currently on (e.g. upgrading a grade-4 shikigami will require four grade-4 fodder). This is normally a very time-consuming process, as the fodders themselves require several cap-breaches to be usable at higher tiers, though there are usually fresh copies of grade 4 and 5 Daruma blanks in the shrine that can be traded for using tokens.
      • Of course, the game itself doesn't have to play by this rule. While normal dungeon mobs are capped at level 40, event or challenge map monsters often go way above this, giving them a significant edge over the players.
    • Crit has an effective cap of 100%. While it's very possible (and easy) to build higher than 100%, any excess Crit value will be rounded down and wasted.note 
  • 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).
  • Color-Coded Item Tiers: White for N, blue for R, purple for SR, gold for SSR, and glistening red for SP.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard:
    • Let's face it, Computernote  Ōtengu in chapter 18's battle against Kuro Seimei is unbelievable. Nowhere else in the game do you find anyone with two special mitama effects at once.
    • Mobs in later level of the skin dungeons get this, especially the bosses, which means that having gotten those skins indicates a very powerful, competent, or plain lucky player.
  • Containment Field: The inkai barrier. Once holes have been poked in it, the air reeks of negative energy and malicious yōkai run amok.
  • 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. Combined with Shōzu's life-link, this allows them to counter from a teammate taking damage as well.
  • Culture Chop Suey: Crossed with Anachronism Stew; while the original game isn't known for being highly accurate on either Heian history or culture counts, the MOBA game takes it a step further and throws accuracy out the window, with the appearance of such things as Qipao, swimsuits, Ancient Egypt sarcophagi and Punk Rock.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Zig-zagged. While there is no lasting penalty for dying in Onmyōji, it does force you to restart from the beginning if you wipe while clearing a dungeon. The Netherworld Realm Marathon Level has no "fail" state and will simply reward you based on progress, and world boss fights are lenient enough to let you rejoin after a short waiting period, assuming the other players haven't finished them off already while you're away. The only true consequence to wiping is falling down the ranking charts in PvP, due to the competitive nature of this mode.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: The theme song "Kekkai" is performed by Nana Mizuki and Mamoru Miyano, who voice Aoandon and Momo, and Yamata-no-Orochi, respectively.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: Interestingly enough, the game actually allows for this, as Kuro Seimei is an actual obtainable skin for the original character, allowing him to dress up as his Evil Counterpart with no repercussions to the story. The catch is that obtaining said costume requires the player to shell out a considerable amount of money topping up during certain events, typically in the upper hundreds of dollarsnote .
  • Dub Name Change: The main reason why it's so difficult to communicate across different fanbases of the game. The many different builds have their own localized names for several shikigami and mitama sets for no apparent reason, even if they don't relate very much to the units themselves. Particularly bad examples of this are Kachōfūgetsu and Kyūketsu-hime, who are renamed "Hana" and "Vampira", respectively, in the English builds, along with what amounts to 80% of the mitama sets which have names that are the rough English equivalents of their original titles.
  • Dump Stat: DEF for (almost) all shikigami; only 2 shikigami (Heiyo/Samurai X and Jinmenju) have abilities that scale with it, as a defensive stat it's inferior to HP (and many shikigami have abilities that scale off HP), and there are a lot of shikigami and other abilities that can can reduce or partially ignore it. The developers are fully aware of how weak DEF is, why do you think soul drops are rigged to favour it as their primary stat when they drop or as a secondary when upgrading?
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Certain SSR shikigaminote  make appearances as AI-controlled mobs in special dungeons in the North American and Vietnamese versions of the game prior to their official introductions, which usually take place just a few months after said cameos anyway.
    • Again in the aforementioned versions. Certain loading screen artworks and special dungeon mobs feature skins that aren't available to their playable counterparts at the time of their introduction.
  • 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.
    • The first two side stories are the only ones in which none of the main characters appear.
  • Evil Is Bigger: The "boss" versions of certain shikigami encountered during play and throughout the story appear bigger than their playable counterparts. Yes, including Yaobikuni.
  • Fake Difficulty: The soul system which you use to enhance your shikigamis stats is blatantly rigged to be as frustrating and grindy as possible; dataminers have confirmed that flex-stat souls (in slots 2, 4 and 6, the most powerful and pivotal ones) are heavily slanted towards dropping souls with DEF as their primary stat (34% drop chance, compared to 10% for the really key stats like SPD, Crit and Crit DMG) and when leveling souls up similar numbers apply to the secondary stat bonuses (which can ruin even a rare soul after you've already invested heavily into leveling it), to intentionally minimise the chance of you being able to get an actually good soul and make you grind more (or preferably, fork out more for things like Reverse Scale Boxes)
  • Festival Episode: Side story #4, which introduces Tamamo-no-Mae.
  • Fission Mailed: The Final Sealand Invasion event was seemingly rigged so that the combined defense of Heian-kyō would fail. Players who logged in after the fact are greeted with the sight of a thoroughly-trashed courtyard populated with the Sealand bosses, with whatever few survivors of the assault lamenting their defeat. That, and a special mark for "losing" the war, provided one had spent at least 500 rice balls. All hopes seem lost, until it was revealed to have been a gimmick, and the event resumed as normal the very next day.
  • Glass Cannon: As a form of balancing, shikigami with powerful attacks often have lowered HP and DEF scores, to allow the other team a shot at taking them down before they do too much damage. On average, those with S-ranked ATK will often come with A or B-ranked HP and DEF, that may or may not be improved upon evolving them. Of course, there's nothing stopping you from building them with mitama sets to alleviate this, and there are exceptions.
  • Gotta Catch 'Em All: The Frog Shikigami added alongside Tamamo-no-Mae award the player with a free SSR provided they manage to collect all 14 of them. The catch is that these N-grade Shikigami have an even lower abysmally-low drop rate as a standard SSR (even taking into account that you get them from the more common Broken Amulets), only provide one shard per hit in Demon Parade (and are even harder to hit than SR shiki), and are complete Joke Characters to boot.
  • High School A.U.: The MOBA game has a set of skins that transforms certain characters into high school versions of themselves who attend the "Heian-kyō High". Some of the collectable loading screen images in the main game portray scenes from this setting as well.
  • Hollywood Medieval Japan: Not technically "medieval", but there is quite a number of liberties taken in the game's portrayal of the Heian period.
  • Hot Springs Episode: A limited-time offer skin that turns the monastery into a hot spring resort.
  • Item Get!: A past update gave SSR and SP shikigami summons unique intro cinematics.
  • Interface Screw: Due to the game's cramped UI, every time a system notification pops up at the top of the screen, it will be bound to obfuscate quite a lot of info, namely your opponent's health bars and whatever buff/debuff they may be having.
  • Interface Spoiler:
    • For those who started playing on the EN build of the game, the existence of the Grade 6 exchange ticket was spoiled rotten from day 1, nearly a year before the item was actually released on that server.
    • Right from the get-go, the fact that Kagura, Hiromasa, and Yaobikuni are also playable characters alongside Seimei were spoiled by the login screen.
  • Jidai Geki: Of the Heian period.
  • Joke Character: The frog versions of the SSR shikis. Not only are they super rare to get (being as unlikely to drop from a Broken Amulet as an SSR is from a normal one and only giving you 1 shard rather than the usual 4 you get for N shikis when you hit one in the Demon Parade) leading to the nickname "SSNs", but to add insult to injury they're all deliberately underpowered, with their weaksauce versions of their SSR equivalents' moves so weakened (with practically all utility removed) as to make them useless. Perhaps most notable is Yoto Hime Frog; while Yoto Hime's Savage Combo hits 6 times for 50% of her ATK per hit (adding up to 300% of her ATK), moving to a new target whenever she kills the previous one and (once maxed out) adding an additional 2 hits, Yoto Hime Frog's Savage Combo hits 6 times... for 10% of its ATK per hit. That's worse than just using its basic attack, especially since Yoto Hime Frog doesn't even have Extra Slice for the chance of triggering additional damage! The only reason they're even in the game is to accommodate a new achievement that gives you a free SSR if you can collect all of them.
  • Kimono Fanservice: Since this is a period fantasy game, everyone wears kimono, spanning the whole spectrum from just good-looking to sexy.
  • Large and in Charge:
    • Applies during PvE, where all mob encounters will have one central enemy that's significantly bigger than their side minions, usually situated at the rear (4 and 6-mob encounters) or heart of the formation (Orochi zone). They may or may not have a boss health bar, depending on the situation.
    • Yamata-no-Orochi himself is this, both story-wise and gameplay-wise.
    • The many world bosses are this, since they have their own unique models that dwarf even the game's resident Big Bad.
  • Long Title: The developers had to go with the Overly Long Name for this game since Onmyōji is a title trademarked by Baku Yumemakura, author of an unrelated novel of the same name. Note that this is only the case in Japan; the original name is kept in all other localizations.
  • Luck-Based Mission: Stage 10 of Jikigaeru's secret zone might as well be this. To elaborate, the zone consists of a single stage vs Jikigaeru and his lineup, both of which are greatly beefed up. To "balance" this out, the zone introduces a mahjong gimmick which, provided either team can accumulate a good hand, as shown under Card Rules, will occasionally rain down extra damage on the other side. Beating stage 10 with shikigami damage alone is next to impossible due to attrition, so whether you'll be able to win at all depends on which cards the Verdict Boss decides to give you at any given time. It's entirely possible for Jikigaeru to get all the good cards, which he will, as The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard, and pummel you to dust within a few turns, while you're stuck with nothing but bad cards that you can't do anything with.
  • Market-Based Title: The game is known as Onmyōji Honkaku Gensō RPG in Japan because of copyright-related reasons.
  • 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, InuYasha, Bleach and another NetEase video game Shéndōu Yèxínglù. Nura ran into licensing issues which have held it up in the English localization, if not aborted it altogether, and Bleach seems to have run into similar issues.
  • The Musical: Two; the first adaptation performed between March 9 and March 18, 2018 and the second in 2019.
  • My Rules Are Not Your Rules:
    • At any given moment the player is only given an 8-slot Mana bar that fills passively, or via the skills of certain Shikigami. This presents a very limited resource that one must carefully ration so that the units who need it most can have access to (enough of) it to activate their skills. The AI team never has to concern with this, as each unit on their side has its own bar that fills independently from each other, ensuring that they can all use their abilities without affecting their allies. More often than not, these bars are close to or at full capacity as soon as the match starts, allowing them to drop their skills on turn 1 without hassle. Certain AI units in skin dungeons can have as few as one bar of Mana, ensuring that they will always be able to use their skills on turn unless somehow disabled, which is harder than it sounds.
    • An AI-controlled Sakura-no-sei can revive dead allies due to her skills being a holdover from before she was introduced. Players using her have no such luck. (Then again, you can just use Momo, as AI Sakura simply used Momo's moveset before she was released herself and wasn't updated after she was.)
    • Some "boss" shikigami in the story mode are unbelievably annoying to beat due to them boasting two special mitama effects at once, case in point being the infamous Kuro Seimei battle in chapter 18. Barring the two-piece sets obtainable from world bosses, it is just flat out impossible for any player to replicate this.
    • The skin dungeons boast this proudly as their conditions for some bosses. These boss shikigami behave for the most part like their player-usable counterparts up to about level 5 of the dungeon, whereupon all bets are off and they suddenly gain new modifiers to up the ante.
  • 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.
    • The game itself is a bit of a doozy with this. For starters, the in-game wanted missions or achievements specify their demands for the player to knock-out enemies, rather than killing them. But on the flip side of the coin, eliminated shikigami and onmyoji are marked with a giant "Dead" tag on the status bar.
  • Never Trust a Trailer:
  • One Stat to Rule Them All:
    • Crit and Crit DMG. The game is unique in that almost everything can crit, not just damaging attacks- heals and even shields can crit, multiplying their effect by the shikigami's Crit DMG modifier (150% at base). So almost every shikigami that isn't pure utility (like orb providers, accelerators and tanks) wants Crit and Crit DMG. The ideal is to have enough Crit on the secondary stats of souls to get the shikigami to 100% Crit or near enough to it without needing to use a Crit primary soul in the 6 slot, freeing it up for a Crit DMG primary soul instead. Ask any Onmyoji player which stats to build on any shiki that isn't a utility or tank and the answer will always be "Crit".
    • SPD. With very limited exceptions, the shiki that acts first wins.
  • One Steve Limit: Zig-zagged.
    • Players could deploy more than one copy of any specific shikigami, but doing so could crimp the team in a number of ways if the lineup lacks certain functions. Furthermore, doing so often require the duplicates being well-equipped as well, which makes fielding 5 identical SSRs an incredibly impractical act, neverminding how hard it is to obtain that many copies of one shikigami in the first place.
      • Some special shikigami passives or mitama effects don't stack if many of them are deployed at the same time (e.g. multiple Higanbana will share one's flower layers, multiple karei/Azure Basan sets will still only give 3 extra orbs at round start, etc...). On the other hand, effectively inverted by Chin who is only ever used in pairs or even trios (and is a complete Game-Breaker when used in this manner).
    • Players playing as Kagura can have both versions of Hakuzōsu on the field at once, one as a shikigami and one as her battle companion. While fighting the Hakuzōsu totem boss.
    • If you want to deploy the SSR version of Yamata-no-Orochi against his boss self, the game won't stop you.
    • Certain shikigami can be deployed alongside their SP versions if the player so desires, despite the fact that they are the same characters and their presence should be mutually-exclusive story-wise.
  • Optional Party Member: The Crossover shikigami are considered to be this, as they're only involved as far as their own collaboration event is concerned. Despite having proper index numbers, they are not catalogued in the shikigami book, and obtaining them is not needed for the full-collection achievement.
  • Original Character: Many shikigami in the game are actually original characters created by the developers. These are either Composite Characters of actual mythical and folk legends, such as Susabi, or entirely fictional, like Yōtō-hime. In fact, discounting Crossover shikigami, about 70% of the SSR list are original characters, and it would be far easier to name those who aren't made-up than those who are.
  • Palette Swap: SP skins, not to be confused with the SP rarity, are merely recolored versions of certain shikigami's default appearance. These are rather rare, and can be quite difficult to get ahold of, due to them only having a small chance to drop during certain summoning events, and are only available for exchange using uncommon skin tokens otherwise. If you're lucky, a mint SSR shikigami could come with an SP skin when summoned, but these are rather uncommon sights.
  • Paper Talisman: Of course. You even get to doodle on them when summoning new units, though the cheaper white talismans cannot be drawn on, befitting their lesser energies that only allow them to summon Ns and Rs.
  • 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.
  • Permanently Missable Content:
    • Applies to crossover shikigami. Due to Rule of Three, a given collaborative crossover will only happen at most three times per franchise, giving each player only a short time to gather enough summon shards to acquire their desired SSR shikigaminote . Once the third phase ends, that will be it, unless one can scrounge up enough shards by trading with other players, which may or may not be easily possible due to the overall finite amounts of these. Once every possible shard of a certain crossover SSR have been traded or combined on a given server, said shikigami is truly lost forever.
    • Additionally, you cannot wish for shards of a SSR shikigami unless you already have at least one to start with, or have summoned them once beforehand, which defeats the purpose of wishing in the first place. This means any players who begin playing the game after the events are done can never acquire them. So far on the English servers the Mononoke, Inuyasha and Hoozuki no Reitetsu events have concluded and will not come again, the Bleach event hasn't yet made the first of its three appearances yet, and the Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan event doesn't seem to be happening at all because of the licensing issues.
  • 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.
  • Play Every Day: Not to the same demanding extent as other free-to-play titles, Onmyōji rewards loyal players by giving them freebies with every login, from minor amounts of gold, to daruma of certain kinds, up to and including free jades and summoning tickets. It doesn't enforce a strict "streak" mode like most games, so you could skip or miss a few and come back no worse for wear, but it does track the total amount of days you've logged on and reward you accordingly. Logging on 365 straight days will award you with a random SSR shikigami, and the game also grants you an uncollected one at 500, along with a free summoning ticket everyday, so you probably wouldn't want to miss those.
    • Also encouraged with the free black daruma in the shop, where you must collect daily freebies from it for 49 days straight, whereupon the game will give you a Skill daruma on the 50th.
  • Power Creep: Extremely prevalent, particularly with SSR shikigami. Shikis that were once top-tier and highly feared such as Yoto Hime, Ōtengu and Ibaraki Dōji find themselves massively overshadowed by even more powerful releases such as Tamamo-no-Mae and Onikiri, especially the latter. If the most-recently released SSR isn't an absolute must-have, someone on the design team hasn't been doing their job right.
    • Things have started to get a bit nuts with the release of Yamata-no-Orochi. OK, as a playable incarnation of the game's Big Bad he needed to be impressive, but he's the first shikigami to have an SS ranked stat, tipping the scales at an unbelievable 4074 ATK (600 higher than previous leader leader Yamakaze). With that said, Onikiri is still the more broken one, since making full use of Orochi's true potential requires a considerable ramp up period and some battlefield manipulation, while Onikiri just wins by pressing one button on a good day.
    • Not helping matters is the fact that the developers have taken to basically only releasing SSR and SP shikigami now- they might release maybe 2-3 SRs and maybe one R per year, while the SSRs and SPs come out practically monthly, making it exceedingly difficult for players to keep up with the new releases unless they grind their pants off to farm the hundreds of summon amulets they're going to need (along with all the luck in the world) or just fork out.
  • Power Dyes Your Hair: Almost all Awaken-able yōkai get their hair color changed when Awakened.
  • Random Number Generator: This is a game where players are heavily dependent on the RNG system being merciful in order to even be remotely viable. Trying to get a powerful shikigami from summoning? RNG. Trying to get a Grade 6 mitama? RNG. Trying to upgrade that mitama to gain desirable stats? RNG. And so on. Even combat stats like Crit and Effect HIT/RES, or skills that have a chance to deal extra damage, are heavily reliant on you being lucky, since Crits won't always fire if you're under 100%, and Effect HIT/RES aren't 100% foolproof no matter how high you build. Sometimes, the difference between a glorious victory and a crushing defeat is the little bit of extra orbs or attacks you randomly gain, or the enemy's counter moves failing to trigger.
    • Not even the Hyakkiyakō parade minigame is safe from this. Passing shikigami require an absolutely random amount of beans thrown at them to even register. Some will nail on the first hit with minimal bean loss, some won't despite the player shotgunning them in the face in volleys of 10, and rarer shikigami are generally harder to score, on top of being rare as heck and requiring colossal amounts of shards to summon.
  • Rank Inflation: Shikigami rarity run the gamut from N (Normal), to R (Rare), SR (Super Rare), and SSR (Super Super Rare). And then there's SP, which is supposedly short for Special, of all things.
  • 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.
    • The special Goblin mitama that confer no effect on their own, but provide massive XP gains when used as fodder to enhance other souls. These are typically given only during events in very limited quantity.
    • Skill Darumas are these. There are a handful of ways to acquire them in-game, none of which are terribly easy nor efficient to maintain a steady supplynote , yet they are the only practical way to enhance the skills of an SSR shikigami, who typically run around four to twelve to reach peak performance.
  • Retcon: Onikiri's backstory as a human orphan, which was present in the test server but removed before implementation because of conflicts with the main story, causing a widespread outcry, and Minamoto no Yorimitsu's character as an ambiguous and callous Anti-Hero. The Chinese fandom were so angry with Yorimitsu's subsequent demonisation that the developers had to rewrite Orochi's scrolls and previous chapters, and add additional content to reframe Yorimitsu as the character he was meant to be.
  • Rocket-Tag Gameplay:
    • PvP battles frequently come down to which side has the faster accelerator (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. This is absolutely universal at lower levels because it's much, much easier to build up a single damage dealer to maximum until it's powerful enough to kill the entire enemy team in one hit than it is to promote a team to be able to survive an attack from such a shikigami.note  Even at higher levels, the damage-multiplying trinity of ATK/Crit/Crit DMG will generally ensure that offence>defence.
    • Played a bit differently at higher tiers, however, where more powerful players often try to outlast each other, rather than merely outspeeding. Such strategies would often involve a very speedy Shōzu instead of accelerators, to increase the team's survivability, on top of bringing Shikigami with powerful counters to negate the enemy's advantage of speed with free hits. Of course, said Shōzu still has to be fast enough to go first before it can be taken out itself, otherwise it's as much use as a bicycle to a fish.
    • Furthermore, at such levels, savvy players are very likely to include a reasonably-upgraded Higanbana in their formations, whose crowd-controlling effects are the bane of any accelerator who needs to be active on their turns to actually be of any use. As Higanbana subverts the normal turn order by automatically hitting opponents immediately at the start of their turn, she technically always goes first.
    • The faster double-pull teams with Onikiri will more often than not win immediately on turn one, after one strike, just to show how ridiculously broken he is.
  • Series Mascot: Seimei, Kagura and Kohaku are often featured on the game's icon.
  • Situational Sword: Effect Hit as a stat gained when leveling up souls. Shikigami that have abilities which scale with Effect Hit, or synergise well with souls that themselves scale with Effect Hit (such as equipping Mimic or Priestess on Ootengu) live or die on the amount of this stat they can get from their souls. On the other hand, for pure DPS shikis like Susabi or pure utility shikis like Hiyoribo (who have no synergy with Effect Hit in their kits at all) getting Effect Hit on their souls when you level them is terrible and can often ruin the soul, forcing you to replace it with another one. No matter whether you want ATK, Crit, Crit DMG, HP, DEF, Effect RES or SPD, getting more of the others on any shiki isn't necessarily badnote  (as every shiki benefits from being able to resist attacks and at least has access to their base attack to do damage with) but Effect Hit is the only stat which is often capable of being a complete dead stat which contributes nothing whatsoever.note 
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Onmyōji is a Chinese game, about Japanese mythical figures, with optionally-localized English text. Expect many players to not know whether to pronounce character names in Chinese, Japanese, or English when you bring up an onmyōji, shikigami, or mitama during conversation if your friends play on a different build than yours. This is due to the fact that character names are written the same way in both kanji and simplified Chinese, but are pronounced very differently in either language that are not strictly wrong in any case.
  • 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).
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The 1-year anniversary CG short gives away Yaobikuni's return and the climax of chapter 26.
  • Unstable Equilibrium: The current meta of the game sits in a lofty and uncomfortable position due to the proliferation of Game-Breaker shikigami that massively favors those who are lucky or spend money enough to acquire them. Those that have them are almost guaranteed to always win in many important areas, mainly PvP, even if their actual player level is far too low to be capable of such, therefore giving them more and more rewards that they could then use to summon more game-breaking units. The game itself seems to unabashedly promote this, as players who already have a complete collection will receive a huge rate-up for new shikigami, who will subsequently let them trample all over the previous meta due to their horridly-unbalanced kits.
  • Welcome Back, Traitor: Episode 27, in which Yaobikuni is again accepted as part of the main ensemble.
  • White and Grey Morality: The dynamics between Dark Seimei and the regular, "White" Seimei is this. For all of his grandiose posturing and "evil-doing", Dark Seimei has proven time and again that he's not entirely incapable of mercy or genuine helpfulness. If anything, he's more of a morally-gray Anti-Villain leaning a bit more towards the Black end of the spectrum, but not wholly, irredeemably evil.
    • Black and White Morality: The conflict between the young Seimei and Minamoto no Yorimitsu, on the other hand, veers straight into this territory. For more information, check the Characters page.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Encouraged in a sense, since many of the more useful support units in the game are literal children, or at the very least appear to be. Zashiki Warashi is the most common victim of this trope, as KO-ing her cripples the enemy team's orb supply.
  • Wound That Will Not Heal: The game invokes this in several ways.
    • InuYasha's post-buff Bakuryūha outright removes HP equivalent to 50% of the counter-attack damage dealt to an enemy while at Black (final) Tessaiga state. This removed HP can no longer be healed back, and Bakyryūha could take away at most 80% of an enemy target's max HP if it keeps stacking on them.
    • The stage 10 Higanbana boss of her own skin dungeon does this to your own shikigami lineup, as each proc of her flower bed seals away a small portion of your units' max HP, on top of dealing high damage.
    • This is what makes fighting True Orochi especially painful if you have a limited lineup. Each hit from dungeon mobs will seal away a portion of your units' own health that slowly stacks if you don't switch them out to "rest" between each fight.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Blue, purple and pink hair all make appearances.
  • Youkai: And Physical Gods. And Vampires. And Zombies. You get the idea.

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


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