Follow TV Tropes


Video Game / Onmyōji

Go To
Onmyōji Honkaku Gensō RPG 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. A musical adaptation was also performed in Japan in March of the same year.

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.
  • 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.
  • Advertisement:
  • 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.
  • 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 .
    • 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).
    • Advertisement:
    • 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). While at least Hoozuki is excusable by virtue of all three (technically four) characters being thousand-year-old oni who existed during the Heian era, one has to wonder whether Time Travel was involved in the other cases.
    • 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.
    • Played completely straight with the seasonal events and their associated artworks, most notably Christmas and Thanksgiving, considering how these were only known to Japanese people since the late 19th century, a good 700 years into the future as of the Heian period. Also, since Thanksgiving is not celebrated anywhere outside of the American continent, it doubles as a weird case of We All Live in America.
  • Artistic License – History: No, Yorimitsu did not use Onigiri to battle Ibaraki-dōji. Watanabe no Tsuna did.
  • 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 Pokémon 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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 and competent 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.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: The theme song "Kekkai" is performed by Nana Mizuki and Mamoru Miyano.
  • 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 .
  • 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.
  • Festival Episode: Side story #4, which introduces Tamamo-no-Mae.
  • 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".
  • 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.
  • 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: Everyone (except Yoto Hime and Aoandon), for both types. Most of those are not what people actually wore in the Heian period, but still…
  • 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.
  • 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 starring Shinji Rachi, Yui Itō, Hiroki Miura and Mimi Maihane.
  • 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.
    • 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: Averted.
    • 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.
      • 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.
  • 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.
  • Permanently Missable Content:
    • Applies to certain 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.
    • Potentially averted in the case of the InuYasha crossover, however, due to the introduction of Kikyou taking place on the second event rerun.
  • 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 Creep: Extremely prevalent, particularly with SSR shikigami. Shikis that were once top-tier and highly feared (such as Yoto Hime and Ibaraki Doji) find themselves massively overshadowed by even more powerful shikis such as Tamamonomae and Onikiri. If the most-recently released SSR isn't an absolute must-have, someone on the design team hasn't been doing their job right.
  • 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.
    • 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.
  • 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.
    • 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.
  • 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 
  • 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.
  • Welcome Back, Traitor: Episode 27, in which Yaobikuni is again accepted as part of the main ensemble.
  • 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.
  • 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