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Video Game / Oracle of Tao

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"The hero of our story. What was her name again?"

An amateur RPG Maker game from 2013, freely available on

The basic premise involves a spunky, tomboyish beggar girl, who is called on a Mission from God to save the world by restoring balance. An evil demon is threatening the world and needs to be stopped. Along the way she meets an assorted group of characters starting with her potential love interest, an effeminate swordsman. Beyond the initial story, however, there are numerous side tales that can be gleaned from romantic sidequests, and some random dark humor by exploring the world. Not to mention some hints about the nature of the hero herself, and the nature of the world.

There are plans to publish the story as a novel. This game inspired Mune Shinri, which is the book of the main "religion" of this Religious Edutainment.

List of Main Characters

This game contains examples of:

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  • Admiring the Abomination: Subverted, though Azrael and Elias are often very surprised they got to see one legendary creature or another.
  • After the End: On the surface, the world in more or less the same, besides some portals closing. In fact, the universe has been created from scratch, and many things that didn't actually exist and were covered by illusory reality now do exist. Oh yes, and there's a giant floating egg in midair now.
  • All Deaths Final: Subverted. There are "revival" spells, but certain deaths are not able to be remedied. There are graves, so understandably, old age is one of the constants. As are certain effects like disintegration or Cessation of Existence. Or diseases, judging from the cause of death in many gravestones. Also, there are a vast number of war-related casualties, so resurrection probably only works on bodies before decay has set in. This is possibly due to some sort of Resurrection Sickness (in the case of disease, causing them too be too weak, and die again) or Destination Host Unreachable (in the case of old age).
  • Anatomy of the Soul: It's something along the lines of Body soul (that which animates everything), Heart (divided into Light and Dark, and ideally in balance), and Name (for this reason there is True Name magic).
  • Anchored Ship: Until the hero confronts and joins her evil half, she's too neurotic to embrace her feelings.
  • Angels, Devils and Squid: The New Earth is host to Heaven, Hell, and the underwater world, complete with portals to sleeping deities, and sea creatures chanting in R'ylehian.
  • Anonymous Benefactor: In the first scene, some random guy gives you enough gold to start. Too bad what you spent in the plot gets wasted.
  • The Anti-God: The Ancient One, a hooded ghoul who rules the void. God isn't really good or evil, but rather has Blue-and-Orange Morality of some sort. The Ancient One, on the other hand, seems to be merely territorial, destroying whatever is nearby. God is ruler of all existence, the Ancient One is ruler of nonexistence. Supposedly the two are equally powerful, but this may be an Informed Attribute, because God's power is never tested in battle, and there are stronger enemies out there.
  • Anti-Grinding: Of the Undertale variety, the difference being tone (Undertale gives you an extended guilt trip about it, while Oracle of Tao suddenly springs the consequences of your actions on you).
    • First, if you have beaten over 999 mobs, a creature called the Wandering Buddha challenges you and asks you whether you want happiness, the joke being that apparently in Buddhism, happiness is emptiness, so he thinks that you want to be attacked (if you say no, he calls you strange).
    • Second, in the Normal and Hard Mode (not the Easy Mode), after killing over 999 mobs, a tally starts whenever you visit the save point. The tally only stops if you Sheathe Your Sword against the Wandering Buddha, or in the Normal Mode if you run away. If you run away in Hard Mode, the tally doesn't stop, but instead, the game warns you that going over a certain point (different from Normal to Hard mode by a factor of about 10) will trigger a bad ending (basically, the Game Plus ending where Ambrosia kills the party). If you killed the Wandering Buddha? Every save point treats you to this message:
      "GOOD WORK! You've defeated (number) groups of monsters. Over 9999 groups will give you a special ending! "
    • Third, and most bizarrely, Ambrosia's ultimate attack is run by a 0/1 switch where 0 is treated as basically an In-Universe Epic Fail that not only fails to attack but tries to kill the party, and 1 takes off a large percent of monster hp. Although certain events can also turn this switch from 0 to 1 or back, the most effective way to influence this is to have under 250 victories (turns to 1 at the beginning of battles), or over 9999 (turns to 0). Other things can influence this, but basically an attack that helps you win battles becomes less effective the more you win. A new mechanism is being put in place that will let you talk your way out of battles but gain experience (it doesn't add to the Victories tally, though, since the monster party doesn't die), so this will actually be possible if all bosses can be hashed out.
  • Apocalypse Maiden: Don't knock Ambrosia out. The universe will start to crumble when she's unconscious.

  • Fairy Tale: Each library has a few. These are typically not known tales, but rather in-universe fantasy stories. For instance, one of the better stories is "The Bloody Pet Shovel" (in its entirety).
  • Female Angel, Male Demon: Inverted. Though the male angel has Ambiguous Gender, and the female demon is highly aggressive.
  • Feminine Women Can Cook: Type 3 and 4.
  • Fertile Feet: Ambrosia, after becoming the Oracle, grows massive amounts of some generic weed, most likely something called Houndstooth. Also, in flashbacks ( since this power was originally hers ), she as a kid grew tiny sprouts inside her shadow when she moved.
  • The Fettered: Ambrosia. Which is good, because she's Cute and Psycho, and without her rules she'd go totally Ax-Crazy.
  • Fighting Your Friend: Ambrosia fights her former party.
  • Flash Step: Nevras uses it in one scene, but it is never referenced again.
  • The Four Gods: A group of bosses in game.
  • Four Is Death: The answer to a puzzle.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: An attack called Attack Player targets the screen. Considering this is a sidescroll RPG, rather than vertical format (as is true of RPG Maker XP), this is pretty interesting. If the player dies, the game is over.
  • Functional Magic: Some of the spells fall under various categories...
  • Gainax Ending:
    • Even if you win, the ending depends on the ending party. That is, you can "win" with the wrong party and have most/all of the party die (since the final boss has a final attack scripted by the story).
    • If the party dies, but you have the right party, the characters just say some really strange words about the hero, and how she wasn't really a good person, not really a bad person, "she was a person." And then they walk off. If you don't have the right party, the universe explodes. It is explained why, and yet still doesn't totally make sense.
    • Even the best ending makes no sense, as it turns out the main hero was God all along (she's told this by God), and now has the choice while sitting in a White Void Room on whether to create the universe or not (and she can definitely choose to just become God and sit by herself for all eternity). What?!? It gets better, though.
    • The Playable Epilogue has three endings, none of which yield a rational conclusion.
  • Game-Favored Gender: In terms of item usage and magic, most of the females have more magic power and versatility. The game has an interesting workaround, though.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration:
    • Ambrosia only casts every other turn, making her a Mighty Glacier spellcaster. She can also be sealed in certain battles. After becoming God, she can use her powers completely at will. This is an attempt to reconcile the fact that she doesn't become stronger (see Gameplay and Story Segregation) later on.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation:
    • Ambrosia's actual powers, and those she gets at the end of the game, are significantly different in scale.
    • Also, see the Never Say "Die" example below. Death mainly happens outside of battle.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: The random damage algorithm is extremely buggy (not the normal damage one, but the code for special attacks that were not reflectable). It used to have Beating A Dead Player as a fairly common effect, and when that was sorted out, there was a problem where if you tried to attack while it was doing this, it might jam all motion in the game. After this got fixed, it turned out that one of the characters didn't have the random number code at the end of their conditional, so if it happened to land on them, the code would stall if they weren't in the party. This might be fixed now, probably.
    • The game's current version has a programming oversight causing the game to start at the Playable Epilogue, thus essentially skipping the actual game.
    • Certain computers, due to the presence of compressed MP3 files. This was fixed by standardizing MP3 to the same kbps rate, with a patch, but since if you don't have the computer there is no way of knowing if the game has good quality MP3...
  • Generic Doomsday Villain: Many of the secondary villains seem to have little backstory, beyond just wanting to destroy the world.
  • Genre-Busting: There are dating variables like a romance game, puzzles (ranging from easy to That One Puzzle), some of the endings have strong horror aspects, is it a comedy, a tragedy, a sci-fi, or a fantasy? It's not a western. Yet.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: There are sudden jarring changes from a fantasy setting monsters to robots and the like.
  • A Glitch in the Matrix: Before the Game Plus, the Earth isn't real. One of the first signs of this is that time isn't normal. First, is the In-Universe Game Clock, which is typical of games like Pokemon, but expanded to also include seasons. Only... when the end of a year comes, the year cycles.
    Ambrosia: The new year is 4095 A.D. Last year was also 4095 A.D. and the year before.
    Elias: Something strange is...
    God: Not it's not.
    Ambrosia: It's been the same date for a few years. I don't see the problem.
  • God in Human Form: Ambrosia.
  • Golden Ending: The game has multiple endings, but in order to unlock the best, you need to complete a romance event between the male and female leads, defeat the final boss, and fight the extra final boss forms (this unlocks the Playable Epilogue which has its own Golden Ending). It turns out Ambrosia is really God, and that her suspicion that she was dreaming is only half right, and that world itself doesn't exist. Ultimately, though, she can cause it to be born, making a Double Subversion of the notion that she was dreaming. She gets to live in the world with the brand new, Real Life versions of the characters. There's also an extra ending sequence by killing an optional boss.
    • Actually no, that's not even the rarest ending. The rarest ending is actually after winning against Cthulhu rather than getting the loss ending, and talking to him, and choosing option 2. See Radar section for more details, as this is deeply hidden in the game.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: One of the endings has a literal Cthulhu-style ending where unspeakable things which we won't speak of here happen to Ambrosia, driving her nuts before the universe is consumed by the Elder Gods.
  • Go Mad from the Isolation: Even if you would get the Golden Ending, you have a choice to either let the universe go on with just Ambrosia ruling as God or do something about it. If you choose the first choice, she gets to sit by herself and her evil half for all eternity. This is avoidable, though.
  • Good Parents: There are several instances of this, listed below.
    • When the Ambrosia's and Nevras's child dies in battle, both of them buff up dramatically, and the Limit Break fills more easily.
    • Tamashii can also not drink any ales or other beverages. And one item, the Puffer Fish Sushi, which has a chance of killing party members as often as it heals them (it's nutritious), Ambrosia will forbid her from using because "it's dangerous."
    • The two of them also protect her from experience loss due to party death by taking it on themselves.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: There are two major sidequests in the game, besides the romance sidequest. One is a bounty hunt, and one involves finding and opening all the chests in each game (there's about 96 chests, many of which involve a weird trick like getting behind a store counter, plus a hidden bonus chest on completion) and talking to a girl in Kushiyama to claim a prize.
  • Grand Finale. The actual ending of the game, after the main game and the Playable Epilogue, essentially wraps up the story of three generations of a few family lines (four, on Ambrosia's side), ending in the death and afterlife of our main characters. Unless Ambrosia gets wished back with a Dragon Ball, there's no viable way to continue this story.
  • Green Aesop: Two of these, actually. The nature of the Earth is split due to destruction of the environment and God's resulting intervention. And one whole town screwed up its air and water by using radioactive matter to power their city.
  • Grey-and-Gray Morality: Much of the game, Ambrosia is either morally mixed, fighting a mostly evil (but with Pet the Dog moments) enemy, or a mostly good (but with Utopia Justifies the Means moments) enemy.
  • Grow Old with Me: Followed by Eternal Love. (In the final and best ending)
  • Guide Dang It!: Some of the puzzles.
    • The entire Alchemy system. Through trial-and-error, it's solvable, but you end up buying a bunch of items that you'd never use to figure out a few formulas, and making the Philosopher's Stone uses a Level Root, as does the Ultimate Weapon. Add to this fact that many formulas don't really work until after the Philosopher's Stone is made, and you find a very difficult to understand system.
  • The Heart: Ambrosia, and later Tamashii, her daughter.
  • Helping Would Be Kill Stealing: It's within God's power to wipe both of the game's major villains out. Instead, he makes Ambrosia do it. Likewise, Ambrosia herself decides the best way to help humanity is to live her own life and let other people solve their own problems.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: The selkie girl, Selqui has an attack command called "Fish" which can defeat sea creatures. It seems very limited given the short supply of sea creatures except it is pretty much the only attack that can kill Cthulhu outright.
  • Hermit Guru: Several.
  • Hero Antagonist: Estheriel. Her/his heart's in the right place. It's just that, being an angel of justice, he's a bit of an over-the-top Knight Templar. In fact, during the entirety of her in-plot backstory events, he has several Pet the Dog moments, and the only Kick the Dog one she has, is when someone else forces his hand. Her only flaw besides that is really that he's willing to accept the risks of her actions, in order to try to make the world a better place. Even the commonly used End Justifies The Means is subverted, as he throws away the Ring of Nibelung and later seals it away when it causes two brothers to murder each other. Not that it helps, unfortunately, as the means she uses as a failsafe to the sealing has a loophole that the Ring uses to undo him.
  • The Hero Dies: Although, less a sudden death or murder, and more of simple old age. It's actually a good ending.
  • Heroic Neutral:
    • Nevras actually quotes from The Godfather when he hears of his new quest:
    Nevras: Another one? Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!
    • Also Lilith, despite being a demon. She's locked her house until Ambrosia enters her life, then gets persuaded by her earnestness.
  • Heroic BSoD: Ambrosia can have one at about two or three different points, since she doesn't really want the quest in the first place.
  • Heroic RRoD: Nevras learns a technique named Blossom at some point. It's basically a combo attack that can give him up to eight attacks. The ninth time this is used, though... he executes a single attack that drains enormous amounts of life, and then kills him.
  • Hidden Elf Village: The town of Ru'un is right smack in the middle of a forest maze.
  • Holiday Mode:
    • The 15th week of the year is supposedly the fourth week of December, when Christmas week is. Around this time, Ambrosia's costume (inside the world map towns) changes to a Santa cap, as does her battle animation. Her cane weapon even changes to a candy cane!
    • There's a Christmas village (which has a Thomas Kinkade painting as its background, apparently), where Santa can give you some fairly nice presents. Or some shabby ones.
  • Homeless Hero: Subverted, since over the course of the story, she gains a house.
  • Hope Spot/Despair Event Horizon: If you don't have the right party, the characters will still make pretty speeches on The Power of Love. It'll seem effective for awhile, but... everyone dies.
  • House Husband: Nevras, if the second intro is to be believed.
  • I Call It "Vera": Lilith has a giant rock called Christina. This also counts as a Shout-Out to Thadius from Slightly Damned.
  • I Fought the Law and the Law Won: One of the towns.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: Ambrosia, since much of her quest doesn't seem to be directly related to her. Instead, she starts out alone in a town and gathers a party.
    • Lonely Together: Ambrosia and Nevras.
      • Heck, half the party seems to have no secondary friendships, and is drawn together for this reason.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Averted. The party tries to stop/talk to Ambrosia when she goes off the deep end and starts killing people. It turns out she doesn't even remember them. And then things go really wrong on both the stopping and talking parts.
  • Immortal Immaturity: Lilith and Michael, though probably more a case of Emotional Maturity Is Physical Maturity since they look in their twenties.
  • Indestructible Edible: There are a few, but the aversions are not what you'd think. Organic or religious-themed food lasts forever, while preservative-laden white bread rots in about a month. Word of God is that the author is skeptical of many aspects of Pasteur's germ theory.
  • In Harmony with Nature: Anideshi, presumably.
  • In-Joke: Jokes from multiple media are mixed together, such as the Rheingold section of the Ring Saga mixed together with the "Precious" line from The Lord of the Rings.
    • There's at least one Creator In-Joke, that of references to Ashley (see above).
  • An Interior Designer Is You: Sort of. The party can add a bed, banker, and other features to your tent. Later morphs the tent into a house, mansion, and a portable town, if they get obscene amounts of money.
  • In-Universe Game Clock: Theoretically, we have days/nights, weeks, and months, which are also tied to the weather in seasons.
  • I Lied/False Reassurance: Played for Laughs with a demon. Twice, and the wizard working for him falls for both.
    Belial: Seek the rest quickly and I shall reward you greatly!
    Belial: I promise, on my honor as a demon to grant any wish I am capable.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: One of the final bosses gets run through with a heavy spear.
  • Interface Screw: mainly Ambrosia, when hit by confuse or blind (possibly justified, since she is the leader, after all).
    • Outside of controls however, the game functions are constantly tweaked (such as the day/night system being tweaked by the Void world so if you stay too long outside you die, or the weather system changing due to seasons, or some of the assumed game rules being bypassed by certain effects).
  • Interspecies Romance.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Angels. Which is why killing one, even for morally questionable deeds, is enough to trigger a Moral Event Horizon, apparently.
  • It's Always Spring: Averted, as there are seasons.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: The underlying theme of the series. The villains usually have a valid goal, even if they don't go about it correctly.
  • Jiggle Physics: Although the physics part is a bit weak, Lilith's clothing shifts a bit (and beneath the clothing) when she moves.
  • Jigsaw Puzzle Plot: Many things are revealed in this game, spaced out all over the place. There is at the very opening, a World Sundering, of the New Earth and the Void which was the old Earth. Then Ambrosia gets a series of religious truths foisted on her, along which the revelation that she might not be real, and the realization that she has a Literal Split Personality causing chaos around her. This is to say nothing of the often conflicting (as viewed by histories, versus personal accounts, versus the demon's own account) versions of people getting raptured by a demon's coming, various personal plots scattered about the world, Ambrosia's quest to find her memories of her parents, and various secrets revealed at the end about her identity, the world, and everything in it. And it's not even truly over, so there is a second game to tie up loose ends, with an additional secret or two the Oracle's role is actually a replacement to extend the lifespan of God, since without someone to renew the cycle, God and everything else in existence is doomed to return to the Void they came from.
  • Judge, Jury, and Executioner: The police in Hotaru will literally cause a gameover if they manage to catch you.
  • Jumped at the Call: Ambrosia, largely since she had nothing better to do (the second time, not so much).

  • Kaizo Trap: The Final Boss has one if you have the wrong party. The boss in question would before dying and being removed from the field, as part of the plot blow up the surrounding area, killing off everyone who isn't somehow immortal. This includes Lilith, Michael, and Anideshi the Sage. It also includes Azrael, and Nevras as their presence triggers a different event. But if you have Ambrosia, Elias, Aqorm, Anideshi (normal, without a special item she gets), or Yazim Jiane, the blast will kill everyone off resulting in a bad ending (well, worse, considering the ending is already bad simply for choosing the wrong party).
  • Kill Me Now, or Forever Stay Your Hand: This situation is on the final showdown against rivals. Later becomes the start of a Heel–Face Turn, when the mercenaries (motivated by greed not malice ) find out the Big Bad temporarily exploying them is lying about the payment, because they will be nowhere to spend it.
  • Killer Rabbit: Seriously, one of the enemies is even named this, and with 999 attack and double hit, they mean it for lower levels.
  • Knight Templar: Estheriel, though to his credit, he actually does care for humanity. It's just he has completely wrong way of going about it, when faced with the choice of people hurting/killing each other due to free will.
  • Lady Land: Sort of. The town's name is Futanari.
  • Laser Blade: The futuristic land of Hotaru has a lightsaber in a chest.
  • Laser Hallway: One of the futuristic towns has this on several floors. The lasers deal damage (it stops damage at 1 hp), and knock the hero back, sometimes into enemies.
  • Last-Minute Hookup: The Gay Option above, only is completable after the Playable Epilogue.
  • Lazy Backup: RPG Maker has it designed this way, barring massive coding. Subverted in one bonus castle that actually requires teamwork from the multiple parties. But still, they won't actually help in battle if your party dies.
  • Legacy Character: Ambrosia was not the first Oracle of Tao. The first one failed because he discovered he wasn't real. Given that the Oracle is actually note , this is likely to get passed on whenever Ambrosia retires from the post.
  • Lemony Narrator: Ambrosia is also the narrator. She goes on side topics about her family or personal history, glossing over what a normal narrator would consider the main story. It somehow manages to avoid Protagonist-Centered Morality, since Ambrosia has no real illusions of her own righteousness. But she talks a great deal about her personal interests in the story at hand (if she's interested in it), her failings in knowledge legends and history, and her overall skepticism in the story's plot.
    Ambrosia: ...God would send an Oracle to restore the Earth to Balance, and stuff. But that'll never happen.
    • Ambrosia mainly narrates in the opening parts of either the main game or the Playable Epilogue, and seems to care even less about the main story the second time, preferring to instead talk about her marriage and subsequent child.
  • Light Is Not Good: Two distinct versions of this, one a Knight Templar who is a party member, the other an Endgame+ final boss.
  • Limit Break: The game uses a meter to the left of the character. Magic and skill use doesn't fill this, but the relatively useless (early game, anyway) attack command does. When it fills to the top, Attack is replaced by your Limit Break.
  • Little Miss Snarker: Tamashii to some extent. She says some pretty off-color things.
  • Loophole Abuse: You can actually make your money, by repeatedly selling blackmail pictures.
  • Lord British Postulate:
    • There are several bosses that outright respawn if killed Azrael can keep them from doing this with her sealing abilities, so finding their weakness and having a way to put them down for good is the only way to kill them. These enemies, however, are intended to be killed.
    • A better example of this is one rare enemies that pops up in the desert. It has about nine million hp, is deathproof, and can boot the party from battle after 100 of its turns. The battle is a bit like Porky Statue from Mother 3, in that it can be killed the easy way, either by depleting 99% health or by poisoning it to death. But that's no fun! By having a party with agility-boosting armor and really good weapons, it may be possible to attack faster each turn than it can keep up.
  • Love at First Punch: Ambrosia doesn't get to know Nevras until after a bar scene where he's beaten up over something he said.
  • Love Chart: Hidden statistic, but one made to determine possible relationships.
  • Lovecraft Lite: Turning Eldritch Abominations into overpowered yet beatable enemies, check. Tentacle hentai jokes, check? Having a side character say stuff about Cthulhu when she dies from an effect, check.
  • Love Will Lead You Back: With An Aesop about how it's hard work to fix what's broken.
  • Loving a Shadow: In the literal sense. (Also, Fighting a Shadow)
  • Magitek: To a really huge extent. Cellphones run on lightning magic, and emotional connections. Automatic Teller Machines run on some sort of magic. One town has an subversion of this, since it is an ancient city of lost technology.
  • Make-Out Point: One of the bars.
  • Make Up or Break Up: The option which happens actually determines your ending.
  • Marathon Boss: This game loves these.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Nevras definitely fits this side of the equation, and Ambrosia is both tough physically and has a fearsome temper.
  • Masquerade: Subverted. There is a lot of freaky stuff that goes on in this world, and for the most part the general populace (at least, the educated general populace, Ambrosia seems to need to be explained things) knows about them, and doesn't care. Except for the one big secret: that the world and everyone in it but Ambrosia, don't exist, at least not until after her help.
  • The Masquerade Will Kill Your Dating Life: The reason Ambrosia's Oracle and God powers get taken away at the end of the first arc.
  • May–December Romance: Averted. Thank God.
    Yazim Jiane: Why, hello there little child, will you come play with me?
    Tamashii: Look Mommy, this man is a pedophile.
  • Mayfly–December Romance: Two, actually. One with a man and an half-elf girl, the second between the same half-elf girl and an immortal demon.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Ambrosia Brahmin (the surname having to do with Hindu priestly castes and also with the similarity to the word Brahma, and the first name being "food of the gods").
    • Her mom is Manna Leaven (or "leavened bread from heaven") before taking the "family name" of God, Brahmin.
  • The Meaning of Life: The meaning of life is defined twice. First, it's defined as bonds to nature, family, and love (but this is part of some religion). And then later, someone asks as a test what the meaning of life truly is. The answerer basically says that it's a self-defining question (as in the meaning of life is "the meaning of life", that is to say what life means to you is the meaning of life, making it a personal question).
  • Medium Blending: There is everything from animated scenes, to color pictures and photographs, to black-and-white sketches, to normal sprites, to sprites from other games that don't match the game's sprites at all.
  • Men Act, Women Are:
    • Played straight in that Ambrosia is God's daughter/God, and Nevras is the resident warrior.
    • Inverted, since Nevras is by default the crown prince and more or less a Non-Action Guy that doesn't even want the job, and manages to avert it mainly because he marries into poverty. The case for Ambrosia is based on her quest, that it something she has to do, to earn her birthright.
  • All Periods Are PMS: It's a status effect, where your female characters lose their powers every 28 days or so.
  • Might Makes Right: Regardless of what your character believes in, usually the way to "prove" it is to defeat the other in battle.
    • And oddly enough, its inverse. Although "right" is replaced with "love."
  • Mirror Match: Also an important plot point, as you have a dark side.
  • Mistaken Declaration of Love: One of the reasons for a breakup, is after a kiss.
  • Money for Nothing:
    • Subverted. You can get beyond the maximum amount actually held in the game, by putting it into your back past that amount (in which case your back tenders you the million dollar bill item, which can be used to buy stuff like houses). Still, you can get to the point where you technically have millions upon millions, and nothing to spend it on.
    • This does make a bit of Global Currency Exception when million dollar bills can't buy most stuff directly, and you have to use them as items (which puts $999,999 into your pocket).
  • Money Spider: Subverted. Killing enemies, except in the case of humans, dragons, and some humanoid ghosts, does not add to party gold. Selling excess crap (including furs and bones) on the other hand, does. Expect a few Piñata Enemy types to supplement this.
  • Moon Logic Puzzle: There is a complex puzzle which involves solving three puzzles to decode the fourth. All of them are in groups of three, and it seems logical that the answer is something to do with three. Nope, you are supposed to exit out of the multiple choice, and Mr. Exposition then explains that the answer is in fact Death. Why? Because the question as given was:
    Answer this fourth and final question. What do these other questions have in common?
  • Moral Myopia: A heroic version of this. Ambrosia makes no bones about the fact that she seriously doesn't care about the villains' troubles. So much so, that she turns apathy into almost a religion of its own.
    • At the other hand, many of the ethics Ambrosia learns are ones only she follows, letting others of her party do as they please, making it an inversion of sorts.
  • Mr. Exposition: Your priest, Elias is a bit of a brainiac, knowing just about everything about every subject in the game. Justified, in that he's spent about 2/3 of his life in a library.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Lilith, and to some extent, Ambrosia's dark half.
  • Multiple Endings: And how! There's over ten endings, most of them bad.
  • Murder Makes You Crazy: Ambrosia is more or less a little crazy already (being a Mood-Swinger Sugar-and-Ice Personality with a Literal Split Personality), but in a Bad Ending she goes noticeably over the edge after killing an angel. She starts talking about "balancing the scales" (which, since she created the universe from a Dream Apocalypse, means basically destroying everything), and goes on a homicidal rampage, even killing her own party.
  • Mushroom Samba: If you lose a Bounty Hunt battle with a mushroom, instead of game over, you get some multi-hued fun.
  • Must Not Die a Virgin: There's a Sexy Discretion Shot on top of a mountain, while the world is gonna end if they don't do anything.
  • My Own Grampa: Ambrosia is an incarnation of God, and God married her mother to make her. So she's her own "father."
  • My Rules Are Not Your Rules: The monsters don't have to abide the long term effects of status effects. Not to mention many of the effects simply aren't programmed to work on enemies the way they are to party members, and vice versa. Stone, for instance means party gameover if all allies are hit with it. It usually just stops enemies cold for the rest of the battle.
  • Nature Hero: Anideshi.
  • Necessarily Evil: The demon, Belial. It turns out he knows that he is doing evil, but not for any discernible benefit of anyone on Earth. He's coerced by his fellow demons to find them a homeland, even though this likely means the destruction of most current life on Earth. Likewise, he destroyed a huge number of people on Earth because he was treated like a monster and sealed into an urn.
  • Never Say "Die": Similar to Earthbound, there is an altered enemy defeat caption. It says something about how the enemies were defeated in "bloodless" combat. This is done less because the characters have an aversion to killing, and more to prevent a Broken Aesop.
  • No Body Left Behind: Usually the case will various creatures dying or running away. Occasionally, you might get bones or mild 2d gore. This is more to not clutter up the screen than any censorship concerns though.
  • No-Dialogue Episode: After the character's apparent last words, the main game has an optional bonus ending, which is mainly conveyed with just motion. The Void world becomes a normal planet, and the main character gets married and takes up farming.
  • No Fair Cheating: Zig-zagged. The built-in testplay mode (which allows pass-through, event-skip, and a debug mode) has been disabled by plugin, to the point where you could be playing the testplay mode and still not be able to do any of those things. However, in the same update, a system menu was added giving an author-created debug mode (you need special privileges by altering an external code, but the game tells you exactly how to do this), and a cheat code entry system. It seems the developer is okay with cheating, as long as you do it the right way.
  • No Guy Wants to Be Chased: One of the reasons given for why the breakup may have happened.
  • No Loves Intersect: Subverted, as it boils down to a choice. If you make the Beta Couple stay together, everyone matches up as normal. Otherwise, two people are left alone, while the third has the Gay Option.
  • No Ontological Inertia: Basically everything, inside the Void. The only place that is safe is town.
  • No-Sell: Two cases of it, both in the New Game Plus. The first is when Estheriel shrugs off the Power of the Void. The second happens when Ambrosia goes crazy, and her party tries to stop her, but she's fueled by the Power Born of Madness, and shrugs their attacks off.
    • Also, one of the final bosses does this for the first turn, before the party pulls out all the stops.
  • No Such Thing as Wizard Jesus: There is some overlap between various characters and what religious characters can do (notably Fertile Feet). This trend is actually lampshaded, as Ambrosia is worried that if there's Heaven and Hell on Earth, she has doubts about an afterlife.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: In one town, there's an upstairs room that people nearby say "don't go upstairs, there's nothing up there." If you do it anyway, there really is nothing there (you get trapped in the room, which fades to black, until it swallows you up). Making it literally nothing is scarier.
  • Official Couple: Ambrosia and Nevras. Given a limited fanbase, there's no real shipping though.
  • One World Order: An anarchic one, which forbids all towns from developing organized military and centralized governments.
  • Only in It for the Money: Sera and Phim, the two recurring bounty hunters.
  • Ontological Mystery: Subverted in that it doesn't take place inside a Closed Circle. But it does involve a Quest for Identity. And it does involve a Dream Apocalypse.
  • Only Smart People May Pass: That, or several cases of Moon Logic Puzzle.
  • Optional Sexual Encounter: Also, one of the Bounty Hunts can do this to you if you fail. The One Eyed Snake.
  • Our Angels Are Different: There are two type of angels, the modern WingedHumanoids, and the older EldritchAbominations model. This is actually justified, explaining that traditionally angels were all like the Eldritch Abomination mentioning this story, but because humans have a great tendency for interspecies relationships, current angels are actually a watered-down breed.
  • Our Demons Are Different: Demons are supposedly the same initial breed as angels, just more inclined toward evil. They've somehow bred differently than angels, becoming more the Hot as Hell variety, those there are several subspecies of demons. Children of angels and demons appear human.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Everything from Eastern, to Western, to Dungeons & Dragons style chrmoatic, metal, and jewel dragons.
  • Our Elves Are Different: Elves are essentially human, but even half-elves have abnormal lifespans and centuries of youth.
  • Our Ghouls Are Creepier: The idea was based from the movie Ghouls. They keep coming back, unless somehow sealed away, and come from another dimension.
  • Our Mermaids Are Different: Everything from merfolk, to water elementals, to sirens.
  • Our Monsters Are Weird: You fight everything from Elder Gods, to robots, to Stonehenge. Super-cute anime style sirens, Shout-Out enemies, and truly freakish monsters populate the game.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Vampires are subject to silver and holy effects, and vampire lords can only be killed by destroying their coffin. Vampires protect one of the towns, in exchange for their food. Stakes are never mentioned, and vampires actually like garlic. Vampires are more like some wild beast than true undead, and can probably mate.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: There are three types, conventional (undead), diseased zombies (which can best be killed by wounding their brains), and Thriller zombies (Shout-Out to Michael Jackson).
  • Ouroboros: As a boss.

  • Painting the Medium: More specifically, some of its subtropes. Everything from Deliberately Monochrome to Interface Screw.
  • Pair the Spares: Pretty much every character.
    • Selqui was created just for the one character that didn't get a romantic match, Yazim Jianne.
  • Paralyzing Fear of Sexuality: The reason for the Anchored Ship above. Thankfully, Ambrosia gets over it.
  • Perfectly Arranged Marriage: Anideshi and Azrael. Sort of an odd example though, since it's not the parents that arranged it, but destiny (that and it's a two-woman relationship). In a book she reads, there's some prophecy that Anideshi is doomed to be reincarnated over and over again, until the last time where she's reborn to save the world with an exorcist, and finalize the relationship. She struggles with this and doesn't want to see anyone for fear her life would get written for her, but actually pairs up with Azrael, who just happens to be an exorcist.
  • Permanently Missable Content: The Crystal Trophy is the Zodiac Spear of Oracle of Tao. You have to complete the game without saving, and you have to make the good ending. Unless you're in the top tier of players, and can pull this off, you're unlikely to manage this, and by the Endgame+, it's already been awarded if you had it.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: Ambrosia can, in the story, at least, destroy the entire universe with nothing more than a whim. She only has it for brief periods, though.
  • Platonic Cave: It turns out the entire world is an illusion.
  • Playable Epilogue
  • Please Select New City Name: Not only can you name virtually every main character, but you can also tweak the name of the opening town (default is Opening town).
  • Point of No Return: There are a few of these.
  • Posthumous Narration: Subverted, in that it's never clear exactly when she starts narrating. She may start at the beginning in fact, but by the end of the game she is dead and in Heaven of sorts.
  • Polluted Wasteland: Hotaru, which has air so toxic you can't even stay outside for more than about 5 minutes.
  • Portal Picture: In one of the towns, the painting is so real you can just walk into it.
  • Power Born of Madness: A special ending, where the hero crosses her Moral Event Horizon by choosing to murder an angel. She then decides to become a sort of moral balance, since there's too much good (or something), and tries to destroy everything. When they try to stop her, it turns out her madness has given her Reality Warper powers, not to mention Nigh-Invulnerability, so she slaughters the entire party.
  • Power of Love: Several of the endgame speeches are along these lines, most notably the last boss, where Tamashii plays a big role in their defeat with her Empathy technique.
  • Power of the Void: Which is usually the ability to slowly consume things in nothingness.
  • Power Levels: Predict ability has the power to read hp/mp. Fenrir's hp is OVER 9000!!! Well, 9001, to be exact (following the latest update).
  • Power Tattoo: Ambrosia has eight of these, plus a Yin-Yang Bomb ability when she gains full control of them. Anideshi also is able to get them.
  • Pre-Climax Climax: Blacked out, but there are sound effects to indicate what's going on.
  • Psychic Powers: The hero's daughter, Tamashii is The Empath, with some pyrokinesis and healing powers.
  • Puzzle Reset: Normally, this happens when you exit a dungeon.
  • Quickly-Demoted Woman: Inverted. Within 10 minutes of the game, Ambrosia goes from beggar to middle class, possibly with a bank account.
  • The Quiet One: Azrael can be this at times. She rarely speaks, except to note some supernatural or magical event.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: A dwarf and a Bishonen seem to have teamed up as mercenaries. They end up being the game's recurring Worthy Opponent equivalent for the party, ultimately helping them when faced with the fact that their employer will destroy not only the world but the economy.
    • The party itself has everything from elves, to angels, and demons.
  • Random Number God: Except that events tend to work impossibly in your favor, instead of the enemies'. For example, 10% chance of auto-revival seems to happen every other turn.
  • Rasputinian Death: Belial is beaten up in two or three forms, the party unites their powers to blast him away. This doesn't kill him, and the party has to kill off his true true form, which turns him into a ghost. Once that ghost is dead, to put him away for good requires draining all his magic.
    • The angel Estheriel is beaten in combat, Impaled with Extreme Prejudice, and then killed by the hero (assuming they don't choose instead to save him).
  • Reality Warper: The end of the game, Ambrosia gains the power to create/destroy pretty much the entire universe. Still, due to Gameplay and Story Segregation, she never uses these in battle.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Given to Estheriel, telling him that he was defeated by The Power of Love. It's actually a subversion, because it's completely off-base accusation. Estheriel, because he was tired of seeing other people get killed over meaningless squabbles, tried to remake the world to a more decent one.
    Ambrosia: ...if you can't treat those around you with love and decency, soon or later you'll fall to it.
    Ambrosia: It's best not to think of such things... (Beat) Remember, it was The Power of Love that undid you!
  • Freeware Games: Duh, the game itself.
  • Reconstruction: See the Fridge Section for more details.
  • Red Mage: Elias.
  • Reference Overdosed: There are ShoutOuts to several anime, things like the Abhorsen series, Earthbound (with regard to the game style), assorted books, and other games. Some of the characters are Expy-types for this reason.
  • Reincarnation: Anideshi is blessed (or cursed) with the ability to remember all her incarnations.
  • Reincarnation Romance: Anideshi and Azrael.
  • Religious Edutainment: The game is a strange mix of several different religions to teach the author's personal beliefs.
  • Repurposed Pop Song: As opening, ending, and insert songs. Songs from the 1970s, 1980s, and some Korean Dramas (the game sorta justifies this by making no money).
  • Respawn Point: You die, and you end up in a tent (unless you don't have the tent yet, or make the choice to give up, in which case it's gameover).
  • Resurrection Sickness: You start at 1 hp, and are unable to cast most spells, for one battle.
  • The Reveal Prompts Romance: Nevras's dark secret as a Wholesome Crossdresser.
  • Rising Cost Of Health Insurance: Both inns and priests cost more as your character levels.
  • Romance Sidequest: for basically all characters (except Yazim Jianne).
    • Now he at least has a meeting up with a romantic match. Time will tell about the rest.
  • The Sacred Darkness: The Earth is made of two halves, the New Earth (which is completely different from Earth in its history), and the Void (which is made of some kind of all-consuming darkness with No Ontological Inertia). This Void is sort of the inverse of the stable energy of Light, but not associated with normal darkness or dark energy.
  • Scary Scarecrows: When Ambrosia goes Ax-Crazy, she uses the party's dead bodies as scarecrows to keep the voices in her head at bay.
  • Scenery Porn: Just about every background scene is either a shot taken on a camera, or a wall painting, or some sort of fanart, with everything from gorge overlooks to pictures of fields or forests, to Alien Sky or even The End of the World as We Know It.
  • Scheherezade Gambit:
    • There's some heavy speeches in this game. Everything from a Green Aesop, to political or theological viewpoints. Much of it is also Talking the Monster to Death, though it doesn't really avert battles.
    • Often it works after the battle, getting you the MacGuffin, or interesting the monster enough with your responses that they join your party.
  • Schrödinger's Cast: Ambrosia at one point is unsure whether she's alive or dead. She's given a choice whether she decides she's alive or dead, based on various flashbacks. It can go either way. The rest of the cast is either alive, or doesn't exist, depending upon whether Ambrosia decides to create them.
  • Schrödinger's Question: Pretty much the ending options you choose can determine whether the entire universe exists or not. Among other things...
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Belial has been trapped for much of his life in an urn. Although, he's only really evil after being sealed in an urn.
  • Secret Character: Selqui, the seal girl.
  • Self-Disposing Villain: On a Mook scale. Some of the lesser creatures, notably goblins/kobolds, would rather kill themselves than let you take them alive, and may do so after about 1/2 their life is gone.
  • Self-Inflicted Afterlife: Hell is an empty desolate waste, resembling Yomi, the Japanese equivalent. The Heaven appears as a Fluffy Cloud Heaven, at first, but it turns out that both are based on the hero's conception of the fate she deserves. Her final destination is a sort of Mundane Afterlife resembling her living existence.
  • Sequel Reset: Game's all wrapped up, but then we have a sequel. Why? Just to show Ambrosia as an Action Mom. In fact, since Ambrosia is God's incarnation, it's heavily implied she manufactured the problem leading to the sequel. Also a Sequel Hook, as the antagonist is introduced in the first game (but other than that, the story is more or less resolved).
  • Selkies and Wereseals: The bonus character, Selqui, is a selkie with the ability to shed her skin as an Informed Ability.
  • Settled for Gay: Subverted, the two characters stance is more If It's You, It's Okay.
  • Sheathe Your Sword: There's at least one battle like this.
  • Shock Value Relationship: Michael and Lilith. The two characters make out in a bar, wrecking the place while they bang into stuff with passionate kissing. Not to mention it's relationship that's sort of taboo anyway, since it's an angel/demon pairing. Subverted in that unlike most relationships of this sort, they actually like each other.
    • If Lilith pairs up with Aqorm, it's still counts, because before that she hung out casually with Elias, and suddenly she's ditching him to choose a woman, while he is two feet away from her in a bar.
  • Silly Rabbit, Cynicism Is for Losers!: Ambrosia at the end of the First Disc (so to speak) heads off for the second world. Unless she bothered to do the romance sidequest (or can get past the Beef Gate of skipping a key romantic scene and heading directly through the entrance without stopping at the vacation town first), the plot requires you to visit Nevras at his castle. If you decide not to, or if you didn't get the memo, the story suddenly gets much darker, most notably in the endings. Basically because Ambrosia decided her love life with Nevras was doomed, things got a whole lot worse for her.
  • Sincerest Form of Flattery: Some of the Shout-Out examples are cited by name, or included as concepts in the game. Most notably, Lina Inverse makes a brief cameo appearance in the game.
  • Silk Hiding Steel: (Nevras has got the Silk Hiding Steel personality down pat, even though ostensibly he looks like Cloud. He's attractive enough for a guy, and has a the quiet nobility thing too) .
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man.
  • Skippable Boss: Ambrosia's evil half can be talked out of fighting (by Nevras).
    • Sera and Phim can either be fought to the death for a gruesome scene, or talked out of fighting.
  • Songs in the Key of Lock: In the Bonus Dungeon, there's a puzzle that involves playing part of the song, to get cheap treasure chest, or an entire verse, to unlock all the other hidden chests.
  • Space Whale Aesop: Likely many of the morals taught by the game. One Green Aesop is:
    Don't pollute or the Earth will turn into a black hole, and God will need to split existence in half.
    Don't hurt living things. It has no side effect on you, but they tend to take it out on weaker things, who in turn take it out on weaker things, until that single action causes some chain reaction that kills off the mice (possibly causing an insect infestation).
  • Spin-Offspring: Amazingly, this happens within the same story, thanks to the Playable Epilogue.
  • Split-Personality Merge: Ambrosia does this after a mountaintop scene.
  • Spooky Painting: There's a painting inside Zuran that you can literally walk right into.
  • Status Effects: Everything including from Poison, Silence, Sleep, and Death, to less common ones like Berserk, Confuse, Petrify, and Curse, to rare effects like Burn, Frozen, and X-Zone (can retrieve by changing party). There's even two extra effects: Seal, which is a curse type effect and heals fully after each turn, but otherwise like petrify, to Soulless which is a Deader than Dead status.
  • Stripperific: Lilith, the succubus, is wears a black bikini. And nothing else.
  • Sudden Downer Ending: May or may not be. Depending on the circumstances at the end of the game, and choices you make, the otherwise cheery story can end on several different bad notes. Sorry, not giving it away.
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: Ambrosia. At first glance, she seems to be a Tsundere, but this is part is her Mood-Swinger Sugar-and-Ice Personality, and when she's actually upset, she'll revert to a cold, gloomy personality. She gets better.
  • Taken for Granite: Anideshi has a Naruto-style Sage transformation, complete with the risk of turning into stone if things don't work out right.
  • Taste the Rainbow: Especially in racial variation, but this is typical in-game.
  • Taxidermy Is Creepy: An Easter Egg. Reading through one of the libraries has books on necromancy, then taxidermy, and finally stitching together animals and corpses.
  • 10-Minute Retirement: Many of Ambrosia's Heroic BSoD events.
  • That Was the Last Entry: The is a game help function where you write in your journal (or rather it's Nevras's journal). If he leaves the party, Ambrosia decides not to write it anymore (at least until he rejoins, leaving his fate uncertain.
    • Also, the actual last entry in the Playable Epilogue is more than slightly depressing, since it sounds like they're sure they'll die.
    We've come a long way, and there's no turning back. Let's make a last entry of our work for posterity.
  • This Is Reality: Thanks to some coding, there is Real Time in addition to an In-Universe Game Clock. Ambrosia and the party insists that the clock that shows the real time is off, and has no problems accepting the game time. (Taken up to eleven when you get a calendar, and they insist this is the wrong date)
  • Through the Eyes of Madness: A possible interpretation of what's going on is that aside from meeting her party, the entire quest is a giant delusion of a girl hoping to feel important because her birth parents abandoned her.
  • Time-Limit Boss: Some bosses need to be beaten in about 30 turns, or they use a killer breath attack on you.
  • Title Drop: Several times, as it's Ambrosia's goal.
  • Token Mini-Moe: Tamashii, Ambrosia's daughter.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Yazim Jianne. Sort of. He still is a creepy wizard, and a pervert, even after becoming good.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: Ambrosia.
  • Too Awesome to Use:
    • Reconstructed. The Puffer Sushi is a great item which gets rid of all status effects (excluding death, due to a targetting glitch) and restores hp/mp. But rather than simply being a very rare item, it is available in some stores for about 9000 gp, when monsters usually don't hold money and you have to make it selling Shop Fodder. Even when you actually manage to find it for free, it carries a pretty terrible risk. It can heal the party member fully, or it can kill them. The risk of use makes it something that you have to save for when you're really desperate, or the party member is already turned to stone.
    • Also, we have the Philosopher's Stone, which is absurdly difficult to buy, so the sell price is extremely tempting. Not to mention that although you can make it with alchemy to do so, requires giving up an equally rare levelup item.
  • Too Dumb to Live: At one point, a villain asks her "Who are you gonna trust? Me, who you've just met? Or these guys, who you've known for months?" Ambrosia can choose the person they've just met.
  • Trauma Inn: Defied. Inns heal hp/mp only, priests and hospitals heal certain status effects (usually at a high cost that gets worse as you level up). You need to travel a long way before you find an area where someone will heal you fully, no questions asked.
  • The Treachery of Images: Used to great effect later in the game.
  • Tricking the Shapeshifter: Estheriel's teammate (Loki) pulls this off.
  • Troperiffic: Just look at this page.
  • Trope Trigger: Ambrosia Brahmin is a Trope Trigger for Elias as Mr. Exposition. Ambrosia's average intelligence and amnesia allow The Smart Guy Elias to expound on obscure details pertaining to the plot.
  • Troubled Sympathetic Bigot: Lilith hates angels. How can you hate angels?!? She's a demon, so angels kind of hate her.
  • True Final Boss: If you qualify for the New Game Plus, you have to fight a set of three new bosses. Whereas the original Final Boss was basically just a Damage-Sponge Boss some of these require real strategy.
  • Truly Single Parent: God. Has a child with Manna Leaven, Ambrosia's mother, but it's later revealed that nobody really exists aside from Ambrosia, so God effectively created a clone.