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Phantasy Star Online 2esnote  is a free to play mobile game/companion app spinoff of the hit MMORPG Phantasy Star Online 2, and the first ever Phantasy Star title to arrive on mobile devices. It was released for Android devices on April 7th, 2014, and for iOS on May 14th, 2014.

In the future, the discovery of "Photons", a light particle omnipresent throughout the universe, revolutionized modern man and gave birth to "Oracle", a space exploration group dedicated to scouting out planets fit for colonization. When a natural enemy of Oracle known as the Darkers surfaced across the universe, the organization known as "ARKS" (Artificial Relicit to Keep Species) was formed to carry on the will of Oracle while eradicating the Darker threat. Further advancements as the result of the work of the Central Research Department have lead to the development of the "Chip" system, a revolutionary combat augmentation product that allows ARKS to harness the latent abilities of various Chips to further their mission against the Darkers.

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Like PSO2, the game is split up into various story arcs, referred to in-game as "Seasons". Each Season brings with it major gameplay enhancements, making it similar to Episodes in terms of expansion.

    Seasons 

  • Classic Season -ARKS Quest Chapter-: You are placed in the shoes of a fresh ARKS recruit who is teamed up with the operator Seraphy to investigate the mysterious disappearance of Dr. Cohen, a researcher who invented the Chip technology and vanished without a trace four years ago.
  • Season 1 -Weaponoid Chapter-: A special expedition teams the player up with a young-and-upcoming ARKS named Gene and the Weaponoid "More" to rescue the researcher Zakard, the only survivor of an E.M.A. facility explosion that killed nearly all of its staff. When the rescue attempt goes awry, the player returns two years later and reforms the Darker Busters to seek the truth behind the incident.
  • Season 2 -Trans-Enemy Chapter-: During a trip to the Tundra region, the Darker Busters take a Trans-Enemy named Duna under their wing, setting in motion a chain of events that leads them to uncovering the secrets behind the Trans-Enemy project.
  • Season 3 -Erzimarut Chapter-: A chance encounter with the girls Akhtar and Khorshid leads the Darker Busters to unraveling the hidden history of Planet Lillipa and its connection to an ancient race called the Erzimaruts, whose very existence hangs in the balance.


Being the "essence" of PSO2, gameplay takes on a similar action RPG form with some simplified mechanics while introducing Chips. Chips acquired through gameplay or a gacha serve to improve the player's performance through numerous effects, and can be upgraded or evolved with the infusion of other Chips. Aside from the original scenario and gameplay, players can also engage in connectivity features with PSO2, such as a special 100-slot Storage Box shared between games, as well as Quick Searching for bonus items and feeding MAGs and Pets remotely.

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Phantasy Star Online 2es provides examples of:

  • Aborted Arc: The end of Classic Season had Donovan escaping scot-free, vowing to return. Season 1 onward scrapped any plans to continue the Classic Season plotline in favor of focusing on Weaponoids and Trans-Enemies.
  • Action Commands: Certain boss attacks will cause a prompt to swipe in a certain direction to appear onscreen; succeeding allows you to jump back or escape from the attack. Failing can lead to massive damage.
  • Action Girl: Gene, Annette, and Quna. Seraphy also demonstrates a capability of holding her own in combat near the end of ARKS Quests.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different:
    • Season 3 Gene's Side Story has you playing as her.
    • Bruno takes over as the playable character during Season 3 Chapter 6-4.
  • All Your Powers Combined: Dante and his crew take the form of Underground Monkey versions of enemies, but with attacks borrowed from a variety of Darkers.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: One reward for placing 1st~10th, 100th, 500th, 1000th, 5000th, or 10,000th in an Ranking Event Emergency Quest or exchanging 100 Operation Stars is a Queen Rappy Suit.
  • And Your Reward Is Interior Decorating: If you place 1st, 2nd, or 3rd in a Ranking Event, you will receive a small Trophy that can be put on display in your MyRoom in PSO2.
  • Another Side, Another Story: The Side Story for the "Motherly Love Gene" Chip follows Gene after she is separated from the party during Season 3 Chapter 1 and subsequently decides to leave the main party to travel with Khorshid. Unlike other Side Stories, you play as Gene, using a preset Deck and weapon.
  • Anthropomorphic Personification:
    • The game prominently features Weaponoids, which are humanoid manifestations of ARKS weaponry. Season 1 focuses on the backstory behind the Weaponoids and the dark secrets surrounding their creation.
    • Season 1 also introduced Trans-Enemies, which are similar humanoid manifestations of monsters and creatures that the ARKS encounters. Season 2 expands on the Trans-Enemy concept and explores their own past as well.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • Damage taken as the result of being Burned or Poisoned does not affect your Damage Score; only damage taken from actually being attacked counts.
    • In late 2016, a feature was implemented that sends overstock items and Presents to a special Present Box. Prior to this, if you ever had any overstock, you were forced to dump the excess before you could play any Quests, which was rather tedious.
    • Tears Grid is an uncancellable Photon Art that roots you in place upon usage. Because it's impossible to avoid taking hits while using it, it comes packed with 50% damage resistance when active as a hidden boost.
  • Anti Poop-Socking: Like most smartphone games, es has this as a function, although there are two pools from which to draw from: Drive and Operation Points.
    • Drive is what is paid to attend Quests, and if you can't pay, you can't go. The player must wait five minutes to charge a single point of Drive, but it can also be refilled immediately by spending a Rappy Medal or leveling up. To extend the Drive cap, the player must complete new Quests, and each new set completed will reward players with a Drive Cap Increase.
    • Operation Points are spent to attend Emergency Quests. You can only have up to six, and recharging a single Point takes 20 minutes. Unlike Drive, leveling up doesn't recharge OP, but impatient players can also use OP Medicine to recharge Points instantly.
  • Arc Welding: Dr. Cohen is mentioned several times over the course of Season 3, and Bruno spends a large chunk of the story looking into his research. He and Zakard are later mentioned in Chapter 5 in relation to the Innocent Blue project.
  • Arc Words: "Innocent Blue", which is connected across all three main Seasons. It is an underground Artificial Human project created by EMA, and is closely linked to the creation of the Weaponoids and Trans-Enemies.
  • Art Shift: Story Quest throws out the text-supported screenshots ARKS Quests used and goes for a visual novel presentation using anime-style portraits.
  • The Artifact: Early in the game's lifespan, there was a Chip called "Mode Shift", a 5★ Chip only usable by Gunslashes that allows the user to swap between Gun and Slash modes when activated. An update in July 2015 integrated Gunslash Mode Shift as a base action (tap the screen with two fingers), rendering the Chip obsolete; however, the Chip remains in the game and is still functional.
  • Ascended Extra: After being demoted for three Episodes in the main game, Quna finally reappears as a supporting character in Season 2 of es.
  • Ascended Meme: Mace of Adaman's Side Story is based entirely around her Memetic Loser status as a Junk Rare back in the early days of the game. Her first chapter even gives you the option to ignore her when she appears.
  • Assist Character: This is the utility of Friend Assists aside from letting you borrow a Chip. Originally, pressing your Assist's Weapon icon will activate a cinematic where the Partner attacks the target with a simple combo ending in a PA/Tech if it's equipped. An update streamlined the system so the Assist appears on the field with a cut-in but without the cinematic, allowing you to fight alongside them temporarily.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever:
    • King Rappies and Queen Rappies are giga-sized variants of Rappies and Lovey Rappies respectively, but are just as docile.
    • "+" enemies and bosses are significantly larger than their standard variants.
    • "Giant" Emergency Quest bosses are EQ bosses that have had their size boosted, with their HP and damage scaling accordingly.
  • Awesome, yet Impractical: EX Photon Arts and Technics. They're the strongest types of Attack Chips you can get, but have higher CP costs than their weaker counterparts, making them harder to spam than Level 3 Arts and Techs. Because they're 11★, they also aren't easily upgraded due to requiring either identical Chips or Nyau Chips, the latter of which can only be purchased from certain Shops or given as a reward. They also have high Cost, which can make them outright unusable in certain Decks without sufficient Cost reduction from either weapons or 13★ Chips.
  • Balance Buff:
    • Salus Punisher had her damage output tripled up during a patch to keep her on par with currently existing Chips.
    • The 2017 SEGA Platinum Stars collaboration gave buffs to numerous existing Chips from the previous SEGA Platinum Stars collaboration.
  • Beach Episode: Every single Weaponoid/Character Chip with a summer-themed Side Story. The beach in this case is usually Wopal.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • More shows up just in time to save Gene from being killed by Lord in Season 1 Chapter 10. Unfortunately, Lord just strikes down More instead.
    • When Annette and Bruno are attacked by Hade and Anatis at Wopal, Annette is saved during a moment of crisis by Fel, who had been missing since the end of Season 1. However, Bruno is still badly injured and is forced to stay back at the ARKS Ship to recover for the remainder of the story.
    • In the final chapter of Season 2, Quna suddenly materializes using Mai and protects Gene from a powerful attack from Hade.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Season 2. Duna and Anatis earn their happy ending, but Gene is forced to say her goodbyes to Duna, seemingly for good. However, in the final Side Story for the Season 2 Gene Chip, Duna and Gene are reunited.
  • Bonus Level: The Rappy Special Quest that only appears during semi-random hours of the day and only sticks around for one hour before disappearing. Every encounter in the Rappy Quest is guaranteed to contain at least one Rappy, which drops high EXP and a Rappy Chip upon defeat, which can be used to quickly Grind your Chips.
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • Unlike previous handouts (which were Bragging Rights Rewards), the Chips you can get from clearing Chapters from Season 2 cover a wide berth of Frames and have a solid spread of effects with decent Cost efficiency. They're splashable in nearly any Deck that doesn't have enough room left to fit a normal Chip.
    • Similar to the Story Chips, the BEATLESS Collaboration Scratch introduced Chips with strong platter of Frames and good Cost efficiency, making them strong splashables. The exception is Lacia, who is more in line with a standard 12★, albeit with potent bonus effects and a very rare Frame.
  • Boss in Mook's Clothing:
    • Pretty much every El Ahda that appears in endgame content. Especially if there's more than one.
    • Dirandal Ex and Sol Dirandal Ex from Eternal Tower 9 97~99F (Late September/Early October 2018). Given the opportunity, they will completely rip you to pieces in a spilt second and have over 5,000,000 HP each.
    • This is the default setting for pretty much every enemy in the Nightmare Tower.
  • Boss-Only Level:
    • In Story Quests, Quests that involve a Chapter boss contains only the boss panel.
    • The final floor of all Eternal Towers is a single fight floor with only the final boss panel. Eternal Tower 5 onward relegates the final floor into its own separate Block altogether.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Any Weaponoid who is affected by Anatis' curse. Also Anatis herself.
  • Bragging Rights Reward:
    • If you complete all of the ARKS Quests, you receive the one-of-a-kind Seraphy [Memorial] Chip in the Mail. However, it's 10★, and since Power Equals Rarity most of the time, there isn't really a place for it outside of taking up Storage space if you had a good enough Deck to plow over that Blu Ringahda in a decent amount of time.
    • Ditto for the Gene [Memorial] Chip you get from completing all Story Quests. Despite being a unique reward, it's one of the weakest 11★s in the game, giving a pitiful +80% E-Frame and a large amount of HP recovery. It mostly serves as a trophy.
    • Ranking within the top 100 players in both Emergency Quests and Eternal Tower awards a special Weaponoid Chip. The Chip gifted through this method is deliberately designed to be this, as it's not particularly strong relative to more common rewards and gacha Chips, and to even earn it in the first place requires having such strong options that you don't need it at all. Ranking EQ reward Chips can even be purchased with Operation Stars at a later date, so the only advantage to earning it from the EQ itself is getting it early and not paying for it.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory:
    • Starting from September 2015, players with a Linked Character can receive two 15000 EXP Tickets every day just for logging in. These Tickets can be redeemed in PSO2 to skip early-game level grinding for low-level classes. If you have a Premium Set active, you can get four tickets per day, which can make the process even faster.
    • The Quick Search function, where your character retrieves items from a field of your choice and returns with some goods, EXP, and Meseta. You can do this once daily for free, but you can also purchase an additional five runs with ARKS Cash. Each purchased run gives an increasing amount of items and a boosted Rare Drop Rate. Considering that you can farm Ultimate Quest stones or pick up a 13★ if you're lucky, it's a simple effort to buy your way to power if luck be a lady. Not to mention that this function exists for the purpose of gaining items for the main game, so anything good you get can be sent to PSO2 and be used to beef up your character there.
    • Of course, spending ARKS Cash on the esScratch to get good Chips. However, it's still RNG-reliant, so even if you spend money, you might not get what you want.
    • Collect Search is in the same boat as Quick Search. You can forcefully accelerate Collect File progression by simply dumping cash on the feature.
    • The May 2017 update added a feature known as the Weaponoid Scratch that specifically encourages this. If you play the 11x esScratch three times using ARKS Cash (which comes out to 6000 AC total, or 6000 yen), you will be able to play the Weaponoid Scratch. This feature lets you "generate" a Scratch Card where the rewards are Weaponoids of your choosing (2 12★s and 8 11★s), and you get a single draw in which you're guaranteed to get one of them. This still has an RNG factor, but it can work in your favor if you don't have a lot of Weaponoids on hand.
  • Brutal Bonus Level: EX Quests, which are variants of Story Quests in which the stats of enemies are massively scaled up to give them tons of HP and ridiculous attack stats. EX Quests aren't required to increase Drive and give very little EXP, but they dispense Silver and Gold Weaponoid Stones, which can be exchanged in the Recycle Shop for exclusive Weaponoids and other rare items. Bosses in EX Quests also have higher chances to drop Soul Receptor equipment with high slot counts.
  • The Bus Came Back:
    • This is the first Phantasy Star game since IV to bring back King Rappy.
    • Quna makes an appearance as a supporting character for the first time since EPISODE 2 in the main game.
  • Call-Back: As Hade dies in front of Duna, Quna mentions that the spirits of Dragonkin are reincarnated upon death, but as Hade is borne from a Chrome Dragon, who is an artificial Dragonkin, his spirit will vanish. This fact was previously touched upon during Hadred's death in EPISODE 1 in the main game.
  • The Cameo: Cabracan, a recurring minor character from the main game, appears briefly in Shooting Drive [Summer Vacation]'s Side Story when Shooting Drive and More pull him out of the sand and he tells them off.
  • Cast From HP:
    • There are early Chips that deal fixed damage to both you and your enemies. Klariskrays is one of them.
    • Seiga Javelin saps 90% of your HP to raise your ATK by a staggering 15,500 (17,000 SP). It also starts regenerating 5% of your HP every 2 seconds to heal off the effect.
  • Cap: There is a visual soft cap of 999,999,999 damage per hit. This is up from the visual soft cap of 999,999 that was originally in the game until Summer 2018; by this time, many players with a decent chunk of the better Chips could very easily hit 999,999+ consistently, so the cap was increased by three digits.
  • CCG Importance Dissonance:
    • In-story, More is up there with the main characters, and is one of the three starting core members of the Darker Busters. In gameplay, More is the weakest Weaponoid in the game, handed to you for free and possessing a piddling attack buff with regen bonus.
    • Until Yamigarasu was introduced, no endgame player would be caught dead without Saga, whose status damage made him a staple in many endgame decks. In PSO2, Saga is a side character who exists as Katori's straight man and has zero plot relevance.
    • Segami has more utility than Purple Heartnote . This is despite the fact that Neptune/Purple Heart is the main character of her franchise, and Segami is from a crossover spinoff. Nepgear provides better damage than Neptune, and she's Neptune's younger sister!
    • Arguably, Hatsune Miku was marginally less useful than Luka, back when Yamigarasu didn't existnote . Nowadays, Luka is useless due to Yamigarasu obsoleting status affliction Chips.
    • Rina is a Game Breaker 12★, but in the anime, she's more or less a love interest who spends half of her important scenes as a Damsel in Distress. Itsuki, who is The Protagonist, and Aika, who is a secret agent from Oracle and Itsuki's connection to ARKS, don't hold a candle to Rina's Chip in es.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Season 1 opens with a report on the destroyed EMA facility penned by Bruno. Late into the story, Dante brings up this report, and reveals what exactly Bruno was looking for and that it was hiding under his nose the entire time.
  • The Computer Is a Lying Bastard: The Palette Evaluation system (based loosely on IDOLA's Team Rating feature) ranks loadouts based on the aggregate power of the Chips, equipment, and Class tied to it. However, the formula used to calculate the score is never told to the player, and the game has a tendency to weigh certain additional effects heavier compared to others, resulting in misleading scores that don't accurately reflect the output that you get from the deck. For example, "increase attack speed" effects are weighted at a measly 2% multiplier, while "all attacks are Just Attacks" effects are weighted at a egregiously massive 300% multiplier.
  • Crossover: There are occasionally "Collaboration" scratches in which you can get Chips from other video games or other Phantasy Star media. These include:
  • Crippling Overspecialization: The 12★ Chip Ignis gives the single largest single Frame multiplier in the game, sporting 650% outside of the SP Slot. However, her side effect causes you to lose CP at an absurd rate, emptying your entire bar in under two seconds regardless of how many Rigid Units you have equipped. The drawback is so utterly crippling that the massive multiplier is of very little use in the majority of standard gameplay, limiting her utility to the Eternal Tower (where she shines).
  • Crutch Character: Crutch Weapon, rather. If you have a New Type weapon, it'll come with most of its ATK right out of the box, reducing the need to grind it. However, they cannot be upgraded in PSO2es due to using a different grind system from the standard grinding.
  • Damage-Sponge Boss:
    • The higher go in difficulty, the more HP Emergency Quest bosses have. The highest you can go is Extra Hard x5, which has a whopping 885,000,000 HP.
    • Blu Ringahda at the end of Episode 1 has much more HP than any previously encountered boss, even more than a Very Hard Emergency Quest boss.
    • The rematch against Proto-Falz Lord is the Final Boss battle in Season 1, and has his HP scaled accordingly.
    • Bosses in EX Quests also have absurd HP pools.
  • Death from Above:
    • Salus Punisher's Chip effect resembles its bullet animation in PSO2; that is, a beam of light from the sky.
    • Ilfoie summons a meteor to strike your target. It's slow to start but hits pretty hard.
    • Meteor Fist brings down gold fists upon your foes, with which fists you get determined by luck.
    • A collaboration in October 2019 introduced a... weird variant of Meteor Fist that replaces all of the golden fists with the main character of the Gyu. webcomic, rtfぎゅhkl. Yes, you are literally summoning a Joke Character to rain from the sky as a lethal weapon.
  • Degraded Boss:
    • In later ARKS Quests and Story Quests, some enemies that were formerly boss mobs begin showing up as normal enemies.
    • Hilariously, Season 3 Chapter 6-3-3 involves fighting Falz Arms (a boss mob in PSO2) as regular mooks.
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • Seraphy is downgraded to a supporting character in Season 1 onward. She still interacts with the Darker Busters regularly, though.
    • You can't play as Mechanically Unusual Fighter Classes from the main game, such as Summoner, Hero, and Phantom. You can still send EXP to them via Linked EXP, though.
    • After the end of Season 2, Stra and Calamity, who were major supporting characters, are downgraded into minor recurring characters who only appear occasionally in various Weaponoid Side Stories.
    • Gene and Bruno are separated from the main party for a vast chunk of Season 3 and only appear very sporadically up until Chapter 5, as Gene accompanies Khorshid, Soroush, and Farzad for most of the arc and Bruno is relegated to digging up Dr. Cohen's research in the background. The majority of screentime ends up in the hands of Annette, More, Akhtar, Lien, and Nasulin, who compose the player's primary party.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: Strike Gust. You can't cancel it once started, and it only has i-frames at the end of the attack, which makes it difficult to evade enemy attacks. It can also be hard to use with out regen or Life Drain effects. However, you get Super Armor while executing the attack, and sports among the best DPS values in the game.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Akhtar in Season 3 Chapter 5.
  • Disc-One Nuke:
    • Defied; the "mastery" system dictates what percentage of the maximum stats of a weapon you can access based on whether the class you're playing is capable of equipping it in PSO2 and your level. You can give give a 13★ weapon to a Lv. 1 player, but you'll only be able to use a measly fraction of its actual stats.
    • You can game the mastery system by Crafting a weapon in PSO2. At later Extend Levels, weapon stats start getting rather high, and you can use an Add Class item to tune a weapon to the class you wish to play in es, allowing you to hit max stats easier on that weapon when you would otherwise be unable to.
    • If you get a Weaponoid and complete its Side Quest, you will be able to access the corresponding weapon's maximum stats regardless of your mastery. Depending on the weapon in question, like Psycho Wand or Yamigarasu, you could wind up being able to plow through the majority of enemies with a 1000+ ATK weapon at any level.
    • If you make friends with a player with a SSR or UR Chip, it'll help steamroll most early game content. However, Friend Chips have a 3 hour cooldown period after being used... which resets after any level up/Drive refill.
  • Do Well, but Not Perfect: It's sometimes better to let an XH difficulty Emergency Quest boss live even if you can kill it in a single round, because a live EQ boss gives everyone on your Friends List a chance to get Bonus Points and Rank Points for the kill as well.
  • Dub Name Change: The English fan translation changes "Rappy Medal" to "Rappy Coin", possibly to distinguish the currency from the similarly named Rappy Chips.
  • Early-Bird Cameo:
    • Prior to the end of Classic Season, Weaponoids, powerful Anthropomorphic Personifications of weapons, were introduced. Come Season 1, and the Weaponoid concept becomes the major focal point of the story.
    • A Weaponoid based on the classic Phantasy Star Online weapon Spread Needle was introduced before the weapon proper was added in Phantasy Star Online 2.
    • Kuscha Nebula first appeared as a very minor story character in Season 2 who is unscrupulously eaten by Hade shortly after her debut before officially being added as a Chip over a year later.
  • Elite Mook: Boosted enemies, indicated by their reddish coloring and red name tag. They have slightly boosted damage and HP over their normal counterparts.
  • Fake Memories: A major Wham Episode late into Season 1 reveals that Zakard rewrote Gene's memories of her creation with falsified memories before the destruction of the EMA facility, so as to protect her from the evil EMA scientists seeking to use the Weaponoid program for malicious ends.
  • Final Boss:
    • Blu Ringahda for Classic Season.
    • Proto-Falz Lord in Season 1.
    • Anatis in Season 2.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Stra and Calamity, who start out antagonistic to each other but end up bonding due to both of them being subject to Anatis' Mind Control over the course of the story. Even after they become pals, Calamity still enjoys picking on Stra.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Seraphy's MyRoom is displayed as the Chip Lab's background. Next to her bed is a Weapon Hologram Room Item displaying a Launcher. Towards the end of Classic Season, Seraphy reveals that she wields Launchers, which she uses to destroy Cohen's secret laboratory from the inside.
    • The possibility of the existence of another Genesis Weapon was teased in supplementary material before Season 1 introduces Roto Raut and its Weaponoids.
  • Fragile Speedster: The "Quick" Emergency Quest bosses have reduced HP, but have increased speed, making them dangerous foes for slower weapon types like Swords.
  • Freemium: The main game's Premium Set feature is also used here, and follows most of the same rules as the main game. In addition to main game benefits, having an active Premium Set grants benefits like daily Rappy Medals for logging in, removal of the Rappy Medal tax for purchasing from the Player Shop, and an increase in Material Chip capacity up to 300.
  • Fun Size: The "Small" Emergency Quest bosses are approximately half size of the normal boss, with HP and damage scaled accordingly.
  • Gag Boobs: Depending on the artwork, Gene's breasts may have a tendency to be drawn... egregiously large. Keep in mind that Gene is already the bustiest character in the entire PSO2 canon.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: The UI overhaul update in July 2018 added a bunch of unforeseen problems, including the new hotbar not showing up (which can cause a softlock in certain menus), characters randomly being booted back to the title screen when they try to access certain menus, and the Emergency Quest rewards screen causing characters to softlock if it glitches out.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: In Season 3, the Darker Busters encounter DW Darkers in the Tunnels region of Lillipa, which are purportedly enhanced Darkers that are significantly stronger than normal variations. When you actually fight them in gameplay, they are exactly the same as every other Darker in the game.
  • Gold Makes Everything Shiny: The Aletheia Series weapons that can be obtained in this game are recolored Lumiere weapons with an aggressive amount of gold coloring in place of Lumiere's sky-blue colors. The Potential even makes reference to its gold coloration.
  • Good Colors, Evil Colors: The friendly Akhtar, who is guarding the Score and is saved by the Darker Busters, wears white with pink highlights. Conversely, Khorshid, who has significantly more dubious intentions, wears black and blue.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • At some point, damage types were introduced. Chips that give a damage bonus after damage types were introduced each have an individual damage type; Chips of the same damage type stack onto each other additively, while Chips of different types stack multiplicatively. The thing is, damage types are effectively hidden stats, and are usually found via rigorous testing.
    • Ranged attacks have a hidden Ranged Damage modifier that decreases your damage relative to how far you are from the target. The game never mentions this, and the only way to know about this is to figure it out by accident or look it up. Of course, when you're hitting 100,000 to 200,000 per hit with Arts like Elder Rebellion, the modifier does little to affect your damage.
  • Gratuitous Greek: The katakana "アレティア" is a corruption of the katakana for the word "Aletheia", which is Greek for "truth", which is fitting considering the weapon series it's associated with is a Moveset Clone of the Zeinesis series weapons. The fan translation simply translates it as "Aletheia".
  • Harder Than Hard: For certain Quests, beyond Hard, there's also Very Hard and Super Hard difficulty. In Emergency Quests, Super Hard can only be unlocked by acquiring a Super Hard Unlock Key from the Bonus Scratch. A later update also added Extra Hard Emergency Quests, in which bosses are even more damage spongy than in Super Hard. It's also the only place where you can get the Material Zero items needed to acquire the Arion series.
  • Hitbox Dissonance:
    • For some reason, the Dual Blade PA Immortal Dove has a hitbox the width of three characters, even though it travels in a perfectly straight column.
    • Zeshrydha/Rigshrydha's body slam hits behind it. This can easily catch players off guard, and in EX Quests, it's a One-Hit Kill.
  • Holiday Mode: As of the Season 2 update, the picture of the Shop Area in the main menu changes appropriately when a holiday is being celebrated in the main game.
  • Hostage for MacGuffin: At the end of Season 3 Chapter 1, Khorshid has taken Gene "captive" and demands that Akhtar deliver the Score if they want to free her. "Captive" in quotations because Gene makes it clear that she wants to go with Khorshid, but she's still treated like a captive.
  • I Don't Like the Sound of That Place: The Nightmare Tower. Its difficulty lives up to its name.
  • Infinity -1 Sword:
    • You'll get decent mileage out of 14★ and 15★ from their base ATK alone, but they lack the unique effects that make es-exclusive weapons powerful.
    • The Dominacio series is just under the Aletheia series, having incredible ATK stats and Cost Reduction as bonuses as well as being relatively accessible compared to the actual Infinity +1 Sword series.
  • Infinity +1 Sword:
    • The Aletheia 14★ weapons are the de facto best in the game, sporting enhanced versions of both Arion and Raete's abilities combined on top of high base ATK. Notably, they are the first es-exclusive weapons that are also considered an Infinity -1 Sword in PSO2 due to a combination of factors, including their incredible Potential and Super Special Ability support.
    • 13★ Chips. They have absolutely absurd damage multipliers that far exceed any other Chip in their category, can be Released twice and go all the way to Level 90, and all share the common ability of halving the Cost of a compatible Photon Art or Technique Chip in the same Deck as a way to offset their own high Cost. Of course, being so powerful only means that they're a Rare Random Drop from the gacha.
  • Interface Screw:
    • Getting hit by Dante's, Levi's, or Fel's attacks causes your character to become shrouded in a red haze, obscuring the player's view of their character.
    • Being Panicked causes your swipes to make you dodge in a random direction.
  • Jekyll & Hyde: The brainwashing the EMA researchers subjected Zakard to caused Zakard to develop an evil, Ax-Crazy alter ego that pops up at random times.
  • Job System: You can select between one of eight classes: Hunter, Ranger, Force, Fighter, Gunner, Techer, Braver, and Bouncer. However, unlike their PSO2 counterparts, there is little functional difference between each class other than dictating which stats grow higher than others and how quickly you can reach the maximum stats of certain weapons.
  • Kimono Fanservice: When any of the Vocaloid Chips are Released, their art changes to their respective "Yukata Style" Module.
  • King Mook:
    • Some enemies come in "+" versions, which are at least double size of the standard enemy. They're also stronger and have more HP. Bosses can also come in this variant, and non-EQ bosses with the "+" suffix are not only larger, but also have at least double speed.
    • King Rappies, which are gigantic Rappies with rainbow eyes and highlights. They're just as harmless as normal Rappies, and are guaranteed to drop either a Singing Rappy Chipnote  or a rare drop specific to the Questnote . There is also the Queen Rappy, a supersized variant of the Lovey Rappy in a similar manner to the King Rappy that only drops Singing Lovey Rappy Chips.
  • Last Chance Hit Point: The "Patty" Chip has an extremely high chance (although not guaranteed) to leave you with 1 HP when you would be defeated.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler:
    • In "Story of Ares", it's casually revealed by Ares Kaiser (who figures it out on her own) that Gene is part Weaponoid, which was the big plot twist of Season 1.
    • The game includes Character Chips based on some of the supporting cast from EPISODE 4, which include Hitsugi and Kohri's Embodied Raiment forms, as well as Aru's Dark Falz form.
  • Law of Chromatic Superiority:
    • In Quests, Red drops are considered rare, while Green drops are just normal. In the Scratch, the rarity scale is Green, Red, Gold.
    • Chip frames follow Gray, Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Rainbow for rarity.
    • Rarity stars on both Chips and Weapons follow this format. Blue stars are for 1★~3★ gear, Green stars are for 4★~6★ gear, Red stars are for 7★~9★ gear, Gold stars are for 10★~12★ gear, and 13★ Weapons and Chips use a rainbow star.
  • Leitmotif: A rearrange of "Rappy Fever" from Phantasy Star Zero plays whenever a King Rappy appears. It also plays in the Scratch Menu.
  • Level-Up Fill-Up: Leveling up as any Class instantly refills your Drive back to its maximum value.
  • Life Drain: Some Chips like Tennimusou give you the ability to regain HP when you deal damage.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Bosses with the "+" suffix have a substantial speed increase on top of being harder to kill than their normal counterparts. They can hit fast, and they can hit hard.
  • Logo Joke: The 4.9.0 update added a sound byte of Sora Amamiya saying "Sega!" during the logo card like some of the original SEGA logo cards.
  • Loophole Abuse: Thanks to the aforementioned Level-Up Fill-Up combined with the Class system enabling you to freely switch between up to eight classes, you can constantly extend your playtime by swapping classes and gaining a level up to restore your Drive, then switch back to your main class and continue playing. This decreases in effectiveness as you keep leveling classes, but you can squeeze hours out of a fresh character just by abusing the Class system.
  • Luck-Based Mission:
    • The gacha element means that how well you fight is largely determined by what Chips you can get. Naturally, the vast majority of the important Chips are locked behind esScratch, so bad RNG means that you may not be well-equipped for high-ranking content.
    • For that matter, forcing Passive Chips with rates of "Low" to trigger. Depending on your luck, this can either take no time at all or upwards of thirty seconds if the RNG doesn't like you that day.
    • Grinding Weapons. Grinding requires you to expend a lot of Meseta and rare items known as Grinders (which are far less plentiful in es than in PSO2) to increase the weapon's ATK. However, Grinding has a Success Rate that decreases as the Grind Level increases, and if you fail a Grind, there is a chance for your Grind Level to decrease, wasting your Meseta and Grinders. You can up your chances with Grind Success and Grind Risk Down items, but you're still playing with the RNG either way.
    • You want any of those neat prizes from the Leisure Coin Shop? Better hope the Photon Dice like you. The first opponent in any given play, More, at least gives you a leg up by only having two dice while you get three, but from there, all bets are off. Even then, you can still lose to him if you get a particularly bad roll.
  • Magic Knight:
    • Wands have the highest normal attack damage in the game while having high T-ATK. You can alternate between whacking and casting for maximum damage.
    • Jet Boots get in the fray with striking attacks while having good T-ATK. The main difference between Wands and Jet Boots is that Jet Boots have dedicated Photon Arts.
  • Magikarp Power: Solid Straight. At base power, it's a pretty lackluster and overcosted Chip that gives a weak 100% U Frame for 18 Cost. After capping Ability Level, Plug 1, and Plug 3, Solid Straight has one of the best Cost/multiplier ratios in the game, sporting 220% U Frame for a measly 12 Cost.
  • Mana Drain: Some Chips like Hatsune Miku allow you to restore CP when you strike with an attack.
  • Mana Meter: The CP (Chip Points) Gauge, this game's equivalent of PP (Photon Points) in PSO2. CP is a value that is used to activate Active Chips, and is restored slowly over time or by using normal attacks on enemies. Your starting CP is determined by the combined "CP" stats of the Chips in your Deck. The maximum capacity can be increased by equipping a Rigid Unit, or through certain Chips that temporarily grant you "overflow" CP. Some Chips can also reduce the amount of CP consumed by Actives.
  • Marathon Level: The Eternal Tower from Phantasy Star Zero returns as a non-stop gauntlet of fights as you climb a very, very, very long dungeon.
  • Meaningful Name: The Ultimate Lillipa enemies that appear in the game are referred to by the game as "Altered Mechs" instead of "LI-Aberrations", as they are in the main game. There is a good reason for the alternate title: these Mechs are not Aberrations (which are associated with the Profound Darkness' corruption), but rather they are sourced from the Erizimats themselves.
  • Microtransactions: Just like the main game, you can buy ARKS Cash to spend on stuff like Chip Storage Expansions, Item Pack Expansions, revivals, and whatnot. Additionally, you can also use it on the esScratch for a shot at rare and powerful Chips. Players with the iOS version of the game can also buy themselves iAC, which functions identically to AC, except it cannot be transferred to the main game.
  • Mind-Control Eyes: Weaponoids under the effect of Mind Control gain Red Eyes, Take Warning.
  • Mini Game Zone: The September 2017 update added a Leisure Room where you can play a dice minigame called Photon Dice. Playing Photon Dice can reward you with Leisure Coins, which can be spent in a Shop for special items.
  • Moe Anthropomorphism:
  • Multiple Life Bars: Chips like Annette [Summer Vacation] and the "Council of Six" Illustration Chips grant you a "shield" of bonus HP that is indicated by a pale yellow-green HP meter added to your standard HP meter. "Shield" HP functions identically to regular HP, but if you take damage to your "shield", it does not count against your Damage Score. This can help immensely with scoring high amounts of Operation Points for Bonus Scores.
  • Musical Nod: The "Violent Dynasty" riff identical to the one used for the Dark Blast Elder Super Mode in PSO2 is used in cutscenes when Akhtar or Khorshid transform into their Darknix forms.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • When Neptune, Nepgear, or Uzume's Chips are Released, their Chip art and name changes to their HDD Form accordingly. Neptune becomes Purple Heart, Nepgear becomes Purple Sister, and Uzume becomes Orange Heart. The names of their Abilities are also named after their signature Limit Breaks.
    • The Abilities of the Sega Hard Girls Chips are named after their Weapon of Choice: "Dream Blade" for Dreamcast, "Twin Sticks" for Saturn, and "Gold Number" for Mega Drive.
    • The King Rappy, last seen in Phantasy Star IV, returns in this game as a rare spawn in specific Quests.
    • The late 2017 major update added the Eternal Tower.
  • Nintendo Hard: The Nightmare Tower. Not only are the enemies even stronger than those in the final floors of the Eternal Tower, Arbitrary Mission Restriction is in full effect (limiting weapon choices), Bonus Panels are gone (removing After-Combat Recovery), and not only do fights per floor become increasingly numerous the higher you ascend, enemy patterns per panel can range from annoying to outright sadistic. The icing on the cake is if you want any of the Aculd series weapons, you pretty much have to farm Nightmare Tower.
  • No-Sell:
    • Some of the Season 2 bosses have a gimmick where they're being boosted by a Weaponoid influenced by Mind Control, which gives them, among other things, limited invulnerability to your attacks.
    • Certain Chips (starting with Lacia from Beatless) have a special ability that gives you a roughly 50% chance to completely negate an enemy's attack, which is signified by a green aura appearing around you as the attack phases through you.
  • Nominal Importance: Used with Chip art. Photon Arts and Technics usually feature generic NPCs performing them. On EX Photon Arts and Technics, the generic characters are replaced with named characters from PSO2; for example, Jet Boots EX Arts feature Saga, Sword EX Arts feature Regius, and Katana EX Arts feature Azanami.
  • Not Completely Useless: There is a gimmick strategy for clearing the Eternal Tower quickly that involves making use of two very old and otherwise useless Chips: Klariskrays, which consumes 30% of your HP to execute a Fire element explosion that damages all enemies in the room, and Tiea, which has a very high chance to recover your HP after a battle. If paired with two Active Chips that give an extremely high multiplier and Momijihime in the rightmost slot, you can activate Momijihime to trigger all of your Actives at once and instantly execute a high power explosion that wipes the room, then have Tiea fully heal you for the next battle. This is extremely advantageous for getting quick clear times for Eternal Tower Rankings to score excellent prizes and Chips.
  • Not the Intended Use: Friend Assist is almost never used for damage, since their damage is effectively garbage. Since they reset the field, most players to recover from knockback. This can be a godsend in Emergency Quests, which are Timed Missions where every second counts. Friend Assists were later reworked to no longer use a cinematic attack, but the effect of recovering from knockback was retained.
  • Oddball in the Series:
    • For obvious reasons, the Spread Needle Weaponoid is the only Weaponoid who gives a Weapon Camo as its unique Present, as opposed to a weapon.
    • The Character Chips with Side Stories, which include Gene, Bruno, Annette, and Seraphy, give out King Rappy Chips as unique rewards instead of weapons.
  • On the Next: Season 3 caps off each Chapter with a teaser of the next Chapter narrated by one of the characters, similar in fashion to the teaser movies used by IDOLA: Phantasy Star Saga.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Sure, we have Vol Dragon, who is your stock standard fire-breathing dragon, but then you have stuff like Quartz Dragon, who is essentially a jet plane dragon made of crystal, and Dragon Ex, a warrior dragon who can use his wings to Shield Bash or create a makeshift "sword" out of crystal construct to attack.
  • Peninsula of Power Leveling: If your loadout is strong enough, you can swap to a weaker class and powerlevel it quickly by attempting Quests recommended for much higher Levels. You can also powerlevel your Linked Characters this way.
    • Also subverted, then played straight. One option for grinding in es is to get on a Linked Character and earn EXP in PSO2. However, the hard cap on Linked EXP from PSO2 to es used to be 10% of the EXP required to get the character to the next Level, which prevents grinding in PSO2 from being even remotely efficient. This was changed in an update that raised the cap to the EXP required to advance 5 Levels in es, so now it's reasonable to grind levels in es by grinding in PSO2.
  • Piñata Enemy: Rappies and variations thereof, cute, docile mascot "enemies" who are content to waddle around and sing. Defeating a Rappy drops one of three Rappy Chips, which can be used in Grinding to give the target Chip tons of EXP. They also drop lots of EXP themselves, which helps accelerate Level Grinding.
  • Play Every Day: You get a small pittance of Meseta and 100 FUN every day you log in, though it doesn't have to be consecutive. If your character is Linked, you also get a 1SG Ticket and two 15000 EXP Tickets. You can also earn coveted Rappy Medals for every 3rd and 5th day you log in, which can be exchanged for Drive recharges and rare Chips. If you have a Premium Set, you gain double the FUN Points, double the EXP Tickets, and a Rappy Medal every day, instead of every other day.
  • Power Creep, Power Seep: es does... weird things to established conventions in PSO2. For example, in PSO2, Tech classes are the kings of damage, followed by Katanas. In es, Twin Machineguns are the kings of damage, and everything else becomes muddled due to each of them possessing good Arts.
    • In this game, Talises are better than Rods. This is because Talises can hit from a range; while Rods have better T-ATK and will thus cast better, getting Just Attacks requires performing a normal attack first, and because Rods have a melee-based normal attack, they have to walk up to their target's face and smack it before they can start popping off Technics. Tech casters being Tech casters, this is not a good thing. Wands are exempt because Wand players don't cast anyways, instead opting to just rely on its absurdly strong normal attack.
    • The Unnecessary Combat Roll and Stylish Roll are the best methods of evasion. In PSO2, Mirage Escape is the best method of evasion due to its lengthy invulnerability. In es, the fact that you can't freely move severely hampers Mirage Escape, since there's also a lot of endlag present during while you're liable to be struck by some wayward attack. Ranged Weapons' dodge roll has the second-highest invulnerability while also being easy to spam due to its endlag being mysteriously removed in es, and Elder Rebellion's Stylish Roll is part of what makes it incredibly good.
    • Poison is much more deadly in this game. Poison in es ticks for a much higher percent of your HP per tick, so even getting Poisoned once is enough to bring you from full HP to 1 HP in seconds. God help you if you don't have any HP-restoring Chips.
  • Power-Up Letdown: An invoked case for the sake of convenience; many 11★ and 12★ Chips gain extremely marginal increases in usefulness as their Ability Level rises. This is because typically, most of these can only be obtained from the gacha, so the odds of obtaining multiple copies of the same 11★ and 12★ Chip are fairly low. The main exceptions are Chips that can be found in the Exchange Shops, which you are expected to farm multiple copies of, and Photon Arts and Techniques of EX Level, which scale CP consumption the same way all other Photon Arts and Technic Chips do.
  • Punny Name: "Type C" enemies, a red-black colored variant of regular non-Darker bosses found in PSO2es. Arriving to a fight against one unprepared can lead to a world of hurt. The pun? In Japanese, the letter "C" would be pronounced as the character "shi", which sounds like both the word for the number "four" and the word for "death".
  • Rare Random Drop: Emergency Quests have a few special items that are only available as rewards for completing EQs, which include goodies such as the Rig and Sigma series 12★ weapons on Super Hard, and a regularly rotated (and decently powerful) 12★ Weaponoid, Nesis, and Raete series 13★ weapons on Extra Hard. Soul Receptor and Extreceptor equipment with high slot counts also technically count as this, as the odds of getting gear with said Abilities at high slots is quite uncommon.
  • Randomized Damage Attack: The Knuckle PA Meteor Fist. On cast, the player will charge up briefly, then punch into the air, which cues either a rain of small gold fist or a giant gold fist to drop out of the sky and strike your target. The rain of fist does far less damage but is useful for activating Support Chips, while the giant fist has the highest single-hit damage in the game and can easily lop off at least 50% of an XH boss' HP gauge at once.
  • Rank Inflation:
    • Used in Questing as in the main game, based on the number of Operation Score you earned and graded from C to S.
    • The Late April update coinciding with the main game's major EPISODE 6 update introduced a Palette Evaluation system loosely based on the one introduced earlier in IDOLA: Phantasy Star Saga. It grades your deck on a scale from C to S like Quests do, using an arbitrary "power level" rating based on the effective multipliers of your Chips.
  • Recycled Soundtrack:
    • es reuses tracks from the Challenge Quests in PSO2 for certain parts of the game, such as the Side Story menu and Lord's pocket dimension.
    • Notably, the ending of Season 1 uses a variation of an existing song that previously never appeared in either game proper: a piano arrange of "Eternal Encore" that was first released on one of the main game's official soundtracks.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over:
    • Darkers are primarily this.
    • Type-C bosses. They even get a red haze just to tell you how dangerous they are.
    • Donovan.
    • Lord, obviously. Zakard is a subversion.
  • Reflectionless Useless Eyes: Late into Season 1, Gene loses her eyesight as the result of slowly losing her material form, giving her these.
  • Regenerating Health: Some Chips give you the ability to periodically restore HP.
  • The Reveal: In Season 2 Chapter 4, Anatis's hood falls off to reveal her hair, which resembles the tentacles of a Biol Meduna.
  • Relationship Values: When you complete a Quest with a Weaponoid in your Deck, the Weaponoid's Affinity increases. When its Affinity reaches certain levels, a new Chapter of its Side Story will unlock. If you complete a Weaponoid's Side Story, the Affinity Gauge becomes the Present Gauge, which will grant you a Present upon filling up before resetting. Presents can range from Materials needed to Release Chips, to rare Weaponoid Boosters needed to unlock Weaponoid Potentials in PSO2, and the very rare Rainbow Weaponoid Stones, which can be used at the Exchange Shop to buy the Sigma weapons.
  • Ridiculously Human Robots: CASTs notwithstanding, Akhtar and Khorshid come from an ancient race known as the Erzimarut whose home planet was attacked by the Darkers. The Erzimarut created android host bodies and transferred their consciousness into them to survive, then fled to the planet Lillipa. Due to the unfortunate circumstances surrounding their creation, the Erzimarut's bodies require Darker particles to stay alive due to being created with them, and their bodies actively reject Photons.
  • Rocket-Tag Gameplay: Ex Quests can devolve into this at the more advanced Story Quests. With the right Arts and weaponry, you can ice enemies in just a few attacks, but you're also liable to getting two-shotted by pretty much anything.
  • Short-Range Shotgun: Diffuse Shell for Assault Rifles sprays a packet of bullets in the area directly in front of you, dealing enormous damage. In practice, it's basically a Simple, yet Awesome version of Vinto, since it has fast execution speed and rather mind-boggling damage that can easily hit the damage cap if you run Diffuse Shell 3 or Diffuse Shell EX.
  • Shout-Out: One ARKS Quest is called March of the Malmoths in the fan translation.
  • Score Multiplier: Clearing an SH difficulty Emergency Quest gives you double the Bonus Points accrued as Rank Points. Clearing an XHEQ quadruples it.
  • Socialization Bonus:
    • Prior to the start of each Quest, you will be given the option to select a Friend to bring with you. A Friend enables a Friend Assist that can be used to deal a little extra damage to enemies, recover from knockback, and gain temporary boosts, and adds a sixth "Friend" Chip to your Deck, which is based on the Chip in the lead slot of that player's Deck. If that player is on your Friends List, the player earns 15 FUN Points instead of the normal 5, and the Partner Chip's Element Value is added to your own. In certain cases, the right Friend Chip can mean the difference between victory and defeat.
    • The fastest way to rack up Points in Emergency Quests is to perform Super Hard and Extra Hard Emergency Quests, and the player who played the Quest the most times will earn a bonus multiplier to their reward. Due to how this is calculated, it's basically an unspoken rule for players participating in an EQ to only play it once so that every player receives the multiplier.
  • Standard Female Grab Area: In Season 3, Khorshid is introduced holding Akhtar by her wrist after getting past Gene.
  • Standard Status Effects:
    • Burn: Deals fixed damage over time based on the enemy's level.
    • Poison: Deals damage over time that scales with the target's maximum HP.
    • Shock: Target occasionally flinches.
    • Mirage: Target's attacks occasionally miss.
    • Freeze: Target is immobile for a short time.
    • Panic: The enemy ceases action randomly. If affecting the player, it scrambles the dodge controls.
    • Stun: The player is immobile for a short time. Lasts shorter than Freeze.
  • Stop Poking Me!: Some of the Weaponoids' responses when tapped on resemble this.
  • Stylistic Suck: The characters from Gyu. are deliberately drawn in a really crappy art style, and the main character is basically a vaguely defined "thing" with round spikes for "hair" and a name that was basically conjured up by hammering a keyboard with your fist.
  • Suddenly Voiced: Seraphy in Story Quests. Prior to this, her only other voiced appearance was when she cameo'd in the main game as a representative for her game, and she didn't get many lines at that.
  • Super Move Portrait Attack: Occurs in a dice game, weirdly enough. If either you or the opponent get a "Chance" in Photon Dice, that is, you are about to roll doubles or a Fever, it's preceded by a cut-in of the opponent's portrait. Note that more often than not, this can backfire for either player.
  • Swiss Army Weapon: The Gunslash, a combination of a blade and a handgun that can swap between "Sword" and "Gun" modes via tapping on the screen with two fingers to adapt to battlefield situations on the fly. What they lack in power they make up for in versatility.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: Despite being ambiguously evil, Hade's backstory is revealed over the course of Season 2, where he suffered from a terrible sense of loneliness and only found solace in Anatis' presence. By the end of the story, the Darker Busters feel quite bad for him, and after his last battle he dies peacefully in front of Duna.
  • Temporary Online Content:
    • Collab Chips that aren't from SEGA games never encore. Didn't get them during their run? Tough luck.
    • Ditto for special event Chips, like the holiday and anniversary Chips. The worst part is that unlike Collab Chips, these tend to be stuffed in "special" esScratches that are only available for a very limited period of time (usually two days).
  • Theme Naming: All of the Erzimaruts have names that are Persian in origin.
  • Theme Song Power Up: Amusingly subverted in Season 3. During the segments of Chapters 5 and 6 where the party is on the Erzimarut home planet, Carnabede, the theme song for PSO2, The whole new world, triumphantly plays... as the random encounter music. It makes boss encounters, which mostly use generic boss music, all the more jarring.
  • Time Skip: In Season 1, an unspecified amount of time passes between the cliffhanger ending against Lord and Gene reuniting with the player. Gene's final Side Story takes place in the internim, and involves Gene passing out immediately after defeating Lord, forcing the remaining Darker Busters to escort her out.
  • Timed Mission: Emergency Quests give you one minutenote  per attempt to deal as much damage to the boss as possible. If you can hit the Goal Line before time expires, you will receive a "Great" rating and gain a lot more EXP.
  • Underground Monkey:
    • In an Emergency Quest, you may get an alternative Palette Swap for the rare boss you're fighting. For example, taking on a 3★ Burn Draal gives you one that's colored white and purple. These usually have more HP and greater overall strength.
    • A different variant comes in the form of Type C bosses, which are Red and Black and Evil All Over and have additional attacks and different weaknesses than the normal counterpart.
    • Dante, Levi, and Fel can transform into Palette Swap versions of normal bosses. However, these versions are rather different than the ones you know, possessing a unique Light/Dark weakness setup and having Darker-based attacks.
    • Most of the "unique" bosses from this game use the moveset of an existing PSO2 boss with minor additions/modifications. Proto Falz Lord uses Falz Angel's moveset and Khorshid uses Dio Hunar's moveset, as examples.
  • Unnecessary Combat Roll: Players wielding Assault Rifles, Launchers, and Twin Machineguns roll to dodge, unless you have certain Photon Arts that allow you to use alternative slide actions, like the TMG Stylish Roll or Parallel Slider Type-0's evasive dash.
  • Useless Useful Spell: The Support Technics Resta, Anti, Shifta, and Deband, as well as their non-Technic counterparts, the Mates, Shiftaride, and Debandride. This is because they eat a Deck Slot that can be filled by something that is substantially more useful, and it's literally pointless to specifically spec for anything other than offensive attributes, since you generally want to burst down everything before it can even get a chance to kill you.
  • Violation of Common Sense: MEIKO adds bonus Thunder and KAITO adds bonus Fire element... but MEIKO is Fire element and KAITO is Ice.
  • Wave Motion Gun: The Launcher PA Sphere Eraser, based on the A.I.S.'s Photon Particle Cannon, spews out a giant laser beam that deals gigantic damage but chews through your CP at an insane rate.
  • Weapon of Choice: Each Class has Weapons that they are proficient in, and will thus achieve the maximum stats of a Weapon of that type faster than other classes.
    • Hunter wields Swords, Partizans, and Wired Lances.
    • Ranger wields Assault Rifles and Launchers.
    • Force wields Rods and Talises.
    • Fighter wields Knuckles, Double Sabers, and Twin Daggers.
    • Gunner wields Assault Rifles and Twin Machineguns.
    • Techer wields Wands and Talises.
    • Braver wields Katanas and Bullet Bows.
    • Bouncer wields Dual Blades and Jet Boots.
  • Weapon of X-Slaying: Some Chips provide racial bonuses, which grant effects if you strike an enemy of a certain type. For example, the Echo [Excellent] Chip grants high chase damage against Native-types, and Dragon Slayer provides a high damage multiplier when you attack Dragonkin.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Khorshid wants to unseal the Dark Falz locked away in the Erzimats' home planet to destroy it once and for all so the planet can be free. Akhtar opposes this action for obvious reasons (and this usually doesn't go well based on franchise history). Shockingly, Gene, of all people, seems to take Khorshid's side on this one.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Chapter 9. Gene gets caught by Dante out of a will to prevent Fel from dying. After Dante delivers her, Dante realizes he's been punked by Lord for the entire game through Zakard, so he informs the Darker Busters that Lord intends to absorb Gene to make himself whole. Gene slowly begins losing her physical senses. Then, it's revealed that during the Time Skip, Bruno was recruited to find Genesis Weapons that were recovered by ARKS and relocated to EMA facilities, but neither were found. Lord then reveals that More is actually one of the lost Genesis Weapons, transformed into the Weaponoid of a Claymore. Then Dante reveals that Gene is also a Weaponoid of a Genesis Weapon named "Rotoraut", but is only half of the weapon due to the weapon having been broken in half. It is also revealed that the Weaponoids were originally created by particularly malevolent ARKS who intended them to be tools of destruction, but Zakard wanted them to be used for good, was partially brainwashed, and blew up the EMA facility at the start of the game so the Weaponoids would be used for good. However, the brainwashing caused him to develop a crazed alter ego that created Lord out of Rotoraut's other half, and Lord imprinted on the brainwashed Zakard and also became evil.
    • Chapter 10 as well, to finish off the story of Season 1. Lord murders Zakard. Lord starts going insane and becomes increasingly obsessed with creating a new world in his image. It's revealed that Gene is losing her physical senses because of a machine Zakard built that's slowly sapping her of her physical capabilities; when she reaches ground zero, Lord can absorb her. Dante goes full-on Heel–Face Turn and helps the Darker Busters get to Lord. When the machine Gene is linked to fails, More takes a bullet for Gene when Lord attacks out of rage. The Darker Busters then engage Lord in combat and defeat him. The Profound Darkness starts taking hold of him due to being part Falz, so the Darker Busters take him down for good and leave him to perish.
    • In Season 2 Chapter 4, Duna reveals that she knows the second verse of Anatis' song, causing Anatis to go berserk and attack the party. Anatis is also revealed to be a Trans-Enemy of Magisa Meduna, and thus Duna's true mother.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Due to being subject to rather severe frusration and stress, Stra attempts to force Duna to use her powers on a brainwashed Calamity, then proceeds to get on her case when she fails to manifest her powers. Annette immediately gets on his case for trying to push Duna around and frigtening her.
  • Whole Costume Reference: Zakard's Chapter 6 outfit appears strikingly similar to Venom Snake, including an eyepatch on his left eye, a brown coat, and a red prosthetic left arm. Also, being a Deuman, he naturally has a horn on his head, paralleling Venom's shrapnel.
  • Your Size May Vary: In PSO2, Org Blan is just taller as two normal players. In es, it's the same size as Zeshrydha, for some reason.

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