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Video Game / Queen at Arms

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Queen at Arms is a Ren'Py-based fantasy wartime Visual Novel by Aqualuft Games for Mac, Windows, and Linux systems.

The player character is Marcus Cordale, who has been raised as the younger son of Sir Thomas Cordale. Truth is, though, Marcus is a girl. As a small child, she was rescued from a violent political coup in her home country of Orthera. The widowed knight and his older son Nicholas raised her as a boy to hide her true identity, although she never knew why. When Sir Thomas dies, Marcus runs away and joins the army in search of Nick. But when war breaks out, the army is thrown into turmoil, and Marcus is catapulted through the ranks in a short amount of time. Can she lead the army, learn who she is, and bring peace to the warring countries?

Tropes present in Queen at Arms include:

  • 100% Completion: The Deluxe Edition adds a list of unlockable achievements, enabling the player to keep track of all possible endings.
  • All There in the Manual: The official art book reveals a few details about the various characters which don't come up in the gameplay.
  • Artifact of Doom: The crown of Orthera may be revealed to have a dark enchantment on it that makes the wearer bloodthirsty and paranoid.
  • Bald of Authority: Played with since Berin, while bald, is only the Assistant-Commander. That said, he's a Hypercompetent Sidekick to Commander Bryce, who in contrast, is a General Ripper and exhibits possible signs of dementia, making Berin the actual Reasonable Authority Figure between the two.
  • The Chains of Commanding: The higher Marcus rises in the military, the more these weigh her down.
  • Closed Circle: The Ortheran army serves as a form of this for Marcus. Chances come up here and there for her to desert and run away, but even if the player tries to have her do so, she can't succeed.
  • Crossdresser: Alastor throws a ball where all the guests do this.
  • Dead Person Impersonation: As Nick eventually reveals, the real Marcus Cordale was murdered as a small boy, alongside his mother, when King Kendrick usurped the Ortheran throne. Sir Thomas rescued Princess Callista and disguised her as his dead son.
  • Death by Origin Story: Marcus's biological parents, Sir Thomas Cordale's wife, and the real Marcus Cordale.
  • Defeat Means Explosion: When the Ortheran forces try to claim victory at the Goddess Bridge, the Sylgardian forces respond by blowing it up.
  • Deity of Human Origin: The goddess Althea, worshiped by the characters, was once a mortal woman.
  • Due to the Dead: Twice during the narrative, the army constructs funeral pyres for those killed in action.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: A few characters refer to Assistant-Commander Berin as "Bear" or "Big Bear." He doesn't seem to like it much.
  • Evil Former Friend: Adamus, the Sylgan archmagus, is this to Archmagus Rubus. They were mentored by the same master. If Rubus's romance path is pursued, it's revealed that they're brothers - and that Adamus isn't evil at all.
  • Eye Scream: Assistant-Commander Berin dies when an arrow hits him in the eye.
  • A Father to His Men: The official art book notes that many of the men serving under Assistant-Commander Berin regard him as a father figure.
  • For Want Of A Nail: Several times, the wrong choice will lead to character deaths, including Marcus's.
  • Friend-or-Idol Decision: A variant occurs at the end of chapter 3. Marcus must either side with Alastor against Queen Charlotte and kill her, or declare her true identity and fight him.
  • General Ripper: Commander Bryce has no problem with sacrificing dozens of men if it means victory.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: King Kendrick of Orthera feels this way about Queen Charlotte of Sylgard. This can also be said of Marcus in one of the endings.
  • Happily Adopted: Marcus has always known that Sir Thomas Cordale was not her real father, but she mentions several times in her dialogue how much she loved and admired him.
  • Hello, [Insert Name Here]: The player character's default name is Marcus, but the player can name her anything they want. Played with at first, because if the player selects a name that seems too feminine, Assistant-Commander Berin will call her out on it.
  • Horned Humanoid: The goddess Althea, seen in any ending where Marcus dies, is a lovely dark-haired woman with deer antlers.
  • Horse of a Different Color: People in Orthera and Sylgard ride reindeer instead of horses. In one conversation, when it's mentioned that people in a neighboring country have actual horses, this is regarded as strange.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: Assistant-Commander Berin is this to Commander Bryce, who is not only a General Ripper as noted above, but also exhibits a few signs of possible dementia.
  • The Immodest Orgasm: In one of the romance paths, following the Optional Sexual Encounter, Marcus ruminates sheepishly on the fact that she hadn't been able to keep quiet and hopes she wasn't overheard.
  • Internal Reveal: Seen in some of the romance options, when Marcus must decide whether to tell her Love Interest that she's a girl. Done to Marcus herself when Secret-Keeper Nick finally drops the bomb about her true identity; that particular instance also doubles as The Reveal for the player.
  • Lady of War: Marcus is technically this, not that anyone realizes it, and so is Captain Lorimette. There's also the legend of Althea, the goddess revered by the countries in the game; it's said that in life she was a powerful general of her armies.
  • Love Interest: Multiple possibilities.
  • Masquerade Ball: Thrown by the Prince of Orthera.
  • The Men First: Seen in chapter 3 if Marcus sides with Queen Charlotte. She wants to know what will happen to the men serving under her; it's her first concern.
  • Multiple Endings: One for each romance possibility, among others. The developers confirm that the Deluxe Edition has twelve possible endings.
  • Mysterious Protector: Alastor's strange masked spy, known only as "The Fox."
  • Odd Friendship: Archmagus Rubus and Prelate Lucius - although most religious types are a bit wary of magic, these two are very good friends. Usually, anyway.
    • Marcus finds it equally odd that taciturn Nick and boisterous James are the best of friends.
  • Optional Sexual Encounter: Seen in some of the romance paths.
  • Orphan's Plot Trinket: In one story path, Marcus regains one of her Repressed Memories and recalls where she hid one of these in the castle.
  • Please Spare Him, My Liege!: Depending on the choices made in chapters 3 and 4, Marcus may venture this request when Alastor is tried for treason, explaining that his cursed crown made him act as he did.
  • Plot-Triggering Death: The reason Marcus joins the army is that her adoptive father died very suddenly of an illness, and her elder brother Nick is all she has left.
  • Posthumous Character: King Pharamond (and to a lesser extent, his Queen) and Sir Thomas Cordale are all mentioned frequently throughout the adventure, even though the former was murdered years ago and the latter died a year before the game.
  • Proper Lady: Queen Charlotte, if she survives chapter 3, exhibits these traits and tries to instill them in Marcus. If Lorimette has been befriended, she also proves to be one of these while still being a Lady of War.
  • Really Royalty Reveal: Doubling up with Lost Orphaned Royalty - in case the title of the game didn't give a clue, Marcus is Princess Callista of Orthera.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Assistant-Commander Berin until he dies. If she survives chapter 3, Queen Charlotte also turns out to be this. Averted with Alastor, whom Marcus expects to be one of these - and isn't.
  • Recursive Crossdressing: During Prince Alastor's ball, Marcus is a woman pretending to be a man pretending to be a woman.
  • Repressed Memories: Marcus has plenty of these. Depending on which path you follow throughout the story, a few of them begin to resurface.
  • Requisite Royal Regalia: King Kendrick and Queen Charlotte both wear very distinctive crowns whenever they're onscreen. Later, Alastor wears his father's crown - which is enchanted to be an Artifact of Doom.
  • Rightful King Returns: Or rather, the rightful Queen returns, in the endings where Marcus reclaims her throne and her true name.
  • Royal Rapier: Alastor presents Marcus with one as a token of gratitude after she saves him from a wolf attack. It doesn't seem to be particularly useful as a weapon.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Both King Kendrick and Queen Charlotte take an active hand in leading their armies. Lorimette is adopted royalty and nobility by marriage, but it still counts. Marcus also counts, she just doesn't know it.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Nick and Marcus attempt to desert the army and run after a night of carousing in the bar with their friends. Circumstances prevent it.
  • Secret-Keeper: Nick is this regarding Marcus being a woman, but also regarding her true identity; he and his father were the only people who knew that she is the rightful Queen of Orthera.
  • Secret Secret-Keeper: Unless he's romanced, Marcus never learns that Rubus has known almost the entire time that she's female.
  • Snow Means Death: As the Ortheran forces try to regroup following the destruction of the Goddess Bridge, part of the reason they're in so much trouble is that they're stuck where they are and the winter is potentially deadly. There is a real risk of the army dying of starvation and hypothermia.
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: Marcus is hiding the fact that she's a woman throughout the first few chapters; only her brother knows, and worries about her secret being exposed.
  • Sweet on Polly Oliver: A few of the male love interests are puzzled as to why they're drawn to this young man. Others aren't surprised by it at all.
  • Trauma-Induced Amnesia: Due to the circumstances which led Sir Thomas to adopt her, Marcus has no recollection of the violent coup. She witnessed the murders of her parents.
  • Visual Novel
  • Winter Royal Lady: One of the goddess Althea's names in Orthera is "Our Lady of the Ice."