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Video Game / Regalia: Of Men and Monarchs

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Kay, his sisters, his bodyguard, and his grandfather's ghost, in Ascalia's remains.

A king is nothing without his subjects. Any fool may claim a pile of rubble, but without people, you're just an empty title. Or a tyrant. [...] One cannot rule in a vacuum. You need to be a person. Their person - not just a face on the throne. You may obtain riches and inherit lands, but in the end, true wealth lies in the hearts and minds of your people. You are only as powerful as the respect you command.
Desideratus, on leadership

The city of Ascalia was once the crown jewel of the Rashytil Expanse, led honorably by the great House Loren. However, no kingdom lasts forever, and Ascalia was reduced to a smoldering ruin during the Crusades. Kay, the only surviving son of the realm's last king, inherits what's left. When Kay, his loyal bodyguard Griffith, and his sisters Elaine and Gwendolyn go to investigate, they learn a terrible secret: Ascalia was secretly drowning in debt well before the Crusades destroyed everything, and now the debt collector is calling to receive his due.

Kay is very unenthusiastic about the situation he's been thrust in, and starts to panic when the collection agency backs him into a corner with an offer he has no choice but to accept...

Despite the debt and the war, the Loren name still holds some weight around Rashytil. In lieu of money, the collectors want Kay's party to rebuild Ascalia from the ground up, attract people to the town and restore it to its former glory. Succeed, and Kay will be a hero and the Loren family's reputation will be preserved. Fail, and House Loren dies in obscurity.

Regalia: Of Men and Monarchs is a Turn-Based Strategy Role-Playing Game developed by Polish indie game studio Pixelated Milk. The PC version was released in 2017 by Klabater following a successful Kickstarter campaign, and was ported to consoles (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch) a year later by Crunching Koalas as Regalia: Of Men and Monarchs: Royal Edition, which included the two DLC packs, "The Unending Grimoire" and "Paragons & Pajamas", which introduced new characters to recruit and areas to explore.

Tropes used in Regalia: Of Men and Monarchs:

  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: You can only bring 5-6 people with you when you go out adventuring, and of them, you can only field up to four people in battle. There's no real reasoning behind this, and it gets really ridiculous against the Final Boss who Kay confronts together with all the characters he's recruited.
  • Ashes to Crashes: When Kay arrives at the castle, he mistakes an urn's ashes for old tea. Doing so releases the ghost of his grandfather, Desideratus.
  • Can't Drop the Hero: Since Kay is the leader, he's required to be in your party for every expedition outside of Ascalia. However, you don't always have to have him participate in battles, since Experience Points are given to your party as a whole, and not each individual character.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The golden armor Kay discovers in the armory. It turns out to be the spirit of Levant, a ghost knight from the sun-worshipping kingdom of Lordemar, who joins your party toward the end of Chapter 1.
  • Dreamworks Face: Kay is wearing a devious-looking smirk on the game's title screen while he boldly slouches on his throne, which is a far cry from the friendly but dorky characterization he displays in-game.
  • Elves Versus Dwarves: True to form, the elven nation of Alfheimr and the Dwarven Empire are at odds with each other, if not outright war. As such, their diplomatic missives put them in opposition.
  • Expecting Someone Taller: Grandpa Des says this of Kay when they first meet.
  • Fishing Mini Game: When you rebuild the pier, you can go fishing there to acquire new equipment and unique consumable items. Catching a fish entails keeping the fish within a box for five straight seconds. If it falls outside the box, the timer will reset until you get it right. Earning a high reputation level with Shichiroji will improve your chances at getting better rewards from fishing.
  • Foreshadowing: During her first relationship level up scene, Aliss comments that several of Kay's ancestors on the family tree look nothing like him. This is a bit odd, considering the fact that Kay and his sisters have a Strong Family Resemblance, but makes sense following the revelation that Kay isn't a member of House Loren, meaning said "ancestors" aren't actually related to him.
  • Impoverished Patrician: House Loren and Ascalia were once the crown jewels of the Rashytil Expanse. However, Kay's ancestors were terrible with money and left the city drowning in more debt than humanly possible...and according to Crucey, this all occurred before the war that reduced the town to the crumbling ruins Kay's party sees when they arrive.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Should the player attempt something absurd, such as deploying only a single unit in combat, the characters will usually have a comment along these lines.
    Signy: Has the duckling gone mad? Or has he just misclicked?
  • Medieval Morons: The Unity, a group of commoners who bully Kay into doing their bidding. With the exception of their leader, Addie, they are complete morons who seldom know what they truly want, but want to lynch their new tyrannical king regardless, even though Kay doesn't have the resource to exert any kind of authority over them. Fittingly, they even sound like the Pythons, evoking medieval morons from another film.
  • Mutually Exclusive Party Members: As the game progresses, you'll get diplomatic missives from twonote  sets of rival kingdoms. A new party member moves into Ascalia when you reach reputation level 3 with one of those factions, but it means missing out on the other faction's special party member because you're only allowed to have 4 reputation points between the two.
  • No Hugging, No Kissing: Despite the importance of Relationship Values in the game, and the inspiration it draws from Persona, there is no romance to be found, and Kay himself isn't really all that keen on starting a relationship with anybody.
  • Our Elves Are Different: The elves of this setting are physically larger than all the other racesnote , and their skin is light blue in color. Culturally, they're similar to the Vikings in how they're depicted as a seafaring people with a reputation to Rape, Pillage, and Burn, and also have something of a Mind Hive that allows them to sense what all other elves are thinking.
  • Rat Stomp: While cleaning out the armory, Kay and Griffith encounter a small brood of rats. The ensuing battle serves as the game's battle tutorial.
  • Relationship Values: Between battles, you can talk with your villagers and party members to learn more about them. At higher relationship levels, they learn skills that make their attacks more powerful.
  • The Reveal: Kay and his siblings are not actually the heirs of House Loren, their father was an impersonator so the real heir could escape the kingdom safely.
  • Shockingly Expensive Bill: Crucey shows Kay a bill for Ascalia's debt that has so many zeroes it needs to be printed on a separate sheet of paper.
  • Shout-Out: The cover artwork is a very clear homage to Kichikuou Rance.
  • Story Difficulty Setting: In this mode, battles are skippable (and you still gain some rewards from completed battle objectives), and chapter goals are somewhat easier to accomplish (you only have to complete four kingdom quests per chapter instead of the five required by Normal difficulty).
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Kay and his sisters all bear the same ruffled blonde hair and green eyes
  • Unions Suck: The Unity is, ostensibly, a union of peasants in the kingdom of Ascalia. In practice, their leader is an Entitled Bitch who forces protagonists to solve assorted problems of her men, many of which were created by them in the first place. The rest of the Unity are a bunch of Medieval Morons, who don't even know what they want half the time, but are ready to get Torches and Pitchforks up at a moment's notice.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Kay and his entire family. Turns out they aren't the last scions to House Loren. They're not even nobles. Their ancestor was a common servant who posed as Duke Martell when the latter fled Ascalia during the Crusades. Since then, Kay and his sisters have been living under the pretense that they're the last Lorens while the real heir to the Loren house, Carran, tricked them into claiming his ancestral land, rebuild it, AND get saddled with the debt, giving Carran the opportunity to swoop in and take it for himself with superior strength of arms.
  • Villain of Another Story: The Pallid King, the figure from up north who is said to lead the elves. With how much everyone fears the elves, and how ominously he is spoken of, he sounds like he could easily be the Big Bad of a larger scale fantasy story, but he otherwise plays no role in this game.
  • Wham Episode: When the REAL heir of House Loren appears, things quickly go to hell for our protagonists.
  • Work Off the Debt: Rather than pay Crucey the exorbitant fees he believes he's owed, Kay's party accepts the less painful alternative of restoring the kingdom piece by piece, with Grandpa Des setting milestone goals every two months (including some required storyline quests) to measure their progress.
  • Worthless Treasure Twist: The Stinger reveals that the treasure in Count Roderick's vault, which Kay and company spend most of the game trying to find, turns out to be...bottlecaps. Meaning it wouldn't have gotten them out of their debt even if Carran hadn't come to claim it...and Carran wouldn't have gotten any wealthier even if his plan succeeded.
  • Zero-Effort Boss: After pushing your way through (or around) a horde of zombies in the Chapter 2 quest "Archive Panic", you face off against Theo the vampire (who actually wants to be a hairdresser). He's set up as an intimidating Final Boss with overpowered stats that no one in your party could hope to reach, but when you actually fight him, he's not that much stronger than any normal enemies and goes down in just one hit.