Follow TV Tropes


Video Game / Rhythm Thief & the Emperor's Treasure

Go To

"It's Showtime!"
Raphael/Phantom R

Rhythm Thief and the Emperors Thief (Rhythm Thief R: Emperor Napoleon's Legacy in Japan) is a rhythm game unlike any other. Released in 2012 for the Nintendo 3DS, this game by Sega CS2 (Sonic Team) and xeen Inc essentially combines the exploration gameplay of the renowned Professor Layton series with Rhythm Heaven-esque minigames.

The game follows the protagonist Raphael in his day-to-day life, as world-renowned art thief Phantom R. He faces off against Inspector Vergier of the Paris Constabulary, meets a mysterious man who claims to be Napoléon Bonaparte and pursues his Disappeared Dad, doing so in style the entire time.

An iOS adaptation titled Rhythm Thief and the Paris Caper was launched in 2014, but its service was terminated mid-2015.

Now has a Character Sheet. Please contribute and put character-specific tropes under that specific character entry.

This game contains examples of:

  • Abnormal Ammo: In R31 Charlie shoots down evil minions with soccer balls. On a hang glider.
  • Anachronism Stew:
    • At first, the plot seems to just be about stopping Napoleon, who seems to have been brought back to life, from taking over France. Then Napoleon retrieves an ancient treasure from under Paris. Which turns out to be the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Which is a flying stone spaceship with a nuclear reactor in the center.
    • The story is supposed to take place in the present day, but several NPC characters have very outdated names such as Urbain or Auban.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: While you'll use Raphael/Phantom R most of the time, you will occasionally control Fondue, Marie, Charlie, or Vergier. Each of them also receives a bonus chapter starring them, with Charlie and Vergier sharing one.
  • Armor Is Useless: The chevaliers have full plate armor but still go down in one palm strike each.
  • At the Opera Tonight: This is where Phantom R and Marie first meet Duchess Elisabeth, and where Phantom R gets the Queen's Tear.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Lots of them. For example, if you read the newspaper article (or what's shown on screen of it) that Phantom R holds up in the first chapter, you can read a number of amusing details, such as that some people think Phantom R might be a woman posing as a man and that he can "hypnotize people with his dance moves".
  • Bloodless Carnage: Various characters get shot at or stabbed with no visible signs of injury.
  • Book Ends: The first plot-related rhythm game involves Phantom R dancing with two dancers and the player is required to slide the stylus in a direction corresponding to the dancers' moves at the right time. The last plot-related rhythm game is a souped up version of the same game.
  • Bottomless Magazines: In R35, Inspector Vergier guns down countless chevaliers, yet never has to reload.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Napoleon will tell you the sequence he'll attack with in sword fights.
  • Chevalier vs. Rogue: In this game we get a Phantom Thief as The Protagonist and a villain with Chevaliers.
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe: It's a rhythm game, so naturally this pops up: Phantom R channels the energy of everyone in Paris who desires the Hanging Gardens to stop.
  • Climax Boss: R31, 'Gone With the Wind', happens as Charlie transports Phantom R to safety after the latter is shot. It's also one of the few rhythm games that doesn't have a harder variant with the same mechanics later on.
  • Company Cross References:
    • Several levels behave similarly to Sega's previous rhythm games.
      • R23 and R28 use the same kinds of prompts from Space Channel 5. R23 uses the menu theme from the first game while R28's music samples from the soundtrack of Space Channel 5: Part 2.
      • R13 and R29 use prompts from Samba de Amigo. R29 also uses music from Feel The Magic: XY/XX/Project Rub.
    • The carousel sound in Tuileries Garden is a clip of "Merry Memory-Go-Round" from NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams (begins at about 1:45).
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: In the chevalier fights, Phantom R and Vergier mow down tens of them per minigame. The true Chevaliers force Phantom R to team up with Charlie and Vergier, but still go down with one hit each.
  • Conveniently Empty Building: Even when Phantom R goes to world-famous Parisian landmarks like Notre Dame, Les Invalides and the Eiffel Tower mid-day, absolutely no tourists or civilians are around to see him do things like find the Dragon Crown or a secret entrance into the catacombs or fight with the Chevaliers Diaboliques. Even when the Eiffel Tower is struck by lightning, there is no one in there other than Phantom R.
  • Dances and Balls: Raphael and Marie have a ballroom dance, complete with, of course, a rhythm game.
  • Driven to Suicide: "Napoleon's" death after his second defeat at the hands of Phantom R. With the Hanging Gardens crumbling, he steps back off the edge and falls, smiling.
  • Dub Name Change: Ralph becomes Raphael, Maria becomes Marie, Claude becomes Charlie, Bodouin becomes Vergier, Heinrich becomes Jean-François, Rowan becomes Alfred, Darius becomes Isaac... In summation, pretty much the whole cast. Justified for Ralph, Maria and Heinrich as their names didn't fit with the French setting; but unexplicable for Claude, whose French name was changed for an Anglo-Saxon one. Although Charlie is a unisex name and Claude is not, although females named Charlie are rare, even as a nickname.
  • Eiffel Tower Effect: The Eiffel Tower features prominently in the cover of the game, and is viewable in the majority of shots of the Paris skyline in-game.
  • Evil All Along: Jean-François is revealed to be Graf.
  • "Gaining Confidence" Song: Unable to figure out a way to stop the Big Bad's plan, Raphael nearly succumbs to despair, but Marie plays the "Melody of Hope" to encourage him. The song is divided into three segments, each of them reflecting the protagonist's psyche as he slowly regains his composure: The first part sounds ominous to denote his hopelessness; the second one is soothing and comforting to represent his renewed determination; and the third one is a triumphant reprise of "Moon Princess", the game's Recurring Riff.
  • Gameplay Grading: From E to A. Unlike most rhythm games, it's based on how much health you have left, not how many points you have, so you can have a high score and still get a shoddy grade if you mess up a few times near the end.
  • Gratuitous French: A given, since this game is set in France.
  • Hammerspace: Raphael is able to change outfits in a few seconds. Where he keeps said outfit is never shown.
  • Home Base: Raphael's apartment, to which he returns after pretty much every 'mission'.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Charlie fights Phantom R and the chevaliers by kicking soccer balls at them.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Raphael as Phantom R comes off as a jerk to the police in general, but underneath he's actually a nice guy.
  • Leitmotif:
    • Phantom R's theme is used constantly throughout the game. But don't worry. It's catchy.
    • Marie's is called "Moon Princess," and it doubles as a Chekhov's Gun.
  • Jump Physics: Phantom R and Fondue are capable of jumping ridiculous distances.
  • Let's Fight Like Gentlemen: When fighting Napoleon, Phantom R is thrown a sword to defend himself with.
  • Luminescent Blush: Marie blushes when she is complimented by Raphael at the ballroom.
  • The Man Behind the Man: After you defeat 'Napoleon', it turns out that he was just a stand-in for the real Napoleon, who is still at large.
  • No-Damage Run: The Full Contact Challenges are basically these.
  • No Endor Holocaust: An assault of knights and the ruckus spread by the attack of the weather-controlling Hanging Gardens of Babylon (and their destruction) still doesn't deter all of Paris from celebrating a few days after.
  • Older Than They Look: Though they both look like teenagers, Raphael is eighteen and Marie is just one year younger than him. Exaggerated in the flashback where [[Raphael's father leaves. Even though the boy is around 15 or 16, he looks about 10.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Happens every now and then, most notably to Charlie. Though he has a British accent for some reason, despite being born and raised in France and that his dad has a French accent, sometimes he sounds Australian.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Raphael's "Phantom R" disguise is just a suit and a lack of glasses. Even people who actually know Raphael and see Phantom R don't seem to put the pieces together. Though it's hinted that a few people do see it, but just don't call attention to it.
  • Plot Coupon That Does Something: At the end of the game, Raphael harnesses the city's energy with the bracelet of Tiamat and destroys the reactor of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon in a large beam of light.
  • Police Are Useless: Even dressed as Phantom R, Raphael can speak to the constables without them even suspecting him.
  • Public Domain Soundtrack: Quite a few of the songs are actually pieces of classical music. Some of them, such as "En Garde, Jean-François", are remixed to modern instrumentation.
  • Rhythm Game: Pretty much every minigame in the game, not counting the puzzle games. There are a total of 50 in this game. You could also consider a few of the rhythm games to have Action Commands, but that's just the premise of them.
  • Replaced with Replica: The plot is Raphael cleaning up after his father did this by unswapping the fakes with the real ones. After holding on to both for a little while to mess with the police that is.
  • Rollerblade Good: When Raphael is escaping from Louvre, he is chased by the police force's "famed Paris Rollerskate Brigade".
  • Samus Is a Girl: Charlie isn't Inspector Vergier's son. Charlie is his daughter.
  • Say My Name: Inspector Vergier, Charlie and Napoleon all do this to Phantom R.
  • Sequel Hook:
    • The deal with Raphael's dad remains a mystery and he is ready to move on to the next stage of the plan with the real Napoleon.
    • In his bonus episode, Charlie uncovers a secret his father is keeping from him, but the details to what he found are not revealed.
  • Shown Their Work: Sega really went all out with rendering Paris, including some little details. For example, when Raphael goes to Montmartre (which is a popular place for street artists to sell portraits and caricatures), he encounters an artist who draws his portrait and a picture of Marie. However, French gamers or people well versed in French culture can find an equal number of mistakes, such as the striking lack of non-White people among the NPCs or Raphael saying that the colours of the French flag stand for freedom, equality and brotherhood (which they don't). Not to mention Raphael's, Marie's and other main characters' names in the original Japanese version of the game are anything but French names.
  • Summon Backup Dancers: Any time Phantom R dances, two clones of him in all-black clothing accompany him. This applies to Jerome too (with clones of Phantom R). They disappear when the dancing ends.
  • Take My Hand!: Phantom R saves Charlie this way in their second encounter. Charlie gets a chance to pay him back during the climax.
  • Taking the Bullet: Done by Elisabeth for Marie.
  • Unexplained Accent: In spite of taking place in Paris, the game features an odd amalgamation of French, American, and British accents, with some characters even using multiple accents in the course of one conversation. Averted in the French dub, obviously.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Graf has breakdown after you defeat him.