They defeated countless monsters and saved the world.
But then they vanished.
Kzinssie, Subier, Dantarg, Noel...
Bokhohn, Rocbouquet, and Wagnus.
It is rumored that they will return one day to save the world once again.
Their legend was often spoken of when the world was in turmoil.
But they were forgotten when peace graced the lands.
Kingdoms come and kingdoms fall.
With each turn of the hourglass,
peace is shattered and strife
engulfs every corner of the land.
In their time of need, the people turned once more to the Seven Heroes.
Then they came.
Romancing SaGa 2 is the fifth game in the SaGa series from Squaresoft, originally released only in Japan for the Super Famicom in 1993. It would eventually be brought to the rest of the world more than twenty years later (as an Enhanced Remake for iOS/Android, and later all major consoles and Steam on December 15, 2017). It does not focus on just one character, but the lineage of an empire.
Romancing SaGa 2 provides examples of:
- Aerith and Bob: A side effect of the game's theme naming. You can have party members named things like Henry or Richard fighting alongside Sagittarius, Sidhe, Theseus or Gorilla.
- Action Girl: Lots of them.
- Actually a Doombot: The Seven Heroes you fought through the game were only copies sent by the original. This is why you eventually fought Kzinssie a second time. To end things once and for all, you have to find and destroy their original bodies.
- After-Combat Recovery: This game, as well as subsequent entries in the SaGa series, uses this setup along with free post-battle resurrections, but only with health points: LP is lost every time a character is KO'd and attacked while they're down, or hit with attacks that directly target LP; and once it hits zero that character is gone for good.
- Anyone Can Die: Due to its multi-generational setup, the game will force you to lose some or all your current party characters permanently due to death from old age or due to the Take Up My Sword trope.
- Artifact of Doom: The Darkstone Ring. It negates mental effects such as Confuse and Charm, but it cannot be unequipped after putting it on. Sleeping anywhere but the Emperor's palace will cause party members to lose 1 LP giving them all to the wearer. This can be exploited to recover Life Points to its wearer without using up Anima Draughts. However nobody wearing the ring but keeping it on in the inventory means everyone will be affected.
- Artificial Gill: The Mermaid Potion. Cue the annoying Fetch Quest. But as a benefit, you unlock the Nereid Class.
- The Assimilator: All of the Seven Heroes (see He Who Fights Monsters below), but two in particular stand out.
- Dantarg isn't interested in revenge like the other heroes. He only wants to slay as many monsters as possible and assimilate them into his being to become stronger.
- Subier is capable of assimilating sea creatures. If you kill the Master of the Ocean, Subier will assimilate his daughter and become much stronger.
- Auto-Revive: The Revive spell does this.
- Back from the Dead: Kzinssie and the Hive Queen, who both receive massive upgrades.
- Bag of Spilling: Subverted; all the items you are equipped with are sent directly back to storage after completing each generation. It's still annoying to reequip the characters you do have though.
- Battleship Raid: A Land Battleship!
- Because Destiny Says So: It was first shirked off by Emperor Leon until his eldest son was killed by Kzinssie.
- Beef Gate: The Canal Fortress Gate, which is a door guarded by 4 regenerating monsters. Each time you take down one or two, they will respawn. Destroying the gate will allow you to enter the fortress; but if you do, you cannot recruit the City Thief Class and you will also have trouble finding your way around the fortress. Also, said gate fight will have to be repeated if you leave the area and try to get back in. Pretty much all the Seven Heroes except the first Kzinssie battle are Beef Gates.
- Benevolent Mage Ruler: Given the Succession mechanic (the previous ruler passes on his spell list and every skill level higher than the chosen successor's), this is basically inevitable. Pick a spellcaster as Emperor even once and every future ruler will match or (perhaps more likely) surpass his magical ability. Bonus points for the one who implemented this system (Leon) starting the game with Light magic.
- Big Bad: Wagnus is the leader of the Seven Heroes. Also, he's also the most difficult to fight.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: The termites, complete with the Hive Queen in which you have to fight twice by the way.
- Bishounen Line: The Hive Queen's first form is a hideous insectoid creature with a huge abdomen. When you fight her the second time, it's the same thing, only with a naked human woman with insect wings sprouting from what used to be her torso. Her final form, the Dread Queen, is completely bipedal and quite attractive, complete with Combat Stilettos.
- Bonus Boss: Victor and the Dread Queen (a stronger Hive Queen) only in the Updated Re-release on i-mode, iOS, and Android.
- Bonus Dungeon: The Ice/Snow/Sand Ruins, as well as a hidden town which allowed an deeper explanation of the game's backstory. The remaster also has the Maze of Memory.
- Book Ends: The game begins and ends at a tavern, the Minstrel having told the tale of everything that happened through the game. The Final Emperor/Empress thanks him for the song.
- Charm Person: Rocbouquet's Temptation ability charms all males in the party; and there are other techniques as well that can charm allies.
- Chekhov's Volcano: There is one such volcano. If you let it erupt, you can get Shadow magic; but lose the Salamander class character in exchange.
- The Chessmaster: Bokhohn; as he commands a large number of the monsters under the command of the Seven Heroes.
- Chest Monster: The Doppelgangers in this game do. Not. Fuck. Around. If you trigger any of the 4 of them hidden among the chests in the mansion in Somon, then just forget it. They have 999 HP at a point in the game where almost no other enemy has more than 100, can drain your HP to heal themselves, and their Mad Biting attack can confuse your party members, assuming it doesn't just one-shot them. To add insult to injury, you don't even get anything worthwhile if you do somehow beat them. The only mercy is that, unlike most instances of this trope in turn-based JRPGs, you're allowed to flee from the battle, because if you couldn't you'd be dead.
- Chosen One
- Clingy Costume: The Iron Will, which can negate mental ailments such as Charm, but can't be unequipped if gotten through cheats. Some Classes have a permanent 4th item which cannot be removed either.
- Continuing is Painful: Life Points do not replenish by staying at the inn. It's not okay to have a lord running low on LP during an important mission, which can sometimes render the entire quest uncompleted by the next lord.
- Cool Sword: Moonlight Sword has a healing technique built into it in addition to Moonshades, which shoots out frigid Blue Skulls at the enemy. Dayblade has Holy Light, which deals out HUGE damage to undead monsters.
- Dark Is Evil: Internally, all of the Seven Heroes are classified as Dark-elemental creatures and are immune to Umbrology magic, but Rocbouquet and Noel also fit the trope with their black-colored clothing.
- Elemental Powers: Several, there's Pyrology, Aerology, Terrology, Hydrology, Umbrology, and Cosmology. You cannot have spells of opposite elements on one person, though. For instance, you cannot have both Pyrology and Hydrology on the same person.
- The Empire: A very rare benevolent example. You are the ruler this time around!
- Evil Genius: Bokhohn basically weaseled his way into the group. The man is extremely crafty and an amazing politician.
- Face–Heel Turn: Noel, if you kill Rocbouquet after making peace.
- Fallen Heroes: And there are seven of them. They were betrayed by the people they saved and cast into Hell through dimensional magic.
- Flaming Sword: The Providence Cut technique.
- Fusion Dance: The final battle with the Seven Heroes has them perform the fusion from Hell. They all combine to form some grotesque organic mass which each of the seven are growing out from.
- Game-Favored Gender: Zigzagged somewhat. The Final Empress as she will be immune to Rocbouquet's Temptation in the final battle, and she also has the Moonlight Sword as the default weapon.
- The Amazon class can be recruited if only you're a woman before getting the Heroes Quarters upgrade, since they don't even allow men in their village.
- The Emperor, on the other hand, has nearly twice as much LP as the Empress. 19 as opposed to 10, in a game where LP rarely goes near 20 making him a far more durable combatant for the vast majority of the combat. He also has the Day Sword.
- Gender Bender: Wagnus is male but his demon form is a very female cross between a human and a butterfly with Vapor Wear covering his very feminine breasts.
- Generational Saga: The story chronicles a roughly 500-year lineage of emperors.
- Generation Xerox: This game takes this trope Up to Eleven. It runs on a generational system, but except for Leon, Victor, Gerard, and the Final Emperor/Empress, there will always be the same lines of characters available to provide you quests and similar recruitable characters with Palette Swap to fill your class rosters no matter how many hundreds of years have passed.
- Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Most of the Seven Heroes show up in quests that tie back into their plans and you can go in expecting to fight them. Dantarg is the exception, however, pretty much showing up to fight you without much buildup or prior warning.
- There is a pretty good reason for that, though. Unlike the other heroes, Dantarg isn't really interested in fighting the Empire and instead is on a power trip to absorb monsters to strengthen himself. Where do you meet him? Why, in caves full of monsters!
- Global Currency: Crowns.
- Gotta Kill Them All: You have to eliminate all Seven Heroes as the story unfolds. And then you have to kill them all for good when they fuse to become the Final Boss.
- Hard Levels, Easy Bosses: Enemy grunts scale up as your characters gain health and skill with weapons. Bosses, however, don't. Not to say that the game is devoid of hard bosses though, it's just you will sometimes end up fighting grunts far more dangerous.
- The Seven Heroes however are the exception, they do become stronger as you level up, the only one who doesn't is Subier, he is upgraded only if you kill the Narwhal beforehand. Dantarg has 4 forms depending on your stats. Noel changes depending on whether or not you killed Rocbouquet before him.
- Harping on About Harpies: The Irises.
- He Who Fights Monsters: Implied to have happened to the Seven Heroes themselves. Both the Ancients of Austeros and the four memory bosses of the Maze of Memories imply that the Heroes used Assimilation Magic to craft powerful bodies for themselves from the flesh of monsters in order to fight monsters. This process may have warped their minds and souls to some degree. Being thrown into hell after saving the world doesn't help.
- Hello, [Insert Name Here]: Subverted with every character but the final generation ones.
- Hidden Elf Village: The Village of the Ancients.
- High-Altitude Battle: Hakuro Castle; AFTER the inner sanctum of the castle is ripped straight out of the ground!
- Hive Queen: There is an eponymous villainess leading an army of termites against Avalon. A Superboss called the Dread Queen is a much stronger version of the Hive Queen.
- Horrible Judge of Character: Strange thing is that Noel does not hate Kzinssie at all and STILL sees potential in him.
- How We Got Here: The Emperor you chose at the start of the game is at the bar where the Bard retells the story of the Empire.
- Idea Bulb: This is the game in the SaGa series that started the system of learning techniques and evasions during battle.
- Infinity +1 Sword: Weapons found in the Maze of Memory (Yucomb's Halberd, Eres' Bow, Sword of Earth, and the Zircon Axe), are the best you can find in the game. The Sevens Sword is this played straight as only one of it can be made.
- Interspecies Romance: Completing the Southsea Mermaid side quest when a male emperor. The current emperor chooses to stay with the mermaid under the sea as the breath potion he took has the side effect of being unable to return to land after three uses. Knowing this, he accepts the fate to be with the mermaid.
- It Can Think: The first time you fight the Hive Queen, she and her fellow termites seem barely more than predatory animals. When you confront the Hive Queen a second time, she actually speaks to you, explains how she planted an egg on the emperor who first defeated her to be reborn in Avalon, and declares herself a threat to rival the Seven Heroes. And considering how strong she is and how close she came to destroying Avalon, that's not an idle threat.
- Lamarck Was Right: The game has a system of inheriting the previous Emperor's abilities. Justified with magic, though.
- Life Energy: LP, as per the SaGa series standard. Run out of them, and you're dead.
- Light Is Not Good: Wagnus resembles an angel and sports a halo, but is anything but good, considering that he's one of the Seven Heroes.
- Magic Music: The 5 instruments of the bard are packed with this. They are required to meet with the Iris race.
- Mole Men: There's an entire class of Mole Men that you can choose to recruit!
- Musicalis Interruptus: Dungeon or area music can stop and change to boss music at a certain part of the dialogue with some bosses or the Seven Heroes.
- Mutually Exclusive Magic: This feature has been carried over from the previous Romancing SaGa game. However, you can combine specific elements if they are not opposite to each other to create new and more powerful spells.
- New Game Plus: Included in the remaster. New Game+ allow you to carry your equipment and mastered skills (excluding the Last Emperor/Empress' party), your money, your items in the storage, fusion research and your current global level. However, unlike most RPGs, you can start New Game+ at any moment in the game, especially if you get stuck into an unwinnable situation.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: If you encounter the narwhal without the Toba seashell, you can choose to fight it. However, killing it will allow Subier to assimilate to his much stronger form.
- No-Gear Level: If you choose to sneak aboard Bokhohn's landship by purposely being abducted. That being said, characters with Stuck Items keep them, making characters like the Molemen a good option for that mission.
- No Hero Discount: Averted. As a monarch, the player has access to ungodly sums of money from the country's treasury that he/she never has to worry about being able to afford equipment from stores. In fact, if you purchase items from your own town, the shopkeepers refuse to charge you. Building new facilities in the empire and researching new equipment does cost money, however.
- Non-Human Sidekick: They can even be the Emperor once they are recruitable. They also fall under the tropes of One-Gender Race and Elemental Embodiment.
- Non-Standard Game Over: If you're the Last Emperor/Empress, if you fail the second Comroon Island mission and allow the volcano to erupt, or perform the South Sea Mermaid quest provided you have no party members with you, the game will end.
- One-Winged Angel: The Seven Heroes gradually join together into an amalgamated Eldritch Abomination in the final battle for every 6,000 damage dealt.
- One-Steve Limit: Played straight unless your Final Emperor shares the name with a recruitable character.
- Outside-Context Problem: The Hive Queen. Whereas most of the large-scale villainy can be attributed to either the Seven Heroes or someone working under them, the Hive Queen is an entirely separate and destructive force. And in fact, she comes further in destroying Avalon than anyone else, seeing as how she pulls an All Your Base Are Belong to Us on you near the end.
- Our Mermaids Are Different:
- The Nereids are a race of them you can recruit into your army. They regenerate health if you continuously cast water spells. Weirdly enough, despite having the classical form of a mermaid with a lower fish tail, they seem to be able to walk on land just fine, and indeed spend more time out of water than in. Their walking animation shows them using their tails similar to how a snake moves along the ground.
- There's also another mermaid, who may not be of the same species as the Nereids given her different sprite and smaller tail. Unlike the Nereids, she requires a human guise to walk on land.
- Palette Swap: Every recruitable character and emperors except Leon, Gerard, Last Emperor/Empress, and a few others...
- Permadeath: This is the first Saga game to implement LP, which decreases when characters get KO'd, get attacked while KO'd or if they are the target of certain attacks. If it all goes down, they die permanently
- Permanently Missable Content: Coppelia; Mountain Monk if you kill the monster in control of a certain cave; City Thief if you destroy the Canal Fortress Gate; Grimoire for Shadow Magic or being able to recruit Salamanders depending on what action you take during the second Comroon Island event; Iris, if you use the Helicopter to reach Wagnus. In the remake, if you do not unlock all the classes, you miss a special fight with Victor's spirit, which gets you the Intaglio Ring (Negates all ailments) as a reward.
- In addition, If you made the choice to sacrifice a potential unit type at any point in the game, then you cannot challenge the remaster-exclusive Optional Boss.
- Precursors: The Ancients were afraid of death and hated fighting; they had a longer lifespan that modern man, after the Seven Heroes saved the world; they were still fearful of death, they used a dimensional device or magic to escape to another dimension.
- Power Limiter: If you kill Rocbouquet before Noel, he will not allow you to make peace with him and will attack at full power. It is even worse if he is the only remaining hero since he will be the penultimate boss in the final dungeon; he will be in his second form and without the limiter, meaning he will use every technique at his disposal.
- Ruins for Ruins' Sake: 3 of them; all sidequests.
- Samurai: East Guard.
- Sequential Boss: The final battle with the Seven Heroes results in this. Initially it's only Rocbouquet, but the more you damage the fused amalgamation, the more heroes add their attacks to the fight, until all seven are active.
- Shout-Out: The names of one particular group (the Seven Heroes) are actually anagrams of stops in train lines in Japan (specifically, the Tokyo Yamanote Line). Also, the music from the Game Boy SaGa games is used in one scenario.
- Sixth Ranger: Kzinssie was the last person to join the group and is pretty much hated even within the group, because of his ill manners. Apparently, that's the reason why the player fights him in the very beginning, because Wagnus and co. use him as a meat-shield.
- Sliding Scale of Linearity vs. Openness: This game can hover between levels 5 and 6.
- Standard RPG Items: An aversion: the only known item that can restore Life Points can be bought from a witch for 10,000 (crowns Cap). Otherwise played straight.
- The Strategist: The tactician class proves to be invaluable when taking on Bokohn's land ship. After building the Imperial land ship, the emperor/empress asks why not just use the ship to take on Bokohn's ship head-on. The tactician says that's a short-sighted goal; stopping the land ship won't stop Bokohn's since more than likely he'll get away. The best way to deal with it is to "cut off the head from the body", namely kill Bokohn's himself while his security is low.
- Supporting Leader: Noel is Wagnus's best friend and the one who organizes the group. For instance, he recruited Dantarg and Kzinssie. Considering he is the most normal one of the group, this should not be overly surprising.
- Sword Fight: A one on one battle with Sekishusei; Retainer to Lord Ato; Ruler of the Eastern Lands.
- Victor in the Mobile Remake has this with the Last Emperor.
- Take Up My Sword: Leon to Gerard.
- Also can happen in later generations if you get a Total Party Kill.
- Take Your Time: Mostly played straight, but sharply averted for Cumberland. Take too long to get there or mess up the quest and the royal family will be slaughtered and the land ruled by demons. On a softer note if you do most of the steps right but don't chase after the bad guy after their defeated, the siblings will deal with said villain themselves, but won't ally with you or unlock their classes
- Thanatos Gambit: To allow Kzinssie to be defeated, the first emperor allowed him to use Soul Steal on him so that he could learn the secrets of this attack and then by mean of the transmission magic transmit it to his son Gerard.
- Thieves' Guild: One such guild uses the empire's own graveyard as its base of operations.
- Time Skip: From less than a year to 250 years, depending on how many enemies you killed and which event you just completed.
- Took a Level in Badass: Gerard, after his father's death by Kzinssie.
- Trauma Inn: If you have the Artifact of Doom equipped while sleeping anywhere other than the emperor's/empress' bed, you lose LP.
- Trojan Horse: The only way to sneak aboard Bokhohn's Land Battleship; creating a fake one to draw the enemies away from the real one.
- Underwater Boss Battle: You actually fight Subier either underwater or on a boat depending on your actions. Killing the Master of Ocean will always net you his second form and immediately after clearing the shipwreck.
- Updated Re-release: For I Phones, iOS, Android phones, PC and every major console. The ports include new dungeons and bosses.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: None of the Nereids wear anything to cover their breasts save for a flower necklace that does a poor job of it. Especially awkward if your emperor is a Nereid.
- Warrior Prince: You are the Emperor who has to save the world.
- Was Once a Man: All of the Seven Heroes except for Noel and Rocbouquet, whose demon forms still at least resemble humans.
- What the Hell, Hero?: To get access to Umbrology, you must allow the towns of Zemio and Tsukijima to burn. This however causes the Emperor of that time period to abdicate the throne.
- Wutai: The entire Eastern lands.
- You Have Researched Breathing: At one point you'll need to reach a sunken ship. To get there, you need a potion that requires you to breathe underwater in order to access it, even if your emperor is a Nereid, a race that can actually breathe underwater in the first place. While it's easy to justify this as being required for your other party members, you'll still need the potion even if the Nereid goes alone.