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"Der Vorhang ist aufgegangen, wer weiß, was noch passieren wird."

In the past, the Holy Empire and Orthodox Church persecuted magic-users, or Magi, wherever they went. One man, a Magus by the name of Rosenkreuz, led eight disciples into a battle for their freedom and rights. The battle, which would later be called the Holy War, was long and epic, and cost Rosenkreuz his life. His dream, however, was achieved, as the Empire accepted Magi as a new branch of their military, called Rosenkreuzstilette, or RKS for short.

But tensions between humans and Magi still remained. In time, history repeats itself, as the Commander of RKS, Count Michael Zeppelin, orders a strike against the Empire, fearing that the persecution of Magi is beginning again. Spiritia Rosenberg, a member of RKS who was away when the order was issued, returns home with her fairy friend Lilli to the Imperial Training Hall and meets up with Iris, the Count's daughter. She then witnesses Iris being kidnapped by the dragon Talos and sees the Black Forest burned down, and is shocked when her closest friend and fellow Magus, Freudia Neuwahl, told her that Micheal ordered both acts. Spiritia, aided by Lilli, takes it upon herself to quell the rebellion alone, rescue Iris, and restore peace.


Rosenkreuzstilette (meaning "Rose Cross Stilettos", alternatively translated as "Blades of the Rose Cross" by the fan translation) is a doujin platformer made by [erka:es] that is heavily inspired by the classic Mega Man series, with the graphical and gameplay improvements from the Mega Man X and Mega Man Zero series, with gothic music and backgrounds influenced by Castlevania and Fate/stay night thrown in for a good measure. The game is notable for having sufficiently original art and music to distinguish itself from other Mega Man clones, as well as toning down the Nintendo Hard difficulty typically associated with them. The plot is also surprisingly fleshed out for the genre. While not terribly complicated, it features cutscenes and boss dialogue that establishes an original fantasy setting with defined personalities for the cast that's more than just an excuse to shoot lemons at enemies, though Arcade Mode will skip these if the player prefers a more traditional playthrough. It also has a small, but growing English-speaking community. An English fan translation patch (primarily compatible with v1.05c) is available here. Those wishing to purchase the game can buy the Rosenkreuzstilette -[erka:es] The Best- digital re-release here at DLsite's work-safe English page.


A sequel titled RosenkreuzStilette Freudenstachel, was released on October 20th, 2012, after years of setbacks and delays. As should be expected from the title, this sequel features Freudia Neuwahl as the protagonist. Some time after the events of the original, the wicked Pope, in response to the RKS rebellion, creates the Schwarzkreuz, a group of Black Magi led by Pamela Arwig, and uses them to begin witch-hunting Magi for the Empire and the Church in an effort to bring them to justice and "put down the Walpurgisnacht". After Spiritia is taken captive, Freudia sets out to rescue her from the Pope and his witch-hunters. The game can be purchased digitally here at DLsite.

An art compilation of the sequel, Rosenkreuzstilette Freudenstachel Я05, was released during Comiket 84 along with a playable beta of the original game. As you might have guessed, you can purchase Rosenkreuzstilette Freudenstachel Я05 digitally via DLsite here. Both Rosenkreuzstilette and its sequel were also re-released at the Japanese and English PLAYISM store, however, since the site's closure, they are no longer available.

The first game was released in English through Steam on February 3, 2017, with Freudenstachel being released on October 17. The localization project was headed by WOMI himself who was also working along with Darksquid Media (formerly Darkside Translations), the group who was behind the fan translation of the first game. Not much of the games has changed other than a few minor graphical changes, improved controller support, and Steam achievements. You can check out the developer diary of the games' localization process here, but be warned, this blog will list spoilers!

RKS members:

  • RKS-002: Freudia Neuwahl, weak to Die geplante Zukunft, gives Freudenstachel.
  • RKS-003: Zorne Zeppelin, weak to Lustatem, gives Zornesbombe.
    • In Freudenstachel: weak to Schneekristal, teaches Frostfackel.
  • RKS-004: Trauare Wrede, weak to Geisterwand, gives Klageharnisch.
    • In Freudianstachel: weak to Eislanze, teaches Kopiekreisel.
  • RKS-005: Luste Teuber, weak to Liebessturm, gives Lustatem.
    • In Freudenstachel: weak to Eisschwert, teaches Eislanze.
  • RKS-006: Grolla Seyfarthe, weak to Klageharnisch, gives Grollschwert.
    • In Freudenstachel, weak to Weißteufel, teaches Eisschwert.
  • RKS-007: Sichte Meister, weak to Grollschwert, gives Die geplante Zukunft.
    • In Freudenstachel: weak to Freudenzwinger, teaches Weißteufel.
  • RKS-008: Liebea Palesch, weak to Freudenstachel, gives Liebessturm.
  • RKS-009: Schwer-Muta Casasola, weak to Zornesbombe, gives Geisterwand.
  • RKS-013: Dolis Warmind, weak to Frostfackel, teaches Frostklinge.

This series also has a Character Sheet. All character-related tropes go there.

The Rosenkreuzstilette series provides trope examples of:

  • 1-Up: Resembling the face of your character, à la classic Mega Man.
  • Achievement System: Achievements were implemented into the first game's Steam version after a patch update. These achievements range from no damage running a stage, defeating the eight members of Rosenkreuzstilette, and clearing the game under an hour.
  • Advancing Boss of Doom: The Demon's Wall, the boss of Zeppelin Castle's first stage. A wall of Demon Crosses that form a massive version of itself that makes the Mecha Dragon from Mega Man 2 look like a pushover.
  • Another Side, Another Story: Completing the game will give you the code to play as Grolla, in her own special side-story, Rosenkreuzstilette Grollschwert. Similarly, Rosenkreuzstilette Freudenstachel has its own bonus mode, Rosenkreuzstilette Weißsilber, featuring Pamela, the perky leader of the Dark Magi, as a playable character. Although there's a bit of a difference in story for the first game, namely that in Spiritia's story, Grolla knows nothing about Iris' deception that causes the whole plot — and in her side-story, she saw it firsthand, and warns the fellow labeled-traitor Spiritia about it.
  • April Fools' Day:
    • [erka:es] posted mock screenshots of Rosenkreuzstilette Freudenstachel on their website as a joke years before it ended up as an actual sequel to the original game.
    • Another that was intended to be an April Fools joke, but due to personal constraints was too late to pull off, finally revealed the appearance of Liebea's brother Kahl parodying the classic Castlevania games, with Kahl as an expy of Simon Belmont no less.
    • In April 2013, [erka:es] brought out the most Luste-ful April Fools' Day stunt with Rosenkreuzstilette Lustatem, a Hotter and Sexier gag site that made Luste more conventionally curvy and made some of the cast envious as well as inflating Luste's disproportionately flattering opinion of herself. It also featured such things as a ranking system from Mega Man Zero, Trauair in the form of a mermaid, a blushing Zorne staring at Luste's older design with a caption implying romance options, a Metroidvania overworld with collectable powerup outfits for her to wear, and various references to many Mega Man games. Unfortunately the site is now dead, but fortunately images of the site have been archived on the fan wiki. Warning: somewhat NSFW.
  • Art Evolution: The character art in Rosenkreuzstilette Freudenstachel has changed and in some ways improved since the first game with slightly more detailed character designs..
  • Art Shift: Schwer-Muta’s stage in Freudenstachel uses blockier and simplistic coloring in homage to the Super Mario Bros. games along with some familiar-looking bricks and clouds.
  • Autobots, Rock Out!: For as graceful and girly a character as she is, Trauare's dialogue theme "inferiority" is surprisingly heavy on the electric guitar synths. Likewise the boss themes in Iris's Castle break out the quire pads and gothic metal as the Very Definitely Final Dungeon. "Closed Garden", the Boss Rush music, "Heavy Snake", the pre-boss dialogue, "Pray to Muse" as the semi-final boss, and lastly "Requiem for Myself", the final boss themes.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • Die geplante Zukunft. It's great in that it allows you to freeze time and blast stronger enemies with emerald shards, and it helps when you want to avoid certain foes as well, but you can't switch weapons when it's in use, and it can't be deactivated by any means other than waiting for the whole gauge to be depleted or dying first.
    • Some of the special weapons are also impractical. Zornesbombe's charged attack in the first game for example spawns a bunch of bombs at once or can be charged to form a giant flaming cross, but eats away a lot of its energy in one shot and the amount of times this would be helpful can be counted on one hand.
  • The Backwards Я: Used literally as the RKS logo. One was also used in the title of the art compilation, Rosenkreuzstilette Freudenstachel Я05.
  • Badass Adorable: The vast majority of the cast are cutesey magi that can still hold their own. Grolla is more on the badass side, but she has her moments.
  • Badass Family: The Seyfarth clan, as they've wielded Grollschwert for generations.
    Grolla: "..."
  • Big Bad:
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: The mechanical Webmaster Spider at the end of Iris Stage 1.
  • Bittersweet Ending:
    • In Rosenkreuzstilette Grollschwert, when Grolla is about to finish Iris once and for all, Iris self-destructs her palace and Grolla escapes on her own, afterwards watching from a nearby cliff as the palace collapses and Iris escapes in her capsule. She then returns home to place a wreath of flowers honoring her grandfather at his grave.
    • The first main game's ending is also part bittersweet, from Spiritia's point of view at least, with Iris self-destructing her palace and escaping in her capsule, and Spiritia, having been saved from being crushed with the palace by Talos, wondering afterwards what happened to Iris and hoping that she learned her lesson. Nevertheless, she still feels good about her victory and happily reunites with her friends, making the rest of it happy.
    Spiritia: "I wonder what happened to Iris..."
    Lilli: "I don't know, but she definitely learned her lesson, right?"
    Spiritia: "...I hope so."
  • Boss Banter: Thanatos, Michael, and Iris love mocking Spiritia or Grolla during boss fights. Thankfully subtitled in the Steam release.
  • Boss Rush: It is a Mega Man clone after all...
  • Bottomless Magazines: Averted, Freudia's ice gun Freudenstachel has a lot of energy, but will eventually run out like any secondary weapon even if it's her primary means of attack. This means unlike the first game and many Mega Man titles, you can't shoot ammo at everything in your way if you want to save weapon energy for the bosses.
  • Bottomless Pits: As you'd expect from a platformer.
  • Brutal Bonus Level: When Rosenkreuzstilette was released on Steam, with it came two new codes, one of which, called "Schwer-Muta's Revenge". As Schwer-Muta's level already liked to troll the player, "Schwer-Muta's Revenge" takes it to even greater lengths; it's much more deceptive and unclear of where to go (with two rooms leading to a quick death by lasers, one room of which is inescapable), the level expects you to know the game's physics by heart, and almost every one-up is accompanied by some trap that completely invalidates it.
  • Calling Your Attacks: SEELEGEWEHR!" occasionally when Spiritia jumps and fires a charged shot.
  • Charged Attack: Naturally, as this is a Mega Man clone.
  • Church Militant: The Rosenkreuzstilette.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Every character has a color associated with them, as shown in the circles of certain characters' mugshots, the bars of their stage intro screens, and the glow of all of their dialogue texts:
    • Yellow: Spiritia and Iris
    • Light blue: Freudia and Strudel
    • Red: Zorne, Raimund, Pamela and Kahl
    • Blue: Trauare, Count Zeppelin and Eifer
    • Orange: Luste
    • Purple: Grolla
    • Green: Sichte, Lilli, and Doris
    • Pink: Liebea
    • Gray: Schwer-Muta
    • Brown: Schirach
    • Black: Recht & Link
  • Convection Schmonvection: Neither bubbling lava, nor freezing ice, nor the cold, nor the distinct thinness of the air in the sky, nor even her Super Drowning Skills will stop Spiritia Rosenberg on her most holy quest. Nor will they stop Grolla then later Freudia and Pamela.
  • Creepy Cool Crosses: As many as you would expect in a game called Rosenkreuzstilette. Even the title itself has them for "T"s. An kind of mook is a homage of Mega Man's Tellies, but with a cross instead.
  • Darker and Edgier: Grolla's game mode, Rosenkreuzstilette Grollschwert, can be considered much darker than the main game, as it has a Downer Beginning, showing Iris to be even more cruel (especially towards Grolla) than in the main game itself, plus Grolla gets a rather dramatic moment where she becomes both infuriated and deeply hurt by fighting the undead form of her own mentor and grandfather. It also has a more Bittersweet Ending.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: Escape button are sometimes used to bring in some menus in other games. In this game? Escape button boots you back to the title screen, resetting all your unsaved progress.
    • For Grollschwert or Weißsilber: The dash button is executed by using the Previous Ability button while the Next Ability button is used to prevent the normal 'press Forward twice to dash' command. This poses a problem for those who played Megaman Zero or Mega Man X games as Zero: The former's Dash button is just a simple R button (located similarly with the Next Ability button), and the latter's Dash button is amongst the main buttons location (Circle for the Sony consoles, A for the Nintendo consoles/DS/3DS), unless they are already familiar with using 'press Forward twice to dash' option.
  • Dark Magical Girl: The Dark Magi of the Schwarzkreuz.
  • Defeat Equals Explosion: As with the games they were made to be tributes to, player characters, enemies, and most bosses explode with various different effects upon being defeated, and outside of Story Mode, so do Magus bosses, who, similarly to the players, enter a Mega Man-styled explosion (the "Liebea" fought in Freudenstachel does explode upon defeat even in Story Mode, though). In Weißsilber's ending, Iris starts emitting fiery explosions when Pamela delivers the finishing blow to her.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: In Spiritia's case, defeating her friends in combat means that she is able to convince them that the rebellion is going to be less than worth it. She ends up being right for ''different'' reasons than she initially thought. At least Grolla's closer to the truth.
  • Dem Bones: The majorities of the enemies found throughout the games are skeletons and skulls and things made of bones, and one of the sub-bosses is a giant tower of skulls with a glowing-eyed horned skull on top of it found in Grolla's stage in the first game as well as the version in Rosenkreuzstilette Freudenstachel's Comiket 75 Trial version.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Iris, born with the legendary Rosenkreuz's supreme intellect and magical prowess, claims herself being a god. And then Spiritia (and Grolla) punched her out. And Freudia (and Pamela) killed her. Freu did it with ice.
  • Downer Beginning: Rosenkreuzstilette Grollschwert, the first game's alternate mode, gets one. It starts with Iris' Villain Opening Scene where she shows just how nasty she is by killing a priest just for laughs. As soon as Grolla walks in having overheard her plans to have RKS fight against the Empire for her entertainment, not only does she gets severely wounded by her attack, but when she interrogates her on what she's plotting and whether she's been deceiving the organization, she even gets humiliated by her Wounded Gazelle GambitIris pretends she's an innocent girl when Sichte walks in, causing her to order Grolla to lower her weapon and giving her no choice but to retreat. This sets off the main plot of Rosenkreuzstilette Grollschwert.
  • Dub Name Change: Among some of the characters' names being retranslated, the English Fan Translation changed some stage titles and some of the existing German text (mostly to better reflect the Japanese and fix any language discrepancies), as well as altered every instance of "stiletto" to "blade" (so Rosenkreuzstilette became the "Blades of the Rose Cross" rather than the "Rose Cross Stilettos", and Rosenkreuz's Stiletto became the "Blade of Rosenkreuz").
  • Early Game Hell: In general, the earliest parts of the first game are harder because you're only limited to Spiritia's basic individual shots and Charged Attack. But as you gradually defeat bosses and obtain their weapons with more versatility and the ability to exploit certain bosses' elemental weaknesses, the game becomes a little easier.
  • Edge Gravity: It's entirely possible to have half your foot on a ledge and not fall off.
  • Elemental Hair Colors: Some of the characters have hair colors that matches with their elemental ability or how they utilize their powers:
    • Fire: Zorne (red).
    • Water: Trauare (blue).
    • Earth: Schirach (light brown).
    • Wind: Dolis (green).
    • Lightning: Iris (blonde).
    • Ice: Freudia (white), Strudel (light blue).
    • Dark: Grolla (purple).
  • Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors: As you may have guessed by now, the eight main bosses has a rock-pappers-scissors pattern of which weapons hurts them the most.
  • Emergency Cross Tank: They function like the E-Tanks from Mega Man 2 and onward by completely refilling your Vitality gauge.
  • Energy Weapon: Freudia's Stage in the first game, and they're the instant death lasers from Quick Man's stage in Mega Man 2. And again in Iris Stage I in Rosenkreuzstilette Freudenstachel.
  • Evolving Title Screen: The opening screen is normally a very bright sky with white clouds. However, when player enters the code for "RKS Grollscwert" (for playing as Grolla), the opening screen turns into a shot of Grolla's stage.
  • Faceless Eye: The Deviled Egg as well as the beholder observing the fight against it.
    • Oh, and the Peterchy-like enemies in the Prologue Stage, and the Dark Devil in Iris Stage II of Rosenkreuzstilette Freudenstachel.
  • Fake Longevity: The difficulty of Rosenkreuzstilette Freudenstachel in an attempt to make the game seem longer due to some of the stages being shorter than the first game.
  • Fairy Companion: Lilli to Spiritia, and later Strudel to Freudia.
  • Fantastic Racism: A long time ago, Magi were often persecuted by the Holy Empire, and were often labeled "demons", with their leader Rosenkreuz being called the Devil himself. Then, he sacrificed himself to the Holy Empire to create peace. It worked, and the Magi were even given a special place in the Holy Empire's military, called Rosenkreuzstilette (RKS). And then, not long before the first game starts, it's said that the Magi persecution has restarted again.
    • It later turns out that the restarting of the Magi persecution wasn't really the case. The Empire actually feared Iris Zeppelin's power and the fact that she was reincarnated from Rosenkreuz, and, hoping to stop her, sent several of its priests to dispose of her — all of which of course failed as Iris killed them. Then, knowing that Kahl sees through her facades, she manipulates her father into believing Kahl is a spy for the Empire, imprisoning him, and, fearing that the Empire may know her secrets, starts a rebellion. And after Iris' defeat at the end of the first game, a few months passed leading to the events of Rosenkreuzstilette Freudenstachel, where a new Dark Magus organization called the Schwarzkreuz appeared launching its own coup against the RKS, witch-hunting the Magi associated with it for the sake of the Church in an effort to put down the Walpurgisnacht. Of course, it's actually Iris behind everything. Again.
  • Fighting Your Friend:
    • Spiritia ending up fighting every one of her friends and comrades of the RKS to prevent the rebellion thanks to Iris.
    • The first half of the final battle in Rosenkreuzstilette Freudenstachel is against an Iris-controlled Spiritia.
    • Also in the second game, in Pamela's story, she has to fight her fellow Schwarzkreuz members. And Kahl.
  • Flash of Pain: Several enemies and fortress bosses flash shades of white when you damage them.
  • Flip-Screen Scrolling: Just like the classic games of the Blue Bomber.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: The Schwarzkreuz.
    • The Choleric: Pamela Arwig.
    • The Melancholic: Eifer Skute.
    • The Sanguine: Schirach Fühler.
    • The Phlegmatic: Lecht Rink Refraktia.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Pronouncing "RKS" as if it were German makes the syllables "err-ka-es".
  • Game-Breaking Bug: One can be found in early versions of Rosenkreuzstilette Freudenstachel where if Trauare pushes you into the upper corners of a wall, Freudia gets pushed into a Minus World where all she can do is swim through an empty and glitched room with Trauare being nowhere in sight. The only way out is to reset the game, which can be rage-inducing for anyone fighting her at Iris Stage III.
  • Giant Spider: A boss at the end of Iris Stage I called the Webmaster Spider that functions not unlike a certain Mega Man X boss.
  • Gimmick Level: Each stage has a certain gimmick of there own. From the first game:
    • Freudia Stage: Insta-kill lasers that require quick reflexes and some trial-and-error to get through.
    • Zorne Stage: Molten lava.
    • Trauare Stage: Underwater physics and spike-filled rooms.
    • Luste Stage: Moving platforms, obscuring clouds, and little ground.
    • Grolla Stage: Collapsing platforms and respawning zombies.
    • Sichte Stage: Slippery rain-drenched floors and flowing water.
    • Liebia Stage: Electric shockers and falling spikes.
    • Schwer Stage: Conveyor belts and Schmuck Bait.
    • Zeppelin Stage I: High ledges that can only be reached with the "Eins" platforms.
    • Zeppelin Stage II: A blood-stained pool that results in death by Super Drowning Skills.
    • Zeppelin Stage III: A race against a collapsing bridge.
    • Zeppelin Stage IV: Two pathways leading to the boss.
    • Iris Stage I: Disappearing and reappearing blocks, anti-gravity water pools, and shockers the electrify the water.
    • Iris Stage II: Gravity Screw.
    • Iris Stage III: A Boss Rush.
    • From the second game (Freudenstachel):
      • Doris Stage: Moving platforms that lower when they reach a certain point.
      • Zorne Stage: Same as the first game, with the addition of rising fire and Yoku blocks.
      • Trauare Stage: Same as the first game, with the addition of falling anchors.
      • Luste Stage: Bird-like critters that can be ridden on, bobbing platforms, and breakable blocks.
      • Grolla Stage: Falling spikes, bear traps, and ground made slippery by a bloody rainstorm.
      • Sichte Stage: Electric traps, moving platforms, and wind that slowly pushes you away.
      • Liebea Stage: Snowballs that move when you jump, and obscuring snowstorms.
      • Schwer Stage: Schmuck Bait just like in the first game, as well as platforms that move as soon as you step on them and boots that you can ride in.
      • Pamela Stage: Spears that jut out of the ground, bobbing block platforms, swinging pendulums, and magic circles that attack with slash effects when you get close.
      • Eifer Stage: Rising platforms held up by vines, as well as spiked presses.
      • Schirach Stage: Falling blocks, floating time bombs that can be used as platforms, and earthquakes caused by giant Met-like enemies.
      • Refraktia Stage: Book platforms that rise or fall when stepped on, moving book platforms, disappearing platforms, picture frames that attack with spears when you get close, spears that rise out of the ground, blocks that raise platforms when attacked, and dark rooms.
      • Iris Stage 1: The Insta-kill lasers originally found in Freudia's Stage in the first game.
      • Iris Stage 2: Flammable pools of blood that slow you down when you step on them or swim through them, as well as spike-filled underwater rooms and conveyor belts.
      • Iris Stage 3: Same as the first game, with the additions of transparent star platforms before the Boss Rush room.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Most sub-bosses and bosses.
  • Graphics-Induced Super-Deformed: Done intentionally to mimic the style of, surprise-surprise, the classic Mega Man series.
  • Gratuitous German: Most of the series, really. In particular, the signature attacks of all the Magi and the names of all the stages. It's possible that [erka:es] itself qualifies. Unlike many other examples of this trope, the grammar and choice of words is surprisingly correct.
  • Gravity Screw: One of the castle levels has flipping gravity, not unlike Gravity Man's level in Mega Man 5.
  • Happy Ending: Although, from Tia's point of view, it may be a Bittersweet Ending. Nevertheless, she reunites her friends in joy, and the credits roll. This is also more definitive in Freudenstachel where Freudia not only restored and saved Spiritia, she puts a definitive end to Iris once and for all.
  • Have a Nice Death: Each individual stage has its own Game Over screen, all of them are shout-outs.
    • Furthermore (more apparent in the English patch for those not familiar with Japanese) if you lose all your lives in the very last stage, the game calls you a Completely Incompetent Half-Wit. Seriously.
    • One of these actually helps you somewhat. The Game Over screen for Zeppelin Stage III (Thanatos) is a shout-out to the game over screen from Shadowgate. If you bother taking a look at the inventory, you can see two items besides the torch: Sword and Harness, of which is referencing the weaknesses of the stage boss, Grollschwhert and the Klageharnisch.
  • High-Altitude Battle: The battle against Luste takes place on a falling temple of some kind, and the final battle against Iris is above the clouds as dawn breaks.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: In Rosenkreuzstilette Freudenstachel, Iris is revealed to be behind the Dark Magi and Spiritia's kidnapping. Probably not a huge surprise, considering what this game is a homage to.
  • Improbably Female Cast: There's hardly a dude in sight, with the exception of Michael, Karl, and Grolla's grandfather Raymond, who are all fairly important characters and fought as bosses.
  • It's a Wonderful Failure: Losing your last life against certain bosses has them mocking you with different monologues before humiliating you with references to other games on their respective stages' custom Game Over screens. The monologue depends on your actions and/or which character you use.
  • Large Ham: Any time Spiritia shouts the name of whatever subweapon she's using at the time. Iris herself is very hammy, from her ranting about her own superiority as she believes herself above everyone else as commoners, to her taunts, to her high-pitched giggle of an Evil Laugh. Grolla also seems incapable of saying anything without yelling or snarling.
  • Life Meter: Your Vitality gauge.
    • Mana Meter: Your Weapon Energy gauge for any of your selected weapons.
  • Living Structure Monster: The Demon's Wall is one of the bosses in the "fortress" stages. It attacks by summoning Demon Crosses that homes in on you and fires energy shots from its "eye". It also pursues you forward.
  • Long Song, Short Scene:
    • The song "Dark Purple Moon", Grolla and Raimund's dialogue music, is over five minutes long without any looping, but it only plays during two relatively short dialogue sequences.
    • "Closed Garden", the Boss Rush music is two and a half minutes long without looping with an extended synth breakdown you're likely not going to hear as the fights usually last between twenty and fourty seconds.
    • The boss music playing in the first castle is four and a half minutes without looping that contains many tempo and instrument changes as it goes. The battles will be over in under half that time, one way or another, particularly the Demon's Wall.
  • Lucky Charms Title: As pictured, the title as RosenkreuzStile††e, with a cross in place of the "T"s.
  • Marathon Level: Both the Zeppelin Castle stages and the Iris Castle stages are this. The stages themselves are not very long individually but like in a Mega Man game, you do not get passwords when you complete each of the stages, so you're expected to clear all of the stages and their bosses in one sitting. This means that you cannot stop to take a break in-between or else, you'll have to start all the way back at the first castle stage all over again. Though thankfully, getting a game over in one of the stages won't send you all the way back to the first stage, just the beginning of the current stage you're on.
  • Meaningful Name: In spades. The characters have names derived from German lone words that describe their personalities, bordering on Punny Name at times.
  • Meaningless Lives: In a way. Cross Tanks carry over and respawn when you continue. There's nothing stopping you from collecting the Cross Tank in a stage and jumping off a cliff just to collect it again. Though later versions eventually closed the loophole so that Cross Tanks don't respawn when you die if you've already collected one. They'll only respawn once you get a game over.
  • Mildly Military: Even though the RKS is supposed to be a military organization of the Holy Empire, they never do much in the way of military duties. They seem more like a special sect for Magi than a military.
  • Mood Whiplash: Trauare and Schwer-Muta's theme songs contrast with their confrontation songs greatly. One gets Darker and Edgier, the other the other way around.
  • Ninja Maid: Pamela has a few working in her palace, going by her stage.
  • Nintendo Hard:
    • Even if it's been toned down by comparison, it still is. And that's in comparison to most Mega Man homages, that are already more difficult than a series that wasn't a walk in the park to begin with. By normal standards, "toning it down" here means it's still harder than the average Mega Man game.
    • And then there's Rosenkreuzstilette Grollschwert. You know it's bad when the game warns you how hard it is before you get to the title screen.
      • Although oddly, some of the harder bosses in Rosenkreuzstilette Grollschwert become somewhat easier due to Grolla possessing the ability to dash and wall jump, which makes dodging attacks and chasing enemies easier. Good examples of that are the battles against Trauare and Luste.
    • Rosenkreuzstilette Freudenstachel seems to be actively trying to make up for the lower difficulty in the first game by toning it back up three times as much.
  • No Campaign for the Wicked: Averted, with Rosenkreuzstilette Weißsilber.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: The songs "Dark Purple Moonlight", "Dark Purple Moon ~ Dance of the Moon ~ Rebirth", and "Sinner" feature these in the form of Ethereal Choirs rather than Latin words.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: A special mode titled "RKSF[sterblich]" turns Freudia and Pamela into one to make the game ''even harder'' than before. For the truly masochistic RKS players, you can find the executable download here by clicking "Rosenkreuzstilette Freudenstachel [sterblich]" at the game's Download page.
  • Our Demons Are Different: The Behemoth in the Prologue Stage, as well as the Astaroth-ersatz and Lucifer in the Grolla Stage of Rosenkreuzstilette Freudenstachel.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: The Poltergeist at the end of Zeppelin Stage II.
  • Password Save: As another part of its nod to the Blue Bomber. In fact, the passwords are identical in function to those of Mega Man 4, to the point that experimenting with a cheat list of passwords will get you up to the second castle with all weapons and your Fairy Companion, in both games. Some of the passwords however were changed in the English release of these games.
  • Poison Mushroom: Partly. The sequel features the 1-Up item from the first game at exactly one location. Freudia will gain nine extra lives by collecting this item. But if you are playing as Pamela? It's a "evil Tia" face instead and she loses all remaining lives except the one in use when she picks it up.
  • Power Copying: Yep. Still a Mega Man clone. Spiritia plays it completely straight, but Freudia has a variant where she adapts opponents' abilities to her own ice-themed powers. Her default attack is the one Spiritia learns from her in the first game, (Freudenstachel) while she gains the attacks she had in her boss battle in the first game by defeating a different ice-themed opponent. Grolla and Pamela avert it entirely.
  • Rain of Blood: The bloody rainstorm near the end of the Grolla Stage in Rosenkreuzstilette Freudenstachel.
  • Rapunzel Hair: Most of the female characters all have hair that reaches at least their knees.
  • Real-Time Weapon Change: Much like in the Mega Man X series and the later classic Mega Man games.
  • Recycled IN SPACE!: Rosenkreuzstilette is Mega Man FILLED WITH MOE GIRLS!
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Zorne and Trauare respectively from the first game, and Rink and Lecht respectively in Rosenkreuzstilette Freudenstachel.
  • Retraux: Sports detailed 16 bit sprites that wouldn't be out of place in the Zero series.
  • Scenery Porn: One of the main draws of the game. The animations and pixel sprites are small but very detailed, with large, expressive backgrounds that look particularly beautiful in dark stages.
    • Scenery Gorn: The Darker and Edgier side of this, to put it mildly. Be it the rivers of blood pouring from weeping angel statues in the first game's castle, the piles of skeletons and bones in Grolla's haunted graveyard of a stage, or the crimson moon glaring from above in full view.
  • Schmuck Bait: Schwer's stage in the first game has a couple that can catch new unsuspecting players off-guard. At the beginning, you're prompted to go right because that's how all the other stages normally work, but here, you're treated to a death trap of a collapsing ladder falling into spikes. You're actually supposed to go left this time around. And later, the stage does this again with a cross tank and a 1-Up, which are two of the most tempting items to get for obvious reasons. Both of them are actually bait items that lead into spike pits, and to add insult to injury, the pits are marked with said items being crossed out as you fall to your death. Only by playing Grollschwert can you defy it because Grolla can either dash-jump or wall-cling to get out safely.
  • Shout-Out: Tons, from the design of the stages to boss fights with Count Michael Zeppelin and Raimund Seyfarth, both of which have been heavily inspired by Castlevania: Rondo of Blood.
    • Special mention goes to the Game Over screens, most of which parody other video games (and in one case, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure).
    • Just like in Frost Walrus' stage in Mega Man X4, Blizzard Buffalo's frozen body shows up in the Liebea Stage in Rosenkreuzstilette Freudenstachel.
    • Listing the sheer amount of references to Mega Man X4 would take up a page in of itself. As one example, Liebea Palesh will quote Iris's (no not that one) pre-battle dialogue, (stay with me, brother!) before fighting Zero.
    • Normally, Liebea's Liebessturm is meant to be a Shout-Out to Toad Man's Rain Flush. But considering that her brother is based on the Belmont clan, it can also double to a shout out to one of the Item Crush skills Hydro Storm.
    • The way Schirach captured Spiritia in Freudenschtadel is made to be similar to the opening of Megaman X 3 when X was captured by Mac, while Zero spent a very short time to rescue X, Freudia takes the whole game to rescue Spiritia. And the idea of fighting Brainwashed and Crazy Spiritia as the final battle also brings in mind X2 when X was fighting a Brainwashed and Crazy Zero if he didn't collect all Zero parts throughout the game (though in the context of the previous sentence, swap the roles between X and Zero for Freudia and Spiritia).
    • Sichte's boss fight in Freudenstachel, after throwing knives at you, once her life bar turns red, she gains an attack to stop time before jumping in and attempting to drop a huge wall to you, akin to the famous "ZA WARUDO - ROAD ROLLER"
  • Shrinking Violet: Schwer-Muta. She considers no one else but Seppy her friend.
  • Speedrun: Did we mention this was a Mega Man clone?
  • Spell My Name with an "S":
    • In the fan translation, the surname of Sepperin is changed over to Zeppelin. This change however was justified as the names of Zorne, Count Michael Zeppelin, and even Iris were named after the real-life Ferdinand von Zeppelin after all. To a lesser extent, Liebea's brother Kahl and Schwer-Muta's pal Seppy were also changed to Kahl and Zeppy, although their official romanizations were not known until the sequel.
    • The first game also uses the spelling "Grolla Sayfalth" in Rosenkreuzstilette Grollschwert, and at least the first release of the sequel calls the title "Rosenkreuzstilette Fraudenstachel". This is corrected in the fan-translation and later versions, respectively.
  • Spikes of Doom: Just like in many other platformers, touch them and you'll die.
  • Spoiler Opening: The first game's title screen depicts the final boss' arena.
  • Stealth Pun: Several dozens, if not hundreds, of these can be found in the English fan-translation, with over half a dozen in the pause menu alone.
  • Tears of Blood:
    • The statue at the end of Zeppelin Stage II. Also, the stage title for said stage is "Bloody Tears", named after a certain Castlevania song.
    • Then again in Iris Stage II in Rosenkreuzstilette Freudenstachel, except these bloody tear-shedding statues are almost everywhere. Also, the sea of blood is FLAMMABLE!
  • Theme Naming: The first name of (almost) everyone is a very mangled version of a emotion in German, while their last name comes from various German board game designers (e.g. Klaus Teuber of Settlers of Catan fame).
  • 13 Is Unlucky: In hindsight, anyway. If you choose to start a playthrough from the Opening Stage in the first main game, then Zeppelin Stage IV will become the thirteenth stage, which makes perfect sense as, after Spiritia beats Count Zeppelin, Iris pulls off a You Have Outlived Your Usefulness on him and then attacks and fatally injures Spiritia, giving her a Heroic BSoD as she gleefully explains the whole truth behind the war and its motives just before Freudia makes a non-lethal Heroic Sacrifice to save Spiritia in a Big Damn Heroes moment.
  • This Cannot Be!: Iris when you beat her.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: In the RKS, Zorne and Grolla as the tomboys with Trauare and Sichte as the girly girls.
  • Turns Red:
    • Every single boss, with the sole exception of Freudia, who spends her prologue fight without any changes to her health bar, and her boss proper featuring a completely red bar.
    • In Rosenkreuzstilette Freudenstachel, when Freudia fights the final boss Spiritia/Iris, this happens to her, or rather, you as well, indicated by the weapon bar turning red. The effect is that Freu has infinite ammo for the Freudenstachel during the entire fight.
  • Updated Re-release: The 2017 re-releases of these games received a slight update with improved controller support, some touched up graphics, and changed some password so that the same passwords from Mega Man 4 can't be used to easily skip a large portion of the game.
  • Variant Power Copying: Freudia is primarily is An Ice Person. She can't copy actual abilities like her friend Spiritia does, but she can emulate the powers of the fellow Magus she's defeated using her ice powers. For example, her Weissteufel technique is her creating a field of cold air that slows down enemies, taken from Sichte Meister, the Time Master magus.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: in Rosenkreuzstilette Freudenstachel, all of the original eight tend to range from easy to challenging, but doable. All of them seem easier than their earlier incarnations, and none of them should give you too much trouble, especially if you know their weaknesses. It might give you the false idea that this game is easier than the first game, until you run into the Schwarzkreuz who all serve as a collective Wake-Up Call Boss, particularly Pamela and especially Schirach.
  • Walking Spoiler: Iris, and for MANY good reasons.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: [erka:es] haven't forgotten about Metal Man's being killed in two hits by his own weapon while designing Luste. Nor have they forgotten Gamma's weakness to Top Spin in designing Count Zeppelin's fight in Rosenkreuzstilette Freudenstachel.
  • Weird Moon: Some of the games' backgrounds contain a red or blue moon. Like the red one in the Grolla Stage of Rosenkreuzstilette Freudenstachel.
  • Wham Episode:
    • The first game got one in Zeppelin Stage IV. Here, Zeppelin tells a long backstory, revealing that Iris is a reincarnation of Rosenkreuz, and that he launched the coup against the Empire to protect his daughter. After the boss battle, Iris appears out of nowhere, kills her own father, and reveals herself as the true Big Bad of the game, revealing why she started the whole revolution in the first place.
    • In the final stage of the same game, when Spiritia catches up to Iris, Iris reveals that there was something she didn't inherit, which turns out to be Rosenkreuz's ability to tap into the strength of others'. She reveals that she realizes where Tia "got all that energy from" as she showed her during the previous fight with her; she reveals Tia as Rosenkreuz's other reincarnation, the "Blade of Rosenkreuz".
  • When Trees Attack: The Dolis Stage in Rosenkreuzstilette Freudenstachel contains a great demonic tree for a mid-boss. It attacks with falling leaves in the style of Wood Man.
  • Whole Plot Reference: Both games have plots resembling two Mega Man titles (which the series takes heavy inspiration from):
    • The original game's plot heavily resembles Mega Man X4. A military organization (Repliforce/RKS) working for the government (Maverick Hunters/Holy Empire) suddenly turns against the government, feeling that they are being persecuted and desiring independence, but are willing to resort to violence to achieve their goals. The two protagonists (X/Spiritia and Zero/Grolla) beg the rebels to reconsider, knowing that the government will come after them and they most likely won't survive, but are forced to fight their friends when they refuse. The rebellion is led by a noble man (General and Colonel/Count Michael Zeppelin) who desires to protect a sweet, innocent girl named Iris whom he is related to (sister/daughter). Eventually, after defeating the leader, it is revealed that the war was deliberately set up by a third party (Sigma/Iris Zeppelin) in order to destroy the rebels and enable them to take control of the world- said party becomes the final enemy faced by the protagonists.
    • Freudenstachel's plot resembles that of Mega Man Zero, specifically Zero 3. After the original conflict between the rebels and government has stopped, the government (Neo Arcadia/Orthodox Church) begins persecuting the demographic associated with the rebels (Reploids/Magi), and appoints a group of four (Four Guardians/Schwarzkreuz) to carry out the capturing of enemies of the state. The man supposedly in charge of the government is revealed to be a copy of the real person (Copy-X/The homunculus Pope) controlled by an evil genius (Dr. Weil/Iris Zeppelin) who seeks revenge for their prior defeat and to regain control over the whole world, and eventually tries to destroy it.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Also including purple, pink, green, lime, magenta, gray...
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: Just like in Mega Man games, the games don't end after you defeat the villain in his lair.


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