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Video Game / Rune Factory 4

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Fall headfirst into a magical world!

The 6th Rune Factory game, and the first for the 3DS. This game is also the first to provide players with the option of going through the game as a girl or a boy right at the start, contributing to its nearly outselling its predecessors in just the first week of its release. In addition to a boost over the other handheld games' graphics, it features a more elaborate dating system, including actual dates, becoming a steady couple, and dealing with personal issues before getting married.

The game begins with the protagonist riding an airship, carrying valuable cargo on their person. Before they reach their destination, they are attacked, and after losing their memory and their cargo from a blow to the head, they are tossed overboard. Luckily, their fall is broken by the dragon Ventuswill, who guards the town of Selphia. She has been expecting a member of nobility to come and manage the town, and assumes that this must be them. From then on, it becomes the job of the player character to attract tourists to their town, to have new festivals implemented or shops built, and to investigate the strange occurrences of boss monsters taking on human forms after being defeated.


This game is the first since the original Rune Factory to include heavy involvement from the Sechs Empire, led by Ethelberd, who has returned from his defeat in the first game still desiring to Take Over the World, but also with a genocidal hatred for the Earthmates. Soon, the protagonist and their allies will have to fight against the ambitions of the Empire.

Rune Factory 4 was released in Japan on July 19th, 2012 by MarvelousAQL while North American version was released by XSEED Games on October 1st, 2013. ZenUnited later announced plans to release the game in Europe during Spring 2014, but now possibly due to Neverland Co. filing for bankruptcy, the game was cancelled for release in European countries. However, on October 3rd, 2014, XSEED Games announced plans to release Rune Factory 4 in Europe and later released December 11th, 2014 on the Nintendo eShop. An Updated Re-release for the Nintendo Switch was confirmed during a Nintendo Direct on February 13, 2019, and was released on February 25, 2020. The rerelease was later announced at E3 2021 to be ported to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Steam, and was released on those platforms on December 7, 2021.


The character sheet can be found here.

This series provides examples of:

  • Absurdly High Level Cap: On par with other games of the series, characters can reach levels in the hundreds with ease. Your max level is 50,000, which is five times higher than Micah's. Averted with some of the skill levels, which will only go as high as 99.
  • Acquired Poison Immunity: It never quite reaches the level of immunity, but suffering any of the game's Status Effects levels up a corresponding resistance skill. Drinking a dose of Object X every day before bed is a good way to grind everything at once.
  • Action Girl: The main character can take just about anyone they've befriended into dungeons with them, but as the town knight who will accompany them regardless of affection, Forte best fits the trope. This also fits if you're playing as Frey.
  • Aerith and Bob: Doug, Leon, and Margaret stand beside Vishnal, Volkanon and Illuminata.
  • All The Worlds Are a Stage: The Forest of Beginnings, which the protagonist travels to twice. The first time is made up of only the areas they traveled to previous, not the ones after, save Leon Karnak. The second time it becomes a gigantic dungeon called Rune Prana and can only be accessed from Leon Karnak.
  • And Your Reward Is Parenthood: After getting married, you can choose to have a child. Your child inherits abilities based on who your spouse is, and can become a very powerful party member for it. You can even use a special equipment—the Dolphin Charm—to make their stats equal to yours.
  • An Entrepreneur Is You: Don't feel like farming or fighting monsters? Load up your Shop Box with items you no longer need, and start haggling for money from travelers and townspeople. Especially once you start making progress in Sharance Maze, where the items are both high-level and high-tier, and sell for a pretty penny.
  • An Interior Designer Is You: The players gets to move around their storage bins, forge, kitchen, and other essentials as they please.
  • Art Evolution: Special adds more detail and texture to the clothes in some of the character's portrait sprites. For example, Lest has added lavender stripes on his pajama portrait, and Forte's green swimsuit has a watermelon design.
  • The Artifact: The description of the Mixed Smoothie says it's "Milk added to mixed fruits and vegetables", despite it being made from Mixed Juice + Honey — Mixed Juice already had milk in it, and there are no vegetables anywhere in the crafting tree. This description was accurate in the first three games, when Mixed Juice was made from Fruit Juice combined with Vegetable Juice, and all Smoothies (then called Oles) were made by adding milk to their corresponding juice.
  • Artificial Atmospheric Actions: The game lacks particular cliques, so any character can be seen conversing with another. There are a variety of different conversations to drop in on. There are also a wide range of NPCs who go in and out of town as tourists, making the world feel more full without overfilling the character roster.
  • Attractive Bent-Gender: After the second story arc, the main character can change their character model, portrait and voice to various characters, including their opposite-sex counterpart, while retaining the same lines of dialogues and interactions with the other characters. This can lead to many interesting scenes.
  • Badass Family: Once you're married and have a child, your family is this, considering your child is every bit as competent an adventurer you are. If you travel with your family, you can even find a secret area containing the materials you need to make the Dolphin Pendant—an equipment that makes your spouse and child's stats match your own.
  • Bag of Holding: There's a limit to how much it can hold, but considering what can fit in a bag that they don't even bother to show the player carrying...
  • Barrier Maiden: Inverted in Ventuswill. Her death would release enough runies to sustain the world until a new native dragon would be born.
  • Berserk Button: Do NOT make any references to Dylas' equine appearance.
  • Big Eater: Porcoline, Lest/Frey (based on eating stat), and Doug all put away tons of food. In fact, since you can continuously give absurd amounts of food to all townsfolk, with the healing effects implying they ate it, everyone can qualify.
  • Bishōnen: Leon, Vishnal, and Dylas are all very pretty with long hair.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Act 2 ends with Lest/Frey defeating Edelberd, leaving the Sechs Empire to shambles. However, to do that, they have to kill Ventuswill who got possessed by him. While she assures the villagers that she returned to the Forest of Beginnings, since Death Is Cheap for monsters, it would be a long process for her to return. However, you can accelerate her return by doing an event.
  • Body Wipe: The animated scene for Xiao Pai's introduction involves her trying not to trip; it ends with her falling backwards onto and sitting on the camera.
  • Book Ends: The first arc ends with Lest/Frey going to Leon Karnek and the Forest of beginnings to rescue someone from there. The entire third arc is Lest/Frey going to both locations again to revive Ventuswill. It's also inverted. During the first visit Lest/Frey faces Sarcophagus last at the Forest, whereas in the third arc, he's the second boss and they must defeat him to access the Forest again
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall:
    • With a healthy dose of Lampshade Hanging for good measure in the "Mood Reversal Medicine" event. When Jones gives Lest/Frey the medicine, he'll note that there's a label that says "Does not affect main character." He has no idea what this means.
    • A random conversation the main character can have with Kiel has him talking about fictional worlds. One of the responses they can give him is "This world is fictional." He thinks they're kidding, but then asks "You were kidding...right?"
    • In one conversation with Porcoline, he will ask the player to stand with him forever. If the response is yes, he'll say that as long as there is "power flowing into this device" they can stand there endlessly, leaving Lest/Frey confused as to what he's talking about.
  • The Bus Came Back: Ethelberd comes back into the plot after being absent in every game since the first.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: When Ethelberd is reminded that he had Doug's village destroyed to turn him against Ventuswill, the only response is "I don't recall."
  • But Thou Must!:
    • At one point in Vishnal's main sub-event, an options menu will come up with only one option. Not two options that mean the same thing. One option.
    • Taken to its logical extreme when Lest/Frey speaks to Ventuswill after rescuing Dolce. While they are provided plenty of options, not only do they reach the same conclusion regardless, but they are forced to select every last option at some point during the conversation. Lest/Frey only gets a say in what order they go. Sometimes.
    • On multiple occasions when Porcoline confesses his undying love to the player, they're presented with a long list of options that all harshly shut him down. Porcoline may or may not even notice, and if he does, he may or may not have been serious.
  • The Cameo: Raven and Barrett both visit Selphia regularly. You can even make an Order to make them visit every day.
    • Also Mistress Trupin, if you look past her standard villager appearance.
    • Additionally, Frey has a run-in with Iris and Candy in the official Nintendo Dream comic.
  • Checkpoint Starvation: Suddenly occurs just before you enter Leon Karnak/The Forest Of Beginnings. The game blatantly tells you that you should save before proceeding and that you need to be careful, otherwise it's Game Over. Done not to increase the difficulty, but more for drama in the story events that are about to unfold.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The main villain's motivation is based primarily around events from the first game in the series, and uses plot devices from the second, although the game is vague enough in referencing these. It explains the basics that the player needs to know too, so that if they haven't played the first two games it might just sound like the main villain happened to have an encounter with an Earthmate once and one of the people who frequently visits town conveniently knows about the rare spells being used.
    • Various hints show that Margaret is Daria's little sister, and in her cameo appearance, Raven will talk about Gaius. Barrett will also make some callbacks to Alvarna.
      • Also, during one of the town events, Barrett and Raven will hallucinate about being Kyle and Micah, respectively.
      • One of Barrett's lines is that he lampshades how every town seems to have a member of the De Sainte-Coquille family. And even lampshades how weird their huge fat faces are and wonders "Will Max (Handsome son of Herman De Sainte-Coquille) look like that someday?"
    • Mistress Trupin also has a number of lines that scream "I AM MIST" up to and including recounting an incident where she gave a traveler collapsed from hunger a hoe and watering can (which is how the first Rune Factory game starts). She also mentions having once met a man and woman who shared a body.
  • Controllable Helplessness: When Ethelberd starts to Etherlink with Ventuswill, while you have all your moves and such, the villain is currently invulnerable under Deflector Shields, meaning that there's nothing effective you can do except watch it happen.
  • Chainmail Bikini: Forte's armor is actually highly practical and protective. One of Bado's many get-rich-quick ideas is not.
  • Creepy Doll: The guardian of Obsidian Manor, Marionetta.
  • Cuteness Proximity:
    • Arthur and Forte both love cute things, although Forte tries to backpedal her adoration.
    • Ventuswill is aware that she is this trope and claims to use it to get food from people.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: Remember how streamlined the L button menu was in Rune Factory 3? Now you have to press A twice to equip and up then A to hold versus just tapping the button you'd press to use it anyway.
  • Dating Sim: Like the other Rune Factory and Harvest Moon games. This one also has the main character officially become girlfriend and boyfriend before they get married.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: But a beating on the pocket book if Jones catches Lest/Frey (Nancy lets them off for free).
    • Inverted in certain circumstances (such as while the main character is in the Forest of Beginnings). Thankfully, the game is nice enough to let the player know that death is a game over beforehand.
  • Design-It-Yourself Equipment: Equipment is insanely customizable, and using the right upgrade materials can bestow all manner of custom abilities on your gear, such as changing its length, allowing it to inflict multiple status effects, or having it grant certain helpful effects.
  • Developer's Foresight: Your child has unique dialogue for going through Yokmir Forest for the first time—the very first dungeon—which is very difficult to see, unless you manage to marry Vishnal (and only Vishnal is possible to marry this early) before ever leaving town.
  • Diminishing Returns for Balance: Upgrading the same piece of equipment with the same material reduces the stat bonus for each successive material, potentially all the way to zero. So you can't just slap 10 pieces of iron on anything for an easy +10 defense.
  • Disc-One Nuke:
    • A minor example for the first dungeon, Forte starts at roughly level 12 (hardly surprising, given her profession) and she starts with the second tier long sword. She's also the only person you can ask to go adventuring with you immediately. Even the boss of the dungeon doesn't stand a chance against her, and she won't even take scratch damage until halfway through the second dungeon, even farther if you fill in her missing equipment slots.
    • Gaining access to the forge and workbench as soon as possible can also make the first few dungeons of the game incredibly easy, although this is later prevented from becoming too powerful, as use of the forge is expected, and high level materials either become locked away or guarded by monsters too powerful for you to beat at that stage of the game.
  • Easy Amnesia: Lest/Frey doesn't get amnesia when they're knocked out of the airship. They get it when they're hit on the back of the head a few minutes earlier.
  • Eldritch Location: The massive Heavenly Gate has caused Leon Karnak to fuse with the Forest of Beginnings, the origin of all monsters. When you enter Leon Karnak for the first time, the interior consists of various different areas from earlier in the game patched together with various expanses of white void interspersed throughout.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: When Lest/Frey begins dating someone, and again when they get married, they'll ask if their spouse wants to call them by a nickname, and if they should call them anything special. Depending on what the main character calls them, they may find it slightly embarrassing or they may just think it's cute.
  • The Empire: The Sechs Empire from RF1 makes a comeback in this game.
  • Fake-Out Fade-Out: After beating Sarcophagus and sacrificing their chance to return home to ensure Leon's safety, Lest/Frey will sit down and the credits will roll... for about five seconds, at which point Venti shows up to chew them out and bring them back. Then the credits will roll for real.
  • Fanservice: All male and female marriage candidates as well as Illuminata can be seen in swimsuits and pajamas.
  • Fixed Damage Attack: Any weapon "upgraded" with Scrap Metal+ will always deal exactly one point of damage. Surprisingly, there are actually certain situations where this can come in handy.
  • Foreshadowing: If you take a companion with you when you go search for the Chipsqueak that stole Venti's Charm from you, they'll call your name in confusion as you move to catch it. If you look closely, the Chipsqueak is also transparent, showing that it's not actually real and your companion sees you chasing after absolutely nothing.
  • Game-Favored Gender: While gameplay-wise the player has a Purely Aesthetic Gender, the story occasionally seems to favor a female protagonist (perhaps in an apology for shafting them in previous games of the series). The prospective children far more resemble Frey than Lest or any of the marriage candidates, and every townsperson has a special conversation they will share with them upon reaching 100FP. Male candidates tend to veer into quasi-romantic territory, even when playing as Lest, whereas female candidates are more strictly platonic, even when playing as Lest and dating or married to them.
  • Happily Adopted: Borders on a theme of the game; adoptive and surrogate families outnumber the biological ones, especially once the unlockable marriage candidates start moving in.
  • Happily Married: Nancy and Jones. Lin Fa also has a husband who stops in on occasion, making a broken record of two already married couples in a single Rune Factory game. Naturally, Lest/Frey can end up this way as well.
  • Haunted House: The Obsidian Mansion. Most monsters in the mansion are ghost or reaper kinds, Apocalyptic Log written in blood, several ghostly shades appearances, and its guardian is the resident I See Dead People Elegant Gothic Lolita with a ghost stalking her since she was a child.
  • Holler Button: The "Greeting" spell does nothing but make Lest/Frey go "Hello!" Since, however, using spells at the end of a dash gives you some Lag Cancel, it's common for players to use this "spell" to dash quickly across the world while shouting "Hello!" repeatedly.
  • Hot-Blooded: Doug. Dylas also applies, which is another reason the two butt heads a lot.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: Recruiting any of the boss monsters. They will quickly outstrip you in stats, and their attacks will consistently out damage yours.
  • Hypocritical Humor: In one conversation among the bachelorettes, Clorica will express disgust with Doug after hearing that he fell asleep while working.
  • Interspecies Romance: While Lest and Frey are humans, they can court Margaret, an elf; Doug, a dwarf; or the former boss monsters: Amber, Dylas, Dolce, and Leon (who were human before, but now possess monster-like traits, such as tails for Dylas and Leon).
  • In the End, You Are on Your Own: Lest/Frey won't approach Heaven's Gate with monsters or villagers in their party, because they only have one MacGuffin that will them get out of the Forest of Beginnings afterward, and if something were to happen, the other party member(s) might be trapped there forever.
  • Item Crafting: As with all Rune Factory games.
  • Kill It with Water: The watering can is still usable as a weapon. The water laser spell is Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
  • Lag Cancel: The ending lag of a dash can be cancelled out of with a spell or attack. Notably, this includes the Greeting spell, which does nothing but play a voice clip — exploiting this leads to the very silly result of Lest/Frey nyooming around at top speed chanting "hello".
  • Lame Pun Reaction: When Forte starts wanting a horse to complete her knighthood, Volkanon suggests she ride an Elefun instead. He thought getting her to ride it would be an elephantine task, but really, it's no tusk at all. Everyone else gets "..." bubbles over their heads and a gust of wind blows through the town square. The Elefun in question decides to trample him in irritation.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Though as a first for the series, the main character actually gets amnesia after the game starts. The player still doesn't learn much of anything about them beforehand, however. Ventuswill also forcibly removed memories relating to her from each of the guardians, so that they wouldn't try to sacrifice themselves for her again.
  • Leaked Experience: Monsters in your barn gain 50% of your combat EXP. This is particularly useful for monsters that drop items in the barn every day, as that item's level depends on the monster's level.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: A few of the characters mention seeing something behind the main, and Dolce implies they're being haunted. This is implied to be them sensing the player.
  • Lethal Chef:
    • Vishnal. If Frey marries him, he may give her a Fail or a Super Fail each day.
    • Forte as well.
    • Frey, in a comic, ends up making so many failed dishes that it fills her shipping bin.
    • One of Xiao Pai's rewards when you complete a quest for her is also a Failed Dish.
  • Lethal Joke Item:
    • Trying to cook ingredients that don't add up to a recipe results in a Failed Dish or a Disastrous Dish, which are the opposite of your normal Power-Up Food. This turns out surprisingly useful if you throw it at the enemy instead of trying to eat it yourself — Lethal Chef Forte already knows this and will do it if you bring her into combat.
    • Object X, the failed chemistry result, depletes all your RP and inflicts every Status Effect at once. In addition to the idea of tossing it at the enemy, you can take a dose every night before bed to grind your resistances.
    • Mealy Apples. They are rare drops from a hidden enemy that only appears during a Tornado on a specific location. Does even worse things to you than what a Failed Dish would if you try to eat them. If used for upgrading your equipment, it actually reverses the effects of the previously used material. By the way, did you know that upgrading equipment with Object X provides a massive stat reduction? Consider the implications of that for a moment.
  • Little Bit Beastly: Dylas retains his horse ears and tail after turning human. Leon ends up with fox features. Amber has antennae, and occasionally wings. Dolce has pointed ears, but since she is human this is also likely from her monster form.
  • Lost in Translation: The joke about Lest/Frey accusing Barrett of being an alcoholic. One of his favorite gift is salmon, which is "sake" in Japanese like the alcoholic drink. The pun is difficult to translate cleanly from Japanese into English, and it was changed into Barrett thinking Lest/Frey somehow misheard him saying "salmon" as "sake" rather than trying to make a really, really bad pun.
  • Love Potion: Can be made with the Chemistry Set with a very high medicine skill. If you want to get a person's relationship to 100, it probably your best option, but will take literally hundreds of the potions to get there.
  • Luck-Based Mission:
    • The final plot event after the player finishes the main storyline is triggered at random. The only thing you can do about it is clear out any other random plot events that pop up as fast as possible.
    • Along with the Double Bed and Ring required, you also need to trigger a specific event before you can propose to someone. Worse, the event is different for each person, and some of THOSE may need ANOTHER event to have happened already.
    • Trying to get all the recipes? The bosses at the end of the Sharance Mazes will drop a random Recipe Bread, which contains one high-level recipe. If you get bread for a type whose recipes you already learned (especially Farming and Medicine, which can be completed even without them), it's 10 floors of dungeoneering down the drain. The alternative is to look up the recipes and Level Grind to absurd levels so that you have enough RP to learn the recipe by making them. And recipes are one of the few things you don't carry over with a New Game Plus...
  • Martial Arts for Mundane Purposes: Forte is a knight by trade, but all her skill with a sword also translates quite nicely to using a knife to slice up sashimi or a salad. Just don't ask her to cook anything else. Seriously, DON'T.
  • Mercy Invincibility: You only get a limited form of this after getting hit enough times. Enemies can and will repeatedly beat on you to take advantage of the lack of invincibility, and, in Hard mode especially, many attacks that would otherwise seem like single-hit will actually deal damage twice.
  • Metal Slime: The Mineral Squeaks, which can only be found in one specific area, spawn randomly, and drop the rare Double Steel and 10-Fold Steel materials, which can be used to raise equipment's stats to ridiculous levels. But they only drop it if you manage to hit them without killing them, and they have paltry HP and defense.
  • Missing Secret: Illuminata has swimsuit and pajama sprites, which normally only the bachelors/bachelorettes have. This might lead you to believe she's a secret marriage candidate, but there's no way to woo her.
  • Mistaken Identity: Lest/Frey is not the noble the town was waiting for. Arthur was. This is particularly hilarious as Frey, because Arthur is obviously a guy's name, yet despite her explicitly pointing this out, nobody really believes that she might be the wrong person until the real Arthur finally shows.
  • The Mole: It turns out Doug is actually a spy for the Sechs Empire. It doesn't last however.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The game instructions mention that the Sechs Empire was temporarily known as Zzyzx, and that historians believe the temporary name change to be due to an illness within the Empire's ranks, or a practical joke. This is what the empire was called in Rune Factory Frontier, the other game localized by XSEED Games. It's been referred to as (and generally preferred as) Sechs in every other game.
    • The lack of a "canon" love interest in the game proper may count as this: in every other game, the Implied Love Interest was usually the one who gave you your house. It was usually heavily hinted that they were doing this because they were interested in you from the very beginning, and if you married them it was treated as you repaying their generosity. The only people in this game who can really be credited with giving you your house are Ventuswill, who isn't an option, and Arthur, who is letting you stay in what would have been his home because it's part and parcel of you taking on what would have been his job.
  • Naked on Arrival: In the Nintendo Dream comic, all the Guardians (save, for whatever reason, Dylas) are naked when they're restored to their human forms.
  • New Game Plus: After completing all of Eliza's side missions you'll permanently unlock the option, once per savefile, to carry over stats, inventory, furniture, soil quality, and farm upgrades from another savefile. Friendship levels and recipes unlocked won't carry over, however.
  • Non-Standard Game Over: Normally, you can't get a Game Over at all... but the Return spell doesn't work in the Forest of Beginnings. As such, if the player loses all of their HP in the Leon Karnak/Forest of Beginnings dungeon at the end of Act 1, they'll be trapped forever, and the game will simply take you back to the title screen.
  • Noob Bridge:
    • Right around the Maya Road area, monsters start ramping up severely in difficulty for players who aren't making use of the crafting system. It's a common experience for players to suddenly start dying repeatedly around that area and then wonder if they should be level grinding, only to be told (either via looking it up in a guide or asking fans) that equipment is much more important than levels and that they need to be making more powerful gear.
    • The Free-Farming Shoes provide many new players a lesson in why they should always read the item descriptions. The Free-Farming Shoes allow you to farm outside the game's normal grid lines, which it tells you in its description. However, many players equip them without reading this, and then ask online if their game is glitched, because they're suddenly unable to farm within the regular grid.
  • Not Completely Useless: Any weapon "upgraded" with Scrap Metal+ will only do one damage per hit. Normally, this makes them Joke Items. However, Mineral Squeeks drop one item every time you hit them, but only have 4 HP. Suddenly, a weapon upgraded with Scrap Metal+ becomes extremely useful for farming items from Mineral Squeeks, as it's the one thing capable of hitting them more than once without defeating them.
  • The Not-Love Interest: Despite being the focus of the plot, the first girl Lest/Frey meets, many Ship Tease moments, and having a human form, Ventuswill is not a bachelorette.
  • Number of the Beast: The selling price of the level 1 Cursed Doll.
  • Official Couple: Averted. While you've always been able to pick whichever marriage candidate you like, the previous three games made it really obvious which one was canon. Not here, though — every marriageable NPC is treated pretty much equally. While various adaptations have picked one couple or another, they all ended up choosing differently. note 
  • Only in It for the Money: Bado has no real passion for his work as the town blacksmith, and is always coming up with get-rich-quick schemes.
    • Which contrasts Gaius from Rune Factory 3, who forges weapons because he enjoys it, and doesn't care about making a profit.
  • Our Dwarves Are All the Same: As with Rune Factory 3 this is averted. Doug is somewhat brash, but is average height, beardless, hopeless when it comes to crafting things, and works in the general store. And Bado is a laid back giant, though he does have a beard.
  • Pajama-Clad Hero: Talk to someone when they're at the beach in summer and ask them to go adventuring with you; they'll run around in their swimsuit the entire time, despite normally changing clothes instantly when leaving the beach. If you have someone's affection high enough, you can get them to let you in their house early in the morning or late at night, catching them in their pajamas; ask them to go adventuring then and you get the trope. Once you unlock the costume shop, you too can run around defeating monsters in absurd clothing.
  • Peninsula of Power Leveling:
    • Leon Karnak. After finishing the storyline mission there, on returning, it has some fairly high level enemies.
    • Because the Heaven's Gate doesn't block the road until it becomes plot relevant (you can squeeze by it on the left), Leon Karnak is actually accessible as soon as the player has access to Obsidian Mansion. Although at such a level, they'll be knocked out in short order.
  • Picture Drama: The "Another Episode" bonus content in the Special Edition, each of which serves as A Day in the Limelight for the potential bachelors and bachelorettes.
  • Platonic Declaration of Love: You can tell any named character "I love you!" at any time. If the character isn't a potential Love Interest, they'll assume you mean it platonically and will often respond in a friendly way. Porcoline gets the wrong idea, but Frey/Lest asserts that they mean it platonically.
  • Playing Possum: Dylas in monster form will fall over and fake defeat once in Lest's/Frey's match with him.
  • Pointy Ears: Elves, dwarves, and Dolce all sport them.
  • Power Fist: This game introduces Fist weapons, which take the form of gloves that are used to punch enemies. Lest/Frey can also use Fist weapons to pick up enemies they've hit, leading to a variety of follow up attacks.
  • The Power of Love: Love is one of the elemental types, which means you can add love-elemental damage to your weapons in the same way you'd add fire or water-type damage.
  • Precision F-Strike: In the end of the second arc. Not an F-bomb, exactly, but the protagonist certainly has some choice words for the Big Bad.
    Frey/Lest: And I don't want a selfish bastard like you dismissing her. You know nothing about her!
  • Random Drop Booster: The Lucky Ring increases your rate of rare drops when you kill monsters.
  • Required Secondary Powers: Mediseal, the spell that cures sealing, can be cast even while sealed. Well, it wouldn't exactly be useful otherwise!
  • Running Gag: The option to sleep in another person's bed is in this game as well. If Lest/Frey is dating someone, it changes a bit, and if they marry them, their particular dialogue if they go back to their old bed will change yet again.
  • Same Content, Different Rating: The game on 3DS was rated E10+ despite XSEED's adding more (mild) profanities and innuendoes in the hopes the game would be rated Teen. Special, on Switch, was given the Teen rating they were hoping for despite not being that different content-wise to the Vanilla version; even in both its Newlywed mode and Another Episode mode.
  • Saved for the Sequel: Mistress Trupin mentions she's looking for somebody.
  • Screwball Serum: During the "Mood Reversal Medicine" Town Event Jones gives you a potion which flips a person's personality by scent. You're tasked with delivering it to Arthur so he can properly dispose of it before it causes trouble. If you talk to other the villagers before giving it to Arthur they'll temporarily become affected, resulting in general hilarity.
  • Seemingly Hopeless Boss Fight: The climax of the second arc pits you against Ethelberd. The first phase is a normal fight, the second is hopeless after he turns on his Deflector Shields, the third is the opposite of hopeless as Ventuswill is fighting by your side and will heal you if you run out of HP, the fourth after he merges with Ventuswill is technically an Open-Ended Boss Battle but his stats are so absurdly high that you can pretty much only win on New Game Plus, and the fifth and sixth phases are just damage sponges that can't reasonably hope to overcome your inflated stats.
  • Seemingly Profound Fool: One of the dialogue exchanges with Kiel has this scenario occur in their thoughts.
    Lest/Frey: Wow, Kiel looks so serious! He must be thinking about something really intense right now.
    Kiel: I wonder what I should cook today. More strawberry cake? Or maybe even chocolate cake...
  • Sexy Surfacing Shot: This is commented on if the player character romances Arthur and goes with him to the bathhouse, he'll tell her that he finds the sight of a woman emerging from the bath very appealing.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The bath section of the bathhouse is named Bell Bath (and Beyond).
    • According to their description, the Power Gloves are so bad.
    • There is a NPC who would love to go dungeon crawling, but he took an arrow to the knee a few years back
    • Amber at one point asks Forte "Are you a gumshoe, pal?" Just like Detective Gumshoe.
    • You can craft or find a Ruby Rod. Its flavor text suggests "No one can stop the feelings gushing out from this weapon."
    • The description for the Rush Punch skill promises: "Enemies are already dead."
    • If Frey marries Arthur, when he asks for kids he'll ask her "Would you please bear my child?"
    • One town event has Volkanon yell out the memetic "I've fallen and I can't get up!" line from the Life Alert commercials.
    • During the Hope Spot, Porcoline has a voice clip where he says, "Show me your moves!"
    • The wooden baseball bat's description mentions that only kids in striped shirts makes a weapon like this their first choice.
    • The Twin Leeks weapon contains a number of stat boosts that equal 39, and using them will make you want to sing polka.
    • Upon flying to The Floating Island your airship is attacked by monsters, after defeating them Arthur praises your fighting skills, in which you could be humble, or say "Gimme More!" If you say the latter, Arthur will reply "You're like a Tiger! You're GRRRRRRREAT!", referencing the Frosted Flakes tagline and tiger mascot.
    • If the player gets in a relationship with Margaret, when she attempts to tell the player she loves him, she will first attempt to confess, but then claim that there's a "Wooly doing the Leekspin" behind them; after marrying her, she'll be able to get past the love part of the word... only to then stop short and say To be continued...
    • The order to let Raven stay home instead of coming to Selphia every day ends with (That's so her!).
    • When you have the fortune teller assess your compatibility with a party member, she chants "Mekka lekka hi... mekka hiney ho!"
    • Illuminata has a number of shoutouts herself:
      • She yells "OBJECTION!" in at least one scene.
      • Illuminata also has a voice clip where she says "No need, my dear Watson!"
      • One of the exchanges which can happen during a harvest festival:
    Illuminata:"It was you, on your farmland, with the hoe! I accuse you of growing that crop!"
    • Some of the pet names during the Buddy Battle festival are shout outs to other franchises:
      • Vishnal called one of his combat pets Sebastian after the man who inspired him to become a butler. The other's name? Alfred.
      • Clorica's beloved fighting duo are called Kotaro and Minami.
      • Xiao Pai, keeping with her comic relief motif, named her two buddies Menchi and Nabeshin.
  • Special Person, Normal Name: Leon, who was originally a coffin monster named Sarcophagus, with a very Egyptian design that makes him stand out among the villagers, next to Dylas.
  • Talk to Everyone: This gives the player the prince/princess points they need to order better equipment, shops, and festivals, so they will be doing this a lot.
  • Tag Along Kid: Lest/Frey can take their child into dungeons with them. One part of the map requires the player's spouse and child to be tagging along to unblock the path.
  • Time Skip:
    • There is a 1 year timeskip after the completion of the 2nd arc.
    • A 5 year timeskip also occurs once the player’s child is born.
  • Token Mini-Moe: Amber and Kiel.
  • Turns Red: The boss monsters will do this once they're weakened enough.
  • The Ugly Guy's Hot Daughter: Justified in that Margaret is more of an adopted daughter than Porcoline's own flesh and blood.
  • Un-Confession: The player has the option to confess their love to the marriage candidates, but even if their Relationship Values are beyond high enough, there's a very good chance the candidate will think they're joking. You can also confess to the rest of the town, who will never take you seriously, and Porcoline likes to confess randomly for no apparent reason.
  • Unique Enemy: Typhoon monsters can only spawn on one particular bridge in Sercerezo Hill on the day of a typhoon. It cannot spawn anywhere else in the game (not even in randomly generated dungeons from Dungeon Flowers or Sharance Maze). Should you defeat it, you'll have to wait for the next typhoon for it to show up again.
  • Useless Useful Spell: Inverted. Standard status effects such as poison, seal, and even instant kill all work very well even into the post game where they shine the most. The sick and fatigue status while not helpful in battle at least builds your own resistance to them. Its a lot better building the immunity this way.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: The game gives Lest/Frey lots of options to say something mean to the people they're courting.
    • The game gives you a lot of options to act like a jackass in general when interacting with the villagers.
    • For no good reason the player can also knock people out by repeatedly throwing birds at them.
    • Lest's/Frey's love interest will also notice if he/she has been flirting with others after marriage. Some of them don't take it so well.
  • Warm-Up Boss: Ambrosia in the Yokmir Forest. Can be defeated with minimal amount of equipment as early as the second proper day you play in the game. Or just let Forte beat her for you.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Depending on the player's pace, Ventuswill herself can be this. It can be a little hard to get emotional about her disappearing at the end considering the player can easily speed through the parts of the game when she's conscious and drag on parts where she's not, leading to minimal contact and relationship development.
  • What If?: Ventuswill has her own story in the Special Edition's "Another Episode" section, giving an idea of what things would have been like if she had been an eligible bachelorette.
  • A Winner Is You: Compared to the fanfare after you rescue Leon and the dramatic, lengthy ending after you finish the second act of the story, the final conclusion after you clear Rune Prana is... underwhelming. There's little acknowledgment from the rest of the town that it happened, and you don't even get to watch the credits roll again after having fully wrapped up the story.

Video Example(s):


Margaret and squids

Looks like someone isn't fond of squids...

How well does it match the trope?

5 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / WhyDidItHaveToBeSnakes

Media sources: