Follow TV Tropes


Video Game / Rune Factory Frontier

Go To
A familiar face in an unknown land...

Rune Factory Frontier is a direct sequel to the first Rune Factory game and the series' debut on a home console. Unlike some were led to believe, this is neither a port nor remake.

Raguna, The Hero from the original Rune Factory, left Kardia in search of Mist and arrived at a border village called Trampoli. Turns out Mist moved there because someone's been calling out to her in her dreams. With Mist anchored in Trampoli for now, Raguna also decided to stay and keep an eye on her, doing what he does best; running a farm. But there seems to be some disturbance on Whale Island, a giant mass of land floating above the village; and he'll have to do something about it before that island loses its power and falls upon Trampoli right below.

Being the series' debut on a home console, Rune Factory Frontier is given an extended voice cast and more characterization for the characters. It also took a bit of a sharper turn to the comedic side than before; many Lampshade Hangings, humourous conversations and funny item descriptions are waiting around corners to make you smile. Long story short, RFF is a really smart and powerful update to the Harvest Moon formula, an attempt which yielded many things made right... except for one big flaw: a new and major game mechanic they added to the game horribly backfired.note  Even so, if you can manage to work around it, RFF is a really fun game for veterans and newcomers alike.

Rune Factory Frontier provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Accidental Pervert: Knock on the beach changing room in summer while a heroine is inside, sit back and watch as Hilarity Ensues.
  • Attack! Attack! Attack!: A very good way to get yourself killed, considering the stat growth is pretty low. Tactics, instead, go a long way here. And lots and LOTS of running.
    • It's still quite conditional, depending on your resourcesnote . It's not impossible, but it demands tons of recovery items AND constant attention on HP/RP.note  In short, it's not for everyone.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Magic wands. They're powerful but take a lot of RP, slow to fire and hard to aim. Not to mention they won't be very effective if you don't know the target's weakness.
    • Also depends on the rod. The "Storm Rod" is invaluable. It surrounds you with a wall of wind that hurts enemies. Meaning you can run at your enemies to hurt them, until the effect wears off. While the duration isn't long, that it reflects fireballs, defends against physical attacks, and still lets you charge at your target and hit with considerable knockback, makes it handy in quite a few situations. There are a few other rods with similar effects, but the RP cost on them his higher, or they don't grant the same mobility.
      • Really, it's a pain to get good with them, but once you get the hang of it the projectile spells actually make boss fights a hell of a lot easier.
  • Barely-There Swimwear: The Amazing Swimsuit (never actually seen, just described.)
  • Beach Episode Event
  • Big Bad: Gelwein; not really a surprise after the Iris Noire encounter.
  • Big Eater: Bianca, despite her appearances. Lampshaded in-game. She even gets her own festival for it starting from the 2nd year.
  • The Blacksmith: Ganesha.
  • Blessed with Suck: For some reason, monsters find Anette irresistible. Perhaps that explains her fast footwork...
    • It doesn't exactly help that she has an acorn around her neck...
  • Bookworm: Selphy; she forgets to eat while she's reading a book, often for days. Her current record is "one week".
  • Butt-Monkey / Chew Toy: Kross, from time to time. For example, Anette thinks he's a ghost. Also, on the day of Hotpot festival, he'll mention that he's getting the leftovers.
  • Call A Sheep A Woolly: Numerous monsters, though there do tend to be distinct differences between the monsters and the animals we're used to (Woollies walk on two feet for example)
    • Actually, that's about the only one that's totally different. The Buffamoo is a regular cow (with a bit of a mane), the honey-giving hornets are normal-looking except for being rather large, and the chicken has longer wings (as would be fitting a wild fowl that actually flies and does not spend all its time in a coop).
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Rosetta actually loves Raguna, as she admits after marriage that he's the reason she followed to Trampoli. The problem is that she's either too proud or just holding it in on grounds of feminine dignity.
  • Cast from Hit Points: Once your magic rune points run out.
  • Catchphrase: Erik's "Hey, young man!".
    • Would Kross' constant sighing count too?
    • Cinnamon's "It's a mystery" is somewhere between this and Verbal Tic
  • Chekhov's Gun: Remember that "strange seed" Mist mentioned to be growing a while back?
    • Also the Clock Tower, which Kanno mentions early on as being mysterious.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Mist. Man oh man oh man, Mist.
    • Apparently, lightning can take your belly button away and chicks (as in baby chickens) have lots of problems with seniority.
      • In Japan there's a legend that if you piss off the thunder god he'll punish you by stealing your belly button.
    • Also, there's "that". Though Mist can't remember what "that" is, even though "that" makes the beach inconvenient...
    • There's a rumor that the director told her VA to "Think brain damage. Lots and lots of brain damage."
    • Selphy has her own unique sense of logic as well, like writing you a letter saying that she's really hungry asking you to mail her food.
  • Commercial Break Cliffhanger: Spoofed; they cut in the middle of festivals.
  • Continuity Nod: RFF constantly brings up hints and references to its prequel. A number of them can be seen if you follow Anette on her delivery rounds. if you can catch up, that is.
    • Likewise, most questions in the quiz contest were submitted by the cast of RF 1
  • Crash-Into Hello: How Uzuki is "introduced" for the first time.
  • Cute Clumsy Girl: Lara. She doesn't look like one, but granted, she'll tell you that herself.
  • Damsel in Distress: Mist, right after freeing Iris Noire. She'll be gone until you beat the storyline.
  • Deity of Human Origin: Gelwein, after powering up with the Dark Rune.
  • Don't Try This at Home: Eating raw fish, cheating on your wife, etc.
  • Excuse Plot: Mist has run away! So of course Raguna has to go after her, even if that means leaving behind a wife & kid. Made worse if his spouse is one of the characters to follow as there's no sign of their kid.
  • Eye Catch: Spoofed along with the "commercial breaks"; Candy in her swimsuit. And that includes festivals right in the middle of winter.
  • Fanservice:
  • Apart from Marco and Candy, the only NPCs to actually don bathing suits are potential spouses. And if you get their affection high enough you can give them skimpier ones as gifts.
  • Final Boss, New Dimension: The monster being used by Gelwein to fuel his power is sealed in a seperate dimension called the Era of Disconnect in order to prevent it from sucking all the energy out of the world.
  • Furo Scene: Subverted; you don't get to see the girls on the other side, but you can clearly hear what they're talking about. You pay a very small price for accidental eavesdropping, though.
  • Genki Girl: Selphy, especially when it comes to books. Melody's generally quite peppy herself.
  • Green Aesop: A lighter way to look at the Runey system.
  • Guide Dang It!: The Runey system, finding out where to get all of your tools (especially the hammer), where anyone is at any particular time is and how to enter in a few of the dungeons could take you a lot of time guessing, if you can figure it out at all, or you could just look it up online.
  • Hello, [Insert Name Here]: Just like its parent series, Harvest Moon, you can name your player character, your farm and the monsters you succeed in taming. Unlike Harvest Moon, though, default name for the player is already given.
    • Lampshaded by Raguna after naming the farm and Mist says that it's a very good name:
      Raguna: I hope you weren't prepared to say that no matter what I named it...
      • Unless you named the farm by the default name ("Mist"), which prompts Mist to say, "T-that's a name that will spread around fast..."
  • I Want You to Meet an Old Friend of Mine: In the English version, Raguna is voiced by Ichigo, so he's probably already familiar with the Irises, who are voiced by Rukia.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Any item you can equip can be used to fight monsters (other then the brush that befriends them). While the sickle and hoe seem somewhat reasonable to use as weapons, you may also use the fishing pole and watering can, which tend to do more damage than a sword.
  • Inexplicable Treasure Chests: Not made any more comprehensible by the fact that all chests reapear between dungeon runs.
  • Informed Ability: The other warriors in town. As is common for the series, you can almost never, EVER see them fight anyone or anything, despite everyone else saying how tough they are or how well they fight. Due to Gameplay And Story Segregation, most likely, but even so, it's become a running joke for many fans of the series. Also goes for some other characters, such as the blacksmith who makes "The best swords around", that turn out to be almost trivial projects once you have your own forge...
  • Item Crafting: Necessary to get anything past the most basic equipment. The game contains 4 separate crafting skills for you to Level Grind: Cooking (with the kitchen), Lab (Making medicines etc. with the Laboratory), Forge, and Craft (Creating farm tools/weapons and armor/gifts respectfully, both using the Forge)
  • Jerkass: We're looking staring at you, Brodik. His attitude is justified later as he thinks that Raguna is an escaped soldier of the Zzyzx Empire which he was ordered to look for and letters from Candy and Marco thanking him for helping out in the fields reveal he's not really that bad of a guy.
    • Of course, the only reason he clears out all the rocks and weeds in the fields is because he's dumping them on YOUR field.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: The strongest two-handed swords are katanas, although the strongest Katana has the same attack power as the strongest one-handed sword, so this is not a full example.
  • Kids Hate Vegetables: When you ship fruits Rosetta likes she'll applaud you when she comes to pick them up, but if it's Danny's turn to collect shipments and you've got just about any vegetable in your bin he'll whine, expressing a desire to not even touch them.
  • Kill It with Water: You can hurt monsters with your watering can.
  • Killer Rabbit: Is dat a Woolly? Awwwww... look at it stumble, you fwuffy little... Oof!
  • Lampshade Hanging: Featured repeatedly; from in-game concepts to the prequel, and sometimes, the concepts of Harvest Moon series as a whole.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: "There are two Irises." Thank you, cover print...
  • Lethal Chef: Cinnamon.
    Cinnamon: I imitated Candy and tried to bake some sweets. For some reason they exploded. It's a mystery...
  • Level Grinding: Depending on your playstyle this may become necessary.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Most of the time. Raguna, however, can at least change his equipments.
    • An arguable subversion is that there are more than one character sprites for Raguna, the girls, Candy and Marco, in their beach outfits.
    • It gets lampshaded by two bachlorettes. Melody and Bianca will both inform you they have several (hundreds, in Bianca's case) of the same outfit since they like it so much
      • Cinnamon also mentions that she has many copies of the same outfit, though in her case it's because the magic academy she attended supplied them for her, rather then her liking the outfit particularly.
      • Add a fourth to the list: during winter, Brodik mentions that he thought his job (running Raguna out of town) would be done before then, and he didn't prepare any winter clothes.
  • Magic Music: In the final battle, when Gelwein is recovering all the damage you do, all the heroines appeared in the Era of Disconnect through holograms and start singing.
  • Male Gaze: On a date with a girl with whom you've met all the conditions for marriage, just before you are given the option to take out the bouquet and propose, dramatic flashes of the sprite of the girl are shown. The final, longest, and most conspicuous one is a closeup of her chest.
  • Miko: Uzuki.
  • Mad Scientist: Gelwein.
  • Meaningful Name: Iris Blanchenote  and Noirenote . You'll be surprised how many people confuse the two names.
  • Meido: Tabatha.
  • Nerf: Again, RF1 veterans will notice the differences. However, most of them just serve as challenges, and not overly gamebreaking.
    • EXP yield: Making Level Grinding a lot longer.
    • Stats, and particularly HP: Your HP barely gets close to 400 at Level 80. In other words, you can die very, VERY quickly if you're not prepared or not careful.
      • Though, perhaps for compensation, the RP gauge is set at 500, which is 5 times the amount from RF1. And as your skill and weapon/tool levels increase, the RP costs lower noticeably per levelnote .
    • Selling prices, excluding the crops': A Level 10 Diamond sells for only 840. That's about four bloody Level 1 Turnips, mind you.
  • Nerf Arm: Sacred Pole, the final upgrade to the fishing pole, holding a massive 255 ATK, out-powering any other weapon you can forge. Sadly, the lag and lack of chain attacks hold it down.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Raguna is the recipient of one of these if he dares to propose to another girl after he gets married.
  • Nun Too Holy: Lara isn't the most extreme example out there, acting just about how you'd expect her too, but the fact still remains that nuns take celibacy vows.
  • Oddly Named Sequel
  • Ominous Floating Castle: A labyrintine castle atop a floating island miles up in the sky filled to the brim with monsters capable of easily murdering you... Sounds like a matching description!
  • Our Elves Are Different: Tabatha, as good as she can be. She even turned out to be the Queen of Elves!
    • Also Minerva, good enough to qualify as a maiden. Sadly, she won't stay in Trampoli forever.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Iris, both Blanche and Noire. The point here is that she they're never seen sucking blood as food.
    • They do love tomato juice though...
    • However, there is a scene that shows they may, in fact, drink blood. I believe you need Iris Blanche at 2 LP to access it. If you go into the Whale Island Tower of Rest and talk to her while injured, you will get a scene where Raguna is bleeding and Iris freaks out. She then attempts to lick the unseen blood off of his hand.
      • Word of God is they aren't actually vampires, just some sort of creature that likes blood, faints around garlic, and can't set foot in the church. They also aren't pure breeds.
  • Picky Eater: If you're shipping vegetables when it's Danny's turn to empty your bin he'll complain, and try to think of a way to remove them without touching them.
  • The Quiet One: Kross and Cinnamon.
    • This is lampshaded by Raguna and addressed during on conversation with her.
    Raguna: Cinnamon, you're really... uh... to the point.
    Cinnamon: ...It's a pain to talk.
  • Rich Bitch: Bianca. Her VA's potrayal only pushes the point further.
  • Rummage Sale Reject: Equip the highest stat gear combinations you can get your hands on, and see how long it'll keep you laughing.
    Mist: Oh. You're wearing normal clothes today.
    Raguna: What? I wear this everyday.
    Mist: Oh, I'm sorry. That was in a dream.
    Raguna: What do you mean?
    Mist: Last night, I dreamt that you're working in your fields, dressed strangely.
    Mist: Well, you had a rabbit ear, and a long scarf...
    Mist: Really? That's too bad.
  • Shout-Out: Two of the equipments you can make are way too blatant to miss; "Straw Hat" is a dead-ringer to Luffy's, "Lunar Eclipse" is basically Ichigo's Bankai with a silver blade instead.
    • There's also a couple of books in the Rune Archives called "Ask a Ninja".
  • Single-Minded Twins: Both Irises, if you consider them twins, most of the time. When one of them says something about a topic, you can pretty much guess what the other will say.
  • Skippable Boss: Iris Noire. But only if you have Iris Blanche's Love to 4 and activated an event beforehand. There are no benefits either way, however.
  • Space Sky Whale: Whale Island.
  • Sweet Tooth: Eunice.
    Eunice: I love sweets!
    • Lute, too. He practically faints with excitement over a present of chocolate.
    • And Lara. "CHOCOLATE CAKE?!"
  • Take Your Time: Is the Whale Island going to fall anytime soon? Is your friend kidnapped by the Big Bad? No worries!
    • Then again, rushing things would be against the point of the Harvest Moon formula, so...
  • That Came Out Wrong
    Rosetta: You seem to have a nice body... Ah! I didn't mean it that way! Don't misunderstand me!
  • They Called Me Mad!: Gelwein. To be fair though, he experimented military uses of Runes in a country where they're blatantly banned in.
  • Token Mini-Moe: Uzuki, among the heroines.
    • Among all the villagers, however, Candy takes the cake.
  • Tsundere: Rosetta. PERIOD.
    • Also, Bianca.
  • Turns Red: The dungeon bosses play this straight. What color they turn differs with each one though.
  • Verbal Tic: Cinnamon has a tendency to end her sentences with "It's a mystery."
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: How does "Era of Disconnect" sound?
  • Warp Whistle: "Return" spell. Utter abuse suggested.
  • Yamato Nadeshiko: Uzuki, currently in training. Tsubute often reminds her about that.