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Sayonara Wild Hearts is a story-driven Rhythm Game/Endless Running Game hybrid, developed by a Swedish three-person studio Simogo, and published by Annapurna Interactive. It was released on September 19th, 2019, for Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4 and for iOS devices and PCs through the Apple Arcade.

Once upon a time, another, harmonious universe existed beyond ours, called the Astral Highways, and three divine beings called The Empress, The High Priestess, and The Hierophant, watched over it. One day, Death of the Arcanum teams up with the Devil, the Moon, the Lovers, and the Hermit to steal all the love for themselves, sealing it away in their wicked hearts. In response, before fading away, the Divine Trio set out to create The Fool to combat them, calling forth a heartbroken women to bring balance to all. All though the power of music.

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Tropes present in this game:

  • Antepiece: Excepting the Heartbreak levels, which involve the Fool traveling between locations, and a few one off levels like "Night Drift", each area features one or two short levels that introduce the mechanics unique to that Arcana, before a longer boss level where the Fool fights them.
  • Asteroids Monster: The Stereo Lovers start off as a single being wearing a black and white heart mask. After being sliced in two, they reform as the Lovers, each one wearing one half of the mask.
  • Badass Biker: Everyone but Hermit64 rides at breakneck speeds and pull off impossible maneuvers, sometimes even standing atop their motorcycles to clash weapons with each other.
  • Badass Fingersnap: Parallel Universes has the Stereo Lovers switch the level between two layouts with a snap and near the end The Fool turns this around on them.
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  • Baleful Polymorph: The fight with Hermit64 involves her transforming The Fool into a game card and loading it into her VR headset.
  • Beat Them at Their Own Game: The Fool's tactics are to mirror those of her opponent until she can create an opening to beat them. She flies after the Dancing Devils, returns fire to the Howling Moons, and takes over the snap-switching between worlds that the Stereo Lovers use as well as beat them at swordfighting and swordflying.
  • BFS: Taken Up to Eleven with the Stereo Lovers, whose swords progressively get bigger as the fight goes on, before turning into a gliding plane during the final part.
  • Book-Ends: The Wild Hearts Never Die medley ends with one final section of Clair de Lune, complete with The Fool falling off the road and catching the diamond butterfly again. The game itself concludes with the protagonist, her heart restored at last, returning to her room.
  • Boyish Short Hair: The Fool's appearance at the beginning of the game features a short, near buzz cut.
  • Cards of Power: Tarot cards can become people, animals, obstacles, buildings, hover boards to traverse a dimensional space on, and vehicles to ride or weapons to wield.
  • The Chase: As an autorunner game (in the general sense) every level that involves the antagonists is this.
  • Cool Bike: The Wheel of Fortune can cruise at incredible speed, be summoned and dispelled at will, and can even be equipped with a pair of laser cannons!
  • Cool Car: The Chariot, only used for one level, for drift driving on a desert highway.
  • Cool Sword: The Strength card takes the form of a blade with a heart on its hilt that The Fool can sky surf on like a hover board. The Stereo Loves get a pair of katana that they can expand into truly giant blades that they can further combine and fly on like a razor blade fighter jet.
  • Coup de Grâce: Every confrontation with one of the tarot ends with two blows. One to destroy their bodies, another to destroy their hearts.
  • Dance Battler: All of the characters, who use flowing, ballet-like movements in their fighting style and movement. The Fool also pulls of some dance battling of her own when fighting back.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: The last boss isn't Little Death even with all her form changes.
  • Dual-World Gameplay: "Parallel Universes" involves the Stereo Lovers changing the level between two layouts by snapping, eventually adding a third with a high five. At the climax of the level, The Fool turns this against them with snapping of her own.
  • Enemy Without: After Little Death is truly defeated in her final form, her and all the other arcana cards pull The Fool card, which manifested from her broken heart, out of the heroine and fuse with it. This causes it to manifest its own form which is a clone of her that recreates all their battles against her.
  • Energy Bow: The Temperance card manifests a bow that fires homing arrows made of energy.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: The Fool's hair is a pixie cut until the end of the game, where she grows it out again after healing her broken heart.
  • Fair-Play Villain: The Stereo Lovers give you Strength to wield in a swordfight with them.
  • Fusion Dance: The fairy the Arcanum sent to recruit the heroine becomes The Fool card and fuses with her.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: All of the 22 Major Arcana appear in the game, though quite a number of them are only seen and named for a matter of seconds.
  • Gainax Ending: After beating what's left of Little Death, the protagonist separates from The Fool, which fuses with the five Arcanum to fight against in a Boss Rush style. After kissing it several times, it turns into a dragon that the player take control of. After the protagonist kisses it again, it turns into the butterfly from the first stage, which the protagonist captures and fuses with. After all of that, the Fool turns back to normal, but older and with a guitar. Cue credits.
  • Genre-Busting: It's definitely a rhythm game, but it's also everything else, borrowing elements from racing games, fighters, platformers and rail shooters. Even the perspective changes, sometimes several times within one level - most is in over-the-head third person, but there are also sidescroller parts and even an FPS section.
  • Heartbroken Badass: The Fool is described in the prologue as being deeply heartbroken but she does not hesitate to chase down each of the usurping arcanum through many trials and obliterate them in two hits.
  • Hurting Hero: The prologue narration describes the hero as someone whose heart had been broken so profoundly that it echoed throughout time and space. The ending narration says she spent some time since spiraling into stages of depression before the events of the game helped bring her out of it.
  • Ironic Echo: "Begin Again" (the first vocal track in the game) is an upbeat song about going back to a broken relationship over and over again, while "The World We Knew" (near the end of the game) is a much more somber song about picking up and moving on, and directly references the former in a very different context.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: The Stereo Lovers wield transforming katanas.
  • The Marvelous Deer: The Emperor takes the form of a white stag.
  • Mushroom Samba: In Forest Dub one of the Howling Moon's tosses glittering powder at The Fool that makes her hallucinate the usual chase sequence through a psychedelic landscape involving actual mushrooms.
  • The Narrator: Done by Queen Latifah, of all people. According to Word of God, her inclusion was both very last minute (i.e. a week before release) and only half-seriously considered until it turned out she had an opening. That lateness is why the marketing made no mention of her.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Each world that the cursed Arcana resides in does not sound to be the most pleasant place to live in.
    • The Dancing Devils: Hatehell Valley
    • The Howling Moons: Woe Woe Woods
    • Stereo Lovers: Twilight Cry Sky
    • Hermit64: Desert Of Doubts
    • Little Death: Lovedead City
  • Narrator All Along: A variant. While the Narrator herself is a separate character, the credits reveal that the Fool was the one singing all the vocal tracks.
  • One-Winged Angel: Instead of disappearing, the fragments of Little Death's heart liquefy into black slime and regenerate into a monstrous winged form.
  • Playing with Fire: The Dancing Devils can attack from a distance with fireballs.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Tarot Motifs: The Arcanum is represented by a world where they are Cards of Power that can become people, items, or locations. Vaguely existing in parallel pocket dimensions in another reality that is loosely connected in some way to the mundane world.
  • Title Drop: Several. The Narrator declares "Sayonara, wild hearts!" after you beat the Stereo Lovers and at the end of the credits sequence. Also, the Divine Arcana finish their end-game speech with "Sayonara, wild heart".
  • Trapped in Another World: The heroine's world is literally turned upside down by the fairy the leading arcanum sent to recruit her help. They sent for her because her heart breaking and spiral of depression mirrored the disruption of harmony in their world by the five usurping arcanum. Fighting for their world also restores her broken heart.
  • True Final Boss: The last battle isn't with Little Death but with the manifestation of The Fool's own broken heart fused with the five arcanum that have been fought before. Instead of punching her, she instead has to kiss her in each of her forms.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: The Game. Just in the Dancing Devil boss fight, the gameplay switches willy-nilly between racing game, fighter, bullet hell and flying, all with little to no warning.
  • Victory Fake Out: Twice! During the fight with Little Death, you punch her, but instead of shattering, she rolls across the road, a throwing up a bit... Before she stars vomiting, a lot, before eventually getting back on her bike. Then, when you've caught up to her again, she explodes like the other bosses, but instead of disappearing, the fragments of Little Death's heart liquefy into black slime and regenerate into a monstrous winged form.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Little Death vomits after being punched the first time. A lot. It propels her backwards and forms a slightly odd section of her level where The Fool rides after her on a spiraling road made of her pale green sick.

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