Soma Spirits is a PC Role-Playing Game made with RPG Maker, developed and published by Torch 60 as a Spiritual Successor to their previous title Brave Hero Yuusha, with some nods to that game. While originally freeware, it received an Updated Re-release on Steam and itch.io in 2017, called Soma Spirits: Rebalance, then in September of 2021, it became freeware again, on itch.io.
The world of Soma was once whole, and grew prosperous under the rule of the Sun King. However, when his ambition grew too large, and he began ruling as a tyrant, turning the people against each other for his amusement, the two Great Beings, Form and Dissonance, defeated him, and the world was split in two: the Land of Joy, in which people have all that they desire, and the Land of Sorrow, in which people have ambition to get what they need. Each of these lands is protected by a Guardian Spirit, Heart and Soul, but when the souls start falling out of balance, they have to work together to fix things.
After meeting up and solving an incident in the Mysterious Woods, Heart and Soul visit Form, who explains to them that the balance has been disturbed and the two worlds are in danger of no longer co-existing. She tasks the duo with restoring balance by venturing throughout the worlds, finding people who are in great distress, and removing their sorrow so as to create a world where everyone can be happy. Unfortunately, her brother Dissonance has turned against her and is trying to remove the citizens' joy so as to create a world without happiness. It is thus up to Heart and Soul to stop Dissonance and secure the happiness of the citizens... or, if they wish, they can side with Dissonance instead and aid his plan to remove the world's happiness. And as the two venture throughout Soma, they begin to realize that the decision may not be as black-and-white as it seems... for to resolve the various conflicts and save Soma, sacrifices must be made.
The main gimmick of the game is the Dual-World Gameplay- you must switch between the Worlds of Joy and Sorrow to get past obstacles, and the combat abilities of Heart and Soul will change depending on which world you are in, forcing you to change strategies in battle. The game also has a Karma Meter of sorts depending on how you solve the central problem of each chapter (ie, whether you fight the boss of the area in the World of Joy or Sorrow)- choosing happiness will result in the duo removing sorrow, gaining an Orb of Sorrow, while choosing sorrow results in removing joy and gaining an Orb of Joy. Which of the five endings you get changes depending on how many orbs you have.
In 2021, the game received a sequel, Soma Union.
ENJOY THESE TROPES! ...Or don't; I'm not the boss of you.
- 11th-Hour Superpower: In the true ending final dungeon, Heart and Soul can freely use both power and support abilities due to the two worlds being reunited. This gives them more flexibility in combat, though the enemies and bosses on this route are somewhat stronger to compensate.
- A God Am I: In Rebalance, the Sun King, the original ruler of Soma. As he says in the opening cutscene:I am the Sun King!
No, I am a GOD!
- Alignment-Based Endings: Dependent on whether Heart and Soul focus on Joy, focus on Sorrow, or maintain a balance.
- In either a Joy or Sorrow path one of the brothers will become more and more corrupted, and upon gathering all six, either Form (majority Sorrow Orbs) or Dissonance (majority Joy Orbs) will take the six orbs and travel to the Sun King's Citadel to destroy their counterpart's world while the other one opens up a portal to allow the brothers to go after them. If there is at least one different emotion, then after meeting the Sun King, who then gives you the True Heart/Soul, then upon killing the Final Boss, you return the emotions. But with their counterpart dead, the other will take over the worlds from the shadows. But if its a pure Joy or pure Sorrow path, then upon reaching the final battle, the corrupted brother kills the Sun King, claiming the Terror Heart/Soul, and then betrays their guardian before succumbing to corruption and becoming Absolution, destroying their counterpart's world while professing their hatred to both it and their brother.
- In the Balance ending, Three orbs of Joy and Sorrow cause the two worlds of Soma to fuse, which causes Form and Dissonance to forge an Enemy Mine and vow to purge the merged world of everything. Mason then opens up a portal to the Sun King's Citadel, where you encounter the Sun King, who is revealed to be human. Form and Dissonance then use the Orbs to become Quietus, and then Absolution. The Sun King then sacrifices himself to help Heart and Soul remember their past, allowing the brothers to gather the strength to destroy the Greater Beings with the help of the Orbs. After killing them, the worlds of Joy and Sorrow being to merge, but the Orbs help them escape. Afterwards, the brothers then return the emotions they took, and vow to uphold the balance of the reunited world.
- Alliterative Title: Soma Spirits.
- Big Bad: Dissonance, one of two Great Beings and ruler of the World of Sorrow, turned against his sister Form and is disrupting the balance between his world and the World of Joy by trying to steal all the joy, believing that it makes people weak, and is trying to convince Heart and Soul to help him create a world without happiness. However, in certain endings, Form is revealed to be just as malevolent, as she and her brother want to wipe out each other's respective world and emotion, and in the Balance path, when the worlds are merged together, they team up to destroy all of Soma because they hate the new world that does not satisfy either of them.
- Bonus Boss: The Puppeteer, from Brave Hero Yuusha, fought at the end of Not Quite the End of Time.
- Brutal Bonus Level: The enemies in the New Game Plus dungeon, Not Quite the End of Time, are incredibly powerful and the sorrow version of the bell enemy can inflict instant death.
- Catching Some Z's: At the start of the game, when Heart is sleeping, he has "Z" growing and shrinking from his head.
- Deadpan Snarker: Soul, the guardian of Sorrow.
- Everyone Has Standards: In the non-true endings, the party can only interact with people from the world that the current Big Bad is going to spare. These people oppose Form/Dissonance's genocidal goals against their alternate counterparts, as shown by how Carrot Palooza continues selling to the party. They'll even travel to the final dungeon to ensure the party can stock up and stand a better chance of beating Form/Dissonance.
- Flavor Text: All items except the consumables have them.
- Silver Coin: A shiny silver coin. Can be sold for a hefty sum.
- Long Rope: A very long rope that doesn't quite reach the top of the sky.
- Fusion Dance: Quietus, the combined form of Form and Dissonance and the first form of the true final boss.
- Hit Points: Contracted to HP here. Get a character's to zero, and they're out of the fight until they're revived.
- Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: Rebalance adds difficulty levels, with the first two being Easy, and Normal, but the hardest is called "Hero".
- Kids Prefer Boxes: In Rebalance, this trope is implied, when Heart is happy to go to Box World again, and Soul says:We're not kids anymore.
- Magic Knight: Both Heart and Soul are adept at physical and magic attacks, though Heart is better at magic while Soul is better at physical stats.
- Mana Points: Contracted to MP here. Get a character's to below the threshold for a skill, and they can't use it until it's restored above that threshold.
- Mirror Universe: There is a Joy and a Sorrow version of everyone, and one version getting too emotional can affect the other. The Bonus Boss, the Puppeteer, is in neither world, allowing both party members to use their full skillsets. In the true ending, the two worlds are united, doing away with the role system for the rest of the game.
- Money Multiplier: In Rebalance, the Easy difficulty increases the amount of money acquired, compared to Normal or Hero.
- The Needs of the Many: Some of the problems in the game is that a character has to sacrifice their personal happiness in order to support the community as a whole. This results in a Sadistic Choice where the player has to choose between the character's personal happiness or their responsibility to society. They are;
- Acre's wish to leave the forest and explore the world. Due to his status as Elder Oakley's Seed of Beginnings, it will cause great harm to the forest if he's not planted.
- Cardboard Bob's wish to leave from the factory. He's tired of being the face of the factory, but without him, said company will fall.
- The Snow Queen, who wishes to keep winter running for the sake of her Snow People. If spring comes, then her people will melt.
- Foreman Lemondrop, who keeps mining in search of his wife's ring. You can either find the ring or convince him to move on to help the people.
- Shadyo, a ghost who haunts a creepy mansion, but wants to stay and live rather than move on.
- Elder Oakley, whose Orb will decide which ending will be achieved.
- New Game Plus: In Rebalance, beating the game allows players to make a clear file that allows them to start from the beginning with all their levels and items, including ending specific weapons. However, the bonus dungeon has to be beaten in the first New Game+ on Hero mode in order to get an achievement.
- Notice This: In Rebalance, things that can be interacted with, have above them, a bobbing speech bubble with a "!" inside.
- The Pollyanna: Heart, the guardian of Joy.
- Rare Candy: The stat boosting seeds, like:
- Health Seed: Permanently raises HP by 5.
- Guard Seed: Permanently raises DEFENSE by 2.
- Save-Game Limits: The game has 16 save slots. In Rebalance, Dockery has to accompany the party before saving is possible.
- To A Very Long Rope to the Top of the Sky: The Long Rope's Flavor Text is a reference that, another RPG Maker game, and is distributed at the same site as the freeware version of the game:A very long rope that doesn't quite reach the top of the sky.
- To Brave Hero Yuusha: Soul has a picture of its Demon Lord in his house.
- To A Very Long Rope to the Top of the Sky: The Long Rope's Flavor Text is a reference that, another RPG Maker game, and is distributed at the same site as the freeware version of the game:
- Sugar Apocalypse: The World of Joy seems like a happy world while the World of Sorrow is dreary in a comical way, with both worlds being populated by cute anthropomorphic beings. All routes end up being a battle to save one or both worlds from destruction, and two of these routes end with one of these worlds destroyed by Absolution.
- Surprise Creepy: This game starts off cute, with both worlds featuring chibified pixel art characters, but the second half of the game has creepy elements.
- If the party obtains four of the same orb but none of the opposing orb, one of the main characters will transform into a darker version of themselves with a spiral in place of their face, all while going through Sanity Slippage. If the party gets more of the same orb, the corrupted party member manifests Absolution as a monstrous battle aura, and then destroys one of the worlds.
- In the true ending, the Final Boss, Absolution, starts as a set of monstrous eyes and a mouth, with the rest of their face covered in darkness. Once the darkness lifts, they're shown to have multiple eyes and tentacles, making them more grotesque than Heart and Soul's versions of Absolution from the worst endings.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Soul does not always appreciate having to work with the overly enthusiastic Heart.
- Time-Limit Boss: The last boss of the Bonus Dungeon, the Puppeteer, will give the player only 30 rounds to defeat him. He will announce the countdown at the end of each round and indicate when he's reduced to 2/3 or 1/3 of his HP.
- The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: In all routes, the final dungeon is the Sun King's Citadel, a castle in the clouds. In the non-true endings, the dungeon will be locked into whichever emotion is dominant. In the true ending, the dungeon is restored to its original form due to the two worlds uniting, allowing Heart and Soul to ignore the role system in combat.
- Violence is the Only Option: No matter what judgement the guardian spirits make, they will have to fight a boss at the end of each area. Sometimes, the boss will be the result of an NPC not liking the duo's arbitration. In other cases, the target NPC will attack even if the duo agrees to their demands, since they think this is too good to be true.
- What the Hell, Hero?: If the player is on track for the worst endings, the NPCs will call out the corrupted party member for their arrogance and lack of concern for balance. On a New Game Plus run from a bad ending save, the boss of the Bonus Dungeon will warn the previously corrupted party member to avoid making the same mistakes.