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Video Game / Stella Glow

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Long ago in the land of Regnant, God lamented mankind's arrogance and took from them the art of song as retribution. Since that day, the only people who can sing are magical beings called "Witches," who use their songs to weave miracles. And a thousand years ago, when mankind lost faith in God, she sent down her angels to punish humanity until the hero Elcrest and the Beast King Xeno, along with their five Witch companions, went to the Moon, where God lives, and quelled her wrath.

Alto was just a simple hunter for his village without his memories, living with his adoptive sister Lisette and her mother. One morning he wakes up hearing a beautiful song and upon investigating finds a Witch calling herself Hilda. But then Hilda reveals herself to be the dreaded Witch of Destruction, and uses her song to crystallize Alto's village. As the only survivors of the attack, Alto and the newly-awakened Water Witch Lisette join the 9th Regiment of the Royal Knights, a group led by handsome warrior Klaus dedicated toward finding Regnant's Witches and stopping Hilda's nefarious plans. Can Alto and the 9th Regiment unite the Witches to stop Hilda from using her Song of Ruin to destroy the world?

Stella Glow is a Strategy RPG for the Nintendo 3DS and the swan song of Image Epoch, being the final game they made before closing, as well as a Spiritual Successor to their well-known Luminous Arc series of Strategy RPGs. A unique aspect of this game is the Conduct system, in which Witches can sing songs that grant powerful effects such as healing the entire party or stopping enemies from moving. As such, it features an All-Star Cast of popular voice actors and singers. The game was released in Japan in June 2015, North America in November 2015, and Europe in March 2016. A demo of the complete prologue is also available.


Stella Glow provides examples of the following:

  • Absolute Cleavage: Veronica's dress is zipped all the way down, exposing her full cleavage. Attempted with Mordimort's goddess form and both of Hilda's outfits, but they're both too flat to make it actually work.
  • Absurdly High Level Cap: The level cap is 99, but the recommended level for the final mission is 41 with most characters learning their final skill at 35 Although Alto will not learn his last skill until Elcrest is defeated.
  • After the End: The Technolomies are heavily implied to have been an extremely advanced society much like our own who eventually destroyed themselves by discovering how to convert emotional energy into physical energy and misusing it. Veronica, the last Technolomy, having lived 5000 years after Mother Qualia destroyed her entire civilization, even has her hometown listed as "London" while no other character has a hometown corresponding to any real world location.
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  • Amnesiac Hero: Alto has no memories other than his three years living in Mithra.
  • Anti-Grinding: Characters gain drastically reduced XP when attacking or killing an enemy below their level, making it difficult to level beyond the enemies the player is expected to encounter. This also has an effect of encouraging the player to exploit Level-Up Fill-Up to shift the flow of battle. New Game+ removes this limitation.
  • And Man Grew Proud: Humanity was punished for its arrogance by removing all singing talents and abilities, leaving only Witches able to sing.
  • The Atoner: After her Heel–Face Turn, Hilda holds herself responsible for all of the Harbingers' crimes. She even vouches to take the punishment for her subordinates as well. Luckily averts carrying out her life as such if Alto chooses her ending.
  • Babies Ever After: Alto and Hilda have a baby girl together in her ending.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Dante's ending closes with him and Alto surrounded by angels. A splash image shows them back to back, goading each other over who will kill more of the creatures.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Elmar looks for all the world like an Evil Chancellor, but is actually a good man who is just very serious about his job. This is to distract from the reveal of Klaus being the actual antagonist.
  • Big Bad: Hilda, Witch of Destruction, aims to crystallize the whole world with her Song of Ruin. Except she’s trying to save it from God/Mother Qualia, an ancient system charged by negative emotions and designed to wipe out humanity. She exists in the forms of Eve, her human self, Cartesia, the source of her corruption, and Klaus/Xeno, her agent who manipulates the 9th Regiment into recruiting the four Witches, defeating Hilda, and performing the Anthem Program. This act unleashes her destruction upon the world.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • At the end of the prologue, Klaus and the Royal Knights arrive to save Alto and Lisette from Dante and Hilda, abruptly ending a battle that almost certainly would have gone poorly for the kids.
    • At the end of Chapter 6, the 9th Regiment is worn down and cornered by the Harbingers and their endless waves of reinforcements. Then Lisette, who spent most of the chapter knocked out, gets teleported in by Marie with her newfound ability to sing, healing the 9th Regiment and allowing them to triumph over the Harbingers. Giselle also lends her aid for the fight.
    • At the end of Chapter 9, Alto goes off to defend the capital on his own from a swarm of angels; he is later joined by Hilda. The Harbingers arrive quickly to support them, but the battle remains hopeless until, at a critical moment, the former members of the 9th Regiment show up to lend a hand.
  • Bittersweet Ending: If you fail to meet a few requirements, you'll get this. You've prevailed, but in the process you let a potential ally commit suicide and killed a close friend, betraying your promise to several characters that you'd save her, no matter what it took. One character, Sense Data, criticizes the player directly for taking this route, asking them if they didn't think it could have gone another way.
  • Bookends: In a near-literal sense. The prologue begins with Lisette narrating the story of Elcrest to two kids through a picture book. The Golden Ending wraps up with Lisette reading another picture book to the same kids, which extends the story to include what has happened after the events of the game's plot.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: It's revealed in flashback at the start of the third act that Xeno was captured a thousand years ago by the Mother Qualia, who flooded his mind with negative emotions. This created the Klaus/Xeno that appears throughout the game; a devoted servant working to awaken the Mother and bring about the end of mankind, all in the hopes of becoming a god and surpassing Elcrest/Alto, whose power Xeno covets.
  • Breather Episode: Chapters 4 and 7 are long strings of back-to-back Free Time, with occasional plot advancement between each segment. They also come before significant happenings, with Chapter 5 being darker than the others overall and Chaper 8 being a Wham Episode.
  • Casting Gag: Stephanie Sheh plays Popo, a cheerful blonde who also happens to wear her hair as Girlish Pigtails, and has blue eyes. Why does this sound familiar?
  • Chick Magnet:
    • Alto, as expected in this kind of game. All of the witches tend to crush on him if you increase their Affinity, and Popo and Lisette both canonically have feelings for him, even if you don't raise their Affinity (which Popo doesn't exactly try to hide). Not to mention Hilda tends to not be that subtle about her affection for him, even when playing the role of antagonist. There's also an event where all of the girls come to his room to spend time with him and Marie. This is taken Up to Eleven in Veronica's second voiced Free Time event, where she drugs all of the party members (aside from Lisette and Hilda) with a love potion. Yes, even the males.
    • Downplayed by Elcrest in the game's backstory. Francisca sacrifices herself to place his body in stasis and Hilda clearly carries a torch for him for a millennium, but it's never established whether the other Witches had any romantic desires towards him and suggested that at least one didn't.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: In Chapter 2, the 9th Regiment goes in search of the Wind Witch. Alto is separated from the group and left with standing orders to watch the camp, but almost immediately abandons his post to help a child in danger.
  • Cosmic Horror Reveal: Most of the game involved the 9th regiment battling against the Harbingers led by Hilda, the Witch of Destruction whilst trying to gather all the witches to undo the crystallization that Hilda had inflicted on the people of Regnant. Once they do so however it's revealed that the crystallization was actually a method to delay the awakening of God, the giant Qualia within the moon and the same God that Elcrest battled in Regnant's ancient history, who upon awakening, unleashes an army of angels to slaughter humanity.
  • Darkest Hour: Occurs at the end of Chapter 8 and across Chapter 9. With Regnant under siege from the angels called down by the Anthem, and Klaus having betrayed the party, the entire party is split and distraught over what to do next. To further drive this home, the entire party's in-battle lines change to reflect their despair, and the usual menu and shop themes don't play.
  • Determinator: Alto gets beaten down by Dante several times, but gets back up to resume his attack every time. This even extends to his literal Battle in the Center of the Mind against Elcrest.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: The Hero Elcrest in the game's backstory traveled to the moon and defeated a jealous god who sent angels to kill the humans who stopped worshipping her. Subverted as he actually lost and was contaminated by the god's power. The witches had to put him into deep sleep for a thousand years in order to be purified as seen in the very first scene in the game.
  • Difficulty Spike: Happens towards the end of Chapter 10 where the game begins to throw bosses that are immune to ailments, and thus cannot be stopped with crippling ailments like Stop or Paralysis. Prior to this, one could get by through keeping roughly in-line with the recommended levels and by abusing Rusty Key or Ice World, but the sheer strength of the end bosses might force one to stop to level grind.
  • Disc-One Nuke:
    • Near the end of Chapter 2, the game introduces the Song and Conduct abilities with Popo's song, Rusty Key, that applies Negate Action to all enemies, preventing them from attacking for at least 2 turns, allowing the player to wail on them with the remaining characters or safely retreat to heal. Rusty Key can effectively end any battle for a long time until late in the game when bosses start becoming immune to status ailments.
    • Successful stealing, particularly off bosses, will get you powerful accessories, usually those you won't see elsewhere or can only obtain at a much later stage in the game. Of note is the Mobile Ring that can extend the user's movement range and allow Archibald to mitigate his biggest issue, or the Portal Ring that lets one teleport like Hilda.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Much of the imagery surrounding Tuning and Conducting overflows with this.
    • Tuning is presented as a very intimate act, entering the Witch's heart to overcome her inner weaknesses. Part of what amplifies this lies in the Tuning cutscenes that play when you initiate a Tuning note . Medea, who operates the Tuning Hall, dresses skimpily and all but flirts with both Alto and the Witches, in addition to insisting that any Witch who needs tuning has to change into a simple, thin white dress before escorting them into the private Tuning chamber, a lounge-like room, and the Tuning only initiates once the girl is comfortable enough to bare her heart. Sakuya even lampshades the need to change and all during her first Tuning at the Tuning Hall!
      Medea: (after selecting a Witch to tune) Is this the girl you desire?
    • This comparison is taken even further when Lisette's inner turmoil renders her unable to sing; she actively tries to force a Tuning, but Medea stops her, telling her that she'd only hurt herself if she forces it. Then later after this is resolved, the first time you Tune her proper has her all awkward about doing it for real.
    • The short cutscene that plays whenever you have Alto Conduct powerful song magic off the Witches has him holding her close and cradled in his arms, as he produces the Song Stone and penetrates a bright glow that emerges in front of their hearts, causing them to squeal out as the scene whites out and transitions to her singing. Popo in particular gets all flustered from the intimate contact.
  • Doomed Hometown: In the prologue, Mithra doesn't last after the Witch of Destruction arrives. The town and its occupants are turned to crystal, with the exception of Alto and Lisette. When the Anthem is sung, however, it goes back to normal.
  • The Dragon:
    • The Harbingers have Dante, Hilda's right hand man. Any time Hilda is confronted in battle, Dante is by her side and must be overcome to reach her.
    • Mother Qualia has Xeno, who leads her army of angels and masterminds the Anthem Program. Much of her physical presence in the game is through him and, in the penultimate mission, Xeno must be defeated before the Tuning Knights can face her.
  • Earth All Along: Downplayed. The era of the Technolomies seems to have things like skyscrapers, radio towers, and airships, but it could easily be taken to be a nondescript advanced Magictech civilization. The only indication that Regnant is on Earth in the distant future is in Dr. Veronica's profile. Her hometown is listed as "London." Veronica's ending also has her taking Alto on an expedition to Mars, very much confirming the game is set in the Solar System.
  • Eating the Eye Candy: Exploited by Nonoka's outfit, which consists of a string bikini under fishnets and a cardboard box that conceals her face. Lisette catches Alto enjoying the Fanservice she provides and calls him out on it.
    Alto: That body...It's...a woman?
    Lisette: And just where are you looking?
    Alto: Wh-What do you expect? She isn't exactly hiding them!
  • Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors: In the form of Water > Fire > Wind > Earth > Water. This does affect the Witches, however they eventually learn a skill that negates their weaknesses.
  • Extra Turn: Alto learns a passive named "Follow Up" which grants him an additional turn when he defeats an enemy. In the late-game, this ability can also be distributed to other characters through Follow Up orbs obtained as mission rewards or fixed to rare weaponry. Maxing out Affinity with Dante and Giselle also gives them a similar passive.
  • Fanservice: It's sprinkled lightly throughout the game, what with the outlandish outfits of some of the ladies and the themes and portrayal of Tuning and Conducting.
  • Gender-Restricted Ability: The Witches of the Water, Wind, Fire, Earth and Time Qualia can only ever be female. The Conductor of the Celestial Qualia can only be male.
  • Geo Effects: Differing terrain can affect movement of units with different movement types, and can even affect evasion rates. All attacks have height limits and attacking units on higher ground reduces accuracy.
  • Golden Ending: If the player achieves the second tier of affinity with Klaus, a few options open up. The story changes near the end, allowing Alto to prevent Giselle from self-destructing. Giselle joins the Tuning Knights instead. Then, in the middle of the final boss fight, Alto can reject Marie's plea to kill the Mother Qualia and tune her instead. Doing so allows Marie to survive as well, making the return home to Lambert much happier and more optimistic than it would have been otherwise.
  • God Is Evil:
    • It's a well known story. Because people stopped worshipping her, God sent Angels to massacre humanity one thousand years ago. Lisette tells the story to children in the prologue. This gets subverted when it's revealed that God is actually Mother Qualia, a man-made system that became consumed by humanity's despair and now seeks to end them all.
    • Subverted in the True End, where after tuning the Mother Qualia, Eve becomes a benevolent god, if her song and Lisette's description are of any indication.
  • Good All Along: The Harbingers. Though Dorothy is completely insane and impossible to judge normally, since her only moral compass is what Hilda wants. Hilda is arguable, as while her intentions were good, she didn't seem to have much issue with the destruction she caused and Dorothy's actions, despite being the only person capable of controlling her.
  • The Heavy: Hilda, the Witch of Destruction, uses the Song of Ruin to crystallize towns across the Regnant Kingdom. Initially presented as the main adversary, Hilda carries the brunt of the conflict until her defeat, where it's revealed she was attempting to prevent the apocalypse. After her true motives are revealed, Hilda joins the protagonists. Her wealth of knowledge and experience remain pivotal to defeating the true threat.
  • Heroic BSoD:
    • After the destruction of Mithra by the Witch of Destruction, Lisette completely shuts down. Through the fight that follows between Alto and Dante, all she can do is sit and stammer when her turn comes up.
    • For about three years since the destruction of Kashmistan, Mordimort has been using her powers to deny reality. The area is frozen in time as it was before inside her Spirit World, which she's expanded to encompass the region. Her mud dolls imitate the people.
    • Archibald undergoes one as well during Chapter 9, having lost his purpose with the collapse of Regnant and the death of Queen Anastasia. It takes a Get A Hold Of Yourself Man from Regent Elmar to convince him to fight again.
    • After events of the Eclipse, Klaus's betrayal, and the death of Queen Anastasia, virtually, everyone is at a loss. And when the 9th Regiment turns to Alto, he remains inactive and distraught until Rosa snaps him out of it in the next chapter.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • During the backstory's battle between Elcrest and God, the Mother Qualia attempts to destroy Elcrest by flooding him with the sum total of mankind's negativity. Before Elcrest can be completely undone by it, Xeno pushes him out of the way. Elcrest survives and is able to be purified, but Xeno is doomed to become the Mother Qualia's right-hand agent.
    • In Chapter 8, Hrodulf buys the Harbingers and the 9th Regiment time to escape from Xeno and Giselle. His death makes their survival and resistance against Mother Qualia possible.
    • In the Golden Ending, Cartesia attempts to collapse the moon itself as a last-ditch attempt to kill everyone. Eve remains behind on the moon and sings an eternal song to suppress the destruction.
  • I Am Who?: Alto is the hero Elcrest.
  • Improvised Weapon: Before she becomes a Witch, Lisette uses a wooden spoon to hit foes for very little damage.
  • It's Personal: Several characters are driven by grudges towards other characters.
    • Though she's decent enough to warn Alto and Lisette, Hilda manages to make things personal to them rather quickly when she crystallizes Mithra.
    • Rusty has a very strong hatred of Hrodulf due to the latter betraying him. He gets over it and starts calling him "old man" instead of "old bastard" after his Heroic Sacrifice.
    • Dante has a grudge towards angels as a whole due to them destroying his home, as revealed in his conversations with Alto.
    • Xeno, or Klaus, has one that allows him to fall to The Corruption towards Elcrest; being forgotten while his friend was hailed as a hero.
  • Kill All Humans: The main villain's motivation. Empowered by the negative, self-destructive emotions of humanity, Mother Qualia's only desire is to wipe out the species.
  • Kirk Summation: In the fight with Eve, the protagonists confess their faults, the faults of mankind, after the Celestial Hymn is performed. Then they answer those faults with the fact that, despite the negative emotions, they will fight to protect everyone they care about. This shatters Eve's internal logic that all humans wish for death, leaving her confused and angry.
  • Large Ham:
    • Archibald speaks almost entirely in patriotic shouts of fervor. He's boastful and proud of his long military lineage.
    • Keith introduces himself by declaring he's going to rule the world.
    • After the Anthem Program, Klaus reveals himself as Xeno, the Beast King, and abandons his soft-spoken demeanor in favor of grandiose boasting about the Mother Qualia's greatness and humanity's impending doom.
  • Last of His Kind: Veronica is the sole remaining member of the advanced civilization that created Mother Qualia.
  • Lethal Chef: Subverted for Lisette. All the food she makes is inexplicably purple, but there's nothing actually wrong with it — the audience is shown the purple results accompanied with "comedic failure" music before it's pointed out that it tastes fine.
  • Lethal Joke Weapon: In Chapter Ten, you can purchase a set of bizarre weapons that are extremely powerful. Among them include BBQ Skewers, a Bamboo Gun, a Mic Stand, and a Sushi Fist. All these weapons have amusing descriptions, great power, and some rare Orbs locked into their slots to best emulate these descriptions.
  • Level-Up at Intimacy 5: Spending your free time with your party members raises their Affinity and eventually grants them access to additional abilities that improve their usefulness in battle. Maxing Affinity with a Witch will grant them their ultimate Conduct Song, an outfit change, and an overall improvement in stats.
  • Level-Up Fill-Up: Whenever a character levels up, their HP and MP are fully restored.
  • Little Miss Almighty: Eve, one of the sentient forms of Mother Qualia, is an embodiment of every negative human emotion despite being visibly a 11 or 12-year-old girl. The same goes for her "sister", Marie, whose song packs such overwhelming power she puts the ENTIRE WORLD into her own spirit world. Damn.
  • Made of Evil: Cartesia, the corruption inside Mother Qualia and the collection of humanity's despair.
  • Made of Good: The Celestial Qualia, the source of Conductor powers. It's the positive emotional counterpart to Mother Qualia.
  • Marathon Level: Missions at the end of each chapter tend to comprise multiple battles, with a cutscene between each one. If, in the Mission tab, no bonus objectives are displayed, it's a good indicator that the fight will comprise of multiple phases. Of special mention are Chapter 8 when you perform the Anthem and in Chapter 10 when Alto tunes himself to face Elcrest, when the game outright warns you that once you begin, you won't be able to shop or return to the World Map for a while.
  • Magic Music: Quite literally; Hilda says that only supernatural beings can sing owing to God having removed the ability. Witches can sing and their songs carry devastating powers that can make the wind blow, turn everything to crystal, stop a volcano from erupting, stop time itself an other world-shaping magical effects.
  • Meaningful Name: In a world of music-based magic, Alto's name certainly fits.
  • Ms. Fanservice: While all the females are this to an extent, the trope is exaggerated by Nonoka's outfit. She spends the entire game wearing a skimpy bikini with fishnet topping, covered by a cardboard box on her head. The box pushes focus down onto her female attributes, which several characters call attention to throughout the game.
  • Multiple Endings: Two main examples:
    • To unlock access to the Golden Ending, you first have to raise Klaus's Affinity by the end of Chapter 7 so that he unlocks Magic Shield; if done correctly, Giselle becomes a playable character for the final chapter, with her own unlockable character ending. Even after getting Giselle, you can still choose between the standard ending or the Golden Ending depending on how you answer a question during the Final Battle.
    • Separate from the main ending, if you maxed a character's Affinity, you can see a special ending involving Alto and that character. If multiple characters' Affinities are maxed, you can only pick one of them; to view the others with minimal hassle, you should make a Suspend Save right before killing the Final Boss.
  • New Game+: The player doesn't carry anything over except their money, but their ability to earn gold is increased, Anti-Grinding is lifted, and they gain triple the amount of free time, enough to max Affinity with all characters with plenty of time to spare. In contrast, the first playthrough barely gives enough time to max Affinity with up to 6 characters if you're diligent with your planning and you cannot get max Affinity with every Witch on a first playthrough as maxing out Lisette and Mordimort is mutually exclusive.
  • No Experience Points for Medic: Zig-Zagged. Healing and doing damage will award experience based on the level difference between the actor and their target. This works out to be a major source of experience for Lisette, who has the strongest healing spells, and for Ewan, who can easily replenish SP back to full— his passives help with that too. Applying buffs and debuffs (without also doing damage), on the other hand, will always give 1% EXP per affected target regardless of level, slowing the experience gain for party members who prefer to use utility skills.
  • Off-Model: Kaede, the fire Witch from 1000 years ago, has an adult combat model with big boobs despite being a girl that likely has yet to even hit puberty.
  • Older Than They Look: Alto, Hilda, Klaus, Veronica, Marie, and Eve.
  • One Stat to Rule Them All: Agility. While practically every character is usable, characters with high Agility like Rusty, Nonoka, and Popo will enjoy more frequent turns, letting them traverse more of the map easily. These high-Agility characters also tend to have the best mobility among the cast and access to some degree of ranged attacks, letting them take down distant enemies before the other ranged specialists get close enough. This also becomes more pronounced late game, where low agility characters begin to become liabilities when higher agility opponents appear and start acting multiple times before a low agility hero can.
  • Optional Party Member: In order to recruit Giselle, the player must achieve the second tier of affinity with Klaus.
  • Permanently Missable Content:
    • There are a few weapons that require fulfillment of specific conditions to obtain, as they will never be sold in stores. To get 100% Completion the player has to fulfill all optional mission objectives.
    • Most valuably, at the start of chapter 10, the party has to fight inside Alto's Spirit World against the four Witches that accompanied Elcrest. Each Witch has a powerful, unique weapon for their corresponding Witches that can only be obtained by stealing it. Neither of the characters capable of stealing are allowed for the fight, forcing the player to rely on Thief Orbs to try and obtain these weapons. Once the battle is over, the game never offers an opportunity to get them again. Mercifully, a weapon for Lisette with a built-in Thief Orb 3 (granting a 100% steal rate) is made available for purchase for 9999g right before the mission.
  • Population Control: Mother Qualia's M.O. in a nutshell. Witches act as Mother Qualia's eyes and ears, allowing it to gauge the level of emotions in the world. She slumbers until the emotional powers of people reach a certain point, after which she sends angels to slaughter most of the population before the cycle repeats again.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Discussed after The Reveal. Alto brings up the fact that a large part of the conflict and possibly even the entire plot could've been avoided if Hilda stopped telling people they won't understand what she's doing and actually told them what's happening. Fans are very divided about how well the game tries to justify this.
  • Prolonged Prologue: It takes until about halfway into chapter 1 before the player can save freely (barring save prompts and suspends) and even adjust the game settings.
  • Real Men Hate Sugar: Zig-Zagged a bit. Alto doesn't really get the appeal of sweets, though he doesn't exactly hate them either. On the other hand, Klaus loves sweets (and is secretly Mr. X), but the other guys don't even consider the possibility that the mature guy could like confectioneries.
  • Really 700 Years Old: The political events surrounding Regnant are inundated with people who can count their ages in four digits.
    • The legendary hero Elcrest has returned after a thousand year slumber to finish what he started. He's presently known as the Amnesiac Hero Alto.
    • His best friend Xeno has also withstood the last thousand years as Mother Qualia's primary enforcer. He masquerades around Lambert as Klaus, leader of the 9th Regiment.
    • Hilda, the Witch of Destruction, was the queen of Hildegaria, a country that was destroyed 50 years ago. She also joined Alto and Xeno in their battle against Mother Qualia. She stopped her internal clock after they failed in order to fulfill a promise to Elcrest and try to prevent the Mother from ever awakening again.
    • Veronica has all three of them beat. As the last surviving technolomy, she's been artificially enhancing her longevity by eating angel wings for over 5,000 years.
    • Finally, there are the aspects of Mother Qualia itself. Marie and Eve both resemble children. Cartesia has a more adult look to her, but all three look remarkably young for an entity at least as old as Veronica.
  • Running Gag:
    • Alto is prone to sleeping in almost every morning and being waked up by various members of the cast. This stops when Lisette is dying from the Carbuncle in Chapter 6, and again in Chapter 10 where he's regained his memories; possibly because of remembering his old Elcrest personality.
    • No matter how tasty, Lisette's food will always be colored purple and is duly noted every time it happens.
    • There's also Popo handing out her bitter Dandelion Coffee to every Witch that joins the 9th Regiment. Aside from Lisette, the other Witches' reactions to the coffee are left as a Noodle Incident.
    • Sakuya will rather often find some excuse to bring up how large Nonoka's breasts are.
    • Expect any story scene in the bar to have Kayaj attempt to offer Alto alcohol, only for Alto to remind him that he's underage.
  • Saying Sound Effects Out Loud: Both Popo and Marie are fond of giving out hugs and saying "squeeze" as they do so.
  • Scenery Porn: The environments in this game are fantastic.
  • Sequence Breaking: The increased amount of Free Time in a New Game+ lets the player advance Affinity with his party members very quickly, letting him max them out as soon as the midpoint of the game. Because Affinity events are written such that they're paced with the player's expected progress on a first playthrough, it's possible to have characters talk about plot-relevant events before they occur.
  • Shout-Out: Dante's Infinity -1 Sword is a lance called "Beatrice", and the description calls it a demonic spear favored by a certain Witch. The game also has a lance named "Virgil."
    • Giselle also bears a striking resemblance to Olympia, down to both having purple hair and wearing cloaks that obscure their entire body to hide the fact that they are mechanical constructs.
  • Significant Wardrobe Shift: Alto and the Witches all gain new outfits at critical moments. For Alto, the wardrobe change signifies that he is no longer a divided person; he has merged with his alternate identity, Elcrest, and unlocked his memories. For the Witches, their outfits change when they reach maximum affinity with Alto. The new outfits signify that they've completed their tunings, resolved their inner turmoil, and unlocked their full power.
  • Spell My Name with an "S":
    • Risette became Lisette in the US version.
    • Moldimolt also became Mordimort in the US version.
  • Spiritual Successor: Shares many core elements with the creator's Luminous Arc trilogy, including elemental witches forming a quasi-platonic harem, dating sim elements, etc.
  • Split-Personality Takeover: Defied in Chapter 10. Alto's old identity, Elcrest, intends to take over his body if Alto lacks the resolve and purpose to fight. In the climax of their bout, Alto proves to Elcrest that he will succeed and retains his position as the dominant personality. Elcrest is instead absorbed into Alto, who obtains his memories and visual appearance.
  • Spoiler Opening: It can be easy to guess that Mordimort is the true Earth Witch when she shows up with the other "main" Witches in the opening, and that Hilda joins your side when her Tuning animation shows up with the other Witches'.
  • Stripperiffic:
    • Hilda's impossible outfit leaves nothing to the imagination. She has a thong and an unidentifiable torso attire that covers only her sides. It does, however, raise a variety of questions about her anatomy.
    • Nonoka wears a string bikini under a set of fishnets.
    • Medea appears to be wearing ribbons that barely conceal her breasts, coupled with a Loincloth.
    • Veronica's dress would be fairly sensible if she ever zipped it up.
    • The Witches' second outfits gained upon maxing their affinity tend to be more revealing, with the exception of Hilda.
  • Tastes Better Than It Looks: Lisette's cooking turns all her food purple, but it tastes perfectly fine. Alto notes that he's eaten her cooking so often that he's not even bothered by the color anymore.
  • Title Theme Drop:
    • The title screen theme typically plays during scenes that concern Elcrest and the battle with God a thousand years ago. Most prominently, it plays when the previous Witches entrust their part of the Celestial Hymn to their modern counterparts and when Elcrest delivers a Mercy Kill to Xeno.
    • The theme song of the intro movie plays during the battle with the True Final Boss once it becomes vulnerable.
  • Turned Against Their Masters:
    • Subverted with Mother Qualia. She exists to fulfill the wishes of mankind. Since death is precisely what the people who made it wished for, she's been fulfilling that wish for the last 10,000 years..
    • The Witches are originally created by Mother Qualia to act as her eyes and ears, but being tuned by the Conductor gives them the ability to rebel against that purpose and use their Qualias against her.
    • Played straight with Giselle, who joins your team despite being an angel if you fulfill some conditions.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Everyone involved in the Anthem Program is being manipulated by Klaus. From Queen Anastasia who agreed to the plan under his manipulation to the 9th Regiment carrying it out, Klaus deceives everyone into awakening Mother Qualia and bringing about what he intends to be the annihilation of the Regnant Kingdom.
  • Video Game Stealing: Ewan and Rusty are the only characters who learn skills to steal items from enemies, but eventually this ability can be given to any character (with varying degrees of success) using Thief Orbs.
  • Vocal Dissonance: Mordimort and Sakuya have English voices that match their (Japanese) singing voice, but the others do not. Popo's voice in particular drops several tones when she's singing, making her stand out the most.
  • Walk on Water: Characters with the "Water" movement type note  are shown to do this. The two playable characters who do so are Lisette and Nonoka.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist:
    • Hilda and her Harbingers are trying to prevent Mother Qualia from awakening and wiping out most of humanity. However, their method of doing so is to encase countless cities and people in crystals.
    • Discussed in Xeno's dying moments. Elcrest suggests that his goal may have been to accumulate enough power that he could protect his world and his nation, but Xeno doesn't get a chance to accept or refuse the interpretation.
  • Weird Moon: A good amount of the moon is shown to have been blown off, though it's never been commented on. It also turns out to be the residence of the Big Bad, and roots grow out of it down onto the world when the Eclipse commences.
  • We Were Your Team: The 9th Regiment turns to Alto after Klaus betrays them to lead. Sakuya even remarks that they all put their faith in him. However, Alto himself is nearing the Despair Event Horizon and in the middle of a Heroic BSoD. Once they can see he's in no shape to lead they all leave to either survive the Eclipse or kill as many Angels as possible.
  • Wham Episode: Chapter 8. In a completely unpredictable and extremely well-written way, Klaus reveals he's Xeno and the Eclipse happens, culminating in Queen Anastasia's death, a party-wide Heroic BSoD, and the disbandment of the 9th Regiment.
  • Younger Than They Look: Keith is surprisingly rugged at the ripe age of 21. Either he's changed drastically since taking upon his 3 year contract or that he hasn't changed at all.
  • You Shall Not Pass!: As Angels swarm the Anthem Hall, Hrodulf stays behind so that the Harbingers, the Ninth Regiment, Queen Anastasia, and Regent Elmar can escape.


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