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Video Game / Summon Night: Swordcraft Story

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Summon Night: Swordcraft Story is an Action RPG developed by Flight-Plan for the Game Boy Advance as a spin-off to the Summon Night series. The Japanese version was released in 2003, with the North American release following quite a while later in 2006.

The story takes place mainly in Wystern, the "City of Swords" where many people work as blacksmiths and crafting guilds are common, led by the Craftlords. The player takes the role of either Cleru or Pratty, an apprentice craftknight as well as the only child of the infamous "Craftlord of Iron", Shintetsu.

Three years ago, Shintetsu sacrificed himself to protect the city from an unknown danger. In order to find a replacement for the empty seat, the remaining Craftlords have arranged a tournament for craftknights; the winner shall become the new Craftlord of Iron. Cleru/Pratty joins the tournament, in hope to become like his/her father, and to become a Craftlord.

Exploration in the game is similar to Pokemon in that you can walk and hold B to run and also surf on water, but you also have a hammer to whack things and reveal hidden locations. When a random battle takes place, the game switches to a 2D screen where you use your chosen weapon while partnering up with your Guardian Beast.

What's special about this game is the ability to forge your own weapons. You can choose one of five weapon types: Sword, Axe, Spear, Knuckles and Drills.

The game later received a sequel in Summon Night: Swordcraft Story 2. The third game, Summon Night Craft Sword Monogatari: Hajimari no Ishi, was only released in Japan.

Summon Night: Swordcraft Story provides these examples:

  • Absurdly Cool City: Wystern looks pretty impressive as a city, which is also shown in the credits images.
  • Almighty Janitor: Even while still being apprentices, Cleru and Pratty are more than capable of holding their own against, if not outright defeating Craftlords such as Ureksa and Lubert.
  • Almighty Mom: Amariss, the late Shintetsu's wife and mother of the game's protagonist. Despite appearing to be nothing more than an ordinary housewife, she has all the connections and knows all the tidbits required to help out from the sidelines.
  • A Master Makes Their Own Tools: Craftknights use weapons they have themselves have forged and consider it dishonorable to fight with a weapon crafted by someone else, even in life or death situations.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Most of the Guardian Beasts' final attack spells. They look extremely flashy, have really cool names and can basically destroy any random encounter in any of the games when cast—but they take a ridiculously long time to charge (during which they are interruptible) and still deal rather underwhelming damage against bosses.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: The player and Varil do this while in Fort Mirana.
  • Bag of Holding: The prominent sheath thingy worn by Cleru/Pratty is able to hold weapons bigger than itself.
  • Beard of Evil: Lubert. Lampshaded repeatedly.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Cleru might be shy and socially awkward, but he's an incredibly capable fighter.
  • Bloodless Carnage: No matter how absurdly sharp your weapon is when you're pitting it against your opponent, the game never shows blood on-screen.
  • Bonus Dungeon:
    • The deeper labyrinth, which is available after you beat the game.
    • A lot more areas resembling the ones you traveled through the game in the second and third.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: Although not too difficult, these enemies are much more powerful than the normal enemies found in the area.
  • Borrowed Catchphrase: Varil explains his presence in one scene by mentioning Sakuro told him about the situation and told him to not "underestimate the ability of a Craftlord to gather information", a play on Varil's regular claims about the Gold Guild's (headed by his father) ability to gather information when asked how he knows about events he wasn't involved in. The significance of this line is easily lost because Varil's use of the statement is restricted to walks at night, when most players spend this time with the girls.
  • Breakable Weapons:
    • While weapons are breakable, it takes a lot to make them break and they are automatically repaired after combat if they aren't completely broken. If they are, however, they become Permanently Missable Content.
    • Breaking your opponent's weapon is the key to winning the one-on-one battles, especially since doing so teaches you the technique of the weapon in question.
  • Canon Name: Cleru for the male protagonist, Pratty for the female protagonist.
  • Captain Ersatz: GUNVALD is most definitely an original creation... The funny thing is that Banpresto was partially owned (now entirely owned) by Namco Bandai at the time of release.
  • City of Adventure: Wystern has many side quests for the player and is integral to the overall plot.
  • City on the Water: Wystern looks almost like a single island.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Sugar gets upset nearly every time Cleru/Pratty talks to a woman.
  • Color-Coded Elements: The four elemental materials are color-coded; fire is red, water is blue, green is wind, and yellow is electric.
  • Crossover Couple: [[Invoked]] At the end of the Summon Night 1 protagonist's cameo appearance, Sugar accuses the protagonist of liking them more than her, to which she claims (if they were set to be female) "That's not true. We're both girls".
  • Cute Clumsy Girl: The game opens with Cleru/Pratty falling down the stairs.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Sanary, changing into a more typical Tsundere.
  • Dialogue Tree: Either for an index or as part of the multiple dialogue choice.
  • Die, Chair, Die!: In "Crates" and "Barrels" flavor, available in nearby dungeons.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: Drills have low attack power and are pretty horrible all around, but they deal massive damage to enemy weapons. Since breaking enemy weapons allows you to learn how to forge them, you can get some high-class weapons by stealing them off others.
  • Elaborate Equals Effective: High-Tier weapons usually have spectacular looks.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Parista, the beast under the City of Swords.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: You can infuse your Guardian Beast's soul to craft the powerful weapon that will allow you to damage the final boss. You can choose whether you'll sacrifice your Guardian Beast or not. If you don't, you'll have to pick the fourth sword and craft a "downgraded" version of the weapon.
  • Emergency Weapon: The forging hammer, which has mediocre stats but cannot be broken.
  • Entitled Bastard: Sanary is rude and condescending to the player character, hogs all the ore at the start of the game to stop you from having any, yet still expects the player character, right before their second match, to help her retrieve the weapons she sold to the Gold Guild, risking the reputation of the Silver Guild. It is part of Sanary's Character Development, of learning to accept others, but expecting the player to risk missing their match (and by extension, the whole tournament) just to fix a problem she caused was still incredibly selfish.
  • Everybody Lives: Posthumous characters aside, only the Obviously Evil Jerkass Lubert dies. Also, before the final battle you are given the choice of sacrificing your Guardian Beast to strengthen your final weapon but you can craft your final weapon anyway despite being slightly weaker without sacrificing the Guardian Beast.
  • Excuse Plot: Subverted. At first, it seems like your typical To Be a Master tournament plot, but as the game goes on the story slowly evolves into a tale of corruption, lies, and betrayal.
  • Fill It with Flowers: Razzy wants to turn Wystern into a city of flowers if she wins the tournament and becomes one of the city's Craftlords.
  • Frictionless Ice: During the glacier quest, the player comes across this and naturally has to figure out a way to get across it.
  • Gay Option: One of the game's most infamous elements.
  • Genki Girl: Pratty has shades of this. Razzy is a sterling example.
  • Girls' Love: Very apparent if you choose Pratty.
  • Go-Go Enslavement: Sanary is the victim of this at one point, being dressed up as a Meido. You can watch her serving some enemy soldiers (and secretly enjoying herself since the outfit is cute); and if you keep on observing rather than fighting the enemies right away, the post-battle banter will be hilarious.
  • Good All Along: The Gold Guild. The reason they pursue profits so much is because they practically carry Wystern's entire economy. While they might seem to be in league with Deigleya and Lubert, they were actually The Mole acting on Rondeau's orders.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Apparently, sometime in the distant past Wystern was invaded by the forces of Silturn. Although the humans of Wystern won in the end, many oni settled down in Wystern and had children. People with names like Rondeau and Shintetsu are descended from these oni. And since Cleru/Pratty is Shintetsu's child... This would explain why Pratty has a helmet design with two holes in it. She has tufts of hair stick out of them, but it was probably originally designed to accommodate horns.
  • Happiness in Slavery:
    • Most of the Guardian Beasts seem fine with being your partner. However, a lot of them naturally dislike being taken from their homes and enslaved to a human, and it's indicated that summons unlucky enough to belong to someone other than the main characters are often mistreated.
    • The fact that there are so many "stray" summons as Random Encounters is... troubling. As explained in-game, these were Summons that were either definitely not happy or had lost their masters.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: You can ask for recipes for every other weapon type whenever you want from Bron, but you only earn new sword recipes as the game's plot progresses. Also, Shintetsu used four swords in order to seal Parista away.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Depending on your choices, your Guardian Beast will fuse with your weapon to defeat the Big Bad, permanently destroying themselves in the process.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: The second battle with Parista.
  • Hot Blood: Pratty again.
  • Inexplicable Treasure Chests: The ones found in Wystern Dungeon or Marine Cave can still have explanations... Then you find some in Fort Mirana or the lighthouse...
  • Internal Reformist: One late game conversation with Kenon has him give this as his reason for remaining in the Gold Guild.
  • Item Crafting: Forms the basis of the combat mechanic, and also takes a large portion of the plot.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Sanary, and Varil. If he's your Guardian Beast, Rasho as well.
  • Jigsaw Puzzle Plot: We receive information about Shintetsu in bits and pieces.
  • Joke Item: The aptly named Ladle. Low stats overall, with a glaringly low 25 durability (coupled with that it is a sword-type weapon), this means that the Ladle is incredibly brittle and will shatter even with a blow of the wind. Then you discover its elemental upgrade:
    • Lethal Joke Item: The Hot Iron Ladle. It boasts 200 durability, and a whopping 255 max technique, making it scale well since it's a sword. Fridge Logic makes it even funnier in that the lesson in creating a ladle was one of patience being its own reward. The Main Character is so convinced it has to be more than that that they can make a super-weapon out of it.
    • Another would be the Crystal Sword. It appears to be just an upgraded version of the Ladle, but with one downside: it only has 100 max technique. The Ladle has 200, which means the Ladle will scale better (and smash less often).
  • Lethal Chef: Rescuing Sanary from soldiers has her attempt at cooking attack you in a Boss Battle.
  • Lethal Lava Land: The Cagro Volcano.
  • Locked Door: Some of the doors in the Labyrinth require certain keys to be opened. One of them is unlocked automatically post-game.
  • Love Is a Weakness: Sanary is convinced that Kouren and Rumari both lost their edge after falling in love. Then Sanary starts feeling weaker just as it's hinted she's falling for Cleru/Pratty, leading to her making a Deal with the Devil to feel strong again.
  • May–December Romance: Depending on just how old you think Pratty and Sakuro are, and if you interpret their plot as romantic. Possibly including Main Character x Any Summon, verging into...
    • Mayfly–December Romance: The Main Character x His/Her Guardian Beast, if you consider that the summons are angels/demons/ect and likely to live much longer than a human.
  • The Maze: The Dungeon, built under the Central Tower.
  • Multiple Endings: Downplayed. The endings are mainly the same, but with a different character accompanying the player depending on a dialogue choice on Day 9.
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: Chaves has a large, musclebound frame four times the square area of any other human opponent. He is stupidly easy to beat, and the second time you fight him, he can be killed in a few hits. To make things worse, his BFS is no harder for the player character to use than a basic axe.
  • Nintendo Hard:
    • Those who come unprepared may find themselves taking a hard time against the final boss, especially with limited item and magic usage. Some of the mid-game bosses can also catch unwary players off-guard.
    • If you go to the Bonus Dungeon with no proper level and preparation. Also, the bosses don't help one bit.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: The Craftlords vs. Deigleya. ESPECIALLY RUMARI. Also Cleru/Pratty vs. Varil in the finals, only the beginning of which was shown. Cleru/Pratty won, becoming the new Craftlord of Iron. How exactly he/she won, only the spectators saw. In-Universe Moment of Awesome, since the townsfolk did say it was awesome.
  • Only Sane Man: Cleru, if you choose to play as him.
  • Parental Abandonment: Cleru/Pratty, as well as a good amount of supporting characters.
  • Permanently Missable Content: Broken weapons are lost forever. They do leave remains, but those remains don't come close to letting you recoup the materials that went into crafting the weapon in the first place.
  • Previous Player-Character Cameo: At one point in the game, you are asked if you've heard rumors about a hero from a land in the south. Your choice of answers (male/female, followed by a choice of two personalities) each corresponds to one of the four playable main characters from the original Summon Night, and depending on what combination you pick, that character will show up in the story rather shortly afterward.
  • Pronoun Trouble: Razzy.
  • Purely Aesthetic Gender: Averted. The in-game dialogue changes depending on the player's gender.
  • Random Encounters: Be wary, because they're very frequent. At least there is an item to reduce the rate. On the other hand, there's also one that causes Random Encounters even more often.
  • Randomly Drops: Thankfully, not a huge part of the game. Quest items are usually found inside chests, given or handed by people, or as guaranteed drops from bosses.
  • Red Baron: Elegant Spear Rumari. The mere mention of her name sends an entire army crapping their pants. Granted, Kouren did say she alone was enough to repel Deigleya's entire invasion force during their attempted capture of Wystern. All while she was sick with an incurable fever.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Despite never meeting as the player chooses who to play as, Pratty is the more rash and bold red oni in comparison to the shyer and closer to earth Cleru who would be the blue oni.
  • Rewarding Vandalism: You can use your hammer to smash crates and barrels into debris and get items, money, or even materials you need to craft weapons.
  • The Rival: Varil declares himself to be this to Cleru/Pratty.
  • Save Point: In the form of a glowing sword embedded in a stone plinth. One of those is typically in your workshop(s).
  • Save Token: Save Diaries, which are consumed when used.
  • Say It with Hearts: Sugar, when talking to Pratty.
  • Script Breaking: At the early part of the game, an event starts after the creation of your first weapon... unless it isn't a "Novice Knife". Take note that you don't get any more recipes at this point, but completing the side quests will get you two, dependent on your Guardian Beast, and the materials to make them. To progress you need to grab more materials and make a Novice Knife and watch everyone claim it is your first weapon.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Parista - sort of. (Well, he didn't start evil...)
  • Serious Business:
    • Crafting weapons seems to be one for the craftknights, so far as borrowing other people's weapons is a taboo for them.
    • Promises are also one, with the repeated Arc Words "The promise of a craftknight is stronger than steel." This point is also taken deeper in the sequel.
  • Ship Tease:
    • Sugar kisses Pratty and tells her she intends to marry her, female or no. And that's only their initial meeting. And she only kisses her if she's female. The company decided that the scene where Pratty is telling Sugar that really, she kisses girls all the time was important enough to put on the back of the box.
    • Razzy develops a crush on Cleru/Pratty, regardless of gender.
    • There's plenty with Sanary. Pratty claims that Sanary in a French Maid outfit is "cute".
  • Shout-Out: Atlus being Atlus, added some standard pop-culture gags in the translation, like "I love the knuckle. It's so bad."
  • Sore Loser: Chaves. He claims your victory was because of your Guardian Beast, despite the fact that he didn't summon his. Bonus points if you didn't actually use your Beast in this battle.
  • Stay in the Kitchen: Inverted. Pratty tends to fare much better than Cleru in regards to interacting with the other characters, especially Sanary and Razzy.
  • Story Branch Favoritism: The game seems to favor Sanary as the canon love interest, with the massive amount of Ship Tease towards the end of the game, encouragement from Amariss, and the part where you choose to rescue either her or Razzy. Sanary's scene is longer and develops a new side to the character note  (the icon to select the scenario also starts on Sanary by default).
  • Take Your Time: Gets lampshaded a lot, as Cleru/Pratty is always late instead of always being right on time.
  • Teleportation: The teleporters found inside dungeons.
  • Theme Naming: The Craftlords are named after precious minerals and stones, with the exception of Iron: Jade, Amber, Crystal, Sapphire, Ruby, and Diamond.
  • To Be a Master: Everyone who joins the tournament, although each has their own different viewpoint and destination.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Cleru/Pratty. They appear timid and weak during the first day of the tournament, but experiences and new friends help them gain more confidence. Eventually, by the end of the game, they finally become a Craftlord.
  • Tournament Arc: The game's main premise.
  • Transparent Closet: Pratty.
  • Tsundere: Varil (a male example) and Sanary.
  • Twin Threesome Fantasy: Pratty blushes heavily and goes dreamy at being told she would be fighting twins next. She turns around quickly when they turn out to be a pair of Jerkasses though.
  • Ultimate Blacksmith: Cleru/Pratty him/herself. They are gonna need a lot of training before getting to that point, however.
  • The Unfought: You hear a lot about how powerful various characters are, but you never actually get to do battle with most of them. The game sort of allows you to gauge their strength by comparison—you get to fight two Craftlords directly throughout the course of the game, Lubert and Ureksa. It's also somewhat implied that the average Craftlord is about on the same level as Sanary in the tournament. However, it's still only guesswork—a lot of the fighting involving Craftlords tends to take place off-screen. Varil also invokes this in the game's ending, but you can still fight him in the post-game exhibition matches.
  • Victory Pose: Cleru and Pratty each have two different victory poses, each used in different occasions.
  • Villain Forgot to Level Grind: After you beat the game, you're able to fight all the major tournament opponents again in post-game exhibition matches. However, none of them are any stronger than they were when you first fought them, meaning that with your endgame stats, you can floor most of them with as few as one or two hits. This is particularly jarring for opponents you fought early on like Razzy and Chavez. In Razzy's case, she actually accompanies you later on in a dungeon filled with creatures that are way higher in level than her level in the tournament (and she apparently handles herself just fine). In Chavez's case, he is actually fought again after his tournament match and has about three times his original health—but goes back down to his original strength when you fight him a third time in the post-game. May also be an example of Gameplay and Story Segregation.
  • Warp Whistle: The "Escape" magic.
  • When All You Have Is a Hammer…: Quite literally. Your starting weapon is your forging hammer. You're stuck with it until you get materials to make better weapons, and it is also your weapon of last resort if you've broken everything else you're carrying.
    "A hammer is not just for forging weapons. It forges a woman!" (Or man, depending on the player.)
  • Worthy Opponent: Kenon is very respectful and notes his loss was due to Cleru/Pratty being better than him. This is a sharp (and explicitly noted) contrast to the rest of the Gold Guild (and certain members of the Silver Guild, such as the twins).