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It's a game about CATS. What would you expect?

Amongst all the global issues, civil wars, financial crises, terrorism, a brand new threat appears...
"The Battle Cats"
We found it too hard to fight back...because...these Cats...are too cute.
— The game's introduction

The Battle Cats (にゃんこ大戦争, Nyanko Daisensou) is a Tower Defence game released by PONOS corporation in 2014, with a 3DS port in 2016. In spite of the Excuse Plot above, the game stars a group of mutant Cats trying to take over the world — a feat accomplished by going over to each country in the world and conquering it, fighting off Doges and a variety of other creatures in a tug-of-war style Tower Defence battle. After amassing enough power, the Cats start to expand their ambitions — from merely taking over the world, to defending it from an Alien invasion, to taking over the universe or time itself...

Got all that? Good.

Despite the seeming simplicity, The Battle Cats has quite a lot of complexity. There are 9 Normal Cats, the Special Cats, and many, many Rare, Super Rare, and Uber and Legend Rare Cats. There's over 300 Cats to choose from, most of them costing Cat Food, and hundreds upon hundreds of stages to test their strength on.

The game has seen 2 ports made to Nintendo Consoles. The first being on the Nintendo 3DS under the title The Battle Cats POP! and a Nintendo Switch port titled The Battle Cats Unite!.

In its lifetime, spin-offs have been made for it. These include, among others, Battle Cats Rangers (an Idle Game spin-off), Go! Go! Pogo Cat (an Endless Running Game starring Pogo Cat), and The Burgle Cats (a Stealth-Based Game).

Not to be confused with the medieval fantasy Battlecats.

    open/close all folders 

The troping begins!

     Examples from the original The Battle Cats 
  • Absurdly High Level Cap: Normal Cats cap out at level 110, which is reasonable considering how weak they are at low levels. Cats from the Rare Capsule, however, have much higher limits; in a game where Cats at level 30 or 40 are adequate for most stages, Rare Cats cap at level 130, Super Rares cap at 120, and Ubers at 110.
  • Absurdly Low Level Cap: Metal Cat caps at level 20 no matter what.
  • Achievement System: 9.0 introduced Meow Medals, which essentially act as this trope. They serve as trophies, and their only real use is unlocking the last few formation slots.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: Shin Godzilla was originally covered in rough, disorderly scales, a disfigured head and open wounds, which this game's version replaces with smooth scales, a relatively standard reptile head and cleaner scars, making him look more in line with other Godzillas.
  • Ad Reward:
    • Once your energy drops too low, you'll get a prompt above the energy tab that, when tapped on, offers you to watch an ad to recover energy equal to 20% of your max energy capacity. This can only be used once every 6 hours.
    • In the Gamatoto screen, an item bag may appear. When tapped on, you're offered to watch an ad to get +1 of a Catseye of any type (except Legend Catseyes), Base Material of any type, or Catfood, though the latter 2 rewards are very underwhelming considering that you'll need a lot more than that in order to get some use out of them. If you're lucky with the Cat Shrine's Fortunes however, it can temporarily be upgraded to a Great Fortune, which, while still only giving you only 1 of said item, gives you more worthwhile rewards, which include all Catseye types (including the Legend Catseyes), Leaderships (An energy refill item), Rich Cats, and Treasure Radars. As well as the +1 Catfood too, for some reason.
    • On the screen where you can purchase Catfood with real money, there's an option in it that lets you watch an ad for +1 Catfood. Notably, before 11.2, this doesn't have a limit as to how many of these ads you can watch in a single day, meaning that you can, theoretically, get hundreds of Catfood just by watching hours of ads, though with the arrival of version 11.2, this has since been given a limit of 5 of these ads per day.note 
  • The Alcoholic: A few cats can be seen drinking, but Adult Cat takes the cake for biggest drunk. It gets so bad that his later forms replace the bottle with an IV stand and his True Form has him jailed for his own good. To emphasize: he was tied up for his own good because he drank 20 entire wine coolers!
  • Alpha Bitch: Apparently evoked with Celeboodle enemy, which is a haughty poodle. Turns into a Stealth Pun when you realize what a female dog is called.
    Female college student who enjoys chit-chat with her girls every afternoon at high end cafés. Her friends secretly hate her.
  • Allegedly Free Game: While the game already offers you enough cat units for free to complete the campaigns and Stories of Legend, Uber Rare and Legend Rare Cats are usually hard to come by, even if you have the cash, unless you’re smart with how you spend your Cat Food. Thankfully, you can trade in 5 Cat Base upgrade orbs from the silver ticket gacha that you can no longer use to upgrade the Cat Base (i.e when the power they upgrade is at +10) for one Rare Ticket, for use at the Rare Cat Capsule gacha.
  • Animation Bump: The movement and attacks of the Uber Rare Cats and the Crazed Cats are noticeably more fluid than the normal Cats. Crazed Lizard Cat's description hangs a lampshade on this, with the only difference from its original form apparently being that it "supports High Definition".
  • Animesque: The majority of the more human-like units are this.
  • Anti-Climax: The second-to-last stage of Stories of Legend, dubbed "Unkept Promises" is nothing but a short, barren stage with a 9,999,999 health enemy base and a single, unbuffed Doge once the base reaches 1% health... as well as a torrent of heavily buffed Doges from all points of the game should the player take more than 200 seconds to win. Fortunately, the boss that comes after puts up more of a fight.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • Once your Cat Base is fully upgraded, you can trade in 5 Cat Base upgrade orbs from the normal gacha for one Rare Ticket, for use at the Rare Cat Capsule gacha. Combined with the stages that drop regular Cat Tickets, and it's easy to get a decent collection of gacha Cats without spending a cent.
    • The strength magnification from crown levels drops over time in Stories of Legend, to prevent enemies from becoming too unbearably strong.
    • There's an in-game calendar that shows when most event stages are on for the coming week.
    • If you accidentally enter the wrong level, you can go back to the map and get a refund on the energy you spent - as long as you quit within 10 seconds of gameplay.
  • Anti-Structure: Units and enemies with the Base Destroyer ability deal quadruple damage to the opposing side's base.
  • April Fools:
    • This was initially subverted by PONOS; in 2017, PONOS released a fake news article that claimed to have discovered an "Awakened Gene" in the Li'l Cats that would let them evolve like the other Special Cats. However, the article wasn't a joke, and their (much more useful) True Forms were added to the game a short time after.
    • A more conventional example happened in 2018, where an ad on the title screen lead to a fake news website announcing a rhythm game titled "School Cat Club Idol Heart Live Plus!" It also featured an ad for the movie 'Your Cat's Name' and some fake news headlines such as:
      • BREAKING: Gamatoto released from intensive care following Catamin overdose.
      • Popular DogeTuber "T. Bun-Bun" under fire after anti-Hippoe comments.
      • A Forbidden Romance?! Actress Cat & Beefcake Cat CAUGHT!
    • Another fake news article was released in 2022, though only in Japanese. It claims to report on a new Battle Cats theme park at "Nyanko Universal Japan", with attractions like a real-life 6-hour Gamatoto Expedition, "Nyanko Burgers" made by domestic cats, and a real-life version of the game where you have to pay real money to deploy your units. The website also features several fake banner ads, including one which serves as a Take That! to the infamous Hero Wars ads.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: You’re limited to 50 (sometimes fewer) Cats on the field at once, and the enemies have a variable, usually-smaller limit. Some levels limit the headcount to just 20, 10, and even 5 cat units on the field at once.
  • Arbitrary Weapon Range: Any cat or enemy with the Long Distance trait has greatly increased range in exchange for not being able to attack anything too close to it.
  • Arc Number:
    • 222 (as well as other permeations of 2's) is used as the name of Killer Cat's unlock stage (The 222 Incident), on Prisoner Cat's uniform, and as the base HP on some stages, as well as on subtler things like the amount of damage Hermit Cat and Codename: Red Riding do per hit, and the amount of money dropped by Spacefish Jones and the aforementioned Hermit Cat. This is because the number 2 is pronounced "ni" in Japanese and that's similar (enough) to "nyan", which is the Japanese onomatopoeia for the sound a cat makes (instead of "meow"). This is why February 22 (2/22) is recognized as Cat Day in Japan.
    • 48 tends to show up in areas related to the main story, often with a hidden or separate 49th member. There are 48 stages in every single story chapter, with Cats of the Cosmos chapter 3 having a 49th in Filibuster Obstructa's stage. There are 48 full Stories of Legend subchapters, with a 49th, Laboratory of Relics appearing once all the others are complete. The number is associated in particular with Mecha-Bun: in addition to serving as the Final Boss of Stories of Legend, it reappears on Floor 48 of the Heavenly Tower.
  • Armored But Frail:
    • Metal enemies have low HP compared to most other enemies, but only take 1 damage from most attacks. The only way to beat the stronger ones is to use a Critical Hit to pierce through their defence. Metal Cat works the same way.
    • Some starred Aliens have barriers that require a tremendously strong hit to break, but are very fragile without them. Examples include Le'Solar, Youcan, and Ribbo, but the most extreme one is UltraBaaBaa, who has very low stats, but a barrier so strong nothing but the most absurdly boosted Uber attacks (or Barrier Breaker units) can break it.
    • Some cats with the Resistant ability are very tanky against the enemies that they target, but go down quickly against other enemies that can get around their armor. Examples include Haniwa Cat for Traitless, Gas Mask Cat for Black, and Fiend Cat for Aku and Angel with talents.
  • Art Evolution: The backgrounds in the Cats of the Cosmos stages are noticeably more detailed than the older stages.
  • Art-Style Clash: Most of the units in the game, both player and enemy, share a similar simplistic and cartoony style, but Uber Super Rare units can range from highly-detailed humans and beasts to Super-Deformed chibis to the Pokémon-esque Elemental Pixies even when sticking to the game's original content. When the Crossover events are included, anything from Retraux pixel-art to lineless styles to even 3D animation is fair game.
  • The Artifact:
    • Challenge Battle is a relic from the game's very first incarnation, on Japanese mobile phones. Originally, it served as a sort of Bonus Dungeon once you defeated The Face, who was the Final Boss at the time, and it was the hardest stage in the game with several unique enemies. However, after the game made the jump to iOS devices, it started to feel out of place; Empire of Cats got two additional harder chapters, but there weren't two new Challenge Battles for them, and it only got worse once Stories of Legend and other content started to be added. It was even removed from the game entirely for a short period of time, before being moved to the Legend Stages menu as the only stage of its kind. The Catclaw Dojo serves as a Spiritual Successor to it.
    • Specific event stages such as Advent stages and Crazed Cat stages have a word in parentheses next to the name of the stage itself that describes their overall difficulty (e.g. No Plan A (Deadly), Realm of Carnage (Deadly), Oncoming Storm (Insane), etc.). This is a holdover from when a stage's difficulty was indicated by Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels, which can also be found on the in-game information of a subchapter. However, these were phased out in favor of the stars that indicated the difficulty of a stage/stages in a subchapter, but the Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels that were already in a stage's name wasn't removed at all and is still used today for stages released after the star system was introduced despite having no real reason to anymore.
  • Artificial Stupidity: The Cat CPU doesn't know how to do much outside of spawn random units it has enough money for. It'll sometimes save up for a big unit, but stop meatshielding to do so, so the big unit it just spawned will be at high risk of dying immediately. It also doesn't understand that the Cat Cannon can make cats with a long attack animation miss. However, since Computers Are Fast, it can spam cats much faster than a human can, so if you have a level 8 Worker Cat and lots of money, it can perform better.
  • Artistic License – Biology: The enemy description for Ginger Snache mentions a thesis on reptilian hair care.
  • Attack Reflector: Using a Surge attack against certain units will cause them to fire back with a surge of their own.
  • Attention Whore: Implied with Red Riding Mina. It’s stated in her description that she joined the Battle Cats because doing so would boost her popularity.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • invokedAt first glance, Lasvoss seems to be a cat worthy of the Game-Breaker status thanks to his high damage output, immunity to all status effects and waves, and having Strengthen and Savage Blow, which can boost his already high damage to insane levels, but he has certain weaknesses that can make him frustrating to use. These include a slow attack rate and attack animation (which could make him miss), bad survivability due to low range and HP, and a high cost. Even with the potentially sky-high damage he can inflict thanks to the combined forces of his other abilities, it’s a hassle to set up as his Strengthen only activates once he’s at death’s door, meaning it’s hard to even keep him alive, and his Savage Blow only has a 30% chance of happening, which does not bode well for him because of his slow attack rate. His True Form doesn't fix the "impractical" part aside from giving him more HP, but increases the "awesome" to make him more worth using.
    • Filibuster Cat X seems to have some use due to his unique role as a long ranged Traitless freezer, but he’s heavily held back by his long attack animation which, more often than not, makes him miss his targets and even if he does, the freeze duration isn’t long enough to compensate for how frequently he misses. This, combined with the fact that cats like Glass Cat and Lone Cat & Kitten, both of which also inflict debuffs vs Traitless, usually leave more of an impact in battle, means that you’re not going to use this guy much, if at all.
    • Freshman Cat Jobs, part of the Reinforcements set of Super Rares, has an awesome-looking ability: a single hit from him will weaken any enemy to just 1% of its original strength. While making an enemy do Scratch Damage sounds awesome and overpowered, the Cat himself has extremely low HP and attack, moves at a painfully slow pace, and takes an extremely long time to recharge — and, without specific CatCombos in effect, the Weaken won't last until his next attack, giving the weakened enemy time to break through the Cats in front of it. There are some situations where he's useful, but generally, he's better used for his Experience Booster CatCombo.
    • Mola King, known primarily as one of the worst Ubers in the game for a long time, gained Talents in Update 12.5 that let it create level 5 mini-surges to increase its effective DPS tremendously and give it an 80% dodge chance against all attacks. While this has the potential to turn it into a fun Lethal Joke Character with great damage output over a long range and the ability to wall attacks for a long time with some luck, the NP investment is massive in order to reach this point, and even the final product is rather reliant on luck in order to reach peak performance, as failing to dodge will still result in a one-hit kill from all but the absolute weakest of peons.
    • A few Talents end up as this.
      • One of Skelecat's talents serves to greatly reduce its cooldown time, allowing it to be spawned nearly as often as a meatshield. This sounds useful to make up for Skelecat's low stats, but its cost can't be lowered, so spamming it will lead to an instant loss of money.
      • Dancer Cat has a talent that lets it create Surge attacks, which sounds useful due to its high attack power. However, the Surge has a low activation chance and spawns quite a far distance away from Dancer, so it usually won't have much of an effect and will sometimes miss the enemy Dancer is targeting.
      • One of Cameraman Cat's talents gives it a 2% Critical Hit chance. It sounds useful on paper due to Cameraman's high attack for an anti-Metal unit and lack of Crippling Overspecialization, but the low activation chance makes it pretty unreliable. When it works, though, there's nothing quite like seeing stacked Cameraman Cats unleash a critical hit and instantly kill a horde of Metal enemies. The talent also becomes much more practical with CatCombos to boost critical hit rates, which can potentially increase the chance to as high as 6%.
    • Cat God's miracles, while very powerful and can turn the tides of battle, require Catfood to use. Catfood that could have been saved up and rolled in the gacha to get new units, which is much more worth it than spending it for some short-term gain. Outside of his free Baby Boom when you activate him for the first time, most don't bother with him.
    • The talent orbs that directly affect the Strong Against, Massive Damage, and Resistant abilities are more powerful than the standard stat-boosting orbs and, unlike the attack stat orb, because they directly affect the abilities, their boost scales with a unit's level. Unfortunately, farming for these things requires you to face off against certain Colossal bosses, which are so hard to kill that Ubers are needed to make the grind bearable. Their insane strength means that getting these orbs in the first place, let alone upgrading them to max rank, is only really doable by players in the late to end-game, where they most likely have the units and power necessary to make the grind a breeze.
  • Badass Adorable: A lot of the cats are quite cute looking, yet they are strong enough to take over the entire world, the future, the past, and the universe.
  • Bears Are Bad News: While Teacher Bear, Ursamajor, Cadaver Bear, and Fallen Bear may qualify, Assassin Bear definitely does so.
  • Beef Gate:
    • Aliens and Starred Aliens have a passive magnification of 700% and 1600% respectively, which can only be lowered by collecting treasures from Into the Future and Cats of the Cosmos, until both are reduced to 100% after collecting them all. In said chapters, this will generally lead to a linear decrease in difficulty as the Aliens at the start of a chapter are extremely ferocious, but will get weaker as you progress and collect the treasures, but each chapter generally has a point when the game assumes you've collected all available treasures, and sends out Aliens that are so powerful that it's extremely difficult to clear them out if you haven't done some farming first. Even if you haven't cleared out Into the Future or Cats of the Cosmos, certain Stories of Legend maps or event stages will introduce Aliens or Starred Aliens with massive magnifications balanced around maxed anti-Alien treasures from all of the chapters, which will stack multiplicatively with any leftover magnification and make them nigh-impossible to beat if you haven't collected them all yet, which is the game's way of telling you to stop and go finish ItF/CotC before coming back.
    • A particularly notable example is Ashvini Desert from the Behemoth Culling maps, which can be accessed upon completing Chapter 1 of Into the Future, but can be downright impossible to get past Badlands Area 4 if you haven't finished all 3 chapters. This is due to the boss of the stage, Crustaceous Scissorex, who is already a big threat all on his own, but without all six anti-Alien treasures from Into the Future, his already high base stats become monstrous, to the point where they will far exceed the toughest of late-game bosses.note  It's clear that you're supposed to get the aforementioned treasures at max before even having a chance at beating the boss.
    • Although you can get through Cats of the Cosmos without picking up the 3 Treasures that comprise the Mystery Mask, you'll generally be unable to clear the Big Bang without going back and at least mostly completing it, as the Mask serves to lower the passive 1100% strength magnification on the Final Boss, which makes them nearly unbeatable otherwise. Each chapter also has its own Mystery Mask, so this has to be repeated three times.
    • The first level of Uncanny Legends, An Ancient Curse, is the one to introduce Relic enemies. At this point in the game, you're unlikely to have any units which specifically target Relics, making the Relic Doge peons and the Relic Bun-Bun boss much too hard to handle. This is the game's way of telling you to go and farm Elder Catfruit to acquire units which can handle Relic enemies, like the true forms of the Legend units or Figure Skating Cats. Once you have a few of these units, An Ancient Curse is much more manageable.
    • Although normally exclusive to the Aku Realms, some event and Legend Stages will have an Aku Altar present, which will heavily cap your units' levels if you haven't cleared out most, if not all of the Aku Realms first to raise the cap or remove it altogether. Unlike the Aku Realms, these lategame levels are not balanced around lower-level units, making them effectively impossible if you haven't completely beaten the Aku Realms. In particular is Chapter 39 of Uncanny Legends, Imminent Disaster, which is composed of a single level that only exists to check if you've managed to disable the Aku Altars already.note 
  • Bilingual Bonus: At first glance, the runic-looking characters that is related to certain Aku-related things may appear random, but it's actually upside-down Japanese characters. Flipping them right-side up reveals interesting messages.
    • The message found on Evil Aku Researcher's sign says something along the lines of "the door to the demon world will be opened by the Cat Queen", Cat Queen being the Japanese version's name for what the English version calls Empress Cat.
    • The message found on the Aku Cyclone is almost a word-for-word Shout-Out to a poem known as "Ame ni mo Makezu", with the only difference being the addition of a line at the beginning of the poem that translates to "A devil who is".
    • The background of the name of an uncleared stage in The Aku Realms has the runic-looking characters as part of it. Managing to translate it reveals that it says "Steals energy from another world. The devil base seals levels", referencing what the Aku Altars do to your cats and their role in The Aku Realms' story.
  • Bishōnen Line: Bahamut Cat's first form looks like a rather bestial dragon, while his second form looks a lot more menacing and monstrous. But when he finally evolves into Awakened Bahamut, he turns into a sleek humanoid with only a few draconian traits left.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: The game's first English translation was extremely poor in quality, with such errors like UFO Cat being able to "attack enemies in a lump" or Madame the Sumo's gender changing mid-sentence. Fortunately, the current English translation is a lot better, though a lot of the early Cats and enemies still have spotty translated descriptions.
  • Blood Knight: Axe Cat is described as a "combat maniac".
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: The Cats' morality position are hardline vague, even if the official materials portray them as the heroes of the game. Given their morality being alien to the enemy species (who are Always Chaotic Evil anyway), and their desire to be Galactic Conquerors, they can come off as a Villain Protagonist to some players.
  • Body Horror:
    • The Nekolugas are gigantic, vaguely cat-like monstrosities with horribly deformed and disproportionate body parts.
    • When Squire Rel attacks, her mouth opens up to halfway down her body. This also applies to her Relic variant, Sir Rel.
  • Bonus Dungeon: Upon completing chapter 3 of Empire of Cats and completing a specific series of event stagesnote , you will unlock The Aku Realms, an extra "chapter" of Empire of Cats that's filled with dangerous enemies and difficult levels that's way beyond the difficulty level of a standard Empire of Cats chapter. Beating Unleashing the Cats is also required to further progress in Uncanny Legends, as you won't unlock sub-chapter 39 until you beat it.
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • All cheap cats end up in this degree. While there are some area-cleaning bosses that can stop a blob wave of stronger cats in a few blows, anything cheap as a regular cat can put certain bosses hanging until you build back enough forces to eventually push them.
    • Salon Cat doesn’t have any abilities (besides Weaken Immunity in her True Form) but she deals a decent amount of damage, is an area attacker and is spammable. You can easily make a huge stack of her and deal a ton of damage to a lot of enemies. This also applies to Figure Skater Cats, though less so.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing:
    • Some of the Behemoth enemies, such as Crustaceous Scissorex and Pterowl Hazuku, have incredibly high stats for regular enemies, even bordering on Advent boss levels at times.
    • Playing on higher crown difficulties can turn certain enemies into this by inflating their stats. This especially applies to Uncanny Legends, as the boost from crown difficulties shoots back up to 150% for level 2 and 200% for level 3 at the beginning; even in the very first level, playing on 3-crown will confront you with Relic Doges with 150,000 HP and 24,000 damage.
  • Boss Rush:
    • The Stories of Legend levels Kugel Schreiber and Atrocious Deco feature nothing but a collection of previously introduced bosses. For the first, it's THE SLOTH, two R. Osts, Dober PD, a 1% Ms. Sign, and Assassin Bear, while in the second, it's Berserkory, Razorback, Bun Bun Symbiote, and a tag team of Boraphim and Angelic Sleipnir.
    • An event stage, Clan of the Maniacs, features a boss rush against all 9 Crazed Cats at once. Also, the Tornado and Awakened Carnival stages are boss rushes against the Cyclones and Special Cat True Forms, respectively.
    • Added in The Legend Ends is Twilight Zephyr, featuring a boss rush of 9 bosses. Featured are Master A., Kory, Metal One Horn, Director Kurosawah, Bore, Camelle, R. Ost, Boraphim, and Teacher Bun Bun.
    • The Uncanny Legends chapter Space-Time Distortion is a boss rush for the Legend bosses from Stories of Legend, with Aku Doges added to each stage. Strangely, while the Mooks in each stage are strengthened as you'd expect, the bosses themselves are no stronger than before. The final stage then has you fight all of them at once.
    • The first 5 stages of the second-to-last subchapter of Uncanny Legends, Humanity Catified, has you facing off against the Legend bosses of Uncanny Legends once again. Of those 5 stages, the first 4 has you facing them off once again with different enemy compositions and support and the final, 5th stage has you facing them all at once.
    • Heavenly Tower's Floor 42 has you facing off against multiple cyclone bosses at the same time (specifically the Red, White, Black, Divine, Zyclone, and Cosmic) after some time has passed.
  • Boxing Kangaroo: Kang Roo and all of her non-event-exclusive variants have a boxing theme related to them which is shown through either their design note  or their descriptions note .
  • Break Meter: Dealing enough damage to a unit will knock it back, effectively staggering it and pushing back its advance for a few seconds;note  every unit in the game has an assigned number of knockbacks, with their thresholds evenly distributed across their HP (eg. a unit with 5 knockbacks will get knocked back with every 20% of HP lost). However, some enemies only have one knockback, making them Immune to Flinching instead. The game sometimes refers to the amount of damage needed to knock back an enemy as their "stamina", furthering the comparison.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory:
    • Paying Cat Food (represented as offering it to the Cat God) can have him perform powerful miracles. However, this ability is disabled in all stages from the Stories of Legend tab (as the Cat God is only 20 years old, and they take place before his birth), as well as when fighting Cat God himself.
    • In addition to the Allegedly Free Game aspects mentioned earlier, some stages let you pay Cat Food to keep playing if the enemies destroy your base. However, this is disabled on most of the game's hardest stages.
  • Brutal Bonus Level: Clan of the Maniacs appears after clearing out the Crazed Cats and only really exists for the challenge, but the challenge it does provide is hellish as you're attempting to beat 2 stages where you fight against one of every Crazed Cat. The first stage has them come out one at a time at certain intervals, the second has them all come out at the same time.
  • Captain Ersatz: Kalisa's design is based off Hatsune Miku, complete with uniform and giant twintails.
  • Cats Are Mean: The plot of the game is that cats are taking over the world. As the player controls these cats, they can come off as the Villain Protagonist to some players.
  • Chainsaw Good: Lumbercat, the Evolved Form of Gardener Cat, wields one of these. It attacks extremely fast and can freeze and permakill zombie enemies, but it has surprisingly low attack power for a chainsaw.
  • Character in the Logo: The cat seen on the game's title logo is True Superfeline, as proven by the 10th anniversary video for the Japanese version, though before then, it wasn't representing any in-game unit in particular.
  • Character Select Forcing: Certain stages, such as Cyclone/Advent rematches or Cats of the Cosmos, will restrict which rarities of cats you can deploy, forcing you to use only the ones that aren't banned. The most common restriction is Specials and Rares only, found in all Legend stages at 4-crown difficulty, along with the L'il Cats' boss stages. Note that this only means you can't deploy the cats; banned cats can still be put in the lineup to activate Cat Combos.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Enemies tend to come in a variety of traits. Said traits are represented with icons that have a specific color as its background and, barring Floating, the color is usually seen on the enemy itself. The colors are White, Red, Black, Green (Floating), Grey (Metal), Yellow (Angel), Light Blue (Aliens and Starred Aliens), Purple (Zombie), Dark Blue (Aku), and Dark Green (Relics).
  • Com Mons:
    • Normal Cat duplicates can be easily obtained by rolling the Cat Capsule with silver Cat Tickets, which are more common than the gold ones. They're mostly weaker than gacha units even in their true forms, but can still pull their weight at high levels.
    • Among units from the Rare Cat Capsule, Rare Cats are the most common to roll, making them easy to level up. However, most of them are surprisingly powerful throughout the game due to their quick cooldowns and low costs, making up for their lower stats compared to Super Rares and Uber and Legend Rares.
  • The Computer Is a Lying Bastard: The game isn't always entirely honest with its descriptions. A few examples:
    • Bronze Cat is described as a "great defensive Cat with ridiculous health and very decent attack power." It has mediocre HP at best and low damage, which matters none as it cannot deal critical hits and is used to knockback metal enemies.
    • Within the unit descriptions for the Galaxy Gals in the Rare Cat Capsule, Kuu is described as having "high damage with fast attack speed", even though she attacks much slower than most Ubers do. Coppermine is also described the same way; her attack speed is fast, but she has poor attack for an Uber.
    • Thunder God Zeus is said by the game to be strong vs. Angels, but he's actually resistant to them, so no extra damage.
    • Angelic Beast Rajakong’s description mentions how he uses waves and surges to beat down evil poachers. However, he only uses Omni Strikes and wave attacks. He is, however, immune to both waves and surges.
  • Cool, but Inefficient: Mega Cat, the evolved form of Cabaret Cat. Its attack animation is long, flashy, and has it fire a laser which creates a massive, awesome-looking explosion upon contact with the ground. Unfortunately, it's far too weak to be of any use; its health is low enough that it'll die in one hit from nearly any attack, its attack barely deals Scratch Damage to most late-game enemies, it moves and attacks extremely slowly, and it takes an eternity to recharge. It's actually more useful in its basic form as a meatshield.
  • Cooldown Manipulation: Research CatCombos, when activated, will reduce the cooldown time on all cats by a small set amount. This can't be lower than 2 seconds.
  • Cosmetic Award: Any Meow Medal that you’ve obtained doesn’t do anything other than to look pretty. Their only use is unlocking extra formation slots.
  • Crippling Overspecialization:
    • Most Cats that specialize in dealing critical hits are notoriously weak against non-Metal enemies, as they're meant to target the raw health pools of Armored But Frail enemies while dealing double damage. This even extends to most critical hit Ubers.
    • The special Ubers from the "Busters" banners, like Strike Unit R.E.I. or Sakura Sonic, can crush any enemy that they target. However, with the exception of Pai-Pai, they're very poor in terms of general use, if you use them anyway.
    • Ubers that only hit enemies with specific traits, like Takeda Shingen or Warlock & Pierre. They can destroy most enemies that they target, but are helpless against anything else.
    • Some of Ototo's custom Cat Cannons, like the Waterblast or Holy Blast cannons, fall under this. They can devastate Metal and Zombie enemies, respectively, but are completely useless against anything else.
  • Critical Hit: There are two abilities that act as this trope:
    • A number of cats and, in much rarer cases, certain enemies have a chance to do what is called a Critical Attack, indicated by a sound effect and yellow stars flying out of their target. Crits deal doubled damage and are the only thing capable of piercing the defences of Metal Enemies.
    • In 8.8 a new ability called Savage Blow was introduced, indicated by red stars flying out and a distinct sound effect. It essentially is the same ability as Critical Attack except the damage multiplier is 3x note  instead of a Critical Attack's 2x but it doesn’t deal full damage against Metals.
  • Critical Hit Class: A number of Cats, such as Space Cat, Catornado, and Jurassic Cat, have low damage but fast attacks designed to proc their crits at a very high rate. These cats are almost essential for taking on stronger Metal enemies. A similar category includes Cats who have very slow attacks or take a long time between attacks, but are guaranteed to land a critical when they hit, suck as Cheerleader Cat and Sunny Neneko.
  • Critical Status Buff: Some cats and enemies, among which include the Uber Rare Togelan Pasalan and enemy Alpacky, have the ability to survive a lethal strike with 1 HP, but get their attack massively boosted when they reach that threshold.
  • Crutch Character: Several.
    • Axe Cat. It has better stats and faster attack speed than the basic Cat, is strong against Red enemies, and is still cheap and fast to produce. However, later on, stronger enemies will be able to overpower it easily, and its higher cost than the basic Cat makes Zerg Rush tactics using it difficult, making it a Master of None. Its true form, Dark Cat, does nothing to fix these issues.
    • Gross Cat zig-zags this depending on what point of the game you're in. Early in the game, it's an important unit, being your longest-ranged Cat after Lizard. After Empire of Cats, it starts to fall off in use due to having weak stats and being overshadowed by other ranged attackers. Its True Form, Macho Leg Cat, is then much more useful due to its doubled stats and being strong against Alien enemies. However, while it shines in Into the Future and Cats of the Cosmos, it starts to become less useful later in Stories of Legend due to stronger mid-ranged attackers being available. It can still remain effective on some late-game stages where its cheap, disposable nature and bulk come in handy, however.
    • The Titan Cat, a textbook Mighty Glacier with a reasonable price and cooldown meant to hold on the front that is virtually immovable. Titan Cats are meant to teach players to stock up on powerful, expensive units and eventually become obsolete when unit slots have already been filled with similar roles. Its true form, Jamiera Cat, stays useful for longer, but is rarely useful late in the game due to the stage design not favoring tank units.
    • Ninja Cat is essentially a stronger version of Axe Cat — it has low cost, is spammable, has fast attack speed, and is strong against Red enemies, letting it rip most of Empire of Cats to shreds and help out greatly when collecting Treasures. Later on, however even those overbuffed Mooks will have no problem easily defeating a Flying Ninja Cat, and it suffers from Axe Cat's same problem of not having a real role in battle. It only becomes useful again once its Talents are unlocked, and even then, it doesn't sweep whole stages anymore. An event-exclusive variant of it, Blue Shinobi, falls into this trope even harder — it has slightly higher stats than the original Ninja did, but no true form or talents, making it completely unusable past the early-game.
    • Cats In A Box are fast, powerful, and have an Area Attack. They will carry you through Empire of Cats right up until Teacher Bun Bun, and help with farming treasures. After that, their utility vanishes, and their True Form doesn't help much at all... at least until its Talents are unlocked.
    • Boogie Cat is an example of a crutch meatshield. Early in the game, it's one of the most important Special Cats to buy, since it's a third meatshield you can use alongside the basic Cat and Tank Cat, and it's especially useful against Teacher Bun Bun. However, once other meatshields like Crazed Cat and Tank start to be obtained, Boogie Cat stops being as useful due to its poor movement speed. It only becomes very useful much later in the game, after Gato Amigo's Talent for Surge immunity is unlocked.
    • Among the Legends, Valkyrie Cat is the first one you'll get, and she's a big help against Teacher Bun Bun and early Stories of Legend. Later on, however, she pales in comparison to both the other Legends and most Uber Rares. While her True Form is a noticeable improvement, it's ultimately not enough to give her more than niche use later on.
    • One of the more infamous ones is Salon Cat, or Paris Cat in evolved form. Early in the game, she's essentially a straight upgrade to Gross Cat, being a ranged attacker with a powerful area attack and fast cooldown — and, unlike most gacha Rares, she's powerful even in her evolved form and thus useful straight away. Many stages early in the game give lots of money, offsetting her high cost, and have no Long Distance enemies to snipe her and exploit her poor HP. However, after a certain point in the game, Paris's weaknesses of low HP and cost-efficiency start to catch up with her, and other mid-ranged attackers such as Drama, Seafarer, and Pizza become more effective choices. Paris's True Form, Cyborg Cat, is far from useless in the late-game, though, being helpful to own for difficult 4-crown stages where she's one of the most effective options available.
    • Many tanker Ubers, such as Cat Machine, Guardian Gamereon, and Hades the Punisher, end up like this. In the story chapters and Stories of Legend, they provide a great defense against most enemies, even ones they don't target, and can hit back hard. They're also adept at taking out long-ranged backline enemies, like Camelle and Master A., which can otherwise be annoying to face. However, tankers struggle to find their place in Uncanny Legends and other later stages, as most levels send out huge amounts of high-DPS enemies that almost no cat can tank for a meaningful amount of time. Longer-ranged Glass Cannon units can take out these enemies without having to get in close; meanwhile, rushers can close in on backline enemies and kill them faster than tankers, with less risk of dying before they can do their job.
    • Among the Uber Rares, one notable example is Togeluga, who also combines this with Magikarp Power due to only being useful in its True Form, Shishilan Pasalan. It's a backline attacker with 100 knockbacks, allowing it to reposition out of danger very easily; it can hit hard enough when strengthened to kill most enemies in Stories of Legend in only a few hits; and it's immune to waves, which are a big threat in the mid-game. However, in Uncanny Legends, Shishilan's performance starts to fall off; levels start favoring rushers and snipers instead of backliners, long distance and surge enemies can snipe it to interrupt its long attack animation, other options for wave-immune attackers become available, and increasingly strong enemies can kill it in a few hits, negating its advantage of excellent survivability. While Shishilan is still usable in the late-game, other backliner Ubers are generally more effective.
  • Cute Kitten: The Li'l Cats are tiny, adorable versions of the basic cats.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: The members of the Dark Heroes Uber Set revolve around stealth, espionage, subterfuge and nightmares, but are ultimately on the Cats' side. One of their strongest members is even inspired by Batman himself.
  • Death of a Thousand Cuts: Cow Cat and its Crazed form has low attack power, but hits and moves three times faster than your regular cat. Later, several other cats can do this such as Hurricat.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Ururun Wolf's description shows that she joined the cat army because they defeated her. This trope also applies to the other bosses from legend stages, as they'll join the cat army after being defeated... at a 3% chance. The Crazed Cats and awakened Special Cat/monthly Rare Cat bosses work the same way, though with better drop rates, as do the Heavenly Tower bosses. Though the Crazed Cats have a guaranteed drop rate.
  • Deflector Shields:
    • Barriers are used by some of the starred Aliens. They block all damage (and the secondary effects from attacks) while deployed, and must be broken by damaging them past a certain threshold with a single hit. They range in strength, from General GreGory's 6000 to Le'Solar's 40,000, but special mention must go to Youcan and UltraBaaBaa with a barrier strength of 266,000. Certain units have a chance when they hit to break shields instantly, regardless of the shield's strength.
    • Certain Aku enemies have Aku Shields which absorb a certain amount of damage before breaking, essentially working as a boost to the enemy’s maximum HP, and regenerate whenever they get knocked back. Like with barriers, some cats have a chance to instantly tear through Aku Shields in a single hit.
  • Degraded Boss: Very much so. Nearly every boss enemy will show up later demoted to a standard support enemy. One of the best examples would be Teacher Bun Bun; one shows up as the boss of the Moon in Empire of Cats chapter 3, but later on, he and his variants become fairly common as beefy Elite Mooks. This is taken to the next level in the Zero Legends saga, where even the final bosses consisting of supposedly-unique enemies as well as supposedly event-only Optional Bosses such as the Cyclones and Advent Bosses end up becoming reoccurring enemies.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: Long-range cats (mainly Lizard and his variants) are a chore to build up due to their long cooldown, high cost, and general inability to fend for themselves. However, if you can stack enough of them them with cheaper and/or more durable cats to defend them, they will be able to deliver stunning amounts of damage from a range where only a few enemies can hope to harm them.
  • Diminishing Returns for Balance:
    • After a cat reaches a specific level threshold, all stat gains from level ups from that point onward will be halved. There can be more than one of these thresholds at once, though it only goes up to two at most, and their effects stack with one another (i.e. stats gained from each level can be reduced to a fourth at most) How many of these thresholds are there and what levels specifically will the stats reduction start taking effect mainly depends on the rarity of the unit, barring specific outliers.note 
    • In a strange inversion of this trope, Gacha Cat has their stat gain per level up increase by a multiplier of 3 starting at level 20, then having this multiplier increase by 3 every 10 levels reached.
  • Disc-One Nuke:
    • If obtained early, certain Crazed Cats can prove to be a dominating force in the early-game, due to having the stats of level 40 Normal Cats and additional strong abilities at a point when enemies really can’t handle that. Crazed Fish Cat is a notable example — its boss stage is fairly easy to complete, and it can rip apart early stages with its high stats and cheap cost, especially Red enemies. They balance out later in the game as enemies get stronger, though most of them remain highly effective.
    • Courier Cat is the first Ancient Egg unit players are likely to unlock. You can get its egg, Ancient Egg: N101, as soon as you clear 5 Behemoth hunting stages for the first time, which doesn't take long to do, and it only takes 5 of the relatively common purple and red stones to hatch. Once hatched, it's very powerful for that early in the game, it deals massive damage to Red enemies with a fast cooldown, and its Long Distance attacks help it work as a generalist on top of that, even later on. It is fantastic for countering short-to-midranged Reds like Sir Seal, Ginger Snache, and Capy.
    • While most Ubers are Awesome, but Impractical early-game due to their high deploy costs, the Ultra Souls fall firmly into this, due to being as cheap as most Rare Cats in their basic forms while being much stronger.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The Cerberus Kids' description states that they sold their souls by clicking on an Aku spam email, and that they used to be low-level Red enemies, but are now successful entrepreneurs investing in Evil. It makes the Akus come across like a multi-level marketing scheme.
  • Dual Boss:
    • Certain floors of the Heavenly Tower makes you face off against two advent bosses at the same time with little to no prep time and only mildly threatening support, such as Floors 44, 45, and 46 where you face Hannya + Cruel Angel Clionel, Queen B with 3 Bakoos and Daboo of the Dead paired with King Wahwah.
    • Death Angel Z-Onel is unique among the advent bosses because there are two of them in their stage.
  • Duel Boss: The Duel Stages Challenge only lets you send out one cat at once to fend off a single enemy at a time. It's not a straight example, however, as more enemies come once the first one is killed, and you can spawn another cat if your first one dies. The later Tag Arena stages work similarly, but let both you and the enemy send out two units at once.
  • Early-Bird Boss:
    • The first Hippoe, encountered in Japan, can be something of a threat for first-time players. All the enemies up to this point have been different flavors of The Goomba, but Hippoe has much more HP, hits way harder, and has an area attack. Since you only have 4 available cats at this point, of which only Gross Cat can safely attack the boss, taking Hippoe down before it gets to your base might be tough. Of course, after this level, you'll get stronger ranged attackers which make it easy to kill all future Hippoes.
    • The first encounter with Casaurian Ahirujo in Woodlands Area 4. It's intended to be the first boss-level Behemoth enemy encountered, and can easily shred through meatshields with its powerful strikes, especially if it lands a Savage Blow. Once this level is beaten, you'll be able to get Courier Cat, which hard-counters Ahirujo to an absolutely cruel degree.
  • Early-Bird Cameo:
    • True Superfeline is a retroactive example. It’s the cat in the logo, meaning that it’s technically been in the game for its entire existence. As a more conventional example, it showed up in a promotional video before being added to the game proper.
    • Before the 11.5 update added full-fledged Behemoth enemies and Ancient Eggs, a single Empress’s Excavation subchapter was added, serving as an early appearance for Wild Doge and Ancient Egg: N000.
  • Easter Egg:
    • A specific Special Cat has an obscure method of unlocking. To unlock Flower Cat, you must open and close the right sliding door on the Cat Base menu repeatedly. If you hear a meow when opening the door, you're doing it right.
    • The method for unlocking its true form is even more obscure. After beating Chapter 3 of Into The Future, the stage for unlocking the true form appears on the 2nd and 22nd of every month for 2 minutes at 2:22 PM. To compensate for this, the stage's enemies are incredibly easy.
  • Easy Levels, Hard Bosses: Most of the regular stages in Empire of Cats are easy, while the Moon levels put up more of a fight. This doesn't apply to the rest of the game, however.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The Nekolugas. They're so otherworldly that the game doesn't even know whether to call them cats or not.
  • Elite Tweak: While leveling up your units through the use of either XP or duplicate characters from the gacha tends to be the main method of making units stronger, at some point, you're going to reach a point where you'll hit a limit on the benefits this provides, either through reaching the highest possible level cap for levels gained through XP or the levels getting hit with Diminishing Returns for Balance to the point where they're practically Empty Levels. As a result, there have been extra methods of increasing a unit's power introduced over the years.
    • One of these mechanics is the Talents mechanic (assuming that the chosen unit has Talents that they can access). This mechanic has a few parts to it.
      • The main part of the Talents mechanic is the Talents Upgrades themselves. These consist of a set of 5 options, with very specific exceptions, that can be unlocked and upgraded for your unit with the use of NP, a currency that you get by converting units obtained from the gacha to it, with rarer units giving out more NP. Out of these 5 options, 3 of them focus on giving the unit new abilities as well as resistances to certain abilities, the latter being exclusive to this mechanic, while the other 2 are a boost to a unit's attack and HP, though once again there are a select few exceptions.
      • The more minor part of Talents is the Talent Orbs. Every unit with access to Talents can also equip one Talent Orb of your choice which grants them a stat boost (whether by boosting their base stats or by making their abilities stronger) to the enemy type indicated by the orb. These orbs can also be upgraded by fusing orbs of the same target trait and rank.
      • Version 12.1 introduced an extension to this mechanic known as Ultra Talents. Exclusive to Uber Rares and more post-game aligned, Ultra Talents requires the unit to be level 60 to even access its benefits, which is an extremely time and resource-intensive process; even discounting the boatload of XP and Uber Rare Catseyes needed, leveling an Uber from level 50 to 60 also takes 15 Dark Catseyes, which are exclusive drops from endgame content and drop in very small quantities. Actually doing so will give the unit an additional set of Talent Upgrades of a variable amount, with some also gaining an extra Talent Orb slot.
    • Another mechanic that fulfills this purpose is known as Ultra Forms, a 4th form that's stronger than a unit's True Form. Like Ultra Talents before it, it's exclusive to Uber Rares, is more post-game aligned, and even shares the same level 60 requirement it does, with the only real difference setting it apart being that gaining its benefits requires you to have the necessary evolution materials to evolve the unit to an even stronger form.
  • Energy Weapon:
    • Certain Cats and enemies have the ability to fire wave attacks when they hit a target, doing extra damage to everything caught in the blast by firing blue and purple shockwaves respectively. Naturally, enemy shockwaves go much farther than Cat ones. Other Cats and enemies also only have a chance to do the shockwave with each hit, turning fights into luck-based missions. Some units will instead create mini-waves, which are much weaker, but travel faster.
    • Other Cats and enemies, later on in the game, can perform a more powerful variation of wave attacks called Surges. These linger for a period of time, damaging everything caught in them repeatedly. Like wave attacks, some enemies only have a chance to create Surges, but there's a double helping of RNG with them — Surges also have a random zone disjointed from the unit in which they'll spawn.
  • Evil vs. Evil:
  • Fake Ultimate Mook:
    • Many of the Cyclones end up as this trope. Cyclones have high health and typically boast extreme DPS that destroys anything they touch. However, their short range and extreme vulnerability to status effects makes most of them much less threatening than they look, at least in their initial stages.
    • CyberFace, first seen in the stage Steel Visage. It looks absolutely unbeatable at first glance, as it moves extremely fast, has a 99999 damage area attack, deals quadruple damage to the Cat Base due to its Base Destroyer ability, and fires a level 8 shockwave 90% of the time whenever it attacks, in addition to having the Metal trait that makes it take only 1 damage from any attack. The catch? It has only 299 HP, meaning that, while you can't necessarily perform a Death of a Thousand Cuts like you could with most metals, a single critical hit from nearly anything will do it in.
    • Teacher Cybear, appearing in the stage Forged to Kill, is probably the worst of them all. It has 800 attack range, takes only 1 damage when attacked, attacks twice a second, and deals 999,999 damage per swing Fun Fact... but it also has single-target attacks and merely 50 health, meaning a Zerg Rush of nothing but meatshields can do him in.
  • Flying Seafood Special: Zig-Zagged. Every variant of Sunfish Jones levitates above the ground. Henry, an anglerfish, doesn't fly and simply bounces across the ground, but his Behemoth variant does fly. The units and enemies from the Survive! Mola mola! collab event also fly.
  • Foul Waterfowl: The Duche line of enemies are antagonistic ducks. While Duche itself is fairly inoffensive, its variants, such as Zuche and Casaurian Ahirujo, are a lot more imposing.
  • Fighting Clown: Among the many units you can use, a large number of them have rather strange methods of attack, and many of those are still very effective units despite this. Examples include Dancer Cat attacking with sweet dance moves, Rocker Cat headbanging to use its hair as a whip, Salaryman Cat performing a dogezanote , Pizza Cat slamming down a stack of giant pizzas, and the list goes on.
  • Fragile Speedster: Several examples.
    • Among the Normal Cats, Cow Cat moves and attacks the fastest, but has poor endurance and per-hit damage.
    • Capsule Cat has the second-fastest movement speed of any Cat in the game, and does a decent amount of damage per hit, but has just 1 HP.
    • Express Cat is a cross between this and Glass Cannon. It rushes forward and delivers a single big hit to the first enemy it meets, synergizing well with its Money Multiplier ability, but doesn't live long enough.
    • Brollows are among the fastest enemies in the game, and they deliver devastating hits whenever they hit a target, but they have low HP and endurance. However, unlike Express Cat, they're not Immune to Flinching, and can immediately attack again when knocked back unless caught with an extremely damaging attack.
  • Freemium Timer:
    • Playing a level costs energy. In the non-Special levels, energy costs are lower the easier and earlier the level is. If you run out of energy, you can either pay Cat Food to restore it all, claim a rank-up reward, or just wait a few hours to get more.
    • Gamatoto is a cat you can send out an expeditions for rewards. You can choose to have him adventure for 1, 3, or 6 real-time hours, and he returns with more rewards depending on how long he was adventuring.
    • Ototo can use materials collected from beating stages to construct custom Cat Bases. Every step in the building process takes 12 real-time hours to complete, but his team can be sped up using Catamins.
  • Friendly Enemy: Even if the Doge and Cat armies clash in the world and beyond, Doge is still thoughtful enough to give Cat birthday gifts.
  • Game-Breaking Bug:
    • A now-fixed glitch in the 5.10 update caused the Plasma Crystals in Into the Future chapters 2 and 3 to have no effect, effectively tripling the strength of already difficult enemies.
    • The 10.2 update introduced A Colossal Valentine's, a set of 20 increasingly difficult stages featuring Martin and a Black variant of Wall Doge, which produces Mini Waves and is immune to freeze. However, the 14th stage out of 20 accidentally had the Wall Doges boosted to six times their intended strength level, making them almost impossible to defeat without specific Ubers. The 10.2.1 update, fortunately, fixed this.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Clockwork Cat's true form, Puppetmaster Cat and Charlie, says that the cat in question has a crazed look in its eye, despite having the exact same face as a normal cat.
  • Gameplay Automation: Using two Cat CPUs on a stage you've already beaten will let you automatically complete it without having to actually play it. Of course, you still need the required energy for the stage and you can only skip ten times per day.
  • Giant Mook:
    • Within regular Stories of Legend, Super Metal Hippoe is a bigger, much stronger version of the regular Metal Hippoe. It has at least 8000 health, decent damage and 100% chance to knockback cats. Unusually, it's not Immune to Flinching due to having 24 knockbacks, and is much faster than the original. St. Pigge the 2nd is a similar example, being bigger, stronger, and faster than Pigge.
    • In event stages, giant versions of enemies themed after the event sometimes appear. Examples include Easter Duche and Easter Bunny for Easter, Drac-owl-la for Halloween, and Blitzen for Christmas.
  • Gimmick Level: The game has quite a few.
  • Glass Cannon: Again, several.
    • Most long-ranged Cats in general, even Uber Rares and Legend Rares, are this trope. While they can put out tons of damage from a good distance when protected well, they'll die in just a few hits from most late-game enemies without proper protection. One of the biggest examples is Kalisa, an impromptu Uber Rare void-sword bearer, who moves fast and does great damage. However, it only takes a few hits from most enemies to put her down quickly.
    • Bird Cat is one of the most fragile of the Normal Cats, but compensates with high attack and quick attack speed. Its range is too low for the task, though.
    • When compared to other anti-Red options, Swordsman Cat is this. A lack of resistance means that he takes the full brunt of any Red attacks, but his massive damage to Red enemies lets him rip them apart, especially as Elemental Duelist Cat.
    • Slime Cat has one of the most pathetic health pools of any Cat, but delivers devastating wave attacks with every hit.
    • On the enemy side, Two Can, Tackey, and Hackey can all do incredible damage, but have far less health relative to their attack than most other enemies.
  • The Goomba: Doge is the first and most basic enemy in the game, and shows up a lot early on. It has such low stats that even a level 1 basic Cat can defeat it one-on-one, and has no special abilities. Doge has a lot of variants, and they tend to serve as the easiest and most basic representative of their trait — though, later Doge variants like Metal Doge and Gabriel can still be very annoying to face.
  • Guest Fighter:
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • The strength magnification system, which essentially serves as a method of averting Villain Forgot to Level Grind. In every level where they appear, the stats of an enemy are set to a percentage of those of their first appearance.note  Nowhere in the game is this told to players, which gets especially Egregious when late-game Gimmick Levels feature weak enemies under a truly massive strength magnification, which may lead the player to underestimate them until it is too late.
    • While most event stages have the times they appear at listed in-game, the Aku invasion and Wicked Cat stages don't have this information shown to the player. Each one is only on for an hour each day, and which hour it is changes every day of the week. Some other stages, like Growing Strange, are also kept secret by the game, at least until you unlock them.
  • Hard Levels, Easy Bosses: Cats of the Cosmos's third chapter has some mercilessly hard stages, especially near the end, that require you to have as many treasures as possible and strong anti-Aliens. However, the bosses of the chapter put up much less of a fight by comparison.
  • Hard Mode Filler:
    • With the exception of the Moon, the stages in Empire of Cats are the same for all 3 chapters, but the enemies are stronger. This is averted by the later story chapters, which have slight differences between the chapters for each level.
    • All Stories of Legend stages have a 2-crown mode which makes all enemies 20% to 50% stronger, and a 3-crown mode which further increases the buff to 30%-100%. Downplayed by 4-crown stages, which crank the buff even higher (0%-300%), but also only permit the use of Special and Rare Cats, making the player use different strategies. These magnifications drop as you progress further up to a point where you won't have to face something like a 300% Razorback in The Spy Who Pet Me.
  • Health/Damage Asymmetry: Enemies tend to have far more raw health than even the tankiest Cats, but Cats tend to do far more DPS than even the strongest enemies.
  • Helpful Mook:
    • Ms. Sign will show up if the player takes too long to beat most levels, but does nothing of importance besides taking up a slot in the enemy limit. Because Ms. Signs are infinite on most levels, she serves to break stalemates, lowering the number of actual enemies on the field and letting your Cats break through. It's even possible to completely clog the enemy limit with Ms. Signs, then cheese the level. Though on some levels, Ms. Sign serves as a warning for Assassin Bear.
    • Angel Fanboy is a variant that breaks the fourth wall, showing up on Divine Cyclone's stage to tell you that, despite the fact that the Cyclone looks like it's floating, it's immune to anti-Floating status effects.
    • Weak Empire of Cats enemies like Mooth and Kang Roo are occasionally spawned in late-game levels. Utterly outmatched by your cats, they serve to give the player a cash boost, as they drop much more money than most enemies. Casaurian Ahirujo fills a similar role on some Behemoth-heavy stages.
    • Gardeneel Bros. will warp your cats forward when they hit, letting them get behind enemy lines. While this can be harmful on some stages, such as CotC 3 Andromedanote  and Glass Slippers,note  it can also let your cats destroy the enemy base without having to get past the support enemies. The stage Stars in the Tumbler practically requires this strategy to beat. Subverted with Mesocosmocyclone; while they also warp cats forward, their role as a Lightning Bruiser makes the ability less of a benefit to you and more of a way to rush to your base and crush it with their attacks.
  • Hitbox Dissonance: Plenty of examples, both with units and enemies.
    • Bahamut Cat's attack range is the same in both first and evolved forms, even though the evolved form creates a much larger explosion with his attack. Essentially, the half of the dark explosion nearest to Crazed Bahamut nukes enemies for extreme damage, and the other half does nothing.
    • Many Uber Rares, most notably Windy and Jizo's Moving Castle, have attack animations that reach much farther than their actual attack range.
    • Despite only reaching to the same range as the original Teacher Bear's claw slash, Assassin Bears have 800 range and hit further than they seem.
    • Dark Emperor Nyandam's hitbox is quite a bit in front of his throne as he has less range, so cats will appear to attack the dark spirits in front of him. Notably, some of his variants fix this issue, which can look strange if he's paired with one of them.
    • One of the most notorious examples is Master A., whose attack seems to reach a good deal past the end of his tongue.
    • Camelle's bite attack only reaches a moderate distance in front of him, but can hit cats about twice as far away as it looks like it should.
    • Wave attacks go farther than the sprites do. This is present when cats use them, but much more noticeable for enemies, which seem to have an extra wave level for every attack.
    • The explosion from Tackey's spike ball goes a lot farther than the animation would suggest.
    • Ackey's attack appears to create three explosions with a delay between them, but only the first explosion does any damage — due to a bug, it hits three times, while the other two explosions are entirely for show.
  • Holiday Mode: Should you play the game at any time during New Year's Eve, the intro that plays upon starting the game will have additional details that weren't normally present before, most notably the True Superfeline that appears partway through that slowly gets closer to your screen before your screen fades to red.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: Alien enemies in the later chapters, as well as the Cat God in all three of his forms, start off incredibly powerful and must be weakened by collecting treasures. If the player has fewer treasures than expected for that point in the game, this trope will result, as the Aliens will be far too powerful to defeat by normal means.
  • Humanoid Abomination: The Nekolugas are vaguely humanoid, but have incredibly disfigured and disproportionate body parts.
  • Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: The levels are rated, from easiest to hardest, as Easy, Medium, Hard, Veteran, Expert, Insane, Deadly, Merciless, and Brutal.
  • Improvised Weapon: Several cats and enemies use ordinary objects or tools as weapons. These include, but are not limited to: whisks, bottles, IV stands, shovels, tins of Cat Food, barbells, signs, pizzas, and croissants.
  • Item Farming:
    • Regular Cat Tickets, used to spin the silver Cat Capsule, can be farmed on special stages that feature Metal enemies. The easier ones feature Metal Hippoes as the main enemies, while the harder ones feature Fake Ultimate Mooks like Teacher Cybear and CyberFace. They double as a Peninsula of Power Leveling, as Normal Cats can be leveled using these tickets.
    • Catfruits and their seeds, which are needed to unlock the True Forms of Cats from the gacha and some others, must be farmed from stages that reappear every week; each color corresponds with one enemy type that will be found on their farming maps, with higher difficulty stages being more likely to give you a full fruit instead of a seed. Some more powerful Cats need rainbow-coloured Epic Catfruit to evolve, which can be obtained from rarer event stages or as a Rare Random Drop from the weekly stages; a later update also added Epic Catfruit Seeds, which are actually rarer than the full fruits and are locked behind Growing Epic, which only appears after entering Uncanny Legends. The rarer Elder Catfruit is needed to evolve Legends and anti-Relic Cats; it can only be farmed from Growing Strange. The dark blue Aku Catfruit can only be farmed from Growing Evil and only drops its seeds, requiring five to make a full fruit. The rarest of all Catfruit is the Golden Catfruit, which can only be obtained from the Cat Shrine or the Infernal Tower.
    • Another type of evolution material, called Behemoth Stones, can be farmed in either specific Behemoth Culling stages, which appear at specific times, or the Hunter's Map enigmas, which appear randomly from certain enigmas. There are also Epic Behemoth Stones, which have their own dedicated stage to get them, and Behemoth Gems, which you get by fusing 10 of a Behemoth Stone of the same type together.
  • Joke Character: Again, several examples.
    • The Killer Cat, a black and red variant of the regular Cat unlocked in the Day of the Cat event, has the exact same stats as the regular Cat, but costs the most money out of any unit in the game, at a staggering $7500 in Stories of Legend mode! At least it's cheap to upgrade for easy User Rank points, and has a few useful CatCombos. However, its True Form, Radical Cat, is a massive improvement: it gains a huge HP boost, has its cost lowered to $900 with a 6-second recharge, and becomes strong vs. Floating with Behemoth Slayer, making it a usable counter to Pterowl Hazuku in particular. Killer Tank Cat functions identically to Killer Cat, though with slightly more HP.
    • Gummy Cat, which is one of the only cats that can only be accessed by paying real money, also counts. Not only does it have 1000 knockbacks, making it get Blown Across the Room by the slightest bit of damage, but it deals 1 HP of damage per attack. It can’t even Zerg Rush effectively, due to its higher cost and slower recharge speed than most meatshields. So much for Bribing Your Way to Victory. It also has a True Form, but one which doesn't do much for it, unlike Killer Cat's.
    • Cabaret Cat starts out as a more expensive clone of the basic cat, but its description promises that "You won't believe your eyes when it evolves at level 10". Indeed, once it reaches level 10, it evolves into Mega Cat, which looks far more visually impressive, and attacks by charging up and firing a laser which creates a gigantic explosion... and has less DPS than its already-pitiful basic form.
  • Kaizo Trap: Some stages will still try to finish you off, even when the base is being broken down.
    • The Challenge Battle sends out one last Assassin Bear when the base is on its last legs, which can turn the tide of battle if you don't have your Cat Cannon ready.
    • Lovechild Lane sends out a huge horde of Zang Roos when the base is hit. Even if you managed to take down the One Horn and stall out the Zamelle and Mr. Moles, they can still finish you off if you can't destroy the base fast enough.
    • Draconian, the stage to unlock Manic King Dragon Cat, initially sends just three of them as the main bosses. However, if the base is damaged after a certain amount of time, more of them will come.
  • Karma Houdini: At no point, over the course of the game's Excuse Plot, do the Cats receive any punishment for all of the mayhem they cause. This also applies to their creator.
  • Keystone Army: If the enemy base is destroyed, you automatically win and every enemy instantly dies. This trope works both ways, though. Watch out for those Zombies, Long-Distance enemies, and Warping!
  • Kill It with Water: Metal enemies take heavy damage from the Waterblast cannon, which corrodes them with a spray of salt water. This means that Steel Snache is the only Snache variant which actually is weak to water.
  • Lady Not-Appearing-in-This-Game: Subverted. See that Valkyrie Cat, with long slender legs, big wings and an awesome spear? You can actually get her!
  • Last Chance Hit Point:
    • Some cats and enemies can survive a lethal hit with one hit point. This is represented during battle by a flashing icon of a muscleman. While useful against slow attacking opponents, it doesn't offer much defense.
    • If a Cat unit hits the enemy base before it spawns its boss due to HP loss but the blow would destroy the base, it'll be set at 1 HP. This generally happens when bringing an overpowered army to an easier stage.
  • Lethal Joke Character: Stone Cat, a Rare Cat unlocked by beating Evil Emperor Cat. It looks unassuming, its description is unflattering (calling it "surprisingly fragile, both emotionally and physically"), and all it seems to do when spawned is ram into an enemy for weak damage, then shatter apart. However, the game neglects to mention its absurdly high HP, and because its hitbox lingers for a little while after it attacks, it's a useful meatshield that's great at holding on to the front line after a powerful enemy has attacked, and only gets better when paired with CatCombos to improve research speed.
  • Level One Music Represents: "The Battle Begins!" (also known as Battle Theme #1 in the community) is played in a couple of the very early stages when starting off, before you encounter the other battle themes. If its appearances in the visiting side of many collaboration events and the few remixes in a few collaboration events are any indication, it has since become the de facto theme of this game.
  • Lord British Postulate:
    • Some stages are designed to make the player lose if they take too long, usually by triggering a Hopeless Boss Fight with a strong Assassin Bear or another enemy. However, some of these are possible to defeat. For example, in Merciless Onslaught, a 4000% Assassin Bear comes out if one of the One Horns dies, but it's possible to freeze it with the Thunderbolt cannon for just long enough to kill it.
    • Enemies that use a Suicide Attack, such as Elder Flame Doron, are designed to be unkillable through normal means — in the case of Doron, it has over 2 million HP, only stays on the field for a short period of time, and its attack weakens cats to 1% damage. However, through use of high-damage units like Lasvoss Reborn and Idi:N2, paired with careful timing of Sniper the Cat to reset its attack animation, it's possible to kill the enemy Doron.
  • Lost in Translation:
    • Li'l Nyandam's normal and evolved forms have Punny Names in the Japanese version, but they're not kept in translation. The basic form is ko nyandamu (Child Nyandam), while the evolved form is neko nyandamu (Cat Nyandam).
    • An example happens with the description of Idi:Re. The English version describes it as a "Paleobacterial Lifeform", which makes no sense. The Japanese version instead states "Paleobacteria detected", which makes the point that it is very old, and perhaps much older than the other Relics.
  • Lost Technology: Mecha-Bun is described as an "ancient super-weapon", and the enemy version is described as an "artifact of an ancient empire which once ruled the Earth". Relic Bun-Bun is also stated to be so, while Idi:Re is implied to be so as well.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: Possible to do if the player stacks up a lot of Hacker Cats. The enemy Sunfish Jones can do this as its primary means of attack.
  • Magic Knight: Swordsman Cat, one of the Rare set, and its evolved forms Sword Master Cat and Elemental Duelist Cat.
  • Magikarp Power: The game's jam-packed with units like this.
    • All of the Ancient Eggs qualify. They start out as pathetically weak units, and have to be hatched using Behemoth Stones farmed from daily stages. Once they hatch, they become proper cats and often gain the Behemoth Slayer ability, and some of them, such as Courier Cat, Mushroom Cat, and Hitman Cat, prove to be very powerful to justify the expense.
    • Many of the purchasable Special Cats became examples of this when update 10.0 hit and gave them Talents, dramatically boosting their poor stats and granting some of them powerful new abilities. Some of the biggest changes are:
      • Ninja Cat, while it can allow you to steamroll most of Empire of Cats, quickly becomes overshadowed by other units after that. Its Talents instead turn it into a strong Dodge-focused meatshield vs. Red and Black enemies, giving it a much more solid niche. It's now much more helpful than it was before in the late-game, if only against Reds and Blacks.
      • In a similar vein, Cats in a Box goes from being a Crutch Character to a legitimate powerhouse with its Talents. Heavy Assault C.A.T. becomes a powerful anti-Black rusher that can deal tons of damage to them for a reasonable price.
      • Bondage Cat is a strong contender for the status of worst Cat in the entire game before Talents, but becomes a tough anti-Red Stone Wall with them, especially with its ability to dodge Red attacks and occasionally freeze them.
      • Dom Cat is rather useless in its normal form, and can easily be replaced by other cats that are more effective on Reds. Its true form, Dark Lazer, has much faster attack speed and is strong against both Blacks and Reds, but is still fairly weak... and then its Talents boost it even more into a monstrously powerful (albeit fragile) attacker that can decimate enemies with waves.
      • Actress Cat starts off as an extremely weak ranged attacker that has a strictly better version in Salon Cat, and its True Form, Beefcake Cat, barely helps. However, Beefcake Cat's Talents let it massively boost its stats, gain the Strengthen ability to boost its attack even higher, and No-Sell Surges. Now, Beefcake Cat is just as good as Cyborg Cat when fully invested in, if not better.
    • Flower Cat has extremely low stats and a very low chance to freeze Black enemies. Once it becomes Bombercat, it gains a 100% freeze chance and area attack, letting it permanently freeze many dangerous Black enemies.
    • While the Li'l Cats are just worse versions of the Basic Cats in their basic forms, their True Forms fall squarely into this. While they may have lower stats than their larger counterparts, they compensate with unique abilities such as Li'l Lion's Wave Attack immunity or Li'l Eraser's Freeze immunity.
    • Among the Legends, Red Riding Mina is easily among the weakest unevolved, due to her low HP and damage along with not having a special ability. However, her True Form gives her a massive stat boost, greatly increases the Splash Damage range on her attack, and gives her the ability to weaken Relics, turning Mina into a great choice for a long-ranged attacker.
    • Bishop Cat and Monk Cat are nearly useless, mostly thanks to their poor range (only out-ranging Shy Boy and some of the cyclones), low HP, and single-target attacks. Their True Form, Sanzo Cat, has more range, HP and an Area Attack, making it extremely effective at stalling short-ranged Floating enemies, and it can be just as good against Angels with its talents unlocked.
    • Archer Cat and Cupid Cat are both extremely weak anti-Floating attackers that deal barely any damage and can't take a hit in return. Their True Form, however, is Cataur, which massively boosts their HP, attack, range, and movement speed. Not only is Cataur a great choice to take down long-ranged Floating enemies, but with some talent upgrades, it can rip apart Zombie enemies as well.
    • Cat Gunslinger is a variant that turns into a Gyarados not through its True Form, but through Talents. Initially, it's a weak, slow-attacking unit with a low chance to slow Black enemies, and its True Form, Rodeo Cat, doesn't help much at all. However, through Talents, it gains the ability to slow Relic enemies as well, along with gaining the ability to shrug off Curses faster. Since Relics are stronger than Blacks and have fewer units that can effectively fend them off, Rodeo Cat is now a great option to stall dangerous Relic enemies, especially Primeval Cyclone.
    • Mer-Cat, along with its evolved form Commando Cat, has low health, slow movement, short range, and is notable only for its surprisingly high attack power. Cameraman Cat, its true form, gains increased health, range, speed, and an Area Attack, cementing it as a very powerful spammable attacker.
    • Killer Cat starts out as a Joke Character, having the same stats as the basic cat for 100 times the price, and requires 3 of every type of single-color Behemoth Stone to evolve, including the rare yellow ones. When it evolves into Radical Cat, it gets a huge boost to HP and attack, its cost drops to a much more manageable 900 with a 6-second recharge, it becomes strong against Floating enemies, and it even gains Behemoth Slayer, making it especially good against Pterowl Hazuku.
    • Adult Cat has very short range, low health, mediocre attack power, and is expensive for what it is. Its true form, Prisoner Cat, despite gaining a minimum range and a slower recharge speed, has much longer range, making it much more useful.
    • Apple Cat and its evolved form Face Cat are rather weak due to their single target attacks, even though they have a high chance to freeze Reds. The true form, iCat, has an area attack and boosts the freeze rate to 100%, letting it Stun Lock most short-ranged Red enemies.
    • Nerd Cat has low health and a single target attack, but insane range; however, it also has a very unwieldy Arbitrary Weapon Range. Its evolved form, Hacker Cat, has an area attack and an easier-to-deal-with minimum range, but is still fairly weak... and then, when it evolves into Cyberpunk Cat, it becomes able to stall enemies very effectively when stacked, especially with its talents.
    • Kotatsu and Sadako Cat are already decent units in basic form, but suffer badly from the typically high attack of late-game Floating enemies. The True Form, Octopus Cat, is granted the ability to completely nullify wave attacks, making most wave enemies far easier to deal with.
    • Gloomy Neneko starts out as a Promotional Powerless Piece of Garbage, like most of the other Neneko variants: she's a weak anti-Metal attacker (which translates to Crippling Overspecialization) with a glacially slow recharge. While her True Form doesn't improve her anti-Metal performance, it gives her the ability to nullify wave attacks from a range where she won't get hit by most wave enemies, turning her into one of the most powerful anti-wave units in the game.
    • Freshman Cat Jobs is normally an Awesome, but Impractical unit despite his powerful weaken ability, due to his exceptionally slow movement, pathetic stats, and long recharge time. However, his True Form, Headmaster Cat Jobs, grants him some significant boosts. The increased movement speed and Last Chance Hit Point are great to boost his usability and survivability, but what really pushes him over the edge is his Surge attack. It requires some luck to use effectively, as it can spawn in a massive range and only lasts for a short time, but any enemy hit by it will be weakened so much as to be almost completely harmless. While he still has flaws, his True Form represents a massive improvement over the original.
    • Zig-zagged by the Ultra Souls set of Uber Rares. They’re pretty weak in their basic forms, having to Zerg Rush to be of any use. Their evolved and true forms are much stronger, becoming heavy attackers. However, in a case where the Magikarp can sometimes be more powerful than the Gyarados, the basic forms can be useful on certain stages due to their low cost and fast production speed. In particular, Kasa Jizo is considered more powerful in basic form. The Elemental Pixies and Uberfest Ubers zig-zag this trope in the same way, but are generally better to use in their evolved forms.
    • The Nekolugas are weak, slow, and expensive in their basic forms. Upon growing to level 10, they suddenly gain both massively increased range and stats, and powerful special abilities.
    • Subverted by Cabaret Cat. At first, it seems like a weaker, more expensive clone of the basic cat, but leveling it up to level 10 will make it evolve into Mega Cat. It's now a gigantic, godlike cat which attacks by charging up and firing a laser, which makes the ground explode into a giant Sphere of Destruction... and it's so weak, and attacks so slowly, that its DPS is actually lower than its first form's.
  • Mercy Invincibility: Both Cats and enemies are invulnerable to damage while launched backwards from a knockback, whether from sheer damage or from the ability.
  • Mid-Season Upgrade: All cats in their evolved form at level 10 are these. These will eventually be succeeded by their Awakened Form.
  • Mighty Glacier: Again, several.
    • Titan Cat is slow to move and attack, and is the most expensive of the Normal Cats. However, it compensates with its huge HP and attack, along with being Immune to Flinching.
    • The first two bosses of Empire of Cats, The Face and Dark Emperor Nyandam, are some of the slowest enemies in the game. However, they have insane amounts of HP, and their strong, long-ranged attacks are veritable One Hit Kills on most Cats at that point in the game.
    • While a lot of Uber and Legend Rare Cats fall into this, the unquestioned champion would be the Iron Legion’s Legend Rare, Mighty Kristul Muu. In addition to its massive stats and good range, it dishes out 5x damage to Zombie enemies while taking 1/4th the damage in return, and can completely nullify wave attacks. However, in addition to its slow attack speed, it moves the slowest of any Cat in the game, tying with Prof. Cat Jobs and The Face, to the point where the Slow status only halves its speed.
  • Mini Mook:
    • Mesocosmocyclone is a smaller, weaker, faster version of Super Cosmic Cyclone. Similarly, Li'l Zyclone is a smaller and much weaker version of Zyclone, though it can burrow.
    • Doge and Bore have Li'l versions of themselves in Li'l Doge and Bore Jr., respectively. Li'l Doge can dodge attacks, while Bore Jr. is a traitless Glass Cannon version of Bore that can create mini-waves.
    • Great Angel Chibinel is a miniature version of Cruel Angel Clionel. It has much lower stats and shorter range, but can also weaken cats.
  • Missing Secret: Cats from collab events have empty slots in the Cat Guide displayed, even if they're inaccessible or unlikely to ever be accessible again.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters. A good amount of Cats you can unlock fall into this. Cow Cats, Bird Cats, Fish Cats, Lizard Cats...
  • Mood Whiplash: Quite a few Rare and Super Rare cats tend to not evolve in a logical way, leading to some cases of this, especially in the ones unlocked via Monthly events.
    • Vengeful Cat, the cat obtained from the Ghostly Houseguests stage, is the floating top half of a Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl (albeit with a cat face), but evolves into… a cat on a cloud who attacks via Groucho glasses on a string.
    • Sports Day Cat, gotten from the Autumn = Sports Day event, is a trio of basic cats carrying a tank cat… which evolves into the basic cats kidnapping the tank cat.
  • Monster Compendium: The Enemy Guide, a list of all monsters you've defeated, each one having a ridiculous bit of text describing them. Since it was added early on in the game's life and hasn't been updated the way that the Cat Guide was, it's just a long list with one enemy after the other, but thankfully the scroll bar at the top can be used to quickly get to the section a given monster is located in.
  • Mundane Utility: Time Traveller Cat often uses its time machine to time-slip into the movie theater for free. In the Japanese version, it instead uses it to spy on women in the bath.
  • NEET: Sea Maiden Ruri from the "Girls and Monsters" Uber Rare set is described as one of these.
    A mermaid NEET from the mystic seas. Dreams of cute boys who'd risk drowning to save her.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Most enemies have two traits at most, but there are some that go farther. Johnnyleon is a red alien zombie chameleon, and Lophiiformes Angaburu is a flying, dire, undead anglerfish.
  • Nintendo Hard: Zig-Zagged. Every Empire of Cats episode starts as easy as sweeping the floor with cats, until the first episode of Into The Future. Late Stories of Legend, Uncanny Legends, and Deadly/Merciless event stages are where the game becomes brutally hard... ...that is, unless you can pony up the cash, but even then, it's by no means a cakewalk.
  • No Name Given: Enemies that don't appear in the enemy guide, like the ones in special event stages, have no listed name. While some have their name given in the advertisement for the event, others, like the fireworks-carrying stick figures or the Those Guys toting glowsticks, have no official name.
  • Non-Indicative Difficulty:
    • Some stages are rated as a different difficulty from what they actually are. Until an update fixed it, Dogsville (home of Everlord Wanwan, and one of the hardest stages in the game) was rated Insane, not Merciless like the other stages of its difficulty. On the other hand, Revenge of the Wormhole is quite a bit easier than its Merciless difficulty would suggest, while Steel Visage and Forged to Kill are home to nothing but the aforementioned Fake Ultimate Mooks, and thus much easier than most Deadly stages. This was later changed when the star system for ranking stage difficulty was added; while Steel Visage is still technically Deadly, it's rated as being much easier than most other Deadly stages.
    • Even with the addition of stars to indicate a stage's difficulty, some stages still fall under this. For example, No Plan A (home of Cruel Angel Clionel) is rated 8 stars in difficulty, but is significantly harder than some other special boss stages rated 9 stars, such as Honey Trap and Bombergirl.
  • No-Sell:
    • Many units (both allied and enemy) have the ability to nullify specific status effects. This also extends to certain special attacks like Waves, Surges, or Warping attacks.
    • Star-Aliens with their barriers up will take no damage from weak attacks, nor can they be affected by debuffs.
    • The Dodge Attack ability, introduced in Version 8.10. This ability gives a unit a chance at gaining temporary invincibility to a certain trait of enemy for a limited time when hit by that color. The unit is still vulnerable from damage coming from the traits that the ability doesn't target, even if the invincibility kicks in.
  • No Plot? No Problem!: Even the Excuse Plot that's thrown at you each time you start the game barely counts as a plot at all.
  • Nostalgia Level:
  • Numerical Hard: The Crown Difficulties of Stories of Legend, some Event Stages, and Uncanny Legends boost the HP and damage of the enemies by a set multiplier; how high this multiplier is varies. Averted with 4-crown difficulty, which only allow Special and Rare Cats on top of the inflated stats.
  • Odd Job Gods: The Cat God is hungry, but feed him right and he'll give your cats a huge advantage. In Cats of the Cosmos, he also appears as the final boss in each chapter.
  • Oh, Crap!: Most units, from both sides, have a reaction like this when they get knocked back.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: Cyclone and Advent stages, as well as some of the Crazed Cats, employ a variation of Carmina Burana ~ O Fortuna as their boss music. It also plays when summoning the Cat God to perform a miracle.
  • One-Time Dungeon:
    • Zombie variants of the story chapters' stages can only be beaten once, then they're gone for good.
    • Downplayed by stages that have a "One Clear Only" condition, such as Facing Danger and Merciless XP/Taste of Success, which can only be played once every time they come around, but will eventually return after a few days.
    • Filibuster Obstructa, Idi:Re, and Lord of Ruin Jagando can only be defeated once per game.
  • One-Winged Angel:
    • The final stage of Uncanny Legends, Revival of Origin, has you facing off against the final boss Zero Luza, a bigger and much stronger version of Great Ape Luza, the boss that you've faced off against in the last 3 stages before it.
    • The first stage of Cabaret Cat's awakening stage, Crescendo (Veteran), creates this effect by having the regular Mega Cat spawn immediately, then Mega Cat EX spawn on base hit, giving the impression that Mega Cat transformed into a stronger form after being defeated.
  • Optional Boss: The Cyclones and Advent bosses aren't required to be fought, but can grant unique reward Cats upon their completion.
  • Overly Long Fighting Animation: Filibuster Cat's trademark is taking forever to charge up its attack. The cat version already has an annoyingly-long attack animation which takes 12 seconds to complete, making it liable to miss enemies. However, it's the boss version which takes the cake: it takes 40 seconds to complete its attack, and the only way to beat it is to prevent it from ever landing a hit by interrupting it within those 40 seconds.
  • Peninsula of Power Leveling:
    • On weekends, the aptly-named Weekend Stage appears, which lets you play it on different difficulty levels to gain large amounts of XP as a reward. More rarely, other stages like XP Colosseum and Merciless XP appear, which are even harder, but give out even greater payouts of XP. All of them feature large amounts of Black enemies as the main threats, with the exception of XP Bonanza, in which Aku enemies are the main threats this time.
    • Appearing only on the weekends is "The Proving Grounds", whose 1st and 2nd stages all give out a lot of XP if you're able to clear all of the battles in them. Completely beating the 1st stage gives you 750,000 XP, while the 2nd gives you a whopping 2.1 million XP. Meanwhile, the 3rd stage is slightly different as while it doesn't give XP, it does give out Catseyes, which are used to break the level limit of a unit and thus make them even stronger. Completely beating the 3rd stage gives you, in total, an assortment of 10 Catseyes of any type, which can include the rare Legend Catseyes. The only catch to this is that it's only playable once every Saturday and Sunday, meaning that you'll have to wait until the next weekend if you want to play the event again.
  • Percent Damage Attack:
    • The Waterblast cannon deals damage to Metal enemies based on a percent of their current health, which ignores their Metal trait. The Holy Blast cannon also inflicts damage to Zombies equal to a percent of their maximum health, which significantly increases if it unearths a burrowed zombie.
    • Enemies with the Toxic trait will deal bonus damage equal to a percent of the target's maximum health on attack.
  • Play Every Day: Every time you start the game for the first time in a day, you earn a Cat Ticket that can be used to earn upgrades for the base cats and passive boosts. In addition, you can also earn other rewards for starting up during events. Also, to maximize the value of sending Gamatoto on expeditions, you have to check back at every 1, 3, or 6 hours, depending on how long you send him on an expedition.
  • Player Headquarters: The Cat Base. Buying upgrades with materials allows some minor customization, as well as the ability to use different types of Cat Cannons. These types include a cannon with slight knockback and damage, a beam that slows enemies, a lightning bolt that stops enemies, a shield that blocks enemies, a salt water cannon that damages Metal enemies based on their current health, a holy cannon that unburies, freezes and damages zombies based on their max health, a cannon that fully knocks back enemies and breaks barriers in an area, and a beam that Curses everything on the field.
  • Power Equals Rarity: Zig-Zagged. While Ubers are pretty powerful in and of themselves, whether it be in their stats and/or ability quality, it’s surprisingly common for Super Rares, Rares, and even some non-Gacha cats to perform just as well as, if not better than, an Uber. There are a multitude of reasons on why, from spammability that allow you to recover them fast, having their abilities be of good quality to the point where it can match up to an Uber at times, having high stats, or a combination of these reasons. It also helps that some have various roles and niches that can’t be replicated by an Uber,note  though the reverse does apply for a select few. This also applies to Legend Rares. This is played straight by the Ubers from Uberfest and Epicfest, however, which are both among the rarest and the most powerful units in the game.
  • Power Limiter: The Aku Altars limit the max level cap of your units, therefore greatly limiting their strength. It also disables + levels, meaning that only levels gained through XP count. Thankfully, you can increase this level cap by completing stages in The Aku Realms, while + levels can only be restored by completing everything The Aku Realms has to offer.
  • Power Nullifier: The Curse debuff, primarily used by Relic enemies, disables the victim's special abilities that target traits. This includes things like buffs against specified traits (eg. Strong, Resistant, Massive Damage, Dodge), debuffs against specified traits (including, ironically, Curse itself), or even the Targets Only ability (which will result in the unit not attacking at all outside of the enemy base). When applied to enemies, it just disables all their abilities that inflict debuffs (including Toxic), as cats have no traits to target.
  • Power-Up: There are 6 varieties in total, which can be equipped before battle starts. Five of them can be collected from event stages that appear every week.
  • Power Up Letdown: Unfortunately, some Cats have True Forms or Talents that fail to improve them enough to be useful. Some of the worst offenders are:
    • In general, most Cats that get status resistances through their Talents suffer from this, though less so for Curse resistance. Enemies that use Slow are quite rare, and the two most relevant ones either do massive damage alongside the slow (Professor A.), or slow for such a long time that the resistance doesn't do much (Croakley). Freeze resistance is only really useful against Henry; while he's a dangerous enemy, it's still a very situational talent. Weaken resistance doesn't really matter, since weaken is a rare ability on enemies, and many of the enemies that have it attack fast enough to perma-weaken their targets. Knockback resistance, while it can be helpful on melee cats to let them hold on to the front lines, is actively detrimental on longer-ranged units by reducing their ability to reposition against enemies with knockback.
    • Most of the purchasable Special Cats and monthly Rare Cats have this problem, because they don't get the Boring, but Practical doubled stats that the Normal Cats do. To add insult to injury, their True Forms are also harder to get. Among them, some of the most disappointing are:
      • Ninja Cat's True Form, Flying Ninja Cat, reduces its cost slightly... while decreasing its movement speed, and granting no other changes. However, its Talents are quite a bit better, letting it boost its movement speed higher than it was before and dodge attacks.
      • Samurai Cat's True Form, Pastry Cat, is one of the worst; all it gets is a very small (10%) chance to slow enemies for 2 seconds. It later got a double helping of this when the purchasable Special Cats got Talents; while some others got extremely powerful special abilities, Pastry Cat got nothing of value.
      • Sports Day Cat's True Form, Rampage Cats, does nothing to improve its poor stats or high price for a meatshield, instead boosting its range and granting it Warp immunity... while decreasing its attack speed.
    • While most of Chill Cat's Talents are useful enough, especially the one for reduced cost, its Knockback talent falls into this. Because enemies get Mercy Invincibility when knocked back and will move out of Chill Cat's range, the talent reduces the DPS of stacked Chill Cats significantly, which is not good considering that Chill Cat is a mid-ranged Glass Cannon. The upgrade is seen as situational at best, and actively harmful at worst.
    • One of Elemental Duelist Cat's Talents is the ability to target Angel enemies as well as Red ones. Gaining a new target trait is usually a very valuable upgrade, but it's much less useful than it seems at first glance; not only do most threatening Angels outrange Elemental Duelist, but they're also harder to keep from attacking or pushing forward than Red enemies are, so it'll usually only land one or two hits at most.
    • Downplayed with Bronze Cat's True Form, Quizmaster Cat. While it boosts its knockback chance to 30% and gives it more range, it comes at the cost of reducing his attack speed, reducing his knockback rate vs. Metals.
    • Ectoweight Cat and The Kitty of Liberty both gain the ability to knock back Alien enemies through their talents. However, this ability is worse than useless in most stages with Aliens, as they tend to be accompanied by long-ranged enemies that will demolish your Cats if the frontline enemies get knocked back. Ectoweight's other talents attempt to make it into an attacker, but completely fail due to its pathetic base attack power, while The Kitty of Liberty's do nothing to improve its paper-thin defences outside of giving it a little extra HP.
    • Paladin Cat's Talents do nothing to improve its Critical Hit chance, instead giving it a weak freeze and the Zombie Killer ability, when it's not even an anti-Zombie unit.
    • Megidora has a pretty decent set of talents, giving him occasional wave attacks to spread damage and status effects around the field. What falls under this, however, is his ultra talents, unlocked at level 60. Other mediocre Ubers such as Kuu and Akira get amazing ultra talents that reinvent them and make them much more viable. What does Megidora get? He can... target Metal and Relic enemies, when these types have lots of other, more effective options for controlling them. He can also have his cost reduced down to 4200... which is still a fairly average price for the type of Uber he is.
    • Mighty Thermae D-Lux's True Form, Subterra Sentinels, gives it nothing except a nearly useless 10% boost to its total attack stat. Since it hits 3 times per attack animation for low damage, the boost is almost imperceptible. Fortunately, the true form unlocks access to talents which are much more powerful.
    • Many of the Almighties' True Forms qualify, due to their small improvements and extremely minor visual changes, but most of them have Talents to improve their fate. Radiant Aphrodite, however, gets it the worst; all her True Form grants is a small boost to HP, and her Talents only grant a weak slow and some fairly useless status resistances.
    • Nobiluga's True Form, Mystican Pasalan, does nothing to fix its poor DPS or survivability, instead greatly reducing its cooldown time (which is still fairly long) and halving its price.
    • All of the units from the Castle & Dragon collab event get minuscule buffs when they achieve their true forms, to the point where some are effectively purely cosmetic. The only exception is Li'l Clops Cat, which was added much later than the rest — it gets a 20% chance of landing a Savage Blow in exchange for slower attack speed, giving it a good-sized boost to its DPS.
    • The biggest example is most likely Cat God the Great's True Form. Considering how much of a Luck-Based Mission it is to get the necessary Gold Catfruit, it's disappointing that it only grants the double money ability and... 1% more health.
  • Premium Currency: Cat Food serves as the paid currency; while you get 30 Cat Food every time you clear a subchapter, and it's possible to farm it by watching ads, it's much faster to buy it. It's used to spin the Rare Cat Capsule, purchase some Special Cats, and buy battle items and XP.
  • Promoted to Playable:
    • The Rich Cat, Cat Jobs, and Sniper the Cat powerups all have images to go with them, featuring a stressed-out scowling cat, a professor cat, and a cat in a balloon with a gun, respectively. While they started out as just images, later on, all of them were made into usable units as the Reinforcements set of Super Rares.
    • The Grandon Mining Corps started out as a part of Subterra Sentinels's attack animation, where mining machines erupt out of the ground in a plume of lava to attack. Like the Reinforcements, all of the mining machines were later made into limited Super Rares.
    • Aku Researcher is a playable version of Angel Fanboy.
    • Gacha Cat is a playable version of, of all things, the Rare Cat Capsule machine.
  • Promotional Powerless Piece of Garbage:
    • Most of the Ubers from seasonal events, like Xmas Gals or Halloween Gals, are drastically inferior to the originals. Many of them are based off of the normal forms of Ubers that are weak in their normal forms and only become worth using in True Form. Most of them have no True Forms, so they're stuck at their weaker level of power, and even the ones with them tend to remain underwhelming. Only a few, like Tropical Kalisa and Bunny & Canard, are considered very viable; meanwhile, some (Lilith Cat, Santa Kuu, all of Coppermine's variants, and Summerluga) are considered to be among the worst in the entire game.
    • Many Cats from collab events, especially the older ones, are extremely weak. The most infamous examples are the Merc Storia, Survive! Mola mola!, and PPAP collabs, where all but a few of the units are completely unviable. Fortunately, later events, like the ones for Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Live Powerful Pro Baseball, and Fate/stay night, have bucked the trend, having legitimately great Ubers and regular Cats alike to unlock.
    • Several Cats were made available from real-life promotions with gachapon machines, like Capsule Cat and Squish Ball Cat. However, none of them are very useful in combat.
  • Punny Name:
    • Quite a few of the enemy names fall under this, usually being a pun on the enemy's actual species: to list just a few, there's Kang Roo, Gory, Squire Rel, Mooth, LeMurr, Dagshund, Otta-smack-u, Bore, Rain D., Owlbrow, Camelle, H. Nah, R. Ost...
    • In the Japanese version, Necromancer Cat, the evolved form of Shaman Cat, is "neko ramansa" (say it fast.)
    • While there are tons of stages with a Pun-Based Title of some type or another, the March "Bears be Bare" set of event stages takes the cake. Every single stage name there is a bear-themed pun, with stage names like "Bear Grills", "Bees With Ears", and "Can't Bear Anymore". The later-introduced "Bears be Back" set doesn't let up on the puns, either, with names like "2 Much 2 Bear" and "What We Do In The Woods".
  • Puppeteer Parasite: The THATs that serve as the antagonists of Into the Future latch onto regular enemies, transforming them into Alien versions. It's not a straight example, however, as their victims remain autonomous.
  • Purposely Overpowered: Most of the Ubers from Uberfest and Epicfest have much higher stats and more powerful abilities than your average Uber. The Legend Rares subvert this, however, as they're not actually that much more powerful than most Ubers despite being monumentally rarer.
  • Puzzle Boss:
    • The Stories of Legend stage Last Gang sends out Dark Emperor Nyandam at an absurdly high power level for that point in the game, with Assassin Bears coming if you take too long to win — and they start spawning far sooner than you can kill Nyandam. The solution? Enemies are intangible when knocked back, so a unit that can knock back Red enemies, like Bean Cats or Pirate Cat, can let your other cats clip through Nyandam and take out the base. Later on, Merciless Onslaught does pretty much the same thing, except replacing the Nyandam with a trio of One Horns.
    • A later Stories of Legend stage, Gouache Ghouls, sends out one weak Angelic Gory and Angel Fanboy at the start, but sends a huge torrent of overbuffed Angel enemies when the base is hit. The solution is to not kill the Angelic Gory, and stall it long enough for Ms. Signs to spawn and fill the enemy's Arbitrary Headcount Limit, preventing those Angels from spawning.
  • Rainbow Pimp Gear: Version 12.2 gives the Foundations and Decorations of the cat cannons that you build from Ototo an effect on gameplay, where previously they only served as a stepping stones for you to get the ability to build the cannon that they belong to, by giving them the ability to reduce the amount of damage a specific trait deals to cats by a set percentage (for the Foundations) and reducing the durations/effects of a specific enemy ability, such as Waves, Slow, or Freeze, by a percentage (for Decorations). This means that one could end up choosing the most optimal Foundation and Decoration for a specific stage which, combined with the specific type of cannon they plan to bring, can make the Cat Base look like a mish-mash of random parts that barely have any design coherence to them, if at all.
  • Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs: Delinquent Cat summons a spirit to pummel his enemies, just like his inspiration.
  • Race Against the Clock: Certain levels behave this way, where if the enemy base isn't destroyed in a certain time, a wave of highly buffed enemies will overwhelm you.
  • Random Effect Spell: Certain cats and enemies, such as the Legend Rare Emperor Cat and enemy Haniwanwan, give this impression by having a small chance to inflict several different status effects on the target. Their attacks will almost always inflict a status effect, but which ones are random.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Subverted. The Cat God is only in his 20s despite being a deity. This makes him unusable in Legend Stages, which take place before his birth.
  • Recurring Boss: Many of the bosses you defeat will return as bosses in a later level under a greater strength magnification.
  • Remixed Level: Some stages in Uncanny Legends are similar to earlier ones in Stories of Legend, but with different, tougher enemies, and they usually have a name that references the inspiration. For example, Deadly Weapons is a clone of Fluffy Dark Weapon, but the Doge Darks and Shy Boys are far stronger and more numerous, and it adds in a Henry.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Li'l Cats, because they're, well, little.
  • Running Gag:
    • In Snache and its variants' descriptions, they almost always mention that they're weak against water, but that info has nothing to do with the game.
    • In Camelle and his variants' descriptions, he doesn't seem to know how camel biology works. Camelle's description claims that his special ability is to close his nostrils, even though all camels can do that (his description states that he didn't know that because he has no friends) Alpacky's Japanese description has her mistake her spitting defense for allergies, and Zamelle died due to hump removal surgery Gone Horribly Wrong, not knowing that camel humps are very important for them to survive.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The opening to Stories of Legend claims that the "legendary Cats" were sealed away, and the present-day Cats are trying to free them. Even then, their methods of doing this can be interpreted in Blue-and-Orange Morality.
  • Set Bonus: The CatCombo system rewards you for bringing all of the Cats in a set by aiding you in battle.
  • Shout-Out: Has its own page here.
  • Shows Damage: All units have a specific amount of times they can be knocked back (knockbacks) before dying. Because each one occurs when the unit loses a certain percentage of health (e.g. 2 knockbacks mean that it will get knocked back at 50% and 0% HP), the more times something has been knocked back, the closer it is to death.
  • Splash Damage Abuse: The Wave, Mini-Wave, Surge, Mini-Surge, Long-Distance, and Omnistrike abilities all allow their users to attack farther than the range they start attacking at. The mechanics for how they do so differ for each ability.
    • Waves and Mini-Waves both travel a fixed distance away from their user, dealing damage to anything that crosses their path, and carry the abilities of their users (if any). They do become ineffective against units with Wave Immunity and deal less damage to units with Wave Resist. The differences between the two are that the damage of a Wave Attack is the same as the damage of their user while Mini-Waves only deal 20% of their user's damage in exchange for moving faster.
    • Surges and Mini-Surges share a few characteristics from Waves (Deals the same amount of damage as its user, and carries the abilities of their users) except they can only damage enemies in a small area and only spawn in between a set area that differs from unit to unit. In exchange, they linger for a period of time, allowing them to hit enemies that wander into them, and on some units, they can hit more than once, making them deal more damage than the initial hit. Like Waves, the damage they deal can be ignored if a unit has Surge Immunity as one of their abilities. Additionally, Mini-Surge acts the same as its normal counterpart, except it deals only 20% of the user's damage.
    • Long-Distance allows the unit to attack farther than the range they start attacking at in exchange for having a blindspot where their attacks will miss. Meanwhile, Omnistrikes function similarly to Long-Distance except they don't have a blindspot and can even hit further behind themselves.note 
  • Static Stun Gun: The Thunderbolt cannon can freeze any type of enemy with an electric blast.
  • Status Effects: Some enemies (and some cats) can inflict these to their opponents. Examples include:
    • Weaken: Lowers attack power for a while. Indicated by a sword with a blue arrow pointing down.
    • Freeze: Prevents movement or attacking. Indicated by a stopwatch.
    • Slow: Lowers speed, but not attack rate. Note that "slow" means "speed reduced to 1" in this game. Indicated by a running stick man with a starburst outline around it
    • Knockback: Knocks back the afflicted unit. It also interrupts attack animations, making it useful against units with a long attack animation.
    • Warp: Introduced in 6.5 and (currently) only used by enemies. Acts as a stronger version of knockback that knocks cats further and temporarily removes them from the field. 8.3 introduced enemies that use a variant of Warp that moves cats closer.
    • Curse: Introduced in 7.0 and, before 9.5, was only used by Relic enemies. Prevents units from using abilities which directly target enemy traits, such as inflicting status effects, or are dependent on them to function, such as Dodge. Indicated by a flame icon with color that depends on who uses it (green for enemies, yellow for cats).
    • Toxic: Introduced in 9.2 and (currently) only used by enemies. Deals damage equal to a percent of the target's max HP in addition to dealing damage like normal. Indicated by purple smoke emanating from the target.
  • Scratch Damage: Metal Enemies have a trait that enables them to take 1 damage from all attacks except for critical hits.
  • Speedrun Reward: Certain stages have timed score rewards that give you a one-time reward if you manage to get or surpass the indicated score. Said score is determined by how fast you clear the stage; the faster the clear, the higher the score that you get.
  • Stalked by the Bell: Certain levels (you're expected to figure out which ones) will send hordes of hyperbuffed enemies, usually Assassin Bears, if the player takes too long to win.
  • Stone Wall: Yet again, several examples.
    • One of the first Cats unlocked is Tank Cat, which has high HP for its low cost and fast recharge, but deals Scratch Damage when it attacks. Along with its faster Crazed Form, it’s one of the most Boring, but Practical Cats.
    • Rocker Cat and Wushu Cat have less raw HP than Tank Cat, but resist Angel and Zombie enemies, respectively, making them even better options in those cases.
    • Curling Cat can only attack once, but has tremendously high HP and can No-Sell most status effects. It’s meant to engage enemies and act as a stationary wall.
    • Metal Cat is a variant that works best against Mighty Glacier enemies. Despite its low HP, it takes Scratch Damage from non-critical attacks. However, it’s extremely weak offensively.
    • Sushi Cat and Kotatsu Cat have low attack, but are massively resilient against Red and Floating enemies, respectively thanks to their high HP an ability to weaken their respective enemy types.
  • Stripperific: A number of the female, Animesque characters have this going on, most infamously the Galaxy Gals. The "Cats" from the "Girls and Monsters" Uber Rare set also fall into this category.
  • Stun Lock:
    • Certain cats with the freeze ability can freeze enemies for 100% of their attack cycle, either naturally or with the aid of freeze CatCombos.
    • On the enemy side, Henry almost does this, letting cats move for only one frame out if his attack cycle while they're caught in his particle beam. CTO Seal, meanwhile, can perform this for real, permanently freezing the cats in its range until they're knocked out of it.
  • Suicide Attack: Several cats, such as Glass Cat and Elder Mask Doron, will leave the battlefield after attacking once. These cats apply a status effect for a long period of time to their targeted enemies. Stone Cat is a rare example of a Stone Wall that uses this sort of attack: it has incredibly high HP, but kills itself shortly after attacking, blocking enemies off for a small amount of time.
  • Superpowered Evil Side:
    • All of the Normal Cats, as well as Moneko, have one in the form of the Crazed Cats. You get them from beating their respective stages.
    • The unique Uber Rares offered in the Epicfest set follow this trope. Not that their Uberfest counterparts were weak, mind you.
  • Suspicious Video-Game Generosity:
    • Some levels, like the Crazed Lizard Cat's stage and floors 37 and 49 of the Heavenly Tower, will send out weak enemies with a very high money drop like Mooth and Kang Roo to fill up your wallet, before sending out some very threatening enemies.
    • The last levels in the lead-up to the final Uncanny Legends stage drop Platinum Shards, giving you a chance of rolling another Uber Rare before having to fight Zero Luza.
  • Sweeping Laser Explosion:
    • The player's Limit Break with the Cat Cannon has your base firing a small laser across the entire screen that is followed up with chain of energy explosions. Holy Blast is similar, but the explosions are instead bursts of holy energy.
    • Golem Sunfish attacks by firing a laser at the ground, leaving an energy trail which erupts into three explosions.
  • Taking You with Me: Some Aku enemies will attempt to invoke this by creating a Surge attack after they die, themed as their soul casting a spell before flying off.
  • Timed Mission:
    • All the stages in Into the Future, along with some event stages, have a variant. While you won't lose if you take too long, the stage will hand out progressively better rewards for clearing it within lower amounts of time.
    • The stages in the Catclaw Dojo are timed, with the objective being to get as many points as you can within the time limit.
  • Time to Unlock More True Potential:
    • Instead of unlocking their True Forms by defeating them in Awakening stages, the True Forms of gacha Cats and the Legends must be unlocked with Catfruits and XP after reaching level 30.
    • Catseyes are a somewhat literal version. Using them on a Cat at its level limit will boost the limit by 1 up to a new maximum.
    • Paying NP, accessed by trading in Cats rolled from Rare Capsules, allows some Cats to unlock new abilities.
  • Troperiffic: This game doesn't shy away from Anime stereotyping and explicit theme-genre expositions, which are written in Event maps and Cat descriptions alike.
  • True Final Boss:
    • After beating Cats of the Cosmos chapter 3, a random stage in that chapter will let you battle against Filibuster Obstructa, a Starred Alien/Floating enemy with tons of knockbacks and an extremely long attack animation. Which is good because if it gets a single attack off, your base is toast, no matter where it is. Defeating it will unlock Filibuster Cat X.
    • After clearing every stage in Stories of Legend on every difficulty level, Eldritch Forces will be invaded by the mysterious Idi:Re, which can be fought to unlock it as a Special Cat.
  • Turns Red: Several Cats and enemies have the ability to increase their attack power by a certain amount when their health drops below a certain percentage, making them much more dangerous when harmed sufficiently.
  • Unique Enemy: Enemies from monthly events and other special event stages tend to appear just once or twice. This also applies to most newly-introduced enemies, at least for a while. There are also a few straighter examples:
    • Angel Fanboy, a Ms. Sign variant, appears just once in the entirety of Stories of Legend, in Gouache Ghouls, and also shows up in a scant few event stages. He's The Artifact from when Divine Cyclone was released, serving to remind the player that Angel enemies are immune to anti-Floating status effects.
    • While the Ecto Gang (Ecto Doge, Ecto Snache, and Ecto Baa Baa) show up in quite a few event stages, they only appear once in Stories of Legend, in The Haunted 1LDK. They do spawn infinitely in that level, though, so they're not a straight example.
    • Li'l Bores and Doges dressed as rats only show up in a single stage each, made to commemorate the new year with its own Zodiac animal. Li'l Bore would later show up again in the final stage of Most Defeated 2020 and the Infernal Tower.
  • Upgraded Boss: The Manic Cats are upgraded versions of the Crazed Cat bosses, with higher stats and stronger support enemies. Beating them unlocks the true forms of the Crazed Cats.
  • Useless Useful Spell: Curse is this, to some degree. When inflicted on an enemy, it disables their ability to do Status Effects, Dodge Attack, Curses, and Toxic Attack. The problem is that most enemies are threatening because of their raw stats and even among the ones that do have the abilities listed above, some of their abilities are just there and removing them doesn't make them any less dangerous. This limits Curse to being useful on a limited number of enemies, such as Henry, Croakley, Mr. Mole, Loris, and Angelic Sleipnir. While being able to disable the abilities of these threatening enemies is still very useful, most of the time, it just does nothing. What’s more, while the Purposely Overpowered Kasli the Bane can make great use of it, most of the other users (such as Bakery Cat, Papaluga, and the Curseblast cannon) are either too unwieldy or leave periods of time where enemies are un-cursed, leaving you at the mercy of their abilities until they’re cursed again. As usual, however, while Curse isn't as useful in your hands, it's a menace in the hands of the enemies as you have a lot more ability users, some even relying on them, than your enemies.
  • Vanilla Unit:
    • Most of the Normal Cats have no special abilities in their base forms, and Mohawk Cat, Eraser Cat, Lion Cat, and King Dragon Cat don't even get any in their true forms. A few units from other rarities, such as Bahamut Cat, also lack special abilities and rely purely on their stats to be effective.
    • Every enemy in Empire of Cats lacks a special ability. Baa Baa's description lampshades its lack of abilities, saying that it has a complex about being ordinary.
  • Villain Forgot to Level Grind: Averted for the most part; enemies in later levels have their stats boosted, so they remain threatening even as you obtain more powerful cats. It’s played straight a few times, though: many of the reappearing bosses in the Heavenly and Infernal Towers are no stronger than before, most of the advent bosses have the same stats in their revenge stages, and the Legend bosses have the same stats as before when refought in Spacetime Distortion.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: The fight against Teacher Bun Bun in the Moon stage of Empire of Cats chapter 3 is when the game stops messing around. Bun Bun isn't a Mighty Glacier like the first two Moon bosses, but a melee Lightning Bruiser, and his support enemies are much tougher. Not only does the boss require more strategy to defeat than just mindlessly spamming cats, but it's almost impossible to defeat without having collected most or all of the treasures. Most other bosses in the game are like this, as well.
  • Warm-Up Boss:
    • The first two Moon levels in Empire of Cats feature The Face and Dark Emperor Nyandam, which both serve as this trope. While they may have devastating long-ranged attacks, they’re among the slowest enemies in the game, and their support is fairly weak. Both of them are defeated with tactics that are commonly used later in the game — The Face is a simple exercise in stacking up and protecting long-ranged units to wear him down, while Nyandam just requires a bit of basic meatshielding and use of anti-Red cats.
    • Among the Cyclones, Red and Black Cyclone share this status — fittingly, as they were the first two to be added. While Red Cyclone has enormous DPS, its HP is surprisingly low — not to mention, its short range and slow movement make it easy to Stun Lock, given how many anti-Red and -Floating Cats there are. Meanwhile, Black Cyclone has poor per-hit damage, comes with weaker support than the other Cyclones, and is extremely easy to knock around. They mostly serve to introduce the concept of the Cyclones as enemies that you need status effects to defeat.
    • Among the Crazed Cats, the very first one (the basic Crazed Cat) has no special abilities besides having a ton of HP and DPS, and its support enemies (Le'boins and Teacher Bears) are fairly easy to dispatch and give a lot of money on death. It's hard to defeat without having all the Empire of Cats treasures and owning Bahamut Cat or an Uber which can fill his role, so it's just ensuring you have the cats and levels you need to take on the rest of the Crazed Cat bosses. Manic Mohawk Cat, its true form, does pretty much the same thing, as the stage plays out very similarly, just with stronger enemies. It does have Master A. as a supporting enemy, so it's testing to see if you have units that can snipe an enemy which outranges Bahamut and Ururun.
  • Weapon of X-Slaying:
    • Enemies have various types (Traitless, Red, Floating, Black, Metal, Angel, Alien, Zombie, Relic), and certain cats have specialties that make them more effective on a specific type of enemy. These can include Knockback, Massive (deals x3 the usual) Damage, Insane (5/6x) Damage, Resistance (takes 1/4 the normal damage), Slowing, Freezing, and simply being Strong Against (deals 1.5x damage, takes 0.5x damage). Using the right Cats for the job is essential later in the game, when traited enemies begin appearing much more.
    • Cats with the Behemoth Slayer and Colossus Slayer abilities are much more effective at fighting Behemoth and Colossal enemies, respectively.
  • Wind Is Green:
    • The Floating trait is represented with a green color, though none of the enemies with it are actually green.
    • Aer is a wind pixie and is colored green.
    • Windy, who uses wind to attack her enemies, has green as a main part of her color scheme. Furthermore, the blast she sends out has a green tint to it.
  • Winged Soul Flies Off at Death: When killed, most cats and enemies have a winged soul fly up into the sky from where they died. Most of them get a swirly generic soul, but Moneko, Neneko, and their variants have a more traditional version, where a winged spirit version of the character flies away. Some Aku enemies have a more demonic-looking soul, which casts one final surge attack before flying off.
  • Wolfpack Boss:
    • Instead of having a single strong boss or a Zerg Rush of weaker enemies, the Crazed Lizard Cat’s boss stage, Mammals?, sends out three of them. Each of them isn’t quite powerful enough to be a threat by itself, but they can use their long-ranged attacks to wear down your cats from a safe distance. Manic King Dragon’s stage Draconian works the same way, as does Li'l King Dragon's Tiny Tail and Malevolent King Dragon's Spitting Death.
    • Primitive Souls, instead of having a single threatening enemy like the rest of the Legend stages, has three Dogumarus sent out at intervals. Each Dogumaru is weaker than you’d expect for a Legend boss, but is still more than capable of wreaking havoc when paired with the support enemies.
  • Word Salad Title: Some of the level titles for the Stories of Legend and Uncanny Legends stages make little sense, such as "Revolving-door Floats" and "Gestalt, Decay." Even the ones that do make sense rarely actually have anything to do with the level itself.
  • Zero-Effort Boss:
    • The awakening stage for Flower Cat is the easiest stage in the game. Not only does it have no boss version of the True Form you're about to unlock, but the enemies die in one hit and never attack. The real challenge is actually finding it.
    • Birthday celebrations for the game have a giant birthday cake carried by Doges. It doesn’t put up a fight at all, and beating it drops free Cat Food and other rewards.
    • The Mystery Package event stage sends out nothing but the Package Doge, which doesn't move, attacks incredibly slowly for 1 damage per hit, and has only 100 HP, though it's Metal. Beating it drops either 100,000 XP or a set of powerups.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: Zombie units, which can first be encountered in Outbreak stages after beating Empire of Cats chapter 1, have the ability to burrow under your units and can revive after being killed. The amount of times they can burrow and revive depends on the specific unit.

     Examples from The Battle Cats POP! 
  • Adaptational Wimp:
    • The maximum level for Cats is 20, and only the Normal Cats have True Forms, so most of them are much weaker than in the mobile game.
    • Many of the enemies from Stories of Legend are much less powerful here, to make up for the fact that the player is weaker as well. Some of the biggest examples are:
      • Master A.: in addition to a drop in stats, he lost a lot of range, making him far less threatening than in the mobile game.
      • Teacher Bun Bun is a brutal Wake-Up Call Boss in the original, in large part due to his non-stop attacks that will One-Hit Kill most Cats at that point in the game. Here, not only are his stats weaker, but his time between attacks is much longer, making it easy to overwhelm him. Note, however, that this only applies to the original; J.K. Bun Bun and Bun Bun Black have lost nothing.
  • Adapted Out:
    • The only Uber sets that appear are the Dynamites, the Vajiras, the Galaxy Gals, the Dragon Emperors, and the Ultra Souls, with Nekoluga as an added bonus. All the others are gone, even ones that were in the mobile game in 2016. Among said sets, only the first 5 Ubers to be added to each are present, so Nurse Cat, Kenshin, Kalisa, Dioramos, and Kachi-Kachi are gone.
    • Alien enemies don't appear.
    • There are no Stories of Legend chapters, so several enemies from there get left out.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • To make up for Cat Food being non-purchasable, you get 1 every time you clear a stage for the first time, with duplicate treasures also giving some out.
    • XP is much cheaper to buy with Cat Food, because there's no easy way to farm it like in the mobile game.
    • Treasure Radars only cost 3 Cat Food instead of 45, so it's much easier to get any treasures you're missing.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: The game has one in the form of the Will bar. Said bar starts out full but lowers for every cat spawned in the field, with each cat having a different number that affects how much they drain out the bar. Once the Will bar is empty, you won't be able to spawn a new unit until a unit dies, which replenishes the bar by how much they drained it.
  • The Artifact:
    • Despite having no microtransactions (being a paid-for game), the game still has an energy system and Cat Food, which were both incentives to spend real money in the original.
    • The presence of Valkyrie Cat, Bahamut, and Ururun Wolf. In the mobile game, Ubers are harder to come by, so they (and the other Legends) serve to help out players with bad luck or who don't want to spend real money. In POP!, however, Ubers are much easier to get in large quantities, so they serve little purpose. Valkyrie, already a Crutch Character in the mobile game, has little reason to be used here, and Bahamut and Ururun Wolf are only obtained when there are no stages left to use them on.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: Once you beat the last story chapter of the game, you get Bahamut Cat the first time you beat the final stage and Ururun Wolf if you decide to challenge the stage again, though you only have a 3% chance of getting them, with both of them fulfilling the role of traditional backliner units. Thing is, by the time you get them, there are no more stages to challenge left to use them on.
  • Camera Abuse: There's a chance that, when cats or enemies die, they get launched in front of the screen shortly before sliding down the screen, temporarily blocking your view of the battlefield in the process.
  • Compressed Adaptation: Enemies from Empire of Cats, Stories of Legend, and some event stages are put into 3 new chapters, so many changes are made to accomodate them. Notably, the Cyclones just appear as regular bosses instead of getting their own unique stages, some enemies from monthly events show up, and the final boss is a tag team of J.K. Bun Bun and Bun Bun Black, followed by Ururun Wolf.
  • Demoted to Extra: The Crazed Cats had their own unique stages to unlock them in the mobile game, but are just regular gacha Cats here. The same applies to the unlockable Rare Cats, the Bean Cats, Moneko, and Flower Cat.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: The stages from Cats of the Cosmos appeared here before they did in the mobile game, though with completely different enemies.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: The Crazed Cats, which are massively powerful compared to everything else in the game, can only be rolled from gachas when near the end of the last chapter.
  • Player Vs Player: One of the port's features is the ability to take your Cats to do battle with other players.
  • A Twinkle in the Sky: Sometimes when a cat or enemy dies, they get launched far into the background and disappear in a yellow star twinkle.

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