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Video Game / The Great Gaias

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The Great Gaias is a RPG Maker MV game developed by Horizon's End, based on a Dungeons & Dragons campaign that the team wrote. It was fully released on Steam in 2018.

The world of Tenat was created by several elemental deities and is home to several races. In the past, the Validian Empire attempted to exterminate elvenkind, but its immortal emperor, Grindelwald Maultor, was sealed away by an alliance known as the Warriors of Light. The warriors went on to establish other nations and scatter the pieces of the keystone to prevent its power from being misused. In the present, the reincarnations of the Warriors of Light and their allies are tasked with protecting the keystone pieces from the revived servants of Maultor, but can they really fill their predecessor's shoes?

Steam link here.

This game provides examples of:

  • Ancient Conspiracy: Validus's immortal Gauf and Forlorn Society have infiltrated or compromised the leadership of several nations, including Greyhem, Sovereign, Sorbithia, Amanor, Porthul, and Osiris. Their plan is to start a war between Greyhem and Sovereign, and then use the soldiers and the king of Greyhem as sacrifices to unseal the Validian Emperor, Maultor. They've been planning this ever since Eldromus Blackheart escaped the Abyss and killed the Warriors of Light centuries ago.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: The game keeps track of which Celestium Shards are missable and allows the player to buy missed shards in Thedorado.
  • Asshole Victim:
    • Zacharael slaughtered many mages in Sorbithia and acted as a toxic influence while mentoring Virgil, encouraging the latter to seek power at any cost. His apprentice takes his lessons to heart and eventually uses the Singularity on him to steal his powers.
    • Adramelech helps start a war between Greyhem and Sovereign, and personally kills the King of Greyhem as well as Jemman and Arne. Like Zacharael, he's permanently killed by Virgil's Singularity spell.
    • In the normal ending, the Big Bad Maultor, after spending millenia antagonizing the elves, is too weakened to fight off Virgil's Singularity spell and is forced to become a part of the latter.
    • Virgil, the power-hungry traitor to the Children of Light, is either bodyjacked by Maultor in the bad ending or erased from existence by Malviticus in the true ending, all because he tried to use the Singularity on a target he wasn't ready for.
  • Big Bad: Grindelwald Maultor, who is really the dark god Malviticus, establishes the empire of Validus to wage war against the elves and claim the Hourgem of Valnyr, which he plans to use in order to rewrite history in his favor. After he's sealed in the Tower of Illyrium, his servants manipulate many nations to unseal him, resuming his plans to take over all of Tenat and the Celestial Realm.
  • Collection Sidequest: The player can collect up to 110 Celestium Shards, with prizes for every tenth shard. These shards are broken pieces of the Celestial Realm, which have enough power that the shard collector can make powerful equipment from them.
  • Defector from Decadence:
    • Arthur Greyhem, Vandar Rowan, Arman Gill, and Gerald Swordhand are all Validian officers who defected after realizing Maultor lied about the elves and hid the existence of other deities.
    • Generals Agrippa and Chauser always had misgivings about Validus's leadership, but when they see the Gauf capturing Wein, who they see as the ideal officer, they lead their forces to save the party and enact a coup. Afterwards, they have Validus formally align themselves with Greyhem.
  • Difficulty Levels: There was originally only one difficulty now known as Core Rules. After player complaints of MP cost and accuracy issues, Normal and Easy were added to make MP upkeep and skill accuracy more generous.
  • Early Game Hell: Not only do money drops start low, mages don't start with enough MP to take advantage of their equipment's passive MP regen, making it hard to repeatedly use magic. This becomes less of a problem when the mages' max MP grows enough to regen MP and when the player forges max MP increasing gear.
  • Forced Level-Grinding: There are over 16 characters, but the inactive party members won't gain any Leaked Experience. Since some events will force you to use certain party members or prevent you from using specific ones, it's necessary to grind everyone sufficiently.
  • Fusion Dance: The Singularity spell, invented by Khargynoth, can force someone to fuse with the caster, giving the caster the target's memories and abilities. However, the target must be weaker for the spell to work, or the target will either resist the fusion or take over the caster.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: The world map doesn't wrap, which implies Tenat is flat. However, the true ending takes place in the Celestial Realm, where Tenat can clearly be seen as a globe.
  • Hereditary Curse: According to the official Horizen's End website, Grindelwald Maultor actually had a hard time maintaining his popularity as Validus's emperor with his charisma alone and many doubted his propaganda. He got around this by convincing them to sacrifice their current children in a ritual that will supposedly protect their future children from the blight. In reality, this caused all future generations of humans to be cursed to be completely unquestioning of his orders. However, Adramelech secretly spared his own child, Gerum Greyhem, resulting in the Greyhem line becoming immune to Maultor's blood curse. Tantalasia eventually managed to convince Arthur Greyhem to see through Maultor's lies, and he used his untainted blood to free much of humanity from Maultor's influence.
  • Metal Slime: Hedron type enemies are rare encounters that tend to flee, but will drop a lot of EXP if slain. They also take only one damage per hit, making it hard to kill them without multihit attacks. However, the Celestium Sword can kill even the strongest Hedron in one blow.
  • Mordor: The lands around Validus are a horrible wasteland where nothing grows, forcing its people to rely on advanced technology to grow their food. While the Validian citizens are unhappy with this situation, this is intentional on Emperor Maultor's part, since he wants to keep the people dissatisfied and turn their hatred against the elves.
  • Moving the Goalposts: Captain Baffa knows the location of the Archipelago, but refuses to take the party there because he doesn't think they're ready. Every time the party asks, Baffa gives them a seemingly Herculean task, only to come up with another one until the party completes every other sidequest in the game. This is intended to be a humorous way to help the player find undiscovered sidequests.
  • Multiple Endings:
    • If the party loses to the Final Boss, Virgil will attempt to use the Singularity spell to absorb Maultor and gain his godly powers. This fails because Maultor wasn't sufficiently exhausted from the boss fight, allowing him to hijack the fusion and take over Virgil's body.
    • If the party defeats the final boss, but either didn't complete the Archipelago or had Laeni stay out of the boss room, Virgil will attempt to use the Singularity spell to absorb Maultor, and the latter can't fight back due to being too wounded. Elric and Griswold die trying to stop Virgil and Pots volunteers to stall Virgil while the remaining party members seal the Tower of Illyrium. The party will celebrate their victory, but a thousand years later, Virgil breaks out with no one to stop him and his newfound godly powers.
    • If the party defeats the final boss with Laeni as a party member or a witness, she'll stop Virgil from absorbing Maultor. Unfortunately, this allows Maultor to fully regain his original form as Malviticus and kill Virgil. Laeni then reveals that she's the vessel for the goddess of light, Tantalasia. When the party goes to the Celestial Realm, they find that Malviticus killed all the other gods to take over the realm. After the True Final Boss battle with Malviticus, Laeni willingly allows Tantalasia to take over so she can seal herself and Malviticus in stone. Pots stays behind in order to ensure that Malviticus doesn't break free while the rest of the party returns to Tenat.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: Validus was already established to be a human supremacist empire, but when the party infiltrates the capital, they find that the state makes heavy use of propaganda to scapegoat the elves as the source of their problems and prevents citizens from knowing the other side of the story. Emperor Grindelwald Maultor has a Cult of Personality built around him and is presented as a benevolent strongman, and those who criticize him or the government are disappeared. The social caste system is designed to glorify the military, to the point where only those in the military or are in a military family can live in the higher end districts while everyone else lives in poverty. To drive this trope home, one of the mottos of the Validians is "Strength through unity, unity through faith," which is a reference to the fascists in V for Vendetta.
  • Red Herring: After finding Kingsly Hallenden in Arad Munlo and learning the Watcher is the leader of the Forlorn, the party assumes they're the same person. In reality, the Watcher is Cyrus Talos, though Hallenden was the one who manipulated Cyrus into becoming the Watcher, so their assumption wasn't far off.
  • The Scapegoat: The Validians blame the elves for causing the Blight, a magic that causes the lands near them to be infertile wastelands. Unsurprisingly, Maultor is behind the Blight and is using it to manipulate the Validians.
  • The Social Darwinist: The Validian officer trainers have cadets kill each other on the first day to weed out the weaker recruits. The name of the empire, Validus, means "strong" in Latin, but Maultor claims it means "justice," so he's basically saying strength is justice.
  • Unwitting Pawn: The Watcher manipulates the Children of Light into taking the keystone pieces from places that only they can access, allowing the Gauf to steal them.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Maultor, the Gauf, and Eldromus Blackheart are seen as benevolent rulers by the majority of Validians, though there are some Validians who secretly distrust them.
  • Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: In flashbacks of the Warriors of Light's era, all characters speak in olde Englishe. Strangely, immortal beings such as Eldromus and the Gauf speak this way in the flashbacks, only to speak more modern English in the present.