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Video Game / The Way (RPG Maker)

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May the Purpose guide you.

The Way is a freeware, indie role-playing game created by Lun Calsari on the RPG Maker 2000. It consists of six consecutive episodes, the first of which was released in 2002.

The people of The Way believe that the entire world is enclosed by the Rolling Mists. The very front of the world is gradually revealed by the Mists and explored by the Forerunners, while the rear of the world is swallowed. What lies in between is the titular Way and every human being spends their life Walking the Earth, either alone or accompanied by other wanderers. Settling down is considered blasphemous and the religious order of The Guided will ensure that the people keep moving forward and live their lives the way it is intended by The Purpose.

The story follows Rhue of Landorin, a young wanderer on a quest to regain a piece of his past. As the game begins, he's been searching the Way for many years already. Rhue is setting a frantic pace for himself, desperate for a simple clue that might help guide him to that which he lost so many years ago.


Throughout the six episodes, Rhue travels through caves, duels in tournaments, traverses infernal realms, gets caught up in a gang war, survives a demonic outbreak, goes through a lawsuit and performs in a grand stage production.

Along the way, he encounters many new people, such as the arrogant and abusive Strata, the charming and knowledgable Traziun, and the lawful and violent Slade. Very soon their journeys are overshadowed by murderous threats: A gang of bandits who call themselves the Blue Scarves attack wanderers under the leadership of a woman called Dancing Violet, and a mysterious shadow killer leaves a trail of corpses along the Way.

The official website can be found here. While the downloads on the website are gone, all six parts can still be gotten on

Also, not to be confused with the film with the same title.


The Way provides examples of:

  • Actually Four Mooks: When you're walking around, each group of enemies is shown as a single sprite.
  • Actual Pacifist: The Paradans will never kill anyone, even in self-defense. Some of them refuse to kill even animals.
  • After-Combat Recovery: This game doesn't use attrition mechanics. You start each battle with full health and a small amount of MP, which you have to build up in combat.
  • An Aesop: The obsessive pursuit of an unobtainable ideal can cause more pain than good, and can even lead one to hell.
  • Amulet of Concentrated Awesome: Rhue's power come mostly from one of those. It's a very twisted one, though.
  • An Economy Is You: Averted: Rhue starts the game broke or nearly broke, never gets any more money, never does any shopping and only ever pays for (plot-mandated) things by getting other people to pay for him. Very, very rarely, you can barter goods in specific situations, but overall it's fair to say that Rhue has no impact on The Way's economy whatsoever.
  • An Interior Designer Is You: In Episode 6 you can buy a house and fill it with furniture, but you can't choose how it's placed.
  • Annoying Arrows: Several minigames in Episode 6 employ these.
  • Anyone Can Die: The game has no problems killing important characters. Episode 5 takes it Up to Eleven. By the end of the series, the casualties are Lexus, Slade, Sorya, Lyrra, Cetsa, Sacrifa, Stoyko, Midian, Alan, Jopaga, Traziun in the normal ending, and even Rhue himself dies in the bad ending.
  • Apathetic Citizens: Barely any citizen of Dream Estrana cares that the city is surrounded by a red void and almost completely destroyed. They all just keep living their lives, claiming they have done so for years, even the ones that can't possibly have been there for more than a few days.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: Very glaring in Episode 6. This wasn't a concern in previous episodes since there were never more than four people traveling with Rhue at once.
  • Artifact of Doom: Shadow Swords give their bearer incredible power, but inevitably corrupt the mind with their twisted views of justice.
  • Art Shift: Some areas, particularly outdoors, have pre-rendered 3D backgrounds which are rather primitive by today's standards, while others, particularly indoors, use Super Nintendo style tilesets.
  • Asshole Victim: Cade in Episode 4 exists to be nothing but this.
  • Bar Brawl:
    • When you first enter Lide, one of these has broken out over Cetsa.
    • Another one breaks out during Rhue's date with Lexus in Outer Estrana, though it's way less funny and more violent.
  • Beneath the Earth: The Pits, also called The Lower Way. It's a natural Tunnel Network which technically makes it possible to walk the entire Way underground. Scatha has been living there for years.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The canon ending. See Pyrrhic Victory.
  • Black Comedy: Many of the funnier parts in the game are pretty much about Rhue being a grouch. Highlights include calling a woman a money-grubbing, lazy whore (more than once) and insulting a young boy for no reason.
  • Black Speech: The language of the Lord Below and the monsters in the Pits. Scatha and Sacrifa are shown speaking it.
  • Block Puzzle: There is one in the battlegrounds in Episode 3.
  • Blood Brothers: After a year of Blood Lyn training, each student is paired up with a student of the opposite gender.
  • Blood Oath: People who sell themselves to the Blana Sera take a blood oath and are called Blood Lyn for this reason. Breaking it usually results in death.
  • Bonus Boss: The leptor. Many more, if you count optional Plunges.
  • Can't Drop the Hero: In Episode 6 you can change your party, but you can't drop Rhue.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: It starts out as a fairly happy RPG with some dark themes. By the end, it has taken Darker and Edgier Up to Eleven.
  • Character Level:
    • Rhue's companions in Episode 6 become stronger through this system.
    • Averted for the rest of the game. Rhue gains points in individual stats by absorbing items, while other party members stay the same for the duration of their stay with you (but usually have new skills and better stats if they show up again later).
  • Characters as Device: Many characters in Episode 1 are introduced merely to teach the basics. The most glaring examples are Dana and Wes: they help Rhue fight a few battles, are knocked out cold, and... are never seen again. At least Therin got a cameo in Episodes 2 and 4.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Several characters involved in the "gang wars" plotline in Episode 4. Medmur in particular. Granted, it's kind of required, considering the double life he lives.
  • City with No Name: The last episode takes place in one. It has no name because it doesn't really exist.
  • Cliffhanger: Many episodes end on one. The most notable is the ending to Episode 5.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: The Blue Scarves are identified by their titular attire.
  • Combination Attack: Rhue can do this with Sorya or Lexus in Episode 6. Its effectiveness depends on Relationship Values.
  • Contemplate Our Navels:
    • The whole Reaches ending.
    • The optional M2O area in Episode 6.
  • Control Room Puzzle: Several exist throughout the series.
  • Convection Schmonvection: You are not harmed at all by the magma caverns in Episode 3.
  • Coolest Club Ever: There are a lot of clubs in Outer Estrana, but the cool people meet at The Scene.
  • Corrupt Church: The Guided in Estrana are largely portrayed in this way. Several people see them as this in-universe too, including a faction of Guided themselves.
  • Courtroom Antics: Rhue is on trial and Alan is his lawyer. Hilarity Ensues. Expect a lot of ChewbaccaDefenses.
  • Crapsack World:
    • The Purpose is implied to be a lie created to control people, while the Lord Below actually exists.
    • One of the only large cities, Estrana, is full of poverty and crime.
    • The major factions of the world include crazy religious fanatics, corrupt law enforcers, mercenaries explicitly considered "tools" by their leaders and big bandit groups.
  • Critical Hit: You can raise both your critical chance and the strength of your critical hits. Becomes a major mechanic in some of the optional plunges in Episode 6.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Happens quite often. See Gorn below.
  • Cruel Mercy: If you defeat Strata at the end of Episode 5, Rhue mocks him and lets him live. However, since the character in question has pretty much spent his entire life being a Glory Hound, being defeated by some wanderer with weird clothing he has always considered a worthless weakling probably won't do well for his sanity.
  • Cryptic Conversation: Several of them are shown throughout the series. In some cases you can make sense of them if you know what they are talking about.
  • Cutscene Boss: The Plunge battles, sort of. They do have a legitimate alternate combat system, but they mean that most of the one-on-one battles between humans in the game take place outside of the normal combat system. Also, early in the gane there's little you can do during the battles to really affect your odds of winning.
  • Darker and Edgier: Though the series started to step further and further away from light-hearted antics as it went on, Episode 5 was when the shit hit the fan. Anyone Can Die and Dysfunction Junction become clearer than ever.
  • A Day in the Limelight: There's only one time when you play and follow a character other than Rhue: for a few fights in Episode 5, you control Traziun while he invades a fortress full of Blood Lyn.
  • Dead All Along: Serena.
  • Defend Command: During normal fights, you can spend your turn defending to halve damage.
  • Degraded Boss: The nasty boss of the Barrucha cave shows up as a regular enemy a few acts later in the mines.
  • Demon Slaying: You have the option to fight two lessers in Episode 6.
  • Devil, but No God: It's strongly implied that while the Purpose is a lie made up to control people, the Lord Below is very real and very powerful.
  • Downer Ending: The Reaches ending. Maybe. Sort of.
  • Drama Bomb: Episode 4 starts taking a turn for the dark, but... well, let's just put it this way: Episode 5 is called Everyone Must Bleed.
  • Dramatic Thunder:
    • Dramatically timed at Kloe's execution at Matalan at the end of Episode 3.
    • Again, after Lexus's death at the end of Episode 4.
  • Dramatic Wind: In place when Traziun makes his "eye for an eye" speech at the end of Episode 5.
  • Duel Boss: Just about anything that would've been one of these is instead handled through the Plunge system.
  • Dug Too Deep: A secret mining operation in Estrana lead by Sacrifa has accidentally unleashed creatures from the Pits who keep killing the miners. Rhue and Kloe take a one-day job as guards in these mines to upgrade their citizenship and apparently nobody expects them to make it out alive.
  • Dysfunction Junction: Seriously, look at the characters after Episode 4. It's hard finding a character that doesn't have some kind of psychological issue or past trauma.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The first episode is not only Lighter and Softer compared to the later parts, it also has a noticeably different pacing and mapping.
  • Earn Your Bad Ending: Accessing the Reaches ending – in which Rhue basically refuses to accept that Serena is dead, dies, and descends into hell – requires insane Plunge skills, as well as defeating the game's hardest boss.
  • Easter Egg: Lots and lots. Some can be found in the actual game (the twisted C.O.O.L Meeting, for example), others can only be found by opening the game with RPG maker 2000 (The Short Sketch). Philosophical messages can be found in the code of Episode 6, including some kind of weird scavenger hunt and a code in PGP.
  • Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors:
    • The core of the Plunge system works this way. Cross Sweep beats Lunge Cut, which beats Drop Slash, which beats Cross Sweep.
    • In normal fights, you have Physical attacks, Elemental attacks, Trascendent attacks...
  • Elite Mooks: Elite Shadow Lords, Elite Blood Lyn.
  • Empty Shell: Anybody whose aura was taken from them becomes this. See Our Souls Are Different below.
  • Episodic Game: The game has six episodes.
  • Every Man Has His Price: Estrana is implied to be a pretty corrupt city.
    • The Arastotzi use their connections to upgrade Rhue's citizen status several times. It's implied Rhue couldn't have done it with legitimate means.
    • Even Dancing Violet could be freed from her prison cell by bribing enough guards with enough seru. She even asks Rhue to win the Plunge tournament to use the money and connections the win would bring him to free her. We never see if it would have worked though, since Rhue loses against Strata.
  • Famous Last Words:
    • "A life... for a life... how about that... father..." - Traziun
    • "Finally I'll do something I know is right...something for myself..." - Slade
    • "I wanted to see you once more... just one... last... time..." - Lexus
    • "What a terrible end... to my... story..." - Lyrra
  • Fantastic Drug: A few people in Estrana try to sell you some. It's called Lace.
  • Fire and Brimstone Hell: The Reaches appear to be this.
  • Flashback Nightmare: The first time Rhue's memories of the Landorin Massacre are shown, it's in a nightmare.
  • Foregone Victory: The last Plunge duel between Rhue and the Phantom Slasher cannot be lost. However, if Rhue's life points reaches zero (he will start shouting "Burn me!") you will get the bad ending.
  • Foreshadowing: Tons. And tons. A notable example is that Rhue cand find, in the very first map, an amulet near a river. He throws it back into the river and wonders where the current will take it.
  • Gainax Ending: All three of them. Some might qualify for Esoteric Happy Ending, but don't expect sunshine and rainbows in any event.
  • Game Maker: All six episodes are made with the RPG Maker 2000 engine.
  • Game Mod: If you have RPG Maker 2000, you can change anything and everything in the game.
  • Gangbangers: The drug gangs in Estrana.
  • Generic Guy: Rhan appears several times and is always generically friendly if you talk to him.
  • The Ghost: You spend a big part of Episode 5 chasing Pontifex Tetzel. You never meet him, and it's even implied he might be dead.
  • Glory Hound:
    • Forewoman Hill. Might also qualify as Miles Gloriosus.
    • Strata only seems to care about being seen as "cool" by others.
  • Gorn: Despite the 16-bit Super Nintendo RPG style graphics, there are very gruesome deaths, especially in episode 5. For starters: Heads being ripped off, the body collapsing into a bloody heap; characters being graphically impaled on stalagmites; having their faces ripped off; scalped; being ripped in half; having limbs amputated; getting ripped in half at the torso; having guts exploding out You can also see a crow graphically tearing strips of flesh from a corpse, with blood splattering all over the ground and walls.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: Played with: the characters' curse words are harmless to the player, but have a potentially offensive meaning in-universe. "Flaming Fires of Janwen!" invokes the destruction of the city of Janwen and is therefore a profanity. Shorter versions like "Sweet flaming lands!", "Lands..." and "Burn you!" are seen being used.
  • Gray-and-Gray Morality: The conflict between the Guided and the Viligance Council in Estrana.
  • Guest-Star Party Member: Everyone to varying degrees, except for the people who join Rhue in Episode 6.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • Achieving 100% Completion. There's a Point of No Return for almost every area in the game, and many chests are hidden behind secret passages. Oh, and there are a few things that require inhuman clairvoyance or a complex string of Dialogue Tree decisions to get. Have fun.
    • Until the last chapter you don't "level" in the traditional sense nor get currency from battle – your power is determined by equipping stat items and fighting several combats to "absorb" them. In other words, if you stumble through the early chapters without a guide by the end your stats will be low, you'll be missing several special moves and there will be nothing you can do to make up for it. Oh, and the alternate "Plunge" combat system used for duels depends almost entirely on your stats; no amount of personal skill or patience can cause you to win if your stats are too low, though almost all the later Plunges are either optional or very easy.
  • Heads I Win, Tails You Lose: Several, most glaringly the headhunter near the beginning.
  • Health/Damage Asymmetry: Averted Trope, since you always get After-Combat Recovery.
  • Hell on Earth: Unleashed on Estrana by Sacrifa at the beginning of Episode 5.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: Seemingly everyone uses swords on the Way... blades for stabbing or slashing seem to be the weapon of choice for the whole world.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Traziun stabs himself with the phantom sword to destroy it in the normal ending.
  • He Who Must Not Be Named: People don't want to hear about the Landorin Massacre and believe it's bad luck to be associated with the Landorin stretch.
  • Hit Points: Of course, both in normal fights and in Plunges.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: Numerous, usually but not always Plunge battles. Most notably, the first three Plunge battles are unwinnable, and Rhue actually gives up after two strikes in the third.
  • Hub City:
    • As the largest settlement seen in the series, Estrana serves as the stage for many of the inter-political conflicts between the many groups and organizations that exist within The Way, and a majority of the dungeons in Episode 4 exist within the city itself.
    • Dream Estrana in Episode 6 serves as one for the entire episode, with plenty of sidequests inside its walls to keep the player busy.
  • Inevitable Tournament: Happens twice, with Rhue being forced into them each time.
    • Subverted Trope: the first tournament ends prematurely and the plot doesn't really care if you win, while in the second Rhue loses in the semifinals and Traziun throws the final round.
  • Inexplicable Treasure Chests: This is the case for all six episodes. Only treasure chests found in the settlements are ever truly justified.
  • Inn Security: Happens several times in Episode 2.
  • In the Hood: Entrego is never seen without his hood... until you discover his real identity.
  • Ironic Echo: Strata utters a condescending remark toward Rhue as he walks away from him for the first time after mugging him. Rhue repeats a variation of it after he defeats Strata in their last encounter in the series.
    Strata: Why don't you contemplate what's just taken place here while I go make some money at the races. Later, blue boy.
    Rhue: Why don't you contemplate what's just taken place here while I go after Gaius. Later, loser.
  • Kill 'Em All: Episode 5. The casualties are: Slade, Lyrra, Cetsa, Alan (you can see his dismembered legs poking out of a bush), Sacrifa, Entrego (presumably) and an entire city of innocent people, including children.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Lots. For example, many of the more fashionable characters tend to insult Rhue's ugly clothing.
  • Lazy Backup: Rhue's party in Episode 6 if he recruits more than three teammates.
  • Left Hanging: So very many plot threads are never resolved. Only those directly related to Rhue's past get a satisfying conclusion.
  • Let's Play: Malefact is doing one and had just ended episode 5. It has been on hold for a long time, however, although he has come back from his hiatus at long last. You can find it here.
  • Long-Lost Relative: Several, as seen on the character sheet. Other relations are implied in some places, but cannot be proven.
  • MacGuffin: Serena is basically a living one: Rhue trying to find her is what drives his actions and portions of the plot forward, but she doesn't actively do anything to influence the story. She is used as a MacGuffin in-universe as well, since the Phantom Slasher uses Rhue's memories of her for exactly the same reason – to drive him forward.
  • Mad Love: Rhue's love for Serena seems to have shades of this... until you discover Rhue absorbed Jeruh's Mad Love, which Serena never returned.
  • Madonna–Whore Complex: Played straight by Slade's mother. Her daughters have a hard time because of it, to say the least.
  • Mauve Shirt: There are a lot of named characters that get offed to show a situation is dangerous.
  • Meaningful Echo: "Where are you?", the very first line of the game.
  • Meaningful Rename: Very common, even in-universe. If a character chooses to start a new life and take on a new identity, they scramble the letters of their name to create a new one. Additionally, if they want to leave a dark part of their past behind, they eliminate one of the letters. If they have achieved a great new status instead, they may add a new letter to their name. See the character sheet for more examples.
  • Miles Gloriosus: Alan, expecially when you plunge with him.
  • Military Academy: The battlegrounds of the Blana Sera turn children and teenagers into Blood Lyn.
  • Mind Screw: Episode 6 is the worst offender, but the rest of the series is pretty confusing as well. Not only is almost nothing outside of the main character's story resolved, what little the fanbase has to work with is extraordinarily cryptic and confusing. (Expect lots of Epileptic Trees popping up.)
  • Minigame: Several times. Holding off a siege with cannon fire, a vaguely side-scrolling shooter game, catching a rabbit...
  • Money Spider: Averted Trope: No enemies, not even human ones, carry a single kipher of seru.
  • Monster Clown: The Jester, a Bonus Boss you can fight in Altair Manor in Episode 6.
  • Mood Whiplash: In Episode 5, you can wander around before Dancing Violet's execution, listening to humorous conversations. Then, you witness Sacrifa's wife being stoned to death.
  • Multiple-Choice Past: Two of the flashback sequences Rhue has of Serena; they're dependent on what the player chooses for him. The first one decides her hair color, while the other defines her personality. This is justified by the very end.
  • Multiple Endings: Three of them. Fans sometimes refer to them as the Heaven Ending, Earth Ending and Hell Ending.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Almost word for word after Rhue accidentally kills Lexus.
  • Named Weapons: The Shadow Swords are named, though it's not clear by whom. In the game, we see Night Reaper (wielded by Traziun), Ghost Horror (wielded by Kalmar, and later Lyrra) and Phantom Slasher, wielded by Rhue.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: The Lord Below and the Phantom Slasher. The Blood Lyn also count.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown:
    • When Slade finds Alan being a sleaze with a random girl, this ensues.
    • In an Episode 6 sidequest, you have to beat up a guy to make him squeal some valuable information.
  • No Stat Atrophy: As is commons in RPGs, Rhue's skills keep increasing through the game.
  • Older Than They Look: Several Artifacts of Doom have the power to stop their bearer from aging. The most notable examples are Rhue and Kalmar.
  • One of These Doors Is Not Like the Other: The end of the forest in Episode 5.
  • Optional Party Member: In Episode 6 you can recruit Slade, Lexus and Sorya by completing sidequests.
  • Orwellian Retcon: Instead of having later episodes contradict information from earlier ones, Lun went back and edited the episode in question. Examples include how the headhunter in Episode 1 used be looking for Gaius instead of Jeruh, and Slade reacting a lot differently at the mention of Serena's name in Episode 5.
  • Our Souls Are Different:
    • A person's body and soul are not physically connected, but their soul casts a "shadow" which is called the person's "aura". The aura contains personality, emotions and memories. It's possible to disconnect someone from their aura and absorb it: the person can survive, but they'll only be an Empty Shell afterwards.
    • Shadow Swords automatically absorb the aura of everyone that dies near them. Their wielder has then access to their victims' memories and can – if the sword wills it so – take on parts of their personalities. Exactly how, when or why this happens is Left Hanging.
    • An aura can even be partially absorbed, as happens to Slade in Episode 5. He survives, though he seems even more unhinged than usual afterwards.
  • Overly Long Name: Alanthreonus Phillipe Straphachar. Alan to his friends.
  • Paper Tiger: The Blue Scarves gang in Estrana are just wannabe gangsters who are no threat compared to the real Blue Scarves.
  • Parody Names: Alan worked in a play called ''Stann of Green Fables''.
  • Party in My Pocket: As usual in this kind of RPG.
  • Pass Through the Rings: A mini-game in Episode 6.
  • Permanently Missable Content: Until you get to Episode 6, you can never revisit areas after you get through them. If you didn't get the items there, too bad. This goes for experience, too, since the aforementioned items are your primary source of stat gains.
  • Planet Heck: The Reaches. You have to go there and battle demons to get the Reaches ending.
  • Point of No Return: If you're not in Episode 6, make sure you've gotten absolutely everything before going to a new area; you won't be coming back.
  • Pre Existing Encounters: The games uses these instead of more typical Random Encounters.
  • The Prima Donna: Vashti. Alan also has shades of this.
  • Protagonist Journey to Villain: Even if Rhue's goal is somehow noble, only caring about that at the expense of anything - or anybody - else isn't good for his morality in the long run.
  • Public Execution:
    • Episode 3 ends with the preparations for Kloe's execution at Matalan.
    • Dancing Violet's execution is a plot point in Episode 5.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: In what appears to be the canon ending, Rhue finally finds out the truth about Serena. He also finds out his past is just a fabrication of the mind of others and has lost pretty much everyone he has ever cared for. Well, except Kloe, if you have enough of a friendship rating with her.
  • Relationship Values: They're invisible, and most of them don't matter – some affect the dialogue, while others were created early on only to never be put to any real use. Only the following values matter:
    • Lexus points have the biggest influence on the game: they can unlock an entirely different ending if they're high enough.
    • Sorya points determine if you encounter the character in Episode 6 and whether they join your party. Interestingly, if you have a good enough relationship with her in Episode 4, she doesn't appear in Episode 6.
    • Kloe points slightly influence the ending and several dialogue lines in the later episodes.
  • Re Traux: The game uses Super Nintendo style graphics and MIDI music.
  • Romance Sidequest: The date in Episode 6. It's even necessary to get the Lexus ending.
  • Rule of Cool: Having control of Traziun's storm through the fortress is really pretty pointless, the game could have just shown him killing them all. It was mostly there to show just how much Traziun is awesome.
  • Scenery Porn: There are quite a few pre-rendered backgrounds that look nice despite being relatively simple.
  • Scratch Damage: In Plunges you can't reduce damage dealt by opponents, no matter how much stronger you are than them.
  • Second Love: Lexus to Rhue, you can even end the whole series by getting them together.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Every word out of Alan's mouth.
  • Shout-Out:
    • On a bookshelf in Episode 6 you can find another RPG Maker game, ThreeTheHardWay.
    • There are lots in the bookshelves, including refrencing his old band, Phlounder, and Crestfallen.
  • Shout-Out Theme Naming: The Charlatans of Justice in Episode 6 are named after members of the Crestfallen forums.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: One of the possible endings.
  • Slasher Smile: Rhue has one of these when he's wearing Midian's personality and is about to kill Jeruh.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: Leaning far toward cynicism.
  • Socketed Equipment: Rhue can put notch items into the notches in his sword, and after enough battles they will be absorbed giving him stat increases, subverting the usual level up system.
  • Stat Grinding:
    • Averted for most of the game. The number of notch items and the number of enemies in each episode are usually very balanced, so is the strength of your sword auras and of your enemies.
    • Played straight in Episode 6, though. You can find a huge number of notch items, to the point where you need to grind to absorb them all. And if you want to get access to all three Multiple Endings, you may want to do that. Maxing out the level of at least one sword aura will also prove helpful in the last battles, and – according to the official walkthrough – requires at least 80 to 120 battles per aura.
  • Stock Video Game Puzzle: You find several of these, even in places where they really shouldn't exist.
  • Super Serum: Jopaga developed one for the Shadow Lord gang in Estrana and got the attention of the Arastotzi, who attempt to steal it.
  • Take Our Word for It: Lilah's rotting flesh isn't shown on screen when Rhue and Stoyko are spying on her. Instead, they describe how awful it is what they're seeing.
  • Take Your Time: Even in dangerous situations, you can explore as much as you want.
  • Teamwork Puzzle Game: One of the rooms in The Pits in Episode 3 require Scatha and Rhue to work together with the switches inside to get past it.
  • That Liar Lies: Played straight by Scatha in Episode 5 with Cetsa on the receiving end, after the latter claims that she's Serena.
  • Theme Naming: Subverted Trope: The episode names all rhyme with the previous one...except for the last, "Truth Hides Nothing".
  • There Is Only One Bed: After rescuing Kloe from the Blood Lyn in Episode 4, Rhue allows her to stay in his room for the night. The Dialogue Tree makes you choose how to deal with the situation.
  • Thriving Ghost Town: Justified. Most towns are pretty barren, since they are only supposed to be temporary.
  • Title Drop: The final bosses use attacks based on the episode titles. Not to mention the fact that the entire game is set in a place called "The Way"...
  • Trophy Wife:
    • Scatha believes that there is no real love in the world and every man is only after beautiful women as a trophy.
    • Strata is clearly interested in Cetsa for this very reason and hurts Lyrra deeply when she realizes this.
  • Urban Segregation: Estrana is clearly divided into Upper Estrana and Lower Estrana.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: In a sidequest in Episode 6, you have to beat up and torture a guy for information.
  • Violation of Common Sense: Being a bad thief and acting like a complete Jerkass during the party in Episode 6 – which leads to getting the worst courtroom result – is the only way to trigger an external event that allows access to a hidden skill.
  • Volleying Insults:
    • Rhue's and Slade's Plunge. Damn, Slade can trash talk.
    • Everytime Rhue and Strata talk. In their last fight it happens in a very different way, though.
  • Walking the Earth: Everyone, pretty much. It's considered blasphemous to settle down.
  • Wham Line: The very last line of Episode 5, in which the identity of the Phantom Slasher is revealed.
  • Wide Open Sandbox: Episode 6, which is very open-ended and has lots of side-quest, unlike the rest of the episodes.
  • Wimp Fight: Rhue vs. Nomi at the beginning, complete with color commentary. The game doesn't even give you a reward for winning.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • Stoyko gets killed near the end of Episode 4, and is never brought up again, and doesn't even show up in Dream Estrana like most of the characters that the Phantom Slasher has killed.
    • The Citadels are brought up and discussed in a way that seems like they will be plot important, only to never be mentioned after your first glimpse of one.
    • Dippy. He's never mentioned or seen unless he escapes Rhue's ownership, with the last time being while Rhue is stuck in the Pits in Episode 3. The latter three episodes never mention him, or whether or not Rhue even bothered to release him off-screen due to all the trouble he brings about.
  • Woman Scorned: Lady Patura uses all her authority to degrade Slade and break him down, after he refuses her advances.
  • World's Strongest Man: This is what the title of Paraphalyn signifies. Oddly, no one seems to hold the title by the time the game rolls around. Well, no one alive. Kavax is quite happy to give Rhue a shot at inheriting the title from him during Episode 6.
  • Wraparound Background: This is used in the scenes where characters are running on the Landorin Stretch (or what Rhue remembers as it, at least).
  • Wrong Side of the Tracks: Outer Estrana, where the poors and the criminals gather.
  • Unstable Equilibrium: Very, very much. Winning challenges or finding secrets early in the game nets you awards that boost your power forever afterwards. If you do not find these secrets or beat these challenges, you're likely to do poorly in the future.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: Technically nobody can, because everybody is Walking the Earth from the day they are born.
  • You Just Told Me: Rhue does this to incriminate Lyrra as the intruder of Jopaga's lab in Episode 6.

Strange, but true?

Alternative Title(s): The Way


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