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Video Game / Time and Eternity

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The Japanese cover.
Time and Eternity (alternate Japanese Portmantitle: Tokitowa) is a PlayStation 3 JRPG developed by Imageepoch, released in Japan by Bandai Namco Games in Oct., 2012 and in the United States by NIS America in July 2013.

It features Supporting Protagonist Zack, a knight of the small kingdom of Kamza, preparing for his wedding with princess Toki. However, on the day of the wedding, a group of assassins interrupt and Zack is killed while protecting Toki. While he thinks he's had the best death ever, he quickly learns two things: Toki has a second personality within her body named Towa and she can travel back in time. While Toki returns six months into the past, Zack's spirit travels along by inhabiting the body of Toki's pet dragon, Drake, and the two (three?) set out to prevent the disaster at the wedding.

The game's strong points are its beautiful, expressive hand-drawn characters, excellent soundtrack, and downright gorgeous visuals in various locations while many fans are split on the character personalities, story and gameplay.

Time and Eternity uses the following tropes:

  • Acceptable Breaks from Reality: After the early-game discussion between Towa, Enda, Reijo, and Wedi, everyone who meets the princess recognizes her when they meet again - regardless of which soul is currently activenote . Of course, what with the automatic change every level and the scarcity of the soul-changing items, locking certain sidequest strands to Toki/Towa would very quickly have become a Scrappy Mechanic.
  • Anachronism Stew: A medieval fantasy setting where the apparently most-advanced technology is the electric light, but game companies exist and the characters know what TVs are.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: Items that increase/decrease encounter rates and increase money+experience earned in battle are all available in the store as the game progresses. The items that allow Toki and Towa to swap at will are more limited, but still plentiful.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: A few boss fights are against giant creatures that require a different approach to fighting.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Toki and Towa's ultimate spells. Not only do they have long cast times (risking an easy interruption and only really being feasible when using very limited Time Magic), but also cost a whopping 130 SP, requiring using three Passive Skill slots to even reach that much. And, by the time the heroines are at a high-enough level to unlock them, hitting an enemy's weakness with a tier 1 or 2 spell will likely do similar damage thanks to the Damage Cap limiting it to 99,999.
  • Battle Couple: The main couple grow into this as a game mechanic. The higher the present heroine's Love stat for Zack, the greater effects his supporting skills have on her and damage from their combo attacks.
  • Beach Episode: One each for Toki/Towa, and one more for the remaining female supporting cast.
  • Bland-Name Product: Rad Bowl energy drinks.
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • The rifle attack doesn't do the most damage, especially with Towa, but it's the most reliable way to build SP in order to unleash more powerful skills.
    • The tier 1 elemental spells end up being far more useful than the tier 2 or 3 ones due to their lower SP costs, faster cast times, and being much more reliable in setting up Chemisty. Two tier 1 spells will also do more damage than a single tier 2 spell for the overall same SP cost.
  • Boss Banter: Every major boss fight has a good amount of dialogue between the heroes and their opponent. In several cases, there's also unique dialogue depending on which heroine is active. Often Lampshaded when they talk about how much they tend to talk during battle.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Ricardo and his Assassin Guild's Fan Club.
  • Censor Steam:
    • In both of the DLC Hot Spring event images.
    • Averted in the shower scenes after Drake!Zack manages to clear just enough to get a decent view. Which results in...
    • Godiva Hair: The only thing left covering Toki/Towa in the shower after the Censor Steam is successfully removed.
  • Character Development:
    • Each supporting character gets some in each chapter.
    • In each of the normal endings, Zack has put aside his perverted nature and takes his relationship more seriously after losing one of Toki/Towa.
  • Contractual Boss Immunity: Thoroughly and gloriously averted! Every enemy in the game is susceptible to status effects caused by Chemistry.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The right magic will make many regular battle this if the player so chooses. Getting enough time to cast, however...
  • Cut and Paste Environments: There are five main dungeon types: Islands, Plains, Canyons, Forests, and Gardens. All of each type are fairly indistinguishable from each other except for a change in lighting.
  • Dating Sim: Several elements, but the choices boil down to between Toki and Towa (until the New Game Plus).
  • Developer's Foresight: Even if the player grinds enough experience to level up Toki in the first area of the game, she will not switch with Towa upon gaining a level until after her official introduction after fighting Lucy and Linus back in town.
  • Double Entendre: All over the place in conversations.
  • Easy-Mode Mockery: Not by the game itself but one of the trophies does require playing through the game on Normal without once changing the difficulty.
  • Fanservice: The gallery images and quests that involve peeping on Toki/Towa in the shower.
  • Fetch Quest: Several, but most don't really require going out of the way to complete as they involve enemies/drops in the next dungeon.
  • Finger Poke of Doom: The Finishing Move used in the tutorial.
  • Finishing Move: Once certain conditions are met in battle, Toki/Towa can end the battle with a One-Hit Kill with special animation ranging from a headshot, a flying kick, slashing the enemy to bits to unique ones for various boss fights.
  • Food Porn: Inverted. We need a "Food Gorn" trope just to describe Ricardo's cakes.
  • Genre Savvy: Toki knows far more about Zack's perverted nature than one might initially guess, and even uses it against him a couple of times.
    • Zack also quickly figures out how to push Towa's buttons and get her to wear fetishy outfits he bought.
  • Guide Dang It!: Averted. There are trophies for opening every chest and completing every sidequest in each chapter. Thankfully, the game reveals the location of all of the treasures on every map, the location of each sidequest when it becomes available, and even where to find monsters/items for the sidequests from the very beginning.
  • Hot Springs DLC Sidequest: Two. One for each of Toki/Towa.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: The "Eternity" equipment obtained by defeating the four hidden bosses scattered about the world in Chapter 4.
  • Interface Spoiler: Due to the game encouraging you to complete as many sub quests as possible, it is incredibly likely that you will receive the "Case Closed: Ch. 1" trophy at the worst possible moment: namely, you have just solved and prevented the attack on the royal wedding, and are about to travel back to your own time.
  • Joke Weapon: Subverted. There exist, as 'equipment', a Paper Knife and Toy Gun (along with a Small Ribbon, Handmade Necklace, Handmade Ring, and an 'unbelievably generic' Belt), but these can only be equipped by unequipping any other equipment.
  • Level Grinding: Averted. The game is meant to be taken at a relaxing pace and, so long as the player takes time to do sidequests and explore each region to get all of the treasure, the characters will stay ahead of the level curve.
    • That being said, if you want to see certain cutscenes with specifically Toki, or specifically Towa, it's this or blowing a Pepper.
    • Some grinding, however, is needed to reach the Level 70 achievement "Royal Blood".
  • Macguffin: The Something Four in Chapter 3.
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": If Towa is active after clearing the three islands in Chapter 1, she takes a suggestion to turn Ricardo down, and twists it into a decision to kill him. Reijo, Wedi, Enda, and Drake!Zack immediately get shoved into one screen for this reaction.
    Wait wait wait wait!
    Towa: I'll make sure I get him right through the heart.
    No no no no!
  • Multiple Endings: There are 3 endings. The True Ending can only be acquired during a New Game Plus.
  • Naughty Tentacles: A plant version in one of Toki's Memory Events. If she gives cold medicine to a plant she's taking care of, it will grow to a monstrous size and capture her.
  • New Game Plus: Unlocks after beating the game once and is the only way to get the special ending.
  • No-Damage Run: Getting one of the Gold trophies requires winning 20 battles in a row without taking damage. However, this can be done as early as the first area where one of the monsters doesn't even attack!
  • Not What It Looks Like: At the end of Chapter 1, Ricardo asks Toki/Towa to tell him who she's been promised to. The princess points to Zack... who is still presently in Drake's body. Ricardo takes it surprisingly well.
    Ricardo: So, you're into... that kind of stuff, huh? No wonder you were never attracted to me!
  • Palette Swap:
    • Both NPCs and monsters. One of the complaints about the game is the lack of enemy variety even though each enemy of various types may not have the same attack pattern to keep the player from getting too complacent.
    • Toki and Towa in the field and in battles. In their dialogue portraits, their faces and body language are very distinct.
  • Permanently Missable Content:
    • The lunches Toki/Towa can make when their Love stats are between 0-49 and 50-99, a unique one for each personality and two that either one could make per tier.
    • Chapter-specific sidequests are lost if they aren't completed before concluding the chapter.
    • Gallery images will not be unlocked if the player makes the incorrect choice during specific Memory Events.
  • Point of No Return: All sidequests and Memory Events are locked after defeating Moebiusdrake. The conditions for the special ending need to be met before initiating that battle as well.
  • The Power of Friendship: Allows Toki/Towa to travel back in time once more after losing their hourglass at the beginning of Chapter 4.
  • The Power of Love: Even though Toki/Towa lose their memories of all of the preceding events in Chapter 4, it's their love for Zack that keeps them going through to the end.
    • Also a literal stat in the game. Higher Love/Sincerity stats affect the quality of certain healing items and increase critical hit rates.
  • Running Gag: Several.
    • Drake!Zack never getting to bathe with the girls while they don't know that he's in Drake's body.
    • Ricardo's over-the-top proposals to Toki/Towa every time he runs into them.
      • Drake!Zack biting Ricardo's head in retaliation.
      • Towa putting her knife to Ricardo's neck afterward.
    • Ricardo's lethal cakes.
    • Makimona's utter lack of fortune when it comes to men.
    • The first thing out of anyone's mouth who eats a Babbleberry is to exclaim how ungodly sour it is.
      Drake: [After having eaten one and seeing someone else's reaction] Yep, I expected that.
    • People having different, often weird, reactions when the heroine tells them that Zack is her fiance... while he's in Drake's body.
  • Save Scumming: Useful for getting the Lunch Master trophy.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: The attacks done by the Assassin's Guild, Reijo, and Makimona were revealed to be directly caused by Toki/Towa and Drake's meddling in the first place in one way or another. The fact that the Moebius Loop keeps screwing them over is a major reason as to why the wedding keeps getting attacked.
  • Scare Chord: Played for Laughs whenever Drake!Zack reminds Makimona that she doesn't have a man in her life whenever she insists on borrowing the Something Four.
  • Scenery Porn: Most notably the events in Chapters 3 and 4 where the sky is constantly lit up by an aurora and never-ending meteor shower, respectively.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Ricardo's flunkies met at the beginning of the game are named Lucy and Linus.
    • One of the quest-givers is named Schrodinger. One of his first lines is to state there is a cat in the box next to him.
    • Ricardo's cakes look very much like the type of food Aurica is prone to cooking.
    • One of the characters you can do a sidequest for is called Ray Amuro.
  • Skinship Grope: Happens to both Wedi and Towa courtesy of Makimona and Enda respectively in the final DLC gallery image.
  • Something Else Also Rises:
    • When Drake talks about a lot of blood rushing to his... head.
    • This exchange:
    Racin: My spiritual antenna is bursting forth with inspiration!
    Drake!Zack: Uwaaah! Toki, don't look!
  • Stalker with a Crush: Ricardo to Toki/Towa. Enda to Ricardo but only in Chapter 1.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Makimona tends to do this.
  • The Rival: Ricardo wants Toki/Towa's hand. Zack and Towa both want his head for this.
  • Take Your Time: The game heavily encourages the player to do as many sidequests as possible as there is no penalty for delaying doing main quests. The big payoff is that most Gift Points come from doing these quests rather than earning them in battle.
  • Technology Marches On: In-Universe example-
    Drake!Zack: "You sure have a thing for TV."
    Moebius: "Of course! My TV at home is all snowy."
    Drake!Zack: "You're still on analog?!"
  • Tempting Fate:
    • During the pre-wedding meet and greet, if Zack asks Toki to call him 'honey', he observes that he can now die a happy man.
    • If Towa is active on the approach for Olden's questions, she assures Drake!Zack that "[she's] not worried" about what kind of questions would measure his worth as a husband. The correct answers to the first three questions leave her embarrassed to a Tsundere's full extent, and answering the fourth question with her ideal answer is incorrectnote  (although the correct answer to the fifth question is worth 100 points on its own).
  • Time Paradox:
    • Chapters 1-3 take place 6 months, 3 months, and then 1 month before the wedding. Chapter 4 re-does each boss fight, then jumps to 1 year before the wedding; most of the sidequests in it are what begin several of the chains of events in the preceding chapters.
    • In the first couple of chapters, it turns out that the events leading up to the attacks on the wedding were caused by Toki/Towa trying to prevent them in the first place.
    • In the ending: the Reset Button is pushed entirely with only Zack and Eva having memories of the journey while The Power of Love causes Toki/Towa's feelings to remain to the point of her accepting Zack's proposal even though they "just met."
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: An attack on the wedding? Go back in time to prevent the event leading up to the attack from happening. Rinse and repeat.