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Video Game / Unlimited Saga

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Unlimited Saga is an Eastern RPG developed and published by Square Enix for the PlayStation 2 and released in 2002. It is the ninth game in the SaGa series, and the only one without the series' traditional capital 'G' in the title.

In the lush fantasy world of Unlimited Saga, there is a prophecy that states that when the power dwelling within the Seven Wonders Of The World is released, a god will awaken and usher in a Golden Age. The game tells the stories of seven heroes who set out on their own individual quests across this land, which brings them into contact with the Seven Wonders.

The heroes are: Armic, a rodent-like "Chapa" who is selected to go a quest to save his tribe from a drought; Judy, a young witch out to save her family from the clutches of a jealous rival; Kurt, a former knight with a mysterious cursed gauntlet; Laura, an ex-pirate who is currently aiding a royal heir; Mythe, a talented blacksmith who is searching for a beautiful woman he became infatuated with; Ruby, who tags along with her fortune-teller sister to discover the truth behind a sinister prediction; and Ventus, a young man who became a courier to track down the murderer of his brother.


The game itself uses a distinctive "Tabletop Games" set-up, where you move the piece representing your party across the map and fight monsters, dodge traps and search for treasure along the way. The key mechanic is the controversial "Reel System": for almost every action, you spin the reel and try to stop it on a "Success" panel. In battle, this also determines if you get a critical hit, a special move or even cast the right elemental effect for spells. However, in practice the Reel System was a horribly unbalanced mess, often including far too little "Success" panels and reducing the timing to a Luck-Based Mission.

What exacerbated this effect was the fact that you only get a certain number of "moves" per map, with constant failures sucking up your available moves and eventually forcing you to re-do the entire map from the start. There was also the incredibly complex and unintuitive Character Customization system that frequently forced you to take a hit to your stats even if you managed to figure out the mechanics, and (like everything else in the game) also relied on the unbalanced Reel System for upgrades. The seven heroes also had natural strengths and weaknesses which were not always complemented by the upgrade options available to you.


This game provides examples of:

  • Acrofatic: For some weird reason, Roy is the character with the lightest weight in the game, allowing to use light martial arts easily even when equipped with heavy gears.
  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: Averted. What is sold through the game is not related to location but instead of what material the item is made of.
  • Anti-Frustration Feature: In Armic's quest, if you end up in a situation in which all side and main quests are completed without having reached the item list quota, (Or lacking a method to reach it, as shops/markets are only shuffled when a quest is done) speaking to the Village Chief in Chapa Village will grant you access to the Secret Dungeon. Aside from Judy and Mythe, the other characters can access this too; but only in Armic's story does it serve a purpose.
    • Speaking of Armic's Quest, choosing to have Yun decipher the Water Element was previously thought to have simply soft-locked your quest progress permanently.note  This video instead demonstrates that Yun will simply shuffle into a different Element should Water be chosen prematurely.
  • After Boss Recovery: You get a free HP and LP refill once in the game. If some of your characters lost all of their LP, they get revived and get one. The catch? You have to fight the final boss and it's tougher than anything you had to face before.
  • Ambition Is Evil: Clyde Blackstorm was once friends with Yun Crimsonrain and Josef. However, using Forbidden magic to pursue the Forbidden Spell made him power-hungry, and he severed ties with the both of them.
    • As Leon spends his time handling inactive duties in the Vaftom Mausoleum, he develops an inferiority complex toward his brother and begins yearning for a better position. If Kurt defeats Domilat, Leon snaps and fights his brother at Starship Anchor atop the Arcanian Mech. Thankfully, he gets better.
  • An Ice Person: Grace knows practically every Water spell in the game, outside of the Blendables. Water is ironically her weakest Element.
  • Anti-Climax: Players who have played Judy's story are aware of the Forbidden Spell subplot. At the end of Armic's story, guess what the penultimate boss can use? It's been built up as the ultimate spell, but....It's just a palette swap of the Shock spell with a black background that does only 1 LP damage to whatever is hit. What.
  • Anti-Grinding: There are only so many side-quests players can take. It is totally possible to do everything available to you and be forced into doing a character's final adventure just to leave the hub screens. This makes planning out skill distribution even more important.
    • Especially enforced in Armic's quest. The game is designed in such a way that you have to adhere to the list and go to other towns to get other materials. Trying to game the system by sheltering in one town is impossible.
    • Averted with Ventus meanwhile, who can take carrier jobs forever. This makes his party the most likely to ever see Level 5 Panels.
  • Anti-Villain: Kalandorn. Possibly.
    • Yun's more of a straightforward example. He only wanted to be a mage of equal caliber to Leith Torles and didn't seem to have any malicious intent, but chose to pursue such power by nearly condemning an entire tribe of Beast Men to their deaths by absconding with the magical rain-making equipment that HE helped to find. He's Easily Forgiven.
    • Leon Burgundy only developed resentment towards his father and brother because of how long he spent isolated in the Vaftom Mausoleum. He's also Easily Forgiven.
  • Arbitrary Head Count Limit: Certain locations in the game (typically the arena in the Tribal Chief's Trial) enforce a limit of up to three active characters per round, forcing the party to cycle between formations in their roster if they wish to use everyone. Attempting to add a fourth person to the line-up will net you an error sound.
    • An egregious example in Laura's Quest. The first battle against Dagul Bos can only be fought with one person per round. If you're paralyzed or KO'ed, you're done. If you manage to beat what essentially amounts to an impossible battle at this point in the game, you'll get an equippable MacGuffin that will otherwise be unobtainable for the rest of the game.
    • The Knights of the Round Table are also fought with the three-person cap. Their evolved form, Phantom, is not.
  • Artificial Human: Mythe's story (and the Game Guide) reveals that all Humans as we know them are this. The original 'humans,' the Arcanians, experimented with magical Crystals powered by an Eldritch Abomination whose influence brought monsters, undead and people as we know them now into the world.
  • Artificial Limbs: Mordeus, a monster hunter, has a mechanical arm.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Characters shouldn't be holding Shields unless they have a Shield Panel. Shields seem great, given their often-high Evasion stats. Without a Shield Panel to boost their chances of activating though, a parrying weapon in the other hand kicks in way more often than not.
    • The Inconspicuous Panel. A skill designed to slow the growth of Monster Rank sounds well-and-good when you spot it early on, but Rank takes awhile to raise and at the point Inconspicuous becomes marginally viable for application, (IE: the very end of the game) the player has enough of an arsenal that it's pretty useless. Of course, its Panel has fair Wood growth, making it fine for a Thunderbringer mage's Panel Combo...
    • The Blade of Escata in Laura's Quest seems like a decent weapon given its infinite durability and its incremental gains in strength during the "Elemental Gears" portion. But, you lose practically all of the Macguffins (and the blade-boosts they provide) anyway when you hand them to Basil and you'll only retain the fifth if you beat a Seemingly Hopeless Boss Fight. A forged Dagger is more useful than this thing nine times out of ten.
    • Earth Arts have easily-accessible spells that cover a wide-array of functions but have on-average the steepest Magic Blender requirements and taper off entirely without it. Earth Support also doesn't find itself on quality Accessories so your Earth stat better be high if you want damage out of it.
      • Semi-related to the above, Forbidden Arts are amazingly powerful, usually come with enemy-instant-killing Blackout and are really easy to build for - only relying on the Magic stat for damage. Tablets containing Forbidden Spells (as well as the Demonite material that lets you use them) are also rarer than rare and take eons to learn even if you know which Quests offer the best environments for them.note  Unless you've found a high-level Tablet that has them, (or you received the special Tablet with Forbidden freebies on it in Judy's Quest) you're usually better off specializing in a character's best Element and not bothering with Forbidden Arts at all.
  • Badass Family: Judy and her family. Her entire quest revolves around gathering everyone up to take out the guy responsible for scattering them in the first place.
  • Bare-Fisted Monk: Any character with an overabundance of Melee Panels can be turned into this. Armand's the best example, as he has an extremely high Strength Making and comes with no equipment to his name.
    • Musol Yanii is a subversion. He starts with an Axe, but the amount of Melee Panels on his Growth Panel steer him toward this.
  • Bat Out of Hell: Clyde throws these at you during your battle with him. He even has an evil Bat familiar.
    • Kalandorn rides the first portion of your battle with him atop an entire swarm of them.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: The Gauntlet battles. Subverted as you eventually learn that instead you get teleported and fight in a moment so short that about no one notice.
  • Beast Man: The Chapa.
  • Big Eater: Roy, according to Judy. Heck, his battle-sprite even shows him carrying big loaves of bread in his backpack!
  • Blessed with Suck: Kurt's gauntlet makes him even stronger, but it's constantly dragging him into battles... Roughly every twenty minutes, in fact. In actual play time, mind.
    • It also happens at the beginning of quests; Game Time isn't the only factor. It was probably meant to be, but, y'know....Obvious Beta.
    • Oh, Kurt only gains strength from his Gauntlet Panel in his story, by the way. In Judy's story, he lacks any means of improving it. He remains gimped as a party member.
    • Judy's story thrusts this on the player. When selecting the final quest, you need to gimp your party by one. When it's time to fight Clyde Blackstorm, Judy's grandfather Josef is thrust into your party. He's hyped throughout the story as the best mage of them all. However, he has the second lowest LP in the game, only one good spell, no means of defense, (outside of an RNG-regulated Shield) and all of your characters at that point are statistically superior to him in every way.
  • Bonus Boss: The Rainbow Gucky which randomly appear in a New Game+. While it looks like a regular Gucky on the map, it is quite a deal stronger than one and will randomly morph into different type of Guckies, using different attacks based on them. Thankfully, that monster won't go actively after your character and will even run away from it if you're too weak although some times the game geography will not allow it. It's also the only monster dropping Forbidden Magic Tablets.
  • Boring Yet Practical: The Sinker attack. While it won't do much damage, it lowers your opponent Strength, making it a must at the beginning of long battles. Also, being a Level 2 kick skill available on all type of martial arts, it's easily available on several levels and don't cost any weapon durability either.
    • Water is this for Magic. While it doesn't have a very long library of attack spells, the inventory of support and healing spells make it a must for any mage, even if they have bad Water growth. It's just that useful.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: Rainbow Guckies. They might look like the game's most basic enemy, but they have almost as much LP as the final boss. And borderline maximum HP Defense. And multiple forms. And can Paralyze you. Have fun!
    • Enemies at Monster Rank 10 (the maximum rank) qualify, as many of them can be re-skins of sub-quest bosses you've fought previously.
    • The Tao-Wu has a whopping 16 LP and can cast some pretty rare magic alongside mauling you like a Sabretiger. It's also so rare, you'll probably never see it.
  • Breakable Weapons: All weapons but one (including shields and accessories allowing to cast spells) have durability points. If it reaches 0, it can still be used in the current battle (merciful against bosses) but not the next one. The Quick Fix panel allow you to restore the durability of unequipped weapons up to 20 but if you mess up, it lower it instead. The Recycle spell will raise the durability of equipped weapons up to 30. And finally, for a more durable option, you can forge weapons's durability up to 99 if you have access to the proper blacksmith. To put things in perspective, you use 5 attacks in a battle round, most attacks cost 1 durability, some cost 2 although they are worth the extra cost... usually.
  • Can't Catch Up: About a 1/3rd into the game, Guns will begin to lose damage output compared to the rest of your weaponry, making them obsolete by the time you're done with a story.
    • Magic is something of a zig-zag. If you manage to spark the hilariously rare Magic Blender Panel, note  your generic mage has just quadrupled their casting ability and has become the perfect character to dump Tablets onto. However, if the odds are not in your favor, most Arts sans the Detect series, Purify and Missile Guard start to become less effective against tankier enemies; which soon become the norm thanks to Monster Rank.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Vearst in-story is a coward who can't fight to save his life. In battle, he has the second-highest Endurance in the game, the highest LP count of any character in Ventus's story, and has a decent Water growth. A consistent tank that can probably heal you if you develop him? Yes, please!
    • It gets better. The locations of both his magic and best elemental stats (water) unlike several characters are not in conflict, allowing you to build as one of the best if not the best water mage in the game. Get a high level attack water spell like Ice needle and you will rain destruction on your opponents!
  • Character Customization: And how!
  • Combos: Players and opponents alike can chain any attack to deal big damage. However, if an opponent break your combo, you will only use a level 1 attack.
    • However, if you start a combo off with a spell, you can usually perform 5 person combo, as spells have the slowest start time, and usually all the enemies will have taken a turn by then.
    • On the other end, ending a string of physical attacks with a spell allows you to line up surprisingly easily high level attacks.
  • Courier: There is the Carriers' Guild, which Ventus joins at the start of his scenario. Parts of his quest involve him making deliveries. In addition, he can take several optional Side Quests of this nature. While other characters can recruit him during their stories, they still can't access these special quests themselves.
  • Cursed With Awesome: Seriously, you don't have any excuse to not spark any Level 4 arts with Kurt with all the gauntlet battles thrown at him. Especially since the last one is against the monster with the highest spark rank in the game.
    • Negative Panels in general qualify, applying a situational debuff to that character permanently,note  but granting them major stat boots in exchange. note 
  • Cute Witch: Judy.
  • Dark-Skinned Blond: Mythe. The Silver Girl combines this with white hair.
  • Defrosting Ice King: Subverted. Mythe was quite the lecherous Jerkass before stumbling onto the Silver Girl's portrait and falling in love. While he's not quite a flirt anymore, he's no less a snark to the people helping him out.
    • Also applicable in a Meta sense, seeing as every member of Mythe's battle-party is female.
  • Determinator: Ventus and Ruby.
  • Developers' Foresight: In Ruby's quest, if you attempt to access the Pharos Ruins in Iskandaria before being assigned the option to enter its associated Wonder in Torle, a pop-up will announce "You're here too soon" and boot you back to the town screen.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: The Earth spell line, natch. Character-wise, Anzan comes with almost every non-Blendable Earth spell learned....He even looks like a giant rock!
  • Disk One Nuke: Guns and magic. Early in the game, they'll easily one shot most opponents. In the case of guns, all you need is a gun and a gun panel on your character, no techs need to be sparked. As for magic, it's not that it is bad in the end of the game but it will require more efforts than for physical attacks. But done well the result can be surprising.
    • Bows and Daggers can be this, depending on your luck with the Spark rates. Getting the Level 3 or 4 Warning Shot/Blitz attacks at any point in the game (usually when fighting a hard boss) renders almost every standard enemy moot due to the semi-frequent Instant Death effect.
  • Dummied Out: The game's such an Obvious Beta that loads of features either don't work or are clunkily integrated. (See: The Reel System for Chests/Traps, for instance.)
    • A potential example is the Arcanian Mechthat Kurt fights during his final quest at Starship Anchor. note 
  • Dump Stat: Enforced. Due to the Luck-Based Mission that is the Growth Panel, having a Panel solely for dumping Skills onto when you're dealt a lousy set after a Quest is required for making it to the endgame and maintaining Panel Combos.
    • Magic plays the trope a bit straighter. The power of most of your Magic-casters stems from their Element stats. not their Magic stat. Magic is little more than a minor damage modifier unless you're specifically using Forbidden Arts. (In which case, the preceding explanation is Inverted) Most players won't see Forbidden Arts until the end game unless they're Judy and / or you're grinding out Magic Tablets.
  • Early Game Hell: Armic and Kurt's quests have very rough beginnings.
    • Kurt's first few adventures are practically endurance tests on weapon and Hit Point management. Kurt's first quest gives you a very frail ally and throws a lot of Darkness-inflicting enemies your way whose accuracy debuffing will erode your weapons quickly. It isn't until after you've crossed the Vale of Swords that you have enough resources at your disposal to properly arm yourself.
    • Armic's item-oriented objective bottlenecks your starting progress behind unremarkable starting shop inventories and foregoing of early stat-gains from quests in favor of item-farming...and that assumes you've thought of exploiting the Turn Limit mechanic for items instead of braving the side-quests you're unequipped for.
    • Judy is a Squishy Wizard saddled with a worthless shield she can't make much use of and three attack-spell items, one of which has next to no durability. The rest of her starting magic is locked behind a Magic Tablet whose spells take ages to learn and her low defenses make grinding for a non-option for a fair while, even with the burly tanks that join her. Her fourth main quest is also Guide Dang It! incarnate whose lack of clarity makes it seem unwinnable. note  It's only when you get to Gadeira that you're finally able to start pooling your resources and plan ahead.
  • Easily Forgiven: Exaggerated. After Armic's party defeats Yun and Chaos, the only response to the fact that Yun tried to murder him and steal all of his items for ultimate power is something along the lines of "I can relate, fights over fish get weird" before just going home.
  • Evil Sorcerer: With a name like Clyde Blackstorm, you're begging for it. Being willing to assassinate a little girl to get a magic slab probably does you NO favors..
  • Evil vs. Evil: A subversion. The Ensanguined League is a group of humans aiding the Vampire Lord Kalandorn in defeating the Knights of the Round Table, a group of mystic knights that have controlled the Undead for centuries. The League gets too little backstory to determine where on the moral axis they fall, only opposing Ventus and company because he's seeking both the MacGuffin they're after and revenge on their leader; who seems to be a rather honorable chap all things considered.
  • Evolving Attack: Sometime, when using a basic physical attack, your character will "spark" a improved version of that attack which can be used again if you time the reel right to land on a higher level attack. For example, by using the Random Arrowshot which shoot a volley of arrow at the enemy group, you might eventually spark the Rain of Arrows attack or the Parashots attack which shoot homing energy shot at every opponent. To make it happen more easily, you fight stronger monsters which have an higher spark rank and equip weapon panels which make it easier to spark those attack and then much, much easier to land on a high level attack on the reel.
    • The same can be done with some spells if you have the Magic Blender Panel by using a specific spell as a base and then adding up other spells you know in the hope of getting something new. For example, Boulder can be upgraded into Pellet which is Boulder on steroids.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Yun Crimsonrain at the end of Armic's quest. He attacks Armic's party at the Flying Islands to prevent the Chapa from controlling the weather through the Tablet they want to save their village from drought with. note 
    • Jeanne Maure starts off a very likable and approachable rival to Ruby until she discovers the Tetra Forces. By the time Ruby meets her at Hanging Garden, she's devolved into the same kind of bloodthirsty maniac her order's trying to protect the Forces from.
  • Fantastic Racism: As stated above, when Yun Crimsonrain is defeated, he laments the fact that the "Ugly little....idiotic" Chapas can now harness the weather. (Which they plan to do to solve their village's drought problem)
  • Fetch Quest: Armic's entire story is one big fetch quest. Poor little guy...
  • Final Death: It's a SaGa game. HP isn't important; lose all your LP and you lose that ally for good.
  • Foregone Conclusion: If you beat Armic's story first before playing Judy's, then you already know that Yun learned the Forbidden Spell before Josef or Clyde.
  • Flechette Storm: Many Bow Arts end up as this, with the Random Arrowshot line being the go-to example.
    • For Magic Arts, Ice Needles.
  • Flower Motifs: Concept art of the characters depict them standing next to reliefs of various species of flowers, which ostensibly is some form of clue to their basic personality. These flower motifs also appear as the backgrounds on the maps they move on.
  • Fortune Teller: Sapphire and Ruby, though Ruby doesn't have her sister's people skills.
    • The Growth Panel of the same name allows the user to subtly change/modify the potential content in treasure chests with a successful reading. Said Panel also has the best Element growth depending on where's it's placed and is quintessential for a Magic-caster.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: During Kurt's version of the Festival, he runs into a belligerent Anubito performer that challenges him to a brawl. You play this battle with Kurt solo, and like any true brawl, you can only use Melee.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Vearst is a cowardly, ineffectual klutz that somehow ended up a soldier. You can turn him into one of the most powerful mages in the game if you're willing to put in the effort.
    • Roy is a chubby guy that has an eating problem. In combat, he weighs nothing.
  • Genki Girl: Ruby.
  • Giant Mook: A few, typically in the Cavern of Murals. Examples include giant versions of the Draco Pup and Piranha.
    • Higher Monster Ranks will see the Sabretiger, Spiritree and Hanuman join standard line-ups. All three are big enough to qualify.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: The Final boss. His existence is never properly explained, nor is it ever spoken of during any of the endings. It simply appears. However, it is hinted through battle dialogue and supplementary materials that it's the ultimate form of the power of the Seven Wonders. The fact that the battle takes place on the Twin Moons in space certainly supports that theory.
  • Glass Cannon: Michelle has the highest growth stat for both the strength and skill stat, allowing her to do a ton of damage, especially with light martial arts. The catch? She has the game's lowest LP.
    • Phantom does an absurd amount of damage but thankfully is not that tanky compared to some other late game bosses, making the fight a race of out-damaging your opponent while surviving.
  • Global Currency Exception: Some places in the game like the Chapa village do not accept money and only barter items. Did a Dragonscale armor appeared in a shop in one of those place? Time to go do some shopping in others towns buying the most expensive stuff you can get your hands on to barter.
  • Go Mad from the Isolation: Kurt's brother Leon gets assigned to guard-duty within the Vaftom Mausoleum. It's implied that the isolation from his re-location (And Kurt's recent banishment) causes him to develop jealousy toward his brother so great that he attacks his brother at Starship Anchor if Kurt maxes out the Gauntlet by defeating Domilat.
  • Guide Dang It!: Forget finding everyone you can recruit during a given quest, or even just finishing one — though those usually require help, too — just try muddling through the Character Customization without having a clue what you're doing! Or, y'know, don't.
    • But fear not as there is a video tutorial explaining the basis of the game.
    • The fittingly-named Secret Adventure is never hinted at in any way by the game or its mechanics. Unlocking it isn't complicated but is easily missed.note 
  • Handsome Lech: Mythe, before getting a gander at the Silver Girl's photo and switching to Single-Target Sexuality.
  • Held Gaze: The Stinger during Ruby's ending has her and Hiro sharing one, implying that they fall in love.
  • Here We Go Again!: In the final scene of Kurt's story, he puts on a mysterious helmet that gets stuck on his head.
  • Heroic Neutral: Mythe, compared to the other protagonists. An apathetic Jerkass towards others in his dogged pursuit of the Silver-Haired Girl. He was a simple inventor who was perfectly content snarking at others every day of his life until he sees the picture that springs him into a pilgrimage.
    • Armic also qualifies. He's only on his quest because his Village Chief ordered him to undertake it.
  • Heroic Lineage: Ruby is heavily implied to be a direct descendant of the great witch Alyce Ambrosia.
  • Homage: To Tabletop RPGs.
  • Insufferable Genius: Mythe
    • Kong Ming in Ruby's story. His battle quotes have him bragging about strategy every chance he gets.
    • Iskandar gives Ruby this impression for much of her story.
  • Kamehame Hadouken: Subverted. Kurt's magic-casting animations make it look like he's launching one. Depending on the type of spell, he very well might be.
  • Ki Manipulation: The Level 3 and 4 medium weight punch attack fire an energy beam at the enemy.
  • Knight Templar: The Iskandar Knighthood's Temple Knight branch is chock-full of holier-than-thous that toll postal workers, take jobs from mercenaries and treat their colleagues like dirt. And they're the good guys.
  • Knight Templar Parent: A literal example. Maximillian Burgundy is Kurt's Archnemesis Dad AND the leader of the Iskandar Knighthood. He's heavily implied to have been much stricter with Kurt than his brother Leon.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Thomas.
  • Let's Play: imbiggy has made several of them here.
  • Level Scaling: Subverted. The Growth Panel system doesn't have Levels for characters to gain. However, there is a monster ecosystem in the game. The more enemies you kill, the higher the chance of stronger variants of existing enemy types spawning, eventually becoming the new norm. The Monster Rank can go as high as 10, where sub-bosses of the game will start being encountered as regular enemies.
  • Life Drinker: The Knights of the Round Table directly implicate themselves as such when they complain about The Silver Girl "not giving them much life" prior to fighting them. It may explain why they've held sway over the Undead for so long.
  • Luck-Based Mission: Again: The Reel System. And because reels are used for almost every aspect of the game, including levelling up, it's fair to say the entire game is this trope.
  • Luck Manipulation Mechanic: Whenever a Tabletop RPG player would have to roll a die, instead you press a button to stop a spinning reel, giving the player a greater degree of control over the outcome. Unfortunately, this also means that when you get a bad result, which will happen fairly often, it's now your own fault, which makes things even more frustrating.
  • Magikarp Power: The Spear skill "Grasshopper" isn't very effective for a move designed to Stun enemies, seeing as said effect has a rather low rate of success. This makes it risky in early fights, since a better action could've taken its place. But, if you managed to spark its Level 3 variant "Reaper," it becomes a godsend against enemy mobs; since the chances of reducing your opponents' actions goes up the more enemies there are on-screen.
    • Melee Arts start off unimpressive. They're about lower-par with your starting weapon most of the time. Why would you punch something a sword runs right through? Not having to worry about durability, for starters. Give yourself some Melee Panels and you'll gain a variety of useful enemy debuff moves such as Sinker, Brute Force and the ever-stunning Throw line. Certain characters (with equipment weight accounted for) even get rewarded with Light Martial Arts, the strongest weight class that contains the game's second-strongest Art period: Three Dragons.
  • Marathon Boss: The final battle. Also, the fight against the Knights of the Round Table. Taken Up to Eleven in the scenario of Mythe as he has then to take on the final boss afterward.
  • Masashi Hamauzu: His music was exceptionally good in places. Not that it could save this game from practically being a Franchise Killer.
  • Masterof None: Kurt. His stats/Makings are sub-par compared to the rest of the main characters, Water growth aside. This means he can fulfill any role he wants....he just can't do it as well as characters designed for said roles.
    • Then there's The Gauntlet, which prevents his Growth Panel from really growing compared to everyone else's, only gimping him further. At least he has high LP....
    • Elementally, the Silver Girl is this. She has high Magic Making, but her elemental growth is mediocre across the board.
  • Mechanical Abomination: Kurt fights one at the end of his story. His brother may or may not be riding it, depending on what level Kurt's Gauntlet is when the final quest comes around.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Clyde Blackstorm isn't typically the names of someone that wants to be your friend.
  • Necromancer: A possible subversion. The Knights of the Round Table have, according to Kalandorn, controlled the Undead for centuries. The Ensanguined League he spear-heads is working to un-do this; though we never find out what "this" actually entails.
    • Certain sub-quests have an actual Necromancer as the end boss, who summons four-or-so Undead to guard them as they pelt you with Magic.
  • Not Completely Useless: Detect spells seem like they don't do anything but using the right branch on the right enemy lowers their overall defense by five-or-so percent.
  • Obvious Beta: The game wasn't playtested, which is obvious from all the new, innovative, and ridiculously clunky and awkward systems, the manual was not proofread at all and the game gives off a general lack of polish in all areas.
  • One-Hit Kill: Some of the bow, dagger, and sword attacks do this, as well as a few rare spells. They work on a lot more enemies than you could imagine. And when such attacks are used against you... you only end up unable to act for a few turns.
  • Our Vampires Are Different
  • Percent Damage Attack: Replace "Attack" with "Support Spell" and you've described 75% of Wood Arts, which operate on set rates rather than stats, which is why increasing the Wood Elemental stat is useless; Only the amazingly-rare Thunder spells attached to it rely on those numbers in the first place.
  • Permanently Missable Content: The Secret Adventure in Chapa is only available for characters that've cleared every available quest without triggering their final one. Kurt can bar himself from this bonus if he advances too quickly up the ranks of the monsters in his Gauntlet.
    • If Judy doesn't talk to Nuage at the Gadeira Inn before going on the boat, he won't join her party.
  • Pintsized Powerhouse: Because the main requirement for using light martial arts is weight and that light martial art is extremely powerful, small characters who by extension also have smaller weight have an easier time to use it and become this.
  • Plant Person: Platyphyllum. Bonus points for having a high Wood stat growth and starting with lot of wood spells.
  • Playing with Fire: Laura starts out with Fire spells pre-learned, and is consistently themed with the color red.
  • Power Copying: Chaos will inherit the signature attack of the story boss defeated just before it. (IE: If you defeated Yun Crimsonrain at the end of Armic's story or Jeanne Maure at Ruby's end, it can also use The Forbidden Spell or Hundred Flowers, respectively.)
  • Reluctant Hero: Armic's only looking for the items to save his village because his Chief ordered him to.
  • Roaring Rampageof Revenge: The final quest in Ventus's story. He wants to avenge his brother's death at the hands of Kalandorn.
  • Sealed Good in a Can: Josef, Judy's grandfather. He may be sealed in a mirror for most of her quest, but gets to join just in time for her final battle.
  • Scenery Porn: This series uses the same watercolor style as Saga Frontier 2 and Legend of Mana, and it's amazing.
  • Seemingly Hopeless Boss Fight: A subverted example in Laura's Quest. You'll fight Dagul Bos once you resolve the Elemental Gears quests. If you lose to him, (The typical result for someone new to the game) the game simply continues onward and they'll be the penultimate boss at the Nakle Lines. If you win against him however, (Which takes some side-questing and some knowledge of the game systems) you'll get a special piece of MacGuffin equipment for the featnote  and Basil Galeos as your new penultimate boss.
  • Sequential Boss: In Laura's scenario, at some point you have to fight a bunch of mooks, then a dragon and finally Basil Ghaleos . In Ventus's scenario, you have to fight the Knight of the Round Table one by one and then their leader although you get a special item to help you get through it. Also, the final battle in everyone scenario involves their antagonist and then the four forms of Chaos. Mythe's quest take it Up to Eleven by having you having to fight the Knight of the Round Table, their leader and then Chaos.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Sapphire is serene and serious while younger sister Ruby is a energetic Plucky Girl.
  • Sibling Rivalry: A one-sided one develops between Leon and Kurt as time goes on. It gets to the point where he orders his own father's assassination. If Kurt defeats the strongest monster in the Gauntlet, Leon will snap and ride the Arcanian Mech when Kurt fights it at Starship Anchor. They get better, though.
  • Stats Dissonance: This game has it in spades.
    • The "Evasion" label on a Shield doesn't increase your ability to evade - your Skill handles that. It's an estimate of your chances of the Shield blocking an attack, (amplified by whether you have a Shield Panel or not) which attacks it can block determined by the Abilities on it.
    • Your Magic stat is not your base Magic damage; it's a multiplier. The damage done by an elemental spell is determined by your character's stat in that one Element. Unless it's a Forbidden Spell, which is powered solely by the Magic stat.
    • Your Endurance and Spirit are your defense against status ailments (physical and magical, respectively) as opposed to typical defense stats. The armor you wear determines your baseline defense, amplified by any dampening abilities on the pieces and whether you have an Iron Body panel or not. And that's assuming you don't have a parrying weapon in your character's right hand, which only helps more.
  • Storm of Blades: Chaos's Sword Dance.
  • Stuck Items: Once put, negative panels (Phobia, Pacifism and Seal) cannot be removed, only replaced by other negative panels. Some people use them anyway because of their stat boost. Kurt and Michelle have a Gauntlet Panel that can't be removed. In Mythe's scenario, Michelle get ridden of it.
  • Supporting Protagonist: Laura's story is told through the eyes of young Prince Henri.
    • Mythe seems to be the hero at first, but once he gets involved in the Silver Girl's vendetta with the Round Table, her quest takes center stage.
  • Sword of Plot Advancement: In Laura's quest, you have at some point to collect the elemental gears , some of the best equipment you'll ever get in the game. Too bad that you don't get to keep them for the end of the game. (Unless you beat the Hopeless Boss Fight against Dagul Bos, which lets you snag the Gloves of Venus) Also, in Ventus's quest, at some point you eventually get Dragonheart which can be forged into a weapon that, while not that strong attack wise, have the effect of restoring your hps even if you're not in the back row.
  • The Four Gods: Actually, the Five Gods in this game. The bosses in Leith Torle's tower are based on them and among them the Black Turtle is a big pain.
    • Black Turtle's more of a Boss in Mook Clothing than anything else, actually. If you have Deflecting weapons, your'e good to go. Some Level 4 techs certainly don't hurt, either.
  • Theme Naming: Ruby and Sapphire are obvious examples; Ventus and Briza are wind-based...
  • The Hero: Deconstructed in Mythe's story. The Silver Girl is tasked by Iskandar to defeat the Knights of the Round Table, making her this for the Arcanians. Mythe wants to be this for the SG, but it's clear from the get-go that he's just...kinda there.
  • The Load:
    • In-story, Ventus and his crew see Vearst as this.
    • The Silver Girl looks down on Mythe in this manner from the moment they meet.
  • The Reveal: At the end of Armic scenario, we learn that he is actually a father. That fact makes the encounter with Rebecca a bit funny.
    • During Armic scenario, Yun Crimsonrain is not able to translate the location of the water item you need to find. Eventually you learn at the end of the game that the "item" needed is actually a member of the Chappa tribe.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: It is never exactly stated which of the seven stories are canon, and which are "What If?" stories; which is annoying, as you can recruit other main characters in other stories. The developers recommend using Laura as your first character, so hers is most likely the main one.
    • On that note, they never gave the game a timeline, either.
    • The only thing closest to Canon would be that manga of Ruby's story that was made as promo material for the game in Japan.
  • Unique Enemy: The Boss in Mook Clothing Tao-Wu is the rarest enemy in the game. At maximum Monster Rank, you'll only encounter it in the wild two or three times throughout all seven stories.
  • Unwanted Harem: The entire party in Mythe's story is composed solely of women. He only has eyes for one of them.
  • Useless Useful Spell: Trying to tag enemies with status ailments is worthless most of the time due to the effects not really being noticeable.note  The only aversion to this rule is Blackout, since it's usually a One-Hit Kill on enemies not resistant to it and its effects are immediately clear.
  • The Evils of Free Will: Kurt and his father get into a heated discussion about independence and the role of the Iskandar Knighthood in society at the beginning of his story. Kurt tries to explain to his father that people can adapt, but all he does is disown his son in response.
  • We Cannot Go On Without You: Sometimes though, letting your main character hide in the back row is an option.


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