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Video Game / Virgo Vs The Zodiac

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Virgo Versus the Zodiac is a Science Fantasy JRPG developed by Moonana, inspired by the classic games like the Mario & Luigi and Mother series. It released for PC and was developed in RPG Maker MV, and its demo was released in 2017. The full version was published by Degica, and released on December 12, 2019.

The game features traditional turn-based combat with real-time execution of moves: blocking, countering and timing your attacks carefully as well as predicting your foes' moves is essential to succeed in Virgo's twisted and unforgiving cosmic quest to bring back the Golden Age, a period of peace, symmetry and balance, or so she thinks.

In this galaxy where every action means a reaction, you'll play as Virgo, the Holy Queen, often called Dreadful Queen by heretics, bringing mayhem to the Zodiac Realms and leaving a trail of stardust on the way, all to fit her excessively righteous worldview.


Tropes present in this work:

  • Absurdly Short Level: The Holy Asylum has no enemy encounters aside from A mirror version of Virgo, and can be completed in about five minutes if you don't spend your time exploring and examinining everything or doing the available sidequests. Justified since it's Virgo's own Realm where the denizens are loyal to her.
  • Actually Four Mooks: Several of the encounters are of more than one enemy, and sometimes of different types. There are also some instances where you've seemingly won the battle, only for more enemies to appear.
  • Alien Blood: Zodiacs apparently have blue blood, as shown a few times. Stars just have red blood, though.
  • Always Check Behind the Chair: There are lots of things that can be examined to get some flavor text, but sometimes you'll find items or money there as well.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different:
    • There's a part during the Capricorn Realm where the control switches to Ginger when he goes inside the engine.
    • In the Pisces Realm, after Virgo and Pisces are knocked out by the gases coming from the mushrooms, you must then play as Spica and Algol until you find them.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: Quite a few:
    • While the game is difficult on its default setting (and that's not even getting into "Masochist" mode), there is also a "Stress Free" mode where the timings are much easier and it doesn't change anything about the story aside from your own choices. You can also change the settings for timings yourself. It doesn't change the shoot 'em up levels, though, since those are optional.
    • You can save at any time and there are many slots available, which is useful if you want to try different options, as well as get the different endings and achievements without starting over.
    • Most of the NPCs that are actually enemy encounters will have a skull appear above them as a warning so you can be prepared.
    • There are checkpoints between each stage of the optional shoot 'em up segments, and you'll be restored to full health if you die and restart from those checkpoints.
    • In the area right before the final boss, the snowman from the Akasha is there, and you can travel to the Black Holes again if you need to level up some more.
  • Asleep for Days: Virgo goes to sleep for three months in the Holy Asylum. She wakes up after fighting against a mirror version of herself.
  • Bag of Sharing: All the party members use items from the same bag, even when you play as them while they're separated from Virgo.
  • Bittersweet Ending: In the Mutable Ending, Virgo learns that the Milky Way is doomed to be destroyed by the Black Sun, and Gemini and Capricorn have trapped everyone in a cycle while they find a way to prevent it from happening. Virgo has to kill her father Mercury and consume his heart so that her memories won't be affected when she faces Gemini, who she also has to kill so she can destroy the Book of Law and allow the galaxy and everything in it to be destroyed and put an end to the cycle.
  • But Thou Must!: A lot of the story decisions have a way of converging back to the same outcomes, regardless of what the player chooses to do. The first early example, Deneb Algedi, can be killed by Virgo or spared after defeating her, only for Algol to kill her anyways.
  • Can't Catch Up: There's a brief part of the game where only Spica is in Virgo's party, and you can fight enemies and level up in the Black Holes during this time. If you do this, then Algol's stats will be behind when she rejoins the party, and the only other time it's just her and Virgo (aside from when she first joins) is when most of the enemies of the area have been cleared.
  • Cast of Personifications: Many of the characters are personifications of Zodiac constellations and stars. The Zodiacs are also said to be the children of the personifications of the planets, sun, and moon. The Mutable Ending reveals that these are all people's memories of those things given forms.
  • Chest Monster: In the Aries Realm, various items can be found in some of the coffins; however, one coffin will actually contain an enemy that you'll then have to fight.
  • Choice-and-Consequence System: Your actions in the game will result in different outcomes and different endings.
    • If Deneb Algedi and Taurus are spared, then when the party gets imprisoned in Cancer's Realm, Scorpio will help them escape. If Deneb is killed, then Mercury will come to free the party. If Taurus is killed, then Aquarius will also be imprisoned and work together with Virgo to help them escape.
    • If you spare Deneb Algedi and Cancer, then Capricorn shows up at Pisces' party to warn you about someone setting the lighthouse on fire. It also results in Virgo and Capricorn having to fight against a corrupted Pisces.
      • Additionally, if you killed Taurus, then Scorpio is the one who causes the fire rather than Dabih.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Scorpio makes it clear that anyone who she feels threatens her relationship with Taurus is in for a very bad time.
  • Combat Sadomasochist: Spica enjoys getting hit, both in battle and by his lady Virgo.
  • Crapsaccharine World: A lot of the environments and characters are superficially very cute and saccharine, but have a very dark undertone. Hammered home early on in Chapter 1: After defeating the first boss, Deneb Algedi, Virgo herself has the option to murder her, and if she doesn't, Algol will anyway.
  • Cutscene Incompetence: While the party are looking for Ginger in Cancer's Realm, Altarf shows up to stop them. Rather than go into a battle, the game instead has her easily defeat the party and prevent them from reviving while they're taken to the prison.
  • Dark Reprise: If you kill Taurus, a sadder and more serious version of her theme plays as her Realm is destroyed.
  • Defeat Equals Explosion: After battles with regular enemies, they are sometimes shown exploding in the overworld.
  • Downer Ending: In the Fixed Ending, your party except for Ginger betrays you after finding out that Ginger is going to sacrifice himself for Virgo to forge the Golden Crown. After you're forced to kill them, it's revealed that Scorpio has killed Pisces, and after killing her, Virgo finally brings back the Golden Age. However, the grief of losing her love causes her to go crazy and fly out into the cosmos in a vain attempt to find her, refusing to believe that she's dead.
  • Duel Boss: Comes up a few times:
    • Against Taurus, while Spica and Algol fight Scorpio.
    • The second fight with Sagittarius.
    • Against Mirror Virgo, in order to get the Virgo Crown.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: In the Cardinal Ending, Virgo revives to Golden Age with her allies, but instead of ruling, she abolishes the Zodiac System, allowing the citizens of Zodiac Realms to live as equals to their former rulers, while Virgo is forced to sacrifice Algol's Golden Alpaca Khrysomallo to save Pisces. While she loses her dream, she no longer cares, now having friends and her love at her side.
  • Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors: There are three different Zodiac Qualities - Fixed, Cardinal, and Mutable - and they work like this. Fixed attacks will deal more damage to Cardinal enimies, Cardinal attacks will deal more damage to Mutable enemies, and Mutable attacks will deal more damage to Fixed enemies.
  • Fight Woosh: An Iris Out is used to transition from overworld to battle.
  • Frictionless Ice: There's a puzzle in the Pisces Realm during the part where you play as Spica and Algol that uses this, with the objective of getting to the exit.
  • Gladiator Subquest: Featured in Leo's Realm, even taking place in a colosseum. It ends with having to fight against Leo herself.
    • There's also another one at the circus in Aries' Realm.
  • Graphics-Induced Super-Deformed: The overworld sprites for the humanoid characters are very limited and only show their eyes on their faces. There are a few instances where Virgo is said to have a big head.
  • Guest-Star Party Member: Potentially twice in the Pisces Realm, though both examples can only have their timings controlled and not their actions. First, Pisces accompanies Virgo in battle after the latter finds her. Then if you're playing the Cardinal Route, Capricorn joins up with Virgo to fight against a corrupted Pisces.
  • Guide Dang It!: Several of the achievements and sidequests are easy to miss if you're not using a guide, and if you don't pay attention to the colors of the options, you can easily be tricked into killing Taurus when you actually wanted to spare her. One sidequests involves finding a missing NPC, who you end up in a battle encounter with along with 2 other enemies; if you don't kill those other enemies first, you won't get the option to spare the NPC and complete the quest.
  • In Spite of a Nail: Even though your choices can result in different outcomes, there are some things that still happen. For example, Deneb Algedi dies regardless of what you do, since Algol will kill her if you don't.
    • In the Cardinal Route, although the party is warned about the attack on the lighthouse, Virgo still despairs over Pisces when she becomes corrupted by viruses and the only way to cure her is to sacrifice Khrysomallo the golden alpaca.
  • Informed Equipment: Party members are usually seen using whichever weapons and shields they're equiped with, but not any accessories that also grant abilities, such as gloves or shoes. Additionally, you can customise the party with different colour palettes, but these won't show up on their dialogue sprites, only their overworld and battle sprites, and during cutscene slides.
  • Involuntary Group Split: Happens in the Pisces Realm when Aries breaks the bridge everyone is standing on. Virgo and Ginger land in the same place together, as do Algol and Spica.
  • Item Crafting: You can make items you find the recipes for whenever you find the Witchcat. You can also break items you don't need into materials to make other items, or upgrade any existing items.
  • Iris Out: Used whenever a battle is about to begin.
  • Life Drain: Some of the items grant the ability to drain hearts from the enemy and heal whoever uses it. Some enemies also have this ability.
  • MacGuffin: The Zodiac's Crowns, necessary for the revival of the Golden Age.
  • Multiple Endings: What you do in the game determines the ending of the game.
  • Nintendo Hard: Don't let the comedic story and colorful graphics fool you. This game can be absolutely brutal to newcomers. Getting the timing down of the attacks and blocks is pretty much required to survive. However, there is a "stress free" mode that makes things slightly easier if you find it too frustrating.
  • No Saving Throw: Some status effects can be avoided by blocking attacks perfectly, however, there are some attacks that will give that status effect even if you time a perfect block.
  • NPC Roadblock: Often comes in the form of enemies you have to fight to proceed to the next area, although there are other NPCs you can't fight so you must wait for them to move, or you can't pass them in the first place.
  • Odd Name Out: The Zodiacs all have their own titles, usually consiting of "(name) the (description/profession)", but then there's Tzarina Leo and Red Hot Chili Aries.
  • Ominous Save Prompt: The game can be saved at any time, but the Save Dinosaur will show up in various places and will remind you to save when spoken to. One notable instance is just before facing Deneb Algedi, since her boss fight has one of the game's first big turning points.
  • Parallel Conflict Sequence: Virgo faces Taurus alone, but during the boss fight, the game switches to Spica and Algol, who fight against Scorpio, before going back to Virgo and Taurus.
  • Party in My Pocket: The other party members (and Ginger) don't show up in the overworld outside of cutscenes most of the time, although there are a few instances of a character following whoever you're controlling at the time.
  • The Pawns Go First: In the Cardinal Route, Virgo and Capricorn have to fight through several enemies before fighting Pisces.
  • Peninsula of Power Leveling: The Black Holes feature enemies from the realms they're based on, and can be done repeatedly for Level Grinding.
  • Permanently Missable Content: Everywhere. You can only visit each area once, any items you choose to break will be lost forever unless you can buy or have the recipe to make another one, and there's also the fact that your choices, especially when it comes to who you choose to kill or spare matter a lot. There are also missable achievements, as well as some that can't be obtained on the same runs as others.
  • Playable Epilogue: The Cardinal Ending has a part where Virgo and Pisces can walk around and talk to their allies as well as some of the Zodiacs, before proceeding to the gate.
  • Player Headquarters: The Akasha, where you visit between areas. Here you can view memories relating to certain characters, go to a Black Hole to do some Level Grinding, buy or make various items, and talk to your friends and allies before you're ready to move on.
  • Power-Up Food: Tea, Coffee, and Lemonade will not only heal your party members but also give a temporary boost to their Patience, Ambition, and Versatility respectively.
  • Pre-existing Encounters: All the encounters appear on the overworld, and most of them will have to be interacted with to start the battle. You can even skip the ones that aren't in your way.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: In the Fixed Ending, Virgo achieves her goal of becoming the ruler of the new Golden Age, but her victory cost her her friends and her beloved Pisces.
  • Resurrective Immortality: Scorpio revives every time her HP is reduced to zero. She's not called "The Phoenix" for nothing.
  • The Reveal: The Mutable Ending reveals that the Milky Way is in fact doomed to be swallowed by a super black hole called "The Black Sun," and Gemini, with Capricorn, have been resetting the universe, with Gemini manipulating memories to make sure no one realizes it, to fix everything.
  • Route Boss: Some of the Zodiacs are not fought on certain routes, and the final boss is different between routes. For example, the Fixed, Cardinal, and Mutable endings feature Scorpio, Aries, and Gemini as their respective final bosses.
  • Solo Sequence: Virgo isn't too fond of having any allies aside from Ginger (who doesn't help with battles), and tries to continue without Algol and Spica at Cancer and Leo's Realms, as well as the Sagittrain on the way to the latter location. She also gets separated from them in Pisces' Realm when Aries causes the bridge they're standing on to break, and she goes to her own Realm without them.
  • Sorry I'm Late: After Virgo fights through most of the enemies in Leo's colosseum by herself, Spica shows up for the last two battles, much to her annoyance (not because he's late, but because he showed up in the first place).
  • The Stinger:
    • In the Fixed Route, after the credits, there is a scene of Virgo visiting Pisces' grave, wondering if everything she did was worth losing her friends and lover over, before deciding to leave in search of Pisces, refusing to believe she's gone.
    • In the Cardinal Route, if you did the "Starcrossed Lovers" sidquest, there will be a post-credits scene of the characters talking about what to do now that the Golden Age is back, before attending the wedding of said lovers.
  • There Is Only One Bed: Happens with Spica and Algol when they stay at an inn. Algol says she doesn't mind sharing the bed because they're friends, and Spica ends up falling asleep before anything romantic can happen.
  • Time Abyss: The Zodiacs and Stars are implied to be not hundreds, not thousands, but billions of years old, if Deneb Algedi's grave is anything to go by.
  • Time Skip: When Virgo goes to sleep in the Holy Asylum, three months pass by. During this time, Algol completes her quest of revenge against Perseus.
  • Tragic Monster: Pisces in the Cardinal route, having been corrupted by the viruses in her realm. She survives in this particular route, but at the cost of Khrysomallo's life.
  • Turns Red: The bosses at the end of the shoot 'em up segment literally turn red when you deplete their health bar for the first time, and move around while throwing out attacks that are harder to dodge.
  • Unexpected Shmup Level: Choosing to take the dangerous route when travelling to your next destination will result in a shoot 'em up game where you will have to shoot various enemies whilst avoiding their attacks, and then fight a boss at the end.
  • The Unfought: Aquarius and Libra aren't fought on either route.
  • Versus Title
  • Video Game Caring Potential: You can do sidequests to help various characters and choose the options to do or say nice things. Sometimes these will raise certain stats or put you on the path towards a particular ending, but other times they have no meaning other than just doing something good.
  • Villain Protagonist: Virgo, the Holy Queen, often called Dreadful Queen by "heretics," bringing mayhem to the Zodiac Realms and leaving a trail of stardust on the way, all to fit her excessively righteous worldview and bring back the Golden Age, a period of peace, symmetry and balance.
  • Violation of Common Sense: In order to spare Taurus, you have to choose the option that makes you think you will kill her. If you try to spare her, you'll end up fighting against her again and actually killing her. It's easy to fall for this trick if you don't pay attention to the colour of the options.
  • Virtual Paper Doll: The party can be customised with different colour palettes that show on the overworld, battles, and cutscene images (but not their dialogue sprites).
  • Waking Up Elsewhere:
    • After her attempt to get into Taurus' Realm results in her eating or getting eaten by a cake, Virgo ends up in an unknown place, finds a bed, goes to sleep in it, and wakes up in Taurus' Realm.
    • While looking for Ginger in Cancer's Realm, the party gets attacked and subdued by Altarf and they wake up in a prison cell.
  • Was It Really Worth It?: In the Fixed Ending, Virgo wonders if her quest to bring back the Golden Age and rule over it was worth everyone she killed, including her friends, and if it was worth Pisces' life as well. She then concludes that Pisces must still be alive out there somewhere despite there being evidence to suggest otherwise, and becomes determined to find her.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Virgo, insane about what's right and wrong she may be, but she wants to restore the Zodiac Realms back to the Golden Age. Jury's still out whether this is a good thing or a bad thing.
  • Western Zodiac: The game's theme, as seen in the title. The game also features an alignment system based on the sign qualities (cardinal, fixed and mutable).
  • You Monster!: In the Fixed Ending, Algol calls Virgo insane when she discovers the latter means to sacrifice Ginger in order to forge the Golden Crown.