Follow TV Tropes


Video Game / Wild ARMs 5

Go To

Wild ARMs 5, released in Japan as Wild ARMs: The Vth Vanguard on 2007, returns us once again to the improbably disaster-prone planet of Filgaia.

Humans struggle under the rule of the Veruni, a highly-advanced race of Human Aliens that conquered the planet a century ago. The world is full of Lost Technology, the most prominent ones being Humongous Mecha known as Golems and special weapons called ARMs. Those who search for this Lost Technology are known as Golem Hunters.

Dean Stark is an average 16-year-old boy who dreams of leaving his tiny hamlet and becoming a world-renowned Golem Hunter. One day he witnesses something fall from the sky: a golem's arm clutching a strange white-haired girl named Avril. What begins as a simple quest to help Avril regain her lost memories soon develops into something far more grandiose as Dean learns the true extent of the divide between the Human and Veruni races, and vows to reform a system that is hurting both sides.


Joining Dean and Avril on their journey are: Rebecca Streisand, Dean's childhood friend who dreams of becoming a famous gunslinger; Greg Russellberg, a drifter and "Golem Crusher" who has vowed to destroy all Golems; Carol Anderson, a child prodigy with an interest in Golem research; and Chuck Preston, a rookie Golem Hunter looking to climb the ranks.

Wild ARMs 5 uses the same engine and HEX battle system from Wild ARMs 4 but with several refinements and improvements. The number of members allowed in battle at once is reduced to three, while the much derided need to choose between movement and attack was removed. For dungeons, the use of tools to solve puzzles returns in the form of unique bullets for Dean's ARM, combined with other actions such as sliding and stomping. Being published on the tenth anniversary of the franchise, it also includes a ton of references and cameos from previous Wild ARMs games.


This game provides examples of:

  • Actually a Doombot: The Volsung you fight on top of TF system: Tower O turns out to just be a clone.
  • After-Combat Recovery: Your HP is recovered after battle, but not your MP.
  • Alien Sky:
    • Filgaia has two moons in this game: a larger gray moon and a smaller bronze-colored one. They are visible when summoning Equites.
    • The Capo Bronco area's "always sunset" pink sky.
  • Always Close: Despite there being no time limit, Greg's bombs will always go off just as you reach the exit of the Lightless Shaft.
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: Compare the Japanese box to the American box.
  • An Adventurer Is You: The Mediums all represent different classes. Any of your characters can use them at any time, though their special abilities help point them towards certain specialties.
    • The Sword Medium is a Blademaster, with high physical damage but low speed.
    • The Sky Medium is a Nuker, a Squishy Wizard with high damage but low defense
    • The Sea Medium is a Healer Classic, able to heal allies.
    • The Luck Medium is a combination Backstabber and Scrapper, having high speed and the ability to crit easily.
    • The Mountain Medium is a combination Buffer and Tank, having abilities to protect and support party members while having high defense and HP.
    • The Moon Medium is a combination Mitigation Tank, Debuffer and Mezzer, locking down enemies, reducing their stats and able to maneuver the battlefield with ease.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Granted, some of them (i.e., the Shout-Out costumes) are among the best armors in the game.
  • Arbitrary Head Count Limit: Although you eventually have 6 (7, if you count Asgard) party members, only 3 can fight in battle. If using Asgard, none of the other characters can fight.
  • Arc Words: "You can do anything as long as you don't give up!" Starts out as Dean's Catchphrase, but eventually becomes this when everybody starts saying it.
  • Artistic License – Physics:
    • When Dean and Greg are jumping off a train, they use grenade blasts to cushion their fall. And no one gets singed.
    • Pretty much anything Captain Bartholomew does.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The Limit Break combo moves between two characters have some of the best effects in the game, but their damage output is less than spectacular. Especially after characters can use Finest Arts.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: The Trigger Rondo Limit Break, featuring Dean and Rebecca.
  • Beast and Beauty: Averted. Kartikeya is unusually friendly towards Avril when he first meets her, even calling her a "young lady". However, she has no interest in him.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Dean, Rebecca, and Avril showing up just in time to save Chuck.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Although the world is saved and Veruni and humans will now live in peace, Avril is stuck in an infinte Stable Time Loop for all of eternity, never to be with Dean except for the brief period during the game.
  • Bleached Underpants: The character designer produced (and still does) hardcore doujinshi under the pen name of Shuhan/Syuhan/Article 60 of Criminal Code.
  • Block Puzzle: The Puzzle Boxes.
  • Brutal Bonus Level: FOUR of them: Inferno, Cocytus, Tartarus, and Abyss.
  • Can't Hold His Liquor: A random Drifter whose status as a lightweight is even in his "name." You first meet him in Gounon (a wine-making town), and he keeps having bad brushes with alcohol everywhere he goes.
  • Carrying the Antidote: In battle, some poison-inducing enemies have Antidotes on them that you can steal. The giant moth boss Twilight Venom is a good example.
  • Cast from Hit Points: Interestingly, character growth. Characters gain skills by gaining levels, but you can also take off 50 HP from their max total for a point towards a skill. It's a tradeoff between having a Glass Cannon party with late-game skills, or patiently going through the game so you can get those skills permanently.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: The light and funny tussle over a mirror early in the game stands in stark contrast to the hundreds of people who Volsung immolates alive near the end.
  • Character Portrait
  • Chekhov's Gun: A couple of them. Dean tries to use the monowheel against Volsung, plus the bolt he's had since before the game gets used on Asgard.
  • Combination Attack: One for each pair of characters, learned by battling together enough.
  • Credits Running Sequence: Featuring younger versions of Dean, Rebecca, Avril, and Volsung.
  • Curse Cut Short: In the beginning of the game, Dean's neighbor yells at him, and then gets interrupted by his achin' back.
  • Cute Monster Girl: Averted. Female goblins look just like male goblins, beard and all.
  • Deadly Game: "Brutal Death Match," a Show Within a Show that our heroes are tricked into coming on.
  • Death of a Child: Greg's son dies in the flashback scene. When Kartikeya threatens Greg, his son steps in front of him. He promptly gets blasted, much to his parent's horror.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Wild ARMs 5 really utilizes this trope. Every main villain except Kartikeya survives and pulls a Heel–Face Turn. Yes, that includes Big Bad Volsung.
  • Did They or Didn't They?: Fereydoon and Lucille.
  • Disc-One Nuke: If you've been obsessively buying/stealing/hoarding badges, you can synthesize Elder Records and Punching Gloves fairly early in the game.
  • Duel Boss: Everyone, except Avril, fight another member of the Quirky Miniboss Squad in a final duel.
    • Dean fights Nightburn, who betrayed the image he had over him.
    • Rebecca faces Persephone, both struggling because of their feelings.
    • Greg gets Kartikeya, who murdered his family.
    • Carol gets her mentor Elvis.
    • Chuck faces Fereydoon, who puts in question Fereydoon's blind loyalty and love for Lucille.
  • Dull Surprise: Joseph has a bit of trouble with this. In particular, his flashback scene to where finds his daughter and grandson murdered. He emotes anger fine, but his shock and sadness mostly consists of blank staring.
  • Encounter Bait: The Bad Omen badge and the Duel Sign tool. The latter can be used to summon Bonus Bosses
  • Encounter Repellant: Purifying a dungeon's Sol Niger will allow you to switch the encounters of that dungeon on or off. You can later do this for the overworld itself.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Golem Crushers and Golem Hunters.
  • Expy:
  • Fantastic Racism: The Veruni feel that the humans are lesser beings and treat them as disposable labor and entertainment.
  • Fantasy Character Classes: Not in the usual sense. Most JRPGS split the party members into different archetypes that fit the role. To some extent this is true, as each character has special abilities to bias them towards a specific role, but most growth comes from customizing "mediums" that grant stat bonuses and skills as you level up. It is entirely possible to have a party full of healers, tanks or damage dealers all at any given time.
  • Feelies: The game came with an artbook depicting characters from the previous games.
  • Fire-Breathing Weapon: The Fire Bullet tool.
  • Forced Transformation: The Misery status effect turns the character into an adorable anthromorphic cat version of themselves, as well as disabling all commands but Move.
  • Freeze Ray: One of the field tools you get for Dean's guns.
  • Gender-Inverted Trope: The Mysterious Waif gains the highest Strength bonus, and The Big Guy gets the biggest Magic bonus.
  • Generation Ships: The Veruni have been in space so long, that many of them consider their mothership their "homeland".
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Many bosses in the game literally appear in a burst of light.
  • Gotta Kill Them All: Toward the end of the game, you have to track down each of the Four Sentinels and defeat them. Although only one of them actually dies, and it's by his own hand.
  • Grappling-Hook Pistol: The Anchor Hook tool.
  • Ground Pound: Dean uses this to press buttons or to break through a weak floor.
  • Gun Kata: Dean with the final boss.
  • Ham and Cheese: In-universe example - Nightburn's wacky Golem Hunter's Guild commercial.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: Always immediately recognizable since attacks will have no effect and scans reveal that there's no experience for winning.
  • Human Aliens: They're even called humans. Justified, since they are humans. Just ones that have had divergent evolution.
  • Human Resources: The Locus Solus' main gun, the Darkness Tear, is powered by life force. Volsung fires off a warning shot powered by every Veruni aboard at the time, one of whom was his second-in-command's grandmother.
  • Interspecies Romance: This is quite common. Volsung's parents were a Veruni father and a human mother. Persephone's elder sister, now deceased, was once Nightburn's lover. Lucille and Fereydoon are glaringly obvious.
  • Item Crafting: The Tim Expy in Mithysmere can synthesize new badges from ones you collected.
  • "Join the Army," They Said: Nightburn's commercial for the Golem Hunter's Guild, which is also a Kitschy Local Commercial with a budget.
  • Journey to the Center of the Mind: Late in the game, the party finds a way to enter Avril's mind an uncover her lost memories.
    • Battle in the Center of the Mind: Her mind happens to be inhabited by monsters that you fight in random encounters. You also get attacked by her old self, the Ice Queen.
  • Last Episode Theme Reprise: An extended version of the opening theme is used for the Final Boss battle.
  • Last Lousy Point: Trying to find all those damn treasure boxes to take on the Bonus Boss, Black Box.
  • Lazy Backup: Despite having 3 party members sitting on the sidelines somewhere twiddling their thumbs, it's still Game Over if the three currently in battle die.
  • Let's Split Up, Gang!: In the beginning of TF Tower O, your party must split up into two groups. However, only Dean's group will go through the tower; the other group only fights one boss.
  • Lethal Joke Item: 100% Orange is a Badge that reduces the damage you give or take to 100 and prevents you from being healed, and you have to turn in a Sheriff Star to get one. Might seem counterproductive, but that means even Bonus Boss monsters capable of dealing more damage than you can ever have Hit Points will only deal 100 damage. A character equipped with 100% Orange can shrug off powerful blows and revive their allies turn after turn (granted, they only get 100 HP back), making Superbosses a cakewalk.
  • Ley Line: The ley points.
  • Limit Break: In three flavors.
    • Equip your characters with the Boxing Glove badge, and their critical hit animations turn into incredibly flashy Finest Arts. It also allows Greg and Avril to subvert Informed Ability by using their weapons' secondary functions (Greg's sword in his gun, Avril's whip.]]
    • Party members can use a Combination Attack, which use your FP.
    • The medium summonings use your whole FP gauge, but their effects are damn powerful.
  • Long Song, Short Scene: Unlike previous Wild ARMs games, the opening theme only plays during the opening credits and is not heard again until the Final Boss fight.
  • Luck-Based Search Technique: An actual solution to a puzzle in the Memorial Sanctuary.note 
  • The Maze: All of the bonus dungeons except Cocytus.
  • Mirror Character: The game manages to milk a lot of drama out of Dean's ideals being uncomfortably similar to Volsung's.
  • Monowheel Mayhem: Dean obtains a monowheel for faster transportation around world map areas.
  • Mythology Gag: So many it qualifies as Fanservice. All the previous game's playable characters appear as NPCs and reference their previous roles and relationships. Some of the alternate costumes for the heroes also resemble outfits from previous Wild ARMs heroes.
    • A somewhat obscure one may be present in the form of Nightburn's name, which can easily be construed as a synonym-slash-homonym for Knight Blazer.
    • The most powerful armor in the game, Nine Lives, has appeared in previous Wild ARMs games; however, this is the first time it looks like Knight Blazer, and even plays its battle theme.
    • A giant moth boss is named after The Anime of the Game, Twilight Venom.
  • New Game Plus: Of the "carry over items but not levels" variety. If you collected all the Ex File Keys, you'll get the Nine Lives/Knight Blazer armor for Dean as well.
  • Nuke 'em: The Corona Fall Limit Break with Rebecca and Greg.
  • One of These Doors Is Not Like the Other: During the Deadly Game segment, you're inside a square room with three identical exits and one slightly different one. Most of the differences are obvious, but the last one not so much note  Bonus points for starting a random encounter if the short time limit runs out.
  • One-Steve Limit: There's the Bonus Boss Black Box and The Very Definitely Final Dungeon Black Box.
  • Ominous Pipe Organ: "Bitter Tears of Purification." This is the song that plays when the Darkness Tear is fired off.
  • Party in My Pocket
  • Point of No Return: Save on a different file after beating Volsung the first time and heading to Locus Solus.
  • The Psycho Rangers: Each of the your party members has a rival in one of the villains. Lighthearted and idealistic Dean has to face the defeated dog of the villains, his idol Nightburn; Rebecca ends up with Persephone, both of which share the same inability to express their feelings for their loved ones (Dean and Nightburn, respectively); family man Greg fights his family's killer, the Ax-Crazy Kartikeya; Avril has story reasons for rivaling Volsung, leader of the radical Veruni; small but heavily-armed Carol fights against her former caregiver, the muscular Elvis; and Chuck rivals the surprisingly noble Fereydoon over the same girl.
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: Fereydoon, Persephone, Kartikeya, and Elvis.
  • Race Lift: The Cecilia Expy is a Veruni. Gallows and Tim are implied to be Veruni, too.
  • Reconcile the Bitter Foes: The game's central theme is about ending racism between Veruni and humans.
  • Religious and Mythological Theme Naming: All of the game's major villains are ironically named after mythological figures.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: The main trio's ARMs are all influenced by revolvers.
  • Rousseau Was Right: The only true villains in this game are Kartikeya and the Hatred.
  • Seven Deadly Sins: Each of the Memory Birds says something odd about one of the sins when you talk to them.
  • Shout-Out
    • Apparently the Memory Bird in Harmonde plays Castlevania.
      "What is Greed? Nothing but a pitiful little pile of selfishness! But enough talk... Would you like to save your game?"
    • The Memory Bird in Laila Belle, on the other hand, had apparently watched The Goonies.
    "I once had a girlfriend named Sloth actually. She left me for a bird named Chunk."
  • Single Tear: On Avril's face in the beginning of the game. It's brought up a few times throughout the game.
  • Sneeze Cut: As Rebecca tries and fails to tell Dean about her feelings, Dean guesses that she really likes Chuck or Greg. Cue them sneezing.
  • Spoiler Opening: The opening credits shows you three allies who have not joined your party yet. However, when and how they are going to join definitely is a completely different question.
  • Stable Time Loop: Avril's tragic role in the story. Events seem to slightly change for her every time, after she comments on something that hasn't happened to her before.
  • The Stinger: Avril prepares to go back into cryosleep, completing the Stable Time Loop.
  • Train Job:
    • Dean catches Greg in the middle of trying to blow up a train's golem cargo.
    • Much later Kartikeya pulls one off by disconnecting the car the party is in and putting a golem in the middle of the tracks to attack them.
  • Transhuman Aliens: The Veruni seem to be this. It turns out, however, that they left Filgaia centuries ago and are from the same genetic base as humans.
  • Triang Relations: Type 3: both Avril and Rebecca are in love with Dean, but Dean seems blissfully clueless about this.
  • "Truman Show" Plot: A variation. Duo's cameras are following the heroes every step of the way, so the whole world is watching their exploits.
  • Visual Initiative Queue
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Rebecca and Dean sure do argue a lot.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: We never do find out what happened to Fereydoon, Persephone, Elvis, Nightburn, or Captain Bartholomew.
  • With a Friend and a Stranger: Rebecca, Avril and Dean.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: While Greg is escorting the party to Gounon, Dean keeps saying this to Greg. It just seems to annoy Greg.