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Video Game / Wild ARMs 2

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The sunset got more room than the characters.
Wild ARMs: The 2nd Ignition is the second in the series of roleplaying video games produced by the Sony Company. Released in the year 2000, the game shares stylistic elements (combining the Western genre with both Fantasy and Science Fiction) with the previous game, but no direct story connection.

Like the other Wild ARMs games, the story takes place on the planet Filgaia, which, long ago, was attacked by a powerful demon. A magical sword chose a young woman, known as the Sword Magess, to wield it against the monster, banishing it to another dimension. Centuries later, when a young man is possessed by the demon, he is also granted the sword's powers, which not only returns him to normal but grants him great powers. Because of that, he is chosen to become part of the A.R.M.S., a new international anti-terrorist organization, to combat Odessa, a group that seeks to rule the world. Joining him are various heroes from around the planet.

Most of the playable characters have (non-canonical) cameos in Wild ARMs 5, just like all the other heroes in the series. Marivel also stars in a story that the characters read in Wild ARMs 3.


This game provides examples of:

  • Absurdly Long Stairway: Nearing the end of the game there's the spiral tower, which has an extremely long staircase leading down into the center of the planet. Once you get to the end of the staircase you have to go through another dungeon then fight several minibosses, and the final boss to beat the game.
  • Adjective Noun Fred: Most bosses are named like this.
  • The Alcatraz: Ilsveil Prison.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: At least once.
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: The vocals of the opening were replaced with a trumpet solo in the Western release.
  • Arc Words: Hero. The entire game is an analysis of what it means to be a hero.
  • Artistic License – Space: The term "Kuiper Belt" in this game refers to an Eldritch Abomination that's best described as a sentient and evil parallel universe. In real life, the Kuiper belt is simply a ring of debris which surrounds the Solar System.
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  • Ascended Extra: You'll be surprised to see how much Tony took Marina's screen time in the Drama CD.
  • Babies Ever After: In the epilogue, Ashley and Marina have two kids.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Irving and his sister both had to die to destroy the Kuiper Belt. And, as always, Filgaia is still a wasteland that is slowly recovering.
  • BFS
    • Ashley's weapon isn't actually a sword, but a rather normal rifle...equipped with a ridiculously large bayonet that may as well be a sword.
    • The sword Argetlam might as well count. While it won't rival some other BFSes, it's as large if not larger than Ashley's bayonet.
  • BFG: Brad's weapons of choice are generally this, especially his Railgun.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: The game script has signs of this throughout and it's jarring when one comes upon them, but overall the translation is actually fairly decent for a Playstation-era Japanese RPG. Not to say it's great, but it's definitely better than both versions of Wild ARMs.
    • Liz's poetry is this; since it's originally a mass of Japanese cultural references, translated directly it becomes a mass of gibberish.
    • Brad's Ho Yay subtext actually comes from this, due to the games overuse of Purple Prose in its writing.
  • Befriending the Enemy: Ashley & company develop a friendship this way with Kanon. Kanon, a demon hunter, has made it her mission to assassinate Ashley who is possessed by the ancient demon Lord Blazer who Kanon's ancestor sealed away thousands of years ago. The team reluctantly fight repeated battles with Kanon, until Ashley manages to convince her that he's a good person, and asks her to join the group plus entrusting her with the responsibility of striking him down (and killing Lord Blazer) if he can't control the demon's influence any longer when this moment finally does arrive however she can't bring herself to kill Ashley as she's developed feelings of friendship with him and the other members of ARMS.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: With Judecca after his boss fight, as the camera turns away (along with Tim and Lilka) right before a bright flash and sound like a gunshot, then turns back to show Judecca's body falling away into the void inside his Diablo Pillar.
  • Block Puzzle
  • Blood from the Mouth: Judecca coughs up a sizable spray after his boss fight, to help get the point across with the sprite artwork.
  • Bonus Boss: Lots of them, entrapped within the sealed pyramids you see floating around certain towns and dungeons.
  • Boxed Crook: Prisoner No. 666 Brad Evans.
  • Boss Subtitles: Before a boss fight, the boss is shown as a black silhouette on a red background, and their name along with a title.
  • Brother–Sister Incest: In one scene, it's very strongly implied that Irving engages in sexual intercourse with his sister Altaecia.
  • The Cameo: Axel and Ruka (translated as 'Luka' in the English version) from Gunner's Heaven appear in a bar named after their game of origin.
  • Child Mage: Tim and Lilka.
  • Cognizant Limbs: A lot of bosses have body parts which can be targeted and destroyed. Doing so may stop the boss from using certain attacks, and will also grant you bonus experience and gold after the fight.
  • Combined Energy Attack: How the Big Bad is destroyed.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The second battle with Trask after Ashley gains his superpower. What was about half an hour ago a reasonably tough boss battle for Ashley, Lilka and Brad is now a powerless wimp for Ashley by himself. Trask can barely hurt Ashley with the big damage attack, and does single digits (or 0 depending on your level and gear) damage with its regular attacks, and seems to always miss with the poison breath. All it can do is flail around helplessly while you murder it.
  • Desert Punk
  • Disc-One Final Dungeon: Heimdall Gazzo, which leads up to Ashley temporarily being stranded in outer space.
  • Do Not Adjust Your Set: Odessa makes itself known to the world by transmitting Vinsfeld's message across every reflective surface in the world.
  • Doppelgänger: Several fashioned in Brad's image.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: The Dreamseers of the Baskar have this ability, granted by the Guardians.
  • Duel Boss: Trask (the second time), Caina (the last time), Brad's doppelganger, Judecca, Vinsfield, the Kuiper Belt roots and Lord Blazer. Possibly even more. There are a lot of 'em.
    • Until you get your fifth party member, you can arrange for any battle to be one.
  • Edge Gravity
  • Eldritch Abomination: Lord Blazer, along with the Sealed Evil in a Can like Ragu O'Ragula. And then there's the Kuiper Belt, which is somewhere between this and...
  • Eldritch Location: Encroaching Parallel Universe: Kuiper Belt
  • Everyone Can See It: Everyone in Meria assumes Ashley and Marina are going to get together sooner rather than later, no matter how much Ashley protests. It doesn't help his case that Ashley spends his first leave from ARMs visiting her, or that he instantly decides to give her a gem he finds. Not to mention he goes into a genuine panic when someone brings it up.
  • Evil Counterpart: Odessa to ARMS in general, and Cocytus to the main team in specific. The Cocytus members often parallel or invert something important about their counterpart in ARMS. To wit:
    • Irving and Vinsfeld, as leaders of their respective organizations, are both charismatic and forceful personalities. Under them, ARMS and Odessa grow from a local to a global scale but still entrust important missions to a small core cadre of elites. Vinsfeld looks like he could be Irving's cousin, with similar hair styles and profiles, but a much more sinister-looking fashion sense. Where Irving needs a crutch, Vinsfeld is fit but with a massive sword - though Irving was said to have once been a skilled swordsman himself.
    • Ashley and Judecca, as the gunmen of their teams. Ashley is still young and naive, struggling to come to grips with his childhood fantasy of being a "hero" and what it means in a world that's more complex than he realized. Judecca is his inverse, as a Psychopathic Manchild who thinks cynicism is a substitute for wisdom, denigrating the very idea of the "hero" and caring nothing for the world beyond himself.
    • Brad and Ptolomea, as the Big Guy of their respective teams with penchants for massive melee weapons and explosives. Both are veterans. Both turn out to be far more caring than their hostile exteriors suggest. Both also ended up in leadership positions that didn't turn out well for them - Brad is one of the only survivors of his old comrades, while Ptolomea reverses things, asking you to be lenient to his men when he dies.
    • Lilka and Antenora, as something of The Chick for their teams. Both are apparently the only living members of their families, and are part of different love triangles - Lilka loses hers, while Antenora has already won hers. Lilka struggles to find direction for her life, overshadowed by her missing sister. Antenora, meanwhile, has an abundance of direction, all toward the grave, as she intends on getting herself killed after winning Vinsfeld's heart, to then rip it out with her death in a long-delayed vengeance for the deaths of her family in the Slayheim revolution.
    • Tim and Caina, both androgynous-looking young men who tap into powers outside themselves. Tim draws on the world's Guardians through the spirit Pooka, gaining attack magic but also providing the team's Summon Magic. Caina is also Odessa's user of Summon Magic, thanks to the strange power he draws from a magic key to call creatures and forces from beyond the world, rather than of the world.
  • Evolving Credits: The opening animation changes depending on which disk you're on.
  • Evolving Weapon: You can buy upgrades for Ashley's and Brad's guns.
  • Explosive Leash: On Brad.
  • Fake Difficulty: You can't buy healing items (though as with later games, this is justified as Filgaia is mostly a barren wasteland). You also can't take back Personal Skill points once you've used them to buy skills. Did you buy a useless skill? Sorry! Put everything into Up HP first and don't ever get the status resistances, with the possible exception of Ability Block. However, see the Game-Breaker entry on healing items.
  • Famed In-Story: "The Eleniak Witch-Girl", Lilka's older sister. Which makes it odd that she's Only Known By Her Nickname.
  • Fantastic Nuke: One mission has you intercepting a "nuclear weapon". It gets unleashed and it's a nuclear breathing dragon.
    • Also the Angel's Halo, which was used on the country of Slayheim prior to the start of the game and left behind nothing but endless plains of salt.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: The American Old West combined with the Modern World.
  • Free Rotating Camera
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: The Kuiper Belt is only vaguely hinted at once in the first disc, and is the focus of the second.
    • On a smaller scale, there are also plenty of random giant monsters for the party to fight throughout the story.
    • Played with by Lord Blazer. It was obvious he and Ashley would eventually fight, but not many expected him to be the Final Boss.
  • G-Rated Sex: Ashley and Marina. The scene does a Fade to Black, but the subtitles remain.
    • Likewise Irving and Altaecia Valeria. The same thing happens, but it's somewhat less G-Rated considering it's incest.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • Some of the puzzle solutions, especially on the second disc, are quite obscure and would have required references on The Other Wiki if The Other Wiki had existed back then. Also, if you don't receive recommendations on which Personal Skills to pour your points into (which you can't take back, by the way, unlike the games that followed), it's very easy to have an underpowered party and struggle through the game.
    • The game also gives zero explanation on how Tim learns new spells. He must kill a certain number of enemies for each Guardian Rune and the exact number can be checked in the status screen.
  • Hello, [Insert Name Here]: To a rather ridiculous extent; you can name not only the party members and Lilka's spells, but almost every single plot-important NPC ally in the game.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: This is a major theme throughout the game. Apparently, it's the job of heroes to sacrifice their happiness and their lives so the common people don't have to fight. The game makes a heavy point of pointing out all the myriad flaws of this idea. In the end a planet-wide Combined Energy Attack is much more effective.
  • The Hero: The concept is put through the wringer, along with Heroic Sacrifice, above. Ashley's early fixation on becoming a hero comes off as fairly naive, Brad is hostile to the very idea (and blames it for his arrest at the beginning of the game), and Kanon is utterly driven by the need to live up to her legendary ancestor, the Sword Magess. Just to drive it in further, after you fight Kanon for the third time, Judecca comes along to mock her and Ashley and the simplistic black-and-white morality inherent in the idea:
    Judecca: The 'Demon' and 'Hero' are passing dreams, a bequest from the past.
    • This concept is so ubiquitous and explored that pretty much every character in the story is a hero in some way, to someone or something. It's such a Deconstruction, Reconstruction, and Discussed Trope of the ideology of heroism that even the villains are heroes from a From a Certain Point of View, including, and especially, Irving. Think of pretty much any Hero Tropes you can, and it'll be in this story somewhere.
  • Honor Before Reason: Kanon is obsessed with her family honor, as is Irving. Not particularly surprising as they are in the same family, after all.
  • Homoerotic Subtext: Caina and Vinsfield (Caina was male in the Japanese version); definitely also Billy Pilder and Brad Evans.
    • Caina is male for the entire first disc of the American version, as well. And part of the second.
  • Humongous Mecha: Marivel uses these as her summons. Some of the Bosses are Mecha as well.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Lilka (umbrellas) and Marivel (robot-things)
  • Insufferable Genius: Marivel, mixed with Proud Warrior Race Girl. And Liz. especially Liz.
  • Interchangeable Antimatter Keys: Duplicators.
  • Interface Spoiler: There are slots for six party members. Also, while you can name many characters in this game, playable characters will have a portrait when you do so even if there is otherwise no hint that they will ever join you.
  • Justified Tutorial: All three characters' introductory chapters, since they can be done in any order.
  • Let's Split Up, Gang!: For the final three sub-boss fights.
  • The Lifestream: Glaive Le Gable.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Way to go, Irving. You genuinely saved the universe, and all it took was a boatload of Necessarily Evil that tore the heroes an emotional new one. Oh, and did I mention that the demon inside of Ashley feeds off of negative feelings? The demon that you put there!?
  • Non-Lethal Bottomless Pits
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Lilka's sister, "The Eleniak Witch-Girl". Quite odd, considering she's Famed In-Story to the point of Lilka having a bit of an inferiority complex.
  • Our Demons Are Different: Unlike in the other Wild Arms games, the demons here are not aliens, but actual supernatural beings.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: They're sentient, bio-mechanical airships.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Marivel and the other Crimson Nobles. They're still pretty traditional Vampires as far as this trope is concerned (Exposure to sunlight is life-threatening, they drink blood, they even have the fancy collars and annoyingly-designed castle).
  • Party in My Pocket
  • Pensieve Flashback: The Memory Maze.
  • Percussive Maintenance: Using Brad's kick ability on a malfunctioning computer terminal in the prison level makes it work again, giving you access to a room with a few bonus stat boosters.
  • Plot Tailored to the Party: Some of the dungeons are tailored to the party's skills to a ridiculous extreme. Others are slightly justified by having the tool necessary to get through given right there - either left behind by the makers (such as Tim's Air Ballet) or given expressly because it could be used to get through (Ashley's throwing knife).
  • The Power of Friendship: A mild theme throughout the game, exemplified in Ashley's Impulse ability in the final battle.
  • Recurring Boss: You fight almost every major villain three times, including each member of Cocytus, Kanon, Liz and Ard, and Vinsfeld (the third time is his ghost, as a Bonus Boss).
  • Save Point: The Memory Service Ladies who appear in towns and the Amazing Stones that are found in dungeons.
  • The Scapegoat: Brad is in jail for a crime he didn't commit; later, Ashley and company almost get executed but Superpowered Evil Side Ex Machina happens.
  • Shout-Out: The land of Urartu was once the home of the Crimson Nobles, but was genocidally depopulated during the past rampage of Lord Blazer. Urartu is an archaic name for Armenia, where a Real Life genocide in World War I killed 1.5 million Armenians, including nearly the entire Armenian population in most of the former West Armenia.
  • Solemn Ending Theme: "Atomic Arms" and "Zephyr's", the ending themes of Disc 1 and 2 respectively.
  • Sprite/Polygon Mix: Overworld sprites, polygon battle screens.
  • Stable Time Loop: Ashley meets the Sword Magess, Lucied, and Marivel during a time travel sequence.
  • Stupid Sacrifice: Luckily averted in Tim's case, and is a major theme throughout the story.
  • Theme Music Power-Up
    • Transforming into Knight Blazer is accompanied by an awesome theme song that lets it be known that you're about to kick some serious ass.
    • The final boss theme is a remix of the game's main theme, "You'll Never Be Alone". Appropriately, Ashley has just transformed into a warrior capable of wielding the Argetlahm and using The Power of Friendship to kick ass.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: The final dungeon in this game sees the party heading into the living, mud core of the planet called Glaive Le Gable, where an encroaching parallel universe has been manifested into a physical form. Before this dungeon was a huge, inverted Spiral Tower located conveniently on the center of the world map, and on the highest point to boot.
  • The Voice: Lilka's sister.
  • Xanatos Gambit: Irving bankrolled Odessa. Either Vinsfeld takes over the world, gaining the resources needed to defeat the Kuiper Belt, or the world unites to help ARMS defeat Vinsfeld, in which case they'll be in a position to cooperate to stop the Kuiper Belt. Either way, Irving has succeeded in creating something that can potentially defeat the Kuiper Belt.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist
    • Odessa wants to unify the world... with themselves on top, of course, in such a way that they're also Western Terrorists.
    • Kanon starts out as this when you first meet her, but she gets better.
    • Then there's the man behind Odessa: Irving.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: To say Ashley is outraged over Baskar Village's plans for Tim would be a huge understatement. He's also outraged that Irving arranged for him to be sent to Ilsveil Prison, risking both his and Lilka's lives, just to recruit Brad.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: A series of short skits, followed by still images over the end credits, show the lives of the characters as they "retire" and go their separate ways. Followed by another short skit set a year later as the members and crew of ARMS reunite to leave the Argetlam as a memorial for Irving and Altaecia.