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"I'm not really sure where 'here' is, to tell you the truth."
—The Hero
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A 1995 Action RPG modeled on the smash hit Secret of Mana. Despite appearances to the contrary, Evermore is not a World of Mana entry, but was made from whole cloth by Square USA (now part of Square Enix); it's also one of few games to be developed entirely in the U.S. by Square. Mainly remembered for its ambient soundtrack by up-and-coming composer Jeremy Soule, who went on to provide soundtracks for such classics as Dungeon Siege, The Elder Scrolls (from Morrowind onward), Guild Wars, and Total Annihilation.

The game stars a B-movie-loving boy who stumbles upon an abandoned mansion on the outskirts of Podunk, U.S.A. After a mishap with a mysterious device, the boy and his canine companion get warped to Evermore, an artificial world which resembles a mash-up of various epochs in Earth history: 1 Million B.C., Sword & Sandal, The Middle Ages, and finally Tomorrowland. He discovers four other people who are also trapped, the result of a bungled experiment 30 years ago. His goal becomes to explore this strange world and find a way to get everyone back to Podunk. The plot isn't as complex as it sounds, and the game is full of parodies of the genre, especially the path-of-least-resistance economic tropes: There's a whole segment with the boy hocking Vendor Trash and haggling with merchants. Likewise, spending time in the boy's company is pretty entertaining, with the boy constantly comparing his predicaments to various (awful) movies, and his dog shapeshifting into various forms (wolf, greyhound, poodle, robot) depending on which locale they're in. It's strictly 1-player, unlike Secret, though a 2-player hack for it exists.

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Compared to Secret and other Square titles, the game itself is rather short. It's also linear, with no side quests, loads of Back Tracking, and only one branching path (choosing whether to tackle the Great Pyramid or Hall of Collosia first). The biggest divergence from Secret is the Vancian Magic system, known here as Alchemy. Throughout the game, you’ll be able to find or buy ingredients for spells, whether offensive or defensive; these range from the commonplace Oil, Water, Wax, Limestone, and Root to exotic ones like Ethanol, Brimstone, Dry Ice, and Meteorite. You learn new formulas by seeking out alchemists (some of whom can be tough to find) and assembling the necessary parts. Use a formula enough times, and it will level up in effectiveness, similar to Secret.

A long-dead post in the Secret of Evermore GameFAQs forum featured an extended discussion with one of the game's programmers who happened to stumble upon the conversation. Topics covered before the thread died ranged from what the programmers did after work, to an explanation of what the Gourd does (it doesn't do anything, incidentally), and even some personal anecdotes regarding the design process itself. For instance, they used Randi from Secret as a placeholder sprite for the boy during the prototyping phase.

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Secret of Evermore provides examples of:

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    #-A 

  • 1-Up:
    • There's an item called Pixie Dust and a Call Bead spell called Regenerate which will restore a small amount of HP if your character 'dies' before they wear off.
    • Literally the name of an alchemy formula, but it fully restores the Hero's health.
  • Abandoned Laboratory: Located within a greenhouse on top of Ruffleberg's derelict mansion. Omnitopia is similarly deserted, apart from the Professor and his master, Carltron.
  • Ability Required to Proceed:
    • Your starter weapon, the Bone Crusher, can't cut through foliage. You can't travel north of Fire Eyes' Village until you get the Spider Claw.
    • The switches in Antiqua have to be hit from a distance, and your prehistoric spear is too light to do the job. You have to find the heavier Bronze Spear.
    • Stone barriers and blocked doorways that your Spider Claw is too weak to demolish, forcing you to find a Bronze Axe. Later on, Tinker gives you the Knight Basher to break down the barricades blocking access to his brother's place. (After visiting Omnitopia, the same chest has the Atom Smasher, but it isn't required to complete the game.)
    • The Levitate and Revealer formulas, which serve no purpose other than to remove barriers or bridge gaps.
  • Absurdly High Level Cap
    • As was the standard for RPGs, the Hero and his Dog can reach level 99, but you'll likely finish the game with them around Level 30.
    • The Hero can equip 13 weapons that can all be upgraded twice. 2600 skill points are required to master all the weapons, but each monster will net you a paltry 1 or more skill points. Most of those weapons won't see enough use to reach Level 2.
    • Your Alchemy formulas will become stronger the more you use them, and can potentially be maxed out at level 9.
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: There are several of these, and each one is a maze.
  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: Each world the Hero visits has its own form of currency, and there's a steep exchange rate: A Gold Coin is equal to 2 Jewels, which is equal to 4 Talons, which is equal to 8 Credits. The amount of currency needed to buy items tends to stay the same without taking exchange rate into account, so the same item which costs 60 Talons in Prehistoria may cost 60 Gold Coins in Gothica, four times the price. However, even in the same region, item and ingredient prices vary (see "Commonplace Rare" below). Alchemy ingredients are often sold by multiple merchants and you can buy a large supply from them to avoid being gouged from other merchants later in the game. Eventually you get the airship and can travel between regions freely. So the trope is less "Adam Smith Hates Your Guts" and more "Buy In Bulk and Learn To Price-Check."
  • Added Alliterative Appeal:
    • The femur of fury! Useful for mangling mosquitoes.
    • Elizabeth warns of the "vicious volcano Vipers" before sending you out on your second quest.
    • Pompolonius is having way too much fun introducing Vigor. "The King of Chaos... The Babylonian Bruiser... The Pulverizing Prince of Pandemonium..."
    • At one point, the boy compares Evil Horace's rantings to that of "Emperor Zorn in Acropolis Apocalypse."
    • Once an undersea passage opens up between Antiqua and Gothica, Horace theorizes that it could be the Hero's "passage to Podunk."
    • Bagel Beasts and Waffle Weasels were among the villains in one of the Hero's movies, Attack of the Appliance People.
    • The Virtual Vest and Magma Mail are available for sale in Omnitopia, and the Laser Lance is found in the same chest as the bazooka from the beginning.
  • Air-Vent Passageway: In Ivor Tower, the player must guide the Dog through a maze in the interior of the castle walls.
  • All the Worlds Are a Stage: Omnitopia features numerous enemies from the past three worlds, or at least Underground Monkey variants: Raptors, Rimsalas, Aquagoth's Tentacles, Rats, the killer plants, and mosquitoes all appear. The final battle brings back the Bad Boy and Dark Toaster (evil copies of your heroes) and Magmar. Even the background is full of reminders of past levels, with images of Thraxx's face, machines shaped like Aegis, and the Volcano boiler reappearing as scenery.
  • Alliterative Name: Horace Highwater, Perceval Plank, and Tinker Tinderbox.
  • Anchors Away: The Rogues wield these as weapons on the shores and cliff sides of Antiqua.
  • Ancient Grome: The Antiqua region is a mash-up of not only Ancient Greek and Ancient Rome, but also of Ancient Egypt with a dash each of pirates, Arabic culture, and Ancient China. Given the region was created from the thoughts of the curator of a history museum, there's a mingling of so many radically different cultures and time periods into one idealized place.
  • Art Deco: Ruffleberg's flashy mansion is as kooky as he is, with humanoid statues, checkered roofs, a globe, and other abstract shapes.
  • Astral Finale: Omnitopia was Halo before Halo: a ring-shaped space station encircling the planet. (At least in the illustrations; see "Gameplay and Story Segregation.") The last battle is waged here, but the Hero will leave and return to it a few times.
  • Attack Its Weak Point:
    • Thraxx's ribcage shields its beating, exposed heart from damage.
    • The fight with Rimsala boils down to occasionally casting alchemy to keep its statues disabled while you wait for Rimsala's "Eye" to return to its altar so you can whack it a few more times.
  • Authority in Name Only: The evil queen built a sterile castle on the opposite end of Gothica. Under her orders, the citizenry abandoned their homes, and the old castle was allowed to overrun with rats, leading to the oft-quoted line, "I'm King of the rats, I tell ya! King of the rats!"
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • Holding down the attack button to charge your weapon. You cannot simply charge your weapon when your stamina is at 100%; the Hero will automatically swing it around when you press the button, dropping it back to 0%. So, you hold down the button and wait for it to fill back up to 100%. Then fill it up again to level one. Then fill it up once more to level two, if you have it. (Which takes about three times longer than a normal swing.) Granted, charged melee attacks are powerful and even game-breaking in some instances (Neutron Sword + Energize); but more often than not, you'll watch your HP whittle away as your enemies maul you to death.
    • Alchemy. It really is a novel idea, but in practice it isn't very effective. Individual formulas take a long time to level up and ingredients can get pricey, so a player will be inclined to save their cash and stick with what they have rather than stock up on a new ingredient type for a new formula. The game forks over Heal, Cure, Defend, Hard Ball, and Flash in the opening world before you even get your third weapon, and they'll cover your strategic needs for the rest of the game (healing, raising defense, and attacking). Later, you'll want to add Crush and Fireball to the mix (better firepower and their ingredients are common in Antiqua and Gothica). And there are utility formulas you'll want like Revive, Miracle Cure, and Barrier. But beyond Antiqua, new attack formulas just don't scale well against increasingly powerful enemies, while the assorted healing formulas the game offers are unnecessary because Heal is cheaper and leveled-up already.
    • Nitro is the strongest formula in the game in terms of power. By the time you find Nitro, you're on your way to retrieve the item which lets you access the final bosses. To add insult to injury, the ingredients needed to use Nitro can only be bought from two merchants in separate regions, both of whom are in hard-to-reach locations, And each only sells one of the two ingredients needed for Nitro. It's as though the developers designed the spell to purposefully invoke this trope.
    • The Laser Lance and Atom Smasher. During most chapters, the sword is the weakest weapon, the axe is the middle ground, and the spear is the strongest. The three Omnitopia chapter weapons are all equal with a 50 attack rating. You got the Neutron Blade at the start of the chapter and likely have been using it the most so far, and you only get these two weapons just before returning to Evermore for the Energy Core for the final boss melee, so there's little room to use them and build them up either. In the end, they will both prove quite useless since all three weapons have equal attack power, but swords get a bonus from the Silver Sheath whether you have it or not (due to a bug), meaning the Neutron Blade will be your strongest weapon no matter what.
    • The Bazooka. Yes, you can load three different types of ammo into it, with Cryo-Blast shells shaving off 600 HP. (For comparison, the strongest weapons found during the Omnitopia chapter are all capped at 50.) Plus there's no need to grind up experience for the thing, nor charge it for a more powerful attack. However, each shot flings the Hero across the room on his ass and fires (admittedly very fast) shots straight ahead. The problem is, enemies tend to move even faster and will dodge your shots if you're a moment too slow to fire, leaving you wide open to attack as you wait to recharge back up to 100% instead of just beaning them with the bazooka itself. Another problem is that shots tend to 'miss' if the enemy scrolls off-screen, a problem exacerbated by the severe recoil, even if your aim was on point. It saves on Level Grinding if you'd rather just shoot instead of repeatedly swing a weapon for experience, but it can be difficult to get used to and master.

    B-C 
  • Back Tracking:
    • When it comes time to build Tinker's rocket, he needs a Gauge and Wheel from the Volcano's exploded boiler, so he tells you to go poking around where the debris from the eruption would have landed.
    • Debris from Aegis itself can be found in Prehistoria, and its Power Core cut through Antiqua's underground before somehow ending up beneath Gothica's Chessboard.
    • When you arrive in Omnitopia near the end of the game, you land in the Junkyard. You return here at the very end of the game to activate the teleporter to Carltron's lair.
  • Balance Between Good and Evil: After deactivating Carltron, the Hero and Prof. Ruffleberg notice that Evermore seems to be wracked with earthquakes. Ruffleberg believes they have thrown off the balance, and only by removing themselves from the equation will it be spared.
  • Baleful Polymorph: Keep talking to the philosopher in Nobilia. He rants that everyone is a puppet of an invisible, "button-pushing overlord". This can interpreted as being either the player or Carltron. The game might prompt you to turn him into a goat, a chicken, or a basket to silence him; this can again be interpreted as willful cruelty by the player or Carltron altering the simulation to punish one of his critics.
  • Bamboo Technology: Gomi appears to be building a skyscraper using whatever junk he has lying around, plus some twine. Surprisingly averted in the primitive world.
  • Bar Fight: In the Crustacia tavern, there's a pair of NPCs who endlessly trade blows, and their dialogue is what you'd expect from this game. "Do you mind? We're trying to hit each other here!"
  • Battle Boomerang: Oddly used not by the player (as in Secret), but by a Nobilian gladiator. It's one of his long-range attacks.
  • Bazaar of the Bizarre: Located in Nobilia and Ivor Tower, and themselves the subject of many an FAQ. It's possible to make lots of money with smart trading... or lose a fortune trying.
  • Beat Still, My Heart: Among other random items pulled from Blimp's bag is a cartoon valentine heart (not a realistic one) which beats silently.
  • Bee Bee Gun: The inconspicuous "Sting" formula. It summons a giant beehive which launches a small swarm of bees at opponents.
  • Better Than a Bare Bulb:
    • As a result of growing up on cheesy B-movies, the Hero is fairly Genre Savvy.
    • The four regions hit almost every associated trope you'd expect from them: there's a Volcano in the jungle, there's a Great Pyramid and a coliseum in the middle of a desert, there's a human chessboard inside a hedge maze, and so forth. Combined with the fact the world is actually made from the imaginations of four rubes who may be a few decades out of date, but are still educated and familiar with the common tropes of their respective themed worlds.
  • Big Fancy Castle: Ivor Tower and Ebon Keep.
  • The Big Race: Played for laughs in Gothica. Perceval Plank abducts your Dog and tries to pass him off as a hybrid "Pigpoodle" in his Exhibition of Oddities. This happens on the same day as the much-anticipated Pig Race; when your Dog gets loose from the carnies, he mistakenly joins the race and far surpasses the other pigs, causing "the Pig's" owner (the Hero) to "win" the race and get dragged off to dine with the Queen.
  • Blackout Basement: Oglin Cave is a pitch-black teleporter maze.
  • Bland-Name Product: Modern-day Podunk has a Doughead Software (a play on Egghead Software) store down the street from the theater.
  • Bleak Level: Ebon Keep, though it is more melancholy than anything.
  • Blind Mistake: An old lady in the vents mistakes the Dog for a furry child and gives him a skeleton key to the castle. Later on, we meet a castle guard who mentions that his wife has poor eyesight and tumbled into one of the vents one day, never to return.
  • Bloodstained Glass Windows: The Hero, after fighting a number of monsters that emerge from stained glass pictures:
    "Those guys were a pane in the glass."
  • Bonus Boss: The Faces, who also serve as a Dual Boss. They're the same sprite as the one used by Carltron when he communicates with Horace's Twin through a wall. They can be found in Omnitopia by inputting a code. It's randomly generated for each game, too, so the code from your last file probably won't work. Solving the three switches puzzle turns off the security system.
  • Book-Ends:
    • The game starts and ends in the same places several times over: Omnitopia, Ruffleberg's lab, and the theater in Podunk.
    • At the start of the game, in Prehistoria, you encounter Raptors. Near the end of the game, in Omnitopia, you encounter Metal Raptors.
  • Bookcase Passage:
    • In the intro sequence, the Hero accidentally loosens a wall panel, gaining access to the old laboratory.
    • In the castle vents, the most linear path to the exit is hidden behind a bookcase.
    • It makes no sense at all for one of the cells in Ebon Keep prison to actually be a secret passage to behind one of the houses in town. But if it led into the castle, the player wouldn't have a reason to explore the town and notice Ivor Tower is a replica of Ebon Keep.
  • Boring, but Practical: Of the three weapon categories, the axe. Swords are the first weapon you get in any chapter. Although you train with them the longest and they're the easiest to use, they're typically weaker than the axe from the same chapter. Spears are the most powerful in their respective chapters, but the boy's method of wielding them limits their use to ranged charged attacks. Axes make the boy lunge forward, so they have a pretty good range, but without putting you in harm's way. Admittedly, the animation is a little slower, and the Lv. 2 attack leaves a lot to be desired.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing:
    • There's an out-of-place Guard Bot in Gothica which you fight... however it's not the same as the bots fought previously. This guy will seriously wreck your day if you aren't prepared.
    • You'll find spiders all throughout the game, but none of them are more than an annoyance as they don't do much, and poison isn't dangerous unless you're low on health to begin with. Once you get the Insect Incense in Gothica, their attacks simply do nothing to you anymore. Cut to the final battle: if you unwittingly kill the harmless cleaning robots, you'll face Dark Spiders who ignore the Incense, can do upwards of 250 damage, and have 6000 HP. Every time you kill the cleaning robots, more spiders spawn, with one additional one being added every time you do. However, they do drop the most experience of any non-boss enemy in the game.
  • Boss Rush: The final battle, in lieu of a fight with Carltron. When the butler finally gets mad enough to confront you, the professor uses that as a distraction to switch Carltron off.
  • A Boy and His X: It's just a little wire-haired terrier in the beginning. When you reunite in Prehistoria, the Dog has mutated into a huge, hulking cave wolf instead. He keeps changing as you travel between the worlds/regions. He can handle himself in a fight, and tends to inflict more damage than you in melee mode; you'll probably find yourself setting his AI to passive so he doesn't kill-steal. He can also sniff out chests and Alchemy ingredients on the ground that are invisible to the Hero, although he can't pick up or use items (so Alchemy is out of the question for him). Unlike his owner, the Dog only requires one piece of armor, and upgrades can be found in every region. You'd never have made it to the end of the journey without the Dog.
  • Brick Joke: In Antiqua, you find a boulder suspiciously similar to the ones you levitated in Prehistoria. Do the same here, and Tiny comes out and demonstrates his superior strength by picking up the boulder and throwing it away. Far away. When you inevitably end up at the southern end of the desert again, the boulder will land and form a bridge for you to cross. Lampshaded by the hero:
    Hero: Wow! That boulder was flying for a long time!
  • Broken Bridge:
    • The washout from the volcano also floods the river in Antiqua. It creates a gap which you need the Dog to jump across so it can wheel over a platform for you to ride.
    • When Aegis explodes and Tiny hurls the Power Core away, it crashes at the base of the river, which opens up a cavern into the Oglin Caves. The river is also drained, revealing a new entrance into the Great Pyramid.
    • There is also a raised drawbridge in Gothica cutting off direct access to Ebon Keep.
    • Obstacles like the greenhouse flowers and the heating system can kill you in Omnitopia, so you have to lower the lights/temperature, respectively.
  • Bubblegloop Swamp: Prehistoria has two: the tar pits bone-studded cliffs of Bugmuck, and a northern area simply named "Swamp" with bone bridges, giant mosquitoes, and the colossal eel monster Salabog lurking under the stagnant green water. Lovely.
  • Build Like an Egyptian: The Great Pyramid dungeon in Antiqua mixes Egyptian architecture and snake-headed guardsmen with creepy Easter Island-faced statues, giant stone fists trying to crush you, winged flying skulls, and lots of poison damage.
  • Bullfight Boss:
    • That spiked chariot isn't just for show. Vigor can't be hit from the front or sides. You can see from his sprite that he's wearing nothing but a loincloth from the back.
    • Meet the Minitaur. He's not as vulnerable to alchemy, and he also uses the classic videogame ground-shake attack.
  • The Caligula: Unlike the other rulers who actually govern their regions, Horace is content to lead an archaeology team from a camp in the wilderness. His double is much more ostentatious, wearing a red paludamentum and relaying commands from his palace in Nobilia. He only changes into a hat and khakis when it comes time to pose as the real Horace: he tricks the Hero into handing over some plot coupons.
  • Cargo Cult: Horace's Twin rallies the people by declaring the newly-arrived Dog a god because he resembles a big statue in the square.
  • Cave Behind the Falls: The Hero and his Dog leap off a rainbow-crested waterfall to find the entrance to the Oglin Cave.
  • Cave Mouth:
    • You fight Thraxx/Choleoptera inside one of these.
    • In the Mammoth Graveyard, entering the skull at the top leads to an intersection between the Volcano and Swamp.
  • Chain of Deals: Used to humorous effect in the desert city, Nobilia. You start out buying small items like bags of spice and rice, and trade your way up to the best armor and accessories in the region. Play your cards right and you'll wind up with charms that grant you permanent stat boosts. Or the Magic Gourd, which is useless.
  • Charged Attack: Like in Secret, each weapon has multiple levels of charge. At first, you only have a choice between a piddly little swipe and a full swing, but as your skill with a weapon improves you can charge up to two power meters into a single blow.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The Hero will come across some unlit fire pits in his travels. These function as landing lights once you get a set of wings, and they're easy to spot from the sky. You can't land your aircraft just anywhere.
  • Chekhov's Gunman:
    • "I am Tiny. My strength is needed."
    • Mungola is briefly shown escaping from the sideshow exhibit in Gothica, so the player is probably expecting to fight it later. You can't approach the puppets in the castle yet, either, since the King just shouts, "Can't see! Down in front!" As expected, they're each revealed as the bosses of Ivor Tower.
  • Chekhov's Volcano: The Volcano in the middle of Prehistoria. You go inside, fight through the Vipers, confront Elizabeth's Evil Twin, then get blown out the top to wash up in Antiqua.
  • Chokepoint Geography: The environments in Evermore seem to exist in their own biome; each is separated from the others in some way. Fire Eyes' Village is on a massive plateau. Gothica sits on entirely different continent. And the final area of the game isn't part of Evermore at all.
  • Circus of Fear:
    • The sideshow in Gothica, which the Hero is forced to buy tickets for, is an unimpressive lineup of obvious props — apart from Mungola, who quietly slinks away when the carnival barker isn't looking.
    • As an ironic punishment, the replicas of Elizabeth, Horace and Camellia are forcibly put to work in the sideshow in the ending, filling the old spot left by the now-deceased Mungola.
    • The Queen and her weirdo puppet show. You can watch the entire show unfold if you wander west of the throne room, but you can't influence the play or free the King from their thrall, at least not until later. The King is stuck in a trance in a theatre box, unable to do anything but laugh giddily at the puppet show.
  • Cognizant Limbs: Thraxx, and later his stronger, greener offspring, Choleoptera.
  • Commonplace Rare: Alchemy Ingredients are priced according to where the seller is located, and it makes sense for the most part. The easier a merchant has access to an ingredient, the cheaper they sell it for. Iron is only sold in Gothica, since Prehistoria wouldn't be able to smelt it and Antiqua probably isn't able to smelt enough that it could be mass-produced and sold to the masses. Gunpowder is only sold in Omnitopia since none of the other regions have firearms. However, there are still some stand-out oddities: Feathers are only sold by three merchants between Gothica and Omnitopia, even though birds are found throughout Evermore. Vinegar should logically be available in Antiqua and perhaps Gothica, but only one merchant in Gothica sells it; the only other merchant who sells it is in Prehistoria. (He's a member of an Antiqua alchemist guild.) One would presume Grease would be found in Omnitopia with all its machinery, but it's found in Gothica from an alchemist living beneath a chessboard.
  • Crapsaccharine World:
    • The different worlds are ironic manifestations of each of the inhabitants' personal utopias.
    • Played for laughs in Ivor Tower, "the happiest place on Evermore!" The city was rebuilt down to the last detail because the Queen found the old one to be old and dingy. When the floor gives in under her weight, it causes a chain reaction which levels the entire castle and covers it in soot and rubble, forcing everyone to migrate back to the old city.
  • Crossover:
    • Look at those yahoos in the spectator stands during the coliseum fight. It's Terra, Locke, Mog, Strago, Relm, and Umaro from Final Fantasy VI.
    • A Chocobo Egg can be added to your stockpile of charms. It gives the player and his Dog more health.
    • Cecil Harvey from Final Fantasy IV shows up as a shopkeeper in Ebon Keep, and even makes references to his adventures. He will lower the price of his wares if the Hero recognizes which game he's from.

    D-G 

  • Dead Guy on Display: Blimp shows up again in Antiqua, and he's mounted the dead Salabog's head on the wall of his store, which is pretty hardcore.
  • Decade Dissonance: Evermore was designed with this in mind. From the caveman world on the plateau, to the Ancient Grome analogue of Antiqua, to the fantasy Renaissance land of Gothica, and finally Professor Ruffleberg's own space station, all four brushing up against each other. Also, it's a bit odd how every culture, including the cavemen, know to sell you doggie biscuits.
  • Defeat Equals Explosion: Yay, we beat the raptor. Who promptly exploded into flames. This makes a little more sense once you learn that Evermore was supposed to be a paradise before Carltron filled it with animatronic monsters (and presumably pirates since they also explode). Indeed, Carltron has an squad of chrome raptors patrolling the tubeways of his city.
  • Degraded Boss:
    • Son of Anhur. A pair of them are faced as mini-bosses in the Great Pyramid, and they later appear as normal enemies.
    • For some reason, the cells in Ivor Tower contain refugees from other time periods: a Viper, a Minitaur, and one of Carltron's Mecha Dusters from the beginning of the game. The cells in Ebon Keep contain a Raptor and another attack droid. Higher up in the castle, the stained glass windows come to life and spawn Vipers, Mad monks, and other anachronisms. This is some type of "security system" conjured up by Tinker.
    • Stronger copies of the game's bosses appear in Omnitopia, where their originals were built: Metal Raptors and Eyes of Rimsala are crawling all over Omnitopia.
  • Developers' Foresight:
    • Gave the Hero a name which ends in S? His status screen will refrain from appending an S in the header (whether this is proper English or not depends on you). For instance, "James' Stats."
    • Talking to most NPCs as the Dog results in different dialogue than if you spoke to them as the Hero. Some of them even give your Dog items.
    • The color commentator says different things depending on the weapon you had equipped before entering the coliseum.
    • In Antiqua, you're supposed to go to Horace's camp to meet him and get the Revealer formula to reveal hidden paths across the pits in front of the region's dungeons. However, even if you can't see them, the paths are still there, so it's possible to enter and complete the dungeons without meeting Horace. If you finish one dungeon and then go meet him, the conversation changes to reflect this; and if you beat both dungeons, the dialogue with Horace and the ruler of Nobilia changes because you haven't met Horace before. Though it does beg the question of why the ruler of Nobilia would disguise himself as Horace when you don't even know who Horace is; it'd make more sense for him to just be upfront with who he is, since you're working for him and have been given no reason to distrust him.
    • The developers actually took into account that someone would name the protagonist "Fuck". The other characters will not recognize this, but the Skeleton Pirate in the Desert of Doom will demand extra payment from the player for being such a potty mouth.
    • If you leave an area while the Levitate formula is in the process of moving a boulder out of the way, it's possible that the boulder will spawn back when you return, costing you a mud pepper. If you ever have 0 Mud Peppers in your inventory, you can make the trek back to Blimp and he'll give you another one (both at the entrance to the Volcano and inside it).
    • In Ivor Tower, you need to trade an Amulet of Annihilation for an Exhibition Ticket to advance the plot. You can find three amulets in town, but on the off chance that you trade all three away to the armor merchant in the alleyway, there's a fourth amulet in a hidden chest outside of town. It's impossible to accidentally lock yourself out of story progression because there's no way to get rid of the fourth amulet right now, except by buying the ticket.
    • In the Ivor Tower Jail, you briefly take control of the Dog to break his master out of jail. However, if you are slow in releasing him and kill all the enemies in the area as the Dog, you get a free collar (armor) for your efforts.
    • If you complete the air duct sequence with the Dog but don't collect the Queen's Key, you can return to the ducts later to acquire the key then.
  • Distressed Dude:
    • Ruffleberg is stuck doing forced labor, devising new monsters from his control center in space. Otherwise Carltron threatens to shut off the planet and kill everybody.
    • Strong Heart, the chief alchemist and advisor to Elizabeth, is being held captive inside a cocoon in the Bugmuck. You have to free him with the Spider Claw, which is won by beating Thraxx.
  • Dolled-Up Installment: So, just what was the "secret" of Evermore? Marketing. The game's original title was just Evermore; "Secret of" was tacked on to cash in on the success of Secret of Mana, as well as the recycling of the Ring Menu and typeface. Ultimately, this worked against the game's favor: it got panned because it was a good game, but was billed as the sequel to a great game. People walked in with expectations (multiplayer, magic, more weapons) that simply weren't there. Worse, when Square opted not to localize Trials of Mana into English, most fans mistakenly believed that the decision was made to avoid competition with Evermore.
  • Do You Want to Haggle?: One merchant in particular is extremely gullible and will fall for the oldest scam in the book. During the Nobilia market sequence, it's possible to talk him down from his original asking price all the way down to a pittance (a few bags of rice and some spice) in exchange for a bunch of Amulets, which can also be used to trade for some of those tasty charms from the lowermost shops. He'll close up shop for good after that, stating "You're too shrewd." If you try to haggle with him further, however, he'll get fed up and refuse to sell you anything ever again.
  • Don't Go in the Woods: The Gothica alchemists live near forests and charge you 80 Gold Coins for Roots. The fact that a large section of the forest is off-limits may imply a danger surcharge.
  • Down in the Dumps: Omnitopia's garbage heap. You start out in the sewer and have to climb your way to Ruffleberg's lab.
  • Drunk on the Dark Side: Horace's Twin, once he gets his mitts on the Diamond Eyes. When someone acts like a B-movie villain, the Hero should be more suspicious.
    Hero: "Guaaaahahahaha"? This guy is a looney!
  • Dual Boss: Two Sons of Anhur trap you in the Great Pyramid. They can't Poison you like the Son of Set, so their only advantage is the ability to fight you in close-quarters. (The room is quite small.) You're rewarded with the Bronze axe for killing them.
  • Dummied Out:
    • Try using a Game Genie code (with a cartridge or an emulator) to no-clip through walls at the beginning. It is possible to walk back through the closed iris, ready the bazooka, and blow up Carltron. Doing so awards you with 10 EXP and 15 Talons. It's a little strange considering that Omnitopia doesn't trade in Talons, so perhaps this was an inside joke by the developers.
    • Judging by the game's code, the Cameilla robot has an attack animation which wasn't used. She hurls herself at the player E. Honda-style, just like she does in the cutscene when you defeat Mungola.
  • Early-Bird Cameo:
    • The player catches a brief glimpse of Ruffleberg at the station before being dumped into Prehistoria.
    • After taking out the Guardbots with his bazooka and descending down a floor iris, the Hero runs into his Dog again, who barks a greeting at him. At first, you notice something off about it, but you figure maybe it's just all the metal distorting his barking. Turns out that it was the toaster-dog who joins you in Omnitopia.
  • Elephant Graveyard: The Mammoth Graveyard north of the village is the site of a tricky Multi-Mook Melee with a pack of Vipers.
  • The End Is Nigh: The doomsday preacher in the Bargain Bazaar has a degree of Medium Awareness.
  • The End... Or Is It?: A post-credits scene shows Carltron still scheming and up to his old tricks. It's also implied that the world of Evermore still exists in some way. At least, the machine to send people there still exists. The developers actually were interested in a sequel, but poor sales scrapped those plans.
  • Eternal English: All four lands use the same language. Justified in that they're artificial constructs, not 'real' locations.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: Most apparent in the desert area, where the player is attacked by a malevolent tumbleweeds. This stuff doesn't just defy the laws of physics by rolling against the wind; it actually chases after the Hero, and absolutely will not turn aside until it has collided with him. After it has either landed a hit or been deflected, it blows away in random directions. This is actually typical of smaller enemies in the game, like spiders: they'll run up, attack you, then run off.
  • Evil Chef: The goofy French stereotype who tries the broil the Dog, thinking he's a prize pig. Even after the mask falls off, "Pierre" still chases him around with a ladle and threatens to cook him.
  • Evil Is Deathly Cold: The faux Elizabeth turns out to be the one commanding the Vipers. She plans to freeze out the humans by turning off the volcano's heat, allowing the Vipers to swoop in and take over their settlement.
  • Evil Knockoff:
    • Elizabeth, Horace, and Camellia each have robotic clones running around and making trouble. The fake "Elizabeth" is lacking her trademark spectacles, "Horace" is wearing an all-green version of his usual pith helmet and safari pants, and "Cameilla" has off-color blue lipstick instead of red.
    • A trio of "Bad Boys" (a knockoff of the Hero) are encountered partway through the forest in Gothica. Which leads to the line, "...you're three times stronger than yourself!" An upgraded Bad Boy and his Dog companion (who is a much stronger opponent) are fought during the enemy onslaught at the very end.
  • Expy: Given that Squaresoft also produced the Final Fantasy series, you can think of Tinker as the "Cid" of the game, the inventor who gives you your airship.
  • Eye of Newt: The alchemy ingredients often take the form of chemicals, minerals, or various flora.
  • Fake King: A clockwork version in the shape of Queen Bluegarden.
  • Fat Bastard: The gargantuan Queen Bluegarden, who is later revealed to be a robot. When her final line of defense, Mungola, is defeated in battle, she threatens to smash the duo herself — but only manages to belly-flop a short distance from the balcony, causing the floor to give way under her bulk and fall several stories to the castle base.
    Evil Queen: [misses the Hero by a mile] I meant to do that.
  • Fauns and Satyrs: Dancin' Fools are common mobs in the Hall of Collosia. They are Satyrs who trot around and attack you with a dervish of daggers.
  • Faux Affably Evil: The Queen, who now lives in a literal Ivory Tower, is mentioned by several citizens as being "really nice". Basically the same person she was in Ebon Keep... only "sickeningly" so.
  • The Ferry Man: There is an undead ferryman who will ferry you to Nobilia, "the jewel of the Desert of Doom"... in exchange for one Amulet of Annihilation. (Cost: ten thousand gems.) He's chatty for a skeleton, constantly remarking on the desert scenery like a tour bus captain.
  • Final Dungeon Preview: The game gives you a few very brief moments of playing in Omnitopia just as the opening sequence ends, culminating with a fight with several robots before you're shipped down to Evermore proper. Sure enough, Omnitopia is the final dungeon of the game. There's even a slight nod to the Dog's robot form just before you travel to the surface.
  • Fireballs: At least four different formulas have this effect in varying degrees. Most are very effective with a little leveling.
  • First Town: Fire Eyes' village is the first town you can rest or buy supplies in, since the Hero was ejected from Omnitopia before he could browse the mall. Plus he wasn't carrying any cash, anyway.
  • Flashback Effects: The prologue is told in Deliberate Monochrome.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: Talking to Tiny with the Dog will cause the came to freeze, presumably as a result of no dialogue having been scripted.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation:
    • "Caemilla" enlists you to lower the "drawbridge" in Ebon Keep so her men can clean house. A shortcut to Ebon Keep does appear later, but it's a regular wooden truss bridge with a roof. More perplexingly, you appear on an entirely-different bridge on the other end. (Wrong size, shape and material.) In fact, it's unclear how the bridges near the Chessboard keep disappearing and reappearing, since they're made of stone and can't be retracted.
    • Omnitopia appears to be built on top of and inside some sort of planetoid. There are no free-standing towers like in the TV commercial or instruction manual; it's all underground.
  • Gangplank Galleon: Crustacia is teeming with Age of Sail-type pirates living out of a hollowed-out wrecked ship. Yar.
  • Garden of Evil: The Omnitopia Greenhouse contains Flowering Deaths, carnivorous plants that were genetically-engineered to kill anyone who gets too close in one hit.
  • "Get Back Here!" Boss: Sterling isn't an evil dragon, just an oversized guard dog. He'll continually hurl you off the top of Gomi's Tower, and if that isn't bad enough, he'll keep pelting you with fireballs as you climb all the way back up.
  • Ghost Town: Ebon Keep, the original city within Gothica, was completely vacated when Camellia's evil twin usurped the throne, with the residents all being moved to Ivor Tower under the pretense that cleaning up their old city was harder work than just building a new one; only Cecil remained behind, later joined by Camellia and Tinker after she escaped from prison. Once the twin is defeated, the situation gets flipped with the populace relocating to Ebon Keep again.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: There's a lot of bosses in this game who pop up with little, if any, foreshadowing or story explanation, and are there just to offer you a fight at the end of an area.
  • Giant Squid: Aquagoth, the final boss of Antiqua. It turns out to be the cause of a well drying up, which allows the Hero to ride a water bucket up and away into the realm of Gothica.
  • Global Airship: Tinker's flying machine. Soon to be replaced by one of those Omnitopian space shuttles. However, their use is limited by the fact that are only five landing zones the entire surface of Evermore, plus one more in Omnitopia (only accessible by the shuttle), so it's more like a giant level select menu.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: The Queen of Gothica is fixated on keeping her kingdom clean and hygienic, and throws you in jail for allowing the Dog into her dining hall.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Over the course of the game, you gradually learn more about the world of Evermore and its inhabitants; specifically, that Professor Ruffleburg designed Evermore as a realization of its inhabitant's 'ideal world', each area catering to their own personal desires. For one resident, Evermore is a prehistoric jungle, while for another it becomes an archaeological dig.
  • Grimy Water: The sewerways under Ivor Tower are toxic and inflict periodic damage, much like the Poison status effect.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • Numerous items are permanently missable and certain Alchemy formulas are hard to find. Speed is very well-hidden in a secret passage in the Volcano. Sting requires you to navigate to a specific spot in an impossibly huge desert with no landmarks. Fire Power is in a hidden passageway inside Ivor Tower which only the Dog can enter. Also, apart from Sting, all of these formulas are permanently missable. The game never exactly goes out of its way to tell you how many formulas are in the game or give any other indication of how to find them, so it's possible to play through the game not even know these formulas exist in the first place. (The only hint that Speed exists was in the instruction manual. The screenshots also gave at least some context on where to find it.)
    • A few mazes are confusing as hell unless one actually starts mapping them out. Unless you know how to navigate through to the end of the Dark Forest (follow the paths with the gremlins in the trees), you'll be stuck for hours. And even then, there's a few unique treasures that can only be obtained by going off of the correct path, including an alchemy formula.
    • If you want all of the stat-boosting charms, you will definitely need a walkthrough. The charms are offered by different merchants, depending on how and when you acquire them. Of particular note is the alleyway market in Gothica, which is inaccessible once you beat Mongola at the end of the chapter. A pity because many of the items offered there require trade ingredients from Antiqua, which you can't revisit until much later.

    H-O 

  • Hailfire Peaks: The Volcano is split into three parts: A lava pool which requires you to Levitate rocks to form bridges and unblock tunnels, a strange cooling system which is full of rushing water, and a giant boiler room which maintains the temperature. Too low and the plateau freezes solid; too high and the volcano erupts.
  • Head Swap:
    • Son of Set is named after the Egyptian war god, even though Set has a jackal's head and not a snake's. Anyway, these shirtless, snake-headed foes patrol the outside of the Pyramid and can inflict Poison with their spears. Deep inside the pyramid, you run into Son of Anhur (named for another war god), who has a tiger's head.
    • Hall of Collosia: Megataur is just a modified Magmar sprite with a different head.
  • Hedge Maze: Chessboard Plateau. The hedges aren't that hard to navigate, but they are packed with enemies, on top of which you have to escape a forest maze afterward.
  • Hello, [Insert Name Here]: The Hero and his Dog, although screenshots in the manual provide Billy, Spanky, and Buzz as options. The player is given a huge amount of character spaces to work with, to the point that it's possible to give the Hero a first, middle, and last name.
  • Hold Your Hippogriffs: Taking a breather inside Blimp's mud hut. "It's not the Great Caverns of Makanda, but it's home."
  • Hollywood Acid: The Acid Rain and Corrosion formulas call down a bubbling, burning raincloud and a slow-acting deluge respectively.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal:
    • You have limited inventory space, as in Secret, but you can carry up to 99 of every alchemy ingredient. There are a total of 95 ingredients.
    • Due to a bug, you can theoretically carry up to 266 meteorites before it overflows and resets back to 0. Also, you can force the game to grant you 7 petals, 7 Nectars, or 7 Honeys if you max out your total (6) and beat the Raptors/Horace's goons/Aquagoth, who reward you with an extra piece. Lastly, you can get 7 Dino Armors if you collect 6 and then beat the Raptors in the Volcano.
    • The US version has a couple of glitches that surpass the 99 cap for Cryo-Blast shells.
  • I Don't Like the Sound of That Place: The Desert of Doom.
  • In the Hood: The Mad Monks are featureless apart from their noses.
  • Inevitable Tournament: The Colosseum in Nobilia, where you face chariot-racing gladiator Vigor the Indestructible!
  • Inevitable Waterfall: When Prehistoria's volcano erupts, the heroes are catapulted high into the air. Luckily, they fall into an upended turtle shell which floats them gently downstream... and then dumps them over a waterfall and off the plateau into Antiqua.
  • Instantly Proven Wrong:
    Horace's Twin: I hate to burst your bubble, Pomp, but the Sacred Dog is a myth. We can't expect a mystic creature to simply slide into the palace!
    [Dog chases a cat into the room and skids to a stop in front of them]
  • Interface Screw: Confound is this game's version of Confuse. All it does is screw up your directional pad input, so it's still possible to fend off enemies.
  • Intrepid Merchant: Blimp, the guy who trades in Mud Peppers. He survives "the great wash-out" by Levitating all the way to Crustacia, where he becomes an alchemist full-time.
  • It's All Upstairs from Here: Gomi's Tower.
  • Justified Tutorial: A health bar appears once Carltron sics his attack bots on you, so you know you're in quite for a ride. These things can't actually harm you, just knock you backward (unlike the upcoming raptor fight), so you can't lose. Players will also notice a percentage meter which is ticking up. Waiting for it to fill to 100% will result in a powerful projectile attack; otherwise the Hero will just swing the bazooka wildly, which inflicts a fraction of the damage.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: Subverted in Fire Eyes' Village. The locals there are very welcoming and invite the boy to help himself to the chests (gourds) in their huts. There is one chest in Gothica which is another subversion; you get an alchemy formula and a new guy to buy ingredients from if you don't open it. It's fair game after said transaction takes place, though.
  • Level Grinding: Just like Secret, the Hero's weapons (minus the Bazooka) and alchemy formulas can each gain levels: weapons go up to 3, and formulas go up to 8. Unlike Secret, families don't stack, so each weapon/formula must be ground up individually. The Dog gets a pass: his attacks also level up to 3, but are maintained across each form he adopts.
  • Load-Bearing Boss:
    • Ivor Tower collapses under the weight of its zaftig monarch, and the entire population flees back to Ebon Keep.
    • Carltron is the most outstanding example. Switching him off causes Evermore to begin breaking up due to the outsiders' influence.
  • Long List: In Nobilia, one guard will inform you of all the things he will not permit you to do in the city square. These include laughing, crying, moose-calling, juggling mummified cats, eating pancakes on Monday, and of course, barking like a seal. (It upsets him.)
  • Lost Woods: Gothica's Dark Forest, the forested valley between Ebon Keep and Ivor Tower. The correct path is marked by Greebles in the trees. The other paths are dead-ends, but there is an alchemist to find who will give you the One-Up formula and sell ingredients.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: Evermore was based on the hobbies of Professor Ruffleberg (Omnitopia's science and technology), his friends Horace Highwater and Camellia Bluegarden (Antiqua's kitchen sink of real-world history and Gothica's medieval Fairy Tale fantasy world), and his granddaughter Elizabeth (Prehistoria's cavemen and dinosaurs).
  • Mad Scientist: Sydney Ruffleberg and his surface counterpart, Tinker.
  • Magic Staff: Mad Monks retaliate to your close range attacks by spinning their staves, which inflicts Plague (a stronger version of Poison) or Confound on contact.
  • Magikarp Power: The Spear-type weapons are impossibly hard to use in close quarters combat (i.e. Lv. 1 attacks), but very quickly get overpowered after you gain a level. It's a long polearm weapon which is wielded in the worst way possible: to deliver incredibly short range attacks that will usually get you killed in the process. But once you can throw it... Combine a spear with the formula which gives you near-instant charge attacks and you got yourself a projectile which does more damage than a bazooka shell and doesn't send you flying.
  • Those Magnificent Flying Machines: Tinker offers the player one he invented, the Windwalker, to revisit other regions.
  • Man-Eating Plant:
    • Carniflowers are among your most troublesome enemies in the jungle because they block important paths and will swallow any character in range, chomping on them for big damage before spitting them out. If you don't keep away from its tendrils, your support character will have to shred the plant to prevent it from leeching too much of your HP.
    • The greenhouse in Omnitopia, which must be crossed, is honeycombed with "Flowering Deaths" that are not meant to be fought. If you approach any of them with the lights still on, they will reap 999 damage, triggering an instant game over since it bypasses Aura and Barrier.
  • Manual Leader, A.I. Party: Granted, you only have one party member.
  • The Maze:
    • Bugmuck Swamp, full of lily pad paths that only appear when you kill certain enemies that need you to take the long way around to get to.
    • The desert south of Nobilia, where east and west eventually wrap around to each other. A tame example, compared to the trope's use in other games, since you only have to run straight north or south to reach your destination; but this one contains a difficult-to-find alchemy formula named Sting.
    • Gothica is chock full of these. Among them: the hedge maze around the chessboard, the Dark Forest in the middle, and another maze at the end. And to a lesser extent the sewers under both castles. This isn't even taking into consideration that you have to pass through a maddening teleporter maze to even get into Gothica.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Blimp is an expert on levitation.
    • "Aegis" is a word which means shield, defend, or protect. The name makes sense when you consider that Aegis can raise a shield to become invincible.
    • Tinker's brother, Gomi. Gomi means "garbage" in Japanese, an appropriate name considering the ramshackle tower he lives in.
  • Mini-Boss:
    • Prehistoria: The Raptors in the opening. Vipers ambush you in the Mammoth Graveyard after you save Strong Heart.
    • Antiqua: Son of Anhur in the Great Pyramid, and a miniature version of the Megataur (Minitaur) in the Hall of Collosia. Later, the Hero has to return to the Pyramid to intimidate Tiny and get him to cough up the Diamond Eyes.
    • Gothica: The Footknight (see "World of Pun" below"), and later a robot replica of the Hero. Three of them, in fact, with increasingly-powerful Alchemy attacks.
  • Mirror Boss: Bad Boy and Bad Dawg/Dark Toaster. Both of them are fought twice: Aegis spawns copies of the wolf-dog from Prehistoria, and three Bad Boys corner you on a bridge leading to Ebon Keep. In the final boss melee, you have to fight one last copy of the Hero and his robo-dog.
  • Mirror World: Ivor Tower and Ebon Keep are flipped images of each other, with some minor architectural changes to the castle and a darker palette.
  • Money Spider: Lampshaded in one case where a shady character is offering the amulet you need to get a ride across the desert and charging the outrageous price of 10,000 Jewels for it. Worse yet, exchanging your money for the local standard effectively cuts your wallet in half. To come up with the money, you'll most likely have to do a lot of grinding. When you actually do return with the money, the cloaked figure is astonished that you went to the trouble.
    Monk: Wow! I didn't think anyone would ever come up with the cash! I mean, you had to fight a lot of spiders and thieves to get that money! Since you went to so much trouble to buy this, basically, worthless piece of cra...ss jewelry...
  • Monster Town: Crustacia is made out to be a Wretched Hive, even though the denizens are actually pretty nice to you. The Rogues and Mad Monks in the settlement are harmless. But if you venture outside of the cove, they'll try to beat you to death with anchors.
  • Mook Maker:
    • When its shield is up, Aegis is immune to all forms of damage. It also summons monsters to keep you occupied. Aegis actually has no other modes of attack.
    • The final boss battle opens with a wall of TVs that display flickering images of enemies that come to life, until Magmar careens though the wall and destroys it. Before that happens, an unseen Carltron zaps your duo with electricity to create Bad Boy and Dark Toaster.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast:
    • The dancing puppets, Mephista and Old Nick.
    • There's a good reason why you can't pass through the Omnitopia Greenhouse with the lights on: It contains "Flowering Deaths."
  • Napoleon Delusion: The King of Gothica hasn't made any public appearances since the city was moved, but you find can a guy with a crown and scepter prancing around one of the houses in Ivor Tower. According to his wife standing nearby, that isn't really the King; he's just a plumber.
  • News Travels Fast:
    • The game tends to allows alchemists sell new ingredients at around the same time that you learn new formulas.
    • Played for laughs when Tiny launches the exploding power core into the sky before it can level Nobilia. Madronius instantly arrives to relay news from Horace's camp of a tunnel formed by the impact on the other side of the continent. It took at least fifteen minutes for Tiny's much bigger rock to land in Crustacia, which sits between Nobilia and the camp.
  • New World Tease: On his first visit to Omnitopia, the Hero gets booted to the surface world by Carltron. It takes the rest of the game to return to the room where he originated from.
  • Next Sunday A.D.: Released in October of 1995, takes place a non-specific date from that same year.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: The Show of Life by Billy Shakesbad.
  • No-Sell:
    • There are some plants in Omnitopia that are so immune, nothing phases them. Except turning out the lights.
    • The whole purpose of the Insect Incense: All insect monsters, such as mosquitoes and spiders, no longer do any damage to you. Your character simply stands there while they awkwardly attack.
  • Non-Lethal Bottomless Pits:
    • Horace had his men dig pits around his camp to prevent his doppelganger from looting its treasures. When you fall down one of them, you just reawaken in one of the tents. If you don't take the long way around to Horace's camp, this is likely how you'll first meet him.
    • Pits serve as nothing more than an obstacle or an annoyance after one of those Hall of Collosia bridges retract when the timer runs out. It should be lethal, but the hero lampshades, "Boy, I'm glad we missed those spikes at the bottom!", or, "I'm glad we found that secret passage in the pit! Now, let's not go down there again." (Just take his word for it.) They also don't do any damage.
  • Noob Cave: The giant skeleton in Bugmuck Swamp.
  • Not the Intended Use: The Energize spell fully charges your attack meter in about a second, letting you make rapid full-power or charged attacks. However, because attacking and dashing use the same meter, it can also be used to run continuously without tiring out. Since the number of landing spots for the Windwalker is extremely limited, you'll still be traveling a lot on foot, and Energize can save quite a bit of time while you run to the Alchemist to restock on supplies.
  • Not Rare Over There: Annihilation Amulets. 10,000 gems to get one if you don't want to cross the desert on foot, and once on the other side you can easily buy a couple others in the marketplace. Justified as the monk who sells them is a scam artist and almost admits what a piece of crap he's sold you if you cough up the money.
  • Off to See the Wizard: Besides a signpost in the Dark Forest which reads "I'd turn back if I were you," and one villain's very familiar-sounding threat to the hero (and his little dog, too!), the entire game might be read as this. In both stories, a youth and a dog are swept away from their quiet American life into the throes of a mysterious fantasy world, in which they find three companions, free the inhabitants from evil influences, and seek the aid of a wizard-like figure to escort them home.
  • Older Than They Look: Technically all the leaders are, but Elizabeth sticks out especially, since she was a child when she first came to Evermore and Never Grew Up. She should actually be in her mid-to-late thirties.
  • Ominous Multiple Screens: The final boss room. Blowing up all of the fans and speakers triggers a wall of monitors to rise up out of the floor, and familiar-looking robots start to emerge from it.
  • Omniscient Council of Vagueness: Horace's Twin holds a conference call in one of the cinematics. At this point in the story, Carltron hasn't been identified as part of Ruffleberg's party, and his face is only vaguely-outlined. Evil Horace keeps his back turned to the viewer.
  • Our Founder: The Dog has his own stone idol in the Nobilia square (it later crumbles away to reveal Aegis).
  • Overdrawn at the Blood Bank: Some small enemies such as mosquitoes and Frippos die in a shower of blood.

    P-T 

  • Peninsula of Power Leveling:
    • For weapon grinding, try the southern jungle in Prehistoria. Weapons gain experience based on kills, regardless of the enemy's strength. So the easiest way to grind the late-game weapons is to head back into the jungle, slay all the Goombas you see, then leave and come back to respawn them. Your weapons will hit level 3 within an hour.
    • Right outside Nobilia, you will encounter Bone Buzzards. They give 300 XP, way more than most enemies in the region, along with 40 Jewels. Their defense against alchemy is pitiful, so a Lv. 1 attack formula will kill one, and you've just learned the Crush formula from Blimp one screen away (and he sells the ingredients for it). The math works out that casting Crush on a Bone Buzzard makes you more money than it costs to buy the ingredients, so you can power level Crush for profit.
    • The Sons of Anhur fought in the Pyramid leave behind 250 jewels. They are the most-profitable mob in the game in terms of money; no other enemy encounter drops that much cash outside of boss battles. This makes the Oglin Hideout the optimal place to grind for money late in the game: Sons of Anhur appear alongside Oglins, who also leave behind a lot of money.
    • In the early game, the first boss fight against Thraxx is a perfect spot to grind both characters. For the duration of the fight, four Maggots will constantly spawn as they are defeated. They award a decent amount of exp and currency, but the player will soon be able to one-hit them making them respawn very quickly. The only danger is from Thraxx casting Acid Rain, which will only do about 20 damage to the characters. The only limit to grinding the fight is the player's inventory of healing items, but Maggots will often drop a Petal upon death. An experienced player can easily use this opportunity to acheive level 10 or beyond and a sizable amount currency.
  • Permanently Missable Content:
    • There's a lot you can miss in this game without even realizing it. Probably the worst offender is Gothica as a whole: the alleyway shops close once you kill Mungola, the castle doors lock once you return the worker's key, and if you open the wrong chest in Lance's house, you won't meet Lance or get the Alchemy formula of the same name.
    • The various trade items can be acquired in multiple places if you miss them, but it's still very easy to accidentally trade the wrong item and never see it again. Also, the merchants around the world who trade those items will offer you something different if you already have what they'd normally offer. So not only can certain trade items be lost forever, but which ones you can lose depends on which ones you already have. Your best bet is to rig the deals so you can collect the more desirable charms. A merchant in Ivor Tower will sell you back all of the charms you traded in Nobilia for reasonably cheap. They're only lost forever if you don't pick them up before you finish Gothica and everyone moves back to Ebon Keep.
  • Perverse Puppet: Mephista and Old Nick, a pair of enormous, staring marionettes from the land of Gothica. The King just loves to watch them dance...
  • Point of No Return: When the Volcano erupts after you beat Magmar, it causes an earthquake which floods out the swamp. When you return to Prehistoria later, the swamp is inaccessible. As for the Volcano Crater, it's now a bubbling pool of lava, so the alchemist is long gone.
  • Prehistoria: The first world you explore (actually the Trope Namer, in fact), a jungle region full of dinosaurs and other prehistoric critters.
  • Produce Pelting:
    Pompolonius: And introducing the challenger... Some loser with a stick!
    [the crowd hurls garbage at the Hero]
  • Prongs of Poseidon: Vigor also hurls tridents at you.
  • Quicksand Sucks:
    • Bugmuck has reappearing wormholes that spit you backward if you get sucked in. Harmless but aggravating.
    • There is another instance in Antiqua which is an easter egg: There's an invisible, slow-moving whirlpool right outside Nobilia. Wait long enough (it takes an eternity), and the Hero finally gets sucked underground, where he inexplicably finds 99 bags of rice and 99 bags of spice. More than enough to clean up at the market mini-game coming up next.
  • Rapid Aging: Naris, possibly the strangest alchemist in the game. He's a prodigy who's working on an alchemy formula to age things, and if you leave and reenter his room, he's replaced by the old guy NPC (complete with facial hair).
  • Raptor Attack: Prehistoria's South Jungle, which throws you right in the thick of it with hungry raptors. They appear as standard mooks later in the region, albeit still lethal due to their erratic pounce attacks.
  • Reactor Boss: In an inversion, you fight Magmar in the Volcano Core, which consists of a mess of pipes and a boiler. Evil Elizabeth threatens to turn off the heat and trigger an ice age in Prehistoria. After you win, she turns up the heat in frustration, and volcano blows up, anyway. But the temperature on the pleateau stays the same, and the Hero and his Dog are blown out the volcano cone to safety.
  • Recursive Canon: The theater marquee lists a showing of The Secret of Evermore in the ending, but some lingering electricity suggests that Prof. Ruffleberg's device is responsible for putting it there. We never find out if there's an actual movie with that title in the game's world.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: The Diamond Eyes glow like fire when inserted into the Dog statue, turning it into the red-eyed furnace monster Aegis.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: The Vipers of Prehistoria are hostile to the people of Fire Eyes' Village. According to the one friendly Viper you meet inside the volcano, they used to be peaceful but became violent and land-hungry due to outside manipulation, most likely by Carltron.
  • Regenerating Health: The Regrowth formula. It restores 1 HP per second, but wears off if the target gets attacked, so you're not supposed to use it while fighting.
  • Ribcage Ridge: Bugmuck Swamp is named after a giant exoskeleton buried there.
  • Ridiculous Future Inflation: The Omnitopian Credit is the least valuable currency in the game via the exchange rate between civilizations. But to offset this, the goods in Omnitopia are lot more exorbitant.
  • Robotic Reveal:
    • Queen Bluegarden leaves behind a sprocket following her (apparent) demise.
    • Each area has its own distinct lifeforms, which are unique to the region and do not appear in other locales except as traps set by Carltron's friends. However, it appears that at least some of these enemies are robotic in nature, as you can find blueprints on monitors in Omnitopia detailing their construction.
  • Rodent of Unusual Size: The Verminator, who perches on a stack of crates inside Ebon Keep and acts like he's taken ownership over the delinquent castle.
  • Rolling Attack:
    • Vipers are covered in some kind of spiked carapace. They will suddenly turn into a wheel and juke around the battlefield, mowing down anyone who comes near. Alchemy is definitely recommended when facing a bunch of them.
    • Evil Elizabeth's "pet rock", Magmar, is some kind of lava golem who can roll into a ball and careen around the pipes. It makes it difficult to land a shot when he reverts back and starts spitting fireballs. He also rolls into the lava pit periodically to recover HP.
  • Ruins for Ruins' Sake: Antiqua, a land based on a pastiche of Ancient Egypt, Mayincatec, Ancient Grome and pirate times, is created from Horace Highwater's ideal world which is based around archaeology.
  • Running Gag:
    • "This is my dog. He hasn't been himself lately".
    • The Dog chasing cats. He does it in Podunk and almost every region of Evermore, including shooting lasers at one in Ruffleberg's lab.
    • In Antiqua, mummified cats. They're part of the desert "tour", they're on tapestries, in juggling acts (to the degree that juggling cats had to be outlawed), and in the Great Pyramid they even show up as enemies.
  • Scenery Porn: The game is surprisingly beautiful in certain places, particularly the landscape around Gothica. The music, the very first commercial score composed by a young Jeremy Soule, certainly helps add to the atmosphere.
  • Schizo Tech: Evermore was specifically designed for this trope, and the game wouldn't be as memorable as it is if not for the silly and insane juxtapositions. Did we mention the robot toaster dog with the laser cannon on its back yet?
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Aegis is the big boss of the second world, unleashed by the Fake Horace who assembles the pieces needed to activate it.
  • Sequence Breaking:
    • At the beginning of the game, you can walk to the east side of Fire Eyes' Village, but you will be blocked by a villager unless you talked to her first. You can get past him by standing near him, then wait for your AI-controlled Dog to wander past him. Press Select when the dog is on the other side, and you can skip to the next screen. This trick also works near the entrance the cave north of Horace's Camp.
    • You can skip the obnoxious rat king fight. When you first emerge in Ebon Keep, don't fight him. Instead, head back to the chess board and the path to Ivor Tower will be gone—but the one to Ebon Keep will be visible? (Fake Caemilla sent you to the sister city to lower the drawbridge. The game assumes you've already met the real Caemilla if you enter Ebon Keep.) Now you can enter the old castle from a side entrance and talk directly to the Queen and Tinker. The problem is you can't go through the atrium where Verminator is since his crates still block it, plus the game might freeze if you try to enter his room.
    • There's a dangerous gate glitch in the Great Pyramid extension with Tiny. This room can only be visited once, when you show up demanding the Diamond Eyes. Once you've opened the gate leading to Tiny, if you try to leave at any time before beating him, the gate will slam shut permanently. Meaning you won't be able to get the Diamond Eyes from Tiny. Which means you cant beat the game since the Diamond Eyes are essential to completing Tinker's rocket ship... unless you exploit another glitch. Get the Gauge (another component for the rocket) from the Volcano, then leave the area. Now return to the Volcano, and presto: there will be another Gauge waiting for you? Even more oddly, this Gauge actually acts as if it were the Diamond Eyes, thus circumventing the Tiny fight.
  • Shifting Sand Land: The Quicksand Field in Prehistoria and the Desert of Doom in Nobilia.
  • Shaped Like What It Sells:
    • Water and Clay are cheapest when bought from the man who gives you Acid Rain, and he lives next to a river. The alchemist in the Bugmuck has the cheapest Oil, Crystals, and Wax, and he lives next to tar pits full of bugs and skeletons with crystal formations in the tar. Ash is cheapest when purchased from the alchemist who lives on the Volcano, naturally. Strong Heart lives in the jungle and has the cheapest price on Roots.
    • Bone and Limestone can only be bought from Blimp, and he lives near what looks to be a limestone cliff and is implied to have kept the remains of Salabog as a trophy. Aside from Omnitopia, the best price on Ethanol is a merchant who lives near Crustacia, a city of pirates (ethanol is used to make alcohol).
    • Aside from Omnitopia, the only merchants who sell Mushrooms and Acorns live in Gothica, where their homes are adjacent to forests.
  • Shout Out:
    • When the Hero and his Dog are exploring the Rufflebergs' dilapidated mansion on the hill, he finds "a chainsaw, a mummy, and a balloon animal". A chainsaw and mummy are also found in Maniac Mansion.
    • The Hero's outfit bears sharp resemblance to Marty McFly's clothing from Back to the Future. Given the theme of the game, it doesn't seem coincidental.
    • After being "chosen" by the "Sacred Dog" to fight Vigor in the Coliseum:
  • Show Within a Show: The main character is a big fan of pulp movies that sound terrible, or possibly great.
  • Simple Score of Sadness: The original theme for Ebon Keep.
  • Space Zone: The theme for Omnitopia, which Prof. Ruffleberg created for himself as the pinnacle of scientific and human achievement.
  • Sprint Shoes: The Jaguar Ring allows the Hero and his Dog to sprint instead of walk, but at the cost of stamina.
  • Stationary Boss: Thraxx/Choleoptera, Rimsala, Aegis, Aquagoth, Verminator, Mungola, and the Faces. They tend to attack with alchemy, and in Verminator's case, he stands completely out of reach of the Dog while rummaging through his ingredient bag.
  • Take It to the Bridge: There's a battle where the Hero has to fight three clones of himself to cross a bridge into Ebon Keep.
  • A Taste of Power: The Bazooka is the first weapon you obtain in the game, but you only get to use it for one fight and then it gets destroyed in the escape pod crash after you leave Omnitopia. Cecil, of all people, recovers it during his travels and repairs it before you reach Ebon Keep.
  • Teamwork Puzzle Game: Downplayed, but there are certain areas where you're forced to play as either the Hero or Dog, areas only the Dog can reach and obstacles only the boy's alchemy or inventory can move aside.
  • Temporary Bulk Change: The Atlas formula causes the Hero to spontaneously bust out in ridiculous muscles for a moment. It's anyone's guess how his clothes survive.
  • Thing-O-Matic: Prof. Ruffleberg invented a device called the Project-o-Matic Zaptron Simulator, which lets the Hero navigate Evermore from Omnitopia. Virtual reality within virtual reality!
  • Thirsty Desert: The Desert of Doom. Without exploiting a glitch, you have to walk, which will take upwards of 15 minutes. 15 minutes walking across identical, flat plains of desert, fending off tumbleweeds while constantly healing to mend the desert's periodic health drain.
  • Timed Mission: A non-lethal one as soon as you set foot in Nobilia. You only have a brief span of time to window-shop before the market closes for plot progression reasons.
  • Too Awesome to Use:
    • Brimstone is quite pricey no matter where you buy it, since of course no one can easily access it. There is one person who might be able to: the alchemist who works on top of the Volcano. But it's too early for it to be useful at that point. Dry Ice and Meteorites can't be bought at all, since how could a supplier logically have a steady supply of them?
    • Call Beads, so long as you don't exploit a glitch.
    • In addition to the aforementioned Call Beads, you'll be tempted to save your alchemy ingredients when weapons will do the trick just fine. Exceptions are forthe flying enemies (who are way harder to hit), healing, and buff formulas for boss fights. Adversely, when it comes time use one of those attack formulas (lookin' at you, Verminator), they'll be woefully underleveled and you probably won't have the necessary ingredients at hand, preventing you from leveling them up.
  • Toy Time: The Chessboard maze linking Ivor Tower with Ebon Keep.
  • Tube Travel: Use the grid of pipes to get around Omnitopia. They are patrolled by a vigilant team of Raptors and Rimsalas, and some doors need to be opened by blasting a locking mechanism in the vacuum of space, which is where your robo-dog comes in.

    U-Z 

  • The Unfought: You never actually fight Carltron, or any of the robot twins. Instead, they each preside over a fight with a much-bigger monster.
  • Unwinnable by Mistake:
    • Great Pyramid has a section filled with collapsible bridges. This is standard fare for video games; but once these collapse, they're gone — forever. This leads to unwinnable situations if you use an item or formula to escape before defeating the dungeon's mini-boss; you'll be unable to retrace your steps, and thus locked out of completing the dungeon. If you're unlucky enough to save while outside, then your save file will be rendered useless.
    • The room before Verminator is inescapable and inhabited by nothing but rats that are worth a piddly 4 EXP each. If you're underleveled and saved right before the boss, then the fight with him is as good as unwinnable. Funnily, this boss can be avoided altogether by utilizing a glitch in the previous area; but if you enter his room, then the game will lock the door and will not open it until the code signifying that you've beaten the boss goes through. Since the Verminator doesn't appear if you've used the glitch, it will be impossible to initiate this code and thus unlock the door, and the player will be forced to reset.
    • It's possible to get stuck in the third realm, Gothica, after exiting a cave and reaching the desolate Ebon Keep. Climb up Gomi's Tower, and at the top you will be airlifted by Sterling back to the populated Ivor Tower, where you are expected to fight a boss in the castle. Go back through the cave again, and you'll be stuck in the desolate town because your airride won't come back.
    • US version only: After Tinker hands you a plane to seek out parts for his rocket ship, it is possible, via an obscure glitch, to land back outside Tinker's lab—without the aircraft. This happens if you try to land on a nondescript island in the vicinity of Ivor Tower. If the player hasn't completed this fetch quest, then the game is now unwinnable because you can't return to old areas and thus can't journey into space. And it is possible to save here, thus ruining the player's progress with only a quarter of the game left.
  • Useless Item: The Magic Gourd, acquired at the end of the Nobilia market segment, serves absolutely no purpose other than to deprive you of a valuable Chocobo Egg which increases your Max HP by 45. You can at least trade for another Chocobo Egg further down the line, and it does allow you to have all of the charms on a single save file, if that's important to you.
  • Useless Useful Spell: A couple:
    • Reflect: It reflects magic. The problem is, by the time you get it, it's only useful on an optional boss. And shortly before you get it, you can acquire Barrier, which negates all damage anyway.
    • Nitro: The most powerful attack formula in the game. The problem is that by the time you get it, you're a half an hour away from fighting the final boss, tops. Rendering it even more useless is that the ingredients needed to use it can only be bought from two separate merchants in two different regions, so the game is actively discouraging you from using it too much.
    • Miracle Cure: It combines Cure (removes status ailments) and Heal (restores HP), however by the time you get it, status ailments don't pose much of a problem and Super Heal (completely restores the HP of both characters) has been a staple alchemy formula.
    • There's two alchemy ingredients you can't buy normally: Dry Ice and Meteorite. Meteorites are traded by the shady figure in Antiqua who tried to hawk you an Amulet of Annihilation. You can't acquire any more pieces of Dry Ice in the game than the ones you pick up. However, the funny thing is that they're used only for the Call Up formula, which produces a Call Bead.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: Omnitopia is the oddly not the final map in the game, as you'll need to leave and then return with the power source needed to unlock the transporter to Carltron's room. Luckily, the Professor provides you with a shuttlepod to dock at the lab, so you don't have to traverse the station twice.
  • Video Game Cruelty Punishment:
    • Go ahead. Taunt those chickens.
    • Interrupt the philosoper's rant by turning him into a "basket-case." (Get it?) See "Baleful Poyumorph" above. He will remain like that forever, and his captive audience will applaud you for getting him to shut up. The philosopher gives you a nice present if you spare him, though.
    • Getting the Lance formula requires you to enter an otherwise nondescript room and leave without opening the chests; which you'd know if you spoke to Lance's wife downstairs, and didn't just loot the entire house in your haste.
    • In a rather funny twist of events, if you kill the cleaning robots during the final battle, you'll face a Dark Spider as the next wave of monsters spawn, with an additional spider each time you kill the cleaners. These little bastards will ignore your bug repellent and kill you with a vengeance.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: Thraxx. Up until you meet him, every enemy attack can be dodged. Thraxx will hit you for 5 HP and massive recoil each time you damage his heart. (So using alchemy at a distance won't protect you.) He'll also use three attacks that can target you anywhere in the arena, two of which are unavoidable, and each deals high damage. To top it all off, you can only carry 6 Healing Leaves, and you probably didn't get a full load of dog Biscuits in town. Your best hope is that the surrounding Maggots drop Leaves or give you enough experience to level up, which restores all of your health.
  • Warmup Boss: The initial raptor boss battle. If you're successful in fighting off the raptors at the crash site, you get some free stuff, but if you fail (and you likely will fail), you get dragged to safety by the Dog and continue on with the plot.
  • We Will Spend Credits in the Future: Omnitopia's local currency is the credit.
  • Weird Currency: Prehistoria's Economy runs on Talons. Not a metaphor: they're the claws of various animals.
  • Where It All Began: The Hero is jettisoned from Omnitopia by Carltron, and it takes him the entire game to get back.
  • Wolfpack Boss:
    • Rimsala, the boss of the Great Pyramid. The only way for it to inflict damage is by spinning into you, and the four respawning statues in the arena cast Flash regularly, but they can be disabled for a time with an alchemy attack.
    • Mungola, the final boss of Gothica. It's just a face poking through some stage curtains which silently watches you fight a pair of puppets that defend it. Mungola occasionally casts alchemy like Fireball or Corrosion.
  • World of Pun:
    • All four regions. Antiqua is both a pun on "antique" and Antigua.
    • The two castles are separated by a vast chessboard and are named Ivor and Ebon, meaning Ivory and Ebony.
    • The Footknight, one of Gothica's bosses, is a literal foot wearing a knight's helmet.
    • The Omnitopia robots, which come with code names like I8-PI and IM-L8.
  • Year Outside, Hour Inside: Evermore is a world constructed from the imaginations of four people living in 1965 who created these worlds based on their own personal interests. Thirty years later, when the Hero finds them, they're not any older, and even comment in the ending that life will be much different now.
  • You ALL Look Familiar:
    • Get ready to see a lot of Strong Heart. As early as the Mammoth Graveyard, he's being recycled. In Antiqua, the tunic is recolored to resemble a toga. His sprite gets used again for Horace's aide, Madronius, who looks like an alchemist the Hero recognizes in the Hall of Collosia... who is conveniently not Madronius but his brother.
    • "Caemilla" holding court with someone from Nobilia named Eronio, who uses the same sprite as Pompolonius. This is never explained.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: The denizens of Prehistoria have bright green hair and beards, which is probably how they can tell the Hero is not from there. "You are like Fire Eyes!"


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