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Video Game / Secret of Evermore

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"I'm not really sure where 'here' is, to tell you the truth."
—The Hero

An Action RPG modeled heavily from the SNES surprise hit, Secret of Mana. Despite rumors to the contrary, Evermore is not the sequel to Secret of Mana, but was made from whole cloth by Square USA (now part of Square Enix), and is one of the company's few games to have been developed entirely in the United States. It also featured a highly atmospheric soundtrack from up-and-coming composer Jeremy Soule, who went on to provide soundtracks for such classic games as Dungeon Siege, The Elder Scrolls from Morrowind on, Guild Wars and the Total Annihilation series.

The game stars a B-movie-loving boy and his dog, who stumble upon an abandoned mansion in the middle of Podunk, U.S.A. After a mishap with a mysterious-looking device, the boy and his canine companion get transported to Another Dimension, and find out that four other people have been trapped inside for decades, the disastrous result of the Evermore experiment 30 years ago. His goal becomes to explore this strange new world, learn the history of the Evermore project, and find a way to get everyone back to Earth. While the story isn't nearly as involved as it might sound, the game isn't without its highlights, the aforementioned soundtrack being one of them, the subversions of some path-of-least-resistance video game economic tropes being another.


The game itself is rather short, compared to Secret of Mana and other Square-Enix titles; it's also extremely linear, with no side-quests and a straightforward 'defeat the villain' premise. Otherwise, Secret of Evermore is fairly entertaining, with the boy constantly comparing his predicament to various (fictional) movies, and the dog shape-shifting into different forms, depending on which part of the game-world they're in.

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.

Each 'environment' in Evermore seems to exist in its own biome; each is separated from the others in some way (Fire Eyes' village is on a massive plateau, some areas are only reachable by traveling through sewer pipes, and the final area of the game isn't part of Evermore at all). Likewise, each area has its own distinct life-forms, which are unique to the region and do not appear in other locales.


A long-dead post in the Secret of Evermore GameFAQs forum featured an extended (and very interesting) 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.

Secret of Evermore is the Trope Namer for:

General Tropes

Secret of Evermore provides examples of:

  • 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 the hero dies before they wear off.
    • Literally the name of an alchemy spell, but it fully restores the hero's health.
  • Acceptable Breaks from Reality: 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 Ebon Keep is a Mirror World of Ivor Tower.
  • Abandoned Laboratory: On top of Ruffleberg's derelict mansion.
  • Ability Required to Proceed: Comes in multiple varieties.
    • The weeds that your starting bone weapon can't cut down until you get the Spider Claw.
    • The switches in a dungeon have to be hit from a distance, and your spear is too light to do the job so you have to find the heavier Bronze Spear.
    • Stone barriers and blocked doorways that your current Axe is too weak to demolish so you have to find an upgrade.
    • The Levitate alchemy formula, which serves almost no other purpose.
  • Absurdly High Level Cap
    • As is the usual standard for RPGs, The Boy and his Dog can reach level 99, but you'll likely finish the game with them around Level 30.
    • The Boy can use 13 weapons that can all have their skill upgraded twice. 2600 skill points are required to master all the weapons (each monster defeated will give you 1 or more skill points), and most of them you won't use long enough to get them to Level 2.
    • Your Alchemy spells will become stronger the more you use them and can be maxed out at level 9. Good luck with that.
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: There are several of these, and each is a maze that must be successfully navigated to proceed.
  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: Generally, item prices increase the further you go in the game, but only relatively. There's an exchange rate between regions, with a Gold Coin being 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 that 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, the latter being explained further down the page under Commonplace Rare. Alchemy ingredients are often sold by multiple merchants and you can buy a large supply from them to avoid being gouged from other merchants charging more for ingredients later in the game. And of course, eventually you get the Windwalker and can travel between regions freely. So the trope is less "Adam Smith Hates Your Guts" and more "Buy In Bulk and Learn To Comparison Shop"
  • Adipose Rex: A female variant — Queen Bluegarden, whose derrière is the size of a Buick.
  • Air-Vent Passageway: In Ivor Tower, the player must guide the Dog through one of these.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Ruffleberg outfitted Carltron with an intelligence chip so he would play chess with him. Bad idea.
  • All the Worlds Are a Stage: Omnitopia features numerous enemies from the past three worlds, or at least palette swaps of them: Raptors, Rimsala, Tentacles, Rats, the killer plants, and mosquitoes all appear. The final boss battle specifically brings back the Bad Boy, an evil copy of your dog, and Magmar. Even the background reminds you of the rest of the game, with things like Thraxx's face, Aegis, and the Volcano boiler appearing as scenery.
  • Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: The Boy's Dog turns into a classic cartoon froufrou pink poodle in Gothica.
  • Analogy Backfire: Before facing Vigor the Indestructible, the hero is reminded of a fight scene Dirt, Swords, Sweat and Togas:
    Hero: I think the hero got pummeled in that picture.
  • 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, the mingling of so many radically different cultures and time periods into one idealized place actually makes sense.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Verminator, King of the Rats.
  • Awesome, yet Impractical:
    • Alchemy. It is a really unique and novel idea, but in practice isn't very effective. Individual formulas take a long time to level up and ingredients can get pricy, 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 hands you 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 just fine for the rest of the game (healing, raising defense, and attacking). Later you'll want to add Crush and Fireball to the mix (higher power 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 formulas just don't scale well against increasingly powerful enemies and more expensive ingredients.
    • Special mention to Nitro, 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 that lets you access the final boss. To add insult to injury, the ingredients needed to use Nitro can only be bought from two merchants in different regions, who are in hard-to-reach locations in those regions, and each one only sells one of the two ingredients needed for Nitro. It's as though the developers designed the spell with intent to purposefully invoke this trope.
  • Badass Normal: The main character. No, stop and think about it for a little while: this is a young man who has been transported to an unknown world, who has no real skill in weaponry to begin with, but reacts to every threat to his progress through this unknown world by CLUBBING IT TO DEATH WITH A SEVERED HUMAN FEMUR.
  • Bamboo Technology: Gomi appears to be building a skyscraper using whatever junk he has lying around, and some twine. Averted in the primitive worlds.
  • Bazaar of the Bizarre: Located in Nobilia, and itself the subject of many a FAQ. It's possible to make lots of money with smart trading... or lose lots with the dumb variety.
  • Beard of Evil: Carltron.
  • Beat Still, My Heart: Among other random items pulled from a bag, is a cartoon valentine heart (not a realistic one) that beats (silently).
  • Bee Bee Gun: The notoriously inconspicuous "Sting" spell. It launches a small swarm of bees at opponents.
  • Big Fancy Castle: Gothica and Ebon Keep.
  • Blackout Basement: Oglin Cave.
  • Bleak Level: Ebon Keep, though it is more melancholy than anything.
  • Bonus Boss: The Faces, a.k.a. "Your Cleanliness." They can be found in Omnitopia by inputting a randomly generated code note  into the three switches puzzle that is also used to turn 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 Robot Raptors.
    • 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 teleport to the final boss's lair.
  • Boss Arena Idiocy: The first phase of the final battle consists of destroying some Fans and Speakers, which are virtually indestructible unless you hit the bombs being dropped at you at them.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: There's an out of place Guard Bot in Gothica that you fight... however it's not the same as the ones fought previously. This guy will seriously wreck your day if you aren't prepared.
  • Boss Rush: The final area is one, in lieu of a final dungeon.
  • A Boy and His X: Parodied in keeping with the boy's pop culture savvy in general. The boy has his dog at the beginning of the game, but it's just a little wire-haired terrier. When they meet up again in Prehistoria, the Dog has turned into a huge, hulking cave wolf instead, and keeps changing as you travel between the worlds/regions. How much Character Development the Boy goes through is debatable, but he'd never have made it to the end of the journey without 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: There is an actual broken bridge in Crustacia cutting off access to the west bank of the river. Only the dog can jump across. There is also a raised drawbridge in Gothica cutting off direct access to Ebon Keep.
  • Bubblegloop Swamp: Prehistoria has two: the tar pits/bone-studded cliffs/dinosaur graveyard of Bugmuck, and the area simply dubbed Swamp, with its with its 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 Super-Deformed statues, giant stone fists trying to crush you, winged flying skulls, and lots of poison damage.
  • The Butler Did It: Parodied: evil robot butler Carltron is the Big Bad.
  • The Cameo:
  • Canine Companion: The Dog, who has his own health bar and attacks and is playable at any time. If you want to play the game as if the Boy is the Dog's human companion, there are even certain conversations and cutscenes that will accommodate you.
  • Chain of Deals: Used in the desert city, Nobilia. You start out buying small items, and trade your way up to charms which give you permanent stat boosts — or the Magic Gourd, which is Useless.
  • Charged Attack: Like in Secret of Mana, 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 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.
  • A Child Shall Lead Them: Bespectacled young Elizabeth loved dinosaurs and cavemen times, providing the inspiration for Prehistoria, where she rules one of the local tribes as "Fire Eyes" (because of the way her glasses catch the light).
  • Circus of Fear: Mungola and his puppets.
  • Climax Boss: Aegis is one for Nobilia; he's not the last boss, but he's unleashed by the villain's plan.
  • Cognizant Limbs: Thraxx, and later his stronger Palette Swapped offspring, Choleoptera. Their ribcages shield their hearts from damage.
  • Commonplace Rare: Notably averted. Alchemy Ingredients are priced according to where the seller is located, and the patterns make perfect sense — the easier access a merchant would logically have to an ingredient, the cheaper they sell it for.
    • 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 that lives in the Volcano crater, naturally. Strong Heart lives in the jungle and has the cheapest price on Roots.note 
    • 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 (keep in mind what ethanol is used to make).
    • Aside from Omnitopia, the only merchants who sell Mushrooms and Acorns live in Gothica, where their homes are adjacent to forests. Iron is only sold in Gothica, since the prehistoric and ancient areas don't have the smelting techniques needed to craft iron yet.
    • Gunpowder is very expensive, but is only sold in Omnitopia since none of the other regions have firearms. Brimstone, of course no one can easily access it, which is why Brimstone is quite pricey no matter where you buy it. Dry Ice and Meteorites can't be bought at all, since how could a supplier logically have a steady supply of them?
    • Played straight with Feathers, Grease, and Vinegar, which are only sold by a few merchants in the entire game. One would presume Grease would be found in Omnitopia with all its machinery, but it's found in Gothica from an alchemist living beneath the chessboard.
  • Cutscene Boss: Carltron never even gets to raise his hand to fight you. After the hero defeats his robots, Ruffleberg sneaks behind him and presses his 'off' switch. Judging by his sprite, Carlton was preparing to activate some sort of Arm Cannon before he froze in place.
  • Darker and Edgier: Pre-production materials and commercials imply that the game was supposed to be moodier than the final product, but was changed up near the end of development.
  • Decade Dissonance: Evermore was designed with this in mind — from the caveman world of (Trope Namer) Prehistoria, to the Ancient Grome analogue of Antiqua, to the fantasy Renaissance land of Gothica, and finally Professor Ruffleberg's own futuristic Tomorrowland of Omnitopia, all four brushing up against each other side by side in an artificial world.
  • Degraded Boss: Robot raptors and Rimsala Eyes are crawling all over Omnitopia. This extends even to the scenery; Aegis's face is built into the junkyard's architecture.
  • Developers' Foresight:
    • Give the hero a name that 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 Boy. Some of them even give your Dog items.
    • 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 area'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 do one dungeon and then go meet him, the conversation changes to reflect this, and if you do both dungeons, the dialogue with Horace and the ruler of Nobilia changes because you haven't met Horace before. Though it does invite the Fridge Logic of why the ruler of Nobilia would disguise himself as Horace when you don't 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 announcer at the Antiqua gladiator arena will introduce the hero as "a loser with a stick," or alternatively, "with a femur / claw," depending on which weapon you're equipped with at the moment.
    • 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 an extra payment from the player for being 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 the boulder may be moved back when you return. Both at the entrance to the Volcano and inside it, if you ever have 0 Mud Peppers in your inventory for any way, you can make the trek back to Blimp and he'll give you another one.
    • In Ivor Tower, you need to trade an Amulet of Annihiltion for an Exhibition Ticket, which you have to to advance the plot. You can find three amulets in town, but on the chance 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 progression because there's no way at the time to get rid of this fourth amulet except for the ticket.
    • In the Ivor Tower Jail, you take control of the dog briefly to break the hero out of his cell. However, if you delay releasing him and kill all the enemies in the area as the dog, you get a free armor piece for the dog for your effort.
    • If you complete the air duct sequence with the dog but don't find the Queen's Key, you can return to the ducts later and re-enter them, allowing you to acquire the key then.
  • Dolled-Up Installment: 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 recycled use of the ring menu system. However, this plan worked against the game's favor when Square decided not to produce an English localization of Trials of Mana, causing Mana fans to believe that the decision was made to avoid competition with Evermore.
  • Down in the Dumps: Omnitopia's garbage heap.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: Energize. See Game Breaker on the YMMV page.
  • Empathic Shapeshifter: The dog, whose appearance is determined by what area the hero is exploring. Feral wolf for Prehistoria, sleek jackal-esque dog for Antiqua, pampered poodle in Gothica, and mechanical toaster-dog (with Frickin' Laser Beams!) in Omnitopia. He looks like a fairly normal terrier breed in the real world.
  • Establishing Series Moment: The game opens with the hero having just seen a cheesy movie, and he makes many references to similar movies.
  • 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 egregious in the desert area, where the player is attacked by a malevolent tumbleweed. This stuff doesn't just defy the laws of physics by rolling against the wind; it actually chases the hero and absolutely will not turn aside until it has collided with him. After it has either landed a hit or been blocked, it blows away in random directions. This is actually typical of smaller enemies in the game, like spiders: they'll run up, attack you, and then run off.
  • Evil Knockoff:
    • Elizabeth, Horace, and Camilla each have robotic clones of them running around and making trouble. Clones of the hero (no harder than any of the three below mentioned ones) and his dog (who is a much stronger opponent) are encountered during the final boss fight.
    • There's a battle on a bridge where the hero has to fight three clones of himself. Which leads to the line, "According to my calculations, you're three times stronger than yourself!"
  • Eye of Newt: The alchemy ingredients, often taking the form of chemicals, minerals, or various flora.
  • The Ferry Man: There is a desert ferryman who will ferry you across the desert to the Nobilia Trading Market... at the cost of one Amulet of Annihilation. He's chatty for a skeleton, constantly remarking on the desert scenery like a tour bus captain.
  • Fireballs: At least four different spells have this effect in varying degrees. Most are very effective with a little leveling.
  • First Town: Fire Eyes's village.
  • Flashback Effects: The prologue is told in Deliberate Monochrome.
  • Foreshadowing: After taking out the Guardbots with his bazooka and descending down a floor iris, the hero runs into his dog again, which barks a greeting at him. At first, you notice something off about it, but you figure maybe it's just all the metal around where the hero's currently located distorting his barking. Turns out that it was the toaster-dog.
  • Full-Name Basis: The player is given a ridiculously 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.
  • 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.
  • Gangplank Galleon: Crustacea is swarming with Age of Sail-style pirates living in hollowed-out wrecked ships. Yar.
  • Garden of Evil: The Omnitopia Greenhouse contains Flowering Deaths, carnivorous plants that were biologically engineered to kill anything that gets too close in one hit.
  • 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 give you a boss to fight at the end of an area.
  • Girlish Pigtails: Elizabeth/Fire Eyes, who came to Evermore as a little girl, wears her hair like this.
  • Global Currency: Averted. Each world the hero visits has its own form of currency, and there's a steep exchange rate for each of them.
  • Global Airship: Tinker's flying machine. Later one of the Omnitopian escape shuttles.
  • Guide Dang It!: Unfortunately, the game is rather merciless in this regard. If you're going for 100% Completion, you will need a walkthrough. Numerous items are permanently missable if you don't know what you're doing, while others are just very hard to find.
    • Good luck finding some of the Alchemy formulas without knowing how. A few particular ones are note are Speed, Sting, Lance, and Fire Power. Speed requires you to find a very well-hidden secret passage in the Volcano. Sting requires you to navigate to a specific spot in an impossibly huge desert that all looks the same. Lance needs you to enter an otherwise unnotable room and leave without opening the chests. Fire Power requires you to find a hidden passageway with the dog in Ivor Tower. Also, other than Sting, all of these spells are permanently missable. And by the way, 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 to be found in the first place.
      • The only hint that Speed exists was in the instruction manual. It also gave at least some context where to find it (the spell ring suggested it was found in Prehistoria)... but good freakin' luck still.
    • A few mazes are confusing as hell unless one actually starts mapping them out. The most egregious of these is the Dark Forest. Unless you know how to navigate through to the end of the level (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 path, including another alchemy formula.
    • Some of the unique charms are permanently missable if you don't know what you're doing. Made more complex by some of them being offered to trade by different people depending on how and when you acquire them. Particular note to the alley market in Gothica, which is inaccessible once you beat Mongola at the end of the region; a pity many of the items offered there require trade ingredients from Antiqua, which you can't return to.
  • Hailfire Peaks: The Volcano Core.
  • Hedge Maze: Chessboard Plateau.
  • Heroic Dog: The Dog is a playable character and, at times, the Deuteragonist of the story.
  • Hello, [Insert Name Here]: The hero and his dog, although screenshots in the manual provide Billy for the hero and Scruffy for the dog.
  • Hollywood Acid: The Acid Rain and Corrosion spells, which call down a bubbling, burning raincloud and a slow-acting deluge respectively.
  • Hope Spot: Thanks to Prehistoria's volcano, the heroes are catapulted high into the air. Luckily, they fall into an upended turtle shell that floats them gently downstream. And then dumps them over an Inevitable Waterfall.
  • Hurricane of Puns:
    • The hero, after fighting monsters that emerge from stained-glass windows: "Those guys were a pane in the glass."
    • "Or Evermore will be nevermore forever more!"
  • I Don't Like the Sound of That Place: The Desert of Doom.
  • Improbable Accessory Effect: A chocobo egg gives the player and his dog more health? A jeweled bracelet lets you run? A picture of a sun dial somehow increases your critical hit chance? Okay!
  • Inevitable Tournament: The Colosseum in Nobilia, where you face chariot-racing gladiator Vigor the Indestructible.
    Announcer: And the challenger! ...some loser with a stick! (the crowd hurls garbage at the player)
  • Inevitable Waterfall: What first greets you after escaping Prehistoria.
  • Involuntary Shapeshifting: The dog changes forms when you go to different locations. Prehistoria has the dog look like a wolf, the desert level has him look like a white-blue anubis dog, medieval times makes him look like a well-manicured pink poodle, and the future are gives the floating metallic laser-shooting toaster-dog.
  • Ironic Nickname: Tiny the Barbarian.
    Hero: You know, it's ironic that you're called "Tiny" as you're actually very large.
    Tiny: Yes. Tiny likes irony.
  • It's All Upstairs from Here: Gomi's tower.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: There was one chest in which there was a subversion; you would get an alchemy spell and a new place to buy ingredients if you walked up to it and didn't open it. It was fair game after said transaction took place, though.
  • Lampshade Hanging: As a result of growing up on cheesy B-movies, the hero is very Genre Savvy. Combined with the fact the world is actually made from the imaginations of humans who may be a few decades out of touch but are still educated and familiar with the common tropes of their respective themed worlds, and you've got a lot of this.
  • Lean and Mean: Carltron is rail-thin, and the primary villain for Omnitopia and the rest of the game.
  • Level Grinding: Just like Secret of Mana, the hero's weapons (minus the Bazooka) and alchemy can each gain levels; weapons go up to 3, and spells go up to 8. Unlike Secret of Mana, families don't stack, so each weapon/spell must be ground up individually. The dog gets a subversion, as its attacks also level up to 3 and maintain across every form it adopts.
  • Little Miss Badass: Elizabeth, Professor Ruffleburg's geeky, pre-adolescent granddaughter. When she offers her assistance and the hero dismisses her as a little girl, she calmly and explosively demonstrates why the local villagers call her "Fire Eyes".
  • Lizard Folk: The Vipers of Prehistoria, who 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 eager for power due to outside manipulation, most likely by Carltron.
  • Load-Bearing Boss: Several, but Carltron is the most outstanding example — offing him causes Evermore to begin breaking up due to the lack of Balance Between Good and Evil.
  • 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 is a Dream Land created 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 Knight: Once the main character has been outfitted with better armor; and his weapon selection always qualifies.
  • Magikarp Power: The Spear-type weapons are ridiculously hard to use in normal (non-charge attack) combat, but very quickly get ridiculously overpowered after you gain a level (and even moreso at Lv3 when you can do the double charge). It is a long polearm weapon that is wielded in the worst way possible, to deliver incredibly short-range attacks that will usually get you hit in the process. But once you can throw it... the damage it does is simply overpowered (until you get a Sword leveled up). Combine a spear with the spell that gives you near-instant charge attacks and you got yourself a bazooka... that does more damage than an actual bazooka and doesn't send you flying!
  • Man of Wealth and Taste: Carltron dresses like a gangsta, with a white tuxedo and tailcoat.
  • 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 spell named Sting.
    • Gothica is chock full of these. Among them: the hedge maze around the chessboard, the Dark Forest (complete with a boss fight in the center, and another at the end), and the sewers under both castles to a lesser extent. This isn't even taking into consideration that you have to go through a teleporter maze to even get to Gothica!
  • Meaningful Name: Each of the game's 'worlds', not to mention the protagonist's hometown.
    • Fire Eyes.
    • Tinker's brother, Gomi. Gomi means "garbage" in Japanese, an appropriate name considering the ramshackle tower he lives in.
    • There's a good reason why you can't go through the Omnitopia Greenhouse with the lights on: It contains Flowering Deaths.
  • Medieval European Fantasy: Gothica.
  • Meganekko: Elizabeth makes her coke-bottle Nerd Glasses look cute.
  • Mighty Glacier: The dog moves more slowly than the hero when not dashing but still hits hard. This is only applies to his first three forms; in Omnitopia his toaster-dog form is a game-breaking Lightning Bruiser.
  • Mirror Boss: Bad Boy and Bad Dawg. And Dark Toaster
  • Mirror World: Gothica. Ivor Tower and Ebon Keep are flipped images of each other with some minor architectural changes to the castle and a different palette.
  • Money Grinding: 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 ten thousand Jewels for it (especially as changing your money to the local standard effectively cut your stash in half). To come up with the money in the local currency, you'll most likely have to do a lot of this. When you actually do return with the money, the shady character is astonished that you went to the trouble;
    Shady Character: 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 jewelery I'm going to throw in a free gift! (free Charm)
  • NameTron: Carltron.
  • New World Tease: The hero's first visit to Omnitopia.
  • No-Sell: There are some plants in Omnitopia that are so immune, nothing phases them. Except turning out the lights.
  • Non-Lethal Bottomless Pits: They would be lethal, but the hero exclaims "Boy, I'm glad we missed those spikes at the bottom!". They also don't do any damage and serve nothing more than either a Broken Bridge or an annoyance for those timed bridges.
  • Noob Cave: Prehistoria's South Jungle, which actually throws you right in the thick of it with a Raptor Attack right off the bat.
  • The Nose Knows: The dog can be used to hunt out alchemy ingredients with a touch of a button.
  • 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.
  • Older Than They Look: Technically all the leaders are, but this hits Elizabeth particularly hard 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 hidden room behind Omnitopia's shopping mall.
  • Our Founder: A statue of Carltron decorates Nobilia square.
  • Overdrawn at the Blood Bank: Some small enemies such as mosquitoes and Frippos die in a splash of blood.
  • Peninsula of Power Leveling:
    • Right outside Nobilia, one finds Bone Buzzards. They give 300xp (far more than most enemies for quite awhile) and 40 Jewels. Their defense against alchemy is pitiful, so a level 1 attack formula can kill one, and you just got the Crush spell 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 killing it than it costs to replace the ingredients consumed, so you can power level Crush for profit.
    • For weapons, the southern jungle in Prehistoria. Weapons gain experience based on kills, regardless of the enemy's strength, so the easiest way to level grind the late-game weapons is to just head into the jungle, kill all the weak early-game enemies you see, then leave and come back to respawn them — your weapons will hit level 3 within an hour.
  • Permanently Missable Content: There's a lot you can miss in this game without even realizing it, a lot of the optional Alchemy formulas and trade items are a case of Guide Dang It!. Probably the worst offender is Gothica as a whole: the alleyway shops close once you kill Mungola, the castle doors 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 away and never see it again. Furthermore, the merchants around the world who trade you these 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. Gothica has a merchant in Ivor Tower who sales all the items you traded for reasonably cheap. They're only lost forever if you don't pick them up before you finish up in 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 . . .
  • Pirate: Antiqua, mostly around their home in Crustacia.
  • Possession Implies Mastery: For a movie buff from a quiet American town, the kid sure knows how to use a bazooka, a bone, a sword, a spear, and an axe.
  • Powerup Letdown: The Magic Gourd, acquired at the end of a Chain of Deals, 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, at least, and it does let you have all of the charms on a single save file if that's important to you.
  • Prehistoria: The first world you explore (actually the Trope Namer, in fact), a jungle region full of dinosaurs and other prehistoric critters.
  • The Present Day: Released in October of 1995, takes place a non-specific date from that same year.
  • Punny Name: Antiqua, a pun on both "antique" and Antigua.
  • Quicksand Sucks: There are appearing/disappearing hole of quick sand that send you back if you get caught
  • Reality Warper: The different worlds are manifestations of each of the inhabitants' personal utopias, as are the superhuman powers each one's developed during their stay.
  • Recurring Boss: Stronger copies of the game's bosses appear in Omnitopia, where their originals were built.
  • 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.
  • Regional Redecoration: Repeatedly — when big things blow up, you'll see evidence of it sooner or later.
    • When the Volcano erupts after the Final Boss of Prehistoria, it creates an earthquake that floods out the swamp. When you return to Prehistoria later, the swamp is inaccessible. As for the Volcano Crater, naturally it's now a bubbling pool of lava. The washout also flooded the river into Antiqua and created a literal Broken Bridge you need the Dog to jump across so it can send a platform over for you to cross yourself. When it comes time to build Tinker's rocket, and he needs a Gauge and Wheel from the Volcano boiler and tells you to go asking around where the debris from the eruption would have landed.
    • When Aegis explodes and Tiny hurls the Power Core away, it crashes at the base of the river and opens up a cavern into the Oglin Caves. The river of course is drained, revealing a new entrance into the Great Pyramid. Meanwhile debris of Aegis itself can be found in Prehistoria, and the Power Core tumbled through Gothica's underground before somehow making its way to the Chessboard.
  • Ribcage Ridge: Bugmuck Swamp is named after a giant exoskeleton buried there.
  • Ridiculous Future Inflation: Sort of; the Omnitopian Credit is the least valuable currency in the game via the exchange rate between civilizations, but to compensate items are ridiculously more expensive.
  • Ring Menu: It's based on the Mana engine, after all.
  • Robot Master: Carltron. Who better, right?
  • Ruins for Ruins' Sake: Literally, since 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 involved archaeology.
  • Running Gag:
    • In Nobilia and Crustacia, mummified cats. They're part of the desert tour, they're on tapestries, in juggling acts, and in the Great Pyramid they even show up as enemies.
    • "This is my dog. He hasn't been himself lately".
  • Scary Shiny Glasses: Elizabeth has this in her introduction and as her call bead animation, hence why the cavemen dubbed her Fire Eyes.
  • Scenery Porn: The game is surprisingly beautiful in certain places. Especially 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 to be so.
  • Sequel Hook: In the game's stinger (of several if you wait long enough), Carltron either has an eccentric nervous tick or is plotting behind the professor's back after being reformed.
  • Shifting Sand Land: The Quicksand Field in Prehistoria and the Desert of Doom in Nobilia.
  • Shout-Out:
    • When the hero and dog are exploring the Rufflebergs' dilapidated mansion in the introduction, 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 quite coincidental.
    • The weakest Bazooka ammo is called Thunder Ball
    • 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 best the hero (and his little dog, too), the entire game might be read as something of an homage to The Wizard of Oz. 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.
  • Simple Score of Sadness: The music for "Abandoned Ebon Keep".
  • Sprint Meter: Shared with the Charge Meter. If you power up any weapon to level 3, you can use the sprint button to run almost indefinitely.
  • Sprint Shoes: The Jaguar Ring.
  • Squishy Wizard: In an interesting twist, the main character is one in this game. Although there is no actual magic in this game, the hero is the only one who can use Alchemy. He also takes a lot more damage than the dog from enemy attacks.
  • 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 gives it back to you in Gothica.
  • Teamwork Puzzle Game: Downplayed, but there are certain areas where you're forced to play as either the Boy 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 spell causes your hero to spontaneously bust out in ridiculous muscles for a moment. It's anyone's guess how his clothes survive.
  • The End... Or Is It?: A post-credits scene shows Carltron is still scheming and may be up to something. It's also left up in the air if the world of Evermore still exists or faded away; at least, the machine to send people there still exists. The developers did want to do a sequel, but the game's poor performance stopped those plans.
  • Third-Person Person: Tiny the Nobilian strong man talk like this.
  • Token Minority: Horace Highwater, Professor Ruffleberg's archaeologist friend and the inspiration for Antiqua, is black. The three other leaders of Evermore, and the hero and most other major characters, are white.
  • Tomorrowland: The theme for Omnitopia, which Prof. Ruffleberg created for himself, as the pinnacle of scientific and technological achievement.
  • Too Awesome to Use: Call Beads, so long as you don't exploit a glitch.
    • In addition to the above mentioned Call Beads, you might not use your limited-use alchemy when your unlimited-use weapons will do the trick just fine. Exceptions are, naturally, healing, protection and buff spells. Adversely, once you would want to use those attack spells (lookin' at you, Verminator), they'll be woefully underleveled and you probably won't find the right ingredients at the nearest alchemy shop to Level Grind them.
    • There's only two alchemy ingredients you can't find normally: Dry Ice and Meteorite. Meteorites are traded though by the shady figure in Antiqua who tries to sell you an Amulet of Annihilation. You can't find 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 spell Call Up, which gives you a Call Bead.
  • Toy Time: The chessboard.
  • Unabashed B-Movie Fan: The main character is a big fan of pulp movies that sound terrible, or possibly great, depending on the player.
  • The Unfought: Ruffleberg comes to the rescue and switches off Carltron before he can fight you properly.
  • Useless Useful Spell: A couple:
    • Reflect: It reflects magic. The problem is, by the time you get it, it's only useful on the optional boss. And shortly before you get it, you can get the Game-Breaker spell Barrier, which negates all damage anyway.
    • Nitro: The most powerful spell in the game, it deals massive damage. The problem is that by the time you get it, you're going off to collect the item that lets you access the final boss, and it'll take half an hour, 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 spell.
  • Video Game Cruelty Punishment: Go ahead. Taunt those chickens. We dare you.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: In addition to those mentioned above, there's Thraxx. Up until you meet him, every enemy attack can be dodged, and even those that hit aren't that damaging. Thraxx will hit you for 5 damage and massive recoil every time you hit his exposed heart. He'll also use three attacks that can target the Hero in any place of the arena, two of which are unavoidable, and that each deal comparably high amounts of 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 only hope is that the maggots drop leaves or give you enough experience to level.
  • Warmup Boss: The Raptors, which ends with an inverted Heads I Win, Tails You Lose boss battle. If you're successful in fighting off the raptors at the end, you get some free stuff, but if you fail (and you likely will fail), you just continue on with the plot.
  • Weird Currency: Prehistoria's Economy runs on Talons. Not a metaphor — they're the claws of various animals.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Pompolonius and Eronio, the advisers to the fake Horace and Queen Bluegarden, never have their fates revealed.
  • We Will Spend Credits in the Future: Omnitopia's local currency is the credit.
  • Where It All Began: The hero is jettisoned from Omnitopia in the prologue, and it takes him the entire game to get back.
  • Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: Elizabeth's reaction to your dog, regardless of what you've named him.
  • Wretched Hive: Crustacia is made out to be like this, even though the denizens are actually pretty nice to you.
  • Womb Level: The giant skeleton in Bugmuck Swamp.
  • Year Outside, Hour Inside: Prof. Ruffleberg's initial experiment with Evermore took place in 1965. 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. This may be more of a case of Who Wants to Live Forever? as everyone is well aware of exactly how much time has passed since the experiment, but none of them have aged a day. This makes them want to return home all the more.
  • You Have Researched Breathing: The players can only run after they've obtained the Jaguar Ring.


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