Fullmetal Alchemist: Bluebird's Illusion (鋼の錬金術師［青鳥の虛像］ Hagane no Renkinjutsushi: Aotori no Kyozou) is a doujin-soft released in 2004 and created by Neoland Ocean-X, which is believed to be four college students and Fullmetal Alchemist fans in China. Based on Fullmetal Alchemist, specifically the then-still-ongoing manga and its 2003 anime adaptation, it is an interactive game with four different endings.
Five years after failing to revive Trisha Elric, Edward Elric is living a peaceful life in Central, Amestris after succeeding in bringing his brother Alphonse Elric's body back. But there is something wrong with Alphonse's body - it starts disappearing. Edward has to work with the Homunculi to fix this.
It is rumored that there are only 100 professional copies of this game in the world; supposedly, its manufacture was blocked because it violated copyright for profit. However, copies can be easily found to download from the internet. All copies of the game are in Chinese, which could make game play hard for people who don't read Chinese; but, as of August 2018, there's a complete English version by an independent translator.
An English-translated remake by another fan group known as Bluebird's Illusion: Rebuild was announced in 2012, but is still in the works.
This game provides examples of:
- Adaptational Attractiveness: Ed, Al, Roy and Envy are all significantly prettied up in the game, fitting more of a Shoujo aesthetic than their original counterparts did. Curiously, Riza looks exactly the same.
- Adaptational Villainy: Coinciding with Composite Character, Hohenheim is revealed to be the Big Bad.
- Adapted Out: Many characters, but the absence of Winry Rockbell is especially noticeable, as she's barely even mentioned.
- Advertised Extra: Pride is the huge spoiler in the opening and is presented in it as if he was a major individual character. He only appears in one of the endings and turns out to be an undead Ed.
- Alternate Continuity: The game branches off from the manga after chapter 31, and makes a few rather important distinctions. The character Father, introduced in the same chapter, is Hoenheim. The homunculus known as "Pride" does not exist yet. Bradley has a son named Selim, who is his biological son.
- Alternate Timeline: Rather conveniently, the game can easily pass as an alternative continuation of the first season of the Fullmetal Alchemist anime or manga, if one accounts for the one year Time Skip between the two.
- And Then John Was a Zombie: Although it wasn't originally intended for Edward to become a Homunculus, Hohenheim "resurrects" him as one in order to preserve his "perfection."
- Anyone Can Die: The three bad endings each feature character death (or the death of a soul), but the Pride!Ed ending takes the cake. Lust dies, Gluttony dies, Mustang dies, Alphonse dies, King Bradley dies, and Edward dies (but not really).
- Author Appeal: It becomes obvious rather quickly that the folks who made this were really into yaoi, between all the Ho Yay, the significantly more Bishonen-ish looking male characters, the fanservice that includes Ed in a dress for no apparent reason, and the rather disturbing amount of scenes of Ed in a James Bondage type scenario.
- Big, Screwed-Up Family: The creator of the homunculi is Hoenheim, father of Ed and Al, which also makes the homunculi their siblings.
- Bittersweet Ending: Two of them.
- In the Roy ending, Alphonse dies and Edward is heartbroken; but life goes on, Roy becomes Fuhrer while Ed ends up as a General.
- In the Veggie!Ed ending, Edward sacrifices himself to save Alphonse and ends up in a vegetative state.
- Came Back Wrong: Pride, in stark contrast to Edward, is (arguably) as heartless and cruel as the rest of the homunculi. His mental state initially appears to be that of a Type-1 but quickly shows signs of being a Type-2, although physically he is somewhere between a Type-3 and a Type-4.
- Collapsing Lair: In the Pride!Ed ending, Edward's alchemical rebound causes the Homunculi's lair underneath Central to explode and collapse. In an inversion of the trope, he's the hero and did it completely by accident.
- Composite Character: Likely because the game came out before it revealed the real nature of both characters, Hohenheim and Father are the same character in this game.
- Dead Fic: There was once a fan comic being made based on the game (the cover is the page picture), but it has since been discontinued and its website taken down.
- Downer Ending: The Pride!Ed ending. Roy Mustang and Al are accidentally murdered by Envy when they try to protect Ed. The heartbroken and insane Edward fights King Bradley to the death and wins, but is left to die in an explosion he inadvertently started. However, Envy brings him before Hohenheim where he is "reborn" as the homunculus Pride.
- Failure Is the Only Option: There is only one happy ending, and it's a joke ending. This trope also applies to the Big Bad, who suffers a serious setback in each of those bad endings.
- Fanservice: The scene where Alphonse is showering, and the scene where Al finds a photograph of Ed in a dress.
- Golden Ending: Played straight and inverted. There is one comical happy ending, and three Tear Jerker Downer Endings.
- Happily Ever After: Parodied in the Tea Alchemist ending. Edward is renamed to the "tea alchemist" and he must serve tea to King Bradley.
- Heroic Sacrifice: In the Veggie!Ed ending, Edward sacrifices himself to save Alphonse. In the Pride!Ed ending, Roy and Al sacrifice themselves to save Edward.
- James Bondage: During the latter part of the game, Edward is kept prisoner by the Homunculi, and is cruelly beaten, tortured, and generally abused by Envy. Later we learn that the Homunculi are Ed and Al's "siblings," which increases the Squick factor a whole lot.
- Justified Title: The "bluebird" in the title refers to the Elric brothers' happiness. Hence their new, happier life is merely an illusion preceding the horrible fate in store for them.
- Luke, I Am Your Father: After Edward is held captive in the homunculi's lair, he is introduced to the Big Bad, who turns out to be his own father, Hoenheim. Alphonse learns the same thing when he infiltrates the lair to save Ed.
- MayflyDecember Romance: Hoenheim briefly mourns the passing of his wife Trisha.
- Mind-Control Eyes: Pride has these, suggesting he is enslaved to Hohenheim's will. They are also seen on Ed in the Veggie!Ed ending, when he lost his soul.
- Multiple Endings: There's a choice of 4 possible endings depending on what you've done during the game and where you've been.
- My Life Flashed Before My Eyes: In the Pride!Ed ending, Ed tearjerkingly suffers one of these after being severely wounded fighting Bradley and left to die in an alchemy-induced explosion. He doesn't actually die, of course.
- Offing the Offspring: Hoenheim orders the deaths of his two sons, Ed and Al.
- Sole Survivor: In the Pride!Ed ending, Riza's the only one of the main protagonists who's still alive and healthy, although she misses Roy and the Elrics badly. While Edward survives, he also comes back wrong.
- So Proud of You: Hoenheim refers to Edward as his "most perfect son." In the Pride!Ed ending, because Edward exceeded all his expectations, he orders Envy to save Edward from being Buried Alive and rewards him with "a new life... a perfect, immortal life."
- Spell My Name with an "S": The intro movie refers to King Bradley as "King Bradrey". One online translation also names his son "Samuel" rather than Selim.
- Time Skip: The game takes approximately one year after chapter 30 of the manga. In that time, Edward has gotten a new body for Alphonse, Riza has bought them a house of their own, Roy has been promoted to General and Edward to Colonel, and the characters have gotten past Hughes' death.
- The Quiet One: Pride's speech pattern is eerily similar to that of manga Sloth's, although he does have an Inner Monologue.
- Spoiler Opening: The opening shows Pride, who is an Original Character that bears a strong resemblance to Ed.
- Unexplained Recovery: Al has his body back somehow.
- Utopia Justifies the Means: Hohenheim seeks to create a world free of human greed and claims all humans are marked with "inerasable sin." To this end, he enlists Edward to turn the people of Central into a new Philosopher's Stone.
- What Measure Is a Non-Super?: In his conversation with Envy, Pride questions the importance of humans in relation to the homunculi.
- Who Wants to Live Forever?: In the Pride!Ed ending, Envy brings this up when ordered to retrieve Edward. Pride has a long and tearjerking Inner Monologue about this.
- You Kill It, You Bought It: In the Pride!Ed ending, Edward kills King Bradley/Wrath. He later becomes the homunculus Pride.