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YMMV / Dragon's Dogma

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  • Accidental Innuendo: You get this reaction from a pawn when they see a Cockatrice for the first time.
    It has the head of a cock!
  • Annoying Video-Game Helper:
    • Averted in actual gameplay: the pawns are good fighters. Unfortunately, they're also chatty and repeat themselves. A lot.
    • Played straight at night, however, when they chat on and on while the game's own hints tell you to shut up and use your ears. Pretty hard when you're babbling about the sea, Pawns.
      • Even the developers seem to have ended up agreeing with this; the Dark Arisen version of the game includes the option to turn "Pawn Chatter" off in the menu.
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    • Magic-based pawns have a rather bad habit of granting you elemental effects that are nearly useless against whatever powerful enemies you're fighting. Sometimes they'll even announce that an element is useless against an enemy, then grant you that same element moments later, making the fight even harder than it already is. You just might find yourself running away from the glowing magic orb making its way towards you, instead of the monster you're supposed to be fighting. They'll also freely attack golems with spells, despite them being immune to magic.
  • Anticlimax Boss: Considering Savan is a Physical God that defeated a Physical God when he was still only a Badass Normal and is supposed to be the most powerful entity encountered in the game, he should be at least somewhat challenging. He is weaker than many of the mooks in the game and, by the time most players would fight him, he will drop in a couple of hits with any weapon. His damage is also extremely low, so there is very little chance of him actually killing you either, unless you deliberately waited for him to land a One-Hit Kill for a particular ending. For what it's worth though, he wants to be defeated and die, so that he may no longer be Seneschal.
  • Awesome Music: The whole game's soundtrack is incredibly sweeping and epic in scope. The game's composers wisely chose to implement guitars alongside traditional epic fantasy instruments, and it makes the whole experience that much better. A small selection:
    • Into Free ~Dangan~, the original main menu song. It's sung by the legendary Japanese band, B'z. Unfortunately, not present in the Updated Re-release.
    • The rerelease spares no time with the awesomeness with its main theme, Coils of Light, and its English version is no less amazing than its original version.
    • End of the Struggle, the theme that plays whenever you fell a large and powerful beast (such as a Chimera or Cyclops) makes it feel like you won a war. Many players pick fights with these monsters just to hear this theme.
    • The Plundering Fortress, which plays as you retake the castle that is occupied by goblins.
    • Throat's Blade, the song that plays when fighting the Nameless Men. A bit of a wasted song, as most players end up winning the fights way before they can find out the track is almost one and a half minutes long.
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    • Despairing Combat, a track which kicks in when you are in over your head facing much higher-leveled enemies. Unfortunately, also a wasted song like the above because once you become high-leveled enough, you're not likely to hear this again.
    • Griffin's Bane, the boss theme of the Griffin, is particularly impressive. The boss theme of the Cockatrice, Wings of Jet, is an even better remix with a more aggressive tone.
    • Clash of Fates, the theme when you face The Dragon.
    • Selection of Fate, the final battle theme against the Seneschal.
    • And finally, Eternal Return, the magnificent ending theme to the game. For a bonus, also sung by Aubrey Ashburn, the same woman who did Leliana's song.
    • This unused track, a remix of End of the Struggle which was presumably meant to play while fighting Bitterblack bosses. How or why anyone could possibly decide to not use it in the final game is a mystery for the ages.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Aelinore. She's either a selfish, irresponsible, foolish girl who endangers others just to enjoy the company of a sufficiently attractive man (or woman), or a naïve Pollyanna who wanted something more than a forced marriage. There's also the fact that her romance is all but pushed on the player due to Story Branch Favoritism - you can greatly increase your affinity with her when you first meet her just by talking to her enough, and both of her non-escort quests are romantically themed, with the second one outright culminating in a sex scene.
  • Complete Monster: Great Leader Elysion is the fanatical leader of Salvation, a cult dedicated to the worship of the titular Dragon, Grigori. Tearing out his own eye as a young man to prove his dedication, Elysion masterminds the attacks caused by the Salvation-branded monsters and gleefully sacrifices innocents and his own followers to die in Grigori's name, resurrecting them as undead horrors at his own whim. Elysion is a coward and a snake unwilling to combat the Arisen himself, and pledges himself purely to appeasing Grigori and causing "death and chaos" to all things.
  • Damsel Scrappy: A number of players feel this way about Aelinore, especially if she isn't their preferred romance choice. It's mainly because her romance feels heavily shoehorned and forced on the player due to developer bias, and because she wouldn't need to be rescued so much if she didn't make advances on the Arisen.
  • Demonic Spiders:
    • Hellhounds are probably the worst offender. While you only encounter them post-game, they will easily be one of your most hated enemies. They don't stagger easily, don't sit still, and they have a long-range fire attack that knocks you to the ground. But that's not all; they'll grab you and drag you someplace far off. If you are near a cliff, most likely they'll throw you off it. If the cliff is too high up, this is a one hit kill. And they come in groups.
    • While most bandits are simple to deal with, Fighter Bandits are a nightmare for low-level players. They're all but impervious to most attacks (including magical ones), and can knock you down and kill you before you can even get up. Until you know how to deal with them, it takes your entire party just to take on one of them. What's more, it's impossible to complete some early-game quests without running into them, forcing you to either run away or deal with them via Death of a Thousand Cuts.
    • Gargoyles are the strongest vanilla variant of the Harpy, and are just as annoying as their Strigoi successors mentioned below. Rather than powering up, their piercing attack inflicts petrification, which spells doom without a Secret Softener.
    • Dark Arisen is full of these.
      • Strigoi, a harder version of Gargoyles. Not only are they very fast, staggering resistant, and usually spawn in areas where they can throw your pawns to their death from falling, they also have a dash-grab attack that has higher priority over any defensive/counter skill. Said attack will attach it to the target and impale it with its stinger, dealing a high amount of damage each few seconds until you manage to get it off (which takes quite a while no matter how quickly you wiggle the analog stick), and every time the targets get damaged by this skill, they get stronger (they regenerate HP, deal more damage, and receive less damage). This attack is also very hard to avoid even with daggers' dodge roll core skill: they'll keep breathing on your neck until you either fail to roll again quickly enough, or until the dash animation of the attack ends (which takes 5 seconds or so), even changing directions as they fly towards you. And they usually spawn along with the physical immune, always annoying, Wraith enemy. On Hard Mode, they can juggle you to death before you can even do anything. Worst is that, if you want Bloodred Crystals to upgrade any gear that requires them, you must allow them to succeed their impale attack and power up, otherwise they will never drop them.
      • Elder Ogres are ogres, but way worse. While this may sound not too bad, considering Ogres are only a medium threat in the main game, killing on of these things will take ages, due to the low lighting, tight corridors and constantly filled with water areas of Bitterblack Isle, coupled with their higher defense stat and more HP. They also hit like a goddamn freight train, and, like their younger counterparts, are nightmarishly fast.
      • If Hellhounds are the rottweilers of Gransys, Garm are the Hounds of the Baskervilles. With high defenses and HP and weaknesses to elements that make the player walk into their lunge range (good luck hitting these with Fulmination or Seism), players without an Infinity +1 Sword will have to do chip damage all while dodging attacks that can kill them in one or two hits.
      • Eliminators are completely horrifying when you encounter them 2/3 of the way through Bitterblack Isle. Basically, shrink an Elder Ogre, buff his defenses, lower his HP by a lot and hand him a sledgehammer bigger than himself, and you have these freaks. Their attacks have a stupid amount of armor, will armor break EVERYTHING in the game, have no startup time, and have wide, fast hitboxes. Oh, did we mention that they also hit insanely hard, AND come with an instant kill attack that can be difficult to get out of? And that you also fight them in extremely tight areas with little wiggle room? Between juggling your pawns lives, your OWN life, and dealing damage to the damn thing, you may just pull your hair out.
      • Corrupted pawns, particularly Rangers and Sorcerers. You've played the whole game unleashing your Game-Breaker skills on hapless hordes of enemies, over and over. Now you get to have them used against you.
  • Disappointing Last Level: The Everfall, while impressive at first glance, is unfortunately this. It is bothersome to get to specific Chambers due to the way you get to them (by falling endlessly in a loop, while most of the entrances look fairly identical), and when you do, they turn out to be a few Cut-and-Paste Environments with the only differences between them being that certain doors are arbitrarily closed off while others are not, with the only incentive to go there being essentially a Fetch Quest to collect 20 Bear Asses in the form of Wakestones (which granted, are useful on their own right) and fight some enemies and bosses who are either very rare or non-existent in the rest of the game world (like Evil Eyes and Liches), while also having to deal with Demonic Spiders like Hellhounds and Grimgoblins.
  • Ending Fatigue: The majority of the game is set up as a battle between you and the dragon. When you finally take down the dragon in the quest named "The Final Battle", you're even treated to some brief credits and a cutscene showing the consequences (both good and bad) of ending the dragon's menace. Then you're given back control of your character in the "post-game" and can tackle what might appear to be a Bonus Dungeon. However, this is not Post-End Game Content as it might seem. It's a straight continuation of the story involving a handful more quests about an element of the setting that had barely been foreshadowed up until this point. Once you deal with that, the game ends for good and puts you into New Game+.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Rook, the first pawn you get in the game, is surprisingly popular. Even though he can never level up, people like him so much that they put him on their favorites list for Pawns and even recreate Rook with their actual Pawn. Some never remove him from their party, which makes him a useless dead weight on the party very quickly since hired pawns can't level up (but also may give a great boost to the player's leveling late in the game due to how the game's experience system works).
  • Friendly Fandoms: Fans of this game tend to overlap with those of Dark Souls due to the thematic, stylistic and game mechanic similarities between the 2 titles. They are in turn united by a common love of Berserk, which is an immense influence on both games.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: The opening song, "Into Free ~Dangan~" by B'z, has a lot of fun charm that many fans grew to love. Some of its lyrics have become memes in the fandom, with many fans relishing its out-of-place tone to the rest of the game. However, taking a closer look at the lyrics after completing the game makes the song a whole lot darker. The true meaning of the song is actually singing about the Gransys disaster that is the Post-Game and even about the player Arisen's death (with one verse literally saying: We kill ourselves in the end). They even describe the Arisen's death and corpse falling at the end of the game as 'Flying into free'.
  • Game-Breaker:
    • The Magick Archer has a couple of crazy powerful abilities: the ricochet arrow and the anti-Status Effects aura. In the many tight quarters of Bitterblack Isle, having an arrow that does more damage the more it bounces around can drop even powerful enemies very quickly. And the magic aura stops every single debuff in the game, including drenched. In the various dark and watery dungeons, not having to put away and reequip your lantern in mid combat is a huge boon.
    • A Sorcerer can potentially decimate everything in the game, including the Final Boss, with their high-level spells. Bolide can fell a chimera almost instantly, and a well-aimed High Glicel can annihilate an otherwise-challenging Drake or Cockatrice. Possibly best is Maelstrom, which can be cast from a long distance and sweeps all enemies into a swirling tornado. If the dark magic doesn't kill them, the fall damage will. And if you've got multiple Sorcerers in a party, they'll sync spells, shortening their casting times and increasing their power. Also, they have access to Exequy and High Exequy, instant kill spells that can off anything that isn't a dragon, the only downsides being it takes a long time to kill enemies and continually exhausts your stamina... except both have longer range than most bow skills and you can keep eating stamina increasing items while casting, meaning you can use it to kill large enemies without letting them know you're present.
    • Maelstrom itself is actually it's own game breaker. Besides the aforementioned fall damage it can inflict, it has a surprisingly far cast range, lingers for a long time, and is one of the few attack spells that has a high vertical ceiling, enough to reach the top of arenas like the Rotunda of dread. Furthermore, it deals multiple tics of damage rather than one straight chunk, and for some reason, no large enemies in the game, barring golems, have any resistance to wind damage at all. What this means is that basically, preemptively casting Maelstrom at any large enemy caught unaware will not only deal absurd amounts of damage over a long period of time, but because of how many times it hits, will almost perennially stunlock any large enemy caught in it, with your only caveat being your own stamina. Furthermore, because of its high vertical ceiling, it can be used to reliably damage and knock down flying enemies such as Cockatrices and Dragon-types (which is particularly effective against Wyverns, who refuse to land unless you down them). Finally, the damage they inflict is the same type as blades, meaning that against Hydras, if you aim for their heads instead of their bodies, it's the only spell in-game that is capable of one-shotting them by severing all of their heads at once.
    • The Mystic Knight at higher levels, to some degree. They can pack swords, maces, and staves, they got a magic shield that lets them enchant the whole party's weapons, and they can unlock support buffs as well. A Mystic Knight with Ruinous Sigil and Great Cannon is basically a deployable machine gun nest ringed by claymore mines. Abyssal Anguish will cut through most enemies and bosses alike with ease due to delivering multiple hits in a single strike and stacking your Magick stat onto the physical power of your weapon. It's not classed as an enchantment, either, so you can add it on top of an enchanted weapon.
    • Since hiring a pawn from someone on your friendlist costs no RC regardless of level difference, you can easily steamroll most of the game with a vastly overleveled pawn.
    • The combination of Blast Arrows, Conqueror's Periapt (using four at once) and Tenfold Flurry can knock down all kinds of creatures and kill them at ease with an absurd amounts of damage, to the point not even Daimon and Death can survive that.
    • Throwblasts, an item that causes damage and inflicts burn status. You can buy them from Aestella's shop in Cassardis soon after the tutorial. It causes foes to stagger or fall prone and deals a fixed amount of damage, no matter what level you are or stats you have. Stockpile enough and with quick fingers you can chain-throw these items and kill tough monsters far above your level, such as the Gazer in Bitterblack Isle. The result is getting high-end materials and a ton of EXP.
    • Bitterblack Weapon and Bitterblack Gear. These are seemingly useless items found on Bitterblack Isle and come in levels between 1-3 that, when purified at the entrance to the cursed island, are transformed into either a weapon (the former) or armor (the latter) based on you and your main pawn's class. While this seems simple as-is, it's actually a bit more complicated; weapons and gear gained from these items are scaled to end-game levels, are usually already enchanted with an element, only cost Rift Crystals to obtain, and can be somewhat easily obtained as soon as you are able to access Bitterblack Aisle (The Midnight Helix, where the Condemned Goreclops is chained to a wall, has 2 chests located just after the first pair of stairs you can climb in the tower in an adjacent room that almost always drops the lv. 1 variants). Despite the sheer danger of attempted to obtain one early game, doing so nets you armor and weapons that not only allow you to tear through everything the base game throws at you (and can be paired with the aforementioned game-breaking classes above to make your enemies lives forfeit in short order) while probably keeping you from actually taking damage most of the time, but also literally hands you a weapon that can actually do real damage to the horrific monsters of the island, meaning with some strategy you can level up ridiculously easy. And that's just lv. 1. Manage to grab a Lv. 3 weapon, and not even the Dragon can stand in your way.
  • Goddamn Bats: Harpies, wolves, and all of their ilk. They harass you at every corner of the game's world, always attacking in large numbers to ensure you'll be staying a while to get them off your back and always ready to respawn the moment you leave the area. The stronger variants from the northern end of Gransys - snow harpies, direwolves and the like - are even worse due to their higher health.
    • Then you have the grimgoblins from the post-game. You fought their weaker cousins throughout the entire game, amused at their squeaky voices as you blasted them to death by the hundreds... and now here come their massively overpowered cousins who are much, much more dangerous, nearly impossible to knock over, and can take you out real fast if you're not careful. They can even kick you if you're on the ground, and sometimes several will gang up on you, making it impossible to get up while they beat you to death.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Sort of; the game was specifically designed to sell to the American market, specifically the crowd that couldn't get enough of Skyrim or The Witcher. Demon's Souls and Dark Souls, which were both highly popular and praised in the west, were both made by a Japanese developer who showed that this can be done. But the game bombed badly (100,000 units, a far cry from the 1.5 to 10 million Capcom was expecting) because Capcom released it at the same time as other, more highly anticipated games. In Japan, however, the game has sold nearly 500,000 copies, likely because the audience there is treating it as a stopgap for Monster Hunter 4.
  • Memetic Mutation:
  • Narm:
    • The game's steady commitment towards old-timey fantasy dialogue is well-done in some places and hilariously awkward in others.
    • The scene where the Dragon reveals that he's kidnapped whoever likes you the most can be this, especially if it winds up being someone like Fournival or a child NPC. Or this guy.
    • The game features a cinematic camera during combat that slow-focuses on a player or pawn's attack. More often than not, though, this will toggle when they're about to use a basic melee move - the camera holds dramatically on a party member raising their weapon, about to perform a devastating attack...only to then whack the enemy with their staff or something else similarly (and hilariously) anticlimactic.
  • Narm Charm: The original version's theme may be hilariously tonally inappropriate for the game, but that's why it's awesome.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • The game is committed to making every one of its monsters as nightmarish and larger-than-life as possible. A good example is the ogres, whose hoots and gnashing growls can be heard a fair distance away. The normal variants have a special preference for women and one of their attacks involves carrying you away and gnawing on you, head-first.
    • The undead murmur fragmented sentences, as if trying to recall memories from their past life. Stout undead are huge, bald, bloated corpses that explode when you strike them.
    • The Dark Arisen expansion is nothing but this. Most of the enemies are even tougher, scarier, sometimes zombified and gigantic versions of the enemies from the main game (like the gigantic gorecyclops prisoner covered in spikes or the cursed dragons), and the ones that aren't can be terrifyingly difficult, such as living armor or minotaurs with hammers that can one-shot you. The areas are much darker and require a lantern nearly at all times. When you kill enemies, they leave behind big gorey piles of flesh, and the more of these laying around, the greater the chance that an even tougher enemy will spawn to feed on the carrion. The music combined with the dark atmosphere makes things extremely unsettling, and you can hear the growls of monsters echoing through the dungeon. To make things even worse, after you manage to get through Bitterblack Isle once, things become even tougher on subsequent playthroughs; you will now have to face groups of these giant monsters than gave you a hard time when you were just fighting one, like fighting two drakes at the same time. And to top it all off, Death himself will randomly spawn and can one-shot kill you and your pawns (not the regular knock out, you have to go back to the rift and rehire them). The only thing making things easier is that you can still try to run past the monsters to the exit.
    • It's (probably) unintentional, but the Abbey is downright creepy, especially if you first find it through exploration instead of through Quina's quest. You hack through a dark forest full of undead and find a small, quiet church sitting out in the middle of nowhere with no apparent purpose, inhabited by stiff glassy-eyed nun-equivalents. Even the music is strange.
  • Paranoia Fuel: In the spirit of the waterwraith, Death himself can descend on you at any time and any area in Bitterblack Isle after his initial appearance. He has a massive health bar and can slay Arisen with one swing of his scythe (Pawns are sent directly back to the rift, necessitating a trip back to a riftstone). The only warnings of his presence are a low bell chime and ominous whispers, and the only way to lessen your chance of an encounter is to turn off your lanterns - a potentially deadly handicap in the Isle's many pitch-black areas.
  • Play the Game, Skip the Story: While the story has its moments, clunky dialogue, mediocre voice acting and generic quests make it rather forgetable. The combat on the other hand has been praised extensively ranging from how many viable class and build there are to how clever the Enemy AI can be to how impressive looking and satisfying the magick system plays.
  • Polished Port: The PC version of Dark Arisen has updated textures, 4K support, support for up to 150 FPS, many graphics options, reworked controls for keyboard and mouse with rebindable keys and item hotkeys, the ability to mod Into Free -Dangan- back to the title screen, and it can run on a toaster. It's to the point where The Cynical Brit himself, TotalBiscuit, was nearly all compliments.
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • Many quests and characters disappear without warning as the story progresses. Most frustratingly, halfway through the game you lose access to Madeleine's shop until the postgame.
    • The Affinity system. Not only does it force a Token Romance onto you without your permission, but if you aren't careful, the game will likely choose either a NPC you don't like or don't want to hook up with or Aelinore. The way it works is somewhat confusing (it depends heavily on whom you've last spoken to directly before a specific point in a late-game main quest) and about the only known way to efficiently game the system is to attack characters and lower their affinity towards you. Or just avoid interacting with them in any way for a few days. Though this may be a bit hard to do with shop and inn-keepers, for obvious reasons. Dark Arisen fixed this by greatly reducing the amount of affinity you get from merchants and innkeepers, meaning you need to try a lot harder to get stuck with someone you're forced to regularly talk to, but don't care to seduce.
    • Almost every particularly significant NPC disappears entirely from the game once their quest line is complete. This makes keeping them as the romance option even more difficult because you can no longer talk to them to switch them back to the beloved.
    • The last two side quests that become available involve characters that max out affinity extremely quickly by completing quests they are involved in. You must interact with these characters to complete these quests.
    • The Pawn Inclination mechanic, which governs a Pawn's behavior in and out of battle. While players can fine-tune their main Pawn's inclinations by using Elixirs sold by an NPC shortly after completing an early-game story quest, what is not made apparent is that your main Pawn will change their inclinations based on your own actions, the actions of the other pawns you hire, and the commands you give them. This can at times cause conflicting inclination combinations to occur, such as Pioneer/Guardian and Mitigator/Nexus, which can cause Pawns to run around in circles like drunken fools in battle because their AI becomes confused as to whether to forge ahead of you or stay by your side...all the while not attacking any of your enemies. This is unfortunate, as a good inclination combination for your Pawn's vocation can turn them into efficient killing machines or valuable support personnel. Experienced players learn to keep an eye on their main Pawn's inclination combination to note any changes, and fix them accordingly. Newer players, however, may be completely unaware of the inclination mechanic for the entire game and wonder why no one wants to hire their main Pawn in order to earn the valuable Rift Crystals needed for high-end equipment upgrades and purchasing premium items. Oftentimes, the bad inclination combinations cause some people to dismiss Dragon's Dogma as having very poor combat AI, if they are not aware of the inclination mechanic.
    • The healing system is generally considered to be pretty bad. There's no way to heal in the heat of battle at all; if you want to use a curative you have to open up the inventory and manually select a healing item from the curatives tab, without even the option to hotkey them for quick use. In a game as difficult as this, it's almost guaranteed you'll have to do this repeatedly, and it just breaks the momentum of combat.
    • For some reason the equipment and inventory screens are completely separate from each other, with equipment being located on the pause menu and the inventory occupying its own button. If you want to equip an item from your inventory, you have to move it from the inventory to your equipment first, and then go to a completely different screen to actually equip it.
    • Damage scaling in this game is handled really weirdly. While in most RPGs defense is calculated by percentages, defense in Dragon's Dogma is just a flat rating. This means that enemies just a few levels higher than you are almost impossible to kill because their defense blocks literally all the damage you're doing to them, leaving either Level Grinding or extreme patience as your only recourse for beating them, while enemies only a few levels lower become stupidly easy because your defense is so high that they're completely incapable of hurting you. This becomes especially bad in Bitterblack Isle, which almost requires you to level grind if you want to kill any of the later enemies in a timely fashion.
  • Shocking Moments: The revelation that Arisen who fail to beat the Seneschal become dragons like Grigori and attack the world in search of new Arisen shocked many players.
  • Spiritual Licensee: This and Dark Souls are the closest one can get to a good Berserk game. Hell, you can even find Guts and Griffith's armor in-game!
  • Squick: Because the affinity system determines your love interest, in addition to everyone being bi, you can end up with gross, old, or creepy characters as your beloved or, even worse, children.
  • Tear Jerker: Everything about the post-game tries its hardest to get the waterworks going. The world is plunged into darkness (your fault) and you're a wanted convict (not your fault). This is followed by a very somber and difficult trudge through the Everfall, surrounded by Pawns who have lost their masters and are doomed to wander about in remorse... assuming they can feel it.
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy: Warrior Pawns are the least-recruited Pawns due to the vocation's slow movement and attack speed and lack of ranged options, combined with the nature of the Pawn AI making their attacks miss much more often (compared to Pawns of other vocations, who are more accurate than most human players).
    • While Warrior is extremely fun to play, they tend to struggle and are sub-optimal compared to other classes. They have three skill slots, no block, no dodge, no ranged attacks, and no fast attacks outside of their air swipes. Their main source of damage is the devastating Arc of Deliverance/Obliteration, but where other classes either dish out tons of single target damage quickly or charge up for devastating area-of-effect damage, the Warrior gets the worst of both worlds- the Arc does a ton of single target damage but takes a huge amount of time to charge up and vice versa. Their climb attacks also suck, meaning disabling foes is entirely done through landing an Arc. Even with all this said, Warriors are still a blast to play, and there's no "bad" class option.
  • That One Achievement: "The Hero", which requires you to complete every single non-Notice Board sidequest. Quite a few of these quests are both hard to find and even harder to solve without consulting the wiki. At least any completed quests carry on to New Game+.
  • That One Attack:
    • Any attack that inflicts petrification (such as the Cockatrice's breath, a Gargoyle's stinger attack, and the Lich's petrification spell) can be particularly devastating if you have absolutely nothing to cure it on you. It pretty much means you are going to die, and there's absolutely nothing you can do about it.
    • Hellhound's and Strigoi's attacks, refer to Demonic Spider above.
    • Pretty much all dragonkin have two attacks that fit in this:
      • One is a roar that will instantly kill any Pawns in range and silence the Arisen, requiring you to go and revive them one by one while avoiding his attacks, since you're probably the only target left.
      • The other is a grab with its right hand: if it grabs the Arisen, it throws you on the ground for massive damage, and if it grabs a Pawn, it takes control of the Pawn until said Pawn dies (to cure it, you must kill your own Pawn). To avoid the possession, you have to either hit the arm holding the Pawn until you deal enough damage to release them, or hit it somewhere else until it staggers (usually when a horn breaks). However, the dire dragonkin (Firedrake, Frostwyrm, and Thunderwyvern) from Dark Arisen cannot be damaged anywhere but on the heart, so you MUST hit the heart until it staggers, which only happens two or three times per fight, and the Firedrake loves spamming this attack.
    • Daimon's Rift attack is his most deadly ability. He creates a vortex that begins pulling the Arisen and their Pawns toward the center, rapidly draining their stamina in the process. If anyone gets stuck in the middle? They die, regardless of how much health they had left. The Arisen can revive themselves with a Wakestone, but Pawns are immediately sent back to the Rift with no way to revive them for the rest of the battle. There's a beefed-up version of this attack that has greater range, used by Daimon's Awakened Form.
    • If a hydra eats you, there's no escape unless your pawns destroy the head that swallowed you within a certain amount of time. This attack is easy enough to escape from when fighting a normal hydra, but the window for breaking free from an Archydra's jaws is much smaller.
    • Never let a Condemned Gorecyclops grab you. If it does, you're stuck in an iron grip that's all but impossible to wriggle free from in which point it bites your head, almost certainly one-shotting you. Worse is that the Gorecyclops can grab you from pretty much any area on its upper body, save for a small space on its chest.
  • That One Boss:
    • Ogres, at least when you first encounter them. They're both very strong and very fast, have no real weaknesses to exploit beyond hitting them in the head, have no easily-visible health bars unlike other large monsters, and become even stronger at low HP. And when you finally get to the point where Ogres are no longer a threat, Bitterblack Isle throws Elder Ogres at you.
    • Garm aren't particularly dangerous alone, though they have the tendency of showing up in packs and grabbing you, carrying you away from your pawns while slowly mauling you to death. Multiple Garm can maul you at once too, dealing extra damage.
    • Golems can be this for parties with lots of mages and sorcerers. They're all but immune to magic (besides spells that deal physical damage like Bolide), and can only be harmed by attacking the discs on their bodies.
    • The Condemned Gorecyclops is a hundred-foot-tall monstrosity that's completely in a league of its own. It has eleven bars of health, most of its attacks can one-shot you and your pawns, and it's usually fought in a cramped space that leaves little room for you or your pawns to do anything without being stomped or clubbed. And some quests require you to fight two at once!
  • That One Level:
    • The Chamber of Fate room in Everfall contains a Chimera, a Gorechimera, and a Lich. Normally, this wouldn't be so bad, except that the Lich likes to summon the aforementioned Demonic Spider Hellhounds. This could in turn cause you to get severely overwhelmed, so better have those Wakestones you've been collecting, you are going to need them.
    • With the expansion, Bitterblack Isle is in an entire league of its own. Special mention goes to the multiple areas that A: are flooded, B: are pitch-black, necessitating the use of a lantern, and C: spawn monsters that constantly try to knock you down (being knocked down into water will extinguish the lantern).
  • That One Sidequest:
    • "Trials and Tribulations" becomes this if you try to find Fournival innocent. First, there's the petitions; Symone won't give you hers if you failed her escort quest, and if Fedel's other quest is active, neither will he. Reynard can provide fake affidavits to replace the missing ones, of course... unless you didn't rescue him at the beginning of the game or you've already completed his sidequest. And the last piece of evidence? Potentially already turned in for a noticeboard quest, unless the player made a forgery beforehand. If you accidentally turn in one scrap of evidence that he's guilty, there's a slim chance he'll be convicted regardless of how much evidence regarding his innocence you provide. Did we mention that you only have four days to collect everything?
    • Speaking of which, the related "Escort Duty" quest for Symone can be hairpulling if the player is unprepared. If every one of Symone's exacting demands aren't met perfectly, especially the infamous footrace segment (she can't have too much of a lead, you can't beat her, and you can't bump into her), then the player could potentially lose out on the valuable Golden Idol reward. Oh, and if you find Fournival guilty, this quest is gone forever without warning.
    • Reynard's quest, "Search Party." First, you have to buy something from his shop a certain number of times before he even offers the quest, which must be repeated between every stage of the quest. Then you have to find progressively rarer items for him, topped off by finding all the pieces of a journal that is scattered across Gransys with no in-game hints to their location at all. When you're not running around the countryside looking for the quest items, you're running around and looking for Reynard, as he can suddenly decide to move to any one of five different locations at random.
    • The Water God's Altar. You have to fight through hordes of skeletons and cyclopses to find five ancient slabs, each one weighing almost 10 pounds, and no, you can't bring one or some to the questgiver at a time. You have to collect fifty pounds worth of items in one go. This is a nightmare if you're already bogged down by your armor and materials... assuming you don't distribute the slabs between yourself and your pawns, which is entirely doable and makes it more bearable. Unless, of course, you have the terrible luck of having a pawn carrying a slab banished by one of the sprites in the depths of the caverns. If so, your only recourse is to either hotfoot it ALL the way back to Gran Soren or your home town, grab the slabs out of storage, then run ALL the way back to the shrine.
    • Certain escort quests count:
      • Selene's first escort quest involves hiking up the mountain and battling through enormous packs of Direwolves as well as a notorious camp of 10+ bandits. If that's not enough, there's a chance you might encounter a chimera. It's insanely hard to deal with for low-level players who unwittingly accept the quest when it first becomes available (shortly after first meeting Selene in Quina's escort quest).
      • Reynard's quest is arguably the most dangerous, especially since it involves passing through Ophis' territory. Unless your male Arisen and pawns are all in disguise, you'll be attacked on sight. And that's not even the end - you still need to hike through the bog beyond, which has phantasms and a wight. You can try to cut through the Catacombs and contend with undead and curses that could inadvertently kill him, failing the quest.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: Just about every change in Dark Arisen was well-received, except for one: changing the title song. You can guess what the very first mod of the PC release was. Though some feel the new song fits the overall tone of the game better, as the original song clashes hilariously with the rest of the game (an energetic rock song for a medieval fantasy game, where the rest of the music fits the setting).
  • Vindicated by History: The game sold very poorly in the west around it's original release, but thanks to word of mouth, it got popular enough to warrant a PC version, which went on to become Capcom's best selling PC title to date, and then eventually further re-releases on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: The original PS3/Xbox360 versions of the game were not bad-looking at all, but the PS4 and Xbox One re-releases look amazing.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: The Dark Bishop for Bitterblack Island. While previous boss Prisoner Gorecyclops and Gazer suffered from Boss Arena Stupidity, Dark Bishop offers no such respite. His boss arena is tiny, he and his pet dragon constantly keep you running around, worst of all, he is borderline immune to Holy element which shutdown a popular Game-Breaker strategy for magic user.


  • Complete Monster: "Gluttony": The Mayor is a gluttonous pig of a man who has a Cyclops eat children under false pretenses that they are ritual sacrifices; he would only spare those who hand over all their food to him, while letting them starve to death. When Ethan and Hannah battles the Cyclops, the Mayor has his men attack the duo, potentially putting them in danger of facing the Cyclops's warpath.
  • So Okay, It's Average: The overall reaction to the anime from casual viewers as it takes many notes from modern Dark Fantasy anime shows (most notably Berserk and Goblin Slayer) but doesn't use the more original aspects of the game's setting and lore, making the final product feel very unoriginal but watchable.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: A common complaint of the anime from fans of the game is that it's a very streamlined adaptation of the game's story, simplifying the setting and lore and taking out many characters and elements of the game in favor of a simple revenge story with a very small cast of original characters.


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