Follow TV Tropes


YMMV / Eternal Sonata

Go To

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Is Prince Crescendo a kind and wise ruler, or is he an idiot who can't even come up with the most basic of competent plans?
  • Anvilicious: The game is not particularly subtle. During the credits, the characters break the fourth wall and impart their beliefs to the player.
  • Awesome Music: As might be expected in a game revolving around music. There are many possible choices but some of the stand-out themes are: "The Mediocrity Sought Out By Everyone", "A Flicker Which Divides Light and Darkness", "Leap the Precipice", "I Bet My Belief", and "The Boundary Between Snow and Ice". Sakuraba really outdid himself for this game. And then, of course, there are the Chopin pieces themselves, which were performed by professional pianist Stanislav Bunin. "Heaven's Mirror" also qualifies for many fans. There's also "Rebuilding Ourselves," the final battle theme for the battle against Chopin that is a battle-theme remix with ominous chanting of his "Revolutionary Etude." That's right - you are fighting Chopin in a battle set to his own music!
    • The ending theme, "Kyoutenka," has two versions: Japanese and Italian. Singer Akiko Shinada did both.
  • Advertisement:
  • Cliché Storm: A Ragtag Bunch of Misfits fighting against an Evil Overlord that wants to Take Over the World with ill-gotten Super Soldiers made with phelbotinum; this could describe any number of games and the Dying Dream aspect takes a backseat.
  • Complete Monster: Count Waltz, the 16-year-old ruler of Forte City, oversaw the manufacturing of a drug called "mineral powder", and distributes it under the claim that it was a cure-all for illnesses. In actuality, extensive use of the drug drives the user to insanity, culminating in sending them to an inescapable purgatory when they succumbed. Intending on invading Baroque with an army of super soldiers, Waltz searches for the "glowing agogos" to perfect his drug and turns his dragons onto Polka and her allies despite claiming that he would spare them. When beaten, he forces his advisor Legato to drink the unfinished concoction, transforming him into a wretched monster, and attempts to destroy the world upon rationalizing that it was better for the world to die if he was not allowed to rule it.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Captain Dolce, leader of the Terrible Trio Goldfish Poop Gang, has gained some popularity over on the Game FAQS forums. Guess why... She also has her sexy, seductive voice. ("Oh, you've been naughty, haven't you?")
    • Crescendo and Serenade are also very popular, with interesting character arcs and likable personalities, as well as being Royals Who Actually Do Something. Fans were very pleased when both characters became playable in the PS3 version, and massive powerhouses to boot.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Captain Dolce and Rondo; see Ensemble Dark Horse.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: In the Xbox version, Chopin and Polka have better chemistry than the Official Couple despite the fact that A) she's analogous to his real-life dead little sister, and B) he's twenty-five years older. The PlayStation 3 Updated Re-release goes a long way to improve the chemistry between Allegretto and Polka by adding a number of new interactions between them and completely altering others. One of the most notable is that in the Xbox 360 release, Allegretto does not so much as mention Polka when Beat and Frederic first return to Ritardando. In the PS3 version he most certainly asks after her and then heads off to Tenuto to go after her before grudgingly agreeing to stay and give Frederic a tour of the town. Later, when he does slip away on his own, in the PS3 version he shows great concern for Polka's health, as well as frustration at the idea that she doesn't want to do things for herself. In the Xbox scene, he doesn't express any concern about her illness and instead of the sequence being about his feelings for Polka, it's just moralizing about the suspicious nature of human beings.
  • Advertisement:
  • Faux Symbolism: Though the events of the game are supposed to be representative of Chopin's life experiences, there are some events that just do not make sense in this context, yet are given the air of being symbolic of something. Most noticeably, the final scene of the game is a tête-a-tête between a snail and a caterpillar.
  • Game-Breaker
    • Harmony Chains at Party Level 6 can be exploited to greatly reduce almost all difficulty you may encounter after that point. Level up Polka to 48 (40 in the PlayStation 3 version) so that she learns Blossom Shower and, for her sake, since she is admittedly squishy, keep her as far away from the action as possible and in sunlight. Once you're able to consistently pull off a 5 or 6 Harmony Chain, Polka can use Blossom Shower to heal everyone for a sizable amount at infinite range every turn. It also works with Viola and her Heal Arrow, but the trade off is that while Viola can deal absolutely absurd damage from long-range, Heal Arrow isn't as powerful as Blossom Shower. Serenade's L'energie du Vent is a good choice too if you have the PlayStation 3 Updated Re-release.
    • Selling photographs can net you ungodly sums of money early on, making a mockery of the cost of curatives and equipment for 99% of the game.
    • Alegretto's final weapon in Mysterious Union critically hits every time, making him hit max damage with every attack. Combine that with his multi-hitting attacks along with the Werewolf Choker accessory, which doubles the amount of echoes you make and see how easily bosses go down.
    • The Werewolf Choker accessory is also a Game Breaker itself. If you give it to fast characters like Falsetto it destroys most bosses in a matter of minutes.
    • For most of a regular playthrough, Salsa's Shadow Silhouette buff makes her this, as it makes all characters within a certain range do 250% as much damage with their next specials. This essentially makes 4-echo moves be on par with 24 echo ones. For extra brokenness, use a hell mustard on any character, shadow silhouette, then build up a 32 echoes for the special attack. This will allow even a level 17 Polka to deal out damage above 100000k with Nether Wave and a weapon with less than 20 ATK. She won't deal that much damage on her own until she hits levels above 30 using far stronger weapons! Even when you hit the harmony chains (shadow silhouette seems to end these chains, so it's risky to use) she stays incredibly good, being one of the best Echo builders both in regular combo AND in the chains themselves.
  • Idiot Plot: Prince Crescendo, Count Waltz (see What an Idiot!, below), Chopin (his rationale for attempting to murder all the party members), the entire population of the world.
  • Moe: Polka for being a sweet Ill Girl.
  • Narm:
  • Narm Charm: Many agree that the second-to-last cutscene of Claves' death was surprisingly well done and incredibly effective. Sometimes the game's narmness loops around to oddly awesome, including the scene when Fugue meets his end. He is eaten by a glowing powderpuff. It's surprisingly satisfying.
  • Older Than They Think: The game received a lot of praise for the originality of the Chopin storyline, though the basic premise has been done before in works such as The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: The game tends to shuffle your battle party of three around before certain boss fights, which makes a few of them even more difficult, especially if it kicks out your healers.
  • So Okay, It's Average: The game is a strictly traditional Eastern RPG; people who went in with other expectations shouted this.
  • That One Boss:
    • Count Waltz definitely counts for this: Crazy fast, crazy strong, and positively brutal specials, if you don't block. Volcano Concussio can KO even Jazz. This is also when you have to fight Legato at the same time, who's been turned into a dragon thanks to the mineral powder.
    • Tuba, because the first time you fight him, Beat (if he's in the party) gets forced out. The second time, Beat is forced in. Either way, it can seriously screw up your formation from the start, and if you haven't been leveling Beat for that second fight...
    • Captain Dolce counts for this in your first fight with her due to the fact that the characters you have to fight her with don't have access to any good healing at the time. She also has strong and quick attacks, and has two minions who are both powerful and will revive each other if one is knocked out, meaning you have to kill both them quickly, all while holding off Captain Dolce.
    • Fugue, who's capable of inflicting Stop? Check. Fast? Check. Gets two turns in a row? Check. Capable of killing Salsa in a single round if you're unlucky? You bet your ass!
    • Rondo, due to the fact that she's VERY difficult to guard against, due to her speed and she can inflict status, damn her. Plus Falsetto gets forced into the third slot of your party moments before the fight, which can screw up your formation, and if your healer gets kicked out...
  • That One Sidequest: The Score Pieces, and it's the main sidequest to boot. The score pieces themselves are found in easily-missed locations, they're not numbered in any way, and to get some of them on the second playthrough, you need to play some of the ones you already have to NPCs exclusive to that playthrough. As for actually playing them...oh boy. The scoring system is completely arbituary, each attempt takes up to 30 seconds and you ultimately get 32 of the damn things, any 2 of which could produce an S or A rank, many of which give you unique items you can't get elsewhere. Finally, the NPCs that want you to play them with them are often in hard-to-reach locations that require you to backtrack a good deal.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: One of the most original concepts for a game—the dying dream of Fredrick Francois Chopin—given one of the most unoriginal executions ever. That Chopin is mostly Out of Focus for the majority of the game (except for his not-so-subtle monologues that come out of nowhere) does not help either. The PlayStation 3 Updated Re-release tried to fix this by altering a number of scenes involving Frederic, and adding many new ones, including him speaking in the game's intro sequence, but the problem is still there to a limited degree.
  • Toy Ship: Beat and Salsa; two children with an immature 'push him down in the sandbox' style relationship.
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy: Polka, Beat and Jazz.
    • Polka is a healer in a game where healing items are overall superior to healing spells, and relatively cheap to boot. She has bad damage output in a game where killing the opponent before it gets to move is the key to everything. To be fair to her, she's not actually terrible in anyway, just outdone. In fact, she can often compete/beat Beat in damage output+do area damage on top of that. In Encore, she's a metric ton better during the endgame due to picking up one of the two Infinity+1 weapons at the beginning of the chapter if you go fetch it, and that weapon puts her among the top damage dealers, gives her regen that makes her one of your bulkiest characters, and it boosts experience for your entire team! Polka actually hits Game-Breaker level for a while, until enemies really toughen up and your other characters get their final weapons much later.
    • Jazz suffers from terrible speed(Salsa will occasionally go THRICE before him), relies on team effort for real damage output(since his own echo-building is average), and is underleveled on rejoining. He never has a reason to be used- he's inferior to Allegretto, Viola and Falsetto when he first appears, and he's inferior to more or less the entire team upon rejoining. He was made worse in the PS3 version.
    • For Beat, it really seems the game is conspiring against him. There are thing about him that are actually excellent- he's a ranged character so doesn't take as much damage, he does pretty respectable damage, and when we hit the lategame, he gets a HP-draining move that makes him heal himself fully almost always... well, that'd be if he didn't have to suffer from having the overall worst stats in the game. He's the Master of None to Retto's Lightning Bruiser. On top of this, the game developers decided to have him almost always get his next weapon upgrade later than everyone else, causing his otherwise very respectable attack to become a weakness. In comparison, Retto has attack to spare, but he tends to get his weapons FIRST! To be fair to the developers, at least they somewhat realized this, and buffed Beat's weapons to compensate. Beat is never outright terrible, but he kinda bounces from good to bad to great to mediocre in a way no other character does. For all of this though, he's never outright useless, as using his camera he can take photos and completely break the game's economy by making ungodly amounts of cash selling them.
  • What an Idiot!:
    • Prince Crescendo's plan to surrender himself to Card-Carrying Villain Count Waltz would, rather than ending the war peacefully, have allowed Forte to invade a weakened and confused Baroque. Everyone else seems to understand this, and tells him so.
    • Count Waltz, rather than ordering his men to fire and kill the heroes, instead decides to take them all on himself for 'fun', accompanied only by a dragon that's extremely easy to defeat. He is then killed. Then [[spoiler:Legato decides to drink the super mineral powder and turn himself into a giant monster for no apparent reason, even though he knows it will eventually kill him even if the heroes didn't. This fiasco is averted in the PS3 version- Waltz survives the fight as every other major villain, orders a reluctant Legato to drink the poison, then orders him to kill the dragons to try his new powers, and finally, they run away because Polka's astra stops their lethal strike against the group. Everything is explained, everything makes sense, and it allows for a harder pre-final boss battle and a kickass breaking lecture from Waltz explaining his motivations.
  • The Woobie:
    • Polka. If you like her, then by the end of the game you'll wish that you could give her a hug.
    • Beat considering he gets insulted by Allegretto, knocked around by Tuba, and constantly pestered by Salsa. At least Allegretto and Salsa still care about Beat.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: