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  • Anticlimax Boss: Several examples:
    • Mad Dog in Sundown's chapter, though this may be intentional. Defeating him on the second fight removes an additional scene from that chapter's ending.
    • O-D-O from Pogo's chapter is really simple if Bel learned her singing attack.
    • OD-10 in Cube's chapter can be easily defeated by standing next to him and using High-Speed-Op and Upgrade, Cube will counter each time he is attacked, and become stronger with each heal. Eventually, he can do more damage than the boss has HP.
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    • Depending on how you play through the chapter Oboro's Final Boss can easily be killed or be ungodly hard.
    • The final battle against Straybow in Oersted's chapter. While he has improved some since the fight at the beginning of the chapter, he's still relatively weak in comparison to the bosses fought before him.
    • Level up Sundown enough in the final chapter, and he learns an ability that can usually do 999 damage in one hit, making almost every fight an Anti-Climax Boss. Then again, O. Dio can also do 999 damage to you if you're not careful, so fair is fair.
    • Odie Oldbright (much like every boss in the fighting chapter) has no defense against Abise-geri. If you're lucky and it turns him around every time, he'll never even get a chance to hit you.
      • He is also vulnerable to getting stunned (and stun-locked) by the German Suplex. He'll probably get one chance to attack while you get into range, but after that he won't get any other chances.
      • On the other hand, if Masaru hasn't learned the most useful techniques throughout the chapter, the final battle agaisnt Odie Oldbright can be hellish hard.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
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    • Alicia can be seen as either two ways. A) Always in love with Straybow and Oersted was just reading too much into context. Or B) Shallow typical ditzy princess who only crushed on Oersted after kicking ass in the tournament and was easily seduced and manipulated by Straybow, whom simply wanted to ruin Oersted out of hate either way. Depends entirely on how much you read into things really.
    • She can also be viewed in more of a sympathetic light, in that she truly did have feelings for Oersted but was emotionally manipulated into falling in love with Straybow. If you buy into the idea that Straybow was the one behind her kidnapping in the first place, this seems like a perfectly viable interpretation.
    • Straybow can be either a manipulative, petty man, who decided that ruining the life of his 'best friend' was the best way to finally stick it to the guy, or he could simply be a man whose inferiority complex towards his best friend has been eating away at him for years, with a likely just as longstanding, unrequited love for the princess, and simply snapped when a moment arose that gave him a chance to fulfill his own selfish want, even if it was just for a short while.
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    • Oersted himself can also qualify. Think about it this way: once he became Odio, he said he would make "humanity see the folly of their selfishness". Did he really snap at the end, or was he actually doing what he believed was the only way he could help humanity? After all, once you take control of him you see he could trigger Armageddon very easily all by himself, but has the option to NOT unleash it.
  • Awesome Music:
  • Breather Level:
    • Cube's chapter only has one required boss battle, and it doesn't have a single Guide Dang It!. That doesn't mean it's boring or that you can't die in it...
    • Sundown's chapter has a total of five battles, of which one is optional (and eliminates one of the others if you choose to fight), three are laughably easy, and one is against the chapter's boss and can be made significantly easier depending on how you set the traps.
  • Captain Obvious Reveal: Downplayed. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to notice that all of the final bosses are named after a variation of "Odio" and are likely connected, but the fact that they all originate from Oersted is still a huge plot twist.
  • Cliché Storm: One way in which the game suffers is its short chapters - the plots are general and predictable, and you tend to know exactly what you're getting from them. Whether that's a bad thing is up to your interpretation, but it gets hit hard with a subversion near the end of the game. This is arguably one of the strongest points of the game; having you play through seven heavily cliched scenarios means you probably won't expect the massive Player Punch in Oersted's chapter and his eventual Face–Heel Turn / Start of Darkness, making them that much more effective. Then there's the final chapter, in which you can play as the villain and either just kill all the heroes or straight up destroy the world. Either way, The Bad Guy Wins.
  • Ending Fatigue: The process for the Golden Ending. First, you have to find and recruit everyone. Then, you have to go through all their bonus dungeons and fight the bosses at the end. Then, you have to make your way to Oersted and beat Odio. THEN, you fight your way through a boss rush with each of the chapter bosses. The only migating factor that you're likely to become so overpowered that these will be more of a nuisance than an actual challenge.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: For someone who can be possibly Killed Off for Real and be only an afterthought, Li is very popular for the fandom, due to her being the sole female that can be in the final party, and her overall Action Girl quality.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: In Japan, at least (where a fandom has actually had the chance to develop) Akira/Li. Also surprisingly popular is Sundown Kid/Mad Dog and, even more bizarrely, Odi Wan Lee/Li. Yes, really.
  • Fanon:
    • What little fanart there is tends to favor portraying Oersted as gaining an All-Encompassing Mantle / Badass Cape after becoming Odio. There's also a smaller camp that favors giving him wings, even when not in Pure Odio form.
    • Sundown is often portrayed as a smoker in fanart, both due to him being based on The Man with No Name and due to Cigars being one of the healing items in his chapter.
    • Li is usually the successor used in fanart of the seven protagonists. Yu is sometimes used, but not much, and Sammo is rarely if ever used.
    • Despite him being agreed to be the worst player character stat-wise, there's a surprising amount of media that portrays Akira as the final chapter protagonist.
  • Game-Breaker:
    • The Cola Bottle from Pogo's chapter can become this in the final chapter. Just make sure to equip it to Pogo as an accessory before his chapter ends, and it'll carry over to the final chapter when he joins your party. The Cola Bottle is an infinite-use item with an attack that can deal 999 damage to almost every minor enemy in the game (and even some bosses!). Needless to say, the final chapter becomes a breeze with this in your arsenal.
    • In Pogo's chapter, there's "Laa Laa", an attack Bel learns at Level 7. Take an hour or so to build her up before examining Zaki's firepit, and you can one-shot the final boss of the chapter.
    • Sundown is considered by many to be the most powerful character in the game. Two words: Hurricane Shot. The attack is a semi-random attack that will hit for 999 damage more often than not. Even despite that he is a veritable Glass Cannon and can be easily killed in his chapter, when you got Masaru, Pogo, and Oboro in the way you can easily mitigate or even remove that weakness altogether and allow Sundown to pretty much three-shot most bosses, including the Final Boss.
    • Playing as Oersted/Odio in the final chapter. Remember how all of Odio's incarnations have a That One Attack? Well, now you can use all of them, freely. Plus you always have Armageddon if you're somehow still losing. This also leads to a bit of Fridge Horror: Odio's been going easy on you this whole time. If he fought with half the skill he has while under your control, the game would have been unwinnable.
  • Goddamned Boss: Voice Heart. After encountering him several times in an extra dungeon, you will want to scream "JUST LEAVE ME ALONE." It's quite gratifying when you get to tell him off and kill him at the end of the dungeon.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Despite the game's small but dedicated cult following, it's still not enough for a remake to really be considered. Looks like "as long as there is one man" still isn't enough.
  • Ho Yay: Mad Dog has apparently been tailing Sundown non-stop for a long, long time. He even lampshades it during the beginning of the chapter, saying that it's almost like they're "sweethearts or something".
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Li. See Fan-Preferred Couple above, and combine that with pairing her with Masaru, and also Oboromaru, and occasionally Yuan.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Each of the villains cross it, with the exception of Ode Iou and O. Dio as a result of not doing all that much:
    • The Ku Tribe chief ordering Zaki and his underlings to capture Bel in order to sacrifice her to a dinosaur.
    • Odi Wang Lee killing two of the students.
    • Odie Oldbright killing the other six opponents and joyfully describing how he did it.
    • Odeo's followers sacrificing 2000 humans to revive Odeo.
    • OD-10 killing Kirk and Hol while setting the Behemoth free.
    • Straybow tricking Oersted into killing the king.
  • Narm Charm: Matsu, after drinking himself silly, exclaims "MASSU AYN'T DED!!" while piloting Buriki Daioh. It actually adds onto the epic feel of the scene.
  • Player Punch:
    • Amongst many, die while piloting Buriki Daioh. Akira and Matsu revive as spirits and Matsu says "You Bastard!" to Akira before the player returns to the load screen, feeling a lot like the You Bastard! in question.
    • The Kung Fu chapter. The Master takes in three bright, promising pupils who all show signs of being inheritors of Shin San Ken, and then two of them are murdered by Odi Wan Lee's goons. Even worse is that, once you know how the game chooses which ones live, it's basically you deciding which ones die. Go ahead, try not to feel bad when you replay the chapter, with that knowledge.
    • The Medieval chapter is one long train of Player Punches. Over the course of the chapter, two of your buddies are killed in the rescue attempt, you're forced to come home empty-handed, you're duped into regicide and imprisoned, your last buddy sacrifices himself to escape, and your best friend turns out to have been behind it all because he was jealous of you. The absolute worst punch is the ending, though; Alicia accuses you of never bothering to try and help her, declares her sympathy for the man who completely ruined your life, and then offs herself to be with him. No wonder Oersted's sanity goes bye-bye at the end of it all.
  • Retroactive Recognition: "Megalomania", the boss theme for Odio's incarnations was intended to be in The Halloween Hack of EarthBound, but its creator Toby Fox was unable to do it and created the Suspiciously Similar Song Megalovania instead, which gained mainstream popularity through Undertale. Sure enough, if one looks on almost every video of it on Youtube, there will be at least one comment saying "Who came here before Undertale?"
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • O-Robo's weaknesses in Oboro's scenario. Fall down pits, O-Robo breaks. If O-Robo is submerged in water for too long, he breaks. If O-Robo sees a mouse, he freaks out and attacks you. Especially the middle one is horrible if one does the Pacifist Run and attempts to fight the Bonus Bosses in the scenario. Since, in order to level up Oboro and O-Robo without it counting as a kill, the player must make it all the way back to the room with the spirits and level up from there, meaning they need to make it through the moat twice.
    • The item crafting in Akira's chapter. After a certain event, Toei will be able to upgrade items in your inventory into theoretically better ones, as well as robot accessories Taro (and Cube in the final chapter) can use for new attacks. The problem is, you're never given any indication what items will turn into what, or that some items can upgrade multiple times, and sometimes when they're upgraded, there are multiple items they can become, and it's completely randomized what item you will actually get. Also whenever you want to initiate item crafting, you're subjected to an annoyingly long segment of Toei thinking and thinking before rushing off downstairs to craft the item. And perhaps most frustratingly of all, most of the time you'll go through this and not get anything at all with Toei simply saying "Oops, I messed up." While you don't lose the item you tried to have upgraded (and thus are free to immediately try again) it forces you to sit through the lengthy sequence of Toei thinking and rushing downstairs, often times just to fail again. Lots of patience, Save Scumming and an FAQ are required if you want to get the absolute best equipment for Akira's chapter.
  • Signature Scene: The second half of Oersted's chapter, which contains a huge amount of plot and stands out immensely from the rest of the game. The direct follow-up, Oersted's version of the final chapter is also lauded due to being a reverse Boss Rush that you can effectively Rage Quit by wiping out all of existence.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: The game's theme is obvious but handled tastefully — anyone can become a villain with enough hatred.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: Buriki Daioh's theme is a rearrangement of the theme of Mazinger Z. The battle theme in the fighting chapter is a very clear nod to Ken's theme in "Street Fighter II". And it's even more suspicious when we know that the main composer of the game's soundtrack is Yoko Shimomura, who also worked on "Street Fighter II".
  • That One Attack: All of the Odio incarnations have an example of That One Attack:
    • O-D-O has Bite, which can do massive damage to anyone in the party.
    • Ode Iou has Poison Serpent Whip; while it doesn't do much damage, it covers almost the entire battlefield in poison spaces. Also, Drink Blood is pretty strong and heals Ode Iou.
    • Odi Wan Lee has Kuang Zhuan Yan Wu, which can easily kill the inheritor when you face him.
    • O. Dio has Gatling Shots, which almost always does enough damage to result in a One-Hit Kill.
    • Odie Oldbright has Acro DDO, which can kill Masaru in one hit. Two hits, if the player's lucky.
    • The Inko Keruruu Odeo Statue has Liquefied Human Curse, which does random damage, but normally does plenty.
    • OD-10 has Driveback and Driveback-Counter, which deal tons of damage and create electric panels; however, he will only start using them if you cast Info Research on the middle of his sprite to change his graphic.
    • The Demon King's strongest attack instantly stones anyone hit by it. This can, however, be cured with Uranus's healing move. God help you if he gets stoned.
    • Pure Odio has Cancel Ray, which instantly disrupts any attacks you have planned, but he and Illusion Odio also have Life Eraser, which will stone you for sure if you don't have the Ariel Equipment. Pure Odio likes to use Life Eraser (which also heals him for any damage done) after every move you make, which means hurting him is nearly impossible.
    • Optional boss Amakusa in Oboro's path has Electric Barrier, which deals 120+ damage and surrounds you with electric tiles. Oboro has about 160 HP if you've killed everyone in his path up to this point. And Amakusa likes to use this attack twice in a row. (This is not a Bonus Boss, but rather one you must fight if you take a specific path through the chapter.)
  • That One Boss:
    • Max Morgan from Masaru's chapter is an utter bastard. If you slip up just once, he'll kill you in three hits. (And remember, Masaru has to take hits in order to learn his skills!) What's worse is that because of the paralyzing chance on German Suplex, he won't always allow you to take a turn in between attacks, allowing him to combo you from full health to death in one go on rare occasion.
    • Gynophobia, the second-to-last boss in Oersted's chapter. Giving a boss two attacks doesn't make her fair when one of them heals her for all the damage she deals and the other puts you to sleep. And the one that puts you to sleep has a massive range. Even better? You fight this boss alone.
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy:
    • On the high end, we have Sundown, essentially the most powerful character in the game. He's so powerful he can three-shot the Final Boss if he gets lucky. He's supposed to be balanced by the fact that his health is the lowest in the game and that his defences are weak. However, this only really manifests in his chapter - in the final chapter, you have three other characters able to keep enemies from touching him and move Sundown to places where he cannot get hit easily. He is generally considered so overpowered that not using him is considered to be a self-induced challenge.
    • Also on the high end, we have Pogo. Pogo has both high health, has extremely powerful attacks (hell, one of then does a whopping 800 damage), Pogo has an secret weapon that can manhandle the Final Boss if he defeats the King Mammoth and brings it with him to the final chapter. Pogo is like a Super Boss that is playable. This doesn't manifest until the final chapter. Out of all of the protagonists, Pogo has the highest hp going into the final chapter, generally being in the 500s or higher.
    • On the low end, we got Akira and Sammo. While they aren't exactly bad per se, they're just outclassed by people who either require a lot less work to make effective (Li, Cube), or have much greater payoffs (Yuan). Akira specifically is more of a support and healing character with some offensive abilities as well - unfortunately, that's the same role that Cube has, and Cube sacrifices the crowd control Akira has for raw healing. Many of the crowd-control abilities also are useful against standard enemies but not against bosses.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic:
    • Ghost!Straybow in Akira's version of the Final Chapter. Sure, he's justifiably having a Heel Realization over his sheer scumbaggery against Oersted... but he still comes across as largely in denial over causing him to finally snap and become Odio. Yet the narrative still tries to present him as just another tragic victim; needless to say, many (if not most) players definitely see him as a certain kind of victim, all right.
    • Alicia at times falls into this as well. Being a helpless Damsel in Distress really wouldn't do too good for her psyche and it would make sense that she shows the greatest gratitude to whoever saves her first... which happens to be Straybow. Of course, because this eventually leads to the chain of events that made Oersted snap and cast off his humanity, Alicia is mostly going to take the flak of dooming the world because she didn't give Oersted the loving and hope he needed, and many viewed her similarly to Straybow when it comes to 'victims'.
  • The Woobie:
    • Cube. And depending on your temperament, Yuan from the Kung Fu chapter.
    • Huey from Cube's chapter, good heavens. EVERYTHING GOES WRONG in his life This Let's Play summarized it like this:
      So to summarize, Huey's job involves working with crates. His girlfriend left him for the ship's pilot, who never missed a chance to insult him and taunt him about it. He failed his captaincy exams, and Captain Hol didn't see one redeeming characteristic about him either, so he was probably going to get fired. And to top it all off, when he tried to rescue his ex-girlfriend, he ended up dying for his troubles, and she didn't even make it either. This game freakin' hates Huey!
    • Oersted/Odio, even though he is the main villain of the game and wants to punish all of humanity and ruin many people's lives, considering all he went through.
    • The Xin Shan Quan Inheritor regardless of who that ends up being. They come to lose their entire adoptive family — in Li and Sammo's case, the only family they actually have (Yuan at least still has his grandmother) — and their beloved Master, who taught them all his secrets and gave them a better life dies in their arms after giving them some last words of encouragement. At the end the Inheritor is left to rebuild the school and keep training a new generation of Xin Shan Quan students alone, but with the knowledge that the Master and the other two students are watching over them.
  • Woolseyism:
    • A minor one from the Aeon Genesis Fan Translation: in the Sci-fi chapter, Kato the mechanic's first choice for Cube's name is "Koro," a Japanese onomatopoeia for a rolling sound, or "to roll." Finding it too much like a pet's name, he names him Cube. The AG translation's clever change is "Rover," keeping with the rolling motif and also noting that Cube does, indeed, move on rover treads.
    • In the definitive fan translation, each chapter has their own unique font to make them stand out. In the final chapter, each character speaks in their respective chapter's font.
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