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YMMV / Skies of Arcadia

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  • Angst? What Angst?: Vyse is this trope crystallized. His hometown is destroyed? His base is destroyed? He gets separated from his friends? He shrugs it off and fixes it. This trope is so incredibly strong when it comes to Vyse, it becomes contagious. Wherever he goes, angst will fade.
  • Anticlimax Boss:
    • Baltor the second time around, especially after De Loco.
    • Lord Zivilyn Bane's one of the easier bounty fights, but can be rough if you're not expecting it and go in unprepared.
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    • If one does all the sidequests before the final boss fights, the group will be so overpowered that it will feel ridiculously easy.
  • Awesome Music: Now has its own page.
  • Canon Fodder: Lots of jokes about literal cannon fodder aside, there are a lot of little details throughout the world of Arcadia that the fanbase has pounced on.
  • Cliché Storm: If you had to look at the game on paper, it'd be hard to see what all the fuss is about. It's an extremely standard turn-based RPG that follows The One True Sequence (or at least appears to) one hundred percent, it has your typical "race with the bad guys to collect the magic crystals in the world" plot, only a handful of the characters really undergo any substantial Character Development, and the villains are an Evil Empire staffed mostly by some of the hammiest, most straight-forward and one-dimensional Card Carrying Villains ever. But it pulls off each and every single one of these cliches and tropes so well that the game is far more than the sum of its parts, especially considering it came out in the wake of a whole slew of overly dark and edgy Final Fantasy VII imitators, where these old cliches felt like a breath of fresh air after being smothered by the new ones so pervasively.
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  • Complete Monster: Admiral Galcian is loyal only to power. When first seen, Galcian is a military man working for the nation of Valua and its empress Teodora. A ruthless man who tries to wipe out Vyse and the heroes at any cost, Galcian pursues an agenda of hunting down moon crystals to enhance his own personal power. After finding the superweapon he's been looking for, Galcian reveals his true colors and uses it on Valua, his own nation. His reasoning is that if he obliterates the most powerful country, the other nations will fall in line.
  • Cult Classic: Few have heard of the game and even fewer have played it, but damn near everyone who did loved it.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Many minor characters make the cut, such as Belleza and Gregorio with their Heel Face Turns, as well as crew members such as Don, Hans, and Lawrence. However, most fans would agree that the best example is Gilder, a womanizing, Badass Longcoat and Cool Shades wearing Gunslinger. He even acts as The Lancer for Vyse.
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    • Ilchymis is liked by anyone who has taken the trouble to find him and use the ability to buy an unlimited number of attribute boosts from him.
  • Escapist Character:
    • Gilder. Too cool to be real and yet, a fan favorite. See above for the reasons.
    • Vyse can count as this as well. Unfailingly optimistic and driven, ends up personally exploring the entire world and becoming a world-famous pirate to the point of imposters showing up to cash in on his fame, thwarts an evil empire and the man who tried to seize control of it, and then the man after that who tries to destroy everything, and then sails off into the sunset with two potential girlfriends who don't show a hint of jealousy towards each other.
  • Game-Breaker:
    • Justice Shield halves the damage from the majority of attacks.
    • Delta Shield blocks all magic attacks and is invaluable against instant death attacks. It does unfortunately also block your own healing spells and the like, but the functionally identical items work just fine.
    • Pirates' Wrath deals massive damage for a not-unreasonable amount of SP.
    • Most Bounty fights can be easily dealt with by spamming Justice Shield and Delta Shield every round until you max out your SP meter, and then casting the normally Awesome, but Impractical Prophecy for massive damage. It probably won't TPK your opponent, but they'll definitely be seriously hurting and easy pickings to finish off.
    • Skull Shield makes your party immune to regular attacks and guarantees a counter-attack if a character is hit. This allows you to kill loopers easily- simply activate Skull Shield, then sit back and laugh as the loopers kill themselves while trying to attack you.
    • Lunar Light fixes everything. It heals everyone to max, revives all fallen allies with max health, AND removes all status ailments, all in a nice 18 SP package. By the time you're able to get it, you'll be generating that much in two turns, tops.
      • Moonberries in general. Depending on how thorough your exploration is, on top of a little bit of luck from enemy drops, you can easily pump Moonberries into Aika or Vyse to have them learn strong single-target or crowd-clearing magic attacks in no time at all. With a few Focus turns, you can simply wait out the enemy to unleash very powerful S-Moves just a few hours in the game.
    • Items in general can replicate any magic effect, are dirt-cheap by the mid-game, consume no SP and get around Delta Shield.
      • Better. Recruit Ilchymis, upgrade the item shop at your home base, and he'll be able to sell you seeds. As in, the items that provide the given party member with a permanent stat boost. And given the Money for Nothing nature of this game, you can very easily pump your party members full of seeds and transform them into stupidly broken Arcadia-walking deities.
    • The Magic Shells used by your ship are completely unblockable, allowing you to do things like cast Silence on the final airship boss (who mostly spams magical spells).
    • Fighting the black looper Elcian in the Dark Rift. It's a fairly simple fight compared to the other bonus bosses, yet grants a boatload of XP and magic XP, and unlike other bonus bosses, it reappears whenever you leave and re-enter the Rift. It doesn't appear until very late in the game, but it makes level grinding a breeze if you need to do it.
  • Goddamned Bats: Loopers, in all their forms. They're nearly impossible to hit with normal attacks, have magic defense so high that spells and Aika's (magic based) S-moves are near guaranteed to do 0 damage, they frequently buff the other enemies in the battle, and often run away before you can actually hit them with a Special attack and/or kill them, especially early in the game. Ironically, they're more likely to die if they attack you than if you attack them, since your counter-attack rate is likely to be higher than your hit rate against them.
    • Skull Shield lets you pwn Loopers easily, as noted under: Game-Breaker. Vyse's "Rain of Swords" also kills Loopers, since it deals physical damage.
  • Goddamned Boss: Well, Bosses, plural: Barta and Rupee. Daikokuya also counts.
  • Ho Yay: REALLY hard not to read something more than platonic onto Ramirez' feelings for Galcian towards the end.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Galcian still controls the Valuan Armada, in spite of the fact that he just erased their homeland off the map.
  • Moe: Belle.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • In the beginning of the game, Alfonso kills his Vice-Captain in an effort to keep his reputation intact. It perfectly sums up what kind of villains you'll be dealing with in this game.
    • Galcian crosses this when he summons the Rains of Destruction on Valua.
    • This is mentioned backhandedly in a conversation with a minor NPC, but Ramirez gets one when he has the entirety of the Nasr Royal Family dragged off to be executed for the amusement of Valuan citizens.
  • Most Wonderful Sound: Mew...mew...mewmew...mewmewmewmewmewmewmew — received (1) Cham!
  • One True Threesome: Not an unheard-of interpretation of the main trio's relationship, given how close they are as a trio by the end of the story. The game proper doesn't have anything conclusive to say about romance among them in any case, which is probably why Ship-to-Ship Combat is very rare among the fanbase.
  • Rewatch Bonus: Foreshadowing is extremely subtle, but nonetheless present. Stuff that seems innocuous at the time is often revealed to have huge significance. For example, Soltis actually shows up three times before it's introduced. Playing through the game a second time is an entirely different experience, as you'll now notice these little things and be hit with Fridge Brilliance.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: The Armada Battle theme sounds very similar to the first part of Mega Man 8's Wily Tower 3.
  • Tear Jerker: The death of Rhaknam. Also a Heartwarming Moment with regard to Drachma.
  • That One Attack:
    • During the final encounter where Ramirez's fused with Zelos, Silver Nightmare, which allows him to possess a member of your party for one turn and use the character's own offensive S-Moves against the rest of the party. The move has 100% accuracy and automatically preempts every other attack and defensive S-Move; it can range from moderately annoying (if he possesses Fina and uses Lunar Winds) to very, very dangerous (if he possesses Vyse and uses either Rain of Swords or Pirate's Wrath). Most of his other S-Moves cause high damage, but are relatively easily countered.
      • Not the first That One Attack that Ramirez has either. You will quickly come to dread hearing the words
    Ramirez: Where there is light... THERE IS DARKNESS!
    • And in the same fight with that, he may sometimes use Silver Tundra. It doesn't really hurt (at least no more damage per character as that other attack...) but boy does it ever look cruel. It involves a character being thrown into a tornado of ice that repeatedly cuts at them, then dropped down stomach first onto another icicle that impales them. OUCH.
    • Also during the final encounter, Silver Binds if only for how cool it looks.
    • Legendary Punch and Berserk Rupee if you were stupid enough to attack Rupee first.
    • How the bloody hell did Lapen build a Moonstone Cannon?
    • The Ixa'ness Demons' Chak Mal, which deals heavy damage to all characters and often inflicts various status effects.
    • Golden Flurry. Deals relatively high damage to all characters and has a good chance of inflicting Confuse.
    • Pretty much any of Piastol's attacks, but the most points go to Tempest Dance.
  • That One Boss:
    • Belleza, in her flagship the Lynx. Potentially the third ship battle in the entire game, not counting the preceding Hopeless Boss Fight, Belleza is also the first to make strong use of both torpedoes and a magic cannon, buffing herself and combining her attacks for heavy burst damage. A good combo from her can knock upwards of 7,000 health off the Little Jack's 10-11,000 HP pool in a single round. To make matters worse, you fight her immediately after the Temple of Pyrynn and Recumen, so it's unlikely that you'll start the fight in good shape unless you start the battle knowing the trick to avoid damage.
    • Vigoro. The first time you fight him he isn't all that hard, but he tells you that you only won because he didn't have his cannon or his armor at the time. When you fight him the second time, where he does have his cannon and armor, you find out he wasn't really kidding.
    • Lapen. Let's see...he summons three durable mooks at a time that can each cause relatively high damage. He has an immensely powerful area attack that can easily knock out several characters, even with damage-mitigating special moves in play. He has a single-character attack which usually causes instant death. Good thing you saved an Aura of Valor so that you can instantly get a Prophecy off on him. Right? ...Right?
    • Piastol: She's lightning quick, her Deluge S-move showers the party with dirks (which have a 45-50% chance of petrifying multiple targets), her Tempest Dance is almost certain to kill whoever she uses it on (unless you've used Justice Shield beforehand), and she can spam Eternum. Worse, her Deathhound casts Speed and Incremus on her, to increase her already ludicrous speed and attack power. Plus, it can heal her with Sacres (upgraded to Sacrum, during the final encounter), or poison you with Noxus. And, if all of that wasn't enough, she gets harder with each encounter! Be prepared to spam both Delta and Justice Shield every round... OR ELSE.
  • That One Level: Moon Stone Mountain. Feel free to rage at the memories of falling through floor tiles and having to walk all the way back again. Ixa'Taka generally is probably the worst-paced part of the game, with two big maze-like dungeons full of difficult enemies and light on save points, plus a village that, while colorful and impressive, can be difficult to navigate.
  • Values Dissonance: Vigoro's character and especially his Attempted Rape of Aika would not be played for laughs these days.
  • The Woobie: Fina. Over the course of the game she loses everyone she's ever known prior to coming to Arcadia, and ends up having to help personally kill the other remaining Silvite due to how insane and vengeful he'd become.
    • Also Drachma, once you finally find out his backstory. "They called him...Little Jack."
  • Woolseyism: Chris Lucich and Klayton Vorlick, the two-man localization team, worked 80-100 hours a week every week for months to first put together a rough Japanese translation, then essentially re-write the entire game from scratch to create something that would play better to a Western audience. The results speak for themselves; Skies of Arcadia remains a quotable and beloved title for its witty, earnest dialogue even today.


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