Video Game / Legends of Empyria
Legends of Empyria is the ninth title in NASU Games' Legend Series. It was released in Japan in 2007, but due to poor sales and extensive Executive Meddling, it did not see an English localization until the Updated Re-release in 2016.
The game follows the adventures of Lyribeth Arcanta (usually just Lyri), a Rich Kid Turned Social Activist who wants to make a difference in the world by studying its Functional Magic - if only her debilitating social anxiety didn't get in the way.
In order to study a strange anomaly in the Background Magic Field near Valefar Shrine, she and her cheerful Childhood Friend Remy set out to take some readings... and promptly stumble upon the cause: a group of mysterious cloaked figures, siphoning the mana out of the atmosphere using strange machines previously thought impossible to create. When similar anomalies start appearing all over the world, their simple research trip evolves into a grand adventure to uncover a millenia-long conspiracy and save the world.
Some consider Empyria to be the Black Sheep of the series. As the only game in the series with a pure magic-user as the main character, the series' traditional action-combat battle system was significantly modified to accommodate for it... sometimes in baffling and awkward ways that make the game a slog to play. Still, it had enough of a dedicated fanbase to generate a Fan Translation, and its characters make cameo appearances in a handful of later entries.
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This game provides examples of:
- Abandoned Laboratory: The underground research lab where Aster used to work. After Iris broke into the place, it was moved to a new location, and the records stored in the old one hastily destroyed.
- Absurdly Spacious Sewer: In Aym Harbor, you have to muck around in one of these to search for an assassin. Justified in that it's explicitly a storm drain that prevents Aym from flooding, and the dungeon alternates between absurdly spacious rainwater channels and narrow maintenance tunnels.
- Advanced Ancient Humans: Played with. While the ancient Telos civilization's artifacts are very powerful and valuable in the present day, it's partly because they were designed for a lower-magic environment, and were supercharged after the Cataclysm. Back when they were being used by their inventors, they would've been much less impressive.
- Alchemic Elementals: The Great Spirits - the four embodiments and gods of elemental mana - are named after them.
- Almighty Janitor:
- The weird homeless guy who keeps stealing food and causing trouble in Kimaris is actually Undine in disguise.
- Governors in Empyria are generally expected to kick back and take bribes while the city council takes care of the actual politics. Grace, on the other hand, actively makes use of her veto power and has singlehandedly turned Aym Harbor into a bustling trade town.
- Already Done for You: Since the spirit who does the Dungeon Maintenance has gone missing, most of the puzzles in Ronwe Shrine are already in their solved configuration when you get to them, and you can walk right past.
- Always Someone Better: Sonorie is this to Lyri. They share the same magic specialization, and Sonorie is so ridiculously talented at it that she completely overshadowed everything Lyri ever did growing up.
- Ambiguous Criminal History: As a magitech genius living in a town with a significant reformed bandit population under a fake name, it is abundantly clear to everyone that Aster has some kind of shady past. What exactly it is, though, is less clear. They used to develop war machines for the Orlis government.
- Some characters suspect this of Iris as well, considering her wilderness survival experience and unwillingness to talk about her past. Subverted. She's just protecting her sibling.
- Ancestral Weapon: Daybreaker, Iris's Infinity +1 Sword. See Legendary Weapon below.
- Ancient Artifact: First Age artifacts, which are far more powerful than anything current magitech can accomplish.
- Anti-Magical Faction: The Church of Aether believes magic is the domain of their god, Aether, so a human using magic is an act of hubris. Due to the setting's Functional Magic, this makes them a cross between this trope and Technophobia.
- Actually, this is downplayed in that most of the Church's members recognize how necessary magic is to daily life, and only prohibit using it for personal gain. While there are individual zealots within the Church, most believers are characterized as reasonable people.
- Archaeological Arms Race: Downplayed. Although there is a whole industry based around recovering First Age artifacts from ancient ruins, these artifacts are too dangerous, unpredictable, and irreplaceable to use on their own. Rather, the focus is on cracking them open and reverse-engineering the magitechnological principles within to build new weaponry.
- Artifact Collection Agency: The 12 mage academies scattered across Empyria seek out artifacts, both to protect them from misuse and study them to advance magical knowledge.
- Assassin Outclassin': The first time the party visits Aym Harbor, there is an assassin in the city trying to kill Grace. Not only does she not succeed, Grace doesn't even take the attempt seriously, and is mostly annoyed that it's taking up valuable time she could be using to do paperwork.
- Background Magic Field: During the Cataclysm, a giant monster made of light exploded and spread its essence across the entire planet. This forms the basis of the magic system in the game's present day.
- BFS: Iris wields a greatsword about as long as she is tall, and considering she regularly bumps her head into doorways that's saying a lot.
- Big Fancy Castle: The Waterfall Palace in Kimaris is a cross between a royal castle and a temple, with all the grandeur it implies.
- Bonus Boss: You can fight the mimic shopkeeps in the Endlands once the endgame Bonus Dungeons unlock.
- Cannot Spit It Out: Seems to be a chronic condition for many characters in this game.
- Lyri gets this the hardest due to her social anxiety. She has a hard time expressing herself to people, especially if she thinks what she's going to say has even the slightest chance of offending them. By the start of the story, she's been trying and failing to explain a misunderstanding to her sister Sonorie for nearly a decade.
- Aster is terrible at talking about their emotions, so they deflect or ignore whenever their personal issues come up - usually Iris is there and can explain things better anyway. This comes back to bite them when their issue is with Iris in the first place.
- Subverted with Abel, who seems to be doing this at first, but it turns out he just sees no point in explaining because he doesn't care about other people's opinions.
- Captured Super-Entity: The Orlis secret laboratory is researching a way to do this to the Great Spirits, in order to recombine them back into Aether. They eventually succeed.
- Cast from Hit Points: Spirits use the mana that makes up their bodies to cast spells, meaning they can destabilize themselves and die if they overdo it. Gameplay-wise, some of the Great Spirits' spells do cost HP to cast, but not nearly enough to put them in any danger.
- Kallista's fighting style also heavily incorporates these, to the point where if you survive long enough during her boss battles (and avoid the occasional Life Drain attack), you could win without doing any damage.
- Citadel City: Most cities in the setting are walled, due to the fact that large groups of humans inevitably attract monster attacks. Valefar is noted as an unusual exception, having no need for walls because it's under the protection of Sylph.
- Collection Sidequest: Since Remy refuses to use his monsters to fight, the monster catching mechanic is essentially just this. You get better loot and unlock more areas for the exploration minigame the more types of monsters Remy has, but you don't have to catch a single monster outside the tutorial to beat the game.
- Colonel Kilgore: Sonorie loves the thrill of battle and actively bemoans that the war ended before she could make Colonel.
- Color-Coded Elements: Green for air, blue for water, red for fire, yellow for earth.
- Conspicuously Public Assassination: Kallista's idea of an assassination is to attack Grace in broad daylight. Justified in that she's a complete amateur who has no idea what she's doing.
- Corporate Dragon: As a winged, reptilian spirit who's changed with the times and gotten involved in magitech manufacturing, Salamander invokes this image.
- Court Mage: House Arcanta basically serves as these for the Orlis royalty, being their battlemages and close advisors.
- Counterspell: Explicitly named as such in-game. It's a technique where the user modifies/nullifies an opponent's spell by formulating and drawing the right glyphs before they finish casting, but this is so difficult at combat timescales that nobody in the party ever gets access to it. Sonorie does, though, and uses it to hit you with your own AoE spells.
- Crystal Landscape: The lower levels of Ronwe Shrine.
- Dungeon Maintenance: The spirits intentionally keep their shrines stocked with monsters and puzzles to test visitors... or at least they used to, in Salamander and Undine's cases. The party gets the chance to try their hand at it in Ronwe Shrine.
- Eating Optional: Monsters don't need to eat. Remy insists on cooking for them, though, and they do seem to enjoy it.
- Spirits seem to be this too, judging by Undine's actions.
- Elemental Rivalry: Salamander and Undine - the Great Spirits of fire and water - don't seem to get along very well. The former disapproves of the latter's tomfoolery and capriciousness, and when they meet face to face after Aether's defeat, the two's conversation is very clipped and terse. Gnome and Sylph seem to be on good terms, though.
- The Empire: The Orlis Empire has grown to encompass half the known world by conquering and destroying its surrounding states, and their military research department is actively funding the Big Bad's plan to destroy the world.
- Eternal Engine: After Salamander took an interest in magitech, he converted his shrine into one of these.
- Everything Fades: Justified. Monsters are made of mana, so when they're defeated they literally dissolve back into mana with a little particle animation.
- Played straight with human enemies, who also fade from the battlefield once defeated, even though in story terms they're just knocked out.
- Evil Costume Switch: Aster, when they briefly pretend to betray the party during the secret lab arc, gets a cyan and white outfit to match the rest of the baddies. You get to keep it as a costume title after they rejoin.
- Exposition Diagram: Hilariously, due to the way spellcasting works, every human character in the setting has the explicit ability to draw explanatory diagrams in the air - except Aster, who just has to carry a notebook everywhere.
- Famous Ancestor: Maia, the Penrose siblings' grandmother, was a legendary swordsmith and adventurer.
- ...or so their mother claims, anyway. Nobody in the Daybreaker sidequest line seems to have heard of her, and it's possible May was just exaggerating because she's proud of her lineage.
- Fantastic Medicinal Bodily Product: Monsters are made of mana, so their body parts can be cooked down into pure mana and used for potions or magitech batteries. This is the explanation given for why everyone will buy your Vendor Trash.
- Fantasy Gun Control: Downplayed. About eight years ago, Orlis developed a variety of magitech weapons that resemble real-life tanks and cannons, but actual guns that can be carried around by a single human are still pretty rare since it's easier to just cast spells at that scale. Aster's magitech rifle is their own design, and many characters in-universe comment on how unusual it is.
- Fantasy Metals:
- Magesilver is a metal refined from magic ore that absorbs and conducts magic. When shaped into magic circles, it allows people to automate spellcasting and create Magitek.
- Stellium is this as well. A black metal that turns iridescent in the presence of magic, it's used as a monetary standard and a way to read the Background Magic Field.
- Fictional Age of Majority: According to an optional scene in the inn at Phenex, the age of majority is 20 (in Orlis, at least), making Remy (at 19) technically the only child in the party.
- Fluffy the Terrible: Whenever you capture a monster, Remy gives it a random default nickname that the player can change later. Most of them are super cutesy, so you can end up with dragons named Cupcake or flesh-slimes named Mimi.
- Foreign Ruling Class: Orlis's governors are nobles sent from Leraye, Orlis's capital. Since Orlis is a large empire populated by a variety of Human Subspecies, this means the governor of most cities bear no resemblance at all to their citizens. This is deconstructed - most governors feel no connection to the towns they supposedly rule over, and are apathetic about the wellbeing of their citizens. The (locally appointed) city council does the actual ruling, occasionally greasing the governor's palms to smooth things over.
- Forest of Perpetual Autumn: The Seere Woods are covered in orange autumn foliage year round, due to the unique way the Background Magic Field there interacts with plant life.
- Forgotten First Meeting: A non-romantic example. Lyri sat in the front row of a class Aster taught for a whole semester three years before the start of the story. Aster does not remember this even after having it described to them in detail.
Lyri: ...Am I really that forgettable...?
- Forbidden Zone: The Endlands. It's where the Cataclysm happened, and even 1000 years later it's still so monster-infested that few people who venture there come out alive. The party has to go there to confront a villain, of course.
- Get on the Boat: After the first boss fight, the party has to head to Kimaris to talk to Undine. Since a war just wrapped up a few years ago, border security is tight, and it's hard to find ferries. Fortunately, Lyri's sister is a governor with a significant amount of influence; unfortunately, you have to help her deal with an assassin situation before she can help you out.
- Ghibli Hills: The Valefar Plains. Since they're under the protection of the Great Spirit Sylph, there are no monsters or enemies, just lush green wilderness.
- Global Airship: The party gets one after getting trapped in the Endlands. It's a unique First Age artifact.
- Global Currency: Stars. Justified in that they're made of a precious Fantasy Metal, similar to how many countries used the gold standard in real life.
- Guest-Star Party Member: Kallista.
- Heroes Prefer Swords: Discussed. Iris - the only member of the party with a sword - keeps getting mistaken for the leader by random NPCs, much to Lyri's consternation.
- Hidden Elf Village: Hidden villages populated by reclusive beast-men are rumored to exist somewhere within the dense forests of Milluria.
- Human Subspecies: A fantasy variant. Due to the background magic radiation, where a human is born affects their appearance. There are normal humans, Beast Men, and weird beings that don't seem to be based on anything at all, all of which are still called humans. In fact, it's unknown what humans used to look like before they were affected by mana, so they might qualify as this trope too.
- Idle Game: The monster exploration minigame, where you choose a location for Remy's pets to explore and they come back after a set amount of real time with loot and recipes.
- Improbable Age: Aster was 16 when they discovered the principles of keyed magitech, leading to a new age of digital technology.
- Slightly less improbably, Lyri got what was basically her bachelor's degree at 18, and Aster is a professor at 24.
- Improbable Weapon User: Remy uses paper charms as a spellcasting focus.
- Ineffectual Loner: As an Affectionate Parody of cool anti-hero types, Kallista is one of these, full stop. Other characters constantly point out how much easier it would be for her to just cooperate with the good guys, but her pride and stubbornness won't allow it.
- Instant Runes: Humans explicitly have the power to generate these by drawing with mana in the air. It's not quite instant, though; spells with more complicated circles also have longer casting times as the circle slowly appears beneath the caster's feet.
- Intergenerational Friendship: Since there's a 15-year age gap between them, Lyri's relationship with her sister Grace is more like this trope than a conventional sibling friendship. They don't hang out too often since Grace is perpetually busy, but they're on much better terms than the rest of the family.
- I Was Just Passing Through: Kallista is prone to this. It's very unconvincing.
- Kung-Fu Wizard: Most wizards avert this, as getting close to the enemy makes it easier for them to interrupt your spells. Sonorie plays it straight though, being such a talented mage that she can cast spells fast enough to throw them at you between punches.
- Lyri qualifies too, if you equip a mace on her. Maces turn her standard magic attacks into physical ones, and she has a surprisingly high base attack stat to take advantage of it. Funnily enough, since Sonorie can use counterspell, this is actually the most optimal strategy for her boss fight.
- Last of His Kind:
- It's one of the things Aster jokes about being when asked about their backstory. Lyri snarks that it doesn't work quite as well when the rest of the party already knows they have a sister.
- Turns out to be literally true for Penrose, who's the only Telosian still alive.
- Law of Cartographical Elegance: All four known continents fit neatly into a rectangular map. At least it's not a world map; the edges don't wrap around and it's made clear that the Outer Seas cover a large unexplored area.
- Legendary Weapon: Daybreaker, the sword forged and used by the Penroses' Famous Ancestor Maia. Iris stole it from the family mantelpiece when she set out on her journey, inadvertently saving it from Barnett's destruction... then sold it to a merchant for adventuring funds. The party encounters the sword again after it was passed through several sets of hands, and if they gather the funds to buy it back it becomes Iris's Infinity +1 Sword.
- Lethal Chef: Aster. They're an absentminded scholar who thinks it's a great inconvenience that they have to eat, and are so inattentive that they can set the pot on fire while boiling water. If you make them cook they will fail more often than not, even if they just have to put some cucumber slices between bread.
- As a rich kid who never cooked for herself growing up, Lyri also has shades of this, though not nearly as bad as Aster. According to the skits, she does alright when she has a recipe to follow but tends to panic and spiral if anything goes wrong.
- Loser Friend Puzzles Outsiders: Lyri's school friends question why she hangs out with Remy, some blue-collar kid on a summoner scholarship, when she's a noble mage. The truth is she prefers Remy's company because he doesn't judge her choices like they do... but she's too awkward to defend him and just ends up sputtering random excuses instead.
- Lost Language: The Telosian tongue, lost when most of its speakers died during the Cataclysm. Current research indicates many of the mysterious carvings found in First Age ruins are actually straightforward and dry instructions for use, just in a language nobody knows how to read anymore.
- The Lost Lenore: Merrick often talks about his former wife Luina. Although he rarely gives specifics, it's implied that her kind and gentle influence changed the course of his life. Hilariously subverted when it turns out she's not only alive and well, their relationship ended when she divorced him for being a terrible father to their children.
- The Lost Woods: The forest dungeons in Milluria have a foggy, mysterious vibe, especially the Seere Woods.
- Made of Magic: Monsters and spirits are this. Scientifically referred to as "mana aggregate sentiences", they're what happens when mana becomes dense enough to start moving and thinking on its own.
- Magic Is a Monster Magnet: Monsters seek out more magic to consume and add to themselves. Unfortunately, almost all humans have magic within them, so cities and other places with lots of humans are inherently monster magnets.
- Magitek: Pretty much all of the technology in the world is powered by mana, even mundane everyday appliances like stoves and washing machines.
- Meaningful Name: Barnett is a real-life last name meaning "place cleared by burning". Ouch.
- Military Mage: Mages serve the role of artillery in this setting. It's not a particularly respectable occupation... unless you work your way up the ranks to commander, like Sonorie did.
- Mind-Control Device: The magitech device the Big Bad is building basically boils down to one of these; he plans to use the vast store of mana he's collecting to control the Great Spirits.
- Modernized God: The Great Spirits used to act more like traditional JRPG summon spirits, but they've all relaxed their attitudes toward humans in different ways. Salamander in particular is more or less a politician-slash-CEO now, and his "temple" is a magitech production factory.
- Monster Arena: There's an obligatory one in Ronwe where you can fight through a variety of challenge modes for coliseum-exclusive equipment. In a more literal variant than usual, most of the fights are monster vs. monster since summoners can easily engage in those competitions with no real risk to themselves.
- Mundane Utility: Summoners have the ability to control monsters. This is primarily used to defend cities from monster attacks, but a lot of Wywick settlements also use them to create convenient beasts of burden for farming and transporation.
- Really, this entire game loves this trope. NPC chatter indicates that most people use their magic powers for things like cooling themselves down or charging their phones. And when they figured out how to automate magic into machines? They immediately invented a bunch of fire-magic kitchen appliances.
- No Hero Discount: A shopkeeper in Aym Harbor flatly tells you that they get adventurer customers asking for world-saving discounts every other week and that you should really come up with a better excuse.
- Non-Indicative Name: Granted, she's named after the Paracelsian earth elemental and not the mythical creature, but Gnome is a three-story-tall mole cricket monster. Lyri lampshades this liberally when the party finally meets her in person.
- No Place for Me There: How Penrose claims to feel about the new universe he's trying to create. According to him, humans are corrupt, but he too is at fault for not helping guide them along a better path.
- Now, Where Was I Going Again?: Picking "Synopsis" from the main menu lets you read through Lyri's in-world journal, which contains a brief summary of where you are in the plot and where you need to go next. It also occasionally contains little sketches of places you've visited, in keeping with Lyri's character.
- NPC Random Encounter Immunity: Averted. Monster attacks are explicitly stated to be a serious problem in-universe, and most civilians stay inside the walled cities their entire lives to ensure their safety. Adventuring is a profitable career specifically because they're the only ones tough enough to survive long treks through the wilderness.
- Obfuscating Insanity: That weird megalomanical hobo who keeps pestering the party near Kimaris? Yeah, that's Undine. As in, Undine, Lady of the Waters, one of the most powerful spirits in the entire setting. Being a personification of the ficklest element, she started doing this a few decades back because she thought it would be funny.
- Omnicidal Maniac: The Big Bad's ultimate plan is to summon Aether back into the world so it can finish the job of destroying the planet that it started 1000 years ago.
- Our Humans Are Different: A thousand years ago, a magic cataclysm split humanity into hundreds of Human Subspecies, and all of them are still called "humans" no matter how little they resemble real-life ones.
- Patchwork Map: Biomes seem completely unrelated to latitude in Empyria. There are even some places on the overworld map, like the area near Phenex, where zones with completely different weather are separated by visible boundaries. Justified since the Background Magic Field of each particular area has heavy influence on its climate.
- Physical Religion: The Great Spirits are obviously real, and people leave offerings for them in exchange for protection from monsters or favourable weather.
- The Church of Aether also claims to be one of these, and that their god is just currently indisposed. Turns out they're right on the latter point, but whether Aether is really a god or not is rather more ambiguous.
- Place of Power: The four spirit shrines are built in places where elemental mana naturally accumulates, so the Great Spirits usually "respawn" there if they die.
- Posthumous Villain Victory: The Cataclysm happened after the chosen hero slayed the monster that was trying to destroy the world... and it promptly exploded, turning into a virulent Background Magic Field that continues to wreak havoc on the natural order of things even a thousand years later.
- Pure Magic Being: Monsters and spirits.
- A Quest Giver Is You: You can send Remy's monsters out into the overworld to retrieve items and treasure for you as part of a little idle minigame.
- Ragnarök Proofing: First Age ruins contain buildings, artifacts, and security systems that are still perfectly functional after 1000 years. That said, the Telosians explicitly had access to technological secrets far beyond current people, so maybe they were just built to last.
- Recurring Traveller: The mimic shopkeepers have a random chance to show up in most dungeons you visit. Considering they can only move by slowly shuffling around, there's no explaining how they get there before you every time.
- Renovating the Player Headquarters: Downplayed with the airship. Completing certain sidequest lines in the second half of the story will cause decorations to appear in the party members' rooms. While it doesn't change the ship's appearance, it does make it feel much homier.
- Safely Secluded Science Center: After the underground laboratory was discovered, it was abandoned and a new one was built in the mountains of Salamander's Teeth.
- Schizo Tech: The technology in this world runs on mana instead of electricity. Since mana works differently and has different strengths, it makes sense that they would have figured out some technologies faster and some not at all. For example, broadcasting hasn't been invented yet, but there are still phones because mana can create portals big enough to speak through.
- Science Foils: Lyri and Aster, who are both scholars studying magic. Aster is a typical theoretician whose obsession with unrealistic hypotheticals tends to hamper their usefulness, while Lyri is less brillant but much more grounded and can direct the team with her insights. They bicker at times, but they're both happy to find a friend smart enough that they can actually discuss their interests together.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: Inverted, weirdly. Aether was scattered into the background mana field upon its defeat, so although it is now omnipresent, it can't do anything and is effectively contained.
- Senseless Violins: Aster carries their weapon in a long black case that Lyri mistakes for an instrument case. She speculates that they might be some kind of weird bard before it's revealed to be a magitech rifle.
- Sentient Phlebotinum: When enough mana gathers together, it begins to think and becomes a sentient monster or spirit. Whether small amounts of mana by itself is also sentient is a matter of serious debate in-universe.
- She Is the King: Apparently, all royal and noble titles in the world of Empyria work like this. The current King of Wywick and Duke of Leraye are both women, and even Lyribeth occasionally mentions she's technically a lord.
- Significant Name Overlap: "Penrose" is both Aster & Iris's surname and the name of the Big Bad. Turns out when the siblings chose their latest aliases, Aster named them after the legendary Telosian Chosen Hero. Their knowledge of obscure Chosen Hero lore becomes important later in the plot.
- Sneaky Departure: When Aster disappears from the inn after the first confrontation with Abel, Iris claims they pulled one of these and asks the rest of the party to help search for them. Lyri is skeptical, though, and privately wonders if they just pulled a Face-Heel Turn.
- Spared, but Not Forgiven: Aster ultimately spares Abel's life since they feel that they're in no position to pass that kind of judgement on someone else, but make it clear that they don't want anything to do with him going forward either.
- Spoiler Opening: The pre-release material and trailers are very careful not to reveal that Kallista joins your party, so it's weird that the opening animation outright shows her fighting alongside everyone else.
- Stealth Pun:
- Aster and Iris's mother was named May. They're May's flowers.
- Throughout the game, spellcasting and magic in general is associated with a bright shade of pink. It's magenta. Mage-enta.
- Stupidity Is the Only Option: To anyone with a passing familiarity with JRPG tropes, High Priest Thaddeus is pretty obviously evil from the first time you meet him. But the characters don't know this, so you have no choice but to take his advice to progress the plot several times before the "shocking" reveal.
- Super Toughness: Used to explain the Bloodless Carnage characteristic of the series. Anyone who's worth fighting uses mana to bolster their defenses, which is why slashing someone repeatedly with a sword doesn't spill any blood. Accordingly, the party member who can't use magic at all has the lowest defense, and when magitech war machines were used on untrained civilians in Barnett, pretty much everyone was killed instantly.
- Take Your Time: In true JRPG fashion, this is in full effect. In fact, there are some sidequests that only unlock after Aether's Hand is launched, so your party will be running around scrounging up funds to buy a cool sword while a literal magitech superweapon hovers ominously in the sky above them.
- Temple of Doom: Traditionally, the Great Spirits' shrines used to be these, with the idea being that you have to make it past all the puzzles and monsters to prove yourself worthy of an audience with the spirit. Sylph is the only one who still keeps up with it in the present day, though.
- Traintop Battle: The first time the party boards a train in Orlis, it breaks down mid-trip, and they have to climb onto the roof of their car and fend off waves of monsters until it can be fixed. Downplayed since the train is stationary when this happens.
- Trophy Child: Although most of the focus is put on Lyribeth as the protagonist, all three of the Arcanta sisters suffer from this. Duke Arcanta never cared about her children except as status symbols to make the house look good and continue the family line, so her daughters had to achieve unreasonable feats to get her attention.
- Unequal Rites: Although Valefar Academy has both mage and summoner students, the former often make fun of the latter in a way reminiscent of Hard on Soft Science.
- Utility Magic: The precursor civilization first harnessed magic as a power source for their Magitek appliances. It was only after the Cataclysm that people started using it to fight monsters, and even then only a small number of adventurers do it.
- Very Definitely Final Dungeon: Aether's Hand. It's a Magitek weapon the size of a small city, floating on glowing wings.
- Pretext for War: Although both sides provide various excuses, the recent series of Orlis-Wywick wars were purely waged to gain control over the valuable First Age ruins in Aurnica.
- Weird Moon: Inverted... sort of. Empyria used to have a Luna-sized moon, but it has since escaped orbit and disappeared.
- Weird Trade Union: Adventuring guilds basically function as these. They provide a layer of protection for both clients and adventurers by providing certifications and serving as middlemen.
- We Used to Be Friends: Abel says this nearly word-for-word to Aster during the secret lab arc. They met eight years ago, when both of them were involved in Orlis' secret military project. They got along well at first, but Aster became disturbed by his unethical practices and drifted away from him, then eventually left the project without saying a word. Possibly downplayed - according to Aster at least, they were only ever friends of circumstance, being the only two teenagers in the entire laboratory complex. Abel's Self-Serving Memory just twisted things after the fact.
- Wizarding School: The Valefar Mage Academy, which is one of 12 schools that train and educate mages. Interestingly, "mage" is an academic title in this world that you can attain even if you can't do magic, as Aster shows, so presumably most of the curriculum is magic theory as opposed to practical spellcasting.
- You Can't Go Home Again: Both the Penrose siblings left their hometown of Barnett shortly before it was destroyed in the war. Iris continues to be deeply affected by this well into the present day, while Aster has... more mixed feelings.
- Your Favorite: Remy tends to cook for Lyri when she's upset. His best dishes in the cooking minigame correspond almost exactly to Lyri's favorite dishes, even though he doesn't care much for sweets himself.