Crimson Gem Saga

    Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

    Crimson Gem Saga Cover.jpg

    A roleplaying game released for the PlayStation Portable, developed by Iron Nos Software. Released in its native South Korea as Astonishia Story 2, but had so little in common with the first game in the series that its name was changed to Crimson Gem Saga for the North American release and Garnet Chronicle for Japan.

    Killian von Rohcoff is a new Chevalier graduate from Green Hill Academy who is eager to get out into the world and prove himself. He reluctantly teams up with con artist treasure hunter Spinel and the two are soon embroiled in a plot between opposing forces to collect the magical Wicked Stones, gathering a party of quirky allies along the way.

    Crimson Gem Saga is in many ways an homage to old-school RPG sensibilities and lovingly lampshades many of the genre's tropes along the way.

    Tropes used in Crimson Gem Saga include:
    • Artifact of Doom: Gathering the Wicked Stones causes...evil things to happen?
    • Better Than a Bare Bulb: Especially early on, this game hangs a lampshade on everything it can, though it eventually succumbs to the very types of clichés it has been poking fun at.
    • Big Bad: Dryden, the sole character to return from the first Astonishia Story.
    • Bonus Boss: Notably, one of them is Satan.
    • Bonus Dungeon: The Ziggaraut, which there is a portal to outside several major cities, but it loses bonus status when the plot forces you to go there in Act 3. However, the Inverse Babel is a legitimate one, as well as an extra level (and boss) that gets added to a previously explored dungeon for new loot.
    • Butt Monkey: Jeffrey (and his buddies). When you first meet him, he's on the wrong end of a Spinel con. She'd apparently hired him as her bodyguard on a dungeon crawl, then left him in the trap and monster infested depths. Later, Jeffrey is in the middle of his own adventure when he encounters the heroes, whom immediately assume the worst about what he's up to. He gets a summary beatdown both times.
    • Can't Drop the Hero: Averted. If you have at least five total party members, Killian can be swapped out at any time.
    • Combination Attack: As long as everyone has the MP for it and they all get consecutive turns, you can use combination attacks of two, three or four party members. Even better, it only counts as that first person's turn, so everyone else can use their own spells or another combination attack altogether.
    • Corrupt Church: Whatever faith the Radiant Crusaders follow, which is never specified, though the Cardinal in charge and those immediately beneath him seem corrupt enough to qualify.
    • Critical Hit...and how! Getting a critical opens the opportunity to land extra hits. One character can land as many as seven critical hits in a row before his turn ends.
    • Design-It-Yourself Equipment: Weapons and armor can be modified with elemental affinities and stat-buffs. You will likely never use any of these things until the very end of the game, for fear of wasting something good on a weapon you'll sell as soon as you get to the next town.
    • Face Heel Turn: Gelts
    • Fake Difficulty: In the final dungeon, one party member runs off after his own MacGuffin, another falls into a trap, and a third betrays the party, stabbing a fourth. None of this comes with any warning. Only one of them comes back, cutting down your team of six to only three, who have no useful Combination Attacks between them. And then you have to fight two bosses back-to-back.
    • Fetch Quest: The general plot of the game is this, but also a series of optional quests given to you by Chevalier trainer Englehyde.
    • Five-Man Band plus Sixth Ranger
      • The Hero: Killian, who plays it very straight.
      • The Lancer: Ladhuk, whose practicality and coldbloodedness is often at odds with Killian's sense of morals.
      • The Smart Guy: Henson, who constantly looks down his nose at his teammates.
      • The Big Guy: Gelts, who also really enjoys his booze and is regularly accused of being a Dirty Old Man by Spinel.
      • The Chick: Spinel, who is not only the party's Token Girl for most of the game, but also (tries to) act as the voice of reason.
      • Sixth Ranger: Acelora, who is added to your party late in the game, but is even more badass than The Hero in some regards.
    • Floating Continent: The place where Henson's master lives, though it's never actually shown and you only visit in a cutscene.
    • Game Breaker: Very much the Grace of God Combination Attack. Full party immunity for eight turns! With careful strategy, even the hardest Bonus Bosses can't touch you.
    • Glass Cannon: Ladhuk, the aforementioned Mr. 7-Hit Critical, is a bare-fisted Monk with crappy defense. Spinel qualifies as well, as her high chance for criticals makes her a damage-per-second beast, even early in the game.
    • Global Airship: Teased, but surprisingly averted for a game with such old-school sensibilities. There's one in the title screen cinematic, but none to be seen in-game.
    • Gold Fever: Given that the very nature of the Wicked Stones is to tempt the hearts of Men, it shouldn't come as a surprise that two of your party members turn against you at the worst possible moment.
    • Good Morning, Crono: Killian wakes up late for his own graduation.
    • Heroic Mime: Subverted. Sometimes, you might wish Killian would just shut up.
    • Infinity+1 Sword
      • Subverted with the 30,000 Sword, a reward from one of Englehyde's side quests. A supposedly legendary weapon that delivers 30,000 points of damage...but that's only the on-screen damage indicator, as it actually does normal damage based on its stats. Fortunately, its stats are good enough to be the best weapon available for Killian until Act 3.
      • Upheld with the Sword of Soonsin, a Bonus Dungeon reward which is complimented by an Infinity Plus One Armor, that together give Killian a new in-combat sprite.
    • Kill Sat: The Metatron Cannon may look like a Super Soaker, but it's actually just the targeting device for one of these.
    • Kleptomaniac Hero: Lampshaded a couple different ways.
    • Knight in Shining Armour: According to Killian, Chevaliers are warriors for justice, who should uphold honor and duty above all else. Speaking with the rest of his graduating class seems to put his viewpoint in the minority.
    • Knight Templar: The Radiant Crusaders and Acelora in particular, until she is betrayed by her commander and joins your party.
    • Lost Technology: The Metatron Cannon, an ancient (and unequipable) doomsday weapon from a bygone civilization.
      • Also, the true nature of ther Ziggaurat is not well understood by modern researchers, but that doesn't stop the Warp Corps from turning a profit by advertising this ancient monument filled with bloodthirsty monsters as a tourist trap.
    • Love Triangle: Averted. You'd be forgiven for expecting this to happen between Killian, Spinel and Acelora, but it never does.
    • MacGuffin: Seems like everybody and their grandma wants the Wicked Stones, though it's not always clear what they could be used for.
    • Magic Knight: In standard RPG hero fashion, Chevalier Killian was also trained in the use of basic offensive and defensive magicks, though he's not as powerful at either as the specialists, like Henson and Gelts.
    • The Medic: Gelts, your basic Cleric, complete with big honkin' hammer.
    • Ms. Fanservice: Spinel--a dusky-skinned, pink-haired elf in a leather bikini. It doesn't hurt that her in-combat sprite has Jiggle Physics.
    • Nominal Importance: Subverted. Every NPC has a unique name and there's a fair amount of variety in their sprites, many of which are animated, like someone repairing a roof. (Of course, it's always that same guy repairing the roofs in every village.)
    • Now Where Was I Going Again?: An in-game quest log often gives you explicit directions to your next objective, assuming the strict linearity of the game itself isn't enough for you to figure it out.
    • The Precursors: The Big Bad's plot revolves around resurrecting an ancient elven emperor to destroy the world, despite there being no indication that the guy was even really evil.
    • Preexisting Encounters: Enemies can be seen on screen and usually avoided, including some bosses and even certain story events, so you know in advance when you should prepare for the worst. Enemies roaming the map can recognize you and charge in for an ambush, but you can ensure initiative by approaching from behind. A brief period of invincibility after encounters lets you approach another enemy without fear, meaning you can chain together every encounter in the room and never lose initiative.
    • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Killian's party is remarkably dysfunctional, yet unwaveringly loyal except when it counts.
    • Red Herring: Herbert von Guterrian, who is presented as Killian's rival at the start of the game. He's not around for most of it and you never even get to pound his smug face into the ground.
    • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Galorians, who are blue and have one horn, and their self-appointed leader Stormghor, who is red and has two horns.
    • Save Point: Averted, you can save anywhere. It's a wonder some other games for mobile platforms haven't figured this out yet.
    • Saving the World: Averted...? It's never really clear what the Big Bad is planning to do.
    • Shout-Out: The Wrath of God Combination Attack consists of a giant bare foot stomping on your enemies.
    • So Long and Thanks For All the Gear: Party members will depart and (sometimes) rejoin your team with no warning.
    • Sorting Algorithm of Weapon Effectiveness: Not only do the podunk villages at the ass ends of the world sell better gear than settlements and cities that are supposedly on major trade routes, but the prices skyrocket so high that much of the game will be spent grinding more for money than levels. Somewhat justified in that the game is strictly linear, so you have no real choice over where in the world you're going.
    • Squishy Wizard: Henson
    • Stock Video Game Puzzle: A couple variations: (1) a key that unlocks the chest for another key, rinse/repeat; (2) rooms that lead to other rooms; (3) and so many switches...
    • Surprisingly Improved Sequel: Crimson Gem Saga is considered a vast improvement over Astonishia Story in terms of gameplay, graphics, character development and pretty much everything else.
    • Time Travel: Spinel is the daughter of an ancient elven emperor who sent his daughter into the future for reasons that are entirely unaddressed.
    • Took a Level in Badass: Henson again. When you first meet him, you have to save him from a mob of dungeon monsters. After he disappears for the entirety of Act 2, he returns to save you from the same situation.
    • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Spinel being an elf--possibly the only one left in the modern world--is never commented upon by anyone.
    • Villain Forgot to Level Grind: Skeltz and Vampreed, whose first appearances lead to an off-screen Curb Stomp Battle, but are disappointingly easy to kill when they a finally proper bosses.