Dark Cloud

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"There was a time when our world was blanketed in darkness. The people of that time fought back and reclaimed their future. But their story could never be passed down to future generations. Did this amazing adventure really happen or not? No one knows for sure, but if you can walk out into the night sky and speak to the moon, I'm sure it would tell you all about our strange adventure."
Maximillian, Dark Chronicle

A pair of action/RPGs produced by Sony and Level 5 for the Playstation 2 (Dark Chronicle is known as Dark Cloud 2 in North America).

Not to be confused with the Cloud of Darkness.

Dark Cloud (2001) - The original game stars Toan, a young boy living in Norune Village. During a celebration, the village is devastated by an evil force known as the "Dark Genie". Luckily, the Fairy King manages to save the inhabitants and their belongings by hiding them in a nearby cave as "Atla". He then gives Toan a mystical orb, as well as the task of venturing into the cave and recovering the pieces of Atla to rebuild the village. However, after the village is restored, Toan must now journey the world, restoring what was lost during the Genie's attacks. He eventually meets with other playable characters: Xiao, Goro, Ruby, Ungaga, and Osmond.


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Dark Chronicle (or Dark Cloud 2) (2003) - Maximillian (or just Max) is a boy who resides in Palm Brinks, which is mysteriously cut off from the rest of the world. Max loves to create a myriad of inventions while working in the local repair shop, run by an old man named Cedric. While attending a circus in the town square, Max is attacked by the ringmaster Flotsam and his goons, who are after the red jewel that Max wears around his neck. Upon escaping, he discovers an abandoned railroad, which connects to "the outside world". With Cedric's help, Max restores the trains and leaves the town, and quickly runs into Monica, a female knight from 100 years into the future. She carries the same jewel as Max, except hers is blue and worn as a bracelet. She tells him that the forces of evil (Emperor Griffon and his servants) are erasing things from her time period as well as Max's, but with the power of the Atlamillia (the jewels), they can fix the time periods by recovering their "origin points".

Unlike in the original game, there are only two primary playable characters, although Max and Monica have secondary abilities of attack; Max is given "Steve the Ridepod", a machine built by Cedric, and Monica can collect monster badges, which allows her to morph into monsters. They are also given 2 weapons each to compensate. Max uses blunt items--mainly wrenches and hammers--and a gun, while Monica uses swords and armlets. Many of the weapons are repeated from the previous game: Monica uses a lot of the same swords and armlets as Toan and Ruby.

Tropes common to both games:
  • An Exterior Designer Is You: The most prominent element of the game, save perhaps the Dungeon Crawling, is the Georama system, where you build towns according to its inhabitants needs or wishes.[1] Although it is not necessary to advance, each town has specific requirements, and very good rewards, for achieving One Hundred Percent Completion.
  • Anthropomorphic Personification: Dark Genie and Dark Element. Unfortunately, they're both personifications of the same thing.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • In Cloud, the Fairy King arrives just in time to spirit away the people of Toan's village, saving them from being killed by the Dark Genie.
    • In Chronicle, the Firbits pull this off by flying the Carpenterion into Griffon's palace to whisk Max and Monica to safety.
  • Blind Idiot Translation:
    • The word salad you get when Osmond joins you as an ally in Cloud.
    • The grammar -- if you can call it that -- in the explanation of Polyn in Chronicle.
  • Bonus Dungeon: Demon Shaft in Cloud; Zelmite Mine in Chronicle.
  • Boss Subtitles
  • Camera Lock On
  • Catgirl: Xiao in Cloud; optional clothing for Monica in Chronicle.
  • Charged Attack:
    • In Cloud, most of the characters have one.
    • In Chronicle, many of the Ridepod's weapons, as well as Monica's magic-armband thing.
  • Chest Monster: The Mimic and King Mimic.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Limited Zones in Cloud and Chronicle, though at least Chronicle only has "can't use character", and "can't heal". All three conditions in Chronicle can be eliminated with either a special item or killing everything on the level. In Cloud the Limited Zones are permanent. Monica only levels in Chronicle seem to be skewed against her: machine enemies that the Ridepod and items are better at taking out, thus leading to Death By a Thousand Cuts with long distance magic. Ice Queen La Saia in Cloud can freeze you when you have an anti-freeze amulet on!!
  • Cool, Clear Water: The mysterious Healing Springs that can randomly appear in stages.
  • Disc One Nuke: It's possible, in Cloud, to get ultra-powerful weapons very early in the game, sometimes even the final weapons. Partly due to a Good Bad Bug, you can do this for Toan. Chronicle averts this. While it's fully possible to build up a Disc One Nuke weapon with a bit of grinding, the later stages of the weapon evolution require the player to have killed certain monsters. These monsters appear only around the dungeon you should be in at the time you have that weapon. Unless you harvest enough medals for a Name Change Ticket, which will give you any Infinity+1 Sword of your choice. Or saved the right idea and scoop photos into the album (which can be accessed between saves) and invent weapons way before you would normally.
  • Dual-Wielding: Max always wields either a wrench or a hammer in one hand, and some manner of gun in the other. Monica swings her sword with her right hand and uses her magic bracelet with her left hand. Griffon also tears off his own wings and magically transforms them into dual swords during a boss battle.
  • Duel Boss: Several, especially when the character has a personal issue with the enemy.
  • Dummied Out: Part of a dungeon in Cloud was made inaccessible in the American release.
  • Easily Forgiven: Gaspard. Monica burst in on him killing her father, he was a thorn in the sides of Max and Monica for three whole chapters, and yet when Monica hears his tragic backstory, she forgives him instantly.
  • Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors: Almost every monster has some elemental affinity, and it's possible through careful crafting to attune your weapons to beat them easily. In Cloud some enemies take no damage from weapons with elemental attributes set to "on". Sorry, Ruby.
  • Emergency Weapon: In Cloud, one of your weapons would not break no matter what.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: Occurs when the game starts in Cloud; it almost happens near the end in Chronicle, and mostly happened before it started.
  • Everything's Better with Monkeys: Master Utan. Starts out as a boss in the Cloud, but after you beat him and undo his Mind Control, he becomes an ally. He returns in Chronicle's Rainbow Butterfly Wood area.
  • Everything's Better with Princesses: Monica is the daughter of King Raybrandt, but she's far from being a spoiled brat.
  • Evil Weapon: The Dark Cloud, or so the legend goes. Other than looking really evil, that's just flavor text and has no effect on gameplay.
  • Evolving Attack; Evolving Weapon: In both games, weapons can level up and turn into better weapons.
    • Which culminates in the so-called Terminal weapons, at the end of the weapon evolution branches.
  • Expy: The Shiguras bear an uncanny resemblance to Lapras.
  • First-Person Snapshooter: Max takes pictures of almost anything, which can be used to create inventions.
  • Fishing Minigame: Both games have one.
  • Flamboyant Gay: Possibly the only thing ever in which the flamboyant gay is a fish.
  • Forced Into Evil: Just about everyone. First of all, Dark Cloud has Dran and Master Utan. And Chronicle has The Rainbow Butterfly, Gaspard, Dr. Jaming, and even Emperor Griffin.
  • For Want of a Nail: Dark Chronicle.
  • Framing Device: The chapters of Chronicle are letters Max writes to his mother.
  • Freudian Excuse: Emperor Griffon and his minions Gaspard & Dr. Jaming all have some tragic backstory that led to them despising humanity. Griffon was mistreated for not being human, Gaspard was mistreated for being only half-human, and Dr. Jaming was mistreated for being human but with an extreme deformity.
  • Frothy Mugs of Water: In the North American release of Dark Chronicle, what is clearly a bottle of wine is referred to as "grape juice".
  • Funny Animal: Dr. Dell in Chronicle and the Moon People in both games.
  • Fur Bikini: A bonus outfit in the second game, which, combined with the boots and bell, makes Monica look like a Catgirl.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Maximillian, and the Ridepod's inventor, Cedric.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Ruby is clearly shown to be able to float in her introductory cutscene, however she is not able to float over pits in the dungeons like Osmond.
  • Gatling Good: Steve's gatling gun attachments and Max's Last Resort, a handheld minigun and terminal stage of the machinegun path.
  • Ghibli Hills: Balance Valley in Chronicle. Even the music agrees.
  • Good Morning, Crono: Dark Cloud. However, you don't even get control of the character before your hometown and civilization itself are wiped off the map.
  • Good Shepherd: Priest Bruno.
  • Gotta Catch Em All: Every single "important" citizen in Palm Brinks can be recruited, hauled aboard the Blackstone One, added to the party as a "support character" with a non-combat skill, and dropped off at the towns you create. Said recruitment can involve either Fetch Quests or minigames.
  • Guide Dang It: Part of the Fetch Quest in the first game can only be completed halfway through one particular dungeon. You do not have the option to trade after and its Lost Forever. Apparently, if you don't accept the trade with the first person in the chain the first time, he never offers again.
    • The invention system from Chronicle. There are literally hundreds of objects that can be used in the invention system, but many of them don't actually go into any inventions. You get hints from some NPCs and also from anything that could have something written on it. Unfortunately, some of this reading material exists in sites in the future. Thankfully, most of the items you can invent can be gained either through upgrading or buying if you just wait long enough.
    • Many weapon buildups often require a Guide to figure out. Someone who doesn't somehow know what path to take it tiers out could wind up with a weapon that's good for now, but can't promote again.
  • Deadly Change-of-Heart: Gaspard is killed by Griffin the minute he defects.
  • Heel Face Turn: It'll probably take less time to count which villains don't do this in Chronicle. Flotsam, The Dark Element, and...yeah we're good.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Monica.
  • Heroic Mime: The main character from Cloud who never speaks, at least not in a way the player can understand.
  • Hit and Run Tactics: A viable tactic. Be careful, though; every time an enemy is hit, no matter how weakly, it takes a point off it's rage meter. When it's raged, it temporarily becomes stronger.
    • You can however turn off the rage meter. It makes fighting much easier.
  • Hope Spot: You created the Sun Giant and have just effortlessly beaten the Dark Genie! ...except not. The REAL Dark Genie was Colonel Flag, of the army that unsealed the urn. What you just fought off was a rat influenced by the urn for years of being trapped inside. Oh, and the real Dark Genie pretty much dismantles your Sun Giant faster than you beat up the rat genie.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: In both games, food and water are used to restore health, and naturally, Nobody Poops.
  • I Call It Vera: The Ridepod. "I call it Steve." Also, for an exorbitant price you can rename your own weapons.
    • Can be useful when you realize that you can actually change the weapon's name into the name of another weapon and have it become that weapon (presumably due to a programming bug.) This allows you to change even a throwaway weapon into the most powerful weapon of a class. (Use that wisely though. As mentioned above, it's costly. You may only get to do it once unless you go out of your way to earn a crapload of medals. And you need to give it the exact same name as your desired weapon, including capitalization and punctuation.)
  • Improbable Weapon User: The heroes can wield giant, frozen tunas as blunt weapons, golf clubs, Tiki masks, slingshots...
  • In a Single Bound: Every human in Matataki Village; Monica Raybrandt has suicidally long ones in cutscenes, especially (an impossibly long one to the Death Ark when it's above the crater of an active volcano.
    • And Goro follows the Law of NPC Relativity. Granted, if he kept his superior anime leaping skills, he would have made both Xiao and Osmond unnecessary.
  • Inexplicable Treasure Chests: As you continue to rebuild your cities, treasure chests with valuable fusion stones and your characters' favorite foods appear out of the woodwork.
    • The game says that they'll be 'explained later'. It was in fact Seda who put them there. He explicitly tells Simba that he was watching you and placing them there to help you. There is no explanation of them in Chronicle.
  • Infinity Plus Whatever Swords Starts at +0 and can go on from there.
  • Informed Ability: The titular Dark Cloud. Despite being an Evil Weapon, it has no effect on gameplay in either game, other than being one of the better weapons. Also, the description of certain shoes in Chronicle imply an effect when worn, but again, nothing useful.
  • In Medias Res: The second game opens with Monica fending off an invasion by Griffon's troops in her own castle, leading up to It's Personal below.
  • Instant Awesome, Just Add Mecha: Sun Giant in Cloud and Paznos in Chronicle. Steve as well, though not nearly as large.
  • In-Universe Game Clock: In Chronicle, game time is much faster than real time (one real-time minute = one game-time hour).
  • Invisible Wall: Everywhere. Some of which are just absurd.
  • I Take Offense to That Last One: During their first confrontation, Monica swears to make Gaspard pay for ransacking her kingdom, helping Griffon to destroy Max's timeline, and killing her father. Gaspard's response?

Murdered? Now, that hurts. Your father and I fought fairly...he just wasn't good enough to beat me.

  • It's Always Spring: There are no weather effects in Cloud. In Chronicle, it rains in Palm Brinks in the opening cutscene, and sometimes rains at various frequencies in outdoor dungeons, but it never snows or rains anywhere else.
  • It's Personal: Monica's vendetta with Gaspard started because he killed her father at the end of the opening scene.
  • Jiggle Physics: Ruby (the usual) and Xiao (butt) in Cloud; several minor characters in Chronicle.
  • Jumped At the Call: Max eagerly dives into the adventure headfirst. For Monica and Toan, though, it was more a case of The Call Knows Where You Live. Toan can start fixing things as soon as he's collected Atla from the first floor of the first Dungeon.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Several of Monica's swords are katanas. The most powerful melee weapon for the Ridepod is the Samurai Arm IV which dual wields katanas.
  • Kick the Dog: Flotsam's abuse of the Mayor of Palm Brinks.
  • Kick Them While They Are Down: Max gets kicked around a lot.
  • Kid Hero: Although the second game only gives hints as to Max's age, according to the official Japanese artbook, he is 13, Monica is 15. Toan appears to be a teenager as well. Xiao's "human" form looks to be about 8-10 years old.
  • King Mook: The guardians of the Chapter 6 shrines in the sequel are bigger, palette-swapped versions of regular enemies. Several midbosses - namely Linda, Memo-Eater, and the guardians at the dead ends in the Zelmite Mine - are also palette/model swapped versions of regular enemies. However, in the case of Linda and Memo-Eater, they are palette-swapped versions of regular enemies you haven't encountered yet.
  • Lethal Joke Item: The Island King, the sword with the highest attack rating in Chronicle, looks like... a surfboard-sized tiki mask with a pinwheel attached to the end. And banana leaves for a handguard.
  • Level Map Display: It allows you to toggle between a small and large map overlay.
  • Licked by the Giant Sea Dragon: The inspiration for Dr. Jaming's Heel Face Turn.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: In Chronicle, you can recruit half of Palm Brinks to work as support characters. They all stay on the Blackstone until you build them a house in the appropriate village (or don't).
  • Lost Forever: Several dozen photographs can be missed (often because they involve stopping for a photo op during boss battles), and several Fruits of Eden can be rendered inaccessible by a glitch. Also, due to the existence of the Bonus Dungeon, any Medals, treasures, and prizes from the Very Definitely Final Dungeon will go away when it becomes inaccessible, along with any uncollected treasures from the future areas.
  • The Lost Woods: Rainbow Butterfly Forest in the Chronicle.
  • MacGuffin Delivery Service: Max and Monica confront Griffon while still wearing their Atlamillia. The obvious happens.
  • Macross Missile Massacre and Roboteching: Steve's Missile Pod weapons. And yes, it is just as awesome when fired from a mech made from an old refrigerator (and about as accurate as you'd expect, sadly.)
  • Mad Lib Fantasy Title
  • Mad Scientist: Osmond in the both games. Dr. Jaming in the second is the villainous equivalent, but he turns good halfway through.
  • Magikarp Power: Suffice to say that, when leveled properly, Xiao really isn't as useless as she initially seems to be.
  • Magic Knight: Monica, who has mastered a variety of swords as well as elemental magic.
  • Magic Tool: Repair powder.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Dark Element, who is a phyiscal manifestation of Sirus/Emperor Griffon's evil thoughts and feelings.
  • Marathon Level: The Demon Shaft in the first game.
  • Market-Based Title: Dark Chronicle is called Dark Cloud 2 in the United States and Canada, for some reason.
  • Mecha Expansion Pack: Ridepod, of course.
  • A Mech by Any Other Name: The Ridepod, also known as Steve.
  • Meaningful Name: Dr. Jamming from Chronicle dedicated his life to Disco Tech, most of all, making objects float by sound alone.
  • Mineral MacGuffin: The Atlamillia jewels in Chronicle.
  • Mini Game: Fishing, Finny Frenzy and Spheda (which is basically golf).
  • Mini-Mecha: Again, Steve the Ridepod.
  • Missing Mom: Max's mother disappeared when he was very young. He's made it one of his major objectives to find her. Monica's mother is never even mentioned.
  • Missing Trailer Scene: Two scenes appear in the opening video and early trailer of Dark Chronicle that don't occur in game: Max driving a car and racing against the Blackstone One, and Max running away from Flotsam on the Palm Brinks rooftops.
  • Monster Arena: Monsters are clearly marked in the dungeon map, and the arena/area is always a wide-open area.
  • Monster Clown: Chronicle's Flotsam and his Circus, and strangely one of Max's costumes is even creepier.
  • Mordor: The place Moon Flower Palace exists in, ten thousand years ago. Heim Rada has shades of this because of Mt. Gundor spewing ash across the sky.
  • More Dakka: The Ridepod has machineguns you can make/equip to him; Max has his own possible machineguns.
  • Mr. Fixit: Max is an inversion of the Bungling Inventor, as he can turn some milk cans into fully-functioning battery packs for his mecha, and they always work.
  • Named Weapons: As the weapons evolve, they cease having generic names and start becoming unique artifacts. Particularly, the Dark Cloud and Chronicle Sword weapons justify the games' titles.
  • Never Say "Die": Partially avoided in Cloud, since near the end Toan is told that the only way to stop Seda from creating the Dark Genie is to use the Atlamilia to resurrect Sophia. Completely averted in the Chronicle, when one of the first things Flotsam tells Max is "Give me that stone or die!"
  • Nice Hat: Many examples, most of them in Chronicle because of clothing you buy/invent/trade medals for.
  • New Game+: Acquiring any alternate clothes in Dark Cloud 2 allows the player to start the game with Max and Monica wearing their choice of the acquired clothes, as long as the game save containing the clothes can be accessed. There's also the photo album (obtained in Max's house from Chapter 2 onwards), that allows you to save up to 50 pictures, and can be accessed in any save game where the album is in the inventory. Saving certain ideas and scoops into the album allows you to invent and build things that you wouldn't normally have access to yet, like the Ridepod's best weapons, or some really powerful weapons for Max and Monica that will tear through early enemies with ease.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Steve the Ridepod can be customized with a variety of parts, including "sets" that make him look like a samurai, or even a clown, armed with firepower ranging from machine guns to laser cannons.
  • Noble Demon: Though he killed her father, Gaspard tells Monica that he fought him fairly. Once Monica defeats him, he accepts defeat and death (though the action ironically makes Monica hesitate and miss her chance to kill him), and after their second fight, Gaspard actually is seen tending to an unconscious Monica before Max comes in and the two fight.
  • Nominal Importance: Averted in Chronicle, but only if you're paying attention: secondary characters never tell you their names, but every single one has a unique name that you can discover by snapping their picture and looking at the caption. What distinguishes important characters, then? When you point the camera at them, they pose.
  • Non-Ironic Clown: In both games, you will occasionally encounter the Happy Clown in a treasure chest. His gimmick is that he offers you the choice between two boxes. One contains an awesome item, the other contains junk.
  • Not Quite Dead: Flotsam returns as a cyborg in Dark Chronicle's bonus dungeon.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: After revealing his true form, the first battle with Griffon in Chronicle is one of the hardest in the game.
    • Also, the Balloon monsters in Chronicle. They're not so laughable when they're piloting Vanguards, Sonic Boomers, and Yo-Yo Barrels, are they? Duke Balloon from chapter 8 as well; despite not being one of the stronger monsters in the final dungeon, Max's maxed-out weapon LEGEND will hardly scratch it.
  • Oddly Small Organization: The Palm Brink's police force.
  • Ominous Floating Castle: Moon Flower Palace becomes this after Griffon goes One-Winged Angel. But all that goes up must come down, regardless of where it hits...unless something catches it.
    • Dark Heaven Castle might qualify as well.
  • Once per Game: There are a few of them, also Strictly Formula.
    • The line, "So, you hate me too." Said by both Seda and Gaspard, both white-haired villains.
    • At the end of each game: Destruction of the Atlamillia(s).
    • Intense emotion of the assumed main villain becomes personified as the real main villain.
  • One-Winged Angel: The Dark Genie of Cloud goes through several forms. The villain of the second undergoes a complete transformation, including wings. Notable in that the second case wasn't even humanoid to begin with.
  • One-Woman Wail: The Summoning Ritual at the beginning of Cloud and Griffon's battle theme in Chronicle.
  • Only One Name: Maximilian.
  • Palette Swap: Monster models are re-used and palette swapped in later dungeons. Sometimes the palette swap comes with changes to the model - such as Beach Rats holding shovels instead of the original Sewer Rats holding logs.
  • Parental Abandonment: Monica is made fatherless (assumedly an orphan, as her mother is never mentioned). Max has a Missing Mom, and his father is important to restoring Gundarada.
  • Petting Zoo People: The Moon People are all vaguely anthropomorphic rabbits (more rabbit than human) and there's plenty of ducks, apes, and other humanoid animals living together with humans as completely ordinary citizens.
  • Playable Epilogue: Both games. Chronicle combined it with a Bonus Dungeon for an extra chapter.
  • Players are Goldfish: Every single cutscene in the future of Chronicle has both parts of the conversation included. This is especially bad since the game has voice acting. Cloud didn't patronize us by showing us what Toan was saying because we already knew from the beginning what he'd be explaining (i.e., not a mute).
  • Power-Up Food: Appears in the forms of "favorite foods" for each character that would raise their defense. Also, Gourds that increased the thirst meter and Fruits of Eden that increased the health meter. Given the origin of the term "Fruit of Eden" and associated backstory, one would expect there to be some kind of negative consequence at some point, but there never is. Except that Blue Terra has some weird mix of Abrahamic religions, Greek, and it's own religion, there's the possibility that Eden is a magic garden on the planet. Also, it's only the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil that's forbidden, the Tree of Life is merely inaccessible.
  • Press X to Not Die: The first game features several segments where the player must input a specific sequence of button presses to survive.
  • Punk Punk: In Chronicle, Clock Punk reigns supreme, from the Spider Mech clowns to the Firbits' Carpenterion. Yet there's some significant --albeit rare-- Steampunk technology, and Max can draw inspiration from the future era to invent ray guns from household materials and his wooden mecha can now fly with wooden hover-jets and shoot beams of sunlight from ceramic vases.
    • That last one is justified in that the original "beams of sunlight from ceramic vases" was created by Luna Lab, some years in the future. Fridge Brilliance dictates that Max just modified it repeatedly, making each mod more awesome than the last. If you're talking about the Nova Cannon, that is.
  • Puzzle Boss: Quite a few in Chronicle. In one notable example, if you deplete Shingala's life meter instead of using a certain item on it, you get a Game Over.
  • Randomly Generated Levels: Present in both games. Can sometimes generate the exit right by the entrance, but can lead to bugs in the second game's golf minigame, which calculates the number of strokes you can make by the distance to the hole, regardless of how many walls there are between it and the ball.
  • Ray Gun: The Supernova, the most powerful gun in the game, and second only to the Nova Cannon, the Ridepod's most powerful weapon overall. Wears down very quickly, though.
    • Not so much if you use an Indestructible Coin on it, which makes weapons much more difficult to break; if a weapon came with fragility, add two and you're set. Hell, by the 8th Chapter, you can even buy them! (For an exorbitant price, of course). Or open chests in Hell's Turning Point from the Chapter 8 dungeon, which are mostly comprised of coins.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Sirus, already wounded by the Big Bad, realizes what he has done and redeems himself by stopping the Star of Destruction with the last of his strength.
    • Also, Gaspard literally just decides that he's going to quit the side of evil, and that alone gets him killed.
    • One could argue that this applies to one version of Seda.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Monica carries the Moon Atlamillia, colored blue. Max carries the Earth Atlamillia, colored red. Time Gates, Sealed Floors, and even the attack patterns of the Final Boss and the Bonus Boss use these motifs.
  • Roar Before Beating: Many, many bosses.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Monica.
  • Saintly Church: The one in Palm Brinks in Chronicle. It doesn't actually do anything, but at least it's not evil.
    • The one you place in Balance Valley as well, and this one actually does do something: It forms the basis for the Starlight Temple in Monica's time.
  • Schizo-Tech: Dark Chronicle. Steampunk robots, rayguns, knights with magic armbands, airships, steam trains, and guys in spacesuits with hyper-advanced computers are all bumping elbows with each other, and no one considers this to be at all strange. Cloud also had different areas have different technology levels.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Dark Genie in the Cloud.
  • Secret Test of Character: Chronicle introduces us to Max's kindness this way. It's implied that, if he had failed, Monica would've traveled to a different point in time to find another wielder of the Earth Atlamillia who could be persuaded to help her.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: In Chronicle, Lin's wish to save her master, Crest.
  • Shout-Out: Dark Genie is the boss of the Bonus Dungeon in Chronicle in addition the music from the 1st game's intro plays in the battle
    • Linda, the circus elephant in the prologue, performs a perfect Bullet Time Sphere Shot. Eat your heart out, Tidus.
  • Sinister Scythe: Chronicle's Dragon, Gaspard, transforms his sword's blade into a nasty-looking scythe after a first duel with Monica.
  • The Slow Path: In Chronicle, this is part of the process of rebuilding the world.
    • Also weapons-building, unless you Medal Grind, get the expensive Name-Changing Ticket, know the exact punctuation of your desired weapon, and use it. Then you've got a Game Breaker early on. If not...get a guide.
  • Something About a Rose: Griffon's true form uses roses with deadly accuracy. Notable in that Sirus loved flowers before his Start of Darkness and using them as weapons reveals just how far he has fallen.
  • Spider Tank: Halloween, Flotsam's enormous clown-themed mecha.
  • Spin to Deflect Stuff: Max's Spin Attack can deflect projectiles.
  • Sprint Shoes: Dran's feather in Dark Cloud. Possibly the Wing Shoes in Chronicle.
  • Squishy Wizard: Ruby in Cloud. Averted by Monica in Chronicle.
  • Start of Darkness: The flashbacks to Alexandra's time in the Moon Flower Palace, depicting how Griffon fell from grace.
  • Steampunk: Dashes of it in both games.
  • Suck Out the Poison: Happens during Ungaga's backstory, when Mikara sucks out the venom after Ungaga is stung by a scorpion.]]
  • Summoning Ritual
  • Talking to the Dead: Lin to Crest. A surprising, but heartfelt, Tear Jerker in a majorly happy and cheerful game.
  • Terminator Twosome: Griffon breaks the past, Monica comes from the future to restore it, Gaspard comes to try to stop her. Max is sort of caught in the middle.
  • Time Travel: One of the major points of the sequel; Max and Monica can alter stuff in the future by restoring an origin point.
    • Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory: Everyone involved in the sequel's time-travel plot, even those who don't actually travel. With one minor inconsistency when Galen's memory of Paznos that remains unchanged, but Elena and Monica are aware of both timelines. Toan, Xiao, and Priest Bruno in the original.
    • Stable Time Loop: Twice in Cloud, mostly the final story dungeon and ending. Time travel Seda kills himself so Toan can travel back to before he unleashed the Dark Genie in an attempt to erase its origin point. Being the personification of hate (it says so itself), it exists outside of time and cannot be vanquished as long as human hatred runs pure (though its definition of "human" seems to include Moon People, i.e. its presence in the bonus dungeon in Chronicle). Despite failing to prevent its release, Toan and his friends are able to seal it back into non-Time Travel Seda. After bringing back Sophia's soul, Toan and Xiao return to a version of their time line where the Dark Genie was never unsealed. In order for any of this to happen at all, there has to be one instance of Seda who did release the Dark Genie and use the Forbidden Spell to travel forward in time, creating an infinite number of Sedas who both do and don't time travel.
    • Timey-Wimey Ball: Figuring out how all this history rewriting should have worked, rather than how it actually did will make your brain explode.
  • Tomboy Princess: Monica.
  • Traintop Battle: Just after the first chapter of Chronicle.
  • Turns Red: Some enemies have a "rage" meter that builds up as you defeat specimens of the same type. The recipient of the bonus gains defense and attack boosts.
    • In Chronicle, every monster besides bosses has a "rage meter" above their HP consisting of a number of red circles. Every time they get hit (or take several hits if you're using a machine gun), they lose a circle. If all the circles are gone, the flash red and hit two or three times as hard. Unfortunately, this makes trying to level weaker weapons a very, very stupid idea unless you backtrack.
    • Not really, XP crystals fall on the ground and go to the melee/ranged weapon currently equipped, so you can use your strongest weapon in battle, then switch to a weaker weapon as the enemy dies to level it up instead. The concept works when you switch between Max and Monica too.
    • And you can turn off the rage meter, too.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: Several encounters in Cloud are represented by a rhythm minigame.
    • Normally jump-free, the Final Boss of Chronicle more or less requires you to use Monica's charged attack to avoid a laser.
  • The Unfought: Colonel Flag.
  • Useless Protagonist: In Cloud, and it will vary from player to player which allies are "useless".
  • Villain Override: Gaspard is controlled by Emperor Griffon after Gaspard has his Heel Face Turn.
  • What Are You Looking At?: A nice example in the second game, where you're able to recruit people to inhabit the towns you build. When they aren't assigned a house to live in, they are always inside the train. You'd think they get bored, poor sods.
  • What Do You Mean It's Not Awesome?: Linda's circus performance in the prologue of Chronicle. Who knew elephants could jump that high?
  • White-Haired Pretty Boy: Seda in the Cloud, to the point he has been nicknamed "Sedaroth." Gaspard in Chronicle too.
  • Witch Species: Cloud particularly: humans can learn magic, but witches are defined as not human.
  • Wizard Needs Food Badly: The thirst meter in Cloud. In Chronicle it's a status effect that prevents Max and Monica from consuming food items.
  • Wrench And Gun: Max wields either a wrench or a hammer in his right hand, and a gun in his left.
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: Word of God from an artbook a lot of tropers will never see contradicts Dark Chronicle's actual gameplay that just screams "Max is 15!" He's not. He's 13. Unfortunately, the in game dialogue is also You Fail Biology Forever. That is unless anime characters have a gestation period of "Yes".
Tropes unique to Dark Cloud:
  • An Ice Person: La Saia.
  • Anti-Villain: Seda, that guy you met once at the start of the game. His goals were good, his methods questionable, and he did his best to fix things.
  • As Long As There Is Hate: The Dark Genie flat out says this about itself.
  • Boss-Only Level: Most boss fights.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: The Infinity+1 Sword, only available after you beat the game.
  • Breakable Weapons: In Cloud, almost all broken weapons are Lost Forever.
  • Can't Catch Up: As you'll very likely be favoring one or two characters above everyone else, this is more likely than not to happen to you. It seems like the developers were aware of this too, as several dungeon floors in the game lock you into using a single character. Fortunately, you can easily level up characters that have fallen behind by beating monsters to within an inch of their life with a strong character, then having a weaker character deal the finishing blow.
  • Damage Over Time: If a character's "Thirst" meter runs dry during a crawl, their HP begins to drain. Thirst appears in Chronicle too, but there it's merely a Standard Status Effect that prevents healing.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: La Saia, figuratively and literally.
Tropes unique to Dark Chronicle:
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: The Underground Channel. You can even play golf in it!
  • Action Girl: Monica Raybrandt.
  • Ancestral Weapon: The Holy Daedalus Blade, King Raybrandt's sword.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: You can go to Mayor Need to trade your very hard-earned Medals for outfits not sold in stores, such as a clown suit, Monica's princess gown, or a Catgirl Fur Bikini. Try not to think too hard about why Need would have these.
  • Art Initiates Life: Parn's wife Julia was a painting he brought to life using gold paint made from gold eggs.
  • Awesome but Impractical: Steve's Missile Pod Arms. Sure, it looks awesome... but good luck hitting anything.
    • The Missile Pod Arms work a lot better if you're in a wide-open area, with a lock on your target. However, it also suffers from chewing through WHP ridiculously fast, like the Machine Gun Arm. The Missile Pod Arms are also very useful when fighting Gaspard's battleship, especially if you have up to version II or III by then.
  • Badass Adorable: Griffon's true form.
  • Badass Princess: Monica Raybrandt, natch.
  • Beach Episode: Chapter 4. Short on bikini contests, though. And unless you've been grinding for medals it's pretty unlikely you've bought the Fur Bikini for Monica.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Subverted so hard with Griffon's true form. Despite his appearance, he really is that dangerous.
  • Bodyguard Crush: Responsible for Max's existence in the sequel.
  • Breakable Weapons: Downplayed from the original game, thankfully. Broken weapons are just disabled until repaired. However, they also lose some of their power, which can end up making this mechanic equally as frustrating if you used a gemstone on a weapon that broke.
  • Camp Gay: King Mardan
  • Can't Catch Up: Also downplayed from the first game. Even though your party consists of two characters instead of six, nothing's really changed; Max and Monica each have a melee weapon, ranged weapon, and special form, all of which level up separately. On the flipside, Experience Points now come in the form of enemy drops, and anyone can pick them up; the lagging character no longer has to even participate in the fight. If anything, you'll find that EXP splits too easily; EXP drops are halved between the active character's melee and ranged weapons, unless the active character dealt the finishing blow and used exclusively melee or ranged attacks. There are ways to get around that, of course, but this entry is already verbose enough. Go find a walkthrough if you want to know more.
  • Cel Shading
  • City in a Bottle: Palm Brinks.
  • "Close Enough" Timeline: Creating one is the whole point. But instead of putting things "close enough" to how they were supposed to be in the future, Max and Monica end up bringing about even better futures.
  • Colony Drop: The Moon Flower Palace that nearly crashes into Palm Brinks, and then the Star of Destruction meant to destroy civilization if the Cosmic Keystones were ever collected in one place.
  • Cool Old Guy: Galen Agaris. Just listen to that kick-ass voice!
  • Cool Train: Chronicle gives us the Blackstone One early on.
    • In the last quarter of the game, it is replaced by the Ixion. Once she sees the interior, with its seizure-inducing neon lighting and gaudy yellows and purples, Monica quickly disputes its cool factor, much to Max's disappointment.
  • Cosmic Keystone: The Atlamillia Stones.
  • Crutch Character: The Ridepod is capable of dealing far more damage than either Max or Monica at the start, and gets some hefty upgrades over the course of the game. It starts to fall behind quite a bit in the later levels, however, due to its best weapons having far lower damage-per-second than Max and Monica's fully maxed out weaponry... and then suddenly subverted in the late postgame when you get the lovely Nova Cannon IV and the Samurai Arm IV.
  1. Such as painting their roof black, putting their house next to a tree, or placing three people as neighbors.