Grandia II

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Grandia II was the only game in the series on the Sega Dreamcast, and has been praised as the second best RPG on the system, after Skies of Arcadia. Also one of the rare JRPGs on the PC. It was later ported to the PlayStation 2.

The plot kicks off with a Geohound (read: mercenary) named Ryudo being hired as a bodyguard to a girl named Elena, a Songstress of Granas (read: nun) who is taking part in a ritual to renew a seal that is secretly holding one of the pieces of a fallen evil god. Things don't go according to plan and Elena is possessed by the sealed evil ("the Wings of Valmar"), which manifests itself as a separate personality calling herself Millenia. With the destruction of this seal, the other pieces of Valmar sealed all over the world have gotten loose too, and both Ryudo and Elena are tasked with hunting them down. Naturally, it's not quite as simple as that and the game mostly deals with a Deconstruction of Black and White Morality.

Grandia II's most notable aspects are the battle system -- a refinement of the battle system from the original Grandia and arguably the benchmark for successful merging of real-time and turn-based battle -- and the music. Particularly the battle themes. Yes, the battle system was so popular that the next game was almost entirely built around it (with less-than-stellar results).

Tropes used in Grandia II include:
  • Abandoned Laboratory: The Birthplace of the Gods, the place where Granas and Valmar conducted their 'research'.
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: The waterways beneath Cyrum Castle.
  • Acceptable Feminine Goals: In the epilogue, Tio has become a nurse even though her encyclopedic brain would more than qualify her to be an actual doctor, Elena becomes a traveling singer, and Millenia, despite her volatile temper and being a manifestation of the world's equivalent of the devil, is now a kindergarten teacher.
  • Always Check Behind The Pulpit
  • Amazing Technicolor Battlefield: The final Boss Rush (and, by extension, the Final Boss battle) takes place inside a weird, undulating blue void.
  • An Aesop: The Aesop of Liligue is... Greed is bad? Money so important to the engineers here that they refuse to desert the town (and their jobs), despite slowly dying of starvation.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: Millenia takes over Elena's body at set points in the story. Her move set is entirely different and requires you to level her up separately, which can be a pain if you've just spent all your coins on Elena.
    • Played With: Genre Savvy Players will notice that Millenia only joins your party when there's a major boss coming up. So, players may (correctly) feel that something is amiss when Elena is in your party for the battles against Melfice and the Heart of Valmar.
  • Angst Coma: Defeating Valmar's parts causes their human hosts to fall into an unshakable catatonia. At the end of the game, they each recover.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Millenia confesses her love to the unconscious Ryudo after she finds herself unable to absorb Valmar's Horns from him, taking his soul with it.
  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign: The ending theme, "Canção do Povo". This goes beyond merely singing with a Japanese accent, the singer doesn't even try to sound Portuguese, as the lyrics had probably been converted to kana for her to read.
  • Attack of the Town Festival: Subverted with Cyrum Kingdom, which uses the crisis as an excuse to launch a brand new festival on the heels of an old one.
  • Autobots Rock Out: Possibly inverted, since the majority of the battle themes qualify as this.
  • Awful Truth: See "Once More With Clarity."
  • Badass Preacher: Father Carius turns out to have some attack magic under his sleeve when Millenia blows up his church.
  • Bad Moon Rising: Valmar's moon, as shown in the header picture.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: Tio and Roan floating in space unharmed. Hand Waved by Tio's glowy green force field, though how they survive reentry is left unmentioned.
    • The heroes are able to breathe, fight, and even sprint across the surface of Valmar's Moon (though it isn't a moon so much as Satan's Womb In Space).
    • Heck, after Pope Zera/Valmar is defeated, the three heroes other than Roan and Tio are in space, having a very lengthly discussion on what happens next, let alone breathe, before flying off.
  • Batman Cold Open: Ryudo and Skye liberating some loot from a pack of Dragonoids.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind / Dream Land: After Aira retreats into her own subconscious, the party must follow after her.
    • Elena and Millenia both enter Ryudo's mind after he is infected by Valmar's Horns in order to seal it away.
  • Beat Still My Heart: Valmar's Heart. And it is gross.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Aira's mother, Sandra, prayed fervently for her daughter's sight to be restored. After Aira was possessed by Valmar's Eye, she believed that Granas gave it to her, and is very proud of her uniqueness.
    • Similarly, Aira's one wish was for everyone in the world to stop fighting and love one another.
  • Being Watched: You are, indeed. By overgrown flying eyeballs.
  • Beware My Stinger Tail: Valmar's Claws and the Crimson Tails.
  • BFS: The Granasaber, which is so huge it could cleave mountains (literally; it's that huge). Subverted. Turns out it's a spacecraft.

Ryudo: So this is the power of the Granasaber. It fights evil and has plenty of leg room.

    • Though you do get a more usable one near the end of the game.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: Giga Mantises.
  • Big Eater: Ryudo pokes fun at Elena's huge appetite throughout the game. She has a rival in Mareg, though, whose meals consist of giant platters of steaks.

Elena: Awwww! Mareg, that was mine! .....Too late...
Mareg: I beg your pardon, Elena, but I must note that had your ear been more alert, you would have marked that I had requested seconds.

  • Bigfoot, Sasquatch, and Yeti: Big Foots in Lumir Forest. Yetis are in the Birthplace of the Gods, but it's anyone's guess why they're there.
  • Big No: Aira, realizing that Granas isn't responsible for her new eye.
    • Elena (along with Say My Name) when Ryudo is infected by the Horns of Valmar.
  • Blade Spam: Melfice's Wailing Sword Slash and his brother's equivalent, Purple Lightning.
  • Blind Seer / Creepy Child: Aira, a little girl in Mirumu village, has been blind since birth. She mysteriously regained her sight, along with some sort of clairvoyance. (She's possessed by the Eye of Valmar.)
  • Blond Brunette Redhead: Elena (the good), Selene (the bad), and Millenia (the naughty).
  • Body Motifs: Valmar's parts inflict side-effects on their hosts, as well as on surrounding villages. The Tongue reduces Gaden to a corpulent money-grubber, and robs people of their sense of the taste; the Eye grants Aira the gift of sight, but also invades people's dreams with their darkest memories; the Horns turns the peace-loving Melfice into a bloodthirsty killer; the Heart fills Selene with an abundant love for Pope Zera, but zero compassion for everyone else.
    • The Claws don't do anything, apart from turning Tio into a Dalek. Perhaps because she isn't human?
  • Bonus Dungeon / Remixed Level: Raul Hills Labyrinth, which hides key items that double the amount of experience and SC you receive after battle, in addition to the best accessories in the game and a Mana Egg. It's also full of demons that can wipe out your entire party with one attack.
  • Bookcase Passage: Cyrum Castle conceals a revolving wall passage, from which Roan and his buddies exit the sewers.
  • Boss Rush: Three parts of Valmar are fought again just before the final boss. Justified in that Zera has already absorbed them all.
  • Break the Cutie: Elena, when she finds out that everything she's believed in is a lie.
  • Breath Weapon: The Claws of Valmar's "Infernal Sigh".
  • Briar Patching: Subverted when Gonzola threatens to march right into the monster-infested Durham Cave and rescue Roan. Ryudo irritably calls his bluff by staying mute.

Gonzola: This Is the Part Where you beg me NOT to go with you!

  • The Bridge: The hilt of the Granasaber is actually its flight control room - a floating platform surrounded by a spherical viewscreen.
  • Broken Bridge: The entire continent is split in half by a broken bridge -- namely, the Granacliffs. According to the doctrine of the Granas Chruch, the fissures were formed by Granas' sword when it struck through Valmar.
    • The greedy manager of the Skyway refuses to allow passengers aboard, preventing you from crossing the Granacliffs. Ryudo gets around this by, err... killing him.
    • Practically lampooned in Raul Hills by having a main road which is severed by a broken bridge and (further down) a rockslide, necessitating a massive detour.
  • Broken Pedestal: Ryudo officially broke with the world when his older brother, Melfice, fell from grace.
    • Elena gets a taste of this when Pope Zera reveals that she was acting as his puppet all along.
  • Bubblegloop Swamp / Jungle Japes: Ghoss Forest, which encompasses the Beastmen village of Nanan.
  • Bubbly Clouds: The first level of Aira's dreamspace looks like it influenced Robot Unicorn Attack.
  • Burn the Witch: When a sleep curse starts tormenting Mirumu, the village chief reaches out to nearby Granas Cathedral for help. Who ya gonna call? High Priestess Selene, who promptly surrounds the village with her knights and prepares to "purify" the town -- with fire.
    • Later, Selene goads the villagers of Mirumu into blaming a reclusive single mom for the curse.
  • But Thou Must!: When Ryudo is inside his own soul, he is forced to answer three questions about whether he desires power. However, if he says that he desires it, he is told that that is not his real opinion, and must answer again. Which is kinda weird, since after answering all the questions 'properly', the inner voice explains to you why your answers do mean that you want the power. Are you trying to confuse us, game?
    • This is just Valmar's attempt to corrupt Ryudo's soul.
  • Cain and Abel: Ryudo and Melfice.
  • Call a Rabbit a Smeerp: St. Heim is home to the "squeak-baa" -- basically a miniature sheep.
  • Capital City: St. Heim Papal State. This title goes to Cyrum Kingdom later on, once the former is wiped out by the Pope's troops.
    • Port Town: Cyrum is also home to the world's only boat.
  • Casual Kink: There's an NPC in St. Heim who happens to be a really big fan of Selene.

"My yearnings for Selene are not based on any sordid reasons. I am but a pure, simple devotee... I don't expect her to stare at me, or hit me, or step on me with her high heels..."

  • Catgirl: Mareg is a part of a Petting Zoo People race full of adorable catgirls... and, you get the big, smelly, male one in the party. But what's bad for Fan Service is good for combat, as Mareg is a massive, super-strong lion-man.
  • Church Militant / Malevolent Masked Men: The Cathedral Knights are personal stormtroopers of High Priestess Selene. These big guys are positioned around villages suspected of harboring evil, giving Selene ample room to "purify" everyone inside. Other than that, the Knights aren't terribly useful; Ryudo suggests that they go marching in search of the Granasaber instead, but it's outside their purview. They eventually go crazy, slaughtering everyone in their way when the Day of Darkness comes. And they're not human.
  • Clipped-Wing Angel: Valmar's final form is much weaker than the form before the Boss Rush.
  • Color Coded for Your Convenience: Each character gets their own color-coded status window in battle.
  • Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like: Skye letting go of Ryudo in mid-flight due to the latter's complaining. Skye never hears the end of it.
    • A scene later, Ryudo hand-delivers his clients' stolen goods back to them, and receives zero thanks from the girl's father.
  • Completely Missing the Point: When talking to one of the Agear guards, he mentions that the Sandmen in an upcoming area use sand attacks.

Elena: Gross! Can you imagine all the sand that gets in your hair and clothes?
Ryudo: You're missing the point.

  • Con Man: Roan makes fun of Gonzola when the latter offers a coin toss to determine whether they part ways. As Roan good-humoredly notes, it's a trick coin, and Gonzola would've let him go no matter what.
  • Contractual Boss Immunity: With one major exception; none of the bosses -- up to and including the final boss -- are immune to Spellbinding Eye's paralysis effect.
  • Corrupt Church: Not only is "god" dead, the Pope knows it, and is manipulating the entire church as a vehicle for seeking out and absorbing the parts of Valmar.
  • Couldn't Find a Pen: The evening before her faux "date" with Ryudo, Elena wakes to find that Millenia has scribbled a message in lipstick on her dresser mirror: "Elena, I know you like Ryudo! Let him know it!"
  • Coup De Grace Cutscene: Millenia ruthlessly sets the Minotaur boss aflame after you beat it.
  • Crappy Carnival: Gonzola's traveling troupe. From little we hear of them, Gonzola is an unfunny comedian, while his lover Paella performs a knife act (which she threatens to rehearse on Gonzola when he casts his eye on Millenia).
  • Crazy Consumption: While chatting with Gadan in his office, one clue that something's amiss is the banquet of food on his desk. Meanwhile, everyone outside is cursed with an inability to taste anything.
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus: Praise unto Lord Granas!
  • Darker and Edgier: From the wide-eyed idealism of the first game to a main character that wants to kill his brother and body-surfing demons in the sequel.
  • Darkest Hour: Mareg is dead, Millenia is dead (or so it seems), Valmar is awake, the Granasaber has been smashed into itty bitty pieces, the entire city of St. Heim has melted into a howling, black wasteland, Cyrum Kingdom is burning, and the dead now walk. But the ultimate insult comes when Ryudo remembers he's still holding a piece of Valmar, which Valmar is still looking for -- and is putting the whole city at risk just by being there. It's time to retreat.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Millenia winds up being this, however this trope is half the point of the game itself.
  • The Dark Side: Elena and Roan point out that Ryudo's psyche has been compromised by the deaths of Millenia and Mareg; he can't raise his sword against Valmar's monsters without the Horns of Valmar taking him over. Ultimately, Ryudo asks Elmo to remove the barrier Millenia placed on his soul, though he risks being possessed by Valmar, just like the previous hosts. Fortunately, Ryudo triumphs and his inner evil is extinguished for good.
  • The Day of Reckoning: The Day of Darkness.
  • Death Mountain: Grail Mountain.
  • Defeat Means Playable: Mareg and Tio. Ryudo lampshades this.
  • Defiant to the End: During Ryudo's inner battle with Valmar's Horns, Valmar tries to break him by conjuring up a demonic body for him. It fails, however; even as a unrecognizable beast, Ryudo still pledges to fight on.
  • Demonic Possession: A side-effect of using a piece of Valmar.
  • Devil but No God: Granas is long-dead, while Valmar is merely dormant -- ironic, since the church espouses a doctrine saying that the opposite is true.
  • Did I Just Say That Out Loud?: Millenia mistakenly outs herself as the Wings of Valmar by delivering a Badass Boast.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Ryudo -- kicking the Devil's ass one bit at a time.
  • Disposable Woman: Ryudo witnessing his brother, Melfice, running his own fiance through with the sacred sword he stole.
  • Doing In the Wizard: Tacked on near the end.
  • Door of Doom: Granas Cathedral's Holy Door.
  • Doppelganger Attack: Both Ryudo and Melfice have similar special attacks that invoke this (Purple Lightning and Wailing Sword Slash, respectively).
  • Drunk on Milk: Elena can really pack away the kuku berries. Despite Ryudo's warnings to eat them gingerly, she ends up passing out.
  • Dual Boss: There's a pair of Scary Scorpions called Crimson Tail that can be surprisingly difficult. The Naga Queens also qualify, but they're not as hard.
  • Dug Too Deep: Liligue's problems started with Gadan complaining about the stone pillars rooted deep into the ground. Looking to excavate them, he instead unearthed the temple containing Valmar's Tongue and was possessed.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Valmar's appendages fit the bill. The reassembled body is, funny enough, comparatively normal: a flying chimera with five heads, one of a lion, an insectoid, a dragon, and two others.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: The "Day of Darkness", foreshadowed by a miasma that spreads famine and drought.
  • Environmental Symbolism: Mirumu's town hall is filling up with comatose villagers. If you take a look at the outside, you'll notice the roof shingles visually resemble eyes.
  • Eternal Engine: The Underground Plant, a facility for building Automata soldiers.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: The word "monster" inadvertently passes through Sandra's mind when she glimpses her child's third eye; this last betrayal causes her to retreat back into her dreamspace.
  • Eureka Moment: Roan has one when Ryudo, speaking of Valmar's army, says aloud "We need to BURY them." This jogs Roan's memory about Cyrum's royal mausoleum, which contains records of Valmar from the time of the war. "That's it! Graves!"
  • Evil Redhead: Subverted. Millenia is a piece of the world's devil, so many think Millenia is evil, even herself. But helping Roan shows early on that she might be something else.
  • Evil Tower of Ominousness: Garmia Tower
  • Exact Eavesdropping: Ryudo accidentally lets slip his affection towards Elena while she pretends to be asleep. Elena keeps silent on the matter, but her impression of him greatly improves as a result.
  • Expendable Clones: The party comes across a desert full of dismembered automatons resembling Tio. While scanning the memory of one of her "sisters", Tio reports that were ordered to charge into the wind barrier protecting the Granasaber, knowing that they would all die.
  • Extreme Doormat: Mirumu's chief is a basket case during a crisis, and is easily railroaded into Selene's witch hunt. Once Ryudo sends her packing, the chief matures into an assertive leader.
  • Faceless Eye: The Mirumu quest takes this trope Up to Eleven.
    • Valmar's Moon sprouts a Sauron Eye while searching for his last piece, which Ryudo is still carrying.
  • Fantastic Drug: "Silvervine Moss" is apparently the equivalent of catnip to Beastmen. The village elder sends Ryudo and Elena into a pit of slimy moss, just so the whole village can revel in the SMELL of the stuff. They can't go themselves, because the scent of the pit robs Beastmen of their will to leave.
  • Fat Bastard: Aptly enough, the businessman who's possessed by Valmar's Tongue (with everyone around the guy suffering from starvation).
    • Pope Zera is rather rotund, as well.
  • The Fellowship Has Ended: The survivors of the team each go their separate ways in the ending.
  • The Ferry Man: Capt. Bakala.
  • Fetch Quest: Refreshingly spare -- but only due to most of the quests involving a piece of Valmar (see "Gotta Kill 'Em All"). In Agear, Ryudo gets roped into retracing Roan's whereabouts after the boy goes missing. It turns out that the whole middle portion of the game was really just the Big Bad manipulating your party to fetch the pieces of Valmar for him.
  • Fiery Redhead: Millenia.
    • Ryudo's former friend Gatta is the only male redhead, and pretty ornery to boot.
  • Fighting From the Inside: Ryudo raising his sword at Elena while possessed by Valmar's Horn - only to resist at the last moment and collapse.
    • Under the command of her clone, Tio undergoes a "repair" procedure to turn her against her friends. With Mareg's reassurance, Tio shakes off her programming; she is her own master now.
  • First Town: Carbo Village.
  • Fish People: Troglodites.
  • Fission Mailed: No matter how you answer Valmar's questions, he makes it seem as though Ryudo has failed to resist the evil inside him. When the lights turn on, Ryudo sees he's been fully corrupted into a demon. Cue Skyward Scream.
  • Five-Man Band:
  • Flower in Her Hair: Aira.
  • Flying Seafood Special: At a certain point in Aira's dream world, the party hops aboard a flying whale (which is coincidentally a dead-ringer for the one in The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening).
  • Forbidden Zone: The Great Cleft Island of Arachna is so named for being the nexus of the Granacliffs, a.k.a. the "Great Rift". The site is sealed off by a perpetual tornado. This is a security feature of the Granasaber to prevent Valmar's troops from entering.
  • Foreign Queasine: Arum root. The most tasteless, gag-inducing vegetable around is, ironically, the only food Liligue's citizens can now eat.
  • Forgotten Friend, New Foe: Ryudo's former best friend, Gatta, is practically leading a lynch mob when he returns home.
  • Full-Moon Silhouette: The animation for Millenia's Fallen Wings attack.
    • Ryudo spots Millenia standing atop a spire on Granas Cathedral, wreathed in light from Valmar's moon.
  • Game Breaking Bug: Millenia's Zap! ability may cause game to freeze.
    • In the first battle against Millenia (a Hopeless Boss Fight), the battle is scripted to end when Millenia casts her Zap! spell. She can get caught in an AI loop that causes her to never use Zap!, and it's impossible to end the battle in any other way (her HP doesn't decrease, and you can't escape the battle).
  • Ghibli Hills: St. Heim Papal State is half-sheepherder community, half-Vatican.
  • Giant Enemy Crab: Valmar's Tongue.
    • The Crimson Claws of Ceceile Reef. (see "That's No Moon")
  • Giant Eye of Doom: While spending the night in Mirumu, Ryudo has a nightmare of being chased by floating eyeballs. He stops in his tracks, looks around. Ahh, safe. He turns around -- to face an even bigger eyeball staring right at him.
    • Invoked again when Ryudo opens his window. Yipes.
  • God and Satan Are Both Jerks: It's implied (though not directly stated) that Granas and Valmar were originally mere mortals who somehow elevated themselves to god-like beings via technology. The pair of them more or less enslaved humanity, eventually pitting them against one another in an apocalyptic war. Though Granas was killed, his followers continued to dupe the world into believing that he will someday rise again to save them.
  • God Guise: Essentially everything that had to do with Granas and Valmar was a great big Scam Religion. Granas is dead, the seals on Valmar were designed to help resurrect him, the Church is evil and both Granas and Valmar weren't gods but merely really powerful scientists.
  • God Is Dead: Unknown to all but a few (who actively hide the truth from the rest of the world), Granas lost the war against his Satan-analogue, Valmar. While Valmar was indeed sealed away as the Church of Granas claims, Granas died in the process.
    • Though there are vague hints that this might not be entirely true, such as Mareg's (first and only) prayer to Granas being answered by the Granasaber, which miraculously powers up. The conclusion of the game also sees the Granacliffs transforming into rivers at Valmar's defeat.
  • Goldfish Scooping Game
  • Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: Capt. Bakala's corncob pipe.
  • The Goomba: Mottled Spider.
  • Go Out with a Smile: Aira, telling her mom not to cry any more.
    • Fortunately, the ending confirms that she (along with Valmar's other hosts) are A-OK.
    • Mareg grits his teeth and grins reassuringly after being fatally wounded by Valmar's younglings. He's doing this with a mouthful of blood, making it even more harrowing to see.
    • As she is devoured by Valmar, Millenia expresses happiness at experiencing love, even it it was for a short while. Subverted when she gets better.)
  • Gotta Kill Them All: The parts of Valmar. It's never explicitly made a goal of your travels, but you run into all seven of them eventually.
  • Gotterdammerung: The prologue depicts a great war between "Good and Evil". Evil eventually won, but needed a couple thousand years of rest. The remnants of humanity deluded each other into thinking good had won and built a whole religion around brain-washing control.
  • Go Wait Outside: The innkeeper at Mirumu begs the party off, saying she needs time to prepare a meal. This is a pretext for Ryudo to visit the end of town and speak with Aira's mother -- though the game doesn't allow this until you've visited the inn first. Grumble...
    • Played for Laughs when Elena, drowsy from the Cyrum festival, tells Ryudo to go fetch her a drink -- only to be replaced by Millenia the moment she nods off.
  • Grave Marking Scene: In the epilogue, Mareg's house is replaced by his gravestone. Roan pays his respects to it while venturing around the world.
  • Gravity Screw: The latter half of Aira's dreamspace resembles someone's backyard, except with the picket fence and trees bending at impossible angles.
    • One segment of Valmar's Body consists of arterial passages with transparent blue/red floors. There's a switch to flip the dungeon 180°, allowing you to reach the treasure chests on the opposite-color side.
  • Hallucinations: One NPC in Liligue is so delirious from hunger that he mistakes Mareg's mane for whipped cream and, later, cotton candy.
  • Harbinger of Impending Doom: Valmar's Moon undergoing a full eclipse. Hey, who turned out the lights?
  • Have You Seen My God?
  • Hellish Pupils: Valmar's Eye.
  • Heroic BSOD: Ryudo briefly experiences this after watching Millenia get devoured by Valmar's innards.
  • Hidden in Plain Sight: If you inspect the shed behind Sandra's house, it's locked. Ryudo is only allowed to enter later on, when it turns out to contain a hole leading straight down to the Seal containing Valmar's Eye.
  • Holy City: St. Heim Papal State.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: Ryudo's first encounters with Millenia and (later) Melfice.
    • Using a cheating device to increase Ryudo's stats means the battle can be won by reducing Millenia's HP to 0 - though this is incredibly time-consuming and if she is able to use the lightning spell mentioned, the fight will end immediately. You don't gain any rewards for winning this way, and the game continues as if you'd lost to the lightning spell anyway.
  • Humanoid Abomination: The Cathedral Knights are hinted to be this from the very start. So it comes as little surprise when they revert to black goo when you kill them.
  • Human Resources: Ryudo and co. happen upon some mummified humans in capsules within the Birthplace of the Gods. Tio observes that these people are somehow plugged into the building's grid.
  • I Don't Like the Sound of That Place: The Black Forest, site of Elena's doomed ceremony at the start of the game.
    • The Forest of No Return, a.k.a. the Great Rift.
  • I Know What You Fear: Valmar's Eye spawns eyeballs-shaped bats that fly into surrounding homes at night, staring into the minds of townsfolk. First the victim is plagued by their darkest memories; if the bat isn't dispatched with, that villager sinks into a permanent sleep state.
  • I'm Dying, Please Take My MacGuffin: Inverted with the dying Melfice, who inadvertently passes the Horns of Valmar on to Ryudo.
  • Improvised Zipline: During his flight from Garmia Tower, Ryudo hoists Elena in one arm and slides down a rope in epic hero style.
  • Inn Security: Mirumu Village.
  • Instant AI, Just Add Water: Mareg sacrifices himself to get the party off the Moon of Valmar. After trying to teach Tio what freedom and emotions are, it takes his death to actually give her emotions and free will.
  • Ironic Nursery Tune: "The Garden of Dreams", Aira's theme.
  • Irrelevant Sidequest: Lampshaded by Ryudo by the time he and his group finally reach St. Heim.

Ryudo: And so the mighty warriors come to the end of their lengthy, needlessly complicated journey!

  • It's All My Fault: Aira blames her own blindness for her mother's hardships.
    • Elena declares this while witnessing the attack on Cyrum by Valmar's monsters, having been duped into lying to Ryudo and cooperating in the dark god's revival. (Justified in that, well, it is all Elena's fault.)
  • It's Up to You: None of the guards in Cyrum Castle lift a finger when Melfice tries to restart a robot factory beneath the building. That's because it's up to you.
    • Justified with Ryudo embarking to kill Melfice, as he's the only one who can match his brother in swordplay.
  • I Will Wait for You: In the epilogue, both Elena and Millenia are shown waiting for Ryudo as he embarks on a Journey To Find Himself.
  • Just Whistle: Ryudo and Skye in the opening sequence.
  • Kirk Summation: Elena lays down one before the final boss fight. She gets nowhere, of course, but Ryudo and Millenia don't exactly help with their shouting at Zera that he's insane and a weakling.
  • Large Ham: Jodi Benson (Millenia) has the time of her life chewing the scenery in the English version.
  • Let's Dance: Melfice's line to Ryudo before their duel.
  • Light and Mirrors Puzzle: The Birthplace of Gods has a few optional puzzles invoking this.
  • Light Is Not Good: Contrary to its name, the Church of Granas turns out to be helping to revive Valmar. The Pope could actually be said to be much more evil than Valmar, as he seeks to absorb Valmar's power in the same manner as Millenia and make himself a replacement for the long-dead Granas.
    • Mareg's religion doesn't believe in complete evil or good (much to Elena's consternation) and is proven correct when the "real" history of the gods is shown to the heroes.
  • Little Bit Beastly: The Mau, a cousin species of Beastmen.
  • Living Bodysuit: Once they've broken free, the pieces of Valmar hide inside the bodies of ordinary humans, then set to work gathering the other parts.
  • Living Statue: The stone gargoyles in Garmia Tower start coming to life somewhere around floor 3.
  • Lizard Folk: Dragonians.
  • Load-Bearing Boss: Defeating the Core causes Valmar's Body to start collapsing. Millenia negates this by absorbing the Body in the same manner as Valmar's other parts, leaving the party to awaken in an empty field.
    • Killing the Final Boss of the game results in New Valmar tearing itself apart from the inside.
  • Love Triangle: And both women share the same body (for most of the game). Awkward.
  • MacGuffin Delivery Service: Millenia is on the hunt for pieces of Valmar, absorbing them into herself and learns their abilities. Gee, what an impossibly convenient way of gathering of all Valmar's parts in one place! This is the entire reason why Pope Zera wanted Elena to go with Ryudo. Later subverted by Ryudo after he kills Melfice and absorbs his piece of Valmar.
  • Madness Mantra: After having his soul stolen by Melfice, King Cyrum is reduced to a jibbering shell of his old self, endlessly repeating "We shall regain our pride....We shall..."
  • Man-Eating Plant: Valmar's Eye exhibits a plant motif -- a twisted parody of Aira's love for flowers.
  • Marshmallow Hell: Millenia does this to Roan when they first meet. No wonder he takes to her so quickly.
    • Roan experiences this again in the epilogue, this time with Elena. Symmetry!
  • Mauve Shirt: Elena's friend Tessa is bumped off within a scene of her introduction.
    • The Seal Guardian of Cyrum Castle, Menory, pretty much exists to be killed so villains can get the door open.
  • Meaningless Meaningful Words: Alas, invoked quite a bit in the game's last couple of hours. The heroes continuously say things like "True power... true justice is in the heart" and talk an awful lot about "the power of the human heart".
  • Mercy Kill: At one point in their journey, Ryudo angrily suggests killing Elena if she doesn't quit wringing her hands about the Wings of Valmar residing in her. Overcome by anguish, Elena shocks Ryudo by kneeling in front of him begging to be killed.
    • Not long afterward, Sandra begs the party to find and kill Aira before she harms any more people. Ryudo's not having it.

"Ma'am, we do that to our pets, not our children!"

    • It's suggested that Melfice killed his fiancée not out of malice, but to free her from Valmar's Horn. An apparition of Melfice later appears to Ryudo and regrets having done this, saying he was overzealous in his fight against evil.
  • Mirror Match: Tio's Clone.
  • Mobile Menace: To reach Garland Island, Ryudo charters a ship and puts his own life in peril by surfing over the Granacliffs. Melfice still manages to beat him there, despite starting from the exact same location.
    • Similarly, Selene shows up at the exact moment that Ryudo finds the Granasaber. Well if it's so easy to sail around the world, why don't you look for the sword?
  • Mood Whiplash: The Bonus Dungeon, with its bright graphics and relatively cheery music, is only accessible right smack dab in the middle of the aforementioned Darkest Hour. There's even a disclaimer when you enter, saying that it's a place to enjoy battles without regards to the plot.
  • Mordor: St. Heim becomes this following Valmar's rebirth. A black ooze transforms the grassy hills to something reminiscent of Grail Mountain: black slime and spikes protruding from the earth, a mockery of the Granas Church and what it represented.
  • Motive Rant: Selene gives one before transforming into Valmar's Heart.
  • Motor Mouth: When the party reaches Cyrum Castle the first time, one of the ladies-in-waiting who serves as the castle guide has a rather unique way of giving directions -- she takes a deep breath, then babbles out the entire guide to the castle as quickly as possible in one breath.
  • Mr. Exposition: Roan has a lot to say about Silesia and its culture, though most of it is explained over the dinner cutscenes (which are optional). Additionally, he gives Ryudo the low-down on Cyrum Kingdom's past and their connection to Valmar.
    • Elmo fills this role in The Birthplace of the Gods. In fact, it's her entire reason for being, which is why she's glued to a wall.
  • The Munchausen: "Flyin' Jack Phoneix", an octogenarian in Carbo Village, claims to leaped across the Granacliffs and killed monsters with his bare hands. Just don't look for him when Valmar attack the village, though; he's inside the inn, wetting himself.
  • Mysterious Informant: Subverted with Hemble, who pretends to be one of these, but is only interested in showing off to women.
    • Elena learns of Ryudo and Meflice's past history through Skye, who hides in a tree outside her window to relate the story in secret.
  • Mythology Gag: Justin's cap and goggles make an appearance. You can spot them in dungeon maps as lightweight helmet icons.
    • The "Mogay Bomb" is one of Grandia II's many throwable weapons. It's namesake, of course, is Guido's species from the original Grandia.
    • The previous Grandia's battle music can be heard while arm-wrestling Hemble. The deck-swabbing music plays during the Nanan village minigame.
    • At one point during Ryudo's test of character, he's flung down a bottomless pit with Skye flapping nearby, snarky as ever. This calls to mind a similar scene in Grandia, where Justin and Feena bicker as they're falling into a volcano.
  • Never Tell Me the Odds: You have to be a born gambler to parasail over the Granacliffs. That's why Captain Bakala named his ship the 50/50.
  • News Travels Fast: Subverted by the self-proclaimed "Trade King" of St. Heim, who is unaware of a) the collapse of the Skyway into the Granacliffs (courtesy of you), and b) Liligue's curse being lifted, meaning that its citizens no longer have any appetite for the "King's" disgusting arum root.
  • No Hero Discount: Gadan initially charges 10,000G to ferry your party over the Granacliffs, citing his overhead costs.
    • The The Very Definitely Final Dungeon is hanging in the sky, the whole world is pleading for the party to save the day... and the merchants still insist on charging full price.
  • Noob Cave: Garmia Tower.
  • Nothing Exciting Ever Happens Here: Quoted by a few citizens in St. Haim Papal State, or as Ryudo calls it, "the dinner plate of Granas". The church's followers huddled here to seek protection from the prophesied Day of Darkness. In a sick twist, Selene and her Cathedral Knights butcher absolutely everyone in the town.
  • Not Now, Kiddo: Mirumu's villagers blow off Ryudo's report of a dream garden, claiming it's just a bedtime story. Aira is practically waving her arms and shouting, "I'M POSSESSED", but her mom tells her to pipe down in front of her guests.
  • Oh Crap: Ryudo realizing they're all trapped on a monster-infested reef in the middle of the ocean, and their only escape route is underwater -- the tide's come in.
  • Old Friend / Retired Badass: Vyx, innkeeper of Agear and war buddy of Ryudo. He's hinted to be a ex-Geohound. (Which would make him and Ryudo the only two Geohounds in the world, if this game is anything to go by.)
  • Ominous Fog: The party is enveloped in this while stumbling into the Garden of Dreams, a fairy tale setting that has mysteriously come to life in an otherwise-snowy forest.
    • Invoked again right before the boss battle with Aira (the Eye of Valmar). After pursuing her into a fog-filled room, she shows her true colors by lifting the fog, revealing a giant eyeball.
  • Ominous Portuguese Chanting: "Granas' Sanctuary".
  • Once More, with Clarity: The opening cinematic depicts the showdown between Granas and Valmar, overlaid with heroic-sounding music as Granas blasts his rival to smithereens. When the scene is retold by Pope Zera, Granas is destroyed, leaving Valmar hovering triumphantly over the planet.
    • When Ryudo is forced to relive his memories of Melfice stabbing Reena, he discovers that Reena had been possessed by Valmar's Horn, which then transferred into Melfice when he killed her out of mercy.
  • One-Sided Arm Wrestling: Ryudo is forced to arm-wrestle Hemble as part of a spur-of-the-moment bet, with Skye as the wager. Elena breaks Hemble's concentration by exclaiming that his nosehairs are sticking out.
  • One-Winged Angel: Each of Valmar's hosts.
  • Only the Chosen May Wield: For generations, the villagers of Garlan trained as swordsmen to protect the "Idol" of a nearby mountain. Legend says that the Idol Sword was put in place to keep evil from escaping. Melfice stole the sword when the Horns of Valmar took him over.
  • Order Versus Chaos: Elmo's version of history paints Valmar as an opponent to Granas' benevolent dictatorship, which bestowed such unlimited power to humans that they no longer needed to build anything, able to summon up entire cities on a whim. From Valmar's point of view, Granas was making the human race complacent and self-indulgent.
  • Our Fairies Are Different: Aira is responsible for the sleep curse placed on Mirumu. If the villagers fail to wake up, they emerge as "fairies" in her garden and exist in a state of permanent bliss. (That is, until their real-world bodies atrophy and die.)
  • Our Founder: The statues of Lord Granas.
  • Patrick Stewart Speech: Ryudo, Elena, and Millenia deliver one to Zera/Valmar before entering the last dungeon and, later, at the game's closure.
  • Percussive Maintenance: The Granasaber automatically shields itself behind a tornado if it senses Valmar's old military is nearby. Ryudo fixes this by smashing a derelict ship's computer, thus turning off the power and signaling the sword to lower its defenses.
  • Percussive Therapy: Disgusted by what he sees, Roan angrily punches a console in the automata factory, accidentally causing the place to self-destruct.
  • Pet the Dog: Millenia has a few of these, despite her open disdain for humans. After extracting Valmar's Eye from Aira and leaving her in a coma, she makes amends (more or less) to her mother by suggesting that if she somehow converts the icy, inhospitable village into a flower garden, that Aira's soul might come back. Ryudo knows this is nonsense, of course, but he slyly holds his tongue.
    • While spending the night with Elena on Ceceile Reef, Ryudo finds her staring apprehensively at the reflection of Valmar's Moon on the water. Ryudo says he knows a way to make it disappear, then chucks a stone at the water, its ripples dissipating the Moon's image. Elena is quite moved by this gesture.
  • Playable Epilogue
  • Point of No Return: There are three major points where all access to previous areas is completely cut off for the rest of the game (with a few exceptions). In the last third of the game or so, after finding the Granasaber, you go directly from dungeon to dungeon without looking back, so almost everything becomes a Point of No Return. The most significant items that can be Lost Forever are the last two skill books and the last two mana eggs.
  • Preacher Man: Father Carius is the friendly face of Carbo Village. When the party journeys to Liligue, they are aided by an unnamed Priest who gives them the 4-11 on the town's troubles.
  • Prophetic Name: Aira.
    • Translations of Elmo include "Protector" and "God's helmet".
  • Pyrrhic Victory: The conclusion to the Mirumu quest. On the one hand, Aira is in a coma, and Sandra's family is in ruins. On the upside, the whole village is coming together to plant a garden, which was her wish all along.
  • Ragnarok Proofing: The Army of Darkness built their stuff to last, man.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Cyrum Castle's guardsman, Commander Paulk.
  • Recurring Traveler: Gonzola's circus troupe.
  • Red Sky, Take Warning: Valmar's Moon undergoing a permanent eclipse.
  • Religion of Evil: In the old days, Valmar had followers of his own. Their descendants founded the kingdom of Cyrum, where they cultivated a margarita-soaked party-image to conceal their shameful legacy.
    • Though if you pay close attention this was more like a Religion of Chaos.
  • Retirony: On your first visit to St. Heim, a recovering alcoholic asks you to deliver a letter to his son Mark, promising to stay sober. During Selene's attack on the town, Mark's father is found dead, still clutching a letter in which he plans to soon reunite with his son.
  • The Reveal: Pretty much everything that happens once you find the "Granasaber".
    • Late in the game, Ryudo discovers he's even more of a puppet than he thought: the Granas Seals are all fakes -- machines designed to keep Valmar in hibernation, not imprisonment.
  • Rule of Cool: How can you not like a game where eventually you go to the moon to kill the pope? It's worth playing for that single concept alone.
  • Screw Destiny: The driving force of the plot.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The "Seals of Granas" imprisoning Valmar's body parts -- only one is intact by the time you discover it, but it gets released almost immediately anyway.
    • Cyrum Castle is built atop a centuries-old factory that produces automata soliders. It was created by Valmar's followers during the war with Granas.
  • Shattered World: The Granacliffs, as their name would suggest, are giant glowing fissures stretching across the Silesia continent. They are said to have been created when Granas' sword struck through Valmar. Indeed, the Granasaber can be found at the center, with fissures radiating outward from it.
  • Shout-Out: Game Arts' localization team had some fun with this one. For what it's worth, the previous game's sound mixing was done by Skywalker Sounds, George Lucas' audio division.
    • And another one in Agear:

NPC: You call them sandmen? How original. I bet they travel single file to hide their numbers, too.

    • And again in Cyrum, as Ryudo boards the Captain's ship:
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Lumir Forest.
  • Slow Motion Fall: The heroes collapse in dramatic slow-motion when they lose all their HP.
  • So Long and Thanks For All the Gear: Notably averted with Mareg's death; you even get all of his skill coins back. Played straight with Millenia and Elena, though they switch out so often that it's almost a non-issue. They don't take accessories or Mana Eggs, though.
    • Roan leaves the group for an extended period, taking his loot with him. He later rejoins to fill the void left by Mareg.
  • Sound of No Damage: During the few Hopeless Boss Fights, any attack produces just a metallic clanking sound without dealing any damage.
  • Space Is Noisy
  • Spanner in the Works: Ryudo, as his absorption of the Horns of Valmar earlier in the story means that the Big Bad is one MacGuffin short of a full hand.
    • Though really Millenia deserves that title for sealing the Horns into Ryudo in the first place rather than absorbing them as she was expected to.
  • Sprint Shoes: The "Warp" skill is attached to certain equipment, allowing party members to Flash Step across the field during battles. In a game which relies so much on Active Time as Grandia, you need all the speed you can get.
  • Storming the Castle: Sneaking into Cyrum Castle with Roan. Later invoked when Ryudo makes a return trip to Granas Cathedral, which is less hospitable this time around.
  • A Storm Is Coming: The flashback to Melfice's origin story culminates in a dramatic thunderstorm.
  • Sugar Apocalypse: Valmar pwning St. Heim.
  • Swallowed Whole: Gadan makes good on his compliment to Elena that she looks good enough to eat. Luckily, getting swallowed by Valmar's Tongue reverts her back to Millenia, causing him to spit her back out. He wasn't counting on that...
  • Sword of Plot Advancement: Finding the Granasaber, a sword that fell to earth during a battle between two Gods, is the focal point of the game's second act. Subverted as it turns out to be a spacecraft, not a sword at all, and then played straight at the end of the game when the hero actually does acquire a sword called the Granasaber, capable of harming the evil God.
  • Tempting Fate: Ryudo declaring, "Just a little further to the Cathedral!" while riding the Skyway. ... Is it just me, or do you hear fraying ropes?
  • Testosterone Poisoning: Hemble refuses to speak to anyone who's not a romantic couple. Once he invites them in, he proceeds to emasculate Ryudo in front of his "girlfriend" Elena, hoping to steal her away. And this is apparently all he does with his time.
  • That's No Moon: The voyage to Garlan Island is halted when Elena complains of seasickness. The group parks their boat at Ceceile Reef, where Ryudo remarks on all the giant, mirror-polished stones lying about. Little do they realize -- though it's readily apparent by the time they wake up -- those weren't stones. Those were giant crab eggs.
    • Literally with Valmar's Moon, as it's an organic body.
  • Think Nothing of It: Cash is welcome, but your gratitude is not. Ryudo tends to distance himself from clingy rescuees, as epitomized when he lifts a curse that brought Liligue to the brink of starvation.

"I blame the whole thing on bad chefs."

    • Everybody in Cyrum showers thanks on (King) Roan as he's wandering the town in the epilogue. Roan shrugs this off, since saving the world is no big deal.
  • Third Eye: The scar on Aira's forehead eventually opens to reveal this, exposing her true nature as Valmar's host.
  • To Create a Playground For Evil: This is on Valmar's agenda should you fail to contain him.
  • Tron Lines: Present in architecture built during The War, most notably in the Granas Seals.
  • Undercover As Lovers: Ryudo and Elena are forced to pose as a couple to get past Hemble, a weirdo sailor who allegedly has info regarding the Granasaber.

Ryudo: Sure. We're smiling. We're holding hands. Why the hell else would we be so damned close to each other?

  • Unwitting Pawn: Ryudo was sent to find the Granasaber not for the sword itself, but to uneseal the Body of Valmar.
    • Valmar was merely waiting for Millenia to collect all of his parts before reactivating. By defeating the game's major bosses, Ryudo was turning up the clock on the Day of Darkness, which occurs after all of the Granas Seals have been broken.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: Aira just wants everybody to be nice to each other. She created the Garden of Dreams for everyone to live in peacefully, completely unaware that she's a tool of Valmar.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: Final Valmar.
    • Final Boss, New Dimension: Defeating Valmar's core is just half the battle. Next, Ryudo is drawn into a weird void to battle Valmar's Will (i.e. Pope Zera).
  • The Villain Makes the Plot
  • Villainous Glutton: Gadan.
  • Visible Silence
  • Volleying Insults: Try talking to Paella with Millenia in your group, then step back and watch the fireworks.
  • Waxing Lyrical: Talking to Paella with Millenia in your party yields this gem:

Millenia: You're an entertainer, aren't you? Here we are now, entertain us!

  • Weakened by the Light: Subverted (and played for laughs) when Millenia exits the Durham Cave at daybreak. She cries, "Aaaa! The accursed light of the sun! It burns! It burns!" (Kidding.)
    • Ryudo uses the Granasaber to cut a swath of light through the sky, the sunrays shooting through Valmar's body like arrows. This effectively halts Valmar's advance on Cyrum.
  • Wham! Line: "Lord Granas died long, long ago. Valmar was victorious in battle."
  • Where Are They Now? Epilogue
  • Who Names Their Ship "Dude"?: While examining the hull of the 50/50, Ryudo guesses that it must be #50 of fifty ships or perhaps that's its registration. No, the Captain corrects him, that be the name of the ship, matey!

Ryudo: Must be a cultural thing.

  • Wolfpack Boss: The first one (a pack of Gargoyles) actually constitutes the game's Warmup Boss.
    • A horde of Eyeball Bats serve as a Trick Boss in the catacombs beneath Mirumu. Ryudo's not fooled, though; indeed, the root of the problem is Valmar's Eye, which is flanked by additional Eyeball Bats when you finally do fight it.
  • Womb Level: 3 out of 4 of the game's final dungeons -- Valmar's Body, Valmar's Moon, and Final Valmar.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Valmar's possession of Aira. This runs counter to Gadan, a previous victim who more or less invited his fate. According to Millenia, Valmar feeds on all desire -- good and bad.
    • One of the grave markers at Garlan Island belongs to Sasha, a little girl who couldn't believe that Melfice would turn evil. She trusted him until the end.
  • Yin-Yang Bomb: The ultimate message of the game is that good and evil must coexist. Both are necessary to win the game, as your final party arrangement consists of a holy priestess (Elena) and a servant of evil (Millenia) -- and Ryudo, the hero, is kind of a neutral mix of both.
  • You Can't Thwart Stage One: Ryudo corners Zera in Valmar's womb, but finds himself separated by a transparent dome. He can't do anything but watch as Elena is forced to re-conceive Valmar.
  • You're Insane!: Ryudo uses this phrase at Selene and Pope Zera when the full scope of their plan is exposed.
    • Millenia shouts this ad nauseum during the final boss fights, complete with the following pot-kettle line:

Millenia: "Hah, you really ARE completely nuts! WHOOOOO! You'd better reel yourself in, YOU PSYCHO!"

Zera/Valmar: "Insolence...power of the human heart, indeed! I spit upon your feeble strength."

  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle: No sooner does Ryudo drop Elena off at St. Heim as promised, he gets volunteered to lead a crusade for the Sword of Granas.
    • That finished, Ryudo heads back to St. Heim to report on a job well done. His arrival times perfectly with the advent of the Day of Darkness (ahead of schedule).
  • You Shall Not Pass: During the climatic scene on the moon, the party is surrounded by the Valmar's hatchlings, their escape vehicle is low on energy and the horde is closing in. Mareg orders his friends to run, then creates a choke point between the baddies and the ship. Just before he's overwhelmed, he makes a prayer to Granas, who is a) a god he doesn't believe in, and b) a god which has been dead for thousands of years, to deliver his friends to safety. It works.
    • Before the final battle, a chasm separates Roan and Tio from the rest of the party, forcing them to go it alone against Valmar's insectoids. This means they're left with no path of escape when Vamlar's body starts to crumble (in space). Subverted when Tio activates some sort of shield around her body and grabs Roan, protecting both of them as they drift down toward the planet.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: As quoted from scripture by Elena (a bit late, but still), Valmar becomes quite capable of raising a zombie army during the Day of Darkness. When the bodies of human casualties hit the ground, they are enveloped in darkness, and then turn into demons.