Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale
Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is a doujin role-playing game, originally released in December 2007 by Easy Game Station at the 73rd Comiket. It is the successor/sequel to Chantelise.
A young girl named Recette Lemongrass is left to live by herself after her father goes on a long journey. Unfortunately, her dad also left her with a massive debt which is sure to bankrupt them and put them on the streets if it is not paid off. Tear, a fairy sent to collect the payment, suggests that Recette convert her house into an item shop to raise the money to pay it off. For a little while, Recette laments the prospect of being put on the streets, but soon comes to like the idea of being a merchant and christens her newly founded shop "Recettear" (a Portmanteau of Recette's and Tear's names).
Gameplay alternates between tending to the shop and entering the dungeons around the town of Pensee. Recette and Tear can't fight, but they can hire mercenaries to enter the dungeons and fight for them in search of new items. At the end of each week, Recette must have enough money saved in her account to pay off an increased portion of her debt in order to continue. Failure causes it to be revealed as All Just a Dream and allows you to restart from the second day with everything you've accumulated apart from story related aquisitions, such as adventurers.
Officially localized by Carpe Fulgur, the game has been picked up for online distribution by Impulse, Steam and GamersGate. The international version of the soundtrack is up on iTunes and includes, among other songs, both the vocal version of the theme and its instrumental version. To date, the localized version of Recettear has sold over one hundred and seventy thousand copies, and by Carpe Fulgur's claim has made EGS well over US$500,000.
Due to the lighthearted and comedic nature of the game and its translation, a Shout-Out page can be found here.
- Absurdly High Level Cap: Your Merchant Level can go all the way up to level 99 despite the fact that Recette doesn't get any extra privileges after level 50.
- Adam Smith Hates Your Guts:
- Inverted in the fact that you are the shopkeeper now, gouging poor adventurers out of their hard earned cash. Tear even mentions Adam Smith by name when you buy your first stock from the Merchant guild with the express purpose of reselling at an inflated price.
- The game, however, strongly encourages selling them equipment at low prices since it'll benefit you when you go adventuring with them later.
- "Gouging" is the light term once you start seeing increases or decreases in prices. You can charge upwards of 300% on something that has had a price increase and get away with it. Moreso if people trust you, and/or you run a more high-end expensive shop.
- Of course, you can do this both ways when people start selling stuff back to you. You can buy things as low as 20% of the base price.
- All Just a Dream: If you fail to meet a debt repayment, everything prior to that point turns out to be this as Recette wakes up on Day 2. Well, everything but any renovations and remodeling done to the store, store levels and your items.
- Considering that you return to Day 2 with everything you'd earned up until the point you failed (items, merchant levels, store renovations and adventurer levels), it may feel more like Recette just got sent back in time, rather than just woke up from a particularly bad dream.
- Ambidextrous Sprite: All of the characters seem to use this, but it's most noticeable with Recette. When facing left or right, her hair bubbles face the screen.
- In dungeons, Louie swings with his right hand in every direction except when he's facing right. For some reason, he mysteriously becomes left-handed when facing right... you can see his shield strapped to the arm facing the screen.
- Anachronism Stew: Being set in a medieval-ish Fantasy Counterpart Culture France is no reason not to have vending machines, canned goods, a Robot Girl and a Wal-Mart Expy, among other things.
- An Economy Is You: Played with, but apparently subverted. Not all the items you sell are appropriate for adventurers, but an awful large percentage is. Item categories all have about the same number of items, but there's eight weapon types, three categories for varying body armor, and categories for helmets, shields, armored armbands and three kinds of magic jewelry. Even items in the more mundane categories can be equipped by adventurers and higher-end ones tend to be combat-oriented. However, it turns out that people besides the adventurers buy all this stuff, and quite frequently too—middle-aged men frequently buy weapons and armor, healing items are all food anyways and magical jewelry appears to be quite fashionable. There's also several categories of item which are notably unpopular with non-adventurers, like helmets and capes, and almost never sell unless the customer requests a general category.
- That said, claws and arm parts mysteriously don't appear in the merchant guild until you find the adventurer who uses them.
- An Entrepreneur Is You
- An Interior Designer Is You: Different decorations affect the probability of certain customers visiting. However, changing the location of the counters is only for your convenience and aesthetics, except for the counters close to windows which are showcase items.
- Anti-Frustration Features: If you lose, you go back to the second day, but you keep all your items and pretty much everything else that isn't story related, such as Merchant Level, Adventurer Levels and dungeon floors cleared. This tends to make getting back to where you were absolutely trivial and beating whichever week you lost on much easier. It also means that not running your shop well for a single week won't force you to completely redo everything.
- The Archer: Tielle, who also has the obligatory Multishot, trick arrows, and ability to single handedly bring down a Rain of Arrows.
- Arm Cannon: Some of Arma's weapons are type 1's.
- Artificial Brilliance: Pay attention during the 'final' boss, and you'll notice the Archdevil's Hand actively tries to hem you into the edge of the field so Griff can fall back into a position that allows him to cover your entire limited movement zone with his bat swarm.
- Awesome but Impractical: The chain combo system in dungeons. While it's great if you run into multiple of the same mobs, the dungeons often have a wide variety of different mobs, so running around killing the same type isn't very practical. Generally, it's better to just mow everything down if not speed-running through the dungeon.
- Badass Adorable: Tielle. Anybody who can do what she can with a bow has to be Badass, and she's definitely adorable. One of her abilities is even named "Cuterage"!
- Bag of Holding:
- Averted in dungeons where you'll generally fill up your (initially 20-space) inventory well before you reach each checkpoint.
- Played straight in that you can hoard as many items as you like otherwise, but easily justified: an item shop owner would have be expected to have a massive basement or something for all that stock.
- Also played straight with the vending machines: it is quite possible to stuff ten vending machines into the one you have set up in your shop.
- A later patch fixes this so it changes the vending machines as intended instead of placing vending machines inside vending machines.
- Bare Your Midriff: Tear and Charme.
- Beam Spam: Signature attack for Caillou and Tielle.
- Beleaguered Assistant: Tear.
- Big Bad: For as simplistic as this game's story is, even it has an ultimate antagonist: Avall, President of Terme Finance.
- Big Eater: Tielle, especially when it comes to sweets.
- Bird Run: Recette does this when running through dungeons.
- Blade on a Stick: Nagi is the resident Yamato Nadeshiko and Lady of War, and thus uses spears.
- Boring but Practical: Louie is the first character you get, and is a pretty standard tank character. While he has no outstanding features, as well as a reliable ranged attack, he has no major weaknesses either, and can dish and take a good deal of punishment.
- Boss Rush: Unlocked for a given dungeon by completing every floor.
- Boss Subtitles: Few of them are serious, most are downright silly.
- Bottle Fairy: Charme.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall:
- Mostly done in the tutorials. Recette doesn't understand what "custom.exe" or "Button 3" is.
- When Recette runs into Alouette in a dungeon, Alouette comments on the seediness of the accompanying adventurer. Recette replies that the joke was already done before.
- After the main quest is completed, Alouette and Prime explain the new game modes and other unlockables, while Recette and Tear describe the survival modes in more detail.
- Brick Joke: Subtle example. Early on, Tear worries about the shop name sounding like "Racketeer". Later, Charme starts selling you blatantly stolen goods and buying with money she pretty much says isn't hers.
- Brutal Bonus Level: Crystal Nightmare.
- Buffy-Speak: Recette dips into this sometimes.
- Bumbling Dad: Recette's dad is presumably this. And later, in the 80th floor of Lapis Ruins, he is seen wearing nothing but pants on his head while struggling against a single monster. Recette decides to ignore his existence.
- But Now I Must Go: Tear must leave Recette once the debt has been cleared. At the end, however, Recette "forgets" to fill out the paperwork, and Tear ends up staying with her for the Endless mode.
- Can't Hold Her Liquor: Charme, especially compared to Nagi.
- Playing Drunk: She's actually a lot less drunk than she lets on.
- Catch Phrase:
- Capitalism, ho!
- Oh, carp!
- Cat Smile: Recette has a very minor one on the pause screen, and the mushrooms in the dungeons for some reason.
- Cerebus Syndrome: Subverted. Griff tries to restore power to the demon race at the end of Obsidian Tower by awakening an archdevil and wreaking havoc... and then Recette mocks his plan for being really cliche.
- Charged Attack: Tielle's bow is a hold-type charge with 6 power levels (0-5). She gets a 7th level when she enters "Berserk Mode".
- Cheerful Child: Recette.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Recette again. Quoth Griff:
"Misunderstandings as deep as hers start religions. BAD ones."
- All of Recette's customers can come across as this, thanks to just slightly imperfect dialogue choices. Nagi and the housewives can dig out golden statues and cauldrons from under the couch while cleaning, and the men will hold onto their grandparents' Walnut Bread until it's time to let go of the past, whereupon they will try to sell the (presumably years-old) food to you. Dialogue lines about children pestering their grandparents to pick up some food could suggest that there are a lot of families out there starving due to parental neglect.
- Competitive Balance: Each adventurer fits one of these.
- Jack of All Stats: Louie, no particular strengths or weaknesses.
- Lightning Bruiser: Elan, hits hard and fast, but has a very short range and limited SP, limiting his spells/special attacks.
- Fragile Speedster: Charme, hits and moves fast, but can't take much punishment. Nagi skirts between this and Jack of All Stats, depending on gear.
- Glass Cannon: Caillou and Tielle. Both have powerful ranged attacks, but can't take too many hits.
- Mighty Glacier: Arma, has high defense, but attack is average.
- Con Man: Euria.
- Continuing Is Painful: Averted. If you fail you go back to the start with all your items, merchant levels, shop upgrades and the adventurer's equipment and levels (although you'll have to unlock them again) intact. This means you can spend less time worrying about the early debt payments and more time getting more valuable items for the later ones or on plot related events.
- Played straight in the dungeons, usually. If you die, you get to bring back only 1-3 items out of an inventory of 20-35 (depending on how far in the game you are). This includes whatever gear you loaned the adventurer beyond what he's bought, so if you loaned him a fusion armor that takes up a slot if you don't want to lose it. And you still lose the same two time cycles as if you'd won. You're almost always better off ragequitting unless you found one or two extraordinarily rare items and didn't bring anything important with you. That said, during Crystal Nightmare, charging in with nothing but cheap rings and food with the hopes of finding 3 pieces of endgame equipment before you die is a viable strategy.
- Cool Big Sis: Charme is one to Recette during the rare times she isn't drunk.
- Cowardly Boss: The fight with Tielle has the adventurer chasing her down through three different rooms while clearing a path through various crates to reach her, after which Tielle runs off to the next room. The last room is where the adventurer gets to fight her proper. Justified as Tielle is lost in the dungeon at the time and understandably scared.
- Cursed with Awesome: The snow trap which makes the ground slippery can, with some practice, actually be quite beneficial to some characters (like Tielle) because it allows them to attack in a different direction than they are moving.
- Day Old Legend: The descriptions of many fusion items describe their origins or rumors surrounding them. These range from "Found within the ruins" to "Found within a great desert, which was said to be created by the item itself" (for a middling fire-themed bracelet no less!). Possibly, these are what Recette is supposed to be telling her customers about the item, more likely they're just nonsense.
- Several of these are Mythology Gags/Continuity Nods to Chantelise, where the descriptions were accurate.
- Deadpan Snarker:
- Tear's most common attitude, acting as a foil to Recette and everyone else.
"Please tell me that you have not reached the point where your face is frozen in a vapid smile for all eternity."
- Prime easily outclasses Tear in snarkitude with just about every other line. She knows it too.
"Heh-heh! Score one on the bookworm!"
- Defeat Equals Friendship:
- How Recette first meets Charme the Lady Thief. Tear doesn't think that telling a thief who just tried to rob you where your item shop is located is such a great idea though.
- Also Tielle, and much later, Griff.
- Defeat Means Playable: About half of the adventurers.
- Denial of Diagonal Attack: Louie has a wide attack arc to compensate for this. Played straight for everyone else.
- Slightly averted, as Charme, Elan and Nagi all have a special attack (a flame-cloaked charging attack) which can be used diagonally, and Louie and Nagi have a spin attack.
- Digital Distribution: Par for the course given that it's a doujin game. The demo even points this out at the end.
- Digital Piracy Is Evil: At the end of the demo, Tear informs you that people who download the game without paying will be foreclosed on.
- Disappeared Dad: Recette's father who ran off to become an adventurer and left his poor daughter at the mercy of his debtors.
- Disc One Nuke: Alouette or the Guild Master can show asking to buy a treasure after finishing the Jade Way. Even at market price, the amount they'll pay for the oddly-painted vase will make the 2nd week's payments on its own.
- Going back to the beginning after failing (especially if it was on the 4th or 5th week) tends to feel like this. You will easily make enough from selling one or two items to earn the payment for the first two weeks, and if you had enough items saved, you can get the payment for the first three in just one day.
- The Ditz: Recette and Louie. It's no surprise that he and Recette get along well and drive Tear crazy.
- Doppelganger Attack: One of Charme's abilities is to create a temporary shadow that can attack along-side her mimicking her actions. She can create up to five at a time as long as you have enough MP.
- Do Well, But Not Perfect: While the early tutorials encourage players to squeeze every last pix out of each customer's purchases or resales, it is generally recommended to aim for around 104% on purchases and 70% on resales to gain Near Pin or Just Pin bonuses to raise the Merchant Level and customer reputation much faster.
- DRM: Carpe Fulgur specifically refused to use any, instead politely requesting the people not pirate it. They're even uncomfortable about Steam's wrapper which is generally considered the lightest-handed form of DRM out there.
- Dual-Wielding: Charme looks like she dual wields daggers, as her sprite has a blade in each hand. But she only equips one weapon and only attacks once. Well, until you make clones of her.
- Dungeon Bypass: Though you have to unlock the dungeons themselves again, each new loop remembers which floors you completed and can warp to. By bum rushing the bottom strata of each and triggering events at the earliest opportunity, it's possible to recover weeks of dungeon-diving and recruitment by day 10.
- Dungeon Master: Not just the trope, but the literal version: Arma.
- Electric Jellyfish: Electrojelly, the Wandering Jellyfish.
- Emotionless Girl: Arma, though why she is like that should be obvious just from her appearance. She sounds more normal in the final scene of the Brutal Bonus Level, since she's severing ties with the system that requires her to be emotionless and impartial.
- For that matter, the cutscene on unlocking that level makes it sound like it could just be an act.
- Endless Game: You may continue playing after you pay back all your debt. The game plays out the same way other than the lack of the debt.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The Guild Master.
- Expospeak Gag: Played in reverse: Recette is so used to Tear's verbose explanations of things that when Alouette explains Truffles as simply being a rare mushroom, Recette's response is a blank "Huh? That's it?".
- Failed a Spot Check: There's few things more annoying than having all of your shelves filled with food, then having a customer come up to ask you if you have any food available.
- Fairy Companion/Exposition Fairy:
- Tear. In fact, fairy companions were specifically bred by The Fair Folk; upon being genocided by humanity due to them being... The Fair Folk. Facing extinction, they recreated themselves into something; anything that humanity would find useful and not kill off. This involved inhuman breeding, training and banishing of anyone who showed aspects of the old ways.
- Prime, for Alouette. Subverted in that she's not contracted to Alouette, and is in fact Free. However, she helps Alouette out due to respect to her father, who freed her. Also, it's probably not a good idea to advertise that she's not Bound.
- Both Recette and Tear are kind of this for adventurers in the dungeons.
- Fairy Sexy: Prime is dressed quite revealingly for being so pint-sized. Possibly Tear as well if you're into the midriff-baring secretary look.
- Fallen Princess: Charme.
- Fantastic Racism:
- Fairies are considered a lower class. At least they are accepted somewhat by the human society. Other races don't have that luck.
- According to Griff and Tear, every race separates itself from every other race... fairies and humans are just about the only races that interact with each other as often as they do. Tielle doesn't seem to have any problems living in Pensee though despite being an elf.
- Fighter, Mage, Thief: Louie, Caillou and Charme respectively.
- Flat What:
- Tear utters this when Charme elaborates on her thievery in the Pub.
- And once more when she and Recette are spying on Caillou in the park.
- The Demon you meet in the Town Square lets one out when Recette tries to guess why he's giving Tear such a hard time.
- Foreign Cuss Word: "Merde", which Tear likes to say when Recette or others are being particularly frustrating.
Prime: "Oi.. Friggin', merde, and a bunch of other swear words too."
- Fridge Logic: An in-universe example. Recette and Tielle are discussing the delicious jelly filled donuts at the butcher shop before one of them wonders why a butcher has donuts for sale. They promptly decide it doesn't matter since they're so good.
- Gameplay and Story Segregation:
- Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor being "quarantined" in the Lapis Ruins keeps Arma from coming in to pick up her item order.
- Part of the Lapis Ruins storyline involves Alouette wanting to speak to Recette, but if she or Prime comes into the store in the meantime, they have nothing special to say.
- Possessing certain True Cards during a New Game+ can lead to some interesting situations such as Charme fighting herself in the Jade Way.
- Genre Savvy: Recette proves to be something in this line during her argument with Griff at the top of the Obsidian Tower. Roughly paraphrased:
"A darkly handsome evil overlord? In this day and age? Are you kidding?"
- However, earlier she was more Wrong Genre Savvy when she concluded that Griff's contempt for Tear meant he was secretly in love with her.
- Gentle Giant: Elan seems to be this. His dialog portrait towers over everyone else, yet he's a priest in training who spends what little money he has on presents for orphans and wants to run an orphanage himself.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar:
- One night, Charme, while drunk, complains that she can't "take Recette home with her" if Tear is around. Tear quickly objects, saying that she'd never let Charme do that.
- Louie asking Recette to take his first adventurer's card. Tear tells him he should think carefully about who he wants to give it to, but he insists that Recette should have it.
- One of Alouette's cutting remarks if you overcharge her (which is hard to do!): "Capitalism ho, indeed."
- In a meta example, the guys at Carpe Fulgur note that Tear's exclamations of "merde" doesn't count as profanity for the game's rating.
- Giant Enemy Crab: One of the bosses in the Amber Garden. Naturally, you have to flip it over to Attack Its Weak Point For Massive Damage.
- Good Old Fisticuffs: Elan's Weapon of Choice.
- Gosh Darn It to Heck: "What the Heckles?" is probably the closest that Recette comes to swearing in this game.
- Gratuitous French: Plentiful. Intentional and justified though: Carpe Fulgar felt that it would seem more appropriate, in a setting that looks very fantasy French/European, that they would talk about French things, compared to the original script, in which the references are to Japanese food and such.
- Groundhog Day Loop: One interpretation of what happens after you get a Game Over.
- Guide Dang It:
- The game advises you to haggle, and haggle viciously. However, if a customer accepts your first offer, you get bonus experience... which grows exponentially. Higher levels of merchant skill will ultimately make you way more money than jacking up the price as high as you possibly can. It also builds your Relationship Values with the NPCs, which gives them deeper pockets.
- All customer types have a certain budget. Trying to sell a girl high-value items is pointless until you manage to build up your relation with them a few times. Also, when you sell something to an adventurer that he/she could equip, their ideal price is a lot lower (since it pays off for you as well).
- And even if you do know about the Relationship Values, the last two times that it can be increased with a customer isn't even indicated for some reason.
- Tear mentions offhand that the mood of the store affects what customers show up when first putting something on a window display shelf. The player will likely think showcase items are the only factor here. They're not, and unless the player intuits that certain customers will appear under particular atmospheres by remodeling the store, paying off the debt quickly becomes next to impossible.
- It IS possible through careful observation to figure out the general type of store one likes. And some like Euria (a shady type of character) and Griff (a demon) are incredibly obvious. Louie, being a bubbly and perpetually happy Idiot Hero, prefers light stores. So does Elan, who is a priest. Charme lands between these two areas, but as she is also a princess, she enjoys gaudy stores. Elan and Louie have little money, so they prefer cheap-looking stores. The Little Girls and old men share their temperment.
- Hair Decorations: Recette's double hair bubbles and Tielle's flowers.
- Handsome Devil: At first, both literally and figuratively for Griff.
- He Knows About Timed Hits: Recette has no clue what Tear means by "Button 3" or "custom.exe".
- Heroic Wannabe: Louie.
- Honest John's Dealership: In this case, run by the player. But there is also Euria who fits even better.
- Hostile Show Takeover: Attempted by Alouette when you finish the main storyline, but she's only able to describe the post-game content.
- I Cannot Self-Terminate: So Arma quarantines herself when she's compromised instead. After being released, she realizes she's too attached to Recette and still can't do her job... so she quits.
- Idiot Hero: Louie, emphasis on "idiot".
- Taken to eleven when he attempts to be Genre Savvy and finds a 1-up mushroom... he winds up eating the POISONED mushroom instead.
- Improbable Age: Recette is at the most 13 years old and opens up her own business. Justified though due to her Disappeared Dad leaving her no real choice and having Tear to guide her.
- Improbable Weapon User: The giant rat boss enemy first starts off using a crowbar, then a humongous paper fan, and finally a large frozen fish.
- I'm Taking Her Home with Me: Charme mentions wanting to do this with Recette, though how serious she was may depend on how much one believes her booze was affecting her.
- Inexplicable Treasure Chests: Par for the course, about three or four per floor. There is a good chance for each chest to be a trap though, resulting in various effects when opened: slimes surrounding you, a bomb appearing or even random teleportation.
- Justified, since the Dungeons are alive and change based on who is in them. Specifically, Arma is a golem whose job is to rearrange the dungeons. It is outright stated that she is the one placing the chests and putting items in them. WHERE she gets the items from is another question entirely.
- The answer to the spoiler is alluded to when Caillou mentions the Church has been seizing artifacts from people not protected by the Adventurer's or Merchant's Guilds. Combined with a priest in Chantelise (which shares a world with Recettear) who can give hints on finding hidden treasures, it seems likely the church is supplying the golems for some reason.
- Justified, since the Dungeons are alive and change based on who is in them. Specifically, Arma is a golem whose job is to rearrange the dungeons. It is outright stated that she is the one placing the chests and putting items in them. WHERE she gets the items from is another question entirely.
- Insistent Terminology: Tear is a loan shark. She just doesn't like being referred to as one.
- Instant Bandages: Tielle gets one of these on her head when she takes damage.
- Insufferable Genius: Caillou is charitably this, or not-so-charitably just a Jerkass.
- Interface Screw:
- Normally, the window you use to set buying and selling prices starts at base value. Whenever Euria tries to sell you something, it starts at 500%.
- A random event in dungeons can disable the minimap for the current floor. Another reduces your sight radius to about half the screen, and another coats the entire level's floor in ice.
- Ironic Echo: Caillou give a short and rather academic description of fairies in human society when he mistakes Tear for the shop owner. Later, Griff repeats this word-for-word before pointing out that it's a lie to cover up human bastardry.
- Item Crafting: After a few merchant levels, you can use Fusion to craft various items, usually using an item of the same type as base and some Ingredients (dungeon-only items) and maybe a treasure or another item. Picking the ingredients carefully can net a high quality modifier (up to +15), though that only really matters if you plan on using them for your heroes.
- Karl Marx Hates Your Guts: Very much averted. Prices fluctuate as does demand for certain types of items. Trying to invoke this trope will likely get you a game over.
- King Mook: Some of the bosses are these, some even in a literal sense (for example, the Crowned Slime).
- Lady of War: Nagi.
- Last Stand: One of the post game modes is survival mode. It's just like the normal game except you can never fully pay off the debt.
- Level Map Display: The dungeons all have a minimap that completes itself as you go through each randomly generated level. Two of the random effects that can happen on each level play with this: one reveals the entire map from the start, the other disables it.
- Loan Shark: Subverted. Tear is essentially a loan shark, but she's committed to helping Recette pay off her father's debts and even gives her the idea of starting an item shop. However, she still won't bat an eye at repossessing Recette's house and kicking her to the street if she can't pay up in time.
- Loveable Rogue: Charme.
- Low Fantasy: A particularly interesting example since, from the outset, it doesn't appear to be so. But considering the main focus of the game is on the simple everyday trials of an item shop owner, most of what mixes up the setting is only implied or heard of as background information, some of which could be base enough for a game plot in and of themselves. Outside of just what Recette deals with personally, we got a refugee princess, The Fair Folk reinventing themselves in order to avoid extinction, which ties into the inherent human dominance of the setting which leads to the prejudice against Elves and Demons, and while magic is a simple and everyday occurrence the local churches are trying to snuff out any and all magic items, something Recette helps prevent only through a head-ache inducing loop hole. And lets not forget the most prevalent threats to the world are dispatched by a simple item shop owner and her hired help. The closest thing to a Heroic Fantasy stock hero is Recette's dad, who is... underwhelming to say the least.
- Luck-Based Mission: Getting adventurers to purchase worthwhile equipment can seem like this... if you only stock basic types. They'll buy any fused item they can use virtually at the first opportunity, however. Pity the game doesn't even try to tell you this.
- Of course, that's even more luck based since somebody else could snatch up your rare and valuable fusion item first...
- And filling the item encyclopedia obviously requires a lot of items which Randomly Drops from treasure chests.
- Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me:
- Louie has the ability to block certain attacks with his shield. The knight-like enemies do the same.
- Nagi can do the same with her spear.
- Magikarp Power: 'Ingredient' items in general. At first, they're nigh-useless, practically worthless junk that takes up inventory space while dungeon-diving and are usually the first thing thrown away when you fill up your bags. Then you unlock Fusion and find out sale price on a fused item more than covers buying the base version wholesale, and they're suddenly much more valuable.
- Marathon Level:
- The 100-floor Lapis Ruins. You can still take breaks and come back later, and there's no pressure to worry about getting through the whole thing before the deadline since it can only be reached in Endless Mode.
- More traditionally, the "Gauntlet" floors of the later dungeons spawn a very large number of enemies given the size of the floor, and requires that you kill each and every one of them before advancing.
- Crystal Nightmare, the hardest dungeon by far, forces you to beat ten level chunks instead of five as well. And at the end is a reward directly proportional to the number of sections you beat in a row; to get all three chests, you must beat the entire 30 level dungeon in one go. And then there's its Boss Rush, with thirty increasingly strong bosses in a row. You fight every boss in the game at least once, including the unique ones, and fight a few of them three times (most of them coming at you 2-3 at a time when you fight them again).
- The Mario: Louie. He's right in the middle in terms of speed, range and power, though his shield and wide attack range also make him perfect for beginners.
- Meaningful Name:
- Amongst other meanings, "Recette" in French means "revenue".
- Louie's name in the original Japanese is "Lui", which can stand in for both "Louis" or "Lui" - "Him", as in, "that generic guy".
- Arma's name complements another fellow Golem and final boss of the story mode, Geddon.
- Alouette in French is a type of bird renowned to be attracted to shiny things.
- Griff is similar to "griffe", which means "claw" in French.
- Prime can mean a "bonus", "premium" or "subsidy" in French.
- Elan can mean "enthusiasm", "momentum" or "impulse" in French.
- Caillou means "pebble" in French.
- The Messiah: Recette: reforming villains left and right by sheer force of adorability.
- Money for Nothing: Obviously not the case in story mode or survival mode, since money is literally the goal of the game. But in the extended endgame, as you tackle the Bonus Dungeons and try to fill the item encyclopedia, you'll start having more money than you need for, well, anything. You'll eventually be able to purchase everything available for money in greater quantities than you can possibly sell or use and can afford to take a loss and sell adventures equipment they can't possibly afford. Far more valuable are customer reputation (since they'll sell you otherwise unobtainable items at high levels and adventurers can afford better gear), merchant level (needed to unlock a lot of very important upgrades) and the items only obtained from dungeons or customers, especially fusion ingredients and results.
- Monster Compendium: Well, Item Compendium. It keeps track of all the items you've discovered. Mostly useful in that the items needed for a particular Fusion are only revealed when you discover them, though you can see what type of item the recipe needs beforehand.
- More Dakka:
- Some of Arma's equipments allow her to spam bullets in a large range as her standard attack.
- Caillou can hold down the ability key to spam one of his magic in a cone, though it runs on mana to keep him restricted.
- Mundane Fantastic: Even in a world rife with adventure, magic and evil sorcery, daily life goes on, and ordinary people still need to buy and sell ordinary items. Even Recette's own adventures are just part of her job.
- Mythology Gag: While Griff holds disdain for fairies, he states that fairies who used to be human are exempt. This is likely a nod to EasyGameStation's previous game Chantelise in which one of the main characters is a human-turned-fairy.
- A similar one in an early scene when Recette muses whether she and Tear look like sisters. Tear dismisses the idea on the grounds that she is a fairy, when the human and fairy pair in Chantelise really were sisters.
- Never Live It Down: In-Universe examples:
- It's only about the fifth time meeting Elan buying sweets for orphans, discussing his (insane) training regimen, or how he's a priest in training that Tear finally realizes that Elan's not so bad in spite of coming across him running up a bar tab he couldn't pay the first time she met him.
- Takes her a while to warm up to Charme as well, but then again, she did try to rob them before.
- New Game+: A necessity in order to earn True Cards.
- Nintendo Hard: It's not likely that you'll be able to pay off all of your debts on the first try. Fortunately, if you fail to make a payment, you get to keep all your experience and items and start over from Day 2.
- More accurate for survival mode, as there is nothing stopping the game from 'gifting' you with the walnut bread craze random event... which forces you to have a couple of the cheapest item in the game for sale unless you are specifically trying to avoid the housewives.
- Noble Demon: Griff, both literally and figuratively. He is disdainful to humans and, by extension, fairies due to their submission to humans. Still, he doesn't do much evil even before he gets defeated, and clearly comes off more as a Well-Intentioned Extremist than truly evil in Obsidian Tower.
- Noblewoman's Laugh: Alouette does her best twelve year old imitation of this at every opportunity.
- No Hero Discount:
- Can be averted or played straight since you set the prices. Tear expressly advises you to offer this to the heroes you hire personally since they will use gear they buy which saves you from having to equip them yourself. Plus, not having to equip them means being able to carry more loot.
- The heroes actually expect you to do that, as the price range they find agreeable is a lot lower than usual when they could upgrade their equipment with the item on sale.
- Noodle Incident:
- Occurs in full view of the player. The first time Arma wanders into your shop, she requires a lengthy explanation of what a shop is, which is faded out. She then needs to be told how money works, so Recette begins her explanation as the screen fades out and comes back to Recette telling an adventure story, fades out again, then comes back with Recette finishing her explanation of money. Which Arma somehow gets. Exactly how these points are logically connected is left up to the player's imagination.
- After delivering a package to the local orphanage:
Recette: What do you think they'll do with... I mean, just the...
- No Sense of Direction:
- You first meet Nagi in the Jade Way. You find her lost there (or in other dungeons) four more times before she makes it to your store. And yet, when you meet her in the dungeon the third time, after Recette gives her the directions to her shop:
- Recette and Tear actually express shock when Nagi somehow manages to find the store.
- Later in the bar, Recette and Tear notice how Nagi is wearing clothes that are very 'eastern' (a kimono). It dawns upon them that she might actually be much more 'lost' than they first guessed. Further hinted at in a different cutscene: Nagi mentions she's not much good at using a knife and fork yet. Maybe she's used to chopsticks?
- Only Sane Man: Tear again.
- Orphaned Punchline: While explaining how money works, Recette somehow says this line:
...And that's when the hero yelled, "this is the end of my journey!"...
- Palette Swap: Most mooks with the exception of kobolds and pumpkins.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: Recette and Tear, in an effort to try finding out why Caillou keeps watching the Orphanage, hide behind a built tree that literally says "Totally A Tree" on the front.
Tear: Somehow, some way, I feel we're more conspicuous to Caillou like this than we were just standing around. In fact, every single person in the square seems to be staring at us. I think even the dogs do not know what to make of us.
- Parental Abandonment:
- Recette's father left home on an adventure and never came back. It's not clear what happened to her mother.
- In Lapis Ruins, Recette abandons her own father in the dungeon after feeling too embarrassed at her father's terrible state.
- In the main theme, Recette gives someone (apparently Louie, since he's the one who frequently reminds her of her father) a sandwich her mother made. Given that customers selling food can often refer to it as a family heirloom though...
- Perpetual Poverty:
- Louie. Eventually he resorts to eating plants growing around the town square.
- Elan is noted to be bad as Louie. His shopping budget is the same as Louie's.
- Prime, though this is self-enforced. She's so dang cheap, it's easy to presume Alouette has her on a shoestring budget. In reality though, she probably just stores it away like a crazed magpie.
- The Pollyanna: Recette.
- Portmanteau: The shop's name is derived from Recette and Tear's names.
- Punny Name:
- Recettear sounds like "Racketeer" if pronounced wrong. See Unfortunate Name below.
- See also WMG, for the secondary pun.
- Tear pronounces it as a homonym for "receipt".
- Nagi wields polearms, including naginata.
- Alouette and Prime become "prima loot".
- Recettear sounds like "Racketeer" if pronounced wrong. See Unfortunate Name below.
- Randomly Drops: Monsters will occasionally drop fusion ingredients with varying levels of rarity. Good luck gathering the required ingredients to craft Level 5 items.
- Randomly Generated Levels: All of the dungeons, though every 5th floor is static for boss fights.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Recette gives Griff a great one at the top of the Obsidian Tower... then promptly apologizes for it.
- Griff himself delivers a particularly strong one to Tear. He actually goes so far he manages to anger Recette for the only time in the game. No wonder why she was harsh with him afterwards. It doesn't last though.
- Recurring Boss: Most of the bosses (except the end boss of each dungeon) are fought multiple times—sometimes two or three at once.
- Redemption Demotion:
- Charme's hitpoints go down drastically, and she loses the fiery charge and web shooting abilities when she starts working for you. She eventually re-learns the special moves on levelling up though.
- Tielle also loses most of her hitpoints once she decides to work for you, but she at least has the decency to keep all of her special moves and gains another one after about five levels.
- Griff also, but not to the same degree as Charme since he keeps all his abilities and only really gets a fair HP deduction.
- Rich Bitch: Alouette. Players will love her precisely for this reason. You can present ridiculously high prices for already ridiculously pricey items, and she is always ready to pay for it.
- The Rival: Subverted with Alouette who appears to be this to Recette in their initial encounter. However, there are no game mechanics that actually have her compete against Recette, and in fact, she will be your favorite customer as she buys at some of the highest percentages. The subversion is intentional in the end since what Alouette really wants is a friend, not a rival.
- Robot Girl: Arma.
- Running Gag:
- Recette once hears about a strange lady who gives helpful advice in the pub. Players get to find out that the lady is actually Charme in the same event (apparently, she gives really good advice when she's drunk). After that scene, there are occasionally mentions of her from various people, including the humanity-hating, Well-Intentioned Extremist vampire assassin Griff:
Griff: This is what humans do when they seek to work with another, yes? It's what the woman in that pub suggested, at least.
- Caillou will never believe Recette's claims that she is the owner of the store.
- Save Scumming: Averted when playing in the dungeons, which only saves the data prior to entering the dungeon should you try it. Played straight during the item shop sales, since you can save prior to opening your shop, and should you get a string of bad customers, you can simply exit the game, then reload the last save and hope that the Random Number Generator gods are on your side.
- Sequence Breaking: Possible to happen, and in a rather amusing way, as Charme starts coming to your shop acting familiarly with Recette in the fourth week even if you only cleared the Hall of Trials, and never saw her before in the 2nd dungeon.
- New Game+ is an exercise in sequence breaking. With True Cards, you get access to adventurers from the start of the game, allowing you to do every Defeat Equals Friendship boss battle as a mirror match if you possess the right True Cards. This also leads to weird dialogue such as Louie being grateful for Recette helping him through the Hall of Trials... Despite him not entering the dungeon at all.
- Shockingly Expensive Bill: Recette's father's debts are so huge, Tear refuses to tell Recette the exact amount for fear of making her faint on the spot.
- If you're curious, and to ensure you don't faint on the spot, this is spoiler-tagged. Over the course of normal gameplay, the debt adds up to 820,000 pix. Have fun in the game's final week, where your goal is to pay back 500,000pix... over half the loan in one shot.
- This can be made hilarious in a New Game+. Since your items carry over, you can easily have millions worth of top-end equipment sitting in your inventory ready to go right from the beginning. Despite this, Tear insists the quantity of money would make Recette faint.
- Shoryuken: A favored move of Elan's.
- Soundtrack Dissonance: In one event in the night, Griff reveals the truth behind the fairies in the city and why the Humans Are the Real Monsters. Meanwhile, the joyful music continues to play in the background.
- Sprite Polygon Mix: This is fairly noticeable in dungeons. The characters are 2D sprites while the monsters are pre-rendered sprites of the Donkey Kong Country or Super Mario RPG type. The backgrounds and bosses are true 3D, and look like they came from a Playstation era game.
- Squishy Wizard: Calliou, to Glass Cannon extents.
- Stalked by the Bell: Spend too long on a dungeon floor, and deadly Will-'o-Wisps will start to spawn. The first time you see one, Tear recommends outright that you drop whatever you're doing and make tracks for the level exit. You can fight them if you really want to, but their paltry experience yields aren't worth the danger... The 30 or so Salamander Scales you will need to farm from them to make many level 5 items certainly is though. Fortunately, they can only increase up to 20 levels higher than the level of the dungeon you're in, so a high level Calliou has no trouble killing them before they can even get near you.
- Normally, you'd have to be intentionally dawdling on any but the largest stages to see these. However, a random dungeon event can halve the time before they appear, double the spawn rate when they do, and increase their movement speed. Fun.
- Suspiciously Specific Denial: When the guildmaster asks Tear for a favor:
"We absolutely refuse to put horses' heads in anyone's beds."
- Sweat Drops: Aplenty.
- Sweet Tooth: Recette, but she pales in comparison to Tielle who apparently subsists on nothing but sweets in huge quantities.
- Sword Beam: Signature attack for Louie once he's leveled up a bit.
- Third Person Person: Arma, when talking about her duties as the Dungeon Master, refers to herself so obliquely ("This unit") she sounds more like a voice of a Hive Mind.
- This Is Sparta:
- But... I... am... the... OWNER! ARRGH!
- Once you finish the same quest:
Recette: I TOLD you! I! AM! THE! OWNER!
- Also, at the end of the game, when Tear was about to leave Recette's side after the debt had been fully paid, she finds blank ledgers that Recette was supposed to fill in, but didn't:
Tear: M-e-r-d-e. I said it. Over. And over. And over. "Make sure to keep these books straight." Recette... THESE! ARE! ALL BLANK!
- Throat Light
- Tsundere: Alouette to Recette, Type A. She is nothing but tsundere in the Lapis Ruins storyline.
- Tutorial Failure: Tear suggests you sell at a price that makes "near pin" bonuses impossible to obtain, meaning you get less merchant XP and customers don't become your friends or get more cash.
- Unfortunate Names: Tear notes that the name of the shop sounds too close to "racketeer" in English, and as a bill collector it makes her uneasy.
- Unstable Equilibrium: To a massive degree. The rate at which you can make money depends directly on how many/expensive items you can afford. The rate at which you raise your merchant level depends on how much stuff you can sell, which means the upgrades to the shop and increased customer base that come with high merchant level feed into it. And the two feed into each other. If you play your cards right early on, you can easily find yourself having enough to pay off the later weeks' debts by the start of the week (though you'll keep reinvesting it until the last day).
- Vendor Trash:
- Various items will fall under this as you progress, but the worst culprit has to be Unthankful Statues. Treasures in general are hard to sell, have very few if any practical uses, and Unthankful Statues are virtually worthless, having a base price of a mere 140 pix.
- Slime Fluids don't even sell in the store, putting them at 30 pix worth for selling to the market or guild master. They are used for fusing a single item, which requires ten of them and an item dropped by a boss first appearing in the main storyline's final dungeon, and which is drastically less effective than items sold in the merchant's guild by that point and worth a pittance. And while Unthankful Statues are cheaply bought to keep the customers happy, slime fluid takes up valuable space in an unspoiled player's inventory during dungeon crawls.
- Cheap vendor trash are useful in fulfilling random customer requests. Selling them crap helps maintain your customer relationships and bonus experience point chains when you're unsure of the customer's budget.
- All these items and more can become literal Vendor Trash: stick something in a vending machine, and it'll eventually sell without taking up shelf space or troubling you to barter for it.
- Though you shouldn't since the machine is equally likely to sell things regardless of price, meaning it should be filled with the most expensive things you can afford.
- It's better to put carpets or blue items in vendors. Especially carpets, as very rarely will anyone buy decorative things other than old men or housewives. If you are properly cultivating Alouette appearances, they simply don't show up more than once a MONTH. To sell plain no-stat vendor trash, wait until someone asks during a sinister event, or just drop it on. You can ever only sell a certain amount per day. Every customer can buy 1 'open' item and one 'vended' item. It's entirely reasonable to throw the useless items up to fill up space, unless you are in the midst of a 'craze'.
- The Very Definitely Final Dungeon:
- The Obsidian Tower. Well, in the main story mode, anyway.
- The last group of five floors come across as The Very Definitely Final Dungeon within The Very Definitely Final Dungeon, with unique background music and visual theme, plus an enemy who's not seen anywhere except the last five floors of it and the two bonus dungeons (and a few gauntlet levels), a defensive formation of enemies that you haven't seen before, and an enemy who literally does not appear anywhere else in the game (including both bonus dungeons).
- Video Game Caring Potential:
- Arguably, the entire point of the main game. You don't want poor little Recette to end up in a box, do you?
- Admit it, it breaks your heart when a little girl wants to buy something, but doesn't have enough for your normal prices. On the other hand, it'll break your heart in other ways when she demands to sell something to you at 110% percent of cost.
- As you enter the engame and postgame content and start fusing powerful items, you may find yourself running a charity for certain adventurers, giving them incredibly expensive items you want them to use for a quarter or less of their list price.
- Video Game Cruelty Potential: Selling people food at over 200% of the base price when the news says the harvest has failed is both extremely profitable and rather underhanded. That said, don't feel too bad since they usually choose that time to come sell you food, and demand a high price. Clearly, people in RPG-land do not need to eat.
- This food may be the family heirloom that same person just sold you and wants back.
- "Wake-Up Call" Boss:
- The Boss battle with Charme qualifies as this; unlike all the previous bosses, she will actively circle around, leap away if cornered, and quickly punish you if you miss with an attack. She may also throw down some traps that will restrict your movement in the arena.
- The Boss battle with Tielle may qualify. After several bosses with predictable movement and little health to make up for their weakness, in comes a three-stage battle! Once you survive through her arrow barrage, you get to fight her directly. She boasts a ridiculously great health bar for her size and has instant reaction that allows her to attack you faster than you can attack. The infinitely-respawning rock-throwing kobolds throughout the whole battle don't help the situation either.
- Wave Motion Gun: Arma's special attack. You can only fire it once, and it consumes all your SP; you need to completely refill your SP bar to fire again.
- We Buy Anything: Your shop. After you get some experience selling items, you will get some customers who will want to sell things to you.
- We Sell Everything: You can sell almost anything you find in the dungeons either in the shop or at the Guild Master/Market. You'll have to: specializing will bankrupt you fast, as people will march right past your counters full of groceries and demand to purchase a book.
- Or walk past counters full of chocolate and ask for food. They will happily accept chocolate if you offer them some.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Recette's father is never seen again after Lapis Ruins.
- Likewise, we don't know what happened to Avall after the battle with The Geddon Device.
- Wise Beyond Their Years: Recette.
- Work Off the Debt: The main premise of the game.
- Which was actually a lie from Terme Finance to provide a cover for Tear.
- Worst News Judgment Ever:
Recette: Ah, the news again!
- Ye Olde Butchered English: Tielle finds a map that's apparently supposed to reveal the locations of all the best sweets in Pensee that has been written in such a manner.
- Young Entrepreneur: Recette.
- Zettai Ryouiki: Tear.
- ↑ All of which appear to be scaled correctly against each other, save fairies, who seem to get sized up.