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File:La pucelle 9361.jpg

La Pucelle (a.k.a. La Pucelle: Tactics) is a Turn-Based Strategy game released on the Play Station 2 by Nippon Ichi. In Japan, it came out a year before Disgaea: Hour of Darkness, but was released several months after that game in other countries. It is set in the same world as the Marl Kingdom series, and one of the characters is the grandson of the main character of the first Marl Kingdom game ( a.k.a. Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure.)

It takes place in the kingdom of Paprica, and tells the tale of a battle between the Maiden of Light and the Dark Prince, favored servant of the Fallen Angel Calamity. The Church of the Holy Maiden servants of the Light has employed a group of demon hunters known as "La Pucelle" to help keep the city of Pot au Feu safe from monsters.

The story focuses on three particular members of La Pucelle: the short-tempered and built-like-a-brick-house (and just as subtle) Prier, her younger brother Culotte, and the even-handed and wise Alouette. Prier and Culotte have just graduated to full members of La Pucelle, and Prier has big plans to be the next Maiden of Light.

An Updated Rerelease has been released for the PSP entitled "La Pucelle: Ragnarok". It has some Disgaea cameos (shocking), multiple new endings, and, yes, an additional scenario in four acts about Demon Overlord Prier. NISA has officially announced that they will not be localizing it.

In addition to many of the tropes mentioned in the Nippon Ichi article, this game provides examples of:

  • Aerith and Bob: Most of the characters have French words as names, and then you have Yattanya.
  • Allergic to Evil: As the Dark Prince comes closer to awakening, Alouette starts feeling physically ill and starts dreaming of her death.
  • And Then John Was a Zombie: "Demon Overlord Prier."
  • Art Evolution: Nippon Ichi had Ryoji Majima, the original artist for La Pucelle and the Marl Kingdom series, return as the lead artist for the Updated Rerelease and his art has gone through some noticeable changes since then.
  • Badass Grandpa: Father Salade. Just to give a hint, the first thing he does when it's time to get serious is singlehandedly take down a demon of the same species as one that you've fought twice now as a boss.
  • Bat Out of Hell: The bats and bits.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: Fallen Angel Calamity's influence on Croix is represented as a monster.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Prier and Croix
  • Berserk Button: If you value your life, do not mess with Croix's girl.
  • Black Cloak: Demons from the Church of the Divine Mother
  • Blessed with Suck: The Maiden of Light has awesome divine powers to defeat the Dark Prince yes, but she dies if she uses them all, and it pretty much takes all her power and then some to defeat him in the first place.
  • Bonus Level of Hell: The Dark World to some extent, as it's filled with demons.
  • Bowdlerization
    • Particularly annoying in light of the fact that Mastiff (the North American localizers) fancied themselves to be the next Atlus, with all of the attention such a position carries...but sanitized the game because they were not prepared to handle attention and criticism from demographics unfamiliar to them. Even more irony is involved when NIS started an American branch about a year later, and had Mastiff not butted in, the damn game could have been released with no changes whatsoever. Not to mention the legal hurdles to port the PSP Updated Rerelease.
  • Brought Down to Normal: Croix and Alouette. Alouette retains some of her power as the Maiden of Light, but it's nowhere near what she was tossing around during her fight with Croix. Croix was almost entirely de-powered, causing him to rely on his guns, at least until he unleashes his Super-Powered Evil Side.
  • The Cameo: The shopkeeper Erie is actually from Tenshi no Present, part of the Marl Kingdom series started by Rhapsody a Musical Adventure. Of course, the game wasn't released in America
  • Church Militant: All the La Pucelle operatives.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Papillon
  • Combination Attack: Eight characters can appear on the field at once, and it is possible to have all of them attack at once if they're lined up adjacent to one another to attack the same group of enemies. Naturally, this also works in reverse.
    • Also, certain characters can grant another character unique Combination Attacks. For example, having Croix next to Prier gives Prier a special attack in which she beats the living hell out of the enemy, only stopping once Croix has his gun fully charged.
  • Corrupt Church: The much-larger Church of the Divine Mother
  • Crucified Hero Shot: Prier. With bonus censure, making it looked like she's tied to a pole with her arms just floating there.
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus: The Goddess Poitreene and the rival church.
  • Curb Stomp Battle: Croix does this to a Demon Lord who has been pretty much winning in the first round after he unleashes his Super-Powered Evil Side
  • Cut-In
  • Cutscene Incompetence: Prier gets captured offscreen following a boss fight. The music playing at the time, the character dialogue and the boss' reactions to said dialogue hangs a nice lampshade on it... Until things turn serious.
  • Dark Magical Girl: Princess Eclair
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Monsters must be "purified" to the point where they'll "join" you no matter what. After you defeat a pure-of-heart monster, it will join your team and can be summoned immediately, provided you have enough space to do so.
    • Becoming an Overlord lets you do the same thing to Demon class enemies.
  • Distressed Dude: Croix, for the last chapter of the game.
  • Dual-Wielding: Homard fights with a pair of rapiers, and uses them for cutting and slashing.
  • Evil Costume Switch: Aside from the above example, this trope is played with, in that Croix switches to his normal outfit that you usually see him in when he became the Dark Prince. Played straight though, in that he more recently loses his Cool Shades when he unleashes his Super-Powered Evil Side.
  • Evolving Attack
  • Expy: Eclair's Princess and Dark Forms are clear homage to Princess Gradriel of Princess Crown. Papillon is also an expy of Kururu and the fairy class type monster from their earlier work Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Homard. He's a Pirate, so it comes with the job.
  • Fission Mailed: In the original game, the Demon Overlord "ending" happens when you kill enough Demon Overlords in Hell/Dark World. The original game mostly plays any ramifications for laughs. Later Nippon Ichi games and the Updated Rerelease expound on it.
  • Freudian Excuse: Being half-human, half-demon, Noir ended up as the victim of Fantastic Racism from both groups.
  • Geo Effects: An even earlier example than the Trope Namer.
  • Godiva Hair: Fallen Angel Calamity.
  • Groin Attack: Prier's Coup de Grâce attack, which she also uses in a cutscene to reveal a fake Father Salade (the real Salade would have simply shrugged that kick off.)
  • Hades Shaded: Again Fallen Angel Calamity.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Noir, the Big Bad
  • Heroic BSOD: Prier is shaken badly by Croix's return to his days as the Dark Prince. It takes divine intervention to bring her back around.
  • Hell Gate: Dark portals
  • Hey, It's That Voice!: It's easy enough to identify Croix's VA as Quinton Flynn, but Jennifer Hale's performance as Prier stands out when compared to her other roles.
  • Horny Devils: Slightly rare and difficult to recruit enemy type.
  • Hot God: Goddess Poitreene.
  • Humans Are Bastards: And how! Croix felt strongly this way with the unjust execution of his lover Angelique that he turned into the Dark Prince. And it's justifiable!
  • If I Can't Have You: A villager in love with Angelique decides to sell her off to the Kingdom's "Witch Hunters" for execution because she was going to marry Croix.
    • Also, the story behind the first chapter has an entire castle getting murdered, including the count and his wife and son, because the count's brother couldn't accept that she loved the count and not him.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Culotte's method of attack is throwing various objects at the enemy - apples, lollipops, rocks, Mushroom monsters...just about anything he can find in those little pockets of his. Alouette often uses a Holy Book as a weapon.
  • Let's Get Dangerous: Father Salade is a perverted old man that has one of his female subordinates running around in a very inappropriate outfit, and doesn't seem too good at the whole priest thing. He can also kill demon lords alone and barehanded.
  • Level Grinding: It seems this is what brought about Nippon Ichi's love of this. It is possible to "reverse" the Gates which spawn monsters and enter Hell; or "The Dark World" as the westernization puts it; in itself a direct translation of the word Disgaea (hint, hint). Hell is a completely randomized dungeon filled to the brim with Demons, Demon Lords and Demon Overlords, stronger than any enemy in the main game.
  • Like a Badass Out of Hell: It is possible to conquer Hell if Prier defeats enough Demon Overlords. They make her their leader. There's a "faux" ending to this, as the main plot continues without paying attention to this. Later games elaborate.
  • Love Redeems: Prier's feelings for Croix help him break free from his dark side.
  • Luck-Based Mission: Going for the good ending in Chapter 10 are you? Better start praying to Poitreene that the computer's (random!) enemy movement and actions are agreeable, and that the sole mook type's paralyzes-inflicting special isn't used and doesn't work too often.
    • It's slightly better in Ragnarok due to the addition of the Re-Action system... but just slightly.
  • Mook Maker: The Dark Portals that appear in every level generate new monsters every so often if they're not purified.
  • Monster Is A Daddy: If you kill the Forest Lord in chapter 3, and then return to the scene of the crime later on, Prier finds his cub son and heals a minor injury it has. The cub follows her around, prompting Prier to decide to raise him. After leveling him up and returning later on, he'll leave, having grown up, but not before granting Prier a new skill that lets her call him out to crush her enemies. The whole scene is a serious Crowning Moment of Heartwarming.
  • Monster Town: The valley of the Eringas. They also take over any town which becomes eliminated due to your actions.
  • Multiple Endings: Although the original game itself has only one ending, most chapters have multiple endings.
  • Nice Hat: Homard again
  • Nipple-and-Dimed: A strange twist on the trope. Papillon's name was actually changed from her original Japanese name: Mamelon, which is French for 'nipple'. Poitreene got away with a deliberate mispelling. (Poitrine = Breast)
  • Noble Demon: Averted, especially when you consider how demons are portrayed in other Nippon Ichi games...
  • No Smoking: The American release censored out the image of Croix's cigarette (but only the image; he still frequently pulls nothing from his lips and puts it back a moment later.)
  • Nuns Are Mikos: Alouette, Prier, and the other La Pucelle operatives.
  • Paper Fan of Doom: One of Papillon's special attacks; occasionally used on Homard in cutscenes. Alouette substitutes a very thick book.
  • Parental Abandonment
  • Ramming Always Works: Prier decides to take control of Homard's ship to ram it in the Angel Gate. He doesn't approve.
  • Really Seven Hundred Years Old: Croix and, to a lesser extent, Alouette are both much older than they appear.
  • Relationship Values: Monsters that have joined your party have an individual "friendship" rating, which increases or decreases through "training" them. Harsh training rituals increase their stat growth, but decrease their friendship rating. If you bring this value too low, they'll leave the party, and there's no way to recover them. On the opposite end, if you decide to dote on them repeatedly to maximize their friendship level, they'll gain the ability to purify enemies.
  • Right-Hand-Cat: Yattanya, Homard's first mate, is a rather literal example.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Homard is in fact the Prince of the Marl Kingdom. He's Cornet's grandson. (Amusingly, in the Cornet DLC; he shakes his head and says "Nah, couldn't be")
    • Eclair counts too
  • Schizo-Tech: A somewhat regular fantasy setting is somehow filled with airships and walkie-talkies.
  • She's Back: Prier snaps out of her Heroic BSOD just in time for the battle with the newly-reborn Dark Prince, AKA Croix.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: The Overlord Ending, in which Prier fights through the demonic hordes of the Dark World only to kill one too many demons and turn into a Demonic Overlord herself. This causes all of her friends and allies to leave her, alone and trapped in the Dark World with nothing but a sexy new makeover to show for it. Worse, this ending is canon: Overlord Prier makes cameos in every other Nippon Ichi game, and the Updated Rerelease has an entire bonus story based upon what happens next.
  • Shout-Out: Eclair's character of a Princess with a Dark Alter-Ego is clearly homage to Princess Gradriel of Atlus's Princess Crown.
  • Sky Pirate: Homard and his crew.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Prier's name is given as Priere ("prayer") in the Disgaea games.
    • Even Japan seems unsure if her name is supposed to be Prier or Priere, using both names on the official website and in offical materials.
  • Sprite Polygon Mix
  • Stone Wall: Eclair, who has the party-best base defense and resistance combined (two others beat her in those stats separately, but are basically defenseless for the other) but low-end (for the front-row fighting characters) attack, and her speed is also low. Her dark half is a mixture of a Fragile Speedster and a Glass Cannon.
  • Super-Powered Evil Side
  • Take Your Time: Justified, Noir deliberately holds off on summoning Calamity until the party could arrive because Prier upset his ideologies, because she reminded Noir of his mother.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Prier and Alouette, respectively and initially. Character Development sends both to opposite sides of the spectrum, Alouette becomes more and more willing to bend the rules and cut loose as the game progresses, and Prier reveals her inner warmth and compassionate side.
  • Theme Naming: Most character and location names are in French (Prier = "to pray", Alouette = "skylark", etc.) This includes some not so cute names (references to female anatomy and underclothing, for example).
    • There's also a hefty chunk that's based off food of all things.
  • The Messiah: The Maiden of Light is supposed to be this, but Alouette is a bit of a Knight Templar early on and, as a result of Character Development, cuts loose more and more as the game progresses.
  • Tsundere: Of a fraternal sort between Prier and Culotte.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: Noir makes lots of comments about his "utopia". It's not until the end of the game when you find out what his "utopia" actually consists of.
  • Victory Pose: Every character has at least one and some random quotes after killing something.
  • What Do You Mean Its Not Symbolic: Croix's gun is shaped like a cross. It, along with several other crosses were removed from the game for the US release.
  • You Kill It, You Bought It: Prier learns this the hard way.

The Updated Rerelease contains the following