[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Einhander_battle.jpg]]
[-[[caption-width-right:350:Let's destroy this [[GiantSpider Spider]] [[SpiderTank Tank]] with a one-handed sword!]]-]

->''Glory with the Moon. Mercy on the Earth.''\\


A surprisingly good {{PlayStation}} 1 side-scrolling ShootEmUp from SquareSoft ([[HeAlsoDid the same ones who made]] [[RunningGag the gut-crushingly popular]] FinalFantasy series). The player takes the role of an anonymous fighter pilot sent by [[LaResistance the moon nation Selene]] against [[TheFederation Earth's forces]], raiding its only city (called [[UnfortunateImplications Sodom]] in the Japanese version). Initially armed with nothing but a weak machine gun, the fighter can nevertheless grab weapons called gunpods from enemies, including [[BoringButPractical plain old cannons and missile launchers]] as well as [[AbnormalAmmo a lightning gun]] and [[LaserBlade energy sword]]. What follows is a single small fighter [[OneManArmy cutting a huge swath through huge installations defended by endless numbers of aircraft and turrets.]]

Most likely, you have heard of this game because of how dissonant the game is compared to other series made by SquareSoft, since this is a rare case of SquareSoft doing something [[PlayingAgainstType other than the RPG genre]]. As a result, it became a cult classic later on due to how fun and impressive it really is.

The composer (Kenichiro Fukui) for the game would later go on to compose songs in AdventChildren, produce the theme song for ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII'', and play as the keyboardist in The Black Mages, so you might have heard of this style before. The soundtrack from the game combines several genres (ranging from Techno to Rock) in unique ways that would be comparable to the likes of YukiKajiura. The most notable song from the game is [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOhfKnDlGdk "Shudder"]] (which would be the other reason you are here), [[GenreBusting which combines Fast Rap, Techno, Rock, and other genres]] [[CrowningMusicOfAwesome all for the first few bosses in the game]].

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!!Tropes used in ''Einhander'':
* TwoAndAHalfD: As mentioned below, one of your weapons can fire into the fore- or background, as well as enemies sometimes appearing from said locations. The game makes this clear in no uncertain terms in the opening mook force, which appears in the foreground, before spinning around and entering your 2d plane. Interestingly, the camera also spins back and forth in various angles relative to your craft, even as you stay in the same plane (so that you are looking from a rear 3/4ths view at one moment, and then from below and to the side in another moment. Several boss battles even have the camera pan before the boss uses some attack or another, not to mention many points in the levels themselves.
** You even get a short first person view point just before the first boss, but only if you didn't get Secret Bonus 3.
* [[UnderwaterBossBattle Above Water Boss Battle]]: The MiniBoss of Stage 4, [[MeaningfulName Salamander]], attacks you from the water below in its first phase.
* ActionBomb: One of the enemies in stage 5. They don't attack on their own, but if given enough time, will self-destruct. Green-lined ones will explode into a plasma SphereOfDestruction, while the more dangerous red ones will explode into a starburst of projectiles.
* AfterTheEnd: The events of the game take place years after the great war; there's nothing on Earth but wasteland outside the CyberPunk city.
** Gloriously showcased by taking the alternate route at Level 1. You descend through what seems to be a giant cavern underneath Gesetz' Megapolis. The scenery shifts from the bright, Blade Runner-esque city to a dark landscape littered by broken skyscrapers, presumably berserk automatons, and at one point, a presumably unexploded ''inter-planetary ballistic missile''.
* AllThereInTheManual: The only real indication to explain why the Earth forces speak German (otherwise, one could easily assume they only speak German in ''that'' part of the world), and where the capital city is located is because the instruction manual barely mentions that the city was built over the ruins of an [[GermanPeculiarities autobahn]].
** It also mentions briefly that Germany (or what's left of it) set up a OneWorldOrder after the bombs fell, while the defeated eventually became Selene.
* AnimalMecha: The monkey mecha Ausf A Gestell, who is ironically not named after an animal.
* AnimalMotifs: Almost all the Earth forces are named after animals, including the bosses and {{Mini Boss}}es. The bosses and minibosses also share traits to the animal they're named after. And then there is also that [[AxCrazy deranged]] HumongousMecha [[EverythingsBetterWithMonkeys monkey]]...
* ArmorPiercingAttack: The Riot weapon can pierce enemies' facial armour and hurt them directly, something which even the Flash cannot do (on certain enemies and bosses). Justified as it's an electrical weapon and fries them from the inside out.
* AttackItsWeakPoint: Most of the [[MiniBoss minibosses]] and bosses can be defeated quickly if you know where to shoot them in. The same applies to larger enemies that can be defeated by shooting them in their engines and such.
** Hint: Shoot the part that has a green glowing thing (such as a visor) on it. Nine times out of ten it's the weak point.
* AttackPatternAlpha: Some bosses, particularly [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HbDbaLo73lE&t=5s Stage 2 boss Spinne]] orders this.
--> "''Kampfformation D! Kampfformation D! Alle kampfstationen deine Ziel ist klar!''" [[note]]"Battle formation D! Battle formation D! All battle stations, your target is clear!"[[/note]]
* AwesomeButImpractical:
** The Mosquito gun pod, a manual-guided missile, sounds cool until you find out that the missile is guided by the fighter's movement.
** The Python, although one of the most damaging weapons in the game, is shot out in a string of shots somewhat randomly controlled in opposition to the player's motion. As such, it is quite difficult to damage the enemy with it.
** The Flash, which shoots a cool-looking purple beam that slices through everything (bypassing armor and still going after that) but the ammo is ridiculously rare AND limited in amount. [[spoiler:Unless you unlock the secret ship that always comes with 9999 ammo with any gunpod.]]
* AxCrazy: The [[EverythingsBetterWithMonkeys ape]] MiniBoss of Stage 5, Ausf. A Gestell, attacks your char like a deranged monkey: it frequently tries to swat the player's ship, and if knocked down, throws a crate at the player (similar to [[VideoGame/DonkeyKong a certain ape]]).
** Befittingly enough, the background music when you fight it is called "Madness".
* BilingualBonus: All the enemies from stages 1-6 speak in German. If you know the language, you can understand that they're trying to kill you. Most of the dialogue, however, is incomprehensible due to sound effects and alarms that go off when they talk.
* [[spoiler:BolivianArmyEnding: And you actually [[OneManArmy win]], as shown after the credits...]]
* BoringButPractical:
** The Cannon gunpod. Pretty solid firing rate, ammo is plentiful, and its damage is reliable. As long as the bullet has disappeared from the screen, you can fire another round. This can lead to some terrifyingly high rates of continuous fire if you get up and close to the enemy. Even better, the Cannon pierces through lesser enemies, and a particular section in Stage 2 has mooks lining up, as if begging to be shot by the Cannon.
** The Spreader can fall into this. Like the grenade, it is one of the two weapons that can shoot backwards; they are the only two weapons that can effectively fight the Stage 3 Boss, Gustaff, who is prone to try shooting you from behind. Also, like the Cannon example above, getting real close to the enemy can result in some terrifying rates of fire. Even better, nearly the entirety of Stage 4 includes massive amounts of mooks and later, tight corridors, a role that a spread-shot weapon is really suited for.
** The Grenade gunpod. It does the most damage-per-shot out of all the weapons in the game, but it has an arcing projectile and hence, slightly more difficult to land accurate shots with. Then again, due to its low ammo, it's better used on bosses and mini-bosses anyway, and so accuracy is much less important. One more thing, though; it can fire backwards too, which is real handy to fight Gustaff with (see above).
** Your humble Vulcan. Widely available and can reliably destroy your standard mooks. Combined with the Endymion Mk. III's double standard guns, it can do some serious damage over time.
* BossWarningSiren: The game gives a warning that is themed into the level. For example, in the first level, after fighting your way through the city, the police decide that they can't take you down, so they follow behind you like a low speed chase, keeping their sirens going while they basically escort you right towards the first boss. Following bosses might have klaxons sounding off to indicate that the boss is powering up and becoming mechanically operational, or have someone over a PA system order for another boss to scramble and prepare for battle.
* BreakableWeapons: While attached to your ship, the gun pods can gradually collect damage from collisions and enemy fire and eventually be destroyed if replacements are not collected. The ship's bare manipulator arm, on the other hand, is completely indestructible.
* CavalryBetrayal: Your relief force of EOS fighters become this at the end. On the other hand...
** TheCavalryArrivesLate: The Bad End implies that the EOS fighters really did come to assist you and were actually late.
* ChargedAttack: The Riot gun pod.
* ChickenWalker: The Star (Starling) and Panzerstar (Armored Starling) enemies, as well as the boss Sturmvogel (Thunderbird). FridgeBrilliance when you consider that they are named after birds in German.
* ClimaxBoss: Schwarzgeist, or Black Ghost, the stage 6 boss.
* CollisionDamage: Double-subverted. Your ship does not get destroyed when you contact a hard surface, but will if you continue pushing into it.
* CombinationAttack: The MiniBoss of Stage 3, Gecko, fires a laser at a {{Mook}}, who reflects and amplifies it into a [[WaveMotionGun huge laser]].
* CombiningMecha[=/=]MechaExpansionPack: Sturmvogel and its armor attachment.
* CoresAndTurretsBoss: Not a boss, but the turret train cars in Stage 2 qualify. To beat them, destroy their control towers and ignore the turrets.
** Or don't. You can get ''two'' secret bonuses if you shoot down enough turrets before destroying the control tower.
* ContinuingIsPainful: With the [[spoiler:Schabe]].
* DarkReprise: The track "Conflict" is a dark reprise of "Dawn". Dawn is a fast-tempo, somewhat hectic techno piece that picks up quickly as you assault the enemy's launch base while mooks swarm you. Conflict instead starts in a calm, almost ambient trance, before Dawn's leitmotif plays. Slowly, the tempo picks up to be the same, and later, even faster than Dawn. Notably, the stretch where Conflict plays has the game's most crowded screen-filling throngs of enemies.
* DeadlyWalls: A {{downplayed}} version. See the CollisionDamage example above.
* DeathIsASlapOnTheWrist: Played straight. You lose the equipped gun pod at death, but by choosing a starting gun pod, you can get them with increased damage in your continuation.
** [[SubvertedTrope Subverted]] by the Schabe, which can't kill anything stronger than a {{Mook}} without a lot of gun pods collected. And it gets reset to level 0 each time it gets destroyed...
* DeathOfAThousandCuts: The Vulcan gun pod is weaker than the standard machine gun, though it does have MoreDakka.
* TheDevTeamThinksOfEverything: Half the replay value is finding out all the secrets the game offers, but mostly, it's finding what attack patterns the bosses ''don't'' have. There are repertoires for just about any conceivable scenarios, including loss of specific weapons and armor, as well as movement/location. For example, see Gecko, the SpiderTank in the picture above? If you try to outsmart it by taking refuge directly above it, it will fire airburst depth charges to ward you off. Even better, nearly each boss can be "time-outed", and some bosses have a unique VillainExitStageLeft animation. For example, the Stage 5 HumongousMecha boss Ausf. D Dürer will go to the background and fire a flashbang grenade, before literally jumping off the boss fight stage.
** There is a BonusBoss that can only be fought if you destroy a specific part of the penultimate boss. The game has a special soundtrack just for that case.
* DifficultButAwesome: Some of the weapons are this:
** The Hedgehog gunpod. It's a bomb/airburst depth charge launcher that only shoots up or down. There are those select times where you are either pinned to one side of the screen or can abuse a Boss's weak point, which are often directly on top of it. This gunpod is made just for that occasion. Also, it has plenty of ammo and can rapid fire its depth charges, making for a curtain of long-lasting wide explosions for your enemies to run into.
** The same goes for the Blade, which is essentially a lightsaber for your ship - obviously, it has VERY limited range, but a very skilled player can turn it into Hell for standard enemies and boss parts. Try performing the [[StreetFighter Shoryuken]] motion (forward, down, forward) motion and the Blade will extend itself to the whole length of the screen, and waving it around by pressing the arm position change button on the Endymion models will make it slice and dice enemies.
** Strangely enough, the most powerful weapons at your disposal appear to be your ship's engines (fired behind you when you change the speed of the fighter) and the manipulator arm you use to pick up weapons.
* DirectContinuousLevels: For levels 1-6. Your craft is shown heading to its next destination while Hyperion directs you to your next objective.
* EverythingsBetterWithMonkeys: SubBoss Ausf A Gestell is one [[AxCrazy GENOCIDAL]] [[ImpossiblyGracefulGiant Giant Ape]]!
** ManiacMonkeys: It's a formidable foe, and a pretty unsettling one at that.
* TheFederation: Gesetz ([[FauxSymbolism Sodom]] in Japan)
* FrickinLaserBeams: MiniBoss [[SpiderTank Gecko]] loves to use this one a lot.
* GatlingGood: Your ship's basic machine gun, the Vulcan, and the Juno all fit into this. Especially the latter two.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: The song "Shudder" has a [[PrecisionFStrike few f-bombs]] dropped in it. In an E-rated game, of all things. Due to the vocal sample's extreme rapid fire delivery, as well as the fact that most players will be more preoccupied with the bullet-filled screen most of the time, it's very understandable.
* GunsAkimbo: The first SubBoss, Greif.
** The Astraea fighter allows the player to wield two gunpods simultaneously.
* GratuitousEnglish: The folks of Selene speak a slightly mangled kind of English, even if they are correctly pronounced.
--> "''Received telegram from conduct satellite Hyperion. Order the following operation. The armored train is spotted leaving the city on their way to the east. Pursue them, and locate the enemy supply route.''"
** ShownTheirWork: The player is operating in the heart of enemy territory and military communication often sounds terse compared to common speaking. The point is to relay precise information as quickly and in few words as possible to avoid enemy detection or jamming. Due to the repeated use of the words "telegram" and "satellite", the info is being sent in short bursts for the same reason... just like RealLife military teletype communications.
* GratuitousGerman: Meanwhile, German becomes Earth's global language. Starting with the federation being called "Gesetz" (German for "Law")...
--> "''Achtung! Einhänder kommt! Drei sekunden bis kontakt!''"
* TheGreatestStoryNeverTold: [[spoiler:The epilogue mentions that both the Earth Force and Selene have deleted every record of the protagonist's existence and endeavours. Only "those who actually fought and were wounded in the war know the name of 'EINHÄNDER'."]]
* HeadshotsKillRobots: Played straight almost all the time -- opponents have a glowing green spot that happens to be the weak-armoured cockpit, and that spot is usually the head. Destroying it will destroy the Mook/Miniboss/Boss.
** But not always; in the case of [[SpiderTank Gecko]], the weak spot is the bottom, and for Schwarzgeist, it's the middle section. The Sturmvogel's weakpoint, meanwhile, is not the "head" of the Boss, it's the ''armor'' that combines with it.
* HeavilyArmoredMook: The enemy in stage 2 called "Star" (Starling in German) returns as a tougher-to-beat armored version in stage 5 called "Panzerstar" (Armoured Starling).
** Taken UpToEleven with the Sturmvogel, which is also named after a bird ("thunderbird", literally). The boss not only looks like a large, scaled up Star unit with additional armaments, it actually has a MechaExpansionPack armor which is the real target.
* HeelFaceTurn: [[spoiler:You pull this off once you find out the moon forces declare that [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness you are no longer needed]] once you complete stage 6.]]
* HelpfulMook: The Accidentally Assisting type, they are your source of ammo.
* HighAltitudeBattle: Stage 6 has your ship fly near outer space in order to destroy a large, presumably combat-capable space shuttle before it can deliver its payload. After you do destroy its boosters, it performs a last-ditch effort and launches the satellite anyway. Cue the Boss Battle.
* HomingProjectile: The Wasp weapon, which can home in on enemies '''in the background AND foreground'''!!!
** The side weapon of the Schabe when it collects a wasp will also home in on enemies, background targets and foreground targets alike.
* HumongousMecha: Earth forces just love them.
* IAmNotLeftHanded: Destroy both of Greif's weapons and he'll whip out a laser cannon to replace them.
* InfinityPlusOneSword: Astraea Mk.II, one of the secret fighters; it functions like the default Astraea Mk.I, but starts with 9999 ammo for both gun pods. Now arm it with the rare gun pods, Juno and Flash...
* ItsAWonderfulFailure: If you lose the battle against the Stratagem Spacecraft in Stage 6 by running out of time, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKn2Eyb1Tw8&feature=plcp your fighter starts to power down and you fall to the Earth, as a swarm of police fighters are heard opening fire on your ship]]. And after hearing a brief narration from your pilot, you get a creepy NonStandardGameOver screen with a shot of a pilot's helmet laying on the ground cracked, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=itf3jQNwzD8 while this depressing music plays]].
* ItsUpToYou: Subverted. While the intro animation only shows a single fighter, Selene actually sent a team of fighters. You can assume that they're off doing their own thing while you do yours.
* KaizoTrap: The submarine that appears before the MiniBoss in Stage 4. If you "defeat" it the conventional way by destroying the body, its cockpit will detatch from its body, and fire out a ''very deadly'' spray of rapid shots.
** There's also the Miniboss of Stage 4 itself. When defeated, it will flail its arms about like a drowning guy... and these can still collide with and kill you.
** Successfully defeating the penultimate boss will award you with the mission clear screen. Destroy it a certain way, however, and you get treated with a full blown midboss. While it is weak, it is fast and throws you quite the bullet curtain. Naturally, losing to it means you have to destroy the whole boss ''again''.
* KillerYoyo: Gustav has one razor yoyo-like device on each shoulder. He can send them out to attack you, and they can be destroyed.
* KillSat: Two of 'em. On crack. The "final" level is about stopping the first from reaching Selene. The second [[spoiler:is your heretofore unseen commanding satellite, which resembles a HumongousMecha more than anything else.]]
* LaResistance: Selene [[spoiler:really isn't this. It's revealed to be TheEmpire before the final stage.]]
* LaserBlade: The Blade weapon.
* [[LethalJokeCharacter Lethal]] JokeCharacter: Schabe, the other secret fighter, has nothing but a machine gun, but picking up gun pods will upgrade it. While the Schabe might seem weaker compared to the basic Einhanders (e.g. it does not have any defenses whatsoever), it gains a different secondary fire as different gunpods are collected to level it up. If the Schabe happens to pick up a Wasp or Mosquito gunpod... hoo boy, it gains INFINITE [[MacrossMissileMassacre HOMING SHOTS]] [[DoomyDoomsOfDoom OF DOOM]]!
* MacrossMissileMassacre: You can do this by using the wasp weapon. Stage 4 boss Sturmvogel also uses this on you.
* ManVersusMachine: At the end of the game, your human-controlled Endymion/Astrea fighter faces off against [[spoiler: the AI-controlled Selene EOS fighters with AI based on your battle data]]. The winner is [[spoiler: Man]].
* MeaningfulName:
** Most of the [[BossFight bosses]] and [[MiniBoss sub-bosses]]:
*** Greif ([[GratuitousGerman german]] for [[GiantFlyer Griffin]]), has the top half of a robot and the lower half of a hover ship, not unlike the [[MixAndMatchCritters griffin being half a lion and half an eagle]].
*** Drache (german for [[OurDragonsAreDifferent dragon]]) looks like a dragon without arms or wings... until its claw-like "head and neck" is destroyed.
*** Garnele (Shrimp), is best described as a cross between a shrimp/prawn/lobster and a motorbike.
*** Spinne (Spider) a [[CoolTrain train]] with [[MultiArmedAndDangerous four]] [[CognizantLimbs "arms"]] that carry a [[KillItWithFire flamethrower]], [[GatlingGood a vulcan cannon]], [[MacrossMissileMassacre a homing missile launcher]] and [[MookMaker a drone dispenser]]. The other four "legs" are its train treads.
*** Gecko is a SpiderTank that [[WallCrawl crawls on the walls and ceiling]], true to its name.
*** Salamander is an amphibious submarine that [[UnderwaterBossBattle attacks you from the water]] and later on climbs out as a last-ditch attempt to destroy the player.
*** Sturmvogel (Stormbird/Thunderbird) looks vaguely like a mechanical bird. Alternatively, it looks like a large version of a robot {{Mook}} known as "Starling" in german.
*** Schwarzgeist ([[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast Black Ghost]]) is a strange, eerie-looking satellite-like robot. [[ColorCodedForYourConvenience And it's black]].
** Your ship, called an Einhander (one-handed sword), has a single arm-like extension that can equip different gunpods.
*** The shape of the ship itself vaguely suggests a hand, with the turbines, wings, and the manipulator arm being the fingers. Both the cover of the game and the intro narration refferences this.
* MiniBoss: Each level has at least one (Greif, Garnele, Gecko, Salamander, Ausf A Gestell) while Stage 4 has another in the large submarine.
* MookMaker: The military train cars in the second stage spawn lots of [[GoddamnedBats small shooting drones]] and attack vehicles. Its locomotive part, Spinne, has a dedicated arm to launch small fighter jets at you.
** Your welcoming committee to Stage 4's underground Naval Warfare Research and Supply Facility are waves upon waves of fighter aircraft. Later, you come across a submersible carrier that is responsible for launching said fighters.
** The Strategem Spacecraft has the ability to spawn flying mooks which you can kill enough of for a Special Bonus.
* MultiArmedAndDangerous: Spinne, the train car with four weapons attached to its arms. There's a good reason why it's named "Spider" in German.
* NinjaPirateZombieRobot: Salamander can best be described as a "Stingray submarine with arms that hangs onto monkey bars", a tail that can heat itself into a swinging blade, and it has a kickass WaveMotionGun-esque water cannon that can make even MetalGear RAY green with envy.
* NonstandardGameOver: Allowing the timer to expire at the start of stage 6 causes your ship to shut down and plummet to Earth, where it is immediately set upon by German forces. The game ends here even if you have extra lives remaining.
* OneHitPointWonder: Get hit by ''anything'', you will explode. Oddly, the walls and floor will not kill you. [[CollisionDamage Not instantly, that is]]...
** Your gunpods can absorb a limited amount of damage for you before they are destroyed. If you are skilled and/or lucky enough, you can even use the bare manipulator arm to block attacks, and the arm itself is indestructible. This is reflected by the color of the equipped gunpod's background. Green means it has a healthy amount of HP. Yellow means it is damaged. Red means it is about to break, and the weapon itself should blink red. Acquiring the same gunpod will restore its life immediately.
*** The Schwarzgeist fires a large burst of missiles at you. If your arm is empty, you can go into the top left corner, hold up and left, and block all 20-odd missiles which will hit the arm and explode but not do any actual damage do you.
* OneManArmy - By the end of the game, you've single-handedly ended the war by shooting down anything that can fight. [[spoiler:On BOTH sides. And lived.]]
* OutrunTheFireball / OutOfTheInferno: If you get a secret bonus on the right stage, you end up going up a tunnel with the explosion just behind you. Then right before the boss, the entire thing goes up and ''you'' begin the boss fight exiting a giant pillar of fire. Badass.
** There's also a rewarding detail: If you fight the regular boss, the paint job is shiny smooth. If you unlock the secret, the boss's body will be burnt and (cosmetically) damaged.
* PaletteSwap: The first boss, Drache, has two versions. The one you go up against depends on whether you unlock the secret bonus while fighting the Greif -- he's normally green, but is blue if you got the secret bonus. By the way, the blue version can randomly spawn a Juno, a very powerful big brother variant of the Vulcan.
* PlayerGuidedMissile: The Mosquito is a powerful missile whose movement is controlled by the player. Since this is a game where much dodging is required, it becomes AwesomeButImpractical.
* PowerEqualsRarity: The Flash, Juno, Python, and Mosquito can only be obtained very few times per playthrough, although the latter two are AwesomeButImpractical due to their weird trajectory and control scheme respectively.
* PrecisionFStrike: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlzgsW6cIC8 Shudder]], one of the boss themes, has ''two''. This is especially jarring considering pretty much no Square games have had them, and also the fact that ''[[GettingCrapPastTheRadar the game is rated E]]''. The part of the song in question is actually [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6uTR15zGqAs&feature=youtu.be&t=3m14s a sample]] from [[http://www.inspirationsounds.co.uk/mp3-demos/masterbits-rapsody-vocals-2.mp3 something else]] (Warning, contains multiple F-Bombs!).
* ProtagonistWithoutAPast: The Japanese version includes images of two pilots; they were removed in the English version.
* PuttingOnTheReich: Rather subtle and not as obvious, but the Earth gives this impression, though the swastikas are replaced by stylized eyes.
* ReportingNames: "Einhänder" is the Earth forces' name for your fighter. Its "real" name is either "Astraea" or "Endymion", depending on the specific model you're flying.
* RewardingVandalism: Aside from enemy {{Mook}}s, there are some containers that hold gun pods inside.
** You also get Tech Points added to your score by destroying the environment, such as the neon signs in the first level, or causing a nuclear meltdown by shooting some support struts located above a reactor and letting gravity do the rest.
** Certain special weapons can be acquired by destroying certain parts of the enemy. Part of the fun in playing the game is seeing just how far you can strip the bosses naked. The Ausf A Gestell has about 20-some separate weapon and armor points you can remove before you destroy it or run out of time and move on. It just looks like a bare-bones frame when you're done. You can acquire the Flash gunpod if you allow it to kick enough boxes at you in the process.
** Destroying all the signs near the end of the first level will allow you to net an early Riot pickup, which is useful for beating Greif in just the right way to get the alternate path.
* {{Robeast}}: Drache, the first boss, seems to fit. [[AllInTheManual The background story notes that its AI emulates beasts' behaviors]]. Hence why the robot roars when you defeat it.
** Don't forget Ausf A Gestell, the [[AxCrazy mad]] [[EverythingsBetterWithMonkeys ape]] mecha which roars in its intro, every time it's knocked down, and upon death.
* RollerbladeGood: Ausf D Durer, the Stage 5 boss.
* SecondaryFire: The Wasp gun pod can be switched from regular rockets to guided missiles.
* ShockAndAwe: The Riot weapon.
* SpaceZone: Some levels have multi-directional scrolling, but the fighters can't turn around.
* SphereOfDestruction: The hedgehog creates miniature variants that do continuous damage to enemies unlucky enough to touch them.
* SpiderTank: The SubBoss Gecko.
* SpreadShot: The [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Spreader]] gunpod, of course.
* [[DiscOneNuke Stage One Nuke]]: ''Three'' of them in fact. Destroy all weapon carriers before the gas-mask advert and then destroying all the billboards will reward you with the Riot gunpod-carrying mook. Taking the alternate route by destroying Greif's floater unit can award you with a second Riot gunpod. Later, assuming you take the alternate route, the pallette-swapped Drache can spawn an even rarer Juno autocannon.
* SuicideMission: The Astraea/Endymion are on kamikaze missions to basically damage the forces of the Earth as much as possible before dying -- which makes sense when you think about it. It IS a SHMUP, you're probably going to die at least once in the gameplay itself. [[spoiler:The only problem is,]] ''[[spoiler:[[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness you actually survive]]''.]]
* SuspiciousVideogameGenerosity: Not only some stretches before boss fights generously provide you with gunpods, but even if you die, the game will always provide you with some sort of gunpod-carrying mooks. Of course, these mooks [[NintendoHard can and do kill players regularly]].
** Taken UpToEleven again in the Stage 7 before the final boss, where ''every enemy'' carries two gunpods at once.
* ThemeNaming: Almost all of the Mooks (including bosses) are named in German. In particular, some of them are named after World War 2 tank naming convention in German. An example would be Stage 5's miniboss and boss, SPKB-06 Ausführung A "Gestell" and SPKB-07 Ausführung D "Dürer", and Stage 3's boss, "PR-01 Gustav".
** AnimalThemeNaming: Following the tank theme naming above, the rest of the Earth Federation's units are named after animals... [[RuleOfThree in German]].
* TimedMission: The battle against the rocket in stage 6; failing to destroy both engines before time runs out will net you a NonStandardGameOver.
* TimeLimitBoss: All the bosses save for one will quit attacking after a certain point of time. If you "beat" them this way, you will lose out on boss repulse points.
** The final boss, [[spoiler:Hyperion]], can't be stalled out this way, though; take too long to defeat it and instead of giving up, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFcHwmhwCwU it will fire an unavoidable blast]] of its WaveMotionGun at you.
* TimeSkip: [[spoiler:After the battle with [[ClimaxBoss Schwarzgeist]], the game's narrative skips one month later, in which the final battle with Hyperion, the EOS fighters, and Selene occurs.]]
* TitleDrop: During the game's opening narration.
-->There was a time, in the era of great chaos, when the Earth and the Moon were at war with each other. A daredevil from the moon piloted a bizarre aircraft. It was feared, and because of its shape, called...'''Einhander'''.
* {{Unperson}}: In the ending, [[spoiler:both Selene and the Earth Forces delete every record of the protagonist's existence and endeavours. Only "those who actually fought and were wounded in the war know the name of 'EINHÄNDER'."]]
* UpgradeVsPrototypeFight: Your human-piloted Endymion/Astrea v.s. [[spoiler: a whole squad of the unmanned EOS fighters that you were gathering battle data for. You win]].
* WallCrawl: Gecko does this, true to its name.
* WaveMotionGun: A LOT of them. See all of them [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0i55rV9lABg here.]]
** The BigBad, [[spoiler:Hyperion]].
** Drache fires one of these [[{{Fartillery}} OUT OF HIS ASS!!!]]
** MiniBoss [[SpiderTank Gecko]], who does this in a CombinationAttack with a {{Mook}}.
** Salamander does this while clinging onto two overhead bars [[UnderWaterBossBattle above the water]].
** A {{Mook}} in stage 5 is able to use this.
* WeaponizedExhaust: The rocket chase sequence on stage 6. Touch the exhaust and you're fried in an instant. It also fries mooks too.
** The PlayerCharacter has this too -- every time you change speed, you fire out a burst of exhaust which can actually do very decent damage to anything unlucky enough to be behind you.
* WhamEpisode: [[spoiler:Selene is revealed to be TheEmpire all along at the end of the game, and they decide to pull a YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness on you.]]
** [[spoiler:ForeverWar: Neither Earth or Selene want an end to the conflict. It's like a page from NineteenEightyFour: the perpetual war is what allows leadership of both nations to remain in power and maintain the status quo. This the reason why the Einhander's actions are erased from history and Selene wants no survivors from their suicide missions to return home (they know the Earth isn't a paradise at all).]]
* WorldWarIII: Part of the game's backstory.
* [[spoiler:YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness]]: [[spoiler:Hyperion pulls this on you at the end of Mission 6. Considering that you were actually sent on a suicide mission...]]

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