[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/zenith_wanzer_01.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350: A marriage between [[RuleOfCool Cool]] and (relatively) [[TruthInTelevision Realistic.]] More or less the franchise in a nutshell.]]

Creator/SquareEnix's chief HumongousMecha franchise, ''Front Mission'' throws readers and players, into gritty RealRobot stories, in which conglomerate nations from TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture, fight for power and political control, using armies of [[AMechByAnyOtherName Wanzers]] (short for "Wanderung Panzers" -- loosely translated from German for "walking tanks").

So, what sets it apart from other mecha series? For starters, the action comes as TurnBasedStrategy (largely unheard of in the mecha fandom, upon the game's first release in 1995, save for ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars''). The franchise is also known, for applying as much realism as possible, within the genre: Both EasyLogistics and CriticalExistenceFailure, are generally subverted; Wanzers are easily destroyed machines, that require extensive teamwork; And of course, as any {{fanboy}} of the series will tell you, the stories are heavily packed with {{Realpolitik}}.

With regards to the games, the series currently consists of five mainline titles and six offshoots:

* ''Front Mission'' (1995, [[UsefulNotes/SuperNintendoEntertainmentSystem Super Famicom]]) (2002, UsefulNotes/{{Wonderswan}}).
** Re-released as ''Front Mission: 1st'' for the UsefulNotes/{{PlayStation}} in 2003, and UsefulNotes/NintendoDS in 2007. The DS version was the only one to get a localized release.
* ''Front Mission: Gun Hazard'' (1996, SFC) - A side-scrolling action spin-off.
* ''Front Mission 2'' (1997, [=PS1=])
* ''Front Mission: Alternative'' (1997, [=PS1=]) - An RTS spin-off.
* ''Front Mission 3'' (1999, [=PS1=]) - First in the series to get a localized release.
* ''Front Mission: History'' (2003, PS) - A box set which includes, the first three games in the mainline series.
* ''Front Mission 4'' (2003, [=PS2=]) - Second in the series to get a localized release.
* ''Front Mission 2089'' (2005, Mobile)
** Released as ''Front Mission 2089: Border of Madness'' for the Nintendo DS in 2008.
* ''Front Mission: Online'' (2005, [=PS2=]/PC) - MMO spinoff that was discontinued in 2008.
* ''Front Mission 5: Scars of the War'' (2005, PS2) - Unlike ''3'' and ''4'', this was [[NoExportForYou released only in Japan]].
* ''Front Mission 2089 II'' (2006, Mobile)
* ''Front Mission Evolved'' (2010, [=PS3=]/Xbox 360/PC) - Third person shooter spinoff by Double Helix.

The series is known for regularly venturing into other genres. ''Gun Hazard'' is [[GenreShift a side-scrolling shooter]] developed by the lead designer of ''AssaultSuitsValken''. ''Front Mission: Alternative'' ventures into real-time strategy (RTS). ''Front Mission: Online'' is the first massively multiplayer online (MMO) game and the first third-person shooter (TPS) for the PS2 and PC. Lastly, ''Front Mission Evolved'', another TPS spinoff, was released on the UsefulNotes/{{PS3}}, UsefulNotes/XBox360, and PC. [[NoExportForYou Only a handful of titles have made it outside Japan]], as the majority of the series (including two ''mainline'' entries) remain Japan-only.

Games aren't the only things ''Front Mission'' is noted for. Though virtually unknown to the Western world thanks to Square's mishandling of its overseas marketing (only some of the games were localized), the franchise has a large media presence in Japan, including mangas, novels, radio dramas, and even live-action films. In fact, these other ''Front Mission'' works are [[ContinuityNod linked to the video games so closely]] that they are necessary for completely understanding the stories. The most successful of these products are the manga and novels, which are perennial top-sellers in the mature/adult age bracket in Japan.

There is a character page desperately in need of work.

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!!This franchise provides examples of:

* AbsurdlyHighLevelCap:
** In ''2089'' and ''1st'', the maximum Job Level is 48... requiring 9,999 EXP in one of the four Job classes: Melee, Short, Long, and Dodge. Any EXP gained in these Job classes influences Pilot Level. Pilot Level maxes out at Level 50, requiring 37,500 EXP to reach.
** ''2'': The maximum Job Level is 30. 14,815 EXP is needed to max out either Fight, Short, or Long Job classes.
** ''3'': There are 25 levels for Weapon Rank, going from "A" to "A+" to "A++" and so on. Going from a Weapon Rank of "A" to "S", the highest level, requires 13,199 EXP.
* AceCustom: ''5'' allows you to upgrade your wanzer parts, which enables them to change into other types if they reach a certain level. Also, since you can mix-and-match any wanzer part as long as they fulfill energy and weight requirements, it's easy to make plenty of these. Bosses tend to show up in [[SuperPrototype souped-up wanzers]] too.
** ''5'' also lets players recreate some of the Ace Customs from previous games, albeit not perfectly, such as the Raven and Gepard, through mix-and-matching and Survival Simulator grinding.
* AcronymAndAbbreviationOverload: There's a fair bit of these, which isn't very surprising given all the nations and their military units.
** [=USN/UCS=] for '''U'''nited '''S'''tates of the '''N'''ew Continent / '''U'''nified '''C'''ontinental '''S'''tates, which has the [=FAI=]: '''F'''ederal '''A'''gency of '''I'''ntelligence. There's also SOCOM, for '''S'''pecial '''O'''perations '''Com'''mand, though this one is from real life.
** [=OCU=] for the '''O'''ceania '''C'''ooperative '''U'''nion, which has the [=CIU=] for '''C'''entral '''I'''ntelligence '''U'''nit.
** [=DHZ=] for the People's Republic of '''D'''a '''H'''an '''Z'''hong.
** [=EC=] for the '''E'''uropean '''C'''ommonwealth.
** [=OAC=] for the '''O'''rganization of '''A'''frican '''C'''onsolidation.
** Other sorts of acronyms show up too, namely for several technologies.
*** [=ATLAS=] being the '''A'''stro '''T'''ribune '''L'''aser '''A'''ccumulate '''S'''ystem.
*** [=BD=] being the '''B'''ioneural '''D'''evice.
*** [[WeaponOfMassDestruction [=MIDAS=]]] being one of two things: '''M'''ass '''I'''nterparticle '''D'''issociation '''A'''ntiproton '''S'''ynthesizer for the original anti-matter version, and '''M'''atter '''I'''rradiation '''D'''issociative '''A'''cceleration '''S'''ystem for the portable radiation derivative.
* AdamSmithHatesYourGuts: The original SFC/WS version of ''1st'' lets player sell items for 75% of their actual values, whereas the remake has you selling them for... only 25%. This leads you to a miserly scenario in which you simply cannot afford new equipment for every single unit you have, as the parts salvaged in missions are generally inferior to what you may already be using, and the only other ways to earn money are completing missions or competing in arena battles.
* AmazonBrigade: Three out of the four members of the [[PsychoForHire Apollo's Chariot]] from ''Evolved'' are women. It does make you wonder if Marcus uses the girls for "bedroom duty"...
** With the exception of [[TheHero Walter Feng]], ''5'''s pilot management system makes it possible to assemble an all-girl squad.
* AnachronicOrder: you have to read every game manual (and in the cases of ''2'' and ''3'', the in-game Network too) to fully understand the history.
* ArmoredCoffins: [[spoiler: The [[TheDreaded Vampires]] from the ''2089'' games - a black ops branch of the [[BigBad B-Organization]] - have their wanzers set for complete destruction upon defeat, to cover any trace of their relations to their employer]].
* ArtificialHuman: [[spoiler: The Real and Imaginary Numbers in ''3'']].
* AttackDrone: ''Gun Hazard'' has "Wireless Gunpod" weapons. The [[spoiler: "Save the Queen" laser drones used by the [[SuperSoldier Strike Eagles]]]] in ''Dog Life & Dog Style'' also count.
* AwesomeButImpractical: ''5'' gives us weapons that allow users to attack three times in one round. Sounds sweet... until you realize how horrendous their accuracies are. About the only ones worth using are the melee weapons, since they're actually stronger in terms of raw power.
* AxCrazy: ''Evolved'' really takes the cake with this one, with four out of five main villains being more or less utterly insane: [[BigBad Cornelius Werner]] is an E.D.G.E. addict who [[WellIntentionedExtremist seeks to dissolve all borders]] and frequently torments Adela Seawell; Gloria Leguizamo [[BloodKnight lives for war]] and appears to be aroused by the thought of fighting; Pia Simpson likes to gesticulate inside her cockpit as if she's conducting a symphony while blowing stuff up a la ComicBook/VForVendetta; and Megan Chamberlain worships {{Valkyries}}. Not the most stable bunch.
** ''Gun Hazard'' also graces us with worthy contenders for the title, notably Colonel Ark Hellbrand and Bishop the Berserker.
** Serov Warren from ''3'' probably counts as well, considering that he attacks his own allies in a fit of madness. In his case, it is [[JustifiedTrope justified]], however: [[spoiler: He's a flawed Imaginary Number]].
** Anizka Ivanovna Aleksandrov from ''4'' shows some signs of this as well. Anyone who doubts her (mild) insanity should watch how she [[CurbStompBattle decimates USN forces]] in her [[SpiderTank Zhuk]] mobile weapon while [[EvilLaugh laughing]] in her cockpit and refers to the said mobile weapon as her "toy." Bar these quirks, she is a [[BunnyEarsLawyer fairly competent colonel]], so she's more of a downplayed example.
** Interestingly, [[spoiler: [[BigBad Morgan Bernard]]]] from ''5'' subverts this. [[spoiler: Given [[MadScientist what]] [[WellIntentionedExtremist he]] [[WesternTerrorist is]], many would expect him to play this trope straight. Well... [[TheChessmaster HE]] [[DangerouslyGenreSavvy DOES]] [[EvilGenius NOT]]]].
** [[spoiler: Shin Tsuneki]] from ''Dog Life & Dog Style'' definitely is, [[spoiler: which isn't really a surprise given that he is [[BrainwashedAndCrazy an experimental subject of BD technology research]]]].
* {{Badass}}: Anyone who's ever played any of the games or gotten into the other media should know very well that [[GenreSavvy you have to be one if you want to survive]] given [[CrapsackWorld how the state of the world is like]].
** BadassCrew: Every group that the main protagonists join is or ends up as this.
*** The IMAC (''Alternative'') was apparently tough enough to be one of the world's only forces to be given [=WAW=] units, the most state-of-the-art technology of their era.
*** ''Online'' also has Chasm Owls and Proud Eagles.
*** The Storm Unit (''2089'') and the Chariots (''2089-II'') fight [[spoiler: the [[TheDreaded Vampires]]]]. Both groups defeat the latter regularly, though not without some rough battles.
*** And of course... we have the legendary Canyon Crows (''1st''). Sure, the USN can boast about the [[BadassArmy Hell's Wall]] all they want, but at the end of the day, the crows just blow them into bits and march straight into Freedom City anyway.
*** The Silver Lynxes (''1st'') are pretty awesome. See the {{Awesome}} page for some details.
*** The unified Burg Transportation force (''2'') consists of the Muddy Otters, Dull Stags, and OCU GDFIA 2nd Division. Yeah, this group [[spoiler: fights [[BaseOnWheels mobile fortresses]] ''twice'' and saves Alordesh from being blown up by nuclear missiles]].
*** Kazuki's TrueCompanions (''3'') eventually grows into this over the course of their stories. Both campaigns, no less.
*** ''4'' brings us the Durandal, who [[BadassBookworm research military uses of wanzers]], and use their knowledge to [[spoiler: stop a world war]]; and [[LaResistance La Alianza de Libertad Venezolana]], who, despite subpar equipment, manage to force [[spoiler: Zaftrans]] to retreat from Venezuela.
*** Lastly, in ''5'' we have the [[SemperFi Strike Wyverns]] and ''especially'' the [[NameToRunAwayFromReallyFast Barghest]].
*** Another noteworthy example is the [[PrivateMilitaryContractors Akatsuki Unit]] from ''The Drive''. They are able to dispatch a mobile weapon and [[spoiler: rout an USN force several times their size]] through sheer teamwork, for starters. Their impact on readers is particularly strong, since the manga holds nothing back in the way of [[HotterAndSexier mature]] [[BloodierAndGorier content]].
** BadassNormal: [[TheHero Walter Feng]] from ''5'' counts. Though [[spoiler: the [[WesternTerrorists Grimnir]]]] are all pilots using [[spoiler: BD S-Type devices to control their wanzers like their own bodies (making them [[SuperSoldier Super Soldiers]])]], Walter is able to beat them simply through hard work... after he trains with [[spoiler: the Barghest's own S-Type pilots for ''years'']]. Your squad as a whole can count if you have no S-Type pilots in it, [[spoiler: except for Hector Reynolds, who's [[BadassGrandpa badass enough]] anyway]].
*** In fact, most of the main protagonists are this trope to some degree.
*** Royd Clive from ''1st'' sports no such flashy "upgrades" as [[spoiler: BD Devices]], but still kicks [[spoiler: [[TheDreaded Dris]][[OneManArmy coll]]]]'s butt, multiple times, [[spoiler: even when the latter goes for the [[BiggerIsBetter Mir Orlen]]]].
*** Ash Faruk, Thomas Norland and Lisa Stanley from ''2'' are also good examples. This is true even after [[spoiler: Lisa gets the [[SuperPrototype final Raven]], considering this version doesn't rely on BD technology to have maximum combat performance]].
*** [[TheChick Lira Labra]] from ''2'' is a young lady barely out of her adolescence... and on multiple occasions, she [[SilkHidingSteel fights the Revolutionary Army]] along with Burg Transportation forces. In a Zenith, to be exact. Nobody bats an eyelid about it.
*** Kazuki Takemura and Ryogo Kusama from ''3'' are this without a doubt. Though they seem to be ordinary young adults at the beginning of their story, they somehow manages to keep up with all the military personnel they meet, all of whom are far more experienced in combat than they are. Oh, they take on [[spoiler: the [[SuperSoldiers Real and Imaginary Numbers]], and WIN]].
*** Darril Traubel and Elsa Eliane from ''4'' can be considered this. In the case of [[BrilliantButLazy Darril]], he is, as ''5'' shows, actually better than most of the [[spoiler: augmented humans]]. Of course, if this is any indication, he is at least on par with Walter Feng...
* BandOfBrothers: Many of the military units in the series play this, but the Durandal is in particular notable, despite technically not being military.
* {{BFG}}: Intermittently played straight in ''Gun Hazard''. Your most likely candidates in the core games include missile sites, aerial bombardments and other called-from-offscreen or [[CutscenePowerToTheMax cutscene-restricted]] displays of conventional military firepower.
** Played straight to a somewhat ridiculous level with ''Evolved'''s bazooka weaponry. It resembles nothing so much as an enormous sewer pipe with a grip, and has the ability to destroy anyone unfortunate enough to be at the open end. Naturally, the more dangerous enemy units tend to carry it.
* BigBrotherInstinct: Kazuki Takemura and [[spoiler: [[LongLostRelative Emir "Emma" Klamsky]]]] to Alisa [[spoiler: Klamsky]] in ''3''.
* BigDamnHeroes: During the climax of the final arc of ''5'', [[spoiler: [[BadassInDistress the Barghest are outnumbered]], fighting a losing battle against the Grimnir's superior numbers. Things are looking bad... then Lynn leads the Strike Wyverns in a [[ItsRainingMen airdrop]], bringing DeathFromAbove and turning the tide of the battle]].
* BittersweetEnding: The franchise has a thing for this trope, and is pretty good at it too.
** ''1st'': Sure, the Canyon Crows [[spoiler: expose a plot to [[BrainInAJar make wanzer control devices from the brains of kidnapped soldiers]], called the B-Type Device]]. Problem is, [[spoiler: they are now wanted terrorists. Factions from the OCU and the USN, as well as Zaftra's PMO, all control Huffman Island, and are sending assassins after them]]. Further compounded as shown in Kevin Greenfield's story, in which [[spoiler: the deaths of [[TheDragon Driscoll]] and the [[CorruptCorporateExecutive Sakata Industries bigwigs]] throw a wrench into the court martial of [[BigBad Patrick S. Winger]]]].
** ''2'': The People's Republic of Alordesh [[spoiler: has earned the independence its people hunger for]], but [[spoiler: thousands of Alordeshi civilians and soldiers [[WarIsHell had to pay for it with their lives]]]]. As in the case of the crows, [[spoiler: the OCU is now hunting down Ash and his buddies, for having played a vital part in foiling the plan to test the [[WeaponOfMassDestruction FENRIR]]]].
** Emma's campaign in ''3'': Kazuki Takemura manages to [[spoiler: stop [[BigBad Lukav Minaev]]'s plan, but his father [[HeroicSacrifice Isao was killed]] and [[HeroicSacrifice Alisa]] stayed behind to get rid of the [[WeaponOfMassDestruction MIDAS]] for good. At least he, along with the rest of the gang, arrive at the USN Assembly Building in time to tell the truth of the MIDAS incident to the whole world...]].
** ''5'': [[spoiler: [[BigBad Morgan Bernard]] is (supposedly) gone, but Walter has lost two of his childhood best friends. He was happily married to [[LoveInterests Lynn]]... before she died from S-Type device complications. Also, the miniaturized MIDAS was stolen, which kickstarts ''3'']].
* BlackAndGrayMorality: Well... for the most part, the series's stories revolve around the struggles between HiredGuns with sociopathic tendencies, [[CorruptPolitician Corrupt Politicians]] who'd sacrifice millions of civilians for power, and WesternTerrorists who commit mass murders. You get the idea.
* BlackBestFriend: Joynas Jeriaska (J.J.) from ''1st'', who's Keith Carabell's best friend.
** Edward Collins in ''5'' attempts to invoke this. It doesn't really take, though Walter Feng still likes his old friend. Lynn Wenright finds Edward completely annoying.
* BottomlessMagazines: Partly averted. The shoulder weapons have limited ammo, but handheld firearms such as machine guns, rifles and bazookas do not. Possibly LampshadeHanging, in that the ammo listing for these weapons is often a permanent 99/99.
** Fully subverted in ''2'' (and later, ''4'', ''Online'' and ''Evolved''), where all weapons but the melee ones have limited ammo. [[UpToEleven Very limited]], in the case of some of the more powerful items.
* BoringButPractical:
** Shotguns are generally this, with a combination of decent damage outputs, range (though less than machine guns and rifles) and low AP cost, making them quite cost-effective, if a bit boring. That said, many late game shotguns are SimpleYetAwesome (see below).
** Shields, ''especially'' in ''3''.
*** Shields have no offensive capability (unless the pilot has the appropriate skills), limited uses before breaking, and when used, means your wanzer will be suffering damage to that arm. They certainly won't be dishing out the same amount of damage as a wanzer with double weapons. '''But''', they are also fairly light, greatly reduce damage taken, and will ensure your much more vital legs, body, and weapon arm survive longer.
*** They are so effective in ''3'', that on gaming message boards, the oft-suggested build for most pilots, is their weapon they are the best at and a shield. The only exception to this is [[TheHero Kazuki]], given his Hybrid Assault focus on shotgun and melee, and even then, a shield paired with a shotgun or melee weapon isn't out of the question for him.
* BrainComputerInterface: One of the recurrent themes of the franchise. [[spoiler: BD technology including S-Type, Puppet Soldier, and Doll Eye]] are all part of it.
** [[spoiler: The S-Type Device allows its users to control any machine as if they were controlling their own bodies. If the amount of floor wiping S-Type users have been shown to do is any indication, the device essentially turn them into UpToEleven SuperSoldier]].
*** However, [[spoiler: the device appears to [[PowerAtAPrice render its users more susceptible to EMP attacks, increase their organ sensitivities to the point that minor damage can feel fatal and can, in some cases, result in massive memory loss]]. Ask Lynn Wenright and Glen Duval about it]].
** [[spoiler: Puppet Soldier is similar to an S-Type device in that it gives the user more precise control (but not "human-like") over their wanzers' movements. Its main use, however, is the [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin remote control of the pilots]] who are synced up to their wanzers using it]].
** [[spoiler: [[ElectronicEye Doll Eye]] enables the users to have a perfect 360-degree vision of their surroundings, making them nigh impossible to ambush. It also allows remote control of nearby electronic systems; this is best demonstrated through the "Save the Queen" laser drone system]].
* BrokenHero: Another trope that the franchise loves. In general, this is [[LighterAndSofter only implied]] in the games, but the other media often [[DarkerAndEdgier elaborate further]]. Many of the protagonists [[ShellShockedVeteran suffer from PTSD]] and other aftermaths of the horrors they have endured. A few go beyond this. Some of the most noteworthy contestants include:
** Royd Clive from ''1st''. In the ending of his original story, he gives off hints that he isn't very right in the head. The other media show that [[spoiler: he has been a real headcase since he was discharged from the army after the [[PretextForWar Larcus Incident]]. Not only did he have PTSD, but he also suffered from outbursts of rage, alcohol and drug abuse, and was at a point suicidal. Though he does put on a happy face after what occurs in Longrivers Island, his sanity doesn't last as [[ManipulativeBastard Morgan Bernard]] plays into his grievance. By the time Rocky Armitage sees him during the Alordesh coup, he is little more than a [[WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds globalist-hating mass murderer]], so Rocky has to kill him]].
*** His story is sad even by this series' standards. And that's saying something.
** Elsa Eliane from ''4''. Over the course of the EC crisis, she increasingly shows signs of this. After the crisis ends, [[spoiler: she mentally cracks and couldn't stay on the Durandal. She ends up addicted to antidepressants. Thankfully, [[ThePowerOfLove her meeting with Darril]] helps]].
** Darril Traubel from ''4''. Though his departure from Port Cumana seemed rather sweet, the other media show that [[spoiler: after fixing the mess with him going AWOL in the USN Army, Darril has a hard time readjusting to civilian life. He ends up blowing most of his cash on alcohol and struggles to find a reason to keep going. It is only when Elsa asks to [[ThePowerOfLove meet him in-person]] that his life starts to change for the better]].
* {{Bowdlerise}}: In the SNES version of ''Front Mission'', there is a wanzer model named "Fagot" (which means "a bundle of sticks"). It is renamed "Flugel" in the NDS remake.
* CallBack: [[TheDragon Glen Duval]] [[spoiler: disables Lynn Wenright's wanzer in Cambodia using a specialized EMP grenade designed to combat S-Type users]]. [[TheHero Walter Feng]] returns the favor, [[spoiler: years later, when they [[FinalBattle meet again in Alaska]]]].
* CatchPhrase: There are several of them.
** [[ByronicHero Royd Clive]]'s response to the request to join the Canyon Crows is always "Do what you want."
** [[spoiler: [[WellIntentionedExtremist Morgan Bernard]]'s "Globalist dogs", which he says every time he appears in the games to, you guessed it, the globalists. It includes anyone who doesn't actively support nationalism, such as Dr. Aisha Romariov (''2089''), Lisa Stanley (''2''), and Walter Feng (''5'')]].
* TheCavalryArrivesLate: Happens in ''5''. Late reinforcements during the Cambodian base defense mission lead to [[spoiler: Walter Feng TakingTheBullet for [[LoveInterests Lynn Wenright]] and nearly dying from it]].
* ChekhovsGunman: Oh, boy... there're so many of them it's impossible to list them all. But it sure as hell won't stop us from trying. From the games alone, we have:
** Lycov appears in ''2''. [[spoiler: Lisa Stanley meets Lycov during the coup a few times to set up a meeting, where she ends up receiving [[SuperPrototype the final Raven]] model]]. Lycov is formally introduced in ''2089''.
** Masao Sasaki in ''2''. [[spoiler: One of the news updates in the in-universe internet mentions violent pro-nationalist demonstrations in OCU Japan and that a certain "Masao Sasaki" had been arrested for starting them.]] Sasaki is formally introduced in ''3'', [[spoiler: as a [[WellIntentionedExtremist key antagonist]]]].
** Morgan Bernard in ''2'' and ''4''. [[spoiler: In ''2'', he shows up via a proxy, and acts as the story's final villain. In ''4'', he is referred to by [[TeamDad Zead Elger]] as a terrorist behind a major hostage crisis in EC Germany back in the latter's British Army days.]] Morgan Bernard is formally introduced in ''5'', [[spoiler: in which he is ''the'' [[BigBad main]] [[EvilGenius antagonist]]]].
** Walter Feng and Hector Reynolds in ''2''. [[spoiler: A soldier clad in [[IconicOutfit black piloting gear]] and inside a black USN wanzer with the call sign "Black 6" radios the commander, "Black 1," about being attacked by [[TheHero Burg Transportation]] forces and ceasing covert operations]]. Formally introduced in ''5''.
** Glen Duval in ''2''. [[spoiler: During the battle against the Canyon Crows, [[WesternTerrorist Royd Clive]] references Glen as a contact who can help him out against the [[TheHero Dull Stags]]]]. Glen is formally introduced in ''5'', [[spoiler: in which he's TheDragon]].
** Darril Traubel and Billy Renges in the PS1 remake of ''1st'', as [[spoiler: the two soldiers seen to depart on an USN peacekeeping mission led by [[TheHero Kevin Greenfield]]]]. Formally introduced in ''4''.
** From the perspective of the storyline's chronology:
*** Albert Masel and Serena Sana from ''2089''. Formally introduced in ''2089-II''.
*** Ellen Taylor and Yuji Kinoshita from ''2089''. Formally introduced in ''Online''.
*** Thomas Norland from ''2089''. Formally introduced in ''2''.
*** Karen Meure from ''2089-II''. Formally introduced in ''1st''.
*** Lynn Wenright from ''1st''. Formally introduced in ''5''.
*** Marcus Allen from ''Online''. Formally introduced in ''3''.
** Of course, there're also the non-game media to consider. For instance...
*** Rocky Armitage. He [[spoiler: shows up first in the ''Front Line Report'' novel. There, he was assigned to pursue [[BrokenHero Royd Clive]], who was by then a terrorist fighting against the supernations. Rocky later appears in ''2'' as a member of the [[RagtagBunchOfMisfits Dull Stags]], alongside Thomas Norland and Roswell Tarana. Oh, and in the said game, he's tasked with pursuing the now full-on mass-murderer Royd and ends up killing our beloved Huffman Hero]].
*** Sayuri Mitsuzuka. She [[spoiler: first appears in the ''Front Line Report'' novel, where she is revealed to be the daughter of [[TagalongReporter Frederick Lancaster]], who joined the Canyon Crows and exposed the dirty businesses behind the Second Huffman Conflict. Two years after the novel's release, Sayuri shows up in ''2'', in which she, along with Lisa Stanley, investigates the Alordesh coup d'etat]].
* ChildhoodFriendRomance: [[spoiler: Walter Feng and Lynn Wenright were friends as children, and in the epilogue of ''5'', we learn that they eventually got married and had a daughter]].
* CoitusEnsues: There are a few instances of this.
** In ''5'', [[spoiler: [[TheHero Walter Feng]] and [[LoveInterests Lynn Wenright]]... experience some urges after the Strike Wyverns have finished taking Fortune Medical. Conveniently, there's a bed nearby]]...
** In ''The Drive'', this occurs between [[DirtyOldMan Captain Xiao]] and [[HelloNurse Leung Flybird]] ''thrice''. But the most notable instance gets to be this one: [[spoiler: When Captain Xiao arrives and stops Leung from murdering an unconscious [[TheHero Albert Masel]], he somehow thinks that it's a good idea to start making out with her right at the spot]].
** This trope is played straight regularly in ''Dog Life & Dog Style''.
* ColdSniper: It will surprise us if this trope doesn't show up.
** Anizka Ivanovna Aleksandrov from ''4'' is this when she goes for a wanzer. She seems to prefer her SpiderTank, however.
** Glen Duval from ''5'' turns into this, [[spoiler: once he goes BrainwashedAndCrazy thanks to the S-Type Device (forcibly) implanted in his head]].
** [[AlphaBitch Leung Flybird]] and [[GreenEyedMonster Mark Green]] from ''The Drive'' come off as this, when they snipe at an enemy [[SpiderTank mobile weapon]] unit while casually talking as though the target is a mitten crab they're going to crack open and eat.
--> '''Leung''' (About to pull the trigger): I... gratefully... receive.
** [[spoiler: [[AxCrazy Shin Tsuneki]]]] from ''Dog Life & Dog Style'' also goes for a sniper rifle on several occasions, and he uses it to devastating effect whenever he does.
** Otherwise, this trope is mostly [[FriendlySniper inverted]]. The other sniper-type characters are generally normal [[ConsummateProfessional off the field]], or at least are [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold Jerks With Hearts Of Gold]], such as Billy Renges from ''4''.
* ColonelBadass: Come on, how can a military-themed franchise ''not'' use this trope?
** [[WellIntentionedExtremist Ven Mackarge]] from ''2'' is a Lieutenant Colonel in the Alordesh Army. He orchestrates a violent coup d'etat which involves thousands of anti-OCU soldiers doing timed attacks on OCU bases, ''across the whole Alordesh'', ''in a single night''. And that's just the opening of the story.
*** Oh, in-game, Ven fights you more than ten times throughout the story and he survives ''every'' instance you blow up his machines [[spoiler: (he's killed by the [[MenInBlack Dark Geese]], not you.)]]
** Inverted/Subverted in ''2'' with Andrew F. Hordman, who is rather inept.
--> (An operation to rescue OCU politicians from coup d'etat forces begins, under Hordman's leadership.)
--> '''Cordy''' (Staring at the dense enemy forces): There're so many of them!
--> '''Lisa''' (Frowning): I know, this hardly looks like a rescue mission to me...
** In the expanded universe, [[TeamDad Zead Elger]] is said to have been a Lieutenant Colonel in the British Army prior to joining the Durandal.
** [[TheDragon Anizka Ivanovna Aleksandrov]] is good enough to become a Colonel in her ''early 20s''.
** Lynn Wenwright in ''5'' is promoted to this. Hector Reynolds is one as well, although in a bit of a twist, he's a CombatMedic. [[spoiler: Walter Feng eventually get promoted to one as well, years after the incident in Alaska]].
* CombatMedic: The '''Mechanic''' job class, first seen in the remake "''Front Mission 1st''" and officially introduced in ''4''. This type of wanzers generally boasts strong armor and high power output, the latter of which enables them to mount the Repair Backpack, a tool used to do quick repairs on ally units during battle. Such benefits come at the expense of their [[StoneWall offensive capacities]], however.
* CombinationAttack: Introduced in ''2'', in which a certain pilot's best skill allows them to assist other pilots in combat, so long as they're within ranges.
** ''3'' takes this a step further with battle skills that allow pilots to attack an enemy en masse.
** ''4'' refines it into the Links system, turning it into [[AscendedExtra a standard feature]] in the series.
** ''5'' [[SerialEscalation requires you to be proficient in it if you want to survive]].
** The Links system is also incorporated into ''2089'', albeit in a simplified form.
** Individually, your pilots can have skills that allow them to use the weapons in both hands at the same time. In the older titles, they do it one after the other. Newer ones have them doing it GunsAkimbo, except for Double Assault, which has the pilot attack using [[SwordAndGun one melee and one ranged weapon one after the other]].
* ContinuityNod: Every game other than ''Gun Hazard'' has at least some of this. Even ''1st'' manages to retroactively get some through the PS1 remake and DS port. In the case of ''Gun Hazard'''s lack of continuity nods, it is [[JustifiedTrope justified]] because its story takes place in an alternate universe.
** ''5''. [[PunctuatedForEmphasis EVERYWHERE.IN.THE.FREAKING.GAME.]] It even involves references to real world events! [[note]]As an example, prior to the oil rig recapture mission, several pilots discuss Operation Eagle Claw, and the airdrop is conducted using the same thruster frames seen in ''3''[[/note]].
* CoolOldGuy: This is expected. See {{Badass}} above.
** ''1st'' has [[BaldOfAwesome Alder Weiss]], the no-nonsense and slightly full-of-himself mercenary (and it isn't like he has no reason to be so).
** ''4'' brings us [[TeamDad Carl Thammond]]. Now, imagine you have a group of LaResistance hiding in your little village. They are fighting to liberate your people, so you love them. Then one day, they are being chased down by soldiers of the corrupt, oppressive government. Things are starting to look bad... [[spoiler: until your 50-year-old school teacher is revealed to be a RetiredBadass, jumps into a wanzer, leads a gang of guerilla fighters into the field and saves the day]].
** This trope hits a new height in ''5'', where we have Hector Reynolds. Although [[spoiler: he's supposedly in his ''[[BadassGrandpa 60s]]'' by the time of the final arc, he is still the CO of the Barghest, and more than capable of helping [[TheHero Walter Feng]] kick asses in the battlefield.]] Wait, did I mention that [[spoiler: he helps stop a group of SuperSoldier terrorists from [[ApocalypseHow vaporizing Alaska]] in the said story arc?]]
*** Justified, Alder and Thammond are both veterans, while Hector [[spoiler: is a [[SuperSoldier S-Type user]] himself]].
* CoolShip: Moreso in ''Gun Hazard'' than the mainline games, though some military helicopters and planes in the mainline could count.
** The ''Eclipse'', hull number CVN-112, in ''5''. While it's designated as an aircraft carrier and is seen launching fighters, the ''Eclipse'' functions closer to a larger cousin of the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wasp_class_amphibious_assault_ship Wasp-class amphibious assault ship]].
* CorruptCorporateExecutive: There are a couple of these among the villains.
** Like [[spoiler: Koichi Sakata from ''1st'', for instance]].
** Government-entrenched versions take their place in ''Gun Hazard''.
* CorruptPolitician: And '''HOW'''! "Corrupt" [[UpToEleven doesn't even begin to describe it]]. In short, the politicians in this series's universe have been known to:
** [[spoiler: Try to murder various nations' representatives at the signing of a peace treaty, to prolong a war that profits them (''Alternative'')]];
** [[spoiler: Endorse a project which involves soldiers being kidnapped and [[BodyHorror having their brains extracted]], in order to research technology that will enable the creation of [[SuperSoldier Super Soldiers]] (''1st'')]].
** [[spoiler: Use a civil war as the cover for testing a WeaponOfMassDestruction on a poor fellow nation, when the said fellow nation stops being economically exploitable, of course (''2'')]].
** [[spoiler: Fight for the copy of another WeaponOfMassDestruction and, to prevent the other party from obtaining it, detonate the said copy in a densely populated area, killing millions of civilians (''3'')]].
** [[spoiler: Attempt to manipulate other nations into a potential world war, only to give one of the involved nations incentive to import their products and thus give their economy a needed boost (''4'')]].
** When this troper comes to think of it, he almost have to develop some sympathy for [[spoiler: [[BigBad MORGAN]] [[WesternTerrorist BERNARD]]]]. That's saying something...
* CrapsackWorld: The main series is apparently set in one of these.
* CripplingOverspecialization: The vast majority of the playable pilots are specialized in certain job classes, each of which plays some vital strategic roles in the battlefield, and has wanzer models specifically designed for it. In general, there are five job classes:
** '''Striker''' (aka ''Fighter''): A job class dedicated to close-range combat, using melee weapons and often short-range firearms. Commonly equipped with knuckles, pile bunkers, and rods. These weapons tend to deal much damage but are lightweight. Hence, the usual wanzer model used by Strikers is a [[LightningBruiser fast and tough]] machine that lacks power output.
*** Notable characters specialized in this role include: Rocky Armitage (''2''), Kazuki Takemura (''3''), and Darril Traubel (''4'').
** '''Assault''' (aka ''Attacker''): A balanced job class, suited for various tactics. Usually equipped with short- and mid- range firearms such as machine guns, shotguns, flamethrowers, and assault rifles. Wanzers piloted by Assaults tend to be JackOfAllStats with decent armor, mobility and power output. Hybrid Assaults armed with [[SwordAndGun a melee-firearm combination]] also exist.
*** Examples of notable characters specialized in the Assault class include: Ash Faruk (''2''), Elsa Eliane (''4''), and Walter Feng (''5'').
** '''Gunner''' (aka ''Sniper''): A job class devoted to long-range combat, using heavier firearms such as sniper rifles, bazookas, and gatling guns. Despite their weaponry's having both range and damage output, wanzer models used by Gunners have to [[GlassCannon sacrifice armor]] and some mobility to possess enough power output for carrying such weapons.
*** Noteworthy characters known for their skills as Gunners include: Billy Renges (''4''), Glen Duval (''5''), and Leung Flybird (''The Drive'').
** '''Launcher''' (aka ''Missileer''): A job class specialized in providing support fire via artilleries such as missile launchers, grenade launchers, and rocket launchers. Wanzer models designed for this role tend to have very high power output, but [[SquishyWizard weak armor and low mobility]].
*** Characters known to be specialized as Launcher units include: Lisa Stanley (''2''), Emir "Emma" Klamsky (''3''), and Zead Elger (''4'').
** '''Commander''': [[LightningBruiser Lightning Bruisers]] who serve as the leader units of their squads. Such units are usually equipped with short- and mid- range firearms, paired with a melee weapon or artilleries for all-rounded, versatile performance in combat.
*** Royd Clive (''1st'') and Ernest J. Salinger (aka "Storm"; ''2089'') are both examples of pilots of the Commander class.
** In addition to these five job classes, four special classes exist to provide combat support using equipment outside weapons.
** '''[[CombatMedic Mechanic]]''' (aka ''Engineer''): A job class devoted to the use of Repair Backpacks, with which the unit does quick repairs on ally units during battle. The combination of shield and firearm for the purpose of self-defense is typically seen on a Mechanic unit. Wanzer models used for this class tend to have [[StoneWall superior armor and power output]].
*** Mechanics are seen in ''2089'', ''2089-II'', ''1st'', ''Online'', ''2'', ''4'', ''5'', and ''Evolved''.
*** Noteworthy characters dedicated to this role include: Halle Fiennes (''1st''), Hermes Sturges (''4''), and Hector Reynolds (''5'').
** '''Jammer''': A job class that excels at electronic warfare, carrying equipment like EMP Backpacks, enabling them to manipulate and disable other machines' electronics, making the latter open for attacks. Usually equipped with melee weapons or short-range firearms to provide capacity for self-defense. Wanzers used by Jammers tend to be [[FragileSpeedster fast but weak]].
*** Jammers show up in ''Online'', ''4'', ''5'', and ''Evolved''.
*** Latona Rodiona Vasilev (''4'') is noted for playing this role in her unit.
** '''Recon''': A job class dedicated to the use of Sensor Backpacks, deployed to scout out and help Launchers direct missiles towards enemy targets. Mostly equipped with melee weapons and/or firearms for self-defense. Wanzer models used by Recons are usually [[FragileSpeedster very swift and agile, but have weak armor that does not last too long]].
*** Recons appear only in ''Online'', ''4'', and ''5''.
*** Dieter Borsh (''4'') is a character known for specializing in this job class.
** '''Comms''': A job class noted for using Radio Backpacks that enable them to communicate with ally transports and direct air support, which ranges from carpet bombing and armor coating to calling in new wanzer units (to replace destroyed ones). Often equipped with missile launchers or other artilleries, so that the unit can also offer some offensive combat support.
*** Comms are available in ''Online'' and ''4'' only.
*** Beck Canova (''4'') belongs to this job class.
** Of course, employing all of these specialists effectively is TruthInTelevision: modern militaries practice the doctrine of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Combined_arms combined arms]], where different units with different specialities work together to cover each others' weaknesses.
** {{Lampshaded}} by a person in the OCU Campaign of ''1st'': "It's easy to specialize in using one type of weapon than using all of them."
* CriticalAnnoyance: The one in ''Gun Hazard'' is known for being one of the few you can turn off.
* CriticalExistenceFailure: Averted. The main games all have separate [[HitPoints HP bars]] for each of the four parts of a wanzer (Body, Two Arms, and the Legs).
** Almost played straight in ''Gun Hazard'' (with the exception of heavily damaged wanzers [[TurnsRed flashing and/or smoking at times]]).
* CustomUniform: Seen in ''5''; unlike regular USN pilots, who wear tan or olive drab flightsuits, [[EliteArmy Strike Wyverns]] and [[NameToRunAwayFromReallyFast Barghest]] pilots wear gray and black flightsuits respectively.
* CutscenePowerToTheMax: Happens on a regular basis.
** In ''Alternative'', we have [=WAW=] gliders, which, for some reasons, do not show up in-game.
** In ''1st'''s USN campaign, we have [[ItsRainingMen wanzer parachutes]] before the invasion of Freedom City.
** ''Gun Hazard'' does this with infinite vernier power for two aerial missions, and infinite dash for a few missions... although the later roller dash units can pretty much go on forever anyway.
** In ''3'', Jose Astrada at the finale of the Taal Naval Base arc: [[spoiler: He [[TheWorfEffect wipes the floor with the mighty Purple Haze]] before you fights him and... you can kill him in a turn once the cutscene ends]].
** Rocket-shaped verniers in ''4''.
** The cutscene after the final mission of the Huffman Island arc in ''5'', where [[spoiler: [[TheDragon Glen Duval]] crushes [[CurbStompBattle Walter Feng's platoon and their offscreen reinforcements while dancing around their barrage]]]]. Possibly [[JustifiedTrope justified]] in that he [[spoiler: is in an [[SuperPrototype experimental S-Type Zenith]]]], but in-game, nobody takes on six wanzers alone and comes out unscathed.
** Midway through the Strike Wyverns arc of ''5'': Walter Feng's platoon are retreating, while being pursued by two [[SpiderTank Garsade mobile weapons]]. Lynn covers their retreat from the ''Eclipse'', and [[OneHitKill one-shots]] each Garsade using a sniper rifle which is never seen in actual gameplay.
** ''Evolved'' has a bunch of these, but it's most evident during one of the Antarctica missions when [[spoiler: [[BigBad Cornelius]] uses the power of E.D.G.E. on some destroyed wanzers, resurrecting them (yes, '''resurrect'''). These "zombie" wanzers are completely shot up, with the skeletal frames beneath their armors showing]].
* DamnYouMuscleMemory: May happen ''in the same game'' in ''Evolved'' because in wanzer, if you use two-handed weapon, you use left click (or z) to zoom and right click to shoot, while on foot you use right click to zoom and left click to shoot.
* DarkerAndEdgier: The franchise's manga and novels, compared to the games.
* DarkIsNotEvil: With "dark" in the sense of appearance...
** [[spoiler: The [[WesternTerrorists Spirit of Huffman]]]]'s members are all in the typical dark masks and helmets which terrorists wear, though [[spoiler: all their targets are the Sakata Industries villains, not civilians]].
** ''1st'''s OCU campaign generally portrays USN soldiers in a grim light - the prime example being the [[TheDreaded Hell's Wall]] unit full of scarred freaks. But the USN campaign shows that they are not really bad once you get to know them.
** [[DarkIsEvil Inverted]] in ''2'', in which [[spoiler: the [[TheMenInBlack Dark Geese]]]]'s color scheme is as dark as their name suggests.
** Inverted again in ''3'', where [[spoiler: the JDF Special Force]] sport darkly colored wanzers.
** Also inverted in ''4''. [[spoiler: The antagonistic Zaftran forces]] have a black color scheme.
** In ''5'', the [[NameToRunAwayFromReallyFast Barghest]]'s camouflage scheme is pitch black with dark gray trimming. Their flightsuits are black, and they are named after a black demonic dog in British myths, but they are [[HeWhoFightsMonsters decent soldiers who fight terrorists]].
** This trope is inverted in ''2089'' as well. [[spoiler: The Vampires are in pitch black wanzers, and many of their [[SecretIdentity codenames]] are inspired by mythic creatures associated with darkness (e.g., one of them is named "Demon", another is "Witch", and of course, "Vampire").]] DarkIsNotEvil is played straight with [[spoiler: "[[TokenGoodTeammate Dark Knight]]" (aka Roy)]], however.
** Is it just me, or are there actually more DarkIsEvil examples than the other way round?
* DeepCoverAgent: Enforced.
** [[spoiler: Mikhail Ilyich Rezanov (aka "Driscoll"), Niklas Glaeser, Rolf Wagner, and most members of the [[EliteArmy Blauer Nebel]] are, in fact, Zaftran spies]].
* DefeatMeansFriendship: Averted... except in ''1st'''s OCU campaign, where no less than six of the Canyon Crows members are recruited by having [[TheHero Royd Clive]] or another of the crows beat the stuff out of them in solo combat. Most of them are optional, however.
** Somewhat justified in that the crows are [[HiredGuns mercenaries]], so Royd can take whoever he likes, and to fight someone is a reasonable method to test if he's good enough for your team.
** In ''2'', you can recruit up to three teams of mercenaries as hired help for a certain mission if you can beat them in a team match at the Bornea arena. This, too, is entirely optional.
* DefrostingIceQueen: There are several instances of this.
** We have a case of [[GenderInvertedTrope Defrosting Ice King]] in ''2'': [[BrokenHero Ash Faruk]] has never smiled since [[spoiler: he became the scapegoat for the failure of the First Alordeshi Coup D'etat...]] until Lisa Stanley comes around.
** Over the course of Emma's campaign in ''3'', the [[ConsummateProfessional cold, professional]] Emir "Emma" Klamsky slowly warms up to Kazuki Takemura. Their shared concern about [[spoiler: [[LongLostRelative her sister]] Alisa]] helps.
** In ''5'', Lynn Wenright begins as a cold, no-nonsense military officer, but slowly defrosts towards Walter Feng. [[spoiler: They later get married and have a daughter]].
* DirtyCommunists: The Republic of Zaftra, having fallen on hard times, seems to want nothing but powers and profits at the expense of everybody else, [[spoiler: if their desperate attempt to [[BatmanGambit manipulate the EC and the USN into warring with each other]] is any indication]].
* DisproportionateRetribution: In ''5'', after the oil rig mission, Hector Reynolds offers Walter Feng some... embarrassing information about Lynn Wenright: Back when she was in the Barghest, [[spoiler: [[StalkerShrine her room was filled with pictures of Walter]]]]. They are soon interrupted by Lynn, who earnestly tries to kill Hector, and threatens to shoot Walter if he mentions any of this again.
* DudeWheresMyRespect: In ''1st'''s OCU campaign, after the hospital raid in Grey Rock, Olson - the man interested in putting sworn enemies in their places more than anything else - makes no mention of a raid unit being blitzed by the Canyon Crows. The crows are probably thinking "Uhh, Colonel, '''''you're welcome!'''''" Much, '''''much''''' later on [[TheReveal the story unveils why]] all Olson could say was...
-->'''Olson''':''Under normal circumstances, you would all be facing a court-martial right now, but General Blakewood, the Supreme Commander of this unit, has ordered me [[YouWillBeSpared to be lenient with you]]''.
** [[AvertedTrope Averted]] in Walter Feng's story in ''5''; he begins as a nobody... but by the time of the third arc, he [[spoiler: is famed as the hero of the Cambodian campaign and renowned in certain circles for being a veteran platoon commander of the Strike Wyverns and a Barghest operator]].
* EarnYourHappyEnding: The games' endings all involve ''lots'' of turmoils for the protagonists.
** [[spoiler: ''5'']] subverts this in a big way. [[spoiler: [[TheBadGuyWins Morgan Bernard wins]] every time protagonists in previous entries win, because the latter (unintentionally) help humiliate the globalists and spread nationalism, which Morgan Bernard is trying to do.]] For instance, [[spoiler: although [[TheHero Ash Faruk]] (''2'') is probably glad that his home country gains independence, the incident also topples the OCU's already shaky popularity among its member states. This leads to the union's near-collapse by the time of ''3''. Dr. Bernard [[NiceJobBreakingItHero couldn't be more pleased with the result]]]].
* EasyLogistics: Subverted and averted to various degrees in the games.
* ElitesAreMoreGlamorous: TruthInTelevision.
** The IMAC in ''Alternative''. They were one of the few armed forces in the world with access to the then cutting-edge [=WAWs=] [[spoiler: (and later on, prototype [=WAPs=])]].
** In ''2089'', the Storm Unit is eventually recruited by the CIU.
** In ''2089-II'', the Chariots end up recruited by the CIU too.
** [[TheHero Kevin Greenfield]], Johnny Sanders and Matthew D. Lorenzo in ''1st'' start off as members of the elite [[BadassCrew Black Hounds]], before being posted to the equally renowned Nirvana Institute. They are temporarily "demoted" to regular grunts in the USN Army during the Second Huffman Conflict, but end the story [[spoiler: under the employment of the top-class USN Military Intelligence.]]
** In ''3'', Kazuki's TrueCompanions are eventually [[spoiler: working with either a DHZ intelligence agent or the FAI.]]
** Walter begins ''5'''s prologue as nothing more than a grunt infantryman, trains as a normal army wanzer pilot, [[spoiler: joins the [[SemperFi Strike Wyverns]] after the Second Huffman Conflict, and is finally invited to join the Barghest [[note]] which is essentially Delta Force with wanzers[[/note]].]]
* EnemyChatter: In most games, enemies occasionally speak when fought for the first time in that mission or defeated. This in general applies to named enemy characters.
** ''1st'': In a bit of a twist, one of the first hints that [[spoiler: Guri B. Olson]] is not all he seems to be (aside from the {{Anvilicious}} cutscene a few missions earlier) is the chatter from a random person at a bar that [[spoiler: the OCU isn't entirely a hopeless cause and that their tank squadrons are competent enough to win against the USN]].
* EnsembleCast: Most prominent in ''2'', with the focus of the story shifting back and forth between Ash Faruk, Thomas Norland and Lisa Stanley at any given time in the game.
* EscortMission: There's at least one of these in each game.
* EveryCarIsAPinto: Why do cargo trucks explode after being shot once or a few times?
** [[AcceptableBreaksFromReality Because it's]] ''[[RuleOfCool awesome]]''.
*** Not to mention because [[MadeOfExplodium everything else already does]].
** I see your exploding trucks and raise you exploding human combatants in ''3''.
*** All of the above examples are being shot with large-caliber shells on par with tank rounds. To ''not'' explode would be quite difficult.
** [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] in ''5'': Cargo trucks packed with explosives are used as traps in some missions.
* EvilOldFolks: Several characters give off this vibe.
** Though [[ForSCIENCE Dr. Gilmore]] from ''1st'' isn't much of a villain, he has the look of it.
** Franz Herschel from ''2'' [[spoiler: is a proxy of Dr. Morgan Bernard]].
** In ''3'', we have [[spoiler: [[MorallyAmbiguousDoctorate Bal Gorbovsky]], who heads the [[ArtificialHuman Imaginary Numbers]] Project]].
* {{Expy}}: The Barghest in ''5'' is quite explicitly tailored as an obvious Expy to [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delta_Force Delta Force]], from the counter-terrorism focus, to their designation (Special Forces Armored Detachment-Barghest vs Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta), to both teams belonging to [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Special_Operations_Command SOCOM]].
* FailsafeFailure: The ejection seats in ''3'' are ridiculously faulty. It is not that they don't work when the pilot is about to experience a fiery death, but are in fact ''way'' too prone to ejecting pilots from their wanzers after their machine gets shaken a bit too much. Being flung out of your wanzer with nothing but a worthless handgun seems almost random at times.
** This occurs to [[spoiler: Randy O'Neill]] in ''5''. His wanzer's ejection system is jammed, [[spoiler: which leaves him helpless against Glen Duval's point blank shotgun barrage.]]
* FiveBadBand: Pretty much enforced.
** In ''3'', we have [[spoiler: the [[SuperSoldier Imaginary Numbers]]:]]
*** BigBad: [[spoiler: [[ManipulativeBastard Lukav]] [[DoubleReverseQuadrupleAgent Minaev]].]]
*** CoDragons: [[spoiler: Jared Bogdanof and Rosavia Gray.]]
*** [[EvilGenius Evil Geniuses]]: [[spoiler: [[MorallyAmbiguousDoctorate Bal Gorbovsky]]]] plays this rather straight, complete with [[spoiler: a YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness]] common to this trope. [[spoiler: Emir and Alisa Klamsky were [[ArtificialHuman intended to be this]] too, but they wounded up on the other side before that happens.]]
*** [[TheBrute The Brutes]]: [[spoiler: Griffith, and ''especially'' [[AxCrazy Serov Warren]].]]
*** TheDarkChick: [[spoiler: Ivan Larzalev. He is a flawed Imaginary Number. And his death in Emma's campaign is portrayed as tragic.]]
*** BiggerBad: [[spoiler: The Republic of Ravnui]] was the one who started the project.
** In ''4'', and to a far lesser extent in [[spoiler: ''1st'':]]
*** BigBad: [[spoiler: The Republic of Zaftra]] is the source of the conflict.
*** CoDragons: [[spoiler: Mikhail Ilyich Rezanov (aka '[[DeepCoverAgent Driscoll]]'), Anizka Ivanovna Aleksandrov, and Rolf Wagner]] all play this role. [[spoiler: Wagner]] also sort of doubles as TheDarkChick, since he's easily the most sympathetic of the three and harbors doubt about his loyalty to BigBad. Or maybe [[spoiler: Ivanovna]] counts as one too, since she's the only gal in this team.
*** EvilGenius: [[spoiler: [[FourStarBadass Niklas Glaeser]].]] Being a [[spoiler: general]], he is, as expected, good in a fight. But during the EC crisis, he spends most of his time [[NonActionGuy manipulating politics instead of fighting]].
*** [[TheBrute The Brutes]]: Maksim Troadiev Vavilov and [[spoiler: Dominik Dranz.]]
** ''5'' gives us [[spoiler: the [[WesternTerrorists Grimnir]]]]:
*** BigBad '''and''' EvilGenius: [[spoiler: DR. MORGAN BENARD.]]
*** TheDragon: [[spoiler: Glen Duval.]] He is also TheDarkChick.
*** [[TheBrute The Brutes]]: Various proxies fit into this nicely, like [[spoiler: the [[BrokenHero Canyon Crows]]]], for instance.
** ''Evolved'':
*** BigBad and (kind of) EvilGenius: [[WellIntentionedExtremist Cornelius Werner]].
*** TheDragon: Marcus Seligman.
*** [[TheBrute The Brutes]]: Gloria Leguizamo and Megan Chamberlain. Both ladies are [[BloodKnight brutally eager]] to get into combat. They are very efficient at that too.
*** TheDarkChick: Pia Simpson. Well, she does display some signs of affection towards [[TheHero Dylan Ramsey]]... although she's still trying to kill him.
*** [[spoiler: BiggerBad: S.C.I.O.N.]]
* FiveManBand: Similarly enforced. See FiveBadBand above.
** In Emma's campaign of ''3'':
*** TheHero: Kazuki Takemura.
*** TheLancer: Ryogo Kusama.
*** TheChick: Alisa [[spoiler: Klamsky.]]
*** TeamDad: Dennis Vicarth.
*** [[TheSmartGuy The Smart Gals]]: Emir "Emma" Klamsky, and the {{Hackette}} Yun Lai Fa.
*** TheBigGuy: Marcus Allen.
*** TheSixthRanger: Either [[spoiler: [[HeelFaceTurn Jose Astrada]]]] or Li Xiang Mei, depending on [[spoiler: your choice.]]
*** BigGood: [[spoiler: Isao Takemura, much to Kazuki's dismay.]]
*** TeamPet: [[spoiler: [[JokeCharacter Linny Barilar]].]] Nobody really knows what he's supposed to be doing.
** In Alisa's campaign of ''3'':
*** TheHero: Kazuki Takemura.
*** TheLancer: Ryogo Kusama.
*** TheChick: Alisa [[spoiler: Klamsky,]] also (occasionally) [[TheSmartGuy The Smart Gal]].
*** TeamDad: Liu Hei Fong.
*** [[TheSmartGuy The Smart Gal]]: Miho Shinjo.
*** [[TheBigGuy The Big Gal]]: Pham Luis. BIG TIME.
*** [[TheSixthRanger The Sixth Rangers]]: [[spoiler: [[HeelFaceTurn Lan Xiao Hua]]]] and [[spoiler: [[FemmeFataleSpy Mayer Edward]].]]
*** BigGood: [[spoiler: Isao Takemura again.]]
** In ''4'''s Durandal campaign, we have the following group:
*** [[TheHero The Heroine]]: Elsa Eliane.
*** TheLancer: Dieter Borsh, the GenreSavvy to Elsa's NaiveNewcomer.
*** TeamDad and TheFace: Zead Elger.
*** TheSmartGuy: Hermes Sturges.
*** [[TheBigGuy The Big Gal]]: Latona Rodiona Vasilev.
*** TheChick: Beck Canova, a former pro soccer player. What's he doing here, exactly?
*** BigGood: [[ReasonableAuthorityFigure Prime Minister Lionel Noland]] and [[ReasonableAuthorityFigure Vice Minister Allison]].
** As for the [[LaResistance La Alianza de Libertad Venezolana]]:
*** TheHero and TheLancer: Interestingly, Darril Traubel and Luis Perez trade off on these two roles. From the perspective of Darril and his buddies, Darril is TheHero, since he's the one leading them towards their hidden goal - [[spoiler: To escape from Venezuela with Diaz's gold.]] From the La Alianza's point of view, however, Darril is TheLancer to Luiz's TheHero, because the former is (supposedly) there to support the latter in combat.
*** TeamDad: Carl Thammond. He doubles as TheBigGuy, due to his rich military experience. He's also TheSixthRanger, for his joining the group is somewhat of a surprise factor.
*** TheSmartGuy: Billy Renges.
*** TheChick: Ines Torres.
*** [[TagAlongKid Tag Along Kids]]: Phillip Chaeffer is this. Noticeably younger than the main character? Check. Inexperienced? Check. His inexperience causing troubles? Check. And also [[TheLoad Elmo]].
*** BigGood: [[spoiler: Maria Paredes,]] in a way.
** The characters in ''5'' [[DownplayedTrope loosely]] form one:
*** TheHero: Walter Feng.
*** TheLancer: Randy, Edward and Hector take turn being this.
*** TeamDad and BigGood: Hector Reynolds.
*** TeamMom: Lynn Wenright.
*** [[spoiler: [[TheSmartGuy The Smart Gal]]: Emir "Emma" Klamsky. AGAIN.]]
*** TheBigGuy: Edward Collins.
*** TheChick: Randy O'Neill. He's sympathetic, and [[spoiler: his death serves as a key motivating factor for Walter to decide to train to join the Strike Wyverns.]]
** In ''The Drive'', we have the Akatsuki Unit:
*** TeamDad '''and''' BigGood: Mamoru Ren Xiao, though the "Good" part is... [[OnlyInItForTheMoney debatable]].
*** TheHero: Albert Masel, aka "Tornado". He's also the main protagonist of ''2089-II''.
*** TheLancer: Mark Green.
*** TheChick: Leung Flybird.
*** [[TheBigGuy The Big Guy and Gal]]: Kimball Addis and [[BrawnHilda Sarah Nijinsky]].
*** [[TheSmartGuy The Smart Guys]]: The repairmen of the unit as a whole play this role.
* ForgottenChildhoodFriend: [[spoiler: Lynn Wenright was once friends with Walter Feng, Randy O'Neill and Edward Collins as a child, although not really close to them. Walter is thrown for a loop when he learns that the cold, hardass CO of his new unit [[TakeALevelInBadass used to be]] the quiet girl who had a major crush on him.]]
* ForSCIENCE: ''Gun Hazard'''s Dr. Akihito Sakata uses this as his motive for joining the good guys. Mostly because he wants to find weapons to test his shield against, although in the ''Gun Hazard'' radio drama, the scientist says he was moved by Albert Grabner's plea for help.
* ForWantOfANail: In ''3''... the fates of a ''lot'' of people are effectively determined by a rather simple choice made very early in the story. It is, in many cases, literally life-and-death.
** Happens again in ''5'' but [[DownplayedTrope downplayed]]. Apparently, whether two unnamed soldiers get to survive or be blown into bits by a wanzer's bazooka rests on how Walter Feng and his crew enters Ya Dav.
* FourStarBadass: Again, this is enforced.
** General Willas E. Blakewood from ''1st'' is this. [[spoiler: During the final arc, when the Canyon Crows are about to take off and [[FinalBattle head for Longrivers Island]], more PMO units come to pursue the crows... Then General Blakewood nonchalantly pulls a YouShallNotPass, while making [[TheHero Royd]] promise to keep [[DaddysGirl Natalie]] safe. Yeah]].
** Subverted with [[spoiler: Patrick S. Winger]] from ''1st''. He's a general, but [[NonActionBigBad we never see him in combat]].
** In ''4'', we have General Niklas Glaeser, who [[spoiler: fights the Durandal in a [[BiggerIsBetter Svinet mobile weapon]]]].
* FourTemperamentEnsemble: In ''1st'''s OCU campaign, we have a fairly large cast that doesn't fit too well into a FiveManBand...
** Choleric: Alder Weiss and [[spoiler: [[TheSixthRanger Gentz Weizer]].]]
** Melancholic: [[KnightTemplar Royd]] [[ByronicHero Clive]] and [[spoiler: Dr. Mizette Brown.]]
** Phlegmatic: Paul C. Grieber and [[ShrinkingViolet Yang Yeehin]].
** Sanguine: [[TagalongReporter Frederick Lancaster]] and [[BloodKnight Gregorio Mainas]].
** Chol-mel: [[RulesLawyer Natalie F. BlakeWood]] and Molly O'Donnell.
** Mel-phleg: Bobby Hopkins and [[spoiler: [[BigGood General Willas E. Blakewood]].]]
** Phleg-sang: [[ManChild Peewie Richburg]], [[TheIdealist Joynas Jeriaska]], and [[GentlemanAndAScholar Hans Goldwin]].
** Sang-chol: [[BoisterousBruiser Keith Carabell]] and [[TheMcCoy Porunga]].
** Eclectic: [[TheSmartGuy Ryuji Sakata]], Yang Meihua, and [[TheStoic Ralph Dian]].
** As for the BigBad quartet, we have Driscoll (sanguine), [[spoiler: [[TheMole Guri B. Olson]]]] (choleric/melancholic), [[spoiler: Patrick S. Winger]] (phlegmatic), and [[spoiler: Koichi Sakata]] (leukine).
* FrickinLaserBeams: Quite a few of these show up.
** In ''Gun Hazard'', you can use laser rifles that fire a thin or medium-length beam, depending on what you buy. The Spark Shot special weapon fires a homing-type laser, too. Enemy units have a wider variety of laser weapons to play with. There is also [[spoiler: the ATLAS orbital elevator's main beam cannon, which is powerful enough to [[CessationOfExistence erase towns from existence]].]]
** In ''Alternative'', there are three instances of laser beams appearing:
*** In Mission 24, the IMAC have to escort a trio of Yagisawa [=WAWs=], who are testing out a giant railgun. But instead of shooting a shell, it spits out a big blue laser.
*** Towards the finale, when the IMAC [[spoiler: infiltrates the secret underground factory run by the EC,]] they come across a shoulder laser cannon oddly nicknamed "Blassty".
*** In the final mission of the true ending, the IMAC [[spoiler: is given a demonstration of the [[WeaponOfMassDestruction Saryshagan Rifle]] by Gustav Zelman and the EC's remaining forces at Timgad. The Saryshagan Rifle is a laser weapon which, at its full power, can destroy small settlements with a massive beam of doom.]] In-game, [[spoiler: it's a OneHitKill weapon.]]
** In the USN campaign of ''1st'', laser beams appear [[spoiler: when the USN Army calls in a laser strike on the HQ of the [[WesternTerrorists Star of Freedom]].]]
** In ''3'', a new weapon class called "Beam" exists for energy-based weapons which happen to be the most powerful, since there is no defense against them. There are only a few Beam class weapons, and the player has access to [[InfinityPlusOneSword one]].
*** It is possible to use an enemy unit's Beam weapon if you hijack it...
** In ''Evolved'', the laser beams sadly are either (a) in the hands of enemy units or (b) only shows up in the [[CutScenePowerToTheMax cutscenes]].
** TruthInTelevision. The military use of laser ''is'' indeed being researched.
* FriendlyEnemy: Handled more realistically than most examples; the USN and the OCU are sworn enemies since the First Huffman Conflict, but the USN frequently ends up helping the OCU with the latter's domestic conflicts. Foreign intervention or salvation, these two world powers become quite friendly by 2112 (''3'').
** TruthInTelevision. Just ask any political scientist.
** There are also [[TheHero Walter Feng]] and [[TheDragon Glen Duval]] in ''5''. In childhood, they were best friends before being forcefully repatriated by both the OCU and the USN thanks to the First Huffman Conflict. They remain friends even if they won't hesitate to shoot each other's wanzers down. [[spoiler: Not even Glen killing Randy can break that bond.]]
*** Justified, Glen [[spoiler: is BrainwashedAndCrazy when he kills Randy.]]
* FriendlyFireproof: Played straight in ''4''.
** Averted in ''5''. Friendly fire is present and can kill your team as easily as it does your enemies, so careful positioning is a must. Players must learn to position their units to minimize friendly fire risk while maximizing friendly fire on the part of enemies.
* TheGadfly: Hector Reynolds, whenever he's teasing Lynn Wenright.
* GaidenGame: ''Gun Hazard'' and ''Evolved''. ''Gun Hazard'' takes place in an alternate universe, while ''Evolved'' is a story reboot that isn't connected to the others.
* GiantSpaceFleaFromNowhere: In a way, [[spoiler: S.C.I.O.N.]] in ''Evolved''.
* GeoEffects: Or rather, terrain and elevation effects.
** Among wanzers, bipeds excel in tarmac and have good jumping ability (swamps and marshes bog them down); Quads are more versatile with regards to terrains, but can't really jump; And hovers ignore terrain effects altogether, but can only go shallow inclines (not steps).
** Also, units on higher elevations firing down have greater accuracy, while units firing up receive accuracy penalties.
** In ''4'', a wanzer hugging walls that blocked line of sight from Launchers is immune to missiles as the missiles would hit the walls instead of the wanzer. Either that, or the Launcher simply can't target the said units.
** ''5'' partly removes this. Launchers firing at targets behind obstructions can fire their missiles into the air, which would arc down and hit the targets, [[TruthInTelevision exactly how man-portable antitank missiles like the Javelin behave]]. Of course, for that to happen, you need a unit with sensor backpack to help guide the missiles.
** And there's another twist on GeoEffects in ''5''. Sensor backpacks are unusable in indoor maps, because the missile flight paths (as per above) would cause them to hit the ceiling, relegating Launcher units to line of sight.
* AGodAmI: [[spoiler: [[BigBad Lukav Minaev]]]] in ''3'' is a major case of this.
* GoMadFromTheRevelation: Karen was so horrified to see what was inside the factory in the Larcus District that she was at a complete loss of words which allowed Driscoll to sneak up and destroy her wanzer without breaking a sweat. In the [=USN=] side of the story, Kevin Greenfield is confused by Karen's barely coherent rambling (she was still in shock) as she was taken aborad the transport chopper and points out to Driscoll that her physical injuries were minimal and she was obviously in psychological distress.
* {{Gonk}}: Peewie Richburg Jr.
* GondorCallsForAid: In the finale of ''Gun Hazard'', [[spoiler: during the assault on ATLAS, almost all of the supporting cast you've worked with before in the other areas. Richard Millman from the Kernelight Association seems to head things up, with a posse of mercs who take out the AA defenses so you can make your assault. Pretty much every one of Albert Grabner's former contractors also makes an appearance there.]]
* TheGoodTheBadAndTheEvil: In ''1st'''s OCU campaign, OCU and later the PMO are the "good"; the USN and the [[WesternTerrorists Spirit of Huffman]] are the "bad"...
** That is, [[spoiler: until the PerspectiveFlip switches PMO and the Spirit of Huffman;]] The Nirvana units [[spoiler: the Republic of Zaftra]] are the '''evil''', [[spoiler: as are some particulars of the PMO, namely [[TheMole that ole mole]] Guri B. Olson.]]
* TheGrimReaper: The Preatorian's motif in ''Gun Hazard'' and he plays it rather well, making use of YeOldeButcheredeEnglishe to communicate, piloting the reaper-like Edel Ritter wanzer and [[spoiler: killing "The Society" superiors like Jose, who have]] [[YouHaveFailedMe failed the organization]]. His only mistake is not wielding a scythe as a weapon but a giant rod with a iron ball on the top.
* GuideDangIt: In ''3'', most guides include how to get [[spoiler: the Hoshun Mk. 112]]... not so much on ThatOneLevel in Alisa's campaign, where, like all missions, you have [[ArbitraryHeadcountLimit four people]], but you ''must'' have Ryogo on foot (which makes him squishier than Twinkies), and only three wanzers against a '''full''' complement of squads. And Ryogo *has* to go ahead, activate a panel, and then come back. If he bites it, game over.
** The secret is actually simple. [[spoiler: Just go to the Network and download a map of the Sewer area beforehand. Also, in both scenarios, you can buy the image-enhancing software. Use it on the map and you can go through the map normally with four units.]]
** In the PSN version of 3, [[spoiler: simply downloading the map will let you use all four wanzers, and the location and password of the map is given in an e-mail a few missions beforehand.]]
** This is required to recruit [[spoiler: [[PreviousPlayerCharacterCameo Darril Traubel]]]] in ''5''.
** In ''4'', there are missions which have secondary objectives and will reward you with nice stuff if they are completed. The problem is that some of them are hard and chances are that you will miss most of them on the first run through the game. Speaking to certain people during the intermissions can also get you some additional gear.
* GunsAkimbo: Assault units are usually armed with two guns (2 Shotguns, 2 Machine Guns, or 1 Shotgun and 1 Machine Gun) so that they can keep fighting when one arm is destroyed. There is a battle skill that enables the pilot to fire both guns at the same time.
* HairTriggerTemper: Kazuki Takemura in ''3'' defines this trope. Despite being [[TheHero the main character]], he angers over a myriad of issues, especially if it involves [[BigBrotherInstinct his sister Alisa]]. He snaps very often at [[TheLancer Ryogo Kusama]] whenever the latter says something stupid. The whole Emma's campaign can be viewed as a game-wide RoaringRampageOfRescue for him, as finding Alisa is his one and only motive to fight.
** In Alisa's campaign, since Alisa is on your team... his BigBrotherInstinct kicks in over anyone who even looks at her funny, much less threatens her, jokes about their relationship, or simply mentions her name. It only gets worse once he gets further involved with the story.
* HardWorkHardlyWorks: Averted in ''5''. Walter Feng, [[spoiler: Darril Traubel]] and the Barghest's "normal" pilots are able to hold their own against [[spoiler: the [[SuperSoldier pilots with S-Type devices]]]] due to nothing but sheer experience and hard work.
** In-game, the only reward for being [[spoiler: a S-Type user]] is access to certain powerful, but expensive, skills. This is counterbalanced with their higher susceptibility to EMP.
* HeadsIWinTailsYouLose: ''Evolved'' uses this trope very frequently. Enemy characters, such as Marcus Seligman and Gloria Leguizamo, can get knocked down and disabled in combat... but still functional enough for a tactical retreat in the cutscene that immediately follows.
** [[BigBad Corneillus Werner]] has ''two'' versions of this. The first is where he taunts [[TheHero Dylan Ramsey]], and the second is where he [[spoiler: outright knocks down the latter and [[DamselInDistress captures Adela Seawell]].]]
** Averted in all other entries of the series.
* HelloInsertNameHere: In ''1st'' and ''3'', there is a default name and call sign for the main character. In the case of ''2'', every playable pilot has one.
* HeroicMime: Downplayed in ''5''. Although [[TheHero Walter Feng]] does speak during cutscenes, you'll almost never hear him talk outside that. You can choose what he says in some conversation, however.
** ''Somewhat'' justified. Walter isn't a very talkative person.
* HeterosexualLifePartners: Darril Traubel and Billy Renges from ''4''.
* HollywoodScience: Almost always averted, but there remain two examples:
** The Repair Backpack enables the quick maintenance of machines in the field. The technology that allows it to work is never explained.
** Wanzers are equipped with a Damage Resistance System that reduces the damage received from certain types of weapons. HOW it does that is not elaborated upon in detail.
* ImperialStormtrooperMarksmanshipAcademy: The only plausible explanation for Adela Seawell inexplicably missing a stationary Marcus Seligman after the latter [[spoiler: shoots Alan Ramsey dead]] in ''Evolved''.
* InfinityPlusOneSword: There're a few in every game. Largely different from other endgame equipment in terms of ranges, ammo capacities, or the amount of experience doled out per shot.
** ''Evolved'' has an achievement named "Infinity Plus One" as well.
* InMediasRes: You begin ''1st'' as the commander of a small unit, in both campaigns.
* ItsUpToYou: In ''Evolved''... it is probably no surprise that not much will get done if you spend your time on all those OneHundredPercentCompletion scavenger hunts for sensor pods, emblems, and various pickups/item destruction bonuses. All allies will sit there waiting on you instead of taking most any part of the mission (save basic self-defense) into their own hands.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Darril Traubel and Billy Renges in ''4''. They are both embittered by their demotions and [[spoiler: claim they are helping the guerrillas only to hang on to 25 million dollars of stolen gold,]] but when the chips are down, they come through anyway. Examples include...
** [[spoiler: Stopping a Venezuelan Army attack on a village, and helping the La Alianza make their push into Caracas knowing full well that they will be lucky to survive.]]
** They also work with [[spoiler: the Durandal, giving them some seriously vital information.]]
** At the end, they [[spoiler: give away half of the gold to help Luis Perez rebuild Venezuela.]]
** ''1st'''s USN campaign introduces Kevin Greenfield as friend to the Hell's Wall unit commander Grieg Demetrius and the rest of the unit. In the OCU campaign, they are [[TheDreaded notorious]] for a [[ThatOneLevel very good reason]]. But in here, they are portrayed as tough-but-loyal to each other and concerned about keeping ally casualties to minimum. Ghetta Cedric even [[spoiler: joins the Silver Lynxes later to avenge his fallen comrades.]]
* JoinTheArmyTheySaid: If Darril Traubel and Billy Renges are any indication, it seems regular service in the USN Army is a dead-end career. Darril's case is interesting, since he's a veteran of the Second Huffman Conflict. It is revealed in the secret mission in the DS version of ''1st'' and in ''5'' that [[spoiler: he became disillusioned with the USN Army after they willingly allowed civilians and soldiers to die during the war. Darril '''does''' eventually regain his rank of Captain later in ''5'', but he does not progress beyond this, even after he joins the "elite of the elite" Barghest.]]
* JokeCharacter: Linny Barilar forces himself onto your team fairly late in Emma's campaign in ''3''. He is trying to make a name for himself and his family, with a methane-powered wanzer. It makes sense since he comes from an agricultural background, but [[NauseaFuel using animal waste to power wanzers]] does not go unnoticed by the other team members.
** In terms of gameplay, he only has a C rank for missile launchers and... nothing else.
* KickTheDog: With this series set in a CrapsackWorld, this is unsurprising.
** In ''1st'''s OCU campaign, [[spoiler: Guri B. Olson pulls back and aims, threatenimg to have Keith Carabell [[WeHaveReserves "expended"]]. Where the wind-up ends and the kick begins is rather subjective.]]
** [[spoiler: Glen Duval kills a helpless Randy by repeatedly shooting his cockpit block at point blank range. This spurs Walter Feng's personal story in ''5''.]]
* KickTheSonOfABitch: Royd Clive [[spoiler: almost [[BerserkButton goes off the handle]] and tries to kill Driscoll when they briefly [[TeethClenchedTeamwork team up]] against the Spirit of Huffman forces.]]
* KillSat: In ''2'', we have [[spoiler: a satellite equipped with the FENRIR.]]
** [[spoiler: Vritra is one of these]] in ''Evolved''.
* {{Leitmotif}}: All the freaking time.
** Karen Meure, Natalie F. Blakewood, Maria Paredes, and Driscoll in ''1st''.
** Richard Millman, Ark Hellbrand, Genoce Felder, and Royce Felder in ''Gun Hazard''.
** Lira Labra and Domingo Kyatt in ''2''.
** Lukav Minaev and [[JokeCharacter Linny Barilar]] in ''3''.
** Morgan Bernard in ''5''.
** Dylan Ramsey in ''Evolved''.
*** There are also more general examples, which don't necessarily involve a character, such as the Canyon Crows and Black Hounds themes in ''1st''. ''5'' also has a few, including the Scars of the War leitmotif, the Strike Wyverns', and the Barghest's.
* LatexSpaceSuit: For the most part, it is averted. Most pilots either wear fatigues, street clothes or flightsuits similar to those worn by helicopter crews. Exceptions are the Durandal in ''4'' and the cast of ''Evolved'', though their suits, while form-fitting, are still thickish, resembling racing coveralls.
* LetThemDieHappy: [[spoiler: Walter does this for Glen at the finale of ''5'', after the latter has shaken off his BrainwashedAndCrazy, assuring him that Randy is alive and well, though Glen already knows the truth and calmly accepts his fate.]]
* LethalJokeCharacter: Those attack helicopters in ''3''. When you hijack them with your long-range combat specialists, HilarityEnsues.
** [[DontExplainTheJoke To note]]: Helicopters have TWO built-in missile launchers... Expect MacrossMissileMassacre before you return to your wanzer.
** Don't forget about [[spoiler: the Iyana Wanzer]] from ''2''. Sure, it [[spoiler: looks goofy and carries a parrot-shaped missile launcher,]] but judging from its in-game stats, it is on par with [[spoiler: the '''[[TheDreaded RAVEN]]'''.]]
* LevelGrinding: You will need to do much of this in the Arena or Battle Simulator if you are having trouble with the next mission.
* TheLoad: See EscortMission above. An example that truly stands out is [[TagalongKid Elmo]] in ''4'', who [[spoiler: outright charges towards enemy forces ''on his own'', [[TooDumbToLive instead of having the basic self-preservation instinct]] generally possessed by characters of this trope.]]
** And let me remind you: Since it is an EscortMission, you lose if he dies... Thanks, Elmo.
** There's a rather dark example of this in ''The Drive''. After the Akatsuki Unit saves Albert Masel's ass, [[spoiler: [[AlphaBitch Leung Flybird]] thinks that Albert will become this trope to their unit... so she tries to murder him when he's sleeping. Luckily for Albert, it is interrupted by Captain Xiao.]]
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: It isn't as bad as some games, but there ''will'' be pilots you never use. ''5'' really takes the cake thanks to its Scouting System.
* MacrossMissileMassacre: This can be invoked in ''5''. Load two missile launchers that fire multiple missiles, then use an S-Type pilot with the "Double Missile" skill...
** And in ''3'', we have the "Salvo" skill, which allows the pilot to [[ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill fire all the remaining rounds]] of the missile launcher on his or her wanzer.
* MagikarpPower: Melee builds.
* MajorlyAwesome: In ''5'', [[TheHero Walter Feng]] spends much of the story as a Major, [[spoiler: for over 10 years]].
** [[TeamMom Lynn Wenright]] (''5'') is introduced as this, [[spoiler: before her promotion]].
** Rolf Wagner from ''4'' is a Major and he leads the [[EliteArmy Blauer Nebel]], [[spoiler: while being a DeepCoverAgent for Zaftra at the same time, no less]].
* TheManBehindTheMan: [[spoiler: In ''2'', Ven Mackarge looks like BigBad at first glance... but as the story unfolds, it becomes clear that the revolution is backed by '''a certain party''' represented by [[EvilOldFolks Franz Herschel]], whom [[ColonelBadass Ven]] seems somewhat ''afraid'' of. Much to Ven's sorrow, the revolution turns out to be a charlatan show, a cover used by that certain party to obtain a copy of the [[WeaponOfMassDestruction FENRIR]]...]]
* {{Manchild}}: Phillip Chaeffer from ''4'' can come off as this.
** [[PsychopathicManChild Psychopathic Womanchild]]: Anizka Ivanovna Aleksandrov refers to her SpiderTank as "toy".
* ManipulativeBastard: Pretty much a given.
** [[spoiler: Lukav Minaev]] from ''3'' is a DoubleReverseQuadrupleAgent.
** [[spoiler: Morgan Bernard]] plays this trope horribly straight, seeing that he [[spoiler: plays right into [[BrokenHero Royd Clive]]'s grievances, turning the former Huffman Hero into a [[FaceHeelTurn mass murderer]].]]
* Creator/MasashiHamauzu: Composed part of the music for ''Gun Hazard''.
* MasculineGirlFeminineBoy: From ''5'', Walter Feng is a quiet and reserved feminine boy to Lynn Wenright's tough and dominant masculine girl.
** Conversed, as in "Your ass belongs to Lynn!"
* MeaningfulName: In the DS port of ''1st'', the wanzer of [[TechnoWizard Hans Goldwin]] is named '''Trojan'''.
** In fact, most characters' wanzers have... interesting names.
** ''1st'': [[TagalongReporter Frederick Lancaster]]'s machine is called '''Witness'''.
** Also from ''1st'': [[spoiler: Ghetta Cedric]] nicknames his wanzer... '''Nothing'''.
** ''2'': [[TheScapegoat Ash Faruk]]'s wanzer is called '''Bounder'''.
** ''2'': [[TeamDad Griff Brunman]] names his wanzer '''Kasumi''', [[spoiler: after his wife.]]
** ''4'': [[NaiveNewcomer Elsa Eliane]] gives her wanzer such a cutesy name as '''Verseau''', French for "Aquarius".
** ''4'': [[AmazonianBeauty Latona Rodiona Vasilev]] calls her wanzer '''Koroleva''', which means "Queen" in Russian.
** ''4'' again: [[RagtagBunchOfMisfits Darril Traubel and his buddies]] name their mechas '''Infernal''', '''Mundane''' and '''Celestial''' respectively, perhaps reflecting [[SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism their worldviews]].
** More ''4'': [[RetiredBadass Carl Thammond]] names his wanzer... '''Abominator'''.
* AMechByAnyOtherName: As described above.
* [[ElementalRockPaperScissors Mechanical Rock-Paper-Scissors]]: Short > Melee > Long > Short in ''1st'', at least [[GameBreaker in theory]].
** PoorPredictableRock: A melee build in ''1st'' without the skill First can easily have their arm(s) rifled off before they can do so much as glare at you. Even if they initiate the attack.
* MemeticBadass: [[spoiler: After the African Conflict (''Alternative''), [[TheHero Earl [=McCoy=]]] spent years fighting to quell the violence across Africa.]] He eventually became this in-universe, as in [[spoiler: "THE REAL MCCOY".]]
* MercyKill: In ''1st'', [[spoiler: after the final fight in Longrivers Island,]] Royd Clive [[spoiler: sets his wanzer on fire, with Karen Meure still inside it as a [[BrainInAJar B-Type]] [[AndIMustScream Device]], and relieves her from the torture of being reduced to a biocomputer. [[TearJerker Karen is able to resist it, but she doesn't]]]].
* MildlyMilitary: The Durandal in ''4''. Although most of them are on secondment from their national militaries, the group is fairly laid back. But if you think that makes them less dangerous, perhaps you should [[BadassCrew think again]].
* MindRape: In Alisa's campaign in ''3'', [[spoiler: neither Emma nor Alisa are willing to tell Lukav how to build the [[WeaponOfMassDestruction MIDAS]], so he forcibly extracts the information from Emma, and leaves her little more than an EmptyShell by the time Kazuki and Alisa rescue her.]]
* MiniMecha: Most wanzers are barely larger than [[TankGoodness MBTs]] or [[AwesomePersonnelCarrier IFVs]]. A civilian cargo truck could carry three of them easily. Their rather spacious cockpits take most of the torso section (judging from cutscenes). Also, they can easily jump onto and stand on top of buildings without damaging them, which actually provide noticable terrain effects.
** This doesn't stop enemies from building various {{Giant Mook}}s, ''3'' especially goes overboard with at least THREE types of {{Giant Mook}}s. Most of them have the advantage of GeoEffects being much taller, and tend to be MightyGlacier of some sort.
** [[SuperPrototype Prototype wanzers]] and giant mobile weapons piloted by {{Big Bad}}s tend to be [[LargeAndInCharge at least twice as large]] too.
* TheMole: [[ZigZaggingTrope Zig Zags]] in ''1st''. In terms of good and evil, [[spoiler: President Sakata through and through. And, as clues seem to indicate, the ole mole Guri B. Olson just as much.]]
** [[spoiler: Liu Hei Fong and Miho Shinjo of Alisa's campaign]] in ''3'', but [[spoiler: Miho never truly betrays the party, and both of them genuinely join Kazuki's cause later on.]]
* [[MotherRussiaMakesYouStrong Mother Zaftra Makes You Strong]]: Played quite straight for [[spoiler: Mikhail Ilyich Rezanov (aka '[[DeepCoverAgent Driscoll]]'), Anizka Ivanovna Aleksandrov, and Rolf Wagner]]. They even refer to Zaftra as "Motherland".
* MultinationalTeam: The IMAC in ''Alternative'' is made of members from various OAC states and the OCU. Also, the Durandal in ''4'' has members from the EC, the USN, and Zaftra.
** Given the theme of globalization, nearly all groups are this to some degree.
* MyCountryRightOrWrong: Ash Faruk (''2'') would've been much [[BrokenHero better]] [[TheScapegoat off]] if he was less devoted to the People's Republic of Alordesh...
** [[spoiler: [[DeepCoverAgent Rolf Wagner]] from ''4'' turns out to be this to the Republic of Zaftra, his ''real'' home country]].
* MyHeroZero: A popular Japanese wanzer type in ''3''.
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: The [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barghest Barghest]] in ''5''; from British folklore, the Barghest is a black demonic dog, ala Hound of the Baskervilles.
** '''Ivan'''ovna is a vindictive, merciless, blood-thirsty [[spoiler: Zaftran]] colonel, delighted at slaughtering her enemies with her [[SpiderTank Zhuk]] mobile weapon.
* NewGamePlus: First seen in ''3'', in which battle skills are retained. ''4'' allows levels, cash and wanzer parts to be carried over. ''5'' has a similar mode, as well as Hard Mode, which resets the cash and levels, and significantly ramps up the difficulty in exchange for the chance to get the best wanzers in the game.
* NobleBigot: Dennis Vicarth in ''3''.
* NotBloodSiblings: ''3'' - [[spoiler: Emir "Emma" Klamsky and [[TheHero Kazuki Takemura]],]] tied with [[spoiler: Alisa]] [[IncrediblyLamePun as the knot]]. [[spoiler: Alisa is Emma's blood-tied and Kazuki's adoption-tied siblings, respectively.]]
** In Emma's campaign, the ShipTease is already thick at the beginning, Ryogo playing ShipperOnDeck notwithstanding. But that culminates with the ending, where [[spoiler: Alisa and Isao Takemura pull off {{Heroic Sacrifice}}s.]] THIS is their last piece of dialogue:
-->'''Emma''': This is where we were born. And where we grew up together. I only have good memories of this place. We were a true family.
-->'''Kazuki''': A true family...
-->'''Emma''': I'll come back here when everything is done.
-->'''Kazuki''': We'll do that... with a new family.
** {{Lampshaded}} [[RunningGag to death by]] [[http://lparchive.org/Front-Mission-3/ Smasher Dynamo's Let's Play]] [[RunningGag in both routes, many many times]].
* NotSoStoic: [[spoiler: [[IceQueen Lynn Wenright]]]] totally freaks out when [[spoiler: Walter Feng is badly wounded from TakingTheBullet for her at the end of the Cambodia arc.]]
** Earlier, she flips out when it's revealed she [[spoiler: used to have a StalkerShrine of Walter.]]
** And when Lynn is promoted after the Cambodia arc, she can't hide her glee. Edward Collins describes her as a kid with a new toy.
* OlderThanTheyLook: Koichi Sakata from ''1st'' is ''28''.
* OnlyInItForTheMoney: Many characters, "good" or "bad", are no more than HiredGuns.
* OurPresidentsAreDifferent: President Moss Orwen of ''Gun Hazard'' is a {{Badass}} President who is willing to give it all away if that's what it takes to save his country.
* PileBunker: Those in ''Front Mission'' look like some ''Anime/ArmoredTrooperVotoms'' versions.
* PossessionImpliesMastery: Starting with ''3'', you can commandeer any vacant vehicle or wanzer just fine. The only problem is that the equipped weapons might not be compatible with the pilot's specialty.
* PoweredByAForsakenChild: [[spoiler: The B-Type devices are computer devices using [[BodyHorror human brains]] for computing and processing power.]]
* PrivateMilitaryContractors: A number of these show up throughout the series. The OCU and the USN employ [=PMCs=] before and during the Second Huffman Conflict. Among them are the Storm Unit (2089), the Chariots (2089-II) and the Canyon Crows (1st). They also appear in ''Alternative'' through Bamia and Sinsemilla, in ''2'' [[spoiler: through the Canyon Crows and the Dark Geese]], in ''3'' through Centipede aka Wulong, in ''Evolved'' through Apollo's Chariot, in ''Gun Hazard'' through Crimson Blow and the Kernelight Association, and in ''The Drive'' through the Akatsuki Unit.
** For a more personal example, Elsa Eliane helps Darril Traubel find work at a [=PMC=] after what happens in ''4'', [[spoiler: before Darril rejoins the Strike Wyverns in ''5''.]]
* PrecisionFStrike: "Why are you such a bitch?" in ''3''. Funny because it's random.
* PsychoForHire: The [[HiredGuns Apollo's Chariot]] in ''Evolved''. [[AxCrazy EVERY]]. [[BloodKnight LAST]]. [[CombatSadomasochist ONE]]. Of them.
* PunchClockVillain: OCU and USN troops come off as this throughout ''1st'' and ''5''.
* PyrrhicVictory: Needless to say, this goes hand-in-hand with BittersweetEnding.
** In the real ending of ''Alternative'', [[spoiler: the IMAC halted the Cerberus Garde's final attempt to prolong the war by killing the OAC regional state leaders at a peace treaty signing. Also, with help from outside sources, the IMAC disclosed tons of evidence of the EC's machinations in the African Conflict to the OAC. In light of these revelations, the OAC demanded that the EC withdraw all of its influences from Africa. While it was then truly independent, the OAC's fortunes didn't get any better. References in ''5'' reveal that the OAC is still [[CrapsackWorld plagued with civil conflicts, terrorism and economic recession]] all these decades later. One soldier even muses that they were better off back when the EC was aiding them.]]
*** Now all the efforts of [[TheHero Earl McCoy]] and his buddies seem futile. This is depressing.
** At the end of ''2089-II'', [[spoiler: the CIU manages to wipe out the B-Organization and the remains of the Vampires, preventing another war from happening on Huffman Island. Unfortunately, as the B-Organization's headquarters happens to be in the Larcus District (the operation takes place at almost [[ContinuityNod the same time as Royd Clive's investigation]] in ''1st''), the gang fail to foresee what would happen next. The OCU and the USN trade verbal jabs before finally going forward with the war march, thus begins the Second Huffman Conflict. And with the Second Huffman Conflict come [[WarIsHell countless atrocities]] and [[BrainInAJar some disturbing conspiracies]]...]]
** In the ending of ''2'', [[spoiler: Burg Transportation stops the [[WeaponOfMassDestruction FENRIR]] and secures enough evidence of the OCU's political machinations, with some [[NiceJobFixingItVillain indirect help from the Grimnir]], to guarantee Alordesh's freedom. However, Alordesh being independent from the OCU isn't exactly a win. As shown in ''3'' and ''5'', all those economic and social problems actually ''worsen'' since the country achieves its independence years later, not to mention there are also cases of terrorism and violent infighting going on in the country. Alordesh isn't that much better off with the OCU, but at least the union kept a lid on the violence.]]
** The Cambodia arcs in ''5'' has similarities with ''2''. [[spoiler: Even though the USN succeeds in their goal of keeping the peace between the country and the OCU, their victory also unintentionally ensures the independence of Cambodia. The independent Cambodia is no improvement over the OCU Cambodia as social and economic problems persists. And, like in Alordesh, there are cases of heavy terrorist and black market activities [[TheBadGuyWins controlled by the Grimnir]]. This also starts a chain reaction which leads to the various revolutions within the OCU, as shown in ''2'' and ''3''.]]
** Also, while ''5'' closes with [[spoiler: most of the [[WesternTerrorists Grimnir]] eradicated and [[BigBad Morgan Bernard]] gone at last, Dr. Bernard has succeeded in his attempt to destroy the original [[WeaponOfMassDestruction MIDAS]] (luckily, Emma drops its power output to the lowest levels, so Alaska isn't vaporized by the antimatter). Also, the JDF steals MIDAS (the portable one powered by radiation) in the midst of the chaos, which sets up the events of ''3'' to come months later. The events from ''3'' eventually result in the OCU breaking apart, [[TheBadGuyWins which is also one of Morgan's goals]].]]
* RageBreakingPoint: In ''1st'', one has to ask: Is it wise for soldiers to wander out of towns against orders and constantly try the patience of their colonel?
* RankUp: Happens to Walter in ''5'', which is quite reasonable, given that his story spans a 20-odd career in the armed forces. He starts as a buck Private, later gets promoted to Sergeant when he completes wanzer training. He's then promoted a few times to Captain amidst the Strike Wyverns timeskips, and later, after he joins Barghest, he's promoted to Major. By the end of the story, he's a full-blown [[ColonelBadass Colonel]].
** Lynn is also promoted from Major to Lieutenant Colonel.
* RagtagBunchOfMisfits: The franchise has three notable examples.
** The Canyon Crows (''1st'') consists of a ByronicHero leading a gang of HiredGuns, about half of whom jump onto the boat at the said hero's apathetic "Do what you want."
** The Dulls Stags (''2'') are apparently involved in lots of black market activities and have a habit of backstabbing, [[spoiler: as [[TheHero Lisa Stanley]] and her buddies find out the hard way.]]
** The 332nd Mobile Company group from ''4'' is made of two veteran soldiers embittered by their dead-end careers and a {{Manchild}} with a habit of exposing their whereabouts to enemies.
* RealMenWearPink: You can go through the games with your wanzers painted pink.
* RealRobot: Wanzers are dangerous and fragile. It is not unusual to have one destroyed by just a single lucky shot. Intensive teamwork is required for them to operate on the battlefield.
** In [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bFgRTO6xv6o this video]] of ''5'''s intro, several wanzers get utterly butchered by the chain gun of an attack helicopter.
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: The British Prime Minister Lionel Noland and the Vice Minister Cecil Allison fill this role towards the [[BadassCrew Durandal]] (''4'').
** General Willas E. [[spoiler: Blakewood]] is this to the [[RagtagBunchOfMisfits Canyon Crows]].
** Don't tell this to Kazuki: His dad Isao ''does'' play this to his crew.
* ReassignedToAntarctica: In ''1st'''s USN campaign, an unnamed USN general expresses the intent to reassign [[TheHero Kevin Greenfield]] to Alaska "to push up papers until he was dead" as the punishment, for blowing a critical mission to bring down the [[WesternTerrorists Star of Freedom]]. Fortunately for Kevin, he is sent to Huffman Island instead, at the request of the Special Weapons Research Division known as the "Nirvana Institute". Upon arrival, however, [[TheDreaded Driscoll]] threatens Kevin with reassignment to Alaska if he doesn't follow through on his orders without question.
* RedOniBlueOni:
** In ''1st'', [[ByronicHero Royd Clive]]'s the red to [[TheSmartGuy Ryuji Sakata]]'s blue.
** [[HairTriggerTemper Kazuki]] [[HotBlooded Takemura]] from ''3'' is the red to... nearly everyone else.
* RedShirtArmy: In Olson's words from ''1st'', the OCU "couldn't fight its way out of a paper bag", so they need mercenaries to do all the heavy fighting for it. This turns out to be [[spoiler: [[SubvertedTrope subverted]]. The OCU supposedly wins the war because of its tank squadrons, not any of its HiredGuns.]]
* TheReveal: In the OCU campaign of ''1st'', Guri B. Olson's... [[UngratefulBastard lack of gratitude]] for the crows' rescue attempts is explained '''far''' later in the story. Driscoll's scheme, with the Grey Rock hospital raid as part of it, has been [[spoiler: a big secret agenda that [[TheMole Olson]] is [[VillainWithGoodPublicity trying to protect]] from the "nosy but innocent" crows.]]
** He even [[spoiler: takes care to make sure that the Nirvana Institute does not run into the Canyon Crows from then onward, especially after what ''nearly'' happened.]]
* RobotBuddy: An EasterEgg in ''Gun Hazard''.
* SaveScumming: In the Arena (at least that in ''2089: Border of Madness'', ''1st'' and ''5''), your return on your bet depends on the difficulty of the fight, and hence you need lopsided (against you) fights in order to make a profit, but your whole bet amount is forfeited if you lose. For example in ''1st'', if you bet 500 Huffman dollars against an opponent with difficulty 1.50 then you ''lose'' all the 500 Huffman dollars if you lose, but you only ''gain'' 250 Huffman dollars if you win. While a single high-risk loss can wipe out a grinding streak's worth of revenue, you ''need'' this.
* SciFiWritersHaveNoSenseOfScale: Mostly averted. But none of the ''Gun Hazard'' developers seemed to be aware of the lack of feasibility in making an orbital elevator a couple of kilometers wide when they designed the ATLAS. [[spoiler: Then again, considering [[TheVeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon its true purpose]]...]]
** This seems to be a recurrent issue with the series' [[GaidenGame Gaiden Games]], if ''Evolved'' is any indication. [[spoiler: Vritra is of impractical dimensions and construction for what amounts to a KillSat.]]
* ScrappyWeapon: The Raptor MG, which has appeared in two games, stands out as being a fairly poor beginner-tier weapon that suffers from bad accuracy and low damage output.
* SelfImposedChallenge: Considering you may choose what weapons you equip, which parts you use and how many units you deploy, they're just asking you to take one.
** See LethalJokeCharacter above.
* SemperFi: Walter Feng joins the USN Marine Corps' Strike Wyverns Armored Detachment during the middle arc of ''5''.
* SequelFirst: ''3'' was the series' debut outside of Japan.
* SequenceBreaking: A minor, yet comedic, example in ''3''. If you happen to download the Nagoya Sewers map before you discover the password to download it, Kazuki questions it.
-->'''Kazuki''': ''Ryogo, how do you know the password?''
-->'''Ryogo''': ''Wouldn't you like to know?''
* [[SequentialBoss Sequential Bosses]]: [[spoiler: Sinsemilla in ''Alternative'', the Vampires in the ''2089'' games, Driscoll in ''1st'', Ven Mackarge in ''2'', Lukav Minaev in ''3'', and Rolf Wagner in ''4''. For the whole series, Morgan Bernard in the ''2089'' games, ''Online'', ''2'', and ''5''!]]
* ShipTease: Between Elsa and Darril in ''4''. It is hinted in ''5'' that they may have gotten together. [[spoiler: As revealed in the novels, they did.]]
** There's so much ShipTease between Lynn and Walter in ''5'' you can touch it. [[spoiler: Their relationship gets... [[CoitusEnsues upgraded]] right before Walter joins the Barghest. The [[DistantFinale epilogue]] shows they get married and have a daughter, who is likely conceived at the time of the said upgrade.]]
* ShoutOut: Wanzers, being about 5 to 6 meters tall in most cases (except for some unique units), armed with realistic weaponry based on actual technology, and having wheels built into their feet, are very similar to the realism-emphasized mecha that the anime Director Ryosuke Takahashi frequently used, such as in Anime/ArmoredTrooperVOTOMS and Anime/BlueGender.
** By this same shout-out it makes them similar to [[HeavyGear Gears]].
** A FAI assault unit in ''3'' is known as the [[JimiHendrix Purple Haze]].
** In the DS remake of ''1st'', one of the OCU missions has you detonating a trio of charges under a number of bridges to destroy a supply train. The codenames for each are those of the female protagonists of ''Anime/BubblegumCrisis''.
** There's an USN fighter codenamed "[[Film/ANewHope Red 5]]" in ''3''.
** In ''3'', searching the USN network of the internet will reveal some information about a convicted killer named ''Norman Bates''. Further research reveals that Norman Bates [[spoiler: is a failed [[ArtificialHuman Imaginary Number]].]]
* ShutUpHannibal: Kazuki's response to the villains' attempts to justify their actions in ''3''.
* SimpleYetAwesome: A few late-game shotguns in most of the entries are these, dealing decent damage at the low cost of 3 AP, but the standout examples are shotguns with the Dead Shot X skill in ''5'', where X is a guaranteed number of pellets will hit the target, no matter what evasion and accuracy modifiers are in place. [[note]]there are two kinds of shotguns which count as the best in ''5'' (and both are reasonably hard to get) - one for raw firepower with 16 pellets and Dead Shot 5, and the other for near 100% accuracy with Dead Shot 6 and 12 pellets.[[/note]]
* TheSmurfettePrinciple: In each of ''3'''s campaigns, the playable group consists of [[TheHero Kazuki]], [[TheLancer Ryogo]], the main heroine (i.e., Emma or Alisa) and the remaining are either 'All male, one female' or 'One male, all female'.
* SortingAlgorithmOfEvil: Glaringly obvious in ''1st'', when you realize that the USN has had some of the best parts in the game just sitting in stores in their capital city, while you're stuck with your oh-so-impressive Zenith.
* SpaceFillingEmpire: There are six supranational unions in ''Front Mission'' that are made from and based off of real life cross-national organizations, alliances, and/or trade organizations. Most modern day countries still exist as member states within such super-states. Several actually rebel against them.
** The United States of the New Continent/Unified Continental States (USN/UCS) is formed from the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_American_Free_Trade_Agreement North American Free Trade Agreement]] (USA, Canada, and Mexico), and later gobbles up the rest of the Central and South America. The only parts of the New Continent not under their control are some of the Caribbean Islands and probably the Falkland Islands.
** The Oceania Cooperative Union (OCU) is evolved from the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Association_of_Southeast_Asian_Nations Association of Southeast Asian Nations]] (ASEAN) plus Japan, Australia, South Korea, and most of the islands of Oceania that the USN doesn't own.
** The European Commonwealth (EC) is just a more centralized version of the European Union but with every country in the European bloc included. When the franchise was first created, it was based on the real life European Union.
** The Republic of Zaftra is formed from the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commonwealth_of_Independent_States Commonwealth of Independent States]] (CIS), which consists of most of the former Soviet Union (minus Belarus, which separated and became then known as the Republic of Ruvnui).
** The Organization of African Consolidation (OAC) is an alliance between the nations of Africa, created with the help of the EC and the OCU, but subdivided into five regional states. After the African Conflict, the OAC becomes fully independent of EC and OCU influences.
** The People's Republic of Da Han Zhong (DHZ) is the post-unification of China and Taiwan.
** ''Gun Hazard'' manages it to make things more confusing, not always stating exactly where some of the missions take place country-wise. Bergen is in Norway, Cenktrich is in Switzerland, Esporte is in Brazil, Sivilska is in Russia, Vorkuta is former Russian territory now separated, Al-Hari is around Saudi Arabia and the others? Beats me..
* SpellMyNameWithAnS: Roid/Lloyd/Royd's names in the original ''1st'', FanTranslation, and DS port, respectively.
* SphereOfDestruction: [[spoiler: The [=MIDAS=] in ''3''.]]
* StopOrIWillShoot: Variation. [[spoiler: [[RulesLawyer Natalie F. Blakewood]] in ''1st'' threatens (if she's deployed) to shoot Royd when he prepares to engage Driscoll against orders. If she isn't deployed, then it is Olson threatening to execute the '''whole unit''' by firing squad.]]
** In Olson's case, it is [[spoiler: rather subtle {{Foreshadowing}}...]]
* SubsystemDamage: The individually breakable parts of wanzers, and certain other types of war machines in the games.
* SuperPrototype: Considering the entire series, there are a lot of them. But it is the enemies that get all the cool toys. However, you '''do''' get to unlock some of their stuffs too, via grinding through simulators or meeting special conditions in missions.
** Mary-Jane Delschaft (''Alternative'') piloted the Belladonna Atropa, an experimental [=WAW=] armed with an assault rifle and capable of some ''flight'' through its verniers. Those verniers can also be used for extremely fast ground-based movement, which Mary-Jane uses with devastating effect [[spoiler: when you fight her [[FinalBattle for the last time]] in the true ending.]]
** Lynn Wenright gets the Gracilis in ''5'', the spiritual successor to the Belladonna Atropa. It packs a powerful [[ColdSniper sniper rifle]] and is designed for aerial combat, with its landing boosters and verniers. [[spoiler: It is also exclusively designed for S-Type pilots.]] Sadly, Lynn is not a playable character when she's piloting it, and the wanzer's flight mode is only seen in a [[CutscenePowerToTheMax cutscene]].
** The original [[TheDreaded Rav]][[OneManArmy en]] unit from ''1st'' and ''Online'' also has flight capabilities (its vernier add-ons and flying are only in ''Online''), albeit it is limited. [[spoiler: It's also the best wanzer you can get in ''2089-II'' and ''2''. In ''2089-II'', you have the original prototype model, though you have to dive into the Survival Simulator in ''2089-II'' at least ''six'' times to get the full set.]]
** [[spoiler: You also get to have a taste of the Alucard unit in ''2089'', when Dark Knight (Roy) is revealed to be secretly working for your side.]]
** [[spoiler: Remember that blue Zenith that BrainwashedAndCrazy Glen uses to [[CurbStompBattle hand you and your team your asses]] and kills poor Randy with?]] It is one of the best wanzers that you can get in ''5''. The catch? You have be playing on [[NintendoHard Hard Mode]] and grind in the complete Survival Simulator at least ''four'' times to get the full set.
** [[spoiler: Style 7 in ''Dog Life & Dog Style'' pits an OCU special forces unit codenamed "Smile Dog" using prototype [[InvisibilityFlicker stealth wanzers codenamed ''Loki'']] against an USN elite special force unit called the "Strike Eagles".]]
*** [[spoiler: The Eagles possesses three prototype wanzers designed exclusively for BD Doll Eye. Each of them comes with a "Save the Queen" laser drone defense system. The strongest one, the aptly named "Queen of Madness", has destroyed entire OCU companies with its fuel-air rifle (makes explosions similar to a nuke's) that it's known as a feared OneManArmy.]]
*** It is later revealed that [[spoiler: the Strike Eagles gets a fourth prototype wanzer - a new version of Queen of Madness that uses both [[UpToEleven Doll Eye and S-Type]]. It also has "Save the Queen" built-in onto its armor, making it nearly impossible to hit. Then you throw in the fact that S-Type units have crazy agility to begin with...]]
** The Zephyr and Caballus from ''Evolved'', considering they are prototype units equipped with the E.D.G.E. system. [[spoiler: Adela Seawell's Frost is also built-in with it, but in her case, it has more to do with her wanzer being a AceCustom build.]]
* SurprisinglyGoodEnglish: Seen via FreezeFrameBonus on the Strike Wyverns application form that Walter Feng fills up in ''5''.
* TheSyndicate: [[spoiler: "The Society" led by [[BigBad Henry Sherwood]] from ''Gun Hazard''. A cabal of powerful and influential Europeans dedicated towards bringing about a "New World Order", starting conflicts to weaken national governments and make them ripe for control. After bringing them to control, The Society would then bring about "peace" in the war-torn region. In the expanded universe media, it is revealed that the organization was formed by the architects of the "ATLAS" orbital elevator after countries involved with the project had abandoned it. Dismayed at how humanity chose to throw away an opporunity for real peace and progress, Henry vowed revenge against the very nations that once supported "ATLAS".]]
** [[spoiler: The Grimnir led by [[WesternTerrorists Dr. Morgan Bernard]]. Essentially the whole series' antagonists, this terrorist organization has enlisted support from ''everywhere'' under the flag of nationalism. Politicians, military brass, scientists, weapons developers... you name it, they've got it! Even many "good" and "bad" guys are on their side.]] For instance:
*** [[spoiler: Royd Clive, Dr. Mizette Brown and Dr. Gilmore from ''1st'';]]
*** [[spoiler: Ash Faruk, Ven Mackarge and Domingo Kyatt in ''2'';]]
*** [[spoiler: The Vampires in ''2089'';]]
*** [[spoiler: Glen Duval in ''5''...]]
*** [[spoiler: They have got '''everyone''' too! Also the main instigators, directly or indirectly, of nearly every major conflict in the series from 2080 to 2112.]]
* TacticalRockPaperScissors: ''Front Mission 3'' and on introduced damage types, which weapons inflict and armor (settable by the player) protects from. The flow goes Piercing beats Impact, Impact beats Flame, Flame beats Piercing. There's also a fourth type used energy weapons that ignores defense modifiers.
* TakingTheBullet: Walter Feng does this for [[LoveInterests Lynn Wenright]] during the first Cambodia arc of ''5''. [[spoiler: Glen has disabled Lynn's wanzer with EMP and is about to fire; Walter shoves her out of the way and gets hit, and is injured badly]].
** Also played in ''Alternative'' [[spoiler: with Dal Furphy when he jumps in front of Liebert Dwyer's machine gun fire to shield Earl [=McCoy=];]] ''2089'' has Dragoon/Lancer [[spoiler: when he rushes right in front of Rei Amamiya to shield her from Demon's charging attack;]] and ''2'' with Lira Labra [[spoiler: when she runs to protect Ven Mackarge from missiles fired from a VTOL aircraft.]]
* TakingYouWithMe: Survival Simulator enemies in ''5'' have a tendency to do this by shooting cargo boxes next to the player. The resulting explosion is often large enough to kill both units.
* TalkingIsAFreeAction: Lampshaded by Dr. Morgan Bernard in ''5''.
--> "Aren't you grateful to me? I could have shot you two or three times by now! Do continue talking after you die."
* ATasteOfPower: Variation. You can get some parts/weapons earlier than you could normally buy them. The Egret from Mission 3 in ''1st'' is the most obvious. (Unfortunately, these parts are usually outclassed within a few short missions.)
** Kazuki and Ryogo start off ''3'' testing out the Shunyo Mk. 111, a top-tier Gunner wanzer that you can't get until late game.
** Just before the Cambodia arc in ''5'', Walter Feng participates in a joint counter terror op with the Barghest; players get a taste of the high-leveled parts and S-Type pilots awaiting them.
* TeamMom: Natalie F. Blakewood is this to the Canyon Crows. [[spoiler: [[TheMole Kind of]].]]
* TechnicalPacifist: ''Gun Hazard'''s Dr. Akihito Sakata. Sure, his wanzer does not have any weapons mounted, but that doesn't stop him from blocking a boss's WaveMotionGun using his [[BarrierWarrior Infinity Plus]] [[DeflectorShields One Shield]].
* [[TechnicolorNinjas Technicolor Wanzers]]: You can paint your wanzers whatever color you want.
** Can be taken to some ludicrous extremes in ''Evolved'', where one may pick a pattern, a primary and secondary color, two colors of armor trim, and a decal on ''each part of your wanzer''. Given the degree of customization, this can result in RainbowPimpGear in no time flat.
* TimeSkip: Shows up in most of the games.
** Six years pass from the end of ''Gun Hazard'' to its epilogue.
** In ''Alternative'', roughly four months pass whenever one of the story's chapters complete.
** In the remake ''Front Mission 2089: Border of Madness'', several months pass as the ''2089'' story ends and shifts into the ''2089-II'' part of the game. [[spoiler: There is also one final time skip that occurs in the epilogue, which occurs in 2093.]]
** Happens a few times on both campaigns in ''1st''; what happens in the time skip of one campaign is explored in the other. [[spoiler: When [[TheHero Royd Clive]] and [[TheLancer Ryuji Sakata]] are excommunicated by the OCU GDF after the Larcus Incident, the OCU story jumps from 2090 to 2091. The USN story after the Larcus Incident covers the events that occur afterwards, up until it catches up to the OCU story. Later on, there is a time skip in the USN side which happens when [[TheHero Kevin Greenfield]] is arrested towards the final stages of the Second Huffman Conflict. The events that take place afterwards are explained in the OCU side, up until it catches up to the USN story a few months later.]]
** In Emma's story in ''3'', there are two noticeable time skips towards the end. One happens [[spoiler: right after the MIDAS vaporizes the Ocean City, when Kazuki and co. head to the USN assembly to expose the truth about the incident.]] The other one happens in the epilogue, which takes place a year after the story ends in 2113.
** ''5'' covers ''51'' years worth of story. Most of the time skips happen right when other Front Mission titles are taking place. i.e., 2095 to 2097 (''4'' takes place in 2096), 2098 to 2109 (''2'' takes place in 2102), and so on.
* TokenMinority: Joynas Jeriaska (J.J.) from ''1st'' is your token black guy, making him Keith's BlackBestFriend. Porunga is an Australian Aboriginal. [[TheFaceless Gentz Weizer]].... well, who knows?
** Also, [[BlackAndNerdy Hermes Sturges]] is the token black guy in the Durandal.
** And Russell Hamilton in ''Evolved'' is also a token black guy. Yun Tae-Hwang is the Token Asian. Jed Gordon may count, as he's the crew's Token Australian.
* TookALevelInBadass: [[spoiler: Lynn Wenwright]] in ''5'''s backstory. She went from being a shy bookworm to a [[SemperFi Marine Corps]] Special Forces ''and'' Special Operations commanding officer. [[spoiler: She's also an [[SuperSoldier BD S-Type pilot]].]]
* TrainingMontage: Walter Feng goes through one in ''5'' during Strike Wyverns selection training.
* TranquilFury: Interestingly, the hotheaded Kazuki pulls this at the end of Emma's campaign in ''3''. Right before the final battle, [[spoiler: [[BigBad Lukav Minaev]] kills his father in front of him.]] After a few moments of enraged silence, he...
--> '''Kazuki''' (without yelling like he normally would): [[ThisIsUnforgivable ".......... NO MERCY."]]
* {{Tsundere}}: Lynn Wenwright, Walter Feng's superior officer and LoveInterests in ''5''. Her dere side is very rarely seen, however.
* TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture: ''Gun Hazard'' takes place around 2064 (although this game is not canon). The series storyline starts action in 2034 with about a century of backstory. Neither has progressed far enough for wanzers to completely displace conventional military force.
* TragicKeepsake: Glen's grenade-shaped lighter, [[spoiler: which Walter holds onto for 22 years.]]
* TheVeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon: ''Gun Hazard'' has TWO; see the entry for details.
** In ''5'', the final missions take place [[spoiler: inside the reactor holding the original MIDAS in Alaska.]]
* VideoGameRemake: There're two of them for ''1st''. First, there's ''Front Mission 1st'' for PS1, which added the NintendoHard USN campaign and unlocked a couple of initially unusable [[InfinityPlusOneSword Infinity Plus One Swords]] and marked the introduction of recurring characters Darril Traubel and Billy Renges (who would later be seen in ''4''). Then, ''Front Mission 1st DS'' (simply "''Front Mission''" for US release) is [[UpdatedRerelease an enhanced port of the remake]], featuring [[ContinuityNod even more new recurring characters from the later games]]. ''Front Mission 2089: Border of Madness'' is also a remake of the-mobile phone-only ''Front Mission 2089''. It fuses an abridged version of ''Front Mission 2089-II'' into the plot, and a bunch of added game mechanics that makes it play closer to ''4'' and ''5''.
* VideoGameTime: The story does not progress unless you make the decision to do so. This can become very ridiculous when you play a hundred arena and simulator battles and a second hasn't passed by without you.
* [[WeaponOfChoice Wanzer Of Choice]]: The Zenith wanzer (pictured above) is very popular among [[TheHero main protagonists]]. Royd Clive (''1st''), Ash Faruk (''2''), Kazuki Takemura (''3''), Elsa Eliane (''4''), Ernest J. Salinger ("Storm"; ''2089''), and Albert Masel ("Tornado"; ''2089-II'') all use some variants of it as default wanzers.
** Glen Duval (''5'') even has a [[AceCustom Zenith model custom-made for him]]. He [[spoiler: is TheDragon, though]].
** The [[http://frontmission.wikia.com/wiki/Frost Frost and its variants]] are the Zenith for protagonists from the USN side. Darril Traubel (''4'') and Walter Feng (''5'') both use versions of the Frost as their starting machines.
*** [[LoveInterests Lynn Wenright]] (''5'') is frequently seen in a Frost as well.
*** [[LoveInterests Adela Seawell]] from ''Evolved'' also uses the Frost as her default wanzer.
** [[OneManArmy Driscoll]] (''1st'') is basically the poster boy for the [[SuperPrototype Sakata Type 11]] (aka "Raven") wanzer.
** In ''3'', [[spoiler: the [[ArtificialHuman Imaginary Numbers]] sport wanzer models tailor-made for their innate superiority]].
** [[MajorlyAwesome Rolf Wagner]] (''4'') is to the [[SuperPrototype Gepard]] wanzer like Driscoll is to the Raven.
** [[AxCrazy Anizka Ivanovna Aleksandrov]] (''4'') is widely remembered for doing EvilLaugh while routing USN forces in her [[SpiderTank Zhuk]] mobile weapon.
** Since ''4'', the Vyzov wanzer seems to have become the icon of Zaftran forces.
** ''5'' reveals that [[spoiler: the [[WesternTerrorists Grimnir]]]] was behind [[spoiler: the arm manufacturer "Intergehen" (''2''). As a result, the terrorist group and its proxies are often seen in the Schakal, a wanzer model the Intergehen specifically designed for [[SuperSoldier S-Type users]]]].
** The Vampire (''2089'') favor [[spoiler: the [[DarkIsEvil Alucard]] wanzer, which is made for the [[BrainComputerInterface Puppet Soldier]]]].
* WaveMotionGun: The majority of ''Gun Hazard'''s {{BFG}}s are this.
* WarIsHell: One of the main points of the franchise.
** Very much so in ''Dog Life & Dog Style''. The first style, for example, involves journalist Kenichi Inuzuka completely willing to take pictures or videos in the wartorn Huffman Island, exposing a lot of dehumanising moments similar to ''{{Manga/Berserk}}''.
* WeaksauceWeakness: [[spoiler: The massive Mir Orlen mobile weapon in ''1st'' cannot move, and can only target units directly adjacent to it.]]
* WeCannotGoOnWithoutYou: Anybody can be repaired after getting shot down, except for the commander units in ''2089'', ''1st'' and ''Alternative''. i.e., Ernest J. Salinger (''2089''), Royd and Kevin (''1st''), Earl [=McCoy=] (''Alternative'').
* WeCanRebuildHim: [[spoiler:Driscoll]] in ''1st''.
** Turns into HoistByHisOwnPetard when you factor in events from the USN campaign.
* WelcomeToCorneria: [[spoiler: One of these is a hint that Guri B. Olson's a lying bastard.]]
* WellIntentionedExtremist: Arguably one of the key themes of the franchise.
** [[spoiler: Royce Felder, Genoce's sister from ''Gun Hazard'', attempts to put an end to all the never-ending conflicts around the world by joining "The Society". As seen in the expanded universe, she was seduced (figuratively and literally) by "The Society", and its seemingly compassionate solutions (actually very violent) to bring about long-lasting peace to the world, by creating a [[OneWorldOrder "New World Order"]]. It doesn't succeed, and it is ''not'' because of Albert and co.'s doing!]]
** [[spoiler: [[BigBad Dr. Morgan Bernard]], who desires a return to a nationalist-minded world and seeks to destroy globalization, which he saw as the cause of many world problems. Since 2080 and for decades, he was ''very'' successful and took down the Republic of Zaftra (economically), OAC (regionally), and even the OCU is on the brink of destabilization. The USN and the EC are also targeted, but fare better due to their (mostly) functional and working governments. Morgan's death in 2112 is widely celebrated by all the world powers (although the OCU doesn't celebrate much, as it does destabilize for a few years after his death). It takes nine more years before the Grimnir are at last gone for good.]]
** Cornelius Werner tries to paint himself as one of these in ''Evolved'', but it is only an excuse for him to threaten to [[ApocalypseHow blow up the world]] with [[spoiler: Vritra's laser cannon.]]
* WeWillNotUsePhotoshopInTheFuture: Averted. In ''3'', there are the downloadable Picaresque and Kaleidoscope software, whose functions are to reveal the hidden layers of picture files and magnify them with perfect quality.
** Played straight in ''Evolved'', though.
** ''4'': [[spoiler: The Zaftran conspiracy to destroy the resource base in Poland and start a war between the [=EC=] and [=UCS=] would've been busted a long time ago if someone had the brilliant idea to use Video Cameras to record footage of the "mysterious" attackers.]]
* WhamEpisode: Many. Far too many to list.
* WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity: [[spoiler: All BD users that don't use B-Type devices suffer from this to some extent, though there are exceptions.]]
* WorldTour: In ''Gun Hazard'', you'll get to travel to Bergen (Sweden), Vorkuta and Sivilska (Russia), Cenktrich (Switzerland), Al-Hari (Saudi Arabia), Zambola (Zambia), Machu Picchu (Peru), Esporte (Brazil) and the shop-only United States and Australia.
** In ''Alternative'', you'll travel to Algeria, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Morocco, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Zambia.
** In ''3'', you'll travel to Japan, Australia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines, Taiwan, and China (Da Han Zhong).
** In ''4'', the Durandal travels across the UK, Germany, Denmark, Poland, Zaftra (Russia), Ukraine, Portugal, and France.
** In ''5'', Walter's story takes him all around the world - from Huffman Island to Kiribati, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Brazil, Peru, and Alaska.
* Creator/YasunoriMitsuda: Composed part of the music for ''Gun Hazard''.
* Creator/YokoShimomura: Composed part of the music for ''1st''.
* YoungerThanTheyLook: Ralph Dian in ''1st'' is only ''34''.
** By the final mission in ''5'', [[spoiler: Walter and Lynn are well in their late 40s, but look 20 years younger for some unknown reasons. Subverted in the [[DistantFinale epilogue]], where Walter is clearly an old man.]]
* YouShallNotPass:
** In ''1st'''s OCU campaign, [[spoiler: [[FourStarBadass General Willas E. Blakewood]] plays just this when the Canyon Crows are about to [[FinalBattle take off from Rupidis]]]]. See FourStarBadass above.
** [[spoiler: [[BattleButler Pierre Wells]]]] in ''3'', and he almost says exactly that.
** Rook the Detonator tries it too in ''Gun Hazard''. His words are almost those.
** In the first Cambodia arc of ''5,'' the [[SemperFi Strike Wyverns]] are on a mission to recapture and defend an OCU border defense base against Cambodian insurgents, [[spoiler: who overwhelm the OCU forces thanks to support from the Grimnir]], by the Cambodia-Vietnam border. After defeating several waves of wanzers and a giant tank-helicopter hybrid (whose ridiculousness is lampshaded by Edward), [[spoiler: Morgan and Glen show up, leading to Walter TakingTheBullet for Lynn]].
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