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''MS Saga: A New Dawn'', also known by its Japanese title ''Gundam: True Odyssey'', is a {{PS2}} {{RPG}} loosely based on the long-running ''{{Franchise/Gundam}}'' franchise. An odd duck by any standard, ''MS Saga'' places the iconic HumongousMecha of the ''Gundam'' franchise in an entirely new setting and plot, effectively creating an(other) AlternateUniverse to add to the ''Gundam'' menagerie. The result is predictably {{Troperiffic}}, cheerfully combining standard {{JRPG}} tropes with standard ''Gundam'' tropes into something of a ClicheStorm that may none the less be a GuiltyPleasure for fans of either (or especially both).

As a departure from most ''Gundam'' video games (which tend to be either arcade-style {{Action Game}}s a la the ''GundamVsSeries'' or TurnBasedStrategy in the vein of ''VideoGame/SDGundamGGeneration''), ''MS Saga'' is a turn based RolePlayingGame in the style of the ''FinalFantasy'' or ''DragonQuest''. The player controls a party of characters each piloting a mobile suit; as they fight, the characters gain levels (which increases their stats and expands the pool of more powerful "[[SpecialAttack boost attacks]]" and useful "[[MagicByAnyOtherName techniques]]" that they can perform), while the mecha can be equipped with various combination of weaponry via a GridInventory system. In a hanger with proper facilities, mecha can be upgraded and otherwise modified -- parts from many different mecha can be combined to form one new machine in a robotic form of MixAndMatchCritters (incidentally mirroring the RealLife practice of combining multiple [[MerchandiseDriven model kits]] into a single, new unit, a process known as "[[FanNickname kitbashing]]"). Of course, you can always just switch wholesale to a shiny new mecha once you get your mitts on one. This multi-tiered system, with the linearly-developing {{Character Level}}s of most {{JRPG}}s applying to the pilots and the less restricted CharacterCustomization more typical of {{Western RPG}}s applying to the mecha, can lead to the construction of [[EliteTweak absurdly-customized parties]].

Note that this effort will not be wasted; ''MS Saga'' can reach NintendoHard levels even during normal gameplay. Additional extras, including {{Bonus Dungeon}}s, {{Bonus Boss}}es, BossInMookClothing battles, TournamentArc {{Sidequest}}s, and more are added at nearly all points in the game. Thankfully, these are generally optional, and in fact sometimes become LostForever without [[GuideDangIt their existence ever really being hinted at]]. Getting true OneHundredPercentCompletion is an impressive feat.

''MS Saga'' incorporates mecha primarily from the Universal Century ''{{Franchise/Gundam}}'' timeline, specifically from ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam'' to ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamCharsCounterattack Char's Counterattack]]'', but includes weapons and equipment from everything through to ''[[Anime/MobileSuitVictoryGundam Victory Gundam]]'' (aside from ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamUnicorn Gundam Unicorn]]'', which was released after the game came out). Mecha and equipment from ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamWing Gundam Wing]]'' and ''[[Anime/MobileFighterGGundam G Gundam]]'' also appear, though primarily as rewards for beating the aforementioned optional content. The game did poorly both critically and financially, having the dubious honor of being the worst selling ''Gundam'' PS2 game ever, though it's something of a CultClassic among the few who took a shine to it.

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!!The game provides examples of:

* AbsoluteCleavage: Li Fang.
* AccidentalPervert: When Vargas first encounters Li Fang, she accuses him of trying to look up her skirt. Given that Vargas is the resident LovableSexManiac, one would generally assume it was intentional on his part, but given that Li Fang dresses in a ShowgirlSkirt and was walking up a set of stairs in front of him, it's more ambiguous.
* AfterTheEnd: The Great Fall, which killed 90% of humanity in a week, took place sixty years before the game begins. Thanks to the G Systems (which are basically {{Matter Replicator}}s), the world recovered in fairly short order, if quite a bit emptier than before.
* AlphaStrike: Various boost attacks; Gatling Body (fires all [[UnusualWeaponMounting non-handheld weapons]]), Gatling Fire (fires [[MoreDakka all ranged weapons]]), and Ultimate Weapon (attacks with [[NoKillLikeOverkill every weapon you have]], ''including'' your melee weapon, which can be quite hilarious when you unleash the fury of [[{{BFG}} bazookas]], [[FrickinLaserBeams beam rifles]], [[MoreDakka machine guns]], {{Shoulder Cannon}}s, and {{Wave Motion Gun}}s on a target, then run up and [[CherryTapping punch it]]... and then it [[FingerPokeOfDoom explodes]]).
* AntiGrinding: You don't get massive amounts of experience from random battles, and leveling only increases about a third of your offense-oriented stats (and none of your defense ones).
** MoneyGrinding: You probably will have to grind out money for equipment and weapons though.
* ArmorPiercingAttack: A certain melee skill line and critical hits both go through defence, making them invaluable against heavily armored enemies that can take no damage otherwise.
* ArmsDealer: Vargas is a SkyPirate who also owns and controls the international Black Market, but he's actually a pretty nice guy. Mr. K is a legitimate weapons supplier for Eisengrad, but actually sell weapons to their enemy Dark Alliance as well.
* AstonishinglyAppropriateAppearance: Pretty much every character with a name and a suit has an outfit that makes them resemble the mech they have.
* AttackDrone: UC Gundams bits and funnels make an appearance as techs that can be powered up by the right equipment.
* AwesomeButImpractical: Shield cannons; as shields with built-in weaponry, they theoretically provide the benefits of both a [[LuckilyMyShieldWillProtectMe shield]] and an [[ArmCannon arm-mounted weapon]]. Unfortunately, they tend to be large, relatively weak as both weapons and shields, and have significant speed penalties.
** Some Boost Attacks have no real use. Explosion uses one of your ranged weapons to deal damage to all enemies in a huge WaveMotionGun style attack, but since it just divides the normal weapon damage up between multiple targets, it ends up being fairly weak. The Speed Lance line of attacks allow you to make a melee attack before anyone else can act, regardless of ActionInitiative, but in late-game this does more harm than good since it doesn't allow your allies to set up support moves to cover you from {{Counter Attack}}s.
* BareYourMidriff: Tremmie.
* BehindTheBlack: Abuses this.
* {{BFG}}: Its Gundam, several of the big weapons make appearances. Large handheld weapons actually can't be used to snipe though.
* {{BFS}}: The aptly named Large Beam Sword, the ZZ's Hyper Beam Saber and the Sazabi's Beam Tomahawk Sword are equippable.
* BigDamnHero: Hal in the Gelgoog than the Gundam, Fritz and his Full Armor Gundam, [[spoiler:and again Hal during the final dungeon.]]
* BiggerStick: New weapons and Mobile Suits are necessary at regular intervals if you want to survive.
* BishonenLine: Done with the BigBad's ''mecha''. He starts off in the Master Gundam from GGundam than upgrades to the nonhumanoid [[http://mahq.net/mecha/gundam/cca/nz-333.htm Alpha Azieru]] mobile armor, and when that's defeated he uses the G-System to reconfigure it into an evil version of [[http://mahq.net/mecha/gundam/endlesswaltz/xxxg-00w0.htm Wing Zero Custom]], which has a more familiar humanoid appearance.
* BladeBelowTheShoulder: You can get one of these in the form of the blade-arm of the imfamously ugly Zakrello. It's one of the best melee-focused parts in the early part of the game, but since it's literally just a metal blade, [[AwesomeButImpractical you can't equip and hand-held or arm-mounted equipment]] while you're using it.
* BladeOnAStick: Spears are useful for their high damage and defence boosts. Their main drawback is their size makes them difficult to equip on anything not specializing in melee.
* BlockingStopsAllDamage: The Double Shield boost well stops all damage, even moves that cannot otherwise be blocked by other boosts.
* BonusBoss: Numerous examples, spread throughout the game. Sometimes they're simply waiting at specific places on the [[OverworldNotToScale Overworld]], other times they're found in a BonusDungeon.
* BonusDungeon: A few dungeons don't have to be completed but can to aquire powerful equipment. Usually have a BonusBoss guarding the really good stuff.
* BoobsOfSteel: The melee-oriented ladies (Tremmie, Rezner and Li Fang) are more stacked than the ranged-focused girls (Aeon and Lapis).
* BoringButPractical: The defensive and shutdown boosts don't do any damage but are essential to beating most bosses after a certain point.
** Some of the most useful Boost attacks are Gatling Fire and Lightning Lancer. Gatling Fire fires all ranged weapons in one turn and is available to nearly every character, while Lightning Lancer is a melee attack that automatically goes first regardlesss of ActionInitiative and (unlike normal melee attacks) is not vulnerable to CounterAttack.
* BossInMookClothing: Every other area has atleast one enemy that would be a Mid-Boss battle as a random encounter.
* BraggingRightsReward: The Master Gundam and Mini-G system are your rewards for fully exploring the BonusDungeon and fighting every suit in the game, including the {{Bonus Boss}}es. There is nothing much you can do with either one.
* CantCatchUp: Starting with the second mobile suit you get, it becomes clear that some mecha just flat-out overpower others. Given that you can only build a limited number of MS during the course of the game, and many of the ones you built are unique, you'll frequently have to settle for a subpar ride for some of your characters.
* ChargedAttack: Boost attacks, which require you to use between 4 and 10 units of energy, generated at 2 units per turn (unless you use items, equipment or abilities to increase it).
* CharClone: It wouldn't be ''{{Franchise/Gundam}}'' without one! Hal has all the classic attributes of a Char.
* CommissarCap: Rezner wears one, as do a few other Eisengrad officers. You can give her a beam pistol for extra Commissar points!
* CounterAttack: Both enemies and allies automatically counter a melee attack on them with a melee attack of their own. Learning to deal with these is absolutely vital for the proper use of melee-oriented characters.
* CrapsaccharineWorld: Don't let the cutesy look fool you, its still Gundam. The backstory alone kills 90% of the population.
* CriticalHit: Works differently here, they do somewhat more damage and ignore defence. Little help for the attacks that already ignore armor.
* CrutchCharacter: Gavenger, who has good ranged ''and'' melee stats, all three basic defensive boosts, and a great healing ability. No other character has this combination of abilities. [[spoiler:And he is the only character who the heroes lose.]]
* CowardlyLion: Fritz. He gets better.
* DarkestHour: The aftermath of the Dark Alliance base fight. [[spoiler:Hal is revealed to be Vladi, and he has allies with suits vastly more powerful than the Dark Alliances. Gavenger and Major Rezner both sacrifice themselves to give the others a chance and all they can do is run.]]
* DefeatMeansFriendship: Bazuli and Lapis join the heroes alittle after they were boss fights.
* DifficultySpike: A very noticeable one toward the end of the game.
* DiscOneFinalDungeon: Both the battle for [[spoiler:the Dark Alliance base and retake Eisengrad]] paint themselves as the final battle. Neither are anywhere close.
* DiscOneNuke: Its possible, but hard, to acquire equipment that is a couple upgrades better than what you should have. Some equipment is also a lot better than its place in the story.
* EasyLevelsHardBosses: While the mooks aren't exactly a cakewalk, the bosses are absolutely ''brutal''. Starting at around mid-game, they can OneHitKill an unprepared party. Expect to engage in some TrialAndErrorGameplay as you figure out a good loadout for a particular boss.
* EleventhHourSuperpower: The Nu Gundam -- which has the largest possible equipment grid and among the best stats in the game -- is only available after the penultimate boss fight. The Sazabi, similarly powerful, only joins in for the ''second half'' of the FinalBoss. You'll need them both for the PostEndGameContent.
* {{Expy}}: In addition to Hal, the obligatory CharClone, Major Rezner has a strong resemblance to Ms. Matilda from ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam''.
* FightWoosh: The screen breaks into squares that fade out. The pattern and color changes depending on the type of encounter -- RandomEncounters, PreExistingEncounters, and {{Boss Battle}}s.
* FiveBadBand:
** The Dark Alliance
*** TheBigBad: Vladi Zarth[[spoiler:/Hal]]
*** TheDragon: Oceanreaver
*** TheBrute: Bazuli
*** TheEvilGenius: Mr K
*** TheDarkChick: Zain
** Neo-Zarth
*** TheBigBad: Vladi Zarth[[spoiler:/Hal later Gabriel]]
*** TheDragon: Gabriel
*** TheBrute: Tuck
*** TheEvilGenius: Mahdi
*** TheDarkChick: Lapis
* FiveManBand: The cast falls into one, though the exact makeup fluctuates.
** TheHero: Tristan
** TheLancer: Fritz, and later Temmie
** TheBigGuy: Gavenger, Bazuli and Li Fang at various points.
** TheSmartGuy: Vargas, then Rezner
** TheChick: Aeon and Lapis
** TheSixthRanger: Hal [[spoiler:even before he betrays the team]]
* ForgottenFallenFriend: [[spoiler:Averted, Gavenger is never forgotten after his sacrifice. If anything he's more important to the team after his death.]]
* FormFittingWardrobe: Almost everyone looks like they are wearing an outfit at least one size too small. Tremmie infact might be wearing pants far too small for her.
* {{Foreshadowing}}:
** Hal occasionally spends some time as a GuestStarPartyMember, and you can get a good look at his stats and layout, a nice, balanced mix of ranged power and melee power all at high speed, with equally balanced offense and speed-based boost attacks. Long time Gundam fans will go "CharClone!" and let's be honest, they'd be right. It's not hard to see given the man wears a mask and tools around in a red Gelgoog. [[spoiler: Beyond his inevitable FaceHeelTurn, true to Aznable form, he's also got a younger sibling. One with similar if slightly less powerful stats, but also shares a balance of ranged, melee, and speed boosts. Who else fits that description, but also introduced themselves with a red Mobile Suit? ''Tremmie.'' Even their victory stances are identical, which, much like Vargas and Gavenger, might initially seem like simply recycling animations. Best of all, this is actually a nod to the manga, where Sayla Mass is shown to pilot a customized GM, similar to what Tremmie starts in.]]
** Gavenger first appears piloting a Dom, which appears in the Black Tri-Stars color pattern, as it has in almost every video game featuring the machine. [[spoiler:The Black Tri-Stars are most well known for dying while fighting the original RX-78-2 Gundam. Poor Gavenger is the only party member to die in the storyline.]]
* GatlingGood: Oh baby. In addition to both versions of Heavyarms' iconic weapon, we also get the [[GundamF91 G-Cannon's]] cannons and the right arm of the obscure MS-12 Gigan, a heavy weapons MS that was slated to appear in the original 52 episode version of ''MobileSuitGundam''.
* GlassCannon: Both Tremmie and Li Fang deal damage fast and hard, but lack defensive boosts. A number of MS with good melee or ranged stats but poor HP and armor stats also qualify.
* GodzillaThreshold: The villains go to the moon in the last part, so Tristan and friends need to make a spaeship to pursue. The leader of the Unicorns at first objects because a spaceship could potentially make another Great Fall, but because of the threat presented relents.
* GrandTheftPrototype: Wouldn't be Gundam without one! But [[TheChick Aeon]] of all people did this in the final stage to Neo Zarth's newly built [[Anime/MobileSuitGundamWingEndlessWaltz Wing Zero Custom]] out of convenience. [[spoiler:Turns out they can make a stronger copy.]]
* GridInventory: Used to equip weapons. Each mobile suit's inventory is a rectangle of a certain height and width (the smallest is 3x4, the largest is 8x8), and each weapon is represented by a certain arrangement of squares. Melee weapons tend to be tall and skinny, while ranged weapons are short and wide; for example, a basic beam saber is one square wide and three tall, while a basic beam rifle is only one square tall but three squares wide. The dimensions of the grids reflect this as well; a melee-oriented suit will be have a tall, thin grid, while a ranged-oriented suit will have a short, wide grid, and a balanced suit will have a nearly square grid.
* InfinityMinusOneSword: You have to make do with a few suits that don't quite measure up to the fully top tier ones. The BonusDungeon Mount Trial has three that can be used for the pilots that don't get them.
* InfinityPlusOneSword: The Nu Gundam is pretty much this. It has the highest speed and ranged stats and has some of the higher strength and armor as well as having a full 8x8 inventory grid. Burning Gundam can be considered one as well solely for its melee stat, which is ''way'' off the roof.
* JackOfAllStats: Quite a lot of suits, notably the GM series of mecha. Generally averted for the characters; all of them focus on ''something''.
* JailBaitWait: Referenced by Vargas when you talk to him at Rock Diggins regarding Lyra.
* LazyBackup: Used simultaneously in two different ways; your team consists of six characters, split into three "active" characters and three "reserve" characters. You only get six even if there are more characters available at that point in the plot, and if your active three are defeated, it's GameOver even if your reserve three are in perfect health.
* LethalJokeCharacter: Li Fang first appears in a Guncannon (a ranged-oriented suit) using barefisted melee attacks. She's still rather impressive in it.
* LetsPlay: has an impressive one [[http://lparchive.org/MS-Saga-A-New-Dawn/ Here]] at the lparchive. Has humor, Fritz bashing, but is played by a person who self-admittedly makes tactical errors and refuses to finish the BonusDungeon.
* MagicByAnyOtherName: MS Saga calls them "techniques" instead of "spells", but they're still magic, complete with a pool of [[{{Mana}} "Technique Points"]] instead of MP and a stat ("Mind") that controls how powerful a character's techniques are.
* MagicFromTechnology: Presumably the case with techniques -- though the details of how that works [[MST3KMantra probably don't bear thinking on]].
* TheMedic: In a change from usual fare, the best medics are Fritz and Tristan.
* MegatonPunch: The hand to hand boosts are either this or RapidFireFisticuffs.
* MetalSlime: Metal Zaku and Gold [=GMs=] both have low HP and give, respectively, large amounts of ExperiencePoints and money with a chance to drop rare e-caps. To offset this, they have tons of speed and defence -- to the point they always go first and cannot be damaged by anything other than a critical hit or armor piercing attack. With their ability to run away from a fight and disable your MS, you're never guaranteed a win. The most powerful of these are a full up BonusBoss.
* MightyGlacier: Tristan, Gavenger and Bazuli all have considerable offensive abilities but are also slow. Several MS with good HP and armor but low speed also qualify.
* MovesetClone: Gavenger and Bazuli, Aeon and Lapis and both Tremmie and Tristan to Hal. Notably they put their own variations that make them not quite fit the others' role but can do other roles.
* MyRulesAreNotYourRules: Enemy suits have loadouts, abilities and powers that you cannot duplicate, without even counting the MS that you don't have access to.
* MysticalWaif: Aeon, and how.
* MythologyGag: There's a subtle one where Hal offers you a new mobile suit and you have to pick between a Gelgoog or Gyan (you can buy the other one later, though). This references the backstory of the original ''MobileSuitGundam'' where the two mobile suits were designs from rival defense contractors competing to be mass-produced.
* NeutralNoLonger: Vargas was willing to wait out the war as an arms dealer. When the Dark Alliance uses his G-System to make mobile suits for there own designs, he decides to take the fight to them. He doesn't hesitate to help in the next war when he hears that Tristan and friends are in danger.
* NintendoHard: The final stages of the game and the bonus bosses. The latter can easily kill you in one hit.
* NoodleIncident: The specifics of how [[spoiler:Gavenger died and how Bazuli got his mech scratch free]] aren't disclosed. Especially notable given that [[spoiler:Gavenger was staring down the Psyco Gundam]] when we last see him.
* NowWhereWasIGoingAgain: Pretty bad at this. You can ask your teammates to get a vague idea of where to make the next storyline stop and don't expect much help keeping tabs on the sidequests.
* OlderThanTheyLook: Marie, dubbed "Fossil" by Fritz, which [[BerserkButton she doesn't appreciate]]. It's implied that she's well over 70, being [[spoiler:one of the founding members of The Unicorns]].
* OppositesAttract: Vargas shows the most interest in Li Fang who, in both gameplay and personality, is his complete opposite.
* OverlyLongName: Marie Orijin Neikeshuneku Tokita. We only get to see the full version once.
* PaddedSumoGameplay: Once you have a high enough level to stop virtually any attack, the bosses get enough HP, armor and immunities to make fights last quite a while. It takes hours to beat the BonusBoss with a fully prepared party.
* PaletteSwap: There are relatively few actual enemy models in the game. Some of the more obvious ones include bosses like Big Zam or the ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamWing Gundam Wing]]'' Gundams that show up again later, with different colors and more power.
* PeninsulaOfPowerLeveling: Moon bases. A single encounter with a team of MechaMooks can give up to 12000 {{Experience Point}}s, equal to some of the mid-game bosses and scripted encounters. As would be expected, they're difficult fights, but definitely worth the effort.
* PostEndGameContent: An odd example; after you beat the FinalBoss, you can save. When you load that save, it drops you at the save point immediately ''before'' the final boss, as if you hadn't beaten him yet -- except that the EleventhHourSuperpower that you acquire during the final boss battle is still there, and now the BonusDungeon is open
* PowerUpLetdown: You can often invest a lot of time, money and resources to acquire equipment and mechs that aren't much stronger or even weaker than what you already have.
* ShoutOut: To other series.
* SenselessSacrifice: [[spoiler:Gavenger]], staying behind to execute a YouShallNotPass after the party has been chased into a small tunnel. He dies, which is considered stupid by some players since he could have just collapsed the mouth of the tunnel, and some of the enemies' suits are too big to follow the party in the first place.
* SoLongAndThanksForAllTheGear: Averted, party members that leave cannot have their equipment customized. You can still throw away money by upgrading them, though.
* SortingAlgorithmOfEvil: Justified, in the beginning the resident authorities on technology refuse to research weapons tech, which leads to both sides using only the most basic of equipment. Later on, villains have access to the more advanced tech.
* SpecialAttack: Boost attacks, which can be anything from a slightly more powerful melee blow to making the party temporarily invulnerable to specific kinds of attacks to [[NoKillLikeOverkill simultaneously firing every weapon you have equipped and following up with a melee strike for good measure]].
* StandardPowerupPose: Many animations do this, most notably the physical weapon lines.
* StandardStatusEffects: Same old effects, shiny new names to make more sense as applied to giant robots. Acid is poison, Short is paralyze, etc.
* SuperDeformed: The ''mecha'' of all things, are semi-SD. They're about halfway between their normal "realistic" proportions and their chibified SD proportions. This means that they're about 30 feet tall (instead of the usual 60-or-so) and more stylized than the typical depiction of mecha, but not to the point of being cutesy looking or their heads making up 80% of their bodies. The ''humans'', though, are still normal.
* SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute: {{Downplayed|Trope}}; more than once, after a character leaves the party, a similar-seeming character will soon show up. But each time, the new characters won't ''quite'' be able to replace the old one seamlessly, due to differences in their stats and boost attacks. The effect is more like Ryu and Ken than a straight-up clone.
* ThisIsADrill: You can buy the obscure MSV series digging mobile suit Agg's arms, which are some of the better melee-focused arms for a good chunk of the game.
* TooAwesomeToUse: Engine energy equipment and high-stat boosts can turn the tide in many battles. Too bad you can't buy them.
* WakeUpCallBoss: The first Gouf will teach you the importance of defending against boost attacks. The Xamel shows the necessity of defensive boosts.
* WithThisHerring: Averted; top-tier (for the time) mobile suits are given to you at multiple points in the game. Don't expect much help upgrading them, though.
* WorldWreckingWave: The [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_EgrKrAPJI opening movie]] gives a nice one with its depiction of the Great Fall.
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