One of two halves of "Beater Services", a mechanic service, Rand Travis is the male protagonist of Super Robot Wars Z. A huge guy at 27 years-old (according to his official profile) with a good sense of humor, he is looking for his missing master Cielo Beater, and assisted by his master's daughter Mel Beater. He's known as "The Crusher" after his tendency to destroy more things than he fixes, an In-Series Nickname he doesn't take so well. Being in late-twenties, he has a lot of experience in dealing with all sorts of people, which is why he sort of tolerates Asakim Dowin, despite the atrocities he committed against Setsuko Ohara, and offers genuine, heartfelt support to her following those encounters with Asakim. He pilots the Gunleon, a GaoGaiGar-like mecha carrying a huge wrench and an assortment of spanners, nailguns and chainsaws with which he can trash his enemies just as efficiently as he can repair damaged allies. He and the Gunleon exemplify these tropes:
Badass Normal: Rand's not a Sphere holder like Setsuko or Mel, but he still kicks mucho ass. It's pretty much required of him, since Mel is too inexperienced to be piloting a mech.
The Berserker: The Gunleon's strongest attack could best be described as the machine ripping the enemy apart in a feral rage.
Combat Medic: Gunleon can repair allied units; in Z, it automatically heals units paired up in the same squad with it by a small amount every turn. This marks the first time a protagonist mecha in SRW is equipped with a innate-healing ability. Later, it gets the ability to resupply ammo and energy.
Cursed with Awesome: The Sphere of the Wounded Lion is easily the Sphere with the fewest drawbacks, since it only tortures Rand to give it power when needed for Pain Shouter and The Heat Crusher. The Sphere is willingly holding back the usual Blessed with Suck, as otherwise Rand would be living in constant agony.
Lion in Sheep's Clothing: Not him, but his machine. The Gunleon's pretty powerful for a humble repair mecha. Turns out there's a good reason for this: the Sphere of the Wounded Lion manifested within it in an attempt to avoid being used as a weapon of war. This is why the Gunleon, and by extension Rand, tend to destroy more than they repair.
It gets even better: Cielo found an ancient Super Robot and repurposed it to be a repair mecha. It seems the Sphere of the "Wounded Lion" is terrible at choosing where it manifests itself.
Made of Iron: Activating Gunleon's "Magna Mode" is not a pleasant experience for Rand, because it's literally powered by physical pain. However, he'll just shake it off like nothing happened and keep fighting. Lampshaded by Rand with one of his battle quotes, "Gunleon! My pain won't lose to you!"
By the sequel, after using the "Pain Shout" attack, Rand will sometimes say something along the lines of "Phew! Glad that's over."
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: In Saisei-hen, he gets attacked by a berserking Crowe Broust, and counters with his usual methods. The results is a completely trashed Brasta. Just to add to the event, Rand will say something along the line of "Oops".
Obfuscating Stupidity: Rand seems like the kind of guy to use brute force for everything, but he caught onto L÷wen General's true colors pretty early and wasn't surprised at all by his betrayal.
Red Baron: "The Crusher", but Rand doesn't like the nickname.
Running Gag: He prefers "The Heat" monniker, instead. He ends up subverting his usual reaction to "The Crusher", on the basis that that gag had already run its course. There's also his "Heat Smile", which absolutely everyone comments on as being "stuffy".
Disappeared Dad: Cielo vanished four years before the start of Z. According to Mel, he got caught in the same kind of dimensional warp that brought Garrod Ran to the Gallian Continent. He's only seen in flashbacks and when Xine Espio was disguising as him throughtout Z and Mel hopes she will be reunited with him one day. In the Second Super Robot Wars Z: Hakai-hen, he makes an unexpected cameo appearance, provided you can find him, as the man who hands over the Auto-Repair Machine Parts to Crowe.
Plot-Relevant Age-Up: Technically she's 16, and in the ending, her body grows to match her real age, yet...
She Is All Grown Up: Averted. The only difference in her appearance is that her hair grows, and between the end of the game and Super Robot Wars Z: Special Disk, she cuts it. Sure, they try to justify it in-story, but we all know the real reason.
You Can't Fight Fate: Not so much fate, but the Sphere of the Wounded Lion tried to avoid the Holy War by not choosing a battle-hungry holder and manifesting itself in a repair-based mecha instead of a combat-based machine. The plan would've worked, until Mel was killed in combat and Cielo passed it on to her to save her life.
Setsuko Ohara (Voiced by Yukiko Takaguchi)
"The Glory Star! Full Burst!"
Female protagonist of Z, Setsuko's an orphan thanks to her parents' death via the Colony Drops, and was drafted into the Titans and placed in the "Glory Star" squad under Denzel Hammer and Toby Watson. She has a rather timid, quiet and demure attitude, making her question her purpose as a Titan, and indirectly making herself and the rest of the team the Titan's go-to Butt Monkeys. While out on a training mission in the new Virgora mecha, Glory Star becomes embroiled in a skirmish with the AEUG's Quattro Bajeena and Kamille Bidan. In the confusion, Setsuko mysteriously transported herself, Toby and Denzel into another world.While finding out what's going on, Setsuko encounters the enigmatic Asakim, and everything starts going downhill, as her first experience with him was his unceremonious killing of Denzel. If that wasn't enough, he later kills Toby in front of her, beats her up and possibly rapes her (we aren't sure due to a scene change). If that still wasn't enough, he arranges a meeting between Setsuko and the Alternate Universe versions of Toby and Denzel, only to see that Asakim has convinced them she's their enemy. It turns out Setsuko possesses the Sphere of the Sorrowful Maiden, which grows more powerful the sadder she gets, and Asakim seeks to awaken its true potential by tormenting her. It's also the thing responsible for transporting her randomly throughout the dimensions. She resolves to thwart Asakim's ambitions (and later the Chimera Battalion), but discovers the more she uses the Sphere's power, the more she's losing herself: first her sense of taste, then her sight...poor girl.Setsuko pilots the machine Virgora, formerly one of three test units, each with specific weaponry and combat roles, but eventually gathers up/unlocks all weapon outloads for one. Later, it's upgraded a second time to the Virgora Glory. She embodies these tropes:
Downer Ending: All three of them in Z. She dies in the bad ending and won't last long in the normal and good ones either, with the only difference being she finally joins those alternate universe versions of Denzel and Toby in the good ending.
Blessed with Suck: A Sphere gives awesome power with the right emotions. Her emotional trigger? DESPAIR.
Break the Cutie: Done lots of times by Asakim. It's pretty much his sole purpose in her version of the story.
Fan Nickname: Sexsuko, or to another extent, "Setsubo" (a play on "zetsubou", the Japanese word for "despair").
Mid-Season Upgrade: The Virgora Custom, which gets several attacks over the course of the game via a perverse version of Mega Manning, wherein what it acquires are the signature moves of the mechs of her dead teammates (the Custom itself being Denzel's unit with Setsuko's unit's left arm). The Virgora Glory plays with this by intially being a simple Mecha Expansion Pack (that broke the Virgora's primary weapon to boot!) before it's augmented by her Sphere.
Cannot Tell a Lie: Or more of a Villains Never Lie part. Dduring Z, he always reveals his intentions even to his victims. Turns out in Saisei-hen, he's the bearer of the Sphere of Truth-Seeking Goat, which doesn't allow him to tell a single lie.
Pet the Dog: Abandons Xine, but leaves a message for her to live on her own will so she can be happy; in Rand's story, he can be convinced to help ZEUTH fight the Big Bad.
Unfortunately, this may have been a scheme by Asakim since in Saisei-hen, we discover he has the Sphere of the "Truth-Seeking Goat", which is powered and activated by curiosity. To get the Sphere, he had to consume the being of a "curious girl". Now what girl has a goat motif going on?
The Punishment: He calls himself an "accursed wanderer"; granted immortality but unwillingly tossed about between universes like a leaf in the wind. He refers to it as a punishment (implying a punisher), but he may simply be melodramatic about it, especially since the entire playable cast of the Z series are also "accursed wanderers" according to him, and so are now subject to the same rules he is (even the immortality!)
Wild Mass Guessing: Overloaded; even the Ley Buster attack alone invokes too much guessing. It features the likes of Shu's Neo Granzon firing the Shukutaihou, the version of the Cybuster from the obscure Shin Masou Kishin: Panzer Warfare dueling the Shurouga, a silhouette of Crowe standing in the streets (you can recognize him if you closely look at the jacket's strap: apparently, Banpresto foreshadowed his appearance) and two women theorized to be a play on Masaki's familiar cats given human form.
Willfully Weak: Whenever he's playable, the Ley Buster cannot be used, presumably because mind-raping his enemies in front of ZEUTH would make him even more Obviously Evil. Unless you recruit him in Rand's final scenario, you'll finally be able to use it, since Asakim has nothing left to hide at that point.
A special operations unit of the New Earth Federation headed by Colonel, later, Brigadier General Edel Bernal, their mission is to unite the chaotic world after the dimensional collapse, but are also intent on ruling the world as totalitarian dictators by controlling all information through the Universal Network (read: the Internet). Using the UN, they feed ZEUTH false information about each other in an attempt to trick them into destroying one another. Naturally, it becomes clear the Chimera are the primary antagonists of Z.
A very dedicated soldier belonging to the Chimera, L÷wen has issues against hitting women and fighting them on the battlefield, less out of misogyny and more out of chivalry. Calling himself "The Young Lion of the Chimera", he pilots the Chaos Leo, a mecha that looks like a man wearing a lion hide with vicious melee attacks. Later on, as the Chimera reveal their true colours, so does L÷wen: he despises women, and believes the only woman who should be allowed to exist is his commander Edel Bernal, whom he worships like a goddess. The reason for this is the vague explanation of "I was betrayed by women before". In the end, he dies pathetically screaming out Edel Bernal's name as his Chaos Leo blows up. L÷wen embodies these tropes:
Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Even his gameplay mechanics reflect this - 20% more damage to males, 20% less damage to girls. After The Reveal, he's MORE than willing to hit a girl, and gains a 20% damage boost when attacking women, making him a...
A member of the Chimera and L÷wen's closest friend, Schlan Opel is a highly professional, skilled pilot, and a very cunning man specializing in data collection and intel. Unlike L÷wen, Schlan never joins ZEUTH officially, so we never get to use his machine Chaos Anguis (until Z: Special Disk), a humanoid mecha with a pulse rifle that can transform into a giant cobra. As the Chimera reveal their true intentions, so does Schlan, who admits he's a cold, sadistic killer that does not panic even when he loses, only remarking that he has gathered valuable data. He still values his friendship with L÷wen though, and they truly do have a lot of affection for each other. So imagine his disappointment when he learns although L÷wen might hate most women, he does not have much interest in the other sex, either. This is because Schlan has a gay crush on L÷wen, and really goes towards the deep end after L÷wen dies. He is killed soon afterwards by ZEUTH.Schlan is primarily responsible for feeding the false intel that almost caused ZEUTH to destroy itself, and he likes to gloat about it a lot. Schlan embodies these tropes:
Meaningful Name: Schlan is derived from schlange, German for "snake"; Anguis is the genus name for slow worms, which are legless lizards rather than snakes, so the choice of name either reflects the similarity to the word "anguish" or is a silly mistake on Banpresto's part.
Transforming Mecha: Chaos Anguis can separate its body parts and recombine them into a gigantic cobra form.
Xine Espio (Voiced by Rie Saitou)
This is as work-safe as we could get for a photo
.An ex-leader of a Windam squad that supposedly gets itself wiped out due to a freak explosion thanks to the Break The World event (In Name Only from Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny; Z uses it from Super Dimension Century Orguss). She's the Sole Survivor and is found by the Chimera; without much to do, she aligns with them, is given a mecha and for the first part of Z acts as a bitch towards the protagonists. However, it's revealed she's simply lonely (as the members of her old unit are indeed dead, but are entombed within the Scab Coral that's spreading across the planet) and has nowhere to go. If the player is lucky, they can convince her to desert the Chimera. She falls in love with Asakim and madly blushes (Squicky or not: you decide) whenever he's around. Asakim later abandons her, but tells her to live free.She pilots the Chimera-made mecha Chaos Capra (which she nicknamed "Eliphas") that resembles...well, what happens when Lamia Loveless' Angelg gets a Horny Devils redesign. She embodies these tropes:
Meaningful Name: The Chaos Capra fits with the Latin Theme Naming of the Chimera, with Capra being the genus name for wild goats, such as Ibex. Xine may be derived from ziege, a German word for "goat" (and given a more feminine-sounding phoneme at the end), though there's no confirmation for the latter.
What Happened to the Mouse?: Of all the major originals who survived Z, she's the only one to not make the cut into Hakai-hen and Saisei-hen; even Mel's father shows up for a cameo. On the other hand, Marguerite Pistail serves as a loose Expy of her in Hakai-hen and Saisei-hen.
Unfortunately, thanks to some Fridge Brilliance/Fridge Horror in Saisei-hen, we find out Asakim has the Sphere of the "Truth-Seeking Goat'' stolen from a "curious girl", the implication that Xine was originally a Sphere holder.
A beautiful woman with a demeanor that would make the Virgin Mary seem smutty, Edel Bernal's the young leader of Chimera, with the rank of Colonel at first, later promoted to Brigadier General. She had a lover who died a while ago during some unspecified war, likes wild and macho men, drinks a rose/chamomile blend tea, and wears a negligee at night (information courtesy of That Other Wiki). Her personality and position made her a natural maternal figure for the chaotic world after the dimensional collapse, and Edel's determined to bring about an era of peace and stability following the bloodshed of the wars......At least, she would like for you to think that: Edel's actually an ultra-bitch who considered herself God's gift to humanity and superior to everybody else. She would have loved nothing more than to take her "rightful" place as absolute ruler of the world. Obviously, ZEUTH wouldn't have any of this, and proceeded to overthrow her, even while the entire world's fed propaganda painting them as terrorists. Edel's eventually pushed back and attempts to kill Eureka in order to take ZEUTH down with her. Imagine to everyone's surprise when "The Black Charisma" appears in a Lemures and reveals his true identity as THE Edel Bernal and evolves his Lemures into the Chaos Lemures. The Edel also reveals Edel Bernal had been placed under a spell that forces her to follow any command he issues after he says "I LOVE YOU!". He then unceremoniously kills her.Edel Bernal pilots the Lemures, the pinnacle of Chimera technology (at least, what she assumed was the peak). She embodies these tropes:
The Brigadier: Figuratively, literally, and subverted at the same time!
Colonel Badass: Again, figuratively and literally; she's a pretty decent pilot, and it takes some balls to take over the world.
Tomato in the Mirror: All of her desires, memories and personality traits were pre-programmed in by The Edel Bernal. She's also forced to follow any command given after The Edel says "I LOVE YOU!"
Villainous Breakdown: It's pretty satisfying to see her slowly but surely lose her smug air as you whittle down her health until she's screaming and desperately pleading for an explanation as to why she's losing.
This is the best, non-spoiler image of this nutcase that we can come by; we apologize.
Hoo boy, where to start with this piece of work? The Edel Bernal is an amalgamation of three different identities taken on by the same being: Jie Babel, a hideous scientist man-thing working for the Chimera who...gets off from being beaten by Edel Bernal, "The Black Charisma", a mysterious masked man who goes from place to place to manipulate events to an indefinite goal and "The Edel Bernal", a blue-haired Bishōnen with...issues. The Edel Bernal caused the dimensional collapse and various wars resulting from that for one and only one purpose: ...he thought it would be really fun. To that end, he's defeated and dies happy with no regrets, laughing all the way after having the time of his life. ...at least until he pops up again after you thought you'd beaten him for good, and the confrontation between him and the protagonist at this point incites a reaction between their mecha's power sources that destroys his soul. Being a holder of an artificial Sphere, derived from analysis of a real one in the chosen protagonist's mecha, The Edel Bernal has the ability to play with the "Origin Law", thus incorporate versions of himself from alternate realities, as well as summon them. He pilots the Chaos Lemures, the pinnacle of the Chaos machines the Chimera use and, depending on who the main character is, will either be fought as one enemy with large HP and an endless supply of mooks or three enemies with slightly less HP that must be defeated in the same turn. The Edel Bernal embodies these tropes:
Karma Houdini: Causes suffering and misery on a global scale due to the wars his machinations result in. What does he get in return? The opportunity to die while having the time of his life with no regrets, whatsoever. What a bastard...
Averted in the normal and good endings, when he tries to pull the "greatest climax" by killing Orson and Kei, until the chosen protagonist intercepts him, and their Sphere's response to proximity with The Edel's duplicate is to absorb it, along with The Edel's soul. The Edel Bernal screams as his soul is extinguished, knowing that his ideal world of chaos will soon end. Take that!
Large Ham: When compared to other Banpresto original villains, The Edel most certainly is.
Too Kinky to Torture: He REALLY enjoys being hit, and finds the final battle to be the pinnacle of his existence. To drive the point home, after having his machine trashed, he quite literally says "Please, more pain, more pleasure..."
A former member of the BritannianUnion's Firebug Squad, Crowe is the headlining protagonist of the Second Super Robot Wars Z. Saddled with a million dollars in debt, he agreed to be the test pilot for the anti-Dimensional Beast mecha Brasta as a way to work the sum off. The main goal of Firebug was to start minor rebellions in various countries for Britannia that would be crushed by its main military. However, during one mission in Esther Elhaas's hometown, a Dimension Energy Crystal experiment went haywire, causing its destruction. Firebug was sent in to "clean up the mess", but Crowe took pity on her and rescued Esther and deserted Firebug. It isn't until he encounters his former commander Marilyn Catto in Saisei-hen that Crowe finally opens up and confirms the story to Esther.
Attack Drones: Brasta's SPIGOT. Depending on the final attack, the drones can either be of a melee or ranged-based type.
Cursed with Awesome: Compared to Setsuko, the Sphere of Swaying Scales really isn't that bad. Its trigger is drive or the will to do something; in Crowe's case, the will to repay his enormous debt. This is seen as a positive trait, which means not only does it not make him too miserable, but Asakim doesn't need to do awful things to him to force an awakening, like say...murder Esther. The Sphere's side-effect, being able to only focus on one thought or action, is easily countered by making him hear the sound of a coin dropping, as his desire for money to pay off his debt is so strong it can override the Sphere. As a result, Crowe gets the awesome power of a Sphere, with only minimal trouble from it.
Turns out to be Blessed with Suck at same time: Crowe instinctively knows if it's just recorded sound or some other metallic object. Therefore, the "Coin Drop System" in the Li-Brasta actually drop real coins, and those coins are added to his debt.
Defector from Decadence: Was originally a member of Firebug, a Britannian black-ops unit. In Saisei-hen we find out why he left: his former commanding officer was Cute and Psycho, to which he deserted the squad after being ordered to kill any survivors of a town half-destroyed.
Disaster Dominoes: The reason behind his latest debt in Saisei-hen - a highway accident that would've resulted in just a few hundred thousand kind of...snowballed...into another million dollar debt.
Early-Bird Cameo: Crowe appeared much earlier in Z during the Shurouga's Ley Buster animation as the silhouette standing in the streets. That's right, folks: he was foreshadowed before Hakai-hen was announced.
"GARlion" for the Brasta, in reference to its Lion-esque appearance, and being a pun on the Guarlion. It should be noted the mech has the same mechanical designer for the Lion series.
Friendly Sniper: Can be seen as this, especially if you choose to have the Brasta (then upgrade into the Li-Brasta B) as a ranged-oriented machine. He also hangs out a lot with Lockon Stratos.
Gratuitous English: When pulling off his attacks, though not really gratuitous from a national standpoint; he's a Britannian, and a native of Chicago, at that.
He-Man Woman Hater: He mentions during battles against women sometimes about how scary they are. Also, after being busted by the Dimensional Beast "Moby Dick", he wakes up with Traiya Scott and Esther by his side leading him to say "I really did die...I'm in hell. I can see a Witch and a Little Demon...".
The root cause of this? Despite her outwardly cheerful and silly appearance, Marilyn was a complete psychopath. This caused Crowe to believe all women are two-faced and their outward appearance can't be trusted until proven otherwise. The only women he doesn't think are this is Traiya, who's brutally honest and holds nothing back, Esther, who wears her emotions on her sleeve such that Crowe can read her easily, and Marguerite, whose knightly nature rules out deceit as well as a mutual respect of each others' abilities.
In the later part of Saisei-hen, Setsuko asks him if all the good women of ZEXIS haven't caused him to change his mind. Depending on player response, he can in fact say that yes, perhaps his view on women is wrong. However, in spite of his stated dislike of women, he does get along remarkably well with the various ZEXIS ladies.
Honor Before Reason: His million dollar debt is entirely due to the expenses his father rang up before dying. It's even stated the debt would be no issue at all if he were to renounce his inheritance, but he refuses the idea because he sees it as his way to repay his father for raising him.
Before this, Brasta is upgraded with the SPIGOT-VX attack in Hakai-hen, melee or ranged depending on the selection at the start of the game. When Brasta returns partway through Saisei-hen, it gets both versions of the move and all the better stats of both configurations from the first game, along with new attack animations to show Crowe's improved skills.
More Dakka: Brasta's Assault Combat Pattern (ACP) Faiz; ammo conservation is not one of Crowe's strengths.
Overly Long Fighting Animation: A lot of attacks in Hakai-hen count, but Brasta stands out with every one of its animations being unnecessarily long and drawn out, with Clutch Sniper being the most guilty. Crowe misses the first two shots and only hits with the third and final round. Thankfully, this was rectified in Saisei-hen, and a lot of the Brasta's attack animations were significantly shortened or sped up.
Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Played for laughs in the end of Saisei-hen. When all is said and done, in spite of saving the world numerous times, Crowe ends up no closer to paying off his debt than he was at the start of Hakai-hen.
Spell My Name with an S: Like Setsuko and Rand before him, his mecha's name refers to the zodiac sign of his Sphere - in this case, Libra. Prior to Hakai-hen's release, many fans romanized it as "Blaster".
Swiss Army Gun: Brasta's AX-55 EAGLE (Electromagnetic Accelerator Gun Launcher), which can switch between normal, grenade and sniper rounds, as well as mount a beam spiker and shoot spider nets. Li-Brasta B's AX-99 RAPTOR loses the grenade and net features for a quartet of miniaturized SPIGOT weapons that let it perform enhanced versions of the Brasta's original finishers as its standard attacks, as well as bend, teleport, and multiply its beams, or charge up for a BFG.
Take a Third Option: In Hakai-hen, the player had a choice to base the Brasta as a melee or ranged machine. Rather than carry player choice over into Saisei-hen, Brasta comes equipped with both versions of the SPIGOT in its arsenal. Likewise, ACP Faiz features both its melee/ranged final animations in the Dynamic Kill.
Take Up My Sword: A mild example. If you choose to upgrade into the Li-Brasta B, he'll occasionally use Lockon's ( Neil Dylandy's) CatchPhrase, "Targeted and Firing".
Continues into Saisei-hen: Traiya just pretends to be a part of it to mess with him, though it turns out she doesn't want to feel left out, since the other two have certainly fallen for Crowe. Setsuko gets added into the mix later, and makes an attempt to get Crowe to change his views on women, which can actually succeed.
Work Off The Debt: The reason Crowe agreed to be the Brasta's test pilot; being one million in the hole is gonna take a little while to pay off.
After he returned that million later in the game, upgrading his Brasta (right after he cleared his previous debt) cost him two million. He's still in debt by the end of Saisei-hen. Ouch...
Younger than They Look: He's only around 20 despite looking and acting in his mid-twenties. However, his time in Firebug might have had a role in this.
Head of the Axion Foundation's Scott Labs, Traiya is the chief mechanical designer for the Brasta, and after Crowe agrees to work as a test pilot, his immediate superior. Throughout the course of Hakai-hen, she sends Crowe out on various missions across the globe, with his payments being deducted from his debt as he succeeds (or with expenses being incurred if he fails).
Cool Mask: Has a kitsune mask for no readily apparent reason; she claims its her "persona".
The Voiceless: Despite being a major character, Traiya does not have a voice actor.
Esther Elhaas (Voiced by Chihiro Tagaino)
A young woman who initially accosts Crowe, Esther demands he eliminate the Dimensional Beasts (in particular, a white one dubbed "Moby Dick"). She later revealed her family was killed several years back by Moby. ZEXIS manages to destroy the beast, allowing her to move on with her life, thus she chooses to become a test pilot in the Scott Labs at the end of Hakai-hen.In Saisei-hen, Esther is working as a Dimensional Monster Buster for Traiya, piloting the Brasta Es, an improved model of the Brasta. She helps reintroduce the ZEXIS cast to the player as she travels around much like Crowe did and helps them. During one mission, she and Crowe encounter his former Firebug Squad and commander Marilyn. In a twist, Marylin reveals that what destroyed her hometown was a Dimension Energy Crystal experiment gone haywire. Firebug was sent in to "clean up"; however, Crowe had a change of heart and rescued Esther, deserting Firebug. Regardless, Esther doesn't hold it against him. Unfortunately, things quickly turn to tragedy when she's transformed into a Dimensional Beast, after taking a blast for Crowe that infects her with a similar virus Gaioh, the King of Destruction, used. Crowe goes berserk upon this, forcing Rand to intervene and knock him out. To avoid a mercy killing, Zero places a Geass command to order her to cease attacking; she is then taken by the Arksabers. From time to time, Dimensional Beast Esther encounters ZEXIS and they repeatedly drive her off without killing her. Thanks to some assistance from Uther and Esther's own will, she regains her human form. Though horrified by the experience and concerned she may no longer be human, but simply a Dimensional Beast in human form, Crowe reminds her that "no matter what, she IS Esther". For the remainder of Saisei-hen, Esther serves as a dual-protagonist to Crowe.
Action Girl: Though more of one still in-training. Esther's tough, but she still has a long way to go, and while she desperately wants to be one, to the point of trying to take pointers from the other ZEXIS women, notably Kallen Kozuki, Esther is told by Kallen to do her own thing and believe in herself.
A-Cup Angst: She got pissed off after they would not let her wear a bunny suit along with Kallen because of it, but usually doesn't care that much.
Badass Normal: Esther's not a Sphere holder; in fact, the Brasta Es' as normal as you can get for a real robot.
Empowered Badass Normal: However, after being restored into a human, she gains a significant stat boost, suggesting her abilities are still being augmented by the DM Virus, though she has yet to display any active Dimensional Beast abilties.
Combat Medic: Brasta Es has a repair function and Esther comes with a pilot skill that doubles its effectiveness, even though her machine's primarily a combat unit.
Decoy Protagonist: She's effectively the main character for the first 15 scenarios. Once Crowe returns, she gets turned into a Dimensional Beast, giving him back the spotlight.
Deuteragonist: After she's restored to human form, they share the role of the main character for the rest of the game.
Fighting from the Inside: Esther's able to regain control of herself long enough to stop attacking for a few seconds. It's not much, but it's enough for her to show Crowe she's still in there, right around the time he was starting to believe she was gone for good.
Foreshadowing: Hakai-hen openly sets up Esther to play a much larger role in Saisei-hen.
Gratuitous English: Just like Crowe, and for the same reason: she's Britannian by birth, although no longer much of a patriot after they failed to protect her home.
Meaningful Echo: The first time Crowe and Esther really start to become close in Hakai-hen, Esther mutters her doubts and despair that Moby Dick and the Neo Empire Imperium can ever be defeated. Crowe tells her whenever a situation looks impossible, and giving up seems to be the only sane option, the best response to that is to say "So what?" and follow the course. As soon as she's restored to human form in Saisei-hen, Crowe suggests because the situation is growing too dangerous, she should back out of the war. Guess what her response is?
Mythology Gag: Compare her conversation about a human-Dimensional Beast to Excellen Browning making a quip about whether or not she's still human, even when she's part-Einst; it's strikingly similar.
Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Unfortunately, she lacked the skills to carry this out in Hakai-hen, so she demands Crowe do this in her stead.
Captain Ersatz: Has the looks and personality similar to Akuma, except Gaiou's decidedly more cruel. Fist of the North Star fans might recognize aspects of Jugai from "The Legend of Kenshiro" movie. Incidentally, Gaiou and Jugai share the same voice actor.
Fallen Hero: One of the four Dimensional Generals armed with Revive Cells and Dimensional Beasts, Gaiou was once their home dimension's last hope against whatever the Black Knowledge predicted. They lost, with Gaiou being the Sole Survivor, and he eventually came to live only for battle.
Figure It Out Yourself: Before he dies in Saisei-hen, he outright refuses to tell ZEXISZ any helpful details about his old foes from the Black History aside from confirming they will soon return. He states ZEXIS is strong enough to have the potential to destroy them and dies, taking the specific knowledge of who and what they are to his grave. ZEXIS is rather annoyed at this.
Honor Before Reason: Despite how horrible he is as the story goes, he did spare the leaders of the United Nations so that they can call their forces (namely ZEXIS and ZEUTH) to give him a good fight, even though he could've destroyed them all from the outset.
He even refuses to allow others to restore his memories, believing it should be his choice.
Physical God: AND HOW; his first appearance involves him briefly beating the crap out of ZEXIS ON FOOT.
Quest for Identity: In Hakai-hen, he journeys to find his lost memories, which he regains at the end.
Trademark Favorite Food: Hot dogs, so much that when he's finally defeated by ZEXIS and ZEUTH, Gaiou's last wish was to eat another one.
The Unfettered: He doesn't remember much about his past, so he just goes around the world, doing what he feels like and leaving the scheming up to Aim, Shiony Regis and Carlos Axion Jr. When you're as powerful as he is, who's going to stop you?
Villains Out Shopping: There are a few scenes in Saisei-hen of him simply hanging out with Carlos. He also likes fast food, but mostly hot dogs.
The Virus: Gaiou can grow and manipulate Dimension Energy Crystals through the Gertilan's Revive Cells, allowing him to infect his opponents with crystalline growths that forcibly transform them into Dimensional Beasts. Judging by the number of them you fight, he's fought a hell of a lot of people.
Weaksauce Weakness: Basara's music in Saisei-hen drains his morale just like a DM. Conventional attacks allow Gaiou to counterattack (and thus gain back some more morale), but this can be worked around by using the MAP versions of his songs. Since his Ace bonus doesn't kick in until he's at 130 morale, you can just use Basara to get his morale at rock-bottom and then take him out in one turn.
Well-Intentioned Extremist: His ultimate goal's to become strong enough to fight against the calamity that will destroy the multiverse as dictated in the Black Knowledge.
Zero Approval Gambit: It's hinted in the final battle of Saisei-hen he was acting like a complete jerk beforehand just so the heroes would be motivated to fight him. The purpose of that was to see if they could defeat the disaster that defeated him.
The ruler of the nation of Rimonasia, Shiony hatched a plan to use the Dimension Energy Crystals abundant in her country to make it a leading world power.
The Cameo: In Saisei-hen scenario 15, she appears in a brief event where she gives Esther some Nyan Nyan buns and runs off before her identity is revealed. Turns out while she did survive the events of Hakai-hen, she's become a bum. She reappears in scenario 46 alongside a bunch of unnamed NPC.
Les Collaborateurs: With Carlos, in cahoots with Aim. In all fairness, once Gaioh shows up she realizes she's way out of her league, but that doesn't stop her from trying to curry favor until the very end.
The young head of the Axion Foundation and one of the richest men in the world, Carlos winds up backing the Imperium set up by Shiony, although there are hints that he has his own designs. When he's captured by ZEXIS and interrogated for Gaiou's location after revealing he's been working against them, he doesn't say a word. Unfortunately for Carlos, he doesn't realize he was earlier marked with a Geass command by Zero to always answer his questions.
The Atoner: In Saisei-hen, he's given his entire fortune to the reconstruction effort as penance for his deeds and now works as a manager for the Scott Lab's DM Busters.
Riches To Rags: By the start of Saisei-hen, he hasn't got two credits to rub together, jokingly calling himself "Zero". Subverted later, as he eventually makes a ton of money again by playing the stock market. Double subverted in the ZEXIS route ending, where Carlos not only survived his Heroic Sacrifice, but has given up his fortune to work as a simple waiter.
The recurring enemies of Hakai-hen and Saisei-hen, Dimensional Beasts are part and parcel of a world that constantly suffers from dimensional quakes, with them appearing seemingly at random, and disappearing just as quickly after the initial rampage.
Ambiguous Robots: Higher level beasts blur the line, such as the Rhino-class sprouting cannons to fire at you and the Dino-class having clawed arms that spin like drills. Makes all the more sense once you realize how Dimensional Beasts are made.
Colony Drop: Dino-class Beasts spit these out of their mouths in several bite-sized portions that fuse together into a gigantic meteor mid-flight.
Detachment Combat, Action Bomb: The ranged attack of the Bull-class has them hurl their own tails at you. Uniquely, these severed tails mutate midflight into a monster of its own. Should these hit, they wrap around the target and explode.
Fire, Ice, Lightning: Bizzarely, Rhino-class Beasts mush them all together in their ranged attack, shooting electrified fireballs that flash-freeze whatever they hit!
The Catfish: The white-skinned Rhino-class coined "Moby Dick" ("MD" for short) by Esther. Of course, this color change makes it superior to other Rhino-types, and it uses blue fire in its charging attack instead of orange.
Leitmotif: "DAMON" for MD, Dino-class, Giga-class, and Shin Dino-class; "Worlds Encroaching Alert" for Levia-class, Rook-class, and Shin Levia-class
Living Ship: Levia-class; if you were wondering where those flat-headed flying Beasts that were fought in the opening cinematic were at, they're this.
Hailing from another world, the Kingdom of Insaraum first appears in Hakai-hen as a group of mecha-piloting knights that serve Gaioh. However, their service is not willing; in fact, Insaraum's experiments in Dimensional Energy brought Gaiou and his army of Dimensional Beasts to their world. Unable to defeat him, the surviving Arksabers, the peacekeepers and royal guard of Insaraum, were forced to serve him in exchange for their lives.In Saisei-hen, the survivors of Insaraum are now trying to rebuild their kingdom. Unfortunately, they're trying to rebuild it on Earth...Tropes regarding multiple members of Insaraum are:
Honor Before Reason: Serves Gaiou loyally, despite hating his guts, because as a knight, he cannot break his word.
Large Ham: Overflowing; it's hard to say how serious he's being with it, really. It's almost comical in his intensity when we see him shouting Marguerite's name at the top of his lungs, with her seemingly standing right next to him.
Post Humous Character: In Saisei-hen, he's revealed to have been quite a high-ranking and respected Knight of Insaraum, as well as the former mentor of one of the new characters.
Secret Character: In Hakai-hen only, she can be recruited if Crowe defeats her in every scenario she appears in from scenario 34 onwards, then convinced by him on scenario 49. Subverted in Saisei-hen, since she is obtained naturally.
What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Is saddened by the death of a certain Dimensional Beast...which is later revealed to be her brother. This serves as a Foreshadowing that all Dimensional Beasts you've been killing were once people. Chances are, though, they were never in control of their actions as a Dimensional Beast.
Obi-Wan Moment: After being defeated by Crowe and the Li-Brasta, he manages to make it back to his own forces and passes on his title and mecha to Wayne before dying from his injuries.
Red Baron: Holds the title of the "Knight of Knights" which he passes onto Wayne before succumbing to a mortal wound.
The Ace: Geraud is one of the only bosses in the game whose statline assumes you've heavily upgraded your units, meaning he's phenomenally accurate and hits like a truck even on Special Mode. While he's still not especially difficult because of spirit commands, he's one of the few opponents for whom their heavy use is mandatory, as going without protection will result in even fully upgraded units potentially being taken out in a single attack routine.
Necessarily Evil: Everything she does is for the sake of Insaraum and Uther, even if her methods are depraved. She doesn't mind if history writes her down as a villain, so long as Insaraum is revived.
Pet the Dog: A very polite, gracious host to Kei, Athena, Orson, and Eureka while they're her prisoners. She even returns them to their Orguss units once she's gathered the data she needs, although she can't guarantee the Arksabers will let them go without a fight.
Poisonous Friend: Manipulates her lord Uther because she truly believes the current course of action is what's best for him and for Insaraum.
Uther Insaraum, the King of Restoration (Voiced by Yasuhiro Mamiya)
The leader of the Holy Kingdom of Insaraum, Uther's the Prince of Insaraum, but after his father died in battle against Gaiou he reluctantly became the new king and survived alongside the remaining members of the Kingdom to have his revenge. He pilots the Seiohki "Insarius Arclinus", the personal weapon of the Seioh ("Holy King"), which contains the Sphere of the Inexhaustible Gourd, allowing him to revive fallen allies. However, the side effect is it drains away his life and kills him slowly.
Altum Videtur: He recites a Latin chant for his strongest attack.
BFS: Insarius Arclinus' Collbrande; notably, the sword remained sheathed for the last 2000 years, until Uther awakened the Inexhaustible Gourd and gained access to it. According to Aim, this Sphere is among the most difficult to awaken, as the key to it requires love through self-sacrifice.
Blessed with Suck: Every bit as much as Setsuko and maybe more. The Sphere of the Inexhaustible Gourd sucks out his life force to power itself, rapidly enough to kill him within at most weeks of his using it.
Bling of War: Insarius Arclinus is easily one of the most pimped-out machines in SRW history.
Dying Alone: In the normal route, he's abandoned by the Arksabers and dies with no one by his side, no thanks to his closest comrades having betrayed him or having died fighting for him.
Enemy Mine: In the final scenario of the ZEXIS route, he appears to align himself with Gaioh; however, this turns out to be a ruse so that he can take out Gaiou. Unfortunately, Gaiou reveals he had anticipated Uther would try something like that, and goes One-Winged Angel, mortally wounding Uther.
Expy: Of the Prince from Oscar Wilde's The Happy Prince, who sacrificed all that he has for the sake of his people.
In fact, it's so silly it's almost a subversion: he appears in scenario 16 and does nothing except defend every turn, and if he's hit just once he freaks out and runs back to his mothership. Wow. Once you face him again on the field later on, however...
Jerkass Fašade: Acts like an arrogant Jerkass after he "hardens his heart" so that ZEXIS wouldn't hesitate to fight against him.
Leitmotif: Ou no Ai wa Tami no Tame ni ("The King's Love is His People")
Large And In Charge: At over 100 meters tall, the Insarius Arclinus dwarfs every other Insaraum mecha in the game.
Meaningful Name: Named after Uther Pendragon, the father to King Arthur in Arthurian legends; the Insarius Arclinus even resembles a medieval king. The Collbrande is the alternate word for the Excalibur, Arthur's famous sword. Finally, compare the phonetic pronounciation of "Arclinus" to Aquarius, especially if you use both words with a Japanese accent. Makes sense when you realize Uther is the bearer of the Inexhaustible Gourd.
Pet the Dog: After awakening his Sphere and taking his place as the Holy King, he allows one final act of kindness by restoring Esther into her human form.
Took a Level in Badass: About fifty of them, after Geraud dies. He goes from a wimpy prince who flees after taking the slightest bit of damage to having the balls to put himself between Gaiou and ZEXIS, then proceeding to take him out in one attack.
Zero Approval Gambit: Acts like a ruthless, corrupt tyrant in order to get his Arksabers to abandon him, so that ZEXIS will fight him without mercy. His goal was to have Crowe kill him to acquire his Sphere, and for Marguerite to take control of the remaining population of Insaraum.
The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Elgan was the one who came up with the idea for the creation of ZEXIS. Prior to that, he aided both Celestial Being and the Dragon's Hive under the alias "Portman", supplying both organizations with useful information. After he reveals himself and aids in the creation of ZEXIS, he becomes highly invested in their continued success, at one point stating to Shiony that ZEXIS was "the only hope for the world". At the end of Hakai-hen, Ribbons Almark has successfully drugged and controlled Elgan into serving his designs. Fortunately, Saisei-hen reveals Elgan anticipated something like this might happen, and ensured that regardless of what happened to him, ZEXIS would exist as a policing force independent of the Earth Sphere Federation, beyond the authority of even the Organization of Zodiac or the A-Laws. In actuality, Elgan is the ZEXIS world's version of The Edel Bernal. Unlike his Evil Counterpart, Elgan refused to Go Mad from the Revelation after learning of the Black Knowledge, but did his best to ensure humanity would be prepared to fight the oncoming calamity. To this end, he cooperated with Aeolia Schenberg from 200 years ago to help spur the evolution of the Innovators, and formed ZEXIS as a group of all the planet's greatest warriors, doing his best to help them get stronger with each trial they face. Sadly, near the end of Saisei-hen, Ribbons shoots Elgan in a fit of rage at all his plans having been ruined, but Elgan survives long enough to pass his information of the Black Knowledge onto ZEXIS before succumbing to his wounds.
A mysterious man with the ability to summon Dimension Beasts as he pleases, Aim appears early and often in the plot to confront and antagonize Crowe. He's the bearer of the Sphere of the Lying Black Sheep, which renders him unable to tell the truth. Near the end of Hakai-hen, Asakim kills him and claims his Sphere for his own. However, Aim used the power of his Sphere to rewrite reality so that Asakim never killed him and only received a fake copy of the Lying Black Sheep. He returns to antagonize Crowe once more in Saisei-hen, pretending to be servile to Uther while scheming to take his Sphere, before confronting ZEXIS one last time; however, the world is wrapped up in so much lies and deceit that Aim becomes seemingly invincible — until Asakim faces him once again. Using the Sphere of the Truthful Goat he acquired, he forces Aim to disclose his past: he was originally a researcher named Hamal Argo who built his entire career on lies. Forced to face this truth, Aim's Sphere is weakened to the point of deactivation, and he's swiftly dispatched by Uther for his manipulation of Insaraum.
The Chessmaster: Aim essentially orchestrated the entirety of the Second Super Robot Wars Z through deceit and impersonations, providing Anbrorn with dimensional technology and bringing Gaiou into the world of ZEXIS, all in order to awaken both the Swaying Scales and the Inexhaustible Gourd so that he may harvest them.
Consummate Liar: Justified: the Lying Black Sheep makes him physically unable to tell the truth, thus everything coming out from his mouth is a lie of some form.
Cursed with Awesome: Lying Black Sheep is one of the best Spheres if you don't mind lying all the time, as it lets the user otherwise have full control of themselves, doesn't drain their senses like Sorrowful Maiden or suck out their life force like Inexhaustible Gourd, and can turn the user into a full-fledged Reality Warper if there's enough deceit and confusion going on in the world. It turns into Blessed with Suck if the Truth Ful Goat is around, which can completely cancel all of its powers, a relationship so far unique among Spheres.
Meaningful Name: On multiple levels. "Aim Liard" becomes a partial anagram of "I'm a liar". Pretty suitable, since he's the holder of the Lying Black Sheep. His mecha name, Arietis, refers to the zodiac sign of Aries. Lastly, Hamul means "star" in Aramaic and Argo means "the head of the ram" in Greek, making him the bearer of the Sphere representing "the star at the head of the ram".
Based on his demeanor in the final battle with him in Saisei-hen, it seems that he starts speaking tongues when his power boils over, and starts lying more frantically (as in the "2+2=fish" sense) as you deplete his HP, in an effort to keep his power up.