A console RPG series developed by Crea-tech that takes place in a Mad Max-style post-apocalyptic world. The player takes on the role of a young bounty hunter, cleaning up criminals and monsters and learning about the world.The games in the series thus far:
Metal Max (NES 1991) - The first game in the series. The player controls a youngster, kicked out of your dad's place because you want to be a Hunter instead of a grease monkey. Along the way you join with a curious mechanic and a foul-mouthed lady soldier, butt heads with the famous hunter, Wolf, hunt bounties around Crime Country, and learn about Noah, the supercomputer that brought about the end of the world over a hundred years prior.
Metal Max 2 (SNES 1993, GBA 2003) - The young protege of a famous Hunter, you witness her group's death at the hands of Ted Broiler, a commander of The Grapplers. You set out to destroy the criminal syndicate, with the assistance of a punk mechanic, an incompetent gun girl, and an intelligent dog with a bazooka mount.
Metal Max Returns (SNES 1995) - A remake of the NES game with enhanced graphics and references to Metal Max 2. Translated by Aeon Genesis.
Metal Saga: Seijin no Kusari (PS2) - See Excuse Plot. Received a Western localization from Atlus.
Metal Saga: Hagane no Kisetsu (DS) - A direct sequel to the first Metal Max (and Returns by proxy). As the son of the first game's Hunter, Lebanner, you must unravel the threat of the Noah Seed and thwart the disaster that already ruined the world once before.
Metal Max 3 (DS) - You play an amnesiac Hunter who is revived by Dr. Minch, journeying to regain your memory (and your belongings). The first game in the series to let you freely choose what characters make up your party. In addition to the main character, you can choose up to two human characters (male, female, or "okama") from six different classes - Hunters, Soldiers, Mechanics, Wrestlers, Nurses, and Artists - with the fourth party slot reserved for everyone's favorite gun-wielding dog Pochi. It also introduces armored motorcycles, cars, and the strange but powerful "bio-tank".
Metal Max 2: Reloaded (DS) - An Updated Re-release of Metal Max 2 which uses the same classes from Metal Max 3 and includes different vehicles.
Metal Max 4: Moonlight Diva (3DS)
The series features the following tropes:
Abandoned Laboratory - Yoshida Life Sciences Laboratory and the Global Relief Center in Metal Max (Returns). Noguchi Chemical from Metal Max 2.
A.I. Is a Crapshoot - Noah is a supercomputer designed to save the world and humanity from pollution. After acquiring the answer and recalculating the situation countless times, Noah always came up with the same conclusion: the Earth will always be in peril as long as humans exist. Noah's consciousness was developed after coming to that conclusion, and saw that if Civilization was destroyed, the problems it caused would be erased with it. Though he seems to have overlooked the fact that destroying humanity would turn the rest of the world on end as well.
Also, in Metal Saga, while she's already a robot, if Alpha dies so many times that you can no longer revive her, you can retrieve her memory banks and turn them into a computer, then install them in a tank. It's unclear whether it's really 'her', though — the tank can't operate itself.
Final Death - Wolf in Returns (Nina also, if you are driving Wolf's tank when you rescue her from Valdez). Everyone that is killed (except party members) in Metal Max 2.
Also, in Metal Saga, if Alpha dies more than ten times, she suffers a power failure and can't be revived... although her memory banks can be retrieved, sort of.
Freudian Excuse Bias Brad's reason for causing the apocalypse is because he was afraid of death and was angry at the prospect of seeing his genius being defeated by an incurable disease that he contracted. As a result, he wanted his intellect to remain unmatched and reduced humanity to near-extinction through his human hunts so as to prevent anyone else from reaching or surpassing his level. He died but saved himself by uploading his mind to a supercomputer claiming that death only took a disease ridden corpse
Goggles Do Nothing - The Main character in almost every game has a pilot cap with goggles, but is never seen using them.
Guide Dang It - Good luck finding every little event and item without a nicely detailed FAQ or map. Especially the tanks. There are also a few really bad glitches involving items a first-timer wouldn't know about unless he/she read a guide.
The Synchronizer and Cyclotron code in 2.
Human Popsicle: The Protagonist of 4 was Cryogenically frozen during the time Noah went Berserk. Those who were frozen at the time are called "Heat Seeds". The mission of the Heat Seeds are to restore civilization after everything calmed down. The Protagonist's Mother was the one who instituted the project. Unfortunately, she died during the process of revival from Cryogenic stasis.
Human Resources - The Grapplers of Metal Max 2 go on people hunts to get guinea pigs for their cruel experiments.
The Igor - Dr. Minche/Mortem's Assistant is literally named Igor. He drags your corpse to the Doctor in Metal Max 3
Infinity+1 Sword - In MMR: For tanks, the White Muu. For on-foot weapons, the Laser Bazooka with all four lenses.
Lost Forever - Certain bosses may (or may not) drop their items. Some of these items may (or may not) be completely unique.
Metal Max Returns gives you Item, Equipment and Monster lists for your BS-Con, giving you a way to measure your progress towards 100% completion. Bonus points for the Strawberry Lipstick, a useless novelty item that nonetheless has a convoluted process to acquire within a limited portion of the storyline.
In Metal Saga, you only get one shot at each bounty boss. If you lose, you get revived and can continue the game (as usual), but you can never fight that boss again, which means you can never collect their reward, never get any items they drop, and miss out on any plot developments related to defeating them. Ouch.
Noodle Incident - The "Great Destruction", which is the apocalyptic event which lead to the current world in the series. Environmental catastrophes occurred, and the computer systems Turned Against Their Masters. A scientist known as Professor Brad presumed to have vanished right around this time.
Actually it is the same for all the other games, the only difference is that you are given an option to Return Home after you set out. Metal Max 3 is the first game to not have this right from the start of the game.
You can also ask either Misha or Rachel to marry you, which will end the game.
Only Mostly Dead - As long as the corpse is fresh, Dr. Minche/Mortem can revive you or your allies at no cost (since the process is experimental).
Unmoving Plaid - Although it is very hard to spot unless you're looking for it, in the FMV opening sequence to Metal Saga: Seijin no Kusari, the main character's vest has a camo pattern made using this type of animation.
Wake-Up Call Boss - The two Big Cannons in Metal Max (Returns), which teach you to use part-breaking attacks such as Piercing Shells and the Wrench Boomerang (and the Buggy's open top as well).
Wide Open Sandbox - Metal Saga can make you feel pretty lost with all the choice you're given so early on in the game.
Metal Max Returns is a bit better about this. You can follow the world's semblance of linearity, passing through each major landmark and experiencing its story... or you can make for Canabelle and Hell's Gate while dealing with the bare requisite minimum Bounty Heads and other roadblocks, reaching the best buyable equipment in record time.
Metal Max, Metal Max 2, Metal Saga Sajin No Kusari