A Play By Post online roleplay game that takes place in Gundam SEED's "Cosmic Era" timeline, Project R starts with a Retcon of Gundam SEED. In the Project R timeline, things began to change during the early parts of Gundam SEED. In the cliffhanger orbital battle between OMNI's Eighth Fleet and ZAFT's Le Crueset team, instead of being wiped out to a man nearly half the Eighth Fleet, including Rear Admiral Lewis Halberton, survive as the Archangel descended to Earth.Major changes come later that turn it into a full-scale Alternate History: Admiral Halberton leads the Eighth Fleet in a revolt against OMNI following Operation Spitbreal, in disgust over Vice Admiral Sutherland's use of the entire Eurasian Naval Flotilla, and the JOSH-A base, as bait for ZAFT, and the use of the Cyclops System. Their resolve is further strengthened as Muruta Azrael leads his fleet to invade ORB for no other reason than he wants their mass driver. The Eighth heads to the Mendel Colony, where it runs into the Archangel and the entirety of ORB's space forces - which is not merely the Kusanagi but rather a heavy task group. They are joined by the Clyne Faction, which consists of the Eternal escorted by a powerful task force of ZAFT warships. The Battle of Mendel ensues between the tentative allies and two separate forces that come to hunt them - the Dominion task force under Natarle Badgeriuel from OMNI, and a heavily-reinforced Le Crueset Team from ZAFT. Both OMNI and ZAFT are repelled, although Lewis Halberton is forced to sacrifice his ship and himselfto save theEternalfrom the Dominion'sLohengrin.Murrue Ramius then assumes overall command of the new force, christened the Terminal Alliance, who intervene at Second Jachin to prevent both the nuclear annihilation of PLANT and the firing of GENESIS into the Earth. When Azrael declares that the destruction of PLANT takes priority over saving the Earth, Natarle Badgeriuel calmly draws her sidearm and shoots Azrael, then defects with her ship to Terminal to stop both nuclear attacks on civilians. The powerful force of capital ships and Gundams manages to stop the nuclear destruction on all fronts, but not without paying tremendous cost. Mwu La Flaga, crippled from his duel with Rau Le Creuset's Providence Gundam is bugging out when he sees a half-dozen Moebiuses armed with nukes, escorted by the CalamityGundam and a half-dozen GAT-01A1 Daggers. Knowing he's the only one in position to stop them before they launch, he throws himself at the formation, and manages to kill all six nuclear archers and the Calamity, despite the severe damageto his mobile suit.Athrun Zala leads a team into Jachin to destroy the controls to GENESIS. His father dies in his arms as he attempts to disable the controls, and he eventually sees that he can't shut GENESIS down from the control station. On the way back to his mobile suit, he is badly wounded when rounding a corner, catching a trio of assault rifle rounds in the shoulder. He manages to limp back to his suit after enough first aid is applied to get himself out of immediate mortal danger, and he sets off to destroy GENESIS's Phase Shift generator so that the massive graser can be destroyed. The Justice has no weapons powerful enough to blow the generator, so he sets the self-destruct and escapes the blast aboard Cagalli's Strike Rouge.The final guardian of GENESIS, Rau Le Creuset, stands alone, daring all to come for the superweapon. Kira Yamato accepts the challenge and flings himself into the fight. Le Creuset's DRAGOONs wear him down, but Kira stays in the fight and keeps the Providence off the Fleet, which focuses all of its firepower on the superweapon. It soon becomes clear that the station will survive to fire one more time, but before it can Natarle Badgireul elects to force the issue. Evacuating her crew, she perosnally flies the Dominiondown the gauntlet into GENESIS's firing barrel. Kira is forced to take more damage to protect the Dominion when the wounded battleship makes its suicide run, and he is worn down further. Natarle manages to break through and fires her Lohengrins into GENESIS's firing barrel just as the weapon is triggered, blowing the massive station up from the inside. Kira gets through Le Creuset's defenses and lands a mortal blow on the Providence, but he is unable to escape the blast wave as GENESIS half-fires its last shot. With the fanatics on both sides dead, and Terminal's surviving ships and pilots still ready to stop the fighting, moderates on both sides sue for peace, and the Junius Treaty is signed, ending the Valentine War.However, even with the victory of the Terminal Alliance, there are still plenty of loose ends. A single OMNI carrier - the Agrippa - had a full magazine of nuclear warheads still aboard, and had gone missing. The new President of the Earth Alliance, Dietrich Baum, shares this fact with both ORB and ZAFT. The three nations agree to locate the Blue Cosmos-controlled warheads together, and a coalition force which becomes known as the Combined Task Force is assembled to locate the missing nuclear warheads. Lord Djibril, Muruta Azrael's heir as leader of Blue Cosmos, knows that the depleted Blue Cosmos units he still has cannot stand against the Combined Task Force, and he begins siphoning off the best he has into a side project of his own. Over a three month period, the Combined Task Force successfully locates the Agrippa and hidden base in the Debris Belt that they were using to stage their nukes from, destroying the immediate threat.The success of the Combined Task Force causes President Baum, Chairman Durandel, and Premier Atha to discuss forming a permanent, multinational force dedicated to counterterror and rapid response. The final result is the formation of the Joint Strike Force, which immediately goes to work hunting down the meager remnants of Blue Cosmos alongside the still-tenacious Zala Remnant. The initial focus they have on the Zala Remnant allows Djibril to rebuild his forces at a hidden base. Combining handpicked soldiers from OMNI whose reliability he trusts, the cream of the crop from the survivors of Second Jachin, and a few of his 'special' projects, the Phantom Pain are formed as the new, reinvigorated military arm of Blue Cosmos.The Joint Strike Force was preparing to unveil the first three of its new Gundam line at their spaceborn headquarters, the PLANT known as Armory One. The new Gundams were designed in principal by ZAFT even though their in-house team, the Joint Design Bureau, played heavily, when a surprise visit from President Baum, Chairman Durandel, and Premier Atha. Their other surprise visitors, though, came by way of a Phantom Pain stealth battle carrier. A Phantom Pain team raided the base, stole the three Gundam prototypes, and assassinated President Baum in the crossfire. What pilots were available on the base took to the nearest mobile suits, and gave chase in the brand-new strike carrier ''Minerva'', and that is where our story begins...The story starts off as a simple Good vs. Evil story, as a ragtag group of JSF pilots are sent up against Phantom Pain, who gleefully carries out the Armory One raid and distracts the JSF from stopping Break the World. Things get more complex as Phantom Pain is brought into the OMNI military as an elite Mobile Suit unit and gains members unaware of its heritage, while on both sides there begin rumors that everything is not as it appears upwards on the chain of command and morality to become increasingly greyer. This eventually leads to the formation of a new faction, the Chimera Corps, who are the survivors of Phantom Pain combined with elite ZAFT pilots.The site uses a simple, cinematic ruleset, with a 'character builds' system in place to give every pilot some flavor and a defined area of specialization. Actual combat metrics are absent, although there was a brief experiment with a dice-based system which was ultimately down-voted by the players. Technology-wise, there has been a great deal of additions to the SEED Destiny canon, mostly to compensate for the fact that OMNI got the short end of the stick when it came to mobile suits in the Destiny canon.As of the Summer of 2013 the game has come to an end, the result of core characters having to alter schedules and decreased interest. A epilogue is in the works, giving players the chance to wrap up events while providing the possibility of a sequel wook. For people who are looking for quick summaries, large sections of the game have been divided into "episodes" and summarized by the main admin. For those interested, it can be found here.Fittingly has a Character SheetA rough timeline of events for reference:The Armory One Raid -> The Debris Belt Action -> Break The World -> The Blockade Run -> Operation Ratcathcer -> The Battle of Kaoshiung -> The Indian Ocean Action -> The Mira Ross Incident -> The Battle of Lodonia Island -> The Battle of Armory One -> The Battle of Icelandic Orbit -> The Battle of Heaven's Base -> The South American BetrayalOne thing to note is that the many of the players, and at least one of the site Administrators, are Tropers and thus know that Tropes Are Not Bad.
This game provides examples of:
Ace Custom: All over the place, with many examples of both the mechanical and decorative types. In addition to the various Gundam units there are several limited production models. Not even the Gundams are immune to custom paint jobs, but the JMW-01 Centurion takes the cake in that department: while it was the front-line JSF machine few if any wore the original colors from the factory.
A Father to His Men: Lieutenant Commander Bryan Marshall of the Fourth Mobile Wing, Joint Strike Force. He cares for the pilots under his command deeply, often exposing himself to unnecessary risks to keep them safe. He pushes them just hard enough to keep them constantly improving without breaking, and makes sure to use his connections within the Joint Strike Force to get those who earn it promoted and decorated. This is seen most clearly right before the Coalition moves on Heaven's Base, when he was able to swing promotions for several of his pilots on top of medals for over half the squadron
Ancient Conspiracy: George Glenn Society. also known as the Librarians and Librarian works.
Animal Theme Naming: The JSF's 4th Mobile Wing are known as the 'Birds of Prey' and the individual squads have always carried the names Hawk, Eagle, and Falcon. For a time a fourth squad, Condor, was added before casualties and transfers after Lodonia cut the roster back down to size.
Attack Pattern Alpha: Now and again, although most battles devolve into free-for-alls or a series of protracted duels rather quickly.
Author Appeal: The fact that ships are relevant to combat in a Gundamverse setting instead of deathtraps in the face of mobile suits, may have something to do with having a US Navy shipdriver for an Admin.
Awesome but Impractical: The GAT-09S Avenger, the Alliance's close-combat specialist unit. It has several nifty weapons taken from the Strike Noir, and has a new miniaturized Geschmeidig Panzer pods that allow it to reflect beam attacks at enemy targets. However, it lacks Phase Shift armor or any other defensive shielding meaning that is is completely unprotected against physical weaponry, which most Joint Strike Force units carry.
Badass Crew: Both Player factions. The Joint Strike Force's ranks are comprised of Terminal's surviving pilots from Second Jachin and young top guns who volunteered after the Valentine War. Phantom Pain is much the same, being composed of Second Jachin survivors from the OMNI side of the house, OMNI pilots whose politics lean towards Blue Cosmos, OMNI's best and brightest who didn't know about its history when President Copeland 'created' them after Break The World, and the odd Extended. Both sides are much smaller than OMNI, ZAFT, or ORB's militaries, but their combat power per squadron is significantly higher because of the quality of their personnel and equipment.
Battle Couple: Meer Campbell and Axel Adelmar from the beginning, as they were already seeing each other when Axel was transferred to the Minerva. After a few drinks at Carpentaria, Aaron Jast and Lyn Mason grow into one. During the Valentine War, Bryan and Mira made up one as well, but that didn't end well...
Big Damn Heroes: Invoked several times, with reinforcements driving off one faction to end the combat.
The Bad Guy Wins: The JSF take a major defeat during the South American Betrayal, with two pilots shot down and the Minerva and Andrew Waltfield lost.
Boxed Crook: Many of the Phantom Pain pilots become this after the Battle of Heaven's Base where they join ZAFT pilots to make up the Chimera Corps. They are offered the chance to have their faces changed and their pasts expunged, with an unsaid implication that if they choose not to serve they'll be imprisoned or executed.
Character Development : As an RPG, this is a given. Both factions have a character that stands out well as breakout characters. The Joint Strike Force has Meer Campbell, who went from a naive young girl at the start of the game to a seasoned veteran. Likewise Phantom Pain has Matthias Blaine, who was a mercenary when the story began and grew into the role of caring for his team and dealing with his status as a Newtype.
Colony Drop: A necessity for a Gundam setting. Here, a modified version of Break The World occurs as an early Wham Episode.
Cool Starship: The JFS Minerva, the AFS Seraphim, and the AFS Muruta Azrael all qualify. The Minerva is the Joint Strike Force's purpose-built heavyweight, designed to hit hard and fast. The Seraphim is one of Phantom Pain's battle carriers, and being the same as the original Archangel, is the most powerful class of ship in the Earth Sphere. The Muruta Azrael is a Stealth in Space battle carrier designed by LOGOS as a platform for blitzkreig raids on heavy targets, best demonstrated by the Armory One Raid. The Halberton-class destroyers also count, as the first non-Hero starships that aren't cannon fodder for mobile suits in the Cosmic Era.
Continuity Nod: The Phantom Pain's Gundams are the ones used in the Gundam SEED sidestories C.E. 73 Stargazer and C.E. 73 Δ Astray. And several of the JSF's newer units are expressly stated to draw from the Freedom, Justice, and Providence.
Enemy Mine: Perhaps unsurprisingly the early days of the JSF, when they weren't dealing with being a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits, were plagued by this sort of thing as people who'd fought one another in the Bloody Valentine War found themselves as wingmates. Like the Ragtag bit it lessened over time. But it spiked again towards the end of the Junius War with defectors like Mira Ross and Marn Soral. And then the Chimera Corp took it Up to Eleven. If everyone in the Corp tried to kill everyone they wanted to at the same time (not counting Aeron for obvious reasons) then the entire unit would likely be wiped out.
The Engineer: Dr. Sheryl Campbell, Meer's mother. Sheryl is the head design engineer in the Joint Design Bureau, and she headed the Gundam project that lead to the Chaos, Abyss, Gaia, Saviour, Glory, and Impulse. She also designed the Gladiator and Aiglos limited-production units. She accompanies the Minerva more often than not to repair the frequent battle damage the pilots sustain, as well as keep an eye on her daughter and her new beau, Bryan.
Anton Gabriel, the head of ZAFT's Integrated Design Bureau and the designer of the Neutron Jammer Canceller, hyper-deuterion reactor technology, and the Wings of Light, also certainly qualifies.
Ensign Newbie: Several characters had never flown a combat mission when they started. Meer Campbell and Kenshin Juunjigata had minimal flight time, and Aaron Jast had just left the Academy when they were introduced.
Escort Mission: On several occasions one side has had to escort some NPCs while the other one tries to destroy said NPCs. Some of the targets being escorted have been pretty nasty characters in their own right (Nuclear-missile-launching Strikeblades, Zamza-Zahs) while others have been soft targets (unarmed breaker teams, transport ships filled with unmanned mobile suits). But in every case, true to form, the escorting team has not left the mission in a very good mood.
Even Evil Has Standards: Many members of Phantom Pain have serious doubts about using nuclear weapons, even against hard military targets.
Evil Counterpart: Mira Ross to Bryan Marshall. Both were OMNI aces during the Valentine War, and both thought the other dead at the War's end. They took the news of the other's alleged death very differently.
Meer Campbell and Chu Hong, taking on the Action Girl and Dark Action Girl role for their respective sides. Both are nationalistic, determined, and came into the War as idealists, and lost that idealism as the Junius War progressed. Both also carry the SEED Factor
The Rosso Aegis and the Saviour. Both are Transforming Mecha whose second form has a jet-like appearance, both carry ship-killing heavy weapons, both started off with a red paint-job, and both fly at comparably high speeds. They act as The Rival for one another, but in a curious case it's only the machines that maintain the rivalry: while Aeron Adda has always been the Aegis's pilot the Saviour has had three, each of whom has had to inherit the problem of dealing with Adda.
Fragile Speedster: The Glory. Combines with Glass Cannon - has a devastating anti-mobile suit punch, is the most agile Gundam in space until the introduction of the Destiny. However, it is approximately 2/3 the weight of other units in its class, and to get the weight that low, almost all of what was stripped was the armor. Its Variable Phase Shift helps compensate for this, but it isn't quite enough given the number of times the Glory has come back with massive damage...
Gameplay and Story Integration: As a PvP game it is pretty much mandatory for the player characters of both factions to be fighting one another all the time, as fighting mooks controlled by a puppetmaster Admin can only hold the attention of the players for so long. This could seem a bit odd when the 4th can't seem to do anything without the Seraphim detachment showing up, and vice versa. But this becomes a plot point when it's revealed that a traitor has been feeding the Phantom Pain information on JSF movements. Once that is dealt with it becomes a matter of each side attempting to land death blows on the other, mandating the presence of the elite units the players have formed.
Gentleman and a Scholar: Wade Hogeboom has a tendency to discuss philosophy, literature and theater with comrades while outside of battle. It helps that he actually knows what he's talking about.
Grand Theft Prototype: The story opens with the Phantom Pain stealing the Chaos, Gaia, and Abyss out of Armory One.
Informed Ability: The Extended are supposed to be elite Super Soldiers fielded by Phantom Pain. However, giving three players an advantage like that in a game environment takes some of the fun out of it, so in the name of game balance their nature as Super Soldiers tends to get downplayed when they come up against another Player Character.
Hannibal Has a Point: Phantom Pain characters are fond of saying that once OMNI pulled official support from the JSF the multi-national force lost most of its legitimacy, and then go on to state that the JSF has become merely an extension of ZAFT. The thing is, it has gotten progressively harder to argue against accusations of ZAFT influence as a progressively larger majority of the 4th's pilots have been ZAFT pilots or have become ZAFT pilots through the Chairman's offer. The fact that there are two FAITH agents on the Fourth's roster doesn't help the JSF's case. This has actually been a concern voiced by JSF members as well, but even those who have spoken up have been largely powerless to do anything in the face of necessity.
The Minerva is an extreme case within the Joint Strike Foce- while OMNI's presence has faded somewhat, ORB is still staunchly supportive of the Joint Strike Force, and plenty of the OMNI personnel who stayed with the Joint Strike Force rather than obey the orders of President Copeland to return to the Alliance. Word of God says that the current composition of the Joint Strike Force is 45% ZAFT, 40% ORB, 15% rogue OMNI personnel. Still, the fact that the Joint Strike Force's best unit is staffed heavily by ZAFT with both a Captain, XO, and pilot who are members of FAITH is unsettling...
Hannibal Lecture: Given out quite a bit by members of Phantom Pain. Matthias gives a particularly noteworthy one during the nuclear attack on Armory One, directed at Bryan. Bryan responds with a Shut Up, Hannibal! and proceeds to splash three of the nukes personally. The Battle of Heaven's Base is practically filled with Hannibal Lectures and Shut Up Hannibal!s.
Hero of Another Story: Two have shown up several times during the story among the Joint Strike Force. Lieutenant Commander 'Mad Mal' Parsons from ORB, the senior pilot on the Archangel battle group, and Commander Bill 'Buckshot' Martens from ZAFT, CO of the Joint Strike Force's Second Special Operations Group. Both have shown up several times and are outright stated to be on the same level as Bryan in terms of command ability. The implication is that while the Minerva has been off trotting the globe, these two have been at the forefront of the fight in space, leading the fight. Of course, with the Fourth Wing so busy, they haven't heard much from either of these elite teams.
Vincent St. Spade is another case. When he first leaves the Minerva, he has a major self-confidence problem regarding how he feels insignificant when comparing himself to Bryan, Meer, Connor, Axel and even fellow Coordinator Aaron. By the time of the awards ceremony prior to the Battle of Icelandic Orbit, he's been promoted to Lieutenant Commander, holds command of his own squadron and has been outright stated to be just below Bryan, Parsons and Buckshot in terms of command ability and talent. His demeanor has also changed as well, acting more confident in his abilities and having overcome much of his crippling insecurity. With the demise of his squadron and carrier ship over Iceland, however, things may take a turn for the worse...
Hope Spot: At the Battle of Armory One, the Minerva launches her Dispar interceptors at the final nuclear missile, with an almost-certain kill assured. Turns out that Matthias Blaine is Dangerously Genre Savvy and had used a hyrbid missile for his delivery system - the kind where half of it falls off and accelerates to quadruple the original speed when it moves into its terminal phase. The entire Joint Strike Force gasps in horror when the sprint vehicle separates and renders the Dispars completely worthless. Subverted when the Destiny Gundam appears and plays Big Damn Heroes, splashing the sprint vehicle.
Another occurs at the Battle of Kaoshiung. The countdown for the Minerva to fire is approaching and just in time Meer's SEED Factor activates. Mira promptly activates all three Extended's Berserk Button, causing the Impulse to get pounded by the Verde Buster and missing its chance.
Hollywood Tactics: Despite Bryan's fairly precise orders, during the South American battle the Joint Strike Force pilots ignore sound tactical advice to go fight their own duels; not bothering to fall back. The results are two Joint pilots downed and the Minerva blown out of the sky because the Joint Strike pilots ignored their CO
Honor Before Reason: Part of the above Hollywood Tactics was that large numbers of JSF pilots refused to abandon Lyn Mason once she was rendered combat ineffective - a fact that Aeron Adda ruthlessly exploited to keep them pinned instead of retreating to cover their carrier.
Just Shoot Him: Durandel's proposed solution to Djibril - rather than waste the time and effort of a show trial, he prompts Wade and tells him that if one of the FAITH agents aboard the Minerva kills Djibril, they'll be pardoned, no questions asked. Wade goes to talk to Bryan about it right after the latter just heard Mira say she never wants to see him again Bryan decides to take Durandel up on the offer in a fit of despair, but is eventually talked out of it by his squadron.
Kick the Dog: Aeron repeatedly targeting a downed and defenseless Lyn, who is in no position to fight back. However, this quickly becomes Pragmatic Villainy when he realizes that everyone else in the 4th Wing is going to willingly pin themselves down and soak his shots to protect her.
Lensman Arms Race: An even more extreme version than the canon Cosmic Era. Canon mobile suit paths stop with the ZAKU, Murasame, and Dagger, which are considered to be second-generation units, who were about to be phased out as the game started. As the game opens, the third generation is being introduced in the Windam and GELGOOG for OMNI and ZAFT, with ORB electing to take the higher-spec [and higher cost] Centrutions that the Joint Strike Force developed. Phantom Pain countered with its Strikeblade series. With both Player teams as special forces for their respective sides, they constantly get an influx of new equipment, including first call on all Gundams the R&D folks put out. This means that the Players and their associated elite forces are using a basic unit better than the major powers. The Centurion and Strikeblade are quickly augmented as both sides quickly roll out suits that not only surpass the Centurion and Strikeblade, but are issued to almost every pilot on the teams. The various R&D branches then go completely nuts as both elite groups struggle to gain a tangible advantage over one another, only to lose said advantage or even be put at a disadvantage when the enemy's next upgrade comes. This has so far culminated in the fourth generation of mobile suits, which thus far consists of the amazingly advanced Destiny and Strike Freedom Gundams for the Joint Strike Force and the suspicious debut of the Legacy and Absolution Gundams for Phantom Pain. All in less than a year of game time, not even considering how little time has passed since the basic GINN was first launched. LOGOS must be rolling in the profits . . . .
Lethal Harmless Powers: Armure Lumiere is a defensive technology, not terribly more effective than the JSF Solidus Fulgor and four years older. However, each emitter can be folded to make a large beam spike. And the Absolution has six emitters...
Lightning Bruiser: The Destiny Gundam. It's the single fastest mobile weapon in the Earth Sphere, and it carries a weapon for any possible combat scenario. The Strike Freedom also qualifies, having nearly as much speed, but with a weapons loadout optimized for anti-mobile suit work, coupled with the DRAGOONs
The Eternal Vigilance straddles this and Fragile Speedster, as it as speed almost equal to the Destiny, with similar defense systems but the entirety of its weapons are best suited for anti-mobile suit combat.
Love Triangle: You can't have a Gundam setting without one. In this case, its between Bryan, Mira, and Sheryl. Bryan was involved with Mira during the Valentine War before he was informed of her alleged death. He was just starting to pursue a relationship with Sheryl when he discovered Mira was still alive. Mira pulls a Heel-Face Turn and makes the decision harder. After careful thought, Bryan chooses Sheryl after what Mira has done, and what she's become, while resolving to help Mira atone for her past.
The Mario: The Impulse and the Strike E: Multirole Gundams with a variety of weapon packs for any conceivable situation. This is echoed in the mass production units of both sides: the Centurion and the Strikeblade are both good in any situation thanks to the flexibility their Wizard and Striker systems give them.
Mighty Glacier: The Verde Buster and Fury for Phantom Pain, balanced by the Aiglos for the JSF. Both wield particularly nasty armaments and are protected by either thick armor or beam shields. However, they also rank among the slowest mechs in-game.
Mysterious Backer: Johann von Hapsburg for Phantom Pain. Unlike Djibril, we know relatively little about him. He is noticeably absent from the list of LOGOS members Durandel distributes in the wake of The Battle of Armory One, and has supplied the 81st with machines built by the Eurasian Federation containing top secret Coalition technology.
Chairman Durandel is seen answering to some of these right before Heaven's Base
Near Villain Victory: The Phantom Pain nuclear strike on Armory One. Is narrowly averted by the arrival of the Destiny Gundam.
Nuke 'Em: Standard policy for Blue Cosmos towards Coordinators. The backstory included an attempt by Blue Cosmos survivors of Second Jachin armed with them. In game, the Joint Strike Force quickly took the moral high ground when Phantom Pain tried a full-scale nuclear attack on the PLAN Ts, which was intercepted by three Joint Strike Force battle groups. Matthias also makes an attempt to use this on Armory One
Only We Can Kill Them: Aaron realizes this is the case between the 4th and the Seraphim detachment during the Battle of Icelandic Orbit. There's plenty of evidence for this. Seiran, OMNI, and Phantom Pain units in Ratcatcher, Kaohsiung, and Armory One that went up against the 4th got hammered for their trouble, and the Seraphim massacred Waywind Squadron and the Sentinel in Icelandic Orbit and Lancel Squadron at Heaven's Base. In contrast the majority of Player Character deaths, three for the Seraphim and two for the 4th so far, have been inflicted by one another, and the fourth death among the Seraphim crew still only happened because of the 4th's efforts.
Aaron: It was a sobering thought, to realize just what kind of monsters he'd been fighting against this whole time. What they were capable of, when not countered with equal or greater skill and equipment.
Over Drive: Bryan uses this on the Glory, overriding the safety limiters when things get desperate. However, as an unaugmented Natural, the strain was literally killing him. Sheryl gives him a What the Hell, Hero? for his recklessness, and later patches the software he'd been using, transferring the stress to the Glory's frame instead of its pilot, allowing him to use it without killing himself. The downside to that is that the Glory's frame loses structrual integrity after it reengages the limiters.
Point Defenseless: Averted with the introduction of the Fun with Acronyms ARENA [AREa Negation - Automatic] system on capital ships. It combines anti-mobile suit weapons on rapid-traverse mounts with powerful sensors and a revolutionary fire-control system. This turns capital ships from sitting ducks for mobile suits into hardened targets that require coordination between multiple units to take down.
Put on a Bus: Invoked as a way to explain the disappearance of characters whose players have left the game, usually by a conveniently-timed transfer to another unit.
The Bus Came Back: Several characters have come back later, notably Trey Smith and Heine Westenfluss.
Mira Ross comes back after the Battle of Lodonia, executing a Heel-Face Turn
Vincent St. Spade returns post-Armory One, with a promotion and his own squadron
Heine Westenfluss returns, as a commanding officer in the Chimera Corps, the new villains.
Psychic Powers: In keeping with Gundam tradition, Newtypes, or at least the Cosmic Era's take on them, are present.
Wade: "I hope you can hear me, Extended. I have something to discuss with you. You see...I don't take pride in killing Extended. Actually, I don't take much pride in killing anything - what I do is for king and country. But your breed, you're a special case. All that therapy and enhancements and training must do a number on you. The human body is an amazing piece of machinery, but it can only take so, much. So whenever I come across one of you, what I do is pray to God, make the cross and do my best to make it as quick as possible. Call it a mercy killing. But you? You're the exception. You're trying to kill my friends with quite a bit of effort. And you what I do to people who hurt my friends? I break their faces. And that's what I'm going to do to you, Extended. I'm going to let myself go and make sure I break your face in. I swear, I think it'll feel better than SEX!" Aeron:"Ahaha!!! You pity me?I like what I've become. And you...you sound like a perfect Extended in the making. Oh sure, we give the "king and country" shit easily enough. But you know what? That drive? That urge, that you're feeling right now? That feeling that is better than sex? If it weren't for that feeling I would have blown my brains out long ago. It is what sustains us. All of us. No one thrives in battle, no one seeks it out unless they are as broken as I am. You're so like me, I'm almost a little sick."
Red Baron: Inevitable, given the nature as a story about pilots. Bryan Marshall as 'The Ghost of Grimaldi' and Axel 'The White Wraith' Adelmar are two of the Joint Strike Force's more prominent ones, while Chu Hong of the Phantom Pain made a name for herself as the 'The Dragon of Nova'.
Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Legacy and Absolution Gundams of Phantom Pain. The Legacy is a close quarters machine, using the Atlantic Federation's G-Panzer armor while the Absolution uses the Eurasian Federation's Armure Lumiere. This is also accentuated in their color schemes: The Legacy is bright red, while the Absolution is dark blue.
The Rival: Various pilots have opponents that they clash with more often than not. Bryan Marshall and Matthias Blaine, Aeron Adda and the Saviour Gundam, Meer Campbell and Chu Hong. On a larger scale the 4th Mobile Wing and the 81st Autonomous Mobile Group, Seraphim Detachment, are rival units. This gets turned Up to Eleven as the game progresses.
Super Mode: Predictably, the SEED Factor, which is given to players by the admins as a reward for consistent, high-quality play. It has the same limitations as the canonical version (activates spontaneously at first, has a limited usage time) and in terms of gameplay allows players to target multiple opponents without suffering accuracy problems and are harder to hit.
Super Soldier: The Extended. They are capable of piloting ZAFT built Gundams with great skill and each have a Block Word and Berserk Word that causes them to go catatonic or berserk respectively.
To Be Lawful or Good: A dilemma faced by many characters, especially ones from OMNI. OMNI members in the JSF are forced to choose between obeying the "lawful" order to leave the JSF and the "right" choice to stay. Surprisingly, the non-zealot members of Phantom Pain are seen making this decision as well, ultimately choosing to fight for their homeland in spite of their misgivings.
An interesting example is seen in the case of Marn Soral: He initially obeyed the lawful order to be recalled from the JSF, but later defects back.
Too Dumb to Live: One of the PCs (Yuzuki Ohayashi) sets their machine down on open terrain in the middle of a battle, and leaves the cockpit. It doesn't end well.
Transforming Mecha: ORB's Murasame was a mass-produced one. Several Gundams also incorporate this into them - the Chaos was one, before it was stolen and torn apart by Actaeon R&D. The Rosso Aegis and the Saviour are the current ones, and they have a long-standing rivalry going.
Villains Out Shopping: In one of the battle interlude threads the Phantom Pain pilots go out for a night of drinking. and then we find out that one of the Extended brought grenades...
Villainous Breakdown: Matthias suffers a vicious one when he sees the nuke that got through the Joint Strike Force's defenses, and about to wipe out Armory One, get splashed by the Destiny. Then the Destiny turns its attention to him...
Villain Team-Up: In the wake of Heaven's Base, the surviving members of Phantom Pain and ZAFT special forces are joined together to form the Chimera Corps, a group designed to eliminate the JSF.
Webcomic Time: In terms of real life the story started in January 2011. By September 2012 only about 7-8 months of in-universe time has passed. On a smaller scale even the longest of battles don't seem like they could last more than an hour of in-universe time, but can take days or weeks of real-life posting to resolve.
Wham Episode: Two thus far. The first was the easily-forseen Break The World incident and its aftermath. The second was the Mira Ross Incident, which had the Captain of the Phantom Pain team defect to the Coalition
Ho, boy, following the Battle of Heaven's Base, it is revealed that Durandal has been working with Johan to end the war and finally establish peace at all costs.
Wide-Eyed Idealist: Because Phantom Pain is Shrouded in Myth, Kenshin has no idea about their involvement in the Armory One and Break The World incidents, much less that they started as Djibril's private army. He just knows that they are OMNI's elite MS corps. Learning of these leaves him more jaded.
You Can't Go Home Again: Bryan, Aaron, Connor, and other OMNI pilots who resolve to stay with the JSF after Copeland pulls OMNI support. Returning home would risk arrest and execution, and several are cut off from their families as a result. Several pilots in OMNI decide to go Screw This, I'm Outta Here and emigrate to PLANT in response to this