''Heavy Gear'' was originally a tabletop wargame created in 1994 by a company called Dream Pod 9. It centered around the conflict of the Northern States versus the Southern Territories on the planet called Terra Nova, with an expanding storyline. The centerpiece of these conflicts is the [[MiniMecha armored battle suit]] [[AMechByAnyOtherName called the Heavy Gear,]] with both sides developing their own variants of the mecha.

The universe has a tabletop game, a character-based RPG, a card game, two video games, and an animated TV series to its name.

The VideoGames, released under the titles of ''Heavy Gear'' and ''Heavy Gear II'' and developed by Creator/{{Activision}}, are [[SimulationGame mech simulators]] that mix mech controls and standard FPS controls. (Fun fact: ''Heavy Gear'' uses ''VideoGame/MechWarrior 2's'' engine, if anyone wonders why they play similarly. ''Heavy Gear II'' uses its own "Dark Side" engine.) In the first game, the player was a Duelist on the Northern landship ''Vigilance,'' and had to help the ship fight its way back to Northern Territory.

In the second game, an attack from Earth had the North and South call a cease fire, and the player leads an elite squadron piloting advanced Gears to stop the Earth attack from trashing the planet.

The TV series centered around the Heavy Gear championship series, where a rookie Gear pilot named Marcus Rover joins the southern Shadow Dragons and competes against the northern Vanguard of Justice.

Has two sister games (both of which exploit the minis game/RPG bifecta), ''TabletopGame/JovianChronicles'' (InSpace!) and ''TabletopGame/GearKrieg'' (In UsefulNotes/WorldWarII!).

''Heavy Gear Assault'', the third videogame in the series, was being crowdfunded at the [[https://www.heavygear.com/ official site,]] but details on the game were sparse and the ongoing discussion with developers on Facebook has dodged details on pledges, funding, and the actual existence of a development studio rather than Stompy Bot being a reskin of the [=MekTek=] modding collective from ''Videogame/MechWarrior 4''. The crowdfunding effort failed, and further news has not been forthcoming. Crowdfunding of the newest edition of the tabletop game, however, [[https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/heavygearblitz/heavy-gear-blitz-war-for-terra-nova-starter-set seems to be doing rather well for itself.]] As of 2015, however, ''Heavy Gear Assault'' has managed to get back into development again by [=MekTek=] Studios and is in the early access stage. The game will utilize the Unreal 4 engine and is scheduled for a full release in 2017.


* AceCustom - The Gears in the TV series are all modified or special designs of standard Gear Chassis.
** Applies to damn near ''any'' Gear piloted by a Duelist.
* AIIsACrapshoot - Sorta. There are no true AIs, but the neural net computers used in the Heavy Gear universe can pick up habits from their users. If it's a Gear, this can include obscene gestures among other things.
* AdaptationDecay - The TV series universe differs from the [=DP9=] universe. Expected because [=DP9=] had little input into the series. Lampshaded in at least one sourcebook where characters talked about how bad the series was.
* AirborneAircraftCarrier: Of a sorts. Unusual magnetic activity on Terra Nova means that massive "landships" can hover about on magnetic repulsion. The first game features two, the Northern ''Vigilance'' and the Southern ''Draco'', both prides of their military. They of course meet.
* AllThereInTheManual - The extra art books sold by Dream Pod 9 contain lots of fluff and art about the mecha, the planet, and the characters in the universe. The first game's manual contains much of the same.
** The two PC games have their own sourcebooks which include details that aren't in the games themselves.
* AmbiguouslyBrown - The people of Terra Nova are stated to be this. There are some variations from country to country, but with the exceptions of the Badlanders there are no "white" people or "black" people. The book art does not always reflect this-- most likely because of {{Minority Show Ghetto}}.
* {{Animesque}}: Especially evident in the tabletop game's character art.
* AxeCrazy - Many [=GRELs=] stranded after the War of the Alliance, being engineered, bred, raised and trained for nothing but war have quite a bit of difficulty adopting to less military life styles.
* BittersweetEnding: The first videogame.
* ByronicHero: Ranger Edward Scott, the protagonist of the first video game.
* ChristianityIsCatholic: Although Jerusalemism is described as a syncretism of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, all the Jerusalemites seen in the sourcebooks are indistinguishable from Catholics.
* CloningBlues - The [=GRELs=] (Genetically Recombinated Expeditionary Legionaries) are cloned and genetically engineered soldiers that made up the majority of the invasion force sent by earth to conquer Terra Nova. A major plot point is that GREL's stranded on planet after the invasion failed are incapable of reproduction.
** [[spoiler:Until human/GREL hybrids started getting conceived.]]
* DickDastardlyStopsToCheat: In the TV series, the Southern duelists always play fair and the Northerners always cheat.
* DuelToTheDeath: Specially trained Duelists, essentially Gear pilots with exceptional piloting skills, will be called upon by their superiors to engage in a one-on-one fight against an enemy's Duelist when dire situations happen to be on the line.
** In the first video game, this becomes a plot point for two missions:
*** [[spoiler: When the protagonist is allegedly responsible for the death of Colonel Arthur Janus' son, Henry, after surrendering to GREL troopers in an ambush. The Colonel cannot bear his subordinate being supposedly recalcitrant and challenges him personally to a one-on-one duel to settle the vendetta.]]
*** [[spoiler: When the protagonist faces the person truly responsible for the murder of the Colonel's son in the final mission. The captain and his crew are shocked to find out that their Lieutenant is none other than a double agent working for the [=AST=] and is the one undermining the internal affairs of the Vigilance by clandestinely sabotaging marital relationships with its officers. Ranger Scott is sent to take her on one-on-one to finish the job at all costs.]]
* EnemyMine: The Northern and Southern factions temporarily join forces to combat the invading Colonial Expeditionary Force from Earth.
* EscortMission: Convoy missions.
* FantasyCounterpartCulture:
** Among Terranovan leagues --
*** Northern Lights Confederacy: {{Eagleland}} dominated by religious MoralGuardians of the Revisionist Church. Although the history of Revisionism is based on that of Islam, its practitioners act more like conservative Christians.
*** United Mercantile Federation: UsefulNotes/{{Objectivism}}.
*** Western Frontier Protectorate: ''Literature/StarshipTroopers''-style libertarianism.
*** Southern Republic: A BananaRepublic, socially liberal but politically repressive.
*** Humanist Alliance: Plato's ''[[Literature/TheRepublic Republic]]'', complete with FantasticCasteSystem.
*** Mekong Dominion: ChinaTakesOverTheWorld-style {{Cyberpunk}}.
*** Eastern Sun Emirates: A [[{{Qurac}} Middle Eastern]]-style DeadlyDecadentCourt ruled by TheCaligula.
** On other planets --
*** Earth has been taken over by DirtyCommunists.
*** Caprice is a more classic {{Cyberpunk}} setting.
*** Just about all of the other human colonies have become {{Crapsack World}}s after having been abandoned by Earth.
* FiveManBand: Can happen, depending on your team in ''Heavy Gear II.''
** TheHero: The Commander (player character)
** TheLancer: Lt. Juno Vesping (a strike specialist) or Lt. Keiji Kage (high offensive capability)
** TheBigGuy: Soldat Leo Sobec, Lt. Borden Wallace, Lt. Carlie Pinter, Sgt. Antoine Malliaux (the first three pilot Assault Mechs, and deal the most damage and have the highest defense values. They tend to ignore stealth, useful for direct assault.)
** TheChick / TheSmartGuy: Sous-Corporal Morgassa Temple (recon specialist), Helene del Pulciano (diplomatic combatant)
** TheSixthRanger: Tharn Nulf and Robie Bray
* FlamethrowerBackfire: ''Equipment Catalog: Terranovan Equipment''. If the fuel tank of a flamer (flamethrower) is hit it will have (undescribed) catastrophic results.
* FrickinLaserBeams - The Laser weapons in the first game were played straight. They fired visible, continuous beams of energy that instantly hit anything they were aimed at. What made them demonic in their effectiveness was their accuracy, silence (they only made a quiet buzz when fired) and their damage, capable of killing anything (and that means ANYTHING) in one shot. The beam could even be swept across groups of enemies, causing damage to all of them.
** Then you had the [[{{Gatling Good}} Gatling Laser]], combining the firing rate of an autocannon with the effectiveness of a laser.
** Also the preferred infantry weapon of Earth's Colonial Expeditionary Force.
* HoverTank: The CEF forces have Hovertanks in their arsenal. They are powered with a large turbofan and are armed with a particle cannons that can tear through armor like cardboard.
* HoYay - [[invoked]] Gay marriage is legal on Terra Nova, and not even religious conservatives object to it. However, all of the [=NPCs=] shown to be in gay marriages have been [[GirlOnGirlIsHot women]] -- such as Grand Marshal Victoria Edden-Smythe and Proconsul Lang Regina, two of the most prominent military leaders in the CNCS.
* HugeGuyTinyGirl - Back story material covers at least one instance of a normal woman pairing up with a deserted GREL trooper. In the letter she was described as being small, and most male GREL lean heavily towards the large end.
* InterruptedDeclarationOfLove: [[spoiler: In the first video game, Jennifer Brockton, who is presumed dead after defending the ''Vigilance'' from an AST assault while the carrier was undergoing repairs, reveals herself to Edward Scott via commlink from an undisclosed isolated area. She pleads to Scott that the war between the CNCS and AST is not worth fighting for and she admitted her desertion to him from the former's carrier. Brockton attempts to coax Scott into joining her side and defect away from the ''Vigilance'' and reveals to him that she has actual intimate feelings for him. However, just when it seemed like she was about to make her Declaration of Love for Scott official, her mental issues kept her from spitting it out to him and she left it out at the last second. Of course, this bond between the two would not last for long when a later mission shows the WhamEpisode concerning about what actually happened earlier in the second mission.]]
* AMechByAnyOtherName - The mecha in Heavy Gear come in two flavors- humanoid and not. The humanoid types are called Gears or simply Walkers, while other kinds of walker machines are termed Striders.
* {{Metaplot}} - Heavy Gear was very upfront about having one, even going so far as to publish the date of setting on the back of each game book.
** It's also worth mentioning that the computer games and TV series are all fully canon to the metaplot (as opposed to Battletech, for example), though how big of an impact they have on it varies.
* TheMole: In the first video game, [[spoiler: Lieutenant Jennifer Brockton. It is revealed later towards the end of the game that she is an agent of the AST's ''Draco'' sent to the CNCS's ''Vigilance'' to pose as a soldier of the 67th Regiment in order to extract information from the carrier. While groomed as a CNCS trooper, she clandestinely joined a GREL unit to undermine the operations of the ''Vigilance'' in the early going. She's responsible for killing Henry Janus, who is Colonel Arthur Janus' son. However, she and the GRELS covered up the evidence, and made it seem that the protagonist Ranger Edward Scott was responsible (from behind the scenes, of course) in order to get the Colonel riled up and face him in a one-on-one duel; all while Brockton hid under a sympathetic facade towards the protagonist. When Scott finds out that she's responsible for Henry's death after the ''Vigilance's'' communications crackers showed him a clip of her shooting Henry in the head which wasn't revealed in the second mission, he sets out to find and eliminate/capture her. Having already learned ahead of him, Jennifer escapes capture and possible execution, and doesn't show up until the very last mission where she becomes the FinalBoss in a one-on-one duel with the protagonist.]]
** Averted with Carlie Pinter in the second game. She's from Earth, is Ex-CEF, but her defection is genuine.
* MoreDakka - The first video game allowed you to AlphaStrike your weapons. If your Gear was suitably equipped, it could put on quite a show. [[{{ATeamFiring}} Hitting the target]] and [[{{NoSell}} penetrating its armor]] was a different matter.
* RaceLift - Louise [=DeRouen=] is shown to have very dark skin and black hair on the back of Blood on the Wind, but in Forged in Fire she is shown with light skin and Blonde hair.
* RealRobot - Similar to Anime/ArmoredTrooperVotoms, which it is inspired by. Gears tend to be much smaller (4-5 meters), and aren't all that dominant over conventional vehicles and infantry which they need the support of.
** Some of the sourcebooks even point out that only the abundance of terrain that tracked and wheeled vehicles have trouble traversing makes the Gears practical as war machines. In the areas that allow more conventional combat vehicles to operate, Gears tend to get torn apart because they're far easier targets than tanks are.
* LaResistance: The overall {{Metaplot}} is about Terra Nova trying to form alliances with resistance groups on the other colony planets to overthrow the invaders from Earth.
* RollerbladeGood - Wheels, treads or halftracks in the Gears' feet are used for movement over flat ground.
* ShoulderCannon - Shoulder-mounted rocket/missile launchers and grenade launchers are the norm in this universe.
* ShoutOut - To both ''ComicBook/{{Nextwave}}'' and ''Series/DarkShadows''.
* ShowWithinAShow - According to the second edition of the Duelist's Handbook, the television series is, in fact, a ''live action series'' in-universe.
* ShownTheirWork - The team at Dream Pod 9 did their research and as a result, none of the technology presented in-game breaks known physical laws.
* StuffBlowingUp: you get access to Rocket Packs, Panzerfausts, and Bazookas, which follow the one-shot, one-kill policy.
* SuperSoldier - GREL troopers- genetically enhanced warriors and damn good gear pilots.
** The "Life on Terra Nova" sourcebook mentions that part of the GREL genecoding was recovered from the descendants of a previous generation of bioengineered supersoldiers (who were genetically normal humans, just at the upper limits) called Primes, who were such good mech pilots they could operate Frames, which are sort of like gears without the computer support that allows anyone to learn to pilot them.
* SurprisinglySuddenDeath: In the first video game, [[spoiler: Corporal Henry Janus in the second mission, who is killed by Lieutenant Jennifer Brockton off-screen as it is much later revealed that she is an agent of the AST.]]
* TankGoodness: The first computer game won many fans by making tanks tougher and more heavily armed than gears to the point that it was suicide to go against a Northern Alliance railgun tank.
** The second game nerfs tanks considerably. Fans reacted badly to this and declared the the second game "illogical junk" in spite of the better controls and graphics.
** The tank nerf that the developers made is justified, as what had actually been changed was the way armor values and weapon penetration was rated by the system. Many pilotable machines in the second game were actually more vulnerable than their [=HG1=] iterations as a result. [[CherryTapping A constant barrage of light machine gun fire will eventually kill even an assault-weight Gear.]] Ironically, the real complaints most likely came about from the efficiency of the panzerfaust-class weapons against tanks... a class of weapons ''specifically designed'' to kill the heavily armored but less agile vehicles.
** Actually, the tanks being nerfed is justified in-universe: There really is less armor on a Colonial Expiditionary Force hovertank simply because the CEF has to haul their tanks between worlds- a process that requires them to lift them into orbit. The lighter the tank, the less fuel they use per tank, and the more they can bring up in one go. It's an efficiency thing.
* ViewersAreMorons: The entire logic behind the ExecutiveMeddling that heavily hamstrung the show was that viewers would get confused as to why the first arc's villains would now be [[EnemyMine fighting alongside]] the heroes, despite the fact that their planet was being invaded by an overwhelming hostile force.
* WhamEpisode: In the first video game, [[spoiler: in one later mission, the protagonist, Ranger Edward Scott, is shown a video clip by one of the ''Vigilance's'' communications crackers that plays the full outro cutscene of the second mission which reveals Lieutenant Jennifer Brockton responsible for offing the Colonel's son.]]
** The second game's introduction is one to the whole of Heavy Gear's metaplot, [[spoiler: with the Earth-sponsored destruction of Peace River, which had been a major location in the game up to that point.]]