Custom Robo is an action/third-person shooter/RPG/whatever game by Nintendo. You're in a Twenty Minutes into the Future game, with the biggest difference between us and them is that they have super advanced robots that fight each other. Sounds cool? Taking the Humongous Mecha premise and kicking it squarely in the chin, these robots are about 8 cm tall between eight and ten inches in height. They fight in Holosseums, which are areas designed specifically for this type of combat. They're controlled via "diving" into the robo, where they pretty much psychically become one with their robo. With about 200 different parts, including around 30 different robos, 5 customizable areas (Robo, gun, bomb, pod, legs), and a lot of options for each area, the series intends to live up to the word custom.The best-known game to North American players is the GameCube release, since the earlier three didn't make it out of Japan. The plot of the most popular game involves a talkative protagonist, a smart-aleck womanizer, and a girl who can see the last memories of a robo commander. Everyone uses robos, including the police (who actually do some things), criminals, and you. Notable in that they actually explain (to an extent) why the hell nobody ever carries a gun (Robos are actually quite effective weapons even with safeties on also, they are the only thing that can even hope to fight Rahu) , why custom robos are so popular (They are the only reason humanity is still alive, though Government Conspiracy means no one remembers while at the same time ensuring robos remain popular to prevent the end of the world from happening again), why you never get to pick which stage you fight on (A person can or can not "make" a stage as a genetic ability, the hero is among the ones that can't), and why you never seem to get paid (your boss is an extreme penny pincher, and everything you get goes to living expenses).
Aerith and Bob: The Supernovas, Bayside Academy's robo team. Lost in Translation in the English port, where they all have very common names beneath their pseudonyms, the Japanese version has Lenny (Lunax), Hugh (Terrax/Galax) and Jinpachi (Solax).
Greybaum's illegal robos are also an example: Snipe, Freya, Violent Boar, Katana, Hadron and Jameson. It's the one with the odd name out you have to be wary of.
All in a Row: Some games in the series don't let you walk through your followers either.
American Kirby Is Hardcore: Originally, the games had robos that looked like cute chibi anime characters in colourful costumes. For instance, the Shining Fighters looked like shonen heroes, the Aerial Beauties were essentially magical girls and the Sassy/Sexy Stunners were basically vixens in leotards that possessed large breasts and very visible thighs. The soundtrack was light-hearted, and even the sound effects were cartoony and humourous. However, starting with Battle Revolution - the first game to reach western shores - the games have received a visual makeover; all of the robos suddenly had complex armour, faceguards, shades and goggles, and the more human-like ones only have visible skin on their faces. Battle Revolution is overtly hi-tech in appearance (but notably also the last game chronologically and set long after the others), while Arena is more of a happy marriage of the two styles, with an over-the-top rockified soundtrack. Of course, the GCN game is the only one that could display such a graphical style in the first place.
All in a Row: Several times in both Arena and Battle Revolution
Exaggerated in the Gamecube game, late in the story, where up to six people follow the protagonist, all in a line.
Ancient Conspiracy: The Gamecube game reveals that the entire world is in a dome, because a demon-possessed robo destroyed the rest.
Actually, it was some sort of unstoppable evil force, until it tried controlling a robo and got stuck inside of it, which is why everyone uses Custom Robos. It's so the govenment can find and train people like the hero, in case Rahu wakes up.
Anime Hair: So much in the Japanese-only games, particularly in the cases of the Shining Fighter and Lightning Sky classes, and plenty of the human characters.
Awesome Mc Cool Name: The criminal commanders of Arena, particularly the members of Greybaum, have some pretty sweet ones (Spoilers ahead, as the character database is only unlocked once you've won the Great Robo Cup):
Scythe's real name is Morgan Graveman
Kindjal's first name Ignia
Sling's real name is Rann Nexes
Cleaver, which is admittedly pretty sweet in itself, is actually called Ogre Bullock (in Japan, "The Bull" Ogre
Coyote's gang has names like Clubba, Mr. Masher and Coyote himself (Dingo in Japan).
Hunter Fraser (Sean Fraser in Japan)
Eddy/Liv Trainer, Viktor Stark and Dr. Roland Mars may also count.
Bull, Solax, Terrax/Galax and Lunax are actually all subversions; their real names are, in order: Vern Angus, Lenny Milford, Hugh Lloyd and Jim Tarver
Certain classes of robo models have also some decidely awesome names. The Lightning Sky modelsnote modelled on fighter jets - a plain awesome name by itelf - are named after missiles - Mistral, Hurricane, Tempest (Arena); Stingray, Patriot, Phoenix, Hellfire (GX).
The Strike Vanisher modelsnote modelled on ninjas and samurai, the stealth models, are named after bladed weapons - Pike, Javelin, Glaive/Bulova, Katana/Nagamitsu (Arena); Falchion, Kunai, Claymore, Excalibur (GX).
The Metal Grappler modelsnote modelled on burly mammals, bodybuilders and action heroes, the brutes of the series, have names like Rock Hound, Metal Ape, Crazy Baboon, Violent Boar (Arena); Iron Leo, Tiger Glare, Metal Bear and Death Metal Bear,note not actually modeled on bears Bigfoot, Devil Rex (GX).
Used in a meta sense in Battle Revolution. If you lose a fight in the story mode, you see a brief scene of your character losing. Then the game rewinds to just before the fight started so you can try again.
Beam Spam: Jirou from Custom Robo, V2 and GX. His signature tactic is to constantly spam homing beams with the aptly-named Rayfall Gun. And since he uses a Metal Grappler model, the Metal Bear, he takes less time to reload.
The Crystal Strike Gun in the Gamecube game. It can kill the opposition in about 10 seconds with an unending stream of giant homing beams. 20, if they have a robo that can teleport around.
Beast Man: The Burning Beast models. Same humanoid base as all other models, and somewhere between Wild Soldiers and Metal Grapplers in terms of height and bulk, but each one is essentially an anthropomorphic beast, usually a predator. They also move on all fours in a feral fashion, and for some reason, they can stealth-dash.
Big Damn Heroes: The Supernovas at Neo Brain's Encephalon Island facility. almost the entire cast at the climax.
Bling of War: From GX and Arena, the A.I.R.S.robo, which has been drastically enhanced for military use, and is also gold-plated from head to toe.
Also from Arena, the aptly-named Carat robo. Also military-grade, but extremely gaudy and diamond-encrusted. Something of a subversion though, as it is a Rich Bitch's custom design for her own personal use (see Screw the Rules, I Have Money! below).
Boobs of Steel: The Sassy Stunnernote In Japan, Sexy Stunner robo class, both figuratively and literally.
Bubble Gun: Named that, in fact. Of course, every gun is named "Insert Something Here" Gun.
The exception is Custom Robo GX for the GBA, where nearly every gun is uniquely named; for instance, Bubble Smasher, Glider Wing, Gatling Cannon, to name a few.
But Thou Must: Strategy speeches before battles all end with an option for "Got It," "Don't Got it," and a third, usually humorous, situation-specific option. Picking anything but "Got It" makes the speaker repeat himself or herself. Granted, the point was to get the speaker to repeat the strategic advice, but there's no reason that options like "Ha ha! They called you a jerk!" or "SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP!" should make Harry repeat himself. Also subverted at one point in Battle Revolution - by saying "no" enough times, you won't have to follow Harry into the enemy-filled bathroom.
You can also use this on Harry's sister to give her your watch, thus forcing you to backtrack all the way back to Harry's house to get it back, thus interrupting the big long explanation of what Rahu is. It takes about 20 or so tries to get her to take the watch, and she starts finding it creepy that you're so anxious to give it away.
The backtracking isn't really worth it. Just keep the watch and shorten the whole Rahu scene...
You can also keep refusing to go with the group to save the world, until Harry runs out of ideas to convince you to go with him, which ends in a Game Over, as the other heroes aren't strong enough to win without you and your watch. Before this point, he'll even say "If you won't do it for me, then how about doing it for Marcia?"
Canon Foreigner: Vanessa Gregar was the main focus of a short comic series available in three issues of Nintendo Power and was a prominent villain in the series, notable for her ability to hijack any robo at will from any distance to any arena she chooses. Then it would reveal she was one of the last remnants of a government conspiracy regarding experiments done to get the ultimate robo commander and so her records were changed to make her a criminal. The series ends on a cliffhanger and the series never picks up afterward, let alone make any mention of this.
Cephalothorax: As seen above, there is a whole line of robos like that actually.
Chekhov's Gun: After managing to break up a Two-Timer Date incident, Harry rushes out to get to his own date. He drops the slip of paper with her number and the camera zooms in on it, implying that it would become important later on. That's because the immediate next mission involved breaking up your next door neighbors who were having an immense fight because the wife thought that her husband was cheating on her due to finding a phone number in his jacket, the same phone number Harry got.
Contemplate Our Navels: The gargantuan Infodump near the end of the Gamecube game. It's so long that the game offers two different save points in the middle of it just so that you can take a break and not have to sit through all of it again.
Continuity Nod: Most of the previously recurring characters are absent from the titles that reached western shores, but Fukashi (Marv) has appeared in every game to date. Also notable is Cattleya (Angelica), who turns up in Arena.
Also in Arena, the school computers' database mentions a "Mason", who had previously won the Great Robo Cup three consecutive times - in Japan, the name given is "Mamoru", a major supporting character from the first three games.
Dual Diving is mentioned briefly in Arena, which appeared in V2.
Hadron of Arena shows abilities disturbingly similar to Rahu from Battle Revolution, though have dissimilar origins.
Convictionby Counterfactual Clue: Somewhat subverted in the case of Battle Revolution. Questions asked by the chief of police near the end of the game involve answers about the world and it's composition. The correct answer is generally the opposite of what the player would choose without a second thought.
Cool Shades: The Ray Sky had them first (in GX), but since the franchise started being marketed to the west, most of the robos have gained either these or faceguards - presumably because American robots are hardcore.
Ryuujin of Nikaidou's Four Heavenly Kings wears a pair of shades when he's masquerading as Ryo at legal tournaments.
Eiji, the commander of the A.I.R.S in GX, sports a pair of blue aviators identical to the ones on his robo.
Crazy-Prepared: In Arena Liv simply carries around a program to disable the safety lock on a Custom Robo and allow it to fight outside a Holosseum. Keep in mind such a program is illegal in the setting.note Robos are armed with real weapons that are only kept from attacking commanders via the Holosseum acting as a wall
Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Solax in Arena. Until the tournament at the Robocenter, he comes off as being very lazy, only fighting when Lunax forces him to. When you get to the tournament, he starts taking things seriously and actually makes it to the final round.
It makes sense that he'd do that for show during the main story mode, since at that point, he's still supposed to be the hero that everyone likes. He's not outed as a badguy, yet. He's just a jerk that runs a rival group of bounty hunters that everyone likes better than the Steal Hearts.
Darth Vader Clone: Sergei. He is one of the major heads of the Z-syndicate, The Dragon to Oboro, and the older brother of Marcia. He also wears a face mask that obscures all of his face save for his right eye. Likewise, he ends up defecting to the Heroes side due to his love for his sister (although he implies upon defecting that he wasn't exactly loyal to Oboro to begin with, either).
Death from Above: Given the aerial nature of the robos and the firepower they possess, there is plenty of this, but special mention must made of the Lightning Sky models, as their 'Sky Dash' renders them the only ones capable of repeatedly raining bullets and bombs on their opponents while simultaneously soaring through the air, which is emphasised significantly by the fact that they assume the forms of fighter jets for this feat.
Also, equipping an Aerial Beauty model with the High Jump boots allows one to often rain down death from above simply by jumping out of the range of most short to mid-ranged weapons and firing. Especially true with the gatling gun and others that fire multiple rounds at once.
The Rayfall Gun, Sword Storm, and Crystal Strike Laser also like to do this. Though, the Crystal Strike Laser can turn into Death From Below, if you use it to juggle an enemy to death.
Devil in Plain Sight: Why yes. I'll gladly choose the cackling, flamboyantly-dressed man named Evil for my bounty hunting needs.
Difficulty Spike: When it is revealed that the world you know is a lie and the "real" world was destroyed generations ago the difficulty takes a noticeable increase from the rest of the game.
Double Jump: Every class of robo has a double jump or some command in place of them that works just as well.
Dub Name Change: The English versions of the games give the characters generic Western names (Saki and Touru, for instance, became Liv and Dennis). This does not impact the plot in any large way, as the games that were released outside of Japan are not heavily connected to the previous games (which had much stronger continuity), though still part of the series as a whole.
The only recurring characters in Arena to suffer from this are Cattleya (Angelica) and Fukashi (Marv), who featured prominently in the first three games; Fukashi even had a Big Damn Heroes moment in GX.
Fukashi's signature robo, Dodecane, also suffers, renamed Gigantron. This is more noteworthy, as this breaks from the Hydrocarbon theme of the Big Boy/Fatty Vice models (Butane, Propane etc.)
Mamoru was renamed 'Mason' in Arena. Though only a passing reference is made to him and his previous victories in the Great Robo Cup, the meaning in his namenote Mamoru means 'protect' is lost, as he not only was a guardian and ally of the previous protagonists, but later became a police officer in GX, which in the world of Custom Robo is apparently kind of a big deal.
Emotionless Girl: Marcia keeps her distance from people and strong emotions. This is because strong emotions overwhelm her.
Evil Versus Evil: Oboros and Eliza can't stand the other's leadership, and there's infighting over leadership of Z.
Fake Ultimate Mook: Eliza's Fabulous Fighting Four. They're really just four generic mooks who made up a name hoping to scare the heroes away. This backfired, as the heroes went into the battle with gusto.
Fearful Symmetry: VariationEliza and Isabella are left-handed and right-handed respectively. Their robos reflect this: They use the same bodies, legs, and pods, but Eliza has an upgraded Left Arc gun and Left Wave bomb, while Isabella has an upgraded Right Arc gun and Right Wave bomb.
Flash Step: The Strike Vanishers and (bizarrely) Burning Beasts can perform a 'Stealth Dash', which differs from the standard Air Dash in that they briefly become invisible and immune to gunfire,note Not bombs and pods though effectively behaving like short-range teleporting, allowing for dazzling, flashy air manoevres that can confuse opponents.
Fragile Speedster: The Little Sprinters and Little Raiders; they are the smallest classes of robo which also boast the highest speed in the game, but have low offensive power and pitifully low defense and endurace - a single hit from any weapon will knock it down.
Full Potential Upgrade: Why the Ray mk II needed to be replaced with the Ray mk III. Stark, as well, needs a specially made military Robo.
Gameplay and Story Segregation: Illegal Parts. They're supposed to put a mental strain on not only those using them, but also their opponents. And in all battles involving the parts, you get no negative effects except a penalty to your score (And scores only pop up in the post-game). In Arena in that it's heavily suggested that your character is more than able to withstand the mental strain, though this doesn't explain the random opponents.
Genre-Busting: You'll see these games listed as third person shooters, fighting games, action adventure games or CRPGs depending on where you look.
Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: In Arena, your first experience with a Jameson is in a dream sequence at the start, but it's merely a glorified, and very powerful, pair of gatekeepers in the end-game.
Glass Cannon: The A.I.R.S. in Arena. It augments the damage output of any weapon to ludicrous levels, has extremely good control and aerial mobility, and can air dash twice;note The standard Lightning Sky models' unique 'Sky Dash' enables them to effectively fly, but can only do it once in succession. however, it takes high damage due to its low defense and gets knocked down quickly due to its low endurance
Guide Dang It: Induced by the language barrier resulting from being Japan-exclusive. While these games are typically very easy to complete without speaking a word of Japanese, GX has a point in the latter third of the game where a password must be used move forward, halting any player that cannot read Japanese.
The solution is fairly obvious to Japanese players, as the password is used to obtain the robo. The password, as it turns out, is Ray Skyer (レイスカイヤー reisukaiyaa - Ray Sky's Japanese name).
Heroic BSOD: Marcia underwent this when stumbling upon the masked person, being exceptionally reluctant to fight, and especially mumbling about her missing older brother before Harry shouted at her to snap out of it (in a very coarse manner, as well). Turns out there was an extremely good reason why she was undergoing a Heroic BSOD during that time, as the masked man working for Oboro was in fact her brother, Sergei.
Heroic Mime: Your character in most of the games, as per usual for the genre.
Averted for the Gamecube one, though. The protagonist is quite talkative.
Hidden Depths: Your hard-assed, tough-as-nails-looking boss in Battle Revolution turns out to have an affinity for poetry. He beats a hasty retreat when the others find out and Harry tries to bring it up.
Taken Up to Eleven on the Gamecube game. There's around 5 of these in the main story and the Battle Royale epilogue is literally nothing more than back-to-back tournaments.
GX takes it far higher than eleven, as mandatory tournaments comprise the entire game, excepting only the a small portion at the end where you storm the Nikaidou Group's headquarters to take out the Big Bad and his elite henchmen. Then you get to the postgame, which is composed of - you guessed it - more tournaments.
Katanas Are Just Better: Arena has an illegal Strike Vanisher called Katana,note In Japan it is called Nagamitsu, after a renouned WWII-era swordsmith, who forged critically-acclaimed - you guessed it - katanas so it sort of fits...
Not to mention it uses a sword-shaped gun, which it makes a habit of stabbing people with in cutscenes and fires massive energy blasts (sword beams?) during battles.
Lampshade Hanging: A nameless NPC (Boy) in the second tournament in Battle Revolution says this:
Nameless characters like us don't really stand out. That's why we're hanging out by the walls.
And another, identical boy NPC next to him says this:
I'm just a minor character...I don't even rate having a name. I'm just here to balance out hte numbers.
Laser-Guided Amnesia: The reason people don't remember that Rahu destroyed wrought havoc on the earth in Battle Arena; also, the ultimate fate of the villains in the same game was to wipe their memories and make them actors.
Late-Arrival Spoiler: Restricted to Japan, but the music video for Identity -prologue- (a vocal song only in the Japanese version) makes the huge twist for the GCN game it's After the End clear.
Lightning Bruiser: Rahu gets bigger and bigger over the course of the game, but never seems to slow down any as a consequence.
Like Reality Unless Noted: Double-subverted in Battle Revolution. When asked if the world is round or flat, saying that the world is round gets you chastised by your friends. Apparently, the world being flat is gradeschool knowledge. Soon enough, you find out that you've been living in a domed city and your "flat world" was actually the last inhabitable area of a ruined round planet.
Lost in Translation: The "FKS" on Marv's hat is actually an abbreviation of his Japanese name, "Fukashi".
Luke, I Am Your Father: In Battle Revolution, the Z-Syndicate's late leader was the protagonist's father. Of course, this was before the Z-Syndicate was an evil organization.
Although not Marcia's father, Sergei qualifies as well, seeing how he's her older brother, the one who went missing for quite some time, and was serving the Z-Syndicate.
Marth Debuted in Smash Bros.: Some robo models, including the Ray Mk II, appeared as collectible trophies in Super Smash Bros. Melee. This was the first appearance of these characters on western shores, which sparked interest in the franchise, leading to the release of Battle Revolution in the US, and the release of Arena in all regions.
Some weapons and Robo set-ups can completely make this a moot point. The Crystal Strike Laser is capable of knocking the enemy so far into the air that their invincibility has worn off before they hit the ground, allowing them to be knocked even further into the air.
Mighty Glacier: The slow but strong Metal Grapplers, but the blue ribbon goes to the Jameson. Originally a boss in V2, in Arena it is incredibly slow, but absurdly powerful, as well as having maximum defense and endurance (i.e. it cannot be halted by any kind of attack - the only way to stop it is to deplete its HP.)
Mundane Utility: They started out mundane, Robos were invented to be a new kind of children's toy. Then they proved to be useful in construction, exploration, and areas of research. Then someone put a gun on one.
Mythology Gag: In Arena Liv, concerned the group's actions may get them in trouble, thinks of creating a program to erase the witnesses memories (memory erasing programs are a key part of the plot for the GCN Battle Revolution title). Looking closely at Liv's shirt during a cutscene that occurs during said actions will have the light form the Z-Syndicate's logo between her breasts.
Given the strong continuity in all of the other games, one could also consider this to be a Continuity Nod.
My Girl Is a Slut: Eddy (jokingly?) suggests both the PC and Dennis are his sister's boyfriends, then compliments her on it.
Naked People Are Funny: In the Gamecube game, whilst Storming the Castle, you run into a mook who had just taken a shower and came out in just his boxers. The Grand Battle tournament in that area consists almost solely of nearly-naked mooks, and one pops up in the Grand Battle tournament held in the restroom.
Lampshaded by the hero jokingly asking the guy running the fight if he's going to take off his clothes for the match, too.
Nebulous Evil Organisation: Always with the aim of conquering the world with their newly-created "ultimate robo"; the Nikaido Group with Dark Chimera; the Greybaum Syndicate with Hadron.
Nerf: The Dragon Gun, formerly a Game Breaker in Battle Revolution, but deprived of it's awesome accuracy in Arena.
Nintendo Hard: Subverted, in that the games get easier the worse you do.
No Export for You: Neither of the N64 originals (Custom Robo, Custom Robo V2) were ported to Western shores.
Nor was Custom Robo GX for the Game Boy Advance.
Custom Robo: Battle Revolutionmade it to the US as just Custom Robo. Not the EU, though, making Custom Robo Arena the only game available to the in all regions.
In a somewhat unusual example, the various versions of the games have region-locked Wifi, creating separate networks for each of the JP, US and EU versions. This basically means that a European player cannot battle Japanese or American players, and vice versa.
Also, the Z-Syndicate bosses after the schism: Oboro, Eliza, and Isabella are very obviously evil by their personalities (and in at least Oboro's case, appearance). This would be perfectly normal, given that they are the heads of factions of an evil organization, but becomes Fridge Logic when we learn that the original Z-Syndicate boss didn't intend for the Z-Syndicate to be an evil organization at all.
Kindjal from Arena also borrows Evil's purple hair and sharp facial features for her own look.
The Rival: Marv. He's the only consistent rival in all the games.
In the Gamecube version, he's not the rival. He's just some guy who shows up and declares you his "rival", then is never heard from again.
Rocket Jump: The "acrobat" bomb is made exclusivly for this. It does no damage but explodes instantly and launchs you in the air.
Running Gag: As far as non-character related ones go, the Steel Hearts being known as the "bottom feeders" in Battle Revolution is one.
Your landlady constantly having to wake you up in the morning is one, as are her various Mondegreens of the Steel Hearts.
In the Grand Battle, Carmen's balding husband regularly shows up wearing a series of ridiculous wigs, trying to find the right one. He eventually settles on one that looks exactly like the protagonist's hair.
Save Scumming: Oddly enough, in Arena, not for battles - since you can repeat any fight an infinite number of times. However, in the Grand Battle sequence, you need to unlock thirty dioramas to battle Serene; dioramas are selected randomly when purchased; you do the maths.
The Scrappy: Evil is something of an in-universe example of this, as the only people who seem to like him at all are his two sidekicks.
Actually, he seems to be well-liked and respected, outside of the Steal Hearts.
The Steal Hearts are more akin to the in-universe example, with everyone calling them "bottom feeders" and the game implying that they're generally treated like dirt before the hero joins up with them.
Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: In Arena, Angelica/Cattleya uses her custom-designed Carat robo in the strictly regulated Great Robo Cup, making it as far as the semi-finals. Said character is the absurdly wealthy granddaughter of the world's leading robo developer and chief sponsor of said tournament. Said robo and its weapons are military-grade and highly illegal in the competitive environment. But, being a richbitch and all...
Series Mascot: The Ray series; every game begins by receiving a Ray model.
The Ray series is so popular in fact, that when they introduced the Lightning Sky class in GX, the first obtainable one, the Ray Sky, was modelled on the Ray series, is featured prominently in the title screen animation◊ and obtaining it is an vital plot point for progressing in the game.
Super Prototype: Well it is said to be one but the Ray 01 isn't any better or worse than mass produced Rays. The Robo it is a prototype to presumably will be the super one.
Suspiciously Specific Denial: From Custom Robo Arena-"Marv? Who's Marv? My name's Mar... Mart! Marty, I mean! And I'm certainly not wearing a disguise."
Synchronization: It takes a lot of mental energy to power a custom robo, and using them outside of holosseums risks causing physical and mental injury to the opponent.
Talk to Everyone: The Gamecube version at least has an archive for strategic advice and important terms and concepts. The archives are mostly filled up with pre-battle advice and plot monologues, but some of it is gleamed from talking to side characters at certain points. So, annoyingly enough, the plot will stop and force you to talk to everyone from time to time.
It does pay off, somewhat in the Grand Battle, though. This is how you get the Oil Can and Rahu II parts sets, and Crystal Strike Laser. It also gives you a couple of Glossery entries you wouldn't otherwise get.
Terrible Trio: Arena has Lunax, Solax, and Terrax, the "Supernovas" from Bayside Academy.
Evil and his cronies from Battle Revolution.
Theme Naming: As mentioned above, the Supernovas ("Big Bang Guys" in Japan).
The robo classes each have a recurring theme-naming scheme:
Took a Level in Badass: When you first fight Solax, he's a bit of a pushover. Then you fight in a tournament and he's suddenly a lot harder to beat. This probably comes from the fact that he's Brilliant, but Lazy.
The final string of battle in the Grand Battle mode. Everyone else has powered up their robos just so they can try to beat you.
Also the Z Boss Battle challenge, where everyone is using illegal parts, including your friend.
Tournament Arc: The Grand Battle in Battle Revolution. Not quite a real tournament in practice, though, as it's ultimately every character in the game vs. you.
Transforming Mecha: The Lightning Sky models, which have the unique 'Sky Dash' that enables them to fly over a long distance while simultaneously firing its weapons. During the Sky Dash, they tranform into fighter jets.
True Final Boss: Eddy and Liv in Arena are unlocked by beating every other grudge match.
Unskippable Cutscene: In all games. This is so bad in Battle Revolution that during the cutscene where Marcia's brother explains the truth behind Z, the game saves three different times.
The Wall Around the World: The Gamecube game has this with a twist being that it's where the world actually ends. Or so you're all led to believe.
We Cannot Go On Without You: In a 2-vs.-2 match, it doesn't matter if your partner is still alive - if you lose, you both lose. Naturally, both AI opponents will target you most of the time. This makes sense when your partner is Harry (who is regularly noted to win by the skin of his teeth and likely won't be able to win on his own) who it most often is, but inexcusable when your partner is someone else.
Welcome to Corneria: Largely averted. While people will only say one thing between events, the events that change NPC dialogue can be as small as a single battle.
What Could Have Been: The Misty Mirage class of robos from GX have well rounded stats and a unique 'Mirage Dash', which rendered them completely invisible for a short period of time and enabled them to phase through walls, while retaining full regular movement instead of a quick burst of speed.note Unlike Strike Vanishers and Burning Beasts, however, they can't dodge gunfire during the Mirage Dash While completely redundant against the AI, this allows for mind games and sneak attacks against human opponents. Sadly though, they have not appeared in either of the subsequent titles, likely because they'd be difficult to implement in a 3D environment.
You All Look Familiar: Lampshaded in the GameCube game. During the police-sponsored doubles tournament, a pair of "Boy" characters claim that they are going to lose because they were unnamed, and would bemoan this fact every time they are spoken to. They manage to make it to the top eight pairs, however, because everybody in their tournament block was also a unnamed "Boy" character.
Also pulled off somewhat strangely; the background characters may all look the same as similarly-categorized characters (Boy, Girl, Scientist, Customer, etc), but there are a large number of recurring background characters with distinct personalities and quirks, such as a scientist who always whispers and a "cop" who is actually just a fanboy wearing a police uniform. This is very easily missed by players who do not Talk to Everyone. Additionally, some side characters of absolutely no importance have distinct model differences, such as an obese mook in Eliza's maze, and Paulie, a cop with Perma Stubble.
Your Cheating Heart: Subverted: One of Steel Hearts Missions involved trying to break up a fighting couple (who incidentally were also the main protagonist's next door neighbors), eventually having to fight each one and defeat them in order to calm them down. The reason why they were fighting is because the wife found a phone number sheet in her husband's clothes,(which he picked up the other day) she called and discovered it was a woman on the other line. She assumed that husband was having an affair, and was upset. Turns out that not only was the dad not even guilty of having an affair, but the phone number was actually the same one Harry got from the woman at the testing hall. It fell out of his pocket as he rushed off to call her the previous evening, thus indirectly, and unintentionally starting that mess. Incidentally, Harry was moping throughout the entire mission until he got the phone number back.