Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 2 / Gundam Musou 2 (PS3, X360, PS2; 2009): All remaining characters and MS return, with additional series Char's Counterattack, Gundam F91, Victory Gundam, and Gundam SEED Destiny, as well as a number of support characters from the previous game being unlockable along with every single Boss and Red Shirt unit. The Musha Gundam is no longer pilotless and is operated by several characters depending on the storyline. Also appearing is the Musha Gundam Mk II, which also has a different pilot depending on who the player is using.
Not to be confused with BB Senshi Sangokuden, which is the story covered by Dynasty Warriorswith (or more accurately as) Gundams.
Tropes used in the games:
Ace Custom: Present and accounted for, making up most of the Class-1 suits. One notable exception is Char's Z'gok from the third games, a case of the red paintjob doing nothing for its stats. Yes, there's one mission where you have to use it.
Action Girl: The female pilots, obviously. Also, Lacus Clyne of all people gets to be a pilot from the second game onwards. A pretty deadly one, too, since she's using her ex-fiancee Athrun's Infinite Justice Gundam to carve up the enemy.
Lacus ends up fighting her boyfriend Kira in her story mode and wins. Despite wearing a dress, she wears the pants in their relationship.
The third game adds a few more outfits - Char gets his Neo Zeon uniform (which becomes his default, and the CCA normal suit becomes an unlockable alternate), Haman Karn gets her Neo Zeon uniform (complete with slightly goofy-looking headpiece), and Katajina gets to let her hair down and just go crazy - literally.
The fourth game goes all out here and unlike the previous games, the alternate costumes are all unlocked by default and goes and gives the characters nearly outfit they ever worn. Strangely, Marida is given her patient garb as one of her alternate outfits to use in-game. Non-scripted appearances by a pilot also use one of their possible appearances at random, so it's perfectly possible for the game to spawn Laura in the Turn A.
Anti-Villain: Jerid Messa in the first game's Original mode, in which he fights to save the Earth, only so the Titans can oppress it. But he's still sincere about it.
The Knight Gundam from the third game, who only wants to help the pilots learn how to resolve their conflicts through communication via the cosmic equivalent of a Locked in a Room scenario.
Domon and Master Asia (sort of) as well as Shinn, Kira, and Athrun (again, sort of) in the second game.
Backtracking: If you've ruined your relationship with another character, you can replay certain missions again (and again, and again, and again...) to repair it. The sequel partially averts this with special missions specifically designed to allow you to boost relationships with those who don't like you (which you will also play again, and again, and again...). The third game changes the relationship system so that friendship levels can only go up, not down, so the main reason to play missions again (and again, and again, and again...) is to boost friendship levels higher and earn more cash.
Bash Brothers: Gym and Yazan. Especially punctuated in the second game, when a random battle event has the duo entering the field against you - piloting both Musha Gundams.
Battle Aura: After doing an SP attack, the F91's biocomputer goes online and temporarily envelops the Gundam with this in the second game, granting it increased damage to all melee attacks (technically, all attacks hit the target twice). Coupled with the Gundam's already stellar ranged firepower, this makes the F91 a real Pintsized Powerhouse.
There are a few special battle auras in-game that can denote important things: a flame burning around an Ace means they're at a higher difficulty level than normal. A purple aura (which only shows up on Hard mode), means pretty much the same thing Up to Eleven. In the fourth game, a bright red aura indicates that Burst is active.
Big Bad: Musha Gundam in the first game, Musha Gundam and Musha Gundam Mk. II in the second game, and Knight Gundam in the third game. The fourth game has the three of them form a Power Trio and serve as the Final Boss, but they aren't so villainous this time around.
Blade Lock: if two non-mook combatants simultaneously melee each other, they go into this and a quick-time event happens. Successfully executing the displayed sequence of buttons in the available timenote the length of the time slot depends on the difficulty while the number of button presses appear to depend on how strong the opponent's mobile suit is will knock back and stun the opponent for a few seconds, giving you free hits in the meantime. But press the wrong button or run out of time and you will get stunned!
Interestingly, this mechanic can also be used to interrupt the otherwise uninterruptible SP attacks by launching your own into it. Both combatants zero out their SP meters and the duel plays out like described above.
Mr. Bushido: (when selected) All right. My first time as a Dynasty Warrior Gundam!
In the third game, the Knight Gundam will directly address the player after each story mode ending. This in turn heavily implies that the undisclosed mysterious force that commanded the Knight Gundam to gather the characters for the story scenario was the player.
All characters have a special quote upon killing 1000 enemies in a single battle. This quote usually references their pride at becoming a "True Dynasty Warrior Gundam".
Amuro: A True Dynasty Warrior Gundam isn't just for show!
Brother Chuck: Some characters that were present in the first game (Anavel Gato, Jamaican Danigan, Horace, etc.) are absent in the second game, though the Nightmare of Solomon returns in the third.
Calling Your Attacks: Domon and Master Asia mostly, although Amuro, Char, Haman, Scirocco, Judau, and the Ples do it as well. Humorously, Heero lampshades whenever he and Domon use a Combination SP Attack (and once when they fight together in Heero's story mode), telling him to pipe down.
Can't Catch Up: Some playable pilots are simply better than others. For example, in the second game, Lunamaria has lower stats at Level 50 (the maximum) than Shinn, Kira, and Athrun do at Level 40. Of course, it makes a certain degree of sense that the supporting cast would max out at a lower skill level than the main characters — there's a reason they're the main characters, after all.
Cat Fight / Designated Girl Fight: Female pilots get a Friendship Mission where they battle against other female pilots in order to improve their relationship values with the male pilots (while male pilots, of course, get the opposite mission). Also notable is Cecily Fairchild's sole Story Mission, where she basically has to run a gauntlet of other female MS pilots, only to learn that the reason everyone was attacking her was because Seabook told them about how pretty and awesome she was, in order to make it easier to find her when they picked fights with her out of jealousy. And yes, she does kick the crap out of him for it.
The entire Women's Battlefield operation in Reborn, where a hapless patrol group gets to break up a chain of increasingly violent catfights to limit collateral damage. Becomes a Discussed Trope at the end of the scenario, where the pilots conclude the fights didn't happen because they were women, but because woman have goals, values, and desires just like anyone else.
Character Select Forcing: The third game occasionally forces you to pick a certain pilot, mobile suit, or both for a given mission. Normally it's not too obnoxious, either being part of the scenario being homaged, the level's main gimmick (one mission allows on blue mobile suits), just the story mode attempting to avert Complacent Gaming Syndrome. Even if you're caught off guard by this you can normally spend G to level up a pilot and use plans you've obtained from beating them in the past to limit grinding, but in he most erect of dick moves, one mandatory story mission requires you to use Katejina Loos (who is such a problem to raise friendship withnote Her friendship starts at rock bottom, has the slowest rate of increase, she's a rare random ally spawn, and she's involved in a battlefield event that will always have her hostile making it even rarer for her to appear as an ally; this all adds up to it unbelievably difficult to even unlock her as a partner that the game might have to force unlock her for you), to fight a four-star difficulty battle, in a Class-3 suit you might not even have plans for. Have fun with that.
In Reborn, some characters or certain versions of others are locked out in certain scenarios in Ultimate Mode so as to not already screw with the continuity as they are either the main protagonists or set enemy commanders/antagonists you have to fight.
Cherry Tapping: Some missions require you to play in crap-ass mobile suits, such as Zaku Tank or Ball, and for extra cherry-tapping value even require you to take down massive robot enemies in said suits.
In DW:G2, the "Soldier's Battlefield" sequence of missions rewards you for this. If you beat all four, your friendship level with nearly all of the Loads and Loads of Characters goes up, since you've just impressed the hell out of everyone with your cherry tapping abilities.
"Zaku Tank: Lord Of Land" - did you just take out a bunch of aces and the Psyco Gundam MkII with something that tends to work best using its tiny little claws?
"Ball Is Your Friend!" - take "Zaku Tank: Lord Of Land" and replace the Psyco Gundam MkII with the Alpha Azieru and it's the same principle.
In the third game, the easiest way to increase everyone's friendship levels is to repeatedly fail a certain missionnote "Mobile Suits...And Love": catapult into the enemy field, die, repeat in 30-second intervals.
Class and Level System: The first game works like this. Pilots have Melee, Shot and Defense stats, suit selection dictates the length of the Armor, Thruster and SP gauges. Pilots level up to 30, while suits cap out at 10. However, each pilot has to level up each suit individually.
Colony Drop: This is a Gundam game. The first game's Original Mode features this as the ultimate goal of the Musha Gundam, as it plans to smash an entire planet into the Earth. The third game, meanwhile, includes a map in which you fight in and around a fallen colony.
The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Enemy boss suits in the second game have access to certain special attacks (ex. Nu Gundam deploying its fin funnels independently, Wing Zero flying offscreen and turning into a Kill Sat) that the player can never learn.
Also, some bosses (we're looking at you, Amuro!) can use their double-team SP attacks completely alone. You can tell when it's coming by looking at the telltale glow of them about to unleash an SP attack. If it looks like a standard smash attack, it's going to be a normal SP but if it's purple and Sucking-In Lines, it's going to be the double-team version.
Continuity Nod: The "Remember the Past" missions in the second game, and the History Missions in the third game. Also, if certain pilots are on the same side (Ex. Haman and Kamille), they can disrupt the field.
A rather heartwarming version is available in the third game - use Dozle as your pilot and Audrey as your operator, and you'll get family-based flavor comments from both, including Dozle letting out his Papa Wolf.
Another subtle one in the third game happens in the mission "Warriors, Again..." As part of the mission, you have to fight the remaining units from Glemy's failed revolt, including several of the mass-production Qubeleys. However, one will be marked Unknown, and when defeated will leave the field instead of being destroyed. Those who know the backstory to Gundam Unicorn will quickly realize that was the MP Qubeley being piloted by Ple Twelve, a.k.a. Marida Cruz.
In the second game, putting CCA-era Char into his Zaku, Gelgoog or Hyaku Shiki will result in a melancholic "This mobile suit stirs old memories..."
Similarly, in the fourth game, putting Kincaid Nau (an Older and Wiser Seabook Arno) into the F91 Gundam will cause him to remark that the biocomputer is still tuned to his rhythms, referencing one of Seabook's flavor comments.
Crippling Overspecialization: The use of the Overdrive skill can sometimes have this effect. Gundams and other non-mook class units have three SP Attacks: one ground, one aerial and one combination attack used when in close proximity to an ally who also has an SP charge. Usually one single SP attack is more suited for clearing hordes of mooks while the other is more suited to dealing pinpoint damage to commanders. Overdrive replaces the ground SP with the usually more powerful combo SP, which can sometimes cause trouble if it has the same specialty as the aerial attack. Turn A is a particularly good example of this problem.
At the same time, Turn A's aerial SP and its combo SP are both frighteningly effective in tackling either aces or crowds of mass-produced suits. There's a reason an Overdrive-enabled Turn A is considered a Game Breaker.
The Gundam Epyon is a better example, as it has considerable melee strength and surprising reach with its whip-shaped heat rod. However, it doesn't have any ranged attacks in its arsenal, and if it can't close with an enemy, it's functionally helpless against its opponent.
The Palace Athene and Guncannon, both Elite Mook suits, swing straight to the other end of the scale of overspecialization. The Palace Athene carries beam cannons, grenade launchers, and missile racks, and is capable of hammering even Ace Custom mobile suits to pieces, while the Guncannon has its massive twin shoulder cannons to wipe out mook suits. However, both units are quite sluggish and their melee attacks are definitely inferior, meaning that anyone who can get close enough can tear these suits new exhaust ports several times over.
There IS variation with a few Mook and Elite Mook suits, it's just small and hard to see. Their combo and critical health SP attacks are basically the same with a little extra. The Gyan is the easiest to spot.
Crutch Character: The Unicorn Gundam in DWG 3. You can get him available relatively early, and his Destroy Mode drastically increases the speed and range, as well as giving a small bonus in attack. And regardless of the pilot's skill, Destroy Mode allows the pilot to do a extremely fast and powerful chain combo that will hit several enemies at once, buffing his SP gause extremely fast as well. While he will dominate any story mission without specific Mobile Suit requirements, using him to blast throught the game will often end with the player seeing himself without most licences, lacking good plans to develop other Mobile Suits, and if the player doesn't bother switching the pilots every now and then, most of the remaining pilots will be at low levels. Cue the player looking at a 6-Star Rank mission where he is required to use a pilot he never touched, with a Rank 1 Suit he didn't play once.
Cut Scene Power To The Max: In the second game, Kira's final boss scene, as well as any scene where Kira himself is the final boss. Amongst others.
In the first game, Char's Zaku II is somehow able to block the Bakunetsu God Finger with its heat hawk and survive being at Ground Zero of a Twin Buster Rifle shot.
In the second game, Amuro is somehow able to use the Nu Gundam's Psyco Frame to block the Moonlight Butterfly, an attack whose defining characteristic is being absolutely unblockable.
David Versus Goliath: The second game brings in gigantic Mobile Armors as bosses, leading to some truly epic boss fights.
Deadpan Snarker: Several characters, though Ribbons is perhaps the foremost example, getting a disproportionate share of DWG3's best lines.
Defeat Means Friendship: Horribly, painfully averted. The more frequently you defeat another character, the more negative their opinion of you will become. This becomes a big problem when you require their friendship to unlock new missions. Thankfully, this is fixed in DW:G3, where friendship levels always go up and never go down.
Played straight with a random event where Kira and Athrun appear at once in the same area and start fighting while trading Motive Rants back and forth. If you leave them alone, they'll eventually frag each other and disappear; if however you butt in on their fight (which Athrun will loudly complain about]]) and defeat both within a small timeframe, they "retreat due to injures" then a while later come back and team up with you for the rest of the mission.
Also played straight for the Gundam Wing series of Mission Mode missions in the second game. Any character other than Heero or Milliardo eventually gets e-mails from both of them that drop their relationship values to the lowest possible level and unlock missions where you have to fight them; eventually, however, Relena sends you an e-mail asking you to help them, and if you complete the resulting mission chain, both Heero and Milliardo become your friends.
Also occurs in Amuro's Story Mode in part 2: In his early missions, he battles Heero, Domon, and Uso. They join his side in later missions.
Demoted to Extra: While an active support character in the first game, Rain is reduced to being involved only in Domon's story missions and the Gundam Fight Friendship Missions compared to other characters with similar roles. Fa also goes from playable to support in the third game.
In the third game when the enemy boss appears, they usually use a character specific move, usually not available to the player, such as funnel users deploying their funnels which act as separate units. Enemy Aces on the higher difficulties can use them as well.
Double Entendre: Full of them, as per-usual in a Dynasty Warriors game. However, the mother of them all comes from Lacus Clyne, of all people. In her combo sp attack with Athrun Zala from the third game:
Dual Boss: Shinn's final battle in Mission Mode has Kira and Athrun double-teaming him.
Shinn: That's it, you're ALL going down!! ALL OF YOU!!!
Dual Wield: Some use dual swords, some use dual guns, two use both.
Dude, Where's My Respect?: Beautifully averted if you save a friendly ace you have a good relationship with. Most characters thank your profusely for helping them out. Even if they don't, they still acknowledge the fact.
Scirocco: Never thought I'd need your help. I suppose thanks are in order.
Haman: Even I must give thanks... where it is due.
Char: I can't believe this happened to me, of all people...
Heero: You have my gratitude... for what it's worth.
Duel Boss: Most of the Mission Mode stories end with this.
The G Gundam-esque arena fights in the second game onward are also like this
In the third game, at the end of the last three story modes, the Knight Gundam challenges the characters to a duel. Leading to the final mission to be just a duel between the Knight Gundam and the character the player chooses, in-fact the mission itself is one-player only as well.
Dynamic Entry: On higher difficulty levels in the second game, enemy mooks love to crash-tackle you if you dare try to dash or do any kind of charge attack while not facing them. Speaking of which, they can and will do dash attacks from a standstill on any difficulty.
To elaborate: While every character's Official Mode aside from the CCA versions of Amuro and Char has a good and bad ending depending on how the last mission plays out, Love is the Pulse of the Stars is an achievement.
On that note, this is averted with the Char's Counterattack scenario, as no matter how many times you save someone, they'll run away thanking you for saving them only to return and try the EXACT same tactic. The window to beat the opponent gets smaller each time until there is practically no way to avoid the character death cutscene. Only Rezin can be 'saved' and the game acts like she died anyway as she doesn't appear in the second part.
Easter Egg: the PS2's graphic representation of save data belonging to the second game (seen when booting the console without a disc and choosing to view the memory card's contents) is a Fun Size Musha Gundam Mark 2 precariously balancing on a pink Haro... with one leg in the air and sword-carrying arms spread out, like an amateur circus performer.
Evil Laugh: Scirocco's default taunt when the player attacks him is an absolutely fabulous one.
Excuse Plot: Musha Gundam distorting time and space is used to justify Mobile Suit pilots from different time periods fighting with and against each other in Original Mode.
In the second game, Heero's Story Mode is just random missions he was hired for, without any connection to each other.
Basically the Mission mode from the second game in a nutshell. Zech travels around the universe to destroy every mobile suit that uses funnels to prove that melee combat is the best thing ever. Master Asia wants to beat up every underage pilot as some kind of hardcore psychologist. Char Aznable also appears to be going through his middle age crisis. Some requests are just over the top like beating up Judau just because his sister is angry with him leaving his group.
The third game has a similar set-up to the first, however the Knight Gundam has a more complex motive than just "fighting a suitable opponent" and the multiple but connecting story-lines and extensive dialogue between the characters can subvert this for some though.
Exponential Potential: The upgrade system in Reborn. At its core, it involves equipping plans that come with stat upgrades. You can combine plans, essentially sacrificing one to add a fraction of its bonuses to the base. Each plan can only have so many others combined with it. However, if the sacrificial plan has had other plans combined into it, it will enhance every stat on the base plan, not just the ones the sacrifice has. This results in an endless upward spiral where a Rank S plan's bonuses are essentially that game's hard stat Cap.
In a more literal (and perhaps more comical) example, the Zeong is also an extremist, using only its hands to fight its enemies. Why is this? Recall the end of Mobile Suit Gundam if you will. The Zeong here is the same as seen there. It can't attack with its feet because it has no legs.
Fake Longevity: The third game forces the player to raise Friendship levels as a requirement to play the History Missions. And in order to unlock the very final (and hardest) mission effectively requires the player to have maxed Friendship levels with EVERY SINGLE PILOT in the game. Since getting the strongest Mobile Suits in the game, as well as their perfect doesn't take that much work, the game effectively halts the player every now and then and forces them to stop everything and repeat random missions dozens of times in order to unlock the next History Mission.
Flaming Sword: Knight Gundam's sword becomes this after using its SP attacks.
Foe-Tossing Charge: Plenty. This is, after all, a Dynasty Warriors game. The Unicorn's is arguably the most spectacular and devastating, whilst the Acguy's is definitely the least dignified.
In the second game, the V2 Gundam's aerial SP attack where it spreads its wings and charges forward is an extremely devastating one, capable of cutting down dozens of mooks. A more conventional example would be any mobile suit equipped with the Aura Burst upgrade: simply dashing in any direction will violently toss aside everyone in the way (doesn't do much damage, though).
Forced Level Grinding: In the third game, it appears in the form of friendship levels. The main story has none, but to unlock the various History Missions you must first unlock the required pilots by raising Friendship to Lv. 3. Cue the player doing the same missions over and over in hopes of having the aimed pilot as an ally, and then playing the missions selecting sid pilot as a partner. And for the last mission of a History chain, the requirement is to have all involved pilots at maxed Friendship level. And there goes the player to play even more random missions using said pilots.
Gameplay and Story Segregation: Reccoa's first story mission is meant to depict her infiltrating the Jupitris; at one point she tells Paptimus Scirocco, "I'm Reccoa Londe, a civilian traveler, just passing through. My Suit is acting up." This is after she's slaughtered her way through the enemy army and single-handedly taken down the Psyco Gundam Mk II, and right before she personally hands Scirocco his ass while he's in The O, all while piloting a crappy Tier 3 Gelgoog. No wonder Scirocco politely wishes her a safe journey after he's been defeated — Reccoa's scary!
Pretty damn scary in the original series too! Wiping out colonies just to stay on someone's good side? She's clearly so far out there no dissonance trope can explain away any of what she does. Can't help but wonder if Scirocco responds to her overtures simply because he fears the monster he's created might gas the Jupitris similarly if he doesn't put her on the same pedestal as Sarah.
Getting Crap Past the Radar: "Oh so that's why I've been all tingly! It's because of you." The fact that it's said by Ple pulls this into Squick Territory. It doesn't help that she proposed to take a bath with Judau, who thankfully declines.
Ple makes the same offer to anybody who completes the Cherry Tapping 'Ball is your Friend!' mission in the second game - as part of a conversation in which Lacus, Laura and Ple congratulate the player on their skill with, ahem, Balls.
This is just Ple's way to be friendly. So far the only one who agreed to take a bath with her is Ple Two.
On a more dramatic and serious note, it's surprising that they kept Setsuna's militantly atheistic flavor comments in.
Glass Cannon: In DW 3 there exist two skills, one that sacrifices the ability to block, and one that sacrifices the ability to repair armor; in exchange the player gets a huge boost to attack power. If you use both skills, you can kill enemy aces ludicrously easy but it's almost certain death if you get powered down or can't dodge an enemy SP attack. In DW 2 the former of the skills also existed.
Good Old Fisticuffs: The Guncannon's fighting style combines this with the BFGs on its shoulders. Particularly notable in Dynasty Warriors Gundam 3, where the Guncannon is Class 1, and its new and slightly goofy-looking fighting style allows it to stand toe-to-toe with suits carrying beam sabers and heat hawks.
Gotta Catch 'Em All: Reborn has hundred upon hundreds of cards to unlock, with requirements ranging from beating a certain mission to using the Lab a certain amount of times to getting a couple thousand kills with a certain pilot/suit. Going for 100% Completion will take a while.
Grievous Harm with a Body: Several 'grab' attacks allow your pilots to do this. A particularly bizarre example is the Seravee Gundam's C6 attack, where the suit's built-in Seraphim Gundam allows Tieria to basically throw himself at the enemy.
In the second game, the V2 Gundam's C3 attack sees the suit launch its own lower half at the enemy, following up with a Diagonal Cut from the upper part before reconnecting. Hilariously, it's possible to interrupt the sequence at any time, at which point the two parts of the suit instantaneously teleport to each other before the suit does the hit animation.
Guide Dang It: Everything in Reborn is unlocked via collecting cards, and every card's requirement is visible from the get-go, averting this in theory. In practice, the cards are a maze of dependencies with no easy way of seeing prerequisites, resulting in some mind-bogglingly convoluted unlock chains. For instance, getting the Strike Freedom Gandam's gold card to allow anybody to pilot it requires you to sortie with it 10 times. But only Gundam SEED Destiny Kira is able to pilot it normally, and unlocking him requires beating a certain mission with the Strike Gundam. This mission has to be unlocked by blindly beating other operations, only to find that both the Strike Gundam's normal pilots are locked out for that scenario. So you have to select Gundam SEED Kira, complete ten unrelated missions to unlock the Strike Gundam's gold card, have another pilot beat the required mission in the suit, then have your newly-unlocked SEED Destiny Kira pilot the Strike Freedom ten time to finally unlock it. There is no way to see how these conditions relate to each other without going back and forth between the card collection and operations menu and working back step by step.
Hot-Blooded: Pretty much standard for most of the cast, even Haman gets this way sometimes.
Hyperspace Arsenal: Some mobile suits are capable of manifesting bazookas and Gundam hammers seemingly out of thin air, and pretty much every mobile suit's gun mysteriously vanishes when it pulls out a melee weapon.
Immune to Flinching: The O in the second game has quite a few attack animations that cannot be interrupted with a well-timed counterattack, making it one of the deadliest enemies on Hard difficulty. The mobile armors are also invulnerable to flinching if the attack isn't a smash/SP attack or if it hits while the MA has no exposed weak points.
It's Up to You: In proud Dynasty Warriors tradition, if your side needs something important accomplished, you can count on being the one who has to do it. Especially if someone else volunteers to do the job, in which case your objective will be "save your ally's dumb ass and then do whatever it was they were trying to do."
In one of Four's missions in DW:G2, Kamille Bidan shows up for the sole purpose of helping you, and then proceeds to park himself offscreen and not move while you take on a giant mecha by yourself. Thanks a lot, Kamille. (In his defense, Four does explicitly say that taking down the Psyco Gundam is Something She's Got To Do Herself.)
It's also worth pointing out that, while they never do anything plotline important, your fellow squad leaders and aces are far from useless. They manage to capture enemy fields often enough, and the "Leadership" skill makes them fight better. In DW:G3, they become even more useful, though you still have to save their bacon occasionally.
Even better with "Jamming" skill, which makes enemies weaker.
Amusingly, it seems to be all based on morale and not at all with what they're piloting. Meaning Lunamaria is one of the most deadly fighters offscreen in the entire DWG series. When she always pilots a Zaku, red or otherwise. And macho guys like Yazan and Gym are constantly 'in trouble' despite using Musha or a Turn Gundam. (This being before you unlock the pilot switch mode.) Essentially the problems from normal DW, where the Qiaos can hold for an hour but Wei Yan and Zhang Fei constantly scream for help.
In fact, the Units and Fields screen is completely bogus at telling how close an ally is to defeat. It seems that after an ally indicates they are in trouble, a hidden timer starts which automatically kills them upon reaching zero, regardless of how much health they've got left. Thus, it is possible to leave Uso in a V2 Gundam at half health against Apolly in a Rick Dias with a tiny sliver of health left, only for Uso to die a few seconds after leaving the player's sight. Needless to say, enemy aces aren't afflicted by this...
Idiot Ball: Millardo/Zechs holds it briefly in his second story mission.
Ple Two for all of hers. It never occurs to you to just fly to another area, huh? Gotta take advantage of the whole Let's You and Her Fight setup, right?
Aw, he's just shy. That's the only way he knows how to make friends.
Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Most of the guard-breaking 'grab' attacks actually involve stabbing someone with your beam saber before doing something deeply unpleasant to them (i.e., more unpleasant than being stabbed with a beam saber in the first place).
Interface Screw: The third game's Mobile Suit selection screen defaults to your pilot's signature suit, on a menu wider than the screen. This is usually trivial, especially once you obtains licenses, but can occasionally screw you. For instance, Glemy defaults to the Class-3 Bawoo, and you'd have to scroll uninvited over to the left to realize you can also sortie in any second-generation Qubeley (be it the Class-2 mass production model or the Class-1's belonging to the Ples, all much more useful), making early missions with him much easier.
Item Farming: In order to obtain more powerful mobile suits, you have to obtain parts or plans in the second and third games, respectively. These Randomly Drop when you defeat enemy aces or large numbers of mooks. Also in the second game, obtaining higher-level torsos unlocks a longer SP gauge.
Joke Character: The second game allows you to utilize mook-class MS as playable units. They're generally underpowered, and lacking the versatile movesets of the player and mid-boss level units, although properly upgrading them can yield potential Lethal Joke Character results. SP attacks range between useless (Zaku Tank, Dom) and surprisingly deadly (Hizack).
The Ball has an extremely fast melee attack and one of the best dash attacks for excellent hit-and-run attacks against mobile armors and plowing through crowds of enemy mooks, respectively. Its Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs SP attack also dishes out a TON of damage and cannot be dodged out of.
Lag Cancel: The "emergency dash" move in the second game, which allows you to do a quick short dash at the cost of some of the suit's thruster gauge, can be used to cancel out of nearly any attack string that isn't an SP attack into an aerial combo, which is very useful for avoiding the ending animation of attacks which can leave you vulnerable, and potentially stun-locking the opponent.
Late-Arrival Spoiler: Schwarz Bruder's partner attack in the third game reveals his secret identity, which was a pretty big plot point in G Gundam.
The Official Mode in the first three games actually avoids quite a lot of this. While it does spoil the outcomes of major battles (of course) and and plenty of big character reveals and deaths, it leaves the emotional and political story arcs by the wayside.
Large Ham: This is a World of Ham so everyone falls under this at some point, but special mention really must go to Gym Ghingham, Master Asia, and Domon Kasshu.
"YOU DON'T KNOW ME?! I AM MASTER ASIA, THE UNDEFEATED OF THE EAST!"
A hilarious example is a random event in the second game where Ple, Domon and Milliardo spawn together. The following exchange plays out:
Domon: Let's do it! Time they got a taste of my power!
Lampshaded when Elle and Roux wind up on the opposite sides and battle each other.
In the Remember the Past missions of the second game, it is fully possible to have pilots fight themselves - for example, Zeta-era Amuro (in the RX-78!) versus CCA-era Amuro (the player).
Level-Up at Intimacy 5: In Mission mode the player gains access to new missions, suits and characters by leveling up your pilot's relationship with other characters.
Lightning Bruiser: In theory, most any MS can be made into one of these with the right combination of equipment and upgrades, but special mention has to go to Char's Zaku II in the third game. With its special equipment (Triple Acceleration) unlocked and Char in the cockpit, the suit's movement and attack speed dramatically increase, allowing you to jet across the entire battlefield in seconds and hack apart enemy aces before they can finish saying their arrival speech.
Loads and Loads of Characters: 40 playable pilots and 66 Mobile Suits in DW:G2, not counting the various non-playable support characters and Mobile Armors. DW:GR increases this to over 80 playable characters (a lot more if you count Partner-only and non-playable characters) and over 120 Mobile Suits/Armors. Have fun unlocking them all!
Mêlée à Trois: Certain missions include a third (yellow) faction, which is hostile to both the friendly (blue) and enemy (red) factions.
Mirrors Reflect Everything: Akatsuki's mirror coating allows it to redirect all beam attacks back at enemies while guarding. When in Burst Mode, it automatically reflects those same shots without needing to block or even needing to directly face them.
Money Grinding: In the third game, developing and equipping the most powerful mobile suits take a lot of money, as does obtaining licenses, so you'll be spending a lot of time doing this.
Also for some random dialogue. For example, first Ple spawns. "I'm Elpeo Ple. Nice to meetcha!" Then Jerid. "Nice to meet ya." And then Kamille spawns on the opposing side...
Some operations in Reborn, especially those that focus on a different set of characters each time. The second area of Women's Battlefield has Ple arguing with her clones Ple Two and Merida, which is portrayed as tragically as you'd expect. The third area abruptly swings to Lacus and Cagalli having a glorified pissing match over who the former is or isn't going out with.
Mook Chivalry: Averted. The Mook suits will swarm you, and attack from off screen. Bazooka wielders are by far the worst, practically stunlocking you with a constant barrage. In DW:G3 the Mook AI is improved, and they will quite often attack you in formation, as well as synchronize attacks (i.e. ranged MS shooting you while melee MS jump you).
Averted is an understatement. In the second game, mook AI appears to get significantly more aggressive if you're not facing in their general direction. It is not at all uncommon at higher difficulty levels to see a GM suddenly shield bash you from off-screen, sending you flying... right into the shield bash of another GM, the AI quite literally playing pinball with your mobile suit while the others hack away at you flying past them.
On the other hand, mooks still visibly hesitate before closing into melee range, preferring to use ranged attacks in the meantime.
Morality Pet: Audrey/Mineva for Haman in the third game where the worst trait Haman shows is being kind of haughty.
More Dakka: Several suits score highly in the firepower stakes, but surprisingly, the winner for 'most dakka in a single attack' doesn't go to the Heavyarms Kai (which compensates by backing up its chest gatlings with lots and lots of missiles), but to the Unicorn, whose air SP attack consists of unloading four beam gatling guns on the enemy (two in each hand). Not only that, scoring a One-Hit Kill on or chewing through most of the health of Mobile Armours on even the highest difficulty levels.
Motion Capture Mecha: Mobile Suits in cutscenes tend to emote for their pilots, even if they're not supposed to be built that way.
Moveset Clone: Some mobile suits have moves tweaked and modified from other suits, especially if they have connections e.g. Unicorn and Amuro's Gundams, Sinanju and Char's suits, and the Master and Burning Gundams.
By the third game he runs an entire faction with the sole purpose of collecting female characters, in fact the only male members of his faction were Garrod Ran and Loran Cehack.
Normally, pilots will default to only using particular mobile suits from their respective series until the player unlocks the ability for pilots to use any suit. However, certain pilots can sortie in suits from other series that reference their series - for example, Lunamaria can sortie in Char's Zaku (referencing her red ZAKU Warrior) and Ribbons can sortie in the RX-78 (referencing the 0 Gundam).
Shinn's relationship mission in the third game has him in a one-on-one fight with Four Murasame in the Psyco Gundam, resulting in a meta-mythology gag.
In the first game, when Milliardo and Char meet in his story mode, Milliardo makes a speech about how he never had any aspirations for leadership, and is a warrior at heart. Char comments that "You sound just like me."
The Double X is the first Mobile Suit to ever take-out an enemy unit with its vulcan guns. In DW:G3 this is not only a part of its advanced combo, but one of its more powerful attacks.
Not So Stoic: Heero has plenty of these moments in the third game.
Even in the second, thinking that Domon lured him into an ambush causes him to snarl "You bastard..." Once Domon explains that it wasn't him that they need to make a run for it, Heero's reply is "Mission acknowledged, dammit!"
Older than They Look: Garrod Ran is easily one of the most easygoing characters in the franchise, but he is still older than half the playable characters in DW:G3.
One-Man Army: It's Dynasty Warriors. You're in a Gundam. Do the math. There's also a skill you can earn actually called One Man Army, which turns you into even more of a badass when you're fighting on your own.
Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: In the English dub of the second game, Ple normally has a fairly neutral American accent, but occasionally slips into a Southern drawl for no particular reason ("I'll cover y'all!"). She loses this trait in the third game.
Kira in the second game's dub also slips up a few times, suddenly and inexplicably sounding Canadian.
Overprotective Dad: Dozle in the third game. His relationship mission has him wade through an army just to test if Banagher is good enough for his daughter - and culminates in him beating the tar out of the poor boy.
Palette Swap: In the first game, the Qubeley and its two Mk II successors are all effectively the same character with the same moveset. The only differences are in coloration and some very minor stat variations. The twin Gundam Mk II units are largely the same, but have the sequence of their successive Limit Break attacks reversed from one another.
The third game adds a significant difference for these suits, through their unique special equipment.
Almost all of the Mook suits are palette swaps of either each other or an ace suit.
The Gaza C and Gaza D differ only in their coloration and shape. Same with the MP versions of the Bawoo.
The GM, GMII, and GM Command are completely identical, save for coloration and how they hold their shield.
The Gouf Flight Type, the Rick Dias, the Dom and the Marasai share their movesets, with the only difference being the SP Attacks. The Barzam also shares its moveset with the vanilla Gouf.
Similarly to the above, the Zaku II, the Hizack and the Geara Doga only differ in SP Attack.
As do the Nemo and the Jegan, who are actually using a dumbed-down version of the Gundam Mark II's moveset.
Plot Threads: Ple/Ple Two's story missions, to the point that you'll have to basically switch from one to the other.
Popularity Power: To focus on the dynamic between Amuro and Char and in the lack of CCA both Amuro and Char have their original Mobile Suit Gundam suits in the first game. While Amuro understandably is barely able to fight his enemies blow for blow Char takes them on quite well when in the original Gundam He was barely able to hurt Amuro.
Poor Communication Kills: A major theme of the third game's Story Mode. Communication difficulties, mistrust, and conflicting information between the various factions leads to a large number of conflicts that could otherwise have been avoided. Multiple characters in every faction lampshade this, commenting on the folly of rushing into battle when nobody really knows what the hell is going on. It really doesn't help that the Knight Gundam is deliberately manufacturing several of these misunderstandings in order to create a conflict for the pilots to resolve.
Power Creep, Power Seep: An acceptable break from canon, as it allows the older series' MS to go toe-to-toe with opponents who would easily wipe the floor with them in-universe.
Especially notable with the Turns, as they should be able to mop the floor with the rest of the lineup easily.
In fact the Turns are quite weak, so their movesets actually make viewing their series a big surprise for players unfamiliar with them. Aside from the awesomely huge invulnerability time blessed by Moonlight Butterfly, they are all-around average. (but thanks to X's ability to spam MB using all SP skills makes him effective, if cheap as hell.) The combo SP attack however, is pretty broken on both. For X, Butterfly lasts longer, for A, it pulls the nuclear warhead out of its chest and throws it like a grenade. A really really big highly damaging grenade. (most of the one-hit SP attacks are crowd clearers and do terrible damage.)
Power Trio: Four trios are formed in the first game's Original Mode, though characters do change sides through campaign sometimes, the main setup is usually:
Heero, Master Asia, and Jerid
Domon, Milliardo, and Ple
Loran, Emma, and Ple Two
Judau, Roux, and Scirocco
Pummel Duel: Between Master Asia and Domon in Domon's fifth mission in DW:G1's Original Mode.
The Rashomon: Subverted. Original Mode looks like it's this, but no character's route is completely compatible with any of the others', and some are drastically different.
Invoked in the third game, each side was deliberately given conflicting information.
"The Reason You Suck" Speech: Ramba Ral's story mission in the second game consists of him giving a few to some of the younger pilots, and Master Asia does this to just about everyone in the second game as well.
Regenerating Health: Two variants - The Skill "DG Cells" in the second game (found on the Musha Mk I and Master Gundam) grants a unit this (at a fast rate) but kills your unit's Defence (making it a very dangerious idea if combined with Fighting Instinct, equaling Glass Cannon), while in the third game, it's standard on all Suits, but it's limited up to the light blue/yellow/red portion of your Health Bar if you get hit, and you still need Armor Recovery if you get your butt knocked around hard enough.
Plus, it's Gundam after all. If massed waves of grunt suits didn't explode on a regular basis, it just wouldn't be proper. In the third game the grunt suits will often literally explode, doing damage to anything around them, which can cause huge chain reactions of exploding grunts.
Relationship Values: A major part of unlocking hidden characters/MS/missions in the second game's Mission Mode is working on relationships with any and all characters you're not currently using. Values increase by fighting on the same side and aiding an ally when they're in trouble, but decrease if you wind up on opposite sides and by actually defeating them in battle.
Also, pilots will start with relationship values for pilots set by the events of their series - for example, Kira and Lacus start off at the highest tier of relationship. This becomes a problem for characters like Char or Haman, who start off with a number of pilots that are pissed off at them.
Thankfully, the third game has overhauled the system so friendship values can only increase, while Reborn ditched the friendship system entirely.
The Rival: Domon Kasshu eagerly latches onto a few other pilots as a friendly rival, with hilarious results in the case of Heero Yuy (who futilely tells him to shut up) and Kamille Bidan (combination SP Attack conversation: "Are you MAN ENOUGH? KAMILLE?")
In the second game, one of Domon's flavor comments is a long-winded declaration of his rivalry with your character. Unfortunately, it's pretty much the only flavor comment he makes at that relationship level, and it gets a bit old after the seventh or eighth time you hear it in a single mission.
Rocket Tag Gameplay: In the third game, aces (including you) can respawn if they die if there is any of their forces battle gauge left, consequently though, to balance it out, everyone, especially the player, takes more damage from attacks, meaning that in higher level difficulties, gameplay becomes a struggle to finish off aces as soon as possible before the Mooks whittle down all of the player's armor, and making sure not to get hit by the opponent ace at all.
Running Gag: Koei loves to make jokes referring to Gundam Wing characters and self-destruction attempts in the 3rd Game.
Set Bonus: Multiple parts from the same inventor give a stat bonus, while multiple parts of the same type give a special skill. Done away with in the third game, where instead of parts you get MS blueprints.
Shout-Out: Roux and Leina comparing Judau's behavior to an old man in his Story in Mission Mode could possibly be a reference to his appearance as "Grey Stroke" in the Crossbone Gundam and V Gundam mangas.
The ZZ and F91 teams crossing over happens in certain missions, such as Judau and Seabook's story modes in the Mission Mode.
For that matter, most relationship or triumphant lines pilots say in battle are taken directly from their series. Most of them make sense in the original use, but here lead to the Narm and Ho Yay examples above.
Slow Motion Fall: When you defeat an enemy pilot, the game lets you witness your victory in slow-mo.
Strange Bedfellows: It's very possible for pilots who were antagonists in their series of origin to end up on the same side. Probably one of the weirder examples is Haman Karn's final story mission in the second game, when Judau Ashta recruits Kamille Bidan and Amuro Ray, and all three show up in the middle of the battle to help her. It's a Big Damn Heroes moment that's actually pretty cool.
The most extreme example is perhaps in either Kamille's or Haman's Original story mode in the first game. They end up as friends and implied to be even more on Haman's. Haman and Kamille. Think about it.
In Judau's Original story mode in the first game, he manages to ultimately convince Paptimus Scirocco to do a massive Heel-Face Turn by the end of his route.
In a heroic case, Ple, Domon, and Zechs/Milliardo from the first game. You couldn't have asked a more bizarre trio to work together.
It gets better in the second game. They say Domon's trademark lines before a shining finger attack when they appear, Ple starting, Milliardo saying the middle, and Domon finishing. Also if you pay attention to their storymodes this time around it is actually not out of place. All 3 follow codes of conduct that basically boil down to Defeat Means Friendship to the letter (Milliardo never gets to his CCA Char story segment self unless you play as Heero. In which case he hilariously replaces Char on Axis, leading to much lampshading). It's like their entire reason for existing. There are also minor hints as to who teams up with who in their EX mode storylines based upon unique dual SP attack quotes.
In the third game, doing enough damage to a MA quickly enough would stun it and open the opportunity to destroy one of its hardpoints, shrinking its maximum health, negating any Regenerating Health it has pending and possibly taking certain weapons or attacks offline.
In Reborn, these hardpoints all have independent armor gauges and must be destroyed before you can do anything at all to the main health bar. Destorying them has an even bigger impact on their performance, too. A Mobile Armor with all its hardpoints destroyed is virtually crippled.
Super Mode: MS that canonically have them can enter into them via SP/Hyper SP Attack. This wasn't all that noticeable in the first two games, but with the third having quite a few more, it gives the suits that have the ability a definite advantage. In addition, the special gear of the Celestial Being suits extends Super Mode duration.
Reborn introduces Burst Mode. While active, the mobile suit's special gear starts working (every mobile suit, even grunts, whose Pride of Mass Production gives them a generalized boost) and every pilot's special abilities kick in (again, including Oldtypes/Normals, who get Burst Modes like Ace Pilot that enhance the destructive potential of Stuff Blowing Up).
YMMV on this. While Honda is a beast, Musha and Lu Bu's most dangerous move is their lunging charge unblockable. Just as Lu Bu isn't quite as dangerous as a Boosted Gan Ning (One hit KO!) or Zhang Liao (Lu Bu's dragon is tougher than he is when stats are equal, go fig), or the Qiaos/Zhou Yu, the Hambrabi fulfills the role of Gan Ning (Stupidly powerful single-hit SP attack but overall only a mid-tier moveset), the Ples/Haman are the Qiaos, God Gundam is BOTH of these at once (SHIIIINING FINGER), and Nu Gundam/Sazabi round out the 'most irritating common fight' roster. Any of these can ruin your day a lot faster than either Musha when boosted. Wing Zero is no slouch either, having a Hambrabi-level hit as a NORMAL charge attack.
Also in the third game's story, when you fight the Knight Gundam after he revealed himself (before that, he's just listed as Unkown in-game), his own theme plays.
Inverted in Reborn with the Musha Gundams and Knight Gundam, who alone out of all aces will lead with their Burst mode, rather than saving it as a trump card.
Unexpected Gameplay Change: Reborn includes two Ultimate Mode operations that involve Queen Diana quizzing the player on trivia from The Dark History (read: the rest of the franchise) by giving them a question and spawning three enemy aces, letting the player attack the answer.
Guide Dang It: Some of the answers can be gathered from playing Official Mode. Many can't, several aren't even alluded to in the Character Gallery, and a couple are borderline trick questionsExample One question in the Zeta Gundam quiz asks who flew the most different Mobile Suits: Jerid, Kamille, or Quattro? Quattro, if you count the many suits he flies as Char, but the game isn't and expects you to answer Jerid. Fortunately each question has 3 fixed answers, so trial and error can eventually save the day.
And thanks to some translation goofs, a few answers in the English version are flat out wrong, such as asking which Gundam00 character (Setuna, Ribbons or Lockon) became a 'Pure Innovade'Note In 00, 'Innovade' was specifically used to refer to Artifical Innovators like Ribbons and Tieria. The answer the game will accept is Setsuna, the translators having apparently mixed up 'Pure Innovade' with 'True Innovator'.
Another Lost in Translation example occurs when the game asks "Which of [Char Aznable, Johnny Ridden, Ramba Ral] does not have a comet-related title?" The issue here is that Ramba Ral's title was translated in English as "The Blue Giant", but in Japanese is closer to "Great Blue Star". So the correct answer is Johnny ("Crimson Lightning"), but for English fans, the question appears to have two valid answers.
Updated Re-release: Reborn itself isn't, but it does use the latest edition of all its sources. Examples include Elpeo and her clones being correctly romanized as Ple, and the Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam official mode using the much less depressing updated ending.
What a Piece of Junk: In the second game, Seabook actually complains if you put him into a Jegannote the model is over 23 years old by the time F91 takes place.
Seabook: This thing's a classic! What era is this mobile suit from?
In the third game, Cecily makes a comment if she sees you in a Zaku II or a GM.
Cecily: Doesn't that suit belong in a museum?
What the Hell, Hero?: In Jerid's story mission, Shinn berates him for the creation and use of Cyber-Newtypes.
Ple Two's story missions soon become one What the Hell, Hero? moment after the next stemming from Roux' distrust for her and Ple after Ple helps Haman. Leading to missions involving fights against Roux, Emma, Judau and Ple respectively.
World of Ham: Because dude. It's a Dynasty Warriors game AND a Gundam game. This is like World of Ham squared.
Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: Averted, Haman considers Garrod's overly friendly way of speaking with Mineva an insult and demands he speaks to her more formally. Garrod being well... Garrod, thinks the means he must speak as such, he stumbles around with thine, thy and thou before Minvea asks him to speak like he always does.
Zeerust: Characters from the '70s and '80s still look like... characters from a '70s or '80s anime. Some of the Gundam sound effects from that era have also been kept.