Video Game: Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's Portable aka: The Gearsof Destiny
Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's Portable: The Battle of Aces is a Fighting Game, developed by Witchcraft (composed of the people who made Wild ARMs) and released for the Playstation Portable by Namco Bandai in 2010.As the name suggests, it's based on the Lyrical Nanoha franchise, specifically the second season Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's. It is set in an Alternate Timeline where Reinforce was not deleted at the end of the series. Because of this, the corrupted defence program of the Book of Darkness soon returns, shedding "Dark Fragments" that take the form of Evil Knockoffs of the main cast. At the head of this clone army are the "Materials": three super-powerful clones of Nanoha, Fate and Hayate who have gained sentience.A sequel, Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's Portable: The Gears of Destiny, was released for PSP on December 22, 2011. It takes place three months after The Battle of Aces, starting when two mysterious warriors arrive from the future. One of them is searching for the revived Materials, whose personalities have grown from the one-dimensional Omnicidal Maniacs they were in the first game. The other is trying to stop her.Meanwhile, the Materials are searching for something called the "Unbreakable Darkness", which seems to be linked to a whole new outbreak of Dark Fragments. Not only are these new Dark Fragments twisting time and space, pulling people from the past and future to the present age, but they are capable of copying long-dead people from the memories of the mages involved.The Materials have become Breakout Characters, appearing as major and/or main characters in other media. They also get their own mangaMahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha A's Potable - The Gears of Destiny - Material Musume, a Yonkoma which takes place before the events of The Gears of Destiny.
Playable characters introduced in The Battle of Aces
Hayate is opposed by Material-D, the Ruler of Darkness, whose Barrier Jacket has dark grey where Hayate's is white, along with purple for the inner layer and shoes, as well as being platinum blonde-ish. She also lacks the original's Nice Hat.
Nanoha is opposed by Material-S, the Starlight Destroyer, whose Barrier Jacket is mainly black/dark purple and crimson, with Luciferion, her version of Raising Heart, being red with a blue crystal.
Fate is opposed by Material-L, the Thunderblade Assailant, who has light blue hair instead of blonde, her Barrier Jacket has blue where Fate's was red and her version of Bardiche has a blue crystal.
Humanoid Abomination: The Materials, which are remnants of the Darkness of the Book of Darkness taken human form.
In Spite of a Nail: In the original Reinforce's ending in Battle of Aces, she and Hayate discuss how she can't maintain Hayate's magic anymore, and they'd have to create a new Unison Device. I.e. Zwei will exist in this Alternate Continuity too. The Wolkenritter also note late in Hayate's story mode that Hayate and Reinforce both know (but won't admit to each other) that Reinforce will fade away relatively soon.
Invulnerable Attack: Using Full Drive makes you invulnerable to any attack during its initial activation.
Matryoshka Object: The Book of Darkness was really a smaller program written on an older Logia called The Book of Purple Sky. And the Book of Purple Sky was written on an OLDER program called the Examia/Eternal Ring; which was hosted by the Unbreakable Darkness.
It's Tomes All The Way Down.
Mirror Match: Justified in Story Mode by the existence of the Dark Pieces, which are copies from the heroes based on their memories and wishes during the time of A's.
Omnicidal Maniac: The Materials, who exist to bring forth the tranquil darkness and the chaos of destruction.
Purposely Overpowered: Unison Reinforce (Reinforce with Hayate intentionally Unisoning into her), who you could only use at the final battle of Reinforce's story. She comes with all eighteen skills in the game where other characters could only use four, turning the normally powerful Big Bad into an Anticlimax Boss.
Rule of Three: Three Materials. Each Material has the magic abilities of three mages. Three characters to unlock one Material.
Secret Character: The Materials, which are unlocked by completing the Story Modes (including the two "Warning" stages) of three specific characters per Material.
Smoke Shield: Used as a gameplay mechanic. Big attacks usually generate one of these on impact, and a canny player can exploit the concealment to pull off a counter-attack.
Sound Test: Available in the Character Viewer under Archive.
Talking To Herself: The three Aces and the Materials, obviously. Then, some characters and their Dark Piece counterparts.
Title Drop: Fate's story path ends with her saying the title of her chapter ("When the cherry blossoms are in bloom") in response to Arf asking her when she will tell Lindy her decision regarding her offer to adopt her.
You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Nanoha says this when Arf suggests that Fate might have turned out like Material-L if she hadn't met Nanoha, saying that Fate is a stronger person than that and with Arf, she is not alone. Both Fate and Arf are quite grateful to hear this.
The Gears of Destiny
The Gears of Destiny additionally provides examples of:
Adaptational Badass: While most of the characters are just as badass as they are in canon, Yuuno's surprising combat ability comes as a shock. During his story mode, he manages to not only defeat the Liese twins (who were able to steal Fate's Linker Core, and tie up Nanoha, Fate and the Wolkenritter in canon), but also Material-S, Vivio and Amita (who manages to pull off an attack even stronger than the Triple Breaker in the game.), not bad for someone who was Demoted to Extra in the series proper.
Alternate Character Reading: The Materials from Battle of Aces were originally saddled with kanji that seemed to describe what they are rather than serve as proper names. When they were announced to return in Gears of Destiny, these kanji were given katakana to show that, yes, those are their actual names: Stern the Destructor (星光の殲滅者), Levi the Slasher (雷刃の襲撃者), and Lord Dearche (闇統べる王).
Bad Boss: The Unbreakable Darkness, who after exchanging pleasantries, promptly kills the loyal Materials after they successfully revived her. Not that it's really her fault. As an Eldritch Abomination, she can't control the death and destruction she causes.
Be Careful What You Wish For: Lord Dearche always wished for power. When she finally got it due to her loyal retainers sacrificing their physical forms and transferring their entire being into her so she will have a fighting chance against the Unbreakable Darkness, she responds by screaming in anguish.
The Cameo: In Tohma's imagine shot, the Force versions of Nanoha, Fate, Hayate, Signum and Subaru, as well as the rest of the Nakajima family, Mariel, Iris, and the Hückebein family are seen together.
Cast Herd: There are two units who fight U-D in the final battle. The first unit fights her in the first round, the second unit fights her in the second round where she has already Turned Red.
The first group includes Chrono, Signum, Vita, Shamal, Zafira, Einhard and Kyrie.
The second group includes Nanoha, Fate, Unison Hayate, Vivio, Tohma, Amitie and the empowered Dearche.
Combo Breaker: Activating a Full Drive Burst stock gives temporary invincibility and knocks the opponent back. In some cases, their airborne state makes them vulnerable to be hit with the actual attack.
Conservation of Ninjutsu: Justified with the Materials, since when there's only one of them, she gets to horde all the overflowing energy. This annoyed Lord Dearche since she was winning against the protagonists when her subordinates got revived, causing her Power Levels to decrease by a lot.
Demoted to Extra: Yuuno, again. He's the only character in the game who doesn't have a CG appearance. It's even worse, several characters from Force have a cameo appearance in two CG shots.
Nanoha herself has very few CG appearances. She is first seen in the end of Sequence 10. Justified, she's not the heroine in this game. The Eltrian Gears and the Materials, particularly Dearche are.
Yuuno, Arf and the Liese twins don't fight in the Grand Finale.
The Forwards from StrikerS don't appear in this game (not including Subaru's cameo). Justified. All battles are in the sky and all of them are ground mages. Even though, Subaru has her Wing Road, Erio has Strada's Düsenform and Caro has Friedrich and Voltair, they would be odd characters in this game. And Teana has no possibility to fight in air at all.
However, Vivio was originally introduced in StrikerS, even though she doesn't come from the StrikerS timeline, she is actually a StrikerS character.
Do Well, But Not Perfect: Due to an oversight, you automatically win the second round of the Final Sequence if the timer runs out after you whittle down U-D's first life bar so that hers has less HP than yours do but don't reduce it to zero and activate her second phase. The timer only recognizes her current life bar, so it assumes she has less life than you do even though she still has an untouched second life bar.
Future Badass: Nanoha, Fate and Hayate, of course. In Tohma's imagine shot, we see the three aces in the Force timeline. In the epilogue, we see Nanoha and Fate in the ViVid timeline, and Hayate in the Force timeline. And we all know they will be grown up in StrikerS.
(Alternate) Future Loser: Played with. Tohma is from an Alternate Universe of Force whereas Signum was completely trounced or possibly Killed Off for Real by Cypha, who turns out to be helping Tohma afterwards, and he points this out. Signum... has no clue, since that is an alternate universe of what happened in Force, and Force events hadn't happened in Gears of Destiny.
Genre Savvy: Einhard and Vivio quickly realize that they've been brought back to the past, and try as much as they can to avoid screwing up the past.
Hope Springs Eternal: In the end, the Materials and U-D go with the Florian Sisters to Future Eltria; they're able to help a lot through their technical expertise in restoring the land and monster hunting.
Idiots Cannot Catch Colds: Kyrie references this after Amita tells her that she resisted the virus through Guts and Hot Blood!
Idiot Hero: Amita, who seems to have watched a little too many Toku shows and believes that Hot Blood and Guts are all you need. Her idiocy actually causes causes a good amount of Poor Communication Kills, delaying what should have been an easy alliance with the old heroes.
Mid-Season Upgrade: In Sequence 6, Stern gives these to four of the characters for them to use during the final battle against U-D. Hayate and Chrono gets the Waffenträger and Ostwind respectively. The other two characters who get upgrades depends on who you choose for the third and fourth fights of Sequence 6. If you chose them, Nanoha will get the Nebelwerfer, Fate will get the Hornisse, Signum will get the Wirbelwind, and Vita will get the Brummbär.
Power Creep, Power Seep: The travel through time is causing Tohma's Tome of the Silver Cross to malfunction, which conveniently shuts down the Anti-Magic and other abilities that would make him broken in the A's timeline. Reinforce returns, but is slowly dying, which explains the Nerfing she got here. On the other end of the spectrum, Kris and Asteon turned out to be capable of helping Vivio and Einhard gain limited flight capabilities, explaining why they're able to fight in mid-air here when they couldn't in Vivid.
Robotic Reveal: The Florian sisters, first by a character recognizing them as not human, then by Amita losing her arm while confronting the Big Bad, revealing circuitry.
SNK Boss: U-D in her Final Boss battle. Her attacks has ridiculous priority and does serious damage, her melee has more reach than most of your characters, her ranged attacks cover a wide area, and both her melee and ranged counters hit fast and hard. Combine this with a Super Armor that gives her a Mana Shield that also grants her immunity to knock back while it's up, and you have a sudden and overwhelming urge to introduce your PSP to the floor the hard way. To help you here, three of the seven characters could be given Mid Season Upgrades that grants them their default skills from Battle of Aces.
The second round looks pretty easy at first since it starts off with U-D without Super Armor, but once you get rid of her life bar, she replenishes her health to full and gets her Super Armor back with two mana bars to blast through this time, and is effectively invulnerable for several seconds due to being in Full Drive mode. There are several things to make your life a little easier though. First, the second life bar comes with Squishy Wizard defenses in contrast to U-D's usual Stone Wall level toughness. Second, five out of the seven characters could get upgrades note Hayate unisons with Reinforce, Dearche has Levi and Stern powering her up, Nanoha gets increased long-ranged damage if you chose her when you last went through Sequence 6, Fate gets increased melee damage and reduced dash consumption if you chose her for Sequence 6, and Amitie gets a power boost if you used Kyrie to beat U-D the first round. Finally, if you're especially frustrated but don't mind the cheap win, you could Do Well, But Not Perfect for the Good Bad Bug...
Super Prototype: The Florian sisters are the first models of the Eltrian Gears.
Talking To Herself: The three Aces and the Materials, Yuuno and Vivio, Lily-Strosek and Amitie.
Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: With the Liese Twins and The Wolkenritter due to what happened in the series. They still get along with everyone else.
They can't believe how nice Hayate is to the point they suspect her of being a Dark Piece. However they seem to get along later; Lotte says she doesn't like Hayate's ideals, but she respects her persistence.
With Vita, Really bad to the point you expect them to start ripping each other's hair.
With Signum. Very professionally to the point of awkwardness.
They blame Reinforce for the lives that was lost and how bad their lives had became.
Turns Red: In Round 2 of the Final Sequence, blasting through U-D's first life bar will have her bring back her Super Armor while in Full Drive mode, rendering her invulnerable for several seconds in addition to the headaches the Super Armor brings.
Was Once a Man: The Unbreakable Darkness is revealed to have once been a human named Yuri Evelvine.
"With Our Swords" Scene: If you choose Kyrie for the first stage of the final battle against the Unbreakable Darkness then choose Amita for the second round, you'll get a scene where Kyrie hands Amita her Variant Zapper, which she had recharged using her own remaining energy.
The Worf Barrage: Amitie uses a Desperation Attack that surpasses the Triple Breaker from the finale of A's ... and dealt practically no damage to the Unbreakable Darkness