It is the 31st century and mankind is once again at war. The battlefields of the future are dominated by huge robotic war machines known as BattleMechs. Piloting these awesome weapons of war are men and women, the elite of the elite, knowing that each battle could be their last. They are...MechWarriors.
— MechWarrior 3 Intro
One of the most popular spinoffs of the BattleTech franchise, the MechWarrior series puts the player in the cockpit of the Giant Mecha that define the universe. With cutting edge graphics and fairly intense combat, these games probably brought more people into the universe then anything else.The first game, MechWarrior, set roughly around 3025, placed you in the shoes of Gideon Braver Vandenburg, who is out to reclaim his birthright after his family was murdered. This game, published in 1989, is notable for featuring full three-dimensional gameplay (predating games like Ultima Underworld), as well as crude squad AI (which would be refined in later games in the series).The second game, MechWarrior 2: 31st Century Combat (1995), was set during the Refusal War in 3057 between Clan Wolf and Clan Jade Falcon. Five years have passed since a cease-fire between the Clans and the Inner Sphere, however, the circumstances have changed. The player is given the option to play as a young warrior on either side, rising rapidly in rank as you led the campaign against the opposing Clan. The expansion pack, Ghost Bear's Legacy, followed after this conflict as the Draconis Combine attacks (you guessed it) Clan Ghost Bear. However, not all is as it seems. A standalone sequel, titled MechWarrior 2: Mercenaries, places you as an Inner Sphere mercenary, giving you the choice of running your own unit or joining another one. It's technically a prequel to the other MechWarrior 2 games, as it covers events in the the previous decade. In-between the release of the Ghost Bear's Legacy and Mercenaries expansions, the Harmony Gold lawsuit over the Unseen and the following out of court settlement happened, causing those Mechs to be removed from all subsequent official games.MechWarrior 3 (1999) takes place three years after MechWarrior 2 and in the aftermath of Operation Bulldog (the setting of Mech Commander 1) on the planet named Tranquil, where a task force code-named Damocles is assigned to take down several major Clan installations while the newly-reformed Star League deals with the rest of the Clans (this is the Counterattack and Great Refusal arc). Due to a surprise attack, half of the Inner Sphere force is destroyed before it even makes landfall on the planet. However, the mission must go on. The expansion pack, Pirate's Moon, feature a new campaign letting you play as either a raiding pirate or a member of the Eridani Light Horse, the mercenary unit deployed to stop said pirates.The fourth game, MechWarrior 4: Vengeance (2000) is set during the FedCom Civil War. Taking place on the planet Kentares IV and its moon, the plot's premise is similar to that of the first game, albeit much more involved. You play as Ian Dresari, trying to regain your birthright after a cousin affiliated with House Steiner betrays you. The expansion pack, Black Knight, continues Dresari's story as the Black Knight Legion arrives. A standalone expansion set around the same time, Mercenaries, puts the player in control of a Mechwarrior known only as "Spectre", who, incidentally, is a mercenary.Early in 2010, MechWarrior 4: Mercenaries with the Clan and Inner Sphere Mech Paks were put online for free download by MekTek, along with MekTek's own in-house MekPak, adding several dozen 'Mechs and weapons to the game. MekTek also made some modifications to the game itself, enhancing the HUD and 'Mech icons as well as making several Clan, IS and MekTek MekPak 'Mechs and weapons available in the Campaign mode. It was taken down due to legal issues due to the IP being transferred to a new owner, Piranha Games. If MekTek attempts to re-upload the free release, they will likely be sued.Mech Warrior 4 also made it to arcades as Battletech: Firestorm for the Virtual World Tesla II pods. Earlier Virtual World Battletech versions were unique to the pods, even having exclusive features like generator and coolant loop management, but missing others like jump jets. Otherwise, they played a lot like the home MechWarrior games, just in a fancy arcade cockpit full of MFDs.A game trailer was shown in 2009 for a reboot of the series for the 5th game, in the vein of the first 4 games, set in 3015, but as time went on, the IP rights holder and game developers, Piranha Games - whose previous games include Duke Nukem Forever's multiplayer, and Transformerstie-in games - couldn't find a publisher for such a game and have since retooled the game into a free-to-play MMO: MechWarrior: Online. Initially taking place in the year 3049 (before the Clan invasion era) that will allegedly update storyline-wise each day after the the August 1 2012 release date (which will be August 1st, 3049 in game universe, meaning that the Clan invasion will not happen yet and Clan mechs will not be initially available). The website can be found here.Also of note is MechAssault, a simplified Third Person Shooter series set in the same universe, and Multiplayer Battletech: Solaris and Multiplayer Battletech 3025, which were online multiplayer takes on the MechWarrior formula before NetMech (MW2:31stCC), MercNet (MW2:Mercs) and such became popular. Unfortunately, both titles have been entirely Lost Forever for years.Fan made games and mods:
Assault Tech 1: Battletech, a standalone game made by Mektek (the team who released MW4: Mercenaries for free) which has gameplay similar to MechWarrior 2 with updated graphics and controls. (This is no longer active, as Mektek had stopped all of their projects to work on Heavy Gear: Assault.)
Emphasis on character to character combat and interactions rather than the vehicle to vehicle combat of Battletech
, see Battle Tech. See also MetalTech: EarthSiege/Starsiege, a mecha series by Dynamix, the developers of the first MechWarrior game, and Heavy Gear videogame adaptations by Activision, the developers of the MechWarrior 2 trilogy.
Wiki online... Index online... Tropes online... All functioning examples, nominal:
MechWarrior 2 original Clan campaigns are notable in that absolutely no characterization for the player whatsoever is offered, not even gender.
You are definitively male in the Mercenaries expansion, but almost anything else is up for grabs.
MechWarrior 3 uses this in the original campaign, but the Pirate's Moon expansion Retcons you into a male lieutenant who backs Victor for the brewing FedCom Civil War. All player characters in Mech Warrior 4 games are male as well.
Allegedly Free Game: MechWarrior Online is planned to be this. Players will be able to grind for C-bills (using a selection of 4 Trial Mechs, which cannot be customizedand change each month), or spend money to acquire Mechs in-game. An Atlas might cost 9+ million C-bills, but you could spend ~$25 of the game's "Mech Credits" to acquire it instantly. Players running any sort of advanced technology would often run with negative profit if they lose a match unless they are a Founder or have enabled the monthly paid Premium bonus - however that was while repair and rearm costs were in the game and have been subsequently removed.
The "Hero" 'Mechs - 'Mechs with a unique configuration and paint job, which can only be purchased with real money - have caused a lot of "pay2win" accusations, even though the Hero 'Mechs are balanced to prevent them from having any real advantage over standard variants.
The fact that additional 'Mech Bays can only be bought with MC, however, does play this trope straight. Especially considering that the default four is not anywhere enough to allow players to get the most out of the game.
Anachronism Stew: Living Legends revolves around an Inner Sphere vs. Clan conflict, yet features BattleMechs and vehicles that did not enter production until after the Clan Invasion ended. Justified, as the developers weren't trying to establish canon.
And now in Living Legends, too! The MWLL team was able to hire the talented George Ledoux to reprise the role for the introduction of the Solaris Arena game mode in patch 0.5.0.
Anti Air: The Huitzilopitchli and Partisan tanks in Living Legends. Both spew out hundreds of pounds of ammo every second when firing at enemy aerospace assets. They're needed to protect your team from enemy bombers if your doesn't have anybody piloting air superiority fighters.
The Quad Panzer will spit a wall of large pulse laser death at any air or ground target foolish enough to wander inside its range.
The Rifleman, introduced in Living Legends 0.6.0. All of its variants are superior anti-air assets.
Arch-Enemy: In MechWarrior 4: Mercenaries, Burr's Black Cobras may take this role in opposition to your company, depending on how you interact with them. Destroying Lieutenant Dunman's lance in the Industry Raid mission on Halloran V leads to Dragonfly attacking you during the last Halloran V mission. This culminates in a firefight with Colonel Burr on Wernke, which will see you grossly outnumbered and possibly outgunned.
Armored Coffins: Averted in the main games, which typically allows you to activate your ejection seat. Played with in Living Legends; Terrain Control and Team Solaris Arena have ejection on all assets enabled by default. Solaris Arena disables the ejection seat, forcing you to see battles through to the bitter end. The only way to get out of a Mech is to power it down and climb out.
Arguably the whole reason the single-player campaigns are playable at all. The player is always pitted against numerically superior forces, occasionally using even heavier Mechs than their own; were AI pilots capable of doing things like grouping weapons, alpha-striking and smartly managing heat, they'd consistently wipe the floor with the player.
In MechWarrior 4, your lancemates never use repair bays - only MFB's. At least one Black Knight mission with no time limit allowed you to circumvent this by ordering them to shut down... and then using your Mech to push them in.
In MechWarrior 3 enemies tend to ignore you id you are further away than 800 meters and they have no weapons that can shoot you. So, you can stack ER Large Lasers and snipe off 80-90% of the enemies without any risk. Almost boring.
Artistic License: Used by all the games except for MechWarrior 3 in regards to the transition from the tabletop BattleTech to a first person simulation game; significant changes are made to weapon ranges, how the weapons act, and how support equipment works. All the games since 4 have had artistic license on the mech designs themselves; 4 got rid of many of the silly man-walkers from BattleTech and overall made the mechs look more chunky and tank-like. Living Legends has made several changes to mechs to make them usable, such as the Atlas having a bubble faceplate rather than eyes*
as the pilot actually looks through the window, rather than using a fake window that is essentially a camera sticking in-front of where the window should be
, and Living Legends has made some significant gameplay changes from BattleTech and previous games.
Living Legends allows players to pilot 'Mechs while wearing Battle Armor.
Ascended Meme: A fanart of an UrbanMech with a top hat and a monocle has made its way into MechWarrior Online as an UrbanMechbobblehead◊ with a tophat and a cigar.
David Versus Goliath: The Jade Falcons have to duel one-on-one against the heavier Mechs while piloting the lighter one in the Urban Warfare-styled arena, with one notable (but thankfully optional) example with you piloting a 30-ton Kit Fox against the 85-ton Warhawk, and that's after surviving the earlier fight against the 70-ton Summoner (which is mandatory). The Final Trial has you piloting a 20-ton Fire Moth (a light Mech that will blow up if someone so much as looked at it) pitted against the 85-ton Marauder IIC and the optional 100-ton Direwolf, but it is somewhat easier than the previous trial above due to the Fire Moth's speed, maneuverability and a 90' degree torso twist compared to the Kit Fox's 10'.
Wolfpack Boss: The Wolves, on the other hand, don't use such extreme tonnage disparity, instead putting you alone against Mech pairs on a relatively open arena.
Asteroid Thicket: The "Extremity" map in Living Legends. As the map (which is actually just a large asteroid) rotates around, hundreds of large, rotating asteroids come into view. A work-in-progress community map actually takes place in an asteroid field, with only aerospace and Battle Armor being usable.
Attack Its Weak Point: Cockpits and rear torso shots, which are notoriously hard to hit, even on a stationary Mech. When you do hit it though, expect to devastate the enemy. Cockpits and rear torsos mount very little armor even when maxed out, and most players strip some or all armor from both cockpits and the rear torso for more guns.
In the MechWarrior 2 games, the Firemoth (Dasher, for those going by the Reporting Name) 'Mech has an easy to hit cockpit, making it really easy to destroy (on top of already being easy to destroy on account of already being a Fragile Speedster).
Jenners, Urbanmechs, and Catapults suffered from this too in the course of the MechWarrior 2 series. A direct frontal hit on most of these machines usually resulted in head hits thanks to the bounding boxes on their cockpits. This was especially bad for the Urbies, because they're only 30 tons but still slower than molasses in winter.
The Daishi (Dire Wolf if you go by Clan names) in MW4 has a ridiculously huge cockpit hitbox compared to other Mechs, and since most players strip its head armor, you can simply blast them in the face and almost instagib them.
Averted with the fan made expansion pack's Cyclops. The obvious head, with its enormous red eye, certainly looks like a vulnerable spot, and is just begging to be shot off. However, destroying it reveals that it isn't actually the cockpit.
The Mauler in MW4—like the Daishi—has a very large and vulnerable cockpit, made worse by the fact that it's clearly visible at the top of the mech.
Not always the head in Living Legends. The Owens is 4/5th legs and poorly armored to begin with, often leading to the battlefields strewn with legged Owenses in the opening minutes of a match. Likewise, stripping off a Shadowcat's left arm renders the 'mech mostly useless.
A number of Mechs in MW4: Mercs were significantly less threatening if you knew their weapons placement and nuked their best guns five seconds into the fight. This was particularly useful on Solaris.
In Pirate's Moon, the Awesome had an unfortunately positioned head hitbox just above its center of mass. Long-range snapshots with Gauss Rifles or Clan ER PPCs, particularly from a slightly higher elevation than the target, would often take the 'Mech's head off.
Auto Doc: Battle Armors in Living Legends have a self-healing system, which seals the suit and injects morphine into the player.
The artillery beacon deals tremendous damage, but has limited ammunition and requires incredible timing against moving objects. God help you if you're overheated and a Longbow carrying 10 of these finds you.
Long Tom artillery pieces, which are one of the heaviest weapons in the game, and you need to be damn good to hit anything further than 300m away with them, When you do hit targets though, they will feel it. The Living Legends version of the Long Tom can one-shot any Mech with a direct hit, but it has an extremely long reload time, only one vehicle mounts it, and the design of the gun makes it impossible to hit anything closer than 400 meters away unless the Long Tom tank is parked on a hill.
The online community for MW4:V had a gentlemen's agreement to ban these 2 weapons in online matches, as players using aimbots would simply spam auto-hits with these weapons from outside the game's draw distance.
Ghost Bear's Legacy added the Arrow IV artillery missile, an extreme range, single-shot missile which almost always hits its target and is very capable of killing Light and Medium Mechs in a single strike. Except when said target has another GBL add-on, the anti-missile machinegun. Meant to reduce the number of missile hits in standard volley shots, an AMS will make all Arrow attacks an utter waste - and there are a lot of Mechs that carry it. The Arrow IV missiles were improved in MW4, however, where they are considered too large for an AMS to destroy.
Advanced Tactical Missiles in Living Legends deal a huge amount of damage and can track aerospace units very well, but suffer from a long lock-on time, are crippled by anti-missile systems due to their small salvo sizes, and have a tiny engagement window; past 750 meters, the missiles self-destruct. Within 160 meters, the missiles are not armed and deal no damage.
PPCs in MechWarrior 2 multiplayer. Sure, they did huge amounts of damage, but any player with JumpJets installed (i.e. everyone) could easily dodge them.
The Nova. On paper it looks like a winner - tons of lasers for its medium weight, decent heatsinking, decent armor... then you climb into one and discover the catch: the torso doesn't twist, meaning you can't hit anything that isn't exactly in front of you. Because your targets rarely have the decency to stay still, this dramatically drops the effectiveness of the Nova.
In Online, an XL engine turns the Mech mounting it into this trope compared with standard engine variants, since it sticks into the side torso slots as well and can be disabled by damage in those areas.
Awesome Yet Practical: The PPC, especially in its ER version. Coolest energy-shot graphic effect in all games, not unreasonably large or heavy compared to the damage it does (other similarly damaging kinetic and missile weapons all take more space to fit and are heavier), ammo-independent and hurts like hell. Massive heat buildup is the only thing preventing it from getting into Game Breaker territory. Oh, and from the second to fourth games, PPCs were given some very interesting secondary effects as well:
In MechWarrior2, they did splash damage on impact, making cockpit kills much, much easier.
In MechWarrior3, they raised the target's heat levels almost as much as your own. A multi-PPC blast against a hot-running 'Mech almost guaranteed it would go nuclear, including the toughest endgame enemies. Just make sure you've saved your coolant.
In MechWarrior4, they scramble the cockpit's HUD for a couple of seconds. No use against an AI, but a human player is bound to be thrown off for a couple of potentially crucial moments.
By the way... the most iconic PPC-loaded 'Mech design in BattleTech history? The AWS-8Q Awesome
And in ''MechWarrior Online, hitting a 'Mech with a PPC will disable any ECM suites it may be carrying for a few seconds.
Doable, especially with Pulse Lasers. Keep an eye on your heat levels, though.
A very viable tactic was to use nothing but ER Large Lasers and heat sinks and blow the legs off enemy Mechs. This becomes even more effective in games that allow the player to walk into water for a quicker cool down.
Living Legends has the "Anaconda" variant of the Huitzilopotchli Anti Air tank. Instead of mounting lots of autocannons, it mounts six Clan Large Pulse Lasers. It can leg most Mechs with two alpha strikes, or fire almost continuously when chainfiring.
Big Bad: Smoke Jaguar Galaxy Commander Brendon Corbett in MechWarrior 3.
4 and Online are guilty of this with the Mech cockpits; in both games, the cockpit is essentially a clientside only (only rendered for you) 3d box around the view camera which is stuck on the front of the Mech. The actual Mech geometry and cockpit size has absolutely no bearing on how large the cockpit is - it's very glaring on the Online Atlas, which should have a tiny window based on the exterior model, but the interior view gives you an enormous glass window.
The Atlas has always had a ridiculously massive Fo V and many Mechs have cameras transmitting video feed to a fully enclosed cockpit instead of the large, vulnerable windows on mascot designs like the Mad Cat.
Living Legends averts this, as the cockpit is actually part of the Mech geometry, and other players can actually see the pilot driving the mech. Unfortunately, it also means that certain Mech designs are unfeasible because of visibility issues, such as the Rifleman IIC from the boardgame having no windows.
Blasting It out of Their Hands: 'Mechs like the BattleMaster in MW4 have huge weapons (it's nearly as large as a 20 ton 'Mech) carried in their arms, which are very easy to blast off.
Blinded by the Light: The Warhammer in Living Legends has a very large spotlight mounted on the shoulder, which is effective at blinding enemies using the nightvision overlay.
Boring Yet Practical: In several of the games, the Machine Gun - supposedly the quintessential useless peashooter - is, per unit of heat produced and ton of ammo consumed, the most efficient weapon. It does piddling damage by itself, but load up a ballistic Mech with nothing but machine guns and you make it into a very effective close-range brawler.
Bribing Your Way to Victory: In Online, you either have to grind up C-bills with uncustomizable Trial Mechs or pay up some real money in order to get a fully customizable Mech. This tends to result in those piloting Trial Mechs getting stomped by the optimized/min-maxed designs that the paying players come up with.
This has been mitigated somewhat by the Cadet Bonus - for the first twenty-five matches of an account, the player earns a bonus amount of C-Bills. While this amount reduces after each match, it comes to a total just shy of 8 million. By the time a player's earned their Cadet Bonus in full, they could afford just about any 'mech in the game and should know enough about the gameplay and their own preferences to choose a 'mech suited to their style of play. Whether this works in practice or not is debatable, but the Cadet Bonus is still a great boon to solving the problem mentioned above.
Bubblegloop Swamp: Marshes in Living Legends. Large mounts of silt and mud covered in trees, murky water full of reeds, and fireflies (And yes, we mean ACTUAL fireflies, not the 'Mech) everywhere.
Build Like an Egyptian: "Sandblasted" in Living Legends is dotted with large stone pyramids with partial gold covers, hieroglyphics, and a giant laser beacon on the top. The map is also dotted with obelisks and ancient homes.
Camera Abuse: Battle Armor gets a hefty dose of this in Living Legends. Taking EMP damage from a nearby critical explosion or from a PPC causes the HUD to vanish and causes the visor to get filled with vision-obscuring static. Taking damage to your health causes the visor to crack. Further damage causes suit sealing agent and blood to splatter onto the visor, which eventually fade away. Visor cracks however, cannot be fixed.
Cannon Fodder: Basically every non-Mech/DropShip enemy in the games; most die in a couple hits. The tanks in MW4:Mercenaries take it to the next level in that they almost never shoot at you; only in missions where you get attacked by dozens of them are they an actual threat.
MechWarrior: Living Legends, a Crysistotal conversion mod, has non-Mech assets more like their BattleTech counterparts, as in actually dangerous. Veterans from MW4 tend to ignore tanks when first starting to play MWLL. It is quite surprising when a Demolisher eats their 'Mech alive with its double Autocannon/20s.
Later on in the games, most Light Mechs become this too. The array of larger weapons available to heavier 'Mechs can chew up even a modestly well armored 35-tonner in one or two good salvos.
Canon Immigrant: The Omni version of the 40-ton Arctic Wolf from the official Clan Mech Pak, as well as MekTek's 85-ton Deimos, were later made part of canon Battle Tech. (Previously, the Arctic Wolf had only been a non-Omni BattleMech in the tabletop game.)
Captain Obvious: Early versions of TC_Inferno in Living Legends had signs helpfully pointing out things like LAVA IS HOT. DO NOT WALK INTO LAVA, signs saying DO NOT TAXI INTO WALL on the runway as well as LAVA IS HOT. DO NOT FLY INTO LAVA.
Car Fu: The Harasser hovercraft in Living Legends can punt tanks around like they're toys.
Cassandra Truth: In MechWarrior 4: Vengeance, nobody in Steiner command listens to Vanda Castro, even though she's the only one who is giving sound tactical advice and not grossly underestimating the threat posed by the player. Lampshaded by the player and their operations officer after Operation 5-1.
Cast from Hit Points: Lasers in Living Legends, if you fire them while out of coolant and at the heat red-line. In laser-boating aircraft such as the Sulla "A", it's commonly said that its ammo is its armor.
Comeback Mechanic: Living Legends 0.7.0 introduced heavy scaling on points and cash. When a player in a light mech shoots at a player in an assault mech, the light player will get a huge bonus to their C-Bill reward and rank-up points. If the player in the assault mech fires back, he will receive a penalty to the regular c-bill reward and rank-up points. The system was put in place to stop the curb-stomp battles that often occurred in earlier versions. Now, if a player brings out an Assault Mech very early in the game (from banking with other players), he is essentially shooting himself in the foot - crippling his cash rewards and rank-up points.
Collision Damage: Inverted when ramming buildings, trees and vehicles, played straight with other 'Mechs, in which both sides take minimal damage.
2 and 3 handled it oddly; speed more than weight seemed to play a factor in the amount of damage taken and dealt, and it was not unheard of for badly damaged 'Mechs colliding with something and losing a limb or a weapon. In 3, you could do considerable damage to enemies and yourself by getting tangled up in their collision boxes. And then there was the bridge bug, in which your 'Mech clipped through the bridge and got docked for collision...on your head, usually resulting in instant death.
In Living Legends, aerospace fighters take collision damage when touching a player. If you run fast enough at a Sparrowhawk scout plane sitting on the ground, it will explode when you touch it.
Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The different games colored lasers differently to differentiate them from one another. Typically, they were colored (red, green and blue) based on size, but in MechWarrior 4, they were colored based on tech level. Confusingly, the color schemes change throughout each game.
Shown Their Work: This thread offers an interesting explanation as to why PGI chose the colors they did for the lasers in MechWarrior Online.
Continue Your Mission, Dammit!: Occasionally, in MechWarrior 4's campaigns, Mission Control will start bleeping in on the comms when you're not completing your objectives or in combat with any enemy units for an extended amount of time. Will happen often when you're taking the time to push your shutdown lancemates to repair stations they don't know how to use.
Duncan Fisher will pretty much call you a pussy if you try this in any of the Solaris matches.
Due to how long ranged missiles work in Living Legends, mechs that boast these (which were viable in previous games) will get faceraped by anything that gets within their minimum range of 20 to 350 *
MRMs don't work closer than 20m, ATMs have a minimum arming range of 150m, LRMs just fly over the enemy at 150m, and Arrow IV missiles arc over the enemy until 350m
meters. Other mechs, like the Shadow Cat, tend to carry one huge gun in one arm, meaning that if you blast them off, the mech essentially turns into a walking target with a few peashooters for armament.
For some values of "peashooter", anyway. A pair of Clan ER Medium Lasers is not an insignificant amount of firepower, and with above-average range.
Any Mech that focuses on one category of weapons tends to be this.
Ballistic Mechs deal massive amounts of damage in a short time until their ammunition lasts, but become utterly useless when their heavy guns click empty. Good for short engagements, awful for everything else.
Missile boats are great support Mechs with impressive range, good damage potential and limited fire-and-forget capacity, but they too suffer from ammunition shortages (though somewhat less badly), as well as from minimum range limitations.
Energy-based builds don't need to worry about ammo, making them perfect for extended engagements, but have chronic heat issues and require more micromanagement of the heat and weapon load to be effective. If your heat's up and you've run out of coolant, all you can do is wait until the temperatures go down enough that you can fire again - while watching powerlessly as your enemy smashes autocannon round after autocannon round into your armor and praying it holds.
The Catapult in 4. It's a long-range missile-based fire support Mech and does its job very well; it's not any sort of assault Mech, and does that job very badly. it doesn't have a lot of armor and has a shape that seemingly invites enemy hits. The huge cockpit hitbox (which causes instant death if hit) doesn't help.
Cut Short: Living Legends's final content release came withseveraldocuments showing what never made it into the game due to legal issues - dozens of assets such as the Marauder and alternate battlearmor, the much-anticipated Mechlab, a full soundtrack, dozens of maps, alternate gamemodes, etc. Even more depressingly, some of the assets such as battlearmor were almost totally finished and only needed some XML work to get them in-game.
Damage Is Fire: Rear torsos in Living Legends with smoke and burn when critically damaged.
Damn You, Muscle Memory: Online uses most of the same controls as Living Legends, but changes targeting controls and weapon setting controls. In Living Legends, targeting is done by pressing the "T" key, while Online uses "R".
Dangerously Genre Savvy: In MechWarrior 4: Vengeance, Vanda Castro. She immediately realizes the threat that Ian Dresari poses to the Steiner occupation force and constantly urges Lord Roland to destroy him and his band of followers before they can grow in strength. Thankfully, Roland is an idiot and never acts on her advice.
A Day in the Limelight: Each 'Mech in MechWarrior Online gets its own short story that demonstrates how badass it can be with the right pilot.
Casey Nolan from the Vengeance campaign is a bit of one, as well as the player character in Black Knight. These two engage is some Snarkto Snark Combat in the latter campaign when Casey shows up as a boss.
Casey: Punch out now and I'll give you a job... scrubbing toilets.
Eric McClair* Callsign: Black Knight: Thanks. I'll pass.
Also Dominic Payne of MechWarrior 3. Epona Rhi takes over for him when Dominic's not there for most of the Pirate's Moon expansion.
The training instructor from MechWarrior 2 beats them all, with his endless repertoire of patronizing remarks and snide put-downs.
Congratulations, you have successfully demonstrated the ability to do what I tell you to. I like that. My dog does what I tell her to. I like my dog.
Death of a Thousand Cuts: Any fight that has you in a Light Mech against a Heavy one. All you can do is desperately evade his firepower while firing your peashooters again and again. And again, and again, and...
From of the light that is, From the Heavy's point of view, it's a invisible marauder attacking you while you have absolutely no way to fight back or indeed, look at your soon-to-be murderer as he slowly tears you apart.
Depending on the Writer: Each installment had a different developer (Dynamix for the first game, Activision for MW2 Trilogy, Zipper Interactive for MW3 and its expansion, FASA Studio for the MW4 games, Piranha Games for MWO and Wandering Samurai Studios for MWLL), so while the basic gameplay remained the same, there are many minor and major differences between the games, and not just from real life technology generation leaps in-between their releases.
Die, Chair! Die!: Various neutral buildings, bridges, trees, and civilian vehicles can be destroyed. The third game even lets you go so far as to destroy the terrain, kill people and cut power lines.
The third game went so far as to let you blow gaping craters in the ground if you so wished, something none of the other games have managed to recreate since.
Diegetic Interface: All of the games have this to an extent (the HUD being part of the pilot's neurohelmet), but Living Legends expands on the idea.
The Battle Armor HUD is a Diegetic Interface, with the visor being both the view into the world and the HUD. All of the HUD is integrated into it, such as the radar and weapons display. If the battle armor takes damage just to its armor, the visor begins to (permanently) crack. Breaking through the armor and hitting the player inside directly causes blood and harjel to splattered onto the visor, obscuring your vision. When near death, the visor plasters warnings and circuit diagrams onto the sides of the screen, and will display a notice on the side of the screen when it begins dispensing morphine. Taking EMP damage will temporarily disable the visor and obscure the player's view in a hail of static
The new mech HUD◊ is designed to look more like a military aircraft HUD, and to appear more in-universe, rather than being a mass of bright blue and green HUD elements.
The new tank HUD◊ is designed to look like the player is actually looking through a viewport in the turret or through a periscope. All the HUD elements are designed to look like actual displays, ala-EarthSiege.
Solaris VII in both Mercenaries, and the salvage system in MechWarrior 3.
MechWarrior 2: Mercenaries Titanium had a dynamic salvage system. This sometimes meant you picked up some extremely good salvage early in the game. It was possible to be two or three campaigns in and still piloting Light 'Mechs, and spontaneously win an Atlas in salvage in one of the missions, dramatically snapping much of the combat challenge over a giant metal knee. Such a prize would be hard-won, though: you had to kill said Atlas first, and unless you killed it with a headshot or by shooting off both its heavily armored legs, it would very likely be unsalvageable.
In the second Mercenaries, the initial campaigns (and some of the missions within them) could be completed in more than one order. This could easily result in the player bringing medium or heavy Mechs on missions where the opposition was scaled for the light Mechs with which the player starts the game.
Domed Hometown: In MW2's Clan Wolf campaign, you are tasked to secure, and then defend, one of these on the vacuumless moon. It is fragile, so watch where you shoot.
Drill Sergeant Nasty: A variant in the MechWarrior 2: 31st Century Combat training on both sides; he's not the stereotypical Drill Sergeant Nasty, but he's still a jerkass.
Early Installment Weirdness: The original MechWarrior game, released in 1989, had a hefty dose of this. For starters, it had a graphical engine that was barely more advanced than Battlezone. The game had role-playing elements, and was a Wide Open Sandbox. The game had a Diegetic Interface not present in later games. The developer, Dynamix, integrated many of the features from the first game into their own mech series, EarthSiege
Ejection Seat: In non-Mercenaries games, ejecting is only useful for staring at a cool visual of the landscape instead of an explosion and a mission failed screen when someone blows you up. In Mercenaries games, ejecting lets you avoid a game over at the cost of your Mech and all its equipment (usually avoided by reloading a savegame, but appreciated by the heavy role-players).
More useful in Living Legends, where ejecting deposits you a couple-dozen meters above the fight in a suit of jump-capable battle armor with some basic weapons. While the BA default armament isn't amazing, it's sometimes enough to finish off a crippled enemy. More significantly, it allows you a means to escape back to base and replace your 'Mech (or grab better BA weapons) without giving up a kill to the enemy pilot—killing a pilot in his machine grants a much larger reward than just destroying an empty 'Mech.
Enemy Detecting Radar: All the games have this in some form, allowing you to target enemies and see their health status.
Mech Warrior 3 and 4 - Can detect enemies through obstructions and terrain, but different radar suites determine how far you can detect enemies or be detected.
4 with MekTek patches - "Advanced Radar" - Introduces 360 degree line of sight radar - if you cannot visibly see an enemy, you cannot target them on radar. Different electronics give you different abilities, such as being able to penetrate buildings with your radar, or showing up to the enemies as a friend when they aim at you.
Living Legends - You can detect enemies through obstacles, but you must seem them to accurate determine what they are - a medium may only say "Medium" when behind a hill, but seeing it will change its radar contact to the specific mech. Different electronic suites determine how far you can detect enemies or be detected, and offer support roles, like a C3 computer sharing your radar with your allies.
Online - Line of sight radar, but in a small (90 degree?) cone. If an enemy is outside of your field of view, they cannot be detected by your radar. Radar is shared between allies.
Ensemble Dark Horse: In-universe, Duncan Fisher refers to Spectre, the player character, as one in 4: Mercenaries when winning a championship.
Exploding Barrels: Fuel tanks, APU's, and Drop Ships deal significant damage and overheat nearby targets when they explode. 'Mechs also do this when they get destroyed.
Explosive Overclocking: If you keep your heat levels too high by overriding the auto shut down, or in some cases just firing all of your weapons at once, your 'Mech will explode. This is derived from the tabletop game where having your heat getting too high led to risks of ammo explosions, and then of a reactor overload.
In Living Legends, overriding the shutdown (and continuing to build up more heat) will cause your mech to start taking massive amounts of damage from the mech melting. It's not uncommon to see a laser boat like the Awesome suddenly lose both of its arms in combat because the pilot was blithely ignoring the computer screaming at him to shut down. Even more hilarious when something that mounts Gauss Rifles loses an arm from overheating - the Gauss Rifle will violently explode, likely destroying the mech instantly.
Excessive Steam Syndrome: The "Flush Coolant" command resulted in a greenish cloud of gas forming underneath your mech as your reactor quickly cooled. Sadly not present in Mechwarrior Online.
The Atlas in MW4 mounts an energy weapon in its head. Which means you shoot frickin' laser beams out of its eyes!
The "head" of the MW4Cyclops also has an energy hardpoint. A bigger one, actually - which means that if one is willing to mix Inner Sphere and Clan technology, the Cyclops can shoot what look more or less like lightning bolts out of its eye. With a Flamer (also Inner Sphere, although there is a lighter Clan version), you can even shoot fire.
Face Heel Turn: Thrust upon the player character of Vengeance and his team to set up the Black Knight expansion.
Fan Remake: Assault Tech 1: Battletech, which has gameplay similiar to MechWarrior 2 with updated graphics and gameplay mechanics.
Fan Sequel: MechWarrior: Living Legends, a Crysismod, made when it appeared that there wouldn't be any more MechWarrior games. It combines most of the better parts from previous official MechWarrior games, and introduces player-usable tanks, powered armor and aircraft.
Fashionable Asymmetry: Many of the asymmetrical mechs such as the Cauldron-Born, and the Thor/Summoner with its low-slung left arm, high offset right arm, offset cockpit, and tubular shoulder-mounted missile battery are considered to be some of the coolest looking mechs.
Light 'Mechs in general are fast, but can not take heavy punishment.
The Sparrowhawk aerospace fighter in Living Legends, which is one of the fastest and most maneuverable asset in the game. It has so little armor, that if you try to run over a battlearmor at max speed, you explode. Other vehicles don't even take damage from doing the same thing.
MechWarrior 2's Fire Moth is a special case - no other Mech can reach its blinding speed. Even the second-speediest Mech in the game is, at best, half as fast as the Firemoth. Such speed comes at the price of also making it essentially useless in combat, as you need a big engine to get it anywhere close to its maximum speed and so end up with no tonnage left for guns. Or armor. This 'Mech gets similar treatment in MechWarrior 4: Mercenaries (MekTek version), where it goes by it's Inner Sphere reporting name; the Dasher.
Battle Armor in Living Legends - While it's actually quite slow, it's extremely maneuverable, and can jink around under a Mech's legs, hiding from its fire as the Battle Armor proceeds to RIP AND TEAR at the mech's legs. They need to do this, in order to not die instantly from weapons fire.
The Black Lanner in Living Legends. It's a Medium Mech with the appropriate amount of firepower, yet it is capable of outrunning every ground asset in the game except for the Owens. Because of this, and because it has so much electronics packed in, it has about the same armor as an Owens.
The Solitare Light Mech from Living Legends is capable of 151kph standard, and it's capable of mounting MASC to increase its top speed to 216kph. It is also the most lightly armored asset in the game - the entire Mech has less armor than a Daishi's arm. It makes up for its lack of armor with a very big gun.
Fun with Acronyms: The CRAP, Close Range Assault Puma in Living Legends - a variant of the Puma which has loads of heavy lasers.
Future Copter: The as-of-yet unimplemented transport VTOL craft in Living Legends, the Karnov and Anhur. They feature rotating (like on an V22 Osprey) jet turbines. Averted with the other VTOL craft, which have been modified from their more plain helicopter design from the boardgame to having a centrally mounted jet turbine.
The Hollander II in Living Legends; it caries one huge gun which makes up the the entirety of the right torso; However, the mech is prone to having its sides cored out due to its asymmetrical design and armor configuration
The Loki in Living Legends, which is a very powerful, very squishy heavy mech.
Battle Armor. They die from a pair of medium lasers, from being run over by tanks or from running into a tree too fast. However, they have a huge amount of firepower when fully loaded up with C8 grenades, a Heavy Micro Laser or AC/2 and a PPC.
All mechs in MechWarrior 4 always go critical when their center torso is destroyed. The explosion is fairly small, but very damaging. (Note this is not an actual meltdown of the reactor, it's air being allowed into the previously vacuum-sealed reactor chamber, thus super heating the air, which is then expelled explosively.) You can still salvage some of them, though.
Living Legends takes it UpToEleven with its critical explosions, which are like small thermonuclear bombs. They happen less often (about 1 in 10 'mechs goes critical when it's destroyed*
or so the devs claim. Most players are convinced it's more like 20-25% crit chance
) but the explosions are far more damaging, far larger, disable nightvision due to a EM pulse, and can blind pilots with the glare.
Mech Warrior 3 handles this a bit differently. 'Mechs don't really go critical except from heat deaths, when they suddenly explode like nukes and deal massive damage to anything even remotely close. Normal deaths just have the 'Mech collapsing, or possibly outright exploding, but with nowhere near the magnitude of a heat death critical explosion. It is actually better to avoid doing this, as destroyed Mechs can't be salvaged.
There also missions where you are required to destroy some reactors. After doing that, leg it, unless you want to be caught in the blast.
Goomba Stomp: The (in)famous "Death From Above", or DFA. Nearly impossible to manage in MechWarrior 3, but results in hilarous physics-defying glitches and instant death to your enemies.
In MechWarrior 4, DFAs do damage to the torso based on weight. A 20 ton mech will do fairly little damage, but a 100 ton Marauder II will basically crush anything under 50 tons when it lands on the enemy.
Due to Crysis's wonky collisions, trying to DFA a mech in MWLL will result in your mech landing on their head. The bottom mech can then run around with a mech riding on its head. Hilarity Ensues when you have a 95 ton Assault 'Mech riding ontop of a Raven running around at 120kph.
MechWarrior Online gives us back the Highlander and its infamous Highlander Burial.
You can kill pilots in their cockpits in Living Legends, then steal the mech and sell it/use it against the original owners.
The dynamic salvage system of the updated MW2: Mercenaries 1.1 patch (Win9x-only) allows you to salvage any 'Mech you can destroy without doing excessive damage (via headshot, for example). One story mission in the same game begins with you 'Mechjacking a 100-ton Kodiak from the Ghost Bears and smashing your way back to your ship.
"Extremity" in Living Legends. The gravity there is around 25% of normal gravity, causing Mechs and tanks to be extremely floaty. Battle Armor can zip through the sky, rolling around crazily. The map also breaks the impact prediction mechanism on Long Tom artillery and Firebombs (they use "normal" gravity in their impact predictions), so you have to eyeball your shots.
In user-made (typically for racing) maps, mappers can set custom gravity zones in certain areas; so one area might have 5x gravity, while another area might have negative gravity. Or the mapper can set up gravity spheres to place mechs in orbit around each other.
The space missions in Ghost Bear Legacy and MW2: Mercenaries, which makes even the heaviest of mechs very fast. Be careful not to fall off and drift into space.
Guide Dang It: Good luck knowing where to start the story missions in MechWarrior 1 without a guide. And sell your starting 'Mech while you're at it. You won't need it 'til you're done with practically all those missions save for the final one to retrieve the MacGuffin, and you'll save a fortune on travel costs.
Hartman Hips: Epona Rhi from MW3, at least if her lancemate Alan Mattila is to be believed. Epona is not amused by the suggestion.
Alan: Love you too, Epona, wide hips an' all! Epona:What?! What did you say?
He Knows About Timed Hits: The training instructor from MechWarrior 2. He calls the keyboard a "control console", but... It's a keyboard; he even names off a few of the keys, such as "Tab" and "F4".
Heroic RROD: Continuing to build up heat from firing all your weapons or running in Living Legends will cause your mech to literally melt from heat - the arms will often be the first thing to fall off, but it's also possible for running mechs to explosively leg themselves and face-plant into the ground. If you continue to ignore your arms falling off, and the computer screeching about heat, your reactor will explode, instantly killing you.
High Pressure Blood: Cockpit kills in MWLL cause it to explode in a shower of blood the size of a small tank. This has been lovingly dubbed by some of the community as a 'slushie kill', in which the blood is said to be replaced by a large, make-believe red slushie.
Homing Projectile: The Arrow IV missile in Living Legends is a massive guided artillery rocket, with a range of 3 kilometers. With laser guidance or a NARC beacon, it will fly almost straight up until it comes into range of the target, then it will swerve and fly straight towards it
If It Swims, It Flies: Aerospace fighters and VTOLs in Living Legends can fly underwater just as well as they fly in the sky.
In Case of Boss Fight, Break Glass: Generally, the cockpit is the most easily destroyed part of the Mech. It's also the smallest and thus most difficult to hit. Still, if you can pull it off, even 100-ton Assault Mechs will fall with relative ease.
Crosses over with Go for the Eye against an Atlas; the cockpit is located in its right eye.
The very last fight at the end of the final mission in MechWarrior 4: Vengeance is a nasty one. After going through two lances of Heavy and Assault mechs and an active DropShip, you're presented with an Unskippable Cutscene that always leaves you by yourself, facing away from William's Daishi in your possibly-badly-damaged 'Mech. Making it worse, he's at his long optimal range and has a direct shot at you the instant the cutscene is over. Hope you didn't bring a 'Mech geared for close-range fighting. If the fight were more equitable it would be a lot less of a pain, though this is partly excused by its being a Boss Fight.
It's less one-sided if you can outspeed or evade him to reach and use the somewhat-nearby repair bays, allowing you to face him on a more even playing field assuming his opening salvo didn't kill you. If he does reach you while you're repairing, though, he has an open shot on your totally-exposed and shut down 'Mech.
Some of the Solaris matches in MW 4: Mercs start this way, with something large and nasty (say, a Fafnir) pointed straight at your side torso. Nothing says Fake Difficulty like eating two Heavy Gauss slugs or two Arrow IV's to the torso half a second into the mission.
Informed Equipment: In the first two games, the technology wasn't advanced enough to show details for weapons of any kind on the 'Mech models. In 3 and 4, the graphics always depicted the stock weapons, regardless of what the 'Mech's actual configuration is. Living Legends and Online avert this.
The Osiris in Living Legends, which used to violently explode if you stared at it hard enough, is huge for a light mech, not particularly fast, and was not very well equipped. Nonetheless, the Alt. A and Alt. C variants can be stunningly effective in the right hands. All variants were rescued from uselessness with the 0.7.0 final update, which buffed up the Osiris's armor, firepower, and maneuverability.
The Bushwacker Prime in Living Legends, which was an infamously bad medium mech. It's big, every single weapon on it has a completely different firing characteristic so Alpha Striking is nearly impossible, the individual weapons are weak (It can easily be overpowered by one of the starting light mechs), and it's expensive. In a scrim, both teams took only Bushy Primes. Within 2 minutes, most of the Bushwackers were down to only using their Large Laser and a pair of machineguns, as it carries a pathetic amount of spare ammo for its autocannon. The mission timer ran out before the teams could kill each other. After being crap for 90% of the game's history, it was finally buffed up in the 0.7.0 final update (mostly from the AC/10 being buffed)
The AC/10 and UAC/10 ballistic weapons in Living Legends. It used to be likened to hitting the enemy with a wet noodle; by the time you started dealing appreciable damage to the enemy, the gun would overheat and prevent any further firing. The weapon is heavily affected by lag, and the projectile requires you to lead your shots and lag-shoot. The 0.7.0 final update significantly increased its damage, making it a frightening weapon to fight.
While they're slow and can be killed in one hit, infantry and Battle Armor in Mercenaries equipped with their version of Flamers can force enemy 'Mechs to shut down, leaving them vulnerable to further damage. They can also be hard to spot in the heat of battle, allowing them to get in range despite their lack of speed.
Some Battle Armor can outgun 20-30 ton BattleMechs, damage-per-second wise.
Battle Armor in MechWarrior: Living Legends have paper armor and are (fairly) slow, but will utterly tear Mechs apart if left alone. Most players can easily kill them with a PPC blast to the feet or by hosing them down with machine guns, but if the Battle Armor gets on top of your Mech, you're doomed unless you can smash your Mech into a nearby wall or have a teammate blast him off. If you can't, the Battle Armor player can hose down your cockpit or rear torso armor (which is made of paper) with his guns without a fear in the world of getting killed or knocked off.
The Harasser light-hovercraft in Living Legends. Originally laughed at for its poor handling, armor and weaponry. Then it was discovered that it can climb up almost vertical walls and punt tanks around like they're made of paper; a Harasser hitting an 80 ton tank at its max speed (162kph) will send the tank flying wildly back. Then MWLL version 0.4 refined the handling and gave it the hilarious 6 x Flamer variant which can kill enemies by making them overheat.
MechWarrior 2's Firemoth barely counts as target practice when encountered in missions, as the AI uses it like any other Mech, and any weapon at all will deplete its armor at alarming speed - when it doesn't kill it outright. However, the version that mounts eight Light Lasers can be frightfully effective if used by a competent player - get in close using its ridiculous speed and maneuvrability to avoid enemy attacks, unload alpha strikes at the enemy's legs and/or weak back armor until heat buildup threatens to shut you down, get the hell away before they have a chance to react. Rinse and repeat until enemy is dead. Here's an excellent example.
The Sparrowhawk in Living Legends used to be a joke vehicle, but after the flight model was changed to make heavier aircraft less maneuverable, the Sparrowhawk effectively Took a Level in Badass. If a Sparrowhawk gets on your tail when you're in a Shiva or a Sulla, you have no hope of escaping from the Sparrowhawk as it pounds your engines into dust.
Lethal Joke Item: The machine gun, even the heavy version, in MW4 is weak compared to other weapons, but if you load enough of them up on a Daishi, or even better, an Annihilator, the dakka goes through the roof and things get a lot more fun.
Lethal Lava Land: Inferno in Living Legends. Rocky terrain, large lava flows sliding down mountains, distant volcanic explosions, a smoky atmosphere, and extreme heat which causes mechs to overheat easily.
The Mad Cat Mk 2, a 90 ton Assault Mech armed with a pair of Clan Gauss Rifles with a base speed of 68 km/h (compared to 54 km/h for an Atlas) and jump jets to boot.
Even worse, the 100-ton Kodiak - same speed, also has jump jets, packed with hard hitting MRMs and HAS CLAWS.
Because of how jump jets work in the MW2 games, the mechs that are equipped with them can use it as a near omni-directional Nitro Boost, performing VOTOMS-style maneuvers. The jets work the same way in Assault Tech 1: BattleTech, and they are hilariously buggy - AT1 simulates falling damage, so if you come down too hard you'll damage your legs and fall over, though sometimes it results in your mech sliding forward for all eternity at the speed you landed at, which may be 300kph. You can still fire and steer (sort of) while this is happening.
Literary Agent Hypothesis: The opening and ending videos for MW4: Mercs implies that the entire game is a series of stories told by an older Spectre some time after the Word of Blake Jihad. Helps to explain all the canon discrepancies.
Macross Missile Massacre: Some missile systems can fire up to 40 missiles per salvo, using multiple missile systems allow you to fire more.
Living Legends has a variant of the Catapult with double MRM-40 launchers. Missile massacre indeed.
Another Living Legends example is the Vulture C, carrying four LRM-20 launchers. Considering that a single LRM-20 salvo is already visually impressive in this game, you can imagine how fantastic (or terrifying, if you're on the recieving end) four of these at once looks.
In MechWarrior 4: Mercenaries, the Longbow Assault Mech can fire 50 LRMs per salvo.
Pretty much the entire point of the Catapult, to the point that the concept art from ''MechWarrior Online actually has the very trope name (missile massacre, at least. The Macross may or may not be obscured by the logo) written across one of the missile pod doors.
Mad Libs Dialogue: Betty, the on-board computer in all the games, to varying degrees. In 2, she speaks with noticeable gaps in her speech: "Planet A Place... ambient temperature Exty degrees". 3, 4 and Online have relatively smooth voices, and a much more human voice. In Living Legends, Betty had pauses in her speech "Base [ECHO].. [FIVE] Under Attack." "Right external [DAMAGED]"
Buildings in the games tend to explode quite easily.
In MechWarrior 3, trees, radio towers, vehicles and pieces of scrap scattered about also fall into this category.
Gauss Rifles in Living Legends will catastrophically explode when the component they are mounted in is destroyed.
Most of the games can have an opponent's ammo dump destroyed, which usually results in a nasty, localized explosion.
All destroyed mechs in MechWarrior 4 explode, even if all you did was sweep their legs or destroy their arms.
Meaningful Name: Inverted by the background material for MechWarrior Online. While all of the BattleMechs use the same names that they were given in the original tabletop game, the short stories that accompanied some of them were based off of what the 'Mech in question was named after.
Meta Mecha: Living Legends - though it's for gameplay. When a pilot ejects from his mech, he goes flying into the sky in a full suit of Powered Armor (although it spawns without any "armor"). However, when you look at the cockpit of a mech, the pilot is simply wearing a jumpsuit and Neurohelmet.
Mighty Glacier: Assault 'Mechs, and Assault Tanks like the Demolisher and Morrigu. The Shiva Aerospace Fighter also fits into this, at least compared to other fighters.
The Annihilator Mech is the king of all Mighty Glaciers. Ridiculous firepower, but about half the speed of the second-slowest Mech (in stock configuration). It should be treated more like a movable turret than a vehicle.
Players tend to strip off armor on the legs, rear armor and head as well as downgrade the engines to provide free tonnage for more weapons, heatsinks, or equipment. Surprisingly, the majority of the players avoid deliberately shooting these areas despite being a logical tactic unless they're at a serious weight disadvantage.
They don't usually attack the legs on players who do this because said 'Mechs already move at a snail's pace; it's faster to just blast them in the face right before they shoot you. And getting a leg destroyed while away from the front lines is borderline griefing to most players.
In the MechWarrior 2 titles, there are many variants where the arms are reduced to ammo repositories, if that. Some just strip them of all armor and don't put anything in them, making them vestigial. This frees up tonnage and armor allocation at the cost of criticals, and since arms in MW2 don't allow wider firing arcs like MW3 and aren't weapon hardpoints like MW4 (which completely changed up customization), this becomes very practical.
The handheld AC/2 in Living Legends is best described as a bullet hose. While it's extremely accurate on the first shot, it has a ridiculously fast fire rate and insane amounts of recoil. When an AC/2 Battle Armor confronts another Battle Armor, the most common response is to hold down the left mouse button and run at them, and hope the odd bullet actually manages to hit them.
Anti Air in Living Legends works on the principle that flinging out several tons of lead a minute is the best way to deal with enemies. The Huitzilopotchli tank has four Ultra AC/2s, and two Ultra AC/5s; standing next to one while it holds down mouse1 at anything flying is deafening - and you can see a solid waterfall of spent bullet casings streaming from the weapons. Rotary autocannon boats like the Partisan, Rifleman, Avatar, and Fafnir are even more preferable when you want to drown the enemy in bullets.
Motion Blur: Early videos of Online had sickening amounts of motion blur, though more recent videos have toned it down significantly. Motion blur can also be enabled in Living Legends, though it is off by default.
The player in MW4: Mercenaries will likely do this if he continues doing the ambush missions on Eaton at the start of the game. Be prepared to fight a Mauler (80-ton Assault), several Arguses (65-ton Heavy), and swarms of tanks and helicopters. While you and your lancemates are in Light 'Mechs. Two ways around it, though: you are given the rare option to flee without suffering a Game Over, and it's entirely possible to do missions on some other planets first and thus be able to afford the heavier 'Mechs you'll need to win this fight.
Watch the trailer for what would eventually become MechWarrior Online. It appears that is exactly what the guy is thinking at 1:07.
Possibly a Call Back to the opening of MechWarrior 3, where a similar thing happens at 1:40.
One-Hit Kill: Made near impossible by design in the MechWarrior 4 series. No matter how good your aim is or how much firepower you have, it is effectively impossible to kill an enemy 'Mech in one blast even when it clearly should. Even if you hit a Mad Cat in the cockpit with a pair of Gauss Rifles or hit a 20-tonner in the back with 4 AC/20s, a second shot to the same location is nearly always required.
Direct hits with the Long Tom Artillery Piece in Living Legends can instagib any light mech and many medium mechs, but is the hardest weapon to use courtesy of its minimum range, arcing projectile, and only being mounted on a Point Defenseless tank. Firebombs used to be able to one-shot some light mechs, though the final update changed their mechanics to require players to stick around (slowly dropping 6 bombs instead of just 2 in one go), removing their ability to one-hit-kill. Many larger weapons can instagib battlearmor, such as rotary autocannons, LBX/20s, and direct PPC hits.
One Mech Army: In 3, the epilogue notes that you and your single lance of Mechs (with the support crew) effectively managed to singlehandedly destroy the entire military infrastructure of Corbett's faction of Smoke Jaguar. Just the four of you managed to pull off what an entire task force couldn't manage otherwise. This is played with, though, as a massive army of angry Clanners (who are chasing you down after obliterating the rest of your task force) are hot on your heels.
Overheating: Firing weapons will cause a mech's heat level to rise, which has adverse effects on your mech's performance, such as Interface Screw or moving more slowly. Lasers make the most heat, ballistics make almost none, while missiles make somewhere in-between.
You explode if your 'Mech's heat level goes too high. In Living Legends, mechs will almost immediately begin to melt off their armor when they go over the heat red-line;
Rotary Autocannons, Ultra Autocannons, Flamers, the handheld Bear Autocannon, and the handheld AC/2 in Living Legends will all overheat/jam and stop firing when the trigger is held down too long.
Personal Space Invader: Battlearmor in Living Legends die in a couple shots from most mech-sized weapons, so they rely on getting as close as physically possible to enemy mechs and tanks. If a battlearmor manages to latch himself onto the head of an enemy mech or tank, the mech is almost totally helpless unless he gets a buddy to shoot the annoying battlearmor off, or if the mech fires all of his splash-damage weapons while pressing his face into a large wall.
Power Armor: The Battle Armor suits that appear occasionally throughout the series.
Various types of Battle Armor are available in MechWarrior 4: Mercenaries with the MekPaks, but they're basically tiny, easy to shoot Mechs.
The Battle Armor that appears in Living Legends are demonic spiders from the pits of hell itself, who will hop onto your mech and slowly slice all your arms off while you scream for your teammates to shoot him off.
4: Mercenaries has this with the more modern MekTek mechs; most of the non-canon designs are outright superior to the vanilla mechs in firepower, slots, speed, or other characteristics such as electronics.
More recently added Mechs in Living Legends, such as the Rifleman, Daishi and Ryoken, are superior to previous Mechs, with better variants, chassis characteristics, and often better pricing. However, changes to the older mechs have brought them back as competitive, such as resizing the Uziel to be smaller and re-doing its variants to be less like JokeCharacters
Inevitable in Online, as the game takes place during a sort of renaissance in technology; as new Mechs come out with XL engines and more modern weapons, they will typically be superior in overall armor, firepower and speed to previous Succession Wars designs. The Clan invasion is also looming on the horizon.
MechWarrior 4 sacrifices some lore-accuracy for smoother gameplay, such as introducing the hardpoint system to make different 'Mechs more unique.
Living Legends bases itself on BattleTech, but if something doesn't work, it's changed (often radically) until it works well in gameplay.
Online's MechLab is a combination of MechWarrior 3's critical-slot based system with a hardpoint system similar to MechWarrior 4's, to prevent the boats present in all previous games (unless they're a canon variant) and prevent some of the more silly things from MechWarrior 3 from happening, such as missiles firing from machine gun ports - though right now the game doesn't differentiate between weapons of the same class, leading to Gauss Rifles or AC/20s firing from machine gun ports.
Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: In MechWarrior 2, 3, Living Legends and Online, your 'Mech's computer has this to say at the start of every mission:
"Reactor online. Sensors online. Weapons online. All systems nominal."
Psycho for Hire: Duncan Burke in Vengeance. Potentially you, in Mechwarrior 4: Mercenaries.
Real Is Brown: Online has a limited color palette. Most maps (aside from "Frozen City", in which case the colors consist of white, gray and blueish white) have a dull brown tint to them, even the city map and the forest map.
Real Men Wear Pink: The "Heavy Metal" Hero 'Mech from ''MechWarrior Online comes in a default pink camo.
Red Eyes, Take Warning: The Atlas in Multiplayer Battletech 3025 and in Online has glowing red eyes when powered up. Subverted in that the glowing eyes actually are a warning, but in a bad way - they tend to give away your position.
Regenerating Health: Battle Armor in Living Legends will slowly regenerate their health and armor when not in combat courtesy of their Auto Doc, to compensate for them being so easy to kill with any Mech weapons.
Reporting Names: Clan BattleMechs have different designations in the Inner Sphere. For example, the "Timber Wolf" is referred to by Inner Sphere soldiers as "Mad Cat", and the "Dire Wolf" becomes "Daishi". This leads to confusion when going from MechWarrior 2 (which uses Clan names) to MechWarrior 3 or 4 (which use Inner Sphere names).
Revenue Enhancing Devices: Online will have cosmetic items that can only be purchased with Mech Credits (bought with real money), such as bobbleheads in your cockpit. "Hero" Mechs, unique Mechs from the boardgame and expanded universe (such as the Yen-Lo-Wang Centurion◊) have unique paintjobs and loadouts, and can only be bought with Mech Credits.
Arrow IV missiles in Living Legends have a range far greater than their max lock-on range, making laser guidance a very effective tool. However, the laser guidance has a range of 1 kilometer, and the missiles ignore the guidance until they are within that 1 kilometer bubble, at which point they will swerve (sometimes 90 degrees) to try to hit the target.
LRMs in Online appear to fly in a nearly straight trajectory, until they come straight down on the enemy's head. This was, however, a bug and now follow a more natural parabolic arc, typically high enough to get over most terrain between the firer and target but without the Javelin-style sudden drop at the end.
In Mechwarrior 4: Vengeance, the protagonist is from a royal family, seeking to restore legal rule to his planet (and the final battle is with his cousin). After one of his missions, a lancemate actually says:
I guess you're not one of those royals who let the rest of us do the heavy lifting.
MechWarrior's Gideon Braver Vandenburg as well.
Running Gag: Hula girls are rapidly becoming this for MechWarrior Online (based on the 2009 trailer, in which a hula girl statuette was visible in the cockpit of the Warhammer).
Sadistic Choice: There's one near the end of the fourth game's original campaign. You can either save your sister or leave her to die in order to raid a weapons cache to help in the final battle. The choice you make determines the ending. It's actually not much of a choice. The weapons cache is very well defended, so if you have enough equipment to capture it, you probably don't need what's in it anyway.
Living Legends is full of this. It's running on Crysis, after all. TC_Altay, for example, has large snowcapped mountains in the distance, with most of the fighting takes place on the shoreline of a tropical continent. The water is crystal clear, full of fish and coral reefs, there's a full day-night cycle (with the sun cresting over the ocean), bases are extremely detailed (including the underwater habitat), and a small river runs through the map, which leads to a series of waterfalls which can create rainbows. TC_RingOfFire takes place on a collapsed tropical volcano archipelago.
Potentially MechWarrior Online as well, since it's running off the newer Crytech 3 engine. The latest map, Tourmaline Desert, features black, crystalline growths about the map while the centre is dominated by a giant arc of metal - part of a long-since crashed dropship and is probably the most visually striking map in the game at this time.
Schmuck Bait: In the Blade Splint mission of MechWarrior 2, there is an overly innocuous building that, upon closer inspection, has a description of "Don't shoot me" Doing so nukes the entire city, killing all mechs in the area, yourself included.
Scratch Damage: The Machine Gun in all the games does pitiful damage on its own. In Living Legends, it does virtually zero damage (0.3 damage per shot, against mechs with a minimum of 5000 health on their center torso), though it has 8 times the range of the previous machine guns. It's possible to use this to sandblast the armor off an Atlas if you want to sit there shooting at its center torso for about five minutes while eating up ammo reloads from an APC. Because of this, the machine gun has a differentrole
Shifting Sand Land: "Sandblasted" in Living Legends - complete with fake Egyptian pyramids, fake ruins, lots of sand dunes, and a very light sandstorm. "Deathvalley" has lots of sand, but it has no dunes, being more rocky.
Shooting Gallery: A Humongous Mecha-scale version of this trope appears in a mission in MechWarrior 3. An enemy training course is left on in one of the mission areas, and it's very possible to walk your lance into it without realizing it, then start shooting when you realize you're surrounded by 'enemy contacts.'
Shoot the Hostage: The ultimate goal of every Battlearmor player in Living Legends is to get the enemy team to shoot each other in the face, in an attempt to dislodge the battlearmor from their mech. Bonus points if they fire Arrow IV missiles, MRMs, Clan ERPPCs and end up killing the mech that the battlearmor is riding.
Short Range Shotgun: Averted by low caliber LB-X Autocannons in Living Legends. The LB-X/10 has a relatively tight spread up to 500 meters, and the LB-X/2 and LB-X/5 have nearly no spread at all (since they're basically buckshot for killing jet fighters) Played very, very straight with the LB-X/20, however, which is useless beyond about 200 meters, but utterly lethal within it.
Type 2: 'Mechs start to emit smoke and sometimes even visible flames when they are heavily damaged.
Type 3a: in MechWarrior 3, 'Mechs show exposed wires when damage is focused on certain areas, and taking head damage can cause fractures on the cockpit glass along with a quite loud and surprising "*CHING*". MechWarrior 4 uses scorch marks instead.
Type 3b: Limbs (and in MechWarrior 4, missile racks as well as various gun mounts) can be blown off entirely, leaving only twisted bits of metal and wiring hanging from the stump. Severed limbs are actually capable of crushing unlucky/oblivious Battle Armor players in Living legends. The Uziel in Living Legends has its armored torso panels fall off when the armor is destroyed.
Sighted Guns Are Low Tech: The handheld AC/2, Flamer, and Manpack PPC in Living Legends have no visible iron sights of any kind. Averted by the handheld Small Laser and Heavy Micro Laser, which have a simple set of open iron sights on the top of the gun.
Sliding Scale Of Linearity Vs Openness: The first game, MechWarrior, is a type five, nearly a Wide Open Sandbox. The two Mercenaries games are a type 4; you can choose different missions, and you sometimes have moral choices to make, but the game has a plot and requires you to do the plot to unlock certain Mechs in the marketplace. The rest of the series fit between a type 2 or 3, with a set progression, though they sometimes offer moral choices which may effect what missions you can do. Living Legends and Online have no scale, as they are exclusively multiplayer games.
Smug Snake: In MechWarrior 4: Vengeance, almost all the Steiner command staff fit this trope, but especially William Dresari.
Sniper Pistol: The handheld AC/2 in Living Legends is a bullet hose with a range of about 3 feet when fully automatic. It's also the single most accurate ballistic weapon in the entire game when fired semi-automatic.
Machine guns in 4 and Mercenaries are lethally accurate when in range, but do pitiful damage.
Sniping The Cockpit: In the official games, destroying the "Cockpit" section of the armor is a way to quickly kill an enemy, but difficult due to the tiny hitbox and the mechs bobbing around. In Living Legends, sniping the cockpit lets you actually steal the enemy mech - kill the pilot, and you can hop in his mech and use it combat (though there is no cockpit armor, so you're totally exposed) or run back to base to sell or repair it.
Space Is Cold: "Extremity" in Living Legends is the coldest level in the game when the sun is set; a chilly -150 Celsius. During the day, when the sun is blaring overhead, it's somewhere around 250 Celsius.
Space Zone: "Extremity" in Living Legends takes place on a large asteroid, with very little gravity (something like a tenth of normal), massive heat variations as the asteroid rotates into the shade and in direct sunlight (Day time? Enjoy watching your arms melt off next time you Alpha Strike!), annoying amounts of bloom during the day and absolutely pitch black nights, and malicious terrain, all of which combine to make it an extremely different combat experience.
Spheroid Dropship: Carried over from Battle Tech. In the singleplayer games, they function somewhat like a boss fight due to their firepower and armor. In Living Legends, they are typically part of the environment, though they often have active turrets on them, and a (hilariously buggy) Spheroid Dropship can be used by mappers as a main base, though it is not in any official maps due to said Good Bad Bugs
Spider Tank: A quad mech was available in MechWarrior 2 by cheat codes. It was a bit hobbled by technical limitations; as the engine couldn't have a four-legged Mech, two of the Tarantula's legs are in fact arms. Shooting the latter "arms" off has no effect on the now-two-legged, gravity-defying Tarantula's movement; and yet, only shooting one leg off causes the three-legged Tarantula to be unable to move. They haven't appeared in any later games.
Sprint Shoes: Myomer Accelerator Signal Circuitry, or MASC, in Living Legends functions much like sprint shoes. If a mech has MASC, the pilot can hold down the MASC button to dramatically increase the running speed of the mech, at the cost of building up tremendous amounts of heat. MekTek's version of MW4: Mercenaries plans to eventually add in MASC, though their version will carry the risk of catastrophic leg damage if used for too long.
Squishy Wizard: The Loki in Living Legends. Several of the variants carry devastating long range or close range firepower, it's fast, and most of the variants carry plenty of radar equipment. It's also pathetically armored, causing it to die very quickly when focused on.
Standard Sci-Fi Army: Official MechWarrior games featured Mechs almost exclusively (with other assets being pure cannon fodder), but Living Legends expands the game to include playable tanks, Battle Armor, aerospace fighters, and VTOLs in all shapes and sizes. The focus on objective play and the larger maps made scout assets and certain specialists (such as Anti Air) much more important.
Sticky Bomb: All of the Battle Armor grenades in Living Legends are of the sticky variety, which can stick to anything they touch. If you're feeling especially sadistic, you can stick a NARC missile beacon onto an enemy Battle Armor and watch the missiles rain in straight on his head.
Stone Wall: The Hephaestus hovercraft in Living Legends. It's a scout hovercraft with more armor than a 60-ton main battle tank; but only has the firepower of a Battle Armor.
Subsystem Damage: All of a BattleMech's individual parts have independent lifebars. Severe damage to a leg greatly hampers your movement (either from greatly reduced top speed in 2 or being forced to limp in 3 or 4, and your 'Mech is dead if you lose both legs), and losing an arm destroys all weapons equipped in that location. Individual subsystems can also be damaged or destroyed even if the section they're stored in isn't totally wasted.
Getting a leg destroyed in Living Legends will have you knocked over but not dead, but it barely matters since you're going to get hammered to death by that point.
Suicidal Overconfidence: It doesn't matter how much of a powerhouse your or your lancemates' current 'Mechs are, enemy Light Mechs will still gun for you.
Or if they are outnumbered, like in the first Halloran V mission where a lone Owens Light 'Mech charges your full lance. Of course, Specter is amused.
Specter: Spunky little fella, isn't he?
It's also fully possible to do that mission with a lance full of 100-ton Assault Mechs. The 25 ton Owens, outfitted with long range missles, will charge right at you.
Also in MechWarrior 4: Vengeance, if you lose Terra Risner, you get informed that she did this to an enemy patrol. Justified since she joined your team when you rescued her from being summarily executed. She was not going back to a POW camp for that to happen again.
Happens sometimes in Living Legends, where getting killed close enough to an enemy can kill or damage him too, even if you don't go critical.
Some players have also been known to use the handheld TAG laser to call artillery down on a 'Mech while standing on its head.
At maximum difficulty, AI accuracy is not affected by "knock" and never "dumbfire" LRM's. They can constantly nail you with an ER PPC regardless of your moving speed.
They can also detect you through walls on Veteran and Elite difficultly in MechWarrior 4, where players are limited to line-of-sight radar.
In most of the games, the AI will target and close with the player even when the player's Mech is powered down, behind several terrain features, and crouched among trees. Even if the player's lancemates are blasting them apart.
Base turrets in Living Legends have hitscan weapons, even for weapons that aren't normally hitscan. They look at you, then you instantly take damage, often before the turret actually "fires" the weapon effect.
Tanks For Nothing: Tanks in the singleplayer MechWarrior games are only useful as a distraction or maybe getting in the occasional cheap shot against Mechs. Averted in Living Legends, where a tank can ruin a Mech pilot's day.
Tank Goodness: Living Legends has tanks become awesome death machines. While they may not be as fast or maneuverable or adaptable as a mech, they mount truly absurd amounts of armor and big guns. Very big guns. A pair of Demolisher tanks is a truly terrifying sight, especially if they're sitting at the entrance of a base you need to capture. Light tanks like the Chevalier and Harasser are hilariously maneuverable, and they can both do powerslides.
Tech Demo Game: Living Legends required an obscenely powerful computer when it came out, one that would shame even the ridiculously powerful Crysis rigs, due to the huge and detailed maps, high-poly characters and assets, and lots of explosions and other effects. Later patches significantly improved the optimization, allowing even cheap(ish) gaming computers to run it.
The first game gives you five game-time years to finish the story.
In the second game, most missions give you 25 minutes to complete, unless said mission is a Trial of Position or otherwise noted as 15.
Trapped Behind Enemy Lines: In the third game. The initial drop insertion goes awry when Warship-class lasers on the surface shoot down your dropship. The first three operations see you linking up with other survivors of your force and completing your mission objectives; the final operation is basically all about frantically searching for a way to escape the planet before enemy reinforcements overwhelm you.
Too Dumb to Live: All mechs in the Mechwarrior 4 games are fitted with searchlights to help them see at night... searchlights which have no 'Off' button and are visible from a long distance away in the dark. And since they're mounted on the center torso, they happen to make great bullseyes. Because of this it's easy to rack up kills on Mechs you can't actually see just by shooting at or just above the searchlight.
The Mech4 searchlights actually *do* have an off button. The AI never bothers to use it, though, and a lot of players tended to leave it on in night missions anyway.
Tournament Arc: If you beat Ghost Bear's Legacy without losing a single mission, you get to compete in a tournament to win the right to a blood name.
Turbine Blender: Living Legends - Battle Armor trying to ride on a Hawkmoth will die almost immediately if they fall into the turbine, though they are perfectly fine if the Hawkmoth is stationary on the ground.
Underground Level: Thunder Rift in Living Legends. Most of the edges of the level are completely covered and full of stalactites and stalagmites, raining chipped rocks. The center of the level opens to a rift in the cavern's roof, where water comes splashing down in waterfalls.
Unstable Equilibrium: Can hit Living Legends pretty hard, especially on certain maps. Because players start off in light assets and have to work their way up (via kills, assists, and objectives) to heavier assets in each round, getting an early lead can lead to a crushing advantage; this primarily happens in Team Solaris Arena and Solaris Arena. This can reach the point where one team is stomping in Mad Cats and Fafnirs, while the other team is still scrambling around in Uziels and Owens. Terrain Control can automatically balance itself out, because the team that are now stomping around in assault mechs will be unable to capture bases or respond to attacks because they are too slow, allowing the loosing team to catch up (and often win).
The curb-stomp battles have mostly nullified by the introduction of a Comeback Mechanic (see above) in version 0.7.0, which gives more cash and point bonuses to players in lighter assets when fighting heaver assets.
Unwinnable by Design: The final mission in Ghost Bear's Legacy requires you to jump jet inside an enemy dropship. Don't have jump jets equipped? Have fun restarting the mission.
One of the missions in MW4: Mercenaries has you rushing to defend a base. However, one of the base's other hired defenders are ambushed shortly after you arrive. You can detour and try to save them, or completely ignore them. If you save them, they will come to your aid on a later mission on the planet, one in which you are alone and really need all the help you can get.
Virtual Paper Doll: Starting with MW3, players have been able to set up camouflage for their mech. MW4 included crazy parade paint jobs along with realistic camouflage. Living Legends and Online have mostly realistic camos, though promotional camo in Online is often a bit... loud◊. Online also includes cockpit customization, such as bobbleheads or pin-ups, though for obvious reasons other players cannot see them.
Some of the camo patterns players have designed since the camo-pattern system was overhauled make the previously-linked PC Gamer skin seem positively mundane.
Zerg Rush: Battle Armor in Living Legends sometimes works on this principle. Because they are only worth 1 ticket in ticket-based game modes, or a piddly amount of points in point based game modes, they often try to drown the enemy in a sea of their own dead bodies, by repeatedly flinging themselves at the enemy while tossing as many grenades at them as possible.
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