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. Battlemechs are handled like real weapons of wars, pilots die pointlessly, combat is brutal - entire torso sections and arms are blasted out to disable weapons, legs get shot out from underneath mechs, mechs explode from the inside from overheating their fusion reactor, and inside that armored cockpit you are just a unarmored and very squishy human.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.)
For the MechWarrior tabletop roleplaying game, see BattleTech. 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.
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Abnormal Limb Rotation Range: MechWarrior 4 and Living Legends have a few mechs with full 360 torso twist, such as the Rifleman, which can spin its torso 360 degrees and aim its arms straight up or down.
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.
Amazing Technicolor Battlefield: Solaris arenas in Living Legends are often bright and flashy to begin with, but as the match goes on, massive fireworks displays will light up the sky.
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.
There are advanced (read: better) versions of each consumable that, initially, could only be bought with MC. They were balanced by tweaking it so that premium consumables cannot be equipped alongside other consumables of the same type. Also, with some effort, the free versions can be upgraded to be equal to the premium versions.
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.
All There in the Manual: The backstory for Mechwarrior 4: Mercenaries. It's set during the Fedcom Civil War, a sprawling event with a lot of fronts that the player is only briefly acquainted with. Without some knowledge of the background, a lot of characters' movements won't seem to make a lot of sense (especially Victor Davion's insistence on not leading the charge against Katrina). It helps that Spectre is a consummate mercenary most of the time; he's here for the payday, not the politics which lets the player skip over the fluff. Perhaps the most important thing that's missing: who the "good guy" is (hint: Katrina assassinated a child for her throne).
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.
In Living Legends, 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 from Mechwarrior 4 will spit a wall of large pulse laser death at any air or ground target foolish enough to wander inside its range. The Rifleman in Living Legends and Mech 4 has superior twist capabilties in addition to all of its variants carrying anti-air weapons - shotguns, autocannons, pulse lasers, and light gauss rifles.
Anti-Infantry: Rotary autocannons, autocannons, LBX shotguns, machine guns, and short ranged missile launchers are capable of turning battlearmor in Living Legends to a fine red mist. Most of these weapons are also amazingly good Anti-Air, which makes the anti-air tanks mobile battlearmor blenders.
Anti-Vehicle: Rotary Autocannon/5s in Living Legends have a damage multiplier against tanks, allowing them to rip through the normally incredibly heavy armor in no time at all. The RACmolisher Demolisher variant carries a pair of RAC/5s and even more armor than the standard variant, making it the ultimate tank hunter.
Anyone Can Die: In 4: Mercenaries, all of your lancemates have the potential to die on you if their 'Mech is destroyed in combat, even the ones you've had with you from the beginning.
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, and Living Legends has made some significant gameplay changes from BattleTech and previous games, such as allowing players to pilot 'Mechs while wearing Battle Armor.
Artistic License - Physics: The opening missions of MechWarrior 4 take place on a lunar surface, in near-perfect vacuum. Heat is not an issue apparently because Space Is Cold. Realistically, a vacuum environment would probably be the worst possible place for a heat sink to operate. While it is true that Battletech heat sinks function very differently from modern heat sinks, the mechanism they are said to use to cool 'Mechs would still function extremely inefficiently in vacuum.
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.
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: 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 gentleman'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 machine gun. 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.
Thanks to the unrealistic yet fun way the JumpJets worked in MechWarrior 2, the Nova was one of the most powerful and versatile mechs out there. Kiting around using jets and pounding away with lasers. Alas in later games the Nova and its big brother the SuperNova were indeed useless lumbering hulks that would overheat just by turning them on.
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.
MekTek's Railgun. It deals more direct damage than any other weapon in the game (the only ones dealing more are indirect-fire artillery pieces that are very hard to aim) and has absolute precision, but it's massively heavy and only two Mechs can carry it. Even then, they need special large attachments to do so - and most players in an online match will make it their first priority to reduce said attachments to scrap - which is an amazingly easy task to do, as the railgun is top-mounted and enormous.
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.
The Clan Nova/Blackhawk and it's assault cousin, the Supernova are 'mechs for loading up beam and other energy weapons onto. Just make sure you don't Alpha Strike in a stock Supernova.
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 BattleTech. (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: A bug in Living Legends 0.3.0 caused the Harasser hovercraft to weigh several hundred tons, allowing the tiny, annoying, and agile hovercraft to punt around 80 ton Demolisher tanks like they were toys. While it was fixed relatively quickly, ramming is an effective way to deal with enemy tanks. The Hephaestus hovercraft is particularly good at wedging its nose under Oro tanks, which prevents the Oro from firing back. Demolishers can plow most other vehicles out of the way. Aircraft are particularly effective at ramming tanks, which in 0.5.0 would cause the tanks to go flying 200+ meters, spinning wildly. Ramming enemy aircraft will usually instantly destroy both aircraft
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.
Charged Attack: Bombast lasers in MW 4, with the complication that they would "fizzle" if charged too long.
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.
Combat Pragmatist: During MechWarrior 4: Mercenaries's New Exford arc, Spectre has the option to engage the Clan invasion force in a Trial of Possession, pitting his mechs against theirs in a fair fight for the fate of the planet. Or, he can call them up, agree to the Trial, and then attack the night before it's scheduled to go off, catching half of their pilots in the barracks. (For bonus points, load up on a long-ranged weapon and announce your presence by destroying their barracks.)
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.
Convection Schmonvection: Averted by the Inferno map in Living Legends. The entire map is hot, as it takes place within a volcanic range which is in the process of erupting. The lava that streams across the map is extremely hot, capable of melting an Awesome into slag in seconds, and it also heats up anything near the lava. Battlearmor cannot approach the lava rivers, lest they start to boil within their suit.
Cosmetically Different Sides: "Mixtech" matches (the default mode) in Living Legends allows the Inner Sphere forces and Clan forces to use any asset, regardless of origin. Averted with "Puretech" matches, which limits each team to using only that side's assets - for example, the Clan team cannot use the Long Tom, while the Inner Sphere cannot use the Clanner's (usually) superior end-game assault units, which results in puretech having a very different playstyle.
Due to how long ranged missiles work in Living Legends, mechs that boast these (which were viable in previous games) will get destroyed by anything that gets within their minimum range of 20 to 350 meters, depending on the missile. 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 weaker weapons for armament.
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. Overheating will also cause large heat distortions to appear behind the mech as it tries to shed excess heat.
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.
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'.
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.
Dem Bones: If an Atlas is in the game, expect the head to play up its skull-like appearance. The only MechWarrior that averts this somewhat was the early versions of Living Legend's Atlas - the original release had a glass bubble for a head, then a glass bubble with the outline of a skull, then in the last update, a proper Atlas skull.
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.
The second Mercenaries features the early mission Eaton: Merc Alley B which, in contrast to the two previous lightly-opposed convoy raids, is a trap employing a massive enemy mech (either a Black Knight or a Mauler, depending on version). If you bulked up on your forces (for instance, by playing the entire Halloran mission string before coming to Eaton) it's possible to outfight the trap and take the heavy or assault mech as salvage way before you're "supposed" to have so much firepower.
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.
Dummied Out: The two transport VTO Ls - the Karnov and Anhur - in Living Legends exist in-game but cannot be bought normally, due to their massive size and unfinished (and very buggy) state. They have independently controlled turrets for battlearmor players, allowing it to function like a gunship, multiple battlearmor can ride in the back, and it was originally intended to be able to airlift vehicles in the back. The only way to get the Karnov or Anhur is to load up a map with either of the transports pre-placed.
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, but only for enemies being actively targeted (if an enemy has a hollow triangle over their head, then that means you're the only one who can see him on sensors).
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 will both 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 and Solitaire. Because of this, and because it has so much electronics packed in, it has about the same armor as an Owens.
The Solitaire 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.
The Awesome is meant as a ranged support 'Mech, so it can have a staggering amount of ranged ordinance piled onto it - one build in particular, called the "Thor's Hammer", was loaded with several ER PP Cs that could potentially blow the enemy's cockpit off in one volley at the cost of having to shutdown from overheating often. Unfortunately, doing this leaves the 'Mech quite defenseless in close-range combat...
The JagerMech in Online, it is design for More Dakka, as it can bog down targets with its autocannons from a distance, but won't last long in when its the one that's targeted.
The Puma in... anything, really. It's a light mech with correspondingly light armor, but instead of being kitted out for speed and range as a scout, it's fitted with twin ERPPCs for blowing things up.
Catapults in all games, they can carry two missles launchers, or lasers, or cannons, and rain fire on their targets at far distances. But don't fair well when swamped by two or more enemies on their own.
For the 100 tonners we have the Dire Wolf. Do to having a large cockpit hit box they are relatively easy to destroy if you have great aim, but to compensate Ace Custom Dire Wolves tend to carry enough precision heavy weapons (Gauss Cannons and PP Cs) to one-shot nearly anything smaller then them, even some assault mechs.
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 Up to Eleven with its critical explosions, which are like small thermonuclear bombs. They happen less often 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.
Online has something similar; if your heat gauge ever goes over 100% (whether you override the auto-shutdown or not) you start taking damage directly to your centre torso, not its armour but the internals. This troper's seen more than a few people running around with an unblemished 'mech save for their CT internals being down in the yellow.
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.
The Uziel in Living Legends used to have a cockpit that is physically impossible to hit without splash damage.
Several mechs in MW 4 have odd hitboxes. The Hellspawn has a rocket pod on one arm that has a separate hitbox, but the pod will only sometimes be disabled when the arm is destroyed. The Kodiak's hitbox in MW 4 was not only mirrored on the X-axis, but also flipped vertically. (The latter problem was later corrected.)
Hit Scan: All lasers (but not PPCs) in 3, 4, 4: Mercenaries, Living Legends and Online are hit-scan.
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.
Instant Death Radius: Anti-air units in Living Legends carry copious amounts of dakka-spewing weapons, the vast majority of which are capable of killing battlearmor players with a single hit or a short burst at close or mid-range. Ironically, the safest place to be when fighting an anti-air unit is to be right next to it, as they generally have trouble aiming down.
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 normally-useless Harasser, which can vary from mildly annoying to frighteningly lethal, depending on who's driving.
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.
Nobody likes any light mech that is not a Jenner in MWO, as the Jenner is better armed and speedier than the other light mechs.
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.
The Corsair medium aerospace fighter in Living Legends carries an impressive amount of firepower (such as dual light gauss rifles or twin firebombs), is well armored, has an odd silhouette which makes firing at it awkward, and it is flat out the fastest asset in the game, with a top speed of 450kph, even faster than the Sparrowhawk scout plane.
The Bushwacker medium mech in Living Legends is fast (86kph), is the most well armored medium mech, has a narrow silhouette which makes it hard to hit, and carries a huge amount of firepower which is scattered across the entire mech, making it difficult to strip it of its powerful weapons. It's the Inner Sphere's most versatile combat unit, as has a loadout for almost everyone's taste, and is exceptionally cheap for its power.
By far the most terrifying mech in Living Legends is the Fafnir "Foxtrot" variant. It's one of the most armored asset in the game, carries a pair of Ultra Autocannon/20s, and ten flamers. Normally, you could just shoot a brawler Fafnir from afar and laugh at as it slowly waddles towards you. But not this one, no. This one mounts MASC, capable of propelling it to 75kph to sprint up to enemies and start blasting and melting them. Thankfully, it's as much of a danger to itself as it is to the enemy team.
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.
On the topic of Online, several players love them some missile spam and will cram as many LR Ms onto their 'Mech as can be safely used. It can get to the point where the missiles fired from the 'Mech look less like a missile salvo and more like a flaming death ball that's as big as an Assault 'Mech.
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.
When you start out in Mechwarrior 4 and its expansion pack, chances are, you can't afford anything more than a basic flamer and machine guns. Solution: install more, and enjoy the low heat rate as you repeatedly thunder hovercraft and rival light mechs with a Death of a Thousand Cuts.
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.
Obvious Beta: General consensus was that MechWarrior Online wasn't ready to officially launch when it did. Promised features like Community Warfare and more game modes (along with all of the revealed 'Mechs so far) were not yet implemented at the time and as of this edit, still haven't been.
The introductions of 2 have at least one pilot have a moment of this:
A sampler from 31st Century Combat:
Bravo Cadet: It's got a lock on me! IT'S GOT A LOCK O—*boom*
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.
Oil Slick: An amusing bug in Living Legends. The Chevalier light tank is prone to being flipped over by weapons laying on the ground - if you're on flat ground as a Battlearmor and see a Chevalier bearing down on you, simply hurl your Bear Autocannon into the path of the Chevy's wheels, and watch in amazement as the 30 ton tank's wheels ricochet into the air as it hits the gun laying on the ground, sending the tank into a roll that leaves it helpless for a few seconds.
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.
In the second Mercenaries, one of the Styk missions has Spectre standing honor guard to a peace conference... which is promptly bombed and then attacked by lance after lance of (thankfully lightweight) hostile mechs. Although, if you bailed out Hammer Lance in the last mission, they're happy to return the favor, taking some of the heat off.
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.
Online will damage a 'mech's Centre Torso internals whenever the heat gauge goes over 100%, whether the auto-shutdown is overridden or not. In addition, high heat runs the risk of triggering an ammo explosion. A couple-hundred missiles detonating inside your left-torso [[Understatement isn't exactly the healthiest thing for a Battlemech]].
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.
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.
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.
Rage Helm: The Atlas features an angry head in several games - Multiplayer Battletech 3025 and the Mech Assault spinoff in particular. Mechwarrior 4 and (post 0.7) Living Legends have the straight-lined "mouth" typical of the BattleTech Atlas.
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.
The default camo for every mech in the MekTek version of Mercenaries is Ops Pink.
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. Early pictures of the Living Legendsrevamped Atlas head had dark red glowing eyes and a nose, though it was removed in the final release (in favor of pitch-black eyes) to prevent the enemy team from using the glowing eyes as target practice.
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.
Ridiculously Fast Construction: It doesn't matter how big your mech or aircraft is in Living Legends, the mech/aircraft hangar can "build" one in about ten seconds.
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.
Both Peter Davion-Steiner and his aunt Nondi Steiner, not content to work through pawns and armies, take to the field in the last stages of Mechwarrior 4: Mercenaries if you select the Davion route.
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
Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: In Mechwarrior 4: Mercenaries's Steiner mission string, the Archon Doomed by Canon to be captured and whisked off to the Arc-Royal Defense Cordon. Your contact among the Steiner loyalists proposes that you join Clan Wolf, and then at some unspecified time in the future, invade the ARDC — which was specifically established as a buffer zone against Clan invasion — rescue the Archon, and return her to the throne, which will presumably go great. Your Mission Control, Castle, begs you to take an alternate route: take the money, run, and head into the war-torn Chaos March, where you repel a Capellan invasion in exchange for taking control of a planetary defense base and setting yourselves up as a freeholding company bargaining for the services of other mercs (like the Wolf's Dragoons before you).
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.
The Cauldron-Born mech is a shout out to the relentless unead hordes from The BlackCauldron.
In Mechwarrior 2, during a training mission, you could locate a building to scan filled with 'Herc Parts (Useless).' This a reference to Metaltech: Earthsiege, a rival giant-robot game of the era that got it's start with a number of the same developers as Battletech and uses HERCULA Ns instead of Battlemechs. Either it's a Deadpan Snarker developer's joke, or a non-joke - of course Herc parts are useless, you're in a Battlemech, they're not even compatible!
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.
Some Dexterity Required: As would be appropriate when operating a Real Robot, there are a lot of controls. Depending on the game, default controls can be very silly - Mechwarrior 4 required most of the keyboard.
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 BattleTech. 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.
Splash Damage: In Living Legends, particle projector cannons, missiles, and the Long Tom Artillery Piece all have splash damage. PPC splash damage mostly just screws with electronics, while Long Toms are capable of killing several enemies at the same time with its massive damage and splash radius.
Splash Damage Abuse: Splash damage in Living Legends goes through walls. With most weapons' small splash radius, it's normally a non-issue, but don't expect that thin metal scaffolding roof to protect you from a Long Tom artillery shell.
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.
The AI also has an unerring knack for aiming at your center torso; either they miss entirely or they hit you in the one spot you can't do without. A good pilot can torso-twist at the last second to spread the damage out (especially from missiles), but it's still not uncommon to have a mech that's received critical damage to the center torso and almost none to anything else.
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.
In 4, certain tanks (the Demolisher, the Myrmidon, and to a lesser extent the Quad Panzer) could be quite deadly thanks to their high-powered guns... as long as nobody shot at them.
Target Spotter: C3 Computers in Living Legends]] rely radar data to all allies within 1 kilometer, which is necessary for the Long Tom Artillery tank to get enough data for accurate firing, as its radar only extends to 1250m (less against enemies with ECM or passive radar), while the Long Tom cannon can smite enemies up to around 1800m. C3 computers can also be linked together in "chains", so long as they stay within 1 kilometer of each other, allowing for much further detection. The Target Acquisition Gear laser is a line-of-sight laser which guides friendly missiles, particularly useful for the Arrow IV artillery missile, which has a max range of about 3500 meters but can only achieve lock-on within 1500m, and TAG locks give no missile lock-on warnings to its hapless target - and TAG lasers are invisible to the visible spectrum . NARC missiles have the same function, but are fire-and-forget (at the cost of being detectable and giving missile warnings) - peg an enemy with it, and watch in amazement as every friendly missile within 1000 meters homes in on the poor bastard.
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 (along with the switch to the much more optimized Crysis Wars engine), 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.
Universal Driver's License: Players in Living Legends can pilot almost any military vehicle they can see (asides from the DropShips) - a player can go from being in a suit of battlearmor to the cockpit of an aerospace fighter to the armored hull of an Oro to the cockpit of a Mad Cat.
Unstable Equilibrium: Can hit Living Legends pretty hard, especially on certain maps in Team Solaris Arena. 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.
Wolfpack Boss: Unlike the Jade Falcons in the David Versus Goliath example, the Wolves don't use such extreme tonnage disparity, instead putting you alone against Mech pairs on a relatively open arena.
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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