Video Game: MechWarrior

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.

MechWarrior 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 Transformers tie-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, with the Clan invasion having begun in June of 2014, and 13 Clan chassis (each with 4 variants and several optional variant omnipods) released, along side the current line up of IS mechs. The website can be found here.

Additionally, unveiled at about the same time as Online, Infinite Game Publishing, through their then dealing with Piranha Games, with ACRONYM Games and Roadhouse Interactive as developers, was MechWarrior Tactics. Running on the Unity engine to allow game play via the user's web browser, the game was designed as a 4 vs 4 'mech lance formation battles more in the vein of an interactive BattleTech table top game, with some changes. Players were to collect cards via "STAC Packs" for weapons and mechs with different manufacturer based abilities, and pilots with their own effects. However, the game has been in Development Hell, and as of December 2013, had no development team working on it, and development of the game has stopped entirely, and has become Vapor Ware with IGP going out of business in November of 2014 without notice. (More details can be read on the Trivia Tab)

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:
  • MechVM, a program that allows the MW2 games to run on modern systems. More info here.
  • 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.)
  • MechWarrior: Living Legends (MWLL), a total conversion multiplayer mod for Crysis Warhead, first released in 2009. Takes cues from all the MechWarrior games and is balanced for multiplayer (up to 16 versus 16) and objective based gameplay. First game to feature useful, player-controlled tanks, aerospace fighters, Battle Armor and VTOLs. The final version of the mod, 0.7.1, was released on January 28th 2013 with no more planned updates, due to legal issues with the MechWarrior IP note . The development team was dismantled. The final version of the mod also made it fully compatible with the free Crysis Wars demo, though a few servers will not allow demo players to join. A combined demo + mod installer is available here.
  • BattleTech MUD, popular in the 1990s, a series of ASCII-graphics MUDs (MUCK, MUSH, MUSE, and MUX over the years) did real-time multiplayer combat.
  • Solaris Assault Tech, a UnrealEngine3 game developed by MekTek which was going to focus on Solaris Arena deathmatch.

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.


Wiki online... Index online... Tropes online... All examples, nominal:

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    General 
  • Abnormal Limb Rotation Range: Several mechs such as the as the Rifleman and Urbanmech are notable for being able to spin thier torsos a full 360 degrees and aim thier arms straight up or down.
  • Ace Custom: Customization is a major element of Mechwarrior's gameplay. As such your 'Mech will quickly become one as you gain access to resources and technology. Your lance's/Star's 'Mechs too.
  • Amazing Technicolor Battlefield: The arenas of Solaris VII tend to be this. As the match goes on, massive fireworks displays will light up the sky.
  • Artificial Stupidity: Earlier MechWarrior games were somewhat infamous because of this. Enemies employed virtually no strategy, and were often downright idiotic; doing things such as walking into walls or directly into a large force of incoming mechs, despite the current status or role of the mech itself. 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. If the AI pilots were capable of doing things like grouping weapons, targeting specific components, and smartly managing heat, they'd consistently wipe the floor with the player.
    • Lampshaded in 4: Mercenaries, when a lone Owens - a Light 'Mech - charges straight for your lance in one Halloran V mission, where you may have a lance of Mediums and/or Heavies if you decided to complete the Eaton missions first. Specter is quite amused by this.
  • Anyone Can Die: A feature of the setting really, 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.
  • Armored Coffins: Averted in that most units are equipped with ejection systems.
  • Artistic License Physics: It's a giant robot game, this comes with the territory.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: A major element of the franchise and the tabletop game on which it is based, individual components all have independent lifebars. Severe damage to a leg greatly will greatly hamper a 'mech's movement and meny units become significantly less threatening once you learn thier weapons layout and can disable their best gun five seconds into a fight.
  • Awesome but Impractical: Is there anything about Giant Robots that isn't?
  • Beam Spam: A very viable tactic.
  • Behemoth Battle: The games are about giant mechs with human pilots battling it out, based on the BattleTech game. Received several sequels.
  • BFG: Big guns are to be expected in a game about giant combat robots, but the AC-20, Long-Tom artillery piece and Heavy Gauss Rifle are particular stand-outs.
  • Boring Yet Practical: Medium Lasers are this. Cheap, light weight, decent damage, and low heat generation, a very sizable list of 'Mechs carry these as secondary weapons along side harder hitting weapons. Mechs such as the Hunchback 4P variant, and the Nova Prime use Medium size lasers as their primary weapon, and carrying 8 and 12 of them in stock configurations respectively for very effective Beam Spam.
  • 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.
  • Death of a Thousand Cuts: The lowly Machine Gun, 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.
  • 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.
  • Design It Yourself Equipment: The MechLab, as per the original tabletop game.
  • Enemy Detecting Radar: All the games have this in some form, allowing you to target enemies and see their weapons, health, etc...
  • Every Bullet Is a Tracer: High explosive autocannons, .50 cal machineguns, artillery shells...
  • Explosive Overclocking: Overriding aut-matic shutdowns and failing to manage manage your heat, or in some cases just firing all of your weapons at once, will start to rapidly apply damage to your mech's Torso, and may cause your 'Mech to 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.
  • Fragile Speedster: A common trait of Light 'Mechs, Lights in general tend to be fast, but cannot take heavy punishment.
  • Fire-Breathing Weapon: Flamers. They do very little actual damage, but they heat up the enemy instead, forcing them to shut down.
  • Gravity Screw: A common trait of "space" or lunar themed missions.
  • Hit Scan: Pretty much all laser weapons are hit-scan.
  • Hold the Line: A common mission objective.
  • Homing Projectile: Missiles, Streaks, Long Range Missiles, and the Arrow IV in particular.
  • 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.
  • Lead The Target: Required when using any weapon except lasers and missiles that are fired after obtaining a lock, specially over great distances.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: Pretty much any dedicated Long Range Missile LRM unit will fit this trope. The Developers of MWO have gone so far as to invoke it by name.
  • Made of Explodium: Buildings and vehicles in the games tend to explode with suspicious frequency, In MW3, this included trees, radio towers, vehicles and pieces of scrap scattered about also fall into this category.
  • 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]"
  • Mighty Glacier: Assault 'Mechs generally fall onto this catagory when they aren't
  • Min-Maxing: Where there is unit customization and player progession there will be [Munchkin Munchkins], this may lead to [Crippling Overspecialization] if the player is not careful.
  • More Dakka: A standard for ballistic units.
  • Oh Crap!: A common occurance in cutscenes. 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.
  • Power Armor: The Battle suited infantry that appear throughout the series.
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: 3-Liner really. The power-up sequence from MechWarrior 2 has become iconic in it's own right, and has appeared in every game since. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SnscgQK7mUY
  • Private Military Contractors: A feature of the setting, pretty much every nation in the Inner Shpere uses Mercenaries on a regular basis.
  • Rage Helm: The Atlas and Banshee assault mechs are almost always portrayed with a Demonic or scary Death's-Head Skull motif around thier heads/cockpits Example
  • Real Robot Genre: What this franchise is all about, one of the earliest examples in fact.
  • Reporting Names: Clan 'Mechs 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).
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Yet another feature of the setting. The Protaganists of both MechWarrior and MechWarrior 4 ''Vengance'' fit this trope.
  • Shows Damage: The series uses this trope extensively:
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • Sniping the Cockpit: Overlaps with Attack Its Weak Point, Cockpit kills are exceptionally quick but difficult to pull off due to the tiny hitboxes and the mechs bobbing around.
  • 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.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": "Mechwarrior" is just one word, and the "W" is capitalized when used in titles.
  • Spheroid Dropship: A feature of the setting.
  • Standard Sci-Fi Army: Another feature of the setting
  • Subsystem Damage: See Attack Its Weak Point above.
  • Target Spotter: C3 Computers in MW LL relay 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.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Common, especially in the early games...
    • Computer controled turrets are equipped with Hit Scan weapons and Homing Projectiles that unerringly seek out your center torso.
    • At maximum difficulty, AI accuracy was not affected by "cockpit shake" and they never "dumbfired" LRM's. The AI will constantly nail you with long range weapons regardless of your moving speed.
    • They can also detect you through cover and around corners, where as players are limited to line-of-sight.
    • 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.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Alpha Strikes tend to kill anything they're focused on - including occasionally the firing Mech, from excessive heat buildup.
  • Unbreakable Weapons:Subverted hard. Guns jam, take damage, ammo will cook off.
  • Vertical Mecha Fins: In every game they appear, the Awesome and Mauler have massive slabs of titanium armor extending above their head. The Mauler compliments this with a second set of fins framing the cockpit that make up its huge missile rackets.
  • Virtual Paper Doll: Starting with MW3, players have been able to paint thier mechs as part of the customization process.

    Mech Warrior 

    Mech Warrior 2: 31st Century Combat 
  • AFGNCAAP: The original campaigns are notable in that absolutely no characterization for the player whatsoever is offered, not even gender.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: The Clan hierarchy, with different Clan definitions for asskicking.
  • 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.
  • Classic Cheat Code: Naming yourself "Calvin" or "Hobbes" unlocks special 'Mechs (including an Elemental). Name yourself "Freebirthtoad" and you can play all the missions.
  • 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'.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: The un-named instructor from the in-game tutorial, with his endless repertoire of patronizing remarks and snide put-downs. Overlaps with Deadpan Snarker.
    Congratulations, Cadet 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.
  • 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.
  • Fragile Speedster: The Fire Moth, Up to Eleven. 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 armor. This 'Mech gets similar treatment in MechWarrior 4: Mercenaries (MekTek version), where it goes by it's Inner Sphere reporting name; the Dasher.
  • Guilt-Based Gaming: The quit button is labeled FLEE TO WINDOWS. Clicking it opens a prompt titled EMBRACE COWARDICE? YES / NO.
  • 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".
  • Interface Screw: your cameras go static if sensors on the Mech are damaged, though the rest of the HUD stays normal.
  • Lethal Joke Character: The 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, it is frightfully effective when used by a competent player who can use its ridiculous speed and maneuvrability to get in cloase and, unload multiple shots into the enemy's back and/or legs Here's an excellent example.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Because of how jump jets work in the MW2 games, any 'Mech equipped with them has the potential to be this. They are basically 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.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: The plot of the Ghost Bear's Legacy Expansion Pack's campaign, culminating when you level a city to punish an enemy clan.
  • Schmuck Bait: In the Blade Splint mission, there is an innocuous looking building that, upon closer inspection, has a description of "Don't shoot me". Doing so nukes the entire city, killing all units in the area, yourself included.
  • Spider Tank: the Tarantula though due to technical limitations two of the 'Mechs's legs are in fact arms. Shooting the said "arms" off has no effect on the now-two-legged Tarantula's movement; and yet, only shooting one leg off causes the now-three-legged Tarantula to be unable to move. They haven't appeared in any later games.
  • Trial by Combat: Standard method of advancement for clan pilots, see Asskicking Equals Authority above.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Updated Re-release: The Mechwarrior 2 and its expansions, in addition to having specific versions for various 3D accelerator cards (many of which they were bundled with), were updated for Windows 95 with some improvements and then got another re-release in the form of Titanium Trilogy, whose major changes to the original MW2 were not well received.
  • 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.

    Mech Warrior 2: Mercenaries 
  • Cannon Fodder: Basically any enemy that isn't another 'Mech or a Drop Ship. Tanks and infantry are only a threat in missions where you get attacked by dozens of them at a time. This trope was notably averted in MW4 and MW LL.
  • Disc One Nuke: The dynamic salvage system allows you to salvage any 'Mech you can disable without doing excessively damaging (by Sniping the Cockpit, for example). It was occasionally possible to capture an Atlas in one of the early 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.
  • Grand Theft Prototype: One of the story missions begins with you 'Mechjacking a 100-ton Kodiak assault mech from a Ghost Bear repair facility and smashing your way back to your Dropship.
  • Private Military Contractors: The player's character leads a squad of these.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Your Dropship pilot in the opening cinematic.
    You're outa time, I'm not getting paid enough to die. Secure for liftoff!
  • Tanks for Nothing: Tanks really only useful as a distraction, or maybe getting in the occasional cheap shot against Mechs. Averted in later games where a tank can ruin a Mech pilot's day.

    Mech Warrior 3 
  • Artificial Stupidity: Enemies tend to ignore you if 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.
  • Big Bad: Smoke Jaguar Galaxy Commander Brendon Corbett.
  • Die, Chair! Die!: Various neutral buildings, bridges, trees, and civilian vehicles can be destroyed. You can even blow gaping craters in the ground if you so desire, something that none of the other games have managed to recreate since.
  • Exploding Barrels: In keeping with the above, 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.
  • Hartman Hips: Epona Rhi, 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?
  • Goomba Stomp: The (in)famous "Death From Above", or DFA. Nearly impossible to manage but results in hilarous physics-defying glitches and instant death to your enemies.
  • Interface Screw: If you let your heat levels get too high, or take too much torso damage, this will happen.
    • PPC (Particle Projection Cannon) shots also cause the cockpit HUD to distort; if enough PPCs hit you in a short time, the entire HUD can be effectively impossible to read.
  • Nintendo Hard: The Pirate's Moon expansion pack is very much so. Even the pirate Mooks have access to to advanced technology and 'Mechs like the Annihilator resulting in some unexpectedly tough fights.
  • One-Man Army: 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.
  • Trapped Behind Enemy Lines: The set-up for the single player chanpaign. Your 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 arrive.

    Mech Warrior 4: Vengeance 
  • Artificial Stupidity: 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Cassandra Truth: 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.
  • Determinator: The Mechwarrior Guard Captain from the intro movie of MechWarrior 4: Vengeance, when he sees why no-one has been answering his radio calls:
  • Charged Attack: Bombast lasers, with the complication that they "fizzle" if charged too long.
  • Dangerously Genre Savvy: As per above Vanda Castro immediately realizes the threat that Ian Dresari and his followers pose to the Steiner occupation force and urges Lord Roland to destroy him and you and you band of followers before they can grow in strength. Thankfully, Roland is an idiot and never acts on her advice.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Casey Nolan from the Vengeance campaign is a bit of one, as well is 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: Thanks. I'll pass.
  • Eye Beams: The Cyclops has an energy hardpoint in it's which allows you to shoot frickin' laser beams out of it's eye!
  • Face-Heel Turn: Thrust upon Ian Dresari and his team to set up the Black Knight expansion pack.
  • Going Critical: Unlike other games in the franchise 'Mechs in MW4 always go critical when their center torso is destroyed. The explosion is fairly small, but very damaging. You can still salvage some of them, though.
  • Inescapable Ambush: The final mission in of the single-play campaign 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.
  • Multiple Endings: You can choose between two penultimate missions, which influences which ending you get. The Black Knight events happen if you do not save your sister.
  • P.O.V. Sequel: In the Black Knight expansion pack you are up against Ian Dresari, the Player Character from Vengeance
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: The protagonist is from a royal family and is 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.
  • Sadistic Choice: There's one near the end of the Vengence 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.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Some of the mission briefings tend towards this.
  • Shooting Gallery: In one of the missions you attack an enemy training facility that includes a Humongous Mecha-scale version of this trope. It's possible to walk your lance into it without realizing it, then start shooting when you realize you're surrounded by 'enemy contacts.'
  • Smug Snake: Almost all of the Steiner command staff fit this trope, but especially William Dresari.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: Taking care of your lancemates in the fourth game helps you get a slight edge in later missions.
    • One of the missions 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.
  • Vendor Trash: In Mechwarrior 4 Mercenaries, you often can scrape up and repair a lot of enemy mechs you trashed off the battlefield. Even though they'll probably need extensive repairs, they'll still net quite a sum on the market when you sell them, offsetting the money expended for repairs. And you should: too many unused mechs in your lineup adds up to a lot of excess upkeep expenditures for them, and they're usually mechs outclassed by your current lineup anyway. You can often net more money from a mission with a hefty salvage haul than the contractor agreed to pay you for mission success (first dibs on salvage rights being a way to pay for merc services without actually paying). Spectre and Castle often quote about the lucrative prospect of salvage.

    Mech Warrior 4: Mercenaries 
  • 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 and her own mother for her throne).
  • Announcer Chatter: Duncan Fisher, the voice of Solaris VII. The Living Legends team was able to get the original voice actor, George Ledoux, to reprise the role for the introduction of the Solaris Arena game mode in patch 0.5.0.
  • Arch-Enemy: 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.
  • BFG: In the MekTek version of 4: Mercenaries, you can mount a railgun on certain assault 'mechs. Said railgun is apparently very large in comparison to literally everything else in a BattleMech's potential arsenal, as it is not only the heaviest and hardest-hitting weapon in the game, but also the one that takes the most slots by itself. The only 'mechs who can mount this monster of a gun have the designated hardpoint so large and lightly armored, it's pretty easy to destroy.
  • Combat Pragmatist: During the New Exford arc, you have 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.)
  • Canon Immigrant: MekTek's 40-ton Arctic Wolf, as and 85-ton Deimos, were later made part of canon BattleTech.
  • Continue Your Mission, Dammit!: 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.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: In-universe, Duncan Fisher refers to the player character as one.
  • It's Personal: Castle has it out bad for Clanners, and sounds quite vindictive during the New Exford campaign. Understandable seeing as they orphaned her in the 3050 invasion and also reduced her nation, the Free Rasalhague Republic, to a pitiful handful of worlds. She also flips her lid if you take the leading star colonel as bondsman.
  • Large Ham: Duncan Fisher if you hadn't already guessed.
  • 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.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: With all the expansion packs installed, MechWarrior 4: Mercenaries has over 100 individual 'Mechs.
  • Psycho for Hire: Duncan Burke, Potentially you.
  • Power Creep: Many of the 'Mechs in the MekTek expansion packs are outright superior to the vanilla mechs in firepower, slots, speed, or other characteristics such as electronics.
  • 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.
  • Taking You with Me:

    Mech Warrior: Online 
  • A Day in the Limelight: Each 'Mech got its own short story that demonstrates how badass it can be with the right pilot.
  • Allegedly Free Game: Players can grind for "C-Bills" (using a selection of Trial 'Mechs, which cannot be customized and change from time to time), or spend real-world money to acquire 'Mechs in-game. An Atlas might cost 9.7 million C-Bills - requiring more than sixty ten-minute matches worth of grinding for an experienced player to buy - but you can instead spend about $20 worth of "Mech Credits" (MC) to acquire it instantly. Early in open beta, players running any sort of advanced technology could lose money if they lost a match and then fully repaired and reloaded their 'Mech, unless they were a Founder or paid real money for "Premium time". That infelicitous system has since been removed, and now even the most miserable performance in a match will always make the player some money. There is also now a "Cadet Bonus" fountain of C-Bills in the first 25 games, quickly giving new players enough in-game Monopoly money to buy something of their own.
    • The "Hero" 'Mechs - with a unique configuration and paint job, which can only be purchased with real money - have caused a lot of "pay2win" accusations. The Hero 'Mechs are meant to be balanced to prevent them from having any real advantage over standard variants, and this is the case for most of them; only a few of the more than thirty Heroes available as of mid-late 2014 are actually the "winningest" variant of their 'Mech model.
    • There are advanced (read: better) versions of each consumable that, initially, could only be bought with MC. They were balanced by preventing premium consumables from being equipped alongside other consumables of the same type. The free versions can also be grindingly upgraded to be equal to the premium versions.
    • The fact that additional 'Mech Bays could only be bought with MC, however, did 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.
    • Averted, somewhat: The Community Warfare (CW) mode now allows players to aquire 'Mech Bays, and eventually MC, by playing in CW matches. Additionaly, events are held occasionally whereby players can win small amounts of MC, a 'Mech bay, or even a 'Mech plus a Bay to put it in, just by performing well enough in enough matches.
  • All There in the Manual: The Battletech.
  • Ascended Meme: A fanart of an UrbanMech with a top hat and a monocle has made its way into the game as a cockpit item. bobblehead with a tophat and a cigar.
  • Awesome but Impractical: Many Min-Maxed builds end up falling into this catagory due to Crippling Overspecialization
  • Beam Spam: A perfectly viable tactic and the whole idea of Laser Vomit builds.
  • Bigger on the Inside: The cockpit is essentially a 3d box around the view camera. This is especially glaring on Atlas, which should have a tiny window based on the exterior model, but the interior view gives you an enormous glass window.
  • 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.
  • Charged Attack: The Gauss rifle.
  • Convection Schmonvection: The battle on Terra Therma AKA ''Mordor'' takes place in and around an erupting volcano. Fighting on the platform suspended above the caldera isn't all that much hotter than anywhere else in the map but lord help you should you actually fall in.
  • Glass Cannon
    • The JagerMech, can pack more firepower than most assault mechs but it comes at the expense of tissue-paper armor, a wide profile for easy torso shots and an XL Engine.
    • The Awesome also suffers from this to a lesser extent, it is a ranged fire-support 'Mech that can carry a staggering amount of ordinance but it is slow and prone to overheating, with a profile like a barn-door which often leads to it getting focused down and picked apart...
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: The Atlas assault mech in some of the games has glowing red eyes, like in the Multiplayer BattleTech 3025 trailer. They look totally badass, but have one major downside in Online, as they can be seen from across the map.
  • Go for the Eye: How you go about Sniping the Cockpit on an Atlas.
  • Lethal Joke Character: The Urban Mech or ''Urbie'' is a comically slow Light 'Mech that looks like a walking trash can and packs the firepower of 'Mech twice it's size. Naturally it is a cult favorite.
  • Lethal Lava Land: The afore mentioned Terra Therma.
  • 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.
  • Obvious Beta: General consensus among Closed Beta Testers 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.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: The "Heavy Metal" Hero 'Mech from default camo pattern is hot pink. In-universe it's the iconic 'mech of a female pilot.
  • 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.
  • Running Gag: Hula girls became this based on the 2009 trailer, in which a hula girl statuette was visible in the cockpit of the protaganist's 'Mech.
  • Scenery Porn: The Tourmaline Desert map features black, crystalline growths about the map while the center 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. The Viridian Bog map features lush trees, lilly pads, and map-traversing insectoid carapace that all dwarf the 'Mechs that fight in it
  • Situational Damage Attack: Flamers and Machine Guns do very little damage against armored targets. However hits on exposed Internal Structure do substantially more damage and and have an increased % Chance to disable critical equipment, or cause an ammo explosion.
  • Urban Warfare: River City and Crimson Straits both fulfil this trope while still featuring a few open areas for longer-ranged builds to shine.

    Mech Warrior: Living Legends 
  • Anachronism Stew: The game 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.
  • 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.
  • Asteroid Thicket: "Extremity" 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.
  • Awesome but Impractical:
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • Auto Doc: Battle Armors in Living Legends have a self-healing system, which seals the suit and injects morphine into the player.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: In Living Legends, you suffer no adverse effects when your cockpit or Battle Armor is breached on "Extremity".
  • Beta Test: The planned official "release" was to be after the Mechlab was added and the game was feature-complete. The "Alpha" was the private build(s) used to test new content before being made public in the beta.0
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Cut Short: Living Legends's final content release came with several documents 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.
  • 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
  • Cast from Hit Points: Lasers in Living Legends, if you fire them while out of coolant and at the heat red-line. In laser-boating aircraft such as the Sulla "A", it's commonly said that its ammo is its armor.
  • Comeback Mechanic: Living Legends 0.7.0 introduced heavy scaling on points and cash. When a player in a light mech shoots at a player in an assault mech, the light player will get a huge bonus to their C-Bill reward and rank-up points. If the player in the assault mech fires back, he will receive a penalty to the regular c-bill reward and rank-up points. The system was put in place to stop the curb-stomp battles that often occurred in earlier versions. Now, if a player brings out an Assault Mech very early in the game (from banking with other players), he is essentially shooting himself in the foot - crippling his cash rewards and rank-up points.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Development Gag: Early versions of TC_Inferno in Living Legends had big signs in the aircraft hangar spawn rooms telling players DO NOT TAXI INTO WALL - at the time, the aircraft hangar spawned aerospace fighters facing towards a wall, meaning players had to taxi out, then turn towards the runway to take off. Most alpha testers would simply mash the throttle to max then plow into the wall at 400kph. Unfortunately, the signs didn't make it into the final version of the map.
  • Dual Mode Unit: The Long Tom Artillery Tank in Living Legends must be deployed in order to fire its 30 ton high explosive cannon, which can smite an enemy mech (and instagib light mechs) from almost two kilometers away if the pilot has a Target Spotter aiding them.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Fan Sequel: MechWarrior: Living Legends, a Crysis mod, 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.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: Mr. Bubbles in Living Legends. Mr. Bubbles is a one hundred ton bipedal tank with three ten ton rotary autocannons which can shred anything in the game in seconds.
  • Freeware Games: The game now comes bundled with the free Crysis Wars multiplayer demo, allowing anyone to pick up the game and play; previously, it was compatible only with the retail version.
  • Fragile Speedster:
    • 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.
    • 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 Dummied Out 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.
  • Glass Cannon
    • 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...
  • Gravity Screw:
    • "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.
  • Heroic RROD: Continuing to build up heat from firing all your weapons or running in Living Legends will cause your mech to literally melt from heat - the arms will often be the first thing to fall off, but it's also possible for running mechs to explosively leg themselves and face-plant into the ground. If you continue to ignore your arms falling off, and the computer screeching about heat, your reactor will explode, instantly killing you.
  • High-Pressure Blood: Cockpit kills in MWLL cause it to explode in a shower of blood the size of a small tank. This has been lovingly dubbed by some of the community as a 'slushie kill', in which the blood is said to be replaced by a large, make-believe red slushie.
  • 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-Series Nickname: Some mechs in Living Legends were given nicknames by the developers, such as the Bushwacker "Warthog" variant, which carries twin RAC/5 Gatling guns, or the Mad Cat MKII "Beatstick", which carries a pair of LBX/20 shotguns and jump jets.
  • 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.
  • Lethal Joke Character:
    • 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 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.
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • Lightning Bruiser:
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • More Dakka:
    • 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.
  • Multitrack Drifting: The Chevalier wheeled tank in Living Legends can drift.
  • Nose Art:
    • The Sparrowhawk in Living Legends has a shark mouth and triangular eyes painted on each side of the catamaran-like fuselage. The rest of the craft has dark red stripes.
    • The Uziel in Living Legends has a secret camouflage that gives it teeth and eyes on its protruding cockpit, and paints the entire mech blood red.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Robo Teching: 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.
  • Rocket Tag Gameplay: Early versions of Living Legends had battlemechs and tanks killing each other with alarming speed; a Heavy Gauss slug could One-Hit Kill any light mech and cripple anything else, for example. Version 0.3 buffed all land vehicles to have more armor to increase the duration of fights. Aerospace Fighters, however, were frequently capable of instagibbing each other with LB-X shotguns and Heavy Gauss Rifles, and was only partially alleviated in the final update with the infamous Shiva "E" being gimped and other variants being tweaked for more tradition dogfights rather than rocket-tag.
  • Scenery Porn: Take a look... 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
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Shout-Out: See Classic Cheat Code. Billboards Larsen Biscuits appear in Living Legends Solaris Arena maps.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Space Is Cold: "Extremity" is the coldest level in the game when the sun is set; a chilly -150 Celsius. During the day, when the sun is blaring overhead, it's somewhere around 250 Celsius.
  • Space Plane: Aerospace fighters in Living Legends. Because they have fusion engines, they do not need air in order to get thrust, and thus work perfectly fine on maps like "Extremity". The Donar VTOL works the same way. However, the Hawkmoth VTOL works perfectly fine on "Extremity" despite having an internal combustion engine.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Tactical Rock-Paper-Scissors:
    • Tanks beat Mechs in urban areas, Tanks, and Anti-Air.
    • Aerospace beats Tanks, Mechs, and Aerospace.
    • VTOL craft beats Aerospace, Battle Armor, and VTOL.
    • Anti-Air beats Aerospace, VTOL, and Battle Armor.
    • Battle Armor beats Battle Armor, Tanks, and large Mechs.
    • Mechs, depending on the loadout, beat Anti-Air, Mechs, Tanks, and some Aerospace.
  • Tank Goodness: Living Legends has tanks become awesome death machines. While they may not be as fast or maneuverable or adaptable as a mech, they mount truly absurd amounts of armor and big guns. Very big guns. A pair of Demolisher tanks is a truly terrifying sight, especially if they're sitting at the entrance of a base you need to capture. Light tanks like the Chevalier and Harasser are hilariously maneuverable, and they can both do powerslides.
  • Tech Demo Game: Living Legends required an obscenely powerful computer when it came out, one that would shame even the ridiculously powerful Crysis rigs, due to the huge and detailed maps, high-poly characters and assets, and lots of explosions and other effects. Later patches significantly improved the optimization (along with the switch to the much more optimized Crysis Wars engine), allowing even cheap(ish) gaming computers to run it.
  • 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.
  • Urban Warfare: There are several community-made city maps, where combat is close and brutal, which allows Battle Armor to go from being annoying little bastards to demonic death machines.
  • Weaponized Teleportation: Sort of. In Living Legends, it's possible to kill Battle Armor by throwing your gun at them at close range - the weapon will spawn inside the Battle Armor, instantly killing him in a shower of gibs. Of course, when said Battle Armor dies, his dropped weapon will on rare occasions, spawn inside you, if you're close enough.
  • 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.

Primary Objective: Inspect Tropes Page: Successful

Return to Dustoff Zone for Extraction

Alternative Title(s):

Mech Warrior, Battle Tech