0% Approval Rating: In his brief reign as President, Richard has re-established slave labor, completely militarized and fortified the country's major metropolises, flooded the city of Chicago with poison gas, installed a Wave Motion Gun on Alcatraz Island, and terrorized New York with a giant mechanical spider. To his credit, he at least subconsciously acknowledges that everyone hates him and runs a Bathos laced propaganda campaign to boost his approval ratings out of the .000%-range.
Affectionate Parody: Specifically of From's other series Armored Core, but also of mecha shows, American action movies, and politics in general. Some people claim it's satire, but it's much too cheerful about everything to count as that. Specifically, it seems like a parody of movies with Action Presidents such as Independence Day or Air Force One.
Card-Carrying Villain: We never hear any of Richard's motivations beyond some incomprehensible propaganda near the beginning. He just hates freedom for some reason.
We are told near the end that Richard is doing this because he believes America has become corrupt and lazy (possibly due to too much freedom) and he intends to create a stronger nation by culling the weak.
Or so we think, for all we know he is merely using this as a testing bed for social engineering when Pax Economia comes.
Catch Phrase: No less than five - "Believe in your own justice," for the game as a whole, "Because, yes! The pen is still mightier than the sword!" for Peter MacDonald, "I, Richard Hawk," for, well, Richard Hawk, "Because I am the President of the United States!" for Michael and "The password is ______" for the Government Policy Promotion Department. No, really.
RICHARD!: What do you think of my cute lil' pet? Thanks to him, the people of New York City are right now festively... uh... Running around and trying to escape! Uh, it's like a big ol' carnival, it's like Mardi Gras, in New York or something, heh heh heh...
Disproportionate Retribution: The Government Policy Promotion Department's final broadcast announces that the following are subject to arrest and execution - Insurgents, Metal Wolf sympathizers, their families, their friends and acquaintances, anyone who has ever attended any form of school with them and any co-workers.
Eagleland: This game is drowning in it, and it shows: 1up has labeled this as the Number 1 Most Insanely Patriotic Game. And Michael Wilson is the Number 1 President.
Moral Dissonance: Who knows who many perfectly innocent Americans, not to mention soldiers just doing their jobs, Michael blows up in his fight for freedom? More importantly, who cares? Go blow more of it up! And don't worry about killing innocents. Only the really evil people die. Barring Richard himself, presumably.
My Country, Right or Wrong: A number of minibosses were Wilson's comrades in the Insurrection, who refuse to betray Richard Hawk despite sympathizing with Michael's cause.
Noodle Incident: While it's hinted at that Michael's presidency, Richard's evilness, and nearly every involved party's past is connected to a conflict called the Arizona Conflict or the Arizona Insurrection, we are never shown or told about what exactly happened there. All we are told (as an aside, no less) is that Michael received a Congressional Medal of Honor during that conflict. (If Armored Core is any indication, Arizona attempted to secede from the Union only to be met with the superweapons of the US, which included Michael's power armor.)
Shout-Out: Among other things, the massive assault helicopter/floating fortress is named Olajuwon, after Hakeem Olajuwon, the star of the Houston Rockets during the 90's who led the team to winning back-to-back world championships.
And later From Software game Ninja Blade is the spiritual successor to Metal Wolf Chaos, doing to Ninja Gaiden what this did to Armored Core. The game is set chronologically earlier than MWC, and Michael Wilson (well, his father at least) gets a Previous Player-Character Cameo as the player's boss. He's taken hostage by a villainous ninja halfway through the game, and an entire cutscene is devoted to him breaking out of his bonds and beating the shit out of the ninja with his bare hands. (Yes, the President gets kidnapped by a ninja, but he's a bad enough dude to save himself.)
Gameplay-wise Armored Core 5 is a tweaked Metal Wolf Chaos with some Chrome Hounds thrown in.
Twenty Minutes into the Future: The game pulls the standard ambiguous date of "20XX", but since the player character is the 47th President the game is guaranteed to take place (as of 2012) between 2020 and 2040.
Unexplained Recovery: Characters regularly survive helicopter explosions, hand waving it by saying "we have thorough knowledge of how to escape", or even just "I have somehow managed to escape!".
Wave Motion Gun: The Alcatraz Cannon, an anti-terrorism weapon. As the narrator on the Let's Play video above comments on it:
"I just love the idea of building a massive particle cannon to fight terrorism. I can just picture some poor sap with a dirty bomb in a shopping mall, blown to smithereens by giant laser artillery. Wouldn't be out of place in this game."