Video Game / Senko no Ronde
aka: Wartech

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/senkonoro_300px_3466.jpg

"It's a story from long, long ago — Fortuna was born in the nook of a small village. Ever since she was born she never stopped crying. Her wailing voice caused many people to suffer. If she didn't stop her wails would eventually cover the entire world. "Fortuna will surely be gone in 100 years time" The people held to that hope and entrusted it to the distant skies. The people ran from the ark known as Earth... And so Fortuna, who was all alone, cried until she took her final breath. — In this way, the old world came to an end. And a new world, began."
Senko no Ronde's opening

Senko no Ronde is a bullet hell Shoot 'em Up-meets-Fighting Game produced by G.rev and arguably one of their most ambitious titles, as the team enlisted the help of doujin artists Shuji Sogabe and Mizuki Takayama to handle the character illustrations while Koichi Mugitani handles the mecha design, ex-ZUNTATA member Yasuhisha Wanatabe to compose the game's music, and a cast of various seiryuus to help bring this title into inception.

The story setting of Senko no Ronde and character art-style is heavily influenced by Keiko Takemiya's space opera manga series, Toward the Terra. The game is set in the future in which human beings fled Earth following a great disaster, and after 1,500 years are only now returning to the planet. Much of the story takes place in colonies set up across the solar system. While the Aria Federation acts as a system-wide government, much of the police activity and military work is actually handled by private security organizations run by large corporations such as Goddiver. Many character backgrounds harken to an incident in the past known as the Embassy Occupation Incident, where terrorists took several hundred people hostage, then self-destructed, killing dignitaries, ambassadors, and civilians.

The game pits players in a circular field where they pilot mechas called "Rounders", each with their own variety of bullets, missiles, and laser weaponry. The game is best known for incorporating shoot 'em up gameplay elements into a fighting game, particularly each Rounder possesses a super-powered Shell called B.O.S.S., which when combined, turns the player's Rounder into a large-scale shoot 'em up-esque end-boss with many intricate bullet patterns. Each characters' Rounders also uses two different cartridges, one emphasizing on power and the other for speed, with varying bullet patterns between the two. Aside from it's shoot 'em up style of gameplay, it has been often considered as "a 2D version of Virtual-ON" due to sharing many general gameplay concepts and mechanics.

The game first debuted on arcades in Japan on Sega's NAOMI hardware on April 26th, 2005, and over the years, saw a few revisions on arcades (namely to address some flaws found in the initial version of the game) and a console port on the Xbox 360 in 2006, which unfortunately stayed in Japan and the region-lock on the console version didn't help. Thankfully (and miraculously) UbiSoft localized the game to North America and Europe in 2007, allowing those outside of Japan to play it. The game's localization is rather scathing for some since it suffers from a case of American Kirby is Hardcore by slapping on "WarTech" as the game's title just to make it pronounceable for those who can't pronounce "Senko no Ronde" to save their lives. Not only that, but the cover-art for the North American and European release only gives the impression that the game is all about cold-hearted machines duking it out for the player's amusement rather than its space opera storyline.

The game later received a sequel in 2009 with Senko no Ronde: Dis-United Order (or Senko no Ronde: DUO for short), which also got ported to the Xbox 360 a year later with an extended character selection and an expansion of the story. Sadly it's only released in Japan with no intentions of bringing the sequel overseas and it's also region-locked. It was also later released in arcades in Japan on the NESCiAxLive arcade service. Unlike its predecessor, Dis-United Order is a 2-on-2 fighting game where players can use another character to perform support attacks.

A follow-up title is currently in the works for the PlayStation Vita although it will very different from its predecessors and will most likely be an entirely different game.


Senko no Ronde provides trope examples of:

  • A Mech by Any Other Name: Called "Rounders" in this game.
  • Absolute Cleavage: Philomena Pasquini in the sequel, and to a similar extent, Anechka Alferov in said game.
  • After-Combat Recovery: In the Score Attack mode, you regain 50% of your Armor Gauge after each round.
  • After the End: Upwards of 1,500 years after the "Great Disaster" drove humans away from Earth, to live in space and in colonies on other planets.
  • All There in the Manual: A lot of the information on the characters, organizations, Rounders, and terminology can be found in the Extras menu.
  • Air Jousting: One of Fabian's special moves.
  • Age-Inappropriate Dress: Ernula's Cartridge-A1 outfit has her wearing a see-through dress and thigh h igh boots. Her Cartridge-B2 outfit has her wearing a bikini that reveals some under-boobage underneath a see-through hooded shirt complete with thigh-highs.
  • American Kirby is Hardcore: The overseas version of the box-art of the first game only gives the impression the game is all about cold-hearted machines rather than the space opera storyline inspired by Toward the Terra.
  • Animal-Eared Headband: Cuilan wears a cat-eared one with Sailor Fuku costume. Ernula has a rabbit-eared headband with one of her Cartridge-B2 outfit.
  • Animal Motif: Of rabbits for Ernula since she's fond of them and many of her costumes resembles one, even the inside of her Rounder's cockpit incorporate them on the interface. Lili's motif is one to butterflies, from the butterfly hair clip she wears with some of her costumes to her Rounder resembling one.
  • Apocalypse How: Told in metaphor during the opening narration, where the end of the world is described as a crying girl whose wailing caused the entire world to suffer.
    • Finding the truth about the "Great Disaster" is the motivation for several characters in the game. Supposedly, the records are closely guarded by Goddiver's Corrupt Corporate Executive.
  • Ascended Extra and Promoted to Playable: Narukami, normally an NPC character seen in the Story Mode, is playable through Karel by Downloadable Content in the first game.
    • Anechka Alferov, Mika's girlfriend and another Story Mode extra in the first game, becomes an assist character in Senko no Ronde: Dis-United Order.
  • Assist Character: Built with them in mind for Senko no Ronde: Dis-United Order.
  • Attack Drone: Lili's Brinstä, Karel's Azureus, Mika's Ventuno-II and Ernula's Castrato all possess attack bits. Lili's fires lasers, Karel's and Mika's fire missiles, and Ernula's reflects her Rounder's Wave Motion Gun around the battlefield.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Changpo, Cuilan, Fabian, Ernula, and Karel from the first game have costumes that exposes their mid-sections.
  • Battleship Raid: One of the final bosses of the first game.
  • Berserk Button: Cuilan, an android boy, gets very angry if he's treated like a kid.
  • Beware My Stinger Tail: The tail of Cuilan's Orangette has a ring blade at the end of it, which can be swung like a weapon.
  • BFS: Orangette's Shell, the Orbital Sword. It's a humongous sword that can carve huge chunks of the opponent's armor and it covers a sizable amount of the screen, but it can full apart easily if you know where to attack it.
  • Bishōnen: Mika and Fabian introduced the first game, while Cuilan's one in-training. In Dis-United Order, we also get Lev Lefanu, Henri Xiatien, Gustav Grafenburg, Luca Werfel and Itsuka Gotoh.
  • Big Bad: Ansel Modred from the first game.
  • Blood Knight: Lili's other side, she enjoys fighting and wrecking stuff more than anything, and she doesn't care if she ends getting herself killed in the process (which did happen in her Scenario-A ending).
  • Boss Warning Siren: A siren sounds off when a Final B.O.S.S. has been activated in the first game; in the sequel, a siren goes off when any B.O.S.S. mode is activated. Regardless of the game that's being played, cue the other player's Oh Crap! response.
  • Bullet Hell: The final stages in each character's story mode is a more straight version, with the character's Rounder facing a battleship in true shoot 'em up fashion.
    • Almost every attack from every Rounder invokes this in some fashion, B.O.S.S. modes even moreso, but still pale in comparison to the Story Mode final battles.
  • Calling Your Attacks: A few of the characters does this.
    Changpo: "Scimitar smash!!"
  • Charge Attack: The main weapon of Lili's Brinstä is a "hold" type. Charging up the weapon will cause it to release more bullets upon detonation or impact.
  • Cheerful Child: Ernula and most of her duplicates save for one them, of which is an Emotionless Robot Girl.
  • The Chick: Lili in Mika's squad.
  • Cognizant Limbs: The Rounder's B.O.S.S. forms has different parts that can be destroyed, potentially weakening its firepower or get better access to its sweet-spot.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Both player's bullets are in different colors to avoid confusion of who's attacks are coming from.
  • Combining Mecha: The Rounders when joining with their Shells.
  • Cool Big Sis: Changpo, to Cuilan.
  • Competitive Multiplayer: This being a fighting game, the multiplayer aspect is focused on shooting and fighting each other until the winner comes out on top.
  • Critical Status Buff: Upon reaching Armor Vanish state, your Rounder's hit-box becomes visible, its maneuverability increases, and the Charge Meter fills up x2.5 faster than normal (but after activation of Final B.O.S.S. mode, it slows down considerably). Upon entering this state, your Rounder also releases an Anti-Field to clear out bullets near-by.
  • Curtains Match the Window: Changpo, Sakurako, Lili, and Ernula, and Dixie.
  • Cute and Psycho: Feltelen "Lili" Levinas, it's hard not to like her meek personality... until she snaps...
    Lili: "Will you show me how beautifully you can die?"
  • Cyber Cyclops: Citronette, Orangette, and Azureus.
  • Dance Battler: Lilli in the first game with her Barrage Attacks.
  • Death from Above: Sakurako's Triad is capable of dropping bombs within adjacent range of the opponent. It's Final B.O.S.S. form attack and it's assist attack in the second game takes this even further by filling the area with bombs in a wide area.
  • Didn't Need Those, Anyway: Mika's Shell can even sacrifice its own parts for certain attacks, like giving up its thruster to perform a screen-filling barrage of bullets with its Final B.O.S.S. attack.
  • Downer Ending: In Lili's Scenario-A ending, she thrusts herself into the core the Final Boss, and after a blinding flash of light, Lili and her Brinstä were never seen or heard from again. After a fruitless, week-long search for her, Mika and Fabian came across an old farewell recording of Lili made a long time ago and revealed that she knew all along about her "other" side.
    • Thankfully these events are not canon as she lives to be in Senko no Ronde: Dis-United Order.
  • Downloadable Content: The first game has extra DLC costumes for the characters that also changes the palette of their Rounders. Unfortunately, the DLCs was never released outside of Japan, however it may be possible to use them in the English version by purchasing them with a Japanese Xbox LIVE account.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Cuilan, and it gets taken even further in the sequel.
  • Every 10,000 Points: In the Arcade Mode of the first game, you gain an extra life and B.O.S.S. stock for the first 1,000,000pts, then scoring another 2,000,000pts, and finally another 3,000,000pts.
  • Everything's Better with Spinning: Some of the characters utilizes some spin attacks into their repertoire of moves.
    • Mika's Full Range Attack, Changpo's Sweet Roll, and Karel's Retsu attacks cause them to spin their Rounders around and spray bullets in a wide spread area. With Changpo's Sweet Roll, she can also use this move to deflect enemy fire (but not explosives or beam attacks).
    • Changpo's, Fabian's, and Ernula's close-range sub-weapon attacks. Changpo and Ernula spin their Rounders and cut their opponents with their blades; Fabian sticks his Graphride's sword into the "ground" and swings his Rounder's body around by the hilt, striking them with the skis.
    • Lili's Tremble Dance move will cause her Brinstä to spin around as she fires her projectiles, unleashing a barrage of bullets to either scatter throughout the area or home-in on her opponent.
    • Ernula has two spinning attacks: Her Consonance Cutter which acts similar to Changpo's Sweet Roll but she only spins her Castrato's blades around to cut enemy fire or her opponents, and Trio Sonata where she spins Castrato as she fires off a barrage of bullets and missiles.
    • The main attack of Cuilan's Orbital Sword, and it hits hard.
  • Expressive Accessory: The rabbits with Ernula's clothes.
  • Fake Longevity: The Achievements in the Xbox 360 port of the first game, they require you play ranked matches to unlocked them. There's Achievements that can only be unlocked by your online rank and, even worse, how many times you played against an opponent. The biggest offender though has to go the 1,000 Ranked Matches Achievement.
  • Fanservice Pack: The sequel has some of the female characters in more revealing outfits.
  • Flash Step: Lili's Dragon Waltz move and during a close-ranged sub-attack. "Squid's" second form also does this when its close to defeat.
  • Forehead of Doom: Sakurako's Cartridge-A3 outfit has her bangs held back by a headset.
  • Fun with Acronyms: B.O.S.S. stands for Booster for Over-armed Shell System.
    • S.S.S. (Triple S) stands for Aria Federation's Special Space Service.
    • G.S.O. stands for Goddiver Security Organization.
  • Frickin' Laser Beams: Homing lasers. Arching lasers. Ring lasers. Laser bombs. The future loves lasers!
  • Gatling Good: Sakurako's Triad has a gatling gun that can be fired along with her main gun while using her Fear Volley move.
  • Gameplay Grading: After each stage in Score Attack Mode, you earn bonus points for how quickly you cleared the stage and how much life you have left, and in the sequel, how many times you beaten a B.O.S.S.; if you can beat the stage with full health, you get double the life bonus. At the end of the Score Attack Mode, you also get a final bonus for your remaining lives and B.O.S.S. Stocks; in the arcade version of the first, there's also a bonus how many hits you pulled off in a combo.
  • The Glasses Come Off: Sakurako's A2 Final B.O.S.S. cut-in.
  • Gratuitous English: Often from Changpo and a bit from Ernula.
  • Guide Dang It: The North American and European manual of the first game contain inaccurate command input to perform each Rounders' Barrage Attacks. The actual command input for each attack can be found in game's Image Gallery under "Others" in the Extras menu.
    • It also doesn't help the Xbox 360 version of Senko no Ronde lacks any sort of tutorials for playing the game in general that the original arcade game had.
  • Hair Antennae: Ernula with some of her outfits. They're styled to resemble rabbit ears.
  • Hitbox Dissonance: Senko no Ronde is, at its core, a Bullet Hell game. It would be considerably more difficult if not for this.
  • Hot-Blooded: Changpo was also somewhat competitive with her prodigy-like piloting skills, which ends up causing trouble for everybody. As she spent time as Sakurako's subordinate, Changpo matured and grew out of this.
  • Homage: To Toward the Terra. The game uses a similar character art-style to the manga and the game's storyline is set roughly a millennia apart from Toward the Terra. Other similarities includes that 100 years must pass in order for Earth to be habitable again, pretty-looking guys, and sometimes implied shounen-ai without any actual implications of it between their respective characters.
  • Hotter and Sexier: Anechka from the first game is more modestly-dressed compared to her appearance in the sequel.
  • Humongous Mecha: The Rounders, which are "as common as cars". Special military-use Rounders called "Hi-Rounders" require a special license.
  • In-Series Nickname: "Lili" is pet name for Feltelen Levinas.
    • Fabian Fatman gave himself the nickname of "Fastman" simply because he does not like his surname since he's not over-weight.
  • Impressive Pyrotechnics: When a Final B.O.S.S. is destroyed.
  • Kick Chick: Sakurako, or at least in the way she pilots her Triad in the first game.
  • Kind-hearted Rabbit Lover: Ernula is very fond rabbits, and sometimes are part of her accessories and outfit.
  • Lag Cancel: The time to reload a main-weapon can be canceled by dashing. A few other attacks can also be canceled in this fashion.
  • The Lancer: Fabian, to Mika.
  • Last Chance Hit Point: When the Armor Gauge is depleted, the character's Rounder enters Armor Vanish mode. Any further hits while in Armor Vanish will result in defeat.
  • Latex Spacesuit: Some of the characters wear one. In one of her outfits, Ernula's is mostly transparent.
  • The Leader: Mika is Type-II, to Fabian and Lili of S.S.S.'s Hermit squad. Sakurako is also a Type-II to Changpo and Cuilan of G.S.O.
  • Life Meter: The Armor Gauge.
  • Limit Break: If a B.O.S.S. is activated while during Armor Vanish, it will initiate its Final B.O.S.S. mode. During this mode, the Shell gains different and more powerful attacks. A Final B.O.S.S.' energy gauge depletes at a slower rate than normal as well. If the opponent succeeds in destroying the Shell during Final B.O.S.S. mode, the Rounder will be destroyed with it.
    • This has made for some very impressive comeback battles in tournament play, though is also risky.
  • Market-Based Title / The Foreign Subtitle: Outside of Japan, the game was dubbed as "WarTech: Senko no Ronde"
  • Macross Missile Massacre: Many Rounders launch sprays of missiles as special attacks. Some Shells do this, too.
  • Meaningful Name: The game's title can be roughly translated as "Encircling Dance of Light". Explanation 
  • Megane: Karel, and to some extent, Mika. Dis-United Order introduces three more meganes, Jasper Hilqult Hongo, Alexandro Gilardino, and Isuka Gotoh.
  • Meganekko: Sakurako's with her Cartridge-A2 and DLC costumes. Philomena Pasquini in the second game also a meganekko.
  • Meta Multiplayer: Leaderboards in the Xbox 360 ports of the games.
  • Mirror Match: In Ernula's story from the first game, she is eventually pitted against one of her own duplicate units.
  • More Dakka: It's hard to find a Rounder or a Shell that doesn't spew bullets everywhere. The Story Mode final bosses suppliment enough dakka with a handy Wave Motion Gun or two.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Changpo and Ernula. In the sequel, there's also Ursure Uexkull, Philomena Pasquini, and Ranatus. Anechka also becomes one in the sequel.
  • Multiple Endings: The first game's Story Mode have two branching story paths that can change the ending depending on certain story dialogues heard during a match.
  • Nice Hat: Mika, Fabian, Lili, Ernula, and Cuilan in the first game, depending on the outfit. Katie Xiatien, Mieze Merckx, Dixie Dutilleux, and Nino Picciloli also wears one.
  • No Name Given: The other final boss of the first game is namely referred by the characters as "target".
  • No Pronunciation Guide: Because of the odd mix of Japanese and French in the game's title, there has been confusion on how it is pronounced in the West, so much most reviewers either don't bother looking up how it is supposed to be pronounced or use its slapped-on American title instead. The proper pronunciation is "Sen-Ko No Rond", as the "e" in the title is silent.
  • Non-Standard Mecha Design: In the first game, most of the Rounders have generally humanoid designs while Ernula's Castrato has a more space ship-like design.
  • Opera Gloves: Ernula wears them with one of her outfits. Also Anechka wears them in the sequel.
  • Palette Swap: Each costume changes your Rounder's color scheme.
  • Panty Shot: Changpo's Cartridge-B2 and Lili's Cartridge-A1 outfits have cut-ins with their panties peeking out.
  • Pointless Band-Aid: Fabian, over his nose.
  • Power Gives You Wings: More like "Titanic Wings Gives Your Humongous Mecha Power" in the case of Madam Butterfly, the B.O.S.S. form of Lili's Brinstä.
  • Power Glows: Karel's Azureus' sub-weapon makes it tails glow in the original arcade version; in the Xbox 360 version, Azureus' entire body glows.
  • Proper Tights with a Skirt: Sakurako and Lili in both games, and also Katie Xiatien from the sequel.
  • Reflecting Laser: Ernula's Rounder, Castrato, wields a weapon called Ensemble Laser. If she deploys her Option Unit "Consonance", the Ensemble Laser can be reflected around the battlefield, penning in the enemy or hitting them from unexpected angles.
  • Ridiculously Human Robot: According Sakurako in Ernula's Scenario-A path of the first game, she finds out that Ernula is closer to being human than any present android ever created.
  • Roboteching: Ernula's Curtain Call, Lili's Brinstä and Madam Butterfly B.O.S.S. Mode, and Changpo's Citronette do this with lasers. Several Rounders fire missiles that do this, too.
  • Robot Girl: Ernula, who also consists of several android girls, so multiple duplicates of Ernula exist. Ranatus from the sequel is also an android girl. Cuilan, an android boy, is sometimes mistaken for one.
  • Rule of Cool: There's no justification for B.O.S.S. modes beyond this.
  • Sailor Fuku: Changpo, Lili, and Ernula can wear one as DLC. So can Cuilan and Fabian.
  • Sci-Fi Bob Haircut: Lili in the first game. Her hairstyle changed in the second game.
  • Scoring Points: Each game features a Score Attack mode, which acts as a standard Arcade Mode seen from other fighting games.
  • Sequential Boss: The S.S.S. battleship Basso Serio and Squid both do this. Squid only has two forms, while Basso Serio puts you against the bow gun emplacements, the bridge tower gun emplacements and main cannon, then the jump core defense system. On certain characters and story routes, this is followed by a battle with another character.
  • She's Got Legs: Anechka and Ranatus in the sequel. Cuilan is a Rare Male Example of this, especially in the second game.
  • Shout-Out: Whenever another player enters in the game during a single-player session in the arcade game, "THE HI-ROUNDER IS APPROCHING FAST!" appears on screen.
    • Changpo's Citronette is named after Mizuki Takayama's doujin circle of the same name, who is also the artist who contributed to the character designs; Shuji Sogabe was a also former member of the doujin circle.
    • Changpo's Choco Topping move shares Koichi Mugitani's pen name CHOCO.
    • Cuilan and Ernula have DLC costumes that resembles the main characters from Mamoru-kun Curse!, G.rev's Spiritual Successor to Kiki Kai Kai.
  • Smart Bomb: Mika's Reactor Bomb move act as one to protect himself from enemy fire or anyone closing in for a close-range attack.
  • Spiritual Successor: To Taito's Psychic Force although Senko no Ronde's gameplay is more akin to a bullet hell shooter than its spiritual predecessor. G.rev was founded by Taito's former arcade division that worked on games such as G-Darius and RayStorm, and they also implement the special move input system from Psychic Force into this game.
  • Split Personality: Lili due to experimental augmentations. During her Scenario-A ending, it was revealed that she knew all along about her unstable personality.
  • Spread Shot: Some of the Rounders' weapons and Barrage Attacks.
  • Stocking Filler: Ernula's Cartridge-B2 outfit features this.
  • Stripperiffic: Some of Changpo, Ernula and her successor Ranatus in the sequel, and Cuilan's outfits.
  • Super-Deformed: Chibi versions of the characters can be purchased as downloadable content.
  • Super Mode: The B.O.S.S. found with each Rounder turns it into a shoot 'em up-inspired boss vehicle with large arrays of devastating weaponry and the ability to damage the enemy just by touching them. Knowing when to activate a B.O.S.S. stock is important in high-level play strategies.
  • Super Move Portrait Attack: When activating a Rounder's Final B.O.S.S. mode.
  • Sword and Gun: About of half of the Rounders in the first game carry a fire-arm and a melee weapon. Fabian's Graphride is seen with a gun and a sword.
  • Team Mom: Sakurako, to Changpo and Cuilan.
  • Theme Naming: Lili's Barrage Attacks are named after different dance styles.
  • Token Mini-Moe: Ernula from the first game and Dixie Dutilleux from Dis-United Order.
  • Updated Re-release: The arcade had a few revisions after the initial release. New Version was released to address the issues of initial version of the game (e.g. Ernula needed to be unlocked with a code, mirror matches not being possible, and character balance problems) while adding a new alternate mode for the Action Button. SP adds further re-balances characters and a Novice Mode function where you start with higher offense and defense, but you're locked out of using Overdrive. Your Rounder will also enter Final B.O.S.S. mode whenever it reaches Armor Vanish state when possible. The other trade-off is that your defense will decrease as you win matches.
  • Voice with an Internet Connection: Just about every dialogue during gameplay.
  • Wave Motion Gun: Boss unit Squid and some of the gun emplacements on the Basso Serio battleship. Ernula's Curtain Call has one, as well, using its crab-like arms as a Wave-Motion Tuning Fork.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Henri and Katie Xia Xiatien have dark green hair. Ranatus has light blue. Mieze has white hair.
  • Zettai Ryouki: Cuilan and Ernula in the first game. Lilli in one of the first game's endings also sports thigh-highs. Sakurako as well while wearing her Latex Spacesuit in Senko no Ronde SP, which is also a DLC costume for the first game's console port.
    • In the sequel, Philomena, Shinbou Sanjo, Changpo, and Ursure Uexkull also wear thigh-highs.

Alternative Title(s): Wartech

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/VideoGame/SenkoNoRonde?from=Main.Wartech