Indie Space Combat Sim funded on Kickstarter. You are the pilot of an experimental "Strike Suit", essentially one of the fighters from Robo Tech or Macross. In the war between Earth and the Colonies, Earth's fleet has been decimated by a Colonial super-weapon with the ability to destroy planets with a single shot. Arriving too late to see the destruction, you are however in time to defend the couple of surviving capital ships from the Earth fleet. The weapon is now headed for Earth, and it is up to you to prevent Earth's destruction.Watch the trailer here.Has an arcadeified sequel called Strike Suit Infinity, focusing on survival mode and racking up points from killing endless waves of enemies.
This game provides examples of:
Animesque: Clear but a little downplayed. While they certainly drew from a lot of anime sources for inspiration, they drew from a lot of western sources as well. The mechanical designs were done by a well-known Japanese mecha designer, but they choose him because they felt his designs would mesh well with the rest of the art style they were going for.
Although averted with torpedoes and rockets for some reason (shooting the moon)
Awesome yet Practical: The Strike Suit itself with its Strike Mode falls under this. While it requires a little practice and few upgrades to master, it simply out performs all the other craft in almost all areas. Its Circus missiles allow it to engage and destroy multiple targets very quickly or do a lot of damage to a single target, and with careful use it can be spammed nearly continuously.
The Swarm missiles are the "little cousin" to the Circus missiles used in the Strike Suit's Strike Mode. Their small size means that a craft can carry a lot of them, they are hard for the target to dodge, and their multiple-firing ability allows them to be either conserved to take down a weak target with little wasted power or massed into a huge salvo to hammer a strong target down quickly. Their only major limitation is that they are shorter ranged than most missile weapons, but not by much.
Big Bulky Bomb: Anti-capital ship torpedoes, which move slowly but do a lot of damage when they hit. They are too big to be mounted on most fighters, so are typically fired by corvettes, frigates, and bombers. Larger ships, like cruisers, are capable of mounting even more effective anti-capital ship weaponry like beam cannons, so generally do not need torpedoes. Shooting these down before they can do too much damage to friendly targets is often part of defensive objectives in many missions.
Elite Fleet: The Black Fleet, who recruit the most talented pilots, officers, and crew from the rest of the Colonial forces, and given equipment to match. Hunting them down is Captain Bowman's obsession, and they appear in several missions to menace the player as Elite Mooks and eventually, a difficult target.
Escort Mission: Frequently a component in most missions, though some missions make it more important than others. For example, upon meeting the carrier Arcadia early in the game, its hull is damaged and its weapons systems are disabled so the player must fly escort and protect it. Later in the game it gets its repaired and its weapons systems come online, allowing it to defend itself better, though it still needs support. In most missions in which there are fleet engagements, this trope is more downplayed: the Earth fleet and Colonial fleets duke it out with anti-ship weapons, and the player must fly support to shoot down torpedeos heading for their own ships and strafe the big turrets off enemy ships in order to protect their own fleet and shift the scales in their favor.
Everybody's Dead, Dave: See the second mission. And there wasn't even a battle - all the debris is from the destroyed Earth Fleet
Exact Words: When "Control" introduces herself, she very carefully does not say that she is an artificial intelligence, just that files classify her as one. She also does not say that control is her name, just that she is called that by U.N.E. scientists.
Glass Cannon: The Strike Suit, compared to other craft. It has good performance, and moderate weaponry, but relatively poor shielding. However, when engaging Strike Mode, its offensive power is multiplied several-fold, but it moves very slowly making it even more vulnerable than usual. This makes it suited to high risk, high reward combat.
"Groundhog Day" Loop: Should you choose to destroy the core of the Relic, the resulting explosion will warp space-time and cause the events of the game to repeat itself over and over, until you choose to destroy the Limiters instead.
Guide Dang It: Unlocking the upgrade in Mission 11. You're required to complete the mission in 15 minutes, but only the first part of the mission actually requires the player to trigger the event flags to continue. Making things worse is that the very first one isn't particularly obvious; the player is given the objective to destroy around 20 enemy fighters, but this has nothing to do with clearing the mission. Instead, you have to ignore the fighters and help your capitol ships take out the frigate as quickly as possible.
Hero Killer: Torpedoes and Beam Cannons are the only weapons that can deal respectable damage on capital ships; Torpedoes can be intercepted, Beam Cannons can't. It is in your best interest to quickly take down enemy Beam Cannons and intercept as much Torpedoes as you can, as capital ship-vs-capital ship combat will quickly devolve into which side is packing more Torpedoes and Beam Cannons. Plus, it's awesome to watch enemy capital ships getting ripped apart by your side's Beam Cannons.
High-Speed Missile Dodge: Can be done in Pursuit Mode (which is the only mode for most craft) if the player can turn tightly enough at the right time. This is helped by an EMP device used to scramble the targeting and detonators of incoming missiles, but it only works at very close range, draws power from the extra thrust capacitors, and must be manually activated by the pilot. It is functionally like chaff or flares contemporary planes use to evade missiles. Played a bit straighter in Strike Mode (only available to the Strike Suit) which disables the EMP and limits motion, but enables various attitude thrusters which allow the Suit to "sidestep" (at almost Flash Step speeds) incoming missiles with the right timing.
Hyperspace Arsenal: Generally averted, ships have hard points for a few weapons and their associated ammunition magazines, and can only hold a limited amount. However there are exceptions:
Played straight with the Strike Suits Circus missiles, which have a limited magazine size, but that magazine completely restocks every time the Strike Suit enters Strike Mode. The only limit on how many it can fire in one mission is by how fast it builds up flux energy. Considering that the weaponry in the Strike Mode is tied into the fold drive, this may be a literal Hyperspace Arsenal.
More subtly, the Strike Suit only has hardpoints for one pair of guns and one pair of missile launchers, but can equip three pairs of each (counting the unique guns/missiles used in Strike mode). When you switch weapons in combat, the new weapon instantly replaces the old in a swirl of blue energy. As above, this may be a literal Hyperspace Arsenal.
Played straight with the torpedoes launched by the Blade bomber, which has a slow cycle time on their launch but never runs out.
Limit Break: The Strike Suit's "Strike Mode" feature, in which it changes form, diverts power from the engines, and uses the fold-drive to enhance all weapon systems, consumes Flux energy from its internal capacitor when firing. The Flux energy is built up slowly over time, but destroying targets builds it up faster. This energy is only expended when firing in Strike Mode, and every further target destroyed adds a little, rewarding a player for using it efficiently.
Macross Missile Massacre: Possible with swarm missiles, turned Up to Eleven when the Strike Suit switches into humanoid form and can fire up to forty missiles simultaneously and at multiple targets.
Notably, the strike suit's main missile is called the "Circus." note As in "Itano" circus.
The Raptor DLC suit makes this much more blatantly obvious, using the "MTAM Itano" as its primary missile system.
Missile Lock On: Most missile weapons require a lock on to fire, and when fired at the player will play the standard missile alert bleep. When the missile gets close, a little counter showing distance will appear and the alert beeping will increase in frequency, helping the player time their EMP countermeasures or do a High-Speed Missile Dodge.
No Endor Holocaust: Ruthlessly averted if you don't have enough medals to secure the good endgame. The earth is devastated by the fallout and debris of the final battle and humanity has to leave the homeworld entirely to avoid extinction.
Obvious Beta: Broken objectives, performance issues on even extremely high-end computers and serious camera issues while in humanoid mode suggest that this game should have spent a lot more time in QA.
Fixed very quickly [to an extent] with a patch, which also fixed some of the big complaints about difficulty (Namely horrendously unforgiving checkpoint system). Very rough launch however.
One-Hit Kill: Torpedoes will one-shot anything up to enemy Corvettes. As well, if you're unlucky enough to get hit by one, it's an instant kill.
Point Defenseless: While all large ships do have flak turrets, they do very little damage. In fact, they seem barely able to shoot down incoming torpedoes. However, they do tend to shake-up enemy ships that they hit even with shields, making precise targeting by those ships difficult. In this way, they are the space equivalent of Annoying Arrows.
The fighter craft trails were inspired by TRON. Although this can be said that it draws from fighter trails in Homeworld.
The final level is obviously very much inspired by Star Fox 64, namely the tunnels before you fly through (also has aspects of moving through small gaps like in Venom). Shooting down torpedoes also evokes memories of Sector Z from the same game.
Space Clouds: Played straight with the nebula in the game. In addition to concealing ships, it also interferes with Missile Lock On, restricting ships to direct-fire weapons (including dumb-fire rockets) only.
Space Is Air: As per usual for space fighter games SSZ follows the Star Wars constant thrust = constant speed model of spaceflight.
Subsystem Damage: On larger ships and stations, turrets and the other occasional system are targetable independently from the ship itself, and have their own set of damage distinct from the hull that they are mounted on. The player will rarely be able to effectively destroy larger ships with their own weapons, but will frequently be pressed into doing strafing runs to disable the enemy ship's guns to protect other friendly ships who will strike the killing blows.
Super Prototype: The titular Strike Suit is a unique craft, only having recently been designed by a similarly unique A.I. / human hybrid.
Theme Music Power-Up: In the third mission, just after Adams gets into the cockpit of the titular Strike Suit. Happens in a few other missions as well to encourage the player when they need to be aggressive.
Transforming Mecha: Pretty much the point of the game - the titular Strike Suit can transform into a humanoid shape, which gives it vastly increased maneuverability and firepower. Can only be done once the player has built up enough "flux", by destroying enemies.
Why You Should Destroy the Planet Earth: Because the war is too expensive to keep fighting long but giving up is unacceptable. Thus the Colonial forces are willing to go to desperate lengths to achieve victory and ensure their independence.