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Video Game: Super Robot Wars Alpha

We'll go into the space over our future.
We're looking for the place under the shining star.
"Skill" - JAM Project

In the year 179 of the New Western Calendar, the One Year War breaks out between the Earth Federation and the Principality of Zeon, but is halted when an object crashes to Earth, landing on South Atalia Island. An investigative team from the "Extra-Over Technological Investigative Institute" discovers the object is an alien battleship with highly-advanced technology. Heeding the warnings of Dr. Bian Zoldark, the Federation secretly increases its military power, while hiding the evidence of intelligent extraterrestrial life beyond the Earth. In the meantime, Bian utilizes "Extra-Over Technology" found on the ship to devise weapons capable of protecting the Earth from alien forces, should the planet become embroiled in conflict.

However, the economic troubles caused by the Federation's buildup sees the rise of many anti-Federation movements, such as the Neo Zeon, who have retreated to the asteroid Axis. In response, the Federation establishes special forces units, including the Titans and the Organization of Zodiac. Other forces, like the Dinosaur Empire and Dr. Hell begin their plans for world domination, but are pushed back by the teams of Mazinger Z, Getter Robo, and Raideen.

In the year 187, the battleship Excelion battles a force of "STMCs" (Space Terrible Monster Crowd) when they are suddenly attacked by another unknown alien fleet, codenamed the "Aerogaters"...

Thus begins the four-part saga of Super Robot Wars Alpha, perhaps the best-known and most popular of all the Super Robot Wars series. It also holds the distinction of introducing the music of JAM Project into the franchise. This page is not enough to cover this series; as a result, there's a recap summary for the fine details.

Tropes associated with the Alpha series:

  • Adaptational Badass: Shinji Ikari, after receiving the infamous "Bright Slap".
  • After the End: In Alpha Gaiden, after scenario 9, no less than three of them have occurred.
  • Apocalypse How: So many on so many levels. In Alpha 3, there's no less than three "X-2" situations; in fact, achieving the bad ending of Alpha 3 results in an "X-4" event.
  • Back for the Finale: Many of the series removed for Alpha Gaiden and Alpha 2 (such as Neon Genesis Evangelion, Raideen and Gunbuster) return in Alpha 3. Averted with the Alpha Gaiden-only series; they never show up again, which makes sense given they come from a Bad Future-turned-alternate future and returned there.
  • Bad Ass: Every single playable pilot in the games is one.
  • Behind the Black: This explanation is used in regards to the sudden appearance of Mobile Suit Gundam SEED in Alpha 3; it essentially amounts to "Oh, Coordinators and the PLANTs have always been there: they just didn't get involved in any of the stuff that happened in the last three wars."
    • The second half of the Raideen plot happens offscreen in-between Alpha Gaiden and Alpha 3, explaining the absence of Akira Hibiki in Alpha 2.
  • Big Bad
  • Bigger Bad: While they aren't the biggest threat you face in-game, the STMC could count. Not only do they pre-date all the other enemies, The First People built the Gan Eden systems specifically to combat against them.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Due to the nature of the series, a number of villainous factions are clearly trying to bite way more than they can chew. They end up as quickly disposed-of fodder or puppets for the more capable villains. The best example is probably the Mariemaia Army in Alpha Gaiden, which gets crushed in the span of three scenarios, two of which are not mandatory.
  • Bitter Sweet Ending
    • Alpha ends with the Aerogaters defeated. Unfortunately for the SRX Team, they are arrested by the Federation and placed under house arrest for "having military secrets", as a result of Ingram Plisken being The Mole for the Aerogaters. Likewise, Viletta Vadim and Mai Kobayashi are arrested for having collaborated with them. Since Viletta reappears in Alpha 2, it appears the government has cleared her of charges; similarly, the rest of the team returns for Alpha 3, indicating they are free to return to duty.
    • In Alpha 2, the Earth is unsealed, but you cannot rescue Irui Gan Eden in the routes for Sanger Zonvolt and Ibis Douglas. However, this is retconned in Alpha 3 thanks to she's just hiding.
  • Boss Rush
  • Boring, but Practical: Gundam Sandrock and Gundam Deathscythe in Alpha Gaiden have only vulcan guns and their basic melee attack, so their fights tend to be "repetitive". However, these "melee" attacks have good reach, all-around good terrain rating, decent non-beam damage and require neither ammo nor energy, making them solid choices for most of the game.
    • Bonus point in they gain quite a number of attack power with upgrades. In general, any weapons with a range of 4 and post-movement with an attack power of 2500 or higher are Boring, but Practical.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Of course, there are the usual suspects from various series, plus some extras - for example, Katejina Loos is now this, while in the original she was simply crazy (and evil).
    • Original character Bullet in Alpha 2 which encompasses most of the game.
    • Original character Touma in Alpha 3. Unlike the above original character entry though this stint is only very brief.
  • Break the Cutie: Happens to plenty of people in the licensed properties - the Evangelion children and the crew of the Solo Ship perhaps being the standouts among the licensed folks. A lot of the originals don't catch a break, either.
    • There are several times Kusuha Mizhua believes Brooklyn "Bullet" Luckfield has been Killed Off for Real, and that's never a happy time for her (the worst is later on in the series, when she mistakenly believes she hears his mental death-scream, ala Tiffa Adill; that one nearly breaks her)
    • Half of Ibis' story (and, in a sense, her appeal) is nothing but taking a brick to her, over and over. She eventually recovers, but it's a long road.
  • Breakout Character: Sanger from Alpha Gaiden. If side materials are anything to go by, Tetsuya Tsurugi, which is a pretty good example in Alpha itself, going from normal, but not really important enough of a character in the first game, into one of the more developed figures to the plot and back-story of Alpha Gaiden. He winds becoming the primary mentor to Touma Kanou in Alpha 3 (since Tetsuya gives him his training schedule to fit his role as Drill Sergeant Nasty of the Alpha Numbers).
    • Kusuha. Her example isn't quite as dramatic as Sanger's: she's a selectable protagonist from the start, whereas Sanger's character and Alpha Gaiden wasn't in the original development plan for the series, but she proved popular as an option in Alpha that Banpresto more or less felt compelled to make her the consistent choice in the sequels. And as a result, she has more merchandise focused around her than any other original or even the entire casts of some of the shows she shares games with.
  • Calling Your Attacks
  • Canon Immigrant: Ratsel Feinschmecker is clearly a Paper-Thin Disguise for Elzam von Branstein, who made his debut in Super Robot Wars Original Generation before his appearance in Alpha 2. Alpha 3 brings Ratsel's mecha from Original Generation 2.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Quite a few series vanish without explaination and never return. Sometimes this has an excuse (Alpha Gaiden characters only exist in an alternate future, while the Aura Battler Dunbine and Masou Kishin casts return to Byston Well/La Gias, respectively, and just don't come back), but not always (the Mobile Suit Victory Gundam and Brain Powerd characters simply vanish into the aether without comment). Most notably is Giant Robo, who is set up to have a major role in later games but disappears and never mentioned again (Banpresto didn't have a choice, as the holder of the rights to Giant Robo changed after Alpha, and it became too expensive to re-license it for sequels)). As a result, Big Fire, a major villainous faction in Alpha, inexplicably goes away.
  • Cloning Blues: Euzeth's plan to conquer the Earth in Alpha.
    • This sums up a chunk of the route for Cobray Gordon in Alpha 3, specifically, Calico McCready, who serves as The Rival for Cobray, hates him for being chosen by the "Originator" (Ingram) to succeed him. Cobray's biggest stigma is he thinks he can't escape Ingram's shadow.
  • Crapsack World: The split timeline in Alpha Gaiden - the fallout from the events of Alpha and attacks by underground forces nearly destroyed humanity and most of the Earth is reduced to a scorched wasteland. After humanity partially recovers, another war breaks out between the Earth and the colonies, annihilating most of it again. In the primary timeline, the Solar System is torn by a number of successive wars, between Colony Drops and various genocidal invaders successfully striking at major population centers across the globe. Some of the aliens opposing the Earth have suffered their own catastrophes, such as the loss of their homeworlds. At least the Alpha Numbers manage to fix most of the problems by Alpha 3, including some of the invaders.
  • Crutch Character: The Mazingers in Alpha Gaiden. The way that they play with this trope is complicated.
    • The Masou Kishin cast from the same game. Early on, mooks are weak enough to be devastated by their MAP Attacks, particularly the Cybuster and Valsione, who have post-movement MAP Attacks, essentially making them some of the better characters. By late game, due to the low rate of upgrades for MAP Attacks and the expensive cost of upgrading weapons, a low supply of EN and a weak weapon set, these characters are less valuable in the final scenarios in contrast to their capabilities at the start.
  • Cultural Cross-Reference: In an Alpha Gaiden Yonkoma, Presia Zenozakis wants to see what Harry Ord really looks like and snatches his Cool Shades...at which point he starts uncontrollably spraying the room with optic blasts while shouting "Give them back!"
  • Cutscene Boss: Neo Neros, the villain of Go Shogun, is defeated by Kenta in a cutscene Air Joust during the canon's finale in Alpha 2. In terms of gameplay, the final "boss", or rather the final obstacle to completing the mission is a bunch of missiles you can one or two-shot.
  • Disc One Final Boss: Emperor Gore and Queen Himika near the halfway point of Alpha 2. Even after their defeat, the Yamada and Dinosaur Empires continue on, absorbed by the Mycene Empire. Himika's followers also prioritize Avenging the Villain, and in Sanger's route intend to use the Machine Cells to restore their kingdom.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: The Angels and Mass Production Type Evangelions, Euzeth's Black Judecca, Magus' Aurgelmir, Shu's Neo Granzon, Gym Ghingham's Turn X Gundam, The Emperor of Darkness, Don Zauser, Emperor Darius, Baron Maximillian's Hyper Baronz, Irui Gan Eden, The Z-Master, The 11 Lords of Sol, Emperor Ryuuma, Emperor Muge Zorbados, Geppernitch, Evangelion Unit 01 fused with the Tree of Life (effectively GOD), Ruach Gan Eden and Keiser Ephes
    • Honorary mention goes to Alberto the Shockwave, who, though he could not defeat Cthulhu, battled him to a standstill while on foot.
  • Difficulty Spike: From battling Turn-X onwards in Alpha Gaiden.
  • Dummied Out: The SRX, RyuKoOh/KoRyuOh, Texas Mack and a few other units are in the files of Alpha Gaiden, and are usable if you cheat in the game.
  • Dynamic Difficulty: The Alpha series introduces the "Skill Point" system, acquired by achieving optional objectives in scenarios. Your ability to obtain these Skill Points decides whether the next scenario will net you the easy, normal or hard version of the stage. Beginning with Alpha Gaiden, getting enough Skill Points will unlock secrets, but also influences which ending route you will take. Although earlier games do not tell the player what the Skill Point objectives are, Alpha 2 listed the optional objectives alongside the primary objectives.
  • Elsewhere Fic: Alpha Gaiden features these after a fashion, with two separate manga side-stories detailing what happens to those left behind when the Alpha Numbers get sent to the Bad Future. One centers on Relena Peacecraft and characters from series that were in Alpha Gaiden, while another focuses on Shinji, Asuka Soryu Langley and others from Alpha but didn't return for the sequels.
  • Evil Costume Switch: Bullet in Alpha 2
  • Face-Heel Turn: Shu in Alpha Gaiden, Char in Alpha 2
  • Fix Fic: Amongst other things, the Alpha series fixes the many tragedies of the various Universal Century Gundam series and averts the Kill 'em All endings of Space Runaway Ideon and The End of Evangelion. However, the Ideon "Be Invoked" Kill 'em All can still be triggered by accessing the bad ending route in Alpha 3.
  • Fragile Speedster: Most real robots, but particularly the variable fighters of Super Dimension Fortress Macross, who will likely die in one, at most two hits, but have enormous mobility stats.
  • Gainaxing: Starting in Alpha 2 (which was one of the first SRW titles to include "pilot cut-ins"), virtually every major female pilot... except Ibis.
  • Hannibal Lecture: What many of the major villains of the Real Robot series will do when they are confronted. It never works.
  • Heel-Face Turn: Too many to list, but the one that stands out is possibly the Ide, which give up its quest to wipe out all life from the galaxy and even sends the Alpha Numbers back to Earth.
  • Heroic BSOD: Happens a fair bit, both to the licensed characters and to some of the originals. Of course, all of the hot blood on the team tends to help people recover.
    • Shinji, the Master Of BSODs himself, is a major cast member for Alpha and Alpha 3, and is kind of the poster child for an SRW setting making this better.
    • Kusuha runs close to this a few times in the series, when she has good reason to think that Bullet has been flat-out killed. She doesn't completely shut down, but she's very badly affected; it's more "Heroically Spitting Stack Errors" than a full BSOD.
    • Seolla Schweizer in Alpha 2 is badly affected by Arado Balanga and his Heel-Face Turn to the Alpha Numbers, wavering between this and murderous rage for him even daring to betray the Titans. He eventually brings her around with the help of some of the Gundam cast, however.
    • Sanger, of all people, can suffer from this if you get one of the "middle" endings in Alpha 2, where it isn't clear that Irui survived.

We'll go into the space over our future.
We're looking for the place under the shining star.
We'll try to sing a song for our new world.
Super Robot Wars AdvanceStrategy RPGSuper Robot Wars Compact
Street Fighter IIISega DreamcastTech Romancer
Super Robot Wars MXPlay Station 2 Super Robot Wars Original Generation
Super Robot Wars 4Play StationSummon Night
Super Robot Wars AdvanceMecha GameSuper Robot Wars Compact

alternative title(s): Super Robot Wars Alpha
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