In the year 179 of the New Western Calendar, the One Year War breaks out between the Earth Federation and the Principalityof 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 to this distinction of introducing the awesome 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.
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 that were removed for Alpha Gaiden and 2 (such as Evangelion, Raideen and Gunbuster) returned in Alpha 3. Averted with the Alpha Gaiden-only series; they never show up again, which makes sense given that 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 Brave Raideen plot happens offscreen in-between Alpha Gaiden and Alpha 3, explaining Akira's absence in Alpha 2.
Bigger Bad: While they aren't the biggest threat you face in-game, the STMC could count as one. Not only do they pre-date all the other enemies, it was to combat against them that the Precursors built the Guneden systems in the first place.
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.
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 that they gain quite a number of attack power with upgrades. An Awesome But Practical version of this trope are the Great Mazinger or Mazinger Z. Both have the same kind of weaponry, but are backed by their ability "Mazinpower" and stronger attacks for dealing against stronger Mooks or bosses. In general, any weapons with a range of 4 and post-movement with an attack power of 2500 or higer 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).
Break the Cutie: Happens to plenty of people in the licensed properties, the Eva kids and the Ideon gang perhaps being the standouts among the licensed folks. A lot of the Originals don't catch a break, either, though:
There are several times Kusuha thinks that Bullet has been killed, 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 reallyalmost 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 not really important enough character in the first game, into one of the more developed figures to the plot and backstory 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).
Also, Kusuha. Her example isn't quite as dramatic as Sanger's - she was a protagonist option from the start, whereas Sanger's character and first game wasn't even in the original development plan for the series - but she proved so popular as a protagonist option in Alpha 1 that Banpresto more or less felt compelled to make her an option in the sequels. And as a result of her popularity, she has more merchandise focused around her, specifically, than any other Banpresto Original or even the entire casts of some of the shows she shares games with.
Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Quite a few series vanish without explaination and never return. Sometimes this has an excuse (Alpha Gaiden characters only existed in an alternate future, while Dunbine and MK simply returned to Byston Well/La Gias and never came back) but not always(The Victory Gundam and Brain Powered characters just vanished). Most notable with Giant Robo, who were set up to have a major role in later games but vanished without explaination and were never mentioned again (They didn't have a choice, as the holder of the rights changed after Alpha 1 and it became too expensive to pay for). As a result Big Fire which was a major villain group in Alpha 1 inexplicably goes away.
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, grunts 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 upgrade for MAP attacks and the expensive cost of upgrading weapons, a low supply of EN and a weak weapon set, the Masou Kishin characters are less valuable in the last scenarios in contrast to their capabilities at the start.
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.
Fan Translation: Done by Aeon Genesis for Alpha Gaiden. Still something of an Obvious Beta, as admitted by the creator, the game is playable from start to finish, despite some bugged text strings. It's quite accurate to the original translation, even pulling a Pragmatic Adaptation to keep a joke from Xabungle intact.
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.
Gay Option: Averted, sadly, for the Alpha 1 originals, much like it was in SRW4. When designing your protagonist's (romantic) partner, they must be of the opposite gender, without exception. The game has no support for same-sex pairings - not even non-explicitly-romantic ones.
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 lifeforms 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 Ikari, the Master Of BSODs himself, is a major cast member for Alphas 1 & 3, and is kind of the poster child for an SRW setting making this better.
Kusuha can run 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 is also badly affected by Arado's defection, wavering between this and murderous rage for his daring to betray the Titans. He does eventually bring her around with the help of some of the Gundam crew, 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.
Insane Troll Logic: Char's rationalization for dropping Axis onto Earth was pretty insane in the source material, but in Alpha 2, the plan is repeated with practically no changes in a world where humanity is simultaneously hammered by joint invasion forces of three alien worlds, the Mycene Empire ([[spoiler:which, in fact, immediately takes advantage of the havoc caused by Char) and a number of other extinction-level threats. This is left for for players to wonder how destroying most of human civilization is going to help them to survive, considering these circumstances.
Lethal Joke Item: Alpha has the equippable part "Tem Ray's Circuit", which drastically reduces unit stats, but if the mecha is destroyed, it will cost only 10 credits to repair (in other words, the part turns it into another BossBorot). If you want a real menace, put it on something like the EVA Unit 01 along with another part to lessen the penalty, then send Shinji on a suicide attack. Paying only 10 instead of its usual repair costs of 40000 makes using the "Berserk EVA" sound like a practical strategy.
Which itself is easy in comparison to getting Tifa Adil and the G-Bits in the game. Scenario 15 alone will make you pull your hair out because of how many times you're going to reset your game in order to get those 6 kills in 3 turns with Garrod Ran; the substantial power boost they give to the Double X makes them worth the effort.
No Export for You: A very frustrating example as a translation of the Dreamcast version was in the works at some point (spurred on largely by the fact it was ready for release at the height of Gundam Wing's popularity, and thus the general anime boom, in America), but then contractual disputes killed it, regardless.
To be specific, the exact reason it was canned was because Harmony Gold said no, as they did not want Macross to be brought to the US and thus interfere with Robotech sales (even though Robotech had ended a decade earlier). They were the only licensing company to say no on the deal, and Banpresto couldn't just dummy out the units as Macross is integral to the game's plot.
Older and Wiser: The cast of the previous games in the sequels, notably the SRX Team, Getter team, Evangelion pilots and various Gundam protagonists. A small portion of them have also become Shell Shocked Veterans, but this being SRW, they get over it.
Tetsuya is a REALLY good example of the latter, as a result of Alpha Gaiden.
Pet the Dog: In Alpha 3, after defeating the EVA Unit 01's copy, Gendo Ikari tells his son he actually wanted to comfort him, but never had courage to open up. Before he dies, he finally tells Shinji he's glad to see his son grow into such a strong man.
Mazinkaiser in Alpha Gaiden is far more powerful than the rest of the team, including the Shin Getter Robo, thanks to high HP/EN, good mobility (comparable to some Gundams) and armor rating, alongside a great set of weapons, augumented with "Mazinpower" and can use its attacks right off the bat note To put in perspective, Shin Getter requires 140 Will to use Stone Sunshine; Mazinkaiser has no Will requirements for Fire Blaster. By the time the Shin Getter hits 140 Will, the Mazinkaiser will have dealt more damage than the Getter. Of course, this being Alpha Gaiden, it's actually a godsend rather than it ruining the game.
Sanger and the Thrudgelmir from the same game: good attacks rivaling those of the Mazingers, comparable stats to the Mazinkaiser, and a set of abilities that make it almost invulnerable. Note that it's only playable in the last two scenarios of the game, and despite its set up, the Thrudgelmir cannot win the scenarios alone.
While they are not quite as strong as true boss units, even in their final mecha, you'll have to fight Jerrid Mesa, Timp and Kid Hola again, reflecting their status as persistent nemeses in their original anime storylines.
Road Cone: Between Alpha 2 and Alpha 3, parts of the story change between the various protagonists. What's more, each protagonist in Alpha 3 is linked to protagonist in Alpha 2 (the exception is Kusuha Mizhua, due to the fact her link is Shaped Like Itself). In other words, Selena Recital is linked to Ibis, Touma to Sanger and Cobray to Arado Balanga.
Robeast: Mechanical Beasts, Warrior Beasts, Fossil Beasts, Slave Beasts, Beast Fighters, Mecha Soldiers, Haniwa Genjin, Mechasauruses, Zonder and the Angels
Shut Up, Hannibal!: Uncountable, but the best one has got to be the final scenario to the End of Evangelion story, where Shinji not only rejects the intended Assimilation Plot, but also Gendo, asserting he's his own person. In fact, the entire scenario is a MASSIVE invoking of this trope, seeing as how the Alpha Numbers are so Hot-Blooded, it prevents them from turning into LCL.
Spared by the Adaptation: Not as much as it might seem at first sight, due to a number of characters surviving as secrets that aren't treated as canon in the sequels. For example, Musashi does not survive in Alpha 2, even though you can save him on certain routes.
Possibly due to the One Year War getting interrupted, a lot of the Zeon aces from Mobile Suit Gundam, 0080 and 0083 appear in Neo-Zeon's forces.
However, as the Haman route in @2 is not considered canon by @3, you'll end up killing them all anyway.
Spotlight-Stealing Squad: In Alpha Gaiden, most of the spotlight goes to Tetsuya, who is useable for most of the game, the first character playable post-Time Skip, has plenty of voiced dialogue rivaling Heero Yuy and has a lot of scenarios that places him on center stage. By the end of the game, he is basically the most developed character in the entire cast.
Suspicious Video Game Generosity: Scenario 36 of Alpha Gaiden is noted by players to be one of the best points in the game. You get the Mazinkaiser, Shin Getter Robo, R-1 Custom, Gundam X and Gundam Double X (alongside the G-Bits, if you get the requirements), the "HPHGCP" part and two free units that give you tons of blue stones for the Bazaar. The game's Difficulty Spike starts to go wild from that point on.
The Starscream: Euzeth in Alpha; Shiva Gozzo also pulls this off in Alpha 3, although the one he usurped was only a mask for the real Big Bad in the first place.
Theme Naming: Obviously, the "Space Jews" of the Ze Balmary Empire. A much more subtle one is theme naming of Ingram and his clones. Their real names correspond to their numbers and the respective letter in the Hebrew alphabet. Ingram, the first clone, is "Aleph"; Villeta, the second, is "Bet" Vadim; Cobray, the sixteenth, is "Ayin".
Originally, Banpresto wanted GaoGaiGar from the start, with Alpha covering the first-half of the series, Alpha 2 the second-half, and Alpha 3 covering GaoGaiGar FINAL (Alpha Gaiden wasn't part of the original plan).
They also wanted to bring back Giant Robo in Alpha 3, with an original storyline where Big Fire tries to get his hands on Irui and ends up with the Nashim Gan Eden. Unfortunately, the death of creator Mitsuteru Yokoyama caused his estate to raise the licensing fee greatly, so plans had to be abandoned.
Not quite the case. What happened was that the supporting cast (i.e., the characters from other Yokoyama works) suddenly had their licenses tacked onto Giant Robo's license by the estate holders. Meaning that Banpresto would have to pay for Giant Robo itself, THEN pay extra just to use the supporting cast as well. In short, Giant Robo became more expensive because it now was a collection of separate licenses instead of one single license.
Hacking of the Alpha 3 disc revealed sprites for several machines from Gundam Sentinel, which would have been a natural follow-up to the Titans storyline from the previous games. Fans suspect it was removed when Gundam SEED was added (which Word of God said was pretty much a mandate from above based off of SEED's popularity.
The sprites were Dummied Out from the Alpha 2 disk. It turns out that the "mandate from above" was "mandate from Word of God", who was a huge fan of the show and put it in the moment he could.
The songs from Macross 7 were originally planned to be fully voiced and not just a line or two. Sadly, Word of God dropped that when they realized that licensing Fire Bomber's music is apparently more expensive than the entireMacross 7 series itself.
Finally, just the general fact that the game was being not just considered but substantially worked on for English release at one point. We were so close to having the best series in the franchise in English that it's almost painful.
What If?: The Alpha series basically poses this, in regards to Bian being listened to instead of being ignored.
What the Hell, Player?: When you're fighting Shu for the first time in Alpha Gaiden, he accuses your characters of cowardice if you wait 5 turns before attacking him.