Super Robot Wars Judgment is the final installment of the Super Robot Wars series for the NintendoGame Boy Advance, featuring vastly improved visuals, game mechanics and an all-new storyline dealing with the invasion of the lunar Fury. The player, as usual, can choose between a male or a female Player Character, each with his or her own unique storyline that ties in with the new imposing menace.Judgment generated considerable controversy in the Super Robot Wars fandom. The game was announced mere weeks after the release of Super Robot Wars Alpha 3. Secondly, Judgment broke tradition by excluding Universal Century Gundam and Getter Robo, which disappointed some of the veterans of the series (to date, only Mazinger has appeared in every non-original SRW). The inclusion of Tekkaman Blade was seen as a violation by some, as the series uses Powered Armor rather than Humongous Mecha (fans, however, note this demonstrates Banpresto's willingness to expand upon the definition of "robot" for the franchise).A translation patch has been released by the Romhacking Aerie. It is available here.Judgment is an excellent introduction to the series for Western newcomers, with its beautiful visuals and tunes, buttery-smooth difficulty curve that stands in stark contrast to other games in the series, accessible game mechanics and a cast of characters from shows that were both localized for and popular with the Western market. However, take care: most of the other translated Super Robot Wars games are more primitive by comparison in interface and presentation, and it can have the unintentional effect of making its predecessors seem dated and ugly.
Series featured in Judgment (Bold indicates debuting entries):
The entire "Devil Colony" arc, as its plot comes to a halt upon Master Asia's death. Similarly, Prime Minister Wong Yun-Fat (who was involved in the TV series' final arc that the final battle is based on) and Urube Ishikawa (whose role of manipulating Domon is partially done by Azrael) are given this.
But played straight in most cases, as seen in mission where there are yellow enemy units that can also attack the red ones.
Arc Welding/Canon Welding/Meta Origin: Like most SRWs, Judgment ties together the disparate stories of the various series involved. For instance, the Human Aliens from Layzner and Voltes V are descendants of the ancient Martian civilization from Nadesico (who are presumably descended from space explorers of the advanced Mycenae civilization or contemporaries of them) and the truly extraterrestrial enemies such as Orphan and the Radam are presumably members of the alien alliance the Fury fled to Earth from in order to escape. Some of the advanced technologies created by humans such as IFS Nanomachines and the seven Hakkeshu are said to have been created using designs gleaned from the Mental Time Travel of the Whispered, who are in turn tapping into Fury designs.
Ascended Extra: Of the Shuffle Alliance's support characters (excluding Rain Mikamura), only George de Sand's butler Raymond makes it in as a new attack for the Gundam Rose, no less. To top it off, Raymond's Butler Gundam gets a map sprite.
The original Shuffle Alliance make their only cameo appearance in the entire SRW franchise to date in Judgment. Sadly, this trope is subverted as they are not playable.
Even though Tetsuya Tsurugi has a relatively small role in Mazinkaiser, he is the only supporting character in the game who has dialogue with bosses outside his parent series. On the other hand, given his previous ascension in the Alpha series, it's understandable that certain villains want to have a word with him.
The "Love" Spirit Command may grant almost every possible buff in the game, but is still the most expensive Spirit Command in the game at the cost of 90 Spirit Points (for point of comparison, by the end of Judgment, an average pilot will have amassed around 160-200 Spirit Points). Subverted because it's rare a pilot will need all possible Spirit Commands at once, since the player will be saving Spirit Points to cast "Love" against bosses.
Beach Episode: Which kind of loses its point as it's rendered all in text...
Big Damn Heroes: Alan Igor and Schwarz Bruder do this, but when the party is running from the failed peace negotiations, Gai is the one who pulls this and starts talking about things that actually make sense (even while speaking in Gekiganger), that is, if you meet the requirements for getting him back.
Another one pulled by the protagonist during a Full Metal Panic event: Sousuke Sagara, Chidori Kanama, Kouji and Sayaka Yumi are stranded behind enemy lines and are about to be discovered by the enemy when Melissa Mao and Kurz Weber appear, then followed by a whole team of robots. Chidori being amazed at the number of mecha is an icing on the cake.
Boss in Mook Clothing: The 'Behemoth' Arm Slave. In the anime, it was a unique, one-of-a-kind Awesome, but Impractical unit that required a special (and insane) pilot. But after the relevant incident has popped up in the game, numerous Behemoths - driven by ordinary Mooks - show up in a bunch of stages as mercenaries. They're essentially Mighty Glaciers, possessing thick armor, a ton of HP, and a 'Lambda Drive' shield to boot... their attacks, however, aren't very accurate, or very long ranged, so they mostly just wind up serving as metallic Meat Shields. On the other hand, if they DO manage to hit you... you're gonna NOTICE.
Boring, but Practical: Aside from pilot stats, Spirit Commands, and Nanga's air support, eight out of ten Brain Powerd units carry the same abilities: good mobility, a barrier, a variant on "Mirror Image" note At 130 Will, gain a 50% chance of evading any attack, A-ranking for performance underwater, decent melee weapon, and reliable long-ranged Combination Attacks. Their practicality is only limited by low energy reserves (which they regenerate quickly).
To a lesser extent the Aestivalis Units. Decent mobility, a nice barrier, as long as they are in range of the Nadesico they refill their energy each turn. Later they get a Barrier ignoring melee attack. Ryoko, Hikaru and Izumi also have some nice team attacks you can easily spam after upgrading their energy a bit.
Rau Le Creuset: What is this? The darkness in my heart is disappearing!
Curse Cut Short: Although specific to the translation patch, at one point Mao calls Kurz a "motherf-" only for him to cut her off. Later, Domon cuts Allenby Beardsley off when she starts to call Murata Azrael a "blonde, racist, son of a—"
Death by Origin Story: Touya's parents (El-Serda Shiun and his unnamed wife) and Franz Zeppelin (who developed the three starting mechs, and also friends with El-Serda).
Deus Sex Machina: It may not have been intentional, but "Orgone" energy? It makes you wonder exactly what they do to fuel their mecha...
The root word "org" means "impulse". It could act in a way similar to Spiral Energy based off of willpower: at a higher Will, the user is able to utilize the full extent of Orgone energy inside the units.
Fake Balance: The three original Humongous Mecha are supposed to be balanced, with Real Robots "Bellzelute" as a light, dodgy sniper and "Coustwell" the somewhat heavier, melee counterpart. "Granteed", the Super Robot, is supposed to be the tanker with balanced weapons on both ends. However, thanks to the AI's tendency to attack units with lower evasion rates, the Granteed and its overwhelming armor rating makes it better than the other two. As a bonus, because it is an L-sized unit, attack and defense bonuses are increased, with weapons so powerful its second strongest is greater than the final attack of the other originals, not to mention good weapon reach that makes it the best sniper, tanker, and melee attacker out of all three.
The actual balance comes in with how the protagonist receives a different set of Spirit Commands depending on whether they're piloting the Granteed or not. On a first playthrough, if the male pilot uses the Granteed, he receives the "Accelerate" Spirit Command note Increase movement by three for one turn, which doesn't quite compensate for the unit's base movement of five. When it finally arrives on the frontlines (or within range of it), it's the best of the three and solidifies its position as the top-tier super, but not before.
Flat "What.": The general reactions the non-Nadesico characters have to viewing the "How and Why of the Nadesico" bits in-game.
Glass Cannon: The Shuffle Alliance units hit hard thanks to their pilots' stats, but their evasion rate and armor rating are terrible. The exceptions are Dragon Gundam, since it has a variant of "Mirror Image" and an attack that decrease the target's attack, and Bolt Gundam, which is more of a Mighty Glacier. Rising Gundam and Nobel Gundam are also an exception.
Note the unit shares the same stat growths as the ARX-7 Arbalest. The only reason why it's not as useful is a lower HP pool and weaker weapons, not to the mention it lacks the Arbalest's "Lambda Drive" abiliity. It does have a high evasion rate, can be upgraded to be fairly decent, if not outstanding (carrying four possible parts slots in contrast to the Arbalest's two), with the benefit of inspiring some absurdly funny comments from the villains who fight it. The Grenade Launcher is also a mid-to-long ranged weapon at a maximum range of six, whereas the Arbalest caps at the range of four.
Lethal Joke Character: Believe it or not, Boss Borot - four parts slots and three pilots with a great set of Spirit Commands each, it's an absolute monster when upgraded. Just make sure to slap a part that enables flight.
Like most SRWs that have the Boss Borot as a playable unit, if it gets destroyed in battle, it costs a mere 10 credits to repair, even if it used it's self-destruct attack.
What really adds to this unit's lethality is it's a Combat Medic in Judgment: not only can it perform its usual resupplying ammo and energy job, but the Boss Borot is capable of repairing allied units, and its weaponry is exceptionally cheap to upgrade. Essentially, it's Swiss ArmyGlass Cannon in a game with lots of options for upgrading durability.
Magikarp Power: The Shuffle Alliance units may be Glass Cannons, but they have enough to benefit from upgrades to armor rating and mobility. This hybrid defense works well with the pilots' high level of the "Prevail" pilot skill note The lower the HP, the greater the increase to accuracy/evasion/critical/armor stats and allows their strong offense to work to its fullest. Each unit also receives a Mid-Season Upgrade later, with the God Gundam for Domon and the rest of the Shuffle Alliance getting their Super Modes and Combination Attacks.
The hiddenVorlent unit may seem like an underwhelming original unit with only three attacks, especially considering its requirement (beating the game three times each with a different original mecha). However, it's Mid-Season Upgrade is the Raftclans, arguably the strongest of the original playable mecha. It also has the Orgone Cloud ability.
Mistaken for Pedophile: At one point, Kurz tries to cheer up Ruri Hoshino. She tells him he's acting inappropriately and the other pilots proceed to tease the hell out of him.
Ms. Exposition: Inez Fressange really likes explaining things and usually shows up out of nowhere whenever someone asks a technical question just to explain it and dissapear again. She joins the crew after chapter 3, within one or two battles other characters in the game start to comment on her love of explanations, by chapter 7 people start to openly ignore her.
Nami Tamaki: "Castaway", the theme song of Judgment. Note its not an actual in-game theme song, but one used for promotional purposes.
Post Script Season: For Combattler V, as the Campbellians have either been defeated before Judgment starts or they simply don't exist in this setting. For the most part, Combattler is treated as a part of the Voltes V plotline (though they have separate slots in the "Favorites System").
Redemption Demotion: Averted with Gale and Julia; they have the same stats they had as bosses when they join you.
Reconstruction: Remember the moment where Akito calls himself a fool for believing in Gekiganger? If you saved Gai, he shouts that just because the Jovians are abusing the ideal doesn't mean the ideal itself is wrong. After all, Tsukumo Shiratori believes in that ideal, too. Eventually, that same ideal inspires the Jovian aces to rebel against Kusukabe, in a sequence of events that culminates in the mad admiral's death.
Secret Character: There's quite a few. To name all of them: either Gale or Julia plus the Layzner mk-II, Tekkaman Rapier and Balzac, Gai Daigoji and the X-Aestivalis, Great Zeorymer, Strike IWSP Pack, Allenby Beardsley, and Bonta-kun. From the originals, you will get Vorlent and its Mid-Season Upgrade Raftclans after you finish the game thrice with different mechs.
Akito: There is no way this can be called justice, neither in Gekiganger nor anywhere else!
Gai vs Kusakabe
Kusakabe: Justice isn't something that can be just spoken of. It must be made real by destroying evil ones such as yourself.
Gai: Huhuhuu... Actually, Jovian general, you got it all wrong. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter if you win or lose. What does matter is what you believe inside of yourself. A justice like yours, founded of deceit and betrayal, isn't worth a damn!
Gai also gives a version this to Akatsuki when he starts talking about how there is no justice and bashes how idealistic the heroes are.
Spell My Name With The Heavens: The translation patch calls it "Zeorymer of the Skies", compared to the more-liked "of the Heavens". This will be fixed in a future release.
Suicidal Overconfidence: Other than the featured series, Judgment is notorious for the AI's preference for attacking units with low evasion rates. This tends to result in super robots and battleships hogging all the kills.
The Battle Didn't Count: If you manage to defeat Ru-Kain in Scenario 30 (difficult, but doable), it turns out you haven't even managed to dent his Zakarl - its regenerates HP and the Prince laughs in your face.
The same goes for Moon/Nadesico route Scenario 23.
Villain Team-Up: The Jovian Lizards, the Gradosian Empire and Shapiro have joined forces. Gauron works for Dr. Hell and the Hau Dragon. Azrael and General Colbert have the same goals. The trope gets subverted when Master Asia tricks Duke Bergan into facing the heroes underprepared.
We Can Rule Together: Dr. Hell pulls this on the heroes once they've beaten all his forces. Our heroes reject the offer right away and tell him to shut up.
What the Hell, Hero?: After the Archangel uses Lacus Clyne as a human shield, almost everyone who had joined the group (and Touya, if he's the protagonist) up to that point are royally pissed, to the point the Archangel crew was worried they would abandon them. Just about the only character who takes the other side is Akatsuki.
To a lesser extent, Touya's initial choice to desert the crew after his first skirmish regardless of the consequences causes Kouji and Tetsuya to have this reaction. Kouji, in particular, really lays it into Touya, going so far as using Touya's surname as opposed to his first.