Video Game: Super Robot Wars L

Super Robot Wars L is the third entry in the Super Robot Wars series on the Nintendo DS, preceded by Super Robot Wars W and Super Robot Wars K. It was released on November 25, 2010. According to Word of God, the "L" stands for "Link".

The lineup of L was under some scrutiny following its announcement: the debut appearance of Rebuild of Evangelion raises questions on how its story can stir the plot, especially when "1.0: You Are (Not) Alone" and "2.0: You Can (Not) Advance" are only half of the Rebuild saga. The reappearance of certain series from Super Robot Wars Judgment, W, and K elicited many "expect loads of recycled sprites and pilot cut-in" responses, although it turned out many units had their animations updated to some degree. L also modified the controversial "Partner Battle" system from K, making it more like traditional SRW squad mechanics.

Rumour has it Masami Obari of Dangaioh and Gravion fame had a hand in the game's entry selection, which would explain why Iczer and Dancougar Nova made it in as debuts. Given Obari was busy putting up the final directing touches for the October 2010 release of the Animated Adaptation of Super Robot Wars Original Generation 2, this might not be such a coincidence.

Series included in L are (debuting series in bold):

Earthlings head to colonize space, but the journey's been tough for the past one hundred years: atomic war, strife against the Jama Kingdom and the lack of resources on Earth due to the space colonies seizing most of it. Around 15 years ago, the Second Impact occurred, to which forces such as the Darius Empire, the Katou Organization and the Dancougar appeared. As a result, nations began increasing their military strength and indirectly affected those living in space.

5 years ago, humanity waged a long war with the Mimetic Beasts and although victory was achieved, tensions mounted following a terrorist incident that destroyed a space colony 3 years earlier. 2 years before the start of L, humans on Earth and space colonists waged a deadly one-year war that lead to the Earth nations winning, but left their countries severely weakened from the fallout. Seeing a chance, Dr. Hell's Mechanical Beast army attacks, leading to an uneasy Earth/space colony truce to fight against them. With Dr. Hell and his Mycenae Empire allies defeated, peace returns; soon afterwards, Darius mounts their full-scale assault and the seal preventing the Jama Kingdom from returning is broken. Now, visitors from beyond the Earth Sphere come into contact with humanity and a new battle begins.

This game contains examples of the following:

  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Big Gold and Moon Will. So, it comes as no suprise that they join forces to Kill All Humans.
  • Alas, Poor Villain - Compared to his rather unceremonious death in his original series, Sting gets a fairly touching sendoff.
  • Alien Invaders - The Darius Empire, Big Gold and her forces.
  • Alternate Universe - Macross Frontier, Voltes V and Iczer-3 all come from one universe and end up somehow Folding into another, which is where all the other series take place. The Machina from Linebarrels of Iron, as well as the game's original villain, also hail from that same Alternate Universe.
    • This leads to the one time where Combattler and Voltes are not friends (or at least know of each other's work) in the entire franchise. It also leads to some people in the game confusing the two robots for each other, which has happened in real life..
  • Apocalypse How - Second Impact is a Class-4
  • Ascended Extra - Rebecca from Gaiking: Legend of Daiku Maryu was a one-shot character in the anime, but in L she's somehow the subpilot of the Daichi Maryuu. Sadly, Kane still pilots the Tenkuu Maryuu all alone, but at least comes with Super Move Portrait Attack this time
  • Assimilation Plot - Grace O'Connor's plan
  • BGM Override - In order to imitate Macross Frontier's final battlenote , the finale stage plays a different Frontier song every turn, and these songs override your units' set BGMs.
  • Big Bad - Lude Gloria
  • Char Clone - Zechs Marquise, Neo Roanoke, Brera Stern and Eida
  • Cutting Off the Branches - Since Rebuild of Evangelion isn't complete yet, it's plot ends with Kaworu telling SEELE that this "distorted" world isn't theirs, so the defeated 8th Angel is the last one.
  • Day in the Limelight- Unlike most Gundam Wing entries in SRW, in L the Gundam pilots actually don't join up for quite a while in game, and instead Zechs is the character who's with Lotus from almost the beginning of the game giving him some refreshing focus for a change where he's either a villain until late game or overshadowed by Heero.
  • Demonic Invaders - The Jama Kingdom
  • Demoted to Extra - Isn't it sad, Mari, Kaworu and Auel?
  • Dual Wielding - Straybird's Pheasant Cutter, in addition to many other units: Shoulder Slicers, Iczer-3 and Atros' twin light sabers, Linebarrel's two swords, Verdant's quad wield, Tsubaki-Hime's dual wielding chainsaws
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu? - The Angels, Big Gold and Neos Gold, Moon Will's Original Dancouga, Proist's King Darius the 18th, Susanoh, Central, Grace O'Connor as the Vajra Queen and Lude Gloria's Galtdeus.
  • Duel Boss - The last showdown with Iczer-2. You get a Game Over if anyone but Iczer-1 attacks her, which alongside her strong stats, make her That One Boss.
  • Elemental Punch - Rushbird's Lightning Fist
  • Evolving Weapon - Like the machines in Super Robot Wars Advance and the Gunleon, the Rushbird gains new attacks and abilities as the game progresses
  • Expy
    • The Rushbird's attacks are exactly like Zeorymer, as well as Alice being an Expy of Miku, aka Robot Girl capable of channeling interdimensional energy into said mecha. The only main difference here is Nagumo isn't a humongous bastard like Masato.
    • Dr. Graife, the scientist who designed Rushbird, also has some character design similarities to Doc Brown.
  • Fix Fic - Again like Z and K, SEED Destiny gets a much better treatment in L: for starters, the deaths of Shinn's family gets re-written. Also, the Archangel does not interfere with the Minerva's battles and Athrun does not defect. To top it off, during Operation Angel Down, due to the Archangel lending a hand against Iczer One's enemies, Captain Talia Gladys assists in faking the sinking of the Archangel.
    • The changes made to SEED Destiny in this game are quite unusual for Super Robot Wars. Most of the time the changes they make are limited to killing characters who should have been killed in canon, saving characters the audience likes, condensing stories so that they all fit in the game, and making reasonable changes to the characters through interaction with characters from other series. They went far beyond that with Gundam SEED Destiny in L. Essentially, they rewrote the entire second half of the plot.
      • Which is somewhat hilarious, seeing as how Bandai is Banpresto's parent company, meaning the rewrites likely were approved by the same people who released the original series.
    • In addition, Michael, Ken, Atros and Soubi all can be saved from their canon deaths. Interestingly enough, you can also save Stella and Rey, but to keep Stella, you have to go along on a route split. Otherwise, she still lives, but gets Demoted to Extra and is no longer playable.
      • However, Michael's case is interesting in that it takes into account the "Max Kills" cheat code that often gets made for these games. As rescuing Michael is a classic "X character must get Y kills on stage Z" secret, using the "Max Kills" cheat actually backfires because Michael's kill count does not increase, even if he kills the number of enemies needed to prevent his death.
      • This becomes a problem in replays even if you don't cheat, since kill counts carry over. Eventually if you like using [spoiler:him]] you're forced to start over because of this... unless you cheat to pull the kill count down in time for the secret flags to be set.
  • Game-Breaking Bug - Only one, but already quite infamous: the "Iczer Bug" makes you permanently lose Nagisa as Iczer Robo's co-pilot if you get a game over while Iczer-1 is combined
  • Gecko Ending: How the game resolves the issue of Rebuild of Evangelion's arc.
  • Glass Cannon - Surprisingly enough, Boss Borot is this rather than a (Lethal) Joke Character. Also, the G Gunner and Core Gunner
  • Harsherin Hindsight: Everyone was annoyed that Rebuild 2.0's ending was cut, with the fans complaining they wanted badass god powered Shinji. Then 3.0 came out revealing that god powered Shinji is a bad thing, and the near 3rd Impact wasn't something that could be easily written off. People suspect the staff had advance notice on this.
  • Heroic BSOD - Go gets hit with a mild one, but still maintains an active presence on the team as a pilot instructor and representative for LOTUS (the name of the heroes in this game), particularly during Operation Angel Down.
  • Heroic Sacrifice - Gilbert Durandal kamikazes the damaged and crashing Messiah in order to kill Neos Gold.
  • He's Back -
    • Not a case with characters, but with mecha: the Duel Gundam AS (Assault Shroud) and the Buster Gundam make their return as secret units. Also, for the first time since Destiny, you get to name the team you're on.
    • Something We Forgot: However, Duel Gundam AS' beam rifle is missing its grenade launcher attachment, for no explained reason.
    • This trope is played straight with a few characters: Hilde and Sally from Gundam Wing. After both having been absent in W, there were quite a few happy to see Hilde's black Taurus alongside Duo and Sally helping out behind scenes after having been out of action since Alpha 3.
  • Hot-Blooded Sideburns - Kouji Kabuto, Tetsuya Tsurugi, Hiroshi Shiba and Kenji Kusanagi
  • Idol Singer - Eida, Sheryl Nome, Ranka Lee, Meer Campbell and Lacus Clyne. Amusingly, Gilbert Durandal tries to use at least three of them in his plans
  • Jack Smith and the Iczers Can Breathe In Space - Justified; in Jack's case, his body is a human-sized Arma. For the Iczers, they are alien androids.
    • Furthermore, Jack's rating for space-based terrain is B, while everyone else in his series has an A, clearly showing he's not made for space. Jack still kicks ass, of course.
  • Kamehame Hadouken - Rushbird's Light Blazer, albeit a one-handed variant.
    • Until you unlock Rushbird's Dimension Storm attack, which is a two-handed, considerably stronger, version of the above.
  • Lazy Artist - For the most part averted: yes, there are some recycled sprites/animations from J/W/K, but there are also just as many touched-up, altered or just plain re-animated attacks from returning series
    • For example, Zechs Merquise's cut-ins are all redone from W. Here, he's wearing his Preventers' jacket while in W, he was wearing his normal suit. In addition, he gains a brand new cut-in for the Tallgeese III's Heat Rod attack
  • Leeroy Jenkins - Kouichi is AI controlled on stage 37 and will recklessly charge right into the middle of the enemy formation, and needless to say you have to keep him alive. This rapidly turns into That One Level if he's underlevelled or Linebarrels hasn't been upgraded much.
  • Lethal Joke Character - Boss Borot; exceptionaly good list of Spirit Commands between the three pilots, attacks are stronger than they look and ALL his moves are morale debuffs
  • Lightning Bruiser - Iczer-1, high end Machina such as Linebarrel and Gaiking the Great
  • Macross Missile Massacre - Trope Namer is here in full force
  • Mythology Gag - The teams of Voltes V and Combattler V meeting Dancougar Nova, the SMS meeting NERV and the Photon Labs team meeting the Build Base team and the new Gaiking. All of these meetings already occurred in Super Robot Wars Alpha with their prequel series
  • Only Six Faces - Character portraits of the Linebarrel and SEED Destiny characters. It isn't as bad as comparing Fafner and Destiny in K, but still fit this trope
    • All of the above series have character designs by Hisashi Hirai, who is infamous for the use of this trope.
  • Original Generation - Ichitaka, AL-3 Alice, Yuunagi and HL-0 Haruno for the characters, Rushbird and the Straybird for the mecha
  • Post Script Season - Endless Waltz, Mazinkaiser, Combattler V and Voltes V are all post-series in L
  • Pragmatic Adaptation - Macross Frontier's finale was originally accompanied by the "Nyan Nyan Service Medley", a 7-minute medley of various songs from all over the series. SRW L handles this simply by playing a different Frontier song each turn during said battle.
  • Robeast - Mimetic Beasts, Haniwa Genjin and the Angels
  • Robot Girl - AL-3 Alice and HL-0 Haruno, copilots for Ichitaka and Yuunagi, respectively. Also Iczers 1 through 3 and Atros. On the enemy side we have HL-1
  • Sealed Evil in a Duel/This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman - The Rushbird's most unique feature is absorbing the energy from beam attacks and the like, while getting a small EN boost in the process. In some cases, such as fighting the Angels, a viable tactic is to let the Rushbird attack and keep it busy while everyone else clears the map.
    • Do note this won't work if the attack is strong enough, as Laplace Barriers absorb attacks only to a certain damage threshold.
  • Set Swords to Stun: Unlike previous games, "killing" boss units won't show animation of it get destroyed. They simply escape afterwards for most of time, and explode only if it's actually destroyed in regards to deaths within the plots of the respective series. Unfortunately, this also means you rarely see dynamic kills on boss characters.
  • Sibling Rivalry - Ichitaka and Yuunagi are brothers, and fight several times during the course of the game. They eventually reconcile and join forces against the Big Bad
  • Supernatural Gold Eyes - Machina pilots whenever their Machina enters into its Super Mode
  • Suspicious Videogame Generosity: The game gives you the full upgrade bar (10 stages, as opposed to the five you begin with) right before Stage 24, where you have to face Proist's Chou Maryu Dborak.
  • Super-Powered Robot Meter Maids - AL-3 Alice, who was originally intented to simply clean and maintain the house...until she reveals she can channel trans-dimensional energies to unlock Rushbird's strongest attack
  • Theme Tune Cameo - Happens frequently thanks to inclusion of Macross Frontier. To give an example, in one scenario, Ranka sings "Seikan Hikou" as your units battle rogue Zentradi the Federation. Too bad it ends when she gets abducted by the Vajra
  • This Is Unforgivable! - Aoi's reaction to Neos Gold killing Atross.
  • Wakeup Call Boss: Sachiel, encountered in Scenario 11, is a noticeable cut above the boss units fought before that point. Powerful attacks it can spam easily, high HP and EN regeneration, and of course, the AT Field that will outright negate most of your attacks. To make matters worse, it'll also snipe away at your units as they fight the weaker enemies to build up morale, and there's really not much you can do about it until you've built up enough momentum to kill it.
  • Wave Motion Gun - Macross Quarter's Macross Cannon and at the tail end of the Straybird's Flood Assault