Mazinkaiser SKL marks the first time Kouji Kabuto of Mazinger Z does not appear in a licensed-SRW (until Saisei-hen, Kouji has appeared in every non-Original Generation SRW). However, since Mazinkaiser SKL was the latest title that ended before UX released, it becomes something special that the oldest SRW participant becomes the newest "newcomer" in the newest SRW title.
Initial scans and the first promotional video revealed the same sprite-based visuals from the Nintendo DS SRWs, with players calling another instance of Lazy Artist, particularly returning series (though upon closer inspection, UX appears to have taken some visual cues from Hakai-hen/Saisei-hen, and isn't going to be entirely sprites). Upon game release, players have noticed recurring titles from previous handheld SRWs got quite the makeover.
Ace Pilot: In a first for the usual mechanic in SRW, achieving "Ace" status requires a pilot to gain 100 kills; "Double Ace" is obtained at 200 kills. As for people who are Aces on their own, you have Graham Aker and Reiji Moritsugu for one.
Amnesiac Hero: According to Fei-Yen HD, she was in a dark area all alone until she heard a voice. Upon reaching it, she became "Miku". What triggered the transformation was the whole concert with Sheryl Nome, which made her excited when she heard the word "concert" & "song", but what reactivates her memory is an attack by the Vajra, which gave her the "shock treatment" necessary to bring her connection (while vague) with Miku. As a result, Grace o' Conner is targeting her as a potential nominee for her plans.
Linebarrel is connected to Demonbane because the latter is also a "Machina" and the Katou Organization are hunting them down. More specifically, Linebarrel and Demonbane are known as "Deus Ex Machina". Both stories' time loop events are interconnected in UX.
Considering the whole Machina idea or rather the meaning behind it is machine god. Linebarrel's Juda seems central to the whole idea of gathering Demonbane, SD Gundam, Machina, Fei-Yen HD and even partially Heroman as a collection of possible Machinas, though obviously not all of them have the idea of a Machina god behind them or rather behind their respective series like Linebarrel and Demonbane do. This would be a reason for Juda and a way to tie in a lot of the story together.
Scenario 24 is a mash of the starting battle from Sayonara no Tsubassa as well as the titular impact of Trailblazer, by mixing in the fact that the Galaxy refugee ships were at Jupiter. Fighting Vajra ships for the first time is only a tease to the real first appearance of the ELS. This also gives the chance for more interactions between Alto and Setsuna, and the final save coming from Tieria in the Raphael.
Fei-Yen's plot is tied in with Mazinkaiser SKL, where it is the robot used by the female kingdom. She starts out really reserved, then once you go on SKL/Macross route split she has an encounter with Miku* Note that in game she never mention Miku's name and gets her KYUNKYUN beam, then during SKL finale she goes super mode* which is basically Fei-Yen's original Super Mode when Kiba shows up, and during Fafner TV finale, she gets her Morale boosting special command. In the Blue Sky and Operation Azure. Sink it for a moment.
The Tokyo in the interior of the moon, which is from where all the Humanoid Machinas stem from, is also strikingly similar to Shou's Tokyo. Shou and the Dunbine characters are basically from a previous incarnation of the world. Later on we find out Juda's "view of future" are actually about what happened before, so at least part of the cast are also of the same origin.
Ascended Extra: Some people who don't fight in battles have been now given a role as tactician/cheerleader you can set for chapter's map.
The Assimilator: For the basic level 1 assimilation most Festum have If Morale is reduced to under 90 the unit is assimilated and destroyed. Festum however do not drain very effectively, the Morale you gain from taking hits and counter-killing Festum largely ameliorates the morale lost from an attack. The Mark Sein can also Assimilate but much more effectively. Kazuki deals severe morale damage when he attacks a festum and he assimilates enemy Festum if they're reduced below 120 Morale (Even if they didn't have that much to begin with).
Audience Participation Song: Since UX uses the the Macross Frontier movies rather than the TV series, the usual Seikan Hikou song is replaced with Seikan Hikou (Live In Alcatraz), complete with crowds cheering and Ranka Lee asking everyone to "kira~" with her.
Awesome, but Impractical: Alto's Special Command "Dance of Wings" the point you learn it as is so late in the game that there aren't many enemies left that it works on to be useful.
Badass: Most people...but special mention goes to Kaidou and Magami from Mazinkaiser SKL who are unfazed by revelation that their battles only bring the end of the world closer, while everybody else feels the despair.
Back from the Dead: The Dunbine story for UX begins after the Kill Em All ending of the original. However only Shou, Marvel, Burn, and Shot Weapon return to life. The rest of the cast never reappear and are presumed still dead by Shou. This actually prompts a possible Heel Face Turn from Burn, since all of his old allies (and thus his old cause) are gone anyway.
Berserk Button: When Gogorr trashes Heroman in the finale, Joey turns into his Berserk Mode of red.
Black Comedy Rape: Ryofu calls Yulianne shallow and says if she really wants proof of life that much he'll give it to her. Though he only yells soul as usual and there's a golden flash, he didn't touch her, but did something else.
Big Bad: Noval Dilan, or so it seems. She's not really evil per se.
Big Damn Heroes: The Tobikage appears whenever one of its crew gets hit below 50% HP, and will automatically combine with whoever's below 30% HP first, ship not inclusive in the combining. From the past experience though, it's not recommended to allow him to run around......Reasons for that For those who doesn't know, Tobikage was infamous of stealing kills (and thus experiences, cash and Secrets) from you when he's a NPC. In UX he lost its MAP weapon from Impact, but now he has the potential to strike four times a turn. Ranka Lee really feels the pain if you let him to.
The Cameo: Isamu Alva Dyson makes a cameo◊ during the Multiple Macross Cannon attack. He doesn't do anything except pose and does not get a dialogue box. However, he yells, "Let's go, ya cuties! Yahoo!". Deceased Neil Dylandy appears to Setsuna in his mind in chapter 38, this does happen in the movie too.
Marvel (also Cham), Lunamaria, and Athrun did not get any new lines at all this game. Especially sad for Marvel since she barely has any recorded lines at all. Lunamaria also has no unique battle lines, while Athrun has a few reused ones from Z (lines for fighting humans and the final boss lines seen here).
Dimitri Magarov from Linebarrel appears only once to be trashed by three Jinrais in an event.
Mamoru if he survives, he can only be swapped between Hiroto as the pilot of Mark Funf. Even though they could just remodel the Mark Elf for Mamoru's use.
Vespasianus who only gets one event map appearance with his Deus Machina. He is around in conversations.
Eleventh Hour Ranger: Master Therion is the strongest Secret Character in the game, with the best default stats (higher than Kurou) and the same pilot skills when he was an enemy unit. The Liber Legis has S ranks in every terrain, +300 attack power for all weapons, immune to status effects and an ability that allows 35% chance of evading any attack. Finally, Therion has access to the "Soul" Spirit Command. No wonder you only get to use him on the final scenario.
Evil Knockoff: By the final scenarios, the Riot B is a mass-produced enemy unit.
Evolutionary Levels/Unrobotic Reveal: The SD Gundam are actually humans from the far future who've evolved into Gundams. Strangely, none of the Gundam 00 cast have any real interactions with the SD Gundams.
Heroic Sacrifice: You lost many characters via this way, but if their conditions are met, certain events will play out differently. For example, if you save Ishigami, Sakomizu and Ryofu Tallgeese, then during stage 45 Ishigami will try to sacrifice himself to close the gate until Kira, Shinn and Athrun convince him not to go through with and destroy the moon Machina through the portal, instead. Meanwhile, Ryofu Tallgeese, Ryuubi Gundam, Sonken Gundam and Sousou Gundam combine their powers to take out Hitomachina who are trying to stop you from destroying the gate with the strength of everyone combined.
Homage: Orphes and Odyssea is one to Hissatsu series, a Japanese Jidai Geki title, where assassins use a variety of weapons to kill criminals (garrotes, katanas, bombs, poison, etc). Lots of Richard's combat lines are also taken from that series; and don't even mention the BGM used during Hell Stringer or End of Rebirth.
Hot Springs Episode: On Chapter 16 Japan side, the teams go into hot springs in the hidden ninja village. Sakura from Fafner asks Sonshouku from SD Gundam Sangokuden won't she rust. No official art.
Hopeless Boss Fight: Master Therion, though only for the first time. In-game you can beat him proper, but the event afterwards says otherwise.
Ironic Echo Cut: During the epilogue, Ozma Lee states "make up your mind and don't you dare give us some stupid shit like 'you're both my wings'". Right after Ozma's piece of dialogue, the game cuts to different setting where Joe is saying "YOU'RE BOTH MY WINGS".
Level Scaling: Enemies in chapters level scale -2 for mooks and +1 for bosses by either Agnes's level or Event Deploy Main Character's. Though this seems to vary because of bugs.
Lethal Joke Character: Fei-Yen HD's final unlocked attack "In The Blue Sky Ver. HD" is basically an Status Buff to allied characters and debuff on enemies as a Special Command.
Lighter and Softer: UX may have some depressing and dark series like Fafner in the Azure and Demonbane, but it still manages to be quite fun. So much fun that even Setsuna who never laughs, laughs in the ending.
Demonbane has one of the highest HP pools and armor value in the game, hits like a truck, and possesses the "Mirror of Nitocris" ability *
Gain a 30% chance to dodge all attacks
Odyssea comes with large EN regeneration, does not use EN for movement and ignores terrain that penalizes movement, alongside its "Space Jump" ability *
Gain a 35% chance to dodge all attacks
. Its final attack has 1k attack power higher than most Trans-Am attacks. However its evasive stat isn't that good, so it's closer to a Mighty Glacier.
Mazinkaiser SKL, now this is one fast super, having the highest Mobility out of all Supers even without PU bonus from someone else. Not much lower HP and Armour than Demonbane.
Loophole Abuse: Meta-example; the only reason how Banpresto managed to get a Vocaloid as a playable character in an SRW is by using a special action figure from Virtual On rather than using the character itself.
Lost Technology: Fei-Yen HD is a relic discovered during the past 28 years that the island had been isolated from the world by the gravity curtain that came up suddenly.
Mana: Instead of the usual EN bar, all Deus Machina have an MP bar, instead. It has a variety of quirks, such as scaling up through leveling skills rather than upgrades.
Mana Drain: The ELS absorbs EN with their attacks. In previous SRWs, if a unit runs out of EN, it cannot move; in UX, if EN is lowered to zero by ELS, it is assimilated which means automatically destroyed, there's even a assimilation animation just for it.
Man Behind the Man: Hazard Pasha is responsible for 90% of the trouble you have with humans in the game and then some. He manipulates the government and media, depicting the heroes as terrorists, is then arrested but breaks out of prison and somehow manages to become the supreme commander of the UN forces and nukes the Festum, resulting in the events of Heaven and Earth. When Shinjirou Sakomizu attacks him, Mamoru protects the ship because it has nukes on it, but Hazard shoots both of them, hitting and killing Mamoru. He gives Rouri a nuke to drop on Tokyo, which leads to Sakomizu's death. He fires off nukes again during Operation Azure II, which kills off Kurusu. He turns the Mazinkaiser SKL villains into unwilling suicide bombers and helps Leon Mishima brainwash the Vajra. The reasons for all that? To help villains from Tobikage conquering Earth and acquiring the secret ninja power in the process......So he can use that himself to conquer the galaxy under his name. He basically doublecrossed EVERYONE he helped.
Mid-Season Upgrade: Subverted with the Orphes, but played straight with the Odyssea, where the Orphes combines with Saya Krueger's Lyrus.
Nanajin of Wings of Rean upgrades into Akka "Red" Nanajin.
Setsuna of Gundam 00 upgrades from OO Raiser into the OO Quanta.
Demonbane upgrades itself with Shantak and starts flying.
Alto from Macross Frontier upgrades into Durandal from Messiah.
Heroman upgrades into Strengthening Armour Heroman (he can purge off so it's more like an add-on).
Ryuubi from Gundam Sangokuden upgrades into his Shouretsutei form which is a transformation at either 140 Will or below 30% HP.
Mazinkaiser SKL upgrades into the Wing Cross form by combining with Wingle's wings at 120 Will.
Mind Screwdriver: Luxe Sakomizu vanishes in the ending of The Wings of Rean, which is what happens in the original series with no information as to where she wound up; UX explains she returned to Byston Well.
In the first scenario, Jin exclaims "Major Graham Aker made his career by winning battles on the field". This is the same quote a Principality of Zeon grunt says about Char Aznable in the first episode of Mobile Suit Gundam. In Scenario 9, Mike will yell "Aaaaah! Bro, a brand new weapon from the Federation military!", another line shouted by a Zeon soldier who came to Earth for the first time in the TV series.
Shou Zama uses another of Amuro's quotes during Scenario 16, "There's nothing happier than this...", which is Amuro's last line of dialogue from Mobile Suit Gundam
Scenario 17 of the Europe Route has Yuuki quote "That's where people feel it as their second birthplace, give birth to children and raise them", derived from the opening narration of Mobile Suit Gundam.
Despite Lacus Clyne being absent in UX, Kira states "I think it's okay to cry" and "Because people cry...", previously said by Lacus in the Mobile Suit Gundam SEED TV series. Similarly, Athrun uses the last line of dialogue from Cagalli Yula Atha in the TV series, "Don't run! Living is same as fighting!"
In chapter 42 battle, Ryofu knocks Ryuubi into the ocean like how Sousou did in the anime, and then Ryuubi re-emerges as the Shouretsutei once more.
In Scenario 43 of the Tatsujima Island Route, Kunio Ishigami states "Saying shut up you with a sword that looks like a saw", a quote used by Sousou Gundam in BB Senshi Sangokuden.
The Red Nanajin is also faster and more powerful, which is a reference to anything red being this, per by Char Aznable's legacy of the original Gundam.
Athrun's intrusion to the Earth Federation's meeting in Stage 22 is one massive homage to Quattro Bajeena, complete with shades, alias and his speech.
In Scenario 32, Doctor West states "Before long the discord for life, under the sound of professor's flute who is governed by conscience, develops a drama!", a reference to Jinzou Ningen Kikaider, where the titular character is controlled by Professor Gil's sound of flute. West will also use the Catch Phrase of Basara Nekki as "Today's stage is a full house. Galaxy listen to my song, that is! Love heart to you!", combined with his line of dialogue from the Demonbane visual novel, in Scenario 43 of the Union Route. Finally, during Scenario 51, West quotes "Step on the pedal and join together the timing...", a reference to the Shine Spark attack of the Getter Robo G.
As a reference to Area 88, Jin says "Corby...you had no luck" in Scenario 45, which is what protagonist Shin Kazama said when he shot his subordinate, "Jess...You had no luck."
In Scenario 52, Elza states she wants "...a mechanism to make tears come out too, ~robo...", a reference to the Doraemon movie Nobita's Steel Man Corps - Winged Angels, where Riruru says this in case Miclos is destroyed.
If you manage to save Mamoru, after he reappeared in Stage 41 he'll yell a line quoted directly from Kamen Rider Spirits; and after the scenerio, the group will discuss who should pilot the Mark Funf (since Hiroto is now its pilot), and Yamashita suggests that they can make another unit so that both can fight as Goubain Z and Great Goubain. Of course it doesn't stick.
The Nanajin changes colors inexplicably from green to red. This mirrors the fact that the previous series had the Billbine, which inexplicably changed colors from red to green amidst the Climactic Battle Resurrection at that series' climax.
Doc. West's Destroyer Robo has S Rank Terrain in Water for a Bonus. This is because in the Visual Novel, when Doc. West calls it from the ocean, it was rusted and could not fight.
Richard calls Leica an angel in Scenario 3. In the Demonbane visual novel, Leica is the Henshin Heroine "Metatron"; in Hebrew mythology, Metatron is an archangel. And by chance, during the lantern scene in Stage 29, Leica will mention the name of Ryuuga (her brother and Dark Angel, then enemy to Metatron in the source material).
In Scenario 10, Yamashita will mutter "Speaking of Koumei's (Zhuge Liang) traps...", which is what a strategist says, who was intimidated by Liang's resourcefulness, to a subordinate in Romance of the Three Kingdoms. "Koumei's trap" is also a famous memetic term in Japan.
In stage 17, Mikhail Blanc says "Main point everyone, why are you trying to split my glasses at every opportunity!?". This is a reference to his Heroic Sacrifice in the original, and his memetic status gained in Super Robot Wars L.* In short, due to an in-game bug, excessive use of Mikhail will make him permanmently unsaveable; doesn't help that many fans will sacrifice him on purpose in order to get Loli!Klan on his VF-25 In the same vein, Kaidou says "Whatever reason may be, this is the chance to crush that bastard!", a reference to battle quote used by Super Robot Wars K protagonist Mist Rex, whenever he deals the finishing blow to a boss, though this time it worked in a difference sense.
In Scenario 24, Kurou will say "Want me to shove you up into a blast furnace!" when fighting the ELS. This may or may not be a reference to the similarly silver-colored T-1000, which can shapeshift like the ELS and was destroyed in a blast furnace.
In Scenario 33 of the Space Route, Kouichi says "Let's see... that guy's history 「to support as thing rather than add thing」seems to be.", a reference to the all-female Idol Singer group "HKT48".
Name's the Same: The Katou Organization mixes up "Machina" and "Deus Machina" and proceeds to attack the Demonbane. It doesn't go well.
Nerf: Spirit Commands's SP cost was increased due to the amount of Skills you can learn, so much that you need Ruri or Ranka as tactician to boost SP enough to cast final Spirit Commands learned by sub-pilots.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: In UX, ALL of the aliens respond to Denton's message which include the Festum, Vajra, ELS, Human-Machina, Skrugg, and Anticross. In Heroman finale, it's shown that it's not the case: Skrugg was called to the wrong Earth by the same message which called the main cast.
Non Answer: Kaidou yells at Festum to ask him and Magami are they there, and Magami answers "We are Hell."
Non Standard Game Over: These happen when you fail Fafner missions, you get philosophical messages from Fafner people when this happens. Also if you fail to defeat Mark Nicht and Idun in 3 turns in chapter 39, you get to see Joe yell "Damn you Hazard!" some more.
Gundam SEED Destiny characters are pretty much integrated into the Fafner cast, with Shinn Asuka and Lunamaria Hawke helping them battle the Festum after their war ended (Cagalli Yula Athla is their sponsor; this implies Shinn has made some peace with ORB).
Team D has retired, yet received Laser-Guided Amnesia and went back to their ordinary lives, leaving only Eida and the R-Daigun for a good chunk of the game.
BB Senshi Sangokuden is another "just there to support the other plots" series, since they had already shown Sonken Gundam, Ryuubi Gundam and Sousou Gundam's final battle (or the middle of it) in the UX prologue. Yet Ryofu was conveniently Back from the Dead despite he was killed way before the finale.
UX explicitly happens post-Dunbine, to which the original series was a Kill Em All ending.
Put on a Bus: Unlike the other cases where Gundam SEED Destiny was included, Lacus Clyne is conspicuously absent for the majority of UX's plot, though she appears past chapter 40 (and she did help Arthun behind the scenes as shown in Scenario 22). Justified as she's now PLANT's chairlady. As of Mu, we have no clue.
Grandma Virginia and Teacher Collins also never appear after chapter 2.
Also Captain Shinobu Igarashi from Linebarrelsof Iron only makes two appearances in chapter 40 against Rouri and Kanamoto. And then in Chapter 43 Tatsumiyajima route to capture Jack Smith.
Rouri and Kanamoto also, we can presume Rouri died when Asap shot him down, and it's not certain did Kanamoto return to Byston Well too with his Shinden after the Wingsof Rean finale.
The Power of Friendship/Set Bonus: Fafner units are way broken. Their Crossing system allows the Fafner models to be stronger as long as you deploy more of them. With 9 of them on the battlefield, aided with Continuous Target Negate from Soushi, they do so much damage without even the need to fear getting hit. One Crossing System Fafner is +3 to all stats, you can have 12 Crossing System Fafners on map.
Precision F-Strike: Claudius sometimes when he takes a hit, he yells "Shiiiiit!"
Redemption Equals Death: Skrugg Nick from Heroman survives to the finale of the story and Joey and everybody tries to convince him there's still a chance he can return back to normal which is why he was doing things as a Skrugg; thinking he can't return back to normal, but he is still killed by Gogorr who just resurrected. So he only survived enough long to still die.
Linebarrel, and Vardant (though Vardant wields up to 4 swords with 2 in one hand).
Titus's Deus Machina Ogre from Demonbane (though he spawns 2 more arms and they have 2 swords as well).
The Unfought: Vespasianus who was exterminated by Augustus like in the anime, he is only fought in the Visual Novel.
Emperor Annex Zaboom was betrayed by Hazard who commanded Vajra to suicide bomb themselves at his and Sharom's battleships.
Shot Weapon suicide bombed himself at Alto and Vajra Queen.
Title Drop: UX stands for "Unknown Ex-Strikers", later renamed "Ultimate Cross". As a bonus, the Heroman series logo makes an appearance in Heroman's O-Spark attack (Dynamic Kill finish). Also in the ending Holly calls their newest hit "SOMEDAY LIFE TOGETHER" which is the title of Arc 3.
Time Skip: Arc 3 is 3 years after Arc 2's finale which is Wings of Rean finale. Ironically, only the Fafner characters age to Arc 3.
True Companions: Joey and Kurou form a tag team during their duo battles in Arkham City, their friendship is one of the three-cross series friendships in UX.
While some of the cast are commonly wished upon to be included in SRW (particularly Demonbane and SKL), UX has perhaps the most unexpected cast list to date, with SKL replacing Kouji instead of having him altogether, the Gundam 00 movie making its debut instead of in the anticipated sequel to Saisei-hen, Fei-Yen HD, Heroman and BB Senshi Sangokuden, the latter almost never talked about amongst the fanbase.
For a lesser, but very interesting example, Linebarrels of Iron has already appeared in SRW before, except this time it's mostly based on the (much more critically acclaimed) manga, something most mecha fans wished for but never expected.
Unknown Rival: Doctor Minami considers Doctor West his greatest rival, except West has no idea who he is. It turns out Minami hates West because West doesn't know who he is.
Video Game Cruelty Potential: In the chapter where Jin deploys with his first ever squad he leads. When you shoot them down, he casts Spirit Commands in anger and sorrow; Spirit, Strike and Hotblood and when the last subordinate is shot down, a sad music begins to play. You can leave them alone so this doesn't happen, but they die anyways when the Island detonates with the Fenrir.
"The very moment that Man loses his imagination, he is doomed." "It is unfortunate... but this is for the sake of protecting Earth from ... [Kali Yuga]." "I have conceived it. A method by which Man might be spared. We have chosen. This is the solution that we have devised."
In a loosely, similar vein, the original enemies and Jin (post Heel Face Turn) also worked for the same goal.
What Happened to the Mouse?: Sawatari and the Lostbarrel are still at large, thus the Mazinkaiser SKL cast are fighting him during the epilogue. Stan Lee from Heroman is never seen.
Wolverine Publicity: Averted for the first time. UX is the only licensed SRW to not feature Kouji Kabuto in any iteration. However, the addition of SKL means that a version of Mazinger still appears in every incarnation of a non-Original Generation SRW. That being said, UX also solidifies the Cosmic Era as the go-to Gundam continuity of choice for SRW portable Nintendo games.
Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters: At first, the Tobikage team are treated as hostile aliens partially because of their "terrorist" attack on Mars, which greatly affected the production line from there.
UX in the first arc becomes this, combined with Hero with Bad Publicity, despite them being the heroes. It doesn't help that some of the villains in the governments are ready to sell Earth to the invaders.