Video Game: Super Robot Wars Z

Old robots meet new robots in a Storm of Awesome

Code Geass and Gurren Lagann in the same game? Madness!

The first Super Robot Wars title to be created under Namco Bandai, Super Robot Wars Z broke certain precedents and traditions: for example, the number of new series is more than any previous SRW. Released in 2008, you play as either Rand Travis, a wandering repairman/mechanic, who's partnered with the young Mel Beater, or Setsuko Ohara, a member of "Glory Star", a small military squadron in the Earth Federation, alongside teammates Denzel Hammer and Toby Watson, as they are pulled through many conflicts.

The primary plot of Z kicks off with a "Space-Time Oscillation Bomb", which fuses an array of parallel worlds ("Plural Worlds") into one (which would, in later installments, be named "UCW"). This kickstarts the "Plural War", which is confronted by many individuals forming the special squad "ZEUTH".

Series list (Bold indicates debuting entries):

A PlayStation Portable sequel entitled The Second Super Robot Wars Z: Hakai-hen ("World Breaking Chapter") is the first of a two-part release, with Hakai-hen launched in April 2011, and the second called The Second Super Robot Wars Z: Saisei-hen ("World Rebirth Chapter") released one year later in April 2012. The sequel features another merged world called "ADW", caused by a seemingly natural phenomena known as "Space-Time Quakes". Here, old members of ZEUTH from the UCW encounter new allies after arriving in the ADW, forming the group "ZEXIS" to combat the "Broken World Incident" (Hakai-hen) and the "War of the Revived World" (Saisei-hen).

Hakai-hen returns every franchise from Z, but Mazinger Z and Getter Robo have their 1970s-vintage entries (including Great Mazinger and Grendizer) tossed for the more modern Shin Mazinger and Getter Robo Armageddon, while Eureka Seven is now represented by its movie adaptation. Zeta Gundam replaces its own movie compilation with the TV series, despite using the same movie character designsnote , background music, and a never-before used movie-exclusive attack.

For some reason, Gravion and The Big O only have one season each listed in the credits for Hakai-hen: Gravion Zwei and season one of The Big Onote , only for the first season of Gravion to reappear in the credits of Saisei-hen.

Series added in Hakai-hen (Bold indicates debuting entries):

Saisei-hen includes the following:

  • New Gigantor (AKA Messenger of the Sun Tetsujin 28)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam 00 (Second Season)
  • Dancougar
    • God Bless Dancougar OVA
  • Macross 7
    • Macross Dynamite 7
  • Macross Frontier
    • The Wings of Goodbye
  • Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
    • Lagann-hen (Includes an original story)

The Big Three of Studio Gainax, together at last
Make that Four

The Third Super Robot Wars Z is the final part of the series, in a simultaneous release for the Playstation 3 and PlayStation Vita. Like Hakai-hen and Saisei-hen, it is also a two-parter, with the first half Jigoku-hen ("Time Prison Chapter"note ) launched in April 2014 and the second half Tengoku-hen ("Celestial Prison Chapter") to be released a year after. Notably, the former drops most of the cast from Z (who were just hanging around by that point), with only a few exceptions, in favor of new series. The latter brings back a few more.

With peace returning to the world of ADW, members of ZEUTH travel through the "Abyss", the hole left between dimensions, to return to their world of UCW. Unfortunately, a new battle awaits them when both worlds and other Alternate Universes are merged into one, leading old members to to lose their memories of their experiences and abilities. The members of this strange new universe band together to form "Z-BLUE" to combat the forces that threaten this new Earth and unravel mysteries concerning the entire saga.

Series added in Jigoku-hen (Bold indicates debuting entries):

Series added in Tengoku-hen (Bold indicates debuting entries):

Note that Z is designed around breaking the old tropes previous SRW installments had, so expect a lot of aversions, inversions, and subversions.
Tropes pertaining to multiple characters and the entirety of the Super Robot Wars Z saga are:

  • Action Girl: The series showcases a fair number of female ace pilots, with ladies like Noriko, Aoi, and Kallen kicking copious amounts of ass alongside the boys.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Z is this to Zambot 3, which had previously been frequently overshadowed by its sibling series Daitarn 3, as well losing a good deal of its plot to lessen the copius deaths and child abuse. However, Daitarn 3 in Z is reduced to a supporting role, while the Zambot 3 plot has a larger presence in the route for Setsuko Ohara, with a lot more of the plot retained.
  • A Million Is a Statistic: In Scenario 53 of the "Trust Zero" Route in Saisei-hen, Chang Wufei asks Treize Khushrenada how many people have died because of him. As per Gundam Wing, Treize states an exact number - 999,822. For the record, only 99,822 people died because of him in the After Colony universe alone, but due to the multiple dimensions and alternate Earths combined to form the ACW, the body count has jumped close to a million.
  • Animation Bump: Hakai-hen compared to Z, even though it's gone from a console to a handheld; animations are smoother, mecha are more detailed and Super Move Portrait Attacks are more animated.
  • Anti-Villain: Every Original Generation villain in the ADW to varying degrees, with the exceptions of Aim Liard, Anbrorn Jeus and Marilyn Katt (even then, the latter two get a Pet the Dog moment).
  • Apocalyptic Log: Ledo discovers one in the Remnant Sea Route of Tengoku-hen. The Hideauze were created by "Chrono" reformationists as a method of evolution and the project was started as a result of the Axis Colony Drop in the Black History. It also mentions the Civilians and the Moon Race.
  • Ascended Meme: Kamina's sunglasses become an equippable part in the Second Z, granting its pilot additional Will at the start of a scenario.
  • Ass Kicks You: Jason Beck's Victory Deluxe mecha uses this as an attack.
  • Art Shift: See Retraux entry below; classic mecha use a different, very old-school animated art style for their strongest attacks.
  • Armor-Piercing Slap: Sumeragi Li Noriega delivers one to Elgan Laudic in the Second Z
  • Ax-Crazy: The Big Bad of Z is more of a For the Evulz variety, while L÷wen General is a genuine example.
  • Back from the Dead:
  • Badass Crew: ZEUTH and the "Chimera" in Z, ZEXIS and any returning ZEUTH members in the Second Z
    • The Chimera takes the cake: they play everyone and take control of the world while being consisted only of five members.
    • "Noir 7" in Z: Special Disk, a group of mercenaries formed from former members of most of the major villainous human factions in Z. Despite being generic eyeless grunts with Mook-level units, they are very skilled, and spend their time protecting the peace. You get them for one scenario alongside Roger Smith, and they're pretty useful.
  • Badass Normal: Any Real Robot pilot without exclusive pilot abilities (e.g., "Newtype", "SEED", "ESP", etc.) or unit abilities that augments their piloting skills and/or unit performance. Super Robot pilots are excluded, as even without specific pilot abilities, their units are (generally speaking) more powerful than real robots. Normal pilots using super robots would fall under Clothes Make the Superman.
    • The exception is, of course, Dai-Guard, which is a robot piloted by salarymen.
  • Bag of Spilling: Every major series character in ZEUTH loses something when they appear in Hakai-hen, either a Combination Attack (provided they have one) or their unit's strongest attack. Only Amuro Ray and Banjou Haran avert this, the latter actually gaining a new Combination Attack; however, they appear much later in Hakai-hen than the others. A smaller case occurs in Saisei-hen, notably Dai-Guard having its weapons overhauled and the Nirvash Spec3 mysteriously devolving into the Spec2.
    • Justified in Jigoku-hen due to the UCW, ACW and other Alternate Universes merged into one, leading to old members of ZEUTH and ZEXIS losing their memories of their abilities and prior experience.
    • Averted in Tenkgoku-hen for a time by giving players several units having all their arsenal at once. Unfortunately, this is immediately followed by the events of Evangelion 2.0, where Shinji Ikari triggers Third Impact, causing Z-BLUE to be flung all across space-time.
  • Bash Brothers: Z started the tradition of pairing Kamille and Shinn Asuka, one of the many reasons the plot of Gundam SEED Destiny turns out much better. Also applicable to Garrod Ran and Renton Thurston;Gainer Sanga sometimes form a Power Trio with the latter two.
  • The Battle Didn't Count: It's possible for Sousuke to defeat Leonard Testarossa in the Belial within the turn limit of Scenario 16, provided the ARX-7 Arbalest is fully upgraded. However, because Leonard isn't utilizing his machine to its full potential, the Belial isn't destroyed. As per the Full Metal Panic Light Novels, the Belial obliterates the Arbalest, paving the way for ARX-7 Laevatein.
  • Big Bad: The Edel Bernal in Z, Gaiou in Hakai-hen, Uther Insaraum in Saisei-hen, until he was hijacked by Gaiou, Gadlight Meonsam in Jigoku-hen, and Australis in Tengoku-hen
    • Bigger Bad: The "inevitable crisis" known as "Ba'al" that all the villains in the ADW are worried about, and Gaiou's previous mission to fight against. The truth becomes more complicated in Tengoku-hen - Ba'al are The Four Angels who merely created the rumor of the "Ba'al" to pit the Dimensional Generals against the heroes in order to collect the Spheres to resurrect the Supreme God "Sol" and restart the universe. When Sol fails to return, Advent sacrifices his comrades to create Supreme God "Z", in hopes of recreating the universe to his own means.
  • Big Brother Mentor: In Z, Gainer invokes this towards Renton, but is set back since Renton is an outdoor-type of boy, being more interested in sports such as weightlifting than video games. Double subverted when Renton address Gainer as "niisan" after seeing his prowess in combat.
  • Big Good: Lacus Clyne and Diana Sorel in Z and Elgan in the Second Z. To a lesser degree, Lelouch Lamperouge, when he becomes the Supreme Commander of ZEXIS in Saisei-hen.
  • Blessed with Suck: Being a Sphere Reactor is not fun. Sure, you get amazing powers, but the trigger is NEVER something you would want.
    • Setsuko Ohara slowly loses her five senses as a result of using the Sphere of the "Sorrowful Maiden".
    • Rand Travis experiences extreme pain due to tapping into the Sphere of the "Wounded Lion", while Mel Beater can't Can't Grow Up, although in her case she had her time stopped to keep her alive.
    • Crowe Broust, upon activating the Sphere of the "Swaying Scales", is locked onto a single thought and cannot break out of it, entering a near-berserker state. Subverted when ZEXIS finds a way to break him out of his trance through the sound of dropping coins, since Crowe's avarice is just that strong.
    • The Sphere of the "False Black Sheep" makes Aim Liard a Consummate Liar.
    • The Sphere of the "Inexhaustible Gourd" slowly drains Uther Insaraum's life force the more he uses it.
    • Averted with Gadlight, who completely awakened the Sphere of the "Quarreling Twins" and can not only force its effects on others, but is no longer subject to any side-effects.
    • Saisei-hen introduces the "Stigma of the Cursed Wanderer": those exposed to the power of dimensional travel repeatedly are marked by the stigma and find themselves drawn to any world where another is manipulating dimensional power, unless that world has a version of themselves already present; this explains why ZEUTH members appear in the world of ADWnote . It also renders one immortal, and is the reason Asakim Dowin cannot die. As of the end of Saisei-hen, all of ZEXIS is marked.
  • Boring but Practical: "MDE Missiles" are available for the VF-25 Messiah, are one of the few MAP Weapons that can be used post-movement and can hit units on any terrain, making it a go-to weapon to soften up enemies for other allies to destroy.
    • Mazinger Z's "Custom Bonus" in the Third Znote ; sure, more armor is great, but it's unnecessary for a non-Mighty Glacier unit. Mazinger, however, has the highest armor rating in the games by default.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: Mycenae Empire Mooks in Jigoku-hen can move twice, with Hit Points in the 10,000 range, and can deal upwards to 4,000 points of damage (more so against Real Robots).
  • Boss Rush: This seems to be Emperor Zuul's general strategy in the Second Z.
  • Brainwashing for the Greater Good: In a hilarious manner - for the "Sayonara, Idol" Downloadable Content scenario in Jigoku-hen, Johnny Barnett pull this on Hibiki, so the latter can understand Eida Rossa and her charm as an Idol Singer. Johnny repeatedly plays Anata no haato, ittouryoudan da yo! Chunote  from a movie Eida was in. At the end of the scenario's post-demo, Hibiki has Dull Eyes of Unhappiness and repeats "Chu! Chu! Chu! Chu!", with Eida saying Anato no haato, ichigeki hissatsu da yo! Chunote .
  • Broad Strokes: The series plays fast and loose with the canon events of the previous games. For example, it's stated that Shinn fought for Gilbert Durandal to the very end, which occurs in the ZAFT Route of Z. However, Shinn also recalls the promise he made to Quattro Bagina to stop him should he ever try to do something radical and similar, which only happens in the ZEUTH Route for Z.
  • Call Back: When Amuro receives the Nu Gundam in Z, it's sent with a new pilot suit and a memo, stating the sender is a fan of his, and thinks a white-colored suit fits Amuro better. Players speculated this was Chan Agi; when she appears in person during Jigoku-hen, the first thing she asks Amuro is whether he picked up the memo and suit.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: Rand's route in Z is generally a silly, lighthearted romp until the point where he gets his Gunleon's Mid-Season Upgrade, where everything becomes serious from that point on (not to say the silliness is completely gone, of course).
    • In Hakai-hen, the death of Kamina is a turning point where things start getting more serious, especially if the player has been sticking to the Japan Route. However, this trope comes into play when Gaiou appears, but once Kamina dies, the mood is a lot less light-hearted.
    • Scenario 25 of Saisei-hen, when Esther Elhaas turns into a Dimensional Beast.
  • Character Exaggeration: Lunamaria Hawke and her accuracy. Thanks to an incident in Gundam SEED Destiny where she cleanly misses hitting a battleship with a beam rifle, she has the "honor" of having the Spirit Command "Strike"note  at the unusually high cost of 30 Spirit Points (normally, it costs about half or a third of that) - a figure only matched by Mr. No Sense of Direction Masaki Andoh. This is reflected in Tengoku-hen, where her shots miss when she's in the "ZAFT Combination" attack used by Shinn.
    • Subverted in the Second Z if she unlocks her "Ace Bonus": Hakai-hen reduces "Strike" to 15 Spirit Points, while Saisei-hen allows Lunamaria, when her Will reaches 130 or higher, to auto-cast it every turn.
    • Roger talks much more in Z than in his home series, especially when piloting the Big O and also by exaggerating the frequency of his failures in negotiations and making it something of a Running Gag. To be fair, this is a mostly text-based game, so Roger is made more verbose to some extent, and his negotiations are sometimes plain impossible. For example, one of the first negotiations we see him do is between a disguised Hyakki and the Saotome Research Lab.
    • The in-game database notes the in-series Character Exaggeration/Villain Decay Hola and Gelaba went through in the later half of their show.
    • In Jigoku-hen, if Alto is paired with Kei Katsuragi in a team, and the latter achieves his "Ace Bonus"note , Kei will still get the statistical boost.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Near the beginning of Hakai-hen, Lelouch places a Geass command to force Carlos Axion Jr., the richest man in the world and president of the Axion Foundation that created Crowe's Brasta, to answer any questions Lelouch has for him so he can steal his financial information to fund the creation of The Order of the Black Knights. However, Carlos is working against ZEXIS, and when they get their hands on him, ZEXIS interrogates him as to Gaiou's whereabouts. When he doesn't comply, Lelouch-as-Zero recalls the Geass command and asks him personally; Carlos instantly reveals Gaiou's location. Everyone else is confused by Carlos' sudden change of heart, since they don't know that Zero is Lelouch or what Geass is.
    • Early on in Saisei-hen, Lockon Stratos flips a coin and notes how Crowe suddenly reacts to it. Later on, they try it again with something else to see if Crowe would react in a similar fashion; he doesn't. Crowe explains he can tell how a coin really sounds like, and only that will garner him a reaction. Cue the "Coin Drop System" in his Li-Brasta Mid-Season Upgrade.
      • In the same game, Zero accidentally places a Geass on Esther, after she turns into a Dimensional Beast, commanding her to stop when she attacks the Shinkirou. A few scenarios later, Crowe believes Esther cannot be turned back into a human; when he is attacked, Zero reissues the same command he placed, proving to Crowe Esther isn't completely a Dimensional Beast, and still retains her humanity.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Xine Espio appears early in Z as a generic Mook who attacks Kei right after he primes the Space-Time Oscillation Bomb. She uses a generic Mook pilot portrait and name; the only thing that gives any hint to her identity at that point is her voice.
  • Chekhov M.I.A.: Athrun Zala and Lunamaria are conspicuously absent in Jigoku-hen, despite both being playable characters in previous installments. On the other hand, they aren't forgotten about like those from absent series in Jigoku-hen, as Kira Yamato mentions them frequently. In fact, both have been secretly working with Char Aznable, dotting the earth with GN Particle emitters in order to link the people of the Earth and the colonies together, so that they would be able to stop Axis in the event that Full Frontal betrays Char and performs a Colony Drop.
  • Cherry Tapping
  • Climax Boss: Big Bad Gadlight in Jigoku-hen is fought a couple of scenarios before the last one.
  • Clipped Wing Angel: Despite its showcasing from its home series, the Do-Ten-Kai-Zan in Scenario 44 of the Earth Route in Hakai-hen has a boatload of Hit Points, but only one attack.
  • Close on Title: Scenario 32 of Hakai-hen are Kamina's Famous Last Words
  • Colony Drop: Apart from Axis used in Jigoku-hen, the Green Earth in Tengoku-hen is turned into Douze-Mille (everyone is evacuated to the Blue Earth) and used by Dix-Neuf in an event.
  • The Comically Serious: Z enjoys placing deadpan characters in the middle of comedic situations. Roger comes to mind, with jabs at his constant failures at "negotiation" and having to resort to force. Taken Up to Eleven in Jigoku-hen (see Running Gag).
  • Continuity Nod/Mythology Gag: Sheryl Nome and Ranka Lee's CDs are equippable parts. However, there is another CD in the game from Fire Bomber.
    • In Hakai-hen, the Dynamic Kill of the Nu Gundam's Fin Funnel attack ends with it performing the "Last Shooting", the term used for the "firing straight upwards" pose Amuro uses with the original RX-78-2 Gundam to finish off Char in the Zeong.
    • Any originals and series not returning in the Second Z are directly referenced, although the only series that don't come back are Mazinger Z, Grendizer, Getter Robo G and Eureka Seven TV series. One example includes Kamille asking the current Kouji how Duke Fleed and Tetsuya Tsurugi are doing, before realizing this Kouji has never met them. In regards to Eureka Seven, its ADW-counterpart being different becomes a Plot Point. Still, it helps prevent the problem that was present in the Super Robot Wars Alpha games, where a series appearing in one game and didn't appear in subsequent ones (Giant Robo and Brain Powerd) aren't mentioned at all, as if they were Exiled from Continuity.
    • In an interesting nod, during the "Seikan Hikou" event, Apollo gets into the song so much he almost wants to do the memetic "KIRA ☆!" bit from it. In Another Century's Episode: R, where Genesis of Aquarion and Macross Frontier are in the game, Apollo repeats this line near-verbatim during the same event.
    • The Shin Mazinger plot in Jigoku-hen takes ideas from Shin Mazinger Zero, such as speculation regarding what would happen if Kouji loses control of the Mazinger or if the Photon Power keeps leaking. There's also a mention about Tetsuya, while Professor Yumi states there's another Mazinger existing in the world.
    • If the player unlocks the Byalant Custom in Jigoku-hen, Four Murasame will be its pilot. Irony abounds because a Byalant is the very machine that kills her in the Zeta Gundam TV series.
    • If Shinji reaches ace pilot status in Jigoku-hen, the enigmatic "AG" re-enacts the "Congratulations Shinji!" scene from the original TV series.
    • In Jigoku-hen, Kei convinces Z-BLUE to believe in Zen Fudou, claiming he knows him best. It makes sense because Kei has spent the most time with Zen throughout the Z series, as Zen is really Gen Fudou.
    • During Scenario 17 of Jigoku-hen, Heero offers to take the Bonta-kun suit back to base, but Sousuke notes Heero will miss lunch. Heero states he'll be fine and pulls out a fruit-flavored "Calorie Friend" energy bar. This is a nod to the pair's previous meeting in Super Robot Wars W, where Sousuke offered Heero the snack after they decided to trust one another.
    • When Amuro returns in Tengoku-hen, AG references how the former addressed Sayla Mass, dying to a random shot from a beam bazooka and making a locket out of Sayla's pubic hair. All this comes from the original Mobile Suit Gundam novel.
    • In Tengoku-hen, Rand receives a letter from a man with the moniker "Black Southern Cross" stating he's busy fighting off Sidereal with his allies. This is none other than Gain Bijou, and it provides the explanation why King Gainer characters are Put on a Bus for Tengoku-hen.
    • The "Double Shine Spark" performed by the Shin Dragon in Tengoku-hen looks like the same gesture the Getter Dragon in the first game when the latter uses the "Shine Spark" attack.
  • Cruel Twist Ending: Hakai-Hen averts the Downer Ending of the first season of Gundam 00 and the second episode of Getter Robo Armageddon, and the end sequence plays out with it looking like everything's fine. The credits roll, until all the bad stuff starts to happen.
  • Crutch Character: Kamina in Hakai-hen; if he didn't bite it halfway through the game, he would've been a Game Breaker.
    • To elaborate, he has extremely high stats for a Super Robot pilot, gains the Spirit Command "Valor"note  the earliest out of any character in the game, and his "Ace Bonus" raises maximum Will by 30, which, combined with the "Will Limit Break" pilot skillnote , would set his maximum Will to 200. Should players decide to Level Grind, he'll learn the Spirit Command "Soul"note , making it likely he can outdamage even Ryouma.
    • This is suddenly inverted if the player Level Grinds Simon to achieve his "Ace Bonus": while the "Ace Bonus" for Kamina raises maximum Will, Simon's bonus raises Will by 30 at the start of a scenario, meaning he begins each stage with an advantage in power, durability, and the use of all of the Gurren Lagann's attacks out the gate.
    • Suberted with Orion in Rengoku-hen who has impressive stats, the "Genius" pilot skillnote  and gains the "Soul" Spirit Command at level 30. While Orion turns out to be Barbiel the Needle in disguise, he only does his Face-Heel Turn at the end of Rengoku-hen.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: When a unit gains a new attack (such as Crowe's Brasta and its "SPIGOT VX"), it may debut with an animation showcasing it dealing heavy damage to (if not outright destroying) a powerful, high HP boss. It rarely works that way when the player actually uses it.
  • Darker and Edgier: Setsuko's route in spades for Z; one of the reasons why some prefer her route to Rand's. It's like the game separates Darker and Edgier and Lighter and Softer into two concentrated masses of suck and fun.
  • Deadpan Snarker, Lemony Narrator: Whoever wrote the database entries for the various characters and units sure has a sense of humor. Highlights include wondering how Neo Roanoke and his Windam falls from high altitudes and does not explode, Kira surviving a nuclear-powered Freedom's destruction at the hands of Shinn and poking fun at Beck The Great RX-3 for getting destroyed in two seconds after taking forever to combine and pose by pointing out "it was totalled within seconds thanks to the Big O's merciless onslaught with its O Thunder weapon". It also gives out nods to Epileptic Trees such as Banjou being a Megaborg himself and has a very loving description of Mazinger Z, which goes to detail its attacks and point out its impact on the Super Robot Genre.
  • Degraded Boss
  • Demoted to Extra: Despite being one of the most powerful leaders and Newtypes in Universal Century, Haman Karn gets shafted into playing second-fiddle to Paptimus Scirocco and Durandal in Z. When it seems she's about to make her move, she's suddenly Put on a Bus, unless the player takes the secret ZEUTH Route split, allowing her to be recruited (or more accurately, lets her force her way into ZEUTH).
  • Difficulty Spike: Scenario 15 of Saisei-hen; until this point, the game's a cakewalk, especially if it's imported a save data from Hakai-hen. However, this stage pits the player against Marilyn and her Firebug Squad. Not only are they powerful, accurate, and mobile, Marilyn has a high level of the "Command" pilot skillnote , granting adjacent enemies immense accuracy/evasion boosts. Several other scenarios also qualify, particularly ones where Geraud Garce Bantail appears.
    • The space route in the first route split of Jigoku-hen offers players Zeta Gundam units (who typically are some of the weakest units in franchise history) sans the Zeta, Heero and Duo Maxwell (using Leos instead of their Gundams), Hibiki, and Shinn. One scenario in this route pits the party against a bunch of real robots with conspicuously high HP and evasion rates escorting the Kshatriya (who must be defeated in a set number of turns to receive the "SR Point") and Haman with her trademark Quebeley, alongside her having the "Leadership" pilot skill, making the fight against the Mooks even harder.
  • Disc One Final Boss: The Mariemaia Army serves as this for the Gundam characters in Jigoku-hen, prior to fighting the Neo Zeon, who have been secretly backing their revolution.
    • Australis in Tengoku-hen: justified because The Four Angels manipulated the Dimensional General and Sidereal.
  • Disc One Nuke: The Delta Plus in Jigoku-hen carries decent stats and a post-movement ALL Attack, making it a godsend for Universal Century pilots, especially Kamille and Amuro, who are stuck with crummy mook units for half the game until their respective Zeta and Nu return.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: In Tengoku-hen, a bunch of Sidereal Mooks head into the bar where Nono works and demand to be served food and drink. She refuses and they offer to level the city and slaughter everyone. An annoyed Lal'C Mellk Mal asks them to step outside and immediately summons the Dix-Neuf.
  • Dissimile: According to Kamina, the Dimensional Beast "Moby Dick" looks like a bigger pig-mole with horns, able to shoot fireballs, tends to charge for an attack and is white in color.
  • Doomed by Canon: In Hakai-hen, there is nothing the player can do to save Kamina, Neil "Lockon Stratos" Dylandy and Euphemia li Britannia, given the importance of their deaths to the plot from their respective series. Averted with the latter in Saisei-hen, who becomes Not Quite Dead, provided if the "Trust Zero" Route is taken. Unfortunately, as Jigoku-hen defaults to the "Don't Trust Zero" Route, it's played straight with Euphemia.
    • Despite Hakai-hen FINALLY allowing Musashi Tomoe to use the Shin Getter 3, he still plays this straight once Saisei-hen begins, as per the events of Getter Robo Armageddon (though not under the same circumstances), as per the norm in SRW.
    • Though they survived the events of the Second Z, Fyana and Kittan in Jigoku-hen. The former is Demoted to Extra for the game and dies on cue for Shining Heresey, while the latter dies before the final scenario. Ultimatly averted with the former in Tengoku-Hen.
  • Downer Beginning: At the start of Tengoku-hen, Sidereal invades the Blue Earth and conquers most of it. They proceed to establish the "Gaia Empire".
  • Downer Ending: The bad ending of Z, where the The Edel Bernal successfully kills Eureka, the Black History is initiated again and ZEUTH gets stuck in a terrible battle until the worlds are split apart and their lives/memories are erased as the totality of existence is sent back to square one.
  • Ear Worm: Invoked with the Seikan Hikou event in Hakai-hen Scenario 34-B
  • Eldritch Abomination: According to Asakim, the Spheres are the creation of the Taichi (太極, alternatively taiji), an entity that controls the fate of all universes by manipulating the "Origin Law". In Tengoku-hen, this is emphasized by the Supreme God Z, which the twelve Spheres are fragments of it. This entity is so powerful, the "miracle"-granting Prodigium used by Doctrine of The Four Angels is the remains of the previous Supreme God Sol.
  • Eleventh Hour Superpower: Thanks to a mandatory event in scenario 56 of Tengoku-hen, the entire cast attains the permanent status buff called "Shinka"note 
  • Elite Mooks: Mechanical Beasts in most of the games serves as mere Mooks; in the Second Z, thanks to the stone statues from the first episode of Shin Mazinger taking this role, they gets promoted to this.
    • Marilyn's Firebug Squad is made up of customized Axios, and are much, much tougher than the Axios fought throughout Hakai-hen.
  • Empowered Badass Normal: Setsuna with the "Innovator" and Suzaku Kururugi with the "Curse of Geass" pilot skills, respectively. The "Zero System" unit ability, however, functions more as an Amplifier Artifact.
  • Enemy Mine: Scenario 43 of Z forces Harry Ord and Kira to align with Gym Ghingham in order to save Queen Dianna Soreil from the clutches of the Titans.
    • Upon being warped into the ADW and being confronted by an army of Beastmen, Jiron Amos and Timp Shaloon form a (very brief) alliance to fight them off.
    • Roger Smith manages to persuade Jason Beck to help him out in one scenario of Hakai-hen.
    • Any time Asakim assists the player, although with Asakim, it's usually because he has his own agenda.
    • The first game has the Battle of Berlin where the Renegade ZEUTH members appear with the Archangel battleship to assist the ZAFT-aligned ZEUTH forces (who had a falling out thanks to certain events). Unfortunately, poor communication results with them being unable to rescue Stella Loussier.
    • In Saisei-hen, the Organization of Zodiac and White Fang towards the end of the game.
    • Variation in Jigoku-hen: if Char and his Neo Zeon forces assists Z-BLUE, they'll have a mirrored version of their enemy spritesnote . If Char permanently joins, the Sazabi will have a corrected sprite to indicate it as an ally.
  • Epic Fail: Played with - poor Lelouch is the only protagonist of a series in SRW history to miss his target and get shot down in the Attract Mode of Hakai-hen. In his own series, his piloting skills are mediocre, relying on ambushes, misdirection and squad tactics. In the demo roll, however, he's using a customized, obsolete Knightmare Frame against one of the two best pilots from Code Geass in an advanced Knightmare Frame.
  • Evil All Along: Rengoku-hen introduces new allied characters Blue, Black, White, Orion, Sardias, and Clavia. Unfortunately, each one turns out to be a villain, though Clavia plays with this by being more-or-less Brainwashed and Crazy.
    • In Tengoku-hen, Tempti, who takes the alias "Titi" to emotionally manipulate Hibiki, and Advent, who feigned his prior Heel-Face Turn and Heroic Sacrifice in Jigoku-hen in order to summon the Supreme God.
  • Evil Versus Evil:
    • Hades in Jigoku-hen doesn't care about mankind like Zeus does, but is considered an enemy of Ba'al since he took part in the war eons ago, as well as not being on good terms with Mykage Towano.
    • In Tengoku-hen, the ELS are just as hostile towards extraterrestrials and willing to absorb themren.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: About the time Butcher starts pulling out the "turn people into walking bombs and detonate them" scheme, a few members of the alliance he's a part of wonder if taking over the Earth is really worth working with such a lunatic.
  • Everyone Went to School Together: Hakai-hen folds all the school plots together, thus Heero, Duo, Relena, Saji Crossroad and Louise Halevy all attend Ashford Academy. This is how Saji and Louise would look like in uniform.
  • Extra Turn: In addition to series staple Spirit Commands "Awaken"note  and "Enable"note , the Second Z introduces the "Continuous Action" pilot skillnote . Saisei-hen adds the "Platinum Emblem" equippable partnote .
    • Jigoku-hen removes Continuous Action and Enable, but introduces the "Multi-Action Tag Command"note  that can be activated any number of times in one turn, so long as the team's "Tag Tension" gauge is filled.
    • A few enemies (mostly late-game bosses) since Hakai-hen have the "Double Action" pilot skillnote . At least one villain in Jigoku-hen has "Triple Action".
  • Falling into the Cockpit: Averted with the originals; New Meat Setsuko has military training and Rand was using the Gunleon for years prior to Z. Crowe takes it further by being a former member of the Britannian Firebug Squad. Hibiki, however, plays this straight, as his first experience with a Humongous Mecha is with the Genion.
  • Flame War: Have an urgent need for supernova-grade heat? Go on a forum (preferably GameFAQs) and ask the dreaded question "Who's better: Rand or Setsuko?" or just mention them both in the same sentence and hide in a nuclear shelter.
    • When Hakai-hen was released, complaining about the inability to save Kamina, Lockon and Euphemia was enough to release A LOT of heat. For a while, fans of old school Mazinger, who has appeared in every SRW, were upset Shin Mazinger is the one appearing in the Second Z.
  • Flashback Nightmare: The prologue to Scenario 39 in Hakai-hen is Chirico reliving the events from the Pailsen Files OVA.
  • Foreshadowing: Loads of it; try playing the game after beating it once. You'll be stunned at the amount of hints done between the lines or in plain sight.
    • At the epilogue of Hakai-hen, Aoi Hidaka starts getting headaches and feeling pain. This is the calling card of Muge Zorbados.
    • In the epilogue of Jigoku-hen, Noriko Takaya states protecting Earth is her duty, regardless if it takes her away for another 12,000 years, a teaser for Diebuster.
  • Forgotten First Meeting: Played with in Jigoku-hen - Heero states when he was an assassin, one mission involved guarding the "Tiger of Helmajistan", a charismatic leader of a guerilla force ten years ago, whose real identity is Majid, the "Tiger of Badakhshan". Setsuna notes he and other Child Soldiers were sent to assassinate Majid on orders from Ali al-Saachez; Sousuke also chimes in, claiming he was there to fulfill the same objective as Setsuna. Hibiki is surprised at the odds of three soldiers who might have ended up in the same region as enemies.
  • Fountain of Youth: Everybody is weirded out by the fact that Noriko's "big sis" who Noriko told them was a middle aged woman, appears to almost the same age as Noriko. Kazumi giggles at this, and says that that she somehow has the body of when she first piloted Gunbuster with Noriko. Kazumi thinks that after being pulled into the black hole, she wished and wished to see Noriko again. And that perhaps that wish overcame time itself, and thus she was reborn. Lelouch goggles at the mysteries of the universe, and even C.C. comments that despite having lived a long time, she's still surprised by all this stuff that keeps happening lately. Noriko calls it a miracle born of Kazumi's feelings.
  • Fragile Speedster: Orguss units, all the way, although nowhere near the Garland on the "fragile" end of the scale. The Orguss is a weakly-defended unit in Z, but is extremely powerful due to its high attack power and mobility, coupled with Kei's amazing skill stat and default pilot skill set, which is designed to make use of it. It even comes with a very strong Combination Attack later in the game.
  • Friendly Fire Proof: Played with - one scenario's SR Point requirement is to destroy Kira in the Freedom, despite the fact he's a "neutral" unit and you can't attack neutrals. However, most "MAP" Weapons don't discriminate friend or foe...
  • Fun with Acronyms: In Jigoku-hen, the default faction name is "Z-BLUE" (Z-Busters Link Universe & Earth).
    • It was the same in the previous games too. Z1 had "ZEUTH" (Z Emergency Union of Terrestrial Humans) and Z2 had "ZEXIS" (Z EXtra International Savers).
  • Fusion Dance: After Z-BLUE beats Mykage for the last time in Tengoku-hen, Fudou and Touma appear and Mikage fuses back into Touma, since he is a fragment of the latter's soul.
  • Gambit Pileup: The plot of Z can be summarized as the separate and intricate machinations of the Chimera, Durandal, Lord Djibril, Scirocco, Haman, the Frost Brothers, Gym, Dewey Novak, Alex Rosewater, the Siberian Railroad Company, the Shadow Angels, the Hundred Demon Empire, the Chirams and the alien alliance of the Vegan Empire, Gaizok, Zeravire, Elda and the Aldebaron Army all barreling towards each other at breakneck speeds, which is exactly what The Edel Bernal wants.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation
    • Since Saisei-hen doesn't inherit pilots' kill counts from Hakai-hen (for obvious reasons), it invariably makes the player feel weird when Takeru Myojin isn't a Super-A Class psychic, or Gainer ceases to become a Game Champion and others, despite Saisei-hen occurring one year after Hakai-hen. The same can be said about former ZEUTH members from Z.
    • In Jigoku-hen, a concentrated volley by Serpents wipe out an entire team, save Heero and Kallen Kozuki. Some might wonder why Shinji, Rei Ayanami and Hibiki don't use their respective machines' barriers to block the attack at all.
    • The Buster Jupiter-2 Drop isn't an ALL. Unless the two units in a pair are thousands of kilometers apart, they're both gonna get hit.
  • Genre Savvy: Xabungle characters, of course, along with the Siberian Railroad soldiers. Gainer, being the gamer he is, also throws in a few Lampshade Hanging. For the originals, Rand shows impressive levels of this by deciding to not bother with a Running Gag, among others (despite having one major Genre Blind moment when he trusts Asakim, though he is his partner's savior at the time, thus it's a bit justified). The all-time champion, however, is The Edel Bernal, whose first action in the final battle is calling another two versions of himself, averting Mook Chivalry by a mile.
  • Glass Cannon: Several super robot pilots, notably Touga Tenkuuji, come with few or no natural ranks of the pilot skill "Potential"note , crucial to keep super robots from being this. However, there is no such way to keep the Dai-Guard from falling into this category; in fact, the unit is probably the best example for the entire franchise to datenote . While the Dai-Guard has multiple attacks that can pierce barriers (especially in a game where enemies with damage-reducing barriers are astoundingly common) and can take out Dimensional Beasts better than nearly any other unit, it always remains one of the most fragile units in the partynote .
    • It should also be noted that Dai-Guard is a Real Robot in a Super Robot genre anime, and thus combines the worst aspects of Real Robots (poor armour and health) and Super Robots (poor evasion and speed), and given a bunch of other serious disadvantages (terrible terrain ratings and horrible attack range). Chances are the Dai-Guard is the first unit you'll be slapping parts on to increase its efficiency. Once you do, it becomes a not-so-terrible unit. There's also the fact that it has three pilots, all of them with healing spirits.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Boss Borot manages to pull this off in the first Saisei-hen preview. Considering its the Shin Mazinger counterpart, it's not too much of a surprise.
  • Good All Along: Despite early fears about Char breaking his promise in Jigoku-hen, he doesn't want to Colony Drop Axis, stating he's learned too much from Treize to do this. In an attempt to fix the issues in space-time, Char turns Axis into a singularity point. To do this, he assumes leadership of Neo Zeon to make them and Axis a prime target for mankind to oppose. Meanwhile, he secretly communicates with Athrun to setup GN Particle generators throughout the world. The combined will of humanity, expressed in GN Particles, will fix some of the constant dimensional problems set in the series. Essentially, Char wants to replicate what happened back in Z where humanity's will did something similar.
    • The ELS in Tengoku-hen are only attempting to understand humanity. Once they finally communicate with humanity thanks to Setsuna they become swift allies of mankind and help to defend the earth while Z-Blue faces off against the Final Boss.
  • Graceful Loser: After being defeated by Z-BLUE in Jigoku-hen, Garadoubla praises their strength and says they have earned his title of "hero" before passing on.
  • Gratuitous English: The theme song for Z, Crest of Zs, has some of this (FLYING TO THE BURNING SKY AND ROLLING THUNDER RIDE!))
  • Groin Attack: As per Diebuster, Nicola Vacheron attempts to molest Nono in Tengoku-hen when Shinji stops him by kicking him in the balls.
  • Guest Star Party Member: A few in Hakai-hen, such as Suzaku (who joins ZEXIS for a few scenarios at Euphemia's request, only to leave once the Special Administrative Zone incident occurs); Brera Stern, Zechs Marquise, Timp, Beck, Fyana, the Barcoff Squad in a flashback scenario, and Gregor Galosh. Suzaku, Brera, Fyana and Gregor join ZEXIS officially in Saisei-hen, while Zechs continues to be a guest. Similarly, Kokubogar in both games, but he never joins permanently.
    • To a lesser extent, Rand and Setsuko in Saisei-hen, since they spend a short story arc getting to know Crowe before getting sealed in a Zone. However, they return for the last few scenarios.
    • Gyunei Guss in Jigoku-hen: like Quess Paraya and Marida Cruz, he will assist for a few scenarios, only to leave. While the latter two are possible Secret Characters, Gyunei isn't; similarly, Graham Aker, Andrei Smirnov and Patrick Colasour. However, Graham becomes a permanent ally, Andrei does not re-appear and Patrick is another Secret Character. Despite her antagonism, Haman will help for one scenario.
  • Guide Dang It: Mixed with Lying Creator - infamously, series director Takanobu Terada stated there's "only one secret" in Z, and boy was he lying. The game's known for having a very large number of secret units, a route split depending on an "invisible" point system, and another point system determining the Multiple Endings, also invisible to the player. Woe befall any attempting to get the G-Bits and Tifa Adill without a guide, though worse is trying to keep Rey Za Barrel and Talia Gladys alive. Managing to do the latter requires you to take the secret ZEUTH Route split, accessible only by amassing a certain amount of the invisible points obtained by performing certain actions over a number of scenarios, some of those even going against what happens in the actual series (e.g. Shinn and Rey fighting Athrun, but NOT destroying his unit; instead, waiting it out until the fourth turn) or might seem flat out nonsensical (such as ignoring specific enemy units). To make it worse, the ZEUTH Route is much, much better than the ZAFT Route (where most first-time players will get to without aid) and gives access to a number of secrets (Haman, for one).
    • Averted in New Game+, where the point system is dropped, making it a player's choice.
    • This is repeated in Saisei-hen, where the only way to prevent the Black Knights from betraying Lelouch is to go to the ZEXIS Route split. Like Z, it's accessible only by amassing a certain amount of the invisible points such as preventing the death of Shirley Fenette, a mystery in itself.
    • Repeated again for Jigoku-hen, as doing enough certain unseen requirements unlocks an alternate "Defy Destiny" route near the end of the game that gives several secret characters. Like Z, players don't need these requirements for a New Game+.
  • Handsome Lech: Kei, Mikhail Blanc, Pierre and Gain form their own group of four skirt chasers. By Jigoku-hen, Kurz Weber, Keiichirou Aoyama, Lockon and Andy are added into the mix.
  • Harder Than Hard: "EX-Hard Mode" of Z lives up to its name by banning unit and weapon upgrades, unlike previous incarnations that only prohibited the latter. Moreover, Combination Attacks aren't as abundant or potent as they were in other games in the series and damage is generally lower.
  • Heel-Face Revolving Door: Char still has the unfortunate habit of switching sides in the Z series and coming back if the conditions are right. He sides with one half of ZEUTH in Z, aligns with A-LAWS in Saisei-hen and returns to the Neo Zeon for Jigoku-hen.
  • He-Man Woman Hater: L÷wen's true personality is this. Also, Crowe dislikes beautiful women, though it's more that he just doesn't trust them too much, probably because he doesn't want to get conned out of his money. Saisei-hen reveals the distrust is to due to his former commander of Firebug Squad, Marilyn.
  • Hot-Blooded: The Z series is one of the most tightly concentrated masses yet in SRW. Jiron, Harry, Apollo, Shinn, Eiji Shigure, both versions of the the Getter Team and Kouji, Shinobu Fujiwara, Kamina and (later) Simon, Shunsuke Akagi, etc; even people who aren't normally this trope go nuts here.
    • With Macross Dynamite 7 in Saisei-hen, Basara Nekki and his songs, which, due to in-game mechanics, can make all playable characters even more Hot-Blooded than usual.
  • How Unscientific!: How the crew of the Ptolemaios battleship reacts upon seeing the Aquarion. Tieria Erde asks Sirius de Alisia how the machine works and ends up even more confused.
  • Human Popsicle
    • Noriko and the Gunbuster are thawed out of a block of ice in Jigoku-hen. It's suggested she's a survivor of the previous civilization (of fire; the current one is that of the sun) destroyed 12,000 years ago. Kazumi Amano is missing-in-action, and Noriko's last memories were that of detonating Buster Machine #3.
    • Apollo, Sirius and Touma were sealed with the Aquarion since they were holding the world together (which happened at the end of Z), and are freed in the present with Silvia de Alisia (who was also summoned from her time) by the events of Tengoku-hen. Mykage is forced out of the Legendary Aquarion, as its original users have returned.
  • Human Subspecies: The backstory of Jigoku-hen reveals the Mycenae Empire and Uchuu Maou are humans who overcame the 12,000 year loop, ascending to higher beings via evolution. Their role is to guide their younger counterparts (humanity), but Hades and his allies decided to conquer the universe instead. In fact, Chirico compares the aura of the Mycenae to the one emitted by Wiseman]].
  • In the Back: When Char decides to head to the front lines in Jigoku-hen, he confronts Amuro face-to-face. As they are talking, Full Frontal attempts to destroy the latter by flanking him.
  • Interquel: Rengoku-hen, set between Jigoku-hen and Tengoku-hen, which bridges the gap between both games and feature only the Original Generation. Meaningful Name ensues as "rengoku" loosely means "purgatory" in Japanese, though the title of the game refers to "continuous prison".
  • JAM Project: Like usual, they sing the opening and ending themes to each installment
    • "Crest of Z's" and "Cosmic Dance" for Z
    • "Noah" and "Negai" for Hakai-hen
    • "Hagane no Resistance" and "The Advent of Genesis" for Saisei-hen
  • Killed Off for Real: Several, including Kamina and Neil "Lockon Stratos" Dylandy; possibly Euphemia, unless the player takes the "Trust Zero" Route in Saisei-hen, until Jigoku-hen defaults to the "Don't Trust Zero" option, ensuring she stays dead.
  • Large Ham: L÷wen post-Face-Heel Turn goes from a demure, gynophobic Bishounen into a hammy, screaming warrior whose insanity and Ax-Crazy nature have no limits.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: For reasons unexplained, multiple characters in Jigoku-hen do not recall certain members from absent series. Whenever one attempts to remember them, they are instantly struck with this trope, forgetting what triggered the thought. Inverted for Z-BLUE when Kei appears in the game, as they do not recognize him until a sudden headache triggers their memory of their former comrade. Played straight immediately afterwards, when Kei himself remembers the Aquarion cast upon seeing the Aquarion EVOL, only to instantly forget about the former.
    • This is eventually explained as a result of Mind Control. Some of the dialogue spoken by Annalotta Stohls suggests she's partially to blame for this (via some kind of psychic acupuncture; there's mention of "needles"), but there's another force at work which Gadlight declines to name, who are not only suppressing the memories of Z-BLUE, but of all humanity.
  • Laughably Evil: Jason Beck, of course. The Edel Bernal is one for the Original Generation, whose Genre Savvy nature and eerily accurate comments to ZEUTH make him a rather amusing villain, leading to him being considered one of the "best" SRW villains simply due to an unabashed, unapologetic nature.
  • Lethal Joke Character: Like his Another Century's Episode counterpart, Gain and his trusty Gotchko. While not as overpowered as it was in that game, it's infinitely more useful than it seems in Z and can make the first half of a playthrough an utter joke if correctly set up.
    • This can be accurately said about Gain himself, who is Weak, but Skilled. Although not much of an Oversense person like Gainer, he makes up for it with Improbable Aiming Skills. The fact the Gatchko will turn become the Emperanza, a very powerful Overman early in the game, doesn't hurt Gain's cause (though by that point, he's gone beyond a "joke").
    • The Jenice Kai Enil Custom in Z has weak attacks (no "ALL" attack, in fact), can't fly, and has the lowest stats of all available Gundam X units; on top of that, the player must purchase it from the bazaar. Its saving grace is in its post-movement "TRI" attack, the only one in its series among allied units.
    • Renton in Z starts out a lousy pilot, until the Nirvash becomes the Spec2 and gains the "Seven Swell" MAP Weapon. If used correctly and at the right time, the player will start bringing in enough "Pilot Points" to raise his stats well above everyone else's.
  • Let's Play: Saint-ism has one for Hakai-hen and Saisei-hen, the latter featuring "arranged battles" where attack animations are edited into into extended battle sequences.
  • Let's Split Up, Gang: Subvertedin Z; ZEUTH splits up for a while mid-way, which is pretty standard for the franchise, but it turns out to be a very bad idea.
    • Counts as a Deconstruction of the usual trope scenario, since a Real Life group formed of military types and civilians will probably end up in the same way ZEUTH's factions did. Just look at Holland Novak and his musings during the first half of Z: even when ZEUTH is together, not everything is smooth-sailing, making it a rare deconstruction of the True Companionship inherent in SRW.
      • Happens again at the end of Hakai-hen: Zero orders ZEXIS to disperse and go their separate ways, as their mission to destroy Gaiou is complete. However, Lelouch is doing this because his crusade against Britannia isn't over. Again, this becomes another bad idea because the "Black Rebellion" fails without ZEXIS's support; the Black Knights are captured (aside from Kallen and C.C.), while Zero is apprehended and Brainwashed. Celestial Being and the colony Gundams are promptly targeted with their protection from the United Nations revoked, rendering the former nearly wiped out, with the Ptolemaios battleship and most of its Gundams destroyed, and scattering the colony Gundams. The ZEXIS forces on the Dark Continent are understaffed and unable to stop Professor Saotome. ZEUTH Gundam pilots are forced to turn to the Organization of Zodiac for protection and shelter, and the rest of the ADW is helpless to stop the rise of the A-LAWS and the hegemony by Ribbons Almark.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: Aside from the trope listed above, one scenario starts with you fighting against the main character, either Rand or Setsuko!
  • Lightning Bruiser: Baldios throughout the games is an LL-sized mecha with the unique "Subspace Rush" unit abilitynote ; do the math. There's nothing more fun than putting Baldios some distance away from an enemy and just start slinging around "Thunder Flashes".
    • Kallen and the Guren in the Second Z: fast movement and good mobility, with abilities letting it tank if it needs to.
    • Chirico in Z2, if his low-HP pilot skills are triggered correctly, can tear through any enemy in what is basically a 3-meter-tall mook unit (with customization).
    • Nirvash Spec3 in Z, provided the player builds Renton correctly.
    • If the player builds the Aquarion pilots by taking advantage of the "Element System"note  correctly, they can turn the different Aquarion configurations into these.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Z contains over 20 different series, each bringing in numerous characters. The sheer amount of characters by itself is more then enough, but the Second Z takes it Up to Eleven by bringing the series count to over 30, resulting in one of the largest series headcounts in the franchise.
  • Logic Bomb: After beating Marida, Banana tries to reason with her but Alberto just tells her to remember that the Gundams are the enemy. Marida flips out and attacks Banana, and Setsuna intervenes. When Marida yells that he's a Gundam as well, he replies that she is as well. This causes Marida's browser to crash and she freaks out and flees.
  • Loophole Abuse: Unusually, Jigoku-hen puts Heero and Chirico in Bonta-kun, despite SRW disallowing cross-series piloting. Since Bonta-kun's operator is Shaped Like Itself, complete with its own stats and Spirit Commands distinct from Sousuke, both characters appear in the same scenario using it. When Sousuke asks who its operator is, Heero or Chirico answers "I am".
  • Love Triangle: Several of them throughout the series.
  • Magikarp Power: The Turn A in Z is a not-very-useful unit with limited weapons and bad anti-air stats, with Loran Cehack being its so-so default pilot, until in-game events lead to it gradually getting upgraded, culminating in its "Moonlight Butterfly" attack (including a MAP variant) among others, making it one of the best units in the game. In another example, Renton's (and Loran's) stats grow at a much faster rate after they pass level 40-45s.
    • King Gainer is fragile, small and really hard for Gainer to use, particularly increasing his Will to use the machine's "Overskill" ability. Doing some investment in choice pilot skills like "Attack Again"note  (by taking advantage of his "Gamer"/"Game Champ"note  pilot skill), "Ignore Size Modifier"note  and some Will-boosting techniques, he becomes quite good. It helps the King Gainer constantly upgrades like the Turn A and Nirvash through event-driven scenarios.
    • Dai-Guard in Hakai-hen due to Shunsuke's "Salaryman" pilot skillnote .
    • Although Chirico is far from a bad pilot, early on in Hakai-hen, the Scopedog is an unimpressive unit with only three attacks, each with extremely limited ammo and cannot be used post-movement. After a while, he acquires the "Red Shoulder Custom", providing more attacks (even if a few still lack ammunition) with a downside in mobility and movement. During the end of the Woodo Arc, Chirico gains the "Turbo Custom", which sacrifices its ammo-scarce weaponry for better stats. Finally, when the Turbo Custom earns weapons put back on it for The Last Red Shoulder, if the player fulfills the requirements, the "Scopedog Turbo Custom ISS" is unlocked.
    • Nono starts with the EVO-4 in Tengoku-hen, a bottom-of-the-barrel resupply-based unit with weak attacks. By Scenario 34, she unlocks the EVO-4's transformation into Buster Machine #7, earning extremely powerful attacks and the "Ignore Size Modifier" pilot skill, on top of her being size SS, making her nigh-untouchable. Towards the tail-end of the game, the eponymous Diebuster transformation is unlocked, making her an equal of the Super Galaxy Gurren Lagann by having one of the largest MAP Weapons in Tengoku-hen.
  • Man of Kryptonite: One of the new abilities for the Turn A Gundam in Tengoku-hen is its "Moonlight Butterfly" can absorb and drain EN from enemies within its radius.
  • Marathon Level: Quite a few, but especially Scenario 50 in Z, which is rather long on its own, but after it's finished, there's a long exposition sequence, which thrusts the player back into combat against the Frost Brothers and Gym. The final scenario also counts since it's a three-parter and ends with you fighting the Big Bad doubling as That One Bossnote .
    • In Hakai-hen, one scenario recreates the Gundam 00 season one finale (along with some Gundam Wing and Code Geass thrown in): ZEXIS faces off against an army of GN-Xs, Tauruses, and the commanders of every major faction in the ADW. At a certain point, the Ptolemaios gets dragged off to a second map along with the Celestial Being Gundams facing off against another army of grunts, with Ali-Al-Saachez and Alejandro Corner along for the ride (the rest of ZEXIS shows up later). Finally, a third map comprises of Setsuna in the Exia against Alejandro in the Alvatorre.
    • Scenario 54 in the "Don't Trust Zero" Route of Saisei-hen opens with a fleet of Anti-Spiral units. Once those are taken care of, enemy reinforcements arrive in the form of the Anti-Spiral Gurren Lagann, Muge Zorbados with some of his own units and Zeravire. The final portion involves Team Dai-Gurren leading a small strike team inside the Cathedral Terra Lazengann to destroy the Anti-Spiral Gurren Lagann and its Mooks.
    • Scenario 48 in Tengoku-hen begins with a battle against Sidereal, half of which are comprised of Elite Mooks. Once they're destroyed, Barbiel, Shikuu and Straus will appear; following that, Australis takes to the field, though he won't attack. Unfortunately, whittling down Australis results in him going One-Winged Angel and summoning a group of Dimensional Beasts, beginning the final phase of the scenario.
    • The final scenario in Tengoku-hen: after a lengthy cutscene, Z-BLUE is transported to a map filled with enemies, many of whom can count as sub-bosses. Defeating them makes the Final Boss appear alongside another wave of the same sub-bosses. Reducing the Final Boss by a third of its Hit Points triggers another cutscene, ending with it regenerating its health and summoning stronger versions of the previous sub-bosses. Fortunately, all players need to do is finish the Final Boss to end the game.
  • Midseason Upgrade: One of the very few SRWs averting this for the originals. Rand and Setsuko gain this halfway through Z, but Rand's Gunleon earn two new attacks and a new unit ability, while Setsuko's Virgora gets a new gun and a set of wings, capping off a chain of gradual upgrades that began midway through the game's first act.
    • Played with in Hakai-hen: Crowe's Brasta earns the SPIGOT-VX with no physical changes. Played straight in Saisei-hen regarding the Li-Brasta. The catch is the player decides whether it's a melee-based Super Robot or a long-ranged Real Robot.
    • Averted with Hibiki's Genion in Jigoku-hen: it merely gains a Super Mode. Tengoku-hen plays it straight once he acquires the Geminion Ray.
  • Mighty Glacier: Baldios and Daitarn 3 by virtue of being size LL, but the Big O's a better example due to its nigh-impenetrable defense and varied, strong arsenal which gets expanded as you progress through Z. The Gunleon also counts, something not noticeable at first, until the player is forced to fight Rand for a few turns using Roybea Loy and Witz Sou, experiencing first-hand how hard its defenses are.
  • More Dakka: The new "Tri-Battle System" in Z allows an entire squad to unleash a volley that makes the "Squad System" from the Alpha games look dated and underwhelming. More traditionally, various units such as the Orguss have an Alpha Strike-based attack that pulls this off.
  • Mutually Exclusive Party Members: If the player chooses to activate the Evangelion Unit 03 in Jigoku-hen, Asuka Langley Shikinami leaves the party and Mari Illustrious Makinami stays for the rest of the game.
  • Multiple Endings: One of the more deviously-hidden Guide Dang It elements that manages through its own hidden point system in Z. Should certain conditions be fufilled, the player can choose to give up the protagonist's memories and live in Paradigm City until the Black History takes place, ending all of civilization) Additionally, depending on the chosen protagonist, around half of the game is unique to that person.
  • My Future Self and Me: Variation in Tengoku-hen - Apollo and Kagura become aquainted very fast, which Kamille chalks up to one being the Reincarnation of the other. Likewise, Silvia and Mikono, in spite of, reincarnation aside, them not being very similar, unlike Apollo and Kagura. In contrast, Apollo finds his other reincarnation, Amata, a little underwhelming, which the latter concedes.
  • Nerf: Certain Spirit Commands in Jigoku-hen like "Valor" are taken away from many characters, while the "Invincible" Spirit Command is changed to automatically reduce damage taken to one-eighth instead of the minimum ten points of damage.
    • "Ignore Size Modifier" in Jigoku-hen has multiple skill levels rather than cover the entire size spectrumnote .
  • Never the Selves Shall Meet: Zigzagged - in a non-Time Travel variation, Z explains that multiple counterparts of the same person cannot exist in the same universe, in order to justify why the original Mazinger Z, Getter Robo, and Eureka Seven don't show up in the Second Z, yet subverted with The Edel Bernal back in the first game via Rand's final scenario. The Second Z implies it can happen between the same person, provided the individual can jump between dimensions by themselves; the Stigma of the Cursed Wanderer merely pulls them in.
    • In the case of Grendizer, some fans believe it's not in Hakai-hen due to Battle of the Flying Saucers potentially being part of the line-up Saisei-hen (both shows are created by Go Nagai, with the latter considered a prototype for the former). Once Saisei-hen was revealed, Banpresto stated they apparently forgot about Grendizer.
  • No Indoor Voice: In the Second Z, Harry Ord, with his infamous "UNIVEEEEEEEEEEEEEERSE!!!" scream in his voice clips, with the last of them being "Did you say Queen Diana's butt? CURSE YOU!!!"
  • No Sell: In Scenario 49 of Jigoku-hen, Heero is able to resist the effects of Gadlight's Sphere of the "Quarreling Twins" due to his affections for Relena. Although impressed, Gadlight states he is Just One Man and alone, while the rest of Z-BLUE are affected. Fortunately, Heero covers Setsuna long enough for the latter to acquire the 00 Qan[T] and activate its "TRANS-AM Burst" effect, restoring Z-BLUE to normal.
  • Non-Standard Game Over: In Z, losing Scenario 44 (failing to stop the Artificial Sun or losing the Gravion) results in a special play on the Downer Ending from Baldios, where the massive tsunami occurs and the words "Game Over" instead of the "END" kanji from the original ending.
  • Not His Sled
    • The Z version of the Black History is actually a Bad Future brought about by ZEUTH, rather than the distant past/Gundam Mega Crossover the original series is known for.
    • Whatever the contents of the Laplace's Box are, it isn't the original charter to the Earth Federation regarding autonomy of the space colonies, since it's useless in the combined world of Jigoku-hen. In Tengoku-hen, Elgan's video is part of the contents of the Box itself, set up whenever it's opened to start broadcasting to the world with the help of VEDA.
  • Not Quite Dead:
    • Ribbons is still hanging out inside Veda and helps Tieria grow a new body and build a new Gundam after the ELS blow up Raphael (Tieria thinks he's just another Innovade of the same type, but it turns out that it is Ribbons himself, who reformed because of Amuro)
    • After Scenario 28 of the Remnant Sea Route, Leon Mishima comments that while the Galaxy fleet's attempts to destroy Z-BLUE have failed, there's no need to rush. After all, they're still of some use in distracting Sidereal. His guest smiles, and Mishima comments that he didn't expect to see Grace O'Connor... or rather Grace Godunov here after she supposedly died in the Saisei Incident. Grace replies that her name is merely an appellation, as her body is just a vessel. The events of the Saisei Incident were a useful source of data, and their research has thusly leapt forward considerably. And they were able to test the fruits of that research on the Vajra swarm they found in the galactic core. All thanks to their sponsor, Mishima.
  • Off Model: The character portraits during combat show signs of this, primarily in Jigoku-hen. Shinn's "SEED Mode" portrait is drawn differently than in the previous games.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Upon reaching Mars in Tengoku-hen, the Arc Sabers reveal they were fighting the Meganoids all this time. Just before Z-BLUE's arrival, Banjou had singlehandedly destroyed them all.
  • The Omniscient Council of Vagueness: Chrono in the Third Z is an organization that exists in multiple worlds and they are the ones behind the assassinations of Heero Yuy (the original) and Zeon Zum Deikun. In fact, Chrono has been working to ensure the eponymous "time prison" is placed to protect the Earth from the Ba'al. At one point in Jigoku-hen, Char attempts to weed out its members within the Earth Federation. In Tengoku-hen, it's revealed Chrono conservatives were behind LOGOS and the Blue Cosmos.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Boss has his "My alias is Boss! Not even the author knows my name." quote from Shin Mazinger
  • Only Sane Man: Crowe, Lockon, Keiichirou and Duo, being the jokers of ZEXIS who can find time to crack a laugh during free-time unlike the rest who are either The Stoic, way too serious or apparently busy doing something else.
  • Oh, Crap: So Rand and the Gunleon are upgraded and it's making life easy by tanking everything thrown its way and walking (or, "wrenching") over legions of Mooks? Let's see how it feels when he becomes an enemy unit, with the same skill, stats, and upgrades given to him, using only you gave him, no less) using only Roybea, Witz, Carris Nautilus and the Freeden un-upgraded and under an instant Game Over condition if one of them dies. Although it lasts a few turns, this doesn't make it any less horrifying.
    • Better still: if doing this on New Game+, and the player pimped the hell out of the protagonist's stats and mecha (such as putting on multiple "Haro" equippable partsnote ), it's entirely possible to make this Unwinnable.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: In Tengoku-hen, Gyunei runs with the logic that if can defeat Amuro, whom Char never could, he'lll essentially have surpassed Char.
  • Original Generation
    • Rand, Mel, the Glory Star, the Chimera, Crowe, Traiya Scott, Esther, the Neo Empire Imperium, the Holy Kingdom of Insaraum, Elgan, Aim, Marilyn, Hibiki, Suzune, Chrono, Geminis, Sidereal and Ba'al.
    • For the Humongous Mecha, the Gunleon, Virgora, Shurouga, Eliphas, the Chaos machines, Brasta, the Arksaber machines, Arietis, Genion and Geminia. Z: Special Disk contains an original Overman called the "XAN". Z2: Saisei-Hen gave us the palette swapped evil knockoff version of the Gurren Lagann called the Anti-Gurren Lagann.
  • Our Angels Are Different: The games have the angels from Neon Genesis Evangelion, Genesis of Aquarion, and the Original Generation called the Four Angels (Doctrine, Tempti, Sacrifai, Advent) who are the result of an instrumentality like event that lead to them achieving Shinka.
  • Overrated And Underleveled: A variation, though not exactly a straight example, either - Quattro is statistically one of the best pilots in Z but never gets his own top-of-the-line mobile suit, relegating him to the so-so Hyaku Shiki, which has nothing on the more powerful units later in the game (unless he's placed in the Turn A as most players do).
    • Kira and the Strike Freedom in Z: unless the player has been deliberately saving credits in Rand's route to upgrade the Freedom in the two or three scenarios he's with ZEUTH, by the time the Strike Freedom is available, it will have a paltry three bars of upgrades and Kira will have bonus Pilot Points to use, yet the player's squads are likely filled up with specifically designated leaders.
  • Obviously Evil: Just take a look at Asakim and tell us he isn't evil. For starters, the man's completely clad in black, the Shurouga looks evil, and its attacks are sadistic, with Asakim commenting similarly so. Makes one wonder how anyone can trust him in the first place, even though he only acts so for the sake of gaining freedom from being a Cursed Wanderer and seeking death.
  • Painting the Medium: In the Second Z, the Deathscythe and its Mid-Season Upgrade Deathscythe Hell have the "Hyper Jammer" and "Hyper Jammer ECM Suite" attack, respectively, making use of their stealth jammers, causing the screen to flicker and static-up for the duration of the attack.
  • Patrick Stewart Speech: Pretty much all of the cast give these
  • Peninsula Of Powerleveling: In Scenario 21 of Hakai-hen, it's possible to Level Grind repair- and resupply-based units so long as the boss isn't destroyed and Emperor Zuul is brought out.
    • Scenario 15 of Saisei-hen, provided players know what to do. As long as Li Xingke in the Shen-Hu isn't destroyed, it's easy to have characters to unlock their "Ace Bonus" with a lot of patience by defeating Wufei, who regenerates to full every time his unit is destroyed, repeatedly. At the same time, players can also let the Macross Quarter use its "Macross Cannon" to hit allies capable of repairing units to repair themselves, while units who can resupply can do so on the same units to gain Experience Points. And as a bonus, Wufei can get beaten up over and over till players are satisfied. Additional bonus points if players grabs the "Bronze Emblem"note  and the "Silver Emblem"note  equippable parts before starting the scenario.
    • Patient players can start Level Grinding as early as the second prologue scenario in Tengoku-hen for eight specific charactersnote  all the way to level 99, provided they don't destroy the boss thanks to Alto's "MDE Missiles" MAP Weapon backed by his "Battle Spirit" pilot skillnote . Since the weapon isn't Friendly Fire Proof, he can use the attack against allies, with at least two allied units in the scenario who can repair the party.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Crowe, Lockon, Duo, and Keiichirou in Hakai-hen. When they group up, they start telling bad jokes, even when they're alone (such as in the Scenario 7 intermission before battle, while at the Ashford Academy, Duo laughs at Kallen for acting like a weak little lady). For example, whenever the Dai-Guard gets hit, Keiichirou asks Ibuki Momoi if she'd like to gamble whether the next attack will hit or miss. In another instance, Lockon hangs out with Crowe and laughs at one another's dry humor.
    • In Scenario 48 of Hakai-hen, during the intermission, Setsuna is using the long-distance communication device when Crowe wonders if he is going to send a message to his "girlfriend" Marina Ismail. Setsuna responds with the usual stare; Crowe jokingly asks if it's to his boyfriend and Setsuna's answer remains the same, this time with a glare. Lockon notes how Crowe's bad jokes don't work on Setsuna, to which Crowe states "They don't work on Chirico, Zero, Heero, Trowa Barton, Wufei and Kyoshiro Tohdoh, either."
  • Post Script Season: Mazinger Z, Great Mazinger and Xabungle in Z. All series returning from the Z in Hakai-hen are this as well, along with Dancougar and Trider G7. In Jigoku-hen, Noriko informs Z-BLUE she is from 12,000 years in the past from another dimension, meaning the events of Gunbuster have already passed, yet she has no idea how Kazumi disappeared after the detonation of Buster Machine #3.
  • Posthumous Character: Despite Treize's death being used as a case of martyrdom for the Mariemaia Army and Wufei's usual Face-Heel Turn from Endless Waltz in Jigoku-hen, Treize's actions in Saisei-hen have an impact in the game, particularly Char, who opts to save humanity by using Axis as a singularity point to unite mankind because he has learned much from Treize, whose dying words is to inform Char not to make the same mistakes as he did.
  • Power Limiter: An odd case in Hakai-hen - as long as Kamina is in the party, Simon is unable to learn the "Valor" or "Courage"note  Spirit Commands. This never comes up in normal play since Kamina will be absent later and is around ten levels before Simon should learn either Commands, but it plays up his status as a Crutch Character.
  • Power-Up Letdown: So the player has waited forever and toughed through the early scenarios of Z using the Gundam X Divider, wondering when they'll get to use the "Satellite Cannon" again. When it's finally available, reality strikes hard - the weapon becomes Awesome but Impractical, as it requires a full 3 to 4 turns before it's able to fire once until the next recharge cycle a la Super Robot Wars Destiny. However, Z ensures the BFG only functions in scenarios where the moon is visible through a line-of-sight, meaning the Gundam X cannot use it indoors or in many other stages where there's no moon. Justified Trope, because the Gundam Double X carries the "Twin Satellite Cannon", the strongest attack in Z bar-none and inevitably used specifically against bosses. While it might be a single-use in most scenarios, it's enough to be a boss-killer.
    • Another example (albeit not as severe) is Renton and the Nirvash Spec3: although its stats are much better and its attacks pack a bigger punch, the reason anyone uses the Spec2 is its "Seven Swell" MAP Weapon, which the Spec3 loses, making it less useful against hordes of Mooks. The Spec3 having as much raw power in its basic attack as the finishers of some super robots alleviates the pain, though. The real letdown is the Second Z counterpart of the Nirvash doesn't have the "Seven Swell" attack at all; even after its upgrade into the Nirvash Spec-V, it becomes weaker than the Terminus B303.
    • Deathscythe Hell's "Hyper Jammer ECM Suite" attack in Saisei-hen loses its built-in "accuracy down" Standard Status Effect of the original Deathscythe's "Hyper Jammer" attack, making it stronger but less useful, overall.
    • Super Galaxy Gurren Lagann and Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. Sure it has the most powerful base attack power, a 3L sized unit with boat loads of HP, its five pilots having decent spirit commands and can break through everything in the game. Its weaknesses? Because Gurren Lagann leaves its tag partner to combine with the battleship, the unit is now considered as a battleship so it's game over if it gets shot down, it can only move once in one turn because it cannot be paired up with the Tag Tension system, none of its pilots of have the "Awaken"note  spirit command forcing players to either rely on D-Commands or the Platinum Emblem, and by the time the unit could reach the boss, players would have more than enough time to finish the stage in one turn.
  • The Psycho Rangers: Z: Special Disk gives us "Death Squad 13", Edel Bernal's attempt at forming a ZEUTH-style Ragtag Bunch of Misfits. It begins as a unit composed of Phantom Pain and Titans members under the orders of Neo Roanoke, then gains more members from mercenaries like Timp or Jason Beck, and others like the Frost Brothers and Gym tagging along for fun. It doesn't work nearly as well (most members are nuts, after all) and the squad ends up disbanded without ever meeting ZEUTH in combat once.
  • Purposefully Overpowered: The Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann in Jigoku-hen is easily the best Lightning Bruiser in the game, except it's only usable in the final scenario.
  • Put on a Bus: Justified by the Third Impact in Tengoku-hen, with nearly all of Z-BLUE being sent back to their own dimensions, resulting in some series missing on the roster from the game.
  • Recurring Boss: Jason Beck appears in all Z installments, essentially the Alpha equivalent of Yazan Gable. Casting Gag ensues as both characters are voiced by the same person. Note, however, that you don't fight him in Hakai-hen; he's actually a one-time ally there.
  • Retraux: Mixed with Doing It for the Art - older Super Robots such as Baldios, God Sigma and Getter Robo get some retro-looking animations in their strongest attacks, complete with choppy animation and trippy retro "laser backgrounds" and pastel-frame explosions. This is a first for the franchise and a great moment for fans who weren't excited about Z initially, which also demonstrates the degree of love the designers have for the older shows, preserving them in their glory.
  • Redemption Demotion: While hardly an issue in previous SRWs, the Z series plays with this. Anew Returner and Rose are demoted to sub-pilots in Saisei-hen and Jigoku-hen, respectively; while this isn't such a big deal for the former, the latter has higher stats than the primary pilot of the Cosmo Crusher and carries the "ESP" pilot skillnote  like Takeru, making the character little more than an extra set of Spirit Commands for Kenji Asuka to use. Kagura in Jigoku-hen gets to be an Aquarion EVOL pilot, but is a melee-oriented character forced into the Aquarion Gepard configuration, which favors ranged attacks, making this character's melee stats next to useless. Averted with Jin Muso - like Kagura, this character also loses the Abductor and is part of the Aquarion Gepard, but is statistically suited for it.
  • Retcon: Z completely writes out Char's Counterattack in favor of keeping Char in line with his Zeta Gundam persona. Still, it's odd since Char's Counterattack is only in Z to give Amuro the Re-GZ and eventual Nu Gundam, while Char gets stuck with his Hyaku Shiki and doesn't get the Sazabi. Nevertheless, the moment where he and Amuro learn about the possible future and Char wholeheartedly declaring to stop it from happening is a heartwarming. Eventually this paves way to including Char's Counterattack but executing it differently that Char gets to keep his positive Character Development.
    • One of the things Z is known for is its handling of the Gundam SEED Destiny plot in a way that is believable and more enjoyable.
    • It's implied in Tengoku-hen Apollo and Sirius were sealed with the Aquarion since the ending of Z, in spite of Jigoku-hen having members of ZEXIS being afflicted with Laser-Guided Amnesia in regards to the Aquarion, and ZEUTH members, including Simon, outright referencing Apollo like they knew him in the Aquarion Evol finale. The problem is that it's never outright stated any members of DEAVA weren't present for the events of the Second Z, meaning ZEXIS would be meeting them for the first time, but only ZEUTH would act like they know them.
  • Running Gag: Rand being called "The Crusher" by others. Lampshaded by him repeatedly and eventually, he gets tired of trying to object. Early on in Z, he points out that someone was doing it just to piss him off.
    • Also, whenever Rand does his "Heat Smile", everyone will make the same comment towards it, including R. Dorothy Wayneright, Alan Gabriel and Alex Rosewater (!), Dianna and Harry Ord, Cynthia Lane (!), various Universal Century and Gundam SEED Destiny pilots, enemy generals, even the Shadow Angels, the Hyakki and alien forces. For the unfamiliar, Rand's a large Cool Old Guy with an intimidating "special service smile" called the "Heat Smile". Those who see it always, always comment on it being "stuffy" (or "atsukurushii" in Japanese), either loudly or to themselves, even in the middle of dire, life-or-death situations.
    • Kamina's tendency to come into conflict with everyone he meets is his way of making friends, such as Ryouma, Zero and Sheryl.
    • Chirico, Heero, Setsuna, Sousuke and Hibiki in Jigoku-hen they're even titled "The Sullen Five", all stoic characters, typically respond with "...." in conversations. There are entire conversations of silence where they can communicate meaningful dialogue or complex battle plans, with the rest of Z-BLUE wondering if they're psychic. Hibiki takes this gag further where he's oblivious to himself being The Stoic; whenever this group is mentioned, he assumes it doesn't include himself, but for someone such as Suzaku, Allelujah or Rei.
  • Screw Destiny: Naturally the overarching theme of the saga, but Jigoku-hen makes this a gameplay element. By fulfilling unseen requirements, a "Defy Destiny" Route can be chosen near the end of the game that gives several secret characters. This route also can be chosen during New Game+.
  • Secret Legacy: Tengoku-hen reveals that Banjou (through his father, who was a Chrono reformationist), the Marcenas, Clyne and Soreil families (the latter also a part of the reformationists) are a part of Chrono.
  • Sequel Hook: Plenty all over the place, from throwaway comments along the lines of "our battle has just begun" to unresolved plot threads (e.g. the Holy War, since the remaining Sphere holders have yet to appear or the Eldritch Abomination)
    • Some of the explicit hooks in Z includes Kouji watching the Black History recording and talking about seeing a "Mazinger-like" machine he doesn't recognize, Ryouma getting shocked after watching the same recording and asking "Is that machine with the fearsome movements a Getter?!" (really, the Shin Getter), with his remarks in the final scenario about sensing the presence of another version of himself that flat-out terrifies him (none other than fan-favorite "Batshit Ryouma" from Getter Robo Armageddon and the Getter Robo manga) and Banjou deciding to leave for Mars and talk about "his true battle just beginning".
    • Unfortunately, when it comes to a follow-up on Shin Mazinger, the storywriters may or may not have written themselves into a corner...note 
    • In Saisei-hen, the Anti-Spiral says it will return one day.
    • At the end of Jigoku-hen, a second Earth appears, as numerous enemies swarm Z-BLUE. This is followed with a snippet montage of:
      • Shinji proclaiming he will protect Rei no matter what, as Kira, Shinn and Athrun are speaking of how the PLANTs are heading down a road of destruction. Audrey Burne and Kaname Chidori bid farewell to Banagher Links and Sousuke, respectively, and Char discusses the contents of the Laplace's Box with Full Frontal.
      • Setsuna is rendered in a coma as Feldt Grace and Graham look on, Amata and Kagura state they will take back the Sun and Chirico is summoned before an unknown person. Inside the Shin Dragon, Gou Saotome claims about unlocking the true power of Kouji and Ryouma's machines, but the latter refuses to bend to the will of the Getter Rays.
      • Kei and Olson D. Verne are finding ways to fix space-time, Noriko is stranded somewhere in the far reaches of the galaxy, Suzune reveals the truth behind the Genion to Hibiki and Asakim is told to reawaken by a mysterious entity.
  • Shipper on Deck: All of ZEXIS takes sides over the Love Triangle of Macross Frontier.
  • Shout-Out: "Starlight Breaker The Glory Star! FULL BURST!!".
    • In Hakai-hen, Kamina references the "Super Inazuma Kick" with one of the Gurren Lagann's attacks. Even after he dies, Simon does the same when using the same attack.
    • There is a chance Sandman in Z when using the God Sigma Gravion will say "I have no name to give to the likes of you!", just like a certain character from Machine Robo. This is repeated in Hakai-hen when he squares off against PMC soldiers who attempt to take Eida and her manager in.
  • Shrouded in Myth: In Tengoku-hen, everyone immediately assumes the "Nonoriri" Nono talks about refers to Noriko, which is true. Nono keeps thinking Nonoriri is some mystical superwoman, but Z-BLUE doesn't agree, as the character in question isn't that supernatural. When Noriko reappears, Nono's impressed, but doesn't believe the person is really Nonoriri.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: As per usual, with the best one when ZEUTH confronts Computer Doll No. 8 (Gaizok) in Z. The malevolent AI rants about how its decision to destroy humanity is a perfectly logical one - that Humans Are Bastards who do nothing but evil to each other and no one on Earth really cares about ZEUTH and their efforts to save the world. ZEUTH tells the AI there's no way they're going to let an emotionless computer determine their fate and vow to prove that it's the true evil for spreading strife across the galaxy. ZEUTH proceeds to destroy the AI, Red Knight Deathcain and Blue Knight Heldyne.
  • Sliding Scale of Silliness Versus Seriousness: At one end, Rand's route includes the Xabungle and King Gainer characters; at the other, Setsuko. Ever wanted to see what kind of social and physical damage a 50-meter Humongous Mecha leaves in its path? That's why there's Zambot 3.
    • That's not to say Rand's route is all laughs and giggles either, but Setsuko's route just keeps the Darker and Edgier coming.
    • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Again, Rand's story more or less gets all the breaks; in Setsuko's, you have to work just to get a few happy notes in an otherwise depressing series of events.
      • Played with, while the original story for Setsuko is much more depressing than in Rand it is arguably not so much for many of the other series involved as you are only allowed to save Four, Sarah, Reccoa and Stella in her route and the Aki points are more flexiable in contrast to Rand's route.
    • Hakai-hen is also rather cynical, since all the storylines occur during the first season of a two-part series where good people died for nothing and the situation is pretty bad throughout the ADW. However, like Crowe being powered by fortune and misfortune, Saisei-hen is much more optimistic.
  • Spaceship Girl: Kaname becomes the equivalent of one temporarily, in a slightly different context from the original work.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Euphemia, Shirley and Rolo Lamperouge in Saisei-hen, provided the player picks the right route. Also, Anew and Lorelei are Secret Characters. Averted due to Jigoku-hen defaulting to the route where they don't survive.
  • Spiritual Successor: To the Alpha series, particularly Alpha Gaiden, due to similar series used (Gundam X, Turn A Gundam, Xabungle), overall difficulty and the use of a "bazaar" to purchase playable units.
  • Superdickery: Char never planned to drop Axis on Earth in Jigoku-hen, as he reaffirms his loyalties with Z-BLUE. Unfortunately, the Colony Drop still happens as Full Frontal and his allies intend to see the asteroid hit Earth.
  • Stealth Pun: The titles of the Second Z two-parter plays around the themes of death and rebirth. Since Jigoku-hen is a pun regarding Hell, Tengoku-hen is one for Heaven.
    • The subtitles for these games use common Japanese words, but with one kanji altered to change the meaning: Hakai goes from "destruction" (破壊) to "break world" (破界), Saisei from "rebirth" (再生) to "regen world" (再世), and Jigoku goes from "Hell" (地獄) to "time prison" (時獄). Crosses with Bilingual Bonus for non-Japanese fans.
  • The Strategist: In order to represent his tactical prowess, Lelouch gets the unique pilot skill "Tactical Command", allowing him to give up his turn in order to grant the commands "Offense"note , "Defense"note  and "All-Out Attack"note  to allied units for one turn. This makes up for him not being that great of a pilot, statistically speaking.
  • Stylistic Suck: Beck the Great RX-3 is a horrible machine, but the sheer camp of using its one and only attack makes up for it.
  • Time Skip: One year between Hakai-hen and Saisei-hen, four months after the UCW and ACW merge in Jigoku-hen
  • Theme Music Power-Up: In Scenario 18-A of the third route split in Hakai-hen, which takes place during a concert in the Macross Frontier storyline, Sheryl's song "Iteza Go Go Kuji Don't Be Late" pumps up ZEXIS so much they instantly shoot to 130 Will. After defeating the initial enemies, Baron Ashura arrives with some Mechanical Beasts; this causes Ranka to take the stage and sing her song "What 'Bout My Star?", which increase Kamina and Simon's Will further, to the point that Kamina debuts the Gurren Lagann's famous "Giga Drill Break(er)", nearly obliterating Mechanical Beast Taros D-7 with it.
  • This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman: The underwater stage in Scenario 26 of Tengoku-hen has a pre-battle conversation where Benkei Kuruma is really excited they're finally fighting in a water-based areanote .
  • Those Two Bad Guys: Girtar and SardÝas in Tengoku-hen seem more like comic relief than villians. At the very least, they're portrayed as being a more bumbling buffoons than the other members of Sidereal.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Mazinger Z's "Koushiryoku Beam" is usually the weakest attack it has. However, in the Second Z, it surpasses its "Breast Fire" in damage potential, making it one of Mazinger's most powerful attacks. Why? Because that's what Shin Mazinger strongly suggests.
    • Sandrock/Sandrock Custom, while a decently armored Real Robot with sufficient attacks in past appearances, earns a "Full Upgrade Bonus" of +300 to armor rating (including the "Resupply"note  unit ability for the Sandrock Custom). Its armor rating becomes higher than any other mecha (barring those choosing to boost their armor rating as their Full Upgrade Bonus) and when combined with Quatre Rabareba Winner and his high level of "Prevail" and the Sandrock carrying a shield to reduce damage, the unit effectively becomes a Stone Wall.
    • Kira and the Strike Freedom's "HiMAT" MAP Weapon in the Third Z. Prior to this, HiMAT has limited range as a MAP Weapon to work with, but is increased in these games, making it on par with the "Seven Swell" MAP Weapon with decent damage output.
  • True Companions: Gleefully toyed with, but this isn't the first time - back in Super Robot Wars 64, Wufei will leave the party if the player decides to join the Organization of Zodiac, while Destiny forces the player to align with the Neo Zeon to fight the aliens. In Super Robot Wars Advance, actual fistfights occur between Domon Kasshu and Kazuya Ryuuzaki. Still, Z takes it to a whole new level, with half of ZEUTH in Z split into sides ready to kill each other.
  • The Ugly Guy's Hot Daughter: In Jigoku-hen, Hibiki asks what the relationship between Kei Minamikaze and Benkei is, and Ryouma replies they are father and daughter. Suzune overreacts, leading Benkei to comment she's a little too surprised, given Kei is his adopted daughter, and the only real parent Kei has ever had.
  • Units Not to Scale: While an SRW standard via size rating, the VOTOMS finale in Saisei-hen subverts this - due to the scenario being set in an underground base, it's impossible for the player to deploy allied units larger than M-sizednote . Of course, the final scenario in Jigoku-hen throws everything out of window and replaces all size ratings with the infinity symbol, but Fridge Logic raises further questions, thanks to Chirico and the Burglary Dog, whose final attack involves Chirico opening the cockpit and firing a round from his magnum to finish off his target.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: Evangelion 13 in Tengoku-hen might lack an ALL Attack, but it sure has some power, specifically its "Spear of Longinus", a mere 100 points fewer for base attack power of matching the Super Galaxy Gurren Lagann's "Giga Drill Break"..
  • Villain Team-Up
    • In Z:
      • Gym, the Frost Brothers and Dewey Novak
      • The Vegan Empire, Gaizok, Zeravire, Elda and the Aldebaron Army
      • The Siberian Railroad Company and the Breakers
    • In Hakai-hen:
      • Dr. Hell and the Gishin Empire
      • Emperor Zul is pro-active in this regard: he spends a lot of the game trying to gather allies from the other villains, including Lordgenome, Moon Will and Professor Saotome. When the player fights Zul, he even brings along a few bosses previously defeated.
      • The Red Shoulder Battalion cooperates, most of the time, with the Britannian Army.
      • Timp and the Beastmen
    • In Saisei-hen:
      • Emperor Charles zi Britannia lets Ribbons do whatever he wants to the ADW, since Charles is more concerned with the Ragnarok Connection. Of course, Ribbons has an alliance with Grace O'Conner, previously Foreshadowed in Hakai-hen. In fact, they become a Dual Boss in one route.
      • Emperor Muge Zorbados and Emperor Zul
      • Whatever Ba'al is, it includes the Invaders, STMC and the Anti-Spirals.
    • In Jigoku-hen:
    • In Tengoku-hen:
      • Full Frontal leads Neo Zeon again, but threw his lot in with Sidereal. ZAFT joins Neo Zeon in serving Sidereal, while Guin Sard Lineford and Amalgam do the same.
      • Striker runs off at the end of the Gargantia finale and joins the Macross Galaxy fleet, leading to its mass-production.
  • Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World: Most of the teenage cast winds up transferring to Jindai High in Jigoku-hen, forming a "Campus Defense Force" with a nearby elementary school where Watta Takeo and Shoutarou Kaneda are attending, including assistant janitor Ryouma. Played with when they start collecting a lot of unexplained absences, forcing Kaname to create a volunteer club, draft the pilots, and peg Suzune as club advisor.
  • Wham Episode/The Reveal: Many from the various franchises, such as the nature of the Elda, but the biggest one is the revelation the Black History is not just the past, but the possible end of the multiverse, brought about by ZEUTH.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Kira gets flak in Z for his Omniscient Morality License of disabling other pilots in combat and putting himself in danger from Harry Ord.
    • Shinn gets two or three himself in the same game: from Amuro, for letting his anger drive him in battle and for being a little too happy to hate and kill the enemy (while Amuro knows it's necessary, he also believes killing isn't something that should be done lightly, and restraint is important), from Holland for being more sympathetic to Stella than his allies in ZEUTH, even though Stella was an enemy and destroying Berlin, and from everyone in ZEUTH if he sides with Durandal.
    • Another example is what each side of ZEUTH believed they were doing in the ZEUTH vs ZEUTH battle.
    • In Saisei-hen, Wufei delivers this and "The Reason You Suck" Speech to the Black Knights if they decide to not trust Zero (see Crowning Moment of Awesome header).
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: If the player chooses the ZAFT Route at around Scenario 45 of Z, Haman simply vanishes from the plot after a certain point. Fortunately, this doesn't happen if the player manages to take the ZEUTH Route, where she's playable. However, she's back for Jigoku-hen.
    • The whereabouts of Touma: as per the finale from their series, he, Apollo and Sirius seal themselves away with the Aquarion for the next thousands of years to keep the Tree of Life from dying at the end of Z. While the latter two reappear in Z: Special Disk and stay for the Second Z, Touma is absent and not mentioned at all until Tengoku-hen.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: Discussed in Jigoku-hen - Z-BLUE debates reasons for freeing the Earth from the "time prison", as it has stopped humanity from aging, leaving them effectively immortal. Although the pros of Immortality are considered (veteran members could stay in their prime), Z-BLUE decides against it, citing mankind will never have offspring, the young, elderly and sick will remain as they are.
  • Western Zodiac: The Spheres all correspond with the twelve constellations in the Western Zodiac.
  • We Will Not Use Photoshop in the Future: The Chimera in Z splits ZEUTH against each other by altering video footage to make it look like Rand's party has joined The Federation while Setsuko's group works with ZAFT. Neither side suspects these are fake until Olson and Banjo show each group their own video.
    • Although there were other factors, such as natural personality conflicts, the actions of the Archangel in antagonizing Setsuko's team, but siding with Rand's causes one group to detest the crew of the battleship and the other to defend their new friends. In addition, Duke Freed appears at a poor time to witness the cast of Zambot 3 taking out their anger on an alien enemy, and mentions to the other team the report of ZAFT's side being violently anti-extraterrestrial seems to be true. The faked reports are only the tip of the iceberg.
  • What If?: Done in Z with the plot of Gundam SEED Destiny, in Saisei-hen with Code Geass and Jigoku-hen with Aquarion Evol. In the first two cases, the alternate storylines are accessible via an invisible points system related to the respective series, resulting in the last fifth of each game being an entirely different set of scenarios.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: The ending of Tengoku-hen has a scene for each series where the characters have returned to their respective worlds.
  • Writing Around Trademarks: The Black History is a major plot point throughout the Z series. However, since Turn A Gundam isn't included in Jigoku-hen, the Banpresto writing staff gets around this by adding a single hiragana to the name, changing it from Kuro Rekishi (黒歴史) to Kuroi Rekishi (黒い歴史), which has exact same meaning.
  • X Meets Y: Due to the nature of multiple universes, different incarnations of the same person and the merging of dimensions into one, the Z series is effectively Super Robot Wars meets Crisis on Infinite Earths.
  • You Have No Idea Who You're Dealing With: Hades hints at the true nature of Getter Rays to Ryouma in Jigoku-hen
    Hades: "You who use that destructive power, dares to oppose me!? You have no idea what the Getter Rays can do!"
    Ryouma: "Shut up! I'm tired of false gods! I believe in the Getter Rays! Unlike you, I'm not afraid of them!"
    Hades: "Getter Rays will be the end of us all!"

Alternative Title(s):

Super Robot Wars Z 2