In the year 179 of the New Western Calendar, the One Year War breaks out between the Earth Federation and the Principalityof Zeon, but is halted when an object crashes to Earth, landing on South Atalia Island. An investigative team from the "Extra-Over Technological Investigative Institute" discovers the object is an alien battleship with highly-advanced technology. Heeding the warnings of Dr. Bian Zoldark, the Federation secretly increases its military power, while hiding the evidence of intelligent extraterrestrial life beyond the Earth. In the meantime, Bian utilizes "Extra-Over Technology" found on the ship to devise weapons capable of protecting the Earth from alien forces, should the planet become embroiled in conflict.However, the economic troubles caused by the Federation's buildup sees the rise of many anti-Federation movements, such as the Neo Zeon, who have retreated to the asteroid Axis. In response, the Federation establishes special forces units, including the Titans and the Organization of Zodiac. Other forces, like the Dinosaur Empire and Dr. Hell begin their plans for world domination, but are pushed back by the teams of Mazinger Z, Getter Robo, and Raideen.In the year 187, the battleship Excelion battles a force of "STMCs" (Space Terrible Monster Crowd) when they are suddenly attacked by another unknown alien fleet, codenamed the "Aerogaters"...Thus begins the four-part saga of Super Robot Wars Alpha, perhaps the best-known and most popular of all the Super Robot Wars series. It also holds the distinction of introducing the music of JAM Project into the franchise. This page is not enough to cover this series; as a result, there's a recap summary for the fine details.
Back for the Finale: Many of the series removed for Alpha Gaiden and Alpha 2 (such as Neon Genesis Evangelion, Raideen and Gunbuster) return in Alpha 3. Averted with the Alpha Gaiden-only series; they never show up again, which makes sense given they come from a Bad Future-turned-alternate future and returned there.
Bad Ass: Every single playable pilot in the games is one.
Behind the Black: This explanation is used in regards to the sudden appearance of Mobile Suit Gundam SEED in Alpha 3; it essentially amounts to "Oh, Coordinators and the PLANTs have always been there: they just didn't get involved in any of the stuff that happened in the last three wars."
The second half of the Raideen plot happens offscreen in-between Alpha Gaiden and Alpha 3, explaining the absence of Akira Hibiki in Alpha 2.
Bigger Bad: While they aren't the biggest threat you face in-game, the STMC could count. Not only do they pre-date all the other enemies, The First People built the Gan Eden systems specifically to combat against them.
Alpha ends with the Aerogaters defeated. Unfortunately for the SRX Team, they are arrested by the Federation and placed under house arrest for "having military secrets", as a result of Ingram Plisken being The Mole for the Aerogaters. Likewise, Viletta Vadim and Mai Kobayashi are arrested for having collaborated with them. Since Viletta reappears in Alpha 2, it appears the government has cleared her of charges; similarly, the rest of the team returns for Alpha 3, indicating they are free to return to duty.
Boring, but Practical: Gundam Sandrock and Gundam Deathscythe in Alpha Gaiden have only vulcan guns and their basic melee attack, so their fights tend to be "repetitive". However, these "melee" attacks have good reach, all-around good terrain rating, decent non-beam damage and require neither ammo nor energy, making them solid choices for most of the game.
Bonus point in they gain quite a number of attack power with upgrades. An Awesome But Practical version of this trope are the Great Mazinger or Mazinger Z. Both have the same kind of weaponry, but are backed by their ability "Mazinpower" and attacks for dealing against stronger Mooks or bosses. In general, any weapons with a range of 4 and post-movement with an attack power of 2500 or higher are Boring, but Practical.
Brainwashed and Crazy: Of course, there are the usual suspects from various series, plus some extras - for example, Katejina Loos is now this, while in the original she was simply crazy (and evil).
Half of Ibis' story (and, in a sense, her appeal) is nothing but taking a brick to her, over and over. She eventually recovers, but it's a long road.
Breakout Character: Sanger from Alpha Gaiden. If side materials are anything to go by, Tetsuya Tsurugi, which is a pretty good example in Alpha itself, going from normal, but not really important enough of a character in the first game, into one of the more developed figures to the plot and back-story of Alpha Gaiden. He winds becoming the primary mentor to Touma Kanou in Alpha 3 (since Tetsuya gives him his training schedule to fit his role as Drill Sergeant Nasty of the Alpha Numbers).
Kusuha. Her example isn't quite as dramatic as Sanger's: she's a selectable protagonist from the start, whereas Sanger's character and Alpha Gaiden wasn't in the original development plan for the series, but she proved popular as an option in Alpha that Banpresto more or less felt compelled to make her the consistent choice in the sequels. And as a result, she has more merchandise focused around her than any other original or even the entire casts of some of the shows she shares games with.
Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Quite a few series vanish without explaination and never return. Sometimes this has an excuse (Alpha Gaiden characters only exist in an alternate future, while the Aura Battler Dunbine and Masou Kishin casts return to Byston Well/La Gias, respectively, and just don't come back), but not always (the Mobile Suit Victory Gundam and Brain Powerd characters simply vanish into the aether without comment). Most notably is Giant Robo, who is set up to have a major role in later games but disappears and never mentioned again (Banpresto didn't have a choice, as the holder of the rights post-Alpha and it became too expensive to re-license it for sequels)). As a result, Big Fire, a major villainous faction in Alpha, inexplicably goes away.
This sums up a chunk of the route for Cobray Gordon in Alpha 3, specifically, Calico McCready, who serves as The Rival for Cobray, hates him for being chosen by the "Originator" (Ingram) to succeed him. Cobray's biggest stigma is he thinks he can't escape Ingram's shadow.
Crapsack World: The split timeline in Alpha Gaiden - the fallout from the events of Alpha and attacks by underground forces nearly destroyed humanity and most of the Earth is reduced to a scorched wasteland. After humanity partially recovers, another war breaks out between the Earth and the colonies, annihilating most of it again. In the primary timeline, the Solar System is torn by a number of successive wars, between Colony Drops and various genocidal invaders successfully striking at major population centers across the globe. Some of the aliens opposing the Earth have suffered their own catastrophes, such as the loss of their homeworlds. At least the Alpha Numbers manage to fix most of the problems by Alpha 3, including some of the invaders.
Crutch Character: The Mazingers in Alpha Gaiden. The way that they play with this trope is complicated.
The Masou Kishin cast from the same game. Early on, mooks are weak enough to be devastated by their MAP Attacks, particularly the Cybuster and Valsione, who have post-movement MAP Attacks, essentially making them some of the better characters. By late game, due to the low rate of upgrades for MAP Attacks and the expensive cost of upgrading weapons, a low supply of EN and a weak weapon set, these characters are less valuable in the final scenarios in contrast to their capabilities at the start.
Dummied Out: The SRX, RyuKoOh/KoRyuOh, Texas Mack and a few other units are in the files of Alpha Gaiden, and are usable if you cheat in the game.
Dynamic Difficulty: The Alpha series introduces the "Skill Point" system, acquired by achieving optional objectives in scenarios. Your ability to obtain these Skill Points decides whether the next scenario will net you the easy, normal or hard version of the stage. Beginning with Alpha Gaiden, getting enough Skill Points will unlock secrets, but also influences which ending route you will take. Although earlier games do not tell the player what the Skill Point objectives are, Alpha 2 listed the optional objectives alongside the primary objectives.
Elsewhere Fic: Alpha Gaiden features these after a fashion, with two separate manga side-stories detailing what happens to those left behind when the Alpha Numbers get sent to the Bad Future. One centers on Relena Peacecraft and characters from series that were in Alpha Gaiden, while another focuses on Shinji, Asuka Soryu Langley and others from Alpha but didn't return for the sequels.
Heel-Face Turn: Too many to list, but the one that stands out is possibly the Ide, which give up its quest to wipe out all life from the galaxy and even sends the Alpha Numbers back to Earth.
Heroic BSOD: Happens a fair bit, both to the licensed characters and to some of the originals. Of course, all of the hot blood on the team tends to help people recover.
Shinji, the Master Of BSODs himself, is a major cast member for Alpha and Alpha 3, and is kind of the poster child for an SRW setting making this better.
Kusuha runs close to this a few times in the series, when she has good reason to think that Bullet has been flat-out killed. She doesn't completely shut down, but she's very badly affected; it's more "Heroically Spitting Stack Errors" than a full BSOD.
Sanger, of all people, can suffer from this if you get one of the "middle" endings in Alpha 2, where it isn't clear that Irui survived.
Insane Troll Logic: Char's rationalization for dropping Axis onto Earth was pretty insane in the source material, but in Alpha 2, the plan is repeated with practically no changes in a world where humanity is simultaneously hammered by joint invasion forces of three alien worlds, the Mycene Empire (which, in fact, immediately takes advantage of the havoc caused by Char) and a number of other extinction-level threats. This is left for players to wonder how destroying most of human civilization is going to help them survive, considering these circumstances.
Lethal Joke Item: Alpha has the equippable part "Tem Ray's Circuit", which drastically reduces unit stats, but if the mecha is destroyed, it will cost only 10 credits to repair (in other words, the part turns it into another BossBorot). If you want a real menace, put it on something like the Evangelion Unit 01 along with another part to lessen the penalty, then send Shinji on a suicide attack. Paying only 10 instead of its usual repair cost of 40000 makes using the "Berserk Unit 01" sound like a practical strategy, not to mention the Berserk Evangelion is considered an enemy unit, thus killing it nets you a neat bundle of credits as well.
Which itself is easy in comparison to getting Tiffa Adil and the G-Bits in the game. Scenario 15 alone will make you pull your hair out because of how many times you're going to reset the game in order to get those 6 kills in 3 turns with Garrod Ran; the substantial power boost they give to the Double X makes them worth the effort.
No Export for You: A very frustrating example as a translation of the Sega Dreamcast version was in the works at some point (spurred on largely by the fact it was ready for release at the height of the popularity of New Mobile Report Gundam Wing, and the general anime boom in America), but contractual disputes killed it, regardless.
To be specific, the exact reason it was canned was because Harmony Gold said "no", as they did not want Macross to be brought to the US and thus interfere with Robotech sales (even though Robotech had ended a decade earlier). They were the only licensing company to say no on the deal, and Banpresto couldn't just dummy out the units as Macross is integral to the game's plot.
Older and Wiser: The cast of the previous games in the sequels, notably the SRX Team, Getter team, Evangelion pilots and various Gundam protagonists. A small portion of them have also become Shell Shocked Veterans, but this being SRW, they get over it.
Tetsuya is a REALLY good example of the latter, as a result of Alpha Gaiden.
Pet the Dog: In Alpha 3, after defeating the copy of the Unit 01 in the final scenario of The End of Evangelion plot, Gendo Ikari tells his son he actually wanted to comfort him, but never had courage to open up. Before he dies, he finally tells Shinji he's glad to see his son grow into such a strong man.
Mazinkaiser in Alpha Gaiden is far more powerful than the rest of the team, including the Shin Getter Robo, thanks to high HP/EN, good mobility (comparable to some Gundams) and armor rating, alongside a great set of weapons, augumented with "Mazinpower" and can use its attacks right off the bat note To put in perspective, Shin Getter requires 140 Will to use Stone Sunshine; Mazinkaiser has no Will requirements for Fire Blaster. By the time the Shin Getter hits 140 Will, the Mazinkaiser will have dealt more damage than the Getter. Of course, this being Alpha Gaiden, it's actually a godsend rather than it ruining the game.
Sanger and the Thrudgelmir from the same game: good attacks rivaling those of the Mazingers, comparable stats to the Mazinkaiser, and a set of abilities that make it almost invulnerable. Note that it's only playable in the last two scenarios of the game, and despite its set up, the Thrudgelmir cannot win the scenarios alone.
Recurring Boss: You'll be continually plagued by the forces of the Mycene Empire and the Dinosaur Empire until you blow them up for good in Alpha 2. Also resident Psycho for HireYazan Gable holds the distinction of being the only enemy to show up in all four games and still live until he is finally Killed Off for Real in Alpha 3.
Dr. Hell is also one: he reappears in Alpha 2 and Alpha 3 as the Grand Marshall Of Hell.
While they aren't quite as strong as true boss units, even in their final mecha, you'll have to fight Jerid Messa, Timp and Kid Hola again, reflecting their status as persistent nemeses in their original anime storylines.
Road Cone: Between Alpha 2 and Alpha 3, parts of the story change between the various protagonists. What's more, each protagonist in Alpha 3 is linked to a protagonist in Alpha 2 (the exception is Kusuha, due to her link being Shaped Like Itself). In other words, Selena Recital is linked to Ibis, Touma to Sanger and Cobray to Arado.
Shut Up, Hannibal!: Uncountable, but the best one has got to be the final scenario to The End of Evangelion story, where Shinji not only rejects the intended Assimilation Plot, but also Gendo, asserting he's his own person. In fact, the entire scenario is a MASSIVE invoking of this trope, seeing as how the Alpha Numbers are so Hot-Blooded, it prevents them from turning into LCL.
Spared by the Adaptation: Not as much as it might seem at first sight, due to a number of characters surviving as secrets that aren't treated as canon in the sequels. For example, Musashi does not survive in Alpha 2, even though you can save him on certain routes.
Spotlight-Stealing Squad: In Alpha Gaiden, most of the spotlight goes to Tetsuya, who is useable for most of the game, the first character playable post-Time Skip, has plenty of voiced dialogue rivaling Heero Yuy and has a lot of scenarios that places him on center stage. By the end of the game, he is basically the most developed character in the entire cast.
Stationary Boss: Shu, as usual. The first time you fight him in Alpha Gaiden however, he will actually move if you don't attack him for a while.
Suspicious Video Game Generosity: Scenario 36 of Alpha Gaiden is noted by players to be one of the best points in the game. You get the Mazinkaiser, Shin Getter Robo, R-1 Custom, Gundam X and Gundam Double X (alongside the G-Bits, if you get the requirements), the "HPHGCP" part and two free units that give you tons of blue stones for the Bazaar. The game's Difficulty Spike starts to go wild from that point on.
The Starscream: Euzeth in Alpha; Shiva Gozzo also pulls this off in Alpha 3, although the one he usurped was only a mask for the real Big Bad in the first place.
Theme Naming: Obviously, the "Space Jews" of the Ze BalmaryEmpire. A much more subtle one is theme naming of Ingram and his clones. Their real names correspond to their numbers and the respective letter in the Hebrew alphabet. Ingram, the first clone, is "Aleph"; Villeta, the second, is "Bet" Vadim; Cobray, the sixteenth, is "Ayin".
Alpha 3: The Campbellians, Bozanians and the Muge Empire
Villainous Valor: A few examples; besides the obvious suspects among Noble Demon opponents and redeemable villains, a number of stalwartly evil characters, including the Great General of Darkness, General Bat and Queen Himika deliberately sacrifice themselves to ensure a victory for their side.
Originally, Banpresto wanted GaoGaiGar from the start, with Alpha covering the first-half of the series, Alpha 2 the second-half, and Alpha 3 covering GaoGaiGar FINAL (Alpha Gaiden wasn't part of the original plan).
They also wanted to bring back Giant Robo in Alpha 3, with an original storyline where Big Fire tries to get his hands on Irui and ends up with the Nashim Gan Eden. Unfortunately, the death of creator Mitsuteru Yokoyama caused his estate to raise the licensing fee greatly, so plans had to be abandonednote What really happened is the supporting cast (i.e., the characters from other Yokoyama works) suddenly had their licenses tacked onto the Giant Robo license by the estate holders. This meant Banpresto would have to pay for Giant Robo itself, THEN pay extra just to use the supporting cast. In short, the series became more expensive because it now was a collection of separate licenses instead of one single license..
Hacking of the Alpha 3 disc revealed sprites for several machines from Gundam Sentinel, which would have been a natural follow-up to the Titans storyline from the previous games. Fans suspect it was removed when Gundam SEED was added (which Word of God said was pretty much a mandate from above based off of the show's popularity).
The sprites were Dummied Out from the Alpha 2 disk. It turns out the "mandate from above" was "mandate from Word of God", who was a huge fan of the show and put it in the moment he could.
The songs from Macross 7 were originally planned to be fully voiced and not just a line or two. Sadly, Word of God dropped that when they realized that licensing Fire Bomber's music is apparently more expensive than the entire series itself.
Just the general fact the first game was being not just considered but substantially worked on for a localization at one point. We were so close to having the best series in the franchise in English that it's almost painful.
Wham Episode: In Alpha Gaiden, this comes around post-scenarios 9 and 10, where up until this point, the game seemed to be about a conflict with the Titans until Shu appears, announces they are in an alternate timeline and the only way to solve it is by using millions as a sacrifice. When he's defeated, he teleports Londo Bell to a Bad Future where the Earth is a barren wasteland.
What If?: The Alpha series basically poses this versus the Classic series, in regards to Divine Crusaders' leader Bian Zoldark being listened to instead of being ignored.
What the Hell, Player?: When you're fighting Shu for the first time in Alpha Gaiden, he accuses your characters of cowardice if you wait 5 turns before attacking him.
We'll go into the space over our future.
We're looking for the place under the shining star.