Visual Novel: Dengeki Stryker
A Visual Novel
released by Overdrive in 2011 and licensed by MangaGamer in 2012.
Yuuki Yamato is an ordinary kid who idolizes the comic book hero, Dengeki Stryker, a bionic human who vows to protect Japan from the fictional Balbora Empire. Aspiring to be like the titular superhero, Yamato constantly protected his childhood friend, Hongo Haruna, from the local bullies. However, their relationship did not last long, as Haruna had to move away due to family circumstances. Right after hearing her goodbyes, Yamato fell into despair and ran to the local shrine, where he met a mysterious old man. The elderly man called himself the "Memory Collector", who can grant any wish in exchange for the requestor's memories. Desperate to protect Haruna, Yamato wished to become Dengeki Stryker. As a result, all his memories since birth were taken away as payment, and his body became a vessel for the character he always wanted to be, who refers to himself as Stryker Zero.
Ten years later, soldiers from the Balbora Empire suddenly show up and wreak havoc in a Japanese city. Hence, Stryker Zero decides to stop them, and his new adventure begins.
An Updated Re-release
, named Chou Dengeki Stryker
, was released by Overdrive in July 2012 and MangaGamer in March 2014, featuring a new character named Clie, new story routes, CGs and cut-ins.
Dengeki Stryker contains the examples of the following tropes:
- Abhorrent Admirer: Nothing comes of it, but Murray, an old lady, develops an interest on Stryker Zero after he saves her from being hit by a car. The game plays this for laughs.
- Affably Evil: The Balboran vanguard can be a rather pleasant bunch in ordinary life, and they even try to ensure that there are no human casualties when challenging Stryker Zero.
- Colonel Mirror is also this, which is why Rin is so fond of him. He's actually not even that evil. His main goals are to get a cybernetic heart in order to prevent himself from dying in three months, to make the young!Yamato whose memories are in his head happy, and to have all of the Balborans live in peace with Stryker Zero and his friends.
- All of the Other Reindeer: Haruna as a child was picked on by bullies because they were jealous that Haruna had so many nice things and possessions compared to them. This is what starts the entire plot.
- Alpha Bitch: Hilko has the attitude of one. There's even a subversion of the trope: in Sky Saga, there's a moment where Hilko and the rest of the Balboran vanguard beat up Real!Haruna all at once. Hilko's dialogue sounds (very uncomfortably) like a real Alpha Bitch, complete with making fun of Haruna crying out in pain and goading everyone into increasing their attacks...but the subversion is that Real!Haruna attacked them first, starting with almost killing Duran.
- Ambiguous Gender: Jack's gender is pretty vague and there are special pages that at first make him seem like a girl and then the next chapter somehow undoes whatever the last one said. For example, page one might be about a couple paragraphs about hiding her true sex and worrying people will find out and then the response to that is that Jack, half asleep, had been simply writing down what he saw on TV last night. That said, it's never proven that Jack is a guy.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Zig-zagged. While the higher ranking Balborans are the more powerful ones, none of them is really a match for Zero one on one (Phoenix came close to being a match for Zero, but was defeated in one technique by Jack), the only exceptions being Curtis and Mirror. Stryker Ten is not even in a position of authority but still manages to crush Mirror in their first battle.
- Batter Up: Stryker Ten has a spiked bat as one of his weapons. It is later used by Sayaka once she's revived with Stryker powers.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: The game is built around this trope. In spades. The story begins when Yamato asks to be Dengeki Stryker. Not to have the power of Dengeki Stryker, but to be him. So then his body becomes Dengeki Stryker's, but what happens to Yamato?
- Big Eater: Jack and Orson.
- Bittersweet Ending: Curtis is dead, the real Haruna got back her life as well as her memory but in exchange for both the lives of Mirror and the real Yamato.
- Break the Cutie: The real Hongo Haruna in Sky Saga, to the point of her becoming a merciless killer for hire, and then being stripped of her sanity.
- Colonel Mirror in Zero Saga. To wit: as a child Yamato wished to become an invincible hero who could beat up bullies. What that ends up doing is placing all the heroic traits Yamato had into Stryker Zero, and his child self who originally made the wish ends up in the body of Colonel Mirror, who was created as a villain with a heart condition that will soon kill him. So he seeks help from the Stryker manga's original creator, but because he's a villain, his creator rejects him as a villainous monster who should die, and as soon as possible. Then his heart condition gets worse and starts interfering with what morals he does have, and he ends up killing Daniel for no particular reason. Then he meets Yamato's mother and mistakes her for his own mother, but by this point he's become a grotesque monster. Then because the Memory Collector told the Balborans that the only way to restore everything back to normal is to kill Mirror, Yamato's mother is told to bring Mirror outside school but that lets the Balborans attack him all at once, so he thinks his mother deliberately set him up to be hurt by others and he has no loved ones in the world. That's what finally "breaks" him and he becomes a manchild who repeatedly screams about how badly he wanted to be a hero but was reduced to this instead.
- Breath Weapon: Joseph, who can spit fireballs.
- Butt Monkey: Duran, given how often he's the victim of slapstick comedy. And the player is even led to believe he dies in Sky Saga, although as it turns out Duran is alive and Real!Haruna only managed to shock him unconscious.
- Calling Your Attacks: Although in this case it's more like "calling your mechanical parts you place in your arms."
- Clark Kenting: An exaggerated example. Somehow Yamato doesn't realize that the Balboran soldiers he fights against are his next-door neighbors, even though those enemies only change their clothes when fighting.
- The Comically Serious: Stryker Zero and Clie.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Jack. Big time.
- To a lesser extent, some of the quirkier members of the Balboran guard. Orson comes across as a bit dim and food-obsessed, but in battle he fights like the Hulk. Duran is physically a little shrimp and he's the Butt Monkey of the group, even being abused by Hilko. Joseph is a funny animal with perverted tendencies. Then when they team up with Daniel and you see them fight, they're not so funny anymore when Duran sprays machine gun bullets everywhere and Joseph breaths fireballs up the yin-yang.
- Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: Apparently, being nearly 100% bionic makes Curtis the game's most despicable character.
- Dating Catwoman: Love Saga in Chou Dengeki Stryker deals with this kind of relationship between Stryker Zero and Hilko.
- Declaration of Protection: Why Yamato makes the wish to be a hero in the first place, turning him into Stryker Zero. Specifically, his childhood friend Haruna got picked on by bullies, but when Yamato tried to save her, he lost as the bullies outnumbered him and were stronger than him. Predictably, this is also Stryker Zero's mindset when it comes to Haruna in Zero Saga and Sayaka in Heaven Saga. Less predictably, Mirror!Yamato develops this mindset about Real!Haruna in Sky Saga after Mirror purges away the evil parts of his mind and hands control of his body over to child!Yamato.
- Decoy Protagonist: Stryker Zero is not the main character of the Heaven and Sky Saga branch of the plot. The true hero is Mirror, or rather, the original Yamato who is inhabiting his body.
- Dude Looks Like a Lady: Colonel Mirror.
- The Empire: The fictional Balbora Empire.
- Et Tu, Brute?: In Zero Saga, Colonel Mirror kills Daniel, starting his transformation into the monster Stryker Zero has to fight at the end of Zero Saga.
- Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: This bites Mirror in the ass twice in Zero Saga, both times because since he was originally Child!Yamato, he mistakes Yamato's mother for his own. The first time, Yamato's mother unintentionally ends up luring Mirror into a trap set by the other Balborans so he can be eliminated and solve the problems the fictional characters' existence is causing. But Mirror thinks Yamato's mother intentionally set him up to be hurt by everyone else, which is what finally causes him to snap and go into full Bad-Guy Mode. The second time, Mirror has been charging energy for an ultimate attack he's going to use to destroy the city...but at the last minute, he suddenly glances down and notices Yamato's mother looking out a window in worry. That causes him to hesitate to unleash the attack, giving Stryker Zero the opening he needs to punch through Mirror's chest and kill him once and for all.
- Everybody Lives:At the end of Love Saga in Cho Dengeki Stryker, even though Hilko and Yamato sacrifice all of their memories to save each other, nobody actually dies, and all parties involved are relatively happy.
- Expy: Yuuki Yamato looks a lot like Heero Yuy from Mobile Suit Gundam Wing, and his unfamiliarity with normal student life is similar to Sagara Sousuke from Full Metal Panic!.
- Sayaka is revived by her father and becomes a bionic human/cyborg in the process, hence a female version of Gai Shishioh from GaoGaiGar.
- The Faceless: Orson, who always has his mask on.
- Foil: Colonel Mirror is a foil to Stryker Zero in Zero Saga, in more ways than one. Colonel Mirror is technically also Yamato since he's the child self that originally made a wish to become a hero. Like Yamato, Mirror's motivation also comes from his desire to be a hero. The only real difference that makes the "foil" is that when Yamato was rejected by everyone while trying to save a bus due to a previous news broadcast claiming he was a terrorist, Yamato banishes away bitter feelings to save the bus anyway since saving people is what a hero does, while when Mirror was rejected by everyone, he went berserk and tried to destroy everything.
- Funny Animal: Joseph the dog, who has a humorously deep male voice, displays perverted tendencies (about both humans like Rin and other dogs; he even makes a joke about not being a Lolicon to puppies), and can breathe fireballs.
- Gadgeteer Genius: Duran.
- Good People Have Good Sex: The sex scenes with both Haruna and Sayaka read like this (complete with Haruna and Sayaka having to reassure Yamato that yes, the pain that inevitably comes with a girl's first time is acceptable if it's Yamato).
- Gravity Master: Captain Daniel.
- Happily Adopted: At the end of Sky Saga, the real Haruna lives with Yamato's parents, who treat her like their own daughter, and even plan to officially adopt her.
- Heel-Face Turn: The entire Balboran vanguard in Heaven Saga.
- The same happens during Love Saga and Light Saga in Cho Dengeki Stryker.
- Roches in Zero Saga, because Roches flew to where the Balboran Empire was supposed to be and found out it wasn't there and therefore wasn't real, which made the Balboran vanguard's villainous actions up to then completely meaningless. Then Roches helps Stryker Zero fight Colonel Mirror.
- Colonel Mirror in Sky Saga, but only after turning control of his brain over to Child!Yamato, so the new Yamato!Mirror can kill Curtis and save Haruna.
- Heroic Sacrifice:
- In Heaven Saga, Stryker Ten risks his life shielding his daughter's body, then revives her by giving her his own artificial heart alongside performing an extensive bionic operation on her body.
- In Sky Saga, Yamato!Mirror pushes his body to its limits to defeat Curtis, then transfers all his memories to Real!Haruna, so that she can live a happy life.
- Hot-Blooded: Phoenix.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Zero to Mirror in Zero Saga, Curtis to Sayaka in Heaven Saga, and Mirror/Yamato to Curtis in Sky Saga.
- Improbable Weapon User: Real!Haruna's primary weapon, Shiden, is a cup-and-ball (kendama).
- Inner Monologue: Rin frequently uses this.
- Kick the Dog: Curtis tries to kill Roches simply because "he doesn't like him", forcing Murray to sacrifice her life for her subordinate.
- Laser Blade: Stryker Zero's energy sword, Shusui.
- Lightning Gun: Strykers' plasma cannon, Tenrai.
- Making a Splash: Jack beats Phoenix single-handedly this way (even Stryker Zero was having trouble with Phoenix at the time).
- McNinja: Jack is from Texas. But Jack's a competent McNinja, see trope directly above this one.
- Mega Manning: Curtis' ultimate form in Sky Saga, who can devour his opponents and their weapons to gain additional powers.
- Mirror in Zero Saga does this once so he can learn Roches' "Seven Swords" move and use it against him.
- Mildly Military: The entire concept of an elite vanguard made up of officers.note
- Mind over Matter: Hilko's primary power is telekinesis.
- The Mole: Rin is planted in the school Yamato goes to, in order to gather information about Stryker Zero.
- More Dakka: Duran's fighting style.
- A Mother To Her Men: Captain Murray.
- My Country, Right or Wrong: The Balboran vanguard members are very devoted to their country's cause, but hesitate later in the story once they find out their superior officers (either Mirror or Curtis) have gone rogue, and remark that they may probably commit treason if they decide to help Stryker Zero.
- Officer and a Gentleman: Captain Daniel, who prides himself in being this.
- One-Winged Angel: Colonel Mirror in Zero Saga, Curtis in Sky Saga.
- Playing with Fire: Phoenix and Joseph.
- Papa Wolf: Sayaka's adoptive father Hajime/Tadokoro, and her real father, Professor Ichimonji Souichiro, a.k.a. Stryker Ten.
- Punch Clock Villain: The Balboran vanguard.
- Psychopathic Manchild: Mirror becomes one in Zero Saga.
- Quit Your Whining: Stryker Zero's response to berserk out-of-control Mirror screaming repeatedly that he wants to be a hero. Out of context, this makes Stryker Zero sound like an unsympathetic asshole since Mirror has a point that it was his child!Yamato self that originally made the hero wish; in context, Mirror has become an indiscriminate murderer and will happily kill Stryker Zero and in fact has already killed his own men to get his own way. Besides, after Stryker Zero has finally killed Mirror, he reverses his sentiment and says he understands Mirror completely.
- Refugee from TV Land: Stryker Zero and the Balboran soldiers, due to being characters from a manga set in an alternate 1930s universe.
- Scarf of Asskicking: Every Stryker has one.
- Shock and Awe: The Strykers' powers are based on electricity.
- Shrinking Violet: Rin.
- Shut Up, Hannibal!: In Zero Saga, we learn that Colonel Mirror is actually half of Yamato, namely the child half that wished to become a hero in the first place, so he is understandably not pleased when he ends up as Colonel Mirror instead, a villain whose heart will fail soon and kill him. A tragic series of events causes Mirror to go berserk and try to destroy everything. But then he blames Stryker Zero for his destructive rampage, saying that he will gladly kill Stryker Zero if that's what it takes to become a hero. Stryker Zero's response is to compare Mirror to a child whining until he gets some candy, not because Zero doesn't feel sorry for Mirror but because Mirror is so obsessed with becoming a hero and escaping his fate that he's trampling over everyone else in the process.
- Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: While there are some nasty consequences to Yamato's original wish to become a hero, in the end, unlike some other works such as Fate/stay night, Yamato's desire to help others (which is what led to his wish) is not portrayed as stupid or unrealistic, and in fact it plays a major role in Sky Saga, where this sentiment causes Mirror!Yamato to sacrifice his life and his memories so Real!Haruna can have a happy life. So this is a game that starts idealistic, turns cynical in the middle once some of the uglier consequences of Yamato's wish start coming into play, and then slides back to idealistic again.
- Storm of Blades: Roches' ultimate move, Seven Swords.
- Tomato in the Mirror: The Hongo Haruna whom Yamato meets at his new school is a fictional character, who is Stryker Zero's childhood friend, and is based on the real Haruna. The Balboran vanguard experience this as well. Clie takes it the hardest.
- Tsundere: Sayaka is Type B, due to her being a pleasant person in general, but gets constantly annoyed by Stryker Zero's mannerisms.
- Verbal Tic: Duran, who speaks in Tohoku dialect, ends his sentences with "-be", while Jack uses the archaic "de gozaru" a lot.
- Villains Out Shopping: The entire Balboran vanguard have to take various day jobs and build a food stall in order to make ends meet.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Roches and Phoenix give off this vibe.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: Hilko's secondary power.
- We Have Reserves: One of Curtis' defining traits.
- Wrench Wench: Sayaka, once she recovers her memories.
- Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Part of a trap Hilko and Orson lay for Stryker Zero. Orson shows up first and starts wrecking the place, and Hilko has Orson attack her so Stryker Zero can save her, giving her the opportunity to plant a tracking bug on him just in case Hilko's inevitable turning on Stryker Zero fails to kill him.
- Your Days Are Numbered: Colonel Mirror, whose extensive bionic implants put a major strain on his heart, severely reducing his lifespan. This seems to be a problem for all other Balboran cyborgs as well since the heart is the only part of the body their science has not been able to enhance. This is a major plot point of the Heaven Saga and the reason why Strykers rely on Stryker Units rather than high quality bionics.