YMMV: Super Robot Wars Z

  • Anti-Climax Boss: Big Fau is probably one of the most pathetic bosses in franchise history, rivaling the Evangelion Unit-01 in Super Robot Wars Alpha 3, due to having fairly weak attacks and such a low accuracy stat that players won't need to use Spirit Commands. The only hard part is destroying the Overdevils which can be done easily, so long as players are careful. He's followed by another easy battle with unlimited turns in the scenario to get the SR Point.
    • Despite being a Duel Boss against whom only Setsuna F. Seiei and the Exia are available, Alejandro Corner in the Alvaaron can be made into this in Hakai-hen. It only has around 20,000 HP, and if the Exia' weapons have been decently upgraded, Setsuna has his "Ace Bonus"note , and you've cast his "Soul" Spirit Commandnote , he can easily deal damage in excess of 30,000 with a single strike.
    • In the same spirit as the above, Saisei-hen gives us Wiseman as a boss for the second half of the final Armored Trooper VOTOMS scenario between him and Chirico Cuvie. The anti-climactic part is not one super-unit, but instead controls a mob of Blood Suckers with about 12,000 HP each, but no special features; these Blood Suckers can be finished in one attack Of course, this is what Wiseman wants.
    • The Post Final Boss in Jigoku-hen has half the Hit Points of the Granzeboma. Justified since the scenario takes place in an epilogue, while the actual Final Boss for the story's climax is the Granzeboma.
  • Best Level Ever: Z scenario 36 - "Operation Angel Down". Instead of pitting Shinn Asuka against Kira Yamato, it's hero vs. hero for the entire cast. Mazinger Z vs. Getter Robo? Aquarion vs. God Gravion? Xabungle and Walker Gallia fighting Universal Century Gundams? Yes, yes and yes.
  • Broken Base: Now with its own page.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: When a rumor that "Back Alley Space Boy" wouldn't be the theme to Dai-Guard was disproved, the Internet went nuts, given it's probably one of the best instrumentals in Hakai-hen. The same can be said of the arrangement for "HEATS" and "Kanjite Knight".
  • Crossover Ship: Shinn Asuka and Setsuko Ohara, and through that, Shinn has actually mellowed enough to fix some of his more objectionable personality problems from his home series. It helps they still care for each other when they meet again in Saisei-hen.
    • Kallen Kouzuki and Chirico, of all people. They had much chemistry since Hakai-hen, spent much time fighting along together, and even some Ship Tease moments (some in front of Fyana, even).
  • Demonic Spiders: Or "DAMONic Spiders", as the case may be. Dimensional Beasts have high HP, barriers, can inflict Standard Status Effects, good accuracy/evasion rates (and will only go higher due to their "Prevail" skillnote ) and HP/EN regeneration. As someone on Something Awful put it, "It's like someone decided the Ghost X9 should be more annoying".
    • Difficulty Spike ensues when facing those Dimensional Beasts with MAP weapons in Hakai-hen. In the last scenario, a few carry stats akin to a Mini-Boss and their MAP weapons do not hit allies.
    • Thankfully in Saisei-hen, Bull- and Rhino-type Dimensional Beasts have less HP, don't have HP/EN regeneration and barriers. That is, until the Artificial-type appear mid-game, as the weaker ones are even stronger than the old Rhino-types.
    • Saisei-hen Scenario 15 introduces the Axio Burglars. Each are equipped with a "Jamming Device" which makes allied units two grids around them given accuracy/evasion rate increases by 10%, and these bonuses stack if they're adjacent to one another. This makes evasive Real Robots like King Gainer or a Scopedog very prone to their strong attacks (their strongest even reduces Will), while it's almost impossible to hit them without using Spirit Commands. Marilyn Catto in her Axio Burglar/Pearl Fang only makes it worse, since she's always there to lead them and boosts their/her accuracy/evasion rates with her "Command" pilot skillnote  and her unit's own "Jamming Device".
    • One Saisei-hen scenario pits players against a large number of Blood Suckers. Unlike the ones Chirico faces later, these Blood Suckers are surprisingly accurate and agile, especially if players make the mistake of not taking them down in one shot, allowing their "Prevail" to kick in. The fact the scenario takes place indoors, rendering any unit bigger than a size "M" non-usable, doesn't help.
    • In Jigoku-hen, this honor goes to the mass-produced Bigs. While most Mooks in the game can be dealt with a One-Hit KO by a strong enough unit, the Bigs easily endure attacks from fully upgraded ones thanks to their large size, enormous armor rating and their pilots' defense stat. They also come in hordes, particularly in their last appearance for a playthrough.
    • In Tengoku-hen, the ELS have the same assimilation mechanic as the Festum from Super Robot Wars UX, where each successful attack reduces a pilot's Will by 10. Those unlucky enough to have their Will reduced below 80 are automatically destroyed without respect to Hit Points. Finally, they have the natural ability to bypass barriers and the "Ignore Size Modifier" pilot skillnote .
  • Ear Worm: "GAN GAN LEON, GUNLEON! GAN GAN LEON, GUNLEON!"...and all the respective Ear Worms of the various franchises, as usual.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Shiony Regis from Hakai-hen is a mostly non-combatant villain who's a Smug Snake at times, but she utterly dominates the Second Z fanart.
  • Fanfic Fuel: What were the missing cast members doing in Tengoku-hen? According to Gain Bijou, who sent a letter to Rand off-screen, they're busy fighting Sidereal, which provides plenty of fanfic material.
  • Goddamned Bats: In Saisei-hen, any enemy faction aligned with the Earth Federation will get Mobile Dolls with "Support Defend"note  and most have barriers like "Planet Defensors"note . Attacks will constantly be blocked if players haven't been upgrading their units' weapons, not to mention the Dolls hit hard with the "Ignore Size Modifier" pilot skill.
    • During the last scenario resolving the Shin Mazinger and Mobile Suit Gundam 00 plots, Missile Mechanic Beasts and Gaga, respectively, appear by the numbers. While they aren't particularly hard to destroy, their Suicide Attacks are quite accurate. In fact, players won't earn any Experience Points or credits if they're destroyed this way.
  • Good Bad Bugs: Saisei-hen has two that trivializes the game. The first one is available so long as clear data from Hakai-hen is present, and players choose to start a new game via data linking. Progressing to the screen where it asks if the player wants to continue, then back-tracking to the title screen causes 500,000 credits to be added to the link data credit total; this can be repeated indefinitely.
    • The second one is a minor, but significant one. In the Second Z, it's possible to leave space on the sub-order menu before enacting sub-orders, thus a player is allowed to go back and fill those spaces and activate orders for them if they wish to. In Hakai-hen, filled rows are locked out, but in Saisei-hen it's possible to visit an unfilled row, switch to a filled row (by pressing the L or R buttons while holding down the triangle button), then swap out one pilot for another who hasn't been given orders yet. This means the player is no longer forced to choose who gets sub-orders when the cast becomes too large.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: An image from Z made the rounds during the game's initial release, showing a man in a black and gold outfit with a full face mask, talking to Gilbert Durandal and saying "They call that man 'Orange'." Guess what series debuts in Hakai-hen?
    • Hakai-hen included a Fire Bomber CD as an equippable part as a Continuity Nod to the fact several Macross Frontier characters (particularly Ozma Lee) are fans. We get to see them Squee in person, since Macross 7 is in Saisei-hen.
    • Famitsu once posted a hoax article for a fake entry called "Super Robot Wars U" as an April Fools joke. Among the series listed was Dai-Guard. Cue the cast listing for Hakai-hen.
    • The term "Char's Counterattack" has always been a bit of a misnomer in that movie, since Char and the Neo Zeon are the aggressors. The spin on this in Jigoku-hen makes this no longer a case.
    • This Yonkoma from Super Robot Wars Judgment featuring the Tuataa De Danaan. Again, this is no longer the case in Jigoku-hen as it is converted into a flight-capable, space-faring battleship.
    • Remember that Trope Pantheon thing? After that Shinka event in Tengoku-hen, Noriko, Ryouma Nagare, Amuro Ray, Char Aznable, Simon, the Edel Bernal (in the form of AG), Lockon Stratos, Kouji Kabuto and Sousuke Sagara actually become gods.
  • Holy Shit Quotient: A playable Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann in Jigoku-hen already set the tone following its reveal in the promotional trailers, but to transform into the Super Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann? WOW.
    • The entire Axis Colony Drop event in Jigoku-hen: sure, multiple SRWs have used it before, but to see Char reveal he's not the one dropping the asteroid, use Axis to perform space-time recovery, lead all of Z-BLUE in stopping its descent, AND pull a Xanatos Gambit in case it happens? All this is done as "Beyond the Time" plays in the background.
    • Geminion Ray's "The Over Riser Arc" attack in Tengoku-hen. How much? Oh, nothing short of splitting the Earth in half.
  • Memetic Badass
    • Once VOTOMS got in beginning with Hakai-hen, Chirico began ascending into this with little more than a simple Scopedog. This reaches the point where Jigoku-hen showed players how Chirico can use the Scopedog and beat a Physical God effortlessly.
    • Likewise, Tengoku-hen with Bonta-kun. Most bosses are essentially ineffective against it.
  • Memetic Mutation: Shiony has probably become the most memetic character in the entire franchise, only rivaling Mist Rex for the top slot. Look at how much fanart exists for her compared to how little there is for the other Hakai-hen originals. Unlike Mist, Shiony's memetic status is due to the fanbase realizing how she acts tough while being a Shrinking Violet, overreacting to just about anything; in turn, the fandom latched onto her personality quirks and ran with it, as opposed to being the result of an accidental rumor in Mist's case. Word of God even acknowledged her memetic status by using her portrait in Saisei-hen for a civilian met in-game. Some fans actually find her Moe due to being an Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain (she's upstaged by her villainous partners, nor is she that hard of a boss).
    • It can be debated as she mainly appears in the ruins of the country she used to lead. Same goes for the fanart amount, with Marguerite Pistail being the close second.
    • Crowe's million-dollar debt is slowly reaching this level.
    • "Wrong Tetsujin!" stemming from the fan reaction to the 1980s series being used over the original or 2004 one.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Shikuu crosses it when he kills the pregnant Annalotta Stohls, causing the Geminides race to go extinct.
  • Most Annoying Sound: "MOKYUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUN!" Whoever decided the Nirvash should do that every time it attacks should be shot.
    • "Main Theme" for Dancougar Nova is so over-the-top serious it quickly gets annoying. Then there's the delayed yell in the Dancougar Nova's final attack, courtesy of Aoi Hidaka (more specifically, a young Aoinote ).
  • Most Wonderful Sound: The sound the "Twin Satellite Cannon" makes when it locks on, right before it fires is absolutely glorious.
    • "Main Theme" for Dancougar Nova counts as this for those who were afraid they'd be stuck with the rather bad rendition of "Tori no Uta" that the Z series uses. Sadly, since this theme is technically meant for use by Nova Eagle, it does not appear in Saisei-hen or Jigoku-hen, since the Dancougar is acquired much earlier or is already combined.
    • Simon and his shout of "Giga Drill Break", particularly in the Jigoku-hen finale of the Gurren Lagann plot while using the titular galaxy-sized Humongous Mecha.
  • Nightmare Fuel
    • The Edel Bernal's ultimate attack: first he creates a rip in the fabric of spacetime, briefly showing off a rather ominous looking eye before a massive, rainbow-colored horde of evil...somethings...burst out in a massive stream, with the boss' mech leading them like some demented band leader, and with the horde making a cacophony of creepy impish giggling. They swoop up, grab the hapless victim(s) and carry them into a dimension of pure rainbow insanity. They then get swarmed by a mass of blobs which is then assails by giant sperm, then eaten by a much larger one-eyed blob, which then collides with MORE one-eyed blobs, zooming out all the while, until suddenly the mass is blasted by at least a dozen lasers, until finally the final boss' mech looms large, The Edel makes a rather wiggly cut-in, completely with a disturbing expression of pure elation and with a "BYE-BYE", before finally ending the madness by ramming his gigantic spear into the whole mess. Definitely a contender for creepiest attack in the series, tied with the Big Bad in Alpha 3.
    • Dimensional Beasts increasingly become this.
    • The Final Boss' attack in Tengoku-hen: bombarding the enemy with horrific visions of universal death and destruction rivals that of Keisar Ephes and his "End of the Galaxy" attack.
  • Nightmare Retardant: Shikuu's Leitmotif would actually be scary if the distorted voice playing in the background didn't sound like someone burping.
  • Player Punch: Esther Elhaas becomes a Dimensional Beast in Saisei-hen. She gets better, though.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap, alongside Author's Saving Throw and Took A Level In Bad Ass: When The Big O debuted in Super Robot Wars Destiny, it was near useless by that game's broken standards and many players were pleasantly surprised after seeing it in action in Z, where it's one of the best units and becomes better through weapon management, making it a nigh-Game Breaker with its high defense, range, and Roger Smith's high stats (more accurately, his skill set, allowing him to make use of the "Attack Again" pilot skillnote ). It seemed like the developers were issuing an apology for its sheer shafting in Destiny.
    • Godmars as well, which was a scrappy unit in the same game due to the same bug and if it was destroyed, it was an instant game over. Although the same "game over" situation is in Hakai-hen, Godmars is rendered as an ass-kicking tool of destruction that's nearly unstoppable. One fan on the GameFAQs board described it as "two trucks duct-taped together with an atomic bomb", which is an oddly accurate description of Godmars itself. It also helps that after the Godmars finale, the bomb is disposed of safely and there's now no game-ruining risk involved with using it.
    • Getter-3 in Hakai-hen is no longer a situational unit (at best): it's actually pretty good unit.
    • If there's one pilot and unit people ragged on the most out of the Gundam 00 pilots it's the Allelujah and the Kyrios Gundam for not being quite up to snuff with the other Celestial Being Gundams. Cue a 180 with the Arios in Saisei-hen winning fans over with better specs, having what many consider the best opening "TRANS-AM" animation, an eventual ability to unleash Hallejuah and watching the machine jump between jet/robot configurations in detailed animations.
    • Nena Trinity in the Second Z: while she's still an evil psychotic bitch, what made her so hated in her home series (killing Louise Halevy's family at a wedding on a total whim) is altered: she and her brothers bomb a political party Louise's parents happened to be at, apparently under orders. Nena's still the culprit, but doesn't hold sole culpability, and it being politically-driven rather than done For the Evulz makes her come off as less reprehensible.
    • Quess Paraya loses most of her Yandere traits in Jigoku-hen, while Gyunei Guss doesn't take to his Dragon with an Agenda situation from the film as much, so much so that he assists Z-BLUE with pushing Axis back.
    • In its prior Z appearances, the Gundam X and Gundam Double X can only use the "Satellite Cannon" so long as the moon is out in scenarios. Unfortunately, the games neglect to tell players whether the moon is out or not. Tengoku-hen retools this mechanic by allowing the weapon's use so long as its pilot hits the Will requirement. Provided the moon appears in the scenario, the weapon takes one turn to charge; if not, two turns. After Scenario 33, regardless of whether the moon appears or not, the attack can be used every turn.
  • Scrappy Weapon: Gurren Lagann's "Dreidel Burst" MAP attack consumes a lot of EN, can only hit five enemies at most, cannot be used post-movement, nor is it available in space-based scenarios, and can't hit enemies in the air unless the Gurren Lagann has an equippable part that gives all its weapons a terrain rating in air (having flight alone won't cover it, since it's canon flight upgrade doesn't change this attack's properties). Unfortunately, most players feel the machine performs sub-optimally in the air.
  • Spiritual Licensee: The Z saga is one to the Mass Effect trilogy, if it took center stage for Super Robot Wars. The Supreme God Sol/Z is a parallel to the Reapers - an In-Universe force with Nigh-Invulnerability that has been wiping out civilizations for millions of years. Both entities feature a cycle of destruction and rebirth on a cosmic scale. The ability of Advent to brainwash characters by being in close proximity to them is similar to Reaper Indoctrination. The fact that he pretends to be an ally of Z-BLUE and plans to use the Supreme God for his own agenda is a slight nod to the Illusive Man.
  • Tear Jerker: Many from the various franchises, but especially the death of Aki, which can be averted through Guide Dang It by getting invisible "points", putting her in stasis until a method to stop the bomb in her is discovered. Also doubles as Player Punch, as many players mercilessly slaughter Gaizock forces responsible for it in revenge. Kappei even changes character portraits from his usual smile to an angry expression for the rest of the scenario, along with a change in character description in the encyclopedia.
  • That One Boss: The Overdevil, Turn X and Dewey Novak's flagship Ginga-gou in Z
    • Hakai-hen has the dreaded big three of Emperor Zul, Moon Will's original Dancougar and Lord Genome's Lazengann. All of them can and will deal a One-Hit Kill on allied units if players aren't careful.
    • Level 99 Gaioh in Saisei-hen, provided the player is progressing on hard difficulty and picked the second of a particular conversation choice.
    • Haman Karn in Jigoku-hen, during the "Day of the Unicorn" event, thanks to god-like evasion rates and having no one on the allied roster with accuracy-increasing Spirit Commands at their disposal.
    • Gauron, as usual in Jigoku-hen; he may be worse this time if simply due, but not limited to, the fact he has the "Ignore Size Modifier" pilot skill.
    • Leonard Testarossa in the Belial for Tengoku-hen in Scenario 16, due to his machine's "Lambda Driver" reducing damage by a whopping 90%, effectively giving him more than 150000 HP. If players are on the hard difficulty, Leonard will also unlock his "Ace Bonus".
    • Once Straus gets serious in Tengoku-hen, he ascends to be a level 70 boss when most allied pilots are just hitting the mid-40s. Worse, his unit contains an eleven-ranged ALL attack with incredibly high accuracy and can perform three actions per turn.
  • That One Level: The final scenario for Rand Travis on EX-Hard Mode is insanely annoying, both because of its length and the sheer Difficulty Spike the Big Bad is compared to the previous scenarios. Save Scumming is almost a must to avoid an Unwinnable situation.
    • Some of the special scenario requirements are near impossible to beat without a great deal of luck and Save Scumming. The only real way to beat Z on EX-Hard Mode while getting the SR Points and hidden ending points and such is Level Grinding repair units (making Rand's route a little easier since the Gunleon has this ability) to high levels as soon as you get a scenario without a time limit.
    • Just about any stage in Hakai-hen with Dimensional Beasts is a pain in the ass, especially Scenario 50. This doesn't get any better when Artificial-class Beasts present themselves anywhere in Saisei-hen.
    • Scenario 35 of Saisei-hen (of both routes, no exception) begins with all allied characters getting their heads messed with through an event, starting them off at 70 Will, no use of Spirit Commands while hordes of Artificial-class Dimensional Beasts close in, dealing high damage to units while taking paltry amounts in return due to the low Will.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: The Second Z being on a handheld attracted a large number of complaints, as well as the removal of the "TRI-Battle System". A combination of these two things has also limited returning series to their key cast members and units only. Additionally, the fact it was planned to be a PlayStation 2 game had some fans upset, as the PSP is seen as a downgrade in terms of graphical capabilities.
    • Replacing the Eureka Seven TV series with the not-so-well received movie in Hakai-hen had fans crying it was ruined now that the Nirvash is no longer broken, since many consider the film version of the machine as garbage. With Eureka Seven totally removed from Tengoku-hen, nearly all players agree this is not a step in the right direction regarding the Z series.
    • Macross Frontier units are rendered size "M" rather than "S" in Hakai-hen, and no longer have their "Pinpoint Barrier" unit abilitynote  from L, which means they're no longer Game Breakers. Naturally, people complained; however, the barrier does return in Saisei-hen.
      • What's funny is L got the size wrong, too: the VF-25 Messiah is roughly the same height as medium-sized mainstays Mazinger Z and the RX-78-2 Gundam, making it too large to be considered "small". L worked them in due to a lack of small units (it only had the Jeegs and the Iczers), but Hakai-hen has enough small units to restore them to their original size.
    • Part of the fanbase complained "Tori no Uta" and "LION" (and by extension, the entire soundtrack of Macross Frontier) is much better in L than it is in the Second Z. Don't even try to mention "Absolute Nova Beast Attack" for the Dancougar Nova. Likewise, Macross 7 gets a bit of a flak for not including some of their songs, mostly "Angel Voice" and "Holy Lonely Night". This may have been the reason why Jigoku-hen began allowing custom BGMs.
  • Too Cool to Live: Although Advent and his Asclepus wind up rescuing Hibiki Kamishiro in dynamic moments, he pulls a Heroic Sacrifice to imbalance the "Sphere of the Quarreling Twins", allowing Hibiki to acquire it for himself. Arguably subverted when it's a Thanatos Gambit for him to become the vessel for the Supreme God Z to recreate the universe in his own image.
  • The Woobie: Setsuko; Uther might've surpassed her for this status in Saisei-hen.
    • Hibiki is another one. His mum was manipulated in trying to kill him when he was a kid, but killed herself in front of him instead. An Angel decided to murder his father and sister in front of him just to see what would happen. Hibiki loses his friend Advent, Except his friend Advent is perfectly fine and betrays him by revealing himself to be the murderer of his family. And then the nurse he was sweet on also betrays him. Then it transpires that his robot was actually intended for somebody else, meaning his entire raison d'etre went poof.
  • Up to Eleven: Saisei-hen is the only SRW to date to surpass the number of series in a single game previously set by Alpha 3.