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 Deal 50% more damage to Gundams and/or units equipped with GN Drives or GN-Tau Drives, and you've cast his "Soul" Spirit Commandnote Deal 2.5 times the damage for the next attack, 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.
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".
Special mention goes to Scenario 29 of Saisei-hen, where a background music named "The Advance of Warhorses" pop up at the beginning, which makes Chirico go nuts. This song is remade from the original Red Shoulder March of Armored Trooper VOTOMS, since Banpresto couldn't purchase the song's license, but this version is very well-conceived. Too bad players only get to hear it in a few scenarios or so, nor can they set it as a unit's music.
Hibiki gets another Mid-Season Upgrade in the form of the Geminion Ray upon reaching the Quarrelling Twin Spheres Third Stage which got many people saying that he is not badass enough for it because the it is so good:The Taikyoku Overaiser.
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 Unit projects a command field; allies within the field receive accuracy/evasion bonus rates depending on the distance from the unit.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 Negate damage penalties when attacking larger units.
A few scenarios before the mandatory "Shinka" event in Tengoku-hen, the game pits players against quite a number of Angeloi Alca. These aren't quite the prior Mook units fought time to time, as they are now piloted by level 75 pilots, with each Angeloi Alca boasting an armor rating of 3200. Unless offensive-based Spirit Commands are used, destroying one will become difficult, as all the while players are getting smacked by these units' astounding accurate and damaging attacks.
Ear Worm: "GAN GAN LEON, GUNLEON! GAN GAN LEON, GUNLEON!"...and all the respective Ear Worms of the various franchises, as usual.
Foe Yay: A one-sided affair with Advent and Hibiki. The moment Advent declared that he loves Hibiki in the Final Boss scenario is what cemented it.
Goddamned Bats: In Saisei-hen, any enemy faction aligned with the Earth Federation will get Mobile Dolls with "Support Defend"note Unit can provide defensive support to an adjacent ally and most have barriers like "Planet Defensors"note Nullify damage below 2000. 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.
In Tengoku-hen, it is possible to use the D-Trader part, "Insalaum's Treasure"note Cast the spirit command "Love" on the user.twice in one scenario just by having Hibiki, in Genion, use the item, then immediately transforming into Genion GAI and the item is now usable again. Same thing will result when changing from Genion GAI to Geminion Ray.
On the bad side of the bugs, if players use Basara's "Try Again" song on Nono then transforming Nono's EVO-4 to Buster Machine No. 7/Diebuster the status buffs are removed.
Sousei no Aquarion Evol made the interactions between the casts of both Aquarionshows hilariously ironic. Specifically, while Tengoku-hen had Apollo and Kagura on pretty good terms right from the start, Aquarion Love had the two hate each other at first smell, which triggered the fight between Apollo in Solar Aquarion and Kagura in Aquarion Evol.
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 theTime" 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.
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.
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 MargueritePistail 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.
"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 In the show's Final Battle against the original Dancougar, when they use the "Dankuudangaiken", it shows a young Aoi. The other pilots helped her out of a Heroic B.S.O.D. where she was imagining herself when she was a little girl).
"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.
Never Live It Down: In Z3.2 Sumeragi, has a one-off line excusing a bunch of nonreturning characters by way of saying "nah, let's split our force to keep the enemy busy", and /m/ turned that into "Sumeragi gets rid of everybody".
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.
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 If the defending enemy's skill stat is 20 points lower than the pilot's skill stat, the pilot may initiate a second attack in the same combat phase). 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.
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. At least it is replaced by Giga Drill Maximum in later games.
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-Invulnerabilitythat 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.
Even "Batshit" Ryouma, of all people, screams for Kamina in the same manner he does whenever Musashi bites the dust.
Before heading off to fight the Final Boss in Jigoku-hen, Z-BLUE uses the teleport/warp points inside the Super Galaxy Dai-Gurren to go home and visit their friends. Everyone gets to have what could be their last time with the people they love, the exception being Noriko. Although the party is quick to brighten her spirit, it's still a sad moment considering Kazumi Amano isn't present in Jigoku-hen.
Rengoku-hen pulls one with Setsuko after acquiring the Virgola Glory S: her Sphere of the "Sorrowful Maiden" is going into a form of overdrive. For the entire scenario this happens, Setsuko sounds almost suicidial.
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, asusual 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".
All enemy Sphere Reactors are this, but 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.
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.
Any stages containing enemy Sphere Reactors in Tengoku-hen due to their unit-exclusive "Sphere Act" abilities that affect all allied characters.
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 Nullify damage below 1000 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 Lgot 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.
Jigoku-hen wasn't kind to Heero Yui when they made his quotes to enemies and bosses as generic, lacking the entire "Target, X enemy." that fans loved both in Hakai and Saisei. Fortunately, this was brought back in Tengoku.
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 Scrappy: The Angels, sans Advent, are hated by a lot of players for their one-dimensional personalities, barely interesting plots, over hyped as the ultimate villains only for them to hold a lot of the Villain Ball, having Holier Than Thou personalities by claiming that everything they say is "beyond human comprehension", and being generic villains that fans wonder how would any of the other series villains would even think these guys were the greatest beings in the universe. It's a blessing to players that Advent finally kills them off to become the Final Boss of the entire saga.
The Woobie: Setsuko; Uther might've surpassed her for this status in Saisei-hen.
Hibiki: his mother was manipulated into killing her son, but is Driven to Suicide because she wouldn't harm him. One of The Four Angels murders Hibiki's father and sister in front of him just to see the boy's reaction. In Jigoku-hen, Hibiki loses his friend Advent when fighting Gadlight Meonsam, except Advent turns out perfectly well in Tengoku-hen, only to betray him and Z-BLUE since he was Evil All Along. To make matters worse, Maki the nurse is one of Advent's subordinates AND Advent was the culprit responsible for killing his family. Fellow Genion co-pilot Suzune Saijou has her hidden personality "Ambriel" emerge and takes over, pulling a Face–Heel Turn. Finally, Ambriel reveals the Genion was intended for Suzune's use, not Hibiki, making everything up to that point in Tengoku-hen basically an accident on his account. Fortunately, Hibiki does toughen up, and turns into an Iron Woobie at the core.