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Another Century's Episode or "A.C.E." is a Massive Multiplayer Crossover Mecha Game series made by a combination of Banpresto (most famous for the Super Robot Wars games) and FromSoftware (makers of the Armored Core series and Metal Wolf Chaos). Simply put, think of A.C.E. as Super Robot Wars, but played in the style of Armored Core.

Much like Super Robot Wars, the story in each game in the series is a mashup of multiple Humongous Mecha series (mostly of the Real Robot variety), and revolves around a piece of Applied Phlebotinum which happens to fall into the hands of an Original Generation character.

The games are lauded for managing to keep (nearly) each and every playable mecha completely true to their counterparts without sacrificing gameplay or fun in the process.

The five games in the series are:

Tropes found within the games which are separate from/contrary to the series the characters and mecha originated from include:

  • Ace Custom: Belkt's black/red Gun Ark, the "Blood Ark"
  • Adaptation Distillation
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: According to the backstory of R, humans colonized Eria, only to be randomly attacked by automated drones they dubbed "Aggressors". Eventually, they developed a planetary shield and defense system, maintained by the Season androids. Unfortunately, for some reason or another, their leader Winter One decided that humanity had to go.
    • Until it's subverted at the last moment when Dr. Shiki, a human who secretly had his mind inserted into Winter One, takes control of the android's body and shows himself to be responsible for turning the Seasons against humanity. Winter One himself isn't above sending his "siblings" to carry out suicide attacks or outright shooting them in the back if doing so distracts the heroes from his works although this may or may not be an indirect result of Shiki's influence as well.
  • Alpha Strike: The Ex-Blau Form-H in 3 can do this, firing all of its weapons at a single target. It's possible to severely damage if not outright kill bosses with this attack (which comprises micromissiles, rockets, shotguns, beam shots, a small wave motion gun, and artillery gun).
  • Anti-Villain: Fidel Barkhorst from 2 is a Type IV (Villain In Name Only); he doesn't want to hurt anybody, least of all the heroes, but he wants to use the Guardian System to fight off the Zentraedi in order to prove to the UCE that they were wrong to ignore his father's warnings. Marina qualifies as a Dragon-in-Name-Only, since she supports his plan fully but likewise goes out of her way not to harm the good guys, which is what ends up cluing them into her identity (if the bad guys have access to a Kill Sat, why haven't they just wiped the Albion and Nadesico off the map with it?)
  • Applied Phlebotinum: The "E2" energy source in the first two games, specific types of DNA in the second two
  • Attack Drone
    • In the first two games, funnels are this, but they come with an immense caveat: once launched, they remain in play, firing at whatever you're locked on to at the moment for a set time, upon which they experience Critical Existence Failure. Unlike other weapons, they cannot be reloaded.
    • 3 has funnels, as well, and the original mecha "Ixblau" has a Mecha Expansion Pack that gives it its own set of attack drones. Here, said drones return to you and recharge once they've spent an amount of time in the field, but they can also be destroyed by enemy fire...and you still can't restock them.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Master Gundam in 3; on one hand, you get to control Cool Old Guy Master Asia and the machine can go into two successive super modes...on the other hand, most of its attacks either require a bit of startup time, aren't exactly effective against moving targets (which is just about everything in the game), or both.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Kamille Bidan, Quattro Bajeena and Amuro Ray do this with Shinn Asuka, Kira Yamato and Athrun Zala in R. And it is awesome.
  • Battleship Raid: The battle against Reinen's submarine in 2
  • Big Damn Heroes: All over the place. In fact, the sole purpose Gundam Wing characters seem to exist in the latter two games is pulling these off. On the other hand...
  • Bookends: The series in of itself loves this. For example, the first and last games in the original ACE trilogy have their intros consisting of the playable robots dismantling a large military force in a somehow abandoned city. The latter kicks things up a notch by replacing the enemy's tanks and jets with mobile suits that still get blown to smithereens by the heroes regardless.
    • A more subtle example happens at the end of said introductions, where the heroes fly away into the distance at the end. In ACE 1, the mecha fly away at breakneck speed, with Akito Tenkawa of Nadesico infamy in his Black Selena just managing to keep up with the pack. Flash forward two years for ACE 3, and now he leads the protagonist flight at the end of the game's intro as they fly off into the distance.
    • ACE 2 has bookends of its own in-story, as it begins and ends with Original Generation characters Tak and Marina in a private conversation, during a fight.
    • The intro to ACE R begins and ends with the Aquarion falling from the sky into a desert.
  • Boring, but Practical: The fifth Gespenst unit in A.C.E Portable. All of its variation packs have little weapon variety and short melee combos, but it has above average power and high base stats.
  • Boss Rush: Two secret levels in the latter two games are devoted to this
  • Bottomless Magazines: The franchise moved in this direction over time. In the first two games, ammunition was pretty reasonable, but in the third, everyone's main weapon had a large amount of shots and reloaded very quickly (in the area of 5-8 seconds). R just says to hell with it and gives infinite ammo to everyone's primary gun, but everything else runs off of a "Tension" meter which builds by attacking, taking damage, and from some support abilities, such as Zero's Geass. This odd set-up means that weaker weapons like Mobile Suits' vulcan guns or Knightmare Frames' slash harkens cost Tension while beam rifles, grenade launchers and the like can be used freely.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: Arguably one of the things making the games so much fun is doing everything, completing every hidden mission, saving up billions upon billions of points, all for the sake of unlocking new mecha to play with, despite the fact you don't actually need them to finish the game, and in actuality, you probably won't obtain until your third or fourth playthrough
    • Unlocking Nineball Seraph in R due to it being usable in only one mission, but hey, playable Nineball!
  • Break Them by Talking: Before fighting the Big Bad Dr. Shiki in R, the heroes are treated to a long speech on the rationale behind everything that has transpired, including the Seasons' extermination campaign against human colonists on Eria: 1.) Shiki began thinking of "liberating the colonists from the misery of war" upon conclusion that breach of the A.C.E. system by the Aggressors might take a long time but is ultimately inevitable, 2.) defending billions of human beings is not as efficient as defending a boxed collection of sperms and eggs, and 3.) removing the human presence means no more man-made pollutions or catastrophes, thereby preserving Eria's Eco-system. He goes on to portray his actions as an act of mercy for the colonists of Eria, but the heroes being heroes naturally just don't at all buy into it. Finally he proceeds to announce his intention of harvesting the heroes for body parts, a move that most likely isn't helping his cause, either......
  • Call a Hit Point a "Smeerp": Hit points in all three games is referred to as "AP" or "Armor Points", as a reflection of Armored Core's system.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Domon Kasshu and Master Asia do this the most (indeed, the first time per stage that they activate their Limit Break attacks results in the action pausing while they do their famous battle chants); the Aestivalis pilots do this in 2 (only Hikaru Amano retains the habit in 3); and the Getter Team makes great use of their Hot-Blooded-ness for it
  • The Cameo: Near the end of R, the head of Season sics Nineball Seraph on you.
  • The Captain: Bright Noa in A.C.E., Eiphar Synapse in 2, Ruri Hoshino in 3, and both Autumn-Four and Jeffery Wilder in R.
  • Cast from Hit Points: The "Guardian Attack" in 2. The most notable thing about it is you can cause yourself a Critical Existence Failure if you use it while low on AP.
    • R's support abilities are also this, whenever the player commands a unit to perform the action. This can get a little annoying, as it's the only way to perform a Combination Attack.
  • Cloning Blues / Evil Twin: Belkt is protagonist Barrel Orland's clone in 3.
  • Character Level: Subversion: mecha gain levels instead of the pilots.
  • Charged Attack
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Gai Daigoji in 3. Despite surviving to the very end of the second game, he's nowhere in sight in the third and no explanation of what happened to him is given.
    • Ditto to Tak, The Hero of 2. In The Final, Love Interest Marina turns up as a playable character in Tak's mecha, and the dialog before the final stage has her implying that there's someone important to her to come back to, but it's never said where he is or why he's not here himself.
  • Combos
  • Combination Attack: A large part of the gameplay in the latter two games revolves around filling up a "Friend Gauge" to facilitate having all three mechs in your squad unload on a single enemy, with any nearby mooks getting caught in the crossfire. There's even an entire strategy revolving around creating squads of specific mechs to unleash stronger combos
  • Continuity Reboot: 2 completely rejects the canon of the first
  • Continuity Nod: The Ark series from 2 is powered by E2 from the first game; R includes a reference to the Baldona Drive from 3.
  • Crapsack World / After the End: "Earth B" in 3, thanks to it being the home of Eureka Seven, Gundam X, Overman King Gainer and Getter Robo Armageddon
  • Debut Queue: In R, the player picks a series to start with and experiences a couple of missions purely from its source material before the "black sphere" teleports them to Eria. Shortly thereafter, they meet about half the cast; over the course of the next two or three stages, they meet the other half, which necessitates a lot of introductions and Exposition (so newcomers know what an Exodus, Britannian and Miclone are)
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Marina, as shown in flashbacks about her and Tak's past in 2
  • Demoted to Extra: Isn't it sad, Burning? Noin? Sara? Shiratori? Toudou? And those are just the characters who at least got speaking roles.
    • R has quite a bit of this, since the "black sphere" means that we see brief snippets of events in every series' home world before only the select few playables get pulled away.
    • In a larger sense, Gundam Wing. In the original ACE it played a large role in the overall plot, complete with Romefeller Foundation HQ serving as the headquarters of the UCE. In 2, the characters are mainly there to play Big Damn Heroes, without even enacting Endless Waltz's plot (Wu Fei still rebels, but without the larger backstory of the Mariemaia Rebellion it looks more like he's throwing a temper tantrum). The Final takes it even further by only having Heero appear or even be mentioned out of the entire cast.
  • Determinator: Tak's a pro at this
  • Desperation Attack: Several mechs in 3 have this in the form of a Super Mode
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: 3's final boss is Belkt piloting the Shin Dragon in its reality-shattering, Jovian-moon-destroying final form
  • Difficulty Levels: "Rookie", "Pilot", "Veteran", and "ACE"
  • Downer Ending: The first game: due to a Sadistic Choice, you're forced to massacre civilians in a "needs of the many" situation. After taking out Hokushin, you chase Char Aznable to Mars and take care of him, too. Unfortunately, the UCE Government has now labeled all of Londo Bell to be traitors and mass-murderers, forcing the heroes to go into hiding. The only remotely-good thing to come out of this debacle is a suggestion given by the narrator that the disgraced heroes are protecting Earth from the shadows, because they're heroes and that's what they do. The answer as to whether this is supposed to be a hint at a new adventure or just a Hope Spot will never be known since the sequels then proceed to throw this storyline out the window.
    • Shin Kudo in R ends up no closer to finding Sara Nome by the conclusion of his story. That, and see You Can't Go Home Again entry below.
  • Dual Boss: Used quite often. Just to name a few:
  • Early-Bird Cameo: The custom Gespensts used by Kai, Katina and Russel in The Second Super Robot Wars Original Generation made their debut in ACE Portable.
  • Escort Mission: Quite a few, but the most frustrating is the final Eureka Seven mission in 3, due to being surrounded on all sides by infinitely respawning Corallians who can literally start taking chunks out of the Gekko
    • Until you realize the large Coralians on the far sides of the map are Mook Makers. And that Valkyries are the best units to use against large numbers of enemies, thanks to Macross Missile Massacre and More Dakka. (And in Roy's case, nukes.)
  • Evolving Attack: Melee combos in 2 evolve as you pour points into upgrading them. Combination Attacks in 3 evolve based on the amount of experience each mech participating has.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Summer One in R gets to die at his own accord by going down with his mecha following his second loss at the heroes' hands. His "siblings" aren't even so lucky.
  • Facial Markings: Hard to see when he has his helmet on, but Tak has a rather intricate pattern on the right side of his face
  • Falling into the Cockpit: Subverted: Barrel's practically dragged into the Ixblau's cockpit and made to fight by co-pilot Fei.
  • Fanservice: A tiny bit of the regular kind in the later ones (being an anime crossover, after all), even though you only see the characters a bit, but Code Geass fans may get a kick out of Lelouch Lamperouge squirming in terror at the fact his Geass does not work on Autumn, but in his usual fashion, he recovers quickly and figures out exactly WHY it didn't work, as well as helping to reveal said conclusion in front of everyone, all within the span of one mission.
  • Fighter-Launching Sequence: Due to the heavy usage of Real Robots in the series, this was an incredibly common occurrence in the series' first three entries, which each installment handling them differently due to the presentation. Of note is ACE 2, which involves the catapult and flight deck of the protagonist's flagship folding out to make a runway that reveals the player's chosen mecha. This also shows off a genre shift by adding cut-ins of the pilot's eyeline shouting either a catchphrase or requesting permission to launch. A subtly comedic example of this is the Billbine, where Cham Fau attempts to authorize it for launch, only for Show Zama, its pilot to brush her out of the way and say it himself.
  • Fix Fic: The series goes about happily preventing the deaths of popular characters who die in their original series, a la SRW.
  • Forced Tutorial: Every single time you play through 2's story mode.
  • Freudian Excuse: In 3, Belkt wants to cause a double Earth-Shattering Kaboom because of daddy issues. His "father", Gil Baldona, created the Baldona Drive and found himself Trapped in Another World. He made Belkt as a Replacement Goldfish for his son, Barrel, but was going to abandon him to try to get back to his original world and son, leaving Belkt to be hunted down by the New Federation because of his ability to control the Baldona Drive. Unable to bear what a crapsack life he's leading compared to Barrel's, he decides both worlds gotta go
  • Generation Ships: Ark Alpha houses the personal data of the humans stranded on Eria, and was designed with the intent to let them escape the planet and the control of Season
  • Genre Shift: By the way each game represents the story: the first seems to be realistic mecha simulation, similar to Armored Core, with an anime setting. The only face the player will see during a mission is his operator and the avatar character is a nondescript pilot. 2 shifts toward anime and less of realism, with the player actually seeing the protagonist during cutscenes. Tak's solid with personality and a background story. Still, aside from a few flashbacks and mission briefings, the player will never see Tak interact with other characters outside of battles (they use voicemail to contact him personally), and there are various reports which the player can read to learn about events beyond his scope. The Final slides even more towards an anime feeling, with Barrel actually talking to his fellow pilots before their sorties and everything is represented through dialogue
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Marina's whole reason for being in 2 seems to be to attempt these for the sake of Tak, but he insists it would NOT make him happy
  • High-Altitude Battle: The fact there are so many of these is the reason units who, while unable to fly in their original series, have no problem doing so here
    • Subverted somewhat in R: Variable Fighters from Macross franchise are no longer capable of sustained flight in Battroid mode; also, when the heroes proceed to ascend towards space, Arm Slaves, Mobile Suits from Universal Century and Cosmic Era universes, Overmen, and the Earth Federation Army robots break off from the party to storm an orbital elevator rather than sitting out on actions (as most of them cannot leave planetary atmospheres under their own power, much less defend their capital ships along the way). In addition to being a diversionary attack, this move also serves to utilize the elevator, which can catapult them into space to link up with the rest of the party if they do slip past local enemy defenses.
  • Idle Animation: Certain mechs in 3, but only on the ground. The ∀ Gundam will rotate its head 180 degrees for a few seconds, then sit down and somehow pull out a clothesline which it will hang between its hands. The Overman "Dominator" is the only mech in the game with aerial idle animations; doing gymnastic stretches that cycle between three different forms every time you hang in the air long enough.
  • Ignored Expert: Albert Reinen, who predicted an alien invasion and tried to sell the Federation on his defense system. They dismissed him, but several years later the Zentraedi come calling...
  • Intercontinuity Crossover: R is considered a Side Story to Super Robot Wars Original Generation, explaining why Ryusei and his friends were here in the first place. Which results to...
    • Resolved Plot Hole / Continuity Cameo: The storyline of R is mentioned in first stage of the Masaki Route of 2nd Original Generation.
  • It's Up to You
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: Several mobile suits from Universal Century, especially the GP01.
  • Joke Character: Marina's Feather Ark in 2, the RX-78-2 Gundam and the Gatchko in 3
    • The Gespenst MK II M in the original game isn't quite a joke character, but is hands-down the weakest machine in the game, thus treated as such by the fan community; beating the game with an stock Gespenst is considered the "ironman" challenge
    • The RX-78-2 is more a Lethal Joke Character, considering it's hideously overpowered to the point of Game-Breaker: while it shoots slow for most weapons and has insanely long reload times, the damage is absolutely insane to the point where even bosses go down in a few well-placed shots
    • Bonta-kun in R.
      • Bonta-kun is a god compared to Luca Angeloni's RVF-25. Absolutely pitiful damage from its primary ranged weapon, an almost nonexistent melee combo string, and its only Tension ability being to futz with enemy missiles make for a difficult time fighting just about anything. It gains some useful skills in its "Super" configuration, but said configuration is only available for five levels at the tail end of the game, one of which is That One Level.
  • Kill Sat: The Guardian System for the Gun Ark and Buster Ark in 2
  • Latex Space Suit
  • Loading Screen: R runs a unique tutorial during the hard drive installation to keep the player busy
  • The Man Behind the Man
    • Fidel Barkholz in 2. He acts as The Professor while in front of the Albion's crew and regularly sends Tak information via e-mail, but turns out to be a Treacherous Advisor and the one responsible for giving Marina the Buster Ark and sending her and platoons of Mecha-Mooks off to get in the way of the Albion's forces.
    • Dr. Shiki in R. Although both the Doctor and the Seasons want all humans on Eria dead, the Seasons simply sees it as a conquest whereas Dr. Shiki sees it as an expression of his twisted vision of saving the world, and Winter One himself wasn't very happy to find out that Shiki isn't quite dead as everyone was led to believe.
  • Meaningful Name: Autumn-Four's mecha is named "Alpheart" because it's the heart of the Ark-Alpha
  • Mecha Expansion Pack: Subverted in 2, wherein the Gun-Ark receives various weapon upgrades that don't alter its appearance in any way
    • Played totally straight in 3, with the Ixblau given four expansion packs: Blade, G-force, Heavy, and Telekinesis.
  • Metaphorically True: Recall Author's Saving Throw: it turns out Terada was just referring to characters, resulting in a large number of secret units being downgrades (for example, Crossbone X-1, Sousuke Sagara's M9 Gernsback, and the original Lancelot and Guren MK II), apparently because they weren't willing to expand beyond the "core characters", despite the surprising number of peripheral characters who get full voice acting AND their mecha worked into the game.
  • Mook Maker: Just about every enemy ship and/or base
  • More Dakka: Several mechs shoot A LOT of stuff, but the Heavyarms in 1 and 2, and the Alteisen Reise in R take the cake.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: In R: Arm Slave Units cannot fly (And thus, cannot use the boost gauge), but Arbalest can go to pretty much any enemy you want it to using only its knife, and it has a handy dodge roll which can be abused to gain speed.
    • Then when you get to the space stages the Arm Slaves gain flight (Presumably due to the lack of gravity), they also gain the ability to boost without using any sort of visible booster.
  • Oh, Crap!: While there are many times, being a cross-over series, in ACE:R, any Armored Core player will be terrified to see Nineball Seraph appear as a cameo boss battle (and if anyone might be thinking that at least the fight would be three-on-one, it isn't). Can also diverge into This Is Gonna Suck when the fight actually begins.
  • Only Six Faces: Meta-example: Barrel and Fei strongly resemble the male protagonist and Elizabeth from Persona 3.
    • That's because they share the same character designer, Shigenori Soejima
  • Ordinary High-School Student: Barrel.
  • Original Generation: Tak Kepford, Marina Carson and the Ark series from 2; Barrel Orland, Fei Roshande, Belkt and the Ixblau from 3; Autumn-Four, Ark-Alpha, Alpheart and Season from R.
  • Overly Long Fighting Animation: Strange for the type of game, but Cybuster's specials are completely overdone in R to insane levels, especialy Cosmo Nova.
  • Personality Chip: Autumn Four has the "Sentimental Circuit", which was damaged in the prologue, leading her to being an Emotionless Girl with occasional moments of "noise" from the Circuit (like her finding Bonta-kun adorable). As it turns out, all Season androids have the same Circuits in order to let them work better with humanity; obviously, it didn't work
  • Power Creep, Power Seep: All over the place, with the most glaring example being the Shin Getter Robo in The Final. The Super Robot capable of cutting stars in half in its home series is FAR outclassed by the likes of Kira "Jesus" Yamato and Heero
    • Justified since the Shin Dragon isn't there to pump up its energy and the machine got trashed a few times, anyways.
  • Precision-Guided Boomerang: Deathscythe Hell and Sandrock are the original perpetrators, since whenever they throw their weapons, they come right back, then 3 went and made weapons of that sort, able to lock-on to and destroy tens of enemies all at once
  • Pre-Order Bonus: R has Amuro's custom Zeta Gundam, originally seen in the IMAX film Green Divers and later in Gundam Evolve
    • To be more specific, everyone can unlock it. The pre-order code just let you get it earlier than normal.
  • Ramming Always Works: How the Layzner's V-MAX System works in ACE, as well as what the Black Selena and Nirvash's melee attacks look like.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Part of the reason Marina's so eager to go the whole Heroic Sacrifice route in 2, but Belkt does this for real at the end of The Final
  • The Remnant: Meio Plato's Ex-Giganos group in 3, brought about due to prodding from Neo-Zeon and the Martian Successors
  • Ridiculously Human Robots: All of the Original Generation characters appearing in R, Autumn Four included. This doesn't include the ACTUAL OG characters of course...
  • The Rival: When Mikael Blanc introduces himself as a sniper, Kurz Weber cheerfully remarks "I guess that makes you my rival," which Mikael cheerfully confirms.
  • Saving the World: The first two games.
  • Scenery Porn: In R, a number of levels feature stunning vistas as backdrops.
  • Scoring Points: To wit the points can be used in exchange for upgrades and new mecha.
  • Scrolling Text: Done in order to get the exposition out in The Final.
  • Secret Character: Half the fun is collecting them all.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Belkt killed his "father" Gil before the latter could attempt to return to his home world.
  • Set Swords to "Stun": Mostly only on bosses.
  • Something Only They Would Say: In R, Zero's attempt to convince Suzaku Kururugi to join up with the "Irregulars" rather than Season includes a thinly-veiled reference to their mutual past (saying they mustn't repeat their past mistake of ignoring the situation to focus on each other), which confirms to Suzaku this Zero is indeed Lelouch.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Evil
  • Sorting Algorithm of Weapon Effectiveness
  • Super Prototype: The Gun Arks and Buster Ark in 2 and the Ixblau in The Final
  • Sword of Plot Advancement: Tak obtaining access to the Guardian System in 2 and Barrel learning he's the biological son of the creator of the Baldona Drive, thus able to bypass its security measures and activate it himself in 3
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Suzaku with the other Geass characters in R as it's at the point in the series where he hates Zero completely, but doesn't yet know his story. Subverted with everyone else. Suzaku gets along with them just fine, and in fact the only reason he agreed to help in the first place was because there were other characters that he decided were trustworthy.
  • Theme Naming: The villainous organization in R is named "Season" and its members include Spring One, Summer One, Autumn One and Winter One. Our protagonist, however, is Autumn Four
    • Each Season member also have huge bases called Plants: Spring has the Sea Plant, Summer has the Geo Plant, and Autumn the Sky Plant. Winter, however, uses the A.C.E. Core.
  • There Can Be Only One: The planned route of development for Tak's Gun-Ark and Marina's Buster-Ark is they become more powerful by fighting each other and will reach their full potential when one destroys the other, which will give the survivor enough power to blow away the Zentraedi fleet. Tak chooses to eschew this reasoning, opting instead to bring Marina around to his side and working together with everyone to bring down the Zentraedi. It works
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: The Cybuster's Ranbu No Tachi, Akaskic Buster and ESPECIALLY Cosmo Nova attacks are INSANE in R, to the point where you wonder if these animations are instead for some new Super Robot Wars game. Cosmo Nova is pretty much guaranteed to hit For Massive Damage.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works
  • Timed Mission: Quite a few in the series.
  • Title Drop: R's plot heavily involves "System A.C.E.". In fact, it's the second-last boss. In the epilogue, Autumn prepares to seed life on mankind's new home, saying that it's the beginning of "Another Century's Episode", while speaking in Gratuitous English. However, this could be what System A.C.E. was intended for, in the first place...
  • Took a Level in Badass: In the first game, the Gespenst MK II M is almost useless. Say hello to its Mid-Season Upgrade in Portable, all three of them.
  • Turns Red: Done in the latter two, primarily by antagonists from Aura Battler Dunbine / The Wings of Rean, who grow to gigantic proportions. Belkt's Grave Ark does this by purging its extra armor
    • A literal example in R, as, for whatever reason, every mech turns red when using a Limit Break (and yes, they do call it that).
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: The "Swift Chase" segments introduced in R, which turn the game into a Rail Shooter with fairly bad targeting.
  • Updated Re-release: The "Special Vocal Version" of 2 includes versions of each series' Anime Theme Song with lyrics intact (the original was strictly instrumental)
  • Villain Team-Up: Usually ends with both sides double-crossing each other
  • Walking Armory: The Ex-Blau Form-H in 3. Loaded with over a hundred micromissiles, a small Wave-Motion Gun, a large-caliber artillery gun, rocket launcher, beam rifle, and a shotgun. And it can fire everything.
  • The War Sequence: Done at least once every game, especially in the intro cinematics.
  • The World Is Always Doomed
  • You Can't Go Home Again: The fate of Shin Kudo at the end of R. While he is able to go back to his own universe, the fact that he returns with the Macross Frontier crew means that he's also stuck 50 years in the future.
    • It's implied this is because the Frontier characters filled him in on the events he missed out on, specifically Roy Focker's death and the devastation of earth in the original series. Since he'd no doubt try to prevent this the timeline kept him from doing so by sending him back with the Frontier characters to their time. Contrast Amuro and Char who are sent back to the time they left, because the Kincaid explicitly tells Tobia that they need to keep their fates from Char's Counterattack to themselves to prevent causing timeline problems.
  • You Don't Look Like You: The Nadesico's crew in ACE 2 upon seeing Akito Tenkawa as the Prince of Darkness, especially considering the crew still has Gai Daigouji with them.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Other than all the included series, the originals in R have some wild colors. Autumn plays it the straightest, though, with light-blue hair.
  • You Killed My Father: The major reason why Barkholz is so pissed off at the UCE in 2 is that they were responsible for killing off his father, Albert Reinen. So he decides that not only will he throw a monkey wrench in the UCE's plans by aiding their enemies via timely interruptions, but he'll also be the one to wipe out the Zentraedi through the Ark Project's There Can Be Only One development cycle


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