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Oversurge, Azure Striker!note 
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Azure Striker Gunvolt is the first game in the Azure Striker Gunvolt series. Created as a Spiritual Successor to Inti Creates' previous work on the Mega Man Zero and Mega Man ZX series as well as a sister game to Keiji Inafune's Mighty No. 9, Azure Striker Gunvolt was released on the Nintendo 3DS in August 2014, with a later Steam port released in August 2015.

20 Minutes into the Future, people possessing a psychic power known as Septima (Sevens in Japan) start appearing, and the general populace quickly comes to fear these people with extra-personal power. The Sumeragi Group, an enormous Japanese conglomerate with world-wide influence, tasked itself with bringing peace and order to the country by rounding up psychics. But, unbeknownst to the world, this "Psychic Protection", as the conglomerate calls it, takes the form of concentration camps, where the psychics have horrific experiments performed on them on a daily basis. Opposing them is a resistance group known as QUILL (FEATHER in Japan). Upon learning of the atrocities done by the Sumeragi Group, they started working as a human rights organization to protect the psychics. One of their newest members is a 14-year old boy known only by his nickname: Gunvolt. He, too, is a Septima psychic, with the power to control lightning, called "Azure Striker" (or "Armed Blue" in Japan).

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Azure Striker Gunvolt contains examples of:

  • Absurdly High Level Cap: You will probably be around Level 30 to 40 by the time you challenge the final level. The level cap is 99, and the last unlockable unlocks at Level 65, making the last 34 levels pointless beyond getting even more HP than you could possibly need (especially when high-level play encourages you to not get hit at all for maximum Kudos potential).
  • Achievement System: The Challenges option in the in-game menu. Many of these are typically "Beat level within x minutes" or "with a rank of B or higher". Complete these to earn rewards (mostly rarer materials) and unlock extra (more difficult) achievements. The Steam version also has the traditional Steam Achievements.
  • Adjective Noun Fred: The story tells about the tale of Gunvolt, the Azure Striker.
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  • All Just a Dream: After the "normal" ending, you can save your game; when you resume, Gunvolt discovers himself inexplicably back at home despite Asimov having killed both of them in the "normal" ending, and wonders if it was just a dream. Joule and Lumen only answer with a whimsical "maybe, maybe not".
  • All There in the Manual: Aside from the Fleeting Memories below, there are also the artbooks and the game's drama tracks that give some more details of the game's cast.
  • Alternate Character Reading: A few names get this treatment in the Japanese version. E.g Carrera's title is 欲深き磁界拳 (Yokubukaki Jikai Ken, Greedy Deep-Magnetic Field Fist) but is read as マグネットグリード (Magnet Greed). Meanwhile Jota's power's name is 残光 (Zankou, Afterglow) but is read as ライトスピード (Lightspeed). Even the game's Japanese title is one, with 蒼き雷霆 (Aoki Raitei, Azure Thunderclap) being read as アームドブルー (Armed Blue).
  • All Your Colors Combined: One of the side-missions in Stratacombs is to light up the place in all of its colored switches.
  • Anime Hair: Many characters have this. The only ones having hair close to "normal" would be Moniqa, Merak and arguably Carrera and Zonda.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • Azure Striker Gunvolt on Steam allows you to play it with the top or bottom screen zoomed in, or with both screens visible at the same time, allowing you to use the benefits of the 3DS version's touch screen controls using the mouse.
    • On the Nintendo Switch Striker Pack version, the Kudos system of the sequel is included, and set to Gunvolt 2's default normally note  which gives you two free mistakes before taking away your Kudos.
  • Armor-Piercing Attack: Skills ignore Nova's energy shield.
  • The Artifact: The Steam version contains the entirety of the 3DS version's translation in the form of the English option in the Language Setting, but since the English (Japanese Voiceovers) option exists and the 3DS translation is usually considered inferior to the revised version, there's no reason to use it.
  • Artificial Human: Joule was artificially created in one of the Sumeragi Group's labs.
  • Artistic Age: While ages are never stated outright in the game itself, artbooks and such say that Asimov and Moniqa are the only characters above 20. Now look at Carrera.
    • Competence Zone: The same artbooks show that the competence zone is on the low end. There is not a character in the game older than 24.
  • As Lethal as It Needs to Be: Copen takes the same amount of punishment from Gunvolt that would normally kill an Adept, twice, and still manages to live another day both times. He even ate Asimov's Voltaic Chains and still barely survived. Put in perspective, this attack is a One-Hit Kill on Gunvolt.
  • Astral Finale: The climax and Final Boss occurs as Gunvolt goes to space, storming Sumeragi's satellite, Firmament. The True Ending, however, has him descend back to earth fighting the True Final Boss.
  • Auto-Revive: After the opening level, there's a chance that if you die during a mission, Lumen will appear and her song will automatically revive Gunvolt. It's not guaranteed by any means, but you can improve the chances of this by speaking to Joule before heading out.
  • Background Music Override: This game loves this trope.
  • Bait-and-Switch Boss: After making your way through Sinner's Row in pursuit of an adept named Zonda, you discover that a lone wolf named Copen has already taken them out for you — and he promptly decides to attack you as well.
  • Battle Aura: If Gunvolt is affected by Anthem, he becomes enveloped in a rainbow flame-like aura.
  • Beehive Barrier: The "hexapyles" which block the exits between segments of a level, as well as the energy shield protecting Nova during his battle.
  • Blackout Basement: The Stratacombs level (Mission: Underworld). There are various panels you can electrify to activate emergency lighting (of assorted colors), and enemies that provide lighting when zapped by the Flashfield; the Flashfield itself also provides some illumination to help you navigate the dark spaces.
  • Bladder of Steel: Speed Run Mode in the Steam version. You must marathon the entire game from start to finish in a single sitting as quick as possible, and the timer keeps running through cutscenes, the pause menu, the main menu, and even the loading screen. You also can't save.
  • Bland-Name Product: Merak mentions wanting to play some "Realms of Robocraft"note .
  • Big Damn Heroes: In the Striker Pack CD, Nori rescues Copen before Asimov can fire the killing shot. She later reveals that she stowed away on Copen's spaceship, the "Sabertooth", just in case Copen ran into a spat of trouble while infiltrating Babel.
  • Bittersweet Ending: In the True Ending, Sumeragi is in shambles and Gunvolt has stopped Asimov's plan to use QUILL to kill humankind, but Joule has lost her body and Gunvolt needed to kill Asimov to stop him. Gunvolt then leaves QUILL permanently, leaving Zeno and Moniqa astonished at Asimov's death and questioning Gunvolt's mindset. It also ends with his fate uncertain.
  • Boss Banter: Just like in the stages, the boss fights in the Japanese version (and Steam's Japanese Voice mode) have commentaries - this time, it's between Gunvolt and the boss. (And GV's current Mission Control, if available.)
  • Boss-Only Level:
    • Urban Run, which has GV chasing after Merak to rescue Joule, has no enemies, just the Mantis R boss a short ways through.
    • Babel, the penultimate level, has the player doing Boss Rush against 4note  resurrected Sumeragi adepts and Copen. The fifth and final Special mission is also a Boss Rush, this time it includes Nova (both forms) and the True Final Boss Asimov.
  • Boss Remix: The opening stage theme gets remixed for the showdown between Gunvolt and Asimov, forming a sort of musical Book-Ends.
  • Boss Rush: Much like the Mega Man titles, Gunvolt faces down the game's bosses prior to the final boss, the twist being that he fights them in fixed sequence, and one boss, Carrera, is never rematched unless you're in the True Ending mission. Special Mission 5 offers a more traditional gauntlet, which now includes the final boss as well as the True Final Boss.
  • Bottomless Pits: Being a Platform Game, this appears a lot.
  • Bottomless Pit Rescue Service: On Easy Mode, Anthem can save you from Bottomless Pits.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: In one of the tracks of Admiration of Peace, an audio drama for the first game, Moniqa breaks the fourth wall in order to point out that the enemies that Asimov calls ninjas are referred to as "assassins" by the development team.
  • But Thou Must!: The player is forced to finish the game first and witness the normal ending. Even if the player has the hindsight to collect the hidden Jewels while playing through the main missions for the first time, the event of Merak kidnapping Joule overrides the player before you could even trigger a Joule Chat and give her the final Jewel.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Both Gunvolt and bosses will call their Limit Break's names.
  • Ceiling Cling: The ninja enemies do this until Gunvolt walks past a certain point. If you're going too fast, you run a high risk of walking past one waiting to drop on you and kill your Kudos.
  • Checkpoint: There are checkpoints littered on the stages where you'll respawn after you die. Played with in that you merely have to go past the check point without touching it; touching the check point will make you save your kudos into your gameplay score. It's often recommended to not touch it to make your kudos grow to the thousands, as finishing the level will automatically make your accumulated kudos count.
  • Close-Range Combatant: The gimmick of Speedrun Mode: Point Blank. In Point Blank, Gunvolt's lightning has a damage modifier applied that decreases when you are far from the target and increases as you are close to the target. As a result, being close to the enemy allows you to kill them faster.
  • Collection Sidequest: The Jewels. One is in every normal Sumeragi level; grab them all, and you can have Joule fashion you a nice Handmade Necklace. It's effectively a Cosmetic Award, as it doesn't do anything except disable Prevasion. Except it's not; you need to wear it to the final level for the True Ending.
  • Corridor Cubbyhole Run: Massive black swarms of insects buzz their way through the second half of Pharma Lab at regular intervals; your only protection is to zap them with Gunvolt's Flashfield as they swarm by you.
  • Cosplay Fan Art: A piece of official art featuring Lumen and Mighty No. 9's Call cosplaying each other was made by Inti Creates artist Yuji Natsume to commemorate Mighty Gunvolt.
  • Curbstomp Battle: Everything in Speedrun Mode: Kudos Keeper if you rack up enough Kudos. If you're holding onto at least 1500 Kudos, that midboss that normally took a minute to kill suddenly dies in the span of three seconds.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: Unlike the Zero and ZX games, Gunvolt actually gains a slight burst of speed upon starting a dash. This makes it actually faster to mash the dash button, unlike Gunvolt's spiritual predecessors, where maintaining your dash was the only way to go faster.
  • Death by Origin Story: Copen's motivation is driven by his deceased father, Dr. Kamizono, who was killed by the Azure Striker prior to the story. This is slightly elaborated on in Fleeting Memories.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Dying does little more than send you back to a checkpoint and reset your Kudos chain to 0. There's no lives, and there isn't even a penalty to your score or time. Unfortunately, if you died before reaching a checkpoint with the level's Jewel, you not only have to repeat that section but also get the Jewel again, which in the Biochem Plant can be a bit of a challenge. There's even a chance to be revived on the spot if you die, even during the boss battle!
  • Deflector Shields: Nova protects himself with a barrier that makes him impervious to damage unless you can find a way to bring it down.
  • Developers' Foresight: The final level is no joke, especially if you have the Handmade Necklace, which disables Prevasion. Inventive players might try to beat Nova within an inch of his life, switch to the Handmade Necklace, and deal the finishing blow to get the True Ending. It won't work; you need the Handmade Necklace equipped before you start the mission, and it needs to be worn until you beat Nova to trigger the True Ending. Once you get to the "true final stage", however, you may change the necklace to a more useful one.
  • Differently Powered Individual: The super-powered people in this verse are called "Adepts", while the powers themselves are called "Septima".
  • Difficulty Levels: The February 2016 update for the Steam version added these, in Easy and Hard flavors. Easy grants extra boons such as Prevasion while Flashfielding, the ability to proc Anthem if you fall into a Bottomless Pit, and stronger Flashfield, while Hard drives into the realm of masochism, including turning certain hazards such as spikes and lava into One Hit Kills, decreasing Gunvolt's HP and disabling Special Skills and Level Ups, and disabling Anthem entirely, but it also gives him bonus damage and a Kudos accumulation rate boost as well as a black Palette Swap.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: This conversation is a subtle reference to how Joule was put in Sumeragi's restraints for their own purposes, as well as persecutions of Adepts in general.
    Joule: ...Hey GV... Can we keep this cutey?
    GV: ...... This bird is free... A free spirit like this is not something we should restrain for our own amusement.
    Joule: I see... You're right...
  • Double Jump: You have to synthesize a Boost Band for it, and it costs you EP to use. There's even improved versions that allow triple and quadruple jumps, or cost less EP per jump. Under the effects of Reincarnation, you gain infinite jump at no cost to EP.
  • Downer Ending: After defeating Nova, Asimov appears and reveals that with both Sumeragi's satellite and Joule, they can turn the tables and wipe out humanity. When Gunvolt refuses his offer, Asimov takes out Copen's gun (having nearly killed Copen to get it) and shoots both Gunvolt and Joule, before deciding "plans can be rewritten." If you didn't collect the seven Jewels, the story ends there.
  • Dub-Induced Plot Hole: The decision for Joule to fashion the seven Jewels into a necklace seems rather random. The full translation explains that Joule is trying to make accessory-making a hobby.
  • Dub Name Change:
    • FEATHER was changed to QUILL.
    • Adepts and Septima have no distinction in Japan and are both called Seventh, or Seventh Wave in kanji form.
    • Cerberus, one of the player's guns, was named Ghidorah in Japan (which fits better with the dragon themed naming of the other guns).
    • Some characters went through this. For example, Cyan is Joule internationally, and Morpho is Lumen.
    • Gunvolt's skills' names are all changed overseas, as are those of the bosses.
  • Dummied Out: Mid-level text in the English 3DS version, which provides additional exposition from your Mission Control in the Japanese version. Averted with the Steam release, which throws the mid-level text back in. This has been added to the English 3DS version as of 1.3.
  • Easter Egg:
    • Each of the seven Sumeragi levels contains a hidden sprite that can only be revealed when shot five times with the Mizuchi. The sprites themselves refer to other Inti Creates titles or their relations, such as a sprite of Ekoro from Gal*Gun or the Comcept mascot. Once revealed, you can collect them to automatically set your Kudos at 1000, regardless of whatever your previous Kudo count was.
    • In the Steam version, pressing the Shoot button on the Other Game Modes menu unlocks Christmas Mode, even when it's not December.
  • Easy Level Trick: If you have Voltaic Chains, return to the Biochem Plant. In the latter third of the stage, there will be four mooks standing atop destructible boxes, surrounded by four flying enemies. Tag at least two of the flying enemies, get them to fly onscreen with the four mooks, and activate Voltaic Chains. You will instantly gain the score necessary to hit S+ rank.
  • Elemental Powers:
  • Elevator Action Sequence: The Babel stage has Gunvolt going up the Space Elevator as he fights 3 bosses consecutively.
  • Endless Game: Endless Attack Mode in the Steam version consists of running through an infinite gauntlet of stage sections and boss fights until Gunvolt runs out of HP. You only get the game's three Offensive Skills, there are no health pickups, and there's no Prevasion. The only reward is a high spot on the leaderboards.
  • Experience Booster: The Attuned Optic contact lens increases the EXP Gunvolt gains, but lowers his defense.
  • Fictional Video Game:
    • September Record, the focus of the Lazy Kingdom audio drama. It's a pretty bog standard MMORPG, with quests, monsters, and character classes (which apparently all have a costume specific to them). The classes are all tailored towards specific skill levels, with the Squishy Wizard being Difficult, but Awesome. Also, Lumen does live performances within the game, and one character has apparently found a way to petrify players and kill them permanently. The game is actually Sumeragi Group's way of encouraging Merak to find other Adepts, and Elise was the Player Killer, using her powers in order to cheat. No one dies, but the danger of such a thing happening leads to Elise being captured. It also has its own theme song.
    • The Striker Pack CD reveals that September Record (shortened in-universe to "Ber-Rec") suddenly lost service when Gunvolt freed Joule, due to Lumen being a core part of the game itself. Around the time after the first in-game mission, it's followed by a sequel called "September Historia", which Joule is roped into playing by a friend at school. It's also run by a subsidiary of Sumeragi, but unlike the first game, the game serves no ulterior motive other than to help Sumeragi make back the money they lost when September Record went offline.
  • Foreshadowing: Among other things, when you're attempting the final levels Moniqa and Zeno mention that Asimov has gone off somewhere, and openly wonder if he's decided to follow you up, perhaps looking for the right timing to pull off a Big Damn Heroes moment. They're right that he's following you, but wrong about the reason why.
  • Gameplay Grading: After missions, you'll get grades based on your performance. The grades affect how much items you can pick up randomly after the mission ends.
  • Gender-Neutral Writing: The game used the pronouns "xe" and "xem" for bigender Zonda. Complaints arose from both sides of the debate, and thus they no longer have any specific pronoun in the Steam release.
  • Grey and Grey Morality: As you may expect from a "resistance vs. nationwide power" story. The Mega-Corp Sumeragi controls the world's media, army, supplies, and especially Adepts, and they're doing all of it to maintain order in the world. The catch? They're doing it by less-than-ethical methods (using concentration camps for Adepts, for one). People who realized this catch grouped themselves and become QUILL, the resistance movement trying to free Adepts from Sumeragi's dirty hands. They do this by - what else? - vandalism. The ending has Gunvolt realize that all sides can be just as bad as each other.
    • A Lighter Shade of Grey: Regardless, most of the members we've seen of QUILL have the right intentions, and most of the members of Sumeragi we've seen are varying shades of evil and crazy.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: The English 3DS version uses a lot of G-rated curse words to keep it in the Teen rating (which has since been downgraded to an E10+ rating). Though it's not hard to imagine what they mean with terms like "horsejitt" and "jockblocked". The Steam translation averts it by simply having no character curse at all.
  • Haiku: In the Japanese version, all of the Limit Break Invocations are in this format. In the English version it's true for only a few invocations.
  • Hazardous Water: Water is quite dangerous to Gunvolt, since it disables most of his Septimal powers while submerged. He's also a human otherwise for that matter, and he can't hold his breath forever.
  • Healing Potion: Gunvolt can get these from the stages to replenish his health.
  • He Knows About Timed Hits: Your Mission Control does this often during the opening mission and the first three missions the game expects you to play: Subaquatic Base, Media Tower, and the Biochem Plant. Even Gunvolt himself gets on the act sometimes.
    Gunvolt: (In the intro stage) I need to channel electricity into that switch. Should be as simple as just tagging it and flashing it. Tag with my gun, follow with the Flashfield. That's how my world turns.
  • The Hero Dies: In the Normal Ending.
  • Hihi Irokane: One of the Item Crafting materials you can find is a Hihiirokane Shard.
  • Holiday Mode: "Christmas Mode", a mode exclusively for the Steam version that involves collecting falling presents for maximum score. The mode also includes a Christmas-themed UI, and Deliberately Monochrome levels with foreground snow and Christmas-themed background music. The real difference between Christmas Mode and the base game is that it turns the entire game into a Slippy-Slidey Ice World, complete with much-reviled ice physics applied to all surfaces.
    • The 2016 update adds a few tweaks to Christmas Mode, dubbed "Christmas Mode 2016", including changed present mechanics, a new background track, and a jump mechanic alteration.
  • I'll Never Tell You What I'm Telling You!: In the 3DS version, when Gunvolt asks Copen what his name is, Copen refuses to tell him, saying that it's a human privilege. But...
    Copen: But when God next sends me to judge you, you'll hear him whisper "Copen"...
  • Innocent Cohabitation: Joule starts living with Gunvolt after he rescues her from the Sumeragi Group.
  • Info Dump: Most of the background information about the current state of the world you learn as Gunvolt narrates the Time Skip between the opening level and the rest of the game.
  • Interface Screw: The zombie enemies that hang from the ceiling and spit harmful globs of blood can be killed instantly by shooting the thread they are hanging by. However, this will cause pinkish-red blood to splatter on the screen, obstructing the player's sight.
    • In the Kaleidoscape mission (Sinner's Row), Zonda's ability turns your screen upside down.
  • Item Amplifier: The Osmotic Eye contact lens increase recovery effect from health pickups. The skill Alchemical Field also does the same.
  • Item Crafting: The bonus round at the end of each mission, and assorted Achievements, award you with materials of assorted rarity, which you can take to a dealer to synthesize equipment for Gunvolt.
  • Item Farming: You'll need this because you only get crafting items by completing a stage.
  • Just a Kid: One mook in the opening mission says this word-for-word when he finally meets the terrifying Gunvolt and is disappointed when he realizes that Gunvolt's some middle school kid.
    • Later on Gunvolt also says this when he refers to Joule, in response to Asimov telling him to kill her. Asimov then says that Gunvolt is just the same.
  • Knockback: Par of the course for a platforming game; some attacks may send Gunvolt far away. Wearing the Solid Medallion pendant removes knockback.
  • La Résistance: QUILL.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Some dialogue in the games subtly hint at a gameplay mechanic. For example, after the Info Dump after the intro level, Gunvolt mentioned that he'd die in his latest mission if not for hearing Joule's Anthem; Lumen explains that it can revive people from the dead. That's the Anthem mechanic for you.
  • Level in Reverse: The final level has this. To be specific, if you managed to survive Asimov's shot, you have to chase him by backtracking through the level, ending in the same elevator in the Boss Rush of the previous level.
  • Limit Break: The Special Skills that Gunvolt can acquire by leveling up are specialized attacks that do high damage and consumes Skill Points (SP). The bosses also have something similar that they can do once their HP reaches 1/3 left.
  • Locomotive Level: The intro level and Conflagration (aka Biochem Plant) is this.
  • Luck Manipulation Mechanic: By getting better grades in a mission, you can get more tries of opening material boxes. Finding medals in the stage will also add more tries.
  • Lured into a Trap: During the briefing for the Abyss mission, Moniqa says that she gets an intel about a Sumeragi subaquatic base, to which many supplies and tools are moved into; Gunvolt is told to investigate whether they're making an armed submarine or not. As it turns out, the whole thing was a ploy to trap Gunvolt by baiting him to the part of their base and then flooding it, trying to kill Gunvolt by drowning. In the Steam translation, Gunvolt and Moniqa comes to a conclusion that that intel was false.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: Seen with both the Mantis bosses as well as stationary robots that wait for you to get close before firing. In either case, Gunvolt's Flashfield easily neutralizes the incoming swarm. For the red Mantis, though, make sure you're able to avoid the incoming swarm of energy bullets if you go for destroying the rockets.
  • Magical Accessory: Gunvolt mentions that the Rings he wears contain gems that amplify his Septima. His pendants and eye contacts are similarly used to enhance his abilities.
  • Magic Music: Joule's psychic ability, Cyber Diva/Muse, manifests itself through song.
  • Mana Shield: Gunvolt starts the game equipped with a pendant called the Prevasion Chain: Any time you aren't using his Flashfield to attack, any damage will subtract from your EP instead of your HP. The game even admits that since you can recharge your EP at any time, as long as you're not attacking, you're basically invincible as long as you can keep your EP up. Note that using Prevasion will still reset your Kudos to 0.
  • Mega-Corp: The Sumeragi Group in spades. However, they're only portrayed as evil as far as Adepts are concerned due to their abuse of Adepts; the average joe just sees Sumeragi as this really cool and prestigious company.
  • Mecha-Mooks: Make up most of the fighting force of the Sumeragi Group.
  • Mêlée à Trois: Gunvolt vs. Sumeragi vs. Copen. Gunvolt wants to destroy Sumeragi due to their horrible mistreatment of Adepts, and fights Copen because Copen wants to kill all Adepts. Sumeragi wants to get rid of Gunvolt because he's part of La Résistance, but does not actively oppose Copen. Copen wants to kill both Gunvolt and Sumeragi because they both have Adepts, which he dedicated his life to destroying. Asimov later jumps into the pile, opposing both Gunvolt and Sumeragi to achieve domination for Adepts.
  • Memento MacGuffin: The Handmade Necklace, a necklace Joule makes after you hand her all the Plot Coupons. Gameplay-wise, it serves no purpose other than taking up an equipment slot that could otherwise be used for much more useful, survivability-increasing items. It's also necessary for getting the True Ending.
  • Mission Control: Your fellow QUILL members (Asimov, Moniqa, and Zeno) exist primarily through communications chatter between them and Gunvolt.
  • Money Multiplier: The Midas Optic contact lens increases the credit he can gain, but also lowers his defense.
  • Mook Horror Show: The fact that Gunvolt escapes in the opening mission puts the Sumeragi mooks on edge, but when he singlehandedly blows up their first Mantis, the mooks freak out.
  • Multi-Mook Melee: Somewhat like in Mega Man X8, Gunvolt sometimes comes across a room which will spawn a fixed number of mooks; defeat them all to proceed. Most rooms of this kind also come with a blaring red alarm attached; if you can destroy it, the whole thing ends immediately instead of being forced to fight all of the enemies.
  • Multiple Endings: Two, commonly known as Normal and True. The latter is connected to seven Jewels scattered throughout the seven Sumeragi stages, which is only referred to in the relevant manual/Help Menu topic.
  • Mundane Utility:
    • Apparently Adepts working for Sumeragi are forbidden from using their powers outside of battle. Merak still uses his powers in order to dispose of the trash, but that's explicitly against the rules. It could cause Power-Strain Blackout and is a waste of energy.
    • According to Asimov, Sumeragi wanted to harness the power of the Azure Strikers to solve the energy crisis.
    • In the Striker Pack CD, when Joule and Zeno are confronted by a Flunky Boss in "September Historia" that spawns as the result of over-grinding in one dungeon, Joule, whose character is on the verge of death, accidentally invokes her Septima and sends Lumen into the game... to cheat. While Gunvolt ends up forbidding her from playing the game anymore as the result of the incident, rumors of her feat spread and Joule becomes legendary among the in-game community.
  • Mukokuseki: Apparently Asimov is supposed to be American, Zeno Italian and Moniqa German. None of them look like it (except probably Zeno). Gunvolt himself is apparently Japanese but has European traits.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: In the 3DS translation, Asimov ignores using the Septima suppressor on Copen's gun when he shoots Joule, allowing Joule to merge with Lumen. The revised translation makes no mention of this and simply says that Joule dying allowed her soul to excise itself from her body and become one with her Septima, which is an extension of her soul.
  • Nintendo Hard:
    • Not really the case when playing normally, but aiming for S+ rank definitely requires a lot of skill and practice. You need to know the layout of the map to be able to get through in a quick time, and the layout of the enemies to know where you can combo kill and to avoid damage. On top of that getting hit makes you lose your Kudos, while using a skill or touching a checkpoint resets them. So basically to get the most kudos for your score you have go through a level untouched without checkpoints and get a perfect against the stage boss.
    • The Special Missions, which feels like the level designers decided to channel their inner Mega Man. Every mission consists of a medley of areas from the seven Sumeragi stages, but with updated enemy placement and level design designed to actively screw with the player as much as possible, with an ample dose of Check-Point Starvation to ladle on extra punishment. Hope you brought your Galvanic Renewal!
    • Speedrun Mode: Perma-Anthem is nothing but this. You get Anthem at the start of every stage, but this is offset by 90% of the layout being replaced by One-Hit Kill Spikes of Doom. Beating the game subsequently comes down to an exercise in perfect play, memorization, and Button Mashing.
    • Hard Mode in general is horribly punishing, especially on a blind run. Despite having bonus damage, you have a capped HP limit of 100, which means 90% of attacks will bring you below half health. In addition, the RPG Elements are excised, which means no Skills, no Levels, and no Gear. In fact, it's actually better to tank a hit than to Prevade it, as Prevasion in Hard Mode forces an instant Overheat, and Overheat in Hard Mode lasts a whopping 30 seconds, effectively leaving you completely helpless. This means that if you walk into a stray attack, you're running for your life, or in the case of a boss fight, it's a death sentence.
  • No-Damage Run: There are a few achievements for completing certain levels without taking damage. Also note that netting a lot of Kudos mandates taking no damage, because it resets to zero every time you get hit (even if your Prevasion chain blocks the actual damage).
    • Heavily encouraged in Speedrun Mode: Kudos Keeper. This variant of Speedrun Mode adds a feature where Gunvolt additionally gains a damage multiplier in accordance to how many Kudos he's carrying. The end result is a game where you spend 90% of levels trying not to get hit; the other 10% is tearing the utter crap out of everything in sight because you're basically a walking natural disaster that kills anything within ten meters of you.
  • Nonchalant Dodge: The Chargeguard Pendant turns Gunvolt's instant recharge into this, where he's able to sidestep any attack by simply making a flashy pose. With proper timing, you don't even need to bother getting Gunvolt out of the way of certain attacks, and you even get to recharge your EP while you're at it. Of course, the Chargeguard Pendant+ improves on this and makes it even more useful.
  • Not Quite Flight: Gunvolt can use his powers to slow down his descent after a jump. Combine it with a dash-jump and you can cross major gaps in a single bound (EP permitting). He also has his double jumps and air dashes, provided you give him the right equipment.
  • Obvious Rule Patch: Speedrunning stages is a joke thanks to Gunvolt's Prevasion so long as he has a Necklace equipped, which practically allows him to dash through the entire stage damage-free. Speed Run Mode addresses this by starting Gunvolt with the Broken Necklace instead, a useless Joke Item which not only does not give him Prevasion, but also caps his maximum HP at 200. However, it does do something important: as it's derived from the plot-significant Handmade Necklace, it will trigger the mission against the True Final Boss. Have fun getting there with subpar equipment in record time, though...
  • Old Save Bonus: In the demo version of the game after the v1.2 update, players can transfer the save file from the demo version and bring along the credits earned and items crafted into the full game.
  • One-Hit Kill:
    • Nemesis Fang, Quasar Collapse, and Clamator Aethereus are all this if they connect. The former two can be survived if Reincarnation activates, but in the latter...
    • Equipping the Lethal Lavaliere turns all spikes into Mega Man spikes, which means that they will kill Gunvolt on contact.
    • The Mantis' core can be easily one-shotted with Astrasphere.
  • One-Hit Polykill: The Naga's charge shot fires a blast that pierces (and tags) multiple enemies in one bullet, but it's hardly enough to significantly damage them, let alone kill them. Alternately, the Vasuki doesn't penetrate a target but it will tag up to three additional targets (same or different) when it hits.
  • "Pan Up to the Sky" Ending: The true ending has this. As Gunvolt walks toward the rising sun, the camera pans upward to the sky and shows a white bird and a blue butterfly.
  • Pocket Protector: The Handmade Necklace crafted from the seven Jewels, which, if equipped to Gunvolt prior to entering the final mission, saves him from certain death from a bullet to the heart via blocking the shot, allowing Lumen to merge with Gunvolt and revive him.
  • Polite Villains, Rude Heroes: Especially between Nova and Gunvolt. Well, Gunvolt is as rude as the game and his age would allow, anyway.
    Gunvolt: That's nice. If you're done spewing your horsejitt, let Joule go.
    Nova: Not very civil at all, are you? Maybe you need a little demonstration.
  • Power at a Price: From a gameplay standpoint. If you proc Reincarnation, Gunvolt becomes nearly unstoppable, but loses the ability to earn Kudos. If your score was low before Reincarnation triggered, don't expect a high score.
  • Power Copying: Copen's arsenal includes signature moves from the various Adepts you've defeated (three at first, later all six), as it's revealed he's been shadowing you and claiming what's left of them after each battle.
  • Power Nullifier: Carrera's magnetic attacks and Copen's gun can neutralize an Adept's septimal energy. In Gunvolt's case this means a "chaff" status that lasts for about 10 seconds before Gunvolt can recharge his EP and use his Flashfield (or the Prevasion Chain) again.
  • Powerup Letdown: The Dullahan, obtained after beating the True Final Boss and challenge stages. It has the strongest normal shot in the game, but can't tag. While this makes clearing Mooks as easy as mashing the shoot button, it's terrible for score attacking, as you won't gain Kudos from zapping targets. It's also impossible to kill certain bosses with it, such as Nova's second form, where tagging is required to actually damage the boss.
  • Protagonist Title: Gunvolt is the Azure Striker that the title of the game refers to. However, with the endgame reveal that "Gunvolt" was the codename for the Sumeragi project to create Azure Strikers and all the participants were given this title, it can also count as an Antagonist Title since Nova and Asimov were part of Project GUNVOLT and Asimov himself is an Azure Striker as well.
  • Psychic Children: Most psychics are children/teenagers due to them recently appearing; the number is slowly growing.
  • Psychic Powers: All of the Adepts, with exact powers ranging from Elemental Powers to Necromancy.
  • Puzzle Boss:
    • Nova has an energy shield in both of his forms, and the game fully expects you to figure out how to disable it on your own. In his first form, Flashfielding Lumen will bring it down briefly, unless you keep Flashfielding her, in which case the shield will stay down. In his second form, zapping his Attack Drones will cause the shield to destabilize momentarily.
    • Similarly, you can't tag the True Final Boss (Asimov, the other Azure Striker) until you figure out how to get through his septimal power either. Unlike him, you have limitless power, which means Flashfielding his Flashfield does nothing to you. Asimov, on the other hand...
  • Rank Inflation: The mission ranks don't stop at just S — there's an S+ if you do really well.
  • Real-Time Weapon Change: Introduced in the v1.2 for the 3DS version for those playing the game on any of the New 3DS systems, which allows players to use the ZL or ZR buttons to switch between Gunvolt's bolt types on the fly. This was also featured in the PC port of Azure Striker Gunvolt and made its way into the sequel as well.
  • Recruitment by Rescue: Gunvolt was a tortured test subject in Sumeragi until Asimov saved him. Gunvolt then took place in Asimov's La Résistance group.
  • Retcon: In the original game, Elise's Literal Split Personality is said to be the result of Sumeragi's experiments on her in order to mold her into a more willing operative. The Lazy Kingdom audio drama, which is about how Merak discovers Elise's abilities in an MMORPG and subsequently captures her for Sumeragi, depicts her haughty, dominant personality, which she states in the original game's in-fight dialogue during the second fight with her is the third personality, and the second one Sumeragi created, as a Superpowered Evil Side that always existed as a manifestation of her envy towards the society that rejected her.
  • Riding into the Sunset: The true ending has the sunrise version of this, after Gunvolt has battled both sides of the conflict in the game. In this case, sunrise represents uncertainty of a new day, as Gunvolt has faced a tragedy and is at a loss on what he's going to do next.
  • Right in Front of Me: In one of the Joule chats, she was texting with one of her friends. She suddenly looks upset, which makes Gunvolt concerned; she tries to hide her smartphone from his eyes, but he can see what her friend is saying - "I won't forgive the terrorist who killed Lumen."
  • Rise to the Challenge: Halfway through Merak's underwater base, you have to climb up a vertical shaft as it fills with water. You can't use Gunvolt's Flashfield underwater, and you'll start taking damage if you don't reach air soon.
  • RPG Elements: The game features a very basic levels-and-skills system, where Gunvolt earns EXP for killing enemies, and will level up upon getting enough EXP, which increases his max HP and may sometimes earn him a new skill. You can also synth new gear using materials and equip them to Gunvolt to change his parameters and abilities.
  • Rule of Symbolism: Many things pertaining to Sumeragi are references to the Japanese myth. The big one is in the final stages: Eridu, Babel and Firmament are named in Japan as Onogoro Float, Ame-no-Sakahoko and Ame-no-Ukihashi respectively - references to the Japanese Creation Myth. note 
  • Saying Too Much: In the intro, where Gunvolt is being tortured, the torturer tells Gunvolt about his target (the Muse)'s whereabouts, not knowing that Electric Torture just gives him more energy. After freeing himself, Gunvolt now runs with the knowledge of his target.
  • Scoring Points: Very, very emphasized; the core game isn't that difficult, but playing well is. The bulk of this is assisted by the Kudos system, a risk/reward mechanic that grants you a rising "Kudos" total that is earned by dealing damage and defeating enemies, in addition to "bonuses" that increase this value further. This number is attached to a multiplier that rises as you deal damage, and when a checkpoint is touched or the stage is cleared, the Kudos are multiplied by the multiplier and converted into score. However, taking damage or Prevading will negate all Kudos and multipliers currently unbanked, forcing the player to play carefully, but quickly for the highest point totals.
  • Sequel Hook: Appears as text included in the game's soundtrack. After Moniqa and Zeno leave Babel, Copen, barely hanging on for dear life after being attacked by Asimov, retrieves his pistol, a memento left by his father. A pistol now stained with the blood of the ultimate Adept, the Azure Striker...
  • Seven Deadly Sins: All of the bosses of the Sumeragi Group (save for Nova) have personality traits and titles linked to the Seven Deadly Sins. Each of them are: Viper: Wrath; Elise: Envy; Stratos: Gluttony; Merak: Sloth; Jota: Pride; Carrera; Greed; and Zonda: Lust. (The only time you hear these referred to in-game are when Copen takes out Elise, saying "and so envy succumbs to greed...")
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: You're spending most of the game's time basically trying to take care of Joule. In the end, she dies. There's a consolation though - she, as a "psychic ghost", now exists in Gunvolt's head, but he's still shaken greatly from the tragedy.
  • Shielded Core Boss:
    • Mantis, a green metal mech first fought as the mini-boss of the opening level. Once you do enough damage to the head, it collapses and the core on its back is exposed; destroy the core to take it out. You even get an achievement if you can take it out without it rebooting; easy with some level grinding and/or Offensive Skills.
    • Nova's second form is a gigantic mecha that utilizes light and dark. Its core is protected by a force field that makes it impenetrable to tagging, although one should quickly figure that being able to tag Nova's two flunky mechs on each side of the arena is probably important.
  • Ship Tease: Between Gunvolt and Joule as well as Moniqa and Asimov. The latter is more prevalent in the second series of audio dramas, where it gets a whole track as well as a song. The former, meanwhile, is almost canon.
  • Shout-Out:
    • One of Merak's attacks greatly resembles the "Worm Smasher" of Shu Shirakawa's Granzon.
    • When discussing a mission taking place in a haunted facility Zeno tells Gunvolt he should bring a proton pack.
    • After Gunvolt encounters the weird zombie-like corpses in the Stratacombs, both Zeno and Gunvolt relate the situation to one of Zeno's retro video games where zombies were created in a lab. Zeno states that he liked the first one the best.
    • This quip from Merak before he escapes via wormhole:
      Merak: Go go Septimal power... *Spawns wormhole*
    • Gunvolt tells Joule that while under QUILL, he practiced a form of karate known as "Chatan Yarakuu Shanku", a reference to an old, obscure arcade game known as "Chatan Yarakuu Shanku — The Karate Tournament".
    • One chat with Joule involves a plushie called Mighty Beck, the main character of a popular movie. When Gunvolt sees the plushie, it reminds him of another gun-wielding blue hero he's seen before.
    • Another plushie Joule gets is of a blue gun-wielding angel called "Trainee Angel Ekoro". Gunvolt swears he's heard her name before, but can't recall where.
    • The secret weapon Dullahan, which is just a gun that can't tag enemies. No electrical gimmick aside from skills to take down enemies, just shooting them with bullets. So basically it's a Mega Buster.
    • During the True Final Boss fight, it's mentioned that the first Adept, the original Azure Striker, was found in a jungle in South America.
    • In the Japanese version, when Asimov shoots Gunvolt with Greed Snatcher in the cutscene, he says "Hasta la vista, GV."
    • One of the Joule chats has her feeling sad about a book she just read. The story is apparently about a robot baker who fell in love with a human woman but then she died.
    • In the Striker Pack CD, Joule makes comparison to Lumen being a sort of elf as justification for making an Elf character in September Historia, and comes to the conclusion that Lumen is like a "cyber elf".
    • The same CD also has Zeno making references to Inti Creates' first two games, Speed Power Gunbike and LOVE&DESTROY. He also makes (another) Gal*Gun reference.
  • Skyward Scream: Gunvolt, when Joule dies.
  • Space Elevator: The Babel Elevator, made by Sumeragi as a way to reach their space station Firmament.
  • Spider Tank: The "Mantis" robots, and a Mini-Boss in the Biochem Plant (at the end of the locomotive part).
  • Spikes of Doom: Littered a lot in stages. Unlike in Mega Man, however, spikes here only does damage rather than killing you... unless you have Lethal Lavaliere pendant equipped.
    • In Perma-Anthem Speedrun Mode, the trade-off for Gunvolt being virtually infinitely powerful is that every stage now has a ridiculous amount of spikes that are always a One-Hit Kill if you come in contact with them.
  • The Spiny: In a homage to the Gabyoalls, there are enemies that patrols the floor and will move around faster if Gunvolt steps on it. However, unlike the aforementioned, it's split into two halves, one above and one on the ground. While it's possible to jump through the gap, it's generally risky to do so, so the easiest course of action would be to damage it, which makes the top half fall down and render the enemy immobile for a few moments.
  • Spiritual Successor: Yet another one to the Mega Man series, particularly the Zero and ZX games, which Inti Creates previously developed.
  • Status Ailment: The game officially lists two: "Chaff" is a loss of all Gunvolt's EP that takes much longer to recover from than simple overheating, and "Stone" is a Taken for Granite effect from the Gorgon's Gaze attack.
  • Super Move Portrait Attack: Any time a character (usually an Adept, but also including Copen) uses their ultimate Limit Break (typically an Offensive Skill) in battle.
  • Super Supremacist: Your commanding officer Asimov is revealed to be this, with him claiming that Adepts, himself included, shall rule over the world and Kill All Humans. Our hero - an Adept himself - disagrees with the idea.
  • The Swarm: When going through Pharma Lab in pursuit of "Lord of the Swarm" Stratos, you have to deal with massive black swarms of insects that occasionally sweep through the level, damaging anything (including enemies) in their path. Stratos also manipulates those swarms during the boss battle.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: Under certain conditions, the stage BGM changes to a full vocal performance of one of Lumen's songs.
    • While Gunvolt is holding onto 1000 or more Kudos at once, one of Lumen's songs plays. Until the first patch for the Nintendo 3DS version, this was generally random, unless you collect and equip an Audiolocket, in which case you can force the song that will be played when this happens. If you accomplish this during the Boss Rush, however, the music will become "Eternal Blue", the English version of the game's theme song "Beyond the Blue".
    • When Gunvolt is revived via Lumen's Anthem Septima and is fused with Lumen prior to the True Final Boss, the background music becomes "Reincarnation".
  • Theme Naming: The names of Gunvolt's guns all have some relation to how many enemies they can tag. They're also all serpent-themed in some form or another, with one exception.
    • Orochi, Naga, Mizuchi, and Vasuki all refer to mythological serpents with varying numbers of heads. They can tag eight, five, one, and four enemies respectively.
    • Cerberus was named after the three-headed hellhound from Greek mythology. It can tag three enemies. While the Cerberus is a canine, it's sometime depicted with a serpent's tail and a mane of snakes, which admittedly stretches the serpent theme a bit. In the Japanese version the gun was actually named after Ghidorah, Toho's three-headed giant dragon best known for being one of Godzilla's recurring foes.
    • Technos is a reference to the defunct game company best known for Double Dragon.note  It can tag two enemies.
    • Lastly, a Dullahan was a headless knight, and it is the only weapon that cannot tag enemies. It is also the only one that doesn't fit the serpent themed naming.
    • The names of the Sumeragi bosses are all taken from brand names of cars.
  • Time Skip: Six months passed after the first mission, during which Gunvolt set up a secluded apartment and took assorted jobs to pay rent (mostly from QUILL, as it proved difficult to find normal work with a label like "wanted terrorist" branded on him).
  • Totally Radical: The 3DS translation has such lines as "She always finds a way to photobomb the moment." What?
  • The Tower: The UTU Media Tower ("Amaterasu" in Japanese version) that Sumeragi uses to broadcast Lumen's songs. Jota protects it.
  • Turns Red: Bosses' HP meters are clearly divided into three sections, and there's a change in attack pattern at each one (with the last typically including their Limit Break).
  • 20 Minutes into the Future: The game makes it obvious that the game's time period isn't too far flung into the future, as on the technological side, stuff is approximately the same as in real life, and so is non-Adept-related societynote . For example, after the initial Time Skip, Joule starts attending primary school and keeps up on social media with her smartphone. It's probable that it takes place at least ten years into the future, since a few modern games are described as "retro" by Gunvolt and Zeno.
  • Updated Re-release: The Steam release is this, which includes, among other things, the ability to play in a customizable dual-screen mode, a Speed Run mode, and the re-inclusion of dialogue that was excised in the original 3DS release, with monthly updates to add more content to the game, as well as all of the Japanese voices.
  • Violation of Common Sense: The scoring system encourages you to finish fights as quickly as possible for best results, but if you want to listen to the (abnormally long) Boss Banter, you have to deliberately drag out the fight.
  • Villains Out Shopping: A lot of the official artwork shows the Sumeragi Swordsmen relaxing, sometimes with the main characters as well.
  • Wave Motion Gun: The Mantis minibosses, in addition to their machine guns and rocket launchers, also carry a huge laser cannon, though it's usually fired from afar before the battle even starts. Then there's Merak's Limit Break, "Lazy Laser", which combines a huge laser beam with his portal power to strike from multiple angles simultaneously.
  • We Need a Distraction:
    • In the Minaret mission, Gunvolt is sent to distract the guards while Asimov infiltrates the building and seizes it from within.
    • In the Streak mission, Gunvolt does the same while Asimov hacks the controls of the Space Elevator so they can use it to go to space.
  • Whole Plot Reference: Being a Mega Man Zero's Spiritual Successor, the plot and the lore between the two has many parallels.
    • In the backstory, it's revealed that conflict between Adepts have ravaged most of the world, with the city/country Gunvolt is in implied to be the last relatively save haven on Earth with a functioning government. This parallels the Elf Wars and the city-state of Neo Arcadia.
    • Both also have energy crisis and Fantastic Racism as overarching elements.
    • The government ("virtual", in Gunvolt's case) does horrible things to Reploids/Adepts in order to maintain peace and welfare of the country. In response, there's a La Résistance group that opposes them. The difference being that QUILL lacks a Ciel figure (it's Joule who took on some of her features instead); instead it has an Elpizo figure., and that Gunvolt quits the organization in the second game.
    • Gunvolt being Zero's Expy and Joule, being a Living Macguffin with phenomenal powers, being a Dark Elf expy. The Big Bad Nova is also similar in role to Copy X.
    • What the game calls "weaponization" has the name "Armed Phenomenon" in Japan (also used for the second game), a term used to describe the bodily transformation induced by the Dark Elf and the Baby Elves.
    • The backstory explains that the power of the Muse was discovered during the "Project Gunvolt"note  and is described as a "derivation". It (partly) mirrors Mother Elf/Dark Elf's origins: being derived from Zero's residual viral data in his body.
    • Ironically, Nova's plan of controlling both the body and the minds of Adepts worldwide mirrors that of Dr. Weil's Project Elpizo (in the backstory).
  • Withholding Their Name: After Gunvolt fights him as a boss, he asks for Copen's name. He refuses, saying that he won't share his name to "abominations" like Gunvolt, but then added, "But when God sends me to judge you, you may hear Him whisper, 'Copen'...".
  • Wretched Hive: Sinner's Row (where Gunvolt lives) is apparently the city's red-light district.
  • Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters: QUILL is often called "terrorists" by the populace and Sumeragi in particular. Admittedly, what QUILL does can sometimes get a bit shady (such as attacking a broadcasting tower or the town's power plant). And Asimov's true goal firmly puts him in the "terrorist" camp.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: A contained version, where the Stratacombs level feature undead enemies.

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