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Azure Striker Gunvolt 2 is the second game in the Azure Striker Gunvolt Series created by Inti Creates. Gunvolt 2 was released for the Nintendo 3DS in August 2016 in Japan, with a worldwide release coming a month later in September 2016. It was also bundled together with the first game in the Striker Pack, released for the 3DS in 2016 and then the Nintendo Switch in 2017.

A few months after the end of Gunvolt, Gunvolt and his rival Copen intercept a Sumeragi airship hijacked by Adepts. While Gunvolt manages to stop the airship from crashing, it is revealed that the entire scenario was a ploy to draw Gunvolt into the clutches of Eden, a pro-Adept group hellbent on wiping the human race off the face of the Earth to create a paradise where Adepts can thrive. Joule is captured by Eden's forces and split into nine Shards, each containing a fragment of her Septima, The Muse, and the Shards are distributed among Eden's Seven, a band of particularly powerful Adepts who headline Eden's strongest. While Gunvolt seeks to reclaim the Shards to save Joule, Copen discovers that the Shards' power has the ability to heal his ill sister, Mytyl; to this end, Copen sets out to claim the Shards for himself to save his sister.

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While Gunvolt himself will feel familiar to veterans from the first game, his kit is further enhanced by the introduction of the Clip category of equipment, which determines how many Tags you can accumulate at once. New to Gunvolt are "Azure Spirits", which can be found in two stages and bestow unique Skills otherwise unobtainable via leveling up. The most radical change to 2 is the introduction of a whole new playable character: Copen, who originally appeared as a recurring minor boss in the original game. Armed with a suit that enables flight and a gun that can fire homing lasers when locked on, Copen offers a faster, more fluid, and more dynamic style of play focused on aerial combat that rewards both style and substance.

Gunvolt 2 would later be succeeded by Luminous Avenger iX, a Gaiden Game that puts Copen in the spotlight and builds upon the gameplay introduced in this game.

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Azure Striker Gunvolt 2 contains examples of:

  • Absurdly High Level Cap: As with the last game, you'll probably be between Level 30 and Level 40 by the time you finish the game. The cap is still 99.
  • Achievement System: Challenges return as a way to gain bonuses for performing well. Unlike the first game, it is no longer necessary to accept Challenges to complete them; they are completed automatically as the player meets the requirements.
  • Advancing Wall of Doom: In Gunvolt's opening stage, Teseo spawns a wall that begins converting the area into cyberspace. This is highly deadly (as demonstrated by the Sumeragi robots getting destroyed instantly), so Gunvolt must outrun the wall. Meanwhile in Copen's opening stage, he has to outrun a wall of bullets from the flying mecha in the background.
  • All There in the Manual:
    • The "Striker Pack" includes bonus material that fills in the gap between the first game and second.
    • A ton of character bios aren't revealed in the context of the game itself, such as how Quinn and Gunvolt met and most of the Seven's backgrounds.
  • Amplifier Artifact: The Grimoires. They are considered to be the antithesis to the Glaives; while Glaives act as a Power Limiter that seal an Adept's power until they are required to fight, Grimoires instead increase an Adept's power when they are invoked. This has to do with their respective sources; Glaives are derived from extracting the "Adept gene" from an Adept's DNA, thus robbing them of their inherent power and infusing it into a weapon instead, while Grimoires are created from a physical portion of Joule's Septima, The Muse, a Septima which naturally enhances other Septima.
  • Anime Hair: Notably, Gunvolt's spiky hair got even spikier between the first game and the second. Quinn downplays it, and Desna takes this trope, runs all the way home with it, and turns it into a superpower.
  • Anime Theme Song: "Indigo Destiny", performed by Joule as usual. If you play as Copen, Lola performs in Joule's place. The duet version plays when the True Final Boss is revived by Mytyl's Anthem.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • The Kudos system is now more lax; instead of instantly losing your Kudos upon taking any hit, you can now take up to two extra hits before the third hit causes you to lose your Kudos. This compensates for the Sequel Difficulty Spike; not getting hit at all is now much, much harder.
    • If you aim diagonally up or diagonally down with the Bullit Dash, Copen will slightly home in on enemies if there is one in the general area in front of him.
    • In the 3DS version, it is not explicitly stated that singing is not a requirement for the Final Boss, simply producing enough volume is enough to pass the cutscene.
    • The player doesn't have to bother with memorizing what missions yield what materials anymore; in the briefing screen for each mission, there's a list of materials that the player can find in the end-mission minigame.
    • Another point to Item Crafting: In the first game, upgraded "+" equipment requires synthesizing two of the same equipment together, which means double the necessity of material farming. Here the + equipment (and R subroutines in Copen's case) can be obtained by simply wearing them and using their in-game functions, as all upgradeable items have a built-in experience meter now.
    • Submissions/Challenges can now be completed without the need of accepting them in the Challenge list first (as was the case in the first game; and the player can only accept three missions at a time).
    • Unlocking the Audiolockets on the Synth store still require you to amass 3,000 Kudos in specific levels. However, even if you're playing in Gutsless difficulty (where you never lose Kudos points when hit) they would still be unlocked.
  • Armor-Piercing Attack: Special Skills ignore Prevasion. This is vital to defeating the True Final Boss.
  • Art Evolution: Shovel Knight's sprite in this game is significantly more detailed than his original sprite and much more closely resembles his artwork.
  • Ascended Extra: Zonda goes from an inconsequential Sumeragi Adept who is "slain" early by Copen into the Big Bad.
  • Auto-Revive: As usual, if Gunvolt or Copen dies after the first stage, they have a chance to be brought back by Anthem and enter a Super Mode. The chances can be raised by chatting with your support team, or equipping the Memento Pendant to Gunvolt. True Zonda seals this ability for the final battle; the reason depends on characternote . Mytyl also does this to the True Final Boss.
  • Background Music Override:
    • Once again, earning 1000 Kudos overrides the background music with one of the game's many vocal tracks.
    • If you're brought back by Anthem, the stage music is replaced with "Reincarnation - Alternative", which is "Reincarnation" from the first game, but with a new background track and lyrics. If you're playing as Copen, the music is replaced with "Igniter".
    • You do this to the Final Boss by singing "Reincarnation", which enables Gunvolt to negate its Limit Break and finish the fight.
    • The True Final Boss does this to you by invoking Theme Music Power-Up with Anthem.
  • Bag of Spilling:
    • Gunvolt has inexplicably lost most of his skills and equipment from the first game, and regains them as he defeats the Seven.
    • Zig-Zagged with Copen. He doesn't have any of the weapons he took from the Sumeragi Seven as a playable character. However, when fighting him as Gunvolt's True Final Boss he suddenly breaks them out for his first phase's Limit Break and uses Greed Snatcher as his primary attack during the Second phase with a new version of Doppler Desire called Doppler Destroyer as his Limit Break to boot.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Notably, Gunvolt is still wearing his old outfit in the opening stage, but since it is only worn in the first two stages, it isn't censored as it was in the first game.
  • Battle Aura: When under the effects of Anthem, Gunvolt and Copen are enveloped in a flame-like aura. Unlike Lumen's Anthem, the aura simply glows blue, as opposed to the rainbow aura granted by her full power. It is otherwise functionally identical.
    • Anyone affected by Mytyl's Anthem gains the full aura. When Gunvolt activates Septimal Surge, the aura gets even stronger.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Sure, the baddies are stopped, but in the end, to spare what's left of Joule in her new merged form with Mytyl —if anything's left of her— GV has to let her go. On the flipside, Copen finally gets his sister back after a near-lifetime in the hospital...except, she isn't the same person anymore. Gunvolt gets to give Joule back the life she lost for him, and Copen gets to give Mytyl the life she never had, but...it isn't really them, anymore. Copen also decides that it's for the better of Mytyl that he cuts his ties with his family and tells Nori that he "died" in the battle because, for all the messages that finally come to him, he's gone too far to regret it, even calling himself a "demon bent on vengeance". The sad reprisal of an instrumental Indigo Destiny playing during the true ending's credits cements it.
  • Blood Iron: Gibril's Septimal power, "Metallon", lets her manipulate metals. She usually uses blood as her source of iron, whether taken from draining people's blood or (when she's desperate enough) her own.
  • Bolivian Army Cliffhanger: Both scenarios end with Gunvolt and Copen running into each other at Eden's core, pointing their guns to each other, after which the credits roll. The outcome to this Mexican Standoff is only played out in the True Ending.
  • Book-Ends: In Gunvolt's true ending, he formally meets Mytyl for the first time and she, out of the blue, asks him if he's "an angel", just like his very first meeting with Joule.
  • Bonus Boss: If you have a Shovel Knight amiibo, Shovel Knight.
  • Boring, but Practical: The skills that Gunvolt acquired by finding them, i.e Crashvolt and Dragonsphere. They're 0 SP Skills that are far weaker than Special Skills but don't bank Kudos when you activate them. For the purposes of bonus Kudos, those skills still net Skill Finishes without banking, so it's possible to rake in tons of Kudos by abusing Normal Skills for takedowns. This also allows you to keep the +1000 Kudos bonus after boss battles, so you can potentially accrue staggering amounts of Kudos in a Boss Rush by using them to finish bosses.
  • Boss-Only Level:
    • Glaive Tenjian, while technically part of the opening act, is a mission detached from Copen's or Gunvolt's respective prologue missions, since it has its own Gameplay Grading screen. This mission can later be revisited without playing the other two prologue missions.
    • Gunvolt's Downtown level, and Copen's Sewers level. Whereas Gunvolt fights the appropriate Adept in that area (Ghauri) Copen would face Gibril instead of Milas.
    • The Garden 3, like Babel from the first game, is the Boss Rush level, with Tenjian, a hub area with three teleport mirrors leading to the three bosses (depending on which is your character), Sumeragi Zonda, and finally, the Mysterious Girl.
    • Even if the True Final Boss takes place immediately after the Mysterious Girl, it is treated as a separate mission, since they have separate result screens like with Glaive Tenjian.
  • Boss Rush:
    • The final level involves fighting Tenjian again, then fighting the other three Adepts faced in that particular story in any given order, followed by fighting Zonda, then fighting Mysterious Girl all in a row. If you've unlocked the True Ending, then this is followed by another level with yet another boss.
    • As with the first game, Special Mission 5 involves fighting every boss in the game sequentially.
  • Brutal Bonus Level:
    • Ultimate Downtown and Ultimate Frozen City, which can be purchased in the "Score Attack: Ultimate Mode" DLC. Both stages are overhauled to be as dangerous as possible, and the stage bosses are replaced by two endgame bosses who have received massive buffs that make them even more deadly than before.
    • Some of the Sumeragi Swordsmen DLC levels can be surprisingly difficult if you didn't come in prepared.
  • Call-Back:
    • While discussing the Overheating mechanic, Gunvolt says that it "brings him back", referencing Asimov's speech about Overheating in the first game.
    • When first fought (in the prologue stage), Tenjian uses a Glaive.
    • The Muse's Pendant is the Handmade Pendant from the first game, but repaired after it was destroyed by Asimov.
    • The Memento Pendant Old Save Bonus is functionally identical to the Broken Necklace from the first game, but now has a real purpose: while wearing it, the chance to proc Anthem shoots up substantially.
    • The Shield Construct Old Save Bonus is a reference to how Copen fought in the first game: primarily with his gun. Its name is also a reference to Aixgear, Copen's shield from the first game that was destroyed offscreen by Asimov's Voltaic Chains.
    • When traversing the Mysterious Manor, Gunvolt faces down zombies again. When Gunvolt mentions his previous zombie ordeal, Xiao asks him to tell him all about it.
    • One stage involves Copen travelling up the side of now-offline Babel into the stratosphere to challenge Desna. When Lola asks how space was, Nori tells her that Copen "doesn't have many fond memories of space", since the last time he was there, an Adept beat him up and took his gearnote .
    • Mytyl protects Gunvolt or Copen (depending on the story) from being coup-de-graced by the opponent, with the same shield that protected Nova in the first game.
    • At the end of Gunvolt's story, Mytyl and Gunvolt meet on the street by chance, with Mytyl echoing a certain line from the first game.
      Mytyl: Are... Are you an angel?
    • One of the Mytyl chats has her having a weird dream that happened repeatedly: she's confined into some kind of tiny box and then an "angel" takes her out. It's a call back to the "Gunvolt saving Joule" scene in the first game where she called GV an angel. Considering what Joule is revealed to be in the end...
    • The "instant noodles" chat from the first game is referenced in the second with a similar scenario, but with Quinn instead.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Copen, Gunvolt and bosses will call their Limit Break's names.
  • The Cameo: Shovel Knight, due in part to a collaboration with Yacht Club Games, who are launching the Striker Pack in non-Japan regions.
  • Camera Screw: Helpfully averted. Copen's penultimate level involves traversing numerous wide and deadly Bottomless Pits to bypass a locked door. When you enter this section, the camera, which is normally centered on the character, shifts forward to help you see what's ahead. Lola claims that this is accomplished by upgrading Copen's camera to +3 Control.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Subverted. In the first game, it is stated that Gunvolt can use the Azure Striker Septima to hack electronics. In the prologue stage, he tries this on a computer, but is stopped... by the system being write-protected. He notes that someone with an even greater hacking ability must've done this.
  • Collection Sidequest:
    • One of the recurring sub-missions in each level is to collect all 5 medals dotted throughout the mission.
    • Gunvolt can collect Azure Spirits. Each one grants him a new Normal Skill that can't otherwise be obtained through leveling up.
    • Copen can collect Memory Expansions, which increase his maximum Memory capacity by 1.
  • Combos: Playing as Copen relies on pulling off combos for high Kudos counts. The more enemies you kill consecutively without touching the ground, the more Bonus Kudos you earn.
  • Compilation Re-release: The "Double Pack" and the "Striker Pack" bundle both the first and second games together in one deal/cartridge, the difference being that the latter also comes with extra goodies and is sold retail.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard:
    • In Copen's story, Anthem Gunvolt can spam Luxcalibur and Astrasphere as much as he pleases. He can also shoot Luxcalibur and the Astrasphere orbs. Taken Up to Eleven in Score Attack, where Anthem Gunvolt not only gets the upgraded Luxcalibur, he summons in three directions and, after firing, summons Astrasphere orbs that sweep across the screen.
    • In Gunvolt's, Anthem Copen can access a plethora of abilities he had in the first game, including Greed Snatcher, the attacks of the Sumeragi Swordsmen, and an upgraded variant of Doppler Desire called "Doppler Destroyer", none of which players can get.
  • Costume Evolution:
    • After the first stage, Gunvolt swaps out his old, brighter outfit for a differently-patterned one with a much deeper navy blue and overall darker colors. His midriff is also still present, but much less emphasized than his original wear.
    • Copen trades his normal boots with Rocket Boots and has a more slender design.
  • Crossover: Azure Striker Gunvolt 2 is compatible with the Shovel Knight amiibo. What this means is that Gunvolt and Copen get to fight Shovel Knight. Completely inexplicable, very cool.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: In the opening stage, Gunvolt souped up on Anthem manages to slow a giant airship on a crash course with a skyscraper. He does get help from a big laser from Copen, but otherwise accomplishes this feat himself.
  • Deadly Disc: A new Mook can eject a large sawblade that flies out horizontally from itself.
  • Death-or-Glory Attack: Copen's OD Risk It All causes the damage of Shred Storm to scale to your Kudos count upon activation, but after use drops Copen to 1 HP. If you didn't off a boss with it, either prepare your Healing skill or break out Ferrous Fangs and hope for the best.
  • Deflector Shields:
    • Gunvolt's Flashfield still blocks explosives and non-energy projectiles. Copen's Flashshield does the same, but requires his Weapon Gauge to be full except under special circumstances.
    • Plasma Legion summons an energy shield in front of its face that requires you to break it like a hexapyle before you can start damaging it.
    • At the end of Copen's story, Mytyl stops Copen from killing Gunvolt by using a barrier to protect him.
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • Due to the player characters receiving help from a variety of outside sources, QUILL's relevance is vastly reduced. Only a single character beyond Gunvolt has ties to QUILL, that being of a foreign branch rendered defunct as the result of a countrywide hostile takeover.
    • Sumeragi doesn't do much in this game, since the Nebulous Evil Organization Eden opposes Gunvolt and Copen instead. Sumeragi mooks, the primary mook type in the first game, appear in exactly one stage, the prologue.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: Copen's Shield Construct Subroutine that you can get if you have Gunvolt save data. It disables Prevasion and caps your HP at 100, turning the game into Nintendo Hard. However, it also cranks up the damage of both normal and Tagged shots by nearly double, enabling you to crush enemies much quicker than you would otherwise, but you have to be careful about it.
  • Difficulty Levels: Prior to a mission, you can set the Kudos style. By default, it's set to Cautious, which enables you to take two additional hits before the third hit causes you to lose your Kudos. You can also set it to Gutless (can't lose Kudos, but the multiplier is smaller) and Fearless (lose Kudos in one hit, but the multiplier is greater).
  • Disc-One Nuke: If you can pull it off, you can get the Shovel Ring as early as the start of the game. The Shovel Ring adds one Air Jump and Air Dash for a 0 EP cost, which can break some of the early game difficulty due to the game not expecting you to have these abilities that early. It also happens to obsolete several entry-level Rings that provide Air Jumps and Air Dashes.
  • Dismantled Macguffin: Fragments of Joule's power wind up in the hands of numerous nasty Adepts and become sealed within Grimoires. Gunvolt's story revolves around gathering the lost pieces to restore Joule to her full strength.
  • Downloadable Content: A plethora of DLC is available for the game, including Speed Run Mode from the Updated Re-release of Gunvolt, Audiolockets/np3 Subroutines from the first game, the new song "Stratosphere", six new levels that feature upgraded Sumeragi Swordsmen, two new levels featuring upgraded versions of Gunvolt, Copen and Zonda, and Score Attack Mode.
  • Dub Name Change:
    • Copen's "Battlebots" are known as "Bits" in English. Copen's Flashfield is also changed to "Flashshield" to avoid confusion with the English translation of Raigekirin, "Flashfield".
    • The Blitz Gauge and the Blitz Icons are simply "Bullits". The Blitz Dash is also known as the "Bullit Dash". The word comes from "bullet", because the icons resemble bullets and "recharging" them requires Copen to throw out spent shells. It also phonetically similar to "blitz".
    • Also the names of some characters: Michiru becomes Mytyl, Nowa becomes Nori, and Ouka becomes Quinn, Nike becomes Desna and Nimrod becomes Milas.
    • As in the first game, many skills had their names changed in localization. Interestingly enough, this time around they had the original Japanese voice actors re-record their Calling Your Attacks lines to match the localized names for the English version.
  • Dueling Player Characters: Gunvolt and Copen face one another as a mid-level boss in Tenjian's stage. They're also each other's True Final Boss.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Through all the problems and general awfulness both Gunvolt and Copen struggle, someone at least gets a happy ending. In The Stinger of the True Ending, Mytyl is shown smiling in a school uniform, pursuing the life she never got to live.
  • Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors: All of the Seven are weak to one of Copen's EX Weapons, which, in true Mega Man style, are gained by killing other members of the Seven. The weaknesses aren't immediately apparent, so you might have to engage in a little Trial-and-Error Gameplay or look it up. Like Mega Man, bosses also have resistances; for example, True Zonda takes negligible damage from a fully charged Prism Break.
  • Eternal Engine: Asroc's stage takes place in an abandoned weapons factory that recycles old robots. The gimmick is that some inactive robots might suddenly become active and attack the player.
  • Exact Words: It is explained that Copen derived the Stellar Spark EX Weapon from analyzing the DNA of the Azure Striker. The way this is worded is to give the player the impression that Copen got it from analyzing Gunvolt, while covertly hiding the fact that there was another Azure Striker.
  • Experience Booster: Aside from Gunvolt's Attuned Optic lens, Copen's EXP Priority subroutine increases his EXP gain at the cost of lowered defense. His OD Avid Learner subroutine increases more, without the defense decrease cost.
  • Fantastic Racism: Aside from Eden's adepts wanting to Kill All Humans, it's revealed from the Seven's backstories that many humans - including their parents! - are heavily bigoted towards adepts. Averted with Quinn, a human who's a friend to adepts Gunvolt and Joule, and he lampshades their friendship during his fight with Tenjian.
  • Final Boss, New Dimension: The fight against True Zonda takes place in some sort of weird mirror dimension.
  • First-Episode Spoiler: More like "Prologue Stage Spoiler", but still, Zonda never died; what Copen killed in the first game was simply a copy. Also, Zonda's true form is a young girl, she was a mole in Sumeragi all along, and she leads the forces of Eden.
  • Foreshadowing: When Gunvolt first meets Mytyl in the prologue stage, he notes that she somehow reminds him of Joule. Joule herself also feels funny about her. Some of Team Copen's chats have Copen concluding that Mytyl's health and the Joule shard that Lola acquired are connected. It foreshadows the ending, where it's revealed that Joule and/or her powers is part of Mytyl all along.
    • Related to the above: at least 2 Mytyl chats shows her having some kind of memory problems. She also notes that while her health is improving, her brain is "losing it". In the end, after Joule and Mytyl merge, her memories become wanky and distorted (due to the two's memories clashing with each other) until it's mostly gone, safe for a few things.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation:
    • Despite canonically getting the Joule shard at the end of the prologue, Lola can still activate Anthem from as early as the prologue stage itself.
    • Gunvolt uses Crashvolt in the prologue to break out of Tenjian's ice. Thing is, Gunvolt doesn't start the game with Crashvolt.
    • Joule's song will play during Special Mission 5 even during the True Zonda fight, when technically, this shouldn't happen due to story purposes.
  • Gratuitous French: All of Asroc's attacks are this. Even his mechs are named in this way.
  • Ground Pound: Double tapping down while airborne will cause Copen to drop straight down and crash against the ground with a Three-Point Landing. This deals a lot of damage to anything near the impact zone and instantly recharges the Bullit Gauge as if recharging from the ground.
  • Guest Fighter: Gunvolt makes an appearance in Blade Stranger, a fighting game by Studio Saizensen crossover of characters such as Princess Solange from Code of Princess, Curly Brace from Cave Story, Kawase from Umihara Kawase, among others.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • Far less instances than in the previous title thanks to various improvements, but still in full force with the Secret Bonuses, which net enormous amounts of Kudos for performing certain tasks in missions. For example, clearing the Bottomless Pits section in The Garden 2 as Copen under a certain amount of time nets a Secret Bonus of a whopping +2000 Kudos.
    • How do you break enormous, impassable metal boxes? Fire a gigantic crystal at them, of course! The only clue you'd have in-game is that the boxes have a purple symbol on them, the same color as the crystals in question.
    • Some of the Bullit Dash mechanics aren't even referenced in-game. For example, when approaching from above, holding diagonally towards the enemy instead of just holding down when you Bullit Dash will cause you to vault over the enemy after tagging, and you can press the Jump button to manually cancel your Hover.
  • Haiku: In the Japanese version, all of the Limit Break Invocations are in this format. This was Lost in Translation in the English version.
  • Healing Potion: Gunvolt/Copen can get these from the stages to replenish his health.
  • He Knows About Timed Hits: Even moreso than in the first game; the characters frequently engage in control-explaining in both Gunvolt and Copen's opening stages.note  Lots of As You Know and the lampshading thereof ensues.
  • Heroic RRoD: In gameplay form: overloading Copen's Subroutine Memory will cause a "WARNING!" sign to appear on the bottom screen; while your Memory is overloaded, random detrimental effects may occur, such as causing Copen's maximum HP to drop to 1.
  • Hypocritical Humor: When taking on Teseo's stage as GV, one of the first things he does is mock GV's hairstyle. ("That ponytail tho.") When you meet him in person you can see that he also has a long ponytail, just like GV's.
  • Interface Screw: Zonda's Phantasmagoria sometimes flips the screen as in the Sinner's Row stage in the first game. Keyword being "sometimes"; while the scripted Phantasmagoria always flips, subsequent recasts may leave the screen as-is.
  • Iron Maiden: Gibril's level is set in a mansion, with iron maidens as traps that may snap Gunvolt in, causing him to take big damage if he isn't careful. In the boss fight, Gibril herself may sometimes summon an iron maiden to try to trap Gunvolt in. Also, in the third phase of her battle, she proceeds to trap herself in her iron maiden to help her unleash her Limit Break (which required her to bleed enough); the fact that she's a Combat Sadomasochist helps.
  • Last Ditch Move: Tenjian has one during the third and final fight against him in Gunvolt's scenario. It's called Seven Slashes, and it's an upgraded version of his standard Desperation Attack that is more difficult to dodge and inflicts a One-Hit Kill. If you get hit by it, Gunvolt will die and Joule will immediately cast Anthem to bring him back, but if you are aiming for a high score, evading it is required.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler:
    • Promotional material for 2 does little to avoid spoiling everything relating to Joule at the end of the first game.
    • A conversation late in the game involves Gunvolt discussing the circumstances involved in his killing of Asimov.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Shovel Knight, in his guest boss fight. He only has the two moves, but he moves fast and he hits extremely hard.
  • Limit Break: Just like before, Gunvolt and the bosses have this with the same conditions. Copen also gets a new attack called Shred Storm.
  • Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition: The game has three release versions: the normal version on the eShop, the "double pack" that bundles the first game and the second together, and the "Striker Pack", a retail edition that includes an exclusive theme with an exclusive songnote .
  • Literally Shattered Lives: Not that she was "alive" to begin with, but Joule is destroyed when Zonda traps her in a mirror and is shattered by Tenjian, breaking her into nine pieces. However, her consciousness remains intact with Gunvolt.
  • Logical Weakness: Water beats electricity like in the first game, thus Milas (who controls water) gives Gunvolt a hard time. You can also instantly disable Gunvolt's Prevasion by using Milas's EX Weapon on him. This even applies while he's in Anthem.
  • MacGuffin Delivery Service: Both characters unwittingly bring the whole set of Shards to Zonda, which allows her to extract the power of The Muse from Mytyl, using the normalized Shards that needed to be used by an Adept to stabilize.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: The miniboss Plasma Legion is basically Mantis V2.0, complete with missile-launching storms.
  • Mage Born of Muggles: The boss Tenjian is an Adept born to normal parents. Due to the stigma against Adepts and just not knowing what to do with him, he was placed in an orphanage.
  • Magikarp Power:
    • Grand Strizer, an upgraded version of Luxcalibur whose power scales proportionately to how many Kudos you have unbanked when activating it. At low values, it's pitifully weak, dealing only a fraction of the damage of Luxcalibur for a 3 SP cost. If you're skilled enough to rack up tons of Kudos or you play in Gutless, however, Grand Strizer has the potential to become obscenely overpowered. It gets to the point where you can One-Hit Kill bosses, including True Zonda.
    • OD Risk It All has a similar effect for Shred Storm. The difference being that it drops Copen's HP to 1 immediately after usage, so you had better hope you killed what you were trying to hit it with.
  • Malevolent Architecture: Both Team Gunvolt and Team Copen lampshade how needlessly dangerous and impractical the walls and floors of Spikes of Doom are in the penultimate level.
  • Mecha-Mooks: Sumeragi bots notwithstanding, Eden also pairs their grunts with similar robots, many of which are functionally similar to existing Sumeragi enemies.
  • Mission-Pack Sequel: As far as playing as Gunvolt goes, 2 is familiar territory, since it simply adds a handful of new mechanics, a new batch of skills, and a shiny new HUD for him. However, Copen is Promoted to Playable, and boasts a vastly different experience.
  • Money Multiplier: Aside from Gunvolt's Midas Optic lens, Copen's Credit Priority subroutine increases his credit gain at the price of lowered defense. His OD Need for Greed subroutine increases more, without the lowered defense.
  • Multi-Mook Melee: Like in the first game, some sections have Gunvolt/Copen being trapped in a room where mooks continually assault them. You can't always do the "alarm" trick, however.
  • Mushroom Samba: The Striker Pack CD details the incident where Quinn and Gunvolt met; in it, it's explained that there's a dangerous illegal drug making the rounds that greatly enhances Septimal power, but also induces hallucinations and warped consciousness. Quinn is attacked on the way back home by an Adept drugged out of his mind with the power to summon tentacle-like roots, and is only rescued when Gunvolt, who happened to be passing by, witnesses the attack and decides to intervene.
  • Nostalgia Level: Zigzagged. In Copen's scenario, Babel returns as a level. However, unlike the first game, which had you using the elevator itself, Copen travels up the side.
  • Not Completely Useless: Typically a novelty weapon, the Technos has a particularly favorable usage in 2: Since it crawls along the floor, you can hit Gibril with it.
  • Not Quite Flight: Gunvolt's Levitation Band takes Flashfield gliding one step further by enabling Flashfield hovering, preserving Gunvolt's altitude in midair, but increasing Flashfield EP cost.
  • Number of the Beast: The Secret in Teseo's stage grants +666 Kudos for achieving it.
  • Oh, Crap!: At the beginning of the game, Sumeragi grunts hold Gunvolt hostage and attempt to execute him. When their shots simply phase through him, they figure out that he's Gunvolt, and proceed to elicit this reaction. In fact, they're so terrified, they refuse to move even after the player gains control, allowing Gunvolt to easily dispatch them.
  • Old Save Bonus: If the game detects Azure Striker Gunvolt save data, the Memento Pendant and Shield Construct items are added to the Synthesis menu.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder:
    • After you craft the Lethal Lavaliere, this game lets you construct the Omega Pendant that, when equipped, turns Gunvolt into this, but also increases his Kudos count to a whopping 80%.
    • Copen has a similar Subroutine called "Heaven and Hell X", an upgrade of the Heaven and Hell Subroutine that reduces Copen's HP to 1, but doubles his Kudos gain.
  • Painful Rhyme: In-universe. Copen considers Ghauri's Sublime Rhyme method of "speech" completely intolerable.
  • Palette Swap: The Sumeragi bots encountered in the abandoned factory use orange coloring instead. This is justified by Asroc's Septima, which has the side effect of turning any robot under his control an orange color.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: The stages do a good job showing just how destructive the unfettered adepts of Eden can be, such as when we see a highway wrecked with giant crystals, a building pulled into cyberspace and an entire city being frozen over with ice in an instant.
  • Powers as Programs: Copen's upgrades take form of "subroutines", i.e programs that he can install into his armor to enhance his capabilities, with a limited capacity that increases by getting secret items and can cause "bugs" (such as cutting his HP to 1 or dropping his attack power) if the system is used wrongly. Also, the way Copen copies Adept powers are just like installing a new program to Lola.
  • Power Copying: As in the previous game, Copen can replicate the abilities of Adepts he defeats in boss battles. This takes the form of an EX Weapon that Lola learns once she acquires that Adept's Shard. At the start of the game, she also copies Anthem, which allows her to occasionally revive Copen if he gets killed.
    • Copen developed the Flashshield and Prevasion techniques by studying and copying the powers of the Azure Striker. While he hates Adepts with every fiber of his being, he admits it's handy.
  • Power Up Letdown: The Lucifer Clip, which grants your Darts Dullahan-like properties. The same problems as with the Dullahan still remain: great Dart damage, but terrible for score attacking and impossible to complete certain levels with due to needing to Tag. On the plus side, you can switch out the clip in the menu at any necessary point, thus increasing its versatility.
  • Promoted to Playable: Copen, the Adept Hunter.
  • Purposely Overpowered: There's a reason why the gear you get from the Score Attack DLC is kinda broken: the bosses you have to fight to obtain them are so frustratingly difficult that you practically have to know the game like the back of your hand to get them.
  • Randomly Gifted: Adepts are implied to work like this. Such as how Tenjian is revealed to have completely normal parents. Or how Copen is a Muggle and yet his twin, Mytyl, is an Adept.
  • Recurring Boss: In Copen's Highway stage, the Spyder from the first game happens to show up as a midboss for no apparent reason. However, this Spyder isn't moving and isn't fought on a train.
  • Ret-Canon: Zonda uses the entirety of their moveset from Mighty Gunvolt.
  • Rewarding Vandalism: In the Mysterious Manor, the stained glass windows can be shattered with Flashfield. Some of them hold goodies, like Gold Vig and healing items. One of them even has a Medal. Beware, however, that a few of them may contain zombies instead.
  • Rings of Death: One certain mook in Desna's stage can shoot these, which entraps Copen/Gunvolt if the rings hit them. Copen can also use this move after he beats Asroc.
  • Schmuck Bait: In Teseo's stage, there's an upper path that leads backwards. When you reach the end, there's absolutely nothing there. Teseo even mocks Gunvolt for believing there might be a secret there. If you decide to simply sit at the dead end for a few seconds, this triggers a +666 Kudos "Secret" bonus.
  • Self-Imposed Challenge:
    • Try playing with Prevasion off. You'll see exactly how infuriatingly difficult 2 is meant to be.
    • In fact, several pieces of equipment seem to exist purely to make the game harder. For example, both characters can get equipment that disables Checkpoints (useful for score attacking) and numerous equipment that gives powerful boons in exchange for things like disabling Prevasion, reducing HP, making Spikes of Doom lethal, and whatnot.
  • Sequel Difficulty Spike: 2 is significantly more difficult than the first, due in part to more varied level design and increased abundance of Spikes of Doom. Bosses are also much more aggressive and attacks are a lot trickier to dodge.
  • Sequel Hook: A secret scene unlocked by completing at least 80% average of all challenges from both characters reveals that Xiao and Nori are comrades of some sort, and they secretly sealed away the power of the Muse into a pendant-style Glaive after Gunvolt and Copen's final battle, believing that it's too much power for either Eden or Gunvolt himself to be allowed to have. While he claims that he has no ill intention and feels it's best for Mytyl/Joule this way (Which was Nori's stated motivation for helping him), he also admits he's planning something when questioned by Nori, just not "Anything bad" and that "You'll know more soon."
  • Shown Their Work: Shovel Knight has only nine frames of animation, the same number of animation frames in his home game.
  • Significant Double Casting: Megu Sakuragawa as both Joule and Mytyl. At the end of the game, Joule is revealed to be Mytyl's extracted Septima given human form.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Tenjian's stage. He has dominion over ice, which turns standard streets into a giant ice level. Irritatingly, in addition to standard ice physics, there's also no traction on slopes, causing you to slide down them very quickly if you aren't dashing. You can counteract the ice physics by walking into non-slick mist, which covers you in a coating that negates sliding around.
  • Smashing Survival: Both the binding rings and Desna's Entangled Strands can be escaped from by pushing buttons until you break free.
  • Speed Echoes: Both Gunvolt and Copen leave afterimages of themselves whenever they run/dash.
  • Speed Run: Speedrun Mode from the first game's Updated Re-release makes a comeback, but as $1.99 DLC. Unlike the original, a new feature is added: the Kudos system from the "Kudos Keeper" mode is implemented, giving the player an additional 10% damage for every 100 unbanked Kudos in their possession. This encourages players to not simply skip every enemy and play not only quickly, but efficiently for faster boss kills.
  • Spring Jump: Equipping the Code of Shovelry Subroutine causes Copen to bounce high off the ground when he performs an aerial reload, allowing him to remain airborne while reloading Bullits. He can also do this by equipping Desna's EX Weapon and using it while aiming downwards.
  • The Stinger: The game has a secret cutscene which plays after the save prompt that pops up when the True Final Boss is defeated, and is unlocked after the player clears 80% of the challenges both as Gunvolt and Copen, each. Both Xiao and Nori are seen in a dark alleyway someplace in the Garden, where the former reveals that he sealed away the power of the Muse into a glaive-like pendant so that Mytyl can live peacefully, and insists that both Eden and Gunvolt are better off not having that power. Nori questions his motives, only for Xiao to claim that he's not up to anything suspicious, and that she'll know more soon.
  • Suicide Attack: Gibril's Iron Maiden is Cast From HP, as she uses her own blood to cast the attack. Once the attack is finished, she'll be out of HP, at which point she'll die.
  • Super Mode: Anthem, as usual. While this entails the typical "unlimited EP" for Gunvolt, in Copen's case, it grants him permanent Overdrive, allowing him to take advantage of his Overdrive Subroutines without worrying about losing Kudos.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: Averted. When Gunvolt and Copen start bickering over Mytyl in the opening stage, Tenjian takes the opportunity to freeze them in place so Zonda can trap Joule in a mirror. Tenjian then breaks it.
  • Taste of Power: Halfway through the first stage, Joule gives you Anthem on demand. Also shown in a cutscene where he, with the help of Joule, manages to use his power to slow down a falling uncontrollable airship. It doesn't last.
  • Title Drop: Copen makes quite a few references to claws, hence the Japanese title of the game, "Armed Blue Gunvolt Sou", in which "sou" is Japanese for "claw" or "talon". The "Shredded" bonus for finishing off a boss with Shred Storm is even called a "Sou Finish" in Japan.
  • Theme Music Power-Up:
    • Anthem notwithstanding, both characters can Synth gear that gives them a boost when you pass 1000 Kudos and trigger the Background Music Override. In Gunvolt's case, this is in the form of the Lover's Lens and Admirer's Eye, Contacts that give him a power boost and Skill power boost respectively when he passes 1000 Kudos. In Copen's case, this comes in the form of an entire category of Subroutines called "Overdrive", or "OD", which grant powerful boons when he passes 1000 Kudos, such as granting himself Regenerating Health, being able to No-Sell negligible damage, and enabling Flashshield even if the Weapon Gauge is depleted.
    • Invoked, of all things. During the Final Boss, Gunvolt resolves to invoke "Reincarnation" without Joule to negate True Zonda's Paradise Lost. This involves singing the opening lines of the song into the 3DS's microphone. If performed successfully, Zonda will cease the attack, and the battle will resume with "Reincarnation - Alternative"'s BGM playing in the background while the lyrics appear onscreen.
    • The duet version of Indigo Destiny plays when the True Final Boss is revived by Mytyl's Anthem. This is very bad.
  • Theme Naming:
    • The guns retain their dragon thematic, but it's now downplayed by the separation of Bullets and Clips, meaning that the names now only suit the number of bullets they can fire.
    • Gunvolt's new Clips are named after the seven Archangels. The exception is the Lucifer Clip, replacing the Dullahan from the first game, which disables Tagging but boosts shot damage.
  • There's No Kill Like Overkill: Using Skills on mooks is much more than a One-Hit Kill, but this time around, the game actually rewards you for it: using a Skill to kill an enemy rewards +100 Kudos as a "Skill Finisher" bonus.
  • Tiger Versus Dragon: One of the main themes and the absolute definition of Gunvolt and Copen's relationship, with Gunvolt as the "Azure Dragon" and Copen as the "White Tiger". Especially how Gunvolt is not just an Adept but also a particularly strong one (symbolizes the "heavenly dragon") while Copen is the Muggle with a seething hatred against Adepts (the "earthly tiger"). This is frequently referenced in the loading screens.
  • Took a Level in Badass:
    • Shovel Knight as a boss, who is somehow now capable of performing earth-quaking Ground Pounds and digging up huge rocks that are on fire.
    • The Sumeragi Swordsmen in the DLC have received numerous upgrades to make them more difficult, such as Carerra adding Greed Snatcher bullets to certain moves. All of their Limit Breaks have also been modified.
  • Underground Monkey: It's quite clear that several of Eden's mooks are analogues to Sumeragi's mooks, but with a new sprite and one or two new tricks. For example, Eden has a laser shooting mook that's identical in function to Sumeragi's, but can also melee at close range and disappear. Eden also has a flamethrower bot, but unlike Sumeragi's flamethrower mook, this one can aim at you.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: The Final Boss in Gunvolt's route requires you to sing.
  • Unique Enemy: Asroc's stage has a number of mooks from the first game, as it takes place in an old abandoned factory.
    • Copen's Special Stage 1 is Gunvolt's prologue stage but with the enemy layouts changed, with several enemies from the first game making an appearance that otherwise don't appear in the sequel at all.
  • Updated Re-release: The Striker Pack served as one to the original Gunvolt by including the Japanese Voice Mode from the Steam version which re-localized the game and brought back the previously cut in-game dialogue and voice-overs from the Japanese version. The digital version of the original Gunvolt was eventually updated with a patch to include the Japanese Voice Mode as well. A version of the Striker Pack was also made for the Nintendo Switch, which brings these games in full HD at 60 FPS, revising the menus and HUD for a single screen, multiple language support, rebalances and adjusted the game's difficulty, bundling all of the DLCs from the sequel in one package, adds a new song for Lumen, and incorporates the Kudos difficulty system form Azure Striker Gunvolt 2 into its predecessor.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: At the very start of the game, the door opens at the same time the player gains control. If you so desire, you can simply hop over the enemies and walk out of the room. Doing so nets you a +111 Kudos Secret bonus. Unfortunately, this is less than scoring a Triple, so sparing them is actually less efficient than killing them all at once.
  • Villains Out Shopping: A lot of official art shows the Seven having fun together, sometimes with the main characters.
  • Warm-Up Boss: The first fight with Tenjian. He has very little health and only three attacks. It's possible to kill him in 6 to 8 seconds if you play your cards right.note  This is justified by him utilizing a copy Glaive, instead of a Grimoire as he does later on.
  • Whole Plot Reference: Again, being a Mega Man Zero's Spiritual Successor. Continuing from the first game:
    • Gunvolt's new female companion, Quinn, is partly a Ciel Expy in that she shelters Gunvolt in her home and that she's able to see Joule (like how Ciel can see Cyber-elves despite being human).
    • Eden's assault on Sumeragi is what happens when Elpizo's Operation Righteous Strike (assault on Neo Arcadia after its "leader's" death) actually succeeds. This is important because its leader, Zonda, is revealed to be another Elpizo figure (and being Asimov's almost Distaff Counterpart), complete with a similar goal: so their race can reign supreme and to Kill All Humans.
    • The final boss forcefully merges with Joule to gain a gigantic fairy-like form, complete with floating hair, a nod to Elpizo's One-Winged Angel form after fusing with the Dark Elf.
    • The final boss' Eden's Presence skill (where she summons the images of members of the Seven to attack the player character) is a reference to Dr. Weil's Enemy Inferno Neo attack.
  • Wrap Around: The Virtuality stage, due to being in cyberspace, involves wrapping edges that cause Gunvolt to warp. When he falls off the bottom, he appears on the top, and when he walks off the right side, he appears on the left, and vice versa.

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