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Video Game / Battle Engine Aquila

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Try not to step on your own troops.

Battle Engine Aquila is a game based where two armies fight over what land is left after the end of the world has caused the sea levels to rise and destroy almost all livable land. It was launched in January 2003 for PS2 and Xbox, with the PC version following in October 2003. The PC version was rereleased on Steam and in September 2020.

You play Hawk Winter, a hotshot Dockworker & hovercraft racer who has a friend involved in the Aquila project and recruits him as its pilot. You can pilot 5 different Battle Engine variants, vehicles that can transform between walker mode and jet mode.

This game contains examples of:

  • Ace Pilot: Hawk Winter, protagonist of the game, and Lewis Carver.
  • Adjective Noun Fred: The name of the game.
  • After the End: A worldwide flood has left only a few tiny islands habitable.
  • Battleship Raid: The penultimate encounter.
  • The Battlestar: Both "Fenrir" and "Venturer" qualify. The former is even armed with Ion Beam Cannon, that generates powerful explosion on hit.
  • Big Good: Colonel Chuck Kramer, head of the Battle Engine project and the voice of grumpy reason throughout the game.
  • Breath Weapon: Gill-M possesses some sort of corrosive breath, which is capable of dealing quite a lot of damage.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Forseti units are Blue and White, Muspell forces are Red and Black.
  • Concept Art Gallery: The better you do in a level, the more concept art you can view.
  • Deflector Shields: Available in walker mode but not jet mode.
  • The Empire: Muspell, who are the primary antagonists of the game.
  • Energy Weapon: Several of the 10 possible weapons are energy based.
  • Encyclopedia Exposita: Every unit and character in the game, from the giant artillery platform to those civilian trucks that make a cameo in one level, have their own page of specs and history.
  • Flooded Future World: The game takes place after rising sea levels submerge almost all livable land, leaving only thirteen islands that the survivors war with each other over.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: A gigantic mutant sea creature, called Gill-M, randomly appears in one level and obliterates all the enemy forces on the island. Then you have to drive it away from friendly forces. In an article about it, it is implied that it was a result of Muspell's doings, but that's about it.
  • Global Warming: Rising sea levels has left land a scarce commodity.
  • Humongous Mecha: The titular Battle Engine isn't the biggest unit in the game, but it towers over convoys of tanks and most other walkers easily.
  • Improvised Platform: Levels that take place at sea will require you to land on ships to recharge. They even tell you, "Be prepared to land anywhere." Taking that to the level of direct offense, one way to take out enemy landers is to land on top of them and shoot them point-blank with your cannon.
  • Invisibility Cloak: The Sniper has reduced weaponry but can turn invisible.
  • Limit Break: After Battle Engine's shields receive some amount of damage, the main weapon of Battle Engine becomes "augmented" and capable of a single powerful charged-only shot, after which it reverts to normal, when it can be turned "augmented" again. Pulse Cannon's augmented shot is a giant version of the normal pulse blast, capable of dealing huge damage over a big area, Beam Laser fires several highly-damaging quick-travelling energy bursts, which can be locked on one or several targets and Railgun fires several powerful shots in quick succession without using additional ammo.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: The micro missiles and, to a lesser extent, flux missiles, are spat out in impressive volleys.
  • Million Mook March: The opening cutscene shows a military rally on Muspell that features this trope and an early display of the Big Bad.
  • Mook Maker: Factories and landing craft churn out a steady supply of reinforcements. Interestingly, your own Redshirt Army has them in some missions.
  • Mutants: There are Gillams, peaceful and even somewhat cowardly crustacean-like sea creatures, and then there's Gill-M, giant and highly agressive mutated specimen, capable of easily sinking supersubmarine in one hit of its giant claws and ravaging the whole Muspell-controlled island. It is resilient enough that all you can do to it is drive it back to the sea with your weaponry.
  • Overheating: All of your energy weapons do this.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: Most Muspell units have this color scheme, setting themselves apart handily from the Blue and White Forseti.
  • Redshirt Army: The Forsetti military will generally lose against Muspell forces by themselves, but intervention from the Aquilia can unbalance the fight enough so they can take care of the rest themselves.
  • Story Branching: Some missions have alternate ways of ending. This leads into a split that will go on for one or two missions before the storylines converge. One branching arc concerns an enemy super-submarine. Off to the side of the enemy base is a launch pad with a rocket on it that launches during the battle. If you let it go, the rocket will release a Kill Sat that destroys a nearby base. If you're fast enough to stop the launch, however, the Submarine will immediately shove off and attack a Forsetti city.
  • Super Drowning Skills: The Aquila is destroyed if it enters water. In a world where the vast majority of the world is covered in it.
  • Super Prototype: Several. Including the titular Battle Engine.
  • Super-Soldier: Muspell elite troops. In articles about them, it is stated, that they undergo some sort of genetic therapies to achieve maximal combat effectiveness.
  • Spider Tank: Several Muspell tanks as well as the Battle Engines in walker mode.
  • Transforming Mecha: the Battle Engines can transform between walker and flight modes.
  • The War Sequence: Some of the battles are absolutely massive.
  • Wingman: You get a choice of three of'em. One's good at taking out ground targets, one's good at taking out enemy fighters, and one's in between.
  • Wave-Motion Gun: Several of bosses have some versions of this. The most notable one is Ion Beam Cannon, mounted on the "Fenrir", which creates powerful explosion at the point of impact.
  • Weaponized Exhaust: You can use soft-landing engines of the Aquila to torch enemy (or friendly) infantry.