Follow TV Tropes


Video Game / Custom Robo

Go To
Small, powerful robots have become the number one tool of criminals around this world.

Custom Robo is an action/third-person shooter/RPG/mecha video games series created by Noise and published by Nintendo. You're in a 20 Minutes into the Future game, with the biggest difference between us and them is that they have super advanced robots that fight each other. Sounds cool? Taking the Humongous Mecha premise and kicking it squarely in the chin, these robots are between eight and ten inches in height. They fight in Holosseums, which are areas designed specifically for this type of combat. They're controlled via "diving" into the robo, where the operator psychically becomes one with their robo. With about 200 different parts, including around 30 different robos, 5 customizable areas (Robo, gun, bomb, pod, legs), and a lot of options for each area, the series intends to live up to the word custom.


The best-known game to North American players is the GameCube release, since the earlier three didn't make it out of Japan. The plot of the most popular game involves a talkative protagonist, a smart-aleck womanizer, and a girl who can see the last memories of a robo commander. Everyone uses robos, including the police, criminals, and you. Notable in that they actually explain why the hell nobody ever carries a gun (Robos are actually quite effective weapons even with safeties on), why Custom Robos are so popular, why you never get to pick which stage you fight on (A person can or can not "make" a stage as a genetic ability, the hero is among the ones that can't), and why you never seem to get paid (your boss is an extreme penny pincher, and everything you get goes to living expenses).

In May 2020, Kenkou Kouji, the original creator of the series released Spiritual Successor, Synaptic Drive.


Provides Examples Of:

  • Ace Custom: In case the title did not clue you in, this is pretty much the entire point of the game. Customize your robot, become an Ace by shooting down other people's.
  • Action Prologue: Arena starts off by having the player fighting the Jameson using a customized Ray Mk III, but it's All Just a Dream.
  • Aerith and Bob: The Supernovas, Bayside Academy's robo team. Lost in Translation in the English port, where they all have very common names beneath their pseudonyms, the Japanese version has Lenny (Lunax), Hugh (Terrax/Galax) and Jinpachi (Solax).
    • Greybaum's illegal robos are also an example: Snipe, Freya, Violent Boar, Katana, Hadron and Jameson.
  • All in a Row: Several times in both Arena and Battle Revolution. Some games in the series don't let you walk through your followers either.
    • Exaggerated in the Gamecube game, late in the story, where up to six people follow the protagonist, all in a line.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Both Harry and his sister Mira in Battle Revolution.
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: Originally, the games had robos that looked like cute chibi anime characters in colourful costumes. For instance, the Shining Fighters looked like shonen heroes, the Aerial Beauties were essentially magical girls and the Sassy/Sexy Stunners were basically vixens in leotards that possessed large breasts and very visible thighs. The soundtrack was light-hearted, and even the sound effects were cartoony and humourous. However, starting with Battle Revolution - the first game to reach western shores - the games have received a visual makeover; all of the robos suddenly had complex armour, faceguards, shades and goggles, and the more human-like ones only have visible skin on their faces. Battle Revolution is overtly hi-tech in appearance (but notably also the last game chronologically and set long after the others), while Arena is more of a happy marriage of the two styles, with an over-the-top rockified soundtrack. Of course, the GCN game is the only one that could display such a graphical style in the first place.
  • Ancient Conspiracy: The Gamecube game reveals that the entire world is in a dome, because Rahu destroyed the rest. It was originally an unstoppable, intangible force until it tried controlling a Robo and got stuck inside of it, which is why everyone uses Custom Robos. It's so the government can find and train people like the hero, in case Rahu wakes up.
  • Anime Hair: So much in the Japanese-only games, particularly in the cases of the Shining Fighter and Lightning Sky classes, and plenty of the human characters.
  • Artificial Stupidity: Usually your allies and enemies are surprisingly competent, but don't be surprised to see them not understand how area-of-effect explosions and certain spread attacks work. Plus if a target is simply too aggressive and mobile, they can end up incapable of reacting efficiently - just see Harry and Marcia versus Rahu.
  • Art Shift: A drastic one. See American Kirby Is Hardcore above.
  • Awesome McCoolname: The criminal commanders of Arena, particularly the members of Greybaum, have some pretty sweet ones (Spoilers ahead, as the character database is only unlocked once you've won the Great Robo Cup):
    • Scythe's real name is Morgan Graveman
    • Kindjal's first name Ignia
    • Sling's real name is Rann Nexes
    • Cleaver, which is admittedly pretty sweet in itself, is actually called Ogre Bullock (in Japan, "The Bull" Ogre
    • Coyote's gang has names like Clubba, Mr. Masher and Coyote himself (Dingo in Japan).
    • Hunter Fraser (Sean Fraser in Japan)
    • Eddy/Liv Trainer, Viktor Stark and Dr. Roland Mars may also count.
    • Bull, Solax, Terrax/Galax and Lunax are actually all subversions; their real names are, in order: Vern Angus, Lenny Milford, Hugh Lloyd and Jim Tarver
      • Certain classes of robo models have also some decidely awesome names. The Lightning Sky modelsnote  - a plain awesome name by itelf - are named after missiles - Mistral, Hurricane, Tempest (Arena); Stingray, Patriot, Phoenix, Hellfire (GX).
      • The Strike Vanisher modelsnote , the stealth models, are named after bladed weapons - Pike, Javelin, Glaive/Bulova, Katana/Nagamitsu (Arena); Falchion, Kunai, Claymore, Excalibur (GX).
      • The Metal Grappler modelsnote , the brutes of the series, have names like Rock Hound, Metal Ape, Crazy Baboon, Violent Boar (Arena); Iron Leo, Tiger Glare, Metal Bear and Death Metal Bear,note  Bigfoot, Devil Rex (GX).
  • Back Pack Cannon: Custom Robo Arena has one called the buster pod.
  • Backup Twin: Isabella to Eliza in Battle Revolution
    • Also doubles as Tag Team Twins.
    • Yaiba and Tsurugi in V2, when they merge their Lance and Spear to create the illegal Bayonette, which they then dual-dive into to battle the player.
  • The Battle Didn't Count: Used pretty frequently by villains. After being beaten, they just go on their merry way claiming that they were just toying with you without actually trying to prove it.
    • Used in a meta sense in Battle Revolution. If you lose a fight in the story mode, you see a brief scene of your character losing. Then the game rewinds to just before the fight started so you can try again.
  • Beam Spam: Jirou from Custom Robo, V2 and GX. His signature tactic is to constantly spam homing beams with the aptly-named Rayfall Gun. And since he uses a Metal Grappler model, the Metal Bear, he takes less time to reload.
    • The Crystal Strike Gun in the Gamecube game. It can kill the opposition in about 10 seconds with an unending stream of giant homing beams. 20, if they have a robo that can teleport around.
  • Beast Man: The Burning Beast models. Same humanoid base as all other models, and somewhere between Wild Soldiers and Metal Grapplers in terms of height and bulk, but each one is essentially an anthropomorphic beast, usually a predator. They also move on all fours in a feral fashion, and for some reason, they can stealth-dash.
  • Big Damn Heroes: The Supernovas at Neo Brain's Encephalon Island facility. almost the entire cast at the climax.
  • Bittersweet Ending: In Battle Revolution, Rahu is stopped, but the world is still near-entirely ravaged from the past. The post-game Grand Battle plot does bring up that the outside world is being explored again, and perhaps it might be able to be restored in due time, but that will be a long road to recovery.
  • Bling of War: From GX and Arena, the A.I.R.S. robo, which has been drastically enhanced for military use, and is also gold-plated from head to toe.
    • Also from Arena, the aptly-named Carat robo. Also military-grade, but extremely gaudy and diamond-encrusted. Something of a subversion though, as it is a Rich Bitch's custom design for her own personal use (see Screw the Rules, I Have Money! below).
  • Boobs of Steel: The Sassy Stunnernote  robo class, both figuratively and literally.
  • Boring, but Practical: The 3-Way Gun in the Gamecube release. Mild damage and one of the earliest guns in the game. But with solid homing and the sheer amount of projectiles just falling short of a Macross Missile Massacre , The gun can be depended upon for most of the game. Plus if used at point blank range, all the projectiles can be made to hit, doing massive damage to just about everything.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: Getting a high win streak with the Chick in Arena's online mode earns you the title of "The Peerless Master"
  • Bubble Gun: Named that, in fact. Of course, every gun is named "Insert Something Here" Gun.
    • The exception is Custom Robo GX for the GBA, where nearly every gun is uniquely named; for instance, Bubble Smasher, Glider Wing, Gatling Cannon, to name a few.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Dr. Mars/Scythe, on killing Liv/Eddy's father in Arena
  • But Thou Must!: Strategy speeches before battles all end with an option for "Got It," "Don't Got it," and a third, usually humorous, situation-specific option. Picking anything but "Got It" makes the speaker repeat himself or herself. Granted, the point was to get the speaker to repeat the strategic advice, but there's no reason that options like "Ha ha! They called you a jerk!" or "SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP!" should make Harry repeat himself. Also subverted at one point in Battle Revolution - by saying "no" enough times, you won't have to follow Harry into the enemy-filled bathroom.
    • You can also use this on Harry's sister to give her your watch, thus forcing you to backtrack all the way back to Harry's house to get it back, thus interrupting the big long explanation of what Rahu is. It takes about 20 or so tries to get her to take the watch, and she starts finding it creepy that you're so anxious to give it away.
    • You can also keep refusing to go with the group to save the world, until Harry runs out of ideas to convince you to go with him, which ends in a Game Over, as the other heroes aren't strong enough to win without you and your watch. Before this point, he'll even say "If you won't do it for me, then how about doing it for Marcia?"
  • Canon Foreigner: Vanessa Gregar was the main focus of a short comic series available in three issues of Nintendo Power and was a prominent villain in the series, notable for her ability to hijack any robo at will from any distance to any arena she chooses. Then it would reveal she was one of the last remnants of a government conspiracy regarding experiments done to get the ultimate robo commander and so her records were changed to make her a criminal. The series ends on a cliffhanger and the series never picks up afterward, let alone make any mention of this.
  • Casanova Wannabe: Harry in Battle Revolution, full stop.
  • Cephalothorax: As seen above, there is a whole line of robos like that actually.
  • Character Customization: It's right in the title. You can continuously customize your robot, to get a full perspective on all compatible parts as they become available, to be optimally ready for any encounter, or just to abate repetition.
  • Chekhov's Gun: After managing to break up a Two-Timer Date incident, Harry rushes out to get to his own date. He drops the slip of paper with her number and the camera zooms in on it, implying that it would become important later on. That's because the immediate next mission involved breaking up your next door neighbors who were having an immense fight because the wife thought that her husband was cheating on her due to finding a phone number in his jacket, the same phone number Harry got.
  • Contemplate Our Navels: The gargantuan Infodump near the end of the Gamecube game. It's so long that the game offers two different save points in the middle of it just so that you can take a break and not have to sit through all of it again.
  • Continuity Nod: Most of the previously recurring characters are absent from the titles that reached western shores, but Fukashi (Marv) has appeared in every game to date. Also notable is Cattleya (Angelica), who turns up in Arena.
    • Also in Arena, the school computers' database mentions a "Mason", who had previously won the Great Robo Cup three consecutive times - in Japan, the name given is "Mamoru", a major supporting character from the first three games.
    • Dual Diving is mentioned briefly in Arena, which appeared in V2.
    • Hadron of Arena shows abilities disturbingly similar to Rahu from Battle Revolution, though have dissimilar origins.
  • Conviction by Counterfactual Clue: Zig-zagged in the case of Battle Revolution. Questions asked by the chief of police near the end of the game involve answers about the world and it's composition. The correct answer is generally the opposite of what the player would choose without a second thought, though at the same time that wrong answer used to be correct.
  • Cool Big Sis: Tamara (Arena; also a Hot Scientist)
  • Cool Shades: The Ray Sky had them first (in GX), but since the franchise started being marketed to the west, most of the robos have gained either these or faceguards - presumably because American robots are hardcore.
    • Ryuujin of Nikaidou's Four Heavenly Kings wears a pair of shades when he's masquerading as Ryo at legal tournaments.
    • Eiji, the commander of the A.I.R.S in GX, sports a pair of blue aviators identical to the ones on his robo.
  • Crazy-Prepared: In Arena Liv simply carries around a program to disable the safety lock on a Custom Robo and allow it to fight outside a Holosseum. Keep in mind such a program is illegal in the setting.note 
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Solax in Arena. Until the tournament at the Robocenter, he comes off as being very lazy, only fighting when Lunax forces him to. When you get to the tournament, he starts taking things seriously and actually makes it to the final round.
  • Darker and Edgier: Battle Revolution throws the protagonist against an evil organization doing crimes and stealing what they want, which isn't exactly abnormal for this kind of series besides how violent certain members are. Then Rahu is introduced, and it turns out that not only does it actually murder someone, it ended the world outside of the dome ages ago.
  • Darth Vader Clone: Sergei. He is one of the major heads of the Z-syndicate, The Dragon to Oboro, and the older brother of Marcia. He also wears a face mask that obscures all of his face save for his right eye. Likewise, he ends up defecting to the Heroes side due to his love for his sister (although he implies upon defecting that he wasn't exactly loyal to Oboro to begin with, either).
  • Dead All Along: Dr. Mars in Arena, with Scythe impersonating him.
  • Deadpan Snarker + Only Sane Man: The GCN Hero, turned up a notch in "The Grand Battle".
  • Death from Above: Given the aerial nature of the robos and the firepower they possess, there is plenty of this, but special mention must made of the Lightning Sky models, as their 'Sky Dash' renders them the only ones capable of repeatedly raining bullets and bombs on their opponents while simultaneously soaring through the air, which is emphasised significantly by the fact that they assume the forms of fighter jets for this feat.
    • Also, equipping an Aerial Beauty model with the High Jump boots allows one to often rain down death from above simply by jumping out of the range of most short to mid-ranged weapons and firing. Especially true with the gatling gun and others that fire multiple rounds at once.
    • The Rayfall Gun, Sword Storm, and Crystal Strike Laser also like to do this. Though, the Crystal Strike Laser can turn into Death From Below, if you use it to juggle an enemy to death.
  • Deconstruction: Most of the franchise follows a mostly light-hearted Shonen style what with standard competitions, tournaments and occasional dirty play among kids and teens with criminals causing trouble, usually only getting tense later in the stories. Battle Revolution dissects this formula thoroughly with a generally older cast than the rest of the series with mostly young to older adults, a far more serious tone with our main heroes being bounty hunters fighting a criminal syndicate that genuinely threatens people's lives, becoming the very best is mostly just getting more efficient at your job and the traditional idea of it kept for the post-game, and comes up with a justification for why just about everyone in the entire city uses the Robos beyond just being a common hobby: it's a secret government-directed effort to prepare counter-measures and have the populace trained for if Rahu was ever unsealed again.
    • The game also brings up a point only loosely mentioned throughout the series up to that point, in that Robos can be used outside of Holosseums but it's illegal and can potentially get people seriously injured. The main antagonist of Battle Revolution is a human-sized Robo controlled by an Eldritch Abomination, and even if it doesn't have its full world destroying power, it murders a man by attacking outside of a Holosseum with the implication that even if it fights in one, it has no limiters to prevent lethality from being dealt to Commanders.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Bull (Arena)
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Marcia.
  • Devil in Plain Sight: Why yes. I'll gladly choose the cackling, flamboyantly-dressed man named Evil for my bounty hunting needs.
  • Doomed by Canon: If you take Battle Revolution as a canon tail end of the timeline, nearly the entirety of the world that we've seen in every other game.
  • Double Jump: Every class of robo has a double jump or some command in place of them that works just as well.
  • Dual Boss: Averted in Battle Revolution where the protagonist and Marcia fight Sergei and Oboro, when suddenly Sergei picks this moment to turn on Oboro, making it a 3-on-1 fight. Played straight when the protagonist and Harry fight Eliza and Isabella.
  • Dub Name Change: The English versions of the games give the characters generic Western names (Saki and Touru, for instance, became Liv and Dennis). This does not impact the plot in any large way, as the games that were released outside of Japan are not heavily connected to the previous games (which had much stronger continuity), though still part of the series as a whole.
    • The only recurring characters in Arena to suffer from this are Cattleya (Angelica) and Fukashi (Marv), who featured prominently in the first three games; Fukashi even had a Big Damn Heroes moment in GX.
    • Fukashi's signature robo, Dodecane, also suffers, renamed Gigantron. This is more noteworthy, as this breaks from the Hydrocarbon theme of the Big Boy/Fatty Vice models (Butane, Propane etc.)
    • Mamoru was renamed 'Mason' in Arena. Though only a passing reference is made to him and his previous victories in the Great Robo Cup, the meaning in his namenote  is lost, as he not only was a guardian and ally of the previous protagonists, but later became a police officer in GX, which in the world of Custom Robo is apparently kind of a big deal.
  • Duels Decide Everything: School kids will battle with robos in between classes, criminals will attack you with robos, there are fancy parties which involve robo duels even.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The only game you couldn't change your Body Part was in the very first title. As soon as V2, you can ditch the Ray and radically change your playstyle thanks to the different bodies having significant shifts in abilities and Special Attacks. This stuck for the rest of the series. The first game also noticeably had very humanoid Robo models, looking more like people in armor, whereas follow-ups make the Robos distinctly more, well, robotic.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Rahu fits this in spades. A mysterious being of unknown origin who just appeared out of nowhere one day? Check. Intimidating and emotionless? Check. Being responsible fo destroying most of the world and only acting on the principle of destruction and evolution? Big check! And this was before it merged with a robo! Eventually it was sealed away and the remaining humans eventually forgot about both it and the world outside the dome.
  • Emotionless Girl: Marcia keeps her distance from people and strong emotions. This is because strong emotions overwhelm her.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Evil of Battle Revolution, during a tag-team tournament, when your partner is in the middle of a Heroic BSoD, he tells his partner to stop fighting (making the match a 1 on 1) claiming he doesn't like fighting 2 on 1. Played for Hypocritical Humor as a Brick Joke in "The Grand Battle" epilogue, where he is your partner for the 2 on 1 tournament.
    • It makes sense that he'd do that for show during the main story mode, since at that point, he's still supposed to be the hero that everyone likes. He's not outed as a badguy, yet. He's just a jerk that runs a rival group of bounty hunters that everyone likes better than the Steal Hearts.
  • Evil vs. Evil: Oboros and Eliza can't stand the other's leadership, and there's infighting over leadership of Z.
  • Fake Ultimate Mook: Eliza's Fabulous Fighting Four. They're really just four generic mooks who made up a name hoping to scare the heroes away. This backfired, as the heroes went into the battle with gusto.
  • Fearful Symmetry: VariationEliza and Isabella are left-handed and right-handed respectively. Their robos reflect this: They use the same bodies, legs, and pods, but Eliza has an upgraded Left Arc gun and Left Wave bomb, while Isabella has an upgraded Right Arc gun and Right Wave bomb.
  • Flash Step: The Strike Vanishers and (bizarrely) Burning Beasts can perform a 'Stealth Dash', which differs from the standard Air Dash in that they briefly become invisible and immune to gunfire,note  effectively behaving like short-range teleporting, allowing for dazzling, flashy air maneuvers that can confuse opponents.
  • Fragile Speedster: The Little Sprinters and Little Raiders; they are the smallest classes of robo which also boast the highest speed in the game, but have pitifully low defense and endurance - a single hit from any weapon will knock it down.
    • Ray Legend, a secret Robo in Battle Revolution based off of the original Ray model, also counts. Sporting more power than even Rahu III but less defense than your average Little Raider, Ray Legend makes up for this lack of bulk by packing a whopping SIX air dashes with which to completely dance around attacks.
  • Full Potential Upgrade: Why the Ray mk II needed to be replaced with the Ray mk III. Stark, as well, needs a specially made military Robo.
  • Fun with Acronyms: The A.I.R.S. robo from GX and Arena, which is an Army-Issue Ray Sky model.
    • It's actually Anti Insurgent Ray Sky(er).
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Illegal Parts. They're supposed to put a mental strain on not only those using them, but also their opponents. And in all battles involving the parts, you get no negative effects except a penalty to your score (And scores only pop up in the post-game). In Arena in that it's heavily suggested that your character is more than able to withstand the mental strain, though this doesn't explain the random opponents.
  • Genre-Busting: You'll see these games listed as third person shooters, fighting games, action adventure games or CRPGs depending on where you look.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: In Arena, your first experience with a Jameson is in a dream sequence at the start, but it's merely a glorified, and very powerful, pair of gatekeepers in the end-game.
  • Glass Cannon: The A.I.R.S. in Arena. It augments the damage output of any weapon to ludicrous levels, has extremely good control and aerial mobility, and can air dash twice;note  however, it takes high damage due to its low defense and gets knocked down quickly due to its low endurance.
    • Battle Revolution brings us Ray Legend, an obsolete version of Ray (based off the Ray model from the original game, no less! That, true to its outdated nature, is the frailest robo in the game. It's also the hardest-hitting robo in the game, and makes up for its poor defenses by possessing six air dashesnote  with which to approach, escape, and dodge with incredible ease.
  • Gotta Catch 'Em All: The robo parts.
  • Guide Dang It!: Induced by the language barrier resulting from being Japan-exclusive. While these games are typically very easy to complete without speaking a word of Japanese, GX has a point in the latter third of the game where a password must be used move forward, halting any player that cannot read Japanese.
    • The solution is fairly obvious to Japanese players, as the password is used to obtain the robo. The password, as it turns out, is Ray Skyer (レイスカイヤー reisukaiyaa - Ray Sky's Japanese name).
  • Healing Hands: Liv (Arena).
  • Heroic BSoD: Marcia underwent this when stumbling upon the masked person, being exceptionally reluctant to fight, and especially mumbling about her missing older brother before Harry shouted at her to snap out of it (in a very coarse manner, as well). Turns out there was an extremely good reason why she was undergoing a Heroic BSoD during that time, as the masked man working for Oboro was in fact her brother, Sergei.
  • Heroic Mime: Your character in most of the games, as per usual for the genre.
    • Averted for the Gamecube one, though. The protagonist is quite talkative.
  • Hidden Depths: Your hard-assed, tough-as-nails-looking boss in Battle Revolution turns out to have an affinity for poetry. He beats a hasty retreat when the others find out and Harry tries to bring it up.
  • Hot Scientist: Linda in Battle Revolution.
    • You also have to admit, Kindjal is pretty good looking. And arguably, so is Dr. Mars AKA Morgan Graveman. And Tamara, can't forget Tamara.
  • Hour of Power: Soulboost.
  • Humongous Mecha: Inverted, they are not even big enough to be considered Mini-Mecha.
  • Hypocritical Humor: The character profiles in Arena say that Spy Catsuit wearing Billy dislikes people who wear pants that are too tight.
  • Inevitable Tournament: A lot of this.
    • GX takes it far higher than eleven, as mandatory tournaments comprise the entire game, excepting only a small portion at the end where you storm the Nikaidou Group's headquarters to take out the Big Bad and his elite henchmen. Then you get to the postgame, which is composed of - you guessed it - more tournaments.
    • Taken Up to Eleven on the Gamecube game. There's around 5 of these in the main story and the Battle Royale epilogue is literally nothing more than back-to-back tournaments.
  • Informed Attribute: Battle Revolution has the concept of Custom Robo licenses, where only people who pass an exam are allowed to pilot a robo legally. The police force in this game are made up of people who have managed to pass the highest exam, Rank A, making them best of the best. Yet despite that the police appear horribly incompetent and can't even seem to foil simple robberies on their own.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: The Shining Fighter class of robos, with the most balanced stats and the most basic but adaptable abilites. Particular mention goes to the Ray series; at the beginning of each game, your character receives a Ray model with perfectly balanced stats.
  • Joke Character: The Oil Can in Battle Revolution and the Chick in Arena; they're worse in every way than the default.
    • Oil Can parts are downgraded, and the Oil Can legs are the polar opposite of the Ultimate Legs, lowering all of your abilities.
  • Justified Tutorial: Usually done by making your character new to controlling robos.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Arena has an illegal Strike Vanisher called Katana,note  so it sort of fits...
    • Not to mention it uses a sword-shaped gun, which it makes a habit of stabbing people with in cutscenes and fires massive energy blasts (sword beams?) during battles.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Often when the criminal organizations get involved within the storylines, but Battle Revolution takes this an extra step forwards with Rahu, an Outside-Context Problem of an invisible murderous entity that destroyed almost all of the world until it got sealed inside a Robo by accident. And it's intent on finishing the job.
  • Lampshade Hanging: A nameless NPC (Boy) in the second tournament in Battle Revolution says this:
    Nameless characters like us don't really stand out. That's why we're hanging out by the walls.
    • And another, identical boy NPC next to him says this:
    I'm just a minor character...I don't even rate having a name. I'm just here to balance out the numbers.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: The reason people don't remember that Rahu destroyed the Earth in Battle Revolution is because of a memory-erasing watch. The ultimate fate of the villains in the same game was to wipe their memories and make them actors.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Restricted to Japan, but the music video for Identity -prologue- (a vocal song only in the Japanese version) makes the huge twist for the GCN game it's After the End clear.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Rahu gets bigger and bigger over the course of the game, but never seems to slow down as a consequence.
  • Like Reality Unless Noted: Double-subverted in Battle Revolution. When asked if the world is round or flat, saying that the world is round gets you chastised by your friends. Apparently, the world being flat is grade-school knowledge. Soon enough, you find out that you've been living in a domed city and your "flat world" was actually the last habitable area of a ruined round planet.
  • Lost in Translation: The "FKS" on Marv's hat is actually an abbreviation of his Japanese name, "Fukashi".
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: In Battle Revolution, the Z-Syndicate's late leader was the protagonist's father. Of course, this was before the Z-Syndicate was an evil organization.
    • Although not Marcia's father, Sergei qualifies as well, seeing how he's her older brother, the one who went missing for quite some time, and was serving the Z-Syndicate.
  • Make Games, Not War: The titular Robo Battles supplant the need of actual weapons, which is especially noted in the Nintendo GameCube version. This initially seems incredibly strange and quite silly until it is revealed that the only reason that they managed to beat Rahu, the being who almost demolished humanity, was to trap it in a a child's toy (a robo). Following this, the robos were used as a means to train people to defend themselves from such an end, even if they were the cataclysm was then wiped from memory.
  • Mercy Invincibility: For a brief period after recovering from Knockdown.
    • Some weapons and Robo set-ups can completely make this a moot point. The Crystal Strike Laser is capable of knocking the enemy so far into the air that their invincibility has worn off before they hit the ground, allowing them to be knocked even further into the air.
  • Mighty Glacier: The slow but strong Metal Grapplers, but the blue ribbon goes to the Jameson. Originally a boss in V2, in Arena it is incredibly slow, but absurdly powerful.
  • Mood Whiplash: The GCN game is all around hilarious, never pretending the player is taking the story seriously then comes The Reveal of how the world has met a Planetary Class 4 Apocalypse via an invisible world-killer inhabiting an organic robo.
  • Morning Routine: The Battle Revolution Protagonist only needs three seconds to get ready for work, assuming he is on his routine. Throw him off though and...
  • Mundane Utility: They started out mundane, Robos were invented to be a new kind of children's toy. Then they proved to be useful in construction, exploration, and areas of research. Then someone put a gun on one.
  • My Rules Are Not Your Rules: The entire point of Illegal Parts, which allows Robos to circumvent the usual balance limitations to do obscene things and be ridiculously overpowered in a competent Commander's hands. Usually you'll see them in the hands of petty competitors and criminals intentionally cheating to get a leg up on you, but occasionally even allies and the police use them, and they almost always create a Difficulty Spike whenever they show up. In an unusual twist, you can unlock and use them depending on the game as well, albeit with penalties in post-game tournaments.
    • Notably, Rahu in Battle Revolution isn't just entirely composed of Illegal Parts, but they get stronger with the story's progression. This is a boss who flagrantly cheats almost all of the game mechanics and can K.O. you within seconds if you're not careful, and all of this overpowered cheapness is entirely in-universe as a reason why everyone dreads battling it.
  • Mythology Gag: In Arena Liv, concerned the group's actions may get them in trouble, thinks of creating a program to erase the witnesses memories (memory erasing programs are a key part of the plot for the GCN Battle Revolution title). Looking closely at Liv's shirt during a cutscene that occurs during said actions will have the light form the Z-Syndicate's logo between her breasts.
    • Given the strong continuity in all of the other games, one could also consider this to be a Continuity Nod.
  • My Girl Is a Slut: Eddy (jokingly?) suggests both the PC and Dennis are his sister's boyfriends, then compliments her on it.
  • Naïve Newcomer: The protagonist of Battle Revolution seems to have next to no idea about Robos and is oblivious to much of basically anything in the dome with the implication that he's mostly stayed at home while his absent father paid the rent.
  • Naked People Are Funny: In the Gamecube game, whilst Storming the Castle, you run into a mook who had just taken a shower and came out in just his boxers. The Grand Battle tournament in that area consists almost solely of nearly-naked mooks, and one pops up in the Grand Battle tournament held in the restroom.
    • Lampshaded by the hero jokingly asking the guy running the fight if he's going to take off his clothes for the match, too.
  • Nebulous Evil Organisation: Always with the aim of conquering the world with their newly-created "ultimate robo"; the Nikaido Group with Dark Chimera; the Greybaum Syndicate with Hadron.
  • Nerf: Starting in Custom Robo Arena, with two examples brought up here.
    • The Dragon Gun was deprived of the awesome accuracy it had in Battle Revolution.
    • Strike Vanisher robos. The "legal" robos' default max stealth dashes being changed from three to two and Katana (the game's illegal Strike Vanisher) has a default max of three compared to Bayonette (V2) and Rakansen (GC/Battle Revolution) with a whopping max of five.
  • Nintendo Hard: Subverted, in that the games get easier the worse you do.
  • Obviously Evil: Evil. Purple hair, hook nose, Jerkass attitude, and oh... his name.
    • Subverted, because Evil's not actually evil at all... Just a jerk, and a very minor antagonist.
    • Also, the Z-Syndicate bosses after the schism: Oboro, Eliza, and Isabella are very obviously evil by their personalities (and in at least Oboro's case, appearance). This would be perfectly normal, given that they are the heads of factions of an evil organization, but becomes questionable when we learn that the original Z-Syndicate boss didn't intend for the Z-Syndicate to be an evil organization at all.
    • Kindjal from Arena also borrows Evil's purple hair and sharp facial features for her own look.
  • Old Master: Stark (Arena).
    • Stark is all but outright stated to be the Chief of Police.
  • Outside-Context Problem: Basically everything revolving around Rahu. No one knows where it came from or how it came to be, whether it was man-made or alien, or whether it was genuinely malevolent or operating on a Blue-and-Orange Morality. As far as the tiny shred of humanity left and in on the loop knows, it literally just appeared one day and started destroying everything with no ability for anyone to even see it coming or counter it thanks to being invisible and The Assimilator that simply adapted to everything thrown its way. The only reason a single city is left standing is because it possessed and assimilated a Robo that it couldn't leave from thanks to the mental Dive system Robos use to link with Commanders, which stuck it in a physical body people could finally fight back against and seal away.
  • Police Are Useless: The police force in Battle Revolution only seem to have two members that can actually do their job right. The rest of the time they're constantly getting their butts kicked by the bad guys, even though all of them are supposed to pass an absurdly hard exam in order to even be accepted into the police.
  • Post-End Game Content: Beating Battle Revolution unlocks a playable epilogue revolving around the city setting up a tournament for the protagonist to participate in in order to make him even stronger.
  • The Power of Friendship: Anthony in Battle Revolution is surprised when he and Thomas lose to Harry and the hero, claiming that they had the power of friendship on their side.
  • Power Glows: Soulboost.
  • Previous Player-Character Cameo: One of your opponents in the post-game of V2 is the protagonist of the original game.
  • Reality Ensues: Robos aren't solely for children's competitions. As early as the first game, one kid points out that they and Holosseums both have numerous practical uses in a variety of business, medical, construction and even peacekeeping fields. Arena negatively notes that Robos make for disturbingly effective tools for terrorist organizations, and one post-game NPC makes a comment about them that wouldn't sound out of place in an argument concerning gun control. Battle Revolution highlights that the heroes especially use them, as they're quite effective in non-lethally taking down targets compared to the risks with real firearms. Further, even with their diminutive size, Robos are capable of massive property damage and serious harm to humans. Small or no, they’re still metal humanoids firing very real ballistic, energy, and explosive weapons at high speeds. Size is about all that keeps them from being fatal. When a human-sized Robo appears and acts outside of legal boundaries with a Kill 'Em All mentality, people end up dead.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: A very obvious example in V2's Tag Team Twins, Yaiba and Tsurugi respectively.
  • The Reveal: Late into Battle Revolution, the player and supporting cast learn the Awful Truth after matters press them enough: Rahu destroyed most of the planet a good, long while ago, and the domed city the cast think is the world is really just the last remnant of it. Not long thereafter, you get to see nothing but a handful of ruins and the Z-Syndicate's base surrounded by floating abyss and storms. Even worse, Rahu intends on finishing the job.
  • Rich Bitch: Angelica/Cattleya in Arena (See Screw the Rules, I Have Money! below).
  • The Rival: Marv. He's the only consistent rival in all the games.
    • In the Gamecube version, he's not the rival. He's just some guy who shows up and declares you his "rival", then is never heard from again.
  • Robot Buddy, just like Medabots, Metal Walker, Cubix: Robots for Everyone, and Robopon.
  • Rocket Jump: The "acrobat" bomb is made exclusivly for this. It does no damage but explodes instantly and launchs you in the air.
  • Rookie Red Ranger: The protagonist is always given a Ray model Robo with a predominantly red color scheme, is new to being a Commander, and ends up becoming the face of the heroes with an immense amount of latent talent and skill. This is most prominently followed to the the trope's letter in Battle Revolution.
  • Running Gag: As far as non-character related ones go, the Steel Hearts being known as the "bottom feeders" in Battle Revolution is one.
    • Your landlady constantly having to wake you up in the morning is one, as are her various Mondegreens of the Steel Hearts.
    • In the Grand Battle, Carmen's balding husband regularly shows up wearing a series of ridiculous wigs, trying to find the right one. He eventually settles on one that looks exactly like the protagonist's hair.
  • Save Scumming: Oddly enough, in Arena, not for battles - since you can repeat any fight an infinite number of times. However, in the Grand Battle sequence, you need to unlock thirty dioramas to battle Serene; dioramas are selected randomly when purchased; you do the maths.
    • There actually is a way to do this in Battle Revolution despite the game running on Auto-Save. During the Grand Battle the game will save twice during tournaments, once at the halfway point and once after the final match where your score is calculated. If you don't like how the second half of your tournament is going, you can reload a save at the halfway point to avoid starting all over. However the game also saves whenever you pick up a hidden part in the real world. Most of these parts are hidden in the room where the tournaments are taking place, so with proper planning you can pick up a hidden part right before a particularly dicey battle and then keep reloading your save until you get a high enough score for gold.
  • The Scrappy: Evil is something of an in-universe example of this, as the only people who seem to like him at all are his two sidekicks.
    • Actually, he seems to be well-liked and respected, outside of the Steal Hearts.
    • The Steal Hearts are more akin to the in-universe example, with everyone calling them "bottom feeders" and the game implying that they're generally treated like dirt before the hero joins up with them.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: In Arena, Angelica/Cattleya uses her custom-designed Carat robo in the strictly regulated Great Robo Cup, making it as far as the semi-finals. Said character is the absurdly wealthy granddaughter of the world's leading robo developer and chief sponsor of said tournament. Said robo and its weapons are military-grade and highly illegal in the competitive environment. But, being a Rich Bitch and all...
  • Series Mascot: The Ray series; every game begins by receiving a Ray model. However, you only are restricted to using Ray in the first game.
    • Arena's Ray Mk III represented the series in Super Smash Bros. Brawl as an Assist Trophy.
    • The Ray series is so popular in fact, that when they introduced the Lightning Sky class in GX, the first obtainable one, the Ray Sky, was modelled on the Ray series, is featured prominently in the title screen animation and obtaining it is an vital plot point for progressing in the game.
  • Serious Business: And how. Numerous NPCs in the series point out how obsessed people are with Robos, and the protagonist of Battle Revolution is actually somewhat baffled by how serious folks get over all of it. The same game does have a justification for it, at least.
  • Short-Range Shotgun: The Shotgun Guns tend to be just a little better than simply ramming the enemy.
  • Shout-Out: In Arena, after repeated losses, a kid with a Rich Bitch Education Mama mentions his tutors have been replaced with "a weird flying nanny from overseas" that "says that and dancing will lead to me being a better commander."
  • Static Stun Gun: The Stun, Ion, and Thunderbolt guns.
  • Super Prototype: Well it is said to be one but the Ray 01 isn't any better or worse than mass produced Rays. The Robo it is a prototype to presumably will be the super one.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: From Custom Robo Arena-"Marv? Who's Marv? My name's Mar... Mart! Marty, I mean! And I'm certainly not wearing a disguise."
  • Synchronization: It takes a lot of mental energy to power a custom robo, and using them outside of holosseums risks causing physical and mental injury to the opponent.
  • Talk to Everyone: The Gamecube version at least has an archive for strategic advice and important terms and concepts. The archives are mostly filled up with pre-battle advice and plot monologues, but some of it is gleamed from talking to side characters at certain points. So, annoyingly enough, the plot will stop and force you to talk to everyone from time to time.
    • It does pay off, somewhat in the Grand Battle, though. This is how you get the Oil Can and Rahu II parts sets, and Crystal Strike Laser. It also gives you a couple of Glossery entries you wouldn't otherwise get.
  • Teleport Spam: Quite a useful application of the Stealth Dash ability.
  • Terrible Trio: Arena has Lunax, Solax, and Terrax, the "Supernovas" from Bayside Academy.
    • Evil and his cronies from Battle Revolution.
  • Theme Naming: As mentioned above, the Supernovas ("Big Bang Guys" in Japan).
  • This Is a Drill: The Drill Gun.
  • To Be a Master: A common goal throughout the franchise is that just about every Robo Commander that isn't a criminal probably wants to be the best Commander around, and this becomes the central goal of most of the player characters. The only exception is Battle Revolution, where it's almost entirely incidental and not really the focus at all. At least, not until the post-game where everyone basically pushes the hero into it anyway.
  • Took a Level in Badass: When you first fight Solax, he's a bit of a pushover. Then you fight in a tournament and he's suddenly a lot harder to beat. This probably comes from the fact that he's Brilliant, but Lazy.
    • The final string of battle in the Grand Battle mode. Everyone else has powered up their robos just so they can try to beat you.
    • Also the Z Boss Battle challenge, where everyone is using illegal parts, including your friend.
  • Tournament Arc: The Grand Battle in Battle Revolution. Not quite a real tournament in practice, though, as it's ultimately every character in the game vs. you.
    • In the main story for Battle Revolution, the player takes part in three tournament over the course of the story, each one longer than the last.
    • Arena has several tournaments throughout the story with rival schools, all culminating with the Grand Robo Battle which pits the player against the best champions in the world. Most of them are still your fellow classmates.
  • Transforming Mecha: The Lightning Sky models, which have the unique 'Sky Dash' that enables them to fly over a long distance while simultaneously firing its weapons. During the Sky Dash, they transform into fighter jets.
  • True Final Boss: Eddy and Liv in Arena are unlocked by beating every other grudge match.
  • Unskippable Cutscene: In all games. This is so bad in Battle Revolution that during the cutscene where Marcia's brother explains the truth behind Z, the game saves three different times.
  • The Wall Around the World: The Gamecube game has this with a twist being that it's where the world actually ends. Or so you're all led to believe.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: The 7 foot 5 inch tall/286 pound criminal Ogre "Cleaver" Bullock from Arena dislikes the smell of milk acording to his profile.
  • We Cannot Go On Without You: In a 2-vs.-2 match, it doesn't matter if your partner is still alive - if you lose, you both lose. Naturally, both AI opponents will target you most of the time. This makes sense when your partner is Harry (who is regularly noted to win by the skin of his teeth and likely won't be able to win on his own) who it most often is, but inexcusable when your partner is someone else.
  • Welcome to Corneria: Largely averted. While people will only say one thing between events, the events that change NPC dialogue can be as small as a single battle.
  • Wham Line: About two-thirds of the way into Battle Revolution, leading into The Reveal, the player is asked what they know about the world. The two options they're presented with are "The world is round," and "The world is flat." The player, upon their first time playing the game, will more than likely choose the former answer. They're then treated to this exchange:
    Player: The world is round. Like a sphere.
    Harry: Hey, hey! You can't be serious! You KNOW the world is flat! You're talking crazy!
    Marcia: ...[Player Name], please don't joke around...
    Player: [Now making a Troll face] I just think it's round...
    Mira: The world is flat, like Harry said. That's what we were taught all through school.
  • Wham Shot: The scene in Battle Revolution where the Police Chief reveals the outside world by opening the wall that the main characters thought was the edge of the world. Everything about the main character's worldview is shattered in an instant.
  • Wolf Man: The Wolfen (V2, Arena)
  • You All Look Familiar: Lampshaded in the GameCube game. During the police-sponsored doubles tournament, a pair of "Boy" characters claim that they are going to lose because they were unnamed, and would bemoan this fact every time they are spoken to. They manage to make it to the top eight pairs, however, because everybody in their tournament block was also a unnamed "Boy" character.
    • Also pulled off somewhat strangely; the background characters may all look the same as similarly-categorized characters (Boy, Girl, Scientist, Customer, etc), but there are a large number of recurring background characters with distinct personalities and quirks, such as a scientist who always whispers and a "cop" who is actually just a fanboy wearing a police uniform. Additionally, some side characters of absolutely no importance have distinct model differences, such as an obese mook in Eliza's maze, and Paulie, a cop with Perma-Stubble.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: