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Video Game / Daemon X Machina

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What resides within an Arsenal... A god or a demon?

Daemon X Machina is an Action Mecha Game developed by Marvelous Inc. and First Studio (of Fate/Extella Link fame), self-published by Marvelous in Japan and published by Nintendo in other regions. The game features mech designs by Shoji Kawamori, and is produced by Kenichiro Tsukuda of Armored Core fame.

In the distant future, a fragment of the Moon collides with planet Earth, killing millions of people and radiating Femto, a strange energy that poisons and corrupts anything it touches. In desperation, the surviving governments establish a quarantine area around the impact zone called the Oval Link and turn to A.I. programming to assist with the logistics of rebuilding civilization, creating a massive, advanced artifical intelligence to oversee the rebuild operations. Upon coming in contact with Femto, however, the intelligence goes haywire, changes its objective from helping humans to annihilating them, and creates a new faction of enemies let by massive robotic beings called Immortals, with the faction itself called the Arms of Immortals, or AI for short. The AI attack Humanity's sanctums from Femto contamination, putting humanity in peril once again.


The key to Humanity's survival comes from Femto itself, which is discovered to be a bountiful and advanced source of energy that allows for quick invention and application to combat the Immortals, most notably the development of "Arsenals," Mini-Mecha that can field a variety weapons to shoot, slash, zap, smash, and blow up anything that gets in their way. The Arsenals are piloted by Outers, humans who have received superhuman powers by coming into contact with Femto and are deadly in their hands, able to resist the Immortals' corrupting influence and bring the fight back to them. However, all Outers are indebted to Orbital, a massive organization that retains neutrality between the various human factions and controls the balance of power, and in order to pay off their debts, are employed as mercenaries to fight the Immortals with the hopes of reclaiming the Oval Link from them once and for all and restore the world to what it once was.


The player controls a newly-christened Outer, callsign "Rookie", and must fly through various city-scapes to accomplish missions, working with, and occasionally against, fellow mercenaries. Items can be acquired in the battlefield, either picking them up or taking them from fallen enemies. One notable feature is that the Outer themselves can be customized, via buying various cybernetic upgrades that can not only improve their own performance, but their Arsenal's at well, at the cost of drastically changing their appearance until they are literally more machine than human.

The game was released September 13, 2019 for the Nintendo Switch. A free limited-time demo of the game, subtitled Prototype Missions, was released on the e-Shop on February 14th, 2019.

Tropes include:

  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Humanity initially created a highly advanced AI in order to help humanity rebuild. When it came into contact with Femto, however, it went haywire and now wants to eradicate humanity, infecting any AI it touches.
  • Alien Sky: Several of the environments seen in the gameplay footage have milky white and crimson skies.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • The game has an aim-assist system where shooting in the general direction of a locked-on target will correct your arm. The lock-on range and cone of effect depend on equipped parts, and it can be toggled off entirely (useful for slower-firing weapons that prefer to Lead the Target).
    • When looting Arsenals for parts, new gear is marked with a blue symbol so you can immediately tell whether or not it's something you already have. If you sell a part or use it for research it will regain this mark, which makes keeping track of what parts you currently have much simpler.
  • Arm Cannon: Gun Arms are limbs with a weapon built in. They typically have good all-round performance, excellent ammo capacity compared to anything else and never need to reload, but naturally cannot be swapped out with a pylon weapon. Equipping two means you're unable to pick up environmental weapons either, since neither limb has a manipulator capable of doing so.
  • BFS: The melee weapons count automatically, being scaled for a Mini-Mecha and all, but some are as large as the Arsenal itself.
  • Blade Lock: Happens if a melee attack hits another Arsenal with a melee weapon of their own equipped. Button Mashing enough to win the lock opens up the enemy for a follow-up.
  • Character Customization: The game includes a character creator for your pilot, allowing you to customize them as you see fit. You can even alter your character design later, including their gender. You can also augment the character for improved battle performance, causing them to assume a more robotic form.
  • Cel Shading: A more subtle form than most examples, but allows for a very stylized look.
  • Doppleganger Attack: Mirage mode, which summons a duplicate of your Arsenal to attack enemies and draw fire.
  • Dual Wielding: There's nothing stopping you from equipping two weapons of the same type, or even copies of the same weapon.
  • Dissonant Serenity: The demise of Sky Union (annihilated during their last stand), Zen (destroyed trying to escape the barrier around the Oval Link), and Horizon's reports of the chaos in the outside world are delivered clinically through the game's Message system.
  • Enemy-Detecting Radar: The minimap is a reliable source of informationon enemy types and positions. However, certain enemies or battlefield with high femto concentration can jam it.
  • Everything Breaks:
    • Buildings can be completely demolished, destroying enemies caught in the blast.
    • Individual Arsenal parts can take damage over the course of the fight. If your parts take sufficient damage, a portion of your earnings will be confiscated to cover the cost.
    • Certain objects such as cars can also be picked up and thrown at enemies to deal additional damage.
  • Expy: A character going by a title named Diablo is voiced by Toru Furuya and another going by Crimson Lord is voiced by Shuichi Ikeda. As in White Devil and Red Comet.
  • Good Colors, Evil Colors: Not so much good or evil, but allied or opposed. During the conversation scenes, the background panels for the people speaking are coloured depending on their alignment to the Rookie. Blue means allied, red means opposed. Almost every character will swap between colours, from plucky Johnny G to the crazy Western VII. Four is orange, serving as a neutral party or something else.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: Yes, this is an option. If you have regular arms and want to challenge yourself (or you're really screwed for ammo), you can forego weapons entirely and just punch enemies bare-handed (well, as bare-handed as an Arsenal can be).
  • Guns Akimbo: In the Nintendo Treehouse footage, the Arsenal is equipped with dual machine guns.
  • Humongous Mecha: The Immortals' Rebellion and Colossal Immortal mecha definitely qualify.
  • Informed Equipment: Averted with certain pilot modifications, which cause the implants to show up on your pilot's model.
  • Interface Spoiler: If an assigned story mission has a sub-objective (always displayed as ????? to boot), expect things to go wrong enough to change the objective parameters.
  • Item Drop Mechanic: If you destroy enemy Arsenals in combat, you can salvage one part of your choice from their Arsenal. If you do not have any equipment in that slot, the part is automatically equipped to your Arsenal upon salvage; if you already have something equipped there, the part is sent to your storage instead.
    • This applies to ammo drops too. The maximum ammo capacity of that ammunition determines how much ammo you get, if all you weapons use the same ammo, you get a lot of it per drop.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: They're a variety of melee weapon, one best suited for chain attacks.
  • Laser Blade: Some beam swords can also be obtained through playing missions and these do slashing, they require Femto to use though, so they cannot be spamed.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: All over the place. Many missions involve different mercenary groups being hired for opposing objectives, where they will inevitably fight for one reason or another. This later becomes a plot point when Mission Control insists on forcing mercenaries to fight by deliberately erasing intel or issuing conflicting objectives, making every pilot suspicious.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Shields are good for defence and can be used to block damage from enemies. They're particularly good at turning away melee weapons.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: Gameplay footage shows an Arsenal equipped with a shoulder-mounted missile pod, which will launch multiple missiles at the enemies via Missile Lock-On.
  • Mickey Mousing: Weapon sounds are based on musical instruments.
  • Mini-Mecha: All the available footage shows that the Arsenals are only 5 meters (~16 feet) tall.
  • Mission Control: Four, the AI who doles out missions for you.
  • More Dakka: Machine guns and certain Assault Rifles make up for their low damage by having fast fire rates. At higher levels, their DPS can shred a multitude of bosses and high-level enemies.
  • Motion Capture Mecha: Arsenals mimic the arm movements of their pilots using a pair of red cables in the cockpit that wrap around the pilot's arms (though the neural implants all Outers receive also help). This can lead to moments in cutscenes where one of the sillier pilots will dance a jig or strike a pose which their Arsenal faithfully reflects.
  • Ms. Exposition: Four will give you the background on the overarching conflict between missions if you ask her.
  • Pinball Protagonist: The Player Character is nobody special, just one more independent mercenary trying to scrape out a living in the Oval Sector working for whatever conglomerate has a contract going. Consequently, they have little personal stake in the plot, but have a pretty good view of it since they keep ending up on different sides of the conflict.
  • Pun-Based Title: It's a play on "Deus ex Machina."
  • Red Sky, Take Warning: Gameplay footage shows that the warzone of Grace City is located under crimson skies.
  • Sheathe Your Sword: There are at least two points in the main story where not attacking an enemy might be the better option.
    • The second time you confront Savior, his Arsenal's generator starts to shut down halfway through the fight. If you choose to let him retreat, he'll come to your rescue in a latter mission when you get ambushed by Terrors.
    • One late-game "mission" has you meet with Grief to discuss his ultimate plan, for which he asks you to come alone and unarmed (i.e. on foot with no Outer weapons). If you comply, Grief keeps his end of the bargain and lets you leave unharmed after hearing him out, as he genuinely wants you to join him. Mission Complete. On the other hand, if you suspect a trap and come armed... well, Grief planned for that, too.
  • Shout-Out: An alien, dangerous substance from the moon called Femto?
  • Silent Protagonist: Lampshaded when a mission briefing introduces you to yet more Outers a few sandwiches short of a picnic, and your more normal wingman admits staying quiet was probably the smart move.
  • Sole Survivor: Horizon is the only Consortium to make it out of the Oval Link alive, if not unscathed. Sky Union is annihilated to a man during a last stand, Zen is shot down trying to flee (all of this after a failed raid on an intelligence facility depleting their manpower) and Orbital comes to pieces when Grief puts his plan into action.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Played with. Water absorbs femto particles at such a concentration that Arsenals cannot function within it, making them sink like stones. This isn't lethal though, as Arsenals have emergency oxygen for the cabin and beacons for a rescue service, but since it takes you out of action sinking fails the mission by fiat.
  • Socketed Equipment: Most weapons and armor have modification slots, which can be used to tweak performance.
  • Spiritual Successor: To the Armored Core series, due to it being a customizable Mecha Game produced by Kenichiro Tsukuda with mechanical designs by Shoji Kawamori.
  • Title Drop: The very last Story Missions have the name Daemon X Machina.
  • Telephone Polearm: Streetlights are among the objects that can be used as improvised melee weapons.
  • Unusable Enemy Equipment: Averted. Arsenals are designed to universal specifications, so once you shoot one down, you can take something still in good nick off the wreckage. If you have a slot open it'll even equip immediately.
  • Wave Motion Gun: The Colossal Immortal boss in Prototype Missions, "Gunfort", is armed with a giant cannon that can inflict devastating damage with the laser beam it fires. However, after firing, it enters a cooldown period where the weak points on the cannon are exposed; if you shoot all six cores, the cannon breaks off of the boss and lands on the field. You can then interact with it and shoot the boss with its own laser!
  • Weapon of Choice: There are many weapons to choose from for different builds and play styles.
  • Weird Moon: The moon is both crimson and partially destroyed.
  • Wham Shot: One conversation with Four has her dialog box switch from her usual orange to the red usually reserved for enemies.


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