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Video Game / Front Mission 5

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Front Mission 5 is a Humongous Mecha Strategy RPG video game published and developed by Square Enix for the PlayStation 2 console. It was first released in Japan on December 29, 2005. The game is a numbered sequel to Front Mission 4. However, the story takes place throughout the series, ranging from Front Mission to the end of Front Mission 4, resolving various plot arcs that may have been left unanswered. The game's also known as Front Mission 5: Scars of the War.

The game looks into the story of Walter Feng, a Chinese-American from the United States of the New Continent (USN) who moves to Huffman Island. He lived in Freedom City with two other kids, Randy O'Neill and Glen Duval. The trio witnessed the 1st Huffman Conflict in 2070, a conflict between the Oceania Cooperative Union (OCU) and the USN. The kids were separated when OCU and USN governments repatriated them. They later, however, reunite, during a peacekeeping operation in the Huffman Crisis in 2086.

Feng continues to work in the USN Army as a wanzer pilot even after Randy dies in the line of duty. He later applies to join the USN's Strike Wyverns and is deployed worldwide, where he faces off against a terrorist conspiracy known as Grimnir, a terrorist group that aims to destroy the foundation of supernations and bring back the days of nation states.

Front Mission 5 provides examples of:

  • Ace Custom: 5 allows you to upgrade your wanzer parts, which enables them to change into other types if they reach a certain level. Also, since you can mix-and-match any wanzer part as long as they fulfill energy and weight requirements, it's easy to make plenty of these. Bosses tend to show up in souped-up wanzers too.
    • 5 also lets players recreate some of the Ace Customs from previous games, albeit not perfectly, such as the Raven and Gepard, through mix-and-matching and Survival Simulator grinding.
  • Amazon Brigade: With the exception of Walter Feng, the pilot management system makes it possible to assemble an all-girl squad.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: 5 gives us weapons that allow users to attack three times in one round. Sounds sweet... until you realize how horrendous their accuracies are. About the only ones worth using are the melee weapons, since they're actually stronger in terms of raw power.
  • Badass Crew: In 5, we have the Strike Wyverns and especially the Barghest.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Morgan Bernard is (supposedly) gone, but Walter has lost two of his childhood best friends. He was happily married to Lynn... before she died from S-Type device complications. Also, the miniaturized MIDAS was stolen, which kickstarts 3.
    • Somewhat subverted if you think about it. Morgan Bernard wins every time protagonists in previous entries win, because the latter (unintentionally) help humiliate the globalists and spread nationalism, which Morgan Bernard is trying to do. For instance, although Ash Faruk (2) is probably glad that his home country gains independence, the incident also topples the OCU's already shaky popularity among its member states. This leads to the union's near-collapse by the time of 3. Dr. Bernard couldn't be more pleased with the result.
  • Call-Back: Glen Duval disables Lynn Wenright's wanzer in Cambodia using a specialized EMP grenade designed to combat S-Type users. Walter Feng returns the favor, years later, when they meet again in Alaska.
  • The Cavalry Arrives Late: Late reinforcements during the Cambodian base defense mission lead to Walter Feng Taking the Bullet for Lynn Wenright and nearly dying from it.
  • Cool Ship: The Eclipse, hull number CVN-112. While it's designated as an aircraft carrier and is seen launching fighters, the Eclipse functions closer to a larger cousin of the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship.
  • Custom Uniform: Seen in 5; unlike regular USN pilots, who wear tan or olive drab flightsuits, Strike Wyverns and Barghest pilots wear gray and black flightsuits respectively.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: With "dark" in the sense of appearance...
  • Expy: The Barghest is quite explicitly tailored as an obvious Expy to Delta Force, from the counter-terrorism focus, to their designation (Special Forces Armored Detachment-Barghest vs Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta), to both teams belonging to SOCOM.
  • Friendly Fireproof: Averted in 5. Friendly fire is present and can kill your team as easily as it does your enemies, so careful positioning is a must. Players must learn to position their units to minimize friendly fire risk while maximizing friendly fire on the part of enemies.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: The Barghest in 5; from British folklore, the Barghest is a black demonic dog, ala Hound of the Baskervilles.
  • Pyrrhic Victory:
    • The Cambodia arcs has similarities with Front Mission 2. Even though the USN succeeds in their goal of keeping the peace between the country and the OCU, their victory also unintentionally ensures the independence of Cambodia. The independent Cambodia is no improvement over the OCU Cambodia as social and economic problems persists. And, like in Alordesh, there are cases of heavy terrorist and black market activities controlled by the Grimnir. This also starts a chain reaction which leads to the various revolutions within the OCU, as shown in 2 and 3.
    • Also, while 5 closes with most of the Grimnir eradicated and Morgan Bernard gone at last, Dr. Bernard has succeeded in his attempt to destroy the original MIDAS (luckily, Emma drops its power output to the lowest levels, so Alaska isn't vaporized by the antimatter). Also, the JDF steals MIDAS (the portable one powered by radiation) in the midst of the chaos, which sets up the events of 3 to come months later. The events from Front Mission 3 eventually result in the OCU almost breaking apart, which is also one of Morgan's goals.
  • Taking You with Me: Survival Simulator enemies in 5 have a tendency to do this by shooting cargo boxes next to the player. The resulting explosion is often large enough to kill both units.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: Lampshaded by Dr. Morgan Bernard in 5.
    "Aren't you grateful to me? I could have shot you two or three times by now! Do continue talking after you die."
  • A Taste of Power: Variation. You can get some parts/weapons earlier than you could normally buy them. The Egret from Mission 3 in 1st is the most obvious. (Unfortunately, these parts are usually outclassed within a few short missions.)
    • Just before the Cambodia arc in 5, Walter Feng participates in a joint counter terror op with the Barghest; players get a taste of the high-leveled parts and S-Type pilots awaiting them.
  • Time Skip: 5 covers 51 years worth of story. Most of the time skips happen right when other Front Mission titles are taking place. i.e., 2095 to 2097 (4 takes place in 2096), 2098 to 2109 (2 takes place in 2102), and so on.
  • Training Montage: Walter Feng goes through one in 5 during Strike Wyverns selection training.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: The final missions take place inside the reactor holding the original MIDAS in Alaska.
  • Western Terrorists: When Walter is recruited in Barghest, some of his missions involve taking on a terrorist group named FARSA in USN territory. Story material from Square Enix indicates that they're assisted by Grimnir in terms of getting their wanzers.
  • World Tour: Walter's story takes him all around the world - from Huffman Island to Kiribati, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Brazil, Peru, and Alaska.
  • You Shall Not Pass!: In the first Cambodia arc of 5, the Strike Wyverns are on a mission to recapture and defend an OCU border defense base against Cambodian insurgents, who overwhelm the OCU forces thanks to support from the Grimnir, by the Cambodia-Vietnam border. After defeating several waves of wanzers and a giant tank-helicopter hybrid (whose ridiculousness is lampshaded by Edward), Morgan and Glen show up, leading to Walter Taking the Bullet for Lynn.
  • Younger Than They Look: By the final mission, Walter and Lynn are well in their late 40s, but look 20 years younger for some unknown reasons. Subverted in the epilogue, where Walter is clearly an old man.