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Video Game / Gadget Trial

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Gadget Trial is a PC game released in 2006 by Kogado's Kuma-san Team. Referred to as a fusion of Advance Wars and mecha musume, it is one part Turn-Based Tactics combat and one part Visual Novel.

After a global war, the Eastern Treaty Organization, a collection of East Asian states, has developed cyborg warriors known as the 'E-Series'. These battle cyborgs each have the fighting strength of a full military unit, and are capable of replicating themselves via a sort of mitosis. And, as seems to be the case, these cyborgs all resemble various types of Moe girl.

Research and development has yielded two main types: Type Black, which have no aspects of human personality and are designed to be ruthless battle machines, and Type White, designed with human personalities. In order to decide which type to mass produce for the military, the top brass has decided to hold a series of trial battles between a Type White team and a Type Black team.

The player character (Major Shitoshi Mihara) takes control of the Type White team, and must lead the personalities under his command to victory in the trials.


Gadget Trial provides examples of the following tropes:

  • A-Cup Angst: Yu-ri is the flattest (and most envious of Nei and Souka), while Izen is a borderline case.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: The dresses you can buy with the girls' kills also give certain strengths and weaknesses.
  • Anti-Air: Yu-ri's AA unit, Continental Army AA, and AA Turrets later on.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: 50 units. Justified, because you're not actually deploying a full army, and an E-Series unit is said to be equivalent of a conventional squad.
  • Armor-Piercing Attack: The Kill Sat.
  • Big Eater: Izen eats fifty popsicles at one point.
  • Catchphrase: Major Mihara's "Put some spirit into it!" (or "kiai wo irero!" in Japanese). In one of the later missions, Nei hangs a lampshade on this, by saying that a certain problem can't be solved just by putting some spirit into it.
    • Izen also shouts out some phrases upon gaining control of structures.
    • The last unit to complete its turn before winning the round (either killing the last enemy or capturing the enemy's central command center) will also shout a winning phrase.
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  • Cool Big Sis: Nei. Her designation is EPF-000GF, indicating that she is the first model.
  • Color-Coded Characters: The girls each have a personal color scheme (Izen-pink, Nei-dark yellow, Yu-ri-green, Souka-blue, Hisoka-light purple). Also, something colored black, silver, dark green, or sporting desert camo is out to kill you.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Yes, that's an auto-cannon that Souka's holding in her bomber and fighter guises. No, she can't actually use it.
  • Critical Existence Failure: Unlike the Nintendo Wars games, a unit's condition has no bearing on her damage output.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Major Mihara tries to be this, but winds up being deflated by the E-Series under his command.
  • Easy Logistics: All units run on energy, and they will die if their energy reserves are depleted (a common cause of death for Souka units behind enemy lines). However, you can replenish a unit's energy at any friendly structure. Cue planes resupplying on ports. Hisoka, being the naval unit, averts this simply because ports are the only friendly structure she can access.
    • In a departure from Nintendo Wars, a unit of energy is consumed only at the start of a unit's turn (Akin to the fuel upkeep for air and naval units from Advance Wars). Moving does not consume additional energy.
  • Empty Eyes: The E-Series Black sport these. The contrast rhymes that of being programmed for full obedience, with White's self-awareness that is accompanied by brighter, pronounced irises and a gleam. Most obvious in visuals of mirrored fight screen.
  • Extreme Omnivore: Izen, who seems to have a certain fondness for dynamite, which she says tastes like bean jelly.
    • Nei is the milder version of this, perfectly fine with eating bugs and snakes for the nutrition.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Major Wakabayashi is a variant of this, starting out as Mihara's opponent in the trials before she actually defects to the Continental Army.
  • Fog of War: Units have a certain line of sight that pierces the fog of war, but it returns once the unit(s) leave that particular area. Radar installations gives permanent sight of a wide area once captured. Unlike Nintendo Wars, which happens in some levels, in this game it happens in every single level.
  • Geo Effects: Wise players will use terrain-granted defense bonuses to prolong their unit's longevity and resist attacks that would otherwise kill the units outright.
    • Which lead to Garrisonable Structures, in a sense. Structures (towns, ports, factories, airports, Radar installations, Kill Sat installations, and HQ) grant a considerable defense bonus regardless of occupation status, so defending in that area is advisable.
    • Unlike in Nintendo Wars, air units in this game benefit from terrain-based defenses.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: For chapters. Close to "Excited Title! Two-Part Episode Name!", but exclamations are not mandatory. E.g. "Clash! White against Black!", "Begin! The big training exercise".
  • Improbably Female Cast: All of the E-Series units are gynoids. Izen hangs a lampshade on this.
  • Informed Ability: Souka is good with math and crack decision-making (a requirement for Real Life pilots), and Izen is a muscle-head.
  • Kill Sat: There is an installation that gives the player (or the enemy, whoever got to control it first) the ability to launch one large-area Kill Sat attack that hits for 50 damage (all units have 100 life) regardless of terrain defense bonus and can be dropped on any place in the map. There are only a few such installation per map, thankfully.
  • The Leader: Mihara, the army veteran in charge of White team. His views on proper encouragement, required protocol and such are not shared by anyone in the group. People around let such things slide (ironically, except type Black commander). He comes from exasperated fear for their loyalty and competence to giving them due recognition as they are in talks with his superiors later in the story.
  • Level Editor
  • Magic Tool: Medic-Izen's giant syringe can repair anything from other Izens to battleship configuration Hisoka. Granted, they were all made out of some kind of bio-metal.
  • Nominal Hero: Izen is the one character that co-stars in "Good Morning, ETU!" and holds the role of the stalwart staple of supposedly disciplined military squad E-Series. While all the girls are not gung ho enough by Mihara's standards, Izen goes as far as arguing that she would not mind being demoted to a daycare worker, because she has the personality for it, should the White-series fail the trial run.
  • The Smart Guy: Among the White Team members, Nei is always the one to chime in with tactical suggestions, discussing things like doubts about Type Black forces with Mihara early on. Doubles as the Cool Big Sis.
  • Robot Girl: The E-Series are at least partly biological versions of this trope.
  • Tactical Rock–Paper–Scissors: Played with. Tanks, APCs, Helicopters, Carrier Hovercrafts, and Scouts does heavy damage to infantry, Artillery-based units (SP Artillery, Rockets, and Battleships) generally does heavy damage to other land units (including their own kind), and Bombers kill them all. Bombers, however, are defeated by Anti-Aircraft and Fighters, with Fighters also succumbing to A As. Submarines are strong against naval units (even other subs) but is weak against bombers.
  • Taking You with Me: Major Wakabayashi and General Wong both attempt this in the last mission: Wakabayashi to avenge the sting of defeat at the player's hands, and Wong is willing to sacrifice the Type White units in order to keep the Type Silver data from being released to the world. Luckily, the Type White team manages an escape.
  • Token Mini-Moe: Yu-ri, a short, flat-chested girl with a cutesy Verbal Tic within the ranks of the gynoid team.
  • Verbal Tic:
    • Yu-ri: "... na no desu!"
    • Izen: "Oho...?"
  • Zerg Rush: Many scenarios pit you against enemies with quite a numerical and production advantage, and they are prone to deploying lots of infantry units to try and capture your structures.