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The shining beacon in a brave new world
"Shoujo Sensen!"
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Girls' Frontline (Simplified: 少女前线; Traditional: 少女前線; Chinese: Shàonǚ Qiánxiàn; Japanese: Shoujo Sensen) is a free-to-play Chinese mobile Strategy RPG for Android and iOS.

The year is 2062. 30 years ago, a series of events known as "North Island Incident" caused a worldwide spread of Collapse Fluid, a highly radioactive substance that mutates humans exposed to it, with lethal consequences. Cities were devastated as casualties mounted. Entire populations were forced to relocate or die trying. Borders had to be redrawn in order to accommodate the resources and habitable space that were left untouched. Friction between surviving nations reached all time high, until eventually World War III broke out.

In the embers of the third World War, humanity began to rebuild itself. Development of robotics and AI technology during the war gave rise to Autonomous Dolls, androids with superior physical abilities to a normal human and capable of emulating emotions. In a time where manpower is scarce, they were quickly deployed in almost all corners of life, from simple housemaids to factory workers — and, of course, as soldiers.

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With nations lacking enough military presence to secure their own borders, Private Military Contractors began to proliferate. Utilizing Tactical Dolls, essentially A-Dolls with combat software installed, these mercenary companies are tasked to defend important locations to the state, as well as reclaiming hospitable land for new population center. One such PMC, Sangvis Ferri Industrial Manufacturing Company, Ltd., rose to prominence during WWIII due to their cheap, but effective dolls, and soon became the leading PMC in the world. At least, until their AI took over their robotic forces, slaughtering the entire human staff and waging war against the rest of humanity.

This is where you, the player, comes in. As a newly-minted Commander of the Grifon & Kryuger Security Firm, you are tasked to manage G&K T-Dolls and defend areas from Sangvis Ferri incursions. Battles take place in a turn-based manner. Victory can be achieved by maneuvering your T-Doll echelons to capture the enemy HQ (though additional objective types have been added with later updates). Once one of your echelons encounter an enemy, the game switches into a real-time view where you can move your T-Dolls around and manage their skills. Micromanagement becomes more important as enemies become tougher and more numerous. Each T-Doll also have unique skills and can strengthen other dolls with various effects, making team composition important for optimal play.

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Developed by Mica Team and published by Digital Sky, the game is currently available in Simplified Chinese (via BiliBili and Digital Sky servers), in Korean by X.D. Global, in English and Japanese (the latter as Dolls' Frontline) by SUNBORN Network Technology. However, all versions will have Japanese language voices.

An official manga adaption which publish new chapters monthly on the 23rd can be read here on Chinese video sharing site Bilibili.

Compare Kantai Collection and Azur Lane, both "free-to-play" games that also feature anthromorphized versions of military technology (in this case, ships), and Touken Ranbu, another F2P game featuring anthromorphized weapons (in this case, swords).

Visit the official English website here


This game provides examples of:

  • Ace Custom: Certain T-Dolls possess unique equipment that provide hefty boosts to their performance that no generic gear could match.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The manga gives more detail about the world of Girls' Frontline and how T-Dolls fight. In both the official manga and manga anthology, we also get to see the Commander and how they look when in-game they are usually an unseen, featureless protagonist.
  • A.K.A.-47: Several T-Dolls either equip the wrong weapon for their namesake, or feature ones that are not of any real specific model. More information can be found on their character category pages.
    • M1928 Thompson's SMG is a mishmash of parts from several different models, all meshed into onenote .
    • The SMG carried by "MAC-10" is in fact a Cobray M11/9, a variant of the 9mm MAC-11 instead of the real deal, as evident by its receiver dimensions and charging handle.
    • RO635's SMG better fits the description of the newer RO991 instead due to its flattop receiver.
    • The trope's namesake herself is hit with this, ironically enough. "AK-47's" assault rifle seems to be a mishmash of parts from both the real AK-47 and the upgraded AKM, as it has the ribbed top cover and stamped receiver of the latter, while the muzzle is flat like the former.
  • Alternate History: The premise of the game is set in an AU where the Russian Empire discovered Precursor relics in Europe during the 20th century, that fell into the hands of the Bolsheviks after the October Revolution, and later the Soviet Union, which never collapsed. Complications of the Cold War resulted in a massive ELID outbreak that forced several nations to band together to survive. One such coalition being the New Soviet Union, which Grifon & Kryuger is technically a branch of, due to Bezerovich Kryuger being a member of its Ministry of Internal Affairs.
    • There was also extensive research into alien technology, which led into alien-derived weapons being tested by the US in Vietnam and the Soviets in Afghanistan. One of those tech was the OGAS system. In real life, it was a cancelled nationwide information network project similar to the internet. In Girls' Frontline, it was developed further into something resembling an AI, complete with its own personality.
  • Alpha Strike: MG/SG echelons are more often than not this. Either you wipe out the enemy with overwhelming dakka before you run out of ammo, or watch the survivors of your assault chip away at the health and armor of your SG tank(s) as you slowly reload, during which time you couldn't move. It's for this reason that these echelons, while grossly powerful, are not very viable against certain bosses.
  • Always Accurate Attack: In a sense. While thrown/launched explosives are in most cases aimed at random, and can result in the projectile/throwable landing somewhere that's less than optimal, they ignore the evasion stat of any units within their blast radius. This makes SMG dolls with the Incendiary Grenade skills exceptionally good at wiping out Scouts and other hard-to-hit enemies. Conversely, this also apply to enemy units.
    • Fairies with offensive capabilities will always hit their marks when their attacks connect, and are not affected by map conditions.
  • The Anime of the Game: So far, it only consists of two preview videos.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • Players can obtain a T-Doll that they previously acquired, but currently own zero copies of, by going into said T-Doll's Index entry and tapping the "Recover" button, which gives them a new copy for the same number of cores it would normally take to Dummy Link her once, ensuring that no unlocked Doll can be rendered Permanently Missable Content, accidental or otherwise. This even extends to timed-exclusive T-Dolls and especially the four members of the Anti-Rain squad and RO635, who the game states repeatedly cannot be reacquired otherwise.
      • The catch is that one cannot use the system to acquire T-Dolls they haven't actually collected at least once before, regardless of rarity, so missed limited drops/rate-up productions are still lost unless stated otherwise. Furthermore, only one T-Doll may be recovered per week, and that the recovered unit will need to be releveled and retrained from scratch.
    • The game itself provides an option for T-Dolls to automatically retreat from battle once their health drops down below a certain threshold, though not during Boss battles. Even then, T-Dolls dying on boss nodes will not lose affection. An echelon with wounded T-Doll(s) will be marked with a "critically-damaged" pop-up on the battle map, letting the player know not to risk taking them to another fight.
    • A past update introduced the ability to "Smart Select" 2-star T-Dolls and equipment for either enhancement or dismantling, so that players don't have to manually pick every single fodder unit they want to use while also providing a safeguard against accidentally throwing away 3-star-or-higher materials.
    • An Enemy Command center can be captured instantly as soon as the turn ends and a friendly echelon is sitting on it, whether or not it's surrounded by other nodes that would deny it otherwise. Furthermore, since capturing by surrounding is turn-based and players move first, it's almost always a guaranteed victory if you could seize the points around an enemy Command node, even if they are doing the same to yours.
    • Rare drops that are obtained for the first time, like unique equipment from night battles or 5 star T-Dolls, are unable to have their Item Get! screen skipped. This is so players don't accidentally gloss over things they may have been farming for. Unfortunately, this doesn't apply to better-than-average 3 star or 4 star T-Dolls.
    • An update released about a month before the Deep Dive event reworked Planning Mode so that players could plan over multiple turns and pathing through an allied echelon automatically switched them around. It's not without its kinks, however - players can't end a turn with Action Points to spare in Planning Mode, making some plans somewhat awkward to implement (Chapter 0-2 in particular requires wasting AP or deploying a second echelon on turn 1 instead of turn 0). The same update also made Auto Battle more lucrative for leveling up and/or farming T-Dolls and equipment, as well as allowing up to 3 repeats of Auto Battle on the same map. Commanders with cash to spare can also buy an Auto Battle Monthly Card that increases the limit to 5 repeats and reduces the number of echelons required from 2 to 1.
  • April Fools:
  • Arbitrary Equipment Restriction: Fairies aren't usable in any type of combat simulation. The reason for this is never given to the player, but the restriction's probably there to prevent players from cheesing simulations that are way harder than their gear and levels would allow, especially in defense drills.
  • Arbitrary Gun Power: Damage seems to be decided based on a given T-Doll's class and rarity instead of the real caliber of her weapon. This leads to oddities such as the G3 (2* AR) dealing damage about half that of the M1 Carbine (3* RF) that's chambered in the much weaker .30 Carbine, despite the 7.62x51mm cartridge being more powerful overall in reality. On the flip side of the coin, damage values between members of the same class are usually consistent within their caliber groups regardless of rarity. Usually.
  • Armor-Piercing Attack: ARs, RFs and MGs can be equipped with armor piercing rounds, or may come with active skills that circumvent armor. Otherwise, their attacks will do single digit damage against armored targets.
    • On the other end of the board, certain Sangvis Ferri bosses and heavies will shred through armor with their weapons, dealing full or close-to-full damage to any hapless SG standing in their way. Typically these will have explosive-based attacks (e.g. Destroyer), though there are exceptions.
  • Artistic License – Geography: The game is not exactly consistent in regards to where it takes place. You fight in all sort of places like snowy mountains, deserts, and tropical forests, but the in-game story implies that these zones are relatively close to each other. However, later game contents and major operation events heavily implies that this all takes place within Russia and its neighbors. 11th operational area of the game is set in the streets of the Serbian capital city of Belgrade.
  • Artistic License – Gun Safety:
    • Quite a number of T-Dolls twirl or generally mess with their weapons in their victory animations. UMP45 and ART-556 take the cake, though. The latter, in her 2018 Chinese New Year outfit, balances her weapon by its barrel on the palm of her hand, while the former, in her regular outfit, balances hers' by its stock on her index finger!!.
    • In fact, most long-gun T-Dollsnote  handle their firearms with reckless abandon.
      • Due to the chibi proportions leading to short and chubby arms, RF/AR T-Dollsnote  rest the stock of their rifles on their shoulders, instead of bracing the gun against it. Only shorter rifles (like FAMAS) or sprites where the rifle is scaled down too (like the FNC) are depicted as using proper rifle stance.
      • Following the trend, SMG and certain SG T-Dolls don't even bother with shouldering their firearms, and are depicted as hipfiring with the stock riding on the outside of their arms instead of inside, which would result in very awkward handling in reality. Averted with STEN Mk. III and Spectre M4.
      • Winchester M1887 is an especially flagrant example of this: Her attack animation is a direct Shout-Out to Terminator 2: Judgment Day, which features her flip-cocking her shotgun after every shot. However, the shotgun itself has a normal-sized lever loop, which would twist against and crush the fingers of the shooter when a flip-cock is attempted, which almost happened to Arnold Schwarzenegger himself during filming when he grabbed the wrong prop before a flip-cocking scene.
      • Averted for the most part with the MG T-Dolls who typically behave the most sensibly among the cast by either going prone to lay down suppressing fire, deploying mounts, or both. Played straight with BAR M1918, however, who uses AR animations, and M60, who channels her inner Rambo by firing her machinegun while standing upright and cradling the ammo belt in her off-hand.
    • Downplayed with HG T-Dolls, who mostly operate sensibly by adopting a proper Weaver stance. Or try to and ending up in an unsafe "teacupping" stance instead. However a select few firmly adhere to the principle of "one-handed no-aim firing".
  • Artistic License – Military:
    • There are some pretty weird classifications in the game:
      • Several carbines or short-barreled rifles are categorized as SMGs for "balancing reasons", most notably SR3-MP and G36C. This comes despite many of their variants being considered full-fledged ARs by the game.
      • FG42 is, for all intents and purposes, a paratrooper-pattern AR rather than a true MG.
      • Calling 6P62 an AR is a bit of a stretch. Practically, it's a magazine-fed heavy machine gun. Going by the intermediate cartridge aspect of the assault rifle definition, the caliber is way, way, way too big to be considered intermediate. The only part of it that can be defined loosely as "assault rifle" is that it was apparently designed for assaulting enemy vehicles.
    • While this does not affect gameplay, M14 refers to herself as a "civilian weapon" and the artbook also takes pains to point out her "civilian appearance." This is absolutely false: the M14 was designed from the ground-up as a military rifle and holds the dubious distinction as the U.S. Armed Forces' shortest-lived standard-issue rifle from 1959 to the mid-1960s. For a game that has done plenty of research into the guns, this is a glaring oversight. It would be accurate if they meant the Mini-14, which is indeed a civilian rifle designed by Bill Ruger & Jim Sullivan as a scaled-down M14, or even the M1A, which is another civilian rifle originally converted from surplus M14s. However, the fact that M14 is placed after M1 Garand and before M21 in the artbook is a strong indicator the game's designers really do mean they're talking about the original M14, not the M1A or Mini-14.
  • Ascended Meme: IDW's acquisition dialoguenote  has spawned several memes among the fanbase. Cue August 2017's Password Card Event, one of the password card missions for the bingo board is titled "IDW Da Meow!".
  • Attack Drone: Fairies. While they fit the "drone" part in that they're literally military drones that project a hologram of a Super-Deformed girl, most of them are more along the lines of a Support Party Member and only a handful of them have any direct attacks (e.g. the Sniper Fairy).
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • MG T-Dolls can be this since they need SG teammates to be truly effective. They also represent the largest ammo sinks in the game due to the sheer volume of their firepower.
      • On that same note, an MG/SG echelon setup is probably the closest thing to a straight-up deathball in Girls Frontline, being capable of frightening DPS and the hitpoints to back that up, essentially allowing them to just steamroll over most mobs with ease. However they also chew up resources like nobody's business, especially Ammo. Unless your economy is superb, overuse of these echelons is a great way to go bankrupt, especially if there are two or more MGs included.
    • "Bamboo" RF Dolls fall squarely into this category as of the current meta for a variety of reasons.
      • These RFs are usually plagued by low rate of fire, thus limiting their DPS potential.
      • It also doesn't help that their skills typically have long cooldowns, and even when they are usable, they would still require a rather lengthy "warm-up" time before they can let loose, during which they cannot move or attack, therefore putting a large dent in the fireteam's already average DPS, as explained above, on top of leaving them wide open to enemy nukers.
      • Additionally, since there are not that many enemies with hitpoints mandating the use of heavy firepower in the game at the moment (and those that do are often dealt with using Fire Support Echelons), their excessive damage per shot is pretty much wasted.
    • The main shtick of Shield-type SMGs is high HP and temporary invulnerability at the cost of poor evasion. While they make effective tanks at earlier levels and during normal play, they don't hold up well when fighting certain event bosses due to their Shields' lengthy cooldown making them sitting ducks once they're down. Later maps where KCCO enemies make their appearance also stomp their utility to the ground with row-wide attacks and/or additional gimmicks that bite the SMG T-Dolls hard once their shields are down.
      • This can be slightly mitigated by stacking up an additional shield during the initial cooldown via the Shield Fairy, which protects every SMG T-Doll in the echelon, though only for 150 damage each. And most event bosses and KCCO heavy hitters don't just attack for 150 damage per salvo, either.
    • The Stun Grenade skill for certain T-Dolls have now become this. Despite being able to completely halt enemies from moving and/or attacking for the duration of the effects, Stun Grenades have long cooldown and has a significant wind-up period after activation before enemies are incapacitated. Furthermore, they no longer work on bosses, whereas Smoke Grenades still do, making them vastly inferior utility-wise.
    • M16A1's ability to equip armor plates as well as her Stun Grenade skill makes her an excellent frontline tank... at earlier levels, or an invaluable erm..."component", in corpse-dragging. As Stun Grenade no longer works on bosses, she has no real utility when fighting them. On top of this, despite being able to equip both armor plates and exoskeletons, she neither has base Armor stats to truly shine as an effective armor tank, nor is she sturdy enough to fully replace an SMG on harder maps, thus putting her in an awkward position during the late game.
  • Badass Adorable: Several T-Dolls are cute and adorable, as Kalina even states, and at the same time can kick ass.
  • Badass Biker: The Prince's Frontline procurement event features costumes for AEK-999 and PzB 39 that give them kickass bikes. The official artbook also shows an elite Sangvis Ferri unit called Beak who rides an armed motorcycle, and while she makes another appearance in the PV for Operation Isomer, she still hasn't been officially released yet.
  • Badass Cape: Available as an equipment for your RFs. They increase critical hit chance but decrease movement speed. High tier capes are described as camouflaged, culminating with a thermoptic camouflage as the top-tier offering.
  • Badass Crew: Anti-Rain Squad and 404 Squad. The former is a group of custom T-Dolls made by 16Labs itself, based on AR-15 derivatives. The latter is composed of rogue T-Dolls, based on H&K weapons, and is G&K's go-to squad for covert operations.
  • Beach Episode: The 2017 Summer Event introduces several swimsuit costumes for your T-Dolls as well as summer furniture.
  • Beef Gate: In Operation Singularity, this trope is in play when fighting against Agent. At two different points in each of her battles, she summons a barrier that serves as a DPS-check, which must be destroyed within a set period of time, as failure to do so will result in Agent unleashing an attack that hits every single member of your squad for 9999 damage. Teams that do not have sufficient DPS during the two times where she spawns the barrier are thus unable to defeat her.
  • BFG: Some T-Dolls carry positively massive guns. Both NTW-20 and IWS-2000 are shorter than their own weapons, while machine guns like M2HB and M1919 dwarf even battle rifles with their sheer size.
  • Bottomless Magazines: With the exception of MGs and SGs, no T-Doll needs to reload during battle. Also, while battles do actually cost Ammunition, it's always a flat reduction of 20% of the echelon's supplies, regardless of whether it was a five-minute war of attrition or a three-second execution.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: Typically, any event with a ranked challenge map will likely have one of these.
    • Operation Deep Dive has the Golden Fairy, which does nothing beyond providing the basic stat boost and serving as proof of one achieving a high ranking on the challenge map. It doesn't even have a proper skill, merely displaying a visual effect when activated instead. For even more vanity, one can try to achieve and maintain one of the top 100 spots on the server's leaderboards for the Tier 3 skin, which is just that same fairy but gold-plated. Both the skin and the Fairy itself are unobtainable otherwise. In short, the Golden Fairy is fairly useless aside from being proof of merit, and for Index completion, and would better fit the bill for a Cosmetic Award if not for the status buffs it also gives.
  • Brain Uploading: T-Dolls are able to backup their digi-mind into a server. Should their current body die, the digi-mind can then be installed into a replacement body. This is the in-universe justification why your T-Dolls cannot permanently die. Even Sangvis Ferri dolls possess this ability, which is how Destroyer is able to return as Garm and later as Gaia.
    • The only ones that can't (initially) backup their their digi-mind are AR Team members, whose unique neural architecture is not compatible with the current backup system. A later update introduced the "Recovery" mechanic that made it possible to reacquire unleveled copies of them for the same amount of cores needed to Dummy Link them once.
  • Break Out the Museum Piece: Quite a number of T-Dolls wield firearms that are obsolete by today's standards, never mind 2062's. This is because there are laws which prohibit PMCs from fielding weapons that were developed during or after World War III. Not that this stops them from kicking ass.
  • Breaking the Fellowship: AR Team starts fragmenting as early as Chapter 6, as members are incapacitated and new ones are cycled in, but it breaks for good when the events of Singularity drive them apart:
    • M4A1 and ST AR-15 join AK-12 and AN-94 in Team DEFY;
    • SOPMOD II and RO635 eventually reunite with the commander and keep working for Griffon; and
    • M16A1 succumbs to the Parapluie virus, gets an Evil Makeover, and joins Sangvis Ferri.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: Diamonds, the premium currency, can be used to purchase consumables, resources, and infrastructure. You get a small sum of diamonds from log-in rewards, weekly share, or clearing maps for the first time with an S-rank,note  but paying for them is obviously much faster.
    • Recharging Gems for the first time also gifts the player with a free copy of either a 4-star Springfield (First Payment award on CN/TW/KR server until July 2018) or 5-star FAL (from July 2018 onwards).
  • Brought Down to Badass: T-Dolls who have been "dismantled" are not destroyed, but merely have their combat cores and gear stripped from them, making them unfit for battle. They're still statistically superior compared to a human, however, as they are still in principle A-Dolls, with enhanced strength and agility among other things.
    "For T-Dolls who have had their cores and weapons removed, please prepare your resume."
  • Bulletproof Vest: One of the type of craftable equipment. They increase armor and are only equippable by shotguns and M16A1.
  • Cap: The game puts a limit on many things, but chiefly the maximum amount of the four resources that natural regeneration will add up to, after which the only way to gain more is to complete missions or logistic expeditions. While this maximum amount is increased per Commander level, the absolute hard cap of every resource is 300,000 that not even expeditions could surmount, though achievements and quests are still fair game.
  • Cataclysm Backstory: The ELID epidemic caused innumerable casualties on top of rendering vast swathes of land uninhabitable.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: The storyline gets progressively darker after the death of ST AR-15.
  • City Noir: The Serbian, and former Yugoslavian, capital city of Belgrade, the setting for Chapter 11, is depicted as this. Sugar and tobacco are rationed, and protest marches are common. Citizens are separated into classes, and those who are not economically well-off live in crime-ridden slums. Anti-doll sentiments is implied to be somewhat widespread as well. Fittingly enough, the main plot of this chapter is a Film Noir-esque search for a mysterious person.
  • Clothing Damage: Sufficiently damaged T-Dolls will get their clothes shredded. At this point they will automatically retreat from the battle unless on a Boss node. If a critically-damaged T-Doll re-enters a fight during this state, they are at risk of being downed.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience:
    • Generic Sangvis Ferri units are grey and purple, while bosses are simply black and white.
    • Armored Sangvis Ferri units are tan with grey and purple accents.
    • KCCO units are mostly green with various shades of grey.
    • Paradeus's units are white with blue and orange accents.
  • Color-Coded Item Tiers: The game categorizes T-Dolls, Fairies, and Equipment through a combination of star grades and the color of their unit frames or backgrounds. A gray-green background denotes 2-star "Common", blue background for 3-star "Rare", light green background and portrait frame for 4-star "Epochal", golden background and portrait frame for 5-star "Legendary", and purple background and portrait frame are reserved for Extra-grade T-Dolls.
    • Oddly enough, the game doesn't seem to have a proper 1-star rarity. While Extra-grade is represented by one large star, it is about on par with Legendary in terms of importance instead.
  • Continuity Snarl: The game takes place in an Alternate History where the Soviet Union never fell. However, this causes some problems with the plot since some of the guns used by the T-Dolls were made after the fall of Soviet Union like the SV-98 sniper rifle, which not only was made in Real Life 1998, her T-Doll is even wearing the Russian Federation flag on the left sleeve of her shirt!
  • Contractual Boss Immunity: Bosses were made immune to flashbangs in late 2016. However, when they're fighting alongside Agent as part of a Boss Rush, they become vulnerable to flashbangs once again.
  • Cool Guns: Par of the course for a game about anthropomorphized firearms.
  • Crosshair Aware: Certain boss skills will mark tiles on your side with warning symbols. If one of your dolls is standing on top of it, you better move her fast.
  • Crossover: A few of the T-Dolls are created as a result of a collaboration between other works.
    • The Type 81 Carbine's character design and character art is identical to the character Liang Lingwei from the doujin series CHINA RAILWAY GIRL, and her art is done by the same artist as the original.
    • The June 2017 event Operation Rabbit Hunt is a collaboration with Arc System Works, which made the video games BlazBlue and Guilty Gear, and the two main rewarded "T-Dolls", Noel Vermilion and Elphelt Valentine, are from these two respective works.
    • November 2017 features the Single Master event, a crossover with Collapse Academy 2 (better known in the west as Guns Girl: School DayZ). As with Operation Rabbit Hunt, the event rewards Extra class "T-Dolls" and fairies. The only downside is this event was only available on Digital Sky and Bilibili.
    • Another crossover event was held in May 2018, this time with DJMAX. The event featured both versions of the girl on DJMAX Respect's box art (El Clear and El Fail) as "handgun" units, and players even got to play a few songs right in the game itself.
    • A VA-11 HALL-A crossover is confirmed for multiple dates for all servers; namely June for CN/TW/KR, August for EN, and September for JP
  • Cyberspace: Zener Network, the backbone of inter-machine communication, is depicted as this in Deep Dive. Justified, as UMP9 had G11 and HK416's interface to be modified so that they can familiarize themselves faster.
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique: Played for laughs in the official 4-koma on the subject of Fairies. While we never get to see what the Commander might have been up to, it's clearly evident that he botched it and accidentally summoned Shoggoth instead. He then tries to pass it off as an ELID Infecteenote , to unseen results.
  • Darkest Hour: By the end of Singularity, the military arrests Kryuger and disbands G&K, branding its former members as fugitives in the process. M16 completes her defection to Sangvis Ferri and takes off to parts unknown with Elisa in tow. Both Angelique and the Commander survived a collapse fluid detonation, but they are stranded in the middle of a radioactive wasteland with little to no support. By the time of Continuum Turbulence, they've been separated, with Angelique on the run on her own, and the Commander captured by the new faction introduced in the event.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: All you get for a T-Doll being downed are the long time to repair her and losing a chunk of affection. Nevertheless, it's still not advisable to just let your T-Dolls go down, as high affection provides stat buffs, while a T-Doll's affection going below a certain point instead gives penalties to her stats.
  • Deflector Shields:
    • Several SMGs are capable of directly generating personal shields to block off all damage for the duration of the effect, rendering them effectively invulnerable while covered.
    • The Shield Fairy generates shields for your units at the front column, which can also be used to mitigate the initial cooldown for Shield-type SMGs, extending the overall duration of damage absorption.
    • As a SG, S.A.T.8 is also capable of doing this, although her shield works like a modified version of the Shield Fairy effects, in that it protects every unit at the front row instead of just SMGs, with a 35HP cover to buy them enough time to fire off their own skills before they start taking damage. S.A.T.8's shield also inherits her Armor value, which gives it incredible durability.
    • Agent has the ability to grant herself a shield that lasts until it is depleted from incoming damage. Taking out any of her clones will grant your entire squad this type of shield as well.
    • Several of the White Faction's units also come with personal shields. A Fire Support Team is needed just to bring the shield down, rendering the unit vulnerable to standard T-Doll attacks.
  • Denser and Wackier: The teased anime adaptation eschews the game's serious and grim theme of warfare and loss, and goes full-on comedy, with Super-Deformed characters in more light-hearted scenarios instead of, you know, in a war. If anything, it's closer in essence to the 4-koma illustrated by MADCORE instead.
  • Disc-One Nuke:
    • It is possible for new players to build 4 Stars or even 5 Stars T-Dolls right from the beginning if they have the T-Doll crafting contracts, luck and materials to build them. However, 4 and 5 stars T-Dolls are both rare and cost a lot of cores to Dummy Link, meaning that they can easily become Too Awesome to Use for newer players simply due to this.
    • Sten Mk.II, being a 3 Star T-Doll available right at Chapter 1, serves as one for new players. Not only is she incredibly easy to raise, if you use Replacement Core during the Dummy Link tutorial instead of feeding the free Sten given, you can keep the free Sten and put her into another squad you have, providing you enough firepower to carry on until the end of chapter 2. However, as soon as you manage to build enough 4 Stars T-Dolls or above to form a squad of them, the Stens will become virtually useless.
  • Do Androids Dream?: One recurring theme through the story is just how human T-Dolls are. Despite supposedly being nothing more than machines, they are able to feel emotions, form relationships, and develop distinct personalities beyond their factory specifications. More literally, several dolls do dream when they undergo repairs, despite the insistence of other dolls that it's impossible.
  • Do Not Run with a Gun: T-Dolls have to stay still before they can attack. Fortunately, this also applies to your enemies, which makes skills that slow down or knock back enemies more useful.
  • Draw Aggro: This is what the Taunt Fairy does, by deploying a target dummy in front of the player's echelon that enemies will invariably attack first. It's less useful against enemies who can strike a large area at once, though, since the lanes or tiles adjacent to the dummy would still be hit.
  • Dub Name Change: Zig-zagged. For reasons that are highly likely to be licensing issues, the both the English and Japanese versions change the names of certain T-Dolls but leaves others untouched. That said, the game hasn't been consistent on these between pre-release images, beta tests, and the official release - for instance, FNC was known as "FCB" in pre-release images, then come the beta and she was now "FFC", before an update a few months after release renamed her again to "FF FNC". As well, since voiced lines go undubbed, any of them that mention a gun by name are unaltered. Information on the recruitment screens is unchanged as well, and CGs are only altered to cover the girls up more, so anything there that refers to guns by their real names is also unaltered, even for guns that had their names changed (such as FAMAS, before the above-mentioned update, going by "FMS" despite explicit mention in the background info of the FAMAS F1 and G2, and the fact that "FAMAS" is noticeably engraved onto the heart-shaped keychain attached to her bayonet.
    • Some firearm manufacturer names have been spoofed in the English release to skirt around trademark laws, being replaced with abbreviations of their home countries' namesnote , or in the case of FN Herstal, rendered into a confusing "FF". These are mostly absent otherwise.
    • On the Chinese version, the Type 100 is renamed to "樱", or Sakura (the flower), presumably due to fears that Imperial Japanese elements would not sit well with the Chinese government.
  • Dummied Out:
  • Dump Stat: Evasion is this for RFs, MGs, SGs, as well as some ARs.
    • In the case of RFs and MGs, it is because they are backline units that weren't designed to tank, therefore their Evasion is usually abysmal and cannot be improved to any meaningful degree.
    • SGs don't need Evasion because they are meant to be shot at as much as possible, while dampening the damage from those hits with Armor.
    • Most ARs are there to deal damage and buff SMGs (or in rare cases, themselves) who serve as their Meat Shield, and as such aren't meant to be tanks. The one AR that can equip armor plates also has very mediocre health, which makes her a poor dodge tank even with exoskeletons.
  • Easter Egg: For the Taiwanese version, in which the character art is censored, creating a T-Doll with a specific amount of resources,note  grants a patch which unlocks the uncensored character art. Originally, all versions used to have it, but it was disabled or removed after a while due to legislation issues, notably Digital Sky and BiliBili started it, then Korean Version followed suit.note 
    • Later on, the English version also has a similar method for getting uncensored art as the Taiwanese version, though the code is different this timenote 
  • Easy Logistics: You don't have to care about what kind of ammunition your echelons use, even if one of them shoots 20x80 mm autocannon rounds and the other shoots a WWI vintage rifle that loads one-off experimental rounds. As long your ammunition stockpile is high enough, you're A-OK. Either IOP manufactures all ammunition your T-Dolls use, or Kalina is just that good.
  • Electronic Telepathy: A mysterious voice contacts M4A1 at several points, offering the coordinates of SOP II and RO in exchange of her meeting Elisa. during the Singularity event. M4 thought it was Elisa, but it's heavily implied that the voice is OGAS, as when M4 finally meets up with Elisa, she is unaware of the deal.
  • Fantastic Nuke: During the third chapter of Singularity event, Angelica orders several vials of collapse fluid from Weltkins to be rigged with remotely-detonated TNT. The resulting blast not only wipes out almost all military units in the area, it also fills the battlefield with fatal amounts of radiation.
  • Five-Man Band: Anti-Rain Squad.
  • Foreshadowing: Might be a case of Lucky Translation, but in Chapter 7, M4A1 mentions that she's getting tired of M/45's cinnamon rolls. Coincidentally, a cinnamon roll is slang for a nice person who goes through emotional turmoil. Fittingly, this is the chapter where AR-15 dies and M4A1 starts going through her Heroic BSoD.
  • Fragile Speedster: Handguns (HG) typically have high evasion, but low firepower and health and are even more reliant on RNG for their survival compared to SMG. They buff adjacent T-Dolls of any type, and often have unique or powerful skills that are capable of providing Status Buff to their team or Status Ailment to their enemies. They also consume the least amount of resources.
  • Friendly Fireproof: Really the only way to make your own units not horribly maim each other in parallel formations where you can have machineguns and anti-tank cannons blasting out from behind you.
    • Goes one step beyond with the Airstrike Fairy, whose bombs are dropped almost directly on top of the outermost column on outwards. It's probably a good thing that those bombs do nothing to your own T-Dolls.
  • Girls with Guns: You command an entire army of them!
  • Glass Cannon: Rifles (RF) are slow firing, but deliver powerful shots with high critical chance giving their class the highest sustained DPS in game. They however have very low health and evasion, thus are best kept in the back lines, picking off enemies with precision fire. Rifles decrease the skill cooldown for nearby handguns.
    • Fire Support Teams are also this. Their destructive potential is unmatched by other T-Doll types, but they are instantly knocked out the moment an enemy steps into their position. They are also only deployable on special Heavy Helipads and cost staggering amounts of resources to maintain.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Fire Support Teams. Developed by IOP using data collected from Architect and in partnership with Wave Tech, they are intended to counter the escalating threat of enemies faced by G&K. Weltkins noted that they are expensive, dangerous, and outright illegal, something that an investor like him should have no interest in.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: The KCCO is revealed to be one of these in Deep Dive by having caused the SF insurrection in the first place, and they fully assume the role of villain at the end of Chapter 10 and the Singularity event.
    • Continuum Turbulence introduces a mysterious faction with Masonic imagery and fully biological "dolls" with power armor as their foot soldiers, implied to be associated with 90wish and Dr. Williams, who is the Big Bad of Bakery Girl.
  • Great Off Screen War: There aren't much details in the lore about World War III, but a number of characters (most notably Berezovich Kryuger) and events are influenced by things that happened during the war.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • In limited events where you earn and redeem points by fulling a achievement, there's a achievement which requires you to complete levels a set amount of times, and sometimes, a specific level by guessing the source of the dialogues from the corresponding level's cutscenes. However, Auto Battle does not count as completing a level unless the achievement specifies doing so. In other words, you have to manually complete your levels over and over again until you meet the requirement.
    • For daily missions, there're two daily achievements that reward you two T-Doll production contracts and two Equipment production contracts by producing 3 T-Dolls and 3 equipment, respectively. However, in order to activate this daily mission, you have to complete the previous one that rewards you 1 contract by producing 1 T-Doll or 1 equipment. In other words, you have to produce 4 T-Dolls or 4 equipment in order to receive all 3 daily contracts per each category, meaning you'll also have to do at least one logistics support mission or an unrelated challenge that grants you a production or equipment contract to break even.
    • Marked one-time resupply nodes introduced in Operation: Arctic Warfare are usable mid-turn, even when captured by the enemy, on top of replenishing ammo and ration passively post-turn like a normal helipad. The former is never alluded to or mentioned by the game in detail, which could (and had) lead to players wasting precious turns and moves trying to capture and/or just sitting on such nodes due to being misled by common sense.
    • Normally, manually retreating an echelon without good reason would be a bad idea, due to the resource loss and rank penalty. Not with map E3-4 of Operation Deep Dive, however, where the intended strategy is for the boss-clearing echelon to manually retreat via Gaia's helipad to make room for the other hostage-carrying team. This is worthy of mention, since the stage doesn't automatically end after the boss is defeated, and the center node she sits on is a dead end that wouldn't allow friendly echelons to swap places for hostage extraction.
  • Gun Accessories: You can equip your T-Dolls with optics, suppressors, laser sights, etc. to improve their stats.
  • Hand Cannon: Some of the pistols are quite large. There's the Contender, a break-action pistol that uses rifle rounds, the Grizzly MKV which is a M1911 derivative that can use .45 Magnum rounds and the Mark V can use .50 AE rounds (the same as the Desert Eagle), and the absolutely humongous Thunder .50 BMG pistol, which is a breechloader that uses anti-material rifle rounds.
  • Hero Secret Service: It turns out that the entire AR Team is one towards M4A1. They're supposed to protect M4 at all cost, even taking their own lives if needed to.
  • Hollywood Hacking: As depicted in Operation Deep Dive, hacking for T-Dolls is no different from regular combat.
  • How We Got Here: The very first map of Operation Singularity shows M4A1 boarding a train and racing to stop M16A1 from leaving with Elisa on said train. You'll then fight your way through 3 event maps of the event to find out just how things came to be, culminating in said spoiler-ed event, only this time you're using using your squads to distract SOCOM mechs and ensure that a certain T-doll is actually able to perform that spoiler-ed action.
  • Implacable Man: Both your T-Doll's and the enemies can do this. Gameplay wise, if one of your squads are knockout you can simply return back to base (pausing the mission) repair the squad's members and then return back to the mission to redeploy them again. It's an effective way in case the enemy boss is harder to kill.
  • Instant-Win Condition: It doesn't matter if your last echelon is down to one doll and the enemy is literally swarming around your HQ. As long the enemy base is captured, you win the map.
  • Interface Spoiler: The English version of the game is a doozy with this.
    • There are already tabs for digi-mind upgrading and the side ops to get materials for it, despite neither being available at the moment.
    • Heavy Construction for both T-Dolls and Equipment were part of the crafting interface long before those were released to the public (and Heavy Equipment construction is still unreleased as of the latest build). As such, Fairy-related functionalities are not accessible at the moment despite being spoiled rotten by the Formations interface, the Research tab, and loading screen tips.
    • Various Dormitory facilities like the Courtyard are not yet implemented, despite being alluded to by the loading screen tips.
  • An Interior Designer Is You: You're able to customize the Dormitory with obtainable furniture. Doing so increase the dorm's comfort rating, which in turn increases the affection rating of your T-Dolls and the amount of batteries the dorm generates.
  • I Shall Taunt You: This is the function and purpose of the Taunt Fairy, as it sets up one of the Training Dummies at the front of the echelon that will constantly Draw Aggro until either it is destroyed, or the battle is won. The Fairy's CG even shows a Joshikousei pointing at the dummy in a provoking manner as if telling the enemy: "Hey, Notice This!".
  • Iyashikei: The anime PV features elements of this. The "cute girls doing cute things" segments will be running alongside the anime proper, presumably to counteract the story's usual fare. Hell, the end of the PV outright calls it the "Healing Chapter".
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: Assault Rifles (AR) have balanced stats all around, though they are still excellent damage dealers. Assault Rifles strengthens SMGs in front of them, except for M4A1 and Ribeyrolles 1918, who buff other ARs instead.
  • Kinetic Weapons Are Just Better: Although Sangvis Ferri possess advanced energy weapon technology, that doesn't stop them from getting their assess handed to them by slug-throwing G&K dolls. Zigzagged with KCCO. Their infantry still use ballistic weapons, but their tanks utilize laser cannons and are no less effective because of it.
  • Large and in Charge: A map's boss is more often than not the biggest unit on the field, either through sheer body size or the scale of their weapons.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Liberally abused by 404 Squad. Every time they come into contact with other dolls, they edit her memories afterwards to remove any traces of their involvement.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler:
    • Operation Rabbit Hunt contains spoilers for Operation Arctic Warfare/Hypothermia for the English and Japanese versions, as these two versions did not get their run at the latter event until months afterward.
    • 2019's April Fools joke had RO635 turn into a Dinergate for the day (among other things), spoiling both a plot element in the Continuum Turbulence event and also in chapter 11, neither of which were released at the time in the English server.
  • Level-Locked Loot: Hitting certain level milestones on a T-Doll unlocks more equipment slots for them as well as allowing the use of 3★ and 4★ equipment.
  • Level-Up at Intimacy 5: T-Dolls gain small increases to their damage, accuracy, and evasion at 90 and 140 affection.
  • Luck-Based Mission: There are quite a few maps where success or failure hinge upon enemy movement and, in the case of resource/ambush nodes, the placement of enemy squads, especially on night maps, where you have limited vision, or when going for S-ranks, which require victory with more than a certain number of kills and within a short number of turns.
    • Tracking down and defeating Ouroboros in Operation Cube. The first layer of difficulty comes in the fact that the entire op consist solely of night maps. The second is that while her starting placement is fixed, her path-finding is random, and you have to attempt to track her movements based on unoccupied nodes being taken on SF's turns even when you can't see the units on them. The third is that like regular non-event night maps, there's a turn limit in which to find and defeat her or you fail the mission.
    • The hidden mission for the first map in Operation Singularity. It is notable in that out of all the missions on that map, it is the only night op. The objective is simple: Capture the enemy HQ at the south end of the map, taking as many turns as you need. The luck part comes in with the achievement for the map, named "Perfect Stealth". This achievement can effectively only be obtained with a great amount of luck, as it requires you to finish the mission with zero encounters, and the only viable path for this is south, through chance-based possible encounter nodes.
    • Certain maps of Operation Deep Dive can be infuriating to clear, due to the presence of the red Goliath Plus units. These are basically souped-up versions of the regular Goliath, only with truly ludicrous amounts of health, and one explosion is enough to wipe out even the strongest echelon out there. To put it into perspective: A fully-geared MG/SG echelon with Fairy support typically clock in at about 30,000 and change CE during night maps, while a Goliath Plus node can rank somewhere among the low 100,000s. It speaks volumes when even fully-kitted MG/SG echelons could do little more than slightly dinging them before they blow themselves up. And to make things worse, these typically come in pairs, and have a very nasty tendency to intercept the hostage rescuing team en route to a helipad, resulting in an instant mission failure.
  • Meat Sack Robot: T-Dolls are of the Terminator type; fully-robotic beings covered in soft, skin-like substance. This is most visible with the Ripper killed by M16 in chapter 4, and UMP45's damaged CG in Continuum Turbulence.
  • Mecha-Mooks: The entirety of Sangvis Ferri forces are technically this, but the game actually makes a distinction between mechanical (Dinergates, Scouts, Prowlers) and humanoid (Rippers, Vespids, Jaegers) units, at least for the purpose of quests. Played straight with KCCO, whose units are much less human-like than Sangvis Ferri's.
  • Mega-Corp: I.O.P. Manufacturing Company, your main supplier of T-Dolls. Other than manufacturing, they also handle T-Doll retirement and issue them to the civilian market. They also own 16Lab, a research company that develops Etching technology and its derivative applications.
  • Mighty Glacier: Machine Guns (MG). They can put out incredible amount of burst firepower and take some beating, but also require reloading once in a while and are also tied with Shotguns for the two classes with the slowest movement speed in the game. MGs increase the stats of SGs in the front rows. They are also massive resource hogs.
  • Mildly Military: Most of the T-Dolls don't follow a proper military dress code and some of them have attitude problems that would be unacceptable in any military force. This is justified since Grifon & Kryuger is a private military company so their T-Dolls have laxer rules on what they can wear and behave.
  • Military Moe: Girls with Guns (who are guns) fight a Robot War, and it's possible for the player to romance them in between battles.
  • Moe Anthropomorphism: Zig-Zagged. The game is noted to have used some Insistent Terminology in Chinese adverts to not imply it as a game about anthropomorphized weapons, but somewhere along the lines of "just" Girls with Guns. Most character designs are still mixed with moe anthropomorphism aspects (being personification of various firearms), but there are more than a handful of exceptions where the connection is flimsy. For those that are true anthropomorphisms, this is also justified, as historical and combat data of a weapon are used to determine the ideal physical shape, personality, and even mannerisms to best wield their specified weapon.
  • Mood Whiplash: On one hand, the story, from the introduction alone, depicts a dark, gritty, and serious tone, with each chapter showing things going From Bad to Worse. And then we have the in-game features like the dorm, where T-Dolls are depicted in chibi, and the tone is generally cutesy.
  • Multinational Team: Since the T-Dolls identify themselves as the same nationality as their guns nation of origin (or in Tac-50's case, the country heavily associated with her gun), and G&K itself is of (New Soviet) Russian origin, this makes the PMC fit the bill perfectly. The majority of the G&K T-Dolls are essentially American, British, Franco-Belgian, German, Italian, Israeli, Chinese, Japanese, South Korean and Russian. Other nations represented include South Africa, Austria, Australia, Brazil, the Czech Republic, Canada and Singapore.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: During the North Island Incident, the security team assigned to the site attempt to contain the breach by detonating explosives over the Collapse fluid storage tanks. Unfortunately, the explosion vaporizes the entirety of the tanks' contents into the atmosphere, eventually resulting in global contamination.
  • No Ontological Inertia:
    • Killing SF Jaguar units will automatically cause their fired mortar shells to vanish and deal no damage whatsoever to your echelon.
    • Retreating any grenade-throwing T-Doll will either cause their grenade to stop existing, or cause the effects of the grenade to do likewise.
  • No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup: The Anti Rain unitsnote , who were noted to have their memory chips uniquely developed by 16LAB. As such, the game makes a huge deal out of players refraining from using them as fodder, or dismantling them for cores, since it would be impossible to get another if they do. That is, until the Recovery mechanic came out which rendered this a moot point, where you could regain unleveled copies of them by shelling out several cores to retrieve them from the Index.
  • Not Drawn to Scale: Kar98k looks like a adult girl in her artworks, and her rifle is mostly correctly scaled in her chibi art and official art, but her character artwork has a peculiar quirk - the 1100mm-long rifle looks almost as tall as her. This caused plenty of jokes in the fanbase about Kar98k actually being just a little over 1.1m tall.
    • Similarly, P7 looks like a child wearing a nun vest, but her handgun is drawn too small in her character art, with estimates putting her over 2.10 meters talls.
  • Not the Intended Use: Operation Isomer introduces security gates that can opened/closed on command from various consoles on maps that have them, and are designed to allow/deny passage through the nodes they occupy. When you're introduced to the gates for the first time, you're also told that if the gate is commanded to close while any echelon is standing on their node, they take damage to the tune of 25% of their current health. However, this also applies to any enemy unit caught in the gate. Enterprising players see this as a way to mostly, or completely trivialize certain enemies (eg. Nytos, Manticores, Doppelsoldners, etc.) by luring said unit to a gate and then reducing every member in that unit to 1 HP via repeatedly slamming the gate closed on them.
  • One-Gender Race: The A-Dolls are this, which sets a precedence for the T-Dolls that come after them. Though they don't have biological genders, all T-Dolls shown so far look and act like women and young girls. Sangvis Ferri combat units are unmistakably female as well, or are otherwise genderless.
    • According to NTK-62/Type 62 MG's secretary line, male Dolls are a thing in-universe. It just so happens that female models vastly outnumber them in almost every area.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted and justified. T-Dolls that share the same name are usually based off guns that are variants of each other (such as M4A1 and M4 SOPMOD II), but then you have Type 97 Assault Rifle and Type 97 Shotgun.
  • Ornamental Weapon: Some T-Dolls, notably ones based WWII-era German and Soviet guns, either carry a sword or some type of blade on their person, or have a bayonet of some sort affixed to their weapon. With the exception of CZ-75 however (who throws her axe at enemies as her skill), none of the other melee weapon-equipped T-Dolls will actually use them.
    • Averted in the manga, where T-Dolls use secondary weapons when required. Ingram for instance favors using her combat knife to assassinate enemies.
  • Permanently Missable Content:
    • This is usually the case with event-exclusive T-Dolls, especially those of Crossover runs. While some event-only map-drop T-Dolls have been added to the production pools, those that are given as milestone rewards like Five-Seven and M1887, or crossover-exclusive ones, haven't.
    • Certain skins belonging to SV-98, UMP45 and SPAS-12 can only be unlocked by redeeming codes bundled with official merchandise. UMP45's "Winter Journey" skin is probably the worst, since the code can only be obtained with purchases of a replica of said jacket, of which only 5,000 were ever made.
  • Polyamory: As is the case with many other card-collecting games that incorporate a marriage mechanic, or Oath in this case, one can "marry" more than one T-Doll and nobody will bat an eye about it, not even the "wives" themselves. In fact, a player with mountains of cash to burn could potentially Marry Them All if they so choose.
  • Post-Cyberpunk: The lore has shades of this. Civilization is still in shambles from the damage caused by World War III and ELID Epidemic, with governments barely able to protect their territories due to lack of manpower. The player character is part of a paramilitary unit trying to restore order into this chaotic world, and they're doing a pretty good job at it. The Mega-Corp that supplies them comes off as genuinely helpful rather than obstructive. Life in the cities is implied to be good, with dolls being employed for physical labor. The main conflict is Robot War where soldiers from both sides ponder about their identity and purpose in life. If Chapter 9 is an indicator, it would get worse around 30 years later.
  • Power Equals Rarity: Zig-zagged. Certain 3-star or even 2-star T-Dolls can vastly outperform dolls of higher rarity, usually by having good stats paired with a skill that scales well with those numbers. Conversely, some 5-stars T-Dolls have great stats that are held back by subpar skills and/or terrible tile buffs, to the point where more common dolls regularly outperform them in their supposed niches.
  • Powered Armor: Downplayed. The exoskeletons available to your dolls are unarmored and purely meant to assist movement. Played straight with M16's Special Battle Armor, which enhances her evasion and gives her extra protection.
  • Precision F-Strike: One happens near the end of Chapter 4 Night Battle. One of RO635's subordinates, STEN Mk.II, shows reluctance to disobey an order given by a human scientist (a known criminal, at that) to destroy the classified documents they've been seeking for the whole chapter, right before passing out from blood loss due to SF-inflicted injuries. This is even after learning that RO635 has authorization as a commanding officer. The otherwise calm and collected RO635 only has this to say in response:
  • Precursors: The backstory mentions an ancient alien civilization who left behind ruins filled with mysterious artifacts. Little else is known about them.
  • Private Military Contractors: Griffon & Kryuger Security Firm, the player's faction, is the second biggest PMC in the world. Sangvis Ferri used to be the largest, until their central AI pulled the rug right from under their human staff and waged war against humanity itself.
  • Product Placement: Sort of, if you don't consider it to be a Crossover in a very weird way. The design for Hanyang Type 88 is actually the same as the mascot character of the Wuhan ComiAi convention (wearing a maid dress), and it is the result of a promotional collaboration between Mica Team and the convention.
  • Rare Guns: A number of T-Dolls are based on prototype or just plain rare firearms. Some of the crazier ones include the 6P62 (a handheld heavy machine gun), the Ribeyrolles carbine (an automatic rifle that fits all the modern definitions of an assault rifle in 1918), IWS 2000 (a futuristic looking anti-materiel rifle firing a massive 15.2mm cartridge), and ASh-12.7 (a Russian battle rifle firing a 12.7×55mm cartridge).
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Unlike G&K or Sangvis Ferri, the KCCO opts to use practical-looking robots without extraneous features such as human-like appearance or emotion emulation. The result is that their units have much higher combat effectiveness compared to PMC dolls.
    • Like modern tanks, the military's laser-shooting tanks cannot depress their main guns enough to hit targets that are too close. Unlike modern tanks, they don't seem to have a coaxial or pintle-mounted machine gun to deal with infantry closing in. 404 squad attempts to exploit these two weaknesses and it's still not enough. Turns out you do need anti-tank weapons to effectively deal with armor. UMP45 got grievously wounded for all their trouble.
  • Regional Bonus: The Taiwanese, Korean, Japanese and English servers all had timed-exclusive T-Dolls, who were introduced to the other builds after a certain "waiting" period. The mainland Chinese and Korean versions are usually the most up-to-date in terms of content, while the English server lags quite a bit behind due to being established much later, though the developers made up for this by giving them M200 as their own exclusive, which hasn't been included in any other build.
    • In an inversion, the Taiwanese version will be the only one that will not be getting the "Single Master" event (Collaboration with Honkai Gakuen 2), as their regional version for that game shuttered long before the collab was announced for the Chinese and Korean version, and thus MICA Team had no one in Taiwan to ask. Later on the collab was confirmed for the Japanese and English versions, truly cementing the Taiwanese version as the odd-version-out.
  • Remote Body: Dummy Link technology allows T-Dolls to remotely control multiple bodies at once, with the original acting as a mainframe and the dummies only able to receive and execute orders, greatly enhancing their combat effectiveness. In-game, this also serves as a sort of health gating. Note that Sangvis Ferri units will also come Dummy Linked in later maps, though they won't benefit from the health gating aspect.
  • Ridiculously Human Robots: Android technology has advanced so much that they are nearly indistinguishable from regular humans. Your Tactical Dolls, for example, can eat human food, sleep (though this is sometimes referred as "hibernation"), and even bleed. Oh yeah, they had personalities too which makes them nearly border to Artificial Human. One exchange in the Single Master event mentions that making a T-Doll replica of someone is possible, as long as sufficient data is collected. This explains the "T-Dolls" obtainable from crossover events, but how they are able to replicate their explicitly magical abilities is another question entirely.
    • The Nytos take this even further. Several characters notes that they seem to spurt blood when shot, and Nyto Polarday is described as "blasted like a watermelon" when M82A1 shot her. And yet they are still robotic enough for UMP45 to hack them. Chapter 11 eventually revealed on why all the new faction's units nearly have this trait. Most of their humanoid units have human parts with them.
  • Robot War:
    • The whole story goes to start as Sangvis Ferri's AI went rogue against it's owner takeover the robots and androids under Sangvis Ferri and commence an all-out war against humanity.
    • In the lore, it's implied that World War III was also this to an extent. By this time, a large portion of human population was already wiped out due to the ELID virus, and as such there is a massive demand for T-Dolls between warring countries.
  • Rock Beats Laser: Your T-Dolls, who can be armed with anything from bolt-action rifles to 19th century revolvers, will cut through scores of advanced robots and androids.
  • Romance Sidequest: Each T-Doll has their own affection meter, which can be increased through various means. Once at 100, you can choose to marry her. Married T-Dolls have 30% faster repair rate, additional voice lines, and an increased affection meter (from 100 to 150)
  • Rule of Cool: No PMC worth its salt in reality would field the absurd amount of diverse firearm types featured in the game, much less a standing army of any capacity. Due to the sheer range of different ammunition types, keeping them all consistently stocked for any meaningful amount of time would be a logistical nightmare, which was why standardized equipment, particularly a trend of every individual weapon using the same ammo, became a thing in modern warfare. And that's not getting to the literal antiques used by certain T-Dolls, cancelled prototypes, or those that have long been rendered obsolete.
  • Schizo Tech: Apart from the T-Dolls themselves covering the late nineteenth century up to the present, the data room at some levels can for instance have widescreen monitors and networked printers, but store data in boxes of file folders and mission reports are drafted on typewriter.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: This is what the "heavy damage protection" setting in the options boils down to: outside of boss battles or combat simulations, any T-Doll who is critically damaged will automatically retreat from the current fight. This only applies to the battle in which they were damaged in, however; you have to manually tell them to retreat if the echelon enters combat again before you can repair anyone, or risk them going down for real and taking a sizable ding to affection.
  • The Southpaw: Due to the character models facing right, a majority of HG T-Dolls are this. Long-gun T-Dolls are mostly right-handed, however their character arts may tiptoe into this territory.
  • Stripperiffic: Sangvis Ferri humanoid units tend to bare a lot of skin. For the T-Dolls, AS Val wears bikini top (or midriff-baring tank top in the censored version) and a miniskirt.
  • Shout-Out:
    • M4A1's weapon resembles the version of the same assault rifle seen in Modern Warfare 2, particularly in its tan finish and using the same aftermarket ironsights. Which is probably intentional, given how the later events of this game turn out similarly.
      • Armor Fairy's first line when constructed is "Remember, no Russian".
    • Five-seveN's "Cruise Queen" outfit gives her weapon the "Monkey Business" skin from Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
    • The subtitle for Chapter 00-Seed in the English translation is "This is not your grave...but you are welcome in it.", and the subtitle for Chapter 08-Spark is "Don't make a girl a promise...if you know you can't keep it."
    • WA2000's red tie is a homage to Agent 47 of the Hitman games, as the WA2000 rifle was heavily associated with him.
    • Winchester M1887's Badass Biker character design is a direct Shout-Out to Terminator 2: Judgment Day. As a nod to this, her attack animation features her flip-cocking her shotgun after every shot. To further drive the point home, her unique skill is Terminating Shot, which deals a flat 1000 damage at level 10 on top of blowing the victim back several paces.
    • M60's attack animation has her firing her light machine gun while standing up, a reference to the ending scene of Rambo: First Blood Part II. She also ties up her bandana under her helmet in one of her victory animations.
    • In chapter 7, the narration states that the detention center where the Anti-Rain Squad is being held is codenamed "Mario's Princess".
    • MG3's stance in her default costume resembles Kazuki Fuse's appearance in one of the promotional posters for Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade
    • One of RO635's skill activation lines is lifted almost word-for-word from Kamen Rider Double.
    • SPAS-12's default appearance has the name Jerry Miculek written on her outfit, referring the the professional competition shooter known as "The Greatest Shooter Of All Time". Notably, SPAS-12 has items used by Jerry Miculek in speed-shooting shotguns, such as the unique shotgun speedloader mechanism and magazines that can be seen in action in this video. Ironically, however, the real SPAS-12 is not compatible with the speedloader featured, due to the shape of the trigger guard and incorporated safety lever.
    • The way how M1911's dual pistols have different finishes is a reference to Ebony and Ivory, Dante's signature weapons from Devil May Cry, which also happen to be a pair of modified M1911 pistols with different finishes. It's made more apparent with her digi-mind upgrade, where she switches hands with her two guns to use the nickel-plated one in her right hand and the blued one in her left, mirroring how Dante holds Ebony and Ivory.
    • Certain furniture items in the dorms also sneak in references from time to time.
    Convenience Store - Cashier Counter: We take cash, Griffin prepaid cards, and various other payment methods. Take these bottle caps back. You've played too many videogames.
  • Sixth Ranger: The Fairies fill this role in any echelon, either as an additional buff provider and damage dealer, or as pure utility.
  • Stone Wall: Both Submachineguns (SMG) and Shotguns (SG) fill this role, though in different ways despite both having high base health. SMGs rely on their evasion, while SGs use their thick armor to shrug off incoming damage. They synergize well with ARs and MGs, respectively. Their damage output, however, is limited with a few exceptions, and SMGs suffer from their horrible accuracy and base damage while SGs from a very low rate of fire and the reloading mechanic.
  • Story and Gameplay Segregation: Certain T-Dolls dying, being decommissioned, or are otherwise rendered lost throughout the campaign does not actually remove said Doll from the player's roster. Furthermore, despite the game making a huge deal out of players needing to keep the uber-unique Anti-Rain squad due to them being one-of-a-kind and cannot be regained otherwise, the Recovery mechanic released several months down the line made this heavy emphasis an utter joke.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Some ARs and SMGs can lob explosive grenades as their skills. Certain fairies may also call in artillery support or airstrikes. On the enemy side, you have the Jaguar drones armed with mortars, and Destroyer with dual automatic grenade launchers.
  • Super-Deformed: Characters are represented in chibi proportions in actual gameplay.
  • Super-Powered Robot Meter Maids: Tactical Dolls who are retired only had their fire control core removed. This means they retain their increased strength and durability. While these traits are desirable for working in, say, a factory or mines, one would be hard pressed to explain why a waiter or a receptionist would need superhuman physical abilities.
  • Super Prototype: Regular G&K T-Dolls actually have little to no tactical ability, being only able to respond by following commands or basic training materials. Both M4A1 and RO635 are experimental units with independent command abilities. Though they still can't match a human Commander, at least M4A1 is unique enough to warrant SF attention.
  • Support Party Member: The Support Fairies are these, if their classification wasn't obvious enough. Their main use is to augment echelons with additional stats and various abilities, such as calling in off-screen airstrikes and mortar bombardments, or letting echelons deploy on neutral landing zones.
  • Temporary Online Content: Nine times out of ten, T-Dolls obtainable from events are this. Averted with limited time furniture resupplies, which get added to the general pool of furniture.
    • Alternative costumes for certain crossover characters are sold directly through the in-game store and can only be bought with real money. These typically remain until their related events are over, after which point no amount of cash will get you any.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: SF echelons on the map can move to and capture nodes instantly without having to end their turn.
  • The Computer Is a Lying Bastard: In the formation editing screen, you're told that the rate of fire stat is capped at 120 for all T-dolls except for shotgunsnote  and machine gunsnote . Outside of Steyr AUG and SAR-21 using their skillsnote , this is true on all servers... except for the English one, where ARs and RFs actually cap out at 108 instead. This discrepancy actually existed from even the very beginning of the original Mainland Chinese server, and was carried over to the Taiwanese and Korean servers, until the release of version 2.010, which not only eliminates the discrepancy by actually setting the cap 120, but also includes various quality-of-life features. The reason why the English server even had this behavior even though it was fixed on existing Asian servers was because, for whatever reason, it launched with a pre-2.010 version of the client, in which this discrepancy still existed. This ended in late October 2018 when the English version's client was updated to the same version as used by not only the three Asian servers that existed prior, but also the Japanese server, which not only launched after the English version, but launched with the same client version as the Mainland server had at the time. A further explanation as to why this discrepancy even exists for game clients prior to version 2.010 (which eliminated it) can be found here.
  • Theme Naming:
    • Aside from the obvious gun names for Griffon's T-Dolls, most of the human characters ingame are named after, or allude to flowers and plants. For instance, Helian's full name is Helianthus, which is the scientific name for sunflowers, while Kalina is a name that means sweet viburnum. Even Bereznovich Kryuger complies with this, as his full name means "Son of the cypress tree".
    • The mechanical KCCO units are named after entities and monsters from the Classical Mythology.
    • The enigmatic White Faction follows a theme of using Medieval European military units for their non-boss combatants.
  • Three-Laws Compliant: G&K T-Dolls are unable to harm human beings unless they are authorized by the Commander to do so. Averted with Sangvis Ferri dolls, whose A.I. Is a Crapshoot circumventing the robotic laws allows them to attack humans indiscriminately.
  • Through His Stomach: The most efficient way to raise a T-Doll's affection is gifting them sweets in the dormitory.
  • Token Enemy Minority: Certain T-Dolls are all but confirmed to be converted Sangvis Ferri units. Examples of these are the UMP40/45 duo, and M1887.
  • Truce Zone: Belgrade is revealed to be this during Isomer. The local government maintains absolute neutrality in the post-WWIII politics, which makes it hard for foreign influence to get a hold in the city. This makes it an ideal grounds for a peace summit between the UN and Soviet Union. This also means that Belgrade is without protection offered by either faction, which makes it easy for a malicious party to interrupt the conference.
  • 20 Minutes into the Future: The game takes place in the year 2062. Chapter 9 and a book bundled with The Art of Girls Frontline indicate that 30 years later, the events of Codename: Bakery Girl would take place.
  • Universal Ammunition: The game is very weird about its implementation of this trope.
    • On one hand, all T-Dolls draw from the same ammunition pool, and use one-fifth of their supply for every battle. The only difference is their rate of consumption.
    • On the other, there exist several T-Dolls who could equip more than one type of ammo, that are ostensibly different calibers, while using the same weapon. Contender and 6P62 come to mind, who could equip the standard ammunition types for their classes, in addition to AP rounds that are meant for high-caliber RFs and MGs.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: The seven middle-school students who broke into the quarantined Beilan island facility for shits and giggles in 2030. In their carelessness, they inadvertently released the sealed-off ELID virus, which was ejected into the stratosphere and scattered globally when the facility was blown up to contain it.
  • Useless Useful Skill: One would think that the accuracy bonus provided night-ops-only Flare Launcher skill found on certain HG T-dolls could be used to bypass night-ops 90% accuracy penalty, allowing T-dolls that can't equip IR laser sights to fight as effectively at night as they can during the day, or allow T-dolls that can equip them to use other optical/gun attachments (such as whatever attachments that would normally be used in daytime ops) instead. Unfortunately, this is not the case due to the bonus being multiplicative, and applied AFTER penalties. At best, this skill will only softens the accuracy penalty from 90% to 80%. As an result, the two T-dolls with this skill, P38 and C96, are relegated as scrap.
  • The Virus:
    • Euroky Low-Emission Infectious Disease, or more commonly known as ELID. The result of human exposure to a strange alien fluid. Most people die shortly after exposure, but those with some degree of resistance will find their skin silicified and their higher brain functions eroded, until they are left as nothing more than a shambling husk. Originally contained in an island off the coast of Shanghai, a massive containment breach caused the fluid to vaporize and spread into the atmosphere, contaminating most of the world in the process.
    • The Parapluie virus, which corrupts a T-Doll's mind and turns her into a Sangvis Ferri unit. UMP45 contracted this virus during Operation Cube and nearly succumbed to it in Deep Dive. The same happened to M16 in chapter 8, but she intentionally let the virus corrupt her in order to save M4A1.
  • The Voiceless: There are a handful of T-Dolls who never received voice lines to play in-game. While this doesn't mean they are mute, as they still talk all the same where relevant, they're just silent whenever they do "speak".
  • We All Live in America: Despite G&K and its founders being ostensibly Eastern European, the Commander and T-Dolls celebrate a plethora of global holidays throughout each year, from Christmas to Easter, and even the Chinese and Japanese New Years, respectively.
  • Weapon Tombstone: M4A1 makes a wooden replica of ST AR-15's weapon after the latter's apparent death.
  • Wham Episode: Pretty much every major event (and several story chapters). To break it down:
    • Chapter 6 of the main campaign, in which AR-15 sacrifices herself to save M4A1
    • Deep Dive reveals that the Butterfly Incident was orchestrated by the military all along.
    • Singularity is the point where the military steps into the conflict. It also features M16A1 as a boss.
    • Continuum Turbulence introduces the white faction, who is hostile to both SF and KCCO, hinting that something much bigger is going in the background.
  • When It All Began: The latter part of Deep Dive's flashbacks takes place during the Butterfly Incident, in which Elisa is awakened and began taking over the entire Sangvis Ferri forces.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Played with. G&K dolls are depicted as well-treated by their human superiors. Certain random node events mention an "Android Rights Group", and unlawful conversion of civilian doll into a T-Doll is a crime punishable by prison. Not everyone shares the same view, obviously. Dolls are generally considered to be much more expendable than human life, regardless of their self-awareness. One woman in Chapter 11 goes as far to call SOPMOD II "trash" and treats her as such.
  • Whole Episode Flashback: Chapters 1 and 2 of Continuum Turbulence are essentially the Commander, under interrogation, retelling the aftermath of Singularity to one of the ring leaders of the new faction.
  • World of Action Girls: Out of all named members of Griffon & Kryuger, Mr. Kryuger himself is the sole male, and he doesn't take to the front lines anymore. There is only one male character introduced after him who is both plot-relevant and competent in fights. The rest of the cast are women with varying degrees of fighting prowess and men in non-combat roles.
  • You Have Researched Breathing: Many T-Dolls character arts conspicuously depict them as having certain attachments or mods fitted to their weapons, though in order to actually gain their bonuses one has to manually craft or find, and then equip said Dolls with those same items.
  • You Require More Vespene Gas: Resources are divided into four: Manpower, Ammunition, Rations, and Parts. Out of these four, Parts are the hardest to obtain. Resources naturally regenerate at the rate of 3 units (1 for Parts) every three minutes, up to a cap determined by your current rank. The fastest way to get them is through Logistic Support missions, or just buying them through the shop.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: A localized one. After M4A1 detonated the Collapse Fluid during the Singularity event, some flesh-and-blood military personnel are caught in the blast radius. A large number of them are infected with ELID as a result.

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