In the year 2050, unknown single-celled life-forms called "Oracle Cells" began their uncontrollable consumption of all life on Earth - of individual life forms at first, and then, from this, as amalgamated life-form constructs that varied massively in shape and size. Their violent nature and god-like adaptability earned them the name "Aragami". Facing an enemy completely immune to conventional weapons, modern society collapsed as humanity was driven to the point of extinction.
Yet one last hope remains. Following the Fenrir Organization’s development of God Arcs, Oracle Cell-based living weapons, their wielders are organized into an elite force of God Eaters, dedicated to protect humanity and slay the Aragami threat.
You are one such God Eater, recently recruited as the first of the New-Type God Eaters for Fenrir's Far-East Branch. Your mission is to defeat the Aragami and gather materials from them for research in hopes of saving what's left of mankind from the nigh-unstoppable threat of these "gods", but you soon come to realize that you are being drawn into a giant conspiracy that will determine the fate of humanity...
Released in Japan on February 4, 2010 for the Play Station Portable, Bandai Namco Entertainment's God Eater established Namco's foothold in the "Hunting RPG" genre (going up against the Monster Hunter franchise) and kicked off the franchise of the same name, with GE1 establishing how GE differs from MH by way of its faster-paced combat, easy-to-grasp gameplay mechanics, as well as having a wide list of characters and an actual plot (which, at the time of GE's release, was unusual for a game of this sort). An Updated Re-release, titled God Eater Burst, was released on October 26, 2010 in Japan and March 15, 2011 in the rest of the world with an enormous raft of improvements based on user feedback (all of which later became standard for the games). It also added a second storyline which expanded upon the original and answered some of the lingering questions. A remake using the God Eater 2 Rage Burst engine, God Eater Resurrection, was released in Japan on October 15, 2015, June 28, 2016 in North America, and August 30 in Europe for the Play Station 4, Play Station Vita, and Steam (and, especially on the latter platform, was a package deal with Rage Burst). It adds yet another storyline (bridging the gap between GE1 and 2), as well as the new weapon types from the sequel, improved graphics, and the Predator Styles, which add several variations on the Devour move.
An semi-canon anime adaptation started airing during the Summer 2015 season, though its conclusion only came out in Spring 2016.
This is followed canonically by God Eater 2, taken place in 2074 A.D. within the franchise's timeline.
This work provides examples of:
- Always in Class One: All of the main characters are part of the 1st Unit. Justified in that the 1st Unit has the highest survival rate for rookies, so obviously Fenrir would want the recently-minted New-Types to get some experience.
- Anyone Can Die:
- Hammered into you early on with Eric der Vogelweid, who gets devoured just as he's introducing himself to you. He doesn't look at all like cannon fodder at the time, so it really comes out of nowhere. It's used to play up Soma's reputation for other God Eaters dying in his proximity.
- This is followed by Lindow. However, he comes Back from the Dead by the end of the Burst story.
- Archive Panic: In-Universe, the Show Within a Show "Bugarally" has upwards of 3000+ episodes. Kota's terminal has him up to episode #3276.
- Autobots, Rock Out!: Avenging Lindow in the fight against the Dyaus Pita is set to "No Way Back", a vocal rock track.
- The Bait: Kota's "Lovely Lindow Luring Line-Up" plan uses a team of female-only God Eaters as bait to lure out Lindow. After it ended in failure he reveals "Version 2" which is Version 1, but with beer.
- Battle in the Center of the Mind: In the Burst storyline, the Protagonist goes through this in order to save Lindow from the Corrosive Hannibal infection.
- Big Damn Heroes: The First Unit (the one the player character is in) is considered to be this trope by the Second and Third Units. Each member gets a Big Damn Heroes moment before the group heads out to stop Arda Nova in the God Eater storyline.
- Pulled by the protagonist during the Burst storyline when s/he saves Tatsumi from the Corrosive Hannibal.
- In chapter six, Alisa saves Sakuya upon arriving at Aegis, then proceeds to take this trope up to eleven after the director finishes his Motive Rant.
- Canon Name: Yuu Kannagi (Shinji Kagura in overseas version of Resurrection), Aki Tamashiro (the latter's name revealed in the pachi-slot game) for God Eater, and Lenka Utsugi for the anime.
- Cutscene Power to the Max:
- Early on in the game, the group tackles a group of endgame-level Aragami. Several of them already have a reputation of being able to take on such powerful Aragami from the start, though.
- Much later on in the game, during the new Burst story line, your Heroic Mime speaks to Lindow, Dual Wields his/her God Arc and Lindow's, then proceeds to rip the final boss's mouth open. It's as awesome looking as it sounds. Immediately subverted when Ren informs the protagonist that said dual-wield attack actually dealt relatively little damage to the Aragami. Ultimately a double subversion, as the last story mission makes it clear that Ren wanted the protagonist to head off to a Battle in the Center of the Mind.
- In the promotional OVA, the characters rip through Aragami like, well, Aragami rip through humans. Handwaved by many who say that Aragami have evolved since the years in the OVA.
- Dub Name Change: The title of the game itself as well as the player character's profession was changed from "God Eater" to "Gods Eater" (although the "s" is not spoken in dialogue) in Gods Eater Burst. This change was most likely done due to skittishness over offending any concerned parties in the Anglophone market. Once Namco-Bandai began to publish the series through their own subsidiaries (including the Resurrection re-release of GE1), this was undone.
- Gameplay and Story Segregation: Soma is considered all but cursed because supposedly any squad he's in has an unusually high casualty rate, not because of anything he does but simply because they keep falling into bad situations. Eric's death drums this in during Soma's introductory mission. You're not actually at any risk using Soma in your squad, though.
- Heroic BSoD: Happens to the protagonist upon discovering that the Hannibal is actually Lindow transformed into an Aragami.
- Humongous-Headed Hammer: Alongside the BFGs they wield, God Eaters have a variety of options for oversized melee weapons, including very, very big hammers. They are classified as Buster Blades.
- Inconsistent Dub: D3Publisher did a fairly poor job hiding the fact that the Dub Name Change of their release to Gods Eater Burst was a last minute thing. While the in-game text uses "Gods Eater" for all relevant references, the spoken dialogue uses "God Eater".
- Info Dump: Paylor Sakaki's lectures on the nature of the Aragami, which also provide some extremely subtle Foreshadowing when he mentions the possibility of Aragami that have "learned" to imitate humanity. Not only does this clearly foreshadow Shio, but in a more blink-and-you'll-miss-it way it ends up reinforcing Alisa's brainwashing that leads her to attempt to kill Lindow under the belief he was the Aragami that killed her parents.
- Interface Spoiler: Eric's death isn't quite so surprising — every mission starts with a squad list, which is automatically filled out for story missions. Soma's on the list for that mission but Eric isn't, so while the cutscene starts by passing him off as a companion, you should realize that something is about to remove him from the equation.
- It May Help You on Your Quest: See those raven feathers? The ones that are indicated as Shop Fodder and sell for 4000fc? The ones the merchant constantly urges you to sell? Better keep three of those.
- Noah's Story Arc: This is Johannes von Schicksal's plan in Burst. Basically, The Aegis Project was just a front for a secret Ark Project which involved a certain MacGuffin Super-Person being some sort of key that will give Johannes the power of God, where a select few population were to be shipped to the moon while the rest of the world are to be nuked to oblivion along with the Aragami. It should be noted though that Johannes had no intention of being with the ones to repopulate the earth though, knowing well how extreme his actions are.
- Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Lindow's profile unlocked at the very beginning of the game states that he's the only God Eater to take down an Ouroboros alone. This kind of power, along with the Cutscene Power to the Max example above, isn't really borne out in gameplay... maybe he's too distracted trying to protect your lame rookie ass?
- Official Couple:
- Lindow and Sakuya. At the end of the Burst storyline, they get married.
- In the the manga and light novels, Alisa and Yuu (the canon name for the Burst protagonist).
- Playable Epilogue: Burst adds one after defeating Arda Nova. it's about as long as the main game itself, since it continues the subplot about Lindow going AWOL. After finishing that one, you can play through everything again(though the same goes for the first half, but it's not technically the end of Burst, but the original GE) plus new bonus chapters that allow you to unlock new postgame Infinity Plus One Swords (there are several because of the game's equipment tiers) and other equipment and rerecruit dead or Ascended to a Higher Plane of Existence characters.
- Resurrection has an additional one that takes place after the Burst storyline, which deals with a Nova fragment devouring multiple Aragami and mutating into a Mix And Match Creature and gives more closure between the characters that leads into 2.
- Secret A.I. Moves: Inverted, the Player Character is initially the only one with a Morph Weapon God Arc, and even after Alisa joins they remain the only one who can use certain techniques like the Blast Gun's Oracle Reserve. Some base conversations justify it by pointing out the player's New Type nature makes them highly resilient and compatible, and therefore a perfect subject for field-testing these things. Taken further in Resurrection where the player is the only one with the option to use polearm-type weapons - not only is nobody else in the Far East Branch trained in that combat style, but Licca explains that the central control unit has to be shipped from the Europe Branch and it's a complicated mess of moving parts and small tolerances. She can barely keep up with her work just keeping yours going.
- Shipper on Deck: In the manga and light novels, all the members of the 1st unit ships Yuu and Alisa, including Soma in his own way.
- Ship Tease: The manga and light novels were pretty obvious that there are some "Yuu X Alisa" moments anywhere.
- Spoiler Opening: Burst's intro, which was also used in Resurrection, spoils several plot points such as Lindow's death, Alisa's brainwashing, Kota being chosen for the Ark Project, Lindow taking over Johannes' place as Branch Director, Shio ending up on the moon, Lindow turning into an Aragami, and Ren being connected to Lindow. Most are a blink-and-you'll-miss-it deal, but after progressing through the story a bit, some spoilers can become more apparent.
- Trigger Phrase: A Russian count of "one, two, three," dubiously transliterated as "Ajin duva touri" in the English language release for Burst, is the phrase used for Alisa. This is corrected to the more widely accepted romanization of "Odin, dva, tri" in Resurrection's redone dub and script.
- Updated Re-release:
- God Eater Burst, which adds a new storyline dealing with Lindow's fate. Since the original release never came out in the West, this was the first version English-speaking gamers could play.
- A second one, God Eater Resurrection, was released for Vita, PS4, and Steam. In addition to the visual and performance upgrades inherent with remaking a PSP game for modern systems, it also retrofits the sequel's additional weapon types into the game, cleans up the localization, and adds yet another storyline which ties into the sequel.
- The Worf Effect: How to introduce a new threat that will become the Final Boss as something powerful and terrifying? Simple. Have said new Aragami, Arius Nova, run away from the first encounter, only to return and stomp not one, not two, but three 1st Unit God Eaters (Soma, Kota, and Alisa), gravely injuring them. It also easily knocks down the player, considered one of the best God Eater at this point of the story, and s/he would've joined the other three in infirmary had it not for Shio's interference. Dr. Sakaki points it out the best.Dr. Sakaki: Three of our own. That monster managed to bring three of our best to their knees...