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Video Game / MS Saga: A New Dawn

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MS Saga: A New Dawn, also known by its Japanese title Gundam: True Odyssey The Legend of the Lost G, is a 2005 PlayStation 2 (released in 2006 in North America) RPG loosely based on the long-running Gundam franchise. An odd duck by any standard, MS Saga places the iconic Humongous Mecha of the Gundam franchise in an entirely new setting and plot, effectively creating an(other) Alternate Universe to add to the Gundam menagerie. The result is predictably Troperiffic, cheerfully combining standard JRPG tropes with standard Gundam tropes into something of a Cliché Storm that may none the less be a Guilty Pleasure for fans of either (or especially both).

As a departure from most Gundam video games (which tend to be either arcade-style Action Games a la the Gundam Vs Series or Turn-Based Strategy in the vein of SD Gundam G Generation), MS Saga is a turn based Role-Playing Game in the style of the Final Fantasy or Dragon Quest. The player controls a party of characters each piloting a mobile suit; as they fight, the characters gain levels (which increases their stats and expands the pool of more powerful "boost attacks" and useful "techniques" that they can perform), while the mecha can be equipped with various combination of weaponry via a Grid Inventory system. In a hanger with proper facilities, mecha can be upgraded and otherwise modified — parts from many different mecha can be combined to form one new machine in a robotic form of Mix-and-Match Critters (incidentally mirroring the Real Life practice of combining multiple model kits into a single, new unit, a process known as "kitbashing"). Of course, you can always just switch wholesale to a shiny new mecha once you get your mitts on one. This multi-tiered system, with the linearly-developing Character Levels of most JRPGs applying to the pilots and the less restricted Character Customization more typical of Western RPGs applying to the mecha, can lead to the construction of absurdly-customized parties.


Note that this effort will not be wasted; MS Saga can reach Nintendo Hard levels even during normal gameplay. Additional extras, including Bonus Dungeons, Bonus Bosses, Boss in Mook Clothing battles, Tournament Arc Sidequests, and more are added at nearly all points in the game. Thankfully, these are generally optional, and in fact sometimes become inaccessible without their existence ever really being hinted at. Getting true 100% Completion is an impressive feat.

The initial plot is that two boys, Tristan and Fritz, want to get revenge on the mobile suits that destroyed the orphanage where they grew up at, with the plot getting much darker as the story progresses.

MS Saga incorporates mecha primarily from the Universal Century Gundam timeline, specifically from Mobile Suit Gundam to Char's Counterattack, but includes weapons and equipment from everything through to Victory Gundam (aside from Gundam Unicorn, which was released after the game came out). Mecha and equipment from Gundam Wing and G Gundam also appear, though primarily as rewards for beating the aforementioned optional content.


The game provides examples of:

  • A Taste of Power: Hal with a Gelgoog join for one of the earlier boss fights. He has 6 levels on where you are expected to be and you have a grunt GM and a less than grunt Zaku 1 at that point.
  • Absolute Cleavage: Li Fang.
  • Accidental Pervert: When Vargas first encounters Li Fang, she accuses him of trying to look up her skirt. Given that Vargas is the resident Lovable Sex Maniac, one would generally assume it was intentional on his part, but given that Li Fang dresses in a Showgirl Skirt and was walking up a set of stairs in front of him, it's more ambiguous.
  • After the End: The Great Fall, which killed 90% of humanity in a week, took place sixty years before the game begins. Thanks to the G Systems (which are basically Matter Replicators), the world recovered in fairly short order, if quite a bit emptier than before.
  • Alpha Strike: Various boost attacks; Gatling Body (fires all non-handheld weapons), Gatling Fire (fires all ranged weapons), and Ultimate Weapon (attacks with every weapon you have, including your melee weapon, which can be quite hilarious when you unleash the fury of bazookas, beam rifles, machine guns, Shoulder Cannons, and Wave Motion Guns on a target, then run up and punch it... and then it explodes).
  • Anti-Grinding: You don't get massive amounts of experience from random battles, especially before you get rid of the pirates and leveling only increases about a third of your offense-oriented stats (and none of your defense ones).
  • Armor-Piercing Attack: The Power Charge / Hyper Charge boosts and critical hits both go through defense, making them invaluable against heavily armored enemies that can take no damage otherwise.
  • Arms Dealer:
    • Vargas is a Sky Pirate who also owns and controls the international Black Market, but he's actually a pretty nice guy.
    • Mr. K is a legitimate weapons supplier for Eisengrad, but actually sells weapons to their enemy as well.
  • Astonishingly Appropriate Appearance: Pretty much every character with a name and a suit has an outfit that makes them resemble the mech they have.
  • Attack Drone: Bits, Funnels and Fin Funnels are available as Techniques. They split damage evenly between the entire enemy party... but if used against a single target, their damage output becomes so high that they can one-shot all non-boss enemies. And they can be powered still further with the right equipment.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • Shield cannons; as shields with built-in weaponry, they theoretically provide the benefits of both a shield and an arm-mounted weapon. Unfortunately, they tend to be large, relatively weak as both weapons and shields, and have significant speed penalties.
    • You managed to obtain a heavy hammer from a Hammer Gouf and see that it's ridiculously powerful and want to use it to kick butt? Well the player can, but it takes up a lot of space and the player would be better off giving it to a character with a low speed/reflexes because the hammer reduces the speed of whomever uses one by 80, almost guaranteeing that they'll go last unless their defending themselves.
    • Some Boost Attacks have no real use. Explosion, just like the shoot all boost attack, uses one of your ranged weapons to deal damage to all enemies in a huge Wave-Motion Gun style attack, but since it just divides the normal weapon damage up between multiple targets, it ends up being fairly weak. The Speed Lancer boost allows you to make a melee attack before anyone else can act, regardless of Action Initiative, but in late-game this does more harm than good since it doesn't allow your allies to set up support moves to cover you from Counter Attacks. Its upgraded version Lightning Lancer, however, is extremely useful due to not triggering retaliation.
    • Certain mobile suit parts aren't all that useful. While claws and launcher hands increase the melee and ranged powers of mobile suits, in exchange you can't equip melee/ranged weapons or shields if it's one the right hand of mobile suits.
  • BFG: Its Gundam, several of the big weapons make appearances. Large handheld weapons actually can't be used to snipe though.
  • BFS: The aptly named Large Beam Sword, the ZZ's Hyper Beam Saber and the Sazabi's Beam Tomahawk Sword are equippable.
  • Big Damn Hero: Hal in the Gelgoog, then the Gundam, Fritz and his Full Armor Gundam, and Hal again during the final dungeon, this time packing a Sazabi.
  • Bigger Stick: New weapons and Mobile Suits are necessary at regular intervals if you want to survive.
  • Bishōnen Line: Done with the Big Bad's mecha. He starts off in the Master Gundam from Mobile Fighter G Gundam than upgrades to the nonhumanoid Alpha Azieru mobile armor, and when that's defeated he uses the G-System to reconfigure it into an evil version of Wing Zero Custom, which has a more familiar humanoid appearance.
  • Blade Below the Shoulder: You can get one of these in the form of the blade-arm of the infamously ugly Zakrello. It's one of the best melee-focused parts in the early part of the game, but since it's literally just a metal blade, you can't equip and hand-held or arm-mounted equipment while you're using it.
  • Blade on a Stick: Spears are useful for their high damage and defense boosts. Their main drawback is their size makes them difficult to equip on anything not specializing in melee. Another problem with them is that spear-type weapons cannot use several melee boosts.
  • Blocking Stops All Damage: The Double Shield boost stops all damage, even moves that cannot otherwise be blocked by other boosts. Ordinary blocking, however, only halves incoming damage.
  • Bonus Boss: Numerous examples, spread throughout the game. Sometimes they're simply waiting at specific places on the Overworld, other times they're found in a Bonus Dungeon.
  • Bonus Dungeon: Mt. Trial, Hory Forest, Moon Bases and Another G System, with the latter not being accessible until the game has been cleared. For clearing a section of Mt. Trial, you obtain mobile suit data to create powerful mobile suits.
  • Boobs of Steel: The melee-oriented ladies (Tremmie, Rezner and Li Fang) are more stacked than the ranged-focused girls (Aeon and Lapis).
  • Boring, but Practical: The defensive and shutdown boosts don't do any damage but are essential to beating most bosses after a certain point.
    • Some of the most useful Boost attacks are Gatling Fire and Lightning Lancer. Gatling Fire fires all ranged weapons in one turn and is available to nearly every character, while Lightning Lancer is a melee attack that automatically goes first regardlesss of Action Initiative and (unlike normal melee attacks) is not vulnerable to Counter-Attack.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: Every other area has at least one enemy that would be a Mid-Boss battle as a random encounter.
  • Bragging Rights Reward:
    • The Master Gundam for getting through all of the Another G System and the Mini-G system for fighting every suit in the game, including the Bonus Bosses. There is nothing much you can do with either one.
    • While not as big, obtaining a heavy hammer from a Hammer Gouf is this since they are very hard to defeat early on and the encounter rate is rare.
  • Can't Catch Up:
    • Starting with the second mobile suit you get, it becomes clear that some mecha just flat-out overpower others. Given that you can only build a limited number of MS during the course of the game, and many of the ones you built are unique, you'll frequently have to settle for a subpar ride for some of your characters.
    • If a character is defeated in a battle, they won't get any experience points, while everyone else who survived will. If this happens too often, a character might be a level or two behind the other characters.
  • Charged Attack: Boost attacks, which require you to use between 4 and 10 units of energy, generated at 2 units per turn (unless you use items, equipment or abilities to increase it).
  • Char Clone: It wouldn't be Gundam without one! Hal has all the classic attributes of a Char.
  • Commissar Cap: Rezner wears one, as do a few other Eisengrad officers. You can give her a beam pistol for extra Commissar points!
  • Counter-Attack:
    • Both enemies and allies automatically counter a melee attack on them with a melee attack of their own. Learning to deal with these is absolutely vital for the proper use of melee-oriented characters.
    • Snipe Assist, Counter Snipe and Intercept Snipe boosts work like this at range, giving a character a free out-of-turn shot at any opponent who tries to perform a certain action during that turn. Aside from causing damage, the out-of-turn shot also causes the target to lose their turn. Snipe Assist stops melee counterattacks, Counter Snipe stops all melee attacks and Intercept Snipe stops all ranged attacks.
  • Crapsaccharine World: Don't let the cutesy look fool you, its still Gundam. The backstory alone kills 90% of the population.
  • Critical Hit: Grants extra damage and armor penetration, as well as occasionally inflicting the Hurt status effect.
  • Crutch Character: Gavenger, who has good ranged and melee stats, all three basic defensive boosts, and a great healing ability. No other character has this combination of abilities. And he is the only character who the heroes lose.
  • Cowardly Lion: Fritz. He gets better.
  • Darkest Hour: The aftermath of the Dark Alliance base fight. Hal is revealed to be Vladi, and he has allies with suits vastly more powerful than the Dark Alliances. Gavenger and Major Rezner both sacrifice themselves to give the others a chance and all they can do is run.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Bazuli and Lapis join the heroes a little after they were boss fights.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: The player is lead to believe that the four generals of the Dark Alliance are the true enemies. Once the final general is defeated, the player soon finds out that they were just a small part in the Dark Alliance's plan.
  • Disc-One Final Dungeon: Both the battle for the Dark Alliance base and retake Eisengrad paint themselves as the final battle. Neither are anywhere close.
  • Disc-One Nuke: Its possible, but hard, to acquire equipment that is a couple upgrades better than what you should have. Some equipment is also a lot better than its place in the story.
    • Gundam Sandrock can be obtained not much longer after you get control of the Gaw. It remains useful even a bit into the post game.
  • Easy Levels, Hard Bosses: While the mooks aren't exactly a cakewalk, the bosses are absolutely brutal. Starting at around mid-game, they can One-Hit Kill an unprepared party. Expect to engage in some Trial-and-Error Gameplay as you figure out a good loadout for a particular boss.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: The Nu Gundam - which has the largest possible equipment grid and among the best stats in the game - is only available after the penultimate boss fight. The Sazabi, similarly powerful, only joins in for the second half of the Final Boss. You'll need them both for the Post-End Game Content.
  • Elite Four: The Dark Army's four main generals are presented as such. Their leader Vladi Zarth is actually not among them.
  • Equipment-Based Progression: New Mobile Suits are a bigger boost to your party's power than leveling up, especially when the new mech has an inventory grid that can fit bigger, more powerful weapons.
  • Expy: In addition to Hal, the obligatory Char Clone, Major Rezner has a strong resemblance to Ms. Matilda from Mobile Suit Gundam.
  • Fight Woosh: The screen breaks into squares that fade out. The pattern and color changes depending on the type of encounter - Random Encounters, Pre Existing Encounters, and Boss Battles.
  • Forgotten Fallen Friend: Inverted. Gavenger is never forgotten after his sacrifice. If anything, he's even more important to the team after his death.
  • Form-Fitting Wardrobe: Almost everyone looks like they are wearing an outfit at least one size too small. Tremmie might very well be wearing pants far too small for her.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Hal occasionally spends some time as a Guest-Star Party Member, and you can get a good look at his stats and layout, a nice, balanced mix of ranged power and melee power all at high speed, with equally balanced offense and speed-based boost attacks. Long time Gundam fans will go "Char Clone!" and let's be honest, they'd be right. It's not hard to see given the man wears a mask and tools around in a red Gelgoog. Beyond his inevitable Face–Heel Turn, true to Aznable form, he's also got a younger sibling. One with similar if slightly less powerful stats, but also shares a balance of ranged, melee, and speed boosts. Who else fits that description, but also introduced themselves with a red Mobile Suit? Tremmie. Even their victory stances are identical, which, much like Vargas and Gavenger, might initially seem like simply recycling animations. Best of all, this is actually a nod to the manga, where Sayla Mass is shown to pilot a customized GM, similar to what Tremmie starts in.
    • Gavenger first appears piloting a Dom, which appears in the Black Tri-Stars color pattern, as it has in almost every video game featuring the machine. The Black Tri-Stars are most well known for dying while fighting the original RX-78-2 Gundam. Poor Gavenger is the only party member to die in the storyline.
  • Gatling Good: Oh baby. In addition to both versions of Heavyarms' iconic weapon, we also get the G-Cannon's cannons and the right arm of the obscure MS-12 Gigan, a heavy weapons MS that was slated to appear in the original 52 episode version of Mobile Suit Gundam.
  • Glass Cannon:
    • Both Tremmie and Li Fang deal damage fast and hard, but lack defensive boosts. A number of MS with good melee or ranged stats but poor HP and armor stats also qualify.
    • The Speed Lancer boost attack is pretty much this. It guarantees a first strike but unlike Lightning Lancer, it does not grant immunity to counterattacks - so the obvious solution is to use it in conjunction with the most powerful melee weapon available to ensure a One-Hit Kill.
    • Melee suits in general are this. While able to dish out a ton of damage, they also take more themselves due to having to endure counterattacks.
    • Regarding enemy mobile suits, the Kamikaze Raven only has a single hit point, but it's ridiculously fast and powerful, almost always capable of ambushing the player and killing whoever it hits.
  • Godzilla Threshold: The villains go to the moon in the last part, so Tristan and friends need to make a spaceship to pursue. The leader of the Unicorns at first objects because a spaceship could potentially make another Great Fall, but because of the threat presented relents.
  • Grand Theft Prototype: Wouldn't be Gundam without one! But Aeon of all people did this in the final stage to Neo Zarth's newly built Wing Zero Custom out of convenience. Turns out they can make a stronger copy.
  • Grid Inventory: Used to equip weapons. Each mobile suit's inventory is a rectangle of a certain height and width (the smallest is 3x4, the largest is 8x8), and each weapon is represented by a certain arrangement of squares. Melee weapons tend to be tall and skinny, while ranged weapons are short and wide; for example, a basic beam saber is one square wide and three tall, while a basic beam rifle is only one square tall but four squares wide. The dimensions of the grids reflect this as well; a melee-oriented suit will be have a tall, thin grid, while a ranged-oriented suit will have a short, wide grid, and a balanced suit will have a nearly square grid.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • This game has a really bad habit of this in terms of where you have to go. While it will tell you the direction of where the next town is in order progress the story, they won't appear on the map unless you've already visited them before. That means that it's possible to not see the town/fort you have to go to if you're close by because it won't appear anywhere on your map.
    • There are many hidden chests and paths scattered throughout the game and they aren't usually very easy to spot and very easy to miss.
    • If the player doesn't pay attention to the mobile suits they have, they can end up accidentally having two of the same mobile suits instead of creating a new suit.
  • Infinity -1 Sword: You have to make do with a few suits that don't quite measure up to the fully top tier ones. The Bonus Dungeon Mount Trial has three that can be used for the pilots that don't get top tier suits.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: The Nu Gundam is pretty much this. It has the highest speed and ranged stats and has some of the higher strength and armor as well as having a full 8x8 inventory grid. Burning Gundam can be considered one as well solely for its melee stat, which is far beyond through the roof.
  • It Only Works Once: The ECAPS L you obtained can only be used to create one mobile suit at a time and if the player were to accidentally create a mobile suit they already own, they can't undo the action to get it back.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: Quite a lot of suits, notably the GM series of mecha. Generally averted for the characters; all of them focus on something.
  • Jail Bait Wait: Referenced by Vargas when you talk to him at Diggins Rock, regarding Lyra.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Not quite. The Ninja Sword, looted from the Black Assassin optional boss immediately before Tohai, is slightly behind the best sword the player is capable of buying at that point in the game and gets outclassed quickly. Its only noteworthy feature is that it inflicts the Acid status effect on the target.
    • Its Kampfer owner, on the other hand, is very deadly with it, almost always scoring critical hits that can wipe out somewhere around 90% of a mobile suit's health in one hit. Add in the fact that he's an avid user of Sonic Storm and you can see why he's a bonus boss.
    • The rare drop 'Samurai Blade' from the Samurai Zaku plays this trope straight. It is easy to fit onto most mobile suits, has one of the highest damage values for a sword, inflicts hurt constantly and has a very high chance to inflict a critical hit. The only downside is that Samurai Zaku are dangerous and their blades are a rare drop.
  • Lazy Backup: Used simultaneously in two different ways; your team consists of six characters, split into three "active" characters and three "reserve" characters. You only get six even if there are more characters available at that point in the plot, and if your active three are defeated, it's Game Over even if your reserve three are in perfect health.
  • Lethal Joke Character: At first, unarmed fist attacks are much too weak to be useful... then Li Fang appears. Li Fang, in her first appearance, pilots a Guncannon... specced for melee. Apparently, the salesman told her it was a Gundam and Li Fang, never having seen a Gundam before, was suckered into buying it. With only head vulcans and a Z'Gok claw that cannot even wield any handheld weapons, it's not terribly dangerous, right? Except she immediately opens the battle against her with a Gatling Punch boost that has a very high chance of instakilling whoever it hits, even without a critical. And she also has Bakunetsu-ken (overheats target) and Senko-ken (shorts out target), also fist-based boost attacks. Even after she joins the party (for a while), her melee skill is so insanely high that Gatling Punch can One-Hit Kill pretty much any non-boss enemy encountered at that point in the game.
  • Level Grinding: Without a lot of grinding to obtain experience and money, many of the bosses are very challenging to defeat. Grinding for money is very useful since you can use the money you get to upgrade any mobile suits you obtain instead of just buying gear.
  • Level in Reverse: Brutal Bonus Level "Another G System" is identical to The Very Definitely Final Dungeon, except that you begin from the top floor and has to use the elevators to reach the bottom level, where lies the strongest Bonus Bosses.
  • Magic by Any Other Name: MS Saga calls them "techniques" instead of "spells", but they're still magic, complete with a pool of "Technique Points" instead of MP and a stat ("Mind") that controls how powerful a character's techniques are.
  • Magic from Technology: Presumably the case with techniques — though the details of how that works probably don't bear thinking on.
  • Magikarp Power:
    • The Xamel Cannon. Does quite good damage but requires a whopping 6 EN to fire and takes up so much inventory space that only a handful of mobile suits are capable of equipping it. It also looks goofy as hell. Most players simply sell it for cash the first opportunity they get. However, once a character acquires Gatling Body and is put into a mobile suit capable of equipping it, the Xamel Cannon turns into an Infinity -1 Sword: a fully-upgraded Guncannon using only early-game hand-integrated weapons can dish out over a thousand points of damage with the Xamel Cannon.
    • Tristan. Early on, his choice of boosts and techniques are quite limited, especially when it comes to ranged weapons. Near the end of the game however, he learns the Fin Funnel technique that can absolutely devastate enemies from afar.
  • The Medic: In a change from usual fare, the best medics are Fritz and Tristan.
  • Megaton Punch: The hand to hand boosts are either this or Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs.
  • Metal Slime: Metal Zaku and Gold GMs both have low HP and give, respectively, large amounts of Experience Points and money with a chance to drop rare e-caps. To offset this, they have tons of speed and defense — to the point they always go first and cannot be damaged by anything other than a critical hit or armor piercing attack. With their ability to run away from a fight and disable your MS, you're never guaranteed a win. The most powerful of these is a full-up Bonus Boss.
  • Mighty Glacier: Tristan, Gavenger and Bazuli all have considerable offensive abilities but are also slow. Several MS with good HP and armor but low speed also qualify.
  • Money Grinding: The player will more than likely have to grind out money for equipment and weapons since the gear and weapons enemies drop isn't usually very good. Considering the gear the game allows you to buy early on, it's definitely worth grinding for the money. This is especially true when you reach the Black Market, as it has some amazing gear, but the prices are so high that you'd need to grind for a few hours minimum to obtain the credits to afford everything they sell.
  • Money Spider: The only two enemies that drop more money than other enemies are Golden G Ms and Gold Commands that drop 1000 and 3000 credits respectively. Both are usually hard to take out and will randomly try to flee the battle.
  • Moveset Clone: Gavenger and Bazuli, Aeon and Lapis and both Tremmie and Tristan to Hal. Notably they put their own variations that make them not quite fit the others' role but can do other roles.
  • My Rules Are Not Your Rules: Enemy suits have loadouts, abilities and powers that you cannot duplicate, without even counting the MS that you don't have access to.
  • Mystical Waif: Aeon, and how.
  • Mythology Gag: There's a subtle one where Hal offers you a new mobile suit and you have to pick between a Gelgoog or Gyan (you can buy the other one later, though). This references the backstory of the original Mobile Suit Gundam where the two mobile suits were designs from rival defense contractors competing to be mass-produced.
  • Neutral No Longer: Vargas was willing to wait out the war as an arms dealer. When the Dark Alliance uses his G-System to make mobile suits for there own designs, he decides to take the fight to them. He doesn't hesitate to help in the next war when he hears that Tristan and friends are in danger.
  • Nintendo Hard:
    • If the player doesn't spend a good amount of time grinding for experience and money for gear and upgrading their mobile suits, many of the bosses will be difficult to defeat. It doesn't help that at the beginning of the game, enemies don't drop an awful lot of either, so it could be a few hours before being ready to defeat the bosses without much trouble.
    • The final stages of the game and the bonus bosses. The latter can easily kill you in one hit.
    • Another thing to note is that if the player travels far east from Eisengrad before defeating the first two generals, they'll have a chance of running into a Gouf Hammer, that can kill them quickly if their mobile suits aren't that great, but they do drop 800 XP and occasionally their hammer which itself is very powerful.
  • Noodle Incident: The specifics of how Gavenger died and how Bazuli got his mech scratch free aren't disclosed. Especially notable given that Gavenger was staring down the Psyco Gundam when we last see him.
  • Now, Where Was I Going Again?: Pretty bad at this. You can ask your teammates to get a vague idea of where to make the next storyline stop and don't expect much help keeping tabs on the sidequests.
  • Older Than They Look: Marie, dubbed "Fossil" by Fritz, which she doesn't appreciate. It's implied that she's well over 70, being one of the founding members of The Unicorns.
  • Opposites Attract: Vargas shows the most interest in Li Fang who, in both gameplay and personality, is his complete opposite.
  • Overly Long Name: Marie Orijin Neikeshuneku Tokita. We only get to see the full version once.
  • Padded Sumo Gameplay: Once you have a high enough level to stop virtually any attack, the bosses get enough HP, armor and immunities to make fights last quite a while. It takes hours to beat the Bonus Boss with a fully prepared party.
  • Palette Swap: There are relatively few actual enemy models in the game. Some of the more obvious ones include bosses like Big Zam or the Gundam Wing Gundams that show up again later, with different colors and more power.
  • Peninsula of Power Leveling: Moon bases. A single encounter with a team of Mecha-Mooks can give up to 12000 Experience Points, equal to some of the mid-game bosses and scripted encounters. As would be expected, they're difficult fights, but definitely worth the effort.
  • Pietà Plagiarism: Gender Flipped version. Tristan cradling Aeon's limp body is prominently featured on the box art. Oddly, this is actually a depiction of the scene early in the game where Aeon is first introduced.
  • Post-End Game Content: An odd example; after you beat the Final Boss, you can save. When you load that save, it drops you at the save point immediately before the final boss, as if you hadn't beaten him yet — except that the 11th-Hour Superpower that you acquire during the final boss battle is still there, and now the Bonus Dungeon is open.
  • Power Up Letdown: You can often invest a lot of time, money and resources to acquire equipment and mechs that aren't much stronger or even weaker than what you already have.
  • Shout-Out: To other series.
    • In addition, it makes a small reference to 2001: A Space Odyssey when Hal turns on the party; Tristan says that he'll stop Hal, and Hal replies that "I'm afraid I can't let you do that." Extra points if you name Tristan "Dave" on the character-naming screen at the beginning.
  • Schmuck Bait:
    • After entering Eisengrad for the first time, the person that repairs your mobile suits tells them that enemies to the east of Eisengrad are far tougher than the ones encountered near the town. He isn't lying, for if the player is really unlucky, they can encounter a Hammer Gouf that can soundly destroy your entire team.
    • Once the player has obtained the Gaw and is able to travel anywhere they want to, they might think that the enemies aren't all that difficult. If you travel to anyplace you haven't previously been to, the enemies will be incredibly hard to defeat, especially if you go to an island that has a mini boss fight.
  • Senseless Sacrifice: Gavenger, staying behind to execute a You Shall Not Pass! after the party has been chased into a small tunnel. He dies, which is considered stupid by some players since he could have just collapsed the mouth of the tunnel, and some of the enemies' suits are too big to follow the party in the first place.
  • SNK Boss:
    • Bonus Boss Psycho Gundam Gamma has a devastating Boost Attack, Scattering Beam Blast, than cannot be blocked with the Beam Field (unlike any other beam-based attack). The result is, generally, a Total Party Kill in his second turn.
    • Other bonus boss, the Burning Gundam, is immune to anything but physical attacks (including status de-buffs), hits hard and has a One-Hit Kill move that cannot be blocked.
  • So Long, and Thanks for All the Gear: Averted, party members that leave cannot have their equipment customized. You can still throw away money by upgrading them, though.
    • Vargas is an exception at this. While he does leave after Tohai, you can fully customize his equipment and do whatever you want with his GM Sniper, except replace it with another suit. But when he does leave you, you get to keep the GM Sniper, all of its equipment and all the upgrades you paid for it.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Evil: Justified, in the beginning the resident authorities on technology refuse to research weapons tech, which leads to both sides using only the most basic of equipment. Later on, villains have access to the more advanced tech.
  • Special Attack: Boost attacks, which can be anything from a slightly more powerful melee blow to making the party temporarily invulnerable to specific kinds of attacks to simultaneously firing every weapon you have equipped and following up with a melee strike for good measure.
  • Standard Power-Up Pose: Many animations do this, most notably the physical weapon lines.
  • Standard Status Effects: Same old effects, shiny new names to make more sense as applied to giant robots.
    • Suit effects each have a separate item that removes the effect immediately, a technique that does the same, another technique that immunizes the target against that particular effect for the rest of the battle, an Option Part that grants a 50% chance to resist the effect, another Option Part that immunizes against the effect while equipped. The Maintenance Kit item immediately removes all suit effects on the target, not just a particular one; the Perfect Guard Option Part also grants complete immunity to these. Equipping a Maintenance System Option Part also clears suit effects if the mobile suit in question spends a turn in the rear guard.
      • Acid is just poison: constantly decreases HP every turn but cannot kill by itself. Lasts until removed.
      • Overheat disables a mobile suit's offensive weaponry. Offensive techniques are still usable, though. Disappears on its own but can be removed ahead of time.
      • Short completely paralyzes a mobile suit. It cannot take any action whatsoever until the effect wears off or is removed.
    • Mind effects are lumped together when it comes to removing them: any item that can remove a mind effect works against any of them. The Therapy technique can also remove mind effects, while the Mind Guard Option Part grants a 50% chance to resist a mind effect - on top of the effect being able to roll a miss on its own, just like ordinary attacks.
      • Shock is just stun: it causes a mobile suit to lose its turn (if it hasn't taken its turn yet) and the ability to counterattack. Only lasts for the current turn.
      • Terror disables the ability to use techniques. Disappears on its own but can be removed ahead of time.
      • Confuse causes the target to start acting randomly, regardless of what orders it is given, usually doing things like shooting and debuffing allies or buffing enemies. Disappears on its own but can be removed ahead of time. If removing it is not an option at the moment, sending the affected unit to the rear guard stops it from doing anything potentially harmful.
    • Hurt decreases a pilot's stats. Hurt+ grants even worse penalties. Lasts until removed.
    • Additionally, there are techniques and sniping boosts available to debuff damage, armor and speed. Techniques are also available for buffing these. Buffs and debuffs counteract each other: if a unit with an active buff is debuffed, it merely loses the buff and must be debuffed again. Similarly, debuffed units can be given a buff to restore their original stats. If a unit is already buffed, buffing it again will have no effect; similarly, a debuffed unit cannot be debuffed any further.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Hal does this in the final dungeon, once when Tristan is ambushed and again for the final boss.
  • Super-Deformed: The mecha of all things, are semi-SD. They're about halfway between their normal "realistic" proportions and their chibified SD proportions. This means that they're about 30 feet tall (instead of the usual 60-or-so) and more stylized than the typical depiction of mecha, but not to the point of being cutesy looking or their heads making up 80% of their bodies. The humans, though, are still normal.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Downplayed; more than once, after a character leaves the party, a similar-seeming character will soon show up. But each time, the new characters won't quite be able to replace the old one seamlessly, due to differences in their stats and boost attacks. The effect is more like Ryu and Ken than a straight-up clone.
  • This Is a Drill: You can buy the obscure MSV series digging mobile suit Agg's arms, which are some of the better melee-focused arms for a good chunk of the game.
  • Too Awesome to Use: Engine energy equipment and high-stat boosts can turn the tide in many battles. Too bad you can't buy them.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss:
    • Aeon is not talking out of her ass when she advises defending against the Zock's boost attacks. They will hurt.
    • The Xamel goes even further - and this time, you get no warning whatsoever that not having Fritz ready with Chaff Field will result in your party getting obliterated.
    • So you got through the Xamel with minimal trouble due to liberal use of Chaff Field and is now facing the Apsalus? Not so fast: while the Apsalus' main cannon can be blocked with Beam Field, its Magnetic Storm boost cannot. And it can still wreck you very badly, especially if it crits. Fortunately, the Apsalus, like all bosses, uses a fixed attack pattern; memorizing that can help timing when to use Chaff Field and when to defend instead.
  • With This Herring: Subverted. Top-tier (for the time) mobile suits are given to you at multiple points in the game. Don't expect much help upgrading them, though.
  • World-Wrecking Wave: The opening movie gives a nice one with its depiction of the Great Fall.
  • You Are in Command Now: After all the battles for Eisengrad Rezner is the only surviving command officer. By default she is the one in command afterwards.


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