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Video Game / Naval Ops

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The Naval Ops series is a trilogy of games released for the PlayStation 2 by Koei and Microcabin primarily focused on ship to ship combat. In Japan, the series is known as Kurogane no Houkou and includes PC-exclusive titles that offer enhanced sophisticated gameplay and downloadable content. These titles were never released outside Japan, however.

Naval Ops: Warship Gunner is a vehicle simulation game released in 2003. You take the role of the captain of a WW2 destroyer, part of a squadron caught in a mysterious anomaly. When the anomaly clears, you find yourself facing a fleet of battleships that weren't there moments ago. Forced to flee when they open fire, you encounter a friendly group, later identified as the "Freedom Forces", who help you escape. After meeting up with their main force and discovering that you have somehow been transported to a parallel universe, you and your crew decide to join them in their battle against the "Empire".

The 2004 sequel, Naval Ops: Commander, shifts the perspective slightly to fleet-based combat. You are a captain in the Navishia navy, facing off against the invading country of Virshia. The story begins with contact with Navishia Mission Command being lost, forcing you to regroup and gather what allies you can to drive off Virshia's forces.


The third game, Naval Ops: Warship Gunner 2, was released in 2006 and returns to the single-ship style combat of the original. It was also re-released for the PSP, but only in Japan. You are Captain Schulz of the Kingdom of Wilkia's Royal Guard. During a training exercise, you suddenly come under attack from the Defense Force training vessels. After successfully shaking them off, you discover that it was part of a military coup that has successfully taken control of most of Wilkia. Captain Schulz must now help retake Wilkia...

The games are one-player simulations of naval combat, in which the player commands an individual ship, and, in Commander, a small fleet. The heart of Naval Ops is ship customization. Your ship's abilities limited to the type of ship you initially purchase, but your options can quickly expand as you acquire more money and assets.


This game provides examples of:

  • Ace Custom: Creating customized ships is half of the game, the other half is using them to blow up fleets and superships to unlock more options to customize ships with.
  • Adventure-Friendly World: It's fortunate that, when you're playing as a naval officer, every faction in the series believes that overwhelming naval superiority is the key to winning conflicts. Of course, this was Truth in Television for much of recent history and probably still is.
  • A.K.A.-47:
    • Pops up with the more modern aircraft; for instance, the F/A-18 Hornet is called the F-63 Wasp.
    • Somewhat Zig-Zagged in Warship Gunner 2; while most of the real world aircraft keep their names, some have semi-fake names like the F-12 Blackbird (which is not far off from the aircraft it's based on), and some aircraft have fictionalized variants like the Wendig for the Go 222.
  • The Alliance: The player factions.
    • The Freedom Forces in Warship Gunner are the last remnants of opposition against the Empire.
    • Navishia in Commander is aided by various allied nations.
    • The Freedom Forces in Warship Gunner 2 are composed of Wilkian and Japanese exiles harbored by the United States at first, adding more members (including the British Commonwealth and Weimar Republic) as the Empire of Wilkia becomes more aggressive.
  • Alternate History Wank: Wilkia was founded by Nordic settlers after crossing America and establishing themselves in the Orient. They're able to to wage war against the world thanks to the discovery of superweapon engines.
  • Anachronism Stew:
    • Not history-wise, considering the fictional setting of the games, but technology-wise; Due to the way that the games' R&D systems work (research on each equipment type has to be funded separately), one can end up with a mishmash of technology levels, such as WWII-era aircraft carriers launching fifth-generation jet fighters, or P-51s facing off against Tomcats, and vice versa.
    • In Warship Gunner 2, you can have all the laser cannons and navalized F-22s you want on your ship(s), but outside of combat the rest of the game is still very much set in the '30s.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: The Enigmatech equipment.
  • Artificial Stupidity: Anti-aircraft guns will fire at incoming missiles and enemy aircraft in intercept mode... sucks to be your own aircraft returning from the same direction to land.
  • Back from the Brink: Each game begins with the player's faction facing overwhelming enemy forces and on the verge of defeat. In Warship Gunner 2, they're exiles fleeing a coup d'etat.
  • Battleship Raid:
    • Many of the bosses are so huge that they have to be killed one part at a time. And, in some cases, they take up a significant portion of the level.
    • Can be inverted by the player if they have a well-designed battleship. Loaded out with the correct weapons, they can even take out entire levels with one press of the button.
  • The Battlestar: A hull type called the battlecarrier is essentially a hybrid between a battleship and an aircraft carrier. The Japanese actually built two of them in real life.
  • Beam Spam: Energy and laser based weapons abound. There's even a subtype of warship called laserships.
  • Beehive Barrier: Gravity shields have this effect when hit by shells.
  • BFG: Pretty much everything is huge by human standards, but there are monstrously big guns even by ship standards.
    • The largest naval guns historically mounted (the 40.6cm/16 inch and 46cm/18.1 inch) and the ones for the Yamato's planned successor (51cm/20.1 inch) are middle of the pack as far as conventional artillery sizes go, and even the largest gun ever used in combat, the 80cm railway guns, play second fiddle to the massive 100cm/39 inch gun available.
    • Railguns, plasma cannons and wave guns tend to be just as big or even bigger than their conventional artillery counterparts.
    • Quite a few lasers take up a lot of deck space as well.
  • Bigger Stick: Bigger guns/missiles/torpedoes and bigger ships. Combining the two is heavily recommended.
  • Black Box: The superweapons in-universe, at least in Warship Gunner 2.
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • In a game with homing lasers, plasma cannons and railguns, a deck full of plain ol' heavy artillery manages to strike a happy medium between range, raw damage, ammo capacity and firing rate.
    • The Chaff Grenade in Warship Gunner 2 does no damage whatsoever to the enemy, but is very effective at decoying enemy antiship missiles.
  • Boss Rush: One of the unlockables in Warship Gunner 2.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Technically averted, but ships tend to have lots of ammunition readily available, so running out is highly unlikely. Acquiring the Ammo Assembler in Warship Gunner 2 makes the trope true.
  • The Bridge: Every ship needs one, but only Warship Gunner 2 ever shows the inside of one outside the opening cutscene.
  • Cap:
    • 100 parts per ship, 7 different weapons, 64.6 knots cruising speed without Enigmatech systems, and 99999 rounds of ammunition per weapon system in Warship Gunner 2.
    • The game also can't handle anything going faster than 200 knots, which might explain how slow the lasers are.
  • Chainsaw Good: There is a type of ship hull that can be unlocked called the Drillship Hull which, in addition to a colossal Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann-style drill bit mounted on the prow, has giant, colossal saw blades sticking out of the sides.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The oil rig that spooks Nagi early on in Warship Gunner 2 turns out to be yet another superweapon.
  • Cool Boat: The series is basically built on taking this Up to Eleven.
  • Cool Plane: The recurring boss Archaeopteryx is a bomber the size of a warship. You can also carry a number of Real Life Cool Planes on your carriers.
  • Crate Expectations: Occasionally, crates drop from destroyed enemy ships. These crates can contain repair kits, ammo, cash or ship parts.
  • Critical Encumbrance Failure: Your designed ships will be valid up until you go so much as 1 ton overweight.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: The Druna Skass cuts an island in half with its Wave Gun in Warship Gunner 2. In gameplay, both the Druna Skass and the player's Wave Guns won't affect the terrain at all.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: The controls for Warship Gunner and Warship Gunner 2 are very different. Shooting, switching weapons and zooming in on your target are the most frustrating changes.
  • Deflector Shields: Available in anti-beam (Electromagnetic) and anti-shell (Gravitational) varieties (Warship Gunner only has the former), though a unique late-game shield in Warship Gunner 2 provides protection against both.
  • Design-It-Yourself Equipment: The trilogy's trademark HLG61 Ship Editor allows the player to design completely customized ships, from superstructure to weapons.
  • Disc-One Nuke:
    • On a smallish scale, you can research and build advanced destroyers fairly early on in the first two games and then chop them up for parts that can't be obtained normally until much later. Like anti-sub missiles for your battleship that can't use depth charges.
    • Commander allowed you to get the Enigmatech Sturla, Good Luck Charm, and Railgun Astal very early on, provided that you didn't mind killing 999 submarines and doing mission B-10 killing the Dreadnaught over and over again. The Enigmatech Sturla gave a good boost to health, speed, rudder ability, and control, the Good Luck Charm granted you full protection from fire and water damage, and the Railgun Astal was the most powerful armament that could be picked up early on aside from chain guns.
    • The reward for sinking 100 transports in Warship Gunner is a double-hulled cruiser. An early mission in the first area requires you to sink as many transports as you can...
  • Easy Logistics: Ammo crates picked up from enemy ships will refill any weapon, even ones the enemy isn't using. More generally, you never have to worry about supplies no matter how desperate your nation/resistance force's situation.
    • Though may be explained by the extremely frequent Escort Missions in the case of Commander.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Ragnarök could be defined as one of this.
  • The Empire: The, well, Empire. Also, Virshia from the second game and the Empire of Wilkia from the third.
  • Enemy-Detecting Radar: Radar range is an upgradable auxiliary system and there's also a separate sonar system for spotting submarines. Commander and Warship Gunner 2 has auxiliary systems that combine the two.
  • Energy Weapon: In Homing Laser and Reflecting Laser varieties, among others.
  • Escort Mission: Feel like protecting a lone ship or fleet against a larger and better-armed fleet with just one ship?
  • Every Bullet Is a Tracer: Whether you're shooting a battleship's main guns or spraying flak against bombers, you'll see every bullet.
  • Everything Fades: Good thing, too, otherwise you wouldn't be able to move because of all the wrecks around you.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: Karl Weisenberg tried to take over Ragnarök. It didn't work.
  • Fixed Forward-Facing Weapon: Some weapons are too big to be turret mounted and are fixed in position on the deck.
  • Flying Saucer: The Halberd series of aircraft, as well as a few enemies. Commander features the Brillodein, a superweapon UFO with battleship guns and lasers.
  • Fog of War: Enemy units will not show up on your minimap if they are outside radar and sonar range.
  • For Want of a Nail: The requirements for getting on the XO routes in Warship Gunner 2:
    • If you delay your escape to destroy all enemy ships in the first mission, you'll pick up Werner, whose ship is damaged by prolonged combat. If you don't, he'll join the FF off-screen with his ship in better shape, so he doesn't become part of your crew.
    • In the second mission, if you wait for Tsukuba's ship to catch up to you before withdrawing, he transfers to you instead of ramming into a blockading force.
    • In the third mission, if you do not have Werner or Tsukuba as your XO, Braun will then fulfill that role.
  • Gatling Good: CIWS and larger caliber Gatling guns are available, with the latter going all the way up to 406mm/16-inch.
  • Going Down with the Ship: Amagi, the last time you fight him. And Tsukuba, too, if you don't have him as your XO.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: Well over a thousand parts and blueprints and other things to pick up per game.
  • Guide Dang It!: Some 'Treasure' drops from Warship Gunner 2 have rather arcane conditions. Others, on the other hand, are liable to be found accidentally.
  • Harder Than Hard and Easier Than Easy
  • Heads-Up Display: A transparent short-range radar display takes up most of the screen in the Warship Gunner games, with speed, heading, and other information around it.
  • Herr Doktor: Braun, of course. She's even named after a famous real life one.
  • Hot Scientist: Braun.
  • Hot Sub-on-Sub Action: Submarines became playable in Warship Gunner 2, with several covert missions requiring a submarine, quite a few of which have enemy submarines in them. Since submarines rely on torpedoes and missiles as their primary armaments and point defense weapons cannot be fired underwater, these engagements can be difficult on a first run.
  • Instant-Win Condition: Even if you have one HP left on a flaming ship that's taking on water with no engines or rudder, you'll win as long as you destroyed your target and hit the "Withdraw" button. Averted in the first game, where you have to actually make it to the map edge to end the mission.
  • Kill It with Fire: Giant, ship mounted flamethrowers are one of the many, many exotic weapons you can find.
  • Justified Tutorial: The first few stages of Warship Gunner 2 are a flashback to the player character's basic training, which he has after running for his life from maneuvers that turned deadly. Braun later runs him through commanding a submarine, as his training didn't cover that.
  • Lethal Joke Item:
    • The Shark Submarine hull makes your sub look like a giant shark... and has over twice the durability and weight capacity of conventional sub hulls at the cost of two special system slots.
    • The Duck aircraft, which are highly durable and carry impressive weapon loads. To put this in perspective, a single Duck bomber has HP and damage capability equal to that of some cruisers. Duck aircraft also have vastly superior range to other types of aircraft, to the point that it's possible on some maps for an Aircraft Carrier loaded with them to win simply by giving the order to launch, then waiting until they destroy everything.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Werner is Karl Weisenberg's son.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: A savvy designer can cram dozens of missile and rocket launchers onto a ship. Combine with an autoloader and AEGIS system for best effect.
    • It's quite possible to be on both the giving and receiving end of this if you enter Engagement Mode: watch as your ship spams surface to air missiles to intercept the antiship missiles being fired at you.
  • Magnetic Weapons: Railguns are powerful, but tend to be fixed to the deck with limited firing arcs.
  • Med Kit: Repair Kits are available in the Warship Gunner games. Using one forces you to stop for a while and prevents you from using your weapons, so it'd be a bad idea to use it in the middle of combat.
  • Medium Awareness: In Warship Gunner 2's Special missions, characters start commenting on the conventions of the game.
  • Missile Lock-On:
    • Pretty fast, and an AEGIS system allows you to lock on to multiple targets.
    • It's considerably slower in Warship Gunner - generally meaning the best AA weapon is to just use a lot of machine guns/CIWS.
  • Mission Briefing: Every mission starts with a briefing laying out objectives and suggested weapons.
  • The Mole: Werner when he's your XO.
  • Mooks: The seemingly endless flotillas of warships you will inevitably sink. Bigger, better armed battleships appear as Elite Mooks.
  • More Dakka: The only limit to how much firepower you can cram onto a ship is the weight limit and your imagination. And a hard limit of 100 parts per ship.
    • High-end Auto Reload systems can turn your naval guns into machineguns. Yes, even the 100cm guns!
  • My Country, Right or Wrong: In Warship Gunner 2, Amagi on all paths, Tsukuba when you have another XO. Japan has suffered a coup de'tat, with its new administration aligning itself with the Empire, so they have to fight you.
  • New Game+
  • No Export for You: PC titles in the series, with somewhat more-sophisticated action and ship-building interfaces and downloadable fleet ships.
  • No-Gear Level: One mission on Werner's path in Warship Gunner 2 has your ship start with no ammunition; you must capture an enemy supply depot to rearm. Of course, this can be averted if your vessel has the Ammo Assembler as an auxiliary system.
  • No Swastikas: The "Fascist Flag" of Warship Gunner 2 uses a plain black cross instead of a swastika. Also, German hulls have a plain red or white spot on the bow/stern instead of swastikas.
  • No Ontological Inertia: After you defeat Ragnarök, all superweapons cease to work.
  • Nuclear Weapons Taboo: They're referred as "High Explosive". To be fair, history has proven nukes to actually be worthless anti-ship weapons save for all but up close with an underwater explosion.
  • Nuke 'em: You can arm your ships with nuclear missiles, torpedoes, or sea mines. It's fairly easy to sink yourself with them.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting
  • One-Man Army: You have to be this in the Warship Gunner games, as you're often the only ship deployed on the mission.
  • Plasma Cannon: A weapon option, though it fires arcs of plasma rather than the more typically seen blobs.
  • Point Defenseless: Averted. You can shoot down enemy missiles and torpedoes, but they can shoot down yours as well. That said, even the best AA suite can be overwhelmed by enough aircraft and missiles/torpedoes.
  • Randomly Drops: Many parts are only available via drops from sunken ships. Similarly, certain lines of research require a piece of captured equipment to reverse-engineer.
  • Rule of Cool: Some of the "superships" are so big and massive that this is probably the only thing that they can run on.
  • Sea Mine:
    • The player has to navigate enemy minefields in several missions in all the games. They can be destroyed with MG fire or anti-mine torpedoes.
    • In Warship Gunner 2, smaller ship classes can carry mine dispensers, though it's not easy to get the enemy to hit them. They come in nuclear flavors too.
  • Serial Escalation: How much bigger or more badass will the next boss be? What crazy/insane/awesome weapon will we find next? How many more enemies can they cram into a single stage? When the hell will this game end? Will I ever find all of the unlockables?
  • Short-Range Long-Range Weapon:
    • Even the biggest guns have ranges under 10 kilometres, which is far shorter than the 20 miles (or 32 kilometres) that a 16 inch (40.6cm) gun can have in real life. Missiles tend to be similarly short ranged. Wave guns go to maybe 20 kilometres, but regular lasers have terrible range.
    • Inverted by the chainguns...they're theoretically a short-range weapon, but due to their slow bullet drop, you can make steel rain halfway across the map by air-attacking with them.
  • Silliness Switch: The Special missions of Warship Gunner 2 and the Area G missions in Commander where silver swans, dragonfly fighters, and an enormous dried squid appear in missions with very silly descriptions. Like a shopping trip, or stopping someone's drunken karaoke.
  • Space Compression: Distances on maps seem far smaller than they should be. A ship cruising at 60 knots should still take several hours to circumnavigate Sicily, for example.
  • Spiritual Successor: To the prior P.T.O. (Pacific Theater of Operations) games. Warship Gunner 1 uses the same engine as P.T.O. IV.
  • Subsystem Damage:
    • Deck, Engine, and Rudder Damage status each have negative effects, though Deck damage only matters if you use aircraft.
    • Commander takes this further by dividing the ship into Port, Starboard, Bow, and Stern sectors. If any one sector takes too much damage, the ship sinks.
  • Sucking-In Lines: Wave Guns do this while charging.
  • Swan Boats: Commander has metallic laser-firing swans in Area G. The Rubber Duck battleship hull also counts.
  • Tech Tree:
    • The first two games have several categories of technology the player can invest in that unlock things as they go up. Certain parts have multiple prerequisites.
    • Warship Gunner 2 has multiple trees (one for torpedoes, one for engines, and so on) and research takes "turns" that pass as the player completes missions. Also, some items require parts to be captured during missions before they're unlocked for research.
  • This Is a Drill:
    • Drillships, the only way for the player to deal damage is by ramming the enemy. The Arahabaki boss and its siblings are a superweapon-scale version.+
    • The Drill Missile in Warship Gunner 2, which has absurdly long range and can target all types of enemies (air, surface/land, and submarine) but inflicts pathetic damage-but disables the targets engines for about 30 seconds or so per missile, making them incredibly vulnerable to attack.
  • Timed Mission: Some missions require you to kill specific targets before time runs out or survive/protect friendlies for a certain amount of time.
  • Types of Naval Ships: The games are pretty serious about this. DD for destroyers, CA/CC for cruisers, BB for battleships, CV for aircraft carriers, etc.
  • Underwater Boss Battle: One of the recurring bosses in the series is a giant submarine called Dreadnought, which you have to force to the surface with anti-submarine weapons to fight with your regular weapons.
  • Unique Enemy: In Warship Gunner, enemy battlecarriers only show up in one mission, C-02.
  • Units Not to Scale: Everything. For comparison, a small destroyer is about the size of a town, and the player can navigate around Sicily in a few minutes depending on how fast their ship is.
  • Videogame Caring Potential: Rescuing enemy sailors after their ships are sunk increases the amount of points in the end of the mission. In Commander, it also slightly repairs the ship.
  • Videogame Flamethrowers Suck: Short range, low damage. They are, however, extra effective against the iceberg carrier Habbakkuk in the first game. On the other hand, a wall of flame can form an effective missile screen and setting enemies on fire causes damage over time and may even cause a devastating magazine explosion.
  • Water Level: Every level takes place at sea.
  • Wave-Motion Gun: The aptly named Wave Guns, which can clear the better part of a map with just one shot. The first time you'll see them is likely on the final boss, which also usually drops one for your use on the second playthrough.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity : Karl Weisenberg becomes increasingly megalomaniacal over the course of Warship Gunner 2.


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