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Video Game / SD Gundam Capsule Fighter

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SD Gundam Capsule Fighter was an online Free-to-Play Massively Multiplayer Online game based on the famous Gundam franchise. Developed in South Korea by Softmax, SD Gundam Capsule Fighternote  had servers in China, Japan, North America, and various other countries. In 2015, all servers shut down, bringing an end to the game's seven year run.

SDGO was an online game that unlike many others, lacks any type of plot whatsoever. However, the game allowed players to enter combat with other players using their favorite Mobile Suits (with a Super-Deformed yet surprisingly accurate representation of each Mobile Suit), ranging from the Zaku to the Gundam AGE series, with even some of the most obscure suits between them made available for play. Players got their hands on these Mobile Suits primarily through capsule machines (hence the name) in which they spent in-game currency trying to roll for the unit they wanted. Units could also be gained through quests, events, or even making them via blueprints and the necessary components (consisting of lower-ranked units).

The suits in game were ranked based on their power (and usually prominence in the series), from the C-Rank units up to S-Ranks, with other "sub-ranks" of sorts to determine the unique properties of the Mobile Suits. The game had a Tactical Rock–Paper–Scissors combat style with literal rock, paper, and scissor units. Rock units were usually oriented for fast and close-combat gameplay, papers for long-range firing and even sniping, while scissors were mid-ranged and capable in both close-quarters and long-range combat. This system, at least on the North American servers, was replaced in favour of simple designations, those being Short-, Mid-, and Long-Ranged.

The gameplay had two primary gameplay types: missions and battle, each having their own unique options. In missions player could either go solo on Single Missions, or join a group of up to three other players in group missions, which often borrowed from the story lines of previous Gundam series. Battle pitted up to twelve players against each other in several different battle types, including:

  • "Normal", in which players were split into two teams with infinite lives, and the goal was to get the most points before the time ran out, done so by killing members of the enemy team.
  • "Single", which was basically Normal with a free-for-all format, in which the player with the most points won.
  • "Death", where players had a finite number of lives and must defeat the other team to win.
  • "Tag", where players used up to four predetermined Mobile Suits loaded on their battleships in a Death Match-style battle.
  • "Grid", which basically combined Tag with an inverted "Normal" format, trying to reduce the other team's points to zero by killing the enemy players.

Not to be confused with SD Gundam Force, which is absent from this game. (BB Senshi Sangokuden is in, though.)

This game contained examples of:

  • Adapted Out: The only three animated series not represented in this game were SD Gundam Force, Gundam Build Fighters Try. and Gundam: Reconguista in G
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • Some of the higher-ranked suits can fall into this trope, particularly the S Rank units. While very powerful and usually easy to use, they're often expensive to make or difficult to get. In Death Matches they're tied for the least number of lives per match (tied with A Ranks at two lives and the second life starts you out with only 75% HP), and give (or take, in Grid) the most points when taken out. They also take up the most points in Clan Matches and battleships, requiring the other suits used to be much weaker C Ranks. If you're not skilled in using the suit, it's also not unusual to be taken out by someone using a much weaker unit. But if you can use it properly, expect to be tearing through your enemies like wet paper.
    • This is even more apparent with SR and SS Ranks. SS Ranks can ONLY be obtained through blueprints which cost a good amount more than their S Rank cousins. As for the SR Ranks, they can only be obtained by rolling in Custom Capsule, and since it's entirely random, it could take anywhere from 5 rolls, to 500 rolls...
    • The same goes with Special Attacks. While devastating during PVP matches, in PVE matches, the attacks only take a small percentage off. Even worse, there's a chance that some Special Attacks will cause the target to lock up, being unable to attack or be dealt damage. Cases like this has lead it to be an unwritten rule to never use Special Attacks during PVE fights.
    • Certain skills tend to be this way as well. For example, the Infinite Ammo Weapon 2/3 is Exactly What It Says on the Tin, but while it's nice to have infinite ammo, you have to be down to 40-35% of your HP to use it, compared to the Quick Reload skill, which speeds up your reload when you activate the skill.
    • Likewise, Mobile Armors can be this. Very powerful, high defenses, and they often have unique skills. But they're also massive targets.
  • Ace Custom: Being Gundam, naturally a large number of these are present from the canon. Also, players can customize their Mobile Suit in the Factory to better fit their play style, basically allowing them to make their own Ace Custom.
  • Bare-Fisted Mech: Played with. Some units aren't exactly bare-fisted, but rather use solely close-range weapons, or use the same close-ranged weapons for different attacks. Some Mobile Suits play this trope straight, however.
  • Back Stab: A Mobile Suit's big weak point is its back, thus it's not uncommon for someone's speedy Melee-based unit to attack you in the back.
  • Beam Spam: Some suits have all kinds of beam weapons at their disposal, including "flashlights", which are widespread long-range beams difficult to dodge, and often rather powerful.
  • BFG: It wouldn't be Gundam otherwise. It appears primarily in the form of the aforementioned "flashlight" beam weapons, or Special Attacks that involve firing a massive continuous beam.
  • BFS: Remains faithful to the various Gundam series that have said weapons, such as ZZ Gundam or 00 Raiser.
  • Boring Yet Practical: A lot of units have flashy and powerful weapons at their disposal, unique skills to increase their use and ability, and the game offers some room for skill and strategy. But more often than not, you'll find yourself hiding behind cover between shooting at enemies with your basic beam rifle or machine gun, or sneaking up behind them to take them out with critical shots or BackStabs. It's not very flashy and sometimes criticized by other players, but it's reliable and keeps you from giving the advantage to your opponent if you mess up.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: Surprisingly averted in this game. While spending actual cash (called astros in-game) allows you to roll the gashapon for suits that aren't out yet or buy actual units and unit blueprints, they offer nothing that a non-paying player won't be able to get via points with some time and patience beyond some purely cosmetic paints or stickers. The only time you'll really need to purchase anything is if you need to buy more hangar space.
  • Cherry Tapping: Some exceedingly skilled players will take the time to improve and expand C-Rank suits, then use them to decimate less-skilled players relying on their high-powered S Ranks to win the game. Some players take it up a notch to level and expand the Training MS, the first unit you get and arguably the weakest in the game.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Some players are perfectly content using "cheap" units note  or methods note  in order to get the upper hand, so long as it doesn't actually break rules.
  • Composite Character: For the sake of simplicity, some units are actually a combination of two versions of that unit. For instance, the RX-78GP02A Gundam "Physallis" (Type-MLRS) is a combination of the actual Type-MLRS and the Beam Bazooka variant.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: If one is not careful, going into a fight with the wrong unit will lead to this and many Rage Quit-caused flipped tables.
  • Defeat Equals Explosion: Enemies, from battle ships in Mission Mode to other units, will explode on defeat.
  • Deflector Shields: Played with. Skills based on defensive measures such as Phase-Shift Armor or I-Fields take this appearance when in effect, Color-Coded for Your Convenience. Some units play it straight, however.
  • Destructible Projectiles: Various missiles, just as those fired by the Gaw, GINN and even Nuclear Missiles, can be shot down. Sadly, you can't lock on to them, so your aim better be good or you got a flashlight.
  • The Ditz: Operator Knote , at least in the NA servers, is portrayed as this
  • Do Not Run with a Gun: Units with normal guns can run and gun at the same time. Heavier weapons like buster rifles force you to stand still.
  • Dub Name Change: Actually averted - God Gundam, Devil Gundam and Nether Gundam all retain their original names.
  • Gratuitous English: Sometimes the attempts to translate Korean words into English can have some very interesting, hilarious, or downright facepalm inducing results. One of particular note would be from when Master Gundam came out; one of its skills was named "Swordsman Master Asia". The mistakes often get fixed a patch or two later, though.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: Sadly, SDGO has a good few of these at times. Go on, go to the NA forums and mention "ZOA". Make sure to take some popcorn and a flame retardant suit for when people rage at the very mention of it.
    • Players often experience multiplayer disconnects/hangups which causes most/all of the other players in the room to stand still when the game starts. This means you can't defend yourself from other players and they can't defend themselves from you.
  • Girly Run: The Beargguy III runs this way.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: There's a version of the Gundam Ez-8 who will beat you with its left arm.
  • Handicapped Badass: Outside of the aforementioned Ez-8 variant, the Gundam (Magnetic Coating) can enter Last Shooting mode, blowing off its left arm and head, getting considerable damage boosts and a better melee combo at the expense of losing its bazooka and being unable to autolock on enemies.
    • Actually, it can autolock on to enemies, however you have to be extremely close to an enemy to actually do so. It's second skill, "Newtype Awakening(A)", actually increases its lock-on range, which makes its only downside being the loss of its bazooka.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The Akatsuki Gundams and Gundam Unicorn (NT-D Mode) do this for beam weapons and funnel-type weapons respectively.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: SS ranks, improved versions of the already powerful S ranks. Many are often banned by players.
    • Released in the NA version so far are; Nu Gundam HWS (has the improved funnel weaponry), Infinte Justice Gundam ( has extra melee, and multi-firing long range weapon), Strike Freedom Gundam (has double beam rifles, and better long range than most papers.), 00 Raiser Gundam (primarily melee-based, armed with more swords you can shake at, a special skill that allows you to evade a single attack and reappear elsewhere)
  • Joke Character: The Zeta Zaku. Its states take a massive dive (especially in attack), it can't transform into Waverider mode and its Grenade Launcher (compared to its better counterpart, the Zeta Gundam (Beam Saber)), loses most of its ammo and. On the other hand, it has a lot more defense than the other Zetas and it makes up for its attack loss with a special skill that makes its beam saber stronger.
    • Keep in mind, however, that the Zeta Gundam is an A rank, and the Zeta Zaku is a B rank, so its stats are naturally lower for that reason.
    • There's also the Beargguy, which turns the already funny-looking Acguy into an even weirder looking Bear MS.
  • Kill Steal: Ever present in this game and goes into insane levels when players are participating in kill count events. The most common ones are someone landing a Limit Break while you're attacking someone, especially in close range, or someone shooting at your target when you hit them with your Beam Limit Break.
  • Level Grinding: Common with most Massively Multiplayer Online games. To players, it's known as "Faith Grinding", usually playing either Single Missions or easy stage missions, like Assault on Jaburo Part 1 to gain big EXP and Point gains via their daily 15-use "Faith" bonus.
  • Limit Break: Special Attacks, which can only be used when your SP gauge fills from dealing or taking damage. The SP Gauge is also required to activate your skills, some of which (particularly some of the more powerful ones) require you to be reduced to a certain amount of HP for them to be activated.
    • Suits used by the main characters from it's respective show always have an alternate version, including an SP attack with their signature or final boss kill move. Such as Gundam(magnetic Coating)'s Last Shooting, or Force Impulse Gundam featuring Shinn's final attack against the Freedom Gundam.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: A few suits (primarily of the long-ranged Paper variety) have homing missiles they can fire on their enemies for damage from behind or around cover.
  • Make My Mobile Suit Grow: The Boss PVP matches has a random player's unit grow to "boss" size, giving them incredible defense and new skills... and makes them a big target for everyone else.
    • There's even a PVP item that allows you to grow when activated at any time during the match.
  • Masterof None: While it is true that Scissor units are supposed to be the balanced ones out of the Trio, if a player cannot quickly adapt to his situation(whether it be because of lack-of-skill, poor stats or skills on the MS, etc.), some Scissor units may become this.
  • The Medic: Some Mobile Suits are capable of healing their teammates. But due to this fact and the fact that almost all "Repair" (as they're identified in-game) units have low HP, it often leads to Shoot the Medic First.
  • Nuke 'em: About three suits have this as their range-type special attack: The C-rank Nuclear Windam, the BS-rank GP02A Physalis, and the S-rank Turn A.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome:
    • The A Ranks to S Ranks, at least in Death Matches. A Ranks and S Ranks have the same number of lives, so unless the room restricts S Ranks, you may as well use an S Rank instead since it will have more power with the same amount of lives.
    • Also happens to some units with their "Rare" versions (signified by an -R suffix in their rank and yellow name text), which usually have alternate weapons, unit properties, and slightly higher stats. Even morso with "Special" versions (-S suffix on rank and red name text), which are often required to be built in order to obtain and as such almost always have higher performance than their base unit.
  • Power Creep, Power Seep: Nigh-invulnerable units such as the Wing Gundam are somehow the same rank as powerful versions of Universal Century grunt units. Likewise, Gundam F91 and Nu Gundam, while both are powerful in their series, are nowhere close to being equal to ∀ Gundam or Double X, but they are all the same rank, with a version of Nu Gundam even being higher rank than either of them.
    • There is much hatedom by Wing fanboys on the NA servers over the original Gundams from Gundam Wing being B ranks, while Gundam SEED has its original gundams as A ranks. Then the strongest Gundam SEED Destiny suits are SS Rank, and the Endless Waltz version suits are only S rank.
  • Send in the Clones: A few types here:
    • One type is the fact that there are numerous versions of various Mobile Suits. Beyond the -U machines, there are units who come with different payloads. For instance, the RX-78 Gundam has versions with a beam saber and beam rifle, Twin Bazookas, the Gundam Hammer, the Beam Javelin, with Magnetic Coating, a Char Custom, a GOLD variation, etc.
    • The other type is that it's not unusual to see a room with the same units. Especially new players who just got their first S-Rank unit, the Freedom Gundam.
    • There are some units who use the same play style, such as the Destiny Gundam and the F-91 being long range attackers who can switch between it and after-image producing melee fighters.
  • Shown Their Work: While some players may disagree, the sheer number of Mobile Suits, their unique skills, and their weaponry and capabilities show just how much research and work was put into this game for each Mobile Suit.
  • Sniper Duel: Often happens when opposing teams have one or more unit with sniping capabilities.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Not a complete case, but units that has to be blueprinted to be made will, more than likely, be better than the base unit itself. For example, the Victory Dash Gundam, a Paper-based attacker with long range "flashlights", Quick Reload and Impenetrable Defense is heads above the base Victory Gundam, which is basically an A-Rank version of the Gundam.
  • Transforming Mecha:
    • As standard for most Gundam-based mecha, some Mobile Suits will turn from normal to airplane modes. However, a number of them will actually purge a form (usually armor) to take up a brand new form.
    • Still others involve Mobile Suits (primarily ones with a high degree of relevance/important to their native series' plot) will have alternate modes that let them use additional weapons, such examples including the Nu Gundam and 00 Raiser.
    • And then still other Mobile Suits have skill-based transformations, which give them performance boosts, new weapons, and additional capabilities once their HP hits a certain level. Primarily used in units known to have such transformations, like those from G Gundam and the Gundam Unicorn (NT-D version).
  • Thirty-Five Strike Daggers and Ten 105 Daggers: It's not uncommon for many special missions to require you to blow up a certain number of units.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: Almost always the case when a player is using a high-ranked unit, especially if the player's own rank show limited experience. But if the player is skilled AND the unit is strong, prepare for a looong fight...
    • The way that the Endless Waltz Gundam were made is built around this concept. They each generally do ONE thing really well; Long Range for Wing Zero, Close Range for Altron, Tanking for Heavy Arms Kai, Stunning for Sandrock Kai, and Stealth for Deathscythe Hell. However, it comes at the cost of versatility, as they are generally really bad at everything else.
  • Virtual Paper Doll: By purchasing paints, decals and metallic effects, you can effectively make your own custom unit, ranging from turning a grunt unit into your very own "Ace Custom" to making the Noble Gundam look like a character from Sailor Moon. Follow this link and be amazed.
  • Visible Invisibility: Some units have cloaking capabilities that make them capable of sneaking up on opponents. Can fall into type 3 at close ranges though, so it's not absolute.
  • Weak, but Skilled:
    • Almost always the case when someone is using a lower-ranked unit and doing so effectively.
    • Played straight when it comes to units with the -U rank suffix, which have alternate coloration and lower stat totals, but said stats are more focused in their distribution to make the unit arguably more effective in its particular field.

Alternative Title(s): SD Gundam Online