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Video Game / Steel Diver

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A 2.5D side-scrolling submarine simulator from Nintendo for the 3DS. You pilot one of three subs (an adorable little compact sub that can fire torpedoes vertically, a medium-sized submarine which is Jack of All Stats, and a four-torpedo-tube heavy sub) through a variety of stages, dodging depth charges, naval mines, and enemy submarines along the way. A gyroscope-enabled periscope minigame and a multiplayer turn-based strategy mode round out the package.

In 2014, a (mostly) free-to-play sequel, Steel Diver: Sub Wars was released. Unlike the first game's 2.5D presentation, Sub Wars is in full 3D with a first person view from the sub. The main focus is the game's surprisingly fun 4 vs. 4 multiplayer, which some have likened to Ace Combat, if Ace Combat was underwater and about submarines. It helps that the multiplayer (and the first two missions of the game's single player campaign) are free to download, with the rest of the single player and a few extra subs being unlocked for 10 dollars.

The following tropes appear in this game:

  • Advancing Wall of Doom: The eighth time trial of the first game features one chasing you 2/3rds of the way in.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: The Sea creature's shell is impervious to torpedoes but if you can maneuver them into the opening it will retreat and eventually give up entirely. The "advanced enemy battleship" has a hatch underneath it in addition to all its bombs, torpedo launchers and depth charges that releases giant homing torpedoes and over sized depth charges that will quickly total your submarine. The hatch, like the rest of the vessel only takes Scratch Damage from your torpedoes, however, if you can slip in some while it's opening to release its payload...
  • Boring, but Practical: Sure, the small ND 0-1 Manatee sub only has one torpedo tube, no pitch wheel, and is painted a rather ugly color, but as it turns out being able to fire straight up comes in handy.
  • CamelCase: One of the submarines, the ND 0-3 BlueShark
  • The Cameo: Peppy Hare from Star Fox makes a cameo in Sub Wars when advertising the full version and its features. Similar to the bunnies in StreetPass Mii Plaza.
  • Collision Damage
    • Coming into contact with enemy vessels is not advisable. In the event you submarine gets stuck on one, it will not take continuous damage however. It's possible to land you submarine, most easily the ND 01 Manatee, on top of enemy battle ships by going fast enough to jump out of the water. Self repair still activates!
    • Most sea creatures are harmless, but coming to close to a whale will cause minor damage to your submarine.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard
    • The "Steel Commander" AI is fairly fair, truth be told, but during mission mode, purposefully surfacing and letting enemy aircraft see you before diving underneath enemy ships is usually not a valid strategy, as their explosives tend to pass through their allies and hit you. "Neutral" hazards such as the statue heads of "the depths" are always valid enemy submarine killers however, even if you were the one to trigger them.
    • Your own torpedoes can't hit off screen targets, but enemy submarines can shoot yours from such distances and angles.
    • While enemy vessels seem immune to mines, enemy torpedoes do destroy them, so you can still kill two birds with one stone.
  • Cosmetic Award: After completing a mission you are taken to a quick bonus round of "periscope strike" where you can earn decorations for the submarines you control as you sink enemy vessels. However, get enough of a certain decal and it will start powering up your submarine.
  • Critical Annoyance: Albeit, the real "siren" submarines of the eighties would have used, the one that's been immortalized by Hollywood movies. "Mayday!"
  • Critical Hit: In "Periscope Strike", most vessels types have a specific spot which will leave the words "critical hit" on the screen if struck with a torpedo.
  • Deadly Walls: You are controlling a submarine, after all. At most, you can park a sub on a flat surface if you touch down very gently. Otherwise it will take damage.
  • Destructible Projectiles: Shooting depth charges, mines, bombs and even other torpedoes, homing or otherwise, is a valid tactic in mission mode.
  • Down the Drain
    • The time trials of the first game seem to take place in drains, or at least terrifically large pipes.
    • "Enemy Stronghold" starts Under the Sea, as most levels have been before entering said Stronghold, which seems to be a be ninety percent underwater factory converted to a military base.
  • Everyone Knows Morse: The only way to communicate in Sub Wars is through Morse code. Thankfully, there is a chart that tells you how to spell out each letter and messages are in regular letters. The single button chat system is, supposedly, more convenient than using the touch screen to type.
  • Everything's Better with Sparkles: When you have enough of a decal to get a power up from it, it will start to sparkle
  • Excuse Plot: In the year 19XX, a rogue nation threatens world peace. A coalition submarine force has been assembled to take them on. You're part of it.
  • Fog of War: Given that Steel Commander is based on Battleship, there is a lot of guess work regarding the position of enemy vessels. Submarines can use sonar to make the process easier, at the cost of a turn.
  • Fragile Speedster The compact crew of 11 ND 0-1 Manatee is built more for maneuverability than high speed or acceleration, but given contact with almost anything is always dangerous this tend to result in it moving through missions the fastest. It can't take as much punishment as the BlueShark or Serpent however.
  • "Get Back Here!" Boss: "Enemy Stronghold" sees you chasing a submarine from its construction site. However, it will face you if you fail to destroy it before cornering it.
  • Hot Sub-on-Sub Action: Inevitable, really.
  • Instant-Win Condition: To win "Steel Commander" you have to sink all five of the opposition's supply ships...or you could just wreck their submarine.
  • Interface Screw: Springing leaks tend to lock your controls until they are plugged. You can easily end up taking more damage than expected if a leak happens to open up and you cannot fix it before you can change course to avoid further damage.
  • Invisibility: The masker makes homing torpedoes go off course in the first game, as well as letting you pass by timed mines without setting off their countdown but in the second it acts more like this.
  • Invincible Minor Minion: In mission mode, some submarines attack you from the background where, unlike periscope strike mode, you can't return fire. Air planes and helicopters tend to be this by default as well.
  • Jack of All Stats: The midsize crew of 24 ND 0-3 BlueShark has less maneuverability than the Manatee, fewer torpedoes than the Serpent, no water to air missile and can't sustain as much damage as Cruz's boat. But it will get around obstructions quicker than the Serpent and can take more hits than the Manatee.
  • Jungle Japes: "Jungle Canal", which is big enough for even a 38 meter submarine to navigate, albeit clumsily.
  • King Mook: "The Advanced Enemy Battleship" of "Preemptive Strike" is a larger version of the battleships that have already been hassling you every other mission, with more weapons and a tougher hull.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: The advanced enemy battle ship of "Preemptive Strike" has an attack where it retreats to the background and peppers the entire area with air to sea torpedoes.
  • Mighty Glacier: The large crew of 40 ND 0-5 Serpent is the least graceful target you can control, but it will keep running at the point your other sub options would have been sunken, has the best pitch wheel for lining up shots and it carries the most torpedoes.
  • Oxygen Meter: Your submarine's air supply will never decrease so long as you don't use your masker. If you do, however you may need to surface to replenish your vessel's breathable air.
  • Punny Name: The captain of the ND 0-1 Manatee is Luc Fisher, the ND 0-3 BlueShark has Ben Triton and the ND 0-5 Serpent has Dante Cruz
  • Racing Ghost: The first game's mission mode lets you race a ghost, either of yourself or of the development team.
  • Ramming Always Works: Battleships and destroyers are not above ramming your submarine if you surface in front of them, although most will also take damage from colliding with you. The last submarine of "Enemy Stronghold" regularly uses a ramming attack.
  • Regenerating Health: No health pickups or extra lives here. Luckily for you, your submarine will slowly repair its structural damage when it is above water, provided you're in mission mode. It will also be more vulnerable to attack in such a position and you can't stay too long anyway because time's a tickin'!
  • Sea Mine: The classic spiky ball has two flavors. One that explodes when you run into it and another that starts a timer when anything large enough is in its general vicinity. A third is dropped in a spread by the advanced enemy battle ship of "preemptive strike", which explode on their own after awhile.
  • Sea Monster: The unidentified sea creature of "The Depths", which has been sinking submarines but is less actively hostile than territorial
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: "The Arctic Circle", the first locked mission. There is even a giant ice flow that has to be pushed out of your way with torpedoes.
  • Timed Mission: All the mission mode missions have a time limit that gets more lenient as their number increases.
  • Time Trial: As an alternative to the numbered missions of the first game. Since all the regular missions are timed anyway, the trial courses are designed specifically to test you on certain aspects of the controls or other game mechanics.
  • Turn-Based Combat: Steel Commander, being based on Battleship, has two opponents taking turns as they attempt to locate and sink naval vessels. However, the sinking of any vessels located has to be done in real time with manual aiming, and their is a time limit as the opponent attempts to move their vessel out of range, or return fire, depending on what was matched up with what.
  • 2.5D: Only it's in stereoscopic 3D, which makes it... 2.75D?
  • Unexpected Character: Vehicle, in this case. A later update for "Sub Wars" adds the Blue Marine from Star Fox 64.
  • Underground Level: "Undersea Cave" is exactly that, although it becomes a Lethal Lava Land Hail Fire Peaks when an underground volcano erupts, forcing you to hightail it to the exit(or rather, alternative entrance to the enemy stronghold). "The Depths" are another example
  • Underwater Boss Battle: It has a few boss battles, so it's a given, first with you both underwater and then with the boss above it and you below.
  • Underwater Ruins: in "The Depths" they serve as obstacles for you to clear, and potential traps to destroy enemy submarines.
  • Video Game 3D Leap: You could either control the submarine on a 2D plane from a third person perspective or move up and down while pivoting from a first person periscope perspective in the first game. Sub Wars is all first person free three dimensional movement.
  • Water-Geyser Volley: Underwater geysers sometimes serve as aid and more often serve as hindrances but in either case will push your submarine around.
  • Wave-Motion Gun: The last submarine of "Enemy Stronghold" has one.
  • Weak Sauce Weakness: Two of your mission mode submarines can only fire in one direction and none of them can change direction easily(although all can move in reverse), something every boss enemy you encounter will take advantage of.