Super Robot Wars 2 is the first Super Robot Wars title released on the Famicom and the first to have an actual plotline, with its larval form becoming the modern Super Robot Wars battle engine, though it clearly borrows a lot from the first game, in this regard.
2 began what most fans call the "Classic Timeline", to wit, the "Divine Crusaders War" (DC War) is the primary focus of the game. When alien technology is discovered by a scientist named Bian Zoldark, who studies it and informs the government of the potential threat that will occur unless the world is fully prepared for it. Unfortunately, Bian's words are not taken seriously, thus he creates the "Divine Crusaders", with the intent of conquering The Federation, jolting the government's attention towards Bian. Enter the heroes and the first of many Original Generation characters and Mecha, who wind up becoming part of the DC War, but also Bian's hidden machinations.
Tropes common to Super Robot Wars 2 are:
- Badass Army: Londo Bell, which the collective heroes are assigned to
- Canon Discontinuity: When Updated Re-release Super Robot Wars 2G came out, it was said to depict what actually happened during the DC War, with 2 being the modified version of history released to the public by the United Nations. However, the story of 2G directly contradicts later installments, such as the presence of the Mobile Fighter G Gundam cast and Tetsuya Tsurugi, thus 2G was Retconned out, and the events from 2 became canon once again.
- Captain Ersatz: Believe it or not, Masaki Andoh and his Cybuster were not planned to be in this game. The original idea was to include Aura Battler Dunbine, but that fell through for various reasons. Banpresto came up with four Original Generation machines: Cybuster, Valsion, Granzon, and the Shurouya. The former three would make it into 2, while the Shurouya would, apparently, become the basis for the Shurouga of Super Robot Wars Z.
- Civil War
- Cutscene Power to the Max: Subverted; at one point in the game, a mysterious robot appears and destroy a bunch of turrets in a single attack and leaves. Eventually, its pilot joins Londo Bell. Not only can the player use that same attack that hits all opponents in range without Mooks performing a counterattack, the pilot can counter any opponent with it, and the attack can be used post-movement, in either its default humanoid mode or its transformable aerial mode?! Game-Breaker? No, not really...
- Difficulty Spike: One scenario forces the player to protect the La Cailum battleship while it's doing its preparation for going into space. Mooks are coming in; no problem, just send your units to them...until the Mooks ignore them and go straight for the La Cailum. In fact, they're slaughtering it. From this point on, it would be best to start using Spirit Commands (SRW's equivalent of magic spells).
- Humongous Mecha
- Leeroy Jenkins: In Scenario 2, the Michiru Saotome and her Getter-Q are an enemy unit due to hostages being taken by the DC, forcing her to fight against you. And her tactic is to bumrush you. Once the hostage situation is settled, the Getter-Q joins your side as an NPC. You can't control her, you can't heal her. And her fighting style is exactly the same.
- Depressingly, she's a hidden bonus character. To unlock her, she has to survive the stage. Easier said than done.
- Long Song, Short Scene: The Leitmotif of UFO Robo Grendizer is too long for its own good. Thankfully, you can fully listen to it when switching to Grendizer's battle mode.
- Negative Continuity: The defection of Reccoa Londe and the brainwashing of Four Murasame occur in this game. That's fine and all, until it happens AGAIN in the exact same manner for the sequel, and NO ONE bothers to mention that it's happened before.
- Lalah Sune also is savable, which is a rarity for the series. However, that doesn't stop her from randomly jumping back to the DC between this and the sequel... and Amuro doesn't bother to comment on it at all in 3.
- Elpeo Ple dies if you take the steps to recruit Ple Two, yet she's alive and kicking in Super Robot Wars 3, no worse for wear... and you still have to convince both if you want them in your squad again.
- Nintendo Hard: For starters, no game over trick note
- Original Generation: Masaki, Bian and Shu Shirakawa; for the mecha, the Granzon, Valsion and Cybuster
- Thanatos Gambit: Bian states unless Londo Bell defeats him, they have no chance against an extraterrestial threat. Sure enough, he's given a beating that ends with him getting Killed Off for Real, but he intended this was necessary in order for The Federation to better arm itself and for them to prepare for the impending invasion.
- The Mole: Paptimus Scirroco attempts to betray Bian, but Shu informs him that Bian knows and has him kicked out of the Divine Crusaders. This is retained in the sequel.
- Villain Team-Up: Considering Bian happens to earn the allegiance of every Gundam series antagonist (thus far) and a few super robot villains into one faction, this easily applies.