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Video Game / Super Robot Wars K

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Super Robot Wars K is the second Nintendo DS-released Super Robot Wars, which more or less reuses the visual and combat engine from Super Robot Wars W, with some new additions and some rather unorthodox debuting series as well. Once again, it has no Universal Century Gundam, no Getter Robo, and no Mazinger except for the original, which either upset the traditionalists or made players desperate for new blood happy.

Featured series in K (with debuts in bold):

Notably, K has a particular oddity of having no plot from shows before the 2000s: while Dangaioh and the original Mazinger Z are present, they have very little storyline significance, and all the shows more relevant to the story were made with modern computer animation. This marks a vast departure from the norm, where old-school Real Robots and Super Robots had a significant presence alongside more modern entries. Similarly, K does not reuse any sprites from the previous two games (aside from a handful of Gundam SEED units), despite having an art style that is relatively the same.

Also notable is that this game acquired (even more) infamy when it was found to contain certain music tracks plagiarized from Chrono Trigger and Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals.

Tropes common to this game are:

  • Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder: One of the game's secrets involves saving Stellar Loussier from her fated death. At the end of the series proper, Shinn Asuka and Lunamaria Hawke is the canon pairing. Awkward...
  • Action Girl: Plenty as usual, but Cagalli Yula Atha gets this status back at long last. Her first mission involves taking on the Festum single-handedly in an outdated machine.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Downplayed with the Archangel crew; they were never really villainous in the source material, but they did cause a bunch of confusion by attacking both the Earth Alliance and ZAFT without explaining their reasons. In this game, however, they never employ any questionable methods, with them even driving away some ORB soldiers attacking the Minerva crew.
  • Adaptational Nationality: The inhabitants of the planets Endless Illusion and Zi are now shown as being from the second Earth instead.
  • Adaptational Villainy:
    • While Hester Gallop and Mitsuhiro Bartland are already villains in their home series, they are made even worse in this game by having them work with Lord Djibril. Hester in particular is shown to fully support his genocidal agenda against Coordinators.
    • ZAFT is generally portrayed in a much more negative light than in SEED Destiny proper. Most of the Minerva crew act just as antagonistic towards the Archangel crew as they did in the source material, in spite of the latter group not doing anything to provoke them here. The invasion of ORB also doesn't even have the slim justification of capturing Djibril like it did in the anime, as said character died before it happened.
  • Adapted Out:
    • Some of the one-shot villains from Gun X Sword, including Joe Lutz and Hayeta, who are somewhat important to said series' storyline.
    • Because the game skips the plot of Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny until the point where Auel is already dead, and Sting has already received a Destroy Gundam, their old Gundams - Abyss and Chaos - never show up in game. The Saviour Gundam also doesn't seem to exist in this continuity, as Athrun never gets into a fight with Kira, yet is still piloting a Gouf when he gets shot down by Shinn.
    • Despite the individual forms appearing as Combination Attacks, Sky Buster Gaiking and Triple Gaiking do not appear.
    • While K marks the first time the actual Virtual ON MARZ plot is used (the cast treated their Super Robot Wars Alpha 3 appearance as a "bonus level" from their world), players only get 4 of the 9 MARZ characters to use.
  • Animal Mecha: Elite Mook Verinee and her troops all pilot wolf-like robots.
  • Arc Welding:
    • The Orb Union was funding various organizations such as the Dannar Base and the Fafner Project. This is part of the reason why the other mecha from Godannar do a Big Damn Heroes during the Invasion of Orb, though there is also the little detail that invading countries that don't agree with your plan is just plain wrong.
    • Kouji Kabuto, Sayaka Yumi and Boss are working alongside the Danner Base crew at the start of the game.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Gaiking the Great is a beast in combat but its attacks drain almost too much energy to be worth it, not to mention you have to combine with the Raiking and Vulking, and both are perfectly good on their own.
  • Big Bad: Lu Cobol
  • Big Bad Wannabe:
    • Verinee might not be as severe as Wilheim von Juergen, but being one of the earlier original villains to be killed off by Gil-Barg instead of the protagonist and his allies puts her here.
    • Gil himself falls in this trap in the same scenario no less, when he attempts to run off to fight another day, but the Dangaioh team kills him with the newly-unlocked Final Psychic Wave. So much for badass points, huh, Gil?
  • Big Damn Heroes: This is what the Minerva is reduced to after the Gundam SEED Destiny storyline finishes.
  • Bittersweet Ending: For a good portion of the cast. The Virtual-On units have their memories of all events in K erased as per MARZ protocol, the Fafner pilots are still slowly being turned into Festum, the Yapan Exodus is still fending off attacks from the London IMA (despite Exodus being finally legalized in their world) and the Daiku Maryu leaves the Earth to find a new home for the people of Darius (with the Dangaioh team taking Daiya Tsuwabuki's place).
  • Boring, but Practical: Dann of Thursday's slashing attack. While it seems mundane, it has the "ignore barrier" attribute and is Combo Attack-capable. Although the attack has a measly weapon range of two, it can be increased via equippable parts.
  • The Cameo: Touya Shun appears on an arcade cabinet before Scenario 8.
  • Character Exaggeration:
    • Dick becomes the latest character to have a personal trait expanded upon and/or humorously exaggerated in SRW. The trait in question is his nickname of Daiya as "Mr. Gaiking". He calls Goh Saruwatari "Mr. Godannar" and Van "Mr. Gun X Sword". The "Gun" part, however, refers to Wendy Garret and her revolver, not Van's rivalry with Ray Lundgren.
    • Speaking of Daiya, he falls victim to this as well, with his habit of mispronouncing names: right after everyone has been warped to Darius for the first time, Daiya formally introduces himself to Ruuji Familion and Re Mie. Within seconds, he mistakenly calls them "Reiji" and "Mami", respectively: Ruuji simply gives his name again, but Re Mie is furious at Daiya's mistake.
  • Combining Mecha:
  • Covers Always Lie: Despite being on the game's cover art, Gaiking's axe never appears in K.
  • Day In The Lime Light: The plot of K is focused on redeeming Cagalli. It basically rewrites the Gundam SEED Destiny plot as if Cagalli were the protagonist. She does such things as hopping into a mass-production mobile suit in order to fight and defeat one of the Fafner villains (previously established in the K setting as being a hardcore badass) and basically leading the hero faction as the Big Good of the game. She does hand the Akatsuki over to Neo Roanoke, but that's because she's literally busy running a country, and the player can plop her right back into it anyway. She even redeems Yuna Roma Seiran and makes him into Orb's ambassador to the United Nations. Although events still stays mostly focused on the Orb side of things, thus more Kira Yamato-centric than Shin-centric, it's really Cagalli's who takes the spotlight. K also returns Cagalli's "SEED Mode" pilot skill, something which was missing in Gundam SEED Destiny.
  • Death by Adaptation: A very, very rare example in the entire SRW franchise: if you don't complete the Fafner secrets, all the Fafner pilots will be doomed to die from their untreatable assimilation phenomenon. Also, Soushi dies even if you save the others.
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • The non-Dannar Base pilots from Godannar only appear in intermission scenes; their respective mecha are mentioned in dialogue, but not actually seen.
    • A good chunk of the Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny cast: Auel is a Posthumous Character, Sting shows up merely two times, Djibril has a reduced number of scenes and ends up getting killed off-screen in a single battle, and the crew of the Minerva (except Athrun) are firmly treated as supporting characters.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Outside of taking down the Final Bosses from some of the works crossed over like the Overdevil, Emperor Jiin's Bio Tyrano, Proist's King Darius the 18th, Birthday, Susanoh, and Tangram and K's original Big Bad, every single one of the Festum count as Cosmic Horrors. In the series, Fafner machines were required to even have a chance at killing them.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: Lu Cobol destroyed two worlds before ending up in the current one.
  • Enemy Mine: In a rare case, very, very few of the enemy factions actively work together for long periods of time. Most alliances between them in K are short-lived. The only recurring one is Gil-Barg, and considering how often he makes life miserable for his allies, you have to wonder why they keep helping him.
    • For the record, the Edax do try to reason with other enemy groups at multiple points in the game. Sometimes, they gain temporary alliances with them (such as one with Emperor Jin's forces), while other times the enemy factions (such as the Jama Kingdom and The Claw) blow off the Edax outright.
    • In a certain scenario, Kira and Athrun suggest they align to combat the Earth Alliance in Berlin. ZAFT headquarters responds by ordering their team to destroy the Archangel, instead...
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Discussed by Gainer Sanga who, after seeing the destruction of Berlin at the hands of the Destroy Gundam, comments that even at its worst, the Siberian Railroad never even came close to the Blue Cosmos's acts of depravity.
  • Fastball Special: Take El Dora Soul, a dyed-in-the-wool super robot, toss in (literally) the Dann of Thursday, which can turn into an enormous sword mid-air, and this is what you get.
  • Fish out of Water:
    • The heroes were forced to dimension-hop between Earth, that Earth's moon, another Earth, and Darius world and had to deal with various unfamiliar situations outside the world/s they're already familiar with. Among those hit the hardest is Ruuji, who is from a small, secluded village in a geographically isolated continent of the other Earth. Like others from the other Earth, he was shocked with being brought to the Darius world and to the moon, but he also expressed difficulties understanding the Grey-and-Gray Morality carried over from the installments of Mobile Suit Gundam SEED and Fafner in the Azure: Dead Aggressor, such as the Daiku Maryu coming into conflict with Earth Alliance when they're supposedly both protectors of the Earth. He and the other Zi people also don't have a concept of "genes" so the Coordinators' transhumanism had to be clarified to them.
    • Because Mist, Angelica, and Sheldia were born in the planets Atreim and Bezard where large-scale intraplanetary conflicts are only in their distant pasts, they initially had various levels of Culture Shock, with Mist being the most disgusted.
  • Fix Fic: While limited for unlocking Secret Characters, some NPCs can be saved, such as Tsubaki Minashiro, where she returns with Kazuki Makabe and company to continue as Mission Control, since Soushi Minashiro's infection prevents him from doing so after defeating the Festum, and Moukaku. In a twist, if Meer Campbell survives, she becomes captain of the Minerva and is allowed to officially become Lacus Clyne's figurehead by Lacus herself.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
  • Fun with Homophones: When Kyou was explaining that the Festum are Silicon-Based Life forms, Kenji Kusanagi misunderstood that it's the same material for enhancing women's breasts. Kyou clarifies that that's "silicone" and it also has silicon as a component.
  • Glass Cannon: Godannar machines hurt like hell when they get up to speed. Unfortunately, they're very easy to hit and have ridiculously thin armor. The Gundams, King Gainer, and the Jeegs are similarly not as robust, but hit like trucks. The Brownie, however, is a textbook example in K.
  • Gratuitous English: Sergeant Hatter, who has a Cowboy theme.
  • Guide Dang It!: As usual for SRW, knowledge of the component series is critical to getting secrets. Destroying the Diablo of Monday with the Dann, for example, is self-explanatory...if you've seen Gun X Sword.
    • Even then, Gun X Sword throws one of the weirdest curveballs ever with its secret. To recruit Michael and Fasalina, you have to use Van to destroy the Original Seven and The Claw before taking down the aforementioned secret pilots. Sounds fine, except Priscilla must have a combat encounter with Carossa and Melissa to complete the requirements on the scenario where Van must kill Woo. Why? The only possible connection comes from a single line of dialogue from the original series where Priscilla express grief over Carossa and Melissa's deaths. The player has absolutely no heads-up about this part and it's easy to miss without a guide to help.
    • Fafner also takes this to insane levels. It's an all-or-nothing secret with multiple route splits, kill requirements and in-mission decisions you have to get exactly right. Oh, and the first step? It relies on upgrading the Mark Elf so that the Mark Sechs will inherit the upgrades and have attacks which, with Save Scumming, might be enough to kill the Festum. Good luck figuring that out on your own.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Soushi sacrifices himself to defeat Lu Cobol.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: One of King Gainer's many abilities in its series is pulling stuff out from the fourth dimension and it's portrayed in its attack animations in this game.
  • Karmic Death: Gil Berg finally gets it, after being a Karma Houdini in the series proper.
  • Lord British Postulate: Lu Cobol's first machine Gustadio retreats once you reduce it to 50% of its HP. It's actually possible, through very, very careful manipulations of Spirit Commands, attack damage levels, and a Rust Hurricane to destroy it.
  • Love Redeems: Much like the Drama CD, if you managed to get both Michael and Fasalina, the rock did drop, but only on Fasalina, and it wasn't that fatal. All that, and Fasalina is still in the Despair Event Horizon over the loss of the Clawed Man and wanted to just die. It's not until Ray decides to pull the trigger himself himself if she wants to die so badly, then Michael covers her, then Fasalina instinctively moves to protect Michael that she realizes she loves him even beyond the Clawed Man's plan and becoming her reason to live on and join the good guys.
  • Mighty Glacier The El Dora Soul can turn into this if properly upgraded.
  • Milkman Conspiracy: When Chairman Durandal revealed the list of those involved with the racist, warmongering LOGOS, Haxtucho pointed out that food companies are among them.
  • Mythology Gag:
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Cynthia Lane tells Proist she used to be like her as a pre-battle dialogue.
  • Number of the Beast: The Edax machine that either Angelica's father or Sheldia's sister will pilot is exactly 66.6 meters tall. Once the pilot is free, the robot becomes sentient.
  • Original Generation: Mist Rex, Angelica Shartill, Sheldia Rouge, Lu Cobol and the Edax
  • Perspective Flip: As the cover might tell you, you see the entire Gundam SEED Destiny plot solely from Kira's side. Even the Attract Mode has Shinn on the enemy side! Having said that, most of the show's plot is glossed over, and you get Shinn and Lunamaria immediately afterwards (Gundam SEED Destiny's plot begins on Scenario 14A and ends on Scenario 19).
  • Post-Script Season: The Dangaioh plot essentially runs with the idea that Miya Alice and everyone managed to escape from Captain Garimoth and the Bunker, who were then destroyed by the Edax, with Gil Berg's attempting to get revenge on them for it. Mazinger Z also has completed its run by the time K begins.
  • Power Gives You Wings: Destiny Gundam and Saudade of Sunday, for its stronger attacks.
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: Gazin, Velanee, and Ispeil.
  • Robeast: Haniwa Genjins and the Memetic Beasts
  • Rocket Punch: Mazinger Z as usual in SRW, but the less frequently seen Dangaioh, Gaiking, and Jeegs also throw some of their own.
  • Secret Character
    • Gaia Gundam/Stella Loussier, Legend Gundam/Ray Za Burrel and the GOUF Ignited/Heine Westenfluss from Gundam SEED Destiny
    • Blade Gainer/Ken from Godannar
    • Bio-Ptera/Felme from Zoids Genesis
    • Saudade of Sunday/Michael Garret and the Dahlia of Wednesday/Fasalina from Gun X Sword
    • Mark Sechs/Shouko Hazama, Mark Vier/Kouyou Kusagai, Mark Funf/Mamoru Kodate, Mark Drei (alternate weapons version)/Sakura Kaname, and Mark Ein/Michio Hino from Fafner In The Azure Dead Aggressor
  • Ship Sinking: For what's probably the first time ever in SRW, a CANON ship - from Overman King Gainer - gets torpedoed. K unties the strangling red string around Adette and Gauli's necks and keeps Adette and Yassaba together.
  • Shout-Out: El Dora Five's "El Inferno Y Cielo" is a blatant lookalike of the "Hell And Heaven" attack, designed only for K.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Mist and the heroes completely reject Gilbert Durandal's Destiny Plan and the rationale behind it, pointing out its hypocrisy.
    Durandal: Is it so wrong of me to cause pain for one moment, so that I can create a world where pain does not exist? Does that justify you trying to ostracize the Destiny Plan?
    Mist: It IS... and yes, it DOES!
  • Space Is Noisy: Rainbow Jerk's "Paracries" causes a horrible sound, unbearable to those who hear it. While it can't be used against targets inside water, it can be used just fine in space. It doesn't even have a damage penalty. This is likely because despite being called Paracries in-game and in the anime, the attack is actually a jamming beam (called Rainbow Beam in model kits).
  • Spell My Name With An S: Most of the Original Generation, notably Ru/Lu Cobol
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Solvrias Rex's "Regret Buster" not only punches the enemy, but launches it into space, fires a beam at it, rides inside the beam, tears a hole inside the enemy (most likely to the sub-atomic level or another dimension based on the structure) and destroys it from the inside out.
  • The Virus: The Insania Virus. Kouji Tetsuya had a very rare immunity to the virus caused by his DNA being unsuitable to it, but all the other male pilots of the roster are in danger of being affected by it, just like Gou and Ken. Thankfully, after the Godannar finale, a vaccine is developed.
  • Transforming Mecha: Murasame Liger, Solvrias Regina and Solvrias Rex, to name a few
  • Troubled Backstory Flashback: The animation for Destiny Gundam's Full Weapon Combination shows Shinn's reaction to the death of his family, his sister Mayu's phone, and the family photos inside it. Blink and you'll miss it though.
  • Unstable Equilibrium: Achieving an "ace bonus" in K grants +10 to all stats for each 100 kills a pilot has, up to +100 for 999 kills. This can very easily transform an already powerful character like Van into an unstoppable One-Man Army, especially since the game's imbalanced Combo Attack system allows a single character to rack up kills really quickly.
  • Was Once a Man: The true nature of the mooks from Zoids: Genesis.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Scenario 9 shows that Van's hatred of turtles extends to the Devil Beast Domega and he even has a unique battle quote against it.