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By SilverStarRipper, 8/12/11

Mechas have been quite a staple of Japanese culture for quite some time. They date back as far as War of the Worlds' tripod creatures, but the first instance of a controllable mecha dates back to a 1958 manga called Tetsujin 28-go (released as Gigantor overseas). Then, in 1972 Mazinger Z was released and practically invented the "Super Robot" genre, which was mostly associated with shouting attacks and a monster-of-the-week format. This type of show became very popular, and spawned many other similar mecha series such as Super Machine Zambot 3, Great Sky Demon Dragon Gaiking and Beast King Golion (the latter better known as Voltron overseas). In 1979, the release of Mobile Suit Gundam and Super Dimension Fortress Macross in 1982 set the basis of the "Real Robot" genre, where mechas are more treated like weapons on the battlefield and with less exaggerated attacks. With the popularity of the Famicom in the mid-80s and the release of the Game Boy in 1989, it was only a matter of time before someone made a game and put all these robots together.

Super Robot Taisen series is usually known for its visually impressive battle animations that recreate attacks from the show of the robot the player is using. The games even go as far as to implement music from the appropriate anime, as well as weaving the plot of several mecha series into one game. It's fun for mecha fans to get a kick out of seeing Getter Robo fight alongside Raideen and Shining Gundam. Even non-fans can get a kick out of seeing the animations of Getter Robo combining or the effects of the Black Hole Cluster attack.

Super Robot Taisen is a tactical role playing game and plays similarly to Fire Emblem. However unlike Fire Emblem, the character controlled mechas don't permanently die if they are defeated. The other major difference is the scale of the battlefield - whereas Fire Emblem's are fairly contained, Super Robot Taisen's are much larger. To compenstate, robots can move several spaces instead of just a few, and can generally attack from greater distances. Most of the games play fairly similarly, adding and refining features as necessary, but perhaps more importantly, add new mecha from new series.

The series is ridiculously prolific in Japan and continues to this day, with well over fifty releases. This article covers its origins, as part of the "Classic" or "DC" series.

Super Robot Taisen 2

Super Robot Taisen 2

Super Robot Taisen (スーパーロボット大戦) - Game Boy (1991)

Japanese Cover

Super Robot Taisen

The story in the first Super Robot Taisen involves a space monster called Gilgilgun, who destroys worlds and has reached the Super Robot homeworld. Only a few robots have the strength to fight this monster, and it's up to the player to defeat him. You first select which team you want: Gundam, Getter, or Mazinger. Initially, choosing the starting team lets you start with the mecha from that team only, and you can recruit other mechas during the missions. The Gundam team has the most mecha to start with while the Getter team has the least. After you pick the team, you pick the "hero", which acts as the leader. If the hero dies, the game ends. After this, you apply bonus stat points and then the game finally starts.

The object of the game is to capture the enemy tower. You can move anywhere but only at a limited distance - the number of spaces varies due to terrain (i.e. mountains are much more difficult to move on unless you have a mecha that can fly ). When a character gets close to the enemy, you choose which weapon to attack to use, which also have different ranges. For example, the nuGundam's beam saber can only hit when the enemy is right next to the player, however the fin funnel can attack up to four spaces from the mecha. There's also a "Special" selection in the menu, where you can try to convince an enemy to join your team, change into a different form (if the mecha is able to can) or use spirit power (although only the hero can do this). Spirit power uses SP points and can raise specifications of the mecha, such as enhancing their power or defense. The effects of the spirit powers are limited and run out after a few turns. Using the menu button on an enemy shows the specifications and using it on a empty spot of the map the player can cycle through seeing the whole map, use a power-up item, or end your turn. It also shows how many turns you have taken. Power-up items are found when you look in various towers. Towers will also regenerate health if you land on them, although the amount regained is very little, and enemies can use them as well. Items are equippable onto the robot itself as opposed to later games that are designated to the pilot.

The graphics are quite primitive for the Game Boy compared to other RPG games around the time like Final Fantasy Legend (SaGa 1) but it still holds up to other strategy games. The character models are all super deformed and are quite detailed. The game features battle sequences with mechas shooting lasers and bullets at each other, complete with explosion animations, and (depending on the mecha) a transformation animation. The music is pretty bland too, repeating the same track throughout the entire game outside battles can get really annoying. However limited the animation and music are, the 13 missions take quite some time to clear, with a single map taking up to an hour or more to complete

This game is also one of only two in the series that have a multiplayer function. (The other being Super Robot Taisen XO for the X-Box 360). It's strange that this was almost never carried forward to any other sequels.

Characters

Mobile Suit Gundam
Plot: The year is Universal Century 0079. Half a century has passed since Earth began moving citizens into space colonies called Sides. Nine months ago, a colony named Side 3 proclaimed itself as the Principality of Zeon and launched a war of independence against the Earth Federation. A stalemate occurred after only a month of fighting. - however, this ends when a boy named Amuro Ray finds the Earth Federation's secret weapon, the Mobile Suit Gundam. He now joins the ranks of the White Base to put an end to the Principality of Zeon, whose star mecha pilot is the mask-wearing Char Aznable.
Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam
Plot: Seven years have passed since the war in Mobile Suit Gundam, now known as The One Year War. The Earth Federation creates an elite force called the Titans. The Titans soon get out of control and start committing acts on par with what was seen during The One Year War. A resistance group known as the AEUG (Anti-Earth Union Group) forms to counter the Titans and begins a new war, along with constructing a new Gundam model.
Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ
Immediately following the devastating Gryps War, Haman Karn and her army reform on the asteroid called Axis and proclaim themselves as Neo-Zeon. Having lost a majority of its crew during the Gryps War, the AEUG are in desperate need of members. They enlist a young junk collector and his friends to help combat the Neo-Zeon army using their new Gundam model, the Double Zeta Gundam.
Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack
The year is Universal Century 0093. The Earth Federation creates a new special force unit, the Londo Bell. However, Char Aznable returns as leader of Neo-Zeon and plans to force the residence of Earth into space by dropping the colony Axis onto Earth. Only Londo Bell and Amuro Ray can stop Char, along with Amuro's new Gundam, the nu Gundam.
Mobile Suit Gundam F91
30 years after the events of Char's Counterattack, a new faction called the Crossbones Vanguard appears. They take over the Frontier IV colony quickly and start causing trouble. A teenage colonist named Seabook Arno is caught in the crossfire and finds out his mother has been developing a new mobile suit named Gundam Formula 91.
Mazinger Z
A evil threat to mankind is rising. His named is Doctor Hell and his army of mechanical beasts threaten to rule humanity. A giant robot called Mazinger Z is made from Chogokin Z (Super Alloy Z) and equipped with advanced weapons. A pilot named Kouji Kabuto decides to pilot it to help fight against Doctor Hell and avenge his grandfather.
Great Mazinger
After Koji Kabuto and Sayaka Yuki leave Japan, an orphan named Tetsuya Tsurugi pilots the new Mazinger unit, the Great Mazinger. He and a team consisting of Dr. Kenzo Kabuto and Jun Honou battle the Miccene Empire.
Getter Robo
Beneath the crust of the Earth, the Dinosaur Empire decides it's time to come out of hiding and conquer the worldusing their mechanical dinosaur army. The Saotome Research Institute, in the middle of developing the Getter Robo mecha, notices this uprising. In desperation, they recruit three members to pilot separate ships that, when combined, form the Getter Robo. The Getter Robo is unique in that, depending on which order the ships form, Getter Robo can change not only its look, but its attacks as well. Getter-1 is the "main" form and attacks using the Getter Beam from his chest, as well as wielding an axe named Getter Tomahawk. Getter-2 has a drill for an arm and can go underground. Getter-3 looks more like a tank and attacks using violent wind type attacks.
Getter Robo G
After the defeat of the Dinosaur Army, a new stronger enemy has appeared - the Hyakki Army (Hundred Demons). Dr. Saotome builds a newer Getter model, but since they lost one of the Getter team members, they must search for a new member. The Getter Robo G works nearly the same as the original Getter Robo, but have newer and more powerful attacks. The Getter Dragon can do a devastating move called Shine Spark, the Getter Liger can fire a harpoon called Chain Attack, and Getter Poseidon can use the Getter Cyclone attack outside water.
Great Mazinger vs. Getter Robo
In this strange, short 30 minute crossover, a strange UFO appears and drops a evil being known as Gilgilgan. Great Mazinger and Getter Robo decide to join forces to stop this being from destroying Earth.

Super Robot Taisen

Super Robot Taisen

Super Robot Taisen

Super Robot Taisen

Super Robot Taisen

Super Robot Taisen

Super Robot Taisen

Super Robot Taisen

Super Robot Taisen (Translated)

Super Robot Taisen (Translated)

Super Robot Taisen (Translated)

Super Robot Taisen (Translated)

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2nd Super Robot Taisen / 2nd Super Robot Taisen G (第2次スーパーロボット大戦 / 第2次スーパーロボット大戦 G) - Famicom / PlayStation / Game Boy Advance (1991)

Japanese Cover

Super Robot Taisen

Super Robot Taisen

Banpresto didn't waste any time and decided to create a second game. However, they choose to release it for the Famicom and not the just-released Super Famicom. 2nd Super Robot Taisen is a bit more than just an upgrade though. For one, it introduces characters not from any specific anime or manga, but completely made by Banpresto, hence called Banpresto Originals. The game also features a more in-depth story than the previous title.

The story involves a man named Bian Zoldark, who forms an army named the Divine Crusaders. Their mission is no less than world conquest, in an attempt to unify the planet and stand a better chance against an supposed threat. However, Gundam, Getter Robo, and Mazinger Z escape the grasp of the DC and plan to revolt.

Dialogue scenes have now been added, usually consisting of an exchange at the beginning of each mission with Bright Noa, captain of the White Base, and Argama from the original Gundam series. (He gives out orders and the pilots respect him, mostly cause he has a tendency to dish out some good old slapping to people who get out of line.) As such, pilots have also added mostly to advance the story, but certain characters can talk to enemy to convince them to join the other side. Unlike the previous game, the enemy won't immediately join you in some cases. They might join in a mission later in the game. There is also an addition of items you can purchase to enhance the mechas of your own choosing.

This is also the first game to introduce the Banpresto Original characters. The Banpresto Originals is just that, original characters and mechas developed by Banpresto, usually to expand or connect the plot of the anime series to Super Robot Taisen. This game introduces only three characters but later games have several characters.

Graphically the game hasn't advanced too much from the Game Boy title. It may be on a more powerful system, but the battle scenes aren't muchtoo different from the original. The maps are roughly the same size, yet music has now been added to enemy attacks and some special maps. The game is long with 24 missions (33 in the G version) and the game is not forgiving at all, especially when facing the last two bosses.

2nd Super Robot Taisen G was released on the Game Boy in 1995. It's a remake of the original Famicom game yet adds elements from 4th Super Robot Taisen, and adds two Gundam Series (G Gundam, Victory Gundam) as well as 9 extra missions. The Game Boy Advance version was only released as a bonus for people that purchased Super Robot Taisen GC on the Gamecube. It was released as part of the Famicom Mini ports that Nintendo was doing at the time for the GBA, so it's largely identical to the Famicom version.

Series Introduced

UFO Robo Grendizer
Duke Fleed is a survivor of the Fleed Planet. However, when he escapes on a spaceship, he is threatened by King Vega and his army, who wish to conquer Earth. Along with his friends, Duke decides to fight back, using the mecha called Grendizer.
Mobile Fighter G Gundam (Super Robot Taisen 2G only)
In the year FC 60, mankind inhabits space colonies and holds tournaments where they fight each other in mobile suits called Gundams. Domon Kashuu represents Neo-Japan in his Shining Gundam to fight his brother, who has killed his parents in the dangerous Devil Gundam.
Mobile Suit Victory Gundam (Super Robot Taisen 2G only)
It's Universal Century 0153. Zanscare Empire has come to power and attempts to conquer Earth since the Earth Federation has been severely weakened. Only the League Militaire stands in their way. Their secret weapon is the Victory Gundam, piloted by a 13 year old than has been dragged into this conflict to uncover the whereabouts of his parents.

Banpresto Originals

Masaki Andou / Cybuster
Masaki is the pilot of the Elemental Lord of the Wind Cybuster. He comes from a place underneath Earth called La Gais and follows Shuu for unknown reasons that aren't revealed until Masoukishin: Lord of the Elemental on the Super Famicom. He's very carefree, and acts on his own accord. He also has a tendency to get lost a lot. He is often accompanied by his talking cat friends Kuro and Shiro. His mecha, Cybuster, looks very bird-like in appearance. Its most well known attacks are the Akashic Buster and Cyflash.
Shuu Shirakawa / Granzon
Shuu works directly under Bian Zoldark. He's more of his right hand man, and is chased constantly by Masaki for something he did in the past. He pilots the Granzon, a big hulk of a mecha that has the power to launch a black hole at his enemies.
Bian Zoldark / Valsion
The leader of the Divine Crusaders. He plans on uniting the planet to face an unknown threat. He pilots the Valsion, a very angular but terribly powerful mecha which he build himself. It's considered the DC's ultimate weapon.

Super Robot Taisen 2

Super Robot Taisen 2

Super Robot Taisen 2

Super Robot Taisen 2

Super Robot Taisen 2

Super Robot Taisen 2

Super Robot Taisen

Super Robot Taisen

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Page 1:
Super Robot Taisen
2nd Super Robot Taisen

Page 2:
3rd Super Robot Taisen
Super Robot Taisen EX

Page 3:
4th Super Robot Taisen
Super Robot Taisen Gaiden: Masou Kishin - The Lord of Elemental

Page 4:
Shin Super Robot Taisen
Super Robot Taisen F

Page 5:
Super Robot Taisen F Final
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