Spoiler Warning: Content from the Full Metal Panic light novels, which may or may not be in the upcoming anime Full Metal Panic! IV, will be discussed. A second warning will be given when it comes up.
Well here we are with the much delayed second half, my aplogogies. It felt best to let the dust settle first and let some information to clear up before writing this part, and the delay wasn't helped by burn out and life matters. There is one thing I want to bring up before we continue, and I actually should have brought this up last time. Mazinger Zero is a very graphic manga, and is heavily NSFW. It's this nature that has made the team very hesitant in interviews to say they would look into Mazinger Zero in the past, and very likely why we're only getting units and nothing else. So again, before you are looking up any of this, make sure it's in a safe location. With that out of the way, let's continue.
If you haven't read the first part, need a refresher, or need the link to the trailer, click here.
Alright, so here we have the new original mech, the Vangrey. Alongside it, we have its two pilots, Soji Murakumo and Chitose Kisaragi. So personal opinion time again before we continue. I love the Vangreys design, I think it's a great militaristic design that will fit in among the Gundams and Arm Slaves. I love Soji's design, coming off as a hot shot pilot with the sunglasses and the jacket with the little quote saying 'Take it easy', which you can see in the pilot cut in. However, I absolutely despise Chitose's design. It feels overly reliant on sex appeal, out of place compared to Soji and the other two original characters we'll get to in a moment, and it looks like one of those designs we make fun of Square for.
Usually, with rare exceptions, original characters are usually focused on their own plot line that helps drive the overall plot, for themselves and the series involved, forward. They have their own story arcs, and usually receive equal treatment to the licensed untis. The Vangrey has an unusual gimmick to it however. At the start of the game, you will be asked to pick between Soji and Chitose as your main character. What this means is that the character you choose will be the main pilot of the Vangrey, while the other one will be the sub pilot. It will also potentially affect what missions you play, as Super Robot War games usually have routes which split the team up, as well as the perspective of certain missions.
In terms of gameplay, this has some major implications. In Z3 and Moon Dwellers, the main pilots stats affect the performance of the mech, such as damage dealt, damage taken, evasion, etc. However, both the main pilot and the sub pilot have access to 'Spirit Commands'. Spirit Commands are activated abilities that provide different effects, such as accuracy increase, increased experience gain, etc. If they are being designed with this in mind, it will mean that the Vangreys capabilities will vary statistically as a result, possibly even with different attacks, while the two may change spirit commands based on the role they have to fill, meaning the early game will be very different for either pilot based on that alone.
Overall I really like the Vangrey, Soji, and what they are trying to go for mechanically and storywise. I just wish Chitose had a better design.
So here we have the Huckebein, piloted by Vertav Text, although the correct translation of his name is still in question. While the pilot is new, the mech itself isn't. The Huckebein made its debut in 4th Super Robot Wars for the Super Famicon, which was the first game to feature original characters and mechs alongside licensed ones. As of this year, the Huckebein has been around for 21 years. It was also one of the first mechs to make it into the Original Generations games, and some may recognize it from the Gameboy Advance games that actually made it out of Japan. However, the Huckebein hasn't been seen in any Original Generations games since 2nd Super Robot Wars Original Generation in 2012. It also disappeared from any anime adaptations of older games, instead being replaced by the Exbein. The Huckebein was thought to be permanently gone, and a big reason for that is Sunrise.
You see, if you take a nice hard look at Huckebein, you'll notice that it's design, primarily the chest and head, have a lot of similarities to a Gundam. A little too close one could say. A long time ago, back in 1989, Banpresto was partially owned by Bandai, which at the time was seperate from Namco. However, in 2006, they were fully bought and integrated into Bandai Namco Entertainment, which was the year after the merger between the two parent companies. Turns out that Namco owns Sunrise, the studio that owns and produces Gundam. This is where facts end, and rumours begin. There were indications that Sunrise was putting pressure on Namco in regards to the Huckebein, and wasn't too happy about it. A major concern for the studio was what would happen if the games received adaptations, and the Huckebein gained popularity. As a result, the adaptations of the two GBA games that came out afterwards used the Exbein instead of the Huckebein, retconnning it out. The Huckebein then vanished after the previously mentioned game in 2012, and fans assumed it was lost for good. So to see it back is great news for fans, and hopefully good implications for the Original Generation games.
Here we have the Grungust, piloted by Charlotte Hasting. The Grungust is in a similar boat to the Huckebein. New pilot, made its debut in 4th Super Robot Wars, and was one of the first to be used for the Original Generation games. Some of you may also recognize it from the GBA ones. However, unlike Huckebein, it wasn't designed as a tribute to any specific franchise, and as a result it's been allowed to remain in Original Generations games and related media. It and the Huckebein have also been through multiple variations, so you may have seen them in different states.
The Huckebein and Grungust are actually being used as a preorder bonus. From what interviews have informed us, they'll pop up somewhere around the halfway mark in game. However, if you preorder, you'll gain the ability to use them starting from an earlier mission, possibly even the start. It is currently unknown if the game will account for that from a balance perspective and from a story perspective, so if you are grabbing the game day one like I am, don't rush to use them early unless it's confirmed before you receive your copy. Personally I'll only be using that bonus in subsequent playthroughs.
I don't really have a lot to say here, as it's another Cross Ange character and I already said what I thought. However, I will at least give it some credit. This marks the third confirmed character from Cross Ange, and based on the opening for the show, there will be at least 7 seperate pilots in the final game. That's a decent pool to pull from, and it will help offset concerns people had about too many Gundam units compared to the other series. Personally, I'm not going to use them outside of maybe the protagonist, unless the game forces it, but I'm happy for those that may have been looking forward to them.
Now you'll also notice that Jam Project kicked in with the song 'The Exceeder'. Many of you might recognize them as the guys that did the opening theme for One Punch Man. This song isn't just there because Namco licensed it for the trailer, it's a brand new Jam Project song. Since Alpha Gaiden debuted on the first Playstation, Jam Project has been contributing a new song for each game that's come out on Sony systems. Sorry Nintendo fans, but clearly you get the budget titles. The songs are used in promotional materials, and are also used in game for the intro screen menu, along with one or two specific stages, usually when something exciting is happening late game, such as Chouginga Gurren Lagann making its frst appearance in the first Z3 title, or the final boss, such as the second Z3 title. If you're wondering where you can hear the full song, it usually comes out the same day as the game it's tied to. Personally, I like what I'm hearing so far, so I'm looking forward to the full song. If you want to find some previous songs, Z3: Jigoku-Hen was 'Rebellion', Z3: Tengoku-Hen was 'The Final Round', and OG: Moon Dwellers was 'Shining Storm'.
Note: This is your warning. Skip this now if you don't want Full Metal Panic! IV spoilers. Close your eyes, scroll down to the bottom, and then scroll back up slowly until you see a mech with a bull head.
Here we see the ARX-7 Arbalest piloted by Sousuke Sagara, the main character of Full Metal Panic!. On first glance, one may think that the shot is meant to be used to take advantage of the then recent announcement of Full Metal Panic! IV, a new season of the anime. However, there's more to it than just that.
In both Z3 games, the Arbalest's animations, along with those of several enemy units, came under heavy scrutiny by fans, and for good reason. At times, they felt off or improperly animated, often taking a shortcut by cutting to a view of the cockpit instead of animating the mech. At its worst, you could clearly count individual frames during the animations. Other units from the series, and even Bonta-kun, a joke unit, were considered to have more consistent, and often better, animations than the Arbalest. Fans were afraid this would happen again for two reasons.
First, the Z3 asset reusage. They are afraid that the spirtes and animations from before will be reused with no changes. The shot shown in this trailer is new, meaning it was used to help calm those fears. While that doesn't necessarily mean the old ones are not still there, it does mean this will complement any returning ones. Whether or not the quality has improved from before is up for debate.
The second reason is a big one. Beyond this point is raw potential spoilers for Full Metal Panic! IV and this is your final warning. So if you read past this and complain about spoilers, shame on you. If you want to avoid the spoilers, follow the previously mentioned steps.
They're afraid the Arbalest will be neglected for the mech that comes after it.
In the second Z3 game, an important seal was broken for the Full Metal Panic! series. While many may know it as an anime, the franchise is originally a series of light novels starting way back in 1998. While it's still going today, the story of Sagara Sousuke himself ended in 2013. The second Z3 game was the first one to bring in content from the novels, and one of the major items that came over was the ARX-8 Laevatein, the final mech that Sousuke pilots.
Overall the ARX-8 was a more interesting unit to play with, partly due to the booster, seen above, that can be equipped and unequipped, giving the players more options and choices over the capabilities of the mech, allowing it to fill a wider variety of roles and pairings without having to use limited resources, unlike the Arbalest. The cherry on top however, was that the animations of the Laevatein, with and without the booster, were generally considered to be an overall improvement over the Arbalest. As a result, fans became afraid that a repeat would happen for V.
Now you may be going 'Well we haven't seen it in the trailers, it's not necessarily there'. Well, it has. The original reveal trailer for V revealed that, alongside the three anime series, the novels would be used again, and press releases after further confirmed it would not be units or plot only, but both. To top it off, this trailer, along with the regular edition boxart confirmed the ARX-8 would be there.
That bottom left unit is the ARX-8, meaning it's officially confirmed Sousuke will be moving over to it at some point. Fans aren't worried about it due to how it was treated in the second Z3 game, but they are worried about how its presence will affect Arbalest. As the presence of the novels means that at some point, the Arbalest will be destroyed and rendered unusable, meaning it may not be given the teams best. Hopefully history will not repeat itself.
Here we see the Battle Bomber from Might Gaine using the Battle Launcher, our first glimpse at it. One major thing to note is that, like Guard Driver who was revealed in the previous trailer, Battle Bomber is made of multiple intelligent mechs, unlike Might Gaine, where Gaine is the only sentinient machine among those that combined to form it. This means that, in story, Battle Bomber may be built up, slowly introducing the three machines needed to form Tribomber, it's initial form, as seperate units, before introducing Horn Bomber, who combines with Tribomber to form Battle Bomber. Guard Driver may go through a similar process, however it's just four machines that combine into it, nothing more. However, the team may also potentially take the opposite approach, and only use the complete units, with attacks involving the seperation of the machines instead. Hopefully another trailer is shown which helps confirm this, as it will have a major impact one how the player goes about upgrading, leveling, equipping, and deploying those units.
Also a little tidbit for those who have been observing the enemies seen from Might Gaine. No enemy has appeared twice, resulting in a total of 5 enemies shown off so far. This can be attributed to the fact that the show follows the more old school formula of 'Villain/Mecha of the week', meaning usually at least one new machine showed up every week to fight the heroes. To put this in perspecitive, there are at least 65 different villain mechs from the show to pull from for this game. While that is definitely quite a bit and obviously not every single one will make it in, do expect a fair amount of variety to appear.
Here we have Zabine Chareux piloting the XM-X2ex Crossbone Gundam X-2 Kai, and yes, the name matters. In this case, it's because at some during the events of Crossbone, the original X-2 will become damaged, and upgraded into the X-2 Kai as a result. Yes, you're reading that right. A boss is going to have justification for becoming even stronger on multiple fronts as the plot progresses, so be wary for when that happens.
If the name 'Zabine Chareux' seems familiar to those of you that have watched Gundam before, you are correct. Zabine originally debuted in the movie Mobile Suit Gundam F91, serving as a secondary character. The events of Crossbone occur 10 years after F91, and it serves as a direct sequel to the movie as well. However, Zabine serves as an antagonist in the series, and underwent a drastic personality change during those 10 years. So if you're wondering why he seems different from F91, that's why. Whether or not that 10 year gap, or parts of F91 will even be covered, due to F91 not being in the included series list, will be discussed later.
Here we see the wild Shinji from Evangelion, who finally got in the robot known as Unit-01. Coming back around to the theme of new content, the chaingun attack isn't new. It was used previously in Z3, and it's pretty similar, right down to the pose. However, the spritework has been completely redone with a change in how Unit-01 is portrayed during it. Take a look below at how the same attack was portrayed in Z3.
The difference is the same as between night and day. Despite reusing the core concept of the attack, the team went and completely redid the sprites involved, resulting in it feeling fresh and new. This could also be viewed as an improvement for Unit-01, as only one attack in the firs Z3 game, the Positron Sniper Rifle, featured Unit-01 in it's regular proportions. However, the shot only showed roughly it's head and shoulders. The second Z3 game featured another attack that did this, however it was only used once for a cutscene, used to trigger events that would seperate the Evangelion characters from the rest of the cast so their plot could advance quickly to somewhere during 3.0, before reintroducing them in a later mission, with Shinji now piloting Unit-13. This also resulted in the characterization of Shinji during Jigoku-Hen being completely undone, resulting in him having his characterization from 3.0, something fans weren't exactly thrilled with.
Here we have Might Senpuuji piloting the Might Kaiser, making this the third unit confirmed from The Brave Express Might Gaine, or the fourth if we count Guard Driver from the previous trailer. Now, some of you may already be raising an eyebrow as to why Might, the main character, isn't piloting Might Gaine, the titular mech, as seen earlier in the trailer. There's a good justification for that, and overall the reveal of Might Kaiser means some very good things for the Might Gaine units.
First and foremost, Might Kaiser is considered to be the secondary unit of the series, and the one Might pilots when he isn't piloting Might Gaine. On top of this, Might Kaiser has an alternative form of Kaiser Jet, which, if it's implemented like the various Getter Robo forms or Zeta Gundam's Waverider Form where it can be switched to and from on the fly, then it opens up strategic possibilities for mobility, offensive, and defensive options.
Second, it means Gaine can have time to shine. When Might isn't in control of Might Gaine, Gaine, an AI for one of the trains making up the mech, assumes control. There is a good chance that, if Gaine has to pilot Might Gaine, the capabilities and animations for the mech will change in some ways, as Gaine will almost certainly have different stats as a pilot from Might. It also opens up the possibility of combination attacks between the two, but no guarantees. However, this also means that if you don't deploy Might or do not ensure he gets some levels for one reason or another, it can have some consequences should Might end up piloting Might Gaine in some form again. This concern also applies to Gaine only if you do not deploy Might Gaine, as Gaine will still be a sub-pilot for the mech even if Might is the pilot for it.
Finally, it means that the combination mechanic will most likely be available to the two. In the original series, Might Gaine and Might Kaiser could combine to form Great Might Gaine, a more powerful machine. In Z3, this mechanic was exclusive to Gurren Lagann and the Chouginga Dai-Gurren, used to form Chouginga Gurren Lagann mid-mission after certain criteria was met, and most likely this will how Great Might Gaine will be formed. Coming back to an earlier point, Might will most likely assume the role of the main pilot for the combination. On top of this, Great Might Gaine can potentially combine further. By combining with Might Gunner, the only hero mech from the series not confirmed yet, the mech Great Might Gaine Perfect Mode can be formed. This most likely won't happen until roughly the last quarter of the game, but it's heavily likely it will happen.
Here we have Yazan Gable, an antagonist from Zeta Gundam, and as a minor villain early on in ZZ Gundam. This is easily my favorite pilot cut-in to date, due to fitting his character so nicely. While his mobile suit isn't visible immediately, you can catch glimpses of multiple RX-139 Harambris holding a net. This indicates that Yazan will at least pilot that mobile suit, he goes through several different ones in Zeta and ZZ, and his animations may also focus around squad work at times. So expect him to have nasty little surprises with each new encounter. Yazan actually received the short end of the stick in the Z games, as ZZ was never included in the Trilogy, instead jumping from Zeta to Char's Counterattack, and Zetas plot was wrapped up in the first game, meaning Yazan was long gone.
Yazan is an interesting character, as he actually has the highest kill count for major characters in Zeta Gundam, taking out at least 2 major characters, confirming a kill on a 3rd, and singlehandedly taking out a battleship filled with characters of various importance. In the movie version of Zeta, he was responsible for killing a major antagonist. In short, if Yazan shows up, there's a good chance someone will die.
Here we have Ryoko Subaru from Martian Successor Nadesico: The Motion Picture – Prince of Darkness. Going to be honest, I don't know the character nor the mech since I've never seen the series. Fun fact, if you google her, you'll find images of her with green hair, as she dyed it green during the original series. Ryoko being shown brings the total number of known units from the movie up to two mechs and a battleship. That may seem low, but there are at least three other units missing at the moment based on previous appearances. This is also assuming no tricks are pulled for more units, like we're seeing for Crossbones and Mazinger.
Here we have Mazinger Zero being piloted by Koji Kabuto using Rust Hurricane, showing full well why Mazin Emporer G needed to happen. To put it bluntly, not even the original iteration of Mazinkaiser was on the level of this. I will say this agian, it's going to be one of the best units in the game most likely. One thing to note from this moment, is that Mazinger Zero is attacking a mechanical beast. I must emphasis this, because this is important, just because you see x unit being attacked by x hero does not indicate where they will show up. This does not confirm Zero will appear before the defeat of Dr Hell, however this potentially gives confirmation that mechanical beasts will reappear after Dr Hells defeat. In Z3, all the mechanical beasts showed up in one of the final missions of the game due to Hades summoning them as they were originally his.
This shot also shows us why we shouldn't trust trailers at times. Notice the portrait of Koji Kabuto. Now compare it to the one seen in the previous trailer.
My oh my, quite a difference there no? The reason for this was that the team at the time hadn't finished refining elements, and had to rush to put the initial trailer together. Always be wary of the first gameplay trailer.
On a more speculation note, Mazinger is usually a pretty consistent series when it comes to units , but due to the presence of Great Mazinger and Zero, what it's bringing to the table is unknown.
Normally with Mazinger, at the bare minimum, Sayaka and Boss also appear, with Boss piloting Boss Borot, while Sayaka pilots Aphrodite A before upgrading to Venus A. However, the fact that Mazinger Zero is being used for units brings into question whether or not Artemis A, a third mech for Sayaka in Zero, will appear. This also brings into question what will happen with Jun Hono, a character from Great Mazinger. Unlike Tetsuya and Great Mazinger, Jun was never hinted at in Shin Mazinger Z. However, she exists in Mazinger Zero, and pilots the Venus A Mark II, meaning the rights to use her are there if they want to.
This also doesn't include the uncertain future of two other units. In Z2 and BX, a mech known as Danube-α1 was used as a secret unit, being obtained only if players met certain conditions in the mission she was introduced in. Given that BX went through the entirety of Shin and even the missing second season in a single game, and under 47 missions no less, there's a solid chance she'll make a return. However, the other one, Zeus, is an even bigger mystery. Currently there has been no indication if Hades will return, who has been shown in the anime and Z3 to be the Emporer of Darkness, who is the superior of the Great General of Darkness in the original Great Mazinger story. So if they wanted to go the full way in creating the missing follow up Great Mazinger reboot, keeping Hades and reintroducing Jun would be the proper way to go. In addition, Hades and Zeus have something very important going for them, and that's both of them have sprites from Z3. This means that they could essentially be copy and pasted in, and they'd be ready. Only time will tell however if they are in the game.
Welcome to the last big surprise of the trailer that happened! Seabook Arno, the protagonist of Mobile Suit Gundam F91, piloting the titular Gundam! Seabook actually serves as the main support character in Crossbone, serving as a mentor to Tobia, meaning he will most likely be joining the team very early on in the plot.
Now, I haven't read Crossbone, so you'll have to forgive me here if I get this wrong, but to my understanding, and from what I've checked, Seabook does not pilot the F91 in the series. The F91 will definitely be around as enemy units, but at this point Seabook was piloting the XM-X1 Crossbone Gundam X-1 and its variants after, so I do not know why he is in it. That scar over his eye also occured while in that very Crossbone model, so I don't why that's happening. Personally, I'm suspecting that the Gundam F91 might be ending up as a temporary/secret unit like Bonta-kun from Full Metal Panic!. What this means is that, for a mission or two, Seabook could very well be piloting the F91 for one reason or another, before he ends up back in one of the Crossbone Gundams. Achieving the correct objectives will permanently unlock the F91, allowing Seabook to switch to it, much like Sousuke can switch between the Arbalest and Bonta during the intermission period once Bonta is unlocked. The team isn't shy about using Bonta-kun for trailers, so it is very likely a possibility.
Of course, there is a chance that this is completely wrong, and they are just going to put him in the F91 and not in one of the Crossbone Gundams. You never know. It's also important to note that the team is not against licensing just the music from a series, so there's a chance Seabook may actually have covers of music from the Mobile Gundam Suit F91 movie.
On a surprise note, Seaboss wasn't the only character to reappear in Crossbones. Judau Ashta, the protagonist of ZZ Gundam which is also part of this game, popped up in Crossbones Gundam: Skull Heart, with a run down version of ZZ Gundam known as the Gump. Skull Heart is confirmed to be part of the game, with units and plot elements being pulled from it, so whether or not Juduas appearance there will be used or not remains to be seen.
So here we see the Yamato, again, showing off another attack, this one a type of bomb. With this, and assuming a shot of a lone ship in the previous trailer belonged to the Yamato, that brings its attack total up to 4. To put this in perspective, the Ra Cailum, the battleship of Bright Noa who is a major recurring character in Gundam, had only four weapons in Z3. This means that the Yamato is very likely to have the largest weaponry among the battleships included, certifying it as one of the better battleships offensively, which is fitting since it will most likely be the only unit from its series based on what was seen.
And with that we've gone through the entire trailer. Thank you all for reading, and if you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below.