Super Robot Wars Z

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Old robots meet new robots in
a Storm of Awesome

The first Super Robot Wars title to be created under Bandai Namco. In many ways, it broke certain precedents and traditions: for example, the number of new series is more than any previous SRW. In this game, you play as either Rand Travis, a wandering repairman/mechanic, who's partnered with the young Mel Beater, or Setsuko Ohara, a member of "Glory Star", a small military squadron in the Earth Federation, alongside teammates Denzel Hammer and Toby Watson, as they are pulled through many conflicts. The main plot point of the game is Super Dimension Century Orguss's dimension bomb, which fuses an array of parallel worlds into one.

Series list (Bold indicates debuting entries)[edit | hide | hide all]

A PlayStation Portable sequel entitled The Second Super Robot Wars Z Hakai-hen is a two-part release, with the first half launched in April 2011 and the second slated for April 2012. This "World Breaking Chapter" returns every franchise from the first game, but the Mazinger Z and Getter Robo titles have their 1970s-vintage entries (including Great Mazinger and Grendizer) tossed for the more modern Shin Mazinger Shougeki! Z-hen and Getter Robo Armageddon, while Eureka Seven is now represented by its movie adaptation, and Zeta Gundam has its movie apparently replaced with the TV series, despite still using the movie character designs, movie backround music, and including a never-before adding movie-only attack. For some reason, Gravion and The Big O only have one season each listed in the credits for Hakai-hen: Gravion Zwei and The Big O's first (it should be noted that Big O still had some Season 2 only attacks in Hakai-hen, so one can assume that the second season was just grouped with the first for simplicity's sake), only for Gravion's first season to reappear in Saisei-hen's credits.

Series added in Hakai-hen (Bold indicates debuting entries)[edit | hide]

Saisei-hen includes the following[edit | hide]

By Word of God, any series with their first seasons covered in Part 1 will be concluded in Part 2. This is also true of Gurren Lagann, despite being a single season, due to its eight-year time skip. Fans have regarded this titanic series list as the "Best Thing Ever". From what little we know about the second game, things in the Z universe are going to get MUCH worse before they get better.

Note that Z appears to be designed around breaking the old tropes previous SRW installments had, so expect a lot of aversions, inversions, and subversions.


The following tropes are common to many or all entries in the Super Robot Wars Z franchise.
For tropes specific to individual installments, visit their respective work pages.
  • Ascended Meme: Kamina's epic sunglasses are an equippable item that gives you 20+ Will at a battle's start. This unlocks some of the more powerful attacks right off the bat. Ironically, Gurren Lagann's pilots don't need them, as Simon's ace bonus is beginning each scenario at 130 Will.
  • Animation Bump: Hakai-hen compared to Z, even though it's gone from a console to a handheld; animations are smoother, mecha are more detailed and cut-ins are more animated.
  • Ass Kicks You: Jason Beck's Victory Deluxe mecha uses this as an attack.
  • Art Shift: See Retraux entry below: classic mecha use a different, very old-school art and animation style for their finishers.
  • Armor-Piercing Slap: Sumeragi Li Noriega delivers one to Elgan.
  • Ax Crazy: The Edel Bernal is more the For the Evulz variety while Löwen General's a genuine example.
  • Back from the Dead: Emperor Muge Zorbados, Moon WILL (Thanks to the former), Emperor Zule (technically) and Aim Liard in Saisei-hen.
  • Badass Crew: ZEUTH and the Chimera Corps in Z, ZEXIS in Hakai-hen as well as the returning ZEUTH, obviously.
    • The Chimera Corps take the cake here: they literally played everyone and took control of the whole world while being consisted only of five members, which shocks ZEUTH to no end when they find this out.
  • Bash Brothers: Z started the tradition of pairing Camille Bidan and Shinn Asuka, which is one of the many reasons Destiny's story turned out much better. Also Garrod Ran and Renton Thurston. Gainer is sometimes in a Power Trio with the latter two.
  • Big Bad: The Edel Bernal, who doubles as a rare, villainous Ascended Fanboy, due to his battle quotes almost always referencing the personality or nicknames of the pilots attacking him and the events that happen in their series.
    • In Hakai-hen, it's Gaiou, the King of Destruction, who initially has Amnesiac Dissonance and just goes around destroying things as he likes while his subordinates do all the scheming, but eventually regains some of his memories and, in the final scenario, declares he wants to fight and kill a god (or a godlike being; he isn't exactly picky).
    • Saisei-Hen, in contrast, has Uther, the King of Restoration as it's leading baddie. Preumably, as this guy is also the king of Insaraum, he wants to restore his country, and is, himself, a legitimate sphere-holder. In his case, his is Aquarius, a.k.a. "The Inexhaustible Water Vessel". He starts out as benign, and even helpful. When you meet him in Stage 46, he is a classic example of The White Prince, and he is controlled by a cruel Prime Minister, but when his Sphere activates, he takes about fifty levels in badass after getting some sense talked into him by your team, and blows the final boss of the previous game away with one attack in his new giant king robot.
      • Despite this, Gaiou is still the Major Antagonist of Saisei-Hen and the Z2 Universe in general.
  • Bigger Bad: The "inevitable crisis" known as Baal that all the bad guys in Saisei-Hen are worried about and is Gaiou's mission to fight against. Who or what that is has yet to be revealed.
  • Big Good: Lacus Clyne and Diana Sorel in the first game.
    • Elgan Laudic in Z2, the founder of ZEXIS and an alternate, non-insane version of the Edel Bernal.
    • Also, to a lesser degree, Lelouch Lamperouge when he becomes the Supreme Commander of ZEXIS in Saisei-hen.
  • Blessed with Suck: Being a sphere owner is not fun. Sure you get amazing power but the trigger is NEVER something you would want.
    • Here are a few examples from the known sphere holders:
      • Setsuko: Slowly loses her five senses as a result of using the Sorrowful Maiden.
      • Rand and Mel: Mel cannot age, and Rand experiences extreme pain as a side effect of tapping into the Wounded Lion (since Mel is the holder, but Rand is the Gunleon's pilot).
      • Crowe: Once the Swaying Scales reaches full power, Crowe is locked onto a single thought and cannot break out of it, entering a near-berserker state. It can be easily countered by making him hear the sound of the coin dropping through.
      • Aim: The False Black Sheep prevents Aim from speaking the truth, ranging from speaking only in lies to babbling in complete gibberish.
      • Uther: The Inexhaustible Water Jug slowly drains Uther's life force the more he uses it.
      • Saisei-hen introduces another "blessing". The "Stigma of the Cursed Wanderer". As a result of being exposed to the power of dimensional travel repeatedly, those that are marked by the stigma will find themselves and their weapons drawn to any world in which someone is manipulating dimensional power, unless that world has a version of yourself already present. This is why Zeuth members appear in the world of Zexis. (and why the original Mazinger, Getter and E7 characters don't) It also renders you immortal, and is the reason Asakim cannot die. As of the end of Saisei-hen, EVERYONE in Zexis has been marked by the stigma, as Asakim cheerfully informs them.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Rand, which is unusual for a SRW protagonist.
  • Boring but Practical: The MDE Missile. It's like Gurren Lagann's Throne Break,except it's post-movement and it can hits every terrain.
  • Boss Dissonance: The Edel Bernal in Setsuko's route, due to the fact you fight only one of him, but with about 600,000 HP and an army of endlessly-respawning mooks. Rand's path pits you against three of him all at once (sans the mooks and with about 300,000 HP each), and you have to kill them all in the same turn, lest the ones still alive revive the ones you killed already, and at full HP to boot. Fighting a single boss just doesn't compare.
    • Saisei-Hen has two final bosses: First, there is Uther and his Seiohki the Insa. He comes with about 160K Hitpoits has all in all two strong Attacks which can cause major hurt and has the Guard Skill that reduces the damage he takes. However, if you fullfilled the right conditions you get to face Dimensional General Gaioh who can be best descript as Hakai-Hen's Level 99 Gaioh on Steroids.
  • Boss Rush: This seems to be Emperor Zule's general strategy in both Z2 games.
  • Break the Cutie: Setsuko. Poor, poor Setsuko...
  • Cerebus Syndrome: Rand's scenario is generally a silly, lighthearted romp until the point where he gets his Gunleon's Mid-Season Upgrade, where everything becomes serious from that point on. Not to say that the silliness is completely gone, of course (see What Do You Mean It's Not Awesome?).
    • In Hakai-hen, Kamina's death is a big turning point where things start getting more serious, especially if you've been sticking to the Japan Route.
    • It actually starts getting bad when Gaiou appears, but after Kamina dies, the mood is a lot less lighthearted.
    • In Saisei-Hen, the very moment of Scenario 25 when Esther is turned into a Dimensional Beast.
  • Character Exaggeration: Lunamaria Hawke's aiming skills. Thanks to an incident in the SEED Destiny anime where she managed to cleanly miss hitting a battleship with a beam rifle, she has the "honor" of having the Spirit Command "Strike" (gives 100% accuracy for 1 turn) at the monumental cost of 30 SP (it usually costs about half or a third that much) - a figure only matched by Mr. No Sense of Direction Masaki Andoh.
    • Her Ace Bonus in Hakai-hen is cutting the cost of her Strike command in half.
    • Another example is Roger Smith, who talks much more than he used to back in his series, especially when piloting the Big O and also by exaggerating the frequency of his failures in negotiations and making it something of a Running Gag. To be fair, this is a mostly text-based game, so Roger had to be made more verbose to some extent, and his negotiations are sometimes plain impossible. For example, one of the first negotiations we see him do is between a disguised Hyakki and the Saotome Research Lab...
    • Also, the in-game database notes the in-series Character Exaggeration/Villain Decay Hola and Gelaba went through in the later half of their show.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Near the beginning of Hakai-hen, Lelouch Lamperouge places a Geass command to force Carlos Axion Jr., the richest man in the world and president of the Axion Foundation that created Crowe Broust's Brasta, to answer any questions Lelouch has for him so he can steal his financial information to fund the creation of the Black Knights. It turns out Carlos is working against ZEXIS, and when they get their hands on him after scenario 49, they interrogate him as to Gaiou's whereabouts. When he doesn't comply, Lelouch-as-Zero recalls the Geass command he placed on Carlos and asks him personally; Carlos instantly reveals Gaiou is on the moon. Everyone else gets confused by Carlos' sudden change of heart, since they don't know that Zero is Lelouch or what Geass is.
    • Early on in Saisei-hen, Lockon Stratos flips a coin and notes how Crowe suddenly reacts to it. Later on, they try it again with something else to see if Crowe would react in a similar fashion, only he doesn't. Crowe explains that he can tell how a coin really sounds like, and only that will garner said reaction from him. Cue the CDS.
    • Again in Saisei-hen, Zero accidentally placed a geass on Esther after she turns into a Dimentional Beast, commanding her to stop when she attacked the Shinkirou. Few chapters later, Crowe believes that Esther has completely turned into a DAMON, to which Marguerite tells him otherwise. DAMON Esther attacks him at that moment, only to halt in its tracks after Zero reissues the same command, proving to Crowe that Esther isn't completely a DAMON yet, and still retains her humanity to a certain degree.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Xine Espio shows up early as a generic mook who attacks Kei Katsuragi right after he primes the Space/Time Oscillation Bomb. She uses a generic mook pilot portrait and name; the only thing that gives any hint to her identity at that point was her voice.
  • Cherry Tapping: In Saisen-Hen the Nu Gundam gets a glorious new attack that involves good old fisticuff and its dynamic kill closes with a barrage of...vulcun firepower. Amuro is cool that he can get away with that just cuz.
  • Clipped-Wing Angel: The Daigun Doten Kaizen boss fight in Scenario 44 of Hakai-hen's Earth route. It only has one attack, but Guame and Adiane provide backup and it has lots of HP.
  • Combat Sadomasochist: The Edel Bernal, SOOOO much. He practically orgasms with every hit, his or yours.
  • The Comically Serious: Z enjoys placing deadpan characters in the middle of comedic situations. Roger comes to mind with jabs at his constant failures at "negotiation" and having to resort to force.
  • Continuity Nod/Mythology Gag: Sheryl Nome and Ranka Lee's CDs are equippable items. However, there is another CD in the game from Fire Bomber.
    • In Hakai-hen, the Dynamic Kill of Nu Gundam's Fin Funnel attack ends with it performing the "Last Shooting". For those unfamiliar with the term, it's the name for the "firing straight upwards" pose the original Gundam did to finish off Char's Zeong in Mobile Suit Gundam.
    • There's tons of these to Z: for the first time, originals and series that didn't return are directly referenced, although the only series that didn't come back were the old Mazinger series, Grendizer, Getter G, and TV Eureka Seven. One example includes Camille asking the current Kouji Kabuto how Duke Fleed and Tetsuya Tsurugi are doing, before realizing this Kouji has never met them. For Eureka Seven, this dimension's version being different is actually a plot point. Still, it helps prevent the problem that was present in the Super Robot Wars Alpha games, where a series that appeared in one game and didn't appear in subsequent ones (I'm looking at you, Giant Robo and Brain Powered!) would utterly fail to be mentioned in dialogue, as if they had been Exiled From Continuity.
    • In one interesting nod, during the "Seikan Hikou" event linked below, Apollo gets into the song so much that he almost wants to do the memetic "KIRA!" bit from the song. In Another Century's Episode:R, where both Aquarion and Macross Frontier were part of the cast, Apollo repeats this very line nearly verbatim during the same event in that game.
  • Crutch Character: In Hakai-Hen we have Kamina oh, so very much. If he didn't bite it halfway through the game, he would've been a Game Breaker.
    • To elaborate, he has extremely high stats even for a super robot pilot, gains the Spirit Command Valor (multiply damage you deal by 2 for a single attack) the earliest out of any character in the game, and his Ace Bonus raises his max Will by 30, which, combined with the "Break Will Limit" pilot skill, would set his maximum Will at 200. Should players decide to Level Grind, he'll learn Soul (multiply damage by 2.5), which would make it likely he can outdamage even Ryouma.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: When a unit gains a new attack (like Crowe Broust's Brasta and its SPIGOT VX), it may debut with a battle animation showing it dealing heavy damage to, if not outright killing, a five-digit-HP-bearing boss in one hit. It rarely works that way when you actually use it.
    • Inverted in Setsuna's final fight against Alejandro. If you've fully upgraded Exia, it's entirely possible to one-shot the enemy with plenty of damage to spare - which then triggers a cutscene where he does the same attack, and it only does barely enough damage to take him down.
  • Deadpan Snarker, Lemony Narrator: Whoever wrote the database entries for the various characters and units sure has a sense of humor. Highlights include wondering how Neo Roanoke's Windam fell from a rather high altitude and did not explode and Kira Yamato surviving the nuclear-powered Freedom's destruction at the hands of Shinn, poking fun at Beck The Great RX-3 for getting destroyed in two seconds after taking forever to combine and pose by pointing out that "despite Beck The Great RX-3 taking a great deal of time to combine, pose and show off, it was totalled within seconds thanks to the Big O's merciless onslaught with its O Thunder weapon". It also gives out nods to Epileptic Trees such as Haran Banjo being a Megaborg himself and has a very loving description of Mazinger Z, which goes beyond the call of duty to detail its attacks and point out its impact on the Super Robot Genre.
  • Degraded Boss: In Z1, The Overdevil, Psyco Gundam, Destroy Gundam, Big Fau (in the same stage, no less)and Big Duo, to name some prominent ones. Overdevils can still count as a major even if they appear en masse.
  • Demoted to Extra: Despite being one of the most powerful leaders and newtypes in Universal Century, Haman Khan gets shafted into playing second-fiddle to Paptimus Scirocco and Gilbert Durandal. When it seems she's about to make her move, she's suddenly Put on a Bus. unless you manage to take the secret ZEUTH route split, which allows you to recruit her, or more accurately lets her force her way into your team. Not that anyone would mind, though.
    • Soma Peiris and the GN Archer only get to appear as an attack for Allelujah and the Gundam Arios in Saisei-hen.
    • And Athena only appears as an attack for Kei.
    • In contrast, Chiba and Asahina went from attack-only units to full-fledged units.
  • Darker and Edgier: Setsuko's plot in spades, one of the reasons why some prefer her route to Rand's. It's like they seperated the Darker and Edgier and Lighter and Softer into 2 concentrated masses of suck and fun.
  • Difficulty Spike: Stage 15 of Saisei-hen. Until then, the game's a cakewalk, especially if you imported a save data from Hakai-hen. Stage 15, however, pits you up against Marilyn and her Firebug squad. They're incredibly powerful, accurate, and dodgy, on top of Marilyn having a very high Command level, which means that enemies adjacent to her will receive immense boosts in accuracy and evasion, making them even tougher to deal with.
  • Doomed by Canon: In Hakai-Hen there is nothing you can do to save Kamina, Neil "Lockon Stratos" Dylandy and Euphemia li Britannia given the importance of their deaths to the plot. However since this is only Part 1 of a 2-part SRW series, which is known for saving sympathetic characters from death it is possible that they will pull a Not Quite Dead in part 2 depending on the player's choices. Hopefully...
    • As it turns out, this is only partly averted in Part 2. While Euphie is revealed to be Not Quite Dead in the "IF" route, Kamina and Neil "Lockon Stratos" Dylandy remain dead.
  • Downer Ending: The bad ending of Z, where Edel Bernal succeeds in killing Eureka, the Black History gets initiated again and ZEUTH gets stuck in a terrible battle until the worlds are split apart and their lives/memories are erased as the totality of existence is sent back to square one.
  • Ear Worm: Invoked with the Seikan Hikou event in Super Robot Wars Z2: Hakai-Hen Scenario 34-B.
  • Eldritch Abomination: According to Asakim Dowin, the Spheres are the creation of the Taichi, an entity that controls the fate of all universes by manipulating the "Origin Law".
    • Note that taichi (太極, alternatively taiji) is a Dao concept. More can be read here.
    • The Dimensional Beasts from Hakai-hen seem to be this as well.
  • Elite Mooks: Mechanical Beasts are in most games serves as mere Mooks but in Z2, thanks to stone statues from first episodes of Shin Mazinger taking this role, they gets promoted to this.
    • Marilyn's Firebug unit is made up of customized Axios, and are much, much tougher than the Axios that you fight in Hakai-hen.
  • Enemy Mine: Stage 43 of Z1 forces Harry Ord and Kira Yamato to team up with Gym Ghingham in order to save Queen Dianna Soreil from the clutches of The Titans.
    • Upon being warped into the Hakai-hen world and being confronted by an army of Beastmen, Jiron and Timp form a (very brief) alliance to fight them off.
    • If memory serves, Roger Smith managed to persuade Jason Beck to help him out in one stage of Hakai-hen.
  • Epic Fail: Poor Lelouch is the only protagonist of a series in SRW history to both be shot down in a demo sequence, and to miss his target, in Hakai-hen. In his own series, his skills as a pilot are relatively mediocre, relying on ambushes, misdirection, squad tactics, planted explosives and highly accurate long range fire. In the demo roll, however, he's piloting a customised obsolete mecha, and pitted against one of the two best pilots in the world his series exists in, piloting one of the most advanced mecha in the series. He's incredibly outmatched. Worse yet, the attack he's hit with deals 25% more damage than his mecha's maximum HP, when other units in these demo rolls take half of that, at most. It's as if the world is plotting against him. Unfortunately, it's an outcome he's all too used to.
    • While Lelouch breaks his defeat streak, the demo roll for Saisei-hen continues his poor match-up, with Lelouch captaining a battleship, who's missiles fail to hit. Worse yet, he's hit back for even more damage than the last time, despite being in a far more advanced machine, with even more armour than before. Luckily, since it's a battleship, it doesn't sink, but it still must be frustrating him that his opponent is getting protagonist hit and damage rates when Lelouch is the main character of his series.
  • Expy: Asakim Dowin is tailored as the Evil Counterpart to Masaki, a mainstay of SRW. Likewise, the Shurouga and its attacks bear a resemblance to Masaki's mech, Cybuster. Oddly, though, a Shu Shirakawa-expy is absent.
    • The Gunleon is basically the GaoGaiGar by a different name and equipped with an appropriately, mecha-sized wrench.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: About the time Butcher starts pulling out the "turn people into walking bombs and detonate them" scheme, a few members of the alliance he's a part of wonder if taking over the Earth is really worth working with such a lunatic.
  • Everyone Went to School Together: Hakai-hen folds all the school plots together, so Relena Peacecraft, Heero, Duo Maxwell, Saji Crossroad and Louise Halevy all attend Ashford Academy.
  • Flame War: Have an urgent need for supernova-grade heat? Go on a forum (preferably GameFAQs) and ask the dreaded question: "Who's better: Rand or Setsuko?" or just mention them both in the same sentence and hide in a nuclear shelter.
    • With the release of Hakai-hen, complaining about the inability to save Kamina, Neil "Lockon Stratos" Dylandy and Euphemia li Britannia should be enough to release A LOT of heat. And for a while fans of old school Mazinger, the one that appeared in a bajillion other games, were upset that Shin Mazinger was the one appearing in Z2.
  • Flashback Nightmare: The prologue mission to Stage 39 is Chirico reliving the events of the Pailsen Files OVA.
  • Foreshadowing: Loads of it; try playing the game after beating it once. You'll stunned at the amount of hints done between the lines or in plain sight.
  • Fragile Speedster: Orguss units, all the way, although nowhere near the Garland on the "fragile" end of the scale. The Orguss is a weakly-defended unit in the game but is extremely powerful due to its high attack power and evasion rate, coupled with its pilot's amazing skill rating and default pilot skill set, which is designed to make use of it. It even comes with a very strong Combination Attack later in the game.
  • Friendly Fireproof: Played with: one scenario's skill point requirement is to shoot down Kira...despite the fact that he's a "neutral" unit and you can't attack neutrals. The fix? MAP weapons.
  • For the Evulz: The Edel Bernal's SOLE REASON FOR EXISTENCE. On top of that, he's also Too Kinky to Torture. Yeah, he's the nut-job of the franchise.
  • Gambit Pileup: The plot of Z can be summarized as the separate and intricate machinations of the Chimera Corps, Gilbert Durandal, Lord Djibril, Paptimus Scirocco, Haman Karn, the Frost Brothers, Gym Ghingham, Dewey Novak, Alex Rosewater, the Siberian Railroad Company, the Shadow Angels, the Hundred Demon Empire, the Chirams and the alien alliance of the Vegans, the Gaizok, the Zeravire, the Elda and the Aldebaron Army all barreling towards each other at breakneck speeds, which is exactly what The Edel Bernal wants.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Since Saisei-hen doesn't inherit your pilots' kill counts from Hakai-hen (for obvious reasons), it invariably makes one feel weird when Takeru isn't a Super-A Class Psychic, or Gainer ceases to become a Game Champion and others, despite Saisei-hen is just one year after Hakai-hen. Same can be said for former ZEUTH members from Z as well.
  • Genre Savvy: The Xabungle characters, of course, along with the Siberian Railroad soldiers. Gainer, being the gamer he is, also throws in a few Lampshade Hanging. For the originals, Rand shows impressive levels of this by deciding to not bother with a Running Gag, among others (despite having one major Genre Blind moment when he trusts Asakim, but he was his partner's savior at the time, so it's a bit justified). The all-time champion, however, is The Edel Bernal, whose first action in the final battle is calling another two versions of himself. In his own words: "Well, you're all coming at me as a group, so I'll call my own buddies!", averting Mook Chivalry very, very much.
  • Glass Cannon: Getter Robo as usual, but the Gravion's a better example, due to paper-thin armor and Touga Tenkuuji's low defense rating. It can dish out major damage thanks to its powerful weapons and a six pilot Spirit Command set, but it can only take a few hits before going down. Klein Sandman's version of the machine is slightly better due to him having a better defense rating.
    • Other Obari anime, Final Dancouga and Dancouga Nova follow in Gravion's footsteps. Very powerful, but it has some of the lowest armour for it's agility stat.
    • Dai-Guard in Hakai-hen is probably the best example in the series to date: in its debut scenario, it has 200 armor and 1200 after, lower than even the Aphrodite A. Justified as the Dai-Guard had not been used in-universe for several years and did not have time to swap out of its paper-thin show armor when it was thrown into battle. It gets a lot better later on.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Boss Borot manages to pull this off in the first Saisei-hen preview. Considering its the Shin Mazinger Shougeki! Z-hen version, though, it's not too much of a surprise.
  • Gratuitous English: The theme song for Z, Crest of Zs, has some of this (FLYING TO THE BURNING SKY AND ROLLING THUNDER RIDE!))
  • Guide Dang It, mixed with Lying Creator: Infamously, series director Takanobu Terada stated there's "only one secret" in the game, and boy was he lying. Z's known for having an very large number of secret units, a route split depending on a point system not shown to the player, and another point system determining the Multiple Endings, again invisible to the player. Woe befall to players attempting to get the G-Bits and Tifa Adill without a guide, though worse yet are those trying to keep Rey Za Barrel and Talia Gladys alive. Managing to do the latter requires you to take the secret ZEUTH route split, accessible only by amassing a certain amount of the "invisible" points obtained by performing certain actions over a number of scenarios, some of those even going against what happens in the actual series (e.g. Shinn and Rey fighting Athrun Zala, but NOT destroying his unit; instead, waiting it out until the fourth turn) or might seem flat out nonsensical (such as ignoring specific enemy units). To make it worse, the ZEUTH route's much, much better than the ZAFT route (where most first-time players will get to without aid) and gives access to a great number of secrets ( Haman, for one.
    • Of course, the point system is dropped in a New Game+, making it a player's choice, averting the trope after invoking it the one time.
    • This continues on in Saisei-hen where the only way to prevent the Black Knights betraying Lelouch is the go to ZEXIS route split. Like Z1, accessible only by amassing a certain amount of the "invisible" points such as preventing Shirley's death which is a mystery in itself.
  • Handsome Lech: Kei, Michel, Pierre and Gain form their own group of four skirt chasers.
  • Harder Than Hard: Z's EX-Hard mode lives up to its name by banning both Weapon and Mech upgrades, unlike previous incarnations that only prohibited weapon upgrades. Moreover, Combination Attacks aren't as potent or abundant as they were in other games in the series and damage is generally lower.
  • He-Man Woman Hater: Löwen's true personality is this. Also, new original Crowe in Hakai-hen is stated to dislike beautiful women, though it's more that he just doesn't TRUST them too much, probably because he doesn't want to get conned out of his money.
  • Horny Devils: Xine and her Eliphas; to emphasize, she wears friggin' LINGERIE and if her battle quotes are to be trusted, she's probably into night rape...not that the guys would mind...
  • Hot-Blooded: Z series is one of the most tightly concentrated masses of Hot-Blooded fury in SRW, and that's saying something. Jiron Amos, Harry Ord, Apollo, Shinn Asuka, Eiji, TWO versions of the Getter Team, TWO versions of Kouji Kabuto, Shinobu, Kamina and (later) Simon, Akagi Shunsuke, etc; even people who aren't normally Hot-Blooded go nuts here.
    • Things just got even more hot-blooded! Macross Dynamite Seven will be in Z2.2, which means the return of Nekki Basara and his songs, which, even in game mechanics, make the entire rest of your army even more hot-blooded than usual!
  • How Unscientific: The Gundam 00 crew's reaction upon meeting Aquarion. Tieria later asks Sirius about how the thing works... and ends up even more confused.
  • Humongous Combining and/or Transforming Real and Super Robots
  • Improbable Weapon User: Rand's Gunleon uses mecha-sized spanners (wrenches, for the Westerners), spanner-nunchucks, and a gigantic two-handed wrench roughly as long as it is tall that doubles as a Swiss Army Weapon.
  • JAM Project: They sing all the opening and ending themes to the series:
    • Z's opening theme "Crest of Z's" and ending theme "Cosmic Dance".
    • Hakai-hen's opening theme "Noah" and ending theme "Negai".
    • Saisei-hen's opening theme "Hagane no Resistance" and ending theme "The advent of genesis".
  • Large Ham: Löwen after his Face Heel Turn, where he turns from a demure, gynophobic Bishounen into a hammy, screaming warrior whose insanity and Ax Crazy nature have no limits.
  • Laughably Evil: Jason Beck, of course. The Edel Bernal is another for the original characters, whose Genre Savvy nature and eerily accurate comments to your pilots make him one rather amusing Complete Monster and lead to him being considered as one of the "best" SRW villains simply due to an unbashed, unapologetic nature.
  • Lethal Joke Character: Like his Another Century's Episode counterpart, Gain Bijou and his trusty Gotchko. While not as overpowered as it was in that game, it's infinitely more useful than it seems to be at first and can make the first half of the game an utter joke if correctly set up.
  • Let's Split Up, Gang!: Subverted. The team splits up for a while midway through the game, which is pretty standard for the series...but it turns out to be a very bad idea.
    • Also counts as a Deconstruction of the usual Let's Split Up, Gang! scenario, since a real-life group formed of military types and civilians would probably end up in the same way ZEUTH's factions did. Just looking at Holland's musings to himself during the first half of Z pretty much tells it all as even when the group is together, not everything is smooth sailing, making it a rare deconstruction of the Nakama inherent in SRW.
  • Let's You And You Fight: Aside from the trope listed above, one scenario on Setsuko's route starts with you fighting against her!.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Baldios: LL-sized mecha with a "afterimage" ability; do the math.
  • Magikarp Power: Turn a Gundam starts as a not-very-useful unit with limited weapons and bad anti-air stats and a so-so pilot in the form of Loran Cehack until in-game events lead to it gradually getting upgraded, culminating in it obtaining its Moonlight Butterfly normal and MAP attack among others, making it one of the best units in the game. In another example, Renton's (including Loran's) stats grow at a much faster rate after they pass level 40-45s.
    • King Gainer, as well: initially, it's small, fragile and really hard to pilot Gainer's Will up to use his Overskills. Doing some investment in some choice skills like "Attack Again" (taking advantage of his "Gamer"/"Game Champ" innate skill), "Ignore Size Modifier" and some morale boosting techniques, he becomes quite good. It helps he constantly upgrades like the above two through event-driven scenarios.
    • Dai-Guard in Hakai-hen, due to Shunsuke Akagi's "Salaryman" skill that gives him a lot more pilot points (+3 at level up, every 10 kills, and scenario ends adds up later on).
    • Although Chirico Cuvie is far from a bad pilot, early on in Hakai-hen the Scopedog is a fairly unimpressive unit with only three attacks, all with either extremely limited ammo or unable to be used post-movement. After a while however, you can use the Red Shoulder Custom which provides you with lots of new attacks even if a few don't have much ammo with the only downside being a drop in movement and mobility; which a few parts can quickly balance out. During the end of the Woodoo arc finale, Chirico upgrades again to the Turbo Custom, which sacrifices some of the more ammo-scarce weapons for even better stats. And then that mode gets weapons put back on it for the Last Red Shoulder mission... and if you fulfilled the requirements, afterwards Chirico gets the Scopedog ISS.
  • Marathon Level: Quite a few, but especially scenario 50, which is rather long on its own but after you beat it, you get a long exposition sequence and then thrust into battle again facing The Frost Brothers and Gym. The final scenario also counts since it's a three-parter and ends with you fighting the Big Bad doubling as That One Boss.
    • Here's a breakdown of that scenario: Part 1) Fight Edel Bernel, who comes with a powerful mecha with about 200,000 HP and an army of mooks; Part 2) Get Renton to a certain square while fighting against 50 squads of Coralians, all having shockingly high accuracy (in Setsuko's route, this must be done within 5 turns); Part 3) Fight the Big Bad. In Setsuko's route, he comes with 600,000 HP and a small army of mooks. If all mooks are destroyed, new ones are spawned; fortunately, the way around this is to destroy all but one. In Rand's route, he summons two more copies of himself. However, they have 300,000 HP; unfortunately, each have small HP Regen and a max Potential pilot skill (the lower the HP, the higher the stats). Not to mention they must be destroyed in the same turn, so it might take a while. Thankfully, between parts 1 and 2, the heroes get a refill of HP, EN and SP
    • In Hakai-hen, one scenario recreates Gundam 00's finale (along with some Gundam Wing and Code Geass thrown in): you must face off against an army of GN-Xs, Tauruses, and the commanders of every major faction in the world. At a certain point, the Ptolemaios gets dragged off to a second map along with the Celestial Being Gundams to face off against another army of grunts, with Ali-Al-Saachez and Alejandro Corner along for the ride (the rest of ZEXIS shows up later). After that, you get brought off to a third map which comprises of Setsuna in the Exia against Alejandro's Alvatorre.
  • May–December Romance: Little to no mention is made of Rand (who is in his late twenties (27)) romancing Mel, who is 16, yet looks 12. To his credit, Rand lampshades how this looks to others and outright says it to Mel.
  • Mid-Season Upgrade: One of the very few SRWs that even partially averts this for its heroes. Both protagonists get an upgrade halfway through the game, but Rand's Gunleon gets a couple of new attacks and a regeneration skill, while Setsuko's Virgora gets a new gun and a set of wings, capping off a chain of gradual upgrades that starts midway through the game's first act.
    • Played almost straight with Crowe in Saisei-Hen: his upgraded mech is called the Li-Brasta. The catch is that you decide whether the Li-Brasta is a close-combat Super Robot or a long-range Real Robot.
  • Mighty Glacier: Baldios and Daitarn 3 by virtue of being size LL, but the Big O's a better example due to its nigh-impenetrable defense and varied, strong arsenal which gets expanded as you progress through the game. Rand's Gunleon also counts, something which you may not notice at first, until you have to fight him for a few turns using Witz and Roybea and experience first-hand how hard its defenses are.
  • More Dakka: Z's new "Tri-Battle System" allows for an entire squad to unleash a volley of dakka that makes anything you could do with the earlier games' squad systems look dated and underwhelming.
    • More traditionally, various units such as the Orguss have a "fire all weapons" attack.
  • Multiple Endings: One of the game's more deviously-hidden Guide Dang It elements that manages through its own hidden point system. Should you fulfill certain conditions, you can choose to give up your memories and live in Paradigm City until the Black History takes place, ending all of civilization) Additionally, depending on which protagonist you choose, around half of the game is unique to that protagonist.
    • Then there's Hakai-Hen, which is almost made up of nothing but route splits.
  • Nakama: Gleefully toyed with, but this isn't the first time: in Super Robot Wars 64 Chang Wufei will leave you if you decide to join the OZ Organization, while Destiny has you ally with Char Aznable's Neo Zeon to fight aliens. In Super Robot Wars Advance actual fistfights occured between Domon & Kazuya Ryuuzaki initially.
    • Still, Z takes it to a whole new level, with half the heroes split into sides ready to kill each other.
  • Never the Selves Shall Meet: In a non-time travel variation, Z explains that multiple copies of the same person cannot exist in the same universe, in order to justify why the original Mazinger Z, Getter Robo, and Eureka Seven don't show up in Hakai-hen. Some fans believe UFO Robo Grendizer was not in Hakai-hen due to a possibility of Go Nagai's Battle of The Flying Saucers being in Sasei-hen. However, once it was announced, Banpresto apparently forgot all about Grendizer.
  • Nobuyuki Hiyama: Who voices the Vegan grunts. Reportedly, several others wanted to do the role but, when they were told he was doing the role, they gave up and said something along the lines of "we can't compete with that!".
  • No Indoor Voice: In Z2 Harry Ord has his famous UNIVEEEEEEEEEEEEEERSE scream in his Voice Clips and last voice clip is "Did you say Diana-sama's butt? CURSE YOU!!!"
  • Nonstandard Game Over: In Z, losing scenario 44 (failing to stop the Artificial Sun or losing the Gravion) results in a very special play on the Downer Ending from Space Warrior Baldios, where the massive tsunami occurs, with the words "Game Over" instead of the "END" kanji from the original ending.
  • Not His Sled: The Black History is actually a Bad Future brought about by ZEUTH, rather than the distant Gundam Mega Crossover that the original series is so well-known for.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Rand; Sara Kodama even comments early on that she can't tell if the man's an outright idiot or a freakin' genius. One of his many moments of this is how he got himself out of trouble in the beginning of the Exodus. Another -and arguably the best- of his moments is when he makes it clear to Löwen that he always knew what he was doing behind his back and that he wasn't fooling anyone after appearing to be his buddy for quite some time. Also counts as one his many Crowning Moment of Awesome scenes.
  • Only Sane Man: Crowe Broost, Lockon Stratos, Aoyama Keiichirou and Duo Maxwell. Being the jokers of the group who can find time to joke during free-time unlike the rest who are either The Stoic, way too serious or apparently busy doing something else.
  • Oh Crap: So you've pumped up Rand and his Gunleon and having the time of your life tanking everything thrown your way and walking (or rather, wrenching) over legions of Mooks? Let's see how you feel now when you're pitted against him (with the same stats, skills and upgrades you gave him, no less) using only Witts, Roabia, Carris and the Freeden un-upgraded and under an instant game-over condition if one of them dies. Still, it lasts a few turns, but this doesn't make it any less horrifying for the player.
    • Better still: if you're doing the New Game+ and pimped the hell out of the protagonist's stats and mech (maybe equipping some Haros while doing so), it's entirely possible that you've made something completely unbeatable. However, there's a trick if this happens: the protagonist will ALWAYS move first on the enemy's turn. Taking this into consideration, move everyone that doesn't have the Flash/Alert or Invincible Spirit Commands into the Freedan and cast these two commands every turn.
  • Original Generation: Rand, Setsuko, Mel, Denzel, Toby, Asakim, Xine and the Chimera Corps.
    • For the Mecha, the Gunleon, Virgora, Shurouga, Eliphas and the Chaos machines. The Z Special Disk also contains an original Overman called the XAN
  • Overrated and Underleveled: A variation, though not exactly a straight example, either: Char is, statistically, one of the best pilots in the game but he never gets his own top-of-the-line mobile suit, relegating him to the so-so Hyaku Shiki, which has nothing on the more powerful units later in the game (unless you do what many players do and put him in the Turn a Gundam.
    • Another example: Kira and the Strike Freedom. Unless you were deliberately saving money on Rand's route to upgrade the Freedom in the 2 or 3 scenarios he's with you, by the time you get the Strike Freedom (at around scenario 50 or so), it will have a paltry 3 bars of upgrades and your squads are likely filled up with specifically designated leaders. Comes with some bonus Pilot Points, though.
  • Obviously Evil: Just take a look at Asakim and any one of his attacks and tell us he isn't evil. For starters, the man's completely clad in black, his mech looks very "evil", his attacks are sadistic and his comments similarly so. Makes you wonder how anyone trusted this guy in the first place. Even though he only acts so for the sake of gaining freedom from being a Cursed Wanderer and finally dying.
  • Painting the Fourth Wall: In Z2, Deathscythe and its Mid-Season Upgrade have attacks that makes use of their stealth jammers, which cause the screen to flicker and static-up for the duration of the attack.
  • Patrick Stewart Speech: Pretty much all of the cast give these.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Crowe, Lockon, Duo and Aoyama. When they group up they start telling bad jokes, or even when they're alone (such as in the Chapter 7 intermission before battle, while at the Ashford Academy Duo laughs at Kallen for acting a weak little milady). Aoyama during battles when Dai-Guard gets hit asks Ibuki if she would like to gamble with him about will the next attack hit or miss. Lockon hangs out with Crowe and laugh at each other's dry humour jokes. In Chapter 48 Daybreak's Bell in the intermission before battle when Setsuna comes to use the long-distance contacting device Crowe asks is he going to send a message to his girlfriend to which Setsuna responds with the usual The Stoic stare, which makes Crowe ask is it to his boyfriend then and he gets a The Stoic glare as answer instead, making Lockon note how Crowe's bad jokes don't work on Setsuna, to which Crowe states "They don't work on Chirico, Zero, Heero, Trowa, Wufei and Toudou either."
  • Post Script Season: Mazinger Z, Great Mazinger, and Xabungle in the first Z. All series returning from the first Z in Hakai-hen are as well, along with Dancougar and Trider G7.
  • Power-Up Letdown: Alright, so you've waited forever and toughed through the early missions using the Gundam X Divider, wondering when you'll get to hear Garrod's "Satellite Cannon...HASSHA!" and when you finally get it, reality strikes hard: basically, the weapon's Awesome but Impractical, since it requires a full 3-4 turns before it's able to fire once...and ONLY ONCE, until another 3-4 turn recharge. To make it worse, it only functions in stages where the moon is visible through a line-of-sight, meaning you can't use it indoors or in many other stages. The G-Falcon reduces the recharge rate by one turn, which helps things out.
    • Another example (albeit nearly not as severe) is Renton and the Nirvash Spec3: although its stats are much better and its attacks pack a bigger punch, the main reason anyone used the Nirvash Spec2 was its Seven Swell MAP attack, which it loses eventually, making it less useful against hordes of mooks you're up against.
    • Deathscythe Hell's Hyper Jammer attack loses the Accuracy Down effect of the original Deathscythe's Hyper Jammer, making it stronger but less useful overall.
  • Really Seven Hundred Years Old: Elgan Laudic, former Secretary General of the United Nations, is over 200 years old. He is really the Z2 universe's version of The Edel. Unlike his Z1 counterpart, upon learning about the Black Knowledge, he did not go insane and actually took steps to prevent calamity from occuring, such as supporting Celestial Being and Dragon's Hive under the codename "Portman".
  • Retraux, Doing It for the Art: Older Super Robots such as Baldios, God Sigma and Getter Robo get some very awesome retro-looking animations in their finisher attacks, complete with choppy animation and trippy retro "laser backgrounds" and pastel-frame explosions! This is a first for the franchise and was a great moment for fans who weren't very excited about Z initially and also demonstrates the degree of love the designers have for the older shows, preserving them in all their glory.
    • This trend is continued in Hakai-hen with Godmars, notorious for its lack of animation during fight scenes. Its finisher reflects that perfectly.
  • Retcon: Z completely writes out Chars Counterattack in favor of keeping Char in line with his Zeta Gundam incarnation. Still, it's pretty odd since Chars Counterattack is only in Z to give Amuro the Re-GZ and eventual Nu Gundam, while Char gets stuck with his Hyaku Shiki and doesn't get the Chars Counterattack Sazabi. Nevertheless, the moment where he and Amuro learn about this possible future and Char heartfully declaring to stop it from happening was heartwarming indeed.
    • Also, one of the things Z is known for is that it handles SEED Destiny's plot in a way that is actually believable and MUCH more enjoyable to watch.
  • Running Gag: Rand being called "The Crusher" by others. Lampshaded by him repeatedly and eventually, he gets tired of trying to object and early one, he even points out that someone was doing it just to piss him off
    • Also, whenever Rand does his "Heat Smile", everyone will make the same comment towards it, including Dorothy, Alan Gabriel and Alex Rosewater (!), Diana Soreil and Harry Ord, Over-frozen Cynthia (!), the various Universal Century and SEED pilots, enemy generals and even the Shadow Angels, the Hyakki and alien forces. For those unfamiliar with the whole thing, Rand's a rather large "Cool Old Guy" who has a rather intimidating "special service smile" called the "Heat Smile". Those who see it always, always comment on it being "stuffy" or "atsukurushii" in Japanese either loudly or to themselves even in the middle of dire, life-or-death situations.
    • Kamina's tendency to come into conflict with everyone he meets as his way of making friends. He does this to Ryouma, Zero and Sheryl. It's always a Crowning Moment of Funny.
  • Sequel Hook: Plenty all over the place, from throwaway comments along the lines of "our battle has just begun" to unresolved plot threads (e.g. the Holy War, since we never see the remaining Sphere holders or the Eldritch Abomination)
    • Some of the explicit hooks include Kouji watching the Black History recording and talking about seeing a "Mazinger-like" machine he doesn't recognize, Ryouma getting shocked after watching the same recording and asking "Is that machine with the fearsome movements a Getter?!" (really, the Shin Getter), with his remarks in the final scenario about sensing the presence of another version of himself that flat-out scares him (none other than fan-favorite "Batshit Ryouma" from Getter Robo Armageddon and the Getter Robo manga) and finally, Banjou deciding to leave for Mars and talk about "his true battle just beginning")
    • Saisei-Hen the Anti Spiral says he'll be back one day.
  • Shipper on Deck: The whole of ZEXIS takes sides over Macross Frontier's Love Triangle.
  • Shout-Out: "Starlight Breaker The Glory Star! FULL BURST!!".
    • In Hakai-hen, Kamina references the Super Inazuma Kick with one of Gurren Lagann's attacks. Even after he dies, Simon references it when he attacks with the same technique.
      • Simon randomly calls out "Ittou Ryodan!" (roughly translates to "I'll cleave you in two!") when he slashes an opponent with his sunglasses. Sanger and Wodan would be proud.
      • Sandman says 「貴様達に名乗る名前などない!」Kisamatachi ni nanoru namae nado nai! "I have no name to give to the likes of you!"/"Scum like you doesn't deserve to know my name" like a certain heroic character from Machine Robo as he beats up PMC soldiers who tried to take Eida and her Manager in.
  • Shut UP, Hannibal: As per usual, the best one's when you confront the Big Bad of Zambot 3, Computer Doll # 8 aka Gaizock. The malevolent AI will rant about how it's decision to destroy humanity is a perfectly logical one, that Humans Are Bastards who do nothing but evil things to each other and no one on Earth really cares about the heroes and their effrots to save the world. Our heroes tell it that no way are they going to let an emotionless computer determine their fate and vow to prove that it is the true evil for spreading strife across the galaxy. ZEUTH proceeds to blow Gaizock and it's Death Knights to kingdom come
  • Sliding Scale of Silliness Versus Seriousness: At one end, Rand's route includes the Xabungle and Overman King Gainer teams; at the other, Setsuko. Ever wanted to see what kind of social and physical damage a 50-meter mecha leaves in its path? That's why there's Zambot 3
    • That's not to say that Rand's route is all laughs and giggles either, but Setsuko's route just keeps the Darker and Edgier coming.
    • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Again, Rand's story more or less gets all the breaks; in Setsuko's, you have to work just to get a few happy notes in an otherwise depressing series of events.
    • Hakai Hen is also rather cynical, since all of the storylines take place during the first season of a two part series where good people died for nothing and the situation was pretty bad all around. But like Crowe being powered by misfortune and fortune, Rebirth Chapter is much more optimistic.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Euphie, Shirley, Rolo, and Lelouch himself from Code Geass in "Saisei-Hen", provided you pick the right route. Also Anew Returner from Mobile Suit Gundam 00 and Lorelei from Shin Mazinger Shougeki! Z-hen as secrets.
  • Spiritual Successor: To the Super Robot Wars Alpha series, Alpha Gaiden in particular.
  • The Strategist: In order to represent his tactical prowess, Lelouch gets a unique pilot skill, "Command", that allows him to give up his turn in order to beef up an ally's attack or defense or help them in taking down a boss. This makes up for him not being that great of a pilot, statistically speaking.
  • Stylistic Suck: In mecha form: Beck the Great RX-3 is a horrible machine, but the sheer camp of using its one and only move makes it still awesome
  • Theme Music Power-Up: In Scenario 18-A of the third route split in Hakai-hen, which takes place during a concert in the Macross Frontier storyline: Sheryl's song "Iteza Go Go Kuji Don't Be Late" pumps up the heroes so much that they all instantly shoot to 130 Will. After defeating the initial enemies, Baron Ashura arrives with some Kikaijuu; this causes Ranka to take the stage and sing her song "What 'Bout My Star?", which pumps Simon and Kamina up even further, to the point that Kamina debuts Gurren Lagann's famous Giga Drill Break(er), nearly obliterating the Kikaijuu Taros D-7 with it.
  • Those Three Bad Guys: Timp, Beck, and Kan Yu like to show up together in Saisei-hen.
  • To Create a Playground For Evil: The Edel Bernal doesn't really have a plan other than to turn the world into the most chaotic and war-ridden place he can to be his personal playground.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Mazinger Z's Koushiryoku Beam is usually the weakest attack it has. However, in Z2, it surpasses Breast Fire in damage potential, making it one of Mazinger's most powerful attacks. Why? Because that's what Shin Mazinger Impact strongly suggests.
  • Villain Team-Up
  • What Do You Mean It's Not Awesome?: Doing the Monkey, a Running Gag from Overman King Gainer, as a victory dance for beating the Overdevil. It makes for some serious Mood Whiplash if you do that stage in Setsuko's route, which is the pinnacle of Diabolus Ex Machina swirled with Darker and Edgier.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Given to Kira for his Omniscient Morality License policy of disabling other pilots in battle first, asking questions later...by everyone's favorite Char Clone, Harry Ord, no less
  • Wham! Episode/The Reveal: Many from the various franchises such as the nature of the Eldar and the S1 aliens, but the biggest one is the revelation that the Black History is not just the past, but the possible end of the current multiverse brought about by none other than ZEUTH themselves.
  • We Will Not Use Photoshop in the Future: The Chimera Corps splits ZEUTH against other by altering video footage to make it look like Rand's group has joined The Federation while Setsuko's group works with ZAFT. Neither group suspects these are fake until Orson and Banjo show each group their own video.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: If you choose the ZAFT route at around scenario 45, which will probably happen since getting the other route requires a Guide Dang It, Haman simply vanishes from the plot after a certain point and that's it. Fortunately this doesn't happen if you manage to take the ZEUTH route, where she's playable.