Tech Romancer

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Tech Romancer, or Super Steel War Chronicle Kikaioh, is a 1998 fighting game that involves Humongous Mecha of various sorts. The game was produced by Capcom and the mecha were designed by Studio Nue. Available on arcade machines and the Sega Dreamcast, the selection of fighters allow players to answer burning questions such as who would win in a fight between Mazinger Z and Ultraman.

Selectable Characters include:

  • Pulsion -- What's an Ultraman clone doing in a Humongous Mecha fighting game? Proving to players that you don't need to be mechanical to kick robot ass, that's what. Armed with punches, kicks, energy rays, and the ability to ignore the laws of physics, Pulsion manages to Shout-Out to Neon Genesis Evangelion as well, with its possible arsenal of double-bladed sword, thrown lance, and a combat knife. Let's add the fact that it can go all out in a bestial manner... Pulsion's civilian identity is either the male human alien Kai or the female human alien Kei.
  • Rafaga -- a Macross Variable Fighter in all but name. Armed primarily in its humanoid form with a beam rifle that doubles as a club, missiles, and a punching super move that sinks its fist deep into an enemy's torso, it can optionally equip 2 shoulder-mounted energy weapons and a heavy projectile cannon. Its alt forms give it 2 extra supers: bombs from above and a multi-hit tackle. Rafaga's main pilot character is Simon Harvard (a Composite Expy of Roy Focker and Max Jenius), although Simon's wingwoman Amuritta (Expy of Claudia La Salle) is available as a secret character.
  • Diana-17 -- The sole FemBot in a field awash with Real Robots, giant aliens, and Super Prototypes. It's fast, equally comfortable fighting on the ground or in mid-air, and can hurl a very damaging Energy Ball to finish its nasty ground to air or air to air Combos. Bonus points for its control system and the combat suit of its pilot Reika Amamiya, which seem to be a nod to G Gundam.
  • Wise Duck -- Word of God states that this tank with arms and legs is a nod to the HWR-00-Mk. II "MAC-II / Monster" Destroid from Macross. It is equipped with a claw on one hand, a pile BFG in the other, missile launchers on its shoulders and more on its back, and a three-barreled autocannon mounted between the legs. It can lay mines, equip flamethrowers and artillery, keep an enemy at bay with ranged attacks or lay down a punishing barrage of melee attacks. The one thing it can't do is jump. The Wise Duck is piloted by a crew of five: Gonzales, Arvin, Ricky, Thomas, and Herman.
  • Bolon -- It's the kind of giant robot you'd least expect a Magical Girl to pilot. Possibly based on the Boss Borot from Mazinger Z, this robot appears to be cobbled together from a water tank (torso), a power shovel (right arm), a wrecking ball (left arm), a boat and what appears to be a bus (feet), and a house for the head, among other things. The odd assortment of parts doesn't detract from its ability to fight, though. Piloted by the Magical Girl Pollin, who has a huge crush on Junpei, and is perfectly willing to fight the other female pilots over him... whether they're interested in him or not.
  • Gourai -- Your basic Ace Custom mecha for The Dragon: blood-red, BFS, and the fact that it holds a strong assortment of sub-weapons and brutal fighting techniques. Piloted by the masked Shadow Red, whose real identity is Mamoru Todoroki.

Other boss robots in the game which either can't jump, can't block, don't have an armor gauge, or a combination of these, are:

  • Gamda -- a one-eyed yellow brick castle-like golem. (In)famous for its sweeping Eye Beams, and the fact that its basic melee attacks hurt a lot. Piloted by the Egyptian-themed alien Arekshim.
  • Quvearl -- A huge, floating weapon of obviously alien origins. Piloted by the android girl Yale.
  • Goldibus -- The Big Bad of most of the characters' Story Modes. That's right, not the mecha piloted by the Big Bad -- the Big Bad.

NOTE: has nothing to do with literal romance with technology.

Tropes used in Tech Romancer include:
  • Action Bomb -- Bolon, in one of its Specials.
  • Amnesiac Dissonance -- Yale
  • An Axe to Grind -- Twinzam V's Fire Formation uses a spiked battle-ax in most of its attacks, including its Final Attack where it does a V no Jigiri. Also, one of G. Kaiser's equippable weapons is called Axe Blow, which creates four axe heads around each of its fists, much like Mazinger Z can do with its Rocket Punches.
  • Beam-O-War -- happens whenever 2 opposing energy-based attacks meet, accompanied by furious button mashing.
  • Berserk Mode -- Ironically, Pulsion enters one for the duration of its Hero Mode.
  • BFG -- Dixen's Fixer Cannon stretches from its shoulder to its ankles, and swivels to position over its shoulder for firing.
  • BFS -- G. Kaiser's Haou Raimei Ken. Gourai's giant katana also counts.
  • Bittersweet Ending -- The best example is one of Rafaga/Simon's endings: he's in prison for disobeying orders and fighting the giant robot menace, and believes his love interest, an alien android, is dead. However, he finds out that an identical, yet younger version of the girl was found at the specific location of where she had supposedly died from.
  • Blade on a Stick -- Pulsion throws one, Gourai has two as limited-use weapons. Diana-17 makes one out of light for throwing purposes.
  • Capulet Counterpart -- Yale, to Simon in his storyline.
  • Chainsaw Good -- Twinzam V, in either form, can wield one. It performs a Shoryuken with it too.
  • Char Clone - Shadow Red is a pretty obvious one; come on, they even got Shuichi Ikeda to do the voice!
  • Chest Blaster -- G. Kaiser's Heat Blazer, and its Wave Motion Gun version, the Inferno Blazer.
  • Clothing Damage -- Aside from a damage gauge, most robots also have an armor gauge which starts at 100% and goes down with each physical hit. When the armor gauge drops to 0%, the robot is knocked away, and blocking attacks with your armor destroyed results in more Scratch Damage than usual.
  • Commedia Dell Arte Troupe -- The other characters are usually altered in some way to fit the theme of the player character's storyline in Story Mode. In Boron/Pollin's story, the Big Bad can be her father... or mother!
  • Double Jump -- Diana-17 and Pulsion do it the old-fashioned way; Dixen with its verniers can gain extra height or change direction in mid-jump.
  • Downer Ending -- Given the multiple story paths, a few are inevitable. G. Kaiser gets one in a possible path if you fail to defeat the last enemy in a short enough amount of time, Junpei (your character) fails to escape the castle and is presumed dead. But the cake has to go to Wise Duck: Arvin reappears at the rusted out remains of the Wise Duck 10 years after the last battle. No one knows why aliens attacked, the rest of the crew is dead, and Arvin pours out a bottle in memory of his team. And that's the happy ending... the sad ending reveals that Arvin was executed for trying to convince the crew not to kill an innocent little girl (And they weren't even going to anyway, they just needed to know they could trust him), and the rest of the story mode was just a Dying Dream. And one of Kei's possible endings Where in the specific ending she takes the path of The Messiah and tries to save humanity from their polluting ways, but decides to leave the Earth so that the humans could fend for themselves.
  • Dragon Their Feet -- In some story paths you might fight The Dragon after the final boss. Failure to win in a certain amount of time results in a bad ending.
  • Drop the Hammer -- Twinzam V Plasma Formation uses one when it's not killing you with drills. It's also used in the setup of its Final Attack. Bolon has a 3-shot giant mallet that stuns you even if you block it.
  • Dynamic Entry -- G. Kaiser, Diana-17, and Twinzam V Fire Formation can somehow suddenly change direction and speed while in mid-air to deliver a drop kick. Pulsion does the same, except it leads with a fist instead of its heel. Bolon actually hovers in mid-air, spinning, before it crashes into its opponent.
  • Energy Ball -- Twinzam V Fire Formation charges one up and hurls it at the opponent to damage and knock it down simultaneously. Diana-17 does it from mid-air, with a larger ball that deals more damage.
  • Epic Flail -- Bolon's right arm is a wrecking ball with a Variable-Length Chain. More like cable, but...
  • Everything's Better with Spinning -- G. Kaiser's Final Attack, one of Gourai's Specials, Wise Duck's melee Special, Twinzam V Plasma Formation's Sonic Drop. Bolon also turns into a giant black ball to run the opponent down as one of its Supers.
  • Flipping the Table -- Bolon's Finishing Move.
  • Game Breaker - The Steel Dash, a non-damaging attack every character can use that leaves the opponent wide open to any follow-up attack the player may choose... including the One-Hit Kill Finishing Move.
  • Ground Pound -- Twinzam V strikes the ground with a giant flathead screwdriver, and the resulting ground shockwave homes in on the enemy, damaging it and knocking it upwards. Wise Duck does the same with its right arm, and the resulting explosion acts as a high damage anti-air move, or a ring of force that stops anybody charging in.
  • Heel Face Turn -- Pulsion was Goldibus's underling. And in Kai's storyline, you may make him Face Heel Turn again.
  • Improbable Weapon User -- Bolon and Pollin. Bolon gets points for using a pot that randomly throws exploding circular objects, a giant toy hammer, and a train that tangles the opponent's footwork, and its Hero Mode summons a field of junk that aids in its attacks; Pollin for piloting a robot that is essentially a giant Improbable Weapon.
  • Kill Sat -- Rafaga's Hero Mode positions one over where Simon's fighting and fires every time it transforms, as long as the power up lasts. Executing the Satellite Crash move ends the effect prematurely.
  • Limit Break -- A Special bar starts at level 1, which allows players to stock up to 3 Specials. It is filled up by having your non-Special attacks, ranged or otherwise, hit an opponent.
  • Love Dodecahedron -- One of the subplots of Pollin's storyline has one of these form around Junpei, featuring most of the other female pilot characters.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father -- Shadow Red (Mamoru Todoroki), Junpei's father in the G. Kaiser / Kikaioh story mode. See also Commedia Dell Arte Troupe
  • Marshmallow Hell -- A scene in Pollin's storyline censored in the US version.
  • Mighty Glacier -- Wise Duck can't jump.
  • The Mole -- Yale in Simon's storyline, though she does fall in love with him and eventually does a Heel Face Turn.
  • Multiple Endings -- for some characters' Story Modes, decision trees play a part in which ending you get. For others, its performance during a fight.
  • Older Alter Ego -- Pollin.
  • One-Hit Kill -- Each robot has a move called a Final Attack that can only be performed when an opponent has lost the previous round and its damage gauge has hit 50% or more. If the first hit of a Final Attack is not blocked or dodged, the match ends in victory for the robot that threw the final attack.
  • One-Winged Angel -- Goldibus managed to knock you out once before you did him in? Uh-oh.
  • Power-Up -- lots of these, especially on stages with destroyable terrain. These range from limited-use weapons, to attack, speed, and defense bonuses, recovery items for health and armor, and the Hero Mode item, which does different things for each robot.
  • Promotion to Parent -- Sora takes care of her brother Daichi at the age of eleven.
  • Rule of Cool -- The Final Attacks of most of the robots.
  • Rule of Funny -- Most of the robots' Finishing Moves involve Macross Missile Massacre, More Dakka, or a BFS. Bolon's is Death By Playing House.
  • Secret Character -- Palette Swaps of normal mecha with different pilots, plus Jin Saotome and Blodia.
  • Shout-Out -- The game literally runs on these. For one, Dr. Tatsumi strongly resembles Gendou Ikari.
  • SNK Boss -- Goldibus
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad -- In Twinzam V's storyline, the overall path of the story switches between two main lines by which sibling is in control of the mecha when each match ends, up until a point where the story locks in on one kid's POV. It's entirely possible for the player to intentionally or accidentally shift the story's focus from one to the other at that one point.
  • Subordinate Excuse -- The game hints that Amuritta has a crush on Simon.
  • Super Prototype -- A certain route in Nakato's storyline will have Shadow Red appear in Dixen Experimental unit instead of Gourai. This Dixen has two eyes, grey paintjob and more powerful than standard version. And while it doesn't appear in game, there are also Mass Production Type Dixen
    • Shadow Red also appears in a red Ace Custom Wise Duck, which trades its mine laying ability with a hover dash move. We're not use if that move makes it go three times faster, though.
  • This Is a Drill -- Twinzam V's Plasma Formation sports a pair to attack from the air, on land, or from beneath the surface. Bolon's wrecking ball inexplicably turns into really big one as well.
  • Transforming Mecha -- Rafaga and Twinzam V.
  • Wave Motion Gun -- Dixen's Hyper Fixer Cannon and G. Kaiser's Inferno Blazer.
  • Where Does He Get All Those Wonderful Toys? -- Can someone explain to us just how two ordinary preteens got their hands on a Combining Super Robot in the first place?