Virtual On

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Get Ready!

A fast-paced Mecha Game by Sega. Most of the Humongous Mecha designs are by Hajime Katoki, one of the more famous mecha designers for many Mobile Suit Gundam series'.

Cyber Troopers Virtual-On: Operation Moongate, known as VOOM or OMG for short, was first released in the arcades in a large double sit-down cabinet with a distinctive twin-stick control set. The story is that a series of malfunctions has caused a computer on the Moon armed with a planet-killing Wave Motion Gun to go rogue. In an attempt to raise the forces to fight this menace, the government sends a number of remote operational terminals into the past, in the hopes that someone in the past (such as you, the reader) would have the skills to pilot a mecha into the moonbase and stop the Rogue AI. It was given a Sega Saturn release, which stripped down the framerate, but added a versus mode, a PC release which instead of framerate stripped down the graphics, and an Updated Rerelease for the PlayStation 2 as part of the Sega Ages Collection. The PlayStation 2 version is considered the best release yet, as it contains several new features not present in the original versions, as well as better graphics, crisper sound quality, new extra modes (including one where you can play as the final boss), and a new Bonus Boss in the form of the Original Fei-Yen, which is permanently in Hyper Mode without the health loss and can only be accessed if you beat the first 8 (9 if you fought Jaguarandi) mechs in under 9 minutes. It can still be found in many arcades, so they might still need our help. What are you waiting for? Get cracking! Your great-great (etc...) grandchildren are depending on you!

Cyber Troopers Virtual-On Oratorio Tangram, the sequel, reveals that the whole mess on the moon was just a distraction from a splinter group within a powerful Mega-Corporation to allow them to break away from their parent company. Now the two are fighting over several mecha plants in the hope of finding the missing Tangram, a supercomputer that is said to have the power to alter reality. Strangely, Virtual-On Oratorio Tangram is very rare in many places. For example, some reports that only two arcade machines were ever shipped to the United States. It had a much wider release for the Sega Dreamcast, and even without the twin sticks, it is still a very fun game. It is the fastest of the series, and by far the most popular. Oratorio Tangram comes in four flavors: v.5.2, the first release, v.5.4, which updated the interface and fixed many bugs, v.5.45 for the Dreamcast, a port of 5.4 which adds several arenas from Operation Moongate, and finally v.5.66 for the arcade, which featured three new variant mechs, all the extra stages from the Dreamcast version, and switched the software to the NAOMI board used in many Sega games today which updated the sound and graphic quality. An Xbox Live Arcade version of Oratorio Tangram was released on April 29 for 1200 Microsoft Points/$15. It's based on the 5.66 revision and features online multiplayer, a color edit mode, and enhanced HD graphics, as well as a tutorial and custom button configuration.

Cyber Troopers Virtual-On Force, codenamed VO4, was the 3rd installment. The action was slower than in Oratorio Tangram (this was justified in the story that a reaction on the planet Mars made the non-native-built mecha move slower), but featured four-player simultaneous play in 2-on-2 battles. The game is considered a step back from Oratorio Tangram, and was not well received. Not to mention there is a much lesser number of mechs to choose. To make up for this, they gave the mechs several different variants, but all this did was make the game even more confusing and annoying. On December 21, 2010, the game was re-released on the Xbox360 much like Oratorio Tangram, but this time as a region-free retail game. It includes a brand-new mission mode which is essentially MARZ' (read below) campaign stripped of a storyline.

Cyber Troopers Virtual-On MARZ for the PlayStation 2 is essentially a single-player version of Force. While including a story mode which fleshes out the nature of the Virtual-On universe, MARZ unfortunately stripped down the gameplay even further in several aspects (especially thanks to limitations on the PlayStation 2), causing fans of the earlier three entries in the series to completely disown this game. Your Mileage May Vary, however.

The series made a notable appearance in Super Robot Wars Alpha 3, with the Jack of All Stats Temjin (strangely piloted by the Mission Control character from MARZ), Robot Girl Fei-Yen the Knight (piloted by the second Mission Control character from MARZ and the Fei-Yen series' supposed creator) and Ace Custom mecha Apharmd the Hatter (piloted by the Hot-Blooded Sergeant Hatter) are playable characters. They also appear in Super Robot Wars K for the Nintendo DS, which actually incorporates MARZ's story.

The following tropes are common to many or all entries in the Virtual On franchise.
For tropes specific to individual installments, visit their respective work pages.
  • The Ace: The White Knight in MARZ.
  • Ace Custom: A good number of the boss characters in MARZ.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: DYMON in MARZ.
  • Airborne Aircraft Carrier: One stage in Oratorio Tangram. Cutscenes show your mech being launched from one periodically in MARZ.
  • Air Jousting: Viper II's Limit Break.
  • All There in the Manual: While the series has never had much of the plot explained in the Western world, there is a significant amount of material released in Japan, such as the side-story novel One Man Rescue written by Watari himself, multiple audio dramas, a manga released at the time of Operation Moongate, and an entire library of story information in the Japanese version of MARZ which was taken out of the American release of the game.
  • Anatomy Arsenal: Each mech has at least one.
  • An Ice Person: All of Angelan's attacks are ice-based.
  • Asskicking Pose: Everyone has these. If attack is fatal, followed by Victory Pose.
  • Attack Drone: The Bal series. Deconstructed in a way; the series require a lot of manipulation and, because of this, are really hard for most people to use and demonstrates exactly how complicated Attack Drones can be (for a human; the computer, on the other hand...).
    • Bal-Bas-Bow's funnels/arms cannot be controlled by the player, making him really vulnerable to enemy attacks once they're deployed and shooting the wrong side of the arena.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: How to beat Operation Moongate's Final Boss.
  • Awesome but Impractical: Most Limit Breaks.
  • Beam-O-War: To prevent the enemies weapons from hitting you.
  • Beam Spam: Raiden series, one of Grys-Vok's variants in Virtual-On Oratorio Tangram 5.56.
  • BFG: Temjin's beam rifle/sword in most games, Raiden has shoulder-mounted beam cannons that were originally the main guns of battleships, Grys-Vok can launch nukes, etc...
    • In Operation Moongate, Z-Gradt has one. It has a barrel diameter that is about the size of Raiden.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Sgt. Hatter specializes in this.
  • Blind Idiot Translation MARZ's story mode, complete with ridiculously badly done voiceovers.
  • Blood Knight: Gil in MARZ.
  • Bonus Boss: Several, but the most omnipresent is Jaguarandi, a giant, mutated Raiden that is actually a fatal error in the MSBS system that punishes players who win by Time Over. There's also the original Fei-Yen (exclusive to the PlayStation 2 version), A-Jim (a crystalline mecha), and its mate Guerlain.
    • Jaguarandi actually takes the 1P color scheme of the mech the player is using, and uses a variety of weapons that are also used by other Virtua-Roids, especially those of Raiden and Bal Bas Bow.
    • It is actually more appropriate to call Jaguarandi and A-Jim penalty bosses; the original Fei-Yen is a true Bonus Boss though.
  • The Brute: The SHBVD Raidens in MARZ.
  • Catgirl: Fei-Yen the Tiger in Oratorio Tangram;;. Although her ears are actually heart-shaped, she has tiger stripes and a tail.
  • Chainsaw Good: Vox Jane.
  • Chest Blaster: Most Virtua-Roids' center weapon.
  • Child Prodigy: Lilin Plajina, developer of LLN series was just little girl when she built Original Fei Yen.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: It's been noted that while the Bal series mechs are generally very difficult to play with for players, the computer always seems to know how to abuse them just right.
  • Computer Voice: The loading screens in Operation Moongate.
    • Also the famous "Get Ready" cue before fights.
  • Cool Sword: The Hero Temjin.
  • Cosplay: Fei-yen, which has had several different outfits over the games and even more outside of them. Some people go a step further, such as this. The Nanoha one is particularly fitting since it can be called "Fei-Yen with Raging Heart".
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Several of the Virtua-Roids with less balanced stats.
  • Cycle of Hurting: Operation Moongate Apharmd's tonfa's. Ouch. Some other Virtua-Roid LimitBreaks also come to mind. Some normal Close-Combat attacks can also do this, and not always from the mechs you expect it from.
  • Da Chief: MARZ Chief, who relays mission instructions to the player in MARZ. In Super Robot Wars, he's retconned into piloting Temjin himself (and when asked for his name, he simply that "Chief" is good enough).
  • Death in All Directions: Some fights. Jaguarandi does this upon you.
  • Death Ray: Z-Gradt's cannon.
  • Drop the Hammer: Dorkas, as well as his Expy Vox Joe have mace-arms.
  • Dual Boss: All over the place in MARZ.
  • Dual Mode Unit: Every Virtua-Roid is one, as they can switch (automatically) between long-range and close combat mode.
  • Duel to the Death: Every fight is one in Operation Moongate.
  • Dynamic Entry: Apharmd series' Limit Break. Hatter calls his version "Dramatic the Hatter".
  • Energy Weapons
  • Excuse Plot: Maybe. See All There in the Manual above.
  • Expy: The Vox series in Force and MARZ, which start by copying all the Heavy VRs of the previous games except for Raiden.
    • Fei-Yen is often compared to Sailor Moon. Her heart motif is also identical to that of Amy Rose.
    • The Angelens are compared to Belldandy and Guarayakha are usually compared to Cardcaptor Sakura.
    • Created by Hajime Katoki, Temjin resembles Gundam a lot. It also does a Victory Pose that is the same as the iconic pose of RX-78-2. It runs like Sonic the Hedgehog!
      • In some way, the White Knight resembles a Hi-Nu Gundam in its look.
      • Who are we kidding? Temjin is R-1, Raiden is R-2, and Fei-Yen is R-3. Too bad virtuaroids can't combine.
    • Raiden resembles Doms, and has very likely inspired Tieria's Virtue and Seravee in Mobile Suit Gundam 00.
    • The Viper series are compared to the Variable Fighters in Macross, and their Limit Break is a direct homage to Kamille's wave rider charge in Zeta Gundam.
    • Kagekiyo is strikingly similar to the Musha Gundam concept.
  • Face Heel Turn: Sgt. Hatter, who runs off half-cocked when he gets sick of the Chief keeping secrets from him, only to turn up later to challenge the player, having not learned of the Conspiracy Redemption and still thinking that MARZ is in the wrong. If the player runs low on health during the second to last stage, Hatter reappears in a Big Damn Heroes moment, having pulled a Heel Face Turn.
  • FemBot: Fei-Yen and Angelan series, Guarayakha, the Rose Sisters.
  • Flash Step: Dash, essentially. Without the Fridge Logic of no attacks during the Flash Step in some cases.
  • Fragile Speedster: Viper II and descendants, Specineff, Fei-Yen.
  • Game Breaking Bug: In the PC version of Operation Moongate, running head on into Belgdor can cause your mech to get stuck in Belgdor. This changes your screen to entirely light blue, and the round never ends because you can't hit Belgdor, and Belgdor cannot hit you and the timer breaks.
  • Glass Cannon: Bal-Bas-Bow. Z-Gradt with his cannon deployed. Raiden in Virtual-On Oratorio Tangram has a move that blows off all his armor, making it faster but naturally more fragile. Angelan is one, too.
    • Also the Belgdor, which, while possessed of reliable, long range homing missiles as a primary weapon, is quite sluggish, not exactly great in middle to close combat, and is one stiff breeze away from being blown off its feet and knocked down, leaving it vulnerable to even more damage.
  • Gratuitous English: The infamous "GET READY!" message. There's also the endings of Oratorio Tangram and Force, which give a little eulogy for your mech.
    • Those are actually the mangled lyrics to the songs "Everyone Everywhere" and "Just For A Moment", respectively.
      • The mangled lyrics at the end of Force (ending with the phrase 'What more can be said?') originally came from the King Crimson song "Model Man".
    • Sgt. Hatter loves using such phrases as "YES!" "COME ON!" and "CONGRATULATION!".
  • The Grim Reaper: Specineff series.
  • Guns Akimbo: Apharmd the Battler in Oratorio Tangram. Of course, since it has tonfas built into it's arms, it also counts as Dual-Wielding.
  • Hot-Blooded: Hatter.
  • Interface Screw: Happens twice in MARZ's story mode.
  • Jack of All Stats: The Temjin series.
  • Joke Character: The completely useless Vox variants Lee and Loo. Lee has nothing but a weak gun. Loo only has a set of missles that have been described as "About as damaging as throwing a toilet paper roll at somebody."
    • From Oratorio Tangram 5.66 we have the 10/80 Special. It's basically a modified Temjin that plays like the original Operation Moongate version. The pros? It has much better control, and is faster than the original. The cons? It cannot airdash, lacks special moves except the Gliding Ram, and has much weaker attacks.
  • Kikuko Inoue: Believe it or not, Tangram is actually female, and as the famed Yamato Nadeshiko portrayer as her voice.
  • Killer Robot: Jaguarandi. Z-Gradt.
  • Lag Cancel: Players can cancel jumps and attacks. If timed rightly, this can go from saving a token to feed the arcade machine, to completely running riot over enemy Virtuaroids.
  • Laser Blade: Some mechs have two.
  • Lightning Bruiser: The Temjin a8 in MARZ.
    • Argurably, the Viper series can be considered as this, too.
  • Limit Break: Every mech has one.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: Grys-Vok and assorted descendants.
  • Mad Scientist: Dr. Yzerman created Kagekiyo by trapping human souls in a VR.
    • He is also responsible for the creation of the Viper series, infamous for their SLC (She's Lost Control) charge. And Specineff series which has device feed on the pilot's negative emotions.
  • Magical Girl: The Fei-Yen and Angelan series, as well as Guarayakha are rather blatantly patterned after them, right down to the cutesy, magic-style attacks.
  • Mecha Expansion Pack: Grys-Vok, Stein-Vok and the Vox series are all basically one mech (pretty much the Vox Lee mentioned above) with various weapon combinations mounted on its back and sides.
  • Mega Corp: The DN Group and its descendants DNA and RNA.
  • Meido: The later Fei-Yen models, in Force. Complete with plateau-weapon and proper clothing.
  • Mighty Glacier: Dorkas and its descendants, Dordray and Vox. Also the Raiden with its armor.
  • Nice Hat: Hatter, obviously. He even uses it as a Precision-Guided Boomerang.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Lilin Plajina try to get rid of Jaguarandi, consider as an annoying "bug" in M.S.B.S network at time, by using Guarayakha to contain it. While it seem to work, now Jaguarandi can manifest itself in physical world using Guarayakha and its replica.
  • No Fourth Wall/I Know Mortal Kombat: Apparently, the original arcade game itself is actually a control module sent from the future. You playing it is actually participating in the battles.
    • Unfortunately, MARZ broke this essential part that made the series fun.
  • No Name Given: Temjin never tells his name in either Super Robot Wars and lets other call him Chief.
  • Nonstandard Game Over: Have more health than Z-Gradt or Tangram when time's up? Congratulations, you've just let the planet-killing superweapon/reality-destroying supercomputer win.
  • One-Hit Kill: Most Virtua-Roids can do this in close-combat mode if timed right. Jaguarandi can all the time.
  • Paint It Black: After pulling his Face Heel Turn, Sgt. Hatter has his Apharmd repainted from the MARZ standard blue/white coloring to a new dark blue/red one.
    • Shadow Temjin.
  • Panty Shot: Later models of Fei-Yen. These also feature various breast plate sizes in a rare mecha version of Form-Fitting Wardrobe, shared with Angelan. This is explicitly pointed out in one of the CG artbooks included with one of Hasegawa's 1:100 Fei-Yen model kits.
    • As of May 31st, 2011, immortalized in the flesh in Hasegawa's newest limited release model kit: the TF-12 B/C+ "Fei Yen with Blue Heart/Panic Heart+ [Fetish]". Yes, the 'fetish' is actually part of the kit's name... includes decals for the Flesh Refoe color scheme, parts for the various chest variants, the bigger ass of the G65-model, and Commander Model headwear, as shown in this image.
  • Player and Protagonist Integration: You Are You in the single-player campaign in every series, but in MARZ, an Advisor protagonist is added as your superior.
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: The Three Rose Sisters in MARZ.
  • Razor Wind: Several Energy Weapons used by the Virtuaroids are capable of launching energy variations of this.
  • Rocket Punch: Several members of the Vox series can launch their melee weapon-equipped arms at enemies.
  • Secret Level: If you take too much time beating the first five enemies in Operation Moongate, you end up at Jaguarandi.
  • Shoulder Cannon: Raiden and certain variants of Apharmd and Temjin. See also Belgdor and its Vok-variant descendants.
  • Shows Damage: The Virtua-Roids will loose armour parts as they get more damage.
  • Sky Surfing: Temjin's Gliding Ram attack.
  • Spiritual Successor: The Gamecube game Gotcha Force is rather similar in terms of gameplay.
  • Stab the Sky: Often after performing a Perfect kill.
  • Super Mode: The Fei-Yen series' Limit Break.
  • Super Prototype: Original Fei Yen is much more powerful than her production model. Justified since she's sentient and eventually runaway from Lilin's lab.
  • Super Robot: Truthfully, the game kind of blurs the line between Super and Real Robot. Some mecha, like Temjin and the Viper series, are very much like Real Robots, but then you have the Sailor Moon-like Fei-Yen, and Angelan, which can summon giant Ice dragons and send them to attack you.
  • Super Robot Wars Alpha 3 and K.
  • Sword and Gun: Temjin combines both into one.
  • Sword Beam: Nearly every VR with a close-combat weapon can use these.
  • This Is a Drill: Dordray, as well as his later Expies Vox Bob-1 and Bob-2, have arm-mounted drills.
  • Transforming Mecha: The later mechs in the Viper series can transform into jet/space fighters.
    • The Viper II from Operation Moongate has a Limit Break very similar to this. Furthermore, when it jumps, it extends its wings.
  • Trigger Happy: Jaguarandi.
  • Unusual Ears: Parodied by several Fei-Yen models, especially the "Fei-Yen the [animal]" models.
  • Wave Motion Gun: The Raiden's iconic shoulder lasers, which were originally mounted on battlecruisers. Get hit and much pain ensues.
    • It almost one-shots Viper II. Of course, that's assuming you're firing the regular standing laser. The dashing and air varieties are significantly weaker.
    • Z-Gradt's main cannon in the original game can take off at least half of your health.
  • We Can Rebuild Him: The Continue-screen in Operation Moongate and Oratorio Tangram. Except for Fei-Yen and Angelan, who get the Magical Girl regeneration sequence.