With perhaps the least amount of fanfare possible, Bandai Namco announced Super Robot Wars 30 is coming to Europe and the US on October 27th on Steam. The trailer’s got you hyped, but maybe you’re wondering who or what all these robots are. And why are they all together in the same game besides the sake of fanservice?
While the crossover titles like Super Robot Wars X or V may not have an interconnected story in general, the themes are typically the same across the board. Stories involve intergalactic wars and extraterrestrial threats from some unknown region of space or even other dimensions. Much like Marvel’s own multiverses where variations on similar characters exist, Super Robot Wars always plays off of this effectively with characters from each show developing unique relationships with one another. As an example: in Super Robot Wars Alpha 3, Shinji Ikari from Neon Genesis Evangelion becomes a much bolder hero and learns to be more “hot-blooded” under the tutelage of the rough and tumble Getter Team lead pilot Ryoma Nagare from Getter Robo: Armageddon.
Let’s break down who’s featured in Super Robot Wars 30 and how they might all be connected.
Who’s Who In Super Robot Wars 30
Chōdenji Robo Combattler V
Combattler V is a robot from Saburo Yatsude’s Robot Romance Trilogy and debuted in 1976 on Japanese television.
Similar to other famous combining robots like Voltron or the Megazord from Power Rangers, Combattler V is made up of five smaller vehicles that form the main unit.
The first is the Battle Jet, the head of Combattler V piloted by Battle Team leader Hyouma Aoi. The chest and arms are formed by the Battle Crusher, a tank-like vehicle capable of flight using jump jets, and is piloted by Juuzou Naniwa. Moving down to the torso, there’s the Battle Tank which cannot fly, and it’s piloted by judo master Daisaku Nishikawa. Combattler V’s legs are formed by the Battle Marine, an amphibious vehicle, piloted by Chizuru Nabara. Lastly there’s Combattler V’s feet which are formed by the Battle Craft, an all-terrain vehicle that splits in half to form the feet, piloted by kid genius and inventor Kosuke Kita.
The story of Combattler V revolves around the conquering aliens from the planet Campbell and their scientist, Oreana, and their plans to rule Earth being thwarted by the genius Doctor Nanbara and the Battle Team of the Nanbara Connection. Villains include the Campbellian scientist Orea, her son and military general Garuda, and their army of giant bio-mechanical beasts.
Getter Robo: Armageddon
Getter Robo: Armageddon is an OVA series released in 1998 by Bandai Visual and is based on the long-running series Getter Robo by Ken Ishikawa and Go Nagai.
One of the original series featured in Super Robot Wars, Getter Robo quickly established its own lore for having a “multiverse” of its own that canonically allowed the Getter Team and sometimes their antagonists to cross into different worlds.
Armageddon in particular is a spin-off based on the events of what’s known as the “Moon Wars” when shapeshifting aliens known only as “Invaders” nearly successfully took over Earth. With the help of other Super Robots from across the world, the Getter Team held them back. The Getter Team is separated following a mysterious murder and the sacrifice of one of their ace pilots to protect a new prototype super robot, and after a nearly apocalyptic accident involving that prototype, a new Getter Team unites to stop the Invaders from successfully taking over Earth when it’s at its most vulnerable.
Mazinger Z: INFINITY and Mazinkaiser: INFINITISM
Mazinger Z: INFINITY is a 2017 film released for the 45th anniversary of Mazinger Z, which premiered in 1972 in Japan. Mazinger-Z is one of the most famous giant robots worldwide, coming to the United States in the forms of the Mattel line of Shogun Warriors toys and Tranzor Z, and it was also a phenomenon in Mexico and other Latino countries during the 1980s.
Mazinger Z: Infinity is a direct sequel to the events of the original 1970s television show, taking place ten years in the future after the defeat of Dr. Hell and his army of mechanical beasts. Mazinger Z’s pilot, Koji Kabuto, has since retired from piloting to become a distinguished scientist in the field of Photonic Energy research. After the discovery of an ancient machine buried beneath the Photonic Energy Lab, the fate of the world and even the universe itself is in jeopardy following the reemergence of Dr. Hell and his mechanical beasts. Koji Kabuto springs back into action as Mazinger Z’s pilot along with the help of his long-time partner Tetsuya Tsurugi, the pilot of the Great Mazinger.
Mazinkaiser itself was originally a unit developed exclusively for Super Robot Wars F Final in Japan as a way to stay competitive at the end half of the game. An upgrade in every sense of the word to Mazinger Z, Mazinkaiser is referred to as the ultimate protector. It’s not fully established how the INFINITISM version of Mazinkaiser will work, but it will serve as an extension to the plot of Mazinger Z: Infinity.
Studio Trigger’s SSSS.GRIDMAN is a new entry for Super Robot Wars. Debuting in 2018 in Japan and simulcasted on Funimation’s streaming service in Western territories, this series was an anime continuation of the 1990s tokusatsu show Gridman: The Hyper Agent, or as it’s known in the United States, Superhuman Samurai Syber Squad. The show directly acknowledges the quadruple S title and also uses its own acronym in the form of “Special Signature to Save a Soul.”
The story follows Yūta Hibiki, an amnesiac first-year high school student living in the fictional Japanese city of Tsutsujidai. He meets the Hyper Agent Gridman in an old computer, who states that the boy has a mission he must fulfill; Yūta sets out to find the meaning to those words and his memory loss. The sudden appearance of kaiju eventually changes the usual dynamics of Yūta and his classmates. Yūta is able to merge with Gridman to fight kaiju, but after the kaiju attack, people’s memories are reset and those who die are forgotten.
As the Gridman Alliance, Yūta and his friends now seek to stop the kaiju and uncover the truth behind the disappearances, with assistance from mysterious friends of Gridman who can transform into weapons that Gridman can use in combat.
Mobile Suit Gundam
Debuting in 1979 in Japan and directed by Yoshiyuki Tomino, Mobile Suit Gundam would establish itself as one of Japan’s most famous media franchise exports next to Godzilla. This series also had a huge impact on the giant robot genre, establishing the “Real Robot” subgenre of mecha anime. More importantly in Super Robot Wars games in particular, the term “real robot” would point more towards a subcategory of units in the games. Machines not powered by magical forces or an intangible thing not explained by science are the most popular kinds of “Real Robot” by definition.
The Gundam franchises represented here all come from the Universal Century timeline, starting from the original Mobile Suit Gundam through to Mobile Suit Victory Gundam being the furthest into the Universal Century’s future. The story of the Universal Century is one steeped in endless wars, originally beginning with the One Year War of UC 0079 when the Principality of Zeon declared its independence from the Earth Federation. For the next 74 years, factions formed from remnants of both Earth and Space forces waged wars for resources and political advantage, but the stories all seemed to involve the same themes: War is costly, no matter what side you’re on.
Super Robot Wars 30 will also feature spin-offs from the Universal Century era known as the Mobile Suit Variations, designs of various famous units that were not featured directly in manga or anime form, but are established as canonical machines. It’s not known which specific Mobile Suit Variations will be shown, but they include units such as mass production units adapted for specific roles like the MS-06Z Psychommu Zaku: a prototype Zeon Mobile Suit meant to serve as a testbed for the “Bishop Plan,” a series of Mobile Suits adapted for Newtypes, or psychically adept humans.
The Braves Series
Developed by the toy company Takara following the end of the first run of Transformers, known to fans as “Generation One” or G1, the Braves Series was a plan for a series of toys and animated series franchises in collaboration with Sunrise. A total of eight unique shows were developed within the Braves Series interconnected franchises, but two in particular are featured in Super Robot Wars 30.
Debuting for the first time in a Super Robot Wars game is Brave Police: J-Decker. This series follows the main protagonist Yuuta Tomonaga, a 10-year-old boy, and his partner, the sentient police robot that transforms into a car, Deckerd. After discovering Deckerd and speaking to him as a friend, Deckerd gains a “heart,” or a personality, and recruits Yuuta as the head of the Brave Police to put a stop to criminals running rampant in the streets and the evil Excellent Corporation and their Chieftain Robots.
The second series from the Braves franchise is The King of Braves: GaoGaiGar. The conclusive season, GaoGaiGar FINAL, takes place in an alternate version of the year 1999. Following the invasion of the Zonder aliens and the disappearance of the Gutsy Geoid Guard’s alien ally, Mamoru and his mechanical partner Galeon, GaoGaiGar FINAL revolves around the mysterious machines known as the Q-Parts and their connection to the fate of the universe itself.
Super Robot Wars 30 will also be featuring content from The King of Kings: GaoGaiGar Vs Betterman, an adaptation of an unfinished crossover project of GaoGaiGar with the horror-themed anime Betterman, which canonically takes place within the Braves universe. Information on this entry is scarce as official translations aren’t easy to find. What information is available indicates there’s bonus content featured on extended editions of GaoGaiGar FINAL’s DVD releases that had extended scenes and recut dialogue featuring cast members of Betterman directly involved with cast members from GaoGaiGar.
Heavy Metal L-Gaim
Heavy Metal L-Gaim is a mecha series directed by Mobile Suit Gundam’s Yoshiyuki Tomino and featuring mechanical designs by the venerable Mamoru Nagano, who would go on to make The Five Star Stories. Regarded by many as a classic series, creator Mamoru Nagano actually voiced disappointment in how L-Gaim turned out, supposedly stating during an interview at Anime Expo ‘93 that he “started drawing Five Star Stories because (he) was so disappointed with L-Gaim.”
Taking place in the fictional Pentagona System, a solar system with five distinct worlds, the series revolves around the mythical giant robot L-Gaim, which was hidden away after the conqueror Oldna Poseidal from the planet Gastogal defeated L-Gaim’s first pilot Kamon Walha V. Before his death, Walha hid the L-Gaim on the planet Mizum with his heir apparent Kamon Myroad.
15 years later, Kamon Myroad has grown up and taken on the name Dabon Myroad and leads a rebellion to free the Pentagona System from the tyrannical grasp of Oldna Poseidal and the 24 Temple Knights.
Code Geass is an anime franchise launched in 2006 directed by Gorō Taniguchi and written by Ichirō Ōkouchi, featuring character designs by manga artists Clamp.
Following the story of Lelouch vi Britannia, an exiled prince of the Britannian Empire, and his power of absolute obedience, known as the Geass, the franchise is made up of two main television series, and an alternative story taking place within a film series. There are dozens of other multimedia pieces within the Code Geass franchise, including audio dramas, manga, and a new upcoming television series taking place in the alternate universe established by the film trilogy launched in 2017. Super Robot Wars 30 will prominently feature the storylines of Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion III – Glorification and Code Geass: Lelouch of the Re;surrection.
The story of Lelouch of the Re;surrection picks up a year after Lelouch’s master plan, the Zero Requiem, has succeeded. Enacting this plot, Lelouch hoped to end a war by sacrificing his life and bringing an end to the global war caused by the Holy Britannian Empire. Ruling in his stead, Lelouch’s sister Nunnally vi Britannia and her bodyguard Suzaku Kururugi, who now takes up the mantle of Lelouch’s alter ego Zero, are thrust into a political firestorm with the Kingdom of Ziikhistan and their connection to the powers of Geass. It’s now up to the new ruler of the Britannian Empire and their allies to find out what the Kingdom of Ziikhistan really wants.
Magic Knight Rayearth
Magic Knight Rayearth is a manga series originally created by Clamp that began with its serialization in manga magazine Nakayoshi from 1993 through 1995. An animated adaptation of the manga debuted on Japanese TV in 1994, directed by Toshiro Hirano.
The story of Rayearth follows three eighth-grade girls: the tomboyish but brave Hikaru Shidou, only child and quick-tempered Umi Ryuuzaki, and the intelligent and ladylike Fuu Hououji. While on a field trip from their own schools to Tokyo, they find themselves whisked away by a mysterious force to the land of Cephiro. The trio is tasked with saving Princess Emeraude from her abductor, the villainous high-priest Zagato. Only by saving the princess will they be able to return to their world safely.
Guided by the magical creature Mokona, Hikaru, Fuu, and Umi learn the ways of magic and awaken the three Rune Gods, or Mashin, who take the form of three giant steel knights that the girls must pilot. By working together and accepting their differences from their place in the real world can the Magic Knights save Cephiro from impending doom.
GUN × SWORD
GUN × SWORD is a series directed by Gorō Taniguchi that originally debuted in 2005 on Japanese TV. The series has appeared in Super Robot Wars titles twice before with the first appearance being in Super Robot Wars K on the Nintendo DS in 2009 and more recently in 2019 in Super Robot Wars T on PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch.
The story follows lanky swordsman Van, who is traveling through the desert searching for the mysterious clawed man who killed his bride. Along the way he picks up a fellow traveler called Wendy, a young girl whose town he saves from bandits by summoning a mecha with his sword. Wendy is searching for her missing older brother, traveling with an engraved gun on her back built by him. In their mutual quest, they run afoul of more bandits and villains, a mysterious woman named Carmen99, and more mecha battles than you can shake a sword at.
Majestic Prince is a sci-fi multimedia project created by the Japanese company FIELDS consisting of a manga series written by Rando Ayamine and illustrated by Hikaru Niijima and an anime series directed by Keitaro Motonaga and animated by studios Doga Kobo and Orange.
The story takes place in the year 2110 when humanity has expanded its frontiers into space travel searching for new resources. Advances in genetic research has led to the establishment of the Military Junior Pre-Academy Project, or MJP, overseeing the creation of genetically enhanced children known as Evolved Children. Developed with the intention of allowing humankind to adapt to space, the Evolved Children are repurposed into supersoldiers following the invasion of the alien race known as the Wulgaru.
The story follows the ragtag group of Evolved Children known as Team Rabbits, who are notorious for their lack of teamwork and common sense. The group is selected as test pilots for the latest weapons against the Wulgaru, the Advanced High Standard Multipurpose Battle Device and the Juria System. The misfit soldiers of Team Rabbits must learn to overcome their greatest weaknesses and achieve their true potential as Majestic Princes, or face humanity’s last stand out in the final frontier.
Knight’s & Magic
Knight’s & Magic is a Japanese light novel series written by Hisago Amakaze-no and illustrated by Kurogi, with an anime adaptation by studio Eight Bit that aired on Japanese TV in 2017. Super Robot Wars 30 marks the debut of this series in the Super Robot Wars franchise.
The story begins when Tsubasa Kurata, a software engineer and hardcore mecha otaku from Japan, dies in a car accident. He is later reborn in the fantastical Fremmevilla Kingdom, a medieval world where giant, powerful mechs called Silhouette Knights are used to fight against horrifying creatures called Demon Beasts.
He is reborn as Ernesti ‘Eru’ Echavalier, the son of a noble family. Blessed with exceptional magical abilities and the memories of his past life, he enrolls at the Royal Laihiala Academy, an elite magic school where the pilots of the Silhouette Knights called Knight Runners are being trained to battle threats both from within and outside the kingdom. He later teams up with Adeltrud Olter and her twin brother, Archid, with the goal of piloting a Silhouette Knight of his own creation, something that has been unheard of for centuries.
Super Robot Wars 30 will be released in Western territories on PC via Steam on October 27th, 2021.
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