Super Robot Wars is a strategy RPG series dating back to 1991. At first, it seemed no different than the various other crossover games that developer Banpresto was famous for, but as time progressed, it would become the developer's most successful series.
Much of the appeal lies in the fact that the series ties together elements of various anime, manga, and video games, along with a handful of original characters and concepts, to create one cohesive story. This allows players to create a dream team consisting of their favorite robots and use them to conquer various scenarios based on episodes of each series. Additionally, the crossover nature of the series allows the developers to save fan-favorite characters from death or rewrite unpopular parts of a series by using elements of another series.
The series is also known for its highly-choreographed animation. While the series used static sprites and pasted-on weapon effects all the way until the last days of the PS1 era, the series began to more closely mimic the choreography used in anime with Super Robot Wars Alpha.
Although the series title has always been written as 'Super Robot Taisen' in Japanese characters, the correct way to render the title in the English alphabet has always been 'Super Robot Wars'. When Super Robot Taisen: Original Generation was brought to North America the title had to be changed to 'Taisen' to prevent a trademark conflict with the television show Robot Wars.
The first entry in Banpresto's Super Robot Wars franchise was released in 1991 for the Game Boy. The premise was simple: take the hero robots from Dynamic Productions' Mazinger franchise (Mazinger Z and Great Mazinger) and Getter Robo franchise (Getter Robo and Getter Robo G), along with Sunrise's Mobile Suit Gundam franchise (every Gundam production up to that point except Gundam 0080, including Gundam F91 which was released only a month prior) and pit them against each other and their respective enemies.
Later that year, Super Robot Wars 2 would be released for the Famicom; this game is the first game of the "Classic Timeline" and would be the game that future titles in the franchise would build from. This is also the first title where Banpresto would use characters and mecha designed exclusively for an SRW; these characters and robots would be named "Banpresto Originals."
Super Robot Wars 3 for the Super Famicom would be the first game to feature series outside of the Mazinger, Getter Robo, and Gundam franchises, as well as build on the mechanics of its predecessor. This trend would continue with SRW3's two SNES sequels, Super Robot Wars EX and Super Robot Wars 4. Super Robot Wars 4 was originally meant to be the end of SRW's Classic Timeline, but would be retconned in favor of Super Robot Wars F and F Final for the Sega Saturn. SRWF/Final are often seen as the pinnacle of the early games, and sometimes even the entire franchise.
Although there were some relatively minor releases after F Final, the next huge Super Robot Wars game wouldn't come until May 2000: Super Robot Wars Alpha for the Sony Playstation. This game is perhaps most well-known for being the first game with fully-animated robots instead of using static sprites. Super Robot Wars Alpha is the first game in the "Alpha" series which would end with Super Robot Wars Alpha 3 in 2005 for the Playstation 2.
The three Super Robot Wars Compact 2 games for the Wonderswan, which would later be combined into Super Robot Wars Impact, form a third "timeline" in the SRW series.
Super Robot Taisen: Original Generation for the Game Boy Advance is the first of a special series of SRW games. Instead of anime series being mixed together, the Banpresto Original storylines from each game would be combined to form a single plot. The game would receive a sequel known as Super Robot Taisen: Original Generation 2, both of which would be remade into Super Robot Wars: Original Generations for the PS2 and would be succeeded by Super Robot Wars: Original Generation Gaiden. The original two OG entries, along with Endless Frontier, are the only SRW games thus far to be released outside of the Asian market.
Even though Banpresto was completely absorbed into Namco Bandai in early 2008, the Super Robot Wars series remains. Released in September of 2008, Super Robot Wars Z was the first SRW game (not counting the remake of Super Robot Wars A) to be published by Namco Bandai.
Along the way, there were several SRWs released that carry their own self-contained continuity, including the Game Boy Advance games, Neo Super Robot Wars, and more.
This section covers the core gameplay mechanics of Super Robot Wars. Mechanics specific to certain games (such as the Squad System or body part targeting) are explained in their respective game pages.
Each "unit" in Super Robot Wars consists of a robot and its pilot, both of which have their own separate stats. A robot's HP, Energy (EN), Armor, Mobiliy, Weapon Strength, and Accuracy (in recent games) can be raised using money received by destroying enemies. Pilot stats include Melee, Range, Evade, Defense, Accuracy, and Skill, and Spirit Points (SP). The method of raising pilot stats varies on a game-to-game basis, with some allowing direct modification of stats using Pilot Points (PP) while others include one-use stat-raising items. Early games (pre-Alpha Gaiden) gave each robot a Limit stat, which is an upper cap on the pilot's accuracy and mobility. (This is perhaps a reference to the original Mobile Suit Gundam, where Amuro Ray's Newtype abilities caused his reflexes to become "too fast" for the Gundam)
Robots have a variety of weapons that they can use to attack their enemy, each with variable range and weapon strength. Some can be used after moving, others cannot, and a few attacks (known as MAP attacks) hit everyone, friend or foe, within a certain range on the map. These weapons are balanced by having a certain amount of ammo, requiring a certain amount of EN, and/or requiring a certain level of Will. Will is another pilot stat that is generally set at 100 at the start of the map and then raises or lowers depending on whether the pilot (or his/her teammates) successfully hits or dodges attacks, misses or is hit by attacks, destroys an enemy, or has their EN/Ammo refilled. In most cases, a Will of 130 is required for a Super Robot pilot to activate a finishing move.
Pilots have access to Spirit Commands, which are essentially "spells" that temporarily boost a robot's stats or hinder an enemy robot. These commands use SP, which is very difficult (in a few games, impossible) to refill. Large, multi-pilot robots like Combattler V or GoLion are generally weaker, but are balanced by having a large amount of Spirit Commands to choose from.
The object of each map varies, but generally involves destroying all enemies while not letting a mothership be destroyed. Motherships, such as Zeta Gundam's Argama or the titular battleship of Macross, can restore HP and are one of the only ways to restore EN and Ammo, so players must carefully consider where they are placed on the battlefield.
List of Series Featured in Super Robot Wars
This is a list of all series which have been included in Super Robot Wars, along with their debut game.
Mobile Suit Gundam - Universal Century
- Mobile Suit Gundam (1)
- Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team (64)
- Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket (3)
- Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memories (3)
- Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam (TV - 1, A New Translation - SC2nd)
- Mobile Suit Gundam Sentinel (4)
- Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ (1)
- Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack (1)
- Mobile Suit Gundam F90 (Alpha)
- Mobile Suit Gundam F91 (1)
- Mobile Suit Crossbone Gundam (Alpha 2)
- Mobile Suit Victory Gundam (2G)
Mobile Suit Gundam - Cosmic Era
- Mobile Suit Gundam SEED (Alpha 3)
- Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Astray (W)
- Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Astray R (W)
- Mobile Suit Gundam SEED X Astray (W)
- Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny (SC2nd)
- Mobile Suit Gundam SEED C.E. 73 Stargazer (K)
Mobile Suit Gundam - Other Alternate Universes
- Mobile Fighter G Gundam (2G)
- New Mobile Report Gundam Wing (Shin)
- New Mobile Report Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz (F Final)
- After War Gundam X (Alpha Gaiden)
- Turn A Gundam (Alpha Gaiden)
- Mobile Suit Gundam 00 (Z2 Hakai/Saisei)
- Mobile Suit Gundam 00: A Wakening of the Trailblazer (UX)
- SD Gundam Sangokuden Brave Battle Warriors (UX)
- Mazinger Z (1)
- Great Mazinger (1)
- UFO Robo Grendizer (2)
- Mazinkaiser (Banpresto version - F Final, OVA - GC)
- Mazinkaiser vs. The Great General of Darkness (J)
- Shin Mazinger Shougeki! Z-hen (Z2 Hakai)
- Mazinkaiser SKL (UX)
- Getter Robo (1)
- Getter Robo G (1)
- Shin Getter Robo (4)
- Shin Getter Robo vs. Neo Getter Robo (R)
- Getter Robo Armageddon (D)
- New Getter Robo (Neo)
Macross / Super Dimension
- Super Dimension Fortress Macross (Alpha)
- Super Dimension Fortress Macross: Do You Remember Love? (Alpha)
- Macross Plus (Alpha)
- Macross 7 (D)
- Macross Dynamite 7 (Z2 Saisei)
- Macross Zero (SC2nd)
- Macross Frontier (L)
- Macross Frontier: The False Songstress (Z2 Hakai)
- Macross Frontier: The Wings of Goodbye (Z2 Saisei)
- Super Dimension Century Orguss (Z)
- Super Electromagnetic Robot Combattler V (3)
- Super Electromagnetic Machine Voltes V (Shin)
- Brave Leader Daimos (4)
Muteki / Invincible
- Invincible Super Man Zambot 3 (4)
- Invincible Steel Man Daitarn 3 (3)
- Invincible Robo Trider G7 (Shin)
Dunbine / Byston Well
- Aura Battler Dunbine (EX)
- New Story of Aura Battler Dunbine (4)
- The Wings of Rean (UX)
- Armored Trooper Votoms (Z2 Hakai)
- Armored Trooper Votoms: The Last Red Shoulder (Z2 Hakai)
- Armored Trooper Votoms: Red Shoulder Document: Roots of Ambition (Z2 Hakai)
- Armored Trooper Votoms: Pailsen Files (Z2 Hakai)
- Galactic Cyclone Braiger (Alpha Gaiden)
- Galactic Gale Baxinger (GC)
- Galactic Whirlwind Sasuraiger (GC)
- Absolutely Invincible Raijin-Oh (GC)
- Energetic Explosion Ganbaruger (Neo)
- Hot-Blooded Strongest Go-Saurer (Neo)
- Perfect Victory Daiteioh (Neo)
- Neon Genesis Evangelion (F)
- The End of Evangelion (Alpha)
- Rebuild of Evangelion (1.0&2.0 - L)
Full Metal Panic!
- Full Metal Panic! (J)
- Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu (J)
- Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid (W)
- Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann (Z2 Hakai)
- Gurren Lagann the Movie: Childhood's End (Z2 Hakai)
- Gurren Lagann the Movie: The Lights in the Sky are Stars (Z2 Saisei)
Others, by game
- 3 - Brave Raideen
- EX - Demon God of War Goshogun
- 4 - Super Beast Machine God Dancougar, Heavy Metal L-Gaim
- Shin - Gaiking, Blue Comet SPT Layzner
- F Final - Aim for the Top! Gunbuster, Space Runaway Ideon
- 64 - Giant Robo: The Animation, Six God Combination Godmars
- Compact 2 series - Dangaioh, Ninja Senshi Tobikage, Machine Robo: Revenge of Cronos
- Alpha Gaiden - Combat Mecha Xabungle
- A - Metal Armor Dragonar, Martian Successor Nadesico
- R - Martian Successor Nadesico: The Prince of Darkness, GEAR Fighter Dendoh
- Alpha 2 - Steel Jeeg, Brain Powerd, The King of Braves GaoGaiGar
- Compact 3 - Combining Squadron Mechander Robo, Legend of Demon Lands Acrobunch, Betterman, The Vision of Escaflowne
- D - Megazone 23 (Part 1&2), The Big O, Future Robo Daltanius
- MX - RaXenphon, Hades Project Zeorymer
- GC - Strongest Robo Daioja
- Alpha 3 - The King of Braves GaoGaiGar FINAL
- J - Space Knight Tekkaman Blade
- W - Space Knight Tekkaman Blade II, Detonator Orgun, Beast King GoLion
- Scramble Commander the 2nd: Shinkon Gattai Goddanar
- Z - Super Heavy God Gravion, Super Heavy God Gravion Zwei, Space Warrior Baldios, Space Emperor God Sigma, Psalm of Planets Eureka Seven, Overman King Gainer, The Big O Second Season
- K - Fafner in the Azure, Gaiking: Legend of Daiku Maryu, Kotetsushin Jeeg, Zoids Genesis, GunXSword
- NEO - Jushin Liger, NG Knight Lamune & 40, Shippu! Iron Leaguer, Lord of Lords Ryu Knight
- L - Dancougar Nova, Linebarrels of Iron, Fight! Iczer-1, Iczer Reborn
- Z2 Hakai-hen - Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion, Psalm of Planets Eureka Seven: Good Night, Sleep Tight, Young Lovers
- Z2 Saisei-hen - Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2, Messenger of the Sun Testujin-28
- UX: Fafner in the Azure: Heaven and Earth, Heroman, Kishin Houkou Demonbane