Tech Romancer is a 1 on 1 fighting game in the same vein as King of the Monsters: the player controls a massive fighter that squares off against another fighter with the environment that the two battle in taking damage as the combatants are hurled around. The game features a simple combat system that consists of a light attack, which can be comboed together, and a heavy attack, which is ranged for most of the chracters, and each of the robots represents a different "giant fighting robot" genre from Japanese culture. In that sense, the game is a sort of VS game for fans of giant robot media. The game also features finishing moves that are similar to Mortal Kombat's trademarked Fatalities, except that they can be called up in the final round of combat when an opponent has very little health left. The moves are avoidable, however, and can only be attempted once, making them more like Guilty Gear's DESTRUCTION moves. In addition, the game has a block button, and each mech has an armor rating. As blocking is used more, the armor meter decreases, until it eventually depletes and blocking now merely reduces damage instead of stopping it altogether. This promotes a more aggressive play style as a mech with destroyed armor will take more damage with or without a block. The game is also unique for fighting games, especially at the time, because each character had a specific story mode that brought them not only into battle against most of the other mechs from the game, as well as three "boss" mechs at the end, but many stories had branching paths that would be triggered if certain conditions were met during a given battle.
Two mechs enter, one mech survives. The combat in Tech Romancer is simple on the surface, but can become quite complex with the addition of guard breaks, super moves, dashes, and 3D evasion. There are even items that will be revealed when prominent buildings are destroyed. These can give the effects of healing, powering up, or activating Hero Mode, in which the mech will have access to new moves and abilities for a short time.
Tech Romancer, as mentioned above, features characters from the Giant Fighting Robot genre of Japanese television and movies.
G. Kaiser: A superhero type mech in the same vein as Voltron, G. Kaiser is piloted by the determined and pure-hearted Junpei Todoroki.
Dixen: Representing the transforming mech type made famous by the numerous Gundam series and piloted either by Nakato Farland or Halma Frockheart (only matters in Story Mode), Dixen is an extremely versatile mech that can transform to meet many different situations.
Pulsion: A "living robot" that mimics the likes of Ultraman and his many spin-offs, Pulsion is not piloted, but actually IS either Kai or Kei (once again only mattering in the story mode) grown to massive proportions and endowed with a new form.
Bollon: A rotund robot of a more lighthearted and silly type, piloted by the equally lighthearted and silly Pollin.
Wise Duck: A standard "mech," more of a lumbering, bipedal tank, the Wise Duck is comandeered by an entire squad of crack soldiers.
Gourai: A giant robot armed with a massive sword, Gourai represents the "evil" mechs that appear to terrorize the hero of most of the above genres. It is piloted by the enigmatic Red Shadow.