Gunparade March (ガンパレード・マーチ) is a simulation game developed by Alfa System for the PlayStation that is separated into two gameplay segments, an adventure mode and a combat mode. During the adventure segment the player can interact with various AI controlled NPCs and increase various skills through academic studies while the combat section has the characters applying what they have learned in turn-based strategy battles. The game was released only in Japan by Sony on September 28, 2000 and was later adapted into several other forms of media including a manga series that began in 2001 and a 12 episode anime television show produced by J.C. Staff in 2003.
A sequel to Gunparade was also created by Alfa System in 2006 for the PlayStation 2 called Gunparade Orchestra which was released in the form of a trilogy of three separate games, White Chapter, Green Chapter and Blue Chapter.
The game is set against the backdrop of a long-running conflict between Earth and alien invaders referred to as Phantom Beasts that first invaded Earth in 1945 during World War II, bringing the war to a screeching halt as a new war began. The conflict has continued to the present day of 1999; a time when the Phantom Beasts control half of the planet. In their efforts to combat the alien force, humans have developed Humanoid Walking Tanks, or HWTs, as their primary means of fighting the invaders. However, Japan, suffering a shortage of soldiers, begins drafting high school students as soldiers and enrolling them in a special program that keeps them in a high school setting for their educational needs when not training or on the battlefield.
While Gunparade March was not marketed very heavily during its inital release, the game slowly became a cult classic through word of mouth in Japan. Gunparade would gain praise from critics as well with the game winning the "Best Dramatic Presentation" award at the Seiun Awards in 2001, which is one of the oldest science fiction award ceremonies held annually in Japan. Naoki Suda, a producer and designer at Alfa System, has also stated that Gunparade March is the signature title developed by the studio and helped make Alfa System more well-known in the industry .
- Due to the high degree of freedom the player has in Gunparde March, the game is infamous for its large number of bugs. The game's technical problems are so prevalent that Sony listed workarounds for seven of the games most common bugs when the title was re-released on PSN in 2010.
- Official Japanese Webite
- Q&A with Developer Alfa System (Controller Warriors, 2020).