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North American cover art
|Genre(s)||Action, Real-time tactics|
Battalion Wars, originally to be titled as Advance Wars: Under Fire, part of Nintendo's Wars series, is a 2005 real-time tactics game for the GameCube, developed by Kuju Entertainment. A sequel, Battalion Wars 2, for the Wii, has also been released.
Battalion Wars contains the elements of both a third-person shooter and a real-time tactics game. In the midst of battle, the player will have control over a variety of units, including infantry, armored vehicles, and aircraft. Separate units or unit groups can be given commands by the player, such as to follow the player, hold their positions, man gun turrets, or attack certain targets. A map screen can be used to check the mission region, location of enemies and objectives. At any time, the player may transfer control from one unit to another. Much of the game's missions focuses on the nation of the Western Frontier, which the player controls, though in some bonus missions unlocked, the player can control the other nations of the Tundra Territories, the Solar Empire, and Xylvania.
The demilitarized zone on the border of the Western Frontier and Tundran Territories has been the site of an uneasy truce between each nation's powerful armies for many months. Both nations, considering a possibility of the war between them re-igniting, are made ready to retaliate in the event of a pre-emptive strike. Days before it does so, the control of the Tundran Empire passes from the iron fist of Tsar Gorgi to the more progressive hands of Marshal Nova. With Nova in charge, there is some hope that peace may prevail, but on the other side of the DMZ, General Herman of the Western Frontier is annoyed due to how a lack of combat has made the Frontier Troops out of shape, which prompts Brigadier Betty to come up with a way to get the troops in shape, though during the exercise she has the troops spy on the Tundrans as a precaution. During their combat patrol, Frontier Forces come across a Tundran armored division under the command of Tsar Gorgi, who secretly invades the Frontier because he wants to strengthen his nation's might. Marshal Nova, learning of Tsar Gorgi's invasion of the Frontier, forbids Gorgi from participating in the conflict in fit of rage, putting Major Nelly in control of Tundran forces in his place. This angers Gorgi, who out of anger, leaves because of his son's decision, while Nova commits himself to ending the conflict by defeating the Frontier. Aided by a new Frontier commander, Tundran forces are defeated during battles to defend the radar array at Windbreak Ridge, while they also free Frontier Spies, capture a Tundran HQ at Castle Potemkin, and destroy Marshal Nova's iron eight tanks, before moving out to attack the last Tundran Stronghold. However, during the conflict, Tsar Gorgi travels into Xylvania, a country that had been ravaged by the Frontier/Tundran rivalry, to meet with its leader, Kaiser Vlad. Vlad makes a pact with Gorgi to have Xlyvanian forces assist the Tundran forces to repel the Frontier. Unfortunately, Vlad lies about his aid, and send his bombers, commanded by Countess Ingrid, to bomb both armies. Weakened after the Xylvanian assault, both the Western Frontier and Tundran Territories join forces, forming the Alliance of Nations in a bid to stop the Xylvanian threat.
The first target of the Alliance leads to them attempting to weaken the Xylvanian forces at the Dune Sea, where the essential resource of this region, an element called "Nerocite"- an efficient vehicle fuel - is drilled and refined. Xylvania does everything to stop the Alliance hampering its resource gathering, but are defeated heavily, even after attempting to attack Tundran forces. In the final battle for the region, Frontier forces are deployed to bomb Xylvania's Primary Nerocite Mining Facility, but Kaiser Vlad deploys his elite fighter squadron to take out the Frontier bombers. Luckily for the Frontier and Tundran Forces, Tsar Gorgi, who had been in exile out of shame for his mistake, dispatchs his own personal fighter squadron to take out the threat and, upon returning to redeem himself. Although the battle ends in victory, Kommandant Ubel tracks Gorgi down at a nearby bridge by his personal light recon, and personally deals with him by throwing him off the bridge. Mortally wounded from the fall, Tsar Gorgi tells his son in his last words that he was only trying to act in the best interests of the Tundran Empire when he started the war with the Western Frontier and that the secret pact with the Xylvanians was out of desperation. After his father's murder, Marshall Nova vows revenge for his father's death.
Soon after the conflict in the Dune Seas, the war shifts to the nation of the Solar Empire, a high-tech nation (reminiscent of a Futuristic Japan) situated on a large group of islands, which had defeated Xylvania in its distant past. Empress Lei-Qo, leader of the Solar Empire, forms an alliance with the Western Frontier and Tundran Territories in exchange for their aid. After several islands are taken back from Xylvanian control, Vlad angrily orders a retreat, thus freeing the Solar Empire.
As the war begins to come to a close, Xylvania prepares to defend its own territories from invasion. However, in act of foolishness, Countess Ingrid takes a staff with her and uses it to awaken an ancient army of her nation, known as the Iron Legion. This dangerous new threat forces Xylvania into fighting on two fronts, battling both the Frontier and the Legion forces, which leads to them quickly losing ground. Though Kaiser Vlad attempts to reason with the demented Ingrid, he is met only with constant talk of Legion control by her, leading him to assume that she had become fully overtaken by the power of the Iron Legion. The Frontier Forces eventually cut a swathe through both forces, quickly find the Cenotaph (the massive structure that awoke the Legion) and destroy it, aided by the Solar Empire, who quickly intervene in the battle by sending support fighters. As the Cenotaph is destroyed, Empress Lei-Qo is quick to arrive and kill Ingrid.
In the final battle of the war, a combined force of Frontier and Tundran Troops arrive at Vladstag, the Xylvanian Capital. The task force launch a final assault, fighting through three layers of static defences and two Battlestations, before finally capturing the Xylvanian Capital. In its finale, the Frontier Commanding Officers and Marshall Nova arrive to find Kommandant Ubel and Kaiser Vlad prepping to escape. Ubel is taken down by Nova in an act of vengeance for his crimes and arrested, but Vlad manages to escapes in a transport helicopter. With the Xylvanians defeated, the war comes to an end.
There is a sequel to Battalion Wars, entitled Battalion Wars 2 for the Nintendo Wii, with a storyline that continues somewhat where Battalion Wars left off.
Battalion Wars received positive reviews. It has a Game Rankings percentage of 76.
Battalion Wars received an 8.8 on IGN.com and a 4 out of 5 stars from xplay complementing the games emphasis on strategy and third person shooting as well as its cartoonish art style while criticizing the sometimes clunky controls and lack of a multiplayer option.
Nintendo at one point planned to release the game as part of the Advance Wars series under the name "Advance Wars: Under Fire". However, its concept never intended to have this connection in mind, and because of its otherwise unrelated gameplay elements and storyline, the title was ultimately changed to avoid confusion prior to its release and the "Advance Wars" branding was abandoned in the West. The Japanese release however, did retain the "Famicom Wars" (as the series there is known) brand and it was released under the title Totsugeki!! Famicom Wars (突撃!!ファミコンウォーズ Totsugeki!! Famikon Uōzu?, "Assault!! Famicom Wars"), making the Japanese version the only official connection between the two series.
- "IGN: Battalion Wars". IGN. Archived from the original on 14 February 2007. Retrieved 2007-02-13.
- "Updated Australian Release List - 13/2/06". PALGN. 2006-02-13. Archived from the original on 2012-03-07. Retrieved 2009-08-17.
- "Release Information from GameFAQs". GqmeFAQs. Retrieved 2008-12-05.
- "E3 2005: Battalion Wars". IGN. May 18, 2005. Archived from the original on 8 February 2007. Retrieved 2007-02-13.
- "GameSpot Review". GameSpot. September 19, 2005. Archived from the original on 2013-07-06. Retrieved 2013-03-13.
- Battalion Wars Reviews