3rd Super Robot Wars Alpha: To the End of the Galaxy
|3rd Super Robot Wars Alpha: To the End of the Galaxy|
|Series||Super Robot Wars|
3rd Super Robot Wars Alpha: To the End of the Galaxy (第3次スーパーロボット大戦α 終焉の銀河へ Dai-San-Ji Sūpā Robotto Taisen Arufa: Shūen no Ginga e) is a tactical role-playing game for the PlayStation 2 developed and published by Banpresto. It's the 4th and final installment of the Super Robot Wars Alpha series, and canonically the last game produced by Banpresto, before the merging with Bandai Namco Games. It was officially released in Japan on July 28, 2005.
3rd Super Robot Wars Alpha, or simply known as Alpha 3, contains one of the largest casts to ever be placed together within a Super Robot Wars game, only out-beaten by Super Robot Wars Z (and later Super Robot Wars Z3).
Alpha 3 continues to use the Squad System from 2nd Super Robot Wars Alpha, where a maximum of four units can be assigned to a squad that counts as a single unit. Since all playable mecha are of different sizes, a size limit is placed, thus the player must consider building an effective squad. The system has received several improvements, including:
- The ability to auto-generate squads based on "balance" (generally grouping units together by series), "power" (a strong squad leader combined with strong supporting allies), or "speed" (based on movement rate; units with the same rate are grouped together). This can be useful for the novice player or one who does not wish to go to the extra effort of building squads by oneself.
- Access to the item, upgrade and pilot menus from the squad-setup menu.
- The option to change each squad members' reactions when targeted by an enemy ALL attack (a choice between "dodge" or "defend")
- Squad attack animation is slightly improved; the entire squad is now shown onscreen, instead of the one attacking.
Alpha 3 also contains the following:
- Over 60 stages, as well as bonus "EX" scenarios, side stories to the main game.
- Kazuma Kaneko, known primarily as the artist of Atlus' Shin Megami Tensei series, participates as a mechanical designer for the game. Among his designs is the Werkbau, one of the protagonist machines.
- Three possible endings: the "normal" and "good" endings, with the addition of a few bonuses in the "good" ending, and the "Ideon" ending, based on the apocalyptic conclusion to the anime of the same name.
- Ichirou Mizuki, who is involved in many openings and endings in a number of titles (including the Mazinger and Getter series), makes his voice acting debut in the role of the game's main antagonist.
- Banpresto Originals
- Brave Raideen
- Dancouga – Super Beast Machine God
- Getter Robo
- Invincible Steel Man Daitarn 3
- The King of Braves GaoGaiGar
- Neon Genesis Evangelion (franchise)
- Robot Romance Trilogy
- Space Runaway Ideon
- Steel Jeeg
- Virtual On (Debut)
During development, the manga Gundam Sentinel was to be inlcluded, but was scrapped due to a corporate order to have Gundam SEED instead. Because of this, unused data and graphics for Gundam Sentinel exist in the game's files.
The game's plot is told over the course of the 3 previous Alpha titles, but Alpha 3 focuses primarily on the events of the following series: Mobile Suit Gundam SEED, Dancouga – Super Beast Machine God, Macross 7, Steel Jeeg, The End of Evangelion, Gunbuster, The King of Braves GaoGaiGar, Chōdenji Robo Combattler V, Chōdenji Machine Voltes V, Tōshō Daimos, and Space Runaway Ideon. However, there is an overarching plot that is told over the backdrop of the various series. The game starts at the end of the "War of Seals" (see 2nd Super Robot Wars Alpha) with the crew of the Ra Calium coming upon a massive ring like structure in the Asteroid Field. This Crossgate (as it is later called) causes the Excelion (which blew up at the end of the first Alpha game to take out the STMC) and its crew to reappear even though two years have passed since the end of the first Alpha. The game then gives a summary of all the events of the previous 3 games and depending on which character the player chose at the start of the game will then start the story from there. As the story progresses the Alpha numbers find themselves fighting against the Akashic Record itself to stop the complete destruction of the galaxy which is known as "Apocalypsis".
When starting a new game, players are offered a choice between one of four original characters, each having their own distinct personality and robot (although information, such as birthdate, are customizable). Each character's story is also different; as a result, the player's choice will determine which characters from licensed series will appear first.
- The Super Robot Types
- Touma Kanou (VA: Yasuyuki Kase): Hot-blooded, dramatic and loud, Touma is a delivery boy who finds himself as the pilot of a prototype super robot named Raioh and later DaiRaiOh. Starting the game with Touma will have characters from GaoGaiGar appearing to aid him in the first stages.
- Kusuha Mizuha (VA: Mikako Takahashi): This is Kusuha's third appearance in the Alpha series, and is the only returning selectable character from Super Robot Wars Alpha and the 2nd Super Robot Wars Alpha. Kusuha begins with the GouRyu-Kai, where the Mazinkaiser and Shin Getter Robo teams make an early appearance in the first stages.
- Brooklyn Luckfield (VA: Tomokazu Sugita): Also known as Bullet, this is his third appearance in the Alpha series, and is only playable if Kusuha is selected as the protagonist. He begins using the RaiKou-Kai Kushua later pilots "Shin RyuKoOh" and Bullet pilots "Shin KoRyuOh".
- The Real Robot Types
- Cobray Gordon (VA: Yūki Tai): A mysterious young man who first appears in a machine that turns out to be Balmarian in origin. He loses his memory when something absorbs his unit and mutates it into the powerful, enigmatic Werkbau which later upgraded into the chaotic Dis Astranagant. Cobray's route is often considered the more interesting of the new characters, as his true identity offers a real surprise and treat to longtime Super Robot Wars players. Cobray's route offers characters from the Universal Century Gundam series at the very start.
- Arado Balanga (VA: Kazuya Kaichi) & Seolla Schweizer (VA: Yumi Kakazu): This is Arado and Seolla's second appearance in the Alpha series, having first appeared in the 2nd Super Robot Wars Alpha. They are only playable if Cobray is selected as the protagonist, and both pilot the Wild Wurger and Wild Falken units, respectively.
- Selena Recital (VA: Yūko Satō): Speaking in a combination of Japanese and Spanish, this mysterious and deadly secret agent's true intentions are always in question. Players are expected to switch sides more often than any other character when using Selena. Her mecha, the AS Soleares and later the AS Alegrias, has the best speed of the four protagonists, in terms of performance and motif, as well as having the greatest variety of attacks, which bestow negative status on enemy units. Selena's route offers characters from Gundam SEED and Gundam Wing Endless Waltz in the earliest stages.
- Ibis Douglas (VA: Akeno Watanabe), Tsugumi Takakura (VA: Tomoko Hasekawa) & Sleigh Presty (VA: Miki Nagasawa): This is Ibis, Tsugumi and Sleigh's second appearance in the Alpha series, having first appeared in the 2nd Super Robot Wars Alpha. They are only playable if Selena is selected as the protagonist. Ibis and Tsugumi return in the Altairion and Sleigh in the Vegalion.
Appearing in all four of the originals' stories is the SRX Team, composed of Ryusei Date (VA: Shinichiro Miki), Raidiese F. Branstein (VA: Ryotaro Okiayu), Aya Kobayashi (VA: Yumi Toma), Mai Kobayashi (VA: Ai Orikasa), and Viletta Vadim (VA: Atsuko Tanaka). With the exception of Viletta, all were absent in the 2nd Super Robot Wars Alpha. Initially, Ryusei sorties in the R-Blade Custom, while Viletta returns to the R-Gun Powered, after piloting the Huckebein MK III L. Later on, the SRX team receives the SRX altered, which Ryusei names Banpreios.
Sanger Zonvolt (VA: Kenichi Ono), having first appeared in Super Robot Wars Alpha Gaiden, makes his third appearance in the Alpha series, piloting the Dygenguard, while Rätsel Feinschmecker (VA: Tetsu Inada) makes his second appearance, piloting the Huckebein MK III R Trombe and later, the "Ausenseiter". Both characters appear in all four of the originals' stories.
- The inclusion of Virtual On marks the first time a video game franchise not owned by Banpresto, Bandai or Sunrise has been included in a Super Robot Wars game (Virtual On is produced by Sega).
- This is one of the few Super Robot Wars games where a character makes a reference to another Super Robot Wars title in another universe or continuity. During the finale of The End of Evangelion plot, Kaworu Nagisa makes comments that imply he came from or is aware of the events of Super Robot Wars MX, which also features The End of Evangelion.