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A niche game for the Playstation 2.
In Robot Alchemic Drive Japan is suddenly attacked by a giant robot from outer space called a Volgara. Only the scion of the Tsukioka clan (Naoto, Ryo, or Yui) has a chance at fending them off, thanks to the Humongous Mecha ("Meganite") built by their family's company.
The game had a unique control scheme, using the shoulder buttons to move the Meganites' legs, and analog sticks to throw punches. In addition, your characters weren't inside the robots, but had to find a good vantage point on the battlefield while also avoiding being stepped on.
Character designs were supplied by Cowboy Bebops Toshihiro Kawamoto.
Robot Alchemic Drive provides examples of:
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Yui's romance subplot is with Souya, the hot-headed, leather-clad controller of his own Meganite.
- Battle Royale With Cheese: Happens offscreen while you're storming the Volgara City. You hear radio updates of the combined world forces taking on the bulk of the Volgara.
- Big Damn Heroes: During the above-mentioned Battle Royale With Cheese, the American forces--thus far unmentioned in the game--show up out of nowhere to pitch in right when the battle seems to be turning against the Earth forces.
- Big Lipped Alligator Moment: In-universe, Dantarion is entirely unrelated to the Volgara, appears in one mission, and is never mentioned again. He exists solely so that you can fight a transparent cut-and-paste Godzilla.
- Camera Screw: Part of the difficulty of the game. The camera is fixed on your character at all times, so controlling the mech can be very easy or very difficult depending on where you are from it. Positioning your character on the mech's shoulders or head is the best perspective you can get for controlling it.
- The camera also tends to follow any projectiles fired by your Meganite, which usually isn't too bad, but if Vavel's Rocket Punch misses or doesn't kill the enemy, you're SOL because the camera's going to follow that while the Volgara's pounding on your robot, and you can't see to stop it.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: One of these is trying to drive Nanao's place of work out of business. You can save her job by "accidentally" knocking over the executive's building.
- Crazy Prepared/Properly Paranoid: Everyone thought the elder Tsukioka was insane for wasting the family fortune on giant robots. Then it turns out that's exactly what they need when aliens invade.
- David Versus Goliath/Death of a Thousand Cuts: There's one mission where you're forced to use Gllang, and it's stuck in Tank mode. Once you've fired off what armaments it has, you have to take down the Volgara using nothing but your character's grenades.
- Destructive Saviour: Playing as a giant robot stomping and fighting through the city streets can get messy. However, you get rewards for keeping select buildings standing and penalties for the level of damage a city suffers (or a bonus if it happens to be very little). You could "accidentally" knock down a few buildings for story reasons however...
- Exact Time to Failure: Vavel's Super Mode doesn't last long; if you're not sure you can win the battle with it quickly, it will explode and the mission will end.
- Fragile Speedster: Laguiole moves the fastest of the bots, hit faster, and jumps highest, but is the weakest physically.
- The Ghost: The profiles in the manual makes it sound like Naoto, Ryo and Yui are siblings, but only your chosen avatar is ever mentioned in the game itself.
- Going for the Big Scoop: Mika Banhara goes to near suicidal lengths to get the story on the Volgara. One can appreciate her zeal, but is it really that important to the story to have the news van running around underfoot?
- Humongous Mecha: Vavel, Gllang, and Laguiole. The latter are also Transforming Mecha, able to turn into a tank and a plane.
- Infinite Supplies: Subverted. The organization is nearly bankrupt from building and maintaining the Meganites, so early in the game they arrange a deal with the government to be paid bounties on dead Volgara.
- Jack of All Stats: Vavel is the most 'average' of the Meganites, with fairly balanced speed, strength, and defenses.
- Kaiju: Most of the enemies are robotic creatures called Volgara, but one is a dinosaur-ish monster named Dantarion.
- The Kid with the Remote Control: Meganites are operated remotely, which means you need to find a good vantage point without getting blown up or stepped on.
- Lazy Backup: Sort of. You can only use one Meganite in any given battle, despite having three at your disposal. Whichever one you choose to use is presumed to be the only one 'ready' at the time. Other missions force you to use a given one, usually with the Hand Wave that the others are undergoing maintenance.
- Mighty Glacier: Gllang is big and slow, but hits the hardest of all the Meganites.
- More Dakka: Gllang's "Fire All Ordnance," which unloads every weapon the 'bot has.
- So Bad It's Good: In-universe, the voice acting in this game is intentionally bad as a homage to poor quality dubbing of late 70's-early 80's anime, just like how the rest of the game is a...
- Shout-Out: To all the retro Humongous Mecha anime out there. Yui bases her wadrobe on the heroines of those shows. And Vavel has a Rocket Punch and a finishing attack awfully similar to Mazinger Z's Breast Fire. Also, fighting Dantarion in Tokyo is a clear Shout-Out to Godzilla.
- You also have the option (unsafe in some cases as it is) to direct the battle from on top of your mecha's shoulder.
- Stealth Pun: The city where most of the battles take place is named Senjo ("battlefield").
- Spiritual Successor: To Human's Romote Control Dandy on PS 1.
- Teleporters and Transporters: The Volgara's teleportation allows them to avoid most long-range attacks, which is the Hand Wave given for why you need to fight them with giant robots; oddly, when they use it in gameplay, they always teleport straight up, and come plummeting back to the ground. Eventually, though, humanity develops missiles that can target them anyway.
- Theme Music Power-Up: The battle music shifts depending on who has the upper hand. It gets more downbeat and desperate if you're losing, but goes into a triumphant battle theme when you start to win, or if you gain a new weapon.
- This Is a Drill: Vavel can turn one of his hands into a drill, and some of the Volgara have drill-hands as well.
- Those Two Guys: The two tank pilots.
- Transforming Mecha: Gllang turns into a tank, while Laguiole turns into a jet. Vavel doesn't transform, but instead gets a Super Mode.