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Produced by G.REV, the same developers who released Metal Black and Border Down, Senko no Ronde is a SHMUP-meets-Fighter game featureing two-dimensional movement. The vehicles, called Rounders, fight in a circular field with a variety of bullets, missiles, and laser weaponry.
The world itself is a typical anime sci-fi setting in which humans fled earth following a great disaster, and after 1500 years are only now returning to the planet. Much of the story takes place in colonies set up across the solar system. While the Aria Federation acts as a systemwide government, much of the police activity and military work is actually handled by private security organizations run by large corporations such as Goddiver. Many character backgrounds harken to an incident in the past known as the Embassy Occupation Incident, where terrorists took several hundred people hostage, then self-destructed, killing dignitaries, ambassadors, and civilians.
The game is best known for the way it incorporates Shoot'Em Up features, particularly the fact that each Rounder possesses a superpowered boss mode (called B.O.S.S.) which, when activated, turns the player from a small fighter into a large-scale boss with many intricate attack patterns.
Senko no Ronde is often compared to Virtual On, as it has a few similar gameplay elements.
The game has a sequel, Senko no Ronde DUO, with an extended character selection and an expansion of the story, sadly only released in Japan with no intentions of bringing the sequel overseas.
A follow-up title is currently in the works for the Play Station Vita and it's expected for 2013 release, although this title will be something of a Spiritual Successor as it will not be set in the universe of the other two games.
Senko no Ronde provides trope examples of:
- After the End: Upwards of 1,500 years after the "Great Disaster" drove humans away from earth, to live in space and in colonies on other planets.
- Age-Inappropriate Dress: Ernula's Cartridge-A1 outfit has her wearing a see-through dress and Thigh-High Boots.
- American Kirby Is Hardcore: The North American and European box-art of the first game, although it only gives the impression the game is all about cold-hearted machines rather than the Space Opera storyline inspired by Toward the Terra.
- Apocalypse How: Told in metaphor during the opening narration, where the end of the world is described as a crying girl whose wailing caused the entire world to suffer.
- Finding the truth about the "Great Disaster" is the motivation for several characters in the game. Supposedly, the records are closely guarded by Goddiver's Corrupt Corporate Executive.
- Ascended Extra: Narukami, normally an NPC character seen in the Story Mode, is playable through Karel by Downloadable Content in the first game.
- Anechka Alferov, Mika's girlfriend and another Story Mode extra, becomes playable in Senko no Ronde: Dis-United Order.
- Attack Drone: Lili's Brinsta, Karel's Azureus, Mika's Ventuno-II and Ernula's Castrato all possess attack bits. Lili's fires lasers, Karel's and Mika's fire missiles, and Ernula's reflects her Rounder's Wave Motion Gun around the battlefield.
- Bare Your Midriff: Changpo, Cuilan, Fabian, Ernula, and Karel have costumes that exposes their mid-sections.
- Berserk Button: Cuilan, an android boy, gets very angry if he's treated like a kid.
- Sakurako Sanjo gets pretty angry at anyone who messes with Cuilan.
- BFG: Orangette's Shell, the Orbital Sword.
- Bullet Hell: The final stages in each character's story mode is a more straight version, with the character's Rounder facing a battleship or space station in true Shoot'Em Up fashion.
- Almost every attack from every Rounder invokes this in some fashion, B.O.S.S. modes even moreso, but still pale in comparison to the Story Mode final battles.
- Calling Your Attacks
- Cheerful Child: Ernula.
- Cool Big Sis: Changpo, to Cuilan.
- Curtains Match the Window: Ernula and Lili.
- Cute and Psycho: Feltelen "Lili" Levinas, it's hard not to like her meek personality... until she snaps...
Lili: "Will you show me how beautifully you can die?"
- Downer Ending: In Lili's Scenario-A ending, she thrusts herself into the core the Final Boss, and after a blinding flash of light, Lili and her Brinsta were never seen or heard from again. After a fruitless, week-long search for her, Mika and Fabian came across an old farewell recording of Lili made a long time ago and revealed that she knew all along about her "other" side. This became a Tear Jerker moment for Mika and Fabian.
- Thankfully these events are not Canon as she lives to be in Senko no Ronde: Dis-United Order.
- Downloadable Content: Sadly the first game suffers from the "No Export for You" rule for North America and Europe, but it may be possible to use them by obtain the DLCs with Japanese Microsoft Points and a Japanese Xbox Live account to purchase them via the Japanese Xbox Marketplace since the North American and European versions of Senko no Ronde is region-free..
- Fan Nickname: "B.O.S.S.," said aloud, doesn't always convey quite what it is. Some players refer to the B.O.S.S. modes as simply as Shell.
- As it turns out, several characters shorthand it to "Shell" too.
- Forehead of Doom: One of Sakurako's costumes has her holding bangs back by a headset.
- Fun with Acronyms: B.O.S.S. stands for Booster for Over-armed Shell System.
- S.S.S. (Triple S) stands for Aria Federation's Special Space Service.
- G.S.O. stands for Goddiver Security Organization.
- Fragile Speedster: Cuilan's Orangette.
- Frickin' Laser Beams: Homing lasers. Bending lasers. Ring lasers. Laser bombs. The future loves lasers.
- Guide Dang It: The North American and European manual of the first game contain inaccurate command input to perform each Rounders' special attacks. The actual button input for each attack can be found in game's Image Gallery under "Others" in the Extras menu.
- It also doesn't help the Xbox 360 version of Senko no Ronde lacks any sort of tutorials for playing the game in general that the original arcade game had.
- Hair of Gold, Eyes of Gold: Ernula.
- Hey, It's That Voice!: What do you mean, Sakurako Sanjo is Kirby?!
- Hitbox Dissonance: Senko no Ronde is, at its core, a Bullet Hell game. It would be considerably more difficult if not for this.
- Hot-Blooded: Fabian, as he he is competitive with Mika and his position as squad leader.
- Changpo was also somewhat competitive with her progidy-like piloting skills, which ends up causing trouble for everybody. As she spent time as Sakurako's subordinate, Changpo matured and grew out of this.
- Humongous Mecha: The Rounders, which are "as common as cars". Special military-use Rounders called "Hi-Rounders" require a special licence.
- In-Series Nickname: "Lili" is pet name for Feltelen Levinas.
- Fabian Fatman gave himself the nickname of "Fastman" simply because he does not like his surname.
- Jack of All Stats: Changpo's Citronette.
- Lady of War: Sakurako.
- Last Chance Hit Point: When the Armor Guage is depleted, the character's Rounder enters Armor Vanish mode. While in Armor Vanish, the Rounder's hitbox becomes visible and maneuverability increases. The Rounder's Charge Gauge also fills gradually over time during Armor Vanish. Upon entering Vanish mode, an Anti-Field clears bullets around the Rounder, as well. Any further hits while in Armor Vanish will result in defeat.
- Latex Space Suit: Some of the characters wear one.
- Limit Break: If a B.O.S.S. is activated while during Armor Vanish, it will initiate its Final B.O.S.S. mode. During this mode, the Shell gains different and more powerful attacks. A Final B.O.S.S.' energy gauge depletes slower than normal, as well. If the opponent succeeds in destroying the Shell during Final B.O.S.S. mode, the Rounder will be destroyed with it.
- This has made for some very impressive comeback battles in tournament play, though is also risky.
- Macross Missile Massacre: Many Rounders launch sprays of missiles as special attacks. Some Shells do this, too.
- Megane: Karel, and to a lesser extent, Mika.
- Meganekko: One of Sakurako's B.O.S.S. cut-ins shows her holding a pair of glasses.
- Mighty Glacier: Ernula's Castrato.
- Mirror Match: In Ernula's story from the first game, she is eventually pitted against one of her own duplicate units.
- More Dakka: It's hard to find a Rounder or a Shell that doesn't spew bullets everywhere. The Story Mode final bosses suppliment enough dakka with a handy Wave Motion Gun or two.
- Ms. Fanservice: Changpo, and for the lolicons, Ernula.
- Multiple Endings: The first game's Story Mode have two branching story paths that can change the ending depending on certain story dialogues heard during a match.
- No Export for You: The game's sequel, Senko no Ronde: Dis-United Order, and to make matters worse, the game is also region-locked. Ironic considering the North American version of the first Senko no Ronde (a.k.a. WarTech) is actually region-free.
- The aforementioned DLCs for first game also qualify due to its unavailability to North Americia and Europe.
- Panty Shot: Changpo's Cartridge-B1 and Lili's Cartridge-A2 outfits have cut-ins with their panties peeking out.
- Power Glows: Karel's Azureus' sub-weapon makes it tails glow in the original arcade. In the Xbox 360 version, Azureus' entire body glows.
- Reflecting Laser: Ernula's rounder, Castrato, wields a weapon called Ensemble Laser. If she deploys her Option Unit "Consonance", the Ensemble Laser can be reflected around the battlefield, penning in the enemy or hitting them from unexpected angles.
- Ridiculously Human Robot: According Sakurako in Ernula's Scenario-A path, she finds out that Ernula is closer to being human than any present android ever created.
- Roboteching: Ernula's Curtain Call, Lili's Brinsta and Madame Butterfly B.O.S.S Mode, and Changpo's Citronette do this with lasers. Several Rounders fire missiles that do this, too.
- Robot Girl: Ernula, actually, consists of several android girls. Cuilan, an android boy, is sometimes mistaken for one.
- Rule of Cool: There's no justification for B.O.S.S. modes beyond this.
- Sequential Boss: S.S.S. battleship Basso Serio and Squid both do this. Squid only has two forms, while Basso Serio puts you against the bow gun emplacements, the bridge tower gun emplacements and main cannon, then the jump core defense system. All of this is followed by a battle with another character.
- Shout-Out: Whenever another player enters in the game during a single-player session in the arcade game, "THE HI-ROUNDER IS APPROACHING FAST!" appears on screen.
- Split Personality: Lili due to experimental augmentations. During her Scenario-A ending, it was revealed that she knew all along about her unstable personality.
- Super-Deformed: Chibi versions of the characters can be purchased as DLCs.
- Super Mode: The B.O.S.S. found with each Rounder turns it into a Shoot'Em Up-inspired boss vehicle with large arrays of devastating weaponry and the ability to damage the enemy just by touching them. Knowing when to activate a B.O.S.S. stock is important in high-level play strategies.
- Team Mom: Sakurako, to Changpo and Cuilan.
- Wave Motion Gun: Boss unit Squid and some of the gun emplacements on the Basso Serio battleship. Ernula's Curtain Call has one, as well, using its crab-like arms as a Wave Motion Tuning Fork.
- You Gotta Have Pink Hair: Lili.
- White-Haired Pretty Boy: Narukami.
- Zettai Ryouki