Super Robot Wars Z2 is a series of games for the Sony PlayStation Portable. It is a sequel to the PS2 game Super Robot Wars Z, and is split into two games: Hakai-Hen (Destruction Chapter) and Saisei-Hen (Regeneration Chapter). Hakai-Hen primarily contains the events of the first season, and was released on April 14, 2011, while Saisei-Hen deals with the first Battle for Tokyo, and the events of R2, released a year later on April 5, 2012.
A set of sequels were later released, titled Super Robot Wars Z3: Jigoku-Hen (Time Prison Chapter, released April 10, 2014), and Tengoku-Hen (Regeneration Chapter, released April 2, 2015). Unlike Z2, Code Geass has much less of a presence in the story with Guren S.E.I.T.E.N. Eight Elements, Lancelot Albion, Shinkiro, and Lancelot Frontier and their respective pilots as the sole representatives.
The world of Super Robot Wars Z2 is actually composed of portions of several different worlds, forcibly merged by phenomena known as Dimensional Quakes some twenty years before the start of the series/game. The Holy Britannian Empire found itself sharing most of North and South America with the Union of Solar Energy and Free Nations from Mobile Suit Gundam 00, and both nations merged into the Britannian Union, with Britannia's nobles clearly at the top, under Emperor Charles.
This world has two Japans, situated right next to each other. The "Outer" Japan is the one conquered by the Britannian Union and turned into Area 11, while the Japan between it and China, in the real-world location, is still free (and home to Super Robots such as Mazinger Z and Dai-Guard), with Britannia declining to attack it as well. Area 11 is also home to a number of refugees from the Astrageus Galaxy of Armored Trooper VOTOMS. The Brittanian Union often uses Astregean mercenaries to keep the peace in the Area 11 ghettos.
Saji Crossroad, Louise Halevy, and Relena Darlian are all students at Ashford Academy, the latter transferring at the beginning of the Hakai-Hen. This ultimately brings Setsuna F. Seiei, Heero Yuy , and Duo Maxwell. The latter two, along with Chirico Cuvie from VOTOMS, become involved in his rebellion early on.
Kallen Kōzuki takes advantage of the altered world by participating in a Mecha-fighting sport using her Knightmare Frame against Astragean Armored Troopers to improve her fighting skills. Her use of a KMF and her skills quickly earn her the nickname "Red Devil of the Elevens". Around the time Crowe first arrives to Area 11, she is challenged by Chirico Cuvie. Chirico is nearly cheated out of his match when Kallen's "manager" Konin forces him to fight two AT's at the same time, but Kallen wants to fight him herself (The player controls Chirico, and has to beat Kallen to continue). An angry Konin sends armed ATs and vehicles after them both, but Crowe jumps in to help them using his Brasta. As Crowe figured, the fighting draws not only the local police, but also the two colonial Gundams he came to Area 11 to find: The Wing Gundam and Gundam Deathscythe. Between the five mecha and their skilled pilots, the corrupt police are wiped out in short order, and the group makes their escape. Ohgi and the other members of the resistance arrive, and convince Crowe, Chirico, and the Gundam Pilots to join them. Their first mission is to steal A certain load of poison gas, thus setting the series' events into motion.
During the early operations of the rebellion, Zero has a lingering worry that outside forces may intervene. Particularly Celestial Being, who has publicly announced their intentions to do as much all over the world. When Celestial Being finally shows up however, it is at the behest of Elgan Laudic, Secretary-General of the United Nations. He has gathered CB, several Super Robot warriors from Free Japan, and other organizations into a team he calls ZEXIS (Z EXtra International Savers), after a new dimensional quake once again alters the landscape, causing the barrier blocking off the southern portion of Africa to fall (releasing marauding bands of Beastmen and Gunmen) and a large mysterious fleet (The Macross Galaxy colony) to appear in orbit. Though working with these other groups will take him away from Japan, the added resources, information, and fighters that would come under his command convince Zero to join ZEXIS.
Crowe Broust is the first Original protagonist designed for Z2. Unusually for an Original Generation character, his history is rooted firmly in the universe of one of the game's series. Crowe is a former Britannian soldier who was part of a team known as the Firebug Squad. The Firebug Squad was a type of False Flag Operation whose mission was to bring together rebellious elements in minor countries and rile them up to be crushed by the Union military. As such, they piloted machines different than the standard Knightmare Frames:a machine called the Axion. The Firebug Squad was involved in an experiment that saw the destruction of an entire town. Crowe managed to rescue the sole survivor and quit both the team and the Britannian military soon afterwards.
When the game starts Crowe is in Chicago, having inherited a 1,000,000G debt from his father. To pay it off, he signs on to test a machine called the Brasta (or Blaster), designed primarily to fight the Dimensional Beasts, creatures that haven been noted to appear during and after Dimensional quakes. Depending on the player's choices, he may also get involved in Lelouch's battles at certain moments early in the game.
Ester Elhaas is the starting viewpoint character for Saisei-Hen. She initially appears assisting Crowe while at the same time demanding that he eliminate the Dimensional Beasts, in particular a white-colored one fittingly nicknamed "Moby Dick", which she blames for the deaths of her family.
In truth, she was the only civilian survivor of the incident that caused Crowe to quit the military. In Saisei-Hen, she pilots the Brasta Es.
Saisei-Hen has a hidden value known as "Zero Points" which are gained by taking certain route splits (branching parts in the storyline where the Original characters can choose which parts of the heroes' force they will travel with) or performing certain tasks in battle. If the player gains five or more by Mission 37, the course of Code Geass' storyline and Zero's destiny may take a major turn:
- Shirley Fenette will be saved by Banjou Haran (Invincible Steel Man Daitarn 3) and Roger Smith (The Big O), regardless of the later decisions and the path of the story line.
- After the Second Assault on Tokyo Settlement, the player may have the Black Knights choose to trust Lelouch despite Schneizel's outing of him as Zero. This choice is instrumental to what follows.
- Lelouch does not forsake Rolo, who doesn't have to give his life saving him.
- The Zero Requiem plan is never put into motion. As such, the major conflicts of Code Geass end after Schneizel el Britannia is defeated by ZEXIS at the Battle of Mt. Fuji.
- Euphemia li Britannia survives, having been saved by Schneizel, who may have planned to reveal her at a later date. After the battle over Fuji, she reveals herself to stop Zero from using his Geass on Nunnally (Rolo uses his instead to get the Damocles' trigger from her).
If the Black Knights don't trust Lelouch, the Zero Requiem plan is put into motion, but after being stabbed by Suzaku, Lelouch is brought to the Celestial Being battleship Ptolemaios II and revived with their technology. Lelouch takes Suzaku's place and continues to be Zero for the rest of his life.
Additional Plot and Characterization ChangesEdit
As is common within the game series, characters from one anime series often enter into friendships and rivalries with the heroes from another series. For example, Kallen's match with Chirico forms the basis of a close rivalry and friendship, while Lelouch has to deal with the antics of Kamina from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, particularly during the incident when his mask got stolen by Arthur, leading to a confrontation between the Gurren Gang and Koji Kabuto on one side and the Black Knights, Heero and Duo on the other since it got out that the mask really was Zero's this time around. Kamina also clashed and arm-wrestled with Kallen over the fact that they both have mechas named "Gurren".
Many elements of the series as presented in the game, specifically due to the nature of the split storyline, have been furthered changed, sometimes to the point of conflicting with the series as aired or even with itself.
The ending of the first game, Hakai-hen, has the various groups that form ZEXIS split into their original groups and separate, despite the various enemies of many of those factions still existing, leading to the endings of Gundam 00 and Code Geass' first seasons. While Gundam 00's first ending is due to an ambush - previously repelled, but repeated again - the Code Geass ending is ultimately the Black Knights fighting the Britannian military stationed in Tokyo as part of the Black Rebellion, with a small fraction of the forces the player possessed beforehand. Among those missing are the groups closest to the Black Knights, like VOTOMs protagonist Chirico and the main characters from Gundam Wing, who were previously semi-official Black Knights members, despite that the intent to do this was previously stated. Though this is canon, it conflicts with the concept of ZEXIS, to form a united front against enemies.
The Assault on the Geass Order is done with the full assistance of ZEXIS, but though the entire organisation is presence and dealing with the Order's armed forces, no one notices that Lelouch is proceeding to kill the various Geass cultists, even when V.V. escapes the facility and joins the battle.
Tohdoh begins a friendly rivalry with, and respect for, Gundam 00's Graham Aker, in his Mister Bushido identity, despite that a pilot of the Britannian Union proclaiming the philosophy of Bushido, after the destruction of Japan at his nation's hands, should be an awkward situation, at a minimum.
Despite Zero being elected as the official head of ZEXIS - to tie his reappearance in with the reformation of ZEXIS, with true leadership being shared between various high-ranking officials of its various groups - the decision by Ougi whether or not to execute Zero is only acted against by ZEXIS with a strong recommendation that they hear Zero out. Though this is disapproval for the canon route, it suffers from ZEXIS treating themselves as outsiders, despite the Black Knights being a ZEXIS subordinate group, as well as treating the Black Knights' desire to murder their superior (or offer him to Britannia, surely leading to his execution) comparatively lightly, as ZEXIS claims to support the Black Knights if Ougi decides to do so.
Schneizel's actions suffer from strange irregularities with canon. Specifically, Schneizel decides to confront Lelouch along with Nunnally, without any armed guards, mounted turrets, or anti-Geass measures, the former two having previously been displayed in canon. In addition, the self-destruct that Schneizel was planning to use in canon when Lelouch infiltrates the Damocles is not mentioned, nor is Schneizel's willingness to die to kill Lelouch and bring peace from that method. As a result, Schneizel was captured without incident when Suzaku and Jeremiah arrive to support Lelouch. It is suspected that it was done purely so that Lelouch was not forced to use Geass, which he had chosen to stop using, since the canon events would be impossible to survive without such a power.
Following this, Nunnally is made Empress, despite more appropriate heirs still living, and only Clovis' death, and without Lelouch as the former Emperor, Nunnally is not the closest to the position. In addition, despite authorizing and approving the use of the FLEIJA super-weapon on the Britannian-held Tokyo, a normally criminal act, Schneizel is permitted to return to his position of Prime Minister under Nunnally, without the influence of Geass.
Euphemia's survival is a Schrodinger's Cat, as she is treated as deceased in the Zero Requiem route of the game, and the SAZ disaster in the previous game went unchanged, with Euphemia's death, while Suzaku was present, and on-board the Avalon, making Euphemia's survival and movement extremely difficult to manage. In other words, she is both alive and dead until the player makes the choice that determines if the game does down the ZEXIS or Zero Requiem route.
Similarly, Lelouch's survival in the Zero Requiem route suffers from his death clearly happening as it was originally portrayed, and organ regeneration in Gundam 00 is said to take weeks for even a small organ, rendering it impossible to save Lelouch from the piercing of his heart before he bleeds out and becomes impossible to revive, even before considering how long it would take to get Lelouch's body to the Ptolemaios II. Furthermore, if Euphemia could not be saved, despite Britannia, and likely the Avalon, possessing the same advanced equipment, then Lelouch should also be impossible to save, due to dying faster, and if Lelouch could be saved, then Lockon Stratos, a character who died in the game from less immediately fatal wounds, could also have been saved, but the game treats this as impossible.
Notably, three people have discovered Lelouch's identity, Heero, Roger Smith and Chihiro.
Many of these decisions seem to have been made to minimize any storyline difficulties when writing the highly foreshadowed sequel game.