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"Once we were united against a common foe. Now we are bathed in the blood of our own families."
The present time for Exteel is A.D. 2107. Thirty years ago, rebels from Mars, Saturn, and Jupiter fought against the Galactic Federation and lost. The vanquished were herded up and deported to another star system, where they settled on the planet Natha. There, on the continent Taryn, they built three nations; the Martians founded Marston, the Jupiter refugees founded Palamo, and the Saturnians founded Aiers.
Marston is the most militaristic and aristocratic of the former rebellious colonies. They were the last to fall to the Galactic Federation, and apparently the first to arrive on Natha, because their colonization of the planet wasn't a cakewalk. Forced underground by meteor showers at the time of founding, Marston has a highly industrialized society. On the other hand, the democratic nation Palamo fared much better, landing on a section of Taryn most ideal for farming, becoming a breadbasket of Natha. Aiers founded itself in isolation from the other two nations, and of the three boasts the best technology and scientific prowess. It has tried to remain neutral in all disputes that have cropped up since colonizations.
Things went sour quickly. A section of Marston wanted independence from the rest of the country. Palamo assisted them, which Marston was not about to accept. Although this new fourth nation calls itself West Palamo, Marston doesn't recognize its independence, and this dispute brought the four contries very close to the brink of war. All it took was for one attack on a Marston outpost—for which they blamed Palamo—for full scale war to erupt.
The nations of Natha were forbidden by the Galactic Federation from taking military equipment with them when they colonized the planet, but there's more than one way to wage war. As Marston's home grown forces advance into Palamo, the four nations are hiring mercenaries to send to the front lines. The primary weapons platform used in this conflict are the agile Mechanaughts, with each of the four nations developing their own models on top of the ones available from off-world sources. That's where the players come in ...
This game contains examples of:
- A Mech by Any Other Name (Mechanaughts)
- Airborne Aircraft Carrier: One of the playable areas is Mobile Fortress, which is visibly flying over a landscape and has its own host of flying gunships.
- All There in the Manual: NCSoft is releasing background information on Exteel in places outside the game itself.
- Beneath the Earth: The nation of Marston. One playable area is Underground City, most likely set in this nation.
- BFG: Rockets and Cannons are not only two-handed weapons, they are huge.
- Bottomless Magazines: The only thing stopping a Mechanaught from firing endlessly is heat. Must be the Hyperspace Arsenal working for them ...
- Bottomless Pits: The area Defrosted Summit can be very nasty to fight in. Lagspikes can send you off the edge of the base, plummeting down the mountain to your death.
- Bribing Your Way to Victory: Exteel is a strange case, and either plays this trope straight or subverts it. While many of Exteel's weapons and Mechanaught parts can be bought with real money—and in some cases cannot be purchased with in-game money—people who do this can not get the best equipment in the game. In fact, some of the currently high-end parts are only buyable with in-game money. With weapons, the difference is split yet again, but the general trend is that players who buy items with real money aren't exactly overpowered, but they do get more options than a player who doesn't.
- On the other hand, this does put low-leveled people who do not want to spend money at a disadvantage, since a level 1 pilot can plunk down a few dollars and buy a good Mechanaught or weapons. There's no level restriction on parts.
- Capture the Flag (one of the available gameplay modes)
- Critical Existence Failure: Once you hit 0 HP, your Mechanaught falls to the ground and explodes. Until that point, your mechanaught operates normally.
- Critical Hit: Happens with melee attacks occasionally.
- Cyber Cyclops: The basic Pinkett Mechanaught, possibly a Shout-Out to Mobile Suit Gundam and its Zaku.
- Death From Above: A number of players practice the play style of "Dragooning." It helps that spear thrusts allow you to plummet to the ground very quickly, so combined with a good high-jump backpack unit ...
- Deflector Shields: One of the handheld shelds is just such an object, called the Force Shield, and great for defending against ranged (but not siege-level) weapons.
- Die, Chair, Die!: You can knock over lampposts, shoot out billboard advertisements and blow up people's cars. Sometimes. There's no reward in doing it, though.
- Do Not Drop Your Weapon: Averted, if only because Mechanaughts never let go of their weapons when destroyed.
- Dual-Wielding: Mechanaughts can wield two spears or two swords at once. Some skills require this.
- During the War: Well, during the war on Natha, anyway.
- Energy Weapons
- Laser Blade: Even though its name is Particle Blade, the description does say it uses a focused beam of energy.
- Global Currency (Credits)
- Glowing Eyes of Doom (every last one of the Mechanaughts)
- Gun Kata: Happens with quite a few special attacks that Mechanaught pilots can perform, and seen during the FMV intro/trailer where a Trooper Mechanaught dispatches a number of enemies this way.
- Guns Akimbo: Mechanaughts can wield two one-handed ranged weapons at once. Not just mecha-sized pistols and submachine guns, but shotguns and rifles as well. Hey, Marathon's Security Officer! Watch this!
- The Gunslinger: Watch how mechanaughts fire SMGs and handguns.
- Humongous Mecha
- Hyperspace Arsenal: Mechanaughts can carry two sets of weapons, but they don't have any room to carry the second set; it just appears in a burst of eletricity.
- Impossibly Graceful Giant: This is, after all, Gunz ... in SPACE!
- Katanas Are Just Better, averted; the Katanaish Crimson Edge is the Jack of All Stats of the currently available swords, and its low-grade form is standard issue.
- Mecha-Mooks: A combination of both aspects of the trope; not only are they nameless mass-produced units, they're also explicitly labeled "Drones." In Last Stand games, players have to defend an area from hordes of them, while destroying the mooks' outpost. They also appear in other team-based modes to guard control points and slow down enemy players.
- Those Last Stand mooks might be Marston's home grown forces mentioned in the backstory.
- Mission Control: Operator Sarah, who used to suffer from odd voice-acted Engrish until a recent patch. "We recaptured our flag back!" ... Right.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: On the other hand, you get unique things like this. When a Mechanaught activates a skill that specifically targets another Mechanaught, both are treated to a Cutscene-like animation of the skill being performed on the victim while the battle continues around them ... and many of them are brutal. There's even one literally called "Beat Down" that involves a Mechanaught slapping down its foe with a shield and then unloading its SMG into the chest of its victim!
- Rage Quit: Some players like to engage in CADing (hitting Control-Alt-Delete to bring up Task Manager and killing the process in order to avoid a loss), much to the annoyance of others.
- Roboteching (Backpack-mounted weapons systems do this to an extent)
- Sword Fight: And how!
- This Is a Drill: The Metal Helix spear.