Robot Alchemic Drive

Robot Alchemic Drive

Infobox VG
title = Robot Alchemic Drive

developer = Sandlot
publisher = Enix
distributor =
designer = Toshihiro Kawamoto (character design}
engine =
version =
released = vgrelease|JP=2002-08-29|NA=2002-11-05
genre = Action
modes = Single player, two-player versus
ratings = ESRB: Teen (T)
platforms = PlayStation 2
media = CD-ROM
requirements =
input = DualShock 2
preceded by =
followed by =

"Robot Alchemic Drive", known in Japan as nihongo|"Gigantic Drive"|ギガンティック ドライブ, is a PlayStation 2 video game developed by Sandlot and published by Enix. It was released in Japan and North America.

In the game the player controls a giant robot called a Meganite, humanity's last line of defense against an extraterrestrial race called the Volgara. The player is not in the cockpit of the robot; rather, he or she is on foot, carrying a remote control (the player must switch between the protagonist and the robot to play).


The protagonists that the player may choose between are two males and one female (Naoto Tsukioka, Ryo Tsukioka, or Yui Tsukioka); however, the NPCs usually only refer to the character as "Chairman" and choice of player character does not affect gameplay. There are 3 different robots to choose from: Vertical Fortress Vavel, Airborne Dominator Laguiole and Gllang the Castlekeep.

Vavel has 2 modes, Volcanic and Genesis mode. Laguiole can turn into a plane, and his mode similar to Vavel's is the Demon Sword Desecrator mode, which releases two short, laser like, daggers from the robot's wrists.Gllang can turn into a vehicle/tank being. His special mode is the Warhammer Sanctifier. On his arms, two big blocks of metal alloy are released and become mallets. these special modes only become available after Level 40: Valhalla Dawning. These modes will only last 180 seconds, or 3 minutes.

It is possible throughout the game to affect the life of a particular character. For example: Nanao's storyline may be affected by the destruction of certain buildings while on missions.

Enemies, for a short number of episodes, are the same. The only difference is the change in color and weapons. They become smarter and more aware of what the main character is doing as the player progresses through the story. You also unlock all of the Volgara in two player versus mode when you beat the game with 2 out of the 3 main protagonists.

The game is a homage to the Super Robot anime series of the 70's and 80's. Although much older than most of the game's homages, a remote-controlled robot was first seen in the program Tetsujin 28. Yui's pink and yellow outfit is expressly said in the manual to be a tribute to the heroines of those shows, and Vavel's Lava Stream attack is based on Mazinger Z's Breast Fire attack, even including the biceps-flexing pose usually performed when the weapon was used.


*The Hero/Heroine: The player-controlled character. The hero is the heir of the now-bankrupt Tsukioka Industries, a weapons manufacturer. The company went bankrupt funding the construction of the Meganites, which the hero must control to save his/her hometown. There are three characters selectable: Naoto, Yui, and Ryo. Their stories, however, are all very similar.

*Nanao Misaki: A childhood friend of the hero. Her grandmother is killed by a Volgara, which lead to her early animosity towards robots. After her grandmother died, she finds herself living on her own and working to support herself. She means well, but had a tendency to overlook her own boundaries and work herself into a severe fatigue. In a secret path of the story (where Masaru donates enormous funds to CPF), it is revealed that Nanao is Masaru's sister who escaped along with her grandmother. Depending on the player's actions she can either end up being main character's love interest (if the main character is Naoto or Ryo), live a poor life or commit suicide at the end of the story.

*Dr. Hourai: A brilliant but insane scientist who foresaw the advent of the Volgara, as well as discover the Nectar Radiance that prevents space travel. He give the hero the remote control used to operate the Meganites. It was revealed later in the story that he knew everything about the Volgara and the true nature of the Meganites and their Alchemic Drive.

*Dr. Herman Wiltz: A German scientist who created the Alchemic Drive that generates energy for the Meganites. He offers assistance to the hero during their fights with the Volgara. He is also in charge of upgrading the Meganites.

*Keiko Konan: A radio operater who also assists the player in combat with advice, alongside Dr. Wiltz. She is quite popular among the CPF crew. She lives in a condo near the Foundation headquarters. If her condo is destroyed in the war, she moves to the HQ.

*Saki Kyono: The financial manager for the foundation. She introduces the player to the concept of earning monetary rewards for completing missions. She is also in charge of providing upgradable equipment for the player. She seems to have a heart disease (though the circumstances suggest that she's simply grossly overreacting to any loss of awards during the first mission where they are available).

*Ellen Bulnose: The heiress to the Bulnose weapons company in France. She was engaged to the hero (or close friends if the player selects Yui), but dropped out of contact with the hero after Tsukioka went bankrupt. She reappears as a member of the Evacuation Guidance Group after having a falling out with her parents. She is also one of the characters that Naoto or Ryo end up dating at the end of the game. Or else, she will simply take over the Bulnose Industries.

*Masaru Misaki: The heir to Misaki Heavy Industries, a company that thrived in the ruin of Tsukioka, and Ellen's new fiance. He berates the player for failure to protect his company from harm during battle. If his buildings are continually destroyed, his engagement with Ellen will end. Despite his unpleasant attitude, he is actually devoted to the elimination of Volgara threat. If a certain story path is followed, Misaki will donate 100 billion yens to the CPF, which can be used for upgades etc.

*Tomoe Kawasaki: An anchorwoman for BNN News. Her main purpose is providing the player with an evaluation of the aftermath on the battlefield after the completion of a mission.

*Mika Banhara: A field reporter for BNN, she makes her big break in the media by covering the events of the war against the Volgara. Her work can be seen during the game with breaking news reports given during the middle of battle. In the later part of the game she is injured which left her heartbroken. But she regains her self-confidence after she is saved by the main character. Although she survives the war in the canon ending, she can die in the final mission if her news chopper is hit by Asmodeus. (Or by player's Meganite.)

*Souya: A mysterious young man who appears before the player. He is revealed to be Dr. Hourai's son and controls a blue Vavel called Valdor. Although he helps the main character in many missions, he is actually ordered by his father to observe Vavel and help it to activate its "Genocide Mode" (a secret command which will order Vavel to annihilate half of the human race, so the Earth can restore itself) when the time is right. He initially sees the error of his father's ideas and begins to fully support the main character. If the main character is Yui, she and Souya might end up dating at the end of the game.

*JGSDF Tank Crew: Two tank drivers that appeat many of the missions to support the main character with their Type 90 tank. While the Captain is eager to into battle to defend the civilians, his co-pilot is afraid that they will be killed by Volgaras and tries to convince the Captain to run away. While they survive in the canon ending, they can be killed in the battle against Volgara, if the player doesn't protect them.

*Kyoji Otowara: The CEO of the corrupt Otawara Enterprises. He endangers Nanao's employment on a few occasions during the game.


"Robot Alchemic Drive" was developed by Sandlot, a company created by former employees of Human Entertainment. The characters of the game were designed by Toshihiro Kawamoto, the character designer of the "Cowboy Bebop" anime series. Development of "Robot Alchemic Drive" took approximately 16 to 18 months to complete. Much of the game's use of incredibly large robots was inspired by anime. [cite web | author=Reno | date=July 10, 2002 | title=Enix: Life After Dragon Warrior | url= | | accessdate=2008-09-09] The game was aimed at both casual and hardcore gamers, as well as fans of action games and robot games. The hardest part of development was to handle the sense of scale involved with the robots.cite web | url= | title=R.A.D. pits giant robots in a clash for supremacy in a crowded urban setting | accessdate=2008-07-01 | last=Lafferty | first=Michael | date=2002-05-30 | publisher=GameZone]


External links

* [ Official English Site]

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