Bendy Beam Hell: Mobile Suit Gundam AGE 45 is a Video Game Episode with an Epic Boss Battle (also, The Gundam Legilis Has Abs WAT)

[Mobile Suit Gundam AGE 44]

I often read critics pan films by using/making the observation “like a video game,” as if video game action sequences aren’t proven methods of delivering a high level of action entertainment. I don’t buy into this lazy dismissal, not because I’m a video game fanboy – I haven’t really played anything except Mass Effect the past 4 years unless you count Pop Cap games; and fuck yeah Super Robot Wars.

Mobile Suit Gundam AGE plays out like an extended Super Robot Wars cut-scene battle, where dramatic plot points are played out but little-to-no actual gameplay happens. This is the narrative comparison. The more appropriate comparison is that Zeheart in his Gundam Legilis fought the Sid in what really is a “bullet hell” type of video game boss battle.

Yeah, something like that (Fraxy – ARGUS). I never took to this kind of game and I’m not going to start now, but I do enjoy watching the ridiculous skill involved in beating such bosses. Basically, the hero’s ability to spam the larger target with his main weapons are compromised by the barrage of weapons fire directed at him. The hero is preoccupied with avoiding the deadly barrage so much so that it’s hard to inflict damage on the enemy, who, being a boss, will also have several orders of special abilities/attacks at its disposal.


In the case of the AcguyQubeleyFreedom, it turned invisible.

To beat it, Zeheart had two “power-ups” … the first was the Legilis’ version of the Fin Funnel/I-Field of the Nu Gundam. Energy bits can not only level offensive beam fire, but also act as a force field against beam weapons. Second, Zeheart had Super Pilot Asem with his pirate Gundam and its grappling hooks. Between these two additions to his toolbox, along with his inherent X-Rounder powers, he was able to beat the Sid.

The whole thing played very fast and very true to its video game roots, and the resolutions in the episode were rather dark and entertaining: Flit is still a hater douche (yes!), Fram was put in her place (just outside the kitchen, LOL); the pirates made a good play with splitting up their forces, but Sid was prepared for that…

…the beauty was the Pirates were ALSO prepared for it. Asem’s redshirt wingmates got killed, but that wouldn’t stop them. The EXA-DB was destroyed because the pirate ship executed its contingency role. Too bad it wasn’t completely destroyed, and the AcguyQubeleyFreedom will come back as some kind of bigger freak, but that’s for another boss battle.

This one was just right. Oh by the way, this isn’t the first time AGE referenced video game combat dynamics in a big way. Episode 8 laid it pretty thick.


About ghostlightning

I entered the anime blogging sphere as a lurker around Spring 2008. We Remember Love is my first anime blog. Click here if this is your first time to visit WRL.
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22 Responses to Bendy Beam Hell: Mobile Suit Gundam AGE 45 is a Video Game Episode with an Epic Boss Battle (also, The Gundam Legilis Has Abs WAT)

  1. r042 says:

    First things, that is one hell of a picture of Rain. I expect many people will want a larger version, I know I do.

    Secondly, a bit on the use of “gamelike” as a criticism; the way I see it it’s certainly a valid criticism because I consider “filmlike” a criticism of games. The power of games is adding interactivity and choice to a passive scene, something films can’t do, and so a “gamelike” piece of film is one which sacrifices writing for spectacle – for a single “path” in, say, a Mass Effect mission is individually I would say lesser as a complete package of action, writing and so on than a comparable bit of film action, but given greater significance because the player makes it their own by character choice, strategy etc.

    What’s more, “gamelike” as a criticism of film is coming to mean less simply “spectacle” (although “empty spectacle” is a criticism that can be levelled at both games and films, especially games like Modern Warfare) and more a criticism of simple progression -> level up -> succeed quest narratives, especially single narratives comprised of a number of episodes or single problems. AGE has certainly had aspects of this, but this is more to be expected in a children’s robot anime (it’s a defining feature of it) – but in my view the failure of a “gamelike” film would be if it cleaved too closely to the linear progression of a game hero – he levels up and beats the boss – and the existence of “bosses” anyway. The “beat 4 minions then the real villain” progression is a cliche in both media now.

  2. I thought it was pretty timely that SID showed up in the form it did, in the way it did. I’m a big Dark Souls fan and player. And one of the new bosses is black one-eyed dragon that reminded of SID quite a bit. As for how the episode played out, I’d say it was half shounen battle anime, half Ikaruga (or whatever space shoot-em-up you prefer). Possibly the best part is that we got less than a minute of Kio. He didn’t even have time to bitch.

  3. sadakups says:

    Finally, an episode that I somehow liked after a batch of bad ones. As much as it’s an earworm hearing Zeheart mention “Ezelcant’s will” over and over and thinking that he’s godly with that new Gundam of his, I’m sorry, but he sucked horribly dealing with it. He wouldn’t have done it if not for Asem coming, who is just a SUPAA PAIROTTO. No flashing lights, no remote weapory – just tactics and skill. And it was so smart of him to actually destroy the asteroid where the EXA-DB is with his pirate ship as a contingency plan. A part of SID is holding it so it’s not over yet. I think they’re making it that SID would go berserk, shift the tides of war, forcing both sides to join together or face complete annihilation.

    With ghosty mentioning this episode being video-game like, I was sure reminded of Zone of the Enders while watching it. SID was like the hax-ier version of Anubis – it also has red bending beams, it becomes invisible and shifts location. Well, SID doesn’t have Zero-Shift, but if it had one, that would have been sick. And given that comparison, Legilis was Jehuty and the AGE-2 was the Vic Viper. Except that, in this episode, the LEV was more helpful than the Orbital Frame.

    Now, just imagine if Flit was part of this battle. I don’t include Kio Yamato because the kid would just sit there and say that they have to understand SID.


    • Reid says:

      ZOE 1 was the best retelling of the original Mobile Suit Gundam story anyone has yet come up with…that I’ve heard about. I never got to read “For the Barrel” but it sure does look cool. And yes, I picked up those ZOE vibes from this episode too. I was equally glad to have an enjoyable AGE episode after weeks of duds.

  4. ces06 says:

    The battle was pretty darn good. It isn’t UC, but it was pretty exciting. Here’s to the Sid rebuilding itself and crashing the party at La Gramis.

    One thing though: Zeheart. Either he’s way in over his head, or the Mu-Szell helmet thing’s fried his brains. I don’t buy him being that easily won over by Ezelcant. Sure he’s got the same goals in mind, but asking a guy to partake in genocide will at least make you think about it. (Unless you’re Flit Asuno, lol.) When Asem came and helped him out, I thought that’d be a turning point, him reaiizing that the way the way they defeated SId can also mirror a way to end the conflict: the people of Earth and Vagan working together. Turns out no.

    LOL, Sleggar. You should be in more of the panels.

    • Inky says:

      Agreed on Zeheart. Ezelcant was a crazy, embittered old man who even owned up to his crazy and yet Zeheart’s totally devoted to his real cause–the one that had Ezelcant destroying his own citizens, the people Zeheart’s been fighting for? I don’t buy it either.

      • ces06 says:

        It makes less sense the more you think about it… I mean, this is the guy who remembers all the names of his dead subordinates. Partaking in genocide against the very people he fought for just doesn’t make sense.

  5. Inky says:

    This episode was way better than I thought it be, though mainly in the battle and definitely not in the dialogue since Zeheart has flipped his lid and Fram has been regressed to Romary’s level of characterization. Mainly I liked Asemu. For a guy who was apparently unable to think of one single way to contact his family in 13 years, he was pretty sharp in this. What with the defeat of the invisibility thing and the pirates subverting a final duel in the EXA-DB caverns by just blowing the damn thing to smithereens. And the battle was, of course, impressive and enjoyable to watch.

    Basically the pirates should just be in charge from now on, since they are clearly the only faction in AG to have it together.

    Also, SID: self-evolving and self-recovering? All we need is it to infect some mobile suits and we’ve got the Devil Gundam all over again.

    • whatshtisthis says:

      Right it is just taking past data and using them to build parts, If Sid manages to get it’s hands on the AGE-System and it plugged in the EXA-DB into the AGE-System, it’ll truly be Devil Gundam

  6. Kherubim says:

    Took Fram long enough to realize her true role as a female mobile suit pilot in a Gundam show, CONVENIENT MEAT SHIELD.

  7. megaroad1 says:

    I’d like to nominate Sleggar Law for comment of the year.

  8. Pingback: Gundam AGE ep45: the one-eyed dragon. « the Check-in Station

  9. angelslayer says:

    lol @ Zechs Maruise Epyon philosophy.
    Fram as possible female leading to Hathaways Flash 2.0? Not a bad idea, considering I liked the Penelope and Xi and the pretty dark ending.

    Someone else wanna play Gradius rit now? XD

  10. Tieria Edre wants to sue Zeheart Galette for Gundam Legilis and its ton of bits which looks like them GN Particles! But still Tieria wants to sue Flit for the AGE-3 Fortress because it totally looks like the Seravee Gundam XD

    Asemu continues to be impressive! Using tactics to take his revenge on SID! Being a jackass rides SID.

    Too bad SID and the EXA-DB survives… So expect more crazy hell battle!

  11. dono says:

    this episode is too weird….. isn’t SID can self regenerate? how can it defeated by beam saber stab lol

  12. Pingback: The Clusterfukc of Conflict at the End of AGEs of War: Mobile Suit Gundam AGE 46 | We Remember Love

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