- This article is about the GameCube game known as Custom Robo in Europe and North America. For the original Nintendo 64 Custom Robo game that was not released outside of Japan, see Custom Robo (Japan)
Custom Robo, known as Custom Robo: Battle Evolution in Japan, is an Action Fighting game geared towards multiplayer. This game marks the first entry of the Custom Robo series in the United States and is the 4th one total.
It took a darker approach to both the story and design with taller, sharper, Custom Robo's and moved away from the idea that Custom Robo's were children's toys. In this timeline, they were battle tools, used by everyone, from Law Enforcement to Criminals.
Battles involving Custom Robo were depicted as each player engaging in some kind of mental throwdown. The players would concentrate and a virtual arena would appear between them, with their Custom Robos inside. When one loses, they are implied to be mentally exhausted or hurt. It is implied that the commander of the CR is the CR in battle, like a suit, instead of a separate creature, like a Pokemon.
From there, the players utilize their 3 main weapons: Bombs, Guns and Pods. Bombs and Pods are generally used for cornering the enemy and covering their escape. They are usually inaccurate with a few exceptions. Guns are the main damaging point, with some close range guns doing great damage. The levels make a large difference in gameplay, by giving you a variety of areas to hide behind.
In terms of customization, in Multiplayer modes, each player gets to choose a body, a leg part, a gun, a bomb, and a pod. The leg parts determine things such as the amount of air time or running speed. The body parts determien special tackle attacks and other abilities. For example, the Peregrine body is short and runs extremely fast. The Lightning Sky body can stay in the air for a long time and turns into an aircraft like a Transformer.
The story opens with a flash back from the hero's earlier life. The main character, whose default name is 'Hero', is a child whose father has disappeared. Before his mysterious departure, Hero's father gave him a watch, telling him to keep it safe. At this point, the game leaps to the present and Hero suddenly receives a letter saying his father has just died. In honor of his father's wishes for him to become a Robo Commander, Hero sets out to do so - despite knowing nothing about robos. He eventually manages to join up with a group of bounty hunters known as the "Steel Hearts", where he met Ernest, Harry, and Marcia. A fellow member of the Steel Hearts, Harry, teaches Hero how to command robos and helps him receive his license, which allows Hero to battle with robos legally. After a few minor errands, Hero and company discover the self-guided Robo known as 'Rahu'. Later, after passing a test and obtaining a Class "S" license, Rahu's past is revealed and Hero finds out that he is a toy bot fused with an invisible organic being who had accidentally been merged with the toy.
Before the time of the domed city, the world was attacked by a powerful entity - now known as Rahu. Eventually, Rahu came to possess a child's toy. This toy was very similar to a Robo, and actually formed the basis for the concept of Robo Commanding - by popularizing Robo battling, the government gave the people a way to fight the entity. Rahu was soon damaged enough to be driven into dormancy for a long period of time, but has now awoken. Hero and the rest of the police force leave the safety of the dome to defeat Rahu again, along with the organization known as the Z-Syndicate, who are trying to control the entity for their own ends. After defeating the syndicate, Hero meets an old friend of his father's, and the brother of Marcia of the Steel Hearts,- a spy named Sergei. He originally joined the Z Syndicate to stop Rahu, but was forced to work with Oboro, who wanted to control Rahu for his own means. Eliza and Isabella, two other members of the Z Syndicate, also wanted to control Rahu. Sergei showed Hero an old recording of his father's last message to him. In the recording, Hero's father explains that he left to form the Z-Syndicate in an attempt to inform the people of Rahu's impending attack. The other members soon lost sight of his vision and betrayed him in an attempt to the seize control of the Syndicate and Rahu. Hero eventually defeats Rahu, ensuring the world's safety - for a while.
- Hero (Main Character): The main character is a young man whose only family was his father. Your father left you when you were very young, and your mother passed away shortly before that. Your father left you with a watch. You live in a Triplex with a couple, their children, and your landlady and you have a little crush on Marcia .
- Ray 01: A custom robo that had been top secret until a bunch of thieves raid the lab and you are summoned to stop the thieves and retrieve Ray 01. Ray 01 is the first Custom Robo you can use and is equipped with only standard items. He is a very well balanced Shining Fighter type Robo.
- Hero's Dad: The main character's dad was once the leader of Z Syndicate. When he died, Z was split in between Oboro and Eliza and Isabella (Eliza and Isabella work together as they are twins). He commanded Ray Legend (illegal), a Shining Fighter model.
- Hero's Mother: The main character's mother is not mentioned in the game until the very end. The only reference of her is in the end when she is said to have disappeared before his father. Also according to the main character his father's memories of her are stored in the watch. This making the watch even more invaluable as it is his only memoir of his parents or family.
- Lucy: Your landlady who wakes you up every morning. She knows nothing about Custom Robos. Later in the game she will acquire a Robo of her own, Tank Head, in "The Grand Battle".
- Harry: A member of the Steel Hearts who first wanted to have you join so that he can boss you around. He tries to be a real ladies man, and for whatever reason, it seems to work sometimes, but he often fails. It turns out after you join, he is still the one being pushed around. He will give you some good tips and advice before most battles, so make sure you listen carefully to what he says. Commands Glory (Shining Fighter)
- Marcia: A member of the Steel Hearts who is the pride of the team for some part of the game. Orphaned, she lived with her brother—an ex member of the police squad—until he left suddenly. She has the ability to "Half-Dive," which means to see through a Robo's eyes and even read the last thoughts of the Robo's Commander, when she does, though, it can strain her mentally, so she cannot half dive for too long. Commands Milky Way (Aerial Beauty)
- Ernest: The leader of the Steel Hearts. He does not do much but call members of the Steel Hearts and give them their assignments, but usually just ends up yelling at them. In "The Grand Battle" he's in a few parts but serves no major purpose apart from organizing the Steel Hearts Cup. He has a keen eye for poetry. Commands Metal Bear (Metal Grappler)
- Linda: The Lab director. She is the person that gives the hero Ray 01. Both Ernest and Harry have a crush on her. Commands Seeker (Lightning Sky)
- Evil: Your "Arch-Nemesis". He runs another bounty hunter group named Dark Blue. Has a huge ego. Evil thinks of himself as a king and that he is caring and the smartest one of them all, often saying he threw a fight on purpose when he loses, but he lets his pride interfere with everything, yet that does not prevent him from keeping his loyal (and slightly dim witted) minions by his side. Commands Juggler (Trick Flyer)
- The Police Squad (as a whole): Group of people who only actually worked in one part of the game. To join you need to take and pass a Class-A test. Marcia wants to join the Police Squad in hopes of finding her long lost brother. Harry's older sister is a high-ranking member who constantly tries to get him to join. The only similarity in their battles is that almost all of them use the High Rise Cell as their course.
- Mira: Harry's older sister. A high-ranking member of the police squad. Constantly trying to get Harry to join. She has a class 'S' license. Commands Sol (Aerial Beauty)
- Roy: A lieutenant in the police force, he is very devoted to the police force and dislikes Harry more than the Steel Hearts, and all mercenaries for that matter. He has a class 'S' license. Commands Halberd (Strike Vanisher)
- Sergei: Former member of the Police Squad. Marcia's older brother. Departed to the outside world and joined Z before it was controlled by Oboro and Eliza. He wishes to fulfill the true director of Z's ultimate vision. Commands Ruhiel (Lightning Sky)
- Shiner: A commander of the Z Syndicate (first one you meet.) He follows Oboro. Interestingly, he is the only commander who doesn't use an illegal body, but he sometimes uses an illegal gun. Commands Breaker (Lightning Sky)
- Eliza: The cunning and beautiful leader of the Z-Syndicate. She is one of the main antagonists in the story. Commands Athena (Aerial Beauty)
- Isabella: Eliza's twin sister, who poses as herself and Eliza in order to confuse the Hero and Steel Hearts. She reveals her true identity only towards the end of the game, when she teams up with Eliza. Commands Athena (Aerial Beauty)
- Oboro: A leader of the Z-Syndicate. One of the main antagonists. Commands Rakansen (Strike Vanisher)
- Rahu: A living creature that destroyed the outside world and dived into a Custom Robo for reasons unknown. It is the main enemy in the game. It is constantly evolving into multiple forms and is the only Custom Robo that can exist outside a holosseum in full form.
The game met underwhelming sales and bad reviews for several reasons.
- The graphics, particularly in the story mode, appear to be Dreamcast quality.
- The character design in the story mode is an extra-generic Anime style.
- The game is short. You beat the main story, which unlocks a tournament style mode, which is basically just battling hard computers with different gimmicks. It wears thin after the main story.
- Other than choosing parts, the game lacks strategy when it comes to actual combat. It generally comes down to launching your bombs & pods frequently while shooting at every chance you get.
Other Custom Robo Games
It should be noted that none of these have been released in the United States.
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