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Kidō Senshi Gundam: Senjō no Kizuna (機動戦士ガンダム 戦場の絆, lit.Mobile Suit Gundam: Bonds of the Battlefield), is a Japanese arcade game set in the original Gundam universe (Mobile Suit Gundam). The game was created by Bandai Namco and Banpresto and was released late 2006. Play involves stepping into a P.O.D. (Panoramic Optical Display) and doing battle with other players across Japan.
The game was launched in Japan on November 7, 2006 with arcades usually equipped with 4 pods (some amusement centers have more). Battles take places across Japan against other players from opposing factions (全国対戦). Arcades run the game through a reservation system as a single game will typically take 10–15 minutes and popularity makes for long lines. Players can opt to launch simultaneously with their friends or with other players who have also opted to launch at the same time, though it is not required. If players are not alone and launch with other people in the same arcade, voice chat becomes possible between the players.
The POD is large and has an adjustable seat, surround sound speakers, projector screen, and controls at the hands and feet. Each POD is equipped with headset jacks for in-game communication between players. The pilot inserts his/her pilot card into the card slot and inserts the money to begin gameplay.
The Hong Kong launch of the game (at Rev. 1.01) was on April 19, 2008 at Causeway Bay's Wonder Park Plus. As of spring 2009 the cabinets are available in 5 more arcades in Hong Kong, and had been featured during the C3 HK exbition in April. Machines at all three locations are at Rev. 1.01 and the linked play between all three arcades are possible, though the version difference prevents any overseas arcades to be compatible with the Japanese version.
Due to overseas release, users accessing the official website outside of Japan can only access the website written in English and Cantonese for the Hong Kong release of the game. Likewise, users inside Japan can only access the Japanese website for the Japanese release of the game.
The game was introduced to Taiwan on 28th, July, 2009, with 8Pods in Chung-Li and 8 in Taichung. Later on in November, additional 4POD sets was added in Taipei and Shin-Chu.
Singapore has also brought in 8 pods which are available at Bugis TKA arcade and 4 pods in Zone X Ang Mo Kio HUB. it has been activated on 31 August 2009. *update* - as of 21 Feb 2010, all operators in Singapore has removed the units.
As for October, 2009, All three regions (Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore) shares the same reversion(1.07), and players are able to connect overseas in these regions.
Basic game flow
Pilot Creation: Players must create a pilot card for 300 yen at the pilot terminal which allows them to choose whether to join with the Earth Federation or with the Principality of Zeon. Players choose their pilot's name, clothes, and voice. The pilot card has 100 uses and lists all the pilot's current information such as affiliation, name, rank, platoon, points, kills, and the last time the card was used at a pilot terminal. Once a player has used his/her card 100 times, he/she must make a new one at the pilot terminal which also transfers all the pilot's data to the new card.
First Launch: As players new to the game will have considerable difficulty with the controls, new players circle "beginner" on the reservation sheet to indicate that they will be launching alone or with other beginners. When play begins, beginners fight on a separate map, "Side 7," for new pilots and battle begins. Unlike later pilots, there is no place for mid-game mobile suit repair and once a player is destroyed, he/she respawns to fight again. All pilots, whether on Zeon or Earth Federation sides use the basic mobile suits to fight.
Typical Gameplay: Once a pilot is promoted to Private 2nd Class (nitouhei 二等兵), battling on the main map becomes possible. Opponent matching is done through ranks, so players will fight players of relatively similar rank. However, should 3 high rank players launch with 1 low rank player, matches may become advantageous as the opposing team may be composed only of low rank players. After every game session, players go to the pilot terminal to receive the points they earned in battle and any new mobile suits or upgrades.
Each session consists of two matches, each 250 seconds long. Dealing damage in-game gives points to the pilot while destroying an enemy mobile suit gives further points depending on what suit was destroyed. More points are awarded for higher valued mobile suits, while if a player is destroyed, some points will be deducted from his/her score. Additionally, pilots receive small boosts of points when allies destroy mobile suits. Bars on the left side of the screen (blue for Earth, red for Zeon) display the overall battle strength of the teams. Destroying an enemy depletes the bar according to the cost of the mobile suit that was destroyed. Additionally, should a team's base (kyoten 拠点) be destroyed, a considerable amount of bar is depleted. If the bar is completely depleted before the end of combat, that side loses and the other wins the match. A draw game occurs if both bars are even at the end of the timelimit.
Featured Mobile suits
The mobile suits featured in the game are based on units that appeared in the series. The game had divided these suits into five categories, based on the optimal range for combat. These include melee, short, medium, long range support and sniper units.
- This battlefield is used as for practice. Although players can refer to the instruction manuals, visual guides are provided in a training room outside of the battlefield area.
- New Yark (military base in Universal Century)
- It is basically a city with many buildings. There are also cannons for both teams. It first appeared on November 7, 2006.
- Lots of ups and downs, causing the players to have a hard time moving around. It first appeared on December 19, 2006.
- Basically a desert battlefield. There are least amount of buildings in the field. It first appeared on February 1, 2007.
- Jaburo (Overground)
- Since this battlefield is a forest, players take a hard time seeing other players. First appeared on April 20, 2007.
- Jaburo (Underground)
- This battlefield is sent in a cave, allowing mainly mid-range and far distance attacks to be used. There are lots of materials on the battlefield in the way of players. It also has the landscape of many ups and downs. First appeared on July 30, 2007.
- A mountain range battle field set in Winter. First appeared on October 29, 2007.
- An Earth Federation base in Australia, with a large four-layer structure of the colony remains in the center. First appeared on May 1, 2008.
- Mining Town
- An urban area that goes by the alias Asparas base which appears in Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team. A pyramid structure and the cylindrical chimneys exist in the battlefield. First appeared on July 31, 2008.
- Zeon's space fortress that resides on an asteroid. The low-gravity condition of the battlefield limits the mobile suits allowed for space combat. Debuted in December 1, 2008.
Port to Portable Console
- Official website (in English/Cantonese; Japanese for users in Japan)
- Official PSP version website
- Wikia Gaming: Gundam: Senjou no Kuzna Article and extended information
- 機動戦士ガンダム 戦場の絆@wiki Extended information and guides about the game (in Japanese)
- Game guide (in English)
- Video of the inside of the Gundam Podfr:Kidō Senshi Gundam: Senjō no Kizuna