Definitions

Front Mission series

Front Mission: Gun Hazard

Front Mission Series: Gun Hazard is a scrolling shooter video game developed by Omiya Soft and published by Squaresoft in 1996 for the Nintendo Super Famicom game system. It is also the last Front Mission game to appear on the Super Famicom. The game is a near-future, mecha-themed side-scrolling shooter. The game's OST was released on February 26th, 1996. It became available on Japanese Wii's Virtual Console service on May 20, 2008.

Gameplay

Unlike other Front Mission titles, Gunhazard is a side scrolling shooter game akin to Cybernator. There is a large amount of customization of your mecha and you can also choose a partner to help support you in battles. The main character can also exit their mecha to reach certain areas. After completing the first set of levels, three areas open up. It is up to the player which order they complete the levels.

Characters

Albert Grabner

Albert is a young Sergeant in the Bergen Army when Ark Hellbrand initiates his military coup. He pilots a Harby-G wanzer at the beginning of the game but gradually gains access to a variety of more powerful models.

Brenda Lockheart

Brenda is a base carrier pilot. She first meets Albert while working for Ark Hellbrand, but quickly allies with Albert after Ark imprisons her rather than pay her fee. She flies the Tadpole-class base carrier Carbonara.

Lt. Clark Wilson

Albert encounters Clark Wilson on a mission to defend Cenktrich from a guerilla incursion. Clark is another wanzer pilot and joins the crew after Albert destroys the guerillas' weapon factory. He pilots the same types of wanzers as Albert, initially a Harby-G.

Emil Szynskii

When Albert is hired by rebels in Borukta, he meets Emil, a youth who drives a repair wanzer. He assures a distraught Emil that he won't be blamed for his unit's destruction; however, the next time he sees Emil, it's in front of a firing squad. Albert rescues the young man, to his hirer's ire, and is ordered to catch and kill Emil. As it turns out, the rebels are really little better than a band of thugs and robbers using the political situation as an excuse for looting. Albert locates Emil in a cave but doesn't have the heart to finish him off. Genoce appears, having been given the same mission, but inexplicably backs off and lets them go. Emil joins Albert's crew and brings his Rybinskoe repair wanzer with him.

Luven Al-Habi

In the desert nation of Al Hari, Albert rescues Luven "Bomber" Al-Habi from the enormous rolling command center Galeon. Luven provides information necessary to prevent the Zohar Alliance from destroying the dam that makes the desert livable. Luven brings his Jester wanzer's heavy demolition charges to Albert's side.

Axel Bongo

In the African nation of Zambola, Albert's mission to locate the Prime Minister after a jet crash brings him into direct conflict with the Crimson Blow. The trail leads him to the village of Janga, where a psychopathic Crimson Blow mercenary called Bishop has slaughtered the inhabitants. Axel's father, the village chief, is saved by Albert's arrival and agrees to show him to where the Prime Minister is hidden. When Albert locates the cave, Genoce is already there, holding Axel and the Prime Minister at gunpoint. Albert fights off Genoce, rescues the Prime Minister, and gains the support of Axel's speedy Squirrel wanzer.

Dr. Akihiko Sakata

During his mission in Al Hari, Albert suddenly comes under fire from cruise missiles in the Dahana Highlands. However, a strange wanzer appears and absorbs the powerful explosion with a defensive force field, saving Albert's life. This is Dr. Sakata, a slightly unhinged inventor obsessed with improving and testing the shield on his custom wanzer Suigetsu. He declines Albert's offer of alliance at first, but eventually joins when offered the prospect of testing Suigetsu against the microwave beam cannon Jormungand deployed by the Red Sharks in Sibirsk. It successfully absorbs the blasts, protecting Albert until he can disable the cannon. Sakata joins the crew on the theory that this will allow him to test Suigetsu against a wider variety of weapons.

Rook

A member of the Crimson Blow mercenary company, Rook the Detonator (real name unknown) is fanatically dedicated to Genoce. He is incredibly cool under fire and frequently reminds the more hotheaded Genoce when it's time to retreat. After many encounters working against or alongside one another, Rook finally defects to Albert's side in return for Albert's help stopping Genoce's suicidal scheme to kill Royce. He pilots a Feuerzeug fire support wanzer with a huge cannon for a right arm.

Anita Diamonte

Anita is the leader of the Guardians' resistance against the Society. She joins Albert as an ally after he rescues her from the underground compound beneath the dictator's mansion in Esporte. She flies an Espada VTOL armed with cannons and bombs.

Genoce Felder

Genoce was once a warm and gentle person, but his idealism would prove his undoing. He and his sister Royce dreamed of creating a better world; to that end, Genoce became a wanzer pilot. Royce eventually joined The Society over Genoce's objections, and over time grew both fanatical and cruel. Genoce himself fought in too many wars, becoming cold and hard without his sister's influence. He berates Albert for his idealism and naivite, but probably actually envies his innocence and optimism. He repeatedly tried to convince Royce to leave the Society, but after being rebuffed every time, he decided the only way to save his sister was to kill her before she sinned even more. To that end, he was willing to sacrifice his own soul; he did every job the Society asked of him, no matter how immoral, in hopes of eventually joining so he could get close enough to Royce to kill her. When Albert attacks the Society's airship Sentinel, Genoce is forced to act; he rams his base carrier into the ship and appears as Albert confronts Royce. He mortally wounds her with his wanzer's weapons, then escapes to Albert's base carrier. Genoce later assists Albert in destroying the energy core powering the space elevator Atlas' weapons, but insists on a final battle as the station begins to explode. After fighting for several seconds, Genoce pushes Albert's wanzer into the escape pod. He is assumed killed, but later his wanzer is found washed up on shore with Genoce's body nowhere to be found.

Plot

Setting

Front Mission: Gun Hazard features several military organizations:

Kernelight Associations is a Mercenary Guild located in New York. Mercenaries are hired and assigned jobs which is basically being hired by one side to fight the other side in a War or to Protect and Escort a V.I.P. from danger. Depending on what happens, Mercenaries either come back to receive their paycheck or they come back from their botched job in a bodybag. Merc-Work groups are a composition of a Carrier Pilot and a Wanzer Pilot working in tandem. Mercenaries that break Contract during a job are fired and no longer employed by Kernelight. The person in charge of Kernelight Associations is Richard Millman.

The Guardians: An Organization created to strike back against the Society, its ranks are composed of soldiers who lost their families and friends in wars that should never have started. Wars that were organized and started by The Society.

The Society: The Organization responsible for all of the Worlds miserable Wars and Conflicts. The Society uses the absolute power that they have in their hands to start them. A War that seems to occur randomly without warning, appears to be normal. But when one looks and digs deeper into the situation, they will find someone pulling the strings of the conflict: The Society. Governments rise and fall at their whims and no matter who wins the War, The Society always Profits. They use War as an accelerator and testbed for their Weapons and Technology. Their Armament Factories and their Primary Weapons Production Center, Madios, is located in Machu Picchu, Peru. With their Intelligence Center, Via Blanca, Located in Esporte, Brazil. The Society HQ is a Giant Flying Fortress named Sentinel.

The Red Shark are actually the Weapons Development Group of The Society. They're responsible for the troubles that have occurred in Sibirska. Shivaltz, leader of the Red Sharks, develops the Jormungand which is a giant Wanzer equipped with a Microwave-Beam/Electromagnetic-Wave Gun that can cancel out Anti-Laser Shielding and destroy anything in one hit. Only the Sakata Shield can stop this beam. Shivaltz's Designated Rank in the Society is "Number 6."

Story

The story follows the exploits of a young man called Albert Grabner, who serves in the Bergen Army. Bergen is under siege from Colonel Ark Hellbrand, leading a coup to supplant President Orwen and establish himself as head of the country. Albert is en-route to rendezvous with his friend Leros, to escort Orwen. Meeting with Orwen in Ertothal Harbour, they suddenly come under attack from missiles. Leros is hit and killed by one of the missiles, leaving Albert as the President's only defender. Ark arrives on the scene and attacks Albert while the President searches for some means of escape. Eventually finding a wanzer transport truck, he and Albert make their escape.

In an attempt to flee Bergen, the two head for Beeg Army Base while encountering Ark's soldiers along the way, including being bombed by a mercenary base carrier pilot named Brenda Lockheart. Reaching Beeg, Orwen seeks out aid from loyal military units but is captured by the command staff who have already pledged to Ark. Albert is framed as a kidnapper and imprisoned with Brenda, who was betrayed to avoid paying her for her work. Together they escape and, needing cash to continue their fight, travel to New York to join the Kernelight Foundation as mercenaries. The pair are dispatched to various jobs around the world, meeting many colorful allies along the way. He also repeatedly runs into a cold, cruel merc named Genoce, leader of the Crimson Blow mercenary company. During this period, Albert learns that his parents were tortured and killed by Ark in an attempt to locate Albert.

Finally, Albert gets a chance to take revenge on Ark. Before he dies, Ark reveals that he's been taking orders from a mysterious woman named Royce Felder. Royce, it turns out, is a member of an Illuminati-like group called The Society, whose goal is to create wars all over the world and then pick up the pieces to create a utopia. Realizing that there was more to the Bergen Coup than he could see, Albert decides to continue working as a mercenary for Kernelight and takes on two more jobs to learn more about The Society. Albert is ultimately faced with a dilemma on his sixth job; he's been hired by a South American dictator -- secretly a Society member -- to destroy a group of guerillas, but the "guerillas" turn out to be a group known as The Guardians who are working against the Society. Albert turns on his former employer and is quickly fired by Kernelight, but hired by the Guardians. The Guardians ultimately discover the existence and location of the gigantic Society airship Sentinel. Albert learnss that Royce is Genoce's sister, and that Genoce intends to kill her since he failed to convince her to leave the Society. Aboard the airship, Albert confronts her, but before he can convince her, Genoce arrives and shoots her. Badly wounded, Royce retreats. Albert catches up in the chamber of the Controller, the decrepit leader of the Society, who reveals to Albert and Royce that he never intended to create a Utopia -- that he believes warfare is humanity's ultimate state. He then dies as his life support systems fail. Royce repents her association with the Society and gives Albert her pendant to give to her brother, then dies.

Before Albert can celebrate his victory, however, the Atlas space elevator fires an enormous beam cannon into central Cenktrich -- apparently an automated program intended to sow confusion in the event of Sentinel's destruction. Albert's group makes their way up the space elevator, ultimately meeting Genoce on the way to the reactor core powering the gun. Genoce uses Royce's pendant to bypass the defense systems, but his wanzer is damaged in the process of cracking the core's shell. Albert is left to fight the automated defenses alone and destroy the core. Ultimately, the reactor threatening to explode, Genoce insists on a final battle in the escape pod room. Bitter and disillusioned, he finally pushes Albert into the escape pod and surrenders to his fate. Just in time, it turns out, as the core explodes just behind Albert, throwing his escape pod off course and into danger. With the help of his allies, Albert safely gets on board the base carrier and Brenda makes a controlled crash-landing in the sea.

In the end, the friends split up to help the world as best they can. The Atlas will be rebuilt, and Albert and Brenda decide to travel together and bring hope to people who have suffered.

During the clean-up, Genoce's wanzer is found with its cockpit empty...

Audio

Gun Hazard OST is a soundtrack album of video game music from the computer role-playing game Front Mission: Gun Hazard, produced by Square Co., Ltd. for the Super Nintendo. The composing project was a team effort for Nobuo Uematsu, Yasunori Mitsuda, Junya Nakano, and Masashi Hamauzu. It was first released on February 26, 1996, in Japan, by NTT Publishing .

References

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