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According to the series' public relations manager Koichiro Sakamoto, the game was never released outside of Japan due to the presence of situations and vocabulary which would be considered faux pas in North America.
Front Mission 2's gameplay has many similarities with Front Mission First. This is likely because the game retains the core foundation seen in Front Mission. This does not mean the game is an exact copy of Front Mission. Numerous changes are noticeable in Front Mission 2. First, more weapons now have range as opposed to being limited to merely missile and grenade launchers. Second, terrain (known as Geo) affects conditions such as Accuracy and the ability to successfully counterattack. Another noticeable change is how all weapons now have ammunition, with the exception being Fight-class weapons. The most noticeable changes are the Action Point(AP) and Honor system.
The AP system dictates how much actions can be done with each combatant. Actions such as movement and attacking take a certain amount of AP to use. At the end of a full turn, one Player and Enemy Phase, a certain amount of AP is restored. The AP values, amount and charge, increase as pilots gain levels through clearing missions. These basic fundamentals of the system are present in future installments. The AP system in Front Mission 2, however, has much more additional factors that give it more layers of strategy.
The amount of AP dictates the potency and effectiveness of several factors such as Accuracy and Evasion. Having close to full AP while attacking often results in landing hits while lower amounts lead to missed hits. AP amount is also a factor in successful counters and skill activations, making it more crucial to manage everyone's AP carefully. The Honor system, which evaluates how the enemies and allies respect each combatant, adds even more factors that tie-in with the AP system.
The Honor system's greatest feature is the team effect, where traveling with allies close by grants advantages over enemy forces. Such a situation results in extra AP amount and charge, as well as boosted stats vital for combat. Likewise, surrounding enemies made it easier to destroy them, as their AP and stats are lowered. The same situations apply to enemy forces as to balance the system. Honor is increased by destroying enemies and successfully utilizing the team effect. Battle skills are only gained through usage of the Honor system as well.
When combining the AP and Honor system, Front Mission 2 has an impressive amount of layers involved with strategy. Add the other changes to the system and they result in the most strategy-heavy Front Mission installment to date. This incredible focus on strategy does have its drawbacks however. The learning curve is quite steep and the game is far from being user-friendly in this aspect. The missions, often throwing 20 or more enemies in tough Geo conditions, only prove this as well.
Battles aside, Front Mission 2 is relatively the same as Front Mission. There are town segments where the player can purchase parts at the Shop or fight in the coliseum to gain additional funds. The massive customization involved with wanzer creation has been retained, with even more parts than before. The Network feature is the newest element in Front Mission 2, which is essentially a pseudo-Internet that allows the player to understand more about the world through various websites. This feature is further expanded in Front Mission 3.
Setting and storyEdit
Set in OCU Alordesh (modern-day Bangladesh) during June 2102, Front Mission 2 is the story of Oceania Cooperative Union (OCU) soldier Ash Faruk and officer Lisa Stanley. During one night, Ash and his outfit, the Muddy Otters, are caught off-guard when the Alordesh Army revolts against the OCU. Barely escaping the assault at the Rimian Naval Base, the Muddy Otters are forced to escape from the coup d'état forces. As the Muddy Otters link up with surviving OCU forces, the OCU sends in an expeditionary force to help reclaim control of the nation. Around this time, the OCU Intelligence Agency sends in Lisa Stanley and her unit to analyze the Alordesh Army's movements to help the regular army in their efforts.
Front Mission 2 alternates between viewpoints of the main protagonists, Ash Faruk and Lisa Stanley. After a certain period of time, both groups unite under Ash's point of view.
- Ash Faruk - Age: 25. Ash is a Corporal and a member of the OCU Maritime Defense Force (MDF) 41st Battalion, the Muddy Otters. Ash was a former Second Lieutenant in the Alordesh Army, but was discharged for reasons unknown in 2098. Faruk then enlists in the OCU Maritime Defense Force in 2100.
- Amia McCalum - Age: 25. Amia is a Marine First Class and a member of the Muddy Otters. Amia originally served as a transport pilot for the OCU Air Force until she decided to switch to a ground assignment in 2099. She applied for a wanzer pilot post and was assigned to the Muddy Otters two years later.
- Joyce S. Whitfield - Age: 26. Joyce is a Marine First Class and a member of the Muddy Otters. Joyce enlisted in the OCU military in 2094 and was assigned ground duty with the regular army. In 2100, Joyce was reassigned to the Muddy Otters after being warned about his playboy attitude towards women.
- Griff Burnam - Age: 32. Griff is a Sergeant and a member of the Muddy Otters. He spent much of his career with the OCU Ground Defense Force (GDF). In 2092, Burnam was assigned as a wanzer instructor before applying for a switch to the MDF in 2101. Griff also appears in the DS version of Front Mission, where he was assigned to bring OCU troops out of Huffman Island.
- Thomas Norland - Age: 47. Thomas is a Captain and the leader of the OCUGDF 89th Mobile Battalion, the Dull Stags. Thomas is a veteran of many conflicts, but has been subject to military inquiries with respect to embezzlement of goods. Norland also appears in Front Mission 2089: Border of Madness, where he is stationed at the Mail River border on Huffman Island during the Huffman Crisis.
- Roswell Tarana - Age: 29. Roswell is a Sergeant and a member of the Dull Stags. Originally from EC Italy, he enlisted with the OCU military in 2090 and was assigned ground duty. In 2100, Tarana transfers to the Dull Stags stationed at the Ramanston base in OCU Alordesh.
- Rocky Armitage - Age: 28. Rocky is a Sergeant and a member of the Dull Stags. Rocky enlisted in the OCUGDF in 2091. He was offered a promotion to Second Lieutenant in 2100, but he refused and opted to apply for a post with the Dull Stags.
- Lisa Stanley - Age: 26. Lisa is a Captain and a special intelligence officer with the OCU Central Intelligence Unit (CIU). Lisa attended officer's school in 2093 and graduated with honors in 2095. Shortly thereafter, Stanley was assigned to the agency and has proven herself in many espionage operations.
- Mitsuzuka Sayuri - Age: 21. Sayuri is a Second Lieutenant and Lisa's adjutant in the OCU Intelligence Agency, where she joined in 2101. Sayuri previously served as an infantryman with the regular army and proved her worth by helping her company retreat after a failed operation in Belgrade.
- Cordy Hoffa - Age: 26. Cordy is an Arena fighter and a former member of the OCU military. Cordy worked alongside Sayuri as infantrymen during many operations for the regular army. After leaving, Hoffa embraced a lifestyle as an Arena fighter in OCU Alordesh.
- Pike A. Reischauer - Age: 30. Pike is an agent working for the Central Intelligence Unit. Shortly after the outbreak of the Alordesh coup d'état, Pike was sent to the country to assess the nation's conditions and assist survivors from the OCU military.
- Maylan Malda - Age: 36. Maylan is a Captain for the Alordesh Army. Maylan enlisted in the service in 2084 and worked in many posts over the years. Maylan becomes one of the major supporters of the Army's revolt against the OCU and the independence movement.
- Saribash Labra - Age: 50. Saribash is the founder and CEO of Burg Transportation, a major transportation business in Alordesh. While he supports the independence movement, Saribash is opposed to the Alordesh Army's use of a coup d'état to achieve it. Labra also hires mercenary Roid Clive from Front Mission to protect him from the Alordesh Army as he wages war against them.
- Ven Mackarge - Age: 26. Ven is a Lieutenant Colonel in the Alordesh Army and the leader of the coup d'état forces. Not satisfied with Alordesh's current state, Ven declares independence from the OCU and renames the Alordesh Army as "The Revolutionary Army". Through an elaborate and well-executed plan, Mackarge holds the nation hostage after overwhelming OCU forces in Alordesh.
Front Mission 2 was composed by Noriko Matsueda, who also composed the original Front Mission. The Front Mission 2 Original Soundtrack was released by DigiCube on September 21, 1997 on a single 43-track disc.