Front Mission (1995)

by Christopher
6 minutes read


A pioneering tactical RPG combining strategic mecha warfare with a rich storyline.


‘Front Mission’ (1995) marks the inaugural entry in the acclaimed Front Mission series, introducing a tactical RPG centered around mecha warfare.


The game’s narrative is set in a future where many military forces are dependent on huge mech robots, called Wanzers (Walking Panzers), for combat. The story unfolds on Huffman Island, where the United States of the New Continent (USN) and the Oceana Community Union (OCU) dispute ownership.

One night, the OCU forces stage a covert recon mission on a facility located in Larcus, a USN-held territory and weapons facility. Led by a soldier named Roid, this mission was entirely unofficial and violated the peace treaty. During the mission, USN forces led by Commander Driscoll appeared and ambushed the OCU soldiers.

During the combat, Roid’s fiancée, Karen, is killed, and the USN facility is blown up, placing the blame on the OCU. This event became known as the “Larcus Incident” and the OCU denied all knowledge of its soldiers’ actions. Ultimately it would be a leading cause of the second Huffman War.

In “Front Mission”, players use playable units called wanzers, a term for mecha derived from the German word Wanderpanzer, or “walking tank”. A wanzer differs from the typical combat unit in that it has four modular parts: body, left arm, right arm, and legs.

Game progression in “Front Mission” proceeds in a linear manner: watch cut-scene events, complete missions, set up wanzers during intermissions, and sortie for the next mission. The player travels to locations on a point-and-click world map. As the player progresses through the plot, new locations are revealed on the world map.

Towns and cities act as intermission points where the player can organize and set up their units for the upcoming mission. Battle zones are where the missions take place, though they become inaccessible upon the completion of a mission.

“Front Mission” received a direct port for the WonderSwan Color in Japan on July 12, 2002. A remake of the game developed by Square Enix Co., Ltd. was released for the PlayStation in Japan on October 23, 2003, titled “Front Mission 1st”. It included new content and offered a new USN scenario to play through. “Front Mission 1st” was then ported to the Nintendo DS with more additional content and was released in Japan on March 22, 2007.

In conclusion, “Front Mission” presents a captivating narrative set in a universe teeming with mystery and conflict. The game’s blend of strategic gameplay and engaging storytelling offers players a unique adventure, making it a notable entry in the realm of tactical role-playing games


Features a diverse cast, including mech pilots and supporting crew, each with unique perspectives and skills.


Combines turn-based strategy with RPG elements, allowing for wanzer customization and tactical battles.


‘Front Mission’ remains a beloved title for its innovative gameplay and storytelling, influencing the genre decades after its release.

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